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I can assure you, there will be no such rush to canonize Pope Benedict XVI. Just as there is no such rush for Pius XII, Leo XIII, or many other very saintly popes.
In point of fact, between Pius V and Pius X, no popes were canonized. That is a period of nearly 400 years. There have only been a handful canonized in the past several hundred years. So, were popes of the past just not very holy compared to the great saints we have been blessed with in since the 1960s? Or is there something else afoot?
What am I going on about? It is being reported that Paul VI will be beatified this fall, with a canonization likely to follow shortly thereafter:
Paul VI will be beatified in 2014, probably October 19, at the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops. This was revealed by the weekly religious periodical of St. Paul Believe in the number that will be on sale from April 30, May 5, explaining that the Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will meet to confirm the miracle attributed to his intercession. And soon after, the Prefect Angelo Amato will travel by Francis to receive his assent to the enactment of the Decree.
Patrick Archbold at CMR had this to say:
Nothing against Pope Paul VI, but why don’t they just canonize Vatican II and get it over with?
I’m biting my tongue, really hard.
I must agree, it feels like even the canonization process is being politicized. It is also very strange that now being elected pope by itself seem like it is being put forth as a near guarantee of saintliness. But what is forgotten is that the papacy is also a role of immense responsibility. Prior to the 1980s, popes were held up to a severe standard when it came to consideration for canonization. Their public role figured hugely in the process, not just their “personal holiness.” That has been swept away, apparently, along with so much else.
Some brave pope needs to reinstate the devil’s advocate role and the requirement for a second miracle. I will not hold my breath.
This process seems rather out of control. So much seems out of control, at present. The pent up desires of that sad generation of “spirit of Vatican II” types are all being foisted on the Church in one great, mad rush. I guess to cram in all they can in the few short years they have.
Ite ad Joseph…….Go to Joseph! April 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Good St. Joseph, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Stealing from the latest Catholic newspaper cover article, an exegesis on St. Joseph by the great Moral Doctor St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori:
Go then to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you; Go to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him; Go to Joseph, and speak to him as they spoke to him; Go to Joseph, and consult him as they consulted him; Go to Joseph, and honor him as they honored him; Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as they were grateful to him; Go to Joseph, and love him , as they love him still.
God, because of the great love He bears us, and His great desire to see us saved, has given us among other means of salvation the practice of devotion to the Saints. It is His Will that they, who are His friends, should intercede for us, and by their merits and prayers obtain graces for us which we ourselves do not deserve. [Isn't that such a generous, wonderful gift?!? Poor protestants, hating Saints and their intercession, don't they know that without them they hardly stand a chance?] But everyone must know that after the Mother of God, St. Joseph is, of all the Saints, the one dearest to God. He has, therefore, great power with Him and can obtain graces for His devout clients.
The two disciples, going up to Emmaus (St. Luke XXIV:13-31), were inflamed with Divine Love by the few moments which they spent in company with our Savior, and by His words. What flames of holy love must not, then, have been enkindled in the heart of St. Joseph, who for 30 years conversed with Jesus Christ, and listened to His words of eternal life; who observed the perfect example which Jesus gave of humility and patience, and saw the promptness with which He obeyed and helped him in his labors, and all that was needed for the household!
Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honored him during their life, and they do so for three reasons: First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint. Second, because St. Joseph has obtained special powers against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigor at the hour of death. [St. Joseph is a very powerful Saint in spiritual warfare. Very powerful] Third, the assistance given St. Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death he will not only help them, but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary. We should, indeed, honor St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honor him by calling him father. The Holy Scriptures speak of him as the father of Jesus. “His father and mother were marveling at the things spoken concerning Him (St. Luke II:33). Mary also used this name: “in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee” (St. Luke II:48). If, then, the King of Kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavor to honor him as much as we can.
I can personally attest what a powerful intercessor good Saint Joseph can be. He has helped me tremendously in the past, and continues to do so today. Saint Joseph played a very big role in my catching fire in the Faith, and has helped me to overcome some of my worst attachments. Rely on him for many intercessions!
And become Saint Joseph’s friend. He is a very good friend. Talk to him. He will talk back. You may be surprised. He really likes to help fathers. That is his mission.
So much pro-life progress is being made at the state level. In over 30 states, restrictions of one form or another on abortion have been passed in the last 3 years.
