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Egypt’s Christians are Facing a Jihad by Nina Shea

Reuters-Egypt-Coptic-Christians-candlelight-protest-photog-Stringer-Egypt Christians are Facing a Jihad by Nina Shea

Aug 19, 2013

 

Violent aggression by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, including those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, continues to be directed at one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, following the military’s break up last week of Brotherhood sit-ins. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has been inciting the anti-Christian pogroms on its web and Facebook pages. One suchpage, posted on August 14, lists a bill of particulars against the Christian Coptic minority, blaming it, and only it, for the military’s crackdown against the Brotherhood, alleging that the Church has declared a “war against Islam and Muslims.” It concludes with the threat, “For every action there is a reaction.” This builds on statements in the article “The Military Republic of [Coptic Pope] Tawadros,” carried on the MB website in July, about the Coptic Church wanting to “humiliate” Muslims and eradicate Islam.

The litany of attacks is long: St. George Church, St. Mary’s Church, Good Shepherd’s Church, the Pentecostal Church, in Minya; St. Therese Church, Church of the Reformation, Church of the Apostle, Holy Revival Church, St. John’s Church, in Assiut; Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo, St. Damiana Church, the Evangelical Church, and Joseph’s Church, in Fayoum; Church of the Archangel Michael, St. Saviors Anglican Church, the Greek Orthodox and Franciscan churches, in Suez; Fr. Maximus Church and St. George’s Church, in Alexandria. . .

As of Sunday night, some 58 churches, as well as several convents, monasteries, and schools, dozens of Christian homes and businesses, even the YMCA, havebeen documented as looted and burned or subject to other destruction by Islamist rioters. The Coptic Pope remains in hiding and many Sunday services did not take place as Christian worshipers stayed home, fearing for their lives. A dozen or so Christians have been attacked and killed for being Christian so far.

For the first time in 1,600 years, Sunday prayers were canceled at the Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram in Degla, south of Minya, because the three churches there were destroyed by the mob. In Cairo, Franciscan nuns watched as the cross over the gate to their school was torn down and replaced by an al-Qaeda flag and the school itself torched; Sister Manal, the principal, reported that three nuns were then marched through the streets as prisoners of war, as neighborhood mobs “hurled abuse” at them along the way. Continue reading

Facebook Apostles – 2013: Catechesis & Apostolate in the Digital Age

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August 15, 2013

Dear Friends in Christ,

I have eagerly awaited this day, August 15th and the Feast of the Assumption of Mary to share with you our new music video, Facebook Apostles – 2013.

Work on this new video began this past Mother’s Day, the third successful Anniversary in operating and expanding all our Facebook Apostles Social Networks.  This short promotional video has been created to provide you with an update of our many works and as an informative overview about FBA for sharing with others.

Our new video focuses on how all Clergy can integrate FBA’s content into their own Parish or Diocesan Web and Facebook Pages, and through their own use of the various Social Media platforms.  Facebook Apostles asks all its members to particularly share our video widely with your Deacons, Priests, Pastors, Catechetical and RCIA Leaders, and your Bishops.

On a personal note, I would like to share with you that I am both very proud and very humbled by the final result achieved by Facebook Apostles – 2013   My time has been a real, three -month labor of love.

After many late-night hours, I feel that our new film highlights the best of what FBA has to offer to all serious inquirers of the Catholic Faith.  I am happy (finally) and proud with the technical aspects this project and how Facebook Apostles – 2013 turned out.

After watching the final edit something strange happened to me.  In stepping back from the film I suddenly and uncontrollably started to cry.  I saw God’s hand in all my work and in the new film I tried to create for Him.  I saw His many gifts and talents at work in me, his poor and unworthy instrument.  I saw God’s beneficence and wisdom in preparing me for His task evangelization–, and most of all the Spirit’s holy inspirations over the last three years.  I bow down to the Holy Spirit in all Humility to Him, who is responsible for this work.

I hope you will enjoy and learn a bit more about us by this new film, I also hope and ask Mary, Queen of Apostles that you will become more involved in the Catechesis and Personal Apostolic opportunities to learn more about the Faith and by sharing what we offer to others.

Thank you all for sticking with FBA and for helping to make our sites the successes they have become!  I offer this work in honor of my parents, Nicholas & Frances Haros in Heaven, in thanksgiving to them for their gift of life to me.

Pax,

nic

The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin (Advanced Chapter 1)

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I undertook this project not because I believe the Constitution, as originally structured, is outdated and outmoded, thereby requiring modernization through amendments, but because of the opposite—that is, the necessity and urgency of restoring constitutional republicanism and preserving the civil society from the growing authoritarianism of a federal Leviathan. This is not doomsaying or fear-mongering but an acknowledgment of fact. The Statists have been successful in their century-long march to disfigure and mangle the constitutional order and undo the social compact. To disclaim the Statists’ campaign and aims is to imprudently ignore the inventions and schemes hatched and promoted openly by their philosophers, experts, and academics, and the coercive application of their designs on the citizenry by a delusional governing elite. Their handiwork is omnipresent, for all to see— 1
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2 MARK R. LEVIN

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a centralized and consolidated government with a ubiquitous net- work of laws and rules actively suppressing individual initiative, self-interest, and success in the name of the greater good and on behalf of the larger community. Nearly all will be emasculated by it, including the inattentive, ambivalent, and disbelieving.

