Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Synod Report is out in English; LGBTQ agendas are dashed

Did anyone notice?

I never wrote about, nor was I at all concerned about, the Synods Of Bishops On The Family that convened at the Vatican in recent months amidst much hand-wringing and controversy. I was saddened by the number of Catholics who were up in arms and full of anxiety, who followed every news report, interview, and conspiracy theory, wondering what the final result would be.

Why was any faithful Catholic worried? Why do we not trust the Holy Spirit? Jesus Christ is not dead, He is fully alive and the Head of His Church.

Finally, the English translation of the The Final Report of the Synod Of Bishops is out, and it is a steel-strong, unassailable re-statement of the truths of marriage, family, and human sexuality. The report, as the National Catholic Register has noted, has "not only dashed the hopes of those who hoped the Church would jettison its historic and biblical teaching on sexual ethics, it blew them to hell."

For the millionth time, the hopes of the heterodox were raised, and for the millionth time, they have been dashed. When will people understand?

"Gender ideology" is utterly rejected (Section 8, emphases mine):
Today, a very important cultural challenge is posed by “gender” ideology which denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without gender differences, thereby removing the anthropological foundation of the family. This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative guidelines which promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female. Consequently, human identity becomes the choice of the individual, which can also change over time. According to our faith, the difference between the sexes bears in itself the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-27). “This tells us that it is not man alone who is the image of God or woman alone who is the image of God, but man and woman as a couple who are the image of God. [...] We can say that without the mutual enrichment of this relationship — in thought and in action, in affection and in work, as well as in faith — the two cannot even understand the depth of what it means to be man and woman. Modern contemporary culture has opened new spaces, new forms of freedom and new depths in order to enrich the understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much skepticism. [...] The removal of the difference [...] is the problem, not the solution” (Francis, General Audience, 15 April 2015).
Homosexual "marriage" is denounced as a lie (Section 76):
Regarding proposals to place unions of homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family” [CDF]. In every way, the Synod maintains as completely unacceptable that local Churches be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies link financial aid to poor countries to the introduction of laws to establish “marriage” between people of the same sex.

There was also no mention of admitting the divorced and remarried (without annulment) to Holy Communion, as had been widely rumored. Nothing has changed. Why did anyone think it would?

Every Catholic needs to be at peace with Christ's promises. Our Lord would not have warned us against building our houses on shifting sand if He had not also provided the firm ground on which we are to build. His Church is that unshifting ground, and those who have built upon it have nothing to fear.

When will we learn to trust?

It's important to note that the Synod Report is not primarily concerned with gender ideology and homosexual "marriage" (aside from the rejection of their veracity). There is so much more, so much goodness and beauty and mercy in it, and so much help and hope for families today, rooted in eternal truths and promises, all of which are made for human flourishing. Read it all, here.

I am grateful to Pope Francis for convening the Synod, and I love what he is doing to bring in the lost sheep. He stands for unwavering Truth even as he reaches out in mercy and love to a world that, without Jesus, has no hope.

And did you all know that today is the pope's birthday? Let us each offer up a prayer for the Holy Father's intentions today!

Happy Birthday, Papa!

CNS photo/Paul Haring


  1. Thank you for sharing, Leila. I was also baffled by all the hand-wringing, I figured it would all come out right in the end.

  2. I do not expect any particular changes in the report. However, this is not the final papal version. Prayer is still in order.

  3. [...] The removal of the difference [...] is the problem, not the solution”

    This is paramount. This culture is only left with disembodied thoughts when it starts playing the shell game with gender differences. People have to tie these similarities and differences to a larger context. We don’t live in a vacuum. There is a normal and operative context that is necessary to understanding what gender difference even means. You cannot rip gender from the context. If aliens arrived here, they’d record their observations noting those differences right off the bat. They wouldn’t say, “There are no differences among these earthlings.” They'd be synthesizing info in columns and rows faster than you can spit out a matrix on Excel.

    To even pretend there are no differences is to confuse and blur intellectually, and, therefore, anthropologically. Anthropology is a comparative field of study, culturally and physically. It holds up these realities against the light of clarity for the express purpose of finding similarities and differences.

    To say there are no differences is like saying there’s no difference between x and y. The culture wants to say “Really y equals x.” Uh, well, therefore x=x. And, pay attention, because if you say that y=x then you will not be. solving. anything. You haven’t furnished an equation. You’ve confused the whole idea, not solved for anything. Just what the quote above says. Exactamundo.

    I wish someone would teach Catholics to "think" (snicker).

  4. Nubby, I'm in frequent conversation with an atheist off the boards, and I wish you could join me, because he won't whittle it down to first principles. He thinks he's thinking, but he's not thinking.

    And, yes, that comment by Pope Francis.... dead on.

    Tom, do you expect the Pope to contradict the body of bishops? I sure don't. I can't imagine it.

  5. Where does he jump in the thought pile to begin sorting ideas? What's his rationale?

  6. There's a few Catholic sites/blogs I've had to jettison from my repertoire over their alarmist predictions on this. Thank you for being a calm in the storm.

  7. Our society has lost sight of the fact that women and men were created differently for a reason, and that they compliment - not replace- each other. Early feminism did a great service in that it secured women the vote and allowed their testimony to be equally heard in court, etc, but now it's gone to far in the persistent idea that a woman doesn't need a man. It's true that all women do not have to marry, but that doesn't mean that women and men don't need each other in society. And it certainly doesn't mean that any two persons can replace a mother and a father for a child. I think that these radical feminist ideas have led to the opening stage for such gender confusion. We were made equally wonderful in the image of our God, but that doesn't mean women and men are interchangeable!

  8. I think that these radical feminist ideas have led to the opening stage for such gender confusion.

    Feminists demand that we see life under the same illusions as they see it. They make the effort to feel offended and so demand changes to reality based on these illusions (delusions, really) all the time. It’s what they strive for.

    Their mentality here that you reference in regards to their notion of sameness in gender is the exact same fantasy of thought they exhibit when it comes to the supposed “wage gap” myth.

