Tag Archives: spiritual warfare

The Pillars of Unbelief: Six modern thinkers who’ve harmed the Christian mind — Part I: Niccolo Machiavelli (1496-1527)

SOURCE(1) The Pillars of Unbelief – Machiavelli 

By Dr Peter Kreeft

Machiavelli – inventor of “the new morality”

We need to talk about “enemies” of the faith because the life of faith is a real war. So say all the prophets, Apostles, martyrs and our Lord Himself.

Yet, we try to avoid talking about enemies. Why?

Partly because of our fear of confusing spiritual with material enemies; of hating the sinner along with the sin; of forgetting that “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” (Eph. 6:12).

But that fear is more unfounded today than ever in the past. No age has been more suspicious of militarism, more terrified of the horrors of physical war, than ours. And no age has been more prone to confuse the sin with the sinner, not by hating the sinner along with the sin but by loving the sin along with the sinner. We often use “compassion” as an equivalent for moral relativism.

We’re also soft. We don’t like to fight because fighting means suffering and sacrifice. War may not quite be hell, but it’s damned uncomfortable. And anyway, we’re not sure there’s anything worth fighting for. Perhaps we lack courage because we lack a reason for courage.

This is how we think as moderns, but not as Catholics. As Catholics we know life is spiritual warfare and that there are spiritual enemies. Once we admit that, the next step follows inevitably. It is essential in warfare to know your enemy. Otherwise, his spies pass by undetected. So this series is devoted to knowing our spiritual enemies in the struggle for the modern heart. We’ll discuss six modern thinkers who’ve had an enormous impact on our everyday life. They have also done great harm to the Christian mind.

Their names: Machiavelli, the inventor of “the new morality”; Kant, the subjectivizer of Truth; Nietzsche, the self-proclaimed “Anti-Christ”; Freud, the founder of the “sexual revolution”; Marx, the false Moses for the masses; and Sartre, the apostle of absurdity.

Niccolo Machiavelli (1496-1527) was the founder of modern political and social philosophy, and seldom in the history of thought has there been a more total revolution. Machiavelli knew how radical he was. He compared his work to Columbus’ as the discoverer of a new world, and to Moses’ as the leader of a new chosen people who would exit the slavery of moral ideas into a new promised land of power and practicality.

Machiavelli’s revolution can be summarized in six points.

For all previous social thinkers, the goal of political life was virtue. A good society was conceived as one in which people are good. There was no “double standard” between individual and social goodness-until Machiavelli. With him, politics became no longer the art of the good but the art of the possible. His influence on this point was enormous. All major social and political philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Dewey) subsequently rejected the goal of virtue, just as Machiavelli lowered the standard and nearly everyone began to salute the newly masted flag.

Machiavelli’s argument was that traditional morals were like the stars; beautiful but too distant to cast any useful light on our earthly path. We need instead man-made lanterns; in other words, attainable goals. We must take our bearings from the earth, not from the heavens; from what men and societies actually do, not from what they ought to do.

The essence of Machiavelli’s revolution was to judge the ideal by the actual rather than the actual by the ideal. An ideal is good for him, only if it is practical; thus, Machiavelli is the father of pragmatism. Not only does “the end justify the means” — any means that work — but the means even justify the end, in the sense that an end is worth pursuing only if there are practical means to attain it. In other words, the new summum bonum, or greatest good is success. (Machiavelli sounds like not only the first pragmatist but the first American pragmatist!)

Machiavelli didn’t just lower the moral standards; he abolished them. More than a pragmatist, he was an anti-moralist. The only relevance he saw morality having to success was to stand in its way. He taught that it was necessary for a successful prince “to learn how not to be good (“The Prince, ch. 15), how to break promises, to lie and cheat and steal (ch. 18).

Because of such shameless views, some of Machiavelli’s contemporaries saw “The Prince” as a book literally inspired by the devil. But modern scholars usually see it as drawn from science. They defend Machiavelli by claiming that he did not deny morality, but simply wrote a book about another subject, about what is rather than about what ought to be. They even praise him for his lack of hypocrisy, implying that moralism equals hypocrisy.

This is the common, modern misunderstanding of hypocrisy as not practicing what you preach. In that sense all men are hypocrites unless they stop preaching. Matthew Arnold defined hypocrisy as “the tribute vice pays to virtue.” Machiavelli was the first to refuse to pay even that tribute. He overcame hypocrisy not by raising practice to the level of preaching but of lowering preaching to the level of practice, by conforming the ideal to the real rather than the real to the ideal.

