Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life"

In the first Apostolic Exhortation of his Pontificate, “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis writes about abortion:

"Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.

Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bishop Paprocki's Supplication and Exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex "marriage"

John White, over at CatholicVote has a series of excerpts from the homily given by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield this past Wednesday. Bishop Paprocki began:

"We are gathered here today in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for a special Holy Hour before the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to participate in "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage." I wish to preface my reflections by saying that I am conducting this prayer service and am speaking to you now with great reluctance. I did not seek to enter any controversy and I don't relish being part of one. But I have given this matter a great deal of thought and prayer, which has led me to the conviction that God is calling me to speak out and conduct these prayers."

The homily is so good (as Mr. White says) that one might as well just excerpt the whole thing. I do note His Excellency makes the same point we made here on November 14, where we highlighted the identical positions of Pope Francis and Archbishop Cordileone, that same-sex "marriage" comes from the devil:

"The deception of the Devil in same-sex marriage may be understood by recalling the words of Pope Francis when he faced a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010. Regarding the proposed redefinition of civil marriage in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote on June 22, 2010, 'The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex. The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy. . . . Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a ‘move’ of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.' The Pope’s reference to the 'father of lies' comes from the Gospel of John (8:44), where Jesus refers to the devil as 'a liar and the father of lies.' So Pope Francis is saying that same-sex 'marriage' comes from the devil and should be condemned as such."

But there is much, much more:

"Same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God, as described in the Bible, when Jesus cites the Book of Genesis in asking the Pharisees, 'Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and declared, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two shall become as one?' Thus they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined.'

Since the legal redefinition of marriage is contrary to God's plan, those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. Politicians responsible for enacting civil same-sex marriage legislation are morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin. We must pray for forgiveness of these sins and deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our Church. The Church stands ready to extend God's mercy to those who confess their sins with true repentance and a firm purpose of amendment in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

His Excellency's closing paragraphs show the love of the Church for all her children, including her same-sex attracted children, as well as reminding all of us, same-sex attracted Christians included, that we will have to carry our individual crosses:

We must also affirm the teaching of the Catholic Church that homosexual persons 'must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.' The Church loves homosexual persons and looks upon them with compassion, offering assistance through support groups such as the Courage Apostolate to live in accord with the virtue of chastity. Indeed, all people all called to chastity, which for a man and woman united in matrimony means for the husband and wife to be faithful to each other.

In conclusion, I quote from a homily given in the second century: 'Let me say also that when we are given a warning and corrected for doing something wrong, we should not be so foolish as to take offense and be angry. There are times when we are unconscious of the sins we commit because our hearts are fickle, lacking in faith. Futile desires becloud our minds. We need to pull ourselves up, therefore, because our very salvation is at stake. Those who keep God's commandments will have reason to rejoice. For a short time in this world they may have to suffer, but they will rise again and their reward will endure for ever. No one who holds God in reverence should grieve over the hardships of this present time, for a time of blessedness awaits him. He will live again in heaven in the company of all those who have gone before him; for all eternity he will rejoice, never to know sorrow again.'

May God give us this grace. Amen.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homosexualist Cultural Imperialism

We have been pointing out the international nature of the homosexualist movement at A Shepherd's Voice for a while. Here's an excerpt from our September 9, 2013 column Rainbow Flags and the Russian Anti-Propaganda Law:

"It is thought-provoking to see, for instance, on the 3000 block of Pacific Avenue, a large rainbow flag flying just a few doors down from where the Egyptian flag flies in front of the Egyptian Consulate. Ditto for the 3500 block of Clay Street where the Korean flag flies in front of the Korean Consulate and four doors away one sees a large rainbow flag flying in front of a large lavender-colored house. Flags are a public assertion of loyalty. This juxtaposition of flags expressing loyalty to a nation flying next to flags expressing loyalty to a group with similar sexual proclivities should provoke anyone to stop and think about what that means for a society."

On the same subject, we had not seen this, another hard-hitting column by Robert Oscar Lopez in Public Discourse. Here are some excerpts:

Speaking before the United Nations earlier this month—bragging about American leadership in a global movement to normalize homosexuality, same-sex marriage, artificial reproductive technology, and cross-dressing—John Kerry revealed the deep pockets and loaded guns that the world’s only superpower can count on to bring such ideas to nations that have religious or cultural objections...
"...In many cases, these less-wealthy nations, such as India, Ghana, and Mexico, are being asked simultaneously to abandon their religious or cultural views of family life and to provide surrogate mothers to the growing market of homosexual couples looking to acquire children.

