Sunday, June 29, 2008

Senator Obama....when does human life begin?

As documented here, during a recent Father's Day speech at a Chicago Church where he addressed the problem of absent black fathers, Senator Barack Obama said, "We need fathers* to recognize that responsibility doesn't just end at conception."

In an ad put out by the Family Research Council, FRC President Tony Perkins responds to the Senator from Illinois by asking, "If, as you say, fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?"

An excellent point. If fatherhood begins at conception, so does human life. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot suggest that fatherhood begins at conception but human life does not. As Dr. & Mrs. J.C. Willke explain in their book "Why can't we love them both: questions and answers about abortion," "Biologic human life is defined by examining the scientific facts of human development. This is a field where there is no controversy, no disagreement. There is only one set of facts, only one embryology book is studied in medical school. The more scientific knowledge of fetal development that has been learned, the more science has confirmed that the beginning of any one human individual's life, biologically speaking, begins at the completion of the union of his father's sperm and his mother's ovum, a process called "conception," "fertilization," or "fecundation." This is so because this being, from fertilization, is alive, human, sexed, complete and growing."

In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II said that: "Some people try to justify abortion by claiming that the result of conception, at least up to a certain number of days, cannot yet be considered a personal human life. But in fact, "from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and ... modern genetic science offers clear confirmation. It has demonstrated that from the first instant there is established the programme of what this living being will be: a person, this individual person with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization the adventure of a human life begins, and each of its capacities requires time-a rather lengthy time-to find its place and to be in a position to act". Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be ascertained by empirical data, the results themselves of scientific research on the human embryo provide "a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?" (No. 60).

During his Father's Day speech, Senator Obama slipped. Even though his record on abortion speaks for itself (he supports even partial-birth abortion, which amounts to infanticide), by telling his audience that fathers need to recognize their responsibility doesn't end at conception, he was admitting that at conception "a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother" but instead "the life of a new human being with his own growth" which the father is responsible for.

And, if a father's responsibility is just beginning at conception, what of the responsibility of the State to guarantee this new human being his or her rights: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?" (Declaration of Independence).


Any ideas?
* Definition of father from the American Heritage Dictionary: "The begetter of a child."

Friday, June 27, 2008

The hour is late....

This article (which I just discovered) ties in nicely and dovetails with what I wrote below regarding the common priesthood of the faithful who share in Christ's ministry as Priest, Prophet and King. Read very carefully what Fr. Corapi is saying.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"...the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it."

"Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. This duty is the more pressing when it is only through them that men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so necessary that, for the most part, the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 900).

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People), Pope John Paul II reminded us that, "The voice of the Lord clearly resounds in the depths of each of Christ's followers who, through faith and the sacraments of Christian initiation is made like to Jesus Christ, is incorporated as a living member in the Church and has an active part in her mission of salvation." (No. 3).

Sadly, there are all too many clerics who haven't really embraced this authentic teaching of the Magisterium. For such clerics, the laity are second-class citizens who are tolerated but not really embraced fully as collaborators in the life and mission of the Church. This is most unfortunate. It was Pope Pius XII who said that, "The Faithful, more precisely the lay faithful, find themselves on the front lines of the Church's life; for them the Church is the animating principle for human society. Therefore, they in particular, ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the head of all, and of the Bishops in communion with him. These are the Church..." (Pius XII, Discourse to the New Cardinals, February 20, 1946: AAS 38 (1946), 149).

The truth of lay participation in the priesthood of Christ follows logically from the doctrine of the Mystical Body. Everyone who is incorporated into the Mystical Body participates in the dignities, honors, and offices of the Mystical Head (Jesus). "Because Christ is our head," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "that which was conferred upon him, was also in him conferred upon us" (Summa Theologica, III, q. 58, a.4, ad 1). Or, as Pope John Paul II put it: "Referring to the baptized as 'new born babes', the apostle Peter writes: 'Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ... you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light' (1 Pt 2:4-5, 9).

A new aspect to the grace and dignity coming from Baptism is here introduced: the lay faithful participate, for their part, in the threefold mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King. This aspect has never been forgotten in the living tradition of the Church, as exemplified in the explanation which St. Augustine offers for Psalm 26: 'David was anointed king. In those days only a king and a priest were anointed. These two persons prefigured the one and only priest and king who was to come, Christ (the name "Christ" means "anointed"). Not only has our head been anointed but we, his body, have also been anointed ... therefore anointing comes to all Christians, even though in Old Testament times it belonged only to two persons. Clearly we are the Body of Christ because we are all "anointed" and in him are "christs", that is, "anointed ones", as well as Christ himself, "The Anointed One". In a certain way, then, it thus happens that with head and body the whole Christ is formed..'

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, at the beginning of my pastoral ministry, my aim was to emphasize forcefully the priestly, prophetic and kingly dignity of the entire People of God..." (Christifideles Laici, No. 14).

The lay faithful who are consecrated to Our Lady can expect this teaching to be ignored as they are rejected and excluded from participation in the life of the Church. As St. Louis de Montfort explains in his classic work of marian spirituality entitled True Devotion to Mary: "..Mary's power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God's graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ." (TD, 54).

The apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without the participation of the lay faithful who share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly dignity and ministry of Christ Jesus. Sadly, many who have consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can expect to be excluded from participation in the life of the Church. Why is this? St. Louis de Montfort explains in his True Devotion to Mary:

"Sinners care little or nothing about devotion to Mary, the Mother of the elect. It is true that they do not really hate her. Indeed they even speak well of her sometimes. They say they love her and they practise some devotion in her honour. Nevertheless, they cannot bear to see anyone love her tenderly, for they do not have for her any of the affection of Jacob; they find fault with the honour which her good children and servants faithfully pay her to win her affection. They think this kind of devotion is not necessary for salvation, and as long as they do not go as far as hating her or openly ridiculing devotion to her they believe they have done all they need to win her good graces. Because they recite or mumble a few prayers to her without any affection and without even thinking of amending their lives, they consider they are our Lady's servants.

Sinners sell their birthright, that is, the joys of paradise, for a dish of lentils, that is, the pleasures of this world. They laugh, they drink, they eat, they have a good time, they gamble, they dance and so forth, without taking any more trouble than Esau to make themselves worthy of their heavenly Father's blessing. Briefly, they think only of this world, love only the world, speak and act only for the world and its pleasures. For a passing moment of pleasure, for a fleeting wisp of honour, for a piece of hard earth, yellow or white, they barter away their baptismal grace, their robe of innocence and their heavenly inheritance.

Finally, sinners continually hate and persecute the elect, openly and secretly. The elect are a burden to them. They despise them, criticise them, ridicule them, insult them, rob them, deceive them, impoverish them, hunt them down and trample them into the dust; while they themselves are making fortunes, enjoying themselves, getting good positions for themselves, enriching themselves, rising to power and living in comfort." (TD, 188-190).

