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I Told You So

In 13 History on 2014/02/07 at 12:00 AM

PAUL-VI-243x300A recent perusal of any social networking site has probably led you to realize that that Pope Paul VI has again been justified in his predictions about contraception’s impact on society and culture. Especially when he stated,

Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (from Humanae Vitae)

No, it wasn’t Miley and Robin’s “performance” at the MTV Video Music Awards (although that’s a pretty good sign of the “general lowering of moral standards”, too).

It was a very sad piece from a blog dedicated to “heterosexual, masculine males” who represent a “small, but vocal collection of men in America today who believe men should be masculine and women should be feminine” ironically called, “Return of Kings.”

National Catholic News Agency

The title of the article?

“How To Convince A Girl To Get An Abortion”

That’s right. There’s nothing that defines a dude as a “masculine male” like someone who impregnates his girlfriend, “long term booty call”, or “ONS” (one-night-stand – as the author so tenderly puts it) and then lies and uses manipulation to force her to kill their child.

The author suggests a few tactics for the poor, oppressed bro-choicer who, unlike women, lacks “reproductive rights in opting out of being a parent.” Since the male version of the Pill doesn’t exist yet, the author explains, he’s left with no option to maintain his lifestyle but abortion. (In another post the author reveals that he’s undergone a vasectomy, so he no longer has to worry about the natural result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman interfering with his game, but before that, these tactics worked for him).

I won’t bore you with any more of the sociopath-esque tactics or even link to that particular article – it’s already received a bump in web traffic because of all the controversy – but what I will mention is how pleasantly surprised I was when I read the comments from some of the readers who’d most likely found the page because of a post on a like-minded friend’s Facebook or Twitter account.

The first comment that caught my eye was from a man who said, “Everyone has the right to live, ideal conditions or not. Even a child born into poverty can make a huge impact in society. They deserve an opportunity.”

Others chimed in below with some great thoughts like, “A ‘masculine man’ does not deceive. Does not cheat to get his way. Does not disrespect a woman. Does not abuse or belittle the disabled.”

(Part of the article suggests lying to the woman by telling her that although he would “love to have children” it would be unfair to the child because he is the carrier of “a rare genetic disease that is common” in his family.)

Another commenter expressed regret over having taken his girlfriend to get an abortion 15 years ago and that the decision “still haunts me til this day.” Another agreed with him saying he also made that decision and, “It ruins so many lives. Not just the unborn.”

A couple commenters even linked to post-abortion help websites like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, encouraging those men to seek healing and forgiveness for their decisions.

One commenter replied to the article saying, “Any man who does not understand the joys of having a child in marriage and how children are a real blessing, watching them and knowing that they are part you and part the woman you love and care for (which make for far better intimate life) really does not know how to live.”

Some of more of my personal favorites were the following:

“We were never meant to kill our children.”

“Everyone will experience suffering in their lifetime, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to murder them.”

“I know plenty of men and women who weren’t wanted as children, some were abused. They grew to be happy, well adjusted adults. This excuse is a cop-out and quite frankly, a lame and desperate stand for abortion.”

“Learn something beautiful about human life and sexuality. This culture is killing you.”

“How about someone write an article about how to convince your girlfriend to give up your unwanted child for adoption?”

“Good relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. Abortion requests destroy that trust!”

I wouldn’t recommend reading the article or diving into the comment board (it devolves into name-calling and crass language pretty quickly), but I would recommend being a witness to life on the internet when things like this hit the mainstream.

If you’re really looking for something to explain the reasoning behind this article, you should click here. Apparently these “kings” would like to take down all the “white knights” (men who treat women as more than sex objects) because upstanding men are “a worm that eats at the apple of masculinity.”

Sadly, this too is not satire. Again, Paul VI was right.

