U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

Sunday, March 6, AD 2011

Father Scott Hurd serves as the liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Cœtibus here in America.  He has been looking at the options available to all Anglican groups in establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created an ad hoc committee led by Donald Cardinal Wuerl last September that was charged with assisting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus.

Today Father Hurd concelebrated Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) Anglican Use Church as part of his visit to Houston.  After Mass there was a tiny reception outside the church which was followed by a short talk with a question and answer period for the parishioners of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Left to Right: Deacon James Barnett, Father Bruce Noble, Father James Moore, Father Scott Hurd, and Father James Ramsey before concelebrating Mass today.

Some major points that were learned today concerning the process as to where we are in possibly establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.  Please note that none of this official.:

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17 Responses to U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

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  • Yeah, the Anglo-Lutheran thing sounded a bit too silly to be true…

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  • I’ve been reading materials from Anglo-Lutheran bishops that say otherwise. Who do I trust, the people themselves, or the people writing about them?

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  • Hidden One,

    Because Father Scott Hurd is a representative for Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee seeking to establish an Anglican Ordinariate in the U.S.

    This ad hoc committee was established in coordination with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    All of this is official.

    What the Anglo-Lutheran bishops are saying are private matters that hold no official status within the church. They just got excited thinking one thing when in actuality it is nothing more than informal talks at best.

  • I don’t know much about the Anglo-Lutherans; however, I have seen the correspondence they have had with the CDF, and they did receive a letter from the Congregation, signed by the Secretary, Archbishop Ladaria, inviting them to contact Cardinal Wuerl. Whether the Anglo-Lutherans will have a place in the Ordinariate is, at this point, unknown; however, they did make a formal approach, and they received a formal answer with instructions about what they should do.

  • Father Phillips,

    That are the “informal” talks I was referencing to.

    What was speculated in the blogosphere was that they were officially accepted into talks of joining the Ordinariate, which is farthest from the truth.

    So says Father Scott Hurd who represents Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee created by the USCCB in implementing the apostolic constitution.

  • You’re absolutely correct, Tito. They are not part of the general conversations, nor will they have a part in the shaping of the Ordinariate. My only point was that they have been invited to make application through the Ordinariate.

    My reason for posting was that I didn’t want people to have the impression that this was something only in their imaginations. An approach was made, and a response came from the CDF, so in that sense it is “formal.”

  • Please people, let’s not get all nitpicky. Formal or informal, they seem to want to come home to Mother Church from their Lutheran tradition. Open arms should be extended. As was pointed out by their Archbishop I believe Lutherans have no distant liturgical tradition as the Anglicans do so perhaps special accommodation will be made for them through the Ordinariate or a separate way for Lutherans will be established. That’s up to the Holy Father and Rome.
    Being critical will only make them think they made an incorrect decision and drive them away.
    As has been noted, the Lutheran Churches like the Anglicans did a ‘liturgical revolution” following the Catholics and so the 3 liturgical uses became very similar for good or ill. The thing I noticed was that the Lutherans did it so much more beautifully than either the Episcopalians/Anglicans but especially the Catholics. They bring a gift of singing and chanting in English that cannot be matched by the Catholics at this time. For that reason alone they should be embraced.

  • Father Phillips,

    Sometimes when I’m blocking for Father Hurd, I bumped into you.

    I apologize if I came away a bit strong.

    Yes, there are talks.

    Just as there were talks in the past when Anglican groups approached the Holy See seeking some sort of corporate union.

    What the Anglo-Lutherans are doing is correct.

    We should pray for them so they too will find comfort in the See of Peter.

  • I scarcely felt the bump, Tito! 🙂

    I have no way of know who amongst the Anglo-Lutherans will be finding a place in the Ordinariate, but I’m happy to have them make their petition and then we’ll let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that need to made.

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  • I’ve visited O.L. of Walsingham in Houston before and found it to be wonderful. Beautiful church and chapel, lovely and welcoming people.

  • How can a Mass be concelebrated with and held in an unconsecrated chapel that until the Ordinarite is official are not in full communion with Rome?

  • @Charles. Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston *is* in full communion with Rome. It’s an Anglican Use parish of the Roman Catholic Church. (Anglican Use parishes have been in existence for over a quarter century; however, there are only a few of them.)

  • And for whatever reason, Texas seems to be their (Anglican Use-Catholics) center. I never thought of Texas as especially Episcopalian (nearly everyone you meet is Baptist/evangelical, Methodist, or Catholic), but I suppose what Episc. population we do have is relatively orthodox/conservative.

Derb the Social Con?

Wednesday, December 1, AD 2010

John Derbyshire is sort of the cranky uncle in National Review’s the Corner.  He’s someone I used to find amusing, but he often goes off the rails when it comes to social and religious issues.  I was prepared to ignore his scathing attack of a George W. Bush op-ed in which the former president defended his efforts to increase funding to fight the spread of AIDS in Africa.  Derb’s not much impressed by Bush’s perceived moralizing, and objects to the public financing of something that he feels should be done through private charity.  It’s a sentiment worthy of debate on its own merits, but I was struck by this comment:

The subsidizing of expensive medications (the biggest part of our AIDS-relief effort, though not all of it) in fact has long-term consequences more likely to be negative than positive. The high incidence of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by customary practices there. What is needed is for people to change those customary practices. Instead, at a cost of billions to the U.S. taxpayer, we have made it possible for Africans to continue in their unhealthy, disease-spreading habits.

Perhaps the future of sub-Saharan Africa would be brighter if the people of that place changed some of their customs; but now, thanks to us, they don’t have to. (A similar point can be made about domestic AIDS-relief funding, currently around $20 billion a year.)

By “customary practices,” I’m assuming that Derb is talking about both promiscuous sexual activity and rampant drug use.

The reason that this jumped out at me is because it’s a rather familiar argument.  After all, isn’t this an echo of what we argue when we note that the encouragement of condom use in Africa won’t solve the AIDS epidemic there?  Don’t we, too, claim that we need to change cultural practices, not hand out condoms?  In essence, Derb is making a similar argument.  By contributing money, he’s saying,  you’re absolving people of some of the responsibility for their behavior and perhaps encouraging them to continue in that very behavior which leads them to contract the AIDS virus.

