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Archive for the ‘Christian values vs. world’ Category

Center for disease control

had some interesting facts.

The total fertility rate in 2006 was 2,101.0 births per 1,000 women, the highest rate since 1971.

Childbearing by unmarried women rose substantially in 2006, reaching record high levels. The birth rate rose 7 percent in 2006 to 50.6 per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15–44 years; the number of births to unmarried women increased by nearly 8 percent in 2006 to 1,641,700.

At Christmas we recognize the birth of Christ our Savior. I guess this country is in very short supply of St. Joseph’s who took on a responsibility of raising the Christ child. I’d like to see the numbers on man who fail to support the woman and child whom they abandoned. 1.6 million unmarried births is going to place a large burden on the state to support. However, historically it’s not the state but the church who is called to stand and support these women. After all it is we the church who are explicitly called to look after the widow and orphan.

While they may mostly be simply children of fornication that’s no reason not to step up to the plate.

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I was reading an article in the NY times about the

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Photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times


Church of the Transfiguration in Chinatown

which has changed hands as it were from Irish to Italians and now Chinese. After the immigrant assimilates into the secular culture, they seem to fail to pass on their faith or at least the way they express their faith to the next generation. It becomes more of a trip down memory lane, something their parents or grandparents did, but is no longer desirable or needed.

For the midnight Mass, Father Lin recruited two extra priests to hear the confessions of long lines of Fujianese Catholics, whose worship includes making the sacrament regularly.

“Now we like to teach them not to do it so often, because it is a burden for us,” Father Lin said.

I found that quote from the article striking. Chinese immigrants had a strong desire to make regular confessions, likely because they can finally do so without going to prison and second because they recognize that it was their faith that sustained them through those times. You can’t teach that you have to live it. As the church struggles to get Catholic to make confession more frequent it’s the immigrants that point the way.

Back to the assimilation question, as our society continues to crumble and/or spend away it’s moral fiber will assimilation decrease or will the contrast between what the world is offering be great enough that the younger generation will be drawn into the faith because of it’s counter culture stand? I have no doubt that the more the church makes a contrast between itself and the society at large the stronger and more adherents it will have, just as those churches which attempt to attract more followers attempt to adapt itself to secular trends or make itself more “relevant” it will continue to lose more.

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This WAS completely off my radar scope. But seeing how I have 2 teenagers I’ll be on the look out for this stuff.

The places one finds topics on religion these days comes from unlikely sources. This one is old for the net (9 months) but seeing how Battlecry may be coming to a town near you, it may be something you need to look into for teens that are Christian. Rolling Stone had an article on this one. I frankly don’t know if this is good or bad. On the surface it seems good, but I have concerns after reading this Acquire the evidence.

Regardless of what communion you belong to, our collective churches have to do a better job addressing the issues that our teens face. Unlike my “Leave it to Beaver” generation where most everyone was married, it was scandalous to be divorced, drugs were strictly over the counter, sex was a dirt word not something that 50% of your peers had done by age 15, abortion was still illegal.

This generation has no foundation to stand on, the baby boom generation literally blew it up. I’ve operated under the false assumption that somehow my kids childhood is similar to mine. It’s completely the opposite.

Over at Charlotte was Both has a Catholic version of this (Hard as Nails) without the apparent political ties that Battlecry seems to have.  Maybe I’m just getting old, it’s not the message it’s the method and the cult of personality I’m concerned with.

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John Allen has a piece in the International Herald Tribune  today on speculation about the Pope’s speach at the U.N. Next spring.

Like every pope since the birth of the United Nations in 1945, Benedict supports robust global governance, in a fashion that has long bewildered neoconservative critics of the United Nations in the United States and elsewhere.

I am very much in line here as viewing the U.N. as completely ineffective. But that is coming from an expressly American viewpoint. Perhaps I’d think differently if I had to raise my family as a Catholic in China, India,eastern Europe or many parts of Africa.

Benedict undeniably has a point about relativism. From China to Iran to Zimbabwe, it’s common for authoritarian regimes to argue that rights like freedom of the press, religion and dissent represent Western – or even Anglo-American – traditions.
If human rights are to be protected in a 21st century increasingly shaped by non-Western actors like China and the so-called Shiite axis from Lebanon to Central Asia, then a belief in objective truth grounded in universal human nature is critical. That’s hardly just a Catholic concern, but no one on the global scene is making the argument with the clarity of Benedict XVI.  

That’s a take I hadn’t considered. One of my big complaints about how the papacy is run is the difficulty of knowing when the Pope is not speaking as the Pope. That may sound strange, but he is the Head of the Vatican city State, the local bishop of Rome, Primate of Italy. Just what hat or is it all that he is using while giving these speaches.

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Now I should likely have a poll taken of how many thought I was going to speak about Latin vs. Greek, Catholic vs. Orthodoxy-you’d be wrong.

Growing up in a western first world culture, I’ve never experienced any true persecution of any kind. I’ve been confronted with the message of salvation by numerous individuals who claim I’m going to hell because I’m Catholic, but that’s not persecution.

Ther term Greek- μάρτυς translates as witness. This is IMO a grossly misused term. In many circles it means proclaiming the Gospel to non-believers and giving testimony for your belief in Christ. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not witnessing.

This is witnessing or here if you want to look there’s hundreds of other examples Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic.

First world Occidentials need to know that when they stand up an recite the Creed in a monotone drone that there are literally thousands this year in Oriental (in this case it means- Muslim, Hindu, Chinese) cultures who will go to their death (read witness) simply because they profess the Triune God and refuse to acknowledge other gods.

