Monthly Archives: August 2010
Liberals and the Right to Cannibalism
Absolutely brilliant entry from Matthew Archbold regarding a spoof restaurant adv inviting clients to “donate a part of their body” to the restaurant and also looking for an “open-minded surgeon”.
Having reported the news, Mr. Archbold rightly reflects that a society allowing everything two adults consent to should also not have a problem in allowing cannibalism; similarly, a society allowing a mother to kill a baby in her womb shouldn’t be too much upset at allowing that same person to get rid of, say, a toe or some pounds of flesh she might desire to shed.
The reflection is more serious than it could appear. We live in a society that whilst remaining Christian in many ways and therefore reacting in an automatic way to many Christian taboos (cannibalism, incest, bestiality to name a few) has partially decided to set aside Christian thinking in some other matters (abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality come to mind). To persuade the populace to accept these perversions several arguments are used, like for example that it is a human right to behave as one pleases; that one is the owner of one’s own body or that one is not bound to adopt a Christian system of values.
Still, all these arguments also apply to cannibalism, incest and bestiality. If you take leave from Christian values when it is about homosexuality, why should you stick to them when it is about cannibalism, incest, or bestiality? Who is to say that a dog cannot “love” his or her owner, when everyone knows how affectionate dogs can be? How can anyone maintain that a dog would suffer a physical damage in any way bigger than the physical damage undoubtedly procured to a homosexual? And who is to say that two brothers (of whatever sex, as we are being tolerant here) shouldn’t be considered “a loving couple” in the same way as your butcher and his bearded “partner”, whose “union” was recently blessed by a smiling, inclusive Episcopalian pastor-ess, say they are one?
The real truth is that every supporter of abortion and homosexuality cannot explain to these people why he is “discriminating” against them, their dogs, their sheep, their siblings and their right to sell or donate their belly as they are allowed to sell their hair or donate their blood. There is no logical argument why the one should be allowed and the other shouldn’t and in fact, some years ago an incestuous couple in Germany went up to the Bundesverfassungsgericht (the German Constitutional Court) claiming that they had a “right to love”, that their rights were being denied, their freedom oppressed and in a word recurring to exactly the same nonsense commonly heard from homos and from their supporters.
The way to Hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions. I’d say that bad intentions make an excellent job of that, too.
Male-only Priesthood: CNN gets it right
Barring women from being Catholic priests is not the result of sexism 2,000 years ago, it’s because women cannot fulfill a basic function of the priesthood, “standing in the place of Jesus,” a leading British Catholic thinker argued Monday.
This is the incipit of a CNN contribution about the same matter of the money-wasting but economy-helping wymyn I have covered here.
Note the difference with much of today’s superficial journalism: the article starts with the clear statement of a fact, coming from the only source authorised to say what the facts in the matter are.
It gets better. Instead of giving us the more or less stupid opinion of a more or less stupid author about what the Church should do in the fantasy world in which they live, this journalist not only tells you what the facts are, but even reports the Church’s explanation as to the why. The statement is faithfully reported that the protest
is based on a fundamental misunderstanding,
the Church has no authority to ordain women
Short and sweet. Nothing much to add. See how easy it is?
The article provides even better information:
The bottom line is that Jesus chose 12 men – and no women – to be his apostles,
This is also not difficult to know, but still seems to go beyond the “knowledge” of many commentators on the matter. After so informing his reader about the only two or three things one needs to know, the author even reports a more profound explanation of why cats can’t bark. Reporting the Vatican source, the journalist writes:
Men and women are equal in Christianity, he continues, but “this does not mean that our sexual identity as men and women is interchangeable. Gender is not just an accident.”
Just simple, easy-to-grasp facts. It goes to show that if a journalist makes the minimum of effort of informing himself a bit (which should be his job, I presume) or at least listening to what his sources say (which should be his job, I presume) it is perfectly possible to actually inform without deforming everything with one’s own astonishing ignorance of everything Catholic and one’s own astonishing arrogance in thinking they can can tell the Church what to do.
This is not even a debate. There can be no debate in the first place. There will never be one! Never, ever!
It is refreshing to know that at least at times the CNN gets it right. Please compare with the BBC writing about the Church on their internet page (about male-only priesthood, no less) that “such things can change at astonishing speed” or such like words. They obviously changed the internet entry at the same speed, but you get my drift…
This blog does not hesitate in exposing the ignorance and superficiality of journalists. When someone does his job properly, it is nice to let one’s readers know.
Hans Kueng and the Angry Bees
A beautiful article (of some time ago, but that has lost nothing of its actuality) on the “Remnant”. Its leitmotiv is a funny comparison with the bees who become more aggressive when they sense that their life is slowly turning to an end. A bit the same is happening, says the author Brian McCall, with the modernists within the Church: as they get more desperate, they get more aggressive and like the bees they don’t get younger, either. In short, they know that the Modernist show is soon going to be terminated because of natural death of the paying public and don’t like it a bit.
Another funny image of the article follows the remark that Kueng clearly recognises the malaise within the Church, but stubbornly insists in refusing to identify the causes. “His call to arms” writes McCall “reads like a doctor diagnosing a patient with malaria who then prescribes an injection of more live malaria to cure him”. And in truth it needs all the delusion of an ageing Modernist to attribute 50 years of declining Church attendance to the Vatican…… not being “progressive” enough. Therefore,
Like the bees […] the Modernist insects that have been swarming since the false Spring have begun to sense their mortality. They still dominate the hive, of course, but seem to recognize their hour is at hand. They are lashing out in desperation.
As to what will happen, the author writes:
Who are the beekeepers approaching to clear the hives? […] Küng identifies two of them: The Mass of All Ages and the Society of St. Pius X.
I agree only partially with that as it seems to me that the realisation of the mess produced by the Vatican II – and even more by the dissent and “spirit of V II” allowed to spread afterwards – is in my eyes not something to be directly attributed to the Latin Mass or the SSPX: rather, I’d say that the progressive sobering up of the Vatican hierarchy after the big booze of Vatican II preceded the factual reinstatement of the Tridentine Mass and the (factual, if yet incomplete) rehabilitation of the SSPX. Still, one must recognise that once the Church has finally sobered up, Catholics will look back and say that the process has been if not caused, certainly encouraged by the courageous witness of the SSPX.
I’d like to close this entry with McCall’s beautiful quotation from a dire prediction of the “Pastor Angelicus” Pius XII, whose suffering and prophetic words were pronounced, as the author himself says, “when Küng was a boy in Lederhosen, too young to yodel”:
I am concerned about the confidences of the Virgin to the little Lucia of Fatima. The persistence of the Good Lady in face of the danger that threatens the Church is a divine warning against the suicide that the modification of the Faith, liturgy, theology, and soul of the Church would represent.
I hear around me partisans of novelties who want to demolish the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her adornments, and make her remorseful for her historical past. Well, my dear friend, I am convinced that the Church of Peter must affirm her past, or else she will dig her own tomb.”
Beautiful words from a wonderful Pope whose greatness the Church has all too willingly ignored just a few years after his death.
