Tag Archives: catholic



We need saints without veil or cassock.
We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers.
We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends.
We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their power.
We need saints who have time everyday to pray and who know how to date in purity and chastity, or who consecrate their chastity.
We need modern saints, Saints of the 21st century with a spirituality that is part of our time.
We need saints committed to the poor and the necessary social changes.
We need saints who live in the world and who are sanctified in the world, who are not afraid to live in the world.
We need saints who drink Coke and eat hot dogs, who wear jeans, who are Internet-savvy, who listen to CDs.
We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on weekends with friends.
We need saints who like movies, the theater, music, dance, sports.
We need saints who are social, open, normal, friendly, happy and who are good companions.
We need saints who are in the world and know how to taste the pure and nice things of the world but who aren’t of the world.

Now, I love the sentiment of the poem. I wholeheartedly believe the Church needs lay men and women to become saints “without veil or cassock”, saints who are willing to live in the world but not of the world.

Unfortunately, this poem has been mis-attributed as a direct quote from Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, an event that will continue through this week.

Thus far, the original source of the poem can not be found. The first English version of the poem appeared online as early as 2010.

Most blogs that have posted the poem attributed it Pope John Paul II, but there is no official Vatican copy or any sort of official source.

It seems most likely that this poem was written by someone in Brazil who was inspired by the words of Blessed John Paul II, and it was then translated into English years later.

What’s sad about this mis-attribution is that it means we’re missing all of the great things Pope Francis really did say in his address. A few of my favorite quotes:

“I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ!” (Pope Francis, WYD 2013)

“Christ has confidence in young people and entrusts them with the very future of his mission, ‘Go and make disciples.’ Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters! And young people have confidence in Christ: they are not afraid to risk for him the only life they have, because they know they will not be disappointed.” (Pope Francis WYD 2013).


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Mixed Marriage

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July 23, 2013 · 11:24

WE are the majority

WE are the majority

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July 23, 2013 · 07:22

Back to the Future

Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win ‘indulgences’ by following World Youth Day on Twitter

  • Tom Kington in Rome
  • The Guardian, Tuesday 16 July 2013 
Pope Francis, at Vatican

A court of the Catholic church, led by Pope Francis, above, warns that the faithful cannot obtain lesser punishment just by ‘chatting online’. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis’ tweets.

The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.

But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.

“You can’t obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate’s house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.

But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.

Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican’s sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the “rites and pious exercises” of the event on television, radio and through social media.

“That includes following Twitter,” said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis’ Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. “But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on the internet.”

In its decree, the penitentiary said that getting an indulgence would hinge on the beneficiary having previously confessed and being “truly penitent and contrite”.

Praying while following events in Rio online would need to be carried out with “requisite devotion”, it suggested.

Apart from the papal Twitter account, the Vatican has launched an online news portal supported by an app, a Facebook page, and it plans to use the online social networking site Pinterest.

“What really counts is that the tweets the Pope sends from Brazil or the photos of the Catholic World Youth Day that go up on Pinterest produce authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone,” said Celli.

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E.W. Jackson, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Says Yoga May Result In Satanic Possession

Dominique Mosbergen   |   Jun 05, 2013

E.W. Jackson, Virginia’s GOP lieutenant governor candidate, is no stranger to controversy. A conservative pastor, Jackson has previously come under fire for comparing Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan, calling gay rights “ikky” and saying President Barack Obama has a “Muslim perspective.”

This week, Jackson is being skewered yet again — this time for saying that doing yoga may leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possession

In a post for the National Review on Wednesday, Betsy Woodruff highlighted some quotes from Jackson’s 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True. Among them was one about the hazards of yoga.

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana,” Jackson wrote in his book, according to Woodruff. “The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.”

“Behind the ice-cold eyes of Lululemon princesses burn the demonic flames of eternal hell,” joked Atlantic Wire’s Elspeth Reeve this week in response to Jackson’s comment.

Despite the criticism Jackson has endured for his many controversial statements, he has not apologized for them

“I don’t have anything to rephrase or to apologize for,” he said in May. “I would just say, people should not paint me as one-dimensional. I have a whole lot of concerns.”



