Restoring the Sacred

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Anthony Esolen: The Invisible Child

Anthony Esolen wrote today at The Catholic, a graphic and highly understandable modern-day take on the most famous bible story: The Prodigal Son, but, unfortunately, the modern-day take does not share the happy ending.  As usual, one is tempted to call it his best essay ever, but one is tempted toward such praise about every essay he writes.  So, rather than pick one or two paragraphs to entice you to read the entire essay, the entire essay is reproduced below.  It's not long, so please read it and think about it.
The Invisible Child
Anthony Esolen
I have been thinking lately about marriage and annulments, and our Lord’s command that we should go forth to seek the one lost sheep that has wandered in the desert, far from the ninety-nine. I believe in that command with all my heart, because I’ve been that lost sheep.
But what happens if it is through our own negligence or disobedience that the sheep is lost? Does the hireling go after the one lost sheep, because that is easier than to shore up the pen-fold that he has allowed to fall into disrepair? Does he go a-singing through the countryside, while the wolf comes prowling? And when he returns with that one bleating and blockheaded sheep, does he bother to count the sheep remaining? Does he even notice the blood and the entrails smeared on the broken post?
There was a child who had a mother and a father. They had promised to love one another and be true to one another until death alone should part them. They were not feeble minded; they knew what the words of the promise meant. And the boy was happy.
Then came the Father of Nuances, whispering to the husband that words were words and not things, and that words were open to interpretation, and that a word uttered with complete confidence in one context need not mean the same thing when the context had changed. And changed it had: for the wife was older now, and the pretty womanish habits that once fascinated the husband were now constant pinpricks and pinches. So he began to cast his eye elsewhere, and his heart grew hard.
“Wife,” he said, “I am going to take my half of the estate, which belongs to me.” And she could do nothing about it, because of the lawlessness of the land where they lived. So he sold their home, even the home the boy loved, and took half of the estate, and traveled into a far country. But he did not travel alone. He brought another woman with him.
And the boy loved his father, because he was his father, and he hated him, because he had abandoned them. Nor could he find comfort from anyone. His teachers went so far as to tell him that he was fortunate, because now he would have two mothers instead of one, and two homes. Soon enough he had two fathers also, because his mother lost heart.
She went to a priest, and said, “See, my husband has left us bleeding in the ditch.” But the priest said he could do nothing for her, urged her to forgive her husband, and suggested that she join a group for single adults. She went to a scribe, expert in the law, and said, “See, my husband has broken our vow, and we are bleeding,” but the scribe smiled, and said that she should be satisfied with her settlement, which was generous enough.
That is why she lost heart. And one day when she and her son were in the Temple, gathered with others for prayer, they heard the words of the One who said, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
Then the priest said that words were words and not things, and that words were open to interpretation, and that a word uttered in one context need not mean the same thing when the context had changed. And changed it had: for the priest urged the people to open their minds and accept the fornicators in their midst, and the sodomites, and the adulterers. And the boy heard it, and he came to believe that the whole thing was a lie.
He was supposed to say that he enjoyed visiting his father and the woman who helped to ruin his boyhood, and that was a lie. He was supposed to say that he believed in the words of Jesus, but evidently nobody believed them, but instead they lied continually.  His mother took up with another man, not bothering to marry, because nobody believed that marriage and the marital act were connected, but instead they all lay in their sins as a matter of course, continually. He was supposed to love that other man, and he did, in a way, but he had also to pretend that it had all worked out for the best, which was also a lie.
When his body was ready for fornication, so was he. He grew practiced in the art of saying, with his body, “I am yours forever,” when “forever” meant “until I am weary of you,” which sometimes was soon enough, sometimes even in the act itself. But the girls were liars too, so one needn’t feel too sorry for them.
Then one day his father returned with his stepmother, and all the people were instructed to celebrate, because he had returned. He had not returned to his wife, and he did not seek to make up for his son’s sadness and abandonment and loss of faith. He did not say, “Treat me as one of your hired servants, because I have sinned against God and against you.”  He said, “Come and feast with me, because I have returned!”
And the fatted bishop said to the son, “It is right that you should feast with your father, because he has returned.”
So the boy went in to the feast and got drunk. He put out of his memory the many times he wept at night, because his father was gone. He put out of his memory that first terrible day when it occurred to him that no one ever told the truth. He put out of his imagination that Jesus who said, “Let the little children come to me.”
He hung a millstone round his heart. He did not forgive, because everyone was telling him that there was nothing to forgive. So he got drunk.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nigerian Bishops Speak Up for the Family

Excerpt from The National Catholic Register today:

As Synod Approaches, Nigerian Bishops Speak Up for the Family (1009)
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria — Nigeria’s bishops closed their latest assembly with a view toward the upcoming Synod on the Family, re-affirming the family while warning about homosexual activism.

