Friday, July 30, 2010
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a self-professed devout Catholic, will receive an award from abortion giant Planned Parenthood at a reception Thursday evening. The award will be given in recognition of her efforts in passing the federal health care legislation, and in particular for her help in ensuring that the Stupak abortion funding ban was not inserted in the bill.
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood confirmed with LifeSiteNews.com that Pelosi would be receiving the Champion for Women's Health award, which recognizes "efforts to support women and their reproductive health."
In a statement, PP lauds Pelosi for having been “instrumental” in the passage of the federal health care bill, which was strenuously opposed by every major pro-life organization in the U.S., as well as the U.S. Catholic bishops, because of its abortion mandate. The statment also praises Pelosi for having "led her female colleagues in Congress as they stood strong against attempts to insert the Stupak abortion ban into the bill."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
That's the talk from Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellin of Burgos, per CNA.
“Let’s be clear: this law is not a law, although it is presented as such by some politicians and lawmakers. It is no law because nobody has the right to take the life of an innocent human being. For this reason it is not obligatory. Moreover, it demands direct opposition without distinction,” the archbishop said in a letter.
He underscored that reason cannot recognize abortion as a right because it constitutes the killing “of a person who is not guilty.” “The right of a person to exist who has already been conceived, although not yet born, is not a belief stemming from any religion. One does not need to be a believer to hold that an innocent person has the right to be defended and respected in his or her integrity. Common sense dictates that one cannot take a human life in order to solve another problem or to “get money or votes,” he said.
“The fallacy consists in giving politicians, judges or citizens a right they do not have. And nobody has the right to legislate the killing of an innocent person,” Archbishop Gil Hellin said. He urged Spaniards to help all mothers who are in difficult situations and to support motherhood “with all the means at our disposal” in order to “halt this plague of abortion that, in Spain alone has already destroyed more people than all those who live in the cities of Zaragoza, Cordoba and Burgos.”
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
Bishop Kevin Boland of Savannah, Georgia doesn't seem to understand that there simply is no such thing as Episcopal "priests". That's not just my opinion, but the opinion of the Catholic Church.
Photos of Bp. Boland attending the heretical "consecration" of Scott Benhase of Georgia can be found here. And if being a heretic weren't enough, Benhase has also presided at same-sex "blessings". He also participated in a procession with the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual-friendly so-called "Presiding Bishop of Los Angeles" Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Queens, N.Y., native Mary Anne Marks is a classics and English joint concentrator who fell in love with the Latin language by studying Cicero’s Catilinarian Orations. “The links between Latin and Romance languages are fascinating, and, at the same time, Latin has the ability to say things in ways that are not available to Romance languages or to English,” said Marks. “I mused about ideas for the speech for weeks before setting pen to paper, and, once I’d picked a topic, I consulted with friends and acquaintances from various departments to make sure it spoke to their experiences at Harvard.” In the fall, Marks is headed to Ann Arbor, Mich., to enter a community of Catholic teaching nuns called the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, where after three years of classes in the convent on theological and ecclesiastical topics, she’ll attain a teaching certificate at a local university and teach in Catholic schools. “I’ve always thought about being a nun but came to Harvard planning to go to graduate school and perhaps also do some other things before entering,” she recalled. “I decided in January of last year to enter right after college, but a master’s or Ph.D. is still a possibility. One of the exciting things about being a nun is that one never knows what the future holds!”
These Sisters of Mary are known here previously for being Dominicans, who rule, and the same bunch who appeared on Oprah.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
I saw Toy Story 3. Let me go ahead and answer the obvious question. No, it wasn't as good as the first 2.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This is a balanced, common-sense statement from His Excellency, something sorely lacking in this whole debate. Instead of calling folks Nazis, as Cardinal Mahony did, Bishop Slattery has actually put forth a reasoned shpiel.
Illegal immigration is an issue which concerns every American; but the issues are complex and unless we are willing to recognize the fundamental human rights with which the Creator endows each individual - and enact laws which respect those human rights - our legislative response to the problem of uncontrolled illegal immigration will be the creation of an underclass of hunted, marginalized families, whose children belong neither to this country nor to the land of their parents.
