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Sister Jane Tells It Like It Is

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel

In a testament to just how bad so much of what passes for Catholic education is today, note this reaction to Sister Jane Dominic Laurel preaching basic Catholic doctrine:

Charlotte Catholic High School has invited parents to a meeting Wednesday night to air concerns many of them – and their kids – had about a recent speaker’s comments about homosexuality, divorce and single parents.

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, a Dominican nun based in Nashville, Tenn., addressed a student assembly on March 21. Days later, some students launched an online petition that called her comments “offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.”

A record of the comments  was not available. But students attending told their parents she criticized gays and lesbians and made inflammatory remarks about single and divorced parents.

The petition, which has drawn more than 2,000 supporters, listed 10 objections to her remarks, including this: “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.”

Some students told their parents that a few teachers left the assembly in tears.

In addition, parents called for a letter-writing campaign, sending out emails that listed the addresses of the Diocese of Charlotte, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, even the pope in the Vatican.

Shelley Earnhardt, who is divorced and who sent one of the emails, wrote that “in my home, there was outrage, embarrassment, sadness, disbelief, and further reason for my 16-year-old to move as far away from her religion as possible and as soon as she can.”

Other parents faulted the school for not notifying them about the sensitive nature of Laurel’s planned remarks. “It’s too big of a topic for parents to be surprised,” said Casey Corser.

Diocese spokesman David Hains acknowledged parents were not told ahead of time that Laurel would speak. But he said she has spoken frequently in the diocese and has a doctoral degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

“We have seen the petitions, and we have gotten the emails,” Hains said. “And we really hope to be able to answer their questions and address their concerns” at the meeting, which he said will be closed to the media.

The Rev. Tim Reid, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, sent an email lauding the nun, saying “she represented well the Catholic positions on marriage, sex, same-sex attraction and proper gender roles … The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.”

Go here to read the rest.  (The comments illustrate the de facto schism that exists within the Church.)  Quite a few people who call themselves Catholic in this country really aren’t in any meaningful way.  They do not believe what the Church teaches and are morally often very far from the Church indeed.  Someone who is a bad Catholic, and understands that fact, and still loves what the Church teaches even if they do not live by it, is one thing.  People who claim to be Catholic but who despise Church teaching are another.  Those who cannot bear to hear Catholic truth taught really are wasting their time hanging around Catholic schools and churches.  They are a menace to believing Catholics who long for the pure, unvarnished Faith and are not given it due to too many priests lacking the intestinal fortitude of Sister Jane.  The complaining students and their parents should be told that if they are not actual Catholics they need to get out of the school and stop attempting to hinder real Catholics from hearing the Faith.  Bravo Sister Jane!

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

105 Comments

  1. Well, first of all, she clearly looks to me very threatening and dangerous. Just look at her. 🙂

    Second, this part of the school petition smells of other forces at work:
    “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.” I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.

    Now, thirdly: Let’s go macro:
    Going back to this summer, when the present pontiff announced his motto as the “Who-am-I-to-judge?-Pope on the flight back from Buenos Aires Youth Day in summer 2013, as well as since then, it has been obvious that we are on the road to schism, persecution, and profound conflict in the Church. A pope who uses unparalleled immoderate language at best, poisonously insulting at worst (“this priest is an unfruitful bachelor”; this religious sister is a “spinster” (Sept 30 America publication of prior interview); or, smearing traditional Catholics as “self-absorbed neo-pelagians”,; or, saying “But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people,”etc) –excuse my ‘dangerous’ impertinacity—is not the brightest pontiff in memory and is energizing enemies of the Church—for example, in this case, as they attack Sr Jane. Again, I cite PF’s failure to complete his Ph.D (only reported in German language news sources, such as Die Tauber Zeitung, by the way), and we can conclude as to why, just by reading his wandering, undisciplined thinking proces, for example, in Evan. Gaudium. I cite his weakness as leader, showing a clear insecurity in deferring to Kasper and Muller to define where the Church will go and what it will believe, and permitting confusion to brew like a hurricane.
    I have warned other Catholics, and they, in turn have—like a tuning fork on the same wavelength—warned me: it is time to take defensive measures, whether by withdrawing more and more from associations with parishes or dioceses, or by getting new employment in secular organizations, certainly by concealing one’s traditional Catholic beliefs, and/or also by retreating from associations with the general Novus Ordo world. In San Francisco area Catholic schools, it is now unacceptable to criticize the pan-sexual lifestyle (see: http://cal-catholic.com/wordpress/2014/03/26/gay-totalitarianism-at-schools-of-the-sacred-heart-san-francisco/
    A certain South Bay bishop has defended Dr. Lisa Fullam at Santa Clara University for her pan-sexual-ethic advocacy as “Pope Francis’ encouragement for open and free theological discussion…of our different perceptions of the one truth.” It is different if you dont have a family to protect, but if you do, you must measure the impact that one’s faith position will have on them. And act accordingly. Soon it will be too dangerous to post. This will have to be one of the last.

  2. I have met Father Tim Reid who lauded Sister Jane Dominic Laurel. I live in Charlotte. I have this to say to all those students and parents who do not like what she said: she is right and you are wrong. Homosexual behavior is sin and will send the perpetrator to hell. Adultery and fornication are sin and will send the perpetrator to hell. Do you want your children to go to hell? Sister Jane doesn’t and she therefore demonstrates greater love than you apparently do. If you don’t like that and want to continue in rebellion, then why don’t you go all the way and join the Episcopalian heretics. Think not for one moment St Paul or St John would tolerate your sickening and putrid liberal progressivism.

  3. The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.
    Good take-away quote, by Fr. Reid.

  4. I would be interested to know the sum of the good works performed by the students at Charlotte Catholic, and particularly the sum of the good works performed by the students and parents who signed the petition criticizing a woman who has devoted her entire life to learning and sharing the Catholic message.

    What a bunch of bullies! I hope they have A LOT of good works in the ledger.

    Also, their rugby team sucks. Xavier will beat the hell out of them.

  5. I just sent this email to St Ann’s:

    Dear Father Tim Reid,

    I saw this article about liberal progressives whining over Sister Jane Dominic Laurel telling the truth regarding sodomy, adultery and fornication.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/03/28/sister-jane-tells-it-like-it-is/

    I assure you of my support and my prayers. Keep preaching the truth and tell Sister Jane to pay no heed to the critics of what she rightly said. She is a Deborah, a Judith, an Esther, and I say bravo.

