Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Holy Trinity - 3 in One

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. We remind ourselves of this important truth of the faith that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


There are NOT 3 gods, but rather 3 persons who are ONE God or one essence.  For centuries the brightest minds, both within and without the Church have tried to fully comprehend and explain this, but they could not.


God cannot be understood completely by mortals.  Human beings are limited to space, time and matter and can only understand things within the laws and experiences of each.



What human being has experienced infinity in order to define it?  What human being has experienced being all benevolent, all omnipotent, all sapient and all knowing?  There is none.   Human beings are finite creatures with finite minds.
It is important to understand that the Father is not the Son nor the Son the Father.  Moreover, the Father and Son are not the Holy Spirit and vice versa.  Each are distinct Divine persons who are of the same singular Divine substance or essence.


Think of it in this way:  One of western psychology's pioneers and also an atheist, Sigmund Freud believed that human beings have the Super Ego, Ego, and Id which comprises their psyche. Each is distinct but are of one person.  Moreover, human beings have reason, conscience, and self-awareness.  Each are distinct but are of one person. The same with God, but with the difference that each (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are distinct persons, not attributes of personality as in the aforementioned examples.


There are some sects today who deny the Holy Trinity such as, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons.  Jehovah's Witnesses even went as far as to altering the Gospel of John 1:1 to read ".. the Word was A god..." which was done to support their idea that Jesus is some sort of a lower god or demi-god.  In Genesis 1:26, God says, "Let US make man in OUR image, to be like US."  The words "US" and "OUR" signify plurality of persons.  God describes Himself as a community of persons.


It sounds confusing, but this shows the awesomeness of God.  God will never be completely understood by any creature.  If any creature understands God completely, then God would not be God. He would be a thing in nature that can be understood.



There is a story about Augustine of Hippo who is a Catholic saint and bishop. He is a well-known philosopher and a celebrated champion of Christian thought. 

Anyhow, one day he was trying to figure out God - in particular the idea of Father Son Holy Spirit as one God - he thought and thought and thought wondering how can God be 3 persons in one - how can God be God. Well, while sleeping he had a dream that he was by the shore. He saw a small child digging a hole in the sand. Once dug, the child took a shell and went to the ocean and took water. He brought it back and poured it into the hole. The child then ran back and repeated the same action. Augustine smiled and went to the child and asked the child, "what are you trying to do?" the child answered, "I am trying to put the ocean in this hole." Augustine smiled again thinking the child said something cute. Augustine replied to the child, "The ocean is vast and immense, there is no way you can put it all into this small hole." The child looked at him smiling and replied, "neither can you put all of God in your mind." At that Augustine woke and realized that no one can truly grasp God. It would be like putting the ocean into a small hole dug in the sand on a beach.  This child is said to have been Augustine's guardian angel.

Today's readings introduce the three Divine Persons.  The first person of the Blessed Trinity or The Father is introduced in the first reading. In the first reading, Moses is telling the people of the one true God YHWH (Exodus 8:10, Deuteronomy 4:39,2 Samuel 7:22, 1 Chronicles 17:20). He begins to ask the people if they recall anything so great to ever happen before and if they have ever known of a people who heard the voice of God or any god speaking from fire or venturing out to rescue them from another nation by using tests, signs, wonders and war.  He, of course, is referring to the events of the Exodus (Exodus 13:21-22, Exodus chapters 7-20). Moses was reminding the people then and us today of this one true God. Mankind has formulated all kinds of designations and descriptions for deities trying to define the One God; however, these deities never spoke to them nor went out to rescue them from powerful nations. While these people had the right idea that a Supreme Being exists, they got the name and descriptions wrong.  Only one God has done what Moses described, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses etc (Exodus 3:6, Acts 3:13).   Moreover, some atheists and skeptics claim the story of Exodus is fiction. However, we have evidence such as the text "Ipuwer Papyrus" which describes the ten plagues that fell over Egypt which Moses reminded us in today's readings.  God is indeed an awesome God. He is faithful and our Father (Deuteronomy 7:9, 1 Corinthians 1:9, Isaiah 64:8, Matthew 6:9).

In the responsorial Psalm, we read of the greatness of God.  His word is upright and trustworthy. God is not a liar (Numbers 23:19, Romans 3:4).  He is fair and just (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The word of God is what brings things to existence (Genesis 1:3).  This "logos" keeps our universe in existence (Hebrews 11:3, Colossians 1:17). We as His children must wait on God and trust in Him for He is our help and our shield (Psalm 91).  His Spirit gives us life, protects us and guides us as we read in the second reading.

The second reading focuses on the third person of the Blessed Trinity whose coming we celebrated last Sunday on Pentecost. This Spirit reminds us that we are sons of God, not slaves (Galatians 3:26). We are able to call God "Abba, Father!"  We are united with the Blessed Trinity in the Spirit, not to be God, but to be sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:2).  This Spirit is our guide and our courage who gives us gifts that allow us to grow in the Holy Trinity and be witnesses to this union of love to the world (John 16:13, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, Ephesians 4:7-13, Romans 12:3-8).


Finally in the Gospel, we read of Jesus' last words to the disciples before the Ascension.  He reminds them that all power in heaven and earth were given to Him because He is the Word of God (John 1:1).  Jesus instructs them to go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Here we read Jesus dictate to His disciples the persons who constitute God. This is a truth that can never change because it comes from Christ who is the Truth (John 14:6).  God is One in three Divine distinct Persons.  Some atheists tweet around this meme of Christ praying at the Garden of Gethsemane and next to it they write that Christ is praying to Himself and asking Himself to spare Himself from what He is about to go through.  This, of course, shows the ignorance of many atheists who do not understand the Holy Trinity, among many other things.  Our job is not to try to understand this, but to trust this triune God who created us and loves us so much that the second person of this Trinity came, took on flesh, suffered and died for all of us (John 3:16).  We must trust this God who rescues us from oppression as He did in the Exodus and who sends us His Holy Spirit to remind us of what Christ taught and guide us.  Again, no one can truly understand the Holy Trinity using man's knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 11:34).  We can understand the Holy Trinity with love because God is love (1 John 4:8).  As Catholics, we must go out and evangelize reminding the world of the One God in three Divine Persons.        

