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Another Day, Another Apology to Muslims

By Susan D. Harris

“Don’t listen to liberals, because the Muslims will cut your heads off.”  That’s the comment that warranted the KRQE headline, “Parents accuse Belen priest of making discriminatory comments against Muslims.”  Apparently no one had a problem with the “don’t listen to liberals” part. Instead, being well trained in political correctness, it was the moment Fr. Jonas Romea, a priest in Belen, New Mexico, told a group of pre-K to eighth grade Catholic kids that there were Muslims terrorists that caused the problem.  Specifically mentioning Muslims cutting “heads off” was when parents became terribly offended on behalf of Islam.  The next thing you know, a reporter at KOAT Action News was asking Fr. Romea if he didn’t think his remarks were “Islamophobia?”  Fr. Romea said that he denied that label, and strengthened his point by saying:  “Recent reports out of the Middle East show that Catholics around the world are under attack.  The news pieces that we get…from there tell us that actually, Christians are being slaughtered.”

KRQE reported that after receiving complaints about Fr. Romea’s remarks (made during a homily to students at Our Lady of Belen Church,) the “Archdiocese of Santa Fe sent out a letter to parents saying the homily didn’t fully embrace the message of Jesus Christ.”

Later, Fr. Romea sparred with KOAT reporter David Carl asking, “Are all people burglars? No, not all people are burglars.  But my next question is, do you lock your doors at night?”

Carl responds, “I do. I do. So are you lumping in Muslims as burglars? Are you making an equivalency there?”  Carl knows better, but with progressively tweaked critical thinking techniques designed to disarm traditional reasoning, Fr. Romea is easily mocked, then easily silenced with a craftily edited interview.  By this time, he has been so intimidated — by someone or some governing body — that he will not even name “that religion that he mentioned” — Islam.

The original story aired March 30th.  By April 12th, Fr. Romea issued what some local people told me they believed to be a “coerced apology” which can be read here; and by April 28th he found himself terminated from the diocese. (This fact was told me by someone who had spoken directly with Fr. Romea himself, and was also present during the April 30th mass where Fr. Romea’s departure was discussed.  There has been no official statement from the diocese.)

Romea’s apology contained the sentence:  “I have come to realize that the Islamic Faith is not to be equated with terrorism and vice-versa.”

Sadly, 84-year-old French Priest Jacques Hamel didn’t get a chance to concur with that statement, having had his throat slit by ISIS militants less than a year ago during a quiet morning Mass.  One has to wonder what kind of internal spiritual struggles these Catholic Christian leaders are suffering as the world keeps forcing them to the ground — symbolically or literally — to grovel toward Mecca.

In New Mexico, the incident took on an overtly political tone when former Senator Michael Sanchez reportedly shone a spotlight on it by Tweeting what happened “wasn’t right” and that he “stands with Muslims.”

Stories of priests being silenced as they try to speak against Islam aren’t new, but aren’t abating either.  Earlier this month, the diocese of Orlando, Florida reprimanded a priest for teaching his students about Muhammed from the writings of Catholic Saint John Bosco.  The story, not surprisingly unearthed by the Huffington Post’s Documenting Hate Project, ended with the Orlando diocese stating “the information provided in the sixth grade class is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

This past February, The Rev. Peter West, pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church in Orange, NJ made news calling moderate Islam “a myth” and openly supported President Trump’s travel ban, (though its characteristics changed over time.)  A spokesman for that diocese said, “…we are concerned about Father West’s comments and actions, and will be addressing them according to the protocols of the Church.”

Journalist Mark Mueller, writing for NJ.com, told his readers:

(Father West’s) attacks, while popular with many of his 7,300 Facebook followers from around the country, run counter to the statements and philosophies of his own leader, Newark Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, and his ultimate boss, Pope Francis.

What is really happening in small Catholic diocese across the country, one can only guess; but you can be sure the politically correct thought police are on duty everywhere.

Looking beyond our borders, we see precedents in places like Germany — where a Catholic priest was banned from preaching after speaking at an anti-Islamization protest; and a priest arrested in France for being “too hard” on Islam, and having his website shut down.

It is the greatest irony that while there is no known Catholic priest, nor adherent of Catholicism, that has been charged with beheading a Muslim in modern times, that those who warn against Islam are the targets of censure and ridicule by their own societies.  Instead of shouting “never again” to the ideological/religious perpetrators of such violence, Americans robotically repeat “not every Muslim is an extremist!”  Strangely, this phrase seems to have been beaten into us harder than the sharp edge of every reported “radical Muslim” sword that has slaughtered man, woman and child around the globe.

