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Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’

Vatican praises The Simpsons

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).

I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.

Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.

The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.

The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.

WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican?  What next, Family Guy?

the NAC seminary in Rome

February 5, 2008 3 comments

Tonight, after dinner, we had a presentation about The Pontifical North American College seminary in Rome.  A priest (formation leader) from Rome showed a great video and answered questions about “the NAC.”  When Bishops in the US see potential charism in mature seminarians & priests, they occasionally send them to continue their formation in Rome, usually studying in specific programs that Bishops see a need for in their diocese.
Pontifical North American College in Rome

As a new Pre-Theology seminarian here in little old St John Vianney College minor seminary in Miami, Florida, it was all new to me and very interesting.  For the first 2 years, you don’t leave Rome.  Many of the classes are in Italian.  It sounds like a great opportunity and gift to be chosen, but is a big change and quite intimidating.  That’s probably why they select men who are mature and fairly sure of their priestly vocation for such a big step.  Their website is @ pnac.org.

Gregorian University in ROmeCoincidently, a few days ago, I found a blog of Ted Martin, a seminarian of Kalamazoo, Michigan that is currently in his first year of theological studies at the Gregorian University living at the NAC in Rome.  He’s got some great pictures of his experience in the Vatican.  His blog is @ theodoremartin.blogspot.com  — I’ll definitely check it out every now and then. 

Communion & Liberation

February 2, 2008 2 comments

Christopher Bacich of Communion and Liberation (CL) at St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLCOMMUNION & LIBERATION — this morning was a special presentation in St Raphael Chapel here at St John Vianney College Seminary.  We had a keynote speaker, Christopher Bacich, leader of Communion and Liberation in the USA, introducing the latest book by founder Luigi Giussani called “Is It Possible to Live this Way?”  The lay ecclesial movement, “CL” for short, is worldwide with an active presence here is South Florida.  There are regular meetings nearby the seminary, that do small group spiritual readings (from Luigi Giussani’s books) and discuss their faith experiences together.  Besides priests (like Fr Chris Marino, spiritual director here & pastor of Visitation Parish) and religious who belong to the movement, the movement has consecrated lay men and women who are committed to lifelong celibacy, known as the Memores Domini, who keep things going (one man lives down the street from the seminary).

Christopher Bacich of Communion and Liberation (CL) at St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLThe regular group meetings are called School of Community.  [from flyers they handed out:]  In it, participants learn to perceive the sense of the Mystery, upon which our life depends, and to live the Catholic faith through a companionship within everyday life.  Community life is built through the School of Community, a weekly meeting open to everyone (no membership is needed) and held in places such as high schools, universities, parishes or workplaces with study and discussion about a text.  The text (the same for all communities around the world) communicates the experiences of Father Giussani’s charism in a systematic form that helps us understand our lives and life of the Church and of the world.  In South Florida, here are the current locations for meetings:

For High School students:

For College Students & Professors:

For Adults:

  • Visitation Parish (19100 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33169) in activity room, Tuesday at 7:30pm.  Contact Elena Nunez (evnunez@bellsouth.net).
  • NEW School of Community beginning in South West Miami.  Location and time to be determined.  Contact Eduardo & Martina Stadelmann (martina.stadelmann@gmx.net or 305-495-7597).

Presentation of the Lord Mass with Archbishop Favalora at St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLMore info about Communion and Liberation on Wikipedia, CL USA website and CL international website.  Apparently, Pope Benedict XVI has been a supporter of this movement back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and has his own weekly meetings on Saturdays at the Vatican.

The event ended with a beautiful bi-lingual Mass with Archbishop Favalora, another great supporter of the CL movement, especially here in South Florida.  — a great presentation by Fr Chris Marino and guest speaker Christopher Bacich (“Einstein of love”)  🙂

prosperity gospel = pyramid scheme

December 28, 2007 11 comments

Prosperity Gospel in TIMEFoxNews reports that there is a senate investigation targeting six ministries promoting the “Gospel of wealth” to innocent victims.  — Finally somebody is calling their bluff … but nothing will be done about it.

Prosperity theology is commonly a part of televangelist, charismatic, and Pentecostal churches, that highlights the idea that God wants Christians to be “abundantly” successful in every way, including financially.  It’s loosely based on Deuteronomy 8:18,Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.”  In a nutshell, it suggests that a God who loves you does not want you to be broke.  Some of the evangelists supporting prosperity theology include Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Nasir Saddiki, Robert Tilton, T.D. Jakes, Paul Crouch, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, Juanita Bynum, Eddie Long, Brian Houston, Paula White and Peter Popoff, and internet evangelist Chris Mentillo. Pat Robertson calls this theory the “Law of Reciprocity” on his show, The 700 Club[2].

