Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ok, time for a ban on neckties...

Does this mean that if I ever suffer from glaucoma that I can sue JC Penney or Structure?

But... why?

I'm not going to argue the fact that there is hatred and bigotry aimed at gay people, because there is. However, it's a fact, and it needs to be confronted head on, not denied and ducked. I don't agree with many of the issues raised by homosexuals. I disagree that same-sex marriages should be allowed, I do not think homosexual acts should be condoned and considered normal. However, I respect the basic human rights of every person, be they of a different creed, color, religious persuasion or sexual preference. If someone is gay, the fact remains that they will, at some point in their life, need to stand up and defend themselves. Which is why I think the following is extremely counter-productive.

Or, am I mistaken? Is this similar (don't jump all over me, I'm just asking a question here) to what prompted the Catholic educational system in the United States of America?

Monday, July 28, 2003

Just in case anyone has forgotten (including myself)... Abortion Is Murder

A while back, someone misinformed me of the "fact" that the Catholic Church has never declared that abortion is murder. They explained that the Catholic Church has never done so because of the lack of theological evidence that would explain at what point the soul enters into that new life.

I was naieve, I bought this story hook, line and sinker.

It's wrong though, very wrong. Called onto the carpet this weekend by some knowledgable Catholics and Orthodox after reciting this piece of drivel, I found out the truth. Too bad I had not tried to figure this out when I first heard it. Ironically enough, I was told this after I had commented that abortion was murder. Guess this just shows that you should always stick with your first answer, eh?

Anyways, now for the proof.

Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator. (Gaudium et Spes, 27)


The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved...

And I quote once again, for emphasis... "[I]f we recognize that we are dealing with murder..."


Get a load of this!

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Oh, this is rich...

Was reading this article here and came across the following quote that made me choke on my soda.

Without Polynesia, France would not be the great power that it is, capable of expressing in the concert of nations an autonomous, independent and respected position...

Without exploiting you common-folk, directly resulting in some of you dying of horrible cancers, France would not be the whiny, power-hungry nation that it is today, capable of throwing a wrench in the best interests of freedom and world security.

Everytime Chirac opens his mouth, I dislike France more and more.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

I am simply amazed...

That people still stop by here. Thanks folks. :)

Who is to blame?

I was reading the following article in First Things when a particular section captured my eye. I thought I'd share it with you guys and comment on it a little bit.

True and False Reform by Avery Cardinal Dulles

The call for a new evangelization strongly issued by Paul VI and John Paul II has fallen, it would seem, on deaf ears. The majority of Catholics have little appreciation of their mission to spread the faith as a precious gift intended for all. In some cases they behave as if faith were an unwelcome burden. Members of fundamentalist churches, Mormons, and Pentecostals commonly exhibit a stronger missionary thrust than Catholics.

Liturgical laws are often flouted. The sacraments need to be celebrated with dignity and reverence. The Mass should be seen not simply as a communal meal celebrated by a local community but as the sacrifice of the universal Church performed in union with the whole body of bishops and the Bishop of Rome as its head. As Pope John Paul II reminds us in his recent encyclical, Holy Communion cannot be worthily received except by persons who are in union with the Church and free from serious sin (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 36-37; 44-45).

Religious practice is falling off. Many fail to attend Mass on Sundays. The sacrament of Penance is neglected by the vast majority of Catholics. There is a serious dearth of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.

The immoral behavior of Catholics, both lay and clergy, is a cause of scandal and defections. Under this heading I would include not only sexual abuse of minors, which has been so extensively publicized in recent years, but sex outside of marriage, abortion, divorce, alcoholism, the use and marketing of drugs, domestic violence, defamation, and financial scandals such as falsification of records and embezzlement. The morality of Catholics all too often sinks below the standards commonly observed by Protestants and unbelievers.

Mark Shea has commented many a time that we have the bishops we have simply, if for no other reason, than because they are for the most part, the bishops we deserve. The clarion call issued by Avery Cardinal Dulles should wake us up to the fact that things will not get better until we personally begin to take responsibility for our own actions. I do not think that Avery Cardinal Dulles is shifting blame in his comments, I really don't, at least not from the Bishops onto the laity. I think we all deserve a piece of the blame though. If we are lax in our own spiritual progress, how can we hold our bishops to a higher spiritual standard? They cannot get us into heaven, they can merely show us the way, it is our own responsibility to adhere to the teachings of Christ. The bishops cannot force the flock to listen.

When I read those paragraphs, I began to understand what it is that I personally, need to do, the areas I need to address. It's my opinion that until I can hold myself accountable, I cannot hold someone else accountable. For if I don't know what accountability truly is, how can I exercise it? We Catholics are an evangelical people, but we don't practice it. We Catholics are a liturgical people, but we ignore it. We Catholics are a spiritual people, but we shun it. We Catholics should be morally upright, but we refuse it.

So when we find ourselves waist deep in controversy and scandal, and find ourselves ministered to by pastoral nightmares, why should we be shocked? We have done nothing right, we have accepted the "easy road" for our spiritual development, which isn't development at all. And then we turn around to see that the shepherds have followed the flock down the same path. Is it really all that surprising?

That article I've linked to is a good one. We, as Catholics here in America, need reform. But we need solid reform, reform based in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Reform tempered by obedience, strengthened by Tradition.

Christ summons the Church, as she goes her pilgrim way, to that continual reformation of which she is always in need insofar as she is an institution of men here on earth. Therefore, if the influence of events or of the times has led to deficiencies in conduct, in Church discipline, or even in the formulation of doctrine (which must be carefully distinguished from the deposit itself of faith), these should be appropriately rectified at the proper moment. (Unitatis Redintegratio 6)

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