Monday, October 21, 2019

@TaylorRMarshall is Back on Twitter



As of about 15 to 17 minutes ago, Taylor Marshall's Twitter account became active tweeting prayers in Latin.  As I expected, it seems like he simply purged his account and was never suspended.  Last week, Taylor's account looked as if it was suspended see: https://www.sacerdotus.com/2019/10/twitter-suspendsbans-conspiracist.html.  Many of his followers thought he was the victim of Twitter's gulag. 

   I will update this post as I learn more.










Sunday, October 20, 2019

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: God to the Rescue

Today's readings remind us that God is just and always helps.

In the first reading, we read of Amalek who wages war against Israel. Amalek and the Amalekites were a ruthless group.  They were a nomadic nation who attacked the Hebrews for no reason.  These people were extremely wicked and capable of anything.  A contemporary example of them are ISIS and in the comic book "The Walking Dead" the group "Negan" or the "Whispers"  Those who read the comics or watch the series know that these two groups are ruthless and evil. They show no mercy and are butchers. Atheists often mention the Amalekites to accuse God of being evil. In my book, "Atheism Is Stupid," I mention the Amalekites when addressing the claim by Atheists that "God is evil" because God allows their destruction.  Atheists are not biblical scholars, so naturally, they will read the accounts in the Bible and call God evil and accuse Him of genocide, when this is, in fact, far from the truth.  Anyhow, as the Hebrews fight off the Amalekites, Moses raises his hand up in prayer.  As he does this, the Hebrews get the upper hand.  When he lowers his hands out of fatigue, the Amalekites get the upper hand. This narrative tells us that the power of prayer is more powerful than that of armies. It is the prayer of the holy man Moses which gives the upper hand to the Hebrews because God sides with the one who prays and is holy (James 5:16).

In this month of October, we should recall the Rosary.  The Rosary is a very powerful prayer.  St. Pio of Pietrelcina and Blessed Pope Pius IX both described the Rosary as a weapon and an instrument which can be used to conquer the world.  They are correct!  The Rosary is a prayer that entails the Gospel. We walk with Mary as she shows us her Son via the mysteries. I recommend that all Catholics pray the Rosary. My mentor and pastor, Bishop Francisco Garmendia who passed away in 2005 always advocated the Rosary. I and others are trying to gather information to get the Vatican to beging a study of his life for canonization. He was a very holy marian bishop who spread devotion to the Rosary and was featured on Mother Angelica live many decades ago.  He reminded me and many others how important it is to pray. 

Like Moses and the Hebrews, you will get the upper hand as you pray while facing today's Amalekites.  God is truly our help as the responsorial Psalm tells us.  We sometimes feel hopeless in life wondering when help will come. Help seems far away.  However, our help is from the Lord who made heaven and earth. This verse is used as a final blessing by bishops and is a great reminder that we must depend on God. God is always there to aid us in any need. He will not let us suffer anything that we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).  God is with us and all around us as St. Patrick describes in his beautiful prayer. We must trust in God always and ask for His protection against the evils of this world, especially the spiritual ones which cause more damage than the physical ones.  It can be rough, but we must persevere in prayer and hold fast to what we have learned and believe.

This is what we are told in the second reading.  We must be faithful to the Sacred Deposit of the Faith. Our faith is not a salad bar where we pick and choose from what we want and do not want as the late Cardinal O' Connor, Archbishop of New York once stated.  We must accept the entire meal, so to speak. In fact, we can compare the faith to a healthy meal. Many times, we avoid vegetables because of their taste or texture and go for the meat and dessert.  We find those pleasure and delicious.  However, the truth of the matter is that the vegetables are better for us than meat and dessert.  Vegetables may not taste so good or feel so good in our mouths, but they are rich in nutrients.  The same with the faith and some harder aspects of it which unfortunately some Catholics cannot take in like contraception, abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage.  These hard teachings are like the vegetables we sometimes dread.  However, if we accept them, we will be truly nourished.  It may take time, but we must start out with milk before taking the solid food, as St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:2. Our faith comes from Christ who is the Truth. Who are we to reject any part of the Truth? Do we know better than Christ?!  Of course not!  We are told in the second reading the value of the Sacred Scriptures.  They are inspired by God and are useful for teaching, refutation, correction and righteousness.  Unfortunately, not too many Catholics read the Bible. This is sad. The Bible is God's word.

Our separated friends in the Protestant faith often use today's second reading to claim that we only need the Bible and not Sacred Tradition or the Magisterium of the Church.  This is a bad interpretation of this scripture.  The reading does not say "Scripture Alone," it says that Scripture is "USEFUL," not the only source.  In fact, Scripture tells us that we must also rely on Sacred Tradition in 2 Thessalonians 2:15. The interesting thing about Protestants and their interpretation of today's second reading is that when this verse was said and written, the only Scriptures around were the Hebrew Scriptures!  There was no New Testament. If we take the Protestant interpretation of "Sola Scriptura," then we can only call the Old Testament as inspired by God and reject the New Testament because the latter was not even finished. Moreover, we cannot rely solely on Scripture because Scripture does not even list the canon or list of books that make up the Bible. If the Bible is the only thing we must use to teach and learn on the faith, then how can we address where the list that makes the Bible come from?  For this, we must look at Tradition and history. It was Pope Damasus who ordered the official canon be comprised with 46 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.  If it was not for Pope Damasus, we would not have a Bible. It was the Catholic Church that gave us the Bible and hence why the Church is the PILLAR and FOUNDATION of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15)!  This is why only the Catholic Church can interpret Scripture via the Holy Spirit (CDF, "Instruction Concerning the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian," 21). The Bible is not open to private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).  Pope Saint Siricius was the one who called it the "Bible." He used the word (biblos/Biblia) found in 2 Timothy 4:13 in the Greek text to describe the collection of these Sacred Pages. We must share this with our Protestant friends and evangelize them with charity.

Lastly, in the Gospel, we read another parable from Christ concerning a judge who sounds like an atheist who had no fear of God nor respected any human being. This judge heard the case of a widow and was reluctant on helping her but then agreed to do so because she was "bothering" him. Christ then states that God will secure the rights of His chosen ones who call out to Him.  This is why we must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God will answer us.  He may not answer us in the way we want but will answer us in the way we need.  God is just. God does not cheat anyone nor is He unfair. He will be there for us. Christ then asks if there will be faith on earth when He returns. This is an important question because it may be a clue as to when the world will end.  Christ mentioned how He will come like a thief in the night and catch everyone by surprise. We must wonder if the end of the world will come when religion is dead and atheism seems like the norm. It is clear to me that we are seeing this today. Study after study from the Pew Study organization claims that religion is on the decline. We see Mass attendance declining and people questioning the faith more and more. Strange ideas such as gender theory are taking over. No one seems to know what a male or female is anymore. It is a scary time. We can see the "fingerprints" of the enemy Satan in all of this who sows confusion and deception. Satan wants us to think that there is no God; that there is no gender; that life does not begin at conception but only when a judge says so; that marriage can be anything we want; that we can destroy the earth to live comfortable lives; that we can believe whatever we want because everything is a social construct etc. This is all a lie.

