Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & Blessed Antonio Lucci, July 27,2016

Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time & Blessed Antonio Lucci, July 27,2016

We want to do with Jesus’ words what the people in the Gospel do with the buried treasure and the pearl of great price: “When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart.” For when we do everything in our power to put them in our possession, Jesus promises, “In my presence you shall stand. I am with you to deliver and rescue you.”

AMDG+

Opening Prayer

“Lord Jesus, reveal to me the true riches of your kingdom. Help me to set my heart on you alone as the treasure beyond compare with any other. Free my heart of any inordinate desires or attachment to other things that I may freely give to you all that I have in joy and gratitude for all that you have given to me. May I always find joy and delight in your presence.” In your Mighty Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading I
Jer 15:10, 16-21

Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth!
a man of strife and contention to all the land!
I neither borrow nor lend,
yet all curse me.
When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I did not sit celebrating
in the circle of merrymakers;
Under the weight of your hand I sat alone
because you filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain continuous,
my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook,
whose waters do not abide!
Thus the LORD answered me:
If you repent, so that I restore you,
in my presence you shall stand;
If you bring forth the precious without the vile,
you shall be my mouthpiece.
Then it shall be they who turn to you,
and you shall not turn to them;
And I will make you toward this people
a solid wall of brass.
Though they fight against you,
they shall not prevail,
For I am with you,
to deliver and rescue you, says the LORD.
I will free you from the hand of the wicked,
and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 59: 2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
R. (17d) God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Rescue me from my enemies, O my God;
from my adversaries defend me.
Rescue me from evildoers;
from bloodthirsty men save me.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
mighty men come together against me,
Not for any offense or sin of mine, O LORD.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

O my strength! for you I watch;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
As for my God, may his mercy go before me;
may he show me the fall of my foes.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!
R. God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Gospel
Mt 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1: Treasure buried in the field

What do we consider our treasures in this lifetime? What are the strong attractions in our present world that would motivate us to work night and day just to get them? What do we do to assure us that we will possess them, not for a while, but for generations to come? What price do we pay to guarantee us the peace of mind that no one will ever get them from us?   What are these treasures that we keep so close to our hearts that all we do is admire their beauty and the prestige that they give us?

Have we given second thought that all these treasures are God given gifts and are not to be kept but shared? Or does the possession of such worldly treasures motivate and empower us to reach out to share it with others? Does it embolden us to give them away knowing that it is in giving and sharing them with those who need them more that will make it grow a hundredfold?

Today in Matthews’s gospel, the “kingdom of God” is likened to a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Its is like a merchant searching for fine pearls and when he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Then the Kingdom of God is a treasure that cannot be kept in isolation or kept in the privacy of peoples’ minds and hearts. The Kingdom of God should be shared and be brought to the ends of the earth.

As I traveled and journeyed from one life to another, I have considered God’s Word as the pearl of great price. It has made me move to extraordinary activity to obtain it, know more about it and apply it to my life but most importantly to share it with everyone.   Such is my treasure and my having God’s Word in my heart has brought me to experience His kingdom even in this lifetime. God’s Word has drawn me to Jesus and has deepened my relationship with Him and His brethren. Possessing my pearl of great price has made me understand the supreme value of total self-giving for it is in my nothingness that peace and joy abound in my heart.

Let us be more prayerful and be discerning in all our ways as there are many imitation pearls that will lure our lustful senses. The world we live in will always provide us ample occasions to dig for buried treasure of many descriptions but we need to have the pearl of great price. This is the reason we should be in a close prayerful relationship with God as we need His guidance and wisdom to discern what He wants for us.

By the way, it is time to examine what we have in our hearts. How genuine is the treasure we keep in the jewelry box of our hearts? Let us remember that not all that glitters is gold in the eyes of our Lord.

Direction: We need to give up ALL to follow Jesus.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace not only to deepen my love for your Word but to be able to share it with everyone. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I hope and pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – The heavenly treasure and the pearl of great price

What do you most treasure and how do you keep it secure? In a peasant community the best safe was often the earth. The man in the parable “went in his joy” to sell everything. Why? Because he found a treasure worth possessing above everything else he had. He did not, however, have enough to buy the treasure. Fortunately, he only needed enough money to buy the field. In a similar fashion, God offers his kingdom as incomparable treasure at a price we can afford! We can’t pay the full price for the life which God gives us; but when we exchange our life for the life which God offers, we receive a treasure beyond compare.

Searching for the greatest treasure of all
The pearl of great price also tells us a similar lesson. Pearls in the ancient world came to represent the supremely valuable. Jesus remarked that one should not cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). Why would a merchant sell everything for a peerless pearl? No doubt because he was attracted to what he thought was the greatest treasure he could possess.

Discovering heavenly treasure
Discovering God’s kingdom is like stumbling across hidden treasure or finding the one pearl of great price. When we discover the kingdom of God we receive the greatest possible treasure – the Lord himself. Selling all that we have to obtain this incomparable treasure could mean many things – our friends, job, our “style of life”, what we do with our free time. Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure.

In this parable what does the treasure of the kingdom refer to? It certainly refers to the kingdom of God in all its aspects. But in a special way, the Lord himself is the treasure we seek. If the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty (Job 22:22-23).  Is the Lord the treasure and delight of your heart?

“Lord Jesus, reveal to me the true riches of your kingdom. Help me to set my heart on you alone as the treasure beyond compare with any other. Free my heart of any inordinate desires or attachment to other things that I may freely give to you all that I have in joy and gratitude for all that you have given to me. May I always find joy and delight in your presence.” – Read the source: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/jul27.htm

Reflection 3 – When I Found Your Words, They Became My Joy

According to the prophet Jeremiah, the people of Jerusalem will be punished for their abominations, adultery and harlotry (13:27). During the drought to be inflicted on the people, God tells Jeremiah not to pray for the welfare of the people (14:11). Jeremiah intercedes anyway (14:19-22), asking God to remember his people and keep the covenant. God reminds Jeremiah that even Moses and Samuel stood before him and were unable to turn his heart (15:1). The sins of King Manasseh, the son of the good king Hezekiah, are cause for Jerusalem’s destruction.

Manasseh rebuilt all the pagan sanctuaries his father, Hezekiah, destroyed. He erected altars for Baal and set up a pagan pillar (Asherah) in the temple. He worshiped false gods and served them. Manasseh burned his son as an offering, and practiced soothsaying and augury, and dealt with mediums and wizards; He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking the Lord to anger (2 Kings 21:3-9). Through the prophets, the Lord says: “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations, and has done things more wicked than all tat the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah .also to sin with his idols, therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such evil that the ears of every one who hears of it will tingle” (2 Kings 21:10-12).

Jerusalem has rejected the Lord and brought destruction upon themselves. Jeremiah is undeterred and continues his intercession for the people. He asks the Lord to remember him and visit him and take vengeance on his persecutors. He tells the Lord that when he found his words, he devoured them and the words became a joy to him and the delight of his heart.

In response, God promises to protect Jeremiah: “I am with you to save you and deliver you. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless” (15:20-21). Today’s psalm manifests the heart of those who truly trust in the Lord: God is our stronghold, our refuge in the day of distress. The merciful God is our strength and we sing his praise.

Just as Jeremiah rejoiced when he found the words of God and abandoned himself to God’s protection, so also the person who finds the Kingdom of God rejoices and abandons themselves to God’s providence. When we encounter the Kingdom of God, the appropriate response is to sell everything and place our hope and trust completely in the Lord. It is an image of abandonment to God. “Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children’s smallest needs: ‘therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?”… Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (CCC, 305).

The parable of pearl can be read from our perspective or from God’s perspective. From our perspective, we are the merchant and God is the pearl. From God’s perspective, he is the merchant seeking us. We are the pearl of great price and God is willing to send his only-begotten Son to redeem us from the ancient curse of Adam. The Son emptied himself and took the form of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8). Through his Son, God delivers us from our enemies and is our refuge from evil. In this mass, then, we ask the Son, our redeemer, to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father, and we offer, with the Son and in the Holy Spirit, praise and thanksgiving to God the Father.

Read the source text:  http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/daily-homily-when-i-found-your-words-they-became-my-joy

Reflection 4 – Risk and gain

In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, there is a famous scene in which the Prince of Morocco gets to choose among three small jewelry boxes – one made of gold, another of silver, and a third made of lead – one of which contains a picture of Portia. If he selects the box with the picture, he wins Portia’s hand in marriage. But there’s more to the wager than that, for if he chooses incorrectly, he must swear never to seek another woman for his wife.

Each of the boxes bears an inscription that may serve to help (or perhaps hinder) the person making the selection. The writing on the leaden box reads: “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” Pondering those words, the Prince of Morocco asks himself, “Must give – for what? For lead! This casket threatens. Men that hazard all do it in hope of fair advantages.”

His logic is solid. He realizes a fundamental principle of human nature. People may be willing to risk everything they have, but only if there is promise of some great return. He chooses, logically he thinks, the golden box, only to learn that he has lost his suit with Portia. Part of the scroll inside the box reads: “All that glisters is not gold – often have you heard that told; many a man his life hath sold, but my outside to behold.” Morocco has been seduced by superficial value.

Today’s gospel confirms the prince’s logical deduction that people who risk everything do so in hope of “fair advantages.” There is some speculation that the two main characters in these parables come at this issue of risk from different perspectives. The man knocking around in the field was probably a farm laborer (why else would he be digging in the ground?), while the merchant seems to have been a man of considerable means, wealthy enough that when he liquidated his assets he could afford a very valuable pearl.

The message of this parable, then, is for everyone – those who have much to lose and those who have little. What is to be gained here, the kingdom of Heaven, is worth the risk. No one who risks all to win the kingdom will, upon gaining it, feel that he or she has been “sold short.” The trick is to make sure that we’re going after the right thing. (Source: Jim Johnstone, Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, July 30,2008).

Reflection 5 – Blessed Antonio Lucci (1682-1752 A.D.)

Antonio studied with and was a friend of St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, who after Antonio Lucci’s death testified at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci.

Born in Agnone in southern Italy, a city famous for manufacturing bells and copper crafts, he was given the name Angelo at Baptism. He attended the local school run by the Conventual Franciscans and joined them at the age of 16. Antonio completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi, where he was ordained in 1705. Further studies led to a doctorate in theology and appointments as a teacher in Agnone, Ravello and Naples. He also served as guardian in Naples.

Elected minister provincial in 1718, the following year he was appointed professor at St. Bonaventure College in Rome, a position he held until Pope Benedict XIII chose him as bishop of Bovino (near Foggia) in 1729. The pope explained, “I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint.”

His 23 years as bishop were marked by visits to local parishes and a renewal of gospel living among the people of his diocese. He dedicated his episcopal income to works of education and charity. At the urging of the Conventual minister general, Bishop Lucci wrote a major book about the saints and blesseds in the first 200 years of the Conventual Franciscans.

He was beatified in 1989, three years after his friend Francesco Antonio Fasani was canonized.

Comment:

As Pope Paul VI wrote in 1975, people today “are more impressed by witnesses than by teachers, and if they listen to these it is because they also bear witness” (Evangelization in the Modern World, #41).

Quote:

When Francis of Assisi learned that Anthony of Padua was teaching theology to the friars in Bologna, Francis wrote: “It pleases me that you teach sacred theology to the brothers, as long as—in the words of the Rule—you do not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion with study of this kind.”

Read the source:  http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1089

SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Lucci
 

The Blessed Antonio Lucci, O.F.M. Conv., (1682–1752) was an Italian Franciscan friar and bishop. Serving as spiritual leader of an impoverished region, he spent his life caring for and improving the lives of his flock. He has been beatified by the Catholic Church.

He was born Angelo Nicola Lucci on 2 August 1682 in Agnone,[1] in the Province of Isernia, on the eastern coast of Italy, then a part of the Kingdom of Sicily. He attended the local school run by the Conventual Franciscans and joined them at the age of 16. He completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi, where he wasordained in 1705. Further studies led to a doctorate in theology and appointments as professor in Agnone, Ravello and Naples. He also served as Guardian of the friaryin Naples.

Lucci was elected Minister Provincial in 1718; the following year he was appointed professor at St. Bonaventure College in Rome, a position he held until Pope Benedict XIII chose him in 1729 as Bishop of Bovino, in the Province of Foggia. The pope explained, “I have chosen as bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint.”

