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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

LGBT foundation aims to counter Vatican family synod :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The following excerpts are from Catholic News Agency (CNA):

An LGBT activist foundation headed by a former Obama White House staffer gave a $200,000 grant to a dissenting Catholic coalition to target the upcoming Synod on the Family and World Youth Day.

The Michigan-based Arcus Foundation gave the 2014 grant to Dignity USA “to support pro-LGBT faith advocates to influence and counter the narrative of the Catholic Church and its ultra-conservative affiliates.”

The effort will build advocacy and visibility in connection with two special events, the Synod of the Family and World Youth Day,” the foundation said on its website.

An extraordinary bishops' synod will meet in Rome this Oct. 5-19 to address pastoral challenges related to the family. The synod has been the subject of significant media coverage and speculation.

On June 26, synod organizers released the synod's preparatory document, a broad-ranging document which among other topics summarized Catholic teaching on homosexuality. It discussed the bishops' desire to consider the pastoral response to homosexuality, to Catholics in homosexual relationships, and to any children raised under those unions.

That same day, Dignity USA president Marianne Duddy-Burke attacked the document, claiming it showed “a rigid adherence to existing teaching.” The organization's statement charged that the document “shows no openness to change in hurtful teachings.”

Dignity USA has also been active in protests against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco's participation in the March for Marriage, a movement intended to support marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

The Arcus Foundation's March 2014 grant announcement said the Dignity USA funding was for the Equally Blessed Coalition, which includes Dignity USA, Call To Action, Fortunate Families, and New Ways Ministry.

All of the groups have a history of promoting the rejection of Catholic teaching. In 2010 and 2011 New Ways Ministry, which has also received Arcus Foundation funding, drew a response from leading U.S. bishops who said the organization does not adhere to Catholic teaching.

Read more by clicking below:
LGBT foundation aims to counter Vatican family synod :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

From The Dignitatis Humanae Institute : "The Islamic State Tightens Grip - Christians Flee"

Note:The following is a press release from The Dignitatis Humanae Institute

Rome, 26 July 2014

The world has watched with increasing dismay and horror as the remaining Iraqi Christian minorities have been forced out of their homes, most recently in Mosul and the surrounding area, in the latest wave of persecution and destruction rained down by the Islamic State formerly known as "ISIS". Houses have been looted and robbed. Graves and shrines have been demolished. Crosses smashed and removed from churches.

Elie Essa Kas Hanna, DHI analyst on Human Dignity and Religious Freedom, said: "Iraqi Christians are the original residents of Mesopotamia - descendants of the ancient Babylonians, Chaldeans, Assyrians and a large number of Arabs tribes: Mudar, Rabia and Tay etc. Christianity has been present in Iraq since the First Century AD, when most of the population of Mesopotamia converted to Christianity, though leaving others to continue in their traditional beliefs in Judaism, Manichaeism and Parsee. Today, 2,000 years later, the descendants of these original Christians are being driven out as though guests in a home whose welcome they have overstayed - ironically by a religion that didn't even appear on the scene for another five centuries."

DHI Chairman Luca Volontè added: "The whole situation is clearly out of all control. There is tension between the government and the opposition forces, as well as the tension that still exists between the central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is in this space of uncertainty and mistrust that the Islamic State has moved deftly to occupy a large part of Iraqi territory that is now almost two-thirds the size of the Great Britain."

Lord Alton of Liverpool, who launched the DHI-affiliated Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity in the Palace of Westminster, and one of the British Parliament's most respected authorities on religious persecution around the world, said: "In 2003, the Christian presence in Iraq was 1.5 million. After the end of the Second Gulf War, the Christian presence was reduced to 400,000 people - and most of these lived in the north. Now a staggering 90% of those Christians who remained have now fled from Mosul to surrounding areas, especially onto the plains of the Biblical city of Nineveh, on the border of the Kurdistan region."

Lord Alton illustrated the current situation with a recent example: "The DHI notes with alarm the destruction of the Biblical Tomb of Jonah - which dates from the 8th Century BC - smashed by sledgehammer blows which have echoed around the world. We can only hope that last week's rumour of the similar destruction of the tomb of the Prophet Daniel turns out to be false."

Indicating the difficulty regarding the authentication of reports that are emerging from the Islamic State, Lord Alton added: "Also unverified, the UN and the BBC have reported that ISIS forces in Mosul have ordered all girls and women to undergo female genital mutilation. This is an outrage. More than 130 million girls and women have already been subjected to this barbaric practice worldwide - and it has to stop. In the Islamic State today we see a historically recurring meme sadly replaying itself: an orgy of destruction of culture and heritage sooner or later leads to attacks on human beings, their freedom and dignity."

Volontè concluded: "The DHI believes that Iraqi Christians are a vital part of Iraqi society, and that they have an irreplaceable role to play in rebuilding together - with other citizens of goodwill - a future for their country. The DHI appeals to the international community to do everything possible to come to the aid of the few Christians left in Iraq. We add our prayers to those of His Holiness Pope Francis, who follows the suffering of Christians in Iraq with great closeness."


population before 2003 32.200.000
population after 2013 29.000.000
Shia 26.000.000
Sunni 2.000.000
Others 1.000.000
Christians before 2003 1,500,000
Christians after 2003 400,000
Christians after Isis 2014 100,000 – 200,000

Source: Central Statistical Organisation, Ministry of Planning, Republic of Iraq

The Dignitatis Humanae Instituteaims to uphold human dignity based on the anthropological truth that man is born in the image and likeness of God and therefore has an innate human dignity of infinite worth to be upheld. The Institute promotes this understanding by supporting Christians in public life, assisting them to present effective and coherent responses to increasing efforts to silence the Christian voice in the public square.

Friday, July 25, 2014

To Help With My Cataract Surgery

As regular readers of “Faith of the Fathers” blogs know from a previous post over a year ago here, I have cataracts in both eyes.

I also have no insurance, and my employer does not offer insurance, as I work for a very small company.

My eye sight is getting worse. I can tell a big difference since I posted the previous post referenced above. I especially notice the difference when driving at night, and even more so if it happens to also be raining.

I looked into what my surgery costs would be with 2 different eye surgeons (opthamologists), and have found out that it will be just over $4,000.oo per eye, and that this is for just the basic interocular lens (IOL) that will be used in the surgery. A multifocal lens replacement would be much more expensive. So basic is the way for me to go.

Since I do not have insurance, and no savings at all, I have decided to try the crowd funding site, GoFundMe. If any readers would like to contribute, I would be more than appreciative. I would be greatly appreciative as a matter of fact.

My GoFundMe page can be reached by clicking here.

If you are unable to make a donation, I would also be appreciative of your sharing the page with others.

I will also take all the prayers I can get! Prayer is always welcome, and certainly needed.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for your continued prayers and support as well!

May God Bless you all, and Our Lady keep you in her care!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Posts For Faith of the Fathers Blogs For July 21, 2014

Saint Quote of the Day: Saint Lawrence of Brindisi Quote

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Desperate Cry From Iraq's Christians

The following excerpts are from

Iraq's Christian leaders have just made a desperate cry for help. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq's Catholic church, has issued an appeal "to all who have a living conscience in Iraq and all the world."

The situation for Iraq's Christians has been steadily deteriorating ever since the 2003 invasion, in part because the U.S. never acknowledged that Christians were being targeted by Islamists and did not prioritize protection of Christians or other minorities.

But with the recent sweep through Mosul and other Iraqi cities by the jihadi group ISIS, Iraq's Christians look to be on the verge of genocide.

Read more by clicking below:
A Desperate Cry From Iraq's Christians