Thursday, May 15, 2003

The Great Debate 2003

How Biblical and Ancient is the Catholic Priesthood? A Roman Catholic vs. Protestant Debate!

Thursday , May 29th at 7:30 p.m. The Huntington Town House 124 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station Long Island

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. VS. Dr. James White

I hope to catch this actually, the last one was with Patrick Madrid and I missed it. I hope Fr. Pacwa is better in debate than he is as a talk show host on EWTN. I mean no offense but father is not exactly a smooth talker on his show. If anyone goes to this, say hi-I'll be the one with the giant "We're #1" foam hand. My money is on Pacwa in 5 rounds.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Florida Ordered to Seek Guardian for Rape Victim's Fetus

"Gov. Jeb Bush ordered state lawyers Tuesday to seek the appointment of a guardian for the 6-month-old fetus of a mentally disabled woman who was raped, angering abortion rights advocates."
My bishop (Murphy) is one of the members of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom, established in 1998 to monitor religious freedom in other countries. Although I think commissions and committees are about as useful as square wheels, this one could be very helpful. Since our government and business sector have whored themselves out to people like the Saudis for years, this commission can use the bully pulpit to force change. I want to see this commission get more press to ratchet up the pressure on places like Saudi Arabia.

The May 2003 Report is online. Here is part of what it said about Saudi Arabia:

"The Commission’s March 2001 visit to Saudi Arabia confirmed the State Department’s conclusion in its most recent religious freedom report that freedom of religion “does not exist” in that country. The ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom by the Saudi government include torture and cruel and degrading treatment or punishment imposed by both judicial and administrative authorities; prolonged detention without charges, and often incommunicado; and blatant denials of the right to liberty and security of the person, including coercive measures aimed at women and the wide jurisdiction of the religious police (mutawaa), whose powers are vaguely defined and exercised in ways that violate the religious freedom of others. The Commission also is concerned about credible reports that Saudis are funding, directly and indirectly, efforts to propagate globally, including in the United States, a religious ideology that promotes hate, intolerance, and other human rights violations, in some cases violence, toward members of other religious groups, both Muslim and non-Muslims.

The government of Saudi Arabia vigorously enforces its prohibition against all forms of public religious expression other than that of those who follow the government’s interpretation and presentation of the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam. This is despite the fact that there are large communities of non-Muslims and Muslims from a variety of doctrinal schools of Islam residing in Saudi Arabia. The government tightly controls the religious activity it permits—through controls on the building of mosques, the appointment of imams, the regulation of sermons and public celebrations, and the content of religious education in public schools—and suppresses religious views of both Saudi and non-Saudi Muslims that do not conform to official positions. Shi’a (including Ismaili) clerics and religious scholars have been detained and imprisoned on account of their religious views. Numerous Christian foreign workers and Shi’a Muslims continue to be detained, imprisoned, tortured, and deported.

Restrictions on public religious practice, for both Saudis and non-Saudis, are enforced in large part by the mutawaa, public enforcers of religious behavior. The mutawaa have been involved in raids on worship services, including those in private homes. They have also harassed, detained, and even meted out extrajudicial punishments to individuals deemed to stray from “appropriate” dress and/or behavior, including any outward displays of religiosity, such as wearing religious symbols.

Although the government has publicly taken the position that it permits non-Muslims to worship in private, the guidelines as to what constitutes “private” worship are vague. Persons worshipping privately have been harassed, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and deported by the authorities, and forced to go to great lengths to conceal private religious activity from those authorities. Even diplomatic personnel from Western countries face difficulties in their religious practice; these difficulties are compounded for foreign contract workers that have no diplomatic standing and little or no access to private religious services conducted at diplomatic facilities. Moreover, the government does not allow clergy to enter the country in order to perform private religious services for foreigners legally residing in Saudi Arabia.

A series of arrests of Christian foreign contract workers in Jeddah in 2001 and 2002 further called into question official Saudi policy on private worship. Between June and September 2001, 14 Christians were arrested for worshipping privately, and all were deported by the end of March 2002. In April and May 2002, more than 30 Christian foreign workers were detained in raids on religious worship services. By September, most had been deported. In addition, the government’s monopoly on the interpretation of Islam and other abuses of the right to freedom of religion adversely affect the fundamental rights of women in Saudi Arabia, including their right to freedom of speech, movement, association, and religion, freedom from coercion, their access to education, and their full equality before the law."

In a nutshell, our country should have nothing to do with Saudi Arabia.
“In former times, the secularization we have termed ‘employeeism’ which is seen in the mentality of those priests who recognize merely a disciplinary loyalty to a bishop, produced a harmful ossification in the Church. But today we can observe a new growth of this institutionalism in those who no longer consider the bishops successors of the Apostles, but rather mere functionaries of a human institution-presiding officers of assemblies of religious sects, or executive officers of a kind of religious parliament-men designated to carry out the will of the ‘People of God’. Indeed, there seem to be bishops who so conceive of their role. And these prelates, who have more or less accepted the ‘new theology’ (and thereby betrayed the depositum Catholicae fidei), often exhibit a bureaucratic legalism and clerical authoritarianism-the most obvious features of institutionalism-in their treatment of priests and laymen who refuse to compromise with the spirit of the world.”

Page 22 The Charitable Anathema by Dietrich von Hildebrand

Monday, May 12, 2003

St. Michael the Archangel Church in Farmingville Vandalized

"Besides violating the sanctity of a place normally reserved for worship, parishioners said the marauders destroyed the altar and several tabernacles, which contained the Holy Eucharist."
"A Suffolk police spokesman yesterday afternoon said the department's bias crimes unit had been assigned the case, but no further information was available"

The article does not say it but this is a SSPX chapel. I hope they catch the animals who did this and toss them in jail for years.