We must persevere in the faith and fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tells us,"The power that changes the world and transforms it into the Kingdom of God, in silence and without fanfare, is faith—and prayer is the expression of faith. When faith is filled with love for God, recognized as a good and just Father, prayer becomes persevering, insistent, it becomes a groan of the spirit, a cry of the soul that penetrates God’s Heart. Thus, prayer becomes the greatest transforming power in the world. In the face of a difficult and complex social reality, it is essential to strengthen hope which is based on faith and expressed in unflagging prayer. It is prayer that keeps the torch of faith alight. Jesus asks as we heard at the end of the Gospel: 'When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?' (Lk 18:8). It is a question that makes us think. What will be our answer to this disturbing question? Today, let us repeat together with humble courage: Lord, in coming among us at this Sunday celebration you find us gathered together with the lamp of faith lit. We believe and trust in you! Increase our faith! (Source: Pastoral Visit to Naples, October 21, 2007.)." Things will get worse. The Church will suffer greatly. Be prepared!  Let us keep faith alive and pray without end like Moses. St. Cyril of Alexandria tells us, "The present parable assures us God will bend his ear to those who offer him their prayers, not carelessly nor negligently but with earnestness and constancy. The constant coming of the oppressed widow conquered the unjust judge, who did not fear God or have any shame. Even against his will, he granted her request. How will not he who loves mercy and hates iniquity, and who always gives his helping hand to those that love him, accept those who draw near to him day and night and avenge them as his elect? (Source: “Commentary on Luke, Homily 119”, quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 276)"

I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer.  We must pray always.  It must not be a "hobby" we do only on Sunday.  Prayer is a way of life!  Even our actions can be prayer, especially when we help others.  We must be ready for the day when Christ comes.  St. John Paul II reminds us, "The question with which Jesus ends the parable on the need “always to pray and not lose heart” frightens our soul. It is a question that is not immediately followed by an answer: indeed, it is intended as a challenge to each person, each ecclesial community, each human generation. Each one of us must give an answer. Christ wants to remind us that human life is directed to the final meeting with God; but in this perspective he asks himself whether, on his return, he will find souls ready, waiting for him, to enter the Father’s house with him. This is why he says to everyone 'Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour' (Mt 25:13). (Source:  John Paul II, Homilies of Pope John Paul II (English) (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014). October 21, 2001.)"  May Jesus Christ be praised! 





Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102019.cfm



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Friday, October 18, 2019

Twitter Suspends/Bans Conspiracist Taylor Marshall

I was just made aware by my friend, British Deacon Nick that Catholic conspiracist, Dr. Taylor R. Marshall @TaylorRMarshall (https://twitter.com/TaylorRMarshall) was suspended or possibly permanently banned by Twitter. His Twitter account is not showing his tweets or retweets.

This is odd. While this is usually the pattern of a suspended account, the message "this account is suspended" does not pop up on the PC or app which makes the scenario odd. However, Twitter has been making changes to its system lately in order to block certain tweets deemed offensive from showing up in certain regions. Dr. Marshall's account may have fallen victim to this process.




While many of his tweets are questionable in regards to racism, xenophobia and homophobia in light of Twitter's censorship, we cannot rule out any glitch on the part of Twitter's new algorithms. This may explain why we are not seeing the pop up stating that the account was in fact suspended. However, sometimes when an account is suspended, the first phase is to show it as still active without tweets. As time passes, the message of it being suspended begins to pop up and then the followers disappear.  We shall see as the days pass to see if this happens.  He may have been reported for hate, though it looks more like he purged all of his tweets leaving his account blank with only his followers and bio information. 


 Here are some reactions from Catholics on Twitter:



















I will update this post as soon as I confirmed what exactly happened to Dr. Marshall's Twitter account. He has me blocked on both his Twitter and Instagram (@DrTaylorRMarshall) due to my criticism of his racist comments on the pope's Leopard vestments during his Africa visit (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2019/09/conspiracist-taylor-marshall-blocks.html ), but has no mention of the issue on his Instagram account or website.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Pagan Pope? Pagan Vatican Ceremony? Pachamama?

A tree planting ceremony that took place on the feast day of seraphic holy father St. Francis of Assisi, October 4 has taken the Catholic blogosphere by storm. It has angered so-called traditionalists and has even brought great concern to mainstream Catholics, most who hardly complain about Pope Francis.

The ceremony took place at the Vatican garden and entailed a Amazonian indigenous rite that was borderline, if not, totally pagan in nature. It had people dressed in indigenous costume, dancing around in a circle, two nude wooden images of pregnant women, bowls of offerings of fruit and other items. Pope Francis and other clergy were present, but did not participate in the rite. You can see the rite here:



Now the rite is not liturgical and is just symbolic from what I see and read, however, one can see why many Catholics are concerned. Why is this happening? Why at the Vatican? Why before the pope? Well, the Amazon synod was just around the corner and this ceremony was a precursor leading up to the synod.

Catholics online have showed concern mainly over the nude pregnant figures at the center of the rite. There is great confusion as to who they are. At first, there was word that the main figure was Our Lady of the Amazon. Then word was going around that it was "Mother Earth" or "Pachamama." There was even a debate on Twitter between @CatholicSat and @Where_Peter_Is regarding this with the former recanting stating that the statue was in fact, Our Lady of Amazon:


























As you can see, a close examination of the video does show that the figure is given to the pope and introduced as Our Lady of the Amazon, "bride of the Church." The latter does not make sense. The Church has no bride. She IS the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5)! The confusion still remains. Did the person who said this misspeak? Moreover, who is the other nude and pregnant female figure? Is it Elizabeth or another variation of Our Lady of the Amazon? It i "Pachamama" alongside Our Lady of the Amazon? I still have not found clear and solid answers, so I will not speculate. Blogger Pedro Gabriel of Where Peter Is wrote a well detailed blog post here: https://wherepeteris.com/our-lady-of-the-amazon-pray-for-us/ explaining all of the news surrounding the image. However, a new report came out which he has not addressed.

