Current Affairs

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Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of Malta, of which he is patron. This was followed by his surprise appointment as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court. He had been prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 2008 to 2014, when he was removed by Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke has spoken out frequently against what he sees as the growing confusion within the Church about the liturgy, Catholic identity and even the faith itself.

I met him shortly before the first anniversary of the dubia at a celebration in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, organised by the Coordinamento Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel cultural association.

PG Your Eminence, you have recently referred to our times as “realistically apocalyptic”. And you added that the “confusion, division and error” within the Catholic Church coming from “shepherds” even at the highest levels indicate that we “may be” in the End Times. Would you help us to understand what you meant by this?

Screen-Shot-2017-11-29-at-12.28.39-800x500CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE In the present moment there is confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the Church, for example with regard to marriage and the family. For instance, the idea that people who are living in an irregular union could receive the sacraments is a violation of the truth with regard both to the indissolubility of marriage and to the sanctity of the Eucharist.

St Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Corinthians that before we approach to receive the Body of Christ, we have to examine ourselves, or we eat our condemnation by receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy way. Now the confusion in the Church is going even further than that, because there is today confusion as to whether there are acts which are intrinsically evil and this, of course, is the foundation of the moral law. When this foundation begins to be questioned within the Church, then the whole order of human life and the order of the Church itself are endangered.

So there is a feeling that in today’s world that is based on secularism with a completely anthropocentric approach, by which we think we can create our own meaning of life and meaning of the family and so on, the Church itself seems to be confused. In that sense one may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord. Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.

PG Could you please give us an update on the “formal correction” [of Amoris Laetitia]?

Click here for the rest of the Catholic Herald article.

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Where Have All the Christmas Carols Gone?

by Steve Ray on December 2, 2017

I’m not that old. I’ll only be 63 years old this month but I still remember when the frosty month of December was filled with marvelous Christmas carols. It was like magic when the first snow covered the ground and the melodies sprang to life and everyone knew them, believed them and sang them with a smile on their face.

Christmas_Carols_HongKongI remember the glorious carols like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

Those warm and cozy memories are rare these winter days. Something is missing. The new generation is being deprived and the world has changed.

I sat for an hour in a dentist chair and heard a litany of secular Christmas songs. Not one religious Christmas carol was heard. All about Santa coming to town, Frosty the Snowman, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “jingle bell rock”

t54223134-b389781788_s400These are all nice songs too and I remember them from my youth. But isn’t something wrong when I walked through the airport today and I saw mythical Santa, reindeers, Christmas trees but not one manger scene or reference to what it’s all really about? Christmas songs reverberated through the airport but again not one of the beautiful old classic Christmas carols. It had a tinny shallowness to it.

Christmas-Carols-1960-billboard-650It’s Christmas after all. It’s named after Christ which was celebrated for millennia by a Mass — thus Christ-Mass! And it is so bizarre that all the music heard today explicitly and dogmatically refuses to reference Christ which is what the whole holiday is about.

The insanity of our current secularism and pluralism has deprived us of far more than we realize. Our political correctness forces us to retreat in obsequious silence for fear of offending someone. I weep for the current and coming generations that will be so separated from the past that they will never experience what I once knew as a boy.

no-baby-jesusPeople say “Happy Holiday“ to avoid the dreaded association with Jesus Christ. But even when saying “Happy Holiday” they don’t realize that they’re using another Christian phrase. Where do you think the word “holiday” comes from? It means, “holy day” made sacred by the birth of Christ.

I remember in my younger years that the joy around Christmas had to do with Jesus Christ and the joy brought to the world by this divine Savior. It was reflected in the music we sang from our hearts.

I may be giving away my age again here but it reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial — a little old lady looking up from her hamburger bun and saying, “Where’s the beef?“ Approaching December again this year I feel like asking a similar question, “Where’s the heart? Where’s the meaning? Why deny the obvious?”

2012-01-08_00008As for me and my house, we still sing the beautiful religious Christmas carols, honor Christ as the center of Christmas, we will still celebrate Christ at Mass and pray for the days when modern people will hopefully again understand the true meaning and joy of the season.

I’ll enjoy some chestnuts roasting on an open fire but the whole time I’ll be singing, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.”

