• YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Podcast

Pope Francis greets Muslims and urges both Christians and Muslims to promote mutual respect.

August 11, 2013
Vatican Radio
Pope Francis on Sunday urged Christians and Muslims to promote mutual respect , especially through the education of new generations. His remarks came at the end of his Angelus address when he sent greetings to Muslims throughout the world who have just celebrated the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Listen to Susy Hodges’ report:

Text of report below:

Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square about how God’s love is our greatest treasure. He said today’s gospel reading from St Luke talks to us about our desire for a meeting with Christ, calling it a key aspect of human life. All of us, the Pope said, “have this desire in our hearts, be it explicit or hidden.” In St. Luke’s account of Jesus walking with his disciples towards Jerusalem, Christ reveals to them what is really important for him at that time. The Pope says Jesus’s thoughts include a distancing from earthly goods, faith in the providence of the Father and his interior vigilance while awaiting the Kingdom of God. This gospel account, he continues, teaches us that a Christian is someone who carries within him a deep desire to meet the Lord together with his brethren and his companions along the way. All this can be summed up in Jesus’ words: “for wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”

Addressing the pilgrims directly, Pope Francis asked them two questions, “do you have a heart with a wish or do you have a closed heart, a sleeping heart, a heart that is anesthetized.” His second question for the pilgrims was: “Where is your treasure”, what for you is the most important and precious reality that attracts your heart like a magnet?” “Is it” he asked, “God’s love which is the desire to do good to others and live for the Lord?” Pope Francis went on to describe how God’s love keeps a family united and gives meaning to our daily tasks and also helps us to face up to the big challenges. This, he declared, is the true treasure for mankind. God’s love isn’t something vague and generic, “it has a name and a face, Jesus Christ.” The Pope said “God’s love gives value and beauty to every human activity” and it gives meaning to negative experiences. That’s because God’s love allows us to move beyond those experiences and not remain prisoners of evil but also be open to hope and the final destination of our pilgrimage.

Before reciting the Angelus prayer the Pope recalled today’s feast of St. Clare of Assisi who left everything to consecrate herself to Christ in poverty, following in the footsteps of St. Francis.
He said this saint gives us a beautiful witness of today’s gospel and she helps us, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, to live it out, each one according to their own vocation.

After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis departed from his prepared remarks to recall that this coming Thursday is the solemnity of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven and said on that day we will honour Her. He then said he wished to send greetings to Muslims, our brothers, throughout the world who have just finished celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan . Referring to his earlier message released to mark this event, the Pope said he hoped that Christians and Muslims will strive to “promote mutual respect, especially through the education of the new generations.”

He concluded his remarks by greetings all the pilgrims and groups present and reminding them of the words which were the motto of the recent World Youth Day gathering in Rio: “Go and make disciples among all nations.”

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/08/11/pope_francis_greets_muslims_and_urges_both_christians_and_muslims_to/en1-718872
of the Vatican Radio website

Religious family survives being lost at sea

By GREG MOORE, Associated Press | August 10, 2013 | Updated: August 11, 2013 5:28pm

Photo By Las Ultimas Noticias

Hannah Gastonguay, holding her baby Rahab, is followed by her husband Sean and the
couple’s 3-year-old daughter Ardith, as they disembark in the port city of
San Antonio, Chile, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.
PHOENIX (AP) The Houston Chronicle — A northern Arizona family has survived being lost at sea for weeks after an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion.
Hannah Gastonguay and her family will fly back home Sunday after taking their two small children and her father-in-law and setting sail from San Diego for the tiny island nation of Kiribati in May.
Weeks into their journey, the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress. They were eventually picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel, transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and taken to Chile.
Their flights home were arranged by U.S. Embassy officials, Gastonguay said. The U.S. State Department declined to comment on Sunday.
The months-long journey has been “pretty exciting” and “little scary at certain points,” Gastonguay told The Associated Press by telephone.
The 26-year-old mother said they wanted to go to Kiribati because “we didn’t want to go anywhere big.” She said they understood the island to be “one of the least developed countries in the world.”
Kiribati is a group of islands just off the equator and the international date line about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The total population is just over 100,000 people of primarily Micronesian descent.
Hannah Gastonguay said her family was fed up with government control in the U.S. As Christians they don’t believe in “abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church,” she said.
U.S. “churches aren’t their own,” Gastonguay said, suggesting that government regulation interfered with religious independence.
Among other differences, she said they had a problem with being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.” While federal law bars public funding for abortion, state attempts to block Medicaid funding for organizations that provide the procedure have met with legal hurdles. Opponents say that funding allows those groups to perform abortions.
The Gastonguays weren’t members of any church, and Hannah Gastonguay said their faith came from reading the Bible and through prayer.
“The Bible is pretty clear,” she said.
The family moved in November from Ash Fork, Ariz., to San Diego, where they lived on their boat as they prepared to set sail. She said she gave birth to the couple’s 8-month-old girl on the boat, which was docked in a slip at the time.
In May, Hannah, her 30-year-old husband Sean, his father Mike, and the couple’s daughters, 3-year-old Ardith and baby Rahab set off. They wouldn’t touch land again for 91 days, she said.
She said at first, “We were cruising.”
But within a couple of weeks “when we came out there, storm, storm, storm.”
The boat had taken a beating, and they decided to set course for the Marquesas Islands. Instead, they found themselves in a “twilight zone,” taking more and more damage, leaving them unable to make progress.

