Friday, June 29, 2012


But only through July!

So don't cry!

(Cute rhyme, no?)

Well, this is my swan song for a month, for both blog and facebook. I will miss you all terribly, and I can't wait to be back in August to start up the conversation again. I will be refreshed and renewed -- hopefully my house will get a clean-out -- and I will be ready for the fight to get Obama voted out of office. (Girls in town, when that happens, can we have the biggest party evah?)

Anyway, what will I be doing on my July bloggy fast? Well, it seems like a dream, but I plan to finish reading two books that I started months ago.

From Atheism to Catholicism: How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to the Truth


The Twelve: The Lives of the Apostles After Calvary

Also, thanks to wonderful Abigail who will guide me, I will be reading something the soul craaaaaaves:

The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

If possible, I will finally read one of the books that has been recommended by people I greatly admire. It is a commentary on Pope Benedict XVI's September 12, 2006, University of Regensburg lecture, which made news and caused a violent uproar when one quotation was taken out of context. The pope's address has been called "genius", and is a fascinating response to the challenges facing us moderns, examining politics, religion (including Islam), reason, man, and God. I may need my 23-year-old pre-pregnancy brain back in order to grasp this one, but I'm going to try:

The Regensburg Lecture

I also really, truly, desperately want to redo the Total Consecration with my husband. We did our first Consecration about 16 years ago, and it was the most amazing spiritual time in our marriage. It was five weeks of floating on grace. Will we have the discipline to do it again? Ah, there's the question! I'll let you know.

Okay, some of you have asked me to recommend blogs for reading while I'm gone, and that's a toughie. I love my blog roll, so feel free to peruse that list of gems, which include mommy blogs, adoption blogs, infertility blogs, and of course just your straight up Catholic blogs.

Now, if you like Catholic discussion in same vein as we do here, you might want to visit Devin Rose and/or Stacy Trasancos, as they are masters of reason, lovers of truth, and have juicy comment threads. Also, Ignitum Today is a great community blog where young adult Catholics congregate, and New Advent will keep you clicking through the best of Catholic commentary and blogs all day (it's dangerous for me to access that page, because then my day is shot).

And if you have any questions on the Catholic Faith, Catholic morality, Catholic apologetics, Catholic history, or anything Catholic, please ask our own JoAnna Wahlund, who is not only 143 times smarter than I, but who happens to be blog-sitting while I'm away. She's handling it all… I've given her the keys to the Bubble, and she will keep it clean and shiny until I return.

Also, don't forget the ample archives of the Bubble, which you can find under "Blog Archive" on the right, going back two years. Dig around! There's some good stuff you might have missed, including these serial posts that should keep you busy for a while:

And of course, the whole host of Little Teachings from the Bubble is worth a look.

If you should actually reeeeeally miss me, please consider a love offering to my memory by throwing a couple of bucks into one (or both?) of these families' funds. They are One More Smith (remember Malcolm??) and Journey to Reunite Two Angels (if you tell Sylvia of your donation, you can be entered to win an iPad). I love these people. You can donate from this page directly with the links below, and donations are tax deductible:

And to keep a promise I made to a very special friend (and a friend of the orphans), I am going to keep Holly's picture here for the break, so that her beautiful face can be seen by all, including, I hope, her mommy and daddy. They are out there, and they simply need to see her, and fall in love with those big, green eyes. Click the photo for more information about this beautiful girl in need of a family:

Are you my mama? I am giggly and outgoing! I will make a good daughter!

Okay, folks, see you in August! I hope you are all still here when I get back! And if there are two or three of you who truly cannot live a month without me, you can email me or come see me on my other blog, where I will be lightly posting and checking in from time to time.

OH!! And don't forget to do all your Amazon shopping through the link at the very bottom of this blog (all the way down there!), because I'm giving 100% of the proceeds to the orphans and the families bringing them home.


Miss you already!

Wish you were here!



Thursday, June 28, 2012

What happened today

I thought this summed it up nicely:

Analysis by Jay Cost, reprinted from The Weekly Standard

Jay Cost

June 28, 2012 11:31 AM

Was today's Supreme Court Obamacare decision a win for conservatives or a loss? It depends on what you were rooting for.

If you were above all interested in the bill being struck down, it was mostly a loss. On the other hand, if you were more concerned about the qualitative expansion in the power of the government that the bill represented, it was definitely a win.

First, the Roberts Court put real limits on what the government can and cannot do. For starters, it restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause, which does not give the government the power to create activity for the purpose of regulating it. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe that the Constitution is a document which offers a limited grant of power.

Second, the Roberts Court also threw out a portion of the Medicaid expansion. States have the option of withdrawing from the program without risk of losing their funds. This is another major victory for conservatives who cherish our system of dual sovereignty. This was also a big policy win for conservatives; the Medicaid expansion was a major way the Democrats hid the true cost of the bill, by shifting costs to the states, but they no longer can do this.

Politically, Obama will probably get a short-term boost from this, as the media will not be able to read between the lines and will declare him the winner. But the victory will be short-lived. The Democrats were at pains not to call this a tax because it is inherently regressive: the wealthy overwhelmingly have health insurance so have no fear of the mandate. But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that.

Conservatives have a shot at getting the best of both worlds: having the Supreme Court use Obamacare as a way to limit federal power while also using the democratic process to overturn the law. I didn't think we could have one without the other, but now maybe we can.

If Obama loses in November, that is…


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A reader's questions answered

As I contemplated what to write about in these last days before my July blog fast, I thought about mourning over stolen innocence here (and the outrage of political injustice that fuels it; vote Obama out!), or lamenting our nation's loss of decency and shame here (may our all-pure and all-holy God have mercy), but then I remembered an email from a reader that I have put off answering for too long.

So, let me get to it.

Hi Leila,
I know you have a ton of worthy topics, but I was wondering if you would be willing to address any of these topics?

Sure! I am an expert on exactly nothing, but I love to throw out my thoughts!

* Raising boys in an over-sexed culture. (I am already praying for [my young son's] purity, but I am still concerned. I know guys are way more visually oriented than girls, and that once they get the images in their heads it is hard to get them out. Could you talk about how you parent your boys with regards to this?)

With six boys of my own (from age 19 down to 2), it's a topic near and dear to my heart. You are soooooooo right about the visual nature of the male mind. If women had any flipping idea how different the mind of a man is when it comes to sexual images and urges, they would be shocked, speechless. The very best thing I have ever read on the subject is something that I also required my teen daughters to read. The book made one daughter weep, because before that day she had no idea. Even I was stunned. I thought I knew. Parents, read it first, and then hand it to your teen daughters:

For Young Women Only: What You Need to Know About How Guys Think

It may seem weird that I'm recommending a book for girls when you asked me about boys. But I promise you, this book will give you so much insight into how your son's mind will work when he becomes a teen that you will be well-equipped to teach and understand him.

