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)