Mystery Priest Who Showed Up at a Crash Scene Then Vanished Has Been Identified — and Here’s the Unlikely Way He Came Forward

Mystery Priest Who Showed Up at Crash Scene Then Vanished Is Identified | Rev. Patrick Dowling
Rev. Patrick Dowling (Photo Credit: Diocese of Jefferson County)
The mystery priest who recently showed up at a crash site, anointed a victim and then vanished has been identified — and he came forward by posting his identity in the comments section of a Catholic news site. The story began on Aug. 4, after Aaron Smith, 26, struck Katie Lentz, 19, in a head-on car crash. In the days that followed, the tale of a faith leader who disappeared went viral.
But now the individual, who brought calm upon the situation and who rescue workers have been hoping to find and thank, has been found. A press release provided to TheBlaze from the Diocese of Jefferson County confirmed that the Rev. Patrick Dowling, one of the priests who works with the diocese, is the individual whom they have been seeking.
While some assumed the mystery priest was an angel or a deceased Catholic saint coming back to shower goodwill upon mankind, it seems these individuals’ theories were incorrect; it was, in fact, a caring bystander and faith leader who took the time to help a young woman in crisis.
The statement, provided to TheBlaze by spokesperson Deacon Dan Joyce, head of communications for the diocese, reads (Joyce also confirmed these details with TheBlaze, noting that he has spoken with the priest about what unfolded):
The Diocese of Jefferson City has identified the priest who assisted at the site of the Sunday morning, August 4, 2013 auto accident near Center, Mo. He is Rev. Patrick Dowling, a priest of the Jefferson City Diocese. Fr. Dowling was travelling Hwy 19 between Mass assignments that morning in northern and central Missouri.
Fr. Dowling said that he is pleased that he was able to help by performing his ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident. He and the Diocese wish to acknowledge and thank the first responders, medical team and law enforcement personnel for their efforts that morning in aid of the young woman injured in the accident.
Fr. Dowling, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., in 1982. He has served at parishes in Moberly, Monroe City, Indian Creek, Milan, Unionville and Eldon, Mo., and in the diocese’s mission parishes in Marcona and Nasca, Peru.
He is currently serving in prison ministry and in parish ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics.
Rather than coming forward in a more ceremonial or traditional way, on Friday evening, Dowling chose to post a message in the comments section of an article on a Catholic news site — one that went widely unnoticed until this afternoon.
Posting on an article written in the National Catholic Register about the incident and the search for the mystery hero, the priest detailed what unfolded. He wrote that on his way home from a Mass — one during which he was filling in for a sick priest — he arrived at the crash scene. With authorities re-routing traffic (TheBlaze previously reported that the scene was shut down for a one-fourth of a mile radius), he waited until it was possible to get closer.

Fast-Moving Debates Delve into Questions on Islam

August 10, 2013 (Ypsilanti, MI) – Verbal fireworks erupted at one point and microphones were shut down by debate moderator, conference host and CEO of Ave Maria Communications Al Kresta this afternoon during a debate between Shadid Lewis and Robert Spencer. The two men debated the question, “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”

Lewis, U.S.A. Regional Director of the Muslim Debate Initiative, argued that Islam indeed is a religion of peace and used quotes from the Koran to support his position. Spencer, director of Jihad Watch and author of a dozen books, began the debate by saying that since there had been so much controversy surrounding his appearance, he “decided not to show up” and instead would use direct quotes from the Koran and from Islamic scholars and other leaders to bolster his position that Islam is not a religion of peace but rather of extreme jihadist violence.

