Category Archives: Catholic Church

Catholic Church in Crisis: Pedophile cardinal; Pennsylvania priests abused 1k children; homoerotic church service

Mark Taylor, the Florida fireman who predicted the presidency of Donald John Trump on April 28, 2011, wrote in “All Roads Lead to Rome,” January 25, 2018:

The Spirit of God says, “The Pope and the Vatican…are not furthering my kingdom but are aiding the kingdom of darkness…. This will be the last Pope, for what I the Lord God am about to do. I will expose this Pope and all those under his command for all the corruption he and the Vatican have been involved in for centuries…. This Pope, the Vatican and all its leadership, will come crumbling down. I will pull back the veil to show how deep and dark the deception has been. You whisper in your inner chambers ‘we answer to no one. No one is above us; No one can hold us accountable.’ I the Lord God see it all and the time has come when I will now hold you accountable for your darkness. This exposure will be of such magnitude that the people will say. ‘What do we do now? Where do we go now? We want nothing to do with this. We have no religion now.’ Millions will walk away from their religion, as this will affect other religions as well.”

“The church is facing a crisis that it hasn’t faced perhaps since the Middle Ages,” said Joan Mann Thomas, chair of the parish council at St. Anselm Parish in Ross, California.

Thomas was not exaggerating.

On August 22, 2018, Archbishop Carlo Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican’s ambassador) to the United States, called for the resignation of Pope Francis for protecting pedophile Cardinal and former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick.

McCarrick is but one of the triggers of the Catholic Church in crisis. The subjects of this post, the first of a series of posts on the crisis of the Catholic Church, are:

  1. Cardinal McCarrick.
  2. Pennsylvania pedophile priests.
  3. Homoerotic church service in Germany.

(1) The Pedophile Cardinal

On July 28, 2018, after shielding Cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis “accepted” the former Archbishop of Washington, DC’s offer to resign from the College of Cardinals, and ordered the cardinal’s suspension from the exercise of any public ministry, pending “accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial.”

Although McCarrick’s pedophilia had been known for some time, Pope Francis  covered up for McCarrick, ignored the sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed on McCarrick, and even made McCarrick a trusted counselor in U.S. clerical appointments, including the promotion of far-Left bishops such as Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark to the College of Cardinals. (The Remnant)

Accusations of 88-year-old Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual abuse include:

  • Fondling an 11-year-old boy over 40 years ago when McCarrick was a priest in Manhattan, New York. The victim, now a mature man, says the sexually abusive relationship continued for two more decades. (NY Post)
  • Groping and having sex with seminarians: Six priests of the Archdiocese of Newark said that when then-Archbishop of Newark McCarrick visited the seminary, he “would often place his hand on seminarians while talking with them, or on their thighs while seated near them.” One of the priests said McCarrick “had a type: tall, slim, intelligent – but no smokers” and that McCarrick would invite young men to stay at his house on the shore or spend the night in the cathedral rectory in central Newark. Another priest, who was an aide to New York Cardinal Terence Cooke in the early 1970s, said McCarrick’s “reputation” was already well-established by that time, and that a classmate of McCarrick, the dean of a theology school, knew about the rumors and spoke about them with the other faculty and theologians very openly.” So well-known was McCarrick’s reputation that when he was a “standing joke” that when McCarrick visited the seminary, they had to “hide the handsome ones” before he arrived. Another priest, who worked in close proximity to then-Archbishop McCarrick in the chancery, said “Priests would tell me ‘he’s sleeping with them’ all the time, but I couldn’t believe it – they seemed like perfectly normal guys.” Seminarians and priests from ordination classes spanning 30 years during the terms of McCarrick and his successor, Archbishop John Myers, said there was an active homosexual subculture of priest and seminarians within Newark’s Immaculate Conception Seminary. (Catholic News Agency)

Despite McCarrick’s well-known reputation of groping and “sleeping with” seminarians, the Vatican promoted him to the cardinalate and to archbishop of Washington, DC, in 2001.

On August 31, 2018, Catholic News Service, the news agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, published a 2006 letter from then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, which confirms that the Vatican had received information in 2000 about the sexual misconduct of McCarrick. Sandri’s letter lends credibility to accusations of a cover-up of McCarrick’s deeds at the highest echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. (New York Post)

Two other cardinals have also be accused of sexual misconduct: Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers; and Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who is accused by former seminarians in 2013 of sexual misconduct. Two years after the first revelations came out, Francis accepted O’Brien’s resignation after the Vatican’s top abuse prosecutor conducted a full investigation.

(2) Pennsylvania Pedophile Priests and the Bishops Who Enabled Them

In 2016, Pennsylvania’s 40th Statewide Grand Jury began an investigation into allegations of child sex crimes by Catholic priests across the dioceses of Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton and Greensburg. The six dioceses account for 54 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

In June 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that large portions of the grand jury’s report would be released to the public. But about two dozen current and former clergy named in the report succeeded in blocking its release, claiming it would violate their rights to due process and reputation. On July 27, Pa. Chief Justice Thomas Saylor ordered an interim report be released, with identifying information about those clergy petitioners redacted. (Penn Live)

On August 14, 2018, the 1,356-page, redacted version of the long-awaited grand jury report was released. You can read the report here. Below is a summary of the grand jury’s findings:

  • The grand jury heard the testimony of dozens of witnesses, and subpoenaed and reviewed half a million pages of internal diocesan documents.
  • The grand jury found “credible allegations” against over 300 predator priests, and identified more than 1,000 child victims from the church’s own records. “We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands.
  • Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.
  • Secrecy: In every diocese, abuse complaints were kept locked up in a “secret archive” because the church’s Code of Canon Law specifically requires the diocese to maintain such an archive.

Every diocese adopted the same strategy on pedophile priests:

  1. Use evasive euphemisms to describe the sexual assaults in diocese documents, e.g., “inappropriate contact” and “boundary issues” instead of  “rape”.
  2. Don’t conduct genuine investigations with properly trained personnel, but assign fellow clergy members to ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.
  3. Send priests for “evaluation” at church-run, wholly-inadequate psychiatric treatment centers where experts “diagnose” whether the priest was a pedophile based largely on the priest’s “self-reports,” but ignore whether the priest had actually engaged in sexual contact with a child.
  4. When a priest does have to be removed, don’t say why. Instead, tell his parishioners that he is on “sick leave,” or suffering from “nervous exhaustion,” or say nothing at all.
  5. Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses.
  6. If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, instead of removing him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimized, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a pedophile.
  7. Above all, don’t tell the police. Although child sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is a crime, don’t treat it as a crime. Instead, handle it “in house” as a personnel matter.

