David Obeid

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Work and Family

This from the Vatican Information Service:
Benedict XVI:Work Should not be an Obstacle to the Family Vatican City, 16 May 2012 (VIS) - "Work should not be an obstacle to the family, but should rather sustain and unite it", affirmed Benedict XVI in an appeal made at the end of today's general audience. After recalling that yesterday was the celebration of the International Day of Families that the UN dedicated this year to the relationship between family and work, the Pope noted that work should favour the family, "helping it to be open to life and to enter into relationship with society and with the Church". At the same time, the pontiff expressed his wish that Sunday, "the Lord's day and a weekly Easter, be a day of rest and an occasion to strengthen family ties".

This from me:

Amen.

This also from me:

Have you, like me, allowed work distractions to interrupt family time and harmony? Worse still, have you caused work to people that interrupts their family time and harmony?

This lastly from me:

New leaf turned over. Thanks Holy Father!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jesus Gave Us His Mother

I will be speaking on the above topic at Sydney University on the 4th of May. The talk will be at 1:10pm till 1:45pm, immediately followed by a 15 minute question time in the Carslaw Building, Lecture Theatre 173. Bring your Bible! Click on this icon --> To add the event to your google calendar.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Game plan for the Year of Faith

This from the Vatican Information Service news mail out. Let's see how we do:

PASTORAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE YEAR OF FAITH

VATICAN CITY, 7 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was a Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith containing pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith. Summarised extracts of the English-language version are given below.

"With the Apostolic Letter of 11 October 2011, 'Porta fidei', Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith. This Year will begin on 11 October 2012, ... and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King".

"The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in our days: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, ... and the twentieth of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church".

Recommendations for the Universal Church

- The main ecclesial event will be the thirteenth General Assembly of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, on "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" to be held in October. It is during the Synod that the Year of Faith will begin.

- Encouraging pilgrimages of the faithful to the See of Peter and to the Holy Land.

- Inviting the faithful to recognise the special role of Mary in the mystery of salvation, to love her and follow her as a model of faith and virtue.

- Holding symposia, conferences and large gatherings to encourage encounters with authentic witness to the faith and to promote understanding of the contents of Catholic doctrine, especially the teachings of Vatican Council II.

- Deepening knowledge of the primary documents of Vatican Council II and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is especially true for candidates for priesthood, novices in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as for those in a period of discernment for joining an Ecclesial Association or Movement.

- More attentive reception of the homilies, catechesis, addresses and other speeches and documents of the Holy Father.

- Planning ecumenical initiatives aimed at the restoration of unity among all Christians. In particular, there will be a solemn ecumenical celebration in which all of the baptised will reaffirm their faith in Christ.

- A Secretariat to coordinate all of the different initiatives of the Year of Faith will be established within the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. The Secretariat will also open a dedicated website.

- At the conclusion of the Year, on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, there will be a Eucharist celebrated by the Holy Father, in which a solemn renewal of the profession of faith will take place.

Recommendations for episcopal conferences

- Dedicating a day of study to the topic of faith, its personal witness and its transmission to new generations.

- Promoting the republication in paperback and economical editions of the documents of Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, and their wider distribution using modern technologies.

- Translating the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church into languages which lack a translation. Also, encouraging initiatives of charitable support to enable translations into the local languages of mission countries, where the local Churches cannot afford the expense.

- Promoting television and radio transmissions, films and publications focusing on the faith and on Vatican Council II. This should be done using the new styles of communication, especially on the popular level.

- Disseminating knowledge of local saints and blesseds, the authentic witnesses of the faith.

- Maximising the catechetical potential of local artistic patrimony, possibly with ecumenical cooperation.

- Educators in centres of theological studies, seminaries and Catholic universities should be encouraged to demonstrate the relevance within their various disciplines of the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

- Preparing pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature, with the help of theologians and authors, to help the faithful respond to the questions which arise in difficult contexts, including the challenge of sects and problems related to secularism.

- Examining local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular Churches to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and preparing new ones in case of need.

- Ensuring that the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church are present in the "Ratio" of formation for future priests, and in the curriculum of their theological studies.

