Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holy Smokes! A Movie About The Vendee!

Sure, it looks low budget, but the fact that someone is even acknowledging that all this happened is pretty shocking. Thanks to the HoC for getting the word out.

Between this and Cristiada, there's all kinds of Catholic moviedom being unleashed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Feticide: Calling A Spade A Spade

Rorate notes that the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has decided to cut through some of the semantic hair-splitting involved with killing babies. As part of the new guidelines regarding women seeking abortions, FETICIDE is recommended "should be performed before medical abortion after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation to ensure that there is no risk of a live birth."

Nice to know they've given it such thought.

Inducing fetal death before medical abortion may have beneficial emotional, ethical and legal consequences.

If you ever wondered if we were living in an age of absolute evil, consider that this group of legally-sanctioned professional has just formalized a policy wherein the killing of a child is lauded for its beneficial ethics. Think about that. Or this:

However, in cases where the fetal abnormality is not lethal or the abortion is not for fetal abnormality and is being undertaken after 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation, failure to perform feticide could result in a live birth and survival, which contradicts the intention of the abortion.

Well, we sure as hell can't have that happen, now can we? Just ask President Obama. The last thing we need is some kid getting born and actually living. And we might as well do it when they're really tiny. Otherwise, it might hurt them:

Regarding fetal pain and awareness, the RCOG has published guidance and concluded that ‘In reviewing the neuroanatomical and physiological evidence in the fetus, it was apparent that connections from the periphery to the cortex are not intact before 24 weeks of gestation and, as most neuroscientists believe that the cortex is necessary for pain perception, it can be concluded that the fetus cannot experience pain in any sense prior to this gestation.’

Ignoring for a moment whether or not this is true, does anybody really think that the rightness or wrongness of this decision depends on the baby feeling pain or not? Let me jump straight to Godwin's Law. I suppose this means that if the Nazis had sedated the prisoners in Dachau or wherever that executing them would have been ok.

You probably don't want to read the whole entry. It's something out of our worst dystopian nightmares. Might as well just accept the fact that it's happening, that we have to pray and do our part to stop it, and that God is punishing us and will continue to punish us for these crimes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


So today was the introduction of the revised translation. How did it go for you? We had a practice run last Sunday, but it was with a visiting priest who kind of forgot to mention what we were doing. Naturally, there was some confusion. Still a bit this morning as well. Which means there was some complaining.

I'm going to wonder many times over the coming weeks if all these whiners have considered what the shift was like going towards the vernacular. Yeah, I'm sure that was seamless and not awkward at all.

Any stories from your parishes about transitioning to the revision?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"They're Going After My Girls"

When you read the caption of this post, what was the image conjured in your mind? Bullying? Some other variety of physical intimidation? Perhaps some kind of emotional torment? At the very least, a sort of threat, right?

Nope. These are the words used by Jennifer Zickel to describe either the Catholic Church or her priest upon hearing that her parish wouldn't be having female altar servers anymore.

Oh, the humanity! I'm betting there's a Lifetime movie in production right now to bring this story of oppression and struggle to the public at large.

The whole story is at the Washington Post:

Tucked in with announcements about a new electronic donation system and a church dinner at Margarita’s Mexican restaurant was news that Zickel, the mother of two girls, had been dreading: Corpus Christi would no longer train girls to be altar servers.

Zickel burst into tears and ran to the bathroom.

“I knew right then that our family couldn’t stay at this church anymore,” Zickel said, her voice breaking. “I’m a mama bear, and they’re going after my girls.”

Who knew bears were so melodramatic?

The decision last fall by Corpus Christi’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Taylor, and the response of Zickel and about a dozen other families who left the 1,100-family South Riding church reflect ongoing tensions among American Catholics over the role of women. About 50 families from across the country wrote letters of protest to the Arlington Catholic Diocese, and a vigil is scheduled for Sunday outside the diocese’s offices.

Last fall? Are you freaking kidding me? Why is this a story now?

Looking at the rest of this tragicomic paragraph, I wonder if these dozen families were all personally affected by this decision or if they are just looking to make a statement. I suppose it doesn't really matter. It's just another example of people having little or no respect for authority. Holding a vigil? I wonder how many other vigils they've had and for what cause. Hopefully, they've opted for a few occasions that were actually Catholic, rather than this sort of immature pouting.

