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  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 21, 2014—Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 21, 2014—Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Direct to my Desk: Why do Catholics leave the Faith? (continued from Hour 1)

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to my Desk: Why do Catholics leave the Faith? (continued)

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Direct to my Desk: Why do Catholics leave the Faith? (continued)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” — August 21, 2014

    Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 21

     

    Direct to my Desk: Why do Catholics leave the Faith?

     

    Al takes your calls, questions and comments on why people who were raised Catholic leave the faith when they reach adulthood. 

  • South Sudan aims to censor Catholic Church radio

    via Radio Tamazuj

    South Sudan’s government will not allow the Catholic Church to operate a radio station in the national capital unless it censors its programmes and clarifies its role, according to media officials in Juba.

    Bakhita FM is part of a network of radio stations that the Catholic Church began operating in South Sudan after the Islamist NCP party lost power in 2005 to SPLM, a secularist party with Marxist origins.

    The station has been off-air already for five days after security agents raided its premises, seized the key to the building and detained a news editor for four days.

    Described as ‘the voice of the church,’ the station had been reporting on the ongoing conflict in the country as well as the peace talks in Addis Ababa, where a delegation of South Sudanese church leaders are calling for a negotiated settlement to the current conflict.

    South Sudan’s government, which is boycotting the talks, has made clear that it aims to control reporting on the peace talks and on the conflict itself by banning interviews with opposition leaders. The government also has detained journalists for quoting sources contradicting its military claims.

    Bakhita Radio’s director Albino Tokwaro said that the radio station will likely have to self-censor at the request of the government.

    In an interview with Voice of America, he said that the National Security Service asked the Catholic church “to go and discuss with them the modalities of the programs that will be presented,” at a meeting scheduled to take place today.

    “The government does not want us to continue with some political programs,” Tokwaro said.

    It would thus appear that the government intends to limit its interference to only issues of war and peace, and not extend its control to programming on other social or religious issues.

    According to the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), which sent a representative to meet the National Security Service earlier this week, the National Security said that it “cannot promise the re-opening of the station (Bakhita Radio) until they iron out few things with the management.”

    These issues include clarifying Bakhita’s mandate as a radio station for peace building, promoting spirituality, or reporting politics.

    Two other Christian radio stations in the country were threatened last month, including Weer Bei FM in Northern Bahr al Ghazal and Spirit FM in Yei.

    AMDISS representative Jacob Akol said in a written statement that the government’s attempts to restrict Radio Bakhita over reporting rebel views alongside government views has no basis in law.

    “As far as we know there has not been any law or decree banning the media from reporting the conflict and activities of the rebels; only verbal utterances from the Minister of Information, which should not be taken as the law,” he said, referring to previous statements by the government spokesman warning media against publishing interviews with rebels.

    Akol described South Sudan’s government as having imposed “a state of fear” on the media.

    “While the media is told they are free to report anything within the law, media houses are closed and journalist are arrested, detained or intimidated by the security without reference to any law,” he said.

  • Satanist claims Catholic priest gave him Host for black Mass

    via Aleteia

    by John Burger

    john burgerWith one month to go before a satanic group in Oklahoma City  holds a public “black mass,” the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is suing to force the group to hand over a consecrated Host it claims to have.

    The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the District Court of Oklahoma County, claims Satanic leader Adam Daniels and his religious organization, the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, have “unlawfully taken possession of property belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, specifically a Consecrated Host.”

    Daniels, who has claimed publicly to have the Host, clarified in an interview that the Host he plans to use at the black mass came from a member of his group who is a Catholic priest in a foreign country.

    “One of my priests in a foreign country is also a Catholic priest and he is the one who consecrated it himself and mailed it to me, and I’m not going to reveal his name and I’m not going to reveal what country he’s from,” Daniels said in a phone interview Wednesday.

    He said that he had not yet been served with the lawsuit and would not yet have any comment.

    Archbishop Paul Coakley, who has tried unsuccessfully to persuade the Oklahoma City Civic Center to cancel the Sept. 21 event and filed the lawsuit, has called on Catholics in his archdiocese to pray and fast so that the black mass will not take place. The lawsuit, which can be read here, demands the satanic group hand over the Host to Archbishop Coakley.

    “The Church has exercised dominion and control over the Eucharist for 2000 years,” Michael W. Caspino, attorney for the archdocese told The National Catholic Register. “We are simply asking the Court to return the stolen property to its rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Church.”

