Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Reformed Christian Comes Home

Check out Tyler's blog here and give him the old Tiber Swim Team Welcome Home!

Update: It appears Tyler has decided to delete his blog. I suspect it has to do with the vitriol and hostility he has experienced from those of his former communion. Jason Stellman has experienced a similar fall out.  Once again this reinforces for me the reality that if your theology says that your personal behavior (including vitriolic and hateful anonymous com boxing) can't affect where you spend eternity, you feel entitled to get away with all manner of name calling and "Raca" calling.
Jesus said that whoever calls his brother "raca" must answer to the Sanhedrin and if he calls them "fool", is in danger of hell fire. It appears that scripture doesn't  apply to Christians who believe they can't lose their salvation. Instead they believe Calvin's theology trumps Jesus own words!
  You have to seriously question a belief system among Christians that allows them to behave in such an ungodly manner when one of their own chooses (using their own private interpretation of scripture) a different theological system to adhere to.  Btw, what the heck is a necrophiliac heretic?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nashville Indie Musician Comes Home to The Church !

Today I got a message from _____, who is an evangelical singer-songwriter in Nashville. He first wrote to me via this blog in March of this year expressing an interest in the Catholic faith. This morning he was confirmed in the Catholic faith at the cathedral (seat of the bishop) in Nashville. I have reposted our private correspondence by his permission below.  Congratulations and welcome Home. We will keep you in our prayers. I look forward to hearing the entire story of your conversion.


Dr. Rentler!

I love your blog, "Crossed The Tiber". Thanks for being a faithful blogger! I am currently an evangelical Christian that has, for years, always felt a "spiritual" invitation to the Catholic Church. I've always been drawn to her thinkers, writers, theologians, monks, saints,etc...I've always written off these "tugs" as just an interest, mainly because of the perception that the Protestant Church has created of Catholics. I have always refused the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, but now, I unexplainably find myself being drawn to it.

Recently, particularly during the beginning of this Lenten season, the urge to explore Catholicism has increased immensely. I am researching the Reformation more than ever and currently, I don't understand how the "protestants" pulled away from the Catholic church in the severity that they did. I understand that the Renaissance "awakened" our individuality, but am having trouble reconciling a departure of the original church over issues that would've been worked out over time.

For the first time in my life, I almost feel outside the faith by not attending Mass. Could you please recommend some good books about "crossing the Tiber"? Forgive me if you have recommended some on your blog in the past, but I recently just found it! Also, the wildcard in all of this is that my wife, though she is understanding of my draw to the Catholic Church, refuses to follow me to it! Any insight would be phenomenal !

Thanks for your time,


Dear ____:
Your letter was an answered prayer for me! You have helped confirm for
me that I should keep blogging. Sometimes, it seems like no one is out
there and I am making no impact then, I get a note from someone like
  It sounds like you are experiencing what  20th century Catholic
convert Chesterton wrote about:

"It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men
cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they
cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The
moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when
that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the
tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair."

Yes it's a tremendous love affair and doesn't end with reception into
the Church. I truly feel much closer to the Lord since becoming
Catholic and I was a fairly serious evangelical before.

There are many excellent books on conversion some more theological
others more experiential.  The books I found helpful were  "Crossing
the Tiber" by Steve Ray. It was so influential for me, I named my blog
after it!  He writes a book explaining why he decided to convert, it
is an excellent assistance to help anyone with an open mind to
understand the Catholic faith.

Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home is another great book with his testimony
of conversion and great theology explanations along the way.

The three book series "Surprised by Truth" edited by Patrick Madrid is
an amazing collection of short conversion stories by people of many
different faiths, evangelical, charismatic, reformed, pentecostal,
Anglican. Each story gives a different twist, but so many of the
stories resonated with me and further confirmed my decision to

Another excellent resource is Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic
by David Currie. If your funds are limited, I would start with this

Finally regarding your wife, I was in a similar but opposite
situation, my wife wanted to convert 5 years before I did and I
opposed it vehemently  "Christ can't possibly be the head of a church
of pedophiles" was what I actually said to her! 4 years later I was
bawling my eyes out in confession then receiving Christ in the
Eucharist!   So don't give up hope but I would definitely recommend
not pressuring or cajoling her. my wife was amazing in never nagging,
or trying to get me to read stuff, she actually prayed that God would
move my heart to let her convert, because she never believed I would
convert, yet 7 years later I have been blogging, facebooking and
singing about the Catholic Church.
You can read about it in my link to my conversion story on my blog on
the left hand side.

My wife  suggested a book called "When Only One Converts"  It gives
several stories and perspectives on Catholic conversion and the how
to's and how not to's of dealing with it.

May I have permission to print your letter anonymously on my blog?
Then I can respond as I did here and perhaps encourage other seekers?
if not I understand.  BTW, are you a musician? I googled your name and
the only ______ I found  is a musician in Nashville.

May God bless your journey, I will keep you and your wife in our
prayers. and if she isn't opposed, yes go to Mass, find some good
Catholics to chat with, and Lord willing when the time is right, He
will bring you in and then you can receive the Eucharist! You can
still go up the communion line for a blessing by the priest. Just fold
your arms across your chest when you reach him and he will pray a
blessing. It's not the same, but there is grace involved there because
of your honoring the Lord in the Eucharist as He is  right in front of
you, and his grace is there!

Please let me know of any questions or issues along the way, I will
always be here to help if I can be of assistance or perhaps direct you
to a site or resource that can,
In Christ
Russ Rentler
PS  search my blog for the key word "Eucharist" and you will find some
interesting articles.

Dr. Rentler,

Thanks for the quick reply!  I will most likely check out ALL the books you've recommended.  There is a fantastic Catholic book store close to me that I will use to locate these books while seeking the counsel of my local Church.

I'm glad my email encouraged you like your blog encouraged me.  The internet is very many people seem to "lurk" around.  Yes, I am the musician you found in Nashville.  I'm originally from Chicago, but my wife and I moved here after college so I could work on some music projects.  She's a social worker and we live life with our two dogs in an old ranch house in a really neat area of Nashville.  I understand how disheartened you feel at times with your blog.  Music is the same way.  Any art is, for that matter.  I'm currently working on a new project, but it gets pretty lonely between the "nibbles" of interest that people give us with our art!  Be encouraged.  I found your blog extremely fast while "googling" and am being continually blessed as I continue to explore it.  

