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Showing posts from March, 2013

Kidnapped priest clears Pope Francis of accusations of participation

The story that Pope Francis was somehow responsible for two Jesuit priests being captured and tortured by the Argentinian dictatorship just will not die.  Today, a person called Yoza who posted a comment in KiwiBlog accusing the pope of just that, and a few other things.  When challenged, he seemed to be aware of a statement one of the surviving priests had made recently in the media, but not aware of the following story, whereby the priest made further clarifying statements clearing the pope, as what he had previously said had been misinterpreted by the media: CNA STAFF, Mar 21, 2013 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Clarifying previous comments, a priest who was kidnapped during Argentina’s dictatorship in the 1970s is emphasizing that Pope Francis was not responsible for his detainment . In a statement published on the official website of the Jesuit order in Germany, Father Francisco Jalics said that while he once believed his 1976 kidnapping was due to a denunciation by then-Father Bergo

The Right to a Mother and a Father

I came across this post where it was suggested that fathers going off to war meant that a child didn't have a right to a father, because his actions trumped that right. [ Full post here ] It lead me to a discussion on the redefinition of marriage. Part of the divide in this debate is that gays define marriage as a "right", whereas traditionalists see it as an ideal, one that excludes gay people. I can see why this causes so much tension. After all, if looking at this as an ideal for heterosexual marriages - how close to that ideal is the reality anyway? How many marriages survive intact nowadays? How many remain a life-long commitment? Unfortunately, not nearly enough, for all sorts of very human reasons. Anyway, I reproduce my comment here because this issue is the current debate, and whatever the outcome, I think it a duty in a democratic society to have the debate - to consider all angles and attempt to see all perspectives.

Whaleoil and the need to demonize

I have a theory that Whaleoil needs to make anyone who disagrees with him evil, so he can justify to himself his own bad behaviour and the vitriol he heaps on others, like Lucia and Andrei. It would be a refreshing change of character to see Whaleoil act with a little more common decency, instead of this incessant character assassination. It was like this on the smacking debate, where any parent that would consider physical discipline one option out of many as part of parenting had to be cast as a child abuser, and on this particular debate it is equally important to cast any one who thinks the word marriage has a specific definition, has to be cast as homophobic to justify their own intolerance for different view points. Personally, seeing genuine debate of different perspectives reduced to calling people "haters" is of major concern to me when looking for signs that liberal/progressive intolerance for anyone against their views is increasingly fundamentalist and in very

Death on the Cross

About 1983 years ago, Our Lord allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross and killed by human beings. All our sins across time; past, present and future contributed to His agony. I normally watch the film, The Passion of the Christ, on this day to help me be with Him across time and space, so that I really appreciate what He has done and to help me love Him more. It doesn't seem to be a mere intellectual exercise as I think what must happen is that my reaching towards Him results in His Grace pouring down to really connect me to that event. I can't really explain it better than that, except that something happens that transcends emotion and intellect. I'm a bit late with this post as tradition holds that Our Lord died at 3pm.

Lynch Merrill

I still think it has to be satire, but truth is stranger than fiction they say, and this story sums up the way society is changing. When we discuss children becoming tradable commodities, the idea seems preposterous, but tradable commodities they must become, for some marriages to acquire children. Meanwhile, this is a story of a person who sold himself on the sharemarket. He'd let his new shareholders decide what to do with his life. Vasectomy? Well, they thought it would maximise his earnings potential not to have children, and his girlfriend being a minor shareholder, got voted down. Sleep deprivation experiments to increase his output? Why not. Shareholders also voted him vegetarian, and eventually decided a different girl friend might yield better economic results. The Man who Sold His Fate is the title of the article, but it would be more accurate to say " The Man Who Sold His Humanity ". And you can follow the twit on twitter:

Paschal Triduum

The Paschal Triduum starts now. Safe driving to all those who are leaving to go on holiday, especially to those passing through Kapiti. And was Easter originally a pagan holiday? No . In the original language of the gospels, the Greek word pascha is used for the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word pesach, which means Passover . During the first three centuries of the Church, Pasch referred specifically to the celebration of Christ's passion and death; by the end of the fourth century, it also included the Easter Vigil; and by the end of the fifth century, it referred to Easter itself. In all, the term signified Christ as the new Passover Lamb. Together, the mystery of the Last Supper, the sacrifice of Good Friday and the resurrection of Easter form the new Passover - the new Pasch. Latin used the Greek-Hebrew root for its word Pascha and other derivatives to signify Easter or the Easter mysteries: for instance, the Easter Vigil in Latin is Sabbato Sancto de Vigilia Paschali