In a debate format with timed presentations, rebuttals, cross-examination and questions and answers from the audience, the two men made their cases. Spencer quoted passages from the Koran supporting violence against unbelievers, such as “If they turn away, kill them wherever you find them.” He also cited violent jihadist actions such as the Boston marathon bombing, the Woolwich attack and the 9/11 attacks. Lewis responded by saying that when there is a dispute about what Islam teaches or what the Koran says, you are to consult the Koran itself for clarification, quoting a passage which says shall I seek a judge other than Allah?” Then he proceeded to quote passages from the Koran supporting peace, such as one which says that if [unbelievers] turn away, your job is only to deliver the message.

Al Kresta, moderating the debate, at one point distilled the discussion down to two questions for the debaters: “this goes to the heart of the debate. Two things: can non-Muslims be targeted because they are non-Muslim, and secondly, can one reject Islam in good faith?” 

In closing statements, Lewis again asserted that the violent acts of a few should not taint our view of Islam as a whole. He compared jihadist Muslims to Christians who made flawed assertions about Christian beliefs in centuries past, and said that Islam warns Muslims against blindly following religious leaders.
Roberts again responded by quoting Muslim leaders who support violent jihad and concluded, “This is an awful lot of high powered misunderstanding of Islam… Unfortunately, there are not enough moderate scholars to have any influence on the violent jihadists….When was the last time you heard of anyone reading the Bible and committing an act of violence, with copious quotes? However, there have been many recent incidences of people doing exactly this with the Koran…. We can thank God that there are Islamic scholars who disagree with this, but it’s foolish to pretend that it’s not happening.”          

Thompson debates Akyol on feasibility of moderate Islam

Shadid Lewis and Mustafa Akyol debated
on behalf of Islam being a peaceful religion

August 10, 2013 (Ypsilanti, MI) – Today’s debates in EMU’s Grand Ballroom began with Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, and Mustafa Akyol, Turkish columnist and author who flew in from Turkey for the day, debating the question, “Does Islam Support Religious Liberty?”

Akyol, comparing Islamic-Christian differences to those between Judaism and Christianity, claimed that “Islam respects Jesus and Mary and so is closer to Christianity.” The question Akyol wanted to address was, “Can we get along?” and he claims that Islam actually recognizes Judaism and Christianity as valid monotheistic faiths.
“It is interesting that most persecution against people of other faiths has happened in the 20th century, for example the Armenian genocide. Yes, Christians have suffered under Muslims, but it was due to nationalism since the Christian Armenians had coexisted with Muslims for centuries before that.” Akyol pointed out that the source of 20th century conflicts could be land, resources, or tribal, and said that we should not over-religionize these conflicts because their sources are usually not religious.
However, Akyol claims, the biggest problem in Islam today that threatens religious freedom is the ban on apostasy or conversion from Islam to any other religion. Akyol himself defended “freedom for Islam and from Islam,” and said the ban on apostosy doesn’t come from the Koran but from post-Koranic literature on which much of Sharia law is built. It’s also coming from an era in which religion and politics were more intertwined – In medieval times, conversion away from Islam was akin to joining the enemy army.
Akyol argues that Islam can support religious liberty if these are reformed.
Richard Thompson then took the stage and began by telling conference attendees thatit’s “disrespectful of Islam” to not take them at their word. “What does Islam stand for? 9/11, Boston marathon bombing, Somalia, anti-semitism, forced marriages, death for blasphemy and apostasy.” He went on to explain that most Muslims are not jihadists but most Germans were not Nazis – there is a small group that directs the agenda of the whole. Thompson says that Akyol wants Islam to be something it isn’t, and used a WWII example to set the stage for what he was about to do: “Tell the truth; use their own words.”
Thompson went on to quote Akyol’s book, Islam without Extremes: “Islamic societies in the modern world are not beacons of freedom.” He gave this and other examples from Akyol’s book to show that “Islam is a violent religion, was borne of violence, and spreads by violence. We have to understand that if we are to survive as a nation.”
Thompson says that Muslims already “fought that battle” between moderate and extreme Islam centuries ago, and the moderates lost. Even Turkey, once held up as an example of moderate Islam, is becoming more extreme today. He says we don’t have time to change Islam, since Muslim countries are beginning to acquire nuclear weapons. Thompson concluded, “We have to be vigilant and understand the nature of the enemy, which is to destroy the United States of America.”
Debate followed, and cross-examination ensued, moderated by Kresta. The remainder of the debate focused on trying to identify who is the enemy, since both men agreed that not all Muslims are violent but that some Muslims are extreme jihadists who pose a threat to the U.S.

