Notre Dame Honors Pro-Abort

Friday, March 20, AD 2009


The University of Notre Dame announced today that President Obama will be the commencement speaker this year and receive an honorary degree.  Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes, the bishops of this country* spoke on this point in 2004:

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

I hope that faithful Catholics will do their best to persuade the administration of Notre Dame to rethink this invitation.  If the administration does not, I hope that enough faithful Catholics show up on May 17, 2009 to make the protest of the speech a memorable one.  I also trust that the students of Notre Dame who take their Faith seriously will also find means during the speech to express their displeasure over the choice of speaker known.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or USCCB

Update I:  As usual, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on top of the story.

Update II:  Totus chimes in.

Update III:  For those of you who would like to make your views known to the president of Notre Dame, click here.

Update IV:  Good.  There is a website set up to organize resistance to this invitation.

Continue reading...

38 Responses to Notre Dame Honors Pro-Abort

  • “Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes…”

    I think Our Lady can endure it, as she has loving birth-pangs for all God’s children to be saved…

  • Yep she can Mr. DeFrancisis. Why any faithful Catholic would endure for a second such an insult to Our Lady is another matter.

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  • Mr. McClarey,

    Your conception of the Church sounds more lihe a bastion than the sacrament for God’s universal salvific will.

    BTW, I wonder if you protested President Bush’s commencement at Saint Vincent College, 2 years ago. You know, he instigated an unjest war and ordered torture.

  • I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. Abortion is such a paramount evil — analogous to and well beyond in death count — the genocide of the Jews in the holocaust. The fact that a Catholic institution, apart of the Catholic Church, would invite someone who supports such a horror, even in ignorance, to deliver a speech and to commission the students to go engage the world presents itself as a scandal.

    Now, granted, I ardently oppose the war in Iraq and I think we need to re-think our strategy on Afghanistan. My views on torture as just the same. However, the scope and gravity of these evils, is a pale comparison to abortion. Now, I’m not advocating a proportionalist trap of condoning or “watering” down the lesser evils, to totally oppose the greater one; I’m just saying, one cannot make the comparison as if the two sides are morally equal because the scope and gravity in and of itself attests to that.

    I do not think President Obama should be given the opportunity to speak at any Catholic institution or receive any award. In the same way, I would have opposed President Bush speaking at a Catholic institution or receiving any award.

    Rather, I think that Catholic institutions should avoid all together giving the privilege of speaking at such ceremonies to politicians who represent a political platform and a realm of bias and division (politics) instead of the breadth and all-embracing truth of the Gospel. At this point, I cannot name many Catholic politicians who are a “sign of contradiction” that bring to life Catholic Social Teaching in their political office who could truly be a uniting figure at a commencement ceremony.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Totally disagree with you in regard to President Bush Mr. DeFrancisis. I believe he waged just wars. As to the torture issue, I disagree with waterboarding, but I can understand how reasonable people would disagree with me.

    As to President Obama, giving an honorary degree at a Catholic institution to a man who has raised campaign funds on the basis of his support for that barely disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion is a capitualtion to the culture of death and a despicable, I would say calculated, insult to the Blessed Virgin who brought our Redeemer into the World through her womb. This is tantamount to a synagogue giving an award to a neo-Nazi politician. The administration of Notre Dame should be deeply ashamed.

  • Bravo Eric, always the voice of reason and faith!

  • Good call Eric! It really does help to have a range of viewpoints, especially in the face of Mark’s attempt at moral equivalency. Your defense of orthodoxy is all the more poignant considering your opposition to the Iraq war.

    Mr. DeFrancis,

    do you really think it’s just as bad to pour water on the face of 3 avowed terrorists as it is to murder a million babies a year? That is just sick.

  • “That is just sick.”

    Matt, I’d appreciate it if you would refrain from that type of comment. I enjoy your vigorous defense of Catholic teaching, but Mr. DeFrancisis has said nothing of a personal nature in this thread against anyone else and he should not be attacked personally. You made your point well without your final sentence.

  • Matt,

    I made no attempt at moral equivalency. You are reading into my remarks. Try harder.

  • Mark,

    You comment here often enough you should plug AC in your name, ie, place the http address as the link to your name.

    You’re part of the tapestry here, mind as well go all the way!


  • Mark D.,

    are you unfamiliar with the term, “moral equivalency”?

    When we decry the honoring of a pro-abortion president at a Catholic university, and you ask:

    I wonder if you protested President Bush’s commencement at Saint Vincent College, 2 years ago. You know, he instigated an unjest war and ordered torture.

    You are clearly implying that the acts, even if we accept your analysis of them, are equivalent, or at least on the same moral scale.

    Do you accept that abortion is far more grave a situation, as the Church teaches, or not?

  • Matt,

    The Church opposes instrinsic and grave moral evils. Unjust wars and torture are both.

  • Ah, Catholic Anarchist, with your penchant for name calling as a substitute for analysis and argument, it is always good to have the delete button ready when you come calling, and I deleted your last comment for personal insults.

  • Once again Mr. DeFrancisis I simply disagree with you about the wars being unjust. However, this entire thread is about Notre Dame honoring a pro-abort, and the Church puts abortion and euthanasia in a special category of evil as Cardinal Ratzinger noted in 2004:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Here is a link to the entire memorandum:

    What the administration of Notre Dame is attempting to do should be anathema to all believing Catholics.

  • I was shocked and disappointed by this. One (small) mitigating factor, however, is that Notre Dame has a long-standing tradition, going back at least 50 years, of ALWAYS inviting each sitting president to be its commencement speaker. Most, if not all, presidents since Eisenhower have accepted the invitation at some point. They did not go out of their way to do this for Obama because they thought he was especially great (which was the impression I had at first)

    Perhaps they (ND administration) felt they could not back out of this tradition now without it appearing to insult the presidential office. You all know how we’re supposed to respect the office, no matter who happens to occupy it?

    That being said: given Obama’s particularly egregious efforts to promote the destruction of unborn human life, combined with the earlier controversies over Bush 43’s appearance, now would have been a good time to drop this particular tradition simply because of its potential to be a source of scandal.

    I doubt very much that a Jewish university would invite, say, Pat Buchanan or another well-known critic of Israel to be a commencement speaker, or that Brigham Young University (Mormon) would invite a vocal opponent of Proposition 8, even if they had a “tradition” of inviting similar public figures in the past.

  • Also, the argument that this is somehow going to promote “dialogue” and “openness” doesn’t wash. This isn’t a debate, a question and answer session, a panel discussion or a forum with multiple participants, which does not imply endorsement of any particular participant’s views. (If it were, there MIGHT be some justification for having him there.) No, this is a speech by ONE man to a captive audience, at which he gets to express his views to them (and to the nation via press coverage), and at which he is personally honored with an honorary degree. Not a “dialogue” but a one-way conversation.

  • Good comment as usual Elaine. I would note that Bill Clinton never gave a commencement address to Notre Dame. I do not know if he received an invitation. As far as I can tell no pro-abortion President has ever before delivered this address.

  • The invitation needs to be rescinded once and for all.

  • Donald – You can’t delete the truth, friend.

  • Correct Catholic Anarchist. Your comments are only deleted when they involve personal insult or are not on topic. Your most recent comment is not on topic, but you are responding to a prior comment by me so I will not delete it.

  • Notre Dame has made a grave error by inviting the abortionist to speak at their commencement. He is openly anti-Catholic and anti-God.

    What possible reason would ND have for asking him above all of the many qualified, intelligent, Catholic or at least pro-life speakers from which they could have chosen? This is the question. Even if they have invited every sitting president throughout the years, this guy is like no other president in his outrageous disrespect for human life. He resembles Hitler more than a president of the United States.

    His presence at ND will be an insult to the Catholic faith. Let us hope that through public outcry that they have the guts to un-invite him ASAP.

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  • Mark,

    The Church opposes instrinsic and grave moral evils. Unjust wars and torture are both.

    war is not intrinsically evil, water boarding is not intrinsically evil, though given circumstances it is reasonable to conclude that these acts in particular circumstances are, or even in almost every circumstance.

    Are you suggesting that ALL intrinsicly evil acts are morally equivalent? That telling a lie is as grave an evil as abortion?

    Do you even understand what “intrinsically evil” is? It bears no relation to the severity of an act. It’s not that abortion is intrinsically evil that which makes it so heinous.

  • It’s interesting to see just how ridiculous the arguments are over at Vox Nova. MZ’s argument, such as it is, is “grow up.” Thoughtful, that. Morning’s Minion “doesn’t care,” although not for any reason that he can explain.

    Henry takes the cake for the dumbest argument, though, as usually is the case. He says that this is like Jesus being criticized for hanging out with sinners. Yeah, except for the part where Jesus said that he was calling the sinners to repentance, and except for the fact that Jesus was specifically explaining why he was hanging out with the lower classes of society rather than the powerful and prestigious (precisely the opposite of what Notre Dame is doing), and except for the fact that Notre Dame is just sucking up to power rather than calling it to repentance. Other than that, it’s a great analogy, worthy of

  • Should be a period after “analogy.”

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  • I graduated from Notre Dame in 1977. President Carter was our commencement speaker and he was pro-choice.

  • President Ford also gave a speech at Notre Dame. Here’s what he wrote on abortion. Looks like his need for exceptions shouldn’t have sat well with Notre Dame back then.

    “Abortion on demand is wrong,” he said, adding that every state should have a constitutional right to control abortion and expressing his belief that such laws need to “recognize and provide for exceptional cases.”

  • Well Jim Notre Dame won’t have to worry about Obama having exceptions. He is 100% pro-abortion. Of course the Catholic Church is 100% against abortion. Even a pro-abort like yourself should be able to see why this might be a wee problem for Catholics who actually believe what the Church teaches, especially since what the Church teaches is that an innocent human life is destroyed in every abortion.

  • Mark – Did I miss something? Did the Catholic Chuch, i.e. Our Holy Father, declare the Iraqi War an “Unjust War.”

  • This is truly hypocritical. If Notre Dame wants to stay “true’ to its beliefs, then NO U.S. President should ever be invited to speak at a commencement. ALL OF THEM would be guilty of violating Catholic doctrine. As mentioned, George W. Bush was criticized by his holiness Pope John Paul II for his “unjust” war in Iraq. How many innocent lives, including children, were lost in that conflict? How are those innocent lives any different from the unborn? What about Bush’s immoral actions of torture and imprisonment? Did Notre Dame rescind his honorary degree as a result? The church needs to be consistent with its criticism. You can’t viciously attack one person’s views while ignoring the sins of others. This is why people are leaving the church. They are inconsistent. The church should be fighting on ALL issues where innocents are harmed, not just select one. What about the homeless people in this country that were ignored by the prior Republican administrations? Are their lives insignificant? Of course we don’t need to mention the scandals in the Catholic Church itself.

    I would have one thing more to say to all these people that are upset with President Obama speaking:

    Romans 14:10 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

  • ” You can’t viciously attack one person’s views while ignoring the sins of others.”

    That is a recipe for doing nothing Mr. Miller and allowing evil to flourish. We have almost a million unborn kids put to death each year in this country and President Obama is vigorously in favor of this policy. For a university dedictated to Our Lady to honor such a man is an obscenity.

  • ?????????? ????, ?? ???? ?? ???????? ? ?????????? ?????? ?? ?????. ??-????? ?? ??????? ????? 🙂 ????, ??????? – ??? ?? ??? ???? 🙂

  • ????????? ?? ??????????? ????????? ??????????? ?? ????? ????????!

  • ?? ???????!

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-20-2009

Friday, March 20, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1.  Seems like priests and their habits have been ruminating around the blogosphere as of late.  Now Fr. Z has followed up this with insight concerning those for and against this trend.

For the link click here.

2.  Speaking of religious, after enduring the many innovations following the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, vocations have rebounded:

“Nearly 70 percent of Catholic religious communities have seen a jump in vocation inquiries in the past year”

The vast majority of those entering the religious life are tradition-minded adults under the age of 40.

For the link click here.

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One Response to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-20-2009

29 Responses to Not Funny Mr. President

  • Good Lord, he’s like the mean kid in the schoolyard who never grew up. One wonders if he knows any special-needs kids personally–perhaps they were all “taken care of” prenatally?

  • Good point cminor. I find it hard to imagine anyone who has ever cared for someone with a serious disability even thinking of making such a joke, especially on national tv.

  • As the godfather and upcoming Confirmation sponsor of a briliant nephew with similar condition, I’m not amused either. Thanks to Anchorette for picking up. More thanks to ABC’s Jake Tapper, risking career in providing solid, no-spin coverage of Dear Leader. Still calming down from his proposal to compel wounded veterans to handle some medical expenses out of pocket. Which he quickly tabled during AIG Hate Week. Seems to be sputtering too much stuff off cuff. Teleprompter will have to talk to him about habit.