However in recent years, the federal government has neither protected the sovereignty of our borders, nor has it provided a realistic means for workers to enter the country legally. Instead it has allowed millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally for the sake of our economy; while leaving it to state and local governments to deal with the resultant chaos of millions of valuable workers who have no legal identity, no automobile insurance (and are unable to obtain it), no health coverage (with no funds to pay for it) and no means of acquiring legal residency...
These men and women broke the law by entering the country illegally; but they did this with the tacit permission of the federal government and most have since become part of the fabric of everyday life in America.
• First the Federal government must find a way to protect its borders;
• Some way must be found to give the 11-12 million undocumented workers presently in the country some form of legal status. This need not include citizenship and should exclude anyone convicted of a felony;
• The creation of various avenues for migrants to enter the country legally based on a formalized agreement between employers and the immigration office.
• The restoration of due process protections for immigrants; and
• A bi-partisan, non-political approach to the problem which avoids the political temptation of promoting immigration reform in such a way as to gain political advantage over one’s political opponents.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I thought this was a spoof at first, but it seems not: a General Synod working party is exploring whether the Church of England’s male bishops can join religious orders previously reserved for women. In other words, become Anglican nuns.
As usual, the Synod’s topsy-turvy ecclesiology is a mystery to me, but I gather that the idea is that bishops would be entitled to take vows in orders of nuns so that they can provide special episcopal oversight to the sisters. It’s a typically ingenious Anglican response to the forthcoming ordination of women bishops. “There will be jokes about bishops in wimples, but having bishop-nuns would introduce a degree of mutual cooperation that could make the introduction of women bishops much smoother,” says my Synod source.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Because a couple of folks have asked, I'll give my very brief 2 cents on the recent revelations about Mel Gibson.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.
The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new "high-risk" insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.
It has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
"The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we've discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.
Johnson says that on June 28, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (a member of the appointed cabinet of Governor Edward Rendell, a Democrat) issued a press release announcing that the federal Department of Health and Human Services had approved his agency's proposal for implementing the new program in Pennsylvania.
"The state will receive $160 million to set up the program, which will provide coverage to as many as 5,600 people between now and 2014," according to the release. "The plan's benefit package will include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services, prescription medications and much more, with subsidized premiums of $283 a month."
The proposal specifies coverage "includes only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of" several specific statutes, the most pertinent of which is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says abortion is legal in Pennsylvania. The statute essentially says all abortions except those to determine the sex of the baby are legal.
"Under the Rendell-Sebelius plan, federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection," said NRLC's Johnson. "The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection -- and the Obama Administration has now approved this."
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
We know he's the head of the Apostolic Signatura. He was appointed to the Congregation for Bishops not long ago. On top of all that, he's assuming a post with the Congregation of Divine Worship.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I know it can be annoying when folks try to treat Scripture as so allegorical as to rob it of its meaning. That shouldn't turn us off of allegory altogether, though. Consider the following as an alternate take on the parable of the Good Samaritan that was in yesterday's Gospel reading.
One of the elders wanted to interpret the parable as follows. The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord's body, the pandochium (that is, the stable), which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church. And further, the two denarii mean the Father and the Son. The manager of the stable is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior's second coming. All of this has been said reasonably and beautifully.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Again. Why would anybody even want this job? Is pretending to be a bishop that important?
The Archbishop of Canterbury suffered a humiliating blow yesterday after his efforts to force through a last ditch compromise on women bishops was rejected.
Under the proposals, woman bishops would have retained their authority in principle, but in practice would allow traditionalists to serve under acceptable male bishops.
Dr Rowan Williams risked his moral authority by attempting to persuade the Church of England's ' Parliament' to accept proposals aimed at preventing thousands of opponents of women bishops quitting the Church.
The Synod's decision to throw out his compromise means that thousands of traditionalists opposed to female clergy are likely to quit the Church when women are finally allowed to become bishops in 2014.