Perhaps next they'll protest non-Catholics being barred from communion. Or those in mortal sin even. Or just skip to the chase and demand women priests.

Interestingly enough, although this story made the Washington Post, the line coming from the diocese is pretty tame:

Caitlin Bootsma, the diocese’s spokeswoman, said she thinks the number of displeased parishioners is very small.

“The rest of the community either supports it or is getting used to it,” she said. In the diocese overall, “we don’t hear much on the issue at all anymore.”

Which makes sense considering that the girls already participating were allowed to continue. They just had to wear white, while the boys wear black.

Maybe we should go back to Blessed John XXIII's policy and not even allow women in the sanctuary, period. Make sure his name is attached to the decision and watch the liberal heads explode from apoplexy.

If I can just add a small bit here. Have you ever watched the interactions of young boys and young girls? At this age, boys are drawn to things that they perceive as activities that are for boys. The minute girls show up to participate, the boys will lose interest. You can observe this anywhere, but if you've been especially unlucky, you've seen it in your parish since girls started on the whole altar serving thing. My parish used to field half a dozen servers for any given Mass. When the girls started, it was down to 1 or 2 within a couple of years. The boys didn't want to do it anymore. Think about that when someone mentions the vocations crisis. Ask yourself or any protesting parishioners you might know if we are doing everything we can to address the crisis. Consider that maybe we aren't and that this course of action might be something that would help.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Non-Thanksgiving Thought

I was sitting around last night reading a bit by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange and some stuff occurred to me about this past Sunday's Gospel reading. Consider this part:

Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:34-40

If the blessed receive this kind of reward based on their treatment of others being compared to their treatment of Jesus, how much greater is Our Lady blessed as the one who actually did these kinds of things for Christ Himself? I doubt He was ever sick, but pretty much everything else applies. She gave Him food, drink, clothes, and was one of the few remaining by His side when He was executed as a criminal.

Perhaps something to mention to any Protestant brethren who question why she is any different from the rest of us.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Theology At ND

I've had this question come up a couple of times via email and more recently in this comment from an old thread about Professor John Cavadini. Basically, the question was whether or not you can go to ND and get a good theological education, sans heresy.

First, let me qualify this by saying that I graduated from ND over a decade ago, so things might be way different now.

Second, I didn't graduate in theology. I did get a philosophy degree, and there was some natural overlap between the two departments on a few things.

With those two qualifiers, let me say that I do think you can go to ND, major in theology, and get a soundly orthodox education on the subject. You will have to work around some things, though. Everybody knows about Fr. McBrien. When I was there, Fr. Baxter was another guy with some odd ideas, but I've been told he isn't there anymore. Hugh Page destroyed the faith of some students while I was there and was promoted to Dean of First Year Studies. I imagine he's still around. Professor Jean Porter has some clearly wrong ideas about abortion. Oh yeah, and Gustavo Guttierrez teaches there, too. In other words, there are some bad apples to be avoided.

However, you've got guys like Professor Cavadini there. I've heard great things about David Fagerberg. It's not like things are a complete wasteland. My advice to anybody looking to pursue a degree there would be to visit or call the theology department and speak to one of these guys. Tell them about your concerns. I'm sure they would be more than happy to help you out. The world needs good theologians. They aren't the type to discourage the formation of one.

While I will discourage my own kids from going to ND and have no intention of supporting it financially until there is a regime change or some public repentance, I can understand the fact that the world indeed needs good theologians. Not only that, but ND needs students serious about their Catholicism. Too many have grown up without really knowing the Faith. Lots of thinking that "everybody's going to heaven" and "many paths to God" and so forth. Having some savvy theological minds among the student body might help with this. If anyone feels called to take on this kind of work, I don't want to dissuade them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thought Experiment

Consider this latest story as reported on FoxNews. Apparently, there might be a link between rising levels of prostate cancer and the amounts of contraceptive hormones in the water supply. Negative effects from contraceptives are old news. Whether it's cancer rates or genetic alterations in aquatic life, we've known about this stuff for a while. Granted, it's not all that widely publicized, but it's still out there.

Here's the experiment. What would the negative consequences have to be in order for society to give up its access to cheap and quick sterilization? How bad would things have to be for women to stop taking the pill and men to cease trying to get them to take it?