Though he had a reputation for being shy and reserved,[2] Lucci’s 23 years as bishop were marked by visits to local parishes throughout his diocese and a renewal ofgospel living among the people under his care. He dedicated his episcopal income to works of education and charity. At the urging of the Conventual Minister General, Lucci wrote a major book about the saints and blesseds in the first 200 years of the Conventual Franciscan friars.

Lucci studied with and was a close friend of St. Francis Fasani, O.F.M. Conv., who, after Lucci’s death on 25 July 1752, testified at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci’s life. Lucci was beatified in June 1989 by Pope John Paul II, three years after Fasani himself had been canonized.

His feast day is observed on 24 July by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Foggia-Bovino (after a merger of the two in the late 20th century) and among the Conventual Franciscans friars.

References[edit]

The World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow begins!

The World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow begins!

Published on Jul 26, 2016

Subscribe!: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports

Visit our website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/en
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomeReportsENG/

July 26, 2016. Cardinal Dziwisz presided over the inaugural Mass. Pope Francis will arrive tomorrow.

WYD: Seminarians get young men to ask themselves the hardest question in life

Published on Jul 26, 2016

Subscribe!: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports

Visit our website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/en
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomeReportsENG/

July 26, 2016. “Why Not Priest” uses natural talents as the best testimony of joy and enthusiasm in life.

Stopover in Rome for pilgrims traveling to WYD in Krakow

Published on Jul 26, 2016

Subscribe!: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports

Visit our website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/en
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomeReportsENG/

July 26, 2016. Youth from all over the world visit the Eternal City to make the most of their trip.

Text of Cardinal Dziwisz’s Intro and Homily at Opening Mass of #WYD2016

“Meeting with Jesus, we simultaneously realize that we all make up a great community – the Church – which surpasses the boundaries established by people and which divide people”

St John Paul II Basilica, Krakow

Deborah Castellano Lubov

Below is Cardinal Stanislas Dziwisz, (Archbishop of Krakow) Introduction and homily at today’s opening mass for World Youth Day 2016 in Blonia Park in Krakow.

Introduction

My Dear Friends!

The moment we have been waiting 3 years for has arrived. We have been waiting since the day Pope Francis announced in Rio de Janeiro that the next World Youth Day would take place in Poland – in Krakow.

The clock fitted on the facade of St. Mary’s Basilica in the heart of historic Krakow counted the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the moment which we are now experiencing. But a more important clock, registering the thoughts and feelings in our hearts, spiritually prepared us for the meeting of young disciples of the Master of Nazareth that we are beginning today.

You have come from all continents and nations, from the East and West, the North and South of our globe. You bring with you many experiences. You bring many desires. You speak numerous languages. But starting today we are going to communicate with each other in the language of the Gospel. This is a language of love, brotherhood, solidarity and peace.

I welcome you all most cordially in the city of Karol Wojtyła – Saint John Paul II. It is here that he grew up to serve the Church, and it is from here that he set off to the ways of the world to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I welcome you in the city where we especially experience the mystery and gift of Divine Mercy.

Cari amici – benvenuti a Cracovia!

Dear friends – welcome to Cracow!

Chers amis – bienvenus à Cracovie!

Liebe Freunde – herzlich willkommen in Krakau!

Queridos amigos – bienvenidos a Cracovia!

Queridos amigos – Bem-vindos à Cracóvia!

Дорогие Друзья! Добро пожаловать в Краков!

Дорогі друзі, вітаємо у Кракові!

Drodzy Przyjaciele – witajcie w Krakowie!

Brothers and sisters, let us open our hearts to receive the word of God and the gift of the Eucharist. May the crucified and risen Lord, the saviour of the world,  stand among us. Let us commend to Him all our thoughts and feelings, hopes and expectations regarding the festival of faith of the young church that is beginning. But because we are aware of our sins and our disloyalty to the ideals of the Gospel, let us apologize to God so that we could jointly celebrate the Most Holy Sacrifice of this Mass with pure hearts.

Homily

Dear Friends!

Listening to the dialogue of the risen Jesus with Simon Peter on the bank of the Sea of Galilee, hearing the triple question about love and the answer to it, we have in mind the hardships of the life of this fisherman of Galilee that preceded this crucial conversation. We know that he one day left everything – his family, boat and nets – and followed an unusual Teacher from Nazareth. He became His disciple. He learned His way of looking at the matters of God and people. He lived through His passion and death, as well as through a moment of personal weakness and betrayal. Afterwards, he experienced a moment of astonishment and joy connected with Jesus’ resurrection, who appeared to His closest disciples before ascending into heaven.

We also know the continuation of the conversation, or rather the trial of love that today’s Gospel speaks about. Simon Peter, strengthened by the Holy Spirit, became a brave witness to Jesus Christ. He became a rock of the emerging Church. For all this he paid the highest price in the capital city of the Roman empire – he was crucified like his Master. Peter’s bloodshed in the name of Jesus became the seed of faith and initiated the growth of the Church, which engulfed the whole world.

Today, Christ speaks to us in Krakow, at the banks of the Wisła river, which  flows through all of Poland – from the mountains to the sea. Peter’s experience may become ours and inspire us to reflect. Let us pose three questions and look for the answers. First, where do we come from? Second, where are we today, in this moment of our lives? And third, where are we going to go and what are we going to take with us?

Where do we come from? We come from “every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5), like those who came in great numbers to Jerusalem on Pentecost Day, but there are incomparably more of us now than two thousand years ago, because we are accompanied by centuries of preaching the Gospel, which since then has reached the furthest ends of the world. We bring our experience of various cultures, traditions and languages. What we also bring are testimonies of faith and holiness of our brothers and sisters, followers of the risen Lord, of past generations as well as the current generation.

We come from such parts of the world where people live in peace, where families are communities of love and life and where young people can pursue their dreams. But among us are also young people from countries whose people are suffering due to wars and other kinds of conflicts, where children are starving to death and where Christians are brutally persecuted. Among us are young pilgrims from parts of the world that are ruled by violence and blind terrorism, and where authorities usurp power over man and nations, following insane ideologies.

We bring to this meeting with Jesus during these days our personal experiences of living the Gospel in our difficult world. We bring our fears and disappointments, but also our hopes and yearning, our desire to live in a more human, more fraternal and solidary world. We acknowledge our weaknesses, but at the same time believe that “we can do all things through Him who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13). We can face the challenges of the modern world, in which man chooses between faith and disbelief, good and evil, love and its rejection.

Where are we now, at this moment of our lives? We have come from near and far. Many of you have travelled thousands of kilometres and invested much in your journey to be here. We are in Krakow, the former capital of Poland, to which the light of faith reached one thousand fifty years ago. Polish history was difficult, but we have always tried to remain faithful to God and the Gospel.

We are all here because Christ has gathered us. He is the light of the world. Whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness (Jn. 8:12). He is the way, and the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6). He has the words of eternal life. To whom shall we go? (Jn. 6:68). Only He – Jesus Christ – is able to satisfy the deepest desires of the human heart. It is He who has led us here. He is present among us. He is accompanying us like He accompanied His disciples headed for Emmaus. Let us entrust Him in these days our matters, fears and hopes. During these days, He will be asking us about love, like He asked Simon Peter. Let us not  avoid responding to these questions.

Meeting with Jesus, we simultaneously realize that we all make up a great community – the Church – which surpasses the boundaries established by people and which divide people. We are all God’s children, redeemed by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Experiencing the universal Church is a great experience associated with World Youth Day. The image of the Church depends on us – on our faith and sanctity. It is up to us to ensure that the Gospel reaches those who have not yet heard about Christ or have not learnt enough about Him.

Tomorrow, the Peter of our times – Pope Francis – will arrive among us. The day after tomorrow, we will greet him in this same place. In the following days, we will listen to his words and pray together with him. The presence of the Pope at World Youth Day is yet another beautiful and characteristic feature of this celebration of faith.

And finally the third, last question: where are we going and what will we take with us from here? Our meeting will last only a few days. It is going to be an intense, spiritual and, to a certain extent, physically demanding experience. Afterwards, we will return to our homes, families, schools, universities and to our places of employment. Maybe we will make some important decisions during these days? Maybe we will set some new goals in our lives? Maybe we will hear the clear voice of Jesus, telling us to leave everything and follow Him?

With what will we return? It is better to not anticipate the answer to this question. But let us take up a challenge. During these days, let us share with each other what is most valuable. Let us share our faith, our experiences, our hopes. My dear young friends, may these days be an opportunity to form your hearts and minds. Listen to the catecheses delivered by bishops. Listen to the voice of Pope Francis. Participate wholeheartedly in the divine liturgy. Experience the merciful love of the Lord in the sacrament of reconciliation. Discover also the churches of Krakow, the wealth of the culture of this city, as well as the hospitality of its inhabitants and of those of neighbouring towns, where we will find rest after a day’s rigors.

Krakow is alive with the mystery of Divine Mercy, also owing to humble Sister Faustina and John Paul II, who made the Church and the world sensitive to this specific trait of God. Returning to your countries, homes and communities, carry the spark of mercy, reminding everyone that “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). Carry the flame of your faith and ignite with it other flames, so that human hearts will beat to the rhythm of the Heart of Christ, which is “a flaming fire of love.” May the flame of love engulf our world and rid it of egoism, violence and injustice, so that a civilization of good, reconciliation, love and peace will be strengthened on our earth.

The prophet Isaiah tells us today “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news” (Is. 52:7). John Paul II was such a messenger – He was the initiator of World Youth Day, a friend of youth and families. And you be such messengers. Carry the good news about Jesus Christ to the world. Give testimony that it is both worth it and necessary to entrust Him with our fate. Open wide the doors of your hearts to Christ. Proclaim with conviction like Paul the Apostle, “that neither death, nor life, […]  nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)

Amen!

INTERVIEW: Why This World Youth Day Will Be Like No Other

Spokesman of Polish Bishops Gives ZENIT Latest Scoops on This World Youth Day

5fc0185f-eec3-47ad-b159-f736e10b88df

Fr. Pawel — Credits: © Niedziela

This week, Pope Francis will make his 15th apostolic visit outside Italy, and his first to the Eastern European nation of Poland. He arrives Wednesday and departs Sunday, here for the World Youth Day already underway.

In an exclusive interview with ZENIT this week in Krakow, Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, the spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, shared not only what’s on the agenda, but some scoops.

***

ZENIT: What should we expect this World Youth Day (e.g. How many people, from which countries, countries sending the most, etc)?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: We expect at least 1.5 million people to come to Krakow, mostly from Poland, but many from Italy, France, the United States (which is number five in terms of countries sending the most), the UK and Portugal. In fact, the “least young” person to be registered in the World Youth Day is 71, from one of the countries in Latin America, which just goes to show that youth is not counted by age but by heart. [smiling]

For the first time in Poland’s history, for one meeting, people are coming from at least 187 countries and regions. The people accredited to the World Youth Day are more than those [nations with a diplomat] accredited to the Holy See, which just goes to show that this event, the World Youth Day, is going beyond diplomacy. This will be one of the most well-attended World Youth Days.

Something really worthy of noting is that this WYD will be different than all those before this one in that it will be very “social.” Now the main source of everyone’s information will be in their pocket, if you will, their cell phones, through social media, all its forms, but especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, among others. You cannot ignore World Youth Day. This is significant because on these social networks, which now reach an unprecedented number of people, the people who see the posts are not just Catholics, but anyone connected. Hence, this makes it possible to transmit these messages of this WYD and the Pope beyond religion, but to touch the peripheries and those who are different, as Pope Francis wants. So this is very unique, and marks a new start and a new era of the World Youth Days.

ZENIT: Are there any specific ‘social network’ initiatives taking place that come to mind?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: There should be about 60 young people who through the Bishops Conference of England and Wales are coming to Krakow and through social media will make it possible for all those who wish to follow the events, but can’t be present, to keep up through their social media postings. They’ve prepared and been trained specifically to do this. To further lead and spiritually strengthen the young people, there will be bishop catechists leading discussions. Looking at prelates present, there should be 801 bishops participating as catechists and nearly 50 cardinals present from around the world.

ZENIT: What is the significance of it taking place in John Paul II’s homeland, especially now that he is a saint?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: This is following in the footsteps of John Paul II. As Pope Francis said in his video-message before his visit to Poland, “John Paul II is the architect of the World Youth Day.” Pope Francis really underlines that this initiative is of JPII as the mind behind this occasion bringing the world’s young people together.