To specifics: My boys are raised to know that their bodies are made by God and are used to glorify him. Each son is told that his private parts are not play things, but that they have a very special and holy purpose for marriage. One day, if he marries, he will have the privilege of becoming completely and intimately united with his wife in a way that is unique among all other relationships, and which is reserved only for the two of them. This act of love is so sacred, so special, so transcendent, that it has the capacity to create new human beings who will live for all eternity. My boys understand that sexuality is a powerful gift that a man must learn to control, so as not to hurt any woman or child who might suffer for his selfish actions in this area.

We are not prudes here in my house, and we don't shy away from talking about sex (age-appropriate only, of course), but no one has yet had any trouble grasping the concept of chastity as virtue, the sacredness of marriage, and how important it is to live honorably in this regard.

Here's an exchange I have with all my sons (not limited to the sexual issues of course), starting at a young age:

I say: "Who is the strongest man in the whole world?"*

They answer: "The one with the most self-control!"

*I love that when they are little, they answer: "God!" or "Jesus!" Then I clarify for them that I am talking about merely human men.

I also remind my older boys that using pornography is not only a selfish act that is degrading to them and disrespectful to all women, but it is also highly addictive, and they will easily become a slave to it. Porn will render them weak and wimpy and pathetic -- not like real men at all. There is nothing honorable about it.

Also, they know that pornography and all other sexual sins are mortal sins. My boys have a healthy fear of offending the God Who loves them (and Whom they love). And while it's certainly not something we dwell on, they would prefer not to spend their eternities in the pit of hell, so they act accordingly. Go figure. ;)

* A review of how to prove or disprove an argument logically. (This is mostly because people on facebook and who comment drive me bonkers.)

I hear ya on the "driving me bonkers" thing.

I've never studied formal logic, so my approach is just what makes sense to me. When I encounter something nonsensical or evil that is being passed off as something reasonable or good, I start with a simple question (not a statement) that challenges a person to take his idea a little bit further. No more than a question or two at a time, or else the whole thing just becomes a non-productive multiplication of words.

If the person you are debating becomes emotional and insulting, you stay unemotional and kind. And ask the question again. And again (maybe with different words). Make the question concrete and logical, not nebulous or vague. Wait patiently for an answer, and if it comes, move on to the next logical question. Answer any honest question he has with clarity and truth, and if you don't know the answer, tell him you don't know, but you will find out and get back to him.

Side note: One sign that a person is not debating in good faith is when you get a question like, "How does it feel to know that you are entrusting your children to a band of pedophiles with funny hats?" (Though here's proof that on rare occasions even stuff like that can turn into good! She later apologized and was open to being corrected.) Another example of someone debating in bad faith is when a Protestant accuses Catholics of "worshipping Mary" and then won't accept Catholic teaching itself on the issue (i.e., that worshipping any creature, including Mary, is a mortal sin).

Back to the question at hand, I have to be honest and tell you that not everyone should be involved in these kind of deep exchanges with clever secularists and zealous Protestants. We all have different gifts, and not everyone is cut out for long, philosophical debates. Sometimes an ill-advised or badly executed debate can do more harm than good. A person who is not cut out for the "battle" may instead want to be a powerful, behind-the-scenes prayer warrior while others do the debating, and/or simply have links ready so that a challenger can go to other legitimate sources for answers.

However, if one has a fairly good working knowledge of the faith and of the issues, then the debating part can be a learned skill. I'm learning every day, with things becoming more clear and focused to me as time goes on. I know that you (the original questioner) are fully capable of dialoguing in truth and love, so maybe just get some of the basic arguments and questions down pat, on the most important topics, and don't forget to pray before you type! (Or direct the person to the Bubble and I'll take 'em on, ha ha!)

Also, while I genuinely care about the folks I debate and hope to plant seeds, I know that most are not likely to change their ideology. But there are many fence-sitters, as well as Catholics who need to find the courage of their convictions, following the facebook/Bubble conversations. My discussions are often for them more than for the person whom I'm debating.

* Your view on how to best address the cultures descent into chaos. Do you think we should start with whatever the current issue is (e.g., the current one- gay marriage) or just start with contraception (since it all flows from there) or abortion/euthanasia (since you are more likely to encounter people who think they are wrong)?

While six months ago I might have said that gay "marriage" is the most pressing issue of the day, and six months before that I would have said it's definitely the foundational issue of contraception, today it's suddenly, eerily, the very issue of religious liberty itself, and whether we will lose the legal right to speak and live our Faith freely. The battleground is changing faster than I can keep up with it!

So, I guess each encounter in the battle is going to depend on the person and the situation. For example, it can be difficult debating evangelical Protestants and getting them fully on board the Culture of Life, because while they are in love with Jesus and they defend traditional marriage and the rights of the unborn with us (praise God!), they've simultaneously adopted the Planned Parenthood mentality on contraception (as you've said, it all flows from there), and the anti-establishment mentality of bucking (Church) authority. So we Christians are not fighting the Culture of Death effectively, as one Body. That's a sad legacy of the Reformation.

And encounters with secularists have their own special challenges, as it's hard to debate and seek truth among those who see the cultural train wreck as "progress", and who don't believe that an objective moral truth exists in the first place.

Ultimately, it's hard to say precisely where to start on the outside. But we do know where to start on the inside.

While this sexual free-for-all, the destruction of the family, and the loss of a sense of sin and shame has brought us to our knees culturally, it's also brought us to a moment of great grace. It's clear at this low point (ever lowering) that prayer and fasting and a return to God really are the most important weapons in the battle. There is only one thing that has ever overcome the darkness and despair and ugliness of sin, and that is Love. Jesus Christ crushed and defeated evil and death not by overpowering it, but by undergoing it, with love. So, the first step is to remember who we are, where we came from and where we are going. I promise you that the world needs saints more than she needs good debaters. The saints will win the battle for hearts and souls every time, because they have a moral authority and a teaching voice that rises above all others.

Be a saint. Teach your children to be saints.

And please, never despair, no matter how far into the abyss we go, because we have this assurance from the One Who commanded the very universe into being and yet Who stoops to love each of us as tenderly as a Bridegroom loves his bride:

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -- John 16:33

I know that I would really enjoy reading any of your thoughts on these topics.  I know I don't comment much, but I definitely keep up with the reading! 


I did ramble on, so thank you for sticking with me!

PS: Anytime you place an Amazon order through a link on this blog, or click the Amazon link at the bottom, 100% of my commission will be donated to the orphans.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Takes, wherein you will learn of my Achilles' Heel

Still Friday here! Just under the wire… whew!