Daylight Savings is lasting too long

Yet again I find myself longing for the end of Daylight Saving. It never used to be this way. I found that when Daylight Saving ended in the past, it was just right. Autumn was always a pleasant drift into winter. I never looked forward to the end of Daylight Saving because it ended at the right time, the third Sunday of March. Right now, I'm really, really wanting it to end. It's still too hot in the evenings for too long and then too dark and cold in the mornings. At night I have the fans on to try and help the kids go to sleep and in the mornings, I'm having to turn the heater on. When it gets dark and when it gets light and when we go to sleep and wake up just seems completely out of kilter. We are already past the fourth Sunday of March, and we still have a fifth Sunday, the 31st of March before we get to the first Sunday of April when it finally ends, and that's still another week and a half away. When Daylight Saving does end, so will Autumn. T

Some Honesty From a Lesbian on Gay Marriage

This is from a radio debate held as part of a writers conference in Sydney, Australia last year. As reported by the Stand To Reason blog - Last month, at a Sydney Writers Festival panel discussion on the question, “Why get married when you could be happy?” Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen had this to say about same-sex marriage: It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist [cheers from the audience]. That causes my brain some trouble. And part of why it causes me trouble is because fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. Tha

Same-sex marriage support declining

This is the sort of issue that most people don't really think much about, so that when it was first floated here in New Zealand, the reaction of a number of people would be to support it as it seemed harmless enough, letting two same sex get a marriage certificate that says they are married. As time went on however, and the counter-arguments got into the mainstream and people who don't tend to take much notice of changing trends took the time to think about some of the issues, there has been a change in opinion . This is not a huge change, but it is significant because it shows that the arguments against same-sex marriage are more persuasive than the arguments for and that will be worrying the same-sex marriage supporters. Public opposition to same-sex marriage has grown significantly since a law change to legalise it came before Parliament, a Herald DigiPoll survey shows. Same-sex marriage campaigners blame scaremongering by religious groups for the increase in opposi

Biting my tongue

This Post was written Thursday 21 st March 2013 but held until today We all know that the New York Times is no friend of the Catholic Church and will produce stories to undermine her and the Faithful's morale in any way they can and at every opportunity. And there are Catholics who will seize on these stories to spread disharmony among the Faithful, including those of us on the other side of the divide of the divided Church. But it is Lent and Lent on this side of the divide began on Monday but not only on this side but for some on the Catholic side Lent began then as well. And on the first Thursday of Great Lent the fourth part of Canon of St Andrew of Crete , the first three parts being read on the preceeding nights. And there are Eastern Catholics who will be singing this on this night as well as shown below. We need to put aside all the nonsense and pap of the world as often as we can and not allow others to mislead us to further their personal agendas.

Hundreds Of Thousands Protest Gay Marriage in France

Huge protest in France (again) with hundreds of thousands of people marching against same-sex marriage.   AP reports - Paris riot police fought back crowds who pushed their way onto Paris' landmark Champs-Elysees avenue as part of a huge protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Hundreds of thousands of people - conservative activists, children, retirees, priests - converged on the capital in a last-ditch bid to stop the bill, many bussed in from the French provinces. The lower house of France's parliament approved the "marriage for everyone" bill last month with a large majority, and it's facing a vote in the Senate next month. Both houses are dominated by French President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party and its allies. Sustained protests led by opposition conservatives in this traditionally Catholic country have eroded support for the draft law in recent months, and organisers hope the march will

Pope Francis stands with Benedict

It's moments like these where faith pays off ... Folks, Pope Francis has done it. He has taken his stand. He did it this morning, about three hours ago. And his stand is with… Pope Benedict, his predecessor, with whom he will meet tomorrow. The importance of Francis’s words today cannot be overestimated. Francis today took his stand with the essential spiritual vision of Pope Benedict. (And note: in this talk, unlike in several previous talks, Pope Francis adhered strictly to his prepared text; he made no “off the cuff” remarks. So, this was thought-out in advance and intentional.) If one were to summarize in a phrase, one might say that Francis today said: “I stand with Pope Benedict.” But on what, precisely? Francis today said he stands with Pope Benedict on the Christian conception of truth: that the truth of the Christian faith, the truth of the Christian vision of man, leads mankind toward life, more abundant life, toward justice, toward true joy. What Fran

Did the Pope really endorse civil unions in Argentina?

