Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Sacerdotus Down: Pray for Me

Dear friends and followers of my social media,

I regret to inform you that I will be taking a sabbatical from my studies and work in the Catholic Church due to health reasons (doctor's orders). This is difficult as I am a very stubborn guy who does not like to show weakness.  Perhaps this is God's way of giving me more humility. 

Tomorrow, November 15th, I am schedule for surgery; one of several. Treatment will then continue.    Life has many surprises. One may be healthy and well in one moment and not in the next. This is all part of existing in the flesh. Genes often play a role, as we know from science. They may be dormant for a while and then turn on due to any triggers or activate just because it was genetically determined.

In any event, these are moments where one can reflect on mortality and offer one's suffering for others, per Catholic doctrine.  I will not be on social media as much, or maybe at all until I get the clear from doctors. Knowing me, I will sneak in a few posts, tweets etc here and there.  Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

I ask you to continue to support this ministry by sharing content, following accounts, purchasing books and contributing to my Pay Pal located on this website and GofundMe at www.Gofundme.com/sacerdotus. Your help will ensure that the bills are paid to maintain "Sacerdotus" while I am unable to actively work in the ministry.  As you can expect, due to my sabbatical, I will not be able to obtain enough stipends to help.  This is why it is important that you donate now more than ever.

When I can, I will post updates here and on my other social media accounts.  Again, please keep me in your prayers and help by donating, purchasing books and sharing my content. 


Yours in Christ + Mary.

Sacerdotus


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Book Review: THE SACRAMENTS: DISCOVERING THE TREASURES OF DIVINE LIFE

Tan Books was kind enough to send me a review copy of Father Matthew Kauth's THE SACRAMENTS: DISCOVERING THE TREASURES OF DIVINE LIFE. The book is just 145 pgs but filled with lots of information on the Seven Sacraments. Fr. Kauth wastes no time going into each Sacrament. With clear and simple language, he explains the meaning behind each Sacrament.

By "simple," I mean that he does not drown the reader's mind with technical theological or liturgical terminology. The book presents the information in a way any reader can understand. One does not need to have a dictionary or other reference to look up what father is writing about. He does an excellent job making complex theological and liturgical concepts understandable. This is what makes this book a must-have for every Catholic, especially those in religious education. It is easy to read and to-the-point.

Father begins with the introduction and explanation of what is a Sacrament. He relies on the traditional definition of a Sacrament and uses Scripture and other sources for reference. He ties in the importance of the Sacraments and how they are necessary for living a life in Christ and salvation.  He continues dedicating a chapter for each Sacrament. For each Sacrament, he shows their origin in Scripture, cites tradition and explains the effects and elements of each. This is important because it gives a full picture of each Sacrament.  Instead of stating, "Holy Baptism" removes Original Sin and makes on a Catholics, father goes beyond that and explains why and how. He explains why certain elements or sacramentals are used to bring about the Sacrament (i.e. water, oil, laying of hands, etc). 

He does an excellent job showing how each Sacrament works in us and how we must cooperate with grace in order to keep the Sacrament working. I highly recommend this book to every Catholics. While it is an easy read, it does not water down anything. Father provides orthodox information in line with the Church's teachings and presents it in a way anyone without a theology background can understand. The book will be understandable to readers from middle school and up. Protestants and others will benefit greatly from this book as well. This book should be on every Catholic shelf and in the satchels of every catechist or religious education teacher. Even theology students and seminarians can greatly benefit from reading this book before engaging the more complex and wordy academic books used in courses. 

I want to thank Tan Books for sending me this book and thank Father Kauth for giving us this treasure which tells us about the Divine Treasure found in the Sacraments. 






Monday, October 22, 2018

Atheist Lawrence Krauss to Retire after Sexual Assault Claim: ASU Dean recommends Firing Him

Many men are being accused by women and other men of sexual misconduct. In many cases, these incidents are decades old. Recently, we have seen the same accusations placed against a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to this, comedian Bill Cosby was accused and sentenced to prison. All of this has occurred under the so-called "Me Too" era. As I have written before, Atheism is not immune from this. Many Atheist women have complained about their male counterparts sexually harassing and sexually assaulting them. This has gone to deaf ears among Atheist leaders. One prominent Atheist and physicist, Dr. Lawrence Krauss is among the accused. He was accused by several women of sexual misconduct and assault, see: www.sacerdotus.com/2018/02/atheist-lawrence-krauss-accused-of.html.

I was surprised that Arizona State University took no action. It seemed to me that the university was afraid to loose a person who has been a cashcow for them. Krauss' outspoken demeanor on Atheism in the name of Science has shed light on the university and the field of Physics. However, it seems that deans at the university have recommended that he be terminated. Krauss who earns $275,000 a year will be terminated and lose tenure. You can read the statement here: http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/Melanie%20Thomson%207.31.18.pdf. Krauss has lost many positions since the accusations surfaced. However, Krauss seems to want to avoid being fired by announcing that he will retire in May of 2019. This move closes the review process that was underway.

