Thursday, March 26, 2015

Irish Association of Catholic Priests takes 'neutral' stance on same-sex marriage


The Association of Catholic Priests has adopted a neutral position on the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland and urged priests not to instruct their parishioners on how they should vote in May.

 The group of priests, with a membership of about 1,000, issued a statement saying: “After a consultation with our members, the results of which indicated clearly a wide range of views, the Association of Catholic Priests has decided not to adopt a position in favour or against the marriage equality referendum.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Death Penalty: Avoiding Ambiguity in Doctrinal Matters

by Luis Solimeo

In a strange coalition, conservative and liberal Catholic publications made an appeal to Catholics:

“We, the editors of four Catholic journals — America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor — urge the readers of our diverse publications and the whole U.S. Catholic community and all people of faith to stand with us and say, ‘Capital punishment must end.’”

Dangers of Abandoning the Teachings of Scripture and Tradition
Whatever position one takes regarding the application of the death penalty in this or that place or historical circumstances, one must take care not to shroud the clear principles of natural law and Revelation in ambiguity.



In a scholarly article from 2001, the late Avery Cardinal Dulles warned that if the Church abandoned the arguments from Scripture and Tradition that justify the death penalty, this would destroy their authority and could no longer be invoked as basis “for repudiating divorce, abortion, homosexual relations, and the ordination of women to the priesthood.” And he adds, “[i]f the Church feels herself bound by Scripture and tradition in these other areas, it seems inconsistent for Catholics to proclaim a 'moral revolution' on the issue of capital punishment.”[1]


To read the rest of the article, click below

Death Penalty: Avoiding Ambiguity in Doctrinal Matters

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why Johnny Can't Sled Anymore


In the midst of this cold winter, I chanced to come upon a scene that gladdened my heart. It was a group of unsupervised boys sledding down a hillside. They weren’t only sledding. They were ramming into other sleds. At the bottom of the hill, they pushed each other down, rolling and tumbling in the snow. They threw snowballs at each other, all the while yelling and carrying on. The boys were just being boys, having a good old time in the process. I was thoroughly entertained by the spectacle, remembering scenes from my own youth.

I was also edified by what I saw because in that scene there were all sorts of lessons being taught outside the politically-correct classroom. Here were boys joyfully defying the gender police by naturally exhibiting that aggressive and manly behavior that makes them different from girls. I saw them developing and honing social skills like conflict management and alliance making. In the rough and tumble, the boys also learned that acts have consequences that sometimes hurt and require one to measure risks and avoid undue dangers. In that short episode in their exuberant lives, the boys learned about life with all its joys and sufferings.

The scene also saddened me by the fact that such scenes are becoming ever rarer. The lessons are deliberately left untaught. Boys must no longer be stereotyped as boys (even though they are boys). Thus, they cannot engage in fighting and scuffles. It is better to be tethered to electronic devices which are considered much safer than zipping down hills.

This conclusion really hit home when I read that many cities all over the country are banning sledding at public parks. It’s just too dangerous. They are also closing down the hills because of liability concerns.

Cities like Dubuque and Des Moines, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Columbia City, Indiana now prohibit or restrict sledding on public property. In Paxton, Illinois, officials even went to the point of bulldozing down its sledding hill to keep playful children off. Many cities have been hit with multi-million dollar lawsuits from sledding accidents.

Of course, children can be injured by sledding. No one denies this fact. Children can be injured in just any kind of intense physical activity. But the likelihood that any one of the nation’s 75 million children will be injured by sledding is measured in the low hundredths of a percent, many of which will be minor incidents. Such accidents are part of growing up. It does not exclude tragic accidents which will always be with us, since no civilization has ever been able to eliminate them.

However, “dangerous” activities like sledding serve a purpose. When children are exposed to small dangers, they then know how to deal with real dangers when they confront them later on in life. They learn how to gauge the risks involved and react accordingly. They need to learn from a very early age that acts have consequences that often hurt. Parents do their children no favors when they seek to eliminate all reasonable risks from their paths. They fail to see that the innocent fun found in sledding or rough physical activities connects the child to reality and helps him deal with future problems in a natural and organic way.

The real tragedy is that today’s youth are offered a contrary program. Instead of sledding, many children are often exposed to the frenetic intemperance of alternatives that help them disconnect from reality. While other children are “dangerously” playing in the snow, they will be engaged in video games full of all sorts of violent and risky activities — that have no concrete consequences. They are free to gun down, run down, and mow down anyone in their path to gain points or advance the game. While others play unsupervised, these “safe” children will often be watching alone (and also unsupervised) movies and programs full of violence, profanity and sexual encounters – all at the click of a mouse. With such lessons being taught, should parents wonder why their children cannot deal with life’s problems?

