Thursday, December 08, 2011

Which one ought to raise Elijah?

Whatever you think of Michelle Bachmann, she didn't deserve this underhanded "gotcha" at one of her book signings, perpetrated by a gay parent using her 8-year-old son as a tool:

Read about the incident here, and then tell me: in whose household would 8-year-old Elijah be raised better -- his manipulative mother's, or Michelle Bachmann's? If you need help, look at the big effort Ms. Bachmann makes to get close enough to Elijah to hear his tiny voice, and the patient, motherly expression on her face before the trap is sprung. Then examine the gloating that Elijah's mom indulges in, when she posts her video at HuffPo (link at site above).

Well, THAT's a relief!

To the question of whether Advent is a penitential season, one Fr. Reginald Martin in Our Sunday Visitor offers this answer:
The violet-colored vestments worn during Advent may give an impression that the days before Christmas, like those of Lent, are a time of penance. In fact, they are a time of anticipation and preparation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “the liturgy of Advent each year … makes present this ancient expectation of the Messiah” (No. 524), and the subdued colors of the season symbolize the darkness we must endure as we await the light and warmth that Jesus’s birth will bring into the world.
During Advent we do not use the Gloria at Mass, and this, too, may seem penitential. However, the Gloria is the hymn the angels sang to announce the birth of Jesus, so we simply lay it aside until we celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas. In the meantime, however, we continue to sing the Alleluia.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) mentions that Advent should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of the season without expressing prematurely the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. This is an excellent summary of our belief: the happiness and joy of Christmas are not fully realized, so we observe the days of Advent with moderation and sobriety.

Moderation and sobriety? You mean like buying the 8' tree instead of the 10' one, and not getting too hammered at the office Christmas Holiday Party?

Fr. Martin seems to imply that hearing an overall theme of repenting for our sins would be bad for us, and would get in the way of preparing ourselves for the Incarnation. I admit that he could be right -- if the big problem in the Church today was an excess of penitence. If, say, Catholics were mobbing the confessionals like a Black Friday sale at Walmart, and drowning out the Mass every Sunday with uncontrollable wails of sorrow.
But of course our real problem is exactly the opposite. We're altogether way too satisfied with ourselves, way too confident that whatever we do in life, heck, we deserve forgiveness and the joys of Heaven when we die.

And for forty years, most of our clergy have been encouraging us to stay smug and put repentance aside. Guys, that's not what we need. Tell us how repentance fits into the task of preparation for Christmas. Don't pretend it doesn't have a role to play. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

Michael Crichton hits the mark

At the end of his 2004 novel about deadly games played to advance the cause of global warming alarm, State of Fear, the late Michael Crichton provided a very interesting appendix, titled "Why Politicized Science is Dangerous." He first described two 20th-century instances of such science: eugenics (wildly popular among European and U.S. intellectuals until World War II ended), and Lysenko's pseudo-genetic scam in Soviet Russia (avidly pushed by Stalin, with disastrous results).

Then he made these unsettling points about global warming / climate change:

Now we are engaged in a great new theory, that once again has drawn the support of politicians, scientists, and celebrities around the world. Once again, the theory is promoted by major foundations. Once again, the research is carried out at prestigious universities. Once again, legislation is passed and social programs are urged in its name. Once again, critics are few and harshly dealt with.

Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, terms like sustainability and generational justice -- terms that have no agreed definition -- are employed in the service of a new crisis. ...

And I would add one more thought: once again, we are pushed toward abandoning more control over our lives to an ever-more-powerful government. And power's the real stake in this game -- and the earlier ones, too.

You can always get them back

How perennial sin is! The more history I read, the more it seems that there's hardly any evil in our modern world that the Church hasn't had to tackle many times already, in its past.

One of the most telling moments in C. S. Lewis' Narnia books comes in Prince Caspian, when a ghostly old woman hears the Narnians refer to the White Witch, who appeared to have been killed at the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She scoffs: "[W]ho ever heard of a witch that really died? You can always get them back."

