Thursday, 24 October 2013

Did Pope Francis say that divorced Catholics can now receive communion?

Well NO. Not according to an article that highlights a report issued by the Vatican concerning the issue: The following article is from the Catholic News Service dated October 22nd 2013 and written by Francis X. Rocca

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican's highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage.

But Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, acknowledged that many Catholics' first marriages might be invalid, and thus eligible for annulment, if spouses had been influenced by prevailing contemporary conceptions of marriage as a temporary arrangement.

The archbishop's words appeared in a 4,600-word article published in the Vatican newspaper Oct. 22.

Speculation about a change in practice has grown since Pope Francis told reporters accompanying him on his plane back from Rio de Janeiro in July that the next Synod of Bishops would explore a "somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage," including the question of the eligibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Pope Francis added at the time that church law governing marriage annulments also "has to be reviewed, because ecclesiastical tribunals are not sufficient for this."

Such problems, he said, exemplified a general need for forgiveness in the church today.

"The church is a mother, and she must travel this path of mercy, and find a form of mercy for all," the pope said.

The Vatican announced Oct. 8 that an extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops will meet Oct. 5-19, 2014, to discuss the "pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization."

The announcement of the synod came amid news that the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, had issued new guidelines making it easier for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Archbishop Muller's article was originally published in a German newspaper June 15. Its republication in the Vatican newspaper -- simultaneously in five languages including English -- seemed intended to temper the expectations of change that these events have excited.

The archbishop acknowledged that a "case for the admission of remarried divorcees to the sacraments is argued in terms of mercy," but wrote that such an argument "misses the mark" in regard to the sacraments, since the "entire sacramental economy is a work of divine mercy and it cannot simply be swept aside by an appeal to the same.

"An objectively false appeal to mercy also runs the risk of trivializing the image of God, by implying that God cannot do other than forgive," he wrote. "The mystery of God includes not only his mercy but also his holiness and his justice. If one were to suppress these characteristics of God and refuse to take sin seriously, ultimately it would not even be possible to bring God's mercy to man."

The prefect's article also addressed the Eastern Orthodox practice of allowing second or third marriages even when the first is sacramentally valid, a practice Pope Francis mentioned without endorsing it when speaking to reporters in July.

"This practice cannot be reconciled with God's will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus' sayings about the indissolubility of marriage," the archbishop wrote, noting that it thus poses an obstacle to ecumenism.

"The church cannot respond to the growing incomprehension of the sanctity of marriage by pragmatically accommodating the supposedly inevitable," he wrote. "The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candor. By adapting to the spirit of the age, a weary prophet seeks his own salvation but not the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ."

Archbishop Muller also ruled out the argument that "remarried divorcees should be allowed to decide for themselves, according to their conscience, whether or not to present themselves for holy Communion."

"If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals," he wrote. "Marriage is not simply about the relationship of two people to God, it is also a reality of the church, a sacrament, and it is not for the individuals concerned to decide on its validity, but rather for the church, into which the individuals are incorporated by faith and baptism."

Yet the prefect acknowledged that contemporary social and cultural ideas of marriage are relevant to the validity of a sacramental union, to the degree they influence the spirit with which the spouses undertake it.

"Today's mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children," he wrote. "Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith.

"Therefore assessment of the validity of marriage is important and can help to solve problems," he wrote.

But where the requirements for an annulment are lacking, he wrote, civilly remarried Catholics may receive communion only if they promise to abstain from sexual relations, living together "as friends, as brother and sister."


Jenny McCarthy - a catholic in need of a return to the faith

The Catholic League issued this statement on October 23rd 2013 -

Jenny McCarthy cracked up on TV today but no one seemed to notice. This is not a good sign.

Jenny went into a tizzy about the Catholic Church because her mom was once denied an annulment. The former porn star then went into detail about her mother's problems.

Jenny said her mom "cries during Communion because she watches all her friends go up there," while she sits and weeps. She did not say if her mom stops crying after Communion, or whether she cries all the way home. No matter, she said, "I hope the pope gets smart and does something about it."

[Jenny, listen to Bill: If you know of any shortcuts on how to "get smart," please test them on yourself before contacting the Holy Father.]

Jenny also shared her delusional story about being in the pope's apartment. "I went to the Vatican [and] I actually went into the apartment, into the pope's apartment and I was literally there and I'm going, oh my God, I could take a chunk of this gold cherub and feed a country." Instead, she settled for a crucifix.

Last year, on "Access Hollywood," Jenny was more explicit. She credited a few "mafia guys" with sneaking her into the pope's apartment in 1995; she said she even tried on some of his clothes. After slamming the Italians, she took a shot at Jews: she said her Jewish friends told her to steal a crucifix as a souvenir for her mother. She did not say whether her mom wept upon receipt, or whether she hocked it to feed to a country, or at least a village.