On the one hand its great that we all live where we don’t have to fear police coming into our church to arrest us for that profession, that we don’t have to fear lossing our job, or our family members or friends. Perhaps we could take the of handed snide remark from someone who dislikes Christians. 

We take for granted that which we claim to believe.  So during this season of peace and thanksgiving perhaps we should all pray for those that do have to witness for their faith and perhaps they will pray for us because we don’t have to witness for it – just live it.

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I find it encouraging that we have Catholic bishops actually getting or demonstrating backbone. We now have one in Brazil who is standing up for those who have no voice. I’m all for economic development, but the way this project was pushed through was to benefit the poor people of Brazil. Unlike environmental issues this is strictly a hunger strike against the halves and the have not’s.
Bishop Fasts Again for Sao Francisco River.

It’s very encouraging to see a bishop lay his life down for his sheep if necessary. Hopefully it won’t come to a decision of dying for it.

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Well at least the British Parliament this past Wednesday parliament1.jpg recognizes that a discussion on  Christianophobia  is worth considering as Reuters reports by Tom HeneghanIs phobia the right term for religious intolerance.

The British Guardian retorts that Christianity is not under attack.

The other people who suppose that religion depends on right belief are of course the evangelicals. And it is their narrative which has presumably roused interest in Mr Prichard’s motion. In their world, Christians are persecuted wherever anyone laughs at them. The belief in persecution tends to separate them still further from the world, which in turn increases their sense of isolation, which proves once more that they are persecuted. It is a curiously satisfying belief, and, like their opponents’, almost impossible to disprove with mere evidence.

Pope Benedict XVI has worked with the UN to get the term Christianophobia into the Human Rights laws. His new article from the CDF due out soon may address the issue of preaching the Gospel which especially in Islamic countries and be dangerous for ones health.

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But other issues of nation-states maintain their historic cultural sense is dying out as secular values have taken hold more and more in the western countries. I don’t believe that a country can survive with agnostic values. Islam or Christianity will fill the void. ANd that creates tentions.

How much of this is fueled by low birth rates in Europe and the growing concern that Europe will be over run by Muslims? How much is linked in Islamic circles that Christianity is as much a political move against Islam? Or is it Shariah Law imposed on Christian minorities?

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Darwin Catholic has a very good article on Pastor of Souls/Pastor of Soldiers on his blog. Additionally as a day to remember those who have died for their country please consider sending an e-mail to the troops.

If you don’t know a deployed veteran, ask your friends if they do. You can also ask your church, or the local VFW or American Legion post for information on veterans from your community who are serving.

IF you feel the Christmas spirit for a soldier.

Saint Augustine (to the soldier Boniface) letter 189,4

4. Do not think that it is impossible for any one to please God while engaged in active military service. Among such persons was the holy David, to whom God gave so great a testimony; among them also were many righteous men of that time; among them was also that centurion who said to the Lord: “I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed: for I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it;” and concerning whom the Lord said: “Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:8-10 Among them was that Cornelius to whom an angel said: “Cornelius, your alms are accepted, and your prayers are heard,” Acts 10:4 when he directed him to send to the blessed Apostle Peter, and to hear from him what he ought to do, to which apostle he sent a devout soldier, requesting him to come to him. Among them were also the soldiers who, when they had come to be baptized by John,—the sacred forerunner of the Lord, and the friend of the Bridegroom, of whom the Lord says: “Among them that are born of women there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist,” Matthew 11:11 —and had inquired of him what they should do, received the answer, “Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14 Certainly he did not prohibit them to serve as soldiers when he commanded them to be content with their pay for the service.

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The church has been in transition for the past 10 years or so. As priests and bishops retire that were at the forefront of aggiornamento concept of Vatican II leave there remain strong pockets of disciples and resist change, just as those of us resisted the spirit of Vatican II in the 70’s & 80’s. With Bishop John Nienstedt installed as coadjutor archbishop of St. Paul the time for a policy of non-interference by the outgoing Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of Saint Paul marks a transition for some in the Twin cities.

MPR Photo/Greta Cunningham

Larger view

St. Frances Cabrini Church parish in support of Publicly Bless the Relationship of Same-Sex Couples on a homily on Oct. 27th. He faces a challenge with individuals who have been use to a hands off policy (IMO) of out-going Archbishop Harry Fynn towards the Gay and lesbian marriages.

The honeymoon with the new Archbishop if there was one may have been broken when he came out with Four points on the church’s teaching about homosexuality

Andy Birkey wrote in the Minnesota Monitor about protests to the Archbishops statements here.

While those in the Gay and Lesbian communities need to be ministered to; the churches position is not going to change. Calling them to a life of celibacy, if they are unable to change is the only charitable option.

POLITE comments with your concerns and or support to:

Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Coadjutor Archbishop
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
226 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 291-4400
communications@archspm.org

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  • For researchers, the Eindhoven DNA bank could prove a major windfall, paving the way for a host of new studies. To unravel the mysteries of human disease, researchers are increasingly studying genetic variations in human populations that increase the risk of illnesses, such as diabetes, or boost resistance to infections such as malaria. By studying the variants over time, researchers hope to advance knowledge of these diseases and gather clues to produce vaccines or new drug treatments. And such medical research is where the Eindhoven DNA bank, which spans 600 years of history, could really shine.

Medieval DNA, Modern Medicine

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