Category: Social Injustice

Gianna Jessen’s AMAZING story

Gianna Jessen sharing at an AIM Women's Center event near Steubenville.
Gianna Jessen sharing at an AIM Women’s Center event near Steubenville.

 

Listening to Gianna Jessen share her AMAZING story. I’ve heard a lot of preaching in my life and tonight was one of the best sermon/testimonies I’ve ever heard. The event wasn’t video recorded so below is a similar talk. Born alive in the middle of a saline abortion in their third trimester… makes one realize LIFE is beautiful!

 

Edith Stein and Companions, On the Way to Auschwitz

Auschwitz and Catholic Jews | Dr. Ralph McInerny | Foreword to Edith Stein and Companions, On the Way to Auschwitz, by Father Paul Hamans

Once, in monasteries, religious houses, and seminaries, the Roman Martyrology was read in the refectory before meals. Each day some of those who had given their lives in witness to the faith were commemorated by name, and often the tortures they underwent were described. Each day’s entry ended with a sentence beginning “et alibi aliorum plurimorum sanctorum…. ” And elsewhere many other saints. … This tradition continues in some monasteries.

We may feel sad for all the anonymous martyrs gathered into that commodious final sentence, but that would be a mistake. They are all entered in the Book of Life, and the names of each are known to God. For all that, it is important for us, not for them, that the names and sufferings of some be explicitly known by us. The saints are put before us as models of the Christian life, and martyrs are the ultimate models. We need to know more about some of them.

In this remarkable book, Dr. Paul Hamans, Father Hamans, has undertaken the onerous task of compiling biographies, often accompanied by photographs, of many of the religious and laity who were rounded up from their various convents and monasteries and homes on the same day as Saint Edith Stein, August 2, 1942; most of them were taken to the Amersfoort concentration camp and from there put on trains to Auschwitz, where the majority, soon after their arrival at the camp, were gassed and buried in a common grave between August 9 and September 30, 1942. They were all Catholic Jews, and their arrest was in retaliation for the letter of the Catholic bishops of the Netherlands that was read from the pulpits of all churches on July 26, 1942.

Over the past few years, in striking contrast to contemporary acknowledgments and the magnificent book of Jewish theologian and historian Pinchas Lapide, many authors have accused the Church of silence during the Nazi persecution of the Jews. None of the counterevidence to this shameful thesis has had any effect on the critics. The experience of Jews in the Netherlands, particularly Catholic Jews, is eloquent witness of what could result from public condemnation of the Nazis. The victims whose stories are included in this book were told that they were rounded up in direct retaliation of the condemnation of the Nazi “final solution” by the Dutch bishops.

Elsewhere, as was once acknowledged and celebrated, the Church in many ways, and in many countries, provided the principal help to European Jews. Indeed, the Catholic Church, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII, is credited by Lapide with saving the lives of some 860,000 Jews. These efforts were effective largely because they were not accompanied by noisy public declarations. With the appearance of the mendacious play of Rolf Hochhuth,The Deputy, in 1963, the tide turned, and a series of progressively more intemperate accusations against the Church and Pius XII began to appear. Some Jews reacted to mention of the non-Jewish victims of the Nazi persecution as if it were in some way an effort to diminish the tragedy that had befallen the Jewish people under the reign of Hitler. There were even objections from some Catholics when Edith Stein was canonized and characterized as a martyr. Their argument was that she was put to death as a Jew, not as a Catholic. And some sad souls objected to acknowledgment of what had happened to Catholic Jews like Edith Stein and her companions. This book is an indirect reply to such criticisms and will speak to all who have ears with which to hear.

That the ultimate sacrifice of the Catholic Jews arrested in the wake of the Dutch bishops’ protest should become a cause of controversy is a sad indictment of these last days. But it cannot touch the nobility and holy resignation with which they met their end. Pondering the people commemorated in this book should be an occasion, not for argument, but for edification. Father Hamans has put us in his debt for having taken on the enormous task of making them flesh-and-blood persons for his readers. During the ordeal, one nun wrote to her superior that they had all become numbers to their captors. Lists had been drawn up with diabolical bureaucratic efficiency by the Nazis, which is why the arrests were made so promptly.

Thanks to this book, they are no longer mere numbers. Like those mentioned in the Martyrology, their names have been restored. But, again, the importance of that is largely for us. They would have been content, like perhaps millions of others, with the collective mention of the army of martyrs in the Te Deum Laudamus:

Te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.