But liberals said any such concessions are unacceptable because they would mean women bishops would not be equal to their male counterparts.
One senior opponent of women bishops said last night: 'This is a disaster. Many of us will now join the Roman Catholic Church. The Church of England will never be the same again.'
Excellent timing given our recent posting of Leo XIII's discussion of liberty.
The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.
The professor, Ken Howell of Champaign, said his firing violates his academic freedom. He also lost his job at an on-campus Catholic center.
Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, says he was fired at the end of the spring semester after sending an e-mail explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam.
"Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY," he wrote in the e-mail. "In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same."
An unidentified student sent an e-mail to religion department head Robert McKim on May 13, calling Howell's e-mail "hate speech." The student claimed to be a friend of the offended student. The writer said in the e-mail that his friend wanted to remain anonymous.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
And nary a bit of compromise in sight!
Chinese Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, who was arrested and imprisoned in March 2009, was released by the authorities Wednesday.
The prelate was arrested on the first day of a three-day meeting in the Vatican of a commission established by Benedict XVI in 2007 to study the most important issues of the life of the Church in China. The abduction was seen as an affront to the efforts of that commission.
Bishop Jia, 75, is a member of the "underground" Church but has worked for reconciliation of the Church in China, where the government permits religious practice only with recognized personnel and in places registered with the Religious Affairs Office and under the control of the Patriotic Association.
This explains the difference between the "national" or "official" Church, and the faithful who oppose such control and who wish to obey the Pope directly. The latter constitute the non-official, or underground, Church.
Bishop Jia has been repeatedly refusing to become part of the Patriotic Association.
Instead, he has been attempting to collaborate with Bishop Jang Taoran of Shijiazhuang, a member of the national Church recently reconciled with Rome, on a joint pastoral plan for the Hebei region where they are both stationed. Yet the authorities attempted to end this collaboration, and this latest arrest was Bishop Jia's 13th since 2004.
He made a point of declaring that he did not join the Patriotic Association during his imprisonment, nor did he accept the authority of the government-approved bishops' conference, AsiaNews reported.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Lest we allow the fervor of a national holiday to cloud the true meaning of liberty. Read the rest here.
Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity - that he is "in the hand of his counsel"(1) and has power over his actions. But the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the greatest evil alike depend. Man, indeed, is free to obey his reason, to seek moral good, and to strive unswervingly after his last end. Yet he is free also to turn aside to all other things; and, in pursuing the empty semblance of good, to disturb rightful order and to fall headlong into the destruction which he has voluntarily chosen. The Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, having restored and exalted the original dignity of nature, vouchsafed special assistance to the will of man; and by the gifts of His grace here, and the promise of heavenly bliss hereafter, He raised it to a nobler state. In like manner, this great gift of nature has ever been, and always will be, deservingly cherished by the Catholic Church, for to her alone has been committed the charge of handing down to all ages the benefits purchased for us by Jesus Christ. Yet there are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot rightly be regarded as free.
2. We have on other occasions, and especially in Our encyclical letter Immortale Dei,(2) in treating of the so-called modern liberties, distinguished between their good and evil elements; and We have shown that whatsoever is good in those liberties is as ancient as truth itself, and that the Church has always most willingly approved and practiced that good: but whatsoever has been added as new is, to tell the plain truth, of a vitiated kind, the fruit of the disorders of the age, and of an insatiate longing after novelties. Seeing, however, that many cling so obstinately to their own opinion in this matter as to imagine these modern liberties, cankered as they are, to be the greatest glory of our age, and the very basis of civil life, without which no perfect government can be conceived, We feel it a pressing duty, for the sake of the common good, to treat separately of this subject.