Krauss claims that the review process is unfair and would force him to be dismissed. He claims that he would have no option to have a lawyer present nor that all the evidence would be presented. The university disputed his claims calling them inaccurate. Krauss tweeted this:



Time will only tell what will happen next as to whether or not Dr. Krauss will face charges and be arrested. It seems that his career has finally come to an end. It remains to be seen if Atheist organizations will continue to invite him to speak in the name of Atheism.

All women should speak out against their abusers and let the judicial process take hold. No one is above the law. Hopefully, people tempted to the Atheism cult will see why it fosters immoral behavior.






Source:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/peteraldhous/lawrence-krauss-arizona-state-tenure

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/08/university-finds-prominent-astrophysicist-lawrence-krauss-grabbed-woman-s-breast

http://www.statepress.com/article/2018/10/spscience-university-official-recommends-lawrence-krauss-dismissal-review-process-ongoing

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2018/08/02/lawrence-krauss-out-director-asu-origins-project/894752002/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2018/10/05/asu-professor-lawrence-krauss-should-fired-dean-michael-crow-final-decision/1538655002/

http://www.statepress.com/article/2018/10/spcampus-lawrence-krauss-says-he-will-retire-may-2019-asu

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/science/lawrence-krauss-retires-sexual-harassment.html

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2018/10/21/lawrence-krauss-retiring-asu-after-sexual-misconduct-allegations-buzzfeed-news/1721679002/


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Former Nuncio Blames Pope Francis for McCarrick

As if the recent report in Philadelphia is not enough, now we have a bombshell at the top of the Catholic Church.  Former Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is making claims in a 11-page written testament that Pope Francis withdrew sanctions against former Cardinal, Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  McCarrick has been recently exposed as a homosexual predator who prayed on young teens and seminarians during his time in New York, New Jersey and Washington D.C. see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2018/06/cardinal-mccarrick-accused-of-sexual.html.

Archbishop Vigano says that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed sanctions on then Cardinal McCarrick which were later removed by Pope Francis in 2013 upon taking the see of Peter. Vigano claims that Pope Francis protected and covered for McCarrick and made him his "trusted counselor."  He continues claiming that McCarrick told Pope Francis to appoint several bishops in the United States, particularly Cardinals Blase Cupich and Joseph Tobin.

Vigano says that corruption has reached the top of the heirarchy and urges un the dictates of the conscience for Pope Francis and all those who covered up for McCarrick to immediately resign from office.

This news is troubling to say the least. If true, Pope Francis et al., must indeed, resign now!  However, in the spirit of true journalism, there is always two sides. Let us not forget that Archbishop Vigano was replaced by Pope Francis in 2016 see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/04/apostolic-nuncio-replaced-media-slant.html. The media claimed that he was replaced for inviting Kim Davis to meet the Pope during his 2015 visit to the United States of America. Could Vigano be retaliating against the pope like a disgruntle former employee? Or was Vigano really removed because of Kim Davis who is known for refusing gay couples marriage licenses?  If so, then this would mead that Pope Francis did listen to McCarrick who is an alleged homosexual and is against anyone who speaks out against the LGBTQ agenda.  

You can read the testimony here: https://www.scribd.com/document/387040553/TESTIMONY-of-His-Excellency-Carlo-Maria-Vigano-Titular-Archbishop-of-Ulpiana-Apostolic-Nuncio#from_embed




Source:

https://www.scribd.com/document/387040553/TESTIMONY-of-His-Excellency-Carlo-Maria-Vigano-Titular-Archbishop-of-Ulpiana-Apostolic-Nuncio#from_embed

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/ex-nuncio-accuses-pope-francis-of-failing-to-act-on-mccarricks-abuse

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-us-nuncio-pope-francis-knew-of-mccarricks-misdeeds-repealed-sanction

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/ex-nuncio-accuses-pope-francis-of-failing-to-act-on-mccarricks-abuse-reports-81797

Senator John McCain Dead at 81

A day after discontinuing treatment for a brain tumor, Senator John McCain has passed away at the age of 81. Senator McCain was an American hero who was even captured during his service for our nation. He was tortured but survived.

McCain later on became a long-time Republican senator who often took on an independent voice within his party. Twice he attempted a run for the presidency but was defeated by Presidents Bush and Obama in 2000 and 2008. He referred to himself as the "maverick" and had faced skin cancer before and survived plane crashes.

His daughter made the announcement on Twitter:




As with any politician, McCain has had some controversy and has been accused of being a traitor by fellow Republicans for siding with Democrats. Some African American activists have not been fans of McCain either after he voted against the creation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. Nevertheless, McCain served his nation both in the military and public service. Many have offered kind words, including Presidents Trump and Obama who tweeted:







May John Sidney McCain III rest in peace.  He was a true American hero!



Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/25/politics/john-mccain-obituary/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/sen-john-mccain-independent-voice-gop-establishment-dies-81-n790971

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/us-senator-john-mccain-dies-brain-tumour-battle-073302052.html



Pope Francis: 'Those who covered-up Sex Abuse are 'Sh*t''

Pope Francis is in Ireland today for the World Meeting of Families. His visit has been clouded by recent revelations of how deep the sex abuse scandal really is in the Catholic Church, especially in the United States of America.  Ireland has had many cases of sex abuse by priests and religious for decades. This has led to a sharp decline in Catholicism on the nation, a once Catholic strong hold. Evidence of this decline is evidence in the nations legalization of so-called same-sex marriage and abortion.

Crowds at the papal events are expected to be smaller than normal compared to Saint Pope John Paul II's visit in the 1970s. Pope Francis spoke out on the sex abuse scandal and vowed to end it. However, he did not give any details as to how he would do this. He used strong rhetoric and even resorted to saying that those who covered up child abuse in the Catholic Church are "caca" or "Sh*t." This word is the Spanish vulgar expression for feces.




Source:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/pope-francis-tells-survivors-those-who-cover-up-abuse-are-s-t-1.3607936?mode=amp

https://www.newsweek.com/pope-francis-dublin-pope-addresses-abuse-scandals-offers-no-solutions-1090693?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=NewsweekTwitter

Friday, August 24, 2018

NASA: Asteroid 2016 NF23 Potentially Hazardous to the Earth

NASA says a 500-foot wide asteroid is approaching Earth and can be potentially hazardous. The asteroid was given the designation 2016 NF23 and is traveling at about 20,000 miles per hour. This speed is faster than the speed current rockets travel. It is estimated that the asteroid will be closest to the Earth on August 29, 2018.

The asteroid is a bit larger than the Pyramids at Giza, Egypt. Even at this size, the asteroid can pose a great threat to life on Earth. At the speed it is traveling, it can cause a catastrophic collision that can cause atomic-like shock waves that can wipe out cities and cause dust to block the Sun in the atmosphere which will bring plant life to die and those that depend on it.  This will be a chain reaction of death which is believed to what have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

However, there is no need for alarm. Asteroids like this pass by Earth all the time.  Many times, they are not even noticed until they have already passed by!  Earth is protected by the larger planets Jupiter and Saturn. Their large masses allow for a stronger gravitational pull which slings asteroids away from the Earth.





Source:

https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2016%20NF23&orb=1

https://www.newsweek.com/nasa-says-500-foot-wide-asteroid-approaching-earth-potentially-hazardous-1087509?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=NewsweekTwitter

https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/23/nasa-spacecraft-prepares-for-close-encounter-with-huge-asteroid-that-could-hit-earth-next-century-7874962/?ito=article.amp.share.top.twitter

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/725687/nasa-news-asteroid-space-rock-2016-nf23-great-pyramid-of-giza-in-egypt

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/7101910/potentially-hazardous-asteroid-bigger-than-statue-of-liberty-heading-for-earth/

https://www.space.com/41618-asteroid-2016-nf23-no-threat-to-earth.html


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Nation of Islam Scam Artist 'Brother Khalil Abdul Muhammad' Arrested




















As if losing a son is not enough, Leandra Guzman-Feliz, the mother of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz is facing scam artists. The young fifteen year old boy who was killed over a month ago in the Belmont Section of the Bronx is once again in the spotlight. After his murderers were all caught, the family is facing problems with people trying to scam them. A Nation of Islam member who goes by the name "Brother Brother Khalil Abdul Muhammad" and whose real name is Kenny Young was accused on Monday of starting a fraudulent foundation.  He has been seen next to the family nearly at the onset of the murder.  The foundation is named "Justice for Junior Foundation." It has its own website, Instagram, Facebook, You Tube and Twitter accounts.  The foundation claims to represent the late teen boy and the cause for justice, but it was never authorized by the parents. 

In fact, as the mother of Junior spoke to WPIX reporters, we can see Khalil Abdul Muhammad approach her and interject as she is questioned about fake foundations.  He claims that he would make a statement on the foundation and that the mom supports it.  She interrupts him and says that she never gave permission and would have to review papers with her lawyers. Muhammad looks visibly nervous on the video when questioned by reporters.  The website he started had a donate button which was later removed after WPIX aired the report.  




The family and supporters have been posting on social media that this man is a scam artist. They also posted images of others who have been profiting over the death of Junior.  Just today, Muhammad was spotted near the bodega where Junior was killed as it reopened under new ownership. He is not wearing his suit this time, but instead has on a track suit and baseball cap.  According to Instagram postings, he and Junior supporters got into an argument and he was arrested.  




The news is troubling due to the fact that the family has to be victimized again by opportunists seeking to profit and seek self-promotion at the expense of the pain and suffering of others.  At first, I thought this man was a detective with the NYPD.  However, after I saw him at the funeral home and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, I figured out that he was part of the Nation of Islam cult.  In fact, at the funeral home, he and other black men in suits and bow ties were blocking me and Protestant ministers present from approaching the family and the casket of Junior.  A friend who escorted me in the home took me to them directly bypassing these Nation of Islam soldiers. At the parish during the memorial vigil, Muhammad and another black man sat in front of me and two NY diocesan priests.  Fr. Jonathan Morris, the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel welcomed them. 

