Cold Hard Science

Just Because we Can…

As we consider the moral evil of abortion and fertility treatment, we often have to ask whether we are losing sight of the Truth. Today we turn to science for so many things and can say with great confidence that science has made a difference in the world. But science, for the most part, is a detached and disinterested discipline. Science gives facts and options but does not attempt to interpret the morality of its own actions.

To further complicate things today, we have the problem of language, which is reflected in the secular media’s bias in reporting. The New York Times is certainly one of the most influential newspapers in the world. There is no doubt that this influence is known by its writers and staff as they often comment on things in such a manner as to influence the reader to accept a certain view.

A recent article in the magazine section is case in point. The discussion is about the cold science of reproductive services without any comment whatsoever about the morality involved. Not only is there a bias to present such medical science as a positive value that is deemed a good but it avoids presenting any “science” that wold educate the reader with regard to why such procedures are problematic and morally unacceptable. The procreation of new life should result from the most loving and intimate union of persons and that life should be protected at all costs. Just because science can does not mean that science should.

To all those who read anything in the secular media, please remember to read such articles with great care. Often, the treatment of “science” by the secular media is biased and requires a corrective commentary that the author will never include.

Every Now and Then

A Point Can Be Made…

Here is one of those videos that makes an excellent point. The only thing that could strengthen the video is Catholic Teaching on Reconciliation and the need for Sanctifying Grace to be cleansed from the Sin of abortion. A video as compelling as this one should make us wonder why such has not been produced by a Catholic source or even from the USCCB?

For those who watch this video, especially Catholics, remember that professing faith in Jesus Christ is only the first step. It would be great if a version of this video could be produced with an alternate ending that instructs Catholics on what to do following their “180.” Repenting of Sin also requires one to seek Sacramental Absolution and to have the bond of excommunication lifted. But the point made is still compelling… so stick with it.

Can You Say Bias?

Pro-Life Rally and Media Bias!

This weekend will be the annual March for Life in Washington DC. As has been the case for three decades, people will take a public stand on the Right to Life, especially for the weak and forgotten. And has been the case for as many years, even though hundreds of thousands will converge on the Capital -- young and old, male and female, rich and poor -- the media coverage will be minimal and will most likely give as much or more time to the pro-abortion platform. As the video below documents, this perception is more than just speculation -- it is fact.

Who Will Stand Up?

More Than Just Marching!

Each year the March for Life draws hundreds of thousands. While so many will walk the streets of Washington DC, there are many who cannot make the trip for one reason or another. For those who cannot make it, your voice can still be heard. Politicians can be contacted throughout the year and voting booths can send messages. In addition to taking action publicly, the most important action is prayer.

So ask yourself, if not you, who? Who will pray for the 50+ million who have already died? Who will protect the 50+ million who will be killed in the future if abortion remains legal? Stand up for Life!

Life at Its Best

Why Does It Remain a Question

As voters head to the voting booth, it is amazing how many still do not consider voting pro-life as a key issue that will influence their decision. Ironically, those who are pro-abortion and pro-death do choose candidates on their stand on this issue. Yes, we are dealing with a very complicated issue but there should be no equivocation by Catholics about voting pro-life.

Of course, there are many moral issues that now dominate the public discourse. Marriage, religious liberty, sex education, contraception, and many other issues are currently being debated in our society and the Church continues to offer guidance in these areas as well. Yet, generally speaking, these issues are not considered by Catholics who enter the voting booth. Even with some of the debate that could ensue with these other issues, abortion should be an obvious one because an abortion obviously kills an innocent human being. In this regard, everyone agrees that it is wrong to kill an innocent human being until that being is in the womb.

So why is abortion still the law of the land? Could it be because of our Fallen proclivities and our desire to engage in unrestricted sexual pleasure? If not, then why is abortion still legal and why do so few vote for the pro-life candidate?

Linguistically Beautiful

The Power of Language

Several weeks ago the Church implemented the new English translation of the Roman Missal. Having prayed with these new texts for some time, I have to admit that there is a regal beauty in them that raises our common prayer to new heights. Making the transition has been hard because our culture does not appreciate true beauty in language anymore, mostly from the news media who package everything in simplistic terms. However, the Holy Mass is far more than a report or statement and demands a higher language. While there are many priests and lay people who are struggling with it and believe it is a mistake, I think the judgment is hasty and the beauty will shine through when all begin praying the texts rather than just saying the texts.

New Cardinals

Our Prayers for the New Cardinals

Today, the Holy Father has joyfully announced that there will be
22 new Cardinals created at a consistory to be held in St. Peter’s Basilica on February 18. Among the new Cardinals will be Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, both of whom were rectors of the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

On the occasion of becoming a Cardinal, we certainly offer our congratulations to the new members of the college but those congratulations would be ineffective if we did not offer our prayers for them as well. So often we are happy for the individual who receives such honors, to the point where we forget the spiritual yoke that is placed around their neck. Thus, we should always keep such honors in right perspective by asking God to help these pastoral leaders remain focused on the Truth, the promulgation of which they are uniquely asked to carry out. Echoing the words of pope Benedict, we should also ask for “
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, so they may always bear witness with courage and dedication to their love for Christ and his Church."