You are more than welcome to use my email for your blog!  I love reading conversion stories and I think a lot of other people do too, so use it however you see fit.  Thanks for the insight regarding you and your wife when you were wrestling with her Catholic vision. My prayer life has deepened during this time of contemplation and I feel that I will be rooted regardless of what my wife is feeling...but I will do my best to follow your wife's example of being patient and gentle as our journey continues.

Thanks again for the wisdom of you and your blog.  It is comforting to know that what I'm experiencing has been experienced by others before.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants, but within the Catholic Church I feel it is even more so!

Keep blogging

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Devin Rose Comments on The Lord's Supper

Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli taught conflicting interpretations of the Bible with regard to the Lord’s Supper and how, exactly, Christ was “present” in the Eucharist. Luther believed that Christ was indeed present in the Eucharist while Zwingli thought His presence to be purely figurative.

If Protestantism is true, then there is no infallible interpreter of the Scriptures and thus no interpreter can be accepted as authoritative. God did inspire the Scriptures to be without error, but He did not provide an authoritative, infallible interpreter for the inerrant Scriptures, leaving us with only conflicting, error-prone opinions of people. The Scriptures must therefore be deemed to be sufficiently clear for most people on all important matters of the faith. Since, even between the founders of Protestantism, no accord could be reached on what Jesus meant at the Last Supper, then the proper meaning of “body” and “blood” must simply not be significant, and the Reformers were quibbling over trifles.

Rose, Devin (2011-06-02). If Protestantism is True (p. 153). Unitatis Books. Kindle Edition.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Got Jesus? Go To Mass!

           How to Develop a Personal Relationship With Jesus Christ In the Catholic Mass

I recently came across a Protestant minister’s blog post giving advice to a Protestant woman who was married to a Catholic and wondered how she could help him obtain a personal relationship with Jesus. His advice included "confronting him with the supremacy of Jesus", by having him read Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ and Saint Augustine’s Confessions, which are both Catholic devotional classics.

Yet, I think he missed giving her the best advice possible: Go to Mass and Get Jesus! Thus I have put together a little primer on how to enhance your personal relationship with Jesus by active participation in the Mass! {Note: this is not a complete exposition on the Mass, but I have detailed the parts that will provide the opportunity for a Catholic truly to experience Jesus in a meaningful way while at Sunday worship}

1) It starts even before you get to Church. Fast for one hour before, and ask the Holy Spirit to prepare you to receive all the grace that will be made available to you.

2) Before you enter the body of the church, there’s a little cup with some water in it attached to the wall in the foyer. This is holy water blessed by the priest. The parishioners dip their fingers in it and make the Sign of the Cross on themselves. So, even before you step into the church proper to begin worship, by this action, you are acknowledging that Jesus is your Savior and that you have died with Him in the waters of baptism and have risen to new life in Christ (1 Peter 3:21). By making the Sign of the Cross on your body, you are identifying yourself with Jesus and His death on the Cross, and you are also telling the devil that “you are none of his.”

3) As you enter the pew, you kneel on your right knee towards the Tabernacle, the golden or ornately decorated "box" which contains the Holy Eucharist (Jesus). As you kneel, you are acknowledging the holiness and presence of God in this place. Catholics believe God is really here, not only in His people and in His word, but in the Blessed Sacrament.

4) The Mass begins with our admission of our sinfulness and our asking Jesus to forgive us. Now, convicted of sin and having been forgiven, we proceed. By humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord, we are better prepared  to hear the Word of God and later to receive the actual Word of God in the Eucharist.

5) The priest then prays and leads the congregation in the Collect uniting all of our prayers and the prayers of the church together, reminding us that worship is not just an individual experience, but a participation with the whole Mystical Body of Christ throughout the world.

6) The Word of God is then proclaimed--usually a passage from the OT, a sung psalm, and a reading from the NT. The congregation then stands, and we once again make the Sign of the Cross on our foreheads, lips and hearts. As we do this we pray silently that the Word of God would touch our minds, be on our lips and dwell in our hearts. The priest or deacon then reads the gospel passage as we stand in attention.

7) A short sermon or homily follows, which expounds on the Word of God just read. We then pause for a few moments silently to reflect on the homily in light of the Scripture readings.

8) We then stand to recite and pray the Nicene Creed (dating from 325 AD), once again acknowledging our belief in the Trinity and the core tenets of the faith - Christ dying for our sins, rising again and coming again to judge us at the end of time. This is the gospel in a nutshell reiterated in the Creed.

9) An offering is taken, and the gifts of bread and wine are brought to the altar. At this time we are also invited to bring our own gifts to the altar--not just our monetary gifts but even our fears, joys, sorrows and anxieties. This is our opportunity to give it all to Jesus.

7) We then begin the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We are asked to “Lift up our hearts to the Lord,” which serves to re-focus our attention on what the Mass is all about: Jesus! As we praise God in union with all of heaven we sing: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts...” (Isa. 6:3). We all kneel at this point. Once again, our bodies, hearts and minds prepare for the miraculous mystery experienced at this pivotal part of the Mass. We are invited to unite our prayers with those of the priest as he consecrates the bread and wine and they become the actual Body and Blood of Christ. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the message of the gospel is repeated once again: “Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people, he stretched out his hands as he endured his passion, so as to break the bonds of death and manifest the resurrection.”  We then once again offer ourselves to God along with the Eucharist. This is the time we can surrender all: Take me Jesus, take all of me, the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of me as well. I surrender myself to you and offer myself to you. Just as Saint Paul tells us in Scripture "to present yourselves as a living sacrifice which is your spiritual worship (Rom: 12:1). It is very important to note that Jesus is not re-crucified, instead the priest re-presents
Christ’s timeless sacrifice on the altar for our sins to the Father (Mal 1:11).  To put it another way, the Mass may be likened to a mystical time machine which takes us back to the Last Supper and the Cross or else brings the Last Supper and the Cross into our lives now.

