Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for June 9th, 2011

Cathedral Bombed in Nigeria

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The cathedral in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri was heavily damaged in a June 7 bombing.

“St. Patrick’s Cathedral was seriously damaged, windows and doors [were] destroyed, the whole building was shaken to its foundations by the violence of the explosion,” said Bishop Oliver Doeme.

Local authorities said that the Islamist group Boko Haram was responsible for the attack on the cathedral as well as recent attacks on a church, a school, and police stations.

Founded in Maiduguri in 2002, Boko Haram (the words mean “Western or non-Islamic education is a sin”) seeks the imposition of sharia in Nigeria. Boko Haram’s late founder, Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, told the BBC in 2009 that

there are prominent Islamic preachers who have seen and understood that the present Western-style education is mixed with issues that run contrary to our beliefs in Islam. Like rain. We believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun that condenses and becomes rain. Like saying the world is a sphere. If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it.

15% of the nation’s 146.5 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics. An estimated 50% are Muslim, 25% are Protestant, and 10% retain indigenous beliefs. Maiduguri is heavily Muslim: the territory covered by the Diocese of Maiduguri is only 2% Catholic.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 9, 2011 at 22:11

East Jerusalem: Every Action in this Area is Very Sensitive

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A Jewish-Israeli archaeologist takes us on an alternative tour of the ‘City of David’ – the archaeological site and tourist attraction in the centre of Jerusalem, owned by the Israeli settler organisation Elad.

Watch the video regarding the above here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 9, 2011 at 19:05

Oh My… Catholic Priest Arrested for Exposing himself on Beach!

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A Catholic Priest has been arrested for exposing himself on a Florida beach:

Police arrested a Catholic priest for exposing himself to an undercover detective on a beach in Englewood, Fl., near Sarasota.

Rev. Bernard Chojnacki, 36, a priest at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, allegedly flashed the holy of holies to a cop who was patrolling the area because of complaints about lewd activity, the Bradenton Herald reported.

Police claim Chojnacki grabbed an officer inappropriately and said he wanted to perform a sex act, the Sarasota Herald reported. The Herald also said the Diocese of Venice (Fl.) has put the priest on administrative leave until the case is resolved.

The Diocese of Venice appointed Chojnacki to St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte in December 2009, Patch reported.

Chojnacki was charged with exposure of sexual organs and battery on June 7. The incident took place at 1 p.m.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 9, 2011 at 16:27

A Deceased Soldier’s Letter to His Daughter

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Very moving indeed:

From Britain’s Daily Mail comes the story of Lieutenant Todd Weaver, who was killed by an improvised explosive in Afghanistan in September 2010.  When his wife opened his laptop computer, two days after his funeral, she found letters that her husband had addressed to her and to their baby girl, in case he should die.  In his letter to his wife Emma, he wrote the following:

Never forget that God knew what was best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day.

…I could not ask for a more caring, beautiful and loving wife. The memories that we have shared over the last few years have been the best of my life. Although it may seem like my life was cut short, I lived a life that most can only dream of. I married the perfect woman. I have a beautiful daughter that amazed me every day

He also asked her to be strong, for the sake of the little girl who was only 9 months old when he left:

Remind her about her Daddy and tell her that I loved her more than anything else in the world. Her birth was the best day of my life and she was the best thing that ever happened to me. Her smile and laughter represent all that is good and beautiful in this world.

Tell her that Daddy is in heaven now and will watch over her and protect her every minute of every day…Much better times are coming. You and Kiley have a wonderful life ahead of you and I am so happy to have shared some of it with you.

As the father of one little girl, with another one on the way, I can’t help but quote the letter to his daughter in full…

Read it here (and keep the tissues handy).


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 9, 2011 at 14:59

Has The Pope Turned the Book of Common Prayer Into a Catholic Liturgy?

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Read what William Oddie has to say in the Catholic Herald:

I have been pondering this week about two items of news to do with the way in which, slowly but surely, the results of Anglicanorum coetibus are unfolding throughout the English-speaking world…

So Blogging is Not a Good Thing Then?

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In the eyes of the Church that is.

It would appear as if Fr John Hunwicke has closed his blog, Liturgical Notes, that after his ordination as a Catholic priest was deferred because of some misunderstanding about the content of his blog posts:

I think I had better share with my friends the distressing news that my ordination within the Catholic Church has been “deferred”.

I think there has been some misunderstanding about the content of my blog, which I regret. Regular readers of the blog will be aware that its main characteristic is that of total submission to the Church’s Magisterium, and of profound admiration for the person and writings of the present Sovereign Pontiff; and so my prayer is that present misunderstanding will very speedily be resolved. In the meantime, I am closing down this blog with immediate effect, and I shall promptly delete any comments on it (or emails sent to me) which are in any way whatsoever critical of the Catholic Church, or any of its officers, or of the Ordinariate; or which recommend me to adhere to any other ecclesial body.

Despite everything, I remain convinced that the Ordinariate is the only means of achieving the great vision of the Catholic Revival, longed for by so many great and holy men an d women, learnedly described in our own time by Fr Aidan Nichols: an Anglicanism reordered after heresy and schism, an Anglicanism United But Not Absorbed…

More here.

Blogs seem to have become a rather contentious issue.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 9, 2011 at 13:42


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