Genocide of Christians

crisisforchristians2A recent interfaith forum at the Sheen Center in NYC, titled: “The Crisis for Christians in the Middle East,” included Ret. General Ray Odierno, former U.S. Army Chief-of-Staff and Judith Miller (photo).

In his remarks, the General advocated for a “safe haven” for Christians, not unilaterally, but with coalition support. He added that when he commanded U.S. troops in Iraq he never was given orders to protect Christians.

Various guests, including Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, spoke of the catastrophe that has befallen Christians in the Middle East and Northern Africa and the lack of support, even awareness, especially from those who should  care the most. Cardinal Timothy Dolan mentioned bishops from the region who have visited him, weeping and saying “please don’t forget us, we feel alone.”

The problem for Christians in places like Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria is primarily the result of America’s so-called democracy movement, strangely allied with Wahhabism. The American experiment in democracy was originally anchored in freedom and rights (and duties) born out of natural law — united with a Heavenly Father. Today’s democracy activists, having ditched the natural law (and international law), are pursuing democracy built on anarchy, driven by materialism, where each person is a sovereign (“I am King”) and democracy is malevolent — with the strong dominating the weak. Sadly many Catholics in the West have thrown in their lot with the purveyors of false freedom, at the expense of their Christian brothers and sisters, with nothing to show for it but broken countries and failed states.

Wines of Lebanon

wines-lebanonwines-lebanonchateaukaWith 50 wine producers making good use of high altitude vineyards, abundant sun, and favorable terroir, some excellent wines are coming out of Lebanon — especially red blends made with French varietals.

Two producers that we recommend are: Chateau Sanctus and Chateau Ka.

Another way to help Christians in that part of the world is to buy their products.

All Saints

allsaints-rouault“In this thou has spoken truly.” John 4:17

Artwork: Georges Rouault

stbenedictbasilicaIn recent days we’ve seen the flattening of churches in Norcia, Italy, including the Basilica of St. Benedict — ahead of Pope Francis’ trip to Sweden to “heap praise on Luther” as one journalist put it.

Luther’s protest of 1517 began as a response to the perversion of the indulgence process, which had became ‘pay to play’ under Pope Leo X. Today we see a perversion of ‘mercy’ in the practice of letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics decide for themselves about partaking in communion (“organic development” as one cardinal put it). To be in union with the Lord we need to not be in a structure of sin, but rather one of salvation.

Sacred and Less-Sacred Art

stbarbarabadthief2The art-world is re-embracing sacred art, as evidenced by recent sales at the major auction houses and art fairs. Even the “bad thief” (bottom photo) has a following.

Top photo: St. Barbara, 16th Century

Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, “Sir, will there be only a few saved?” He said to them, “Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us’ but he will answer, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will find yourself saying, ‘We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets’ but he will reply, ‘I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men! Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside. And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast of the kingdom of God. Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those first who will be last.” Luke 13: 22-30

Today, many Christians are being taught that we are saved by faith—and faith is a gift, therefore, we don’t have to do anything because Jesus did it all on the cross. In fact we are saved by faith (properly understood as our response to grace). Yes, we have been redeemed, but we still need to consciously work out our salvation, with our Lord. “Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’ CCC #837