Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Star of Bethlehem Visible Tonight



Right now, if you look East, you will see what some scholars believed was the "Star" that led the 3 Wise Men to the God-child Jesus Christ.  This "star" was in reality a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Venus which created a very bright image in the sky which would have been mistaken by people in the past as a star.  Take a look outside and remind yourself that this image was what the wise men saw.  The heavens proclaimed the Glory of God!  Our world is losing its soul, this "star" is a reminder that Christ will return.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sacerdotus Hangouts: Catholic Open Mic


I decided to start a Catholic version of my "Open Atheist Mic" Broadcasts to give a platform from which other Catholics can join in a discussion with me or with one another on a topic or topics affecting the Catholic Church and Catholics in general.  Each episode will have this message and details on how to participate:


Join Sacerdotus Hangouts' Catholic open mic. In this broadcast, Sacerdotus invites Catholics to join him live via the show or via chat to present questions and comments or join the discussion. Sacerdotus will address those which are civil, appropriate and relevant.

Come and join Sacerdotus.
To join the discussion, please email Sacerdotus at the email found here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/p/sacerdotus-hangouts.html
In your email, send your name and a brief bio or introduction which Sacerdotus will use to introduce you on live. ONLY those who SEND ME AN EMAIL will be allowed to join. NO OTHER REQUESTS will be honored (comments on threads, mentions, tweets etc).

You have until (date & time of broadcast) PM EST to send your request.
Note: No trolls will be given a platform or sound board.

I hope my fellow Catholics can join in so we can discuss Catholicism and other topics related to it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Talitha koum

Death is all around us. We all die.  No organism or creature in this world survives it. But where did it come from? Today's readings speak of death and the One who has power over it.

In the first reading, we read that "God did not make death." He does not find pleasure in the "destruction of the living."  God made all things to have "being." They are to be complete. This all makes sense since God decided to create the universe (Genesis 1:1). Not only did He decide to take on this task, but He describe this work as 'good' (Genesis 1:31). So if God did not make death and never intended it, why is it here?  Well, the reading tell us why.  The "envy of the devil" is the cause (Hebrews 2:14). Satan envied humanity so much because we were made in God's image that He caused humanity to fall (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3). Because of this fall, or Original Sin, we all die (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21, Romans 6:23). But God did not abandon us. He rescued us as we read in the Psalm for today.

"I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me" is the response today. God has always been there for us even though we are sinners. The enemies of man or Satan's legions will not rejoice over humanity because we belong to God.  God preserves us and does not want us to go "down into the pit" or hell.  The first reading tells us that God wants life, not death nor destruction. Many atheists and philosophers ask, "If God is good, why did He create hell and sends people there?" The question is based on a misunderstanding of hell and God's role. God did not create death nor hell.  Both are the consequences of the absence of life and God's grace. We send ourselves to hell. God does not "put us there."  We must live holy lives in order to avoid hell.

In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that we must live as Christians. We must "excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in love."  This is how we convert the world (John 13:35). We must meet people where they are at as our Holy Father Pope Francis has constantly mentioned since the onset of his pontificate. Christ became poor in order to be relatable to us. He became one of us in all things except sin (Hebrews 2:17, Philippians 2:7). We must reach out to others and understand where they are at and what is causing them to sin before we can evangelize. This week has hit America hard with the legalization of so-called "same-sex marriage." However, as Christians we must respond with truth and love, not judgment.

Finally in the Gospel, we read of Jairus' daughter who was at the brink of death and the woman who grabbed Jesus' garment. Jairus in desperation begs Jesus to save his daughter. While Jesus goes to Jairus' daughter there was a woman in the crowd suffering with hemorrhages for twelve years.  She spent all she had on doctors and they only made it worse.

This lady never met Jesus, but only knew of Him via the stories spreading around. Her faith was so strong that she believed that by simply touching His clothes that she would be healed.  She did exactly this and was healed.  Jesus notices that "power had gone out from Him" and He turns around and asks "who has touched my clothes?"  The disciples replied that the crowd is pressing on Him so how could they tell Him if it is obvious that everyone is touching HIs clothes.  As Jesus looked around to see who it was, the woman came forward in fear and trembling and told Him.  Jesus then tells her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”  Here we see the power of faith. In a sense, our faith in God brings out the power of God into our lives. Faith unites us to God. We must not be afraid to approach Jesus and "touch His garment," so to speak.

Furthermore, as Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, Jairus' daughter passed away.  People told Jairus the news and suggested He stop troubling the teacher (Jesus).  Jesus then responded to the official who was obviously distraught, "Do not be afraid; just have faith."  Jesus then entered the home and found the people weeping and wailing. He asks them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”  The people mocked Him and thought He was crazy, but then he took the young girl's hand and said in Aramaic “Talitha koum" which means "Little girl, get up." This reading shows us that while God did not make death, He has power over it. Christ conquered death on the Cross and via His resurrection (Hebrews 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:55).  Those who are part of Christ will conquer as well through Him (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Unfortunately, our time is running out. You do not need me to tell you that our world has gone bonkers. From the promotion of abortion, the celebration of gender confusion to now the legalization of so-called "same-sex marriage" in all 50 states. Satan is running out of time (Revelation 13:5). He is pulling all stops to deceive the world just as he did with Adam and Eve (Revelation 13:7). His envy and arrogance get the best of him.  We must resist him who is the father of lies (John 8:44). Like the woman with the hemorrhaging and Jairus, we must have faith in Christ.  We must trust Him even though the world is mocking us now.  God is allowing this travesty for a greater good (Proverbs 16:4, Genesis 50:20).  The mockery and persecution will increase, but we must respond with love and truth.  Our world is dying, morally speaking.  Only Christ can tell her “Talitha koum."  Let us live our faith in the world more strongly. Do not be discouraged at the distortion of the rainbow and this incessant promotion of sexual immorality and the mockery of marriage.  Keep up the good fight, have faith (1 Timothy 6:12).  May Jesus Christ be praised!



Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062815.cfm

Please help me continue & expand this evangelization work, donate to my fundraiser: www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus              

Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in all States





This just in:  The Supreme Court of the United States has sided with the LGBT movement and stated that all 50 states must recognized same-sex marriage and grant licenses to gay couples seeking it.

I will update this as I learn more details:

UPDATE:

The case of OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL has opened the doors for so-called "same-sex marriage" to be legal in all 50 states.  The case began when Obergefell sued the state of Ohio for refusing to place his name on the death certificate of his partner who passed away.  Justices KENNEDY, J., GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN all sided with the opinion that bans against so-called "same-sex marriage" were unconstitutional. They cited the 14th amendment in this regard. Those against the decision (Justices, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) filed dissenting opinions. In his opinion, Justice Kennedy acknowledged the importance of marriage, he writes:

"From their beginning to their most recent page, the
annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance
of marriage. The lifelong union of a man and a
woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all
persons, without regard to their station in life. Marriage
is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers
unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular
realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that
could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater
than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic
human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound
hopes and aspirations.
The centrality of marriage to the human condition
makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for
millennia and across civilizations. Since the dawn of
history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives,
binding families and societies together. Confucius
taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government.
2 Li Chi: Book of Rites 266 (C. Chai & W. Chai eds., J.
Legge transl. 1967). This wisdom was echoed centuries
later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, “The
first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then
the family.” See De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913).
There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in
religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures,


4 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES
Opinion of the Court
and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their
forms. It is fair and necessary to say these references
were based on the understanding that marriage is a union
between two persons of the opposite sex.
That history is the beginning of these cases. The respondents
say it should be the end as well. To them, it
would demean a timeless institution if the concept and
lawful status of marriage were extended to two persons of
the same sex. Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a
gender-differentiated union of man and woman. This view
long has been held—and continues to be held—in good
faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout
the world. "

Kennedy then presents a summary of the cases and offers the arguments that support Obergefell et al. He argues that marriage is not unique to a "male and female" union by stating that "it does not end there." The Justice then cites from psychological journals from the mid 1970s highlighting that, "only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable." Kennedy uses this to present the argument that homosexuals are "normal" and therefore deserve equal rights just like heterosexuals. He also makes the case that children of homosexual couples suffer "stigma," he writes:

"...children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated to a more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples."

The opinion concludes with these words arguing that homosexual couples are not disrespecting marriage, but respect it so much that they do not want to be excluded from it.

"The Court, in this decision, holds same-sex couples
may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all
States. It follows that the Court also must hold—and it
now does hold—that there is no lawful basis for a State to
refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed
in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.
* * *
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies
the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice,
and family. In forming a marital union, two people become
something greater than once they were. As some of
the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It
would misunderstand these men and women to say they
disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered."
Following the written decision, the dissenting opinions from Roberts et. al offer different points as to why the majority decision to allow so called "same-sex" marriage was erroneous and not supported by the Constitution.  Justice Roberts writes that the court's job is not to legislate nor decide what is a "good idea."

"But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex
marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us.
Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what
the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified
the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither
force nor will but merely judgment.” The Federalist No.
78, p. 465 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton) (capitalization
altered)."

Justice Roberts continues stating that arguments in favor of so-called "same-sex marriage" are compelling, but their legality is weak. He argues that right to marriage does not trump the right of States to define it. Moreover, he states that the Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage and therefore those in favor of so-called "Same-sex marriage" cannot cite it in their favor.

"Although the policy arguments for extending marriage
to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments
for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental
right to marry does not include a right to make
a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s
decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has
persisted in every culture throughout human history can
hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does
not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a
State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex
couples, or to retain the historic definition."

Roberts continues making his case and ends stating that those in favor of "same-sex marriage" should celebrate their victory, but should refrain from celebrating it as a victory supported by the Constitution.

"If you are among the many Americans—of whatever
sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage,
by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate
the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity
for a new expression of commitment to a partner.
Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not
celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.
I respectfully dissent. "

Justice Scalia then offers his dissenting opinion where he focuses on this decision as a "threat to democracy."  He writes:

"Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and
the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a
majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The
opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—
and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the
Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution
and its Amendments neglect to mention. This
practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee
of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant
praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important
liberty they asserted in the Declaration of
Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the
freedom to govern themselves."

Scalia feels that the court is overstepping its boundaries by "creating 'liberties' that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention."  He argues that this was done by a committee of nine unelected lawyers and that these lawyers are not representative of the entire United States. Moreover, he writes that this decision is reminiscent of the "no taxation without representation" dilemma in America's infancy where Americans were taxed by the British without having representation.  Scalia alters it by stating that today's decision is like a "no social transformation without representation" situation.

"Take, for example, this Court, which consists
of only nine men and women, all of them successful lawyers18
who studied at Harvard or Yale Law School. Four
of the nine are natives of New York City. Eight of them
grew up in east- and west-coast States. Only one hails
from the vast expanse in-between. Not a single Southwesterner
or even, to tell the truth, a genuine Westerner
(California does not count). Not a single evangelical
Christian (a group that comprises about one quarter of
Americans19), or even a Protestant of any denomination.
The strikingly unrepresentative character of the body
voting on today’s social upheaval would be irrelevant if
they were functioning as judges, answering the legal
question whether the American people had ever ratified a
constitutional provision that was understood to proscribe
the traditional definition of marriage. But of course the
Justices in today’s majority are not voting on that basis;
they say they are not. And to allow the policy question of
same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a
select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is
to violate a principle even more fundamental than no
taxation without representation: no social transformation
without representation."