8) Now the very best part of the Mass! We receive Christ personally, as our Lord and Savior. First we begin  by getting on our knees and repeating the words of Scripture, "Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the Word and my soul shall be healed" (Matt 8:8). Once again, we surrender to Him acknowledging our unworthiness and that it is only through His sacrifice on the cross that we can approach Him and have Him come into us.

9) Next, we approach the altar, and bow or genuflect, giving honor to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who will allow us to partake of His real Flesh and Blood. Saint Augustine said: "that the bread which you see on the altar having been sanctified by the word of God is the body of Christ. That chalice or rather what is in that chalice having been sanctified by the word of God is the blood of Christ."   With hearts open to all the grace He has to offer, we take and eat, and allow ourselves to be filled completely with God, to consume Him and most importantly to be consumed by Him, for “our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). 

10) We then return to our pews, and kneel and pray giving thanks for the amazing gift Jesus has just given us- viz. Himself! We commune with the God of the Universe whom we have just taken and eaten. With the same heart as Saint Elizabeth upon receiving Mary carrying the savior of the World, we can pray in thankfulness and awe: “who am I that my Lord should come to me? “(Lk 1:43).” You can’t get any closer to Jesus on this side of the veil then in receiving Him in the Eucharist.

11) In the short span of less than an hour, we have transcended time and space and have had eternity opened to us. We have confessed Jesus as Lord, acknowledged our sinfulness and asked for forgiveness. We have surrendered ourselves to God, uniting ourselves to Christ and have received Him as Lord and Savior. Finally, the Mass is ended, and we are encouraged to go out to all the world proclaiming the Gospel to all the nations (Matt 28:19).

To learn more about how to let Jesus transform you through participation in the Mass, I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Howard's (former editor of Christianity Today) book:
 If Your Mind Wanders At Mass.   This can be had for as little as $1.60. Just think, your experience at Mass can be transformed and your personal relationship with our Lord greatly enhanced for less than the price of a latte. Get to know Jesus personally receiving Him as Lord in Savior in the way that Christians have been doing for 2000 years!

(Fr. Bernard Ezaki, Allentown Diocese, edited and assisted the writing of this post)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim!

Today the Church honors the mother of our Blessed Mother. Saint Ann and her husband Joachim were the parents of Mary, the mother of our Lord. I have an interesting connection to Saint Ann.
and I believe her prayers lead me back to the church.

      About four years ago I heard of the shrine of Saint Anne de-Beaupre for what I thought was the first time and it intrigued me. The name was strangely familiar and I didn't initially realize why. Well, it turns out that about 60 years ago, my mom and dad took their honeymoon in Canada and stopped at the shrine of St. Anne de-Beaupre.  I had long forgotten this but it all came back to me recently including the stories of my dad drinking one cup of coffee after another at the famed Chateau Frontenac because it was so good - until he discovered he was being charged about 7 dollars per refill!  Well, it all the memories did come back to me and the stories my mom told me about the eye patches and crutches and canes left at the shrine as people had received physical healing through the intercession of St. Anne.  Sadly, I couldn't ask my parents about it because they have been long passed away and never lived to see me come back to the Catholic faith, though I am  convinced they are well aware, and  have played a part in it by their prayers from heaven directly to the Father.
    So I toyed with the idea of getting up there but have never made it, until last year. I had extra vacation time to use so Deborah got on the internet, and planned our pilgrimage to St. Anne de-Beaupre.  As we approached the little town of Beaupre on the Saint Lawrence, I suddenly saw the two great spires reaching up towards the sky. As we got closer I could make out the golden statue of St. Anne holding her daughter, Mary. I never saw a structure so beautiful and huge. I felt a little like Dorothy and the Scarecrow as they approached the Castle in the Wizard of Oz! (Except we weren't scared, but were filled with joy and expectation)
     My heart was in my throat as we walked inside the basilica and I suddenly felt my parents with me. I was walking in the same footsteps they trod 60 years before. As I stared at the crutches, canes and prosthetics  each representing a touch from God, I remembered my mom's stories and  could barely keep from weeping. Then it all came together for me:  I suddenly realized, I came back to the Catholic Church at the parish of St. Anne's in Emmaus, Pennsylvania 8 years ago. I believe that 60 years ago with a hearts full of faith, hope and love, my newlywed parents asked St. Anne to intercede for them that they would raise a faithful Christian family. Though sadly, things unraveled quickly in my parent's life due to alcohol and mental illness, God still heard their prayers and the prayers of Saint Anne as I stood in the same spot, as an answer to their prayers, 60 years later!

Prayer to St. Anne

Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I recommend to you under your special protection.
Vouchsafe to recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. (Here ask for favor you wish to obtain.)
Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with You and Mary and all the saints, praising and blessing Him through all eternity. Amen.
Good St. Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray to her for us and obtain our request.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Atheist to Catholic

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jason Stellman Reformed Presbyterian Pastor Comes Home

Jason Stellman recently sent shockwaves through the reformed blogosphere when he announced his resignation from the OPC denomination giving up his pastorate and losing his livelihood.
The issue that caused him to leave was his reaching the conclusion that he could no longer believe in Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura, the pillars of the reformation.
   On the Called To Communion blog, he explains in detail his reasons for leaving and for joining the Catholic faith.  Most of us had assumed he would become Catholic but his post on CTC confirms this.  It is important to realize he graduated from the most conservative confessional reformed seminary in the country with honors and was an author and well-respected in the reformed christian community. Therefore the claim that he never understood reformed theology is baseless. He also harbored no hidden Catholic sympathies either and he was not a "Catholic in Protestant clothes."
  Read his story here.