Look for Jenny to either fully crash, or get booted, real soon. In the meantime, contact the stooge behind "The View," Bill Geddie.

Maybe I am a Weapon of righteousness

Present yourselves to God ... as weapons for righteousness. (Romans 6:13)

With all the violence in the world today, you may not like the image of being a “weapon” for the Lord. But in this case, St. Paul is encouraging you to be a holy and loving weapon used by the Lord to free people from darkness. And that’s a good thing!

So today, put your whole body to work for the Lord. Use your eyes to be on the lookout for anyone who needs encouragement. Use your tongue to speak words of kindness. Use your hands and arms to embrace someone who is feeling alone or overwhelmed. Use your feet to offer quick assistance with any problems you run across. Offer your ears if someone needs to “vent” about a problem.

Most important, offer your mind to understand the best way you can help the people around you. Whether you realize it or not, a spiritual battle is going on around you—a battle for the souls of God’s children. And while God is certainly big enough to fight his own battles, he offers you the privilege, the honor, and the calling to join him. He asks us to offer our lives as weapons of righteousness, fighting for people with God’s love and compassion in our right and left hands (2 Corinthians 6:7). Will you join today in helping to rescue those who have wandered off the path to life and gotten themselves trapped in spiritual darkness?

Do not say, “I am only a mom.” Do not say, “I am only an office worker or a student or a retiree.” You are exactly where God needs you to be today. You are strategically placed on the battlefield, and God will bring you to the people he needs your help in rescuing. So be alert! Have your spiritual eyes, ears, hands, and heart wide open. Let the Lord use you as a weapon of righteousness to win the battle over darkness and evil in this world.

“Lord, I present myself to you as a weapon of righteousness for your kingdom. Use me however you will today to rescue those the enemy has trapped in loneliness, fear, and despair. Let my eyes be your eyes, my hands your hands, and my heart your heart of love for all your children.”

For daily meditations please visit

May God continue to bless our work and to bless us all.

Yours sincerely

CiW Core Team

Thank you "Catholics in the Workplace" Archdiocese of Port of Spain for your inspirational words today.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Call me anything, just don't call me collect..

Did you hear this one... it's not a joke... it's true. Christians and other non muslims in Malaysia have been banned from using the word "Allah". They need to find another name for God. Mind you, it is the same God that the Jews, Christians and Muslims worship... so what is in a name... GOd is God.

Here is the article as it appeared on ABC news:
Malaysia Court Rules Non-Muslims Can't Use 'Allah'
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia October 14, 2013 (AP)
By EILEEN NG Associated Press

A Malaysian appeals court on Monday upheld a government ban against the use of the word "Allah" to refer to God in non-Muslim faiths, overruling claims by Christians in this Muslim-majority nation that the restriction violates their religious rights.

"Allah" is the Arabic word for God and is commonly used in the Malay language to refer to God. But the Malaysian government insists that "Allah" should be exclusively reserved for Muslims because of concerns its use by others would confuse Muslims and could be used to convert them.

Malaysia's Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities have often complained that the government infringes in their constitutional right to practice religion freely, accusations the government denies.

Monday's judgment in the Court of Appeals overturns a decision by a lower court nearly four years ago that ruled against the government ban. Anger over that ruling sparked a string of arson attacks and vandalism at Malaysian churches and other places of worship.

The legal dispute stems from efforts by the newspaper of the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia to use "Allah" in its Malay-language weekly publication.

Roman Catholic representatives deny there are attempts to convert Muslims and say the government ban is unreasonable because Christians who speak the Malay language had long used "Allah" in their Bibles, literature and songs before authorities sought to enforce the curb in recent years.

Judge Mohamed Apandi Ali, who led a three-member appeals court panel, said the use of "Allah" was "not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity."

"It is our judgment that there is no infringement of any constitutional rights" in the ban, he said. "We could find no reason why the (Catholic newspaper) is so adamant to use the word 'Allah' in their weekly. Such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community."

The Rev. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Herald, said they plan to appeal Monday's verdict in Malaysia's Federal Court, the nation's highest.

"We are greatly disappointed and dismayed," he said. "This is unrealistic. It is a retrograde step in the development of law in relation to the fundamental liberty of religious minorities."

Who did Abraham try to Sacrifice?

On Tuesday (October 15th 2013) The muslims celebrate the feast of Eid Ul Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). It is based on the (attempted) Sacrifice by Abraham of his son. The difference is that in Judaism Isaac is the son he is to sacrifice. In the Quoran it is Ishamel. The story goes like this:

According to Islamic tradition, approximately four thousand years ago, the valley of Mecca (in present-day Saudi Arabia) was a dry, rocky and uninhabited place. Allah instructed Abraham ('Ibraheem in Arabic) to bring Hājar (Hāǧar), his Egyptian wife, and Ismā'īl (Ishmael), his only child at the time, to Arabia from the land of Canaan.