Mississippi has just passed one of the most restrictive limitations, banning abortions beyond 18 weeks gestation with only a few exceptions (which, I pray, are stringently enforced):
Mississippi has passed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws after Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill banning most abortions at 18 weeks’ gestation, or 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period.
House Bill 1400, which will take effect on July 1, allows an abortion if a woman would likely die or face permanent injury as a result of the pregnancy. [The devil is in the details here. Currently, these "life of the mother" exceptions are loosely interpreted to mean a "chance" of post-partum depression (every woman has a chance of that, more or less), a vague chance of some problem during child-birth, etc., to give almost carte blanche to those seeking abortions. All you have to do is find a crooked doctor or two who will sign a form saying your abortion is medically necessary, and not only can you get it, but you can often get the state to pay for it under Medicaid. I hear of this all the time] It also has an exception for when an unborn baby has severe abnormalities, but no rape or incest exceptions.
Bryant, who has said he wants to ban all abortions in his state, signed the bill into law on Wednesday despite heavy criticism from Democrats and abortion providers. One of those critics, Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup, said that “it’s time for these politicians to stop passing laws that attack constitutionally protected women’s health care and finally focus on policies that would support the health, lives and rights of Mississippi women and families.”
Uff da I am so sick of pro-aborts and their satanic language. Abortion is not synonymous with “women’s health care,” and I’m sick of hearing that it is! Abortion is actually a grave threat to women! Many women are wrecked for life as a result of their abortion. But since the entire sexular pagan philosophy of sexual degridation requires abortion as a backstop, it is the vital pillar supporting their entire worldview. It is the non-negotiable requirement for everything else. Thus, the reduction of “health care” to abortion.
The 5th Circuit has upheld Texas’ 20 week ban. Mississippi’s will be upheld, too. But the leftist 9th Circuit overturned Arizona’s 20 week limit, so we now have competing decisions. It will go to the Supreme Court, where anything can happen, determined only by what, ahem, Catholic Anthony Kennedy’s magic coin says that day.
I should have noted previously, but I’ll insert it here real quick, that omnibus pro-abort bill in Colorado that I blogged on before Easter? It failed, and massively. That was the most strident pro-abort legislation proposed in a very long time. I am gratified it failed. But we are seeing a growing division in the country, between around 15 states where abortion is enshrined as an inalienable right (the usual suspects, NY, CA, MA, NJ, etc), and about 30 where restrictions on abortion are growing ever tighter. Numerous southern and Great Plains states are moving to all but ban abortion.
And then there are battleground states like CO and NV where there are both significant pro-life and anti-life forces.
Much work remains. My gut says the Supreme Court will uphold these late-term limitations. But it’s a crap shoot. One never knows how these things will turn out.
Keep praying! And keep working to defend life!
Traditional Catholicism breaking boundaries April 24, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Latin Mass, religious, Saints, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
Many readers probably know that the traditional practice of the Faith has largely been a secret outside those who are attracted to that practice. Even the vast majority of Church-going Catholics (let alone those who call themselves Catholic, but are not, in any practical sense of the term) have no idea that the TLM is still available, for instance. Or they may know, but have no idea that it is available near them. That was certainly my case up until a few years ago.
But in some respects, Tradition is breaking out. Many are probably aware of the Economist article from last year on the TLM and traditional practice of the Faith, and the secular Breitbart site had some coverage just a few weeks ago.
I was surprised, however, when at dinner the other night a Baptist co-worker, a good guy in many respects, told me about these nuns he had seen on CBS Sunday Morning on Easter. He asked if I had ever heard of them, these nuns who made albums and who had been at the top of the Billboard Classical chart for most of the past few years. I told him indeed I had heard of them, and I shared with the group at dinner the incredible history not just of the order, but of their foundress, Mother Wilhelmina.
I am referring, of course, to the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Regarding Mother Wilhelmina, I only just learned in their most recent newsletter that she was 90 years old, has been a nun for 70 of those years, and that she founded the Benedictines in 1995 at the age of 71. That’s very bold, and such an indicator of faith in God! I had no idea she was so advanced in years. Sr. Wilhelmina had been part of a teaching order that sadly, like so many others, lost its way after Vatican II and basically disintegrated. She was one of the few who still wore a habit, and decided she wanted to get back to a traditional practice of religious life. So, over the age of 70, she started a new order. And how has her faithfulness been blessed!
