My Catholic Source.com News & Opinion Page (4/09 Archive)
Keywords: Catholic News, Catholic News Links, Catholic News Headlines, News Affecting Catholics, News From a Catholic Perspective, Catholic Opinions
With the passage of the "hate crimes" legislation in the U.S. House, there is fear that freedom of thought and speech may be threatened. Not only does this bill call for increased penalties for crimes against "protected classes" (e.g. sodomites), but it also allows for grants and assistance from the federal government to prosecute crimes against these classes. Putting aside for now the important question of whether or not penalties & law enforcement efforts should be identical in the case of two identical crimes, it is important to consider the effect such legislation is likely to have on our freedoms. While proponents of the legislation may claim that such laws only punish violent acts, history shows that this legislation may be used as a tool against freedom of speech (as in the cases of those arrested for quoting Scripture passages condemning homosexuality). This legislation clearly poses a threat to our religious freedom. In fact, we may soon live to see the day when quoting the bible - even from the pulpit - will be a punishable crime of "hate speech". And after that it's just a short step to banning this "hate literature" all together... [4/30]
Former bishop and now Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has brought scandal to the Church with the allegations that he fathered three children with three different women. Although he asked forgiveness, he refused to resign. He also said that "I am human, and therefore nothing human is alien to me" and further insisted that he told the truth. Rather than referring to his repeated acts of fornication as mortal sins (or even sins for that matter), he recognized "personal errors" and said that "the more important thing was "valuing, perhaps belatedly, but strongly, the blessing of human life."
Well, perhaps that is one way to look at it (especially if you're the guilty party who wants to keep your job rather than the poor illegitimate children who have been deprived of a proper family). But wouldn't it be better for souls if we instead considered what Scripture has to say on the topic? For example, consider the following passages...
1 Cor. 6:9-10: "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God."
Rv. 21:8: "But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
When it comes to the serious sin of fornication (not to mention breaking your vows, abusing your position, depriving children of a proper home, etc.), shouldn't one be reminded of "unpleasantries" such as mortal sin & eternal hellfire? Rather than tolerating your excuses, shouldn't the fear of God be put in you? Can you even imagine a sinner coming up to Christ calling their sins "personal errors" and giving the excuse that "I am human, and therefore nothing human is alien to me"? Rather, wouldn't they be more likely to fall to their knees and beg forgiveness?
Fortunately in this case, some priests have spoken out forcefully regarding this grave situation, saying "If we fall into sin, not only do we repent and ask for forgiveness, we also assume the consequences without looking for cheap excuses or childish justifications". They also addressed responsibility, temptations, fighting for values, the value of celibacy, and the former bishop's harm to the family. Please, more plain speaking like this and fewer excuses! [story here] [4/28]
Rather than putting her own interests first, Mary Ann Glendon, a former ambassador to the Vatican, has declined a prestigious honor from Notre Dame due to their honoring of Obama at their upcoming commencement. In her letter to ND's president she states, "as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops' express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions 'should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles' and that such persons 'should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.' That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution's freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it." Her letter was released to the public in order "to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision". Way to go, Mary! [4/27]
It's refreshing to read Bishop Tobin's call to Rhode Island Catholics to abandon their "abysmal apathy" and help the state maintain its "moral sanity." His writing states that...
* "The march toward gay marriage across our nation is relentless"
* Homosexual behavior is "unnatural and gravely immoral", "offensive to Almighty God", and "can never be condoned, under any circumstances"
* "The threat to our religious freedom is real, and imminent"
He then reminds the laity of their responsibility "to get involved in public life, to transform the secular order into the Kingdom of God." Thank you, Bishop Tobin! Let's hope & pray that his words will have the desired effect. [4/24]
Now that Bishop D'Arcy has publicly issued a statement to the faithful, perhaps any remaining "controversy" can be put to an end. The bishop stated unequivocally that "I consider it now settled - that the USCCB document, Catholics in Public Life, does indeed apply in this matter." It will be interesting to see what happens. Could one be allowed to hope that Obama may be disinvited from ND's commencement? Or at least not be given an honorary law degree? Time to start praying... [4/22]
Notre Dame's 2009 valedictorian has gone on record saying that the "opportunity" to have Obama speak at ND is "unbelievable and incredible". Unfortunately, she means this in a positive sense. She called Obama a "great leader" and praises that he "continues to live by those values... He sticks with his values and his ideals". How is it that this obviously intelligent student doesn't see that it would be better in his case - e.g. the case of the most pro-abortion president in history - if he gave up some of his "values and ideals"? Even if one conceded any positive "values & ideals" to the U.S. President, how can they be "of much value" if the man doesn't respect even the most basic right to live? Maybe ND needs to add another class to its roster concerning the importance of holding all Catholic teachings without exception. "For whoever keeps the whole law, but falls short in one particular, has become guilty in respect to all of it." (Jms. 2:10) And, further, how can such a smart student not see that for a Catholic University to give Obama an honorary law degree when he seeks to break the most basic of all laws - the right to life - is scandalous & most definitely not worthy of praise? [story here] [4/20]
After condemning Notre Dame's Obama invite and then warning about protests against it, Bishop D'Arcy now says he may join in a protest. While this is good news, why can't he simply stop the entire event? As "king" of his diocese, shouldn't he be able to say the word & put an end to it? Is he implying that a school enjoys higher authority than a bishop - even though a bishop "reigns supreme" in the diocese (under the Pope, of course)? [4/17]
