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November 17, 2008

Cardinal Stafford: Obama is 'apocalyptic'

Baltimore's own James Francis Cardinal Stafford at Catholic University last week. From CUA Tower:

His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,“ and said he campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform,” Thursday night in Keane Auditorium during his lecture “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul.“

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” by beginning a new sentiment where one is “with Jesus, sick because of love.”

The lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, pertained to Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and celebrating its 40 anniversary this year.

Stafford also spoke about the decline of a respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the original values of marriage and human dignity.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” said Stafford, an American Cardinal and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See. “In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

Amazing. From Wikipedia:

James Francis Cardinal Stafford (born July 26, 1932) is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Major Penitentiary in the Roman Curia, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.

James Stafford was born in in Baltimore, Maryland, as the only child of Francis Emmett, the owner of a successful furniture store, and Mary Dorothy (née Stanton) Stafford. He moved from Loyola High School in 1950 to Loyola College in Baltimore with the intent of pursuing a career in medicine, but in 1952, the violent death of a friend caused him to rethink his future and to enter St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, where he earned degrees in arts, theology, and social welfare.

Stafford was ordained (along with Edward Egan another future cardinal) a priest by Bishop Martin John O'Connor on December 15, 1957. He was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and Titular Bishop of Respecta by Archbishop William Donald Borders on January 11, 1976.

In 1982 Stafford was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Memphis. Four years later he was named Archbishop of Denver, in which capacity he served for ten years before being called to Rome. Archbishop Stafford oversaw the events which took place at World Youth Day in 1993.

Named President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on August 20, 1996, he became Cardinal Deacon of Gesù Buon Pastore alla Montagnola in the consistory of 1998.

In 2003 Cardinal Stafford was appointed Major Penitentiary, in which position he oversees matters pertaining to indulgences and the internal forum of the Church. He is one of the highest ranking members of the Roman Curia from the United States and the second American to serve as Major Penitentiary, the other being William Wakefield Baum. His office is one of the few that is not automatically suspended upon the death of the pope, and the only official allowed to be in contact with anyone outside the conclave. Stafford was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.

On the occasion of his 75th birthday in 2007, in accordance with Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, Cardinal Stafford submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Stafford remains eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on July 26, 2012.

On 1 March 2008, Pope Benedict appointed him as Cardinal-Priest of San Pietro in Montorio after being ten years as a cardinal-deacon.

Posted by Jay Hancock at 12:13 PM | | Comments (62)
        

Comments

Catholics are out of touch and fail to understand that we don;t live in a utopia where people don't get abortion, legal or not.

What is their solution? They don't have one....which is why liberals are always looked at as "evil" because they provide the safe, practical, and civil option that many women would pursue anyway.

Catholics ignore this congitive dissonance within their own minds.

I am sad that the Roman Catholic church continues to turn it's back on the grassroots rebellion of Jesus Christ and perpetuate the hierarchy, greed and desire to accumulate passive followers, that he never intended.

This is a regrettable speech that reveals the true nature of conventional Catholicism, I appreciate your account of the Cardinal's words, and would like to know if a full transcript is available.

I am sad that most Roman Catholic Church leaders continue to turn their back on the grassroots rebellion of Jesus Christ and perpetuate the hierarchy, greed and desire to accumulate passive followers, that he never intended.

I can't believe that these people are still harping away about moral behavior of any kind given their own behavior in allowing priests to destroy thousands of innocent lives. Are they so dense as to think that they have any moral credibility or authority? Get rid of these equally perverted bishops and priests and American civilization will have taken a giant step foward!

Dear Cardinal Stafford,
No one is listening to your rants. If Barak Obama is " agressive and disruptive" in your book, then you are positively and irresponsibly destructive. Too bad, you were such a decent guy when your were in Baltimore. Have you been drinking the Tiber water during your time in Rome?

These are the types of Catholic hierarchy that make me ashamed to be a Catholic.

Where does such anger and i will say hate come from?
Did he denounce priest child molesters with the same vehemence?

Because I could really, really see them making Jesus Christ weep.

This kind of inflammatory rhetoric from James Francis Stafford, a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, is an embarrassment and does a disservice to the People of God.

It is divisive and extremist, pandering to the ultra conservative, fundamentalist leaning, single issue segment of the Christian Right.

