Alborghetti Universal Church

In this video Alborghetti comments on the involvement of pastors from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) in a corruption scandal in the Brazilian Congress related to the overpriced sale of ambulances to impoverished regions. Luiz Carlos Alborghetti (1945-) is a Brazilian radio host and commentator and a former member of the Paraná state assembly. His TV show was syndicated Brazil-wide for 9 months in 1992, being only available in the state of Paraná since. He gathered a cult following with his loud, sarcastic language and loose-cannon bouts of anger.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Announcing Light from the East — Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh, by Fr. Robert J. Fox

Redfield, SD (PRWEB) January 21, 2006

Finally there is an ample book written by a Catholic priest who did first-hand research in the Community of Soufanieh, Damascus, Syria near the site where the Apostle St. Paul was converted and baptized. Father Elias Zahlaoui, associated with the Soufanieh miracles and messages from the beginning, sees this as one of the most complete books on Soufanieh, sensitive to all the peoples and Christians of the East.

“Light from the East” — is a 256 page book with multiple colored photos throughout the chapters to illustrate what is happening at Soufanieh — in the Christian sector of Damascus — and extending itself throughout the world. It is a “Rosary of marvels” which include exsudations of oil, apparitions, ecstasies, messages, visions, stigmata, bodily and spiritual cures.    

This book is a “new voice” that presents the deeper message of Soufanieh for the universal Church which is called to unity, especially the call for Orthodox and Catholics to become one as they were for the first 1000 years of Christianity. The Author explores not only unity for all Christians but love and unity for each family. Soufanieh is a call for Christian Unity and for love and unity in millions of families which will lead to Christian Unity.

Father Fox went to Damascus and grasped the reality that Soufanieh is to the East what Fatima is to the West. Those of the Soufanieh Community reviewed this book before going to print and were amazed and thrilled that finallly the truth and love for unity between East and West as called for by heaven will be made known to millions more by a priest from the West who accepted those of the East with love. The book is also a loving call for Muslim-Christian dialogue. Finally a sensitivity to the East is shown in presenting the Mother of the East as the Mother of us all who wants her children one in her Son Jesus Christ.

The book may be obtained at the Fatima Family Apostolate at http://store.fatimafamily.org/sw/ffa/00003.html?id=Mwt2TXem.

The book has been made available as a free online download here:

http://www.fatimafamily.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/Light%20from%20the%20East%20Book.pdf

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FifteenB Announces Concert to Commemorate the 450th Anniversary of the Execution of Thomas Cranmer

Oxford, UK (PRWEB) January 19, 2006

The FifteenB contemporary music group announces a concert to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the execution of Thomas Cranmer, in the exact location where he was burned at the stake in 1556. Taking place on 18 March, 2006 at University Church, Oxford, the concert will feature sacred choral music from Cranmer’s period alongside contemporary pieces composed by Robert Hugill.

In the spirit of celebrating the life and martyrdom of Cranmer – who is commonly held as the creator of today’s English Reform Church – the concert includes a special cantata, ‘The Testament of Dr Cranmer’ by Robert Hugill, which sets to music the words from the great man’s final speech. Performed by The Eight:Fifteen Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Paul Brough, the cantata evokes the final moments of this luminary who maintained his religious beliefs to the very end.

The Eight:Fifteen Vocal Ensemble will also perform sacred music from Cranmer’s period; contrasting the elaborate Latin motets from the reign of Queen Mary with the simpler English works from the reign of King Edward VI. Also included will be motets from Robert Hugill’s collections ‘Tempus per Annum’ and ‘Collect for Choir and Cello’, which also set Cranmer’s own words to music.

The commemorative concert first took place in July 2005 at St. Giles Cripplegate, Barbican, London, as part of the celebrations for Robert Hugill’s 50th birthday, and was well received. Critic Roderick Dunnett commended the ‘near faultless’ intonation of the eight-strong choir and the singers’ ‘particularly fine sense of dynamic ebb and flow’.

Robert Hugill, artistic director of FifteenB, comments: ‘We are participating in the commemoration of Cranmer’s execution by combining music from his time with an uplifting contemporary setting of Cranmer’s own words. We may not be able to revoke the full, fiery drama of the execution but we have certainly remained faithful to the historic event.’