Justice Thomas then makes his dissent arguing that the court's decision is at odds with the Constitution and the principles of freedom and liberty. He writes:

"Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a
“liberty” that the Framers would not have recognized, to
the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect. Along
the way, it rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of
Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests
instead that it comes from the Government. This distortion
of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts
the relationship between the individual and the state in
our Republic. I cannot agree with it."

Finally, Justice Alito argues that the Constitution has nothing to say about marriage rights and that the decision is based not on law, but on the postmodern view points of the justices voting in favor of so called "same-sex marriage."  Moreover, he states that the will of the people was trumped and that those who hold a contrary view will be considered villains.

"The Constitution says nothing about a right to same-sex
marriage, but the Court holds that the term “liberty” in
the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
encompasses this right. Our Nation was founded upon the
principle that every person has the unalienable right to
liberty, but liberty is a term of many meanings. For classical
liberals, it may include economic rights now limited
by government regulation. For social democrats, it
may include the right to a variety of government benefits.
For today’s majority, it has a distinctively postmodern
meaning."


"Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the
people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional
understanding of marriage. The decision will also have
other important consequences.
It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to
assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion,
the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws
that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and
women. E.g., ante, at 11–13. The implications of this
analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to
stamp out every vestige of dissent."


Sacerdotus Dissent

Homosexuality, Children & Psychology
There you have it. Kennedy and the dissenting justices offered their opinions on the case. The dissenting opinons are correct.  While Kennedy does make good arguments, he does not acknowledge that homosexuality was removed from the DSM after politicking.  No strong research was ever presented to the American Psychological Association and other bodies that work in this science presenting homosexuality as a normal behavioral aspect of the human being. To date, any psychologist who dares question the status quo may face repercussions for doing so. This intimidates honest researchers who sincerely want to research homosexuality.  Furthermore, studies show that children needs a father and mother, not an imitation.  Children who grow up without a parent (usually a father) tend to do poorly in school and in many instances, end up in prison.  Justice Kennedy claims that there is a "stigma" with children of homosexual couples, however, he fails to explain how. Moreover, he fails to take into account the bullying these children will face from other children who will call them names and mock the fact that their parents are of the same gender.  Children of homosexual parents will grow up confused, especially when they learn that reproduction only takes place when parents of the opposite gender perform sexual intercourse.  They will wonder why they are a part of a "family" that is not the natural norm. This will cause self-esteem issues, depression and a sense of being socially awkward or weird.

American History & the 14th Amendment:
Moreover, Kennedy does not make any argument stating that the Constitution does support "same-sex marriage." The 14th amendment is cited, but when one reads it one will find that it does not mention marriage at all as something that has "equal protection under the law."  As the dissenters argued, the power to define marriage and protect it belongs to the people and the States they form. According to my former history professors at CUNY, when the Constitution was written, it was done so to protect White Male slave owners. This is why African Americans, Woman and others were left out, prompting amendments to be made in order to protect these classes of people and expand their rights. The writers of the Constitution did not mention marriage because, at the time, there was no need to.  There were no LGBT activists protesting and demanding "equal rights." Our Founding Fathers were Christian men who naturally would adhere to the understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This understanding was expected to be adopted by Americans at the time, so there was no need to "put it in writing," so to speak. Not even the prolific writer and promoter of liberty, Thomas Paine wrote on marriage as a fundamental right for anyone or any union. The topic was just not on the table at the time.  If Paine and the Founding Fathers were alive today or could see how America turned out, they would most likely be upset and disgusted.

Power to the People
The 10 amendment clearly states that:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." -https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/tenth_amendment

It is not up to the branches of the government to decide social norms, but to the people and the states that they reside in. By deciding that marriage is a right to same-sex couples against the will of the people and the states, the Supreme Court is taking on power it does not have. The Supreme Court is NOT a legislative body.

The Constitution states the power the Supreme Court has:
"The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed." -https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii

In light of what the Constitution states, the Supreme Court's decision should have been either not to hear the case or to send it back to the States for resolution. The justices in favor of so called "same-sex marriage" decided prima facie respectively of their personal views and not the Constitution.

Religious Freedom
The Supreme Court failed to understand the ramifications of their decision in regards to religious freedom.  The United States of America was founded because of religion. Pioneers to this nation from Europe sought new territory from which they could practice their religious beliefs free from oppression from other ecclesial bodies or monarchies who wished a specific religion be practiced by their subjects. We have already seen with the many lawsuits against Christian businesses for refusing to provide service on grounds that their religious beliefs and conscience would be violated how the promotion of the LGBT agenda is effecting religious liberty. Many Christians have had to shut down their businesses and have faced the backlash and abuse from LGBT supporters. Religious denominations are now being labeled as institutions of hate because they promote certain teachings or Biblical statements which disagree with the LGBT agenda. This opens the door for litigation against religious bodies for simply exercising their first amendment rights.  Moreover, with the legalization of so called "same-sex marriage" in all 50 states, religious bodies can now be coerced to cater to the LGBT agenda or face fines, removal of their tax exemption status or even prosecution. We are already seeing Christians attacked in public and on social media.  One Catholic priest was even spat on by gay men:



The USCCB published a statement calling the decision a "tragic error" and rightfully so.



A Little too Late
Republican candidates for the presidency also voiced their concern regarding this "judicial tyranny." They are calling for an amendment to the Constitution, however, this should have been done decades ago.  Now it will be extremely difficult to get such an amendment passed.  If it does pass, most likely it will be challenged by the same Supreme Court who made this awful decision legalizing so called "same-sex marriage" since they are on the bench for life.