Barack Obama is our President-elect and Joseph Biden is our Vice President-elect.

Thank God there are other bishops like Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. and Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, D.C. who have not bought into such a diatribe, choosing instead the higher road of respect, dialog and negotiation.

Besides exhibiting a terrible lack of civility, Stafford's boorish behavior will only serve to hasten the loss of the Roman Catholic Church's tax-exempt status.


Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
New Castle, Delaware

So sad. And they wonder why the Church is becoming irrelevant.

BLAH BLAH BLAH. Why all the anger? Sheesh, is this how Jesus would react? Is it because you're having a hard time convincing anyone of this drivel?

I'm thankful to be a recovering Catholic - I don't need hooey like this in my life. And clergy wonder why the numbers of parishioners are dropping?

why doesn't he save his tears for the many live children who have suffered at the hands of catholic priests, american indian and other minority children who were mistreated in catholic schools. it's the " aggressive,
disruptive and apocalyptic" policies
of the catholic church that you need to be fear!

In light of the reports of the sexual victimization of children by Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, Deacons and Nuns (reports that are still coming in every day) ; not to mention the concealment of these crimes by the bishops, archbishops and cardinals of the church (Pope Ratzinger included) I find that any outrage and/or indignation expressed by any representative of this morally bankrupt faith based corporation (i.e: The Roman Catholic Church) to be laughable. Not until the church and it's leaders have cleaned up they're own filthy house, will they be able to criticize others.

Obama must be doing something right. The founders of this nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of secular power on the part of the church, with its inevitable result-- intolerance and persecution. Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines.

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of civil authority; in many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient allies."
-James Madison

This guy is certifiably nutso. How does someone this clearly insane become a Bishop? Maybe because the RC church itself is insane?

Cardinal Stafford's questionable handling of priests accused of molestation:

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_2897894

Thank you, Your Eminence. Your words are powerful and prophetic. When you pointed out that President-elect Obama would kill his own grandchild, it revealed a side of him I had vaguely feared but never contemplated with such clarity.

Also, describing what lay before us as a "Gethsemane" puts the dark days ahead of us in the proper spiritual perspective.

I am a Catholic theologian who teaches a course on Christian Spirituality. We have just finished discussing the connection between the culture war and spiritual warfare, and hopefully they will see the connection in the Cardinal's ominous words. I intend to share this with them.

I think the quote is:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

God loves us all equally.

It never ceases to amaze me when people in power start to lose their grip, their hold on other people, they become really, really nasty. The Catholic church is afraid they're losing their power over the masses. So sad, to see these priests and bishops of this church react with such venom. This proves that they really didn't love their parishoners in the first place, the parishoners were just a source of power to them. And when that's gone, they get panicky and very, very angry.

my fellow Baltimorans!!

You need to stop your typical whiniong and think big. The most fundamental and foundational right is the right to life. I am proud a man such as Stafford hails from Baltimore. At least there is some intellect left from this town.

The Catholic Church hierarchy is a stain on the human race for its unspeakable crimes against thousands of children. Any claim they make of moral judgement against someone else is a sick joke. They have zero moral credibility. Zero.

I'm glad Cardinal Stafford cleared up what he means by "apocalyptic."
He needs now to clear up what he means by "aggressive" and by "disruptive."
The latter might have something to do with coitus interruptus, the former possibly incestuous rape?

A few questions: How many of the readers have read Humanae Vitae? How many of the readers have read Genesis? How many of the readers have taken high school biology (public school is OK)? My recommendation is to read these documents first and then take a short course in biology (you could probably do this on wikipedia) and then make as many recommendations as you like for His Eminence. For you do not understand how life begins and what immense value there is in it. The Church is not the only group of people that believe these truths. Please, read these documents.

Should Roman Catholics be single issue voters? Both of these candidates supported issues in conflict with catholic doctrine. Should McCain supporters repent also?

McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. McCain says we should extend use of the death penalty and implement stricter penalties for violent felons. McCain supported legislation to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and supports banning it for persons under eighteen.

To all of you who love to bring up the child molesting priests. NOT ALL PRIESTS were involved! Whenever you can't handle something a priest, Bishop Cardinal or Pope says because it hurts your sensibilities, you have to accuse them of molesting children. Get over it!
A life should be protected from conception to natural death.

