It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Friday, April 27, 2012

OH MEIN GOTT !!! Papa Ratzinger Calls Upon U.S. Catholic Church to "lead the way" in Revival of the Worldwide Catholic Church !!!

The U.S. and Vatican flags wave before the U.S. Capitol Building

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:  In a stunning announcement on Monday, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (via the apostolic nuncio to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano) has just laid the heaviest burden in 2,000 years on the shoulders of Catholic Americans.  Realizing that Christianity in Europe is beyond recovery, the Holy Father has called upon the U.S. Catholic Church to "lead the way" in revival of the whole Catholic world....

(CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI wants the Catholic Church in America to be in the forefront of reviving Catholicism worldwide, the apostolic nuncio to the United States said in Columbus.
"The Church in the United States should lead the entire Church in the world" in a revitalization effort, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said. "This is a great task, but you have the determination and the grace to do it. This I know is the vision of the Holy Father regarding the Church in the United States."
The archbishop was speaking to an audience of seminarians and benefactors of the Pontifical College Josephinum at its annual rector's dinner April 23. He called on the American Church to go beyond its mission of evangelizing the United States and "to be missionaries not only to the Third World, but especially to the countries of Europe.
"Christianity (in Europe) in some way has lost its strength and needs an example," he said, noting "very positive signs of growth" in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life in the United States.

Archbishop Vigano said he especially wanted to direct his message to young people, particularly those studying for the priesthood at the Josephinum.

The institution has experienced substantial growth in recent years and currently has an enrollment of more than 180 men, its highest in 25 years. They represent 29 dioceses from all over the United States, including six that sent seminarians to the institution for the first time this year, and their ethnic and cultural backgrounds echo the diversity of the American Church as a whole...

read full story here
Considering the magnitude of the loss in the worldwide Catholic Church ever since the Second Vatican Council, the prospect of this burden being laid at the feet of Catholics Americans is staggering. Yet, the Holy Father has called upon us to rise to the occasion. What can we do but respond in the affirmative?  The Holy Father has called upon us.  Holy Mother Church needs us.  It's time to clean our own house, and in this, we may rise to the occasion.  The recent rise in U.S. vocations is a direct response to traditional renewal in liturgy and orthodoxy within the U.S. Catholic Church.  Liberal seminaries continue to flounder, while traditional seminaries are busting at the seems with new vocations.  It is clear what the path forward is.
Please pass this message on to every Catholic you know.

A Prescription for Catholic Renewal in the United States

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is a prescription for renewal of the Roman Rite within U.S. Catholic Church.  It's bitter medicine to be sure, but I am certain it will result in her long-term and sustained renewal....
  1. Formerly drop the Church's (501c3) tax-exemption status, or else allow the federal government to revoke it, then begin selling off hospitals, clinics and parish buildings that can no longer serve as Catholic institutions functionally.  This will help shore up the loss of income resulting in decreased donations, and simultaneously reduce the financial overhead of various dioceses. 
  2. Immediately clean out all leadership in convents and monasteries that do not cling 100% to traditional Catholic teaching and practice.  Then hand these monasteries and convents over to those religious orders that have been faithful to traditional Catholic teaching and practice, informing those nuns to make full use of this new space immediately, expanding their reach and growth as quickly as possible.
  3. Order that all these convents put an emphasis on teaching sisters how to educate children, particularly in the elementary skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.  In other words, prepare them to become school teachers.
  4. Order that each parish with a school begin making preparation to receive into permanent residence religious sisters for future school teachers.  This will allow the convents and monasteries to serve primarily as training centres for formation, while many (not necessarily all) religious brothers and sisters will eventually find themselves in permanent residence at a local parish and/or Catholic school.
  5. Instruct all priests, young and old, that they are to catechise the faithful in their Sunday homilies in the evils of sin, and the means of salvation, and the need for regular sacramental confession. Likewise, the bishops SIMPLY MUST begin publicly excommunicating those high profile Catholics (particularly politicians and celebrities) who unrepentantly give cause for public scandal in the Church.
  6. In conference of the bishops, no longer constrained by the (501c3) tax-exemption status, a political outline should be drawn up each election year, stating the Church's positions on various issues and candidates.  This political outline must be read from the pulpit of every Catholic parish on a given Sunday before an election, and a printed copy provided to each parishioner of voting age.  
  7. Last but not least, each bishop should take care to make sure that each and every parish is following the most strict liturgical standards for their celebration of mass and other liturgies.  In addition, the local bishop should make sure that the faithful in each region of his diocese has ample access to the Traditional Latin (Tridentine) mass.  Furthermore, each bishop should do a bi-annual audit of the doctrinal teachings of each parish for the next ten years, followed by a five-year audit after that, so as to insure the faithful are receiving proper Catholic formation in each parish.  