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/053115.cfm
Please help me expand this work, donate at gofundme.com/sacerdotus




Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"Charlie Charlie" Challenge

Just when you think people cannot do anything more stupid, a new thing comes along.  Just about a month ago, there was the "#kyliejennerchallenge" where young people were inflaming their lips using bottles and suction, now we have the "Charlie Charlie Challenge."

This challenge is based on a Ouija board-like game which is used to summon a Mexican demon named "Charlie."  A graph is drawn on a sheet of paper. On each quadrant of the graph, the words yes and no are written.  Then two pencils are placed one on top of another in a cross.  Next, the participant summons this demon "Charlie" and asks it "yes or no" questions.  The pencils then appear to move pointing to the response.

I am a big skeptic when I learn of claims of magic and what not, so I personally do not believe this game has anything magical to it.  The movement of the pencils can be explained via physics. The breath of the participant can move the pencil which is suspended on the other pencil as gravity is pulling on it and friction is taking place where both meet.  Momentum then takes over allowing the pencil to continue moving until the kinetic energy dissipates.  However, despite having a natural explanation, evil is still being welcomed with these items and the intent of the participant(s).    

Catholic priests have already raised their red flags against this game. They claim that this is a dangerous game because it is summoning demons. When one calls upon a demon even if it is a common name like "Charlie," the invitation is still being sent. A demon is like a stray animal.  If you pay attention to it, feed it or invite it into your home then it will come in and will not leave so easily. It will claim your home as its new territory.  There is no reason whatsoever to summon a demon unless you want to be harassed by it.  Demons do not like human beings.  They will do anything to get us to turn from God and destroy ourselves.  This "Charlie" game is being marketed to impressionable kids in order to bring them to the dark side.  Summoning demons and resorting to divination and magic is a sin.  The Catechism has this to say:

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility. 
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. 
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. 

Demons can attach themselves to people via oppression and can even take over their bodies and mental faculties via possession.  These can only be done when a person freely invites a demon or demons into their lives.  I urge parents to keep an eye out for this game in their homes and educate their kids on the seriousness and danger of summoning demons under any guise.  Let us pray to St. Michael the Archangel to keep these demons away from our children.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

If kids spent more time plotting graphs (algebra) instead of making these stupid "Charlie" graphs, then they would profit academically from it.  I have always loved plotting graphs.  They are fun.







Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/charlie-charlie-challenge_n_7439434.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32887325.=ki

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/charlie-charlie-challenge-catholic-priest-5763103

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/priest-warns-pupils-the-charlie-charlie-challenge-is-demonic-activity-10275830.html

http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=60751

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/26/living/charlie-charlie-challenge-feat/

http://www.today.com/parents/charlie-charlie-challenge-emerges-spooky-new-teen-craze-t23071

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11628862/What-is-the-Charlie-Charlie-Challenge.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithonthecouch/2015/05/wheres-charlie-what-catholic-parents-need-to-know-about-the-charlie-challenge/

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pentecost - Come Holy Spirit, we really need you!

Today we celebrate Pentecost or the day when the Catholic Church was officially born in the public.  In the first reading, we read the account of this coming of the Holy Spirit.  The Blessed Virgin Mother Mary and the Apostles gathered in an upper room and prayed for 9 days (Acts 1:14).

They then received the Holy Spirit who descended upon them as tongues of fire. Each received the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well as the gift of tongues so that people could understand them in their native language as they preached the Gospel of Christ. This ability to communicate in various languages while speaking only one is connected to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The people of Babel were ambitious, never thinking of God, only themselves.

Like today, they place science and technology as means to give humankind a sense of self-divinity. We can split atoms, go to the moon, collide protons, clone animals, land space crafts on comets and immediately we think we are gods. The arrogance of the people of Babel brought God to confuse their language. Their sins united them, so to speak. The confusion of their tongue humbled them and delayed any advancements they were planning.  However, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the Blessed Mother and the Apostles the gifts of tongues allowing them to once again speak in one language that was intelligible to everyone else but with the message of Christ, not one like those of Babel who were self-centered humanists.

Pentecost means the 'fiftieth day' and was the day on which the 'Feast of Weeks' or 'Shevout' was celebrated.  On this day, all Jews recalled the day the Commandments were given to Moses 50 days after their Exodus from Egypt (Leviticus 23:15-21, Deuteronomy 16:9-11).  There was a big harvest on this day. Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles (Luke 24:49).  He told them that the Helper or Paraclete would come to them reminding them of all He has taught them and will guide them in Truth (John 14:15-31).

These are important verses that are ignored by our separated brethren who often claim that the Catholic Church is corrupt and apostate.  In America's infancy, groups such as the Finneyites rose up preaching a form of "primitivism," or what they called a return to the "original Christianity."  We see many of their sects today such as the Baptists, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Evangelicals, Mormons, Adventists and so on.  Anyone who believes that Christ's Catholic Church became corrupt is basically calling Jesus a liar.  If Jesus indeed promised that the Spirit would guide the Church in Truth, how can it become corrupt?  How can the Church fall away from Christ?  This is a misconception our separated friends must really meditate on.  They must cast away that ignorant rhetoric from the harsh anti-Catholicism that existed in the past - post-reformation and into America's infancy.

It is the Holy Spirit who gave life to the universe, the earth and man (Genesis 1:2, Genesis 2:7).  The Spirit will renew the face of the Earth as we read in today's Psalm.  It is via this Spirit that we can profess faith in Jesus as Lord as the second reading (first option from (1 COR 12:3B-7, 12-13) tells us. This Spirit give us the gifts necessary for us to spread the Gospel to others and grow in the Gospel internally. We must not fight the Holy Spirit, but let Him transform us as we read in the second option from Galatians 6:16-25.