"But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I do not need you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I do not need you.' Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable* we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety...God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have concern for one another." (1 Corinthians 12: 20-25).

* Luke 4: 24

Monday, June 23, 2008

" it not astonishing and pitiful..."

In his classic work True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort writes, " dear Master, is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.

These people seldom speak of your Mother or devotion to her. They say they are afraid that devotion to her will be abused and that you will be offended by excessive honour paid to her. They protest loudly when they see or hear a devout servant of Mary speak frequently with feeling, conviction and vigour of devotion to her. When he speaks of devotion to her as a sure means of finding and loving you without fear or illusion, or when he says this devotion is a short road free from danger, or an immaculate way free from imperfection, or a wondrous secret of finding you, they put before him a thousand specious reasons to show him how wrong he is to speak so much of Mary. There are, they say, great abuses in this devotion which we should try to stamp out and we should refer people to you rather than exhort them to have devotion to your Mother, whom they already love adequately.

If they are sometimes heard speaking of devotion to your Mother, it is not for the purpose of promoting it or convincing people of it but only to destroy the abuses made of it. Yet all the while these persons are devoid of piety or genuine devotion to you, for they have no devotion to Mary. They consider the Rosary and the Scapular as devotions suitable only for simple women or ignorant people. After all, they say, we do not need them to be saved. If they come across one who loves our Lady, who says the rosary or shows any devotion towards her, they soon move him to a change of mind and heart. They advise him to say the seven penitential psalms instead of the Rosary, and to show devotion to Jesus instead of to Mary.

Dear Jesus, do these people possess your spirit? Do they please you by acting in this way? Would it please you if we were to make no effort to give pleasure to your Mother because we are afraid of offending you? Does devotion to your holy Mother hinder devotion to you? Does Mary keep for herself any honour we pay her? Is she a rival of yours? Is she a stranger having no kinship with you? Does pleasing her imply displeasing you? Does the gift of oneself to her constitute a deprivation for you? Is love for her a lessening of our love for you?

Nevertheless, my dear Master, the majority of learned scholars could not be further from devotion to your Mother, or show more indifference to it even if all I have just said were true. Keep me from their way of thinking and acting and let me share your feelings of gratitude, esteem, respect and love for your holy Mother. I can then love and glorify you all the more, because I will be imitating and following you more closely." (TD, 64, 65).

Not only devotion to Our Lady, but more specifically devotion to the Holy Rosary is often downplayed by those who, either consciously or unconsciously, have become instruments of the Evil One. The Devil knows full well that what St. Louis de Montfort says about the Holy Rosary is true: "I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance - as do ignorant people, and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God. Almighty God has given it to you because he wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it." (Secret of the Rosary, White Rose).

The Devil frequently uses people (and this includes misguided Catholics) to frustrate or hinder the Confraternity of the Rosary. Why is this? Because, as St. Louis De Montfort explains: "Blessed Alan de la Roche, Fr. Jean Dumont, Fr. Thomas, the chronicles of St. Dominic and other writers who have seen these things with their own eyes [miracles of the Rosary] speak of the marvelous conversions that are brought about by this wonderful devotion. Great sinners, both men and women, have been converted after twenty, thirty or forty years of sin and unspeakable vice...I shall content myself with saying, in company with Blessed Alan de la Roche, that the Rosary is a source and a storehouse of countless blessings. 1. Sinners obtain pardon; 2. Those who thirst are refreshed; 3. Those who are fettered are set free; 4. Those who weep find joy; 5. Those who are tempted find peace; 6. Those in need find help; 7. Religious are reformed; 8. The ignorant are instructed; 9. The living learn to resist spiritual decline; 10. The dead have their pains eased by suffrages." (Secret of the Rosary, Fortieth Rose).

I too have experienced many miracles through the recitation of the Rosary. It would require a full-length book to document them all. But here is one: In the 1990's, I was opposing the column of dissident theologian Rev. Richard P. McBrien which appeared every week in The Catholic Free Press. I was praying all three mysteries for the intention that his column would be removed by the Lord Jesus. One night, as I was on the Glorious mysteries, the hairs on my arm stood up on end and I felt what may only be described as an electricity passing around me as the scent of roses began to fill first the hallway leading to my bedroom and then my room. I could actually feel Our Lady's presence so I said out loud, "Hail Mary"! And at that precise moment, the scent of Roses exploded to such an extent that I could barely breathe. Those who have been overwhelmed in Church by the beautiful scent of incense will have some small idea of what I am talking about.

Not long afterward, perhaps a few days, I heard the Lord Jesus (not audibly but in what I take as some sort of interior locution) tell me that Fr. McBrien's column would be removed from The Catholic Free Press. And so it was.

This is why the Devil hates the Rosary and those children of Mary who pray it fervently.
“One Hail Mary well said makes hell tremble.” - St. John Vianney
"The rosary is the scourge of the devil." - Pope Adrian VI
"The rosary is THE WEAPON." - St. Padre Pio

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Our Lady to Fr. Stephano Gobbi,
November 15, 1990,
Malvern PA

I announce to you that the hour of the great trial is on the point of arriving. The great trial has arrived for your country. How many times, as a concerned and sorrowing mother, have I endeavored to urge my children to follow the path of conversion and of return to the Lord. I have not been listened to. You have continued to walk along the way of rejection of God, and of His law of love. Sins of impurity have become ever more widespread, and immorality has spread like a sea which has submerged all things. Homosexuality, a sin of impurity which is against nature, has been justified; recourse to the means of preventing life have become commonplace, while abortions - these killings of innocent children, that cry for vengeance before the face of God - have spread and are performed in every part of your homeland. The moment of divine justice and of great mercy has now arrived. You will know the hour of weakness and of poverty; the hour of suffering and defeat; the purifying hour of the great chastisement. The great trial has arrived for your Church.How great is your responsibility, O Pastors of the Holy Church of God! You continue along the path of division from the Pope and of the rejection of his Magisterium; indeed, in a hidden way, there is in preparation a true schism which could soon become open and proclaimed. And then, there will remain only a small faithful remnant, over which I will keep watch in the garden of my Immaculate Heart.The great trial has arrived for all humanity. The chastisement, predicted by me at Fatima and contained in that part of the secret which has not yet been revealed, is about to take place. The great moment of divine justice and of mercy has come upon the world."

Anatomy of a controversy...

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" - John 8: 32

The Scripture passage above appears on the masthead of The Catholic Free Press

Readers of this Blog will recall how I wrote The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus a letter inquiring as to why the MMP Cenacle I attend every week cannot be listed in The Catholic Free Press. That letter may be found here.

