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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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calledtoministry This past weekend I spent my time reading and listing to Catholic radio. Of course I cleaned the house, did my wash and other such tasks, but I spent a lot of time sitting and reading. It was nice, I have not had a lot of time to do that, or should I say I have not made time to do that.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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A monument dedicated to the unborn victims of ...

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In a soft voice, full of concern it was spoken. “This is my body”. It was spoken with a love that was felt by all and it lofted lightly in the air waiting for the soft breeze  to carry it away.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

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Tearful Pope… The link to the left is an AP article about the Pope and his heart felt feelings concerning the sex abuse and scandal of the Church.

My last blog about the scandal received a few comments, and none very positive. I know that this issue is sensitive at best and considered off limits by others, but the victims and the Church will not and can not heal if we act as if it never happened. On that note we must also be willing to accept that not all priest and bishops were involved and that many are holy men. Yet some, a very small percentage, are sick and in a grave state of sin.

The victims of this abuse need healing and understanding and a compassionate response to the loss of innocence. What the Church and the victims don’t need is media sensationalism. An honest investigation in to all allegations with the proper due process of the laws of the land. The Church needs to be forthright with all information and due process with in the Church needs to be swift. The media needs to allow the process to do its job, and they need to stop persecuting the Church for the acts of men.

The media acts as if the Pope and his predecessors sanctioned the acts of molestation, that the Church not only allowed it but encouraged it. They thrive on the news as if it was a shark feeding frenzy, they smell the blood of the Church and all rush in to get fresh food.

This harms no only the Church, which is there intention, but also the victims. True authentic healing can not take place in a bath of sharks, the blood flow and feeding frenzy needs to stop. The victims of abuse need compassion and understanding, not accusations and witch hunts. The lives of many are at stake here, and the souls of many more.

We  need to respect all parties involved, and we need to seek forgiveness and pray for healing. What we don’t need is more hate and violence. Violence of actions and of words, both can do harm and both can kill.

I pray that the Popes words and actions will start the healing process for all, and I hope and pray that the media will continue to investigate the scandal, but will do so in a fashion that is beneficial to all parties involved.

God Bless

Paul

Charity in Truth: Caritas in Veritate

 

Romans 10:9-10“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

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{{ru|Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из Тарк...

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The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?

It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly.  But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.

The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.

Such figures led her to contend "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests." (Source)

Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.

49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests,  neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)

I am not using the statistics to take the spot light off of the Catholic Church, but rather to point it also on public education and other areas of concern.

Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.

In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,

The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?

The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends. 

[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay.  Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual.  Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27

These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)

Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous.  In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual.  It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)

My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.

As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause.  God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.

God Bless

Paul

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church
Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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Well I did it, this pass week I entered a new part of my life. One part I entered kicking and screaming the there I entered smiling.

Last week marked a new era for me, one that I created, and one that, if I could do over again I would have hoped for a different outcome, but I would have done everything the same.

As I have written I am currently in a bankruptcy, and it is now official, the courts excepted the plan. This is a good thing, it means I can stop worrying about weather the courts will adjust the plan. But it also meant that I must surrender my current car, well Jeep Commander to be specific, and get a used car with no payments. I did this, I am now the proud owner of a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one that over all is in good condition, it needs work, but she runs. By the way, this was the kicking and screaming part… I was not happy about giving up my Jeep, I like it and I wanted to keep it, just pay it off and not get a new car. But the courts had a different take on it all. Such is life.

When my niece saw the new Jeep she asked what I named it, now for the record I do not name my cars, she was being a smart butt, but after she left I thought about it. What would I name this new Jeep, this car that is now part of my new life…

The second thing that happened this past week was of my own doing, I entered in to is with a smile, I canceled cable, I went and purchased a converter box and over the air antenna and canceled cable. This has been something I have been thinking about for over a year, but each time I would decide to do it, I would come up with a million reasons not to. But this weekend I said to hell with the million reasons not to! And I went and did it, in fact tonight the cable company is coming to pick up there equipment.  Now I must confess that my nephew was not to happy with me, but he will get over it. And yes I will miss some of my shows I like to watch, but I will survive. I have a few “bugs” to work out of the system yet, but all in all, no problems so far. My next goal is to purchase a free to air dish or powerful outside antenna. This basically allows me to view any free to the air ways TV station, and there are tons of them. But that will have to wait, they are a little bit of money.

Also this past week I had a meeting with my new sales team for my company. STATIC  Solutions (my company) has just released its first product (as you have read in this blog). So to market it I needed a sales team, and now I have one.

So to review my week:

  • New Car
  • No Cable
  • New Sales team

A week chop full of changes… So back to my nieces question, what is the name of my Jeep, well based on my week, and based on what is ahead of me I would have to say her name would have to be Phoenix. You know the bird that burns up and is reborn from the ashes. Well in a way that’s what I feel like, I feel like I am burning up and starting to be reborn from the ashes. So Phoenix it is, my goal is to fix this Jeep up making sure she is safe and replacing or fixing what ever I have to on her, and to place on her the name Phoenix.