Lastly, in the Gospel, both options tell us of Christ's promise of this Helper. We need this helper today more than ever. Our Church is being attacked from within and without. Many among us have lost our way, even among the clergy.  Churches are closing, people are leaving the faith.  A culture of death, sexual confusion and egoism is on the rise.  The world seems to have gone to hell, so to speak. We must ask the Holy Spirit to come to us and renew us so that we can combat the evils in the world which come from the father of lies (John 8:44, Ephesians 6:12). The Spirit will come when we are united in prayer.  In this Holy Spirit, we must go out and proclaim Christ in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  We all know that Christ and His Gospel is extremely out of season in our day, nevertheless, we must be courageous because God's Spirit which was given to us is not a pusillanimous or timid Spirit  (2 Timothy 1:7).  We may not have the 'eye of the tiger,' but we have the Holy Spirit and the world will hear us roar just like on the day of Pentecost.


  • Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to come once again and renew the Catholic Church and the world.  
  • Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to rid the Church of scandals; to rid the Church of her Judas' who continue to betray Jesus.  
  • Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to renew our faith and to restore or bring the gift of faith to those who lost it or never bothered with it.  
  • Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to tell us what to do in these trying times.  To instruct us how to confront with love and reason the errors of today such as Relativism, Atheism, Secularism, Homosexual behavior, the distortion of Marriage, the selfishness and ego of Feminism, Indifferentism, Personhood distortion and attack on life, and gender confusion.  

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love, sent forth your spirit and they shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Please donate at  www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus
Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052415-pentecost-day.cfm

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland Betrays St. Patrick

Ireland, the land of St. Patrick and Our Lady of Knock has turned its back on them.  More importantly, Ireland has turned her back to Christ.

In a referendum that took place on May 22nd, about 60% of voters voted 'yes' to the legalization of so-called 'same-sex marriage.' The Vatican Secretary of State called it a "defeat for humanity."  Archbishop Eamon Martin, the primate of Ireland exhibited concern that the legalization of so-called 'same-sex marriage' would pose dire consequences for the Catholic Church. Martin stated,

“Will there be lawsuits against individuals and groups who do not share this vision? What will we be expected to teach children in school about marriage or about homosexual acts? Will those who continue to sincerely believe that marriage is between a man and a woman be forced to act against their faith and conscience? If society adopts and imposes a new orthodoxy of 'gender-neutral' marriage, being defined simply as a union between two persons - including a man and a man, or a woman and woman - then it will become increasingly difficult to speak or teach in public about marriage as being between a man and a woman."

The archbishop is correct. We are already seeing many lawsuits instigated by same-sex couples who claim that the Church or religious people are discriminating against them. When will it end?

This news is extremely troubling but just a reminder that Christ did not lie. Christ said in Luke 18:8, "I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Clearly Jesus is asking if He will find anyone who believes anymore on Earth when He returns.  This is an indication that in the end times people will stop believing and will do their own thing.  They will cry out, "God is Dead.. let us rewrite the norms and live as we please!"  We have seen this in the past with the Israelites who despite seeing God's power and the many times He had rescued them still turned against Him (Psalm 95:8).

The ignorance surrounding this referendum is just astounding.  On Twitter, some people posted photos of two rainbows that appeared over Dublin, Ireland claiming them to be an endorsement by God of the referendum's outcome. As you may know, the rainbow is mentioned in Genesis 9:13-15 as a sign that God would keep His covenant and would not destroy the Earth with a flood again. The people tweeting the photos of the rainbow seem to think God approves of  so-called 'same-sex marriage.' Ironically, the rainbow has appeared in other places where so-called 'same-sex marriage' was legalized.

Does this really mean that God is happy with this legalization?  
Well, I see it differently. The rainbow in Genesis 9 symbolizes God's promise to keep the covenant and not destroy the Earth with a flood.  That being said, the appearance of a rainbow every time same-sex marriage is approved of is possibly a reminder that God has kept His promise and we have not. We are the ones who are 'breaching the contract,' if you will.  Moreover, it may also be God holding His hand back from punishing the fools on Earth, but allowing a rainbow to show up to "hold Him back," so to speak.  The reality is that God does not endorse homosexual behavior. 1 Corinthians 6:9 clearly states that homosexuals will not go to Heaven.  If this is not a clear indication of how God feels about this same-sex stuff, then I do not know what does.









So What Happened?
Well, many things happened...  The 'yes'vote legalizing same-sex marriage in Ireland is seen as an embarrassment to the once powerful Catholic Church. For centuries, the Church in Ireland was the boss behind the boss, so to speak.  The people listened more to the Church than to anyone else. This is changing.  With the many scandals the Catholic Church in Ireland has faced, it is no surprise as to why the people do not trust the Church anymore as a moral authority. Who is going to trust a Church that tolerated minor abusing priests and religious orders? This is the fault of Church leaders who betrayed Christ and turned off the people. Unfortunately, those who were turned off did not bother with what Christ taught and made their decision based solely on the filth in the Church.  The more important thing is to follow Christ regardless of the bad Church members do. Church leaders will fail and sin all the time. Christ never fails nor sins! Then when you have people like Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry say that Catholics can support same-sex marriage in 'good conscience,' this adds to the problem.  How can a bishop - successor to the Apostles - say such a thing??  How can voting for something unnatural equate to acting in 'good conscience?'

