Tuesday, 30 August 2011

From the Catholics to the Muslims: Happy Eid

In his official statement for August 28th 2011 the Archbishop of Port of Spain Archbishop Edward Gilbert sends greetings to the people of Trinidad and Tobago on the celebration of our 49th anniversary of independence from Great Britain and he wishes a Happy Eid to the Muslim community in the Archdiocese who celebrate the festival of Eid (both days are August 31st).


On behalf of the entire Catholic community I extend best wishes to the leaders and citizens of our nation on the occasion of the 49th anniversary of independence.

As a community of Faith in Trinidad and Tobago we have a very important role both to celebrate the reality of the blessings the people of this nation have received, as well as to challenge the entire community to be ever more faithful to the demands of our watchwords: Discipline, Tolerance and Production.

Let us pray for peace and justice in our nation and that all may actively participate in building a civilisation of love.

This week, the Muslim community celebrates Eid, marking the end of their period of fasting - Ramadan. I join with the national community in extending fraternal greetings to the Muslim community.

+ Edward J Gilbert,
Archbishop of Port of Spain

I wish to add my two words:

The the People of the Re3public of Trinidad and Tobago... Happy 40th Anniversary.

To the Muslim Community and my muslim brothers and Sisters : Eid Mubarack.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Late have I loved you

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.

In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you
they would have not been at all.

You called, you shouted,
and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

from The Confessions of Saint Augustine

No God, Not This!

Today is the 22nd sunday in ordinary time cycle A. The gospel reading is Matthew 16:21-27)

And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, saying, 'God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.' But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.

I don’t pray for patience anymore. There was a time I used to. But one day I realised that God’s manner of teaching me patience was putting adversity in front of me. I decided to change the way I thought about trying situations and became at peace with myself. One day I expressed this to a collegue of mine, who later remarked to another, that I didn’t work as hard as I used to, and that I was “coasting now”. It is funny sometimes how people would put a spanner in someone else’s works for selfish reasons.

And that was what Peter was doing in today’s Gospel when Jesus explained to him and the other disciples that he had to be handed over to be killed. He did not understand that this was the divine will of God, and that by this very act the salvation of the whole world depended.

Time and time again we see this in the bible and in the lives of the saints: People being afraid of hardship and asking God to take it away. Even among the believers, many women enjoy their pregnancy, communicating with their passenger, knowing that the pain of childbirth is getting closer. What if they could avoid that. Well maybe with modern medicine you could be knocked out and the doctor deliver the child by C-Section. But after the terrible pain enters a beautiful child who will grow up to do ordinary but great things in the world.

So, I don’t pray for patience anymore. Instead I ask God to guide me through the trouble and show me the fruit of the hardship.

God Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Jouh Paul II relic tours Mexico

JP II (The Great) is touring Mexico again. Well, a WAX FIGURE of the Late Pope and a vial of his Blood. This Blood is a Holy Relic. below are some photos of the current visit. In the first image a capsule containing blood from Blessed John Paul II is displayed for veneration at the apostolic nunciature in Mexico City. The others show the Wax image with the blood vial.

Below is an article from Zenit dated 24th August 2911:

Blessed John Paul II Relic Starts Mexico Tour
Faithful Asking Pontiff's Prayers for Peace

he only first class relic of Blessed John Paul II is beginning a five-month tour through Mexico, being welcomed with hope that the prayers of the Polish Pontiff can bring peace to the country plagued by drug violence.

The presence of the relic, which will be taken to all the dioceses of Mexico through the month of December, has aroused great expectation throughout the country.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, invited all the archdiocese's faithful to venerate the relic, which was brought from Rome and which will be in the Basilica of Guadalupe until Sunday, and in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City from Sept. 5-8.

Cardinal Rivera Carrera noted the opportunity to solicit the mediation of Blessed John Paul II for the return of a climate of peace, fraternity and concord in Mexico.

Mexico is the first country to receive the relic -- a sample of blood -- the only existing first degree relic of the Pope, since John Paul II's body was placed in a sarcophagus immediately after his death, with no other relic taken from his body.

This relic of Blessed John Paul II, and the wax image which was made for this occasion, will go to 90 dioceses of the Mexican republic before the relic is returned to Vatican City.

"It is an honor for the primate archdiocese of Mexico to receive this relic, both because of its enormous spiritual significance as well as the great affection that John Paul II always had for our homeland," said Cardinal Rivera Carrera.

Blessed John Paul II visited Mexico on five occasions, the last to canonize Juan Diego, the visionary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Theme of World Youth day 2013 in Rio

Zenit.org).- Youth who will gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the international World Youth Day of 2013 will reflect on the theme

"Go and Make Disciples of All Nations."

Benedict XVI announced the theme for the next WYD at the end of yesterday's general audience. The audience was dedicated to an evaluation of the 26th WYD held last week in Madrid.

The theme for Rio '13 is taken from Matthew 28:19.

Rio's WYD will be held from July 23-28, 2013, reported L'Osservatore Romano.

The theme chosen by the Pope stresses the missionary character of the next WYD, an element already highlighted by Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro, during a press conference in Madrid on Sunday.

The Holy Father also announced the theme for next year's diocesan-level WYD, traditionally held on Palm Sunday. The 2012 theme will be taken from Philippians 4:4:

"Rejoice in the Lord Always!"