I just received (yesterday) a sarcastic response to my concerns from the Editor of The Catholic Free Press, Margaret Russell. Although her letter begins with a pleasant tone, it quickly degenerates into falsehood (whether intentional or not). Below is my response to Ms. Russell:

June 22, 2008

Margaret M. Russell
The Catholic Free Press
51 Elm Street
Worcester, Mass 01609

Dear Ms. Russell,

As Christians, we should always strive to communicate truthfully since we can only spread the truth of the Gospel and build up the kingdom of Christ by testifying to truth. Good and honest communication requires hard work. Often laziness may tempt one to shirk the demands of good and honest communication and to employ the easier expedient of manipulation. And this laziness and expediency lead in turn to careless inaccuracy, exaggeration, stronger assertions than are warranted, and negligent failures to clarify one’s meaning. All of which frustrate the purpose of authentic communication which should contribute to communion among persons.

Responding to a letter which I wrote to His Excellency, Bishop McManus, on May 16, 2008, and which he forwarded to you, you wrote: "Thank you for your devotion to the rosary and your service to the Church in leading the Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle every Thursday at ........... You are to be commended for your devotion as are others around the diocese who regularly pray the rosary. We cannot, however, include every private or even public devotion in our calendar. We have set aside the space for events connected to parish and diocesan groups....Your contention in a letter to Bishop McManus that The Catholic Free Press’ failure to publicize your particular devotion means that we consider it ‘dangerous’ or ‘inappropriate’ is preposterous, as I am sure, upon further reflection, you would agree. Neither is it true that the CFP prominently promotes VOTF. May you continue your prayerfulness and may God’s peace be with you. Peace."

First of all Ms. Russell, I am not the leader of the Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle at ............ As I explained to Bishop McManus in my letter, "I belong to a Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle which is held every Thursday at 3 PM at .................. in Fitchburg." In point of fact, a Catholic gentleman by the name of .................. leads this Cenacle. I have never claimed that I was the Cenacle leader.

Secondly, your statement that The Catholic Free Press "..cannot..include every private or even public devotion in the Calendar" is very revealing. This because the Calendar has, in the past, included listings for PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meetings. St. Camillus de Lellis Parish in Fitchburg has hosted these groups. At its website, PFLAG states that "Since 2000, PFLAG has had an official policy statement on marriage equality that states its opposition to any attempts at either the federal or state level to introduce constitutional amendments restricting marriage to heterosexual couples, rendering GLBT people second-class citizens." As for FFLAG, which is closely associated with PFLAG, their mission statement says that they are "working locally, nationally and in Europe on issues of equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people." Funny how these groups have had no problem in the past being included in the Calendar but the MMP Cenacle I attend is excluded because it is not held in a parish.

Thirdly, when you write "Your contention in a letter to Bishop McManus that The Catholic Free Press’ failure to publicize your particular devotion means that we consider it ‘dangerous’ or ‘inappropriate’ is preposterous," are you intentionally engaging in dishonesty in an attempt to paint me as some sort of religious fanatic who is so intent on promoting my own "particular devotion" that I have issued false allegations? When did I ever contend that such was the case?
In my letter to the Bishop, I wrote: "In the past, there have been attempts to have the Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle included in the Diocesan Diary but these have not been successful. And one has to wonder why this is. Is it that the messages contained in the book ‘To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons’ are considered somehow dangerous or inappropriate?...Is it devotion to the Holy Rosary which is considered problematic?" I was merely posing questions, not making allegations. Apparently I struck some sort of nerve.

Lastly, you write, "Neither is it true that the CFP prominently promotes VOTF." But my statement to Bishop McManus that The Catholic Free Press published an article written by Fr. William J. Byron, S.J. for the Catholic News Service in its October 26th edition is true. You may not consider this article to be a prominent promotion of the dissent group, but I would disagree. Many of the faithful who read that article will give Fr. Byron’s views much weight since he is a Jesuit priest and the article was carried by the Catholic News Service.

It is really a shame when dissent has no difficulty finding its way into The Catholic Free Press but an MMP Cenacle listing does.

Ms Russell, you have wished me peace. And I wish the same for you. But it must be remembered that authentic peace is always rooted in truth, that truth which sets us free (John 8:32). It is a peace which will only come from keeping His Commandments. One of which is to communicate truthfully.

In Christ,

Paul Anthony Melanson

cc: The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus

Note: There is a listing in The Catholic Free Press for an MMP Cenacle which takes place at Saint Catherine of Sweden Church in the diocese. But because the Cenacle I attend doesn't take place within a parish, it won't be included in the CFP. PFLAG and FFLAG have been listed because they took place within a parish. However, these groups promote views which are inconsistent with Catholic teaching to say the least (same-sex "marriage" etc). For some peculiar reason, the Cenacle I attend hasn't been allowed to take place within the Church itself.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anglican church fragmenting because of homosexuality

Behold the fruit of perversion. An Anglican church in crisis. Let's pray for those in the Anglican church who remain faithful to Christ and His teaching on homosexuality. Perhaps they will consider Roman Catholicism?

Two Popes explain why same-sex marriage may never be valid

Morality of Marriage Act Determined by Nature of the Act and of the Subjects
Pope John Paul II

On Wednesday morning, 11 July, Pope John Paul II dedicated his audience address in St Peter's Square to reflections on Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae" as an application of the catechesis he had been presenting on the theology of human love in God's plan:

1. The reflections we have thus far made on human love in the divine plan would be in some way incomplete if we did not try to see their concrete application in the sphere of marital and family morality. We want to take this further step that will bring us to the conclusion of our now long journey, under the guidance of an important recent pronouncement of the Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, which Pope Paul VI published in July 1968. We will reread this significant document in the light of the conclusions we have reached in examining the initial divine plan and the words of Christ which refer to it.

2. "The Church teaches as absolutely required that in any use whatever of marriage there must be no impairment of its natural capacity to procreate human life" (Humanae Vitae 11). "This particular doctrine, often expounded by the Magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act" (Humane Vitae 12).

3. The considerations I am about to make concern especially the passage of Humanae Vitae that deals with the "two significances of the marriage act" and their "inseparable connection." I do not intend to present a commentary on the whole encyclical, but rather to illustrate and examine one of its passages. From the point of view of the doctrine contained in the quoted document, that passage has a central significance. At the same time, that passage is closely connected with our previous reflections on marriage in its dimension as a (sacramental) sign. As I said, since this is a central passage of the encyclical, it is obvious that it constitutes a very important part of its whole structure. Therefore, its analysis must direct us toward the various components of that structure, even if it is not our intention to comment on the entire text. A promised fidelity

4. In the reflections on the sacramental sign, it has already been said several times that it is based on the language of the body reread in truth. It concerns a truth once affirmed at the beginning of the marriage when the newlyweds, promising each other "to be always faithful...and to love and honor each other all the days of their life," become ministers of marriage as a sacrament of the Church. It concerns, then, a truth that is always newly affirmed. In fact, the man and the woman, living in the marriage "until death," re-propose uninterruptedly, in a certain sense, that sign that they made—through the liturgy of the sacrament—on their wedding day. The aforementioned words of Pope Paul VI's encyclical concern that moment in the common life of the spouses when both, joining each other in the marriage act, become, according to the biblical expression, "one flesh" (Gn 2:24). Precisely at such a moment so rich in significance, it is also especially important that the language of the body be reread in truth. This reading becomes the indispensable condition for acting in truth, that is, for behaving in accordance with the value and the moral norm.