Please feel free to copy and distribute as you see fit.

A Third Candidate Enters the U.S. Presidential Race

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As I've said in previous articles, there would be a third candidate for president in the not-too-distant future, and today that future has arrived.  He is former U.S. Congressman for the State of Virginia -- Virgil Goode....

Congressman Virgil Goode
Congressman Goode served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009.  He is a Baptist, married and father of one daughter.  Unlike his Democratic and Republican rivals, Goode is 100% Pro-Life, he has a voting record to prove it, and he has a perfect endorsement from the National Right to Life.  Goode also supports the Catholic Church's view on marriage as between one man and one woman. He opposes gay "marriages" and "civil unions."  He also opposes unnecessary international wars and wants to bring our troops home.  Goode is a Constitutionalist and unlike the Democrat and Republican candidates running for president this year, Goode actually believes in a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution, wherein the federal government should be reigned in to actually do what it says, and states should have more autonomy and control of their own affairs.  Based on Goode's rhetoric and voting record, it appears he supports the Catholic teaching on Subsidiarity.  Congressman Virgil Goode has been nominated to run for president of the United States in 2012 under the banner of THE CONSTITUTION PARTY.  If you would like to support Congressman Goode, his campaign website can be found here at:  Donations to his campaign can be made HERE.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Washington DC's Ongoing War with the U.S. Catholic Church

(Chicago Tribune) - A prominent advocate of church-state separation filed a formal complaint with the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday, accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria of violating federal law by intervening in a political campaign.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, alleges that a fiery homily delivered by Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky last Sunday effectively urged Catholics to vote against President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

Jenky's homily criticized policies proposed by the Obama administration that would require all employers, including religious groups, to provide free birth control coverage in their health care plans. The bishop included Obama's policies in a litany of government challenges the Catholic Church has overcome in previous centuries, including Hitler and Stalin's campaigns.

"Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care," Jenky said. "In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama — with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda — now seems intent on following a similar path...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:  In what is becoming a clear showdown between the United States government and the U.S. Catholic Church, the latest episode involves some comments made by His Excellency Bishop Daniel Jenky.  Here, the good bishop dared to criticise the president of the United States, from behind the pulpit no less, and for this the president's supporters are retaliating with charges that will surely land His Excellency before a civil magistrate and place the entire diocese in financial jeopardy. 

For my international readers, allow me to explain.  It is generally understood in the United States that freedom of speech does not exist for religious leaders when they preach behind the pulpit.  Certain things may not be said, and this most especially applies when it comes to politicians.  If this happens in an election year, this "cardinal sin" is compounded of course.  You see, the United States federal government has successfully placed a muzzle on religious leaders in the United States through the all important tax exemption.  So long as religious leaders keep their noses out of politics, they may retain their tax exemption status.  This doesn't mean that they themselves don't have to pay taxes, oh no, every religious leader must always pay his own personal income tax.  No, this has to do with donations and the parish itself.  You see, so long as the tax exemption is retained, parishioners may donate money to the parish and write this off as a personal tax deduction.  However, if the tax exemption is revoked, then parishioners may no longer claim a personal tax deduction when donating to the parish, and in addition to that, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may punish the parish with tax penalties for whatever actions caused them to lose their tax exempt status in the first place.  The IRS has a reputation of punishing churches with the most fiendish malignity, even to the point of seizing entire parish buildings and all property related.  Yes, the IRS also has a reputation of being selective in this process.  Some churches are spared, others are made examples of, and to the best of our knowledge, it often seems this happens along partisan lines.  For example; radical left-wing Protestant churches (particularly black Liberation Theology congregations) such as the one previously attended by President Barack Obama for example, have a reputation of inflammatory political speech from behind the pulpit directly toward conservative and Republican leaders.  These churches are rarely investigated by the IRS, and when they are, they are usually spared any serious repercussions.  In contrast, right-wing Evangelical churches may have a reputation of making some veiled comment toward a politician that may (or may not) have political undertones, and these churches will often find themselves in a fight with the IRS to retain their property, which of course, they usually lose.  So there is a lot of political game-playing that goes on here in the United States, and a lot of it has to do with ideology.  That the tax code is applied unfairly is beyond doubt, but for the most part, the American people are powerless to do anything about it.  Our leaders are spineless, and indeed, they often benefit from the system the way it is.

