My response to a friend

Posted by John Benko - January 26th, 2011

UPDATE! I originally posted this in December. I expected some blow back from Christian fundamentalists but not from Chris. He took some gratuitous shots at me on his show of January 3rd and, on Skype has accused me of everything from hate and anti-semitism to slander and name calling. He also attacks me for using Catholic doctrine to specifically rebut his claim that all Christians believe as fundamentalists do. How else would I go about disproving his claim? He asserts that Catholic doctrine is un-Biblical but provides no evidence to support this ridiculous assertion.

Chris’s claims about me are all clearly and demonstrably false. You have only to listen to my audio clips below. I admonished him for making some very hurtful and uncharitable generalizations. However, his assertion that I attacked his faith is utter nonsense. listen for yourself.

In closing, let me just say that I hope Chris continues on his journey of faith and I ask you all to continue to listen to his extraordinarily well produced show.


Last night, I was supposed to do an interview with my friend Christopher Fredrickson of the Paul Revere show. First, let me start by giving the show an enthusiastic plug and invite you to listen as often as you can.

The interview didn’t take place as it happened that both of us were feeling a little under the weather.

The intention of last night’s show segment was to allow me to comment on some remarks he made on a recent program. The remarks I am referring to cover the 24 minute span from 4:22 to 28:32.

Though his remarks cover just those 24 minutes, it takes me 2 hours to respond. I do so in 2 parts. Part 1 and Part 2. I tried to respond honestly and in Christian love but no doubt, some feathers will be rattled.

Enough material is covered to probably make 50 shows or articles.

I’ll be hear waiting for the blow back!


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Chicago exorcist: The ‘evil one’ is very real – Chicago Sun-Times

Posted by John Benko - January 24th, 2011

Chicago exorcist: The ‘evil one’ is very real – Chicago Sun-Times


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Finger Wagging

Posted by John Benko - January 24th, 2011

You know that silly saying: “Point a finger & you’ll have 4 pointing back” ?

One day God hit me between the eyes with that one ! He gave me an understanding that has remained with me to this day, & changed my whole philosophy. I used to be the type of person who went around seeing the sins of others. judging them, criticizing, pointing my finger… accusing. & then it hit me !

The Devil is the “accuser of the brethren” Rev 12:10 … just who was I imaging ??? The Living God ? Love Incarnate ?  Maybe… NOT ! When I had a finger pointing a someone else,  … did you hear me ? … when I had a finger pointing at someone else… 4 were pointing back…

The Scripture speaks about yeilding a harvest, some ………………… ( ) fold; some…. ( ) fold; well, my pointing was 4 fold in MY direction ! come on now … you know what I’m talking about!?we all do this …we all do this. So, there I was, feeling self-righteous, you know, seeing where OTHER people were going wrong… where THEY needed correction…where I could show them a thing or two! Where I’d realized something they hadn’t yet… I’d a major pride issue… :)  I thought I was something special… & realizing that I knew something THEY didn’t, made ME feel better… superior…

I didn’t realize that it was a grace to see sin in myself. I didn’t realize it was a GRACE to see MY sin. See, I was going to Jesus … (& everybody else…!) … with Their sin… Confession doesn’t work that way … I have to go to God with MY sin… not my neighbor’s. I have to go to God with MY sin, …& say, Father, forgive ME … for I have sinned.

It’s like that parable, you know, the one where the man owes the King a huge amount & is forgiven, & then he goes out & throttles a fellow servant & has him thrown in prison for owing a debt… (sigh) … yes… I’m ashamed to admit it ! That guy is ME !!! The accuser, who only sees someone ELSE’s sin, & points it out!

Now, I not talking about judging in the sense of being salt & light, in the sense of seeing clearly & standing firmly on the side of Truth. Because the Truth will set us free. I’m not talking about false compassion, where we say, ” who am I to judge?” an obvious sin, incompatible with the Scriptures. NO!

I’m talking about choosing to point out others sin, whilst forgiving my own … I’m talking about seeing another’s fault & NOT MY OWN. Seeing the REASONS I may have been less than perfect, but holding ANOTHER to account for his ! As though Others should be Saints, whilst I have many reasons why this same measure should not be expected of me. I mean, here is this accuser, being forgiven ,,, having a HuGE debt cancelled with the King, & daring to condemn another!

hmmm… not a pretty picture.

You know, God showed me how hypocritical I was! How I, was to accuse myself… I said,how I was to ACCUSE MYSELF, & receive forgiveness, mercy, magnanimity… & HUMBLY seeing the faults of others, bring before the Father asking for mercy on their account, you know, how Jesus did, when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know NOT what they do”. Luke 23:34. (Not: ‘Father, condemn them for they Know better’ !!!!)

wow…

When I point a finger, I realize how bad I am… what do I mean? Well, I came to realize, BY GRACE,… He showed me… that, when I see another’s fault, I must realize it is MUCH worst in my own life in some form… in Some way, I am more accountable for this sin… that maybe, I did not pray for this person, or situation as I should… maybe I was supposed to intercede, & slept instead… fasted… wept, before the throne of God for HIS KINGDOM to come, for HIS WILL to be done… that every time I was less than I could be… I was at fault. All the grace had been given, & I had failed to inspire, to convert, to beg for forgiveness for another’s sin…. I’d failed to “cover the nakedness” of my brother in  Christ.