Some especially egregious cases:

  • In the Diocese of Allentown, confronted about an abuse complaint, a priest admitted, “Please help me. I sexually molested a boy.” But the diocese concluded that “the experience will not necessarily be a horrendous trauma” for the victim, and that the boy’s family should just be given “an opportunity to ventilate.” The priest was left in unrestricted ministry for several more years.
  • In the Diocese of Erie, despite a priest’s admission to assaulting at least a dozen young boys, the bishop wrote to thank him for “all that you have done for God’s people…. The Lord, who sees in private, will reward.”
  • Another priest confessed to anal and oral rape of at least 15 boys, as young as seven years old. The bishop later met with the abuser to commend him as “a person of candor and sincerity,” and to compliment him “for the progress he has made” in controlling his “addiction.” When the abuser was finally removed from the priesthood years later, the bishop ordered the parish not to say why.
  • Another priest, grooming his middle school students for oral sex, taught them how Mary had to “bite off the cord” and “lick” Jesus clean after he was born. The diocese finally removed him from ministry after 15 years and numerous additional reports of abuse.
  • One priest raped a seven-year -old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils out.
  • Another priest made a nine-year -old give him oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water “to purify him.”
  • One boy drank some “juice” at his priest’s house, and woke up the next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything from the night before.
  • Another priest, who finally decided to quit after years of child abuse complaints, asked for, and received, a letter of reference for his next job — at Walt Disney World.

Although, because of the church’s coverup, almost every instance of abuse the grand jury found is too old to be prosecuted and many of the priests are dead, “presentments” — written notices that a crime occurred — have been issued against two priests in the Greensburg and Erie dioceses, respectively, who sexually assaulted children within the last decade. There may be more indictments in the future because the grand jury is continuing its investigation.

It is noteworthy that the Catholic Church neither denies nor disputes the veracity of the grand jury report. See the official responses by the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Exorcist Fr. Gary Thomas calls the Church’s pedophile priests scandal “demonic” and predicts worse is yet to come.

(3) Priest hosts homoerotic service in church

LifeSiteNews reports, July 23, 2018, that a newly ordained priest, Fr. Fabian Ploneczka, 33, of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese, celebrated his first Mass on Sunday at his home church of St. Moritz in Augsburg, featuring a homoerotic dance.

According to the Augsburger Allgemeine, the worship service included the premiere of a ballet entitled “Jeremiah: Passion of the Prophet”, featuring ballet dancer Clemens Fröhlich of Munich and a narrated libretto written by Ploneczka himself. Observers said the dancer performed dressed only in tight, skin-colored underpants.

According to an account in Kath.net:

The whole church became a dance floor, even the altar area. There the dancer took the Gospel in his hand, stepped almost naked to the ambo, and lolled suggestively in front of the altar.

A young man, naked to his waist, interrupted the service by shouting that everyone should undress. Some of the attendees, among whom were children, left early. Worshipers told kath.net the service in a consecrated church was clearly homophile and homoerotic.

Afterwards, Fr. Thomas Steiger of Tübingen, a pastor and radio personality, gave a talk on the “eroticism of the faith,” speaking of “a sensual love for Jesus.”

This series on Catholic Church in Crisis will continue tomorrow.

~Eowyn

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Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

InfantJesus_JohnBaptistJohn the Baptist (right) with child Jesus, painting in the 1600s by Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo

Today, June 24th, the universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Martyr, and Forerunner Prophet to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is important to remember that John the Baptist was related to Our Lord Jesus. When the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary, Our Lady, that she would be the Mother of the Savior, he also told her that her cousin, Elizabeth, who was past child bearing age, would bear a son and that she must visit her, telling her that “nothing is impossible with God.” The child born to Elizabeth was John the Baptist. Mary did visit Elizabeth who greeted her with, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

If anyone “tells it like it is,” it is John the Baptist. He was not afraid to confront Herod and Herodias, reminding them that it was a sin for them to be together since Herodias’ husband was still alive. He shouted this fact to these self-proclaimed royals and the Jewish people knew that John was telling the truth. He warned them to repent for the coming of the Lord is near.

John lived the life of an ascetic in the desert, eating locusts and honey and whatever else the desert provided. John knew that his purpose in life was to prepare the way of the Lord. He encouraged those who came to listen to him to repent, to amend their lives and to be baptized. But John acknowledged to the people that One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, that he was not even worthy to carry his sandals. I think one of the most important communications from John is, that “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) This is something we all must do; we must die to ourselves and let the Triune God increase, being a Light that shines to others of His presence.

Our Lord Jesus Christ came to John to be baptized and John was utterly amazed saying, “I need to be baptized by you.” (Matthew 3:14). Nevertheless, Jesus insisted that he needed baptism from him saying, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15) Jesus set this example to the Jewish people fulfilling what good Jews should do with their lives – repent and amend their lives.

John had many disciples coming from all over the area to be baptized. But John always deferred to the coming of the Messiah, and that it was the Lord whom they must follow. John lived an austere life in complete discipline and penance, for he knew that he must “Prepare the Way of the Lord,” and that no other trappings could have any import in his life or his purpose.

Although the Church honors St. Stephen as the first Christian martyr, I believe that St. John the Baptist was the first martyr for Our Lord Jesus Christ. Because St. John confronted Herod and Herodias with their sin, he was put in Herod’s prison to suffer. Herodias took her revenge upon St. John. Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod, wherein Herod told her before she danced that he would grant her any wish or privilege she desired if she danced for him, “unto the half of his kingdom.” After she danced, her request was to have the head of St. John the Baptist delivered to her on a platter. Accordingly, St. John was martyred, being the final Prophet preparing God’s people for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear St. John the Baptist, we face terrible “in your face evil” in the world at this time. Please help us to fight this evil and to be loving soldiers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to not be afraid to call evil, evil, and good, good as you did to Herod and Herodias. We ask that you help us to speak plainly and boldly, acknowledging Our Lord Jesus Christ both in word and in deed. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Respectfully,

Joan

Sources: Holy Scriptures

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St. Barnabas, Patron Saint of Cyprus

St. Barnabas

Today, June 11th, the universal Church honors St. Barnabas, a great evangelizer and martyr.