Critics, including CATHOLICS, claim that the doctrine is used by its proponents to become wealthy at the expense of persons who give or that the doctrine’s focus on material wealth is misguided.  In my view, I sounds like a glorified “Pyramid Scheme.”  If our goverment is starting to look into this, why stop there Senators? Wall Street does this on a daily basis. Vegas and all the lotteries that are under government control do the same thing, promise the moon to lure a victim’s coin.  — That’s why nothing will be done.

tithe offeringThis got me looking for the Vatican’s guide to tithing our 10%, but I haven’t found anything official.  Anybody know what the Catholic Church says about tithing?  — Kermit?

Harry Potter is harmless?

July 21, 2007 6 comments

I’m not a big book reader, but I’ve always had reservations about the Harry Potter series.  With the last Harry Potter book coming out today, I found an article that would be interesting to debate, especially against a recent Florida Catholic article about the good in Harry Potter.

Deathly Hollows bookVatican’s Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novels

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, March 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Vatican’s chief exorcist, Rev. Gabriele Amorth, is reported to have repeated his condemnations of the Harry Potter novels yesterday.  According to press reports, Fr. Amorth, said of the books, “You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the Devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books.”

“By reading Harry Potter a young child will be drawn into magic and from there it is a simple step to Satanism and the Devil,” he said.

The news will come as no surprise to LifeSiteNews.com readers who recall that Fr. Amorth made very similar remarks in 2002 which went misreported in the North American media, until LifeSiteNews.com clarified the matter. 

In a 2002 interview with the Italian ANSA news agency, Rev. Amorth said “Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil.” The exorcist, with his decades of experience in directly combating evil, explained that J.K. Rowling’s books contain innumerable positive references to magic, “the satanic art”. He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction “does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil.” (coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2002/jan/02010202.html )

At the time, however, North American coverage of Rev. Amorth’s warnings about Potter significantly downplayed the warnings. The New York Times coverage by Melinda Henneberger, which was carried in Canada’s National Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and on Yahoo Daily News left out most of the information in the European coverage, only quoting Rev. Amorth as saying that “If children can see the movie with their parents, it’s not all bad.”

North America’s most prominent Harry Potter critic, Michael O’Brien, has told LifeSiteNews.com that the movie version has significantly cleaned up Harry’s image, making it far less troublesome than the books.

Another condemnation of Harry Potter coming from Rome was not widely reported until LifeSiteNews.com’s intervention.  When in 2003, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger allowed his comments against the novels to be aired publicly, the news was reported in Europe, but not in America.  However, when in 2005 LifeSiteNews.com published Ratzinger’s letter concerning Potter online, the international media exploded with the news that the new Pope opposed Harry Potter. (coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05071301.html )

Writing to Germany’s best known Potter critic Gabriele Kuby, the man who was to become Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.”

The original article can be found at http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06030104.html while a great forum discussion is at PhatMass at http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=70460

Exorcism outs the Devil

Interview With an Exorcist DVDOne of the greatest “gifts” God gave to the Church was the power of exorcism.  What most people think about when you say exorcism is actually a “major exorcism” where the Church determines a demon has possessed someone’s body (but not taking their free will) and a priest (approved by the bishop) does the rite of exorcism (usually done in 5 minutes, but may take several months).  I didn’t explore my ignorance about exorcism (because I thought it may invite bad stuff) until I saw a DVD available called “Interview with an Exorcist”

Here’s a few facts that clarified my misconceptions.   Although a demon may possess a body, it does not control a person’s free will.  All priest are taught the rite, but the bishop must approve doing one.  A priest prepares more for the the sacrament of reconciliation than the rite of exorcism.  Priests have been known to successfully perform exorcisms in the state of mortal sin (it’s not a battle between the priest & a demon, it’s between GOD & the demon).  Any prayer denouncing the power of Satan is a prayer of exorcism.  Although a majority of possessions includes some occult practices, even a Christian believer can be possessed (although less likely).

I think I was more afraid of exorcism due to my own ignorance than I am today.  I would recommend more knowledge & understanding to those who may empathize.  A new book supplements the DVD just came out.  More Catholic resources on exorcism are HERE.  The movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose is also pretty good.

I saw an episode of Showtime’s Penn & Teller’s Bullsh*t about exorcism (season 5#5).  They had some ridiculous (non-Catholic) “exorcists” that made the whole rite into a joke, concluding there is no such thing as demonic possession.  They just affirm Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.” 

This is WHY exorcism is a “gift.”  In an exorcism, Satan is manifested (revealing his existence) and the supreme power of God over evil glorifies our Lord.  — but I don’t want to be the person in the middle (possessee).