Recommendations at the diocesan level

- It is hoped that each particular Church will celebrate the opening and the solemn conclusion of the Year of Faith.

- Organising a study day in each diocese on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, particularly for priests, consecrated persons and catechists.

- Each bishop could devote a pastoral letter to the topic of faith, keeping in mind the specific pastoral circumstances of his faithful, reminding them of the importance of Vatican Council II and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

- Organising catechetical events, especially for young people and those seeking the meaning of life, helping them to discover the beauty of ecclesial faith.

- Reviewing the reception of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the life and mission of dioceses, particularly in the realm of catechesis.

- Focusing the continuing education of the clergy on the documents of Vatican Council II and on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

- Organising penitential celebrations in which all can ask for God's forgiveness, especially for sins against faith.

- Renewing creative dialogue between faith and reason in the academic and artistic communities, through symposia, meetings and days of study, especially at Catholic universities.

- Promoting encounters with non-believers who sincerely search for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the world, taking as an example the dialogues of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

- Paying greater attention to Catholic schools, which are a perfect place to offer students a living witness to the Lord and to nurture their faith, using such instruments as the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and "Youcat".

Recommendations for parishes, communities, associations and movements

- All of the faithful are invited to read closely and meditate upon Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter, "Porta fidei".

- Intensifying the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, in which the faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and strengthened. All of the faithful are invited to participate in the Eucharist actively, fruitfully and with awareness.

- Priests should devote greater attention to the study of the documents of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, apply this to their pastoral care and offer cycles of homilies on the faith or on certain specific aspects.

- Catechists should hold more firmly to the doctrinal richness of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and guide groups of faithful towards a deeper common understanding thereof.

- Parishes can help to distribute the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other resources appropriate for families - the primary setting for the transmission of the faith - for example, during the blessing of homes, the Baptism of adults, Confirmation and Marriage.

- Promoting missions and other popular programmes in parishes and in the workplace, to help the faithful rediscover the gift of baptismal faith and the task of giving witness.

- Members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life are asked to work towards the new evangelisation, each according to their proper charism.

- Contemplative communities should pray specifically for the renewal of the faith among the People of God, and for a new impulse for its transmission to the young.

- Associations and Ecclesial Movements are invited to promote specific initiatives, through the contribution of their proper charism.

- All of the faithful should try to communicate their own experience of faith and charity to their brothers and sisters of other religions, believers and non-believers. In this way, it is hoped that the entire Christian people will begin a kind of mission towards those with whom they live and work.

The Note concludes by stating that "the recommendations provided here have the goal of inviting all of the members of the Church to work so that this Year may be a special time in which we, as Christians, may share that which is most dear to us: Christ Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind".

CDF/ VIS 20120107 (1430)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Response to Anonymous (fixed formatting)

Dear Anonymous,

It's a shame that you didn't include any of the biblical or historical proofs the Catechism and other Catholic sources put forward for the points you put forward to allow your readers to get the full picture. Allow me:

You said: T"hese Catholics are so out of it that they can't even be considered Christian."

The Bible says that all who have been Baptised have been Baptised into Christ and His Death and resurrection (see Romans 6:3 for one example). Given that the Bible says that the power of Baptism to save us comes from Christ (1Peter 3:21), then Catholics really are Christians. All who have been Baptised and hold the faith revealed by God (in the most basic terms: God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit (The Trinity), and Christ is God the Son made man (The Incarnation) and the Christ suffered and died, rose again and ascended (The Redemption) are properly called Christian. Man made doctrines such as Sola Scriptura and Sola Fidei cause scandalous divisions that oppose the desire of Christ that "all may be one", but these divisions don't frustrate the power of Baptism to do what the Bible says it does.

You said: "As a former Catholic, here's what the Catechism teaches."

