Category Archives: Christianity

The Crusades in Context

By Paul Stenhouse MSC PhD,

Annals Australasia 2007, Issue No.6

CURRENT wisdom would have it that ‘five centuries of peaceful co-existence’ between Muslims and Christians were brought to an end by ‘political events and an imperial-papal power play,’ that was to lead to a ‘centuries-long series of so-called “holy-wars” that pitted Christendom against Islam, and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and mistrust.’[1]

A school textbook, Humanities Alive 2, for Year 8 students in the Australian State of Victoria, carries the anti-Christian/anti-Western argument further:

Those who destroyed the World Trade Centre are regarded as terrorists… Might it be fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists?[2]

Muhammad died in Medina on June 8, 632 AD.

The first of the eight Crusades to free the Holy Places in Palestine from Muslim control, and offer safe passage to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims, was called only in 1095. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the period in question is not ‘five centuries’, but four hundred and sixty-three years; and those years, we contend, were not characterized by ‘peaceful co­existence’.[3]

Continue reading The Crusades in Context

Why God is Father

The Cosmic Gender Gap: A Dialogue on God as Mother

Michael Pakaluk

I shudder when I hear God called “Mother” — and so do many other Catholics along with me. But what is the reason for this reaction? Is it irrational, or is it justified? Is it mere traditionalism, or good Catholic instinct? The shuddering is justified, I think. Calling God “Mother” requires that one set aside revelation and adopt an essentially pagan view of God. From there, it is only a short step to embracing an entire, non-Christian religion of God the Mother, which is evident in the pantheism and New Age spiritualism of today. To shudder when one hears God called “Mother” is, I think, of a piece with the reaction of St. John, who, as Polycarp reports, once stopped his ears and ran out of the building when he heard someone speaking heretically.

Yet the arguments for God the Mother have an initial plausibility. To examine them, I suggest imagining a conversation between one of her partisans, whom I call “Gaia,” and an interlocutor named “John.” They are in a coffeehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gaia is defending herself, after John has criticized her for changing the readings last Sunday, when Gaia was lectrix.

Read on…

A further word on the hack

Was it mere coincidence that my website suffered a vicious hack directly after I had made a series of critical and mocking comments on twitter about Cardinal George Pell’s failed appeal?

Those who regularly visit my site know that I fully support the Cardinal in his declaration of innocence and am intensely critical of the leftist individuals, organizations and institutions who have been unrelenting in their goal of destroying the cardinal. The Cardinal Pell Affair is political from top to bottom. He is, and has been, a powerful force in defending political and religious conservatives.

Even though the majority judgment in the Appeal sent the Cardinal back to jail, the dissenting judge’s judgement, for all who retain the basic operations of reason, smashed his colleagues’ woeful efforts, causing many to wonder where their worships’ reasoning faculties had gone.

The irrational majority judgment is a powerful basis from which to continue the fight against the destructive Marxist forces in Australia. Make no mistake, the goal of destroying Cardinal Pell, and thus the Catholic Church, is front and centre in the Australian Marxist agenda.

If the hack was as suspected, then the hackers should know I have not finished by a long shot. Stay tuned for my comments and links to commentaries on the Appeal.

George Pell – Australia’s first Catholic martyr

If you were in a Catholic school in the 1950s, you would have been taught about the heroic saints, men and women, who preferred death to the denial of their faith. Indeed, the examples of the saints and martyrs were a primary vehicle for teaching pupils what their faith was really about. You have to be moved to the core to prefer to die rather than give up what you believe in. The saints and martyrs were moved to the core because they accepted the revelation that Jesus Christ was God-made-Man, ‘the way, the truth and the life’. They accepted St Peter’s declaration that Jesus was ‘the Christ, son of the living God’ (Matt. 16:16).