I can't say I am at all surprised by the anti-Catholic venom aimed at a clergyman who expresses the sanctity of innocent human life.

"First they came for the Catholics..."

Sounds like this GOP cleric is being a bit "uppity." Where has Stafford been while the Bushites tortured prisoners, ignored Darfur and New Orleans, spied and wiretapped its citizens, and commited other apocalyptic "sins against humanity." Get a life and a full time job like the rest of your "flock."

Majority posters may not know of Obama's vote in the Illinois Legislature (three times) to allow babies accidentally born after abortions to die in a closet with medical attention denied. This is in addition to his support of abortion in general and at all stages of fetal development. On the other hand, perhaps they do know. BTW the poster who is a nun needs to leave the vocation.

If the good cardinal wishes to make political comments, then we must assume that he is also willing to make all church property and church income subject to taxation. After all, free speech has never really been free of charge.

Frankly, the sad truth is that he probably needs to get laid in order to dissipate his frustrations, like most of the folks at the Vatican.

I think I might take Cardinal Stafford's comments more seriously if the current pope wasnt harboring Bernard Law (a bishop that transfered child molesting priests from church to church as to avoid law enforcement) and if that same pope had not advised keeping it quiet until the statuets of limitations ran out on child molesting priests. I am not sure why we even allow this pedophilia ring known as the catholic church to continue to operate in this country much less give it a tax exemption to encourage its deeds.
Personally I think Cardinal Stafford would be serving his congregation better if he took to task fixing the problems within the catholic church instead of attacking the not yet inogorated first african american president in the hopes of clipping his wings even before he has a chance to govern.
Also the Cardinal did not mention that under bill clinton the number of abortions went down more then any other president while under reagan they went up. Perhaps the democrats are in fact the most pro-life party.
But one thing is for sure the diocese of baltimore should pay its full taxes this year with the Cardinal declaring himself nothing more then a pardison hack.

Why so much hate? The Catholic Church has maintained it's stance on the issue of life for years, yet suddenly when applied to our lifestyles today, it is unpopular. As American's we tolerate almost anything these days accept people telling us what to do. I see a lot of similarities between our lifestyles as a society and what has happened in the economy.
I pray for Obama and I pray for our country because I am concerned for the future of our country. I think the quote by Eisenhower sums it up - “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

Why so much hate? The Catholic Church has maintained it's stance on the issue of life for years, yet suddenly when applied to our lifestyles today, it is unpopular. As American's we tolerate almost anything these days accept people telling us what to do. I see a lot of similarities between our lifestyles as a society and what has happened in the economy.
I pray for Obama and I pray for our country because I am concerned for the future of our country. I think the quote by Eisenhower sums it up - “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

I understand the Catholic Church has its view on the right to life and I respect that, everyone has their views, and one can argue that pro-choice people are defending life as well. However, I do not respect looking at support of the right to life through such a narrow lens as the right or non-right to abortion. The Catholic church is so vehemently and vocally opposed to abortions, but where is this same zeal in fighting against the many wars and conflicts and everyday violent acts taking place around the world that are taking away far more innocent lives everyday than abortion ever could? Where is the Church standing up to say yes we are against abortion, but we are equally against rape and murder being used as tools of subjugation and control in conflicts, children being enslaved as soldiers or prostitutes, the lack of comprehensive sex education and education on prevention of sexual abuse and violence so women don't have to get abortions, poverty and death caused by hunger and preventable illness, young men and women being sent into wars that didn't have to happen with inadequate protection in battle and inhumane treatment upon return, the death penalty and the execution of persons with mental disabilities, racial violence and genocide around the world, or any of the many other issues related not only to the right to actual life but the right to some quality of life? Why is so much of the Church opposed to the principles of liberation theology when that is probably the most in line with the teachings of Christ? And what is the Church doing about clergy around the world who have openly supported or promoted violence against people who support things they feel are in conflict with their teachings? I would call that aggressive and disruptive. Until the Catholic Church stands up and vehemently defends the right to all life, it can keep its arguments on abortion because life may begin in the womb (depending on who you ask), but it certainly doesn't end there.

