Several people have written letters saying that my…

Several people have written letters saying that my post about Cardinal Arinze’s remarks did not make sense to them. I am including a fuller treatment form Zenit here:

Cardinal Arinze Links Culture of Death and Sept. 11

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 9, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See sent a message to Buddhists proposing a joint commitment in defense of human life, threatened in myriad ways by the culture of death.

The message was sent by Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, on the occasion of the traditional celebration of Vesakh, the most important Buddhist feast. The feast is celebrated in countries of Therevada tradition on May 19, and in countries of Mahayana tradition on April 8.

The cardinal began his message by referring to the tragic events of Sept. 11. “Since then, people throughout the world have felt a new fear for the future,” he said.

“In the midst of such fear, would it not be our duty, as Christians and Buddhists, together with all people of good will, to encourage hope and to build a culture based on this hope, in order to contribute to a more peaceful world in the future?” the cardinal asked.

“We are living in an era marked by great technological progress. This raises questions about the promotion of human values,” the cardinal continued.

One “of the most important human values is doubtlessly the right to life, to be protected from the moment of conception up to the moment of natural death,” he added.

“However, it must be considered a serious paradox that this right to life is threatened precisely by today´s highly advanced technology,” the cardinal observed.

“Such a paradox has reached the extent of creating a culture of death, in which abortion, euthanasia and genetic experiments on human life itself have already obtained, or are on the way to obtaining, legal recognition,” the Nigerian cardinal lamented.

“How can we not make a correlation between this culture of death, in which the most innocent, defenseless and critically ill human lives are threatened with death, and terrorist attacks, such as those of Sept. 11, in which thousands of innocent people were slaughtered?” the cardinal queried.

“We must say that both of these are built on contempt for human life,” he affirmed.

Given the situation, Cardinal Arinze concluded by proposing the education of youth as a priority, “so that strong ethical convictions and a culture of life may prevail among them.”

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From today’s Office of Readings: "For the effec…

From today’s Office of Readings:

“For the effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive.”

-from a homily of Pope St. Leo the Great-

Cardinal Arinze is repeating a message that many b…

Cardinal Arinze is repeating a message that many believers have secretly believed about the horrible events of 9/11:

The Vatican said on Tuesday the September 11 attacks in the United States were the product of a society that engaged in abortion, euthanasia and genetic experiments on humans.

“The right to life is threatened precisely by today’s highly advanced technology… creating a culture of death, in which abortion, euthanasia and genetic experiments on human life itself have already obtained or are on the way to obtaining legal recognition,” Nigerian cardinal Francis Arinze said in a letter to Buddhists posted on the Vatican web site.

“How can we not make a correlation between this culture of death — in which the most innocent, defenceless and critically ill human lives are threatened with death — and terrorist attacks such as those of September 11, in which thousands of innocent people were slaughtered?”

This mirrors in many ways the basic message of our book on the events of 9/11 written by Father Benedict J. Groeschel entitled The Cross at Ground Zero. I worked with Father Benedict on getting that book published here and have recently talked with him about doing a book on the current crisis in the Catholic Church in the US.

I also have worked with Cardinal Arinze, who many times is mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II, on a book of meditations on the Eucharist that we published entitled The Holy Eucharist.

What has happened to the webmaster of the Catholic…

What has happened to the webmaster of the Catholic Drudge Report–the Diocese Report? In a period where there are breaking news stories in the Catholic world almost every minute of the day, he has not updated his site for over a week. I’ve had to rely on the journalist site to keep abreast of what’s going on…Poynter.org.

Amy, Joseph and I visited the National Shrine of S…

Amy, Joseph and I visited the National Shrine of St. Rita Cascia in Philadephia on Joseph’s birthday, April 4th. I mentioned earlier that we were going to visit the Shrine but never actually wrote anything about the visit. On an unfortunate note, we arrived rather early around 9 a.m. so we weren’t able to attend Mass (at noon) or visit the gift shop (opened at 11), but we were able to spend some time in prayer in the beautiful church.