Adequate foundation

5. The encyclical not only recalls this norm, but also seeks to give it adequate foundation. In order to clarify more completely that "inseparable connection, established by God...between the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marriage act," Paul VI writes in the next sentence: "The reason is that the marriage act, because of its fundamental structure, while it unites husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also brings into operation laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman for the generation of new life" (Humanae Vitae 12).We note that in the previous sentence, the text just quoted deals above all with the significance of marital relations. In the following sentence, it deals with the fundamental structure (that is, the nature) of marital relations. Defining that fundamental structure, the text refers to "laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman." The passage from the sentence expressing the moral norm, to the sentence which explains and justifies it, is especially significant. The encyclical leads one to seek the foundation for the norm which determines the morality of the acts of the man and the woman in the marriage act, in the nature of this very act, and more deeply still, in the nature of the subjects themselves who are performing the act.

Two significances

6. In this way, the fundamental structure (that is, the nature) of the marriage act constitutes the necessary basis for an adequate reading and discovery of the two significances that must be carried over into the conscience and the decisions of the acting parties. It also constitutes the necessary basis for establishing the adequate relationship of these significances, that is, their inseparable connection. Since "the marriage act..."—at the same time—"unites husband and wife in the closest intimacy" and together "makes them capable of generating new life," and both the one and the other happen "through the fundamental structure," then it follows that the human person (with the necessity proper to reason, logical necessity) must read at the same time the "twofold significance of the marriage act" and also the "inseparable connection between the unitive significance and the procreative significance of the marriage act."Here we are dealing with nothing other than reading the language of the body in truth, as has been said many times in our previous biblical analyses. The moral norm, constantly taught by the Church in this sphere, and recalled and reconfirmed by Paul VI in his encyclical, arises from the reading of the language of the body in truth.It is a question here of the truth first in the ontological dimension ("fundamental structure") and then—as a result—in the subjective and psychological dimension ("significance"). The text of the encyclical stresses that in the case in question we are dealing with a norm of the natural law."

And Pope Benedict XVI, in his book "God and the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald," has this to say:

"A second aspect to which we must pay attention is this: Wherever two people give themselves to each other and, between them, give life to children, this touches the holiness, the mystery of human existence, which goes beyond the realm of what I can control and dispose of. I simply do not belong to myself alone. There is a divine mystery within each and every person. That is why the association of husband and wife is regarded within the religious realm, within the sphere of the sacred, of being answerable before God. Being answerable before God is a necessity - and in the sacrament this is planted deep and given its proper foundation. Hence, all other types of association are deviant forms, which in the end are seeking to evade responsibility toward each other and also toward the mystery of human existence - and which, at the same time, are introducing into society an element of instability that will have further effects." (pp. 425-426).

Related reading here. And here.

The New Tower of Babel...

"Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.'" (Genesis 11:4).

"Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18).

Men who have succumbed to the Prince of this world (John 14: 30) seek to build a name for themselves. The Christian responds: "For in God our hearts rejoice; in your holy name we trust." (Psalm 33: 21).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canadian Human Rights Commission continues its war against moral opposition to homosexuality

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1: 25-32).

"Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

With much sadness....

I discovered the obituary only today:

Was an accomplished seamstress

LEOMINSTER - Dorothy R. (Allen) Boutotte Lyonnais, 79, of Leominster, died Saturday, June 7, 2008, in The Highlands Care Center, after an illness.

She was born on Nov. 1, 1928, in Fitchburg, the daughter of Oliver and Rose (Morand) Allen, and lived in Fitchburg and Leominster all of her life. She graduated from St. Bernard's Central Catholic High School in 1936.

Dorothy was an accomplished seamstress and worked over 20 years for Selig, Asher Pants, and Dainty Maid clothing, retiring in 1989. When she retired she had dedicated herself to taking care of her husband who had become ill. She was a member of Our Lady of the Lake Church.
She is survived by her husband of 36 years, Robert Lyonnais; two sons, David Boutotte and his wife, Linda, of Fitchburg and John Boutotte and his wife, Diane, of Sterling; one daughter, Joanne Barrera of Arlington, Va.; one step-daughter, Beverly Lamarine of Leominster; one sister, Lucille Salazar of Fort Worth, Texas; her son-inlaw, Larry Forgues; 19 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and several nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by her first husband, Alfred Boutotte in 1978; a stepdaughter, Sheila Forgues; and her sister, Irene Chalifoux.

Lavery Chartrand & Alario Funeral Home directed arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, Massachusetts Chapter, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.

To most of you out there, this obituary won't hit home, won't have any meaning. But this lovely lady, the mother of my best friend, was an important part of my childhood. Although she may not have been famous or important in the eyes of the world, she will always remain in my heart and my memory as one of the finest persons I have ever known. I know that we look at the world differently when we are children and that our perspective often changes as we become adults. Most of us become more cynical. We forget the words of Our Lord that we must accept the Kingdom of God as children if we are to enter it. Mrs. Lyonnais always impressed me as someone who never lost sight of that fact. She possessed a youthful spirit and a generosity which I shall never forget.

I know she is with Our Lord Jesus now, somewhere in the sunlit verdant hills of Heaven. And the world is poorer.

God love you Mrs. Lyonnais. God love you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Same-sex "marriage," Church teaching and sanity...

In his Encyclical Letter Libertas Humana, Pope Leo XIII explained that:

"It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man,but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law . . . the binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God."

Human laws are "incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law." This is crystal clear Catholic teaching. There is no room for doubt. All other "laws" are unjust and are, therefore, not laws at all. And Catholics are not bound to obey them. In fact, Catholics have a duty to resist them. As I mentioned in a previous post, "Any law supportive of same-sex 'marriage' is no law at all. This because any law which is promulgated must correspond to the divine law. No human authority can declare what is morally evil to be morally good. Laws permitting slavery, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and "marriages" between persons of the same gender are immoral, and therefore unjust (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 96, a.5)."

In California, there are homosexuals who are now play-acting at getting married, much as a young boy might play at being a priest. We don't say that the child's play at being a priest really makes him a priest. Likewise, homosexuals might play at being married, but this doesn't make it so. We are sane when our minds conform to reality. I might tell people that I am Napoleon. But my saying so doesn't make me Napoleon. And if I really believe that I am Napoleon, I am not sane.