Ralph McInerny
University of Notre Dame
September 2010


Edith Stein and Companions On the Way to Auschwitz

by Father Paul Hamans

• Also available as an E-Book

On the same summer day in 1942, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and hundreds of other Catholic Jews were arrested in Holland by the occupying Nazis. One hundred thirteen of those taken into custody, several of them priests and nuns, perished at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. They were murdered in retaliation for the anti-Nazi pastoral letter written by the Dutch Catholic bishops.

While Saint Teresa Benedicta is the most famous member of this group, having been canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998, all of them deserve the title of martyr, for they were killed not only because they were Jews but also because of the faith of the Church, which had compelled the Dutch bishops to protest the Nazi regime. Through extensive research in both original and secondary sources, P.W.F.M. Hamans has compiled these martyrs’ biographies, several of them detailed and accompanied by photographs. Included in this volume are some remarkable conversion stories, including that of Edith Stein, the German philosopher who had entered the Church in 1922 and later became a Carmelite nun, taking the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Several of the witnesses chronicled here had already suffered for their faith in Christ before falling victim to Hitler’s “Final Solution”, enduring both rejection by their own people, including family members, and persecution by the so-called Christian society in which they lived. Among these were those who, also like Sister Teresa Benedicta, perceived the cross they were being asked to bear and accepted it willingly for the salvation of the world.

Katyn + loss of Polish top leaders + St. Faustina Kowalska = ?

Today I watched the sobering movie “Katyn” that was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for best foreign language film. This film is the first account of the long-suppressed Katyn massacre of 1940, in which more than fourteen thousand Polish prisoners-of-war, were murdered by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police.

They were murdered, one at a time, a fact that was recorded in their personal files. This is evidence that the Soviet Union failed to recognize or respect any international standards, not even with regard to prisoners of war. All the men who died did so as members of the Polish intelligentsia, and this paved the way for Stalin’s subjugation of Poland.

It is so ironic that Saturday’s crash of an aging Russian airliner ravaged the top levels of Poland’s military, political and church elite, killing the Polish president and dozens of other dignitaries as they traveled to a ceremony in Katyn to commemorate a slaughter that has divided the two nations for seven decades.


Today, Divine Mercy Sunday, the world remembers Polish saint, Faustina Kowalska. In 1937 she wrote: “As I was praying for Poland, I heard the words: I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming.”
God please have divine mercy on the nation of Poland and give her grace to complete that which you have planned for her to do in Europe and the world!

Who will stand for truth?

You have to watch this video by Grassroots Films. It’s awesome!

this election day

everything you hold sacred

will need your vote

vote your conscience

Biden and Pelosi, both Catholics, were asked about their stand on the issue of life at conception during recent TV interviews. Their answers which did not align with the teaching of the Catholic church, prompted a response from US Catholic bishops by publishing Fact sheet on pro-life and Church teaching on abortion.

KC bishops on moral responsibility and voting

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

TheCall DC – photos

Human Trafficking Report 2008 – US Department of State

On this trip, I’ve had sex with a 14-year-old girl in Mexico and a 15-year-old in Colombia. I’m helping them financially. If they don’t have sex with me, they may not have enough food. If someone has a problem with me doing this, let UNICEF feed them.

Retired U.S. Schoolteacher

click on the picture to go to Trafficking in Person Report 2008 by US Department of State

21 children rescued from child sex trafficking in America

News from today: FBI arrested 389 people involved in human trafficking and prostitution, after raids in 16 cities across the country. According to CNN, those involved in child trafficking are facing federal charges, which might end up in life sentences.

Innocence Lost National Initiative, till today rescued more than 400 kids and led to persecution of 308 persons. Last week they held the largest operation since 2005.

Finally someone is being serious about it. I wonder how many of the victims were from abroad.

click on the photo to go to the TRADE web site

If you want to see a recent movie about the subject, watch “Trade” Movie (free online). The story evolves around Eastern European and Mexican girls, human trafficked from Mexico to USA, humiliated, abused and treated like slaves.

Paying off a debt with a daughter

Poppy field in Afghanistan

Poppy cultivation is banned but the ban is difficult to enforce

The ban on poppy farming in Afghanistan may hamper the heroin trade but it also leaves farmers in poverty.

Kate Clark meets one who has had to negotiate the betrothal of his six-year-old daughter to pay a debt.

Jalalabad, near the junction of the Kabul and Kunar rivers, is a green city, shaded by citrus and pine trees. Farmers who live nearby on the well-watered land are weathering the government ban on opium poppy. Further away in the mountainous, outlying districts, the ban is hitting home hard.

