Friday, April 4, 2008

Vatican Clarification Concerning the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews

Following the publication of the new Prayer for the Jews for the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, some groups within the Jewish community have expressed disappointment that it is not in harmony with the official declarations and statements of the Holy See regarding the Jewish people and their faith which have marked the progress of friendly relations between the Jews and the Catholic Church over the last forty years.
The Holy See wishes to reassure that the new formulation of the Prayer, which modifies certain expressions of the 1962 Missal, in no way intends to indicate a change in the Catholic Churchs regard for the Jews which has evolved from the basis of the Second Vatican Council, particularly the Declaration Nostra Aetate. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience with the Chief Rabbis of Israel on 15 September 2005, remarked that this document Ahas proven to be a milestone on the road towards the reconciliation of Christians with the Jewish people.@ The continuation of the position found in Nostra Aetate is clearly shown by the fact that the prayer contained in the 1970 Missal continues to be in full use, and is the ordinary form of the prayer of Catholics.
In the context of other affirmations of the Council - on Sacred Scripture (Dei Verbum, 14) and on the Church (Lumen Gentium, 16) - Nostra Aetate presents the fundamental principles which have sustained and today continue to sustain the bonds of esteem, dialogue, love, solidarity and collaboration between Catholics and Jews. It is precisely while examining the mystery of the Church that Nostra Aetate recalls the unique bond with which the people of the New Testament is spiritually linked with the stock of Abraham and rejects every attitude of contempt or discrimination against Jews, firmly repudiating any kind of anti-Semitism.
The Holy See hopes that the explanations made in this statement will help to clarify any misunderstanding. It reiterates the unwavering desire that the concrete progress made in mutual understanding and the growth in esteem between Jews and Christians will continue to develop.
From the Vatican Daily Bulletin

The Institute of Christ the King Needs Your Help

Editor's Note:
There is nothing more important one can do for Catholic Restoration than supporting those organizations which train priests. Readers are familiar with the apostolic work of the Institute of Christ the King as the Editor has posted similar requests in the past. If it is possible, please assist the Institute in this most important work. May God bless your generosity.
How to Adopt a Seminarian
Our seminarians are very dedicated and generous young men, who are on the path to fulfilling their call to the Holy Priesthood, a call to holiness and service to souls in a world that is in urgent need of returning to of Our Lord. However, they do not always have the financial means to sustain themselves in the course of the seven to nine years it takes to complete the seminary program and be ordained a Priest.

The expense of maintaining a seminary, and of lodging, feeding, providing instruction and supplying the necessary study materials to approximately sixty young men is very high. Our seminarians are thus asked to contribute the relatively small amount of $750 per month toward these costs; but many are not able to afford this contribution.

Would you be willing to adopt a seminarian and help support him throughout his seminary years? While occasional donations to the Seminary are gratefully accepted, we would be deeply thankful if you could commit a monthly amount to fully or partially cover the expenses of one of our American seminarians.
To adopt a seminarian, (1) please use this form or (2) go to www.institute-christ-king.org/support.cfm, check bullet "For American Seminarians," and fill out the Credit Card donation information (there is an option for recurring monthly parcels at "For recurring monthly donations").

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Practical Distributism- A Note From the ChesterBelloc Mandate

As John M├ędaille from The Distributist Review pointed out recently, various new endeavors are in preparation for the coming year.

We hinted in the past about a future conference. Now we are working in earnest to secure a site and date for the event. This will be a full day conference with eight speakers who have generously offered their time and support. Please return to our site for updates as developments unfold.

A Grassroots Movement Rising…Again

The original Distributist League initially met at the Devereux pub and spawned 24 like-minded branches across Great Britain within a single year.* These in turn hosted lectures and conferences, and coordinated with complimentary organizations such as Fr. McQuillan’s Catholic Land Association.

In recent years, many have made efforts to re-introduce Distributism and, as a result, discussions surrounding the topic have been increasing on the world-wide-web. These consequences are not negligible. Book publishers, online and print journals, lectures, universities, and television programs have either touched on the topic or have dedicated themselves to it.

Short Term Goals

We would like to notify our readers of the following proposed objectives we will meet:

1. The establishment of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to educate society about and in support of Distributism. This apostolate will engage in the dissemination of educational materials, semi-annual lecture series, and conferences.

2. A chronicle in print is in development with the intent of discussing solutions to our current global dilemmas. Conceptually the magazine will concentrate on both the practical application of Distributism, as well as analysis of various movements conformes with Distributist thought. This journal will include some of the writers featured on our online archive and debates with capitalists and socialists will also be welcome.

