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Retreatants (Papal Household) Hear of Guises of the Antichrist
Zenit News Agency ^ | February 28, 2007

Posted on 02/28/2007 6:28:51 PM PST by NYer

Preacher Draws On Work of V.S. Solovyov

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Antichrist is the reduction of Christianity to an ideology, instead of a personal encounter with the Savior, says the cardinal directing the retreat which Benedict XVI is attending.

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, retired archbishop of Bologna, delivered that message during a meditation Tuesday, drawing on the work of Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov.

The cardinal's meditation came during the weeklong Spiritual Exercises being attended by the Pope and members of the Roman Curia. The retreat ends this Saturday. The Holy Father suspended his usual meetings, including the general audience, in these days.

According to Vatican Radio's summary of his preaching, the cardinal explained that "the teaching that the great Russian philosopher left us is that Christianity cannot be reduced to a set of values. At the center of being a Christian is, in fact, the personal encounter with Jesus Christ."

Quoting the work "Three Dialogues on War, Progress and the End of History," Cardinal Biffi told his listeners that "the Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist."

"He will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one. The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants," he said.

The cardinal added that Solovyov says in that work: "Days will come in Christianity in which they will try to reduce the salvific event to a mere series of values."

No cross

In his "Tale of the Antichrist" Solovyov foresees that a small group of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants will resist and will say to the Antichrist: "You give us everything, except what interests us, Jesus Christ."

For Cardinal Biffi, this narrative is a warning: "Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity which puts aside Jesus with his cross and resurrection."

The 78-year-old cardinal said that if Christians "limited themselves to speaking of shared values they would be more accepted on television programs and in social groups. But in this way, they will have renounced Jesus, the overwhelming reality of the resurrection."

The cardinal said he believes that this is "the danger that Christians face in our days … the Son of God cannot be reduced to a series of good projects sanctioned by the prevailing worldly mentality."

However, "this does not mean a condemnation of values, but their careful discernment. There are absolute values, such as goodness, truth, beauty," Cardinal Biffi said. "Those who perceive and love them, also love Christ, even if they don't know it, because he is Truth, Beauty and Justice."

The preacher of the Spiritual Exercises added that "there are relative values, such as solidarity, love of peace and respect for nature. If these become absolute, uprooting or even opposing the proclamation of the event of salvation, then these values become an instigation to idolatry and obstacles on the way of salvation."

Cardinal Biffi affirmed that "if Christianity -- on opening itself to the world and dialoguing with all -- dilutes the salvific event, it closes itself to a personal relationship with Jesus and places itself on the side of the Antichrist."


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: antichrist; catholic; papal; papalhousehold; pope; vatican
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1 posted on 02/28/2007 6:28:54 PM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
In his "Tale of the Antichrist" Solovyov foresees that a small group of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants will resist and will say to the Antichrist: "You give us everything, except what interests us, Jesus Christ."
2 posted on 02/28/2007 6:30:18 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer; Alamo-Girl; airborne; American in Israel; AnimalLover; auggy; backhoe; backslacker; ...

THANK YOU.

[END TIMES PROPHECY DREAMS VISIONS PING LIST PING. Please let me know if you want on or off the ping list]

AN EXCELLENT SERMON. I agree rather wholeheartedly. Praise God.

Especially:

Cardinal Biffi told his listeners that "the Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist."

"He will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one. The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants," he said.

The cardinal added that Solovyov says in that work: "Days will come in Christianity in which they will try to reduce the salvific event to a mere series of values."

No cross

In his "Tale of the Antichrist" Solovyov foresees that a small group of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants will resist and will say to the Antichrist: "You give us everything, except what interests us, Jesus Christ."

For Cardinal Biffi, this narrative is a warning: "Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity which puts aside Jesus with his cross and resurrection."


3 posted on 02/28/2007 6:39:25 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS WORTHY; GOD ALONE PAID THE PRICE; GOD ALONE IS ABLE; LOVE GOD WHOLLY)
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To: NYer
"Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity which puts aside Jesus with his cross and resurrection."

It's already happening.

4 posted on 02/28/2007 6:42:06 PM PST by airborne (Elect an Airborne Ranger,Vietnam Veteran for President ! Duncan Hunter 2008!!)
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To: NYer

Bumpus!