Catholic church bans yoga class (26 September 2012)

A row has erupted over a priest banning yoga from a church hall because the class was “not compatible” with the Catholic faith.
Instructor Cori Withell said the classes she booked for yoga and pilates at St Edmund’s Church building in Southampton were  cancelled with 10 days to go, and was told by the booking secretary of  the church that it was because yoga is a Hindu religious activity.
Father John Chandler from the church said that the hall has to be used for Catholic  activities and he banned it because it was advertised as “spiritual  yoga”. The ban is not Catholic Church policy and decisions are left to  the discretion of individual priests. Some Catholic retreats use yoga  for relaxation.
Ms Withell, 37, from nearby Eastleigh, said the church accepted the booking two months ago and she paid £180.  She was called later and told that yoga was from another religion so she could not have the hall. A separate pilates class she had booked was  also cancelled.
“I had never heard about any religious issue with  yoga before but I have looked into it since and found that some other  religions feel that when people meditate it could let the devil inside  them,” she said.
“But there was never any meditation in my class – it was just exercises. Yoga is not religious: spiritual, but not religious. I do not object to  anyone having a religious viewpoint, but it seemed terribly petty to  cancel the classes. As a nation we have an obesity epidemic. I was  trying to bring some exercise to the community and coming across blocks  like this is frustrating. I offered to go down and show them the moves  and, literally, the shutters came down.”
Fr Chandler said the church was “misled” by Ms Withell’s booking because he claimed that, at first, the hall was booked for pilates and then he found out  it was also for spiritual yoga.
“Yoga is a Hindu spiritual  exercise. Being a Catholic church we have to promote the gospel and  that’s what we use our premises for. We did say that yoga could not take place. It’s the fact that it’s a different religious practice going on  in a Catholic church,” he explained. 
“On one hand we say to our  parishioners ‘be strong in your faith’, and on the other hand there’s  this other religious belief that’s not part of our faith. It’s not  compatible. We are not saying that yoga is bad or wrong.”
A  spokesman for Portsmouth Catholic Diocese said: “It’s not possible for  Catholic premises to be used for non-Christian activities and there is a dilemma with yoga as it can be seen as Hindu meditation or as  relaxation. There is no national policy on this and the decision is for  each priest.”
In a further statement the diocese said: “If the  parish can be assured that the Pilates is not using any of the spiritual aspects of yoga then the booking can go ahead.”

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Scottish Christian Scotland ‘hostile to Catholics’

June 3, 2013

Photo: Prof Tom Devine

Prof Tom Devine

It was a description of the country that seemed alien and shocking to liberal Scots: a place that was “a hostile environment for Catholics to live”.

The comments, by the director of communications for the Scottish Catholic media office, Peter Kearney, are now causing more controversy, even among Catholics.

Leading historian Tom Devine – himself a Catholic – told the Sunday Herald that Kearney was promoting a “lingering sense of victimhood”.

An admittedly random sample by the Sunday Herald of those attending mass at a Glasgow church failed to reveal many examples of serious contemporary prejudice.

Kearney, though, refuses to back down. In fact, in an article for today’s Sunday Herald he compares “residual and at times pernicious anti-Catholicism in Scotland” with the institutional racism identified in the Metropolitan Police in 1999.

And he argues that a lack of anecdotal evidence of prejudice fails to prove it does not exist. If a sample of women found no complaints of sexism, no-one would argue that sexism did not exist, he says.

Kearney’s stance has prompted Devine – arguably the foremost authority on modern Scottish history – to say that the communications director “doesn’t speak for anyone apart from himself”.

The Edinburgh University professor added that Kearney’s outlook was “unrepresentative” of the experience of the majority of Scots Catholics, and contradicted data.

“If Scotland is so hostile to Catholics then it’s difficult to comprehend why there has been what I would call a silent revolution in the position of people, particularly those from an Irish Catholic background, over the last generation.

“At the census of 2001, for the first time, the people from that background were in a condition of occupational parity with the rest of Scots,” said Devine.

“In other words, if you look at their social and occupational profile, they no longer stand out, they’re no longer distinctive. They’ve got the same proportion of middle-class people, the same proportion of working-class people, and that had been a revolution.”

Devine’s comments follow criticism from other high-profile Catholics. Reverend Paul Morton, of St Bride’s Roman Catholic Church in Cambuslang, said Kearney’s outlook was “exaggerated and pessimistic”.

