What should we make of Pope Francis bowing when greeting people?

Friday, August 30, 2013 9:27 PM Comments (214)

Pope Francis recently bowed to Queen Rania of Jordan. What should we make of this?

Word is racing around the Catholic blogosphere that Pope Francis recently bowed to Queen Rania of Jordan.

Is this yet another stunning break with tradition on the part of Pope Francis?

Has he overturned 2,000 years of tradition?

Is this one of the signs of the apocalypse?

Is it no big deal?

Let's look at the question . . .

 

According to the Telegraph

At the root of the current gbuzz is a story published by the British newspaper/website The Tablet.

It has the provocative headline:

Pope breaks with protocol by bowing to Queen Rania of Jordan

And it immediately says:

The Pope has broken yet another point of Vatican protocol by bowing when he met Queen Rania of...READ MORE

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Who was John the Baptist? (11 things to know and share)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:36 PM Comments (17)

What do we know about the mysterious John the Baptist? Here are 11 things to know and share . . .

John the Baptist is a mysterious figure in the New Testament.

He was famous in his own day, even before he became the herald of Christ.

We even know about him from outside the New Testament.

His memorial is August 29th, so it’s an excellent time to catch up on him.

Here are 11 things to know and share . . .

 

1) How was John the Baptist related to Jesus?

John was related to Jesus through their mothers. In Luke 1:36, Elizabeth is described as Mary’s “kinswoman,” meaning that they were related in some way through marriage or blood.

Most likely, it was a blood relationship, but neither a particularly close or distant one.

Elizabeth, being elderly, may have been an aunt,...READ MORE

Filed under august 29, baptism of jesus, bible, herod, john the baptist, josephus

The Assumption of Mary: 12 things to know and share

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 11:14 PM Comments (52)

What is the doctrine of the Assumption, how did it come to be defined, and how can we apply it in our lives? Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

August 15 is the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.

In the United States, it is a holy day of obligation.

What is the Assumption of Mary, how did it come to be defined, and what relevance does it have for our lives?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44].

 

2) What level of authority does this teaching have?

This teaching was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in the bull...READ MORE

Filed under assumption, assumption of mary, holy day of obligation, mary, virgin mary

Why did Mary remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:44 PM Comments (48)

Why did the Virgin Mary remain a virgin even after the birth of Jesus?

Why did the Virgin Mary remain a virgin even after the birth of Jesus?

It is an interesting question, and it can be answered on both a divine and a human level.

In the video below, I explore both aspects of the question, showing why, on a human level, Mary would have chosen to remain a virgin and why, on a divine level, God would find it fitting to have his Son born of a woman who remained a virgin for her whole life.

In the process, I quote from a little-known document from the A.D. 100s that sheds some light on the question.

Was Mary originally planning an ordinary marriage with St. Joseph? If so, why did Jesus' birth change their plans?

Was she already a consecrated virgin?...READ MORE

Filed under blessed virgin, jesus, mary, perpetual virgin, perpetual virginity, virgin birth, virgin mary, virginity

What did Jesus mean when he said not to judge others? (10 things to know and share)

Thursday, August 08, 2013 10:09 PM Comments (336)

What did Jesus mean when he said not to judge others? Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

Jesus famously said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Today, some people use this to shut down conversations when the subject turns to sexual morality.

“Didn’t Jesus say not to judge others?” they ask. “Who are you to judge?”

Did Jesus mean his words to be used this way?

If not, what did he mean?

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Not a cover for immoral behavior in general

It’s clear that Jesus did not intend his words to be used as a cover for immoral behavior.

He did not mean them to be used as a conversation stopper to shut down attempts to admonish people engaged in immoral behavior.

In fact, Jesus himself did rather a lot of admonishing regarding...READ MORE

Filed under jesus, judging, judging others, morality

What was the strangest event in Jesus' life? (10 things you need to know)

Sunday, August 04, 2013 1:58 PM Comments (19)

Jesus appeared to three of his disciples in the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. What was happening here? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know!

A good candidate for the strangest event of Jesus life is one recorded in three of the four gospels.

On this occasion, which is found in Tuesday's gospel reading, Jesus took three of the disciples up on a high mountain.

While they were there, his clothes became dazzlingly white, Moses and Elijah appeared, and they were engulfed in a cloud and heard a heavenly Voice.

This event, known as the Transfiguration, is mysterious and hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?

Here are 10 things you need to know.

 

 

1. What does the word "transfiguration" mean?

The word "transfiguration" comes from the Latin roots trans- ("across") and figura ("form, shape"). It...READ MORE

Filed under gospels, luke, mt. tabor, transfiguration

7 things you need to know about what Pope Francis said about gays

Monday, July 29, 2013 10:45 AM Comments (588)

Has Pope Francis taken a dramatic new tone on homosexuality? Has he broken with former Pope Benedict's approach? Here are 7 things you need to know . . .

The press is buzzing right now with claims that Pope Francis has taken a sharply different line than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on the subject of homosexuality.

Some are suggesting that the new pope has announced that "gay is okay."

What did Pope Francis really say, and how unusual is it?

Here are 7 things to know and share . . . 

 

1) Where did Pope Francis make these remarks?

He made them during an 80-minute interview with reporters aboard the plane returning from World Youth Day in Brazil.

 

2) What was he asked that led to the remarks?

We may not know exactly what the question was until a transcript is released, but apparently, he was asked about the reputed...READ MORE

Filed under benedict, francis, gay, gay lobby, homosexual, homosexuality, pope benedict, pope francis

14 things you need to know about the new book Zealot

Saturday, July 27, 2013 7:13 PM Comments (178)

What should you make of the new book Zealot? Here are 14 things to know and share.

There’s a new best-seller out there which claims to give us “the real story” on Jesus.

It’s called Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, and it is one in a long line of books challenging the portrait of Jesus given in the gospels.

The author is giving interviews in the major media, promoting his book, and people are asking questions about it and how to respond.

Here are 14 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth?

It is a book authored by Reza Aslan and published by Random House in July of 2013.

With the power of the Random House marketing machine behind it, the book quickly shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics, bible, historial jesus, jesus, jesus seminar, question for the historical jesus, reza aslan, zealot

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."