Sunday, May 30, 2010

From the desk of Father Paul, May 30, 2010

On May 13, 1917, our Blessed Mother appeared to three children in the small town of Fatima in Portugal. The world was in the midst of war (World War I). Her message was simple - pray the Rosary for peace. Recently, Pope Benedict visited this once strong Catholic nation. He purposely timed the visit with the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. Portugal today is Catholic in name, but not action. They have elected a socialist government which passed legislation legalizing abortion and same sex marriage. Pope Benedict, in a strongly worded address to the people (estimated at 9,000 people), he referred to abortions and same sex marriage as "some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good". He told leaders that Catholic pastoral initiatives are needed to combat "the tragedy of abortion"; he also talked about protecting the "family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a women."

Later, in his homily to an open air Mass by the shrine (crowd estimated to be 400,000), he urged all of humanity to turn from selfishness, death, and terror, to the love of God. Referring to the era when the apparition took place, he said it was a time for selfishness and petty interests over the common good. Based on Mary's message at Fatima and on the spirituality of the children who received the message, the Pope urges us to be righteous people who listen to this prophetic message and thus end the "cycle of death and terror" that continues to operate in the world today. This "cycle of death and terror" is not only the terror that we fear from radicals and war, but also the willingness to slaughter unborn children and the destruction of family life through laws allowing same sex marriage (civil unions) or ignoring marriage all together.

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