A story has been making the rounds that Pope Francis put forward an idea to promote civil unions in Argentina as an alternative to redefining marriage, and that he was voted down by his more conservative bishop's conference. The New York Times had a quite prominent article promoting this view and it was quoted to us here on this blog by one of our readers . At the time, I said that it would be better to wait and see what clarifications are forthcoming as I found it difficult to believe that Francis would be so out of step with the Church's official position on civil unions . Turns out he most likely did not: BUENOS AIRES, March 21, 2013 ( - Miguel Woites, a confidant of Pope Francis while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, is denying a widely publicized claim that the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio suggested the endorsement of gay civil unions as an alternative to "homosexual marriage" during a private meeting with fellow bishops in 2010. In an

Same-sex marriage supporters have toned down their face book event page

When it was originally set up, the pro same-sex marriage face book event looked like this: Now, it's been toned down tremendously: From: "Let's swamp the haters at their anti LGBT Marriage Vigil" To: "Support Love at the anti LGBT Marriage Vigil" . Quite a dramatic difference in tone.

Yet another attempt at posting a comment on Stuff [UPDATE]

In response to Marriage equality bill : How MPs voted , I commented: Given that New Zealand threw out the last Labour Government in a big part, to their social engineering policies, why are National politicians, including John Key, allowing Labour to govern from the rear with more social engineering? Let's see if they will continue to discriminate against bloggers with pseudonyms. [UPDATE]: Yes, they let it through. Looks like this is what I need to do in order to have a comment of mine published - write it up in a post as well.

NZ man's horrifying ordeal in a Chinese prison

I have to say at the outset that I believe, based on what I have heard of this man's story, that he should never have been found guilty of manslaughter, given that he was set upon by a number of men who wouldn't stop attacking him. In any sane jurisdiction he would have been either not charged at all or been found innocent and let go. But not in the Chinese justice system which from what I have read and heard, does not have justice at it's mandate. What was supposed to be a business trip instead became a stint in a Chinese jail for Danny Cancian after a restaurant fight took a lethal turn. He was charged with manslaughter and, although the judge at his trial acknowledged that he did not start the fight, he was deemed to have used excessive force on one of his attackers, who died of a brain bleed. Danny Cancian phoned NewsTalkZB this morning (the Tim Fookes Morning Show) and explained that at that point in the fight, he had been hit in the back of the head with a chai

Pope Francis: His role - to protect

Another wonderful blog post letter from Dr. Robert B. Moynihan in Rome: Today a new pontificate officially began. [Tuesday night, NZ time] The essential message in the homily given by Pope Francis to open his pontificate draws on the work and image of St. Joseph , spouse of Mary, head of the Holy Family. And that message is to “protect.” This message is important at a time when the figure of the person who “protects,” be he a father, a mother, a priest, a scholar, a leader, is under attack — in a time when the “protection” is entrusted to others, or to none, when the “protectors” are anonymous, or hidden, or when they simply don’t exist. To “protect” means to make sure what one protects is not harmed, not hurt. And so this emphasis on “protecting” seems to recall a passage in the Book of Revelation which focuses on “not hurting,” that is, protecting. In Chapter 7 of Revelation, an angel ascends from the east, bearing “the seal of the living God.” This angel cries ou

Offending Catholics is fine, but not the Chinese Government

Powershop ad: Chairman Mao doing Gangnam Style An advert depicting Chairman Mao performing the Gangnam Style dance has been banned from Auckland bus stops for fear it will insult Chinese residents. The ad, for online electricity store Powershop, shows the Chinese former dictator surrounded by Chinese people and soldiers posing with guns, and carries the slogan 'Same Power Different Attitude'. The above picture doesn't show soldiers with guns. Looks like that part has been cropped. Advertising on the shelters is managed by Adshel on behalf of council-owned Auckland Transport. Adshel managing director Nick Vile said it always flagged content that could be controversial. "The reason we do that is our network of bus shelters is deemed to be a service provided by the city council to their constituents," Mr Vile said. "Obviously that constituent group are wide and varied in terms of their ethnicity, and as a result I guess it's prudent for t