3. It is with moral liberty, whether in individuals or in communities, that We proceed at once to deal. But, first of all, it will be well to speak briefly of natural liberty; for, though it is distinct and separate from moral liberty, natural freedom is the fountainhead from which liberty of whatsoever kind flows, sua vi suaque sponte. The unanimous consent and judgment of men, which is the trusty voice of nature, recognizes this natural liberty in those only who are endowed with intelligence or reason; and it is by his use of this that man is rightly regarded as responsible for his actions. For, while other animate creatures follow their senses, seeking good and avoiding evil only by instinct, man has reason to guide him in each and every act of his life. Reason sees that whatever things that are held to be good upon earth may exist or may not, and discerning that none of them are of necessity for us, it leaves the will free to choose what it pleases. But man can judge of this contingency, as We say, only because he has a soul that is simple, spiritual, and intellectual - a soul, therefore, which is not produced by matter, and does not depend on matter for its existence; but which is created immediately by God, and, far surpassing the condition of things material, has a life and action of its own so that, knowing the unchangeable and necessary reasons of what is true and good, it sees that no particular kind of good is necessary to us. When, therefore, it is established that man's soul is immortal and endowed with reason and not bound up with things material, the foundation of natural liberty is at once most firmly laid.
4. As the Catholic Church declares in the strongest terms the simplicity, spirituality, and immortality of the soul, so with unequalled constancy and publicity she ever also asserts its freedom. These truths she has always taught, and has sustained them as a dogma of faith, and whensoever heretics or innovators have attacked the liberty of man, the Church has defended it and protected this noble possession from destruction. History bears witness to the energy with which she met the fury of the Manichaeans and others like them; and the earnestness with which in later years she defended human liberty at the Council of Trent, and against the followers of Jansenius, is known to all. At no time, and in no place, has she held truce with fatalism.
5. Liberty, then, as We have said, belongs only to those who have the gift of reason or intelligence. Considered as to its nature, it is the faculty of choosing means fitted for the end proposed, for he is master of his actions who can choose one thing out of many. Now, since everything chosen as a means is viewed as good or useful, and since good, as such, is the proper object of our desire, it follows that freedom of choice is a property of the will, or, rather, is identical with the will in so far as it has in its action the faculty of choice. But the will cannot proceed to act until it is enlightened by the knowledge possessed by the intellect. In other words, the good wished by the will is necessarily good in so far as it is known by the intellect; and this the more, because in all voluntary acts choice is subsequent to a judgment upon the truth of the good presented, declaring to which good preference should be given. No sensible man can doubt that judgment is an act of reason, not of the will. The end, or object, both of the rational will and of its liberty is that good only which is in conformity with reason.
6. Since, however, both these faculties are imperfect, it is possible, as is often seen, that the reason should propose something which is not really good, but which has the appearance of good, and that the will should choose accordingly. For, as the possibility of error, and actual error, are defects of the mind and attest its imperfection, so the pursuit of what has a false appearance of good, though a proof of our freedom, just as a disease is a proof of our vitality, implies defect in human liberty. The will also, simply because of its dependence on the reason, no sooner desires anything contrary thereto than it abuses its freedom of choice and corrupts its very essence. Thus it is that the infinitely perfect God, although supremely free, because of the supremacy of His intellect and of His essential goodness, nevertheless cannot choose evil; neither can the angels and saints, who enjoy the beatific vision. St. Augustine and others urged most admirably against the Pelagians that, if the possibility of deflection from good belonged to the essence or perfection of liberty, then God, Jesus Christ, and the angels and saints, who have not this power, would have no liberty at all, or would have less liberty than man has in his state of pilgrimage and imperfection. This subject is often discussed by the Angelic Doctor in his demonstration that the possibility of sinning is not freedom, but slavery. It will suffice to quote his subtle commentary on the words of our Lord: "Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin."(3) "Everything," he says, "is that which belongs to it a naturally. When, therefore, it acts through a power outside itself, it does not act of itself, but through another, that is, as a slave. But man is by nature rational. When, therefore, he acts according to reason, he acts of himself and according to his free will; and this is liberty. Whereas, when he sins, he acts in opposition to reason, is moved by another, and is the victim of foreign misapprehensions. Therefore, `Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin.' "(4) Even the heathen philosophers clearly recognized this truth, especially they who held that the wise man alone is free; and by the term "wise man" was meant, as is well known, the man trained to live in accordance with his nature, that is, in justice and virtue.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
It wasn't long ago that our favorite Bishop -ino was Bishop Martino of Scranton. Unfortunately, he stepped down, leaving us with nobody with that nominal suffix to discuss. Then, out of the blue, Bishop Morlino of Madison steps into the spotlight to not only fill the void as our favorite -ino but as one of our favorite bishops in the whole country.