Published on American Thinker at:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/05/another_day_another_apology_to_muslims.html

The Church of ‘What’s Happenin’ Now’

flip wilson

The Church of What’s Happening Now

We were told Protestantism is nearly dead.  It seems everyone, including the mainstream media, has all but sealed its coffin.

Watching recent news coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, and the election of Pope Francis, one would assume the Pope is indeed the leader of Christians everywhere.  The fact that not all Christians are Catholics is a small detail everyone seems lax to distinguish.

As soon as the new pope was announced, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly told her viewers that Jesus had appointed Peter the first Pope.  While the MSM carefully seeks to preface much of their news with politically correct caveats like “According to Muslim faith,” and “According to the Jewish faith,” it seems “According to the Catholic faith,” is suddenly unnecessary.  With Kelly’s statement, viewers who lack any religious knowledge would have envisioned Jesus placing a miter on Peter’s head right after the first white smoke drifted heavenward from  a chimney in Rome.

Time and again, we hear Catholic theology inserted into what has become ecumenical Protestantism.  The Via Doloroso for instance, with its 14 stations of the cross determined by the Catholic Church, is increasingly embraced by Protestant churches.  Some of these stations are strictly Catholic in origin, like #6, where Veronica Wipes Jesus Face.  There is nothing in the Bible about Veronica, but the Veil of Veronica, the cloth she supposedly used to wipe Jesus face, is a major Catholic relic kept at St. Peter’s Basilica.  The oral tradition is Catholic in origin and she is venerated as a Catholic saint.

One has to hand it to Catholics; their showmanship trumps anything in the Protestant church.   Even a Protestant like me, with documented ancestral ties to the first pious pilgrims, was drawn into the “Pope frenzy.”   Initially watching coverage of the papal conclave for historical purposes, I found myself being emotionally drawn to this man who, by most news accounts, was God’s representative on earth and the final authority on my faith.  I almost forgot the price that was paid by Martin Luther, who emancipated Christians with the knowledge that God is the final authority on their faith, both on earth and in heaven.   Still, I found myself almost wishing I were Catholic to join in the fun.

While most Protestants today willingly acknowledge Catholics are indeed Christians, there is still a movement within the Catholic church to quietly brand Protestants as heretics, in the pre-Vatican II belief that those who do not accept the Chair of Peter, the Seven Sacraments, or acknowledge the Church for Mother (Pope Pius IX, Singulari quidem of March 17, 1856) are not truly Christians:

There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church.  There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord, outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation.  He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church.

Protestants believe the Catholic Church worships false deities with statues of saints.  We do not have ‘relics,’ which is to say we don’t make pilgrimages to human bones in hopes they will heal us, we don’t worship Mary nor pray to her (though we acknowledge her as blessed among women), we don’t carry medallions in hope they will protect us or bring answers to our prayers.  Protestant doctrine holds that  anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior; accepts the Holy Trinity; asks God directly for forgiveness of their sins and follows the Ten Commandments — can be saved.  Additionally, through God’s grace, anyone can be saved.  That judgment call is up to Him.

Nevertheless, the papal frenzy that has gripped the world has left many Protestants wondering if they’re just not ‘cool’ anymore.  Are there no fist-bumps for us? The much talked about idea of a one world religion doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you look at the public relations success of a Catholic Church who, despite devastating scandals, is making Protestants who were formerly in the majority look like the Studebaker of the day.   Pope Francis seems to be leading a hugely successful public relations campaign to bring straying sheep back into the fold.   The Drudge report had daily coverage of Pope Francis non-traditional exploits in the days following his ascension to the throne. News reports filled with supernatural excitement as soon as lightning struck the Vatican, and a seagull descended from heaven to sit atop the Sistine Chapel chimney, hours before history announced a new Roman Catholic leader.  Can Protestantism survive without such pomp and circumstance and a central webcam broadcasting video worldwide?

We are faced with the dilemma of needing Christians of all faiths to unite in defense of a historically Christian country, and against an administration unfriendly to their beliefs. We live amongst a secular population that sees Christianity as antiquated.  How do we do this and still keep our Christian identities separate?  Or, in our high-minded pursuit of world peace, will we throw in the towel as we kneel to wash the Muslims feet in a grand display of religious tolerance?

Only time will tell if evangelical, traditional Protestants will survive in a culture that has succeeded in branding them as bible-thumping, ignorant Neanderthals.  Sadly, when all is said and done, it might just be easier for them to crash the party and join what comedienne Flip Wilson called, The Church of What’s Happening Now.  If they do, those great souls like John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Wycliffe and John Wesley, among others, will be shedding some tears in heaven…wondering what it was all for. We must not let that happen. We cannot be afraid to stand by the moral principles and Christian faith this country was founded on.

FURTHER READING:

http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/m013rpProtestantsChristians.html