The concert takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 18 March, 2006, at University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AH. Tickets cost 10 GBP(concessions 5 GBP) and are available on the door or in advance from TicketsOxford ( http://www.ticketsoxford.com / phone 01865 305305). Further information about the concert is available at http://www.hugill.demon.co.uk/cranmer.htm.

Notes for editors

About FifteenB

FifteenB was founded by Robert Hugill, a composer of contemporary classic music, in 1994 to organise concerts of this genre, with an emphasis on Robert’s own pieces. Since then, the group has promoted around 24 events, including choral concerts by its FifteenB Choir, song recitals, opera and orchestral concerts. The group receives annual sponsorship from Associated Newspapers Ltd and is based in Brixton, London.

About Eight:Fifteen

The recently launched Eight:Fifteen Vocal Ensemble comprises professional choral singers. It was formed by 2005 to complement FifteenB’s existing amateur choral ensemble. The Eight:Fifteen Vocal Ensemble made its debut in July 2005 at St. Giles Cripplegate, Barbican, London.

About Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer (1489 – 1556) is widely considered to be the creator of the current English Reform Church. He took holy orders in 1523 and, after gaining King Henry VIII’s attention as a willing advocate for Henry’s desired divorce from Catherine of Aragon, he became ambassador to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1532 and was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1533. In this role, he quickly annulled Henry’s marriage to Catherine and married the king to Anne Boleyn, and later to Anne of Cleves. Alongside Thomas Cromwell, Cranmer supported the translation of the Bible into English. He also wrote a litany that is still used in the church today and made doctrinal changes under the reign of Edward VI. In 1549, he helped complete the Book of Common Prayer. After Edward VI’s death, Cranmer supported Lady Jane Grey, who reigned for nine days, and was tried by her successor, Queen Mary, for treason. Following a lengthy imprisonment, he was publicly forced to denounce his support of Protestantism. Cranmer was executed on March 21, 1556, in University Church, Oxford, and dramatically stuck his right hand into the fire – the hand he had used to falsely sign renouncement of his beliefs.

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The Motherhood of the Church: Followed by Particular Churches in the Universal Church

The Motherhood of the Church: Followed by Particular Churches in the Universal Church

Priests are called “Father” and the Church is called “Mother”. Our “Holy Mother the Church” is a traditional way of speaking among Catholics. But are these outdated, sentimental expressions? Or do they express a deep insight into the nature of the Church as a whole and of ordained ministry in relation to the Church? Is there a genuine theological meaning to the traditional reference to the Church as “she”?

Henri de Lubac addresses such questions with his usual profound erudition. He deeply mines the Christian tradition in examining the Motherhood of the Church. Focusing on the Church’s Motherhood allows this great theologian to unite two profound truths: the Church is the Bride of Christ and the Church is Christ’s Mystical Body. As de Lubac shows, the Church cannot be rightly considered apart from Christ and his saving work, both of which should be understood in light of the mystery of the Church’s maternity.

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CLIP – Universal Church – Africa – IURD – UCKG III

This video was recorded in the biggest cathedral in the African continent; this temple was raised by the members of the Universal Church in South Africa with the help of all the members of this enormous church from around the world…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Look What They’ve Done to My Church

Look What They’ve Done to My Church

Whatever happened to that early church — the one that Jesus founded and Paul helped promulgate throughout the known world of the first century? It changed. Slowly and surely, it changed.

Warnings of Departure from the Faith

Yes, they warned us. Both Peter and Paul said it would happen. And it did.

Paul in his first letter to Timothy: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3 NKJV)

And in his second letter to Timothy, Paul repeats his dire warning: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Again Paul, in his farewell address to the elders of the church at Ephesus: “I know that when I am gone, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise who will distort the truth in order to get disciples to break away and follow them.” (Acts 20:29-30 REB)

The apostle Peter adds this warning: “. . . there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Early Church Rumblings

During Paul’s lifetime, we find divisions in the Corinthian church. Paul pleaded with them: “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

In Revelation, the resurrected Jesus addressed another drifting church — the church at Ephesus: “You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:4-5) In Revelation 1:20, we discover that the lampstand meant the church itself.

Church Organization Departures

Elders and Bishops

History records the slow but steady movement of the church from its scriptural foundation. The first departures were in organization. In the first century church, no distinction was made among elders in rank and authority. That was not to last. During the second century, we find congregations selecting one elder to preside over the meetings as a permanent president. Along with the new position came a change in title. The presiding elder is called “bishop.” (The New Testament applies both words “elders” and “bishops” to the same men in the church.)

