Keep your eyes open!...


November 22, 2003


(Rev 19:11) Then I saw the heavens opened, and there was a white horse; its rider was (called) "Faithful and True." He judges and wages war in righteousness.

(Rev 19:17) He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, "King of kings and Lord of lords."

Excerpt from QUAS PRIMAS (On the Feast of Christ the King)
Pope Pius XI Encyclical promulgated on 11 December 1925

12.  It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings.  And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries.  She uses them daily now in the prayers publicly offered to God, and in offering the Immaculate Victim.  The perfect harmony of the Eastern liturgies with our own in this continual praise of Christ the King shows once more the truth of the axiom: Legem credendi lex statuit supplicandi.  The rule of faith is indicated by the law of our worship.

32.  Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ.  It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.

33.  The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal.  If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire.  He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ.  He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God.  He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone.  He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.[35] If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection.  It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God's kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom.

ANGELUS: Pope John Paul II Solemnity of Christ the King, 25 November 2001

TE DEUM: Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because if its association with St.  Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving.  First attributed to Sts.  Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century).  It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days.  The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional.  A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

7. Faith and exile are the death of cupidity. But compassion and love betray the body.

November 21, 2003

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Orthodox diocese (that follow and promulgate the real teachings of the Catholic faith) have no trouble attracting candidates for the priesthood, while liberal diocese (who have falsified church teachings by giving them a naturalistic interpretation) have difficulty getting anyone to be priests. There is a very logical reason for this. For in orthodox diocese a clear vision is presented of what Catholicism, the priesthood, the Mass, and the Eucharist are all about.

In true and traditional Catholic teaching, the priest is a man set apart - another Christ - who mediates God's graces between God and the rest of us. A priest has power, given to him by God, to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, God the Son, so that at communion we have the unspeakable privilege of literally taking the God of infinite goodness, power and glory into ourselves in the act of eating. We also have the privilege of being able to have an audience with Him in Eucharistic adoration, where we can give Him the love He thirsts for, and have all our needs attended to (for Christ, being God, is omnipotent). Any earthly glory, love or goodness is only the faintest shadow of what exists in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, for any, goodness or attractiveness that any created thing has, is only the faintest reflection of the goodness or attractiveness of God.

The Mass itself is the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. It is the very same sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, but done in an unbloody manner. The Mass is the Risen Lord immolated on the alter, in remembrance of His suffering and death on the cross. Christ, in His glorified nature, is completely present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearances of either bread and wine. The two separate appearances of bread and wine are symbolic of His death on the cross, where His body and blood were separated.

The Mass is a prayer of infinite value, for it is pure God offering to pure God. All other prayers, including the Rosary, as are as if nothing in comparison with the Mass, because in them, it is only our human will's offering to God. There is a transcendent gulf between the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and any other prayer. Each Mass has exactly the same value of Calvary, and at each Mass, if properly disposed, we can receive unsearchable treasures from God (if people in general knew this, Mass attendance would be very much greater. Rather than closing churches, enough could not be built)

The priest also has power to forgive sins with the very power of God. When the priest says "I absolve you" over a person in mortal sin, something greater has happened than the creation of the universe (according to St. Augustine). For a soul in corruption has suddenly been recreated in shining beauty and perfection in the image and likeness of God.

I say all this to give a picture of something of what the priesthood is all about, and when such a picture is presented to the people, there is no shortage of vocations. For then, the supreme dignity of the priesthood is seen.

On the other hand, when a liberal vision of Catholicism is presented, a bland and mundane idea of a priest is had as merely a social facilitator. Catholic liturgy and life is then seen as nothing but the trivial pursuit of natural pleasures, ambitions, social projects that give one a good feeling, and natural friendships. Nothing is believed but what the earthly human reason can understand, and nothing is valued but what the natural emotions can feel. Very few men would make the sacrifices involved in being a priest to be the leader of something so common and pedestrian. Only in the context of the infinite attributes of the supernatural (which orthodoxy presents), are such sacrifices not only possible, but joyful and easy.

SEE ALSO: Eucharistic Miracles

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

6. The helper and foundation of chastity is stillness. The quenching of fleshly burning is fasting. The adversary of evil and shameful thoughts is a contrite spirit.

November 19, 2003

(Jude 1:17-19)  But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who told you that in the last time there should come mockers, walking according to their own desires in ungodlinesses. These are they who separate themselves, sensual men, having not the Spirit.


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Tuesday that gay couples are legally entitled to marry under the state constitution -- but it stopped short of allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples who had sued the state.

The court is ordering the state Legislature to come up with a solution within six months.

"Whether and whom to marry, how to express sexual intimacy, and whether and how to establish a family these are among the most basic of every individual's liberty and due process rights," the majority opinion said. "And central to personal freedom and security is the assurance that the laws will apply equally to persons in similar situations."

A Boston lawyer says the decision from a sharply divided court is a "total victory" for supporters of same-sex marriage. She says the justices are telling state lawmakers what they want them to do -- and she doubts the lawmakers would defy the court.

A former Boston mayor and U-S ambassador to the Vatican criticized the ruling. Ray Flynn tells a Boston T-V station (W-H-D-H) the ruling is a -- quote -- "major setback for the sacred institution of marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman."

Gay and lesbian advocates had been cheered by a series of advances this year, including a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down anti-sodomy laws, the ordination of an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, and a Canadian appeals court ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny gay couples the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples. Belgium and the Netherlands also have legalized gay marriage.

MORE: State, Church Leaders React To Gay Marriage Decision

VATICAN'S CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH: "Marriage exists solely between a man and a woman. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

5. Abstinence is the mother of health. The mother of abstinence is the thought of death and firm remembrance of our Lord's gall and vinegar.

November 13, 2003


(Mat 16:18)  And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


30 Days: Are you saying then that here as well, as in all wars, Satan wishes to conquer the enemy's stronghold (the Vatican) in order to take the enemy generals prisoner?

Fr. Amorth: It is a winning strategy. It is one that is always applied. Especially when the adversary's defenses are weak. Satan is also attempting it. But, thank Heaven, it is the Holy Spirit who directs the Church: "The gates of hell will never prevail." Despite the defections. And despite the betrayals, about which one should not be surprised. The first betrayal was the work of one of the closest Apostles of Jesus: Judas Iscariot.

Yet, despite this, the Church continues on her way. The Holy Spirit keeps her going and that is why Satan's attacks can only be partially successful. Admittedly, the demon may win battles, and even important battles. But never the war.

VIA Philip:

Prophecies of Anne Catherine Emmerich

April 12, 1820. "I had another vision of the great tribulation. It seems to me that a concession was demanded from the clergy which could not be granted. I saw many older priests, especially one, who wept bitterly. A few younger ones were also weeping. But others, and the lukewarm among them, readily did what was demanded. It was as if people were splitting into two camps."

January 27, 1822. "I saw a new Pope who will be very strict. He will estrange from him the cold and the lukewarm bishops. He is not Roman, but he is Italian. He comes from a place which is not very far from Rome, and I think he comes from a devout family of royal blood. But there must still be for a while much fighting and unrest."

October 22, 1822. "Very bad times will come when non-Catholics will lead many people astray. A great confusion will result. I saw the battle also. The enemies were far more numerous, but the small army of the faithful cut down whole rows (of enemy soldiers). During the battle, the Blessed Virgin stood on a hill, wearing a suit of armor. It was a terrible war. At the end, only a few fighters for the just cause survived, but the victory was theirs."

April 22, 1823. "I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church. They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church. Everyone was to be admitted in it in order to be united and have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description. Such was to be the new Church...........But God had other designs."

Taken from: Catholic Prophecy (pp 70-72)

Compiled by: Yves Dupont
Published by:
Copyright: Original 1970

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

3. Love of God is the foundation of exile. The opposite of this is self-evident.

November 12, 2003

(Isa 1:16-18)  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow."Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

by Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Papal Household Preacher

Conversion is an ongoing process. There can be a moment which we identify as a moment of conversion, but we should not identify conversion with revival. It is a danger.

Conversion, according to the gospel, is ongoing. We need every time to pass from being self-centred to being Christcentred.

And provided you keep trying, you are in the process of a confession. The trouble would be the day you say ‘Oh it’s useless. I promised to convert and now I have fallen back to doing the same old things. There’s no use in fighting.’ This would be a very sad defeat. As long as you say ‘I am sorry’, you start again.

God himself is moved when he sees his children trying again and again, not getting frustrated.

One day he will answer and in his answer there will be an answer to every attempt at conversion we have done.

He will keep notice of every time you have started again – because every time you start again, in spite of your defeat, you give honour and glory to God. You rely more on God than your weakness.

So don’t be discouraged. This is a common experience. I could say the same. We try, we try.

Maybe this is also a very clever invention of God to keep us in this situation.

Otherwise we would grow proud like a Pharisee (‘I am OK’). That would be a worse situation.

SEE ALSO: Turn Away from Sin; Be Faithful to the Gospel by Father John Corapi, S.O.L.T.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: God is not indifferent to the suffering of the believer

VIA Ernie LaMandeleine : If you know anyone looking for quality sacramentals and or rosary making supplies check out

Radio Rosary is a not-for-profit apostolate run by volunteers with the sole purpose of getting out to the faithful church-approved sacramentals including, but not limited to, rosaries (and supplies to make same), brown and green scapulars, miraculous medals and religious statues. Radio Rosary’s only purpose is to serve God, His Son & Mother and to do that in part by reaching all those who desire these articles of faith and supply them at cost. We desire that all might hear the plea of Our Blessed Mother giving us the great gifts of these sacramentals and the assistance they give us in reaching our final reward.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

2. Unwavering hope is the door to detachment. The opposite of this is self-evident.

November 11, 2003


“La Civiltà Cattolica,” edited by a group of Jesuits in Rome, is a very special magazine. Every one of its articles is reviewed by the Vatican Secretary of State before publication. So the magazine reflects his thought faithfully.

In its October 18 edition, “La Civiltà Cattolica” published a strikingly severe article on the condition of Christians in Muslim countries. The central thesis of the article is that “in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike and conquering face”; that “for almost a thousand years, Europe lived under its constant threat”; and that what remains of the Christian population in Islamic countries is still subjected to “perpetual discrimination,” with episodes of bloody persecution.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: Christians in Islamic Countries

SYMPOSIUM: The Muslim Persecution of Christians

MORE: Pray for the Persecuted Church Nov. 9 through 16

SAUDI ARABIA - Because the holy city of Mecca is within its borders, Saudi Arabia considers itself the guardian of Islam and requires all citizens to be Muslim. Any Saudi citizen who converts to Christianity faces the death penalty, which can be by public stoning or beheading. Non-Saudi citizens living in the nation are not allowed to practice any other religion openly. Only a handful of native Saudis are Christian, and they worship in complete isolation and fear. Non-native Christian guest workers have also been imprisoned, beaten and deported for practicing their faith.


Across the Middle East, Friday sermons are a traditional way of measuring popular sentiments. The faithful unite around mosques for guidance and support, especially in times of chaos and crisis.

A group of Sunni clerics in Mosul, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq, issued a statement Friday warning people against cooperating with U.S. forces. "Beware of supporting the occupiers and know that contacting them, without a legitimate necessity, is sinful," it said.

Ironically, criticizing those in power is part of the post-Saddam Hussein changes; clerics weren't allowed to speak up against the regime of Saddam, whose security forces made sure religious leaders toed the official line and crushed any signs of Islamic fundamentalism.

At al-Shaheed Bashar Qalander mosque, Sheik Abdel Jawad Mohammed Safo said mosques have a responsibility to direct people and raise their awareness.

"I always stress that the people ruling over us are nonbelievers," he said. "We always say that this war is a religious war. ... It's a war between Arabs and Jews; America is a mere toy in the hand of the Jews."

Safo said his pulpit "is always one of jihad." Asked if that includes armed jihad, he answered: "Yes. We call for it in public, without any hesitation."

SEE ALSO: Christian families in Iraq targeted

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "Brief Summary on Discernment"

1. Firm faith is the mother of renunciation. The opposite of this is self-evident.

November 10, 2003


Pope John Paul II on Monday denounced as "morally contradictory" any medical treatment based on stem cells taken from embryo tissue.

In a speech to scientists Monday, the pope said research into stem cell technology "has understandably grown in importance in recent years because of the hope it offers for the cure of ills affecting many people."

John Paul suffers from Parkinson's Disease, one of the ailments that might benefit from stem cell research. However, he reiterated the Vatican position that "stem cells for purposes of experimentation or treatment cannot come from human embryo tissue."

"Any treatment which claims to save human lives, yet is based on human life in its embryonic state, is logically and morally contradictory, as is any production of human embryos for the direct or indirect purpose of experimentation or eventual destruction," the pope told participants in a meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, an advisory body.

Research, instead, should be conducted on adult human tissue or "tissue superfluous to normal fetal development," the pontiff added.

RELATED: US bid for stem cell ban runs into UN wall


Leading a long, solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II put more faithful on the path toward sainthood Sunday, beatifying two Spaniards, an Italian, a Belgian and a Frenchwoman to give fresh inspiration to his flock.

Sunday's ceremony was the 143rd beatification ceremony, some of them held abroad, that John Paul has led since becoming pontiff in 1978. A total of 1,320 faithful, including the five honored on Sunday, have been beatified, in these ceremonies, the Vatican said.

In his homily, John Paul compared the Church to a spiritual temple made of "living stones, that is, of the faithful, united in one faith," and he likened saints "precious stones."

RELATED: Vatican trains lay "saint detectives"

POPE COMMENTS ON TERRORISM: "Terrorism is not only a betrayal of our common humanity, but is absolutely incapable of laying the necessary political, moral and spirtual foundations for freedom and self-determination."

OF INTEREST: 'John Paul's Men'- Seminarians embrace pontiff's conservative vision

VIA Circle of Prayer Newsletter: Pope John Paul II --Is he in charge? Yes. He may be physically disabled, but those who visit with him say that he is aware of what is going on around him, and has kept his sense of humor. When asked recently by a visiting cardinal how he felt, John Paul II replied: "I don't know. I haven't read the newspapers yet."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

88. By the ineffable providence of God, some have received holy returns for their toiling before their labours, some during their labours, some after labours, and some at the time of their death. It is a question which of them was rendered more humble.

November 7, 2003


VIA Philip:

Prophecies of Anne Catherine Emmerich.....part XV (1774-1824)

June 1, 1821. "Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities. A few had only a body, with a dark cloud of fog instead of a head. Others had only a head, their bodies and hearts were like thick vapors. Some were lame; others were paralytics; others were asleep or staggering."

"I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound. I also saw the Holy Father--God-fearing and prayerful. Nothing left to be desired in his appearance, but he was weakened by old age and by much suffering. His head was lolling from side to side, and it dropped onto his chest as if he were falling asleep. He often fainted and seemed to be dying. But when he was praying, he was often comforted by apparitions from Heaven.

Then, his head was erect, but as soon as it dropped again onto his chest, I saw a number of people looking quickly right and left, that is, in the direction of the world."

"Then, I saw that everything that pertained to Protestantism was gradually gaining the upper hand, and the Catholic religion fell into complete decadence. Most priests were lured by the glittering but false knowledge of young school-teachers, and they all contributed to the work of destruction."

"In those days, Faith will fall very low, and it will be preserved in some places only, in a few cottages and in a few families which God has protected from disasters and wars."

1820-1821. "I see many excommunicated ecclesiastics who do not seem to be concerned about it, nor even aware of it. Yet, they are (ipso facto) excommunicated whenever they cooperate to [sic] enterprises, enter into associations, and embrace opinions on which an anathema has been cast. It can be seen thereby that God ratifies the decrees, orders, and interdictions issued by the head of the Church, and that He keeps them in force even though men show no concern for them, reject them, or laugh them to scorn."

March 22, 1820. "I saw very clearly the errors, the aberrations, and the countless sins of men. I saw the folly and the wickedness of their actions, against all truth and all reason.

Priests were among them, and I gladly endured my suffering so that they may return to a better mind."

Taken from: Catholic Prophecy (pp 68-70)
Compiled by: Yves Dupont Published by:
Copyright: Original 1970

BIOGRAPHICAL LINK: Venerable Ann Catherine Emmerich

OF INTEREST: Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, "The Passion of Christ", of was inspired by a book written by Anne Catherine Emmerich titled "The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ". It delves into finite details about Christ's last few days and hours before His crucifixion, and subsequent resurection.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

86. Our own strong desire and intention, with God's cooperation, precede every spiritual labour, both visible and mental; for if the first has not paved the way, the second is apt not to follow.

November 6, 2003

(Luke 21:25-26)  "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.


A flare released by the Sun on Tuesday could be the most powerful ever witnessed, a monster X-ray eruption twice as strong as anything detected since satellites were capable of spotting them starting in the mid-1970s.

The strongest flares on record, in 1989 and 2001, were rated at X20.  This one is at least that powerful, scientists say.  The SEC is still evaluating the flare's ranking.  For now, they are calling it an X20+, indicating that it is indeed the most powerful on record.

The radiation flare was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME), an expanding cloud of charged particles -- actual matter that moves at supersonic speeds but not as fast as light.  Had this CME been aimed at Earth, scientists would have feared a potential space storm unlike anything seen in the Space Age.

During the past two weeks, number 486 and two other large sunspots set off nine other major flares.  It was one of the stormiest periods of activity ever witnessed, all experts agree.  The number of intense flares, some shooting out within a day of another, was unprecedented.


What is happening to the Sun?
November 'Star Trak': Lunar Eclipse, Meteor Shower, Auroras
November skies come alive in shifting celestial spectacle
Lunar eclipse adds to astronomy excitement


A new message was posted Monday by the Jeddah-based, al Qaeda-linked Al-Islah (Reform) society calling on Muslims to flee New York, Washington, and Los Angeles in advance of threatened major al Qaeda attacks in those cities.

The warning was reported by, a respected Internet publication which claims to be "devoted to independent, investigative reporting and forward analysis in the fields of international terrorism, intelligence, international conflict, Islam, military affairs, security and politics."

A similar message also appeared Monday on a Yahoo Group bulletin board.  Apparently posted by Daleel Almojahid, it read, "This is the last call for Muslims in New York, the east side and Los Angeles to start leaving.  The mojahideen [sic] are now ready to teach the US a lesson it will never forget."


Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

85. Some have said that demons work against demons; but I know that they all seek our destruction.

November 5, 2003


Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Pope John Paul this week to gently nudge the Orthodox and Catholic churches towards improving ties soured by a decade of post-Communist suspicions.

But his efforts may prove too late for John Paul, a key figure in the downfall of communism in eastern Europe, whose failing health could prevent him from fulfilling his dream of visiting Moscow unless a possibility comes soon. Attempts to promote dialogue between the Vatican and a reinvigorated Russian Orthodox Church have made little progress.

Putin, who meets the Pope on Wednesday while in Rome for a Russia-European Union summit, said his second visit to the Vatican was aimed at overcoming divisions within Christianity. "I therefore see my objective not in helping to get the pope to Russia but in helping steps towards unity. And naturally this is possible only if there is an understanding between churches," he told Italian journalists before leaving.

"For Russia it is even more important because it represents a further step towards integration with Europe. But we want to integrate with the West without losing out culture, our faith or our identity. We must tread very carefully on this path... "The pope is a wise and intelligent person – we have met before – and I am certain we will have plenty to talk about."

Orthodox Patriarch Alexiy II has made a visit by the Pontiff contingent on resolving complaints that Catholics are both poaching congregations and provoking disputes over property in western Ukraine - home to six million eastern-rite Catholics. Catholic leaders deny proselytising and say new dioceses and the naming of new bishops are strictly to serve the faithful.

John Paul sees reconciliation with Orthodoxy, separated from the Catholic faith since the Great Schism of 1054, as a primary objective of his papacy. He first visited an Orthodox country, Romania, in 1999, and has since toured many ex-Soviet states, but Russia remains his prized destination.


The official dialogue between Roman Catholic and Orthodox leaders in North America announced partial agreement on a doctrinal issue that has divided the two Christian branches for nearly 1,000 years.

The groups issued a joint statement last Tuesday about the wording of the Nicene Creed, which is recited in all Orthodox and Catholic churches.

The Orthodox insist on the original Greek text from the Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381), which speaks of "the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father." In 1014, the papacy added "and the Son" ("filioque" in Latin) after that phrase, despite opposition from Eastern churches.

The creedal change and the exercise of papal power without church-wide agreement were major issues in the "Great Schism" between Catholicism and Orthodoxy that was formalized in 1054.

The new statement, the 22nd since the talks began in 1965, notes that the Vatican has affirmed the "normative and irrevocable dogmatic value" of the wording from 381. The paper thus recommends that Catholicism use the original text in worship, and cancel an anathema against Orthodox usage from a Catholic council in 1274.

However, such actions require approval by the Vatican, which sponsors separate Orthodox-Catholic discussions at the world level.

The North American negotiators say the exact relationship of the three persons within the divine Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) "awaits full and final ecumenical resolution."

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

84. There is a demon avarice which often apes humility; and there is a demon of vainglory, and one of sensuality too, which both urge to almsgiving. However, if we are clear of them both, we should not stint our deeds of mercy wherever we are.

November 4, 2003

(2Th 2:3-4)  Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition,who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god--.


The United States, nominally, is a Christian land; peace unto Jews, Muslims and folks of all other faiths.

So what is ABC News doing by airing an hour-long television special tonight, "Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci," which promotes the thesis that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had children?

This thesis plays a key role in the best-selling tome, "The Da Vinci Code" (with more than 3.5 million copies sold to date) by Dan Brown (also booked today on the network's "Good Morning America").

Very early in this documentary, Mr. Brown states "Jesus was a man and this idea to somehow elevate him to the status of a god really implied he couldn't partake of the human aspects of life: marriage, love, sex."

Toward the end of this "news" documentary, a priest notes the reason, or one of the reasons, for the Church supporting the idea of a celibate Jesus for the ages, was the feeling the Church fathers had that sex was not so nice — and was, indeed, bad and wrong.

What we now are faced with, as it were, is the concept that the story of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is in fact a beautiful love story. Says Karen King of the Harvard Divinity School as the program's final images roll: "Today we have a need to take responsibility for the kind of religion we create."

MORE: Behind tonight's ABC Jesus special


A few days ago, L'Osservatore Romano, the official daily newspaper of the Vatican in Rome, printed a picture of Christ on its front page.

Nothing unusual, except that the photograph was accompanied by a quote from Pope John Paul II. 'Many things can be removed from us Christians, but the Cross, as a sign of salvation, we will not let them take,' he was quoted as saying by the newspaper which lays down the rule for the Catholic community around the world.

The Catholic Church now feels under siege in the very continent it has always regarded as its natural bastion: Europe.

Earlier this week, an Italian judge ordered a public school to remove from classrooms the sign of the crucifix, in order not to offend Muslim children.

And in other European countries, not only the idea of an organised, state-sponsored religion but also the very concept of Christianity as a defining characteristic of the 'old continent' is now being challenged.


Episcopal Church consecrates gay bishop
The Death-knell for Stable Marriages
Supreme Court rejects appeal over Ten Commandments monument

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 26- "On discernment of thoughts, passions, and virtues"

82. It is impossible for all to become dispassionate, but it is not impossible for all to be saved and reconciled to God.

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Jubilee 2000: Bringing the World to Jesus

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