Saturday, November 22, 2008

West TN Catholic article

I read an interesting article today in the West TN Catholic regarding the Bishop of Little Rock, Bishop Anthony Taylor. He is issuing a Pastoral letter about the human rights of "undocumented immigrants". The article says that he "believes that being able to migrate to another country is an intrinsic human right." He says that because it's virtually impossible for immigrants, predominantly from Mexico, to come to the United States legally, "You can't be obligated to do what you can't do". (I beg your pardon???)

I will be VERY interested to see this document when it's released. Advocating breaking the law of the United States is an interesting interpretation of the Gospel. Don't get me wrong, it's important to be compassionate. That said, I have to obey the laws of Mexico if I go there--why should the people who want to come here not obey OUR laws. I'm not sure that's what Jesus meant when he said"render unto Caesar what is Caesar's....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well, right after my October 28th comment/rant many individual bishops came out and said clearly that Catholics cannot continue to support politicians that support a culture of death. You cannot profess with your mouth one thing and VOTE another way.

Most notably, Bishop Emeritus Rene H. Gracida of Corpus Chrisi and the words of Bishop Martino of Scranton Pennsylvania-Bishop Martino arrived unannounced in the midst of a panel discussion on faith issues and the presidential campaign at St. John’s Catholic Church on Sunday. According to people who attended the event, the bishop chastised the group for holding the forum and particularly took issue with the discussion and distribution of excerpts from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position on voting issues. The document defines abortion and euthanasia, as well as racism, torture and genocide, as among the most important issues for Catholic voters to consider.“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” he was quoted as saying in the Wayne County Independent, a Honesdale-based newspaper. “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.” “The only relevant document ... is my letter,” he said at the forum, according to the Independent. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”

According to participants, Bishop Martino expressed dismay that the panelists did not discuss the pastoral letter he directed all priests in the Diocese to read in place of their homilies on Oct. 4 and 5. In that letter, he called on Catholic voters to consider abortion above all other issues, except those he defined as having equal moral weight, like euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research.

Pray for the bishops. Pray they have the spine to put the real truth before us and make us face the reality of what we do. Pray that we form men worth of thier calling-willing to make a statement to the faithful-and to the community at large-to instruct us on PRACTICAL matters of faith.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The abotion issue and comments

The problem with the current statements on abortion and other current discussions within the Church is very simple-as plain as the nose on your face. The Church has an already stated and communicated position on these matters. The issue then becomes one of clarity. We have all seen these various “clarification” statements from our priests and bishops. Most fill complete pages to validate themselves or their political patronage. Very few address the issue at hand cleanly and honestly. When an average person reads what should be a simple, lucid statement of Catholic teaching, they are left wondering what the bishop (or priest) actually said, much less what he MEANT.

The problem is that both the Church and her princes are verbose when clarity is needed. It appears that social welfare has replaced the Gospel of Christ. They want to appear educated and refined, sufficiently grave and reserved. They cover too many topics at once (particularly when a single issue is raised) and wind up saying nothing at all. The faithful then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to debate “What the Bishop/priest MEANT was….” and calling each other “heretic.”

The faithful and society in general have placed the proverbial golf ball on the tee, given the bishops a driver the size of a shoebox and they have collectively “whiffed.” A small remnant imitates Tiger Woods but the majority has just plain missed the ball entirely. They must DO something more than stand in the tee box and sheepishly grin at us. We deserve better. We must begin to demand it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good Question

This is about the Declaration on Euthanasia, written by Pope John Paul in 1980 I think.

It's a little complicated, and I don't want to use names of course, in case someone reading this knows the family.

I have a friend, a nurse, who's relative, a 96 yr old widow, had a stroke a couple of weeks ago. They called it a storm, meaning most of her brain has been affected. She is paralyzed on her left side and cannot talk, though she seems to be aware of her surroundings, responds to them and can make noises. She also "fusses" when they move her or change her clothes, so she is very much "with us" though she cannot communicate clearly.She is stable enough; so that they were able to bring her home last week. The woman's daughter lives with her, and they have home health help.

The problem is this: the hospital personnel and doctors involved with her in the beginning, even the home health nurse who was with her at the time of the stroke, said that since she has a DNR in place, and has signed a living will, that they would recommend that she not receive care. They even felt that she should not receive nourishment.

My friend, being an in-law, and not the blood kin, had kept her mouth shut until this point. She insisted that the Church requires that a patient receive basic care and that would include nourishment, even if that involved a feeding tube. She was surprised at the response she got from the hospital personnel and even from her own family members, one of whom is a hospital administrator. She was told that the lady was old and it would be unfair to force her to live when she was in such a state. They said her "quality of life" would be poor, and besides it was not her decision anyway. My friend said she felt that they were being pressured to let the woman die.

