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Showing posts from September, 2012

The power of prayer in defeating same-sex marriage in Australia this month

The Holy Father's General Prayer intention for this month of September was: "That politicians may always act with honesty, integrity, and love for the truth." Many, many Catholics around the world pray daily for the Holy Father's intentions. I definitely do, without even knowing what they are most of the time. All those prayers must have had an effect with the Australian Federal Upper and Lower Houses and the Tasmanian Upper House firmly rejecting same-sex marriage this month. Hopefully there will be some longer term effects from this prayer for NZ politicians when they vote again on the same-sex marriage bill here. We unfortunately missed out on the grace from this General Intention, as our initial vote was in August, ironically on the Feast of John the Baptist, who was killed because he spoke out against a king's choice of woman (or young girl, actually). Speaking out against what our rulers want to do when they are morally blinded is potentially fraught

Catholic voters and Obama and the latest poll from Pew

Catholic Culture story shows that Catholics favour Obama over Romney by 15 point margin: President Barack Obama holds a 54%-39% advantage over Mitt Romney among Catholics, according to the latest voter survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, Romney holds a 51%-42% lead. Catholics who attend Mass “monthly” or “yearly” favor Obama by a 53%-39% advantage, while Catholics who attend Mass “seldom” or “never” back Obama by a 61%-32% margin. The survey also found that white Catholics favor Obama by a 47%-46% margin. Protestants favor Romney by a 50%-42% margin; among white evangelical Protestants, the pro-Romney advantage is 74%-19%, while the two candidates are in a 46%-46% dead heat among mainline Protestants. Black Protestants favor Obama by an overwhelming 95%-2% margin. The Pew survey, conducted September 16, found that Obama holds a 51%-42% lead among all registered voters—a significantly l

A round up of sorts [UPDATE]

The other day I found a Fulton Sheen app of nearly 300 of his wonderful talks on my iPhone for $12.99.  Here's a great quote from him on Christ the Eternal Priest: When I speak of Christ as being priest and victim, I do not mean that we need to go and get hair shirts. Today we don't need hair shirts. Our neighbours are hair shirts. We live with hair shirts. We had to have hair shirts centuries ago when we were so far apart from everyone else, we had to find some penance. Today, they are immediately near." There are quite a few hair shirts here on the internet too! * * * Whale Oil has been launching attacks on Andrei and today Redbaiter , on his blog, while as with me he's gone from semi-attack to mocking interest . As we are all bloggers, I for one think it's nice that he keeps us in the forefront of his mind as he comes across various news items and ways of thinking.  This is like a collaborative thought process, even though it's still very

Nothing in the Republican platform that promotes intrinsic evil or serious sin

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, has come out and publicly said that Democratic Party is officially supporting intrinsic evils and serious sins and that the Republican Party is not.   Here is the relevant part of his column, in which he asks Catholics in his diocese to really think and pray about who they will elect as President of the United States in a couple of months, with Fr Z.'s comments in red. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare. ” That was the party’s official position until 2008 . Apparently “rare” is so last century that it had to be dropped , because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be “safe and legal.”  [And they know that Planned Parenthood doesn't want it to be rare... and neither, really, do many of the queenpins of that party.] Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion “regardless of the ability to

Amazing story of conversion from homosexuality and drug dealing to a life of purity and faithfulness

He encourages young people to live what he calls a holy sexuality. Yuan believes Christians should not speak in terms of heterosexuality or homosexuality , as all, whether married or single, are called to live lives of purity and faithfulness. Yuan says God told him, “ Don’t focus upon feelings. Don’t focus upon your sexuality, but focus upon living a life of holiness and living a life of purity.” There is also another challenge Yuan gives his audience. He says there is a tendency to think individuals can make an easy switch from living as homosexuals. This is not the reality. Yuan say[s] recovering homosexuals need to be treated with the same grace as recovering drug addicts or alcoholics . There is no easy road out of the homosexual lifestyle, and often, the homosexual inclination will remain. Yuan states, “Being a Christian is not an easy thing. I may still struggle, but God has given me the grace. God has claimed the victory on the cross. Though I may still have str

