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  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 4, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 4, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Does the Pope think Nature has Rights?

    • Segment Guests:
      • Kresta Comments

    + Segment #2 of 3

    When the Church was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers

    • Description: How much do we really know about the early days of the Church? How do we know truths such as the concept of the Trinity if they don’t explicitly appear in Scripture? The answers lie in the lives of the early Church fathers. Marcellino d’Ambrosio joins us.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Marcellino d'Ambrosio

        Dr. d’Ambrosio is the bestselling author of “Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about the Passion of the Christ.” The book sold more than a million copies in less than three months. He is also the author of “When the Church was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers” and “40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look on Lent” He received a Ph.D. in historical theology from the Catholic University of America and his writings have been published in Our Sunday Visitor and Catholic News Services’ “Faith Alive.”

      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    When the Church was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers (con't)

  • Will Climate Change Split the Church?

    by Candida Moss via TheDailyBeast.com
    American conservatives may freak out over Pope Francis’ environmental message, but they’re out of touch with the mood among global Catholics.
    Later this summer, Pope Francis will release his encyclical on the environment and human ecology. While Francis’s predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II regularly spoke on environmental issues, this will be the first papal document to focus on the relationship between human beings and creation.A historic meeting at the Vatican this week on climate change and sustainable development suggests climate change—and, more importantly, humanity’s role in the destruction of the planet—are going to be key features of the encyclical’s message.This comes as unwelcome news to skeptics who deny that global warming is man-made. The encyclical isn’t even out yet and at least one climate-change-denying conservative group has claimed that the Pope has been misled and misinformed.

    As a result, media commentators are already speculating about whether or not the issue of climate change will be a schismatic one for the Roman Catholic Church. If Francis pushes too hard on the issue, some claim there could be a new polarization in the church.

    To help muddle through the issues, I discussed politics, the environment, and Francis’s forthcoming encyclical with Dr. Christiana Peppard, author of Just Water and a specialist in environmental ethics who teaches in the theology department at Fordham University.

    Break out your crystal ball for me, what do you think the encyclical will say?

    Many people are focusing on the document as a “climate encyclical.” Surely it will address climate change, and that’s crucial. But it will be about morality, not just science—or what I like to say are the values needed in relation to scientific facts and contemporary global political economy.

    The term “integral ecology” will probably figure into the encyclical, which I see as Francis’ distinctive way of talking about how economic development must be oriented towards the quality of relationships—among humans, of course, but also between humans and the earth.

    When Benedict talked about ecology he linked the degradation of the environment with—what he saw as disordered—sexual orientation. Can we expect more of the same from Francis?

    I doubt it—he’s more likely to take a structural lens, and to condemn greed and throwaway cultures and sexual trafficking.

    Those who would like to see a sexual revolution in the Church’s teachings on contraception will most likely be disappointed. The papal legacies leading up to this ecology encyclical suggest a focus on consistent “ethic of life” teachings. We might hear about the human right to a clean, healthy environment; in fact, the Vatican has already referred to fresh water as a “right to life issue” but we probably won’t hear about rights to choose birth control.

    Speaking of birth control, or lack of it, is there a tension between Catholic teachings on contraception and the family and Francis’s position on the environment? 

    Population debates are where sexual, social, and environmental ethics collide in vexed ways. [But] Pro-life stances are not always pro-natalist. Historical papal statements suggest the virtue of prudence in family planning. [And] from a sociological vantage point, it’s pretty clear that many Catholics choose to use birth control when given the option.

    Some might say that providing iPads and sweet sixteen cars for wealthy consumerist Western babies will unduly burden the planet. Isn’t population control an issue?

    Yes, it’s a huge factor. But let’s be clear: not all people around the world are equally resource-consumptive. In fact, viewed from the angle of consumptive impact, it would be super-developed countries like the U.S. that need to slow our reproductive rates in order to be proportionate consumers of the earth’s goods. Blaming “population” in general can be pernicious because it’s a way to make the problem seem “out there” (with rapidly reproducing groups) than to take a self-critical look at our own patterns of consumption.

    What about issues that irk conservatives? Namely, human responsibility. Can we expect Francis to stress the issue of manmade climate change or will he shy away from the issue?

    Up until a few weeks ago, I was skeptical that he’d hit hard on anthropogenic climate change. After several Vatican statements [by Cardinal Peter Turkson and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences], I’m willing to say that I think he will push hard on it! Not only do I now think he’ll affirm scientific consensus: I think he’ll mince no words in stipulating how “super-developed,” industrialized countries like the U.S. bear a lion’s share of the responsibility for anthropogenic climate change and thus—crucially—for its remediation. He’s not going to let anyone off the hook, nor is he going to get sucked in to U.S.-style partisan antics. He’s got bigger scope and is not (a) servant to election cycles, fiscal quarters, or industry lobbies.

