WELCOME TO WITNESS
This blog will be our Witness for the Faith. We see a need for good, traditional, Catholic fellowship. Witness will strive to be imbued with charity. Love of neighbor - and yes, love of enemy. We should be a "witness" for our Faith.
"As Jesus, I will use the stick against pedophile priests...and even bishops and cardinals...and others, more numerous keep silent....I find this situation intolerable"
I am a loyal son of the Church... today, we forget everything, even the Magisterium of the Church" Pope Francis
Monday, July 28, 2014
From Pope Benedict XV's first encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum:
Our Lord Jesus Christ came down from Heaven for the very purpose of restoring amongst men the Kingdom of Peace, which the envy of the devil had destroyed, and it was His will that it should rest on no other foundation than that of brotherly love. These are His own oft-repeated words: "A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another (John xiv. 34); "This is my commandment that you love one another" (John xv. 12); "These things I command you, that you love one another" (John xv. 17); as though His one office and purpose was to bring men to mutual love. He used every kind of argument to bring about that effect. He bids us all look up to Heaven: "For one is your Father who is in Heaven" (Matt. xxiii 9); He teaches all men, without distinction of nationality or of language, or of ideas, to pray in the words: "Our Father, who are in Heaven" (Matt. vi. 9); nay, more, He tells us that our Heavenly Father in distributing the blessings of nature makes no distinction of our deserts: "Who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust" (Matt. v. 45). He bids us be brothers one to another, and calls us His brethren: "All you are brethren" (Matt. xxiii. 8); "that He might be the first-born amongst many brethren" (Rom. vii. 29). In order the more to stimulate us to brotherly love, even towards those whom our natural pride despises, it is His will that we should recognize the dignity of His own very self in the meanest of men: "As long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you did it to Me" (Matt. xxv. 40. At the close of His life did He not most earnestly beg of His Father, that as many as should believe in Him should all be one in the bond of charity? "As thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee" (John xvii. 21). And finally, as He was hanging from the cross, He poured out His blood over us all, whence being as it were compacted and fitly joined together in one body, we should love one another, with a love like that which one member bears to another in the same body.
Far different from this is the behaviour of men today. Never perhaps was there more talking about the brotherhood of men than there is today; in fact, men do not hesitate to proclaim that striving after brotherhood is one of the greatest gifts of modern civilization, ignoring the teaching of the Gospel, and setting aside the work of Christ and of His Church. But in reality never was there less brotherly activity amongst men than at the present moment. Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same nation, within the same city there rages the burning envy of class against class; and amongst individuals it is self-love which is the supreme law overruling everything.
Friday, July 25, 2014
The concept of discrimination is ever more extended, and so the prohibition of discrimination can be increasingly transformed into a limitation of the freedom of opinion and religious liberty. Very soon it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.
Pope Benedict XVI
This probably will be the last time that I shall post on the tragedy of Michael Coren pertaining to his dissent against the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality. I shall not be party to his tawdry circus, in which, as Freyr pointed out last evening on Vox Cantoris' blog, Coren seems to wish to continue raising the issue of homosexuality as some sort of ongoing headline grabbing stunt.
I can attest to the fact, as a number of persons can, that Vox Cantoris refrained from commenting; hoping - indeed praying - that his then friend, Michael Coren, (who has since cut off and denounced his former friend) would correct himself. The timeline of events, and the reaction of Michael Coren is exactly as outlined by the Vox.
Readers may wish to re-read a number of posts we (Freyr and myself) have written on this entire tragedy. I can only add that Coren's latest outburst in the Catholic Register only further confirms what we have written (c.f The Convenient Catholicism of Michael Coren).
Readers should know that Coren had a serious confrontation on Sun TV with Pastor Joe Boot over homosexuality. Following the incident, Boot wrote an article with some very, very serious questions and implications that Coren has steered clear from.
It appears my friend Michael Coren neither agrees with Scripture nor the Catholic Church in his "pluralistic world," where my recent naming of moral wrongdoing in biblical terms (in this case homosexual acts) was judged self-righteous, insulting and an exercise in plain stupidity.
And further, Boot wrote:
According to Coren's opinion piece," most gay people do not choose their sexuality and we must appreciate the love and affection that exists between gay men and women." This is, according to Coren, the "most moral solution" in an often dark world. I beg to differ and suggest that God alone is able to tell us authoritatively what the most moral solutions are with regard to human life and sexuality. Notice that Michael does not see homosexuality as a disordering of reality, but somehow innate (accepting the idea of 'gay' as an identity) and therefore to be endorsed or appreciated by society, whilst stopping short of supporting the notion of 'gay marriage.'