In crude terms, male-male couples that want children are looking to control a dependent without having to support the child’s biological mother beyond birth.

As I have learned quite well, the word “slavery” is incendiary to homosexuals who feel they are simply trying to found loving families. Still, international gay surrogacy involves predominantly wealthy and white men from powerful countries buying babies from poor women of color and taking them away forever. If you buy a human being, what is this if not an echo of the world’s wretched history of human bondage?

Forcing other countries to redefine their heritage, legacy, familial support systems, religions, moralities, and role models, then implying to them that it is okay to sell their children to American homosexual couples in a brave new world is . . . well, not exactly what most rioters had in mind when they fought with police in front of the Stonewall Inn.

We have not done enough to warn people in vulnerable countries—not only in Latin America, but everywhere in the world—about a globalist ideology that is rising to immense power in the twenty-first century, based on breaking down mores and social relationships that evolved from reliable gender definitions. The LGBT lobby is encouraging homosexual men to take children away from mothers of the Third World, and then leaving the surrogate mothers to perish once the initial fee is paid."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pope Francis, Archbishop Cordileone, and Michael Sean Winters

 National Catholic Reporter blogger deliberately misinforms

On Monday, November 11, at the General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco spoke to the press. His Excellency chairs the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. His Excellency lamented the recent Supreme Court decision on DOMA, and its lack of a decision on the Proposition 8 case. About Proposition 8 he noted the abdication of responsibility, when it suits them, by public officials charged with enforcing laws: "Increasingly we are witnessing public officials placing their opinions over the laws they are charged to Defend…In the area of marriage this has happened in a striking way with DOMA, Proposition 8, and in other jurisdictions with respect to marriage laws."

The Archbishop’s statement provoked a response by Michael Sean Winters, of the National Catholic Reporter. Mr. Winters wrote:

“The Church is a big ship, and she does not turn quickly. So, perhaps it would be expecting too much for the bishops to get with a new program too quickly. This morning, Archbishop Vigano said, "he [the pope] made a special point of saying that he wants 'pastoral' bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology." Now, I am listening to Archbishop Sal Cordileone discuss the "defense of marriage. It is not clear to me why the archbishop thinks it is vital that photography studios be able to discriminate against gay couples. His reading of the politicallandscape if even more strange. +Cordileone is still at the barricades in the culture wars. This summer the pope, when asked about a gay monsignor, said, ‘who am I to judge?’ This was widely reported. Apparently, albeit unreported, the Holy Father intended to leave judgment to +Cordileone.”

Since the subject under discussion was same-sex “marriage” it might first be instructive to compare the positions of Archbishop Cordileone and the Holy Father on the issue. In 2009, Archbishop Cordileone told the East Bay Express:

"The ultimate attack of the Evil One is the attack on marriage," he said. "If you take marriage apart, everything comes unraveled. It's been frayed at the edges, and now moving more and more toward the center. But you take marriage out, it all comes unraveled. It all comes tumbling down. And again, the evangelicals, they understand that. They understand this is an attack of the Evil One at the core institution."

The next year, 2010, when faced with a similar situation, legislation for same-sex “marriage” in Argentina, the Holy Father, then-Cardinal Bergoglio, said:

“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Far from being at odds, it sounds like Cardinal Bergoglio was channeling the recent statement of Bishop Cordileone. In fact, both prelates were repeating the teaching of the Church.

Mr. Winters then offers the conventional and deliberate misunderstanding of the Pope’s “Airplane Statement.” He writes “This summer the pope, when asked about a gay monsignor, said, ‘who am I to judge?’”

That is a deliberate misunderstanding, and it is stupid, because the Pope’s words are easily found. The Holy Father was answering a question from journalist Inez Scamparini, about Monsignor Battista Ricca. The Holy Father discussed Ricca, and then said:

“ spoke about the gay lobby. So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good. If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying ... wait a moment, how does it say it ... it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”. The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem.”

Mr. Winters ignores, to the point of deception, a number of things in this statement. He writes that the Holy Father says “who am I to judge?” when the actual sentence reads “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” First, that “if” is a very big “if.” Second, the Holy Father is discussing a “someone,” a particular person, and, in the previous sentence specifically says “you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good.” Third, the “gay lobby” that the Holy Father was condemning—judging--obviously includes those who would lobby for same-sex “marriage”—precisely the issue Archbishop Cordileone was addressing. Simply put, the Holy Father’s “Airplane Statement” not only does not contradict the Archbishop’s position, it validates it.

