Cleansing Fire

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Week 07 in Catholic Media, 2014

February 16th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Good NewsScreenShot348

1)  Moral Strength in Africa: we are seeing a backlash in Africa, missing from many other parts of the world, against being forced by the West to follow its opinions on abortion and contraception for the sake of money.  (revised)  Nigeria recently passed strong legislation which the Canadian government blamed for its withdrawal an invitation to the Nigerian President.  Last summer President Obama also pressured the Kenyan and Sengalese governments to see same-sex marriage the way he does, as a “right,” with the implicit threat of more pressure from the U. S. if those countries don’t give in.  Is the U.S. is becoming “bully of the world?” In related news, the Nigerian archbishop states that the Church will not compromise its moral teachings to placate Western elite; story can be viewed here.

2.  Baby born to ‘brain-dead’ womanIn the sad death of a Canadian woman, new life was created, as her husband fought for the courts to keep her alive long enough that a healthy son could be delivered by Caesarian section.   This case contrasts sharply with that of a Texas man who sued to force the state to remove his similarly ‘brain-dead’ wife from life support, killing the baby, also at 22 weeks.

3. Catholic archbishop leads boycott of businesses building Planned Parenthood abortion facility:  Kudos to the Archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory M. Aymond, for leading a boycott of all businesses which in any way participate in or facilitate the erection of a new $4.2 million Planned Parenthood abortion facility.   He wrote: “Every person and organization involved in the acquisition, preparation and construction of this or any abortion facility… are cooperating with the evil that will take place there”Abp. Gregory Aymond ….. The archdiocese and affiliated organizations, including schools, nursing homes, and churches, “will strive in [their] privately funded work not to enter into business relationships with any person or organization that participates in actions that are essential to making this abortion facility a reality…. Our fidelity to Church teaching and our conscience necessitates this stance….There is no justification, including economic hardship that will make a direct or indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood, or any abortion provider, acceptable,” he said. The archbishop explained that scandal is considered by the Church to be “a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.” 

Bad News

When Courts and governments become instruments of Satan, those in its jurisdiction become the victims.  Here are a few recent ways that courts and governments may be seen to have betrayed those who rely on their decisions:

1)  Refusal to enforce prostitution laws In the recent trend of refusing to enforce laws against long-accepted immoral behavior, and passing legislation to legitimize everything from same-sex marriage to abortion and euthanasia, the Canadian Province of Ontario and other jurisdictions have announced they will stop enforcing prostitution laws.

2) Prevent Goodness: And the flip side of pushing evil into the world is action by the courts to prevent goodness from showing, ScreenShot008as North Carolina’s ‘choose life’ license plates are ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. Appeals Court. 

 3) Judge’s ruling that Kentucky must recognize foreign gay ‘marriages’ may open door to polygamy

4) Obama-appointed federal judge strikes down Virginia’s same-sex ‘marriage’ ban.

 5) Nevada’s governor and attorney general stated that they would cease to defend the state’s marriage amendment,  becoming one more jurisdiction ignoring the will of the people.  These individuals, who defended the law just last month, had previously filed in support of the amendment in November 2012.  The law was challenged by eight same-sex couples and these officials caved.

 6) Belgium Parliament passes law allowing children to be euthanized.  How many steps will there be before children born with birth defects will be included?  How many steps after that will it be mandated that such “imperfect” people must be euthanized, to remove the burden from the state.  Slippery slopes only go DOWNHILL.

7) At least ten Catholic colleges will host Vagina Monologues in 2014  The only force capable of speaking out strongly against the perversions of justice is the Catholic Church.  We see a good example of that by the Archbishop of New Orleans in one of the “Good News” articles above.  Unfortunately, much more is needed, from individual Catholics, Catholic institutions and its hierarchy.  These icons are often only one step away from or now undermining their own faith.  Newest additions to that Wall of Shame are the Catholic colleges and universities hosting dissident speakers and events, gay proms and pornographic entertainment.  And in the Province of Ontario, a Catholic School Board sponsored a lecture on how to oppose Catholic Moral Teachings:

Good News or Bad News?

And then there are events which seem good or bad on their surface, but often need “wait and see” to determine the effect.

