Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Atheist Biologist Jerry Coyne Uses Fake Physics to Push His Ideas

According to a link tweeted by one of my former philosophy professors from CUNY, Dr. Massimo Pigliucci, Biologist Jerry Coyne used bogus physics to push his atheist agenda.  In other words, he broke one of the biggest rules in academia by using fake information to do research and push ideas. 

Coyne is a secular Jew who is an outspoken proponent of atheism.  He blogs his atheist agenda online at the blog https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/.








Coyne like many atheists relied on YoutTube videos for his information. Recently, an alleged atheist who blogs at AtheismInTheCity and is named Mike resorted to the same tactic in an exchange with me. He used videos from YouTube which he believed helped his poor arguments. They did not. It seems that this is a universal tactic among atheists due to the fact that atheism cannot be defended with science or reason.  William Hounslow who blogs as the fake "Rosa Rubicondior" also does this.  These alleged atheists do not have academic credentials so they become google scholars by googling things and splicing up what they find to make it presentable rubbish.  Atheism is speculative rhetoric that feeds a cognitive bias. Science cannot support it. 

Coyne used videos on theories of the multiverse to attack the idea of a fine-tuned universe. This is the video he used:




Apparently, Coyne believes that the CMB or Cosmic Microwave Background is proof that the multiverse exists. This is just nonsense. While there are models out there claiming that a multiverse exists, we just do not have any evidence. Moreover, even if a multiverse did exist, we would have no way of studying it because it would be outside of our realm of existence. There is just no evidence for it. The idea of a multiverse is also problematic. If there are "bubble universes" out there and our universe was allegedly created when two of these "bubble universes" collided, then how did the two come to be if there had to be other prior existing "bubble universes" which collided to create those? It creates a paradox. For every possible universe, there has to be an antecedent that created it. When it reaches the "ends" of regression, then what created that "ends?"  An uneducated atheist may say that the universe is eternal, but general relativity says that universes have to have a beginning. 

Furthermore, I really do not see how the multiverse model can show that there is no such thing as a philosophical or theological thing as fine-tuning or a fine-tuned universe. It would just show that God is a master builder who loves to create different forms of universes.

In any event, we see the dishonesty of atheists even in the scientific field. It speaks much to the inability of atheist scientists' attempt to use science against God. Since actual science is not against God, they have to make up a version of it that does.







Source:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9832







Monday, December 11, 2017

Trump to Sign Directive for Space Travel

When President Trump was elected, I was a bit worried.  I was not worried about the things Democrats and liberals were worried about (Gay rights, abortion rights etc). Instead, I was more worried about Trump's stance on global warming and science. He presented himself as being anti-science and even placed people with poor academic credentials to lead agencies dealing with science.

Moreover, he has cut funding to many organizations that deal with climate change and science in general. This prompted the marches for sciences last spring. However, he seems to be having a change of heart in regards to science. Today, Trump gave acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot JR a mandate to send astronauts back to the Moon and eventually to Mars. The previous president Obama made cuts to NASA and stifled its work. The directive is good news. Studying the universe is important. It will help reveal more about our own planet and how life formed.







Source:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/11/politics/trump-astronauts-moon/index.html

https://www.space.com/39040-president-trump-to-sign-space-policy-directive.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/364284-trump-to-sign-directive-to-send-americans-back-to-moon-eventually-to

https://www.facebook.com/topic/National-Space-Council/137822792907403?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6498411401785225514&impressionguid=0Q7JqL63gNXx1Lr1s

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/322918-how-barack-obama-ruined-nasa-space-exploration

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trumps-5-most-ldquo-anti-science-rdquo-moves/

https://psmag.com/environment/a-brief-survey-of-trumps-assault-on-science

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/bill-nye-this-anti-science-movement-under-trump-is-going-to-pass/article/2638821

https://foe.org/news/2017-07-trump-nominates-anti-science-climate-denier-to-lead-usda-science/

https://www.facebook.com/marchforscience/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/22/health/global-march-for-science/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/science/march-for-science.html




Bomb in Times Square Subway

As people headed to work and school in Time Square a bomb went off. At first, the NYPD thought it was gunfire. However, it turned out to be a pipe bomb. Akayed Ullah, 27 from Bangladesh was apprehended at the scene. At first, news outlets reported that there was one male injured. It turned out that the injured man was the one responsible for the attack. Ullah planned the attack for over a year according to investigators. He was upset at the Christmas displays in the area and wanted to carry out a suicide bombing attack similar to that which occurs in Israel. Thank God, the pipe bomb was not well assembled and exploded prematurely and without the force needed to really cause carnage.

This attack has everyone on edge because it is the first suicide bombing in the United States. For many decades, officials have worried about such an attack taking place in the nation especially in a place like Manhattan. It is virtually impossible to detect someone wearing a bomb who can board a bus or train. The response to such an attack would be reactive and not proactive. Ullah had a vest on with another pipe bomb attached. Videos show him walking in a tunnel at the bus terminal as the bomb went off startling people nearby who ran for their lives afterward. Miraculously no one was seriously injured. Five people had minor cuts. The assailant suffered a laceration on the thigh.  He was radicalized by ISIS propaganda and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.  While there, he mock Trump by stating that Trump could not protect his own nation.

