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                                                                                                                  VOl. 14, NO. 1

                                                                                                                         June 2011

Dear Readers:

 

            Our Catholic Teaching in this issue references the statement in the Apostles' Creed, "He descended into Hell". This statement has recently been changed to "He descended to the dead". Why? Patricia Johnson, a new writer for The Defender, has an informative background to this question. She also presents an interesting viewpoint from traditional Byzantine iconography; the icon of the Descent into Hades shows Jesus as the Giver of Life.

            Two of our readers who are also good friends commented on my latest Millstone Award in which I criticized a local bishop. Both readers stated it was sinful as a Catholic to criticize our clergy. As a back up to their assertion, they cited the Pieta Prayer Book. I did some research and consulted with some of the Catholic Media Coalition writers on this subject and I felt this “discussion” would be informative to many other readers who share the same beliefs.

            Charlie Heise has written a commentary concerniing the arrest of the 88 pro-lifers at Notre Dame University in 2009 when the university gave special honors to pro-abortion President Barack Obama.  It is appropriately titled Hypocrisy at Notre Dame University and details the glaring inconsistency in the treatment of the pro-life protestors (known as the ND88) versus pro-gay and anti-military protestors. Charlie also examines the false statements given by Notre Dame President Father Jenkins after the arrests and prior to his release of the ND88 when he foresaw that 88 court trials would result in increased negative publicity and further loss of donations.

            We have a few articles in contrast to the negative article on Notre Dame.  One of these is the account of A Very Heart Warming Turnaround at the Abortuary. Nothing unusual, just, what I would call a very good save. Good sidewalk counseling, visual aids such as the rubber fetal model, pro-life literature, immediate help and the pro-lifers’ intense prayers brought about the young woman’s change of heart.  Flooded with emotion and surrounded with love, she chose life for her baby, and we rejoiced with her.

            Another story I love to tell is the story of Bishop Vasa who has been outspoken in his defense of Catholic doctrine and moral teachings, particularly related to the life issues. He made news recently when he declared a bishop’s authority in his own diocese supersedes that of the national bishops’ conference (NCCB). He stopped contributions to the CCHD, ended diocesan sponsorship of St. Charles Medical Center-Bend over its refusal to support Church teaching on health-related issues, and reaffirmed his commitment not to give Holy Communion to a Catholic politician who supports legal abortion.

            Our key article is called "Will the Islamic Religion Supplant Christianity?" To some, the word Islam is frightening; to others, mysterious. It is an informative and detailed article published by The Orlando Truth. I guarantee it to be a real eye opener and answer many of your questions. Whether Islam evokes fear or intrigue, the Western world cannot afford to ignore this formidable and enigmatic religion. Most Catholics know little about it. This ignorance could have profound consequences for the future.

            The Modern Day Martyr is the story of Shahbaz Bhatti, a native of Pakistan, who was elected to the National Assembly in 2008 and assumed the role of Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs. He was the only Christian Minister. He was assassinated for his unrelenting opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy laws and the injustices and intolerance they encouraged. Bhatti himself foretold his death and recorded a video which was to be released in case of his death in which he said "I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us, and I am ready to die for a cause. I'm living for my community ... and I will die to defend their rights."  

Jim Fritz

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