5 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:17 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG...)
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To: Quix; NYer
This is a line I liked:

The preacher of the Spiritual Exercises added that "there are relative values, such as solidarity, love of peace and respect for nature. If these become absolute, uprooting or even opposing the proclamation of the event of salvation, then these values become an instigation to idolatry and obstacles on the way of salvation."

"Peace" is not a value in itself, but depends on the absolute values, probably particularly Truth. So many churches have gone astray by ignoring the absolute values and exalting the relative values, which cease to exist and even become dangerous once you remove the absolute to which they refer. Sometimes when I hear the words to some of the hymns they write nowadays, I think the Antichrist must be already here among us!

6 posted on 02/28/2007 6:45:48 PM PST by livius
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To: NYer
The cardinal said he believes that this is "the danger that Christians face in our days … the Son of God cannot be reduced to a series of good projects sanctioned by the prevailing worldly mentality."

Curious, what do you think he means by this?

7 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:34 PM PST by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: NYer; Gamecock

I'd actually love the swarm to join in this discussion!


8 posted on 02/28/2007 6:49:41 PM PST by dangus
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To: NYer

this reminds me of when/why Pope Benedict was so angry with the Franciscans at Assisi - they tried to re-make Saint Francis as a pacifist, ecologist, and syncretist.

He was not a pacifist?
“Absolutely not. Franscis participated in the fifth Crusade as chaplain of troops who were certainly not men of peace. He sought martyrdom through participating in a crusade to reconquer the Holy Land and fell into depression when the crusaders lost. He did not go to the sultan to dialog but to try and convert him, challenging him to walk over burning coals to prove whether Christ or Mohammed was more powerful. And he was not even an animal lover. In his Song of Creation, he never mentions animals. Nor was he an ecologist! He opposed those among his followers who wanted to be a vegetarian community.”

Now, therefore, the Pope wishes to re-establish orthodoxy?
“Of course. Even in San Giovanni Rotondo [hometown of Padre Pio], the Franciscans have taken the Sanctuary from the control of the diocese. So both there and in Assisi, it is important that the friars’ initiatives be in agreement with that of the bishopric. It wil be good even for the Sacred Convent [main Franciscan church in Assisi], because it will put an end to the friars' politically correct demagoguery. An end to the pretense of peace, ecology, ecumenism and pseudo-courageous vaingloriousness which shakes the hands of dictators [this refers to the ostentatious welcome given by the friars to Saddam's deputy Tariq Aziz, a Christian, when he visited Assisi a few months before the war] and violates the Church itself.”

The Pope wants to normalize things?
“The spirit of Assisi is not what the friars of the Sacred Convent have made it to be, and Joseph Ratzinger is fully aware of the colossal error made during that World Day of Prayer in 1986. So much so that three years later, he succeeded in attenuating the syncretist tendencies of the last inter-religious meeting in Assisi, beginning with a correction of the false picture of the historic Francis . And it has been disconcerting that up to now, the bishop of Assisi has learned of any new initiative by the friars only by reading about it in the papers.”

The end to the “world capital of ecumenism”?
“The sanctuaries should coordinate with the bishops. Ratzinger’s intervention at this point is irreproachable. The Pope has followed his own style, acting in a respectful manner that does not interfere with the monastic life of the order itself, but decisively, in a way that serves as a warning to all. The Church will no longer tolerate events which are exempt from the laws of the Church. It is a choice that is well within Benedict’s pastoral strategy. No one can be a law unto themselves.”


9 posted on 02/28/2007 6:50:06 PM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: NYer
"He will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one. The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants," he said.

I'll be part of the small group that doesn't follow Antichrist. Anyone else?

10 posted on 02/28/2007 6:57:19 PM PST by Bosco (Remember how you felt on September 11?)
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To: Gerish

What Catholics call the Corporal Works of Mercy. As a friend of mine said, "Even the New York Times believes in the Corporal Works of Mercy."


11 posted on 02/28/2007 6:59:36 PM PST by firebrand
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To: Gerish

I'd like to see a full transcript of the Cardinal's reflection and find out what the author of this article replaced with the ellipsis (sp?).


12 posted on 02/28/2007 7:04:19 PM PST by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: NYer
I agree with the Cardinal. A set of ethical values can't provide an transformational experience. They're what comes from a transformational experience.