It is so gratifying to see a true witness to religious life escape the bounds of the traditional community and share its glory with this fallen world! People know authenticity when they see it. They don’t see authentic nuns in pant-suited feminist culture warriors. But they know they see the real deal in these nuns. My baptist friend was very impressed. Maybe, just maybe, those nuns planted a seed in his heart. If not his, I’m sure they did in some of the others who saw that segment.
The good Benedictines can always use your support here.
Bishop Finn is so close to this order, it’s like his home away from home. That says a great deal about him.
And, yes, I know Rorate just covered this, and it’s been on CMR, but because of my conversation with my co-worker I had planned on getting to this, anyway.
“…..suckers!”…said the lesbian threesome that just got “married” in a wiccan ceremony in Massachusetts.
And even more wonderfully, you and I and other taxpayers and insurance holders got to help pay for the in vitro fertilization one of the threesome received so they could have a child! That goes along with state funded hormone therapy being provided even to those who are way under 18 in many state institutions, or simply under Medicaid.
The slippery slope has turned into a steep vertical fall, straight into hell:
The world’s only ‘married’ lesbian threesome are expecting their first child.
Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July.Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children — one for each of them.
The plan at the moment is that Kitten will bear all the children — possibly using her wives’ eggs and donated sperm — but they are open to other options, such as adoption. [People have forgotten about God. This is a Frankenstein's monster]
Brynn, 34, says: ‘The hope is to have three kids altogether. We always joke that the children should never outnumber the parents.’
Doll, Kitten and Brynn Young married in a ceremony in August 2013, when each of their fathers walked them down the aisle. All three women wore white wedding gowns and exchanged rings.
The so-called ‘throuple’ worked with a specialist family lawyer who drew up the paperwork and drafted the ceremony so that all three of them were obligated and bound to each other .
While Brynn and Kitten are legally married, Doll is handfasted [that is an anti-Christian, wiccan ceremony] to both so the threesome are as equally married to each other as legally possible.
This whole deal of sapphic (or sodomite) couples/groups having children is really taking the feminist “you can have it all” mentality to the n-th degree, isn’t it? I mean, by embracing the “homosexual” lifestyle you’ve chosen to be sterile, haven’t you? And yet so many of these folks almost seem to have a compulsion to have kids. The better to insure there are more like them in the future? The data shows, children raised in a lesbian environment have the worst outcomes of all (especially boys, whose childhood could best be described as traumatic).
Folks, it will be a diabolical miracle if this “relationship” lasts more than a couple of years. These pairings/groupings tend to be extremely unstable. I read somewhere, I can’t recall where, that the average lesbian “marriage” in Massachusetts, which has had such marriages the longest, lasts 3 years. Throw in a third person, and you have even more instability. It is just a mockery.
The strange names, the wicca……..these are not well people. That they are attention hounds, I have no doubt. Once the attention wears away, it’s likely some or all of the group will break up. And then there will be a single woman with a highly checkered sexual history with a child left to pick up the pieces. Will the aggrieved exes in this case pursue “alimony” and child support against the primary bread-winner in cases like this?
Which brings up another point – one reason why these folks push so very hard for state recognition of their unions is to gain the benefits that legally come from that recognition. Some of the more extreme advocates, in moments of candor, have written about how great it will be for very loose groups of individuals who form a polyamorist “union” to latch onto one or two breadwinners/benefit-providers in the group, and have 2 or 3 or 5 or 8 people getting medical insurance, tax breaks, etc., for being “married” to one or two gainfully employed individuals. The giddiness which surrounded these admissions seemed to indicate this may be no small driving factor in the drive for the further devolution of the state’s view of “marriage.”
At any rate, we knew it would not be long. And as those of us with eyes to see have prognosticated for a long time, kids will be next. There are already efforts underway from those who have pushed for sodo-marriage to drive the age of consent way down, even to 12 or 14.
And that’s the point. There is no bottom to this slippery slope. There is no limit to the evil to which people will stoop when they deliberately reject not only God but the natural law through the conduct of their lives. This culture is pointed in a truly hellish direction. And, as usual, the ones who suffer the most will be the kids. That has been the case ever since this diabolical sexual revolution was unleashed on the world starting several decades ago.