    Deus te et Sororem Ianam in omnibus vestris operibus benedicat. Vester amicus in caritate Christi.

    Paul Primavera

  6. “A record of the comments was not available…”
    One would think that a frequent speaker (and a Doctor of Divinity) intending to deliver a controversial address would have taken the precaution of recording it or of reading it from a prepared script.
    I find myself recalling more and more often Maurice Blondel’s remark, more than a century ago now, “With every day that passes, the conflict between tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms.”
    Responding to a national survey in 1907, Blondel articulated his sense of the “present crisis”: “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” [for the spirit of faith does not die], nor even an “evolution” [for the spirit of faith does not change], it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth”
    These remarks were written just before the Catholic world was riven apart by Lamentabili and Pascendi on the 3 July and 8 September of that year; divisions that were only partly healed by the Second Vatican Council, despite the great work during the fifty years that preceded it of theologians like the Dominicans, Chenu and Congar and the Jesuits, Lubac, Daniélou and Maréchal and lay philosophers like Blondel himself and Maritain.

  7. “One would think that a frequent speaker (and a Doctor of Divinity) intending to deliver a controversial address would have taken the precaution of recording it or of reading it from a prepared script.”

    Giving an orthodox talk on Catholic doctrine to high school kids is now controversial? How bizarre the world has become.

  8. Steve Phoenix: “Well, first of all, she clearly looks to me very threatening and dangerous. Just look at her. :)”
    .
    Sister Jane Dominic Laurel: a joy to share.
    .
    “We resent the fact that a schoolwide assembly became a stage to blast the issue of homosexuality after Pope Francis said in an interview this past fall that ‘we can not insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods.’ We are angry that someone decided they knew better than our Holy Father and invited (this) speaker.” I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.”
    .
    Hatred of God is the “other issues” Pope Francis addressed in his speech. Who can love his neighbor if he hates God? God, WHO is love.
    .
    The issue is not “homosexuality”. The issue is the free will act of sodomy, read “so dumb ye”, the practice, the violation of the created virgin, hatred of God. Desecrating the human being in existence by separating his body from his immortal soul is a disgrace, a sin and human sacrifice, more hatred of God. Contraception is separating God from His married love for mankind and is hatred of God.
    .
    This group of malcontents has nothing but hatred of God venom to spew. What are they doing in a Catholic school besides trying to subvert the TRUTH? Get them the hell out.
    .
    Thank you. Paul W. Primavera, Your letter is clear and effective. Glad that you sent it.

  9. Donald R McClary wrote,”Giving an orthodox talk on Catholic doctrine to high school kids is now controversial? How bizarre the world has become.”

    I find it hard to believe that the response was entirely unexpected, for the reasons I went on to develop.

    Given the situation in which we find ourselves, what is the best way to address it? At the time of the Modernist crisis, Abbé Henri Brémond used to recommend only two books to the many would-be converts who came to him seeking instruction – the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis and Introduction à la vie devote of St François de Sales. He often quoted Pascal’s “Voilà ce que c’est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur » [This, then, is perfect faith: God felt in the heart.] The convert, said Brémond, does not need book-learning, but the contact and certainty that comes through prayer.

  10. “Given the situation in which we find ourselves, what is the best way to address it?”

    By preaching the Truth continually and incessantly whether people wish to hear it or not. Combined with good works that has been a winning formula for the Church for a very, very long time. What has obviously proven a flat-busted failure is cowardice and the fear to preach the Truth for fear of offending some precious snowflake. That has basically been the policy of huge segments of the Church since 1965, at least in most of the West, with disastrous consequences.

  11. I think it is in Oregon where a male vice-principal at a ‘catholic’ high school ‘married’ a man and was dismissed from his position for doing so and the young people were outraged. Catholic schools for decades have not been a place –in a general sense–for our youth to learn or remain Catholics. Thanks be to God, I had to remove my son from the ‘catholic’ school due to an abusive situation. My children, now in their 20s, are practicing Catholics but we know of only perhaps one other person from the class that is. They have been sold the secular mindset. The off the cuff remarks from this Holy Father only convince them of the correctness of their immoral thinking.

  12. This article reminded me of the following quote.
    In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:

    “America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”

    “Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.

    Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

    Bravo to Sister Jane and all those who teach the Faith without reservation. Souls are at stake.

  13. Well, it looks like our education system under the guidance of the NEA has accomplished one of it’s goals; to turn the children of this country into good little Brown Shirts. You think this is bad wait until they ram through Common Core.

  14. Steve Phoenix wrote: “I don’t think high school students alone crafted this petition. Some organization is involved.” It would not be surprising if this were true. Not one bit.

    I do have to disagree with Steve’s “macro view” prescription. Yes, there may be times when doctrinal forthrightness may be counterproductive. I think we all to some degree pick and choose our battles now. However, a complete disengagement of orthodox Christianity from the mainstream culture is certainly wrong. Be careful of despair.

  15. Thank God for Sister Jane. I assume the assembly was planned and all, students and parents knew ahead of time what the topic was. However, that being said, a Catholic High School teaching Catholic doctrine is well within its identity and mission-did students and parents sign up for simply a better education? [this is a rhetorical and tongue in cheek question. The answer is obvious]

    I remember seeing a web site for a local Parochial school in which a parent complained that the education was great but there was just too much emphasis on Jesus. More of it.

    To your point Donald it is true there are many many Catholics who [and I am sure this would be a surprise to them] are not only not in full communion with the Catholic Church [teaching, sacraments and governance] but in all but factual schism. The sad thing however it is not just a phenomenon of so called ‘progressive Catholics’. Very very sad indeed

  16. How perverse it is that a straight-forward presentation of Moral Truths by a straight-forward Catholic nun discharging her forsworn promise to spread the Good News evokes such bad responses from the “people of God”! This is a clear sign that indeed the devil has settled himself quite well with this people: even the Pope himself can be his spokesman (according to the protesting ones); and it is but a sign that guilty consciences are bursting at the seam to protest too much. God bless Sr. Jane and her work. St. Michael defend her in the day of battle. Amen.

