December 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) – Only hours before the law was to take effect, a Supreme Court justice on Tuesday blocked implementation of part of President Barack Obama’s health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s decision came after a flurry of efforts by Catholic-affiliated groups from around the nation. Those groups had rushed to the federal courts to stop Wednesday’s start of portions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization of Catholic nuns in Denver, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. Its request for an emergency stay had been denied earlier in the day by a federal appeals court.

The government is “temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Sotomayor said in the order. …

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See Al Kresta’s comments here:

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Our Pilgrimages Mentioned on

by Steve Ray on December 27, 2013

I received an email requesting an interview on Holy Land pilgrimages. It was from Fox News. I agreed and the following article is the result. 

“6 Out-of-the-Ordinary Ways to Experience the Holy Land”

During the holidays, thoughts turn to the Holy Land as the center of Christian and Judaic history. With so many preserved relics of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the apostles and sites dating back to the Old Testament, traveling to the Holy Land this time of year is a wonderful way to recapture the meaning and spirit of the season.

While there are many companies and tours available for seeing the traditional sites, we found several that offer a perspective different from the standard journey to Israel. Here are some distinctive Holy Land tours that let you do everything from biking to bird watching to traveling with a celebrity.

The section about our unique Holy Land Part II Pilgrimage stated:

For those who’ve already traveled to the Holy Land, Footprints of God Pilgrimages has a 10-day trip designed to give travelers a different experience the second time around. With Catholic tour guides Steve Ray, nicknamed “Jerusalem Jones” and producer of the “Footprints of God” DVD series, and his wife Janet, who’ve been to the Holy Land more than 100 times, travelers on the Holy Land Part 2 Tour see sites different from those featured on the couple’s traditional Holy Land tour.

There are more Old Testament sites on the Part 2 journey, as well as many related to the life of Jesus. Highlights include learning to sling a stone where David slew Goliath, climbing Mt. Muhraka, where Elijah called down fire, drinking water from the well in Samaria, as Jesus did, a beer tasting at a Christian brewery and a visit to the authentic baptismal site of Jesus, which was previously closed to the public. Ray likes to focus on getting to know the locals on this trip. “You are visiting the ancient stones, but you should go back and see the ‘living’ stones, too,” he says.

The whole article can be read HERE. For more on our pilgrimages visit

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250px-Santo_Inácio_-_RomaTwo great Jesuit churches stand near each other in Rome. One is the Church of St. Ignatius and the other the Church of Gesu (Jesus). Both are imposing and majestic and reflect the glory of the Jesuits in their heyday.

The one to the left is called the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. In Italian it is Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola a Campo Marzio. It was built in the 17th century, back when the Jesuits knew who they were and what their commission and charism was (though there are still a few like that today, e.g., Fr. Joseph Fessio and Fr. Mitch Pacwa and the deceased Fr. John Hardon).


In the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola there is a huge statue of St. Ignatius standing tall looking up to heaven. In his hand is a book with the words “To the greater glory of God.  Constitution of the Society of Jesus” *

Beneath him is Martin Luther with a closed Bible. St. Ignatius has his foot on Luther’s neck and Luther is biting the back of his own hand.

Click IMG_3603 for a short video clip.

This would probably not go over very well today. In fact the sign under the statue only says “A Statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola” but fails to explain the original purpose and meaning of the statue and who is under St. Ignatius’ foot.

I bought their booklet explaining all the statues and art in the church and it fails to show this statue or to explain it.

It is fully recognized that we are in a new era today, and do not attack today’s Protestants for the schism caused by Luther and we refer to them as our “separated brethren.” However, the things taught by Protestants that are contrary to the teaching of the Church are still heresies and their separation from the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff is still an unfortunate schism.

But we still need to realize that when the “Reformation” took place the rebels were heretics and caused a schism in the Church and the saints and theologians did not hesitate to say so. We need to quit being politically correct and overly ecumenically sensitive and start calling heresy heresy and schism schism when they raise their ugly heads up in our current time.

Mary casting Luther and Huss from heaven

In the Church of Gesus is another of my favorite statues. It is called The Triumph of Faith over Heresy and was designed during the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Heresy was not considered a naughty word back in the day when battles were fought for the truth of the Catholic faith. It is a word that should maybe be resurrected in our time.

When you see the sculpture today no one comments on what it means, nor will you find a placard explaining its meaning. Here is a paragraph from theSacred-Destinations website:

To the right of the altar sits Pietro Le Gros’ sculpture entitled The Triumph of Faith over Heresy.  This sculpture depicts Mary casting Martin Luther and his precursor, Jan Huss, out of heaven.  An attendant angel (lower left) rips their translations of the Bible and their writings to shreds.  The militant nature of the Jesuits and their mission to spread the faith and reassert the power of the church is clear in this dramatic work.  A companion sculpture entitled The Triumph of Faith over Idolatry” by Jean-Baptiste Theodon further cements the message of the Jesuits.