Benedict XVI asked today that the faithful already begin to pray for these events

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Get to know your spouse again... in 90 questions

Recently I saw the movie Fireproof. What a good movie that was. In the movie, the guy needs to get to know his wife all over again. What a concept. My wife and I have been married for 14 years. We have a great relationship. But healthy discussion is a good thing. People's opinions, likes and dislikes change as they get older. So I have taken 90 questions from the internet and compiled them below for us and you.

+ Now! Here are some suggestions of how to approach this:
+ Husband and wife get a glass of wine (or a bottle) and
+ over a period of six days... Monday-Saturday, or one day a week, or one day a month,
+ ask each other the questions... chatting and talking.
+ If as you are talking you think of other questions to ask, write them down for a later time.
+ The discussions should not run over two hours...
+ if they do, continue on another day.
+ Have fun, You may be surprised at some of the answers you get - things you thought you knew or things you never thought to ask
+ don't get offended, take it all in stride and
+ always start and end with a hug, kiss and prayer.

1. When you look at a woman/ man, what is the first thing you notice?
2. What was the first thing that attracted you about me?
3. Tell me when you first knew you loved me?
4. What is important in a marriage to you?
5. Do you feel that one partner in a couple should be able to vacation alone?
6. Have I ever embarrassed you?
7. If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?
8. What is the biggest regret in your life?
9. Define love?
10. Do you think men love differently than women?
11. How do you know when I’m mad?
12. Describe yourself if you can't use profession/marital status?
13. What is the one thing that you wish that I would tell you?
14. What do you do to make me happy that you don’t particularly like to do?
15. What is the one thing that you think it would be important for a woman to know about men or vice versa

16. Describe the way I smell.
17. Tell me how you describe me to other people?
18. How often do you believe it is normal to want sex?
19. If I don’t say so, how do you know that I want to make love?
20. Do you have sexual dreams? Tell me about some of them.
21. What is something that I do sexually that you like and don't think that I do often enough?
22. How do you feel if I come into the bathroom when you are using the facilities?
23. If your friend was cheating on their spouse, do you think you should tell their partner?
24. If your friend was cheating on their spouse, would you tell your spouse about it?
25. Do you believe that an internet affair is actually an affair?
26. How did you learn what it meant to be a man/woman?
27. What about your body do you like most.
28. What about your body do you not like, and would change if you could?
29. What is one thing that could happen that would make your day?
30. If you could ask me one question, what would that be?

31. What did you think the first time you met my mother and father?
32. Describe your parents marriage. What was the best part and the worst part in your opinion?
33. What is the biggest secret in your family that nobody talks about?
34. Were you ever sexually, emotionally, or verbally abused?
35. Who was the first person who died in your life and how did you feel?
36. What would you want people to say about you after you passed away?
37. If you died today, how would you like your final arrangements handled?
38. When you are depressed, what do you do or how do you act? What do you do to overcome the depression?
39. Have you ever achieved a New Years resolution?
40. What is the one thing that you'd like to change about yourself?
41. What is the most important thing in your life?
42. What are you most ashamed of and why?
43. What is the most unselfish thing that you think you have ever done?
44. Where is the one place that you want to go and why?
45. If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

46. What is the most important thing that money can do for you?
47. If money were no object, what is the one thing that would be most important for you to do?
48. If you had one day to live, what would you do?
49. If you won the lottery, what would you like to accomplish?
50. If you gave money to charity, which ones would you choose and why?
51. If you won the lottery, would you continue working?
52. How did you choose the career you are in?
53. What do you think makes successful people successful?
54. Do you believe that couples should keep separate bank accounts ? Who controls the money?
55. Do you feel that you have enough education?
56. What was the biggest mistake you think you ever made and how did it change your life?
57. Do you vote for the same party every election? Why?
58. What is the thing that you fear most?
59. When do you think that it is OK to keep a secret and why?
60. Who is the person you admire most and why?

61. Who do you believe is the dominant one in a relationship and why?
62. hat is the one thing that I do that makes you crazy?
63. If you were really in trouble, who would you go to for advice, other than your spouse?
64. Who do you feel responsible for in your life?
65. If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?
66. Do you feel that you have ever shown prejudice to another person?
67. Who is your very best friend and why?
68. What age do you think people are old and how do you think that changes their lives?
69. What was (past tense) your favorite age to be and why?
70. Did you have a pet growing up and which was your favorite?
71. What animals do you like and not like?
72. Do you think that animals have souls?
73 Do you believe in Ghosts?
74. Do you Believe in Aliens?
75. What is the one thing that you think that I could do that would hurt you the worst?

76. If somebody handed you a magic lamp and gave you three wishes, what would they be?
77. Can you think of something you craved for when you were young and were denied?
78. Who are you closer to – your mum/dad - and why?
79. What is the first memory you have?
80. What do I cook that you are tired of?
81. What is your favourite: Song; Movie; TV Show; Book.
82. What is your favourite piece of clothes (that you own currently and why?
83. What is your favourite: dish; fruit; desert; ice cream; drink; snack.
84. What is the last book you read?
85. What is your favourite bible story?
86. What is your favourite church song?
87. What do you like most about your faith?
88. What do you think you could do to be a better Christian?
89. Define your relationship with God.
90. If you could ask God anything and he would answer you, what would it be?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Queenship of Mary

Monday, August 22nd is the feast of the Queenship of Mary. The above painting is from "The Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy"

Hail Mary, Pray for us,
NOW and at the hour of our death.