St. Barnabas was a Jew of the Tribe of Levi, born in Cyprus. He was not one of the chosen twelve apostles, but because of his important apostolic works, the Early Church Fathers and St. Luke himself referred to him as an apostle because of the special commission he received from the Holy Spirit. His original name was Joseph. However, the apostles changed it to Barnabas which is interpreted, “man of encouragement.”

We find St. Barnabas first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, wherein there is an explanation how the converts at Jerusalem lived in common and that as many were landowners or homeowners, those properties were sold and the proceeds of those sales were given to the apostles for distribution. Hence, St. Barnabas’ property is therein mentioned.

Subsequently, the apostles thought that one of them should be sent by the Church in Jerusalem to Antioch, to instruct the Faith. They chose St. Barnabas who enlisted the assistance of St. Paul, who spent a year with him teaching the Gospel in Antioch. St. Barnabas and Paul were very successful and many converts were made.

Sometime later, the flourishing Christian Church in Antioch raised money to help their brethren in Judaea as the people there were suffering from a famine. This money was given to St. Paul and St. Barnabas and they returned to Judaea giving the members of the Church there this generous gift.

St. Paul and St. Barnabas received a commission to go on a missionary journey to Iconium, the capital of Lycaonia. They escaped this jurisdiction, having almost been stoned to death. However, a miraculous cure of a crippled individual occurred at Lystra through St. Paul, which inspired the people there to believe that actual “gods” were among them. Therefore, they referred to St. Paul as the god “Hermes,” and St. Barnabas as the god “Zeus” or “Jupiter.” Of course, both St. Paul and St. Barnabas set forth the real Truth and preached the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They then went to Derbe, making many Christian converts, retracing their steps wherein they went to those cities to confirm the converts and to ordain presbyters. They then returned to Antioch, being very pleased with what happened.

paulSt. Paul’s journeys (click map to enlarge)

It is most likely that St. Barnabas was still living and working in 56 A.D. or 57 A.D. pursuant to I Corinthians ix, 5 and 6. However, St. Paul’s invitation to John Mark to join him whilst he was a prisoner in Rome, infers that by on or about 60 or 61 A.D. St. Barnabas must have died. It is said that St. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salamis.

We thank you for your holy example of faith, hope and love, as well as your immense courage, to preach the Gospel to everyone who would listen, to bring Christ to everyone and to die for Jesus and His Church. We ask you to help us in this world, inasmuch as there is tremendous “in your face evil.” St. Barnabas, please pray for us that we may be the Light of Christ to everyone.

With love and respect,

Joan

Sources: Franciscan Media; One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press; Vatican website

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Blessed Daniel Brottier

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:36:26 +0000  joandarc

Blessed Daniel Brottier

Today, February 28th, the universal Church honors Blessed Daniel Brottier, a devoted priest and decorated chaplain.

Daniel was born in France on September 7, 1876, the second son of the coachman for the Marquis Durfort, Jean-Baptiste Brottier, and his wife, Herminie.  Daniel desired to become a priest during his childhood.  His mother related the story that when she asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, that he replied: “I won’t be either a general or a pastry chef – I will be the Pope!”  Herminie reminded her son that he would first have to be ordained a priest to ever become a pope.  Daniel replied: “Well, then I’ll become a priest.” 

He received his First Holy Communion when he was ten, enrolling a year later in the minor seminary at Blois.  On October 22, 1899, he was ordained a priest, never faltering from his childhood representations and vocation call.  After his ordination, he taught at a secondary school in Pontlevoy, France.

Daniel did not find his niche as a teacher, as he was determined to serve as a missionary somewhere in the world.  With that desire as a goal, in 1902 he joined the Congregation of the Holy Spirit at Orly.  Upon completing his novitiate in the order in 1903, the congregation sent him to serve as a vicar in a  mission parish in Saint-Louis, Senegal.  However, Father Daniel remained disappointed at this assignment, as he wanted to serve in the rough country in Senegal.

In any event, Father Daniel enthusiastically worked hard at his position, instructing secondary school students, finding a center for child welfare and publishing a parish bulletin, “The Echo of St. Louis.”  Daniel suffered from the effects of the climate in Senegal, and went back to France in 1906 to recover from his health issues.  Unfortunately, in spite of his missionary zeal, in 1911 he returned to France permanently because of his ongoing health problems.

The Apostolic Vicar of Senegal, Bishop Hyacinthe Jalabert, requested that Father Daniel conduct a fund-raising effort to build a cathedral in Dakar, Senegal.  Even though Father Daniel resided in France, he conducted this campaign for seven years during two distinct periods of time, 1911-1914 and 1919-1923.  The five year difference in time was a result of the First World War.  Nevertheless, the “African Memorial Cathedral” was consecrated on February 2, 1936, just 26 days away from Father Daniel’s death.

With regard to the five-year interval period, Father Daniel volunteered to serve as a chaplain for France’s 121st Infantry Regiment during the First World War.  He served the soldiers with great love and courage, having been cited six times for bravery, and having been awarded the Croix de guerre and the Legion d’honneur.  Father Daniel indicated that it was through the intercession of St. Therese of the Little Flower that he was able to help the soldiers as he did, wherein he built a chapel for her at Auteuil when she was canonized a saint, which was the first church ever dedicated to the Little Flower.  After the war, Father Daniel founded the “National Union of Servicemen”, an organization for French veterans of various wars.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, Louis-Ernest Dubois, requested that the Congregation of the Holy Spirit manage an orphanage in Paris, the “Orphan Apprentices of Auteuil.”  Of course, Father Daniel with his excellent and creative leadership skills, became completely involved in this project, and worked for 13 years from 1923 on forward, with the help of his associate chaplain, Yves Pichon, to expand the orphanage, working very hard for the care, best interests and welfare of the orphans that he served.  Father Daniel once again dedicated his efforts to the intercession of the Little Flower, and also, to serve the most poor and unfortunate.

Indeed and in fact, in 1933, Father Daniel started a program placing children in the households of Catholic individuals associated with the Orphan Apprentices.  His work gave much fruit, as he constructed workshops, a printing house, a cinema, even publishing magazines.  To show how effective Father Daniel was in his work, when he started with the orphanage, there were 140 orphans; when he died, there were more than 1400 orphans served.