ZENIT: How is the Jubilee of Mercy impacting this year’s World Youth Day?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: This Jubilee for Young People is celebrated in the Capital of Mercy and it shows the human face of John Paul II, because the Mass will be in the Shrine dedicated to John Paul II, where there had been the salt mine, where Wojtyla worked. Also, the fact that he will hear confessions in the Shrine of Divine Mercy, dedicated to St. Faustina, who Pope John Paul II canonized is also very significant this Jubilee Year.

ZENIT: How are Christian youth from the persecuted countries (Middle East, Northern Africa, Holy Land, Ukraine, etc) participating or being considered, remembered?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: They’ll find the Church in Poland to be very supportive because the Church in Poland, in the Second World War, saw every fourth or fifth priest be killed. And, in Poland, 6 million Poles were killed or died. Of this number, 3 million were Jews and the other half, the other 3 million, were mostly Catholics. During the Holocaust, in addition to the 3 million Polish Jews killed, there were another 3 million Jewish people from other countries of Europe killed, so about 6 million Jews killed in total. We understand. We welcome those who experience persecution and suffering now and we will see youth from such countries present and participating, for example from Syria, the Middle East, and Africa, particularly South Africa. For example, a young man who will speak and ask Pope Francis a question is from Syria. So this will make his voice heard in the world. There also will be many Ukrainians.

ZENIT: How is the Holy Father participating? Why is his presence significant?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: This is Pope Francis’ first visit to the country and, taking a look at all his travels in Europe, outside of Italy, it marks the first time he has passed more than 24 hours in a given country in the continent. He will pass some days here. His presence and participation shows his love for the young people and for Poland, for the beloved land of his saint-predecessor … I think Pope Francis looks at Poland through the lenses of John Paul II.

ZENIT: For the events of the WYD, who are some of the famous people, artists, who will perform? Be present?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: There will be various personalities, but I wish to point out one in particular that will be incredibly memorable. Achinoam Nini Noa, the Israeli artist who sang Ave Maria in the presence of Pope Francis. Before Sunday’s Mass, for the first time in history, she will sing Ave Maria in Hebrew and in English. She has prepared this specifically for the World Youth Day. This was organized by the institutions of the Catholic Church in Poland and the Israeli embassy. This is very good and important.

ZENIT: What do you think will be some of the highlights this year? What have been some of the challenges?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: What I’d consider the highlights would be the events in Krakow, especially the main Mass in the Campus Misericordia on Sunday, and Czestochowa, for the 1050 years since the Baptism of Poland. Pope Paul VI wanted to be in Poland for the 1000th anniversary but the Communist Party government forbid it. But, it was worth waiting, because now Pope Francis is coming and will celebrate Mass during his visit. Obviously, there is Auschwitz, and notably his silence there, is significant. Pope Francis’ silence at Auschwitz will be like a cry for peace. Actually, that day, there is a moment many may not be aware of. There is a woman who, on the 28th, will have her 101st birthday, and, the next day, will meet Pope Francis at Auschwitz, because she is a survivor of it. Before this encounter, in the days leading up to her moment with the Pope, she’ll, interestingly enough, be hosting a World Youth Day pilgrim herself. This Catholic woman, Helena Niwinska, who lives in Krakow, was a singer and also wrote the book ‘The Ways of My Life.”

But let’s also not forget the joyful moments, like Francis riding the tram –at least in Poland – for the first time.

As far as the challenges, I would say logistics. This is especially because Krakow has never had more than 1 million people for such an extended period of time, as its number of inhabitants is roughly 750,000. But we are used to seeing lots of pilgrims, so we are pretty used to handling lots of visitors and pilgrims, so we feel confident we have it covered.

ZENIT: Are there security concerns? What is being done?

Father Rytel-Andrianak: The Minister of Internal Affairs Mariusz Blaszczak confirms that there is no signal of any danger in Poland. The Polish government ensures that there are not threats or concerns and that all is expected to take place in a safe and professional manner. The places of celebrations will be some of the safest places in the world at that time.

Pope Francis condemns “the horror and absurd violence” after attack on church in France

Pope Francis condemns “the horror and absurd violence” after attack on church in France

Published on Jul 26, 2016

Subscribe!: http://smarturl.it/RomeReports

Visit our website to learn more: http://www.romereports.com/en
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomeReportsENG/

July 26, 2016. The Vatican qualifies the murder of the priest who has been stuck as “barbaric.”

As Fr. Hamel Implored God’s Peace on Earth, His Throat Was Cut

Pope’s message to Rouen Diocese notes gravity of this new act of violence, carried out during Mass, in a church

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Drapeaux_français.jpg

Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, has sent a message of condolences to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, France, following the dramatic events this morning in the church of nearby Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where two men armed with knives entered and took hostage the priest, two nuns and two faithful.

They subsequently killed the priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, aged 86, by cutting his throat, and seriously wounded another hostage.

“Informed of the hostage-taking in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, which has caused the death of a priest and in which one of the hostages has been gravely injured, His Holiness Pope Francis assures you of his spiritual closeness and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families and with the pain of the parish and the diocese of Rouen. He implores God, Father of mercy, to welcome Fr. Jacques Hamel in the peace of His light, and comfort the injured person. The Holy Father is particularly troubled to learn that this act of violence took place in a church, during Mass, a liturgical act that implores of God His peace on earth. He asks the Lord to inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity in this new trial, and to extend to everyone the abundance of His blessings.”

Islamic State said the attack was carried out by two of its “soldiers.”

Archbishop of Rouen Responds to Slaying of Priest

Headed back to France from Krakow

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Facade_de_la_Cathédrale_de_Rouen_au_matin.jpg

The archbishop of Rouen responded from Krakow to the news of the attack today at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, where an 84-year-old priest was taken hostage as he was celebrating Mass and subsequently killed. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun was in Krakow for World Youth Day; the Pope arrives in Poland tomorrow. The archbishop is headed back to France.

__

Here is a provisional English translation of the archbishop’s statement.

From Krakow, I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the authors of the assassination. Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry! With the young people at WYD, we pray as we prayed at the tomb of Father Popiulusko in Warsaw, assassinated during the communist regime.

The Vicar General, Father Philippe Maheut, is on location since the beginning. I will be tonight in my diocese with the families and the parish community which is very much in shock. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men. I leave here hundreds of young people who are the future of humanity, the true ones. I ask them not to give in to the violence and become apostles of the civilization of love.

Dominique Lebrun
Archbishop of Rouen
July 26, 2016

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

VATICAN REACTS WITH HORROR AT FRENCH PRIEST FR. JACQUES HAMEL MARTYRED BY ISIS MILITANTS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/vatican-reacts-with-horror-at-french-priest-fr-jacques-hamel-martyred-by-isis-militants/

ISLAM 101 – A Crash Course 

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam 101 – A Crash Course

Was Muhammad a False Prophet? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/was-muhammad-a-false-prophet/

Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

What did the Saints say about Islam?

Jesuit Manuel Carreira: “Islam, the Worst Plague the Human Race Has Ever Seen” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/27/jesuit-manuel-carreira-islam-the-worst-plague-the-human-race-has-ever-seen/

The truth about Islam: An interview with Brigitte Gabriel

The Truth about Islam: Islam is a violent, intolerant religion

David Barton: Despite Obama’s rhetoric, Islam is NOT a religion of peace http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/david-barton-despite-obamas-rhetoric-islam-is-not-a-religion-of-peace/

SHARIA LAW IN ACTION: ISIS Stones Couple To Death, Executes 8 And Crucifies Bodies…”Religion of Peace”? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/sharia-law-in-action-isis-stones-couple-to-death-executes-8-and-crucifies-bodiesreligion-of-peace/

President Barack Obama: To Stop Terrorism Islam Must Reconcile Itself To Modernity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/president-barack-obama-to-stop-terrorism-islam-must-reconcile-itself-to-modernity/

‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar,’ Nun Says http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/islam-is-isis-whoever-says-otherwise-is-a-liar-nun-says/

Islam Means Submission: Dominance and Submission in Cologne and the Persian Gulf http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/19/islam-means-submission-dominance-and-submission-in-cologne-and-the-persian-gulf/

Breitbart News Callers …. Discover Islam Not Religion of Peace

Muslims fail to prove Islam is a religion of peace in debate

The Pyramid of Hate in the Muslim World

Should we call it “Radical Islam”?

Is Islam a Heresy or World Religion? Legos and Muhammad

Why Thomas Aquinas Distrusted Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/28/why-thomas-aquinas-distrusted-islam/

HE WARNED US ABOUT ISLAM 750 YEARS AGO – AND HIS WARNING IS STILL RELEVANT TODAY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/26/he-warned-us-about-islam-750-years-ago-and-his-warning-is-still-relevant-today/

Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan: Symbols of Islamic Fanaticism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/blasphemy-laws-of-pakistan-symbols-of-islamic-fanaticism/

Islam’s Religious Exemption from Criticism

Jesus in Islam: Why Islam is false (Video)?

Former Muslim Apologist Explains Divinity of Jesus http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/11/former-muslim-apologist-explains-divinity-of-jesus/

Solidarity with Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/26/solidarity-with-islam/

Migration and the Islamization of Europe

Beautiful woman who was raped exposes 1 vital truth about Islam

Muslim Imam Defends Refugee Sexual Assaults With 8 Outrageous Words http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/22/muslim-imam-defends-refugee-sexual-assaults-with-8-outrageous-words/

Ex-Muslim Author: ‘Sharia is with us and it’s women who suffer’

Cardinal Robert Sarah: ISIS and Gender Ideology are like apocalyptic beasts

Synod on the Family also looks into persecution of families by ISIS

Analysis: Christians oppressed for their faith by the Islamic Groups

Only Way to Stop Islamic Terrorism is by Banning Islam

A Monastic Response to Violent Islam

Japan shut down radical Islam entirely…Here’s the simple way they did it.

Shock: The grand lesson of the Paris Jihad

Italian Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco calls on Muslims to publicly condemn ISIS

Paris after the ISIS attacks (Video) & Pope Francis’ Message

At Grand Mosque in Central African Republic, Pope Francis denounces violence perpetrated in the name of religion or God

Islam and French Politics: A Reflection http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/15/islam-and-french-politics-a-reflection/

The Greatest Murder Machine in History http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/07/the-greatest-murder-machine-in-history/

Islam, Revolution, and Black Lives Matter http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/14/islam-revolution-and-black-lives-matter/

ISLAM IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RELIGION. HERE’S WHY?

Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion… Here’s why?

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion. Here’s why?

No Exit (from Islam) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/29/no-exit-from-islam/

5 Reasons The Qur’an Can Never Co-Exist with the Constitution

Please click this link to read the Article on 5 Reasons the Qur’an can never co-exist with the Constitution

Is Sharia Islamic Law Compatible with the American Constitution?

The top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better 

Please click this link to watch the video on Top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better

24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Please click this link to read the article on 24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Muslims vs. ‘Outlaws of Islam’: Islamic Voices Lead Fight Against Extremists http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/23/muslims-vs-outlaws-of-islam-islamic-voices-lead-fight-against-extremists/

Report: Only Word for ISIS Atrocities Is Genocide http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/12/report-only-word-for-isis-atrocities-is-genocide/

How You Can Help Stop the Christian Genocide by the ISIS? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/13/how-you-can-help-stop-the-christian-genocide-by-the-isis/

ISIS turns Muslim theological tradition on its head: ISIS deviates from mainstream Islam by rejecting scholarly interpretation and religious pluralism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/isis-turns-muslim-theological-tradition-on-its-head-isis-deviates-from-mainstream-islam-by-rejecting-scholarly-interpretation-and-religious-pluralism/

Saints’ bones among rubble of Syrian monastery destroyed by Isil http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/saints-bones-among-rubble-of-syrian-monastery-destroyed-by-isil/

ISIS CHILD EXECUTIONS, TORTURES ROCK SYRIA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/12/isis-child-executions-tortures-rock-syria/

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Younan Warns: Western Politicians and Media Mislead World on Middle East http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/syriac-catholic-patriarch-younan-warns-western-politicians-and-media-mislead-world-on-middle-east/

Bishop Antoine Chbeir Cries Out as ISIS Devastates Syrian Towns http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/25/bishop-antoine-chbeir-cries-out-as-isis-devastates-syrian-towns/

‘Forgive ISIS’: Girl’s dying request to mother after she is burnt alive by militants in her own home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/16/forgive-isis-girls-dying-request-to-mother-after-she-is-burnt-alive-by-militants-in-her-own-home/

Islam in Crisis – The Decline of Islam is Real http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/23/islam-in-crisis-the-decline-of-islam-is-real/

What’s ISIS? It’s Islam Repeating History. Is Islam a Danger to the Religious Freedom of the U.S. and the World? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/whats-isis-its-islam-repeating-history-is-islam-a-danger-to-the-religious-freedom-of-the-u-s-and-the-world/

When Islamists and Secularists Agree… http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/when-islamists-and-secularists-agree/

VATICAN REACTS WITH HORROR AT FRENCH PRIEST FR. JACQUES HAMEL MARTYRED BY ISIS MILITANTS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/vatican-reacts-with-horror-at-french-priest-fr-jacques-hamel-martyred-by-isis-militants/

What is the Islamic State? What ISIS really wants?

ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape

Is sex slavery sanctioned in Islam?

 Muslim Activist Says This is Why Islamism is ‘Much More Dangerous Than Nazism’

ISIS Desecrates Saint’s Remains, Bulldozes Monastery – Priest Still Missing

High-Profile Rome Exorcist: ISIS is Satan

German Cardinal Kurt Koch: ISIS is a ‘Satanic Terrorist Group’

UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols: Terrorist need to be stopped – Encouraging use of force against ISIS

A Muslim US President?

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Please click this link to read the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Please click this link to read the Article Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Please click this link to the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Pope Benedict XVI was right in warning about radical Islam

Does Fr. Dwight Longenecker teach what the Church teaches on Catholic-Muslim relations?

Pope Francis Condemns ‘Homicidal Folly and Senseless Hatred’ in Orlando, Florida, USA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/13/pope-francis-condemns-homicidal-folly-and-senseless-hatred-in-orlando-florida-usa/

NIGERIA: AMONG MOST NEGLECTED HUMANITARIAN CRISES IN THE WORLD http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/14/nigeria-among-most-neglected-humanitarian-crises-in-the-world/

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE: ‘ISLAM WANTS TO GOVERN THE WORLD’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/cardinal-raymond-burke-islam-wants-to-govern-the-world/

CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression 

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression

The Crusades Were a Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/18/the-crusades-were-a-reasonable-response-to-unchecked-islamic-aggression/

The Real History of the Crusades

The Real History of the Crusades – To set the record straight

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/the-real-history-of-the-crusades

Four Myths about the Crusades 

4 Myths about the Crusades: In light of beheadings…

Please click this link to read about the Four Myths about the Crusades

ISIS (Islamic State) Flogs the Crusades Myth

Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before the Western Crusades 

Please click this link to read the Article on Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before Western Crusades

Crash Course on the Crusades

Please click this link to read the Article on Crash Course on the Crusades

The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/the-crusades-a-response-to-islamic-jihad/

Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

There’s Zero Equivalence Between the Crusades and Muslim Jihad

CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Spanish Inquisition was 99% Myth. (BBC) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/22/spanish-inquisition-was-99-myth-bbc/

Obama Compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Obama at Prayer Breakfast Affirms right to be godless

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama at Prayer Breakfast affirms right to be godless

Watch how Judge Jeanine Just Revealed the Moment She Understood on Obama’s Dark Secret 

Please click this link to watch the video on Judge Jeanine on Obama’s Dark Secret

Forged by War: The Three Battles in the Rise of the Rosary

Please click this link to read the Article on Forged by War: The three battles in the rise of the Rosary

A President, His Muslim Faith, And His Quran… Is It Ok For Him To Lie?

A President, his Muslim Faith and his Quran… Is it Ok for him to lie?

Proclaiming The Gospel in Lebanon: The Mohammad Yamout story http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/14/proclaiming-the-gospel-in-lebanon-the-mohammad-yamout-story/

Mario Joseph Testimony , a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church  

Please click this link to watch the video on Mario Joseph Testimony, a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church

Daniel Ali: Muslim Convert to Catholic Christianity

Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/20/malaysia-rules-muslim-man-can-convert-to-christianity/

Muslim Woman Gives Jesus One Week To Prove Himself Before Ending Her Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/18/19410/

From Darkness to Light
As a Muslim imam, Mario Joseph was well-versed in the Koran and in the teachings of the Islamic religion. In fact, it was precisely the Koran that brought him to an encounter with Jesus Christ and with the truth of the Catholic faith. But his conversion did not come without difficulties; as a consequence, he has undergone grave persecution. How has he attained his intense love toward the Church, the Cross and Heaven? He himself tells us in this week’s impacting episode of Changing Tracks.

Cardinal Tagle Presents “DOCAT,” Notes Grief at Rouen Tragedy

Cardinal Tagle Presents “DOCAT,” Notes Grief at Rouen Tragedy

Cardinal of Manila in Krakow Presented Book and App for Young People to Rediscover Church’s Social Doctrine; Also Prayed for France

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 12.35.13 PM

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila presented today in Krakow the newly released “DOCAT,” a youthful presentation of the Church’s social doctrine, which echoes “YOUCAT,” a youth-oriented explanation of the Catechism presented at the WYD in Madrid in 2011.

Before the cardinal began with the presentation of the book, he noted his grief over the slaying of an elderly priest by ISIS attackers this morning in France.

”I want to express my grief because this morning a priest was brutally killed at Rouen while celebrating Mass,” said the archbishop of Manila, “shocking news that saddens us. Let us pray for the French nation.”

This “unhappy incident will help us understand in what way we can carry out the Social Doctrine of the Church,” he added.

Called to substitute Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who was unable to come, although, he said, “he is irreplaceable,” Cardinal Tagle, with the pilgrim’s small yellow backpack on his back, explained that with the DoCat, “Pope Francis wants to give us a gift, so that we do not halt at knowledge and prayer but pass to action.”

DOCAT is published in the United States by Ignatius Press: http://www.ignatius.com/Products/DOCAT-P/docat.aspx

“This is what the Pope wishes to communicate to young people and not only this. And young people must reciprocate this gift to the Pope.”

As Church, stressed the Archbishop, “we want in fact to give a million and even more young people committed with the spirit of DoCat.”

In a video transmitted during the presentation, Bergoglio himself affirmed that DoCat “is a manual of knowledge, a street manual. It is about the word of Christ as well as of the Church and of many people. It is an important instrument of young people’s daily life.”

Those young people who “have the capacity to lead the world forward,” to whom, in the same film, the Bishop of Rome asked that they have “visions” and, at the same time, “be capable to take up the dreams of the elderly.”

“Be part of the Pope’s dream,” could be read in fact on the blue T-shirts of several boys and girls, who during the presentation  paraded with the flags of the whole world and with placards that depicted an iPhone to show the various functions of the App.

“The Social Doctrine of the Church is the Gospel; it is the Good News regarding redemption and salvation. This Good News enters our hearts thanks to the Holy Spirit and, with the love of God, through his gestures, we can also act,” said the Cardinal, who is also President of Caritas Internationalis. This Doctrine is “closely connected to our reality” as “social beings. Our actions have social consequences,” he added.

For his part, Francis “has had a strong impact on the Social Doctrine of the Church. Let us think, for instance, of Evangelii Gaudium, in which he speaks of the ‘economy that kills,’ while the Gospel speaks of life. The Holy Father is calling us to reflect: in what way can an economy that kills coexist with the Gospel of life?”

Again the Pope – said Cardinal Tagle, who is among the Cardinals closest to the Pontiff — “speaks in his addresses of the subjects of peace and of the problems that lead to the migratory flow” to “make us understand what the roots are of this violence. He speaks of mafia, he is not afraid of these words, as when at a meeting in Mexico City he exhorted the ‘Lord’s ambassadors’ to ‘fight for life.’”

Instead, he asked thousands of young people, embracing ideally in the WYD of Rio de Janeiro of 2013, to “make noise,” but “not noise as noise, but noise in the sense of moving the world and awakening it from indifference,” specified the Cardinal.

This very living magisterium “isn’t the result of the work of a single person, of one Pope,” continued the Archbishop of Manila; “it is the Social Doctrine of the Church, which is none other than a living person: Christ, who became one of us, member of a family, of a society, a creature that dwelt in Creation.” From Him “we must draw the strength and the life to commit ourselves in society and constitute it a more true, more fraternal <society> full of love.”

In this connection, DoCat can be an optimum instrument. “It’s not a book destined to remain on the shelf, but a guide” with which to “form the history and language of young people.” Therefore, it is not a simple App or a small book but “a project relating to life” which is “part of a campaign to set the world on fire.”

THE DOWNLOAD—THE SOLUTION TO THE NATION’S CRISIS

THE DOWNLOAD—THE SOLUTION TO THE NATION’S CRISIS

Print Friendly and PDF
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 26, 2016

The solution to the current crisis our nation faces won’t be found in politics, but rather in personal holiness and prayer. The Rosary in particular is one of the most powerful weapons in our spiritual arsenal. Its effects and benefits are explained at length in St. Louis de Montfort’s “The Secret of the Rosary,” where he recounts, among other things, how Our Lady crushed the foes of Catholic armies that placed themselves under Her patronage. The following is from Chapter 34 of “The Secret of the Rosary.”

It is almost impossible to do real credit to the victories that Count Simon de Montfort won against the Albigensians under the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary. These victories are so famous that the world has never seen anything to match them. One day he defeated 10,000 heretics with a force of 500 men, and on another occasion he overcame 3,000 with only 30 men. Finally, with 800 horsemen and 1,000 infantrymen he completely put to rout the army of the King of Aragon, which was 100,000 strong, and this with the loss on his side of only one horseman and eight soldiers!

Our Lady also protected Alan de Lanvallay, a Breton Knight, from great perils. He too was fighting for the Faith against the Albigensians. One day when he found himself surrounded by enemies on all sides Our Lady let fall 150rocks upon his enemies, and he was delivered from their hands. Another day when his ship foundered and was about to sink, the Blessed Mother caused 150 small hills to appear miraculously above the water and by means of them they reached Brittany in safety.

He built a monastery at Dinan for the religious of St. Dominic in thanksgiving to Our Lady for all the miracles that she had worked on his behalf in answer to his daily Rosary. Having become a religious himself, he died a holy death at Orleans.

Othère was also a Breton soldier, from Vaucouleurs, and he often put whole companies of heretics or robbers to flight unaided, wearing his Rosary on his arm or carrying it on the hilt of his sword. Once when he had beaten them, his enemies admitted that they had seen his sword gleam and that another time they had noticed a shield on his arm which had pictures of Our Lord and Our Lady and the saints upon it. This shield made him invisible and gave him the strength to attack well.

Another time he defeated 20,000 heretics with only 10 companies and without losing a single man. This so impressed the general of the heretics’ army that he came to see Othère afterwards, abjured his heresy and declared publicly that he had seen him surrounded by flaming swords during the battle.

Watch the panel discuss the power of the Holy Rosary to vanquish our spiritual and physical foes in “The Download—The Solution to the Nation’s Crisis.”

Read the source and comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/the-downloadthe-solution-to-the-nations-crisis

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

Our Lady of Fatima, May 13,2016 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/12/readings-reflections-friday-of-the-seventh-week-of-easter-our-lady-of-fatima-may-132016/

The Rosary to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Our Respond to Defend the Family

The Rosary to Our Lady: The best prayer for men

The Mystery of the Rosary: A Short Documentary

Virgo Potens: 8 Quotes by Roman Pontiffs on the Rosary

6 Things All Catholics Should Know About the Rosary

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

Forged by War: The 3 Battles in the Rise of the Rosary

The Rosary is our spiritual weapon of mass destruction against satan

Mary: Queen of the Rosary

THE DOWNLOAD—OUR LADY, HELP OF EXORCISTS, TERROR OF DEMONS http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/the-download-our-lady-help-of-exorcists-terror-of-demons/

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary October 7

Please click this link to read the Article on How Our Lady granted Victory at Lepanto?

Lepanto, 1571 A.D.: The Battle that saved Europe

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 A.D.: Real Crusades History – What really happened?