When faced with such mercy… the only response is mercy, humility, reverence.  God is SO merciful with us. He is So merciful with US! I can’t even begin to fathom it! He pours out His grace on US… stinking accusing, filthy rags… & He blesses & adorns us with every jewel… He makes us His spotless Bride. Not because we are worthy & wonderful. But because HE IS ! Because He is Good, & redeems us, & we can accept this gift & respond… we can accept this gift … & respond… or we can turn away  point fingers at one another.  “To he who has been given much, much is expected”. Luke 12:48

Well, I was so humbled by this revelation of who I was & what I was doing … & who I’d been imaging…   & WHO God IS… I… I felt such amazement at this realization of PURE LOVE & generosity,  magnanimity … the King of the UNIVERSE… if I went to Confession, He forgave, He didn’t judge me.  He was the ONLY one fit to do so, & HE chose not to… “let he who is without sin, cast the first stone” John 8:7 … well, who is without sin, but Jesus? The Lamb without blemish. Our Pascal Sacrifice. If HE chose NOT to judge… then who am I to ???  who am I to strut & swagger as if I have things buttoned up & others don’t… showing such pompous pride & boastful bragging… Lord ! Jesus! Forgive me, a sinner! Lord depart from me for I am a sinful man. Lord I know who You are & I know who I am … You, are Faithful & True… I am unfaithful …

In You, Beloved, I too can be faithful… but without you, I am bound to fail & revert to a shameful image of the accuser, the dark one. Jesus ! I Trust in YOU !!!! You came to save. Here I am. I come to do Your Will!! Let me see my own sin before I see another’s, & if I am to see another’s, let me plead for mercy on his behalf, & route out anything that is in me that is not of You. That I may walk in Your Truth & Love, Your Life-giving Love. That I may be a bridge builder, a man after Your Own Heart, an Intercessor, a lamb offered in  reparation; a Breath of Life, that I may not cause others to stumble, but to be enlivened, to be inspired, to be ALL they can because they can look & say “Jesus lives… I  believe !  … because I can see Him shining through this life before me.”

Lord Jesus, thank You for forgiving me! For being so Merciful that you did not crush me with Your judgment, although You could have! But for allowing the Holy Spirit, the Lord & Giver of Life to convict me of sin, to convict me of my OWN sin… that another’s does not seem so bad ! & to do so in a way that brings Life & not Death; freedom & not a cures that binds.  But a flight of the Spirit, Heavenward… alleluia. I bless You Lord! Thank You for Your Mercy. Your great Love that won our redemption. Lord, YOU have made me a spotless bride. This was not something I could have attained to with all the human effort alone, but with Your Grace, You lifted me… with Your great Love, You took pity on me, & lifted me to Your cheek. Beloved, may I honor You in return. May I Love You with a Love worthy of Yourself… may I Love You with ALL of me. May I die to self to give life to others. May I be Your beautiful bride who is faithful, humble & kind hearted. Imaging You perfectly. May I be pure, & Loving, & true. May I be like You…

Thanks for Your Faithfulness… I Love You, Jesus.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VqRlO3wa1A&feature=player_detailpage]



*BEST OF DTB #50* The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom

Posted by John Benko - January 21st, 2011

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are Seven: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Fortitude, Counsel, Piety and fear of the Lord. I am asking the other writers here at Deeper Truth Blog to help me in explaining them. Just pick one and run with it! I have decided to start with Wisdom.

Wisdom, I believe is, is exemplified in the other 6, because Wisdom holds them in balance. All of the other 6 are connected to Wisdom, in some way. In fact, the Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom (Psalm 111:10).

Wisdom is that paragon virtue that allows someone to see clearly through all of the haze. When God asked Salomon to choose a gift , Salomon chose Wisdom. A wise choice (irony intended).

We live in a world where Wisdom has never been more needed and has never been in shorter supply. Wisdom is not simply the accumulation of information. Some people are very intelligent but lack the ability to efficiently process the vast amounts of information they possess. An over appreciation for one’s own intellect is a very dangerous thing.

In fact, some of the wisest people that have ever lived were viewed as intellectual lightweights by their own generations. The world is not impressed with Wisdom because Wisdom isn’t flashy.
In this world, appearances are what matter and people are drawn less by the substance of a speaker than by the power of his oration, less by the intrinsic value of a person than by their physical appearance and less by the solitude of a peaceful heart than by the lure of money and gold.

Wisdom sees all these things in their real value and understands that what the soul truly desires for eternity is infinitely more valuable than what tantalizes the eyes for a moment.

Here are certain things that I believe prevent people from progressing in Wisdom (other than the obvious- not asking for it).

Fear of the Lord.
The best place to start is the beginning and, as I mentioned earlier, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. That fear should be a healthy fear, not an irrational one. One should not imagine God as a mean old man who simply cannot wait to strike you down the minute you make a mistake. Yet, one should also be mindful that God is God. His Justice and Sovereignty are mitigated by His overflowing love and mercy but not eliminated by them. The wise man constantly forms His mind to the knowledge that he stands ever in God’s presence and that God- not men- will be his judge. When caught in the crossfire of two supervisors with conflicting instructions, you would cede to the higher authority, right? After all, obeying the higher authority will save you from being fired by the lower one but not the other way around.

Likewise, the Bible tells us that we are foolish if we disregard the fear of God- for any reason!

Matthew 10:28

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Perspective
So many times, we base our decisions on what we see right now, without consideration of the possible long term implications of our decisions. This is true both of reward and of consequence. Sin is often nothing more than choosing what we want now at the expense of what we really want.

