Friday, October 28, 2022

Lamentations in chastisement.

Photos: Monastery of Santa María de Retuerta (est. 1146).
Today, it houses a luxury hotel.

Feeling a bit down lately.

Grief stricken might be a better term.  Confused about the state of the world, the Church and so on.  Not giving up, to be sure.  I have the rosary and the sacraments and prayer.  I'm fine and grateful to have something to offer up as a penance.  If everyone flees, if others just walk away, leaving me alone, I have the Lord, who says to me, "where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”"

Come, all who pass by the way.

That said, I came across some photos of a former monastery turned into a magnificent luxury hotel.  (The photos shown on this post.)  It really sort of hit me.  It struck me as rather ironic. As the Church modernizes and throws out tradition, monasteries and churches continue to close - vocations lost, the faithful fall away - as in John 8: they went away one by one, beginning with the elders... (the scribes and Pharisees). The secular world is ready to grab - there is a market for the 'sacred'.

Suddenly, the world latches on to the most precious and beautiful of sacred booty to treasure, exploit and luxuriate in.  It just goes to show that someone loves tradition and fine art, even liturgical opulence.  While Catholics, "give their precious things for food, to retain the breath of life. “Look, O LORD, and pay attention to how I have been demeaned!" - Lamentations

"The foe stretched out his hands
to all her precious things;
She has seen the nations
enter her sanctuary,
Those you forbade to come
into your assembly." - Lamentations


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The contagion of the world's slow stain...

Which blinds and desensitizes.

That's from something S. Catherine of Genoa said was her concern, to beware the contagion of the world's slow stain.  It is similar to what people have warned about the war in Ukraine - 'don't get used to it' - don't get used to the atrocities - like we did with abortion and a woman's right to choose.

I'm tempted to say, finally the bishops are standing up and making their voice heard, but on some level, they always have - until it turned into a communion debate - who can and cannot receive and so on.  Then the CDF intervened and it wasn't supposed to be about barring someone like President Biden from  communion.  That is an issue for the individual conscience and the pastor - it's not my concern.  (We can judge actions, e.g. immoral acts and laws, but not the conscience or the state of one's soul. At least, that's how I see it.)

That said, what is a concern is the recent statement by Archbishop Lori, speaking for the USCCB regarding Biden's determination to codify abortion rights.  I am happy that the bishops are indeed speaking out - directly and clearly addressing the problem, without punitive threats.  Finally.

“The president is gravely wrong to continue to seek every possible avenue to facilitate abortion, instead of using his power to increase support and care to mothers in challenging situations,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said Oct. 25.

“This single-minded extremism must end, and we implore President Biden to recognize the humanity in preborn children and the genuine life-giving care needed by women in this country,” he said.

The U.S. bishops’ statement noted that last week Biden declared that his top legislative priority after the November elections is to codify a national right to abortion. - CNA

That's how to do it - don't mince words - address the issue head on.  The president is 'gravely wrong'.  Call him out - remain nonpartisan and stop using canon law to control behavior. The threat here is not just against the right to life, it is against religious liberty.  If Biden's plan goes forward, it poses a threat to our democracy, moving us closer towards a new form of totalitarianism.

Backers of abortion say the Women’s Health Protection Act would codify the overturned Roe v. Wade abortion precedent. However, critics say the bill goes much further than Roe. It would declare abortion a human right, undercut existing state pro-life laws, and force objecting doctors and religious hospitals to perform abortions. The bill has repeatedly failed to advance in largely party-line U.S. Senate votes. - CNA

Since Roe v Wade most of the country has gotten used to the idea that it is a woman's right to choose, while we work and hope abortion will be safe, legal and rare.  That notion is the closest anyone can get for dialog concerning 'common ground' on abortion.  Yet it is still on the table with the 'women's right to choose' caveat.  A 'right' almost everyone has 'gotten used to'.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Viewing The View

This is a better view.
Catholic priest Fidelis Moscinski will face trial today for campaigning against abortion outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pennsylvania. If convicted over felony charges, the priest would potentially face 16 years of prison. Please remember this brave priest in your prayers.

Yes, I watch The View.

Or, I have it on in the background while I'm online having my morning coffee.  I'm especially bored with the show since it is pretty much focused upon the midterm elections.  The country is hopelessly divided, so I don't have any great expectations as to how things will turn out.  The women on The View are laser focused on the abortion issue and a women's right to choose. Some of the local ads for politicians complain how immoral it is to take the right to abort from women and girls.  It's really a screwed up notion of morality.

I couldn't help recall the prophetic document Humanae vitae from St. Paul VI.  The ignorance of natural law and Catholic moral teaching is simply stunning.  How far we have been led astray and conditioned to oppose it.

Right off the bat, this statement is rejected outright - even by 'faithful' Catholics: "No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law."

Interpreting the Moral Law

4. This kind of question requires from the teaching authority of the Church a new and deeper reflection on the principles of the moral teaching on marriage—a teaching which is based on the natural law as illuminated and enriched by divine Revelation.

No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, (l) that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, (2) constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation. (3)

In carrying out this mandate, the Church has always issued appropriate documents on the nature of marriage, the correct use of conjugal rights, and the duties of spouses. These documents have been more copious in recent times. (4)

What did St. Paul VI prophecy - caution society against regarding the consequences of ignoring the natural/moral law regarding 'reproductive rights'?

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Limits to Man's Power

Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions, in the light of the principles We stated earlier, and in accordance with a correct understanding of the "principle of totality" enunciated by Our predecessor Pope Pius XII. (21) 
Needless to say, the women of The View and their guests, along with a major swath of the population, firmly reject this teaching, which has led to the reclassification of marriage and gender, and views sexual activity and its many expressions as recreational and a matter of choice.

We need to pray.  Pray for discernment.  It seems to me both political sides will be eager to impose their will upon all, threatening our democracy, and moving towards  a new form of totalitarianism. We see that happening in Putin's assault upon Ukraine - ostensibly claiming to liberate it from Western, Satanic oppression.   Nevertheless - beware the scare tactics of the so-called QAnon fear mongers. (Tucker Carlson, Vigano, Lara Logan, Trump, Bannon and their supporters.)

Concern of the Church

18. It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a "sign of contradiction." (22) She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.

Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. She urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients. In this way she defends the dignity of husband and wife. This course of action shows that the Church, loyal to the example and teaching of the divine Savior, is sincere and unselfish in her regard for men whom she strives to help even now during this earthly pilgrimage "to share God's life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men." (23) - Humanae vitae

The completely skewed view.