General Discussion (7)

debatingIf there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here (6) click here

Bishop: Rosary Will Banish Terrorists…

.- A Nigerian bishop says that he has seen Christ in a vision and now knows that the rosary is the key to ridding the country of the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme says he is being driven by a God-given mandate to lead others in praying the rosary until the extremist group disappears.

“Towards the end of last year I was in my chapel before the Blessed Sacrament… praying the rosary, and then suddenly the Lord appeared,” Bishop Dashe told CNA April 18.

In the vision, the prelate said, Jesus didn’t say anything at first, but extended a sword toward him, and he in turn reached out for it.

“As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary,” the bishop said, adding that Jesus then told him three times: “Boko Haram is gone.”

“I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation,” he said. “It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.”

The bishop said he didn’t want to tell anyone, but “felt that the Holy Spirit was pushing him to do so.”

He started with the priests of his diocese, and then told participants in the April 17-19 #WeAreN2015 congress in Madrid, Spain. The event is being sponsored by the Spanish Catholic sister groups hazteoir.org and CitizenGo to gather ideas on how to preserve the Christian presence in nations where they are most persecuted.

Bishop Dashe leads the Diocese of Maiduguri, in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State. In 2009, there were around 125,000 Catholics under his guidance. After a surge in violence from the Islamist extremist group called Boko Haram, today “there are only 50 to 60 thousand left,” he said.

Most of those who fled sought safer areas in other parts of Nigeria, he said. Some of the same families are now returning home as armed forces from Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon liberate their homes.

In 2014, Boko Haram became known worldwide when members kidnapped nearly 300 girls from a school in Borno State. On March 7, 2015, five suicide bombers killed 54 and wounded nearly three times as many in the capital city of Maidaguri, where the bishop lives and works.

The group has killed 1,000 people across Nigeria in the first three months of 2015, according to Human Rights Watch, which reports that more than 6,000 have died in Boko Haram-led violence since 2009.

Just last month, the group pledged its allegiance to ISIS – also known as the Islamic State – which launched a bloody campaign in Iraq and Syria last summer.

Meanwhile, Bishop Dashe has just completed a “consolation tour” to communities in his diocese, promoting forgiveness and continued faith. He believes he was asked by Jesus to spread devotion to the rosary in order to aid them as they do so.

“Maybe that’s why he did it,” said the bishop, referring to Jesus in his vision.

Bishop Dashe said he has a strong devotion to Christ’s mother, and that “I never joke with ‘Mamma Mary.’ I know she is here with us.”

And he is not the only Nigerian bishop putting the future of the country in the hands of Mary. The nation’s bishops’ conference has consecrated the country to her twice in recent years.

Bishop Dashe believes that one day his diocese will completely recover and grow thanks to her intercession.

“These terrorists… think that by burning our churches, burning our structures, they will destroy Christanity. Never,” Bishop Dashe told several hundred people from the dais of the #WeAreN2015 congress.

“It may take a few months or a few years … but ‘Boko Haram is gone.’”

He later told CNA that “prayer, particularly the prayer of the rosary, is (what) will deliver us from the claws of this demon, the demon of terrorism. And of course, it is working.”

Comments invited  

UK General Election – No Thanks…

A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops Conference of Scotland   crucifix with lilies
on the General Election

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

On the Seventh of May the people of Scotland will vote in what may be the most unpredictable General Election in generations. While each of us alone will decide whom to vote for, the teachings of the Church can offer us a guide as we attempt to reach an informed judgement that advances the common good.

Casting a vote is both a civic duty and a Christian moral obligation. The huge turnout at last year’s referendum was an exemplary exercise in peaceful and participatory democracy and showed how much the Scottish people care about the future of our country and its wellbeing.  It was also a reminder of the power that every citizen has and the obligation upon us to use our vote.
For centuries Christian values underpinned our laws and customs but for Christians today the political complexion of Parliament is secondary to the values and beliefs of those who sit in it. The candidates we send to Parliament go there as our representatives. The values they hold will shape their understanding of what is good for our country.  

Our Parliamentarians must discern priorities in many ethical and moral matters from Welfare to Defence, not to mention our relationship with Europe. Before casting our vote, we have a duty to inform ourselves of the moral values of our candidates.  We should think and pray before we choose, considering especially the following points:

1. Life: The dignity and value of every human being should be at the heart of politics.  The sanctity of human life, protected from its beginning to its natural end, is not a single issue.  It is the fundamental issue. It demands that we proclaim the Gospel of Life in all places and at all times, for if human life is not sacrosanct then no other human right makes any sense at all. Laws which permit abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are profoundly unjust.  We do not want to accept the continued existence in our society of such fundamental violations of human rights and we commit ourselves to work peacefully and tirelessly to oppose and to change them.  