13 posted on 02/28/2007 7:19:18 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: NYer
The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants," he said.

Ecumenical bump!!!

14 posted on 02/28/2007 7:19:28 PM PST by marshmallow
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To: livius

Agreed.

Though I don't have such a problem with SOME of the modern worship music's words--though I prefer a lot of the classics of the faith more.

Even a lot of the choruses are Biblical enough and Christ centered enough. Some may be over simplistic or over redundant.

And, you may be aware of many I'd agree with you on but am not aware of.

But I absolutely deplore the worship music volume being tenaciously pegged literally at 95-125 and even 150db. That's cruel and inhuman punishment. Especially to babies! Sheesh!

And when one complains, in far too many churches, one is labeled a trouble maker or not very spiritual or some such idiocy.


15 posted on 02/28/2007 7:26:41 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS WORTHY; GOD ALONE PAID THE PRICE; GOD ALONE IS ABLE; LOVE GOD WHOLLY)
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To: Nihil Obstat

This ignorant protesty is not all that well read in all that. But from what I do know, your analysis seems quite apt, fitting. Thanks.


16 posted on 02/28/2007 7:27:49 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS WORTHY; GOD ALONE PAID THE PRICE; GOD ALONE IS ABLE; LOVE GOD WHOLLY)
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To: dangus

The swarm?


17 posted on 02/28/2007 7:59:04 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: NYer

Absolutely excellent. Bravo! and extra prayers for Cardinal Biffi.


18 posted on 02/28/2007 8:49:20 PM PST by Maeve (Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet)
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To: Bosco

Me too, with God's help.


19 posted on 02/28/2007 8:51:12 PM PST by Maeve (Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet)
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To: Maeve
Me too, with God's help.

Amen!

20 posted on 02/28/2007 8:52:43 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: NYer

BTTT

A worthy read and worth discussing, imho.


21 posted on 02/28/2007 8:55:51 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS WORTHY; GOD ALONE PAID THE PRICE; GOD ALONE IS ABLE; LOVE GOD WHOLLY)
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To: NYer

BTTT

A worthy read and worth discussing, imho.


22 posted on 02/28/2007 8:55:54 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS WORTHY; GOD ALONE PAID THE PRICE; GOD ALONE IS ABLE; LOVE GOD WHOLLY)
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To: Quix

Thanks for the ping!


23 posted on 02/28/2007 9:19:49 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Gerish

I think he means the UN Millenium Development Goals.


24 posted on 02/28/2007 10:00:37 PM PST by kalee (Tthe offences we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Nihil Obstat

I was in Assisi a couple of weeks ago. I went with great dread because I thought it was going to be like going to an encampment of the "Rainbow Nation" or some other hippie flake-fest. But whatever BXVI has done to improve it has worked.

The place struck me as totally orthodox, St. Francis was correctly portrayed as someone on fire with the love of God and wishing to make conversions and suffer to do so, there were lines at the confessionals, etc. We even stumbled into the Vespers of a small new community of (young) TOR brothers and sisters, and they were all in habits, singing the psalms, and I didn't see a single peace sign in the place. Nor did I see what I was really fearing, non-Christian symbols or worship in the churches or other Franciscan holy places.

I don't know what has happened to the Franciscans, who were an order that really went down hill (I read that they had the highest AIDS rate of any order). Possibly because there are so many Franciscan orders or variants thereof, the bad ones have dwindled and good ones have been encouraged to come forward and take their places. But while I didn't have any in-depth conversations with any of them, I didn't get the impression that there was much weirdness going on, and Sunday Mass was orthodox, carefully celebrated and had a very sound sermon (unless my Italian is so bad that I completely misunderstood it!).

Myabe BXVI has "rescued" St. Francis.


25 posted on 03/01/2007 1:48:16 AM PST by livius
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To: Quix

I think they probably make it loud to cover up the gasps of horror from the congregation. I agree, not all modern church music is bad and I have actually heard some very nice things with good, orthodox lyrics, and they don't sound like advertising jingles, either. So maybe there's hope that someday we won't have to grit our teeth every time the music starts up!


26 posted on 03/01/2007 1:52:33 AM PST by livius
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To: Nihil Obstat
I had no idea the Franciscans were that far Left. Since they have control over Catholic holy sites in 'Eretz Yisra'el, that's not a good thing.