I just don’t know what is staying God’s righteous wrath at this point. But when the chastisement comes……ho boy, we had better all be prepared, it is not going to be pretty.
Yikes? I know Fr. Z and others are trying to caution, and rightly so,
that this is an unconfirmed story (parts are confirmed, see below), that even if true, this is a private conversation and not a doctrinal statement, and that we don’t know all the details. All Mostly true, but nonetheless, this story fits a pattern of established behavior and also seems to align with public sentiments expressed by Francis elsewhere, so that discounting it as totally implausible seems a bit rash:
Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman’s husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law. [It's not just Catholic Dogma, it's rather straight from Christ Himself]
Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope’s home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.
Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament. [Yes, because since he is still married to his first spouse, she is committing adultery with a married man. Plus, this couple was only ever civilly married]
“She spoke with the Pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate. [Dear Lord, I hope not. What, Confession over the phone now? Was Pope Francis wearing a stole for the call? This part seems unlikely. But keep reading, there is more.]
A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation’s content.
“It’s between the Pope and the woman,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.
Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. “The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls.” [This from the same man that lauds a manifest heretic in disgraced, laicized Gregory Baum. We're making progress? None of this is a denial of the tenor or crux of the call. Rosica may not personally know, or he could, and is simply trying to defuse the matter. But none of the above is even a slight denial, in fact, it leads one to surmise that the conversation did take place and that the general gist of it is not being wildly misconstrued.]
Pope Francis and other top Vatican leaders have said the issue will be discussed at a gathering of bishops from around the world in October. The Pope was not pre-empting that debate, according to Rosica.
“To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect,” he said. “The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex.” [Yes yes, and that's the selling point of the whole Kasperite movement, isn't it? That these cases are just too darned complex to be governed by some statement from the Christ or 2000 years of Church practice?]
The most detailed coverage I’ve found is here.
Wow. More than wow………this is enough to make one catatonic and/or apoplectic. Or both at the same time.
A provocative thought from Bones:
Clearly, whatever the truth of the matter, someone is doing this undermining of the Magisterium and the Papacy on purpose. The question remains whether that person is one of the Pope’s enemies, or one of his friends, or the Pope himself.
Maybe. There are some odd bits to this report. The pretended Confession, already noted. And the Argentine divorced and remarried man reported that the Pope insisted on calling himself Father Bergoglio – almost a schizophrenic gesture, if true, as no pope can ever be a private priest again. But the scary part is the pope has plainly shown he has at least some sympathy for Cardinal Kasper’s novel approach on bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament, and we know he loves phone calls, so the key claim in this report is not like some bolt out of the blue. There is some possible corroboration in other recent events/statements.
I know some folks are just not going to accept this as remotely valid. Others are going to be certain it is. My advice for both is to pray like mad and gird your loins. If this report is true, which may be a big if, but if, it redounds on us all the more to pray for this pope and the entire Church and world. I have made this upcoming Synod on Marriage and the Family a very big part of my intentions for the Rosary and other prayers, I have been offering a perpetual Novena for the Pope and his sanctification, but I will redouble my efforts in both regards.
I had a funny in here regarding Michael Voris, but I took it out. I was just trying to laugh amidst our trials.
Almost 40% of women who seek abortions are victims of abuse April 23, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
That data according to a post at Jill Stanek’s site. That post also contains data from the UK that says over 1/3 of women there who seek abortions have suffered physical violence from their partner, while Canadian data quoted shows that women who seek abortions are 3 to 4 times more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse than those who do not.
I am bringing this up, not just because it is pertinent information for all pro-lifers and especially sidewalk counselors to keep in their back pocket, but because of a woman my wife and others attempted to counsel outside the abortion mill this past Holy Thursday.
She was a young girl, kind of plain. She was the kind of girl you could tell she didn’t think much of herself. In fact, it was difficult to discern what this girl thought of anything, save for what her boyfriend told her to do.
She did not want to be there. She did not want an abortion. She was very embarrassed. When my wife would try to talk to her, she would repeat, like a mantra……”my boyfriend, my boyfriend, my boyfriend…..” He wanted the abortion. He put her up to this, with promises that everything would be “normal” and good again after she got this abortion. There were some very gentle efforts made to make this girl understand that abortion almost always ends a relationship like this, but she wasn’t hearing that, or anything else. So she’ll be emotionally scarred, her relationship (such as it is) will end, and she’ll have a dead baby to show for it. And her self-esteem will take another huge hit.
