Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Catholic Stand: Time For Catholics to Leave the Democrats?

Now that the election is over, the post-game analysis and forecasts for the coming sessions will occupy the media for at least the next week or so. It’s also a good time to consider whether it makes sense for faithful Catholics to remain tied to the Democrat Party.

Catholicism is the largest single religious communion in the United States; we number between one-fifth and one-quarter of the population. Being so large a bloc, if we voted as consistently as do black Protestants, we would have tremendous influence on public policy: we would not necessarily be able to impose what laws we wish, but we would be in a far better position to persuade the rest of the nation to go along.

However, the political amity that my colleague, Dr. Denise Hunnell, so well described in “Elections and Eternity”, probably could be best described as the remnants of a temporary unity, brought on by the shared experiences of our political leaders in the Great Depression and World War II. The tension of subtly shifting values was manifesting itself even in the 1950s, and it finally erupted in the riots, protests, and violence that scarred the “Vietnam era”. Today, the “conservative Democrat” and the “liberal Republican” are mere memories, even oxymorons.

The explosion, when it came, functionally split the Church in America in half. The split was further polarized when Ven. Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae; so certain had so many people been that the teaching on contraception would be changed that, when the pope forcefully restated it, the shocked and disillusioned abandoned the pews; weekly Mass attendance fell below 50% almost overnight. Even today, the “cultural” or “Christmas and Easter” Catholics are more likely to be liberal in their politics, while those who are highly active in their parishes are more likely to be conservative.

Read more in Catholic Stand!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A coldly calculated soft genocide—UPDATED

Nairobi, Kenya
Kitui, Kenya is about 83.1 miles (133.9 km) east of the capital city of Kenya. The following extract is from the website of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui:

Stand by the truth

Dear Christians, fellow Kenyans and all people of good will, We, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya, meeting at St. Mary’s Pastoral Center in Nakuru, greet you in the name of Our Lord.
During our weeklong Ordinary Plenary Assembly, we have taken stock and reflected deeply on the state of the nation and have identified the following issues of great concern:

  1. 2.   The Tetanus Vaccine
Dear Kenyans, due to the direction the debate on the ongoing Tetanus Vaccine campaign in Kenya is taking, We, the Catholic Bishops, in fulfilling our prophetic role, wish to restate our position as follows:
  1. The Catholic Church is NOT opposed to regular vaccines administered in Kenya, both in our own Church health facilities and in public health institutions.
  2. However, during the second phase of the Tetanus vaccination campaign in March 2014, that is sponsored by WHO/UNICEF, the Catholic Church questioned the secrecy of the exercise. We raised questions on whether the tetanus vaccine was linked to a population control program that has been reported in some countries, where a similar vaccine was laced with Beta-HCG hormone which causes infertility and multiple miscarriages in women.
  3. On March 26, 2014 and October 13, 2014, we met the Cabinet Secretary in-charge of health and the Director of Medical Services among others and rasied our concerns about the Vaccine and agreed to jointly test the vaccine. However the ministry did not cooperate and the joint tests were not done.
  4. The Catholic Church struggled and acquired several vials of the vaccine, which we sent to Four unrelated Government and private laboratories in Kenya and abroad.
  5. We want to announce here, that all the tests showed that the vaccine used in Kenya in March and October 2014 was indeed laced with the Beta-HCG hormone.
  6. On 13th of October 2014, the Catholic Church gave copies of the results to the cabinet secretary and the Director of Medical Services. The same was emailed to the Director of Medical Services on October 17, 2014.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not a news flash: Catholic Church still doesn't have female priests

Angela Wilson: perhaps a priest, but not a Catholic priest.
Note to the London Telegraph: Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger is not a Catholic priest. In fact, since she wasn't ordained in any church which has female priests, she isn't a priest. If she'd been ordained in the ELCA or the Church of England, I'd call her a priest. She wasn't; therefore, she isn't. She's not a bishop, either.

Self-identification doesn't turn fantasy into fact, no matter what you do to support the illusion. I can call myself an elephant or the King of Ireland for the rest of my life; I could spend those days eating peanuts and communicating in nasal trumpets, or wearing a crown and issuing edicts; the rest of the human world would still be under no obligation to indulge my mishegoss. No amount of foot-stamping insistence would change that. No news story full of gushing adulation for my foot-stamping insistence would change that.

It wouldn't matter if a validly and licitly consecrated bishop in good standing performed the rite of ordination perfectly according to the rubrics: "... the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women ...." (Pope St. John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis [1994], 4) This wasn't just the late pontiff's whim; it's been a fact of the Church since the beginning (vide CDF responsum ad propositum dubium, 1995). If the Church doesn't have the authority, then neither do the individual bishops. Nor can individual bishops obtain such authority by appeal to Scripture or the Holy Spirit; that's a piece of Protestant legerdemain, not Catholic teaching.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lena Dunham's rubber reality check—UPDATED

Photo: Dianna E. Anderson.
It used to be a "tell-all autobiography" told everything about people other than the author; the author himself would confess to a couple of juicy sins here and there, and would immediately return to dishing the dirt on other Famous Figures. But even the most jaded, libertine celebrity kept some secrets, understanding that there would be some things that would alienate the fans.

The point of an autobiography, after all, is to brag on yourself. The subtitle of every autobiography ought to read "How I Made It to the Top, and All My Glorious Achievements". In the case of the tell-all, it should read "How I Made It to the Top, All My Glorious Achievements, and Some of the Wild Bacchanalian Adventures I Had Along the Way".

I haven't forgotten the subdivision of autobiography that comes closer to the Confessions of St. Augustine: "How I Got to Be So F**ked Up, and How I'm Recovering". Now, in this kind of book, you can blame your mother, your father, yourself, the Church, the State, society, blah blah blah; the point is, though, you recognize that being f**ked up isn't a good thing.

Unless you're Lena Dunham. Then you confess to doing all sorts of things to and with your baby sister that are creepy even for a seven-year-old, compare your behavior to that of a sexual predator, then get upset — in her own words, go into a "rage spiral" — when people accuse you of having molested said baby sister. This isn't just classic narcissist behavior; this is a reality check that failed.