Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nancy Pelosi misrepresenting Catholic teaching on abortion

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house in the United States, 3rd in line for the presidency, if the president and vice-president died, misrepresented the Catholic Church a few days ago on the news. She claimed she is an ardent Catholic and that the Catholic Church has debated when life began over the centuries and haven't made a decision. She said only in the past 50 years or so has there been any real decision on these issues. However, this statement is completely wrong. The Church has never, in its 2000 year history been pro-choice. It has always been pro-life, and has defended the right to life to all persons from the moment of conception.

Even St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, who believed life began several weeks after conception, still believed that abortion at any time, even right after conception was totally wrong and immoral. Now that we know more about science and when life began, we are even more emphatic. No Church Father has ever held a pro-choice stance, and no official document has ever supported it.

To back up my claim, I will quote several Church Fathers on the subject:

The Didache


"The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child" (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).



The Letter of Barnabas


"The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born" (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).



The Apocalypse of Peter


"And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion" (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).



Athenagoras


"What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
. . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it" (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).



Tertullian


"In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed" (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]).

"Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.

"There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] "the slayer of the infant," which of course was alive. . . .

"[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive" (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).

"Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does" (ibid., 27).

"The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]" (ibid., 37).



Minucius Felix


"There are some [pagan] women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your [false] gods. . . . To us [Christians] it is not lawful either to see or hear of homicide" (Octavius 30 [A.D. 226]).



Hippolytus


"Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time!" (Refutation of All Heresies [A.D. 228]).



Council of Ancyra


"Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees" (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).



Basil the Great


"Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not" (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).

"He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees" (ibid., canon 8).



John Chrysostom


"Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine" (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).



Jerome


"I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder" (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).



The Apostolic Constitutions


"Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed" (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008: The slaughter of children made easier in Canada

Another defeat was made today for the lives of countless thousands. Canada, a bastion of pre-born murder, has made access to the early-stages abortion pill even easier. The pill I am referring to is Levonorgestrel, marketed as Plan B, and colloquially known as the "morning-after pill". This pill causes the woman's body to produce a high level of hormones which prevents implantation of a fertilized egg.

It is important to remember that the egg is already fertilized, a person has been conceived. A living person will be murdered with this pill, yet people call it the morning-after pill. First of all, what does this mean, the morning after what exactly? Obviously, this refers to the morning after "unprotected" sex. Perhaps it refers to a morning after a one-night stand, or a fling, or possibly a "committed" relationship. But the only thing this relationship is committed to is the image of the two partners, and nothing, not even the life of another human being, trumps that commitment.

The decision by Canadian "courts" is devastating. The holocaust of innocent children will continue to expand. Thousands will die. One of the sadest things is that this "product" is being marketed as a form of birth control. It should be considered abortion at least. People who are not aware of what they are doing could be unknowingly killing their very own child, and for what? Convenience?

People may not care about unborn children, but how we treat them indicates how we feel about everyone else. We should care for them the most because they are innocent. If we do not care for the most vulnerable in our society, who will we care for? Every day, that question is being asked, because every day, our culture of death finds new victims. First it is the unborn, then it is the unable, then it is the undesired. We are living in a society where your value as a human person is determined by how everyone else feels about you. This is truly a sad situation.

Let us pray for Canada that it may protect its most vulnerable, that it stands on guard for its citizens. Young and old, weak and strong, rich or poor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why are Christians (specifically Catholics) the only ones held responsible?

Last night I flicked on The Hour with George Stromboulopoulos. He had Sue Johanson as one of his guests last night and of course they were talking about sex. Sue's show runs in the United States now, where people call in for all their questions about sex, contraception, and everything along those lines. She doesn't care if they're gay, straight, bisexual; married, not married, extra-marital, etc. To her, sex is sex, and nothing else matters.

At one point, George asked how it's different in the U.S. compared to here, and Sue mentioned that she quivers at the thought. She derided the sex education system of the United States saying they only teach abstinence-only programming and that that's the fault of George W. Bush. They seem to easily be able to laugh about these "conservatives" who are afraid of sex and ask themselves rhetorically why they don't just accept it.

Sue at one point posited that "well, it's going to happen anyway, you might as well teach them about it", and that she's helping people to avoid pregnancy, which according to her is such a terrible thing. But let's look at what's really going on.

In 1968, when Humanae Vitae was published by Pope Paul VI, he said that the widespread use of contraception would cheapen sex, turn people into sex objects, increase promiscuity and infidelity, break up marriages and relationships, and have major negative impacts on the world in general. He was completely correct in these things. He didn't even mention however the increased incidents of STIs. The dire consequences of the increased use of contraception has been felt.