  • Wounded veterans and disabled kids. Perhaps grieving mothers are next?

  • Perhaps this is just long years experience with being intentionally un-PC, but I guess I’m not particularly shocked and offended by the remark per se. What’s appalling is that he didn’t think better than to make it on camera to a national TV host.

    If Obama had make a joke like that among friends after a few beers, I wouldn’t necessarily see it as indicative of a character flaw. But that he threw it out while trying to be funny on national TV shows a lack of class and understanding.

  • Like Darwin, I’d say it was probably imprudent because he is a public figure and was speaking before a wide audience with a range of sensibilities as it is wide. That said, as a father of a special needs child and having an appreciation for self-deprecating humor and didn’t find it offensive. To me the difference in something like that would be the overall mentality of the person making the joke. If they were a rather normal and decent person who obviously cares for others, no problem. If they’re an arrogant and mean-spirited jerk and demonstrate no compassion for others, then it’s a problem. Generally speaking, I think Obama fits the latter category, but in this particular instance, I’m not getting that he was being a mean a-hole, but just knocking himself down for amusement. Just one dork’s opinion…

  • The next time he wants to knock himself down, maybe he can leave disabled kids out of his feeble attempt at self-deprecating humor.

  • Considering his pro-abortion credentials and culture he grew up in and seeing said children as a ‘problem’ that needs to be aborted, I can completely understand his point of view since he may already consider such children as non-humans to begin with.

  • Darwin is correct, and were it not for the fact that conservatives have had their careers ended for less I’d agree wholeheartedly that a carelessly-rendered private remark should not be used to blugeon a public figure.

    It is astonishing that a man so obviously concerned with image seems to have so little awareness of other people that he tossed off the comment on national television without apparent reflection. No wonder he’s tied to the teleprompter with an umbilical cord.

    File this story under “If George Bush (or substitute conservative/Republican of choice) had said it…”

  • He apologized. So said Special Olympics Head Honcho Tim Shriver on GMA. Rival network to Tonight Show, of course. Organization founded by Teddy’s sister/Tim’s mom. Dear Leader owes the Kennedys big-time, following Teddy’s early endorsement. And not doing enough to get Caroline on the Senate. Bill just increased. Prompter probably got in his face after the taping.

  • The last time I made a crack like this, I was 12 years old. By the time I was 13, I realized that this was no longer humorous. I wonder if the president still thinks farting is funny.

  • The problem will be solved the next time around when President Obama will be interviewed on the couch with teleprompters surrounding him.

  • Look at all the trouble Jackie Mason (a night club comedian) is in for calling Obama a “schwarza” – the yiddish word for…. my goodness… he called him….”black”.

  • It was an unfortunate, insensitive gaffe. He realized his stupidity in the instance, and acted appropriately, even before the show even aired.

    I, with special needs relatives, can forgive him and will not use this incident to make sweeping evaluations about his character and moral worth.


    “Considering …culture he grew up in..”

    What is that supposed to mean?

  • Mark,

    Considering that many liberals do not adhere to the culture of life, they tend to abort babies that have been diagnosed as having mental disabilities. So the lack of interaction with some of God’s precious children has insulated many liberals that autistic children are people too. Hence the insensitive comments proffered by President Obama.

  • tito,

    Dig deeper.

  • Hate to do it Mr. DeFrancisis since you and I basically get along, but I had to delete your last comment.

  • “Considering that many liberals do not adhere to the culture of life…”

    Sorry. Pet peeve. Neither do conservatives.

  • Eric,

    No need to apologize.

    Conservatives do likewise, though my point was that abortion of children with mental and physical disabilities are advocated slightly more on the left than on the right.

  • Your point is true and valid in terms of what you were talking about; I absolutely agree. I was just making a clarification.

  • If this was the first insensitive remark, perhaps a pass would be in order.But I recall his snarky comment about Mrs.Reagan when he was in office for day.And he slammed the wrong person to boot.It was Hillary who was channeling.He is not ready for prime time anything,IMO.

  • Mark D.,

    I, with special needs relatives, can forgive him and will not use this incident to make sweeping evaluations about his character and moral worth.

    would you have been so forgiving if it was say, Rush Limbaugh who made such a gaff? Or GW Bush? or any other conservative? Ask yourself HONESTLY.


    true enough, but it’s not part of our “creed”.

  • Matt,

    I think your question may reveal quite a bit about yourself, as you seem to see the world in binary terms, and, apparently, choose to identify yourself fiercely with one side of the binary opposition.

    I have no such identifications, so deeply held.

  • The problem will be solved the next time around when President Obama will be interviewed on the couch with teleprompters surrounding him.

    Speaking of which, Tito — Neo-Neocon has a good post on ‘Obama’s teleprompter addiction’. Good reading.

  • Christopher,

    That’s some good stuff.

    Hitting the hay, need to prepare for another addicting round of the men’s college basketball tourney tomorrow!

  • Mark D,

    quack, quack.

  • “Speaking of which, Tito — Neo-Neocon has a good post on ‘Obama’s teleprompter addiction’. Good reading.”

    And chilling reading Christopher.

  • I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

For Myself, I Welcome Our Robotic Overlords

Friday, March 20, AD 2009

From the only reliable news source on the net, the Onion.  Normally I think the  Onion is on target, but this merely plays into human paranoia and robotophobia.  Life is not a Magnus Robot Fighter comic book where humans battle robots bent on nefarious schemes.  We are the masters, they are–Oops, I have to cut this short.  The roomba is telling me by issuing plaintive beeps that I need to clean its brushes.

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2 Responses to For Myself, I Welcome Our Robotic Overlords

Cardinal O'Malley's Disconnect

Friday, March 20, AD 2009


There is a disconnect between Cardinal O’Malley’s recent statements regarding the referral for abortions at Catholic hospitals in Boston and what is actually happening on the ground.  Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, has stated in so many words that no abortions will be referred to patients in Catholic hospitals that is run by Caritas Christi Health Care Network (Caritas).  On the other hand the Boston Globe has reported that last week Thursday Massachusetts state regulators voted to accept a joint venture between a Catholic hospital chain and a healthcare organization that covers abortions, Centene (pronounced sen-teen).

This new joint venture between Caritas and Centene, called the Commonwealth Family Health Plan, will provide information on where to get an abortion at all Catholic hospitals operating under Caritas.  In addition Centene is a St. Louis based health organization that no hospital in the state of Massachusetts offers.  So basically this ‘joint venture’ will only be operating in Catholic hospitals under the Caritas plan.

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58 Responses to Cardinal O'Malley's Disconnect

  • Better to shut all Catholic hospitals down in Massachusetts than to have any connection with the obscenity of abortion.

  • Tito,

    I greatly appreciate your honest and forthright story on the scandal.

    The statements of the Cardinal and the statements of Caritas and the Commonwealth cannot possibly co-exit.

    The way the Cardinal and Chancery officials have responded to the public contradiction of his assertions has toppled what was left of trust in Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Chancery.

    I’ve been asking Catholics to contemplate what the Cardinal is actually saying here, even in the best case scenario. He believes that he can send a distraught and confused woman from Caritas and use uncatechized people whom he is subcontracting to escort the woman to the abortion facility. According to his theological scenario, Catholic physicians can say we don’t do mercy killings here, but here is the phone number who can help you achieve that end.

    Is the Catholic Church finished with evangelization? This the biblical temptation of Eve holding out the apple at the Cardinal’s hands.

    Thanks for getting this out there.

  • Well done Carol and all y’all holding fast to the Faith in Taxachusetts. His Emininence has a ton of explaining to do and great reluctance to do it. Along with exercising the leadership entrusted to him by Our Dear John Paul Deuce of blessed memory. Physically hiding, using weasel words to describe services offered by consortium….. not the bold leadership the good Catholics of metro Bahston deserve. Methinks it’s an issue much like the growing number of tea parties held throughout fruited plain. Will have to be reported and initiated by bloggers and other folks outside MSM. Who don’t think these issues are worth covering. Oh- Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut down presses this week, going online only. Rocky Mountain News went room temperature two weeks ago. Any number of Dead Tree Journals still on Death Row. Real news to be found. Someone will find it.

  • I agree Donald. Shut the hospitals down.

    If Cardinal O’Malley continues on this course it’s apparent that he just “wants to get along, to go along” instead of upholding Catholic teaching.

  • I sat here the last couple of days listening to Tito contacting the chancery and attempting to get comment from them. Regardless of what the morals of the situation are, they are stonewalling, they have something to hide.

    This is a serious problem, it looks like his excellency was hoping it would slide through unnoticed, he attacks pro-lifers when they call him on it instead of just releasing the facts.

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  • What is really sad is you have lay thugs going against officials of the Church, not realizing that, typical of Pharisees, they too are guilty of material cooperation with abortion! Pay taxes, even a sales tax? Guilty as charged.

    Does one wonder why they won’t answer someone who, acting like this, is not even under their jurisdiction!?!!?!

    Once again, the lay thugs have no understanding of the material they are dealing with, and just go for low blows against the Church.

  • The bishop is voluntarily cooperating in an abortion.

    Tax-payers have to pay taxes.

    There is a significant difference between the two.

    Trying to draw a moral equivalency that paying taxes is the same as referring a patient to get an abortion is going down a rabbit hole, it’s a straw man argument.

    With that line of thinking it’s no wonder we have people going to far to the left that they give liberals a bad name, more importantly the Church. By offering fallow arguments that cause people to fall into sin.

  • Henry,

    It’s not sad to you the Cardinal is lying. It’s not sad the Cardinal willing to exploit women and send women in a taxicab to be executed. It’s not sad that he thinks he can hire a hit man. It’s not sad he’s forcing Catholic physicians and nurses to either quit their jobs or tell a confused and distraught women it’s ok to get her abortion.

    You fire your salvos at people who unravel the corruption and call them thugs. The Cardinal isn’t a thug, even when he’s willing to hire people to kill children and lie about it.

    How utterly girlyman.

  • Even if you don’t have it in you to be a man and protect women, children and the Deposit of Faith, the Cardinal’s salvation is on the line. You can’t possibly believe the lying and killing will not prohibit is entry into paradise.

  • One would do much better than looking to take on a Prince of the Church in the manner and lack of respect shown here. It’s quite clear, politics and political hackmanship is more important than proper decorum. Luther would be proud.

  • Tito

    No, tax payers do not have to pay taxes; they can go into non-cooperation mode, which many have done, and do so. There are consequences of such action, of course. But that you talk the talk, but never look to your own plank in the eye, says much.

  • Henry,

    I wasn’t addressing you directly in your comments.

    But since you made the assumption that I took your comments to be directed towards me, it only shows that lack of Christian charity on your part to call me a ‘thug’.

    Where are your manners?

    You’re doing a disservice to Jesus and our Catholic faith if you’re unable to address people as you would want to be addressed yourself.

    Again, it’s a rabbit hole that you’re making concerning paying taxes.

  • “…it only shows that lack of Christian charity …”


    What do you consider yourself doing in your treatment of, say, Egan? That post should have been simply destroyed.

    And OMalley here?

  • I’m not the one who has been making it a habit to go from Bishop to Bishop and find a reason to throw mud at them, and often based upon reasons which would condemn yourself if you had any honesty. There is a kind of respect to be given to Bishops. But you seem to think, like so many before you, that they have to listen to you, not you them. Why is it? Have you been given ordination? Have you been made a Prince of the Church?

    Material cooperation. Learn what it is before you speak of it again.

  • This hasn’t occurred very much, but any post that happens under mine, I’d be happy if you meditated on the mystery of Jesus walking to Calvary before you click to submit your comment.

  • Mark,

    I made a balanced report and made comments in regards to the handling of the situation. Nowhere did I demean the character of the either bishops.

  • Henry,

    If you would lift your reactionary glasses off and see that I wrote a balanced article you wouldn’t be throwing your accusations around.

    Your comments have not been moderated for quite awhile, you need to be careful on how you address your fellow Christians before pressing the submit button.

    I would suggest you meditate on the mystery of Jesus walking to Calvary prior to such action.

  • Henry K,

    why don’t you evaluate the situation and comment based on the facts instead of spouting off? This prince of the Church is not acting correctly in regard to a PUBLIC situation, it is our right as Catholics to discuss it and attempt to avoid further scandal to the Church.

    Let me as you, do YOU think that it’s morally acceptable for a Catholic hospital to provide the services reported in the article? For an entity owned by a Catholic organization to provide abortion referrals?

  • Tito,

    The apparent lack of self-reflection on your part is astounding.