No Paradise for Cowards: Lepanto 1571

Has Christianity Become a Coward’s Religion? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/09/has-christianity-become-a-cowards-religion/

Pope Leo XIII’s Lessons on the Rosary

Pope Francis urges Catholics to pray the Rosary in the fight against evil

The Protestant who would pray the Hail Mary: A True Story

Mary’s place in Catholic Theology and her place in our lives

Praying the Hail Mary for Spiritual Warfare http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/praying-the-hail-mary-for-spiritual-warfare/

Why the angel showed reverence to Mary? St. Thomas Aquinas examines the reasons why the angel Gabriel showed such reverence to Mary, saying, “Hail!” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/04/why-the-angel-showed-reverence-to-mary-st-thomas-aquinas-examines-the-reasons-why-the-angel-gabriel-showed-such-reverence-to-mary-saying-hail/

The miracles of Lourdes: What criteria are used by the Church to recognize them? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/08/the-miracles-of-lourdes-what-criteria-are-used-by-the-church-to-recognize-them/

THE DOWNLOAD—THE HISTORY OF THE BROWN SCAPULAR AND THE ROSARY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/the-download-the-history-of-the-brown-scapular-and-the-rosary/

OUR LADY AND THE SERPENT: A burning hatred exists between the two http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/24/our-lady-and-the-serpent-a-burning-hatred-exists-between-the-two/

MICHAEL VORIS: THE CHURCH AND HER SACRAMENTS (VIDEO) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/01/michael-voris-the-church-and-her-sacraments-video/

Why is May the Month of Mary? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/02/why-is-may-the-month-of-mary/

THE VORTEX: MARY IS MOTHER AND GENERAL – Hell cannot long bear confronting the glory of Mary http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/03/the-vortex-mary-is-mother-and-general-hell-cannot-long-bear-confronting-the-glory-of-mary/

Pope Francis’ special devotion for the Virgin Mary http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/03/pope-francis-special-devotion-for-the-virgin-mary/

Mary is Perfectly United With Her Son in the Work of Salvation http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/24/mary-is-perfectly-united-with-her-son-in-the-work-of-salvation/

OUR LADY IN THE MODERN WORLD http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/05/our-lady-in-the-modern-world-2/

Who is Mary according to Scripture?

Please click this link to watch the video on Who is Mary according to Scripture?

Please click this link to watch the video of the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary from various speakers/ sources

5 Facts to Ignore Before Accusing Catholics of Mary’s Worship

Anglican Priest Smears the Virgin Mary http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/27/anglican-priest-smears-the-virgin-mary/

4 Biblical Reasons Mary Is The New Ark of the Covenant http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/10/4-biblical-reasons-mary-is-the-new-ark-of-the-covenant/

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8

The beauty of the Immaculate Conception reflected through images

How does the Immaculate Conception Defined?

Part 10: The Bible on Mary’s Immaculate Conception

What is the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

What’s the case of the Immaculate Conception?

3 Easy Arguments For The Immaculate Conception of Mary

Pope Francis celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

How We Know Mary Was a Perpetual Virgin? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/11/how-we-know-mary-was-a-perpetual-virgin/

Readings & Reflections: Thursday after Ash Wednesday & Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11,2016 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/10/readings-reflections-thursday-after-ash-wednesday-our-lady-of-lourdes-february-112016/

Why do Catholics call Mary “Queen”? The answer click this link: Why do Catholics call Mary “Queen”?

The Woman I Love, the Blessed Virgin Mary by Archbishop Fulton Sheen click below:

The woman I love, the Blessed Virgin Mary by Venerable Fulton Sheen

This video presentations show about the Woman we love, Our Lady of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “She is acknowledged and honored as being truly the mother of God and of the redeemer…. She is clearly the mother of the members of Christ … since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head. Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church” (CCC:963).

Mary’s prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father’s plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ’s conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, his body (cf. Lk 1:38; Acts 1:14). In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made “full of grace” responds by offering her whole being: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” “Fiat”: this is Christian prayer: to be wholly God’s, because he is wholly ours. The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana, the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast (Jn 2:1-12); this is the sign of another feast – that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27), that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true “Mother of all the living” (CCC: 2617-2618).

DOMINICAN PRIEST FR. THOMAS PETRI CHALLENGES HILLARY VP PICK TIM KAINE

DOMINICAN PRIEST FR. THOMAS PETRI CHALLENGES HILLARY VP PICK TIM KAINE

Print Friendly and PDF
by Joseph Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 26, 2016

“Do us both a favor. Don’t show up in my communion line”

WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Dominican priest is taking on presumptive Democrat vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and his claims of being a faithful Catholic.

In a tweet addressed to Sen. Kaine of Virginia published Sunday, Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, wrote: “Do us both a favor. Don’t show up in my communion line. I take Canon 915 seriously. It’d be embarrassing for you & for me.”

The tweet in question was preceded by two others, both addressed to Sen. Kaine, in which Fr. Petri declared, “Self-identified Catholics are not a ‘thing’ in the Catholism [sic]. If you don’t believe our central tenets, you’re not Catholic.” Father Petri also maintained the senator is either “poorly catechized or a dissenter.”
Canon 915 decrees that those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin,” among other things, “are not to be admitted to holy communion.” The canon, according to canon lawyer Ed Peters, “does not demand verification that would-be recipients are subjectively guilty for sinful behavior before withholding Holy Communion.”
This canon has frequently been the subject of controversy, with notable prelates, in particular Cdl. Donald Wuerl of Washington, refusing to apply the canon in cases of pro-abortion politicians seeking to receive Holy Communion. The debate first made headlines in 2004 following Sen. John Kerry, a self-described Catholic and proponent of abortion, announcing his bid for presidency; similar controversy flared up with the selection of Sen. Joe Biden, also a Catholic and proponent of abortion and LGBT “rights,” as vice president on the ticket of then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Despite his outspoken support for policies starkly conflicting with Church teaching, Biden is generally permitted to receive the Eucharist while attending Mass in Washington, D.C., and has been spotted receiving Communion at various parishes across the country.
The controversy over Catholic politicians receiving the Eucharist despite their public support of abortion and LGBT “rights,” among other things, again resurfaced last week with an announcement from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign that Sen. Tim Kaine had been selected as the presumptive vice presidential nominee. The move was met with backlash from Catholics across the country, as the self-described Catholic “strongly support[s] the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions and, for that reason, will oppose efforts to weaken or subvert the basic holding of Roe v. Wade.” Kaine has a 100 percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League, as well as from the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign.
In a Facebook post Saturday, Bp. Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, declared that, on account of Kaine’s public support for “‘freedom of choice’ for abortion, same-sex marriage, gay adoptions and the ordination of women as priests,” the senator’s faith “isn’t central to his public, political life.”
For his tweet, Fr. Petri, who serves as the vice president and academic dean for the Dominican House of Studies, received backlash from various Twitter users, many who accused the priest of acting as “a magisterium” unto himself and labeled him as an “inhospitable rightwinger.” Others expressed support for Fr. Petri, thanking him for standing up for the Church and noting that “all priests should take Canon 915 seriously.”

Joseph Pelletier is a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

Sophia Sketchpad: The Eucharist

Where is the Eucharist in the Bible?

Understanding the Eucharist: Paschal Sacrifice by Dr. Scott Hahn

The Eucharist: Sacrifice and Banquet by Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn: “The Bible and the Sacrifice of the Mass”

The Eucharist: The Anticipation and Promise of Heaven on Earth by Archbishop Robert Carlson

The Eucharist: The Fourth Cup by Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn talks about the Early Church and the Eucharist

The Eucharist: Scripture and Tradition – The Source and Summit of Catholic Faith by Michael Voris

Catholic Mass from a Protestant Perspective – Part 1-3 by Mike Cumbie http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/06/catholic-mass-from-a-protestant-perspective-part-1-3-by-mike-cumbie/

The Catholic Mass, as described by Justin Martyr in the year 155 A.D. http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/20/the-catholic-mass-as-described-by-justin-martyr-in-the-year-155-a-d/

THE VORTEX: EUCHARIST TO EMPTY TOMB – What’s the connection between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/24/the-vortex-eucharist-to-empty-tomb-whats-the-connection-between-holy-thursday-and-easter-sunday/

On the Need to Receive the Eucharist Worthily http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/31/on-the-need-to-receive-the-eucharist-worthily/

I Chose Christ, and He is There on All the Altars of All the Catholic Churches in the World http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/05/i-chose-christ-and-he-is-there-on-all-the-altars-of-all-the-catholic-churches-in-the-world/

10 things you didn’t know about the Eucharist http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/11/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-eucharist/

Our Lord and the Eucharist by Michael Voris

The Sacredness of the Holy Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church by Bishop Schneider

The Holy Eucharist and Blessed Virgin Mary by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ

The Mass Explained by Fr. Larry Richards

The Catholic Mass – Quotes from the Saints

The Eucharistic Eyes

Why Priests? Stephen Colbert takes on Garry Wills on the Real Presence of the Eucharist http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/14/why-priests-stephen-colbert-takes-on-garry-wills-on-the-real-presence-of-the-eucharist/

Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ C & St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, May 29,2016 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/28/readings-reflections-with-cardinal-tagles-video-the-solemnity-of-the-most-holy-body-and-blood-of-christ-c-st-madeleine-sophie-barat-may-292016/

EUCHARISTIC MIRACLES CONFIRM REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/24/eucharistic-miracles-confirm-real-presence-of-jesus-christ/

The Eucharistic Adoration

2 Eucharistic Hymns by Thomas Aquinas

The Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration: 8 Teachings from Cardinal Burke

THE PIOUS PRACTICE OF BOWING AT HOLY NAMES http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/18/the-pious-practice-of-bowing-at-holy-names/

The Vortex: Eucharistic Crisis

The Eucharist and Abortion by Michelle Yax

Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist. And because of this, Eucharistic adoration is not only a wonderful thing, but also a wonderful gift to us from God. “The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord” (CCC: 1377-1378).

VATICAN REACTS WITH HORROR AT FRENCH PRIEST FR. JACQUES HAMEL MARTYRED BY ISIS MILITANTS

VATICAN REACTS WITH HORROR AT FRENCH PRIEST FR. JACQUES HAMEL MARTYRED BY ISIS MILITANTS


by Richard Ducayne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 26, 2016

ROUEN, France (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Vatican is expressing its horror at the beheading of a French priest by two knife-wielding ISIS members Tuesday morning. The Muslims attacked a Catholic church in Rouen, slitting the throat of the 84-year-old priest during Mass.

The terrorists were shot dead by the police after killing the priest and taking several people, including two nuns, hostage for over 40 minutes. A third nun escaped the scene and alerted the police, who took action and shot the Islamic terrorists as they left the church screaming “Daesh” — anather name for ISIS.

The priest was identified as Fr. Jacques Hamel, who had served the community for 58 years.

Another man, who was arrested in April 2015 for planning an attack on multiple churches in France, had placed the parish in Rouen on his list of targeted churches. The list was found in his apartment by authorities. According to a top prosecutor, the man was asked to attack the churches by a contact in Syria.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi released a statement Tuesday saying the Vatican is horrified by the priest’s murder. Pope Francis also expressed “pain and horror for this absurd violence.”

“Everyone knew him very well,” Claude-Albert Seguin, 68, said of Hamel. “He was very loved in the community and a kind man.”

ISIS’ media arm, the Amaq news agency, said the attack was carried out by two of its soldiers. French President François Hollande confirmed the attackers had sworn allegiance to the extremist group.

“My family has lived here for 35 years and we have always known him,” said Eulalie Garcia, a member of Fr. Hamel’s parish.

Garcia added, “He was someone who was treasured by the community. He was very discreet and didn’t like to draw attention to himself.”

Seguin told the Associated Press, “Everyone knew him very well. He was very loved in the community and a kind man.”

In 2014, ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq released an issue showing the famous St. Peter’s Square obelisk with the ISIS flag on top of it. The magazine claimed that one day Islamic Sharia will conquer Rome.

“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” ISIS spokesman Mohammed Al-Adnani said. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”

Free clip from CHURCH MILITANT premium

WATCH NOW

Richard Ducayne is a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @RichardDucayne.

Read the source and comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/priest-in-france-martyred-by-isis-during-mass

The Church’s newest martyr: Jacques Hamel, pray for us

JULY 26, 2016

Hamel, who was born in 1930, was “a good priest…discrete. He was quiet, didn’t like attention,” said Father John Hogan, OCDS, a Secular Discalced Carmelite priest.