Patriach of the West Indies

Have you ever heard that there was a Patriarch of the West Indies Catholic Church? Well there was. An According to Wikipedia:

King Ferdinand V of Castile asked Pope Leo X (1513-1521)to establish a patriarchate for the ecclesiastical government of the American territories discovered by the Spaniards.

The Holy See was not keen to accept the establishment of such an autonomous Spanish American church and, on 11 May 1524, Clement VII (cousin of Leo X) agreed to create it but only as honorific, without jurisdiction and without clergy. In addition, the Patriarch was banned from actually residing in the Americas.

The position is titular, that is to say that, it does not have a real office. Below is a list of holders of the position:

Antonio de Rojas (1524),
archbishop of Granada and bishop of Palencia
Esteban Gabriel Merino (1524–1530),
bishop of Jaén
Fernando Niño de Guevara (1530–1535),
archbishop of Granada
Pedro Moya de Contreras (1592),
archbishop of Mexico City and
President of the Council of the Indies, not installed
Juan Guzmán (1602–1605)
Juan Bautista Acevedo Muñoz (1606–1608)
Pedro Manso (1608–1609
Diego Guzmán de Haros (1616–1631)
Andrés Pacheco (1625–1626)
Antonio Manrique de Guzmán (1670)
Pedro Portocarrero y Guzmán (1691–1708)
Carlos Borja Centellas y Ponce de León (1708–1733
Álvaro Eugenio de Mendoza Caamaño y Sotomayor (1734–1761)
Tomás Iglesias Bárcones (1850–1874)
José Moreno y Mazón (1881–1885)
Ciriaco María Sancha Hervás (1898–1909)
Jaime Cardona Tur (1920–1923)
Julián de Diego García Alcolea (1923–1925)
Francisco Muñoz Izquierdo (1925–1930)
Ramón Pérez y Rodríguez (1930–1933)
Leopoldo Eijo y Garay (1946–1963)

The Position has been vacant since 1963.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Canadian Egyptian Congress, Vs the Toronto School Board, with the Trinidad Concordat thrown in for good measure

The issue of the Coptics in Toronto wanting to pull their children out of Catholic Schools, should it (the Catholic Schools) fail to protect Catholic teaching in Catholic schools is interesting. it is an issue that I wonder about here in Trinidad too.

An article by Patrick B Crain on Lifesite.com dated August 16th 2011 explained it.

A group which calls itself the Canadian Egyptian Congress has threatened to remove 4000 families from the Toronto District School Board. If this occurs the Schools could loose 150 teachers and 40 million in funding per annum. Other Coptic groups are against the Canadian Egyptian Congress and their stand including the New York Coptics.

The Ontario government passed an equity bill earlier this year. This bill "has sparked an unprecedented mobilization of parents who fear that it will give homosexual activists a foothold in order to further subvert already weak Catholic sexual teaching in the schools. On August 31st, the board will be considering a set of amendments to the policy promoted by trustee John Del Grande and Angela Kennedy to ensure that equity and inclusion are interpreted consistently with Catholic teaching."

Of course the media is in a tizzy over the Coptics position stating that publicly-funded Catholic schools “must abide by the equality principles in the Canadian Constitution – even if they are out-of-step with the church’s own teachings.”

But the Church has full Authority over their schools. But Toronto lawyer Geoff Cauchi said the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed in 2001 that Catholics’ denominational rights in section 93 of Canada’s Constitution are “absolute.”

“Any statute or government edict that would force Catholic schools to teach that homosexual behaviour is ‘moral’ would certainly” violate Catholics’ denominational rights."

Adam and Steve is a reality, and it’s not what we believe.”
Says a Catholic priest in Toronto.

The agreement with the Catholic School Board and Canada is not a Concordat. Not like the agreement we have in Trinidad. Otherwise they would be listed on CONCORDAT WATCH as we are. Concordat Watch is a website that believes that the Catholic Church agreements are bad and should be negated.

Eric Williams, the first (late) Prime Minister of Trinidad had great ideas about education in Trinidad and made an agreement ALL denominational schools which had primary, secondary or both, schools. Concordat Watch does not worry about the other churches. It is worried about the Catholic church viewpoint. It says the following:

When the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago was a lad, his country was a British Crown Colony, and its government offered one university scholarship a year to the entire population. Young Eric Williams won it. Years later, on the eve of his country’s independence from Britain, he told the islands’ young people: “Yours is the great responsibility to educate your parents…you carry the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags.”

Unfortunately, the religious groups, led by the Catholic Church, wanted to retain their grip on the country's educational system. They tried to hinder what they called “godless schools” — the state schools where Dr. Williams hoped to bring together the young people of the new nation.

As Catholics, we need to keep control of what we teach in relation to our religious belief. Once we are prevented from teaching in schools, we will then be told that we cannot teach in church... it will be called hate speech. And we will be forced to give our soul away to the evil one. We cannot give an inch, or we will give a mile.

I agree with the Canadian Egyptian Congress. Fight the good Fight man!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

World Youth day theme Song 2011 - Firm in the Faith

Below is the World youth day theme song for 2011. It is called Firm in the Faith (Firmes en la Fe. It was composed by Father Enrique Castro, with lyrics by Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco of Madrid. It is sung by the group "John Paul II" from Spain. The version below is in Spanish.

There is an Alternate version also in Spanish.