Pusillanimous Catholic Clergy
This decision and the claims that the majority of Catholics and Americans support so called "same-sex marriage" could have been avoided if Catholic clergy educated the people on the sanctity of marriage and why any other union that is not one man and one woman cannot work. Instead, we hear "wishy washy" homilies that are humanistic in tone and scarce on Church teaching.  For example, Jesuit priest James Martin who is popular online did not even condemn the decision, but instead asked Catholics to only recall what the catechism says about treating gays with "respect, compassion and sensitivity."




He ignored the rest of it which reads as follows:

"Chastity and homosexuality 
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. 

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. 
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." -http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_P85.HTM

The Church clearly states that homosexuality is not something that should be celebrated or promoted as a norm.  Those with homosexual tendencies are not called to "come out of the closet" ride on floats in "Pride parades;" rather, they are called to be chaste!  Father Martin ignores this part and it is unfortunate.  Furthermore, had our clergy emphasize this teaching to our people, we would not see these polls alleging that the majority of Catholics support so called "gay marriage."  Our people would understand that while we must love the sinner, we must detest the sin and do all in our power to keep that sin "in the closet of the devil."  Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers  are clear on the matter as well:

Sacred Scripture
Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 
Leviticus 20:13 - If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. 
Deuteronomy 22:5 - A woman shall not wear a man’s apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God. 
Romans 1:26-27 - For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 
1 Corinthians 6:9 - Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, effeminate, nor homosexuals. 
1 Timothy 1:10 - fornicators, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 
Church Fathers 
"You shall not commit fornication; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not be a corrupter of youth." Letter of Barnabas 10 (A.D. 74). 
"You shall not be a corrupter of boys, nor like unto such." Letter of Barnabas 10 (A.D. 74). 
"You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born." Didache 2:2 (A.D. 90). 
"[W]e have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods." Justin Martyr, First Apology 27 (A.D. 151). 
"All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods . . . condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians." Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 (A.D. 190). 
"[According to Greek myth] Baubo [a female native of Elusis] having received [the goddess] Demeter hospitably, reached to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not having any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become annoyed, thinking herself slighted, uncovered her shame, and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted with the sight--pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians; these Orpheus records." Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 (A.D. 190). 
"It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him [Hercules] a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymede. Let such gods as these be worshipped by your wives, and let them pray that their husbands be such as these--so temperate; that, emulating them in the same practices, they may be like the gods. Such gods let your boys be trained to worship, that they may grow up to be men with the accursed likeness of fornication on them received from the gods." Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 2 (A.D. 190). 
"[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities." Tertullian, Modesty 4 (A.D. 220). 
"[God forbid the Jews to eat certain foods for symbolic reasons:] For that in fishes the roughness of scales is regarded as constituting their cleanness; rough, and rugged, and unpolished, and substantial, and grave manners are approved in men; while those that are without scales are unclean, because trifling, and fickle, and faithless, and effeminate manners are disapproved. Moreover, what does the Law mean when it…forbids the swine to be taken for food? It assuredly reproves a life filthy and dirty, and delighting in the garbage of vice…Or when it forbids the hare? It rebukes men deformed into women." Novatian, The Jewish Foods 3 (A.D. 250). 
"[T]urn your looks to the abominations, not less to be deplored, of another kind of spectacle…Men are emasculated, and all the pride and vigor of their sex is effeminated in the disgrace of their enervated body; and he is more pleasing there who has most completely broken down the man into the woman. He grows into praise by virtue of his crime; and the more he is degraded, the more skillful he is considered to be. Such a one is looked upon--oh shame!--and looked upon with pleasure…nor is there wanting authority for the enticing abomination…that Jupiter of theirs [is] not more supreme in dominion than in vice, inflamed with earthly love in the midst of his own thunders…now breaking forth by the help of birds to violate the purity of boys. And now put the question: Can he who looks upon such things be healthy-minded or modest? Men imitate the gods whom they adore, and to such miserable beings their crimes become their religion." Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 1:8 (A.D. 253). 
"Oh, if placed on that lofty watch-tower, you could gaze into the secret places--if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight--you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do--men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them." Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 1:9 (A.D. 253). 
"[T]he mother of the gods loved [the boy Attis] exceedingly, because he was of most surpassing beauty; and Acdestis [the son of Jupiter] who was his companion, as he grew up fondling him, and bound to him by wicked compliance with his lust…Afterwards, under the influence of wine, he [Attis] admits that he is…loved by Acdestis…Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage…Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy's being torn from himself and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness; the Phrygians shriek, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods . . . [Attis] too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, `Take these, Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions.'" Arnobius, Against the Pagans 5:6-7 (A.D. 305). 
"[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, he [God] adds: `Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it' [Lev. 18:24-25]." Eusebius of Caesarea, Proof of the Gospel 4:10 (A.D. 319). 
"He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers." Basil the Great, Letters 217:62 (A.D. 367). 
"If you [O, monk] are young in either body or mind, shun the companionship of other young men and avoid them as you would a flame. For through them the enemy has kindled the desires of many and then handed them over to eternal fire, hurling them into the vile pit of the five cities under the pretense of spiritual love. At meals take a seat far from other young men. In lying down to sleep let not their clothes be near yours, but rather have an old man between you. When a young man converses with you, or sings psalms facing you, answer him with eyes cast down, lest perhaps by gazing at his face you receive a seed of desire sown by the enemy and reap sheaves of corruption and ruin. Whether in the house or in a place where there is no one to see your actions, be not found in his company under the pretense either of studying the divine oracles or of any other business whatsoever, however necessary." Basil the Great, The Renunciation of the World (A.D. 373). 
"[The pagans] were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that pederasty…should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them… As for their passion for boys, whom they called their 'paedica,' it is not fit to be named." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Titus 5 (A.D. 390]). 
"[Certain men in church] come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that [lightning] bolts are not launched [from heaven], and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 3:3 (A.D. 391). 
"All of these affections [in Rom. 1:26-27]… were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored than the body in diseases." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391). 
"[The men] have done an insult to nature itself. And a yet more disgraceful thing than these is it, when even the women seek after these intercourses, who ought to have more shame than men." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391). 
"And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment." John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 4 (A.D. 391). 
"[T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way." Augustine, Confessions 3:8:15 (A.D. 400). 
"[Christians] abhor all unlawful mixtures, and that which is practiced by some contrary to nature, as wicked and impious." Apostolic Constitutions 6:11 (A.D. 400).