It is revealing that Mr. Winters, and others, seek to deliberately misunderstand what the Pope was so obviously saying. They are deliberately fooling themselves and seeking to fool others. It indicates they don’t care about what he actually said, only about how they can spin it to push a particular agenda. On a deeper level it indicates that they don’t believe reality is important, but only that what people think about reality is important.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mainsteam Media=Democratic Lapdogs

Some years back the famous libertarian blogger Glenn Reynolds observed (I'm quoting from memory) that if you care about a free press, you should always vote Republican, because the mainstream media is so committed to the Democratic Party they will not do their jobs when a Democratic administration is in power.

The nightmare of Obamacare (following the nightmare of Benghazi and the nightmare of the IRS's deliberate and selective targeting of conservative, pro-life and Tea Party groups) bears this out. You don't need to censor the press, when they are willing to your bidding for free.

The Obamacare disaster, in which millions of Americans have lost their health care insurance as a result of government action, is, in my opinion, one of the biggest stories of our lifetimes. Millions of Americans have had their health insurance cancelled. The number may go as high as 52 million.This should be the lead story every day in every press outlet in the country. Michael Goodwin of the New York Post took the New York Times to task for this on Sunday, November 10:

New York Times' Obama cheerleading harms the nation

"As watchdogs became lapdogs, the presidential bubble grew impenetrable, isolating him from ordinary Americans and the trickle-down pain of his policies.

From the broadcast networks to MSNBC and most large papers, Obama got the benefit of every doubt. The double standards were a daily disgrace so routine, they mostly provoked a shrug instead of outrage.

Mr. Goodwin continues (although I think he is being way to generous to the press--imagine if Obamacare had happened, for instance, under the last President Bush):

"The ObamaCare debacle is the exception that proves the rule.  Wall-to-wall complaints are forcing the media to report that the law’s Web site is a lemon and that its rules are causing millions of people to lose insurance plans they liked.

The mainstream media is acting only because the story is too big to ignore. Had it been mildly skeptical sooner, it could have exposed the law’s destructive rules and prevented the disaster."

The Democratic pollster Patrick Caddell was even harsher on the mainstream media's coverage of the Benghazi disaster, where four Americans, including our Ambassador to Libya, were murdered. Mr. Caddell thinks the bias is specifically for President Obama, rather than for Democrats in general:

Dem Pollster Pat Caddell: MSM is Threatening Future of Country

“First of all, we’ve had 9 days of lies…If a president of either party…had had a terrorist incident and gotten on an airplane [after remarks] and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified…it should have been, should have been, the equivalent, for Barack Obama, of George Bush’s “flying over Katrina” moment. But nothing was said at all. Nothing will be said. [...] It is [unacceptable] to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know. [The MSM] has made themselves the enemy of the American people. It is a threat to the very future of the country; we’ve crossed a new and frightening line on the slippery slope, and it needs to be talked about.”

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pope Francis: Same-Sex "Marriage" is "A 'move' from the father of lies"

We know Pope Francis's stance on same-sex "marriage." Here is his 2010 statement opposing the bill that would make same-sex "marriage" and adoption legal in Argentina:

"In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

We bring this up to expose the lies that the supporters of counterfeit "marriage" tell. The Illinois Legislature just legalized counterfeit marriage in their state, and some of them are attempting to justify their votes by citing Pope Francis's off the cuff statements. From the Chicago Tribune:

"Advocates soon received additional help from Pope Francis, who warned that the Catholic Church could lose its way by focusing too much on social stances, including opposition to homosexuality.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?" Francis said in July.

The comments sparked a wave of soul-searching by several Catholic lawmakers who had battled to reconcile their religious beliefs with their sworn duty to represent their constituents who were increasingly supportive of gay rights even as Cardinal Francis George remained opposed.

"As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion and justice for all people," said Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora who voted for the bill after spending much of the summer undecided.

So they deliberately twist the Pope's message of love for of all people into support for same-sex "marriage"--despite the fact that the Holy Father said:

 "At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”


Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Roots of the Obamacare Debacle

So many social problems are rooted in our culture's current unwillingness to accept truth exists outside of human thoughts and desires.On April 1, 2011 we posted about a then-recent column by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami (now in the running to be the next President of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops). His Excellency observed:

"In our nation's culture wars, the two sides are fighting about the understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality. One side — and today, "gay marriage" is its poster child — holds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things, but by one's own individual will. The other side holds men and women are not self-creators, but creatures. Truth is not constructed, but received and thus must reflect the reality of things. Or, as the Book of Genesis says: "Male and female, He (God) created them." (Genesis 1:27)."