Here are the Lyrics in Spanish:

Firmes en la Fe

Firmes en la fe, firmes en la fe
caminamos en Cristo, nuestro Amigo, nuestro Señor.
¡Gloria siempre a Él! ¡Gloria siempre a Él!
Caminamos en Cristo, firmes en la fe.

Tu amor nos edifica y nos arraiga,
tu cruz nos consolida y fortalece.
Tu carne nos redime y nos abraza,
tu sangre nos renueva y nos embriaga.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos firmes en ti!

Tus manos acarician nuestras llagas,
tus ojos purifican la mirada.
Tus labios comunican mil perdones,
tus pies nos encaminan a la vida.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos firmes en ti!

Tu aliento es el Soplo de lo Alto,
tu risa es el signo de la gracia.
Tus llagas son amores encendidos,
tus penas son el precio de mi alma.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos fi rmes en ti!

Tu rostro es el icono de la Vida,
tu frente es nuestra luz resucitada.
Tu muerte es la causa de mivida,
bautismo de mi carne en salvada.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos fi rmes en ti!

Tu gloria es el futuro de los hombres,
que marchan con impulsos de tu gracia.
Tu Iglesia es la casa de mil puertas
encima de tu piedra edifi cada.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos firmes en ti!

Tus jóvenes caminan con María,
que canta como novia engalanada.
Con ella cantaremos tu victoria,
la muerte ha sido ya aniquilada.
Oh, Cristo, nuestro Hermano,
oh, Cristo, nuestro Amigo,
nuestro Señor.
¡Haznos firmes en ti!

Now if you want the ENGLISH VERSION... the video below has the Lyrics (in english) and is also sung in English:

World Youth Day - Catholic Youth gather from around the world

Catholics are people too

Catholics have rights too. We are people too. Let all Haters know. We WILL be heard. The Archbishop of Toledo, Spain, thinks so too. The following article appeared on lifesite on August 12th.

Archbishop Braulio Rodriguez of Toledo, Spain spoke out Aug. 11 in defense of World Youth Day 2011. He said that Spain is a free country where Catholics have the right to express themselves.

“Why are freethinkers, atheists and secularists more right than others?” he asked. “It should be noted that Catholics, who pay taxes just like everyone else, make up the vast majority in Spain,” the archbishop added.

The news agency EFE said the archbishop’s comments came in response to critics of the Christian nature of World Youth Day and opposition to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.

He scolded the event's detractors for misinforming the public by claiming the event constitutes an expense for the state. “If you don’t like World Youth Day or the Pope, fine, but don’t insult us and say things that aren’t true,” the archbishop said.

The archbishop also defended the right of Catholics to participate in an event “in which we can all truly say what we want to say.”

He said the kind of criticism that has been leveled against World Youth Day 2011 is unprecedented. “(The criticism) has gone so far beyond the pale and has been so ridiculous, that I can’t help but feel indignant,” Archbishop Rodriguez said.

The president of the Catholic League for Civil Rights, Bill Donohue, also responded recently to the critics of next week's youth event, noting that World Youth Day will not cost the Spanish state a single penny and that young people will be injecting nearly $140 million into the ailing Spanish economy.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Archbishop Joe Harris Apostolic Succession

So Father Joe is the next Archbishop of Port of Spain. Someone was saying to me that Bishops (not priests) embody the fullness of Christ’s Priesthood. Below is a short linage Apostolic Succession from one Bishop to another.

Archbishop Joseph Everard Harris, C.S.Sp. Principal Consecrator will be Archbishop Edward Gilbert. The list below shows the Principal Consecrator of each Bishop in succession.

• Archbishop Edward Joseph Gilbert, C.SS.R. (
1994 Bishop of Roseau)
• Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix (1981 Bishop of Castries)
• Archbishop Paul Fouad Naïm Tabet †
(1980- Titular Bishop of Sinna)
• Antoine Pierre Cardinal Khoraiche † (Bishop - 1950)
(1983 Cardinal)Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites
• Patriarch Antonio Pietro Arida † (1908)
• Patriarch Elias Pierre Hoyek (Hoayek) † (1889)
• Patriarch Boulos Boutros Mass’ad (Massaad) † (1841)
• Patriarch Youssef Hobaish (Habaisci) † (1820)

The list goes on till we get to the original 12 Apostles. The five men at the bottom of the list were all Bishops appointed by the Holy See, and Patriachs of the Church of Antioch Maronite. The last guy also known as Joseph Peter Hobaish lived an interesting life at a crazy time in the Holy Land. He was highly estimated not only by his flock, but also by the Ottoman rulers.

It should be noted that Bishop Galt, now retired, is listed to be Bishop Joe Harris’s coConsecrator with Archbishop Gilbert and Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau. Bishop Galt was Consecrated by Archbishop Anthony Pantin, and his Apostolic Succession contains Pope Benedict the XV, Pope Clement XIII, Pope Benedict XIII and a multitude of Cardinals

The list of bishops could be referenced here.
and the list of Patriarchs of Antioch (Maronite) could be referenced here.

Fully Catholic Website - A must see

There are a few Catholic Websites originating in Trinidad, but other than the blogs I have as linked to this blog I am not really impressed by thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhem. That is till I discovered FULLYCATHOLIC.COM. Wow! Talk about dynamic and impressive.