NYC mayor Di Blasio and governor Cuomo reassured New Yorkers that they are safe and gave the tired saying that nothing scares New Yorker. The attack comes just shy of six weeks when Manhattan was attacked by a terrorist on Halloween who ran over several people using a rented truck.



















Source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/port-authority-bus-terminal-explosion-bomb-2017-12-11-live-stream-updating/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/port-authority-bus-terminal-explosion-bomb-2017-12-11-live-stream-updating/

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/11/new-york-police-reports-possible-explosion-on-manhattan-subway/23303480/

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/dec/11/nypd-responding-reports-explosion-near-port-author/

http://abc7ny.com/possible-pipe-bomb-explodes-below-port-authority-bus-terminal-/2768166/

http://www.fox5ny.com/news/hero-cops-arrest-bomb-suspect-at-gunpoint?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/11/nyregion/akayed-ullah-port-authority-bombing-suspect.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/12/us/new-york-explosion/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/nyregion/suicide-bomber-nyc-terrorism-subway.html


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent: Prepare the way of the Lord

What is Advent?
We are now in the holy season of Advent where we prepare for both the coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the end of time.  It is a spiritual period in which to meditate on these two mysteries and prepare for them.  We use the wreath and 4 candles to mark down the 4 weeks before Christmas.  

Three of the candles are purple and one is pink.  The purple symbolizes preparation through penance and prayer.  Purple is also used during Lent.  Another way to see it is purple is a physical sign of healing. When we get hurt, the injury becomes purple.  During the time of healing, it remains purple until it clears up.  Sin hurts us and we need time to heal from it by using the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, Prayer, Fasting, Indulgences and a genuine Spiritual life.  

The pink is for the third Sunday or Gaudete Sunday which means "Sunday of Joy."   We are joyous because we are getting closer to Christ's birth.  As each week goes, we light the candle that corresponds to that week.  

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121017.cfm

In the first reading, we see the foreshadowing of the last prophet, St. John the Baptist.  We read of the voice in the wilderness that cries out to prepare the way of the Lord.  It presents a moment of anticipation. All must stop and prepare for the coming of God. This reading was signaling to Israel that Christ would come. This reading should also remind us today that Christ will return again.  We must prepare the way for the Lord once again.  This can only be done via the living of a holy life via the sacraments, the Mass, prayer, strong faith, good works and promoting the faith.  We must each become a brick on the road of the Lord.  Jesus will come again.  However, this time He will come as the judge (Romans 2:16).  This will be a scary time for some but for others it will be a joyous time.  We will see God as He truly is.  We will say "fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah:  Here is your God!  Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by His strong arm; here is His reward with him, His recompense before Him."   

The responsorial Psalm replies to the first reading saying "Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation." As we await Christ to return, we must ask God to give us kindness and mercy.  In addition, we implore God to grant us salvation.  Only God can save us, no one else.  God is the one who cares for us and shall bring to us, who remain faithful, peace, justice, joy, and salvation.

In the second reading from Peter the first Pope, we are reminded that there is no time with God.  A day for God is a thousand years and vice versa. God is not bound by the laws of physics that He has written into our realm of existence.  These laws govern our physical existence and the properties of existence as we know it.  This is why when atheists ask "Who made God," the question itself shows their ignorance of God.  Someone who is timeless cannot have a beginning or end. This is elementary logic.  Time is a strange concept for us to understand. According to Einstein, time and space are pretty much intertwined and are the same.  They are connected.  To us here on Earth, it may seem as if Christ is taking forever to come. Like, little children, we perceive time differently. How many times do children get impatient after just 10 minutes have passed?  To them, a short time seems eternal.  However, as we age, we sense time as "going too fast." There seems to be no time for anything anymore.  We are God's children and we can be very impatient at times (Galatians 3:26). St. Peter tells us that God does not delay His promise and that it seems like He is taking a long time to return because He does not want us to perish. God in His awesome mercy wishes all to be saved. He gives us time to fix ourselves by supplying us with His grace which is free (James 4:6).  Peter reminds us that God will come like a thief in the night.  The universe as we know it will dissolve and we will be before God who will judge each one of us.  We must take advantage of God's patience and use this time to repent and try our best to live by His will which will make us complete.  After President Trump decided to move the embassy of the United States to Jerusalem, some of our Evangelical separated brethren thought this would usher in the second coming.  This is completely unfounded.   No one knows the day or time when Christ will return.  Our job is to be ready for it, not to predict it!

Finally, in the Gospel, we read of St. John the Baptist who was the cousin of Jesus Christ. The fact that God has a cousin is just mind-boggling and awesome at the same time.  This reminds us that we are part of God's family. Despite God being the creator, He wants us to be part of Him and became part of us in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:8).  The prophecy in the first reading was fulfilled here with St. John the Baptist, 


"Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert:“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  

John the Baptist brought comfort to Jerusalem as the first reading stated.  He spoke to the people of the coming Messiah, baptized them with water preparing them for the Messiah Christ. He did so in a humble way living an ascetic lifestyle wearing camel hair clothing and a leather belt connecting him to the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8).  He ate locusts and wild honey showing that the Word of God while sweet may be extremely difficult to follow (Ezekiel 3:3Matthew 19:24).  This Word of God would be the one who is greater than he and would baptize with the Holy Spirit (John 1:1).  Many times we get excited about Jesus.  We want to do it all in the Church.  Then when the crosses start showing up, we start to rethink this Jesus guy.  Some of us stop believing altogether.  We must be like John the Baptist bearing discomfort while at the same time preparing the world for the coming of Christ again. 