Now the J*suits I'm familiar with! They somehow went from being the most militant and rightwing order (so militant they were suppressed for a while) to being "secretly behind Communism."

27 posted on 03/01/2007 5:15:03 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Zakhor 'et 'asher-`asah lekha `Amaleq, baderekh betze'tekhem miMitzrayim.)
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To: NYer; Quix
Quoting the work "Three Dialogues on War, Progress and the End of History," Cardinal Biffi told his listeners that "the Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist."

We are seeing that right now. Look at the PDL founder, and the havoc it is causing across confessional lines. Most Christians today in the West do know Christ.

Come Lord Jesus.

28 posted on 03/01/2007 5:54:57 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Quix

Oops, see you already found this.


29 posted on 03/01/2007 5:55:40 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: livius; Quix; NYer
The spirit of AntiChrist has been in the Church since the beginning. Paul warned of it. What we are seeing is the rise of an AntiChurch, in a way which we didn't see before. Beyond schism and heresy, which have also been since the beginning, the biggest threat to Christianity today is that many have "A form of Godliness, but denying its power". How many people have you met who only view the teachings of Jesus as a philosophy? How many pastors/priests have you met that do that?

I haven't read the story cited in the article, but have heard it mentioned a few times. Pelakin talks of it in "Jesus Through the Centuries".
30 posted on 03/01/2007 6:00:17 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
I had no idea the Franciscans were that far Left.

To say "the Franciscans" as though they were a monolithic group isn't really accurate. More so than any other Founders that I can think of, Sts. Francis and Clare spawned a multiplicity of more or less independent orders. Some have more nuts, fruits and flakes than the entire State of California, whilst others are quite sane and orthodox. I'm not sure the tendencies of the Franciscan community in charge of the Holy Land places, but trying to extrapolate either from the nutters that were once in charge at Assisi OR from a group like the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York isn't going to be very useful.

The Jesuits, as you note, are a different matter ... even so there are still a few sane men in that order.

31 posted on 03/01/2007 6:00:24 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer
Quoting the work "Three Dialogues on War, Progress and the End of History," Cardinal Biffi told his listeners that "the Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist."

Al Gore?

32 posted on 03/01/2007 6:04:10 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

---"if Christianity -- on opening itself to the world and dialoguing with all -- dilutes the salvific event, it closes itself to a personal relationship with Jesus and places itself on the side of the Antichrist."---

Sounds like more than one liberal church.


33 posted on 03/01/2007 6:04:15 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: NYer
The cardinal added that Solovyov says in that work: "Days will come in Christianity in which they will try to reduce the salvific event to a mere series of values."

There's been a tendency in modernist circles to do just that for decades. In fact, I think that's what modernism is all about ... deny the supernatural, deny the Divine, just try to make everything happy, warm and fuzzy. It's nauseating.

34 posted on 03/01/2007 6:06:04 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Gerish
Curious, what do you think he means by this?

The cardinal said he believes that this is "the danger that Christians face in our days … the Son of God cannot be reduced to a series of good projects sanctioned by the prevailing worldly mentality."

I believe he is referring to organizations and programs sponsored by the likes of the UN or WHO, etc.

35 posted on 03/01/2007 6:09:39 AM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: ArrogantBustard; HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity

What is shocking to me isn't that this is happening, but that it is happening everywhere. It isn't just a "fringe" movement or limited to the nuts and fruits of Christianity, but in every Church, Synod, and Confession you can see the same pull for Christianity lite. I am not a Roman Catholic, and you are not a Lutheran, but on a great many things we do agree. What is shocking today, is that those very things we DO agree (the Incarnation, the Cross, Salvation, etc) have become what many are trying hard to jettison.


36 posted on 03/01/2007 6:11:47 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

The Franciscans really went nutz after VatII. Structurally, "Franciscan" is a very loose designation (that is, there are many orders in the "Franciscan family") and there are some good ones, and most of the bad ones are withering up and dying off.

Incidentally, I visited the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, where there is a reliquary containing things such as fragments of the Crib, etc. These were relics that were kept in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem until the Muslims took over the Holy Land in 640 A.D. (the fall of Caesarea). This was just after Islam was founded, which shows how aggressive and hostile to Christianity it was from the very beginning.