In fact, he really preaches: “Poppa, don’t preach!”-like the recent rock song. Can you imagine Moses saying, “Poppa, don’t preach!” to God on Mount Sinai? Or Mary to the angel? Or Christ in Gethsemane, instead of “Father, not my will but thine be done”? If you can, you are imagining hell, because our hope of heaven depends on those people having said to God, “Poppa, do preach!”

Actually, we have misdefined “hypocrisy.” Hypocrisy is not the failure to practice what you preach but the failure to believe it. Hypocrisy is propaganda.

By this definition Machiavelli was almost the inventor of hypocrisy, for he was almost the inventor of propaganda. He was the first philosopher who hoped to convert the whole world through propaganda.

He saw his life as a spiritual warfare against the Church and its propaganda. He believed that every religion was a piece of propaganda whose influence lasted between 1,666 and 3,000 years. And he thought Christianity would end long before the world did, probably around the year 1666, destroyed either by barbarian invasions from the East (what is now Russia) or by a softening and weakening of the Christian West from within, or both. His allies were all lukewarm Christians who loved their earthly fatherland more than heaven, Caesar more than Christ, social success more than virtue. To them he addressed his propaganda. Total candor about his ends would have been unworkable, and confessed atheism fatal, so he was careful to avoid explicit heresy. But his was the destruction of “the Catholic fake” and his means was aggressive secularist propaganda. (One might argue, perhaps peevishly, that he was the father of the modern media establishment.)

He discovered that two tools were needed to command men’s behavior and thus to control human history: the pen and the sword, propaganda and arms. Thus both minds and bodies could be dominated, and domination was his goal. He saw all of human life and history as determined by only two forces: virtu (force) and fortuna (chance). The simple formula for success was the maximization of virtu and the minimization of fortuna. He ends “The Prince” with this shocking image: “Fortune is a woman, and if she is to be submissive it is necessary to beat and coerce her” (ch. 25). In other words, the secret of success is a kind of rape.

For the goal of control, arms are needed as well as propaganda, and Machiavelli is a hawk. He believed that “you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow” (ch. 12). In other words justice “comes out of a barrel of a gun,” to adapt Mao Tse-tung’s phrase. Machiavelli believed that “all armed prophets have conquered and unarmed prophets have come to grief” (ch. 6). Moses, then, must have used arms which, the Bible failed to report; Jesus, the supreme unarmed prophet, came to grief; He was crucified and not resurrected. But His message conquered the world through propaganda, through intellectual arms. This was the war Machiavelli set out to fight.

Social relativism also emerged from Machiavelli’s philosophy. He recognized no laws above those of different societies and since these laws and societies originated in force rather than morality, the consequence is that morality is based on immorality. The argument went like this: Morality can only come from society, since there is no God and no God-given universal natural moral law. But every society originated in some revolution or violence. Roman society, e.g., the origin of Roman law, itself originated with Romulus’ murder of his brother Remus. All human history begins with Cain’s murder of Abel. Therefore, the foundation of law is lawlessness. The foundation of morality is immorality.

The argument is only as strong as its first premise, which-like all sociological relativism, including that which dominates the minds of writers and readers of nearly all sociology textbooks today-is really implicit atheism.

Machiavelli criticized Christian and classical ideals of charity by a similar argument. He asked: How do you get the goods you give away? By selfish competition. All goods are gotten at another’s expense: If my slice of the pie is so much more, others’ must be that much less. Thus unselfishness depends on selfishness.

The argument presupposes materialism, for spiritual goods do not diminish when shared or given away, and do not deprive another when I acquire them. The more money I get, the less you have and the more I give away, the less I have. But love, truth, friendship and wisdom increase rather than decrease when shared. The materialist simply does not see this, or care about it.

Machiavelli believed we are all inherently selfish. There was for him no such thing as an innate conscience or moral instinct. So the only way to make men behave morally was by force, in fact totalitarian force, to compel them to act contrary to their nature. The origins of modern totalitarianism also go back to Machiavelli.

If a man is inherently selfish, then only fear and not love can effectively move him. Thus Machiavelli wrote, “It is far better to be feared than loved…[for] men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. The bond of love is one which men, wretched creatures that they are, break when it is to their advantage to do so, but fear is strengthened by a dread of punishment which is always effective” (ch. 17).