I'm often amazed that former Catholics think that being a former Catholic qualifies them as an expert on a whole range of matter Catholic. The Catholic Church has had what can be called a "middle management issue" for the last 50 to 60 years that have seen very (VERY!!!) few schools, universities and even seminaries teach classical apologetics in any serious way. How is it that all these former Catholics got to learn the basics of the faith and know the arguments for them and be able to judge this for themselves while the average schlub, high school, university and even seminary graduate has no idea? It can't be a "discovery of the Bible", since the befuddlement about what something as basic as the definition of Christian is that you demonstrated above shows that your Biblical knowledge runs very shallow.

You said: "Mary will help save you from your sins."

The Bible says St Paul aimed to do the same. Read 1 Cor 9:22. Now, either St Paul is a Catholic, or you've just proved him to be a non-Christian, or you're wrong to hold this objection.

You said: "Mary was a virgin all her life and ascended into heaven like Jesus"

The Bible teaches Our Lady's perpetual virginity in St Luke's Gospel, where, even though she is married to St Jospeph she questions St Gabriel the Archangel as to how she will conceive given her virginity. (They are married too by the way, hence St Jospeph considering a divorce). The "brothers and sisters" of Our Lord are identified in other parts of Scripture as being sons of other women apart from Our Lady. This is perhaps the clearest example: Gal 1:17-19 identifies James as BOTH "the brother of the Lord" AND an Apostle before St Paul. St Mark 3:16-20 identifies the Apostles "before St Paul" (with the exception of St Matthias who succeeded Judas Iscariot). In St Mark's list there are two Jameses. James the son of Alphaeus is "the brother of the Lord" that St Paul mentions in Gal 1. Alphaeus is the Greek name of Clopas (Clopas is Aramaic). Guess where Clopas gets a mention? His wife is standing at the foot of the Cross in John 19:35 with Our Lady. So unless Our Lady is two persons (and her own sister!) then Clopas' wife - the mother of the son of Alphaeus - the mother of "the brother of the Lord" is NOT Our Lady. Instead, the Catholic claim, that the "brothers and sisters" of Our Lord are relatives and not siblings is demonstrated right in the pages of Scripture.

Also, the Catholic Church does not teach that Our Lady "ascended" like her Son. Instead the Church teaches that she was assumed (taken up, not under her own power) (like Enoch and Elijah). This doctrine is implied in Rev 12.

You said: "They pray to "saints" along with Jesus."

The Bible doesn't strictly equate praying with worship/adoration. That's a Protestant invention. Instead, in the Bible, worship is always sacrificial (that's why Our Lord didn't stop after the great prayer in St John's Gospel, but went on to offer Himself on the Cross to God the Father). Praying (talking to, and even honouring) others isn't condemned in Scripture.

You said: "Catholics believe in Purgatory"

The Bible says that after we die we will be saved, or we will be saved after suffering and passing through fire, or we will be condemned. Read 1Cor3:13-17. In Catholic speak, that means heaven, heaven via purgatory, or hell. Catholics do believe in purgatory. The Bible teaches purgatory. The Bible, therefore, must be Catholic, no?

You said: "They call the Pope "Holy Father""

The Bible says that those who nourish us with the truth are fathers to us (read 1Cor 4:15). Does the Bible ever say that this title is reserved for God alone?

You said: "Reconciliation"

Read John 20:19-23. There you will see Our Lord instituting the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Confession or Penance).

You said: "These are just a few of the perversions that the Catholic Church teaches. Once I read the Bible for myself, it was clear that all of these pagan Catholic rituals were blasphemous."

I hope I've helped you to see that what many anti-Catholics think is unbiblical really isn't. I invite you to return to full union with the Church that Our Lord died to give you for love of you.