1) Last night began the US Bishops' Fortnight for Freedom, as Catholics nationwide fight against Obama's HHS mandate:
The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
Find out what your diocese or parish is doing and GO!

{From Sharon, in the comments: "Hot tip for anyone who is having trouble finding Fortnight for Freedom activities in your area: Text the word FREEDOM in all caps to 377377. You will get a response asking for your e-mail address and zip code and they will send you information on local activities that you can participate in."}

Last night, I attended my neighborhood parish's Fortnight for Freedom Holy Hour, and it was awesome. The crowd was so large that the priest had to move us from the chapel to the main church! They are having a Holy Hour every single night (with rosary, special prayers and a litany for liberty) until July 4. There might be something similar going on near you.

2) As we have just celebrated the Feast of the martyrs St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, consider watching the Academy Award winning movie about St. Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons. One of the best movies of all time, very deserving of its Best Picture Oscar.

I wonder what Roger Ebert thought of that movie, considering that he finds dying for one's faith unseemly -- and worthy of a bad movie review? (See #3 on my previous Quick Takes if you are confused by my Ebert reference.)

3) This is an amazing and bizarre story -- and utterly heartwarming! Pro-lifers and adoption advocates will find it especially moving:

4) Read at your own risk:

Yeah, well, get in line behind the pedophiles.

5) The wonderful C.S. Lewis:

6) I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading all of your comments on the last Just Curious post! Thank you for sharing your own wonderful blog links; considering what they've said about social media, Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict would be proud of you! Also, I was so grateful for all of your kind words of support! Sometimes when I am in the thick of a long and difficult comment thread, I wonder if I am making sense, or if anyone is being edified. I now know that lot of you are out there finding it worthwhile, and I am thrilled to know it! Again, thank you!

I hope those of you who doubt your eloquence would throw out a comment once in a while anyway. You might be surprised at how well-spoken you really are, and ultimately we all need the practice defending our Faith as our nation becomes increasingly hostile to Catholics.

I am going to take off the option for anonymous commenting now, so if you want to keep commenting but don't know how to make a profile, get a tech savvy friend to do it for you. It will only take a minute or two, and then you can join in the fun.

7) Ah, yes, orphan time. I fancy myself a pretty strong woman, a tough cookie. And I think I am in a lot of ways. But there are some things that get me right in the gut. Five-year-old Andrew is my Achilles' Heel. I have advocated for him on my Orphan Report blog, and talked him up far and wide. I cannot rest until this boy has a family and is taken out of the horrible orphanage where he is not cared for or fed sufficiently, and where he is literally caged up all day… all for the crime of being blind! There are other pictures of Andrew still wearing the same jumper that he wore at age two. Not acceptable.

Below is a video of Andrew that will give you a glimpse of what he does all day, every day. A little boy who should be home, in a warm bed after a hot meal, with a loving mama to kiss and hug him. A little boy who should be running outside with the sun on his face and the wind in his hair. But instead, this is what little Andrew does all day long, day after day, year after year (please, you all watch it, because I physically can't):

Please, if there is anyone out there who wants to adopt Andrew, you will have a whole slew of people who love him and who are already fundraising for him. We will do everything in our power to help chip away at the costs! If anyone has advice on how to spread the word to new people (we have already had his info placed on some blind advocacy forums), let me know. Email me. I'm not kidding when I say that finding Andrew a family has become one of my most pressing thoughts. He needs to get the hell out of that crib.

Oh, and if you prefer some good news and a happy story with great surprises and beautiful pictures, then go here to my current Orphan Report

:) :)

Thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sorry, you're not allowed to do that.

This has been on my mind for a long time now.

I am going to be blunt.

You are not the arbiter of Christian doctrine.
You don't get to decide the tenets of Christianity.
You don't have permission to reverse or negate Christian teaching.

You don't have the authority to define Christianity.

Neither do I.

If you are a Catholic, you don't get to pick and choose which parts of the moral law and the Creed are valid. If you are a Protestant, you don't get to personally interpret the Bible and tell us what you are sure Christ meant. If you are a secularist, you don't get remake Jesus in your own image, i.e., a New Agey, non-threatening guru who fits neatly into your own worldview.

Trust me, it's nothing personal.

You just simply don't have that option.

You didn't establish Christianity, and you have no permission to reinvent it.

You see, Christianity is a revealed religion.
It was given. It is handed down.

It is not open to anyone's personal interpretation, whether one's name is Arius, Nestorius, Luther, Kennedy, Pelosi, Chittister, or Miller.

You can choose to accept the whole of Christianity and her teachings, or you are free to reject them. You are even free to start your own religion, teaching whatever you'd prefer.

But you do not have the right to speak in the name of Christ's Church and define authentic Christian belief for yourself or others.

You do not have that right, because you do not have that authority. 

Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle (St. John) and the entire Deposit of Faith has been handed down intact by the only men to whom Christ delegated His authority: The Apostles and their successors, also known as the pope and the body of bishops. This teaching authority, or Magisterium, is not you, and it's definitely not me.

The Magisterium, guided by the Holy Spirit, protects the Deposit of Faith from any deviation, addition, subtraction, reversal, contradiction, distortion, or destruction offered by those who wish Church teaching to be something it is not.

So, as earnest as you are, as sincere as you are, as studious as you are, as kind as you are, even as holy as you are, you are not allowed in any way to alter, bypass, morph, undermine, negate, or redefine Christian teaching on faith or morals and still insist that it's Christian.

You may receive the Faith, you may accept the Faith, and you may hand down the Faith pure and entire, but you may not be its arbiter.

Sorry, you're just plain not allowed to do that.

Related post: Authority


For emphasis, and for the sheer joy and peace that faithful Catholics feel when the millennia melt away as we read the Early Fathers, I give you St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, extolling in 189 A.D. the selfsame faith we hold today. He writes of what Christians everywhere already knew… but which the heretics could not accept:

"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known to us throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors down to our own times, men who neither knew nor taught anything like what these heretics rave about" (Against Heresies 3:3:1 [A.D. 189]). 

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul—that church which has the tradition and the faith with which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. For with this Church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world. And it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (ibid., 3:3:2). 

"Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time" (ibid., 3:3:4). 

"Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth, so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. . . . For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient churches with which the apostles held constant conversation, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question?" (ibid., 3:4:1). 

"[I]t is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church—those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the infallible charism of truth, according to the good pleasure of the Father. But [it is also incumbent] to hold in suspicion others who depart from the primitive succession, and assemble themselves together in any place whatsoever, either as heretics of perverse minds, or as schismatics puffed up and self-pleasing, or again as hypocrites, acting thus for the sake of lucre and vainglory. For all these have fallen from the truth" (ibid., 4:26:2). 