People in the time of John the Baptist probably thought of him as a lunatic. He went about claiming to be the messenger of the Lord. In today's world, someone would be sent to a mental hospital if he or she made such a claim.  However, this is how it is. Those who believe in God are counter-cultural. We are seen as the lunatics of the world.  They mock us and try to silence us. This is because we bear Jesus Christ who is the light that scatters the darkness (John 8:12).  The world sees us as a threat.  Nevertheless, we must not become fearful. We must prepare the world for Christ's second coming just as John the Baptist prepared it. God is with us and no one can stop us (Romans 8:31).                 



*Please help continue this ministry.  Donate any amount or become a regular patron.  Donate at the paypal on this site or on www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus. God will bless you for your generosity.          

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fr. Andrew Apostoli Facing Last Days


Fr. Andrew Apostoli,  a fan favorite from EWTN and co-founder with the late Fr. Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal based in the Bronx is facing his last days on Earth. He is suffering from cancer which has taken a toll on his body.  Many remember father as a chunky, jovial and humble priest. While he is still jovial and humble, he has lost a lot of weight lately.  

Please continue to pray as he prepares to meet his Lord.  On this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, may our Lady watch over Fr. Apostoli and welcome him into her Immaculate Heart.  We love you Fr. Apostoli!






Source:

http://franciscanfriars.com/health-update-fr-andrew-apostoli

https://twitter.com/EWTN/status/938543706579390466

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/latest-update-on-father-andrew-apostolis-health1

http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2017/12/ewtn_host_battles_cancer.html



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pope Francis Wants to Change the 'Our Father'



According to Reuters, the Holy Father Pope Francis wants to change the Lord's Prayer or "Our Father" prayer. He apparently has an issue with the line that says "Lead us not into temptation."  The pope feels that the phrase is too strong and a poor translation. He prefers the one used by the French Catholic Church which reads: "Do Not Let Us Fall Into Temptation."  He made this comment on Italian Catholic television network TV2000 during an interview.




The Lord's prayer was originally prayed by Jesus in Aramaic and goes like this according to this site:

Abwoon d'bashmaya
Netqaddash shmak
Teete malkutah
Nehvwey tzevyannach aykanna d'bashmaya aph b'arha
Havlan lahma d'sunqananan yaomana
Washbwoqlan haubvayn aykana daph hnan shbvoqan l'hayyabayn
Wela tahlan le'ynesyuna. Ela patzan min bisha
Metul dilakhe malkuta wahayla wateshbuhta l'ahlam almin
Read more: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/lord_aramaic_original_text.html#ixzz50dHH01q0


I am not a language expert or translator so I cannot confirm how the Aramaic would better translate into English.  So far, I have not found any news report from a Vatican source on this news.  Each local Catholic Church usually translates the Liturgy so there will be minor differences.

What do you think of this news?  Post your comments in the comment box at the end of this post. I am curious to read your reaction.


UPDATE: DECEMBER 8, 2017 10:00 PM

This news has been extremely popular. Many were not aware of it.  Some have even called it fake on Facebook. However, this news is all too real. Both Raymond Arroyo of EWTN and Father James Martin SJ acknowledged it:







Here are more updated sources, including Catholic news sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-francis-proposes-change-lord-prayer-article-1.3686182

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/08/569385769/pope-francis-suggests-changing-the-words-to-lord-s-prayer

http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-vatican-our-father-20171208-story.html

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/08/why-pope-francis-lords-prayer-suggestion-is-so-tempting.html

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-says-our-father-is-poorly-translated-38348

https://www.ncronline.org/news/theology/does-god-lead-us-sin-new-french-our-father-says-no

I will continue to monitor this news and will make any necessary updates.  So far, it looks like the pope was just making a suggestion.  It does not seem like he is making a mandatory universal change. Perhaps it may come up in discussion in synod or he may leave it up to local bishop bodies to decide.






Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/4255a2c5-2cf5-3239-8076-b105aff2f8d9/ss_pope-francis-wants-to-change.html

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/12/07/pope-francis-wants-to-change-line-our-father.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fworld+(Internal+-+World+Latest+-+Text)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-pope-prayer/pope-wants-better-translation-of-phrase-on-temptation-in-our-father-prayer-idUSKBN1E11CX

http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/lord_aramaic_original_text.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5155405/Pope-wants-better-translation-phrase-temptation-Our-Father-prayer.html

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/12/pope-wants-better-translation-phrase-temptation-father-prayer/

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/vatican-catholics-our-father-prayer/2017/12/07/id/830592/


Oldest Black Hole & Image of the Early Universe Discovered

Big news from the astronomical, astrophysics and cosmological world! Astronomers using Carnegie's Magellan telescopes at the Carnegie Institution for Science made a huge discovery.  The farthest supermassive black hole was observed.  This black hole was found in a very luminous quasar named J1342+0928. A quasar is described as the nucleus of a galaxy that is very luminous. Within this nucleus is a supermassive black hole that has a disk of gasses and other materials orbiting it. When this gas gets drawn towards the black hole, electromagnetic radiation is released.  Quasar J1342+0928 is huge and has the mass of about 800 or more million of our sun.  This quasar is extremely important because it gives us a glimpse of the universe as a "baby" so to speak. We can see about 690 million years after the Big Bang took place. In other words, the images we see is the light that is traveling to us now and shows an image of how the universe looked 690 million years after the Big Bang. In human age terms, the universe was about 5 years old at this time.