Now it’s not exactly the same thing.  Charitable contributions and condom distribution are, to say the least, not morally equivalent.  Also, one of the arguments against condom use is that it simply encourages people to have sex outside of marriage.  Aside from the moral problems associated with this, even “protected” sex is not 100% safe.  Donating money to help people who have already acquired the disease – many through no moral failing of their own – seems to be a rather humane response and should not be scrapped.

Based on the tenor of his post it’s clear that Derb isn’t exactly coming at this from a cultural point-of-view, but is criticizing the program based on an extreme libertarian notion about foreign aid.  It does occur to me, however, that this might be one of those moments, discussed on this very blog in recent weeks, where libertarians and social conservatives can find some common ground. Though Derb’s advocacy of a complete abandonment of any American aid certainly feels harsh and is, I believe, an extreme solution , it seems that he shares our end goal of changing behavior.

On the other hand, perhaps one commenter on the Corner has the right response to Derbyshire’s post:

`I wish to be left alone,’ said Scrooge. ‘Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas, and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned – they cost enough:
and those who are badly off must go there.’

“If they would rather die,’ said Scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population…”

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22 Responses to Derb the Social Con?

  • You are absolutely correct; we can debate all we want about whether it is the proper role of government to help people in need (whether in this country or another country) or rather that should be left to private charity alone.

    As Catholics however, what can’t be debated is our obligation to help the poor and the sick. Further more, we cannot simply write off some of the poor or sick, saying that the others would be better off if we let these ones die (Note I am not talking about triage; if our resources for charity are limited, I see no reason not to target that charity to where it will do the most good, I am talking about deliberately with-holding charity). Each individual must be helped to the extent that it is possible for us to help (Note most of us, including myself probably fall far short of that mark, but that should be our ideal).

    Ultimately, some, if indeed most of our charity may do little physical good to those in need. What it might accomplish however is far greater. By allowing ourselves to be conduits of Christ’s love, we let those in need feel Christ’s love in a way that might bring them to salvation.

  • I remember reading similar moral hazard arguments against Pope Clement and the Church of Rome’s sacrament of reconciliation.

    Charitable contributions and condom distribution are, to say the least, not morally equivalent.

    You’re making the wrong comparison. Would charitable contributions for condom purchase be moral? The correct comparison is between STD treatment and condoms. Catholics strive for uncompromising ideals and care for those who fall short of perfection. Derbyshire wants us to strive for uncompromising ideals and chalk up the weak as the price to pay for the advancement of the species. It doesn’t just “feel” harsh. It’s evil.

  • Right or wrong, President Bush was “charitable” with someone else’s $$$ billions. Not mine: my tax money buys weapons.

    And, it is not “charity” when you extract other people’s money at gunpoint.

  • Echoing Shaw, here. It’s not something we could do like flicking a switch, but it would be a VERY good thing to change over to– not in the least because government charity tends to involve a whole lot of fraud!

    My cousin and his wife were volunteers for a Catholic aid program of some sort, so I know they’re out there.

  • I’m basically in Bill and RR’s camp, and I would say that RR’s analogy is a better one that the one I gave. That said, looking over at some of the comments on Derb’s posts (they’ve reached about 60 as I write this, which is about ten times what you get on a typical Corner post) I’m intrigued by the reaction. About half are like T. Shaw and Foxfier and agree with Derb, and the other half seem ready to grab the pitchforks. Again, I disagree with his overall opposition to the aid, but is what he said so beyond the pale? I’m genuinely curious.

    It seems that some of what he said is in fact right on the money, in particular his criticisms of Bush’s statement that this somehow is beneficial to American foreign policy interests, a claim that is dubious at best. And even if you don’t fully support Derb’s libertarian-inspired opposition to foreign aid, as my post indicated, his notion that our efforts are wasted if we don’t ultimately change the behavior is I think something most of us would agree with. Granted Derb’s tone is a bit callous – that’s par for the course – and ultimately he seems a little to eager to punish those people who are clearly victims of other people’s bad behavior. But are these concerns so absurd that they merit the sort of feedback he’s gotten from some quarters? I should add that I don’t particularly care for Derb and almost wish I had an excuse to grab a pitchfork along with the others, but this doesn’t seem that off the wall, even if wrong. Or am I just a meanie myself?

  • Even Jesse Helms supported foreign aid to Africa to treat those with AIDS. Being that far to the right of Jesse Helms on not only a foreign aid issue, but one pertaining to AIDS, ought to give one pause.

  • Is opposition to taxpayer-funded foreign aid really an “extreme libertarian” position?

    Didn’t Pope Benedict just say something recently about how foreign aid often harms the recipients more than it helps them? I don’t recall the details, but I thought he touched on that, and others certainly have. I’m sure Derb is talking about the reality of foreign aid, which tends to encourage corruption, line the pockets of dictators, and interfere with local economies. Perhaps some ideal Catholic version of foreign aid would be a good thing, but that’s not what he’s talking about here.

    This is another one of those arguments that usually goes like this:

    Nice, caring person: “We have to do something.”
    Realist: “But what you’re doing isn’t helping, it’s hurting.”
    Nice person: ” But we have to do something! People are dying/sick/starving!”
    Realist: “But your solutions only make things worse. Here, look at these numbers from your own organizations that prove the harm you’re doing.”
    Nice person: “I can’t believe you want people to die! Racist!”

  • Some of us don’t calibrate our philosophy by what others think on a left-right spectrum.

  • Oh, dear!

    RR said, “Derbyshire wants us to strive for uncompromising ideals and chalk up the weak as the price to pay for the advancement of the species.”

    WOW!!!!!

    “uncompromising ideals” as in: not fornicking everyone and everything in sight?

    “weak” – search and replace: “evil.”

    Give alms out of your substance. That is charity. Tax (steal) from people and give it to the cause celebre du jour: that is politics; no it’s hypocrisy.

