Pope Francis Overturns 2000 Years of Christian Doctrine

ROME – For two thousand years Christians have believed that Jesus Christ died for their sins and that the only path to heaven lay in acceptance of Christ as the Son of God and Savior.  London’s Daily Telegraph has reported that Pope Francis, in an op-ed written for the Italian daily La Republicca, has announced that:

"The question for those who do not believe in God is to follow their own conscience. Sin, even for a non-believer, is when one goes against one’s conscience.

"To listen and to follow your conscience means that you understand the difference between good and evil."

This follows a homily earlier this year where the Pope stated that even atheists could be welcomed into heaven.  It appears that His Holiness may be looking to take the Roman Catholic Church down the same path as the Episcopal Church.  He should carefully examine how that has worked out.

Acceptance of Christ is no long required for salvation?  We need only follow our own conscience?  Like dogs, do all sociopaths go to heaven?

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Pope Benedict to Step Down

In an unusual move, it has been announced by Italy’s ANSA news agency that Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of this month.  Typically a Pope remains in office from installation to death.  No details are available at this time.

UPDATE:  MSNBC has confirmed that 85 year old Pope Benedict has announced his resignation.  During a canonization ceremony in Vatican City, he stated that he “doesn’t have the strength to go on”.  Reported on the Morning Joe show, it was also reported that the last resignation of a Pope was in 1415.

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Sussex Citizens Turn Out to Support Prayer at Council Meetings

GEORGETOWN, DE – At last week’s meeting of the Sussex County Council, a group of citizens showed up to support the council’s long-standing practice of beginning its meetings with the Lord’s Prayer.  Federal District Court Judge Leonard Stark has prohibited the council from reciting the prayer.

Nearly half of council chambers was filled Aug. 7 with people who joined with council when they recited the 23rd Psalm to start the meeting. During the public participation portion at the end of the meeting, the Rev. John Betts of Abundant Life Church in Georgetown, spoke on behalf of the group.

Betts said the lawsuit and court action are part of a pattern of activities taking place across the nation to erode freedom of speech and other rights. “This is not a political battle, but a spiritual war,” Betts said.

He said from the time the foundation of government was laid, prayer has been used to open legislative sessions. “In these chambers, your practice has been the same as our founding fathers,” he said. “When a people forget their fathers, they do not know who they are anymore. We commend county council for standing up for the tradition of our fathers.”

Betts said there is a concerted effort under way to erase the memory of the county’s roots and basic beliefs. “Your stand in protecting these memories and practices is commendable. We urge you to continue to resist this attempt to forget who we are,” he said.

Betts presented council with 300 signed letters in support of the council’s policy of using The Lord’s Prayer at meetings.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

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DON’T FORGET–Eat at Chick-Fil-A

Today is an opportunity.  With one simple act – patronizing your local Chick-Fil-A – you can stand up for free speech, the traditional American family, and your own individual liberty.  The same people that want to curtail your liberty are, by and large, the same individuals and groups who wish to dismantle the traditional family.

They wish to punish Christian and family-owned businesses like Chick-Fil-A.  By voting with your dollars today, you are saying no to the leftist bullies.

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Show Your Support for Family, Liberty

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke

Tomorrow you have an easy, simple method to show your support for liberty, justice, and the American family.  Simply go to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or all three if you are able).  If you like chicken, you’ll enjoy a great meal.  If you are like me and aren’t a big chicken eater, get some waffle fries and a drink.  Regardless, eating at Chick-Fil-A tomorrow will show those that want to curtail free speech (at least speech that supports family values) and redefine the American family that there are still plenty of Americans who believe in simple things like God-given liberty and the traditional family.

Why the fuss?  Chick-Fil-A, the Cathy family (owners of the Chick-Fil-A brand), and its 1,600+ franchisees support horrible things like free enterprise, entrepreneurship, the traditional American family, and the right to operate under Biblically-based principles.  Ever wonder why Chick-Fil-A stores aren’t open on Sunday?

Because of their support of the traditional American family, those promoting anti-family values such as same-sex marriage are attacking Chick-Fil-A.  They have gone so far as to attempt to drive Chick-Fil-A franchisees from college campuses and left wing, anti-family politicians have even attempted to prevent Chick-Fil-A franchises from opening locations in their area.