3. Fund-raising will play a supporting role towards keeping our costs down for events and all materials. All profits will be used toward our described efforts.

You Can Have an Impact

Send us an email and let us know whether you would like to be contacted with updates and information about said events. We will not release your information to any third parties and you will not have to provide your name if you desire not to do so. Just send us an email that you wish to subscribe and please provide us with your country of residence, city and state/province. This will assist us when preparing future events.

Ultimately we would like to lecture across the globe, so please support this effort by being a part of the mailing list

Establishing a database will allow us to quantify the existing support for these ventures, and inform our readers when and where they will take place.

Please contact us at:

societyfordistributism@gmail.com

Country of residence:
City:
State/Province:

Sending us your information will be invaluable in our efforts to coordinate these goals

Servire Deo Regnare Est!

Richard Aleman
The ChesterBelloc Mandate

*According to John Michael Thorn’s book, An Unexplored Chapter in Recent English History, these branches were founded between 1926 and 1927.
**Upon the establishment of a non-profit, we will notify our subscribers of our new email address.

From
The ChesterBelloc Mandate

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Liberty, Fraternity, Equality: A Philosophical, Moral and Political Study of Liberalism- Part I

By John W. Heitzenrater II
Traditional Catholics often assert that it was the French Revolution which gave us liberalism as we have it today. It would be false, however, to lay the blame solely on this event. It is true that the French Revolution popularized the idea of liberalism into an accepted philosophical idea, yet liberalism did not begin with the Revolution. Instead, it is a complex word that has changed meaning frequently over the centuries. There is a type a liberalism that defines the French Revolution- a kind which begins as political and social and becomes religious as it intensifies. There is a type which defines what we today call classical education. Still, there is a type more progressive thinkers use to define social justice; while others apply it to sin and just plain debauchery. Despite the ambiguity of the term, there is a clear distinction between liberalism prior to the Enlightenment and that which resulted thereafter.
After the Enlightenment, traditional morality and ethics were successfully separated from man and his relation to the world around him resulting in a new understanding of what man was . About one hundred years after Descartes first published Le Monde and the Meditations, the traditional understanding of man as a distinct, unique creature, created in the image and likeness of God who had authority over his actions and could know things both in the physical and metaphysical world was replaced with radical doubt and a man that was “dead matter in motion.” Man was simply extension in space, not “moved by love, but simply impelled by forces.”[1] The Aristotelian understanding of nature as the fulfillment of form through matter in potency was rejected. Matter replaced form. Final causality and teleology were rejected and God became the first Efficient Cause, instead of the ultimate Final Cause. This new man was unable to know and understand the sensible world around him. Occam’s razor sliced more and more of the categories away until substance itself was unknowable: “By substance we can understand nothing other than a thing which exists in such a way as to depend on no other thing for its existence. And there is only one substance which can be understood to depend on no other thing whatsoever, namely God. In the case of all other substances, we perceive that they can exist only with the help of God’s concurrence.”[2] Everything in the world becomes subjective. The first principles get reduced to those found in geometry and pure mathematics. “I freely acknowledge that I recognize no matter in corporeal things apart from that which the geometers call quantity, and take as the object of their demonstrations, that to which every kind of division, shape and motion is applicable.”[3] If sensible knowledge of the world is unreliable and if one cannot use the sensible, physical world around him to understand the invisible, metaphysical world, nothing at all can be known with certainty.
The Enlightenment and its effects did not happen over night. It took over a hundred years for momentum to gain strength. When things got started though, the philosophical effects where unavoidable. Some have already been mentioned or implied. Take for instance, the replacement of the traditional understanding of man and his relationship to nature with the new Cartesian understanding of man or the rejection of the ancient understanding of nature as being the fulfillment of form by matter in potency, and so on. There were other consequences, though, which helped define modern liberalism. The following list is certainly not exhaustive, but will at least give a good foundation from which to build our argument. These represent philosophies and or events which would ultimately produce the liberalism we have today. They are:
1) The failure and rejection of the “medieval synthesis” through Nominalism.[4]
2) The rise of secular humanism through a distorted “Christian” humanism of the Renaissance.