New Chinese-English Bible Marks Major Evangelization Breakthrough

In 13 History on 2014/02/07 at 12:00 AM

The new Bible will help spread the faith among those curious about Christianity and wanting to learn English.

by ADELAIDE MENA/CNA/EWTN NEWS 09/27/2013 Comments (11)
Petr KratochvilAn open Bible– Petr Kratochvil

WASHINGTON — A new edition of the Old Testament in both English and traditional Chinese is a valuable tool for Chinese Catholics and represents a new possibility for evangelization, say leaders in the community.

Carolyn Ng, director of religious education for the Our Lady of China Pastoral Mission in the Archdiocese of Washington, told CNA that she is “overjoyed” about the new translation, and  she is “very happy there is such a tool for evangelization as well as use among Catholics.”

She stated that the complete parallel translation will help baptized Catholics be able to participate more fully in the Chinese Catholic community, whether English or Chinese is their first language.

“If they share the Bible together with the elders, I think it will help everybody,” Ng said, explaining that she thought the Bible would promote an “intergenerational type of use.”

Ng also noted that the parallel translation “will be a wonderful, wonderful tool” for evangelizing Chinese atheists and agnostics, “who are eager to learn English and who are curious about Christianity, especially the Catholic faith.”

Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno, Nev., who chairs the U.S. bishops’ committee on Asian and Pacific island affairs, has called the new Bible a sign of “the continued growth and strengthening of the faith among Chinese Americans.”

The new parallel translation “helps the Church around the world to understand the history and struggles of the Catholic Church in China,” Bishop Calvo said in a statement.

“In the Year of Faith, our hope is to see a greater number of Chinese Catholics growing in their faith, teaching their children about Jesus and spreading the word of God,” he said.

With the advent of the side-by-side translation of the Old Testament, a full Bible in both English and Chinese is now available to Catholics who are Chinese-American. A parallel translation of the New Testament in traditional Chinese and English has been available since 2009, with a simplified Chinese edition released in 2011.

Simplified Chinese characters were introduced to the People’s Republic of China in the mid-20th century, and they are the primary written form of Chinese in mainland China and Singapore, while traditional Chinese characters are primarily used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

All editions of the parallel translation have used the New American Bible, Revised Edition, and the Chinese translations are those of Blessed Gabriele Allegra, a “determined” Italian priest who produced the first Chinese Bible translation in 1968 after a 40-year collaboration with scholars and translators.

An estimated 340,860 Chinese Catholics live in the United States and are a minority of the largest Asian-American ethnic group in the United States. Ng estimated that there are about 40 Chinese Catholic communities “celebrating the Mass in Chinese on a regular basis,” with many more Bible studies and prayer groups at parishes across the country.

National Catholic Review 9/27/13

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/new-chinese-english-bible-marks-major-evangelization-breakthrough?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-09-27%2014:40:01#ixzz2gXEoZjuO

Christmas: Bethlehem, Iraq, Iran, Russia

In 13 History on 2013/11/04 at 12:00 AM

BETHLEHEM The homes of the faithful Christians living in the city of Our Lord’s birth, are marked by a cross and each home has its own manger scene. A lone star on a pole is placed in the center of the square. The Church of the Nativity is festooned with flags and decorations every Christmas, and when the Arab Catholics living in the Jewish state of Israel, go to the church they crowd the church’s doorways and stand on the roof to watch the annual parade. Mounted on Arabian steeds, police lead the parade. In the middle of the procession is a lone rider on a black horse carrying a cross. He is followed by priests and government officials. Down the winding staircase goes the clergy to the grotto where a silver star marks the place where Jesus was born. There they place an ancient effigy of the Christ Child.

IRAQ Christian families gather in their courtyards on Christmas Eve holding lighted candles. A child reads the Nativity narrative from an Arabic Bible. Then a bonfire is lit. A bonfire is also lit inside the church as the men chant an ancient hymn. A procession enters with the bishop carrying a statue of the Holy Infant on a crimson cushion. After a very long liturgy, the bishop confers the “Touch of Peace” on a person who does the same to his neighbor until everyone in the congregation has received this solemn blessing.