Please do not donate to any foundation or group claiming to represent Junior, his family or the Justice for Junior moment. The family has made it clear that they have not authorized any foundations or groups.  Please report any such foundations or groups to social media, the police and FBI.  

  



 Source:





Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pope Amends Catechism on Death Penalty

The Vatican has announced the Pope Francis amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty.  The paragraph that will be amended will be paragraph 2267 which reads:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68


- www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

The new paragraph will read:

The death penalty
2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.
Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
__________________________
[1] FRANCIS, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.
- http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/02/180802a.html

A letter was sent to all bishops regarding this amendment. It reads:

Letter to the Bishops regarding the new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 02.08.2018
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Letter to the Bishops
regarding the new revision of number 2267
of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
on the death penalty
1. The Holy Father Pope Francis, in his Discourse on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, by which John Paul II promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, asked that the teaching on the death penalty be reformulated so as to better reflect the development of the doctrine on this point that has taken place in recent times.[1] This development centers principally on the clearer awareness of the Church for the respect due to every human life. Along this line, John Paul II affirmed: “Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.”[2]
2. It is in the same light that one should understand the attitude towards the death penalty that is expressed ever more widely in the teaching of pastors and in the sensibility of the people of God. If, in fact, the political and social situation of the past made the death penalty an acceptable means for the protection of the common good, today the increasing understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes, the deepened understanding of the significance of penal sanctions applied by the State, and the development of more efficacious detention systems that guarantee the due protection of citizens have given rise to a new awareness that recognizes the inadmissibility of the death penalty and, therefore, calling for its abolition.
3. In this development, the teaching of the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitæ of John Paul II is of great importance. The Holy Father enumerated among the signs of hope for a new culture of life “a growing public opposition to the death penalty, even when such a penalty is seen as a kind of ‘legitimate defense’ on the part of society. Modern society in fact has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform.”[3] The teaching of Evangelium vitæ was then included in the editio typica of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In it, the death penalty is not presented as a proportionate penalty for the gravity of the crime, but it can be justified if it is “the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor,” even if in reality “cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender today are very rare, if not practically non-existent” (n. 2267).
4. John Paul II also intervened on other occasions against the death penalty, appealing both to respect for the dignity of the person as well as to the means that today’s society possesses to defend itself from criminals. Thus, in the Christmas Message of 1998, he wished “the world the consensus concerning the need for urgent and adequate measures … to end the death penalty.”[4] The following month in the United States, he repeated, “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”[5]
5. The motivation to be committed to the abolition of the death penalty was continued with the subsequent Pontiffs. Benedict XVI recalled “the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty.”[6] He later wished a group of the faithful that “your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”[7]
6. In this same prospective, Pope Francis has reaffirmed that “today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been.”[8] The death penalty, regardless of the means of execution, “entails cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.”[9] Furthermore, it is to be rejected “due to the defective selectivity of the criminal justice system and in the face of the possibility of judicial error.”[10] It is in this light that Pope Francis has asked for a revision of the formulation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty in a manner that affirms that “no matter how serious the crime that has been committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.”[11]
7. The new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, approved by Pope Francis, situates itself in continuity with the preceding Magisterium while bringing forth a coherent development of Catholic doctrine.[12] The new text, following the footsteps of the teaching of John Paul II in Evangelium vitæ, affirms that ending the life of a criminal as punishment for a crime is inadmissible because it attacks the dignity of the person, a dignity that is not lost even after having committed the most serious crimes. This conclusion is reached taking into account the new understanding of penal sanctions applied by the modern State, which should be oriented above all to the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the criminal. Finally, given that modern society possesses more efficient detention systems, the death penalty becomes unnecessary as protection for the life of innocent people. Certainly, it remains the duty of public authorities to defend the life of citizens, as has always been taught by the Magisterium and is confirmed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in numbers 2265 and 2266.
8. All of this shows that the new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium. These teachings, in fact, can be explained in the light of the primary responsibility of the public authority to protect the common good in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and had developed in an environment in which it was more difficult to guarantee that the criminal could not repeat his crime.
9. The new revision affirms that the understanding of the inadmissibility of the death penalty grew “in the light of the Gospel.”[13] The Gospel, in fact, helps to understand better the order of creation that the Son of God assumed, purified, and brought to fulfillment. It also invites us to the mercy and patience of the Lord that gives to each person the time to convert oneself.
10. The new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church desires to give energy to a movement towards a decisive commitment to favor a mentality that recognizes the dignity of every human life and, in respectful dialogue with civil authorities, to encourage the creation of conditions that allow for the elimination of the death penalty where it is still in effect.
The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 28 June 2018, has approved the present Letter, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation on 13 June 2018, and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1 August 2018, Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I.
Prefect
X Giacomo Morandi
Titular Archbishop of Cerveteri
Secretary
_________________________
[1] Cf. Francis, Address to participants in the meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization (11 October 2017): L’Osservatore Romano (13 October 2017), 4.
[2] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitæ (25 March 1995), n. 9: AAS 87 (1995), 411.
[3] Ibid., n. 27: AAS 87 (1995), 432.
[4] John Paul II, Urbi et Orbi Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II: Christmas 1998 (25 December 1998), n. 5: Insegnamenti XXI,2 (1998), 1348.
[5] Id., Homily in the Trans World Dome of St. Louis (27 January 1999): Insegnamenti XXII,1 (1999), 269; cf. Homily for Mass in the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mexico City (23 January 1999): “There must be an end to the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty”: Insegnamenti XXII,1 (1999), 123.
[6] Benedict XVI, Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation Africæ munus (19 November 2011), n. 83: AAS 104 (2012), 276.
[7] Id., General Audience (30 November 2011): Insegnamenti VII,2 (2011), 813.
[8] Francis, Letter to the President of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty (20 March 2015): L’Osservatore Romano (20-21 March 2015), 7.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Francis, Address to participants in the meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization (11 October 2017): L’Osservatore Romano (13 October 2017), 5.
[12] Cf. Vincent of Lérins, Commonitorium, cap. 23: PL 50, 667-669. In reference to the death penalty, treating the stipulations of the precepts of the Decalogue, the Pontifical Biblical Commission spoke of the “refinement” of the moral positions of the Church: “In the course of history and of the development of civilization, the Church too, meditating on the Scriptures, has refined her moral stance on the death penalty and on war, which is now becoming more and more absolute. Underlying this stance, which may seem radical, is the same anthropological basis, the fundamental dignity of the human person, created in the image of God.” (The Bible and Morality: Biblical Roots of Christian Conduct, 2008, n. 98).
[13] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, The Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 4.
-http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/02/180802b.html