The relics were brought to Rome for safekeeping. Then, after the brief period when the Crusaders managed to drive the Muslims out, when Acre fell in 1291 and the Muslims took over the area again, more relics were concentrated in Rome because Christians were excluded from the Christian holy sites by the Muslim invaders. A pilgrim who made the trip to the relics in Rome would be considered to have made a pilgrimage to Bethlehem, since visiting the actual place itself was no longer possible.

So you can see how long problems with the holy sites have been going on (since the inception of Islam, essentially).


37 posted on 03/01/2007 6:19:03 AM PST by livius
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To: redgolum

I don't know if you read First Things (a magazine that one might describe as "ecumenical orthodoxy"), but there's a good article in this issue about the "metaphysical religion" that many Americans have adopted - including many churches, whether formally or informally. Someone has written a book about the history of this aspect of American religion, and Fr. Neuhaus' review of it is very interesting.

Many people continue to go to creedal churches but their actual beliefs are entirely different. This ranges from things like viewing Jesus as a great philosopher to believing in reincarnation (something like 30% of self-identified Christians say they believe in reincarnation!). It's an article worth reading.


38 posted on 03/01/2007 6:25:28 AM PST by livius
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To: redgolum
What is shocking today, is that those very things we DO agree (the Incarnation, the Cross, Salvation, etc) have become what many are trying hard to jettison.

Satan is attacking the truth. He'll fail, of course, but many will be deceived.

39 posted on 03/01/2007 6:42:00 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo
Global warming is a religion. We have been much warmer in the past (the Medieval Warm Period), and much colder (the Little Ice Age). We are actually in between the last cold period and the normal high right now.

But that isn't looked at. For the models to work as they do, they are not plugging the past trends in. Nor are they looking at the increase in solar energy (which should be declining soon). It isn't science. It is a faith, complete with it's own inquisition and heresy trials.
41 posted on 03/01/2007 7:07:59 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: sandyeggo; livius; NYer

Sandeggo--

Sounds eerily similar to the plot of "Father Elijah" by Michael O'Brien, no? The whole package being the One World Religion movement. We have "spoken" of the impact of this book several times by Freepmail. I hope more Catholic readers will pick it up and be enlightened and horrified simultaneously. O'Brien also has it pegged.

F


42 posted on 03/01/2007 7:29:17 AM PST by Frank Sheed ("Shakespeare the Papist" by Fr. Peter Milward, S.J.)
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: dangus; drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; CCWoody; Wrigley; Gamecock; Jean Chauvin; jboot; ...
I'd actually love the swarm to join in this discussion!

Who Am I to turn down a once in a lifetime request?!?

GRPL PING!


46 posted on 03/01/2007 7:56:36 AM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: NYer; dangus
The cardinal said he believes that this is "the danger that Christians face in our days … the Son of God cannot be reduced to a series of good projects sanctioned by the prevailing worldly mentality."

Sounds like liberal protestant theology....

47 posted on 03/01/2007 7:59:10 AM PST by Gamecock (Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei)
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To: sandyeggo

What a find! That image is what haunts me still! I need to get another copy. I lent it out and never got it back. To think that it is sitting on a bookshelf gathering dust because someone "could not get into it" is too much to bear.

Thanks!
Frank


48 posted on 03/01/2007 8:01:47 AM PST by Frank Sheed ("Shakespeare the Papist" by Fr. Peter Milward, S.J.)
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To: Nihil Obstat

Oh come on. St. Francis did love animals. There is way too much evidence for that, He was not however a worshiper of "Mother Earth".


49 posted on 03/01/2007 8:03:16 AM PST by amihow
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To: amihow

St. Francis loved animals as God's creatures and often used animals as examples - for example, the lamb was the example of innocence and humility, the birds cared not for possessions and sang God's praise, etc. There is a lovely statue of him at Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi, standing with a kneeling lamb at his his side. This refers to a story where someone gave him a lamb that followed him around and, when it came into church with him, knelt at the Elevation of the Host.

I think what people here are saying is that St. Francis wasn't the type who'd be out buying a rhinestone-studded raincoat for his dog or feeding his cat hand-chopped filet mignon. He loved animals, but in their place, as animals and God's creatures.


50 posted on 03/01/2007 8:14:56 AM PST by livius
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