Tag Archives: CATHOLICISM

UNITY & GREAT SCHISM

WHAT DIVIDES ORTHODOX AND CATHOLICS?

  1. Church unity was expressed through being in communion with the Bishop of Rome, as the successor of St. Peter. Jesus emphasized Peter’s special mission to his apostles and not simply his place of honor among them. 

 The Orthodox do believe in the primacy (a certain leadership position) of our patriarchs, etc., but not their supremacy: the Bishop of Rome is the “first among equals.” Orthodoxy believes that all Orthodox bishops are the successors of Peter. 

  1. Orthodox have always insisted that celibacy had traditionally been optional for clergy since the first century, citing scriptural and other evidence for married priests and bishops                                                                                                            Mark 1:30, I Timothy 3:1-5

Continue reading UNITY & GREAT SCHISM

EFFUSION: A YOUTH HAPPENING

 A YOUTH MISSION

Our poor parish priest has his hands tied. He doesn’t know how to attract the youth to his church.

EFFUSION YOUTH

The most important element is prayer. We would ask all the elders of the church to pray and fast seriously for a new Pentecost experience, EFFUSION. The area of the church is blessed with holy water or holy oil in preparation for this Event.

EFFUSION YOUTH HAPPENING

The other proviso is that the parish has to encourage at least six youth in a team with a youth minister or youth leader. This team will continue the missionary work in the parish after the EFFUSION Event.

EFFUSION YOUTH HAPPENING Continue reading EFFUSION: A YOUTH HAPPENING

THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC UNITY 2

GEOPOLITICAL COMPETITION

Essentially the Orthodox Church shares much with the other Christian Churches. The Orthodox Church differs substantially in the way of life and worship.

 During the early Trinitarian and Christological controversies, after the patriarchs of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch and Constantinople had succumbed to one heresy or another, only the papacy remained constant in witnessing to the orthodox Faith.

Historically, the formal parting between the Christian West and the Christian East occurred in 1054; to some extent it reflected cultural and geopolitical competition between the Greek-speaking “east Roman” empire, in other words Byzantium, and Latin-speaking western Europe where Roman authority had collapsed in the fifth century, but new centers of power had emerged. 

ORTHODOX CATHOLIC UNITY

Constantinople came to regard itself as a “Second Rome” after the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, but after the city’s fall to the Ottomans in 1453, Moscow came to see itself as a “Third Rome.” The Eastern Orthodox communion bases its teachings on Scripture and “the seven ecumenical councils”.ORTHODOX CATHOLIC UNITY

WHAT DIVIDES ORTHODOX AND CATHOLICS?

Continue reading THE ORTHODOX CATHOLIC UNITY 2

WILL CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVEN?

Was my Catholic friend merely a devoted husband, a wonderful friend, and a good man?

CATHOLICS HEAVEN

Catholics who are “devout” and “inconsistent” can be saved.

“There are genuine Christians who are devout and inconsistent Roman Catholics. Devout is in the sense that they’re earnest, serious, and sincere. Inconsistent is in the sense that their true heart embrace of Jesus is better than their mental ideas or doctrines.

CATHOLICS HEAVEN

A person will be saved — even if many doctrinal ideas are confused or erroneous:

  • “If a person has a genuine encounter with the living Christ and recognizes the hopelessness we are in without grace and without Christ,
  • and if they see that “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 

CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVENCatholics believe they are justified by God’s grace which is a free gift but it is received through baptism initially, through the faith which works by love in the continuous life of the Christian and through the sacrament of reconciliation if the grace of justification is lost through mortal sin. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace.  Continue reading WILL CATHOLICS GO TO HEAVEN?

VOODOO SPIRITUALITY

VOODOOISMvoodooism spiritual beings loa

Vodou is primarily practiced in Haiti, New Orleans, and other locations within the Caribbean. There is great variation within Voodoo beliefs and practices. Many Vodou practitioners also consider themselves Catholics. Voodooism involves spiritual beings.

voodooism spiritual beings

As well as being the priest or priestess, the houngan acts as confessor, confidential and financial advisor, prophet and healer for the people in the community. But the houngan is more a folk healer with a considerable knowledge of herbal remedies who treats minor illnesses. While selling love potions and protective charms, including small bags to be worn for protection or for good luck, may be a lucrative side business for a priest or priestess, the primary occupation is still as a spiritual leader of his community. Voodooists especially places value on the strength of community for support.