    For one, are we talking about the same Egan article that even after several edits still bantered about such verbiage as “limp-wristed liberals” and outright accused the Cardinal of a profound failure to defend orthodoxy?

    On this article, you have not done all of your homework, of getting all of the relevant facts AND interpreting them from a perspective of a broad understanding of Catholic moral theology.

    We are at the point of our conversation at which the best thing is for the conversation to go on no further.


  • Mark,

    I respect your opinion (as much as that may come to a surprise to you).

    I made numerous phone calls and email exchanges all this week, covering all my bases thrice over and then some.

    I even added an update after speaking with a buddy of mine at NCBC.

    Anyways, have a good weekend.

    As for me, I’m watching my AZ ‘Cats try and sneak one past Utah in the college tourney right now.

  • Henry,

    You’re confusing a cult with the Catholic religion.

    When a Cardinal agrees to turn in jews who show up at their facility and give them their ticket to Auschwitz, you running around calling him a prince of the Church lay thugs are throwing mud at, would only come from the mouths of a respectful gentleman such as yourself.

    Get out of the way.

  • The comment signed ‘humility”?


    Trying to turn murdering through the hands of a Cardinal into something Catholics shouldn’t be complaining about?

    When you prefer that children be executed by the Cardina’s hand than raise an objection, there is nothing humble in your actions. It’s cowardice.

    You can no more tell a distraught woman that abortion is an option for her and hand her the phone number, than you could hand a soldier the nail to drive into the palm of Christ. The Cardinal is holding out Eve’s apple and making that the new mission of the Catholic Church.

    Luckily, there are still men with testosterone who will not let him get away with it.

  • Mark,

    On this article, you have not done all of your homework, of getting all of the relevant facts AND interpreting them from a perspective of a broad understanding of Catholic moral theology.

    Is that the new word for “limp-wristed liberal”?

    We are at the point of our conversation at which the best thing is for the conversation to go on no further

    No further? The conversation has not even started, you defenders of the bishop engage in nothing but ad hominem rantings about “lay thugs”, as if criticizing the bishop is an offence in itself, instead of defending his actions. This is typical liberal clap-trap, just like Obamaa’s attacks against Fox and Rush, no substance to defend with, and so a resort to personal attacks.

    Why not look objectively at the situation and develop a defense of the bishop rather than an attack on the messenger? I don’t agree with the Cardinal at all, but if pressed could come up with some reasonable defenses to his actions.

  • Carol you rock. Thanks for all you do dealing with these
    katholics who entertain themselves with foolish theological
    gymnastics on their way to the lake of fire. In my Catholic
    world there are few of us. I see the Cathedral and I think of
    the men who cut and laid the stone. I think of the laborer’s
    confession, the model of St. Joseph who put the first tool
    in Jesus hand. The hand that would bring himself present for
    all in the Eucharist. And I know why I’m still Catholic. Even
    in a Boston work place where I hear “you still take your kids to that
    fag church?” I suggest first – go to confession brother-
    I wear my scapula and it never fails when the string
    breaks and a day goes by without it, one of the working men of the world say’s “hey where is your little cloth thing?” And I tell them
    again why I’m Catholic. And then the Abortion thing. the common
    “my old girlfriend had an abortion” … “how many kids you got now Catholic Boy?” I answer 7…so far.

    You know Carol I believe “your friends
    stab you right in the heart – not in the back” A dis-service to
    the Church? May God have mercy on the cardinal’s soul, and the
    wingnuts who worship HIM rather than the Transcendent God found
    truly present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.

    Hey Tito – You’re cool too.

  • Oh..,the Church in all its glory is gathering here now.

    You all are going to build such a civilization of love, aren’t you?

  • Mark – The veneer of humble charm and respect is scratching off. Hey, I noticed your name on “Catholics for Obama’. That’s the site Eric McFadden started right before the police hauled him off to jail for stalking hookers and being the biggest pimp in ohio. I heard he’s starting Catholics for Pimps group while he’s waiting for trial. When you drop him a postcard, do tell him and the Catholic United cronies that I still have them on my radar screen! Something a little more pressing came up! :O)

    Tito, Matt – you go.

    Last CatholicinBoston – thanks for the kind words and support – may a few of those seven kids find their way to be a Catholic physician, nurse in Massachusetts where they will find, by the Christ, a safe place to practice!

  • p.s. What’s a little slander from a gal’s Cardinal Archbishop and a couple of village idiots?

    All in a good days work!

  • Carol,

    Your zealotry is so becoming.

    I am sure it wins many friends. Of course, you must save the Church, as I surmise you believe, so I should not worry about your friendships, as you think you have bigger fish to fry.

    You also have the wrong Obama site, as I know the woman who started the one at which I commented.

  • Mark D.,

    why aren’t you a zealot? I guess you’re just luke-warm, right?

  • Mark,

    Oh, I have plenty of friends dear. None of them betray Christ in the public square. People like that tend not to like having me know…for obvious reasons!

    Yeah, you can pretty much count me a zealot for Christ and man, what a fire burns in my heart. Folks like you who live their lives trying to extinguish it are handy court jesters to have around. Here’s your hat son. When people hear you coming, they hear those little bells hanging off them.

    Get behind us Satan. We’ve got a Cardinal who thinks it’s ok to contract people to kill other people. He’s lost in the talons of the court jesters. The zealots are going to try to rescue him. You go ahead and try to make that ugly. God has your reward in Hand.


  • Oh, and I don’t have the “wrong” Obama site.

    You do!

    By the way, I saw his little clip on Jay Leno. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear he finds retarded people a joke.

    Do tell what’s next. Will he be on American Idol?

  • and, ps. Mark,

    Don’t kid yourself into thinking I don’t have Catholic friends who struggle with the teachings of the Church. I most surely do. They are beloved. They struggle internally, quietly knowing they are at odds with the Catholic Church. They don’t take up a mission to mislead other Catholics. They left the Church like you should have done years ago. Instead, you and your “gentelman” malarkey stayed to mislead Catholics onto your mountain of dung, making like it was the road to the Kingdom of Heaven, when you are paving the path to hell.

    People like Tito, Matt, myself, and a few others stand in your way. We always have and we always will. 2000 years. Take your debauchery and feed it to the village idiots looking for an excuse to betray the Lord. It has no power here.

    You are no more gentlemen and respectful than the Nazis who de-clothed the jews and ushered them into the ovens. You are menace to society and to the Lord himself. Have the decency to leave those of us alone who will call the consciences poisoned by your nonsense back to Christ’s Truth – least you find yourself in quicksand that will eat you alive. Sooner, rather than later.


  • Carol,

    You need serious, serious help.

  • Mark,

    Let me guess.

    You’ve graduated to the next step of tactics.

    Groping for a crown of thorns to put on the head of people you’re trying to silence. Gentleman like, of course.

    Well, that’s a good one to pick from your bag of tricks. How often does it work for you? Do tell.

    If you think I’m bluffing about the quicksand, get a visitor’s pass from at the prison and visit Eric McFadden. He’ll tell you all about how his temptations, out of nowhere just took over his animus and destroyed him — until he landed where he landed. The temptations caused him to be so itchy, he just had to scratch them.

    You are on a perilous path. Continue if you must, tempt others to continue if you must. But, by Christ, stay away from attacking those of us calling back your victims, least you find yourself with an itch that will destroy you.

  • [edited for excessive rudeness to other commenters]

  • Tito,

    Where is your moderatiing here?

    This woman knows nothing about me, nor my faith’ and is on a complete rampage. She is veering towards complete hysteria.

  • Carol,

    This isn’t my thread, so I’m not going to moderate comments yet, but I’m stepping in here as one of the editors to say: “Chill.”

    UPDATE: All right, between while I was writing this things crossed the line.

  • At the Cross, I bow my knee
    Where Your Blood was shed for me
    There’s no greater love than this.

  • “The sacred synod teaches that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.” Lumen Gentium III: 20.

    “Whence it may not be doubted that this man was guilty of a crime not less than that of the vile Arius, who in like manner perished by the issue of his bowels through the draught. For this too is a heretical belief, that in the Church man may disobey the bishop of God to whom the sheep are entrusted to be fed, and that authority may be usurped by one to whom none has been entrusted, either by God or man.” St. Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, II 23

    “I believe it is the devil, who, seeing that there is no path which leads more quickly to the highest perfection than that of obedience, suggests all these objections and difficulties under the guide of good.” St. Teresa of Avilla. Book of Foundations, V.

    “It is right, then, that we should be really Christians, and not merely have the name; even as there are some who recognize the bishop in their words, but disregard him in their actions.” St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians: IV.

    “…I exhort you: — Be zealous to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God and the presbyters in the place of the Council of the Apostles, and the deacons who are most dear to me…” St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians: VI.

    “The signs by which you can recognize the presence of a carnal pride in a soul. […] troublesome in the matter of obedience except where his own wishes and likings correspond to his duty…” St. John Cassian, Institutes, Chapter XXIX.

    “After all, it is a sign of an imperfect heart and a perverted will to examine cautiously the injunctions of our seniors; to hesitate at each command; to demand to know the reason for everything; to suspect the worst if this be denied us; never to obey willingly unless we are commanded something that suits us, or which has been demonstrated to our satisfaction as necessary or useful.” St Bernard of Clairvaux, On Precept and Dispensation, X.23.

    “… for I am under an obligation, not to dispute with my superiors, but to obey them, and it would not be right for me to dispute with them.” St. Teresa of Avilla. Interior Castle. III:ii.

    “When the thought strikes you to judge or condemn your superior, leap away as though from fornication. Give no trust, place, entry, or starting point to that snake. Say to this viper: ‘Listen to me deceiver, I have no right to pass judgment on my superior but he has the authority to be my judge. I do not judge him; he judges me.” St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step IV.

    “Hence great care should be taken by subordinates, whether clerical or lay, that they dare not to blame rashly the lives of their bishops or superiors […] lest from their position of reproving evil they be sunk into greater depths through the impulse of elation.” St. Gregory the Great, Epistle XVII.

    “For if, on the vain presumption that they, too, are filled with the Holy Spirit, they refuse to be guided by another human being, they will only become the teachers of error.” St. Gregory the Great, Dialogues. Dialogue One.

    “But I perceive well that these good brethren look that I should rebuke the clergy and seek out their faults and lay them to their faces and write some work to their shame, or else they cannot call me but partial to priests. Howbeit, by this reason they may call me partial to laymen as well. For I never used that way neither toward the one nor toward the other. I find not yet such and store of virtue in myself as to think it meetly part and convenient for me to play, to rebuke as abominable, viscious folk anyone’s honest company, either spiritual or temporal, and much less meet to rebuke and reproach either the wholly spiritual or temporalty, because such as are very stark naught in both.”
    St. Thomas More, Apology

  • He doesn’t have the right to hire people to kill other people. Nor, does any other one have the right to keep pedophiles under cover.

    Dont’ twist the words of our prophets to make our faith into a cult. It’ isn’t.

  • “And all the degrees specially for my part, I have ever accounted it my duty to forbear all such manner of unmannerly behavior toward those two most eminent orders that God hath ordained in earth: the two great orders I mean of special, consecrated persons, the sacred princes and priests. Against any of which two reverent orders, whoso be so lewd
    irreverently to speak and malapertly to jest and rail shall play that part for me alone.” St. Thomas More, Apology

  • Henry,

    While I agree with you that we should be hesitant before criticizing how the bishops do their job (and I try to err on the side of not criticizing), clearly in some cases one might criticize. Anyone with a decent familiarity with Church history can see that.

    And I don’t seem to recall you getting quite so counter-Reformation-ish when Michael I. or MM lay into the bishops they don’t like on your own blog. Tu toque is not an argument, but consistency is nice.

  • No man would anymore be “obedient” to that debauchery than he would listening to his next door neighbor beat his wife and sexually abuse his children.

    At some point, Henry, you step in.

  • The Legion didn’t do it for Maciel. The Vatican didn’t step in either. In fact, we found out far too late that something was very wrong. And there were plenty of wingnuts around to say Maciel was being persecuted. Not until a few weeks ago did we find out the dark and dirty secrets.

    This is not our religion.

    People who rape and abuse other people, people who contract people to kill other people. Be a man.

  • Mark, you can call people thugs and imply they are mental and spiritually need help but you run for help from the editors when i point out your fallacies?

    Come now.

  • Darwin

    I’ve always been consistent on this part: show respect to bishops. One can disagree without slander or calumnity. What has been said here has been more than mere hyperbole, acting as if the Cardinal is directly involved with killing, which he is not. It’s a grave sin which is involved here. One can say that his way of handling something is not right, and explain or suggest something else, but to impose a judgment as we see here is beyond all sense. It has not even gone through proper channels, but is a direct assault on one of the princes of the church.