Wisdom enables us to see the true value in all things rather than be dazzled by the shine of the moment, or become despondent over our present trials. In essence, Wisdom is a demonstration of faith in the fact that God alone knows and understands us perfectly and sees what we have experienced, are experiencing and will experience. Having this knowledge, we can be wise enough to know that His will is always the best choice regardless of the situation.

Wisdom allows us to discern and discernment is the path to truth. Wisdom is not suspension of knowledge, rather, it is the correct use of knowledge. It is not in always knowing the answer, that makes us succeed in life. It is in knowing who has the answers and being obedient.

Realizing that no earthly joy is worth the pains of hell and that no earthly pain is too much a price for the joys of heaven is what separates the wise man from the fool. The fool learns too late that when this life ends, eternity begins. The fool is preoccupied what what this world can give him and that causes him endless anxiety. The wise man’s mind is at peace.

Wisdom recognizes the paradoxical fact that one who seeks only his own happiness will never posses it while he who seeks to please God and deny himself, will find life.


Matthew 16
24* Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27

Preparation.

The Bible tells us that the wise man builds his house on the rock.


Matthew 7
24* “Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; 25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; 27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.”

It is not that the wise man enjoys the storm, or doesn’t hope it passes over. It is just that it is the foolish man sings and dances and fails to prepare, even as he is being warned that the storm is coming. An unfortunate, but very literal example of this occurred in 1969, when 24 people decided to have a party even as a Category 5 hurricane closed in on them.

Introspection and humility

It is Wisdom that allows a man to take an honest inventory of himself and make the needed course changes to his life. The wise man uses his experience to become a better person and lead others to a better life.

A healthy skepticism

Finding the balance between gullibility and cynicism is a key to wisdom. Learning that what sounds too good to be true, often is and learning to train one’s instincts are important. However, one must be on guard against reading motives from innocent actions.

In closing, Wisdom is the ability to see the world as it really is. It is the eyes that let us detect spin, see through empty promises and reduce the complexities of life into simple choices of right and wrong. Wisdom allows us to see Satan’s trickery even when masked behind the good intentions of friends.


Matthew 16

21* * From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23* But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance * to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

May we all pray for this gift.


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*BEST OF DTB #49* The Catholic Defender: Tradition

Posted by John Benko - January 20th, 2011


Jesus Christ established the Catholic Faith commissioning it to go to all the Nations to Baptize them and to teach them all that he commanded them to teach.
The Catholic Church has done so for nearly 2,000 year and will continue to do so until the Lord returns.
There is so much to the biblical text on this subject, that we are to imitate the Apostolic teaching.
The challenge is to see how the truth of God has been handed down so that we have this great truth today. Here are just a small sample of what the Church has said in the beginning:
“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thessalonians 2:15).


St. Paul
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us” (2 Thessalonians 6:6-7).
Much of St. Paul’s letters speak to the Church following the Apostles teaching.
So many times I talk to some of my Non-Catholic friends and they will have issues with Tradition. Here are some early Church Fathers who wrote on the subject:

Ignatius of Antioch

Follow your bishop, every one of you, as obediently as Jesus Christ followed the Father. Obey your clergy too as you would the apostles; give your deacons the same reverence that you would to a command of God. Make sure that no step affecting the Church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction. The sole Eucharist you should consider valid is one that is celebrated by the bishop himself, or by some person authorized by him. Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as, wherever Jesus Christ is present, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

In like manner let everyone respect the deacons as they would respect Jesus Christ, and just as they respect the bishop as a type of the Father, and the presbyters as the council of God and college of the apostles. Without these, it cannot be called a Church. I am confident that you accept this, for I have received the exemplar of your love and have it with me in the person of your bishop. His very demeanor is a great lesson and his meekness is his strength. I believe that even the godless do respect him (Letter to the Trallians 3:1-2 [A. D. 110]).

The Martyrdom of Polycarp

When finally he concluded his prayer, after remembering all who had at any time come his way – small folk and great folk, distinguished and undistinguished, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world – the time for departure came. So they placed him on an ass, and brought him into the city on a great Sabbath (The Martyrdom of Polycarp 8 [A.D. 110]).

St. Irenaeus

The Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said (Against Heresies 1:10 [A.D. 189]).

Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there should arise a dispute relative to some important question among us. Should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the churches? (ibid. 3:4).

Tertullian

Where was Marcion then, that shipmaster of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus then, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago – in the reign of Antoninus for the most part – and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled (On the Prescription Against Heretics 22,30 [A.D.200])

Clement of Alexandria

A multitude of other pieces of advice to particular persons is written in the holy books: some for presbyters, some for bishops and deacons; and others for widows, of whom we shall have opportunity to speak elsewhere (The Instructor of Children 3:12:97:2 [pre-A.D. 202]).

Even here in the Church the gradations of bishops, presbyters, and deacons happen to be imitations, in my opinion, of the angelic glory and of that arrangement which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who have followed in the footsteps of the apostles and who have lived in complete righteousness according to the gospel (Stromateis 6:13:107:2 [post-A.D. 202]).

Hippolytus

When a deacon is to be ordained, he is chosen after the fashion of those things said above, the bishop alone in like manner imposing his hands upon him as we have prescribed. In the ordaining of a deacon, this is the reason why the bishop alone is to impose his hands upon him: He is not ordained to the priesthood, but to serve the bishop and to fulfill the bishop’s command. He has no part in the council of the clergy, but is to attend to his own duties and is to acquaint the bishop with such matters as are needful. . . . On a presbyter [priest], however, let the presbyters impose their hands because of the common and like Spirit of the clergy. Even so, the presbyter has only the power to receive [the Spirit], and not the power to give [the Spirit]. That is why a presbyter does not ordain the clergy; for at the ordaining of a presbyter, he but seals while the bishop ordains. (Apostolic Tradition 9 [ca. A.D. 215]).