As they say in Italy, “Time is an honourable man”.
“A la droite du Vatican”: France 3 documentary.
Those of you who understand French will certainly enjoy this hour-long documentary about French Traditional Catholics produced from France 3 and appeared on Gloria TV. The documentary is obviously not without faults, but one must say that the effort to understand French Traditionalism and accurately transmit its values to the viewers is, for a secular sender, remarkable.
There are small parts you won’t like (a stupid reference to alleged “Islamophobia” comes to mind; one also notices that secular people are unable to discuss Traditionalism without mixing it with the private opinions of Bishop Williamson), but in general I think that many lukewarm French Catholics who have seen this documentary have been left with a lot to think about.
Those who do not understand French (no subtitles, unfortunately) will enjoy the period footage of Archbishop Lefebvre and the beautiful music in the first part of the documentary.
He will also enjoy the masses. Both on the impressive footage from the Sixties and on the parts dealing with contemporary traditionalism, one can’t avoid noticing the numerical impact of an organisation numbering 150,000 in a country with around the same inhabitants as the United Kingdom. Since Vatican II France has been disgraced with bishops among the worst on the planet, but it is also the country where the reaction to “Catholicism easy” is strongest and best organised.
You’ll notice (and this is correctly put in evidence in the documentary) the strikingly low average age of the French Traditionalists. In addition, the entire editorial cut of the documentary makes at least an honest effort to portray them in their daily lives and as normal people rather than deluded nutcases, as the BBC or Channel Four would most certainly do.
These are young people, young mothers, families with children; they are listened to in the course of their daily life, in the kitchen, the reception room, at lunch, in a brasserie or bar; they smoke and drink beer, are dressed correctly but like everyone of us and are evidently not living in a parallel, alternative world like a hippy or an extremist biker. These are people with normal jobs and normal lives, whom every lukewarm Catholic could easily have as friends.
I recommend the viewing to the french-speaking readers, but even those who don’t will probably find the initial part – with the period footage and the music – rather interesting.
Dereliction of duty and its consequences on legislation.
On Catholic Exchange, Judie brown has a very interesting piece about the relationship between contraception and legalisation of homosexuality. She has the following arguments:
1) Contraception links sex to pleasure and thus opens the way for pleasure irrespective of his finality. Therefore, contraception is at the root of the increase of acceptance of homosexuality.
2) That most Catholic couples in the US use contraceptives doesn’t make their use less wrong; it merely exposes the inability of the clergy to convey Catholic values.
3) We might have had a different situation today, if the Church has preached the Truth about homosexuality (and contraception) instead of shutting up.
On 1) This is very profound. Homosexuality is a perversion, not a weakness and people don’t become perverts because you don’t insist on the way to have intercourse in the proper way. Still, it can be argued that the reduction of sex to pleasure has led to a higher acceptance of all those who see in sex only a way of seeking pleasure. This mentality will in itself not cause an increase in homosexuality, but probably an increase in its acceptance. The decline of the taboo of homosexuality (sins crying to heaven for vengeance? What’s this?) has certainly also played a massive role.
On 2) I found the remark absolutely spot on. It is time to repeat again and again that the Bishops must start doing their job again. Here in Blighty, I can’t name a single Bishop who wouldn’t deserve immediate dismissal. In the US the situation is probably better, but one wonders how much (one answers: not much).
On 3) I think the lady really hits the bull’s eye. Contraception is not unavoidable. Abortion is not unavoidable. Mickey Mouse “marriages” are not unavoidable. They have all come to pass because the Clergy were sleeping or more probably, cowardly looking for ways of being popular. That so many people nowadays see as “normal” what Christianity (and not only Christianity: ask the pre-Christian Romans!) always saw as a grave perversion says it all about the scale of the dereliction of duty from the Western clergy. Note that where the Clergy do their work, this problem is virtually non-existent (Africa, Asia).
The bottom line is that at the beginning of everything is Bishops doing their job and taking care that their priests do the same. Sound teaching attacks the secular mentality in all its mistakes and allows a more complete view of Christian Doctrine and of one’s own life, which in turn better equips Christians for the right reaction to secular challenges.
If the proper thinking about contraception had been hammered in the head of the faithful since Humanae Vitae, we would probably not be here today talking about Proposition 8.
The Church of the Whatever: a “Stanford Nutting” video
Enjoy another video of Stanford Nutting, “the man who stands for nothing”.
This is like MasterCard.
Not many videos up to now. I hope they keep coming. The man deserves vast notoriety.
“To Start You Thinking”: a CTS vintage booklet
To Start You Thinking is a rather different booklet than the previously examined “Tell her You’re a Catholic”, but this also comes from the mine of information about vintage Catholic texts that is Shane’s blog. Whilst still being of an introductory nature, it goes rather more in-depth and requires from his reader a rather bigger, so to speak, emotional investment before he even starts reading it.
The booklet is structured as an invitation to a hypothetical Protestant reader to “start thinking” about some aspects of the Catholic faith he has up to then either flatly misunderstood or not examined with the care they deserve. Therefore several Catholic perspectives are examined, from the relationship to the Bible to the nature and rationale of Papal Infallibility, from the complex and seemingly artificial Catholic Mass to the Confession, from the veneration of Saints to a short introduction to Purgatory.
It seems to me that a Protestant starting to read a booklet of such a scope was already starting to think about conversion or was at least seriously interested in getting to a sort of “ceasefire” with Catholicism. If one reflects about the strictness with which many Catholics must have seen the already examined issue of interfaith marriage, one is not entirely surprised.
Therefore, the typical reader might have been someone engaged to (or in love with) a Catholic and desirous to understand a bit more about Catholicism, or perhaps someone whose close friend or relative had decided to convert, or someone undergoing a period of crisis in his heretical convictions; but this is certainly not a booklet read casually or to employ an idle hour.
The author is very logical, his arguments are exclusively intellectual. There is nothing of the emotional approach typical of so many conversion attempts of today (just look around the Papal visit website and you’ll soon get an idea of what I mean). This booklet was not written to persuade that Catholicism is “looove”, but to prove that it is right. Similarly, there is no trace whatsoever of a (misunderstood) “ecumenical” approach. The author claims your entire attention and wants to start you on a path leading you to the fullness of the Truth, not to a part of it.
This is no work for an interreligious gathering in Assisi-style. It is therefore highly recommended.
“Tell Her You’re A Catholic”: a CTS vintage booklet.
Some of you will have noticed that on the top bar of this blog a new section has appeared. The reason for it is that our reader Shane has posted on his blog the scan of a series of beautiful booklets published by the Catholic Truth Society in the Fifties. They truly give us an authentic testimony of how the Church pre-Vatican II thought and worked. The contrast with the praxis of today is, I must say, striking and lets us feel ashamed of the religious education most of us (and I most certainly) have received.
The first one of the booklets I’d like to introduce is “Tell Her You’re a Catholic”, a delightful short story explaining the old rules of the Church (and their profound rationale) regarding mixed faith marriages through the fictional interaction of a young couple, their best friends and the unavoidable priest.