3) The Reformation and rise of Confessionalism
4) The advent of commercial culture based on usury and wool, and [5]the destruction of the Medieval guild system.
5) The rise of Capitalism
6) Nationalism as a result of 3).
7) Oppression of the masses as a result of 3), 5) and 6).
8) Rejection of the “human condition” in favor of a view of man “inherently good, corrupted only by superstition (revealed religion) and tradition (the family, and patriarchal authority), now “liberated” by reason.”[6]
9) Revolutions as a result of 2), 3), 5), and 7).
It was the advent of Nominalism in the thirteenth century which paved the way for modern liberalism today. If the Enlightenment “hatched the egg” of liberalism, Nominalism laid it. Nominalism destroyed “the three great themes of classical, patristic, and medieval life: hierarchy, participation, and mediation.”[7] This destruction led to man “isolated and having no necessary relation to God or others.”[8] This isolation reduces man to a self-seeking, self-gratifying animal who only cares about himself. When he feels oppressed, whether it be by religious authority, secular authority, marriage, children, a job or other such things, he rebels. Non Serviam is his battle cry and is echoed in the writings of Luther, Calvin, Huss, Descartes, Rousseau, Voltaire, Hegel, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bacon, Madame de Stael, J.S. Mill, Loisy, and Freud. It has been the cry of man since the Fall.
Perhaps something here should be said about authority. The ancient and medieval notion of authority is based primarily on Scripture and Tradition. “Divine ordinance was recognized as the fundamental sanction of all valid rule and the basis of all social and civic obligations.”[9] Man “secured reverence and obedience toward the ruler or government while setting strict limits to its power and giving subjects safeguards against oppression.”[10] The Liberal notion of authority rests ultimately in man and particularly in the “rights” of man. The foundation of all legitimate authority is taken away from the ruler and God, thus resulting in unbridled power and no safeguard against tyranny. If authority comes from the people, what keeps the people in check? Likewise, if one does not recognize that all authority comes from God, authority loses all force of power.
Rebellion results in revolution, and is a natural result once man has rejected God and authority and replaced it with man. If man is not working the land to sustain his family, making sure his children are reared in the faith properly, and caring for his polis, i.e. his family and village; but, instead, is sitting around telling himself and everyone else, how great he is, how much he is oppressed and how things would be better if he were listened to, the only logical result is rebellion. “I am it, and it is me, and everything revolves around me.”
The idea of revolution is pretty recent. Although there certainly were “revolts” in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, these were primarily revolts of one polis against another polis, one city-state against another city-state. Empires expand and incorporate peoples and cultures into their world. With this expansion, kings and serfs, generals and peasants were alike conquered and made to serve the Republic. Their rebellion, if they did rebel (because not everyone did) stemmed from a desire to preserve their culture, their kingship and their freedom. It was metaphysically different than the mentality which marked revolutions of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. These revolutions were about the rejection of authority not about preservation. The “Glorious” Revolution, French Revolution, Communist Revolution, and Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s were about liberty, fraternity and equality. Liberty of the man from all authority including God. Fraternity with the universal “brotherhood of mankind,” a brotherhood of like minded self-obsessed men whose function in this world is to demand man’s “rights”. Equality, the final fruition of the rejection of hierarchy, participation and mediation begun with Occamist epistemology. Because revolutions start in rebellion, the outcome is often deadly. The rebellion becomes the motive and all principles which defined the movement are lost to the lust for power. In every case of violent revolutions, there is always bloodshed, and the regimes which promise universal happiness always end up being more oppressive than the authority that was overthrown in the first place.
[1] James Patrick, Th. D., The Chronology of Modernity.
[2] Descartes, Principles of Philosophy, Part I-The Principles of Human Knowledge, Section 51, from The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Trans. by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothhoff, and Dugald Murdoch, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1985) p. 210.
[3] Ibid. 247.
[4] Ibid. James Patrick.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Edward Cahill, S.J., The Framework of a Christian State, (Roman Catholic Books, Fort Collins) p. 113.
[10] Ibid.

Liturgy and Manhood

Editor's Note:
Interesting to say the least... An outstanding analysis of the effects of modernity on manhood. A special thanks to Kimberly for sending this to Instauratio. It may take a moment for the audio to load...

In Memoriam- Sister Mary Francis Peters, O.S.F.

h/t to Catholic Family Vignettes http://catholicfamilyvignettes.wordpress.com/.