Addendum: For personal reasons Jason decided to take the post down on Called to Communion and he will put it up again at  later time. Please keep him in your prayers.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Catholicism and the Jews

  I went to the National Holocaust Museum last week in Washington DC. It was a very educational and extremely moving exhibit of the horrors that occurred during the Nazi reign of terror in Europe. It is estimated that over 11 million people died, 6 million of which were Jews, exterminated in a systematic fashion by the Third Reich.  The purpose of the exhibit was to help future generations see what occurred in the hopes that this can never be allowed to happen again.
    Over the past 8 years of being Catholic, I have discovered that there are certain elements of the faithful that have no love for the Jewish people. As a matter of fact, they don't accept the Church's teaching on how we as Catholics need to relate to the Jewish people. Some of these Catholics even minimize the Holocaust and claim that the numbers are exaggerated. One leader of a traditional Catholic group claims that no Jews died in gas chambers! Sadly, it seems that most anti-Semitism in the Church now resides among those who call themselves traditional Catholics. I am not saying that all Catholics who attend the tridentine mass are anti-semitic, but there has been an association between those who call themselves Traditional (not accepting Vat 2, or calling it "problematic") and emnity toward the Jews.

It truly breaks my heart that there are those among us who claim to love the Lord,  and the Church Christ started, but refuse to acknowledge the Jews as "our elder brothers in the faith" and harbor resentment towards them. They see the Jewish people as enemies of the faith and scapegoat the Jews for many of the problems in modern society. Our Holy Fathers Blessed John Paul 2 and Pope Benedict XVI have made it abundantly clear that anti-semitism is to be rejected by anyone who calls themselves Catholic.  The Vatican 2 document Nostra Aetate is very clear on the way in which Catholics are to relate to Jews.  I write this post in the hopes that those who are drawn to the devotions and reverence found in traditional Catholic circles will be mindful of the Church's teachings regarding the Jews.

Blessed John Paul 2

I would like once more to express a word of abhorrence for the genocide decreed against the Jewish people during the last War, which led to the Holocaust of millions of innocent victims.

A special relationship--with non-Christian religions--is the one that the Church has with those who profess faith in the Old Testament, the heirs of the patriarchs and prophets of Israel. The Council in fact recalls "the spiritual bond linking the people of the New Covenant with Abraham's stock"
[Nostra Aetate, 4].

 Honoring our respective traditions, theological dialogue based on sincere esteem can contribute greatly to mutual knowledge of our respective patrimonies of faith and can help us to be
 more aware of our links with one another in terms of our understanding of salvation.

I thank Divine Providence that I was able to visit our "elder brothers" in the faith of Abraham in their Roman Synagogue! Blessed be the God of our fathers! The God of peace!

...Holy Scripture nourishes faith, strengthens ecclesial unity and is an important element of our common spiritual patrimony with Abraham's stock, our Jewish brothers and sisters.

                                                        Pope Benedict 16th

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.
Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone [Nostra Aetate 4].

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Denver Bishops Pray for the Aurora Victims and Shooter

From the Denver Archdiocese Website:

"Last night at the Century Movie Theater in Aurora, a gunman walked into a full theater and opened fire on scores of moviegoers.  In the largest mass shooting in America in more than five years, 12 people were killed and about 50 were wounded by gunfire.  We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to those impacted by this evil act.

In the chaos of the moment, people poured from the movie theater into the darkness of the night—the darkness of confusion, of ambiguity, of despair.  We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness.  They do not stand alone.   As Catholic bishops, we “weep with those who weep.”

But in Aurora, which means “the dawn,” the sun rose this morning.  In a city whose name evokes the light, people of hope know that the darkness may be overcome.

For those who were killed, our hope is the tender mercy of our God.  “Neither death nor life,” reflected St. Paul, “can separate us from the love of God.”  We commend their souls, and their families and friends, to God’s enduring love.

For those who were wounded—physically, emotionally and spiritually—our hope is in their recovery and renewal.  To them we offer our prayers, our ears to listen, and our hearts to love.  The road to recovery may be long, but in hope we are granted the gift of new life.

We hope also for the perpetrator of this terrible crime, and we pray for his conversion.  Evil ruled his heart last night.  Only Jesus Christ can overcome the darkness of such evil. 

We hope that all of us may find the peace which surpasses understanding.

The Archdiocese of Denver stands ready to assist the victims of this tragedy, and our community.  Regina Caeli Counseling Services of Catholic Charities will offer counseling over the next few weeks to those who need it.  We look for opportunities to pray with our community.  And we continue to work to support families and communities in forming people of peace."

+Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

+Most Reverend James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

The archdiocese has six parishes in the Aurora deanery, four of them in relative proximity to the theater. As of 11 a.m. Friday, two of the parishes have reported that parishioners were affected by the tragedy. In each case, they were counseled by a priest.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"This IS Really Me" : The Eucharist

In the early fourth century, Saint Epiphanius had this to say regarding the Eucharist:

"We see that the Savior took in His hands, as it is in the Gospel, when He was reclining at the supper; and He took this, and giving thanks, He said: "This is really Me." And He gave to His disciples and said: "This is really Me." And we see that It is not equal nor similar, not to the incarnate image, not to the invisible divinity, not to the outline of His limbs. For It is round of shape, and devoid of feeling. As to Its power, He means to say even of Its grace, "This is really Me"; and none disbelieves His word. For anyone who does not believe the truth in what He says is deprived of grace and of Savior." (The Man Well-Anchored 57)

Once again we see evidence that the early church understood the words of Christ literally. He took his body in his hands at the Last Supper, the First Eucharist, and said “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Today in the Catholic and Orthodox churches, Jesus continues to stretch out his hands to us (through the hands of the priest) and says: This IS Really Me. 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Wisdom From Vatican 2- Dei Verbum

