Posts tagged ‘Catholic Church’

Is the Pope a Catholic?

For a guy who loves to talk, Pope Francis sure has picked a funny time to be silent.

Pope Francis normally won’t stop talking. He’s picked a funny time to go silent

Archbishop Viganò is a distinguished churchman. He is at the end of his career. He can have no this-wordly ambition. So what is he doing and why? Others more knowledgeable may offer better explanations, but I can suggest only four: Viganò is lying; he is sincere but mentally ill; he is an innocent manipulated by others; he is telling the truth in whole or in part.

The faithful need to know which explanation is correct. Given what we already know from the McCarrick case and the Pennsylvania grand-jury report, the fourth must be granted a real possibility. If so, it may still be that Viganò’s motives are corrupt — i.e., he wants to topple a liberal Pope. But if his charges are true, they are such a serious matter that his motives are of interest mainly to God. His statement must therefore lead to serious investigations, which, since the allegations involve crimes as well as sins, will inevitably be conducted by secular authorities as well as church ones. In the next few years, therefore, we seem likely to learn a great deal more about evil in the garb of priestly virtue and episcopal authority. And that raises a question that has not yet been given the same attention as sexual abuse and its cover-up above.

In his New York Times column on the McCarrick case — a month and an age ago — Ross Douthat said of the former cardinal that after the clerical-abuse scandal in Boston broke, “the Washington archbishop became the avuncular, reassuring media point person for his fellow bishops, issuing statements of concern and condemnation that if he really feared the punishments of hell would have turned to ashes in his mouth.” Those words were striking, indeed piercing. What did McCarrick believe? What does he believe? Did the punishments of hell feature in his mind at all? What did bishops and other senior clerics think they were doing when they either passed predator priests on to other parishes after a brief psychological counseling or turned a blind eye to sex parties in the seminaries? Are they really Catholics? Or Christians of some other kind? Or men who had lost their faith almost without realizing the fact? Or men who had adapted Catholicism to other philosophies, which had promptly digested it? Or something worse?

. . .

If we are going to see a proper accounting of these things, it looks as if it will have to be delivered through the criminal-justice system. That has already happened in some of the cases revealed in the Pennsylvania report. Three hundred priests have been accused, with some convicted; a few still face trial, and many are dead. But the case that now really counts is that of McCarrick. It is unlikely that he will face prosecution for his seduction of seminarians. As one Italian religious journalist has observed indulgently, the seminarians were above the age of consent and suffered no actual violence even if they experienced pressure and distress. That’s a very worldly standard for a bishop to rely on for protection on a sex charge, even in post-Christian Italy and America, and it would play very badly with public opinion, but it’s probably enough to keep him out of court. Nor will he face human justice in the case of the minor child of family friends whom he both baptized and seduced. The statute of limitations has run out.

That is something he may now regret. It would be an opportunity of a kind, after all. If he were to plead not guilty and hire a ruthlessly brilliant lawyer to mount a scorched-earth defense on his behalf, he would be doing what any other white-collar criminal does in similar circumstances. A guilty plea, on the other hand, would be evidence of penitence, shame, and desire to make amends — far more so than retreating into a monastery for prayer and penance. And because child abusers face a hard time in prison, it would require real courage in addition to the humiliations that he would inevitably suffer. It would also tell us that McCarrick fears the punishments of the next world far more than the pains and humiliations of prison in this one.

Is the Pope a Catholic?

It’s astonishing that in the wake of an 11-page letter alleging Pope Francis enabled and empowered child predators, some have chosen to focus their attention on the accusers and not the accusations.

You’d think everyone, fan and critic alike, would be asking, demanding to hear Francis answer the allegations. You’d be wrong.

The Vatican’s sex-abuse denialists persist in their insouciance

The history of institutional governance shows that diverse voices in the “boardroom,” a range of experiences and expertise among senior leaders and overseers, and some degree of independent oversight make for healthier institutions. The Catholic Church should try it.