Irenaeus

For even creation reveals Him who formed it, and the very work made suggests Him who made it, and the world manifests Him who ordered it. The Universal [Catholic] Church, moreover, through the whole world, has received this tradition from the Apostles (Against Heresies 2:9 [A.D. 189]).

True knowledge is the doctrine of the Apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved, without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither addition nor curtailment [in truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the Word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy… (ibid. 4:33 [A.D. 189]).

Tertullian

For wherever both the true Christian rule and faith shall be shown to be, there will be the true Scriptures, and the true expositions, of all the true Christian traditions (The Prescription of Heretics 19 [A.D. 200]).

Clement of Rome

Our Apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned, and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry (Letter to the Corinthians 44:1 [A.D. 95]).

Ignatius of Antioch

You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8:1 [A.D. 110]).

Irenaeus

It is possible, then, for everyone in every Church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the Apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the Apostles, and their successors to our own times: men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about. For if the Apostles had known hidden mysteries which they taught to the elite secretly and apart from the rest, they would have handed them down especially to those very ones to whom they were committing the self-same Churches. For surely they wished all those and their successors to be perfect and without reproach, to whom they handed on their authority (Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 180-199]).

It is necessary to obey those who are the presbyters in the Church, those who, as we have shown, have succession from the Apostles; those who have received, with the succession of the episcopate, the sure charism of truth according to the good pleasure of the Father. But the rest, who have no part in the primitive succession and assemble wheresoever they will, must be held in suspicion (ibid 4:26:2).

Tertullian

Moreover, if there be any [heresies] bold enough to plant themselves in the midst of the apostolic age, so that they might seem to have been handed down by the Apostles because they were from the time of the Apostles, we can say to them: let them show the origin of their Churches, let them unroll the order of their bishops, running down in succession from the beginning, so that their first bishop shall have for author and predecessor some one of the Apostles or of the apostolic men who continued steadfast with the Apostles. For this is the way in which the apostolic Churches transmit their lists: like the Church of the Smyrnaeans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John; like the Church of the Romans where Clement was ordained by Peter. In just this same way the other Churches display those whom they have as sprouts from the apostolic seed, having been established in the episcopate by the Apostles. Let the heretics invent something like it. After their blasphemies, what could be unlawful for them? But even if they should contrive it, they will accomplish nothing; for their doctrine itself, when compared with that of the Apostles, will show by its own diversity and contrariety that it has for its author neither an Apostle nor an apostolic man. The Apostles would not have differed among themselves in teaching, nor would an apostolic man have taught contrary to the Apostles, unless those who were taught by the Apostles then preached otherwise.

Therefore, they will be challenged to meet this test even by those Churches which are of much later date – for they are being established daily – and whose founder is not from among the Apostles nor from among the apostolic men; for those which agree in the same faith are reckoned as apostolic on account of the blood ties in their doctrine. Then let all heresies prove how they regard themselves as apostolic, when they are challenged by our Churches to meet either test. But in fact they are not apostolic, nor can they prove themselves to be what they are not. Neither are they received in peace and communion by the Churches which are in any way apostolic, since on account of their diverse belief they are in no way apostolic (The Demurrer Against the Heretics 32:1 [A.D. 200]).

Clement of Alexandria

After the death of the tyrant, the [Apostle John] came back again to Ephesus from the Island of Patmos; and, upon being invited, he went even to the neighboring cities of the pagans, here to appoint bishops, there to set in order whole Churches, and there to ordain to the clerical estate such as were designated by the Spirit (Who is the Rich Man that is Saved? 42:2 [inter 190-210 A.D.]).

Firmilion of Caesarea

But what is his error, and how great his blindness, who says that the remission of sins can be given in the synagogues of the heretics, and who does not remain on the foundation of the one Church which was founded upon the rock by Christ can be learned from this, which Christ said to Peter alone: “Whatever things you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed in heaven;” and by this, again in the gospel, when Christ breathed upon the Apostles alone, saying to them; “Receive the Holy Spirit: if you forgive any man his sins, they shall be forgiven; and if you retain any mans sins, they shall be retained.” Therefore, the power of forgiving sins was given to the Apostles and to the Churches which these men, sent by Christ, established; and to the bishops who succeeded them by being ordained in their place (Letter to Cyprian 75:16 [A.D. 255-256]).

From the Bible and the Church, tradition came down from our Lord to us through his Church:


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*BEST OF DTB #48* The Catholic Defender: Rise of the Fatherless

Posted by John Benko - January 16th, 2011

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breath and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

In the United States between 1960 – 1990, children being raised without fathers went from 17% to 36%, by the year 2,000, nearly 50% of all children are being raised without their fathers.

The days of “Leave It To Beaver”, “My Three Son’s”, and “Father Knows Best” have long been gone.

The average father was reported to spend about 7 seconds a day with their children. The spiritual and moral leadership is not present.

Marriage is the divine institution created by God for which children are to be raised. Rebellion has had it’s price.

The results are staggering. The rise in drugs and alcohol use, gang violence, disregard for authority and the value of human life has become the trend. Pornography and abortion plague our nation both being multi-billion dollar industries.