Moreover, many young people came out to vote in Ireland during this referendum. The young people today are inundated with liberal propaganda from musicians, singers, actors and so forth. One just has to look at social media to see the many musicians and actors praising the 'yes' vote. Even the band 'U2' which claims to be Catholic had showed support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. They, of course, are just trying to keep themselves relevant as their music becomes outdated.  Former news anchor Piers Morgan also was in a celebratory mood. He is a Catholic and does not seem to understand the Church's teachings.  Now, pro-abortion advocates are calling for the legalization of abortion in Ireland!  All of this confused influence on the youth has taken its toll. They are brainwashed into believing the LGBT is the next legitimate civil rights movement.

What Can We Do?
As Catholics faithful to Christ and His Church, we must evangelize. We must be the change that we want to see in this world.  Sitting back and hoping the world's problems will fix themselves will not work. We must get out there and spread the Gospel now more than ever since it is clearly 'out of season.'  Do not be discouraged if people mock you, call you a bigot or someone who adheres to 'bronze-age myths.'  Let them say what they want.  The bottom line is that the Gospel 'seeds' are being planted.  Remember, seeds grow best when planted in manure. This same-sex marriage popularity and other errors of the world are the fertilizer which God will use to grow the seeds of the Gospel that we plant in the world.  If we look at history, it is during the harsh times that the Church grew and fixed societies. This referendum in Ireland will not be the last one.  Things can be reversed. Our job is to preach the Gospel and show the world why same-sex marriage does not work; with love and humility of course. We must not become like the Westboro cult.

Let us pray for Ireland.  May Our Lady of Knock and St. Patrick pray for the restoration of Ireland.






Source:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/02/ireland-archbishop-fears-lawsuits-for-churches-against-gay-marriage

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/26/vatican-ireland-gay-marriage-referendum-vote-defeat-for-humanity

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/u2-ireland-gay-marriage-_n_7442984.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/05/26/northern-ireland-gay-marriage_n_7440376.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/05/26/ireland-catholic-gay-marriage-trust-column/27929573/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/25/a-reality-check-for-irelands-church-gay-marriage-v/

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/26/irish-gay-marriage-victors-lets-legalise-abortion-next/

http://www.recordnet.com/article/20150526/NEWS/150529776/101127/A_OPINION

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/may/24/ireland-celebrates-historic-gay-marriage-yes-vote-video

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/23/landslide-win-for-gay-marriage-in-ireland/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ireland-gay-marriage-vote-live-updates-as-referendum-ballots-are-counted-10271812.html

http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/05/24/segment-kinkade-mann-ireland-gay-vote.cnn-ap

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/23/double-rainbows-ireland-gay-marriage_n_7427496.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ireland-gay-marriage-vote-rainbows-5748323

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/02/ireland-archbishop-fears-lawsuits-for-churches-against-gay-marriage

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/irish-bishop-catholics-can-back-gay-marriage-in-good-conscience

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Josh Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids & Counting" Molested Girls

The Learning Channel's show "19 Kids and Counting" has been extremely popular. It is based on a Protestant Christian large family who adheres to conservative ideas and repressed forms of courting or dating. The parents of this family Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar teach their children to hug their significant others "sideways" and do not even let them kiss or hold hands.

While strange to outsiders and exaggerated, most Christians understand that this is an attempt to keep purity and chastity alive in a relationship.  However, the eldest son Josh Duggar recently revealed in People's magazine that he had molested some of his sisters including a 14-year-old girl.  He touched her breasts and vagina as she slept.  The molestation took place several times according to a police report which reads:

"Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were interview [sic] by the Springdale Police department on Dec. 12, 2006. The report says that James told police he was alerted in March, 2002 by a female minor that Josh — who turned 14-years-old that month — had been touching her breasts and genitals while she slept. This allegedly happened on multiple occasions. In 2006, Jim Bob told police that in July, 2002 Josh admitted to fondling a minor’s breasts while she slept. “James said that they disciplined (redacted, Josh) after this incident.” The family did not alert authorities."

After Josh revealed the molestation to his parents, the father Jim Bob Duggar went to the elders of his denomination rather than the police which he did a year later. Josh was sent to "Christian counseling" which has nothing to do with any psychological professor or social work that requires licensing.

"Asked about the training center that Jim Bob said Josh was sent to, Michelle told police, according to the report, “it was not really a training center. Det. [Darrell] Hignite asked if the guy [redacted, Josh] talked to was a certified counselor. She said no. She said it was a guy they know in Little Rock that is remodeling a building. Det. Hignite asked if the guy was more of a mentor. She said “kind of.”
The revelation forced Josh Duggar to resign from the Family Research Council. Ironically, while, in this job, Josh criticized LGBT people even claiming that they are a danger to children despite the harm he caused, allegedly to his sisters and other female minors.  The parents of Josh claim that his crime was simply a "mistake."  Many are calling for the cancellation of "19 Kids and Counting" especially since another popular show on TLC, "Here Comes Honey boo-boo" which followed a "redneck" family from Georgia and their daughter "Honey boo-boo" was cancelled after her mother was discovered to have been dating a man who molested the older sister of "Honey boo-boo."  Josh was not charged for his crimes due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. One of his victims stated that she forgave him and that he “sought after God and had turned back to God.”  It is believed that this victim even filed for the destruction of all files related to the molestation in order to protect her identity. The Duggar family made statements on their Facebook:





"From Jim Bob and Michelle: 
Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles everyday. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything. 
From Josh:
Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption. 
From Anna:
I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married - it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was -- even every difficult past mistakes. At that point and over the next two years, Josh shared how the counseling he received changed his life as he continued to do what he was taught. And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him... I was able to say, "Yes" knowing who Josh really is - someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right. I want to say thank you to those who took time over a decade ago to help Josh in a time of crisis. Your investment changed his life from going down the wrong path to doing what is right. If it weren't for your help I would not be here as his wife — celebrating 6 1/2 years of marriage to a man who knows how to be a gentleman and treat a girl right. Thank you to all of you who tirelessly work with children in crisis, you are changing lives and I am forever grateful for all of you."