Morning Groundwork Laid

August 10, 2013 (Ypsilanti, MI) – The “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” conference began today by laying the groundwork for the debates later. Al Kresta spoke on “The Big Difference” between Islam and Christianity, and Andrew Bieszad on “Common and Rocky Ground.”

Kresta’s talk began with a short YouTube video of a rap by a young Muslim woman, clarifying that we are not discussing here whether Muslims are good or bad people, but whether Islam is a religion of peace, and with a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Islam.
Kresta began to juxtapose Islam and Christianity by presenting a conflict: “is the God of Mohammed also the Father of Jesus? … There is no way to fit this together. Islam’s reason for existence is to proclaim the utter uniqueness of God: He is no Father, and He has no Son… Muslims unequivocally deny the fatherhood of God and the sonship of Christ.”

He went on, “This is the big difference. How would Christianity and Islam answer these questions: Are human beings made in God’s image? Does God establish covenants with people?…. We believe Christ images the Father and as Christians we must also image Him in our art. Islam considers this not a step forward but blasphemous.”

Andrew Bieszad, in his talk again detailed contrasts between Christianity and Islam, and then outlined options for coexistence, for example, conversion of the Muslim world through Our Lady of Fatima. Formal consecration of Russia to Mary may be the way to conversion.

Problems in the West make it seem that only a miracle could save the West from Islamicization. “But Jesus is the living God of miracles…. He gave his mother to us as a great intercessor. It is she who put the crescent of Islam under her foot.”

Biezsad ended by encouraging us all to petition the Holy Father to make a formal consecration of Russia to Our Lady of Fatima, and a plea for Mary to pray for us.

ObamaCare ‘death panel’ faces growing opposition from Democrats

By Elise Viebeck - 08/08/13 05:00 AM ET 
The Hill   

ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean drew attention to the board designed to limit Medicare cost growth when he called for its repeal in an op-ed late last month.

Dean was quickly criticized by supporters of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), who noted his ties to the healthcare industry as an adviser to a major D.C. lobbying firm.

But the former Vermont governor is not the only Democrat looking to kill the panel.

A wave of vulnerable Democrats over the past three months has signed on to bills repealing the board’s powers, including Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Reps. Ron Barber (Ariz.), Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Elizabeth Esty (Conn.).

All five are considered vulnerable in next year’s election, highlighting the stakes and the political angst surrounding the healthcare measure.

The four House Democrats faced criticism from their party in July after voting with Republicans to delay ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates — moves widely interpreted as political positioning ahead of 2014.

Two of the lawmakers explained their opposition by suggesting the board would limit care for Medicare patients.

But the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) blasted the four Democrats for “desperately trying to jump off the ObamaCare train.”

The cost-cutting board has been dogged with controversy over the last three years.


Major healthcare interests like the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the pharmaceutical lobby have supported IPAB repeal, saying the panel would cut providers’ pay arbitrarily.

Public awareness of the board shot up last year when Palin called it a “death panel,” connecting the IPAB to her previous attacks on a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning in the Affordable Care Act.

“Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is, many of these accusers finally saw that ObamaCare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life and death decisions about healthcare funding,” Palin wrote on Facebook.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/316045-obamacare-cost-cutting-board-faces-growing-opposition-from-democrats#ixzz2bUbfoyrO
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

IRS agent: Tax agency is still targeting Tea Party groups

By PAUL BEDARD | AUGUST 9, 2013 AT 6:35 AM   
Washington Examiner

Chairman Dave Camp
 House Ways and Means Committee
Chairman Dave Camp

In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted.

In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special “secondary screening” because the agency has yet to come up with new guidance on how to judge the tax status of the groups.

In a redacted transcript from the committee provided to Secrets, a Ways & Means investigator asked: “If you saw — I am asking this currently, if today if a Tea Party case, a group — a case from a Tea Party group came in to your desk, you reviewed the file and there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case? Is that something you would do?”