The words "mother" and "father" to be removed in France from official documents

One of the consequences of same-sex marriage is this sort of travesty - the removal of words such as "mother" and "father", which both have very specific meanings - and replacing them with the more general "parents" from all official documents. How soon will it be that calling oneself a mother if you're female, or father if you are male, will be considered offensive and discriminatory? Don't laugh, for now in New Zealand it is generally only considered acceptable to ask about a "partner", not a wife or a husband in conversation, as marital status is one of those no-go-zones. Once you know a person is married, then the leap to asking about the opposite sex term (wife or husband) is safe, but once same-sex marriage is brought into the equation, even this territory will become fraught with social danger! All of this is being brought in under the guise of "equality", which is yet another example of the way the language is be

Radek Sikorski on British Euroscepticism

A really interesting post on the Economist highlighting Poland's foreign minister, Radek Sikorski's speech combating British Euroscepticism. Though his Tory friends try not to hear it, Mr Sikorski's message is consistently and unashamedly pro-European. He uses words and sentiments that are rarely heard in Britain now (only the Lib Dems are unabashedly europhile, and even they tend to keep quiet about it). He told his audience at Blenheim Palace. "I believe in the logic and justice of the modern European project. And my country, Poland, will do its utmost to help it succeed." He pointed out that half of Britain's exports go to the EU , that the much-maligned European Convention on Human Rights is nothing to do with the EU (and also a British creation); that the cost to Britain of EU membership is trivial (£15 per person per year by his calculation, against £1,500-£3,500 in benefits from the single market), that the European Commission's 33,0

The hypocrisies of the enlightened

Yesterday was "World Peace Day" - Ele posted on it in a good natured way. In reality I have a great deal of cynicism about days dedicated to this cause or that - political replacements for the ancient Church feasts and fasts perhaps - to advance agendas dear to the "progressives" who think they have a monopoly on wisdom and compassion, but are often devoid of both. Anyway cynicism set aside I left a comment in keeping with the tenor of her post, I hope. If there is one place in this wicked world where peace is to be found it is within the Church. In human affairs conflict is the natural order of things and not even the Church is immune from this of course. But the liturgies and hymns are peaceful and we can set aside all the mess of living in a fallen and corrupt world, all its cares and woes, and turn our minds to the Prince of Peace by singing them. And be given a rare glimpse Heaven and true Peace in so doing. That peace is the subtle meaning behind m

A Conservative Party press release on Australia's same sex marriage vote brings out the mischief

The Australian House of Representatives and the Senate have both recently rejected a redefinition of marriage to include two people of the same sex by an overwhelming margin (98-42 against and 41-26 against), a sort of a reverse of what New Zealand's Parliament voted for with the first reading of Labour's Louisa Wall's bill on the Feast of John the Baptist (oh the irony there!). Yesterday, the Conservative Party of NZ unleashed a press release on the difference between Australia and New Zealand with regards to liberal social change and it's connection with the economy of a country. Mr Craig says “Once again Australia has made the smart decision by refusing to make unnecessary and detrimental changes to the definition of marriage. This is another example of Aussies showing us how to do it, and will further support the trend of New Zealanders leaving for Australia.” “The New Zealand Parliament is simply too liberal to ensure the best interests of New Zealand. On the

Tom Scott on Pope Benedict on the couch

I get what Tom Scott is trying to say here.  He's using Pope Benedict as the representative of the Christian world having to deal with constant satire, abuse and misrepresentation of the Christian faith, and so to the "angry protestors", the Pope says, "Harden up ..." However, in real life, despite some concerns for his safety, Pope Benedict XVI has just returned from a trip to Lebanon that he refused to cancel.  He spoke to all about the need for peace, instead of telling them to get used to the mockery.  Ironic, huh?

Pope Benedict's message to the Middle East

On a purely material level, I am amazed at the Holy Father's courage, and yet, at the spiritual level, I can only nod in agreement that going to Lebanon, despite the rise of anti-Western violence in the Middle East, was the right thing to do. Trusting in Our Lord completely makes a person fearless, and you can certainly see that fearlessness and total immersion and trust in God in Pope Benedict XVI. His message to the people there was one of hope, love and peace - such a difference from the hate-filled mobs venting their anger because of their perceived offense. It takes the stronger person (and culture) to react with restraint rather than all-out violence. (Reuters) - Pope Benedict urged Arab leaders on Sunday at a huge open-air mass in Lebanon to work for reconciliation in a Middle East riven by Syria's civil war and blazing with fury over a film mocking the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. "May God grant to your country, to Syria and to the Middle East, the gift of pea