And we do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"There's a syncretism here..."

Our Sunday Visitor offers a story out of the Southwest.

"There's a syncretism here..." says Fr. Jamison. No kidding! And it's not a good thing. The worship of creation and the worship of the Creator can't be reconciled. It is no kindness to Native Americans to pretend that it can. Unless Sr. Clissene and Fr. Jamison were very, very sure that those doing the crown dance were not worshipping nature, they should not have associated themselves with it.

As for Christianity being part of their oppression -- yes, it was certainly invoked by many Europeans to justify their sins. But Native Americans need to understand that Christian principles -- especially the thought of Las Casas, Vitoria, and other Catholic philosophers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries -- also led to the establishment of the reservation system, which for all its ills, recognized their status as human beings having a culture of their own and deserving a chance to preserve it. Those principles protected them from the obliteration of their culture, or even their annihilation, which two options have been the usual lot of conquered peoples throughout history.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Michael Voris hits the mark

RealCatholicTV points out the 800-lb. gorilla in the room: none of the liturgical garbage we've had to put up with for the past 50 years was mandated by Vatican II.

Now will you join me in taking our Church back?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Archbishop Dolan hits the mark

Archbishop Timothy Dolan has issued a remarkably clear and brief decree (PDF here) about same-sex marriage. It is all the more remarkable among the pronouncements of American Catholic bishops (not to mention that blather factory, the USCCB) in that it is clear, and it is brief. Here's the money quote:

(2) No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health, or charitable institutions or benevolent orders, or any place dedicated, consecrated, or used for Catholic worship may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.

Bishop McGrath, can we hope for a similar decree from you?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Holy, Smart & Bold

What does the Church need now? What She has always needed: saints. And "holy, smart, and bold" is a darned good tagline.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Here we go again...

From the UK's The Independent comes this charming story about Weltbild, a publishing house in Germany, owned by -- you guessed it -- Catholic bishops:
Germany's biggest Catholic-owned publishing house has been rocked by disclosures that it has been selling thousands of pornographic novels with titles such as Sluts Boarding School and Lawyer's Whore with the full assent of the country's leading bishops.

According to the article, the German bishops defended themselves this way...
Catholic bishops responded with a statement claiming that "a filtering system failure" at the publishing house had allowed the books to stray on to the market. "We will put a stop to the distribution of possibly pornographic content in future," they said.

...and were chided, in turn, this way...
But Bernhard Müller, editor of the Catholic magazine PUR, dismissed the clerics' reaction as grossly hypocritical. He alleged that the pornography scandal at Weltbild had been going on for at least a decade with the Church's full knowledge. Mr Müller said that in 2008, a group of concerned Catholics had sent bishops a 70-page document containing irrefutable evidence that Weltbild published books that promoted pornography, Satanism and magic. They demanded that the publisher withdraw the titles.
But their protests appear to have been completely ignored. Writing in the Die Welt newspaper, Mr Müller said most of the bishops refused to respond to the charges. "The sudden proclaimed astonishment of many church leaders that pornographic material is being distributed by their publishing house, is play acting – bad play acting," Mr Müller said. "Believers have been complaining to their bishops about this for years."
It'll be interesting to hear how this story unfolds, and what the facts really are. At this point, it's completely possible that part or all of this apparent scandal is a frame-up. But given the dismal state of European Catholicism these days, the current narrative is all too believable.

Which means that even if the facts turn out to be far more kind to the bishops than what has been published so far, the initial story will stick in many, many minds as just another reason to ignore the Church and its teachings.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

So glad to be back at St. Thomas!

I was in Sacramento for a couple of weekends recently, and so had to find a Mass on those Sundays. I wasn't too worried, because it had seemed to me that Sacramento was a lot saner, liturgically, than here near San Jose.

Boy, was I wrong.

Or maybe I ended up at those places so I could better appreciate the incredible gift we're enjoying at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Friday, November 04, 2011

DNC chairwoman: Catholics, your Church's beliefs are "extreme"

From the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, comes the news that one of our Church's core moral teachings is "extreme" and "divisive."