It appears that four Texas PP clinics have been caught doing "illegal abortions" (of course all abortions illegal in the moral sense) - that is, abortions without a license. But does anyone really find it surprising that PP violates human laws considering that it kills babies for a living? How can anyone expect an organization to respect mere human laws if its "mission in life" requires rejecting the most basic laws of Almighty God? When you reject the basis for all law - the Divine Lawgiver - can you expect anything but anarchy? And finally, doesn't it illustrate the problem perfectly that an organization which kills babies by the thousands isn't in trouble for killing them, but that it did the killing without "the proper paperwork"? The only thing that's surprising here is that someone is surprised. [story here] [4/16]
To comply with "gay equity" laws, the majority of 'Catholic' adoption agencies in the UK have "sold their soul" and will now help sodomites adopt children. So how is it that employees at such agencies can dedicate a great many hours assisting children and then turn around and act against the best interests of these helpless youngsters by placing them in the care of perverts? How can they throw off their Catholic identity as if it was a piece of old clothing? Do they forget that even nature itself dictates that children should be entitled to both a mother and a father? Do they care more about receiving government funds than they do about the welfare of children? Do they fear their government more than they fear their judgment? Perhaps a reminder about millstones (cf. Mt. 18:6, Mk. 9:42, Lk. 17:2) might help. Let us also remember that Jesus said we must "not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more... Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna" (Lk. 12:4-5). Despite the fact that sodomy is one of the four sins which 'cry to heaven for vengeance', do they perhaps expect a "free pass" from the Just Judge because they are following "the law"? Please, someone remind them that "Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") For the good of the children and all other parties involved, pray that these agencies will have a change of heart. And, pray that those in the U.S. will not follow their lead. [4/13]
It seems obvious that something was missing in the faith formation of Tony Blair, who recently 'converted' to the Catholic Church. Did someone forget to tell him that doctrines aren't based on polls or "evolving attitudes" but rather on eternal truths received from God? Did someone forget to mention to him that God is unchanging? Did he enter the Catholic Church thinking the Church could be molded like clay into whatever fashion he pleases? Did no one mention to him what 'scandal' is? Did no one cover sin? Did they miss passages in Scripture such as 1 Cor. 6:9-10? Blair needs to be publicly rebuked (cf. 1 Tm. 5:20) for his scandalous statements and forced to undergo proper faith formation. If he refuses to change his position, does he not become a heretic? As such, maybe he could be taught first-hand what the term "excommunication" means? Pray that those who will be entering the Church this week are properly formed & faithful, and that they will not follow this example. [4/8]
We all know that abortion, contraception, euthanasia, and the lot are scourges on our nation and on our world, but could they be merely symptoms of the fundamental problem? When we allow the very Flesh & Blood of Christ to be mishandled in our churches for decades (e.g. think of 'Communion in the hand' and the fact that particles of the Holy Eucharist which fall to the floor are continuously trampled on by Catholics at Mass), when the faith of Catholics is so weak that the majority do not believe in the Real Presence (despite what Scripture says in 1 Cor. 11:27,29-30: "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord... For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying"), when priests who mishandle the very Body of Christ are allowed to continue in ministry, etc. are we not bringing upon ourselves such scourges? If we started focusing on the more fundamental and more serious problems, would not many of these other scourges clear themselves up? While no one can deny the sacredness of human life, human life comes nowhere near the sacredness of the all-holy God. That is why comments like those of the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy City ("I mean nothing, nothing is more fundamentally important to Catholic doctrine today than the sanctity of life") are troubling. If we really want to end abortion, let's not make a 'god' of human life. Rather, let's focus on what's most important - God. If we really did this, wouldn't everything else fall into place? [4/6]
Question: What's worse than the senate voting down the conscience protection law? Answer: The fact that this proposed law lost because a majority of so-called 'Catholics' voted against it. What could a decent Catholic find objectionable about allowing health care workers who object to abortions not participate in them? Apparently these 'Catholics' don't see anything wrong with killing babies, but somehow find it wrong to permit people to exercise freedom of conscience. Since the law was defeated by a vote of 41-56, it is clear that the 16 'Catholics' who voted against it can bear the blame. [story here] [4/4]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date news brief was added to MCS news page
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[Refresher: Reasons for all-male priesthood]
Pope canonizes five blesseds [4/27]
Alleged Garabandal 'seer' dies [Reminder - red flags over this alleged 'vision' include: prophecies didn't come true (a sure sign they are not from God - see Deut. 18:21-22), frivolity, strange behavior attributed to the 'virgin', no Church approval, etc.] [4/24]
Dissenting Australian flock walks out of church with priest [Refresher: Reasons for all-male priesthood | Transubstantiation is an action of the priest requiring priestly powers, lay people cannot effect this change - see Sacraments Section / Holy Eucharist and Priests Section] [4/21]
"Church won't be intimated" by criticism, media campaigns: Vatican issues "strongly worded statement" in defense of Pope's anti-contraception teaching; Teaches that abstinence, not contraceptives, are answer to Africa's AIDS epidemic [4/18]
Pro-life organization's president says Obama administration gearing up for "frightening new global attack on the unborn child", says US will be one of "the most aggressive promoters of abortion all over the world" [4/15]
Archbishop Dolan has first news conference as NY archbishop; Acknowledges that the "most sacred responsibility that a bishop has...is to pass on the faith that remains changeless and has for 2,000 years" [4/15]
PP says it will play "unique role" in shaping Obama administration health agenda & professes "enormous optimism" about "new direction of our country"; Report shows PP killed over 300,000 unborn children in 2007 (not counting contraception) [4/15]
Some good news, some bad: Survey finds most Catholics value Sacraments and Marian teachings but many need to be educated concerning reasons for & benefits of celibate all-male priesthood [4/14] [Refresher: Reasons for priestly celibacy | Reasons for all-male priesthood]
ND's latest scandal [4/11]
Note: Dates in brackets may refer to date link was added to MCS news page
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