  • Aaron B., what you mention is part of what Derbyshire talks about. The problem portion is where he says that treating AIDS victims is bad policy.

    Also, how often does aid never help? Even if some of the aid perpetuates corruption, it doesn’t render the entire aid package harmful. I’d wager that in most countries that receive aid, the good outweighs the bad.

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  • RR, the point isn’t whether you’d wager it, but whether it’s true. Also, should we only oppose aid if it “never helps”? How about if it helps 10 people and harms 10 others? Is that acceptable? And do we count those who are harmed in the first place by having the money taken from them, or those who could have been helped by that money in the source country if it hadn’t been shipped away?

    These are open questions, but they can’t even be discussed in polite society today, as is evident from the reactions to Derb’s piece. As soon as you say, “maybe the governments of wealthy nations shouldn’t use their citizens’ money to play social engineer in poorer countries,” that’s immediately translated into, “I hate those people over there who don’t look and talk like me.” Conversation over.

    The Holy Father has suggested that wealthy nations should help developing ones by forgiving their debts. Over 40 ‘developing’ nations have debts to Western countries and the global bankers. This money came with strings that are used to try to mold the recipients in the image of the givers, not just in things like condom distribution, but in everything else, from the way they select their leaders to the way they grow their food. Stopping that, and letting them keep their own cultures and ways of living, would be a better way to help them than treating them like poor Americans.

  • Also, how often does aid never help? Even if some of the aid perpetuates corruption, it doesn’t render the entire aid package harmful.

    The evidence is that foreign aid has an overall negative effect on political and economic development comparable to the “resource curse” (where having lots of natural resources in a country tends to make the people their poorer because it provides governments a means of getting rich besides the prosperity of its citizens). See e.g. here. I would say that this is a decisive argument against development aid. It is not a decisive argument against humanitarian aid, as the aid could still have positive effects that counter-balance the negative effects on democracy and growth. But it is a reason to be cautious. To the extent possible humanitarian aid should be directed through churches and other independent organizations rather than governments.

  • Aaron B., the faux exchange your posted assumes that aid does not help at all. I’d favor aid that does more good than harm. Maybe you believe that aid does more harm than good which is a reasonable view but that’s not what you posted.

    I’m not making up what Derbyshire said. He says that AIDS treatment is bad policy. It’s not possible to have a discussion when you ignore the point of the discussion.

    The Holy Father has suggested that wealthy nations should help developing ones by forgiving their debts. Over 40 ‘developing’ nations have debts to Western countries and the global bankers. This money came with strings that are used to try to mold the recipients in the image of the givers, not just in things like condom distribution, but in everything else, from the way they select their leaders to the way they grow their food. Stopping that, and letting them keep their own cultures and ways of living, would be a better way to help them than treating them like poor Americans.

    I disagree.

  • Since it is that time of year– remember the heifer international (14% to fundraising, 6% to admin costs) or World Vision (9%, 5%, probably protestant) and all their cousins! (BBB charity numbers. Full list here.)

  • Blackadder, thanks. It is important to distinguish between development aid and humanitarian aid. Do you believe development aid has or can be beneficial when there are strings attached? E.g., regular monitored elections, Washington Consensus.

  • Sorry for another post, but I finally found the one I was looking for:
    Catholic Relief Services. They’re 4% fundraising, 3% admin, and their description reads like what *I* wish we could put money into, instead of a gov’t program:

    CRS supports projects designed to help communities in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America identify long-term solutions to poverty and build self-sufficiency. In most programs, CRS collaborates with one or more local partner agencies. The child survival, water and sanitation, and HIV/AIDS education and care projects give priority to the most vulnerable, typically women of reproductive age, infants, and the very young. Approaching farming as a family business, CRS is involved in furnishing assistance that includes processing, storage, and marketing of crops; weed, disease, and pest control; livestock production, fishing, and forestry; and irrigation and soil and water conservation. CRS also helps establish village banks to invest in loans to persons who have little or no access to other credit alternatives. As a means of achieving increased enrollment and regular attendance of children, especially girls, CRS supports school feeding programs. CRS also carries out humanitarian assistance operations in response to natural and man-made disasters, supplying aid in the form of food, medicines, shelter, and other relief supplies. CRS also conducts workshops; sponsors solidarity camps, prepares training manuals, stimulates inter-religious dialogue, and monitors early warning signs to promote the principles of tolerance, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. Furthermore, CRS operates programs in the United States that focus on parish outreach, fair trade, advocacy, and farmer-to-farmer support. These programs inform and engage American Catholics about poverty and injustice overseas, and provide them with the opportunity to get involved as individuals, with their families, and in their schools.

    My dad has been in ag work since he was 14 (with time out for Vietnam and getting his AA) and doesn’t get excited about much…but even offhanded mentions of foreign agriculture practices will get him lecturing.

    He’s STILL learning tricks, because he was taught the basics and how they work (his grandfather was a successful Scott shepherd whose wife helped teach the local Indians how to farm when you can’t just move to the next area over and let the land recover– totally different training style) and encouraged to try to teach himself more.
    (Did you know that when you’re calving in winter, it’s best to feed in the evening? The cows will mostly give birth in the morning, because they won’t miss their feed time. That cut WAY down on the number of calves lost because it was a difficult birth in the cold and dark.)

    Shipping in tons of food for a long time kills the local farming economy, setting up camps keeps folks clustered together, money will be stolen, food given to existing infrastructure to be distributed non-centrally will usually be stolen, teaching folks a mechanical understanding of ag will fail (especially if it depends on modern US agricultural tools in a place without the support for them), and we (the first world nations) have a bad habit of getting these poor nations hooked, then telling them to do what we say or we’ll stop giving them stuff. (Doesn’t help that those making the decisions are usually the same ones getting rich from us giving them stuff, either.)

    Ugh.

    Sometimes, I really don’t like humans.