Light is the fastest singular thing that travels in spacetime. It travels at 186,282 miles per second. While that is extremely fast, it is not fast enough to travel in "real-time" around the universe. In fact, it takes 8 minutes for light from our sun to travel to earth. So when we look at the sun (which you should not do), we are seeing an image of the sun from 8 minutes ago. In effect, we are seeing the sun 8 minutes in the past. Similarly, when we look in the mirror, are not really seeing ourselves in what we consider "real-time." It takes about a billionth of a second for light to reflect from the mirror into our eyes. So the image we see of ourselves is the image of what we looked like a billionth of a second ago.  It is mind-boggling, but this is how our universe works. So when we look at the night sky, we are looking into the past. We are seeing the stars how they looked billions of years ago depending on how close they are in relation to the earth.

The images astrophysicists saw of the quasar show the epoch of reionization period during the development of our universe.  They figured this out because the hydrogen that surrounded the quasar was half neutral and half ionized. This indicates that the process of reionization was taking place. The Epoch of Reionization is a period in the universe's formation where medium or gasses in intergalactic space was ionized due to radiation or photonic activity. Hydrogen went from being neutral to being ionized. This discovery at quasar J1342+0928 will give us a lot of information on the beginnings of the universe. Current data shows that the universe is not eternal. It had a beginning after the Big Bang. The universe was a hot mix of energetic particles that began to expand rapidly.  This expansion caused the early "embryonic" universe to cool down.  At about 400,000 years, these particles cooled down enough to form neutral hydrogen gas.  At this point, the universe was pitch black. Gravity then caused this matter to compress and form galaxies and stars. The light from these sources would then ionize the neutral hydrogen which allowed for photons to travel about without issue.  The universe and its formation show an intricate pattern of design. We who believe in God can see God's handiwork in this.

Everything in the universe worked out so perfectly that it allowed for this universe to form the way it did allowing for life to exist.  Recently, I was messaged by an alleged atheist who claims that the universe is eternal. He has contradicted science. I refuted him here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/why-im-atheist-13-reasons-arguments-for.html. This same alleged atheist, later on, ran from debating me after he seemed to show interest and I sent him an invitation, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/12/atheistnthecity-afraid-to-debate.html.  It is no surprise that an alleged atheist who lacks a grasp of science would be afraid to debate. His position is completely contrary to modern science.  This new discovery shows more proof that our universe had a beginning and a cause.



Source:

http://www.mpia.de/homes/banados/research.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25180.epdf

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25180.epdf?referrer_access_token=hA4jViKIjwGwf1EGYMTmn9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OqRPXsjjgScsA9vtiwnFwpAueweX49aDc6-IVNl_xsYFT9LiUgUyhTwMmXeSoL9XfJlpbaWIc-xBKdaeSG5qdhqNKLnTfTj_hiHZw9TOKVSTILLbxKXWSQffNJk3NSEjtxHxWf0iTZ6g3CznMQF0mDqVl3cuNShTvxekxk4y_kZgWoiokfhtclmfkFSXPcy_00IueHxnhEkIN2VUg2cYR5DC7zo0fLyIiuN-X50TQ9sw%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=www.latimes.com

https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.03279

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/f55fe0c2-50f8-3615-8c00-8bf0b9038784/ss_the-black-hole-at-the-edge-of.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/black-hole-just-let-scientists-222949685.html

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-12/cifs-ftm120517.php

https://www.yahoo.com/news/farthest-ever-supermassive-black-hole-180000545.html

https://www.facebook.com/topic/Carnegie-Institution-for-Science/139440682750778?source=whfrt&position=1&trqid=6496652444180666508&impressionguid=0ffpeodQ01XyAkIZt

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-oldest-black-hole-20171206-story.html




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Santa is Real: St. Nicholas of Myra

We all grew up hearing about Santa Claus.  He is said to visit homes on Christmas Eve and brings presents to children.  Did you know he was real? Well not in the "jolly elf" sense, but as in a Saint.  

St. Nicholas of Myra is the man that is represented by the caricature "Santa Claus."  Born around 270 or 342, St. Nicholas was the Bishop in Myra which is in modern-day Turkey.

He lived the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity well.  He would secretly go to homes and leave bags of coins and food for the poor.  People would leave their shoes outside so he could drop a coin into them.  He was known as the "Wonder Worker" for the many miracles Our Lord granted through him.  The name "Santa Claus" comes from the Dutch, "Sinter Klaas."  