For self-described progressive Catholics, the choice is becoming too clear to paper over any longer: the left wing of the Democratic Party, or your Church.

Death, or life.

Cursing, or blessing.

Time's up. What's your final answer?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The weedy direction of the Arab Spring

Good news for all those folks (Al Gore and Joe Biden, for example) who were so ecstatic about the so-called Arab Spring: move to Tunisia and you'll soon be able to have four wives! For feminists, unfortunately, there's no word yet on how many husbands a woman will be able to have. Since the party rising to dominance in Tunisia has declared that Sharia will be the basis for Tunisian law in future, I'm guessing that the latter number will be 1 -- or more accurately, perhaps, one quarter.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The other First Amendment

Now that we've been treated to the news that a Tennessee school district (Tennessee, for cryin' out loud!) has cautioned public-school coaches and teachers not to bow their heads to join in student-led prayer, it's time to re-read Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution. All of it, this time.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now, everyone refers to the first part part as "The Establishment Clause." They read to the first comma, and stop. Case closed. Chalk up another victory for removing Christianity from the public square.

But just beyond that comma is a very important counterbalance: "... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

It's that balancing phrase that no one seems to remember these days. And we Christians ignore it at our peril.

I think our Founders understood very well that the sense of the first phrase could eventually be used to banish the practice of religion from the public square, although the danger must have seemed remote in that time of strong Christian consensus. But that consensus is no more, and many now seem to think that all religion is dangerous and suspect. It's a setup for repression.

So it's time for us to rename that clause, as a first step in reclaiming its central message. Can we please start referring to it as the "Free Exercise" clause?

And then exercise the freedom it recognizes, in public?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Culture of Death gives the envelope another nudge

It's good to see the USCCB pushing back against the efforts of the Obama administration to force Catholic entities to pay for contraception and sterilization in their health insurance benefits. It's even better to see that our parish's bulletin contained the bishop's flyer about this issue.

Rather than cave in to this latest Progressive pressure -- if it succeeds, which it could well do -- Catholic employers should drop health insurance coverage out of their compensation packages. Give their employees the same money as was being paid for their insurance premiums (yes, I know it'll amount to less in total, because it'll be taxed), and have them secure their own insurance.

Some will argue that this will reduce the ability of Catholic organizations to compete with secular ones in attracting good job candidates. My question to them would be: exactly what constitutes a "good" candidate for a Catholic entity's jobs? One who has a nice shiny degree from Stanford or Harvard, for instance, but rejects most, if not all, of the Church's teachings?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More on Fr. Pavone

The always-cogent Phil Lawler has provided a good analysis of what's presently known about the dust-up between Fr. Pavone of Priests for Life and his bishop.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fr. Pavone and Bishop Zurek

Today came the news of the suspension of Fr. Frank Pavone, of Priests for Life. Bishop Zurek of Amarillo, the diocese in which until recently PFL kept its offices under the aegis of a different bishop who was supportive, suspended him from his pro-life operations, with allusions to unspecified financial concerns, and recalled him to Amarillo. It's too early to tell what's going on here, but Fr. Pavone's response certainly is eloquent, obedient, yet resolute. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The wrong side of WHAT history?

Via CNS comes this tidbit that should be of interest to Catholics:

Thirteen U.S. senators who oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) participated in a video for the pro-homosexual “It Gets Better” project, in which they encourage lesbian and gay youth to persevere and be optimistic about the future. In discussing the release of the video on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said, “DOMA, folks, is on the wrong side of history.”

Would that be the history in which every society has defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman? The history in which homosexual behavior has almost never been encouraged, let alone honored with the mantle of marriage? The history of two thousand years of consistent teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexual behavior? In case you were actually wondering about that, the answers to those questions is No. The history they have in mind is the recent history they have themselves concocted, the history in which every shred of sexual restraint with which societies have shielded themselves must go, because it's -- well -- so old-fashioned.