The bishops said “we reaffirm the validity of the family as a divinely instituted community of persons made up of a man and a woman who are open to life in love, together with their children and relatives.”

They commended the Pope for his recent document Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (Lord Jesus, the Meek Judge), which aimed at accelerating the process for investigating the nullity of a marriage.

“We pledge to use this new process for the pastoral and spiritual benefit of our people,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria said in a wide-ranging statement closing its second plenary meeting, held Sept. 10-18 in Port Harcourt, the capital of Nigeria's Rivers State.

The bishops also voiced “deep concern” about homosexual, bisexual and transgender activism in many parts of the world.

“We reiterate our unreserved condemnation of all acts of homosexuality as sinful and opposed to the natural law of creation,” they said. “We call on our government to continue to resist the attempt by some external governments and agencies to impose an acceptance of same-sex unions.

“Nevertheless, we maintain that persons with these orientations should be assisted pastorally, spiritually and psychologically, with respect for their dignity as human persons created in the image and likeness of God.”

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Matt Walsh: #ShoutYourAbortion Proves That Modern Liberalism Is A Satanic Death Cult

Matt Walsh wrote the above titled essay at two days ago just after all but three House Democrats, joined by two despicable Republicans, voted against protecting the lives of five month old babies still in their mothers' wombs.  The whole essay is HERE, and here are some excerpts that should infuriate anyone who believes in God:
September 22, 2015
Just a few hours ago, Democrats voted down a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Only three Democrats voted for the bill to protect children from murder after five months of development, while two truly despicable Republicans, Susan Collins and Mark Kirk, voted against it. They should be out of a job when it comes time for reelection, and if I was in charge of these things, I’d put them both in prison, along with almost all of the Democrats, for facilitating the murder of thousands of innocent human lives. Remember, if you support late term abortion, you are in favor of killing babies who can survive outside the womb. This is a radical, insane, extremist position, and one that is considered by progressives to be not only mainstream, but mandatory...
Progressives love to say they aren’t “pro-abortion,” but that is a more and more self-evident lie. Nobody who possesses even the slightest hint of a moral qualm with abortion could actually oppose a bill to protect kids after five months in the womb. Similarly, nobody who isn’t an enormous fan of abortion could be anything but repulsed by the hip new fad that swept through the internet like wild fire yesterday...
It’s called #ShoutYourAbortion, and it encourages women to boast confidently of killing their children. The hashtag has been trending on Twitter for over a day, and many hundreds and thousands of women have taken the opportunity to “shout” with pride about the magical wonders of baby murder. I’m sure the aborted babies would have loved to participate in this campaign, but they’re all dead and decomposed in dumpsters or dissected in petri dishes...
Politically incorrect words and ideas, Confederate flags, jokes — these can all be viciously stigmatized, but child murder? That  must be greeted with nothing short of uproarious applause... 
Nobody, on either side, can really stake out a moderate position on abortion for very long. Either abortion is condemned with the fury of 1,000 suns, or it is celebrated and glorified with religious fervor. Everyone who tries to hang out somewhere between these two extremes will inevitably land on one end of the spectrum or the other. That’s because abortion is an extreme thing. It is the slaughter of the innocent. History proves that there are really, when it comes down to it, only two types of people: those radically opposed to the dehumanization and murder of entire groups of people, and those radically in favor of it...
Just a couple of years ago, abortion fetishists cooked up the viral “1 in 3″ campaign, encouraging women to tell their “inspiring” stories about abortion. Not long after that, a woman named Emily Letts became a progressive darling when she filmed herself having an abortion. She giggled and smiled through the procedure, talking about how happy and “lucky” she is. When it was all done she yelled “cool!” and “yay!” as she was wheeled out of the operating room and her child was, most likely, shipped off to a research facility for experimentation. She bragged about her abortion while it was happening, and the video received favorable coverage across the mainstream media, and eventually won top prize in an “abortion stigma-busting video competition” (leading some to believe it was staged). These #ShoutYourAbortion Tweets are nothing compared to all that...
Liberalism is, in the end, a death cult. I’ve long suggested that we stop calling it “liberalism” and start calling it “secular Satanism,” because that’s truly the most accurate and coherent way to describe it. Indeed, self-proclaimed Satanists are ardent abortion fans, with some reporting that they perform Satanic human sacrifices inside abortion clinics. To the Satanist/liberal, abortion is the most sacred and revered sacrament. The whole religion and ideology of Satanism/liberalism was born when Satan himself turned from God and said, “I will not serve” — and what better and more profound way for humans to reinforce that point than to ritualistically massacre His most vulnerable and precious children?...
Abortion evangelists are pro-abortion in principle, not out of some perverted sense of necessity or compassion. They believe — they have faith — that the individual is supreme. There is no power or authority above the Mighty Me, therefore nothing has the right to impose itself on Me, and nothing, not even my own child, can claim any right to my life or my body or my love or my time. My, Me, I. I am the sole point and purpose of the universe, and the highest thing I can hope to attain is my own enjoyment, convenience, and (especially sexual) pleasure. There is no Truth outside of that. There is no God beyond myself.