  17. I also sent an email to Fr. Reid expressing my support and prayers. I think everyone should do this. He needs it.

  18. A few years ago, I was asked to conduct 35 two-hour presentations on basic Catholic theology at a California parish. At the end of the second session, the last question of the evening was about Church teaching on contraception. I believed the class of 115 were not ready to hear the answer and had hoped the question would not come up until I had time to build a proper foundation. The class agreed to extend the program 30 minutes to hear what I had to say on the subject. When I completed my explanation, I said to myself, “Half these people will not come back.” The following session had 65 attendees. I was disheartened. At the end of that evening’s class a woman came to me and said that she had been scheduled for a tubal ligation three days after the previous class. She and her husband had five sons and thought they had given God opportunity enough to provide them with a little girl. She told me that they had discussed the issue till 2 A.M. She happily told me that she had cancelled the appointment and would be open to life. Another woman explained that her husband had cancelled a scheduled vasectomy. A year later the husband proudly showed off his newborn son.
    While at the time, I reluctantly explained Church teaching, I subsequently realized the Holy Spirit had been in charge all along.
    We should always be ready to share the Faith, however, it should be done with compassion and tact.

  19. Victor-
    Selfishness on the part of the dissidents.

    Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrapped up one of his “Life is Worth Living” sermons with this; ” Sometimes a cloud can hide a star. And sometimes our selfishness can hide God. Despite the clouds and despite our selfishness, the star still shines and God still loves.”

    That beautiful Sister is shining brightly. A living testimony that Truth can never be snuffed out. It will light this darkened world as long as the Holy Spirit still finds Chambers within men to dwell.

    men / women 🙂

  20. Can anyone say Vatican II? Sister Jane is absolutely right. She has courage and grace.
    Can any of those people say where she was wrong on Catholic teaching? It has only
    been since Vatican II that the teaches of the church has deteriorated. As St Thomas More said, if you gain the world and loose your soul, what have you gained? God Bless Sister Jane!

  21. In today’s world, an unborn baby is not safe in his mothers womb it should not surprise us that Lay and Religous Catholics are not safe in Catholic Churches, Catholic Schools etc. Very Sad that some can be so far off the mark.

  22. Let me further clarify, by safe i mean more along the lines of not being verbally attacked for what we believe and feeling like strangers in our Holy Mother Church’s womb.

  23. This article points yet again to how much work we have to Evangelize our own who think they are Catholics. Two or more decades of “it’s all about me and what I want” Catholics actually do not know what our Church teaches. How very sad and especially if they are raising children.

    I bet the parents wouldn’t have reacted if one of the LCWR who identifies as a catholic sister spoke. Of course, she wouldn’t be promoting Church teachings.

  24. Justme wrote, “It has only been since Vatican II that the teaches [sic] of the church has deteriorated.”
    That is not my own experience. The teaching at my Catholic boarding school in the ‘50s and early ‘60s exactly mirrored the Anglican schools described by Mgr Ronald Knox – “I think, then, it should be said at the outset that public schools are trying to teach the sons of gentlemen a religion in which their mothers believe, and their fathers would like to: a religion without ” enthusiasm ” in the old sense, reserved in its self-expression, calculated to reinforce morality, chivalry, and the sense of truth, providing comfort in times of distress and a glow of contentment in declining years; supernatural in its nominal doctrines, yet on the whole rationalistic in its mode of approaching God: tolerant of other people’s tenets, yet sincere about its own, regular in church-going, generous to charities, ready to put up with the defects of the local clergyman. This religion the schoolmaster is under contract to teach; it is left to him, if he be a sincere Christian, to attempt the grafting onto this stock of supernatural graces which it does not naturally develop: self-sacrifice, lively devotion, worthy reception of the Communion, and so on . That is the proposition.”

    When, at about the age of 14, I encountered Olier’s Journée chrétienne, “It is necessary for the soul to be in fear and distrust of self; … It should make its pleasure and joy depend on sacrificing to Jesus all joy and pleasure which it may have apart from Him. And when taking part in those things in which by Providence it is obliged to be occupied, such as eating, drinking, and conversation with creatures, it must be sparing in all, must discard what is superfluous, and must renounce, in the use of them, the joy and pleasure to be found therein, uniting and giving itself to Jesus as often as it feels itself tempted to enjoy something apart from Him and not Himself,” it seemed to me almost a different religion.

  25. The situation is much like that of the height of the Arian heresy, which much of the Church followed in the Fourth Century. It got to such a point, with even the Emperor supporting the position, that St. Athanaisus was considered the Empire’s most wanted criminal for clearly teaching the Catholic Faith.

    Now, it seems, the only thing our “tolerant” society will not tolerate is the truth plainly discussed and forthrightly defended. Would that we had more like Sister Jane and St. Athanasisus.

  26. Well, it looks like our education system under the guidance of the NEA has accomplished one of it’s goals; to turn the children of this country into good little Brown Shirts. You think this is bad wait until they ram through Common Core.

    I will offer you an alternative hypothesis. One states a proposition with implications which in turn influence or govern one’s behavior. You have strata of human behavior, with some dispositions and actions deemed better than others. You also have prevalent attitudes and conventions and social intercourse in light of those. When the proposition conflicts with what is fashionable or conventional or in conflict with commodious living, crisis ensues in the mind of the person contemplating these alternative, and the expression of that crisis is emotion: a poorly reasoned indignation.

    It does not have much to do with the NEA. I could have at one time introduced you to a Seven Sisters graduate who was educated in fine urban public schools in the 1940s ‘ere the NEA ever functioned as a union and ‘ere there was serious conflict over school curricula. Her mind worked just this way.

  27. Perhaps it is because I have reached the winter of my life that I have been preoccupied with my desire for eternal life. Not a day goes by when I do not review my conduct in light of the Gospel, and do my utmost to remain in a state of grace. In doing so, have an assurance of salvation.
    It seems to me that those who dissent from Catholic moral teaching must live in a continual state of flux; cognitive dissidence, if you prefer.
    One the one hand, they know, down deep, that the teaching of Jesus as promulgated by the Catholic Church is certainly correct. On the other hand, their moral compass has been shaped by the satanic view of the world and believe they can always confess – tomorrow.
    I am certain most of you will agree that our society is preoccupied with sex and self pleasure. Sexual intercourse is meant to be a sacred act, simply because God is involved. When God infuses the soul, a new human being comes into existence. When artificial contraception takes place, the act becomes profane, selfish, and no different than what takes place in a barnyard.
    I have read estimates that as many as 95% of fertile Catholics contracept in one way or another. In doing so, they place their salvation in serious jeopardy.
    We were created to live a holy life, rather than being slaves to sin. Being in submission to the moral teachings of the Church provides the “peace that passes all understanding.”