    They infer –incorrectly! – that just because women make less money on the whole than men that there just must be an underlying element of sex discrimination at work. Why, there just has to be! Therefore, they get aggressive through legislation that only increases lawsuits, effectively negating the supposed dream they had of “creating statistically better employment for women”.

    Feminists, you’ve just negated yourselves (and all women, actually) and your desired $60k/yr. salary based on faulty information, faulty interpretation of that information, and based on an exerted effort to create a red tape nightmare for business law, business owners, and the everyday tax payer.

    Because instead of paying you, the business now has to pay litigation fees which, in case you are not aware, are never cheap. And you’ve achieved what? Feminists, be sure to take classes that teach you how to correlate like a pro, so that you can actually gain the analytical skills of understanding how to reference data accurately and how to determine true cause and effect. Capable minds are key for those high-paying jobs, am I right feminists?

    They absolutely fail to take into account the variables that are actually pertinent-- that actually reflect the Bureau of Labor Stat’s reality regarding “wage gap earnings”. (I can list them here in 5 seconds.) They instead desire to use legal action to shove business owners around and mandate changes (driving up costs!) instead of actually editing their illusion to include reality. It’s remarkably unreal that their agenda gets this much traction.

    1. The wage gap myth was being debunked when I was in college 15 years ago even in my Women's Studies class. It drives me crazy to watch politicians exploit it still for political purposes.

    2. lol Women's studies class. I bet that's money that you wish you could have back.

      The wage gap is actually truthful in reverse... single 30 yr old females actually are shown to make 8% more than males in the same boat. So are the men allowed to complain or file suit because of "sex discrimination"... or nahhh?

  9. Okay, I have a question. What does the Q stand for? I thought it was just LGBT.

  10. Beth, it's even longer. Now it's LGBTQIA. Questioning? Or Queer? And Intersex? And Asexual? I am not sure. Here is a helpful guide:

  11. Nubby, that is so logical, and maybe that is why they cannot see it?? They are so feelings and agenda based? You are so right, they want us to see the illusion that they see and go with that. I think that is the basis of my atheist friend's arguments, but I can't quite pin it down. I really don't know. It's crazy confusing because it's based in... nothing.

  12. Angel, that is axiomatic, so obvious, isn't it? And the CRAZY thing is that the other side does not see it as obvious. They see it as "obvious" that men and women are interchangeable. It's like we are on two different planets. And this never, ever used to be the case. Again, their theories and beliefs are grounded in... nothing.

  13. At first I thought queer, but then I thought that was another word for gay, or that it was more of a slur possibly. My head is spinning with all those letters. Questioning? No. Please tell me no.

  14. Yes, Nubby! My husband and I were just discussing the "wage gap crisis" issue last night.

    And Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual? Can we further conflate the issues?

  15. These feminists might as well say, "I'm suing you because you're better at chess than I am. You're better because you're male." What? He's "better" at chess because of these factors: he practices more, he's played a longer time, and he's learned from the best tutors. It has zero correlation to his being a man. But let's all just get sue-happy and run the legal system in circles while companies pay through the nose and lose revenue. Way to clog the system with legal costs based on erroneous analysis.

    Facts: Men make more because they go into more lucrative careers in more employable fields, they work longer, and they are not affected by childbirth/maternity-leave (so blame your anatomy for that one, feminists).

    An article I read on this whole topic a while back actually said that single women under 30 yrs. of age actually earn 8% more than men in the same category. So exactly which terms, categories, and variables are these feminists bundling together in their "analysis" as they stomp into lawyers' offices demanding legal entitlements?

    And the creation of more categories and compartments for "labeling" people. Please. I thought the whole idea was to "simplify". To create more labels is to create complexity; which, aside from the moral, logical, and anthropological aspects involved (that this post raises), means spending more tax money, too. Think of it. How much legal-ese needs to be altered or added on documentation now? And how many legal forms do we need to rewrite, create, or edit, to ensure that there are 75 boxes available to check at will, should a person decide they're feeling like gambling with self-identification on any given Monday? Who do they think pays for this?

    It's costly. It's ineffective. It means nothing in the long run because a person isn't supposed to be hired or acknowledged based on sex anyway, so descriptions on forms shouldn't matter! Hello, discrimination and reverse-discrimination. And it's the furthest distance we can ever get from "simplification" and what that truly means.

    The fact that we're even needing to go down these routes of thinking doesn't wiggle the logic meter on anyone's mental dashboard, huh? That's a whole new level of "where exactly are you, mentally, dear culture?"

  16. Leila,
    What's the baseline argument that your atheist friend uses regarding gender issues?

  17. “Why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal”--Pope Francis

  18. Johanne, that's right, if all things are equal. For example, if the company pays male workers $15 per hour, but pays female workers $10 an hour, then absolutely we have an injustice. Clearly that was not what Nubby was explaining. You understand what she was saying right?

  19. Nubby, with gender issues, like transgender stuff, he claims he's neutral. That's because he's too smart and scientific to pretend that men can turn into women. But he's trying to be politically correct and a good liberal. As far as gay "marriage", he says he used to be "anti-gay" because we were all raised that way, but now he understands equality, or something. When I asked him if a bride implies a groom, he said yes it does, but it does not require it. (???)

    His big issue lately is women priests, and for him it's seen only in terms of power differentials. He can't conceive of any other reason that we don't have priestesses in Christianity. It's all about power.

    1. Two gays cannot marry because the two individuals lack the ability to do what marriage does - conceive and nurture the next generation of human beings. The only reason it appears that they can do it is because science aides them in maintaining an illusion. Children conceived by a lesbian woman still have a father and a mother, even if the father isn't present in that child's life. Even a sterile married couple can nurture a child in a way that no gay couple can.

      A man cannot teach a girl how to be a woman, and it doesn't matter how good his intentions may be - he simply doesn't have the experience to know what it is like to be a woman. A woman cannot teach a boy how to be a man, and it doesn't matter how good her intentions are. She lacks the experience of what it is like to be a man. Only a male-female couple in a healthy marriage can model for a child what a healthy marriage should look like on a day-to-day basis.

      It is theology of the body that teaches us the true reason why women cannot join the priesthood. Everything about our physical bodies mirrors some spiritual reality about ourselves. The body is a guide to the care and operation of the soul. Men have a physical life-giving component that women lack, and a corresponding spiritual life-giving component that is exclusive to them. The same with women.