Find it hard to believe the part about Satanic Rituals?  Here's the LINK:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yogi Berra Dies at 90, R.I.P.

Yogi Berra, the most famous, and, most agree, the greatest major league baseball catcher of all time, died yesterday at the age of 90.  The following is from
Yankees Hall of Fame Catcher Yogi Berra Dies at 90
New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra poses at spring training in Florida in an undated file photo
He caught the only perfect game in World Series history
(NEW YORK) — Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher renowned as much for his dizzying malapropisms as his record 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees, has died. He was 90.
Berra died of natural causes Tuesday at his home in New Jersey, according to Dave Kaplan, the director of the Yogi Berra Museum.
“While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom,” Berra’s family said in a statement released by the museum. “We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed.”
Short, squat and with a homely mug, Berra was a legendary Yankee who helped the team reach 14 World Series during his 18 seasons in the Bronx.
Berra played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer, and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player.
But his name appears almost as often in Bartlett’s Famous Quotations as it does in baseball’s record book.
“It ain’t over ’til it’s over” is among eight “Yogi-isms” included in Bartlett’s.
“When I’m sittin’ down to dinner with the family, stuff just pops out. And they’ll say, ‘Dad, you just said another one.’ And I don’t even know what the heck I said,” Berra insisted.
Berra played for the Yankees from 1949-65. His teammates included fellow Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.
In 1956, he caught the only perfect game in World Series history and after the last out leaped into pitcher Don Larsen’s arms. The famous moment was captured in photographs published in newspapers around the world.
After his playing days, Berra coached or managed the Yankees, New York Mets and Houston Astros. He led both the Yankees and Mets to pennants.
In 1985, his firing as manager by the Yankees 16 games into the season sparked a feud with George Steinbrenner. Berra vowed never to return to Yankee Stadium as long was Steinbrenner owned the team.
But in 1999, Berra finally relented, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the Yankees’ season-opening game.
Berra, the son of Italian immigrants, got his nickname while growing up in St. Louis. Among his amateur baseball teammates was Jack McGuire, another future big leaguer.
“Some of us went to a movie with a yogi in it and afterwards Jack began calling me Yogi. It stuck,” Berra told the Saturday Evening Post.
He was a fan favorite, especially with children, and the cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after him.
Berra, who played in 15 straight All-Star Games, never earned more than $65,000 a season.
Growing up, he was anything but a natural.
Chunky and slow, Berra was rejected by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals after a tryout in 1943. But a Yankee scout recognized his potential and signed him.
He reached the majors late in the 1946 season and homered in his first at-bat. The next year, he continued to hit well, but his throwing was so erratic he was shifted to the outfield, then benched.
His breakthrough season came in 1948, when he hit .315 with 14 homers and 98 RBIs while continuing to improve his fielding. In 1949, he compiled a .989 fielding percentage and did not make an error in the All-Star Game or World Series.
“I don’t care who the hitter is,” New York manager Casey Stengel told the New York Journal-American. “(Berra) knows just how he should be pitched to.”
Berra was AL MVP in 1951, 1954 and 1955. He holds World Series records for most hits (71) and most games (75).
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
“You never think of that when you’re a kid,” Berra said. “But egads, you gotta be somethin’ to get in.”
Among his boyhood friends was Joe Garagiola, who went on to a career as a major league player and broadcaster. In rejecting Berra at the 1943 tryout, the Cardinals signed Garagiola, another catcher, instead.
Lawrence Peter Berra was born in St. Louis on May 12, 1925, the son of Pietro, a laborer in a brickyard, and Pauline Berra. He grew up in “The Hill,” or Italian district, with three older brothers and a younger sister.
Berra was forced to drop out of school in the eighth grade and go to work to help support his family. He took jobs in a coal yard, as a truck driver and in a shoe factory.
He continued to play amateur baseball, which brought him to the attention of major league scouts.
In 1943, his first professional season with the Yankees’ farm team in Norfolk, Va., was interrupted by World War II.
He joined the Navy and later served on a gunboat supporting the D-Day invasion.
Berra married his wife, Carmen, in 1949. The couple, who met in their native St. Louis, had three sons, including Dale Berra, who played in the major leagues as an infielder.
Berra published three books: his autobiography in 1961, “It Ain’t Over …” in 1989 and “The Yogi Book: I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said” in 1998. The last made The New York Times’ best seller list.
In 1996, Berra was awarded an honorary doctorate from the state university in Montclair, N.J., where he and his family lived. The university also named its baseball stadium for Berra. The adjoining Yogi Berra Museum opened in 1998.
The museum houses Berra memorabilia, including what he said was his most prized possession, the mitt he used to catch Larsen’s perfect game.
He tickled TV viewers in recent years by bringing his malapropisms to a commercial with the AFLAC duck. (“They give you cash, which is just as good as money.”)
His wife once asked Berra where he wanted to be buried, in St. Louis, New York or Montclair.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Why don’t you surprise me?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anthony Esolen: Ignoring Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

