Pope Calls for the Conversion of the Jews

In the March 15, 2006 General Audience of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI he said:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In coming weeks, our catechesis will focus on the mystery of Christ and the Church. Jesus willed to found his Church upon the Apostles, and it is through their witness that we continue to encounter him. The mission of the Apostles must be seen in the context of the mystery of communion of God’s People, spanning both the old and the new Covenant. Jesus’s entire ministry took place against the backdrop of Israel’s faith and hope, and was aimed at gathering into one the eschatological People of God. Far from a purely individualistic summons to conversion, his mission was directed to the establishment of the community of the new and eternal Covenant. Jesus’ conscious decision to choose the Twelve Apostles was a prophetic sign announcing the eschatological renewal of the twelve tribes of Israel, the dawn of salvation and the fulfilment of God’s promises. In the person of the Apostles, charged with the celebration of the Eucharist and the forgiveness of sins, the Church has been made the sign and instrument of the Kingdom of God in our midst. Christ can never be separated from the Church; through the Church he remains ever present in his people, and in a special way in the successors of the Apostles.

An interesting an bold calling for the conversion of the Jews, don't you think?


Million Dollar Baby - Anti-Catholic Propaganda

Interesting punching bag silhouette looks like a cross on a tabernacle.
Well, when this movie first came out, I did not go to it. I protested, based on what I had heard, that the ending was basically a political statement on euthanasia in opposition to the Catholic Church. I did not want to show my support, even tacitly, in buying a ticket to see it. Well, it was on TV last night on HBO (which we got for free for signing up with cable), so I watched it.

The biggest thing that offended me was the misrepresentation of the Church on this matter. The person was a quadriplegic on a ventilator who wanted to turn off the machine. Clint Eastwood's character, a Catholic, went to his priest to discuss the matter and his priest tells him he cannot do it. Therein lies the rub!  A permanent ventilator is considered to be an "extra-ordinary" means of support, and (I speak from experience here) it is NOT against Church teaching to remove extra-ordinary life support! So the big hype over euthanasia is based in a false dilemma! There WAS NO DILEMMA! There would have been nothing wrong with getting together with the medical staff and clergy and discussing the matter and allowing her to pass on naturally, without the extra-ordinary means of a ventilator. So Eastwood either didn't research this well enough, or deliberately was trying to represent the Church as the "bad guy" in this issue.

Now, I just wish I had seen the movie earlier to help raise the issue that it wasn't a valid issue which Eastwood made the climax of this propaganda! I guess I'm also appalled that I haven't heard this side of the story from other Catholics!  Perhaps the rest of Catholicism, like me, basically boycotted the movie, and we all missed the chance to expose the falsehood being portrayed there? (Sigh)

And to think, that movie won FOUR Academy Awards last year - and IT'S A FRAUD!

I would think even our Protestant friends would support the truth in this matter and step forward and acknowledge that what Eastwood did there truly didn't accurately represent the Catholic Church's position
in a case like that.

As I recall, it came out about the time the Terry Schiavo case was big news, but that case was NOT the same. Schiavo was not on a ventilator - she breathed on her own, and no machines were used to keep her alive.  All she had was a feeding tube, and basic food and water is not "extra-ordinary" and that is why the Church opposes withholding of such from a patient who can otherwise sustain themselves.

Hindsight is 20/20 - but "what if" we could have mobilized a push for the TRUTH about the Church's position on this prior to the Academy Awards? Could we have reduced the hype over the movie AND the anti-Catholic propaganda? That's something we should ALL keep in mind for the future.


Fasting and Lent

Let us LIVE the Catholic life. Let us not hide our Light under a bushel basket! Do your penances in private - but when someone asks you about why you're not eating meat on Friday, gently explain to them that you do this in honor of Good Friday - and everytime you would have partaken in meat - it's a reminder to you of Christ's Ultimate Sacrifice in our behalf. I know most of us do this year-round, but during this time of year more attention is drawn to the Catholic "meatless Fridays."

After Lent is over, we can continue to use this as a witness to our fellow Catholics who might tell us, "Lent is over, you don't have to continue with abstinence from meat on Fridays..." and then you can (gently and charitably) remind them that the requirement of penance on Fridays is STILL a requirement for EVERY Catholic - even so-called Novus Ordo Catholics! We don't HAVE to continue observing the abstinence from meat, but it MUST be "something equivalent." If it has to be equivalent, why not just stick with meat?! Meatless Fridays and Friday Fish Fries used to be one of our identifying marks on our communities! It should be again. Encourage all Catholics to continue meatless Fridays year-round, unless a solemnity falls on a Friday.


First Friday
Lent 2006

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...