      The Church is a Bride, and the purpose of marriage as I said earlier, is to conceive and nurture the next generation. When paired with a priest, the Church is able to conceive and nurture the children of God. This isn't about a lack of intelligence or leadership skill or of women being less than men. It is about women not having the essential ingredients to perform the duties needed of a priest.

  20. Johanne,
    What does your posting that article have to do with the relevant factors used for analysis that I mentioned above? What does it have to do with forceful legislative acts pushed through Congress based on erroneous analysis and feminist agenda?

    Curious, too. Why do you not engage my questions about Buddhism? I just spent time re-reading Buddhist philosophy to be sure I was approaching the logic and the entire context correctly. I am. Extinction is the goal- nirvana is the goal. Existence is evil in the entire philosophy of your religion. Not sure where or how I have misconceptions as you claim I do. Maybe someday you could answer more thoroughly.

    Your friend "understands equality" in regards to what- subjective ideas that change, but not truly knowable and concrete concepts from natural law?

    If he "understands equality" then he should completely understand how the mystical body of Christ functions. Equal yet different.

    Similar does not mean same. Why atheists of scientific persuasion try to force it to mean this is a mystery.

  21. Gay "marriage" is based on the West's "crusade" for "romantic love".
    “Since a same-sex marriage can be based on romantic love just as solidly and legitimately as an opposite-sex marriage....”

    "Romantic love" comes from, you guessed it, Crusader times.
    "Modern Western ideas about romantic love originates mainly from... the mid-12th Century....
    Simultaneously, the cult of the Virgin Mary (Mariolatry) became much more prominent in Catholic devotions...."

    In a society where arranged marriages were the norm, such as in Judea at the time of Christ,
    what family would arrange a marriage of a boy with a boy? What parents would arrange a marriage of a girl with a girl?

    Saint Maximus the Confessor, "last Father and first Doctor of the Church" ,
    wrote that the Virgin Mary's betrothal was arranged, as were the marriages of all Temple virgins, ACCORDING TO THE RULE OF THE LAW.

    John Calvin wrote that the Pope lay aside all respect for Divine Law (Arranged Marriage).
    The Popes set the Age of Consent at age twelve.
    In Vatican City, the AOC was 12 until 2013.


    The word "Catholic" comes from the Greek "katholikos" which means "universal".

    "Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere,
    always, by all." - Saint Vincent of Lerins

    Neither Saint Polycarp nor Saint Agnes of Rome nor Clement of Rome
    nor Saint Ignatius of Antioch nor anyone in the Catholic Church in Apostolic Times ever wrote of
    such things as the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple or the Assumption of the Virgin. Nor did they ever write of asking Mary to
    intercede for them or to save them.

    Vittorio Messori, “the world’s most widely read Catholic writer”, writes that Christians “must declare war on romantic love”.

    First Catholics must declare war on their un-Catholic and heretical love for Mary.

    1. There is nothing un-Catholic about honoring your father and mother, and since we are baptized into Christ as St. Paul tells us, she is our mother and therefore we are obeying the 4th commandment when we pay honor to her. Every Marian doctrine is actually a doctrine relating back to Christ. She is the Mother of God because Christ is God. She is the seat of Wisdom because Christ found his very first seat in her womb, and He is Wisdom Incarnate. She is the dawn star because He is the morning star that came to shed light on humanity's darkness.

      Any true devotion to Mary will only lead you into a deeper relationship with Christ, for Mary's first aim is to do as she did in her lifetime - to bring Christ to all. She was the first to literally carry Christ within her and the first to bring Christ to others. She brought Him to Elizabeth and John the Baptist, then to Joseph and to Bethlehem.

      The writings about Mary's Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple dates from around 120 ad - less than 60 years after Mary's Assumption - and is known as the Protoevangelium of James. This contains the story of the conception of Mary, her upraising in the temple, her eventual betrothal to Joseph, the birth of Christ, the coming of the wise men, the slaughter of the Innocents by Herod, and the flight into Egypt.

      The word Catholic does indeed mean universal and was first applied to Christians in a written document around the year A.D. 107, by a bishop, St. Ignatius of Antioch, in the Near East, after he was arrested and brought to Rome by armed guards. In a farewell letter which this early bishop and martyr wrote to his fellow Christians in Smyrna (today Izmir in modern Turkey), he made the first written mention in history of "the Catholic Church." He wrote, "Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2).

  22. As to the surge of popular devotion to Mary appearing in the 12th Century, you can blame St. Dominic for that. He was attempting to fight a heresy in the Church unsuccessfully. After days of prayer and fasting, the Virgin Mary appeared to him and presented him with the Rosary and instructed him on how it ought to be prayed and to teach others to pray it as well. It proved so successful a weapon that thousands were converted with its prayers. Since then, both spiritual and earthly battles have been won with its aide.

    Lest you think this is a demon in disguise tempting souls away from Christ, the Rosary is a meditation on the life and promises of Christ. It is a sure guide toward how we, as Christians, ought to respond to every challenge we are sure to meet along our walk from here to eternity. Yes, the Hail Mary is said 50 times. To the ignorant, it would seem to call undue attention to the Virgin Mary over Christ. However, that prayer is in fact a recalling of the words that the Angel Gabriel spoke to her at the moment of the Incarnation. So, in reality, it is us bringing to mind that miraculous moment when God chose to enter human history as one of us, choosing to live life just as we all do from beginning to end. How great is the love of God for us that He would choose to so humble himself for our sake? Truly a wonder!

    As to your statement that the early saints did not mention asking Mary to intercede or save them, you ought to keep in mind that the Dormition of Mary did not take place until around 66 ad.
    "The first centuries of Christianity also provide us with numerous examples of direct prayer to Mary as a means of intercession for the graces and protection of her son (8).

    St. Irenaeus referred to Mary as Eve’s special “advocate,” interceding through prayer for her foremother’s forgiveness and salvation, while St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 350) wrote of Mary in heaven praying for those still on Earth.