God Bless You Christopher. Your Website Rocks.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Caribbean Catholic Blog: A success - Maybe, maybe not

On Sunday November 1st 2009 the Caribbean Catholic Blog was begun. Until June of 2010 I had only a few visitors per month. The change came in July when I received 284 visitors. Every month after that, I got more visitors till the count peaked in December 2010 with 2582 visitors for that month. Since then the blog has been averaging between 1500 and 2000 visits per month. To date I have had 18,000 visitors.

Now compared to the megablogs out there, I am doing nothing. However, in the world of blogging I'm not doing too bad. I don't get 50-60 hits to my new posting everyday. What i get is 100 hits today, 30 yesterday, 50 the day before, and they are scattered to current, recent and past postings.

I don't claim to know all the tricks of having a great blog. What I know is that I am being true to what the blog is about and there are people who are searching for topics and finding them on the Caribbean Catholic Blog. Most of the topics are about what is going on in the caribbean and the greater world and my thoughts on these events. Where possible I put my thoughts and comments.

My most visited posts are about a Red Rose, Archangels, And an Earthquake prophecy in Trinidad.

People who view my blog are mostly from the USA, Trinidad and Tobago, and India. Other countries that are in the top ten include Austrailia, Canada, UK, Germany, Brazil, Philipines, and Russia.

I don't know where the blog will be tomorrow... but for today I will keep posting and hope that there are those who wish to read what this poor sinner from the community of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, publishes.

God Bless all you who read the blog.

To those who oppose World Youth Day

Really? Are those who hate the Catholic church and the pope, really so blind in their hate that they cannot see the good in World youth Day in Madrid. So weird. Well are they against the UN world youth day which is on August 12th? The US based Catholic League has issued a press release on the matter:

...Against the backdrop of this overwhelming support—from all over the globe—are some enemies of the pope, as well as those who say the event costs too much. Europa Laica (Secular Europe) is actually more principled than the other critics: it wants to scrub society clean of religion, thus its opposition.

Those who oppose World Youth Day for economic reasons, and they include 120 priests, are not convincing. The number crunchers say it will cost between $72 and $86 million to accommodate the crowd, maintaining it is too expensive given Spain's dire economic condition. They need to go back to their calculators and tally the revenues that the event will spawn. For example, if a million young people spend an average of $20 per day, over seven days that will generate $140 million. Moreover, this is gravy: 80 percent of the cost of the event will be paid for by the pilgrims; Catholic non-profit companies and corporations will pick up the rest of the tab.

Still, the critics aren't satisfied. They blame the corporations which are contributing to World Youth Day for their current economic condition. Yet one of the largest corporate donors is Coca-Cola, and it has a foundation in Madrid that promotes, among other things, economic development. Indeed, it specifically targets Spanish youth in areas ranging from the arts to science.

Pope Benedict XVI will not only delight young people from all over the world, he will give them the kind of spiritual inspiration that no one else can deliver. Moreover, as a byproduct of his presence, he will generate more cash into the Spanish economy than any event his austerity-minded critics could ever stage.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Germany and EU to legalise Pedophilia and child porography - outdated news still circulating

Earlier this month I received an article from Lifesite.com referencing a disturbing article headlined "Germany and Eu to legalise Pedophilia and child pornography". I traced this article and found that it appeared on the European Union times on June 20th 2009 and did not identify a writer.

The source of this article is actually two years earlier,as I later found out. In 2007 the article appeared on lifesite.com written by John-Henry Western. Western quotes Canadian Catholic writer Michael O'Brian. O'Brian is famous for his fictional books and his non-fiction essays on Western Civilization heading for totalitarianism.

O'Brian is in the news again: On Lifesite.com, twice in July 2011. He is chastising the unofficial Vatican Newspaper for their glowing tribute to the last Harry Potter movie.

Interestingly, the original article appeared on July 30th 2007, On July 31st 2007 another article appeared stating that the books were pulled. Here is what Lifesite had to say:

After severe criticism from German and Polish parents, medical and psychological experts the German government's Ministry for Family Affairs has pulled two booklets aimed at parents of toddlers and young children which advocated parent-child sexual massage. In addition to encouraging fathers to massage their infant daughter's private parts, the documents encourage unlimited masturbation.

Reported on by LifeSiteNews.com yesterday, the content of the booklets were first brought to light in Germany by sociologist Gabriele Kuby. Kuby told LifeSiteNews.com today (2007) that she actually raised the horrific content of the booklets two and a half years ago (2005) in her book entitled, "Ausbruch zur Liebe".

On June 29 of this year (2007) the newspaper "Die Junge Freiheit" published an article by Kuby exposing the booklets again with an accompanying page-one editorial by editor Dieter Stein. The news made it to other major German papers and was also picked up on July 9 (2007) by the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.

Anna Przymont, a child psychologist, is quoted in Rzeczpospolita describing the contents of the booklet as "vulgar and verging on pedophilia."

"There is no doubt that children at that age do masturbate," Przymon explained. "But if we allow them to do that, they will keep on masturbating until they get addicted. This often results in emotional disorders."

Major media in Germany picked up the story and television media are now airing the story nationally. When the facts were presented to the Minister of Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen by the mainstream media, she removed the booklets from circulation.

Marc Kinert, a spokesman for von der Leyen a Minister in the ruling Christian Democrat Party told the press that the booklets were "inherited from the previous government" and that the Minister was unfamiliar with the contents.

While the Government has now pulled the booklets encouraging parent-toddler sexual massage, they have not yet pulled the children's song book which advocates masturbation for children as young as 4-years of age.