IRAN Christmas is known as the Little Feast and it is preceded by fasting from the beginning of the month. These four weeks are reserved for prayer, meditation, church attendance. The fast, which included abstinence from meat, eggs, milk and cheese ends in the early morning and starting at dawn, the faithful begin to arrive in church.

RUSSIA The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas following the Julian calendar which places it almost two weeks after that of the Gregorian calendar. For nine centuries it was a solemn and joyous feast until it was prohibited by the atheistic Communist regime in 1917. After 75 years of deprivation, the Russian people were permitted to return to their now incense-filled candle-lit cathedrals surrounded by colorful icons of venerated saints. Now again, on Christmas eve families gather for a special blessed meal. The long fast ends with the appearance of the first evening star. The meal is festive and is referred to as “The Holy Supper” in honor of the coming of the Redeemer. An image of the Christ child in swaddling cloths is placed at the center of the table along with a white candle signifying Christ, the Light of the World, along with a large loaf of bread symbolizing Christ as the Bread of Life. Beginning with the Our Father led by the pater familias who greets them with the words “Christ is Born!” to which all answer “Glorify Him.” Then the mother, with her finger dipped in honey makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of each person saying “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The meal is then eaten followed by the opening of presents. At dawn the family goes to Church and the rest of the day is spent in visiting all neighbors.

Comment: Christmas is not over on the 25th; it is celebrated for 8 days (an octave).

First American Diocese Celebrates 500 Years of History

In 13 History on 2013/09/12 at 12:00 AM

The Church in Panama celebrates a rich history that began with conquistadors honoring the Virgin Mary

by EWTN NEWS 09/10/2013  
Jesús A Villamonte/FlickrCatedral Metropolitan de Santa María la Antigua in Panama City.– Jesús A Villamonte/Flickr

PANAMA CITY, Panama — This weekend, the Archdiocese of Panama celebrated the 500th anniversary of the first diocese created on the American mainland, an event which Church leaders say “changed the history of our continent and our country.”

The archdiocese said the Jubilee Year celebrations are meant to “commemorate the fruits of our journey as a Church together with the Panamanian people” and to confirm the people in their Catholic faith and national identity.

The first dioceses in the Americas were created in the Caribbean islands after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Pope Leo X erected the first mainland diocese, Santa Maria La Antigua, on Sept. 9, 1513.

The diocese’s second bishop, Fray Vicente Peraza, transferred the see to the newly founded Panama City in 1524.

The town of Santa Maria La Antigua eventually was destroyed by fire in 1671 and rebuilt next to the town of Ancon in 1673.

A key focus of the 500th anniversary devotionals is the Marian image of Santa Maria La Antigua, or “St. Mary the Ancient.” The image predates the diocese’s founding and was first venerated in the 15th century in a side chapel at the Cathedral of Seville in Spain.

In honor of the venerated image, the Spanish explorers Martín Fernández de Enciso and Vasco Núñez de Balboa founded the Panama colony city of Santa Maria de la Antigua del Darien in 1510. This fulfilled their promise to the Virgin Mary after winning a battle. Afterwards, the explorers built the first American mainland chapel dedicated to Mary.

The diocese’s three-day anniversary celebration were held Sept. 6-8 and included special Masses, rosaries and processions with the statue of Santa Maria La Antigua. The bishops of Panama gathered for Mass at the Cathedral of Panama to crown the statue on Sept. 9, the day Panama Archbishop Jose Dimas Cedeno Delgado proclaimed Santa Maria La Antigua the patroness of the Archdiocese of Panama in 1999.

The Church in Panama has marked the anniversary with a Jubilee Year coinciding with the Year of Faith. The Jubilee Year began in November of 2012 with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Marc Ouellette, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

 Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/first-mainland-american-diocese-celebrates-500-years-of-history/#ixzz2eXkMzkNw

Coptic Christians of Egypt

In 13 History on 2013/09/12 at 12:00 AM

The growing civil unrest in Egypt has resulted in tension among the factions of the country’s Muslim population, but it has also resulted in increased threats and violence against the nation’s Christian minority, most of which is Coptic. When American Protestants hear about such violence, our natural and appropriate response is outrage, but it also leads to a question many Evangelicals are no doubt asking: What, exactly, is a Coptic Christian?