2. The Family: Common sense and much research tell us that children do best when they are raised by a mum and dad who are married to each other.  This ideal is not always possible in reality and we applaud and support families who achieve remarkable things in the most difficult of circumstances. In recent years, both the UK and Scottish Parliaments have enacted legislation re-defining marriage. Together with others we argued that marriage is a union uniquely of a man and a woman and feared that legislation allowing for same sex marriage represented an unprecedented threat to the public understanding of marriage and the family. Once again we should encourage our politicians to defend the institution of marriage and the family as the basic unit of society on which so much depends. Pope Francis has also reminded governments not to require poor countries to introduce laws redefining marriage before they can get financial aid, because this is unjust and unfair.

3. The Economy:  The first consideration for any economic policy should be the dignity of the person, not the pursuit of profit. We urge candidates to endorse the living wage campaign, giving people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. In these turbulent financial times Pope Francis has been a prophetic voice, warning that economies stripped of ethics trample human dignity. “Unbridled capitalism,” he says, “has given us the logic of profit at any cost, (and) of exploitation without looking at the person.” The existence of so many food banks in our country offers a depressing vindication of the Pope’s warning.

4. Human Freedom: Across the globe, the right to religious freedom and freedom of worship are under threat.  In some countries, Christians are put to death simply for professing faith in Jesus Christ. In this country, an intolerant form of secularism wants to remove religion from the public square, despite recognition in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. True human dignity involves the freedom to assemble, to worship and to manifest our beliefs openly.  Religious liberty must be non-negotiable in a free society and we should make sure our candidates support it.

5. Peace.  Successive UK Governments have made plans to replace and upgrade our nuclear weapons capacity.  This is despite the considerable costs involved and in the face of persistent moral objections, to say nothing of international agreements we have entered into which commit us to work against the proliferation of such weapons.  While recognising each country’s right to defend itself, the existence of nuclear weapons, and their possible proliferation, continue to represent a grave threat to the human family. Pope Francis reminds us that peace is better fostered by greater equality – not least by fairness towards the poor, refugees and migrants – rather than by increased spending on arms.

6. Evangelisation: The Gospel compels us as a Church and as individual Catholics to engage actively in the world and convert human affairs. Voting in the election is the least a committed Christian can do.  Our politicians enter public service with good hearts and give of their best to build up our lives and our country.  Sadly, however, on serious issues, some politicians who profess a Catholic faith remain silent – or even surrender – in the face of grave ethical injustice.  As Catholics, we can never separate how we act from what we believe without undermining what we believe and damaging who we are. The time has come for a new generation of Catholics to join political parties and to dedicate ourselves to political service in a way that remains faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, laying the foundations for a new Civilization of Love that serves the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable in our society.  

Conclusion:
As we prepare to cast our votes, the Bishops invite all of us to pray for our country, our Parliamentary candidates and our fellow citizens.  With our votes we help set the direction of our society for years to come and it is right that we ask for divine assistance that we may be guided in our choices and that our nation may flourish.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland,
The Second Sunday of Easter, 2015.

+ Philip Tartaglia, President, Archbishop of Glasgow
+ Joseph Toal, Vice-President, Bishop of Motherwell
+ Hugh Gilbert, Episcopal Secretary, Bishop of Aberdeen
+ Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St.Andrews and Edinburgh
+ Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld
+ John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley
+ William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway
V.Rev.Mgr James MacNeil, Diocesan Administrator, Argyll and the Isles   Source

To read the letter from the Bishops of England and Wales, click here

Comment:

As I’ve been forced to do in recent years, I will be going into the voting booth on 7 May  to spoil my paper. I hope the ballot paper is a decent size this time, because I write something to the effect that they’re a Godless lot, that I cannot be complicit in evil, that when I find a party which can make life better for us all without undermining and attacking God’s law, then I’ll cast my vote. If there’s room I’ll add that I’m not going to compromise my conscience by voting to line my own pocket, since a healthy bank balance won’t get me into Heaven.  It was quite a squeeze last time!  So, that’s my considered view on the General Election, politicians and their (insert nasty adjective) parties. What’s yours?