So far, we've got harmful effects to the environment and higher cancer risks for both men and women. Not to mention the abortifacient aspects where a child winds up dead.

What do you think it will take? Outside of instant death, I'm not sure there's anything bad enough.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Contraception For The Disabled

There are people here who know more about these things than I do. Can I get a ruling on this bit from the Q&A over a Zenit?

Q: My friend has a 21-year-old daughter who suffers from a developmental disorder that makes her behave significantly younger than she is. I too have a daughter with a similar disorder (she's 12). Because some people prey on girls who do not understand what is going on or do not have the reasoning skills to stop a situation, my friend put her daughter on "birth control" to protect her. She has, of course, talked to her daughter about what is appropriate touching and what is inappropriate. But she still fears for her daughter's safety. I know from my experience that my daughter often does inappropriate things unknowingly. I understand this mother's worry, but I wonder if there are any moral concerns with doing this? -- D.U., Wichita, Kansas.

This is a legit question. Some of the stuff in the answers seems weird, though.

But in the question above, we are not dealing with a woman who is freely choosing sexual intercourse. We are dealing with the potential victim of a sexual assault -- rape. Rape is an act of forcing another person into sexual intimacy against his or her will. A female victim of rape certainly has no obligation to submit to her rapist's assault. And she rightly resists her assailant. The attacker's sperm is an extension of the attacker himself. Just as it would be legitimate for her to defend herself against him by attacking his person, or to pull herself away from him as he penetrates her vagina so he does not ejaculate inside her, so too she has a right to prevent his sperm from achieving the completion of his act of aggression by fertilizing her ovum. This act on her part is one of self-defense. And the Church has always taught that proportionate measures used to render an aggressor incapable of causing harm are legitimate.

The USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed., 2009), directive 36, sets forth the following norm:

A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault. If, after appropriate testing, there is no evidence that conception has occurred already, she may be treated with medications that would prevent ovulation, sperm capacitation, or fertilization. It is not permissible, however, to initiate or to recommend treatments that have as their purpose or direct effect the removal, destruction, or interference with the implantation of a fertilized ovum.

Although this directive specifically addresses women who have already been victimized, I believe it is legitimately extended to potential victims of rape. If a woman anticipates being raped, as may occur in a time of war or social unrest or if she is particularly vulnerable, as in the case of the disabled, she may use preemptive measures to defend herself (her ovum) from a rapist's attack (his sperm), provided those measures are not abortifacient.

When a woman is not adequately equipped to defend herself, it may fall to her caregivers to take reasonable measures on her behalf. One who is authorized to make or execute decisions on behalf of another is called a proxy. (Strictly speaking proxies are authorized by those on whose behalf they act; since a cognitively disabled person may not be in a position to formally authorize another, caregivers, such as parents, who rightly make decisions for dependent children, are not really proxies; but for purposes of this reply, I use the term proxy.)

Does this thing from the bishops seem correct? The extrapolation offered in the answer really seems off-base to me. From my reading, it's like we're ok with sterilizing people as long as the circumstances are right. I don't think you can argue double effect here. Moreover, the directives of Humanae Vitae don't seem to permit this kind of "pre-emptive strike." Not to mention that the scenarios for this can't be all that common. Rwanda-type situations and things like that, but I can't imagine a typical parent being put in a position where they are so afraid of their child being raped that contraception would be a legit choice. If that's the case, the parent should be extricating themselves from wherever they are as quickly as possible.

And just how far does this logic go? Can we do tubals on the girls? What about for boys? Can steps be taken to sterilize them as well? Castration, even?

I just don't get it and would appreciate somebody explaining it to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anybody Watching These Debates?

They're mostly funny or sad, depending on your perspective, I suppose. However, I did want to point out something from the one this past weekend. I just got around to watching it via DVR and noticed something entirely out of place in the current political narrative, regardless of party.

Newt Gingrich specifically brought up the growing problem of the "Arab spring" turning into an open persecution of Christians. Thus far, President Obama has apparently been ok with the extermination of Christianity in the Middle East. Or, at the very minimum, really good at hiding how upset he is over it.