  28. I have read estimates that as many as 95% of fertile Catholics contracept in one way or another. In doing so, they place their salvation in serious jeopardy.

    I remember reading the source for that at one point– they include all forms of the rhythm method (and thus NFP) in the estimate, plus I think things like hysterectomies that can be from actual medical care, not for sterilization. (Sadly, some religious even misrepresent vasectomies.) They also had to include baptized-never-practiced Catholics and nominal Catholics.

    It’s an attempt to manufacture an overwhelming force. Don’t stop fighting it, but recognize that it is NOT what they try to promote.

  29. This is such a depressing report: a RC high school that doesn’t know or believe their own values. Sigh.

    I felt sick after trying to read the comments in response to the original article in the Charlotte paper. Comments from atheists and anti-RCs were not surprising and, thus, “easy” to stomach. What nauseated me were the comments from RCs, especially parents and former teachers. They made Judas appear saintly.

    I found a tonic to this situation in a post by Msgr Charles Pope: http://blog.adw.org/2014/03/many-who-seek-to-reform-the-church-fundamentally-misuderstand-her-mission-and-purpose-a-response-to-a-recent-church-critic/

    The local bishop would be wise to close this school and start over with new staff, administration. Or if that is not within his power, he should officially and disassociate the diocese from the school. This school apparently has experienced a major failure. In such a catastrophe, it is often considered prudent to pause and take stock to discover the cause of the failure and take appropriate action in order to prevent further occurrences or repeat disasters.

    Some may consider such action to be overly severe. However, we need strong, courageous RC leaders who are willing to BOLDLY speak out for the faith. Continued weak response by bishops and priests and nuns will only reinforce the misguided.

    Some may take refuge in that a dialogue session is scheduled for parents. While this is certainly an opportunity to reinforce RC teaching, it likely will be met with a similar response to Sr. Jane’s presentation.

  30. Foxfier,

    While I am sure you did not intend to do so you included all forms of rhythm and NFP in the numbers of contraceptive Catholics. The rhythm method was approved by Pope Pius XI in
    1931 in Casti Connubii, and while NFP had not been completely discovered in 1968, Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae, in continuity with Pope Pius XI showed that ‘natural’ forms of the regulation of birth were not contrary to natural law.

    I would not argue that a selfish intent can indeed motivate those who use natural methods but no one should impugn those who with good intention seek to preserve the unitive and creative element of conjugal charity in the spacing of children.

  31. Keep up the great work Sister Jane! Fight the Good Fight!

    Does anyone know how I can contact this beautiful nun so I can tell her how appreciative I am of her fearless efforts?

    Food for thought:

    “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” – C.S.Lewis

  32. Humanae Vitae and Artificial Contraception

    There has always been a long-standing general Christian prohibition on artificial contraception and abortion, with such Church Fathers as Clement of Alexandria and Saint Augustine condemning the practices. It was not until the 1930 Lambeth Conference that the Anglican Communion changed its long-standing position by allowing for contraception in limited circumstances. All other mainline Protestant denominations have since removed prohibitions against artificial contraception.
    In a partial reaction, Pope Pius XI wrote the encyclical Casti connubii (On Christian Marriage) in 1930, reaffirming the Catholic Church’s belief in various traditional Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality, including the prohibition of artificial birth control even within marriage.
    Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical, Humanae Vitae concerning the transmission of human life, in which the longstanding teaching of the Church which proscribes the use of artificial contraception was reaffirmed. Promulgated on July 25, 1968, Humanae Vitae re-affirmed the traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding abortion, contraception, and other issues pertaining to human life.
    This encyclical is the probably the most talked about of any papal pronouncement. Paradoxically, few Catholics have actually read it, and although the encyclical is not lengthy, nor difficult to read or understand, even fewer have studied it. Yet from the day it appeared it provoked reactions and debate of historic proportions. The work is divided into three chapters. Chapter I, New Aspects of the Question and the Competence of the Magisterium; Chapter II – Doctrinal Questions; and Chapter III, Pastoral Directives.
    In summary: The encyclical opens with an assertion of the competency of the Magisterium of the Church to decide questions of morality. It then goes on to observe that circumstances often dictate that married couples should limit the number of children, and that the sexual act between husband and wife is still worthy even if it can be foreseen not to result in procreation. Nevertheless, it is held that the sexual act must “retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life”, and the “direct interruption of the generative process already begun” is unlawful.
    Abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, is absolutely forbidden, as is sterilization, even if temporary. Similarly, every action specifically intended to prevent procreation is forbidden. This includes both chemical and barrier methods of contraception. All these are held to directly contradict the “moral order which was established by God”.
    Therapeutic means which induce infertility are allowed (e.g., hysterectomy), if they are not specifically intended to cause infertility (e.g., the uterus is cancerous, so the preservation of life is intended). Natural family planning methods (abstaining from intercourse during certain parts of the woman’s cycle) are allowed, since they take advantage of “a faculty provided by nature.”
    The acceptance of artificial methods of birth control is then claimed to result in several negative consequences, among them a “general lowering of moral standards” resulting from sex without consequences, and the danger that men may reduce women “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of [their] own desires”.
    The encyclical acknowledges that “perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching”, but points out that the Roman Catholic Church cannot “declare lawful what is in fact unlawful”.
    “The teaching of the Church on the regulation of birth, which promulgates the divine law, will easily appear to many to be difficult or even impossible of actuation. And indeed, like all great beneficent realities, it demands serious engagement and much effort, individual, family and social effort. More than that, it would not be practicable without the help of God, who upholds and strengthens the good will of men. Yet, to anyone who reflects well, it cannot but be clear that such efforts ennoble man and are beneficial to the human community” (HV 20).
    The encyclical closes with an appeal to public authorities to oppose laws which undermine the natural moral law, an appeal to scientists to further study effective methods of natural birth control and appeals to doctors, nurses and priests to promote the method.
    Mainly because of its prohibition of all forms of artificial contraception, the encyclical has been controversial.

  33. Botolph-
    if you read again, you’ll notice I was pointing out that the folks trying to pull an “everybody does it” argument had to include “not having sex” in with “break your reproductive system and/or mutual masturbation* to avoid pregnancy” methods.
    I very much dislike such equivocation, even if technically “contraception” might be hammered so that avoiding sex when you know you are likely to become pregnant would be included.
    .
    * various barrier methods. Makes sense if you think of the mechanics involved.