The Ironic Illogic

The Curious Pattern

Under the Dictatorship of Relativism, many people have come to believe that their own opinion is the final authority, especially when that opinion is verified by a so-called expert. In fact, today more than ever, people seek to inform their opinion with information from the plethora of authorities in a given arena. If there is something happening in the world that involves psychology, they get information from a survey of psychologists. If there is an issue that involves medicine or physical health, they get information from physicians and medical doctors. If there are problems of pollution or other issues in nature, they get information from ecologists, botanists, geologists, and biologists. The list is endless in this regard. And each individual has little problem accepting the information as valid and authoritative, effectively making the information part of their own “opinion” on a given matter. In this modernist approach, expert opinions are sought but, generally speaking, are not taken as the final authority on a particular issue. The gauge today is “does it resonate with MY experience.” And that which does not resonate is rejected.

Yet when it comes to issues of Faith or Truth, the last source of information people usually consult is from theologians or the Magisterium. The Catechism is not seen as something helpful and is often rejected because it is “out of touch with reality.” This is particularly the case in issues of morality, which ultimately has to do with salvation. In these cases, they prefer to survey outside opinions on a given issue, e.g., contraception, and find the one that bests matches their own. Such has left many Catholics under-informed and misinformed with regard to our responsibility to the Truth. Opinion is one thing and facts are another… But Truth transcends all that and all are to remain oriented to the Truth if they are to achieve the salvation of the soul. Thus, when the pope or Magisterium teaches, they are not in the process of expressing an expert opinion. While there are places for theological opinion and debate, authoritative statements within the hermeneutic of reform/continuity reflect the depth and beauty of Truth. Those who hold contrary opinion to the Truth fail to realize that Truth is not under the auspices of opinion. When something is taught authoritatively, even though it may not resonate with a particular individual, all are responsible to accept it.

This is the struggle we have within the Church today and clearly the reason we need to be evangelizing our own. So many modern Catholics are more modernist than Catholic. Those tasked with teaching must hold fast to the Truth, even if it means the “numbers” will take a hit. The first order of business at this point has to be a revival of Catholic education, which first means a revival of religious teaching orders. Here is an interesting homily from a group that is taking the Catholic Faith for what it is -- a way of life:

Contemporary Shepherds

Woe to Blind Guides

Jesus was quoted as pointing out that the leaders and shepherds of his time were “blind guides.” In this sense, He clearly was noting that these shepherds tasked with leading God’s flock in the way of salvation had become misguided by their own rebel passions and proclivities. Rather than focusing on the Truth and the ways of God, they became concerned with their own worldly power structure.

The politicians today, especially those who “claim” to be Catholic, are doing the same thing. The recent mistake on
Marriage that was put into law by Governor Cuomo has left many confused about the reality and even more so about Sin. Whether he like it or not, the governor is more than a politician -- he is a shepherd as well. People will follow him where he leads. In this regard, the authentic shepherds, the bishops, must work even more diligently at evangelizing their own and ensuring the flock does not follow these errant guides.

Catholics should not be fooled with regard to the so-called gay marriage laws. Even though a civil law is passed, it does not trump the moral law as established by God. Thus, even though a
gay person “marries,” the objective moral disorder has not been resolved and the possibility of sinning remains. But, as Jesus tells us, woe to the one who misleads… Where are the voices of moral authority today? Who are the authentic shepherds? If governor Cuomo continues to present himself a shepherd in areas such as this, then the real shepherds are obliged to make sure the faithful know that he is an impostor. Sin and living in Sin are not corrected by changes in civil law.

To those who are today’s guides, we must always recall the words of Jesus in
Matthew 23:13ff, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.” Today more than ever we need True Shepherds and Guides with vision!

New Year?

Merry Christmas!

For weeks people were wishing one another a “Merry Christmas” to help combat the secular degradation of the great Feast. The practice is laudable although out of sync with the Church. In this regard, people were wishing a Merry Christmas as early as Thanksgiving weekend and took every opportunity in the weeks leading up to Christmas as they engaged in feeding the consumerist beast. These wishes were extended all throughout Advent, which effectively makes Advent a non-season. By January 1st, many decorations had been taken down and all were making a fuss of the secular feast of New Year’s Eve and Day. Interestingly, more Catholics know the secular rituals for celebrating New Year’s than the Catholic rituals for celebrating Christmas.

On January 1st, the eighth day in the Octave of Christmas, which concludes one of the highest liturgical celebrations of the year, not one person wished me a Merry Christmas. The chorus at the doors of the church were “Happy New Year!” And believe it or not, parishioners were angry and agitated when I responded to their triumphant “Happy New Year” with “Merry Christmas!” When they repeated their wishes, I politely mentioned that the Church celebrated its New Year weeks ago and explained that we were still in the Octave of Christmas. I went on to remind them that these 8 days were to be celebrated with the same honor and dignity as Christmas Day. The puzzled looks were well worth earning the various titles people bestow on someone like me. Sadly, I do not believe any of them got the point and instead will make the issue an
ad hominem attack rather than allow it to be a learning experience.

So many today proudly display signs that call for all to keep “Christ in Christmas” while Catholics are not keeping Christmas in the Christmas Season. It is so sad that even when we attempt friendly and simple correctives to the catechetical failure of the last few generations the response is one of desired ignorance and anger. Today, we have so few opportunities to catechize and evangelize our own and, when we take those opportunities, the response is anger and resistance. If we try to do it in the classroom, no one comes.

So when and how are we to address and correct the mistakes flowing from the era of catechetical failure?