Allow me to suggest that only someone affiliated with the Catholic Church, as Gingrich is, would be willing to bring something like this up at all, much less on the stage of a nationally televised debate on CBS. Don't take this as an endorsement or anything. It just struck me as so out of lockstep with the prevailing talking points that I was compelled to give him props for doing so.

The next big step will be for someone to mention the persecution of Christians in Israel.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Married Priests From The Eastern Churches

So the Melkites in the US are going to start ordaining married guys, so says this OrthoCath blog.

At his recent enthronement as the Melkite Greek Catholic Bishop in the USA, Bishop Nicholas Samra stated that the Melkite Catholic Church (an Eastern Catholic Church in union with the Pope of Rome) will begin ordaining married men to the priesthood in the USA.

Bishop Nicholas Samra, Bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, Massachusetts made the comment in a dinner speech following his enthronement on August 23, 2011. The Bishop’s speech, newly published in the Melkite journal Sophia, contains the first published public statements by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of their intention to ordain married men to the priesthood for the American Melkite Church.

I honestly didn't realize that the ban or any other such restriction was still in place. Aren't we way past all this by now? Most Latin Catholics don't even realize they're Latin Catholics, much less that there are other Catholics out there. What is everybody worried about? Confusion among the laity? Maybe this kind of confusion will do them some good by making them get out and learn exactly what this "Catholic" thing they belong to actually is.

There is a concern here, though. Sometimes, it seems like you get a few Easterners who want to do things just to show Rome up. I certainly hope this isn't the case here. That being said, I'm assuming this is all on the up and up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pro-Life (?)

Here's a depressing story:

Defying Mississippi's conservative reputation, women voters appeared to lead the charge against a ballot measure that sought to ban abortion, and could've made some birth control illegal and deterred doctors from doing in vitro fertilization.

Supporters of the so-called personhood movement, which defines life as beginning at fertilization, vowed to push for the amendment in five other states next year, even though this Bible Belt state may have been its best chance at success.

While there were no exit polls to determine how men and women voted, women for weeks sounded off on social networking sites. In the well-mannered South, where things like sex and abortion are rarely discussed in polite company, women attended a rally last month with signs such as "I love my IUD" and "Keep your public policy off my private parts."

Here's what folks need to understand. When we (Catholics) say "pro-life," it's not what other people mean when they say it. This vote explains that quite well. The non-Catholic pro-life movement has very little grasp on how abortion and things like contraception and in vitro are tied together. A lot of this is due to ignorance. Some is innocuous, but a lot of it is willful and/or self-inflicted. And when I say non-Catholic, I'm including people who just use "Catholic" as a label. Like this woman:

Kathy Sikes of Jackson, a Catholic and an abortion opponent, voted against it. The mother of three grown daughters believed it would pave the way for government intrusion into private medical decisions such as birth control. She said also she grew tired of receiving email from men asking for her support.

"All the men are the ones who said to vote for it," Sikes said, chuckling. "Well, why not? Nothing off their back. They have the fun and then the woman raises the child if the child comes."

Yeah, Kathy. That's just freaking hilarious.

It all boils down very simply. There are a lot of people who are allegedly pro-life, but only as far as it might affect their ability to get on the pill or aim for children on demand (many of whom will end up in a deep freeze or dead anyway). If a challenge to abortion jeopardizes a woman's sacred right to sterilize herself or commodify her children, then the abortion stuff is going to have to take a back seat. Dead babies are important, after all, but not that important.

We deserve whatever punishment God chooses to visit on us for these abominations.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Venerable Pius XII Goes Undercover

I got this from Fr. Z, but the initial report was at CNA.

Gary Krupp came across the evidence in a letter from a Jewish woman whose family was rescued thanks to direct Vatican intervention.

“It is an unusual letter, written by a woman who is alive today in northern Italy, who said she was with her mother, her uncle, and a few other relatives in an audience with Pius XII in 1947.” Next to Pope Pius during the meeting was his Assistant Secretary of State, Monsignor Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

“Her uncle immediately looks at the Pope and he says, ‘You were dressed as a Franciscan,’ and looked at Montini who was standing next to him, ‘and you as a regular priest. You took me out of the ghetto into the Vatican.’ Montini immediately said, ‘Silence, do not ever repeat that story.’”

Krupp believes the claim to be true because the personality of the wartime Pope was such that he “needed to see things with his own eyes.”