    A black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony structured as a parody of the Catholic Mass. Invoking Satan, the ritual is centeredblack mass around the desecration of the Eucharist, which is generally done by using a consecrated host in a profane sexual ritual, or defecating and urinating on it. Daniels said that he plans to follow the ritual pretty closely, except that the woman who serves as the “altar” will be dressed, in keeping with th civic center’s requirement to abide by the law.

    “The nude altar has to be dressed; there won’t be public urination,” he said. “We would proceed to do the satanic consecration by forcing Jesus into the bread. At that point there will be things yelled at the bread, talking about how it’s a worthless chamberlain who doesn’t do its job and all it does is sleep, doesn’t answer any prayers and allows for its own people to be hurt, and because of it it has killed millions of our brethren, meaning pagans and Satanists alike throughout the centuries. At that point it will be dashed to the floor, and the deacon and subdeacon will be smashing it and stomping on it.”

    An archdiocesan spokeswoman declined to arrange an interview with Archbishop Coakley, but the lawsuit says that the archbishop is required and authorized by the Catholic Church to act as custodian of the Church’s property and to safeguard and repossess Church property, including the Consecrated Host.

    Whether or not the Host in question was “stolen,” the lawsuit also outlines canon law on the proper treatment of the Eucharist, and states: “If an unauthorized individual has possession of a consecrated host, it must have been procured, either by that person or by another, by illicit means: by theft, fraud, wrongful taking or other form of misappropriation.”

     

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 20, 2014 — Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 20, 2014 — Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Live report from Erbil, Iraq

    • Description: ISIS atrocities in Iraq continue. Yesterday, the terrorist group released a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley. The Malteser International assessment team will be in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil for at least the next three months as they provide aid to the thousands of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities who have fled their homes from ISIS persecution. Oliver Hochedez, the head of the assessment team, and Fr. Paulus Sati, a mission advisor, join us live from Iraq to talk about their team's mission.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    OKC Archbishop Coakley files lawsuit against satanic group

    • Description: Attorneys for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City have filed a lawsuit against the satanic group planning to host a black Mass next month. The lawsuit says that, by using a consecrated Host, the group has stolen Church property. Lead attorney Michael Caspino is with us to talk about it.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Obama: “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents”

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” — August 20, 2014 — Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” — August 20, 2014 — Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion

    • Description: Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri continue in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. The situation once again raises questions about the state of race relations in America. Pastor Levon Yuille, National Director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress, has been a community activist in Ypsilanti, Michigan for more than thirty years. Pastor Levon joins us with his take on the state of race in America.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Dr. Levon Yuille
        Dr. Yuille is the pastor of the Bible Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan, National Director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress and the host of Joshua’s Trail radio program on WDTK in Detroit.
      • Resources:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion (continued)

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion (continued)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— August 20, 2014

    Talking about the “things that matter most” on August 20

     

    4:00 – Live report from Erbil, Iraq

     

    ISIS atrocities in Iraq continue. Yesterday, the terrorist group released a video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley. The Malteser International assessment team will be in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil for at least the next three months as they provide aid to the thousands of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities who have fled their homes from ISIS persecution. Oliver Hochedez, the head of the assessment team, and Fr. Paulus Sati, a mission advisor, join us live from Iraq to talk about their team’s mission.

     

     

    4:20 – OKC Archbishop Coakley files lawsuit against satanic group

     

    Attorneys for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City have filed a lawsuit against the satanic group planning to host a black Mass next month. The lawsuit says that, by using a consecrated Host, the group has stolen Church property. Lead attorney Michael Caspino is with us to talk about it.

     

    4:40 – Kresta Comments: Obama: “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents” 

     

    5:00 – Race in America: A wide-ranging discussion

    Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri continue in the wake of Michael Brown’s death. The situation once again raises questions about the state of race relations in America. Pastor Levon Yuille, National Director of the National Black Pro-Life Congress, has been a community activist in Ypsilanti, Michigan for more than thirty years. Pastor Levon joins us with his take on the state of race in America. 

  • BREAKING: Archbishop Coakley Files Lawsuit Against Black Mass Organizers

    Attorney Michael Caspino joins Kresta in the Afternoon today (8/20) at 4:20 Eastern Time. 

    via the National Catholic Register

    by Brian Fraga

    Attorneys for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit at noon today to stop the satanic black mass that organizers are planning to stage next month in the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall.