Jesus On Marriage
Some state that Jesus was silent on "gay marriage."  While He may have not used the words, He did reaffirm to the crowds gathered that marriage is between a male and female:

Matthew 19:4-6 - He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

As you can see, there is no way a Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or anyone who calls him or herself Christian can justify homosexual behavior and so called "same-sex marriage."  Catholics who support so called "same-sex marriage" should refrain from reception of Holy Communion and from identifying as a Catholic.  Moreover, other quasi representatives of the Catholic faith wrote articles focusing more on how Catholics should respond to the LGBT rather than reaffirming Church teaching.  Franciscan Friar Daniel Horan writes in a column,

"As a Christian, the “joys and hopes” of the LGBT women and men who have cried out for the recognition of their human dignity and value, these are the “joys and hopes” of me today." -http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/how-should-christians-respond-courts-decision-marriage 

Is he serious?  Would the seraphic father St. Francis of Assisi really state this?  The answer is no.  St. Francis of Assisi was about love and the promotion of the Gospel truths. He was so firm on this that he even dared to covert the Muslims knowing he could have been martyred.  Franciscan Friar Horan clearly does not understand the Gospel, Church teachings nor the application of the aforementioned. Then again, he is part of an order that has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars and that claims to live a vow of poverty yet own beautiful expensive properties, vehicles and even allow their members to have their own private apartments.  St. Francis would not recognized the Order of Friars Minor today as his order.  They are the Order of Fraudulent Men.  Unfortunately, young Daniel Horan is a product of this group which has gone apostate decades ago and is dying out due to their departure from the Gospel.


Rainbow Bright
Social media, many businesses and even government buildings seemed to all know beforehand that the Supreme Court would decide in favor of so called "same-sex" marriage. Within seconds of the announcement, may social media platforms, corporations and businesses, government buildings including the White House all had rainbow imagery and lighting.  What struck me the most as disturbing were the White House lights.  The facade of the building was lit up in rainbow colors.  I have never seen the White House in any other color than its white paint.  Never to my knowledge has the White House displayed on its facade the colors of our flag, Red, White and Blue.  Yet it was lit up in the rainbow Gay Pride colors.  On Twitter, the hashtag "LoveWins" was trending. Anyone who used it had a rainbow colored heart appear in their tweets!  This "gay pride" was forced on all of us. Even as I was editing my Sunday post on Wordpress, a rainbow appeared!

White House lit up in Pride colors. Never lit up in Red White or Blue

White House Facebook changes avatar

Hashtag promoted by White House is decorated with a rainbow heart

Some of the many companies changing their logos to Pride rainbows


Those on Facebook could add "twibbons" on their faces with a rainbown
As I edited my Wordpress post, a rainbow shows up.


In all my years on this Earth, I have never seen such indoctrination publicly visible and so forcefully presented. It is just disturbing to think the power this LGBT agenda has and how it controls corporations, social networks and the government.  Is this the new "Nazi" movement?

Twitter Censorship
As I was tweeting my links on the LGBT posts I have written and my opinions on "Pride" and the Supreme Court decision, twitter locked my account. 



In closing, the LGBT agenda is destroying America morally and legally.  Our governments, politicians, justices, corporations, businesses and education system have been hijacked by an agenda bent on forcing social change and restricting liberty. We must not sit back and let this tyrannical minority take down America.  We must elect a president and Congress who will pass and sign into law an amendment defining marriage as solely between one man and one women.  

Included in this must be a change in the term of office for Supreme Court justices.  America is no longer a republic but an oligarchy. The people's will and voice is being trumped by a panel of nine lawyers who are influenced by hidden agendas seeking to socially engineer our way of life and our laws.   Hopefully this will wake up all people of good will and morals who seek to protect marriage and the American way of life as our Founding Fathers intended it to be.




 




Source:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/supreme-court-affirms-right-to-gay-marriage-122495807066.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gay-marriage-and-other-major-rulings-at-the-supreme-court/2015/06/25/ef75a120-1b6d-11e5-bd7f-4611a60dd8e5_story.html

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/supreme-court-has-five-final-cases-decide-including-gay-marriage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/ecstasy-and-despair-on-this-historic-day_b_7671784.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000055

http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/06/28/no-social-transformation-without-representation-read-highlights-antonin-scalia-s-dissent

http://conservativetribune.com/alabama-chief-justice-defiance-scotus/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=ShareButton&utm_campaign=ESSB

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/69a8f8df4606469cba38f72b9e84073e/ap-photos-crowds-celebrate-us-same-sex-marriage-ruling

http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/06/28/no-social-transformation-without-representation-read-highlights-antonin-scalia-s-dissent

http://time.com/3938811/catholics-same-sex-marriage/?xid=fbshare

http://www.newsweek.com/president-obama-347265

Sunday, June 21, 2015

12th Sunday of Ordinary time - God Sleeps During The Storm

The Holy Father's second encyclical "Laudato Si" was just released which deals mainly with climate change. Today's readings also deal with climate, but not in an ecological sense.

In the first reading, we read of God addressing Job reminding him who is the boss, so to speak. The readings tell us that God is in control. Today's first reading skips a few verses where God asks Job if he were there when the foundation of the earth was laid and if he has understanding of it all (Job 38:4-5).  He made the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1, Nehemiah 9:6, Isaiah 37:16, Isaiah 45:18, Psalms 8:3-8).  God was the one who set the limits in the universe (Jeremiah 31:35, Psalm 148:6). Therefore, He has full power over them (Romans 9:1).  This is a call to faith. We must trust God always (2 Samuel 22:3, Psalm 7:1). As we trust in God, we must give thanks for His love which never ends as we read in the responsorial Psalm.