This seriously impact society and culture. It impacts girls being raised without fathers.

It impacts Black families, nearly 70% are being raised without a father. There is a rise in premarital relations and children being born in a one parent family.

You have the case of “dead-beat dads” who can care less about their children. Then you have fathers who have no control for their children because mom’s and other family members make it impossible.

With the return of ancient Paganism and hedonism, the very fabric of society is being distorted as the family unit is being changed to recognize homosexual unions and transgendered relationships causing confusion at the Government’s expense.

Children are commanded to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth” (Ephesians 5:1-3).

Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 at the canonization of St. Maria Goretti that to be a Christian in the latter half of the 20th century and beyond you would have to be a living martyr. The attack on the family would become so great. His words were prophetic.

The divorce rate has had a dramatic impact on the American Family. Let us pray for the return of God in our Country, that He will restore common sense and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). The following Statistics come from “Teens and Toddlers: children without fathers”:

- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times
the average.

- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (National Principals Association Report)
- 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average. (Rainbows for All God’s Children)
- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept. 1988)
- 85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Fulton Co. Georgia, Texas Dept. of Correction)

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Born on one tragic day, died on another.

Posted by John Benko - January 9th, 2011

Our prayers with this poor family.


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*BEST OF DTB #47* The Catholic Defender: Arizona Reprentative Gabrielle Gifford

Posted by John Benko - January 8th, 2011

Today, Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was among 19 people to include staff members and a Judge (John Roll) were shot while meeting at a supermarket in Tucson AZ.

5 people including a 9 year old girl were killed. Judge John Roll also among the dead.

There are a number of victims in critical condition to include Representative Giffords. Please keep these victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. A large number of people are asking what religion is Representative Giffords. It is reported that she is Jewish. She is considered a moderate well liked by both Republicans and Democrats. I have an issue of her strong pro-abortion record, that I must oppose. Let’s pray that she will recover from this attack and play politics later.

Quick update, Judge John Roll was a dedicated Catholic who went to daily Mass there in Tucson. He went from the Church to where Representative Giffords was meeting people. For him and the other 5 people who died there today, may the perpetual light of the Lord shine upon them now and forever more. Amen.

9 year old Christina Taylor Green’s funeral was today, At one point they played Amazing Grace with bagpipes. We had bagpipes in Iraq used at the Military memorial service. May God grant her peace. Amen.


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*BEST OF DTB #46* The Catholic Defender: The Major Councils of the Church

Posted by John Benko - January 6th, 2011

The first Council is recorded in the book of Acts Chapter 15-29 and Galatians 2:1-10. This Council would be the model for all the following Councils.

Acts 15:28 states, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell”.

The Council of Jerusalem set the Catholic Church on the course of grace. We are no longer bound by the law of circumcision and the Law of Moses. Gentiles would be received into the Church through the Sacraments. This is huge. We do not do away with the Old Testament, but we are anchored in the New Testament for which fulfills the Old. This is the New Covenant Jeremiah foretold (Jeremiah 31:31-34) and Jesus initiates (Matthew 26:28). This took place in 49 A.D. This was taken from “Daily Catholic” except for Vatican II. The following are Councils of the Church that are for all Christians as sheep to follow (Luke 10:16):

1. The First Council of Nicaea 325 A.D.

Though the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15 and Galatians 2) was the first Church Council, attended by the Apostles, the first Ecumenical (world-wide) Council was called by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great with Pope Saint Sylvester I sitting on the Throne of Peter as the 33rd successor of Christ’s appointed Apostle. The site was the city of Nicaea, just south of Constantinople in Asia Minor. The greatest periti was the Bishop of Alexandria, Saint Athanasius who, amidst his struggles with the Arians, argued convincingly for condemning Arius and, as a deacon, St. Athanasius was at the forefront in defining the Consubstantiality of the Son with the Heavenly Father.

2. The First Council Constantinople 381 A.D.

Fifty-six years after Nicaea, the Roman Emperor of the East Theodosius I convened the second General Council. Because of friction between the emperor who was headquartered in Constantinople and Pope Saint Damasus I, located in Rome, neither the Holy Father or his papal legates attended. Already the split between East and West was manifesting itself. 186 bishops did attend. Most notable were Doctors of the Church Saint Gregory Nazianzen and Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, who with the Council Fathers, reaffirmed the First Council of Nicaea and defined the Consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son, thereby condeming the heresy of Macedonius.

3. Council of Ephesus 431 A.D.

Fifty years after the First Council of Constantinople, Theodosius’ son Theodosius II ruled as emperor. He was much more inclined to hear the Church, influenced by his saintly sister Saint Pulcheria and, in harmony with Pope Saint Celestine I, a third General Council was called in Ephesus in the southern tip of Asia Minor. Over 200 bishops attended, declaring the Divine Maternity Dogma of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. Also, led by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, the Council defined that Christ has two natures – Divine and human, but only one Person which is Divine. This affirmation condemned Nestorianism and deposed Nestorius, who was the bishop of Constantinople. The Council also affirmed the Council of Carthage held for the local Church in 416, thus condemning Pelagius and his teachings.

4. The Council of Chalcedon 451 A.D.

Twenty years after Ephesus, Saint Pulcheria played a key role in the fourth General Council; this time influencing her husband Marcian, then the Roman Emperor of the East, to coordinate with Pope Saint Leo the Great in convening it at Chalcedon in Thessalonica just northwest of Constantinople. Once again a false teaching was at the heart of the meeting. This time Monophysitism (the false teaching that Christ had only one nature) was at the forefront of controversy. It was taught by the Abbot Eutyches who also sought discord, causing confusion so that the Council asserted that Constantinople should be on an equal basis with Rome ecclesiastically. Vigorously opposing this and Eutyches, Pope Leo determined in his Dogmatic Epistle of October 10, 451 that the See of Peter in Rome is and always shall be the Seat of Primacy with no equal and that Eutyches was a heretic. Leo was proclaimed the ‘Soul of Chalcedon’ and the Council agreed unanimously that through Leo, Peter had spoken and Eutyches was condemned.

5. Second Council of Constantinople 553 A.D.

Just over a century after Chalcedon, heresy was running rampant and the Roman Emperor in Constantinople Justinian I decided it was time for another General Council. The Second Council in Constantinople condemned the “Three Chapters” which was a collection of statements by three deceased disciples of the deposed Nestorius. The Council determined that the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Ibas of Edessa were soundly condemned. This Council also affirmed the condemnations declared at the Council of Carthage in 416 and previous condemnations by Popes of heresies.

6. Third Council of Constantinople 681 A.D.

117 years after the Second Council of Constantinople, the Emperor Constantine IV decided it was time to call another General Council, especially in light of the growing threat of Islamism. In agreement with Pope Saint Agatho, the Council was convened with again over 200 bishops. The heresy of the time was Monothelitesism which falsely taught that Christ only had a Divine will, rather than a Divine and human will. It denied the perfect harmony of the two wills within the one Divine Person. Pope Agatho died during this Council and his successor Pope Saint Leo II continued it, approving the decrees of past Councils and taking to task one of his predecessors Pope Honorius I for not keeping the heresy of Monothelites in check, specifically not challenging the Patriarch of Constantinople Sergius who was spreading the heresy. St. Leo’s actions set a precedence for calling into question error by previous Pontiffs and confirmed that a Pope can be in error when not speaking from the Chair of Peter – ex cathedra.

7. Second Council of Nicaea 787 A.D.

Just over a century after the Third Council of Constantinople, a 7th General Council was necessary in 787 to deal with the heresy of Iconoclasm. The Council was called by the Empress Irene – the widow of the late Emperor Leo IV and mother of the Emperor Constantine IV – to head off the growing unrest with the Eastern Bishops who were spreading the heresy of Iconoclasm fostered by Emperor Leo III. The latter had been fiercely condemned by Pope Hadrian I, as well as his predecessors Popes Gregory II and Pope Gregory III. A great Doctor of the Church Saint John Damascene had also defended images as a means of reverence. At the core was the growing split and resentment between East and West.

8. Fourth Council of Constantinople 869-70 A.D.

The issue of declaring Photius a heretic was paramount for the Fourth Council of Constantinople which was called jointly by the Emperor Basil and Pope Hadrian II in 869. Photius had openly criticized clerical celibacy, challenged Pope Saint Leo III’s crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas of 800, and questioned the Filioque of the Creed. Photius was condemned by the Council. 200 years later the Great Eastern Schism became official when Michael Cerularius closed the Latin churches in Constantinople and was excommunicated by Pope Saint Leo IV in 1054. Also of concern at the Council was the growing Saracen threat.

9. First Lateran Council 1123 A.D.

The first General Council after the Great Eastern Schism was held in Rome for the first time at the Lateran Basilica in 1123 and convened by Pope Callistus II. At issue was the Lay Investiture controversy between secular power and ecclesial power. The Council confirmed the Concordat of Worms that had been signed the year before between Emperor Henry V and Pope Callistus II. This assured all elections of prelates and abbots would be made by ecclesial authorities solely with the Emperor having approval only in Germany. The Council declared priests in the Latin rite must remain celibate.

10. Second Lateran Council 1139 A.D.

It was necessary to call a second General Council just 16 years later because of the Papal schism in which Pope Innocent II declared null and void all acts and decrees by the deceased antipope Anicletus II. The Council also condemned the heresies of Peter Bruys and Arnold of Brescia as well as enacting reforms suggested by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who also preached a crusade against the threat of the Crescent Moon of Islam.

11. Third Lateran Council 1179 A.D.

Pope Alexander III called the third Council at the Lateran Basilica because once again a General Council had to be called to undo the damage done by antipopes Victor IV and others. The Council also set the election of the Roman Pontiff must be by two-thirds of the majority of cardinals voting, establishing the Sacred Conclave as the voting body. The Council condemned the heresies of Albigenses and Waldenses.

12. Fourth Lateran Council 1215 A.D.

In 1215 Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council 36 years after Lateran III had closed. This Council was the most absolute and most impacting of all ecumenical councils to date. Nearly 500 prelates, as well as the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem, and close to a thousand abbots including Saint Dominic attended. Here Innocent, trying to recover from the immense sadness three years earlier of the failed Children’s Crusade (5th Crusade) , successfully regained his power. It marked the pinnacle of papal power in medieval times. It was Innocent who defined ex cathedra – from the chair of Peter and who declared in that position that “There is but one Universal Church, outside of which there is no salvation.” The Council officially set in stone the term ‘Transubstantiation’ for the mystery of the bread and wine confected into the body and blood of Jesus Christ and reformed disciplines of ecclesiastical life, as well as directing all Catholics to partake in the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist no less than once a year. Lateran IV also condemned as anathema once more the heresies of Albigensianism, which taught marriage and the sacraments were not needed, and Waldensianism, which taught that the laity could perform the same duties as a priest when said priest was in mortal sin.