Overprotected from the real world, these unfortunate children are immersed in an unreal world where boys cannot be boys, and girls cannot be girls. All must be safe and sterile. Every physical risk is avoided while every moral danger is embraced and marked by an intolerable tolerance. Such a world stifles wonder and spontaneity. Indeed, it is a dangerous world when Johnny cannot sled anymore.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Protest Blasphemy in St. Louis' Washington University

 
St. Louis, MO—The Washington University South
Campus Theatre is showing the blasphemous
Jerry Springer: The Opera…  and they get tax dollars!
The starts today and will run until March 28
 
 
Caution: blasphemous material!
 
     Send your e-protest message to the Washington University South Campus Theatre in Saint Louis, Missouri – they’re showing Jerry Springer: The Opera, which is full of profanity, impurity and blasphemous content: 
  • The crucifixion is mocked and the Eucharist is trashed
  • There is a lady singing “Jerry eleison” (mocking the Mass: Kyrie Eleison)
  • Jesus is introduced as “the hypocrite son of the fascist tyrant on high.” He wears a diaper, is fat and effeminate.
  • Eve gropes Jesus in a manner too indecent to describe while the Annunciation is described as immorality. 
  • God is a fat man in a white suit who complains about being blamed for everyone’s problems. He invites Jerry Springer to join Him to “sit in Heaven beside me, hold my hand and guide me.” At the end, Jerry emerges as the true savior of mankind.
    Protest here
     Throughout its history, the “opera” has earned its blasphemous reputation. In London, the debut was the subject of a libel suit for defaming Christians. When it was to be aired on the BBC, it drew more than 60,000 complaints. 
 
     Some examples are: The crucifixion is mocked and the Eucharist is trashed; Jesus wears a diaper, is fat and effeminate and later admits: “Actually, I am a bit gay.”
 
     You and I cannot accept such insults to Our Lord and the Catholic Faith!
 
     You see, we live in days when Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS kill Christians by beheadings and boast about it, while we are slowly allowing our own Christian civilization rot from within. We cannot allow these things to happen. God must be respected!
 
     So please send a protest message via email to the South Campus Theater today. The motto of the prestigious and well known Washington University is, Per Veritatem vis, Strength through truth. 
 
 
     It only takes a few seconds, so please do it now. The honor of the Faith is precious and cannot be brushed aside. 
 
     For the love of Our Lord and the Catholic Church, please send your message today, and consider forwarding this email or SHARE the protest page with all the Catholics you know. This is very important!
 
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

No Professor Left Behind -


no professor left behind college classroom
I recently had the opportunity to guest lecture for an American Government class at a private Midwestern college. My friend who teaches the class invited me to share some insights about political theory. While I have taught classes to select groups of motivated students, I was ill prepared for the harrowing experience of addressing the ordinary university student.

The 25 or so students entered into the classroom and plopped into their seats. I immediately tried my best to connect with them by explaining some basic concepts of government and law. It proved very difficult since most of the students, although polite, were simply not interested in the topic. Some three or four students carried on the class discussion. I thought I had failed miserably until my friend later commented that he was pleased to see how much interest the class had generated.

My experience was hardly unique.

I have spoken with other professors who have had similar experiences. There may be a few fine students who really do want to learn and are highly motivated, but there are also many students who simply don’t want to be in their classes. They are there because they are required to be there to graduate. Moreover, many students feel a university degree is a kind of entitlement that they have the right to claim despite their performance in the classroom.

Anyone who is involved in education will acknowledge the mechanical nature of the modern education process. The university is often focused on granting ever more degrees, securing larger enrollments or raising massive funds. This can lead to the lowering of standards or overlooking problems like cheating and plagiarism in order to keep enrollment numbers high, so as to keep federal funds flowing.
 
As a result, something very important has been lost in higher education. In our efforts to leave no child behind, we are leaving teachers and professors behind. We are turning our professors into mere monitors of testable information rather than mentors who guide their students to develop character and wisdom. We are asking them to conform to politically correct agendas, instead of giving students a vision of society based on reality and a notion of truth. Professors cannot advance in the practice of doing that which they should be doing: real teaching. They are being left behind.

It is an example of what I call the “frenetic intemperance” of our times where the higher purposes of education are left behind and the concrete results of numbers are highlighted as success. It involves sending people to college for the sake of going to college.

What is particularly tragic about this whole mentality is the obsessive idea that more is better. Those who hold this view believe that if students with degrees earn more than those without, then all students must be granted degrees, any degree, regardless of their abilities or debts contracted.

The recent proposal to grant all students two “free” years of community college is an example of this numbers mindset. It does not get to the core of the matter. Rather, the proposal will end up filling more classrooms with “students” who really don’t want to be there. It will occupy more professors with processing, not teaching, students. It will saddle taxpayers with the bill to pay for the “free” education that fails to educate.

Higher education should be for students who want to be there. It should be for those who have a passion for the subjects for which they study. Contrary to so many who now enter the university system, students should have a clear notion of what they are going to do with their degrees…and how they are going to pay for them.

Higher education should also be for professors who want to profess, not monitor. They should be free to communicate their passion for study, knowledge and truth to their students. In our folly, to push students ahead, we must not leave our professors behind.

As seen on, TheBlaze.com


No Professor Left Behind -