Monday, January 29, 2018

Janet and I have been to China. We attended Mass there and talked to people about the situation for believers. It is a sad situation and the real believers and the priests loyal to Rome are underground. There is also a political “church” which is loyal to and controlled by the Communists in Beijing.

This article from The Catholic Thing is an excellent summary of what’s going on with Christianity in China and questions “What in the World Is the Vatican Doing?

The article starting with paragraph 2:

“…Which is what makes it so disturbing that last week reports surfaced that the Vatican asked two underground Chinese bishops, loyal to Rome, to step aside in order to allow two bishops of the Patriotic Church, submissive to the Communist regime, to take their places. That news drove the heroic 86-year-old former Cardinal of Hong Kong Joseph Zen to go to Rome without an appointment, stand outside the Casa Santa Marta, and ask to be allowed to present a letter from the underground believers – who are willing to resist despite personal costs – to Pope Francis. Reliable sources say the pope received the letter and promised to read it.

Cardinal Zen has been energetic in warning about the unreliability of agreements with the Communists. Asia News, a publication of the Vatican, itself reacted to last week’s news with a warning about substituting “illegitimate” bishops for “legitimate” ones. The ChiComs (as we used to call them during the Cold War) are smart and shrewd. They know how to manipulate Western values, in this case, “unifying” the churches, i.e., the religious inclination to think we can fix all problems with dialogue, building bridges, diplomatic arrangements.

Meanwhile, China continues to cut crosses off church buildings, close some, dynamite still others. The New York Times reported just two weeks ago that China had destroyed the Golden Lampstand church – with 60,000 worshippers the largest evangelical community in the country. The reason: the large, conspicuous edifice had been “secretly” constructed, had failed to get official building permits, etc. These are the usual fig leaves of tyrannical regimes all over the world when they attack religion. I’ve heard top Chinese leaders blame local authorities for “excesses and errors,” but these seem to recur with a suspect regularity that no one seems to take steps to stop.”

For the rest of the article click HERE.


Lots of biblical sites covered on our first full day here in Jordan. We started with Mass way up in the mountains of Gilead in northern Jordan. The church is called Our Lady of the Mountain Church and one of my good friends, a Jordanian priest named Fr. Imad Twal celebrated the Mass for us today. His excellent homily is HERE.

Then to Mar Elias  which is the birthplace of the Prophet Elijah. I explained the life story of this prophet and it was rather fun for us since Janet and I had just finished filming the life of this great prophet  in the summer and I just finished writing the study guide for the movie which will be released in spring of 2018.

A great lunch while watching the authentic making of bread here in Jordan and then to the ancient city of Jerash which is actually mentioned in the Bible. Magnificent ruins, some of the best Roman ruins in the world.

The Jabbok River isone of my favorite places to take our groups in Jordan. No other pilgrim groups or tourists go there but it is a marvelous biblical site and I tell the whole story which you can see on a separate video HERE. Learn about Jacob the swindler and how he wrestled with God.

Then, back to Amman and our beautiful hotel for a couple of hours of free time for resting and then a good dinner and to bed and ready to drive to Petra tomorrow. Enjoy!


Can You Spot the Errors?

by Steve Ray on January 29, 2018

This is a typical non-Catholic Creed. It was forwarded by a Catholic asking if they could/should agree with this creed in order to get a new job.

What do you think of this creed and could you sign onto it? If you think there are errors, what are they?

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