Father Daniel was a remarkable fund-raiser, mastering the use of the camera, where he even taught film making to the children.  To show his love for the Little Flower and so that people would learn about her, he produced a film on the life of St. Therese.

Dear Father Daniel died on February 28, 1936, in the hospital of St. Joseph in Paris.  Approximately 15,000 people attended his funeral Mass.  He was buried in the Chapel of St. Therese in Auteuil on April 5, 1936, which is the chapel that he built.  On January 13, 1983, Pope John Paul II declared Father Daniel, “venerable,” and he was beautified on November 25, 1984.  Noteworthy was the fact that in 1962, his body was incorrupt as on the day of his burial; and, many  miracles were attributed to his intercession. 

I am so happy to meet Brother Daniel Brottier today.  He is such a dedicated hard worker, full of innovation and creativity.  He was a great leader, notwithstanding the fact that during his four years in the front during World War I, he ministered to the suffering and dying soldiers, risking his life constantly, to care for them.  I also am drawn to him because of his love for St. Therese of the Little Flower, who taught the “Little Way,” which means to do all things with great love.  There is no doubt in my mind that Blessed Daniel followed this maxim completely, and look at the improvements and successes that took place as a result of his efforts.  Clearly, the beautiful Little Flower was helping him in his vocation.  Let us remember the example of this great “mover and shaker” of God, asking for his intercession and guidance.

Blessed Daniel Brottier, pray for us!

With Love and Respect,

Joan

Sources:  Franciscan Media; Catholic Encyclopedia

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St. Apollonia, Virgin and Martyr

Mon, 10 Feb 2014 00:22:34 +0000  joandarc

The-Martyrdom-Of-St-Apollonia“The Martyrdom of St. Apollonia” by Francesco Granacci

Today, February 9th, the universal Church honors St. Apollonia, Virgin and Martyr, who gave her life for Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Early Christians at this time were being persecuted by the heathen population of Alexandria in the last year of the reign of the Emperor Philip in 249 A.D.  Many of the Christians escaped, but Apollonia was seized.

Her persecutors beat her face and knocked out all of her teeth.  They then kindled a huge fire outside the city, threatening to cast her in the fire if she would not renounce her Faith and utter certain impious words.  She considered this proposal and miraculously, found herself free.  She leaped into the flames of her own accord.

St. Augustine set forth his thoughts on how she died, indicating that she died by a particular direction of the Holy Spirit.  This courageous woman is asked to intercede for those individuals with dental health issues and/or diseases.

It is remarkable to imagine once again, the absolute pain and horror this incredible woman experienced.  Even if you have a problem with one tooth, the pain is excruciating.  Her captors desired to throw her into the fire, and so, voluntarily, she did as they requested.  Her love for Our Lord Jesus Christ was so great, that Jesus was all that mattered to her.  We will remember your love and courage, dear St. Apollonia, especially when we have to suffer physically, or make important moral choices.  We hope to have that same brave spirit of immediately choosing the truth and the right, as you did.  Much love to you dear Saint!

Respectfully,

Joan

Sources:  One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press; catholic.org 

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St. Joan de Lestonnac (1556-1640)

Sun, 02 Feb 2014 19:52:16 +0000  joandarc

St. Joan de Lestonnac

Today, February 2nd, the universal Church honors St. Joan de Lestonnac, an incredible wife, mother and founder of the religious order of Notre Dame of Bordeaux.

Joan was born in 1556 in Bordeaux, France, of a well-to-do family.  Richard de Lestonnac, her father, was a member of Parliament and her mother, Jeanne Eyquem, was the sister of the humanist philosopher, Michael de Montaigne.  She was educated in the Renaissance atmosphere, receiving a wonderful education.

During this time, Calvinism spread through all of France, which adversely affected the unity of the country.  Joan’s mother chose Calvinism and tried to convince her daughter to also join the Reformation.  Nevertheless, Joan rejected her mother’s pleas, remaining true to her Catholic Faith, with the support of her father and her uncle.  Therefore, during this time of her adolescence, her Faith was tested.

Joan married Gaston de Montferrant when she was 17, having seven children.  Joan’s husband, her eldest son, her father and her uncle died, wherein Joan experienced great suffering and terrible sorrow.  One can only imagine the grief and tears she experienced.  Nevertheless, Joan saw to it that the rest of her children were properly raised and educated, as she had a resolute and strong spirituality.

After her children were raised, at the age of 46, she entered the Cistercian Monastery in Toulouse, with her name being changed to Jeanne of Saint Bernard.  She desired this life of prayer, finding great peace in it, experiencing  penance and also silence.

She spent six months at the Monastery, but her health could not bare the austerity of that lifestyle; hence, she left.  At this time, Joan experienced an inner vision advising her what to do next:  it was about a response to many young souls in danger of being lost.  Joan knew that Our Lady was also helping her.  She formed a group of women to perform acts of charity.  These brave women served those individuals suffering from the horrible plague.

Two Jesuit priests, Fathers de Bordes and Raymond, whilst they celebrated Mass, received an understanding that they should assist in founding an order to counteract the surrounding heresies and that Joan must be the first superior.  The rule and constitutions of the Order were founded on those of St. Ignatius and the first house was opened in the Holy Ghost priory at Bordeaux.

In 1608, Joan and her companions received the habit from Cardinal de Sourdis, Archbishop of Bordeaux, with Joan being elected the superior in 1610.  Ladies came quickly to join the order, with their aim of teaching young girls of any and all classes of society.  The schools prospered all over France, with the sisters living in poverty and peace.

But with great goodness also comes great evil. . .One of the sisters and one of the directors of one of the houses conspired against Joan, telling lies about her actions and her reputation.  Remarkably, the Cardinal believed them and Joan was no longer the superior of the order, with Blanche Herve, the accusatory party, being elected superior.  Joan was treated terribly by Blanche, who insulted Joan in every possible way, even being physically violent towards her.  However, Blanche’s heart was moved by Joan’s response and her incredible patience, wherein Blanche repented of her wrongdoing.  By this time, Joan was now an elderly woman and did not want to serve as the superior; hence, Mother de Badiffe was elected.

During the last few years of her life, Joan spent it in retirement, preparing for death.  She died right after her nuns had renewed their vows, on the Feast of the Presentation in 1640, which is February 2nd.  We also celebrate this Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord today, February 2, 2014.

