Showing posts with label anniversary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anniversary. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fifteen Years of Blogging!

Fifteen Years of blogging. When I started on Xanga, I never expected to be where I am now. Thank you all for following me. Now we’ll see what the future holds.





Friday, September 22, 2017

In This I Remain Convinced: A Reflection at the Tenth Anniversary of this Blog

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this blog for ten years now at this point. When I started it on Xanga, I figured I’d dabble and let it fade away. But every time I was ready to hang it up for good, something came up that led to a post. During the past ten years, the attacks on the Church came and went. The militant atheists, the virulent anti-Catholics, the government, the liberals and conservatives, radical traditionalists and modernists, all had their turn. I’ve even seen some of my views change (For example, to my shame, in 2007, and up until Benedict XVI visited America, I was contemptuous of the bishops). 

But despite the change in attackers, and the changes to this country, one thing has not changed. That is the Catholic Church herself. The Church I defended in 2007 is the same Church I defend in 2017. Yes, Popes, bishops, priests, and theologians leave and are replaced. But the Church has not changed her teachings. The accusations made about Pope Francis were made about his predecessors. There have been moments where the men running the Church have done something I didn’t like at times, but none of those actions were a change of teaching.

I remain convinced that Jesus Christ Himself established the Catholic Church, giving her His authority and protection. I believe this authority and protection has existed unbroken from the time of the Apostles to the present day. Even in the rare occasions when we had bad Popes (and i deny the current Pope is one), God protected them from teaching error.

I remain convinced that Our Lord will continue to keep this promise. That isn’t triumphalism or ultramontanism. I realize each Catholic has his or her task to perform in bringing about the Kingdom of God. But the Rock which Our Lord built His Church on will not collapse. We should remember that when we see things we dislike. I remain convinced that the most immediate danger to Catholics is the attempt to separate them from the Rock of Peter, rejecting the authority of the Pope and believing one can be a faithful Catholic in opposition to him.

I don’t know whether this blog will go on for another 30 years, or whether something will happen tomorrow that prevents me from writing another word. But I do know this blog will continue to defend the Catholic Church under the headship of the Pope and bishops in communion with him for as long as I am writing it. Not because of their personal talents, but because I believe in Our Lord’s promise. I pray I might never reach the state where I think I know better than the magisterium how to run the Church.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thoughts After Nine Years Blogging

Apparently I’ve kept this blog going for 9 years (though the Xanga years are lost). It’s hard to believe it’s been running that long. When I started, I thought I would dabble a bit and move on. For a few years I would say on an anniversary that I didn’t know how long I would keep it up. Now it feels like a part of my life that I don’t foresee dumping without a serious reason.

While the attacks against the Church have shifted over the years, and so have the topics, the consistent theme seems to be the importance of knowing what the Catholic Church actually teaches and why. For those outside of the Church, that meant encouraging them to learn what we believe instead of accepting lies about us. For those within the Church, this meant urging them not to separate from the teaching authority of the Church.

In both cases it was about writing to ask people not to assume that what heard knew was true—especially if they heard it second- or third-hand—but to ask whether a claim accurately portrayed what the Church taught. That was true whether it was dealing with fundamentalist anti-Catholics or the “New Atheism” 9 years ago, or whether it is dealing with the anti-Francis Catholics today. I believe that when we separate hostility towards what the Church teaches from people hurt by “Catholics behaving shamefully,” it’s clear that hostility towards the Church in the first case mostly comes from three origins:

  1. Ignorance over what we believe and hating the Church over that ignorance.
  2. Resentment that a favorite sin is condemned as against God
  3. Belief that a sinful Catholic is sinful because of, and not in spite of, Church teaching past or present.

Those motives have been present in most of the attacks against the Church I’ve seen.

In response to these attacks, I’ve always held that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ, and that He protects His Church from teaching error in matters of faith and morals. Because I see it this way (which I hold to be a blessing from God) I’ve always thought that, when someone presents what looks like a smoking gun against the claims of the Church, there’s more to the story that exonerates her if we take the time to look. So, whether people think I’ve succeeded or failed in defending the Church, these were the beliefs I started with.