“He used to take the car out into bombed areas in Rome, and he certainly wasn't afraid of that. I can see him going into the ghetto and seeing what was happening,” says Krupp.

How about that? If true, that's way remarkable stuff. There are some other interesting factoids in the article about what Krupp's group has done to exonerate Venerable Pius XII from the slanders hurled against him. In light of all this, I'm sure Abe Foxman will be issuing a press release any day now expressing his gratitude over the Holy Father's efforts.

Any day now.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cold, Cold Water

I love the folks at Rorate, but man, they sure know how to bring a dude down. Check out their recent entry on relations with the Orthodox.

From Metropolitan Hilarion (the guy who thinks it was ok for the Soviets to force Ukrainian Catholics into Orthodoxy). His comments are focusing on the Pan-Orthodox Council, which is an idea that's been knocking around for decades and still hasn't materialized:

He assured all those doubting that the Council will not be the Eighth Ecumenical Council and will not rescind or review the decisions of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. “The Council will not cancel fasts, nor will it introduce married episcopate or allow a second marriage to clergyman. It will not recognize the authority of the Pope of Rome over the Orthodox Church or sign union with the Catholics. The long and short of it is that the Council will do nothing of that what some “defenders of Orthodoxy” fear, displaying zeal that exceeds reason. In case something adverse to the spirit and the letter of the Seven Ecumenical Council happens, the Russian Orthodox Church will renounce this Council and its decisions as she renounced the Council of Ferrara and Florence in 1441. I believe, however, that the other Local Orthodox Church (sic) will renounce it, too.”

I don't see Moscow agreeing to any sort of gathering like this until Constantinople has finally been destroyed. After that, it will be a great forum for Russia to announce its primacy among the Easterners.

Speaking of Constantinople, here's another sad bit. This one is from Patriarch Bartholomew:

The Ecumenical Patriarch said that he has repeatedly stressed in the past "the essential differences between Orthodoxy and other confessions." Referring especially to the dialogue with the Catholic Church he emphasized that the Orthodox Church always prays "for the union of all" and may not refuse herself when invited to a dialogue on the purpose of attaining this union, "as is desired by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself", but not without substantial conditions:

"Union is the ultimate goal, but before that there should be the identity in the faith."

"Speaking years ago to our Roman Catholic brothers I pointed out the path regularly followed by the Roman Catholic Church by accepting more and new doctrines, and in its journey towards our Church, instead of converging towards union, it has departed and driven further apart one another" (Georgetown University, 21 October 1997), added Mr. Bartholomew. He said further:

"Furthermore, it is not true that we overlook the preconditions to the union of churches, nor is it true that we overlook the differences which prevent union."

For me, this is another point where all the efforts of ecumenism seem to have fallen flat. Having meetings and slapping each other on the back is one thing. It doesn't really accomplish anything until people start acknowledging the differences. Rorate mentions Bishop Farrell's comments about Catholics and Orthodox having the same faith. These echo the naivete exhibited by Cardinal Husar a while back. Maybe somebody should talk to the Orthodox hierarchy before making comments like these and looking so foolish in the process.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why The Dorothy Option Won't Work

Vox Nova recently posted an article by a guy named Mark Gordon regarding the current state of political and economic affairs in the US. In a nutshell, he rightfully decries the left-right paradigm and how Catholics have splintered into one or the other faction.

I used to engage in these war games, and enjoyed watching others engage in them. I fought under the conviction that the soul of the Church – at least in America – was being contested. Don’t get me wrong: my intent is not to trivialize or dismiss either the importance of the issues contested or the legitimate passions of the contestants. It is true that from a Catholic perspective there is a fundamental problem with a party that aggressively supports both the killing of the unborn and a revolutionary redefinition of marriage. And it is also true that from that same perspective there is a fundamental problem with a party that aggressively seeks to dismantle the social safety net in the name – acknowledged or not – of a Darwinian economic ideology, and which uncritically celebrates war, torture, and empire.

For the purpose of this post, we'll overlook what appears to be the standard problem of placing abortion on the same level as these other concerns. Let's assume that he's not doing that and is merely pointing out that both sides have pretty big problems if one is to profess Catholicism. Catholics in general should abhor abortion, but they also understand that subsidizing corporate interests to create oligopoly and monopoly at the expense of people is bad, too (along with war, etc.).