    “Wherefore subordinates of either order [clerical or laity] are to be admonished that, when they observe the deeds of their masters, they return to their own heart, and presume not in upbraidings of them, since The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” St. Gregory the Great, Epistle XVII

  • The Cardinal has said it is ok for Catholcis to hire people to kill other people. And, he is setting a path for this to spread across the nation as Catholic doctrinal interpretation. There is nothing disrespectful about calling it what it is.

    You don’t know the facts at hand.

    You started the thread with slander and calumny.

  • Carol,

    I was maybe tooprovocative in my suggestion that your overzealousness may destroy relationships of charity, especailly whenever you may not have as complete an understanding of the situation as you may think you do.

    But I implore you to reread your own comments, your presumptuousness about my and others her commitments to the faith of the Church, its teachings and the most vulnerable members in society.

    You have additionally employed a most specious guilt by association tactic to somehow imply that I am in some real danger of “pimping” in the near future.

    You have told people to “get out of the way”; “scram”; stop being “girlymen” et al.

    And then, most ironically, you quaotea verse about submitting yourself humbly to the cross.

    aout of all due respect, where in G*d’s name is your capacity for any self reflection and control here.

    Please stop your sweeping judgments about people you know nothing of and accusations of apostasy, nazi-like behavior and siding with Satan.

    You must see that this is not how your Savior exhorts you to treat your brothers and sisters.

    Again, STOP>

  • “Therefore, if earthly power deviates, it will be judged by spiritual power; but if a lesser spiritual deviates, by its superior; but if the supreme (spiritual power deviates), it can be judged by God alone, not by man, as the Apostle testifies: ‘The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is judged by no one’ [1 Cor 2:15]. But this authority, although it is given to man and is exercised by man, is not human, but rather divine…” Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum. Denzinger 469.

    “For when you are in subjection to the bishop as to Jesus Christ it is clear to me that you are living not after men, but after Jesus Christ, who died for our sake, that by believing on his death you may escape death. Therefore it is necessary (as is your practice) that you should do nothing without the bishop, but also in subjection to the presbytery, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, for if we live in him we shall be found in him.” St. Ignatius to the Trallians: II.

    “Hear also Christ saying, ‘All whatsoever they bid you observe’, that ‘observe and do.’ Thou despisest not me, but the Priesthood; when thou seest me stripped of this, then despise me; then no more will I endure to impose commands. But so long as we sit upon this throne, so long as we have the first place, we have both the dignity and power, even though we are unworthy. If the throne of Moses was of such reverence, that for its sake they were to be heard, much more the throne of Christ.” St. John Chrysostom. Homilies on Colosians. Homily III.

  • Mark

    As a side note, my post this evening for the Sunday of St John Climacus will be very apropos. I think you will see what I mean.

  • Mark,

    You pulled every trick out of your hat in this thread including trying to imply my spirituality had something wrong with it, you tried to imply I needed mental help. Then, you got all wiggy when it’s held up to your face and you run for the editors? You beat people up in the schoolyard and you run for the teacher when they call your bluff.

  • Carol,

    Are you really that incorrigibe. I think not.

    Take a deep breath, reset yourself in the image you were made in, and proceed forward.

    This is not about my nor your winning or losing.

  • When people are getting killed in a scenario the Bishop is setting up, it’s not the cross to you are bowing to.

    you know, for the record.

  • Mark,

    How I do love to be patronized. Almost as much as I love being called disturbed.

    If only I could let this Cardinal convince the nation he’s got it right. We can hire people to kill other people, Catholics can. Hey, Jim Jones did it himself. Too bad Caritas wasn’t there to form a partnership to hand out the kookaid.

    Let me see if I can try to rest myself in that image that God made me.


    No. Darn it.

    It isn’t working.

    Mark – God blessings upon you and you too Henry.

    I’ve got a wedding to get to!

    Enjoy this glorious day.

  • Darwin – my apologies for causing you to step into the fugatz.

  • I will be turning off the comments for this post.

    We need to treat each other with charity, regardless of what side of the issue or shade of the issue we are all on.

    [I cannot be online all the time, so my apologies for that that has caused this thread to break down]

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In Praise of Saint Joseph

Thursday, March 19, AD 2009


One of the great things for me in finding Christ’s Church is the abundance of examples Catholics have for living a holy life. The saints show us Christian life: what to expect from it and how to live it. When I came into the Church three years ago this coming Easter, my wife and I chose St. Joseph as my patron. As a new husband, it seemed a natural if somewhat uninspired, choice. I also was not very familiar with any other saints and at least new Joseph from the Christmas story. However, as I learned more Church history and began to familiarize myself with the lives of the saint, I must sadly confess that I began to wonder if some other less well-known or more “exotic” saint would have been a “cooler” choice. It wasn’t until the birth of my son that I really began to understand how significant and beautiful is St. Joseph. Through what has proven to be some of the toughest years in mine and my wife’s lives, I have felt his gentle but strong working man’s hand on my shoulder. In a very real sense Our Lady’s Most Chaste Spouse has been with me every step of the way. I don’t think I truly understood marriage and family life until I discovered Saint Joseph and his place in the Holy Family. Through my Baptist heritage I was obviously aware of Joseph but mostly as a backdrop in the Nativity story. Neither Joseph nor Mary were the subject of any particular devotion and once Christmas was over they were literally and figuratively put back in the attic.

I especially look to him and ask for his intercession as I struggle to provide for my family during this recession. For several reasons but mostly economic ones, my wife and I recently returned to my hometown after living on the East Coast for many years. The economy here, while not great, has faired much better than many other parts of the country and it is nice to have my parents nearby so they get to spoil their new grandson. These days I often think of St. Joseph leading his young wife and child into the unknown of Egypt. How difficult must that have been? At least I am familiar with the place the Lord has led us. I may be wrong, but I do not think Joseph was in any way familiar with the land of the pharaohs, regardless, he trusted God absolutely and relocated. We see that even in what must have seen the bleakest of times, God provided for him so that he could provide for the Blessed Mother and the Infant Christ. I feel an especial love for Saint Joseph on this day as I look upon this love and trust in God. Herod’s attempt to slaughter the Christ Child was an attempt by Satan to destroy our Hope before most of the world even knew He existed. In a sense, Joseph with the Holy Family was fleeing despair. In similar fashion, we must always follow God’s will for us and not our own, even if we are unsure where He is leading us. Let us ask for the intercession of Blessed Saint Joseph for all the needs of our family, for the protection of our loved ones and the protection of the Church founded by Christ. has a great page on Saint Joseph on this page.

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12 Responses to In Praise of Saint Joseph

  • Saint Joseph, a model for all fathers.

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  • Saint Joseph, also a model for everybody else.

  • The great thing about St. Joseph is that he didn’t talk much and just went about his business. Standard stuff for husbands.

  • He was poor too. Standard stuff for husbands. 🙂

  • Also, when there was a disagreement, more than likely he was the one in the wrong.

  • But that’s what you get when your wife is sinless.

  • John Henry,

    So basically nothing changes when you get married then right?


    I have adopted the entire Holy Family as the standard that I want to strive for, especially St. Joseph himself. He is an excellent role model to follow, the strong and stable man that protected the Holy Family, nurtured his Son and wife, and led an exemplary life of chastity and obedience.

  • John Henry,

    The husband is always wrong in arguments. That’s why it’s better to keep quiet. If necessary, look ferocious.

  • Here’s one facet of St. Joseph’s life that I’ve only seen touched upon once, but I believe is significant.

    I take it as a given that Mary, of course, was a virgin for life and never had any other children besides Jesus. I also assume that the same was true of Joseph, although this is not a matter of defined doctrine (the Eastern tradition holds that Joseph was a widower who had children by his first wife, who became the “brothers” of Jesus referred to in Scripture).

    However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they PLANNED it that way from the start. Some older Catholic tomes assume that Mary and Joseph both took a vow of chastity before they married and intended all along to live as brother and sister. I’m not so sure about that, since there was no tradition of celibacy among ordinary Jews at the time (outside of, perhaps, small sects such as the Essenes) and most observant Jews regarded it as their duty to “be fruitful and multiply.”

    I read the following scenario in one of Our Sunday Visitor’s Scripture commentaries about 20 years ago (sorry I can’t remember which one) and it seems to make sense to me. Mary and Joseph were both young (Joseph probably in his later teens and Mary a little younger), their families probably had known each other forever, and when they got betrothed or engaged, they had every intention of having a normal married life with lots of kids.

    However, when God intervened and Mary concieved Jesus “by the Holy Spirit,” and Joseph realized what had happened, they realized that Mary in essence had become the “spouse” of Yahweh and therefore was off limits to anyone else. So they then agreed to live as brother and sister.

    I wonder if they ever had doubts about whether they really made the right decision, or felt sad that they couldn’t have more children? People probably looked down on Mary if she “only” had one child and never had any more after that. How could she possibly explain their situation? Not to mention her baby being born suspiciously soon after their wedding. It can’t have been easy for them to deal with.


    To say every day for nine consecutive days

    Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be…

    Day 1
    O Saint Joseph, Pillar of Families! Foster Father of Jesus, protect our families from the sufferings of separation and divorce. Be a lighthouse for fathers and father-figures alike, so that they may lead virtuous lives and be good role models to our children. Amen.

    DAY 2
    O Saint Joseph, Guardian of Virgins! Loving, chaste spouse of our Blessed Mother, protect the chastity of marriages so that our children may grow up in strong united families. We also ask you to protect the virginity of the youth so that they may be spared from unnecessary sufferings, and to help those living the consecrated life to be ever more faithful to their vocations. Amen.

    Day 3
    O Saint Joseph, Patron of the Unborn! Your faith was necessary to bring about the glory of the incarnation. Teach us all to have unbending confidence in the promises of Christ. May we submit ourselves wholeheartedly to His will and trust that His providence will see us through in difficult moments. Amen.

    Day 4
    O Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons! Help us defeat our untamed passions, imaginations and memories. Teach us to listen to the voice of our Father in the silence of our hearts, and give us the strength to have dominion over our senses. In times of weakness, may we closely depend on our intellect and will, and most importantly the graces generously given to us through prayer by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Day 5
    O Saint Joseph, Hope of the sick and the dying. Heal us from our bodily ills, emotional troubles and worldly fears. Be with us in times of frailty, and comfort us with hope in eternal life. May our hearts be anchored in Jesus every day of our lives and may we never be separated from him. Amen.

    Day 6
    O Saint Joseph, Patron of the Church! Protect the intentions of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, our Cardinals, Bishops, priests and all religious who work faithfully to shepherd the people. Keep them away from temptation, and deliver them from all unholy and corrupting influences. May our Church remain free from all contagion of error and be constantly reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Day 7
    O Saint Joseph, Patron of Workers! Comfort us during the desolation of unemployment, and bring compassion into our hearts during times of prosperity. Teach us the right paths and the right words, so that we may be able to meet our temporal needs. We also ask that you keep our hearts aflame with the Word of God, that we may always be conscious that our need for daily bread is not restricted to bread alone, but Jesus in the Eucharist. Amen.

    Day 8
    O Saint Joseph, Lover of Poverty! Solace of the wretched! Be our friend in time of suffering, and help us appreciate the virtues we can harvest through struggle and sacrifice. Keep us away from the snares of pride and self-importance. Let us remember the poverty of our Lord so that we can dutifully imitate his life in humility and obedience. Amen.

    Day 9
    O Saint Joseph, humble, poor, and obedient servant of the God the Father! We praise you participation in the glory of the incarnation, as faster father of Jesus Christ and most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Keep us all close to your heart, and may the faithful works of Blessed Brother André continue to bring glory to God for years to come. May all those who seek your intercession and his be met with expedient relief or consolation. Amen.

  • Thanks a lot for the Novena Ivy Abat. That was really great. I am planning to receive a miracle from our saint and this is going to be just great.Thanks again.

Of Tea and Taxes

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009


In politics, as in physics, an action causes a reaction.  With the election of President Obama and strong Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, the stage is set for a radical increase in the size, power and scope of government to transform the United States into a socialist state, along the lines of the European social welfare states.  The Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously called a stimulus bill, is merely the first step in the process.  The President has already warned of trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, and he has the votes for now to carry out his vision.  Can he be stopped?

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7 Responses to Of Tea and Taxes

  • I hope there’s a debate, Donald.

    Vice President Biden during one of the Democratic primary debate said that he was astounded as to how much money is thrown into the election process and how much money people will throw to get a candidate elected, but we cannot raise the funds — either through government or private means — for issues like alternative energy, health care, education, and the like.

    I’d gladly pay more in taxes if the cause is worthy. I can’t speak for the rest of the country.