13. First Council of Lyons 1245 A.D.

30-years after Lateran IV, Pope Innocent IV called the First Council of Lyons in 1245, having been forced to flee Rome for the refuge of Lyons France at the invitation of the holy French Monarch King Saint Louis IX. The latter was designated to lead the Seventh Crusade against the infidel Saracens. Though only 140 bishops were at Lyons, it had the support of the Patriarchs of Antioch, Constantinople, Venice and the Emperor of the East. The Council reinforced the excommunication Pope Gregory IX had imposed on Frederick II, the slacker emperor who had betrayed the trust placed in him. He was deposed. Great concern was also given to the Mongol hordes invading Europe and the loss of Jerusalem to the infidel, as well as problems with lax clergy.

14. Second Council of Lyons 1274 A.D.

In 1274 Blessed Pope Gregory X called the Second Council of Lyons, which teemed with 15 cardinals, 500 prelates and well over a thousand clerics and dignitaries including Saint Bonaventure. Another great Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas passed to his Heavenly reward enroute to the Council. This Council’s main docket was the attempt to reunite with the Eastern Church, but it was only temporary and the schism grew wider after the solidification of the Dogmatic Filioque in which it was reaffirmed emphatically that the Holy Ghost proceeds from both the Father and the Son. Also addressed were regulations for Papal election and how to recover Palestine from the Turks.

15. Council of Vienne 1311-12 A.D.

Six years into the ‘Avignon Exile’ (1305-1377), the Council of Vienne lasted two years. It was called in 1311 by the first of the Avignon Popes Pope Clement V in the city of Vienne just south of Lyons. Though the Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria joined the Pope, it was a noticable difference from the last Council for far fewer bishops and dignitaries attended. Nevertheless, the council suppressed the Knights Templars and Jacques de Molay, the one who laid the satanic seeds of Freemasonry. They had abused their privileges after the Crusades. Politics also played a huge role in this council with King Philip IV ruler of France being reinstituted in the Church after his legendary excommunication battle with Clement’s predecessor Pope Boniface VIII who had issued his famous ex cathedra bull Unam Sanctam. The Council also condemned various heresies.

16Council of Constance 1414-18 A.D.

Just over a century after the Council of Vienne the 16th Ecumenical Council was called in the French area of Switzerland in 1414. Because of the Great Western Schism the legitimate Pope Gregory XII abdicated the Papal throne during the Council at the Emperor Sigismund’s request for the sake of unity so that the Council could sort out the mess and end the Schism amid the confusion of the multi-popes which included the anti-popes of Avignon – Benedict XIII and John XXIII. The latter had called a Council in Pisa in 1403 which was not recognized because of its illegality. The Council took control and elected Pope Martin V to the seat of Peter in 1417, three years after the Council was opened. It brought to an end the Great Schism and opened a whole new can of worms with the struggle between papal power and conciliar power. Condemned were the heresies of John Wycliffe and John Hus, the tip of the iceberg that would erupt a century later.

17.Council of Florence 1431-45 A.D.

Though it is called the Council of Florence, it began in Basel, Switzerland, called by Pope Martin V. But Martin V did not live to open it. Instead his successor Blessed Pope Eugene IV opened it and met open resistance from many of the bishops. Therefore he dissolved the Council, moving to Ferrara, Italy in 1438 because of the schismatic bishops who elected the antipope Felix V. In 1439 the bubonic plague forced the entire Council to move again, this time to Florence where it was closed eight years later in 1447 by the Eugene IV. Though the Greek Church agreed to accept Filioque, it was shortlived for the infidels conquered Constantinople six years after the Council closed and, demoralized, the Eastern Church stuck to their stubborn agenda. The most stunning aspect of this Council was that Papal Authority triumphed over conciliar authority. Pope Eugene IV, backed by the Council proclaimed infallible the dogma of no salvation for anyone outside the Church in his noted Papal Bull Cantate Domino.

18. Fifth Lateran Council 1512-1517 A.D.

Despite Blessed Pope Eugene IV’s Papal Bull Cantate Domino problems abounded less than a century later. Thus Pope Julius II, trying to recoup the scandals caused by previous pontiffs – specifically the Borgia Pope Alexander VI – called the 18th Ecumenical Council, returning to the Lateran for the Fifth Synod in 1512. When Julius died, his successor Pope Leo X carried on the Council. No doctrine was proclaimed with all decrees primarily disciplinary in trying to stem the tide of Martin Luther and others who were outwardly rebelling against the Church. Though the idea of a Crusade against the Turks was brought up, the problems with the growing Protestant Reformation occupied the agenda. The Council reaffirmed the superiority of the Pope over conciliar powers.

19. Council of Trent 1545-63

The greatest and longest of all the major ecumenical councils was convened by Pope Paul III on December 13, 1545 in the mouintain village of Trent in northern Italy. There were 25 major sessions that spanned eighteen years under five popes – Pope Julius III, Marcellus II, Paul IV and Pope Pius IV who closed the last session on December 4, 1563 with Pius IV issuing a Papal Bull on February 7, 1564 confirming all that was declared at Trent. Pope Saint Pius V completed the commission of Trent, reforming the Roman Missal with his De Defectibus and Quo Primum writing the Catechism of Trent based on all the decrees of Trent and also set up a commission to issue a more exact edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible. The Council issued the most dogmatic and reformatory decrees ever, specifically on the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments plus reinstating traditions always held ‘Catholic.’ Trent was the ideal Counter-Reformation to the Protestant Reformation where Protestantism was condemned as anathema along with Martin Luther and other reformers who had bolted the Church. Moral discipline was emphasized and reinforced in order that Holy Mother Church regain the respect and authority intended for the Church Christ founded and passed down through His infallible, perennial Magisterium of the Church, preserving the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church in the Sacred Deposit of the Faith.

