I’m sorry, my elder brothers in faith, the Holocaust was not all about you. You don’t get to define what can and cannot be said about the Holocaust.

The Holocaust killed 12 million people.

It killed 6 million Jews.

It killed 3 million Catholics.

It killed 3 million Orthodox.

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Blessed Virgin Mary: A Mother Not Just for Catholics

What is accomplished in Mary points to the glory of God. Her role in human history, and ultimately, salvation history, has meaning for us all. Her life is intimately acquainted with every member of the Trinity: Mary is the faithful Daughter of the Father, the loving Mother to the Son, and the fruitful Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

What’s more, Mary’s way of life is a beacon for many people, even those who do not ascribe to the Catholic Christian tradition. She is a spiritual mother to millions of children around the globe: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Muslim.

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Orthodox to Catholic convert explains why he did it

His conclusion was that he could not, in good conscience before God, remain Orthodox. He told me that he felt “compelled” to return to what Orthodoxy was in the first few centuries when it was in full communion with the barque of Peter. He also said that he expressed these things to his Orthodox priest as well as to the laity, but that they told him “he did not really understand Orthodoxy”. Over time, he realized that he could not escape the fact that what they were telling him appeared to be only a modern and fabricated Orthodoxy that is expounded by the clergy in spite of the historical facts. He struggled not to behave in a rebellious way about things, so it took him many years before he respectfully and humbly asked to be allowed to go home to the Catholic Church.

Here were his particular reasons for his reconciliation with the Catholic Church:

1. No central authority in Orthodoxy means no clear authority at all–He said that the expressed unity of Orthodoxy ignores the essential (and detrimental) divisions that exist within her ecclesiastical authorities. Not having a central papal authority has caused the Eastern Orthodox to develop into a confused and jumbled group of jurisdictions that speak loudly about their unified nature, while it has little to no real substance. Admittedly, there are “Bishops” and “Archbishops” (yes, I know they use different terms), but since only a Pope can call a proper council, there is no means for Orthodoxy to solve its problems until they humble themselves and submit to the successor of Peter. His assessment is that the reason Orthodoxy rejects the recent doctrinal affirmations of the Catholic Church is more because they reject the Pope than because they reject the doctrines themselves. He believes that this is actually one of the things that attracts people to Orthodoxy over Catholicism: rejection of the papacy and its authority.

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The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary

The circumstances of the Dormition of the Mother of God were known in the Orthodox Church from apostolic times.

Already in the first century, the Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite wrote about Her “Falling-Asleep.” In the second century, the account of the bodily ascent of the Most Holy Virgin Mary to Heaven is found in the works of Meliton, Bishop of Sardis. In the fourth century, St Epiphanius of Cyprus refers to the tradition about the “Falling Asleep” of the Mother of God. In the fifth century, St Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, told the holy Byzantine Empress Pulcheria: “Although there is no account of the circumstances of Her death in Holy Scripture, we know about them from the most ancient and credible Tradition.” This tradition was gathered and expounded in the Church History of Nicephorus Callistus during the fourteenth century.

At the time of Her blessed Falling Asleep, the Most Holy Virgin Mary was again at Jerusalem. Her fame as the Mother of God had already spread throughout the land and had aroused many of the envious and the spiteful against Her. They wanted to make attempts on Her life; but God preserved Her from enemies.

Day and night She spent her time in prayer. The Most Holy Theotokos went often to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord, and here She offered up fevent prayer. More than once, enemies of the Savior sought to hinder Her from visiting her holy place, and they asked the High Priest for a guard to watch over the Grave of the Lord. The Holy Virgin continued to pray right in front of them, yet unseen by anyone.

In one such visit to Golgotha, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Her and announced Her approaching departure from this life to eternal life. In pledge of this, the Archangel gave Her a palm branch. With these heavenly tidings the Mother of God returned to Bethlehem with the three girls attending Her (Sepphora, Abigail, and Jael). She summoned Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and other disciples of the Lord, and told them of Her impending Repose.

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Just about everything you ever wanted to know about sacred images and icons

Saint John of Damascus (676-749)

Since the invisible One became visible by taking on flesh, you can fashion the image of him whom you saw. Since he who has neither body nor form nor quantity nor quality, who goes beyond all grandeur by the excellence of his nature, he, being of divine nature, took on the condition of a slave and reduced himself to quantity and quality by clothing himself in human features. Therefore, paint on wood and present for contemplation him who desired to become visible.

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Young Wisconsin Catholics Cheer Bishop Morlino for Welcoming Orthodox Priests

By Kathleen Gilbert

MADISON, Wisconsin, June 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Catholics in the diocese of Madison, Wisc. are hitting back at negative media coverage of their bishop after he welcomed priests with the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest, a group renowned for their traditionalist liturgy and fidelity to orthodox Catholic teaching. Supporters note that, contrary to the picture painted by dissenting voices in the media, Morlino’s focus on orthodoxy is increasingly popular with Catholic youth – even in the liberal stronghold of University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Madison Bishop Robert Morlino, one of the most outspoken advocates for the unborn among the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, has defended the priests against criticism that the move represented a “step backward” and that the priests’ approach is, in the words of one parishioner, “quite different than we have become accustomed to.” Morlino heard parishioners from St. Mary’s Parish in Platteville at an occasionally-heated meeting on Monday.

Despite media coverage focusing on dissenting voices, many were eager to voice support for their bishop – especially among pro-life Catholics.

Peggy Hamill, director of Pro-Life Wisconsin (PLW), indicated that Morlino’s fidelity to Catholic orthodoxy was of a piece with his reputation as “a man of integrity, and consistency.”

“Pro-life Wisconsin knows him to have a deep respect for the sacredness of human life which he expects his priests to reflect,” said Hamill. “Bishop Morlino’s selection of new priests for the diocese of Madison is simply consistent with his fostering appreciation for the sacred.”

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Interesting article with a pro-life theme: A Socially Catholic Evangelical Protestant

In the last year, I have been richly blessed with many new friendships in the Catholic pro-life community. Their devotion to the cause is infectious and inspiring. Through a variety of interactions, many of my false conceptions about Catholics have been corrected, while at the same time, my Protestant convictions have been reaffirmed. I am not alone in this experience, David Neff writes in the introduction to The Gospel of Jesus Christ: an Evangelical Celebration, that:

… through collaboration with Catholic and Orthodox activists in the prolife movement, many evangelicals have discovered a genuine appreciation for and developed friendships with them. This deeper friendship has required that Protestants know their Protestantism (and that Catholics know their Catholicism and the Orthodox, their Orthodoxy)….

Read more at Jill Stanek’s site