It’s not “leftist” to help people in the slums or others in need. It’s Christ like!

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — On his first anniversary as pontiff Thursday, Pope Francis defended “slum priests” from the accusation their advocacy for the downtrodden reflects a different, leftist church that is remote from conservative Vatican values.

“The work of the priests in the slums of Buenos Aires is not ideological, it’s apostolic, and therefore forms part of the same church. Those who think that it’s another church don’t understand how they work in the slums. The important thing is the work,” Francis insisted in an interview made public Thursday.

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Editor’s note: Anyone who has ever personally worked with the poor and needy knows that there is no “litmus test” involved. You just “wade in” and render whatever assistance you can – keeping a sharp eye out for fakers, thieves, con artists, tin-horn politicians and other “leeches”- as you go.

That said, working with the poor gives no one license to preach heresy or otherwise denigrate the Catholic Church, her dogmas or her Sacred and Apostolic Tradition.

Knowing Enough History to Defend It: Catholic History and Apologetics

Vaticancrosslight

Catholics should be prepared with at least a brief reply to commonly cited events and issues in the Church’s two millennia past. In the words of Blessed John Henry Newman, we need to be Catholics “who know so much of history that (we) can defend it.” We might not be able to change someone’s mind when she asks us about why the Church was so mean to Galileo, but at least we can demonstrate that we know our history. If she’s not willing to listen to a dissertation-length explanation, a few points might help her understand better. The fact that we know may impress her, open the door to more friendly conversation, and grant an opportunity to witness the reason for our joy in being Catholic. This article offers some guidelines and hints for answering these historical questions.

One advantage any Catholic starts with when discussing our history is the position of the Catholic Church as a historic, unique institution. Our Founder entered human history at a definite place and time, established his Church upon St. Peter and the Apostles, and promised to protect and guide it until the end of time, when he returns. With the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to inspire it; yet he left imperfect humans to lead it as his representatives on earth. St. Peter had denied him thrice before his death on the cross; all but St. John had abandoned him during his Passion. Upon them, he founded the Church and gave them authority.

So the Church is distinctive among institutions in the history of mankind: it is human and yet divine; perfect, yet in need of reform; holy, yet made up of sinners; infallible, yet led by fallen, fallible humans. That’s a hard concept to express to someone outside the Church—sometimes it’s hard for us inside the Church to remember it.

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Photo selected especially for Cathy and Paul

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The Crusades – 101


Following his death, Muhammad’s successors–the caliphs–continued an aggressive campaign of expansion. In less than a century they had seized control–among other lands–of Syria, Palestine, and North Africa. Though today we are used to thinking of these lands as Muslim, at the time they were Christian. It has been said that the expanding Muslim empire consumed half of Christian civilization. Even Europe itself was threatened. Muslims seized control of southern Spain, invaded France, and were threatening to invade Rome itself when their advance was defeated by Charles Martel at the battle of Poitiers in 732.

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YOU Must Act Today to Stop Repeal of the Ban on Gays Openly Serving in the Military

Time is running out.

Tomorrow, May 27th, both the Senate and the House plan to vote on whether to repeal the long-standing statutory ban on homosexuals openly serving in the military. As a result of  the increased  pressure on the White house and Congress by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups, the vote is scheduled without first obtaining the planned Pentagon report due later in the year.

According to reports, Congressmen are being deluged with phone calls and mail to pressure them to repeal the ban.

Now it’s up to YOU! Please contact (phone or e-mail) the key senators listed below by tomorrow, May 27th. Let them know that you oppose repeal of the long-standing ban on gays openly serving in the military. Ask your family and friends to do the same.

Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia)         202-224-3954 (corrected #)
http://byrd.senate.gov//contacts/index.cfm?ID=54

Bill Nelson (Florida)                            202-224-5274
http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)                         202-224-5623
http://bayh.senate.gov/contact/email/

Jim Webb (D-Virginia)                        202-224-4024
http://webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts)             202-224-4543
http://scottbrown.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Susan M. Collins (R-Maine)                   202-224-2523
http://collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm?FuseAction=ContactSenatorCollins.email

All you have to say or write is:

Please oppose any attempt to repeal or place a moratorium on the longstanding ban on gays openly serving in the military. The purpose of our military is to prepare for and prevail in combat.  It is not a place to experiment with social engineering.”

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