Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions For August 2014



Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for August is: “That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region”.


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.

Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City




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.


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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."

ENDS

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!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Desperate Cry From Iraq's Christians


The following excerpts are from Aina.org:

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



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Obama, Catholics, and Illegals

The cozying up between bishops and Obama has got to stop. After you watch the video,click the link below to see the study from the University of Texas El Paso mentioned by Michael Voris in the video. Note that the study is dated March 20, 2014. Well before the current "crisis".







Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN Korean pop stars make music video to celebrate Pope Francis’ visit - Asia News


The following excerpts are from AsiaNews.it (english):

Seoul (AsiaNews) - More than 20 celebrities from South Korea's music and entertainment industry have come together to create a video clip (click here to view) in honor of Pope Francis ahead of his forthcoming apostolic journey to the nation from August 14 to 18. The initiative, according to its' promoters, aims to overcome religious differences. The actor Ahn Sung-ki, one of the organizers of the event, explained that "if we are united in prayer for others [through the music], this could be the most beautiful bouquet of flowers that we could present to the Pope on his arrival".

The Korea Herald reports that the video titled "Koinonia" is a celebration of the Pope's visit to South Korea, and derives its name from the Greek words for friendship and sharing in communion. "So many people live just for themselves. If more people prayed for others, the world would be a better place to live," adds the author and composer Noh Young-sim, during the press conference launching the music video that was held on July 7 at the Cathedral of Myeongdong in Seoul, where the Pope will celebrate the final mass of the trip.


Read more by clicking below:
SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN Korean pop stars make music video to celebrate Pope Francis’ visit - Asia News



Monday, July 14, 2014

Saint Bonaventure-Doctor of The Church



Not much is known about the early life of Giovanni di Ritella, apart from the fact that he was born in the year 1221 in Italy. It is recorded that as a child he suffered from a mysterious ailment but upon praying to St. Francis of Assisi he was miraculously healed.

Perhaps it was this healing that drew the young Giovanni towards the lifestyle and the spirituality of the Franciscans. He joined the Roman Provence of the Franciscans it was around this time that he took the name Bonaventure he was then sent to study and finish his education in Paris. It was also in Paris that he forged a life long friendship with that great saint of the Church, Thomas Aquinas.

Bonaventure was a man of astute intelligence but also had within him that element of charisma that draws people towards himself not from a longing to be popular but because of the warmth he exuded to all he met. This goes towards explaining the title that Bonaventure became known by, that of the 'Seraphic Doctor' because of his kindly but also passionate personality.

See more at: http://faithofthefatherssaints.blogspot.com/2006/07/saint-bonaventure-doctor-of-church.html



The Continued Plight of Egypt's Copts

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

For Egypt's Copts, the military's removal of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power was nothing short of a miracle. After two and a half years in which Islamists dominated every electoral contest they faced, there was little if any hope on the horizon. Since the 25th of January revolution, Coptic despair manifested itself in an unprecedented wave of emigration from Egypt, which intensified during the Brotherhood's year in power. Following the massive demonstrations against the Brotherhood's rule and the military coup of July 3rd 2013, Copts were in a frenzied mood celebrating their deliverance; a deliverance that would prove short lived, however.

The Copts represent the Middle East's largest Christian population, and were once one of the pillars of early Christianity, with some of its early saints framing what it meant to be Christian. However, centuries of persecution and struggles for survival have left Copts a small minority in their homeland. Modernity brought new challenges to the community, though it removed the legal second-class status in which Copts lived in the Middle Ages. In recent years Copts have come under increasing pressure due to the discriminatory policies of successive governments, as well as violent attacks by their fellow citizens.


Read more by clicking below:
The Continued Plight of Egypt's Copts



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Saint Benedict of Nursia




Saint Benedict has become well renowned as the father of the Monastic Rule, even though the spirit of monasticism began in the middle east many years before. Still once the monastic spirit reached Europe most Religious Orders in their infant years began their Charism under the guidance of the Benedictine Rule.

Not much is known about Benedicts early years but many sources site Nursia as the birth place of this great man of the Church. He was born approximately 480 and many believe that his parents may have been financially secure in that Benedict was able to read and would later attend school, which was unusual for the peasantry of that time. Legend also has it that Benedict was the brother to his equally holy twin sister, Scholastica.





Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Iraqi Christians Flee Violence, Fear End of Long History



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

The violence in Iraq is hastening the end of nearly 2,000 years of Christianity there as the few remaining faithful flee Islamic State militants, archbishops from Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk said on Wednesday.

War and sectarian conflict have shrunk Iraq's Christian population to about 400,000 from 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and now even those who stayed are leaving for Turkey, Lebanon and western Europe, the prelates said on a visit to Brussels seeking European Union help to protect their flocks.

The three - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Yohanna Petros Mouche and Kirkuk's Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Youssif Mirkis - are all Eastern Catholics whose churches have their own traditional liturgy but are loyal to the pope in Rome.

"The next days will be very bad. If the situation does not change, Christians will be left with just a symbolic presence in Iraq," said Sako, who is based in Baghdad. "If they leave, their history is finished."

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Iraqi Christians Flee Violence, Fear End of Long History



Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle


Saint Thomas by James Tissot

July 3

THOMAS, also called Didymus, or the twin, was a fisherman of Galilee. After having been received among the apostles he accompanied Jesus in all His journeys, and uniformly showed docility, zeal, and love towards Him, particularly on the occasion of His going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. For when the apostles were afraid to go thither, because the Jews desired to kill Jesus, Thomas, full of courage, said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (John 11:16). His faith, indeed, wavered for a moment in regard to the resurrection of Christ; but no sooner had Christ satisfied him thereof by showing His wounds, than he cried out with firm faith, "My Lord and my God." Saint Gregory thereupon says,

God overruled the doubting of Thomas to our good, since that very doubt has profited us more than the ready belief of the other disciples, inasmuch as thereby Christ was induced to give so much clearer proofs of His resurrection, in order to confirm us in the belief of it.





Christian Exodus From Iraq Accelerating


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

  • The Church in Iraq is on the brink of disappearing into obscurity, according to the country's leading bishop, who says the migration of Christians has shot up.
  • Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Baghdad described how the rate of Christians leaving Iraq was growing and went on to raise the spectre of Christianity in Iraq coming "to an end".
  • In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need given at the close of a Synod of Chaldean bishops held in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, the Patriarch said: "When I was in Turkey recently, 10 Christian families from Mosul arrived.
  • "And in the space of only one week, 20 families left Alqosh, a completely Christian town not far from Mosul.
  • "This is very serious. We are losing our community. If Christian life in Iraq comes to an end, this will be a hiatus in our history."
  • The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, which is in full communion with Rome, said the future of Iraq's Christians is under threat: "In 10 years there will perhaps be 50,000 Christians left."

Read more by clicking below:

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