The most amazing thing about this brutal philosophy is that it won the modern mind, though only by watering down or covering up its darker aspects. Machiavelli’s successors toned down his attack on morality and religion, but they did not return to the idea of a personal God or objective and absolute morality as the foundation of society. Machiavelli’s narrowing down came to appear as a widening out. He simply lopped off the top story of the building of life; no God, only man; no soul, only body; no spirit, only matter; no ought, only is. Yet this squashed building appeared (through propaganda) as a Tower of Babel, this confinement appeared as a liberation from the “confinements” of traditional morality, like taking your belt out a notch.

Satan is not fairy tale; he is a brilliant strategist and psychologist and he is utterly real. Machiavelli’s line of argument is one of Satan’s most successful lies to this day. Whenever we are tempted, he is using this lie to make evil appear as good and desirable; to make his slavery appear as freedom and “the glorious freedom of the sons of God” appear as slavery. The “Father of Lies” loves to tell not little lies but The Big Lie, to turn the truth upside down. And he gets away with it-unless we blow the cover of the Enemy’s spies.

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Ghosts: I’ve had a cataleptic somnambulism, you probably have too — The Seven Kinds of Ghosts

 

Click Image For Story.

EDITOR:

To bury the dead is a corporal act of mercy. It’s also a spiritual act of mercy to pray for the souls of the dead; those we know and love, as well as those forgotten souls who have no one to pray for them. The object of such prayer, of course, is not to contact the dead, but instead to pray for their entrance into the eternal beatitude of God—Heaven.

Before my wife’s Grandmother passed away, her husband had died. And she use to tell us that following her husband’s death, he appeared to her and comforted her in the living room of their home…

It shouldn’t have surprised me then, that on the night that my wife’s grandmother died in the hospital, I was awakened by the passing presence of a spirit through the bedroom my wife and I slept in that night. We were in my wife’s Grandparents bedroom:

I sat straight up in the bed, and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no, she’s died…’ And the phone rang in the dark moments later.

The hospital confirmed what I already knew…

This account of mine, as you’ll learn within the following article, is a ‘common experience many have of which can be described in technical jargon as a cataleptic somnambulism. a sensed or visual phantasmic perception. And I have no doubt that many who’ll read this post have had the same, or similar visitation experiences. Or perhaps, knows someone who has. 

While such visitations appear true, without forgetting that (if authentic) they are a gift of God for the grieving, and call to prayer, there still remains the reality of powerful forces of an evil nature at the level of spirits. It’s not a good thing to be messing around with spiritism, in fact, it can be outright dangerous to both body and soul.

As the Halloween season approaches, I’ve decided to share this great article as both a spiritual warfare aid and call to remember the dead in your prayers. God is spirit, and we must worship in spirit and truth, and if you’re praying properly you yourself can be a great aid to both those you love and so too those wandering forgotten souls who have none to pray for them. Note: The most powerful prayer on behalf of souls on earth is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. So, I encourage you this upcoming All Souls Day , November 2nd, 2010, to visit any Catholic Church for the purpose of helping souls attain Heaven… Links for personal prayers will be found at the end of the page following the article… jme

Seven Kinds of Ghosts (Revised)
by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM

I. What the Bible Says about Ghosts

A. Seeking out Ghosts

We begin this discussion with an examination of some of the Scripture verses that give us clues on this subject.

Scripture does not have much to say about this and certainly God has made it clear that this is an area we are not to seek out:

*Lev. 19:31 tells us to not turn to mediums or to seek out spiritists.

*Lev. 20:6, 27 equates the seeking out of mediums with prostitution (doing so is an act of infidelity to God that is not just adultery, but involves a prurient interest in the occult things equating it with prostitution — a medium also is “hired” which is also an image of prostitution).

*Deut. 18:10-11 Gives a whole list of prohibitions involving the occult and spirit world.

Whatever Ghosts are or are not, it is clear that we are not to seek them out in any way.

B. What do We Know About Ghosts?

1. Composition of Ghosts

*What are ghosts composed of? Well, we have a little hint of that in Luke 24:39 where the Resurrected Jesus is mistaken for a ghost. Jesus says “a ghost does not have flesh and bones”.

Thus we can know that whatever ghosts are, they are spiritual beings without flesh and bones.