    Bravo il Papa, but are there any risks for Francis in engaging this particular issue in this way? Many media commentators worry about Francis’s relationship with the political and religious right.

    I don’t think Francis cares very much what most American pundits and lobbyists think. You know, all the rhetoric about whether he’ll “break the Church,” or is somehow under the misguided spell of Al Gore … is a form of self-justifying navel gazing. It universalizes a very particular, biased American vantage point; and in so doing, it misses the moral point about planetary interdependence across time and space. Catholic also means “catholic,” as in “everyone,” not just “white American male pundits.”

    Have any of those commentators happened to ask people in, say, the Philippines what they think about the Pope’s anticipated teachings on ecology, or whether they feel that he might break the Church by talking about climate change? Because guess what: [people] have been talking about climate change and environmental degradation as moral responsibilities and theological issues for over a decade. As one Filipino colleague said to me in mid-April: “Of course, it makes sense.”

    Beyond the politics of this, is there anything important that you think really needs to be on the table here?

    I see Francis’ amplification of Catholic environmental ethics as the latest iteration of the Catholic Church’s long history of navigating the relationship between scientific knowledge and theological tradition. That legacy is multifaceted, of course. But when the Pope and Pontifical Academy of Sciences take science and scientists seriously, it’s a legacy that I look forward to watching unfold. Forty years from now I think we will look back on this time as a cognitive-moral revolution of its own kind, one for which denialism and inaction constitute moral failures.

    I assume you mean if we have a planet to look back upon. Otherwise we can all play “I told you so” in heaven.

  • St. Athanasius Against the World


    by Fr. Steve Grunow via WordonFire.org

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    “The Eternal Word, the Son, was in no way degraded by receiving a human and mortal body. Rather, he deified what he put on; and more than that, he bestowed the gift of his divinity upon our humanity.” 

    — St. Athanasius

    St. Athanasius lived when the blood of the Church’s earliest martyrs was still fresh in the memories of Christians—and the intensity of his faith was a tribute to those who had suffered and died rather than recant the Apostolic Faith. He is described by biographers as being small in stature and stark in appearance with a body that bore clear signs of his rigorously ascetic life. Athanasius was an Egyptian, his skin dark, eyes deep set and piercing, with a mind as penetrating as his gaze.

    He did not suffer fools. His disposition challenges our conception of holiness as being nice and well-mannered. Athanasius was more than willing to fight if provoked, and when the Church was threatened he did not just speak up, he shouted.

    Providence chose him for high office as bishop of the See of Alexandria, but this appointment would not bring him a comfortable existence or easy honors.

    The great issue that was dividing the Church at the time was Arianism, a heresy that purported that the Lord Jesus was less than God— not, as our creed professes, “consubstantial with the Father, God from God and Light from Light,” but instead, Christ was akin to something like the demigods of pagan mythology.

    Athanasius would have none of this.

    He stubbornly insisted that it is integral to the Apostolic Faith that God in Christ accepted a human nature, while at the same time in no way compromising his divine nature. This revelation is called the Incarnation, and it is the central claim of the Gospel. God has in Christ assumed our flesh and shared with us the full experience of what it means to be human, even knowing for himself suffering and death.

    The implications of this are profound; Athanasius insisted that because of what God had accomplished in Christ, “that which is made of earth can now pass through the gates of heaven.”

    In other words, God in Christ is the singular instance in which two natures, human and divine, co-inhere in one divine person. Because God has done this, he has effected for us, in Christ, a “marvelous exchange”- accepting a human nature so that humanity could share in his divine nature.

    Athanasius knew that a denial of the Incarnation would ultimately result in a wholesale repudiation of the totality of the Church’s Faith, indeed in a refusal of the whole Christian practice of life, which flows from and returns us to the densely textured revelation of God become man in Christ. At times, his uncompromising insistence that the integrity of the Apostolic Faith regarding the Incarnation be maintained resulted in much suffering and scorn, and it seemed that Athanasius was alone and “contra mundi.” But Athanasius was unyielding.

    If faith in the Incarnation was lost, not only would the Church fall, but the great gift of participation in the divine life that Christ offered to humanity could not be appreciated or received. The stakes were high.