Joan was canonized in 1949.  She is the patroness of widows, and those who have been physically abused.  I find her accomplishments remarkable, her busy role as a devoted mother of seven, the fact that her husband died when therefore, she had to serve as a single parent, educating and caring for her large family.  And even when she lost so many members of her family, she was brave and resolute to be productive and to serve God, that she became the great foundress of Our Lady of Bourdeaux.  Finally, her great love shown by her patient example even whilst she was being emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and physically abused, with her reputation being ruined as a result of lies and hatred, she still remained firm in her Faith and love of God, even converting the person who was so mean and cruel to her.  Let us remember the extraordinary example of this beautiful and incredible woman always!  St. Joan is a true feminist, true to her Faith, true to her abilities and never afraid to love, even her most vicious enemies!  God be praised for this magnificent lady!

With love and respect,

Joan

SourcesButler’s Lives of the Saints, Edited by Michael Walsh; www.lestonnac.org

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St. Augustine and St. Monica

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2013/08/28/st-augustine-and-st-monica/  Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:05:10 +0000  joandarc

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Monica and today is the feast day of her son, St. Augustine. In recognition and in celebration of these two great saints, FOTM is re-publishing Joan’s essay from last year.

~Eowyn

Saint_Augustine_and_Saint_MonicaSaint Augustine and Saint Monica (1846), by Ary Scheffer

I cannot write about St. Augustine, unless I write about his incredible mother, St. Monica, whose Feast day was celebrated yesterday, August 27th.  St. Monica was the mother of the great Doctor of the Church, theologian, philosopher and writer, St. Augustine of Hippo, whose Feast day we celebrate today, August 28th.  This incredible lady did everything she could for her children and with regard to her son, not only gave him birth into this world, but gave him his spiritual birth as he languished in sin and licentious living.

She was born in Tagaste, sixty miles from Carthage, North Africa, in 332 A.D. of Christian parents.  When she had reached the age of marriage, her parents gave her as a wife to a citizen of Tagaste, Patricius, a pagan who was generous, but who was also violent-tempered and dissolute.  Monica put up with this man, but yet, he admired her piety and respected her, Monica not being the recipient of his rage.  Apparently, her mother-in-law also lived with her, being described as “cantankerous”.  Due in part to Monica’s prayers and her example, both her husband and her mother-in-law became Christians, with Patricius dying in 371, a year after his baptism.

Monica and Patricius had three children, but their ambitions centered upon their eldest son, Augustine, who was born November 13, 354 in North Africa.  They gave him the best possible education as he was brilliant and clever.  Nevertheless, Augustine loved pleasure and led a wicked life, enjoying the physical pleasures of life, fathering a son out of wedlock, embracing the Manichaean heresy.  Yet, Augustine’s life was a passionate search for the truth  She endured difficulties with Augustine but she never ceased her efforts on his behalf.  She prayed for him, she asked members of the clergy to argue truth with him, wherein she was told, “The heart of the young  man is at present too stubborn, but God’s time will come,” was the reply of a wise bishop who had formerly been a Manichaean himself.  (According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Manichaeism was a radical offshoot of the Gnostic traditions of E. Persia.  It taught that the object of the practice of religion was to release the particles of light which Satan had stolen from the world of Light and imprisoned in man’s brain and that Jesus, Buddha, the Prophets, and Manes had been sent to help in this task. For the Manichaean believer, the whole physical universe was mobilized to create this release.)  Monica kept persisting, but this bishop said to her, “Go now, I beg of you:  it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” 

Augustine was 29 years old when he decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric, still a heretic and still living in a licentious manner.  Monica wanted to go with him and followed him to the port where they were to embark.  Nevertheless, Augustine had no intentions of his mother accompanying him to Rome.  Augustine told his mother that he was going to say good-bye to a friend.  In the meantime, she spent the night in prayer in the church of St. Cyprian.  Needless to say, Augustine left her there on the port, but she persistently followed after him.  One would have liked to have been a fly on the wall to see Monica confront her son!  Monica went to Rome but then discovered that Augustine had went to Milan instead.

Again, Monica tracked Augustine down to Milan and she discovered that Augustine had met the incredible and amazing St. Ambrose, the great bishop of Milan.  She discovered much to her joy that Augustine was no longer a Manichaean and that he was under the influence of this wonderful bishop who could teach Augustine, argue with Augustine and teach him Truth.

In August of 387, Augustine announced his complete acceptance of the Catholic Faith.  Augustine, his mother and friends went to a villa to prepare for Augustine’s baptism.  They engaged in philosophical and religious conversations, with Monica displaying excellent knowledge and judgment, being very well versed in Biblical Scriptures.  At Easter Vigil in 387, St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine, as well as his 15-year-old son, Adeodatus (who was to die not long afterwords) and his friend, Alipius.  Soon thereafter, Augustine returned to Africa.  They made it to Ostia, where they awaited a ship, but Monica was dying and she said, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight.  I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled. . .God has granted me more than this in making you despise earthly felicity and consecrate yourself to His service.”  On the 9th day of her illness, she died, happily knowing that Augustine was now spiritually reborn and healthy.

While in Augustine’s African home in Tagaste where he lived three years, he served God by fasting, through prayer, doing good works, by meditating and instructing others through his discourses and his books.  In 391 he was ordained as an assistant to Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, wherein he had moved to Hippo in a house that adjoined the church.  He established a sort of monastery, living there with Alipius, Evodius, Possidius and others.  Because Bishop Valerius had a speech impediment, he appointed Augustine to preach to the people in his own presence.  We have almost 600 sermons drafted and/or taken down by others as he delivered his sermons.

In 395, he was consecrated bishop as coadjutor to Valerius and succeeded him in the see of Hippo.    According to One-Hundred Saints (Bulfinch Press), “Augustine established regular and common life in his residence, and required all the priests, deacons, and subdeacons that lived with him to renounce property and to follow the rule he established there; nor did he admit any to holy orders who did not bind themselves to a similar manner of life.  He also founded a community of religious women to whom he addressed a letter on the general ascetic principles of the religious life.  This letter, together with two sermons on the subject, constitutes the Rule of St. Augustine, which is the basis of the constitutions of many canons regular, friars and nuns.  St. Augustine employed the revenues of his church in relieving the poor, as he had before given his own patrimony. . .”

