Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is Jesus God?

A powerful video that shows an atheist's journey to belief in Jesus based on a nationwide research on the rational basis of this belief is Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ. The video, based on Strobel's bestselling book, can be watched online here. I highly recommend this film. The DVD is available in many Evangelical and Catholic bookstores. 

Strobel reached the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. 

But he did not actually say that Jesus is God. As an answer to this most important question, a powerpoint presentation that I prepared can be found here

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Catechesis on Contraception of Fr. Roberto Latorre: Free digital versions

Download the Catechesis here: Word, pdb, epub, mobi.

A worldwide survey just showed that a gaping  hole in the doctrinal formation of Catholics is on the immorality of contraception. This holds true even for some of the most faithful Catholics around world, the Filipinos.

Here is a solution: Fr. Latorre's A Catechesis on Contraception hailed as "the material needed to fill the vacuum of ignorance and confusion among present day Catholics. The Catechesis is presented in a direct and precise language leaving very little room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding."

Download the Catechesis here: Word, pdb, epub, mobi.


Useful also is this one-page leaflet: Science Facts on Contraceptives.

Download it here

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Science Facts on Contraceptives

This is the latest update of a one-page leaflet first issued under the title Science Facts on the RH Bill. 
The world’s leading scientific experts and extensive research found in peer-reviewed science journals have already resolved the key questions surrounding the use of contraceptives.

Download the one-page flyer here.

    1.  The pill and the IUD kill children.
When does human life begin? At fertilization, when the sperm penetrates the egg. This was the “overwhelming agreement in countless scientific writings”, and of top experts (including scientists from Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic) at an eight day hearing of the US Senate.[1] This is science’s “final answer”, as per the American College of Pediatricians.[2]
Do birth control pills and the IUD kill the young human being? Yes. After trying to prove that the pill is not abortifacient, Dr. Walter Larimore found 94 studies showing that the pill does kill the young human baby -- after the egg has been fertilized. He published his findings in the scientific journal of the American Medical Association, and stopped prescribing the pill.[3]  The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of 2005 showed that the intrauterine device brings about the “destruction of the early embryo.”[4]

      2.      The pill injures women’s health.
Is the pill safe?  The International Agency for Research on Cancer in a 2007 study made by 21 scientists reported that the pill causes cancer, giving it the highest level of carcinogenicity, the same as cigarettes and asbestos.[5] A 2010 study showed that it “carries an excess risk of breast cancer.[6] It also causes stroke,[7] and “significantly increases the risk” of heart attacks.[8] Several scientific journals have stated that the natural way of regulating births has no side-effects, and is 99 % effective.[9]
      3.       Wide use of contraceptives destroys the family.
Will the greater availability of contraception improve the stability of families?  Wide contraceptive use leads to more premarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers, more abortions, according to the studies of Nobel prize winner, George Akerlof: “As we have documented, the norm of premarital sexual abstinence all but vanished in the wake of the technology shock.”[10]

      4.      Wide contraceptive use leads to greater poverty.
Is contraceptive use correlated with poverty? Akerlof linked increased number of fatherless children and single mothers with greater poverty. In another research study, Akerlof concluded that contraception leads to a decline of marriage, less domesticated men, more crimes and more social pathology and thus more poverty. [11]
Isn’t population control connected with economic development? “No clear association” is the answer of Simon Kuznets, Nobel Prize winner in the science of economics.[12] Many later studies confirmed this, including a 2003 study of the RAND Corporation, a world leader in research associated with 30 Nobel Prize winners.[13]
      5.      Wide condom use promotes the spread of AIDS.
Will the wide use of condoms lower the rate of HIV/AIDS in a country? It will increase it, according to the “best studies”, concluded Harvard Director for AIDS Prevention, Edward Green.  Availability of condoms makes people willing to take greater sexual risk, thus worsening the spread of AIDS.  He showed that fidelity and abstinence are the best solutions to the epidemic.[14] A 2011 research at The Lancet links hormonal contraception with double the risk of AIDS.[15]
Help dispel ignorance of these science facts. Give copies to many people, especially to leaders and to media.  TODAY!

[3] Larimore and Stanford (2000). "Postfertilization effects of oral contraceptives and their relationship to informed consent"  Arch Fam Med 9 (2): 126–33.
[4] Stanford and Mikolajczyk (2005). "Mechanisms of action of intrauterine devices: Update and estimation of postfertilization effects". American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (W.B. Saunders Comp) 187: 1699–1708.
[5]"Combined Estrogen-Progestogen Contraceptives"  IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans 91. 2007.
[8] Baillargeon, McClish, Essah, and Nestler (2005). "Association between the Current Use of Low-Dose Oral Contraceptives and Cardiovascular Arterial Disease: A Meta-Analysis". Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (The Endocrine Society) 90 (7): 3863–3870.
[9] P. Frank-Hermann,, The effectiveness of a fertility awareness based method to avoid pregnancy in relation to a couple's sexual behaviour during the fertile time: a prospective longitudinal study, Human Reproduction 22 (5): 1310–9: “the pregnancy rate was 0.6 per 100 women and per 13 cycles when there was no unprotected intercourse in the fertile time”. British Medical Journal, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lancet, Contraception, Fertility and Sterility.
[10] Akerlof, Yellent and Katz (1996), "An Analysis on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States", Quarterly Journal of Economics (The MIT Press) 111 (2): 277–317;
[11] Akerlof, “Men Without Children,” The Economic Journal 108 (1998)
[12] Kuznets (1974) Population Capital and Growth, Norton

[14] Green (2011) Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment Has Betrayed the Developing World . Polipoint Press

[15] Hefron, et. Al, (2011) Use of hormonal contraceptives and risk of HIV-1 transmission: a prospective cohort study, Lancet Infect Dis 2011 Oct 4

 Download the one-page flyer here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Laity: role in the Church is to illuminate and order all temporal things

Pope Francis has hinted on the obstacle that can prevent the laity from blossoming into what God has envisioned them to be: "excessive clericalism." This is the terrible danger facing the formation of the laity. The one's in charge of their formation, the clergy, can fall into clericalism that misunderstands the beautiful role of the laity of "applying the Gospel to the transformation of society" as Pope Francis puts it.

Here are some Catholic Church documents that can help us understand their key role. This is needed everywhere and is now especially needed in my country as 2014 is the Year of the Laity.

I have highlighted portions where their role in the Church is most clearly seen.

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium:

Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the people of God. The minority – ordained ministers – are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay persons, although still not nearly enough, who have a deeply-rooted sense of community and great fidelity to the tasks of charity, catechesis and the celebration of the faith.

At the same time, a clear awareness of this responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places. In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities. In others, it is because in their particular Churches room has not been made for them to speak and to act, due to an excessive clericalism which keeps them away from decision-making.

Even if many are now involved in the lay ministries, this involvement is not reflected in a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors. It often remains tied to tasks within the Church, without a real commitment to applying the Gospel to the transformation of society. The formation of the laity and the evangelization of professional and intellectual life represent a significant pastoral challenge.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

898 "By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will. . . . It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer."

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:
Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.
900 Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. This duty is the more pressing when it is only through them that men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so necessary that, for the most part, the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it.