In this context Bishop Jenky makes his brave remarks of observation that the Obama administration is mirroring the very behaviours seen in the early ears of Hitler and Stalin.  Indeed, far worse observations were made by religious leaders of former President George W. Bush, but no penalties were ever applied to them as far as we know.  Bishop Jenky on the other hand will certainly be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  That's almost a guarantee, and the whole Diocese of Peoria is now in financial jeopardy.  Will the bishop and the diocese escape the long arm of the IRS?  Perhaps if the bishop back-peddles hard enough, he may get off with a stern warning, and the diocese may be spared.  If he holds his ground however, it is not unreasonable to assume the diocese will lose its tax exemption status, along with half of its diocesan property.  Parishes will be closed and auctioned.  All future donations to the Diocese of Peoria, or any parish or ministry within, will be fully taxed with no deductions available.

Stepping back for a moment from the heat of the current situation, I would like my readers to examine the overall moral precedent this sets not just for the U.S. Catholic Church, but for every religious institution within the United States.  Effectively, by using the much coveted tax deduction section (501c3), the federal government now has a say in what is preached behind the pulpit of every church in America.  Pastors are effectively muzzled.  If America's leaders act like tyrants, and a religious pastor calls them out on it, then that pastor can be prosecuted and his parish (or diocese) punished.  This is all legal, according to the U.S. tax code, and it's been going on in America for a VERY LONG TIME.  Is there not something inherently wrong with this?  Am I the only one who sees something insidious in this?

I have in the past made the controversial statement that the best thing that could happen to the U.S. Catholic Church is for it to lose its tax exemption status.  While this would be financially catastrophic at first, in the long run, it would have the effect of liberating priests and bishops to fully speak their minds from behind the pulpit.  If a politician begins to act like a tyrant, as Barack Obama has definitely done, then they could call him out on it, before their entire congregation, without fear of the IRS.  They could even go further than that.  The bishops could meet in conference and decide in advance who they will support and who they will oppose in political races, freely preaching this and the reasons why in their Sunday homilies, thus giving lay Catholics a much more informed conscience.  The U.S. Catholic Church would effectively become the largest "voting block" in the United States, marching in virtual lock-step, electing and deposing candidates as it sees fit, transforming America's political landscape almost overnight.  In fact, the one and only thing that PREVENTS this very thing from happening, is the coveted tax exempt status (501c3) which so long as the U.S. Catholic Church wants it, politicians need not fear the formation of a unified Catholic voting block.  Thus politicians like Barack Obama can do as they please.

I do not know what will become of the brave Bishop Jenky or the Diocese of Peoria, but I do know if politicians like Obama want to keep their worst nightmare from becoming reality, they better get the IRS to dismiss this one as quickly as possible.  Because once word of Bishop Jenky's demise spreads to the other Catholic bishops, he will become a martyr for the cause of Catholic free speech, and the result will be a revolt of every Catholic diocese in the nation.  I say bring it on!  I say ditch the tax exempt status all together, and sell whatever church properties are needed to pay the penalties.  Then with absolute liberty, having no more restraint left on them, let the U.S. Catholic bishops call "Adolph Obama" what he is, and let them preach it behind the pulpit, and let all the Catholic faithful finally vote in unison again!!!  Within a decade, not only will the U.S. Catholic Church have transformed the entire American political landscape, but they will have dismantled the IRS as well!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vatican Puts the Smack Down On Liberal American Nuns

(CNS) -- Citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life," the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women's religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican announced April 18. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts.

The LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members, represents about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT:  Well it's about time!  Actually, this is very encouraging news.  When seen together with the apparent steps forward with the SSPX, it would appear the pope has finally got the Vatican tuned up close enough to where he wants it, to finally effect some change in the Church worldwide.  It will be interesting to see where all this leads.

I fully expect some to rebel, but that should be no surprise.  They were rebels from the start.  Most however, are just misguided, and it is steps such as this are are sorely needed to save them from ignorance.

Of course this fully explains the crisis in women religious vocations, and why nuns have virtually disappeared from the U.S. Catholic landscape.  For starters, the few that remain are unrecognisable.  They no longer wear habits any more, nor any distinctive head covering, and are often dressed in an outfit one could just as well see on a receptionist or volunteer worker.   That being said most of these have left the work of witnessing to the gospel for some kind of pet political agenda.  For example; I once met a nun of this type who said she was fasting.  I asked her what for?  She replied it was for union negotiations.  Now don't get me wrong.  I'm sure there are some times when fasting for such a cause might be necessary, but it seemed to me this was all she was concerned about.  It just struck me as odd.  With this kind of a witness we can see why young American women are no longer drawn to the religious orders.  This also explains why convents run by the LCWR are shutting down all over the nation due to lack of new postulates.  Meanwhile, the few convents around the nation that stick to traditional practices are now busting at the seams with new postulates, suffering a vocation crisis of a different kind -- to many nuns, not enough rooms to accommodate them.  With any luck, the LCWR will be reigned in by Archbishop Sartain, with the hope of making a new beginning for women religious in the United States.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Message To The SSPX

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Speaking as one lowly voice within the Catholic Church, I implore you, for the sake of the Church herself, please reconcile.