The amendment quotes Pope Francis' words from a speech on October 11, 2017. Pope Francis claims that the effectiveness of detention systems and the unchanging dignity of the person is enough for all to disregard the use of capital punishment.

Many in "conservative" Catholic circles have voiced their disappointment at the amendment and are using this to further their case that Pope Francis is a heretic. Other Catholics praise the changes and say they were needed.

It is important to note that the new text does not completely do away with the death penalty. It just says that it is "inadmissible" or not tolerated. The new text does not say it is an intrinsic evil. In fact, the wording reflects the teachings of Saint Pope John Paul II who stated that the death penalty should not be used. The Catholic Church has always been against the death penalty but acknowledged that legitimate authorities had a right to protect the common good from aggressive persons.




Source:
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/02/180802b.html

http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=17938

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2018/08/02/180802a.html

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pope-shifts-church-death-penalty-now-inadmissible-56983512

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-shifts-church-death-penalty-103647335.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45042130

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/08/02/live-sister-helen-prejean-pope-francis-revision-death-penalty-teaching


Monday, June 25, 2018

Lesandro Guzman Feliz 'Junior' Remembered



Thousands gathered at the location of his murder and Ortiz Funeral Home to pay their respects to young Lesandro Guzman Feliz.  Even celebrities such as "Cardi B," Carmelo Anthony, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, Wesley Snipes and others have paid their respects. "Cardi B" donated $8,000 to the family and Carmelo Anthony paid them a visit. The New York Yankees gave a jersey to the family which was placed on the remains of young Lesandro as he laid in state. 

Eternal rest grant to him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Lesandro Guzman Feliz, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!









Saturday, June 23, 2018

NYPD Explorer 15 Year old Lesandro Guzman Feliz Killed in the Bronx

Many of you know that I am from the Bronx. I was born in Manhattan, but spent most of my younger days in the Bronx. The Bronx is known for many things.  Unfortunately, violence is one of those things. Despite claims from the NYPD and Mayor Di Blasio that crime is on the decline, things in reality seem different.

A young boy of 15 years of age was brutally attacked on Bathgate Avenue and 183rd Street in my beloved borough. He was chased by 5 thugs who had machetes and knives as weapons. The thugs are grown men taller than the young 15 year old.

UPDATE

These cowards chased the boy into a bodega after stabbing him. The young boy tried desperately to hide behind the counter of the bodega and was removed by the workers. Immediately, his attackers apprehended him and dragged him out of the bodega. Bodega workers looked on and allowed this. One even gestured with his hands "get out." Outside, cameras captured the cowards beat, stop, hack at and stab the young boy.  They ran off like the cowards that they are into cars and sped off.  The young boy was left there bruised and bloodied. He tries to enter the bodega for help and the door is shut on him. He tries on more time to show his valor by making gestures at his attackers which want looked like mangled arms and hands, possibly from the hacking of the machete. The young boy immediately realizes he is in trouble physically and seems to remember that St. Barnabas Hospital is nearby.  He makes a run for it crossing the street.  Unfortunately, due to loss of a lot of blood, the young boy collapses in front of the hospitals.  People look on him. Instead of helping him stop the bleeding, the take out their cell phones and record.  He succumbs to his injuries leaving loved ones and now a nation in heart break.





