Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category:
The media is salivating over what they regard as an “in your face” type of event yesterday, when Pope Francis kissed the feet of inmates at a juvenile prison, including those of women. I guess we are supposed ignore the circumstances and blindly be outraged by the Pope’s blatant disregard for church norms.
The inclusion of women in the rite is problematic for some because it could be seen as an opening of sorts to women’s ordination. The Catholic Church restricts the priesthood to men, arguing that Jesus and his 12 apostles were male.
Francis is clearly opposed to women’s ordination. But by washing the feet of women, he jolted traditionalists who for years have been unbending in insisting that the ritual is for men only and proudly holding up as evidence documentation from the Vatican’s liturgy office saying so.
Even this lazy or ill-intentioned journalist knows that he is clearly opposed to women’s ordination, so why the fuss?
The facts of the matter:
- This was a small community ceremony and some of those guests being served were women. To not kiss their feet would have been the only part of the story that would have gotten attention. Had this been done in St. Peter’s, and it could very well in the future by the same Holy Father, it is very likely the washees will be priests, as in the past, representing the 12 apostles.
- The priesthood of the Old Testament was one of stature and serving God. The priesthood of the New Testament transformed the priesthood into serving God through the people. Jesus changed everything when he kissed the feet of the apostles. But kissing of the apostles was not necessarily a sign of “I’m only kissing men’s feet so you should, too.” He was being an example of what the priesthood was all about, as the Highest Priest, serving every last human being created in the image and likeness of God, Himself.
There is a time and place for rituals based on the rubrics, but there is a time and place where you would logically step out of such norms. This was clearly a case of that, and no one should have been surprised just as soon he announced where he would be celebrating his Mass of the Last Supper, where the priesthood had its beginning. Do not be surprised, either, if he is back at St. Peter’s next year or the year after and follows the rubric that Holy Fathers past have followed.
In other words, there’s nothing to see here but an inspiring and humble Holy Father who is going out of his way to demonstrate his papacy’s mission. No, women will never be priests (they can’t be and no pope can change that). Consider Pope Francis secure enough in his papacy to understand this and have the faith to not worry about what the journalists might say. And if, in fact, the “traditionalist bloggers” are coming off as upset about this, perhaps they need to work on their own humility and check their pride at the door. This is not a final blow toward anything, but a new and inspiring beginning toward a Church revitalized!
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There is a great WaPo opinion piece today defending traditional marriage. It includes a sound explanation of what has happened to undermine traditional marriage:
In recent years marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Americans increasingly are tempted to think that marriage is simply whatever sort of relationship consenting adults—be they two or 10 in number—want it to be: sexual or platonic, sexually exclusive or open, temporary or permanent.
Ryan Anderson points out that society recognizes, legally, what is good for society. There is no “ban” on same-sex marriage, and even the passage of the bill in Minnesota last November wouldn’t have banned it. It would have merely preserved that traditional marriage was upheld as the form recognized that benefits society by fostering the vital need of procreation. Same-sex couples would not have been “banned” from living together, acting as they would wish, and having a religious ceremony (in a religious place that performs them).
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This article pretty much sums up what the media and many others don’t understand about the Pope’s role in Catholicism. Here’s a great example from it:
3. What will this pope do about sex-related morality?
The many liberal-minded Catholics of North America and Europe, as well as most non-Catholics, should not expect much movement from the pontiff on the Vatican’s longtime opposition to abortion, contraception and homosexual relationships.
A staunch moral conservative, Bergoglio has condemned gay and lesbian marriage, leading Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to say his attitude was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.”
It is also not likely Pope Francis will shift on two of the Catholic Church reforms De Roo has long championed: Married priests and female priests. Still, you never know.
No, actually we do know. The Pope has no authority to change natural law nor the law that Christ gave us. Therefore, there will not be any “movement” on gay marriage. There will be no “movement” on abortion. And there just as surely won’t be female or married priests. This is not a political operation, and there is no “middle ground” to be had. You either jump on board with all of it or you aren’t Catholic. Call yourself whatever you wish, but as Matthew Kelly points out in one of his talks, “No matter how much time you spend in the garage, you will never be a car.” Physically going to Mass does not, either, make you a Catholic.
I had to laugh at a Rome Reports story, where they asked a few people questions on what they were looking for in the new Pope. One girl in her twenties or early thirties answered that she hoped “they will pick a progressive Pope.” To that, I say “Pick a Cardinal, any Cardinal.” There aren’t any progressives there, so I’ll take my chances.
I’m not sure if people are lazy and not figuring out what the Pope is all about, or if they are purposefully setting the Pope up to look like a failure (being “required” by society to do what he cannot). For their benefit I will tell you this: They can change some aspects of how Catholicism is practiced, and they can clarify church teachings. They cannot change church teachings.
I, for one, hope to see an encyclical that defines who can be a priest (a single male) just so it’s in stone and we can move on. It’s not going to be anything else — I’m not afraid of that — but it will help people get on board or realize they aren’t Catholics. The clearer we can be, the better.
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She would learn, however, that Tyler was not as detached as he might have appeared.
In Walk this Way, he remembered the traumatic event: “You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?” However, Julia writes that Tyler told her after the abortion that, rather than coming out dead, their baby had actually been born alive, and then allowed to die.
“My baby had one defender in life; me, and I caved in to pressure because of fear of rejection and the unknown future,” says Julia. “I wish I could go back and be given that chance again, to say no to the abortion one last time. I wish with all my heart I could have watched that baby live his life and grow to be a man.”