Whether they are from the outside or inside; whether from secular or religious sources, I expect attacks to continue. I don’t know what the attacks will be next year, five years from now or another ten years, but I trust God will protect His Church like He promised. (Matthew 28:20) I just pray that my role with this blog will be a help and not a stumbling block to those people seeking the truth.

May God bless you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I've Been Doing This for EIGHT Years?

So, September 22nd is the anniversary of the day I first published an Arnobius of Sicca article on Xanga in 2007. I have to admit I never thought I’d still be doing this today. Nor did I expect the changes in the world that brought on so many attacks and misrepresentations to defend the Church from. You see, when I created Arnobius of Sicca, it wasn’t created as an apologetics blog. It was created as something to do while I was on work related disability.

My friend Brian was concerned I was becoming lethargic and depressed and suggested it as something to do in order to keep myself occupied. So I did. The first couple of posts were kind of a riffing commentary on whatever happened to cross my desk. It wasn’t anything serious. Then I published an article on the nature of the Church and got a reply from a member of the Quakers who was converting to Catholicism, who told me that my post was very helpful in helping him understand things he was struggling with.

To be honest, I had never thought of the blog actually being useful before and it caused me to think that maybe it could be more than just quips on different topics. That comment was probably responsible for the direction the blog took.

The next big shift came with the visit of Benedict XVI to America. Prior to that time, my blog was strongly disrespectful of the American bishops. But when he came, and I saw how enthusiastically the bishops responded, I began to realize that I was wrong in assuming bad will and incompetence in their actions. From that time on it became clear that there were a lot of bishops who had wanted to do their mission well but were not sure how to do it. Oh sure a few still frustrated me (and a few still do), but this was a reminder that the bishops were the successors to the Apostles and not an enemy political faction.

The third big shift came about by discovering how illogical attacks on the Church could be, and realizing how I needed to study logic to aid in refutation of these attacks. (In the earliest years, I tended to often commit the fallacy of the undistributed middle (A is B and A is C, therefore B is C. Something that still embarrasses me today to remember).

Over the years, my blog had to cover many different topics in defense of the faith. Some fell off the radar because they did not cross my path after the first year or so (such as Protestant anti-Catholicism and the New Atheism brought on by the spate of books on the subject).

Others seemed to be minor issues but became extremely serious (I never expected that religious freedom would become so endangered here as it has without America becoming a dictatorship). I never expected to see the Supreme Court legitimize “same sex marriage” in such a high-handed manner.

Unfortunately, one topic which has not changed is the attack of radical traditionalism on the authority of the Church. Believe it or not, the same attacks they level against Pope Francis today, they leveled against St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI—accusing both of being modernists destroying the Church. Even back then, people were asking me why I wrote against this when the attacks against the Church by modernists and liberals were so much more serious. (My answer today is pretty close to what I would have said then: liberal dissent is not likely to deceive Catholics trying to be faithful, but radical traditionalist dissent can).

I guess over the years, my rhetoric has toned down some and I’ve gained a little more tact (and coherency).

While I never thought my blog would have lasted so long, I have to say I am glad I stuck with it

 

As a special bonus, in case you are interested, here is the text of my first blog entry from 9/22/2007 (which is no longer available elsewhere). It’s a bit embarrassing—because it is rambling and badly written—but you can see that my outlook on life that I approach in my blog with was present here in a less refined form.

[One word of explanation, to put things in context. The link (which I think is now a dead link) in the article below referenced a resolution by the City of San Francisco condemning the Catholic Church for her stand on homosexuality and the refusal to place children for adoption with same sex couples. That struck me as a violation of the establishment clause—though the Supreme Court would later tell us it was OK. That would be a warning that it was open season on the Catholic Church]

My First Post

I don't have anything to say yet, but Xanga I guess abhors a vacuum as much as nature does, as it won't leave me alone until I write this first post.  So here you go.  Hopefully a second post will actually sound intelligent

 <Sounds of laughter from the people who know me>

 I guess you can call me a cynic.  There are very few things that are worth all the effort people put into it.  Belief in God, Moral Values, Truth and raising a family... that matters, and I am not a cynic there.  Obsessing about a pop star and how long she stays in prison, who cares?  Unfortunately the media does, which is why I tend to be skeptical about their being the so-called "defenders of freedom."