The senators featured in the video are: Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Udall, (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Please, all you Catholics who have cozied up to Democratic politicians because of their support for your favorite "social justice" issues, remember all those D's. No R's, only D's. And for fellow Californian Catholics, remember that, please, the next time Dianne Feinstein comes up for re-election.

A note for non-Catholics:

The Catholic Church does NOT teach that people with homosexual inclinations are worthless human beings who ought to kill themselves. It teaches that such people should do the same thing as everyone else who is tempted toward some evil (that is, all of us): just don't do it.

In contrast with this humane recognition of a transcendent worth in all human beings that's independent of their behavior, the suicides that are deplored in the Senators' video are just what's to be expected from a secular culture that ties people's entire identities to their sexuality. To these Senators and the millions who support them, gays aren't really people; they're labelled counters in a political game of power.

Just what you'd expect from the party whose leader doesn't want his daughters to be "punished" with an unexpected child who interferes with their plans.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Too bad the other guys aren't listening

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Christian groups agree on ethical standards for proselytism

The agreement categorically condemns violence, “including the violation or destruction of places of worship, sacred symbols, or texts.”

That's all well and good, but unfortunately the signatories to this statement do not include those who are most often doing exactly that: Muslims and Hindus.

Not to mention that any statement that the World Council of Churches will agree to can't possibly be good for the spread of Christianity.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So what's the fuss about gay marriage?

Well-put here, from the Heritage Foundation:

Rather than a natural institution designed to bring the two sexes together around the mutual task of forming homes and raising the next generation of children, marriage has become in some locales a list of temporary bargains between adults that is meant to secure interests and benefits. The result is a less child-centered, duty-based, and future-focused institution. Redefining marriage continues a trend away from policies that focus social resources on children and long-term civil society.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The empty Catholic classroom

Whatever the defects of pre-Vatican-II Catholic schools, they were clear about one thing: they were Catholic. They existed because the Church wisely insisted that it was vital for children to be taught the Faith every day, along with reading and arithmetic and the other common subjects. Central to the program was the proposition that there was a distinctively Catholic way of looking at everything, that the Faith informed every part of life.

Math? We heard about the beauty of the order that God had placed in the universe, which math could reveal. Reading? Our textbooks were peppered with little examples of Catholics being Catholic. Geography? We read about the experiences of a family of Catholic missionary teachers in China in the early 1930's. Catholic parents were instructed that it was part of their duty to send their children to Catholic schools unless serious reasons prevented it, because the Catholic viewpoint was different from that of the culture around them.

And Catholic schools couldn't be built fast enough to meet the demand in my little suburban area near Los Angeles. My elementary school classrooms never had fewer than 45 students in them, some years as many as 55. Yet many Catholic kids had to be turned away because no more could be squeezed in.

Fast-forward forty years, and St. Mary's School in Fullerton had to be closed due to low enrollment. In most urban areas, Catholic schools are disappearing fast. Why? Though there have been many intertwined causes, the most important, in my opinion, is that they gradually lost almost everything distinctively Catholic about the education they offered.

If Catholic schools had continued to emphasize the most important thing, the Faith, they would have retained their unique value in parents' eyes. Instead, they gave up on their "brand", accepted the secular model, and touted their better test scores. More and more students in Catholic schools were non-Catholic, so pressure grew to downplay the religious content of each day, relegating the Faith to its own "Religion" class. But now that well-funded charter schools are catching up on that measure, Catholic schools appear to have little left to offer. As indeed they do.

Carrying the Faith forward to the next generation will always be a winning proposition for Catholic schools. But live by the test score, die by the test score.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Obedience can be based on fear or upon love; fear of penalties for disobedience, or such great love that we can hardly conceive of being disloyal by disobeying. Most human obedience is a mix. Clearly though, God wants the latter.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

East of Eden

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

That question has gotten asked a lot in the past couple of decades. James Dobson wrote a book by that name, and when I was attending a Presbyterian church, before my return to Rome, it was often the topic of sermons. But I have to say I'm puzzled that Christians would even seriously pose the question. Here's why.