The nation has entered an age of post-constitutional soft tyr- anny. As French thinker and philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville explained presciently, “It covers the surface of society with a net- work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupe- fies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”1 Continue reading

High Crimes and the Saints by Fr. George W. Rutler

High Crimes and the Saints

Fr. George W. Rutlersaint1
July 7, 2013

Our parish is blessed with a shrine to Saint Thomas More. The young artist who painted the saint’s image after Holbein was a refugee from communist Eastern Europe. He did such a good job that Cardinal Egan, dedicating it, said that he would not be surprised if this were the original.

We recently celebrated the joint feasts of Saint Thomas More, who was Chancellor of England, and Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester. Their personalities were different in many ways, and it was almost a miracle that an Oxford man and a Cambridge man got on so well and eventually were canonized together. The Act of Succession and the Act of Supremacy were the challenges that King Henry VIII threw at them, and the saints returned the challenge. The issues were rooted in natural law: the meaning of marriage and the claims of government. These are the same issues that loom large today. Whatever our courts of law may decide about these matters, Saint Thomas says: “I am not bound, my lord, to conform my conscience to the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom.” In 1919, G. K. Chesterton predicted with powerful precision that, great as More’s witness was then, “he is not quite so important as he will be in a hundred years’ time.”

For every courageous saint back then, there were many other Catholics who instead took the safe path of complacency. More’s own family begged him to find some loophole, and — after the sudden deaths of eight other bishops — Fisher was the only one left who acted like an apostle. Those who opted for comfort and wove the lies of their world into a simulation of truth had a banal and shallow faith that Pope Francis has called “rose water.” It is a good image, for rose water is not blood and cannot wash away sin.

The “Man for All Seasons” wrote to his beloved Margaret from his cell in the Tower of London: “And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”

The “Fortnight for Freedom” extended from the vigil of the feasts of Fisher and More to July 4th, but its prayers continue, as the Church’s many charitable and evangelical works are threatened by our present government’s disdain for the religious conscience, most immediately evident in the Health and Human Services mandate and the redefinition of marriage. In 1534 Henry VIII’s arrogation of authority over the Church was quickly followed by a Treasons Act which made it a high crime to criticize the King. In contemporary America as in Tudor England, the surest way to let that happen is to say, “It can’t happen here.”

Millions of Women Silently Suffer After Abortion, How Churches Can Help Them by Debby Efurd

Millions of Women Silently Suffer After Abortion, How Churches Can Help Them

postab2bby Debby Efurd | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 6/28/13 1:03 PM

You hear it everyday … TV, radio, internet, newspapers.  Forty years after legalization in the United States, abortion remains a hot and divisive issue.  But in the wake of the over 55 million abortions having been performed in the United States since 1973, remain the multitudes of “silent sufferers,” for whom abortion has been a traumatic life-changing experience.

Who are these “silent sufferers”?  They are family members, neighbors, co-workers, those sitting next to us in church.  With 43% of American women having had an abortion, there is a strong likelihood that half of the people you come in contact with have been affected from their   decision to abort, many exhibiting symptoms of Post Abortion Stress.

Haven’t heard of Post Abortion Stress?  Not surprising.

We hear about the effect on babies that are aborted, but little attention is paid to what happens after to those that are left behind living with the decision.   Post Abortion Stress is a term first coined in 1981 from a group of researchers who reported, and peer-reviewed research increasingly confirms since, that abortion functions as a stress that places women at higher risk for developing a range of mental health problems, such as depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, self-hatred, drug and alcohol abuse, sleep disorders, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, chronic problems with relationships, dramatic personality changes, anxiety attacks, guilt and remorse, difficulty grieving, increased tendency toward violence, chronic crying, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and people, and difficulty bonding with later children.   It is not uncommon that symptoms lay dormant until later in life.

Fortunately, revival is beginning.   The unavoidable talk in the media is churning discussion about the consequences of abortion and spurring the “silent sufferers” to seek out recovery programs.  Every time the word “abortion” is featured, the inner pain of the post-abortive is triggered.  This is the revival we have prayed for.  But to whom do the “silent sufferers” turn and do they all seek help?

Some will dig deeper into their pain, refusing to consider their past decision has any correlation with the agony they are experiencing.  The inner turmoil, never addressed, can be agonizing.  But quite often post-abortive will seek help within their church, since 79% of post-abortive profess to be Christians, 43% identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% identify themselves as Catholic.  Ministry leaders unequipped about the needs of the post-abortive are learning first-hand the particular agony that has festered within their congregations for many years.  Churches are now seeking resources and training to begin ministries to help the post-abortive to find God’s healing.