Kuby informed LifeSiteNews.com that tomorrow another story will be published on the song-book and she is hoping for a similar result.

In her original article on the subject Kuby noted that beyond the shocking booklets and song-book, the German Federal Health Education Center (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung - BZgA) has in almost all their publications promoted the sexualisation of children as young as one year of age. BZgA has she said, been undermining parental authority, equating homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality with normal sexual relations and also promoting abortion.

She wondered why the majority of Christians in the nation and the religious leadership had remained virtually silent about the atrocities. "It is time to wake up!" she warned.

Kuby told LifeSiteNews.com that she hoped the raising of the awareness on the issues would stir a national debate on the dangers of the sexualisation of children and youth.

I have taken the images from the lifesite article showing the books.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Miracles of Saint Dominic

Today is the feast of Saint Dominic. As with many saints the spirit of God worked in this mans life in so many ways. Here are a few legends surrounding this great man:


An aged and respected citizen of Cahors, called Peter de Salvagnac, told us the following incident, professing his readiness to swear to the fact. When he was present with Count Simon de Montfort at the siege of Toulouse, a band of English pilgrims on their way to St James's shrine turned aside from Toulouse on account of the interdict under which it lay, and entered a light craft for the purpose of being ferried over the river. The overcrowded ferry capsized, for they were nearly forty in number, and all sank. Hearing their drowning cries and the shouts of the soldiers standing by, St Dominic, who had been praying in a church close by, came out, and seeing the accident, threw himself on the ground, then with outstretched arms and bitter tears he besought God in heart and with words of mouth, nay, as it were with holy boldness, commanded him to save the pilgrims from death. In the sight of the crusaders and others who were witnesses of the mishap, straightway they all appeared on the level of the water as if they were quietly sitting on dry land, each in the place where he had gone down: then the bystanders stretching out their spears and lances, drew them all out of the water unharmed.


When St Dominic was crossing the river Ariège on one of his apostolic journeys in the country round Toulouse, he let his books fall in mid-stream. He was so entirely rapt in the thought of God at the time that he was not aware of his loss until he got to the house of a kindly disposed woman who used to lodge him out of reverence for his great merits. On telling her of the loss of his books the good woman began to fret, but the gracious father comforted her by saying: 'Grieve not, good mother, for we ought to bear cheerfully every cross it pleases God to send us.' Three days later a fisherman coming to the spot where they had fallen in, cast in his line, and soon after, thinking he had hooked a prize, landed the books, which were as thoroughly preserved and uninjured as if they had been kept in some library. This was all the more astounding as they were not covered with wax-cloth nor any kind of wrapper which might have saved them. The good woman getting possession of them dispatched them to our holy father at Toulouse.


While traveling in that same country with some of his brethren it chanced one day that they had only one small cup of wine for their repast. Now among those present that day there were some who had come from a delicate life in the world, and who found it very hard to swallow dry bread. This true servant of God feeling for their want bade them put the little they had into a larger vessel, the bottom of which it barely covered, and then to fill it up with water. This done through holy obedience, he had the wine drawn and set before them, and all vowed that they had never tasted better in their lives before. Those that partook of it were eight in number, yet they had more than enough. Brother William of Pelisso vouches for the truth of these miracles.


After this the glorious father returned to Italy in company with a lay brother named John. This brother became so reduced from hunger in the Lombard Alps that he could not move a step further, nor even rise to his feet. 'What ails you, my son?' enquired the gentle father. 'Why do you not keep up with me!' 'Father, I am truly dying of hunger,' cried the weary brother. 'Take courage then, my son, let us go just a little further and we shall get all we want for recruiting our strength.' But as the brother still held out, avowing he could not drag himself a step farther, the saint, with that kindness and sweet pity for which he was ever remarkable, had recourse to his usual refuge of fervent prayer. For a brief space he communed with God, and then addressed the brother once more: 'Rise up, son, go straight before you to yonder spot, and bring back what you find there.' The brother got up with difficulty, and dragging himself to the spot indicated -- which was about a stone's throw off -- saw there an exceedingly white loaf wrapt in a snowwhite cloth, which he brought back with him; then after eating until his strength revived he continued his journey.

Now when they had gone some way on, the brother began to think the matter over, and in his amazement cried out: 'My God, who put the bread in that lonely spot? Where can it have come from? Surely I must have parted with my wits not to have made further enquiries about it?' Then addressing St Dominic he said: 'Father, where did yon bread come from? Whoever put it there?' Upon which this true lover and observer of humility rejoined: 'My son, have you not had as much as you wanted" 'Yes, father,' said the other. 'Very well then, since you have had as much as pleased you, thank God for it, and trouble yourself no more about it.' The brother acquainted the brethren with all this on his return to Spain. He was afterwards sent in company with those brethren of ours who went by the Pope's command to Africa to spread the Catholic faith, and after happily finishing his course at Morocco he departed to the Lord.


There was a devout woman of Segovia at whose house St Dominic used occasionally to lodge, and in which he once left behind a tunic of sackcloth which he had worn till a short time before this, when he had changed it for a very painful hair shirt. The good woman finding this tunic put it in a box among her other valuables, and guarded it more carefully than if it had been of imperial purple. One day it chanced that after shutting up her house she went out hurriedly on business, leaving a large fire burning on the hearth, and this falling forward burnt the house down with the exception of the wooden chest in which she kept the tunic; the box was not so much as charred or scorched, though standing in the midst of the flames. The good woman was astonished on her return at beholding such a miracle, and gave hearty thanks to God and her guest St Dominic, whose tunic had saved from destruction the whole of her property which she kept in that very chest. After detaching the sleeves she gave the remaining portion to our brethren to be kept reverently, and to this day it is laid away among the conventual relics of that place.