  34. Incidentally, NFP is not just a way to avoid pregnancy– it’s also good for getting pregnant, and in theory you could use it to slightly increase the chance of having a boy or a girl. I was able to help a friend conceive her first child with some of the more basic things.

    Really wish that they’d covered some of the stuff in “health class”– understanding one’s own body is rather important.

  35. Foxfier,

    My apologies. Need to adjust my glasses better. Thanks for receiving my comment in the spirit I meant t. I was afraid people reading would think rhythm and NFP were forms of contraception which, of course, they are not. Thanks again.

  36. While the rhythm method and NFP may not technically be contraception, they are typically presented as “Catholic Birth Control.” Thus, promotion of NFP methods lead too many to assume that since NFP is okay then it is ok to use artificial BC because it is being used for the same end as (typically) NFP. After decades of promoting NFP to engaged couples, it is no wonder why so many dismiss RC morals and values as mere technicalities that are trumped by personal choice. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, many parishes have inadvertently “caused their brother to stumble” [Rom 14:21] by pushing Catholic Birth Control.

  37. Botolph-
    Blame it on getting so mad your eyes cross; heaven knows it has that effect on me at times.
    On the upside, if they thought they were right, they wouldn’t cheat!

    I’d kind of like to see these parishes that push it… up until recently, I never even heard opposition to abortion at Mass.

  38. Rather fittingly, this was in my email just now:
    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/do-atheists-have-a-lower-divorce-rate-than-christians-2/

    Study controlled for other factors like age when first married, etc, and found that while “Christians” aren’t protected from divorce, active Christians are. (They used weekly attendance.)

    That makes sense, since the majority of the American population is Christian, so unless you’ve got a group of marry-and-divorce-daily non-Christians, the average is going to track.
    Unfortunately, we also have a large population of “Uh… Christian” whose faith isn’t fed and cared for, it’s more of a cultural background.

  39. (Note: the “Uh… Christian” is not a “I’m dumb” type “uh,” it’s an “I’m thinking about it, give me a moment…guess I’d say I’m Christian” type answer. This is the internet, figured I’d mention that.)

  40. red,
    NFP is not unqualifiedly good and can be used wrongly. The reason for this is subtle and needs to be stated carefully, because there is a popular, although erroneous, belief among some Catholic couples that NFP is “second best,” and that if a couple is seriously Catholic, they will not self-consciously plan the children they conceive, but simply “let God send them.” I do not mean to offend anyone’s practices, but this “come what may” attitude is found nowhere in Catholic teaching on procreation in the last 150 years. There is no decision more serious to a Catholic couple than whether or not to participate with God in bringing a new human person into existence. The more serious a decision, the more it is due prayer, discussion and discernment. God has a plan for every married couple; that the plan includes how many children they should have; and therefore if a couple is concerned about doing Jesus’ will, they should try to discover whether Jesus wishes them to have more children. They should have all the children that Jesus wants them to have, no less, and no more. Therefore, whenever they are conscious that they might become pregnant, they should discuss and pray over the question: “Does Jesus want us to have another child?” The idea that this question is intrinsically tainted with selfish motives is rigoristic and should be rejected. Every potentially fertile couple, as well as infertile couples capable of adopting, has the responsibility to ask it.

  41. Victor R. Claveau, MJ: “and no different than what takes place in a barnyard.”
    .
    Sorry, barnyard animals, all animals are innocent and plot not to avoid the offspring. It is in plotting to avoid the offspring that the sin of selfishness occurs. Natural Family Planning, if accomplished with the intent to accept joyfully any children who beget, is not only within God’s design but with God’s blessing. Children are an expression of God’s glory. The sex act, devoid of charity, is a sin and a lie against the vows taken at Matrimony, the vow “til death do us part.”
    .
    Every heresy is a half-truth. the untrue half accepted as truth, is a lie, a lie that is used against the truth. Every human soul has come into the world because of procreation and through procreation.

  42. I just finished an argument over contraception with a liberal Catholic and a Protestant Pentecostal. Nothing I pointed out from Sacred Scripture or Papal Encyclicals or the early Church Fathers (e.g., Lactantius) made any difference. These women are convinced that contraception is the responsible thing to do. Except for God’s grace, we have lost these people. They will sterilize themselves out of existence and I told them so.

  43. @Victor Clavieau:

    It is very easy for a couple to decide that their want is God’s want. Easy proof of this is when they decide that God wants them to have another child, but none is forthcoming. Of course if they decide God doesn’t want them to have a child, and none comes because they avoid the fertile period, it is exceedingly easy to use that as an affirmation of God’s will. The deck is stacked in this case against having more children.

    Now suppose that a couple decides that they will simply accept the children who come? Not that everyone should do that, but there are some couples who make this decision. Under the contraceptive mentality masquerading as “Catholic” teaching, this couple should be chastised for their charity. It’s a strange Catholicism that would condemn this. I say this as a man who didn’t think he should have more children at particular times in my life but instead found wonderful blessings who changed my life. God will make God’s decisions and man will make man’s decisions. Don’t confuse one for the other. To do so is to baptize the hardness of heart that won’t accept children as somehow Catholic and call it charity.

  44. The bottom line is that all sexual intercourse should take place in a marital relationship and be open to life. If, for a serious reason, a couple should decide that another child would be a overwhelming burden at a particular time, they should abstain from the marital act during the fertile period. That’s where NFP comes into play. NFP is not meant to be a means to circumvent God’s will and prevent conception. It is a means to responsibly regulate the size of a family.

  45. Absolutely correct. But what is problematic is when its use becomes a mandate. That’s my real concern. When people argue that people are breeding irresponsibly they usually have no idea what they are talking about.

  46. Victor R Claveau MJ’s remark about the barnyard is singularly misplaced.
    As a peasant, I can assure him that most female mammals, (except humans) are sexually receptive only during œstrus, when ovulation occurs and conception can take place.

  47. This morning during my Bible reading, the Holy Spirit (apparently) showed me that the opinion I expressed yesterday (above) regarding my recommendations for the bishop and the high school were rather over the top. Likely, several of you observed my weakness but were too kind to mention it at the time – in the spirit of Rom 14:1 “Welcome those who are weak in faith but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” [NRSV]

    It appears that the bishop/dioceses is trying to practice Rom 14:1 via the parental meeting scheduled for Wednesday. Hopefully, grace and truth [Jn1:14c] will prevail. Undoubtedly, it will in some cases-Acts 13-14 demonstrates that.