Loa or Spiritual Beings

The spirits of death, The Guédé are really an enormous group of the loa who are the spirits of formerly living people. He is the one who controls the passage between life and death. In ritual, he is often offered black goats or chickens. The most frequently performed ritual in Voodoo is one that invokes a particular loa (supernatural beings) to offer food to him and seek his presence on earth.

The most important components of a human body, however, are the two parts of the soul, the ti-bon-ange (‘little good angel’) and the gros-bon-ange (‘great good angel’). The gros-bon-age keeps the body alive, and after death, it returns to the reservoir of energy in the cosmos. Without the gros-bon-ange a person loses his/ her life-force. The ti-bon-ange makes up the half of a person’s soul and it is the source of a person’s personality. Furthermore, it is responsible for determining an individual’s characteristics, personality and will.

In Voodoo belief, death is not seen as the end of life, but as a change. The soul – the gros-bon-ange and the ti-bon-ange – endures after death in a different form. The gros-bon-ange returns to the high solar regions where it joins the other loa (supernatural being) and is itself transformed into a loa. Approximately a year after the death, the houngan (priest) performs a ritual, to ensure that the ti-bon-ange is put to rest. This ritual is very important because otherwise the ti-bon-ange may wonder the earth and bring illness and disaster on others.

A Distinctive Human Soul

 A human person is a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL BEING with a spiritual soul and a material body. Human beings alone are created in the image and likeness of God; and therefore, possess rational and spiritual souls: a human person is a body/soul composite.

Human Soul Sikhism

Why is this Extremely Dangerous?

Continue reading VOODOO SPIRITUALITY

REASONS FOR FEMALE PRIESTS

WHO CAN RECEIVE HOLY ORDERS?

 Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles…The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord Himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible .                                                                                             1577  (Catechism)

WHERE DID THIS ALL BEGIN?

Jesus chose 12 apostles was to replace the 12 tribal ‘fathers’ of Israel. In the cultural context of His time, it was natural he chose men for this limited purpose.

THE MOST VOCAL CONTROVERSY

Among the most vocal controversies in the Catholic Church recently has been the question of the ordination of women.

We need to fulfil our canon law duty to speak out as church leaders encourage us to do.

All the faithful, both clerical and lay, should be accorded a lawful freedom of inquiry, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.Gaudium et Spes, no 62; Canon Law no 212 § 3. As a consequence, eight out of ten Catholic scholars in the world support the ordination of women.

SEVEN REASONS WHY WOMEN CAN  RECEIVE HOLY ORDERS!

  1. One priesthood in Christ
    Through baptism women and men share equally in the new priesthood of Christ.

    This includes openness to Holy Orders.  “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”                                                                                                                                     Galatians 3:27-28
  2. REASONS FEMALE PRIESTS
  3. Empowered to preside
    At the Last Supper Jesus empowered both women and men to preside at the Eucharist.  Women were present at the Last Supper when Jesus said: “Do this in commemoration of me!” 
    REASONS FEMALE PRIESTS
  4. Women have been deacons
    Until at least the ninth century the Church gave women the full sacramental ordination of deacons. This proves women can be ordained.  Does it make sense that women are apt for the diaconate, but not for the priesthood? reason women priests
  5. The ability for women to be ordained has been present in the Church’s latent Tradition.
    One example is the age-long devotion to Mary as Priest. It shows that, according to the ‘sense of the faithful’, in Mary the ban against women has already been overcome. If women can become saints, surely they can become priests.
  6. The wider Church accepts women priests
    After serious study and prayer other Christian Churches now ordain women as priests. Though not everything other Churches do can be accepted by the Catholic Church, this converging consensus by believing Christians confirms that ordaining women is according to the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit. reason women priests
  7. Women too are, in fact, called to be priests
    The fact that many responsible Catholic women discern in themselves a vocation to the priesthood is a sign of the Holy Spirit we may not ignore.  reason women priests
  8. Cultural bias
    The Church’s practice of not ordaining women as priests was based on a three-fold prejudice against women. This has affected the judgment of Church leaders.