The responsorial Psalm recalls how sailors traveling on the seas noticed the "works of the Lord."  He commands the storms and the waves (Job 5:10). Man in his timid spirit feels insignificant before storms. He cries out to God in panic.  God then calms the storm showing His kindness.  This Psalm is a foreshadowing of today's Gospel. It should remind us that we should give ourselves to God and trust in Him as we read in the second reading.

In the second reading, Paul reminds us that we have all died in Christ.  We no longer live for ourselves but for He who died for us on the Cross (Galatians 2:20).  Because of this, we must look at ourselves as a "new creation."  The old has passed away and now the new is coming into fruition. This is what true repentance is. When we are baptized and receive the other Sacraments, we must turn away from our old selves.  The Sacraments are not "graduation" ceremonies that we follow through with as if they were part of some coming of age social script.  Rather, the Sacraments are the means from which we become this new creation in Christ Jesus.  We trust in Him even when the storms of the world come as we read in the Gospel today.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus wanted to cross the other side of the Sea of Galilee. So.. just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a faithful God. Who fell asleep inside a boat as it went across the big pond.  The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, the disciples starting panicking, fearing they would sink or get lost. They went to Jesus as He slept and woke him up asking Him if He cared that they are going to perish.  He got up and told the wind and the seas to calm and be still (New York translation: shut up and cut it out!). The storm with its wind and strong waves calmed down.  Then Jesus asks them, "do you not yet have faith?"  They were left there in awe wondering who this guy named Jesus was.

This reading can be used in so many ways to reflect upon. We see how the Gospel is connected to the first reading and Psalm in regards to stormy weather and God's power over His creation.  Then we see the importance of having faith in God.  Jesus asks the disciples, "do you not yet have faith?" He does this because they were panicking as the storm came in. They still did not understand who Jesus was and what He was about. We too, many times believe we understand God, but we do not. How many times do we pray and God does not answer?  We then begin to doubt or panic.

Many atheists use this as an argument that God does not exist; they say 'If God were real, why doesn't he respond to prayers?'  We often ask after a big tragedy, 'where was God?' Today's readings touches on this. God is "asleep" in a boat. He seems nonchalant about a storm surrounding the boat about to sink it.  The disciples are panicking and terrified.  This is because they did not have faith. They did not realize they had God in the midst, the creator of the universe!  This is why when we pray to God and nothing happens, we must continue to trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6).  He may be "sleeping" in the boat waiting to be woken up by our prayers, repentance and commitment to faith.  This "boat" is the Church traveling to the "other side."  On the way, it faces storms which try to sink it.  However, Jesus is there with the boat and protects it always even when the passengers on the boat may doubt.  May Jesus Christ be praised!


Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062115.cfm

Please help me continue this evangelization work by donating to my fundraising campaign at: www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus

Friday, June 19, 2015

Emmanuel AME church shooting

Yet again another shooting in America.  A 21 year old white male identified as Dylann Roof entered Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina during a Bible study.  He sat there and then began shooting participants killing nine including the pastor of this church.

The Emanuel AME church was built in the 1700s by freed slaves and has served the African American community for more than 200 years.  The shooter, Dylann Roof acknowledged that he attacked the church out of hatred for Black people.  He accused the entire race of raping and other atrocities and said that they "had to go."  Facebook pictures of him show him with a car with Confederate flags as well as the flags of South Africa during the apartheid era.

According to friends, roof often said racist things and wanted segregation.  He also repeated the 9th grade and eventually dropped out of high school.  During his hearing, he replied "no" to the judges question regarding employment.

He was arrested over 200 miles from the church and apparently told police that he "almost didn't go through with it because everyone was so nice to him."  He also stated that he wanted to start a race war.

Let us pray for the victims, the families of the victims and for the perpetrator as well.

I will update this post as more information comes in.





Source:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/charleston-church-shooting/dylann-roof-almost-didnt-go-through-charleston-church-shooting-n378341

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/06/what-we-know-about-the-charleston-gunman.html?mid=twitter_nymag

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/editorial-dylann-roof-homegrown-american-terrorist-article-1.2262817?utm_content=buffer9bd7d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=NYDailyNewsTw

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dylann-roof-confesses-charleston-church-shooting-report-article-1.2263668?utm_content=bufferdca78&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=NYDailyNewsTw

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/18/us-usa-shooting-south-carolina-idUSKBN0OY06A20150618?utm_source=twitter

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/us/charleston-church-shooting-victims/index.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/18/pinckney-charleston-shooting-safe-in-churches/28915701/

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/06/18/police-respond-to-shooting-at-sc-church/?cmpid=cmty_twitter_fn

http://time.com/3926249/pastor-charleston-speech/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/17/white-gunman-sought-in-shooting-at-historic-charleston-african-ame-church/?tid=sm_tw

http://news.yahoo.com/charleston-church-shooting-suspect-captured-media-152748793.html

https://gma.yahoo.com/whats-next-sc-church-shooting-suspect-dylann-roof-020206980--abc-news-topstories.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pope's "Laudato Si" Encyclical Causing Church Environment Problems

A new encyclical entitled "Laudato Si" is about to be released sometime today - (6 AM Eastern Time) - is causing controversy among Catholics and non-Catholics.  A draft of the encyclical was leaked by L'Espresso magazine and is getting mixed reactions.  In this draft, the Pope is siding with environmentalists and calling attention to global warming and the influence humanity has in this significant alteration of the Earth's climate.