Men might actually believe that they have the right to change the definition of marriage, but this is merely symptomatic of an illusion which is rooted in pride. As such, it represents a form of insanity. Men are not free to change God's eternal law to suit their own pleasures. Recall the teaching of Pope Pius XI in his famous Encyclical "On Christian Marriage":

"First of all, let this remain the unchanged and unshakable foundation: Matrimony was neither established nor restored by man but by God. It has been protected, strengthened, and elevated not by the laws of men, but by those of God, the author of human nature, and of Christ who restored that same nature. Consequently, these laws cannot be changed according to men's pleasure, nor by any agreement of the spouses themselves that is contrary to these laws. This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture (see Gen 1:27; 2:22f.; Mt 19:3ff.; Eph 5:23ff.); this is the constant, universal tradition of the Church; this is the solemn definition of the holy Council of Trent, which in the words of Sacred Scripture teaches and reasserts that the permanent and indissoluble bond of matrimony, its unity and strength, have their origin in God."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1603-1605, explain marriage in the order of creation:

"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."

God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "And God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"

Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

Again, we may choose to reject these truths. But in so doing, we lose our grip on sanity as it were. In the words of the late (great) F.J. Sheed:

"..if we see anything - ourself or some other man, or the Universe as a whole or any part of it - without at the same time seeing God holding it there, then we are seeing it all wrong. If we saw a coat hanging on a wall and did not realize that it was held there by a hook, we should not be living in the real world at all, but in some fantastic world of our own in which coats defied the law of gravity and hung on walls by their own power. Similarly if we see things in existence and do not in the same act see that they are held in existence by God, then equally we are living in a fantastic world, not the real world. Seeing God everywhere and all things upheld by Him [such as marriage, my note] is not a matter of sanctity; but of plain sanity, because God is everywhere and all things are upheld by Him...To overlook God's presence is not simply to be irreligious; it is a kind of insanity, like overlooking anything else that is actually there." (Theology and Sanity, p.6).

The choice is ours: We either view marriage within the context of the order of creation with God as its Author, or we sink into insanity.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The homosexual assault on children in Massachusetts...

"He said to his disciples, 'Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.'" (John 17: 1-2).

Related reading here

Fr. Nectou, S.J. (18th century)

"The confusion will be so general that men will not be able to think aright, as if God had withheld His Providence from mankind, and that, during the worst crisis, the best that can be done would be to remain where God has placed us, and persevere in fervent prayers....At that time there will be such a terrible crisis that people will believe that the end of the world has come. Blood will flow in many large cities. The very elements will be convulsed. It will be like a little General Judgement."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pope John Paul II to the Children of the World

Sunday 2 January 2000

Children's Jubilee

Praised be Jesus Christ! Welcome!

Dear children, dear boys and girls!

I am very pleased to be with you who are celebrating your Jubilee today. Thank you for the enthusiasm with which you fill this square with festivity, and thank you too for the message you have addressed to me. I greet you all with deep affection. I greet Bishop Agostino Superbo, General Chaplain of Italian Catholic Action, who has expressed your sentiments. I also greet Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Bishops and priests, as well as your parents and teachers who have wished to be with you today. We are many. And from here one cannot see how far you reach: probably as far as the Tiber.

Your presence is a reminder that the Jubilee is a time of joy. God is a good Father, always ready to forgive and to offer his children opportunities to start to live and hope once more. Once again he opens his heart, so that each person, by repenting of his sins, committing himself to good resolutions and making acts of faith and love, can return to the path that leads to him.

Dear children and young people! You have come to Rome from Italy and other countries in the world to form a friendship with Jesus, after the example of the young saints like Pancras and Tarsicius, who gave their lives to stay faithful to Christ! The effort and hardships that you had to face made you realize that following the Gospel requires sacrifice but fills one with joy. Have a good Jubilee!

Dear children, dear young people, this morning many of you, with your parents and those escorting you, have taken part in the Jubilee Mass in St Peter's Basilica. In giving himself to you in the Eucharist, Jesus has shown you that life acquires its full value when it becomes a gift for others. The witness of the saints and martyrs who are venerated in the Eternal City have made you understand that it is only with Christ that you can accomplish great things and that it is only with him that you can be happy and make others happy.

You want to shout out your joy to everyone for the gift the Father gave us in sending his Son Jesus to become our brother. Witness to the world that by receiving Jesus in our midst, it is possible to make humanity one great family. Many among you speak French, probably everyone speaks French without exception.

At the beginning of a new year, dear children and young people, we cannot forget all those of your own age who are suffering hunger or violence, and those who are victims of hideous forms of exploitation. How could we forget the many children who are denied even the right to be born? When people want to build a world ignoring God and his law, they are in fact giving rise to a situation of more and more suffering and injustice. With the Jubilee the Lord invites us to correct these wrongs by cooperating in the great plan he has for every person and for the whole human race. Jesus also needs you for this task. He is entrusting his plans to you and he is asking you: Do you wish to be my friend? Do you wish to help me to make the world more beautiful and welcoming? Do you wish to be witnesses to my love in the Church and in the world?

Say "yes" to him with enthusiasm, and bear the joy of the Gospel into the new millennium. We belong more to a new millennium, the third millennium, than to the second.

Dear children, you surely remember what happened when, during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the 12-year-old Jesus remained in the temple. Mary and Joseph found him speaking to the teachers, who were amazed at his understanding and his answers (cf. Lk 2: 47-48). You will also remember how he himself, being a tireless preacher of God's love for men and women, suggested to his disciples that they take children as a model of those who receive the kingdom of God (cf. Mk 10: 14-15).

By starting the series of solemn Jubilee celebrations with you, children and young people, the Church puts you at the center of the attention of believers. Receive the gift of the Jubilee and go home changed by the love of Jesus who has given you his friendship. Follow him enthusiastically and help everyone draw near to him with total trust. Jesus is the Holy Door that enables us to enter God's kingdom. We see, we hear that Spanish people are present: we see that there are many of them.

I greet the children who have come from Poland for today's meeting on the occasion of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. I am very pleased that you have come here to St Peter's Square, because this way you bear witness to your love for Jesus Christ and to your desire to walk with him in your life.

He loves you too and wants to help you. He understands your desires and is awaiting your response.

Dear young people, you are humanity's hope; through you, may Christ's love spread to your surroundings, to your families and to your whole world. I entrust you to the protection of Our Lady. Take this greeting to your peers, your parents, your brothers and sisters, and all children in Poland.

A happy Jubilee to you all, dear children and young people! I bless you affectionately together with your families and teachers, and I pray that Jesus, your great and faithful friend, will make you the hope and joy of the world! Happy New Year!

Before leading the Angelus the Holy Father said: Let us see if you can also speak Latin, or at least pray in it!

At the end of the meeting the Holy Father added: Before leaving you, I would still like to thank the Lord for the good weather. It is a little cold, but it is beautiful: we have sun and no rain. Deo gratias! I wish you all the best today and a safe return home.