While travelling from Toulouse to Paris in company with Brother Bertrand de Garrigue,  who was the first Provincial of Provence, our holy father spent the night in watching and prayer in the church of our Lady at Roc-Amadour.  Next day they came up with a band of pilgrims from Germany, who, hearing them reciting the Psalms and Litanies, joined company with them, and on coming to the next town hospitably entertained them during three days. One morning St Dominic addressed Brother Bertrand after this fashion: 'Good brother, I am much troubled in conscience seeing that we are reaping the material good things of these pilgrims without sowing spiritual ones in return, so, if it please you, let us kneel down and ask God to enable us to understand their tongue, that we may preach Jesus Christ to them.' This they did, and to the bewilderment of the pilgrims they began to speak fluently in German, and as they trudged along together during the next four days, they continued conversing about our Lord Jesus Christ until they came to Orleans. There the Germans, who were on their way to Chartres, parted company with them on the road which led to Paris, after humbly commending themselves to their prayers. Some time after this our holy father said to Brother Bertrand: 'Brother, we are now going to enter Paris, and if our brethren here only knew of that miracle which God wrought in us they would repute us to be saints, whereas we are but sinners, and if it got rumoured abroad we should be liable to vanity: wherefore, in virtue of holy obedience I forbid you to mention it to a soul until after my death.' Nor was it divulged to our brethren until after his death.


Coming  once to Chatillon on one of his many journeys through France, it chanced that the infant son of his hostess (the sister of the parish priest of the town) had but a little while before fallen from a terrace, and his parents were lamenting his death. Moved with pity at the sight of their grief, St Dominic prostrated himself for a short space in prayer, shedding many tears; then, feeling his prayer heard, he rose and gave back the boy alive and well to his mother. The sorrow-stricken home was filled with joy; the child's uncle, the parish priest, got ready a great supper and invited many honest folk to rejoice with him. But the child's mother being unable to partake of an eel which was served up, because of an ague with which she was afflicted, the saint after making over it the sign of the cross gave it her to eat, saying: 'Take and eat it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.' The woman ate some of it and was cured.


Happening to come to a certain convent door long after the inmates had retired to rest, and not wishing to disturb them, he and his companion prostrated themselves in prayer before the porch, and asked of God that he would provide for their wants without disturbing those within. Wonderful to relate, whereas they had been lying outside the gate, they found themselves in a moment transported within. The same thing befell him when returning from a disputation with the heretics accompanied by a Cistercian lay brother, by whom many memorable records as to his sanctity have been related. Coming at a late hour to the church and finding it locked they began to pray outside, and in a short space of time through the divine help unexpectedly found themselves within, where they spent the night in watching.

There were many other miracles even after His death. They can be found Here!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Making Sperm - is this good science?

The science and approach to humanity by Hitler and the Nazi party during the second world war was awful... and yet Europe and north America has embraced some of the inhumanity without too much woe or apologies. Euthanasia, Aborting on children, genetic altering and manipulation, religious intolerance... it goes on.

So now they have tampered with sperm and have been succesful in birthing mice germinated from created sperm. The following article was written by jeremy Kryn and appeared on Lifesite on Friday August 5th 2011:

Yesterday, news of the first successful production of healthy mice offspring using sperm from embryonic stem cells was published. The Science Magazine characterized the research as suggesting “possible avenues for the development of fertility treatments.”

Researchers, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recounted, have tried “for years to make sperm and eggs in a dish with limited success and some controversy.” In 2003, the transformation of mouse embryonic stem cells into both sperm and eggs by several scientists did not lead to successful pregnancies. In 2006, a team of scientists produced six mice using lab-grown sperm, but, the WSJ noted, “the animals suffered genetic abnormalities and all died early.”

In 2009, Newcastle University researchers announced the creation of human sperm in a test tube. Their paper would be retracted, the WSJ reported, “weeks later amid charges of plagiarism.”

The Science Magazine coverage of yesterday’s news included word that the technique in question “requires the use of viruses that can trigger tumors”

The National Catholic Bioethics Center’s Director of Education and Ethicist Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk spoke with LifeSiteNews regarding the significance of yesterday’s news.

“The development of ‘laboratory grown’ sperm, like many developments in biotechnology, will have applications that will be either moral or immoral, depending on the particulars of how it is deployed,” Father Pacholczyk began.

He explained that any ethical procedure to treat male infertility would by necessity leave the ‘marital embrace’ intact as the cause of conception, as opposed to a procedure of in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination.

“If normal sperm production were to be initiated, and the man could conceive a child in the marital embrace with his wife, the process would appear to be ethically acceptable,” Pacholczyk said. “It would be an instance of assisting the marital act to achieve its proper finality, rather than replacing the act with another kind of act.”

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tomb of St Philip Found

The following article was taken from PressTV. The above photo shows the ruins.

Archeologists have found the tomb of St. Philip the Apostle, one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus Christ, in the southwestern province of Denizli in Turkey.