    Again, I’m glad you clearly outlined the need for a debate. I’ve never in my life agreed with Republicans so much, but just as I begin to reflect on it: am I really a Democrat? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’ I agree with the GOP in the ‘no,’ but that’s what the Republican Party seems to be wrestling with right now. They cannot, in my view, be successful in the long-term if they run only as opposing Obama’s “out there” policies and then sweep Congress and maybe the presidency in 2012 with no plan of what to do. So, on the “no,” I’m with you and on the specifics of what to do, maybe we can begin the debate there.

    Good post.

  • Thank you Eric. The debate is really long overdue and I can understand why. It will be very painful to come to grips with fundamental questions of what government should do and how we will pay for it. However throughout most of our history we did just that and we must do so again.

  • Well, Donald, I think Gov. Quinn has just handed us Illinois residents an excellent warm-up exercise (in the form of his tax increase/budget proposal) for that national debate.

    In fact he explicitly asked the question you raise: if you insist on no budget cuts, tell us how you plan to pay for what you want; if you insist there be no new taxes, tell us what you plan to cut and why. I personally don’t agree with everything suggested in this budget, but the debate is, after all, just getting started.

    I presume similar debates will take place in other states, which also face severe budget shortfalls, but can’t print money or borrow from foreign nations to cover them up.

    I also believe that our current economic and fiscal woes, both at the state and national level, could perhaps be seen as our payback, penance, karma or whatever for our past electoral sins — voting for candidates who told us only what we wanted to hear, ignoring obvious corruption and incompetence, and adhering to party loyalty over principle.

  • Well said Elaine. In Illinois we are at a later stage in the debate than the nation is. We had the Build Illinois drunken sailor binge under convicted felon George Ryan (R.), or as many of us fondly deemed it, Bilk Illinois. Bloggo (D.), in addition to being a crook, was a lousy manager of the fiscal house of the State. Now the State is facing bankruptcy and so the best idea our government can come up with is a massive increase in taxes, sans the needed debate, thus far, on cutting spending. Crunch time is coming however, and this debate is going to take place in Illinois, in spite of the fact that most politicians would prefer to eat ground glass than to squarely address this fiscal nightmare.

  • It has come to this. The Porkapalooza Bill has forced a long overdue national debate on Gummint And Its Size. Reaches in all kinds of places- as in Philly Mayor Michael Nutter proposing temporary nudge nudge wink wink increase in property taxes to keep the swimming pools and neighborhood libraries open. Ignoring that the city’s population but a fraction of that two generations ago. Oh well no police or fire protection affected. But may come down to these points. What is necessary and what constitutes the category of Don’t Take Away My Teddy Bear. Happy to see our Washington Elite looking absolutely buffoonish in their efforts to demonize AIG. Spring is such a lovely time for protests. Had been the province of the sensitive and concerned over War In Iraq, Women’s Right to Choose, other stuff. This time, a different crowd with different beefs. Let the games begin.

  • Eric,

    They cannot, in my view, be successful in the long-term if they run only as opposing Obama’s “out there” policies and then sweep Congress and maybe the presidency in 2012 with no plan of what to do.

    While you won’t hear it on MSNBC or broadcast news, or the NY Times, the GOP has a health care plan, an energy plan, and an alternate stimulus plan, and an alternate budget. It’s unfortunate that the mainstream media doesn’t give the current opposition the play that the Democrats had under Bush.

    The Republicans certainly must find a way to get their message out that there is a BETTER way than selling our future, which is precisely what the Democrat tax and spend policies will do… slower economic growth and rising inflation for many years to come, with the tax the rich limitations slowly or suddenly dropping from 200k to 25k… We’ll be in the doldrums unless this is halted and reversed VERY soon.

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Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Cardinal George had a private unscheduled 30 minute meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday afternoon.  Outside of the normal platitudes issued between the USCCB and the White House, nothing substantive of note can be reported.  Although Cardinal George issued a YouTube video warning to President Obama concerning the United State’s moving towards despotism the day prior to his meeting.  President Obama seems to have responded positively to Cardinal George’s proposal of “an agenda for dialogue” which was issued early this year.

2. The secular and liberal media, i.e., the mainstream media, have pretty much remained silent on Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa.  Is it because they don’t want to report the problem of condoms only exacerbating the issue of AIDS and not wanting to hear about the sanctity of life?  Is it beneath their elitism to do anything with Africa?  Or is it because the mainstream media could care less about Africa because of the pigment of their complexion?  Remember Rwanda and southern Sudan, the media remained silent.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf made similar comments, for the link click here.

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9 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

  • 1. “Agenda for dialogue:” never a good sign. Not sure what can come from such dialogue on the good Cardinal’s part. Amazing that the meeting even took place- probably due to their mutual place of residence.

    2. All questions regarding lack of MSM coverage of His Holiness’ visit satisfactory to ask. Also- Is the Church that humdrum? Is it JPII Fatigue? Or that this Pontiff doesn’t deliver slamming quotes? Just goes about his business? Hooray- San Diego Union Tribute found a buyer! Newspaper journalism is saved! Not.

    3. Welcome Jennifer and hubbo to Family of Faith. Nice to have ya around.

  • Rich Leonardi cites another example of a innovative bishop creating his own parallel magisterium in the creation of a ”Installation Mass” for female lay pastoral administrator.

    You go overboard when you criticize these “innovations” (these installation Masses are hardly new) as the creation of a “parallel Magisterium.”

  • Gerard E.,

    The story on the atheist turned Catholic is actually a year old, but I wanted to share it just the same because I like reading her blog.

    Michael I.,

    Mea culpa, but exaggerating the obvious does not take away from the fact that Bishop Matthew Clark is inventing rites that aren’t authorized by the CDW or CDF or listed in any GIRM.

    Just because this isn’t new, doesn’t make it right.

  • I’m not going to make judgments on it until it happens. But for what it’s worth, the Obama Administration is going to meet with pro-life groups.

  • Tito – I’m puzzled. “Installation Mass” can mean a variety of things. There is nothing wrong with installation Masses per se. There are all kinds of Masses for various occasions, including the installation of various lay ministers. Not everything is listed in the GIRM. I believe I saw a published collection of such rites recently and it was approved either by the USCCB or the CCB (I can’t remember what context I saw the book). You may not recognize those bishops’ conferences, but if those conferences have any authority, they definitely have some limited authority when it comes to the liturgy. You would have to provide some evidence that this particular installation Mass violates some kind of universal liturgical guideline.

    Our diocese in WV had an inaugural Mass for our Catholic governor. Do you oppose that sort of thing as well?

  • Michael I.,

    I do recognize those conferences.

    Although I doubt there is a rite for this type of Mass, I will keep in mind those documents and conferences that you site and look into it at a later date.

    Like many Catholics, I have a pile of books next to my bed that intend to read but have difficulty attending to!


  • Eric,

    That link sounds promising, but it may little more than lip service since mid-level functionaries and not President Obama himself will be meeting with those pro-life groups.

  • My comment above should read “USCCB or the CCCB” as in the Canadian Catholic Bishops.

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Should The State Get Out of the Marriage Business?

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

As people wait for the results of the California Supreme Court’s review of Prop 8, Douglas Kmiec and one of his Pepperdine Law collegues have put out a proposal that the government get out of the marriage business entirely, and instead bestow “civil union” certificates on households of any configuration or persuasion.

Instead, give gay and straight couples alike the same license, a certificate confirming them as a family, and call it a civil union — anything, really, other than marriage. For people who feel the word marriage is important, the next stop after the courthouse could be the church, where they could bless their union with all the religious ceremony they wanted. Religions would lose nothing of their role in sanctioning the kinds of unions that they find in keeping with their tenets. And for nonbelievers and those who find the word marriage less important, the civil-union license issued by the state would be all they needed to unlock the benefits reserved in most states and in federal law for married couples.

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27 Responses to Should The State Get Out of the Marriage Business?

  • Just to be clear, you’re advocating that the government recognize what we call “natural marriage” because that is the only path that respects both marital dignity and does not allow — on a widescale — activity and arrangements sanctioned by the state as permissible when it contradicts our basic human nature? Yes? If so, I agree.

  • Yes.

    I suppose to be really precise: I’m saying that we as Catholics should advocate that the state define marriage as what we recognize as “natural marriage”.

    We shouldn’t just cede the point and say, “It doesn’t matter what the state calls marriage or if there even is a civil marriage, because we as Catholics define marriage in our own sacramental way which isn’t the same as civil marriage.”

    Because we as Catholics see natural marriage as a moral good and potential channel of grace, we should exert all possible efforts to keep marriage as it is recognized by the boarder society in keeping with our understanding of natural marriage.

  • How would the civil acknowledgement of permanent, gay unions actually do harm natural marriages?

  • is that a real question?

  • Yes. Based on DCs explicit reasoning, the question is still not answered.

    This says nothing one way or the other about my own beliefs on the matter.

  • How would the civil acknowledgement of permanent, gay unions actually do harm natural marriages?

    I’m not sure that’s exactly the right question. My claim isn’t that “gay marriage” would hurt natural marriages (as in, couples with natural marriages) but rather that from a Catholic point of view we should seek to maintain in the wider society a cultural understanding of marriage which is as close as possible to the Catholic understanding of natural marriage.

    Natural marriage is just that: Natural. A pair of human mates. And so as such it’s necessarily between a man and a woman.

    So my reason why it would be problematic to acknowledge gay unions as if they were marriages is that it sends the wrong cultural message as to what marriage is. And when people have a wrong understanding of what a fundamental social institution is, it will end up hurting them and society as a whole.

  • Mark,

    If the state sanctions something, it is considered to be a right, or a good. We would, in effect, be recognizing all couples as equal, when in a sense a same-sex union is not equal to a heterosexual union, though all people are equal in dignity. It is a false anthropological and ontological presumption.

    It is the epitome of relativism in that everyone vows to kill the debate rather than find the moral virtue to debate toward the truth in a civil manner. The sense of peace is a false one, based entirely on a false premise — that all unions are equal and that the state should make no sort of moral presumptions.

    Additionally, these unions are what creates families and it will open the wrong door in the debate over gay adoption. If the state treats all couples equally, then there is no reason why gays should be prevented from adopting; at best, religious and private institutions wouldn’t have to participate. In essence, the common good is entirely undermined. Revelation set aside, it occurs to me as a homosexual, that the psychological and sociological evidence have not confirmed (nor as a Catholic trusting in the truths of my faith do I suspect they will) that children being raised by same-sex parents will grow up no differently than children raised by parents of the opposite sex — which reflects the natural design in which children are biologically created. In some sense, children are reaffirmed as commodities that people have a “right” to and not as precious gifts. The reason that our culture is suffering right now is particularly founded in our misunderstanding of marriage and family — from the intrinsic feature of bearing and rearing children as a part of married life. Our contraceptive mentality has opened the door to see marriage just as a personal fulfillment with no intrinsic obligations as MM suggested and the result is, there should be no reason to exclude anyone from it.

    The point is this: if we were to have the state adopt a marriage neutral stance, we would be at the point of America over a generation ago when contraception was introduced as a moral-neutral choice for couples, which has done nothing but spiral into an out of control erosion of the family and marital dignity.

    The solution to our cultural struggle doesn’t strike me as a compromise more interested in “peace,” in the sense that no one argues or debates about it, but rather to seek by just means, a recognition of this basic natural institution of marriage that is knowable to some extent by reason. For if we continue to allow our culture to ignore and deny the existence of fundamental truths, we further obscure our sense of God and human nature and are only failing ourselves in trying to save as many souls as possible by relativizing the truth for the sake of not arguing about it.

    Such relativism is already expressed in the terrible misconceptions of American legal positivism. In the Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, it was stated in the ruling that: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This may in fact be the moment where relativism was in itself enshrined into law, where the autonomous man now is convinced that we have the right to define — not discover — the truths, moral or otherwise, of the universe. Unless we are willing to admit that there are moral truths written onto the very fabric of our human nature and live according to them, there will be no true human flourishing and we only damn ourselves, if not by God’s mercy in the next life, certainly with more problems and moral qualms in this one.

  • Although I agree that the state OUGHT to affirm only natural, opposite-sex marriage as “marriage,” I also believe that given the state of current legal precedent, legal recognition of same-sex marriage is probably inevitable, barring some kind of miracle.

    In fact, civil marriage as we know it today already has lost all of the elements Catholic teaching says are essential to marriage — permanency, fidelity, and openness to children. No-fault divorce killed the first two elements, and abortion/contraception killed the third.

    Personally I think it was no-fault divorce (which freed couples of having to prove some kind of justifying serious reason to divorce, and allowed them to dissolve marriages by mutual consent, or simply at the whim of whichever spouse wanted out), rather than contraception (which, let’s face it, a lot of couples probably practiced on the sly anyway), that really started marriage on a downhill slide. No-fault divorce makes marriage one of the few, if perhaps the only, legal contract that CANNOT be enforced against the party that wants to break it.