Some, though, think that Kearney has a point. Professor John Haldane, a Catholic commentator and professor of philosophy at St Andrews University, recalled being told by his grandfather that the Pope wore a gown “to cover his cloven hooves” and said his own father converted to Catholicism in secret to avoid a row.

While Haldane added that being Catholic had never had any negative effect on his own life or career, he believed there was still a “residue of hostility” in Scotland which many Catholics preferred to ignore.

He said: “There’s an enduring and pervasive sense that Catholicism is something foreign and threatening that we got rid of and we don’t want back.

“So if the question is: ‘Is there a sense of anti-Catholicism in Scotland?’, I’m inclined to say yes. But I think it sometimes doesn’t even know it’s anti-Catholic. It’s 400 years of a rhetoric that sees Catholicism as something alien.

“That rhetoric is not very far away, it’s just beneath the surface. It’s just moved on from being seen as a threat to Presbyterian values, to a threat to secular liberal values.”

• Full story at The Herald

Copyright © 1999 – 2013 Scottish Christian, unless otherwise attributed, including compilations.

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June 6, 2013 · 08:30

I’m Sorry – I Haven’t a Clue

A particular request for a baptism some years ago: “Could we have the bairn done?”

(so tempting to answer “rare or medium?”)

“Are you a member of the Church?”

A look of pitying amusement.

“Well I’d like you to become a member, before we go ahead”

(on one occasion – not this one – “but the invitations have been sent out and the hotel booked”)

“I’d like you to become a member of the Church”

“What?  You mean like going to services on a Sunday?  I didn’t know that you had to do that!  I thought you just put water on his heid and that was it”

“No, there’s a bit more to it than that”  then tried to explain what the “bit more” was.

“So you put the water on the bairn’s heid?”


“And that makes him a Catholic”…………


Thinking about the word “Catholic”….

This sometimes causes problems.

After a Baptism, it is usual to say something along the lines of “We have done as Christ commanded and now (child’s name) is received into membership of the One,Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church….. and so on”

So often, when the word “Catholic” is uttered, the father of the child – and it’s usually the Dad, many of whom one feels are somewhat reluctant to be there – will suddenly waken up and look in horrific disbelief at his better half, as if to say “You’ve brought us to the wrong place!”

(some ministers now use the word “Universal” but a late minister (one of my preprocessors used to pronounce it cathOLIC).


“The wrong place” – the Church is often perceived as being “the wrong place” for some people, many of whom now have their wedding services in hotels.

One occasion comes to mind…..

Bride-to-be: ” Would you be willing to conduct a wedding in a local hotel, because, you see, we’re not really religious”

I suppose I should have asked, “Then why do you want a Minister?” but didn’t.

“What kind of ceremony would it be?”

“Much the same as in a church – Scripture Readings, Prayers, hymns, vows taken in the Sight of God”

“Oh, I don’t want hymns, and no prayers, though I don’t mind God being mentioned…”

“Well, that’s good of you. I’m sure He’ll be delighted  …. but, you know, from what you’ve told me, do you you not think it would be better to have your ceremony at the Registrar’s Office?”

the punch line…….. “But the Registry Office doesn’t have an aisle for me to walk down!”

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November 11, 2012 · 00:05

Jokes by Emo Philips

· When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realised, the Lord doesn’t work that way. So I just stole one and asked Him to forgive me … and I got it!

· So I’m at the wailing wall, standing there like a moron, with my harpoon.”

· A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, “A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …”

· I’m not Catholic, but I gave up picking my belly button for lint.

· When I was a kid my dad would say, “Emo, do you believe in the Lord?” I’d say, “Yes!” He’d say, “Then stand up and shout Hallelujah!” So I would … and I’d fall out of the roller coaster


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Sacrament of the Sick (Last Rites)

A man lay dying and he began to yell out, “I need a priest, I need a priest!”

Another man came along and asked what was wrong.

The dying man said, “I need a priest to give me last rites, I’m dying,” the man said.

“There are no priests around here, but maybe I can help.” I’m not a religious person myself, but I have lived next to the Catholic Church my whole life and I hear their ritual all the time. I think that I can say it for you.”

The dying man said, “Thank You.”

So the helpful man leaned close to the dying man and in a soft voice repeated the ritual as he has heard it so many times:

“B-6, N-33, G-52, I-24, … Bingo.”

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