Below: This is beautiful and what Christmas is about – it may even give you chills.

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They Fell for the Lie – I’ll Pray for Them

by Steve Ray on November 6, 2017

50D546DF-6193-4B20-BCD7-222F05F17C28We are in the airport in Lisbon Portugal heading to Israel to pick up our next group. Janet and I were standing in line and a man started up a conversation with us.

He and his wife were in their late 60s and I could tell they were good Americans. They’d be ideal neighbors, keeping their lawn mowed and their property maintained. But they fell for the lie and it has infected their whole life which became apparent in our short conversation.

F2B947FF-9508-4DC1-BBAA-1BBBC8B2A5DDI always wear my San Damiano crucifix from Assisi Italy.  It is great for evangelism because it often starts conversations (like it did today). It’s the one that spoke to St. Francis. The gentleman commented on my crucifix and said he never seen one like it before and it was beautiful. I said, “Thank you! I wear it proudly as a Catholic and I want people to know what I believe.“

His face saddened as he replied, “I envy your faith.” His wife immediately chimed in with a disparaging tone, “Well I’m happy it works for you.”

I said, “We discovered the Catholic Faith when we were 39 years old and it’s the best kept secret in the world.” She made sure I knew she didn’t believe any of it.

Because we are Christian and Catholic we believe in families. We told them that we have four children who are married and we are now free to travel and take groups to Catholic lands.

1CA7BC79-AE98-4F2A-8CF5-BBAA3762B3D7We explained we had 15 grandchildren (two still in the womb). She was shocked, he looked sadly envious. He made it quite clear he wished he had the same but that they never would. They obviously had a different emphasis in their life and it wasn’t for families.  Their children learn something very different than ours did.

He seemed to have a tender heart and be sad about  his life but she was outspoken and belligerent.  She proudly stated, “We don’t have any grandchildren and we never will. We have grand-dogs!”

C6DA6FF0-13E3-474A-870C-99D6EAB12E04He asked if we got to see our grandchildren often and we said yes, that we are a very close family. He looked sad again as she stated, “Since we don’t have grandkids and never will, we love our grand-dogs. We even had them all dressed up for Halloween in doggie costumes.”

He told they do have two children who they rarely see but neither are married and will never have kids. The man said he cries every day missing his family.

Then she brought up the pope. She said they have friends that go to a big Catholic Church in Atlanta Georgia who don’t like the Pope’s encyclical on the environment. They asked If I thought about the Pope’s encyclical was helping Catholics respect the environment.

I told them that Catholics have always respected the environment. It has always been an essential part of our teaching that God created the heavens and the earth and created man in his image and made man stewart and caretaker of the environment.

I explained that we are given the earth to use but not abuse. Like a caretaker who works for a rich family has responsibility to tend the gardens so we do the same for God’s earth. I said this is always been part of our teaching.

94076C28-C46F-4BF4-8AE8-7F9E621931CBI also told her I don’t buy all the environmental mumbo-jumbo that’s being presented by the liberals today. I said it’s just a scheme for the government to get more control over our lives – it was all hyped up. She said, “I sure feel sorry for you.” I said, “Ma’am I don’t buy any of it. I’ve read too much and know there’s a lot of fake news and fake science out there today.”  She parroted a few of Al Gore’s favorite lines.

He seemed very interested in my opinion and was ready to ask me questions when we had to go our separate ways. I shook hands with a man and thanked him for the nice conversation and said I hope they have a nice flight.

I feel sorry for people who fall for the lie that there is no God or that he is irrelevant. I feel sorry for people who think there are many truths and “my truth works for me And I’m happy you’re (unacceptable) truth works for you. In reality there’s only one truth 2+2 always equals 2.

I’ll be praying for these folks that they come to the same conclusion about God and the Catholic Church and  also discover the best kept secret in the world. I will pray especially for him because I think he had an open heart and was pretty much bullied by his wife.

I will continue to proudly wear this cross.

