31 May, 2010

The Israeli Attack TIME.com

The Israeli Attack - Swampland - TIME.com

Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexuality Hurdles - NYTimes.com

Will nothing ever please these people? First the Church gets blasted for letting predators run amok and injure untold numbers of innocent victims. Priests are almost universally condemned as being either all gay or perverts.

So, the Church begins to implement strict testing procedures to ensure the sexual maturity of candidates who step forward for the priesthood and now she is condemned for creating 'sexuality hurdle' that are discriminatory. Note in the article that one of the questions being proffered as being inappropriate or discriminatory deals with whether or not a candidate is sexually attracted to children.

Homosexuality and pedophilia are two entirely different issues. One is not causal to the other either directly or indirectly. This is the accepted wisdom of the times. But how can the Church legitimately protect its faithful and itself from predators if the questions of sexuality, orientation, desires and practices are 'off limits' to questioning?

There is no pleasing the NYT.



Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexuality Hurdles - NYTimes.com

Vatican unveils plans for apostolic visitation of Irish Church to begin in fall

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Vatican unveils plans for apostolic visitation of Irish Church to begin in fall

‘Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest’

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : ‘Future pope refused defrocking of convicted priest’

29 May, 2010

The storm ahead

An enlightening column from the Jerusalem Post on the widening gap between American Jews and Israel. Daniel Gordis points out the essential element of US support for the Jewish national expression of statehood in the Holy Land. I mused on the Christian obligation to the Jewish state (click here to read it) in trying to explore whether or not there are religious grounds that should compel the west to support Israel. This column looks at the same relationship between the west and Israel through the lens of the Diaspora. It makes for interesting reading.

The storm ahead

Pressure to bolster North Korean leader makes war inevitable, analyst says

Let's pray that this analyst is wrong.

Pressure to bolster North Korean leader makes war inevitable, analyst says

Vatican's sex abuse prosecutor says church must amputate to heal | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican's sex abuse prosecutor says church must amputate to heal | National Catholic Reporter

Malawi frees jailed gay couple | World news | guardian.co.uk

THANK GOD... and everyone who protested this terrible abuse.

Malawi frees jailed gay couple | World news | guardian.co.uk

28 May, 2010

Italian Bishops Warn of Nation's 'Demographic Suicide'

Italian Bishops Warn of Nation's 'Demographic Suicide'

George Weigel to Youth: Defend Religious Freedom

George Weigel to Youth: Defend Religious Freedom

Says Pro-Life Cause Is Successor to Civil Rights Movement

MERRIMACK, New Hampshire, MAY 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Catholic theologian and author George Weigel is urging college graduates to base themselves firmly in natural law in order to make a good defense of religious freedom in society today.   

The author of Pope John Paul II's biography "Witness to Hope" made this appeal at the May 16 graduation ceremony of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate and gave the commencement address.

"One of the great challenges of the younger generation of Catholics will be to rise to the defense of religious freedom in full," Weigel said.

"This defense must be both cultural, in the sense of arguments winsomely and persuasively made, and political, in that young Catholics must drive the sharp edge of truth into the sometimes hard soil of public policy," he asserted.

"Religious conviction is community-forming," the author noted, "and communities formed by religious conviction must be free, as communities and not simply as individuals, to make arguments and bring influence to bear in public life."

He continued, "If religiously informed moral argument is banned from the American public square, then the public square has become, not only naked, but undemocratic and intolerant."

Weigel pointed out that religious freedom in the United States has been threatened by acts such as when the Supreme Court "erected a spurious 'right to abortion' as the right that trumps all other rights," and when legislators "decided that it was within the state's competence to redefine marriage and to compel others to accept that redefinition through the use of coercive state power."

Conscience rights

He added that "the conscience rights of Catholic physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are not second-class rights that can be trumped by other rights claims; and any state that fails to acknowledge those rights of conscience has done grave damage to religious freedom rightly understood."

"The same can and must be said about any state that drives the Catholic Church out of certain forms of social service because the Church refuses to concede that the state has the competence to declare as 'marriage' relationships that are manifestly not marriages," Weigel said.

He urged the college graduates and others in the audience to defend religious liberty by speaking a "common language" to those outside the Church, that of natural law and the truths of reason.

These truths, the author pointed out, were referenced by Thomas Jefferson when he wrote about "inalienable rights" in the Declaration of Independence. As well, he added, Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights movement leader, appealed to these same truths while challenging racial segregation.

Weigel noted that "appeals to that same natural moral law underwrite the successor to the civil rights movement, which is the pro-life movement."

"And appeals to the natural moral law have underwritten U.S. international human rights policy for the past 30 years," he added.

The college president, William Fahey, also addressed the graduates, reminding them to "be mindful of the mark of true citizenship: that you are not dominated by pride, but that you turn always from yourself to the grandeur in this world, and then the reflection of the light incarnate, and then to the Light itself."

Some of the graduates, who have all just completed a four-year undergraduate program centered on a study of the Great Books of the West, have gone on to various internships serving Catholic organizations. Several students have written for ZENIT.

27 May, 2010

Catholic Culture : Off the Record : If only priests could have shotgun weddings!

If only priests could have shotgun weddings!

