Saturday, April 22, 2017

Answers to anti Catholic questions



"There are likely less than one hundred people who hate the Catholic church but thousands who hate what they wrongly THINK is the Catholic church" (Fulton Sheen)

Since there has been a rash of anti Catholicism on social media lately, here are some answers to the usual allegations:

To answer the question, first: about a man wearing women's clothing, (the anti Catholic referred to the Pope's robes). The "Dalmatic" (robe) worn by the Pope is similar to the garment that Jesus wore.  In looking at the profile photo of the anti-Catholic, I noticed he wears a unisex hairdo... I think it's rather hypocritical that his hair is worn in a hairdo which I have mostly seen in women, when he criticized others for "women's clothing", referring to ecclesiastical robes, beating us with a Bible verse quoted out of context. (Deut 22:5) Answers to other questions:
1. Pedophile priests? Fact, less than one percent of Catholic priests have been accused of sexual misbehavior and less than that, convicted. Compare to the 10% of Protestant/Evangelical leaders accused and the 20% of public school teachers accused.  These are govt statistics... which can easily be looked up on the internet. But keep in mind, the church is NOT a haven for the perfect but a hospital for sinners. A perfect church with perfect people, would have no place for any of us in it.
2. Catholics do not pray to Mary...they ask Mary to pray to Jesus for us, like we ask our fellow Christians to pray for us.  If you believe in Christianity, you should believe that Christians who departed from this life before us, are in Heaven (as Jesus promised) and certainly CAN pray for us here on earth but there are several places in the Bible which affirm the practice of intercessory prayer.
3. The Rosary is a meditative prayer which uses Mary the mother of Jesus, like a prayer partner in order for us to LISTEN to GOD rather than the Evangelical way people pray of talking to God and not listening.  There are many Protestants who pray the Rosary also. This, you would need to study to understand it and how to do it.
4. Actually, you can get extremist about symbols...the early church incorporated many pagan symbols, Christianizing them.  For example, if anyone who has a Christmas tree at Christmastime, is using a pagan symbol. Trees like that were decorated for a pagan feast called Saturnalia.  That issue is handled in several places in the New Testament, for example "It's not what GOES IN TO THE MOUTH which is evil but what comes out." (for one, Matt 15:11)
5. The present Pope saying he felt he was not one to judge homosexuals or same sex attraction was being true to what Jesus told us (rather emphatically) to not judge, like in Luke for example: "Luke 6:42 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye." Catholics do not believe in sex outside of marriage and less than 25% of Catholics can indulge in sex without committing sin.  Must be in a Sacramental marriage, must not be using birth control and must be male and female.  The rest are expected to observe chastity.  I personally know a Catholic who left the church so she could co-habit with her boyfriend.
6. The pope is never worshiped - he's just the leader of the Catholic church and respected as such because the lineage, religiously, can be traced back to St Peter to whom Jesus gave the "Keys of the Kingdom". Also see John 20:22 ff: "And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit.Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." or also in Matthew 5...
6. The Catholic worship service which we call "the Mass" from the Latin "Missa", can be found almost the same as it is celebrated today, in the writings of Justin the Martyr, who lived around 150 AD.  It includes over 30 minutes of Bible reading.

Well, you are perfectly welcome to quote this in case an anti Catholic comes at you, beating his/her Bible but keep in mind that ignorant people may not read through all of this because typically, ignorant people have poor reading skills.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Long Island Medium - what is happening here?



Teresa Caputo is a charming, good looking gal  in her 40's or so who calls herself "the Long Island Medium", obviously referring to where she lives in NY state and what she does for a living.  From her description at the beginning of each show, she says she's basically a Long Island housewife except for one thing...she "talks to dead people."

Doing some research, I find either people are totally skeptical or total believers that she is actually talking to dead people, neither of which I feel to be the proper explanation .

As Teresa states, she is an active Catholic,  therefore there is a problem to this paradigm ... Catholics believe that people, after they die, are basically not available to people on earth, except by a special permission from God for an isolated incidence. They either go to h-ll or to Heaven (purgatory, where final purification takes place, is a "room" in Heaven) and can not be contacted at will by humans on earth.

So who are these spirits Teresa is contacting? Some say they could be demons or "fallen angels" who seem to hang around the earth and might be mimicking love ones, but there is likely,  another explanation not quite so sinister.