  • It strikes me that where Derb’s argument breaks down is on the assumption that subsidizing AIDS drugs will encourage people to be casual about getting AIDS. While it may reduce the danger of actually dying from AIDS, my impression is that the level of care available in Africa from foreign aid is still pretty low, and thus the incentive to not get AIDS is still pretty strong regardless of medication availability.

    Handing out condoms, on the other hand, I think pretty clearly sends the message, “Go have sex, don’t worry about who it’s with, it’s safe!”

    In that regard, I’m not clear you can make the argument that funding AIDS treatment in Africa is keeping other, more positive change from happening in the way that throwing condoms around does. And so although the argument is similar in structure to the pope’s in regards to sending condoms to Africa, I don’t think it has similar validity.

    One can, of course, easily argue as to whether US government funding is the right way to get AIDS treatment to Africa on the basis of a whole lot of practical or prudential basis, but I’m not clear the “social conservative” argument works.

  • Darwin-
    if we were talking about folks with our background and education, yes. But we’re talking about unscientific folks. *Realistically*, the care isn’t amazing; word-of-mouth, you get sick, they treat you, and you can move on.

  • I have long suspected Richard Lowry employed Derbyshire half for philanthropic reasons and half as an addition to the magazine’s stable of humor columnists (albeit as the weakest entry in the latter category). Click on the link below and scroll down, and you will see the factuality of his comments disputed (no surprise that).

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/category/contentions

  • Thanks for that link, Art. One of the problems with most of the responses against Derb in the comments on the Corner as that most simply rebuked him without really offering any substantive arguments. Wehner’s was one of the more thorough critiques I’ve seen.

    As for why Derb continues to find employment at NR, it’s a bit of a mystery. I suppose it’s nice that NR continues to employ people with radically different viewpoints within conservatism. Even though I’ve had my frustration with NR, it seems to me that there is more ideological diversity there than most partisan magazines like The Weekly Standard, Mother Jones, etc.

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Cardinal George had a private unscheduled 30 minute meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday afternoon.  Outside of the normal platitudes issued between the USCCB and the White House, nothing substantive of note can be reported.  Although Cardinal George issued a YouTube video warning to President Obama concerning the United State’s moving towards despotism the day prior to his meeting.  President Obama seems to have responded positively to Cardinal George’s proposal of “an agenda for dialogue” which was issued early this year.

2. The secular and liberal media, i.e., the mainstream media, have pretty much remained silent on Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa.  Is it because they don’t want to report the problem of condoms only exacerbating the issue of AIDS and not wanting to hear about the sanctity of life?  Is it beneath their elitism to do anything with Africa?  Or is it because the mainstream media could care less about Africa because of the pigment of their complexion?  Remember Rwanda and southern Sudan, the media remained silent.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf made similar comments, for the link click here.

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9 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

  • 1. “Agenda for dialogue:” never a good sign. Not sure what can come from such dialogue on the good Cardinal’s part. Amazing that the meeting even took place- probably due to their mutual place of residence.

    2. All questions regarding lack of MSM coverage of His Holiness’ visit satisfactory to ask. Also- Is the Church that humdrum? Is it JPII Fatigue? Or that this Pontiff doesn’t deliver slamming quotes? Just goes about his business? Hooray- San Diego Union Tribute found a buyer! Newspaper journalism is saved! Not.

    3. Welcome Jennifer and hubbo to Family of Faith. Nice to have ya around.

  • Rich Leonardi cites another example of a innovative bishop creating his own parallel magisterium in the creation of a ”Installation Mass” for female lay pastoral administrator.

    You go overboard when you criticize these “innovations” (these installation Masses are hardly new) as the creation of a “parallel Magisterium.”

  • Gerard E.,

    The story on the atheist turned Catholic is actually a year old, but I wanted to share it just the same because I like reading her blog.

    Michael I.,

    Mea culpa, but exaggerating the obvious does not take away from the fact that Bishop Matthew Clark is inventing rites that aren’t authorized by the CDW or CDF or listed in any GIRM.

    Just because this isn’t new, doesn’t make it right.

  • I’m not going to make judgments on it until it happens. But for what it’s worth, the Obama Administration is going to meet with pro-life groups.

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4918.html

  • Tito – I’m puzzled. “Installation Mass” can mean a variety of things. There is nothing wrong with installation Masses per se. There are all kinds of Masses for various occasions, including the installation of various lay ministers. Not everything is listed in the GIRM. I believe I saw a published collection of such rites recently and it was approved either by the USCCB or the CCB (I can’t remember what context I saw the book). You may not recognize those bishops’ conferences, but if those conferences have any authority, they definitely have some limited authority when it comes to the liturgy. You would have to provide some evidence that this particular installation Mass violates some kind of universal liturgical guideline.

    Our diocese in WV had an inaugural Mass for our Catholic governor. Do you oppose that sort of thing as well?

  • Michael I.,

    I do recognize those conferences.

    Although I doubt there is a rite for this type of Mass, I will keep in mind those documents and conferences that you site and look into it at a later date.

    Like many Catholics, I have a pile of books next to my bed that intend to read but have difficulty attending to!

    :~)

  • Eric,

    That link sounds promising, but it may little more than lip service since mid-level functionaries and not President Obama himself will be meeting with those pro-life groups.

  • My comment above should read “USCCB or the CCCB” as in the Canadian Catholic Bishops.

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Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

Tuesday, March 17, AD 2009

Pope Benedict has embarked on his papal visit to the African nations of Cameroon and Angola from March 17-23, 2009.

Forgive me for indulging in an act of ‘shameless self promotion’ — but the Benedict XVI Fan Club (of which I am the administrator) will be providing regular roundups of news, coverage and commentary on the Pope’s visit to Africa from religious and secular media, and will be linking to the Pope’s addresses as they become available.

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3 Responses to Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

  • Needless to say, the roundups will be selective — while hardly ‘news’, the secular media considers it a source of headline-worthy controversy that the Pope believes that “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”, considering this the dominant story.

  • Historic. Necessary. A journey to where the Church is going. Godspeed to our dear Chief Shepherd on this most important apostolic mission.

  • Its quite historic and i am just excited about the development,As the treks through Africa,it means much for us all,and will surely bring bout stronger bonds of love and encouragement to the people.