A response to Anonymous

"Anonymous" recently posted on another blog where my response was deemed too long, so here it is: Dear Anonymous, It's a shame that you didn't include any of the biblical or historical proofs the Catechism and other Catholic sources put forward for the points you put forward to allow your readers to get the full picture. Allow me: You said: "These Catholics are so out of it that they can't even be considered Christian." The Bible says that all who have been Baptised have been Baptised into Christ and His Death and resurrection (see Romans 6:3 for one example). Given that the Bible says that the power of Baptism to save us comes from Christ (1Peter 3:21), then Catholics really are Christians. All who have been Baptised and hold the faith revealed by God (in the most basic terms: God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit (The Trinity), and Christ is God the Son made man (The Incarnation) and the Christ suffered and died, rose again and ascended (The Redemption) are properly called Christian. Man made doctrines such as Sola Scriptura and Sola Fidei cause scandalous divisions that oppose the desire of Christ that "all may be one", but these divisions don't frustrate the power of Baptism to do what the Bible says it does. You said: "As a former Catholic, here's what the Catechism teaches." I'm often amazed that former Catholics think that being a former Catholic qualifies them as an expert on a whole range of matter Catholic. The Catholic Church has had what can be called a "middle management issue" for the last 50 to 60 years that have seen very (VERY!!!) few schools, universities and even seminaries teach classical apologetics in any serious way. How is it that all these former Catholics got to learn the basics of the faith and know the arguments for them and be able to judge this for themselves while the average schlub, high school, university and even seminary graduate has no idea? It can't be a "discovery of the Bible", since the befuddlement about what something as basic as the definition of Christian is that you demonstrated above shows that your Biblical knowledge runs very shallow. You said: "Mary will help save you from your sins." The Bible says St Paul aimed to do the same. Read 1 Cor 9:22. Now, either St Paul is a Catholic, or you've just proved him to be a non-Christian, or you're wrong to hold this objection. You said: "Mary was a virgin all her life and ascended into heaven like Jesus" The Bible teaches Our Lady's perpetual virginity in St Luke's Gospel, where, even though she is married to St Jospeph she questions St Gabriel the Archangel as to how she will conceive given her virginity. (They are married too by the way, hence St Jospeph considering a divorce). The "brothers and sisters" of Our Lord are identified in other parts of Scripture as being sons of other women apart from Our Lady. This is perhaps the clearest example: Gal 1:17-19 identifies James as BOTH "the brother of the Lord" AND an Apostle before St Paul. St Mark 3:16-20 identifies the Apostles "before St Paul" (with the exception of St Matthias who succeeded Judas Iscariot). In St Mark's list there are two Jameses. James the son of Alphaeus is "the brother of the Lord" that St Paul mentions in Gal 1. Alphaeus is the Greek name of Clopas (Clopas is Aramaic). Guess where Clopas gets a mention? His wife is standing at the foot of the Cross in John 19:35 with Our Lady. So unless Our Lady is two persons (and her own sister!) then Clopas' wife - the mother of the son of Alphaeus - the mother of "the brother of the Lord" is NOT Our Lady. Instead, the Catholic claim, that the "brothers and sisters" of Our Lord are relatives and not siblings is demonstrated right in the pages of Scripture. Also, the Catholic Church does not teach that Our Lady "ascended" like her Son. Instead the Church teaches that she was assumed (taken up, not under her own power) (like Enoch and Elijah). This doctrine is implied in Rev 12. You said: "They pray to "saints" along with Jesus." The Bible doesn't strictly equate praying with worship/adoration. That's a Protestant invention. Instead, in the Bible, worship is always sacrificial (that's why Our Lord didn't stop after the great prayer in St John's Gospel, but went on to offer Himself on the Cross to God the Father). Praying (talking to, and even honouring) others isn't condemned in Scripture. You said: "Catholics believe in Purgatory" The Bible says that after we die we will be saved, or we will be saved after suffering and passing through fire, or we will be condemned. Read 1Cor3:13-17. In Catholic speak, that means heaven, heaven via purgatory, or hell. Catholics do believe in purgatory. The Bible teaches purgatory. The Bible, therefore, must be Catholic, no? You said: "They call the Pope "Holy Father"" The Bible says that those who nourish us with the truth are fathers to us (read 1Cor 4:15). Does the Bible ever say that this title is reserved for God alone? You said: "Reconciliation" Read John 20:19-23. There you will see Our Lord instituting the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Confession or Penance). You said: "These are just a few of the perversions that the Catholic Church teaches. Once I read the Bible for myself, it was clear that all of these pagan Catholic rituals were blasphemous." I hope I've helped you to see that what many anti-Catholics think is unbiblical really isn't. I invite you to return to full union with the Church that Our Lord died to give you for love of you.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Why I need to drive 150km to get to Mass

Father Nicola Bux, according to www.stoneswillshout.com, is a consultant to the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Saints’ Causes and to the Office in Charge of Papal Liturgies. In simple terms, he's no lightweight. This quote from him says it all:

“If you go to a Mass in one place and then go to Mass in another, you will not find the same Mass. This means that it is not the Mass of the Catholic Church, which people have a right to, but it is just the Mass of this parish or that priest.”