National and Labour and Referendums

Yesterday David Farrar wrote a post condemning Labour for their asset sales referendum when they were not interested in the the results of the anti-smacking referendum that was driven entirely by the people and not by parliamentarians and their staff and their government money. Oh the irony. There can be no doubt that the majority of New Zealanders want correctional smacking to be legal, and there was a referendum that said so by a massive 7:1 margin. Now one can have the view that a party’s policy should triumph over a non binding referendum. I certainly hold that view. But what is absolute hypocrisy is to be a party that ignored the results of this 2009 referendum , and then two years later to then demand that the Government should break its election policy on the basis of the asset sales referendum. What many do not know is that a bill was selected for first reading in Parliament in 2010, just a couple of weeks after the referendum result. The bill would have implemented

Papal Inauguration, why isn't our PM going? It's history in the making!

The Papal Inauguration for Pope Francis is on Tuesday, 19 March on the Feast of St Joseph. The Americans are sending Vice President, Joe Biden to the Papal Inauguration, German Chancellor Angela Mercal is going, and so is Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the EU President Herman Van Rompuy. VATICAN CITY - The Roman Catholic Church will roll out the red carpet for world leaders and crowned heads attending the inauguration Mass Tuesday of Pope Francis as he embarks on a ground-breaking papacy. The occasion promises to contrast with the pomp and circumstance normally associated with grand Church occasions given the disarmingly humble style the new pope has shown in his first few days as the first Latin American leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. An event that poses an inevitable protocol headache for the Vatican -- no official invitations are involved, and some VIPs may turn up unannounced -- will also be a first test of the former Buenos Aires archbishop

Counter Marriage Vigil being organised on Parliament Grounds

About an hour ago, Fletch published a post on an uncoming event, NZers For Marriage Prayer Vigil Parliament Grounds . In no time at all, a counter-event is being planned in order to "outnumber" the vigil participants. Facebook Event: Let's swamp the Haters at their anti LGBT Marriage Vigil It says: The anti LGBT marriage supporters are holding a "Vigil against the bill" on Wed 27 March, 6.45pm-8.45pm at Parliament grounds. Let's all get our act together and head down there to outnumber them, show the MPs that the support for this Bill is huge, real and not going away. Invite everyone, let's make this happen. The link for the vigil being organised by the conservatives is here: As you can see, they're planning a peaceful demo. Hmmm .. is that some type of threat?  "As you can see, they're planning a peaceful demo." Are they going to make su

NZers For Marriage Prayer Vigil Parliament Grounds

Prayer Vigil - New Zealanders for Marriage, Parliament grounds, March 27th. More Info HERE

Smacking Poll shows NZ'ers don't like anti-smacking law

Good on Family First for continuing to keep this issue in the media. The anti-smacking law is a travesty of social engineering that allows the Government to unjustly interfere in families where there is no actual child abuse, and therefore reduces the autonomy of good families from the State. It's not just about smacking, which is why the Government doesn't want to change the law despite most of New Zealand being against it. Three out of four people back a law change to allow "correctional" smacking of children , a poll has found. But a child advocacy group says correctional smacking remains unacceptable. The poll of 1000 randomly selected people was undertaken by Curia Market Research for advocacy group Family First. Respondents were asked whether the anti-smacking law should be changed to state that "parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law". Of those asked, 77 per cent

Celibacy in the Catholic priesthood is not just a made up discipline

Yesterday, Cameron Slater of Whale Oil Beef Hooked posted an article reporting on a Victorian (Australian) Parliamentary Inquiry, presumably on the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations that is being held there.  A Professor Paul Mullen gave his opinion to the Inquiry that if the Catholic Church didn't require celibacy for her priests, then they wouldn't sexually molest children. Leaving aside the ridiculous idea that marriage would somehow cure paedophilia, the professor also opined that celibacy has no basis in theology: The Catholic Church should get rid of celibacy as a way of preventing clergy from preying on children, an inquiry has been told. Former clinical director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Health, Professor Paul Mullen, says celibacy has no basis in theology and is just a form of discipline in the priesthood. The professor's reasoning ability seems faulty as he appears to assume that marriage will cure paedophiles. 