At a Amazon Synod presser, Fr. Giacomo Costa SJ said of the statue, "It is an indigenous woman who brings life... nobody said it was the Virgin Mary..It is not the Virgin Mary, who said it is the Virgin Mary?" Paolo Ruffini, prefect of Vatican communications said, "There is nothing to know. It is an indigenous woman who represents life, it is a feminine figure, neither pagan nor sacred. Fundamentally, it represents life. And enough. I believe to try and see pagan symbols or to see... evil, it is not,” he said, adding that “it represents life through a woman."



So there you have it. We went from Pagan fertile woman figure, to Virgin Mary, to Pachamama, to Our Lady of the Amazon, to Mother Earth, to now just a random woman that represents life that is neither pagan nor sacred. This whole this is confusing to say the least! I will update this post if anything new comes along!  At first, this whole story seemed to be a culture war thing border-lining on xenophobia where white Catholicism is seen as being superior to brown Catholicism, but on closer look, there is a serious concern here.  Until we know what this figure is, we must continue to question.  On another note, some have posted images of the pope standing before the Blessed Sacrament alongside an image of participants bowing before the image of the pregnant woman. The posts insinuate that the pope stands before the Blessed Sacrament but bows before an image of a pregnant woman. This is fake news.  As you can see in the video of the ceremony, the pope never participated in the ritual. He sat to the side. Only a Franciscan friar of the Order of Friars Minor is seen bowing. This ritual was planned by the Order of Friars Minor, not the Vatican. 


What do you think? Post below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules for commenting.










Source:

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/indigenous-ritual-performed-in-vatican-gardens-for-popes-tree-planting-ceremony-60523

https://wherepeteris.com/paganism-in-the-vatican-hermeneutic-of-suspicion-at-its-peak/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-spokesman-denies-mysterious-statue-is-virgin-mary-claims-it-may-represent-life

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/vatican-denies-female-fertility-figure-is-virgin-mary

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-communications-official-carved-figure-at-amazon-synod-not-virgin-mary-76253

Sunday, October 13, 2019

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Be Humble, Faithful & Thankful to God

Today's readings remind us to always be faithful and thankful to God.

In the first reading, we read of Naaman who was a leper.  Elisha told Naaman to go into the Jordan river and plunge himself seven times.  As you may know, the number seven means perfection or completion.  It is the number connected to God (Deuteronomy 5:12, Joshua 6:3-4, Exodus 25:37). 

By stating that Naaman was plunging himself seven times in the Jordan, this meant that he became good with God.  His flesh became like that of a little child. When we return to God, we are like children running back to our parent(s) after wandering away too far. The statement that Naaman's flesh became like that of a child should remind us of what Jesus say about being like a child (Matthew 18:3).  It is only when we reach this humility that we see God and our leprosy (sin) is removed. Naaman realized that the real God was in Israel.  This does not mean that God is stuck in a nation. No one can contain God (1 Kings 8:27). What this means is that the God of Israel is the real God, not the many idols made of stone and wood that were around during the time. God has revealed Himself to all of the world.

We have seen His saving power, as the Responsorial Psalm tells us.  This is why we sing to God a new song and praise Him for He has made known His salvation to each of us.  We must remain faithful and share this news of salvation to all of the world even if we suffer as St. Paul tells us in the second reading (Matthew 28:19).  Jesus Christ rose from the dead (Luke 24). This was not metaphorical nor a legend. He really did rise. We do not need to see a video of it to believe this.  At the time, many people claimed to be the messiah and did not last long (Matthew 24:24).  People did not believe them and abandoned these preachers.  The main reasons as to why this happened is because 1) they did not fulfill the prophesies and 2) they did not perform the works of God. Jesus did fulfill the prophecies and performed many miracles (Matthew 5:17, John 19:30, John 20:30).

However, despite performing them, some still did not believe. The resurrection changed this for many. The early Catholic Church would not have grown the way it did if the resurrection did not happen. People would not dedicate their lives to Christianity if it was based on tall tales and legend. They would not face persecution, torture and death if who they were suffering for was not the real thing, so to speak.  This is why St. Paul was open to suffering and imprisonment.  He was chained, but the Gospel was not.  The Gospel can never be chained. In season or out of season, the Word will thrive even after heaven and earth pass (Matthew 24:35). We as Catholics must have this zeal and be open to suffering for the sake of the Gospel.  Enemies of the Church may martyr us, but the Gospel will not die with the death of even a million of us.  The Gospel will live on forever.  We may die, but if we die with Him, we will live and reign with Him (John 11:26).  However, if we deny Him, He will deny us (Matthew 10:33).  God is always faithful. He is good to us and we must reciprocate this. We must not become ingrates like those nine lepers we will read about in today's Gospel.

In today's Gospel, we are told that ten lepers met up with Jesus and shouted, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!"  Jesus did not turn them away.  Instead, He tells them to go show themselves to the Jewish priests. He says this because He had mercy on them and cured them.  Here we see how merciful God is that a mere shouting of "Have pity on us" is suffice to get God to show mercy.  This is why we must pray for those who are not in our faith or do not believe, especially at the end of their lives.  We hope that non-Catholics, atheists and agnostics use their last seconds of life to say like the lepers, "Have pity on us!" The Gospel reminds us that we must be thankful to God and not hustle Him, so to speak.  Out of the ten lepers, only one returned to Jesus to thank Him.  The others disappeared after their healing.  St. Athanasius tells us, "You recall that he loved the one who was thankful, but he was angry with the ungrateful ones, because they did not acknowledge their Deliverer. They thought more highly of their cure from leprosy than of him who had healed them.… Actually, this one was given much more than the rest. Besides being healed of his leprosy, he was told by the Lord, 'Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.' You see, those who give thanks and those who glorify have the same kind of feelings. They bless their helper for the benefits they have received. That is why Paul urged everybody to 'glorify God with your body.' Isaiah also commanded, 'Give glory to God. (“Festal Letter 6”, quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 268.)'"  Ironically, this leper was a Samaritan who was part of a sect that lived the Jewish life in a lax or liberal way and were despised by those who were more conservative. This is why we must not judge others who may worship differently or liberally (John 8:7).