    Lets all pray for our papa.

66 Responses to Farewell (and thanks) to President George W. Bush

  • ” I should like to thank him for his unapologetic confession of Christian faith, and for his testimony to the importance that prayer plays in his life. And I should like to thank him for not giving a hoot about the mockery that such a witness draws from a secularized mass media, from American high culture, from cranks like Michael Moore, and from Euro-secularist snobs who spent eight years sneering at the evangelical cowboy in the White House while their continent was dying from spiritual boredom.”

    Amen!

  • Amen. I suspect a lot of people will miss him when he’s gone. A big key word in his 200 campaign was “dignity”, and he and Laura have certainly lived up to that promise. I pray that Obama’s inevitable “Lewinski moment” will happen in the first term so that people return to their sense and kick him out in 2012. (I’m not implying that his big(gest) blunder will be a sexual sin, but there is bound to be some major mistake that will reveal his weakness and ineptitude.)

  • “2000 campaign”, I meant.

    Also, I shouldn’t say that I pray for Obama to fail and be shamed and ruined. First I pray for his conversion. But I also do hope that if he proves to be as unqualified as I think he is, that he’ll only get one term.

  • While Bush certainly made mistakes (the bailouts steamed me), I believe history will be much kinder to him than his current critics are. If Iraq becomes a stable functioning democracy – it’s too early to tell at this point -the anti-war left will be seen by future generations in the same light as we view the Copperheads of Lincoln’s day. Of course, they realize that too, which is why they have done everything in their power to bring about our failure there.

    I don’t regret having voted for Bush in ’00 and ’04. Despite the mistakes he made, he has far more integrity and class than most of his critics.

  • His departing speech and particularly the declaration of a national right to life day were fantastic. I wish he had not had so many of the management and public relations errors that caused his popularity to drop so low, I suspect history will judge him more objectively than the latest polls.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Yeah…Katrina was definitely just a p.r. and management error, as was Iraq, torture, Valerie Plame, Gitmo., WMDs, ‘Mission Accomplished, the DOJ scandal, the suspension of habeas corpus…

  • Mark,

    Katrina – pr mostly. The dikes collapsed because the corrupt Louisiana (principally democrat) leadership didn’t use the federally allocated funds to maintain them, but for other politically and personally motivated projects. The evacuation didn’t take place because the democrat mayor and governor failed to act. As Bush pointed out nearly 30,000 were rescued by FEDERAL assets, only after the democrat governor finally agreed to federal intervention. And finally, can you really blame Bush for New Orleans being the greatest festering stinkhole of the entitlement constituency in the country?

    Iraq – bad management mostly, but PR too (mission accomplished banner), probably Rumsfield is the main culprit, things were later sorted out under Gates using General Petraeus brilliant strategy.

    torture, – no torture occurred under the approval of the administration, but enhanced interrogation techniques approved by the leaders of both parties in congress resulted in saving countless American, Iraqi, Afghan and other lives here and abroad.

    Valerie Plame, – pr, this was a nothing issue, her exposure by a Richard Armitage (not particularly close to Bush or Cheney) while despicable was not even a crime.

    Gitmo., – non-issue, it’s really much nicer than an Afghan or Iraqi prison, they eat better than most US prisoners.

    WMDs, – in Syria. Actually over 800 chemical weapons were found in Iraq, just not the major programs that were expected by THE WHOLE WORLD.

    ‘Mission Accomplished, – pr. Actually the banner was not erected by the president or his staff, but understandably exuberant navy personnel

    the DOJ scandal, – huh?

    the suspension of habeas corpus… – non-issue, terrorists should not be protected by laws designed for domestic criminals. In any event the terrorists are treated quite nicely relative to their acts.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Matt you are an utterly sick human being.

  • Matt,

    The sad thing is, as with many writers here, you are not even getting paid to push such ideologically-drenched nonsense.

  • Catholic Anarchist why don’t you attempt to respond to Matt’s arguments rather than engaging in a feeble insult? This blog is for debate on ideas and not for back and forth flaming which is monotonous and boring.

  • Same thing for you Mr. DeFrancisis. Debate the ideas or find other venues to vent.

  • I can’t say I’m a fan after 8 years, and while I’m dreading the Obama Administration I feel a certain sense of freedom defending conservative/classically liberal ideas now with Bush out of office.

    The subject of abortion is the one area I was pleased and content with Bush, though to this day I still think the courts can be stripped of authority on the issue.

    – Two unjust and undeclared wars and a failure to capture Osama Bin Laden. Inexcusable. War should have been formally declared upon Al-Queda, making it the first formal declaration since WWII. It would have set the mission and defined victory, but unfortunately we had (and still have) a cowardly Congress and an authoritarian view of the presidency.

    – A failure to turn the world’s good will after 9/11 into workable solutions with Iran and Middle East. Iran, having two nuclear neighbors could have become an ally as oppose to a source of continued antagonism.

    -Torture (or ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’), wire tapping and the suspension of habeas corpus… once again a failure to recognize the long term repercussions of these acts in favor of short term successes.

    – The Bailouts. Whats the point of having free market principles if you don’t actually follow them? Bush and the Republicans revealed through bailing out Fannie and Freddie, the banks, the auto industry, etc. that their economic philosophies were merely tools to differentiate themselves to voters. It was a marketing tool to be chucked whenever the going got tough in order to look as if they were ‘acting’ to solve the problem. In good time, we will feel the effects of their inflationary acts, which Obama will only make worse exponentially. I can’t say with confidence the dollar will be around in 20 years.

    So while I have an appreciation for Bush’s handling of abortion and his warm welcoming to Catholics, I can’t in good conscience also consider his time in office as successful or even a good example of a moral use for executive power.

  • Don – Matt did not make an argument.

  • Calling a person who defends Gitmo and torture a “sick human being” is an ontological statement, not an “insult.”

  • Donald,

    You choose to allow such stinkwater at your site, which is indicative of the level of all Matt’s posts:

    “And finally, can you really blame Bush for New Orleans being the greatest festering stinkhole of the entitlement constituency in the country?”