 Truth does matter however, as I said, and I find it rather appalling that so many people out there will agree or disagree on a position based on how they feel about it rather than it is true.  We see politicians posturing on various issues and nobody has the sense to ask questions of the truth of an issue... "Yes... yes fine Mrs Clinton, we know you are committed to Choice, but do you think it is a child?  If No, what proof do you have, if I Don't Know, aren't you behaving as recklessly as a hunter who fires at movement into a bush without checking to see if it is a deer?"

 If I held my breath waiting for the mainstream media to ask that one, I'd die of asphyxia.  They're too busy reporting about Brittany Spears and her drug tests and the battle between Kae-West and 50 Cent.

 In spite of this, people have the gall to tell me I left my brain at the door when I became a practicing Catholic , and the Church is anti-freedom.  Not so.  My brain is clearly functional as I find the tripe that passes for news to in fact be tripe.  In fact, the Church taught me to use my brain and trusted me to find that what they taught was true. 

 As for freedom, I think St Thomas Aquinas put it best with explanations of just laws: the just person is free and the unjust are constrained.  While with an unjust law, it is the just who are constrained and the unjust are free.  Considering that the Freedom of Speech elitists who run the Newsrooms and the Campuses and pass the laws in fact shout down those who wish to stand up their moral beliefs and forbid them from doing what they believe, which kind of laws do we seem to have at the moment?

 I guess they forgot the First Amendment also protects the Freedom of Religion

 Amendment I

 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  When the Church is told to toe the line on adoptions to homosexual couples, give them Health Benefits and to distribute contraceptives (Catholic Hospitals) and a current candidate's former husband once tried to make it mandatory for Catholic Hospitals to administer abortions without a conscience clause, it's clear that the words of Abraham Lincoln were prophetic:

 Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy.

 When we see actions like this:

http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions06/r0168-06.pdf

 it seems that the idea of the Constitution can be interpreted to be as described by Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass:

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'

 Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them - particularly verbs: they're the proudest - adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs - however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

 'Would you tell me, please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

  So, it isn't a "denial of religious freedom" because we don't choose to call it that, it seems.  And then they wonder why people consider America to be an anti-Christian country.  Could it be because of Supreme Court decisions, a crucifix dipped in Urine is free speech but one on public land is unconstitutional?  Under the logic of the Supreme Court, the only way one can legally put a cross on public land is if you plan to burn it.

  So, anyway this has gone on long enough... 

<applause from the reader>

...but you understand why I am cynical about things perhaps.

2007-09-22 15:05:14 2007-09-22 19:05:14 open Publish post 617469354 firstpost

Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Recollections on the Second Anniversary of Pope Francis' Election

I wonder if I could be considered a hipster Catholic. I could say I liked Pope Francis before it was cool to do so. I say this, because it seems that a lot of the past two years have been spent defending the Pope from fellow Catholics who challenged his authority and questioned his orthodoxy.

2013 was shocking. I recall in February, reading the news feed early one morning and—WHAT THE HELL?—saw the secular news article that Pope Benedict XVI was resigning. My first thought was disbelief. I looked for religious news to confirm it, and there it was. I knew that Popes could renounce their office of course, so it wasn’t the bombshell to me that it was for others. But since the last one was centuries ago, it was shocking. I loved Pope Benedict XVI, and had been reading his books since the late 1980s, beginning with The Ratzinger Report. So I certainly was sad to see him go (see HERE for my article on his renouncing the office of the Papacy on the day he announced it and HERE for the day it took effect).

