Archive for Religion

Vatican: Pope’s remarks “distorted”

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Father Thomas Rosica, Vatican spokesman, issued this statement:

The Pope’s expression is in no way intended to be interpreted as a justification for the violence and terror that took place in Paris last week. The Pope’s words about Dr. Gasbarri were spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate matter among colleagues and friends on the journey. His words mean that there are limits to humor and satire particularly in the ways that we speak about matters of faith and belief. Pope Francis’ response might be similar to something each of us has felt when those dearest to us are insulted or harmed. The Pope’s free style of speech, especially in situations like the press conference must be taken at face value and not distorted or manipulated. The Pope has spoken out clearly against the terror and violence that occurred in Paris and in other parts of the world. Violence begets violence. Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight.

Aleteia published the statement along with the context – that Dr. Gasbarri was a papal staffer who the Pope joked he would punch in the nose if Gasbarri said anything about his mother. Additionally, the Aleteia article publishes a statement by the Coptic pope and a bishop.

The article also notes that Charlie Hebdo staffers say they don’t want support from Catholics:

What made us laugh the most is that the bells of Notre Dame rang in our honor. We would like to send a message to Pope Francis…: We will only accept the bells of Notre Dame ringing in our honor when it is Femen who make them ring.

This wasn’t the first time nor will it be the last that the current Pope has his words distorted, taken out of context, or mis-translated by those in the media or other groups eager to cast him in light if their own views or biases.

Junipero Serra to be canonized during papal visit to US

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Catholic News Agency:

In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California’s first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra.

“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” declared Pope Francis aboard Sri Lankan Air Flight UL4111 on the way to Manila.

Bl. Serra, a Franciscan priest, lived in what is now California in the 1700s. A Spanish-born missionary, he founded the first nine of 21 eventual missions in California. He worked tirelessly with the Native Americans, and is said to have baptized more than 6,000 people, and confirmed 5,000.

“He was the evangelizer of the west in the United States,” Pope Francis beamed.

Bl. Serra’s canonization will be the latest in a systematic action from Pope Francis to give a boost to evangelization efforts throughout the world.

Serra will be the latest “equipollent” canonization – meaning no miracle was verified and the normal process was waived so that the Pope could declare him to be a saint.

Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in September and may also be visiting Washington and New York. It is not known where the canonization would take place, but Serra is entombed at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California (Clint Eastwood was the town’s mayor at one point.)

During the American Revolution, Serra had a collection taken up in mission parishes and sent those funds to General George Washington.

Allegations by some that he mistreated native Americans were dismissed as unfounded during his beatification process. in fact, the truth was reported to be be very different:

Dr. Iris Engstrand, professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of San Diego, described him as “much nicer to the Indians, really, than even to the governors. He didn’t get along too well with some of the military people, you know. His attitude was, ‘Stay away from the Indians.’ I think you really come up with a benevolent, hard-working person who was strict in a lot of his doctrinal leanings and things like that, but not a person who was enslaving Indians, or beating them, ever….He was a very caring person and forgiving. Even after the burning of the mission in San Diego, he did not want those Indians punished. He wanted to be sure that they were treated fairly…”

Doctor loses license over assisted suicides

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Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore anesthesiologist who made national news as “The New Doctor Death” held the hands of six elderly Marylanders as they asphyxiated themselves with helium and then covered up their suicides, officials said in a state order they filed this month to strip him of his medical license.

The suicides are among nearly 300 nationwide that Dr. Lawrence D. Egbert said he helped to arrange as an “exit guide” for the right-to-die group Final Exit Network.

[…]

The Maryland Board of Physicians, which conducted a two-year review of his actions in the state, said they were unethical and illegal and revoked his license.

Egbert plans to appeal. He is awaiting trial in Minnesota and has been arrested in Georgia but received “no punishment” there or in Arizona. The Sun couldn’t get the Board of Physicians or law enforcement to confirm any criminal referral or investigation.

In opposition to church law, Heather Mizeur (a Catholic) pushed for assisted suicide legalizationp as part of her failed primary campaign for governor. It appears there may be a push during the 2015 legislative session for legalization by activists including a group called Compassion & Choices.

I would hope the general assembly would have the common sense not to pass this legislation and I wouldn’t expect Governor-elect Hogan to sign it.

Merry Christmas from The Quinton Report

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Merry Christmas to all as we reach the celebration of the day that the Word was made flesh through the birth of Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem.

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John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

Followup: man charged with setting fire to Atlanta church

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Juan Carlos Ramirez, who was originally charged with disorderly conduct after being found naked outside a burning Byzantine Catholic Church in Atlanta over the weekend, has now been charged with arson:

Officials have not established a motive in Sunday’s fire at the Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church, but Juan Carlos Ramirez, 24, of Roswell, was charged with arson “as a result of the investigation and a subsequent confession,” Roswell Fire Department spokesman Paul Piccirilli said in an emailed statement.

A local news report can be seen below:

DoD gives Scientology federal funding for “detox” of Gulf War vets

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Annapolis Capital Gazette:

A detoxification program in Annapolis supported by the Church of Scientology is treating veterans suffering from chronic Gulf War-related conditions.
Treatments are funded by the U.S. Department of Defense through a $633,677 grant issued in September 2010, according to Pentagon officials. The Annapolis office opened in January, Clinical Trial Coordinator Crystal Grant said.
Seven Gulf War veterans have completed the program and at least four plan to begin the regimen next year. One is currently undergoing detoxification, a treatment designed to rid the body of environmental toxins through exercise, sauna therapy and doses of vitamins.
The federal money was awarded to researchers at the University of Albany in New York state, with David O. Carpenter, the director of the school’s Institute for Health and the Environment, as the chief applicant and investigator.
Carpenter said the program is a “preliminary study” intended to find out if there is a scientific basis for the therapy developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for the church’s detoxification program.
He said the study is the first of its kind to be done by “independent people … in a fashion that’s rigorous and objective.”

The program is also funded by a nonprofit headed by John Travolta, a noted Scientologist.

It sounds a lot like L. Ron Hubbard’s controversial Purification Rundown. More on that has been written by Tony Ortega and Daily Kos. Gulf War Illness has also been called Gulf War Syndrome.

Byzantine Catholic Church in Atlanta burned

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Before and After

AJC.com:

The Roswell Fire Department responded to the fire at the Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church on Old Alabama Road around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Parts of the church and about an acre of woods surrounding the building were in flames when firefighters arrived, according to Channel 2 Action News. The fire cause heavy damage to the building. A passerby spotted the fire and called 911, Channel 2 reported.

I would guess the leading suspect is already in custody. Juan Carlos Ramirez was arrested near the scene. It was reported that

Police told Channel 2 the man was “running around naked” and saying he either was Jesus or knows him. Ramirez had not officially been connected to the fire as of Sunday afternoon.

A nearby Orthodox church is letting Epiphany use their building for Masses.

From the church website:

Byzantine Catholics are in union with Rome. We share the same basic faith and the same sacraments; however, the way of expressing them differs. The Byzantine church is one of many Eastern churches, each with their own heritage of theology, liturgy and discipline developed with their own respective languages and ecclesiastical organizations.

The parish is part of the Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic.