Category Archives: Interreligious dialogue

Lion’s Gate: Preparing the 4th Temple with the blood of the peacekeepers (This Jewish Catholic Priest’s opinion)

lions gate

Islamic terrorists like any other criminals simply ignore the fact that crime is always counter-productive. Just a little while ago, some Israeli LEOs were assassinated at the Lion’s Gate, right next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The LEOs weren’t expecting the unprovoked attack and were exactly where they were supposed to be.

The immediate visceral reaction to this kind of violence at the Temple Mount (where you also find the ultra-vulnerable because basin-like Jewish prayer area at the Western [wailing] Wall), is to remove the Islamicists definitively, destroy the mosque, rip out the Dome of the Rock, and build the 4th Temple. Proof of this is that the immediate statement put out by Prime Minister Bibi is that the Status Quo of the Temple Mount will simply remain the same. In other words, if this was the instantaneous answer with no question being asked, the presumed question is whether the Status Quo will finally change, as it is soon expected to be changed within the foreseeable future. In other words, the tension is so much at fever pitch that anything could bring about a major change. It’s just a matter of time, sooner than later.

So, what’s this opinion of this Jewish-Catholic Priest? I think that whatever about the status of Jerusalem as an international city desired by some, blah blah blah, it is intense insanity to have more than one group contending to have ownership of the same place at the same time anywhere at any time for any reason. That’s simply not how fallen humanity is able to maintain peace.

Is it not better to have, say, the Israeli Defense Forces control the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and then allow visitors with controllable security measures in place for each visitor? I think so. That doesn’t mean anything is any less international if whatever about that “international” issue were to be decided. One group in control just means greater security. If it’s the first most holy site for a group, shouldn’t that group be in charge? The Temple Mount is the first most holy site for the Jews.

The Church of the Resurrection is Catholic from the beginning. I think the entirety of the Church of the Resurrection, including Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher, should be given over to the Franciscans at the Custody of the Holy Land exclusively. The extreme violence of some of the groups there is simply unacceptable.

Take an example. Should Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica be given over to Islam? I mean, after all, they’ve raided and pillaged Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica (of the time) a number of times (the reason for the massive defensive walls around Vatican City). I don’t think so.

The easy largesse of those who shout “BE NICE!” and don’t lift a finger to help keep the peace and who don’t take account of ongoing horrific violence caused by the insistence on that easy largesse.

// (begin sarcasm) — Hey! Let’s make the Swiss Guard in charge of the Temple Mount! –(end sarcasm) //

This opinion does not have anything to do with what I think about the fulfillment of the covenants in Christ Jesus our Lord and God. No, I do not believe that any building of any 4th Temple is productive in any way on any level.

Further disclaimer: I’m Catholic. I’m Jewish. I lived in Jerusalem for a good while, arriving when Jewish pilgrims were stoned at the Western Wall from the Mosque above, and when, then, 19 Palestinians were killed. I walked from the U.N. compound South of Jerusalem back to Jerusalem down the length of the Silwan valley into Silwan and back up to the Temple Mount. That was the day after fake “Christians” went into the town of Silwan to celebrate the death of the Palestinians. Those fake “Christians” say that “ethnic cleansing” (genocide, really) of all non-Jews throughout the Holy Land is the only way for Jesus to come back again. Those fake “Christians” are simply monsters. My saying that the Jews should have control of the Temple Mount has nothing to do these fake “Christians”. It’s the other way. What I’m pushing for would save many lives on a day to day basis.

Of course, there are those who would say that this would start a war. My answer to that is, “Where have you been?” I’m guessing that when the USA takes out North Korean nuclear capabilities, the Israelis will do the same for Iran, which is perhaps the best time to take peaceful control of the Temple Mount.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Is buying bacon at Walmart from Muslims now a hate crime? I like bacon.

bacon

Last night I went into one of our local Walmarts and was greeted by a very pleasant Walmart Greeter Muslim guy. He was all totally smiles and happiness. O.K. I loaded up my shopping cart with stuff like tomatoes, onions and whatever. I went to the cashier, a lady with a burka at the register, very nice. I paid, and then left, wishing all a nice day. O.K. There’s more to recount about Muslim stuff, but this is sufficient for this post. Just to say, it was a nice shopping experience all around. Great!

I didn’t buy any bacon or any pork products. I really never do. Someone had given me some bacon a few months ago, which I really really enjoyed. But anyway, what if I had bought some more bacon? Wouldn’t that force a Muslim to have contact with swine? Is that fair to them? Am I being hateful if I buy bacon at Walmart? Is it a hate crime on my part? Unfair religious provocation? Just some multi-cultural questions in a Dearborn age.

When I was teaching in the Pontifical seminary in Ohio in these USA, one of the seminarians was born a Muslim as his father was a Muslim and that’s how it is. Of course, in studying and being formed as a seminarian on his way to being ordained a Catholic priest, the youngster had converted to be Catholic, a capital crime in Islamic law, as was, in fact, proudly and loudly proclaimed by the local Islamic Cultural Center: the damned kid needed to be honor killed. Of course, the problem with this was, as the now seminarian told me, that his father had himself converted to be Catholic. Ha ha! The cowardly cowards at the Cultural Center cowered, cowards that they are. The seminarian told me that, for them, what counted was being treated with dignity and respect by the Catholics that they knew. They fell in love with the love that Jesus brings to us. Great.

Now, back to my question. Is this respect expressed in being a volunteer dhimmi, one who voluntarily lives under Sharia law because one doesn’t want to offend any Muslim customs, such as not having anything to do with pork? Just a multi-cultural question in a Dearborn age.

I put before you a text from the first generation of Christianity, a text from the letter to Diognetus:

“Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.”

From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)

Am I abusing that text? Am I caving to Islam? Can I buy bacon at Walmart?

I am hungry for bacon, but I’m not interested in provoking for the sake of provoking.

What to do?

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IT’S APRIL 8 – A MOST GLORIOUS DAY

COUNCIL OF TRENT

HEY! It’s the 471st anniversary of Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the most sacred and ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546. This is my most favorite of all magisterial interventions. Be awed by the syntax in Latin. Be awed by the breadth, the heights, the profundity, the glory emanating from this decree. Let yourself be wrapped up it’s reverence before the Most Holy Spirit. Let yourself be brought to your knees. Unfortunately, rebel Martin Luther, ex-Catholic priest, would die just months before this was published, though I have to think that he was kept up to date on the ruminations for the first drafts, not easy if one is in bad health.

First the Latin…

Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina synodus, in Spiritu sancto legitime congregata, praesidentibus in ea eisdem tribus apostolicae sedis legatis, hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa evangelii in ecclesia conservetur quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis dominus noster Iesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos apostolos tamquam fontem omnis et salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinae omni creaturae praedicari iussit; perspiciensque, hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis apostolis Spiritu sancto dictante quasi per manus traditae ad nos usque pervenerunt orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel oretenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu sancto dictatas et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur. Sacrorum vero Librorum indicem huic decreto adscribendum censuit, ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrascripti. Testamenti Veteris: Quinque Moysis, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; Iosue, Iudicum, Ruth, quattuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdrae primus et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Tobias, Iudith, Esther, Iob, Psalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta psalmorum, Parabolae, Ecclesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Ieremias cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim prophetae minores, id est: Osea, Ioel, Amos, Abdias, Ionas, Michaeas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; duo Maccabaeorum, primus et secundus. Testamenti Novi: Quattuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, Ioannem; Actus Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripti; quattuordecim epistulae Pauli Apostoli: ad Romanos, duae ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, duae ad Thessalonicenses, duae ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebraeos; Petri Apostoli duae; Ioannis Apostoli tres; Iacobi Apostoli una; Iudae Apostoli una et Apocalypsis Ioannis Apostoli. Si quis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis partibus, prout in ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt et in veteri vulgata latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones praedictas sciens et prudens contempserit: anathema sit.

Now my own slavish translation… NOT the usual translation!

The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided. See the Latin.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.

Note “almost as if by hand” since this is all about the Holy Spirit!

This is THE Counter-Reformation assertion by the Sacred Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against the heretics who reduce revelation to theology and inspiration to feelings, the dark arrogance having them rewrite and remove things from the Sacred Scriptures so as to assert merely themselves. This decree is CATHOLIC!

On a personal note, I was ordained a deacon on this day in the Twelve Apostles Basilica in Rome. Also, this decree became the center piece of the beginnings of a doctoral thesis (the first chapter being 256 pages), the story of which needs to be told one day, reaching as it does into the very heart of the intrigue of ecclesiastical politics and stirring the pot so much that… well, I’ll leave that for another day. Just note that this decree is still THE engine driving any true ecumenical dialogue, that is, which brings unity in truth and charity those who sincerely follow Jesus.

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Filed under Ecumenism, Holy See, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Spiritual life, Vulgate

I love that bumper sticker @ 72 virgins

72 virgins dating service

This bumper sticker was seen in my driveway the other day, not on the bumper of this friend’s truck, but on the back window of his truck.

I like that Pope Francis doesn’t want us throw around insults just to do it.

But this bumper sticker is merely a rather sharp reprimand of ISIS-minded people who torture and kill people just to it, hoping that they will themselves be “martyred” so that they can go to heaven and have 72 virgins to rape for eternity (since it’s all about women’s rights, right?).

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Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Military, Terrorism

Update: Dearborn MI open-carry inside police station / Brandishing vs. me at Police Station, Andrews NC. Yikes!

In Dearborn, Michigan, these guys are pulled over pretty frequently by the police so as to ascertain if they are creating a public disturbance, purposely terrorizing people. But now these guys seem to have gone too far. They open carried right into the police station with rifles and pistols and really a lot of ammo, one of them with a ski-mask covering his face. I don’t know if all that is legal to do in Michigan, particularly Dearborn, Michigan. They say it is. The police are understandably a bit nervous. Here‘s what one of the police officers yells out:

“Put it on the ground or you are dead,” one of the officers screams in the video that was live-streamed on the Internet via cell phones by Baker and Vreeland as the confrontation unfolded. “I will shoot you. I will put a round in you. What the hell is the matter with you?”

I don’t know what the motivation of the two open-carry advocates is, whether it is all about self-promotion or about the second amendment or if it is perhaps about their possibly being nervous because of the rumors, true or not, about un-official but somewhat de-facto sharia law observance in Dearborn or all or some or none of the above. Whatever about their motivation…

The fact remains that entering a police station armed to teeth (truly, the list is long) and with a ski-mask pulled over one’s face just doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea. FWIW.

alfalfa-little-rascals

Meanwhile, in Andrews, NC, I was sitting inside the police station just the other week having a chat about the executive order on immigration when a gentleman came waltzing in brandishing a fairly large pistol. Brandishing in any law enforcement center is, generally speaking, illegal in North Carolina. He was waving it about in my direction and I, trying to deescalate the situation, asked him in a sing-song naive voice and all smiles, much like Alfalfa of the Little Rascals:

“Hey! Wow! Is that one of those pistols that also shoots shotgun shells? It looks like the barrel is really big! Is that called ‘The Judge’?”

This threw him a bit, as it’s a stupid question. The Taurus Judge is actually a somewhat snub-nose pistol which can also fire off .410 shells. Although he had his hand around the handle of the gun and I could easily be mistaken, his .45 looked like a Colt, a Smith and Wesson, not small at all. He answered:

“Oh no. It’s, um, just a .45.”

As he looked down the barrel of his own gun I should have bolted and smashed him hard to the floor, as he was only about three steps from me.

45-colt-sw

At any rate, he then turned to the officer on duty – the gun still in my direction – and asked if it was O.K. for him to carry inside the station. The officer said:

“Well, you know, it’s not really allowed but I guess it would be O.K.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. I must say that although the guy was a nice guy, I did feel threatened since it was clear that everyone knew this was an illegal situation and that the officer, who had visibly tensed up and who had glanced over to me, may have only agreed to the brandishing of the gun under duress of the brandishing.

I kept my trap shut since this could have merely been a way on the part of the officer to buy time, deescalating the situation until such time as they could make an arrest and not get hurt. Never pull a gun when someone already has a gun in your face. They only have to pull the trigger, which is faster than whatever you can do.

I also thought the guy might be an ex-cop and that they might have all been friends and/or relatives, and I didn’t know quite how legal or illegal his situation might be in that circumstance, although I suppose I should take a hint from the actual officer on duty that “it’s not really allowed” for him. I will be happy to know if this guy was eventually arrested when this could be done safely. I was the one in the direction this guy was waving his .45 at…

If the situation went badly, I would have been shot first, as I was closest to him and he already had the gun aiming in my direction. Meanwhile, the officer would have had the time to draw and shoot him while I was getting shot. That saves the officer. Fine with me. I suppose I could have tried to avoid my getting shot by bolting behind a physical structure next to him and myself and then trying to slam him to the floor. He did have a second person with him. But if that other person didn’t have a weapon, I think I could have kept the guy pinned for the few seconds it would take to get the officer to shove a gun barrel into the back of his neck commanding him to let go of his weapon. I don’t know. If I had bolted toward him, first going behind the physical structure for cover, he could have first shot the officer before I got to him, easily shooting me in that time frame as well. Maybe the “permission” part of the conversation was a cue for me to tackle the guy as he was distracted at that point. After all, the officer had glanced over to me. He would have followed me with his gun, possibly shooting, but leaving the officer alive. I would have been behind the physical structure for a second. He would have been totally distracted. The officer could have taken a shot at him while that was going on.

What to do? The situation did deescalate… I don’t know if there was an arrest that followed later…

Did I do the right thing in delaying, letting it deescalate? It might not have deescalated at all. He could have killed me and perhaps also the officer after that. He was pointing the gun in my direction the whole time. Each nano-second was a risk for me, and then the other officer. What would you have done? Suggestions?

It just happened to work well. This time. Just because it worked out this time doesn’t at all mean that it was best to let it deescalate.

Should I have possibly taken a bullet possibly saving the officer? I could have commanded the guy to PUT THE GUN DOWN NOW!  while moving unstoppingly in his direction. I’m a pretty big guy… with a pretty big voice if I need it. His voice was just so familiar and soft-spoken when he talked to the officer on duty that it really did seem they were friends or relatives or the guy was absolutely to be trusted because of his own background… But it’s often like that. For instance, bank robbers are usually extremely soft-spoken and nice because in that moment they have all the power.

FBI CITIZENS ACADEMYThe thing is, I didn’t know any of that possible background (which I think is actually the case regarding a friend or relative). It was extremely imprudent for him to brandish like he did. He could easily have pulled the trigger on me, unwittingly, if I tackled him. Actually, I’m still pretty upset with this guy for recklessly putting lives at risk. Unless the police tell me different, I think I will tackle anyone brandishing in the police station here. There are plenty of people who are fully capable of brandishing in the police station, having the mentality of the two in the video at the top of this post. They brag about it. Loudly. That’s just the way it is. And now they have a good example as it seems to me someone who does this without getting arrested, if that’s the case, is a hero to very many people around here.

The lesson for all of us is that you just don’t know how you’re going to react in whatever situation. This was good training, whether I did the best I could or if I could have done better. It helps to go through real situations. The point of training is to get better. Which reminds me about the FBI training: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!) Critical incident situations are simply not easy. One does need to be trained. I see that more clearly now than previously.

P.S. Just to say. I did not have a weapon with me. It would have been illegal for me inside a law enforcement facility. But I could have tackled the guy. I probably would have died. But I could have saved the officer’s life. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Ideas?

UPDATE: As I now find out, not only was this guy not arrested, this incident was not even reported within the office. My response: The next time someone is brandishing against the law, following this guy’s bad example, I will end the threat, whether I get shot or not. At any rate, I was told that this will be brought up for training purposes in the department. That’s all I can ask for. That’s a good result.

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Filed under Guns, Interreligious dialogue, Officer Down!

Update: Western North Carolina Catholic outreach to Native Americans

Does anyone have a copy of the prayer to the four directions / winds / spirits  said for decades in the Cherokee Catholic church? As many of you know, I have a rather extensive background in interreligious dialogue and at textual analysis. I’d like to see what might be possible for solidarity / openness along the lines somewhat of Matteo Ricci, S.J.

Update: O.K. Well, lots of people are sending in lots of things in comments and emails, texts and links and whatnot, none of which was actually used in the Cherokee Catholic Church in WNC. These range from anything from witchcraft to Saint Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun.

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Ikhwan الإخوان‎‎‎ (Muslim Brotherhood) – Terrorism in America [[Updated]]

suicide-bomber

Profiling regardless of group? Suicide vest / wired button? Yes to all the above. 18 pounds of explosives. This was a Spring day, which can be brutally hot in Israel. Anything suspicious about his wardrobe choices on a hot day? About his wide, cargo-carrying stance? About his face of despair? About his surroundings? Profiling is sometimes necessary.

Whatever about the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and so many others, the day will soon come when also the Muslim Brotherhood is listed by these U.S.A. in the category of terrorist organizations, which is only right, seeing that the “Brotherhood” has done so very much to promote terrorism right around the world and right here in these U.S.A. I can’t wait for the day that the “Brotherhood” is designated a terrorist organization and the day the FBI is mandated to rid these U.S.A. of terrorists and terrorist organizations, that is, even if they plan and promote their attacks inside of mosques and “cultural centers.” In the previous administration, mosques and “cultural centers” were off limits. The only reason I can see that this mandate has not already happened in these first days of the new Administration in D.C. is that blitz arrests are still being organized in view of the present change of perspective. I, for one, am willing to testify against the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in a sworn statement adding to mounting evidence favoring such operations or in court if there is any kind of appeal against an Executive Order that may be granted to the “Brotherhood” by the stacked U.S. Judiciary.

One group publicly offering support for the Muslim Brotherhood publicly told me significantly in late 2010 in Columbus, Ohio, that a Shariah inspired honor-killing of a contemporary convert to Christianity (Fathima Rifqa Bary) was necessary. It’s the same group that said that they are gathering enough individuals to do whatever acts they think are necessary to take over America for Allah so that, when the time comes, they will do it. They could say these things with impunity at the time, under that U.S. Administration. But the time is coming when that impunity will no longer be the case.

In the Free Dictionary we have a succinct paragraph about sedition:

Sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the First Amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare. Nevertheless, sedition remains a crime in the United States under 18 U.S.C.A. § 2384 (2000), a federal statute that punishes seditious conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 2385 (2000), which outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force. Generally, a person may be punished for sedition only when he or she makes statements that create a Clear and Present Danger to rights that the government may lawfully protect (schenck v. united states, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 [1919]).

It seems to me that purposed recruiting of individuals to commit acts that would bring about the overthrow of the government at an unknown time (=any time) is a clear and present danger, especially when public support is made for organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t think one has to wait for any buttons to be pressed. It seems that the fellow in the picture above had a failed suicide-bomb button. Not all of them fail. Enough is enough.

UPDATE: If you read between the lines, you might be able to see that for the time being I’m being extra careful. The reason for this is that the swamp of pro-Islamicist terrorism which exists among our Law Enforcement, Intelligence Communities, and various entities among the Feds needs to be drained. Here’s a deadly example from a friend at JihadWatch.org.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Patriotism, Politics, Terrorism

Hey, Madeleine Albright. You are not a Muslim. You are a Catholic. Get with it.

madeleine-albright

Dearest Madeleine,

I too was raised Catholic. I too only later found out my family was Jewish. I am still a Catholic priest who happens also to be Jewish. That’s not a contradiction. That you became Episcopalian by choice says a lot. When non-Catholic Christians make fun of themselves they say to each other: “Oh, you must be Episcopalian,” the idea being that anything goes with Episcopalians. Now, with your head still spinning, you say that you stand ready to register as Muslim in solidarity. What does that even mean? Are you ready to wear a rug? Are you ready to be raped and then honor-killed by the “pious men” who watched you being raped but did nothing except accuse you of not wearing a big enough rug? Are you ready to cut down Christians and Jews wherever they are? Are you? If it’s all hyperbole about your conversion to Islam, you know, so that you don’t really mean it, so that really you are mocking Islam about your conversion, well, I don’t think they will appreciate that. Sometimes political skills are not appreciated by those for whose benefit they are used. Be careful what you wish for. For their part, they might want Trump to make a scene so that they have an excuse for “extremism.” When you are ready to make your Catholic sacramental Confession, hunt me down; I’ll give you a light penance. Jesus loves you even during the time that you have reject Him. He wants you back to the fullness of truth and the fulfillment of the Jewish-Catholic faith. Don’t forget, salvation is of the Jews, and is now universal, that is, Catholic.

Father George David Byers (your Jewish-Catholic Priest)

P.S. Do you also say, “Je suis Charlie Hebdo”?

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Filed under Ecumenism, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Update: My terrorist friend and the terrorist friend of USMC Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis

26th U.S. Secretary of Defense USMC General James Norman “Mad Dog” Mattis asserts that we can get along with the Islamicist countries at least on some security cooperation by way of the inspiration of the greatness of America, noting that this is a better way to go because, as has been pointed out with the way things stand now (because of the past number of years), Islamists would rather put up with an imperfect government of their own free will than be forced to like America at the end of a USMC bayonet. I agree with all that only because I think the General has enough sense to see that security cooperation as that which needs double and triple checking, something we can actually do. It’s like giving fighter jets to such a country, knowing that Israel and the USA can take out those out-of-date planes in a nano-second. So, nobody is hoodwinking anyone.

If anyone should think that Mattis is crazy for hearing out his engineer-terrorist friend, let me offer my own similar anecdote on my encounter with one of the most deadly terrorists in the history of Israel…

jacobs well

“Hey!” said I to myself in early mid-January 1991, “why not jump on a bus and go deliver some anti-terror gas-masks to the Missionaries of Charity sisters up in Nablus in the West Bank before Saddam Hussein starts lobbing scud missiles on our heads?” So, off I went with the Jerusalem campus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute crowd shouting after me that I was really, really unwise. I knew that anyway, so, O.K.. I think they said something about a possible curfew as well, but, what does “possible” mean except possibly not?

I jumped off the bus on Al-Quds Street pretty far south of the city of Nablus and walked in, trying to get a feel for things, imagining biblical scenes playing out before me. On my way to the sisters, I wanted to stop and have a drink at Jacob’s well, which I did. But, before I got there, a young man I’m guessing twelve years old came up to me and asked me where I was from. As I think back on this, this was pretty brave, as the streets were completely empty. In Israel/Palestine, just because people stay inside, lock their doors and shutter their windows doesn’t mean a curfew, just that they are being careful. The monastery at Jacob’s Well had also been locked up, but the monk-in-charge let me in.

Anyway, when I said America, he got all excited and started telling me in broken English about how much he would like to go to the USA as he had some relatives there. “Great!” said I, and I asked him when he was coming over. His expression went all dark, with eyes glazing over. “I’m not going,” he said to no one in particular, as if he were asserting the fact to a vacuous universe. “But you have relatives there,” said I, encouraging him; “Why don’t you go?” “I would love to go,” he said; “America is a wonderful country. There is freedom.” “Come!” I exclaimed. “There are things I need to do here,” came the answer. He had a look that I would only come to recognize later as “The Look”, the look of terrorist who has been marked for a suicide mission at some point in the future. His mention of “things” he needs to do bothered me enough that I had mentioned it to others back at the Institute.

terrorist suicide bomber

I asked him to direct me to Jacob’s Well. Actually, we were within sight of it and he pointed it out with some anger for how stupid I was for asking him that. Calming down, he said that he had been there himself, outside the door, but had never gone in. The conversation switched to politics, his own poverty, and religion. I was pretty straightforward about my being Catholic. What I noticed in all this was that there was a kind of steel fist gripping his soul, suffocating him, that wouldn’t let him think about the topics he so very much wanted to think about. While “seeing” that fist crushing the life out of him, I saw clearly that he was looking for something from me, from anyone, different from what he had been getting from anyone around him. I hope I gave him something, but, was it enough? Evidently not. Some years ago, when I saw this picture of the young man, I froze, having the strong sensation that this was the fellow with whom I had been speaking in Nablus. If anything, it was a spitting image. I could be wrong, but, wow: it’s him.

This is Saeed Hotari, although the idiot military wing of Hamas, Izzedine al Qassam, who sent him to his death, called him by his father’s name, Hassan Hotari of Qalqiya, which is just a half a day’s walk from Nablus. It seems they had moved to Zarqa on the far side of Amman. He was there at the beginning of the time when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was there, but then he made his way back into the West Bank. I’m only guessing here, but the bomb Saeed would go on to use was so complex and so powerful that he would have had to have help by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. There’s simply no other way.

Saeed was the suicide bomber who had taken so very many lives ten years later, in 2001, in Israel, West of Nablus. Dozens dead, scores and scores injured: the Dolphinarium attack against mostly newly arrived Russian Jewish girls. Again, it’s absolutely a spitting image of him. Ten years had passed since our conversation. He held off for ten years. But in that time, of course, much can happen and much pressure can be applied. He was vulnerable to being misled again by the likes of someone like al-Zarqawi. People do have free will. Hearing what his family had to say, you would think that it was the greatest honor that their son had killed himself and so many innocent people. His own father is perhaps the most guilty.

This is another reason why, I repeat, that I’ve made Islamism a bit of a project in my life. I’m guessing I’m a bit sharper with things now. It’s not a talent you want to have to use, or want to have come by the hard way. But, as the FBI puts it in their training materials, one needs to prepare for “The Coming Storm” (see: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!)). I wish the CIA would put out something similar. We’ll surely be seeing more of this, more of “The Look.”

After drinking water from Jacob’s Well, I found the Missionaries of Charity and had a good time with them. But then I needed to get back to a bus going to Jerusalem. So, off I went, but I was still far from everything on the Northern side of Mount Gerizim when I found myself in the middle of an ambush, with the Israeli Defense Forces shooting in every which direction. The megaphones they used on top of their SUVs commanding this and that echoed from every which way, making it impossible to know which direction it was coming from. It’s seems there was a daytime curfew after all. That’s surely why Saeed ran out to meet me. He figured that anyone disobeying a curfew while carrying a package had to be a fellow terrorist. Anyway, they wanted anyone on the street to make their way down to a certain intersection, but a Palestinian man called me into his house so I could escape the bullets, and then, when all was calm once again, he politely asked me to be on my way. I thanked him for saving my life, risking his own to do it – with me looking much more Jewish than anything like a Muslim – but he just insisted that I now be on my way. Good people are to be found everywhere.

Islam has nothing to offer its adherents except the self-congratulations their submission to Allah brings to themselves, except the misery of oppression that submission to Allah brings. America always looks better, also because – I would say this – because of the circumstances which are brought about by and large by people of faith. That’s very attractive to the dark side. We should encourage that whatever way we can. I agree with Mad Dog Mattis. Yes, I do.

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*NOC*NOC* “Who’s there?” “Fear.” “Fear who?”

noc

N.O.C. – I pass by this sign all the time. It will soon be a frozen ghost town in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. In some rather arcane circles, the letters N.O.C. also stand for Non-Official Cover, the rather obnoxious title for “illegals,” who are neither illegal (at least for us), nor non-official (at least for us), and whose only cover (usually business and politics) might be playing the self-referential fool, kind of like the Holy Roman Empire which was not Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire.

At any rate, being an illegal, a NOC, usually, is nothing Kryptos. But that’s the problem. It should be everything Kryptos. Can anyone figure out terrorist initiative without being Kryptos? No, not without being Kryptos, at least my version of it, you know, taking into consideration the geological and mathematical elements physically represented and begging to be brought into one’s heart of hearts. What’s an analyst without it? Just someone manipulated by others. Not being at the heart of Kryptos is all play. An analyst might get lucky once in a while without being at the heart of all, but once in a while isn’t good enough. In fact, it makes one vulnerable to being used, the most dangerous NOC of all. All NOCs should be Kryptos.

It’s kind of like the difference between being “spiritual” and religious, as if those who are religious are not at all spiritual. The “spiritual” but not religious person is a faker, the most dangerous person of all. They congratulate themselves for being, you know, nice, sharing some supposedly common value, say, of niceness, that one supposes some spiritual power somewhere out in outer-space might appreciate in a heartless, mindless, but, you know, nice way. As often as not, it’s psychologism replacing a truly spiritual life. And that’s a licence to murder: “The god of my creation is on my side.” That’s when right and wrong lose the integrity of black and white and become 50 shades of self-serving gray, lusting for the power that covers the innocent in the red blood if death. Is that still called integrity? Integrity demands excellence. It’s the harder option, but is always worth it.

Excellence demands smarts and guts. True religion frees one from fear of being smart and from fear of having guts. One can face reality head on. It’s exhilarating. NOCs should give it a try. Those who insist “Gray is good for integrity” are low-life scum, you know, the ultra sophisticated creepo guys who have gone all Gnostic about “gray”. Having been had, betrayed, almost killed however many times, having seen killings even by the hundreds, having killed many… none of that means facing reality head on. It just means one has had those experiences which, however much they may put an edge on someone, do not of themselves make anyone less fearful of the big picture, perhaps more. Only watching God take our place in tortured death so as to have the right in his own justice to demand forgiveness can be the occasion for for one not to run away from seeing the big picture: “Father, forgive them.”

Meanwhile, the truly religious person lives out the ultimate virtue of justice, namely, religion, namely, giving to God that which is God’s due: “Thank you, God, for having this otherwise useless heap of weakness live what is reasonable and just in service of you and others, even if it means I have to lay down my life that others might live for that which is reasonable and just, for you.” Doing the religious thing, say, going to Mass, the Last Supper united with Calvary (see Kryptos) – This is my body given for you in Sacrifice, my blood poured out for you in Sacrifice – giving to God that which is his due in all justice, he himself standing in our stead to take on the death we deserve for original sin and whatever personal sin so that he might have the right in his own justice to have mercy on us… yes, that is also spiritual and brings one without fear into the heart of all.

And that’s deadly important: no fear. The merely “spiritual” person is full of fear. They are on the run from themselves. Such an analyst might fill his waking hours and his nightmares with innumerable facts, all so intriguing with their interconnectedness or not, and the adrenaline rush had by someone who lives the fake-news cycle, thinking they are it, you know, special. Such a person doesn’t want to get to the heart of all. They are afraid. They paint themselves into the peripheries so that they can’t see the way things really are, however much violence and injustice they otherwise see.

But for the religious person who is truly spiritual there is no fear of finding the answer in oneself when looking for the terrorist, and one can find that terrorist, even in the early stages, well, pretty much every time as quick as quick can be. In Jerusalem I did this for recreation. Starting from scratch, one could get a stop-watch and see how many minutes it would take me to get the personal contact info of someone personally named on our terrorist list. My record on the street is, I think, eight minutes. That was in Jerusalem, but the head terrorist guy for whom I got the contact info was in Syria. Then you see who those guys know in Jerusalem, etc. I’m not tooting my own horn here, as my point is that anyone can do this if you’re not afraid to see what is right in front of you. Fakers not only waste everyone’s time, they bring everyone down with them: “We didn’t think it was important.” Compared to what is the question. What’s the standard of importance, of urgency, of whether something means something? When the importance of fake-religion (e.g. ISIS rubbish) is dismissed, successful terrorism ensues. One cannot see the importance of fake-religion unless one sees the importance of true religion. One cannot see the importance of true religion unless one lives it with integrity.

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ODNI NSA CIA… Politically correct intelligence? Is that, like, a thing?

CIA MEMORIAL LANGLEY

Thanks for your “DEDICATION ON BEHALF OF THE AGES.”

A great deal of my life in academics was spent in getting to know the greatest thinkers the world has ever known, such as the prophets and evangelists, such as Augustine and Aquinas on the one hand, as well as, on the other, the fakers who become flavors of the day for self-congratulators, such as Erasmus and Luther, Rahner and de Chardin, Mohammed and Cardinal […].

What I’ve discovered about so very many of the analysts of those personages and so many others is that it’s all just about another effort in self-congratulation unless they take the time and effort (laziness and fear of the reality of oneself is the problem) to read everything that person has read, unless they go back in time as well as one might so as to insert oneself in the languages and mores and the times in which that person lived, shedding anachronisms of what we know or think we know and whatever we would want to see for whatever selfish reasons. You know the exclamation by a great orator: “O tempora! O mores!” That blistering sarcasm presumes a comparison with other times and other ways of doing things, condemning the idiocy of our own day, whatever day that happens to be in which pride of self covers over reality. But this protestation falls on deaf ears. The game among most academics is to ensure that no one does real research so that the comfort of self-congratulation can continue unabated: “Let’s all read ourselves into whatever and whoever, just don’t confuse us with the facts!”

Now, I just wonder – just wondering, mind you – whether or not a few of those who set policy for intelligence communities these days have set about reducing acquisition of knowledge, of actionable intelligence, to the lowest common denominator that is so low and so common that, really, if someone knows how to play this game, he or she can escape being thrust outside the ultra-broad parameters of tolerance of normalcy by encoders of algorithms, thus remaining undetected, the tradecraft of avoiding tradecraft, making it appear that one is not avoiding detection. Doing this is as easy as knowing the dumbed-downness of one’s partner in the “game.” If the political correctness of analysts has been brought to the point of having analysts never delving deeply into motivation (a predictor of action), the policy has provided a licence to terrorists to kill. Such policy would be the arrogance of a false humility, the imposition of what one expects of one’s ideological instead of real self, a reading of the mere shell of oneself into the target, the actual reality of the target being brushed aside as irrelevant, making the suspect no longer suspect. If it’s irrelevant for me then it must be irrelevant for him, right? Wrong. This is precisely not the humility of which I wrote regarding Kryptos. (See: Solving Kryptos – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.) This is precisely the way to let terrorism happen.

So, let me be more specific. Is there a politically correct denial of natural law, even though it is cited continuously and somewhat speciously, you know, the old “integrity which knows how to work in gray areas” diatribe? What is the basis for integrity if not natural law, such as in “Don’t murder the innocent,” that kind of thing? Rejection of some of the natural law is rejection of all of it, weakening the accomplishment of the mission because of the dimming of the vision of analysts. If they can’t see what they are doing, what can one expect?

O.K., let me be even more specific. If there is such a backing away from natural law, there follows lockstep a confounding of real religion with fake religion. True religion, to be such, must be consonant with natural law. Fake religion always compromises natural law. If true religion is irrelevant to the analyst, he or she won’t be able to assess the importance of fake religion as a primary motivator in terrorist attacks. This is ideological insanity (wildly not consonant with reality) and forces analysts to be nervous enough to exaggerate their merely secular analyses, as if that were enough. “We can do it! We can do it!” Yes, UBL was had that way, but so much more can be done. Fake religion is the primary motivator in terrorism. That must be taken into account. If not, expect the worst, like Kasi, like the Tsarnaevs, like…

So, what is the crux of religion? It’s not as Kryptos as you think, if you’re honest.

Anyway, something to think about even before mid-late January when the swamps along the Potomac will be drained. Let’s gear up for something good, shall we? For my part, I think I should start publishing a bit more on real vs. fake religion. Stay tuned.

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Pope Francis’ sarcasm @ ISIS / Islam when asked about père Jacques Hamel

isis burning children

ISIS burning children to death as young as three years old

“It is not a war of religions but for power. There is one word I wish to say to clarify. When I speak about ‘war’ I’m speaking about a war for real, not a ‘war of religions.’ It is a war about (economic) interests, money, natural resources and the domination of peoples. All religions desire peace. Other people want war.” – Pope Francis

So, does Pope Francis mean that père Jacques Hamel is not a martyr, or that the Missionaries of Charity sisters are not martyrs? That would seem to be insane and the Pope seems to think they were heroic. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s try to come up with something reasonable about what he said. I mean, to say that religions cannot be at war is simply stupid or malicious. I mean, let’s look at the Old Testament: was the God of the chosen people not a real God? Is the God of the Jews to be damned? Or for that matter, moving on in time, was Pope Saint Pius V an anti-Catholic for his defensive measures (very war-like mind you) at the battle of Lepanto? And for that matter, does ISIS really not intend to serve their god, Allah? Really?

How about this: Maybe Pope Francis is saying with fully intended sarcasm that Islam is not a religion at all. Hey! I like that! Finally! Yay!

But wait, that really does sound like it’s all an insult to the Jews and the Jewish God, which, by the way, is our God, the one and only God. There were good reasons for the Jews to be war-like. There were good reasons for being on the defensive at Lepanto. There is never a good reason for Islam to do what it has always done with its aggression from its beginning until this very day.

When ISIS asks the kids if they renounce Jesus and accept Islam, and the kids say no, and then the kids are burned to death, that’s all about merely trying to make a few extra bucks, right? Got it! Nothing to do with religion! Just about domination of peoples! Oh, I remember now: the Qur’an is all about subjugating the Christians and Jews. And the Qur’an is like, religious, or not, in that case. ;-)

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Terrorism analysis – the big picture (1) Politically correct guilt inviting terror but always against the same victims

yad vashem railroad

National guilt that is way over-exaggerated for past injustice is one of the best ways to invite a proliferation of terror in an effort to self-punish. Everything can be exaggerated, and the reasons can be frightening and bad things can and do happen.

Do we shout in a self-congratulatory way: “Never again!” as if we were morally superior today compared to people of yesterday just because we live today, giving ourselves a licence to kill? Some people say “Never again!” with sincerity, but some do not.

Three examples: Germany and France and these USA

(1) Germany

Germany has been going through a much needed process of guilt, coming to grips with just how it is that they did what they did against the Jews. But there is some exaggeration in this. Thus, I’ve had a number of highly influential professors from Germany and a Nazi-sympathizing part of Switzerland who said that those who remain Christian after the Holocaust are guilty of the Holocaust even if they were born after the Holocaust and had nothing to do with the Holocaust. That’s stupid or more likely malicious. That kind of self-righteous crusading statement just builds up a false guilt and a real resentment against those on whose behalf one is supposed to feel guilty. No one likes a misplaced guilt and will work to take away the cause, even doing what they have falsely been accused of doing. These professors, by the way, remained Christian. Basically they were thereby saying that they were Nazis. I’ve heard the same diatribe from people who should know better from four different countries, with dozens of others who thought it was great or couldn’t care less. So, what has happened since then?

As a nation, Germany congratulated itself to the end that it is thought Germans could not ever be prejudiced again and, to prove that this was the case, welcomed as many Islamicist terrorists as they possibly could, and even tolerated for as long as they could all the subsequent raping and killing that is so allowable under Sharia law. I wonder who the enemies of Israel are if not Islamicist terrorists. Get it?

(2) France

You’ll remember that France was pretty weak when it came to defending the Jews during World War II. The French police of the Vichy government helped round up and deport over 75,000 Jews, almost all of whom died in the concentration camps. France had already long occupied Algeria, but it wasn’t long after WWII that they lost their war with Algeria, which was waged by Islamicists from 1954 to 1962. At first, nervous about it, Frenchmen everywhere would drive about in France honking their horns three times and then, after skipping a beat, two other honks, the beats for the chant “Algérie Française,” a political/military movement. Most French Islamicists are from Algeria. They flooded France from that time until today. To this day, when there is a news report in France about terrorists, you’ll undoubtably hear that kind of honking going on in the background: “Algérie Française” honk-honk-honk—honk honk.

Meanwhile, the French feel terribly guilty about their treatment of the Jews, and say that they would never ever help with anything like the Holocaust ever again, not with the Jews, not with anyone. Of course, in being oppressive to the Algerians for so long, and feeling even more recently guilty about that (and losing yet another war) they couldn’t bring themselves to say anything but good things even about Islamic terrorists. I mean, what did we see the other day? A couple of known terrorists had their tracking devices turned off for hours each day so that they could go about unmonitored, you know, so the French could consider themselves to be nice, instead of, like, you know, prejudicial. A blood-bath ensued. Of course it did. The individuals involved are known terrorists. It isn’t prejudice to keep them locked up. But the French just cannot, cannot, cannot put real blame on anyone for anything because they know that they themselves are guilty of past oppressions against both Jews and Algerians. But letting real criminals free to kill is no way to cover up one’s own guilt. These individuals wanted to fight for ISIS in the Middle-East, and we know the intentions of ISIS for Israel. It’s O.K. to judge the cases of individuals. Really, it is.

(3) These USA

These USA are a special case. We liberated the Jews from the camps. We have helped Israel. Rightly so. We have suffered events like 9-11 from Islamist terrorists. But now we have been apologizing to the terrorists, lying to do so, coming up with stories about some video so as to congratulate terrorists for killing Americans in Benghazi, and a thousand other examples where the most obvious terror related incidents are called work-place violence, etc. Why? Is there guilt? Not unless it comes from someone believing in Islamicist terrorism whose regret is that the world does not yet totally belong to ISIS. The annihilation of Israel followed by wholesale slaughter of Jews throughout the world is lockstep.