Understanding the origins of Coptic Christianity requires a dip into Church history. Christianity in Egypt is traditionally traced back to the Gospel writer Mark, and in the early centuries of the faith, the Egyptian city of Alexandria was one of the most important Christian centers. Some philosophical tensions were evident early, however. Alexandria was an outpost of “eastern” Christianity, which tended to emphasize Christ’s transcendent deity. “Western” Christian centers, on the other hand, stressed His humanity more heavily. These differences in theological emphasis — coupled with the late Roman Empire’s geographical politics — all came to a head in 451 A.D. at the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon.

The details of Chalcedon are almost absurdly technical. While imperial politics played a major role in the proceedings and aftermath, the immediate theological issue the council tried to answer was just what happened when God the Son became incarnate as Jesus Christ. Did He exist (1) with two natures (human and divine) in radical distinction, (2) two natures commingling without losing their individual integrities, (3) a single divine nature, or (4) a composite of the human and the divine that formed a new type of nature?

Whatever Chalcedon’s complexities, the result was that the second position was upheld, leading to the famous “Chalcedonian Definition of Faith“. The Bishop of Alexandria, Dioscorus, was disgraced, in part for his role in attempting to defend Eutyches, a monk accused of holding the fourth position (“monophysitism“). Alexandria and its surrounding sites never accepted the Chalcedonian Definition. They rejected the label “monophysite,” but also opposed Chalcedonian Christology, arguing instead for a middle “miaphysite” position.

These events were the origins of the Coptic Church as distinct from broader catholic Christianity. Indeed, the divide represents one of the first major Church splits, predating the Great Schism with Eastern Orthodoxy by over 500 years and occurring more than a millennium before the Protestant Reformation. As a result, the Coptic Church developed on an almost parallel course to Catholicism, with its own succession of popes and its own distinctive liturgy. Also, similar to Eastern Orthodoxy, it contains a distinctly ethnic facet: Copts consider themselves the original Egyptians, rather than the country’s largely Arab Muslim population.

Islamic forces took Egypt decisively in the early 640s, but the Copts, weary of Roman and Byzantine Christianity’s periodic crackdowns against its Christology, were not entirely unwilling. During the last 1,400 years, Muslim majority rule of Egypt has at times entailed prejudice or persecution for the Copts, but at other times has allowed for a substantial degree of tolerance and coexistence. In the meantime, various attempts have been made to reconcile the Coptic Church with the churches from which it broke.

Attempts at rapprochement with the Catholic Church faltered during the Crusades and again at the Council of Florence in 1441. Recent developments, however, have been more positive. Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI met with Coptic Pope Shenouda III, leading to a clarifying of key Christological terminology. And earlier this year, the Coptic Pope Tawadros II met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, leading to further solidarity. Since the 1980s, meanwhile, relations between the Coptic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have also thawed, to the extent that the two groups will now accept one another’s sacraments. The Coptic Church’s relationship with Protestantism was initially strained: 19th century missionaries were regarded as rivals rather than allies. Given recent persecutions, however, the groups appear more willing to acknowledge each other’s faiths as legitimate.

Throughout their history, the Coptic Christians of Egypt and its neighbors have been no strangers to suffering, and we need to pray and work for their perseverance through these most recent trials.

Source: National Catholic Review, 9/10/14

Otranto Revisited: Who is winning the battle and what are the implications?

In 13 History on 2013/08/30 at 12:00 AM

The Ottoman Turks, captured Constantinople, seat of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern portion of the original Roman Empire) in 1453, thus completing the total fall of the Roman Empire. Constantinople, which the renamed THE CITY  (Istanbul) became the capital of their empire.   With the aim of making the Mediterranean their lake and the Europeans Moslems, they launched continuous attacks on key Christian maritime cities.