The tomb was discovered at the ruins of a recently unearthed church in the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis (Pamukkale), said Italian professor and archaeologist Francesco D'Andria.

Headed by D'Andria, the archeological team found the burial chamber of St. Philip while working to excavate the newly discovered church in the city, the Voice of Russia reported.

“The structure of the tomb as well as inscriptions found on it proves that it belongs to Saint Philip the Apostle, who also died a martyr,” D'Andria stated.

According to the New Testament, Jesus had 12 special followers, called “Apostles”, including Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Mathew, James (son of Alpheus), Jude, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.

The tombs of several of the Apostles have previously been found, with Saint Peter's being in Rome, Saint Andrew's in Greece, Saint John and Saint Bartholomew's in Turkey, and Saint Thomas's in India.

As in the above article, the Bible always lists Philip fifth, after Peter, boagnerges (james and john), and Peters brother Andrew. Below is a short biography on the saint taken from here:

St. Philip The Apostle was born at Bethsaida, Galilee and martyred 80 AD at Hierapolis, Phrygia. Little is known of him, but he is mentioned as one of the Apostles in Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14 and in Acts 1:13. He is also mentioned in John as a man gifted for asking questions everyone else is afraid to ask. A man who is careful and also level headed.

Jesus Himself called Philip the day after He called Sts. Peter and Andrew. Philip was present at the miracle of the loaves and fishes where he had a brief dialogue with Jesus. Philip was also the apostle approached by the Hellenistic Jews from Bethsaida to have him introduce them to Jesus. Philip was present, as were the other Apostles, at the wedding in Cana. It was Philip, who just before the Lord’s passion, asked, “Lord, show us the Father and it will be enough for us.” No further mention of Philip is made in the New Testament beyond his listing as one of the apostles awaiting the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room.

According to tradition, Philip preached in Greece and in the year 80 AD was crucified upside down at Hierapolis in Phrygia by the Emperor Domitian. Philip’s relics were taken to Rome and placed in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles.
Since the 15th Century, Saint Philip is portrayed as an apostle holding a long cross or a staff with a small cross on it. The staff is similar to the staves used by Saint Michael and Saint Margaret in overcoming dragon like demons and likely refers to the Golden Legend’s incident in the Temple of Mars. St. Philip is the patron saint for hatters, Luxembourg, Uruguay and pastry chefs.

The Golden Legend - a compilation of stories and legends about saints tells it's story about Saint Philip. The following extract is taken from theartofpainting.be

Philip preached for twenty years in Scythia. After that time the pagans thrust Philip before a statue of Mars and forced him to sacrifice to the god. Then a huge dragon emerged from the base of the statue. The dragon killed the pagan priest’s son, who tended the fire for the sacrifice, and slew two tribunes whose men held Philip in chains. The dragon infected the bystanders with the stench of its breath so that all became ill. Philip then said to the people that they had to worship the true Lord, for the dragon to disappear and the sick to be cured. The suffering cried out that if they would but be cured they would smash the statue of Mars. Philip commanded the dragon into the desert; he cured the sick and even brought the three men that had been mortally wounded by the dragon back to life. All the people present then accepted Philip’s faith.

When Philip was eighty-seven years old the infidels seized him and nailed him to a cross. The Golden Legend quotes again Isidore, who wrote that Philip was crucified and stoned at Hierapolis in Phrygia. Philip was buried there together with his daughters.

Filippino Lippi brings this story to life in the Strozzi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria Novella of Florence in 1502. Again from the theartofpainting.be:

The fresco ‘Saint Philip at the Temple of Mars’ is an excellent example of how well the Middle Age and Renaissance painters knew the apocryphal texts, such as their compilation in the ‘Golden Legend’ of Jacobus de Voragine. All the details of the narrative are shown. We see the statue of the Roman deity Mars, the god of war, in a sumptuous monument. The god holds the Roman symbol of the wolves with his left hand, whereas in the other he brandishes the flame of war high. The statue looks down on Philip, who commands the dragon. The story tells that the dragon broke out from under the temple and indeed, stones are broken from that marble stairs. The dragon is not the huge monster from the Golden Legend, since that would have taken up too much space in the painting and have been too ugly a scene for a refined fresco. But the son of the priest of Mars lies lifeless in the arms of oriental bystanders on the right. Filippino read that the story played in Scythia, so he let his imagination loose on the robes, cloaks, headdresses and even faces of the infidel people that came to sacrifice to the Roman god. Rome is present also on the left of the painting, where a centurion holds the standard of its army.

Filippino chose a scene of action and he painted Philip at the moment of highest drama in the story. Around the soldiers people are either suffering under growing sickness, such as the forefront old man with the white-grey hair, or they are pinching their noses at the stench of the dragon. In the centre, Philip commands the dragon and the miracle, whereas the priest of Mars looks in awe at the slumping body of his son. Lippi made a picture of action, a narrative in a painting, in the very old tradition of church frescoes that wanted to instruct the pious into the wonderful religious stories of the Bible and the lives of the Saints.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Eye of God!

This photograph (actually, a composite of images) was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. It was originally posted on NASA's website. NASA did not call it the eye of God... but many people who have copied it have.

It is actually the Helix Nebula, described by astronomers as "a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases." At its center is dying star which has ejected masses of dust and gas to form tentacle-like filaments stretching toward an outer rim composed of the same material.

Our sun might develop like this after several billion years.

It is a beautiful and inspiring image..
but the eye of God...
maybe not!