The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal
In many cases, these people are holier than those who adhere to liturgical rules and traditionalism as if their life depended on it. The alleged "modernist" may be holier than the staunch "traditionalist."  We must not judge one another (Matthew 7:1-3).  We must be humble like that one leper who returned to Christ to give thanks.  He realized that Christ not only healed Him, but forgave Him and showed him how much he was loved.  St. Bede tells us, "The one leper fell upon his face, because he blushed with shame when he remembered the evils he had committed. And he was commanded to rise and walk, because he who, knowing his own weakness and lying lowly on the ground, was led by the divine word to accomplish mighty deeds. Faith made him whole, and so he hurried himself back to give thanks. But unbelief destroys those who have neglected to give glory to God for mercies received. Therefore we ought to increase our faith by humility, as exemplified here (Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Luke, ed. John Henry Newman, vol. 3 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1843), 587-588.)."  God is good to us.  Even in times of trial and suffering, we must try our best to realize that this suffering is for a greater good (Acts 17:11). God is not some cosmic masochist getting a laugh of each soul's stumble and pain.  He is a loving father who sometimes uses tough love, so to speak. Therefore, we must give thanks to God for both the good and the bad; I dare to say, for the bad more.  I state this because it is the bad things in life that either break or make our faith.

If one can go through "hell," so to speak, and not come out a bitter atheist, this is testament to a great faith and love for God which will be rewarded. St. Josemaría Escrivá reminds us, "Get used to lifting your heart to God, in acts of thanksgiving, many times a day. Because he gives you this and that. Because you have been despised. Because you haven’t what you need or because you have. Because he made his Mother so beautiful, his Mother who is also your Mother. Because he created the sun and the moon and this animal and that plant. Because he made that man eloquent and you he left tongue-tied.…Thank him for everything, because everything is good (Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, 268.)."  God is so faithful that He sends even today, His own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today we celebrate the 102nd anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/05/our-lady-of-fatima.html).  We should heed the warnings and concerns she voiced then which are still applicable today in the 21st century. Evil is still around and is alive and well.  It has infiltrated all facets of life, including the Church. We must fight it, not with fists or bullets, but with the ultimate weapons: sanctity and the Rosary.  Let us praise God always and remain faithful.  Let us thank God for all things in life and not treat Him as if He was our personal genie in a bottle granting us our desires.  He is our loving and merciful father.  May Jesus Christ be praised!



Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/101319.cfm



Please help me expand and continue this ministry.  Donate at my Paypal or www.gofundme.com/sacerdotus and/or www.patreon.com/sacerdotus.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Bronx Pentecostal 'Pastor' Runs Over Wife & Chops Her With Machete

There are many sects out there claiming to be of Christ. All claim to rely on the Bible as their source, yet most of their services entail lengthy sermons and few Bible quotations in them. These sects are run by suited men with flashy jewelry and, in many cases, multiple homes and other luxuries. They claim to have powers of healing, yet never storm hospitals or hospices to heal the sick.

History shows us that only the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ and run by the Apostles and their successors. This Catholic Church is not the "old" Catholic Church or any other institution out there that claims to be Catholic and even cites our creed. This Church is the Catholic Church currently headed by His Holiness Pope Francis. The Catholic Church existed before the Bible and even gave us this beloved collection of sacred pages.

The Bible itself warns us of false preachers out there. 2 Timothy 4:3 states, "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." We see this today, unfortunately. Well, once again we see in the news why we should heed the warning found in this Bible verse.

In Early October, a Pentecostal 'pastor'named Victor Mateo did a horrendous thing. He beat his wife Noelia Mateo (https://www.facebook.com/noelia.mateo.5688) of 58 years of age and Costa Rican native from Limon, then he sideswiped her with his car as she was entering her own vehicle, then as she was on the street in pain and tried to hide under another car while crawling near a patch of grass on the sidewalk, he got into her vehicle and ran over her several times, and if that were not enough, he stabbed her with a machete and chopped her with it. Her grandchildren ages 8 and 11 witnessed the whole thing. Witnesses claim that Mateo was also going to kill them but was scared away as neighbors began to congregate.

She was left on the streets of the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx battered up. Despite all of this she was still alive but later succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. Prior to be run over, Noelia screamed for help, but there was not much anyone can do. A neighbor named Victor DiChristian yelled at Mateo to stop and got a stick, but after seeing the machete, his cowardice got the best of him and he walked away leaving Mateo to attack his wife.

Mateo, 63 and native from the Dominican Republic fled the Bronx with his wife's car while the NYPD issued a manhunt for him. He was found today in Pennsylvania where he owns property and will be facing multiple charges. Here are YouTube videos of Mateo preaching in his sect's gathering place.






The news is tragic to say the list. October is Domestic Abuse awareness month. According to the children of Noelia during an interview on News 12, Mateo was very controlling with his wife and inflicted psychological abuse on her. She left him and liberated herself. Her son describes her as being a free woman who died free. Mateo's congregation "Christian Congregation The Redemptor, Inc." located at 1309 Rosedale Ave, Bronx, New York 10472 has not issue a statement as of yet, only a farewell to Noelia. Their YouTube account and Facebook page just have typical Pentecostal propaganda.



If you notice a husband or boyfriend or wife or girlfriend being too controlling and abusive either physically psychologically or emotionally, there is help. First, separate yourself from that person if the tension and violence is constant. Then get help by reaching out to the police, doctors, social workers or clergy. There is no reason to stay with someone who is abusive and/or controlling. A relationship is a two-way street where both parties are equal. One should not attempt to dominate another. Call 911 and tell others if you are ever hit or abused.

It does not matter the profession one has. Human beings can susceptible to psychological illness. This includes so-called 'pastors' or any religious leader. Mateo being a Pentecostal fundamentalist was most likely fueled by the passage in 1 Peter 3:1 and Ephesians 5:22-24 where it says for wives to submit to their husbands. However, these words are often misinterpreted to have a misogynistic meaning. Men and women are equal. Woman is described as coming from the side of man showing that both stand side by side (Genesis 2:21-24). Men should never be seen or treated as better or superior to women. These verses entail an analogy of comparing the Church as bride and the groom Christ. The Church submits to Christ, obviously. However, these verses tell women and men that they are to cherish one another with the man given the responsibility to protect his wife just like Christ cherishes His bride. St. Pope John Paul II touches on this in 1988 when he wrote his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem,

"that this way of speaking… is to be understood and carried out in a new way: as a “mutual subjection out of reverence for Christ” (cf. Eph. 5:21). This is especially true because the husband is called the “head” of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church; he is so in order to give “himself up for her,” and giving himself up for her means giving up even his own life (24)."

A wife is not the personal property of man or his punching bag when he is frustrated. She is his partner. His equal, his lover, his best friend. Both must cherish each other, protect each other and love each other in good times and bad times. Let us pray for Noelia's and Mateo's family, especially her grand children who witnessed this horror. May she rest in peace and may Mateo truly find the real Christ, not the one Pentecostalism created.