    I am sorry if I cannot restrain myself and call it for what it is.

  • Anthony,

    Iran, having two nuclear neighbors could have become an ally as oppose to a source of continued antagonism.

    Iran? When I was in 3rd grade the current president of that rogue nation invaded sovereign US territory of the embassy, and took American citizens hostage. It’s animosity towards the US doesn’t originate with George Bush, it’s ruling ideology clearly precludes it from becoming an ally.

    Some of your other points make sense, especially with regard to the bailout… I might add the amnesty bill.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Thank God. Goodbye George W. Bush. I will hardly miss him. One horror out of office, a new one in.

    – Eric from Washington D.C.

  • Matt,

    Well some would argue that Iran’s taking of the hostages was long overdue ‘blowback’ for the U.S’s interventions of the 1950s. I can’t comment further than that, because…well I wasn’t even alive then.

    My comment was made more in terms of a missed opportunity. In the days after 9/11 the world was shocked, including Iran- which at the time had a slightly more moderate head if I recall. That could have been exploited. It was an opportunity for diplomacy, not bullying. Thats my point.

  • I think Mark and Michael I. were a little intemperate. But, seriously, Don, did you read Matt’s list of defenses? Do you think this type of partisan nonsense lends itself to discussion:

    no torture occurred under the approval of the administration, but enhanced interrogation techniques…resulted in saving countless…lives…

    Iraq – bad management mostly, but PR too (mission accomplished banner), probably Rumsfield is the main culprit, things were later sorted out under Gates using General Petraeus brilliant strategy.

    They might as well debate Ann Coulter.

  • Anthony,

    Regardless of any “provocations” of the embassy hostage taking, it still stands that hatred for America by the Iranian government started with the takeover by radical Islam of the once pro-western nation. If you examine the ruling ideology of the Mullah’s who are the real power in Iran, that is islamic-fascism, and a belief in the return of the 13th Imam brought about by global conflict, they may be contained but they can’t be an ally. Don’t forget about their long history of supporting terrorist organizations Hezbelloh and Hamas et al. Remember the Beirut barracks bombing?

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • John Henry,

    So you’re saying it’s ok to denigrate a poster if you agree with their position, but if you don’t then you call on them to stop? That’s my only history with you, is ignoring personal attacks by others against me, and then asking me to stop responding? You need to learn a thing or two.

    Matt

  • ‘the suspension of habeas corpus… – non-issue, terrorists should not be protected by laws designed for domestic criminals. In any event the terrorists are treated quite nicely relative to their acts.’

    news flash, matt. we have not nearly established that all in this legal category were indeed terrorists. and SC thought otherwise.

    “Gitmo., – non-issue, it’s really much nicer than an Afghan or Iraqi prison, they eat better than most US prisoners.”

    stunning callousness. what else can i say? if i were with your degree of dullness to basic human rights, i’d wish a relative of yours was declared an enemy combatant…

    “Valerie Plame, – pr, this was a nothing issue, her exposure by a Richard Armitage (not particularly close to Bush or Cheney) while despicable was not even a crime.”

    no. the Republican special prosecutor ended by saying there is a cloud over the head of Dick Cheney, because of Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice. let’s see if Bush outright pardons him, after having already commuted his sentence.

    “Iraq – bad management mostly, but PR too (mission accomplished banner), probably Rumsfield is the main culprit, things were later sorted out under Gates using General Petraeus brilliant strategy.”

    no. unjust war from the start, as Mother Church says, and a disaster for international diplomacy and human life/dignity. and only has inflamed more the situation with Iran.

    “Katrina.”

    the last part of your comment showed how you really do not respect all of God’s children, you dememted and racist man.

    “DOJ scandal ?”

    read the newspaper.

  • “So you’re saying it’s ok to denigrate a poster if you agree with their position, but if you don’t then you call on them to stop? That’s my only history with you, is ignoring personal attacks by others against me, and then asking me to stop responding? You need to learn a thing or two.”

    Matt – I am probably in agreement with you more than ‘them’ on issues. In this forum, you are probably going to be defended more than they, so in this case I defended them. I apologize if you feel that I have been unfair. I was very offended by your aggressiveness and general tone of incivility towards Eric in several other threads, and that probably prompted my response here. In any case, I’ll refrain from attempting to referee this particular thread, as Donald and Chris are more than capable of doing so.

  • partisan nonsense

    dememted and racist

    These are accurate comments.

  • I think Mark and Michael I. were a little intemperate.

    Gee, you think.

    Matt you are an utterly sick human being.

    dememted [sic] and racist man

    Yes, certainly anyone who thinks that new Orleans might just be a tad corrupt deserves such denigration.

    I think Matt overdid his defense of George Bush, but nothing he wrote justified that.

    But I guess if Mark and Michael cease writing here, the comboxes would be a little less interesting.

  • “The dikes collapsed because the corrupt Louisiana (principally democrat) leadership didn’t use the federally allocated funds to maintain them, but for other politically and personally motivated projects.”

    Now you are just making things up. The federal monies were not sufficiently there…

    “Yes, certainly anyone who thinks that new Orleans might just be a tad corrupt deserves such denigration. ”

    Matt said for more than that, and you (should) know it.

    Do pro-life people really hang out here? And you wonder why your cause has been so ineffective.

  • Matt,

    Despite the snideness (with which I disagree), I think Matt has raised some legitimate points:

    Yes, many of the errors made in the conduct of the Iraq war can be attributed to those who did the original planning (chiefly Rumsfeld). Some of these wrong decisions were documented quite well in Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.

    Matt also notes that “no torture occurred under the approval of the administration, but enhanced interrogation techniques approved by the leaders of both parties in congress” — it is a valid point that practically every technique was done with bi-partisan knowledge from the senior members of Congress. As the Washington Post reports:

    “In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.”

    ( Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002 December 9, 2007).

    It would be unfair, then, for critics to single out the President / VP for their approval of these techniques without indicting those who were also privy to them.