When God created the human race, He gave Adam and Eve a really terrific place to live: Eden. In fact, it wasn't just terrific; it was perfect for us.

But note that after Adam and Eve have their confrontation with God, they're banished from Eden. There was apparently a lot of Earth that wasn't Edenic at all. Good, of course, since God had created it; but not the perfect garden that our first parents had been given. I suspect that if things had turned out differently, God was going to invite Adam and Eve and their children (us) to spread the perfect order of Eden throughout the entire planet, in an immense act of what J.R.R. Tolkien referred to as "sub-creation." 

But the Fall short-circuited that plan. Adam and Eve betrayed God's trust in them, expressed in His single request, and instead grabbed for the Knowledge of Good and Evil that the forbidden fruit would bring them. Once they made their decision, I believe, they changed immediately and radically. They no longer "fit" in Eden.

At that point, God's choices included (1) just wipe out the human race and try again, (2) pat A&E on the head and say, "now, now, Daddy's going to give you another turn", and (3) send A&E out into the world whose management they had coveted more than their love for Him. The first would have been just but unmerciful. The second would have violated their dignity as human beings, able to choose and be held to the consequences of their choices. Only the third held out hope for a redemption of the human race; free will would be honored, and a long job of bringing the human will back into line with God's could begin.

So A&E would have to go into the outer world, still unshaped to the Edenic model, and live the best way they could devise with their new fancy Knowledge. And every day of our lives, we all experience just how great that turned out.

Murder, cruelty, war. Deception, slavery, death. And all the thousand ills that flesh is heir to.

So why do bad things happen to good people? Because this is the world we have crafted. It's not The Garden, that exquisitely ordered Creation that God, in His infinite wisdom, fashioned in one corner of the good but still raw Earth. It's the world that we children of Adam and Eve have fashioned after our own lights, using that nifty Knowledge of Good and Evil that we, their kids, still just can't pass up.





Thursday, March 31, 2011

Become a bishop. Know everything immediately!

It seems that the bishop of Osaka, Japan, has weighed in about nuclear power. All nuclear power.
"The issue about the direction we are taking, to build other nuclear power plants, is an important question,” said Auxiliary Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura of Osaka. “Together with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Japanese Bishops, which I headed up until last year, we have raised awareness to fight the construction of new nuclear power plants in Japan and globally. I believe that this serious incident should be a lesson for Japan and for the entire planet, and will be an incentive to abandon these projects. We call on the solidarity of Christians worldwide to support this campaign.
This is a classic example of the tendency of today's bishops to spend time delivering opinions on subjects in which they have good intentions but no competence whatsoever.

Nuclear powerplants depend upon very sophisticated technology, which it takes years of study to master (much like theology -- hmmmm). Only a person with such training is truly qualified to judge how safe really-up-to-date nuclear plants are. And only once we're confident of the risks can we judge whether the benefits outweigh them.

I'm sure Bishop Matsuura is a good man. But in this, he has no more competence to judge for himself -- let alone "call on the solidarity of Christians worldwide" -- than the average informed lay person.

And I would have to ask the bishop to explain what his flock are supposed to do if he gets his way? What source of electrical power, available now and as cheaply as nuclear-generated power, are his flock supposed to use instead?

Or are they supposed to sit obediently in the cold and dark, meditating on the Peace and Justice which they will then enjoy?

Maryknoll madness

Only two years after it became impossible to ignore his defiance of Church doctrine, the Maryknolls have finally gotten around to dismissing Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a strident and persistent advocate of women's ordination to the Catholic priesthood.

Oh, wait. Apparently two years isn't enough time to be fully pastoral. They're only warning him of possible dismissal and laicization.

Faithful Catholics know this for what it is: justice delayed and delayed and delayed, open defiance going unpunished. And justice delayed, they say, is justice denied.