Strangely, I wasn’t afraid. God was with His Church and we were to pray for His will to be done. So, even though I never heard of Cardinal Bergoglio, the news did not seem bad. Scandalized Catholics seemed to arise from both sides at once.  People seemed to judge his actions as if he were some idiot and not the Vicar of Christ, and in response to the scandal over his first washing of feet as Pope on Holy Thursday, I wrote the first of many articles about the Pope and Rash Judgment. I don’t regret defending him—what strikes me these past two years is that what Pope Francis had to say was no different than what St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI had to say on the various teachings of the Church. Pope Francis was just more blunt about it. 

So ultimately, I thank God that we have Pope Francis, just as I thank God for the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI .Yes, some have tried to hijack his message to justify their own. But he has been good for the Church, reminding all of us that we need to be witnesses to the faith.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Seventh Anniversary: Thoughts on Church and State after Blogging for Seven Years

Thoughts on the State

As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it, "All men are created equal, except Negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, "All men are created equal except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some other country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, without the base alloy of hypocrisy. (Abraham Lincoln)

I posted this in my first blog entry seven years ago as a warning sign of what America would have to face in the future. I must admit that at the time I expected we would not see such things until America became a totalitarian state. As it turns out, I did not anticipate that we would so swiftly lose our freedoms without seeing the Constitution overthrown.

But, looking at the state of affairs seven years later, it was no mere hyperbole to say we were in danger of losing our freedoms . . . it was just a matter of looking in the wrong direction as to how freedoms would be attacked.

I learned that a nation does not have to be totalitarian to persecute religion. All it takes is:

  1. a group successfully portraying religion as the enemy of what appears good.
  2. the willingness of people to accept unjust means of suppressing unpopular views.

If the people of a nation will accept these things, we will continue to see a government pretend that our Constitution means something and still violate it.

Thoughts on the Church

While I have seen my country get worse over the past seven years, I have seen my Church get better. In 2007, I believed the rhetoric popular among some conservative Catholics that the US Bishops were a group of incompetents allowing heresy to run rampant. Now, I no longer believe this to be true. At first I thought the change came in 2008 when then Pope Benedict XVI visited America. After that visit, the bishops seemed to be stronger, more confident.

But just as I believe that we couldn't have had the problems after Vatican II without existing (and hidden) problems before Vatican II, I don't think Benedict XVI could have strengthened the bishops without there being bishops of good will to begin with.

Yes, there are bishops who did better or worse at their job. But I think part of the problem was that Catholics seeking to be faithful needed someone to blame for the fact that America was increasingly losing its moral values and that Catholics were among those perpetrating these changes.

I think we lost track of the fact that there have always been faithless Catholics and that even the greatest saints were not able to reach everyone of them. We assumed that the errors of the time would not have happened if the bishops had "done more." That's basically setting a goal that even the Apostles could not have met.

That's why I look back at the first year and a half of this blog with sorrow. The open disrespect for the successors of the Apostles is something I wish had never been there.

I think this is what I have ultimately learned during my years blogging . . . the Church is stronger than her detractors give her credit for because she is sustained by God. Whenever I have been confronted by news that looks bad for the Church, whenever I have been asked "How can you say the Church is not failing?" I find that when I take the time to look, things are never as bad as the detractors think.

The first year of Pope Francis is an example of that. Things were reported that sounded startling. But in every case, I found that those who were scandalized had never read things in context and were relying on selective quotes. After a few scares I learned that reading what he had to say, his teachings were solidly Catholic, dealing with holes in my learning that I never knew were there.

Nowadays, I think I would say that the Church doesn't have so much a leadership problem as it does a "followership" problem. In 1968, we had a general rejection of authority in the West--civil and religious. Between 1968 and 2008, we had 40 years of Popes and bishops struggling to defend the teaching of the Church from this widespread rebellion. It's only after 2008 that we began to see the fruits of this 40 year struggle emerging.