    Curiously, Matt’s defense of Abu Ghraib stands (reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh) stands in sharp contrast to President Bush himself, who condemned it as “a shameful moment when we saw on our TV screens that soldiers took it upon themselves to humiliate Iraqi prisoners — because it doesn’t reflect the nature of the American people, or the nature of the men and women in our uniform.”

    Katrina received 78 percent more in welfare than the national average — in The Unlearned Lesson of Katerina, Robert Tracinski makes a case that “the disaster in New Orleans was caused, not by too little welfare spending, but by too much. Four decades of dependence on government left people without the resources–economic, intellectual, or moral–to plan ahead and provide for themselves in an emergency.” (Lest we put the blame squarely on federal negligence, see Facts Drown In Press Coverage [of Katrina] Investor’s Daily August 29, 2006).

    Matt — You raise some good points, but it would bolster your case to provide more substantial arguments. The brevity and snideness of your replies make it all to easy to dismiss them as ‘partisan nonsense.’

    Michael I. and Mark DeFrancisis — no doubt you would take offense if anybody dismissed your remarks out of hand and resorted to cheap insults; you should hold yourselves to the same standard of decency.

    Everybody: by all means disagree with each other, but please engage each other like adults and conduct yourself with civility.

  • Christopher,

    Curiously, Matt’s defense of Abu Ghraib stands (reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh) stands in sharp contrast to President Bush himself, who condemned it as “a shameful moment when we saw on our TV screens that soldiers took it upon themselves to humiliate Iraqi prisoners — because it doesn’t reflect the nature of the American people, or the nature of the men and women in our uniform.”

    With regard to the Abu Ghraib case where American soldiers humiliated themselves and Iraqi prisoners I wholeheartedly agree with you and President Bush. That is not the same scenario at Guantanamo Bay, where, while certainly periodic excesses occured, as they do in all incarceration systems, there was no widespread abuse (except of the truth by liberals parroting the Michael Moore talking points).

    You raise some good points, but it would bolster your case to provide more substantial arguments. The brevity and snideness of your replies make it all to easy to dismiss them as ‘partisan nonsense.’

    A fair point, but when I get a broadside of one word liberal talking points, such as “justice department scandal”, it’s hard to even know precisely the basis for criticism let alone a well thought out response for each one.

    Thanks for illuminating some of my responses with cold hard facts, I probably should have made more substantive responses as you did.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • ps. to clarify my huh, on DOJ scandal, I was trying to figure out if this is the case where a substantial portion of the US attorneys were dismissed by Bush after several years under him when he became dissatisfied with their priorities, in contrast with Bill Clinton who had not spent a single night in the White House when he dismissed all of them.

    How long do you think Bush’s appointees will last under the One? Aside from Fitzgerald who has made himself bulletproof.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Everybody: by all means disagree with each other, but please engage each other like adults and conduct yourself with civility.

    I never have and never will take this blog seriously enough.

  • I never have and never will take this blog seriously enough.

    Michael,

    I will keep this in mind as I respond to your self-admitted trolling in the future.

  • Calling a person who defends Gitmo and torture a “sick human being” is an ontological statement, not an “insult.”

    Really? Please explain, how that is an ontological statement.

  • “Everybody: by all means disagree with each other, but please engage each other like adults and conduct yourself with civility.”

    Bravo!

  • I will keep this in mind as I respond to your self-admitted trolling in the future.

    Do so. And I will similarly keep in mind your ongoing association with this disgusting, racist, nationalist blog when you post elsewhere.

    Really? Please explain, how that is an ontological statement.

    Torture is intrinsically evil.

  • Michael,

    Torture is intrinsically evil.

    While that may be your personal opinion, and it is not without some support, it is not in any sense definitive, I am free to disagree with your conclusion in good conscience. Secondly, the very definition of torture is at question as well, and there is certainly no magisterial authority which definitively declares the practice of waterboarding (as authorized by Pres. Bush) is torture as such.

    Even if waterboarding is torture, this particular application (to extract information in order to prevent further acts of terrorism) is not listed in the catechism or any other authoritative document:

    CCC 2297:
    Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.

    Since the catechism qualifies it’s condemnation of torture, it seems that you are stretching to insist that it is “intrinsically evil”, and anyone who dissents from this position is a “sick human being”.

    As offensive as some of these interrogation methods may be, bear in mind that the Church does permit the state incredible leeway to defend itself against unjust aggressors. The use of blades, bullets, and bombs can cause incredibly horrific suffering, grotesque wounds, and ultimately death. These weapons can be used legitimately against enemy soldiers who bear no moral culpability for their own actions. The Church teaches that these same weapons, subject to the principles of double effect, can be used even where innocent civilians would be injured or killed.

    Fr. Brian Harrison, professor at the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico as published an excellent and detailed article regarding this question in the Roman Forum.

    Part I
    Part II

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Matt – The Church teaches that torture is intrinsically evil. Authoritative Church teaching exists outside of your Catechism. You should explore a little bit.

  • Michael,

    can you respond to the arguments I made, or no? It might help you to explore a bit, perhaps give Fr. Harrison’s article a read.

    God Bless,

    Matt

  • Matt,

    Are you a seminarian? Just wondering…

  • Which argument? The “it doesn’t say that in the catechism” bit that you said. Do you consider that an “argument”?

  • Michael,

    “or any other authoritative document”

  • So Michael, does that mean that every person who says anything in support of abortion rights, like say Pres. – elect Obama, is a “sick human being”? Because what you are saying here is that it is an “ontological statement” to call someone a “sick human being” simply because they say something that could be interpreted as support of an intrinsic evil. Your lack of charity towards those you disagree with politically will win no converts. Perhaps you should spend less time talking ontology and more time reading about the virtues we are expected, as Catholics, to be developing in our personal lives in order to grow in holiness and reach our home in heaven.

  • Matt – You (wrongly) will dismiss any document I produce as “non-authoritative,” so what is the point?