What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules for commenting.





Source:

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-four-dead-three-wounded-brooklyn-shooting-20191012-cfsw3povc5hzvcn7ljy5l7s66q-story.html

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/10/11/man-accused-of-hacking-ex-wife-to-death-arrested/

https://abc7ny.com/ex-husband-in-custody-after-woman-run-over-slashed-with-machete/5611015/

http://www.news12.com/story/41172508/family-relieved-after-police-arrest-husband-in-fatal-machete-car-attack

https://www.lateja.cr/sucesos/pastor-atropello-y-mato-a-machetazos-a-su-exmujer/KB4SQHFAWVGRJNJSC55NH3N4GE/story/

http://www.diarioextra.com/Noticia/detalle/400636/pastor-endemoniado-mata-ex-a-machetazos

https://youtu.be/4gJsEQTfyyw

https://youtu.be/xuFx5vzEhwA

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Religious-Organization/Christian-Congregation-The-Redemptor-Inc-224190821096903/

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Cardinal Sarah Defends Pope Francis

It is not news that so-called "traditionalists" hate Pope Francis. Some have even prayed for his death and tried to justify it, theologically speaking. The pastoral take on the papacy which Pope Francis has introduced has rubbed them the wrong way.

Despite Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI showing approval of Pope Francis' changes, these Catholics still show hate. Some have even tried to use Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Sarah as support for their anti-Francis movement.

Well, Cardinal Sarah made them look really foolish with recent statements he made which were publish. He said these during an interview published Oct. 7 in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily paper:





"Every Pope is 'right' for his time. Providence understand us very well, you know? Even with the obvious differences in sensibilities, there is a great harmony and great continuity between Francis and Benedict XVI."
“The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the vicar of Christ, that is by the pope. And whoever is against the pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church,”
“The truth is that many people write not to give witness to the truth, but to place people against one another, to damage human relationships,” he said. “The truth doesn’t matter to them.”
“Those who place me in opposition to the Holy Father cannot present a single word of mine, a single phrase or a single attitude of mine to support their absurd - and I would say, diabolical - affirmations,” Sarah said. “The devil divides, sets people against each other.”

On those Catholics attacking the pope, Sarah said,

“are quick to hurl anathemas at those who do not follow their line of thought,”
“The history of the Church is beautiful, and reducing it to a political battle typical of a television talk show is a marketing ploy, not a search for truth.”
"Those who place me in opposition to the Holy Father cannot present a single word of mine, a single phrase or a single attitude of mine to support their absurd – and I would say, diabolical – affirmations, the devil divides, sets people against each other."

The statements have left many so-called "traditionalists" besmirched and dumbfounded, including Dr. Taylor Marshal who was left at a loss for words and simply asked his followers for their thoughts on Twitter. Here we have Cardinal Sarah defending Pope Francis and even calling those who oppose the pope as originating from the devil himself. Those are powerful words!

I made similar comments last week on Catholic blogger @CatholicLisa's Facebook page when she posted something that brought in many anti-Francis comments. Like Cardinal Sarah, I made it clear that God allows a particular pope to reign during a particular period in time. We may not understand why and it is not our place to do so. We are creatures of the Creator. He created the Church on Peter and directs her in the way He wants. We have no say in it nor should we even dare to. This is part of being humble and obedience. It is also a part of honoring those in authority, in this case the pope who is our shepherd and father or papa (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/02/ill-mannered-children-disrespecting-pope.html). Calling the pope a heretic or anti-pope is beyond the scope of the laity, religious or even priests and bishops. It is shameful to see even priests abusing their authority to make such statements or insinuations online. Thankfully not all laity do this.






Canon law says:

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Can. 752 While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ's faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.

Can. 754 All Christ's faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which lawful ecclesiastical authority issues for the purpose of proposing doctrine or of proscribing erroneous opinions; this is particularly the case of those published by the Roman Pontiff or by the College of Bishops.

Can. 1370 §1 A person who uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; if the offender is a cleric, another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, may be added according to the gravity of the crime.

The office of the Papacy must be respected by all Catholics, ordained, lay or religious. This is a must if one considers him or herself a Catholic. It is find to disagree with a pope when the pope speaks on something that is not faith or morals related. However, it is not fine to attack him for being pastoral or proclaiming the faith. It is not up to the laity or anyone else to monitor the pope's words and declare them heretical.

Here is some reaction from Catholic Twitter users:





Cardinal Sarah tweeted support for Pope Francis and even for the Amazon Synod which has met contention from so-called "traditionalists" online. This is a sharp contrast of what they often presented Cardinal Sarah as being in regards to his relationship with the Roman Pontiff.

What are your thoughts? Share them below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules for commenting.







Source:

https://cnstopstories.com/2019/10/09/cardinal-sarah-to-oppose-the-pope-is-to-be-outside-the-church/

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2019/10/09/cardinal-sarah-to-oppose-the-pope-is-to-be-outside-the-church/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/cardinal-sarah-oppose-pope-be-outside-church

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/12109/cardinal-sarah-backs-pope-condemns-divisive-agents-of-the-devil-




Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Scalfari: Pope Does not Believe Christ is Divine

Once again, Pope Francis is being accused of being a heretic indirectly. He again fell victim to the dishonest atheist reporter Dr. Eugenio Scalfari who last year claimed that the pope denied the existence of hell (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2018/03/pope-says-hell-does-not-exist.html). Scalfari is known for not taking notes down or not using a recording device during interviews. He relies on memory for his reporting. This has problem devasting because of his misquoting antics and misrepresentation.

In his recent column, he claims that Pope Francis denied the divinity of Christ during a discussion in the past. In other words, Pope Francis came out as believing in Arianism. In the October 9th publication of La Repubblica, Scalfari writes:

"Those who, as it has happened many times with me, have had the luck of meeting him and speaking to him with the greatest cultural intimacy, know that Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate."
"Once incarnate, Jesus stops being a God and becomes a man until his death on the cross."
"When I had the chance of discussing these sentences, Pope Francis told me: 'They are the proven proof that Jesus of Nazareth, once having become a man, was, though a man of exceptional virtues, not at all a God.'"

Immediately, the Catholic blogosphere took to the keyboard to write all kinds of reactionary commentaries. Among them is the Catholic tabloid site Rorate Caeli which is bent on slandering the pope and creating narratives painting him to be a heretic of antipope. The blog writes:

"Now, obviously, as it has often happened with Francis' informal interviews with Eugenio Scalfari, some will try to deny the veracity of what Scalfari, a seasoned journalist, affirms.