As a bishop, St. Nicholas defended the orthodoxy of the Catholic faith.During the Council of Nicea in AD 325 convened by Emperor Constantine, Arius who was a bishop spoke against the divinity of Christ claiming that Christ was inferior to the Father. He argued that Christ was not God and was more like a demigod. Arius attacked the divinity of Christ. This idea came to be known as Arianism and was condemned as heresy in the council. However, prior to this condemnation, St. Nicholas condemned the heresy in a more physical manner. As Arius spoke, St. Nicholas rushed towards him and punched him. St. Nicholas could not contain his anger upon hearing the heresy being spewed by Arius. Constantine and the other bishops present were shocked and they stripped Nicholas of his faculties as a bishop by removing his pallium and confiscating his book of Gospels. Legend has it that while he was imprisoned, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Lord Jesus Christ visited him asking him why he was there. Nicholas replied that he was imprisoned because he loved Christ because Christ is His Lord and God.  Jesus then gave back his book of Gospels and the Blessed Virgin Mary placed his pallium back on. Upon hearing of this miracle, Constantine and the other bishops reinstated Nicholas' faculties as bishop.  The bishops at the council then sided with him and condemned Arius.  This is why in the Nicene Creed we recite of Christ that He is,
"God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father.” 
Clearly, Arius was on "Santa's" "Naughty list."  Recently, archeological discoveries have confirmed that St. Nicholas did exist and that his remains are still among us. These remains are said to release perfumed oil. Relics in possession of several parishes, including to a priest were confirmed to date to the 4th century.  The verdict is in St. Nicholas of Myra was a real person.

During Christmas, families should reflect on this great man's life and virtues.  We should imitate his faith, hope, and works of love by giving to those in need.  Moreover, we should imitate his adherence to the faith and never accept heretical views that contradict revelation.

Christmas is about the Birth of Christ but is also a reminder that Christ must be born daily in our hearts.  We must carry out His words to Love God above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves just as St. Nicholas did.

We should help others, especially those in need.  We should give to others not to get something in return, but out of complete generosity and love.

His feast day is on December 6 which is the date he died in the year 343.  He is the Patron Saint of Children, Pawnbrokers, and Bakers.   

God, Our Father, we pray that through the intercession of St. Nicholas You will protect our children. Keep them safe from harm and help them grow and become worthy in Your sight. Give them strength to keep their Faith in You; and to keep alive their joy in Your creation. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.







Source:













Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel Capital

President Trump did something that has been avoided by former presidents in history. He has decided to move the embassy of the United States to Jerusalem from its current place in Tel Aviv. The move has been avoided for 70 years due to potential conflict. Some territory in Jerusalem has been in dispute for quite some time mainly from Palestinians who consider it their land. By moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump is endorsing the idea that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is seen as a disregard of Palestinian sovereignty. Many Jews are applauding the decision, however, not many Muslims are not happy.

I think the decision is a good one. Israel belongs to the Jews. It is the Holy Land promised by God to them (Genesis 12:1-3,7, Exodus 6:8, Deuteronomy 31:20). While the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth from God, we must always love, respect and cherish Judaism. Judaism is not obsolete. God did not forget the people He chose as His own and prepared the world for Christ through.

They are still His people. In Revelation 7, we read of the 144,000 chosen from the 12 tribes. These are the Jews who will be saved or those from the old covenant. The great multitude of all nations and races are those in the Catholic Church who will be saved (Revelation 7:9-10). This is why the Catholic Church is called "Catholic," or universal. So despite many Jews not accepting Christ as the Messiah, they still have access to salvation from Him because they were redeemed by Him and are His original people. This is why Pope Francis asked Catholics not to try to convert Jews (see: http://www.news.va/en/news/vatican-issues-new-document-on-christian-jewish-di).

Recently, I learned via my mom's DNA test that I have Jewish blood in me. A good portion of my DNA stems from Israel and European Jews. When I learned this, I was excited and am now studying more about my Jewish heritage. This news on Jerusalem touches right at home now, so to speak. I am hoping that no violent conflicts come about.  While God promised the Jews the land of Israel, this does not mean that they cannot share it. Hopefully, both the Israelis and Palestinians will find a way to live in harmony. They say two heads are better than one, so why not have more than one ethnicity work the Holy Land?

Ironically, today's Vespers' antiphon for the Canticle of Mary is:

"The law will go forth from Zion; the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."

Also, one of the intentions says:

"Be mindful, Lord, of all the sons of Abraham, fulfill the promises you made to their fathers."

Liturgy of the Hours Vol 1 pg 173-74.






Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-recognize-jerusalem-israels-capital-020407741.html



SCOTUS Hears 'Gay-Cake' Arguments

Yesterday, the Supreme court of the United States of America heard arguments in a case that has caused heavy debate regarding freedom and discrimination.  This case involves a baker from Colorado who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in the year 2012. The case has been a topic of debate for years. The premise of the debate is whether or not a business has the right to deny service based on religious convictions. Jack Phillips, the baker from Colorado who was sued by the gay couple argues that he has religious freedom to exercise his conscience in the way that he wants. He felt that baking a cake for a same-sex couple would violate his religious convictions that so-called same-sex marriage is against God and Christian beliefs.  By baking the cake for the same-sex couple, he argued that he would be violating his beliefs by validating the so-called same-sex marriage.

The state of Colorado placed heavy penalties on Pillips for his refusal to bake the cake. Today, Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court seemed to have given a glimpsed as to where he is going to go in regards to his decision. He questioned lawyers for the same-sex couple as to whether their position was tolerant and fair. He said:

"Counselor, tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it's mutual.  It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs."