I am Black American female and a recovering Catholic because of priest and church teachings just like this one. I go really tired of the racism brought into the church as well as its out of touch rules for society. I can work towards good without the Catholic Church's intervention. What a terrible commentary on this priest. May God have mercy on his soul

Why do people think you can legislate choices that people make everyday? The bird brain, sorry the Cardinal says Obama is anti-life because he believes in people making thier on choices. Didn't God give Adam and Eve a choice whether or not to eat of the tree life? The choices that people make in this life will have to be answered too in the next life. How can this Cardinal or any other real believer try and legislate choices? This Cardinal really should stay in his lane, clean up the priests that take advantage of little boys, knowing that God says that kind of hehavior is an abomination to him. Maybe this supposedly spiritual person should be reminded of what Jesus did in the garden, He prayed! Or did the cardinal forget about that too?

Secular people are obvoiusly not the only ones afraid of the transfer of power about to happen. Comments like these remind us that Pope Nicolaus V sanctioned slavery and oppression of the Indians. That and the papal bull at the council of Trent.

Crap like this is why I don't believe in any organized religion.. Esp. the Catholic church in which I was brought up.

I respect everyone's opinion on the pro-life issue. Pro-choice should be just that -- CHOICE!! All religions have views on abortion -- Catholics don't have a monopoly!

Thankfully I'm past the point that I have to decide whether or not to have to make that choice; however, I would like to think that my granddaughter will have the right to make her own choice.

Any church that preaches hate and fear is no church deserving of followers.

This Cardinal's attack, after the secrecy rule of Crimen Sollicitationis to hide sex abuse by priests, is another blow at the Catholic Church by its own leaders.
Pres-elect Barack Obama has also been attacked by some Islamist leader sneering at him.
Regretably, he is installing Wall Street insiders as part of his proposed Cabinet. That's what I fear the most!

Even though I am against abortion , I do believe it is between the parent(s) and God. I will not push my beliefs down their throats. However, I am coming to believe that these anti-abortion people are not against abortion. They are just against white women having abortions because that is adds to the decrease of their race. Do the majority of these people really care if a young African American or Latino girl, especially if they are poor, have a abortion? They propbably would encourage it

Without Life there is no liberty. This Protestant believes the Catholic Church's definitive position on right to life is a lighthouse in a totally dark world. Obama earned his dismal reputation for standing repeatedly against saving the lives of even living babies. People should have thought about this before they voted for him-it tells alot about the person.

Be careful about using the instances of clerical pedophilia and hebophilia against the Church hierarchy. Men who call themselves homosexuals, gay, or the like commit acts of pedophilia in far greater numbers, both relative and absolute, than priests. Does that discredit moral criticism of Church officials when it comes from the mouth of a gay or queer man? Likewise law enforcement officers, teachers, and many other persons in professions have been found to commit acts of pedophilia to a greater degree than Catholic clergymen; does that discredit those professions or comments about morality from their members? Hold the individual accountable for his or her actions, not for the conduct of another in his group. At least the Church has finally taken clear and decision against the few priests who were pederasts. I see no such action coming from the "gay community", in fact quite the opposite.

The critics of Cardinal Stafford's remarks attribute more, and less, to his remarks than he actually said. He tied a decline in our American way of life to the use of contraception and other moral evils. Logically, if you believe that each individual human being is intrinsically good, and a person's worth is not dependent upon whether she is "wanted", rich, physically "perfect", or any other attribute, then you will deplore the loss of so many potential and actual human beings by the use of contraception and the practice of abortion. It might also be reasoned that economic and social troubles arise due to the decline of young citizens and the devaluation of human life by our increasingly perverse culture of death, but surely that is a discussion too lengthy and pithy for blog comment.

Spit out your vituperative hate for the Cardinal, practice the charity to which you seem to subscribe and engage in discussion a knowledgable Catholic who is faithful to the teachings of the Church. You may not end up following the Faith, but at least you will give the Church a fair hearing, as will any truly faithful Catholic should do for you. Semper Fidelis, Mc

Why am I not surprised?

All the Lefty Loonies are back bashing.

They are free to comment on anyone disagreeing with their perspective but let someone comment on the opinions of a man of questionable non-recorded positions and lineage, they go nuts. Who said the radical left was irrational?

God Bless; we'll pray for you.

Do I understand that you only publish opinions with which you agree?

Do I understand that you only publish opinions with which you agree?

I don't approve of you either!

Me thinks that the good Cardinal's collar is a bit tight, or, at least, there is something that is cutting off the circulation to his brain.

