Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for June 3rd, 2011

Will They Let Me In?

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I thought this a rather telling picture:



Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 23:55

She’s 10 and May Be Sold to a Brothel!

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In The New York Times:

M. is an ebullient girl, age 10, who ranks near the top of her fourth-grade class and dreams of being a doctor. Yet she, like all of India, is at a turning point, and it looks as if her family may instead sell her to a brothel.

Her mother is a prostitute here in Kolkata, the city better known to the world as Calcutta. Ruchira Gupta, who runs an organization called Apne Aap that fights human trafficking, estimates that 90 percent of the daughters of Indian prostitutes end up in the sex trade as well. And M. has the extra burden that she belongs to a subcaste whose girls are often expected to become prostitutes…

If M. is sold to a brothel, she will have no defense against H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted diseases. Decisions about using a condom are made by the customer or the brothel owner, not by the girl. In one brothel I slipped into to conduct some interviews, there was not a single condom available…

And the conclusion:

… it is surreal that these scenes are unfolding in the 21st century. The peak of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was the 1780s, when just under 80,000 slaves a year were transported from Africa to the New World.

These days, Unicef estimates that 1.8 million children a year enter the commercial sex trade. Multiply M. by 1.8 million, and you understand the need for a new abolitionist movement.

How awful. Absolutely appalling!

Read the whole piece here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 21:59

A New Bridge across the Tiber

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has now been established in England. By Easter this year, three bishops, sixty priests, and nearly one thousand lay people had left the Church of England to be received into the Catholic Church. Archbishop Donald Wuerl is working with interested parties to establish the ordinariate in the United States, and progress is being made in Canada and Australia for ordinariates to be erected there later this year.

What will be the future of this new ordinariate? It could be that it will simply bring into full communion with the Catholic Church a small number of conservative Anglo-Catholics. They were an eccentric church within a church in the Anglican Communion, and some predict that they will continue to be an eccentric church within the Catholic Church. Around the world, there will be small groups of traditionalist Anglicans who will differ from all the other tiny Anglican schismatic churches, in that they will actually be in full communion with Rome. They will keep to themselves and be viewed by mainstream Catholics as an eccentric rump of dissident Anglicans who like incense and lace, old-fashioned language and splendid old hymns, who somehow managed to worm their way into the Catholic Church. They will be regarded with bemusement and some bewilderment. Anglicans will shake their heads and wish them well and wonder why they didn’t become “proper Catholics” if they wanted to swim the Tiber. Eventually, the theory goes, they will die out. Their descendants will be absorbed into the mainstream of the Catholic Church, and the whole thing will be a footnote in the history of ecumenism.

A second possibility is that the Anglican Church herself will eventually disintegrate or morph into something unrecognizably Anglican, and the ordinariate will be all that is left of historic Anglicanism. In this scenario, an increasing number of Anglicans worldwide will see that, if they want to be historic Christians within the Anglican tradition, the only place to do that will be within the ordinariate, and they will flee the sinking ship of Anglicanism to join it.

This is almost certainly not going to happen, for several reasons: First of all, the Evangelical Anglicans are Protestants. After they have made the polite ecumenical noises, they do not really understand or appreciate the Catholic Faith. Secondly, many Anglo-Catholics also do not really want to be Catholic: They want to be Anglican. They honestly do not see the importance of being in full visible communion with the Catholic Church. They have serious misgivings about some of the Catholic dogmas, and they continue to believe that they are “Catholic within the Anglican Church.” Thirdly, the liberal wing of the Anglican church certainly has no wish to be in full communion with Rome. They dislike Roman authority, dogma, and moral teachings and are increasingly anti-Catholic.

However, there is a third way. The ordinariate could develop in a very different and exciting direction. The way to understand this more dynamic possibility is to see the ordinariate as a new bridge across the Tiber for a whole range of Protestant Christians…

Fr Dwight Longenecker writes on here

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 20:26

Netanyahu Vows to Defend Borders

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Stand for Israel reports:

The Israeli Defense Forces are gearing up for next week’s planned protests in which thousands of Arabs are expected to rush towards Israel in an attempt to breach its borders. The demonstrations have been planned to coincide with the forty-fourth anniversary of the ’67 War’s conclusion and is referred to as “Naksa Day,” the that Arab armies surrendered.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the Israeli government will act to defend its borders and will not allow the demonstrators to subvert Israel’s sovereignty. Only two weeks ago thousands of demonstrators from Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza surged towards Israel hoping to breach the borders in protest of Israel’s sixty-four years of independence.

These types of protests are the newest form of terrorism aimed at weakening the Jewish state. The protestors are willing to die in order to achieve their goal, which is to demoralize Israel and threaten its very existence. The prime minister assured the Israeli public that while the IDF will act with restraint, it will nonetheless do what is necessary to keep the protestors at bay.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 17:30

Dr Death is Dead

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Via Dr Jim West:

CNN just reported (in an email alert)

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, 83, has died after a blood clot lodged in his heart, according to the Detroit Free Press.  His lawyer told the paper it appears a blood clot from his leg broke free and lodged in his heart. “It was peaceful. He didn’t feel a thing,” the lawyer said.

He does now…

Wikipedia has more on the assisted-suicide doctor Kevorkian here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 16:29

Roman Ship Carried Live Fish Tank

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The ancient Romans might have traded live fish across the Mediterranean Sea by endowing their ships with an ingenious hydraulic system, a new investigation into a second century A.D. wreck suggests.

Consisting of a pumping system designed to suck the sea water into a fish tank, the apparatus has been reconstructed by a team of Italian researchers who analyzed a unique feature of the wreck: a lead pipe inserted in the hull near the keel.

Recovered in pieces from the Adriatic sea in 1999, the ship was carrying a cargo of processed fish when it sank six miles off the coast of Grado in northeastern Italy.

The small trade vessel, which was 55 feet long and 19 feet wide, was packed with some 600 vases called amphoras.They were filled with sardines, salted mackerel, and garum, a fish sauce much loved by the Romans.

Now the archaeologists suspect that some 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of live fish, placed in a tank on the deck in the aft area, might have also been carried by the ship during its sailing life…

The above and the rest is at

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 16:20

Wipe your Souls…

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 3, 2011 at 16:07


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