Archive for Catholicism

Saint Margaret, Pearl of Scotland

Saint Margaret of ScotlandNovember 16 is the feast day of Saint Margaret of Scotland, who is a direct ancestor of mine. She is also the Patron Saint of Scotland.

Margaret of Wessex was born around 1045 in what is now Hungary. Her parents were Prince of Edward (the Exile) of England and Princess Agatha of Hungary. Her brother and sister were also born in Hungary.

When there was a chance her father might become successor to the throne, they returned to England. She was 10 years old at the time. Her father died and her family later fled in 1066 following the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that resulted in a victory by William the Conqueror.

On their way back to the European continent, their ship wrecked on the coast of Scotland. She later married King Malcolm of Scotland in 1070 in Dunfermline. They had eight children.

As a bio from Catholic Online notes:

She constantly worked to aid the poor Scotland. She encouraged people to live a devout life, grow in prayer, and grow in holiness. She helped to build churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline, where a relic of the true Cross is kept. She was well-known for her deep life of prayer and piety. She set aside specific times for prayer and to read Scripture. She didn’t eat often and slept very little so she would have more time for her devotions. She lived holiness of life as a wife, mother and lay woman; truly in love with Jesus Christ.

Malcolm supported Margaret in all her endeavors and admired her religious devotion so much he had her books decorated in jewels, gold and silver. One of these decorated books, a gospel book with portraits of the four evangelists, is now kept in Oxford at the Bodleian Library after it was miraculously recovered from a river.

In 1093, her husband and oldest son were killed in battle and she died four days later.

Pope Innocent IV canonized her as a Saint in 1250 and her body was moved to Dunfermline Abbey. Mary Queen of Scots reportedly acquired the relic of her head after that, but it was later lost during the French Revolution after being in possession of Jesuits in France.

More on Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland. She was the granddaughter of King Edmund Ironside and her infant father was exiled by Canute. Saint Margaret is my 24th great grandmother.

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:

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.

Report: WHO/UNICEF sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge

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Catholic World News:

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have revealed that young women have been sterilized without their knowledge as part of a vaccination campaign sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Over 2 million young women in Kenya have been vaccinated as part of the international campaign, which was promoted as a drive against tetanus. However, in October the Kenyan bishops expressed fears that the vaccine being administered to young women also contained a sterilizing agent. The bishops told the Fides news agency that “we are convinced it is a masked program of population control.”

Now tests has confirmed that the vaccine contains HCG, a hormone ordinarily produced by women during pregnancy. When HCG is taken prior to pregnancy, it causes the woman’s body to manufacture antibodies that will cause miscarriage in future pregnancies.

Testing multiple samples of the tetanus vaccine, Catholic health-care workers found HCG contained in every one. The tests were taken after health-care workers noticed that the vaccine was being administered differently to women of child-bearing age.

Of course, Kenyan officials deny it.

Is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown?

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I will start by noting that I am not going to answer the question in the title. I am going to note what has been said about the subject by much more eloquent writers than me and let the reader decide. Additionally, Anthony Brown is a placeholder in the subject line, so if you’re not in Maryland, like I am, you should substitute any other pro-abortion politician on the ballot Tuesday.

I’ll begin by urging Catholics to make the sacrament of Reconciliation a regular part of their lives if it isn’t already. Before you go to confession you should do a good examination of your conscience. One online examination of conscience asks the person examining their conscience if they “supported or voted for a politician whose positions are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” I’ll also note that two smartphone apps used for examining your conscience, both Confession and Mea Culpa, include certain voting behavior among their lists of sins. Specifically, the Confession app asks the user if they have “supported or voted for a politician whose teachings are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” The Mea Culpa app explicitly calls “voting for someone who is pro abortion” a Mortal Sin. (For anyone reading this who needs a quick primer on the definitions of mortal sin and venial sin, check out the very easy to read discussion at Catholicism for Dummies.)

I recently wrote the following:

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause. Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Anthony Brown got a D from the Maryland Catholic Conference on this issue and told them:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

He also told the conference he supports a discussion on physician assisted suicide, but that he voted against a ban on it as a legislator.

Brown is a Catholic but he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I previously discussed the obligations Catholic elected officials have on life issues in the primaries.

Yes, there are other issues of importance to Catholics, but, as Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

If you already voted for a candidate who supported abortion in early voting, whether here in Maryland or another state, you should also examine your conscience as well.