We traditionalists within the Church NEED your help. Please come to our assistance.

I ask all my readers to please pray for God's will to be done with the SSPX this Divine Mercy Sunday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another Option Please

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In the face of the upcoming Republican train wreck that is the 2012 general election, many of my readers know Mitt Romney cannot win. That being said, some of you have lamented that we no longer have a third-option to register a protest vote against the political system that gave us Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Since Ron Paul will likely drop out of the race before the GOP convention, to spare his son (Rand Paul) from the untenable position of having to support his father against the GOP's nominee, we can expect many of Ron Paul's supporters to bolt to the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party.

I would like to call my readers attention to two sobering facts. First of all, Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee -- guaranteed. Second, Romney cannot beat Obama in the general election because Romney is a well known flip-flopper. His record on this is so bad that even fellow Republicans had no problem calling him out on it during the early primary race. The Democratic Party will savage him on this, and he will not recover. The only tool the Republicans have is to savage Obama on his record, and hopefully the "hate Obama" mentality will take enough hold to get people to vote against him. That alone is not enough to win an election. The Republicans will need help from Wall Street to finish the job. Another catastrophic stock market crash will be necessary to finish off Obama. Still, there are no guarantees, but if the economy goes in the crapper, the Republicans at least have a fighting chance. If that doesn't happen by October 15th. the Republicans are toast and Mitt Romney will join the ranks of Bob Dole and John McCain of presidential candidate has-beens.

Still, many of my readers know the system that produced this selection is a joke and are tired of participating in the "lesser of two evils" choice game. For once in their lives they would like to vote their conscience. For them I would like to propose they keep a close eye on the Constitution Party. The platform of this party is good, and should they nominate a credible candidate for the 2012 election, they will see a groundswell of support from dissaffected Evangelicals and Catholics sick of the Republican Party.


Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death;

Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual;

Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;

Property: Each individual's right to own and steward personal property without government burden;

Constitution: and Bill of Rights interpreted according to the actual intent of the Founding Fathers;

States' Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people;

American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances.

Read the CP's full platform here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Mormon Problem

A Foretaste of Things to Come. Get used to this.
This is How the Left will Destroy Mitt Romney's Campaign.
Romney's Mormon Problem is that he doesn't act like one!
(National Journal) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Sunday that Republican front-runner Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith should not be an issue in the presidential campaign.

“There may be reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney as president of the United States,” Dolan said during an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation. “That he’s a Mormon cannot be one of them.”

Dolan, who is archbishop of the New York diocese, later added: “I don’t think Catholics would have any problem voting for a Mormon at all...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: With the news today that Rick Santorum has pulled out of the 2012 presidential race, the nation's attention has now turned to Mitt Romney as the uncontested frontrunner and likely GOP nominee for president of the United States.

Mitt Romney as a Mormon Missionary
France, 1965
I have said many times that I have no problem with Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon.  My problem with Romney is that I don't believe he's a Mormon!  This is Romney's Mormon problem.  It's not that he's a Mormon, it's that I'm not convinced he actually is one.

You see I know Mormons.  I have Mormons in my extended family.  I work with Mormons, and I have Mormon friends.  Of all the people who have come to my door peddling their religion, I've never had a problem with the Mormons.  Now Jehovah's Witnesses are a different story.  It's not uncommon for them to yell at me after a brief conversation at my doorstep.  (It seems I have that effect on them.)  At which point I must remind them this is MY property and kindly ask them to leave now.  I also remind them to kick the dust off their shoes when they reach the end of the driveway, as is common JW practice.  As for Mormons on the other hand, this has never been the case.  They are kind, friendly, and very respectful of me, as well as mindful of the fact that they are standing on my property as guests.  So as far as actions matching the religion they are peddling, I must give credit where credit is due, acknowledging that at least on their missionary front, they practice what they preach.  Again, I've never known a Mormon to be unkind to me at work or in my personal life.

As far as politics are concerned, Mormons (good Mormons anyway) are generally conservative, not only on social issues but usually on fiscal matters as well.  Again, this is consistent with the image created by the religion.  My own Mormon family is very conservative, socially and fiscally, and would have nothing to do with the type of political compromise we have witnessed from the former governor of Massachusetts.   This is the beef I have with Mitt Romney.  When I look at his political record, it is not consistent with what I know of Mormonism.  Mitt Romney is to Mormonism what Ted Kennedy was to Catholicism, or what Bill Clinton was to the Southern Baptist Convention.  He is an inconsistent contradiction.  That's the problem I have with Mitt Romney.  It's not that he's a Mormon, it's that I'm not convinced he actually is one, at least not at heart anyway.

Now on to the issue of the word "Christian" itself.  In American culture the word "Christian" has two meanings.  The first is the more traditional meaning, and refers to the historical doctrinal understanding of Christianity being a Trinitarian faith.  This is how the Catholic Church understands the word "Christian" as well, as do most Protestants, especially Evangelical Fundamentalists.  Now in American culture there is a second meaning for the word "Christian" and that is a more generalised understanding as a person who follows the moral teachings of Jesus Christ whether he/she subscribes to traditional Christian theology or not.  In this latter, more liberal sense of the word Christian, one could easily call Mormons Christians, as well as Jehovah's Witnesses, and a host of other groups.  So before we start saying that Mitt Romney is not a Christian, we might first want to identify exactly what we mean by the word "Christian."  If by Christian we mean a Trinitarian, then yes, Mitt Romney is not a Christian.  If however, by Christian we mean somebody who generally follows the moral teachings of Jesus Christ then Mitt Romney could indeed be called a Christian.  So we must first get our terms straight.

Now there are those in the United States who are disturbed at the possibility of electing a non-Trinitarian (such as a Mormon) to the Whitehouse.  Well, let me put that one to rest.  First of all, if Romney actually won, he wouldn't be the first non-Trinitarian elected to the Whitehouse.  I would say the first non-Trinitarian elected to the presidency was none other than Thomas Jefferson (election of 1800), who also happened to be the author of the Declaration of Independence (America's founding document).  Jefferson was NOT a Trinitarian Christian.  He did not attend a church, nor did he worship Jesus Christ.  Thomas Jefferson was a Deist.  He rejected organised religion all together.  He believed in a God of Nature, who was revealed in nature itself.  He was followed by the second non-Trinitarian, Abraham Lincoln (election of 1860), who was known to be a follower of the occult.  Then there was Dwight D. Eisenhower who was elected to the presidency as a Jehovah's Witness (election of 1952), but later converted to the Presbyterian Church.  Then of course there is Barack H. Obama (election of 2008), who many people believe to be a closet Muslim, though he espouses to be a Trinitarian Christian of a very liberal theology.  I point all this out to make it clear that electing an espoused non-Trinitarian Mormon to the Whitehouse is not as monumental of an event as many might think. Electing non-Trinitarians has been done before, no less than three times, possibly four.  The office of the presidency has been held by non-Trinitarians before.

Next on the agenda is the issue of theology itself.  While it is categorically true that Mormons reject the Trinity, there are many who believe them to be polytheists because of their acceptance of many gods.  Again, this is inaccurate.  In the world of religion there are generally two classes of people -- monotheists and polytheists.  Polytheists are Pagans.  They believe in multiple gods, for various different things, and are rather indiscriminate about which ones they worship.  They may favour one in particular, or a few of their choosing, but they accept the existence of many and might often switch their devotion between deities as they see fit depending on their circumstances in life.  Monotheists believe in only one God and they reject the existence of any other god.  They may define the one true God in different ways.  Christians define him as a Trinity, Jews and Muslims do not.  All of them however, reject the notion of multiple gods.  However, there is a third class of religious people that is more rare, but nevertheless legitimate.  It is a third-way which was common in the ancient Semitic world and has been revived in recent times with the advent of Mormonism.  It is called henotheism.  A henotheist is a person who accepts the existence of many gods, but exclusively and militantly worships only one God in particular.  While accepting the existence of other gods, the henotheist believes that worship of any other god, besides the one he is sworn to, is idolatry.  So the henotheist accepts the theology of the polytheist while demanding the fidelity of a monotheist.  This is Mormonism.