Finding a parking space was a bit of a challenge. The shrine is located in an area of Philly where their are cars parked in the middle turn lanes up and down the street (I’m not sure if I have ever seen this anywhere before), so if you are visiting the St. Rita (the female patron of hopeless causes) then you had better pray for her intercession to find a parking space. We eventually found one in an alley behind the church.

The church has two levels, the upper main body of the church and the basement where a more modern rendering of the shrine is present (all though much of this was obscurred by current construction that seems to be going on). In the upper body of the church there is the actual shrine, a side altar dedicated to St. Rita that includes a reliquary of her body. In front of this altar between two kneeler is a hopper filled with petitions folded up and piled up in a way that anyone could come in and pick them up and read them. They made me think of “bets” that one might give to a bookie–I’m not sure why they struck me in this fashion (maybe it was an impression from the neighborhood or just the fashion of the petition receptacle or because we had just left Atlantic City).

The Blessed Sacrament was exposed and after praying before the Shrine of St. Rita and writing down a few petitions which cast into the hopper, we went to the center of the Church and knelt and prayed for a bit there.

Over the past months, I have become convinced that prayer is a constant enterprise something that we must do at every moment of the day. Equally necessary is focused prayer periods throughout the day. We must stay focused on God Alone! When we do so it is amazing how much more we value the people around us, how anxiety becomes a distant memory–when we don’t the opposite is just as amazing (why we would ever choose to live in such a fashion!).

A short visit in the basement revealed plastic hanging around a beautiful bronze statue of St. Rita offering a thorn from her crown (or was she receiving it?) from a bronze image of Christ bound and crowned with thorns in front of her some twenty feet. The rest of the basement was shrouded in plastic due to construction that was in the process.

Overall a beautiful Shrine and place of prayer. Philadelphia residents are lucky to have three such shrines in their city–St. John Neumann, St. Katharine Drexel (in Bensalem) and St. Rita. I included all three in my novenas used at Shrines in the U.S. called Mention Your Request Here: The Church’s Most Powerful Novenas.

Speaking of the effects of aging (see below), I fo…

Speaking of the effects of aging (see below), I foundly found a book that I have been looking for ever since we got off the road and guess what it was exactly where I first thought it was, except that it was hid in a secret compartment!

Amy and I watched the MTV hit show The Osbournes l…

Amy and I watched the MTV hit show The Osbournes last night, I had turned it on after hearing several new stories about it earlier in the day–although I had caught a brief few minutes of it prior to last night but couldn’t make sense of anything that was being said. Last night wasn’t much different except it held my interest for the whole half hour. The star of the show, Ozzy Osbourne (of Black Sabbath and biting off bat head fame), is rather lets say an old 53 years old, to quote a piece in the Sun Sentinel is:

At times Osbourne’s slurred speech and trembling hands make him seem more like a dotty pensioner than a Prince of Darkness, but even heavy-metal purists do not seem to mind the de-demonization of their idol.

“I don’t think his fans have any illusions,” said Doc Coyle, lead guitarist of the metal band God Forbid. “Everybody knows his brain is fried.”

There in lies the fascination with this show, aging heavy metal rock star in a house filled with pets, two children a rather conservative looking wife and chaos. Through it all Osbourne seems lost. He leans on a cane talking into a phone with the speech coming out as though from a stroke victim–it is incomprehensible. Everyone in the house’s language is such that it constantly needs to be beeped out, making interpreting the dialogue akin to receiving a message in morse code.

Highlights from last nights show include:

*Osbourne being told to make a face during a photo shoot and looking blankly at the camera man saying, “this is the only face I got.”

*The aging Ozzy jumping during a concert against his doctor’s orders and having to be carried off stage in pain.

*The heavily tatooed Osbourne sitting with cane, counseling his son against the use of alcohol and drugs saying, “If everyone went out and got a tatoo, would you have to?” and at another point a more poignant point, “Do you want to end up like me?”

Perhaps this last statement is the public service value of the show, Osbourne at 53 asking his audience in slurred speech holding his cane, “Do you want to end up like me?”

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