Finally…

Here’s the deal. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and whatever other rubbish we ourselves have come up with. He purposely, willingly let us kill Him, our attempt at getting His goodness and kindness away from our eyes (too incriminating for our guilt). He, having stood in our stead and taking on the death we deserve, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, forgave us. So, no more guilt. But we are afraid of forgiveness.

But we won’t admit what we’ve done, but that doesn’t change the facts. And the guilt works on us. Even if we say we are atheists, we cannot escape the weight of the glory of God bearing down upon us as an invitation to His mercy. We still see it as incrimination of our weakness and self congratulations and arrogance. And so we attempt to get Him out of the way. We attempt to get His family out of the way, the Jews: “Ah! Maybe if we kill all the Jews, our own guilt will just disappear!” We are sooo stupid and self-righteous. Meanwhile, Israel is every single day closer to being wiped off the face of the earth.

“Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus Christ

If only we would just get a bit of humility. We can ask the Most High for this humility. We should remember, with Saint Paul (Romans 9:4-5):

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

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Extra ecclesiam nulla salus / There is no salvation besides the Church!

john paul ii be not afraid

On the Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 2000, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith promulgated with the ratification of Saint Pope John Paul II the Declaration Dominus Iesus, on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. The raging debate has always been about the understanding of the word “extra”.

  • Does “extra” mean merely what most all would grant, that, outside of Christ in His Church, there is no other Savior, such as some martian in a space ship?
  • Does “extra” refer, for instance, to a legal application of positive divine law regarding baptism, indeed, even baptism done within the Catholic Church, so that no other Christians could ever be found in heaven no matter what?

Dominus Iesus is an important doctrinal document meant to be a teaching document settling controversies. It is brief, to the point. Most extraordinary. Well worth the read. There is a paragraph at the end which is interesting:

In treating the question of the true religion, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: “We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all people. Thus, he said to the Apostles: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’ (Mt 28: 19-20). Especially in those things that concern God and his Church, all persons are required to seek the truth, and when they come to know it, to embrace it and hold fast to it”

Obviously there are more refined questions about the phrase “continues to exist” blah blah blah. But I’ll tell you this, if one accepts what is written in that document, there is no way that one could say that Islam has anything whatsoever to do with any kind of religion, even while the revelation which both Jews and Catholics have received is precisely the same in all ages (Aquinas, Siri et al.).

And let’s get this right: religion is part of the virtue of justice, so that one is to render to God that which is His due, which is proper worship, which can only be done through, with and in Jesus, to the greater glory and honor of God in the unity of the Most Holy Spirit. And remember, Christ Jesus, the Son of the Immaculate Conception, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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HEY! Donkey day has arrived! WooHoo! Every donkey has his hour!

image

And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, `Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luk 13:32-35 rsv)

The Donkey — by G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

========= If I could only be a worthy donkey! ========

palestinian donkeyA donkey brought Mary to Bethlehem. A donkey’s breathing kept Jesus warm in the manger. A donkey accompanied the Holy Family to Egypt and all the way back to Nazareth. A donkey was used by the good Samaritan. Donkeys can sing. Most intelligent, they only do what they understand. They are not stubborn as mules. They are hard workers and terribly loyal. They are the symbol of Judaism from time immemorial right back through the millennia, along with the Lion of the tribe of Judah. They have suffered humiliation by elitist Democrats but are nonetheless resilient. It is the donkey who protects the sheep, doing away with “that fox.”

Below, the graffito from the first centuries of the crucified donkey (Jesus the Jew) worshiped by a Jewish boy and follower of Jesus (Alexamenos) in the Emperor’s School on the Palatine overlooking the Circus Maximus, with the Forum on the other side and the Colosseum on the other, mocked by his friends. I’m thinking that Alexamenos some became a martyr in those blood filled days, much like today.

alexamenos

This reminds me of Jackass for the Hour, the unpublished and needing revision 750 page ecclesiastical thriller novel I wrote for the sake of distraction while doing my doctorate on Genesis 2:4a–3:24, a novel about The Murderous Intrigue of Interreligious Politics (with a major theme being the papyri and mss, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation).

jackass for the hour

At the time, Renzo di Lorenzo was my pen-name. I’ve given up on pen-names. They don’t help me. I thought I might need one last year, but that all changed. Maybe the time will come again. I don’t know. What I do know is that donkey day is a great day. I wish I could always be a worthy donkey. And… and… I’m very happy to know that my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all Jewish, meaning that I’m Jewish! Yeah!

 

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Dancing With Stones: Interreligious Dialogue Below the Temple Mount

img_20160113_100252455.jpg

On the very day I arrived at the Jerusalem Campus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute on Paul Emile Botta Street in West Jerusalem, a stone’s throw from the old city Continue reading

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A Pope Francis style dialogue: Getting Stoned in the West Bank

bus stoned jerusalem

When I was going to Hebrew University in the West Bank, my fellow priests and sisters of the Pontifical Biblical Institute would take the bus, scared to death.

They frequently returned with shards of glass in their hair and on their clothes, while I, meanwhile, calmly walked to school and back like I always did as a Continue reading

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My terrorist convert friend (suicide)

terrorist suicide

I don’t why, but I seem to know many more terrorists than the average Joe on the street. I don’t know why that is. This is a happy story and a sad story. An interreligious dialogue story. A story, I am afraid, of a victory but also of a terrible failure on my part. And maybe that’s why I dwell on such things a bit too much.

While doing my studies in Rome, taking the good example of a certain Swiss priest-friend, I made it a habit to do some street apostolate while doing my studies in Rome. Besides saying Mass and hearing confessions at pretty much every Missionary of Charity house in the city (except the one in Vatican City), I made it a point to Continue reading

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