How many girls this guy has on a string like this, who knows? We didn’t really get to interact with him, though we saw him, briefly.
Whether he beats her, or ever has, who knows? I don’t think there were any visible signs. A woman doesn’t have to be a punching bag to be utterly dominated by a man. It seems like such should be rare today, but it isn’t. Sometimes those guys are obviously belligerent, even in public. Sometimes they’re not. It’s really hard to tell.
I think that was part of the reason I felt such powerful demonic oppression outside the mill this last week. For some reason, there were more boyfriends/significant others escorting their women to the mills this time, and they were all, to a man (save for one) just as hostile as all get out. I got the strong impression a couple of times the guys were there to make sure the job got done. I overheard one man complain something about the girl “flaking out” to his buddy (abortion as the new male bonding experience), and that he was there to make sure she went through with it this time.
Regardless of whether there is actual physical violence, that a lot of these women are coerced is a known fact. Since Routh St. is now so busy, women are having to park a couple blocks away to walk in, so you as a counselor get to see them up close and personal for way more time than usual. Such strange faces, brazen mixed with sullen with great sadness and a shade of panic thrown in.
Baaah, it’s all so sordid and evil. I’m glad my mom got to see it all, that was her first time at a mill. She said she’s going to try to move the pro-life ball forward at her Anglican church as a result of her experience. I hope so. That’s going to be a delicate task, there are almost certainly some pretty strong pro-aborts at her church.
Corpus Christi Watershed keeps churning out the gold April 23, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
The good folks at Corpus Christi Watershed have turned out a number of remarkable products of late. Their Sunday Missal for the TLM is beautiful, if a bit heavy. Rorate noted that shortly before Easter, Corpus Christi Watershed scanned in the entirety of two children’s books for the Mass, one by Msgr. Ronald Knox and one by Fr.Demetrius Manousos.
Since then, Corpus Christi Watershed has also released a full .pdf scan of the Fulton J. Sheen 1961 Missal. This contains a number of interesting features, including a descriptions of the priest’s dressing, numerous prayers for before and after Mass, and the complete text of prayers and responses for certain feasts all in line with each other, so you don’t have to flip back and forth in the book. The format of this Missal is not exactly to my taste, but it is very usable and it is wonderful to resurrect, so to speak, these liturgical treasures from the pre-conciliar period.
Finally – and this one may not be to the interest of many readers, but it is significant nonetheless – Corpus Christi Watershed has produced a companion book for their TLM Sunday Missal for the Ordinary Form. This book is also in Latin and English side by side, and incorporates many more traditional hymns and Gregorian Chant settings for the Novus Ordo Mass. It also contains similar beautiful artwork as is found in their TLM Missal.
I think this last effort is a noble one, but I do wonder how much demand there will be for such a reverent, traditional Missal in the Novus Ordo setting. There are actually far fewer Novus Ordo Latin Masses in this country and around the world than there are TLMs. But there are quite a few people who attend regular Novus Ordo’s who might appreciate a Latin-English Missal as well as the impressive artwork. So maybe it will catch on, though I tend to agree with Rorate, Dom Mark Kirby, and many others that the Reform of the Reform will only be realized through mass, ahem, re-adoption of the TLM.
It will be interesting to see if this Novus Ordo Missal gets much traction. That could be revealing, one way or another, since the liturgical winds over the past year seem to be blowing in a very different direction from the period 2005-2013.
Here is a video about this new Missal:
Why are the Orthodox so hard to convert? April 23, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, sadness, scandals, secularism.
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Alright, I’m just ripping stuff off from the CSsR’s like crazy (this from their Youtube channel), but here’s a video that’s been around for a while, but I think it still makes an excellent point:
Uff da……..pseudo women deacons! My stomach turned when I saw that.
- No, this is not a fair comparison. It’s comparing the highest of high Masses in the Orthodox Rite to one of the lowest of low Novus Ordos you can find. A better comparison would be to what goes on at St. Peter’s, where the differences would not be so enormous.
- Not all Orthodox Masses are so glorious. Modernism and habits similar to low-church trends in the Church have crept into many Orthodox Masses.