Alito also called the actions of Colorado unfair since so-called same-sex marriage was not legal when the baker was targeted by the state's attorneys for alleged discrimination. The court is expected to make a final decision next June in 2018. Many Americans are hoping that they side with the baker because forcing a business to violate religious convictions would be a violation of the Constitution.  The government cannot regulate religion.


Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-wedding-cake-case-142726839.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/cc4bf3bb-5b43-31fc-a36c-822d1f6eb742/ss_colorado-baker-case-at.html

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/justices-dispute-over-wedding-cake-gay-couple-071047666--politics.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/6b4b06db-5eb3-3339-9416-b1c1e830f429/ss_the-true-statement-about.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/case-cake-shop-denying-gay-151515173.html


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

St. Peter's Cemetery removes of Grave Decorations

Losing a loved one is always hard. No one really recovers from this. The pain is often worse when the deceased one is a child. Christine Weiner of Poughkeepsie New York is one such person suffering the loss of her son of only 2 years of age in 1993. John Hubert Valentino lost his young life after a BB gun accident. He is buried at St. Peter's Cemetery in Poughkeepsie.

His mother Christine leaves wreaths, ornaments and other trinkets on his grave site. However, she discovered that the things she left behind were thrown away in a dumpster.  Other families who also have loved ones buried at the cemetery also found out that the items they left behind were also disposed of. Christine and other families are outraged that the cemetery would do this to them and their deceased loved ones. Among the items disposed of were even sacramentals such as Rosaries, medals, and statues.  Archdiocese of New York spokesman Joseph Zwilling stated that the cemetery has rules that must be enforced and followed in order to keep the grounds clean and safe for workers and visitors.

The story is troubling for the families involved and probably for you reading this post as well. I understand that the cemetery has rules and that the property has to look clean and dignified. It is the final resting place of the bodies of persons who walked among us at one time. However, I am troubled that the cemetery would throw sacramentals in the trash.




Source:


http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2017/12/01/st-peters-cemetery-removal-grave-decorations-angers-mother/907166001/

Monday, December 4, 2017

SCOTUS: Trump's Travel Ban Can Stay

The Supreme Court of the United States decided today that Trump's contested travel ban can go as planned without restriction. However, this does not mean that the ban is here to stay forever. Challenges are still traveling through the lower courts. The Supreme Court is waiting for these to decide before making a more final decision.

It is interesting to note that because the Supreme Court sided with the ban, this may indicate where it officially stands. Lower courts may have a difficult time trying to find a different rationale.  The president has an obligation to protect the nation under the Constitution, Immigration Act of 1952 and 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens.




Some in the Catholic Church are attacking President Trump over this despite the Catholic Church's teaching that leaders have a right to protect their nations.





Also, the  Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People: People on the Move - N° 88-89, April - December 2002 Migration and the Social Doctrine of the Church says:


b. Is the right to emigration absolute? Can it ever be limited?
The SDC also recognizes the right of states to control entry of persons and their borders. They have a right and duty to protect their sovereignty as well as the internal order that guarantees security, basic human rights and freedoms. Thus states can make practical decisions that control immigration.[4] It is, however important to remember the principle that immigrants must always be treated with the respect due to the dignity of every human person. In the matter of controlling the influx of immigrants, the consideration which should rightly be given to the common good should not ignore this principle. The challenge is to combine the welcome due to every human being, especially when in need, with a reckoning of what is necessary for both the local inhabitants and the new arrivals to live a dignified and peaceful life.[5]
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/pom2002_88_90/rc_pc_migrants_pom88-89_blume.htm


While we must help everyone, we must also be cautious. Today's world is much more different than the world Christ was in and those who were before Him.  We live in a world where some want to kill Americans in any way possible. Our nation must be aware of who it is allowing to enter. Unfortunately, we just cannot let anyone enter these days.  It is the sad reality that we live in.  This makes our job as Catholics much more difficult and important in regards to changing this world. We must make this world submit to Christ so that we can have societies of love where people can travel to any nation and not worry about being attacked.  A world where there is no more terrorism and where we can live as brothers and sisters.




Source:


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/04/supreme-court-lets-trumps-latest-travel-ban-go-into-full-effect/23296822/




https://finance.yahoo.com/news/supreme-court-allows-full-enforcement-trump-travel-ban-211853485--politics.html


Sunday, December 3, 2017

1st Sunday of Advent: Be Alert!

What is Advent?
We are now in the holy season of Advent where we prepare for both the coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the end of time.  It is a spiritual period in which to meditate on these two mysteries and prepare for them.  We use the wreath and 4 candles to mark down the 4 weeks before Christmas.  

Three of the candles are purple and one is pink.  The purple symbolizes preparation through penance and prayer.  Purple is also used during Lent.  Another way to see it is purple is a physical sign of healing. When we get hurt, the injury becomes purple.  During the time of healing, it remains purple until it clears up.  Sin hurts us and we need time to heal from it by using the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, Prayer, Fasting, Indulgences and a genuine Spiritual life.  

The pink is for the third Sunday or Gaudete Sunday which means "Sunday of Joy."   We are joyous because we are getting closer to Christ's birth.  As each week goes, we light the candle that corresponds to that week.  