    St. Ephraem (d. 373), one of the great Eastern preachers, prayed to Mary directly in several of his sermons. Likewise, St. Gregory Nanzianzen (d. 389) included direct prayer to Mary in his sermons.

    From the latter half of the fourth century on, such examples of Marian prayers simply abound, from the sermons of St. Ambrose to the Eastern Father, St. Epiphanius. The most complete ancient prayer to Mary, however, dates back to an even earlier time, 250 A.D. It is called the Sub Tuum:

    We fly to your patronage,
    O holy Mother of God.
    Despise not our petitions
    in our necessities,
    but deliver us from all dangers,
    O ever glorious and blessed Virgin." -

    1. Hi Brandy,
      You wrote, "From the latter half of the fourth century on, such examples of Marian prayers simply abound".
      There was a vast difference between the 4th Century Church and the 1st Century Church.
      Those prayers simply do not abound in the 1st Century, the Apostolic Age.
      Do you not know that in the 4th Century the Church was in ruin?
      Who said so? Chrysostom! One of the most influential of Church Fathers. Chrysostom lived around the same time, c. 400 A.D.
      Chrysostom has written more than any other Church Father. In the Eastern Catholic Church, his Liturgy is used 90% of the year.
      Saint John Chrysostom, who knew nothing of the Feast of the Dormition/Assumption (because it wasn't yet even in existence
      and only came into being through an Imperial Decree of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice c. 600 A.D.)
      wrote that in his day (c. 400 A.D.) the Church was in complete ruin and was a mere shadow of what it once was in the early years
      after the apostles. He wrote that the Church in the early years (at the time of St Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement of Rome)
      was a HEAVEN!!! but the Church of his day was in ruin. He wrote that all they
      had during his time were mere tokens of what the early Church had.
      He wrote that he doubted
      whether very many of the bishops of his day would be saved. He wrote that he doubted whether 100 people in all of Constantinople (the "Queen of
      Cities" in his day) would be saved.
      Why quote to me from people of his day, men such as Ephraim the Syrian and Gregory Nazianzen?
      Gregory Nazianzen or Gregory of Nyssa said the Church's "Ecumenical Councils" (a Greek Priest at a monastery told me that actually they were Imperial Councils)
      were all horrible affairs where there was very little love and charity.
      You are quoting men from a Church in ruin. Who in the world would want to follow a Pope in charge of a Church in ruin?
      A very erudite Greek Orthodox priest, age 80, the Archbishop's Confessor at a monastery where the Archbishop resides,
      told me that the early Church's worship (c. 100 A.D.) was "charismatic". It was extemporaneous. That is the worship of a true Catholic.
      It was not at all like the traditional Latin Mass
      or the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in the Greek Church. They never heard of all these Feasts that the Greek Church celebrates now such as
      the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, which was instituted by a Byzantine Emperor and later became a tradition of theirs set in stone.
      The Pope simply brought that tradition of the Greeks over to the West at a late date, 1372.
      Neither Saint Augustine nor Pope Gregory I nor Thomas Aquinas ever celebrated such a thing as the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin.
      None of the Popes celebrated it until 1372.
      In the early Church, when the Church was a "heaven", they never had all these prayers to Mary
      such as are found in the "Akathist to the Mother of God" (by St Romanos the Melodist c. 550 A.D.) in the Greek Church's Prayer Book.
      They had nobody composing such prayers then.
      Did the people who were alive when the Church was "a heaven" ever write that they prayed
      to Mary or asked her to intercede for her or for her to save them?
      Which of the apostles ever wrote that we are supposed to pray to Mary to ask for her to intercede for us or save us?
      If I pray to Mary to save me or to avert the wrath of Jesus Christ on Judgment Day,
      that means that I don't believe in Jesus's love for me and I have denied the very Gospel itself.
      Jesus Christ DIED for me. Jesus Christ rose again. He has ALREADY saved me. It has already been
      DONE. You don't need to pray for Mary for what's already been done.
      Does not the apostle say, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

  23. Brandy, thank you for responding to John Bardin, because I was not going to waste my time. He breezes in, unknown to anyone, and starts on an anti-Catholic, anti-Mary diatribe. No engaging anyone, no manners, just trolling. I wonder if he just cuts and pastes the same thing on other Catholic sites? Sad. I was about to delete him, something I rarely do, but thanks for chiming in to educate the readers. :)

    1. Hi Leila,
      I first noticed your blog from what you wrote on Sept 9, 2011 "Protestants, it's time to come back"
      and I just had to respond. But since that entry was 4 years old I decided to respond here, over this very relevant issue of homosexual "marriage".

      You wrote there:
      "The moral teachings of the Church have never changed, and they never will."

      The fact is that the moral teachings of Rome HAVE changed drastically.
      And who among Catholics today even follow Catholic moral teaching?

      In Italy and Spain (Catholic countries where they don't arrange marriages any more) 90% of people now think premarital sex is acceptable/not a moral issue,
      whereas in Indonesia and Pakistan (non-Catholic countries where they arrange marriages) only about 2% of people say premarital sex is acceptable/not a moral issue.
      Isn't it really quite shameful?
      What kind of Popes did you have, who permaitted all this to happen in the first place?
      Catholics are those who claim they will be saved by their works (Council of Trent), that is, by the works of the moral law.
      You have the law, but you have not kept it. Do you not know that she who obligates herself to be saved by the law must follow the entire law?

      As a result of Rome's cult of Mary, arranged marriage came more and more to be seen in the West as "old fashioned" or "old hat" or "backwards".
      You elevated her to "Queen of Heaven" and forgot that she was a humble and obedient Jewish maiden whose betrothal to Joseph was arranged,
      and therefore you yourselves should emulate Mary's humility and obedience and allow your marriages to be arranged.
      This has all happened under the Pope's watch.
      This started in the Middle Ages.
      As a result, as one Brazilian (Catholic country) supermodel said, "Nobody marries as a virgin any more."

      Why doesn't the Catholic Church teach parents any more that it is God's Law for them to arrange marriages for their sons and daughters so they can avoid fornication?
      Everything else (including gay "marriage") is related to this.
      As a result, guess what? There is a cult of "romantic love" in music and the media and young people today spend lots
      of time with each other before marriage and yes, they commit fornication.

