Let’s do more for migrants and immigrants, says Pope Francis

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Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants that it sees as a growing and systemic global problem. Amongst the Twenty Action Points, it says that the world is facing “the largest movement of displaced people in recent memory”. It says: “While massive numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, natural disasters and the scourge of poverty, migration should nevertheless be recognised, not as a new phenomenon, but rather as a natural human response to crisis and a testament to the innate desire of every human being for happiness and a better life”.

“The UN estimates that 56 per cent of the world’s displaced people are in Africa and the Middle East – often in countries that lack the infrastructure and resources to cope with a growing population. Only 17 per cent of migrants and refugees are currently in Europe”.

This is a roadmap that will not be received well amongst the jingoistic, “America First” culture. It will be met with deep stares down long noses. It is, unfortunately, reality.

At church on Sunday, the first reading was from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah:

Thus say the Lord:

Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants – all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer, their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

In Populorum Progrssio, the encyclical of Pope Paul VI on the development of peoples, he said;  “the earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.”

In Matthew, we are reminded that;

The king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.

Just as through biblical teachings, social teaching also offer no ambiguity on migrants and immigrants.

From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Because of the belief that newcomers compete for scarce resources, immigrants and refugees are at times driven away, resented, or despised. Nevertheless, the first principle of Catholic social teaching regarding immigrants is that people have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. This is based on biblical and ancient Christian teaching that the goods of the earth belong to all people. While the right to private property is defended in Catholic social teaching, individuals do not have the right to use private property without regard for the common good.

Every person has an equal right to receive from the earth what is necessary for life—food, clothing, shelter. Moreover, every person has the right to education, medical care, religion, and the expression of one’s culture. In many places people live in fear, danger, or dehumanizing poverty. Clearly, it is not God’s will that some of his children live in luxury while others have nothing. In Luke’s Gospel, the rich man was condemned for living well while the poor man starved at his doorstep (Lk 16:19-31).

So, I say, without my tongue in cheek, if you hear the trumpets of nationalism or jingoism, rest assured they are blown by false converts, false Christians.

Peace be with you.

On Twitter for your scolding @ryandavidprice

 

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Let’s do more for migrants and immigrants, says Pope Francis

Was Pope Francis seen buying a new LCD TV on Black Friday?

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No, he’s in Kenya, offering stern words to the power elite.

He visited the shantytown of Kangemi to offer hope in spite of the despair and amongst abject poverty and living conditions.

He said, “Our world has a grave social debt toward the poor who lack access to drinking water because they are denied a life consistent with their inalienable dignity”. He continued by saying the “dreadful injustice of social exclusion leaves the poor with an unfair distribution of land, and lack of access to infrastructures and basic services”. He likened these injustices to ‘a new for of colonialism.

Unfortunately, as I continue with this day, I am left with little doubt that I will find articles that key in on only four words from the visit to Kangemi, “unfair distribution of land”. It will offer those without empathy to continue their assault against common sense by perching themselves atop their soapbox and bellowing to those below that the pope is a Communist.

However, as we find this story, so to will we find its antipole.

Hope springs eternal.

Despite the absence of basic necessities, such as running water and dignified living conditions,  the people of Kangemi are grateful for the pope’s visit and what they have. ‘I’m so happy, we are so blessed,” said Magdalene Mwikali, 36, of Kangemi. “He’s left all those rich neighborhoods to come here,” she said. ” He’s shown us we are important, that we matter, that God loves us too”.

All too often we look to the erudite professor or the subject matter expert to define and understand a particular situation when we can simply look to those encapsulated in the situation who they themselves are the erudite professor and subject matter expert. In the face of some of the worst conditions on earth, the people living within it are grateful for their blessings – a lesson we often overlook.

-Hope springs eternal-

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

Was Pope Francis seen buying a new LCD TV on Black Friday?

Texas sits atop the polls as most intolerant state

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Only in Texas would the irony of a protester waving an American flag, the shining beacon of freedom and tolerance be missed as it rippled through the air, being held by a protester of freedom and intolerance.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s try to comprehend this event that had a man proudly displaying a Ted Cruz sign.

Nearly a dozen people showed up to protest, with eloquence, as they earnestly affirmed, “To stop the Islamization of America”.  Not only did they show up with their words and signs of intolerance, the came with their guns – not for intimidation, though – for protection. “They’re mostly for self-defense or protection,”  the organizer, David Wright said, eyeing his 12-gauge. “But I’m not going to lie. We do want to show force. … It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.”

Sure, because that’s what’s ridiculous.

What is ridiculous is that the people of this country are now scared of everything. It wasn’t always this way, though. The greatest generation fought a war on the merit of removing a ‘leader’ who shares the same xenophobia as these protesters. I assure you, it was not always this way. African American soldier’s walked in lockstep with their white counterparts in the Vietnam War. They did so despite being treated as second class citizens at home.