The agent said, “At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy.”
The committee staffer then said, “So you would treat a Tea Party group as a political advocacy case even if there was no evidence of political activity on the application. Is that right?” The agent admitted, “Based on my current manager’s direction, uh-huh.”

Camp called the renewed targeting of Tea Party groups “outrageous.”
Added a committee aide, “In plain English, the IRS is still targeting Tea Party cases.”

During 2010-2012 period when the anti-Obama Tea Party groups faced special scrutiny from the president’s IRS, agents used a “be on the lookout,” or BOLO, list which said groups with words like “Tea Party” in their title should face special, secondary screening for political activities that might hamper their special tax status.

When the scandal erupted after a Treasury Department inspector general revealed the improper political scrutiny, the acting head of the IRS, Danny Werfel, said the BOLO list had been suspended. That was six weeks ago.

But because there is nothing in its place, agents apparently either don’t know how to handle Tea Party tax exempt applications, or are too scared to make a decision.

Asked by the committee how it handles Tea Party applications, the agent said, “If a political advocacy case came in today, I would give it — or talk about it to my manager because right now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half.”

Camp, the Michigan Republican, told Secrets, “It is outrageous that IRS management continues to target Tea Party cases without any justification. The harassment, abuse and delays these Americans have faced over the last few years has been unwarranted, unprovoked and, at times, possibly illegal. The fact that the IRS still continues to treat the Tea Party differently and subject them to additional targeting is outrageous and it must stop immediately.”

In response, the IRS reiterated Werfel’s pledge to not target groups because of political labels. “The IRS has taken decisive action to eliminate the use of inappropriate political labels in the screening of 501(c)(4) applications. We look forward to seeing the full transcript to gain a fuller understanding of the context of the interview,” they said early Friday.

Werfel, called in to fix the scandal, directed the IRS to eliminate the use of BOLO lists. The statement said that “IRS policy is now clear that screening is based on activity, not words in a name. The new steps and current policies…specifically spells out that political campaign intervention will be reviewed without regard to specific labels. The IRS will not tolerate any deviation from this.”

In an IRS review, the plan was that after the BOLO lists were removed, political labels would be ignored by the “Determinations Unit” as they screened for information for those seeking tax exempt status.

Below is the Ways & Means Committee transcript of the IRS official.
Wednesday, August 1, 2013
Committee: Today, currently, how do you analyze advocacy cases. If, for example, Tea Party of Arkansas came in today, how would you handle it?
IRS agent: Well, the BOLO list doesn’t exist anymore.
Committee: Sure.
IRS: If a political advocacy case came in today, I would give it — or talk about it to my manager because right now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half.

Read the rest here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/irs-agent-tax-agency-is-still-targeting-tea-party-groups/article/2534044

‘Angel’ priest visits Missouri accident scene

Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY 11:04 a.m. EDT August 8, 2013

A mystery priest who suddenly appeared at a Mo. accident scene is being called an angel.


Even odder, the black-garbed priest does not appear in any of the nearly 70 photos of the scene of the accident in which a 19-year-old girl almost died. No one knows the priest and he vanished without a word, said Raymond Reed, fire chief of New London, Mo.

“I think it’s a miracle,” Reed said. “I would say whether it was an angel that was sent to us in the form of a priest or a priest that became our angel, I don’t know. Either way, I’m good with it.”

Carla Churchill Lentz, mother of the teen who was critically injured, said emergency workers have told her there is no way her daughter should have lived inside such a mangled car. Of the priest, she said, “I do believe he certainly could have been an angel dressed in priest’s attire because the Bible tells us there are angels among us.”

The scene unfolded Sunday morning. Katie Lentz, a sophomore at Tulane University, was driving from her parents’ home in Quincy, Ill., to Jefferson City, Mo., where she has a summer internship and planned to attend church with friends. The Mercedes she was driving collided with another vehicle on a highway near Center, Mo. The accident crushed Lentz’s vehicle into a ball of sheet metal that lay on the driver’s side, Reed said.


Reed’s team and emergency workers from several other jurisdictions tried for at least 45 minutes to remove the twisted metal from around Lentz. Various pieces of equipment broke and the team was running out of choices. A helicopter waited to carry Lentz to the nearest trauma center. Though Lentz appeared calm, talking about her church and her studies toward a dentistry degree, her vital signs were beginning to fail, Reed said.

“I was pulled off to the side by one of the members of the” helicopter evacuation team, Reed said. “He expressed to me that we were out of time. Her condition looked grim for her coming out of that vehicle alive. She was facing major problems.”