David Obeid

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Why Pope Benedict XVI is smarter than me #987095764208

This came through on the Vatican Information Service email this morning:

REFORM OF ECCLESIASTICAL STUDIES OF PHILOSOPHY

VATICAN CITY, 22 MAR 2011 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. today in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the newly-published Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy. Participating in the event were Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Bishop Jean-Louis Brugues O.P., secretary of the same dicastery, and Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., rector of Rome's Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

Cardinal Grocholewski explained how the normative documents concerning ecclesiastical studies - and hence also philosophy - currently comprehend John Paul II's 1979 Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia christiana" and its norms of application issued in the same year by the Congregation for Catholic Education. "Nonetheless", he said, "'Ecclesia semper est reformanda' in order to respond to the new demands of ecclesial life in changing historical-cultural circumstances and this also (perhaps especially) involves the academic world".

The reasons for the reform are, the cardinal explained, "on the one hand, the shortcomings in philosophical formation at many ecclesiastical institutions, where precise points of reference are lacking especially as regards the subjects to be taught and the quality of teachers. ... On the other hand there is the conviction - expressed in John Paul II's 1998 Encyclical 'Fides et ratio' - of the importance of the metaphysical component of philosophy, ... and the awareness that philosophy is indispensable for theological formation". For this reason today's decree of the congregation aims to re-evaluate philosophy, above all in the light of that Encyclical, ... restoring the 'original vocation' of philosophy; i.e., the search for truth and its sapiental and metaphysical dimension".

The preparation of the text dates back to 2004 when the congregation established a commission of specialists in philosophy. That commission, possessing both intellectual and institutional expertise and representative of the principal linguistic and geographical areas, was charged with presenting a reform project. The definitive version "was ratified in the Congregation for Catholic Education's ordinary meeting of 16 June 2010", while Benedict XVI "approved 'in specific form' the modifications made to the Apostolic Constitution 'Sapientia christiana' and confirmed the rest of the text 'in common form'. In fact", the cardinal explained, "only three articles of 'Sapientia christiana' have been reformed while the vast majority of the modifications concern the congregation's own applicative norms".

For his part Bishop Brugues focused on some of the details of the new reform in ecclesiastical theological faculties, including the length of the course which from now on will last three years. As regards the syllabus, "the document adds a subject: ... logic, and in particular highlights the role of metaphysics", he said. The reform will likewise affect academic staff who must be full-time and adequately qualified.

The reform also concerns the first cycle of studies in ecclesiastical faculties of theology and affiliated institutes, defining the duration of formation and explaining that "strictly philosophical disciplines must constitute at least sixty percent of the number of credits in the first two years". This condition also holds for affiliated major seminaries.

In his remarks the rector of the Angelicum affirmed that "the study of philosophy helps theologians to an awareness of their own philosophical criteria, to examine them critically and to avoid imposing a conceptual framework incompatible with the faith on their theology or preaching. In order to be correct, critical reflection on philosophical theories must seek the truth beyond appearances. A non-Christian philosopher cannot be useful to theology whereas a Christian philosopher who wishes to prove the existence of God can have the opposite effect".
OP/ VIS 20110322 (600)


A good friend of mine has written about how the Holy Father ought to write an encyclical demolishing the folly of atheism here. It seems almost as if the Holy Father is planning such an attack, but is first getting the troops battle ready for when he does. If we teach our priests to think straight (apologies for the few dozen who do, but you blokes know who I'm talking about here) then getting the message of any attack on atheism (and indeed any other message) out will be a much more achievable goal.

Kudos, Holy Father, well played!

David Obeid