This news is just troubling to learn.  While as a Catholic Christian I am called to forgive, I am also called to bring about justice in the world and protect the dignity of all human life, including children. It is unfortunate that the statute of limitations has expired. I believe there should be no expiration date, so to speak on when those suspected of molesting or raping a child can be prosecuted. Moreover, it is troubling to me how some Christians can use the guise of forgiveness and mercy in order to excuse a crime.  What Josh did was not a "mistake."  It was a crime!  Josh is clearly an ephebophile.  People with this condition usually repeat their crime regardless of any therapies given. Not much is known regarding why some are attracted to minors and what specifically causes it in the brain. Furthermore, the fact that Josh's parents sought the help of elders in a sect instead of contacting the police is horrible. This is one of the major mistakes many victims of predatory priests and bishops responsible for them did.  They did not report the crimes to the police.  Some priests were sent to "rehabilitation facilities" as if this would do anything to "cure" them.  They were then given a clean bill of health and reassigned only to commit their crime again.

After watching a few episodes of "19 Kids and Counting" I found the exaggerated form of courting to be too repressive.  Could this be what led to Josh's sexual frustration and his acting out on younger minors?  We cannot know for sure, but it may have been a factor. Moreover, Josh's comments claiming that children are in danger with LGBT people should not have been made especially since he already endangered children. I think the "speck/log in your eye" quote applies here (Matthew 7:3-5).

We are all sinners, but we must be careful with accusing others of wrongdoing when we may have done it ourselves or may even being doing it in the present.  If TLC canceled another program because the mother on the show was dating the man who molested her first born daughter, then it is only right that the program with the Duggars show be canceled as well.  By failing to report these crimes of molestation and believing that "Christian counseling" somehow fixes things, the parents have failed in presenting an image of a family that protects children. Jesus was clear regarding those who harm children (Matthew 18:6).


Editor's note:  The publication that broke the story was "In Touch Weekly" not "People's Magazine." Also, four younger sisters were molested and a babysitter. Josh also molested a sister who was five at the time, therefore, he would be classified as a pedophile as well. He confessed to putting his hand up her dress to touch her as he read her a story. 



Source:
https://www.facebook.com/duggarfamilyofficial/posts/653931128073873

http://religiondispatches.org/josh-duggar-and-the-purity-lie/

http://www.people.com/article/josh-duggar-molestation-accusations-duggars-respond

http://fox6now.com/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-on-child-molestation-accusations-i-acted-inexcusably/

http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/bombshell-duggar-police-report-jim-bob-duggar-didn-t-report-son-josh-s-alleged-sex-offenses-for-more-than-a-year-58906

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/82f23e54368f4c77b2243ac59854aa36/reality-star-duggar-resigns-family-research-council

http://www.vox.com/2015/5/21/8641863/tlc-Josh-Duggar-report

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/21/josh-duggar-19-kids-and-counting-star-admits-moles/

http://pagesix.com/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-apologizes-after-bombshell-molestation-claims/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPFacebook&utm_medium=SocialFlow

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/flashback-duggars-call-lgbt-people-threat-child-safety-duggar-resigns-frc

http://www.justjared.com/2015/05/21/josh-duggar-releases-statement-after-molestation-scandal-i-acted-inexcusably/

http://www.towleroad.com/2015/05/anti-gay-activist-josh-duggar-allegedly-admitted-to-sexually-abusing-sisters.html

https://celebrity.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/josh-duggar-named-in-underage-sex-abuse-scandal--report-195532368.html

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/police-report-reveals-josh-duggar-was-accused-of-molesting-young-girls-as-a-teen-including-his-sisters/

http://defamer.gawker.com/josh-duggar-accused-of-molesting-several-sisters-as-a-t-1706096839?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_twitter&utm_source=gawker_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

http://perezhilton.com/2015-05-21-josh-duggar-molestation-case-documents-get-destroyed/?from=post#.VV7CZblViko

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/05/police-report-reveals-josh-duggar-was-accused-of-molesting-young-girls-as-a-teen-including-his-sisters/

http://time.com/3893564/josh-duggar-family-research-council-resignation-child-molestation-allegations-19-kids-and-counting/

____________________________________________________________________

UPDATED June 5, 2015**

Both Jim Bob and Michelle Dugar as well as the two of the daughters/sisters who were sexually molested by Josh Duggar, Jessa and Jill gave an interview to FoxNew's "The Kelly File" with host Megyn Kelly. In the interview, both Jim and Michelle claim that they did nothing wrong. They insisted that Josh came forward to them with the news of the molestation and that had he not done so, none of them would have known. Michelle at one point got emotional. Both defended their son Josh and downplayed the molestation as mere "curiosity" from a teenage boy. They also insinuated that the revelation of this molestation is a plot by an "agenda" to destroy them. The family is not shy about social issues.  They have spoken openly and strongly against abortion and same-sex marriage so this would make them a target especially from those who feel they are hypocrites and wanted to dig up dirt on them. Both of them are considering legal actions against the police and others who released the sealed records. A judge sided with them stating that the files should not have been opened and ordered their destruction.  Jim Bob stated that he went to the police.  The trooper simply gave Josh a "very stern talk" and did nothing else.

Ironically, this same trooper whose name is Joe Hutchens is serving a 56-year sentence related to child pornography. He had a Yahoo profile listing "pre-school" and "puberty" as special interests. Michelle then stated that Josh and the entire family did go to professional counseling and that safety measures were put in place to safeguard the children.  Among these were no more "hide & seek" games, bedrooms would be locked at night, babysitters must be of the same gender and so forth. Out of the four sisters molested, Jessa and Jill decided to speak out and defended their older brother. They dismissed the molestation as a teen boy in puberty being curious. Both called themselves victims but were more concerned that the records of their story at the police station were revealed. They see this as a re-victimization.