Promote marriage not new social obligations

Isn't it ironic that our Parliament is so interesting in getting couples of the same sex to marry, yet ignores the blatant need of couples who generate children through sexual union to marry. Talk about the elephant in the room! In a society where marriage was expected those women who found themselves without a spouse through circumstances beyond their control, performed heroically in raising those children because of the good example of most of the people around them and the environment that they were typically raised in. Now in a society where marriage is not necessary before the first casual sexual encounter which may result in a child, if that child is not aborted then the, young lady typically becomes a single mother on the Domestic Purposes Benefit, which is the greatest determinant of poverty for herself and for her children. However, the Government, in it's blinkered approach to this growing problem of fatherlessness and poverty in NZ, instead turns it's att

Conservative Party up in latest poll and Labour down

Labour has dropped 2% in the latest poll and some of that drop could be attributed to the same-sex marriage legislation put forward by Labour Louisa Wall and voted for at it's first reading by most Labour MPs and some National MPs, including John Key, the Prime Minister. National hasn't taken a hit over being ruled from behind by Labour yet, most of the ire is being directed at Labour, but people in my circles are certainly noticing this disturbing trend. What's even more interesting, is that 9% of those who have voted in online poll said they would vote for the Conservative Party if an election were held today. However, that number would not be representative of NZ as a whole, rather it shows that there are a significant proportion of conservative supporters out there who are active online. Conservative Party lifted by gay issue ~ NZ Herald

Catholic Diocese to be sued by gay couple for not selling them property

Just one example of how same-sex marriage allows persecution of Christians James Fairbanks and Alain Beret, married business partners from Sutton, had been searching for the perfect property for nearly two years when they discovered Oakhurst, an aging mansion on 26 beautiful acres in Northbridge. The former retreat center, which was affiliated with the Diocese of Worcester and had been on the market for some time, would be the ideal spot for their next venture: an inn that would host weddings and other big events. When the Diocese of Worcester unexpectedly dropped out of negotiations with them in June, Fairbanks and Beret were shocked — and flummoxed. Then, they say, a church attorney inadvertently forwarded their broker an e-mail from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, chancellor of the diocese, advising a church broker that he was no longer interested in selling to Fairbanks and Beret “because of a potentiality of gay marriages” there. Beret, 59, and Fairbanks, 57, plan to file a l

Joint Anglican and Catholic Cathedral won't work

The only way a joint Anglican/Catholic Cathedral would work would be if the Anglicans all converted to Catholicism. There is precedent for large conversions of Anglicans to Catholicism through through the Ordinariate, and that would be the way to go. I was reading an article of an Anglican convert who became a Catholic priest, who has just recently died . He once compared the Anglicanism to “whisky with three parts water”, while saying Catholics were “straight out of the bottle” . With that imagery in mind, a joint cathedral would just massively dilute the whiskey for Catholics, and be far too strong for the Anglicans. The only people that have been talking about this potential plan have been the Anglicans, so I doubt it will get anywhere. Related link: Historic super-cathedral plan

The banality of it all

If ever there was an illustration of how utterly worthless the New Zealand Herald is as a Newspaper, perhaps only useful as expensive and harsh on the butt toilet paper, this is it: Key unlikely to discuss Pussy Riot with Putin . Hands up anybody who thinks that our Prime Minister should spend the very short time he has to talk with one of the most important current World Leaders discussing some silly attention seeking women. Anybody? Here's the thing, a few days ago Mr Putin gave an in depth interview for the English speaking world . 45 minutes long covering a range of topics of great importance. Economic meltdown, Syria and so forth And in that interview "Pussy Riot" was touched upon. Here is a transcript of that part of the interview RT: Ok and now I’d like to talk about the trial and jailing of Pussy Riot, that punk group band. There’s been much criticism that the sentence handed down was too strong, too much and that the whole case was too big a deal off a

Ironic cartoon by Hodgson on Monday in the Dom Post

Really highlights our parliamentarians' priorities. The last cartoon by Hodgson that attracted my attention was the Paula Bennett and Dr Josef Mengele cartoon .