Happy New Year to everyone! Praised be Jesus Christ!

Prayer requests...

Please pray for Lisa Brideau, who will be having a kidney removed. That her surgery will be a success and will have no complications. Also, for little Rachel Lee, that her tumor will be healed by Our Lord's Precious Blood and through the intercession of St. Padre Pio.

Any prayer requests should be forwarded to:

God love you,

The priest who doesn't preach the need for penance...

Pope Paul VI said that outside of Holy Mass, priests can do more good in Confession than anywhere else. Why then are there so many priests who don't preach on the necessity of this sacrament? The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:

"According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time." (No. 1457).

And that:

"Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful:

Whoever confesses his sins . . . is already working with God. God indicts your sins; if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear "man"—this is what God has made; when you hear "sinner"—this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made. . . . When you begin to abhor what you have made, it is then that your good works are beginning, since you are accusing yourself of your evil works. The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light." (No. 1458).

The Sacrament of Confession is necessary for salvation since, "Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession. There are profound reasons for this. Christ is at work in each of the sacraments. He personally addresses every sinner: 'My son, your sins are forgiven.' He is the physician tending each one of the sick who need him to cure them. He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal communion. Personal confession is thus the form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church." (CCC, No. 1484).

Pope Pius XII recommended the frequent reception of confession which he called, "the pious practice of frequent confession which was introduced by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit." And, in his Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis (The Mystical Body of Christ) which was introduced in 1943, this beloved Pontiff of happy memory had these words of exhortation:

"Let those, therefore, among the younger clergy who make light of or lessen esteem for frequent confession realize that what they are doing is alien to the Spirit of Christ and disastrous for the Mystical Body of Christ."

I've encountered such priests within the Diocese of Worcester. One priest assured me that it wasn't necessary for me to confess so often (I confess every 2-4 weeks). But recall the teaching of the Catechism: "Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church..regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit." As long as we avoid scrupulosity, frequent confession is recommended by the Church and priests should not discourage it. And of course, "Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possbility of going to confession." (CCC, 1457).

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, a moral theologian and Doctor of the Church, said that, "If all preachers and confessors fulfilled the obligations of their office the whole world would be sanctified*. Bad preachers and bad confessors are the ruin of the world. By bad preachers and confessors I mean those that do not fulfill their duty as they ought...should a sinner be damned through the fault of him who preaches the divine word, God will demand an account** of the priest who could have announced the truths of salvation to that lost soul." (Dignity and Duties of the Priest, pp. 265, 266).

Those priests who take the Sacrament of Confession lightly, who take their duty to preach the need for repentance lightly, should reflect on this testimony of a Catholic priest who had died and stood before our Lord Jesus Christ.
*It is said that the Devil told St. John Vianney, "If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined." The Cure of Ars was a martyr of the confessional.
** Luke 12:48

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Governor Patrick Installs Lesbian Activist Judge...

Maureen Monks, according to Governor Patrick, "is a compassionate collaborator who offers important expertise in the evolving issues of family law." By this the Governor is implying that the definition of marriage is "evolving." Wrong. The Pontifical Council for the Family, in its Letter on the Rights of the Family, teaches that:

"The family is founded on marriage, and is an intimate union of life, completed between a man and woman, that is constituted by the indissoluble bond of marriage, freely contracted, publicly affirmed, and that is open to the transmission of life." (Preamble B)

Any law supportive of same-sex "marriage" is no law at all. This because any law which is promulgated must correspond to the divine law. No human authority can declare what is morally evil to be morally good. Laws permitting slavery, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and "marriages" between persons of the same gender are immoral, and therefore unjust (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 96, a.5).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that, "Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another" (No. 1605) and that "God himself is the author of marriage" (No. 1603). You are warned Governor Patrick (as are all those who exercise civil authority) that "No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law" (CCC, No. 2235). And on the basis of your refusal to adhere to this truth, you will be judged by the Lord Jesus.

Related: Boston celebrates homosexuality during "Gay Pride Week":

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The world's hatred...

"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, 'They hated me without cause.' "When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning." (John 15: 18-27).

By clicking on the link contained within the title to this post, you will be taken to a LifeSite News article detailing what is happening to freedom of religion and freedom of expression in Canada. As the article explains, the Canadian government is now attempting to silence any and all moral opposition to homosexuality:

"Most disturbingly, says [Alberta Pastor] Boissoin, is that the ruling calls for him to "cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals." Boissoin wondered to what extent the right to freedom of expression in Canada will be deteriorated, stating, "I am not allowed to hold on to my views."

My response to this crisis and specifically the persecution of Father Alphonse de Valk at the hands of the Canadian Human Rights Commission which I have submitted to The Pilot:

Has the Canadian Human Rights Commission forgotten the legacy of John Humphrey?

In its zeal to criminalize any and all moral opposition to homosexuality, it would appear that the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which has the full power and prestige (such as it is) of the Canadian government behind it, has forgotten the legacy of a great Canadian: John Humphrey. Mr. Humphrey served as the Director of the Human Rights Division in the Secretariat’s Department of Social Affairs. And it was his 400-page draft outline which served as the blueprint for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Without a single exception, representatives of the world’s nations, had passed Resolution 217A, thereby approving this Universal Declaration. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provided the basis for the model on which the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was built. This document, also known simply as the Charter, is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada.

Ignoring Article 18 of the UDHR which states that, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and to "manifest his religion or belief (in public or private) in teaching, practice, worship and observance," the Canadian Human Rights Commission has decided to investigate Father Alphonse de Valk, a Basilian priest and pro-life activist who has had the audacity to defend the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage while drawing upon such subversive literature as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Encyclical Letters of Pope John Paul II.

The Commission is using section 13-1 of Canada’s Human Rights Act to investigate Fr. de Valk. The section reads, "It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part, by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination."

Is the Canadian Human Rights Commission prepared to suggest that the official teaching of the Catholic Church relative to the issues of homosexuality and marriage engenders an environment which is "likely to expose" homosexual persons to "hatred or contempt"? Granted that section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also known as the reasonable limits clause or limitations clause because it provides for the government to legally limit an individual’s Charter rights, has been used to prevent a variety of objectionable conduct such as hate speech and obscenity. But it must be remembered that in the landmark freedom of expression decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. Keegstra, [1990] 3 S.C.R. 697, the Court was simply upholding the Criminal Code of Canada provision which prohibits the willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group.

The key phrase here is "the willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group." Anyone even remotely familiar with Catholic teaching (and this apparently does not include members of the Canadian Human Rights Commission) knows full well that the Catholic Church rejects any and all hatred which is directed toward the homosexual person: "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided..." Hardly a hate manifesto.