Let us just recall, for the record of events, that there is no reason to doubt its general accuracy. We are way past the time of doubting the general accuracy of the Scalfari quotes."

Others chose to be charitable and tell the truth. Clerics who are known for their scholarship and orthodoxy defended the pope and showed how the alleged comments do not make sense in light of previous statements:







Immediately, the Vatican denounced the words with a statement:

"As already stated on other occasions, the words that Dr. Eugenio Scalfari attributes in quotation marks to the Holy Father during talks with him cannot be considered a faithful account of what was actually said but represent a personal and free interpretation of what he heard, as appears completely evident from what is written today regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ.”

Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See’s press office, said in a statement. However, the statement failed to outright deny that the pope made the statement directly. In any event, we know from previous statements that the pope does not deny the divinity of Christ. Anyone who believes Scalfari is, for lack of a better word, a moron.




What do you think? Post your comment below on Disqus. Be sure to follow the rules for commenting.





Source:

https://rep.repubblica.it/pwa/editoriale/2019/10/08/news/sinodo_francesco_e_lo_spirito_dell_amazzonia-238040628/?ref=RHPPTP-BH-I235134168-C12-P1-S1.4-T1

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-dont-believe-scalfari-report-that-pope-francis-denied-christs-divinity-52026

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/scalfari-pope-francis-told-me-jesus-incarnate-was-man-not-all-god

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2019/10/francis-to-favorite-journalist-jesus.html

https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2019/10/09/did-pope-francis-really-say-that-jesus-isnt-god/

Monday, October 7, 2019

Alex Trebek in Real Jeopardy

Famed game show host Alex Trebek is facing his last days it seems based on some comments he made recent.  The Canadian has been battling stage 5 pancreatic cancer, a cancer which has very low odd of survival.  Back in September he announced that he would have to go through another round of chemo therapy. This announcement contradicted a previous one where he claimed that his cancer was in remission. He credited the prayers of the people for this. 

His most recent words seems to indicate that this new round is not working and that the cancer may be winning the battle. Only time will tell what happens. We wish Alex Trebek the best and continue to pray for him. Only God has the final say. Prayers are not meant to be requests made at a wishing well that come true. That is fairy tale material. Prayer is meant to lift the soul to God and remind us that we are dependent on God.  Whether or not God answers or how He answers is up to God.  All we know is that God answers the prayers in the way we needed them answered. He is not a genie granting wishes and desires to man. 



Source:

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/alex-trebek-says-hes-nearing-163300413.html

https://news.yahoo.com/host-alex-trebek-says-hes-230048513.html

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/alex-trebek-says-doesnt-fear-210426997.html

Sunday, October 6, 2019

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Faith Has the Final Laugh

Today's readings tell us about having faith.

In the first reading, we read of the prophet Habakkuk who is witnessing a tragedy in 7th century Judah before Christ. He is witnessing violence and ruin. As a result, he complains to God as to why he has to see this and why God does not intervene.  God simply says in response to write things down so that all can read it.  He describes the event as a vision that has "its time" and "presses on to fulfillment."  What this means is that God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). God can bring good out of evil (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28). In today's world, we wonder many times why God allows evil. On the news, we see children being killed around the world in war, on the streets, and via abortion.

 In New York City, four homeless men were beaten to death as they slept, a woman's current boyfriend shot and killed her ex in front of their child, and a husband ran over his wife multiple times, then stabbed and hacked at her body with a machete.  We see tragedies in our own neighborhoods or cities. We see people become victims of crime; perhaps even ourselves. These bad things bring us to complain to God: "Why!?"  We get upset and shout either internally or maybe even externally, "Where are you!?" This is the typical human response because humans are finite creatures.  They can only see things based on their senses and perception of space and time. This brings about all kinds of anxieties. It can lead to doubting and even atheism. These doubts can make a person rebellious. He or she stops caring. Yesterday, I saw the Joker movie which touches on this. The famous villain from the Batman series is portrayed as a loner with mental illness who is bullied and taken advantage of. He questions why people have to be rude, nasty and bad. The world turned him into the villain that he became. While a work of fiction, the movie shows how hardships in life can turn people vengeful and bitter. We cannot allow this to happen to us. Life is not easy we often hear. This is because of the way man has set up life in society. We must live a life that way God intended.

Imagine if we knew the day we were going to die. Do you think we will live our lives carelessly or make rigid plans? The answer is no. We will try to live each day to the best of our ability because we already know that the hourglass is pouring away. Our perspective would change if we had the ability to know our expiration day beforehand, so to speak.  However, this is not how life works. We are conceived, born and grow. We do not know what will happen a minute from now, less when we will die. Only God knows these things (Psalm 139:2). Because we do not know, we worry. When we worry, we lose hope. When we lose hope, we lose faith; and when we lose these, we lose charity or love. Life then becomes a survival of the fittest contest where we believe in nothing and love no one but ourselves. This is why God tells Habakkuk, "The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live." We must have faith. We must trust God even in horrible times when it feels like God packed up His bags and went on vacation, so to speak (Psalm 37:5).

At all times, especially bad ones, we must look to Jesus for faith (Hebrews 12:2). We must not harden our hearts like the Jews did, as we are told in the Responsorial Psalm, which is used as the Gospel Canticle for Lauds or morning prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours. Instead, we must sing to God joyfully and praise Him. At Mass and in our private prayer time, we bow and kneel before Him in prayer and worship. This is a gesture of humility before God. We surrender to God and let Him flood us with grace. Before God, we are "half" the person we think we are. The act of kneeling or bowing represents this physically. We cannot stand eye to eye, shoulder to shoulder with God. God and man are not equals. He is our God and we are His people, the flock He cares for, as the Psalm states. However, we must not do like the Hebrews at Meribaha where they challenged God (Exodus 17:7, Numbers 20:13).  While there, they denied God and questioned His care and omnipotence. We must not become ungrateful after witnessing in our lives the wonders God worked just like the Hebrews who saw great wonders and then doubted (Luke 7:9).

Our hearts cannot be hardened in times of desperation and trial. We must be the just one who perseveres (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11). God will not give us anything we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). The Spirit we have received from Him is not a cowardly one, as the second reading tells us.  This Spirit brings us to be patient and self-controlled. We bear things from the world and even from among each other in the Church. Because of this Spirit, we must be courageous and have faith (Matthew 8:26). We must not be ashamed of the Gospel nor scared to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. People may mock us, and they surely will, but we must bear it for the sake of the Lord (Matthew 10:18). God will not be mocked and those who denied Him or were ashamed of Him will have to face Him at death or the end of times (Matthew 10:33, Galatians 6:7).  God will never abandon us and promised to be with us until the end of time (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20).  When you are mocked or persecuted for your Catholic faith, smile. Smile because you know you are doing the right thing. This world hates God, so it will never be on your side or the side of our Catholic Church (John 15:18-19). That being said, do not expect to be comfortable as a Catholic in this world.