    The witness of St. Athanasius clarifies just how much theology matters. How we conceive of the truths of the Faith is of pressing importance. The great truths we profess in our creed and celebrate in our liturgy are not to be taken lightly or dismissed as abstractions that are best left to experts. We have a responsibility as disciples to know the Church’s teachings at a measure of depth, or the mission Christ gives us will be imperiled. A disciple cannot be content with a spiritual life that is built on the sandy foundations of platitudes or slogans. Christ comes into this world as a man so that we might know him as God. The Christian spiritual life is a continual intensification of our experience and understanding of this revelation.

    The tendency to dilute or deny the truth of the Incarnation has been a temptation in every age of the Church’s life. Some prefer that Christ’s divinity be emptied of all significance and meaning. Others would make his humanity incidental to his revelation. Neither option is congruent with the Apostolic Faith or expresses who the Lord Jesus truly is “for us and for our salvation.”

    The world may prefer another kind of Christ, but if that is the world’s preference, Athanasius invites us to stand with him “contra mundi.”

  • 2 Men Shot Dead After Opening Fire Outside Muhammad Art Exhibit In Garland, Texas

    by Adam Goldberg via HuffingtonPost.com

    Two men have been shot dead after opening fire outside of an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Garland, Texas, according to reports from WFAA andNBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth.

    The two men fired towards the Curtis Culwell Center and hit security guard Bruce Joiner, who was shot in the lower leg and suffered non-life threatening injuries, per WFAA. NBC 5 reports that Joiner has already been released after being taken to a local hospital.

    The Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest was organized by Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Islamic organization that is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    The local CBS affiliate also notes the two suspects were shot dead.


    NBC 5 has more details on the Muhammad Art Exhibit:

    The Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The group claims the event is an effort to stand up against violent intimidation.


    The exhibit, according to CBS DFW, was organized by Geller in response to a Muslim event held earlier this year at the same venue which was meant to combat Islamophobia. A representative of the local Council of American Islamic Relations chapter spoke to the CBS affiliate in February about Geller’s event:

    Alia Salem of the DFW Chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations says supports free speech. “We should have free speech, and nobody’s stopping her from doing this, go ahead, maybe there’ll be some Muslims entering this, who knows.”

    But Salem says she hopes the Muslim Community will ignore this event. “While it is her right, it’s not really in good taste to be honest because it’s just a shameless attempt to get a reaction out of the Muslim Community, that’s how we view it. It’s not any attempt to promote free speech.”

    Gov. Greg Abbott (R) praised the police response to the shooting:

    “Texas officials are actively investigating to determine the cause and scope of the senseless attack in Garland, Texas,” Abbott stated. “This is a crime that was quickly ended thanks to the swift action by Garland law enforcement. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected tonight.”


    GARLAND, Texas (AP) — Two gunmen were killed Sunday in Texas after opening fire on a security officer outside a provocative contest for cartoon depictions of Prophet Muhammad, and a bomb squad was called in to search their vehicle as a precaution, authorities said.

    The men drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center in the Dallas suburb of Garland as the event was scheduled to end and began shooting at the security officer, the City of Garland said in a statement. Garland police officers returned fire, killing the men.

    Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said it was not immediately clear whether the shooting was connected to the event inside, a contest hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

    But he said at a late Sunday news conference that authorities were searching the gunmen’s vehicle for explosives, saying, “Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car (is) possibly containing a bomb.”

    Drawings such at the ones featured at the Texas event are deemed insulting to many followers of Islam and have sparked violence around the world. According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad — even a respectful one — is considered blasphemous.

    The Curtis Culwell Center, a school-district owned public events space where the Texas event was held, was evacuated after the shooting, as were some surrounding businesses. The evacuation was lifted several hours later and police were not aware of any ongoing threat, but a large area around the center remained blocked off late into the night.

    Police helicopters circled overhead as bomb squads worked on the car. Harn said the bodies of the gunmen, who had not yet been identified, were not immediately taken from the scene because they were too close to the car. He said they would be removed once the car was cleared.

    The wounded security officer, who was unarmed, worked for the Garland Independent School District, Harn said. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

    Harn said the district hires security for events at its facilities, but noted additional security also was in place for Sunday’s event. The sponsoring group has said it paid $10,000 for off-duty police officers and other private security.

    Harn said the city had not received any credible threats before the shooting.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said state officials are investigating, and Dallas FBI spokeswoman Katherine Chaumont said that agency is providing investigative and bomb technician assistance.

    The event featured speeches by American Freedom Defense Initiative president Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker known for his outspoken criticism of Islam. Wilders received several standing ovations from the crowd and left immediately after his speech.

    Wilders, who has advocated closing Dutch doors to migrants from the Islamic world for a decade, has lived under round-the-clock police protection since 2004.

    After the shooting, authorities escorted about 75 contest attendees to another room in the conference center, where a woman held up an American flag, and the crowd sang “God Bless America.”