So if you ask if Mitt Romney believes in multiple gods, the answer is "yes he does" but he only worships one God exclusively.  He believes that God to be "God the Father," who begot Jesus Christ.  Don't ask me to go any further than that because it gets kind of weird.  Nevertheless, it is inaccurate and unfair to characterise Mormons as polytheists and pagans, because by definition they are not.  I say this because as the general election campaigns get under way, I fully expect the Left-Wing extremists to come out attacking Mitt Romney's religion by attempting to pit the Christian Right against itself by calling Romney a Pagan.  This will cause the Evangelical Fundamentalists to turn on each other, as some will say he is a Pagan, while others will say it doesn't matter because we need "anybody but Obama."  Please, I hope my readers will be above this.  There is no need to fall into this trap.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon (or at least he says he is, even though he doesn't really act like it) and Mormons are Christians in the most generalised liberal sense in that they follow the moral teachings of Jesus Christ.  In a classical and historical sense, no, he is not a Christian, because he is a non-Trinitarian.  Does that matter when it comes to the office of the presidency?  No.  We've had non-Christians in there before.  We are electing a political president not a spiritual leader.

Now that being said, will The Catholic Knight vote for Mitt Romney?  Probably not.  I certainly won't vote for Barack Obama either.  My problems with Romney have to do with his character not his religion.  Had he actually been a better Mormon, and lived up to his faith while governor of Massachusetts, I would probably feel differently.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Jewish Roots of Catholic Christianity

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: To understand Catholicism, one must understand that our liturgy, traditions and sacraments are based on the Hebrew roots of Christ and the apostles. Catholic Christianity is in every sense a perfect extension of fulfilled Judaism into the modern world. Unlike Rabbinical Judaism (an artificial man-made extension of ancient Judaism) Catholic Christianity draws its faith and traditions from the actions of the Jewish Messiah -- Jesus Christ -- which is Yeshua HaMashiach in Hebrew. The Sacred Liturgy of the Mass draws from the liturgical proceedings of the Synagogue's Sabbath liturgy and the Jewish Passover Seder.

There are many things we can learn about this. Brother Bob Fishman (a Jewish convert to the Catholic Church or "Hebrew Catholic") gives us a good introduction to this. If you are Jewish, especially a Jew who already believes Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah, please consider coming home to his Catholic Church, the new Israel of God. The Association of Hebrew Catholics (click here) has been formed to assist you in this. If you are a Catholic, you simply MUST watch this whole video series to help you better understand the origin and meaning of your Catholic Christian faith. If you are a non-Catholic Christian (Protestant, Evangelical, "Born-Again," etc.) then it is essential to watch this video series for two reasons. First, you will gain a much better understanding of Catholicism which should help you dispel many misconceptions. Second, many Protestant traditions come from Catholicism, which in turn come from ancient Judaism. Understanding the Hebrew roots of Catholicism will in turn give you a better appreciation for some of the traditions and customs observed in your Non-Catholic faith too. The video below is a six-part series. Each new part should start automatically at the end of the previous. If you have difficulties with this, simply click on the YouTube icon within the video to go to the source webpage...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Exact Date of Christ's Crucifixion

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The subject of Jesus' crucifixion, particularly the date, is a sore one for some Christians, especially those of the Protestant Fundamentalist persuasion. The precise year of his crucifixion has been debated by scholars for centuries. Within the last 100 years, some groups have even called into question the day of his crucifixion, with a few groups insisting on Wednesday being the day of the event. If we go by the 'Bible Alone' without ever taking outside sources into consideration, one can see how this confusion might come about. However, all the clues we need for this little mystery are laid out for us plain to see, in black and white, just waiting for us to do our homework. The evidence is plentiful, once we're ready to start looking into what non-Biblical sources say about the astronomical events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Phlegon was a Greek historian who wrote an extensive chronology around AD 137:
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’
- Phlegon, 137 AD
Phlegon identifies the year and the exact time of day. In addition, he writes of an earthquake accompanying the darkness, which is specifically recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.

This event could not have been a solar eclipse in the classic sense. In other words, whatever caused a shadow to fall over the earth, and the sun's light to be blotted out, could not have been the moon. As the moon is always in the completely opposite position in the sky during the full moon phase, which is what Passover always falls on. Furthermore, solar eclipses just last a few minutes, never three hours. The three-hour "eclipse-like" event is a historical fact, and accounted for by non-biblical (even non-Christian) authors, including Pontius Pilate no less, who wrote in a report to Tiberius Caesar the following account...