"The true knowledge is the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient organization of the Church throughout the whole world, and the manifestation of the body of Christ according to the succession of bishops, by which succession the bishops have handed down the Church which is found everywhere" (ibid., 4:33:8). 

For more Fathers on Church authority and apostolic succession, go here.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Just Curious: Have a blog? Just lurking?

I'm just curious: Do you have a blog?

If so, what kind of blog is it? Do you blog regularly? What is the purpose of your blog (writing for fun; an online journal of life events; mommy blog; evangelization; etc.)?

If you don't have a blog, would you like one? Are you afraid to start one? If so, what is holding you back?

If you are a Bubble lurker who does not comment normally, I'd love to "meet" you! Please de-lurk and introduce yourself! Just for now, I have enabled anonymous comments, so please say "hello"!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Quick Takes: Incredulity and Outrage (or, A Normal Day in My Life)

(The underlying outrage here is that my font may be coming up as SCRIPT on some of your computers! I did not format it that way, and I can't do anything to stop it, apparently. Blogger, why are you my nemesis?)

1) Some of us had a little fun last week getting banned from the "Catholic for Choice" facebook page. It's easy and you should join us! If you have a facebook account, simply go here and write a "recommendation" or other comment. Here are the two I used, and they got me banned from the page within hours!

"Can you imagine that some Catholics 'choose' to be faithful? It's awesome!"

"Catholics for Choice? Well, you could choose to have integrity and not be part of an organization that you disdain and oppose. I encourage you to make that choice. :) "

Be creative (and respectful!), then enjoy the thrill of being censored and blocked by those who claim tolerance and "choice" for all!

2) Siblings are illegal in China. The enforcement of the "one-child policy" over the decades has been brutal, violent, unconscionable. Recently a story and photo of one instance of abuse and murder has gone viral, this time within China, where the outrage of the Chinese people has prompted an apology from the government. Unfortunately, what happened to this woman, her husband, and their child is not uncommon. The "one-child" policy still stands (with many on the American left supportive of it), and the evil will undoubtedly continue for some time. To see this one horrible incident exposed in the light, go to the following link, which I warn you is very graphic:

And, if you are on facebook, you should consider following and "friending" Reggie Littlejohn, a courageous American woman and Yale Law School grad who has dedicated her life to exposing these atrocities (and is the president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers):

Reggie Littlejohn -- a true feminist hero!

3) Roger Ebert's review of For Greater Glory perplexes me. The famed movie critic says that the film is "well-made" and "an impressive achievement"…. except for the Catholic theme. Read it, here, and tell me where I'm misinterpreting. Ebert is an ex-Catholic, which could explain a lot, but is this a professional review? For example, what on earth is this doing in a movie review?
It is well-made, yes, but has such pro-Catholic tunnel vision I began to question its view of events. One important subplot involves a 12-year-old boy choosing to die for his faith. Of course the federal troops who shot him were monsters, but the film seems to approve of his decision and includes him approvingly in a long list of Cristeros who have achieved sainthood or beatification after their deaths in the war. {emphases mine}
Huh? He doesn't believe that Christians would die for their faith, die for Christ? Goodness, Christians have been doing that, inspirationally and consistently, for, oh, about… TWENTY CENTURIES! Suddenly we find such courage, honor and integrity ignoble? When did that happen? What virtue, Mr. Ebert, is displayed by a Christian who would not die for his Lord, but instead would denounce and betray Him?

Ebert ends his review with a bizarre anti-Catholic statement that has nothing to do with the movie, but inexplicably seems only designed to slam the Church:
If it had not hewed so singlemindedly to the Catholic view and included all religions under the banner of religious liberty, I believe it would have been more effective. If your religion doesn't respect the rights of other religions, it is lacking something. {emphasis mine}
What the heck is that last line? Can anyone tell me what place that has in a movie review? And, besides, why would a movie recounting a war against Catholics need to "include all religions" in the retelling? Hello?

Sigh. But to leave things on a good note, check out this interview with the incredible young actor, Mauricio Kuri, who plays Blessed Jose. How beautiful that this young man puts Christ first and aspires to be as holy as the martyr he portrays.

4) I have no words for this, though it's not uncommon:

The whole thing makes me ill. If my children heard things described like that when they were eleven, they would rightly be traumatized. I have learned that innocence is not something that the sexual-rights crowd values, not even in children. Thank goodness homeschooling is still an option in America.

Which segues to this story from Sweden, the model nation for so many on the left….

5) I almost choked when I saw it today, but apparently many of you have been following this story since 2009:

Well, how lovely of tolerant, liberal Sweden to consider returning the son whom they stole from his parents three years ago as the family was boarding a plane to leave the country so that they could homeschool their child in peace! This is Sweden, not North Korea (or China, see Take #2), right?

6) Okay, here is an outrage that is almost completely unknown. My brilliant and noble friend Dorinda Bordlee, a pro-life attorney at the Bioethics Defense Fund, read the entire 2,700 page ObamaCare law (yes, she will not spend any time in Purgatory), and guess what hidden mandate she found? A $1-a-month per enrollee abortion premium to be put in a fund to be used specifically for elective abortions. And you will never even know about it, even though you will be the ones directly paying for it, to the tune of $12 a year times millions of Americans! Planned Parenthood needn't worry about defunding by the states, as this billion-dollar slush fund will keep them more than rolling in the green. If you can stomach it, read all the details, here:

God bless Dorinda for uncovering this sick/slick little plan. Now we can only hope that America gets the word.

7) Here is the precious orphan I want to show you today! Meet three-year-old Holly, who has Down Syndrome:

Holly is outgoing and a giggler! Click her picture for more information.
I actually have a friend who is head over heels in love with Holly and would give anything to bring her home. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she is unable to adopt right now. She prays that this little girl (who has a sizeable grant of over $2500 that can be used toward the adoption) will find a family soon. Maybe you are Holly's family?

And if you want to win a $100 JCrew gift card from Catholic blogger Jennie, check out what she's doing for Stella (remember sweet Stella??), right here:

No donation necessary to enter! 


PS: Just a quick heads up that I am going to "go dark" for July and will resume blogging again in August. I still have a couple of weeks! I hope I can survive the time away from the screen! I will also be off of facebook… the hiatus will help me get this house in order and pay attention to many things I've let go. Including reading, family time, and school prep! Ack, I hope I can do this, and you'd better all still be here when I get back!!

Have a great weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pope Fact: Infallible does not mean sinless

The question I got from Mehridith at the bottom of this older post is a common one:

"I don't understand how one can come to the conclusion that someone is without sin; i.e., the Pope being infallible. Can someone explain this to me, a faithful Protestant?" 