He served 35 years as the Bishop of Hippo.  In Pope Benedict’s “General Audience” recorded on August 25, 2010, Pope Benedict said, “As you know, I too am especially attached to certain Saints:  among them in addition to St. Joseph and St. Benedict, whose names I bear is St. Augustine whom I have had the great gift to know, so to speak, close at hand through study and prayer and who has become a good “travelling companion” in my life and my ministry.  I would like to stress once again an important aspect of his human and Christian experirence, which is also timely in our day, in which it seems, paradoxically, that relativism is “truth” which  must guide our thoughts, decisions and behaviour.”

Pope Benedict teaches us in his General Audience recorded February 20, 2008, that: “The list of Augustine’s works was drafted with the explicit intention of keeping their memory alive while the Vandal invasion was sweeping through all of Roman Africa, and it included at least 1,030 writings numbered by their Author, with others “that cannot be numbered because he did not give them any number. . .In the literary corpus of Augustine, more than 1,000 publications divided into philosophical, apologetic, doctrinal, moral, monastic, exegetic and anti-heretical writings in addition precisely to the letters and homilies – certain exceptional works of immense theological and philisophical breadth stand out.  First of all, it is essential to remember the Confessions…, written in 13 books between 397 and 400 in praise of God.  They are sort of an autobiography in the form of a dialogue with God.  This literary genre actually  mirrors St. Augustine’s life, which was not one closed in on itself, dispersed in many things, but was lived substantially as a dialogue with God, hence, a life with others. . .Thanks to the Confessiones, moreover, we can follow step by step the inner journey of this extraordinary and passionate man of God.”  Augustine lays open his entire self, the sins and errors that he committed, giving to God his complete contrition and trust.

Pope Benedict then tells us about Augustine’s great work, “Of the City of God,” written between 413 and 426 in 22 books.  Pope Benedict says that Of the City of God it “was an impressive work crucial to the development of Western political thought and the Christian theology of history.  The occasion was the sack of Rome by the Goths in 410.  Numerous pagans still alive and also many Christians said:  Rome has fallen; the Christian God and the Apostles can now no longer protect the city.  While the pagan divinities were present, Rome was the great capital, and no one could have imagined that it would fall into enemy hands.  Now, with the Christian God, this great city no longer seemed safe.  Therefore, the God of the Christians did not protect, he could not be the god to whom to entrust oneself.  St. Augustine answered this objection, which also touched Christian hearts profoundly, with this impressive work, explaining what we should and should not expect of God, and what the relationship is between the political sphere and the sphere of faith, of the Church.  This book is also today a source for defining clearly between true secularism and the Church’s competence, the great true hope that the faith gives to us.”  Clearly we could find this work so relevant today, given the corruption and evil going on in our country and in the world.

We also learn from Pope Benedict of the book authored by Augustine, “De Trinitate,”  a work in 15 books on the central core of the Christian faith, faith in the Trinitarian God. . .Here he reflects on the Face of God and seeks to understand this mystery of God who is unique, the one Creator of the world, of us all, and yet this one God is precisely Trinitarian, a circle of love.  He seeks to understand the unfathomable mystery:  the actual Trinitarian being, in three Persons, is the most real and profound unity of the one God.”

Augustine’s last years were full of turmoil, difficulties and sufferings, inasmuch as King Genseric of the Vandals invaded the African provinces.  Augustine’s friend, Possidius, described the absolute horror they incurred upon the cities, where people either were slain or had to flee.  In fact, Mass was offered up in private houses or not at all, as the bishops and clergy had to escape.  There were many churches in Africa, but now hardly three remaining in Carthage, Hippo and Cirta.  Nevertheless, the Vandals appeared in Hippo about the end of May in 430 with an ongoing 14 month siege.  Augustine endured a severe fever and died on August 28, 430, 76 years of age, spending forty of those years in the labor of his ministry.

Pope Benedict tells us that Augustine “remained the model of the jouney towards God, supreme Truth and supreme Good.”  In Augustine’s Confessions, he says, “Late have I loved you, beauty, ever ancient and ever new, late have I loved  you.  You were within me and I was outside of you, and it was there that I sought you…You were with me and I was not with you…You called, you cried out, you pierced my deafness.  You shone, you struck me down, and you healed my blindness.” 

May St. Monica and St.Augustine be models and examples for us in their sincere and profound encounters with Jesus.  May those people who are seeking the truth on the wrong paths and getting lost in the blind direction of relativism and self-love, be guided to Jesus, to the Truth, and may these wonderful saints help us fight for what is right and true and good, and help us to recognize what is evil.   We see in their lives the familial troubles, the anguishing love for those we love, the attempt to understand the meaning of our lives and what is going on around us, and most of all, the journey to the Truth, who is a Person.  “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!”

With Faith, Hope and Love,

Joan

Sources:

Oxford Dictionary of the  Christian Church, Edited by F. L. Cross, Second Edition by F. L. Cross and E.A.Livingstone REVISED

 Vatican- Holy See:  The General Audiences of Pope Benedict XVI of February 20, 2008 and August 25, 2010

One Hundred Saints, Bulfrinch Press

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The Left go berserk over media-manufactured 'separation of families' crisis: Threats against Barron Trump & Rep. Mast; Antifa spreads names of ICE agents

In the latest manufactured crisis by the Left, we are inundated by the media with denunciations of President Trump’s evil “policy of separation of families”.
The Catholic Church’s clergy also jumped into the fray, ignoring the Left’s sacrosanct “separation of church and state” dictum.

As an example, the morbidly obese Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose, CA, calls the separation of detained minor children from their illegal-alien parents “un-American, un-Christian and inhumane,” “mean-spirited and betrays our nation’s tradition of welcome to migrants and refugees.”
What the media lackeys and politicized clergy won’t tell you is this:
There is no Trump “policy” of separating families.
By law, people caught illegally crossing our borders must be incarcerated. Some of those illegal border crossers are adults with children. What the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the Clinton-era Flores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision which the Obama administration had refused to enforce. Flores vs. Reno stipulates that unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.” When the adults are incarcerated, our government must house, feed, clothe and take care of their children — at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion a year. The alternative is to jail the children with the adults.
In reality, the vast majority of illegal-entry children in detention came across the border by themselves.
As Attorney General Jeff Sessions explains in an op-ed in USA Today on June 19, 2018:

Some years ago, it was decided that law enforcement might arrest adults who crossed the border illegally by themselves, but anyone who brought a child with them would not be prosecuted, a form of immunity.
Word got out about this loophole with predictable results. The number of aliens illegally crossing with children between our ports of entry went from 14,000 to 75,000 — a fivefold increase — in just the past four years.
These trends undermine the integrity of our system. That’s why the policy that is causing them must end, too.
Ending this blanket immunity means prosecuting adults for illegal entry whether they have children with them or not. That is what we are doing at the Department of Justice.
But we will not put the children in jail. Instead, the children must be cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services, as the law requires.