Obamas to mark Jewish Heritage month with reception

Obamas to mark Jewish Heritage month with reception

Statistics Canada Predicts Seniors Will Soon Outnumber Children

The 'Contraceptive Time Bomb' is about to explode in our economy! Unless we maintain or raise the levels of immigration into Canada we will face the same economic collapse that is facing Western Europe today. All of our social programs are predicated on the continual growth in our population so that there would always be sufficient numbers of wage earners (read tax payers) to fund our pension and medical plans just two areas where we face the almost certain prospect of receiving less from the government than did those who came before us.

Add to this the increase in interest rates which will begin to siphon away even more tax dollars (and the return of severe inflation due to the HUGE increase in the money supply) and we are in for a very rough ride here in Canada.

Times are going to get tough... for all of us - far sooner than most would expect.

'God keep our land, glorious and free....' It may take some divine intervention to keep us in either!

Fr. Tim

Statistics Canada Predicts Seniors Will Soon Outnumber Children

‘Gay' Ex-Altar Server Drops Human Rights Case against Bishop

‘Gay' Ex-Altar Server Drops Human Rights Case against Bishop:

"By John-Henry Westen and Patrick CrainePETERBOROUGH, Ontario, May 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The human rights complaint filed against Bishop Nicola De Angelis of Peterborough, Ontario over his decision to disallow an open homosexual from acting as an altar server in the diocese has been dropped..."

10 Types of Blog Comments: Part 1 of 2 | Blogs | NCRegister.com

I am grateful that most of the commentors here are of the #3 variety!

Fr. Tim

10 Types of Blog Comments: Part 1 of 2 | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Wha?! Nuns dump chicken farm to open massage spa « CatholicVoteAction.org

Wha?! Nuns dump chicken farm to open massage spa « CatholicVoteAction.org

Cardinal Ouellet and Ottawa Archbishop: “The Abortion Debate is on”

Cardinal Ouellet and Ottawa Archbishop: “The Abortion Debate is on”

Monks making money: A business beyond prayer - CNN.com

Monks making money: A business beyond prayer - CNN.com

Quebec Roman Catholic archbishop defends controversial comments on abortion - Winnipeg Free Press

Quebec Roman Catholic archbishop defends controversial comments on abortion - Winnipeg Free Press

26 May, 2010

There's no fool like and old fool!

Many times my mother would react to one of my father's silly schemes in the house by exclaiming, "There's no fool like an old fool". This line is ringing in my head today as I suffer the effects of being on the golf course for 81 holes of golf yesterday. For the past 15 years I have joined with three others friends for an all day golf marathon. Closer to our athletic prime, we used to golf in excess of 100 holes in one day. The vagaries of age have slowed us down but 81 holes still takes quite a toll on the body.

I'll be back to blogging as per usual tomorrow (assuming I survive today - it's even hard to type!)

Just do me the kindness of offering a pray on behalf of this old fool today!

Fr. Tim

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

24 May, 2010

New Blog to Check out

Here is a new blog that deals specifically with the question of faith and economic issues from a Catholic perspective. I have been cross posting to articles that touch on economic issues for a short time ago I suddenly realized that the nexus of these two issues was certainly where the 'rubber hit the road' for all of us. The owner of the blog, is a former Swiss Guard from the Vatican, turned entrepreneur who has successfully turned his talents into helping to build the economy in Africa (through funding of co-op's and other organizations who issue 'micro-loans' and open markets).

Add it to your list of favorites. You might find it both inspirational and profitable! 

http://faithandprosperity.com/

22 May, 2010

Reading the economic tea leaves

CTV News | Reading the economic tea leaves

Not Like Everyone Else | Catholic Exchange

I offer the following article for your consideration. It questions the honesty of gay activists who are claiming that same-sex marriage is simply a matter of wanting the same civil rights as heterosexual couples. Here's how Colson starts the article:

Same-sex couples just want the right to be married like everyone else, or so the argument goes. They call it a civil right. You could hardly find a more innocuous argument, perfectly designed to appeal to all of us who believe in equal rights and fair play. The only problem is that it's not true


Read the rest of this short column by clicking on the title or the link below.

Not Like Everyone Else | Catholic Exchange

Why God is still in the building

Here is an interesting response to the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens who argue that God does not exist. I would be interested in your comments for it is an argument that I am unfamiliar with and, while I agree with the premise of the author that God does exist, there is something about the argument that leaves me 'unsatisfied'.

What do you think?

Fr. Tim

Why God is still in the building

21 May, 2010

Cardinal: synthetic cell requires ethical responsibility - CTV News

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it 'funny' that whenever the media wants to get an opinion of the morality of an act such as this, but then slams the church when they put forward a moral position such as Cardinal Ouellet did in Quebec?

(that's 'funny strange', not 'funny humor')

Cardinal: synthetic cell requires ethical responsibility - CTV News

Civil rights leaders rally around arrested Malawi homosexuals - International News - Catholic Online

ALL CHRISTIANS should stand in opposition to these arrests. While the Church might hold and teach that homosexual acts are sinful, they should not be criminal. Just as we have the right of religious freedom of belief, so too must every other person be granted the freedom to live their life as they see fit. I will right to the government of Malawi to demand the release of these men. I hope you will too.