Anthony Esolen, wrote today on The Catholic, an essay that absolutely needed to be written.  It's about those among us trying to live life as it is meant to be lived, so of course it is difficult to find anything written about them.  We are inundated, by the media and certain political groups, and even encouraged by some to endorse and even embrace lifestyles being pushed on us by well funded groups interested in touting their own agendas, regardless how perverted some of those agendas might be.  We are commanded, it should be remembered, to love all people, not to embrace all lifestyles.

Professor Esolen's essay is reproduced below in its entirety.  It gives us hope.
Who Stands Up for These Marginalized?
Anthony Esolen
You want people on the margins? The neglected, the invisible?
Last Sunday I was waiting in a diner for a former student of mine, one of my favorites, and his wife, whom I hadn’t met before, and who was carrying their first child. While I was waiting, I glanced over at another table and saw something remarkable.
It was a boy and a girl who had just sat down. They couldn’t have been more than twenty years old, and they might have been as young as sixteen. He was no body-builder, but he was tall and well set up, as they used to say, clean cut, no tattoos. She was slender and pretty, with long dark hair. As he was talking to her, his cheeks were flushed with delight, and he was beaming from ear to ear. She was smiling happily and sweetly in return. They might have come to the diner straight from church, as I had. They shone out with innocence.
They might have been somebody’s father and mother, a long time ago, before they had determined that their delight in one another’s company was really love, before they had decided to make that company everlasting, and before they had sealed their love and their vows with the full-hearted and full-bodied gift of themselves.
So what was remarkable about them? Reader, friend – when was the last time you saw such a couple?
Then my young friend and his wife arrived. He had not known God at all until he experienced a sudden and shattering vision during the summer before his freshman year at college. He spent that summer reading the Bible and pitching himself with all his considerable resoluteness into a new way of life.
It is seven years later. He’s been working for the Coast Guard, hard physical work, from Nova Scotia to the Falkland Islands, and from the Dominican Republic to the Mediterranean. They don’t even have a chaplain or a small chapel on board ship, he tells me, and sometimes one of the men will mock him when they come upon him kneeling in prayer. I doubt that the mockery is ever too serious, though, because this young man has, shall we say, a formidable presence. Not that he minds it.
So I chatted with them also about their plans, and he looked upon her with pride and protectiveness, and she looked upon him with admiration and delight. Again it was purity, right and just, though purity as having come through the smoke and bitterness of the world.
Why are these sights so rare?
I notice that the American president has made sure that Pope Francis, when he comes to visit the White House, will meet a man representing a group that is now always at the center of attention. Even should you descend into the depths of the newspaper, the sports pages themselves, they are there.
Not one day goes by without our hearing about their problems, their demands, their accusations, their mostly invented cultural history, and so on. Sometimes, as in the case of the man whom the president has elevated to brief celebrity, they proudly spurn the teachings of the Church. Sometimes they proudly follow those teachings but demand that everyone applaud them for doing so, and notice them, even change the way they raise children on their account.
I’m tired of it. And I grow downright angry when I consider the people about whose welfare no one ever troubles himself.
Think of the boy and girl at the other table. Now name for me one single social custom, one single local ordinance or state law, one single common work of literature read in the high schools, one single august pronouncement from the episcopal heights, one single session of prelates in council, one single social institution, one single jot of advice given to them from their teachers of “health,” one single word of encouragement or guidance or praise from the media or the mavens of art or those voluble blockheads in the academy, that will show, not even gratitude for their purity, but awareness that such young people exist?
Or if they are acknowledged to exist, here and there, are they not mocked, assaulted by the whores of pornography at a thousand virtual street corners, and rejected by their peers?
Who pays them any mind?
C.S. Lewis once wrote that if we really understood the purposes of things, we would see that all of politics and economics and technology exist so that a couple of friends can chat about good books at their leisure; or, as I’d say, so that a mother and father can sit quietly on the back porch as they watch their small children play; or so that a boy and girl, over the moon for one another, can have lunch at a diner and never once think of the lewd, the squalid, the hard-hearted, the licentious, or the base.
So also I might say about our pastoral directives as regards youth and sex. These are the people we must assist, and not take for granted that they will survive the current onslaught of falsehood and wickedness. We want every diner in every little town in the country to be graced with the laughter of innocent young people in love. What are we doing to see to it?
I might put it this way. Why are we doing all we can to ensure that such youths are as rare as diamonds? If we give all our attention to people whose desires are out of order with their bodies, smiling upon Sodom and grinning with Gomorrah, hypocritically and heartlessly saying that we wish to be merciful, we implicitly join the gang of their high school peers who laugh at them. We imply that they are chumps. And eventually, God forbid, even those last few innocents may come to agree.
Margins? Come see the deserted village.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Admiral Hyman Rickover: Man's Purpose in Life