Otranto was just a part of a well plan.  The Ottoman fleet of 128 galleys arrived at the Neapolitan Otranto on July 28, 1480.  As in medieval times, the citadel for refuge was the castle and to this haven they fled but the Castle of Otranto fell on August 11 to the invaders.

Archbishop Stefano Agricoli and many others were killed right in the cathedral; Bishop Stephen Pendinelli and Count/Commander Francesco Zurlo were sawn in two while alive.

The motto of Islam was “convert or die”.  The lands bordering the Mediterranean which had once been Christianized and led by Early Church like Augustine were falling like dominos to the Moslems.  In Otranto, 800 men ran for the hills but were eventually caught and beheaded by the Moslems for absolutely refusing to convert.  On Sunday, May 12, 2013 Pope Francis canonized the 800 men.

By the middle of the sixteenth century, the Mediterranean had become a Moslem lake, that is until Charles V of Spain’s son, Don Juan of Austria led the European fleet that defeated the Moslems on October 7, 1571.  While the Christians galleys were vastly outnumbered by the triple galley fleet of the Moslems, the Christians won a resounding victory attributed to the prayers of Christendom and those of the Christian captives who were enslaved as rowers of the Moslem galleys.

With the Battle of Lepanto began the decline of the Ottoman Empire which was divided up by the Allies after World War I and granted nationhood after World War II.  The Moslem approach has changed: invasion of Christian lands by immigration.  Just look at Europe and the USA and ask yourself: Who is winning that battle and what are the implications?

A Tribute to Margaret Thatcher

In 13 History on 2013/08/23 at 12:00 AM

 

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Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

The following is adapted from remarks delivered at a ceremony in honor of Margaret Thatcher sponsored by the Hillsdale chapter of Young Americans for Freedom on April 22, 2013.

Margaret Thatcher was born in 1925, in October. Her father was a grocer. She was born in Lincolnshire, in the middle of England. She studied chemistry at Oxford. In 1959 she got elected to Parliament for Finchley, which she represented until she retired from the House of Commons in 1992. She’s one of the great prime ministers in British history, and one of the longest serving, at least in continuous times.

I happened to live in England when Mrs. Thatcher’s party won the 1979 election and she became prime minister— the first woman to do so. It was better than watching sports on television. There was nothing like it. Every day she would do something big, and every day she would not apologize for it, even when reporters would press her. You just never saw anyone so direct or clear of speech.

Mrs. Thatcher faced a situation in Britain that was devastating, much like the situation we have today in our own country. What she did was to make plain that situation and to place great faith in the people of her country, and then when they were asked to choose, they chose for her over and over again. Indeed, she never lost an election after she won the first one. She only lost her job as prime minister because her party got tired of her. They were not as strong as she was and they threw her out, and she left very nobly.

I’ll tell you two quick stories about her. The first concerns a coal strike led by a very left wing man named Arthur Scargill, who was the head of the coal miners union. That union was powerful because people got their heat from coal, and if the union didn’t mine coal in the winter, people got cold.

The major political party opposed to Mrs. Thatcher’s Conservative party, the Labor party, was basically controlled at that time in its governing structure by the labor unions, and the worst and most aggressive of them was the coal miners. So the Prime Minister stood largely alone, and great powers were arrayed against her. And what she did was store up a bunch of coal to get ready for a strike because she knew Mr. Scargill was going to call one, and he did call one. The coal mining regions of the country had thousands of people picketing, and parts of the country basically ceased to function.

This had happened many times in the past, and the government had capitulated. But this time there was Mrs. Thatcher at the head of the government, and there was something called the Battle of Orgreave, in which five thousand miners clashed with five thousand policemen. The policemen triumphed, and there were over 100 casualties. That was a battle for the soul of the country, and the Prime Minister was very clear about it. She explained that the stakes were enormous and that the government was going to stand up for the country. There was no wiggle in her. She didn’t budge. And what happened was that a large part of the membership of the miners union broke off, formed their own union, and made a deal that was in their interest but was not what Scargill had demanded. So Mrs. Thatcher basically broke that strike, and she broke that kind of unionism. The other kind—the kind where people act under laws that are fair, and where unions don’t take over parts of the country or the property of others—that kind of unionism thrives in Britain today. And so far there has not been an effort to bring back  the destructive kind.