Fr. Tim

Contact Information:
Malawi High Comission , Canada

7 Clemow Avenue
Postal Code:
KlS 2A9
Ottawa
Ontario
Canada
Phone:
+1-613-2368931
Fax:
+1-613-2361054
Email:
malawi.highcommission@sympatico.ca


Civil rights leaders rally around arrested Malawi homosexuals - International News - Catholic Online

19 May, 2010

HELP!!! HELP!!!

Folks:  We here at St. Anne's Parish in Mattawa need HELP!! With the mills closed down and there being almost no forest industry work left, our unemployment rate as SKYROCKETED!!! As a result, while we have not seen a decline in attendance (if anything it's up a bit) our collections have almost collapsed. The parish is on financial life support from the Diocese, but we need to do all that we can to try and raise some revenue or it will be necessary to lay-off the lay staff at the parish. Already they have accepted deep cuts in their hours of work, but even this is becoming unsustainable.

If you are able, and are willing to make a donation to help us out, you could do so in two ways:

1. use the donate button in the left hand column, or
2. mail us your donation to:
 
ST. ANNE'S PARISH, BOX 160, MATTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA P0H1V0

Tax receipts will be issued for all donations. 

THANK YOU!

Our Debt to Jerusalem


Our Debt to Jerusalem

The late Pope John Paul the Great was acclaimed throughout his pontificate for being the pontiff that finally aligning the barque of Peter with ‘our elder brothers and sisters,’ the first children of Abraham, the Jews. As someone who had resisted anti-Semitism throughout his life, his apology, offered in Jerusalem in the extraordinary Holy Year of the Millennium, carried the credibility of one who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand in Poland. His acknowledgement of the debt of all Christians to the people of the first covenant should have consequences not only in the spiritual realm but in worldly matters too.

Recent events in Israel (new construction projects in Jerusalem, slow resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, etc.) now demand that the nations of the world respond with diplomatic initiatives supporting either Israel or the Palestinian Authority. So the questions becomes: Do Christians have an obligation to take one side or the other in these disputes? Given that Sacred Scripture of both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles states that the presence of the Jewish people in Jerusalem is an essential precursor to the arrival of the Messiah in glory, it would seem that Christians who hold to an orthodox interpretation of scripture are obliged to stand with Israel.

Thomas Oden, in his 2003 book The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity enumerates the reasons that Christians live in a fraternal relationship with Judaism. These include a commitment to the Hebrew Bible as Holy Scripture and an understanding of themselves as co-inheritors with Jews at the final coming of the Messiah. They also share a common belief in the God of Abraham, Moses, and Israel as the giver and orderer of nature and history and that he is the creator of man and woman in His image and likeness. Together we believe that when we fail to fulfill our obligations, he offers a way of atonement such that we need not fear his coming at the consummation of history.

It is due to this final point that Christians should be able to see the source of inspiration for supporting not only Judaism as a religion, but also the State of Israel. Our faith in God is a ‘particular faith’ in that it is founded upon specific interventions of God in creation—with Noah, Abraham, and Moses, and for Christians, His incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ—and a particular understanding of one particular people’s history: the history of the Jews. We both hold that the Exodus with its Messianic elements was central event which sealed our relationship with God. The Jews are still waiting for his arrival. Christians simply believe that God promised His chosen people that the Messiah has come and that he will come again. It is part of our creed that when He does return, he will do exactly what the Jews expect of the Messiah—come in a way that will make it impossible to deny his true nature. Jews and Christians both believe in the general resurrection of the dead and of a final judgment by which the people of the covenant will be rewarded for their fidelity to their commitments to God and each other.

The same Hebrew Scriptures, as well as in the Talmudic interpretations that followed state that when that, when the Day of Judgment comes, the people of Israel will occupy the lands He gave to them after their Exodus from Egypt. Sacred Scripture tells us that the penultimate battle in which good finally vanquishes all evil is to take place in these lands of Israel. Christian Scripture even names the exact place in Israel where the Apocalypse will culminate. Given that we draw our hope in the promise of God from these same sources, are we not then both obliged to believe that the existence of the State of Israel is a necessary precursor to the Messiah’s final arrival on earth? In the political battles that constantly inflame the Middle East, Christians are obliged to support whatever is necessary to guarantee the continual existence of the Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital—obliged, that is, if one believes in the promise and truth of Scripture as understood for almost 2500 years of human history.

We are members of the same family of God. In times of trouble, a family pulls together in mutual support, respect, and affection. Christian nations should remember this familial debt we owe our elder brothers and sisters, and define their foreign policy to reflect these values and convictions.

Defending Religious Freedom in Full - George Weigel - National Review Online

Another insightful article from my old friend, George Weigel!

Defending Religious Freedom in Full - George Weigel - National Review Online

Criminalisation de l'avortement: les politiciens indignés | Simon Boivin | Société

Reaction to Cardinal Ouellet' s pro-life speech from the Quebec media (en francais)

Criminalisation de l'avortement: les politiciens indignés | Simon Boivin | Société

18 May, 2010

What is God's Address?

Ever wonder what God’s address is? When we search for someone in the real or virtual world, we usually start with an address. Just about anyone’s home address or phone number can be found through any number of online and traditional sources. On the Internet, we search for an email address or an IP address. No matter where we search for someone, the first thing that we look for is an address.