The Archbishop's observation is being understood by more and more people. Over the last few days the Obamacare debacle has brought it home, as these three recent columns show. In the column Barack Obama's Narrative Illusions, Andrew Klavan describes a previous column he wrote, but which various editors declined:

"It was based on Obama’s answer to the usual campaign question: “Why do you want to be president?” His answer, which I can no longer find to quote verbatim, had to do with how inspiring it would be to black children to see him sworn in on Inauguration Day.

That, I wrote at the time, is not a reason to be president. It’s a reason to play the president, as an actor plays a role. In this long-ago unpublished op-ed, I used my novelistic x-ray vision to look into the then-candidate’s soul and point out that this was not a man who actually wanted to do — or was even capable of doing — the work of a chief executive. He just thought it would be an all around Good Thing if he could live out his fantasy of being in that part.

It is now apparent to any honest observer that Obama is a rank incompetent too arrogant and foolish to alter his political philosophy even after reality has proven it false. As his record at the time of his original candidacy should have warned us, he has no business in the Oval Office. He simply isn’t up for the job.

And what is extra tragicomical about Obama’s spectacular failure is that so many of the journalists who cover him are ALSO content to have him play rather than be the president — just as they themselves are content to play at heroically helping the poor and minorities even as their left-wing policies make the poor even poorer and the marginalized more marginalized still.

The reason for this is that both Obama and many of our journalists were trained in the post-modern academy where they were taught that there is no such thing as moral truth but only culturally inculcated narratives. In such a world, the moral narrative that can be drummed into the head of the populace is the truth that wins. Convincing people that a good has been achieved is the same as achieving it."

In his column, Mr. Klavan points to a recent column by Roger Simon which addresses the same point. Mr. Simon's column is called God, Lies, and Obama. He writes, in part:

"Americans are far from strangers to presidential lying. Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon excelled at it. Both, however, were liars of what we could call self-defense....

Barack Obama is another matter. His lies are not mainly for self-defense (although Benghazi has elements of that). They are lies of ideological volition. He lies to get his way. And he does it so well, with so much seeming earnestness — as in his umpteen (and continuing!) pronouncements that no one would lose their health insurance or personal physician from Obamacare, when, it’s now clear, he knew all the while this was utterly false — that his behavior appears almost sociopathic.

In other words, to Obama these are not really lies, because he has no values, religious or otherwise, that make them so. This is more than just the prototypical Marxist ends justifying the means...
He never had a moral basis for honesty. Lying, from the Choom Gang through Reverend Wright and beyond, was his lifestyle. And he had the consolation that he was lying for a better good. No one ever told him otherwise. If that goes on for long enough, you lose contact with truth. It becomes almost a non-existent phenomenon, an irrelevancy."

And Daniel Greenfield, writing about the Obamacare catastrophe in the column Government is Magic:

"Our modernity is style rather than substance. It's Obama grinning. It's the right font. It's the right joke. It's that sense that X knows what he's doing because he presents it the right way. There's nothing particularly modern about that…, like ObamaCare, was going to work because it was 'good'. Its goodness was by some measure other than result. It was morally good. It was progressive. And so the deity of liberal causes, perhaps Karl Marx or Progressia, the Goddess of Soup and Economic Dysfunction, would see to it that it would work…"

May our culture wake up before it is too late. May the Church continue to be a beacon to those looking for truth!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Belgium Debates Whether to Euthanize Children

An all too believable article from the the Washington Post:

"Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?

In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children — something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.

Advocates argue that euthanasia for children, with the consent of their parents, is necessary to give families an option in a desperately painful situation. But opponents have questioned whether children can reasonably decide to end their own lives.

Belgium is already a euthanasia pioneer; it legalized the practice for adults in 2002. In the last decade, the number of reported cases per year has risen from 235 deaths in 2003 to 1,432 in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available. Doctors typically give patients a powerful sedative before injecting another drug to stop their heart.

Only a few countries have legalized euthanasia or anything approaching it.

In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal under specific circumstances and for children over the age of 12 with parental consent. (There is an understanding that infants, too, can be euthanized, and that doctors will not be prosecuted if they act appropriately.) Elsewhere in Europe, euthanasia is only legal in Luxembourg. Assisted suicide, where doctors help patients to die but do not actively kill them, is allowed in Switzerland."

And the justification is (what else) the elevation of equality above all other considerations:

John Harris, a professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester. “It’s unfair to provide euthanasia differentially to some citizens and not to others (children) if the need is equal.”