    DC, you argue that recognizing gay unions “sends the wrong cultural message” regarding what marriage is. I say, no-fault divorce already did that. The horse is, in essence, already out the barn door.

    With that in mind, I could accept some kind of arrangement under which everyone — gay, straight, platonic or whatever — can legally enter a civil union or partnership that makes the participants each other’s next of kin, and is not called “marriage”, as a lesser evil to simply being forced to recognize same-sex unions as legal “marriage.”

    A complete separation between religious and civil marriage — such as exists in other countries where religiously observant couples go through two ceremonies and clergy do not sign off on marriage licenses or certificates — may end up being necessary if only to protect religious marriage from the encroachment of the state, which will, I am sure, eventually demand that anyone who performs legal, state-sanctioned marriages must not “discriminate” against gay couples.

  • Heck, if the state is going to get out of the marriage business, why go half way? Really get out of it–no civil marriage, no civil unions, no joint tax filing, no marriage penalty, no civil divorce, no guaranteed inheritance. Require everybody not related by blood who wants to form a partnership of any kind to go through the trouble of enshrining it in legal conracts and powers of attorney. Leave “marriage” to the churches, where it might actually mean something. Fewer people will marry–but chances are fewer will divorce.

  • Elaine’s right about no-fault–that’s what started this on the slide to hell. The real battle needs to be a gradual rollback of no-fault.

    I somewhat sympathize with cminor’s idea, but I’d like to try something else first–a two-tiered marriage system, like that which exists in at least one State (which one escapes me). Namely, you have (1) the old, broken no-fault system and (2) “covenant” (IIRC) marriage, which is fault oriented, and much more rigorous and difficult to end, especially where there are children. I also believe that there are more benefits for couples who choose the old route. You could call the latter marriage and leave the rotted-out no-fault system for “civil union” status.

    [As an aside, the no-fault system has always been why the so-called “conservative case for gay marriage” has been a flight of fantasy–it’s domestication powers are clapped out, let alone trying to transform a subculture.]

    The state still has an interest in marital bonds for reasons wholly independent of marriage, starting with those “new citizens” we call children, property, inheritance and the like. It’s grown organically for a reason. If you go to a pure partnership/contract system, you are ultimately proposing another social revolution, more sweeping than no fault divorce, with unforeseeable consequences. “What can it hurt?” is one of the more horrifying phrases in history.

  • Don’t mind me, Dale–I had my snark on. Is it Arkansas that has covenant marriage?

  • cminor:

    Yes, I think it is Arkansas.

    Oh, and don’t sweat the snark. It’s not like I never use it. 🙂

  • DP- don’t forget corollary to “what could it hurt,” as postulated by M. Shea:

    ‘How were we supposed to know?”

  • DC, you argue that recognizing gay unions “sends the wrong cultural message” regarding what marriage is. I say, no-fault divorce already did that. The horse is, in essence, already out the barn door.

    Elaine, I recognize the point that no fault divorce and contraception have already hollowed out civil marriage and left it with little resemblance to natural marraige, but I think it probably goes too far. Allow me to indulge in thinking out loud a bit here:

    It strikes me that the idea of natural marriage boils down to saying: mating matters. When a human person forms a mating bond (to sound all nature special-ish, if you don’t mind — it’s the Darwin coming out in me) the Church says that that person incurs certain moral and social obligations to fidelity and openness to life whether that person realizes it or not. (And indeed, whether that person is “married” in any formal sense or not. It strikes me this even applies to common law marriage type situations.)

    Now, since the Church holds that when you start a mate relationship with someone, you incur the moral obligations of natural marriage, it would seem logical from a Catholic that it would be good for both individuals and society if society sends the message that entering such a relationship comes with those obligations.

    However, a great many societies throughout world history (and virtually all non-Christian) have allowed some sort of divorce — though in some societies it has been very much frowned upon. How much does that undermine the nature of marraige?

    I’m sure it undermines it, but I’m not sure how much. Marriage remains a relationship which is permanent unless some intervening force (a divorce) comes into play. It’s “natural” end point is death, though divorce than intervene and cut it off early. Thus the “happy ending” for marriage continues to be a “till death do us part” idea, even if half the actual marriages end in divorce instead.

    Similarly, while I think it seriously weakens marriage that the use of contraception (and the idea that people only have children when the intend to) is so widespread, so long as marriages consist of a man and a woman, kids tend to happen. (This is anecdote, not data, but over the years I’ve seen a great number of female coworkers get married, proclaim that they won’t have children “till they’re ready” and then get pregnant as a “surprise” within the next 24 months. Yeah, well, “Surprise!” but if you have sex regularly, even attempting to use contraception, you often end up pregnant.)

    So while I agree there are a great many assaults on marriage in our current culture, I don’t think that natural marriage is such a lost cause as it is. However, I think that abolishing civil marriage entirely and replacing it with a generic “civil union” which was equally available to opposite sex and same sex couples, as well as anyone who happens to share living space and wants some tax breaks, would serve to break down the awareness of natural marriage a good deal more in our society than it already is. Calling it a “civil union” and making it equal opportunity would, I think, tend to strip out a lot of the long standing cultural baggage which currently adheres to the “marriage” term. And that would be to the detriment of society.

    Similarly, although it’s true that no fault divorce makes marriage impermanent (and thus violates its meaning) it would be a lot _more_ destructive if civil marriage were set up to expire and need to be renewed every year. Sure, you can divorce any time with no reason, but there is at least the built in assumption that it will last till death _unless_ something goes wrong.

    It seems to me that going to a civil union only system (open to other configurations than one man/woman mate pair) would be more on the destructiveness level of having an annual contract version of marriage than on the no fault divorce level.

  • A fault in these discussions is, I believe, an implicit sense that the government in the U.S. [the State] is a moral government; that somehow the U.S. is the New Jerusalem, the City On the Hill.

    Now the U.S. government, or its elected representatives, may have done some good things. It has also done some horrible things. Slavery comes to mind, and that continuation of slavery which were the Jim Crow laws. Now we have child murder and killing off the elderly, and the disabled.

    As Catholics, we tend to think that we have a place in this State, this Society. But it is a place on disdainful sufferance: whether from the Protestant denominations or their cast offs, the liberal progressives. Many Catholics look for, and believe they have gained, acceptance from these groups. It is rather like the sufferance gained by Jews under Gladstone – “as long as they know their place”.

    Look around and you will find that the Catholics who have gained some acceptance have done so at sacrifice of their principles. One has but to read the articles in COMMONWEAL, The NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, AMERICA [“THE” Catholic weekly – ah, the Jebbies].One has but to pay heed to the excuses by “catholic” college and university presidents that they wish to keep up with their academic colleagues.

    I believe it will be clearer if one remembers the treatment of the Church under the Roman emperors. At the moment, the Church in America has not yet been inflicted with open oppression. But it is blind to believe that it could not happen. And especially if so many Catholics act like the bishops under Henry VIII. “What can it matter?”,

    To the question at issue – marriage by two males or two females – state marriage in this country was the product of Protestant theology, itself a degenerative derivative of Catholic theology. Then divorce became easier; then the use of contraceptives [“what can it matter?”]. Now the prevalence of baby murder. And now the growth of pregnancies without “benefit of the banns”.

    It is difficult to keep human nature within bounds. Because it is difficult, it is said to be impossible. That is a cop-out.

  • Gabriel, I seem to remember reading an old Catholic marriage instruction book that my parents picked up (back in the 1950s) which quoted various papal encyclicals as saying, in effect, that since marriage was a divine institution the state really had no right to regulate it in the first place.

    I realize that what the popes in question were referring to were, most likely, civil laws allowing divorce and remarriage. Still, it sounds kind of ironic in light of the Church fighting so hard to MAINTAIN state regulation of marriage today.

    Also, didn’t Martin Luther insist that marriage was NOT a sacrament, but purely a civil matter? If that is the case, perhaps we can indeed thank the Protestant Reformers for our current situation.

    I thought it was Louisiana that proposed or tried “covenant” marriage; I don’t know whether they still have it or not.

    If I were queen I would launch a massive public education campaign aimed at reminding people of the benefits to society of as many children as possible having BOTH a mother and a father. I would also remind same-sex couples that there is nothing preventing them from drawing up private contracts with the aid of an attorney, or even acting as their own attorneys, to confer upon each other all the legal benefits of marriage, such as inheritance, health care decision making, insurance benefits, etc. Therefore their civil rights are not being violated by marriage being reserved for opposite sex couples.

  • While a debate on purely intellectual grounds is of great value, let’s try and approach this with the mind of the CHURCH:

    The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

  • Elaine,
    I can’t speak for all Protestants, but my dh, who was raised Methodist, says that in that church marriage is not a sacrament.

  • Elaine,

    I concur with your opinion of no-fault divorces, but I’d also like to add that contraception played a major role as well. As the procreative act had been torn asunder from the unitive act, a mental divorce between the two seeped into the mainstream where the act of getting married has become ultimately meaningless.

  • Elaine,
    I believe our problem stems from the short time [and it was short] in which the Church was heeded about such matters. The point I am trying to make is that the laws of the Church come first, the state laws second.
    Whether or not the State gets involved in marriage speaks to the morality of the State, not of the Church. For all that we are U.S. citizens, we are Catholics first. Fortunately we have [unlike other denominations, and even unlike Judaism] a central authority which speaks slowly and carefully and clearly on moral matters.

    Just as we are meant to rely on doctors when we have a medical problem, so we rely on the Holy Father when there is a moral problem. We Catholics are extremely blessed in this. This blessing we may have to pay for with the scorn of the mediums and the semi-catholic.

  • Gabriel,

    Assuming that we eventually have same-sex marriage in the future, it would certainly accelerate the decline in the sanctity of marriage as being another ‘option’ to go through the motions. Something along the lines of where Norway and Sweden have regressed to.

    That being said, we as Catholics (and I agree wholeheartedly that we are Catholics first and Americans second) can be shining examples of what a healthy and fruitful marriage is. We can be very counter-cultural and further raise our profile within secular society. We can certainly be winning more converts over to our faith and side in the long run.

    Besides, we procreate in more proficient numbers than contraceptive marriages do.

    Yes, I have a rosy view of the future, but I like it!

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  • Tito,

    Much of the problem with the changes is linguistic. Perhaps [if anatomical language is permissible] marriage should be defined as including the possibility of a man putting his engorged penis into a woman’s vagina. It does not include putting the penis into an anus, or sucking the penis, or licking the anus. The proponents of gay “marriage” use the respectability of marriage to distract from these common homoerotic actions.

    [Before anyone gets to annoyed by the words, I refer to 1 Kings 25:22 where David threatens “any that pisseth against the wall”. Which is to say, any male].

  • I should add to my comment that the Church does not recognize a marriage when the man is incapable of “putting…”. Or the woman of receiving.

  • I just love how everyone assures me that I agree with homosexual marriage.

    Gee, it’s so nice that there are mind readers willing to throw away MY beliefs in order to get in touch with what “younger people” think these days– gleefully ignoring that we don’t, in fact, all believe whatever they’ve decided to hobble us with.

    The only reason the gov’t really needs to be involved in marriage is because the union of a man and woman tends to result in new little citizens, and it’s in the gov’ts interest to make sure those little citizens grow into law-abiding, stable, productive big citizens.
    A stable mother-and-father type home is the most effective way to do this.

    I really wouldn’t mind some kind of a contract to fix the most common complaint of homosexual activists– I really don’t think you should *have* to be married to someone in order to visit them at the hospital. Sexual activity has nothing to do with that– the older widows and widowers that I’ve known who are cared for by non-relatives who have to jump through a dozen hoops to get the folks who are acting as family…. oops, I’m digressing…..

    When two men can accidentally find themselves pregnant, then I’ll consider if homosexual marriage might be a civil rights issue.

  • Also, please bear in mind that these are the best legal minds of the law school that produced a nationally known expert in (breaking) federal corruption law — none other than former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who liked to boast about having gotten a C in his constitutional law course.

  • But what happens when one questions the functions of marriage based on public versus private interests? A good intro is here:

Is the Bankrupt the Nation Act Unconstitutional?

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009


Ronald Rotunda, is currently a Professor of Law at George Mason University.  Twenty-seven years ago he had the onerous task of attempting to beat legal ethics ( and I can almost hear most of you shouting “Oxymoron!”) into the heads of second year law students at the University of Illinois.  I was one of his pupils.  I came away from his class no more ethical than when I went in, but with a thorough knowledge of the rules regarding legal ethics in the state of Illinois.  I also came away with a keen appreciation for both Professor Rotunda’s dry wit, and his strong intellect.  Here  is his web-site.  He is the one wearing a bow tie and not the Vulcan.  As you can see from his site, Professor Rotunda, unlike most law professors and most lawyers, does not take himself very seriously.