What can your church do to reach out to the Post-Abortive?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Understand the many factors that lead to an abortion decision:  pressure from others, lack of information, and the feeling they have no other choice.  This understanding enables us to avoid condemning.
  • Understand that because abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973, our society now considers it normal and acceptable.  People believe it is their right and bears no consequences.  Most importantly, realize that no one is addressing the severe emotional and physical effects of abortion.
  • Understand the cost our society has paid for legalized abortion.  If we fully realized the cost, in human suffering, abortion has caused since 1973 (suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, abuse of women and children), we would be shaken to our core.
  • Understand the pain someone experiences from an abortion.  Be compassionate and loving.
  • Understand the need to make your church a place where people can feel safe to share their pain caused by an abortion.  The post-abortive often sit in silence for decades, afraid to share their experience for fear of judgment.  Testimonies of individuals who have life-changing experiences from abortion are powerful tools to reach others in similar situations.
  • Understand their need for forgiveness.  Many believe that because they knew it was wrong and did it anyway, abortion is a sin too big for God to forgive and often are unable to forgive themselves.
  • Understand and address the need to develop a specific ministry for post-abortion healing within your church.
  • Understand the power of love … where they are … as they are.  Allow the post-abortive to see the love, hope and healing power of Jesus Christ.  When the hurting have walked through the healing process, they then can speak out, impassioned to take their message of pain and healing to the world around them, perpetuating the truth of the harmfulness of abortion and the healing found only in Jesus.

LifeNews Note: Debby Efurd is Director of Post-Abortion Support for Involved for Life, Inc., Dallas, Texas (Downtown Pregnancy Center, Uptown Women’s Center, Sonograms-On-Site), leading post-abortion Bible studies and facilitator training.

Rush Limbaugh: Abortion is at the Heart of Society’s Ills by Calvin Freilburger

abortion-060109-main-425x282Rush Limbaugh: Abortion is at the Heart of Society’s Ills

by Calvin Freiburger

On his radio show Friday, Rush Limbaugh delivered a powerful monologue (transcriptvideo) asserting that in addition to its innate monstrousness, abortion is “at the root of our cultural decay” as a nation, its impact stretching from respect for life and personal responsibility to crime, immigration, and the economy:

If you use the popularly accepted figure of 1.3 million abortions a year, go back to Roe vs. Wade 1973, 52 million taxpayers haven’t been born, is the way Washington looks at it. They don’t look at it morally. They don’t look at it in any kind of cultural way or any kind of cultural impact. They just say we’re 52 million people short. We have 52 million fewer people paying taxes. We gotta replace ‘em. Hello amnesty. The Democrat Party needs a permanent underclass in order to keep themselves alive as Santa Claus, to keep winning elections and stay in power […]

I just want to tell you something. I really think that abortion is at the root — you could do a flowchart — I think abortion is at the root of so much that has and is going wrong in this country. I think that the number of abortions themselves, but what in toto it all means, culturally, in terms of the sanctity of life, how that’s crumbled, I think it’s almost at the root of everything. And if it’s not at the root of everything, it’s clearly had a profound impact on our culture, our society, and our politics, I think in ways that people don’t even stop to consider.

None of it good and it’s caused all kinds of horrible problems that nobody knows how to fix. Because they refuse to even accept that abortion is more than what it is. To most people, it’s just a woman’s right to choose, and it’s nobody’s business, and leave it alone and I don’t want to talk about it. But it’s really had much more impact on this country than just that. It’s had impact on crime. It’s had a profound impact on our politics. It is at the root of our cultural rot and decay. Continue reading

Christopher Dawson & Christendom by Bradley J. Birzer

Christopher Dawson & Christendom

Dawson books

by Bradley J. Birzer

The Christendom trilogy served as the last great work of English-Welsh historian and man of letters Christopher Dawson (1889-1970).  Sort of.  The trilogy derived, originally, from lectures Dawson had delivered while teaching at Harvard University between 1958 and 1962. As desired, the Christendom trilogy would consist of The Formation of Christendom (1967); The Dividing of Christendom (1965); and The Return to Christian Unity. (1)  In the broad, each volume represented one of three great periods of the Christian world: the ancient-medieval nexus; the Reformation and Counter Reformation; and the Church in the age of democracy, nationalisms, and ideologies.

(We hope you will read this excellent essay by TIC co-founder Bradley Birzer on Christopher Dawson. The complete essay can be found here on The Catholic World Report.)

Books mentioned in or related to this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Essays by Dr. Birzer may be found here.

Dr. Bradley J. Birzer is co-founder of The Imaginative Conservative and a Senior Contributor. He is the author of Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher DawsonJ.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth, and American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll. He is also author of The Humane Republic: The Imagination of Russell Kirk (forthcoming, University Press of Kentucky). Dr. Birzer also teaches Catholics in the Public Square  for Catholic Courses. This essay appears in full onThe Catholic Word Report and is linked here with the permission of the author.

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