But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, (8) has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, (9) whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed. It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reason # 801 To Be Catholic: Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration is a devotion where one spends time in front of our Eucharistic Lord exposed in a monstrance (fancy holder). The concept of EA had it genesis in the early Church with the writings of the early Church Fathers including Saint Augustine but came to full understanding with the theological exegesis of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He  was commissioned by the pope in the 13th century to write a liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi to remind the faithful of the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. He carefully explained how Christ's body and blood were made present on the altar in the appearances of bread and wine. He termed this transubstantiation. He even composed beautiful hymns to be sung during the exposition of the Lord, which are still sung to this day!
   Though the doctrine of transubstantiation was not new but carried forth from Jesus to the apostles and onward, this new term was used to bring more light and understanding to the mystery.  Anti-Catholics often point to the term transubstantiation and claim that it was first believed in during the 12th century, because the term is not found earlier. Alas, they are mistaken.
   So why is Eucharistic Adoration a reason to be Catholic? Because if you truly believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, you have an opportunity in many parishes in almost every diocese to stop by and spend some time before the Lord, worshiping, thanking, praising, and adoring Him.  Eucharistic adoration is where "the rubber truly meets the road" regarding our faith. If we truly believe that Jesus becomes present under the appearances of bread and wine, wouldn't we do what we could to spend some time before Him in prayer?  As Christians, we spend our lives attempting to grow closer with the Lord with the ultimate goal of being with Him in heaven. As Catholic Christians, we are given the opportunity to not only grow closer to the Lord here, but we can have especially intense times of worship and adoration, kneeling before Him, really truly present as the Eucharist. Blessed Mother Theresa, Blessed Pope John Paul 2, Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen and countless other saints spent time daily before the Eucharistic Lord.
   Isn't it just like the God who fashioned the universe out of nothing to come to us as a tiny infant in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, to continue to abide with us in the humble appearance of a wafer of unleavened wheat bread?

Saint Augustine 400 AD
  " For He received earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he adores it ; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord's feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring."

Saint Thomas Aquinas 13th Century :
Word made flesh, the bread of nature
     By his word to flesh he turns;
Wine into his blood he changes:—
     What though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
     Faith her lesson quickly learns.

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Evangelical University Joins Catholics in Suit Against HHS

Wheaton University has decided to join ranks with the Catholic Church suing the federal government for the infringement on religious freedom that the HHS mandate is causing. Check it out here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christianity and Conformity

There is a great post here on 10 Reasons Why Catholicism is "Crazy Cool."  The most appealing to me, being a hippie at heart, is the non-conformist aspect of our faith, echoed in the words of Fulton Sheen on my last post. (As an adolescent, I kept a copy of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience under my bed for a time) I never liked to "go with the grain" and thought, at the time, that my new-found evangelical protestant faith was counter-cultural. I enjoyed being called "Jesus freak" in high school and my group of friends were definitely on the fringe of the crowd in those days.
    However, it now appears that much of American evangelicalism has firmly embraced and imbibed the culture in many ways over the past 30 years.  I have noted this as both a participant and observer. Examples of this are, the faith and prosperity teachings, the rash of explicit sex books by pastors lowering the marital embrace to a self-seeking pleasure sport, the entertainment-oriented nature of what used to be Sunday worship and young evangelicals questioning the definition of marriage and going silent on the abortion issue.  American Christianity has gone Hollywood. I want a Christianity that never leaves the wood of the Cross.

The True Church Will Never Get On Well With The Moods of the World

The Catholic Church never suits the particular mood of any age, because it was made for all ages.  A Catholic knows that if the Church married the mood of any age in which it lived, it would be a widow in the next age.  The mark of the true Church is that it will never get on well with the passing moods of the world.  “I have  chosen you out of the world, therfore the world hates you.” (Jn 15:19.)     Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Illuminating Blog Award

Got this nomination from The Czar's blog. Thanks Patrick!

7 things about me:

1) Went to med school by putting a "fleece before the Lord." A friend said, if you are suppose to go to med school you will get in when you apply. I never thought I would get in, and really had no desire to be a doctor, but my friend who I trusted said this was the way to know God's will. Crap, I got in within a month of applying and interviewing. It's taken me almost 25 years to get to this point where I can say now, "yeah I think it was the Lord's will."
2) I own one of Eric Clapton's used guitar strings.
3) I play almost every instrument with strings but can't read music to save my life. If a guy put a gun to my head and sheet music in front of me and said "play or I pull the trigger", I would be laying on the ground in a pool of blood.
4) I can balance pretty much any long object on my nose or chin
5) The only two girls I ever kissed in my whole life I married. The first one is in heaven now.
6) I have broken my arms four times and once it was both at the same time (1972)
7) Martin Guitar Company once used one of my songs on their call waiting system. Nazareth Pike

Now I nominate Norm .
Go to Patrick's blog to figure out how to do this thing.

Another Catholic Conversion Story

Here's Norm's story. Just found his blog today after he commented on a post of mine. Thank God that the Holy Spirit is reaching the young people of our time. These folks are the future of the Catholic Church in America and they will be faithful to their bishops and the magisterium, on-fire for Jesus as a result of their intense love for the Eucharist and confession, and bringing others into the fullness of truth.
A Belated Welcome Home Norm!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

" I Have to Believe in the Teachings of the Church to Teach in the Church?"

Bishop Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia has required that all who teach the Catholic faith, (known as catechists), publicly profess their belief in the Catholic faith, including all of the Church teachings regarding faith and morals. In celebrating the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict, Bishop Loverde is desiring to see a renewal in the faith, especially in the young people of his diocese. As bishop his first job is to ensure the passing on of the faith without error or confusion. By asking the catechists to adhere to the teachings of the faith, the young people will have the Catholic faith taught in its fullness, accurately without distortion. The catechists throughout the diocese will publicly profess their faith and sign a document, part of which is below, promising to keep and uphold the teachings of the faith.

 "I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals. Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act." 

 The Washington Post, of course, made a bee-line to 5 dissident Catholic Catechists out of 5000 who received the above letter to capture and publish their outrage at being expected to teach, of all things for God's sake, the Catholic religion! "What! You mean I have to actually believe in the Teachings of the Catholic Church to Teach in the Catholic Church? How dare they do this to me?" Yes Virginia, the Church that teaches us that God is one in three persons and that the second person of the Trinity  came to earth to die for your sins is also teaching you that marriage is only marriage if it is between a man and a woman, only men can become priests, homosexual activity is gravely disordered, abortion is murder and using contraception is a mortal sin. The Church asks you as a catechist to pass on the full faith, not just your edited version of it! The door to the cafeteria in Arlington has just closed.