Hyman G. Rickover (January 27, 1900 – July 8, 1986), the "Father of the Nuclear Navy,"  is the author of today's Notable and Quotable section in the Wall Street Journal, entitled: "Man's Purpose."  

Notable & Quotable: Man’s Purpose

‘Having a vocation is something of a miracle, like falling in love.’
Sept. 15, 2015 6:39 p.m. ET
From Hyman G. Rickover’s “Thoughts on Man’s Purpose in Life,” the Council on Religion & International Affairs’ annual Morgenthau Memorial Lecture in 1982, after his retirement as a U.S. Navy admiral:
Man’s work begins with his job; his profession. Having a vocation is something of a miracle, like falling in love. I can understand why Luther said that a man is justified by his vocation, for it is proof of God’s favor. But having a vocation means more than punching a time clock. It means guarding against banality, ineptitude, incompetence, and mediocrity. A man should strive to become a locus of excellence. . . .
Man has a large capacity for effort. In fact it is so much greater than we think it is that few ever reach this capacity.
We should value the faculty of knowing what we ought to do and having the will to do it. Knowing is easy; it is the doing that is difficult. The critical issue is not what we know, but what we do with what we know. The great end of life is not knowledge, but action. . . .
To seek and accept responsibility, to persevere, to be committed to excellence, to be creative and courageous, to be unrelenting in the pursuit of intellectual development, to maintain high standards of ethics and morality, and to bring these basic principles of existence to bear through active participation in life—these are some of my ideas on the goals that must be met to achieve meaning and purpose in life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

One Peter 5: Beware the Divider, Already in our Midst

Steve Skojec, writing today on the Blog: One Peter 5:
I appeal to you, brethren, to take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded. – Romans 16:17-18; RSV
But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. – Titus 3:9-11; RSV
You may have guessed where Skojec is going with his essay.  Here's a little more of his piece that will make it clear:
There are those within our Catholic family who have heeded the warning of St. Paul; they have heard also the exhortation of St. Peter, from which this journal derives its name and purpose: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9) Those who have chosen to resist the attacks of the enemy, those who have chosen to stand firm on the ground that God’s teaching is inviolate and immutable, and no prelate or hierarch, no matter how high-ranking, can alter what is sacrosanct. As Bishop Athanasius Schneider said so pointedly last November:
In fact a Divine commandment, in our case the sixth commandment, the absolute indissolubility of the sacramental marriage, a Divinely established rule, means those in a state of grave sin cannot be admitted to Holy Communion. This is taught by Saint Paul in his letter inspired by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 11, 27-30, this cannot be put to the vote, just as the Divinity of Christ would never be put to a vote. A person who still has the indissoluble sacramental marriage bond and who in spite of this lives in a stable marital cohabitation with another person, by Divine law cannot be admitted to Holy Communion. To do so would be a public statement by the Church nefariously legitimizing a denial of the indissolubility of the Christian marriage and at the same time repealing the sixth commandment of God: “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. No human institution not even the Pope or an Ecumenical Council has the authority and the competency to invalidate even in the slightest or indirect manner one of the ten Divine commandments or the Divine words of Christ: “What therefore God has joined together, let man not separate (Math 19:6)”