So she encouraged her husband to consult their priest, before making a decision. Apparently the lady's daughter agreed with her, and said she had no intention of starving her mother to death, and requested they insert the feeding tube. Which they did. The lady is holding her own and seems happy to be in her own home. The next day they spoke with their priest (and this is the clincher) Father said the feeding tube could be considered "extraordinary measures" and it would not have been wrong to decline it. He is saying the feeding tube is "invasive" .

Who gets to decide what are extraordinary means? We have read this Declaration as part of our biology class and it IS vague to me. Do we leave these decisions up to the doctors? I hope not. How can the mere act of feeding a person be considered extraordinary?

We need to read those "living wills" carefully; so that we do not give someone too much choice over our own lives. Or we need to be clear, so that our families don't have to make these kinds of decisions, or have these kinds of disagreements.(emphasis Adam's)

This is so important, I would love to hear other opinions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

And the 3rd Question...

third, in reading the ligorian it discusses how the 6th commandment says not to commit adultery but that does not mean premaritial sex is wrong. since i also found that odd, i would like some other opinion on it too please.

2nd Question

second question, on one(true faith) podcast it discussed how the rapture as most people know it is not what the bible really says will happen. it discussed how wrong the left behind notion is. i was wondering everyones opinion on it.

New question-first of 3

In a discussion with someone they wanted to know why attending mass (or church) every week was required. the commandment only says keep it holy. what is the argument on that?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vatican Councils Question

Anonymous said...
I had a discussion with a friend about the Church and he is convinced "some" of the Vatican Councils are flawed. I don;t know enough to know the difference. Can you help with this question?thanks!
April 21, 2008 7:19 AM

I find it impossible to address this. Many holy people have spent their entire lives researching and commenting on these Councils of the Church and this small space and my feeble thoughts and words are insufficient to the task.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

2nd Question

I have a question-Help me explain to my Protestant friends/family why Good Friday can't just be glossed over "in favor of" (for lack of a better phrase) Easter.Thanks!

Friday, March 21, 2008

1st Question--a biggie

I'm struggling with the concept that there is some disparity in how reverent you are if you choose to receive Holy Communion in your hands. I think if it's okay with Rome, it shouldn't be identified as you being irreverent.

  • this is an issue being widely discussed. Reverence is required in either case. I think this is a tradition rather than a cause for division. The early Church did not have communion hosts and used hands. St. Cyril of Jerusalem (AD 390) indicated that the early Church practiced Communion in the hand. Later, communion was received on the tongue ONLY. Now we are under an indult that ALLOWS either.
  • This instruction is from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord

41. Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words "The Body of Christ." The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: "When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost." (51)

51. Cf. GIRM, no. 73(GIRM-General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002)

Personally, I see the importance of being reverent in either case, but according to the Church, the issue is being careful with the Body of Christ and proper care and reverence means that nothing should be lost to your fingers or the floor. Not many observe this level of care due mainly to lack of instruction. People that promote receiving communion on the tongue are also required to use the same care although receiving on the tongue combined with the use of a paten seems to minimize the chance of loss of any fragments (provided they consume the host with the mouth closed and yes....--don't ask).

All this said, I was trained to receive by hand. I have received on my tongue as well. I am reverent in either case. Avery (who is also reverent IMO) had a problem with the host as some of you know. He COULDN'T receive it without almost gagging when he was smaller--drove the wife NUTS! He got over it and now feels more comfortable taking it in his hands. He's gone to a TLM at Blessed Sacrament and did just fine.

I think we have to be careful to make sure we have the right motive of true Charity when we talk about all these topics. We also have to resist becoming overly scrupulous. We must be open to discuss but be gentle in our fervor to persuade. Hope this helps> I'll also try to get a TLM response to this question since I have less experience in that form.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting Started

This was suggested by a few friends to have a "safe place" to ask and discuss issues and questions that we run across or want to know more about.

It seems we always talk about our faith whenever we get together and have several questions raised before we have to leave and go home. This gives us a way to continue our discussion so we all can benefit and grow. Hopefully, we can discuss these topics and thoughts and make sure we all have a proper understanding. Many of us have lots of resources and can contribute greatly.

We have a number of resources in the background and several experts who have agreed to help us when we get stuck. Our goal here is to know more than we did when we asked the question originally and to increase our knowledge of our faith in the process. We all have much to learn so let's be practical and remember that not everyone holds the same perspective or is in the same place in their spiritual growth. (Nice for be kind--nobody understands this all-grin).