Now when he was crucified darkness came over all the world; the sun was altogether hidden, and the sky appeared dark while it was yet day, so that the stars were seen, though still they had their luster obscured, wherefore, I suppose your excellency is not unaware that in all the world they lighted their lamps from the sixth hour until evening. And the moon, which was like blood, did not shine all night long, although it was at the full, and the stars and Orion made lamentation over the Jews because of the transgression committed by them.
- Pontius Pilate, 33 AD
We may never know what caused the solar eclipse-like event that lasted three hours, but we can speculate. Assuming that God uses natural events in unexpected ways to accomplish most of his miracles, then using what we know about natural phenomena, we can make a good guess. Eclipses are caused when the shadow of something is cast on the earth. Under normal circumstances, its the shadow of the moon cast upon the earth, as the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blotting out the sun's light for a few minutes. So based on what we know causes eclipses, we can speculate that something fairly large passed between the earth and the sun on the date and time in question, and we know that it could not have been the moon. Also the duration of the event (3 hours) would seem to indicate that the trajectory of the object was such that it kept the shadow on relatively the same place (the Mediterranean world) for about three hours. One possibility would be a very large asteroid (or even planetoid) on a near collision course with the earth. If the trajectory were so that the large celestial object (several dozen miles in diameter at least) were coming directly from the angle of the sun, passing by the earth at an incredibly close range, it might create a shadow large enough to eclipse the sun wherever it was cast on the earth's surface. Furthermore, such a near miss with such a large object would certainly capture the object in the earth's gravitational well, causing the object to be flung around the earth at a totally different trajectory then when it came in. If the object were to have it's own gravitational pull, and something that size probably would, then it might have caused disturbances on the earth as it passed by in the form of natural disasters, such as earthquakes for example. Granted this is all just speculation, but I am unaware of any other natural occurrence that could cause an eclipse-like event lasting three hours, coupled with earthquakes, like the one described by so many sources from antiquity. I should like to see more study into this possibility done by people more well versed in astronomy and astrophysics than myself.

If indeed I am right about the darkness being caused by a celestial object (asteroid or planetoid) then we have to ask ourselves what this means not just scientifically but religiously too.  Such an object, had it made contact with the earth, would have created nothing short of an extinction event.  This might not just be of mankind, but of all animal and plant life itself.  The impact would have burst the whole world into flames.  Nothing would survive.  The molten slag that was once earth would have taken hundreds of years to cool, and nothing larger than a microbe would exist on earth today, if even that.  Jesus Christ came to save mankind from this sort of judgement, and prepare for us instead a path to eternal life.  Could the shadow cast by this speculative celestial object shed new insight on the words of our Saviour: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!?!" Could it have appeared to the Messiah that judgement was coming upon the earth in spite of his sacrifice?  I don't know the answer to this question, as I cannot know the mind of Christ, nor can I know exactly what happened that remarkable day.  What I do know is this.  Whatever God did to cast a shadow on the whole earth (or just a large part of it) must have been incredibly threatening to the planet, and judging by the earthquakes that followed, I would say the earth (and humanity) narrowly missed our judgement day.

The occurrence of a blood red moon is actually much more easy to explain. Pilate's account to the red moon also helps us confirm not only the year, but the actual day. NASA has already accounted for the only kind of eclipse that can happen in a full moon phase, which is a lunar eclipse, frequently known to give the moon a "blood red" appearance, particularly when they are seen only partially. NASA pinpoints this event to April 3rd, 33 AD. The following chart is their report, which can be viewed on NASA's actual website here...

Finally, we must look to the Jewish calender to verify that a Passover did occur on this date. Indeed it did. Nissan 15, the customary day for Passover, would have fallen on Saturday the 4th of April in 33 AD. That would have made this particular Saturday a "high sabbath" which is mentioned in the gospel accounts, and it would have made Friday the 3rd of April the day of preparation, when the lamb sacrifice was slaughtered in the Temple. This would have put Jesus crucifixion at exactly the time when the Passover lambs were being slaughtered, just hours before sunset, when Nissan 15 began on the Jewish calendar. (Remember, the Jewish calendar begins each day at sundown not midnight.) Typically, the Passover meal would have been eaten that Friday evening in 33 AD. However, the gospels tell us that Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples the night before -- Thursday. This may be accounted for by the probability that Jesus was using the Essene calendar for the calculation of Passover (read more here).

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Holy Thursday homily for 2007 pointed out that Jesus; "celebrated Passover with his disciples probably according to the calendar of Qumran, that is to say, at least one day earlier -- he celebrated without a lamb, like the Qumran community who did not recognize the Temple of Herod and was waiting for a new temple."

So there you have it folks. The definitive date of Jesus' crucifixion is settled by two undeniable astronomical events. The first extraordinary, recorded in the gospels, and confirmed by the written testimony of non-Biblical authors. The second quite ordinary and predictable, easily calculated and illustrated by the experts at NASA. Finally, we have the confirmation of the Jewish calendar, which confirms a Passover preparation on this very day, just as the gospels tell us. Jesus Christ was crucified at high noon, and died at 3 pm, on April 3rd, 33 AD.

