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

True Burial Site of Christ – Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Garden Tomb?

Which is the authentic site of the tomb of Jesus Christ?

Bible literalists (meaning: Protestants) flock to the site in the Holy Land known as “the Garden Tomb”, despite a huge body of very substantial evidence to the contrary. Why? Because today, that site most closely resembles the general description of the place, as written in the Bible.

Traditionalists (meaning: Catholics and Orthodox) prefer the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was originally built on a site that was located, excavated, and designated during the 4th century, by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor, Constantine. There’s also a huge amount of historical and archeological evidence indicating that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is precisely what and exactly where it claims to be.

So what is a person to do? Believe one’s own personal interpretation of scripture, even if it’s sure to lead to the wrong destination … or go with the facts, based on all the testimony of those who have gone before … including the scriptures?

I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Certainly worth thinking (and praying) about!

Interview with a Coptic Orthodox Priest who has a 60 million dollar al Qaeda bounty on his head

FP: You always document your discussions with Islamic sources. Why do Muslim clerics and imams have such a difficulty discussing what Islam itself teaches and instead just attack you personally?

Botros: I think the answer is obvious. The Islamic sources, the texts, speak for themselves. Muslims have no greater enemy than their own scriptures—particularly the Hadith and Sira—which constantly scandalize and embarrass Muslims. To date, I have done well over 500 different episodes dedicated to various topics regarding Islam. And for every one of these episodes, all my material comes directly from Islam’s textual sources, particularly usul al-fiqh—the Koran, hadith, and ijma of the ulema as found in their tafsirs.

So what can the sheiks of Islam do? If they try to address the issue I raise based on Islam’s texts and sharia, they will have no choice but to agree—for instance that concubinage is legal, or that drinking camel urine is advocated. The only strategy left them, then, is to ignore all that I present and attack my person, instead.

And when well-meaning Muslims ask their leaders to respond to these charges, one of their favorite responses is to quote the Koran, where it says “Do not ask questions of things that will hurt you.”

FP: So what does it say about a religion whose religious teachers and members have to ignore their own theological texts because they cannot endure what those texts really say? What sense does any of this make?

Botros: Again, this is a reflection of the fact that Islam is less a faith, more a vehicle for empowerment. As you say, what is the point for a person to closely guard and follow a religion that he himself has to rationalize, ignore, minimize, constantly reinterpret, dissemble over, and so forth? The fact is, most Muslims do not know what is in their own texts; at best, they know, and here and there try to follow, the Five Pillars. This is why the issues I broach often traumatize Muslims—like a freshening slap across the face: a short, sharp, shock. The stubborn, who take it as an attack of “us versus them,” irrespective of truths, just fume and plot to kill me; the other, more reasonable Muslims, who are really searching for the truth, end up waking up to the biggest hoax perpetrated on the human race in 1400 years, and many come to the ultimate Truth.

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The Eucharist: symbolic or real?

masscalvary

Q: The Eucharist: symbolic or real?

Do you think that the Eucharist (“body and blood of Christ” … “bread and wine”) is a symbolic thing, or the real PRESENCE of God. And why do you think that?

A: The Catholic and Orthodox churches have an authentic ministerial priesthood, according to the authority of the original apostles, given to them by Jesus at the Last Supper, and transmitted to their successors through ordination, in the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Consequently, ordinary bread and wine becomes the real and substantial body and blood of Jesus Christ, and Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist: body, blood, soul, and divinity.

None of the protestant Christian denominations have an authentic priesthood or valid holy orders, so they have no power whatsoever to consecrate the authentic eucharist.

As a result, their communion remains purely spiritual and symbolic.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since whenever two or more are gathered in his name, Jesus will be there … but NOT in a physical way.

Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not included in the above group, since they follow “strange” christs and are not even authentically Christian.

It’s really that simple.

Why do catholics and orthodox still pray to saints?

stpioclr Saint Pio

Q: Why do catholics and orthodox still pray to saints?

If they had nothing to hide why did they persecute followers of mani,paulicians,bogomils,waldens,cathars and finaly protestants.If catholics and orthodox realy believe in resurrection of jesus then why do they pray to dead saints and use non living images to get concentration while praying to the omnipresent living god.

A: Catholics have always worked to promote the authentic truths of the Christian faith and to suppress heretics and their many lies, since those lies lead many to eternal damnation.

According to Jesus Christ, who remains the founder and the head of the Catholic Church, God is the God of the living. Not the dead.

All the faithful who have gone before us are presently with God. Not asleep in some grave.

Read your Bible to see the many times when God personally prescribed the use of non living images for various types of sacred vessels and for many other good purposes.

Perhaps you should reconsider and reevaluate the sources of your strange beliefs.

Which church is the only true church on earth?

Q: Which church is the only true church on earth?

A: The true Church is the one that Jesus Christ personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, while he still walked the earth.

The true Church remains one, holy, universal, and apostolic to this day, as it will remain until the end of time.

 The true Church is both a supernatural institution that remains a “pilgrim” on the earth, and the Kingdom of God, made up of all the faithful “People of God”.

The true Church was first established in Jerusalem by the apostles, on Pentecost, courtesy of the Holy Spirit, and it was later established in Rome by St. Peter, around 42 AD. It has existed there continuously, ever since.

The true Church converted many of the local Jews and pagans for Christ, it converted the Roman emperor Constantine for Christ, it converted the Roman empire for Christ, and then went on to convert most of the known world for Christ.

The true Church saved the world after the fall of the Roman empire, stepping up to become the world’s only effective government, during some of the worst times the world has ever seen.

The true Church eventually rebuilt western civilization, in the image of Heaven.

The true Church provided the scholarship, theology, law, and philosophy that forms the basis for our present western system of law, justice, and higher education.

The true Church is still converting the world, one soul at a time, while giving correct praise and proper worship to God, 24/7 and 365, every hour of every day, all around the globe, as it will continue to do, until the end of time.

The true Church … because there is only one … incorporates within it all of the Orthodox Churches, and all of the authentically Christian denominations … whether they know it … or whether they agree with it … or not.

The true Church has Jesus as CEO, and the Holy Spirit as its’ full-time advocate and constant arbiter of all divine truth.

The true Church is the authentic earthly distributor of all God’s grace, truth, and salvation.

The true Church miraculously manages to carry on while populated, governed, and staffed by some who are heinous sinners, some who are corrupt officials, and some who are deviant criminals.

At the same time, the true Church remains the spiritual “homeland” of countless holy priests and blessed souls, some presently alive on earth, and some already dwelling eternally in heaven.

The true Church looks forward to the imminent return of Jesus Christ, the Judgment of all mankind, and the life of the world to come.

The true Church has been known as Catholic, since at least 107 AD.