It was not always this way, but it is that way now.

A friend of mine was recently shot and killed in front of his young children. It is a story that brings me great sadness to even think about.  The perpetrator of this crime was found this past week. My wife, the generous soul that she is, when she learned of my friend’s fiancé looking to escape the clutches of the press, welcomed her to our home for dinner. She spent the night to not be alone. This night as well as the following night, family members questioned the decision to allow her into our home, as it may be compromising the safety of my children. This is the paranoia that is rampant in America today.

The House of Representatives passed a bill with relative ease that  will not allow Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. 47 Democrats joined 242 Republicans to vote in the affirmative, making it clear that they are voting on the makeup of their district rather than the makeup of their person. “During his trip abroad this week, President Obama has offered a forceful defense of the program and derided Republican opponents as being scared of “widows and orphans.”

The question, which the article considers is; ‘What if the people at mosque showed up at a church on Sunday to protest, and what if they were armed?’ Would these same people protesting the mosque respect their right to assemble? Not if it were in Texas – you can’t bet your bottom dollar on that.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter@ryandavidprice

 

 

 

Texas sits atop the polls as most intolerant state

Despite insistence, Texas does not have Christian values

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Texas, who insists to be a state of great faith, again dispels this assertion through action. They have long spat in the face of Christian values and common sense as it pertains to the death penalty, and they have now joined a collection of states that seek to refuse admission of Syrian refugees. This is in direct conflict with the teaching of Christ.

Pope John Paul II, who is steadily being remembered in the United States as comparable to Ronald Reagan, said the following of refugees;

  • In order to build the civilization of love, dialogue between cultures must work to overcome all ethnocentric selfishness and make it possible to combine regard for one’s own identity with understanding of others and respect for diversity.
  • Dialogue leads to a recognition of diversity and opens the mind to the mutual acceptance and genuine collaboration demanded by the human family’s basic vocation to unity.
  • This atmosphere of welcoming is increasingly necessary in confronting today’s diverse forms of distancing ourselves from others. This is profoundly evidenced in the problem of millions of refugees and exiles, in the phenomenon of racial intolerance as well as intolerance toward the person whose only “fault” is a search for work and better living conditions outside his own country, and in the fear of all who are different and thus seen as a threat” (John Paul II, World Day for Peace Message, January 1, 2001).

The bible is ripe with examples of refugees and the expected Christian response.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve are forced from the garden. Noah takes refuge on the ark. Abram flees to Egypt. Lot flees Sodom. Jacob, Joseph, and Abraham also flee their condition.

If that is not enough, there’s an entire book devoted to human flight. Exodus 22:20: “You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt”. This is a verse that is overlooked in the dialogue of today. It has been replaced with self absorbing xenophobia by a people who have lost what it means to follow Christ.

I have seen a few articles and countless posts from people who either have lost their way or never were on their way. It reads something like this, ‘We need to take care of our own first! or, ‘we can’t risk letting these people in if there is even one person with ill intent’, or, ‘how about veterans, or the homeless and hungry?

This is short-sighted at best, and just dumb at worst. We do take care of our own. We do take care of our vets .We do take care of the homeless and the hungry. We have an entire government organization to assist our veterans. Every church in the United States has a program to feed and clothe the homeless and hungry. Do they get all the need? No. Do they deserve more support? Yes. Does this mean that we refuse to help refugees facing certain death? No. It absolutely does not. As a Christian, it requires that you do support the acceptance of refugees.

Before you sign some moronic petition to keep refugees out of your state, understand that the United States is not impervious to an attack that would make you a refugee. If that does happen, let us pray that receiving nations are not as self-absorbed and xenophobic as we can be.

What would have happened if we denied countless Polish and German Jews after WWII? The prevailing sentiment in Texas, and other states, would have left these people in the camps.  It actually shouldn’t be long before a proposal comes forward saying that we will accept the refugees but only by placing them in internment camps. Even though it has been acknowledged as the greatest black eye for America in WWII, don’t think the idea isn’t being kicked around.

Romans C. 12 V. 14-21:

14* Bless those who persecute [you],k bless and do not curse them.l 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.m16Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.n17Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.o18If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.p19Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”q20Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”r21Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

http://abcnews.go.com/US/states-refuse-accept-syrian-refugees-wake/story?id=35231800

 

 

 

 

 

Despite insistence, Texas does not have Christian values

Rejoice, you survived the end of days.. again!!

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Congratulations everyone; we have survived another end of day prediction. With Harold Camping finally reaching his end day, without a prediction I might add, the torch needed to be passed.