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7 Responses to Is the Bankrupt the Nation Act Unconstitutional?

  • The lack of competence was due to the haste in drafting it. That it was pretty much whipped up after the Washington Elite put away their tuxedoes and gowns, sobered up, and returned to work following Dear Leader’s Coronation is evidence. Along with the instant and stunning rebuttals to AIG Demonization. That Porkapalooza allows its executives to pick up extra coin up to February 11, 2009. And that the provision was inserted by….. good ol’ Chris Dodd, Friend of Angelo (Mozillo, founder of Countrywide Financial,) past recepient of financial largesse from……. AIG. Now beating the drum to take back the cash. Prof. Dr. Rotunda may well have a case for the unconstitutional nature of Porkapalooza. But it appears its greatest supporters will undo it more than the Republicans- save for Specter and The Maine Ladies- who voted against it.

  • Congress passing legislation that is unconstitutional? Designed to be an end run around the states? The people? Heavy handed antics to force their will whether we like it or not?

    Say it ain’t so, Joe!

  • Oh, it’s almost certainly unconstitutional. And it will almost just as certainly not be overturned.

  • We have a Constitution in this country?

  • We have a Constitution in this country?

    Most certainly – unfortunately its contents are contained solely in the head of Anthony Kennedy.

  • We have a Constitution in this country?

    Most certainly – unfortunately its contents are contained solely in the head of Anthony Kennedy.

    And in European legal precedent – according to Justice Breyer…

  • The best part of this post is the reference [link?] to Prof. Rotunda’s collection of jokes about lawyers and about economists.

    One comment he missed is that of Our Lord at Luke 11:46

    “And he said, Woe unto you also, [ye] lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers”.

Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

Tuesday, March 17, AD 2009

Pope Benedict has embarked on his papal visit to the African nations of Cameroon and Angola from March 17-23, 2009.

Forgive me for indulging in an act of ‘shameless self promotion’ — but the Benedict XVI Fan Club (of which I am the administrator) will be providing regular roundups of news, coverage and commentary on the Pope’s visit to Africa from religious and secular media, and will be linking to the Pope’s addresses as they become available.

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3 Responses to Pope Benedict XVI's papal visit to Africa

  • Needless to say, the roundups will be selective — while hardly ‘news’, the secular media considers it a source of headline-worthy controversy that the Pope believes that “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”, considering this the dominant story.

  • Historic. Necessary. A journey to where the Church is going. Godspeed to our dear Chief Shepherd on this most important apostolic mission.

  • Its quite historic and i am just excited about the development,As the treks through Africa,it means much for us all,and will surely bring bout stronger bonds of love and encouragement to the people.

    Lets all pray for our papa.

3 Responses to Hurrah For Saint Patrick!

  • I’ll drink to that!

    Not in excess though…

    I’ll refrain from gluttonous binge drinking and all-around licentious behavior for two days until my patron’s feast day. 😉

  • It’s sad that his memory is sullied with the wanton drunkeness associated with the day. I once heard a media commentator refer to the parades as drunken jihads. Not too far wrong there I’m afraid. I can only dread the vomit laden paths tomorrow as I walk to work. 40 shades of green indeed.

  • Agreed Shane. I am that rarest of birds, someone with mostly Irish blood who is also a tee-totaler.

Frs. Zuhlsdorf & Longenecker Have Nothing On Fr. Ramsey

Tuesday, March 17, AD 2009

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf and Fr. Dwight Longenecker have been waging cyberwarfare in out clericing the other.  Well I’d like to introduce Fr. James Ramsey.  Real priests don’t wear cappa’s!  ;~)


Fr. James Ramsey, pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) in Houston, Texas, is shown in his priestly attire prior to celebrating his first Mass.  Fr. Ramsey is shown wearing his cassock, or soutane, and a black cappello romano hat, or saturno (since it kind of looks like Saturn with her rings), with black lining.  The cappello is not worn during Mass, only for a practical matter in very sunny Houston.  Keep in mind this is picture was taken on the first Sunday of A.D. 2009, where it was 50 degrees outside!

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3 Responses to Frs. Zuhlsdorf & Longenecker Have Nothing On Fr. Ramsey

Capitalism is 3rd World's Safety Net

Monday, March 16, AD 2009

While Americans weather layoffs and watch their 401ks dwindle, the developing nations in which many of our products originate are being hit even harder by the global downturn. Many of these developing nations have virtually no social safety net, and job loss can be crippling. However, as jobs manufacturing good to be sold to the West dry up, many are turning to the “informal economy” the open air markets, street vendors, and in-home manufacturers which make up more than half the economy in countries ranging from India and Mexico to much of sub-Saharan Africa.

The informal economy consists of cash and in-kind transactions and its practitioners do not pay taxes, hold licenses, or obey regulations. Pay is simply however much money is made, and there are no benefits. Because informal businessmen pay no taxes and work on a cash only basis (they seldom capitalize through loans, nor do they put savings into banks) economists have generally seen them as a drag on the economy. But as export-based jobs dry up, it provides a fallback safety net for many workers:

pilaporn_jaksuratUntil late December, Pilaporn Jaksurat, 33, was working full-time on a cotton spinning machine in a textile mill in Bangkok. She made about $7 a day and her benefits included bonuses of $30 a month for good attendance and a severance package worth about $800.

Then she was laid off when her factory, which sells fabric to clothing manufacturers in Europe, said it had to cut costs to cope with the global economic crisis.

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2 Responses to Capitalism is 3rd World's Safety Net

  • I thought the free market was an uncharitable monster. And I thought that the underground economy was only for drugs and guns.

    Why do you have to go and use reality to smash stereotypes, you capitalist freedom-loving monster.

  • Wilhelm Röpke had a lot of insight into this.

One Response to Stem Cells and Sophistry

  • O’Rourke’s argument is one to value because it doesn’t rely on theology. Of course, we base our beliefs on the teachings of the Church, but that cuts no ice whatsoever with progressive pro-aborts. I’ve argued (in vain) with pro-abortion liberals that a secular case can be made against abortion and embryonic stem cell research and O’Rourke is the man to do it.

    O’Rourke has cancer, and yet he doesn’t mention it once in the article. O’Rourke might have been a wild man in his youth, but he is not one who thinks it’s OK if others die if it might prolong his life by a few years.

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-16-2009

Monday, March 16, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. The Indian Catholic is reporting that Pope Benedict’s next encyclical will be on the global meltdown.

The Pope’s message fundamentally will be one of hope… …it will be filled also with truth about how false economic principles and moral ideals can lead mankind toward the abyss…”

For the link click here.

2. Communion in the hand, this recent innovation, is dissected by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on his blog.  Fr. Z wants us to consider the following:

Consider the lack of care with which many receive, how they move the Host around and handle it.

Consider that often there is a more or less properly prepared EMHC also handling the Host.

Consider the condition of the skin of the palm.

Consider the few seconds after a person transfers the Host from palm to mouth.

Consider that the Host has been in contact not only with the palm, but the fingers of the other hand.

For the link click here.

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44 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-16-2009

  • Speaking of March Madness, congratulations goes out to Vox Nova for making the field of the Top 64 People Destroying our Culture. They meet Linda Ronstandt in the first round.

    And potentially match up against George Clooney or Mariah Carey if they make it to the second round. Who knew that a member of the St. Blogs circle had such pop culture pull?

  • I’ll take George Clooney over Mariah Carey. He should pull it off considering that he has the most Iraq War themed movie failures.

  • Who knew that a member of the St. Blogs circle had such pop culture pull?

    If only they did; I’d take the VN contributors over anyone else on that list as making positive contributions to the culture.

  • Yeah, throwing in VN is a fit of pique.

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

  • I don’t think it’s a fair rap to accuse anyone on Vox Nova as “destroying the culture”. Honestly, if the differences between our writers and those on Vox Nova were the widest cultural and moral gaps we had in this country, we’d be in a very, very good place.

    But then, I don’t really think Mariah Carey and George Clooney are going to destroy our culture either. So I was just swinging with it as humor.

  • But then, I don’t really think Mariah Carey and George Clooney are going to destroy our culture either. So I was just swinging with it as humor.

    There’s an alternative way of looking at these things too: Without drawing any judgment on who should or shouldn’t be listed, or if a list should even be attempted (though I think this list is meant to be more of a humorous exercise), I’d say that these people are products of our culture more than they are an influence. Enough to make you weep…

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

    Honestly, there isn’t anyone in ‘that bunch’ that I see as harmful to the culture. At the end of the day, they are practicing Catholics. I’m a practicing Catholic; we agree 90%-95% of the time on issues of significance, and where we disagree I’d generally like to hear more from them rather than less. My main frustration with VN is that unnecessarily antagonistic behavior by some contributors creates an environment in which a clear exchange of views is difficult. To be fair, it’s probably a problem with the architecture of blogs and blog comment sections rather than the contributors much of the time.

  • DC & JH,

    It’s a humorous post by CMR.

    But I’m not going to defend Catholics who deliberately mislead others away from the truth.

    You guys can cut hairs, I’ll stick to the truth.

  • I think the danger of Vox Nova is not their own impact on the culture, as their lack of appropriate response to the culture…. appeasement and permissiveness.

    Concurring with Tito that’s not ALL of them but perhaps most.

    I agree with DC that if the whole range of opinions represented between here and there were the whole range of the culture we really wouldn’t have a serious problem at all (at least not culturally)… unfortunately, the liberal Catholic approach is an enabler of the liberal secular approach.

  • 😉

    Tongue in cheek.

    I have no hair! lol

  • I would have sworn that the explosive issue for this post would have been communion in the hand or communion on the tongue.

  • Matt and Tito,

    You two can and do more to damage Catholic culture in your often faulty and wanting presentation of it in one post than V-N has done in its entire history.

    The examples are aplenty.


    Oh, I am saying this tongue in cheek.

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

    It’s hard work being super cool. 🙂

  • Consider the lack of care with which many receive, how they move the Host around and handle it.

    Consider that often there is a more or less properly prepared EMHC also handling the Host.

    Consider the condition of the skin of the palm.

    Consider the few seconds after a person transfers the Host from palm to mouth.

    Consider that the Host has been in contact not only with the palm, but the fingers of the other hand.



    🙂 That’s a pretty good one!

  • Interesting article here on the reception of communion:

    Catholic Anarchist, I believe that Christ at the Last Supper was giving communion to a room full of priests.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I believe that Christ at the Last Supper was giving communion to a room full of priests.

    I just don’t get this bizarre thinking. 1) No, Christ did not “give communion to a bunch of priests” at the Last Supper. 2) Are priests’ hands cleaner or holier or what? I don’t know what Tito is doing with his hands that makes his palms something of a threat to the host. What are you people talking about?

  • Communion in mouth recipients remind me of the “look at me, I am holier than thou” crowd…especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

  • “No, Christ did not “give communion to a bunch of priests” at the Last Supper.”

    You deny that the apostles were priests? Why am I not surprised.

    Priests hands are consecrated Catholic Anarchist and only priests are able to change the bread and wine into their body and blood. Of course this makes them different in regard to handling the body and blood.

    “with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.”

    Mr. DeFrancisis, when it comes to an efficient flowing of the communion line or allowing someone to pay traditional reverence to the Lord of the Universe, perhaps you could show some Christian charity.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    The current Mass already has its built in many practices to show reverence, as practiced in dioceses all across America.

    The insistence to go beyond the prescribed alternatives in one’s diocese is odd at best, whenever one kneels in cases in which this is not a prescribed option, and clearly works, inadvertantly or not, as a means to disrupt the communio that the Eucharistic sacrifice is to effect.

  • especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

    Maybe our expectations of how the communion line should flow (like a drive-through???) are wrong. Maybe if everyone knelt at communion, it wouldn’t feel like the holier than thou crowd is trying to set themselves apart. I don’t have strong feelings about the reception in hand/mouth debate, but sometimes I wish that the faithful could take an infinitessimally longer amount of time to show reverence and recall what is actually happening at that moment. Something about the rushed atmosphere just seems out of place.