      Homosexual "marriage" and many other ills of our society are based precisely on the Western culture of "romantic love"
      and a revolutionary new reluctance to arrange marriages which emerged NOWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD BUT in 12th Century Catholic society.

    2. Sorry, John, I'm not seeing your logic. Yes, many Catholics have fallen away and no longer practice their faith. But how does that translate to "the Church has changed her teachings"?

  24. Why did Nubby latch onto one of the early commenters on this post and take us down the anti-feminist diatribe again? I have not yet read the full synod documents, but I can't imagine there is a lot of it addressing feminism. This blog is nothing if not consistent in its condemnation of feminism. This document is not about feminism. Can none of you acknowledge the brave and sacrificial contributions of women who gave you so many of the rights you now enjoy? As a licensed attorney I chucked at Nubby's portrayal of business and employment litigation today. Having women in critical professions and leadership roles matters. It really matters to our society and our governance. I thank God every day for all the women who lovingly and joyfully take on the primary financial responsibility for their families and advance their workplaces and careers, bringing the genius of women to the workplace, where it is sorely needed. Business and employment litigation is far less focused on wage and salary disparities as it is on discrimination based on harassment and other issues. There are a lot of problems in the world today that impact work and family, but in my judgment, feminism is nowhere near the top of the list.

    1. I was raised by an old-school feminist and very much appreciate feminism's contribution to American society. But even she is appalled at what feminism has become today and can no longer align herself ideologically, politically, or religiously. I think it has been clarified many times on this blog that the feminism that got us the vote and other justices is not the same feminism that claims we don't need men, motherhood, or even our own womanhood. Gosh, Abigail Adams was quite the feminist, encouraging John Adams to give women the vote at the very founding of our country. I can't help but cheer when I read about her. But I am pretty sure Abigail Adams would be appalled at what passes as feminism today.

    2. Sarah, yes, that's just it. Classical feminism does not bear any resemblance to feminism that holds the banner today. There is not a woman I know who would not agree with the classical feminists. We all do! Today's breed of feminist, however, is so different, so mutated, as to be unrecognizable. They don't even appear to like womanhood or feminine reality (even our biology) at all. It's really a horror for many of us who are strong women who love the original American feminists. My mother is probably similar to yours -- very feminist in disposition, and even led the southern Arizona Girl Scouts for three years in the 1980s, but she is repelled by feminists today.

  25. Modern feminism is nowhere near the top of the list of things that cause the problems in the American family today? Abortion, contraception, divorce, free love, gay "rights", gay "marriage", gender identity, gender wars, demonization of men, etc., etc.... All these are fueled by modern feminism, and abortion is the linchpin of the movement. You can't see that? All this destroys families.

  26. We could try it this way: Show us where modern feminist philosophy holds up true marriage, chastity, fidelity, sanctity of life, and the proper and healthy relationship between man and woman. I'd love to see that it does.

  27. Why did Nubby latch onto one of the early commenters on this post and take us down the anti-feminist diatribe again?

    Mainly because I felt like it and because modern feminism ties into the OP. You think it’s inaccurate or you just don’t like that I did it?

    If you’ll note, Angel commented on feminist ideas creating gender confusion in our culture. I took it another step and commented on feminist portrayal of the wage gap myth. Is that somehow erroneous thinking in your opinion, or you were just wondering why I paired up along that trail of thought?

    Can none of you acknowledge the brave and sacrificial contributions of women who gave you so many of the rights you now enjoy?

    Sure I can. I acknowledge those rights all the time. Yet, here I’m not talking about rights so there’s no tie to this particular offshoot of opinion. You’re swinging at a strawman, assuming that I’m disparaging working women on the whole. That’s inaccurate in every way.

    I’m not talking to sacrifices. I’m talking to a modern feminist agenda being thrust through Congress, costing money for businesses. What about that angel that you ignore? Check into the FPA if you need a concrete example in legislation.

    As a licensed attorney I chucked at Nubby's portrayal of business and employment litigation today. Having women in critical professions and leadership roles matters. It really matters to our society and our governance. I thank God every day for all the women who lovingly and joyfully take on the primary financial responsibility for their families and advance their workplaces and careers, bringing the genius of women to the workplace, where it is sorely needed.

    This is irrelevant and incoherent. My "portrayal" is taken directly from the BLS. I don’t “portray” business and employment litigation at all. I talk to the stats- the same ones you can look at. I don’t need to “portray” anything. I am talking to the direct relationship between cost of legal fees which negate paying a woman a salary and giving her a job position because companies cannot afford both. So how you claim I portray anything other than what I actually say is beyond my logic. You do this a lot with my comments. Not sure why. I feel I’m a pretty straight shooter in how I say things.

    Further, I am not remotely anti-working woman, at all (considering I worked corporate for years). I am absolutely not anti-female leadership or anti-female professional. Your conclusion drawn from my comment is completely inaccurate. I am huge Fiornia fan simply because of what her corporate expertise gives her in the political realm. I “lovingly and joyfully brought my genius to the workplace”, too.

    None of this opining ties to my point which – again- was: feminists have omitted relevant and obvious factors to dream up a wage gap myth so they could push an agenda through the government to make legal changes based on these errors, costing money and creating massive red tape, effectively negating their idea of creating “better employment for women” because that money is now tied up in legal fees and not going toward a woman’s salary. That’s my entire point. I am not disparaging working women. I am blowing holes in the fact that feminists are driving complaints politically and, therefore, inducing legal changes that are based on non-truths.

    1. * that angle that you ignore

      --- And this:

      Business and employment litigation is far less focused on wage and salary disparities as it is on discrimination based on harassment and other issues. There are a lot of problems in the world today that impact work and family, but in my judgment, feminism is nowhere near the top of the list.

      Business litigation now has to be focused on things like the Fair Pay Act. All because women thrust this agenda through our system. And I disagree with your take that feminism is harmless. Feminism can greatly impact work and family. Internal quota-setting, policy revamping, legal changes all arise. What categories are you ranking to figure what “causes problems in the world today that impact work and family”?

  28. What's your bottom point, John? You've got a mess of a flowchart of thought, there. You've blurred the lines in so many veins of thought, I don't know where to start unraveling the net.