I do not want to deprive you of the pleasure of reading this fascinating and well written short story yourselves. I will just notice a couple of things:
1) The cover shows a well-dressed man. I never can avoid to notice that when people took more attention to the way they communicated (much less vulgar language around, undoubtedly), they also took more care in the way they presented themselves. To be in order and to appear at one’s best where a way to show respect to one’s neighbours. It would seem stupid but it isn’t, listen to the language of many people nowadays and look at how they dress as soon as they are free from work obligations and you’ll soon see the link.
2) Several people in this short story talk and act in a way that today would be considered “uncharitable” and “judgmental”, when in reality it is exquisitely charitable. I am old enough to tell you that whilst this is a work of fiction, reality must have been rather similar – if probably less polished and faultlessly clear – to the way of communication therein described. Notice the contrast: when people were formally polite they knew they could talk straight, but today where vulgarity is spread everywhere very few people would speak with the openness of our fictional friends.
3) The problems, objections, hopes, possible solutions and real-life conflicts are exactly the same half a century later. It is nice to see that in the end we are the same people; we merely do not have the instruments past generations had.
When you have some fifteen or so minutes for yourself, you can do much worse than reading this very interesting short story. I encourage you to let the booklet circulate (it is a .pdf file that can be easily saved on your computer and sent around) and give your little contribution to the reconstruction of the brilliant Church of only two generations ago.
Last but not least: the rules of Canon Law about interfaith marriages have, I believe, been relaxed in the meantime. This makes this little story not less, but more instructive as divorce among Catholics has sharply increased, too. I can’t avoid thinking that if the mentality were the same today the results would be not necessarily less marriages, but rather less mistakes and more sincere conversions.
Once again, thanks to Shane for his brilliant work in defence of traditional Catholicism.
Be careful whom you listen to: a Michael Voris video
Michael Voris at his best in a new video concerning the strange double case of two bishops publicly rebuking one of their own priests in the same week, but for opposite reasons.
Incidentally, I had written about one of the two cases here and as you will be able to listen in the video, Bishop Choby has reacted promptly and with exemplary firmness. If you need more background on the second case, it has been dealt with by Father Z here and father Z also went on the issue of Father Rodriguez TV interview here.
This is five minutes long. It is so well made that I do not feel the need to add a single word (very rare, this). It may be necessary to sign in by RealCatholictv.com. Easy and free.
Who is your “special Saint”?
Catholic.net reports of an interesting point made by the Holy Father from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo: the beauty and utility of having a special Saint.
“Each one should have a saint that is familiar to him, to whom he feels close with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate him or her. Hence, I would like to invite you to know the saints better, beginning with the one whose name you bear, by reading his life, his writings. You can be certain that they will become good guides to love the Lord ever more and valid aids for your human and Christian growth.”
Besides being a beautiful thought in itself, this exhortation of the Holy Father leads us to some rather sad reflections about the neglect of a proper cult of the Saints, still another poisoned fruit of Vatican II. In the desperate effort of the Church to minimise Her differences with heretic communities and thus – as it was very naively thought – make their conversion easier, the Church has long downplayed this traditionally fundamental aspect of Catholic life. As a result, the Protestants have not become more Catholic but Catholics have surely taken Protestant habits or at least gravely neglected the Catholic ones. Cue the attitude of many Catholics toward transubstantiation, their understanding of the Mass as a celebration of their oh so beautiful community, their rather relaxed ideas about abortion, divorce, contraception, obedience in general. I wonder whether all this would have happened, had a robust veneration of the Saint continued to be encouraged.
Thankfully, this is slowly coming back and we can hope to see, in the next couple of decades, a full recovery of this most Catholic of religious habits.
Personally, my favourite Saint has been – for some years now – the wonderful chap you see in the image; a Saint whose visceral, relentless hate of Communism and homosexuality and whose very conservative political ideas are very near to my intellect, whilst his wonderful goodness and sainthood touch my heart in a very special way. Italian like me, by the way, and an exuberantly emotional chap like so many of us (which, whether you accept it or not, is what in the end makes us so popular 😉 ).
I encourage everyone who hasn’t any “special saint” to start on the path so beautifully described by the Holy father and hope that he will soon find – to use the words of the Holy Father again – a heavenly “travel companion”.
To cheer you up a bit
I know, I know…
another grey and cold day in what should have been the Summer 2010. After the Met Office foresaw that the second part of August would have been a disaster many of us hoped in two wonderfully sunny weeks; alas, every now and then even the Met Office gets it right.
Therefore, I felt the need to do something for your mood (and mine) in another uniformly grey and cold August day and I thought that this might be of help. A group of wymyn not only sets up to say the usual absurdities, but even spends a lot of money on it. Good, say I. It’ll help the economy in such difficult times.
Next month we dwellers of the Capital of the former Land Of Hope And Glory will have some moments of amusement totally free of charge as the feminist group Catholic Wymyn Ordination spends some fifteen thousand of their hopefully hard-earned Pounds to tell the Pope that he must embrace heresy. As they assume that the Popemobile is out of fashion or perhaps in a desperate effort to be “green”, they will use the London buses to get their message across.
The message is as simple as the wymyn themselves: ordain wymyn priest, or die. “We do not want to be disruptive”, says the spokeswomyn Something Something, “but I think the Church has got to change or it will not survive”. I wouldn’t expect her to notice how stupid what she says is; but I would expect that she at least notices that it is heretical on two counts: 1) when she thinks that the Church might nor survive and 2) when she thinks that Doctrinal point must be changed. On the right day, this is very funny indeed.
I can now vividly imagine Martin Luther saying “I do not want to be disruptive, but I really do not think Church Tradition is of any use”, but I think Luther was at least intellectually more honest than this deluded bunch of minus habens who either can’t read, or can’t think, or can’t do any of both.
Still, it will inject some money into the economy; money which might otherwise have been sent to some wymyn group in, say, Canada or Mexico.
Goes to show that no one is completely useless.
Three minutes of fun
“Facilitator” Stanford Nutting introduces himself to the readers of this blog.
This comes from “Creative Minority Report”. Three minutes.
Bishop Fellay’s reaction to Bishop Williamson and the future of the NO
Gun powder smell at the SSPX after the controversial newsletter of Bishop Williamson reported here
The Remnant has an exclusive interview with Bishop Fellay, interesting under several profiles. First of all, Bishop Fellay denies having knowledge of a motu proprio as described by Williamson. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t one in the offing of course and Bishop Williamson’s sources could simply be better informed; still, one doesn’t find it very probable that Bishop Fellay would be kept in the dark whilst he is leading the talks with the Vatican. Bishop Fellay’s dismissal of the rumour as “gossip” shows that he is pretty confident that he is not out of the loop.
Secondly, Bishop Fellay issues a clear advice to Bishop Williamson to, well, mind his own business and not intervene in such a way in matters not concerning him in his duties as SSPX Bishop. Of course Williamson would say that it is his own business, but you get the drift.