1. Facebook users can now choose between 50 new ‘gender identity’ optionsThis one is definitely worth the click.  Bet you couldn’t have thought up a dozen options, let alone 50?  “Male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 5:2.  This one which almost made it onto the “bad” list above was propagated by Facebook this week.  It has a question mark only because of the associated question:  Reaching the billions claimed to use Facebook, will this drama finally point to an absurdity against which the reasonable mind rebels? or is it only one more instance of institutionalized social change?  If the change endures, then perhaps we should expect much longer driver’s licenses, on which we will have dozens of gender options, and which will need to be carried as a rolled up scroll over our sun visor?  The quest for absurdity knows no limits.

2. The Guttmacher Institute recently put out a study documenting the decline in abortions.  Father Pavone, of Priests for Life, replied that “A Decline in abortions, for whatever reason, leads us closer to our goal.”  What could possibly not be ”Good News” about this announcement?  It is merely a question of truly analyzing and ‘getting behind’ the numbers.  It is very good news, of course, that the number of abortions are declining, and while the Gosnell horrors and increasing web of regulations doubtless play a part, we should be very sure that the gross visible bloodshed and risk of the abortuary isn’t being eclipsed by the more hidden abortion caused by an abortifacient.  I am not convinced that the data yet compensates for the new means of abortion, newer, cleaner, dead baby nonetheless.  So “for whatever reason,” is true only if displacement to a more secret killing away from the mass media and individual conscience sensibilities is not the cause.  Otherwise, it would not be leading us closer to our goal.  Note — this is not to dispute that there is a real decline, only how much.  Because if/when the data for abortifacients catches up, it could then appear as an increase yet not be one.  Worth keeping an eye on.

3. Pope Francis to Archbishop Chaput: Bring Your A-Game to Rome:  How in the world could this NOT be seen as good news?  The simplest answer is “Because we don’t know what it means, yet.”  ABP ChaputMany apostolates in the Church are directly authorized by a Diocese.  Many are not.  (For example, one might consider this blog to be a lay apostolate, a response by good-conscienced, well-meaning people to a need of their brothers and sisters in the faith. Church Militant TV, on a much bigger playing field, may also be seen the same way.  What does organizing the lay effort mean?  More control by the Church?  or more opportunities for lay people to be free to contribute their gifts?  What does it mean when one thinks of how pastoral administrators have ’taken over’ in recent years?  A super-laity, imposter clergy?  or a self-actualization of all Catholics?  Are additional involved laity going to be more people to get a salary?  or move current paid positions into volunteer efforts?  If, as the article suggests, some “Curia of the Laity” is on the horizon, is it for unleashing the power of the individual lay Catholic, or for controlling it?  Will this unblock past obstructions in the Curia to being responsive to laity? or just become one more impediment?  These words are not claiming either, or even some other yet-unarticulated concern.  It is simply to say that not all nice-sounding announcements result in what we hope for.  One can ask “What has impaired this way of achieving such lay objectives for many years now?”  And one can also ask if this will lead to a dangerous level of clout in the hands of regional conferences, or will it, at last, direct their activities where needed and productive.  Let’s wait and see.  Meanwhile, here is the link to the article on Pope Francis’s calling on Archbishop Chaput:  http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pjsmith/pope-francis-tells-archbishop-chaput-to-bring-his-a-game-to-rome/  (A rather pro-personality piece for Abp. Chaput.)

Excerpts:  [Abp. Chaput will be] part of a team that will advise Pope Francis on how the lay faithful can more effectively contribute to the life and mission of the Church.   the Pontifical Council for the Laity could end up becoming more than  just a ScreenShot346Vatican “think tank” and have some real authority (beyond its current role in approving and supervising the Church’s lay apostolates), if it turns into a proposed Congregation for the Laity, much like the existing congregations for bishops, clergy and religious …. when Archbishop Chaput comes to Rome, his new task will be not only promoting the laity, but also helping the Holy Father tear down the spirit of clericalism in the Church, which has been identified by Pope Francis as a major wall to evangelization.” 

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2 Responses to “Week 07 in Catholic Media, 2014”

  1. avatar christian says:

    6) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/world/europe/belgian-senate-votes-to-allow-euthanasia-for-terminally-ill-children.html?_r=0

    A priest relative just sent all of us family this link to sign a petition against Child Euthanasia in Belgium:
    Join this petition! Philippe the King of the Belgians: Refuse to Sign
    the Child Euthanasia Law
    http://citizengo.org/en/4158-not-sign-legalisation-child-euthanasia?tc=gm&tcid=1951200

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