So what is God’s address?


Much ink has been spilt by theologians and mystics over the past few millennia trying to explain where God lives. Sometimes the search begins by scanning the heavens to see if God can be found among the stars. Today, many comb our ecosystem to see if some clue to the Divine address can be discerned through understanding the patterns and designs in nature. Mystics have searched every corner of the ‘dark night’ of the soul and the ecstasies of life, laughter, and love to listen for a whispered voice revealing God’s hiding place.  These efforts have led us to discover where it is that God can be found.  He is at home in us.
Barbara Jones Taylor, a professor at Piedmont College in Georgia has perhaps said it best in her recent book An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, our body is the “address of the soul.” From the moment of our conception, and more fully at the second birth of baptism, the Divine takes up residence in our body, fusing our existence with His until that day when He takes his leave. So long as believers live, God lives as well.


Alas, like so many of the truths of the Christian faith, many have lost sight of this truth.  Some interpret life through the lens of various ‘new age’ spiritualities, each a modern form of pantheism, believing that creation itself is god.  For Christians, such an understanding robs humanity of the richness of the scriptural and patristic traditions, which teach that it is this indwelling of God that establishes our fraternal relationship with Him through the person of Christ.  Christians believe that they are ‘enfleshed souls’, endowed with the essential gifts of free will, consciousness, and individuality—which together form our personality.  To use a colloquial expression familiar to many Catholics, our bodies are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’. Just as Christ, the perfect exemplar of the hypo-static union, is fully God and fully human at one and the same time, so too do all humans share in a similar blending of the divine and the profane, at least so long as life continues.
What are the implications of this union? Fundamentally it explains our state in life—it determines who we see ourselves. Are we simply flesh and blood, neurons, and electrical charges—the product of Darwinian natural selection—or are we something more? Does our life not give God a ‘local address’ where he coexists with us who become living, breathing, walking, talking, earthly tabernacles of the Holy Spirit? If this is true, then logically each stage of life, from our experiences in the womb until our natural end, is a moment in which God's presence and grace is made manifest on earth.


Christians and Jews dare not deny Him his right of occupancy. We are fully capable of culminating our life should that be our will, but to do so out of a selfish belief that it is something that we alone possess is not an option for believers. For them, life is something that is better thought of not as ‘property’ we own, but as time leased to us for our exclusive use.  We 'signed' our lease on life at the moment of conception—that particular moment which started our headlong race from life to death. If we want out of the lease before it ends, there's going to be a cost—penalties that can only be paid in the life to come. Someone might object that this was not a 'deal' that he signed on for—and that he is therefore free to 'move out' at the date and time of his choosing. For others, existence is little more than the culmination of natural forces that exist for no particular purpose in itself. This existential nihilism is expressed well in Woody Allen's Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex but Were Afraid To Ask. ‘Existence’ is little more than the result of one individual sperm 'winning' a race from the testicles to the ovum.  Life is thus reduced to simply a matter of (good/bad) luck and (fortuitous/unfortunate) timing.  There's no more mystery to it than that. For atheists, one does not need God or the Bible to explain life—any rudimentary sex education film will suffice.

Such a belief is antithetical to orthodox Christians and Jews alike.  For them, God exists not only in the spiritual realm but in and through their existence. Thus, He exists here so long as his believers do. He is part of our familial gestalt. To deny his presence in our history is to deny the kerygma by which life, both interiorally and externally, has been formed for over 3000 years. It is this belief that fuels their passion to promote the sanctity of life from conception to its natural end. Believers understand that existence is not something that we can either pick up or put down on our own volition. One might easily enough make another person, but one cannot replicate himself. (Each person is a biological and psychological repository of the years. Each one of us is unique, meaning that the pro-life argument holds at both ends of 'life'.) To end life for no other reason than to attempt to prove ones existential sovereignty would make necessary God's 'eviction' from one's life. That is the operational definition of an atheist—one who ‘evicts’ God from his life.  For theists, God is our roommate in life. We do not have the right to 'kick him out'—even if we find him at times to be an onerous tenant.

So long as the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel live, God will always have an address here on earth. He is at home with them because they are all of one family in faith, even if they disagree on the issue of the Messiah. So long as one person believes in the biblical Covenant of the Hebrew Scriptures, God will have a home here on earth.

17 May, 2010

Pope's defenders push back | National Catholic Reporter

Pope's defenders push back | National Catholic Reporter

The War Against Mother Teresa of Calcutta « Coming Home

This is one facet of the attack on the Church that I truthfully do not understand. So universal has been the acclaim and respect in which she is held that I once here a comedian spin a tail about being afraid to fly, until the day came that he flew on an airliner with Mother Teresa. He realized right away that if ever there's ever a great time to "trust in divine providence" to protect passengers on their voyage, he had hit the "Catholic jackpot!" Even if we crash, who better to stand with before God than that holy woman! She who would carry the lepers in Calcutta would carry anyone into heaven" he concluded, to the great applause of the studio audience.

Now this... I sincerely do not understand how anyone could deny the incredible witness to love which was her mission in life. Sad, sad, very sad.