Sadly some of these folks are resigning their positions. I believe the bishops goal is to ultimately hope that the dissidents would choose to come under correction rather than abandon the Barq of Peter. It is never good to see people leave the Catholic faith, but if the result of making a Catechist promise to teach the Catholic faith in its fullness leads more young people to the full truth and beauty of the Church, than perhaps that is how it may have to be. Cardinal Ratzinger said just before his election to the papacy, that the Church of the future may have to grow smaller and start from the beginning. This may be the start of it. I pray that more bishops in the US request their diocesan catechists to do the same as Bishop Loverde of Arlington has asked.

The Amazing Parallel Between the Eucharistic Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant

At the reservation of the Eucharistic in the chapel at the Word of Fire offices in Chicago, Father Barron gives a short homily illustrating how the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament foreshadows the Eucharist.

Quick Apologetics From John Martignoni on Catholics Come Home

Catholics Come Home Website has a nice section on apologetics. Here's an example to help answer the question: "Don't Catholics believe they have to work themselves into heaven?"

The author of this link above is John Martignoni. He was once a lukewarm Catholic businessman who heard Protestant preachers bashing the Catholic Church on the radio all the time. He decided to find out what the Church actually believed, vs what he was hearing on the radio. This ignited his faith and he now has a nationally known apologetics apostolate (ministry) called the Bible Christian Society.

His website provides free mp3 downloads of many topics in explaining and defending the Catholic faith. While you are at his site, why not donate a few quid, as he is no longer a businessman, but a full time apologist for the Catholic faith!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The History of the Mass

The Mass has been with the Church as the primary form of worship since Jesus instituted it at the last supper. The words of Saint Justin Martyr from the 2nd century make it clear that the actual structure of the liturgy has changed little in 1800 years. James Akin explains below:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mary Meets Dolly

Here is a great site that helps Catholic Christians understand the complicated and changing world of genetic engineering and biotechnology.

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Church is the Guardian of Our Faith

From the Catechism: The Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", faithfully guards "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints". She guards the memory of Christ's words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles' confession of faith.As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith."

The faith "which was once for all delivered to the saints" is our key to heaven. God in his wisdom sees to it that this faith is preserved and guarded and kept pure. Where else but within the protection of the very Church he founded? "Peter you are rock, and upon this rock, I will build my Church."

Chapel Chant

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Our Bishop Blesses Our new Adoration Chapel

Catholics in the South

Check out this article about the growth of the Catholic faith in the south.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Archbishop Chaput's Homily for the Fortnight of Freedom

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT'S HOMILY: NATIONAL CLOSING MASS OF THE FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once described the Christian as "a man who knows what he is doing and where he is going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil, yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids . . . He alone has liberty in a world of slaves." Like most of the great writers of his time, Claudel was a mix of gold and clay, flaws and genius. He had a deep and brilliant Catholic faith, and when he wrote that a man "who no longer believes in God, no longer believes in anything," he was simply reporting what he saw all around him. He spoke from a lifetime that witnessed two world wars and the rise of atheist ideologies that murdered tens of millions of innocent people using the vocabulary of science. He knew exactly where forgetting God can lead. We Americans live in a different country, on a different continent, in a different century. And yet, in speaking of liberty, Claudel leads us to the reason we come together in worship this afternoon. Most of us know today's passage from the Gospel of Matthew. What we should, or should not, render unto Caesar shapes much of our daily discourse as citizens. But I want to focus on the other and more important point Jesus makes in today's Gospel reading: the things we should render unto God. When the Pharisees and Herodians try to trap Jesus, he responds by asking for a coin. Examining it he says, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" When his enemies say "Caesar's," he tells them to render it to Caesar. In other words, that which bears the image of Caesar belongs to Caesar. The key word in Christ's answer is "image," or in the Greek, eikon. Our modern meaning of "image" is weaker than the original Greek meaning. We tend to think of an image as something symbolic, like a painting or sketch. The Greek understanding includes that sense but goes further. In the New Testament, the "image" of something shares in the nature of the thing itself. This has consequences for our own lives because we're made in the image of God. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the same word, eikon, is used in Genesis when describing the creation. "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" says God (Gen 1:26). The implication is clear. To be made in the image of God is more than a pious slogan. It's a statement of fact. Every one of us shares -- in a limited but real way -- in the nature of God himself. When we follow Jesus Christ, we grow in conformity to that image. Once we understand this, the impact of Christ's response to his enemies becomes clear. Jesus isn't being clever. He's not offering a political commentary. He's making a claim on every human being. He's saying, "render unto Caesar those things that bear Caesar's image, but more importantly, render unto God that which bears God's image" -- in other words, you and me. All of us. And that raises some unsettling questions: What do you and I, and all of us, really render to God in our personal lives? If we claim to be disciples, then what does that actually mean in the way we speak and act? Thinking about the relationship of Caesar and God, religious faith and secular authority, is important. It helps us sort through our different duties as Christians and citizens. But on a deeper level, Caesar is a creature of this world, and Christ's message is uncompromising: We should give Caesar nothing of ourselves. Obviously we're in the world. That means we have obligations of charity and justice to the people with whom we share it. Patriotism is a virtue. Love of country is an honorable thing. As Chesterton once said, if we build a wall between ourselves and the world, it makes little difference whether we describe ourselves as locked in or locked out. But God made us for more than the world. Our real home isn't here. The point of today's Gospel passage is not how we might calculate a fair division of goods between Caesar and God. In reality, it all belongs to God and nothing - at least nothing permanent and important - belongs to Caesar. Why? Because just as the coin bears the stamp of Caesar's image, we bear the stamp of God's image in baptism. We belong to God, and only to God. In today's second reading, St. Paul tells us, "Indeed religion" -- the RSV version says "godliness" - "with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it." True freedom knows no attachments other than Jesus Christ. It has no love of riches or the appetites they try to satisfy. True freedom can walk away from anything -- wealth, honor, fame, pleasure. Even power. It fears neither the state, nor death itself. Who is the most free person at anything? It's the person who masters her art. A pianist is most free who -- having mastered her instrument according to the rules that govern it and the rules of music, and having disciplined and honed her skills -- can now play anything she wants. The same holds true for our lives. We're free only to the extent that we unburden ourselves of our own willfulness and practice the art of living according to God's plan. When we do this, when we choose to live according to God's intention for us, we are then -- and only then -- truly free. This is the freedom of the sons and daughters of God. It's the freedom of Miguel Pro, Mother Teresa, Maximillian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and all the other holy women and men who have gone before us to do the right thing, the heroic thing, in the face of suffering and adversity. This is the kind of freedom that can transform the world. And it should animate all of our talk about liberty - religious or otherwise. I say this for two reasons. Here's the first reason. Real freedom isn't something Caesar can give or take away. He can interfere with it; but when he does, he steals from his own legitimacy. Here's the second reason. The purpose of religious liberty is to create the context for true freedom. Religious liberty is a foundational right. It's necessary for a good society. But it can never be sufficient for human happiness. It's not an end in itself. In the end, we defend religious liberty in order to live the deeper freedom that is discipleship in Jesus Christ. What good is religious freedom, consecrated in the law, if we don't then use that freedom to seek God with our whole mind and soul and strength? Today, July 4, we celebrate the birth of a novus ordo seclorum - a "new order of the ages," the American Era. God has blessed our nation with resources, power, beauty and the rule of law. We have so much to be grateful for. But these are gifts. They can be misused. They can be lost. In coming years, we'll face more and more serious challenges to religious liberty in our country. This is why the Fortnight for Freedom has been so very important. And yet, the political and legal effort to defend religious liberty - as vital as it is - belongs to a much greater struggle to master and convert our own hearts, and to live for God completely, without alibis or self-delusion. The only question that finally matters is this one: Will we live wholeheartedly for Jesus Christ? If so, then we can be a source of freedom for the world. If not, nothing else will do. God's words in today's first reading are a caution we ignore at our own expense. "Son of man," God says to Ezekiel and to all of us, "I have appointed you as a sentinel. If I say to the wicked, 'you will surely die' - and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them . . . I will hold you responsible for their blood." Here's what that means for each of us: We live in a time that calls for sentinels and public witness. Every Christian in every era faces the same task. But you and I are responsible for this moment. Today. Now. We need to "speak out," not only for religious liberty and the ideals of the nation we love, but for the sacredness of life and the dignity of the human person - in other words, for the truth of what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God. We need to be witnesses of that truth not only in word, but also in deed. In the end, we're missionaries of Jesus Christ, or we're nothing at all. And we can't share with others what we don't live faithfully and joyfully ourselves. When we leave this Mass today, we need to render unto Caesar those things that bear his image. But we need to render ourselves unto God -- generously, zealously, holding nothing back. To the extent we let God transform us into his own image, we will - by the example of our lives - fulfill our duty as citizens of the United States, but much more importantly, as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Feast of Saint Maria Goretti

(Re-post from 2007)

Saint Maria Goretti -A Modern Saint

When the priest walked to the altar wearing red, I knew it was another martyr's feast day.
Today the Church celebrates the heroic life and death of a 12 year old young lady named Maria Goretti.(1890-1902) A devout young lady, she was assaulted and murdered because she refused a man's sexual advances. She chose death and heaven rather than allow herself to be raped. She was stabbed over 14 times but lived for almost 20 hours after the attack in which time she prayed for and forgave her accuser. Fifty years later Pope Pius canonized her in 1950 as the Patron Saint of Modern Youth. Many miracles have been attributed to her intercession.

In our present age, when many young people idolize the wrong kind of role models we need a modern saint whose virtue and faith can be emulated. Promiscuity, materialism and hedonism are put forth as the new "virtue" for today's youth. Saint Maria Goretti shows us how to choose purity and chastity over the values that this world offers. Even in 1950, the pope knew that young people needed positive role models and examples of the faith rightly lived. St. Maria Goretti had "resisted sin to the shedding of blood."

Saint Maria Goretti, today we honor your faith and example of holiness to the point of martyrdom. We ask you to intercede to Jesus for the souls of our young people that they would be open to God's grace and power to choose a life lived for God and not self.
Through the merits of Christ we ask this in His name,
The political and social order will inevitably crumble in ambiances where the virtue of purity is disregarded. Thus, there can be no preservation of the social and political order, nor the serious building of Christian Civilization without a foundation based in purity, among other virtues. "

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Confessional Christianity

       Confessional protestant Christianity claims to hold to the beliefs of the ancient church including the Apostles, Nicean, Chalcedon and Athanasian creeds. They will say the bible is the "Primary Standard" for all they need to know about faith but claim these confessions and creeds are "Secondary standards" which are held to be the most faithful teaching of scripture. They also include their own confessions which were written after the reformation to more clearly enunciate the doctrines of the reformers (even though these doctrines are supposed to be self-evident and self-explanatory in the scripture.) One would wonder why they need any confessions at all if indeed the bible is perspicuous and the final arbiter to decide and teach all doctrines of their faith, but I digress.
   When one looks at the ancient (pre-reformation) creeds they profess belief in the communion of saints, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and the role of good works in determining where one spends eternity.  None of these doctrines are held by post-reformation Christianity so how can they say they are confessional protestants?   For instance, in the Athanasian creed we read: "At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.  This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved."

    So somewhere, there remains a tremendous disconnect in what the confessional protestants profess and what they actually believe. I suspect they attempt to claim historic continuity with the ancients the way we Catholics do to validate their beliefs. The difference is we actually believe in and practice the doctrines of the ancient creeds and can historically document a 2000 year continuity with the apostles teachings. The confessional protestants saying that they believe in the creeds doesn't make it so. The beliefs of modern day confessional protestants bear no resemblance whatsoever to the beliefs proclaimed in the early church creeds, with just a few exceptions.

Kevin Vanhoozer, professor of theology at Wheaton College, in discussing the role of confessions says: “Perhaps the most effective way of guarding oneself from hermeneutical idolatry—the omnipresent danger of making a god of one’s own interpretations—is to be aware of how other saints demonstrate canon sense.” 

