This Twitter thing is proving to be most useful! As you know I signed on a few weeks ago and it has kept me informed (minute to minute) of what is going on. It also gives me links to interesting articles, and thanks to David Quinn today I read a very good article by a Jewish rabbi. Rabbi Yitzchok Alderstein is writing about the persecution of Christians and he believes that we are now more persecuted than the Jewish people. The article can be found here.
The rabbi is correct. Christians are now the most persecuted religious group in the world, and that persecution is being ignored by the mainstream media and even some social justice groups. Why? I suppose because what we believe is not politically correct for one thing, but also because Christianity is also being persecuted by secularists in the West, of which many media outlets are ideological supporters. While the rabbi concentrated on Islamic persecution of Christians - it is only part of a larger "pogrom" against orthodox Christianity.
For one thing you need only look at the coverage of Pope Benedict's pontificate. If ever a man had a reason to sue he had. If he wanted he could take western media groups to the cleaners because of lies, insinuations and outright libel. Of course those in the media know Christians strive to forgive, and so count on our adherence to that command of the Lord. Poor media savvy among Church officials also means false articles are not rebuked as vociferously as they should be. Of course such a defence would be difficult given the success secularism has had with ordinary people - many still believe what they hear in the media. It is hard to overcome ideological stereotypes - the Jewish people know all about that.
On another topic - just to let you know our new series of Forgotten Heritage will air on EWTN from the 9th of this month in the US (the UK/Ireland and European airings will be later - I have no date as of yet). Entitled Forgotten Heritage: Europe and Her Saints Fr Owen and myself look at some of Europe's great saints. This series is a little longer than the first two - there will be sixteen episodes (it's Lent - offer it up!). We hope to present a little taste of the holiness which flourished throughout European history, and while we try to be representative with only sixteen programmes and so many saints, we did not get everyone we wanted in.
For your information here is the list of programmes and the saints. We start with five programmes on the Patrons of the Europe:
1. St Benedict, Patron of Europe
2. SS Cyril and Methodius, Patrons of Europe
3. St Bridget of Sweden, Patron of Europe
4. St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Europe
5. St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (St Edith Stein) Patron of Europe
6. St Columbanus
7. St Thomas a Becket
8. St Francis
9. St Dominic
10. St Thomas Aquinas
11. St Thomas More
12. St Teresa of Avila
13. St Margaret Mary Alocoque
14. Pope St Pius X
15. St Therese of Lisieux
16. St Gianna Beretta Molla
Every time I look at that list I see names we should have included, ah well. We were trying to cover most areas of human life and Christian experience - priests, religious, laity, missionaries, teachers, government figures, professionals, husbands, wives. I suppose there could be another series on the saints to cover others. If you have any ideas let me know. In the meantime we are planning the fourth series.
While the series can only be viewed on TV in the US, you can get it online at EWTN's website; the first programme airs on Saturday 9th March at 4pm (GMT).