“He assumed his duties to the end. He was well-liked. It seems he was a simple, faithful priest, quietly serving God and his people,” the priest tweeted.

A woman who works at a local beauty parlour, Eulalie Garcia, said she had known the priest since her childhood.

“My family has lived here for 35 years and we have always known him,” she said, according to the BBC..

“He was someone who was treasured by the community. He was very discreet and didn’t like to draw attention to himself.”

President Hollande has visited the scene and described the violence as a “vile terrorist attack” perpetrated by attackers who claimed to be from Islamic State (Isis). Prime minister Manuel Valls expressed “horror at [the] barbaric attack on [the] church.”

Read more. 

From the Vatican:

Pope Francis is horrified and shocked by an attack in a church in Rouen, in northern France, where a priest was slain and another hostage was seriously wounded.

A statement released by Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office said: “we are particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a Church, in which God’s love is announced, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful”.

Fr Lombardi also said the Pope shares the pain and the horror caused by this absurd violence and expresses firm condemnation of every form of hatred and prays for the victims.

Two attackers entered the church of  Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass on Tuesday morning, taking the elderly priest and four other people hostage before being shot dead by French police.

There were no immediate details on the identity or motives of the two assailants but the investigation was handed to the anti-terrorist unit of the Paris prosecutor’s office.

In his statement Fr Lombardi commented on the fact that the terrible news is unfortunately the latest in a series of violent attacks in the past days which have created immense pain and preoccupation.

Father Lombardi said the Pope is close to the Church in France, to the Archdiocese of Rouen, to the local community and to the French people.

Read the source and comments: http://aleteia.org/blogs/deacon-greg-kandra/the-churchs-newest-martyr-jacques-hamel-pray-for-us/

As Fr. Hamel Implored God’s Peace on Earth, His Throat Was Cut

Pope’s message to Rouen Diocese notes gravity of this new act of violence, carried out during Mass, in a church

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/15/Drapeaux_français.jpg

Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, has sent a message of condolences to Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, France, following the dramatic events this morning in the church of nearby Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where two men armed with knives entered and took hostage the priest, two nuns and two faithful.

They subsequently killed the priest, Fr. Jacques Hamel, aged 86, by cutting his throat, and seriously wounded another hostage.

“Informed of the hostage-taking in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, which has caused the death of a priest and in which one of the hostages has been gravely injured, His Holiness Pope Francis assures you of his spiritual closeness and joins in prayer with the suffering of the families and with the pain of the parish and the diocese of Rouen. He implores God, Father of mercy, to welcome Fr. Jacques Hamel in the peace of His light, and comfort the injured person. The Holy Father is particularly troubled to learn that this act of violence took place in a church, during Mass, a liturgical act that implores of God His peace on earth. He asks the Lord to inspire in all thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity in this new trial, and to extend to everyone the abundance of His blessings.”

Islamic State said the attack was carried out by two of its “soldiers.”

Archbishop of Rouen Responds to Slaying of Priest

Headed back to France from Krakow

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Facade_de_la_Cathédrale_de_Rouen_au_matin.jpg

The archbishop of Rouen responded from Krakow to the news of the attack today at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, where an 84-year-old priest was taken hostage as he was celebrating Mass and subsequently killed. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Archbishop Dominique Lebrun was in Krakow for World Youth Day; the Pope arrives in Poland tomorrow. The archbishop is headed back to France.

__

Here is a provisional English translation of the archbishop’s statement.

From Krakow, I have learnt with sadness of the killing this morning at the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray. The three victims: the priest, Father Jacques Hamel, 84, and the authors of the assassination. Three other people were injured, one very seriously. I cry out to God with all men of good will. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry! With the young people at WYD, we pray as we prayed at the tomb of Father Popiulusko in Warsaw, assassinated during the communist regime.

The Vicar General, Father Philippe Maheut, is on location since the beginning. I will be tonight in my diocese with the families and the parish community which is very much in shock. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men. I leave here hundreds of young people who are the future of humanity, the true ones. I ask them not to give in to the violence and become apostles of the civilization of love.

Dominique Lebrun
Archbishop of Rouen
July 26, 2016

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

ISLAM 101 – A Crash Course 

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam 101 – A Crash Course

Was Muhammad a False Prophet? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/was-muhammad-a-false-prophet/

Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

What did the Saints say about Islam?

Jesuit Manuel Carreira: “Islam, the Worst Plague the Human Race Has Ever Seen” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/27/jesuit-manuel-carreira-islam-the-worst-plague-the-human-race-has-ever-seen/

The truth about Islam: An interview with Brigitte Gabriel

The Truth about Islam: Islam is a violent, intolerant religion

David Barton: Despite Obama’s rhetoric, Islam is NOT a religion of peace http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/david-barton-despite-obamas-rhetoric-islam-is-not-a-religion-of-peace/

SHARIA LAW IN ACTION: ISIS Stones Couple To Death, Executes 8 And Crucifies Bodies…”Religion of Peace”? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/sharia-law-in-action-isis-stones-couple-to-death-executes-8-and-crucifies-bodiesreligion-of-peace/

President Barack Obama: To Stop Terrorism Islam Must Reconcile Itself To Modernity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/president-barack-obama-to-stop-terrorism-islam-must-reconcile-itself-to-modernity/

‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar,’ Nun Says http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/islam-is-isis-whoever-says-otherwise-is-a-liar-nun-says/

Islam Means Submission: Dominance and Submission in Cologne and the Persian Gulf http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/19/islam-means-submission-dominance-and-submission-in-cologne-and-the-persian-gulf/

Breitbart News Callers …. Discover Islam Not Religion of Peace

Muslims fail to prove Islam is a religion of peace in debate

The Pyramid of Hate in the Muslim World

Should we call it “Radical Islam”?

Is Islam a Heresy or World Religion? Legos and Muhammad

Why Thomas Aquinas Distrusted Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/28/why-thomas-aquinas-distrusted-islam/

HE WARNED US ABOUT ISLAM 750 YEARS AGO – AND HIS WARNING IS STILL RELEVANT TODAY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/26/he-warned-us-about-islam-750-years-ago-and-his-warning-is-still-relevant-today/

Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan: Symbols of Islamic Fanaticism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/blasphemy-laws-of-pakistan-symbols-of-islamic-fanaticism/

Islam’s Religious Exemption from Criticism

Jesus in Islam: Why Islam is false (Video)?

Former Muslim Apologist Explains Divinity of Jesus http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/11/former-muslim-apologist-explains-divinity-of-jesus/

Solidarity with Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/26/solidarity-with-islam/

Migration and the Islamization of Europe

Beautiful woman who was raped exposes 1 vital truth about Islam

Muslim Imam Defends Refugee Sexual Assaults With 8 Outrageous Words http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/22/muslim-imam-defends-refugee-sexual-assaults-with-8-outrageous-words/

Ex-Muslim Author: ‘Sharia is with us and it’s women who suffer’

Cardinal Robert Sarah: ISIS and Gender Ideology are like apocalyptic beasts

Synod on the Family also looks into persecution of families by ISIS

Analysis: Christians oppressed for their faith by the Islamic Groups

Only Way to Stop Islamic Terrorism is by Banning Islam

A Monastic Response to Violent Islam

Japan shut down radical Islam entirely…Here’s the simple way they did it.

Shock: The grand lesson of the Paris Jihad

Italian Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco calls on Muslims to publicly condemn ISIS

Paris after the ISIS attacks (Video) & Pope Francis’ Message

At Grand Mosque in Central African Republic, Pope Francis denounces violence perpetrated in the name of religion or God

Islam and French Politics: A Reflection http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/15/islam-and-french-politics-a-reflection/

The Greatest Murder Machine in History http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/07/the-greatest-murder-machine-in-history/

Islam, Revolution, and Black Lives Matter http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/14/islam-revolution-and-black-lives-matter/

ISLAM IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RELIGION. HERE’S WHY?

Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion… Here’s why?

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion. Here’s why?

No Exit (from Islam) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/29/no-exit-from-islam/

5 Reasons The Qur’an Can Never Co-Exist with the Constitution

Please click this link to read the Article on 5 Reasons the Qur’an can never co-exist with the Constitution

Is Sharia Islamic Law Compatible with the American Constitution?

The top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better 

Please click this link to watch the video on Top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better

24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Please click this link to read the article on 24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Muslims vs. ‘Outlaws of Islam’: Islamic Voices Lead Fight Against Extremists http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/23/muslims-vs-outlaws-of-islam-islamic-voices-lead-fight-against-extremists/

Report: Only Word for ISIS Atrocities Is Genocide http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/12/report-only-word-for-isis-atrocities-is-genocide/

How You Can Help Stop the Christian Genocide by the ISIS? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/13/how-you-can-help-stop-the-christian-genocide-by-the-isis/

ISIS turns Muslim theological tradition on its head: ISIS deviates from mainstream Islam by rejecting scholarly interpretation and religious pluralism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/isis-turns-muslim-theological-tradition-on-its-head-isis-deviates-from-mainstream-islam-by-rejecting-scholarly-interpretation-and-religious-pluralism/

Saints’ bones among rubble of Syrian monastery destroyed by Isil http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/saints-bones-among-rubble-of-syrian-monastery-destroyed-by-isil/

ISIS CHILD EXECUTIONS, TORTURES ROCK SYRIA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/12/isis-child-executions-tortures-rock-syria/

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Younan Warns: Western Politicians and Media Mislead World on Middle East http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/syriac-catholic-patriarch-younan-warns-western-politicians-and-media-mislead-world-on-middle-east/

Bishop Antoine Chbeir Cries Out as ISIS Devastates Syrian Towns http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/25/bishop-antoine-chbeir-cries-out-as-isis-devastates-syrian-towns/

‘Forgive ISIS’: Girl’s dying request to mother after she is burnt alive by militants in her own home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/16/forgive-isis-girls-dying-request-to-mother-after-she-is-burnt-alive-by-militants-in-her-own-home/

Islam in Crisis – The Decline of Islam is Real http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/23/islam-in-crisis-the-decline-of-islam-is-real/

What’s ISIS? It’s Islam Repeating History. Is Islam a Danger to the Religious Freedom of the U.S. and the World? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/whats-isis-its-islam-repeating-history-is-islam-a-danger-to-the-religious-freedom-of-the-u-s-and-the-world/

When Islamists and Secularists Agree… http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/when-islamists-and-secularists-agree/

What is the Islamic State? What ISIS really wants?

ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape

Is sex slavery sanctioned in Islam?

 Muslim Activist Says This is Why Islamism is ‘Much More Dangerous Than Nazism’

ISIS Desecrates Saint’s Remains, Bulldozes Monastery – Priest Still Missing

High-Profile Rome Exorcist: ISIS is Satan

German Cardinal Kurt Koch: ISIS is a ‘Satanic Terrorist Group’

UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols: Terrorist need to be stopped – Encouraging use of force against ISIS

A Muslim US President?

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Please click this link to read the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Please click this link to read the Article Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Please click this link to the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Pope Benedict XVI was right in warning about radical Islam

Does Fr. Dwight Longenecker teach what the Church teaches on Catholic-Muslim relations?

Pope Francis Condemns ‘Homicidal Folly and Senseless Hatred’ in Orlando, Florida, USA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/13/pope-francis-condemns-homicidal-folly-and-senseless-hatred-in-orlando-florida-usa/

NIGERIA: AMONG MOST NEGLECTED HUMANITARIAN CRISES IN THE WORLD http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/14/nigeria-among-most-neglected-humanitarian-crises-in-the-world/

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE: ‘ISLAM WANTS TO GOVERN THE WORLD’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/cardinal-raymond-burke-islam-wants-to-govern-the-world/

CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression 

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression

The Crusades Were a Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/18/the-crusades-were-a-reasonable-response-to-unchecked-islamic-aggression/

The Real History of the Crusades

The Real History of the Crusades – To set the record straight

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/the-real-history-of-the-crusades

Four Myths about the Crusades 

4 Myths about the Crusades: In light of beheadings…

Please click this link to read about the Four Myths about the Crusades

ISIS (Islamic State) Flogs the Crusades Myth

Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before the Western Crusades 

Please click this link to read the Article on Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before Western Crusades

Crash Course on the Crusades

Please click this link to read the Article on Crash Course on the Crusades

The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/the-crusades-a-response-to-islamic-jihad/

Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

There’s Zero Equivalence Between the Crusades and Muslim Jihad

CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Spanish Inquisition was 99% Myth. (BBC) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/22/spanish-inquisition-was-99-myth-bbc/

Obama Compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Obama at Prayer Breakfast Affirms right to be godless

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama at Prayer Breakfast affirms right to be godless

Watch how Judge Jeanine Just Revealed the Moment She Understood on Obama’s Dark Secret 

Please click this link to watch the video on Judge Jeanine on Obama’s Dark Secret

Forged by War: The Three Battles in the Rise of the Rosary

Please click this link to read the Article on Forged by War: The three battles in the rise of the Rosary

A President, His Muslim Faith, And His Quran… Is It Ok For Him To Lie?