(Some of our grandkids dressed for Halloween! No dogs among them :-)

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The Eight Stages of the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

September 15, 2017

Written by Msgr. Charles Pope and posted October 12, 2016 on Community in Mission Cultures and civilizations go through cycles. Over time, many civilizations and cultures have risen and then fallen. We who live in painful times like these do well to recall these truths. Cultures and civilizations come and go; only the Church (though […]

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Embarrassing and Inane Article in Crux Magazine Saying Catholic Converts Suffer from Neurosis

August 11, 2017

AUSTEN IVEREIGH’S SLAM AGAINST CONVERTS IN CRUX STIRRED UP A FIRESTORM. Below is a link to his article, comments, his subsequent apology and Crux’s response with new guidelines. UPDATE SATURDAY, 8/12/17 To his credit Austen Iverigh apologized for his article. The introductory paragraph says, Recently I used the term “convert neurosis” as a metaphor, and […]

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Why I Like Thomas Williams and Breitbart News

June 8, 2017

Yeah, I know it gets a bad rap in the local “Main Street Media” but if you shake off their bias and take a closer look it’s a pretty good place to find out what’s really going on. My friend Thomas Williams is the Rome correspondent and I have nothing but respect for this guy.

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“The Pope’s Enigmatic Words on Resignation,” by Veteran Rome Reporter Phil Lawler

May 31, 2017

By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | May 31, 2017 In his homily at Mass on Wednesday morning, commenting on St. Paul’s farewell to the Church at Ephesus, Pope Francis said: A shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner…. All shepherds have […]

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Worried about the Vatican and Church Today? Stay on Board! Great Homily about Crazy Times with Popes in the Past

May 17, 2017

An excellent sermon on worrying about what is going on in the Vatican and worrying about what the Holy Father says or does. This homily speaks about historical events that caused massive confusion to the faithful. Some Popes have done and said crazy things – some of which are shared in this homily. One case is a […]

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‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian

January 12, 2017

Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List. Jeremy Weber  Posted in Christianity Today   1/11/2017 09:00AM For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high. But the primary cause, Islamic extremism, now has a rival: ethnic nationalism. Thus, Asia increasingly merits […]

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Who Speaks for God on Morals? Many Choose their Church Like they Choose a Restaurant

December 29, 2016

We have a “church” near our house that is making it comfortable for anyone to join no matter who they are, what they believe or what they practice. They say it is our job to accept and love, to be nice, not to judge. Celebrate Diversity is a slogan of acceptance, multiculturalism, non-judgmental inclusion. Some […]

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Denzinger Timeline of the Controversy over Communion for the Divorced and ‘Remarried’ in Adultery and Pope Francis

December 27, 2016

This is an amazing resource compiled by Andrew Guernsey. It provides all the source material on the subject of Communion for Divorced and civilly “remarried.” It starts with the Old Testament and then the New Testament before moving historically through the Fathers, Popes, Councils and more. A thorough resource for all the source documents upon […]

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Thanks to Assad and Putin…

December 25, 2016

Are you against Syrian President Bashar Assad like Obama and Hilary are? Thanks to Putin/Assad Catholics in Aleppo have Christmas Mass 1st time in 5 years! Assad has always supported and protected the Christians. How can our country get it so wrong? Read more HERE.

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Rome in the Eye of a Storm

December 13, 2016

Catholic Journalist and writer for National Catholic Register summarized the situation in Rome as the Pope refuses to respond to a growing number of voices requesting an explanation of his document Amoris Laetitia. I found it worth reading, along with the two below. Msgr. Charles Pope has written  the clearest and simplest explanation I’ve read to […]

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My CD Audio “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World” now available at Lighthouse!

April 3, 2016

This is the talk I have been most asked to give in the last few years. It is a hard-hitting, politically incorrect talk about the state of our culture and what we as Christians are called to do. I use some pretty scary and interesting stories and example. We step back into the early Church […]

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Ben Stein — Full-blooded Jew — Comments on Christmas

December 7, 2015

Some of you may have already read this since Ben Stein gave this commentary on CBS in 2005, but it is worth repeating since Christmas is approaching — and because it is good stuff. I wanted to make sure it was accurate so I checked it out on Snopes and found it was accurate, though […]

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Conscience and Communion and Marital Issues

October 21, 2015

STEVE RAY HERE: After the excerpts from an interview with Archbishop Cupich there has been a lot of discussion raging around the issue of conscience and divorce and remarriage and gay marriage. There’s a fear that everyone knows the laws of the Church cannot be changed but they can possibly change the way the laws […]

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