    Jessie – I wish for one minute that you people could consider the willful murder of human beings without always needing to compare those deaths with the murder of the unborn. It shows that you really refuse to take them seriously as human persons, and use them merely as comparison points for your own pet issues. But do I think “every” person who says “anything” about abortion rights is a sick human being? Probably not every person, but certainly many of them are. I would want to look at specific cases and arguments. Just as I would not say “every” person who says “anything” positive about the united states, its imperialistic tendencies, its warmaking practices, etc is a sick person. What I have done is to look at Matt’s particular “arguments” (er, statements really — they ain’t arguments) which intentionally refuse to take seriously non-american human lives and to — rightly, I think — call him a sick person.

  • I wish for one minute that you people

    t shows that you really refuse to take them seriously as human persons

    Indeed.

  • With the way certain people write here, I think Michael I. is being merely frank.

  • “you people”?

    Who you calling “you people”?

    Huhhh.

  • [Deleted due to inflammatory remarks]

  • Tito – Don’t worry. You are most certainly included when I refer to “you people.”

  • Michael I,

    In light of your blatantly false witness regarding my concern for “non-Americans” it might be pertinent for me to point out that I am in fact a Canadian, as is my whole family, except for my wife.

  • “Now you are just making things up. The federal monies were not sufficiently there…”

    Speaking as a Louisiana Resident it appears to me Bush is still fairly popular here which shows what many people thought about putting Katrina on all his shoulders. In the end if it happend under Clinton (which he cam eclose to doing but for a last minute turn and a Republican Governor at the time it would have been the same thing.

    Blame where there is blame goes out into a thousand different election including the American people that are ingnoring the root problem. I hoe and pray those lessons are recalled but I am doubtful

  • Matt,

    I thought Father Harrisons article was pretty good and pretty straightforward. I think he did a good job of stating what is up to legitmate debate

  • Michael I.,

    It was a movie reference to Tropic Thunder (a joke).

    Hope your New Year is going awesome for you!

  • In light of your blatantly false witness regarding my concern for “non-Americans” it might be pertinent for me to point out that I am in fact a Canadian, as is my whole family, except for my wife.

    It really makes no difference. Sounds like you must have a fascinating story, then, if you have the death-dealing politics that you do. I’ve lived in Canada for a while now and believe it or not there are Canadians who have embraced the idealized image of america and buy into american exceptionalism. So what’s your story, and how did you come to accept the americanist gospel? Are you a dual citizen? Live in america? Working toward your u.s. baptism? Or have you already been baptized and confirmed?

  • It was a movie reference to Tropic Thunder (a joke).

    Not familiar with the reference.

    Hope your New Year is going awesome for you!

    It’s going totally awesome, thank you. I hope you’re having a bitchin’ new year yourself.

  • Michael,

    I trust you have renounced your US citizenship to cleanse yourself of the taint? Oh, and don’t forget Canada has cooperated with the “evil” empire for decades in many of the actions you decry:

    Here‘s a link for details of the process.

    Good luck with that.

  • Matt – I’m well aware of that, and have blogged about it.

    [Edited due to inflammatory remarks]

  • Michael,

    don’t just blog about it, do it, do it, do it.

  • I’m not sure it does much good to point this out, but all you’re succeeding in doing at this point, Michael, is making yourself and your beliefs looks silly and aggressively unattractive. If that’s not your primary aim at the moment, you might want to consider changing tactics or just give it a rest for a while.

  • I must not have been clear enough for you. I don’t intend to become Canadian, nor do I intend to remain in Canada. I have blogged about Canada’s sometimes cooperation with the u.s.

  • Brendan – I’m sorry you think that my belief in the absolute evil of torture is “silly.”

  • Michael:

    So how’s that doctorate coming? Getting a lot of work done?

  • Michael,

    Your incivility is silly; not your beliefs.

  • Your incivility is silly; not your beliefs.

    Sounds like there is a difference of opinion among you.

    So how’s that doctorate coming? Getting a lot of work done?

    I’m on track. Thanks for asking!

  • Michael,

    I said that your behavior was making your beliefs look silly, not that your beliefs were silly.

    I don’t think that your belief in the absolute evil of torture is silly, but your behavior is certainly going a ways towards making it look like it is silly people who adhere to that view — which does the truth a disservice.

  • I would like to thank this tremendously prolife president for his good humor.

    Defending the execution of Carla Faye Tucker with an hilarious impression.

    Or the great humor he showed at White House Press dinners. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKX6luiMINQ

    Don’t worry guys you will be getting at least 4 more years of the same. Look at who BO has appointed thus far nothing but people who were war hawks and who were advocates of and voted for the Patriot Act, FISA, the Iraq fiasco. Yes, if you liked the destruction of the constitution and individual liberty that took place during the Clinton and Bush years then you will love Obama. If you liked the intrnational interventions and wars that took place during the Clinton and Bush years you will love Obama.

    The more things “Change” the more things stay the same.

  • hmmm….

    Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief

    it would seem we aren’t being overly diligent about keeping terrorists locked up after all…

Atheist Praises Missionaries

Tuesday, December 30, AD 2008

kisubi-seminary

At one of the blogs I read regularly, Neo-Neocon, the proprietress has an excellent story highlighting the praise of Mathew Parris, a British atheist and writer, for the work of missionaries in Africa and the enormous positive spiritual changes which frequently occur in their converts.  I have long thought that the good work performed by missionaries around the globe, but especially in Africa, was the major overlooked story of the last century.  If I had to pick one development of the past century that will still be having a major impact a millennium hence, I would pick the fact that Africa is becoming a Christian continent.  As much of Europe is forgetting the Faith, and too many Americans are cold and indifferent, the message of Christ is meeting with cries of joy throughout Africa.  Perhaps some day Christian missionaries from Africa will light the fire of faith again in “darkest” Europe.

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One Response to Atheist Praises Missionaries

  • I found this same article Saturday afternoon and found it very intriguing. Mr. Parris recognizes the common denominator that movitivates Christians (and Christian society) and that is the belief of the Trinitarian God combined with the practice of Christianity. Truly an epiphany for Mr. Parris and hopefully the beginning on the road towards Christ.