The news has spread globally and has brought about outrage. According to police, the boy was mistaken for another boy who posted a sex video of the cousin of one of the attackers. To add insult to injury, the attackers gloated on social media about the attack.  Eventually, some actually messaged the brother in-law of the young boy apologizing and stating that they got the wrong guy.  This and the many tips called in to the police led to the arrest of 7 individuals.  An 8th is in the Dominican Republic and is cooperating with the police.

This tragedy has touched many, including myself. The young boy's name is Lesandro Guzman Feliz, also known as Junior. He was not involved in gangs. In fact, he was part of the NYPD Explorer's program, a program geared towards teaching kids about law enforcement. My nephew participated in the program. As the saying, the world is small. I came into contact with Lesandro at the precinct when I was in the Bronx and went to pick up my nephew. When I saw his face on the news, I knew I had seen it somewhere before.  The news is just depressing. Young Lesandro wanted to be a detective and had his whole life ahead of him.



Many have flocked to the bodega and made a make-shift memorial. Hundreds of candles, plush toys and other things now gather at the site. Bodega managers claim that they were threatened by the cowards who attacked Lesandro, however, new video shows that they actually gave Lesandro up to them as he tried to hide behind the counter of the bodega. It is just heartbreaking to watch the videos posted all over social media.  The face of Lesandro as he is being dragged outside is very telling of how terrified he was. Just seeing it breaks my heart. I am not a very emotional person, but this tragedy has taken sleep away from it.  To see this young boy slaughtered in a way that not even cattle or sheep are slaughtered is disturbing.  What has society come to?

Thousands have come to the make-shift memorial to pray and show support for the family and Lesandro.  Many more are expected at his wake on Monday and Tuesday at Ortiz Funeral home on 149th Street in the south Bronx. 


A petition has garnered over 50,000 signatures calling for the shutting down of the bodega that did not offer shelter to young Lesandro. I urge people to boycott is and sign it as well. What the workers did was truly inhumane.




I want to offer my condolences to the family of Junior. This story is truly heartbreaking and has touched Bronxites and everyone who has heard of it.  We must end this violence. Our own Catholic Church has failed to reach out to the young people on the peripherals. We cater to the youth already in our pews but forget there are many outside of the Church who need guidance. We do not go out to them and invite them. I have tried to do this during my time doing ministry in the Bronx and have been successful. However, others need to do the same.  When good is not around for the youth, evil is always ready to invite them. 

Young Lesandro was killed over mistaken identity. He was killed because of teens having premarital sex and recording it on social media as if sex is some sort of pastime. Again, we have failed to teach our youth to respect themselves and life.

I am so sorry Lesandro that you face this evil.  If I were there, I would have helped you!  Rest in peace Junior!



Source:


https://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2018/06/ny_machete_attack_teen_gang_arrests.html

http://www.koco.com/article/police-believe-teen-hacked-to-death-with-machete-was-not-intended-target-arrests-made/21929354

https://wgntv.com/2018/06/25/teen-arrested-4-in-custody-in-machete-murder-of-15-year-old-bronx-boy-law-enforcement-source-says/

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2018/06/25/bronx-teen-killed-machete/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/harrowing-cctv-shows-teen-15-12779181

https://www.yahoo.com/news/five-custody-machete-murder-15-024601756.html

http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/06/24/cc-sabathia-cardi-b-speak-out-after-nypd-says-teenager-is-stabbed-to-death-in-the-bronx-

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-bronx-teen-slaying-suspects-carmelo-lala-visit-20180625-story.html

https://nypost.com/2018/06/25/suspect-in-innocent-teens-killing-busted-because-of-saggy-pants-cops/


Friday, June 22, 2018

Priest Slaps Baby During Baptism



A French priest is in the spotlight after video shows him slapping an infant during a baptism. The video shows a woman, man holding an infant and an elderly priest in vestments next to a baptismal font. The infant is crying and screaming. As the infant does this, the elderly priest tries to calm him down by telling him to calm down. 

After a while, the elderly priest slaps the child causing a loud gasp among those in the church. The man holding the infant looks at the priest in shock and tries to wrestle the infant away from him as the priest cuddles the infant's head on the side of his own. You can see the video here:






The video has gone viral and has gotten many upset. Some have even posted comments on social media saying that they would have struck the elderly priest back. I must say, the video is hard to watch but we must learn all the facts first. Moreover, decades ago, slaps were used to calm histerical people down. The priest being elderly was possibly trying to use this archaic tactic. I do not think he was intentionally looking to hurt the child. Then again, crying children can cause stress levels to rise in adult humans. In any event, no priest or anyone should strike a child. There are other ways to calm babies down. During baptisms where I have assisted, I have made funny faces or brought out plush toys to get a baby's attention and calm him or her down. He or she then got to keep the toy! Hopefully the parents in the video have made peace with the priest and vice versa. The priest definitely needs to offer an apology if he did not do so already. Too bad the video cuts off and we do not see what happened next.