Non-Catholics, I suppose, are surprised at the fuss, since women are ordained all the time in Protestant denominations. The fuss, my friends, is that Catholic teaching, for good and sufficient reasons, states that only men may be ordained. It's part of the "brand", if you will.

And we view employees who bash our brand the same way that a Ford dealership would view salesmen who openly sell Chevys out the back door.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hubbard to Cuomo: Heading for Hell? Need a lift?

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York, has announced that a provision of Canon Law won't be enforced by the bishops of his state. That would be Canon 915, of course, which states that those "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

The person who will benefit from this episode of clerical nullification is the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who is both a supporter of abortion like his father, Mario, and also living with his girlfriend.

Bishop Hubbard says:
there are norms for all Catholics about receiving Communion and we have to be sensitive pastorally to every person in their own particular situation.
He goes on to say:
and when it comes to judging worthiness for Communion, we do not comment on either public figures or private figures. That’s something between the communicant and his pastor personally. It’s not something we comment on.
All right, step by step.

First, both conditions of the severity of the act are met. Both the fornication and the complicity in the vast murder operation represented by legalized abortion are "manifest" (since both are widely reported in the popular press), and both are publicly defended by Mr. Cuomo, contrary to the teachings of the Church.

Second, they're certainly "grave." I hope there wouldn't be too much disagreement here among Catholics.

Third, though I suppose opinions might differ on how to interpret "obstinately persevering" (e.g., how many times do you have to ignore warnings before you become obstinate? And how long can you draw out your defiance before you can be said to be persevering?), Mr. Cuomo's track record amply shows that he's been at these things for years.

Before anyone tries to avoid conflict by leaving it all up to Mr. Cuomo's conscience, we should take careful note the language of Canon 915. It doesn't say that those who do what Mr. Cuomo's doing shouldn't come up for Communion, but if they really really want to, and they feel that it's right, it's up to them. It says that they are "not to be admitted" to Communion.

And by whom can they be admitted or not admitted? The bishop, represented by the priest.

Bishop Hubbard says we must be "sensitive pastorally" to each person's situation. Fine. Could the laity then please have an explanation of the pastoral conditions to which he is being sensitive? Does Mr. Cuomo get his feelings hurt easily? Would it harm his self-esteem? Would some elderly relative be shocked into apoplexy if little Andy were publicly disciplined by a Bishop? What? Why does he get a pass?

I can hear some people already dragging out the tattered (and wrong) "judge not lest ye be judged" excuse. I'm not condemning him to Hell. That's up to God. But I am judging his public actions and his bishop's public pronouncements against the established moral and legal standards of our Church.

I would like to see Mr. Cuomo repudiate his previous pro-abortion stance, and at least get his live-in girlfriend to live out until the Church allows him (a divorced man) to marry again.

Because until Bishop Hubbard, and all the other bishops, begin denying him Holy Communion, the terrible words of 1 Corinthians 11:27 will hang over him:
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
So who is being careful and "pastoral" of the soul of such a man as Mr. Cuomo? Not the one who willingly gives him the Holy Eucharist and abets the destruction of his soul, that's for sure.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Philippines: their present, our future

It seems that Planned Parenthood and its death-culture companion organizations are trying to push legislation through in the Philippines that would not only legalize contraception, but make it illegal to speak or write against the law, protest it, or otherwise oppose it, once it has passed. There's a week-long series going on at RealCatholicTV, and as usual, Michael Voris is direct and to the point:

As Planned Parenthood's own representatives have noted, once contraception and its mindset gets established in a culture, the number of abortions starts to rise, too. Abortions which PP is in the business of providing, and getting rich on. Great marketing, that!

If this works in the Philippines, look for efforts in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future to legislate penalties for opposing any "right" established directly by the Constitution, or found there by the Supreme Court.

Including abortion.

Hate speech, you know, to speak against anyone's established "rights"!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

From the dramatic to the bland

Through Catholic Culture's very handy e-mail newsletter on the Liturgical Year, I learned that February 16th used to be the feast of St. Juliana, "a Christian virgin of Cumae, Italy, martyred for the faith when she refused to marry a Roman prefect." That's the kind of commemoration that a Catholic could find inspiring.