I am utterly stunned that anyone, for any reason, could stoop to criticize the Blessed Obama!

I am grateful to almighty God, that some of His servants recognize and honor the sanctity of life! I find the dismissive arrogance of the pro-abortion movement, to be filled with contradictions devoid of reason as they tend to compare lives lost in Iraq as a waste while simultaneously praising the 50 million plus lives lost to this abomination as a Constitutional victory. We are shamed. We are Herod's Bethlehem. Nevertheless Just like then God is still able, in spite of the devil and his minions; Jesus was still born! He still saves and delivers! May God have mercy on His remnant that remains, of which I humbly count myself, blessed to be a part

I wonder if the Cardinal pays any attention to what the Bible says about authorities.

Romans 13 (NIV)

Submission to the Authorities

1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

4 For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.

7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I'm pro-life. But, come election time, I get crummy policies from the Republican candidates, and when they are asked about abortion and the Supreme Court, they say "no litmus test." When the Court nominees go before the Senate, they say nothing about abortion. I'm supposed to accept their weak avoidance as a strong pro-life position?

If Roe were overturned, it wouldn't end abortion - the question would just be fought state by state. So, as a pro-life voter, the Republican party offers me nothing. It's the typical lip service that parties pay their base. I don't know why the Church gets made if I'm not played for a sucker.

I voted for Obama. Voting for McCain wouldn't have done anything to end abortion, and I would be accepting the Republican economic and foreign policy injustices that are against Catholic doctrine.

Stop taking the faithful for fools, please.

The virulent and vicious attacks on the good cardinal are proof that he is right.

What we have done is elect the most pro-abortion and most left-wing President ever. The cultural degeneration that was begun in the 1960s has devolved to a point where a man can think of someone getting "punished with a baby" and preferring the killing of said pre-born baby over the loving act of bringing it into the world.

Those who wish to engage in and push for moral degradation will use any irrational and ugly tool at their disposal - this is why the bishop is personally attacked, this is why irrelevent and false attacks against the church are made, that have nothing to do with the truth of his comments... it's about protecting the lie that immorality should not be challenged in our culture.

To stand up and speak of right and wrong is a grave challenge to those who take the easy path. Human life begins at conception. The moral value of life is something we all should agree on as members of humanity.

Alas, he is casting pearls before swine.

Scanning the responses reveals so much misinformation about the church. The hatred and calumny spilled out in defence of the horror of abortion and against the church is amazing. One lie in particular attributing the support of slavery to Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) when the church since the previous Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447) has ever since formally prescribed automatic excommunication for any Catholic that participates in slavery is particularly offensive. Especially in life issues the church is true to the teachings of the Lord, the messenger is being shot here. On another note, any religious; nun, priest, brother etc who publically fights the teachings of our Lord's church should be careful in leading His "little one's" astray. It must be hard to swim while wearing a millstone. Your reactions to the Cardinal's words speak more about you than about the church. Do your souls a favour, read the biography of Margaret Sanger, carefully. This founder of Planned Parenthood clung to a very illiberal belief system which was much closer to Adolf Hitler than to the Rev. Martin Luther King. Her driving force was the Darwinian inspired desire to improve humanity by eliminating undesirables through birth control and abortion. This should sound familiar to any student of German history circa 1932-1945. Nearly 50 million American abortions since 1973 (35 years when birth control has been wide spread, supported, freely distributed and promoted) more than proves that the church's teachings as reflected in Humane Vitae are "God's honest truth". Reflect on your own short comings, don't "shoot" the messenger.

Scanning the responses reveals so much misinformation about the church. The hatred and calumny spilled out in defence of the horror of abortion and against the church is amazing. One lie in particular attributing the support of slavery to Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) when the church since the previous Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447) has ever since formally prescribed automatic excommunication for any Catholic that participates in slavery is particularly offensive. Especially in life issues the church is true to the teachings of the Lord, the messenger is being shot here. On another note, any religious; nun, priest, brother etc who publically fights the teachings of our Lord's church should be careful in leading His "little one's" astray. It must be hard to swim while wearing a millstone. Your reactions to the Cardinal's words speak more about you than about the church. Do your souls a favour, read the biography of Margaret Sanger, carefully. This founder of Planned Parenthood clung to a very illiberal belief system which was much closer to Adolf Hitler than to the Rev. Martin Luther King. Her driving force was the Darwinian inspired desire to improve humanity by eliminating undesirables through birth control and abortion. This should sound familiar to any student of German history circa 1932-1945. Nearly 50 million American abortions since 1973 (35 years when birth control has been wide spread, supported, freely distributed and promoted) more than proves that the church's teachings as reflected in Humane Vitae are "God's honest truth". Reflect on your own short comings, don't "shoot" the messenger.