Source:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/priest-slaps-baby-hits-child-france-child-abuse-church-a8410256.html

http://www.mynbc5.com/article/shocking-video-shows-priest-slapping-crying-baby-during-baptism/21762714

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/priest-who-slapped-baby-crying-12770025




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cardinal McCarrick Accused of Sexual Abuse

Retired archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick of the Archdiocese of Washing D.C. has been accused of sexual abuse. The abuse allegedly happened decades ago when McCarrick was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York. McCarrick was a prominent voice during the pontificate of Saint Pope John Paul II. 

The Archdiocese of New York issued a statement saying that the Vatican was investigating claims against McCarrick. McCarrick claims he is innocent, however, the Vatican found the accusations credible. In light of this, McCarrick has resigned from public ministry.  He wrote in a statement:

“While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence,” his statement said, “I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people.”

His accuser is a 62-year-old married businessman from New Jersey.  His lawyer, Patrick Noaker stated that his client wished to remain anonymous.  The abuse is said to have begun in 1971. The victim was a student at Cathedral Prep Seminary which is a school for young boys interested in becoming a priest.  After being invited to serve Christmas Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the victim claims that he was measured for a cassock by then monsignor McCarrick.  While being measure, the victim claims that McCarrick unzipped his pants and molested him.  McCarrick then told the victim not to tell anyone about what happened.  After this assault, the victim claims that McCarrick flirted with him and assaulted him again in the bathroom.

Here are the statements issued:






Source:

https://archny.org/cardinalmccarrick

http://adw.org/2018/06/20/statement-cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-retired-archbishop-washington/

https://archny.org/tm-faq

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/us/theodore-mccarrick-sex-abuse.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/politics/theodore-mccarrick-washington-abuse-allegation/index.html

http://time.com/5317954/theodore-mccarrick-removed-catholic-church-abuse/



Friday, June 8, 2018

Chef StoryTeller Anthony Bourdain dead at 61 from Suicide

Just days after designer Kate Spade was found dead in her apartment from an apparent suicide, famous chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain was discovered by his friend Eric Ripert, who is a chef himself.  He hung himself to death at the Chambard Hotel in Strasbourg, France.

Bourdain was there filming an episode for his "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" show. He is survived by his daughter of 11 years of age and his girl friend Asia Argento.  Not much details are out as to why he would have done this. However, some are speculating that he was suffering from depression or was affected by a news report showing photographs of his girl friend Asia Argento with journalist Hugo Clement holding hands and embracing while in Rome, Italy.

Argento issued this statement:

 "Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."






Anthony Bourdain was born in New York City on June 25, 1956. In 1978, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in many restaurants, particularly at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan, New York. He struggled financially for a while and became an addict. After bouncing back, he wrote a book in 2000 entitled Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. The book became and instant bestseller and brought his name to the public. He would land a gig on the Travel Channel hosting the cultural show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations from 2005-2012, the Layover from 2011-2013 and moved to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. In this show, he would visit areas around the world which are often ignored by the travel agency business. He would meet the locals, talk to them, investigate their culture and customs and would have meals with them. These meals reflected the culinary culture of the region. Bourdain was an outspoken advocate for women in the restaurant business who have faced sexual harassment and advocated for a better restuarant industry by calling for better hygiene, professionalism and better treatment of Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants who are often employed at restaurants.

I particularly enjoyed the episodes Bourdain produced in The Bronx, Sicily and Puerto Rico. These episodes showcased the culture of the region and food. In the Bronx episode, he visited a Spanish restuarant I know well on 188 street. I have eaten there before with friends, specifically with my friend from St. Nicholas of Tolentine parish nearby. She calls the place, "The Cuchifrito Place." Bourdain is an excellent job showcasing the people and the food of the Bronx. He visited many areas and highlighted the art, music and diversity found in the Bronx. I will be forever grateful to him for presenting the Bronx in a good light. The Bronx is often portrayed as an area infested with bad things. While not perfect, its portrayal on television is highly exaggerated.




Former president, Barrack Obama took to Twitter to offer his condolences and memories of when both shared beers and a meal in Vietnam. Anthony Bourdain will be greatly missed. No one should judge him or where his soul ended up. We just do not know the state of his mind as he hung himself.  According to Celebatheists, Bourdain was an atheist. He was raised in a Jewish-Catholic home but was not given religious instruction.  Studies show that atheists have one of the highest rates of suicide.








May Anthony Bourdain, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!

If you reading this feel suicidal or know someone who does, seek help immediately. Do not hesitate to contact Suicide Prevent or messaging me:








Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/08/us/anthony-bourdain-obit/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/08/us/gallery/anthony-bourdain/index.html

https://people.com/food/anderson-cooper-tearfully-remembers-anthony-bourdain/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/business/media/anthony-bourdain-dead.html

http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-bourdain-obit-20180608-story.html

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/anthony-bourdain-dead-at-61-of-apparent-suicide-w521275

https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/anthony-bourdain-celebrity-chef-parts-unknown-host-dies-61-n881251

https://www.eater.com/2017/10/9/16438910/bourdain-ripert-parts-unknown-tv-bromance

http://www.businessinsider.com/anthony-bourdain-has-died-in-an-apparent-suicide-by-hanging-at-61-2018-6