The interviews served a bit as damage control, but I believe it added to the problem. Jim Bob claimed to have been cooperative with the felony probe, but according to a report dated December 19, 2006, he did not present his son for an interview and stopped cooperating altogether after leaving a voicemail to detective Hignite that he had hired an attorney. Both parents also claimed that they are not mandatory reporters, but legal experts state otherwise since a parent's legal responsibility is to do what is best for a child.  This negligence in reporting the abuse could get them up to a six-year prison term for child endangerment under Arkansas law.  Another report stated that the founder (Bill Gothard) of the Christian counseling facility or Institute in Basic Life Principles that treated Josh was also arrested for sexual abuse of a minor.  This story just gets more crazy it seems.                





Source:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/04/media/duggars-megyn-kelly-scandal/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/06/05/duggars-family-sex-scandal-fox-news-second-interview/28529587/

http://gawker.com/duggar-daughters-our-brother-josh-was-a-very-sly-mol-1709444345

http://www.people.com/article/josh-duggar-molestation-family-moved-on-jessa-jill-megyn-kelly-interview

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/06/04/jill-and-jessa-on-brother-josh-duggar-were-victims/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/joe-hutchens-child-porn-josh-duggar_n_7454428.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/03/what-to-expect-from-the-fox-news-interview-with-josh-duggars-parents/

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-duggars-19-kids-and-counting-fox-20150603-story.html

http://www.intouchweekly.com/posts/duggar-interview-7-crucial-facts-they-didn-t-tell-you-the-cover-up-continues-59917

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/josh-duggar-molestation-sheriff-report

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/24/1387251/-Duggar-Parents-Placed-Son-in-Christian-Treatment-Facility-whose-Leader-was-Caught-Molesting-Girls

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sacerdotus Hangouts: Atheist Open Mic



Since I began evangelizing on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and elsewhere online, many atheists have engaged me via these platforms.  However, due to limitations regarding how much can be typed and the exaggerated rules regarding spam and abuse, I decided to start a new format to engage atheists on. Hopefully, online atheists will take advantage of this new format which will be live and neutral. They can address me in real time and not have to wait until I have free time to respond to their messages.  Moreover, this will separate the real atheists from the trolls who pose as them on social networks.   

Unfortunately, many online atheists hide behind tweets and comment forums. This gives them a sense of security and many times sets up theists for trolling.  I hope "Sacerdotus Hangouts: Atheist Open Mic" will counter this and truly create a platform where a discussion can be had without trolling and nonsensical postings.

I hope to have this at least once a week and will be posted with this message:    

Join Sacerdotus Hangouts' Atheist open mic
In this broadcast, Sacerdotus invites atheists to join him live via the show or via chat to present questions and comments. 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 of broadcast & time) EST to send your request.
Note: No trolls will be given a platform or sound board.


I hope atheists and theists alike will join me for Atheist Open Mic when it is scheduled. This post will be updated with links to the latest broadcasts.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

7th Sunday of Easter - The Church Forms

As we approach the end of the Easter season and Christ has ascended into heaven, we prepare to commemorate the events at Pentecost.  Today's readings show us the early Catholic Church in formation.

In the first reading, we once again see Peter, the first Pope takes leadership of all (120 in number).  He speaks with authority regarding Judas and who is to be chosen to replace him.  As you may know, the apostles were the first bishops.  The offices of the priest and deacon as we know them today still did not fully develop (Acts 15:6, 23, Acts 1:20, 1 Timothy 3:8-13, Philippians 1:1). These offices would form to be part of the kingdom of priests caring for the Church (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10).  By Peter being the one leading the selection to replace Judas, we see how important his role is.  This is why only Popes appoint bishops.  Peter had to choose a replacement for Judas because the 12 apostles represent the 12 tribes of the old covenant.  Jesus did not abolish the old, but fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).  He began a kingdom with a new Jerusalem on the throne of David (Psalm 122:4-5, Revelation 21:9-14, Galatians 6:16).This new kingdom would be founded on Peter or "the rock."  Peter would be given the keys which are linked to the Davidic throne (Isaiah 22:20-22, Revelations 3:7).  You can read more on the primacy of Peter and the Papacy here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/02/the-chair-of-peter.html. The responsorial Psalm continues with the theme of the throne.

The Psalm for today reminds us that God has set His throne in heaven. Since heaven is above, this means that God's throne rules over all (Psalm 47:8, Psalm 22:28). From this throne, God views all and orders all today His purpose (Proverbs 3:6).

In the second reading, we are once again reminded that we must love one another.  This is one of the most important essences of Christianity. Christianity is not a religion of the self like Buddahism, Taoism and so forth. It is a religion of love which serves others (Matthew 5:44, Matthew 25:35-46).  If we are Christian, yet do not love anyone, then we cease being Christian (John 13:35).  This is because God is love and commanded us to love (1 John 4:8).  As the reading says today, "..if we love one another, God remains in us.."

Lastly in the Gospel, we read of Jesus praying to God the Father.  He asks the Father to keep the apostles in His name.  He also asks the Father that the apostles be one.  We see here how important the Church is to Jesus. The Church has to be of one mind, heart and body, so to speak (Ephesians 4:4-6).  She is the pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).  Unfortunately, due to human egos and other reasons, the Church has lost members who have created their own "churches" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).  We must join our prayers to that of Jesus by asking God to make us one again.  Christianity must be only One Catholic Church and not a Catholic Church along with other smaller groups claiming to be the Catholic Church or the "true Church." Jesus said He would build HIs Church on Peter, not churches (Matthew 16:18). In my opinion, I believe this is the reason why many are leaving the faith. They see all these different "churches" competing with one another and ask themselves, "how can there be truth if there are different variations of it?"  This then leads to doubt and alienation from Christianity and eventually God. This week a study was released claiming that Christianity is on the decline, in particularly Catholicism.  I address this here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/05/pew-study-christianity-declining-in-usa.html.