Thirdly, Bishop Fellay says that the talks are going “smoothly and according to plan”. One would like to know a bit more about that, though understandably we are not allowed to get further details on the matter. On the other hand, this obviously diplomatic statement would have been issued even if the negotiations were not going absolutely anywhere, so take it with a pinch if salt….
From the Remnant article further interesting elements emerge; I will mention them only briefly.
1) The SSPX needs a new seminary. Vocations continue to be massive, money is clearly not a pressing problem.
2) The SSPX is talking to various Church authorities in the US to sound the possibility of acquiring one of their own unused structures or land (say: a now-closed seminary, or some land they own). It would appear that in the past the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has encountered refusals to sell property to them because of their “ideological” stance, and besides being in full communion the FSSP are certainly “moderate” compared to the SSPX. I suppose that for many Bishops if you are in favour of the Tridentine Mass you are anathema anyway.
3) Dulcis in fundo: Bishop Fellay confirmed that when Summorum Pontificum was issued, an unnamed “high-ranking prelate” gave the Novus Ordo not more than another 20-25 years. Whilst one doesn’t know how high the prelate ranks, it is highly indicative that he said so to Fellay, clearly sending the message that as soon as the ’68ers have gone the Novus Ordo will follow them rather fast. As we all know that lex orandi, lex credendi the idea that Vatican II ideology may survive after the Novus Ordo has gone is rather naive.
Better days ahead.
“Liturgical entertainment” by the Papal visit?
Fr Ray Blake’s St. Mary Magdalen blog has a rather astonishing entry about a mail received from the diocesan “visit coordinator”. Apparently, in Hyde Park “liturgical entertainment” will be provided for the several hours between the opening of the park and the Pope’s arrival.
The word itself makes one cringe (as Fr Blake dutifully did). If it’s “liturgical” it’s not supposed to be “entertainment” at all and vice versa. We’ll have to see whether some nostalgic fan of guitar masses has decided to organise something according to the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” or whether it was just a case of a horribly worded email. Still, anyone with some respect for the liturgy would never come to the idea of using an expression like “liturgical entertainment”. This sounds rather like an oxymoron, as in “funny funeral” or “merry murder”. But I googled a bit and the expression really seems to exist! V II is a gift that keeps on giving….
As Fr Blake points out, that such ideas come out during the visit of the most liturgical of recent Popes would, if confirmed, rather look like a slap in the Holy Father’s face. I hope not and frankly do not want to think that Pope Benedict’s enemies would be so stupid, besides being so brazen; but should this really be true than it would be the duty of the Holy Father to save his own face and the reputation of Catholicism in this country buy taking harsh measures and cutting off the one or other guitar-strumming head.
Nothing tragic for now, anyway as the most probable option is that what is meant is superficial ’68 bollocks on which the adjective “liturgical” has been added because it sounded cool. Vatican II doesn’t want to die peacefully.
In the Alaskan primary, the Pro-Life Republican Candidate obtains an unexpected victory
Some days ago I have written about the importance of not leaving one’s catholicism outside of the ballot box. The question was then posed what is one to do in a situation in which apparently there is no choice.
My answer to that was that whilst there might be situations where there is no pro-life candidate available, in many instances there might be candidates worthy of support at a former stage; thinking of the US, at the Primaries.
Today, it may seem that a big surprise is in the offing. Whilst official data will not be available for some days, it would appear that in Alaska the pro-life Republican Senatorial candidate Joe Miller has obtained the most unexpected of victories against the abortionist candidate Lisa Murkowski. Murkowski is the incumbent, had a much more professionally organised campaign (and money) and was leading with a huge advantage. Truth be said, Miller profited from a massive last-minute money injection from the Tea Party, but in such circumstances money is rather more useful in making one candidate’s message known than in changing people’s minds. It would also appear that abortion did play a role as the proposal of requiring parental notification for women 17 and younger seeking an abortion was apparently approved by 55% of the voters (and note again that the proposal is additional sign of political activism at an early stage).
It is therefore clear that in Alaska abortion was part of the campaign, that the pro-life side is stronger than many would expect and that a pro-life candidate can win – and win in such a spectacular and unexpected way as Miller has very probably done – also because of the pro-life vote. In a democracy, such things never go unnoticed and Mrs. Murkowski has certainly noticed.
It will not always go this way and it would be an illusion to think that the pro-life involvement of Catholics may always contribute to such results, at least in the short and medium term.
But it certainly shows what can be done.
The Papal visit and doing one’s homework.
The Catholic Herald deals with the effects of the Papal visit, or better said with the hopes of Archbishop Nichols about the same.
My personal opinion is that the effects of the papal visit are being vastly exaggerated and that this exaggeration is conveniently used to cover the fact that like their American counterparts, the bishops of E & W can’t do their job.
These events only have a momentary effect due to some days of intense media coverage, but are largely forgotten once the media coverage has shifted somewhere else. There will certainly be a positive effect on some individuals, but the work and the future of the Church in England cannot be based on short-lived media events. On the contrary, the future depends on serious and courageous work made on the ground every day. Looking at the English clergy it is clear that this is exactly what is not happening.
The past, “historic” visit of JP II – a success by any standard with vast media coverage, massive popular participation and many people touched at a personal level – has been followed by a sharp decline in mass attendance in the following decades. There can be no better evidence that no amount of media coverage can take the place of making one’s homework.
Archbishop Nichols has just seen the last Catholic adoption agency forced to abandon its Catholic character or close altogether. In front of the current situation of Catholic adoption agencies, a courageous Archbishop would have been firing from all cannons for months now, not neglecting one single occasion to make his voice strongly, aggressively heard, rallying his sheep to vocal and organised protest, becoming a serious electoral threat for all those publicly advocating anti-Catholic values and not hesitating to distribute all the excommunications needed to give force to his battle.
Archbishop Nichols prefers to give interviews about the Papal visit instead.
The real problem in this country is not the organisational blunders of the Papal visit, but that we have a toothless clergy feeling perfectly comfortable with their own irrelevance.
Archbishop Nichols is not delivering the goods, nor is any one of his E & W colleagues.
No degree of success of the Papal Visit will ever be able to counteract this.
Are liberal Catholics really so stupid?
The Washington Post has an involuntarily funny article about the new translation of the Novus Ordo.
The incredulous reader discovers therein that for some Catholic priests (or bishops!) the faithful are nothing more than, well, morons. But they can’t be the conservative ones as they delight in the not-so-easy Tridentine Mass, so the intellectually challenged faithful must be rather the “progressive” ones.
The Rev. Thomas Reese informs us that the people in the pews will “have to learn new responses” (“have to”: gives the idea of nasty obligation and heavy chore at the same time). He is undoubtedly right: they will have to say “and with your spirit” – an expression of unbelievable difficulty, apparently – instead of the “and also with you” learnt with such a big effort after Vatican II.
Another genius, a bishop called Trautman, laments the “slavishly literal” translations from the Latin. More artistic, fantasy-laden translations would probably have kept him happy; or probably everything that does not sound similar to the Latin version. This Bishop Trautman previously ran the liturgy committee. This explains a couple of things.
