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Sad news indeed, but certainly expected. Turkey has no desire to open itself to the world nor do they have a clue what to do with their national treasures. The only goal of the new despot Erdogan is to re-establish the old Muslim Ottoman Empire.

For 1,000 years the massive Hagia Sophia was the largest church in the world and people thought the dome was held up by a miracle of God. But after 1,000 years as a church, the Muslims conquered it, painted over the gorgeous mosaics and defaced all the Christian symbols. They turned it into a mosque.

We have been in the Hagia Sophia many times (watch one of our videos inside the church; actual video inside church starts at 4:52) and my imagination takes me back to what it must have been like for the pig farmer up to his knees in pig excrement who arrives on Easter Vigil for Mass!! The smells, the bells, the music, the ambiance, the truth preached–the glory of it all. He must have thought he’d died and gone to heaven. No wonder pagans were rushing to be Christians.

Here is a beautiful experiment to demonstrate what it might have sounded like. https://www.npr.org/2020/02/22/808404928/listen-the-sound-of-the-hagia-sophia-more-than-500-years-ago
And, listen here:

After the national hero Ataturk (now discarded by the Muslim resurgence) the church was changed from a mosque to a museum. It was the No. 1 tourist attraction in Turkey. On our pilgrimages, we could imagine and sense its former glory as a church. But now Erdogan has turned it back into a functioning mosque.

Imagine if Christians took a huge iconic mosque and turned it into a church. The international outrage would be deafening. Why the silence here? How sad.

I am happy that Pope Francis and  UNESCO have spoken out against this ill-advised and disastrous decision. You can read about that here was a short history of the Hagia Sophia here.

If you want you to understand what happened in Turkey read my article “Prepare for the Skyline of the Future” which is a warning to the West. Constantinople, renamed Istanbul, was the capital of the Byzantine Christian Empire. It was all Christian and the Hagia Sophia was its cathedral. but now Turkey is 99.9% Muslim with less than 60,000 Christians in a country exceeding 80 million people.

If you don’t think this can happen to the West, think again.

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Notice the two different Biden’s.

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Screen Shot 2020-06-08 at 8.08.50 AMAfter President Trump was so loudly rebuked for visiting the Episcopalian Church across the street from the White House, most shamefully by Wilton Gregory the Archbishop of Washington DC, this letter was written in response. The letter was written and signed by,

+Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

On paragraph as an example reads,

“For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship. Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on. And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.”

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Free Magnificat to Stay Close to God and the Liturgy

March 20, 2020

SPECIAL UPDATE Please share this email with as many people as you can. Dear MAGNIFICAT Family, During these difficult times, we all continue to look for ways to remain close to Jesus, his Blessed Mother, and his Church. In addition to its online edition, MAGNIFICAT is now offeringcomplimentary access to its iOS and Android Apps throughout […]

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Steve’s Audio Talks on the Book of Acts and the Birth of the Catholic Church

March 15, 2020

 “That they may become perfectly one.” Christ’s prayer for unity resonates clearly with us. He prayed not only for our union with him and his Father but for the unity of all mankind. Teach your customers about early Church history. In his stirring talk “The Birth of the Catholic Church,” biblical expert and former Protestant […]

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Easter and Rejoicing!

March 26, 2016

My wife Janet and I are high above the Atlantic Ocean on our way to Israel. Our oldest grandson Dominic (13 yrs old) is serving at Mass back in Ann Arbor Michigan. We certainly miss him and the Easter Vigil but will share pictures in the next day or two. Soon we will pick up our […]

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For Epiphany – Steve stands on the exact spot

January 8, 2016

   For the early church the Baptism of Our Lord is more important than the arrival of the Magi for the feast of epiphany. It was the time when the voice from God was heard from heaven and the Holy Spirit came down on Jesus and the Trinity was manifested. This week we are at […]

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My Daughter’s Upcoming Talk

January 7, 2016

  Very proud of my daughter Cindy. On January 14 she is giving a talk at Christ the King in Ann Arbor Michigan.  The title is “The Formative Power of Music: the Connection Between Music, Virtue…and Your Sins” where she draws from her wealth of philosophical knowledge and personal experience. Limited seating.  For more info visit […]

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Stations of the Cross, Calvary and Mass in the Tomb of Christ with Archbishop Aquila and much more

January 4, 2016

Today was rich! It took two videos to show you the highlights. First, the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), touching the top of Calvary and Mass in the Tomb of Christ. I caught much of the action in the tomb and Archbishop Aquila’s homily. The second video is also rich. Pater Noster Church, the […]

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Read the Bible or Catechism in One Year

December 28, 2015

  I am finishing up read the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year. Great experience!  Next year it is the Catholic Bible in one year.  Here is a good website to get you started, with lots of options and advice.  http://brandonvogt.com/how-to-easily-read-the-whole-bible/

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“Fundamentalist Catholics Do Harm” Pope Francis

December 2, 2015

VIDEO of Pope saying ‘fundamentalist’ Catholics do ‘harm,’ should be ‘combated’ ow.ly/Vovkd http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xy8izcEj44&sns=em

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Vatican’s Response to Paris Attack

November 14, 2015

Despicable and cowardly attacks. The Junior Varsity club according to Obama. When will the world act? Christians slaughtered around the world! Innocent people slaughtered for no reason.  We are here in Israel right now. The question we have been asked already multiple times in two days is, “Why Doesn’t the World Do Something? Where Is […]

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Fr. Larry Rochards has a Few Words to Say :-) – Now made public, sorry

November 11, 2015

Thanks Fr. Larry for your comments while with us in Athens Greece at Mars Hill where St. Paul spoke to the Athenians.

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Paul Loved Corinth the Best – We Loved it too

November 7, 2015

     The last day of our Rome, Greece and Turkey pilgrimage cruise in the footprints of St. Paul.  Two homilies from Fr. Larry in one day!  Corinthian is a spectacular site and Mass outdoors at the Judgment Seat was very moving. Enjoy! HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR DAY IN CORINTH, OUR FINAL MASSES AND FAREWELLS FR. […]

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The Book of Revelation Was Written Here – the Island of Patmos

November 5, 2015

St. John was exiled to the Island of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Today we visited this island and celebrated Mass at cave where St. John lived and received his revelation. Enjoy! VISITING THE ISLAND OF PATMOS WITH ST. JOHN FR. LARRY RICHARD’S HOMILY ON PATMOS

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