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Date of Christmas, Dos & Don’ts

Reaction to Hate Mail
People Commenting

First of all, thank you, Dr. Horvat, for the very well written article about the origin of the date for Christmas and the fact that it has no connection to any pagan festival. This was an excellent work.

It is both sad and somewhat amusing to read the hate mail you receive. In response to L.S. who wrote to thank you for helping him or her to value "tolerance," I would quote G.K. Chesterton who said that "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without conviction."

What we see today is far too many "tolerant" people. They stand for nothing, are apathetic about most everything, and they have no spine. They do not understand that evil should not be tolerated. The modernist notion of tolerance for all the false religions of the world makes a mockery of the mandate of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for the apostles to teach all nations the gospel.

As for the annoyed Hindu, A.R., what can you say to a person who thinks cows are sacred? Cows are not even the only sacred animals in Hinduism. Monkeys and rats, yes, rats, are considered sacred.

It doesn't take much surfing of the internet to find video footage of scores of rats being given milk to drink in Hindu temples. Yes, let us feed filthy, disease-breeding rats while millions of people in India don't have enough to eat. The writer, A.R., should ask why anyone with a modicum of common sense would believe that rats are sacred. A.R. should also try to at least pretend to be genuinely searching for the truth and stop imputing false notions about what Catholics believe.

The least effort in understanding Catholic doctrine would show that Catholics believe in one God, the only true God, and no monkey or cow gods which are essentially demons. Our doctrine teaches there are three Persons in the one true God, a mystery beyond human comprehension.

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Christmas Date
People Commenting
Dear Dr. Horvat,

Thanks so much for your Christmas-not-pagan article. I forwarded it to over 100 people.

Merry Christmas,

     Frank Rega
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H.G. Wells
People Commenting

A while back I asked you if I should read H.G. Wells science fiction novels. In his life he was a rabid anti Catholic. You said I shouldn’t.

I asked this question to a few Catholic priests and they were fans of Wells science fiction as well. They say his works are not against Catholicism, and I should feel free to read and enjoy his science fiction ie, The Time Machine.

What do you think?


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TIA responds:


Since you know already what we think about the topic, it is up to you to make your own decision before God. That is, be prepared to answer for your action when you will appear at your judgment. The Catholic priests who advised you to read Wells should also be prepared to respond for their advice before God. Then, you and they will have the final correct answer.


     TIA correspondence desk

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Contesting "Greek rites"
People Commenting

Regarding your posting about Greek rites, I want to say:

First, there is no such thing as "the Eastern Church." There are Eastern Catholic (and Orthodox) CHURCHES, and not all of them use the Byzantine Liturgy.

Next, this piece of "advice": 3. Saying the Eucharistic prayer in Latin. This is to ensure a priest or Bishop does not chant in the name of the Devil, and also it has been a language of the Church since Pope Victor I.

I am sorry that this correspondent from Singapore is so naive that he thinks people can't chant in Latin in the name of the Devil. Obviously, he's not seen Anton Szandor LaVey's SATANIC RITUAL, which is all too easily available.

Latin may be the language of the ROMAN Church, but the ROMAN Church is not the totality of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, Victor I, by adopting Latin, introduced a NOVELTY into the Roman Church.

     Sincerely in Christ,

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An addition to the Dos & Don’ts
People Commenting

Regarding your last Dos & Don’ts I have a few general comments.

a. I must confess - and maybe it has something to do with me being a 'child of the 80s' amongst other things - that it is very 'natural' for me to be bored and it takes effort to pay attention. But the writer is correct. We should make an effort to pay attention in whatever it is we are doing.

b. Although I am not a language expert, to my knowledge the word "boredom" is not found in any ancient languages but is a relatively modern word. If that is the case, then I doubt this is a coincidence, given the state of the modern world.

c. Regarding "Do pay attention to the things your hosts and friends show you, and praise them." It is possible I am misreading the article, but it might be more helpful to break it down further, that is, make more of a distinction between being grateful and giving praise. In doing so, find that so-called balance between being charitable and courteous, but without being dishonest.

Perhaps one could (and certainly should) be thankful to the host for the hospitality and the effort made, ask questions (not to feign interest but to take the host's generous opportunity to be educated) but not necessarily overtly praising what is shown if one is genuinely not that interested.

By doing the above, one is:

1. Being grateful and courteous;

2. Showing (some) interest and therefore also being grateful and courteous;

3. Making use of a good opportunity to be educated;

4. But at the same time and without any contradiction, not being dishonest by lying as one is not overtly praising for the sake of it;

5. And since one is not complaining either but rather refraining from overt praise, one is not being rude or uncharitable.

To be more realistic, whether it is a state visit or dinner at a friend's place, chances are that there will be multiple events/activities and one will be shown multiple things.

Assuming the host does not ask and insist on a 'frank' answer - in which case, one is obliged to answer frankly - one could be thankful for everything as one should but reserve praises for the things that one is genuinely more appreciative and interested in.

In that way, one is:

1. Being grateful and courteous generally;

2. By praising the things that one is interested in, one is showing courtesy and being honest about it;

3. By not complaining about anything but rather being reserved about the things that one is not interested in, one is not being rude on uncharitable.

4. Given that one may overtly praise some things over/rather than other things, the host can 'read between the lines' and know what the guest finds interesting and what he doesn't. In that way, one's honest opinions are subtly expressed without being rude, and I am sure a good host can appreciate this kind of subtle 'feedback.' Then both sides can walk away having learnt what interests each other and what doesn't in a tactful manner and continue to build the relationship from there.

Of course, unlike a tightly scheduled state visit, it's easier in a casual environment between friends.

For example, if I invite friends to my house, I might offer multiple suggestions as to what to do (having prepared everything earlier) and let them choose or make their own suggestions and just take it from there.

In that way, we can be charitable to each other, be civil and courteous but honestly speak our minds without sugar-coating anything, and none of us would be 'bored' either.

I think my reasoning is sound but I stand to be corrected.

And last but not least, I do appreciate the information presented on the website. I generally find it helpful, educational and encouraging. Thank you all.

     T.J., Australia

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TIA responds:


Thank you for taking the time to write your comments. We welcome your suggestions and criticisms. We are passing them on to Miss Elaine Jordan, who wrote that commentary in our Dos and Don’ts section. Most likely she will take them into consideration.


     TIA correspondence desk

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted December 30, 2010

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA

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Related Topics of Interest

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burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Is Being Frank Always Advisable?

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