I whipped off a quick answer:
Hi Mehridith! I think I can clear it up fairly quickly. We don't believe that popes are without sin. All of them were/are sinners, and some were grave, horrible sinners. So, infallibility does not mean what you think it means. It means that, sinners that they are, the popes will never teach doctrine which is in error. Like the writers of the Bible who wrote without doctrinal error… the popes cannot teach error on issues of faith and morals. Hope that helps! I will come and write more in a bit if I get a chance. (But basically, infallibility is not impeccability.)
To expand just a bit, here are the facts:

1) All of the 266 popes have sinned, including the first pope, St. Peter, who committed among the worst of sins: He denied Christ three times during Christ's Passion.

2) While all of the popes have been sinners, it's also true that many of the popes have practiced heroic virtue, rising to the heights of great sanctity. The first popes (and several subsequent popes) died as martyrs for the faith, and many popes have been canonized or beatified. Saintly popes are common.

3) Though most popes were good and holy men, there were a handful of popes who were bad, wicked and/or corrupt. A recounting of their personal sin would make your hair curl! It is entirely possible that there are popes in hell.

4) Whether saintly or evil, no pope has ever taught heresy (i.e., no pope has ever taught error as truth). The Holy Spirit guides the Church and protects her so that the faithful will never be led into doctrinal error -- no matter who sits in the Chair of Peter.

5) If you wonder how someone can speak truth while not living it, think of a math professor teaching his students perfectly correct formulas and concepts, while he himself cheats on his taxes and cannot seem to keep a balanced checkbook. Or think of a chronic adulterer who preaches that adultery is wrong. His actions are evil, but what he says is perfectly true.

Just as God protected sinful men from teaching doctrinal error when writing the Bible, He also protected sinful Peter and his sinful successors from teaching doctrinal error while leading His Church.

Infallibility does not mean impeccability.

Related posts:

The Pope is not as powerful as you think

The different types of infallibility

"…and the Papacy remains"

Protestants: It's time to come back


Monday, June 11, 2012

Correcting a Kennedy is a spiritual work of mercy

"Dear Lord, please give us more Catholic Kennedys and fewer Kennedy Catholics. Amen."

This is a long one, folks, but it's necessary. So, grab a cup of tea.

Several weeks ago, I came across a piece on the Catholic Church by the woefully misguided Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. I forced myself to read skim it, and as expected, the piece was so bad, so distorted, so misrepresentative of the Catholic Faith, that I pulled out the big guns: I asked JoAnna, who blogs brilliantly at A Star of Hope, to give it a thorough critique.

Catholics, I warn you, theology and Church history as presented by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is painful to read. "Instructing the Ignorant" is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, and all I can say is that JoAnna has surely burned off time in Purgatory for her point-by-point rebuttal of such a mess of an anti-Catholic piece.

Take it away, JoAnna...


[Note: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's words are represented in red italics.]

The following piece by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend appeared in The Atlantic on March 28, 2012:

The Case for Gay Acceptance in the Catholic Church

Now, right off the bat the title rubs me the wrong way. Gays are already "accepted" in the Catholic Church, as are adulterers, gluttons, fornicators, and deniers of Christ (St. Peter, anyone?), among others. In fact, every single member of the Catholic Church here on earth is a sinner! What Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (hereafter KKT) means is, "The Case for the Approval of Same-Sex Fornication by the Catholic Church."

Let's see if her argument is worth the digital paper it's published on, shall we?
The death penalty no longer applies to people who divorce or sleep with women during their periods, as described in the Bible. So why can't attitudes on homosexuality change as well?
So much wrong with this one sentence. Well, let's see. First off, divorce was never a capital offense in Old Testament times. In fact, Jesus specifically mentions that it was permitted by Moses. Even today, divorce isn't a sin -- it's remarriage after divorce that is an issue, because the civil government doesn't have the authority to dissolve a valid marriage in the eyes of God (nor does the Church, actually, although She does have the authority to examine a marriage at the time it was contracted and determine if it did, in fact, occur).

As for "sleeping with women during their periods," Jewish laws pertaining to ritual uncleanliness don't apply to Christians, as the New Testament makes abundantly clear.

Moving right along...
On St. Patrick's Day I had the pleasure of speaking to about 350 Catholics who gathered together to attend a conference put on by New Ways Ministry, which is an effort to support the LGBT community in the Catholic Church.
"New Ways Ministry" is a giant red flag right away. This would be the same New Ways Ministry run by a dissident priest and nun who were disciplined by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (headed by then-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) in 2002:

...the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is obliged to declare for the good of the Catholic faithful that the positions advanced by Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent regarding the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination are doctrinally unacceptable because they do not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in this area. 

Father Nugent and Sister Gramick have often stated that they seek, in keeping with the Church's teaching, to treat homosexual persons “with respect, compassion and sensitivity”. However, the promotion of errors and ambiguities is not consistent with a Christian attitude of true respect and compassion: persons who are struggling with homosexuality no less than any others have the right to receive the authentic teaching of the Church from those who minister to them. The ambiguities and errors of the approach of Father Nugent and Sister Gramick have caused confusion among the Catholic people and have harmed the community of the Church. 

For these reasons, Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, and Father Robert Nugent, SDS, are permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons and are ineligible, for an undetermined period, for any office in their respective religious institutes.

Back to KKT:
The women and men I spoke to included nuns and priests, children who had come out and parents who wanted to be supportive. Two female priests gave me special blessing and I left the meeting inspired by the devotion of those who attended.
Hey, that reminds me of a joke.

Q: A female priest, a unicorn, and Jesus are walking down the street when they see a $20 dollar bill on the ground. Who picks it up?

A: Jesus. The other two don't exist.
New Ways Ministry has a critical mission [spreading heresy is a critical mission?], since changing the Church will help those who suffer from ill treatment not only here in the United States but around the world, where the Church has so much clout. The Church has millions of members in Africa and South America, where being gay or lesbian can lead to a death sentence.
What an inventive bit of fiction. As a matter of fact, the Vatican has spoken out against anti-gay laws in Uganda. But let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story!
Worse, the Church's own teaching encourages bigotry and harm. Just last year, my father's memorial, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, gave its human rights award to Frank Mugisha, a gay activist in Uganda whose good friend had just been brutally killed in his own home.
Putting aside the fact that the police attributed the crime to robbery, this New York Times article states that Mugisha et al blame American evangelical Christians - not the Catholic Church - for his friend's death.
American missionaries have encouraged the discrimination Mugisha suffers.
Once again, not Catholic missionaries.
Refuting their religious arguments is critical [why not seek the truth instead?]and so is making a moral and religious case for gays. What we need is a transformation of hearts and minds, not merely a change of laws.
Why do I get the feeling you don't say the same thing about abortion? But I digress...
The Catholic Church's attitude towards homosexuality is at odds with its tradition of tolerance and understanding.
Really? Let's take a look at that "attitude."