However, in the new calendar adopted after Vatican II, February 16th is now merely the Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time. Dull, bland, and boring. And what duller term could one have found for the daily struggle of Good and Evil than "Ordinary Time"?

With 2,000 years of Catholic heroes and heroines to choose from, why would any day not be used to call to mind a saint to encourage the faithful?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nine months

Since it's the firmly established doctrine of the Catholic faith that human life begins at conception, why shouldn't the Church begin officially reckoning the age of Catholics as being the number of years since birth, plus nine months?

I know, it would make us look weird. But we aren't called to conform ourselves to this world's customs. We're called to be conformed to Christ, and if, in certain times and places, that makes us look weird, so be it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Philadelphia Horror

Perhaps you've seen the anemic local news coverage of the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his Women's Medical Society clinic in west Philadelphia, and thought, oh well, just another badly-run abortion mill.

But this one's different.

For an intelligent and detailed summary, go to MercatorNet. There you'll also find a link to a PDF of the full Grand Jury report, which I highly recommend reading, if you have a strong stomach. A very strong stomach. And lots of your favorite means of mood-improvement ready to hand, because you are going to need it.

Especially if you're Catholic, because part of the story involves the suspension of abortion clinic inspections by "Catholic" pro-choice former governor Tom Ridge. I wonder how many "pastoral" contacts Gov. Ridge had from his various bishops on the subject of his support for abortion?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The President on abortion

Here's President Obama's statement marking the 38th anniversary of Roe (my comments in bold):
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. [Never mind that the government employees at your local public school will be happy to help your teen daughter find a way to get an abortion without your knowledge, let alone consent. But of course, that's not really intruding on "private family matters"].

I am committed to protecting this constitutional right. [Yep, it's in there among the "penumbras" and "emanations." Really. You just gotta look hard.] I also remain committed to policies, initiatives, and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. organization [Note that he didn't mention efforts that would actually try to dissuade women from choosing to abort. That might help make abortion rare, which wouldn't be good for a certain big campaign-contributor organization that makes millions by providing abortions.]

And on this anniversary, I hope that we will recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights, the same freedoms, and the same opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams. [In other words, the freedom to have sex just as irresponsibly as the crudest and most degenerate men. What a triumph for women that is! And you can fulfill your dreams just like men, too! You too can get right back on track to the Big Education that leads to the Big Career that leads to the Big Lifestyle -- and to the shattering Big Emptiness that comes at the end.]

Oh, but I forgot. The President's SO good on the social justice stuff! That trumps everything.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Walk for Life West Coast

Participated in the Walk for Life West Coast today. One darned big crowd! It took an hour for the tail of the parade to leave Justin Herman Plaza.

I saw only a handful of counter-demonstrators. The Sisters of Perpetual Whatever-It-Is had a couple of representatives, and there was a guy with a big sign reading "Pope John Paul II / Patron Saint of Pedophiles". Pretty pitiful.

I think they're getting discouraged. It's tough to have another team come into your house and bring in bigger crowds than you do!

Missing the point

According to a local print-only newspaper, the Daily Post, Planned Parenthood is looking at leasing a new location in on El Camino Real in nearby Redwood City. Nothing too unusual in that, although PP seems to be closing more facilities than it's opening these days.

The thing that caught my attention was this reported reaction of a neighbor:
John Thomas, a resident who lives on nearby Selby Lane, said it's an inappropriate location for a clinic. Thomas said he fears the clinic will draw protesters with signs depicting aborted fetuses in an area where children walk to school.

... I'm not comfortable seeing that," Thomas told the Post. "I don't see how how anybody could be comfortable."
In other words, it's OK with Mr. Thomas that abortions might be done in his neighborhood. He just doesn't want to see any pictures of abortion around, to shock the kids (that is, the ones who didn't get aborted themselves), or make him uncomfortable.

I live in one very weird place.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011