Conservatives are already attacking the Pope based on the leaked draft calling him a "progressive" and even a "communist." Conservatives in the United States for the most part deny that global warming is occurring and believe it is propaganda from the left in order to put restrictions on businesses that generate a lot of profits at the cost of the environment. Even Catholics who adhere to conservative political views are upset at the Pope's involvement in the global warming issue and are siding with their own politics instead of with the Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ.

In the draft the Pope mainly blames mankind for the world's environmental problems:

“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,”

“Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”


The Pontiff also condemns those who deny the effects human pollution is having on the environment:

“The attitudes that stand in the way of a solution, even among believers, range from negation of the problem, to indifference, to convenient resignation or blind faith in technical solutions.”

According to the Vatican spokesman, a draft was released to prepare the media for the final release on June 18, 2015 (today).  They were asked not to publish it and were even threatened to be fined and jailed. However, conservative analyst Sandro Magister included the draft in an article.  This upset the Vatican press office who suspended Magister's press credentials and was escorted out.  This suspension was met with negative reception by those in the Church who call themselves "conservative" and are already drumming up conspiracy theories.






GOP presidential candidates, especially Catholic ones are now in an awkward position since now they will have to find a way to balance their Republican anti-global warming views with that of the Pope in this new encyclical.  Candidate, Jeb Bush had this to say:

"ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm."

Catholic politician Rick Santorum even publicly criticized the Church and the Pope in regards to their understanding of science stating:

"The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we’re good at, which is theology and morality,"

Even Bill Donahue of the Catholic league who normally defends the Pope and the Church attacked Pope Francis' academic credentials and downplayed the role of the Church to speak on the environment:






Scientists are optimistic that they have a Pope siding with them.  The majority of the world's scientists are in agreement that global warming is in, fact real and that humanity has a big role in it.
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech said:

“Someone else who has a lot of influence in the world. So that is so encouraging, so exciting. . . . It’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, the Pope gets it.’ We become scientists because we love science. Communicating . . . we don’t do as well. Now, the Pope is doing that for us.”
The document is expected to be released in a few hours at a news conference attended by a Cardinal from Ghana, an Orthodox priest and an atheist climate scientist indicating that the Pope wants the attention of every global group, not just Catholics.

"Laudato Si" means "praised be" and comes from St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of Creatures" which was composed in 1225.  This is not the first time the Church has spoken on the environment.

Blessed Paul VI wrote in "OCTOGESIMA ADVENIENS:"

The environment
21. While the horizon of man is thus being modified according to the images that are chosen for him, another transformation is making itself felt, one which is the dramatic and unexpected consequence of human activity. Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation. Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace - pollution and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity - but the human framework is no longer under man's control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may well be intolerable. This is a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family.
The Christian must turn to these new perceptions in order to take on responsibility, together with the rest of men, for a destiny which from now on is shared by all. 
-http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_p-vi_apl_19710514_octogesima-adveniens.html

St. John Paul II addressed members of the United Nations:

"The Church’s commitment to the conservation and improvement of our environment is linked to a command of God. In the very first pages of the Bible, we read how God created all things and then entrusted them to the care of human beings who were themselves created in his image. God said to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Gen. 1, 28)." 
 -http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/speeches/1985/august/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19850818_centro-nazioni-unite.html


The Catechism states:

"(339) Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection.  For each one of the works of the 'six days' it is said: 'And God saw that it was good.'  'By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.'[208]  Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness.  Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment." 
2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits.187

Sacred Scripture:

Genesis 1:26 -  "Then God said, 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth,and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.'”
Genesis 1:28 -  "God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 
Genesis 2:15 - "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it"

I will update this post as I learn more after the official release of the encyclical "Laudato Si" and will give my thoughts on it as well as its reception by both Catholics and non-Catholics.  Stay tuned!


UPDATE:  6/18/15  

"Laudato Si" was finally released and has been the talk of the day.  You can read it here:  http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/06/18/full-text-laudato-si/.  It was trending on Twitter and other social networks. Surprisingly, it did not get as much "hate" from Catholics who identify as "conservative."  Michael Voris released a video criticizing the Pope for getting "political" and "scientific" but seemed to be content that the text was faithful to the precedent set forth by previous Popes and the teachings of the Church.  He also stated that there is no consensus on climate change from scientists.  This is not true.  The majority of scientists agree that humanity is in fact adding to global warming.  I will get to that later, but first let me give a summary of the encyclical.

Summary
The Holy Father begins introducing the problems humanity is facing in regards to our home, the Earth.  Using theology and philosophy, the Pope emphasizes the role humanity places on being stewards of the planet.  Using the latest scientific data on pollution, climate change and how societies contribute to them, the Pope makes his case for humanity to start turning back the tide of self destruction.  He mentions that access to water that is safe and clean is a basic human right. Moreover, he laments the loss of thousands of plant and animal species due to the destruction of the environment.

The Pope then goes into detail regarding the "Gospel of Creation."  He offers the richness of the Judeo-Christian Biblical tradition and restates the importance of the responsibility that humanity has in the care of creation and the proper use of its resources.  Pope Francis continues explaining the human ideological roots of the ecological crisis.  From technology, poor business practices, fossil fuels and other abuses, the Pope goes into detail at how these effect our world and our people. He restates that abortion is never justified and even criticizes gender theory stating that we should be happy with the body God has given us.  The document closes with prayers.