Some Catholics condemn St. John XXIII and Paul VI for the mess that appeared to in the 1960s. I think they're wrong. I believe it would have happened whether we had a Vatican II or not. Like I said, to have a blow up like we did indicates problems that had to be in place before Vatican II ever began.

Some Catholics blamed St. John Paul II for not behaving like how they imagine St. Pius X would have behaved. And, prior to the 2007motuproprioof Benedict XVI, I saw some Catholics even accusing him of being a modernist. They're bashing Pope Francis now, and I have no doubt they'll bash his successor.

It's a self destructive mindset . . . it deceives people into thinking that the problem with the Church is other people, never considering whether their own behavior is spiritually harmful or whether they're rashly judging another.

Perhaps that's why I tend to take a stronger stance against it. It's not that I think other errors are harmless. It's that I think this error is more likely to snare the Catholic trying to be faithful.

Conclusion

What it boils down to is that in the seven years since I began this blog, I have learned to trust that God loves His Church and protects her from leading the faithful astray.So even when I see those /facepalm moments where someone within the Church says or does something that shocks, I have learned to trust God to lead the Church under the headship of the Successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him.

That doesn't mean we'll have smooth sailing. God permits afflictions to come and strengthen us. We'll have the misbehaving laity, religious, priests and bishops on occasion. But the behavior of some does not mean the corruption of the whole.

We'll still have problems interacting with the secular world. We had problems before Obama was elected and we'll have problems after he leaves. But even so:

God is in control and watching over His Church.

Now it's time to face year number eight and beyond, remembering the lessons I have learned.

Acknowledgements

This blog probably would never have existed except for the suggestion of my friend Brian. He's the one who put me onto blogging in the first place. I was on disability for a work injury and getting a raw deal from the company involved. He was concerned I was sinking into depression and suggested this as something to keep me busy.

He's also asked me challenging questions over the years—questions which forced me to look deeper into the Catholic faith to answer things I had never given much thought to before.

Thanks, Brian.I can't believe we've known each other for ten years. It hardly seems that long. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fifth Anniversary Post: Lincoln was Right

In my first post, written September 22nd, 2007, I quoted Abraham Lincoln who had written:

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy.

In that post I had written about my concerns that America was in danger of passing unjust laws in which "the just who are constrained and the unjust are free."

Fast forwarding five years to today, September 22nd, 2012, it is no longer a theoretical question about the danger of passing unjust laws.  They are now passed, and the fate of the First Amendment is much more dubious than it was when I first wrote.  The propaganda of the current presidency and his supporters are in fact blaming people who are trying to defend their religious freedom for "imposing their views on others."

I find that curious.

The Catholic who believes abortion is wrong and uses his or her rights as an American citizen (freedom of speech, the right to vote etc.)  regarding this moral conviction is told he or she is "imposing views on others."  The atheist who believes abortion is a right and uses his or her rights as an American citizen to expand the legality and reach of abortion is praised for "protecting freedom."

Both the Catholic and the atheist in this case are acting according to what they believe.  But one is vilified for doing so and the other is praised.  One is harassed when speaking while the other is protected.  This is an arbitrary application of law, of media reporting calculated to favor one group and denigrate another.

I believe Lincoln was right.  America is a nation where there is a pretense of loving liberty, but no longer an actual love of liberty.  It is the alloy of hypocrisy to praise freedom when the HHS mandate is telling religious institutions that their schools and hospitals must choose between going against what they believe God commands them to do and being fined/taxed out of existence.

People of good will should think about that.  On one hand we have the the First Amendment to the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On the other hand, we have a government prohibiting the free exercise of religion by telling religious hospitals and schools that they must pay for insurance coverage for abortifacients and contraception – even if these hospitals and schools think it wrong and refusing to consider the petitions for the redress of grievances.

When the Church (and other denominations) speak out on this, it draws the accusation of "violating the separation of Church and State" and potential legal sanctions.

So we see again Lincoln's point.  America claims to love liberty, but is willing to set it aside when seeking to suppress someone who takes a stand and says "What America is doing is wrong here."  That is "the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more laudable beliefs than is the case" as the Oxford English Dictionary defines hypocrisy.