Rebirth is hard and I am not going to lie to you, it was extremely hard for me to give up my Jeep Commander but in the end I had to and in truth I am sort of glad, a lesson has been learned, and this lesson was one that I needed to learn.  So with my cables house and my new 1994 Jeep along with all the other changes I will freely choose and the ones that will be forced upon me, I will emerge from the the ashes as a new creation, stronger and better if not because if it all, at least because of in spite of it all.

 

Paul

From Wikipedia: A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends[1]). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (sun city in Greek).

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Gross National Happiness coverI just finished “Gross National Happiness” a book by Arthur C Brooks who also wrote “Who Really Cares” (also a great book to read). But back to the new book, Gross Domestic Happiness, this book looks at the national happiness of our country, what makes us happy and what doesn’t. It is a fascinating look at America and Americans, how we think and see event that help shape us.

Mr. Brooks uses research data, not his opinion to form his conclusions on who and what makes America happy. He delves in to politics and religion takes a look at race and economic situations and delivers the facts as they fall, not as he wishes them to be.

His argument is that the happier America is the better off we all are. A simple argument, but one that is all to often left  out of the policy making or the discussion of America and her future. Arthur lays down the facts, backs them up with the research and draws logical conclusions from them, often they are conclusions that he was not striving for, but the facts lead him to them. He is an author who is willing to place his own needs aside and allow the fact to lead him, and not his own predetermined outcome.

Arthur followed the same pattern in his first book, “Who Really Cares” allowing the facts to lead him, in truth we all can learn from him, we all should allow the facts to lead us, and not try to skew them to fit in to our own predetermined outlook.

All of us do it, in our faith life, our work life and dour political views. We vote Democrat or Republican not because we agree with the candidate, but because of the party they are with, we change faiths to find one that better fits us rather than us changing to fit the faith we live in a society that allows us to justify the means to achieves the ends.

In his books Arthur refused to allow his own political and religious views interfere with the facts, using raw data to formulate the outcomes he allowed the data to speak for itself.

The Happiness of America and each of us individually is extremely important to our economy, communities and national security. It plays a roll in diplomacy and helps elevate national tensions. This book, well in truth both books, should be required reading by all Americans, they both are books that will help focus our national and personal affairs on what is truly important.

For more information visit his website at http://www.arthurbrooks.net/index.html

 

Paul

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Yesterday, I will admit it, I watched the services for the King of Pop… I had to see it for myself, and all in all , it was well done. But it does bring up some questions that we as a society must answer.

The media and fans and even some nonfans have turned Michael Jackson in to a saint a world peace maker a ambassador for race relations, and well the truth be told he was a troubled man with many issues.

I too think that he was a very gifted and multi talented person, and I agree that he brought happiness to the world through his gift. And yes he should be praised for this, but the out pouring of grief for this man, whom most of us did not know on a personal level is, well jest just say its a tad bit overboard.

King of Pop or not, Mr. Jackson had issues to deal with. In the limelight or not, he is human and should be held to the same standard as all others are help too. It seems that we often times forgive the sins of the famous with all to much ease. Lets look at a few of his:

  • Accused of child molestation
  • Drug use
  • Self hatred

I do not list them to be disrespectful, but to point out that MJ was not a saint, as most of us are not. That we must be willing to accept him as a whole being. He was not a monster as some would like to make him to be, but nor is he a saint as others would like us to believe, but what he was, was human, like all of us are.

To counter balance the short list of his sins, lets look at his humanity, he was:

  • A Son
  • A Brother
  • An Uncle
  • A friend
  • A Child of God’s
  • An Entertainer like no other
  • Listed in the Gunnies book of world records for the Pop Star to give the most to charity
  • and lets us not for get a Father

To be fair to him we need to list all his traits, good and bad, but we mustalways keep in mind that he, like us all, was human. Mr. Jackson was a frail little boy locked up in a mans body, the issues run deep with in his soul and in some ways we all have a little responsibility for this, we as fans place him up high, create a god of him than we abandon him in his hour of need, we play to his vulnerabilities to fulfill our needs, leaving him empty and spent. We treat our stats as our own personal play things and disregard them when we are done with them. Mr. Jackson, like all of us was given the gift of free will, he chose to do the drugs and other acts of self pity and hatred, but lest us not forget that we all, in someway, enabled him to do so.

You may not be a Jackson fan, so you may be saying, “Not Me”, but I would say to that, “Yes You” because if you did not do it for Mr. Jackson you did it for some other star. Indirectly we all all played a roll in this, in someway we all enabled him, in some way we all can take a small bit of reasonability for his demise just like in some way we all can take a bit of responsibility for his rise to stardom.

 

RIP Michael… May God Bless your soul…

Paul

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