Read the rest of the story.
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It’s always a good day to start a novena. I ask for you to pray, in communion with me, this novena for all job seekers. We shall begin the novena February 5th and pray it daily through Feb. 13. Let us also pray that those of us who are so blessed with employment, and those granted favor by this petition always do God’s will in their work.
Joseph the Carpenter, Georges de La Tour
O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands to ask your powerful intercession in obtaining from the compassionate heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace for which we now ask.
(Mention your request)
O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers for us will be graciously heard at the throne of God.
(The following is to be said seven times in honor of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph:)
O glorious Saint Joseph, through the love you bear for Jesus Christ, and for the glory of hs name, hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
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I am currently reading “Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life” by Archbishop Chaput of Denver. I came across a very fitting two paragraphs, as they relate to events that are about to unfold in Washington D.C.
The Catholic Church has had many different relationships with many different states in many different eras. What we’ve learned is this: We will never build God’s kingdom here on earth. When people have messianic expectations about the state, when they ask politics to deliver more than it can, the story ends badly.
But neither will we ever be released from the duty to sanctify, humanize, and bring Jesus Christ to the public square in which we live. And it is precisely because of this duty that the American experiment is so hopeful—and so important. (emphasis in original)
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40 Days for Life will be holding teleconference next Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern. Make sure to register here.
In the last 40 Days for Life campaign (just before the election), at least 614 lives were saved and 8 abortion workers quit their jobs and got out of the abortion business. Please continue to pray, fast, and partake in pro-life activities when you can. Lives depend on us.
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Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day
from the feast of St. Andrew, on November 30th, until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)
[Imprimatur: +MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York, New York, February 6, 1897.]
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I have often pointed out that my own position on abortion — to be against it — is actually a scientific one. I do regard, as any true Catholic does, the Holy See, Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition as authoritative. However, the case as it has been revealed to us in science is more powerful as what has been mandated by the church (something I don’t think is coincidence — God knows humans’ issues with believing that which we cannot see). Today, Lisa Miller in Newsweek reports that there was a small, but steady message coming from a seemingly strange pro-life group in response to one of her recent articles on abortion: atheists.
Just as pro-life Christians argue that life is sacred because it’s given by God, pro-life atheists insist that human life is intrinsically valuable without God’s help. “I think there is nothing beyond this life—but life in and of itself is unique and special,” explains Matt Wallace, a UPS package handler in North Carolina who started an online group for pro-life atheists in 1999.
Actually, as one of those pro-life Christians, my argument comes more from the atheistic point of view she describes. I’d even say most of the pro-life activists argue from that standpoint, too, so Miller may want to re-consider her generalizations. My strict conscience on voting, however, does come from my religion, and the authority from the Church that we should not cooperate materially with intrinsic evils or have to answer for it at the end of our life. Those are two distinct actions, though (opposing abortion and voting) — I use my vote as one of the “tools” to fight abortion and other intrinsic evil as Christians are morally obligated to do.
One of the points I think that is overlooked in this article, however, is that about the actual decision of Roe v. Wade. While Miller hits on it briefly as it relates to Christopher Hitchens, her article ignores the great number of people who don’t consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice, or even consider themselves pro-choice, yet oppose Roe v. Wade because of what it is: a poor decision made by an activist court. There is a large group of people who agree with the results brought on by Roe v. Wade who would rather see this brought about by legislation. They are, of course, unmotivated to try to bring about a change (due to indifference or actually preferring the current state of this debate), but still opposed to the decision.
All in all, there are many ways to become pro-life. Most often, without a miraculous conversion to faith, this is going to be brought about by science. Even this pro-lifer thinks that the case made by science is the most convincing (but I’m only human).
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Pope Benedict, in 1985, predicted the global economy collapse we are in the midst of in his paper, “Market Economy and Ethics.” He also says that Marxism is not the answer.
The full extent of this question becomes even more apparent when we include the third element of economic and theoretical considerations characteristic of today’s situation: the Marxist world. In terms of the structure of its economic theory and praxis, the Marxist system as a centrally administered economy is a radical antithesis to the market economy. 6 Salvation is expected because there is no private control of the means of production, because supply and demand are not brought into harmony through market competition, because there is no place for private profit seeking, and because all regulations proceed from a central economic administration. Yet, in spite of this radical opposition in the concrete economic mechanisms, there are also points in common in the deeper philosophical presuppositions. The first of these consists in the fact that Marxism, too, is deterministic in nature and that it too promises a perfect liberation as the fruit of this determinism. For this reason, it is a fundamental error to suppose that a centralized economic system is a moral system in contrast to the mechanistic system of the market economy. This becomes clearly visible, for example, in Lenin’s acceptance of Sombart’s thesis that there is in Marxism no grain of ethics, but only economic laws. 7 Indeed, determinism is here far more radical and fundamental than in liberalism: for at least the latter recognizes the realm of the subjective and considers it as the place of the ethical. The former, on the other hand, totally reduces becoming and history to economy, and the delimitation of one’s own subjective realm appears as resistance to the laws of history, which alone are valid, and as a reaction against progress, which cannot be tolerated. Ethics is reduced to the philosophy of history, and the philosophy of history degenerates into party strategy.
My point is not that religion knows best (though Pope Benecict — then Cardinal Ratzinger — is a intellectual giant), but that God does. In every instance, when we lose sight of God and lose sight of the priority for loving our neighbor over ourselves, our most reliable systems fail.
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