You can read the whole essay by clicking HERE.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fr. Pilon on Conscience and God

Fr. Mark Pilon, a priest of the Diocese of Arlingtom, Virginia, wrote an essay today at The Catholic entitled: "When Conscience Trumps Faith and God."

In his essay, Fr. Pilon debunks the wishful thinking of the many Catholics who, in the aftermath of Vatican II, have allowed themselves to believe that their own conscience is the final arbiter of good and evil.

Here are some brief excerpts, but we would all do well to read the entire essay, and file it under "keepers."
The notion that conscience is absolute is a great anthropological and theological lie. Nothing is absolute but God. And conscience, which is an act of the intellect, declares itself absolute only if it simultaneously declares God is not God.
...while man sins if he does not follow his conscience, this doesn’t mean that he does not sin if he follows his conscience.
Indeed, where conscience deliberately refuses to be subject to the law of God, it becomes an agent of sin.

For additional reading on this topic, please read the essay written today, by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, entitled: "Conscience And Truth," by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Carl Olson: Sixty percent of Catholics are Wrong on Same-Sex Marriage

Carl E. Olson, editor of Ignatius and Catholic World Report, was interviewed on NewsMaxTV's "The Hard Line" program today, and the topics were Abortion and so-called Same-Sex Marriage.

When told by the interviewer that statistics show 60% of Catholics believe that gay couples should have the right to marry, and asked what that means, Olson responded:
"…it means that 60 % of Catholics are wrong." 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fr. Schall: No one can be a citizen of this country and a practicing Christian at the same time.

Father James V. Schall, S.J., who taught political science at Georgetown University for many years, wrote a timely essay at Crisis today.  It's entitled: "Will Catholic Hospitals be the Next Target?"

Here are some excerpts:
A systematic, more and more obvious persecution of Christians has been going on for some time. Its briefest statement is that no one can be a citizen of this country and a practicing Christian at the same time. Persecution is now so obvious that it needs little emphasis. Yet, most of our citizens refuse to acknowledge it or do anything about those elected and unelected officials, from the president on down, who carry it out in increasingly ominous ways. This country itself was designed to prevent precisely this sort of public persecution. We suddenly realize that the constitutional mechanism to prevent this persecution is not working but is being used to foster, indeed justify, the persecution...
Beginning with florists, bakers, and photographers, we see an ever increasing legal demand that no opposition will be tolerated to government rules whatever their reasons, especially if they are religious reasons. At one time, we thought that, if religion had a problem with something, it was probably that there was something wrong or dangerous about it. We read Scripture as instructing us on how to live. Now, almost the opposite is the case. If it is in Scripture, it must be wrong. So we need to eliminate from the public order any influence from this source, no matter how “reasonable” unless it agree with the civil law...
In Redding, California, the lone hospital is Mercy Hospital. It belongs to Dignity Health Care, a group of some 29 hospitals in the state. The article in the Redding paper discussing this case is listed under the heading “Health Care,” a phrase that covers a multitude of sins. The hospital’s normal practice is not to allow sterilization procedures. The reason for this prohibition is not arbitrary. It is an unnecessary mutilation of a normally functioning human organ and is use simply as another form of birth control...
The essay, as you might have guessed by now, goes on to report that the hospital caved on this issue in order to avoid a lawsuit, which was threatened by the ACLU on behalf of a patient seeking such "care."

Fr. Schall sums up the problem clearly by stating:
What the Redding case implies is that medicine is not primarily governed by what is good for the patient. Rather it is a mechanism to give the patient what he wants, whether or not it be good medicine. The government now conceives its purpose not to foster good medicine or the common good to which medicine contributes by its standing for what is right. It functions to enforce its own laws that allow us to do what we want. 
You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.