The article describes the great challenges facing the poor faithful and whilst I do understand that for many liberals this might well be a struggle – after all, if you don’t get that Catholicism is incompatible with abortion, why should you be able to say “and with your spirit” without extensive training? – I do not think that words like “consubstantial,” “inviolate,” “oblation,” “ignominy” and “suffused” will pose any big obstacle that a good dictionary (even an online one) would not dispel.
For instance, oblation is here, explained in a way even rev. Reese’s parishioners would understand and completely free of charge. Now if Rev. Reese would explain what part of “the act of making a religious offering” is difficult to understand, this would give us a better idea of how stupid he thinks his parishioners are.
Besides, I truly hope that every priest or bishop ever daring to say that the concept of transubstantiation is too difficult for his parishioners is immediately defrocked and no questions asked.
Still, liberal priests now have about fifteen months to explain such complicated words like “ignominy” to their, we understand, not too bright parishioners. But look at the bright side: it might teach them to think with their own head rather than slavishly follow the liberal rants of their priest or bishop.
BBC just can’t avoid getting it wrong
It is no more surprising, but worth saying anyway, that the BBC has arrived to such a level of secularised stupidity that they manage not to tell the truth even when it is as big as an elephant staying in front of them.
Take this article about the unstoppable growth of Christianity in China. The BBC manages to stress all the wrong bits of information and to keep silent about all the right ones.
Already the title tends to give a positive impression of the Communist government in China, as if they were entrepreneurial, confident people open to innovation. The truth is that they couldn’t stop the advance of Christianity and they are now merely trying to domesticate it and limit the damage. Fat chance, by the way.
The article examines the government’s investment in the “official” churches but it doesn’t even mention that the “official catholic church” is not recognised by the Church and is, to all intents and purposes, not the Catholic Church in China. It also conveniently avoids to mention the little detail that irrespective of expenses, the official “catholic” church remains largely empty whilst the real, One Catholic Church thrives everywhere. The Church, together with all other illegal communities, is called by the BBC “unregistered” and “underground”, without even bothering to explain why one would go to an unregistered church when, look, there is a beautiful official one available! That the underground churches are the place of worship of the vast majority of the Chinese Christian (let alone Catholic) population is conveniently downplayed by saying that they remain a “significant part” of the Chinese landscape.
Also note that the article is eager to give the government’s figures (as fake as the communist ideology, no doubt, but at the BBC they don’t get this) about those allegedly worshipping by state authorised churches, but doesn’t say one word about the difficult-to-know, but certainly impressive estimated numbers of underground Christians in China. As we speak, China is one of the biggest Christian – and more specifically Catholic – countries on Earth, with the number of underground Christians variedly estimated at 50-70 million, a good part of them Catholics. Whatever the real number, it is clear that there is a huge Catholic reality happily developing in China, completely outside of government influence; a reality the Commies tried to embrace and absorb not because they are so dynamic, tolerant and open to innovation and investment in the future, but in sheer desperation at their utter inability to prevent its existence or even stop its growth.
Also note that the author doesn’t make any effort to try to speak with some member of an underground church. He doesn’t even say that he would have liked it, but he wasn’t allowed. He only speaks to government-vetted people telling them government-vetted bollocks and implying that the work of the church be in any way compatible with the communist ideology, as if the church were there just to make social work in a more effective way.
This is BBC journalism for you: ignorance and secular bias masked as information.
Cardinal speaks out against abortion
It doesn’t happen often that a Cardinal has the nerve to speak some clear words. When it happens, it feels good to report it here.
Cardinal Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi, has criticised the newly approved Constitution of Kenya because the text opens the way for ordinary laws allowing abortion. The text reads
“Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.”
From what one understands the first two conditions are general provisions of what kind of abortions would not be considered in contrast with the Constitution and the third opens a huge door to a generalised abortion “right”, provided an ordinary law allows it.
This article of the Kenyan Constitution is wrong in both ways. The idea of allowing abortion only in particular cases is theologically wrong, and practically disastrous. In countries like Italy and the United Kingdom abortion has been introduced exactly with such a character: an “exceptional” measure for “exceptional” situations. It couldn’t work, and it didn’t.
Once you have trespassed on God’s commandment and allowed a mother to kill her own child in “exceptional circumstances”, you have opened the door for a secular mentality which will claim the extension to such exceptional circumstances to less and less “exceptional” cases. It must be so, then God does not allow His commandments to be “broken in a reasonable way”, because there’s nothing like that. Murder is a matter of absolutes, not of circumstances.
When one breaks God’s commandment one is going against God and against reason already and only a very secular skewing of perspective can induce one to see it otherwise. If you allow abortion when the mother could become suicidal every mother wanting to kill her child will claim to be suicidal, and so on. Again, the development in the UK and in Italy clearly testifies of the utter failure of this “fake reasonable” approach claiming to be able to improve on God’s Law.
Kudos to the Cardinal, then. Let us hope that his clear words will translate into an effective work on the ground in the years to come and that every abortion law may be successfully averted.
Michael Voris on “Do not Judge”
Nice little video of Michael Voris talking about the “do not judge”-crowd.
The issue is particularly impressive for me because in my former lives in Italy (a Catholic Country) and in Germany (a largely Christian country) this “do not judge”-mentality was just…. not there. The one of the other would occasionally utter but it was not meant as an objective value, but as an emotional reaction; more the utterance of an adolescent than a statement; not taken seriously or literally, for sure.
When I moved to the UK, I started to hear strange expressions like “I am not judging!” (said from the person speaking after he had uttered, well, some criticism), to which the answer would have been “why did you open your mouth, then” or, more appropriately, “why shouldn’t you under the circumstances”. That those so speaking meant “judging” to be something negative in itself, something one is not allowed to do, hit home only after I heard this strange remark a handful of times and understood that this was not lack of proper linguistic precision from one or two isolated people, but had to be some “ethical mantra” of Anglo-Saxon societies. This mantra was strangely confused with Christianity when in reality it embodies the contrary of what Christianity is, firstly in that it does not allow to help others and secondly because it seems to give a license to do whatever one wants without fearing any criticism. Can you imagine a Christian of the XIII century even conceiving such thoughts……
To Michael Voris’ entertaining defence of the “judging” Christian I’d like to add a verse he does not mention: “For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (matt. 7:2). This verse, coming immediately after the abused Matt. 7:1 gives in my eyes the sense of what Jesus meant (and very well explained by Mr. Voris btw) in the same sentence as Matt. 7:1 and makes it even more surprising that Jesus’ message could be cut in half and deformed in such a brutal way.
Enjoy the video
Found on the Internet:
SSPX soon in full communion again?
Rorate Coeli has a strange letter from Bishop Williamson, the well-intentioned but at times rather eccentric Bishop of the Society of St. Paul X.