My second story concerns terrorism. You probably know that Mrs. Thatcher was almost killed when IRA terrorists put a bomb in her hotel during the annual Conservative Party Conference in 1984. They checked into that hotel months in advance and planted an explosive device set to go off near where the Prime Minister slept. It did go off, and it killed five people, but Mrs. Thatcher was working late and her life was spared.

IRA terrorists had previously killed one of her best friends, a man named Airey Neave, a distinguished soldier in World War II and one of the few men to escape the German POW camp at Colditz. He was very close to Mrs. Thatcher, and he was the Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland. Shortly before she became prime minister, the terrorists placed a bomb in Neave’s car set to explode when the car was at a certain angle coming out of the parking lot underneath the House of Commons, and Airey Neave was killed, having survived the Nazis.

So Margaret Thatcher had strong reasons to oppose terrorism. And when it happened that several IRA terrorists, the key one being a man named Bobby Sands, went on a hunger strike in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland—they were demanding to be classified as political prisoners rather than as criminals—she stood firm as they starved themselves to death. Over and over, she stated her position forthrightly: “Crime is crime is crime. It is not political. It is crime.” And what that meant was that those terrorists had chosen the wrong time to go on a hunger strike.

I’ll tell you what I think all that means. I’ve thought about this most of my adult life, and much of what I think about it is informed by having watched Mrs. Thatcher. We live in an age when a new kind of government has been invented, and it’s not so much that it has different aims, although it does have many different aims, but that it proceeds by a different method—through rules made by so-called experts, who gather the forces of government over themselves.

There’s an agency that has been created recently in the United States, and that agency does not get its budget from the Congress of the United States, but from a percentage of the revenues of the Federal Reserve, which gets its revenues as a government monopoly bank. This new agency has regulatory power that may affect us as a college and will certainly affect each of us as individuals. And Congress is forbidden to hold hearings on the budget of that agency, and that agency routinely refuses inquiries from Congress about its operations. That means it is sealed off from popular control. And the weight and scale of the government run by this new method means that there’s some chance that the government is going to overwhelm the society. That is the very abnegation of liberal politics—liberal in the sense of a free people managing those who govern them because human beings are born equal, with equal rights.

The greatest defender and servant of this principle of liberal government that I have seen in my lifetime is Margaret Thatcher, and I pray that we will see the likes of her again, because the battle over this kind of government is upon us again. For making clear that the right way of government is to operate under a constitution, and under the control of free people, and for fighting for constitutionalism more effectively than anyone in our time, we today remember Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.


Copyright © 2013 Hillsdale College. The opinions expressed in Imprimis are not necessarily the views of Hillsdale College. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission fromg Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.” SUBSCRIPTION FREE UPON REQUEST. ISSN 0277-8432. Imprimis trademark registered in U.S. Patent and Trade Office #1563325.

Messenger of the Truth

In 13 History on 2013/06/19 at 1:36 PM

JERZYFINAL_Small

Messenger of the Truth is a remarkable true story of a Solidarity era martyr,
Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko. This film is a must see documentary for all who
believe in the rights of Religious Liberty, the dignity of the human person,
and those who are lovers of freedom and defenders of the truth.”
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Teaser_6-12-13_Vimeo Quality.mp4

Here is the website link (http://www.messengerofthetruth.com) so that those of you who are interested in the film may have a direct link from this blog to more information.

Paul Hensler: Writer/Producer

Jerzy – Messenger of the Truth

Urgent Need for Dialogue and Cooperation between Science and Faith

In 13 History on 2013/03/13 at 11:11 AM

8 November 2012 – The Holy Father received participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which is meeting to examine the topic of: “Complexity and Analogy in Science: Theoretical, Methodological and Epistemological Aspects”.

