Monday, June 27, 2016

Secularists and Short Memories

Apparently, everyone is losing their minds over what Pope Francis just said on his latest papal presser. And this goes for reactionaries and secularists alike. The full text of Pope Francis' off-the-cuff answers to the media can be found here. Now, one can argue on whether or not it's necessary to apologize for wrongs that have already been absolved in the Sacrament of Confession or those that are non-existent to a specific person, but the main focus should be this: what the Pope said isn't really all that new.

For whatever reason, many secularists, and even several heterodox (or those tip-toeing the line between orthodoxy and heterodoxy) and liberal-minded Catholics, seem to think that Pope Francis is the first pope to have ever been compassionate or Christ-like. This is just empty rhetoric and does a disservice to all the great things previous popes in the last century have said about those who have been marginalized and treated unjustly in accordance with the dignity and love that is supposed to be given to every human being.What we have to realize is that Pope Francis is very different from Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Phil. 2:6... A Proof For or Against Christ's Divinity?: A Response to a Jehovah's Witness

Recently, my wife and I had our first run in with a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses. They actually came back twice after my wife asked a question regarding their less than accurate New World Translation. However, the discussions were amicable, our guests were very well-mannered and nice, and I was surprised that some of the stereotypes that are given to Jehovah's Witnesses didn't stick. For example, we both used our own translations of our Bibles, and they even compared theirs to others on their tablet. I was even able to pull out the Catechism at one point in order to rebut a point from one of their publications. But that will be another post. Right now, I'd like to focus on one particular claim they made before they left earlier this week. It was a claim I wasn't knowledgeable of and wasn't exactly sure on how to respond to it.

For starters, Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the divinity of Christ. Actually, they believe He is a created being and that He is one in the same with St. Michael the Archangel. Much of our discussion focused on the divinity of Christ, going a little bit into the Trinity, which they also, obviously reject. The one verse that I wasn't able to accurately reply to at the time was from St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians, which reads "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped..." Apparently, this was supposed to be a proof that Jesus Christ was not equal with God the Father, a position held by the Arians. Below is the rebuttal I sent to them, and I have sources that I used linked throughout, so hopefully this will help someone else when the Jehovah's Witnesses come to discuss our faith in Christ, and they may be better prepared than I was.
Christ Pantocrator

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Intro to the Eastern Catholic Churches Part IV: The Chaldean Rite

The 4th installment of my series on the Eastern Catholic Churches is up, this time on the Chaldean Rite, which includes the Chaldean Catholic Church and the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. I was able to visit the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral a year or so ago. It was a beautiful church with a beautiful liturgy. You can check out the full article over on Catholic365, but here's a preview of it below.
St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy, MI

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

There is a Difference Between Deaconesses and "Female Deacons"

Ever since Pope Francis said a while back that he'd look into the issue of women as deaconesses in the early Church, people of a certain stripe seem to think that the Pope is going to OK women deacons. That obviously won't happen because it can't, and it never did happen. The idea of a female deacon is as much a misnomer as "female priest" is. It can't happen, plain and simple. But deaconesses are another story. More on that in a second. The reason this got my attention today was because this article was posted earlier on Cardnial Gerhard Muller's recent reaction to the issue. The short article said, in part, "The head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is suggesting little new will come from a study commissioned by Pope Francis into the role of women deacons, according to Associated Press. Cardinal Gerhard Muller says the Vatican is putting together a list of experts for the study. But he says the focus will be historic in nature, studying the role of women deacons in the early church, and that regardless a comprehensive study was completed in 2002."
Archbishop Muller

Friday, June 3, 2016

On Gorillas and Human Children

You know what's really sickening about this whole Cincinnati Zoo situation? That fact that so many people seem to care more about a gorilla than a human boy. That we anthropomorphize an ape and are callous to the plight of our fellow man. I have seen so much vitriol showered upon the parents of this boy, and so much sadness expressed for the death of an animal, yet no one has talked about how this traumatic situation has affected (and will CONTINUE to) affect this little 4 year old boy. This is something that will live with this boy forever and you can be sure that he will have issues that will be prevalent throughout his life due to his 10 minute ordeal in the gorilla's enclosure. Instead of anthropomorphizing a gorilla, we should be worried about the mental (and physical health) of this scared little boy, a human being.

Because of internet anonymity, it seems everyone on various blogs and news outlet websites has become an armchair judge, jury and executioner. There aren't enough facts to go on to call these parents "negligent", and there aren't enough facts to mock the mother who called out to her boy that she loved him by saying "if she loved him why'd she let him get in the enclosure. Nor is it fair to say that these parents are worthy of the "Darwin award" and this 4 year old boy won't make it to adulthood with these parents. These are all comments I've read by people who are making a knee jerk reaction to the situation. Watch the video below and get the facts. Did you know that this boy also had a 7 or 8 year old sister who was horrified at what had happened, and saw the gorilla get shot as her little brother was in between the gorilla's legs at the time of the shooting? Could it be that the parents were tending to this little girl and took their eyes off the boy for a second? If your a parent of multiple kids (as I am) you know that this might happen occasionally, God forbid, and it doesn't make you a negligible parent.

Introduction to the Alexandrian Rite is Posted

For those that have been keeping up on my essays on the Eastern Catholic Churches, my next essay is up on, and this time I'll be covering the Alexandrian Rite. Hopefully I'll have the next up in the series on the Chaldean Rite of the Church live pretty soon.