Continue reading REASONS FOR FEMALE PRIESTS

CATHOLIC CELIBACY

CATHOLIC CHURCH CELIBACY

CATHOLIC CELIBACY CHURCH

Theologically, the Church desires to imitate the life of Jesus with regard to chastity and the sacrifice of married life for the “sake of the Kingdom” (Luke 18:28–30, Matthew 19:27–30; Mark 10:20–21), and to follow the example of Jesus Christ in being “married” to the Church, viewed by Catholicism and many Christian traditions as the “Bride of Christ”.

St. Paul taught that chastity is the superior state of life, and his desire expressed in I Corinthians 7:7–8, “I would that all men were even as myself [celibate]—but everyone has his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried and the widows. It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.”

 While priestly celibacy is a law rather than a doctrine, it is still a very ancient one. The practice of clerical celibacy (ordaining only unmarried men) began from the 11th century onward and became a formal part of canon law in 1917 (Sacerdotalis caelibatus).

EASTERN CATHOLIC &  ANGLICAN CHURCHES

Until recently, the Eastern Catholic bishops of North America would generally ordain only unmarried men; for fear that married priests would create scandal. Since Vatican II’s call for the restoration of Eastern Catholic traditions, a number of bishops have returned to the traditional practice of ordaining married men to the priesthood. Bishops are still celibate.

CATHOLIC CHURCH CELIBACY

 In the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches (which are in full communion with Rome), married men may be ordained to any order except as bishops, and one may not marry after ordination as a sub-deacon.Their discipline is that married men may be ordained, but priests may not marry. In other words, Father McGee can’t start dating, but married Mr. McBee could ask to be ordained. Continue reading CATHOLIC CELIBACY

CATHOLIC LAY MISSIONARY

Why are exciting Catholic parishes so rare?

  1. No one says hello
  2. No one sings the hymns in praise – music tends to be only for the background
  3. Lack of reverence in the Eucharistic celebration
  4. People are just taking their Communion without fully believing  in Jesus’ presence and what grace is involved.
  5.  Some seem to exit before Mass has ended.

The overall attitude is that they need us to meet their Sunday Mass obligation. Where else can they go? We are accustomed to a generally mediocre experience of parish life.

 “Neither do people pour new wine into old wine skins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wine skins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wine skins, and both are preserved.”                                                                                              Matthew 9:17

This description is like old wineskin which is dangerously dried up and also leaking badly. The wine, the energy and the power of the Good News cannot be contained, much less allowed to develop and ferment.

Catholic Lay Missionaries

Pop into your local Evangelical church. Look at how they do music, hospitality, preaching, small groups, child care, etc. Protestant churches are made up of large pastoral teams of 6-10 people. Most Catholic parishes consist of one or two priests, a secretary, and maybe a youth minister.

Catholic Lay Missionaries

What should we do?

Continue reading CATHOLIC LAY MISSIONARY

CHRISTIANITY and RISE of WESTERN CULTURE

THE RISE OF WESTERN CULTURE

What was the real cause of the rise of Western Culture itself? How did it come about that a small group of Christians acquire the power to transform the world religion in such a short space of time? Christianity developed from 72 disciples. Was it supernatural evangelism? The Book of Acts demonstrates that physical healing, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit were regular occurrences as the early Christians engaged in evangelism.

By the fourth century Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire and inspired the new type of Byzantine culture, which had its center in the new Rome founded by the first Christian Emperor at Constantinople.