At that point, Reed’s team agreed to take the life-threatening chance of sitting the vehicle upright so that Lentz could be removed from it. This is dangerous because a sudden change in pressure to the body can be critical, he said.

That’s when Lentz asked if someone would pray with her and a voice said, “I will.”

The silver-haired priest in his 50s or 60s in black pants, black shirt and black collar with visible white insert stepped forward from nowhere. It struck Reed as odd because the street was blocked off 2 miles from the scene and no one from the nearby communities recognized him.

“We’re all local people from four different towns,” Reed said. “We’ve only got one Catholic church out of three towns and it wasn’t their priest.”

Reed and the other emergency workers were on their knees. The priest of about medium build, maybe 6-feet-tall, stood above them.

“This priest approached Katie and began to pray openly with her,” Reed said. “He had a bottle of anointing oil with him and he used that.”

Another firefighter who had been watching said it appeared as if the priest also sprinkled Reed and two other emergency workers nearby with oil.

Everything happened quickly after that. Twenty emergency workers pulled together and sat the car upright, Churchill Lentz said. Katie Lentz’s vital signs improved and a rescue team from a neighboring community suddenly appeared with fresh equipment and tools. Lentz was removed and rushed to the hospital.

With Lentz gone, the rescue team prepared to clean up, Reed said.

“We all go back to thank this priest and he’s gone,” he said.

Initially, they assumed he had to get to his home church to lead Sunday services. But then they looked at their photos of the scene.

“I have 69 photographs that were taken from minutes after that accident happened — bystanders, the extrication, our final cleanup — and he’s not in them,” Reed said. “All we want to do is thank him.”

Read the rest here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/07/angel-crash-missouri/2630227/

Catholic radio host defends Islamic scholar’s debate choice



Citing the need for public dialogue, Catholic radio host Al Kresta defended Islamic scholar Shadid Lewis’ invite to controversial critic Robert Spencer to a symposium and debate sponsored by Ave Maria Radio.
“It was Shadid Lewis of the Muslim Debate Initiative who called for a public debate with Spencer,” Kresta said Aug. 7, adding that he “was disappointed that Robert Spencer’s participation was treated as a sign of ill will.”

Spencer, the author of the book “Religion of Peace,” is one of several speakers at an Aug. 10 symposium at Eastern Michigan University on the topic “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”

A Catholic columnist, blogger and bestselling author, Spencer has led seminars for the U.S. Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and other government agencies.

He is scheduled to debate Shadid Lewis, a member of the Muslim Debate Initiative and a former president of a Hampton, Va., mosque.

The invitation drew criticism from those who charged that Spencer spreads anti-Islamic and bigoted rhetoric. However, Kresta – who is the president and CEO of Ave Maria Communications – defended the decision, saying that Lewis had called for it as an opportunity for engagement.

“Have we lost our confidence in honest confrontation?” Kresta asked. “Spencer’s positions are held by millions of Americans and if they are baseless, the competent Muslim apologists will demonstrate it.”

“To those who sit on the sidelines and criticize, I prefer my way of bringing people together to their way of not doing it.”

Lewis told the Detroit Free Press in a recent interview that Spencer “represents true bigotry.” He cited the actions of the U.K. government, which barred Spencer from the country on the ground that his presence would not be “conducive to the public good.”

“It’s a pretty big thing to be banned from a country,” Lewis said.

Spencer said Aug. 7 on his blog Jihad Watch the ban was the consequence of “smears and defamation.”

His blog argues that non-Muslims are facing “a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by Western media, to destroy their societies and impose Islamic law upon them — and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach.”

Spencer says that violent jihad is “a constant of Islamic history and a central element of Islamic theology.”

Dawood Zwink, executive director of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, charged that Spencer’s presentations are “incendiary” and “not in keeping with American values of civil dialogue.”

“I think it’s sad to see that this group would try to stage this kind of confrontational encounter, when Catholic and Muslim leaders are engaged in an ongoing, cordial dialogue,” Zwink told the Detroit Free Press.

Spencer said his critics were off-base.

“It would be nice for someone to have the courage to say that there is nothing wrong with resisting jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, but that may be too much to hope for in today’s politically correct age,” he wrote on his blog.

Read the rest here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-radio-host-defends-islamic-scholars-debate-choice/

Page 42 of 52« First...102030...4041424344...50...Last »
YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Podcast