Under Canadian law, in order for an individual’s right to be limited, in this case Fr. de Valk’s right to freedom of religion and/or freedom of expression, the onus is on the crown to show two things. First, that on the balance of probabilities, the limitation was prescribed by law. That is, the law is in compliance with the values of accessibility and intelligibility; and second, that the limit on the individual’s right is justified in a free and democratic society. This means that it must have a justifiable purpose and it must be proportional.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has no case against Fr. de Valk. Rather than striving to cater to radical homosexual activist groups and their anti-Christian agenda to silence any and all moral opposition to homosexuality, the Commission should reflect carefully on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

As we approach the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nation’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what better way to honor the very idea of universal human rights and freedoms while simultaneously honoring the memory of a Canadian human rights champion?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Democratic Party endorses homosexual "marriage."

From the American Family Association:

On June 3, the Democratic National Committee issued a 2008 Gay PRIDE proclamation supporting homosexual marriage. DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Representatives Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin released the proclamation.

Also, in a display of sheer arrogance, the California Supreme Court has refused to delay legalization of homosexual marriage until after the people of California have a chance to vote on the issue in November. Attorneys general from 10 states asked the activist judges to delay implementing their ruling, citing the millions of dollars in litigation it will cost their respective states and the legal chaos caused by the California Supreme Court.

These activist judges clearly showed their goal is to force homosexual marriage on every American. The only way America can protect itself from such radical judges is through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia has introduced the Marriage Protection Amendment of 2008 (H.J. RES. 89). This amendment would make marriage legal only between a man and a woman.

Catholicism was never meant to be taken literally?

Responding to an open letter which I wrote to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, and which may be found here, an anonymous individual has left a comment at this Blog defending Fr. Andre Dargis. This anonymous individual wrote, "Catholicism was never meant to be taken literally...All of the negative bloggers here seem content to cite Church teachings as if Christ himself taught them. Note to the uneducated - many, many teachings of the Church were created after Jesus, including many that have been cited by bloggers here. Is everyone here mindless enough to believe all these things taught not by Jesus, but in fact written hundreds of years later, many by early popes and bishops, are to be taken as true?"

And after chiding me (and others who comment here) for being "mindless," "uneducated," and "negative," this pillar of Catholic charity writes: "Before you all criticize him [Fr. Dargis] for his lack of doctrine, why don't you research the doctrine yourselves, and realize who wrote what, why they wrote it, the political ramifications of those times, as well as the pressures put on them from their common people. I am certain Fr. Dargis has done his research on the history of the early church, and from what I read, I am equally certain most of you bloggers have not."

What this troubled soul doesn't understand is that those of us who are authentically Catholic do indeed accept what the Church proposes for our belief as true. The Catechism defines faith thusly: "Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that the Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself." (CCC, 1814). Faith is the acceptance of the truths revealed by God without proof.

Faith is a grace: "Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. 'Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.'" (CCC, 153).

Faith does not contradict reason. Consequently, once the truths which have been revealed by God are accepted, human reason attempts to understand and defend those truths. Faith may be understood as "faith seeking understanding" (CCC, 154-159). As No. 156 explains:

"What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe "because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived". So "that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit." Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind."

I know this will probably come as a surprise to this confused defender of Fr. Dargis, but the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) of Vatican II had this to say:

"..the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed." (No. 10).

Let's pray that the unhappy soul who left this angry comment will take the time to research the documents of Vatican II. We've heard enough about the "spirit of Vatican II" (the truly mindless ideology which has contributed so greatly toward the formation of Cotton-Candy Catholicism, a sacharrin spirituality devoid of any substance). Let's actually read the documents. Is that asking too much?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Senator Obama and ACORN....

"A racially integrated community is a chronological term timed from the entrance of the first black family to the exit of the last white family."

- Saul Alinsky

For more background on radical Saul Alinsky, read the Wanderer article which I posted here.

Fr. Michael Pfleger, now well-known for his pro-Obama political rant during a "homily," has been described by one journalist as an "attention-seeking narcissist." Fr. Pfleger has been associated with Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Black Liberation Theology (see here). Why is this troubling? Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Black Liberation Theology:

Black theology refers to a variety of Christian theologies held among people of black African descent (African Americans).

BLACK THEOLOGY — This is a form of liberation theology* that has its center in the theme of oppression of blacks by whites. It came out of the "need for black people to define the scope and meaning of black existence in a white society" (Cone). It emerged in the last two decades in the wave of liberation movements as an expression of black consciousness and seems to speak the the issues that blacks must contend with on a daily basis.

God — Intricate and largely philosophical views of God are largely ignored in preference for the concerns of the oppressed. White Christian concepts taught to the black man thus are to be disregarded or ignored. God's person, the Trinity, his supreme power and authority as well as "subtle indications of God's white maleness" are said not to relate to (and in some cases antagonistic to) the black experience. The dominant perspective on God is God in action, delivering the oppressed because of his righteousness. His immanence is stressed over His transcendence, and as a result He is seen to be in flux or always changing.

Trinity — The Trinity is not stressed. However, Jesus is God, but in the sense of God's visible expression of concern and salvation.

Christ — He is One who delivers, almost exclusively, in social ways. He is a liberator, or "Black Messiah" whose work of emancipation for the poor and rejected of society is the parallel to the blacks' quest for liberation. Christ's message is "black power" (Henry). His intrinsic nature and spiritual activity receive little or no attention. Some even deny his role as the atoning sacrifice for the world's sins and provider of eternal life (Shrine).

Revelation — Black theology is not bound to biblical liberalism, but is of a more pragmatic nature. Only the experience of black oppression is the authoritative standard.

Salvation — Salvation is freedom from the oppression and pertains to blacks in this life. Proponents of black theology are concerned specifically with the political and theological aspects of salvation more than the spiritual. In other words, salvation is physically liberation from white oppression rather than freedom from the sinful nature and acts of each individual person. Presenting heaven as a reward for following Christ is seen as an attempt to dissuade blacks from the goal of real liberation of their whole persons.

Church — The church is the focus of social expression in the black community where the blacks can express freedom and equality (Cone). Thus the church and politics have formed a cohesion where the theological expression of the desire for social freedom is carried out. All above came from [1] H. Wayne House (Th.D.,J.D.) is distinguished professor of biblical studies and theological studies at Faith Seminary, Tacoma Washington, and a professor of law at Trinity International University. Black theology refers to a variety of Christian theologies held among people of black African descent (African Americans).

* For more on Liberation Theology and why it is problematic, read here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Radical takeover of the Democratic party?

Reason for concern?

This is not a political Blog. But the Gospel has political implications. And so, I merely ask the question: Is there reason to believe that the Democratic Party is being taken over by radicals? According to Warner Todd Huston, in an article which may be found here, Senator Barack Obama "actively sought and received the stamp of approval of a Marxist third party that operated briefly in Chicago between 1992 and 1998. The group was called the 'New Party' and was started in 1992 by Daniel Cantor (a former staffer for Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign) and Joel Rogers (a sociology and law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison)...The New Party was a Marxist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials - most often Democrats. The New Party's short-term objective was to move the Democratic Party leftward, thereby setting the stage for the eventual rise of new Marxist third party."