Today's readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/120317.cfm

In the first reading from Isaiah, we read about humanity calling out to God.  We call out, "return for the sake of your servants."  Moreover, we complain, "why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not? Many atheists today often say that as technology has evolved, miracles have decreased. In other words, they claim that we do not see miracles like those from the Old Testament and New Testament in today's postmodern world because there are ways to document it and study them. With this, they imply that the miracles that Sacred Scripture and Tradition inform us about were nothing more than fantasy; hyperbole meant to capture the mind of Bronze age people. Atheists do not understand that these miracles were meant to authenticate those men whom God chose to speak for Him on Earth. Without these miracles, no one would have paid any mind to Moses etc (2 Kings 1:10Luke 4:36–37Acts 5:12). These miracles were a "head-start" or "push" for faith to take hold in the world.  This does not mean God does not perform miracles today or in recent times. Take the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima or rewind back into the distant past to the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Both of these apparitions served to bring about conversion or reversion. Had the Blessed Virgin Mary not appeared to Blessed Juan Diego, Mexico would not be a Catholic nation today. Moreover, had the apparitions of Fatima not taken place, then Fascism and Communism would have taken over Portugal and Europe as a whole.

The first reading reminds us that God has literally let us "wander" to the point that we "harden our hearts so that we fear [Him] not."  This tells us how God respects our free will.  He will not impose Himself on us.  If we want no part of Him, then He will not force Himself on us. We must call upon God to "return." We must ask Him to "show His face" and rescue us because we are in ruin.  This reading ties into Advent because this season is a season of waiting in darkness, so to speak.  We await the coming of our Lord.  Our world is in darkness still and will only become truly perfect when Christ returns.  We cry out to God as we wander around asking Him to return to us.  Like the Prodigal son, we have abandoned the father believing we can do it on our own and have failed (Luke 15:11-32). That arrogance of having the illusion that we can take on life by ourselves comes to an end when life "beats us up."  We lose ourselves, believe and do all kinds of crazy things (Romans 1:24-25). When we wander from God, we begin to mock Him.  How many times have atheists mocked God?  All over the internet, we see memes or photos mocking Christ, the Blessed Trinity and what not.  Their hearts are hardened to the point that they do not fear God or have respect for God.  This all changes when they wander too far.  God allows their venting.  It is a process that allows them to realize that without God they are nothing. They turn into arrogant creatures who live off of mockery and diatribe, instead of love and hope.  This, in reality, is a sign of their existential frustration.

This is where the responsorial Psalm comes in which responds to the first reading where we say, "Lord, make us TURN to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved."  The first reading tells the story of humanity wandering off and disrespecting God.  It loses hope, hits "rock bottom," so to speak and them realizes it needs God. So we then cry out to God to get us to return to Him and to show us His face so we can be saved.

St. Paul in the second reading from Corinthians reminds us that we are in God's grace. We know of Christ and have confirmed His works, history, and person via testimony; not only of others but of ourselves as well. He reminds us that we are not "lacking in any spiritual gift."  Despite living in this crazy world, we still have God with us and He continues to pour out His gifts of the Holy Spirit on us in order to weather the storm that is life on Earth as we await Christ at the end.  We are reassured by St. Paul that God is faithful and that we will be in fellowship with His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, in the Gospel, we are reminded that we must be on alert.  The end of time will come when we least expect it. Christ will come like a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10Revelation 16:15).  We must not sit idle believing that we are "saved" just because we have accepted Christ as our personal Lord an Savior (Matthew 7:21).  This is not what Christianity is about.  In the world today, we are seeing so many signs that hard times are here and are going to get worse. Christianity is under attack.  All kinds of strange ideas are taking hold in the world. The distortion of marriage, gender, the rise in racism and so on.  Unfortunately, the silence of Christians is to blame, in my opinion. We have not done enough to suppress the smoke of Satan which is spreading around the world. 

We must put our faith into work (James 2:14-26). Part of that work is to spread the Gospel around to others and especially within ourselves.  We must not keep the truth to ourselves. This is why we have the Sacraments.  They prepare us with the "robe" for that day when Christ will come (Matthew 22:11-13). Christ can come at any moment.  No one knows the day, hour or minute (Matthew 24:36). Now, this day is often painted as a "gloom and doom" thing.  The end of time should not be a scare tactic.   We should see it for what it really is: God returning.  God is coming back to us and showing us Himself. No more will the atheist say, "show me the evidence."  No more will the doubtful Christian say, "what if there is no God and I am wasting my life on this?"  No more will some philosophers and nihilists say, "God is dead, we have killed Him!"  We will all say, "Lord have mercy!"  This will not be a scary time, but an awesome time.  We will know who God truly is.  We will know who we are, why we are, where we are.  No longer will science, theology, or philosophy be needed because we will see the personification of truth and wisdom.  Until this day happens, we gather now in the season of Advent and cry out "Maranatha" - "Come O Lord!" 


Please help me continue this ministry by donating on my Paypal or www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus. Your donations will help pay for domain names to keep the site up and running, podcast subscriptions and the purchase/mailing of sacramentals and other materials.  Please consider becoming a patron or benefactor by donating on a monthly basis.  God will reward you!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

@AtheismNTheCity Afraid to Debate Sacerdotus

As expected, Mike who blogs and tweets as "AtheismNTheCity" ran away from debating me.