    The lawsuit asks the Oklahoma County Sheriff‘s Office to retrieve the consecrated host that the event‘s organizers claim to have, and return it to Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley. The lawsuit also argues that the consecrated host was obtained under fraudulent circumstances, and thus it must be returned to the archdiocese.

    “Our contention is that they are in possession of stolen property,” Archbishop Coakley told the Register. “They cannot archbishop coakleycomplete their satanic ritual without a consecrated host, and they have no means of acquiring one except through theft. We are asking the court to order them to return it immediately to me.”

    Archbishop Coakley added that the archdiocese, in consulting with the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, formulated a sound argument rooted in canon and civil law.

    “We are trusting the court will recognize that and act accordingly,” the archbishop said. “We hope this is a way that we can prevent the desecration of the Eucharist from taking place by removing from their possession what they have obtained illegally, that is the consecrated host.”

    Michael Caspino, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the archdiocese in Oklahoma District Court said the legal argument for the case is simple: “A consecrated Eucharist belongs to the Church.”

    Caspino, the CEO and partner at the Busch & Caspino law firm in Irvine, Calif., told the Register that the Church has exercised “dominion and control” over the Eucharist for more than 2,000 years. The lawsuit provides information on Church processes set up to safeguard the consecrated host.

    “The Satanists procured the consecrated host by illicit means, theft or fraud,” Caspino said. “We are simply asking the court to return the stolen property to its rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Church.”

    Named as defendants are Adam Daniels, an Oklahoma County resident, and Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a group that has
    rented the Oklahoma City Civic Center’s 88-seat City Theater to stage the black mass on Sept. 21. Daniels, a member of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, has told various media outlets that a friend mailed him the consecrated host, and that it will be desecrated, “stomped on” and destroyed during the satanic ritual.

    Daniels, who has been involved in organizing public Satanist events in Oklahoma City since 2010, is a registered sex offender.

     

    Profanation of the Catholic Mass

    The black mass is a sacrilegious ceremony structured in imitation of the Catholic Mass. Invoking Satan, the ritual is centered around the desecration of the Eucharist, which is generally done by stealing a consecrated host from a Catholic church and using it in a profane sexual ritual or defecating and urinating on it. On its website, the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu says its event will be “toned down” so as not to violate Oklahoma state laws against nudity, public urination and sex acts.

    The Oklahoma black mass has generated outrage among Catholics across the country. More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition to shut down the event. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallon released a statement on Aug. 11 condemning the black mass as a “disgusting mockery of the Catholic faith” that should be “equally repellent to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.”

    The situation in Oklahoma comes just three months after a Harvard University student club tried sponsoring a black mass on campus. Hundreds of Catholics from across Massachusetts and New England participated in a May 12 procession and Eucharistic holy hour in the Church of St. Paul in Harvard Yard. The Harvard student club subsequently canceled the black mass, though a scaled-down version of it, without the club’s sponsorship, was reportedly later held in an off-campus Chinese restaurant.

    Archbishop Coakley said the publicly planned black mass in Oklahoma surprised him and many others given that Oklahoma is a “very conservative state” with many church-going people.

    “It seems as if it would be an unlikely place for such an attack to take place,” Archbishop Coakley said. “Unfortunately, it has indeed taken up a lot of our time, energy and attention to resist this, but if we are able to stop this, it will be time and energy well-spent.”

    The archbishop also said he is encouraged by numerous messages that he has received from virtually every continent expressing support and solidarity with the Oklahoma Catholic community.

    “I’m kind of holding my breath to see what’s next and see what becomes of [the lawsuit],” he said. “I’m hopeful, praying that it will achieve the end for which we desire, which is the prevention of the desecration of the Eucharist and stopping this public sacrilege from taking place.”

    Read More

  • A letter from James Foley, journalist murdered by ISIS

    James Foley was captured in Syria in November 2012. On August 19, 2014 ISIS released a video of Mr. Foley telling the US that there would be consequences for US airstrikes against the Islamic State. He was then executed. Mr. Foley was also detained for 44 days in Libya during the Libyan Civil War in April 2011. After his release he published this letter in the magazine of Marquette University, his Alma Mater. 

    via Marquette Magazine

    Phone call home

    A letter from James Foley, Arts ’96, to Marquette.