In his latest newsletter, apparently received (see the comments to the entry) with some surprise within the SSPX itself, several alleged facts are rather clearly hinted to:
1) that SSPX and Rome are getting nearer to a full reconciliation;
2) that this reconciliation would require from the SSPX nothing else than some token concession, probably to acknowledge the Catechism of JP II, with no other conditions attached;
3) that this would be a bad development, and one to refuse without hesitation, because this would mean to “go along with the substance of neo-modernism”.
We all knew that Bishop Williamson is a chap, so to speak, sui generis, but this really takes the biscuit. Bishop Williamson’s assumption seems to be that the SSPX’s duty is to remain in imperfect communion until the Church has cleansed herself of all the toxins of Vatican II. He says explicitly that those Catholics who accept the compromise he describes “have not understood what [Archbishop Lefebvre] was all about”. But this is illogical as if JP II had consented to the appointment of the four bishops the SSPX would never have been in a state of imperfect communion in the first place. Bishop Williamson seems therefore to consider a probably necessary, but painful decision – and the painful consequences it unavoidably created – as if they were the defining trait of the SSPX’s mission.
We do not know whether 1) is true. The fact that Bishop Williamson feels it necessary to warn from it may indicate that it might not be very far from reality (still, knowing the man it is fair to say that no one can really say), but it certainly is an extraordinary piece of information.
Extraordinary seems also 2), as to pose such mild conditions as the acceptance of the JP II’s Catechism would in my eyes mean that Rome is so eager to have the SSPX into full communion again that it would be content with a merely symbolic gesture. I doubt whether this would even be enough to save the Vatican’s face (and JP II’s face, to say it as it is) as the practical results would be that the SSPX would be still able to fire from all cannons, but this time from a position of full legitimacy. To me, this is frankly difficult to believe.
Not very difficult to believe is, alas, 3) even if Bishop Williamson’s idea that such a token gesture would be unacceptable is, in my eyes, illogical and untenable.
I remind here my readers of the fact that a Catechism is not infallible and not a doctrinal instrument, but merely a didactical one. By “accepting” JP II’s catechism the SSPX would merely acknowledge that… they are not sedevacantists.
Bishop Williamson’s idea, that the Catechism is “quietly neo-modernist” is beside the point, as he himself does not question the authority of the Pope whose name the Catechism carries. Therefore either Bishop Williamson draws the consequences and tells us that JP II was a Modernist and he, Williamson, a sedevacantist or he has a logical problem.
Still, if what Bishop Williamson hints at proved to be true it would be, in my eyes, fantastic news for the SSPX and for the Church.
I wish Bishop Fellay the best of luck. I am confident that he will act in an orthodox but reasonable way.
How Vatican II changed the perception of death, part two
This is the continuation of the part one published yesterday. You can find the link here.
The first part has examined the following changes to the perception of death:
1) loss of the all-importance of death in the economy of salvation
2) loss of proper mourning
3) loss of modesty
Still, there are other aspects I do not want to leave unmentioned.
4) Loss of courage. Death has become something people do not want to see coming, or experience in the first place. They want to die in their sleep, or in some other very fast way. Most of all, they are terrified of becoming aware that they are dying. This is in striking contrast with Christian tradition. When people truly believed that death was the all-decisive moment, they wanted to be there with all their faculties and all their heart. They didn’t wish for sudden death, they asked to be freed from it! A subitanea et improvisa morte libera nos domine, goes the Litany of the saints as the idea of dying without proper preparation would have been simply terrifying to a Christian of the past. He was supposed to accept his own death, to willingly make a gift of his life to God who is the owner of it, to make sure he would receive death with a clear conscience, after receiving the sacraments, with eyes wide open so to speak. Romano Amerio reports that when King Louis XIII’s doctor saw his end approaching, his confessor woke him up so that he could be adequately prepared for death. The contrast with today’s practice of letting people die in their sleep is very marked. Of course, very saintly people can still legitimately claim that they wish a sudden death. Pope Pius XI was a point in case, but he wished a sudden death so that he could feel admonished to be completely ready for death in every moment of his life, which is a rather tall order for all but the best. This is not yours truly’s case nor, I dare say, the one of most of his readers.
5) Loss of honesty. Continuing on the theme seen under 1) (that salvation is considered more or less a given rather than an event we may hope for but never be sure of) the present custom seems to be that whoever has been baptised will receive a Christian funeral. This is a problematic praxis as the Christian funeral is supposed to be given only to the person of whom it may be at least supposed that he died as a Christian. To make just a couple of examples, avowed atheists and people who have committed suicide (particularly if the suicide has been carefully prepared, as in the frequent case of farewell letters), should receive no Christian funeral (and in the past did, in fact, not receive it).The fact that everyone might be saved cannot be changed in the assumption that everyone is saved. This is false charity which gives scandal on the one side and devalues Christian ceremonies (now demoted to mere social usages) on the other side. Incidentally, one notices all over the West (particularly in Italy, were the suicide rate used to be exemplarily low) an increase in suicides. This is not a surprise, as a priest who consents to celebrate a Christian funeral for a suicide demolishes the Christian taboo surrounding it. Further suicides are the obvious consequences but no one seems to care as “niceness” is preserved and everyone can feel oh so pious and inclusive.
6) Loss of tradition and symbolism. A Christian body is supposed to be buried. Whilst this is not a dogmatic point, burial makes a lot of sense. On the one hand, it is a way of following in Jesus’ footsteps, whose deposition and burial were extremely vivid in the faithful’s mind out of Gospel hearing, countless meditations, stations of the cross, rosaries and other devotions. On the other hand, burial entails a promise of resurrection, again following Christ’s resurrection after his own burial. The symbolism of burial would never have escaped a Christian of the past, because he would have been intimately connected with the richness of its meaning. But in a world which doesn’t meditate anymore on Christ’s burial, further considerations prevail. The ignorance about the works of mercy also doesn’t allow to consider that one of them is “to bury the dead”, not “to cremate the dead”.
I am sure one could find other aspects, but it is opportune to stop here. We see a clear trend: the loss of traditional thinking and devotional practice and the neglect of the proper understanding of doctrine have led not only to a dumbing down or outright neglect of practices like the funeral and the burial, but they have even caused a dumbing down of death and judgment as the all-important events of our life. When easy-to-swallow fake medicines are administered in the stead of true ones, we see the disease spreading.
It is high time to recover the proper meaning of death, judgment, funeral, and burial. It is not a matter of rituals, it is a matter of right understanding of the Truth.
How Vatican II changed the perception of death, Part One
After Vatican II there have been several changes in attitude toward death. They once again enlighten the superficiality and avoidance of the difficult concepts of the faith that are so typical of everything which has happened after that fateful Council. I say here on purpose that “Vatican II” changed the attitude because this change (strictly speaking never wanted or encouraged by Vatican II documents) was made possible by the unhealthy climate of “aggiornamento” created by V II in the first place.
Once again, let us remember that the changes were in attitude, not in doctrine. The Doctrine will never change, but the clergy in charge of transmitting it will do a good or bad (or very bad) job of it. A mediocre History teacher does not change History, but he will surely transmit his mediocrity to his pupils and as a result many of them are going to fail to pass the relevant exams.