The effort by Madison Bishop Robert Morlino to staff several Catholic churches in the diocese with priests from a conservative Spanish society has met resistance in another community.
About 200 members of St. Mary’s Parish in Platteville met with Morlino at the church Monday night to question his decision to bring in three priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest to lead the church.
A diocesan official and parishioners who attended the 90-minute meeting described it as largely civil but occasionally heated, with Morlino apologizing toward the end for having raised his voice earlier in the meeting.
“It was a tough evening for everyone,” said diocesan spokesman Brent King.
The society, based in Murcia, Spain, is known for a staunch, traditional approach to Catholic practice. There are now eight society priests at seven parishes in the diocese.
At other churches where they serve, the priests have prohibited girls from being altar servers, dispensed with the common Catholic practice of using trained lay people to assist with Communion and added Masses celebrated only in Latin.
Some parishioners praise the priests for deepening their faith and bringing discipline to wayward Catholics; others have left the church, saying the priests’ approach is regressive and too rigid.
“To me, it seems like a step backward,” said Fay Stone, a St. Mary’s member. The priests’ approach is “quite different than we have become accustomed to,” she said.
Supporters note that, contrary to the picture painted by dissenting voices in the media, Morlino's focus on orthodoxy is increasingly popular with Catholic youth - even in the liberal stronghold of the University of Wisconsin-Madison...
"(University of Wisconsin Madison's St. Paul University Catholic Center) has probably become the epitome of what a good Catholic parish would now look like," he said, with hundreds of students attending daily Mass, and maintaining Eucharistic adoration, Bible studies, and regular attendance at the sacrament of reconciliation - all on what is considered one of the most heavily liberal public research universities in the country...
Yep. Looks like he's got it.
Friday, July 2, 2010
If I start talking about Bruno Mannheim and the Religion of Crime, you probably won't have any clue as to what I mean. That's a shame because it means you don't read comic books, but I'll let that go. Just check this out for a quick primer.
The chilling call appears to be the latest attempt to take the moral high ground by a quasi-religious drug cartel that has become one of the most dangerous threats to Mexican security forces. The caller identified himself as Servando Gomez, head of a narcotics mafia that has baptized itself La Familia Michoacana. The gangsters, who had bought ads in newspapers and given an interview to a leading Mexican magazine, claim that although they traffic drugs, they protect their local community and purport to be devout Evangelical Christians. All members are disciplined to abstain from narcotics themselves and care for their homes and children, La Familia says. They are also made to study a special Bible authored by the gang's spiritual leader, Nazario Moreno, alias El Mas Loco, or "the Maddest One."
Federal agents seized one copy of La Familia's Bible in a raid last year. Quoted in local newspapers, the scripture paints an ideology that mixes Evangelical-style self-help with insurgent peasant slogans reminiscent of the Mexican Revolution. "I ask God for strength and he gives me challenges that make me strong; I ask him for wisdom and he gives me problems to resolve; I ask him for prosperity and he gives me brain and muscles to work," Moreno writes, using terms that could be found in many Christian sermons preached from Mississippi to Brazil. But on the next page, there's a switch to phrases strikingly similar to those coined by revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. "It is better to be a master of one peso than a slave of two; it is better to die fighting head on than on your knees and humiliated; it is better to be a living dog than a dead lion."
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Lots of major moves going on right now.
“Instead of accusing others, and even the pope, of wishing to go back to before the council, everyone would be well advised to look over their own books and reassess their own personal position on the council,” he wrote. “Not everything that was said and done after the council, was therefore done in accordance with the council.”
In sound-bite fashion, one might say that today’s appointments complete the triumph of theologians over diplomats under Benedict XVI.