Smear Campaign against Pope Francis

The usual suspects ( Chris Trotter , Whale Oil ) have leapt on the bandwagon. Meanwhile, Edward Peters has a good post up pinpointing the media tactic here and why they've used it - When nothing else will work, accuse a Catholic prelate of NSO : The mainstream media is in panic over Pope Francis. The new pope is solidly opposed to everything big media wants (contraception, abortion, ‘same-sex marriage’, etc.), but it can’t simply write him off as an out-of-touch academic (Benedict) or as a provincial Slav suffering Nazi and Communist induced post-traumatic stress disorder (John Paul II). Worse, the first prelate of the Catholic world is a man of proven commitment to the poor (far more demonstrably than are his limousine liberal critics), and has lived his whole life in a simplicity that is utterly beyond the ken of Manhattan or the Beltway sophisticates. So, confronted by a major Catholic prelate of such palpable integrity, what’s the media to do? Only one thing: Look up

Thank you to all my Christian Friends who prayed for the Conclave!

I'm very happy with the result!!! Sorry, so much happening today, I forgot to say earlier! In case anyone missed it, we have a pope: Pope Francis .

Redefinition of Marriage a step closer in New Zealand [UPDATE]

John Stringer makes the comment that "It is deeply ironic that the 1.2 billion strong Catholic Church last night elected a new conservative Pope (Francis I) to reiterate the orthodoxy of Catholic faith (marriage, morality, contraception, abortion, monogamy etc) while 77 NZ MPs elected to continue towards redefining marriage (to allow gay couples to marry)." What makes New Zealand's vote last night even more ironic is that a few years ago, Pope Francis as Cardinal Bergoglio battled against the introduction of same-sex marriage in his home country, by being upfront as to who was at the root of it all. "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God," wrote Cardinal Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires. "We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.&q

Pope Francis

Live coverage from the Guardian New Zealand Herald Everyone's assuming he chose his name from St Francis of Assisi , but what about St Francis Xavier ? Transcript of the new pope's first words to the world: Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for this welcome by the diocesan community of Rome to its bishop. Thank you. First of all, I would like to say a prayer for our bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI.Let us all pray together for him, let us all pray together for him so that the Lord my bless him and that the Madonna may protect him. (The new pope then prayed the "Lord's Prayer", the "Hail Mary" and the "Glory Be" with the crowd in Italian). He then continued: And now, let us start this journey, bishop and people, bishop and people, this journey of th

Even if you are not Catholic, please pray for the selection of the new pope

As one cardinal said, " It is a dangerous time. Pray for us ." Even if you are not Catholic, here are some reasons to pray for the Conclave: 1. Intercessory prayer is a duty of Christian charity. We are obligated to uphold one another in prayer. St. Paul told the Galatians to "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal 6:2). Notice that he calls it a "law of Christ." Prayer is one way of sharing burdens and it's not just about kindness, but about obeying a commandment of Christ... 2. The pope of Rome is the most visible and influential Christian in the world. In our day and age more than ever, it matters who the pope is. Most people, including nonChristian and nonreligious people, have a pretty good idea of who the pope is and what he has to say about x, y, and z. Can that be said of any other Christian leader? I don't even know who to list in comparison. You might have one person, like Billy Graham, who

On sexual difference in marriage and bathrooms

Recently, Massachusetts has started enforcing the rights of confused boys or girls to use the bathrooms of the opposite sex, if they feel they are of that gender. All of this type of social engineering has been gathering momentum since Massachusetts redefined marriage ten years ago, and if you don't think both are logically connected, read this: ...if sexual difference is irrelevant to marriage, then how can it be relevant to any practices? Once the state has determined that sexual difference is no longer a legitimate reason to extend special recognition to man-woman monogamy, there is no reason in principle to maintain sexual distinctions in less intimate practices. If one’s anatomical reality isn’t relevant to one’s marriage, it’s even less obvious why it should be relevant to one’s bathroom choice. Children don't even get the choice to disagree: The regulations suggest that students who don’t endorse a fellow student’s gender identity may be subject to punishment.

Do we want to be on the 'Wrong Side of History'?