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Newest Member of the Ray Clan – John Mary Caleb Ray

December 21, 2013

Elizabeth Bella Rose Ray holding her new baby brother. The 12th grandchild has just arrived at 11:30 AM Saturday (after only three pushes by his incredible mom). The Twelve Tribes are now complete! We now have our own Jury! Wonder how many priests and religious? Wonder how many great-grandchildren who will help change the world. […]

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A Walk thru Bethlehem’s History for Christmas – Steve’s End of Year Newsletter

December 21, 2013

To see the content rich and colorful Newsletter with stories, news,  a free gift, upcoming trips and speaking events and riddles, click here. The Real Bethlehem   by Steve Ray The donkey tried to bite me as I climbed on his back. Flies were buzzing incessantly around my head and my clothes were drenched with perspiration. The […]

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I Like the Bishops Recently Chosen; but Now a New Group of “Bishop Pickers” has been Chosen. Hum?

December 18, 2013

David Gibson of Religious News Service writes, After last month’s annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wrote a story handicapping the four American churchman who enjoyed growing influence in the new(ish) pontificate of Pope Francis. They were Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is one of the eight members of Francis “kitchen cabinet” of advisors […]

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The Salvation Army is Ringing Bells for Abortion This Christmas

December 18, 2013

“It’s a sight and sound so commonplace, Advent almost wouldn’t seem the same without it. UPDATE TO THIS STORY “In so many of the stores we visit to do our Christmas shopping, we see the ever-present volunteers ringing bells soliciting donations for one of America’s best known charitable organizations: The Salvation Army. “Many of us […]

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The Pope, Economics and His Recent Exhortation

December 18, 2013

My friend Fr. Chas Canoy, Chaplain of the Ann Arbor Michigan Legatus Chapter, recently wrote on the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation . . . by Fr. Chas Canoy At a recent Legatus chapter event, we had some lively dinner conversation at our table concerning the pope’s view on economics. The question came up of some […]

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Some Catholics Live in Nutsville; Does the Sun Really Revolve Around the Earth?

December 16, 2013

They wake up every morning and think the sun revolves around the earth. They live in a different universe than the rest of us. They want you to join their new alternate reality. These folks are marginalized and relatively unknown – and for good reason. They live in Nutsville, a cult that dwells on the […]

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Canon Lawyer Ed Peters: “The Legion of Christ Disaster Drags Inexplicably On”

December 13, 2013

New post on In the Light of the Law. Dr. Edward Peters, advisor to the Vatican. My comments are below. Dr. Peters writes, I have long held that nothing can rehabilitate the institution known as the Legion of Christ nor any of its affiliated works, and I’ve seen nothing in the last three years that […]

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ESPN Hit with Tough Allegation: Rejected Ad Because ‘Jesus and God are Problematic’

December 13, 2013

UPDATE 12/13/13 ESPN retracted its rejection and has decided to air the ad as it was originally presented. Smart move ESPN. Thanks to all those who protested! Problematic in deed! Read the review, see how ESPN rejected a nice ad for a Children’s Hospital requesting that people send in cards and greetings to the children. […]

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Time Magazine announced they have selected Pope Francis as Person of the Year

December 11, 2013

Zenit’s Comments Article below from   Another week, another media frenzy over our pope. This morning Time announced they have selected Pope Francis as Person of the Year. Good news? A non-story? What to make of this all? George Weigel has said that the late Blessed John Paul II regularly inquired of his visitors […]

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Good News about Grandson Sebastian

December 11, 2013

From my Son-in-Law at the Hospital at 6:45 AM: Sebastian is feeling noticeably better at this point. He’s gotten some decent sleep. Everything looks really good. They tested out his strength, eyes, awareness, etc. and he’s looking really good right now. The bleeding in his head is actually pretty minimal, they said, and he’s going […]

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Grandson being rushed to the hospital

December 10, 2013

Update: as of 11:30 PM still no update. Probably won’t hear more until morning. The outpouring of love, prayers and support is overwhelming. God bless you all and thanks! Are cute little grandson Sebastian fell today, no one knows how, and a CAT Scan revealed blood on both sides of his brain. He is being […]

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Mixed Reviews on How Great Mandela Really Was

December 10, 2013

While the world has it’s eyes on South Africa and the funeral of Nelson Mandela, his praises are being sung around the world. No doubt he was a huge figure on the world stage, was unjustly imprisoned and did some important things for South Africa, but his legacy is mixed. He was a huge pro-abortion […]

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Steve in Corinth: Why We Know the Bible is True; Talk at the Erastus Stone

December 9, 2013

This is one of those moments when I love taking excited Catholics to biblical lands. Last month we went to the sites of St. Paul around the Mediterranean. One of my favorite sites is the Erastus Stone off the beaten track at Ancient Corinth. Here is my 10-minute spontaneous talk about the truth of the […]

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