And these children are well cared for. In fact, they get better care than a lot of American kids do. They are provided plenty of food, education in their language, health and dental care, and transported to their destination city — all at taxpayer expense.

In total, HHS is spending more than one billion taxpayer dollars a year providing quality care.
Separations are temporary and rare. The vast majority of children in custody came to this country by themselves.
… If people have a genuine asylum claim, they can come to a port of entry, make their claim legally, and remain with their children while their case is processed.
We do not want to separate parents from their children. What we want is a safe, lawful system of immigration that would end this question altogether. We want to build a wall to prevent illegal entry. Congress could make that happen quickly — and they should.

The media are calling the detention centers “concentration camps”. But The Daily Caller points out that “Photos of border detention facilities from the Obama-era, taken during 2014, look nearly identical to the ones taken during the Trump era. You never see them, however.”
Whipped into a frenzy by the fake-news media and goaded on by deceptive Catholic clergy like Bishop McGrath, the Left are becoming unhinged before our very eyes.
Peter Fonda

(1) Has-Been Actor Peter Fonda

In an all-caps tweet today, actor Henry Fonda, 72, calls President Trump a “giant asshole” and says 12-year-old Barron Trump should be be ripped from his mother Melania’s arms and put in a cage with pedophiles:

“WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT ASSHOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO.”

Peter Fonda tweet threatening Barron Trump
The Daily Caller reports that First Lady Melania has notified the Secret Service about Peter Fonda’s threats against her son.
Fonda’s terrorist threat is only the latest in a series of Twitter threats against White House officials, particularly females and children:

  • In a tweet yesterday, calling Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen a “gash” — a slang word for female genitalia — Fonda calls for the public caging and rape of Nielsen: “Kristjen Nielsen is a lying gash that should be put in a cage and poked at by passersby. The gash should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passersby while being filmed for posterity.”
  • In another tweet, Fonda calls Press Secretary Sarah Sanders a “gash” — a term that Fonda admits is “much worse than cunt” — and urges that Sanders’ three children be kidnapped and locked in a basement: “SS (Sarah Sanders) is a lying gash, too. “And ‘gash’ is much worse than cunt. Maybe we should take her children away and deport her to Arkansas, and giving her children to Stephen Goebbels Miller for safe keeping.”

Sony Pictures is releasing a movie, Boundaries, starring Fonda in a matter of days. Be sure you boycott the movie and any other movie or TV Peter Fonda is in.

(2) Has-Been Actor Tom Arnold

For his part, actor Tom Arnold also tweeted a threat against Barron, calling for protesting the boy’s school so as to make Barron “uncomfortable”:
Tom Arnold tweet

(3) Antifa

Meanwhile, the terrorist group Antifa is going after ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) agents.
Yesterday, Sam Lavigne of the Twitter account “nebraska antifa” sent out a tweet to its followers which links to a list ICE officers, with their names, titles and locations. (InfoWars)

(4) Florida man Laurence Key

Laurence Key of Stuart, Florida was arrested Tuesday after threatening to kill Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) and his three young children over the Trump administration’s immigration policy. Key reportedly phoned Rep. Mast’s D.C. office on Monday, warning the intern who received the call that he was going to “find the congressman’s kids and kill them,” say court documents filed in U.S. District Court. (Breitbart)
The Left’s terrorist tactics worked.
This afternoon, admitting that the media’s images of detained children made it difficult, President Trump caved and signed an executive order ending his administration’s “separating” illegal migrant children from their parents at the border, by expanding the time that minors could be held in custody, which would allow families to remain together. (New York Post)

Peter Fonda should be arrested.

It is a federal crime, USC 18.41 Sec. 875(c), punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, to transmit any communication containing a threat to injure the person of another, via the Internet and e-mail (as well as the telephone, beepers, and other means of communication).
H/t FOTM‘s Maryaha, MCA and DCG
See also:

~Eowyn

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Church attendance reduces suicide risk by half

The recent spate of “celebrity” suicides by hanging — actor Robin Williams in 2014; fashion designer Kate Spade and “celebrity chef” Anthony Bourdain this month — are famous examples of the 25% increase in U.S. suicides since 1999.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented a steep rise in suicides in the United States between 1994 and 2014, among men and women and in all age groups between 10 and 74. Although women are still less likely than men to commit suicide, the gender suicide-gap is closing. Among women between 45 and 64 — the ages at which women are most likely to kill themselves — the rate of suicide in 2014 dramatically increased 80% from 1999.
Speculations abound about the suicides of Spade and Bourdain:

  • Were they depressed from relationship failures? –Spade and her mouse-mask wearing husband were separated; Bourdain might have been dumped by his satanic girlfriend Asia Argento.
  • Was it a case of auto erotic-asphyxiation?
  • Was Bourdain Arkancided (just because he said in a tweet that Hillary Clinton’s operatives harassed him for joining the #MeToo movement against criminally-prosecuted Hellywood mogul Harvey Weinstein?)

There is one thing that Williams, Spade and Bourdain all had in common: They did not have the Light of Christ. Williams and Bourdain were Jews; Spade, who graduated from a Catholic all-girls high school, was not observant.

St. Paul said in his Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

A study by a team of researchers led by Tyler J. VanderWeele of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, confirms the correctness of St. Paul’s injunction.
Published in the August 2016 issue of JAMA Psychiatry, “Association Between Religious Service Attendance and Lower Suicide Rates Among US Women,” the study found that mmidst the wave of despair and suicide, one group of women are bucking the national trend.
Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times that, using data from 1996 to 2010, the study found the following stunning facts:

  1. Compared with women who never participated in religious services, women who attended any religious service once a week or more were five times less likely to commit suicide. In a study population made up of 89,708 nurses aged 30 to 55, and dominated by women who identified themselves as either Catholic or Protestant, the suicide rate observed was about half that for U.S. women as a whole — only 36 of them committed suicide at some point in the course of 15 years.
  2. Which church, Protestant or Catholic, matters. Although Protestant women who worshiped weekly at church were far less likely to take their own lives than women who seldom or never went to church, Catholic women were even less likely — seven times less likely to commit suicide than Protestant women.
  3. How often one attends church also matters: Among especially devout Catholic women, suicides were non-existent. There was not a single suicide among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week.
  4. It’s not whether one is Christian; it’s about church attendance: The suicide-prevention effect of religion was clearly not a simple matter of group identity: Self-identified Catholics who never attended mass committed suicide nearly as often as did women of any religion who were not active worshipers.