We must try our best to bring Protestants, the Orthodox who refuse to accept the Papacy and others back into unity with Rome (Matthew 5:24). This is what Christ desired.  We must ask the Father along with Jesus to consecrate all of us in truth.  It should be the truth that keeps us united because Jesus is the truth and there is only one Jesus (John 14:6).  Unfortunately, our attempts to understand this truth and the egos behind it keep us from unity.  As we approach Pentecost, we must ask the Holy Spirit to unite the Church since He is the spirit of truth and our paraclete (helper) (John 14:16).  We must be true witnesses to the truth in the world so as to bring it to Christ.  This truth is not popular.  We will be hated because of Christ (Matthew 24:9).  Today we are seeing this more publicly with the persecution from Isis, governments, the LGBT movement, secularists and so forth.  It is a battle between what God wills and what I want to do.  Nevertheless, we may suffer, lose members, parishes may close, there may be shortages of priests, but in the end we will win because Christ already won. We must remain faithful and go through the storm (Romans 5:3-5). In the end, we will receive the crown (James 1:12, 1 Corinthians 9:25).  As Catholics, we must evangelize. Being Catholic is not something we only do on Sundays.  At work, in school, in public, within families, we must preach Christ even when Catholicism may be unpopular.  It is via the way we live our Catholicism that others will be either attracted to it or disgusted by it.  Let us pray for the Catholic Church, for more vocations, for the Holy Father the Pope.  May Jesus be praised forever!


Please help me continue to evangelize by donating at www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus.




Readings:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051715-seventh-sunday-easter.cfm

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Advertise Using Sacerdotus



In order to keep Sacerdotus' work up and running smoothly, I decided to offer an advertising service in order to keep finances flowing in so as to expand the Sacerdotus work and keep it alive.  

With this advertising service, you will be able to get more public exposure for your site, content or product(s).  


Why Advertise on Sacerdotus?

Sacerdotus.com began with only 12 views and exploded into a popular website visited by hundreds of thousands which then later expanded into a podcast radio and Google Hangouts broadcast.


All-time visits since the creation of this site



Sacerdotus.com is constantly being visited:

This constant flow of visitors will get your site, content or product(s) a lot of exposure and publicity which will drive more traffic back to you and possibly increase more sales for your product.


Global audience:
Sacerdotus.com is visited by people from all walks of life and from all over the globe.  Thanks to some atheists and others I have debated, "Sacerdotus" is a popular search word which brings a lot of global traffic to Sacerdotus.com as well as my other content.

Global visitation will surely get your site, content or product(s) the attention you desire which can offer all kinds of possibilities for sales and/or growth.



Technological Outreach:
Sacerdotus.com is visited using many types of electronic devices, web browsers and operating systems.  Advertising on Sacerdotus.com will expose your site, content or product(s) to people using PC computers, Apple Macs & I Pad/ I Pod tablets, Android phones & tablets, other cellular devices and so forth.   





As you can see, there are many ways you can get your site, content or product(s) the publicity you desire in order to advance your site, content or product(s).  

For more information on advertising services offered & costs, visit:  

http://www.sacerdotus.com/p/advertise.html

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cops Killed in Mississippi

Last week on Mother's day, officers Benjamine Deen, 34 and Liquori Tate, 24 were making a routine traffic stop when they were shot and killed. The perpetrators then fled the scene, stealing the police cruiser.  They were eventually caught.  This occurred just days after the funeral of NYPD officer Brian Moore.

I am concerned that there will be an open "hunting season" on cops due to the recent events regarding police shootings which have caused tension in minority communities.  We need to pray for police officers and make sure governments and municipalities give them the equipment and training necessary to keep them safe. As a Church, we must do our part in instilling morals in people so that crime will go down and hopefully vanish.





Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/10/us/mississippi-police-officers-shot-dead/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/us/mississippi-police-officers-shot-dead/


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pew Study: Christianity Declining in USA

A recent study released this week has caused all kinds of elation among atheists and others who see the data in this study as "good news."  The study, "America’s Changing Religious Landscape" conducted by the Pew Research Center claims that Christianity is on the decline while the "nones" or those who do not identify with any religion are on the rise.

Immediately, many atheists such as the "Friendly Atheist" have interpreted the study as an increase in atheism and secularism.  This is not the case at all.  Those classified as "non-affiliated" are a combination of those who are indifferent (believe in God but do not participate in any denomination), agnostics, atheists and so forth.  The study only shows an increase of 3.1% from an n sample of 35,000 survey participants.  That being said, a sample of 35,000 survey participants are NOT representative of the entire population of the United States which has over 300 million citizens. What atheists seem to have trouble understanding is that this survey ONLY reflects the trends within the n or sample size of 35,000.  According to the study, 300 people were questioned via the telephone in each State. This data was then compared with other polls and statistics.

The study also claims that the "nones" outnumber Catholics; however, this is also disputable as appendix c clearly states:

"But there is less of a consensus about trends in American Catholicism. Some surveys, including the one featured in this report, indicate that the Catholic share of the population is declining, while others suggest it is relatively stable or may have declined and then ticked back up in recent years."

This shows that there is a discrepancy with the data the Pew Research Center collected and other data available. Therefore, we must remain skeptical of their claims that Catholicism is on the decline and that the "nones" outnumber them.  Moreover, the data from the Pew Research Center reflects data from 2014 and years in the past.  We have celebrated the Easter Triduum and the Catholic Church in America and the world saw an increase in new members.  These were not recorded in this study from the Pew Research Center. The Pew study also clearly states that this is just one of many more reports to come.  Ironically, a study released in April of 2015 by the Pew Research Center showed that atheism is on the decline and would be nearly wiped out by 2050 mainly due to lack of reproduction (see: Atheism Is Dying).