It could simply be that Teresa is an extraordinarily talented mind reader, to the extent that if she concentrates, she can read the thoughts of people she is with, which she, herself, may be mistaking for the thoughts of the deceased. Obviously, if the clients are in mourning for a loved one, many of their thoughts would be concerned with remembering the person, especially if they are with a Medium and have hopes of their deceased loved ones coming  through. Teresa also gives consoling advice to her clients which appears to help them to better, cope with their loss.  Some of the advice she gives, is general advice which works for many of those in mourning.  For example, if the deceased could talk to the living, he/she would likely want the relatives to move on and enjoy life as best as they could do.

After watching several seasons of this show, I tend to think the telepathy theory explains it. We all have the ability to do that and exhibit it from time to time like for example, when you and a close friend or loved one come up with the same thought at the same time, but it makes sense that there are folks who are extraordinarily talented and practiced in this discipline and Teresa may well be one of the telepathy talented people.

She couldn't be reading with Discernment of the Holy Spirit, the Gift of soul reading such as St Pio and St Andre Besette had,  as God does not allow a person with this Charismata of the Holy Spirit, to get money for readings. I observed that, as a friend of mine who has Discernment of Spirits, found out when he tried to read at psychic fairs.  Because his readings were very accurate, he was wildly successful however, the Holy Spirit let him know that reading for pay, was, in his case, a sin against the Holy Spirit, and it took him some years of study to find out why God had such a problem with him reading at fairs when God seemed to have no problems with folks like Teresa Caputo. Also with Discernment, a person who can soul read may see plenty of negative things the person being read would rather not disclose, thus not providing the entertainment factor people seek when they approach a medium.

Bottom line, Teresa is likely, not committing sin and seems to help many of her clients, so no harm being done and maybe even some good things are happening. In addition, her talent seems a good source of income, helpful, especially since her hubby is somewhat disabled.  (One article stated her net worth in 2013 as 2.5 million bucks and her pay for each season of the TV show as $400,000.00)

  And the show is entertaining enough to be one of the more popular shows on TLC. People, seeking a proof of the afterlife, watch the show avidly.  

"Long Island Medium" is well filmed with nice scenes of Long Island, and the Caputos who appear to be a loving family.  Additionally, Teresa's readings are often as interesting as the clients being read. In case you are wondering, I number myself among the avid fans of this show!  It airs on TLC...check your local listings! (photo is house in NY where Caputo spent her childhood)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Abortion and Down's Syndrome



Here is one of my favorite stories, a true one told by an Austrian Doctor:

On a cold morning in Austria, only two babies were born in a certain hospital. One was physically perfect, a little boy - bright and strong.  The other, a little girl might not have made it to birth in our times - she was a Downs Syndrome baby.

When the two grew up, the little girl lived with her parents, worked to help support them and took care of them in their old age.

The little boy grew up to be Adolph Hitler.

In our times, the little girl would have likely died before birth or soon after, as most Downs Syndrome babies are either aborted or 'euthanized' after birth through starvation. Indeed, the baby whose death witnessed by Patricia Shafer, a pro choice nurse working for Dr Haskell, spurred the nurse on to Congress to testify against the cruel partial birth abortion, this little girl was a Downs Syndrome being aborted in late term pregnancy.

In retrospect though, in considering the story above, a true one told by a doctor who delivered the babies, which baby added to the world, the Downs Syndrome or Hitler?  And if one chose a baby to abort, which would have been the better choice?

A strong witness for the fact that no one can make a 'good' choice of death for another as well as a strong proof of the fact that being mentally challenged is of little consequence when judging 'human worth' or contribution to society.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Yorker anti Trump article misses the mark




Tony Schwartz, a writer, was allowed by "the Donald" to shadow him for 18 months, after which he wrote, an apparently positive book about Mr Trump called "The Art of the Deal". Trump, according to the New Yorker Magazine's feature story, allowed Schwartz a byline on the book, half the $500,000 advance and half the royalties on the book.

And the first error in the New Yorker article, is calling Schwartz a "ghost writer" of this Trump biography... If he was given a byline in the authorship of the book, and half the royalties and cash advance, he's a co-author - hardly a ghost writer.

But the dis-information of the New Yorker article was just beginning. Following are quotes from the article, allegations from Mr Schwartz, which actually are non issues...

1...."Trump  prefers TV as news source"...all the presidents and busy people do that, in addition to the American public.

2... "Short attention span"... He's probably doing a lot of multi level processing and has what Dr Ted Hallowell calls a "race car brain" which appears as a short attention span. Dr Hallowell says another name for this, is "a dose of American life"

3. "Trump hasn't read a book straight through his adult life"... Schwartz based this allegation on seeing no books on Trump's desk however, truth be known, many highly intelligent, but busy people, read audio books or read on the computer... 