Here is what Chick-Fil-A has to say:

[Read more…]

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Sussex Council Looking for Compromise on Opening Sessions with Prayer

GEORGETOWN, DE – After a federal judge ruled that the Sussex County Council was in violation of the establishment clause by opening each meeting with the Lord’s Prayer, the council is seeking a compromise.  Under a compromised, which passed by a 3-2 vote, the council president would open each meeting with a non-sectarian prayer.  On occasion, the Lord’s Prayer would be used.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

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Churches Attacked in Nigeria

LAGOS – Six persons were killed when gunmen opened fire in a church in northwest Nigeria on Sunday.  In central Nigeria, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a church.  A radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram claimed the attacks.

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Test of Fire

The Obama administration wants to force Christian institutions, such as the Roman Catholic Church, to violate core doctrine.  For Christians, this is a violation of religious liberty.  For the left, opposition to these federal regulations constitutes a “war on women”.  Fortunately, the Catholic Church is fighting back:

As Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archibishop of Washington, explains, this is an issue of religious liberty.  While the Obama administration claims that an accommodation has been made to handle this issue, Cardinal Wuerl notes that many institutions are self-insured.

Besides this simple fact, it is laughable that forcing insurance companies to “provide contraception coverage for free” somehow keeps a Catholic institution from violating its doctrine.  Where does the money to provide this coverage come from?  If it’s a commercial insurer, the money comes from those that pay premiums.  If the institution is self-insured …

This is but one more problem with electing a president that has NO understanding of the free market … and who prays to the secular god statism.

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How Do You Spell Irony? … P-E-L-O-S-I

WASHINGTON, DC – As a child, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi prayed for religious liberty … in Hungary.  As a member of Congress Pelosi supports stripping Roman Catholics and other pro-life Christians of their religious liberty.

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School Rules Jesus Shirt “Hate Speech”

CHESTER BASIN, NS – A school has ruled that a student’s t-shirt promoting Christianity is “hate speech”.  William Swinimer, a student at Forest Heights Community School, was punished for wearing a shirt that read, “Life is wasted without Jesus.”  Swinimer, who has been disciplined in the past for wearing t-shirts promoting Christianity, is threatened with suspension for the rest of the school year if he wears the shirt to school again.

“I’ve been told by my principal that it is hate talk and is disrespectful to other people’s religions,” Swinimer said. “She said it (the shirt) cannot be in school because people would get offended.”

Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, the school board superintendent, told The Canadian Press that the wording on the shirt is “problematic.”

“If I have an expression that says, ‘My life is enhanced with Jesus,’ then there’s no issue with that, everybody is able to quickly understand that that’s my opinion about my own belief,” she told the newspaper. “If the shirt were to say, ‘Without Jesus, your life is a complete waste,’ then that’s clear that it is an opinion aimed at somebody else’s belief.”

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Catholic Bishops Call for Civil Disobedience on ObamaCare

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement calling for civil disobedience regarding key provisions of ObamaCare.  In Our First, Most Cherished Liberty the Bishops call on all Catholics, “in solidarity with our fellow citizens”, to refuse to obey this “unjust law”.  The Bishops state:

“It cannot be obeyed and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal.”

They also state that they are willing to go to prison rather than obey an immoral law.

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Iran Denies Pastor Faces Execution

GENEVA – The Iranian government has denied that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces execution for “insulting Islam”.

The UN Human Rights Council met in Geneva Monday, where Ahmed Shaheed, a “special rapporteur for human rights in Iran" delivered a report on human rights abuses in Iran and called for the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The pastor has been held in prison for nearly three years and was convicted on charges that Tehran has described in conflicting terms, first as apostasy and other faith-based crimes, then as rape and extortion.

Responding to Shaheed’s presentation, Iranian human rights envoy Mohammad Javad Larijani denied that Nadarkhani faces the death penalty, though the sentence was spelled out in a ruling handed down by Iran’s highest court last fall. Larijani also offered a new set of charges against Nadarkhani, including preaching to youth without their parents’ permission, converting his home into a church and offending Islam.

