Church

The Exorcist Files: Discovery Channel and Catholic Church

CNN:

Discovery Channel is teaming with the Vatican for an unprecedented new series hunting the deadliest catch of all: Demons.

“The Exorcist Files” will recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession, based on cases investigated by the Catholic Church. The project includes access into the Vatican’s case files, as well as interviews with the organization’s top exorcists — religious experts who are rarely seen on television.

“The Vatican is an extraordinarily hard place to get access to, but we explained we’re not going to try to tell people what to think,” says Discovery president and GM Clark Bunting.

Bunting says the investigators believe a demon can inhabit an inanimate object (like a home) or a person. The network executive says he was initially skeptical when first meeting the team but was won over after more than three hours of talks.

“The work these folks do, and their conviction in their beliefs, make for fascinating stories,” Bunting says.

If the show’s first season is successful, the network hopes its partnership with the Church will pave the way for producers GoGo Luckey to take the series to the next level — joining Catholic investigators on live demon-purging ride-alongs…

More here.

No comment from me. First need to watch it.

UPDATE:   Vatican will not be collaborating with Discovery Channel here.

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Church

The Star Indicates the Way to God

Great Epiphany message:

And btw no, not the Big Bang as some are reporting:

The universe reflects “the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for the feast of the Epiphany, January 6.

Commenting on the visit of the Magi, the Holy Father said that the wise men who followed a star recognized the plan that is inherent in all creation. The universe is not driven by random chance, he said. “In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its greatness and rationality, we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality,” the Pope said. “We can not help but be guided by it to the one God, Creator of heaven and earth.”

A Fox News report on the homily drew the curious conclusion that the Pope was speaking about the “Big Bang” theory. But in fact the Pontiff spoke about the limitations of all human ideas about life—political as well as scientific—and all human plans that tend to shut out God…

More on that here.

Church

Islamic Countries Are 8 of Top 10 Worst Persecutors of Christians

That’s according to the annual Open Doors World Watch List:

SANTA ANA, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2011) – Despite Communist North Korea topping the annual Open Doors World Watch List (WWL) for the ninth consecutive year, the most dangerous countries in which to practice Christianity are overwhelmingly Islamic ones.

Of the top 10 countries on the 2011 WWL, eight have Islamic majorities. Persecution has increased in seven of them. They are Iran, which clamps down on a growing house church movement; Afghanistan, where thousands of believers cluster deep underground; and Saudi Arabia, which still refuses to allow any Saudi person to convert to Christianity. Others are lawless Somalia, ruled by bloodthirsty terrorists threatening to kill Christian aid workers who feed Somalia’s starving, impoverished people; tiny Maldives, which mistakenly boasts it is 100 percent Islamic; Yemen with its determination to expel all Christian workers; and Iraq, which saw extremists massacre 58 Christians in a Baghdad cathedral on Oct. 31. Of the top 30 countries, only seven have a source other than Islamic extremists as the main persecutors of Christians.

The top 10 in order are North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos, which has a Communist government. Iraq is new to the top 10 list while Mauritania dropped out, going from No. 8 to No. 13.

The annual World Watch List is compiled by the research department of Open Doors International. It tracks the shifting conditions under which Christians live in 77 societies and then ranks the top 50 where it is hardest to practice the Christian faith…

More on this here

Totally unacceptable! It also say much about the state of real Islam.

Church

Man Dumps 'demon' Wife

Wicked and exactly why the world needs the illuminating light of the Christian faith:

Kuala Lumpur – A Malaysian man abandoned his wife after a temple medium convinced him that she was a demon who wanted to kill him.

The Star newspaper on Thursday quoted the wife, who gave her name as Loh, as saying that her factory manager husband now wants a divorce and also refuses to meet their two teenage children for fear his wife will use them to kill him.

“The medium told my husband I had been casting spells on him for the past 15 years,” Loh was quoted as telling a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“He refused to eat or drink at home because he thought I poisoned the food.”

Loh said the medium was heavily in debt and likely taking advantage of her husband, who had withdrawn their children’s savings before deserting the family.

Malaysians often seek spiritual aid from an assortment of faith healers, mediums and witch doctors to solve personal problems and work issues…

More here.

Church

Egypt and the Strategic Destruction of Churches

Over the past few days, Christian churches have been attacked in at least two countries — Nigeria and Egypt — while small packages containing improvised explosive devices were placed on the doorsteps of Christian families in Iraq. Attacks against Christians are not uncommon in the Islamic world, driven by local issues and groups, and it is unclear whether these latest attacks were simply coincidental and do not raise the threat to a new level or whether they indicate the existence of a new, coordinated, international initiative. There is a strong case to be made for the idea that there is nothing new in all of this.

Yet I am struck by the close timing of events in three distant and dispersed countries. Certainly, Egyptian intelligence services are looking for any regional connections (e.g., whether Iraqi operatives recruited the Egyptian bomber). While there have been previous bombings in Egypt, they have focused on tourists, not churches. What is important is this: If the recent attacks are not coincidental, then a coordinated campaign is being conducted against Christian churches that spans at least these countries. And it is a network that has evaded detection by intelligence services…

… the attack in Egypt is significant for no other reason than that it happened and represents a failure of Egyptian security. While such failures are inevitable, what made this failure significant was that it occurred in tight sequence with attacks on multiple Christian targets in Iraq and Nigeria and after a threat al Qaeda made last month against Egyptian Copts. This was a warning, which in my mind increases the possibility of coordinated action, but the Egyptians failed to block it…
Or ignored the threat? Read what I believe is a really important, strategic and valuable intelligence discussion at STRATFOR – Global Intelligence.
 
Let’s hope other intelligence services  too will take note and be investigating this precarious situation!
Church

William Oddie on the English Ordinariate

The English ordinariate, it seems, will be well on its way by the middle of this month. Three former Anglican bishops were received into full communion with the Catholic Church during a Mass at Westminster Cathedral on January 1. One of the comments following the Herald online report, noting that they were received in secular clothing, opines that “For Bishops to wear ties is simply saintly and to lose all that prestige they once held is stunning to the mind of a Catholic Bishop”.

Well, indeed. But I think that their former prestige is the least important aspect of what they are giving up: they are abandoning certainty and recognition within an established institution, for uncertainty within an institution – the ordinariate – that doesn’t even exist yet. What this shows is an absolute faith in the Catholic Church of which it will be a part, especially as it is embodied by the present Holy Father…

Read on in the Catholic Herald.

HT:   The Anglo-Catholic