The War Against Mother Teresa of Calcutta « Coming Home

BIG BLUE WAVE: Cardinal Ouellet-- and Blogging Hiatus

The abuse that Cardinal Ouellet is suffering for speaking for the pro-life cause at the recent successful Parliament Hill demonstration. As the writer points out in this blog, nary a voice of support has been raised in support of the Cardinal - or at least in the public media. I hope that this cross posting here might inspire you to at least seek out what Cardinal Ouellet actually said and judge the merits of his argument. I did and am now proud to offer what little public support this blog might engender in this cause for the recognition of personhood being apriori present in the womb. I do not expect that this will result in a conversion of heart for those who hold to the pro-choice position. I simply hope that it might help them to understand why it is that pro-lifers believe as they do.

At the very least, you'll understand the logic that organizes the thoughts of the good Cardinal... and mine as well.

Fr. Tim

BIG BLUE WAVE: Cardinal Ouellet-- and Blogging Hiatus

"Union busting is a mortal sin" - The Deacon's Bench

"Union busting is a mortal sin" - The Deacon's Bench

Charges Dropped against UK Preacher who Called Homosexual Acts a Sin

Charges Dropped against UK Preacher who Called Homosexual Acts a Sin

Vatican reveals sex abuse defense « CatholicVoteAction.org

Vatican reveals sex abuse defense « CatholicVoteAction.org

Examining Timothy Dolan's Record in the Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Crisis - NYTimes.com

Examining Timothy Dolan's Record in the Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Crisis - NYTimes.com

Sin within Church does not extinguish hope, Pope tells German faithful

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Sin within Church does not extinguish hope, Pope tells German faithful

Homosexual Rainbow Sash Movement Threatens to Disrupt Pentecost Mass, Confront Cardinal George - U.S. News - Catholic Online

Such an act is supposed to be illegal, at least in Ontario. I wonder if 'disrupting a religious service' is an offense in the city that gave John Daley to the nation? If there's anyplace in the US that would invest such powers to the police, it is likely that it would be there.

Homosexual Rainbow Sash Movement Threatens to Disrupt Pentecost Mass, Confront Cardinal George - U.S. News - Catholic Online

'Guess Whose Coming to Dinner': Finding God in Each Other

'Guess Whose Coming to Dinner': Finding God in Each Other 

Ever wonder what God’s address is? Whenever we search for someone in the real or virtual world, we need an address to find them. We can find just about anyone’s civic address or phone number through any number of online and tradition sources. On the Internet, we can search of an email address or a IP address which will lead us to find them. No matter where we search, the first thing that we look for if we want to find someone is their address.

So what is God’s address?

Barrels of ink have been spilled by theologians and mystics over the millennium trying to explain where God lives. Sometimes the search begins by searching   the heavens to see if God can be found among the stars. Today many search our ecosystem to see if some clue to the Divine address can be discerned through understanding the patterns and designs in nature. Mystics have searched every corner of the ‘dark night’ of the soul and the ecstasies of life, laughter and love to listen for a whispered voice revealing God’s hiding place.  These efforts have led us to discover where it is that God can be found.  He is at home in us.

Barbara Jones Taylor, a professor at Piedmont College in Georgia  has perhaps said it best in her book ‘An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith’ (Harper One), our body is the “address of the soul.” From the moment of our conception and more fully in the second birth of baptism, the Divine takes up residence in our body, fusing our existence with his until that day when He takes his leave. So long as believers live... God lives as well.

Alas, like so many of the truths of the Christian faith, many have lost sight of this truth.  Some interpret life through the lens of various ‘new age’ spiritualities, each a modern form of pantheism, believing that creation itself is god.  For Christians, such an understanding robs humanity of the richness of the scriptural and patristic traditions which teach that it is this indwelling of God establishes our fraternal relationship with Him through the person of Christ.  Christians believe that they are ‘enfleshed souls’, endowed with the essential gifts of free will, consciousness and individuality which together forms our personality.  To use a colloquial expression familiar to many Catholics, our bodies are ‘temples of the Holy Spirit’. Just as Christ, the perfect exemplar of the hypo-static union, is fully God and human at the same time, so too do all humans share in a similar blending of the divine and the profane, at least so long as life continues.

What are the implications of such a union? Fundamentally it explains our state in life - it determines who we see ourselves. Are we simply flesh and blood, neurons and electrical charges, the product of Darwinian natural selection, or are we something more? Does our life not give God a 'local address’ where he coexists with us who become living, breathing, walking, talking earthly tabernacles of the Holy Spirit? If this is true, then logically each stage of life, from the experiences in the womb through to its natural end,  is a moment in which God's presence and grace is made manifest on earth.

Christians and Jews dare not  deny Him his right of occupancy. We are fully capable of culminating our life should that be our will, but to do so out of a selfish belief that it is something that we alone possess is not an option for believers. For them, life is something that is better thought of not as ‘property’ we own, but as time leased to us for our exclusive use.  We 'signed' our lease on life at the moment of conception - that particular moment which started our headlong race through life to death. If we want out of the lease before its end, there's   going to be a cost, penalties that can only be paid in the life to come. One might object that this was not a 'deal' that he signed on for, and  he is therefore free to 'move out' at the date and time of his choosing. For others, existence is little more than the culmination of natural forces that exist for no particular purpose in itself. This existential nihilism is expressed well in Woody Allan's 'Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex but Were Afraid To Ask' (MGM: 1972).  ‘Existence’ is little more than the result of one individual sperm which 'won' a race from the testicles to the ovum.  Life is thus reduced then to just a matter of (good/bad) luck and (fortuitous/unfortunate) timing.  There's no more mystery to it than that. For atheists, one does not need God or the Bible to explain life - any rudimentary sex education film will suffice.