In the study released this week, only 3.1% out of 35,000 surveyed identified as atheists.  3.1% of 35k = 1,085. This is not a significant increase. Atheism is not on the rise.  What the study does state is that based on previous data, it seems that those who identify as "non-affiliated" have slightly increased.  If we apply this alleged 3.1% increase of atheists to the general American population of 300 million, this would show that there are 9,300,000 million atheists in America.  However, note that the 3.1% increase is based SOLELY on the 35,000 surveyed, not the general population, so in fact, there are not 9,300,000 million atheists.





While it is not news that some people have stopped attending Church, this does not mean that they automatically become atheists.  Some just stop going, but still believe in and pray to God.  There are many factors for this cessation of participation in a parish.  With today's demands in regards to work, school, raising families and so forth, unfortunately, Church-time suffers. Many times Catholics at parishes where I have worked at wanted to participate in meetings and other events but had to work or care for their children. Furthermore, the Pew study does not take into account lapsed Catholics who often show up for Mass only on holy days such as Christmas and Easter.  Many even show up only for Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday just to receive the ashes and palms (see: A & P Catholics).

Also, according to the numbers in the Pew Study, the Evangelical branch of Protestantism is still strong and increasing.  Other main branches of Protestantism which planted itself in America from Europe during the age of exploration are seeing a sharp decline, but this is mainly due to the abandonment of their Christian roots. They have set aside Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition which they have gotten from the Catholic Church and have adopted liberal ideas such as abortion, contraception, and so-called same-sex marriage. The popular Anglican "archbishop" Desmond Tutu even said that he would prefer going to hell than a heaven that condemned homosexuality as a sin. Other Protestant religious leaders have allowed women clergy and have even denied the existence of Satan (see: Anglican Synod).  Since these denominations have lost their roots in Christianity, then they have ceased to be Christian which in turn has turned off many of their members.  Many Anglicans have even petitioned Pope Benedict XVI which persuaded him to create ordinariates to welcome these Anglicans back to Rome while retaining some of their Anglicanism rites.   That being said, people want truth.  "Truth" that changes "with the times" was never truth to begin with.



In closing, this Pew study only shows increases and declines based on an n or sample size of 35,000, not the general American population of 300 million. We must take it as such. While religion often loses members, this has always been the case and there is a variety of reasons for this which will not be addressed here but in future posts. Exaggerated claims by atheists and atheist bloggers that Christianity is on the verge of obliteration in America are unfounded and shows the mathematical illiteracy of these individuals who do not understand basic statistics.



Here are more articles critiquing this Pew study:

http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/the-real-but-overstated-decline-of-american-christianity/?_r=0

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/may/pew-evangelicals-stay-strong-us-religious-landscape-study.html

http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/christian-nation-2/american-christianity-on-the-decline-not-so-fast   

http://ht.ly/MR11l

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2015/05/christianity-declines-sharply-in-america-heres-the-one-two-three-of-it/?hootPostID=58a613efd9c8c807f34d9fbc638010e9




Source:

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/15/compared-with-other-christian-groups-evangelicals-dropoff-is-less-steep/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/05/12/landmark-study-shows-remarkable-growth-of-non-religious-americans/

http://t.co/AJxVJgzFUN

http://t.co/dlfducTgkt

http://t.co/BlaUwHe6ux

http://t.co/JtpuxL3pXX

http://t.co/ek0Fovq05g

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/05/good-news-christianity-suffers-steep-decline-in-u-s/

https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=24639



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amtrak Train 188 Derailment

Trains are usually a safe way to travel.  I often use Amtrak to travel from Boston to New York and back.  However, in recent years we have seen several derailments and incidents that are forcing Americans to rethink.  An Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia killing eight passenger and injuring over 200.  The train was apparently traveling on a curve at 106 MPH.  This route only allows traveling at 50 MPH. The derailment occurred at around 9:30 PM.

Survivors of Amtrak 188 had to escape from mangled train cars, many of them with severe injuries.  As the train derailed, they were flung around like dolls crashing into each other, luggage compartments and the walls of the train's cabin. The experience was terrifying.  Some survivors described the train as speeding up while others did not notice any difference. In response to the incident, Amtrak vows to install positive train control which allows workers who monitor the rails to take control of any train that does not break in time or is going faster than it should.  The engineer was identified as Brandon Bostian of Queens, N.Y.  Based on his work records, he seemed to be fond on safety.  According to the "black box" recorder of the train, Bostian applied the full emergency brake application.  Three seconds later, no data was recorded and then data appeared showing that the train's speed was 102 MPH.  Bostian spoke briefly to police at the scene but then remained silent. He is claiming to have no recollection of the incident.  Some speculate that his lawyers from the union may have told him to tell this to officials in order to give them time to prepare any defense.   

Ironically, in 1943 a train derailed in the same area killing 79 people.  However, the train tracks where the Amtrak derailment occurred was recently inspected and showed no signs of any problem. Among the dead are, Justin Zemser, 20, a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy; Jim Gaines, 48, a video software architect from Plainsboro, N.J., who worked for The Associated Press; Rachel Jacobs, the chief executive of ApprenNet, an education technology company in Philadelphia; Abid Gilani, a senior vice president of Wells Fargo; Derrick Griffith, a dean at CUNY Medgar Evers College; Bob Gildersleeve, a businessman; Laura Finamore, 47, a managing director at Cushman & Wakefield; and Giuseppe Piras, 41, a wine and oil merchant from Italy.

May these victims rest in peace.  Let us pray for all those effected by this horrific incident. 




Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/14/us/philadelphia-amtrak-train-derailment/

http://blog.amtrak.com/2015/05/message-president-ceo-joe-boardman-train-188/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/us/amtrak-train-derails-crash-philadelphia.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/us/amtrak-train-derailment-passenger-accounts/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/us/amtrak-train-derails-crash-philadelphia.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/victims-amtrak-188-disaster-list-names-passengers-who-died-train-derailment-1921359

http://www.krtv.com/story/29064267/who-were-the-victims-of-the-amtrak-derailment

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