A President, his Muslim Faith and his Quran… Is it Ok for him to lie?

Proclaiming The Gospel in Lebanon: The Mohammad Yamout story http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/14/proclaiming-the-gospel-in-lebanon-the-mohammad-yamout-story/

Mario Joseph Testimony , a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church  

Please click this link to watch the video on Mario Joseph Testimony, a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church

Daniel Ali: Muslim Convert to Catholic Christianity

Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/20/malaysia-rules-muslim-man-can-convert-to-christianity/

Muslim Woman Gives Jesus One Week To Prove Himself Before Ending Her Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/18/19410/

From Darkness to Light
As a Muslim imam, Mario Joseph was well-versed in the Koran and in the teachings of the Islamic religion. In fact, it was precisely the Koran that brought him to an encounter with Jesus Christ and with the truth of the Catholic faith. But his conversion did not come without difficulties; as a consequence, he has undergone grave persecution. How has he attained his intense love toward the Church, the Cross and Heaven? He himself tells us in this week’s impacting episode of Changing Tracks.

CHURCH MILITANT HEADLINES, JULY 26, 2016

CHURCH MILITANT HEADLINES, JULY 26, 2016

Get briefed on today’s top stories with Christine Niles.

July 26, 2016

Print Friendly and PDF
To listen the audio on Church Militant Headlines July 26,2016 click below:

Dems Call For Repeal of Ban on Taxpayer Abortion Funding
80 percent of Americans support abortion restrictions. FULL STORY

Dominican Priest Challenges Hillary VP Pick Tim Kaine
“Do us both a favor. Don’t show up in my communion line.” FULL STORY

VA School Board Halts Pro-Trans Bathroom Policy 
Parents urge others to make their voices heard. FULL STORY

Federal Judge: HHS Contraceptive Mandate Violates Religious Freedom
Government should allow individuals to opt out of contraceptive coverage. FULL STORY

Baseball Legend: Catholic Faith ‘Greatest Gift of All’
NY Mets slugger Mike Piazza famously open about Catholic faith. FULL STORY

THE VORTEX: CHRISTIAN VS. CATHOLIC http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/the-vortex-christian-vs-catholic/

Read the source and comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/news-2016-07-26

THE VORTEX: CHRISTIAN VS. CATHOLIC

THE VORTEX: CHRISTIAN VS. CATHOLIC

The Catholic Church corrupts Scripture, has false prophets and isn’t Christian.

July 26, 2016  167 

Print Friendly and PDF
To listen the audio on the Vortex: Christian vs Catholic click below:

TRANSCRIPT

Many Catholics are unaware, probably because they are indifferent, that a major shift has happened in the world of Protestantism. A split has developed whereby a major number of protestant denominations no longer remember their own history of being descendants of the Protestant Reformation begun by Fr. Martin Luther in the 16th century — approaching its 500th anniversary next year.

There are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations; it’s just that only some of them call themselves Protestant. They have forgotten the history of their origins and no longer see themselves as protesting anything. But that is exactly what a Protestant — a protestor — is: a protestor of Catholic truth.

Many of the younger (for the moment younger), more hip “churches” (small “c”) simply call themselves Christian. In their minds, this distinguishes them from “the Protestants,” whom they fail to realize they are a part of. An Evangelical Pentecostal whatever is every bit as Protestant as a Lutheran or a Baptist. Why? Because they are all, whatever they call themselves, still Protestant!

But in the past 20 years or so, there has been this movement among younger, less-established Protestants to drop the label Protestant and simply call themselves Christian — and it has stuck — so much so that they have claimed squatters’ rights over the name “Christian” and excluded Catholics from the name.

Excuse us, but the Catholic Church is the only true Church and we were the first Christians. It wasn’t just generic Christians being eaten by lions in Rome; it was Catholics. Period.

All Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics, thanks largely to excommunicated priest Martin Luther. Now, what occasions this little correction? A recent event in which the headline reporting said “Ecumenical Event Unites Christians and Catholics.” Please.

Catholics are Christians, remember — the first. But the whole feel-good, arm-waving, rock-band, emotional encounter crowd don’t care about that. They think being in a religious frenzy means the Holy Spirit is there and all is cool, because you feel good.

Wrong.

Now, we’re not saying praying together is a bad thing, or that we shouldn’t try to cooperate and help the culture in becoming more moral and good — but you can’t get together for a so-called ecumenical event and promote the stupid idea that Catholics aren’t Christian. Again, we were the first, and still are.

But interestingly, some Protestants objected vociferously to any Catholic presence, including a video from Pope Francis encouraging warm relations. One Protestant said,”“Christians and false prophets [he means us] will join hands and become one in this event. The great falling away is happening before our very eyes. We will not be silent!”

Responding to the great feather ruffling among his fellow Protestants, the event organizer shot out a quick communique. “We’re not saying it’s time to compromise Scripture. But there is something about reaching across the aisle.”

How kind of them not to compromise Scripture by associating with those low-brow, false prophet, ignorant Catholics. Perhaps if there was any understanding of history — which there isn’t — they would understand that the Catholic Church is the one that gave the Bible to the world, that the Catholic Church was and is the first Church, that their assemblies are not actual churches because Christ only founded one Church — and theirs isn’t the that one.

Their “churches” can all eventually trace their lineage back to no more than 500 years and a heretical, disobedient, psychologically disturbed Catholic priest. The Catholic Church goes back 2,000 years to Jesus Christ.

It’s dangerous for Catholics to get too deep into all this uniting and sharing and coming together. To some degree, maybe, perhaps. But these Protestant gatherings that some Catholics attend or are invited to see the Church as some second-class citizen that corrupts Scripture, has false prophets, and isn’t Christian. So, when we are all uniting , exactly what are we supposed to be uniting around?

Just asking. It’s always helpful to know what words mean.

Read the source and comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-christian-vs-catholic

Why aren’t more Muslims converting to Christianity?

Why aren’t more Muslims converting to Christianity?

By Michael Cook | Jul 26 2016 |
Muslim refugees prepare for an evangelical baptism in Germany  / Der Stern 

The atrocities in Orlando and Nice — and today in Normandy — keep a burning question alive: will Muslims ever integrate successfully into Western societies? If you listen to Donald Trump or Marie Le Pen, the answer is no. Their sympathisers seem to believe that Muslims will always be a cyst within the secularised West.

There is another possibility, though. Why don’t Christians aspire to convert Muslims to their own faith? The novelist Michel Houellebecq created a stir with his most recent novel Submission(Soumission in French) which imagines France governed by an Islamic party in 2022. The central character, a professor of literature, decides to convert to Islam because he can get a secure job and multiple wives.

But why is this scenario more plausible than the gradual conversion of Muslims?

This is not as absurd as it sounds. There have been a number of reports from Europe of conversions to Christianity among Muslim refugees:

  • According to Austrian website Kurier, 83 adults were approved for baptism in Vienna in 2016, about half of them Muslims, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran.
  • The German pastor of a Evangelical-Lutheran church in Berlin claims that 1,200 Muslims have joined his congregation in the past three years.
  • Mohammad Eghtedarian, a refugee from Iran who converted to Christianity and was later ordained, is now a curate at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral where a weekly service in Persian attracts between 100 and 140 people.

Critics will say that these are merely opportunistic, not genuine conversions. A feature in the German magazine Der Stern records the reaction of an elderly German woman, amazed at the spectacle of a mass baptism in a river: “That’s ridiculous; who’s fooling who here?” she murmurs. Refugees may believe that they will get more benefits and permanent residency if they declare themselves Christians.

In fact, few areas can be more controversial than religious demography. Some churches exaggerate the number of conversions in mission lands in order to promote donations back home or to recruit more young missionaries. There is no clear standard of what constitutes a “conversion” – is it “a decision for Christ”, or is it just baptism; or is it attending a church regularly? Do the statistics include people who converted but reverted to Islam?

Despite all these methodological problems, a recent article in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion (IJRR) estimates that 50 years ago, in 1960, there were only about 200,000 believers in Christ with a Muslim background. By 2010 this number had increased to nearly 10 million. Most of these – about 6.5 million – were Indonesian. According to the IJRR tally, there are about 450,000 Muslim converts in the United States and about 150,000 in Europe. Apart from Indonesia, the largest number of Muslim-to-Christian converts is in Africa, about 2.2 million.

These figures could be underestimates, as conversion invites persecution and even murder. Even in refugee camps in Europe, some converts fear for their lives. Kurier, the Austrian website, interviewed “Christoph”, an elderly Afghan who became a Catholic in Vienna. “This could be my death sentence,” he says. Some Christian churches exaggerate; others are far more discrete. Catholics seem to be far more reticent than evangelicals and far more concerned about educating prospective converts before receiving them into the Church.

Less well-known are Muslim anxieties about conversions to Christianity. In 2003 Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani, the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law, a Muslim preacher-training centre in Libya told Al-Jazeera that “Every year, 6 million Muslims become Christians [in Africa alone]. What used to be a majority religion is now turning into minority.” In the light of the statistics in Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, this seems highly exaggerated, perhaps to whip up anger at Christian missionaries.

But what seems beyond dispute is the attraction of the Christian message. Here are the reflections of some Muslim converts as reported in the European press:

  • Christoph, the Afghan convert in Vienna: “Although I was a Muslim, I did not feel connected. Even at school I began to look for alternatives. Christianity for me is the religion of humanity. Jesus I admire his life and suffering.”
  • Johannnes, from Tehran, told The Guardian: “I found that the history of Islam was completely different from what we were taught at school. Maybe, I thought, it was a religion that began with violence? A religion that began with violence cannot lead people to freedom and love. Jesus Christ said ‘those who use the sword will die by the sword’. This really changed my mind.”
  • “In Islam, we always lived in fear,” another convert told Der Stern. “Fear God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. But Christ is a God of love.”

Their responses tally with the reasons given by the sociologists in the IJRR. Because of globalisation and the increasing ease of communications, Muslims know more about the religion which is the mainspring of Western culture. What they know is dim, largely incoherent and sullied by degraded commercialism and opportunistic politics. But something of Christianity’s central message must get through.

And then the barbaric atrocities of Islamic terrorists raise questions in the minds of some Muslims. Granted, most Muslims are not terrorists, but nearly all the terrorists are Muslims. Some people are bound to ask: is my religion true if some of my co-religionists are blowing innocent people to smithereens in the name of Islam? The IJRR scholars write:

Social and political turmoil in the Muslim world has caused many Muslims to question their faith. For some Muslims, this has led to embracing of a militant form of Islam that has further exacerbated the turmoil. For others, the result has been revulsion against the perceived harshness or tyranny of such forms of Islam.

Militant Islam is a threat to the West, but, as the adage goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The savagery and fanaticism of ISIS and other fanatics is, to slip into marketing language, a window of opportunity. This is true even in predominantly Muslim countries. The Algerian newspaper Al-Yawm reported in 2000 that many people in outlying villages were becoming Christian. And this was during a bloody civil war between the government and Islamists in which 200,000 people died.

The deterioration of the image of Islam during the crisis has played its part in this rise of conversions to Christianity and the adoption of its principles. What is happening and what has happened in Algeria, such as the massacres and killings in the name of Islam, has [sic] led many, when asked what the difference, in their view, was between Islam and Christianity, to declare: “Christianity is life, Islam is death.”

There are gigantic obstacles to converting Muslims, including fear of reprisals and ostracism, centuries of hostility, and deep-seated misunderstanding. But the biggest obstacle of all is the lack of self-confident Christians who believe that love is more powerful than hatred. The Daily Beast interviewed Pastor Gerhard Scholte of the Reformed Keizersgracht Church, the head of a refugee task force for churches in Amsterdam. He said bluntly, “conversion to Christianity is not promoted in our church, so we see very little of it.” He believes that “Everyone is a child of God,” whether baptized or not. So what need is there for Christianity? Perhaps he should ask some converts about that.