Yep, it's that time again. There's going to be another vote in our Parliament tomorrow for advancing the cause of 'Same-sex Marriage', which has brought out a post in favour of redefining marriage from David Farrar, who ends his post with the admonition to his opponents: As I said, there is a global and frankly irreversible trend in the “Western” world on this issue. Future generations will be just as bemused by the fact that once upon a time same sex couples couldn’t marry, as today’s generation are bemused by the fact that once women couldn’t vote. I just wonder in the end, why would you want to be on the wrong side of history ? A post on The American Conservative explains just what is wrong with his labeling those who disagree with redefining marriage as being on the 'wrong side of history', and thus putting himself and those who agree with him on the 'right side': “Right side of history” is a claim deployed in political debate to delegitim

Climate Science 101

Some people spend hours arguing tree rings, ice core samples and moving weather stations as if that will prove AGW. Don't worry about it. Think of it as misdirection. Whilst you are reading a science journal, bureaucrats are figuring out new ways to take control of our lives by politicising the idea of Climate Change to ensure uncontested implementation of whatever policies take their fancy. Climate Science 101 is very simple. Don't look at the problem, don't even look at the political justifications to solve the problem, instead focus very hard on what the policy implementation is going to be. If you work from there, you will get a very different perspective on the politics of climate change. For example, our local council has resisted, time and again, the need to build a dam to store water, whilst at the same time implementing a whole bunch of changes extremely detrimental to beach front owners. Their excuse for attacking water front property owners was the &quo

A Pox on Select Committees

The hearings process for Marriage Amendment Bill has highlighted that the Select Committee is not particularly objective, and their biases have predetermined the outcome. That level of democracy continues with another bill in front of a Select Committee to consider changes to the Family Court, and Men who wish to recount their personal stories are being refused to be heard, or told to cut their personal testimonies out (according to a story in today's SST, not yet online AFAIK) So if you are gay, and wish to make a personal testimony on how your life has been diminished by not being given equal rights to the word "marriage", you will get a lot of consideration from the Select Committee. The media has been covering such stories and the sympathy they have evoked from the Select Committee. Yet, if you are a father fighting to maintain some level of access to your children, your personal testimony counts for nothing. Even worse, a quote from one select committee memb

Name Suppression in 2013

I see that progress is very, very slow in the secular institutions that are still keen to hide offenders from the public eye, perhaps to shuffle offenders from one place to the next, and to use name suppression as a means to protect the accused, at the expense of the victims. Story 1: Dr has sex with rape victim Patients deserve to know the name of a Canterbury GP who had sex with a teenage patient 25 years ago, a Christchurch judge has ruled. A 16 year old girl had been RAPED by some-one, and this Doctor was asked to treat her. He used his position of authority and trust to initiate sex with her instead. At least twice, according to the report. Can we really believe that was all, and can we really believe there was only one case?  If there were no name suppression,  other victims may have stepped forward by now.  And who else knew? Perhaps colleagues and superiors knew something? And just to prove the secular system is tough on sex crimes - a mere $1,000 fine! On a Doct

An atheist explains Catholicism to a Catholic

It's a pretty funny video above with atheist author Penn Jillette explaining Catholicism to Piers Morgan, but it's also a bit sad, from the perspective that many Catholics don't seem to know what it is to be Catholic. The latest New York Times/CBS News Poll finds that American Catholics at Odds With Vatican on Many Teachings : American Catholics want the next Pope to liberalize the church’s position on issues such as birth control, ordaining women, and allowing priests to marry, a new poll has discovered. And two out of every three Catholics want Pope Benedict XVI’s successor to be “someone younger, with new ideas,” The New York Times/CBS News poll found. Three-quarters thought it was a good idea for Benedict, who entered the Vatican in 2005 at the age of 78, to resign rather than remain in office until his death. The poll indicated that many Catholics feel the bishops and cardinals are out of touch. “I don’t think they are in the trenches with the people,” Th

The movie "Amour" is a copy of an old Nazi propaganda film promoting euthanasia

During the 1940's, the Germans released a film called, "I Accuse", a story about a woman with a debilitating disease whose husband, out of love for her, eventually kills her to spare her suffering. Ich klage an (Eng: I Accuse) is a 1941 film, directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, which depicts a woman with multiple sclerosis who asks her husband, a doctor, to relieve her of her suffering permanently. He agrees to give her a lethal injection of morphine while his friend (who is also a doctor) plays tranquil music on the piano. The husband is put on trial, where arguments are put forth that prolonging life is sometimes contrary to nature, and that death is a right as well as a duty. It culminates in the husband's declaration that he is accusing them of cruelty for trying to prevent such death. Ich klage an was actually commissioned by Goebbels at the suggestion of Karl Brandt to make the public more supportive of the Reich's T4 euthanasia program, and