“In your discussions”, said the Pope speaking English, “you have sought to examine, on the one hand, the ongoing dialectic of the constant expansion of scientific research, methods and specialisations and, on the other, the quest for a comprehensive vision of this universe in which human beings, endowed with intelligence and freedom, are called to understand, love, live and work”.

“Such an interdisciplinary approach to complexity also shows too that the sciences are not intellectual worlds disconnected from one another and from reality but rather that they are interconnected and directed to the study of nature as a unified, intelligible and harmonious reality in its undoubted complexity. Such a vision has fruitful points of contact with the view of the universe taken by Christian philosophy and theology, with its notion of participated being, in which each individual creature, possessed of its proper perfection, also shares in a specific nature and this within an ordered cosmos originating in God’s creative Word. It is precisely this inbuilt “logical” and “analogical” organisation of nature that encourages scientific research and draws the human mind to discover the horizontal co-participation between beings and the transcendental participation by the First Being.

“The universe”, the Holy Father added, “is not chaos or the result of chaos, rather, it appears ever more clearly as an ordered complexity which allows us to rise, through comparative analysis and analogy, from specialisation towards a more universalising viewpoint and vice versa. While the very first moments of the cosmos and life still elude scientific observation, science nonetheless finds itself pondering a vast set of processes which reveals an order of evident constants and correspondences and serves as essential components of permanent creation”.

“In the great human enterprise of striving to unlock the mysteries of man and the universe, I am convinced of the urgent need for continued dialogue and cooperation between the worlds of science and of faith in the building of a culture of respect for man, for human dignity and freedom, for the future of our human family and for the long-term sustainable development of our planet. Without this necessary interplay, the great questions of humanity leave the domain of reason and truth, and are abandoned to the irrational, to myth, or to indifference, with great damage to humanity itself, to world peace and to our ultimate destiny”, Pope Benedict concluded.

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Jews and Catholics: Dialogue, Reconciliation and Cooperation

In 13 History on 2013/03/13 at 12:00 AM

Benedict XVI welcomed a delegation from the Latin American Jewish Congress, “the first group representing Jewish organisations and communities in Latin America which I have met here in the Vatican”, the Pope said. He went on to recall that “dynamic Jewish communities exist throughout Latin America, especially in Argentina and Brazil, living alongside a large Catholic majority. Beginning with the years of Vatican Council II relations between Jews and Catholics have become stronger, also in your own region, and various initiatives are afoot to make our mutual friendship deeper”.

The Holy Father reaffirmed that the Vatican Council II Declaration “Nostra aetate” continues “to be the basis and the guide for our efforts towards promoting greater understanding, respect and cooperation between our communities. The Declaration not only took up a clear position against all forms anti-Semitism, but also laid the foundations for a new theological evaluation of the Church’s relationship with Judaism, expressing the confidence that an appreciation of the spiritual heritage that Jews and Christians share will lead to increasing understanding and esteem”.

“In considering the progress made in the last fifty years of Jewish-Catholic relations throughout the world, we cannot but give thanks to the Almighty for this evident sign of His goodness and providence. Thanks to the increase of trust, respect and goodwill, groups whose relations were originally characterised by a certain lack of trust, have little by little become faithful partners and friends, even good friends, capable of facing crises together and overcoming conflicts in a positive manner. Of course there is still a great deal to be done to shake off the burdens of the past, to foment better relations between our communities and to respond to the increasing challenges believers have to face in the modern world. Nonetheless, the fact that we are jointly committed to a path of dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation is a reason for thanksgiving”.

“In a world increasingly threatened by the loss of spiritual and moral values – the values that can guarantee respect for human dignity and lasting peace – sincere and respectful dialogue among religions and cultures is crucial for the future of our human family. I hope that your visit today will be a source of encouragement and renewed trust when we come to face the challenge of forming stronger ties of friendship and collaboration, and of bearing prophetic witness to the power of God’s truth, justice and love, for the good of all humanity”, the Holy Father concluded.