  • I think it is a minor disruption at most Mr. DeFrancisis. I do not kneel myself, but I have only respect for those who do. I think the Pope agrees with me, judging from this:

    “Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum

    Prot. n. 1322/02/L

    Rome, 1 July 2002

    Your Excellency,

    This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has recently received reports of members of the faithful in your Diocese being refused Holy Communion unless while standing to receive, as opposed to kneeling. The reports state that such a policy has been announced to parishioners. There were possible indications that such a phenomenon might be somewhat more widespread in the Diocese, but the Congregation is unable to verify whether such is the case. This Dicastery is confident that Your Excellency will be in a position to make a more reliable determination of the matter, and these complaints in any event provide an occasion for the Congregation to communicate the manner in which it habitually addresses this matter, with a request that you make this position known to any priests who may be in need of being thus informed.

    The Congregation in fact is concerned at the number of similar complaints that it has received in recent months from various places, and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213). In view of the law that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 ¶ 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person’s unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

    In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.

    Given the importance of this matter, the Congregation would request that Your Excellency inquire specifically whether this priest in fact has a regular practice of refusing Holy Communion to any member of the faithful in the circumstances described above and — if the complaint is verified — that you also firmly instruct him and any other priests who may have had such a practice to refrain from acting thus in the future. Priests should understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.

    Thanking Your Excellency for your attention to this matter and relying on your kind collaboration in its regard,

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez

    +Francesco Pio Tamburrino
    Archbishop Secretary”

  • Michael I/Mark D.

    Did you even click on the link that Tito posted? You are apparently unfamiliar with the FACT that the universal norm in the CATHOLIC Church is that communion is to be received on the tongue. The use of communion in the hand in the modern era was out of DISOBEDIENCE and as a result of a faulty theology. Ultimately, the Holy Father granted an indult for certain places were this illicit practice had developed, in the document granting this, the universal norm was defended despite permitting limited use of the alternate practice.

    Michael, do you adhere solely to Vatican II and Sacred Scripture? You throw out nearly 2000 years of the Church’s development of theology and discipline in favor of antiquarianism, and Vatican IIism. You are PRECISELY the sort that the Holy Father is warning to reform.

    There should be no mistake by any of the moderates here that Michael and Mark’s hostility towards traditional piety and reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is not a matter of personal preference but represents a serious theological flaw. They feel deeply threatened by the Holy Father’s steps towards a reform of the reform… their anger belies a deep fear.

    If Christ Himself in natural form were to stand there at the altar would not EVERY knee bend? Then why would we show any less reverence to His REAL Presence in the Sacrament?

  • Donald,

    Tamburrino? that old relic, why should Mark or Michael listen to him, isn’t he one of those hundred of year old bishops still clinging to the pre-Vatican II Church?

  • “There should be no mistake by any of the moderates here that Michael and Mark’s hostility towards traditional piety and reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is not a matter of personal preference but represents a serious theological flaw. They feel deeply threatened by the Holy Father’s steps towards a reform of the reform… their anger belies a deep fear.”


    I think you may have missed a doasage of your meds, as you are clearly frothing at the mouth in your assinine accusations. They deserve no further response.

  • Mark is right, Matt. You’ve gone over the line in judging our view toward “traditional” piety and in questioning our reverence for the Eucharist. So as Donald, but you, Matt, have become a caricature of yourself and of the supposed “moderates” you claim to represent. You’re a reactionary nut case.

  • Alright that is enough. This is Tito’s thread, but I will delete the next comment that insults anyone.

  • Donald – Have an equal hand, friend. God’s watching. Are you as willing to give witness to “true christian charity” in your dealings with Matt as you are will me?

  • As I stated Catholic Anarchist, I will delete the next insulting comment made.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist. I’m not a policeman, merely one of the posters on this blog who does not wish to see the comboxes devolve into endless, boring flinging of insults. I blog for fun. Reading back and forth insults is not fun.

  • Communion in mouth recipients remind me of the “look at me, I am holier than thou” crowd…especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

    Such love expressed here. Rest assured Mark, God knows what’s in our hearts. If people receive Our Lord kneeling because they think they can put themselves above you, the Lord will deal with that. If they’re doing it because they’re humbled in the presence of the Lord and at the thought of receiving this great Gift, I would guess He’s quite okay with it. Really, think about what you’re saying and griping about. I mean, even if a communicant is kneeling for what you consider to be self-righteous motives. How does it really affect you? Why would you want to let something like that disturb you so? And don’t say because you have to spend a few extra minutes in the Communion line, that will sound even worse.

  • Yeah, I get kick out of this. Seeing how the VN bloggers join the other 2% of Catholics who actually follow the Church’s teachings on Sexuality in our daily lives and our commitment to pro-life work and corporal works of mercy, yeah, we are DEFINITELY destroying our Culture. If you mean destroying the American individualism and culture of death, YEP! Guilty as charged and PROUD of it!

  • Rick,

    I am only speaking from personal experience, reflecting back on whenever I received by mouth and occasionally kneeled, in settings in which communion in the hand was the dominant practice.

  • If one did study 2000 years of history and Christian tradition, one would know how common communion by the hand actually was. And one would learn of other odd practices. I am sure Matt would be horrified if he learned about St Macrina and the eucharist.

    The problem is that those who say “it is not just the modern age,” while correct in stating that, ignore the whole 2000 years, when they judge what happens in the modern age. They also act like Martin Luther, who said “Well, the modern age gets it wrong, but let me show you how I read tradition.” No, the Church reads tradition, and we must understand the modern practices in relation to that.

    “IT started as an abuse.” So did many other things Romans do. Shall we mention the filioque?

  • Ok, since I am one-quarter Irish I will give myself a dispensation from abstinence from blogging for St. Patrick’s Day 🙂

    I was about 12 or 13 years old when communion in the hand (as well as face to face confession) started, and accepted it in good faith. I do it to this day simply because it’s what I’m used to, and because I’m kind of self-conscious about subjecting the priest or EM to my potentially virus or halitosis-contaminated breath. Then again, cold viruses allegedly spread faster through your hands than your breath anyway so I guess that argument is a wash.

    I personally feel the most dignified and least potentially disruptive way to show reverence before receiving the Eucharist is to bow slightly from the waist while the person in front of you is receiving. My daughter and I both do this. This shows reverence but doesn’t hold up the line or call attention to oneself.

    My daughter (13 and mildly autistic) always receives on the tongue. When she was going through instruction for First Communion they taught her how to do it both ways and she showed a marked preference for on the tongue, and that is how she does it — perhaps because her manual dexterity leaves something to be desired and she doesn’t want to take the chance of dropping or fumbling with the Host. So there are valid reasons for people to receive both ways.

    I suggest that we approach this the way St. Paul asked the early Christians to approach the question of whether or not to eat meat (purchased in the marketplace) that had been or may have been sacrificed to idols at the time of slaughter.

    St. Paul said that while eating such meat wasn’t wrong in itself (since the false gods to which it had been “sacrificed” really didn’t exist), it was better to refrain from eating such meat in the presence of “weaker brethren” who might be offended or scandalized by it. But he also told the latter group not to be overly judgmental of those whom they saw eating such meat. His point was that he did not want to see the Body of Christ torn apart on an issue that wasn’t a matter of faith or morals, just because one side wanted to prove itself “right.”

    There is also a passage in C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters that applies Paul’s approach to the differences in piety between High and Low Anglicans. Lewis (via Screwtape) says that if Anglicans took that approach, one might see “Low Church” people genuflecting and crossing themselves so their “High” bretheren won’t be tempted to irreverence, and “High Church” people abstaining from those gestures so their “Low” bretheren won’t be tempted to idolatry!

    Imagine a Church in which Catholics who prefer receiving kneeling and on the tongue instead receive standing and in the hand (perhaps offering it up as a penance) because they don’t want to distract or offend their “weaker” brethren — while, at the same time, those who normally receive in the hand decide to make the sacrifice of receiving on the tongue, or kneeling, so as not to offend or tempt to irreverence THEIR “weaker” brethren and sisteren. 🙂 Wouldn’t that be a lot better than bickering about it?

  • Thank you Elaine for your insightful comment. I am glad you gave yourself the “Saint Patrick’s blogging dispensation”. I have always loved the passage you cite from the Screwtape letter.

    My position is not to say that all Catholics should receive communion on the tongue, as I do, and kneeling, which I do not, but that they should be respected when they do so, just as no aspersions should be cast on those Catholics who receive communion in the hand, as my wife does.

    I would note that the norm at papal masses apparently is now kneeling and communion on the tongue, so I believe those Catholics who choose to receive God in that manner are in good company!

    I have a son too who is autistic. Alas, I wish I could I could state his condition was mild, although there is nothing wrong with his manual dexterity. He too receives on the tongue. I am sure he is merely copying his old man, although he very much has a mind of his own on most things. Having him worship by me at Mass has added a great dimension to my own experience of the Mass, and I thank God for it.

  • I only receive on the tongue, mostly because my tradition uses a golden spoon for the distribution of communion, and I am used to it, even when I go to a Roman liturgy. It’s just easier not to get confused and to follow one practice. But again, distribution to the hand is not an abuse (it was when it was not approved discipline, at those times it was not; but before it was an abuse, it was not an abuse, and I think people should remember that, because it points something out about the whole matter).

    Sergius Bulgakov reminds us that Christ’s blood did fall upon the earth, and the tomb shows the ground took his body; as such, if Christ was able to distribute his graces to the earth, we might also use that to reflect upon many of the things being discussed here and now. His idea that the earth itself is the holy grail has all kinds of implications, from ecology to sacramentology and even soteriology; I think a reflection on it would help everyone.

  • “at those times” should have been “at other times times it was not” should have been deleted, but I generally write comments quickly without editing them, and I sometimes don’t delete everything I intended to as I change the way I am saying something.

  • Has anyone here read the document of Paul VI that granted the indult for communion on the hand in certain places? If you are serious about your faith, regardless of your communion practice, you ought to read it.

    This method of distributing holy communion must be retained, taking the present situation of the Church in the entire world into account, not merely because it has many centuries of-tradition behind it, but especially because it expresses the faithful’s reverence for the Eucharist. The custom does not detract in any way from the personal dignity of those who approach this great sacrament: it is part of that preparation that is needed for the most fruitful reception of the Body of the Lord.[6]

  • Elaine,

    Thank you for your intervention, especially as it has affected me.

    The funny thing is, if we were to return across the board to kneelers and a communion rail at the altar and communion for everyone in such a way, I would be more than happy.

    As it is I actually regret the hodge podge of standing, kneeling, mouth and hand reception that occurs only because of the apparent discord it seems to express.

    And, yes, Donald, your examples prove that this apparent discord may be minor, in comparison to the good that the alternatives serve in individual cases.

    My bad.

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Religion, Culture, & Politics

Monday, March 16, AD 2009

R.R. Reno reflecting on Fr. Neuhaus:

I have many fond memories of him, but many important and influential ones, as well. During the fall of 2006, I was in his office, expressing my anxious agitation about the upcoming congressional elections. I worried over the loss of  a Republican majority, linking my political concerns to the future of the pro-life cause, the dangers of unfettered bioengineering, and so forth. He sat back in his chair, puffing on his cigar while I prattled on. Then, with a wave of his hand, he dismissed my anxieties with a simple observation:

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7 Responses to Religion, Culture, & Politics

  • One of the fatal flaws of the libs. They have the equation turned around. Ooopsie. Won’t make it easier for Tiller the Killer in court.

  • Put not your trust in congressional majorities…

  • When you give Republicans free passes on unjust war (even cheerleading the Iraq War), torture, exceptions with ESCR funding et al., you should not be surprised if they are apt to betray you in the most important matters of life and death.

    And Ii am not saying the Democrats are any better.

  • I would argue those things are betrayals (maybe not Iraq if you accept the Just war arguments for it), rather than signs of betrayals, but that was one of my first thoughts also. I liked the oft-overlooked point about religion shaping culture and then politics – makes me wonder why I bother spending time blogging about politics.

  • JH,

    I concur with your qualification completely.

    As a personal note, I was an avid First Things reader until I became loosely privvy (sic?) to the challenges set forth to that group from David Schindler and the Communio crowd in the mid to late 90s.

    As I sided with Schindler from a distance, I stopped following Neuhaus, Weigel and that bunch.

    I only checked in with there writings during the buildup to the Iraq invasion in 2003. Needless to say, I was tremendously disappointed then.

  • I was whole-heartedly in favor of the Iraq war and still am, so of course I do not view that as a betrayal. In regard to ESR I was against the initial decision by Bush to allow any use of the stem cells. However, afterwards he stood like a champion against it.

    In regard to water-boarding, I thought it crossed a line into physical torture that I do not personally approve of, although I can see how reasonable people would disagree with my conclusion. One should also note the firm stance that Neuhaus took against Obama in the last election:

  • Obama’s record on abortion is a disgrace; I can’t vote for pro-abortion rights politicians for President. I’ll miss Fr. Neuhaus’s critiques next time around even if I disagreed with some of his other stances.