Such a belief is antithetical to orthodox Christians and Jews alike.  For them, God exists not only in the spiritual realm but in and through their existence. Thus, He exists here so long as his believers do. He is part of our familial gestalt. To deny his presence in our history is to deny the kyrgma by which life has been formed and lived, however imperfectly, for over 3000 years both internally and communally. It is this belief that fuels the pro-life passion to promote the sanctity of life from conception to its natural end. Believers understand that existence is not something that we can either pick up or put down on our own volition. One might easily enough make another person, but one cannot replicate him  self. (Each person is a biological and psychological repository of the years and is unique).  To end life for no reason other than as existential exercise to prove ones sovereignty over existence, would make necessary God's 'eviction' from one's life. That is the operational definition of an atheist - one who ‘evicts’ God from his life.  For theists, God is our roommate in life. We do not have the right to 'kick him out' even if at times we think of him to be an onerous tenant.

So long as the children of Abraham, Isaac and Israel live, God will always have an address here on earth. He is at home with them because they are all of one family in faith, even if they disagree on the issue of the Messiah. So long as one person believes in the biblical Covenant of the Hebrew Scriptures, God will have a home here on earth.

Fr. Tim

15 May, 2010

Editorial - Justice for Child Abuse Victims - NYTimes.com

The NYT continues its ferocious attack against the Church. In this editorial, it blames the Church for single handedly blocking legislation lifting the statute of limitation for childhood sexual abuse, neglecting to mention that the State School Boards, Teachers Unions and various government agencies (not to mention groups like Scouts, Guides and virtually every other church denomination) have also come out in opposition to this proposed legislation. But, why let the facts get in the way of a good smear campaign, eh?

Sad, sad, sad.

Editorial - Justice for Child Abuse Victims - NYTimes.com

Religion in the public square

Father Raymond J. de Souza » Blog Archive » Religion in the public square

New missal a sign of the times - Catholic Church news – The Catholic Register

The new missal (Catholic Book of Prayers for the Eucharist) has been finalized and will be in force in Canada by Advent 2011. It is reported as being a 'radical' change in the liturgy, however the summary of the changes listed at the end of the article hardly qualifies for such a description. There are a few changes in wording that will be simple for the faithful and priests to accept.

As someone who lived through the changes that seemed to come in rapid succession in the wake of Vatican II, this new English translation (which has been predicted as coming 'any day now' since my seminary days 20+ years ago!!) hardly raised my blood pressure at all!

Now, to come up with the $$$$ to pay for the thing... that's going to take some radical thinking for parishes as strapped for resources as we here in Mattawa and the surrounding parishes. A new missal may help to change the 'quality' of the liturgy - but such Church books are very expensive to purchase!! Any donations offered to help us pay for ours (and for other economically challenged parishes in the Pembroke Diocese as well) can be made via the 'Donate' Button on the left hand side of my home page. Tax Receipts will be issued through St. Anne's Roman Catholic Parish (Mattawa) for any donations received to help with this cause.

Thank you.


New missal a sign of the times - Catholic Church news – The Catholic Register

Another demographics video

Pope implores Catholics to join him in evangelizing :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope implores Catholics to join him in evangelizing :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

An article on Cardinal George (Chicago) stand on religious freedom

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Pill inventor slams ... pill - CathNews

Here is another link to the Birth Control Pill story

Pill inventor slams ... pill - CathNews

National Review Board recounts lessons learned from abuse victims’ stories :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

National Review Board recounts lessons learned from abuse victims’ stories :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pill Inventor Slams ... PILL

Facebook | Tina Mahar: Pill Inventor Slams ... PILL

14 May, 2010

Gallup: Americans Becoming More Pro-life « The American Catholic

2% is nothing to crow about... but it must feel good to be 'on top' for at least another year for the pro-life community in the USA. Anyone know the Canadian stat's?

Gallup: Americans Becoming More Pro-life « The American Catholic

Cardinal Sean O'Malley (Boston) on the crisis, the visitation of women's orders, and Fatima | National Catholic Reporter

O'Malley on the crisis, the visitation of women's orders, and Fatima | National Catholic Reporter

Whispers in the Loggia: "We Impose Nothing, Yet We Propose Ceaselessly"

Whispers in the Loggia: "We Impose Nothing, Yet We Propose Ceaselessly"

Top Picks : Selling eggs

CTV news story on women from Ivy League Universities being encouraged to sell their eggs to fertility clinics.

Top Picks : Selling eggs

Cardinal Ouellet to Canadian Gvmt: Take Stand For Life at Home Too

Cardinal Ouellet to Canadian Gvmt: Take Stand For Life at Home Too

HuffoPo writer calls for “war” against bishops « CatholicVoteAction.org

The Huffington Post has been one of the most vociferous media outlets when it comes to attacking virtually every aspect of the RC Church. Here is a recent example.