The Church Is Too Important to Be Left to the Clerics

Tags: , ,

Catholic Sexuality, Pornography

Catholics believe that sexuality has a deep, fundamental purpose, designed by God.
. . .
[M]ost Catholics and almost all Protestants do not even dimly understand the distinctive Catholic teachings on sex, such as the prohibition of contraception. But I should note that all Christian communions thought contraception was gravely sinful until 1930, when the Anglicans first allowed it in hard cases only. Thus, it is simply historic Christian teaching, not just a “Catholic thing.” It has become the latter because we are the only ones who never forsook the traditional teachings, whereas other Christians decided to reject those.
. . .
The Catholic Church teaches that it is wrong to deliberately separate sexuality from procreation, because the latter is its most fundamental purpose. It’s a natural law argument:
1) The deepest and essential purpose of sex is procreation.
2) Separating sex from procreation is a violation of this purpose and is against natural law.
3) Therefore, whatever does so is sinful and wrong.
God created sex for this purpose and also for pleasure, within its proper sphere (marriage between a man and a woman).
. . .
The Church holds that homosexual orientation itself is not sinful. It is only when these desires are acted upon or excessively dwelt upon (lust), that it becomes sinful. In that respect it’s not that different from heterosexual non-marital sexuality. Men and women after puberty have sexual desires, because God designed it that way, in order for more children to be born. These natural desires need to be controlled and delegated to the proper place and time to find fulfillment. The difference between homosexual and heterosexual sexuality is that the former (when acted upon in the usual ways) is, we believe, contrary to natural law in all circumstances, whereas the latter is sinful outside of marriage and a procreative will, but not sinful within those purviews.
. . .
Bluntly and generally expressed, the Catholic view is that male orgasm must occur within the act of vaginal intercourse with one’s spouse (of the opposite sex) that one is committed to for life, and that female orgasm must also be in conjunction with the overall act of love (intercourse), open to life and possible conception (i.e., no contraceptive devices or intent). Sexual acts that are apart from this circumstance are wrong and sinful. This is Catholic sexuality in its most basic expression, or in a “nutshell.”

Catholic Sexuality: A “Nutshell” Explanation

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography by a vote of 230-4 (and one abstention) at their November 2015 meeting in Baltimore. The document discusses Church teaching on human sexuality and chastity, specifically why the production and use of pornography is always sinful, as well as porn’s disastrous effects on individuals and society as a whole. It also suggests a pathway for those addicted to pornography who wish to break the addiction. The document is primarily addressed to Catholic leaders and parents, but is of value to anyone interested in an authentically Catholic view of the often hidden vice that, directly or indirectly, affects everyone today.
. . .
Regular porn use can destroy a person’s ability to have healthy relationships and successful marriages, the bishops state. Porn is connected to “adultery, domestic violence, the abuse of children in child pornography, and sex trafficking. It also can be implicated in contraception use and abortion, given that it promotes and even celebrates promiscuity and a view of sexuality devoid of love or openness to new life.”

Furthermore, “pornography use within marriage severely damages the spouses’ trust and intimacy both because of the pornography use itself and because of the deception and lies usually involved in one spouse hiding his or her behavior from the other. It has been identified by divorce lawyers as a major factor in over half of divorces.”
. . .
Even though we live in a world torn apart by porn addiction, there is healing or restoration. If you are held captive by this addiction, let go of your shame and reach out for help.

Porn is the new tobacco, says Catholic therapist

Tags: , , , , ,

Divine Mercy Sunday

There is “No Limit to God’s Mercy”

The_Divine_Mercy

The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy (EWTN)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

St. Faustina

Tags: , , , , , ,

Happy Easter!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Catholics Come Home

Tags: ,

Look! Squirrel!

If I could reach into the heart of humankind and pluck one flaw from its unknowable depths, it would be our seemingly irresistible desire to tell one another what to do. Think of the results! The Democratic Party would vanish in an instant. The federal budget would shrink to the size of a compact car payment. And all religions would be Christianity at its best. We could still continue to enjoy our pride, lust, greed and gluttony while feeling morally superior to our neighbors’ pride, lust, greed and gluttony. We just wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. It would be like — oh, I don’t know — like living in America again. Free country. To each his own. That’s what makes for horse races. And all that.
. . .
My point is that we are in the grips of a truly corrupt, abusive, incompetent, and philosophically unAmerican administration. If it were led by a white Republican, the media would be disassembling it brick by brick — and rightly so. But it is run by a black Democrat, so instead, reporters are lying, covering up, and shouting “Squirrel!” to distract us whenever the truth starts to emerge.

I understand how emotionally satisfying it must be to win court cases like this — I do. But gay Americans (who, after all, live in the same republic, the same economy, and the same world as straight Americans) ought to get hip to the fact that this time, they’re the squirrel.

Gay Squirrel!

Continue reading ‘Look! Squirrel!’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pedophiles

All right thinking people just know that pedophiles can be found only in the Catholic Church and college football programs.

This is bad enough on its own, but the scandals aren’t limited to Doctor Who. As the Daily Mail notes, this story is emerging shortly after accusations that longtime BBC television host Jimmy Savile molested as many as 450 people in his lifetime, making him one of the UK’s “most prolific sex offenders,” according to the NSPCC charity group.

The more we hear about what was going on in the era of sexual liberation, the more the Catholic scandals look like a symptom of the times rather than a special pathology of the Church. The BBC was apparently a hotbed of abuse for underage female and male fans, and revelations about abuse in schools, the Boy Scouts, Jewish organizations and other institutions in which adults regularly interact with youth keep coming to light.

It’s almost enough to make a person think that when a society casts sexual restraint and self control to the winds, the young and the weak become victims of a culture of exploitation and gratification. It’s almost enough to make someone wonder if unbridled and socially glorified libertinism rather than celibacy is the leading cause of the sexual exploitation of minors.

Sex Abuse Scandals Rock the BBC

Continue reading ‘Pedophiles’ »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,