This week Dan Burke hosted both segments of the show. First, he talked with Terry Polakovic, the founder of ENDOW, which stands for Education on the Nature and Dignity of Endow. (For full disclosure, I’m on the board of this organization.)
Terry outlined ENDOW’s mission “to engage the intellect of adult women and teenage girls so they can understand their God given dignity.” And she described the primary means by which they accomplish the mission.
“We create study materials for women and girls to use in small study groups. The idea was that women would get together much like a book club and study the teaching of the Church,” explained Terry.
Terry co-founded ENDOW 10 years ago after she and small group of women were inspired by Pope John Paul II’s writings in the 1988 encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity of Women) and the 1995 Letter to Women.
The study groups are led by trained facilitators. Terry made clear that women who lead the groups or who participate aren’t theologians or philosophers. They are simply who have signed a statement of faith that they adhere to the teaching of the Church. They are women who want to share their faith and God-given dignity with others.
Terry said although the study groups are for women, ENDOW is for the whole family…because the whole family is transformed when the woman realizes who she is in the eyes of God.
ENDOW together with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is hosting a conference in Philadelphia on Dec. 7 called the “The Feminine Genius: Everyone Woman’s Gift.” For more information about the conference or ENDOW groups in your diocese go to: EndowGroups.org
True or False Apparitions Part II
Dan spoke again this week with Catholic Answers Apologist and Register blogger Jimmy Akin to follow up on a discussion about Medjugorje and how to spiritually approach private revelations. Listen to last week’s show to hear about the latest instruction to the faithful about Medjugorje apparitions.
The show began with a discussion of those people who have had experiences related to Medjugorje that have drawn them closer to God and helped them return to the sacraments.
“Regardless of whether [Medjugorje] is an authentic private apparition or not that doesn’t in any way invalidate people coming back to God; that is always a good thing,” Jimmy said.
He went on to say that for Catholics a right relationship with private apparitions is not to allow faith “to become overly dependent so that if it turns out a particular apparition is false that our faith would not be shaken.”
The conversation then turned to a set of apparitions that have gained popularity recently: An anonymous woman in Europe who goes by the name Maria Divine Mercy claims she is receiving messages from Jesus.
Jimmy recounts some of her sensational claims: She says she personally has a role in the end of the world; that she’s the seventh angel and that we are living right now in the end times. She also claims that Pope Benedict was the last valid pope and that Pope Francis is the false profit that will lead us to the antichrist.
This last claim about Pope Francis, Jimmy explains, “is very problematic because … if you don’t accept Pope Francis as the true pope then you are in a state of schism and that is a canonical crime that carries with it the penalty of automatic excommunication.”
Jimmy warns that a person who follows the teachings of Maria Divine Mercy is in spiritual danger of schism. More information about the dangers of the teaching of Maria Divine Mercy can be found here. For more from Jimmy Akin see his Web site: JimmyAkin.com