2. Ghostly Visitations during Sleep

*Is there an example of a ghostly visitation during sleep? Job 4:15 “A spirit glided by my face and the hair on my body stood on end”

This “spirit” was most probably an angel, but it does give us a clue of the human experience of meeting a spiritual entity and that such entities can and do come to us in that vulnerable time of twilight and dreams. This account is very close to the common experience many have of which can be described in technical jargon as a cataleptic somnambulism with a sensed or visual phantasmic perception.

Also in 2 Maccabees 15:12-16 is a passage about a dream (vision) of the Jewish leader Maccabeus. In this dream the ghosts of the high priest Onias and the great prophet Jeremiah appeared to him and encouraged him concerning the battle to come.

Maccabeus told this dream to his men which encourage his men greatly. Maccabeus and his men afterward defeated blasphemous Nicanor and his men who thought to destroy the Jewish people.

3. Human spirits in Ghostly Form?

*Can a human being’s spirit be transported? We know from accounts of Padre Pio that bi-location is possible, but those are yet unverified — But what about in Scripture. Well, there are a couple of verses that indicate this. One is in Rev. 21:10 (17:3) where John was “carried away in the spirit”. But the most direct notion of this is in 2 Corinthians 12:2 “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know — God knows.”

From this we know it is possible for man’s spirit to be apart from even his living body at God’s discretion. In the occult world this is called Astral Projection.

*Can a person’s body be transported spiritually? Acts 8:39, after Philip was miraculously running up along the chariot of the Ethiopian, and after Philip baptized him, Philip then disappeared. “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again…”

This episode appears to be a bodily transport in the spirit, but I suppose it could also be a corporeal bi-location too. Who knows?

4. Other examples of ghostly visitations

*1 Samuel 28 The Witch of Endor. In this story Saul goes to a medium asking her to contact the dead Samuel. She apparently succeeds and Saul talks with Samuel and Samuel prophecies. The Scripture specifically states that “Samuel said”. There is no indication at all that this was a demonic impostor.

*Sirach 46:20. Again Samuel prophecies from the grave.

*The Transfiguration Matt 17:2 Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus to Peter, James, and John

*The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 In verse 25 Abraham says that there is a great chasm between him and the Rich Man that cannot be crossed. This is not talking about a chasm between the earth and hell; it is a chasm between Abraham’s bosom (which, in principle can be likened to heaven), and that of hell. Those in hell cannot come to the place of the saved, and the saved cannot reach down with compassion to those who are lost. It is in the next request from the Rich Man that we have a possible clue. The Rich Man wants Lazarus to go to his brothers to warn them of hell. Abraham says that there is no point in doing so. v.31 “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead”.

This passage implies the possibility of at least Lazarus being able to go to the living (it implies the Rich Man in hell cannot), but Abraham refuses the request not because it is impossible to do so, but because there is no point in doing so.

C. Conclusion *So what do we have?

  1. We know that ghosts do not have flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39)
  2. We know that the dead can communicate with the living. (1 Sam 28; Sirach 46:20)
  3. We know that at least in some context allowed by God, the dead can be conjured in some fashion. (1 Sam 28)
  4. We know that it is possible for the dead to appear on the earth (Matt 72; 1 Sam 28)
  5. We know that is may be possible for the dead to not only appear on the earth, but appear to people and talk with them (Luke 16:27-31; 1 Sam 28)
  6. We know that it is possible for the living to bi-locate (Rev. 17:3; 21:10; 2 Cor 12:2)
  7. We know that it is possible for spirits to communicate in dreams and the person to have a bodily reaction to the visitation (Job 4:15)

II. Comments from Peter Kreeft

Now, let’s take a look at what Peter Kreeft says about this. He wrote at least two books that mention this subject, “Angels (and demons): What Do we Know About Them?” and “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Heaven”. His comments stem from his study of Thomas Aquinas, Philosophy, and other Catholic saints and observers on this subject.

Kreeft makes mention that many very reputable people, such as C.S. Lewis, have reported seeing a “ghost” of their wives. There are many instances from reputable sources of experiences that do not have ANY flavor of the demonic.

Based upon these anecdotal accounts Kreeft and others talk about identifying three kinds of ghosts. I would add a fourth and a fifth category (from Kreeft’’s material that he talks about but doesn’t categorized) and a sixth and seventh type from my own thoughts and observations.