In Praise of St. Benedict


Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of St. Gregory's "Dialogues". It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number of miraculous incidents, which, although they illustrate the life of the saint, give little help towards a chronological account of his career. St. Gregory's authorities for all that he relates were the saint's own disciples, viz. Constantinus, who succeeded him as Abbot of Monte Cassino; and Honoratus, who was Abbot of Subiaco when St. Gregory wrote his "Dialogues".
Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, and a tradition, which St. Bede accepts, makes him a twin with his sister Scholastica. His boyhood was spent in Rome, where he lived with his parents and attended the schools until he had reached his higher studies. Then "giving over his books, and forsaking his father's house and wealth, with a mind only to serve God, he sought for some place where he might attain to the desire of his holy purpose; and in this sort he departed [from Rome], instructed with learned ignorance and furnished with unlearned wisdom" (Dial. St. Greg., II, Introd. in Migne, P.L. LXVI). There is much difference of opinion as to Benedict's age at the time. It has been very generally stated as fourteen, but a careful examination of St. Gregory's narrative makes it impossible to suppose him younger than nineteen or twenty. He was old enough to be in the midst of his literary studies, to understand the real meaning and worth of the dissolute and licentious lives of his companions, and to have been deeply affected himself by the love of a woman (Ibid. II, 2). He was capable of weighing all these things in comparison with the life taught in the Gospels, and chose the latter, He was at the beginning of life, and he had at his disposal the means to a career as a Roman noble; clearly he was not a child, As St. Gregory expresses it, "he was in the world and was free to enjoy the advantages which the world offers, but drew back his foot which he had, as it were, already set forth in the world" (ibid., Introd.). If we accept the date 480 for his birth, we may fix the date of his abandoning the schools and quitting home at about A.D. 500.
Benedict does not seem to have left Rome for the purpose of becoming a hermit, but only to find some place away from the life of the great city; moreover, he took his old nurse with him as a servant and they settled down to live in Enfide, near a church dedicated to St. Peter, in some kind of association with "a company of virtuous men" who were in sympathy with his feelings and his views of life. Enfide, which the tradition of Subiaco identifies with the modern Affile, is in the Simbrucini mountains, about forty miles from Rome and two from Subiaco. It stands on the crest of a ridge which rises rapidly from the valley to the higher range of mountains, and seen from the lower ground the village has the appearance of a fortress. As St. Gregory's account indicates, and as is confirmed by the remains of the old town and by the inscriptions found in the neighbourhood, Enfide was a place of greater importance than is the present town. At Enfide Benedict worked his first miracle by restoring to perfect condition an earthenware wheat-sifter (capisterium) which his old servant had accidentally broken. The notoriety which this miracle brought upon Benedict drove him to escape still farther from social life, and "he fled secretly from his nurse and sought the more retired district of Subiaco". His purpose of life had also been modified. He had fled Rome to escape the evils of a great city; he now determined to be poor and to live by his own work. "For God's sake he deliberately chose the hardships of life and the weariness of labour" (ibid., 1).
A short distance from Enfide is the entrance to a narrow, gloomy valley, penetrating the mountains and leading directly to Subiaco. Crossing the Anio and turning to the right, the path rises along the left face oft the ravine and soon reaches the site of Nero's villa and of the huge mole which formed the lower end of the middle lake; across the valley were ruins of the Roman baths, of which a few great arches and detached masses of wall still stand. Rising from the mole upon twenty five low arches, the foundations of which can even yet be traced, was the bridge from the villa to the baths, under which the waters of the middle lake poured in a wide fall into the lake below. The ruins of these vast buildings and the wide sheet of falling water closed up the entrance of the valley to St. Benedict as he came from Enfide; to-day the narrow valley lies open before us, closed only by the far off mountains. The path continues to ascend, and the side of the ravine, on which it runs, becomes steeper, until we reach a cave above which the mountain now rises almost perpendicularly; while on the right hand it strikes in a rapid descent down to where, in St. Benedict's day, five hundred feet below, lay the blue waters of the lake. The cave has a large triangular-shaped opening and is about ten feet deep. On his way from Enfide, Benedict met a monk, Romanus, whose monastery was on the mountain above the cliff overhanging the cave. Romanus had discussed with Benedict the purpose which had brought him to Subiaco, and had given him the monk's habit. By his advice Benedict became a hermit and for three years, unknown to men, lived in this cave above the lake. St. Gregory tells us little of these years, He now speaks of Benedict no longer as a youth (puer), but as a man (vir) of God. Romanus, he twice tells us, served the saint in every way he could. The monk apparently visited him frequently, and on fixed days brought him food.
During these three years of solitude, broken only by occasional communications with the outer world and by the visits of Romanus, he matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, and at the same time he became not merely known to, but secured the respect of, those about him; so much so that on the death of the abbot of a monastery in the neighbourhood (identified by some with Vicovaro), the community came to him and begged him to become its abbot. Benedict was acquainted with the life and discipline of the monastery, and knew that "their manners were diverse from his and therefore that they would never agree together: yet, at length, overcome with their entreaty, he gave his consent" (ibid., 3). The experiment failed; the monks tried to poison him, and he returned to his cave. From this time his miracles seen to have become frequent, and many people, attracted by his sanctity and character, came to Subiaco to be under his guidance. For them he built in the valley twelve monasteries, in each of which he placed a superior with twelve monks. In a thirteenth he lived with "a few, such as he thought would more profit and be better instructed by his own presence" (ibid., 3). He remained, however, the father or abbot of all. With the establishment of these monasteries began the schools for children; and amongst the first to be brought were Maurus and Placid.
The remainder of St. Benedict's life was spent in realizing the ideal of monasticism which he has left us drawn out in his Rule, and before we follow the slight chronological story given by St. Gregory, it will be better to examine the ideal, which, as St. Gregory says, is St. Benedict's real biography (ibid., 36). We will deal here with the Rule only so far as it is an element in St. Benedict's life. For the relations which it bore to the monasticism of previous centuries, and for its influence throughout the West on civil and religious government, and upon the spiritual life of Christians.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia

More On the Acton Institute- Part II

Editor's Note:
More disturbing stuff on the Acton Institute... Click on the title to read the Roman Catholic Report. Thanks again to Thomas for the information...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More on the Acton Institute- Part I

Editor's Note:

As part of our ongoing investigation into the Acton Institute, I am linking a podcast made available from the good folks at Culture Wars... Please click on the article title to go to the podcast. A special thank you also to Thomas for bringing this information to our attention...

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Acton Institute: Some Salient Problems- Part II

By Thomas Storck
Thus liberalism, as used in papal documents, and as it affects the economic order, means something like what John Paul II has called "rigid capitalism" or "unbridled capitalism," a more or less free-market approach to the economy. It obviously includes important elements of what we in the United States call conservatism. Now let us turn to the Acton Institute's own statements and see how they characterize the relations of liberalism and Catholicism.
In a column in the September/October 1997 issue of Religion & Liberty, Fr. Sirico writes of John Paul II's encyclical Centesimus Annus, and asserts that in that document "two traditions have come together...religious orthodoxy and classical liberal social theory...." Whether Fr. Sirico's claim that Centesimus does indeed accept the liberal tradition is true or not, we will examine later, but it is interesting that Fr. Sirico is not bold enough to claim that the Church has always accepted the free market, for in the same article he writes that
the Church, during certain periods, has strongly criticized what was construed to be the free society, partly because some social thinkers conflated the theories of economic liberalism with moral libertinism, viewing them as one in the same and as mutually reinforcing.
But now, he claims, because "of the courage of John Paul II and his case in favor of the free society... No longer do we feel compelled to speak of classical liberalism and religious orthodoxy as belonging to two separate intellectual worlds."
Thus we have Fr. Sirico's frank admission that he stands in the tradition of liberal thought, so that if we find the Church has always condemned that tradition, then logically Fr. Sirico's entire enterprise will fall. For the popes objected to the tradition of liberalism not merely because they saw it as promoting "moral libertinism," but because their conception of the task of government is entirely at odds with Fr. Sirico's. The government as such is a creation of God, and as such has duties toward God and toward its subjects. It is not a mere enforcer of contracts, but must have an active care for the common good.
In the same article Fr. Sirico has some interesting words about Lord Acton. Speaking of the conflict between the Catholic and liberal traditions, Sirico says,
As the tensions mounted in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the allegiances of men such as Lord Acton were torn as they came to believe that they had to choose between spiritual authority and the dictates of reason, a situation the late scholastics would have seen as a grave departure from teaching of their master, Saint Thomas.
It is not just the late scholastics who would have viewed such a man with alarm, but St. Thomas himself. But the Angelic Doctor's reply would have been that the poor man in question had not reasoned well if he found himself opposed to the teachings of the Church. The necessary agreement between the Catholic faith and human reason does not mean the necessary agreement between the Catholic faith and Lord Acton's reasoning. Since our reasoning can err, but the Church cannot, it is clear which of the two must yield. This is not to denigrate reason, but to point out that no individual is infallible in his own reasoning power.
Before proceeding further we will look at some statements of various popes to see if there has been a consistent tradition of papal condemnation of liberalism, including the liberal tradition in both government and economics. In these selections, which I take from various papal documents, I will show how liberalism, either by name or not, has been explicitly defined as an enemy of Catholic faith and Christian civilization. First two selections from Pope Pius XI:
With regard to the civil power, Leo XIII boldly passed beyond the restrictions imposed by liberalism, and fearlessly proclaimed the doctrine that the civil power is more than the mere guardian of law and order, and that it must strive with all zeal "to make sure that the laws and institutions, the general character and administration of the commonwealth, should be such as of themselves to realize public well-being and private prosperity." (Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, no. 25, May 15, 1931)
In fact, the Encyclical Rerum Novarum completely overthrew those tottering tenets of liberalism which had long hampered effective intervention by the government. It prevailed upon the peoples themselves to develop their social policy more intensely and on truer lines, and also encouraged outstanding Catholics to give such efficacious help and assistance to rulers of the State that in legislative assemblies they were not infrequently the foremost advocates of the new policy. (Ibid., no. 27)
Originally Published in Social Justice Review, vol. 93, no. 5-6, May-June 2002 ©Thomas Storck