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

Terrible! How dare that evil mean Catholic Church suggest that homosexuals be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity! Why, that sounds almost... loving.
The actual practice of the Church is true to this tradition. What other institution separates men and women and encourages them to live together in monasteries and convents where they can develop deep relationships with those who share their kind of love?
I have to admit, I sat at my computer for a full minute with my jaw hanging open when I read that paragraph. Did she really just say that all monks and nuns are gay, and live together in monasteries and convents to celebrate their gayness? Really? Someone get Mother Angelica on the phone, stat!
The fight for the dignity of the LGBT community is a fight for the soul of today's Church. Some conservatives see the hierarchy's current, traditional teaching on sex as the Church's defining position.
Newsflash: faithful Catholics consider the Church's teaching to be true! In our next story, water is found to be wet!
They don't really like to talk about, or even be reminded of, the Church's teachings on immigration, or protection of the environment, or the greed that produces financial meltdowns, all of which they would find distastefully liberal.
Yep, faithful Catholics completely ignore Church teaching on social justice. And by "completely ignore," I mean "faithfully follow and promulgate." KKT neglects to mention that many social justice issues are ones of prudential judgement, in that Catholics can legitimately hold differing opinions on the best way to deal with issues such as illegal immigration or services for the poor. Homosexual acts, however, are always intrinsically disordered -- there's no wiggle room there.
For them there is only one issue -- sex, or pelvic politics as some call it.
Because the Left isn't obsessed with sex at all, KKT. Not a single bit.
The Pope himself pointed this out on in visit to Mexico, where he said that "not a few Catholics have a certain schizophrenia with regard to individual and public morality.... In public life they follow paths that don't respond to the great values necessary for the foundation of a just society."
I wish liberals would make up their minds. Either the Pope is a senile dotard who shouldn't even express his opinion on his favorite breakfast cereal, or he is, indeed, the Vicar of Christ. Too often liberals invoke his words (usually take out of context) to support their viewpoints and then turn around and loudly proclaim that no Catholic in their right mind would listen to him. Anyway, as fun as it is to pull quotes out of context to fit one's preconceived notions of reality, let's look at the Pope's words in context. It seems he was speaking in response to a question about dramatic inequalities of wealth in Latin America, not sexual issues.

In fact, in the exact same speech, he said, "The Church is not a political power, it is not a is a moral reality, a moral power." (emphasis mine)

I think, KKT, that the Kennedys could learn something from the outlook that the Catholic Church is not a political party, nor a means to a political end...
If we wish to change the Church, we must first convey our views in language, images, and theology that reach people where they are.
First of all, you're not going to "change the Church." The Church serves God, not the whims of man. Second of all, you should be seeking truth above all else, not striving to force people to conform to your unique and novel theology and ignorant preconceived biases.
And secondly, we should make it clear that disagreement with the hierarchy is a critical part of our history.
Sure it is... if you're Protestant.

Is KKT aware of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church and admonisher of Popes? She said,

“When He returned to Me, rising to Heaven from the conversation of men at the Ascension, He left you this sweet key of obedience; for as you know He left His vicar, the Christ, on earth, whom you are all obliged to obey until death, and whoever is outside His obedience is in a state of damnation, as I have already told you in another place.”

So here we have a woman who told the Pope himself that he was out of line on certain non-doctrinal issues. That's what I call "disagreement with the hierarchy"! And yet she has no qualms with obeying that same hierarchy as instituted by Christ. Funny how that works, huh?

Here's what you're missing, KKT. Disagreement can't be divorced from obedience. All the saints who disagreed with the Church, or with the hierarchy, or with a Pope (and there were many!) were also obedient unto death.
The fact that so many Americans see themselves as religious, as God-loving church goers, means we have a better chance of reaching them if we use a language, a book, and symbols they understand.
What condescending nonsense. "We should make pretty books with colorful pictures for the ignorant masses, because they're too stupid to understand us otherwise!"
Polls find that 85 percent say that they believe in God and 50 percent claim that they go to church every Sunday. The fact that only 25 percent do just goes to show that you can't trust everybody's self-reporting.
And 47.4% of statistics are made up on the spot as well. I might also mention that you seem to trust everybody's self-reporting just fine when it comes to the statistic that 98% of Catholic women use birth control (more on that below).
In The Good Book: The Bible's Place in Our Lives, the recently deceased Peter Gomes describes interviews with 400 people who had been jailed for hate crimes against gays. None felt remorse. They thought gays were the devil, so fighting them was cause for pride, not shame or regret. Laws are important, but the moral case can be even more compelling.
You know what we should do, KKT? We should get the Catholic Church to issue a document that says something like, "It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs."

Hmm, seems like the Church already did that in 1986, under the direction some guy named Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a Pope more like him? Oh wait… we do.

KKT continues:
When my father visited South Africa in 1966, he spoke with students in Cape Town about apartheid. They defended the abhorrent practice by pointing to Biblical passages that suggested that discrimination was fine. In an effort to reach them, my father asked, "Suppose you die, and you go up to heaven, and you enter the pearly gates, and suppose, just suppose when you get there, you find that God is black." Today we can ask, "Suppose God is gay."
An excellent case against sola scriptura and private interpretation of scripture in one paragraph! Sad that Mr. Kennedy didn't know enough about his faith to dismantle the argument from that angle rather than using platitudes.

Moreover, race is not a disordered inclination, it's a state of being. Same-sex attraction is a disordered inclination (and it's not the inclination that's sinful, but acting upon it). Apples and oranges.