Miraculous coincidence of the week

A friend of mine lent me this CD, Teenage Rebel to Catholic Priest , this week. I had heard it at a retreat I attended last month, and thought it would be great for my boys to listen to. So on Monday night, I played it and my older boy (he's 15) was interested enough to listen to the whole thing. The younger one (11) only lasted for half of it. It was the most amazing story of a boy who was heading for total self-destruction before he was miraculously rescued by Mary, the Mother of God. And then, coincidentally, though I don't actually believe that coincidences are random, a post turns up by the mother of the teenage rebel, and tells the story from her perspective: Modern Day St. Monica by LaChita Calloway . Well, what can I do but pass the story on!

Dying cardinal gets NZ media attention [UPDATE]

I always find it interesting as to what type of Catholic news the media here in New Zealand likes to promote. Anything to do with sex abuse, or the Pope speaking out against same-sex marriage or nuns writing books on sex or, in this case, dying liberal cardinals. Hours after Milan's former Archbishop, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, died at the weekend at the age of 85, the leading daily paper Corriere della Sera printed his final interview, in which he attacks the Church - and by implication its current leadership - for being "200 years out of date". "Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous," the Cardinal said. "The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the Pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation." Church insiders believe he wished for the interview to be published follo

The Folic Acid Debate

Visit for breaking news , world news , and news about the economy The subject of fortifiying our bread supply with Folic Acid comes up every few years in New Zealand. Those in favour of adding it to our bread say that it helps prevent birth defects in the children of pregnant mothers who take it. This may indeed be so. But is it good for everyone? Not according to some stories I have been reading. A story on the MSNBC website says that it may contribute to cancer  - Chances are, you started your day with a generous helping of folic acid. For more than a decade, the government has required enriched grains — most notably white flour and white rice — to be fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate. Many food manufacturers take it further, giving breakfast cereals, nutrition bars, and beverages a folic acid boost, too. The extra nutrient isn't meant for you, though — it's added to protect fetuses from developing rare but tragic bi

John Key was "forced" to marry his Catholic wife in a garden??

The mind boggles over this comment. I wonder what the exact words were, as they are not quoted and there are other quotes in the article. Key said he had been forced to marry wife Bronagh outside in a garden. She is an Irish Catholic and he has a Jewish background. I do know that if a person wants to marry a Catholic, they have to be approved by the local priest in order for that marriage to take place validly in the eyes of the Church. The fact that Key's marriage was in a garden raises all sorts of questions as to whether or not he was considered suitable for a Catholic girl to marry. Maybe he didn't want to go through the talks by the priest, or maybe his wife didn't consider her Catholicism that important? Not that non-Catholics that have been approved have been much better, as there are so many stories online of men who have been married to their Catholic wives in a Catholic church, and treat the whole thing as a joke. I won't name names, but there's

Compulsory Maori Language is a bad idea

Yet again there are calls for Maori to be made compulsory for all school children in New Zealand because it is an official language (according to National Radio this morning). Strangely, enough however, the other official language in NZ, sign language, is not regularly promoted in the same way. Learning a second language at school is just as important as maths and English, according to the chairman of the Maori Statutory Board. David Taipari's comments follow a recommendation that the Maori language should be compulsory in all Auckland schools. The suggestion is part of a raft of changes the Maori Statutory Board want to see in New Zealand's biggest city that could cost more than $30 million a year. Taipari told TV ONE's Breakfast he disagreed with Auckland Mayor Len Brown's claim that mathematics and English are probably more important to learn than another language. Long time readers will know my opinion on compulsory Maori - I'm against it. I have no

Poland hopes to identify remains of Auschwitz hero

This is wonderful news. Poland is putting the effort into finding her heroes. It could hardly have been a riskier mission: infiltrate Auschwitz to chronicle Nazi atrocities. Witold Pilecki survived nearly three years as an inmate in the death camp, managing to smuggle out word of executions before making a daring escape. But the Polish resistance hero was crushed by the post-war Communist regime – tried on trumped-up charges and executed. Six decades on, Poland hopes Pilecki's remains will be identified among the entangled skeletons and shattered skulls of resistance fighters being excavated from a mass grave on the edge of Warsaw's Powazki Military Cemetery. The exhumations are part of a movement in the resurgent, democratic nation to officially recognize its war-time heroes and 20th century tragedies. I've written about Witold Pilecki before , back in 2009. Poland hopes to identify remains of Auschwitz hero ~ Ynetnews