The latest print edition of the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati features a front-page story on a tour last month of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral by representatives of the Islamic Center of Cincinnati, partner of the Hamas front CAIR and seeded by a $6 million check from a Saudi trust whose express goal is the spread of Wahhabism, an anti-Western form of Islam. During the tour, the center’s former chairman gave Archbishop Schnurr a copy of the so-called “Ashtiname” by which Mohammed gave protection to the monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt. As students of history may know, the document is almost certainly a forgery. Here’s a snippet from a column by Robert Spencer in which he debunks its pedigree:

The document to which Considine is referring, the Achtiname, is of even more doubtful authenticity than everything else about Muhammad’s life. Muhammad is supposed to have died in 632; the Muslims conquered Egypt between 639 and 641. The document says of the Christians, “No one shall bear arms against them.” So were the conquerors transgressing against Muhammad’s command for, as Considine puts it, “no Muslim to fight against his Christian brother or sister”? Did Muhammad draw up this document because he foresaw the Muslim invasion of Egypt? There is no mention of this document in any remotely contemporary Islamic sources; among other anomalies, it bears a drawing of a mosque with a minaret, although minarets weren’t put on mosques until long after the time Muhammad is supposed to have lived, which is why Muslim hardliners consider them unacceptable innovation (bid’a).

The document exempts the monks of St. Catherine’s monastery from paying the jizya. While it is conceivable that Muhammad, believing he bore the authority of Allah, would exempt them from an obligation specified by Allah himself in the Qur’an (9:29), the Achtiname specifies that Christians of Egypt are to pay a jizya only of twelve drachmas.

Yet according to the seventh-century Coptic bishop John of Nikiou, Christians in Egypt “came to the point of offering their children in exchange for the enormous sums that they had to pay each month.”

The Achtiname, in short, bears all the earmarks of being an early medieval Christian forgery, perhaps developed by the monks themselves in order to protect the monastery and Egyptian Christians from the depredations of zealous Muslims.

Lest anyone think the silly season that followed Vatican II had been vanquished once and for all by the doctrinal and liturgical renewal ushered in by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, this afternoon a group of 60 Moslem, Jewish, and Catholic students — 20 from each religion — “will work together in the spirit of interconnectedness and unity, to establish a new butterfly garden at Imago Earth Center, and in doing so, form connections among one another.”

I’m not making this up.

In much better news this weekend, 7 men from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati were ordained to the transitional diaconate yesterday, meaning they will be priests next year at this time. There is also a reasonable hope that as many as 12 will be ordained priests in 2019.

While I believe Archbishop Schnurr’s laser-focus on priestly vocations to the exclusion of his other episcopal responsibilities has been unnecessary and irresponsible, I am very gratified that it is bearing some of its intended fruit.

Imagine being an eager young Catholic, newly arrived at your Catholic university, on fire with the faith and wanting to evangelize.

And then you walk into Bellarmine Chapel.

It is important to remember that the Acts of the Apostles is not exact history. It is a proclamation of faith that sounds like history. Acts is the second volume of a two‐ volume work; the first volume is the Gospel of Luke. Some scholars judge that this two‐volume work was written around 85 C.E., though recently other scholars have suggested years later. Acts is a creative story about truth …

Scripture scholars now judge that the author of the letters of John is someone different from the author of the gospel. Neither is the apostle, and yes, both are unknown. …

The old saying “Money talks and BS walks” is coming true. After donations nose dived the idea of building a new church went out the window. A new school building also seems far in the future.

I post this so others that may be facing a similar situation of losing a beloved parish or church building can see that by stopping the money flow and holding firm the arch/bishop will be forced to compromise.

All Saints Parish structure seen as ‘unique concept’

It has been nearly two years since the closing of some Catholic parishes in the Batesville Deanery, including four in north Dearborn County.

The action by Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis brought forth a range of reactions as parishioners looked to the future. And for the four North Dearborn parishes, the future appears to be different from what had been planned since all buildings remain open, but under one mantle — All Saints Parish.

“This is a bold and daring concept, but one that the new parish of All Saints is embracing quite fervently,” Fr. Jonathan Meyer, who became pastor of the four parishes, told The Beacon. “This is a dramatic shift from where some of the parishioners were, just a year ago.”

Fifteen years after the USCCB warned against its use in an unpublished report, and twelve years after the Vatican included it in its document on the dangers of New Age spirituality, the local Sisters of Charity are still hosting workshops on the enneagram:

Enneagram & Spirituality, presented by Donna Steffen, SC, will be offered at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 9 AM-3 PM. This workshop describes the ways each personality type learns to distance oneself from true experience and manage life. Receptivity to spiritual experience as distinguished from orchestrating life, with habits of thought, behavior, and emotion, will be explored, with ways to experience receptivity. An understanding of the enneagram system and knowing one’s own type are pre-requisites for participating in this workshop. FEE: $65 payable at time of registration. For CEUs add $15. Please contact the Spirituality Center …

Learn more about this neo-pagan practice in a 2012 piece in Catholic World Report.

Perhaps they received an embargoed copy.

Cincinnati’s usual archdiocesan suspects are so giddy with anticipation over Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical on the environment — and so certain of its contents — that they’re throwing what amounts to a “papal pregame party” later this month.

Addressed to “church and school facility managers, grounds keepers, finance leaders, and homeowners” it attempts to answer the question “How can we, as a community of faith, more fully answer the call for sustainability?” Whereby participants will “explore how the local Church can reduce our environmental footprint, lower utility bills, nurture nature, and increase our commitment to energy efficiency in our homes, schools and parishes.” Naturally enough, the keynote will be delivered by Tony Stieritz, Director of the demonstrably partisan Archdiocesan Catholic Social Action Office.

Because a diocese that lost over 90,000 Catholics in the last decade really ought to expend resources promoting the junk science and eco-spirituality they assume is in the Pope’s as-yet unreleased encyclical.

FWIW, Overberg did it again, denying Christ’s saving/salvific action on the cross before the students and baby-boomers of Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel on Palm Sunday to kick off Holy Week, a time when Catholics are supposed to focus on the very things he would have us repudiate. Link and snippets are below. Short of delivering these remarks from the lectern without pants, I don’t know what this guy has to do to get the attention of local Catholic officialdom in Cincinnati.

(Perhaps likening the local bishop to a seminary rector would do the trick.)

“… remember that we don’t have to believe in a vengeful God who demands atonement. Jesus died by human decree not divine decree. … God did not want Jesus’ suffering and does not want ours.”…/up…/2015/04/KO_Palm-Sunday.pdf

You can find a related post from March 28 here.


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