III. Seven Kinds of Ghosts

1. GHOSTS OF THE FIRST KIND: The first kind Kreeft calls the “sad ones” or “wispy ones”. These Ghosts seem to be working out some unfinished business of some sort, or suffering some purgatorial purification.

He says that these Ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it into Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their past lives on earth. God, in his compassion, may realize that to allow the person to get through Purgatory that it may be useful for them to learn some lessons on this earth.

2. GHOSTS OF THE SECOND KIND: A Second kind may be some of these purgatorial ghosts who might have been so material minded in their earthly life that they can’t detach themselves from these Material places or possessions. God may allow them to remain attached as they work out their need to “let go”.

3. GHOSTS OF THE THIRD KIND: A third type might be those who don’t yet realize they are dead. Again, in God’s compassion, I can see why He would allow a spirit to linger for a short while so that they may realize their fate before leaving this world completely. In both the “second kind” and “third kind” God could, of course, force the person to let go of the material place or to come on through the “gate” and not linger. But a compassionate Father can also allow for a “little” tolerance to help the person to adjust.

4. GHOSTS OF A FOURTH KIND: A Fourth type are the malicious and deceptive spirits. These are the one who probably appear at séances and the like and are most likely from hell. And most likely are demons disguised as dead loved ones and not the human persons themselves.

5. GHOSTS OF A FIFTH KIND: A Fifth type are the bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family who appear unbidden at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from heaven. These type may come to a loved one to say goodbye or to comfort them after a funeral, for example. Or these type may come to a relative or friend in “great” need. God may allow these dead relatives to come to the bedside of a loved one just before death. This would be an act of compassion to comfort the person as they pass from this life to the next. There are very trustworthy empirical and psychological evidence for these phenomena.

6. GHOSTS OF A SIXTH KIND: (updated: 9/4/08) A sixth type involves the ghost performing a certain scene repetitively. For example, a ghost of this type may go from the top of the stairs to the bottom and then disappear. This may happen over and over again. It never changes. The Ghost never interacts with anyone, and we cannot interact with it. It never changes facial expression nor does it ever acknowledge anything around it.

There are many theories to explain this phenomenon, but no real explanations. A popular notion is the concept of a “Residual Ghost”, which I originally posited in 1999. Since that time, after a more careful study of physics changed my position on this. The notion of a Residual Ghost is well expressed recently by Jason Hawes of the Atlantic Paranormal Society: that “A residual haunting is like having an impression made in time. The entity may seem to be lost in a time warp. The spirit really isn’t even there, only the energy is.” The Glossary on their website gives a more formal definition:

Psychic imprint of a scene which is repeatedly played out, where the witness of such phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly participants of these time-displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.

There are significant problems with this theory. The physics of matter and energy makes this theory nearly impossible. Cody Polston, Founder and President of the Southwest Ghost Hunter’s Association, gives a very good and succinct scientific explanation of why the Residual Haunting is implausible in his article, Residual hauntings, a flawed hypothesis.

Ockham’s razor (“All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best”) advises us to avoid complex explanations. The theory of Residual Ghosts creates all sorts of problems that must be resolved before it can be plausible. A more plausible and simpler explanation is that “residual ghosts” are actually demonic in origin.

We know from cases throughout the history of the Church that one of Satan’s tactics is to instill an unhealthy curiosity into things concerning the paranormal. To experience a “residual ghost” usually creates an interest and curiosity on the part of the experiencer in the paranormal. Sometimes the experiencer will further explore contact with the spirit world or other dangerous explorations into the paranormal. God warns us of the danger to our soul by trying to contact the dead. Our Lord calls these activities an abomination (Deut. 18:9-12). Satan would love to inspire such curiosity and to lure a person into his sandbox.

7. GHOSTS OF THE SEVENTH KIND: Some “apparent” ghostly apparitions or effects may be the bi-location of the living…the Astral projections of living people. This can be postulated from scriptural evidence (Rev. 17:3; 21:10; and 2 Cor 12:2), and from verified reports of bi-location of people like Padre Pio.

IV. What should our demeanor be toward “any” ghostly event?

READ THE REST FROM THE SOURCE: St. Michael’s Scriptorium & Library

Catholic Online: Prayers

 

END OF POST

Angels and Demons by Fr. John Corapi

Ten years ago I preached a spiritual conference entitled “Angels and Demons.” This is one of the regular sermons in our major series “Thunder and Lightning.” We are this weekend making it available to our friends and supporters because we feel that the subject matter is so important. It is rare today that you will find any teaching or preaching on this subject in the Catholic Church. This is strange because it is in fact the teaching of the Catholic Church and always has been.