The first martyrs were those of the Roman persecutions, people of faith who submitted to the tearing jaws of wild beasts rather than carry out the act of offering a small sacrifice to the multitude of Roman Gods. Centuries later, much closer to Australian society, were the martyrs of the English Reformation who submitted to the barbaric penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering rather than condone Henry VIII’s trashing of key elements of Catholic teaching.

Continue reading George Pell – Australia’s first Catholic martyr

Cardinal George Pell is on trial – so is Australian Justice

The trial of Cardinal George Pell for ‘multiple historical sexual offences’ is ongoing. If it were up to the media behemoth ABC and the collapsing Fairfax Group plus a legion of Pell-haters, there would be no trial of any sort. They already have Cardinal Pell convicted, and if they had their way he would be hanging from the steeple of St Patrick’s Cathedral.

They can rest assured. They have so poisoned the minds of Australians, particular in Victoria, there is little chance of justice prevailing. Indeed, there may be an even more satisfying outcome for the poisoners.

Behind the wall-to-wall denunciations of the Cardinal there are commentaries that provide compelling argument and evidence in his defence. The following are from Julia Yost of First Things. They should be read one after the other for the full effect.

Children of Desire

The Case Against Cardinal Pell

The Crusades in Context

by Paul Stenhouse MSC PhD

Fr Stenhouse, an expert on the Middle East and editor of Annals Australasia, debunks the constantly repeated claim that Christians and Muslims lived in peace until the Crusades.

CURRENT wisdom would have it that ‘five centuries of peaceful co-existence’ between Muslims and Christians were brought to an end by ‘political events and an imperial-papal power play,’ that was to lead to a ‘centuries-long series of so-called “holy-wars” that pitted Christendom against Islam, and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and mistrust.’[1] A school textbook, Humanities Alive 2, for Year 8 students in the Australian State of Victoria, carries the anti-Christian/anti-Western argument further:

Those who destroyed the World Trade Centre are regarded as terrorists… Might it be fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists. [2]

Muhammad died in Medina on June 8, 632 AD. The first of the eight Crusades to free the Holy Places in Palestine from Muslim control and offer safe passage to the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims, was called only in 1095. At the risk of sounding pedantic, the period in question is not ‘five centuries’, but four hundred and sixty-three years; and those years, we contend, were not characterized by ‘peaceful coexistence’.[3]

Continue reading The Crusades in Context

the epiphany – the story of the three wise men

Matthew 2: 1-15 translated by Ronald Knox

1 Jesus was born at Bethlehem, in Juda, in the days of king Herod. And thereupon certain wise men came out of the east to Jerusalem, 2 who asked, Where is he that has been born, the king of the Jews? We have seen his star out in the east, and we have come to worship him. 3 King Herod was troubled when he heard it, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 so that he assembled all the chief priests and learned men among the people, and enquired of them where it was that Christ would be born. 5 And they told him, At Bethlehem in Juda; so it has been written by the prophet: 6 And thou, Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, art far from the least among the princes of Juda, for out of thee will arise a leader who is to be the shepherd of my people Israel.7  Then, summoning the wise men in secret, Herod questioned them closely upon the time of the star’s appearing. 8 And he sent them on their way to Bethlehem, saying to them, Go and enquire carefully for the child, and when you have found him, bring me back word, so that I too may come and worship him. 9 They obeyed the king, and went on their journey; and all at once the star which they had seen in the east was there going before them, till at last it stood still over the place where the child was. 10 They, when they saw the star, were glad beyond measure; 11 and so, going into the dwelling, they found the child there, with his mother Mary, and fell down to worship him; and, opening their store of treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 Afterwards, because they had received a warning in a dream forbidding them to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by a different way. 13 As soon as they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said, Rise up, take with thee the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt; there remain, until I give thee word. For Herod will soon be making search for the child, to destroy him. 14 He rose up, therefore, while it was still night, and took the child and his mother with him, and withdrew into Egypt, where he remained until the death of Herod, 15 in fulfilment of the word which the Lord spoke by his prophet, I called my son out of Egypt.