I have identified six changes that I consider most significant: three of them are going to be dealt with today, the other three tomorrow.
1) Loss of death as the all-decisive moment. You will not often hear a priest saying that the last moment before death is the moment in which our eternal destiny is irrevocably decided. More probably, you will hear some easy-to-digest words about the transition from earthly to eternal life. The possibility of damnation is very often wilfully left aside. This is in striking contrast not only with Catholic doctrine (I mean here not that the priest doesn’t know Catholic doctrine; just that he considers inappropriate to say the whole truth about it) but with a long tradition of being reminded every day of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. In his will not to upset the faithful (or rather: in his cowardice) the priest all too often skips the uncomfortable parts (that is: judgment and hell) and leaves only the convenient two: the transition from death to a heaven considered – bar genocide or the like – the obvious destination.
2) Loss of proper mourning. Death is supposed to be a moment of mourning for the relatives and friends of the death. They are supposed to stand in awe in front of the mystery of death, feel the sufferance of separation and use this sufferance to both reflect on their own caducity and be inspired to pray for the soul of the deceased. The trend, particularly in Anglo-Saxon (and therefore, vastly protestantised) Countries seems to be going in the contrary direction. The funeral is an occasion (here too, adopting a Protestant custom) to “celebrate the life” of the deceased. “Celebrate”? What is this? As the Ecclesiastes says there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance”” and death is the epitome of the time to weep and to mourn. To attempt to substitute mourning with “celebration” is, if you ask me, a clear indication of the removal of the fear of death so typical of our societies and of the lack of awe in front of death. Death is therefore treated just as a moment one tries to let pass as soon as possible with the least amount of discomfort, mentality further encouraged by the practical removal of the possibility of damnation examined above.
3) Loss of modesty. Apparently (I refer to Romano Amerio here) the fashion is spreading among Catholics to hold laudatory speeches of the deceased at the funeral mass. This is another custom taken from the Protestants and still another very questionable habit. The Church has never prescribed or even encouraged such a practice. The reason of that is, in my eyes, twofold: a) to stress that in front of death we are all equal: the rich and the poor, the obscure and the famed; b) to stress the abandonment of every vanity in front of death.
Panegyrics during a funeral mass smell of gratification of the family and friends of the deceased (that is: vanity) as the deceased (particularly if a person with a prestigious earthly station) is considered not in his quality of poor sinner, unworthy of the mercy of the Lord he still hopes to see extended to him, but in his earthly qualities. His social achievements will be extolled, the honours received acknowledged or failing that, the fact that he was such a good and worthy chap. Again, death is the moment in which we stop to consider that what we need is not earthly acknowledgment, but Divine mercy.
Tomorrow I will deal with the other three elements I have isolated: the loss of courage, the loss of honesty and the loss of proper tradition and symbolism.
On the madness of modern times
William Oddie of the “Catholic Herald” has a very interesting article about the parallel stories of the USA (where a judge has overturned the popular decision on Proposition 8, as repeatedly reported here) and the UK (where the Charity Commission has decided against the right of the last Catholic adoption agency to only serve heterosexual couples).
Mr. Oddie poses some interesting questions:
what, precisely, is the authority of the Charity Commission to pronounce that same-sex couples can be successful adoptive parents? What does this dire quango actually KNOW about this or anything else?
The sad reality is that this dire quango (for you non-British: QUasi-Autonomous Non-GOvernmental organisation, that is: a sort of agency fed with taxpayer money but not part of the proper government activity) is the ideal screen to allow the British Government of the day (the fake conservative one actually in power not excepted) to have potentially controversial, highly political decisions taken by some organ not residing within the Government, thus letting it appear a “technical” decision. Bollocks of course, as the extreme political content of this last decision abundantly proves.
The author further asks:
And how can it be in the “interests” of children to be adopted, not by a stably married couple, but by a gay couple instead (apart from anything else, gay relationships are notoriously unstable), “through other channels”?
and here an interesting question is posed: the instability of homo couples cannot be overlooked. It is extremely clear here that the interest of the child is the pawn of an ideological orientation.
On the contrary, common sense tells us that, as the US bishops have declared:
same-sex union […] contradicts the nature of marriage: it is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female; it cannot co-operate with God to create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by a same-sex union.
and that as a consequence of that
it is not unjust to deny legal status to same-sex unions because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities.
The astonishing thing is that not more than a couple of decades ago this would have been considered purest common sense by believers and atheists alike. It would have been considered common sense, because it is. And in fact the author points out that
it surely requires the most extreme credulousness to believe [….] that marriage and same-sex unions are essentially THE SAME reality and that a gay couple can therefore give adoptive children the same benefits as a man and wife
Mr. Oddie observes that
Our descendants will look back in amazement at the gullibility of our age
and how can we disagree with him on both arguments (that we are in a phase of institutionalised madness and that the next generation will see the madness of our ways).
The author concludes with this words:
“Oh Liberty,” in the famous words of Madame Roland as she mounted the scaffold, “what crimes are committed in thy name.” It was, I fear, ever thus.
The fight against the madness of the “right to perversion” continues. It will be victorious in the end, but it might be after our time. Not a reason to avoid the fight anyway.
Don’t leave Catholicism outside of the ballot box
Absolutely beautiful video posted on the Creative Minority Report website.
Its importance is more than merely “local” (referred to the Mid-Term Election in November) and extend to the attitude every Catholic should have when he approaches the ballot box. The separation of Christian values and voting decisions has brought the West to the point we are today and the pendulum must now start to swing in the other direction. It is will be a slow process, but in time it will take momentum and will give us in the West more Christian societies.
Even if you don’t live in the US, please spread the word and forward this video.
The battle against abortion can be won
We read in a Rasmussen report that the number of those variously opposed to abortion is constant at a pretty high level. In particular, Rasmussen says that:
1) 48% of the US population believe that to obtain an abortion is too easy.
2) 54% believe that abortion is morally wrong most of the time.
3) 43% of the population is outright pro-life (against 49% pro-choice).
Unfortunately, as to the incidence of abortion in voting behaviour there is still a lot of work to do, with only 33% of the population allegedly considering abortion very important in their voting decision and abortion not even making it to the ten most important voting issues.
All these figures, Rasmussen reports, have been fairly constant in the last few years.
It is not difficult to see that once the vast Catholic machinery sets itself in motion with a vigorous campaign in defense of life, in less than one generation (possibly, in much less than a generation) the pro-life tanks might be able to arrive if not directly to the Reichstag, at least well into Third Reich territory.
Thinking of the US, the potential represented by 68 million of Catholic citizens – of whom a majority still happily votes for openly “pro-choice” politicians – is of such scale as to be a decisive factor in itself. In Europe, I might be a Pollyanna but my impression is that popular favour for abortion is stagnating at worst and slowly dwindling at best. I can’t imagine that in a country like Italy any politician would dare to ask for a more liberal abortion law without endangering his career; in Germany, the more “liberal” (read: secular) abortion law of the former DDR has not been adopted after the Country’s reunification; in the UK, the talk has been rather of a reduction of the time allowed for abortions.