    The group was then taken to a separate location, where they were held for about two hours until being briefly questioned by FBI agents before being released.

    Johnny Roby of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who was attending the contest, told the Associated Press he was outside the building when he heard around about 20 shots that appeared to be coming from the direction of a passing car.

    Roby said he then heard two single shots. He said he heard officers yell that they had the car before he was sent inside the building.

    Geller told the AP before Sunday’s event that she planned the contest to make a stand for free speech in response to outcries and violence over drawings of Muhammad. She said in a statement issued Sunday night that the shooting showed how “needed our event really was.”

    In January, 12 people were killed by gunmen in an attack against the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had lampooned Islam and other religions and used depictions of Muhammad. Another deadly shooting occurred the following month at a free speech event in Copenhagen featuring an artist who had caricatured the prophet.

    Tens of thousands of people rallied around the world to honor the victims and defend the freedom of expression following those shootings.

    Geller’s group is known for mounting a campaign against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site and for buying advertising space in cities across the U.S. criticizing Islam.

    When a Chicago-based nonprofit held a January fundraiser in Garland designed to help Muslims combat negative depictions of their faith, Geller spearheaded about 1,000 picketers at the event. One chanted: “Go back to your own countries! We don’t want you here!” Others held signs with messages such as, “Insult those who behead others,” an apparent reference to recent beheadings by the militant group Islamic State.

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Little Boy: A Film on Faith and Family

    • Description: Little Boy is the story of a young boy who will do whatever it takes to end World War II and bring his father home. The indescribable love between father and son is the basis for a heartwarming tale. We speak with the film’s producer and director, Alejandro Monteverde
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples

    • Description: Consider the following statistics: Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. 10 percent of all American adults are ex-Catholics. Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God. As we’ve said before, we’re surrounded by Catholics who have been Sacramentalized but not Evangelized. A lot of people see this as a sign of the end, that the Church in the US is on the way out. Sherry Weddell sees it as an opportunity to regrow the Church on a solid foundation of committed, intentional Disciples of Christ. She joins us today.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Sherry Weddell

        Sherry Weddell is the International Co-Director and co-founder of Catherine of Siena Institute. She created the first charism discernment process specifically designed for Catholics. Sherry is the author of several books including “Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus” and “Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples" and is an international speaker on discipleship and evangelization.

      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – May 1, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Charges Filed against Baltimore Police Officers

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of how he Gambled his Career Away

    • Description: Gambling addicts often say it’s the thrill of winning, not the money, that keeps them addicted. We ask Michael Burke if he agrees. Michael was a successful lawyer who spent over $1.6 million of his client’s trust account funds on gambling. He was eventually jailed for his actions. He joins us today to talk about how to identify and help people afflicted with gambling addiction.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Michael Burke

        Michael Burke is the Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Problem Gamblers. He is a motivational speaker and national lecturer in the field of cross-addiction and compulsive gambling. Michael is the author of “Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of How he Gambled his Career Away.” He has published numerous articles on gambling addiction

      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of how he Gambled his Career Away (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: What are the Protests Trying to Accomplish?

    • Description: The protests in Baltimore have spread to major cities throughout America, including New York, Seattle and Denver. In the past, racial protests had a clearly defined and achievable goal: the right to vote, to sit anywhere on a bus, to eat at any restaurant and so on. Today’s protests are over the right to...not be killed by white cops? What should the protesters be doing to have an actual positive effect on the lives of the people they fight for? Jesus asks in Luke, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?” He commands us to consider the consequences of our actions. Will we see this in future protests? Al has comments.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match? (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 30, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match?

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Direct to My Desk: Should your teen get a summer job? What does it say about our culture when people spend thousands on a boxing match? (con't)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 29, 2015 – Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 29, 2015 – Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Johns Hopkins Students Say No to Chick-Fil-A

    + Segment #2 of 3

    What You Can Do When Motherhood is Overwhelming

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Gay Marriage Arguments Continue at Supreme Court

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 29, 2015 – Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” – April 29, 2015 – Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Abraham: Father of Faith and Works

    • Description: Steve Ray is here to take us on a journey through the footprints of Abraham as we examine the life of one of the earliest fathers of our faith.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Dr. Steve Ray

        Along with his wife Janet, Steve is the writer, producer and host of the Footprints of God video series. Steve is the author of five books, of which three are best selling books with Ignatius Press. Steve also speaks around the world and is a guest on many radio and television programs. You can find him his work at catholicconvert.com. You can also look up the Steve Ray facebbook page and follow him on Twitter @jersualemjones

      • Resources:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Abraham: Father of Faith and Works (con't)

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Nepal: We Didn’t Know if our Son was Dead or Alive

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