The sad thing is, once the principle is accepted (which at this time seems to depend somewhat on the results of the November 2012 elections and the Supreme Court challenges), it becomes easy for any future government to use this to their own ends.  It doesn't have to even be the scenario of Obama who makes the United States into a dictatorship.  A future presidency could take the premise Obama established and use it to further his or her own ends, using the force of government to silence opponents.

So with this in mind, what are we to do?  The individual Christians seems weak.  The Church is attacked in a way that seeks to silence her.  The courts seem indifferent to these violations.  The government is actively involved in promoting this violation.  Are we doomed to suffer the violation of religious freedom?

At a time like this, I am reminded of the words of St. Augustine:

God therefore does not command impossibilities; but in His command He counsels you both to do what you can for yourself, and to ask His aid in what you cannot do.

Augustine of Hippo. (1887). A Treatise on Nature and Grace (P. Holmes, Trans.). In P. Schaff (Ed.), A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume V: Saint Augustin: Anti-Pelagian Writings (P. Schaff, Ed.) (138). New York: Christian Literature Company.

We need to both pray concerning what is outside of our control, and do what God wants us to do.  We can't hide in a bunker and complain loudly about bishops being at fault because we're still under fire.  All of us who profess to be Catholics have a role to play.  It might be something like informing people on a national scale, but it also might be a matter of informing a co-worker who speaks about the so-called "war on women" how things really are.

God does have a role for each one of us to play.  We do have the free will to cooperate with God or to ignore that role He calls us for.  However, we must remember that God doesn't always use spectacular miracles to make His will known.  Sometimes he calls on the little people – like how he called a collection of tax collectors, fishermen and the like to bring His message to the whole world.

How far would those twelve men had gotten if everyone else in the Church had, instead of taking part in the mission of the Church, instead sat around and complained about how terrible these Apostles were for not getting more done?

In 2007, I don't think anyone foresaw this coming.  Now that it is here, we have to remember that all of us: Catholics, Protestants, non-Christians, non-believers – all people seeking to do right – need to make a stand against a government which is choosing to do wrong.

If we don't, the words Cardinal George uttered in 2010 will be prophetic:

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is this beginning the 5th year already?

I just noticed that today marks the beginning of the 5th year of the Arnobius of Sicca blog (completing the 4th anniversary today).  I must say I never expected this to last more than a few months.  A friend of mine suggested I take up blogging as something to do when I was on disability with a work-related injury.  I really thought 2011 would be the death knell of the blog, because I did not have time to write consistently.

Sometimes its embarrassing to go back and read the earliest entries in 2007.  I tended to be somewhat flippant back then and willing to bash the US bishops.  Hopefully I've gotten better over the years.  I think the study of philosophy and logic have allowed me to at least be more structured since then.  Ancients like Socrates and Aristotle; Patristics like St. Augustine, St. Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria and the site's namesake; Medieval writers like St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern writers like Popes Benedict XVI, Blessed John Paul II, Peter Kreeft, Msgr. Ronald Knox and many others have inspired me to write about the importance of the truth and the fact that the truth is with the Catholic Church.

One big change of the past year is abandoning Xanga for Blogger.  I decided the Xanga community made it too easy for abusive persons to dominate a column, and too difficult to control their activities.  Xanga seemed to be willing to turn a blind eye towards these abusive persons.

Writing on Blogger has been more peaceful.  While there are not nearly as many comments, the ones which do come generally seem more sincere – even the ones from people who disagree with me, who are generally much more polite than the ones on Xanga.

So the blog is still here, even if I don't write as much as I used to, dealing with different topics which seem relevant in defending the Church and looking at the attacks against her and why they don't debunk the Church.  Whether from atheists, the government, political groups, non Catholics or dissenters within the Church, the Church does stand in opposition to the world and must say "this is not right."

Who can say what will need to be addressed in the next year and what my obligations will require?

Thanks to all my followers and those who stop by the blog.

God Bless.