Please note: political discussions in Scotland can get very heated, which is why I’ve hesitated before launching this thread.  Like a lot of other folk, probably most, I have strong views on the subject (there’s a hint above!) so allow me to remind everyone of our key in-house rule of no personal remarks of the unpleasant kind. We can tell the difference between banter and nastiness, so let’s have an interesting and intelligent discussion, if for no other reason, than to make the unthinking majority of Catholics who trawl the internet think twice before they cast their vote for parties which have brazenly and without apology, passed evil legislation in defiance of God’s law.  Over to thee…

Is Homo-Fascism Dominating Vatican?

gay marriageThis morning Sky TV News broadcast an interview with a young homosexual man whose partner,  a Muslim, committed suicide because, when he “came out” to his family, they suggested he try to obtain a cure.  His partner is today undertaking a charity walk for the purpose of raising awareness of “homophobia” in “faith communities.” More on this story here

Refusal of faith communities to accept the legitimacy of homosexual partnerships is enraging the “tolerance” brigade.  Any dissent from their views is not to be… er… tolerated. Below is a very interesting article on the mounting pressure from homosexuals within the Catholic Church, by American Catholic lawyer, Christopher Ferrara, who suggests that the evidence points to the Vatican caving in to the “gay agenda”.  Read on and tell us if you agree…

As Cardinal Burke warns that the “gay lobby” within the Catholic Church is plotting for disaster at the Synod, civil society is increasingly dominated by a “homo-Fascism,” aided and abetted by the mass media, that demands absolute conformity on the part of Christians to social acceptance of the sin of sodomy.

Witness the debacle in Indiana, where a state version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, designed to protect Christians from demands that they accommodate the “gay agenda” in their businesses — as, for example, by selling “gay wedding” cakes with two male figurines on top — came under furious attack by the media-driven homo-Fascist juggernaut.  Within days of the law’s passage, Governor Pence, running for the tall grass, promised to “fix it” by way of legislative amendments that not only gut the law but actually turn it into a “gay rights” measure.  And the amended law has just been signed into law by the Governor.

As LifeSiteNews rightly noted before the amended law was enacted, “the proposed ‘fix’ amounts to nothing less than a wholesale repeal of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act with respect to those who need religious liberty protections the most.” The Indiana law now actually prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation” — that is, the practice of sodomy and living in unholy “unions” that diabolically mock and defile the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.  What is now effectively Indiana’s first statewide “gay rights” law allows narrow exemptions only for churches and other nonprofit religious organizations. The protection for private businesses has been removed, leaving business owners subject to “gay” demands that they lend their goods and services to “gay weddings,” “gay bachelor” parties, and other such abominations arising from the sin of sodomy. Christians will be required to kowtow to “gay community” activists who demand services for their “gay-themed” sodomitical events.

In a matter of days, then, Indiana went from passing a law that protected Christians from extortionate demands that they endorse sodomy to a law that compels them to do so!  Such is the power of the homo-Fascist enterprise.  All over the Western world homo-Fascism is on a conquering march. 

And the Vatican’s response?  Nothing beyond Francis’ infamous “Who am I to judge” regarding hypothetical godly “gays” in the Catholic hierarchy. Worse than silence, the Pope has placed Msgr. Battista Ricca, a flagrant homosexual embroiled in numerous scandals arising from his homosexual activities, in charge of the very household he occupies, prompting the renowned Vaticanist Sandro Magister to dub Ricca “the prelate of the gay lobby.”  This infamous photograph of Ricca and Francis is an iconic depiction of the Vatican’s total capitulation to the “gay agenda.”

Then there is the Pope’s “private” audience and warm embrace — promptly broadcast to the world — with a “transsexual” woman who pretends to be a man and “his” supposed fiancée. 

And, just days ago, the astounding installation of Juan Barros as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Osorno, Chile, despite substantial credible evidence, presented to Francis, that Barros both witnessed and later covered up the homosexual predations of boys by his close friend Rev. Fernando Karadima.  Although the statute of limitations had run on Karadima’s crimes, the Vatican found him guilty of sexual abuse in 2011, ordering him to a “life of prayer and penitence” (an order he has flouted). The outrageous elevation of Barros to the office of bishop was greeted by massive protests against his installation by members of the laity, who literally tried physically to prevent it.

Also, let us not forget that with Francis’ explicit approval the first session of the ludicrously misnamed “Synod on the Family” published to the world a document — never approved and in fact later rejected by the Synod Fathers — that calls for “valuing” the “homosexual orientation” and the “gifts” of homosexuals and depicts “homosexual unions” as providing “precious support in the life of the partners.”