CATHOLICS ARE OUT OF TOUCH??? --- CATHOLICS ARE NOT OUT OF TOUCH! THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, ESPECIALLY REGARDING ABORTION, IS TO GO BACK TO OUR SENSES -- RESPECT TO HUMAN LIFE AND THE NATURAL MORAL LAW. YOU HAVE BEEN IGNORING THIS AND COUNTLESS OTHERS LIKE YOU!

When will the time come when we stop labeling one another and see others and ourselves with eyes of love and discernment? Jesus demonstrated those behaviors in his life and so did others like Him.

Great Spiritual leaders reach out to those excluded from acceptance by ones in positions of religious power. Religion can and is very destructive; true Spirituality leaves room for the expression of God's love in our lives.

Yes, many atrocities have occurred throughout history under the guise of religion. Religion is a man made construct. Spirituality comes to us from a Higher Source many refer to as God. We need to move past our egos and identify with Spirit.

Each of us comes from the same Source. All we really are is Energy from the Source living in earth suits. When we launch personal attacks against one another, we only diminish God's expression of love in our own lives. Scripture reminds, “the Kingdom of God is within you." It is time for all of us to focus on our own, individual relationships with a Higher Power and stop trying to remove “the spec that is our neighbor’s eye while ignoring the plank that is in our own.”

God's power is infinite and experienced by peoples of many faiths...Our human minds and egos may not allow ourselves to grasp Truth. Word tells, "the natural man receives not the things of the Kingdom of Heaven, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned."

This time in human history is for coming together in unity. None of us really knows what the future holds. Throughout history, others like the Cardinal attempted to predict the end of time, as we know it. That only serves to put us in fear and people in fear are easier to control. Fear is also the absence of faith, of Love.

The best thing we can do for others and ourselves is to pray that our eyes be open to Truth and we need to do so with an attitude of Love and we need to come together in Unity.

How can God bless a country whose government subsidizes the brutal killings of millions of innocent children? I have to give the Catholic church credit...at least they have the guts to tell it like it is...which is exactly what Jesus did in the Bible. It is clear that most of the people commenting on the page haven't read their New Testaments. Jesus did not preach just love and tolerance, but also repentance and accountability. In Matthew 10:24, he said, "Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Jesus called people out on their sin but loved and accepted the individual. So many Christians today have compromised and watered down their beliefs so much that there's not much of anything left except for some politically correct version of Jesus and Christianity that never existed. I encourage all true believers out there--be strong, be true to Christ, don't falter! We will all be held accountable one day! God bless.

Oh faithless liberals, Why the hate? The good Cardinal is right, and thank the Lord he is faithful to the mission entrusted to him. His reward will be great in Heaven, unlike your own without a change of heart and mind. You will discover at your own judgment before the throne of God that the Cardinal speaks the truth. But it will be too late for you. Repent and believe. Respect for all life because it is the Lord who created it is the most very basic of his demands upon us. Today's Gospel reading is one all of us should ponder - Matthew 25:31:46. In a nutshell, vs 45-46: "'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." If you care abour your eternity, contemplate the Lord, his mission for you, and your faithfulness to him. Pray for your souls. Repent and believe!

Oh faithless liberals, Why the hate? The good Cardinal is right, and thank the Lord he is faithful to the mission entrusted to him. His reward will be great in Heaven, unlike your own without a change of heart and mind. You will discover at your own judgment before the throne of God that the Cardinal speaks the truth. But it will be too late for you. Repent and believe. Respect for all life because it is the Lord who created it is the most very basic of his demands upon us. Today's Gospel reading is one all of us should ponder - Matthew 25:31:46. In a nutshell, vs 45-46: "'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." If you care about your eternity, contemplate the Lord, his mission for you, and your faithfulness to him. Pray for your souls. Repent and believe!