As Abraham was preparing for his return journey back to Canaan, Hajar asked him, "Did Allah order you to leave us here? Or are you leaving us here to die." Abraham turned around to face his wife. He was so sad that he could not say anything. He pointed to the sky showing that Allah commanded him to do so. Hajar said, "Then Allah will not waste us; you can go". Though Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hajar and Ishmael, the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.

Hajar ran up and down between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to Allah for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of baby Ishmael. Other accounts have the angel Gabriel (Jibrail) striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.

Years later, Abraham was instructed by Allah to return from Canaan to build a place of worship adjacent to Hagar's well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a stone and mortar structure —known as the Kaaba— which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with Prophethood (Nubuwwah) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of submission to Allah. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving desert city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zamzam.

One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to face the command of Allah to devote his dearest possession, his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. During this preparation, Satan (Shaitan) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out Allah's commandment, and Ibrahim drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars signifying Satan during the Hajj rites.

When Ismā'īl was about 13 (Abraham being 99), Allah decided to test their faith in public. Abraham had a recurring dream, in which Allah was commanding him to offer up for sacrifice – an unimaginable act – his son, whom Allah had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired, and one of the ways in which Allah communicated with his prophets. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfill Allah's command and offer Ishmael for sacrifice.

Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for Allah's sake, he could not just bring his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Ishmael had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life in fulfillment of Allah's command. This consultation would be a major test of Ishmael's maturity in faith; love and commitment for Allah; willingness to obey his father; and readiness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah.

Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion about the dreams of slaughtering him. Ishmael did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, "Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha'Allah (Allah willing), to be very patient." His mature response, his deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to Allah, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah were all unprecedented.

When Abraham attempted to cut Ishmael's throat, he was astonished to see that Ishmael was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out Allah's command.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Get married... have children.

Pope Francis uttered these words recently... but not at me. He aimed it at the youth of today. Marriage, he says, is a Vocation. Don't be afraid. Walk with God.

I did my part, for God and country. My wife and I have four children... and many bills.

Praise Gof for what HE has given to me.


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Age difference and relationships

So my friend has a daughter who is seeing an older man. She's eighteen and he's about twice her age. At first I had no opinion on the issue. I asked my friend what he thought about the matter and he wasn't quite sure himself. He let his wife take the lead in the matter (mostly) and trusted his daughter.

My niece got married to an older guy. He was twelve years her senior. I never saw that as a problem. Still, she did not pass the ole European rule of marriage. Now the rule is for men, and it goes like this: "Never marry anyone who is under half your age plus seven. He was thirty six and she was twenty four.... and in case you were wondering half his age plus seven would be twenty five. But it is a stupid rule because if they waited two years she would be compliant. It's just playing with numbers.

Deuteronomy 22:10 says  "You must not plough with ox and donkey together" ... another translation says that you must not yolk them together. The apostle Paul refers to this scripture when discussing a faithful person marrying a non-believer. I was speaking once to a Seventh day Adventist who referred to this scripture being about people with any major differences in their lives. She was saying that  people from different:cultures, religions, beliefs, races, financial or social backgrounds, or people with large age differences, should not marry. That was almost twenty years ago, and I still don't agree with her. In the West Indies it is quite common to find couples with all of those differences who have lived happily married lives. Sure they would have had problems, but all marriages have problems. The test of a mans mettle and a woman's strength is riding through the storm while still showing love. Perhaps these couples do well just so that they could spite their detractors... no that's silly. They do well because their love conquers the barriers that life throws in front of them.

I don't know if I would or would not approve of an older guy dating my daughter. In discussing the issue with my friend I asked him a simple question, which I think should be the overriding factor: Is the guy a good and practicing Catholic? It turns out that he is indeed a good and practicing Catholic. Praise God for that!


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Thank you for your assistance Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day/night be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule and guide.
Wednesday October 2nd is the feast of the Guardian Angels. Have you been speaking to your Guardian Angel. Have you been sending him before you to ensure that situations can have a good and favourable outcome by the grace of God.

Thank you for your assistance Guardian Angel.

Make me resemble you Jesus

Tuesday October 1st is the feast of the Little Flower... Saint Therese of Lisieux.The photo on the right shows the nun with her sisters in faith happily working.

Saint Therese says: "Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps. Ah, You know, Your sweet Face is for me Heaven on earth. My love discovers the charms of Your Face adorned with tears. I smile through my own tears when I contemplate Your sorrows."

She composed a prayer for the poor: "Eternal Father, since Thou hast given me for my inheritance the adorable Face of Thy Divine Son, I offer that face to Thee and I beg Thee, in exchange for this coin of infinite value, to forget the ingratitude of souls dedicated to Thee and to pardon all poor sinners."

In order to attain holiness and to express her love for God. She wrote: Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.