This Eastertide we remembered the Passion of Our Lord.  Today the Church, which is His Mystical Body, is undergoing its own passion.  And the horrific reality is that many of those who are wielding the whips by which the Church is being scourged belong to her upper hierarchy. Thus do we see confirmed Cardinal Ciappi’s revelation that the Third Secret prophesies an apostasy that “begins at the top.”  And if what we are witnessing is not apostasy, then the word has lost its meaning.

We take our consolation from the fact that the Church, like Our Lord Himself, will ultimately overcome this crisis.  But how much she will have to endure before that happens remains a terrifying unknown whose outcome, however, seems to be depicted in that vision of a devastated city and the execution of the Pope atop a nearby hill — appropriately enough, at the foot of a large wooden cross.

Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!  Source

Comments invited…

Pope Spouts Feminist Propaganda…

PopeFrancispensivecropped(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says there is still much to be done in order to give due recognition to women, both in society and in the Church.

Speaking on Wednesday during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said that not only must the voice of women be listened to, but that it must also be given weight and authority.

Listen to the reprort by Linda Bordoni:  

Continuing in his Catechesis on the family, Pope Francis focused on the great gift that God gave humanity when he created man and woman and on the Sacrament of marriage.

Reflecting on the complementarity between man and woman, Francis said that the Scripture tells us that “God created man in his own image… male and female he created them” and that man and woman bear the image and likeness of God not only as individuals, but also together. 

He said that in God’s plan, sexual differentiation is not ordered to subordination, but to communion and procreation and he said that this reciprocity brings harmony and enrichment to the human family. 

But, pointing out that it also presents a constant challenge and that modern culture has opened new scenarios, the Pope pointed out that there is much work to be done in order to give women their due recognition.

The very way in which Jesus considered women – the Pope said – shines a powerful light on a long road still to be tread, a road upon which we have only taken a few steps. This road – Francis said – “is to be travelled with creativity and audacity”.

The Pope also touched on issues that have come to the fore thanks to new freedoms and new perspectives opened up by contemporary culture.

Asking himself whether the so-called “gender” theory that aims to annul sexual differences may also be an expression of frustration and resignation due to our inability to confront a problem, the Pope said that: “removing the difference is the problem, not the solution”.

And inviting men and women to speak more to one another, and to respect and love each other, Pope Francis also urged intellectuals “not to abandon this theme as if it had become secondary within their commitment to build a more just and free society”.

Nowadays – the Pope concluded – as we sense the responsibility to do more in favour of women, recognizing the weight and authority of their voices in society and the Church, we must also ask ourselves to what extent society’s loss of faith in God is related to the crisis of the covenant between man and woman. 

The challenge faced by the Church, and by all believers and families – he said – is to rediscover the beauty of God’s plan, the imprint of his image in that covenant.  Source

Comment

Why isn’t somebody in the Vatican telling the Pope that informed Catholic women detest the feminist propaganda that he is spouting?  “Due recognition”?  Whatever happened to taking the lowest place?  Is the Church nothing more than one more workplace with everyone battling for promotion? Answers when you’re ready, please and thank you…

Fatima: Third Secret Latest…

More Explosive News from the Convent in Coimbra  SrLuciafacingright

by Christopher A. Ferrara April 10, 2015

In a previous column on this subject I noted an explosive article by Antonio Socci, on the front page of the Italian daily Il Libero for August 17, 2014. Socci reported that in a biography of Sister Lucia published by the Sisters of the Convent in Coimbra in 2013, it is revealed that on January 3, 1944 the Virgin appeared to Sister Lucia and instructed her, regarding the vision pertaining to the Third Secret, to “be at peace, and write what I have commanded you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning.”

Thus was clearly revealed the existence of an explanation of the vision’s meaning by the Virgin Herself that was not written on the same the date the vision was committed to paper. Lucia’s own fellow nuns, in a book they themselves have published to the world, now confirm that something is missing from the vision standing alone: the very thing we have always said is missing, that being precisely the Virgin’s explanation of the vision’s significance which can only be found in a related text we have yet to see.

Now there is even more to report on this breakthrough. As my previous column noted, in view of what the biography had revealed the Italian “Fatimologist” Solideo Paolini wrote twice to the Convent: in February and May of 2014, before Socci’s article appeared.  In a conference published on YouTube on March 11, 2015, Paolini reveals not only what we already know — that both letters were met with silence — but also provides further details on this correspondence.

Paolini notes that the biography’s bibliography cites two never-published sources from Lucia’s writings: a certain letter of hers and a diary. Accordingly, in his first letter to the Convent, received on February 5, 2014, he had asked for “permission to come to the Convent to read these two unpublished sources,” which “you yourselves have cited in your book.”  Two months passed with no answer. 