Coren's commentary since the show has been heavy on rhetoric but light on substance. First, what of the charge that referring to male homosexual acts as 'sodomy' is unloving? I think Michael greatly misunderstands the Christian concept of love. In historic orthodox Christianity, love is not anti-law. The biblical definition of sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and sin is always portrayed in the Bible as wholly destructive of the human person; to promote and support sin is therefore to promote the ruin and destruction of your neighbor - the complete opposite of love. In fact St Paul tells us that “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:8-10). In the most famous passage on love in the Bible we read “love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13). Love is not simply feelings of warmth and affection toward others, it is obedience to God’s moral law with respect to others - so if I love my wife, I won't violate God's law and commit adultery. We cannot love God or our neighbor by ignoring his law and endorsing sin. To fail then to speak truthfully about sexual acts which God declares to be sinful and ruinous to people, by papering over them in the sanitized, progressivist language of tolerance, inclusion and love, is profoundly misguided.
The full article by Pastor Boot may be read here.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
|Prince Charles visiting an Orthodox Coptic Centre in London|
Last December 17th, 2013, HRH, The Prince Charles had these words to say, words that this blog reported on, and words that take on an even more poignant meaning these past few days, given the genocidal removal and extermination of Iraqi Christians from Mosul.
For myself, I have for some time now been deeply troubled by the growing difficulties faced by Christian communities in various parts of the Middle East. It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ. Their church communities link us straight back to the early Church, as I was reminded by hearing Aramaic, Our Lord's own language, spoken and sung a few hours ago.
Yet, today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four per cent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further.
This has an effect on all of us, although, of course, primarily on those Christians who can no longer continue to live in the Middle East: we all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such a rich tradition dating back two thousand years begins to disappear. It is, therefore, especially delightful to see such a rich panoply of church life here to-day, including the Antiochian, Greek, Coptic, Syrian, and Armenian Orthodox Churches, the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian Catholic, Chaldean, and Roman Catholic Churches, as well as the Church of the East, and Churches established, dare I say it, somewhat more recently, including the Anglican Church!
In saying all this about the difficulties facing the Christian churches in the Middle East I am, of course, conscious that they are not the only faith community in this region suffering at the moment, nor is the Middle East the only part of the world in which Christians are suffering, but, given the particularly acute circumstances faced by the church communities in the Middle East to-day, I felt it worthwhile to draw attention to their current plight. It is important to note, above all, that the decline of Christians in the region represents a major blow to peace as Christians are part of the fabric of society, often acting as bridge-builders between other communities. This crucial role throughout Middle Eastern society is one recognized by many Muslims (who are not extremists), both Shia or Sunni, who attest to the fact that Christians are their friends and that their communities are needed.
Jordan has set a wonderful example in this regard and, as my wife and I saw for ourselves during our visit earlier this year, has again taken in a huge number of refugees, this time from Syria during the present troubles and, moreover, is, as I have alluded to earlier, under His Majesty King Abdullah II's leadership, a most heartening and courageous witness to the fruitful tolerance and respect between faith communities.
For twenty years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding. The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so – and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organized persecution – including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.
Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper has denounced the persecution and genocidal conduct of ISIS against the indigenous Christian population of Iraq. So far the PM has the distinction of being a voice in the wilderness on this issue.
“Canada condemns the systematic campaign of persecution that is being perpetrated in the city of Mosul, Iraq, by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Its ultimatum – pay the jizya (tax on non-Muslims), convert, leave the city, or be killed – is the most recent measure aimed at forcing hundreds of thousands of Christians to convert to ISIS’ nefarious brand of Islam.
“Forced conversions, by threat of death, are an egregious violation of the fundamental human right to the freedom of religion.
“The very notion of religious freedom is what ISIS is working to eradicate and what the Iraqi people and the international community cannot surrender.
“Canada calls on the Iraqi Government to govern for all Iraqis, regardless of ethnic origin or religious belief, and to take immediate, effective measures against ISIS and the terrorists that it supports. ISIS’ ever-increasing campaign of violence endangers all individuals who do not share its beliefs, and threatens the very foundations of Iraq’s future as a secure, democratic and prosperous country.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
|The Arabic letter "Nun" spray painted by Islamists |
identifying "Nazarenes", or Christians
Our Holy Father recently implored Catholics to pray and work for a cessation to the escalating violence and brutality being conducted in the Middle East by Islamists. The recent expunging on Christians from Mosul by Islamists brings to an end the Christian presence in that city. It was further accompanied by the grotesque sight of the Arabic letter "Nun" being marked on Christian homes; akin to the Nazi demarcations of Jewish homes in the 1930s.
||The few remaining Catholics in Iraq|
In southern Sudan, African Catholics gather with a priest for Mass in the remains of a burned out church for Mass. No roof, no windows, no Stations, no statues.... yet the beauty of this seemingly pathetic scene is startling.
This is Faith, this is the Church, Our Blessed Lord is present. May we come to have this same faith.