One cannot understand reality if one brackets out a large portion of reality–the preternatural order (angels and demons). If you try to arrive at valid conclusions concerning reality, but have left out a good part of that reality you are engaged in an exercise in futility. So many things today can only be understood in the light of this spiritual reality. Have you ever wondered why so many apparently educated and intelligent people just don’t get it, especially with respect to such life and death matters as abortion?

There is a battle that goes on in the spiritual order between the forces of God and the forces of Satan, “the adversary.” This battle between cosmic good and evil, between angels and demons, has man caught in the crosshairs. Man is an active player in his own salvation. We need the help of our allies the angels. To fail to enlist their help is reckless. To fail to realize the reality of the enemy forces, the demonic legions, can be ultimately and eternally fatal.

We are at war and our battle is not against flesh and blood, as St. Paul warns us in Ephesians 6. The battle between good and evil, truth and lies, life and death involves these angelic legions-good and evil. We are soldiers in God’s army, like it or not, believe it or not. We must be aware of these fundamental teachings, learn them, and live in accordance with them.

God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi

Editors Note: Here below is the link to Father Corapi’s website. From personal experience of having previously attended Father’s conferences during my own conversion, I can attest that for any soul in search of no nonsense answers to questions concerning divine truth, the spiritual life or Holy Mother Church, you’ll find it here–and without error… He, (along with his works) is a true light on the road of faith seeking understanding. Find it here: fathercorapi.com

Fratres Blog News 04.13.08

OREGON CATHOLIC NEWS

Unusual Earthquakes Measured Off Oregon Coast…

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption—except there are no volcanoes in the area. Read The Full Story

Bishop Vlasny on Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Child Protection…

 PORTLAND – Last year at this time the Archdiocese of Portland exited bankruptcy after the court approved its Plan of Reorganization. We were very fortunate in being able to compensate claimants and to continue the operations of the archdiocese, its parishes and other institutions. Read The Full Story .

Bishop Vasa on Spiritual Warfare…

BEND— It was wonderfully refreshing to go down to Chiloquin and Bly this past weekend. As you can imagine these are not large communities and yet the Spirit of God seems to be very active and present there. Read The Full Story.

NATIONAL CATHOLIC NEWS

More Catholic School Closures Across The U.S…

For 46 years, crime, recessions and hurricanes proved no threat to the daily ritual of St. Monica School, where the entire blue-and-white uniformed student body gathered outside each morning to join in prayer. Read The Full story.

Who Will Save America’s Urban Catholic Schools?

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation – America‘s urban Catholic schools are in crisis. Over 1300 of them have shut down since 1990, mostly in our cities. As a result, some 300,000 students have been displaced–double the number affected by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Fordham’s latest report surveys the attitudes of U.S. Catholics and the broader public toward inner-city Catholic schools and evaluates the outlook of these important institutions in America’s big cities. The results are mixed-and the future is complicated. Read The Story And Report.

Preparing For The Pope…

New York – Pope Benedict XVI will straddle second base in Yankee Stadium in New York but stand over center field at Nationals Park in Washington. There are 100,000 ponchos on hand in the Bronx in case of rain, while three Polish nuns have dusted off a gold and silver garment, hand-woven more than a century ago, for the pontiff to wear at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the capital. Read The Full Story.

WORLD CATHOLIC NEWS 

Thou Shall Not Sell Pope Tickets…

Chicago – Scalping your coveted Cubs ticket on eBay might not be a sin in Illinois. But auctioning your tickets to a papal mass is a crime in the eyes of the Roman Catholic church. Read The Full Story.

Pope To Pray For Islamic Terrorists At Ground Zero…

New York – The Pope will pray for the redemption of Islamic terrorists when he visits the site of the September 11 World Trade Centre attacks this week. Read The Full Story.

Let’s leave politics Out Of Climate Science…

Massachusetts – A patronizing infomercial on local global warming ran on the opinion page of this newspaper several weeks ago, thick with saccharine, politically-correct admonitions. It was written by a marketing consultant for the Essex County Greenbelt Association. Read The Full Story.