"Laudato Si" is a work of art, in my opinion.  The Pope did an excellent job incorporating theology, philosophy, Church teaching, the writings of previous Popes and science.  Catholics who were concerned that the Pope would go apostate were completely mistaken and should ask God for forgiveness for this rash judgment.  Moreover, political conservatives who are criticizing the Pope, one from Fox news even calling him the "most dangerous man in the world," should set aside their ignorance and learn the facts regarding climate change and why calling humanity to care for the world is not a dangerous idea.  Where do these people think they will live if the planet dies?  Will they have their silly political caucuses on the Moon or some other planetary body?  As it stands, no other location in our solar system can allow life as we understand it.  Moreover, even if we find an "Earth-like" world elsewhere, we do not have the technology to reach it.  If we do try to reach it, we may die before we even get there.  The only thing we can do and must do is care for the world we have now, the Earth. The true "dangerous" idea is living in denial as our planet dies.  We must do this even if it means hurting profits.  Life is worth more than money.  We created money and we can create something better that is not dependent on the destruction of human life, non-human life, plants and the world as whole.  

Catholic "Benedict Arnolds"
I am disappointed at Bill Donahue, Michael Voris, Rick Santorum, Jeb Bush and other Catholics who are siding with political ideologies than with the Church.  They must be loyal to Christ and His Church before anything else.  As for Santorum and Bush, I understand that they have to "be Republican," but this does not mean that they have to blindly follow political ideologies that disagree with the Church's teaching and common sense.  Moreover, Donahue and his Catholic League were wrong tweeting that the catechism is mute on the environment.  I clearly posted the above paragraphs 339 and 2402 from the catechism which states the importance of caring for the environment and ensuring that the world's resources are used in a way that does not become disastrous for life on Earth and would offend God.  I do not understand why Donahue did not know this existed in the catechism. Moreover, as stated before, Voris' comments regarding the use of science in the encyclical are ignorant.  The majority of scientists all agree that humanity is harming the environment.

Furthermore, while science is not part of "faith and morals," this does not mean Popes cannot use it to make a case.  Condoms, birth control pills, invitro fertilization and other post-modern concepts did not exist thousands of years ago.  If we go back through time and talked to Pope Urban I, Pope Saint Damasus I or Pope Blessed Benedict XI about rubber condoms, birth control pills and/or invitro fertilization they will look at us wondering what we are talking about.  Nevertheless, Popes in modern and post-modern times wrote on them and expounded on Church teachings mentioning these concepts.  Humanae Vitae is an example of this. Blessed Paul VI had scientists and medical professionals explain to him the methods that were being used for birth control and overall reproduction.  They along with other theologians suggested he endorse their use.  However, he did the opposite, but still used the information he learned from them.

This is what Pope Francis did.  He educated himself on the science behind climate and pollution and presented this data using Church teaching so that the text could speak to us today in 2015.  This is genius at work and how the Holy Spirit speaks to us today.  The Church teaches the same teachings that never change using the language of today.  Sacred Tradition is a living tradition.  Ecology and the environment are not "political issues." They are human and non-human issues that effect all of us. God has given us charge to "till the earth and keep it."  This does not mean to destroy or abuse it. Donahue, Voris and any one else in the Church who call themselves "conservative" are wrong for thinking that the Pope speaking on ecology and the environment are "taboo."  As Pope and Vicar of Christ, he must speak out against the abuses that are occurring against the Earth and all life which was created by God.   This abuse has root in an exaggeration of the role of man.  Man is NOT God. We do not have a right to destroy this world just to "better ourselves."  Again, Earth is the only home we have.  If we destroy it, we will not survive.

Climate Change is Real
Studies clearly show that the ice caps are melting at an extraordinary rate.  This is causing an increase of ocean levels as well as the temperature, PH and salt balance of the worlds ocean. While this may not seem like a big deal on paper, in reality it is a big deal.  These gradual changes effect the food chain which in turn effects the many species that reside in the oceans of the world.  This is why we are seeing so many shark attacks.  As their food supply dies off, they go elsewhere for food.  This brings them close to the shore where out of extreme hungry, they attack humans who are nearby on beaches.   Moreover, the change of water temperature interferes with weather patterns since temperature is part of the system that regulates the pressure in the atmosphere.  The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere trap UV rays causing more fluctuations in temperature which bring about storms that may be catastrophic as we have seen recently.  The reality of global warming and climate change is undeniable.  We must care for this planet if we want to exist.  Kudos to Pope Francis for reminding the world of the importance of caring for our beautiful world.  For far too long scientists have been ignored.  Now they have the powerful voice of Rome on their side fighting for our survival.  I end now with a quote from the late Carl Sagan which is appropriate to Laudato Si:

"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand."  - Pale Blue Dot

   






Source:

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/15/pope-francis-destruction-ecosystem-leaked-encyclical

http://espresso.repubblica.it/attualita/2015/06/15/news/papa-bergoglio-e-la-lezione-di-francesco-d-assisi-in-anteprima-l-enciclica-sull-ambiente-laudato-si-mi-signore-1.216897?ref=HRBZ-1

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/06/17/vatican-pope-encyclical-bishops/28874079/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-pope-franciss-not-yet-official-document-on-climate-change-is-already-stirring-controversy/2015/06/17/ef4d46be-14fe-11e5-9518-f9e0a8959f32_story.html

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/06/15/italian-magazine-publishes-leaked-version-of-popes-eco-encyclical/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/an-italian-draft-of-pope-francis-environmental-paper-leaks--setting-off-scurry-to-google-translate/2015/06/15/89af0012-1379-11e5-9ddc-e3353542100c_story.html

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/06/17/scientists-see-powerful-ally-as-pope-poised-to-release-climate-change-encyclical.html

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/17/3670214/catholicism-environmental-history-encyclical/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.catholicleague.org/catholic-politicians-and-the-church/

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/catholic-league-president-pope-wrong-on-climate-change-because-god-never-said-air-pollution-is-intrinsically-evil/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/15/world/pope-climate-change/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/world/europe/leak-of-pope-francis-encyclical-hints-at-tensions-in-vatican.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/17/jeb-bush-pope-climate-change_n_7603160.html

http://ncronline.org/news/global/leaked-encyclical-text-puts-climate-change-humans-calls-wide-ranging-changes

http://t.co/Bi5md1SZiL

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