To remedy this, Mr. Gordon proposes what he calls "the Dorothy (Day) Option."

The “Dorothy Option” is not about retreating into isolated enclaves like Ave Maria, Florida, or indulging in the kind of spiritual navel-gazing that so often marks New Age and fundamentalist Christian communities. Instead, it means a deeper, more radical engagement with the world through a life centered on service to the poor and marginalized. It also means resistance – including the use of non-violent civil disobedience – against systems that generate violence or offend the dignity of the human person. Dorothy was no socialist. She mistrusted the concentration of state power and even opposed the erection of a bureaucratic welfare state, which she thought was violent at its core and dehumanizing in its effects. But, of course, she was no capitalist either. She equally mistrusted private concentrations of power, especially corporations, which she believed commodified human persons and impoverished the many for the sake of a few.

Sounds good. The problem is that it omits, and maybe not even purposefully, the thing so often left out of Catholic social justice discussions. Why are we engaging the poor and marginalized? The paraphrased error of the liberation theologians is to say that we do so because we should be pushing for the realization of the Kingdom here on Earth. Many Catholics have swallowed and digested this until they think that taking care of the poor is the Church's primary end. This is false. The Church's mission is to save souls. All Her work in charity, or social justice, or whatever you want to call it is subordinated to that goal.

You can "radically engage" the poor in whatever extreme method comes to mind, but it will never catch on unless people understand why it should be done. It's because we love God first, and then His creatures on account of Him. In all of the Dorothy Option discussion, there is no call to evangelize these poor people. There isn't a push to win souls for Christ. There's only a list of things that could come from anywhere. Anybody can ladle soup, get arrested, or publish a newspaper. Where will they get their ideas of justice, though? Do they understand where justice places a limit on those they are protesting AND their actions and demands as protesters?

They won't unless they understand why all of this is important. Unless they are taught to listen to the voice of Mother and Teacher. Pope Benedict hit on this very theme a lot in Caritas in Veritate. What good does all this talk of charity and justice do unless it's tempered by Truth? Absolutely none. Even if temporal successes are realized, what good does it do for such those receiving assistance to be ultimately without Christ? I suggest none. Tending to people's material needs while letting them continue under a distorted idea of what charity and justice are is only going to make things worse by (a) leading those assisted to think their ideas are correct or at least acceptable and (b) confusing Catholics as to what is correct or acceptable.

Let me give an example. I was recently in New York City and passed by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. In one corner of their encampment, there was a quasi-marked off area with two cardboard signs. One said "Community Altar" and the other "Sacred Space." I'm not sure exactly what was going on. Perhaps some sort of pagan marriage ritual. Two people were standing in the "Sacred Space" while a woman waved feathers and incense around them in some kind of pattern. These people might very well be poor and marginalized. Helping them might solve those problems. Their real problems run much deeper, though. Unless Catholics use the Truth to separate themselves from any of the innumerable other groups who can provide assistance, we aren't really helping.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Legitimizing Pelagius

Oh, those wacky Episcopalians! The latest effort appears to be rehabilitating one of the most notorious heretics in history: Pelagius, the enemy of grace. He's basically where folks get their ideas that you just have to be nice to get into heaven. He also said that original sin didn't exist, except as Adam giving a bad example. Christ's crucifixion was just the good counter-example to what Adam had done. This isn't stuff that you would ordinarily think of as Christian, and with good reason. St. Augustine put him in his place long ago.

Not for the Atlanta Diocesan Council, though. Check out this tidbit from TitusOneNine:

Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition, and whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition And be it further resolved that this committee will report their conclusions at the next Annual Council.

Submitted by the Rev. Benno D. Pattison, Rector, the Church of the Epiphany

In other words, all of Pelagius's controversies were really just another case of The Man keeping a good guy down. I can't wait to see what steps are taken to "reclaim his voice" for whatever tradition is left in Atlanta.

I wonder how much of this type of hijinks might be connected with the recent report showing Episcopalian membership at its lowest in 70 years. Just wait till those ordinariates catch on.

And the Death March continues...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

For All Our Peeps Waiting On The Beatific Vision

I know it's late in the day, but here's a reminder about them, too.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For All Our Peeps In The Beatific Vision

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us

Hebrews 12:1