Perhaps history can inform us here. I remember a moral issue that many people were "one-issue voters" on - an issue that is amazingly similar in its particulars. It brought into question whether the state should "impose morality" on a group that saw things differently - the issue of slavery. Some Americans considered slaves human beings, deserving of legal protection - where others believed them to be property - and the law, including Supreme Court decisions - was on their side. Slavery continues to be a blot on the history of this nation, and still has resonance today. The issue of abortion is similar. People that believe that a fetus is a human being, deserving of the inaleinable rights endowed by the creator, can no more "look the other way" on the issue of the destruction of these human lives than the abolitionists in New England could tolerate slavery. I'm afraid that history will judge a society that allowed the extermination of human fetuses for personal convenience quite harshly indeed - as harshly as people today condemn those who held slaves before the mid-1800s, even though that morally abhorrent practice was both socially and legally acceptable.

Whether one agrees with the Cardinal or not is the question. That fact that we can live in a Country were we are free to give a dissenting opinion, however extreme, is what really matters. We enjoy the freedom to express our political and religious views because of the sacrifices of others. We dishonor that sacrifice when we attempt to mute that free speech.

It's referred to as "organized religion" for a reason---no better or different than organized crime.

These are the same people that would have you believe they have authority to change God's law.

All good Catholics should check this out:
http://www.who-is-the-antichrist.org/

Dear TRUTH sets us free, you're right. It does. You however don't have it. The link you cite leads to a comically long winded screed that reduces one to laughter and tears. I'm sure the Lord will be merciful when you meet him and I hope me. God bless.

I am always relieved to see a priest speaking out strongly against legislators who are blatantly and agressively pro-abortion. It's ironic that these bloggers find the Catholic church so outspoken on this issue, but as a Catholic myself who reads Catholic periodicals and websites, sits in the pews on Sundays -- I find that very very few clergy have taken a stand on this -- to my disappointment.

Having said that, I don't think abortion is a religious or secular humanist issue, a Republican or Democrat issues. Abortion simply put is the most recent tool used in the long history of eugenics which has been part of the human story forever. Spartans, Nazis, Americans. The elitists feel that they have this very important job of perserving the whole of society by weeding out the useless, the handicapped, the unwanted, the poor, those with lower IQs -- whatever they decide deems a person unworthy of life. The intelligencia believe they are qualified to decipher who is of value and who is qualified to be called human and deserving of inalienable rights espoused by our founding fathers. We should understand our history, then we will understand that this in not new.

I found this piece which gives some of the details of this history, particularaly for Americans, but of course there is lots of material on this subject if you choose to be informed:
http://www.newswithviews.com/Cuddy/dennis141.htm

Think about this -- the abolitionists were thought to be extreme religious fanatics, as they fought to bring value each and every human life -- entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How do we now percieve these activists -- and do we think that was strictly a religious issue as we look back on it?

I am always relieved to see a priest speaking out strongly against legislators who are blatantly and agressively pro-abortion. It's ironic that these bloggers find the Catholic church so outspoken on this issue, but as a Catholic myself who reads Catholic periodicals and websites, sits in the pews on Sundays -- I find that very very few clergy have taken a stand on this -- to my disappointment.

Having said that, I don't think abortion is a religious or secular humanist issue, a Republican or Democrat issues. Abortion simply put is the most recent tool used in the long history of eugenics which has been part of the human story forever. Spartans, Nazis, Americans. The elitists feel that they have this very important job of perserving the whole of society by weeding out the useless, the handicapped, the unwanted, the poor, those with lower IQs -- whatever they decide deems a person unworthy of life. The intelligencia believe they are qualified to decipher who is of value and who is qualified to be called human and deserving of inalienable rights espoused by our founding fathers. We should understand our history, then we will understand that this in not new.

I found this piece which gives some of the details of this history, particularaly for Americans, but of course there is lots of material on this subject if you choose to be informed:
http://www.newswithviews.com/Cuddy/dennis141.htm

Think about this -- the abolitionists were thought to be extreme religious fanatics, as they fought to bring value each and every human life -- entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How do we now percieve these activists -- and do we think that was strictly a religious issue as we look back on it?

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About Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock has been a financial columnist for The Baltimore Sun since 2001. He has also been The Baltimore Sun's diplomatic correspondent in Washington and its chief economics writer. Before moving to Baltimore in 1994 he worked for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Daily Press of Newport News.

His columns appear Tuesdays and Sundays.
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