All this, without the Church moving Her Panzerdivisionen but rather limiting herself to the usual feeble lament which expects to be ignored. In my eyes, the potential here is huge because the majority of the Catholic population votes for “pro-choice” candidates not out of a determined, fully willed intention to rebel to Church teaching, but because the gravity of the matter is not hammered in by those who should do it: hierarchy and parish clergy.
Abortion is one of the battlegrounds on which Catholicism can move to a frontal attack of the secular society and achieve victory in less than a generation. But this requires a brave clergy, not afraid of criticism (let alone persecution) and ready to fight the good fight of faith.
We’ll be there one day, I’m sure.
How to confuse Catholic minds.
The “National Catholic Reporter” is, so to speak, the US equivalent of the infamous “Tablet”. Whilst claiming to be Catholic, this rag is in open conflict with the Church on doctrinal issues. They think it very cool and very modern, presumably.
Today they have, though, a different approach to heresy. As you can read here (if you really want) they have invited a Presbyterian would-be priest to tell us that he does his best not to tell Catholics what to believe but still tells us that “we miss a lot” without priestesses. His main argument seems to be that after seeing the first would-be priestess in his church, his daughter thought about becoming one. “Well, she didn’t do that”, he informs us before our curiosity becomes unbearable, “but at least she could think realistically about being a clergy member”. Now that is an impressive argument…..
Still, one must at least concede that the old man is a heretic and says so, whereas the NCR editorial staff are also heretics but don’t admit it. The brownie goes to the old man, then.
But this is not all: if you manage to read the article and succumb to the curiosity of reading the comments the entire catastrophe of modern (non)catechesis comes to light: one commenter asks (probably innocently) why “we” don’t “forget women priests” and “simply authorise nuns to give the Eucharist”. It would seem that (s)he just has a problem with having to receive from a man and that it is just a matter of “what we forget” and “what we authorise”. Another commenter defines doctrinal definitions as “self-serving” and says that “the sooner they are changed, the better” and this really takes the biscuit.
If NCR’s readers expect to find there the source of sound doctrine they are gravely deluded. More probably, though, they are so in the dark that they do not even know what Catholic doctrine is in the first place or they would avoid spreading such heresies and outright blasphemies.
Proper catechesis is at the root of proper Catholicism. We see every day the damage created by the inadequacy of a large part of our clergy, utterly unwilling to I do not say defend the teaching of the Church, but to give basic instruction about it. This will change, but it will take time. In the meantime, let us do it ourselves in our own little way.
Abortion and its logical consequences.
Extremely tragic but at the same time instructive story from EWTN.
In Mexico, several women are processed for killing their own babies after birth. The feminist organisation protecting their interests (“Centro Las Libres”, which unless I am mistaken means “Centre of the Free Ones”, tells you something already…) claims that the mothers should be convicted not for homicide, but for……. illegal abortion.
Now I know that abortion is in itself the killing of a life, but I certainly can say whether he who has been killed was unborn or born. This seems to escape the “free ones” for whom the killing of one’s own baby (born alive and breathing and subsequently deliberately killed) is pretty much the same as, well, an abortion of kind.
The reasoning goes to a great length to explain the logic of the abortionists (as the “free ones” most certainly are), but leaves room for some disquieting questions.
If a mother can kill a foetus unpunished, they seem to think, why should the killing of their own babies be considered so differently? The mother could have legally killed the foetus up to a certain point in time and she would have only committed a less gravely punished offence after that time. Why then punish her for homicide if she decides to “abort” her baby after, ahem, the foetus happened to breathe? Isn’t it undeniably true that the right to kill her own baby has been ….. given to her by law?
Paradoxically, the reasoning is less absurd than it would appear, in the sense that it enlightens the absurdity of a right to abort. There can be no doubt that most Western legal systems allow the killing of a human life to go entirely unpunished, whilst severely punishing the mother for doing what she was perfectly allowed to do until a few months before.
The mothers have obviously been convicted for homicide because the law says that they are not the owners of the baby’s life. Exactly this is the point. If the mother is not the owner of the baby’s life after birth, how can she be the owner of the baby’s life before birth? If a legislator is Nazi to the point of deciding that a mother is allowed to kill her own child, is it so surprising that the feminists group above mentioned would claim for every mother the right to kill her own new-born baby without incurring in a conviction for homicide? And if a legislator doesn’t want to be Nazi after the child’s birth, why is it Nazi before that event? Where’s the logic?
Who is thinking more logically here, the feminists asking the legislator to continue to allow what it already allows (or punishes less severely) or the legislator providing a strong defense for the life of the unborn whilst totally ignoring that he was a life even before being born?
I fully agree with you: the defense of the women attempted by the feminist group is atrocious, appalling, undeniably Nazi and utterly oblivious of the importance and dignity of life in front of the oh so important convenience of the mother. But so is abortion, which is fully legal.
I hope that this will open the eyes of some people in Mexico and abroad. Sometimes the atrocity one is not ready to accept is the way of opening one’s eyes toward the atrocity one has been ready to condone for too long.
Prop 8: Emergency Stay is no ground for optimism
As many of you will know, the 9th Circuit of the US Court of Appeal has imposed an emergency stay on Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition 8 (stay which the man, a homo himself, had decided not to impose). Therefore, so-called homo “marriages” continue to be banned pending the appeal. This will be very sad news for the two aged Romeos the San Francisco Chronicle has so “sympathetically” written about last week and one wonders what will be their reaction at having to wait four months, when less than a week has caused such girlish crying.
It would prima facie appear that reason is starting to prevail and that once the question is examined from a court not composed from one homosexual judge things start to go in the right direction. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Let us see why.
1) The judges of the Ninth Circuit have decided to fast-track the proceeding. A decision is now expected for around Christimas. Notice that this is after the gubernatorial election in California, but before the new Governor is installed.
2) The judges have invited the supporters of Prop 8 to indicate why they think they should have the right to appeal in the first place. I remind you here that neither the Governor of California nor the Attorney General have defended Prop 8 in front of Judge Walker and the emergency stay has been granted following an appeal of various sponsors of Prop 8 (among them a California county with 70% of voters in favour of Prop 8 ) in the face of the scandalous inaction of the two.
As things stand, it seems to me that the plan is very clear: to pave the way for a rejection of the appeal because of (alleged) lack of legitimacy of the Prop 8 sponsors. In order to do this one must act (that is: decide on the appeal) before the new Governor to be elected in November decides to do his job. If this happened, it would change the cards on the table if not from a procedural standpoint (I have no idea whether he would stil be on time to do so), certainly from a political one.
This is, I am tempted to think, exactly the reason why the process has been now fast-tracked. There are further options like an additional appeal in front of an enlarged court, but in my eyes there is now a clear indication that the Court of Appeal might decide the question in December based on Governor and AG not showing up. The judges will not be the same ones who decided over the emergency stay though, so one never knows.
The emergency stay is certainly a small piece of good news in itself. Still, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Prop 8 sponsors are now any nearer to final victory.
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