    Rom 14:19 seems like good advice for all parties: ” Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” [KJV] Oh, may it be so.

  48. Sex in the barnyard is done instinctively. Sexual intercourse between humans has been designed by God to be unifying. When God is removed from the equation, by artificial contraception, the unifying aspect is absent. Deliberate sterilization destroys it altogether. I have spoken to a good number of men who after sterilization, stated, in almost the same words, “Now when I make love to my wife, I can’t get close enough to her. Something is missing.” There is always a consequence to defying God’s will.

  49. This reminds of a quote from an ad/trailer for the “Blue Ray” DVD of the latest “Hobbit” movie. A female elf asks, “When did we allow evil to become stronger than good?” Or, it was something to that effect.

  50. Victor R Claveau MJ wrote, “Sexual intercourse between humans has been designed by God to be unifying” Indeed. Its purpose is, to unite the gametes of two individuals, thereby ensuring genetic diversity within the species: a purpose not confined to humans, but common to all forms of sexual reproduction.

  51. Michael,
    I suppose I should have said “spiritually unifying”, however I was under the impression that my response would have been understood. Marital relations are God’s way of unifying a couple in the most intimate way. Two become one. Why is it that a marriage is not considered to be legal or canonically binding until it is consummated?
    Sexual intercourse outside of marriage and contraception within marriage is a mortal sin. When a couple contracepts, those involved separate themselves from God and the sanctifying grace that comes with the worthy reception of the sacraments. Married life can be difficult at times and we need all the help from God that we can get. I have spoken to a number of divorcees that said that the beginning of the downward slope of their marriage was when they began contracepting.
    Cutting ourselves off from the sacraments is not the way to strengthen a relationship. Finally, and most importantly, immortal souls are in jeopardy.

  52. If we reduce human gender, sexuality and marital issues to the merely ‘biological’, ‘what we have in common with the animals, especially mammals, we are really going off track-is this not what the secularist world does, reducing everything to the biological and ‘mechanics’ of the thing?

    Paul VI in Humanae Vitae gave as the first attribute of ‘conjugal charity’ as that it was ‘human’. In my younger and far less experienced years, I poo pooed this as being an unnecessary statement. “Of course it is ‘human'”, I thought. [I accepted the teaching of HV from the time it was issued] And then I watched the category five hurricane called the sexual revolution hit America and the rest of the West.

    We are human and not animals, even primates. We are who we are because we are created in the ‘image of God’, we have ‘dominion over all the animals’, we are not just one more species of animal [although we certainly share many things in common with them; but then again we do with the angels as well] . Ethics (the good) is proceeds from the truth of being.
    We will never get our morality right if we do not get our ‘(Christian) anthropology’ right.

    To be human means to be destined, called to communion with God. No other material creature has that dignity. This means that we are embodied spirits, or incarnate souls. Everything that we do, including ‘sex’ is on a totally different plane, and level of existence.
    Even the secularist world recognizes this instinctively when they/we use the term ‘making love’. Animals have instinctual sex; human beings ‘make love’: choose to love. No matter how passionate and reckless a human being is in ‘making love’, they are still using their free will and are certainly not acting on pure instinct and hormones alone. That’s why it has a moral dimension.

    Conjugal Charity involves [requires’] 1) the appeal of body and instinct 2) the power of feeling and affectivity 3) the aspirations of the human spirit and will. All of these aim toward a union beyond flesh, to a union of heart and soul as well. This mutual self-giving demands 1) indissolubility 2) faithfulness and 3) openness to children see Catechism of the Catholic Church 1643

  53. It’s clear that sending your child to a regular diocese Catholic Schools does not guarantee they will leave with the correct understanding of Catholic teaching or proper formation. Although, some schools are better than others to varying degrees.

    I’m not sure why anyone would be surprised by this?

    Catholic schools today admit students from families that do not even practice their Faith, and are not questioned why they don’t do the basics like attending Sunday Mass. They also admit students of non-Catholic faiths if their quotas of baptized Catholics are not met.

    So it’s pretty obvious to assume that Catholics schools have students from divorced families, even families with same-sex family members.

    Knowing the obvious, why would you then plonk a good orthodox Catholic nun at these non-orthodox schools to give a talk about the evils of homosexuality and single parent and divorced families and be shocked when there is public outcry? She was inadvertently criticizing the children from these families- of course they will defend their families, whether right or wrong. Sinful or not. Most people would.

    Unfortunately, If you want your children to have good Catholic formation, you have to swim against the tide, and teach them yourself. Don’t expect today’s Catholic diocese schools to do the job. Its out of touch with reality to be shocked that the culture at the Catholic school isn’t fully Catholic.

  54. EZ

    I agree with two of your points. Education really takes place at home and cannot be passed off to the ‘professionals’ no matter how good or (as in this case) how orthodox they are. I also agree that Catholic Schools are ‘catholic’. They see as their mission to educate in and with the Catholic vision of the marriage of faith and reason. The problem comes when those enrolling their children want no part of ‘the faith’. Catholic schools while pretty much being better than public schools must keep their identity and mission clear for themselves and all who come to them. These are Catholic Schools. They are going to teach Catholic teaching in faith and morality

    I remember a big rowe in my parish when a CCD parent got all hot and bothered that their child was being taught the necessity of Sunday by Mass by the catechist. While of course they didn’t get anywhere with their complaint they did cause a big ‘noise’ about it. I often wonder if people like this ever really think.

  55. Botolph I hear you.

    We are in an age where it’s forbidden to teach young children about the devil in Religious education classes because it may frighten them. Or like you said, tell them that Sunday Mass is obligatory to our Faith as a weekly minimum, because it will cause them to question their parents lack of attendance.

    Our Cardinal George Pell, soon to leave to take up a major post at the Vatican, was asked once by a Catholic parent which is the best Catholic schools he would recommend to send his children to in Sydney. He didn’t even bother naming a Catholic diocese school, of which he presides over (note that the Cardinal was having a hard time putting through reforms to tidy up the Catholic system).

    Instead, He gave the names of two Independent schools run by Opus Dei (not under the Catholic Archdiocese). I went to the girls school growing up, and although not all perfect (no school is), there is one thing you are guaranteed to have once you leave- good Catholic Formation.