Bishops’ authority and power increased over time, up to the point where each was assigned a territory called a “diocese.” With that change, bishops controlled not only their own local churches, but a group of local churches within their geographic area. This was the beginning of the church hierarchy with “city bishops” in top positions, “country bishops” below them, and “elders” of local congregations below the bishops. So began the apostasy.

Temporary conventions were selected to settle disputes between congregations of the church. General Synods and permanent councils followed. These conventions eventually assumed legislative authority. “Metropolitans”, diocesan bishops from the larger cities, presided over the councils.

The ecclesiastical men who governed the five largest districts were called “patriarchs”, which means “chief fathers.” In 606 A.D. the Roman Emperor designated Boniface III, the Patriarch of Rome, as the “Universal Bishop of the Church.”

From a simple organizational plan of equal elders to a single elder presiding as bishop, to country and city bishops, to metropolitans, to patriarchs, to a single Universal Bishop presiding over all the church, we find the church evolving step by incremental step into the apostate church with an organization vastly different from the one Jesus established and Paul proclaimed.

Preachers

The local elder position of the first century church eventually developed into bishops, country bishops, city bishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, and popes in the centralized apostate church. So what happened to the preacher position of the first century church? Remember Peter, Paul, Timothy, and Titus? In another departure from the New Testament pattern, preachers became priests in the apostate church.

Towards the end of the second century, a distinction grew between those who preached and the other members of the church. Clergy became a higher order than laity. In various ways and in varying degrees this idea is widespread among many religious groups today. Those in the clergy often dress differently, many call themselves “priest”, which is borrowed from Judaism, and wear titles such as father or reverend.

Of course, this distinction between “clergy” and “laity” is not authorized by the scriptures and it was not practiced in the first century church.

In stark contrast, Peter, and Paul showed great humility in carrying out their evangelistic missions. They never claimed to be different or exalted. Nor did they ask to be called father or reverend. Surely the Bible records their humility as examples for us to follow.

Moreover, Jesus explicitly warned us: “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9)

Church Doctrine Departures

Head of Church and Authority

Along with this centralization of power, with its hierarchy of archbishops, cardinals, and popes, came fundamental changes in church doctrine. Christ was no longer head of the apostate church. The Pope assumed that position. In the First Vatican Council in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. That means when the Pope speaks ex-cathedra (from the chair) on matters of faith and morals, he speaks the law of the Lord.

Nor is the Bible the final word of authority. Church tradition approved by the Council usurps that authority.

Baptism

From the very beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost, baptism was for repentant sinners who came to believe in Christ. (Acts 2:38) That practice continued through the first century. However, by the second century, baptism of infants had begun. Many at that time believed babies were born sinful. To prevent them from dying in sin, babies were baptized on the second day of their lives.

Still, no scriptural basis can be cited for the claim that babies are born in sin. And all the baptisms enumerated in the New Testament were of repentant believers.

Baptism is immersion; that’s the meaning of the word. And that was the practice in the early church. So it remained until exceptions began for the ill. “Clinic baptism” was the name given for sprinkling one physically unable to be immersed. Sprinkling for baptism was not fully approved until the Council of Ravena in 1311 A.D. It has never had the approval of Christ.

Other Doctrine Departures

Absolution from sins by earthly priesthood

Adoration and prayers to the Virgin Mary

Celibacy – Popes and priests are forbidden marriage. Paul predicted it: “The Spirit explicitly warns us that in the time to come some will forsake the faith and surrender their minds to subversive spirits and demon-inspired doctrines . . . . They will forbid marriage. . . .” (I Timothy 4:1-3)

Confessing sins to a priest for forgiveness

Doctrine of indulgences – whereby prayers, gifts, or self-sacrifice mediate sins

Doctrine of purgatory – whereby souls of those who have died in a state of sin are made fit for paradise by temporary banishment, suffering, or punishment.

Doctrine of transubstantiation – whereby the prayer of the pope or priest changes bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus.

Extreme unction – sacramental rite of anointing those in danger of death

Holy water- water blessed and sanctified by the priest

Images and prayers to saints and martyrs

Penance – inflicting punishment in payment for sin as evidence of penitence

Church Worship Departures

Human Creeds

The first General Council was called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. This council was

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