Daily Archives: June 11, 2010
I have reported yesterday about the extraordinary opinions of Prince Charles regarding the so-called “religion of peace”.
We now read in the London “Times” of the hanging of a 7-year-old boy for being, it would appear, a collaborator of the US and NATO forces, but the fact that his father – a tribal elder in the village – has spoken out against the Taliban might, well, just have played a role…….
The motives are still unclear and the Taliban deny any responsibility for the fact (they would, wouldn’t they?). Perhaps it was a local feud; perhaps the Taliban wouldn’t dare to go openly against a village elder and have murdered his son; or perhaps it was just a spontaneous outburst of environmental zeal due to the fact that over there there is – as the Prince deigned to inform us – “no separation between man and nature”.
Whoever the responsible of this atrocious murder may be, could someone please tell Prince Charles that in Christian countries – where there is a separation between man and nature – children of seven are not found hanged at nearby trees.
The American Papist reports about the initiative of Archbishop Broglio, the head of the Catholics in the US armed forces, to try and stop the repeal of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” legislation currently regulating the position of homosexuals in the US armed forces. The statement of Archbishop Broglio can be found here.
Particularly interesting are in my eyes the following passages:
“Catholic chaplains must show compassion for persons with a homosexual orientation, but can never condone—even silently—homosexual behavior”.
“A change might have a negative effect on the role of the chaplain not only in the pulpit, but also in the classroom, in the barracks, and in the office”.
“There is no doubt that morality and the corresponding good moral decisions have an effect on unit cohesion and the overall morale of the troops and effectiveness of the mission”
“The effect of a repeal of the current legislation has the potential of being enormous and overwhelming”.
“Tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.
“Sacrificing the moral beliefs of individuals or their living conditions to respond to merely political considerations is neither just nor prudent especially for the armed forces at a time of war”.
“Catholics believe that nothing will be done if there is a careful and prudent evaluation of the effects of a change”.
In my eyes, what Archbishop Broglio could have done is to be more forceful in his stressing the moral duty for every Catholic legislator not to vote in favour of the repeal. Those who tell themselves Catholic and even think of passing such legislation should be exposed as fake Catholics, publicly condemned and, in case, duly excommunicated. Whilst I do not think that Broglio can excommunicate them himself, he can certainly contribute to a climate in which a Catholic legislator is required to either walk the Catholic walk or at least shut up about his alleged Catholicism. Catholic orthodoxy will be restored only by demanding from all those in public positions that they do not dilute or counterfeit it. Traditional Catholicism must be defended openly and vocally and our Bishops are (supposed to be) the men for that.
I will not go into the ludicrous matter of the effects of an increased homosexual infiltration of the army, because this is the stuff of which jokes are made. That a superpower can even think of compromising to such an extent the efficacy of its armed forces by sacrificing the most elementary common sense on the altar of political correctness says a lot about the ideological blindness currently reigning in Washington.
I wonder – nay, not really – how many homosexual soldiers are currently serving in the army of the emerging superpower, China.
Mala tempora currunt. A Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is certainly in order.
Dear reader, if you are a non-Catholic you have probably heard a lot of nonsense about indulgences and if you are a cradle Catholic you might not have heard anything at all. I will try here to give you some compact information about what Indulgences are and why they are so important in the life of a Catholic. If you want more detailed information you’ll find it here.
To understand the indulgences you must realise that sins demand – even after they have been forgiven – a temporal punishment. When the sin was forgiven the soul was cleansed, but the necessity for the punishment remained. You can make a parallel with everyday life by thinking that if by parking on the street you damage your neighbour’s car, you or your insurance will be expected to pay for the damage even after your neighbour has wholeheartedly accepted your excuses.
As human nature is, in the course of our life we accumulate many such parking accidents and even if we regularly go to confession and have our sins forgiven, the list of the temporal punishments for which we are liable is destined to grow. Instead of paying this debt in its entirety in Purgatory after our death, the Lord’s mercy allows us to – as it were – start paying this debt whilst we are alive, either reducing it or – in extreme cases – cancelling it in its entirety. This partial or total anticipated payment is called “indulgence”. In order to profit from the indulgence, you are required to do something special that shows your willingness to accept that you own the debt and to pay it. In His turn, the Lord reacts to your willingness by remitting your debt with extreme generosity. Indulgences are a deal on exceptionally favourable conditions or – to put it in financial terms – the equivalent of redeeming your IOUs at a peppercorn for the pound. Every Catholic does well to profit from such a generous deal as long as it is available, because the offer ends at the moment of our death and we will afterwards have to rely on the deals other people can get for us.
The main distinction concerning indulgences is between partial and plenary. Partial indulgences gain you a partial remission of your debt, plenary indulgences the remission of all the debts you have accumulated up to that moment. The deal is, though, not as easy at it may seem as the criteria to get a plenary indulgence are so strict – namely the absence of all attachment to sin, even venial sin – that only the most saintly among the faithful will be in a position to gain it. If a plenary indulgence cannot be obtained, a partial indulgence will apply. Indulgences can never be sold.
You can easily see, dear reader, how just and at the same time merciful the indulgences are. The Lord in His justice does not allow us to escape the punishment for the sins we have committed, but in His mercy He allows us to pay our debt on, shall we say, extremely favourable terms. As in real life, we get a better deal if we pay before the time the debt is due and have an easier life if we show ourselves willing to do our best to clean ourselves of our obligations.
The Enchiridion of Indulgences contains a catalogue of indulgences that can be obtained at any time and explains the conditions necessary to profit from them. The conditions are generally: 1) contrite heart; 2) confession; 3) communion and 4) prayer for the intention of the Pope, but further conditions may be attached to particular indulgences. In addition to this, there are indulgences that are made available only within a certain time frame and with the conditions attached to them from time to time. As I write, there is a plenary indulgence granted for the 12th June, the day of conclusion of the Year for Priests. In case you decide to pay particular attention to plenary indulgences, a catalogue is published here.
Dear reader, you can easily see that in your lifetime you will never get another deal as good as this one. He is a wise Catholic (or better still: traditional Catholic) who pays attention to the debts dues to the Lord. The offer is on extremely favourable conditions and available every day; it requires to do some little extra, but this extra is almost nothing compared to the benefit obtained. It also trains the faithful to keep his eyes on his eternal destiny, which will help him to go through his day and will slowly but surely improve his habits. Once again, Catholicism discloses to the faithful a world where justice and love meet, both contributing to keep him on that straight and narrow way built to lead him to his eternal reward.
Indulgences are, truly, the deal of your life.