Finally, in the Gospel, we read how the disciples ask Jesus for more faith. They do this because Jesus expected so much from them as you can see if you read the verses before verse 5. To their request, Jesus says that if they have the faith the size of a mustard seed, they would be able to tell mulberry trees to uproot themselves and plant themselves in the sea.  The trees would obey! Jesus was using hyperbole to make a point on how powerful faith is. The uprooting of trees means that any difficult challenge in our lives that may be rooted deep like a tree is not a permanent obstacle. It can be uprooted!  Mulberry trees can grow up to nearly 50 feet. I mention this to give some physical perspective of how big of an organism this is and which is not easy to move. St. John Chrysostom states "The mulberry may be also compared to the devil, for as by the leaves of the mulberry tree certain worms are fed, so the devil, by the imaginations which proceed from him, is feeding for us a never-dying worm; but this mulberry tree faith is able to pluck out of our souls, and plunge it into the deep (Quoted in Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers: St. Luke, ed. John Henry Newman, vol. 3 (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1843), 581.)."  Jesus then tells the parable regarding servants and their proper place in the house of the master. He reminds them that no master tells his servants to come to eat with him after they have tended the sheep and plowed the field. Jesus is reminding the disciples and us today that the work of the vineyard of the Lord is not a simple chore that we do. We must earn our keep, so to speak. We must work hard in our spiritual lives before we can be invited by the Master to sit and eat with Him.  Our spiritual life is not something we start and end when we receive a Sacrament or go to Mass.  It is an ongoing process and maturation, learning and purification.

Our Protestant brethren who believe in the heretical view that one must simply accept Jesus and one is saved must really meditate on today's Gospel. Such a pretense to salvation is vanity (1 Corinthians 10:12). St. Ambrose says, "Know that you are a servant overwhelmed by very much obedience. You must not set yourself first, because you are called a son of God. Grace must be acknowledged, but nature not overlooked. Do not boast of yourself if you have served well, as you should have done. The sun obeys, the moon complies, and the angels serve.… Let us not require praise from ourselves nor prevent the judgment of God and anticipate the sentence of the Judge but reserve it for its own time and Judge ("Exposition on the Gospel of Luke 8.31-32", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 245.)." We must work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12). Faith without works is dead and does not save (James 2:14-26).  St. Cyril of Alexandria tells us, "But which of you having a servant ploughing or feeding cattle ... In the verses which precede a long and important discourse has been addressed to us by the Lord, to shew unto us the paths which lead unto honour, and to manifest the glories of the blameless life, that making progress therein, and advancing zealously unto whatsoever is admirable we may attain unto “the prize of our high calling” [Philippians 3:14]. But since it is the nature of the mind of man ever to be carried away unto vaingloriousness, and to be afflicted most readily with a tendency thereto; and since a pretext for this fault is often given by the being distinguished before God for some of the noblest virtues; and since it is a sin grievous and hateful unto God:—for the serpent, the author of evil, leads men sometimes into such a state of mind, as for them to imagine perhaps that God even owes them the highest honours, when their life is glorious and distinguished:—to draw us away from such passions, He sets before us the purport of the lessons which have just been read, teaching us thereby, under the form of an example, that the might of sovereign authority demands everywhere of its slaves subjection as a debt. For the lord, He says, will not acknowledge any gratitude to the slave, even if all that is due be done by him, according to what becomes the condition of a slave (A Commentary upon the Gospel to Saint Luke, Sermons CXIII-CXVI)."

We must respond to grace with faith and put that faith into action. Even faith the size of a mustard seed is efficacious. St. Augustine says "A mustard seed looks small. Nothing is less noteworthy to the sight, but nothing is stronger to the taste. What does that signify but the very great fervor and inner strength of faith in the church ("Sermon 246.3", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 267.)?"  We must have faith always. This faith will carry us a long way and will uproot those mulberry trees in our path to God. We grow in faith by prayer and listening to God in His Word (Romans 10:17). This word softens our hearts and brings us to put faith into practice by hoping and loving God and our neighbor (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).  Do not become like the Hebrews in the desert who hardened their hearts. Do not panic like Habakuk in times of trial nor be afraid (Revelation 2:10, Revelation 3:10). Instead, have faith in God.  Persevere and fight the good fight (Romans 12:12, Colossians 1:11-12, Galatians 6:9, James 1:12, 1 Timothy 6:12). In the end, faith has the last laugh.  May Jesus Christ be praised!   





Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/100619.cfm



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Friday, October 4, 2019

Atheists File Complaint Against Judge Kemp


As reported in this post (https://www.sacerdotus.com/2019/10/brandt-jean-18-brother-of-botham-jean.html), there has been an outpouring of disapproval of the act of forgiveness exhibited by the brother of Botham Jean, Brandt Jean. Some have oddly equated the act as a form of white supremacy while others call the act a display of an "Uncle Tom." Some have tweeted that Brandt brought shame to the black community and that he has to be kicked out of it. The response is truly disgusting and shows the level of coldheartedness that some have adopted. It is borderline psychopathic.



After going after him, some went after the judge, Tammy Kemp, particularly atheists. The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. They claimed that the judge went too far in her display on the court. The judge not only cried but also hugged the convict Amber Guyger and even gave her a personal Bible. This came after giving her talk on the Bible. Here is video from Court TV:





Here is the complaint that Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor filed:

October 3, 2019
State Commission on Judicial Conduct
PO Box 12265
Austin TX 78711
Re: Judge Tammy Kemp, Judge of the Texas 204th Judicial District, proselytizing
in her official capacity
Dear Commissioners:
We are writing on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to raise possible
violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct by Judge Tammy Kemp of the 204th
Judicial District. FFRF is a national nonprofit organization with more than 30,000
members across the country, including more than 1,300 members in Texas and an
active state chapter. We protect the constitutional principle of separation between
state and church.
Judge Kemp tried Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger in her courtroom
from Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2019, for the murder of Botham Jean. We write to raise your
awareness of Judge Kemp’s actions at the close of the trial — during which she
gifted a Christian bible, instructing the convicted criminal on how to read the bible
and which passages to pay attention to, and witnessing to that convicted murderer.
These proselytizing actions overstepped judicial authority, were inappropriate and
were unconstitutional.
Courtroom video shows that after the sentencing and the victim impact statement,
Judge Kemp left the courtroom, then returned holding her personal bible. She
walked over to Amber Guyger at the defense table and proceeded to preach:
You can have [my Bible]. I have three or four more at home. This is the one I
use every day. [inaudible] This is your job for the next month. You read right
here: John 3:16. And this is where you start, ‘For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever…’ You stop at ‘whosoever’ and
say, ‘Amber, [inaudible] You start with the Gospels. Then [inaudible]. You
read this whole book of John. [inaudible] [inaudible, but likely where judge
said: This will strengthen you. You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith.
You start with this.] This has been put in front of you for a reason.
[inaudible] He has a purpose for you. There is no reason why [inaudible]1
1 Law & Crime Network video of the event, Oct. 2, 2019. Available at youtu.be/h7FkaL5GCZY. WFAA video of
the courtroom, Oct. 2, 2019. Available at youtu.be/9bPo2Dq7iK8. Other sections of this quote were pieced
2
Judge Kemp then hugged Guyger and said to her, “It’s not because I’m good. It’s
because I believe in Christ. I’m not so good. You haven’t done as much as you think
you have, and you can be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time.
What you do now matters.”2
The exchange was four minutes long. Much of this exchange appears, as of now, to
be inaudible, and the sound cut out more than 30 seconds before the hug, but what
is audible is sufficient to show an ethics violation. We do not yet know whether it
was transcribed (that itself is problematic).
We understand that it was an emotional moment, particularly when the victim’s
brother, Brandt Jean, publicly forgave and hugged Guyger. It is perfectly acceptable
for private citizens to express their religious beliefs in court, but the rules are
different for those acting in a governmental role. We, too, believe our criminal
justice system needs more compassion from judges and prosecutors. But here,
compassion crossed the line into coercion. And there can be few relationships more
coercive than a sentencing judge in a criminal trial and a citizen accused and
convicted of a crime.
It appears from the exchange that Guyger may not have identified as Christian, but
Guyger’s religion does not change the constitutional or ethical analysis. Even were
Guyger an avowed devout Christian,3 the gesture would still have been
inappropriate and unconstitutional because Judge Kemp was acting in her official
governmental capacity.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said time and again that the First Amendment
“mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between
religion and nonreligion.” McCreary Cty., Ky. v. Am. Civil Liberties Union of Ky.,
545 U.S. 844, 860 (2005); Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 53 (1985); Epperson v.
Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 104 (1968); Everson v. Bd. of Educ. of Ewing, 330 U.S. 1, 15-
16 (1947). The government must remain neutral toward religion because “the
preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility
and a choice committed to the private sphere.” Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe,
530 U.S. 290, 310 (2000).
In their personal capacity, citizens may freely worship and exercise their religious
beliefs in any way they see fit. In their official capacity as government officials, they
are bound by the Establishment Clause.
together by first-hand reporting from Jason Trahan, “‘You start with this’: Judge Tammy Kemp gives Amber
Guyger a Bible after sentencing,” WFAA, Oct. 2, 2019. Available at bit.ly/2IhTn9c 2 Id. specifically, Trahan. 3 In fact, Judge Kemp read from the New International Version of the bible, a translation by evangelicals for
evangelicals (as admitted in its preface). So if Guyger is a Catholic or Baptist, this would still be coercive in
another respect.
3
Judge Kemp is free to attend church as a private citizen. She may even proselytize
in her private life or teach Sunday school, and so forth. However, it violates a vital
constitutional principle for a sitting judge to promote personal religious beliefs
while acting in her official capacity. She was in a government courtroom, dressed in
a judicial robe, with all of the imprimatur of the state, including armed law
enforcement officers, preaching to someone who was quite literally a captive
audience, and even instructing her on which bible verses to read! The judicial office,
title, trappings, and power belong to “We the People,” not to the office’s temporary
occupant. Delivering bibles and personally witnessing as a judge is an egregious
abuse of power.
Judge Kemp transmitted her personal religious beliefs as a state official in an
official proceeding of the gravest nature, a setting that imposed on everyone in the
courtroom: attorneys, staff, family members and the convicted.
This was a widely publicized trial that every attorney in Judge Kemp’s district
watched, along with much of the rest of the nation. Judge Kemp effectively signaled
to everyone watching—defendants and attorneys alike—that she is partial to
Christian reform and Christian notions of forgiveness.
Judge Kemp otherwise appears to have handled a difficult trial with grace and
aplomb, but that cannot excuse her inappropriate and unconstitutional actions,
which are a serious abrogation of the freedom of conscience protected by our First
Amendment and by Article I, Section 6 of the Texas Bill of Rights.
We respectfully ask that you investigate these actions for violations of the Code of
Judicial Conduct, especially canons 1, 2, 3, and 4C, and that you take all
appropriate steps to ensure no future misconduct. Thank you for your time and
attention to this matter.
Very truly,
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor

I must admit, the display is a bit odd. In fact, I somewhat agree with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They do have a point that the judge is supposed to remain neutral and that religion should not be presented in a governmental setting by an official of the government. This judge does appear to be proselyting in a tax paid court during official court hours. Then again, I am not familiar with any rule that prohibits this. Let us not forget that courts do display the motto "In God We Trust" behind the judge's desk and that Bibles are used to swear upon. If this display of religion is allowed, then why not the one this judge displayed? I am curious to learn how far the complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation goes.  As we all know, no one pays mind to this small group that profits off the naive.  They simply serve as whiners and troublemakers and offer nothing constructive to the American way.  In fact, they even charge for membership and ask for donations while criticizing Churches who have collections.  See here from their website:


In any event, they do bring up some important points regarding this display by Judge Kemp.  For those wondering, I am concerned at the judge's display because what if it were a Muslim judge who gave Koran to a convicted person and read it to him or her? What if it was an atheist judge who promoted his or her views to a convict? This is concerning.

What do you think? Post below on Disqus. Remember to follow the rules for commenting.




Source:

https://ffrf.org/images/1JudgeKempletter.pdf

https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2019/10/03/freedom-religion-foundation-complaint-against-judge-tammy-kemp-amber-guyger-bible/

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/10/03/1925063/0/en/Statement-on-the-Complaint-Filed-by-Freedom-From-Religion-Foundation-Against-Dallas-Texas-Judge-Tammy-Kemp.html

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Judge-Kemps-Hug-Not-Embraced-by-All-After-Guygers-Trial-562089651.html

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2019/10/03/right-judge-amber-guyger-case-talk-religion-give-bible/

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