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February 28, 2002


Addressing the Committee on an International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings,  Archbishop Martino emphasized that the Holy See "supports a world-wide and comprehensive ban on human cloning, no matter what techniques are used and what aims are pursued." This position, he explained, is based on "biological analysis of the cloning process and anthropological, social, ethical and legal reflection on the negative implications that human cloning has on the life, the dignity, and the rights of the human being."

Furthermore, the Holy See considers the distinction between reproductive and therapeutic (or experimental) cloning as "unacceptable." Nonetheless, Archbishop Martino recalled that the ban on cloning does not prohibit the use of certain techniques: "to obtain a number of biological entities (molecules, cells and tissues) other than human embryos; to generate plants, or to produce non-human embryos and non-chimaeric (human-animal) embryos." He went on to say that "the Holy See supports research on stem-cells of post-natal origin since this approach is a sound, promising and ethical way to achieve tissue transplantation and cell therapy."

RELATED: Britain Gives Green Light to Human Embryo Cloning

Adult Stem cells therapy 'may grow tissue'
Ultimate adult stem cell discovered


A woman who knows that she will develop Alzheimer's within 10 years has used a controversial embryo screening technique to "select" a baby free from the disease that has blighted her family. Unlike her mother, aunt and uncle, the baby girl does not carry a rare genetic mutation that triggers the onset of dementia before the age of 40.

The team used preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to screen 15 embryos created with in vitro fertilisation.  PGD is carried out on a single cell removed from an embryo three days after conception when it has six to 10 cells.  Four of the embryos free from the mutation were implanted into the woman.  One developed into a healthy baby girl.

But critics warned that the advance took medicine a step closer to an era of "designer babies" and questioned whether it was appropriate to "weed out" embryos for diseases that do not develop until middle age. There are also concerns that the mother will be unable to care for her child when she develops Alzheimer's.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: Never must we lose from sight the final aim of the true good of man; never must we surrender to the temptation to unregulated medical and scientific progress, that could become a dangerous form of 'technological control' of life."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

29. The sorrowful humility of the mourning is one thing; the condemnation of the conscience of those who are still living in sin is another; and the blessed wealth of humility, which the perfect attain by the action of God, is yet another. Let us not be in a hurry to find words to describe this third kind of humility, for our effort will be in vain. But a sign of the second is the perfect bearing of indignity.

February 27, 2002

(Heb 12:1)  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


Pope John Paul will be in Canada July 23-28 for the Roman Catholic's Church's World Youth Day, stop in Mexico July 29-31 for the canonization of the Mexican Indian Juan Diego, and then spend July 31 and Aug. 1 in Guatemala. The Vatican said he will then fly to Guatemala City for the canonization of Pedro de Betancur, a 17th century missionary known as the "St. Francis of the Americas.

The Vatican also scheduled the canonization of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the Spaniard who founded Opus Dei, for Oct. 6 and Padre Pio, the Italian monk who has an enormous following in Italy and elsewhere, for June 16.

During his 23-year-papacy, John Paul has beatified 1,267 people and elevated 456 people to sainthood part of his effort to give Catholics many role models. In comparison, in the previous four centuries, 1,310 candidates were beatified and 300 raised to sainthood.


The Pope of Rome, John Paul II, who for a series of reasons cannot as yet make a personal visit to the Catholics of Russia, will make a virtual visit to the Catholic Cathedral of Moscow on March 2, 2002. A television link will put Russian Catholics in contact with the Pope.

The televised common act of prayer presided by the Pope, will be preceded by a solemn Mass for the Unity of Christians in Europe at the Cathedral presided by Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz at 7pm. The television link will unite Moscow's Catholics with Catholics in Athens, Budapest, Strasbourg, Vienna and Valencia and Rome. At the end of the prayer the Pope will impart his Apostolic Blessing on all the participants.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

28. It is impossible for us who have fallen into the pit of iniquities ever to be drawn out of it, unless we sink into the abyss of the humility of the repentant.

February 26, 2002

(Psa 46:10)  "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."


On Sunday before the midday Angelus,  John Paul II recommended all the faithful to experience the Spiritual Exercises.

Life becomes radically different for the person who has found Christ, said the Holy Father. "The most generous choices, especially the persevering, are the fruit of profound and prolonged union with God in prayerful silence," he said.

"In carrying the cross every day with faith full of love, we also experience, along with the weight and hardness, the force of renewal and consolation," he continued. "With Jesus, we receive this interior light especially in prayer."

The Holy Father encouraged Catholics to go on a spiritual retreat, "although in ways adapted to the different vocations and conditions of life." "It is important, especially in the time of Lent, that Christian communities become authentic schools of prayer, where we allow ourselves to be conquered by the mystery of God´s light and love," he concluded.

CARRYING HIS CROSS: Painful knee postpones Pope's visit to Rome parish


Muslim for a millennium, this prostrate land now looks from far-off pulpits like a God-given opportunity for missionary work — to save Afghans from "an eternity without Christ," as one American charity chief put it.

But Islam's roots run deep in Afghanistan's deserts and snowy highlands. Resistance would be formidable. Here in pious Kandahar, the clergyman Naeem Akhund, for one, is ready. "How can you let a snake into your home?" the mullah asks.

A year ago, the notion of opening Afghanistan to Christian missionaries would have been dismissed outright. But the upheaval of the American war that ousted the Taliban's Islamic zealots from power has inspired some to envision a different Afghanistan.

A U.S. government commission has called on Washington, with its newfound clout here, to lay the groundwork for a society open to all religions. Some American and other Christian activists are saying the same. "It's time to start thinking about mission work in Afghanistan," declared the U.S. publication Christian Chronicle.

OF INTEREST: Video Documents Modern-Day Lazarus

SEE ALSO: The miracle hunters: Catholic Church discovers the power of Lourdes

(1 Th 1:4-5)  For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

27. I am fully aware, my good friends, that the struggles I have described will seem to some incredible, to others hard to believe, and will seem to some to breed despair. But to the courageous soul they will serve as a spur, and a shaft of fire; and he will go away carrying zeal in his heart. He who is not up to this will realize his infirmity, and having easily obtained humility by self-reproach, he will run after the former; and I do not know whether or not even overtake him. But the careless man should leave my stories alone, lest he despair and squander even the little he has accomplished, and thus correspond to the man of whom it was said: 'But from him that hath no desire or eagerness, even what he hath will be taken away from him.

February 23, 2002


(Eph 6:12)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Pope Paul VI: It is easier to formulate an answer to the other question- what defense, what remedy should we use against the Devil's action?—even though it remains difficult to put into practice. We could say: everything that defends us from sin strengthens us by that very fact against the invisible enemy. Grace is the decisive defense. Innocence takes on the aspect of strength. Everyone recalls how often the apostolic method of teaching used the armor of a soldier as a symbol for the virtues that can make a Christian invulnerable. The Christian must be a militant; he must be vigilant and strong; and he must at times make use of special ascetical practices to escape from certain diabolical attacks. Jesus teaches us this by pointing to "prayer and fasting" as the remedy. And the Apostle suggests the main line we should follow: "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. "

Pope John Paul II: "Begone, Satan!" (Matthew 4:10). The Messiah´s resolute attitude is an example and an invitation for us to follow him with courageous determination. The devil, "ruler of this world" (John 12:31), continues his deceitful action even today. Every man, in addition to his own concupiscence and the evil example of others, is also tempted by the devil, especially when least aware of it. How many times he easily gives in to the false enticements of the flesh and the evil one, and then experiences bitter disappointments. One must remain vigilant to react promptly to every attack of temptation.

The Church, expert teacher of humanity and holiness, shows us ancient and ever new instruments for the daily combat against evil suggestions: They are prayer, the sacraments, penance, careful attention to the Word of God, vigilance and fasting.

Let us undertake the penitential Lenten journey with greater determination, to be prompt in defeating every seduction of Satan and arrive at Easter in the joy of the spirit


Ex-priest given 9-10 years in prison
Jury Selection for Rape Trial of Sonoma Priest
Fairfax County Priest Avoids Prison Time in Church Thefts
Religion Today

EDITOR'S NOTE: It should come as no surprise that in these difficult times priests should be prime targets for the evil one.  Please join me in praying for all the victims of these sad incidents, including the priests involved.

EXCERPTED FROM THIRD MESSAGE of AKITA: "The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.  The demon will be especially implacable against souls consecrated to God."

ESSAY BY FATHER BOB PAPI: Spiritual Warfare in The Third Millenium
SEE ALSO: "Family-ocide"- Winning the War through Christ

(Rev 12:12)  Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

9. Others were continually beating their breasts, and recalling their past life and state of soul. Some of them watered the ground with their tears; others, incapable of tears, struck themselves. Some loudly lamented over their souls as over the dead., not having the strength to bear the anguish of their heart. Others groaned in their heart, but stifled all sound of their lamentations. But sometimes they could control themselves no longer, and would suddenly cry out.

February 22, 2002


The scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep says he's not interested in making a human copy because such a person wouldn't feel free to live however he or she wished.

But Wilmut, who has spoken out against human cloning before, said he sees promise in the potential use of cloned human embryos to treat illnesses such as Parkinson's or cystic fibrosis, or find their causes. Wilmut said his research is now focused on improving conditions at the earliest stages of creating a cloned embryo, where he believes most problems begin.

He stressed that only 1 percent to 5 percent of those embryos result in live animals, and survivors are plagued with obesity, kidney problems and other troubles. Dolly has arthritis.

RELATED: Reeve, Execs Tout Cloning Research

CARDINAL KARL LEHMANN: Science Cannot Plunder Living Beings


VIA [email protected]: Amazingly one of the first life forms every to be genetically mapped was Yeast, The Mustard Seed was the first seed bearing plant to be genetically mapped and the Lamb was the first mammal cloned.

Yeast, Mustard Seed, Lamb, God is speaking to us and He is not pleased.

RELATED: British-led Team Cracks the Genetic Code of Fission Yeast


Donated eggs and older moms
Brave new world of in vitro fertilization is getting darker
Rare donkey's even rarer birth
Pig to human organ transplants on horizon


VIA Kall Patzner: What about 21:12, 21/12, 2112?
EDITOR'S REPLY: You are absolutely right!  Sorry!!  For a closer look please click here.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

8. Others sat on the ground in sackcloth and ashes, hiding their faces between their knees, and they struck the earth with their foreheads.

February 21, 2002

(Mat 9:37-38)  Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is indeed great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest."


The Rev. Tom Paine has been called to duty twice: once to serve God, once to serve country. About a year ago, Paine, a Presbyterian pastor in Fort Worth and Haltom City, received a mailing from the Air Force's chaplain recruiting team seeking clergy from his denomination. "The Air Force was looking for chaplains to come back on active duty," said Paine, a former Air Force intelligence officer.

Overall, the Air Force is fully staffed with chaplains, but lacks clergy from specific Christian denominations and other religions such as Judaism. "The problem is finding the right diversity," Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles C. Baldwin said.

Which is why in all branches of the military, chaplains like the Navy's Salvator M.
Stefula are especially coveted. Stefula is a Catholic priest. He has celebrated Mass in deserts, over the lowered tailgates of military jeeps and at makeshift altars made of crates.

Chaplains in the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy - who go unarmed into combat -
do not always have the luxury of a chapel. And the military is finding it does not always have the Catholics it needs.

Over the past 20 years, a shortage of Catholic clergymen has reduced the number of Catholic chaplains in the armed forces to 366 from 719, said Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan of the Catholic Military Archdiocese in Washington, D.C. The military archdiocese is a global organization that oversees the needs of about 1.2 million Catholic military personnel and their families.

The task of overseeing the spiritual needs of Catholic personnel can stretch the few Catholic chaplains in the military.

"The way you're being stretched and torn many times is great," said Stefula, a reservist who is acting commander of chaplains at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base. In addition to his military duties, Stefula oversees two parishes in Azle and Fort Worth.

"You have to find balance in life," he said. "We have to be able to do best we can with resources and personnel we have."

RELATED: Pope denies priest shortage is 'blessing in disguise'

OF INTEREST: Religious activity falling to pre-attack levels, say polls

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

7. Others stood in prayer with their hands tied behind their backs like criminals; their faces, darkened by sorrow, bent to the earth. They regarded themselves as unworthy to look up to Heaven. Overwhelmed by the embarrassment of their thoughts and conscience, they could not find anything to say or pray about to God, how or with what to begin their prayers. But filled with darkness and a blank despair, they offered to God nothing but a speechless soul and a voiceless mind.

February 20, 2002

(Psa 122:6)  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.


The spiritual leader of the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas called on Muslims around the world to launch a holy war, or jihad, to liberate their countries from U.S. influence.

Sheik Ahmed Yassin made the comments in a letter published ahead of this month's Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which commemorates God's provision of a ram to substitute for Abraham's sacrifice of his son.

"Sons of Islam everywhere, the jihad is a duty to establish the rule of Allah on earth and to liberate your countries and yourselves from America's domination and its Zionist allies, it is your battle either victory or martyrdom," Yassin said in the letter.

Yassin, who is paraplegic and rarely leaves his home in Gaza City, castigated the Arab world and accused its leaders of abandoning the Palestinian cause. "Where are the Muslim people's sponsors? Where are its kings? Where are its leaders? The Muslim people is calling upon you, Jerusalem is appealing to you, will anyone answer?" Yassin said in the letter.

"We must prepare ourselves for a lengthy battle because this century is the century of Islam, the century of liberation, the century of victory and sovereignty, by Allah's will all those oppressive regimes will diminish and with our determination and sacrifices we will be the coming power," he said.

RELATED: Million Pilgrims Pray for 'Islam's Glory' in Mecca


VIA Jim Bramlett:  "Paul Harvey recently said people are wondering why there is not an all-out attack on Israel, since everything seems in place to destroy it. THE ANSWER IS IN THE KORAN, SURAH 9:1-5. "AFTER THE SACRED MONTHS ARE OVER, THEN SLAY THE IDOLATERS (THE JEWS, ETC.) WHEREVER YOU FIND THEM." The sacred months began with Ramadan and will end Feb 23, the last day of the Hajj. On Feb 23 begins Eid al-Adha, a four-day holiday and celebration. There will be just "minor" terrorist attacks until then.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It is a fascinating coincidence that the Jewish feast of Purim, which celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish minority of Persia from genocide, begins just as the Eid al-Adha holiday ends.

VIA Dr. Stephen A. Rinehart: As the clock ticks over from 8:01PM on Wednesday, February 20th, 2002, time will (for sixty seconds only) read in perfect symmetry. To be more precise: 20:02, 20/02, 2002. It is an event which has only ever happened once before, and is something which will never be repeated. The last occasion that time read in such a symmetrical pattern was long before the days of the digital watch (or the 24-hour clock): 10:01AM, on January 10, 1001. And because the clock only goes up to 23.59, it is something that will never happen again.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

6. Others lifted up their eyes to Heaven, and with wailings and outcries, implored help from there.

February 19, 2002


(Exo 14:4)  And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.


A defiant Yasser Arafat said Monday he was not rattled by new calls in Israel for harsher strikes against his Palestinian Authority, while Israeli security forces said they intercepted five Palestinian assailants, including two would-be suicide bombers, over a 24-hour period.

The Al Aqsa Brigades, a militia linked to Arafat's Fatah movement, said it was behind Sunday's failed attack on a military base in northern Israel in which two assailants were killed one in a gunbattle with police and the second in an explosion he set off while being pursued by officers.

A leader of the militia said Monday that there would be no letup in attacks. "We will continue our attacks on Israeli cities and against the Israelis as long as (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon continues his aggression against our people," said the leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, for fear of Israeli reprisal.

Also Sunday, three suspected Palestinian assailants were caught by Israeli forces near the West Bank town of Ramallah, security officials said. Two brothers, one of whom carried a pistol, were arrested by a special police unit. In another incident, a would-be suicide bomber was seized near Ramallah, media reports said.

In Israel, debate intensified over how to stop Palestinian attacks after seven Israelis, including two teen-agers, were killed in a three-day period last week.

RELATED: Israel Warns of Wave of Palestinian Suicide Attacks


In the Palestinian case, there is no natural end point to demands made of Israel. Even if Israel withdrew to the 1967 lines, there would still remain the "right of return," which asserts Palestinian rights to pre-1967 Israel as well.

The fact is that there is no set of Palestinian demands that Israel can satisfy, because there is no form of justice in Palestinian eyes that is consistent with Israel's existence. Palestinian demands are not fixed; they are defined by what is possible. Any concession produced by defeating Israel will result in further attacks designed to produce more concessions.

MORE: Israelis Wonder About War's Future

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

5. I saw some of those guilty yet guiltless men standing in the open air all night till morning, and never moving their feet; by force of nature pitifully dazed by sleep, yet they allowed themselves no rest, but reproached themselves, and drove away sleep with dishonours and insults.

February 16, 2002



Scalia Questions Church's Platform on Capital Punishment
Scalia: Locals Should Decide on Assisted-Suicide Law


Justice Antonin Scalia: Devout Roman Catholic
By: Louie Verrecchio, MI

In recent weeks, from CNN to USA Today and many smaller news organizations in between, stories concerning Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's disagreement with Pope John Paul II's stand on capital punishment have been circulating all over the world. A common thread in all of these stories is the media's recent enchantment with Scalia, and their ever consistent designation of him as "the devout Roman Catholic."

Where was this enchantment when Scalia voted with the minority in Stenberg v. Carhart, the 2000 Supreme Court case striking down Nebraska's abortion procedure ban? "Devout Roman Catholic" was intended  to paint quite a different picture then; it was meant to portray Scalia as a - religious conservative, the type that freedom loving (read, pro-abortion)
people everywhere had to fear. What has changed? Is this "devout" designation truly deserved, or does it simply serve a purpose? What do we suppose that purpose is, and where does Scalia really stand on the life issue, anyway?

The answers to many of these questions can be gleaned by reviewing comments made by Scalia at the January 2002 forum entitled, A Call For Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty. The forum was held at the University of Chicago, and was sponsored by none other than long time Planned Parenthood benefactor, The Pew Charitable Trust.

Though the intended topic of discussion was capital punishment, Scalia rewarded Pew organizers with quite a bit more than just his attendance as he shared his understanding of the abortion issue:

"Thus, my difficulty with Roe v. Wade is a legal rather than a moral one," Scalia said, "I do not believe ? and no one believed for 200 years ? that the Constitution contains a right to abortion. And if a state were to permit abortion on demand, I would and could in good conscience vote against an attempt to invalidate that law, for the same reason that I vote against invalidation of laws that contradict Roe v. Wade; namely, simply because the Constitution gives the federal government and, hence, me no power over the matter."

That's right, you read it correctly; Antonin Scalia, devout Roman Catholic, would and could "in good conscience" uphold an abortion-on-demand law provided it squares with his understanding of the Constitution. Scalia publically proclaimed that he is more beholden to 200 years of American Constitutional tradition than to 2000 years of Catholic Sacred Tradition. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the media's definition of "devout."

Is it any wonder that the largely pro-abortion media is so enthralled with him? By publicly stating that professional dedication is enough to provide "good conscience" even while acting to guarantee access to abortion, in spite of his Catholic faith, Scalia has the "pro-choice" community giddy with anticipation. Why? Because they are a clever enough to know that the Roman Catholic Church, the beacon of Truth, is the greatest adversary the culture of death will ever face. And even though they may not realize it, their delight also serves to affirm a Divine reality: the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, forms but One Flesh, and Scalia's comments inflict a wound upon the entire Body.

Do not be fooled or disheartened, our unity as a Body is not our weakness, it's our strength. Our Oneness in Christ affords us the opportunity, and indeed the responsibility to repair this wounded Body, and one another. When we join our acts of prayer and mortification to the sufferings of Christ, we can participate in the passion of Our Lord for the conversion of those who would seek to destroy us. Justice Scalia does not need our ridicule and derision, he needs our prayers. As we proceed on our Lenten journey, with the aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Mother of Life, may Christ see fit to accept our humble offerings for the purpose of lifting up His Church and affirming the sanctity of life everywhere.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

4. And so, coming to this abode of penitents and to this true land of mourners, I actually saw (if it is not audacious to say so) what in most cases the eye of a careless person never saw, and what the ear of a slothful person never heard, and what never entered the heart of an indolent person- that is, I saw such deeds and words as can incline God to mercy; such activities and postures as speedily attract His love for men.

February 15, 2002

(Rev 6:3-4)  When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, Come!"   Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.


The Pentagon and the CIA have begun preparations for an assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops that is likely to be launched later this year with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power, US and diplomatic sources told the Guardian yesterday.

President George Bush's war cabinet, known as the "principals committee", agreed at a pivotal meeting in late January that the policy of containment has failed and that active steps should be taken to topple the Iraqi leader.

But, according to a US intelligence source familiar with CIA preparations, provisional plans for a parallel overt and covert war only landed on the president's desk in the past few days.

"I will reserve whatever options I have.  I'll keep them close to my vest.  Saddam Hussein needs to understand that I'm serious about defending our country," Mr Bush said yesterday.


Putin: No Basis to Extend U.S. War
Saddam Urges U.S. to Avoid Use of Force
The Iraqi Question: Who Can Replace Saddam?


In possibly the starkest US indictment of the Palestinian Authority to date, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer grouped the PA with Iran, Iraq, and North Korea - the three countries that President George W.  Bush referred to as an "axis of evil" - and said the Palestinian people are victims of a regime that "practices terrorism." His remarks seemed to elevate the level of US criticism of the PA to new heights.

"And the president has always been very clear in all the statements he's made, whether it was about North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or anywhere, Palestinian Authority, that it's the people that the United States is concerned with, that they are victims of regimes that invite terrorism and that practice terrorism," Fleischer said.

RELATED: Gaza Explosion Kills Three Israelis


Israel Attacks West Bank Village
Europeans Wade Into Mideast Conflict
Egypt demolishes wall around Israeli ambassador's home
'Clash of civilizations' sparks EU, Islamic parley

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

3. Weak as I am, I heard that there was a certain powerful and strange way of life and humility for those living in a separate monastic establishment called 'The Prison' which was under the authority of the above-mentioned man, that light of lights. So when I was still staying there, I asked the good man to allow me to visit it. And the great man, never wishing to grieve a soul in any way, agreed to my request.

February 14, 2002 (St. Valentine's Day)


Fresh warning over cloning dangers
A try to clone human being is set to start
U.S. Firm Clones Pigs From Prize Boars' Ear Cells

Woman Who 'Died" in 1970 Says She Was Shown the Onset of Evils Like Cloning


VIA [email protected]: While researching the mustard tree book which I am writing based on the prophecy the Lord gave me I made an interesting discovery. Although the Mustard Seed is not the smallest of our seeds in physical size as Christ seemingly had stated, the Arabidopsis Thalalia (Mustard Weed) is the smallest of all seed bearing plants genetically. That is why it was chosen above all other plants to be genetically mapped.

On the day of the world trade center bombing a Biologist named ATHANASIOS (He who fights death and wins) THEOLOGIS (Word of God) who heads the plant Genome project in Berkley California finished up publishing the map of the genes of the Mustard Seed.  It became the first plant genome ever to be mapped.  It will be the key to mapping every other plant genome known.  Interesting that Christ the son of the creator knew what we did not know until recently that indeed the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds.

RELATED LINK: Genome Coup Opens Door to New Discoveries

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

2. Gather together and come near, all you who have angered God; come and listen to what I expound to you; assemble and see what He has revealed to my soul for your edification. Let us give first place and first honour to the story of the dishonoured yet honoured workers. Let all of us who have suffered an unexpected and inglorious fall listen, watch and act. Rise and be seated, you who through your falls are lying prostrate. Attend, my brothers, attend to my word. Incline your ears, you who wish to be reconciled afresh with God by a true conversion.

February 13, 2002 (ASH WEDNESDAY)


Looking over the ruins of Ground Zero or passing the blackened walls of the Pentagon, we see ashes before our eyes too often these past six months. For some, the ashes conjure up death and darkness and the end of things. The Wednesday we are marked with ashes, however, heralds life and the eternal meaning of our existence.

On Ash Wednesday, Catholics receive the sign of the cross on their foreheads. The cross on which Christ died for us is the sign of our sure and certain hope: for the Lord whom we nailed to the wood with our sins has risen from the tomb that we too might know eternal life. We are smudged with an ash-laden cross so that each of us might turn from all that is earthly, dark and sinful and return to the Gospel of Life in this Season of Lent.

Lenten resources from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

More Lenten resources: fasting: don't just use your stomach


VIA Nadine: Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Lord, protect us in our struggle against evil. As we begin the discipline of Lent, make this season holy by our self-denial. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

DON'T MISS: Power of prayer: For pope, it's a way to right the world's evils

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"

1. Repentence is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigourous awareness.

February 12, 2002


An academic study released Monday warns that " serious, reversible errors" in cases involving capital punishment are crippling the U.S. legal system.

The report, from a group of Columbia University law professors, updates a report issued two years ago that said more than seven of every 10 death penalty cases filed between
1973 and 1995 were reversed because of errors made by judges, juries and prosecutors.

The professors said the study was not designed to present a moral argument for or against capital punishment. Their concern is what they view as the failure of the current system to perform the way it should.

The latest study says there is a correlation between the number of cases eligible for the death penalty and the risk of legal mistakes.

"It puts you at very high risk of having high error rates," said Columbia law professor James Liebman, the study's author. "It also puts you at high risk of sentencing people to death who will later turn out to be innocent."


A year out of prison, Earl Washington Jr. is full of plans. He's getting married in May. He's studying for his GED while working full time as a maintenance man. And he's working to get a driver's license so that he can be a truck driver one day.

Washington, mildly retarded with an IQ of 69, was released from prison on Feb. 12, 2001, after DNA tests cleared him of a 1982 rape and murder to which he had confessed. He still had to finish serving time for an unrelated assault.

He spent nearly 10 years on death row and came nine days away from dying in the electric chair when he was granted a stay in 1985.

But as Washington puts his life back together, bitterness is not part of the plan. "With me I guess, being bitter means you stay mad all the time. That's something I don't try to do," he said. He said he was angry during his early years in prison: "The first five years I guess I let the devil take over my mind."

But his faith in God helped him to cope.

"I try to stay happy all the time," he said, grinning, as he sat on the couch in the tiny living room of his apartment, a large American flag on the wall behind him.


VIA American Life League: Pro-lifers are being asked to sign a petition against the campaign of Eliot Spitzer, the pro-abortion New York state attorney general who is hammering pro-life pregnancy centers in New York:

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

5. You who have decided to strip for the arena of this spiritual confession, you who wish to take on your neck the yoke of Christ, you who are therefore trying to lay your own burden on another's shoulders, you who are hastening to sign a pledge that you are voluntarily surrendering yourself to slavery, and in return want freedom written to your account, you who are being supported by the hands of others as you swim across this great sea- you should know that you have decided to travel by a short but rough way from which there is only one erring path, and it is called self-rule. But he who has renounced this entirely, even in things that seem to be good and spiritual and pleasing to God, has reached the end before setting out on his journey. For obedience is distrust of oneself in everything, however good it may be, right to the end of one's life.

February 9, 2002


(Psa 16:10) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.


The nuns at the huge cloistered monastery in the Lanark section of Upper Saucon Township had long wanted their monastery’s co-founder, Mother Therese of Jesus, to be considered for sainthood.

A startling discovery last summer prompted them to ask their superior in Chicago to consider the possibility.

Sixty-two years after Mother Therese was buried, workers renovating the mausoleum at the Carmelite Monastery found her body intact, her hands holding palm leaves “green and fresh as the day she was buried,” said the Rev. John-Benedict Weber, who represents the nuns as the general delegate of the Carmelite order.

A deceased person’s intact body is a traditional sign of holiness, said the Rev. Thomas Dailey, professor of theology at DeSales University. But Weber said the fresh palm leaves that were found, rather than Mother Therese’s intact body, were more unusual.


Almanac says United States ranks third in world Roman Catholic population

The 63,683,030 Roman Catholics in the United States form the world's third-ranking Catholic population, the "Catholic Almanac" for 2002 reports.

That total is exceeded by Brazil (141.2 million) and Mexico (125.8 million). Other major Catholic nations, in order: the Philippines, Italy, France, Poland, Spain and Colombia. The worldwide Catholic population is 1,033,129,000.

Catholics make up 22.8 percent of the U.S. population, a slight increase from the previous year.

Rhode Island is the only state with a Catholic majority (63.1 percent). Other heavily Catholic states: Massachusetts (47.6 percent), New Jersey (44.4 percent), Connecticut (40.6 percent) and New York (39.7 percent).

FROM THE MAILBAG VIA Larry Behr, Executive Director, Ass'n for the Arch of Triumph Of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Int'l Shrine Of the Holy Innocents,:

The Jan/Feb 2002 issue of Immaculate Heart Messenger, edited by leading Fatima expert Fr. Robert J. Fox, founder of Fatima Family Apostolate, includes a supportive article about our Project entitled, Golden Arch of Mary's Triumph and A Life Support. The article is authored by Br. John Samaha, S.M., past co-president of the Mariological Society of the United States, and a widely published Marian writer.

A similar article by Brother Samaha appeared also in Queen of All Hearts Magazine, published by the Montfort Missionaries and dedicated to the Marian spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort.

This article's appearance is newsworthy in that such eminent Marian authorities discern links between the proposed Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents, and pivotal Marian Age events such as the appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the International Pro-Life Movement, and Our Lady of Fatima, who prophesied in 1917 that her Immaculate Heart would triumph over the dark forces that prevailed in the past century. (See section of Golden Arch headed, "Connecting the 21st Century to History.") Certainly, if our Project is within God's will, as we believe, such connection-making is appropriate.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

4. The beginning of the mortification both of the soul's desire and of the bodily members is much hard work. The middle is sometimes laborious and sometimes not laborious. But the end is insensibility and insusceptibility to toil and pain. Only when he sees himself doing his own will does this blessed living corpse feel sorry and sick at heart; and he fears the responsibility of using his own judgment.

February 8, 2002


President Bush on Thursday urged Americans of all faiths to turn to prayer as they struggle through "this time of testing" after the terrorist attacks.

Bush said religious faith teaches tolerance, humility and the value of community service; all of which are needed to recover from Sept. 11 and vanquish terrorism.

"Every religion is welcomed in our country. All are practiced here. Many of our citizen profess no religion at all. Our country has never had an official faith. Yet we have all been witnesses, these past 21 weeks, to the power of faith to see us through the hurt and loss that has come on to the country," Bush said at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Bush said millions of Americans, including himself, were put on "bended knee" in prayer after the attacks. More prayers will be needed, he said. "There will be hardships ahead. And faith will not make our path easy, but it will gives us strength for the journey," Bush said.

Bush spoke of the "good that has come from the evil of Sept.11, "pointing to the surge in community spirit. "Faith shows us the way to self-giving, to love our neighbors as we would want to be loved ourselves," said Bush, who has asked Congress to expand taxpayer-funded community service programs.

"In this time of testing for our nation, my family and I have been blessed by prayer from countless Americans," Bush said. "We have felt their sustaining power."

Catholic Floridian to lead Bush Faith-based Effort
Bush Faith Plan Gains Steam

PERSIA (Modern-day Iran) in the HEADLINES

Peres: Iran put elite force in Lebanon
Iran warns US not to attack
EU's Solana sees likely link between Iran, PA
Jordan uncovers Iranian plan to initiate attacks on Israel
War of Words Worsens Between Israel and Iran
Israel Emphasizes Iranian Threat

(Ezek 38:2-5)  "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,...

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

3 (cont.). Obedience is the tomb of the will and the resurrection of humility. A corpse does not argue or reason as to what is good or what seems to be bad. For he who has devoutly put the soul of the novice to death will answer for everything. Obedience is an abandonment of discernment in a wealth of discernment.

February 7, 2002


Pope John Paul II warned against tampering with the "tree of life," saying that some advances in genetics may be morally unacceptable in the Roman Catholic Church.

John Paul's latest attack on genetic manipulation came in his annual message for Lent, the period of fasting and penitence before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13.

"The achievements of medicine and biotechnology can sometimes lead man to think of himself as his own creator, and to succumb to the temptation of tampering with the `tree of life,'" the pope said.

John Paul said life is a gift that "remains precious even when marked by suffering and limitations."

"It is also worth repeating here that not everything that is technically possible is morally acceptable," he said.

MORE: Entire text of Pope's message for Lent 2002


Report Says Gene-Modified Crops Could Create Superweed
Gene Experiment Comes Close to Crossing Ethicists' Line
Gene Therapy Delivery System May Be Unpredictable

VIA Nadine:

All the water in the world
However hard it tried
Could never sink a sailing ship
Unless it got inside.

All the evil in the world
The wickedness and sin
Can never sink your soul's fair craft
Unless you let it in.

Author unknown

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

3. Obedience is absolute renunciation of our own life, clearly expressed in our bodily actions. Or, conversely, obedience is the mortification of the limbs while the mind remains alive. Obedience is unquestioning movement, voluntary death, a life free of curiosity, carefree danger, unprepared defence before God, fearlessness of death, a safe voyage, a sleeper's progress.

February 6, 2002

(2 Tim 1:8-9)  So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time....


EDITOR'S NOTE: E-mails of encouragement for Father Weslin (see article below) can be sent to [email protected]where they will be gathered by a friend for delivery to him.  Though we are not all called to be on the "front lines" in this spiritual war, we can all contribute to the effort as the Lord provides the opportunity.

Please join me in sending this dedicated servant of the Lord an email encouraging him and offering to remember him in our daily prayers.

VIA [email protected]: If someone sends me an email I do not send it to Father's jail address for the sender. I do let Father know who has written if I can talk with him on the phone. He is limited to 5-10 minutes of telephone calls daily which makes conversations very limited.
I have printed out all the emails sent to him though and put them in a envelope for him to read on his release day, April 3. You cannot bring any written material into the visiting rooms with him and I respect emailer's privacy rights.

He's doing good. Counting the days til April 3rd.

VIA Jeannie Weber: This article by written by Ed Snell, Writer/Editor of the St. Francis Newsletter, "The Gift of Life" is reprinted with his permission. The written contents are from excerpts of the "The New York Lambs of Chist" newsletter regarding Fr. Weslin.


Federal Judge Richard Arcara sentenced Father Norman Weslin (founder of the Lambs for Christ), to 5 months in federal prison. His Crime: kneeling in silent prayer on a public sidewalk outside an abortion mill. In Judge Arcara'a opinion, 4 hours of public prayer deserved 5 months in federal prison. Father voluntarily surrendered on Nov. 5th.

Meanwhile New York State's 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rulled that Judge Arcara's Buffer Zone is unconstitutional.

Father thanks everyone for your prayers and says, "If Jesus wants one of His priests in prison while the evil is going on... That's what I want". Father asks for your continued participation in public prayer at America's killing centers and sends you his love and blessing on the Christ Child's Birthday!

Wouldn't you think that a merciful judge and Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer, who brought this complaint would have the humility to admit error, apologize and request Father's immediate release based on time served or at least untill his appeal is heard?

If not, we must recognize Father Weslin's trial sentencing and incarcerations as an example of raw judicial power and sheer political persecution. Father's current prison assignment is: picking up cigarette butts! He was not allowed to bring his Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours prayerbook into prison.

The New York Lambs of Christ ask those who can, to write to the following address for immediate release of Father.

Father Norman U. Weslin, O. S.
Friend of the Unborn Prisoner # 08149-055, Unit F04, #114 Federal Correctional Institution McKean, P.O. Box 8000 Bradford, PA 16701

The Lambs of Christ newsletter address is: PO Box 20203, Rochester, NY 14602-0203

MORE: Interview with Father Weslin conducted by Fr. Frank Pavone

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

2. But let us not fail, if you agree, to describe clearly in our treatise the weapons of these brave warriors: how they hold the shield of faith in God and their trainer, and with it they ward off, so to speak, every thought of unbelief and change of place; how they constantly raise the drawn sword of the Spirit and slay every wish of their own that approaches them; how, clad in the armour of meekness and patience, they avert every insult and injury and missile. And for a helmet of salvation they have their superior's protection through prayer. And they do not stand with their feet together, for one is stretched out in service and the other is immovable in prayer.

February 5, 2002


Pope John Paul II is calling for legal recognition for embryos. He is pushing on with his campaign against abortion and artificial procreation.

John Paul's appeal came during his weekly appearance to the faithful in St. Peter's Square. The pope told the crowd that to recognise life means "to guarantee every human being the right to develop according to one's own potential, assuring inviolability from conception to natural death.

"No one is the master of life, no one has the right to manipulate, crush down, or even take away life, neither that of others or one's own," the pope said.

"To recognise the value of life implies coherent application under the juridical profile, especially in looking after those human beings who aren't able to defend themselves on their own, newborns, mentally disabled, the most critically or terminally ill," the pontiff continued.

"Regarding in particular the human embryo, science by now has demonstrated that it is an individual human that possesses from fertilisation its own identity," the pope said. "Thus it is logically due that such an identity be legally recognised, above all in its fundamental right to life."

The Vatican opposes all forms of artificial procreation, including techniques that result in the creation of embryos to be implanted in a woman's uterus or frozen for possible later pregnancies.

RELATED: Monkey embryo made without fertilization


A chip that will automatically create hundreds of cloned embryos at a time is being developed by a Californian biotech company.

If it lives up to its promise, the chip should help make cloning cheap and easy enough for companies to mass-produce identical copies of the best milk or meat producing animals for farmers. It might even be used for cloning human embryos.

The chip automates the laborious process of nuclear transfer, the key step in cloning. At present it takes hours of painstaking work with a microscope to remove the nucleus of an egg cell and replace it by fusing the denucleated egg with another cell.

"If somebody's got something like that, obviously it would make everybody's life easier," says Tanja Dominko of Advanced Cell Technology, the Massachusetts company that caused a stir late last year when it announced that it had created cloned human embryos.

SEE ALSO: Scientists at World Economic Forum See Grim Future
MORE: Man Who Would Be God: Giving Robots Life

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 4- "On blessed and ever-memorable obedience"

1. Our treatise now appropriately touches upon warriors and athletes of Christ. As the flower precedes the fruit, so exile, either of body or will, always precedes obedience. For with the help of these two virtues, the holy soul steadily ascends to Heaven as upon golden wings. And perhaps it was about this that he who had received the Holy Spirit sang: Who will give me wings like a dove? And I will fly by activity, and be at rest by divine vision and humility.

February 2, 2002


(Mat 10:32)  "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.


Kurt Warner says his life's motto comes from the book of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 33 of the Bible. It reads: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Warner, an outspoken born-again Christian, sees his second Super Bowl appearance as proof those words are true.

"It really has shown me how that has come to pass that once I gave my life to Jesus and directed everything I do to Him, everything has come into place," Warner said yesterday at the Superdome during the annual photo and interview session. "All it's done is strengthen my faith. All the promises in the Bible have come to pass in my life."

There are benefits to being Kurt Warner. He can talk about his faith, and get people to listen. At least with Warner, it never sounds pushy or condescending.

"My personal success, I always attribute it to the Lord," he said. "He's blessed me with a great place and a great time to be here. I know He can do extraordinary things with ordinary people and I think I'm one of those situations."


VIA [email protected]:  Our site "A Library of Catholic Prophets" is a comprehensive resource for prophecies over the last 2000 years, including summaries of the lives of the saints (constantly updated), prophetic scripture, recommended reading, catholic apologetics and commentaries on authenticating apparitions.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

11 (cont.). Run from Egypt without looking back; because the hearts which look back upon it with affection shall not see Jerusalem, the land of dispassion. Those who left their own people in childlike simplicity at the beginnning, and have since been completely purified, may profitably return to their former land, perhaps even with the intention, after saving themselves, of saving others too. Yet Moses, who was allowed to see God Himself and was sent by God for the salvation of his own people, met many dangers in Egypt, that is to say, dark, periods in the world.

February 1, 2002


The U.N. special envoy to the Middle East  said four outside parties should join forces in an attempt to stop the 16 months of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians.

The envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, said the United States, Russia, the European Union and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan have been exchanging views on the violence, and it was time for them to gather formally.

He called the situation grim, noting there was continuing violence and lack of progress in peace process.  He said the economic situation of the Palestinians was "dire."

For a cease-fire to take hold, there had to be progress in ending the violence as well as alleviating the economic situation of the Palestinians, the envoy said.


Roman Catholic and Jewish leaders from across Europe said Tuesday that the world's religions must unite in denouncing racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism.

The calls came after cardinals, rabbis, scholars and others met to discuss the achievements of Pope John Paul II, the need to preserve the memory of the Holocaust among Europe's youth and other issues.

In a statement that was termed a joint declaration but contained separate comments from each side, the Catholic leaders reaffirmed their rejection of anti-Semitism and said "Christianity can, and must, never be used to justify violent words or actions against Jews.''

In their part of declaration, the Jewish representatives noted "the resurgence of violent anti-Jewish rhetoric abounding under the disguise of new semantic forms'' and said all spiritual leaders are "duty bound ...  to unite in a denunciation of racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism.''

World Jewish Congress chairman Israel Singer said the two-day meeting was unique, "because we are talking to each other, and not at each other. Now, in the autumn of the pope's life, there is a positive environment of dialogue,'' he said.

John Paul was praised for his many gestures toward reconciliation between Catholics and Jews, especially his 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

MORE: "Pope of Reconciliation" Hailed at Jewish-Catholic Meeting

OF INTEREST: Spreading their word- Christian missionaries are developing a growing 'Messianic Jewish' movement in Israel.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 3- "On Exile or Pilgrimage"

11. When we have lived a year or two away from our family, and have acquired some piety or contrition or continence, then vain thoughts begin to rise up in us and urge us to go again to our homeland, 'for the edification of many', they say, 'and as an example, and for the profit of those who saw our former lax life'. And if we possess the gift of eloquence and some shreds of knowledge, the thought occurs to us that we could be saviours of souls and teachers in the world, that we may waste in the sea what we have gathered so well in the harbour. Let us try to imitate not Lot's wife, but Lot himself. For when a soul turns back to what it has left, like salt, it loses its savour and becomes henceforth useless.

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