“In the last 33 years after [the Islamic] revolution, no single person has been put to death or executed or pursued for changing his religion from Islam,” he told the council. “Hundreds of people are changing from other religions to Islam. Why we should be so sensitive about a few people to change their religion from Islam?”

photo courtesy of the Blaze

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Huffington Post Called on Anti-Catholic Screed

NEW YORK – Former conservative turned arch-lefty Arianna Huffington is being called on an article published on her Huffington Post which has Roman Catholics and other Christians outraged.  Last Friday Huffington published a post by Larry Doyle which attacked GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum by attacking and ridiculing Santorum’s faith.  Doyle described the Eucharist as a “barbaric ritual” and claimed the Roman Catholic church was run by a former Nazi and that the denomination was tied to the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), a group which defends pedophilia.

Yesterday a group of leading conservative activists including Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, L. Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center and Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List delivered a letter to Huffington demanding that the post be retracted and an apology issued.  Instead, Huffington published another post by Doyle where he issued a non-apology apology by claiming that the original piece was satire.

To be fair, Doyle’s piece was obviously satire.  The piece was also disgusting in its anti-Catholic bias.  The same people who (correctly) decry the burning of the Koran seem to have no problem attacking the most fundamental tenets of Catholicism.  Roman Catholic worship centers around the Eucharist.  To call Mass a “barbaric ritual” and “cannibalistic” moves beyond satire towards hatred.

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Rick Santorum? Who Is the Real Zealot?

Source – FOXNews

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Plaintiff in Prayer Suit Ordered to Reveal Identity

CHATHAM, VA – A federal judge has ordered the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors to reveal her identity or face dismissal of the suit.  The unidentified woman, referred to in court papers as “Jane Doe”, is suing the Board of Supervisors because they open each meeting with a prayer.

Last week U.S. District Judge Michael Urbanski ruled that the woman has 30 days to reveal her identity or appeal his decision.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is serving as the attorney for the plaintiff.  Viriginia senator Bill Stanley (R-20), attorney for the Pittsylvania County Supervisors argued before Judge Urbanski that the woman should not be able to remain anonymous.

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Virginia Beach Pastor Dies After Delivering Sermon

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – It was like any other Sunday at New Jersualem Church of God in Christ.  Bishop Barnett K. Thoroughgood delivered his Sunday sermon and then sat down.  But this past Sunday Bishop Thoroughgood collapsed after taking his seat.  Parmedics were called, but could not revive the 62 year old pastor.

photo courtesy of the Virginian-Pilot

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Bishop Resigns After Admitting He Fathered Two Children

SAN GABRIEL, CA – The Rt. Rev. Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, has resigned his post after disclosing that he was the father of two children.  Zavala reported relayed his secret to Archbishop Jose Gomez before sending his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI.  Roman Catholic priests are required to hold a vow of celibacy.

In a letter to Los Angeles Catholics, Archbishop Gomez informed congregants of Zavala’s resignation and the Archdiocese’s intention to support Zavala’s children:

"The archdiocese has reached out to the mother and children to provide spiritual care as well as funding to assist the children with college costs," Gomez wrote. "The family’s identity is not known to the public, and I wish to respect their right to privacy."

Source – FOXNews

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It’s Tebow Time

We rarely discuss sports here at the DelMarVa Observer.  It’s a subject that we’re simply not equipped to handle and there are plenty of great sites out there that do a far better job than we could ever hope to do.  That said, this is less about sport than a about a phenomenon – Tim Tebow.

Fans (including a few Denver fans) seem to want him to fail.  The “experts” tell us that he’s simply not cut out to be a star quarterback in the NFL; he lacks the build and mechanics (so we’re told).  He places his Christian faith above his job as a Denver Broncos quarterback.  Worst of all, he has been quoted as saying “football is just a game”.  Yet, there he is, week after week, leading his team to victory and to the top of their division in the AFC West.

This isn’t just about Tebow’s faith either.  Many athletes acknowledge God, and thank him for their success.  No, the Tebow phenomenon is about piety and devotion, and the slow, subtle impact that God has wrought through one of his servants – who just happens to be the starting QB for the Denver Broncos.