Senator Obama supports sex education in kindergarten read here and infanticide read here. Additionally, according to Stanley Kurtz, writing for National Review Online, "Obama has had an intimate and long-term association with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), the largest radical group in America." Why is this so troubling? Because ACORN's philosophy is premised upon anti-capitalist redistributionism. Read more here.

Senator Obama has also said that Christ's Sermon on the Mount supports same-sex unions, read here. He has described unborn children as a "punishment" (punishment from whom? does he mean a curse?) read here. But most disturbingly, the Senator has described religious belief as some sort of "crutch," read here.

Should a Christian vote for Senator Obama? What do you think?

"...numerous are the Catholics who, although they clearly understand that Christian principles can never be abandoned or diminished seem to turn their eyes to the Holy See and earnestly beseech Us to decide whether this form of Socialism has so far recovered from false doctrines that it can be accepted without the sacrifice of any Christian principle and in a certain sense be baptized. That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.

For, according to Christian teaching, man, endowed with a social nature, is placed on this earth so that by leading a life in society and under an authority ordained of God he may fully cultivate and develop all his faculties unto the praise and glory of his Creator; and that by faithfully fulfilling the duties of his craft or other calling he may obtain for himself temporal and at the same time eternal happiness. Socialism, on the other hand, wholly ignoring and indifferent to this sublime end of both man and society, affirms that human association has been instituted for the sake of material advantage alone.

Because of the fact that goods are produced more efficiently by a suitable division of labor than by the scattered efforts of individuals, socialists infer that economic activity, only the material ends of which enter into their thinking, ought of necessity to be carried on socially. Because of this necessity, they hold that men are obliged, with respect to the producing of goods, to surrender and subject themselves entirely to society. Indeed, possession of the greatest possible supply of things that serve the advantages of this life is considered of such great importance that the higher goods of man, liberty not excepted, must take a secondary place and even be sacrificed to the demands of the most efficient production of goods. This damage to human dignity, undergone in the "socialized" process of production, will be easily offset, they say, by the abundance of socially produced goods which will pour out in profusion to individuals to be used freely at their pleasure for comforts and cultural development. Society, therefore, as Socialism conceives it, can on the one hand neither exist nor be thought of without an obviously excessive use of force; on the other hand, it fosters a liberty no less false, since there is no place in it for true social authority, which rests not on temporal and material advantages but descends from God alone, the Creator and last end of all things.[55]

If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist. " (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno: On the Reconstruction of the Social Order, Nos. 117-120).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

More intolerance from the homosexual hate movement....

Authentic Christians have always and everywhere accepted a "healthy pluralism." At the same time, such Christians have also understood that they have an obligation to acknowledge their beliefs and to preach the moral message given to them by the Lord Jesus. The follower of the Lord Jesus possesses a qualified certainty regarding the tenets of Natural Law and other truths which are revealed by God and help guide the conduct of man. Consequently, the authentic Christian understands that Christian ethical principles inform human society.

The authentic Christian will reject the sophism of those who declare that anyone who does not buy into the Dictatorship of Relativism (a pluralism of opinions which rejects any and all absolute truth or even its possibility) is a "fanatic" or a "fundamentalist." On the contrary, the authentic Christian will defend the truth in a positive manner. And while respecting persons and living out charity, such a Christian will proclaim the truth without fear.

This is the mind of Christ. As Pope John Paul II taught us in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, No. 95:

"The Church's teaching, and in particular her firmness in defending the universal and permanent validity of the precepts prohibiting intrinsically evil acts, is not infrequently seen as the sign of an intolerable intransigence, particularly with regard to the enormously complex and conflict-filled situations present in the moral life of individuals and of society today; this intransigence is said to be in contrast with the Church's motherhood. The Church, one hears, is lacking in understanding and compassion. But the Church's motherhood can never in fact be separated from her teaching mission, which she must always carry out as the faithful Bride of Christ, who is the Truth in person. "As Teacher, she never tires of proclaiming the moral norm... The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection".

In fact, genuine understanding and compassion must mean love for the person, for his true good, for his authentic freedom. And this does not result, certainly, from concealing or weakening moral truth, but rather from proposing it in its most profound meaning as an outpouring of God's eternal Wisdom, which we have received in Christ, and as a service to man, to the growth of his freedom and to the attainment of his happiness.

Still, a clear and forceful presentation of moral truth can never be separated from a profound and heartfelt respect, born of that patient and trusting love which man always needs along his moral journey, a journey frequently wearisome on account of difficulties, weakness and painful situations. The Church can never renounce the "the principle of truth and consistency, whereby she does not agree to call good evil and evil good"; she must always be careful not to break the bruised reed or to quench the dimly burning wick (cf. Is 42:3). As Paul VI wrote: "While it is an outstanding manifestation of charity towards souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ, this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ himself showed by his conversations and dealings with men. Having come not to judge the world but to save it, he was uncompromisingly stern towards sin, but patient and rich in mercy towards sinners."

I have always presented the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality in a spirit of truth welded with charity, see here for example. However, homosexual activist John Hosty from Salem, Massachusetts has repeatedly referred to me as a "bigot" at the comments section of this Blog post.

I have never responded to Mr. Hosty's angry and accusatory comments. And I have no intention of doing so. I forgive them because I know where the hatred and lack of peace comes from. So filled with anger and hatred is Mr. Hosty that he has just left another comment at this Blog (which I have decided to keep but not to publish) in which he accuses me of having hatred in my heart while asserting that, "Christ never intended for you to be so wrapped up in fear that life becomes a burden rather than the blessing it should be....With all the wonders we have been given why would you want to waste so much time on this constant doom and gloom."

By this Mr. Hosty no doubt means that my adherence to the Church's Magisterial teaching regarding the sinfulness of homosexual acts constitutes "fear" (I'm surprised he didn't use the code-word "homophobia") and that reminding others of the sinfulness of homosexual acts constitutes "doom and gloom."

I don't see it that way. The Commandments of the Lord Jesus do not represent "doom and gloom" unless you are firmly committed toward rejecting them. Yes, Hell is doom and gloom. But fidelity to the Good News of Jesus Christ is not an attitude of fear and negativity. It is an attitude of hope. An attitude of love. We keep His Commandments because we love Him (John 14:15). And we are not ashamed of sharing His Good News with others nor will we cower in fear before those who seek to silence us with their intolerance.

The Dictatorship of Relativism would paint authentic Christians as "bigots." Click on the link above [ the title to this post] and ask yourself who the real bigots are.

Related reading: Fascism has come to Canada

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