Let’s look at Christianity after the collapse of the Roman Empire. There were terrible economic, social, and political conditions that befell Europeans from 500-750 A.D. Yet, the Church tenaciously held on to what was of left of Western Civilization. Both Irish Celtic monks and the Benedictine monks preserved and spread their learning via their missionary zeal. It was the Benedictines, started by St. Benedict (480-544), who, upon meeting their Irish Celtic counterparts taught the Irish practicality and gave Irish monasticism a more sensible and less rigorous rule in a self-contained society (The Benedictine Rule). One of their own was selected Pope-Pope Gregory I 590-604) who is credited for not only learning and leadership, but the beginning of classical music with the Gregorian chant.

The greatest service of the Irish monks was the new movement of missionary expansion throughout Europe in the seventh and eighth century. This was a time during the victorious tide of Muslim invasions, which was sweeping over Western Mediterranean and North Africa. Finally, Charles Martel checked the Muslim advance at Poitiers in 732 AD. There were two figures who stand out as supreme—the priest, to teach and offer sacrifice and the king to rule and judge. This was also a time of wholesale exploitation and expropriation of bishoprics and monasteries to provide benefits to Martel’s warriors. Missionaries like St. Boniface admitted that they could not have been effective without the support of Martel.

Christianity was able to maintain its power by the awe inspired by its supernatural prestige: an arc of refuge against the violence of the barbarians in the world of war. Christianity became a strong unifying cultural force which provided the roots for present day European civilization as we know it: a direct bearing on the fate of our modern society.

There was an intimate relationship between religious faith and its social achievement. Christianity transformed Europe from a barbarian hinterland into a center of world culture and was responsible for the rise of city-states, the creation of new literature and philosophy, as well as new social, cultural and religious institutions: the order of chivalry, the religious orders and the universities.

The conversion of Clovis (480-520) of the Northern Barbarians was historically important when one considers that Clovis’ empire (basically modern France) became open to the Benedictines and the spread of knowledge and learning. The rise of the Franks under Charles Martel (717-742), Pepin (741-768), and especially Charlemagne (768-814) was important for the spread and renewal of the Church.

Charlemagne’s palace school at Aachen was a center for learned men and drew students and clergy where literacy and texts were developed that enhanced and preserved the learning of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, including a uniform system of script called Bookhand which included upper and lower case letters and punctuation. The monks had to instruct their converts not only in the Christian doctrine but in the Latin tongue. They had to teach reading and writing including calligraphy, painting, music, chronology and the knowledge of the calendar. Continue reading CHRISTIANITY and RISE of WESTERN CULTURE

Catholic Protestant DISUNITY

Catholic Pride — Protestant Prejudice

Catholic Retrenchment
“I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God.” Martin Luther

The problem starts with a most Catholic extravagant claim: the submission on the part of every person to the bishop of Rome is altogether necessary for salvation. This stance created a state of pride and eventually a Protestant engendered prejudice against Catholics.

The papacy had become a French institution and this caused its prestige to wither, because there was to be two popes for 39 years: one in Rome and the other in Avignon, France. To make things worse, the cardinals of both Popes called for a council to which neither Popes elected to attend, so a third Pope was elected. The fall of Constantinople prompted the Russian Orthodox Church to proclaim Moscow as the third Rome. Later, a Council disposed of all three popes. What an embarrassment!

There were some popes that were well known for nepotism who sought to advance the welfare of their children. Some popes undertook expensive building programs that needed financing, which was provided by the sale of indulgences for souls in purgatory. Offices were scandalously sold. Borgia, was notoriously immoral and secured the papacy through bribery. He promoted the welfare of his daughter and his ruthless son.  As to indulgences, the popes really had no power to forgive any sin: they can only declare and confirm God’s forgiveness.

Reform was never considered. In fact, one pope during the time of Martin Luther, never really comprehended the depth of the revolt. Instead he promoted the affairs of his family and spent lavishly. The papacy in general resisted calls for a reforming council that would democratize the church’s power structure.

Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabelle of Castile left a black mark on the Church because they virtually took control of the Church, seeking through the Inquisition to root out heretics. In the end, historians estimate that between five and fifteen million people lost their lives because of the Inquisition. It was a very efficient movement because an accused person had practically no rights. This crushing repression resulted that Spain never did have a Reformation. Does the end justify the means?

The Reformation: a 500 Year Anniversary  

Continue reading Catholic Protestant DISUNITY