Church

Egypt: Muslims Surround Church and Threaten to Kill Priest

Hundreds of Muslim extremists surrounded a church in central Egypt and threatened to kill the local priest, the Assyrian International News Agency reported. The extremists began targeting the church in a village 7 kilometres south of the city of Minya in March after renovation work began, threatening to demolish the church.

AINA Friday cited eyewitnesses as saying that the Muslim mob, dressed in white robes and long beards, chanted: “We will kill the priest, we will kill him and no one will prevent us.”

One of their leaders was cited as saying they would “…cut him to pieces,” AINA reported.

The priest Father George Thabet, who was holding morning mass and was locked in the church with several parishioners. Security forces arrived five hours later and escorted the priest away in a police car to the Coptic Diocese in Minya.

Coptic youths who were attending mass remained inside St George’s church to defend it from Muslim attacks.

No police or security of any kind was present during the standoff, according to reports.

The archdiocese of Minya issued a statement deploring the incident and the “return of the Salafists to besiege St. George’s church again, some carrying weapons, threatening to kill the priest unless he leaves the village.”

The statement called on government officials and security authorities uphold rule of law and maintaining security in the country…

There’s more here.

Absolutely deplorable!

Church

Pius XII: Israeli Official Recants

Rome – An Israeli official who caused a storm in the Jewish world by praising Pope Pius XII for saving Jews during the Second World War backtracked on Sunday, saying his judgment was “historically premature.”

The comments made last Thursday by Mordechay Lewy, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, were some of the warmest ever made by a Jewish official about Pius. Most have been very critical of his record.

In an indication of how sensitive the subject of Pius is among Jews, Lewy was quickly assailed by some Jewish groups, including Holocaust survivors.

In a statement issued in what appeared to be an attempt to calm the dispute within the world Jewish community, Lewy said his comments were “embedded in a larger historical context.”

“Given the fact that this context is still under the subject of ongoing and future research, passing my personal historical judgment on it was premature,” Lewy said.

The question of what Pius did or did not do to help Jews has tormented Catholic-Jewish relations for decades and it is very rare for a leading Jewish or Israeli official to praise Pius…

The above and more is here.

Bible Archaeology

Biblical Deluge Might Boost Black Sea Tourism

The Black Sea could turn in a worldwide attraction for underwater tourism if countries cash on the story that the Biblical Deluge happened in the area, according to Bulgarian archaeologist Petko Dimitrov.

According to Prof. Dimitrov, who is the director of the Underwater Archaeology unit of the Oceanology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, there are enough findings in the Black Sea’s aquatorium to make it an attractive destination for that kind of tourism.

“If the hypothesis that the Biblical Deluge occurred at the Black Sea is popularized, Bulgaria can draw many more tourists,” said Dimitrov.

He added that a number of underwater museums with special diving access can be created along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

According to him this idea nevertheless has this far not met any support from relevant institutions.

And somehow I think it probably will not…

HT

Church

Eating the Flesh of the Messiah: The Feast of Corpus Christi

On The Sacred Page:

This weekend is another great liturgical feast, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi is one of a handful of feasts that celebrates the very gift of the Eucharist itself. It is one of my favorite feasts, because the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was instrumental in my becoming Catholic.

Back in the Fall of 1999 I was reading through the Apostolic Fathers and came to this passage in Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Smyrneans (c. AD 106):

But consider those who are of a different opinion with respect to the grace of Christ which has come unto us, how opposed they are to the will of God. They have no regard for love; no care for the widow, or the orphan, or the oppressed; of the bond, or of the free; of the hungry, or of the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes.

I was shocked by the italicized line, because I realized that no one who held to standard Protestant views of the Eucharist would have written something like this…

Read on here.

Church

Corpus Christi

And here are some great quotes with which to start the day:

  • “If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude.” – St Angela of Foligno
  • When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage; speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness; welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence.” – St Francis de Sales
  • “…In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood.” – St Francis of Assisi
  • “If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.” – St Jerome