- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2014

American photojournalist James Foley was shown this week to be executed by Islamic State fighters, and while heartbreak and outrage have been the strongest reactions to the tragic news, Mr. Foley’s faith has emerged as a source of comfort.

Marquette University this week posted to its website a letter from Mr. Foley — a 1996 graduate — titled “Phone call home.” It recounts his time in captivity in Tripoli, Libya, how he used prayer to meditate, and a phone call he made to his mother in which he learned that loved ones back home were praying for his safe return.

“I began to pray the rosary,” he wrote. “It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.”

Mr. Foley’s mother told her son that Marquette was holding a prayer vigil. Asked whether he could feel the prayers, Mr. Foley wrote, “I feel them.”

“Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat,” he wrote. “If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.”


The archbishop of Oklahoma City on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against a group of people planning a satanic Black Mass next month.

In documents filed with the District Court of Oklahoma City, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley has asked that the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Syndicate return any and all portions of a consecrated host that reportedly is destined for desecration during the Mass.

“To Catholics, the consecrated host is the most sacred, respected, and revered thing in the world,” court records state.

According to the Dakhma website, during Black Masses the host is “corrupted by sexual fluids then it becomes the sacrifice for the Mass.” The Black Mass is a way to “receive a ‘blessing’ from the Devil,” and the desecration is part of the ritual “to mock the Catholic Mass in the form of a blasphemy rite used to deprogram people from their Christian background.”


An ice bucket and extra towels are about all you can expect to find in Travelodge hotel rooms. The company has announced it would be removing Bibles from the nightstands in its British locations.

“This decision was based on customer research and the fact that we live in a multicultural society,” a Travelodge spokesman told The Huffington Post UK, adding that the Bibles would be available at front desks for visitors who request them.

The hotel chain said it had not received any complaints regarding the missing Bibles.

The Church of England voiced its discontent with the decision, saying it is “both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity.’”

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