    Marquette University has always been a friend to me. The kind who challenges you to do more and be better and ultimately shapes who you become.

    With Marquette, I went on some volunteer trips to South Dakota and Mississippi and learned I was a sheltered kid and the world had real problems. I came to know young people who wanted to give their hearts for others. Later I volunteered in a Milwaukee junior high school up the street from the university and was inspired to become an inner-city teacher. But Marquette was perhaps never a bigger friend to me than when I was imprisoned as a journalist.

    Myself and two colleagues had been captured and were being held in a military detention center in Tripoli. Each day brought increasing worry that our moms would begin to panic. My colleague, Clare, was supposed to call her mom on her birthday, which was the day after we were captured. I had still not fully admitted to myself that my mom knew what had happened. But I kept telling Clare my mom had a strong faith.

    I prayed she’d know I was OK. I prayed I could communicate through some cosmic reach of the universe to her.

    I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. 
I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.

    Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.

    Later we were taken to another prison where the regime kept hundreds of political prisoners. I was quickly welcomed by the other prisoners and treated well.

    One night, 18 days into our captivity, some guards brought me out of the cell. In the hall I saw Manu, another colleague, for the first time in a week. We were haggard but overjoyed to see each other. Upstairs in the warden’s office, a distinguished man in a suit stood and said, “We felt you might want to call your families.”

    I said a final prayer and dialed the number. My mom answered the phone. “Mom, Mom, it’s me, Jim.”

    “Jimmy, where are you?”

    “I’m still in Libya, Mom. I’m sorry about this. So sorry.”

    “Don’t be sorry, Jim,” she pleaded. “Oh, Daddy just left. Oh … He so wants to talk to you. How are you, Jim?” I told her I was being fed, that I was getting the best bed and being treated like a guest.

    “Are they making you say these things, Jim?”

    “No, the Libyans are beautiful people,” I told her. “I’ve been praying for you to know that I’m OK,” I said. “Haven’t you felt my prayers?”

    “Oh, Jimmy, so many people are praying for you. All your friends, Donnie, Michael Joyce, Dan Hanrahan, Suree, Tom Durkin, Sarah Fang have been calling. Your brother Michael loves you so much.” She started to cry. “The Turkish embassy is trying to see you and also Human Rights Watch. Did you see them?” I said I hadn’t.

    “They’re having a prayer vigil for you at Marquette. Don’t you feel our prayers?” she asked.

    “I do, Mom, I feel them,” and I thought about this for a second. Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat.

    The official made a motion. I started to say goodbye. Mom started to cry. “Mom, I’m strong. I’m OK. I should be home by Katie’s graduation,” which was a month away.

    “We love you, Jim!” she said. Then I hung up.

    I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

    My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

  • Islamic State video claims to show beheading of U.S. journalist

    The video released by Reuters does show the actual execution. It only shows Mr. Foley’s speech and the terrorist’s warning. It is still distressing to watch and viewer discretion is advised. Click here to view the video. 

    via Reuters

    by Alexander Dziadosz and Michael Georgy

    Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq.

    The video, titled “A Message To America,” also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose life Islamic State said depended on how the United States acts in Iraq.

    The gruesome video presented President Barack Obama with bleak options that could define America’s involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially dragging him further into a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.

    Obama held back from making a public statement about the beheading until the video could be formally authenticated.

    “If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

    Other political leaders were swift to react.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron interrupted his holiday to return to London to lead the hunt to identify the man shown killing Foley, who spoke on the video with a British accent.

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was not surprised to hear the British accent and that large numbers of British nationals were fighting in Iraq and Syria.

    “Our intelligence services will be looking very carefully on both sides of the Atlantic at this video to establish its authenticity, to try to identify the individual concerned and then we will work together to try to locate him,” Hammond told Sky news.

    French President Francois Hollande called for an international conference to discuss how to tackle Islamic State.

    GRISLY MESSAGE

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against Islamic State, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.

    Germany and Italy said they were ready to send arms to bolster the military capabilities of Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq.

    The video’s grisly message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.

    Foley, 40, was kidnapped by armed men on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria while on his way to the Turkish border, according to GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication where Foley had worked as a freelancer. He had reported in the Middle East for five years and had been kidnapped and released in Libya.

    Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.

    On Facebook, Foley’s mother Diane Foley said: “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

    “We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.”

    The video was posted after the United States resumed air strikes in Iraq this month for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.

     

    Read More

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