    Here first:
    The Church was "in ruin", according to your synopsis with one quote meshed with some early Church Fathers or popes "claims", so, therefore, according to your assumptions of 'Catholic invention', that completely negates the reality and authority of any following councils which served mainly to dissect, define, and enunciate already well-understood doctrines that weren't quite put into technical terms? How do you tie those together? Why? That's a pile of mashed potatoes to sift through.

    Firstly, you need a solid basis for your accusations that the Church doesn't "develop" and "stayed in ruin". Secondly, you need to bolster your argument with ideas that haven't already been refuted solidly. Are you going off the lark of Loraine Boettener's anti-catholic book? Sounds like it.

    If I pray to Mary to save me or to avert the wrath of Jesus Christ on Judgment Day,
    that means that I don't believe in Jesus's love for me and I have denied the very Gospel itself.

    Then you need to apply your logic across the board and don't ask for any intercession from anyone, earthly or heavenly. Anytime you ask for intercession from anyone for anything (from a prayer for additional graces to be saved from hell, to a prayer for relief from a toothache) you're "denying Jesus' love for you".

    This is old hat, John. No one here is flummoxed by this logic. Why are you?

    Does not the apostle say, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
    Yes, and that same apostle says, "The church is the pillar and foundation of truth." The Church is still the church, whether it appears "in ruin" or "in great shape". It shifts, it grows, it ebbs, it flows, but its identity is Christ Jesus' because He established it -- whether it sees rough patches along the way or not.

    Your flowchart boxes need to be firmed up. There should be no dotted lines or dashes to those rectangles below, if you're trying to draw logical arguments. You assume too much and, therefore, your logic does not flow coherently. Therefore, your comments are intellectually ineffective.

  29. John, please follow the rules and do not hit "reply", but rather put your comments at the bottom of the thread so I don't have to go searching for them.

    Bottom line: You are rambling. I agree with Nubby, you are just all over the place and so your thoughts are incoherent. And, it's a hodgepodge of anti-Catholic tracts and ideas that have long been refuted. But if you want to discuss one issue, give one issue, not forty-seven disjointed thoughts.

    Two thoughts that I had after trying to find a question or thought in your ramblings (sorry, just being honest... clarity is not your strong suit):

    The Church is not a democracy, and it doesn't matter how many Catholics do or do not "agree" with the Church. How would non-compliance to the moral law change the moral law, for example?

    Second, you seem fixated on the idea of arranged marriages. The Church does not forbid arranged marriage, so long as both the parties fully agree to and consent with it. My own grandparents, married in the Church, had only met once or twice before they married.

    So, what is your point, exactly?

  30. It is all to rich to have someone try to disprove Catholic doctrine by pointing what early fathers didn't say about 1 out of10 Marian truths. Guys like Polycarp and Ignatious were dripping wet with Catholic thought on everything. This convenient presupposition that church ceased to exist with Constantine is truly exhausting. All the heretical battles that worked wonders to define Christianity , 90% of which the Protestant world stands for today, seam to be hard wired with men. It's an authority issue.
    And John, it's ok to love Mary. Jesus certainly did. If the Angel Gabriel took time out of his busy schedule to talk to a human and use the greeting "Hail, full of Grace" you're probably ok with honoring that person.
    Not to mention, who wants to hear on judgement day " dude, did you really spend all that time dissing my Mama? Why don't you say it to my face?"

    1. Can I quote you on my Facebook page? I read what you said go a visiting friend today and she (and myelf) LOVE what you wrote. It's so direct and to the point; outside if the standard defense of Mary. Refreshing to look at Mary from a perspective held by her son.

    2. Golly Ashley thanks. Of course you can. Send all proceeds to Nubbys St . Nick Defense Fund.

    3. Chris, people all over the place are going crazy about your defense of Mary! I put that last part on my Facebook page, and you should see the response! Someone even asked if it were copyrighted so he could use it freely! You've really said it in a new and fresh way, and it makes perfect sense!

  31. Chris, I kid you not, that's one of the best defenses of our Mama that I have ever heard! So good, my brother!!

    I was talking to a very holy woman yesterday, former Protesrant (whose 93-year-old grandma just became a Catholic on Sunday, by the way!), and one thing that came up was how terribly tragic it is that Protestantism, with its "just me and Jesus" paradigm, has completely lost the understanding of the family of God. They have lost the Communion of Saints, and they have lost their Mother in this beautiful Family! Their view is so impoverished, so small, compared to what God has given us in His lavish generosity!

  32. If the Angel Gabriel took time out of his busy schedule to talk to a human and use the greeting "Hail, full of Grace" you're probably ok with honoring that person.

    hahaha! Ya think?!

    A precise point well made, in just 31 words. He shoots and scores! Now go forth and teach the rest of the internet what it means to be pithy and accurate.

  33. Leila yes, the family of God and the communion of saints. I don't know how someone can connect the dots without a solid understanding. Like your OP, the church and all revelation has used familial and marital language from the beginning. We are body and soul. Earth and Heaven. The two tie together perfectly. I think some of this is just old heretical thinking that we are only spirit , and body and earth are bad or alien to things of God. Nonsense . Christ was a flesh and blood man with a flesh and blood mother. If we are to be one with Christ how can we possibly be separated from his mother and the rest of the family? There is a deep eternal connection between a mother and her son that cannot be broken. Years ago, I remember thinking that those scenes in war movies when a dying soldier would call out for his mother were just bogus. I learned that it is very real and had a vet tell me he witnessed that more than once. How strong the connection that when a strong brave young man, blinded and torn apart, reverts back to strongest human bond he has before he dies. Well Jesus was human and know doubt lived that scene on Calvery. His mother present, fully broken, naked and humiliated. That connection is eternal and there's no way I try to separate any of that. Jesus is our lord , savior and most understandably our brother in the family of God. And I Love our Mama.

    And Nubby, I checked, it was 31 words. So you're good to go on that math.

  34. I would like to hear from John about the arraigned marriage thing. So... Catholic thought is what gave birth to the idea of romantic love and that's how we got to today's mess? I hadn't heard that one before.
    Then we can discuss what the Protestant world has contributed to family structure.
    John are you against romantic love? Or just saying that arranged marriage is the way to go. Because wow, I thought it was Catholics who are supposed to be ridged dictators telling people what to do.