HuffoPo writer calls for “war” against bishops « CatholicVoteAction.org

USCCB (American Catholic Bishops Conference) publishes FAQs on clerical abuse and canon law

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : USCCB publishes FAQs on clerical abuse and canon law

Catholic League president responds to NCR column | National Catholic Reporter

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League in the USA is most certainly a controversial figure. Here's an article that demonstrates why. I do not always agree with the position he takes, but I do not know of many others who are more effective in defending the faith.

Catholic League president responds to NCR column | National Catholic Reporter

12 May, 2010

"May the Church Be Renewed By Priests Who Are Holy"

Whispers in the Loggia: "May the Church Be Renewed By Priests Who Are Holy"

CBC waging 'faith-war,' according to the Conservatives

Here's an article taken from the Globe and Mail website, written by Jane Taber  in which she reports that the Conservative Party has taken offense at what it calls a 'faith-war' being waged by the CBC.

Notwithstanding the political implications of a political party complaining about the media (as if that's never happened before!), Taber does a decent job of summarizing the 'evidence' that the CBC is indeed antithetical to the voices of faith in the public square.

The Cost of Father Maciel | First Things

This editorial, written by Joseph Bottum at First Things is essential reading for anyone who has an interest in the Legionaries of CHrist, a powerful organization in years past who have been brought to the precipice of collapse by the revelations of the criminal deeds of their founder, Fr. Maciel. In criticizing Cardinal Sodano (Dean of the College of Cardinals) Bottum 'connects the dots' such that they elucidate the role of the Vatican in its response to most if not all of the sex abuse scandals that have erupted this past year.

It's well worth the few minutes it takes to read the article.

The Cost of Father Maciel | First Things

Austrian bishop questions celibacy - CTV News

Austrian bishop questions celibacy - CTV News

Saskatchewan Court Considers Legislation Protecting Conscience Rights of Marriage Commissioners

Sasketchewan Court Considers Legislation Protecting Conscience Rights of Marriage Commissioners

Pope on secularism: Seek dialogue, but be ready for martyrdom | National Catholic Reporter

Pope on secularism: Seek dialogue, but be ready for martyrdom | National Catholic Reporter

On Catholic Economists « Open Economics

Why are there so few Catholic economists? This columnist tries to formulate the reason.

On Catholic Economists « Open Economics

Pope: Sin Inside Catholic Church Terrifying « Liveshots

Pope: Sin Inside Catholic Church Terrifying « Liveshots

11 May, 2010

Pope: Church's own sins to blame in sex scandal - Yahoo! News

Pope: Church's own sins to blame in sex scandal - Yahoo! News

Babies may know good from evil: new study - CTV News

Babies may know good from evil: new study - CTV News

In-Vitro Fertilization: A Pandora's Box of Problems

John Roberts of CNN has broadcast a theme piece entitled “Misconceptions” which exposed the legal complications that have followed the wide spread use of in-vitro fertilization when something goes awry with the procedure. He interviewed a couple who were accidentally implanted with an embryo left at a fertility clinic by another couple. They were soon embroiled in a legal controversy within which the ‘rights of the parents’ superseded the ‘best interests of the child’. Further commentary offered by lawyers who were interviewed stated that they types of accidents were becoming sufficiently common that the American Bar Association has issued guideline by which the resolution of such legal issues should be adjudicated.

This does not come as a surprise to the Catholic Church. From the public advent of this technology with the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first ‘test-tube human baby it has stated that such procedures, while perhaps medically safe was not deemed to be moral as it would inevitably lead to situations where children would be considered little more than chattel, owned by other individuals as has now happened. Such a situation is akin to slavery; something that has been judged as evil by all civilized people.

Fr. Michael Prieur, a professor at the University of Western Ontario as well as at St. Peter’s Seminary (where I myself studied as I prepared to undertake the task of ministering as a Roman Catholic priest) has spoken of this and other issues related to the field of assisted fertility services and it concomitant bio-ethical and philosophical consequences. In this he was following the teachings of the Church which from at least the reign of Pope Leo XIII proclaimed the rights of the individual over and against the right to conceive and bear a child. It is thus the position of the Church that the rights of ‘personhood’ must be granted to a fertilized embryo for it will inevitably develop into the sole individual who will suffer the legal, psychological, medical and ethical consequences of such ‘mistakes’ as are now evidently common in fertilization clinics.

The Catholic Church first officially addressed the question with the document Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation” which as issued by the Congregation of the Faith on Feb. 22, 1987. It further developed the teaching in 2008 with the publication of "Dignitas Personae (Human Dignity): On Certain Bioethical Questions" which addressed some of the unanticipated moral and ethical questions that had arisen in the 20 years since the procedure became readily available such as the status of the almost 500,000 frozen embryo’s that had been fertilized but stored in various medical clinics.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley OP addressed this well when he wrote in a pastoral letter to his Archdiocese, “<i>When science and technology open doors that should not be opened, a Pandora's box spews forth evils that menace humanity. We invented the atom bomb and germ warfare. These inventions are now part of human history forever. Scientists have opened another perilous door: they are manufacturing human life and using their product as an object of experimentation

Lest we find ourselves in the dystopic future of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, societies would do well to heed the advice of the Church as it offers its wisdom to the world.