Growing poverty

Three times since 2000, a ban on poppy growing has been enforced in Nangarhar province. Cultivation has always bounced back. But each time, the poorest farmers were left poorer and less able to cope. One man, Juma Khan [not his real name] has come down from his village in the mountains on the Pakistan border. Turbaned, with a white beard and a deeply lined face, he looks old enough to be a grandfather.

Selling his daughter

But he has just agreed to hand over his six-year-old daughter to pay off a debt. She is now engaged to the creditor’s son.

In a country without banks, opium is the standard way to get a loan. You borrow opium and pay back with opium.

While Juma Khan was growing poppies, he could pay off the interest on the debt, although never the capital. The ban means he is having to grow low-value wheat. This year, he will not even be able to feed his family. And because he is landless, his only asset is his female children.

He has already exchanged two daughters for debt and now the youngest has wiped off a further $2,000 worth, a huge amount of money in rural Afghanistan.

A father here gets paid by the family of the groom, so payment of money is normal at a marriage.

Heroin trade

The shame for Juma Khan is that he has been forced to marry off his daughter. Weaning Afghanistan off poppy cultivation must be good, you would think. Afghan opium, processed into heroin, causes the deaths of tens of thousands of people around the world each year. It is funding the Taleban insurgency and feeding government corruption. Afghans usually recognise that it is a haram crop, forbidden in Islam, but if your family is facing hunger, they say, even haram crops become acceptable.

Jalalabad

Low risk crop

And here, the poppy has always been regarded as wonderful. In a high risk environment, it is a low risk crop. It suits the dry climate. And even when there is war, there is always a market for opium.

And if you grow poppies, you can always get credit. The farmers range from big landowners to subsistence peasants. The really big profits, though, go to the traffickers, the corrupt officials, and in the south, to the Taleban who take a religious tax on the harvest.

‘Better than aid’

Even so, there is a real trickle down of cash. Poppy is a labour intensive crop, so even landless labourers get some small share of the profits.

It is more effective than aid at reaching the poor, one development worker told me. This year in Nangarhar, growing poppies is not an option. In Juma Khan’s district, farmers have been arrested for breaking the ban. It has become very tough for many families.

Tribal threats

Some men spoke about joining the Taleban to make money, they pay their fighters $140 a month, or the Afghan National Army who pay rather less.

Many farmers literally do not know how they are going to feed their families. They are feeling angry and betrayed. They said the government had promised aid to help them through the ban, but they have received nothing. Some threatened to break the ban next year.

“Our tribe is the Khogiani,” said one farmer, “and we’re brave like lions, a big tribe, living on the border with Pakistan.” “The government should look after poor families,” he said. And they should watch out. Afghan kings have been brought down by the tribes of Nangarhar.

Poppy harvest in Afghanistan

Poppy growing is labour intensive providing work for the poor

But the man whose small daughter is now engaged, looks exhausted. His fighting days are long gone. He went into debt during the jihad against the invading Soviet army, 30 years ago. Since then, he has never managed to pay back the capital.

No shame

Did he not feel any shame, I asked, about marrying off his six-year-old? No, he said, the real shame would have been to have his creditors knocking at his door, embarrassing him in front of the village.

Your daughter, I persisted, how does she feel? “Oh, she’s happy to be solving her father’s problems,” he said.

From: BBC News

Hakani – a docudrama about infanticide

Tonight I viewed a docudrama called “Hakani” with it’s director and producer, David Cunningham. I instantly connected with his heart and passion regarding this issue of infanticide in Brazil. I pray that his work will cause people who view it to become abolitionist who take a stand and save thousands of children.

What is infanticide?

The popular expression used to refer to the murder of unwanted children, the term infanticide takes us back to a problem as old as humanity itself, registered all over the world throughout history.

Violence against children is a sad mark of modern society, registered in all social layers and in all around the world. In the case of indigenous children in Brazil, the added difficulty is that they cannot count on the same protection as other children, because culture is valued more than life and their voices are muffled out by the mantle of belief in unalterable and static cultures.

The following contains indigenous nudity and some disturbing images

This is the story of Hakani – whose name means “smile” – one of hundreds of children who are targeted for death each year amongst Brazil’s 200 plus indigenous tribes. Physical or mental handicaps, being born a twin or triplet or being born out of wedlock – all are considered valid reasons for taking a child’s life.

Forgive me, the Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to the Indians. The Constitution does not apply to the Indians. – Congressman Francisco Praciano (PT-AM)