  35. Chris-
    It's so ironic how Protestants like John argue against honoring Mary (therefore, they argue against honoring family at large) in one breath and then accuse Catholics as being the reason for the demise of western family structure in the next (because "everyone fornicates since no marriages are arranged- so therefore, family is not properly honored and structured"). ???

    Apparently Catholics are wonky and it's our own fault for whacked-out doctrine that doesn't enforce arranged marriages(??) which honor family, but honoring Mary, well, hell, hell... no sirr ree!

    Well, which is it?
    Are we Catholics wrong because we honor and exalt Mary? Or are we wrong because we've somehow "wrecked" family by ... what, exactly? Too much recognition and esteeming of family bonds and allowing for yes, indeed, dare I say, "romance" to enter the equation for finding a spouse? Odd thinking.

    And then this:
    You elevated her to "Queen of Heaven" and forgot that she was a humble and obedient Jewish maiden whose betrothal to Joseph was arranged,

    We "forgot" nothing. It's seemingly you, John, who has forgotten that Christ in fact exalts the humble. It's not our doing that he saw fit to give her rank and glory in the heavenly realm. Nothing is more fitting. And of course all is done through His grace and for His glory alone. If she shines, He shines. Just like, if we shine, He shines. 'Nuff said and not that terribly hard to follow, logically.

    And I up-vote romance! Just sayin'! And to your math point, Chris, was there any doubt? ;)

  36. No doubt anymore. After that mind bender I will forever trust your mathical genius

  37. I love it when Chris and Nubby take the reins! I don't have to do a thing. :)

  38. Lol Leila, You can kick back and have a gin and's Christmas... :)

    A better challenge for Protestants with John's opinions would be: Give us the exact recipe necessary to practice this theology regarding family love and honor.
    Give us the exact proportions necessary for accurately loving/honoring Mary and loving/honoring family through marriages (arranged or not).
    How much is too much? Greater than zero but less than 100%, right? Yet, they often argue it should be zero. So how is that even realistic, considering Jesus absolutely acknowledged Mary's presence with great love and honor when he said while on the cross, "Behold your mother..."

    Good grief, the goal is "spiritual unity" in God. How do you escape honoring Mary and yet gain unity in the fold? Aquinas shows us that Unity, itself, is God... oh, lordy, let's not go that deep right now.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas to all you crazy Catholics in the Bubble-- Love to you all... Catch you after the awesome feast of the Birth of Unity, Himself, in the manger.

    "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee, tonight..."

  39. Nubby yes to all. The Queen of heaven thing. Perhaps we can recall the queen mother of the king in scripture? Jesus is the king of heaven and he has a queen mother. Such a wild reach. Not to mention St. John's Revelation ( Woman clothes with sun... Crushing the serpent etcetera ) Who spent more time with Mary than John. ( ok maybe Papa Joe but don't get me started)
    It just bugs to here this drive to diminish her singular and unique role and make her just another regular good ole Christian gal from the bible. Humble and obedient yes, just like her Son the King. How do you shrink that?
    If she was just another simple blessed obedient Chriatian that should be approached like everybody else,then how bout a comparison to yourself or any other person in history.
    Have ever had a visit and chat with an Arc Angel?
    Have you given birth to the word made flesh?
    Have ever reared and raised a God/Man?
    Have you ever pulled your saviors ear and told him what to do?
    Have ever rejected his answer and told him to perform a miracle because you say so?
    Were you at the scourging ? foot of the cross ?Did you receive a tongue of fire in the upper room at Pentecost?
    Did you spend years just hanging with St John?

    Well , if you answered no to all, then join the club because there was only one person who isn't in that club.

    I once had someone say " you guys ignore the gift and worship the box" . The hell you say! (nubby, talk about a St. Nick moment)

    This is Christmas. When it all began. Total gift. Including a whole family of saints and a Queen.

    Merry Christmas Nubby! Don't hesitate to let us know if Michael the archangel visits you and says " rock on sister"

  40. Leila wait, you have never heard some say "be nice to Mary, her Son will be your judge"?
    I heard that once and it stuck.

  41. No, I never heard that Chris, but I need to compile all your stuff and keep it handy! Wow, good stuff! Here's the Facebook link for you to see how many people liked (189?) and commented on the first thing you said (I hope you can access it):

  42. Wow Leila, thanks. And I see Paddy C commented there. I was visiting once while he was doing his show. A caller was going through a litany of anti-Marian doctrine points. While fielding the call on-air, he scribbled a note and held it up through the glass. " they love Mary to death and can't stand it". Or something like that. It's true. I think there is a slight void and longin without understanding the communion of saints. I know that many Protestants love and honor Mary in a different way. It's just the venomous off the rails stuff that bothers me. It's my honor to defend Jesus's mother, that's all.
    And where has Francis C been? I wanted cheer Mother Theresa's sainthood with him.

    1. AHHH!!! You've been to the Catholic Answers office??? I am a HUGE MAJOR "Paddy C" and Catholic Answers Live fan!! They just built a brand new studio that you should check out! I'm sooooooooooooo excited to meet the CA team at their conference coming up in March! Ooohh my gosh! Could I also please meet the famous Chris Sawaya while I'm out in San Diego??? :)

    2. Margo, you made my day. Of course, we'll have you for dinner. And that goes for any other Bubble buddy who is coming to San Diego. Just give Leila your email.
      And hey GFNY that includes you dammit.

    3. Awesome! Leila's got my email! And I'll be staying an extra day in San Diego (Sunday, March 6th; the conference ends on Saturday evening) so it will be fantastic to meet you and your family! Yay! Leila - get ready for pictures and fun stories! :D

    4. That's it , we'll do Sunday Mass then have tacos.

  43. Oh my gosh, so fun!!!!!!! You guys will have a BLAST! I should come, I really should....

    I just messaged Francis to call him over here, and where is GFNY????