Global Backlash Over Muslim Film

Editor's Note:

There is "global backlash" over the Fitna's film about the Quran. Big surprise! What I don't understand is that everyone is talking about how offensive the film is, yet no one is addressing what the film showed... no one is saying how offensive what the fanatics in the video said regarding Christianity or the Jews, the USA or Europe... no one! Let me, then, be the first... The video couldn't be more accurate. I personally am offended by the anti-Christian hatred that these fanatics pass off as "religion"... And don't give me the "this is only from a minority" spiel. I don't believe that any more than I believe the lies in the film which said that Islam ruled the world before. We in the west better wake up and smell the camels... If we don't end secularism and liberalism and start having more children, Islam will dominate the world...
Nations around the world are protesting the release of a Dutch lawmaker's anti-Islamic film.

Australia condemned Geert Wilders' 15-minute film, titled "Fitna," or "Ordeal" in Arabic, Sunday with the foreign minister calling it "highly offensive."
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith rejected the film's premise of equating Islam with acts of terror and violence.
Click here to view 'Fitna' from Sweetness & Light.com (Warning: Graphic).
"It is an obvious attempt to generate discord between faith communities," Smith said. "I strongly reject the ideas contained in the film and deplore its release."
"Fitna" was posted online Thursday but removed from the site, LiveLeak.com, a day later. It has since been widely dispersed on other file-sharing sites.
The European Union issued a statement Saturday saying the film —that portrays Islam as a ticking time bomb aimed at the West — serves no other purpose than to inflame hatred. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also has condemned the film, saying there is no justification for hate speech or the incitement of violence.
Despite their condemnation, the European leaders defended the right to freedom of speech and called on Muslims to react peacefully.
In the Middle East, Iran has summoned the Dutch ambassador to Tehran to discuss the film, Reuters reported. A senior diplomat from Slovenia, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, was also called to the ministry in Tehran over Wilder's film.
Jordanian lawmakers are taking more severe diplomatic measures and demanded their government cuts ties with the Netherlands. Forty-eight lawmakers in the 110-seat parliament have also called for the government to dismiss the Dutch envoy.
Pakistan's foreign ministry on Friday summoned the ambassador of the Netherlands in Islamabad and lodged a "strong protest", according to AFP. It has stepped up the security of the Dutch consulate and businesses in Karachi fearing protests over the Internet release of an anti-Islam film by the far-right Dutch MP.
And in Asia, hundreds of Indonesian students took to the streets Sunday in protest, according to AFP, after a minister called for protests. The students carried posters demanding that authorities shut down websites carrying Geert Wilders' film.
From Fox News

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More from the Religion of Peace- Vatican Source Says Muslims Outnumber Catholics

Editor's Note:
If you thought that the news from Belgium was bleak...

VATICAN CITY - Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.
"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.
He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population — a stable percentage — while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.
"It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said.
Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims were put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data.
When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.
Spokesmen for the Vatican and the United Nations did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Sunday.

More from the Religion of Peace- Geert Wilder's Video on the Quran: Update: Part II

Here is Part II. Again, you must sign in to You Tube to view.

More from the Religion of Peace- Geert Wilder's Video on the Quran-Update: Part I

The link to Wilder's video was yet again disabled! I am linking this video yet again... this time through You Tube. You must sign in to You Tube to view the video.