Not to mention, how exactly is an non-corporeal being who doesn't have skin or sex organs supposed to have a specific hue or a sexual orientation? But I digress...
My father grasped, as did John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, that in America the leader who wishes to enlarge freedom's sphere must appeal to an audience's religious beliefs as well as to their understanding of American liberty. This is what I wrote about in my book, Failing America's Faithful. While researching it, I gained many insights into the Church and its history of both prejudice and tolerance.
You know what's coming next, don't you?
The Great Awakening of the 1740s gave people the idea that they could find God within themselves and need not trust preachers. As one perceptive British writer pointed out, if they don't need rectors, soon they won't need British rulers. Sure enough, once Americans got used to trusting themselves, they did rebel. Then the Second Great Awakening, in the 1850, instilled in Americans the idea that not only did the divine reside within them, it also resided in women and slaves. The Abolitionist movement grew from that religious revival, as did the suffragettes.
 Revisionist history? Check.
A few years ago, I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations [sic], and to me the biggest revelation was how misogynistic it was. That made me realize that the Catholic Church was on to something when it allowed only educated priests to read the Bible. My mother's generation was prohibited from reading the Bible, and when I told my grandmother that my father used to read the Bible to us, she was shocked, "Catholics don't read the Bible," she said.
Blatant misinterpretation of Scripture and outright lies about Catholic teaching, not to mention the obligatory "but Vatican II changed all that" allusion? Check.
The Church figured that people could take passages out of context and come to unwarranted conclusions.
This changed after Vatican II and now Catholic parishes offer Bible study classes.
Because they never did before! In fact, Vatican II invented the Bible! Oh wait, but if Vatican II invented the Bible, why is the Bible so misogynistic? Liberal logic... breaking down... does... not... compute...
But those outrageous [outrageous!] passages did not deter either the abolitionists or the suffragettes. They boldly rejected them as cultural detritus. Instead, they asserted that the primary message was that all people were made in God's image. Thus we are born to be free.
Born to be Free would be a great name for a band. Just sayin.' (Oh and speaking of abolitionists and suffragettes, I'd lay money on the odds that KKT would find some way to dismiss the obvious parallels of the abortion debate to slavery, not to mention the fact that Susan B. Anthony and other premier suffragettes vehemently opposed abortion.)
Unfortunately, a century later, in the 1970s, feminists and gay rights activists did not adopt the same strategy and tactics. I think this happened because their movement grew out of the non-religious part of the civil rights movement. Recall that the civil rights movement was split between the followers of Reverend Martin Luther King on the one hand and Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers on the other. The latter group felt that religion was weak. Why turn the other cheek? Why not fight back? This secular strain also attracted many intellectuals who were, to put it bluntly, uncomfortable with religion.
Hm, perhaps because religion meant, you know, a radical conversion of heart and actually practicing virtue and all that. Not to mention all those inconvenient doctrines about chastity and the dignity of the unborn.
Happily, [or not, depending on your perspective...] that has now changed. Women have entered schools of theology [so there were no women theologians before? St. Catherine of Siena, among others, would be amazed to hear that...] and can now show that Jesus was one of the first great feminists. Mary Magdalene is no longer thought of as a prostitute but as the "apostle to the apostles." [After all, it's not like St. Mary Magdalene has been a saint in the Catholic Church for centuries or anything...] Gays, though, are still excluded. [excluded from what?]
Progressive Christian and Jewish believers have accepted gay rights. Theologians now argue that verses in Leviticus that call for the killing of men who sleep with men apply only to a particular historical moment. The death penalty no longer applies to people who divorce, curse their parents, or sleep with women during their period -- rules that are also in Leviticus.
I was wondering when she'd invoke the God Hates Shrimp Fallacy. (By the way, KKT, Christian teaching on homosexuality has never rested on proof-texting Leviticus 18:22.)

And it's not altogether suprising that "progressive Christians" and "Jewish believers" (I think some Orthodox Jews would be very surprised to hear your opinion on that), who lack a central moral authority, believe that objective truth is determined by subjective popular opinion. (Does that mean that slavery was morally right when the majority of Americans considered it so?)
Obviously, some people continue to read scripture simply to sustain their preexisting prejudice against homosexuality and homosexuals. But theologians now point out that the word "homosexual" didn't even exist until the 19th century, and it wasn't included in the Bible until 1946.
Oh, well, theologians. Don't bother to cite your sources or anything, KKT, I'll just take your word for it. And in all my years as a Christian, both as Protestant and Catholic, I've never once met anyone who read Scripture "simply to sustain their preexisting prejudice against homosexuality and homosexuals." Go figure.
Choose your passage. King David talks about sleeping with his friend Nathan as "better than sleeping with a woman."
We can now officially discount everything KKT says about the Bible, because she just confused Jonathan, the son of Saul, with the prophet Nathan. Apparently, no one else at The Atlantic caught the mistake, either. (The verse she's talking about, incidentally, is 2 Samuel 1:26.)
The Ten Commandments don't mention homosexuality. [Actually, sexual sins are covered under the sixth commandment.] Nor does Jesus. In fact, our Lord teaches us that love of God and love of our fellow human being are the two most important commandments. He doesn't exclude the love that one man can have for another, or one woman for another.
That's because love doesn't equate to sex. Love also does not equate to condoning and celebrating mortal sin. Jesus said to the adulteress, "Go and sin no more," not "Go on and keep sinning as long as you love the guy!" Jesus never mentioned chattel slavery or pedophilia, either, KKT. Can we start condoning and celebrating those, too?
The 2000-year-old passages favored by Church authorities don't hold up as being anti-gay. Not only is the hierarchy -- the Church's cardinals and bishops -- imposing its own interpretations, its views are harmful to many men and women.
Wait a sec, it's bad to impose interpretations on people? Why are you doing it, then?
I would hope that the lens through which one reads scripture would be one of love and openness to others, not fear and anger and meanness.
Shouldn't the lens through which one reads Scripture be the lens of truth and humility, even if the translations and interpretations conflict with your already-held beliefs?
Contrary to conservative propaganda, though, the Vatican is not immovable. It has a long history of changing position to follow new understandings of society and morality. Usury is no longer a sin. Women are no longer considered "the devil's gateway." Railroads are no longer cursed as the work of the devil, and teaching that there is such a doctrine as "freedom of conscience" does not merit censure, as it did for John Courtney Murray in the 1950s: In fact, Vatican II now recognizes "freedom of conscience." Pope John Paul II apologized for the Church's treatment of women and its persecution of Galileo. Sex between husband and a wife is no longer just for procreation but has value in itself.
Every single "change" she lists in this paragraph is wrong. Every. Single. One. It's amazing, really, how little she knows about the faith she claims to profess, and it's glaringly obvious that she has no idea of the difference between doctrines and disciplines, or development of doctrine.
That history can continue with its position on gays -- and the laity has a critical role to play in pushing for these changes. As Cardinal John Henry Newman, the foremost 19th-century Catholic theologian asserted, bishops have at times "failed in their confession of the faith." There can be instances of "misguidance, delusion, hallucination." He said that the body of the faithful has the "instinct for truth."
A Catholic dissenter quoting Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman? That takes guts! Newman, newly beatified and sure to be canonized, was an esteemed Anglican churchman who converted to the Catholic Church at enormous personal cost and loss of public status. He wrote the classic masterpiece, Apologia pro Vita Sua, a work of Catholic apologetics "which ends with a brilliant defence of Catholicism". (In other words, he was the opposite of a dissenter, a sort of anti-KKT.)

Guess what else Newman said?