    I think the weak Catholic diocese schools of today have a weak Priest. I also think it all stems from the liberal streak that infiltrated the Formation of Priests decades ago. Many would get cranky if you took Holy Communion on your tongue. They insisted you take it in your hand, by instilling the fear of the evil eye and the deliberate slamming it on the tongue (of which used to happen when my mother would go up to receive Communion on her tongue- I used to tow the line of receiving it in my hand until I switched schools at the age of 8).

    I was told, with great confidence that the new generation of Priests coming through are being scrutinized more closely, to ensure that they are formed in a more orthodox manner. So I’m hopeful for the new generation of Priests and Parishioners.

  56. Whilst I do not disagree with Victor R. Claveau, MJ and Botolph about the human dimension of marriage, I would argue that we do need to lay greater stress than we commonly do on the vertical dimension, which is related to our social nature.
    As the Roman jurist, Paulus wrote “pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1] Marriage ensures that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. It ensures, in St Augustine’s words, that “the child is accepted in love, is nurtured in affection, is brought up in religion.”

  57. EZ

    I see now you are an Aussie 😉 While things are far from golden here in the States, I get a sense that things are far more liberal in the Church and related institutions such as schools-in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and now I see “down under”. A real Catholic vision is neither liberal nor conservative because it is never ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’. In the meantime we all can pray and work in the new evangelization toward that ‘golden mean’

  58. And Botolph, I totally agree that these dim parents, who kick up a stink that their children are taught Catholic teaching at a Catholic school, do not think. AT. ALL.

  59. “A real Catholic vision is neither liberal nor conservative because it is never ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’. In the meantime we all can pray and work in the new evangelization toward that ‘golden mean’”

    Amen.

  60. What a disaster it is that we are in a position where we can no longer trust Catholic schools to teach our children the Faith. Perhaps it would be more honest for a diocese and/or parish to give up the ghost if so many of the students are non-catholics and RC Faith is not being emphasized.

    The reasons for the failure of RC education are likely legion. Several reasons spring to mind: lack of qualified teachers and cost of tuition. By qualified teachers, I mean spiritually qualified (as well as competent in their specific field). Post-V2 there has been a mass exodus of nuns (and priests) from the teaching ministry. In their place are secular teachers of all types, who require more financial resources for compensation. A Catholic education is a stretch for many middle class families. So it is heartbreaking to realize that these parents who trusted the RC church to teach their children the Faith have double crossed them. (I know-someone is going to chime in that education begins at home. It does. Hence, home schooling for some; but many do not have this option – and the Common Core curriculum that is being foisted on us will make it even more difficult to home school).

    This failure has been going on for some time: decades. 15 years ago we looked at sending our son to the local RC school but chose not to after attending an open house where almost nothing was said about spiritual/religious formation and class prayer was at the OPTION of the teacher. My wife’s aunt is a RC nun who taught elementary school for years. She recently retired and there is no longer any clergy teaching at her “RC” school. It’s no wonder so many are choosing to home school rather than pay exorbitant tuition for a pseudo RC education.

    Finally, it is imperative (for the salvation of many souls) that parishioners speak boldly for immediate action by our shepherds to get the ship back on course. And not sometime in the future. A complacent clergy is a key reason for many families to try to take the initiative. This adds to the chaos as it appears that everyone is left to their own tent. Of course, the Prophets warned of this and it is still valid.

  61. The Church in the western world has to decide on a fundamental question. Do you present the entire teaching on human sexuality or not? What would happen if parish priests were required to announce at EVERY mass that those who were contracepting were in an objective state of mortal sin and should not come forward to receive communion? Since 90 percent of Catholics of child bearing age contracept, my guess is you would have an awful lot of Church closings. Because of the evil American constitution, people have a veritable cornucopia of religions to choose from. My guess is that the vast majority would take advantage of that “freedom” and the Church would become very small indeed.

  62. Tom M

    You present a very important as well as interesting point. The Church does indeed need to present her entire teaching on human sexuality, however while it includes such ‘prohibitions’ as contraception, it cannot be reduced to it by a long shot. If I could use this phrase to summarize all the moral teachings in the area of human sexuality-we need to keep and teach all the “don’ts” but the People of God still need more than this. They need to come to believe and understand the underlying ‘vision of man’ that leads to and gives us these ‘don’ts’ and then learn to grow in the “do’s” [commonly called chaste love]

    We have been called into communion with the Triune God. Coming to know all the “don’ts” is only half the battle [avoid sin]. The rest is growth in virtue and coming to love, a love that has been perfected through the Paschal Mystery and affective conversion.

  63. Should the Catholic Church ever decide consciously teach on the unpopular issues of Homosexuality, Abortion, and Birth Control, it would find itself no longer the Catholic Church. The church is obligated to teach the deposit of faith in full.

    It should also be noted that judging and rebuking are not the same. This is a most misunderstood teaching. These young people and parents crying out about “bigotry” are not open to the scripture and teaching in general. If they were rebuked as Our Lord proposed in Luke 17:3 would lead these ignorant people to repentance and forgiveness. Instead, they walk around blind and deaf, probably have never broken open a Bible or a Catechism to ponder what the word means, and thus persist in sin; reveling with as many other as they can who also persist in sin.

    Much prayer and fasting will be needed.

  64. I sent a supporting email to Fr. Reid – his response was:

    Thank you for your support, Mary. Please pray for the chaplain of the high school, Fr. Matthew Kauth, as he is the one bearing the brunt of this situation.
    -ftr

  65. Praying for Fr. Matthew Kauth. May he stay strong in the face of this evil attack and not apologize or back down. It’s terribly sad that these young people are so unaware of Catholic teaching that they don’t recognize truth.

  66. Diocese spokesman David Hains acknowledged after the meeting that the Rev. Matthew Kauth, the school’s chaplain, apologized to the parents for a March 21 speech by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel that was not the one he expected her to give.

    Ach. Capons everywhere.

  67. Yeah, my reaction too — but in fairness (i) Father Kauth probably did have a pretty imperfect understanding of Sister Jane’s expected presentation and (ii) some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky (and he probably would never have approved of them). That said, the tragic fact is that the vitriolic response was in no way limited to the handful of kooky statements; instead they reveal a rather wholesale rejection of Church teaching on matters of marriage and sex.

  68. “…some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky…”

    I don’t have the text of the talk and only know what I’ve read online. What is kooky?

