Friday, April 28, 2006

Record internet use, sky high gas prices and remarkable off-the-cuff answers by Pope Benedict

Internet users in the US jumped to an outstanding all-time high of 73% of the population. And to the surprise of many, 64% of browsers use it for religious reasons. We've always maintained that the internet, like any other instrument, can be used for either good or evil. We at ParishWorld made a conscious decision to use it for Catholic evangelization. And the enthusiastic spike in our readership has been very reaffirming. We thank you all for your support.

If your parish is not yet a member of our network, let us show you how easy it can be to launch your own parish Online Community Center. We know we can can reach even more people and add more parishes at a quicker pace, but we need your help. See how you can be a partner in our mission.

We've got a lot of stuff for you this week. A new Mass is addressing the needs of deaf priests and parishioners. A black Catholic explains why black people have a home in the Catholic Church. A Catholic fashion show for teens promotes modest couture, aiming to turn as many hearts as possible and not heads.

Evangelist Bo Sanchez cautions us to "know the story behind the story" before we react to someone who seems to be having a bad day. While "The Pickle Jar" and "This is Beautiful" are two heart-tuggers guaranteed to touch and inspire you.

Surprising many, Pope Benedict has been fielding questions from the public and giving them off-the-cuff answers to a wide range of questions. Check out his riveting spontaneous answers. He also said this week that Tradition is not "a collection of dead things" but rather a "living river" that makes Christ present to people throughout the centuries.

He further insisted that priesthood must never be seen as a way of improving one's standard of living. And speaking of priesthood, the new reality TV show "God or the Girl"launched last week and surprisingly, the US Bishops are pleased with it.

Did you ever think that St. Thomas actually did us a favor by obliging Jesus to give us a "tangible proof of the truth of his resurrection." Another Catholic writer tackles the true purpose of Christianity by referring to the two camps in the Catholic Church as "Kingdom Catholics" and "Communion Catholics."

We answer the question on whether the Church should "adapt to modern times." We explain that because the Church never compromises its position, the media will never be able to see eye-to-eye with it. The Church simply cannot remain silent when the fundamental rights of mankind are in question. On the issue of immigration and politics, it seems the Republican party risks losing the Catholic vote because of their proposed reforms. On the issue of crime, a Catholic Cardinal opined this week that more prisons and longer sentences are not the means to stop crime.

Several prominent US BIshops have thrown their weight behind a petition supporting a constitutional amendment that would block same-sex marriage. And the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools cannot censor the religious viewpoints of students in class assignments. Hooray for religious freedom.

Did you know that in China the goverment controls its "own" Catholic Church while an underground Catholic Church strives to survive with guidance from the Vatican? This is the same government that said it will not change its family planning policies that have been responsible for 400 million abortions.

A recent poll in the U.S. show that only 29% of Americans really understand Roe V Wade, with 50% believing falsely that the ruling only legalized abortion in early pregnancy or in limited circumstances. While in Canada, majority (65%) indicate they feel Prime Minister should keep saying "God bless Canada."

Spirituality, in all forms, seem to be cool among the youth again as studies show a strong resurgence around the world. While Catholic educators in tne US tackle the issue of keeping kids safe on the internet. And Christians explain that the best discipline for children are those that teach, not the kind that hurts.

And if you're tired of high gas prices, so is Bee County in Texas. They actually took stock of a viral email asking people to boycott Exxon/Mobil and made it their official policy. We pity those 'exteme commuters' who make long and grinding drives to and from work every day. So should you decide to stay home this weekend to save on gas, we don't blame you. How about a nice backyard barbecue to cure the gas blues? Let us tell you all you need to know about buying and selecting beef.

Another busy week for Catholics everywhere. Keep the faith. Peace. And God bless.

Wally Arida
Publisher and Editor in Chief

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