I gave him until today December 2, 2017, to show me his identification and academic credentials.

Every formal debate event requires that participants are properly vetted for their identities and qualifications.  This ensures that a debate is professional and that qualifying parties are present.  I hold my debates to the same high standards.  There is no way that I will engage someone who lacks academic credentials in a formal debate.  Imagine, would you debate someone on trigonometry who never heard of SIN or COS?  The entire debate would be a waste of time if you did.  Both parties have to be educated and must hold a strong grasp of the subject matter with said grasp being validated by academic credentials.

I invited Mike (Atheismnthecity) to a formal debate, see:  http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/invitation-to-debate-will-pusillanimous.html

He allegedly wanted to debate me after I refuted his 13 reasons post and consequent replies to my refutation, see them here:  http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/why-im-atheist-13-reasons-arguments-for.html

Instead of following through with the debate, he began to call me names, lie about me, stall and dilly-dally just like William Hounslow who used the fake account on Twitter and Google Plus @RosaRubicondior.  Hounslow began to stall and never posted an opening statement.  "Rosa" was banned from Twitter, FaceBook and now Google plus.  Like Atheismnthecity, he pretends to be an atheist and just trolls on social media picking arguments he cannot win.

It is clear to me that these online caricatures claiming to be atheists are not atheists at all. They are just fake atheist accounts trolling.  We cannot take them seriously.  Notice how Mike (Atheismnthecity) began to stall in his emails to me and then wanted me to send him identification. This information is already on the About Sacerdotus tab of my site. To further ensure my seriousness about the debate, I told him in a reply that I would show my identification live on the broadcast that will host the debate.  Despite this, he continued to stall until he forfeited and lost by default see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/thinking-chicken-atheismnthecity-scared.html.  He clearly just wanted to troll Sacerdotus just like other accounts pretending to be atheists.  I bet if I had emailed him my identification, he would have used it to engage in cyberbullying and never engage me in a debate.  This is what they do.  They love to "dox," or use the private information of Christians to harass them online.  Other Christians who are friends of mine online have faced this first hand. One professor was harassed at her work when alleged-atheist trolls called her job. Another fellow Catholic is now being threatened online by an alleged-atheist troll who claims to have his personal address.

I invite all to just block, report and ignore @atheismnthecity.  Do not give him a platform for discussion or debate.  He has proven himself incapable of an intellectual debate and has no academic credentials.  Mike tries to pass off Disqus discussions as "debates."  The truth of the matter is that comment boxes are not forums for a formal debate.  This shows how inept Mike is in regards to how academic debates work. It shows that he has no debate skills or experience.  Furthermore, I have demonstrated via my refutation of his posts how he does not understand philosophy or science. Other atheists have pointed this out to him as well.


Even one of my former professor's at CUNYstated that AtheismntheCity's reliance on the word "stupid" shows that his discussion is not intelligent. He even liked a tweet from another philosophy professor who described "Atheismnthecity" as a troll:





Dr. Pigluicci even described Mike (Atheismnthecity) as just "anyone who writes on the internet" dismissing him as insignificant and who lacks expertise in philosophy.



Mike (AtheismNthecity) was the one who messaged me.  Here is his tweet that started this all:



I have no idea that he existed. I do not understand why he would message me and ask to debate only to run away like a scared dog. It is just mind-boggling. Seems like he chewed off what was too big to swallow, so to speak! He was not expecting someone of my caliber who refuted his nonsense.

In any event, while a formal debate is clearly not feasible due to Mike's (AtheismNThCity) cowardice, inability to follow through in a debate and lack of academic credentials, he is welcomed to join me on Atheist Open Mic. He can speak his mind there on an open discussion that is not a formal debate and where he cannot present himself as a philosopher or expert in academia.

So there you go.  Another alleged atheist bites the dust and runs from debating Sacerdotus!


Friday, December 1, 2017

Aaron Boone New Yankees' Manager

After Joe Girardi was fired as the New York Yankees manager earlier this year, many have speculated who would be his replacement. Many were interviewed for the job, including former Yankees Carlos Beltran who won his first World Series ring with the Houston Astros.  However, rumors are circulating that the Yankees have hired Aaron Boone as their new manager.

 Aaron Boone played for the Bronx Bomber in the early 2000's. He is probably more known for his walk-off homer against the Boston Red Sox in 2003 than for his overall career as a player. This walk-off homer earned him a unique middle name in Boston that beings with an "F."  I have not confirmed the news report and will update this post as I learn more. So far it looks like the reports are accurate.  The Yankees have not made any official statement as of yet.  Boone's own Twitter account has no update as well. Stay tuned!






















UPDATE December 4, 2017 4:18 PM.

It is official. The Yankees have named Aaron Boone the new Yankee Manager.











Updated Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/aaron-boone-officially-named-yankees-manager-signs-3-year-deal-article-1.3677083

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/12/04/yankees-hire-aaron-boone-official/

https://www.mlb.com/yankees/?partnerId=ed-12113771-1035553213



Source:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21634728/aaron-boone-become-next-manager-new-york-yankees

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/aaron-boone-manager-yankees-article-1.3671300

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/boone-interviewed-yankees-manager-article-1.3670751

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