The study’s authors concluded that church attendance is “a form of meaningful social participation” that buffers women against loneliness and isolation — both factors that are strongly implicated in depression and suicide — and that “Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that psychiatrists and clinicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics program at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, and co-author of The Catholic Guide to Depression, said the lengthy duration of the 2016 study — women were asked about their religious attendance every two years starting in 1996 and then followed until 2010 — “suggests a causal relationship between religious practice and a significantly lower risk of suicide, especially among Catholics“:

“Religious convictions and practices can help people foster a sense of hope, even in the midst of major crises or adversities. Religious faith can help people find a sense of meaning and purpose even in suffering. It’s not our role to ‘prescribe’ religion… or proselytize to our patients. It is safe to assume that religious conviction and faith must be genuine and sincere if they are to provide the mental and physical health benefits that several studies have suggested. [But if patients are inclined to explore religion or spirituality,] doctors can encourage patients to explore such activities confident that religious practices will likely not harm, and may indeed, help, their patient’s mental health.”

The 2016 study confirms and adds to recent research on the potential benefits of religiosity, contrary to Sigmund Freud’s sneering denunciation of religious belief as the “universal obsessional neurosis of humanity.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: A house divided against itself cannot stand

Mark 3:23-25, 33-35

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“. . . If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand . . . .
Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”


From ReligionFacts:

For the first thousand years of Christianity, there were no denominations within Christianity as there are today. Various offshoot groups certainly existed, but most were small and quickly snuffed out as “heresies.”
The first major division within Christendom came in 1054, with the Great Schism between the Western Church and the Eastern Church. From that point forward, there were two large branches of Christianity, which came to be known as the Catholic Church (in the West) and the Orthodox Church (in the East).
The next major division was the Protestant Reformation, sparked in 1517 by Martin Luther’s publication of 95 Theses against certain Catholic practices. By 1529, German princes were demanding the right to choose between Lutheranism and Catholicism in their territories. (These demands were published in a document titled Protestation, giving the Protestant movement its name.)
Meanwhile, “Reformed” Christianity developed in Switzerland based on the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin. When it spread to Scotland under John Knox, the Reformed faith became Presbyterianism. Switzerland was also the birthplace of the Anabaptists, spiritual ancestors of today’s Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and Baptists.
Anglicanism was established in 1534 when England’s King Henry VIII broke from the authority of the Pope. Anglicanism is often regarded as a “Middle Way” between Catholicism and Protestantism , while others categorize it as Protestant. Anglicanism became Episcopalianism in the United States. Methodism, based on the teachings of John Wesley, also has its roots in Anglicanism.
Those who remained within the fold of Roman Catholicism during the Reformation argued that central regulation of doctrine is necessary to prevent confusion and division within the church and corruption of beliefs. Protestants, on the other hand, insisted that it was precisely this policy of control that had already led to corruption of the true faith. They demanded that believers be allowed to read the Scriptures for themselves (it was previously available only in Latin) and act in accordance with their conscience. This issue of religious authority continues to be a fundamental difference in perspective between Catholic and Orthodox Christians on one hand, and Protestant Christians on the other.
With its emphasis on individual interpretation of scripture and a measure of religious freedom, the Reformation marked not only a break between Protestantism and Catholicism, but the beginning of Christian denominationalism and sectarianism as we know it today. And perhaps not surprisingly, some of the most interesting developments in Christianity have occurred in the United States, where individual freedom in all things is intensely valued. Christian Science, Mormonism, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are just a few of the major religious movements that have developed in this context.
Today, Christianity encompasses an astounding variety of denominations, sects, and churches. Relationships between these groups range from mutual respect and cooperation to denial that the other group is really “Christian.” Many Christian groups would also refuse the label of “Christian denomination,” considering themselves the only true form of Christianity, not one among many.

Below is a dizzying but still incomplete list of Christian denominations today (Wikipedia):

  1. Catholicism:
    1. Latin (Western Catholic) Church
    2. Eastern Catholic Churches
    3. Independent Catholicism
  2. Eastern Orthodoxy:
    1. Eastern Orthodox Church
    2. Independent Eastern Orthodoxy
    3. Syncretic Eastern Orthodoxy
  3. Oriental Orthodoxy:
    1. Reformed Oriental Orthodoxy
    2. Independent Oriental Orthodoxy
    3. Syncretic Oriental Orthodoxy
  4. Church of the East:
    1. Original Church (prior to 1552)
    2. Successors (post 1552)
  5. Protestantism:
    1. Lutheranism
    2. Anabaptism
    3. Anglicanism
    4. Catholic Apostolic Churches and Irvingism
    5. Pietism
    6. Methodism
    7. The Reformed Tradition (Calvinist):
      1. Continental Reformed churches
      2. Presbyterianism
      3. Congregationalism
    8. Baptists:
      1. Holiness Baptists
      2. Spiritual Baptist Movement
    9. African initiated churches
    10. Quakers:
      1. Shakers
    11. Millerism
    12. Evangelicalism:
      1. Pentecostalism
      2. Uniting/United Churches Movement
      3. Nondenominational Evangelical church movement
      4. Nondenominational Evangelical multisite churches
        1. Internet churches
    13. Other Protestant Christian churches and movements
  6. Messianic Judaism
  7. Nontrinitarianism:
    1. Oneness Pentecostalism
    2. Latter Day Saint movement
    3. Unitarian and Universalist
    4. Bible Student groups
    5. Swedenborgianism
    6. Christian Science
    7. Other nontrinitarian churches
  8. Other Christian groups:
    1. Southcottism
    2. British Israelism
    3. Hebrew Roots
    4. Black Hebrew Israelites
    5. Christian Identity
    6. Positive Christianity
    7. Esoteric Christianity (Gnosticism)
    8. Miscellaneous
  9. Denominationally unaffiliated parachurch organizations
  10. Christian-related movements:
    1. New Thought
    2. Syncretic religions incorporating elements of Christianity

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all my brothers and sisters in Christ,
~Eowyn

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