Tebow thanks God, win or lose.  He states that God doesn’t really care who wins or loses.  Tebow isn’t bashful about sharing his faith or his love for his fellow man.  It is these traits that are having an impact.  Sure, Tebow the victorious hero (or Tebow the goat when he does finally lose) will be the headline.  But, the example that Tim Tebow is setting for America – young and old – is something that, we hope, will outlast the Monday morning headlines.

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Durbin Killing Commission on International Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will be shutting its doors in a week because a member of the Senate Democrat leadership cannot get a piece of pork.  Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has placed a hold on the $4 million of funding received by the commission because he wants the federal government to buy a state prison in Thomson, IL and turn it into a federal lock-up.

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Anti-Prayer Group Asks for Injunction

GEORGETOWN, DE – The group responsible for a lawsuit against the Sussex County Council has now asked for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the council from reciting the Lord’s Prayer before each meeting.  Americans United for Separation of Church and State is seeking an injunction to stop the recitation of the prayer until after their lawsuit has been decided.

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Have a Meaningful Thanksgiving

I know that this is sacrilege to some, but …

It’s not about turkey.  It’s not about football.  It’s not even about spending time with family and friends.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; [*particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen
- Book of Common Prayer, 1662.

We hope that you enjoy your dinner.  We hope that your football team wins.  We hope that you enjoy and appreciate the time spent with family and friends.  But most of all we hope that you remember WHY we celebrate this day and give thanks to our Lord for all that He has provided.

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Priest Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Elderly Parishioner

WILMINGTON, DE – Rev. Michael Angeloni, 62, has entered a guilty plea stemming from the theft of over $300,000 from an elderly parishioner.  Angeloni faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced in February.

Angeloni’s admission comes less than a month after another priest, the Rev. Cornelius Breslin, was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $383,000 restitution for stealing from his Wilmington parish.

Breslin, like Angeloni, had pleaded guilty to one count of theft of more than $100,000.

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Catholic Bishops to Meet in Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD – At a time when many Roman Catholic bishops believe that the United States, or at least its government, is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity, the nation’s Catholic bishops will meet in Baltimore this week to discuss these and other issues.

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New Missal Taking Some Getting Used To in Delmarva Diocese

DOVER, DE – The Wilmington News-Journal’s Gary Soulsman reports that parishioners in the Diocese of Wilmington, which spans the entire Delmarva Peninsula, are preparing to use the Roman Catholic Church’s new missal.  The new missal will begin use on November 27th, the first Sunday of Advent.

"A lot of people are up for this and some are not," says Sandy Winfrey of Dover’s Holy Cross Church, who is 62 and a lifelong Catholic.

Winfrey imagines that some ardent churchgoers will rebel against the dozen changes running through the new missal for worshippers. But imagine if you were a priest: They have close to 200 rephrasings.

The missal is a collection of prayers and instruction for worship.  Many Christian denominations use similar guides to worship.  Various versions of the Book of Common Prayer is used by Anglican provinces throughout the world. The Lutheran Book of Worship is used by Lutherans throughout North America.  Many Presbyterians use the Book of Common Worship.

photo courtesy of the News-Journal

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Maryland Bishops Call on All Catholics to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland’s Roman Catholic bishops have issued a letter to all Maryland parishioners calling on them to oppose any proposal to permit same-sex marriage in the state.  Entitled The Most Sacred of All Property: Religious Freedom and the People of Maryland, the letter is signed by the former archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O’Brien, who has been given a new assignment in Rome; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington; and W. Francis Malooly, bishop of Wilmington, DE.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has stated that passing a same-sex marriage bill will be a top priority in the 2012.  It was expected that such a measure would pass in the 2011 session, but was pulled when African-American members of the General Assembly withdrew their support when leaders of African-American churches throughout Maryland expressed vehement and vocal opposition to the bill.

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Billy Graham Turns 93

MONTREAT, NC – Billy Graham, the world’s best known evangelist, celebrates his 93rd birthday today.  Graham, who first came to prominence in 1949, is also publishing his 30th book.  Nearing Home addresses a range of topics from nearing the end of life to financial advice.

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