  44. Thanks for this post... I got too exhausted over the hand-wringing and angst. There are too many real problems in the world to be eyeing our pope with distrust. Don't get me wrong, I've questioned and had to dig on several news reports related to him and even gotten frustrated at him once or twice... but really, our pope and most of our bishops can be trusted and haven't done anything to deserve the sensational journalism I've been seeing lately.

  45. My point was that gay "marriage" is based on the West's crusade for "romantic love", which is so obvious that none of you even argued with me about it.

    "The world's most widely read Catholic writer", Vittorio Messori, writes that we must return to pre-arranged marriage
    to save the family, Christians "must declare war on romantic love", and that many forty year old single or separated women agree with him.

    Your own leading Catholic writer says this, so why argue with me?

    "Romantic love" = Millions of 30-40yo women still unmarried....

    "The writings about Mary's Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple dates from around 120 ad... and is known as the Protoevangelium of James. This contains the story of... [Mary's] upraising in the temple, her eventual betrothal to Joseph"

    Search the apostolic writings and the Apostolic Church Fathers (Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp) and you will
    find many quotes from the New Testament but none about Mary's presentation to or upraising/betrothal in the Temple.

    Saint Polycarp wrote, "For neither I, nor any other such one, can come up to the wisdom of the blessed and glorified Paul.... he wrote you a letter, which, if you carefully study, [is] the means of building you up in that faith which has been given you...."
    Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians

    The true Catholic tradition is that practiced by Polycarp.

    The Pope himself has said that the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin has "apocryphal content".

    "In the 1974 encyclical Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI wrote that "despite its apocryphal content, it presents lofty and exemplary values...." Mauriello, Matthew R., "November 21: Presentation of Mary", Fairfield County Catholic, 1996

    Apocryphal = dubious; fables

    But the apostle wrote, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables...." 2 Peter 1:16

    Young women are leaving the RCC by the droves because of your fables of Mary, which are not even Catholic.

    This is no small matter.

    "Among my [Roman] Catholic girlfriends, the mystery of Mary—and what it implied about the Catholic Church’s view of women—was a hot topic of debate."

    “I find it appalling that the Church claims Mary consented at the age of thirteen... to become the mother of God.”
    “In Christ’s time and even today in some countries... child marriages are customary. But that doesn’t make it right....
    “human biology hasn’t changed.... The brain of a young teenager isn’t fully developed.”

    "Was the Virgin Mary a rape victim?" 8,570,000 hits Bing Search

    And what sort of message are you telling your young daughters, either by word, or by practice, or by silence?

    I know most of you probably believe that "the brain of a young teenager is not fully developed".

    Do you not deny your own faith when you say or imply that "the brain of a young teenager is not fully developed"
    enough for 12yo maidens to be given in marriage, as the Protoevangelium of James says Mary was?

    An EO priest told me that the Protoevangelium of James is a document that was corrupted by heretics.

    This is astonishing.

    The Church preserved the NT without corruption.

    Why couldn't the Church preserve the Protoevangelium of James too?

    That all we have is a corrupted copy of the Protoevangelium of James and that it was never quoted by the Church Fathers speaks volumes. How little the early Catholic Church esteemed the Protoevangelium of James!

    For this reason alone, the Pope today is not Catholic. He does not hold the universal (Catholic) and apostolic faith held by Polycarp, Ignatius, & Clement. He holds a Feast which, by his own admission, is based on "apocryphal content".

  46. John Bardin, that writer may be fantastic, but I don't read him and I barely recognize the name. So.... let's stick to discussing one issue at a time if you'd like, and let's stick to verifiable doctrines and such (use of Catechism, or Scripture and Fathers in context). That would be great. Because people glaze over when they see a bunch of "facts" thrown out from someone who clearly has very, very little actual knowledge of Catholicism, but acts like he does, then throws a bunch of stuff against the wall to see if any of it sticks. Your posts are incoherent. Make a point, just one point, and let's go with that. Stop throwing out (forgive me, but... ) STUPID quotes like "the Pope today is not Catholic". It belies your ignorance and bad will. But mostly your ignorance. No one is going to take you seriously around here with that kind of "thought".

    1. Sorry, that should say "it exposes your ignorance and bad will".

  47. "Stop throwing out (forgive me, but... ) STUPID quotes like "the Pope today is not Catholic". It belies your ignorance and bad will.
    But mostly your ignorance. No one is going to take you seriously around here with that kind of "thought"."

    I assure you that not only I but also the entire body reputed to be the Eastern Orthodox Church (200 million members)
    (who even hold to many of the same apocryphal fables about Mary as you do)
    know full well that the Pope is not Catholic. The EO have always seen themselves as THE Catholic Church.
    The EO say that the Pope is not Catholic today, and has not been Catholic
    for a thousand years. All four of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs have anathematized the Pope
    of Rome on the charge of heresy and have not allowed the Pope to receive communion with them for a thousand years.
    It goes without saying that a heretic cannot be a Catholic.
    At the reputed Ecumenical Councils (Imperial Councils),
    there were five reputed Patriarchs, the Patriarch
    of Rome (the Pope), of Constantinople, of Antioch, of Jerusalem, and of Alexandria. The other four
    Patriarchs, in communion with each other, always considered themselves and those bishops in communion with them to be THE Catholic Church.
    I too believe that the Pope has fallen into heresy, but even sooner than the EO
    Church says.
    "Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs, 1848
    A Reply to the Epistle of Pope Pius IX, "to the Easterns"
    ....But the Prince of Evil, that spiritual enemy of man's salvation... has from time to time beguiled many....
    Hence have arisen manifold and monstrous heresies, which the Catholic Church... has been compelled to combat....
    Of these heresies... at present is the Papacy....
    Usurping as his own possession the Catholic Church of Christ, by occupancy, as he boasts, of the Episcopal Throne of St. Peter, he desires to deceive the more simple into apostasy....
    how many other monstrous daughters, now living, the Papacy has brought forth in the West: while Orthodoxy, with us, has preserved the Catholic Church as an incorruptible bride for her Bridegroom...."

  48. John, thanks. I feel like you are conducting a monologue. I think we all understand your perspective. This is a Catholic blog and that's not changing. You can move along now to another blog, because your anti-Catholic stuff isn't flying here. Thanks, and God bless!


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