If, again, it be said that a man may be obedient and yet proud of being so, that is, obedient, without having faith, I would maintain, on the other hand, that in matter of fact a man is proud, or (what is sometimes called) self-righteous, not when obedient, but in proportion to his disobedience. To be proud is to rest on one's self, which they are most chargeable with who do least; but a really obedient mind is necessarily dissatisfied with itself, and looks out of itself for help, from understanding the greatness of its task; in other words, in proportion as a man obeys, is he driven to faith, in order to learn the remedy of the imperfections of his obedience.
Already, I have witnessed that instinct for truth in the argument over contraception. Despite the hierarchy's position, 98 percent of Catholic women in the United States use contraception.
You must have missed the memo, KKT. That statistic is false. What was that you said again about "you can't trust everybody's self-reporting"? (Nor can you trust statistics about birth control from an organization that was founded to sell it...)
I believe that Human [sic] Vitae [how did she and the editors miss that error?] was the Holy Ghost's way to teach us that we must use our conscience, and not lazily rely on the hierarchy when it is in error.
Let's examine this logic. God allowed the Catholic Church to teach error as doctrine (thereby voiding Christ's promise that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church as well as the entire doctrine of infallibility) in order to teach us to use our conscience and not rely on the authority that He Himself established to bind and loose. Oh yeah. That makes sense.
At this time, when the hierarchy does not want to recognize that we are all made in the image and likeness of God,
Has she even read the Catechism?
and that the one of the two most critical commandments is to love one another, it is critical to assert that God loves the LGBT community equally.
I wasn't aware of any claim from the teaching authority of the Catholic Church to the contrary. Is there a paragraph in the Catechism or a document issued from the Vatican that states that God does NOT love people in the LGBT community? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Sometimes the Church moves slowly, sometimes quickly. The point is to make sure the voices of dissent are not quiet and the Holy Spirit can be heard.
Yes, because the LOUDER the voices of dissent are, the EASIER it is to hear the Holy Spirit. Because it's EASY to hear God when people are being LOUD and OBNOXIOUS. Wait, what? Or maybe she is saying that the voices of dissent are the Holy Spirit?? Lord, have mercy.

Well, there you have it, folks. Exhibit A of the terrible consequences of atrocious catechesis from the 1960s and 1970s. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's "case for gay acceptance in the Catholic Church" turns out to be no case at all.


PS: If you think JoAnna is a fringe Catholic, read this.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Quick Takes, including more undercover slime from our friendly neighborhood abortionists… including MY neighborhood abortionist!

Just in the nick of time (it's almost midnight)!!

Before I begin my Quick Takes, this just in: I just got back from seeing For Greater Glory. OMG. If you have not yet seen it… GO (and stay for the credits, trust me)! The acting was superb, the story was riveting (understatement), the score was moving, the cinematography was beautiful. I would see it again, and that's saying something. I cannot even tell you the mix of emotions I felt for those 2+ hours. And I have a favorite new intercessor in Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. Blessed Jose, in this eerie time in America for Catholics, pray for us!

Blessed Jose, courageous young martyr

Okay, now on to the Quick Takes that I had prepared earlier (if you only read two of them, make it #6 & #7).

1) Lila Rose at Live Action is at it again, this time in my own backyard. Back in a Quick Takes last September, I documented our group march and candlelight procession to this particular abortionist's office, located just blocks from my parish (check the #2 Take). Why am I not surprised to see and hear what goes on inside? Acceptance of gendercide, or aborting babies because they are girls. The second part of this first video reveals more of the same, this time in Tucson.

But as disturbing and evil as that was, the Texas abortion clinic worker, below, chilled me even more. Make sure you watch all the way to the end. What's that you pro-"choice" feminists say about the "war on women"? I don't think I can hear you anymore, after seeing this:

May God have mercy.

2) I am truly interested in what our atheist and pro-"choice" friends think about the normalizing of infanticide that has begun in earnest in the academic community. In March, two professors ("ethicists" no less) promoted it without shame:
Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.
Of course, I think infanticide and abortion are morally the same, so I can't fault their logic even as I fault their evil premise that the youngest humans are different from the rest of us humans and have no actual right to live. But I am wondering what our pro-"choice" readers think. How do they counter the arguments of these logical, well-spoken professors, or do they perhaps agree with them?

Read the rest of Dr. Nadal's excellent analysis, here:

I guess it's "every child a wanted child", and all that, right? And that death is preferable to suffering (even the suffering of the parents)?

3) Are you all familiar with the Ruth Institute, headed by (former atheist) Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse? They do such good scholarly and public policy work protecting and promoting marriage. I love their stated "Core Values":

*Marriage as the proper context for sex and childrearing
*Respect for the contributions of men to the family
*Marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman
*Lifelong spousal cooperation as a solution to women's aspirations for career and family
*Cooperation, not competition, between men and women

Amen! And, someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Dr. J's husband is still an atheist, and yet he supports her work and agrees with it. Go figure!

You might want to get on their email list, or bookmark 'em for future reference!

4) Ah, Nancy Pelosi strikes again:

Tell it to the Judge, Nancy. I'm sure He'll be super impressed that you "do your religion" one day out of the week. Why, you're a regular Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio! Wait… or not.

5) Over a week later, my facebook comments are apparently still coming up as spam on some of my friends' walls. Guess I'm still on probation for my hateful, bigoted, ugly remarks! But at least they haven't switched me to timeline yet… now that would really set me over.

6) It's no secret that I champion special needs international adoption. But I am a huge supporter of domestic adoption as well! In a culture where abortion is presented as a "quick and easy" option for a woman in crisis, I applaud the women (heroes, really) who selflessly choose adoption instead. Many of you will recognize Grace In My Heart, below, with her husband and her sweet son, whose birth mother chose life:

I'm only half kidding when I say that I want to be adopted into this family.

This close and loving Catholic family is hoping to adopt again! They are home-study approved and open to adopting any domestic baby. If any of you happen to know someone or have heard about a birthmother in your church communities or elsewhere who is looking into adoption, this amazing couple would love to talk to you! Please don't hesitate to send them an email at

I am telling you, any baby placed into this safe and happy home would be blessed beyond measure. Just look around Grace In My Heart's blog and you'll understand!

7) This week's orphan profile is very personal to me. You will see why when you click on Parker's picture:

Parker is seven years old and he has no family.

Did you read it? See what I mean?

If you could just take less than one second to click the "recommend" button on that page, I would be ever so grateful, and then there's more of a chance that Parker's family will find him. I so want him to have a normal, loving, happy life, just being a little boy.

And if you want to go straight to his RR profile and inquire about him or adopt him, go here!

And, a final reminder that the iPad giveaway to help reunite two orphanage cribmates (Gabby and Ava) ends in six days! I have entered (numerous times, heh heh), and I can't wait for the drawing! Go here and get the details; time is running out. Even if you can only share on facebook or blogs, you still get an entry into the iPad drawing. Donating does raise your odds of winning, and is so appreciated. :)

God bless you all and have a fantastic weekend!

And, thanks to Jen for hosting!