Step in Chris McCann, leader of the Ebible Fellowship, who predicted an annihilation of the world yesterday. Annihilation is a potent word, generally reserved for what happens when the Jacksonville Jaguars hit the gridiron, but there lies some irony that McCann would only assert there to be a ‘strong likelihood’ of this occurring, leaving him a comfortable escape route in the event he was as good a prognosticator as Camping. Either that, or he was feverishly in tune with the deflate-gate and the Wells Report.

Either way, congratulations on your feat that you may have been completely unaware of.

h/t to Tom Breen for the story.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/06/end-of-world-7-october-ebible-fellowship

Follow me on Twitter: @ryandavidprice

Rejoice, you survived the end of days.. again!!

Avenging a soccer loss, Pope Francis calls Chilean protestors, “dumb”.

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If there is one contention that Catholics of all stripes have made, or at least questioned of Pope Francis, it has been whether or not he has done enough for victims of sexual abuse.

The short answer here, is no. There are, however, two ways to consider this. There is a quantitative response and a qualitative response.

If we want to look at the quantitative data, the response cost roughly $3BB http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/sex-abuse-catholic-church_n_5085414.html . Is this enough? My guess is that this is not quantifiable in the first place, so the answer is either yes or no on this one, and it’s not what’s most important.

As much as it is necessary that victims be compensated monetarily, it is also important that the Church handle the qualitative aspect of the issue, and that’s where people believe Francis to be coming up short, and calling the protestors of a contentious appointment, dumb, isn’t the bedside manner to help the situation.

Reported by Pascale Bonnefoy;

“Many people watched in disbelief: There he was, Pope Francis, calling people in Osorno, a city in southern Chile, “dumb” for protesting against a bishop accused of being complicit in clerical sexual abuse”.“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” Pope Francis told a group of tourists on St. Peter’s Square, because it “has let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof”.

I am somewhat leery about this quote. If I’m being entirely honest here, it seems as though there has to either be a contextual interpretation issue or an language interpretation issue, because to say, “without any proof”, is a poor expression to use.

“Bishop Barros spent over 30 years alongside Father Karadima, who was found guilty of sexual abuses by the Vatican in 2011 and ordered to a life of seclusion, prayer and penitence. According to some of Father Karadima’s victims, Bishop Barros was witness to and complicit in the abuses”.

30 years! – this fact has not been refuted. It presumes to be an easy connection of the dots to say that this was either negligent on the newly appointed Bishop, or gross incompetence, likely both. Does this realization deliver you to complicity? Not exactly.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, the logical fallacy that says since event Y preceded event X, Y caused X. So, simply because negligence and incompetence preceded complicity, it does not mean complicity is present as a result of negligence and incompetence. Josiah Bartlet once remarked that this fallacy was rarely ever true.

The question then becomes, does it even have to be? The answer to this, is no. Perception is reality and the jury in the court of public (worldwide) opinion has come back and taken the benefit of the doubt from the Catholic Church. If we think ethically, we are taught that if you even have to question the ethical merit of something, it probably isn’t ethical. In his lane, it seems almost implausible that Pope Francis made the comments reported.

Then again, the promotion of Barros in March seems about as plausible.

And yes, I know I called it soccer; get over it.

Follow me Twitter @ryandavidprice

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/world/americas/calling-protesters-in-chile-dumb-pope-francis-sets-off-uproar.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/sex-abuse-catholic-church_n_5085414.html

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/03/31/vatican-decision-to-appoint-bishop-juan-barros-was-correct/

Avenging a soccer loss, Pope Francis calls Chilean protestors, “dumb”.

Without a sound argument, Judge Napolitano explains his dislike for Pope Francis

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He opens his scathing letter by questioning all of us good Catholics;

“What if the enormously popular Pope Francis is popular precisely because he is less Catholic than his two immediate predecessors? What if his theory of his stewardship of Catholicism is to broaden the base of the Church by weakening her doctrine so as to attract more people by making it temporally easier to be Catholic?”.

No, dude; wrong. It’s not like doctrine is the unstoppable force and ecclesiastical disciplines are the immovable object. Doctrine is immovable – it is the deposit of faith revealed by Jesus Christ. Ecclesiastical disciplines are a different colored horse – they are pliable.

It’s not like doctrine is the Hulk Hogan of the equation and Ecclesiastical discipline is Andre the Giant. Doctrine is the Hulk Hogan of the equation, but ecclesiastical discipline is more of a Hornswoggle.

Doctrine, “Judge”, is why ordination is not extended to females. Ecclesiastical discipline is why there has been consideration of marriage for priests, or why annulments are on the table.

In this respect, kind judge, let’s pump the brakes just a bit. This pope is just as Catholic as his two immediate predecessors. He is not weakening doctrine on the basis that doctrine is not pliable.

More importantly, let’s talk about why Hornswoggle is cooler than El Torito.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2039-a-papacy-of-novelty

Without a sound argument, Judge Napolitano explains his dislike for Pope Francis