Paolini wrote again in May of 2014 to advise that he took this silence as a reply that he could not consult the two works and that he had accepted this, but that he had one question: “Yes or no.  Is there a text that explains the significance of the vision, written not on that date [January 3, 1944, the date the vision was committed to paper] but subsequently?” He also asked: “In the works which I asked to consult is there any reference to something more regarding the Third Secret of Fatima, as of yet unpublished?” This letter was received at the Convent on June 6. There was again no response.

In the conference published on YouTube, however, Paolini reports that in October of 2014, after Socci’s article appeared, he received what he describes as an “extremely scanty note” in which the Prioress of the Convent advised that “it is not possible for now to consult the documents you request.  In its time, everything will be published.”

Paolini notes the obvious and totally devastating point: “The Vatican has told us everything was published, but the prioress of the convent says everything will be published.” Paolini also notes the Prioress’ resounding silence in response to his specific question whether the two unpublished sources contain further references to the Third Secret. 

There is no longer any good faith basis to deny that the Vatican is hiding something. The publication of this biography and the results of Paolini’s correspondence with the Convent at Coimbra demonstrate once again that the plans of men can impede the designs of Heaven for only so long.  The worldly-wise Vatican functionaries who have thus far succeeded in burying the integral Third Secret and preventing the Consecration of Russia are in a race, not with mere time, but with God Himself. They will lose; that much is certain. What remains uncertain, however, is how much damage God will allow them to inflict before His will is done and the imperatives of the Message of Fatima are heeded by a Church in crisis.   Source

Comment:

Are those within the Vatican who are desperate to suppress the Third Secret doing so because it reveals their evil machinations, their attempts via the “reforms” of Vatican II and other means to re-make the Church in their own image – i.e. to destroy the Church of Christ? Who could watch the manipulation of the Synod on the Family without drawing that, it seems to me, very obvious conclusion? Or is there some other explanation for the suppression and deceit surrounding the Third Secret? Share your thoughts… 

Pope Judging “Gays” After All?

Liberal Catholics’ hopes for a more progressive Church under Pope Francis have taken another knock with claims that the Pontiff has refused to accept France’s new choice of Ambassador to the Vatican because he is gay.     PopeFrancisseriousface

 Laurent Stefanini, the openly gay diplomat at the centre of the row, was nominated as France’s ambassador to the Holy See by the country’s council of ministers on January 5. He should by now have filled the post left when Bruno Jouvert departed the position at the end of February.

But with the Vatican still failing to confirm officially that it has accepted the new ambassador, the French and Italian press are widely reporting that Mr Stefanini’s sexuality is behind his rejection.

In France Le Journal du Dimanche quoted a Vatican insider as saying that the rejection was “a decision taken by the Pope himself”. The daily newspaper Libération headlined its article on the story: “The Pope tarnishes his image”.

Asked by The Independent if Mr Stefanini’s sexuality had led to his rejection, a spokesman for the Vatican said: “We have no comment to make.”

A French foreign ministry source told the news agency Ansa, however, that Mr Stefanini remained “the best possible candidate for the role”.

 Laurent Stefanini was nominated as France’s ambassador to the Holy See by the country’s council of ministers  The Italian media has been quick to remind Francis of his declaration last year: “If someone is gay… who am I to judge him.” But other commentators have noted that the Vatican, which has been hit by numerous lurid sex scandals of its own, has a bit of a history when it comes to blackballing diplomats from overseas on account of its squeamishness about homosexuality.

In 2008 it blocked the appointment of another gay French diplomat, Jean-Loup Kuhn-Delforge, as ambassador to the Vatican. And in 2012 the Vatican rejected Bulgaria’s then choice of ambassador to the Holy See because, it was claimed, he had written a novel containing a gay sex scene.

The Bulgarian diplomat Kiril Maritchkov, a 39-year-old lawyer, who speaks Italian and four other languages, and is married to an Italian woman, appeared be an ideal choice for Sofia’s representative at the Vatican.

But it emerged that Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, the Pope’s representative in Sofia, wrote to his superiors highlighting the offending part of the novel, which was a finalist for a book of the year award in Bulgaria.  Source

Comment:

Is this good news, which helps to offset the ridiculous “who am I to judge” remark, all the more ridiculous falling from the lips of a pope, or is it just Vatican politics, given the claim that, due to “its own”  sex scandals, the Vatican, “has a bit of a history when it comes to blackballing diplomats… on account of… homosexuality”… Well?  Comments invited.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 173 other followers