What Western Christians need is more confidence in their own “product”. Christianity converted empires, built the cathedrals, built universities, built hospitals, allowed commerce to flourish, abolished slavery, fostered science, and laid the foundations for democracy. It can meet the challenge of Islam.

The Anglo-Saxon historian Bede the Venerable (672-735), whose people had been converted to Christianity only a century before, makes a very amusing comment in his Ecclesiastical Historyabout the Celtic Christians whom they displaced and whom he despised. “Among other most wicked actions, not to be expressed, which their own historian, Gildas, mournfully takes notice of, they [the Celts] added this — that they never preached the faith to the Saxons, or English, who dwelt amongst them.” Sometimes it seems that today’s Christians are taking the Celtic option.

Were Martin Luther King Jr alive today, no doubt he would give Christians the same advice he gave to those fighting segregation and racism in the US in 1957: “The great military leaders of the past have gone, their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing. It started with a small group of dedicated men, who, through the inspiration of their Lord, were able to shake the hinges form the gates of the Roman Empire, and carry the gospel into all the world.” To the Muslim world as well.

Read the source and comments: http://www.mercatornet.com/above/view/why-arent-more-muslims-converting-to-christianity/18422

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. 

Related Articles/ Videos click below:

ISLAM 101 – A Crash Course 

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam 101 – A Crash Course

Was Muhammad a False Prophet? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/was-muhammad-a-false-prophet/

Islam as a Christian Heresy: 8 Quotes from St. John Damascene A.D. 749

What did the Saints say about Islam?

Jesuit Manuel Carreira: “Islam, the Worst Plague the Human Race Has Ever Seen” http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/27/jesuit-manuel-carreira-islam-the-worst-plague-the-human-race-has-ever-seen/

The truth about Islam: An interview with Brigitte Gabriel

The Truth about Islam: Islam is a violent, intolerant religion

David Barton: Despite Obama’s rhetoric, Islam is NOT a religion of peace http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/david-barton-despite-obamas-rhetoric-islam-is-not-a-religion-of-peace/

SHARIA LAW IN ACTION: ISIS Stones Couple To Death, Executes 8 And Crucifies Bodies…”Religion of Peace”? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/sharia-law-in-action-isis-stones-couple-to-death-executes-8-and-crucifies-bodiesreligion-of-peace/

President Barack Obama: To Stop Terrorism Islam Must Reconcile Itself To Modernity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/05/president-barack-obama-to-stop-terrorism-islam-must-reconcile-itself-to-modernity/

‘Islam Is ISIS. Whoever Says Otherwise Is a Liar,’ Nun Says http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/islam-is-isis-whoever-says-otherwise-is-a-liar-nun-says/

Islam Means Submission: Dominance and Submission in Cologne and the Persian Gulf http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/19/islam-means-submission-dominance-and-submission-in-cologne-and-the-persian-gulf/

Breitbart News Callers …. Discover Islam Not Religion of Peace

Muslims fail to prove Islam is a religion of peace in debate

The Pyramid of Hate in the Muslim World

Should we call it “Radical Islam”?

Is Islam a Heresy or World Religion? Legos and Muhammad

Why Thomas Aquinas Distrusted Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/28/why-thomas-aquinas-distrusted-islam/

HE WARNED US ABOUT ISLAM 750 YEARS AGO – AND HIS WARNING IS STILL RELEVANT TODAY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/26/he-warned-us-about-islam-750-years-ago-and-his-warning-is-still-relevant-today/

Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan: Symbols of Islamic Fanaticism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/blasphemy-laws-of-pakistan-symbols-of-islamic-fanaticism/

Islam’s Religious Exemption from Criticism

Jesus in Islam: Why Islam is false (Video)?

Former Muslim Apologist Explains Divinity of Jesus http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/11/former-muslim-apologist-explains-divinity-of-jesus/

Solidarity with Islam? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/26/solidarity-with-islam/

Migration and the Islamization of Europe

Beautiful woman who was raped exposes 1 vital truth about Islam

Muslim Imam Defends Refugee Sexual Assaults With 8 Outrageous Words http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/22/muslim-imam-defends-refugee-sexual-assaults-with-8-outrageous-words/

Ex-Muslim Author: ‘Sharia is with us and it’s women who suffer’

Cardinal Robert Sarah: ISIS and Gender Ideology are like apocalyptic beasts

Synod on the Family also looks into persecution of families by ISIS

Analysis: Christians oppressed for their faith by the Islamic Groups

Only Way to Stop Islamic Terrorism is by Banning Islam

A Monastic Response to Violent Islam

Japan shut down radical Islam entirely…Here’s the simple way they did it.

Shock: The grand lesson of the Paris Jihad

Italian Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco calls on Muslims to publicly condemn ISIS

Paris after the ISIS attacks (Video) & Pope Francis’ Message

At Grand Mosque in Central African Republic, Pope Francis denounces violence perpetrated in the name of religion or God

Islam and French Politics: A Reflection http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/15/islam-and-french-politics-a-reflection/

The Greatest Murder Machine in History http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/07/the-greatest-murder-machine-in-history/

Islam, Revolution, and Black Lives Matter http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/14/islam-revolution-and-black-lives-matter/

ISLAM IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RELIGION. HERE’S WHY?

Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion… Here’s why?

Please click this link to read the Article on Islam is not a Constitutionally Protected Religion. Here’s why?

No Exit (from Islam) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/29/no-exit-from-islam/

5 Reasons The Qur’an Can Never Co-Exist with the Constitution

Please click this link to read the Article on 5 Reasons the Qur’an can never co-exist with the Constitution

Is Sharia Islamic Law Compatible with the American Constitution?

The top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better 

Please click this link to watch the video on Top 10 Koran verses that will help you understand ISIS better

24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Please click this link to read the article on 24 Reasons ISIS are wrong: Muslim scholars blast Islamic State

Muslims vs. ‘Outlaws of Islam’: Islamic Voices Lead Fight Against Extremists http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/23/muslims-vs-outlaws-of-islam-islamic-voices-lead-fight-against-extremists/

Report: Only Word for ISIS Atrocities Is Genocide http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/12/report-only-word-for-isis-atrocities-is-genocide/

How You Can Help Stop the Christian Genocide by the ISIS? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/13/how-you-can-help-stop-the-christian-genocide-by-the-isis/

ISIS turns Muslim theological tradition on its head: ISIS deviates from mainstream Islam by rejecting scholarly interpretation and religious pluralism http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/17/isis-turns-muslim-theological-tradition-on-its-head-isis-deviates-from-mainstream-islam-by-rejecting-scholarly-interpretation-and-religious-pluralism/

Saints’ bones among rubble of Syrian monastery destroyed by Isil http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/saints-bones-among-rubble-of-syrian-monastery-destroyed-by-isil/

ISIS CHILD EXECUTIONS, TORTURES ROCK SYRIA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/12/isis-child-executions-tortures-rock-syria/

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Younan Warns: Western Politicians and Media Mislead World on Middle East http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/syriac-catholic-patriarch-younan-warns-western-politicians-and-media-mislead-world-on-middle-east/

Bishop Antoine Chbeir Cries Out as ISIS Devastates Syrian Towns http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/25/bishop-antoine-chbeir-cries-out-as-isis-devastates-syrian-towns/

‘Forgive ISIS’: Girl’s dying request to mother after she is burnt alive by militants in her own home http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/16/forgive-isis-girls-dying-request-to-mother-after-she-is-burnt-alive-by-militants-in-her-own-home/

Islam in Crisis – The Decline of Islam is Real http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/23/islam-in-crisis-the-decline-of-islam-is-real/

What’s ISIS? It’s Islam Repeating History. Is Islam a Danger to the Religious Freedom of the U.S. and the World? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/whats-isis-its-islam-repeating-history-is-islam-a-danger-to-the-religious-freedom-of-the-u-s-and-the-world/

When Islamists and Secularists Agree… http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/04/when-islamists-and-secularists-agree/

What is the Islamic State? What ISIS really wants?

ISIS’s Anti-Islamic Theology of Rape

Is sex slavery sanctioned in Islam?

 Muslim Activist Says This is Why Islamism is ‘Much More Dangerous Than Nazism’

ISIS Desecrates Saint’s Remains, Bulldozes Monastery – Priest Still Missing

High-Profile Rome Exorcist: ISIS is Satan

German Cardinal Kurt Koch: ISIS is a ‘Satanic Terrorist Group’

UK Cardinal Vincent Nichols: Terrorist need to be stopped – Encouraging use of force against ISIS

A Muslim US President?

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Please click this link to read the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 1

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Please click this link to read the Article Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 2

Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Please click this link to the Article on Needed: A New Church Policy Toward Islam Part 3

Pope Benedict XVI was right in warning about radical Islam

Does Fr. Dwight Longenecker teach what the Church teaches on Catholic-Muslim relations?

Pope Francis Condemns ‘Homicidal Folly and Senseless Hatred’ in Orlando, Florida, USA http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/13/pope-francis-condemns-homicidal-folly-and-senseless-hatred-in-orlando-florida-usa/

NIGERIA: AMONG MOST NEGLECTED HUMANITARIAN CRISES IN THE WORLD http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/14/nigeria-among-most-neglected-humanitarian-crises-in-the-world/

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE: ‘ISLAM WANTS TO GOVERN THE WORLD’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/cardinal-raymond-burke-islam-wants-to-govern-the-world/

CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression 

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Crusades against Muslim Aggression

The Crusades Were a Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/18/the-crusades-were-a-reasonable-response-to-unchecked-islamic-aggression/

The Real History of the Crusades

The Real History of the Crusades – To set the record straight

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/the-real-history-of-the-crusades

Four Myths about the Crusades 

4 Myths about the Crusades: In light of beheadings…

Please click this link to read about the Four Myths about the Crusades

ISIS (Islamic State) Flogs the Crusades Myth

Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before the Western Crusades 

Please click this link to read the Article on Muslim Crusades Started Four Centuries Before Western Crusades

Crash Course on the Crusades

Please click this link to read the Article on Crash Course on the Crusades

The Crusades: A Response to Islamic Jihad http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/the-crusades-a-response-to-islamic-jihad/

Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

Please click this link to watch the video on Jihad vs Crusades by Bill Warner, PhD

There’s Zero Equivalence Between the Crusades and Muslim Jihad

CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Please click this link to watch the video on CIA: The Inquisition during the Medieval, Spanish and Roman Times

Spanish Inquisition was 99% Myth. (BBC) http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/22/spanish-inquisition-was-99-myth-bbc/

Obama Compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama compares Catholic Crusades to Islamic ISIS

Obama at Prayer Breakfast Affirms right to be godless

Please click this link to watch the video on Obama at Prayer Breakfast affirms right to be godless

Watch how Judge Jeanine Just Revealed the Moment She Understood on Obama’s Dark Secret 

Please click this link to watch the video on Judge Jeanine on Obama’s Dark Secret

Forged by War: The Three Battles in the Rise of the Rosary

Please click this link to read the Article on Forged by War: The three battles in the rise of the Rosary

A President, His Muslim Faith, And His Quran… Is It Ok For Him To Lie?

A President, his Muslim Faith and his Quran… Is it Ok for him to lie?

Proclaiming The Gospel in Lebanon: The Mohammad Yamout story http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/14/proclaiming-the-gospel-in-lebanon-the-mohammad-yamout-story/

Mario Joseph Testimony , a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church  

Please click this link to watch the video on Mario Joseph Testimony, a Muslim Imam Convert to Catholic Church

Daniel Ali: Muslim Convert to Catholic Christianity

Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/20/malaysia-rules-muslim-man-can-convert-to-christianity/

Muslim Woman Gives Jesus One Week To Prove Himself Before Ending Her Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/18/19410/

From Darkness to Light
As a Muslim imam, Mario Joseph was well-versed in the Koran and in the teachings of the Islamic religion. In fact, it was precisely the Koran that brought him to an encounter with Jesus Christ and with the truth of the Catholic faith. But his conversion did not come without difficulties; as a consequence, he has undergone grave persecution. How has he attained his intense love toward the Church, the Cross and Heaven? He himself tells us in this week’s impacting episode of Changing Tracks.