20. First Vatican Council 1869-70 A.D.

Many consider the First Vatican Council as the longest ever because, in truth, it has never been closed. Convened by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1869 with 803 of the hierarchy present from the universal Church, it only had four sessions, all reaffirming the course of Trent. In the 4th Session on July 18, 1870 the Council affirmed the dogma of infallibility of the Sovereign Pontiff.

21. Second Vatican Council 1962-65 A.D.

From Wikipedia: The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on 8 December 1965. Of those that took part in the council’s opening session, four have become pontiffs to date: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who on succeeding Pope John XXIII took the name of Paul VI; Bishop Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I; Bishop Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II; and Father Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who became Pope Benedict XVI.
Perhaps the most famous and most influential product of the council is the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.

In its first chapter, titled “The Mystery of the Church,” is the famous statement that “the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth.’ This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him” (Lumen Gentium, 8). The document immediately adds: “Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.”

(Editors Note) “Daily Catholic” are in Schism with the Catholic Church as demonstrated on their perspective of the Second Vatican Council. I took liberty with the first 20 Councils as I do like the format, easy to read. Please pray that all schisms cease and that the whole Church is reunited in accordance to Catholic Teaching. This is the will of the Lord as demonstrated in Scripture.



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*BEST OF DTB #44* The Catholic Defender: The Crusades

Posted by John Benko - January 3rd, 2011

One of the common questions I am asked is why the Catholic Church attacked the Muslims during the Middle Ages.

Why did the Catholic Church convert many by the sword. This is an example of where people have attempted to rewrite history and ignore the facts.

From the time of Muhammad’s retreat to Mecca (Hiagra, 622 A.D.) and the establishment of Islam to the next 400 years the Catholic Church basically held a pacifistic approach to Islam.

Islam has it’s foundations based from an earlier heresy dating back to the early 4th century. The Arian Heresy challenged the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus. Despite the ruling of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., bubbles of this heresy would continue.

Mohammad claimed he was the Great Prophet of Deuteronomy 18:15-19, unfortunately for him and his many followers, they did not read the whole test as verse 20 says, “But if a prophet presumes to speak in my name an oracle that I have not commanded him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, he shall die”.

It really wasn’t until the Muslims took the Holy Land in 1079 A.D. that Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095 A.D. called for all Christians to end their petty disputes. He would call for the first crusade.

This was a very important development for the defense of Europe and of Christianity. Islam had systematically taken nation after nation throughout the Middle East with the intent of World domination. The Islamic Terrorist still has this intent. In 656 A.D. the Koran was published and since then it has been used by the radicals to go after the “infidels”.

We are still dealing with this threat in the 21st Century. Were there wrongs committed? Sure there were. Were there glory seekers taking advantage for personal gain? Sure there were. I can write of a number of them since I have been at the tip of the spear. When ever a Soldier did wrong the media picked up on it like it was hot news. Sadly, the News didn’t care to report the great good we were doing?

There will be elements of that in every war. We see this today in Iraq and Afghanistan. American Soldiers have performed valiantly throughout these campaigns despite a small minority of wrong doing.

What is important is that those who did wrong are getting punished for it.

Jesus said, “And he said to them, ‘When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything’? They said, ‘Nothing’. He said to them, ‘But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was reckoned with transgressors’; for what is written about me has its fulfillment’. And they said, ‘Look, Lord, here are two swords’. And he said to them,’It is enough” (Luke 22:35-38).

This scripture has been used to support a nations defense with 10% of it’s means. Defense is the clear purpose for the swords as Jesus would later tell St. Peter that those who live by the sword shall die with the sword. In the Old Testament King David felt the teeth of this truth as he would not build the Temple. His own family would fight between themselves and him. But for self defense the Catholic Church has always understood the “just war” concept.

What is unique for me is that I spent 27 months in Iraq with a unit that had a cross on it’s shield. I will venture to say that there were wrongs committed, however, the truth behind the crusades were necessary.

Traning to go to Iraq, we were given presentations from Iraqi interpreters who gave classes on the customs of the people. It was very interesting to me that they taught us the Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross but there was another person who was crucified for him. They deny the Resurrection. This was important for us to know when speaking with the the people there.

Still, just as it was in the Middle Ages, today, it is necessary to deal with the Islamic Terrorists.

The news is reporting the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. When I left Iraq in in January 08 for that particular 15 Month deployment, we had about 3,000 Iraqi converts to the Catholic faith in Baghdad. This was underground or in the green zone. Many of these now live in the United States, some of them work for the American forces as interpreters. There are many thousands of Iraqi Kurd from the Northern provinces that are converting to the Catholic Faith, all underground as it is a death sentence for a Muslim to become a Christian.

The current persecution of Christians needs to be stopped. Islam does not have the means to prevent this violence. America is the world’s hope to stand up against this threat now.

We must have the will and the backbone to succeed. I know there are good Muslims out there, but they do not have the political stamina to face the Islamic Terrorists or the will.

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