Next Schwartz points out that Trump was incorrect in quoting a book title.  Being incorrect in a book title is a common error, especially for a very busy person.  I keep a database of books I read - if I didn't, I would find it difficult to remember titles and authors and I read A LOT.

Bottom line is, Schwartz makes a lot of baseless allegations and also, clearly doesn't understand what it takes to run big business like Trump does... And we should remember the fact that if Trump allowed Schwartz  to shadow Trump, to camp out in Trump's office and to ride with Trump in his helicopter, that suggests Trump had nothing to hide which is impressive.

In the article, Mr Schwartz admitted to not being honest in the book ... However, considering that, I cannot help wondering if Schwartz is being honest now?  How would we tell, WHEN Schwartz is being truthful?

Next, Schwartz accuses "The Donald" of displaying "insatiable hunger for money, praise and celebrity"  but again, this would describe MOST Americans.

And Schwartz quotes Trump as saying, that it is "Possible that the president was born in Africa" (referring to Barack Obama) - well, from what I have read...he was born in Africa - for example, read Obama's book, DREAMS of MY FATHER ... he's natural American because he was born to an American mother.

Donald Trump was angry because Schwartz spoke out negatively about him   - well, who wouldn't be angry - Schwartz a life long liberal, has an agenda - Trump trusted Schwartz, split the royalties and advance for the book with Schwartz and now, Schwartz basically has turned on him.  The term, "Ethically challenged", describing Tony Schwartz' actions, comes to mind to say the least.

If the article was trying to prove what a "sociopath" (Schwartz's allegation) Trump is, it failed miserably.  Schwartz did NOT, in any shape or form, prove his allegations and actually, Trump comes out looking like kind of a nice guy... 

Democratic Platform supports unrestricted - tax payer funded abortions



Abortion and euthanasia "stand alone" "among the evils and injustices in American life in 2016"  (Archbishop Gomez in the LA Diocesan Newspaper, June 2016) The Archbishop went on to say: "The hard truth is that not all injustices in the world are ‘equal..."

Ironically, the Platform accepted by the Democratic party at the 2016 convention, advocates unrestricted abortions for all women as a form of Health care and supports tax payer funding of Planned Parenthood (which is highly profitable and yet, a huge percentage of our taxes presently funds this world-wide corporation) and other abortion facilities.  

Here are some quotes from the actual platform:

"We will appoint judges who defend the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, and will protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion,..." (Page 25)
"Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion-regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured."
"We believe that reproductive health is core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and wellbeing. We will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers, which provide critical health services to millions of people. We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment." (Page 37)
"In addition to expanding the availability of affordable family planning information and contraceptive supplies, we believe that safe abortion must be part of comprehensive maternal and women’s health care and included as part of America’s global health programming. Therefore, we support the repeal of harmful restrictions that obstruct women’s access to health care information and services, including the “global gag rule” and the Helms Amendment that bars American assistance to provide safe, legal abortion throughout the developing world."(page 46)


It should be noted that in recent years, Democrats have lost several seats in Congress and 11 governorships.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What does the Holy Spirit do, anyway?



So today is Pentecost and I, like your average, less than knowledgeable- Catholic, found myself wondering "What does the Holy Spirit really do, anyway?"  I prayed and found the answer on - where else - EWTN TV.  Here is a prayer to the Holy Spirit that St John Paul prayed daily... enjoy!

Oh Holy Spirit,
I ask You for the Gift of Wisdom, that I may know You and Your Divine Perfection better
...for the Gift of Understanding that I may understand better the mysteries of the Holy Faith
...for the gift of knowledge that I might be guided in life by the principles,of our Faith,
...for the gift of Counsel that I may seek and find your counsel in all things
...for the Gift of Fortitude to keep me inseparably with you undaunted by fear or worldly attachment
...for the gift of piety that I may always serve Your Majesty with a son's love
...for the gift of Fear of the Lord that I may dread sin which offends You, O my God
All these through Christ our Lord...Amen
(St Pope John Paul)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Out of Context?



I have a Bible calendar which provides verses daily.  It's generally very nice but today's verse confused me.  It was Luke 5:39: which reads "[And] no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'"

I kept looking at that, wondering what it meant.  Did it mean the old is better than the new and then, what old was it talking about?  

I finally researched it i.e. read it in context with a Bible Commentary.  Turns out in context, it was referring to the fact that 1. What Jesus preached wasn't a combination of the old and the new but something completely new and 2. People are not comfortable changing from the old to the new i.e. in this case which was following Jesus.

Most of the verses on the calendar one can read and get the meaning but in this case, the context said something very different from what the verse seemed to mean out of context.

Just another reason, reading the Bible in context is a good idea! :)