  69. I only know what I’ve read online too (which means it is unreliable though could be a fair indicator of what students thought they heard, as opposed to what was said). That said, two examples are her assertions that (i) gays and lesbians are not born with same-sex attractions and (ii) children in single-parent homes have a greater chance of becoming homosexual. While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition. In any case the Church has no position on the cause of such predilections, but simply says that acting on them is sinful. The second assertion can only be charitably regarded as oddly eccentric. She also allegedly suggested that homosexuality was the product of parental shortcomings, another somewhat idiosyncratic belief that has nothing to do with Church teaching.

    One can reasonably argue that these beliefs, even if not widely shared by experts, are not in and of themselves kooky. But what is undeniably kooky is conflating them with Catholic teaching.

    All that said, the angry responses from students and parents are not remotely limited to the kooky. They plainly take exception to basic Church teaching, and quite arrogantly so.

  70. One aspect of this ‘controversy’ remains unclear to me. How well was this ‘assembly’ communicated to students and parents [parents (even parents who want only an alternative education to public education and have no desire for Catholic teaching) have a right to discern what they want their children to hear, especially in terms of sexuality. Parents after all are the prime educators and know their children best (or at least should). If this suddenly was ‘thrurst’ on the students and then along with genuine Catholic teaching some more ideosyncratic things were presented, such as Mike Petrik relayed above, then what you have is a perfect storm: several potential issues all coming together at a particular time, which probably would not have happened if the even had been well communicated, the role of Catholic teaching in Catholic education was well understood by all, and the speaker stuck only to actual Catholic teaching and not ideosyncratic ideas and theories.

  71. “While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition.”

    Actually the evidence for genetic dispostion is very scant. The thought is it must be given rates for identical twins, but this does not rule-out an environmental cause.

    “children in single-parent homes have a greater chance of becoming homosexual.”

    I am not sure of the date on this. Clearly children in single parent homes have more problems and some studies have associated the lack of a male figure with increased same-sex attraction. In fact, reparative therapy in homosexuals primarily focuses on studies which show that there is not a genetic, but familial causation.

    Anyway, the data is mixed with clear evidence supporting a non-genetic, familial role. Far from kooky.

  72. While the cause or causes of same sex attraction are not remotely scientifically resolved, the weight of the evidence thus far favors some genetic predisposition.

    Not so. Antecedents and correlates may have heritable components. It is understood that homosexuality itself is not genetic, which is why people pushing biological causation have shifted ground to examining perinatal phenomena.

  73. If only people, when teaching Catholic teaching would stick with what the Church teaches we would all be much better off. For example, concerning homosexuality [see CCC 2357-2359].
    The Church very carefully states this: “It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained….”

  74. I agree Boltoph.

    Fair enough, Art. But the prenatal phenomena to which you refer are actually pretty promising in terms of explaining why these appetites are not merely environmental or decisional.

    Phillip, what is kooky is presenting very speculative psychological/sociological theories as Catholic teaching to high schoolers.

  75. But the prenatal phenomena to which you refer are actually pretty promising in terms of explaining why these appetites are not merely environmental or decisional.

    They publish literature reviews of embryology, sociology, and psychology in law journals?

  76. Phillip, what is kooky is presenting very speculative psychological/sociological theories as Catholic teaching to high schoolers.

    Who says it is speculative, and who says she presented it as ‘Church teaching’ rather than referring to in the course of presenting Church teaching? There’s reams of research on the sociology of sexual behavior. The number of academic journals covering sociology and anthropology is in the three digits. What set of literature reviews did you get hold of which (1) denied that any literature showed a correlation between single-parent origin and sexual behavior or (2) demonstrated all such research was methodologically flawed?

  77. Art, you know very well her putative theories are quite speculative and not related to Catholic teaching, and it is possible that she carefully distinguished her shared speculations with such teaching, but I’ll wager 20 to 1 she didn’t. Take me up on it? And if she did so distinguish then I’d further wager that her speculations were not germane to her advertised presentation. As Boltoph said, she should have stuck to Catholic teaching.

    That said, as I’ve emphasized before many of the parental reactions transcend Sister Jane’s controversial speculations, but instead express hostility to settled Catholic teaching. A statement from the Diocese that consistent with that would have been appropriate.

  78. So we’ve gone from “some of the stuff she is alleged to have said, if true, is pretty kooky” to “well, she shouldn’t have claimed it was Church teaching, and I’d just bet she didn’t say it wasn’t!”
    .
    She didn’t go along with the “born that way” claim, just like she didn’t go along with the “gay is OK” claim; that’s the actual problem folks had. Not possibly stating the best evidenced theory of homosexuality in a manner insufficiently differentiated from official teaching.

  79. I am shocked that a Catholic Nun would want to speak the Truth of the Catholic Doctrine to a group at a Catholic school. Why would you want to be in the Catholic Church if you do not believe in the truth of it’s doctrine. Sister Jane has nothing to apologize for.

  80. Art, you know very well her putative theories are quite speculative

    I know nothing of the kind. I do not know that she was speculating. I do not know they are her theories. I do not know that they are properly termed theories rather than hypotheses or models. I do not know what literature reviews she was making use of, what studies she consulted, or what methodology she was using. Do you honestly think it never occurred to some sociologist to do a panel study or a longitudinal study or a cross-sectional study to ascertain the association between single-parent upbringing and homosexuality controlling for who knows how many other variables?

    I am familiar with lay summaries of twin studies, and unless someone can discredit the studies (or show me that the summaries were misreported), the notion that homosexual dispositions are some sort of recessive trait heritable like green eyes is hogwash.

  81. Are the sheep to be masters of the shepherd? It’s past time for Church leaders to call the bluff of bad Catholics who threaten to leave the Church if they cannot control the dogma. Let them go. Assist them out the door even. The Church will be infinitely better off without them.

  82. Its about time someone spoke catholic truth from the housetops .we sure aren’t getting it from rome .we’ve had nothing but fluff for 50 years coming out of rome. instead of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ we’ve had the humanist social gospel being preached. Jesus Christ has been lowered and pride of man has replaced him. you can’t even find our lord in the churches anymore. but you can surely spot the presider’s chair. God help the Catholic church. Bella Dodd was right the communist infiltration will remake the church so that you meaning the people living in the 40’s 50’s won’t recognise it They have pretty well usurped the faith which was their goal all along.

  83. Well said Timothy Sullivan. Time to call a spade a shovel. Time to recognise the malignant, orchestrated masonic conspiracy to destroy the Church from within, starting at the top. The True Catholic Faith will not be found in a novus ordo sect environment. Sedevacantism is the only home for a true Catholic today.

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