New Theory Explains Passover Discrepancies In Gospels

Pope Notes Hypothesis on Date of Passover
Says Christ Likely Followed Essene Calendar

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 6, 2007 ( It is likely that Jesus followed the calendar of the Essenes of Qumran, possibly explaining some contradictions within the Gospel accounts of the Passover, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this observation Holy Thursday in his homily during the Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

In his address, the theologian commented on the historical investigations on the manuscripts of Qumran, found in the Dead Sea in 1947....

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The more historians study first century Judaism, it seems the more they discover what powerful an influence the Qumran community (Essenes) had on the culture and religion of the time. Certainly, St. John the Baptist was heavily influenced by Essene ideology, and even the teachings of Jesus also reflect an Essene way of thinking, at least on some things.

To my readers, I submit the following for consideration. First century Judaism was by no means a monolith religion. The Judaism we see today (even with its four major divisions) is far more streamlined and systematic than the Judaism of the first century. While there may have been multiple sects and divisions of Judaism in the first century, today we are aware of four major groups that seemed to define the Jewish culture and religion of the time.

The first group was by far the largest, and found its influence stretching throughout the entire Roman Empire. This was Hellenistic Judaism, which was a form that embraced the Greek language (using the Greek Septuagint scriptures), and the Greek disciplines of reason and logic. In some cases, this also may have involved the adoption of Greek culture as well, which presented a huge problem to Jews living in first-century Judea. We know the apostles of Jesus came to embrace Hellenistic Judaism, frequently citing the Greek Septuagint in their New Testament writings, probably because they saw this type of Judaism as a bridge toward turning Christianity from a Jewish sect, into a universal religion, and quickly converting the Gentile peoples.

The second group was the Pharisees, which were predominant in Judea, but apparently had some influence among Jews in the greater Roman Empire as well. (Incidentally, the Pharisees came to be the dominant force in Judaism today, most clearly seen in the Orthodox Jewish communities.) Theologically, Jesus seemed to agree with the Pharisees on a great many issues, but the major problem he had with the Pharisees of his day was their corruption and hypocrisy.

The third group was the Saducees, which were a small party limited almost exclusively to control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It wasn't so much their size that made them note worthy, but rather the importance of the area they controlled. It would seem that most Jewish priests and Levites were Saducees, though not necessarily all of them. Jesus appeared to have major theological issues with the Saducees, and also seemed to view their rule over the Temple with contempt. Historians of the time point out that the Saducees were heavily corrupted by Roman influence, wherein many of the priests appointed to serve were planted in their ranks by the Romans, some of which weren't even Jewish. The Romans did this to maintain control over the people and spy on their religious leaders. The Saducee party became defunct after the fall of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD.

Third and finally, the Essene community (headquartered at the monastery in Qumran) seemed to be a party of growing influence among Jews living in Judea. They rejected the current rule of both the Saducees and the Pharisees, seeming to be indifferent toward the Hellenists. They also considered the Temple administration completely illegitimate, and therefore the sacrifices offered there null and void. They stressed holy purity in their personal lives, and awaited an apocalyptic coming of the Messiah. The Essene community seemed to disappear simultaneously with the rise of Christianity, and it is speculated by some that most Essenes went on to become early Christians.

There is a fifth party worth mentioning, but their influence was far more political than religious. They were called the Zealots. These were the Jews who sought to create the political rebirth of the sovereign Kingdom of Israel, similar to what existed under King David. They were responsible for the majority of rebellions and mischief going on during that time, which resulted in the most severe retaliation by the Romans.

Based on this understanding of the Jewish world at that time, it is reasonable to conclude that Jerusalem served as a kind of "mecca" for Jews of all persuasions every year at the Passover. It is also reasonable to assume that there was no monolithic celebration of the Passover either, and that Jews of various persuasions simply observed the Passover in the manner they were most accustomed to according to their various beliefs. Some sacrificed lambs at the Temple. Others regarded those sacrifices as null and void due to the illegitimate priesthood. Some may have kept the Passover according to the dating of the Pharisees, others according to the dating of the Saducees (which we know were close but different). Now we know the Essenes had their own method of dating the Passover, which again was close, but a little different than the other groups. So it would seem Jerusalem during the Passover became a kind of religious festival, with various groups observing the Passover in their own way and at their own particular dates, all of which were similar, but not exactly the same. Into this environment came Jesus with his disciples. The Gospel accounts seem to indicate the date of the Passover they celebrated was according to a tradition other than the one used by the Saducees who controlled the Temple.