Bishop fined for urging faithful to vote according to Catholic teachings :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Bishop fined for urging faithful to vote according to Catholic teachings :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope Issues Strongest Words to Date on Abuse - NYTimes.com

Pope Issues Strongest Words to Date on Abuse - NYTimes.com

09 May, 2010

Charles Lewis: A conversation with Roman Catholic theologian George Weigel - Holy Post

Charles Lewis: A conversation with Roman Catholic theologian George Weigel - Holy Post

It’s sex o’clock in America « Coming Home

It’s sex o’clock in America « Coming Home

US Catholics debate defrocking abusive priests - NewsFlash - OregonLive.com

Damned if we do... damned if we don't! Read this article to see that the Church can't seem to win in these cases. Now people are complaining that if a predator is 'defrocked', the Church is no longer 'in control' of the individual and thus he would be free to abuse again.

Come on folks. You can't have it both ways.

US Catholics debate defrocking abusive priests - NewsFlash - OregonLive.com

Roman Catholic Priest at the Intersection of Faith and Doubt - NYTimes.com

Roman Catholic Priest at the Intersection of Faith and Doubt - NYTimes.com

The Associated Press: Catholics sent predator priest to remote village

Here's a story that captures the essence of how these scandals played out in a manner that reflects so badly on the Church. It involves a missionary priest who was an abuser. He was convicted and sent for treatment upon which the 'experts' gave him the ecclesial version of the 'good housekeeping seal of approval' and then sent back out into ministry where he abused again.

Now the Church is being condemned for simply following the advice of the psychologists etc. as it looks as if they had more concern for the priest than for his victims. I know that this has been case for quite a few of these predators. The Church accepted the wisdom of experts that offending priests could be 'cured' through various forms of cognitive behavior therapy.

My question is: why is the Church not suing these mental heath professionals? In many cases (not all for sure, but for many) it was the assessment of these professionals that was the reason that many of these predators were sent back into ministry. Perhaps if the Church used the same legal tactics that they are being subjected to they might be able to mitigate the financial costs and regain some moral standing in the eyes of many.

The Associated Press: Catholics sent predator priest to remote village

08 May, 2010

The argument for "personhood"

Canadian beavers build world's largest dam - CTV News

I finally gave in and posted this story. I've always marveled at the fact that our neighbors to the south chose as their national symbol, the American Bald Eagle (who I might add nest in the woods around the Ottawa River): a majestic and awesome predator. We Canadians however went a different direction in choosing a rodent (yes a beaver is a large rodent) as the animal in which we invest our national identity. This story will help one understand that the Beaver is a far more accomplished fellow than many of us have given him credit for!

Canadian beavers build world's largest dam - CTV News

Blaming Overpopulation

Zero tolerance of abuse offenders

Zero tolerance of abuse offenders

Why Young Catholics Are Leaving the Church

InsideCatholic.com - Why Young Catholics Are Leaving the Church

03 May, 2010

Canadian Euthanasia Information

The May 2010 Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Newsletter can now be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Newsletters/Newsletter108(May2010)(RGB).pdf

Bill C-384 was soundly defeated by a vote of 228 to 59. Check how the Members of Parliament voted at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/HowTheyVoted.pdf

On June 5, 2010, we are co-hosting the US/Canda Push-Back Seminar at the Radisson Gateway Hotel at the Seattle/Tacoma Airport. The overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 proved that we can Push-Back the euthanasia lobby in the US and Canada and convince people that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a dangerous public policy. Register for the Seminar at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/2010SeminarFlyer(RGB)(LetterFormat).pdf

The Schindler family are being attacked by a Florida television station and Michael Schiavo. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is standing in solidarity with the Schindler family. My blog comments: http://alexschadenberg.blogspot.com/2010/05/attacks-on-schindler-family-are.html  

We won! We defeated Bill C-384 by 228 to 59. We achieved this unprecedented success for many reasons, but the biggest reason for our incredible success is that we remained completely focused on our strategy to defeat the bill. We expended an incredible amount of money in the last few months of our campaign to defeat C-384. I met and directly contacted MP’s. The trips to Ottawa proved to be very effective. We need your financial support now! Donate to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Donations.htm  
Become a friend of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Euthanasia-Prevention-Coalition/138827297524?ref=ts

If you wish to receive the newsletter by email only, then email us with your Name and Address, and we will add you to the email only list.

Alex Schadenberg
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca
euthanasiaprevention@on.aibn.com
1-877-439-3348

Op-Ed Columnist - Who Can Mock the True Catholic Church? - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - Who Can Mock the True Catholic Church? - NYTimes.com

Two speak for 'soul' of Catholic Church, beyond the scandal - Faith & Reason

Two speak for 'soul' of Catholic Church, beyond the scandal - Faith & Reason

With a h/t to Michael Brandon of 'Freedom through truth', a Canadian tribute to the Blessed Virgin in this month dedicated in her honor.

A Tribute to Cardinal John O’Connor (1920–2000) | First Things

First Things publishes an old column from Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus (RIP) in tribute following the death of his friend and Bishop, Cardinal John O'Connor of New York .

A Tribute to Cardinal John O’Connor (1920–2000) | First Things

02 May, 2010

EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 50

EXERCISE  FOR PEOPLE  OVER 50


Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.




Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.





Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.  (I'm at this level.)
 

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.



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