 Unfortunately. most post-reformation protestants, including Professor Vanhoozer completely reject how the other saints demonstrate "canon sense" including disregarding the very canon of scripture established in the late 4th century. These folks may believe they are guarding themselves from "hermeneutical idolatry" but they are completely ignoring the beliefs of the historic (read: Catholic) church. When these "confessional Christians" actually start to believe  in  and profess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, the actual presence of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist offered as a sacrifice to the Father, and the communion of saints, then  I will say welcome to the Original Confessional Church.
The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that gave you those ancient creeds. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Fourth of July

This is reposted from July 4, 2007
So how is this blogger going to forcibly drag Catholicism into a blog post today? Can't he give it a rest for one day? I mean this is America, a country founded with the express purpose of religious freedom for all and he's gonna make a stink about Catholicism on the Fourth of Juuuuuuly. Give me a break!

{Update 7/4/12: I am very sad to say that this religious freedom we have had for 236 years is now at risk to be stolen from us by the very government that we put in place to protect it}

Yeah, I am! No rest for the weary. It turns out all religions were free to be practiced in the New World except for Catholics and Quakers. Of all the signers of the Declaration of Independence, only one was Catholic, Charles Carroll of Maryland. It was amazing that he ended up getting his name on it at all. Though Maryland was originally founded to be a Catholic haven in the colonies in 1634, by 1689, the British anti-Catholic repression had been imported to the colonies and freedom for Catholics to worship was very short-lived.

Until the Revolutionary War, Catholics in Maryland were considered dissenters in their own country, and were forced to live at times under a state of siege. At the time of the signing of the Declaration, it was illegal for a Catholic in the colonies to hold office or vote or educate their children in the Catholic faith. The Declaration of Independence fortunately ended that. It would have been a little awkward to have the wealthiest member/contributor of the Continental Congress and aide and friend to George Washington excluded from the democratic process because of his religious affiliation. So politically incorrect! How, I wonder, did it get resolved? I concocted a little Independence Day Play to suggest how it may have gone down.
I can just see them there now in the humid sweaty chambers down in Philadelphia on a hot weekend in the end of June with Thomas Jefferson at the helm. (I have lived in Philly for four hot summers and can assure you it gets very hot!)

Crossed The Tiber  Presents  An Independence Day Play

"What Are We Going to Do About Charles?

Flash back/dream sequence of the signers of the Declaration in Philadelphia at Independence Hall. (Before the barricades went up after 911) The curtain rises on three middle-aged men seated together at a desk flushed with the heat, perspiring heavily.

John Adams {pointing to Carrol}:
Psst. Thomas! Thomas! Did'ya know that chap across the room is a Papist? He's from MARY-land {Hissing through his teeth saying Mary in a sing-song voice}
Thomas Jefferson {holding his forefinger across his lips}: Shush old man! Don't you know who he is?
James Madison {swatting a fly from his arm}: Some say he's the wealthiest guy in here. Owns 100,000 acres down in Maryland. The area is even named after him! Carrolburg or Carrolville they call it, for crying out loud! {Looks out the window with disgust then empties his mouth loudly into the spittoon}
George Taylor: I heard he is friends with George himself as well as Ben.
John Adams: {with a stage whisper} I don't care if he has more money than the pope and is St. Peter's long lost relative! How are we gonna' let him sign the darn Declaration if we don't allow him to vote ? (He hikes up his britches and cautiously looks around the room) And besides, Do you realize he worships idols?
Thomas Jefferson: C'mon boys! {he lights his clay pipe and takes a long puff} You know I'm not big on that religion stuff myself, but, the way I see it every one, even papists, are created equal and given, by whoever they believe their creator is, certain.... privileges. Or, should I say rights... Yes! Now, let me think for a minute. {He takes his spectacles off and wipes the sweat from his brow} Alien rights? No that's not right! Inalienable rights? No, that's doesn't sound right to me either. Damn! {He loosens the tie on his long red pony-tail}
{He motions with his quill pen for Charles Carrol to join them}
Charles Carrol carefully places his rosary beads back in his vest pocket and slowly walks across the floor towards Jefferson.
Charles Carrol: Hey TJ! what's up? I was just chatting with my Lady asking her to intercede for our proceedings here today. Sorry, I got a bit distracted. What can I do for you boys?
Thomas Jefferson: {looking sheepishly at the ground} We know you have the ear of General George and have been very supportive of the efforts for freedom. What are we going to do about this little problem we have with you and the voting issue?
Charles Carrol: {Draws closer to the table speaking nervously } "Well, the way I see it, we are all created in the image of God and therefore need to respect the rights and dignity of all men which includes voting. {He gets a little quieter} Yeah, I know what you are all thinking: 'Who am I to lecture you on religious rights?' I know we got a little out of hand during the Inquisition but you know as well as I it wasn't as bad as the history books made it out to be! Just let me vote and sign this thing and we'll all get home to our families before the summer's over. I have a nice little spread on the Chesapeake and you're all invited for the weekend if we can just get this signed. Besides, I'm really having a hard time offering up all this sufferin' with the heat! St. Blases it is hot! {He makes the sign of the cross and wipes his forehead simultaneously}
{Looks down at Jefferson's notes} Oh, by the way Thom, I was the spelling bee champion at Saint Ann's School and the word inalienable is spelled U-N-A-L-I-E-N-A-B-L-E."
Thomas Jefferson: 
Why thank you Charles!
 {rolling his eyes} I'll take that under advisement.....

A Church bell tolls off-stage as the curtain closes.
The End

To Read the Real Story of Charles Carroll, the only Catholicsigner of the Declaration of Independence Go Here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Catholic Church Tried Keep To The Bible From the Common Folk!

When I first left the Catholic Church as a naive 14 year old, I was given a steady diet of anti-Catholic mythology and propaganda each and every week at our bible study. In no time at all I was telling my parents and anyone who would listen how the eeeeevil Catholic Church tried to keep the Bible in latin so the common people wouldn't hear the gospel for themselves and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and be Born Again and leave the @#$%& of Babylon. Devin Rose pointed us to a great chapter from the classic book by Right Reverend Henry Graham telling us where the bible came from. Check this link out and share it with your non-Catholic friends who tell you that the Catholic Church wanted to keep the bible only in Latin to prevent the common man from getting saved and leaving the clutches of Rome. (Cue the evil laugh with much digital reverb)