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/08/opinions/anthony-bourdain-saw-the-humanity-in-all-of-us-filipovic/index.html

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/anthony-bourdains-friend-eric-ripert-145700407.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny-news-anthony-bourdain-girlfriend-asia-argento-statement-20180608-story.html

http://www.tmz.com/2018/06/08/anthony-bourdain-asia-argento-relationship-split-close/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5807979/Asia-Argento-embraces-Hugo-Clement-shared-attack-Harvey-Weinstein-Cannes.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=anthony+bourdain&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjv163i7MXbAhWtslkKHSeZDu0Q_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=925

http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Anthony_Bourdain

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Life On Mars? Organic Molecules Found

NASA announced today that its Curiosity Rover disovered organic molecules while testing martial soil on Mars.  Catholic scientist and astronomer, Dr. Michelle Thaller made the announcement on Twitter and live on television. Methane was also discovered emanating from the surface.  This gas is known to come from life as we know it.








A similar announcement was made in 2014, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2014/12/methane-on-mars.html. This discovery is not a declaration of life on Mars, but may be an indication that life may have existed there or still does, but underneath the surface. The organic molecules may be remains of life that may have existed on Mars or may have been deposited by meteors from outer space which have crashed on Mars.  Scientists are still not sure. It probably will not be until humanity actually safely lands an astronaut there when we will be able to know for sure. 


Organic molecules are carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. They form what we call life on earth. I use the words "what we call" because there may be other forms of life that we are not aware of. It would be irrational to assume that any life elsewhere in the universe will be exactly built like life on earth is.  The methane on Mars is interesting because organisms produce it as a waste product; namely, flatulence. Whether there are aliens or bacteria underground passing gas or not, we are not sure yet. It may be the remains of life decomposing, who knows!



Source:

http://time.com/5305154/mars-organic-molecules/

https://www.space.com/40819-mars-methane-organics-curiosity-rover.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/07/617235884/nasas-curiosity-rover-finds-chemical-building-blocks-for-life-on-mars

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44405658

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-mars-methane-seasons-20180607-htmlstory.html

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/mars-organic-compounds-methane-curiosity-space-science/

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/finally-scientists-have-found-intriguing-organic-molecules-on-mars/

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2171106-mars-has-complex-organic-material-that-may-be-from-ancient-life/

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Victim of Assault, Gay Teacher Brandon Soriano: 'Homophobia is Real'

It is June. During this month, while the Catholic Church celebrates the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Body and Blood of Christ, others celebrate the National Puerto Rican day parade and Gay Pride. It is supposed to be a time of summer fun as the days get warmer and many have months off to enjoy it. However, one young man has been forced to start this time on bad terms.

Brandon Soriano, a 25-year-old elementary school teacher was brutally assaulted after leaving Queens Pride. In New York, each borough has a set day to celebrate Gay Pride. Queens starts it off, then Brooklyn, Staten Island, The Bronx with Manhattan ending it all with the much larger Gay Pride parade. Many LGBTQ and others participate in each event in a show of pride and solidarity.

Despite many advances made on how society sees and treats the LGBTQ community in recent years, some hate still remains. Soriano was enjoying his day at Queens pride and left after it was over. He was going to pick up some food before going to his apartment when two people yelled anti-gay slurs and brutally beat him up.  He was left unconscious on the sidewalk with a busted lip and very large bruises on his head and face. 

The attack was unprovoked, according to Soriano who said it occurred at around 10 at night on 37th Avenue and 84th Street in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. Soriano is hoping the perpetrators are caught. He says that if he sees them again that he will cross the street to avoid them. The attack has left him uneasy. He says that "Homophobia is real and it's annoying." The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is current investigating the incident and is asking the public for any information that may lead to arrests.

As a Catholic, I disagree wholeheartedly with the LGBTQ lifestyle; however, this does not mean that I or any Catholic has justification to hate the LGBTQ. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Not all neighbors will be Catholic. Jesus did not specify and left it in a general sense.
Any Catholic or anyone who claims to love God and hates gays, or assaults them physically does not love God at all.  He or she is defying God's will to love one another. We can disagree with each other, but we must never hate one another. This is just not God's way.  Moreover, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says it clearly:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

As it says, "They must be ACCEPTED with RESPECT, COMPASSION, and SENSITIVITY.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."  Calling them f*gs, sodomites or any derogatory term is uncharitable and a sin against our neighbor which offends God and our neighbor. Moreover, assaulting a homosexual or anyone is never justified, unless in the case of self-defense of course (which is rare). I have many gay friends and it pains me to learn that this young man was attacked for no reason other than because he is gay. This could have been any one of my friends.  Let us pray for one another and protect one another. Let us sow the seeds of love in everyone we encounter. Despite our differences and alternate views, we are all children of God.  If you are a victim of hate, please report it to the authorities and do not keep the incident quiet. This will empower those with hateful hearts.   

If you have any information on this case, contact the NYPD: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/services/law-enforcement/hate-crimes.page    



Source:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/06/04/queens-pride-parade-hate-crime/

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