- Even though the Orthodox Rite is often glorious and very moving, attendance rates in most countries – including the US – are as low as the worst Catholic countries like France and The Netherlands
- Still, having such glorious Masses anywhere, at anytime, can cover a multitude of sins. Perhaps the vast liturgical divide between top-end or even average Orthodox practice and average Catholic practice plays a role in the difficulty in converting Orthodox
- a Solemn High Mass according to the 1962 Missal is more than an equivalent to its Orthodox counterpart, if more austere in certain respects:
A chilling report on persecution in Pakistan April 23, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, disaster, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, sadness, shocking, sickness, Society.
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Do I even have to say who is being persecuted, and who is doing the persecuting? I thought not.
A highly disconcerting report on the plight of Christians in Pakistan, where a drunken charge of “blasphemy” against the false prophet Mohammad can lead to a mass pogrom against Christians with burning, looting, and other associated acts of violence. Told by a Pakistani Catholic who is from nearby and saw the after-effects of this violence:
Growing up as a member of the Christian minority in Pakistan, I have often observed how the laws provide inadequate protection for our community, and those inadequacies have dramatically increased. Another incident of vandalism and madness against Christians over allegations of blasphemy has resulted in the burning of houses and more injured innocents. The list of persecutions against minorities in Pakistan is endless and horrible, as I have often witnessed first hand.
One such ruthless incident happened in Joseph Colony, a Christian enclave southwest of Lahore, where a mob set fire to hundreds of homes and two churches on March 9 last year after rumors spread that a young Christian had insulted the Prophet Mohammed. Police officer Multan Khan said the incident started on a Friday when a young Muslim man accused Sawan Masih of committing blasphemy.
Sawan was booked under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, though it appeared that he had been falsely accused. Police were forced to register a case to placate the mob, a local police official said at the time.
Shortly after his arrest and detention in an undisclosed location, a mob of almost 3,000 people quickly descended on Joseph Colony – led by a barber named Shafiq Ahmed (a close friend of Sawan affectionately known as Bubby) – in search of the alleged blasphemer.
The mob pelted Sawan’s home with rocks before setting it on fire, and then they attacked other homes. Residents, including numerous women and children, abandoned their homes and possessions and fled for their lives. By the time the mob finished its ruthless work, two churches and nearly 200 homes were reduced to ashes.
After hearing about the attack, I made my way with several friends to Joseph Colony near my home. When we entered the day after the attack, I was shocked to see the level of devastation. The sorrow and deprivation was so prominent in that atmosphere that anyone’s heart would have broken to pieces. My eyes filled with tears as I walked through the destruction.
Ashes clung to my clothing. Women, young girls and children sat in the streets mourning their loss – they lost everything from their life savings and homes to all of their everyday utensils, vehicles, everything.
Also among the ruins lay the dreams of parents for their young daughters as looters made off with dowries of jewelry and money saved over many years.
Consumed with rage over alleged disrespect for the Prophet Muhammad, the mob desecrated the sanctity of two Christian churches, burned Bibles and tore up religious books.
There is much more at the link. The Pakistani author of the report continues to hold out hope that the government there will finally start to protect the interests and lives of its Christian minority, but I would not hold my breath over that. Pakistan is 95% muslim and only 1.6% Christian, so the government has typically turned a blind eye to the brutal persecution of such a small minority. Hindus tend to fare better in Pakistan, because they have a powerful advocate just to the east that has twice handily defeated Pakistan in armed conflict and is even better equipped to do so today. The Indian military is a large, well trained, fairly well equipped, and exceedingly disciplined force. Our guys have a lot of respect for them. The Pakistanis, not so much.
As hard as it must be to take – and I have no idea, I can only imagine – this is truly a situation where blessed are the persecuted. If Pakistani Catholics remain faithful and do not resort to violence themselves, enormous fruit will, I pray, result from this persecution. I pray for the hardiness in faith of these poor suffering Christians. May God have mercy on them and support them in all their trials.
The last 100 or so years have seen more blood shed of Christians, for their faith, than any time in modern history, certainly, and possibly any time ever. The past few years have been as bad as any time since WWII for Christians (the Nazis killed far more Christians than they did Jews, both in targeted campaigns, and incidentally). There are persecutions going on all over the world, from pagan sexularist governments in places like Canada to the eternal foe of Christians in islam. May God be merciful and respond to this great flood of martyr’s blood to restore His Church and convert millions of souls around the world!