It also paved the way to abortion. Pregnancies were now something people had control over. We stopped asking God his plan, and started asking ourselves. We were in control. So when people became pregnant, dispite the availability of contraception, it didn't fit into their view of how things should go. They demanded FULL control, not partial control. Women, and their male partners, demanded the ability to end whatever was happening inside her womb. Since contraception, people tried to separate sex from childbirth, intimacy from procreation. Contraception doesn't decrease unwanted pregnancies, it increases them. It increases abortion also. In fact, it legitimized it. Once people demanded full and utter control over anything happening in their bodies, they realized there was an unintended side-effect of guilt, and horror at the realization of what they've done. No one ever questioned if what was in their womb was a child, but that denial was necessary to perform this act. Just as the Nazis declared Jews to be nonhuman, so too did the abortionists declare the unborn.

This brings my point full circle. As a Catholic, I am forced to offer an explanation for how I could kill so many innocent people during the Crusades, yet proponents of contraception and abortion would not even be asked to justify their own act. The Crusades ended over 500 years ago, was a defensive war to protect innocent civilians, was far less brutal than most people imagine. As well, the cowardly acts perpetrated by a few for their own bloodlust and greed were not authorized by the Catholic Church, and in fact were condemned by it. Yet, somehow I have to justify these people. I even have to justify outlaws, people who broke the commands of my religion, to whom I have no relation, no shared heritage.

Does Sue Johanson get blamed for reducing sex to an action between any two people with no consequences no different than a pat on the back. Do we blame her for the increase in infidelity, sexual addiction, lust, marriage breakups, infidelity, and abortion? No. If everyone practiced abstinence before marriage, which Sue and George laugh at, there would not be many of the things I mentioned above. Although people like Sue have a direct impact on the degredation of society and values, we do not blame her or anyone like her.

Why the double standard? In fact, it is not even a double standard, for this implies equality. I would argue that the Crusades were mostly a positive thing, which have little impact on our current lives, besides allowing us to be as free as we are today, especially to be Christians. However, the sexual "revolution", or sexual degredation as I call it, is having a devastating and unquestionably negative impact on our society.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hippocratic Oath Not Alone in Condeming Abortion

The Hippocratic Oath, written in the 4th century BC by the Father of Medicine Hippocrates, is an oath that all Western doctors took until very recently. It tells how doctors should care for their patients. It says a physician should not abuse his patient, physically or sexually, he should not take too much money, he should keep his patients' information private, etc. For years this was practiced by doctors. One of the imperatives of the Oath was to not commit abortion.

But the Hippocratic Oath is one of several world-wide medical oaths taken by doctors and physicians. What was their stance on abortion?

The Seventeen Rules of Enjuin, a Japanese Oath from the 16th century states: "you should not give abortives to the people."

The Oath of Asaph, the oldest known Hebrew medical oath, dating to the 6th century, states: "Do not make a woman [who is] pregnant [as a result of] of whoring take a drink with a view to causing abortion"

After the world realized the atrocities of Nazism, the Declaration of Geneva was drafted in 1948. Part of this document stated: "I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity."

The International Code of Medical Ethics was put together the following year in 1949, and read: "A doctor must always bear in mind the obligation of preserving human life from conception."

As you can see, Hippocrates was not unique in his statements against abortion.

"I'm personally against abortion, but I wouldn't enforce my beliefs on anyone else."

Have you ever heard this sentence? It is all too common. But its commonality does not give it veracity. If you ever hear someone say this, be thankful, because as a person of God, you can easily convert this person to the pro-life side. Here's why.

People who make this statement have often not considered its logical impossibility. Abortion is the only case where someone would make such a statement. For example, people do not say, I am against rape, but I would not enforce my belief on others. This is illogical.

The reason the assertion that someone is against abortion but will not tell others what to do is impossible is because there is a reason why someone is against abortion, namely because it is murder, and if you are against murder, you oppose it as a concept, the application of which you believe is universal.

People are not personally opposed to murder. Rather, they are opposed to anybody murdering anyone else. No one says, I wouldn't kill my grandmother, but if a thief broke into my home and murdered her, I would be ok with that. No one would even say they support a stranger's right to kill another stranger. When someone opposes murder, they oppose it in absolute and objective terms, not just for themselves personally.

If someone does not consider abortion murder, the question arises - why do they oppose it then? The only possibility is that they personally do not enjoy partaking in abortions themselves, in the same way as certain people dislike sushi. They do not like sushi, but they do not make a universal declaration that everyone must dislike it as well.

The question remains as to why they do not like partaking in abortions. Maybe they feel it's messy or they are afraid of blood. Perhaps they disagree with surgery in general. But if these were the case, these people would be against all surgery or operations. Rest assured, you could speak to a million people and not one person would be opposed to abortion for this reason.

The best way to get someone with this point of view to convert to a pro-life person is to ask them questions. Ask them what they specifically oppose. If they say they believe it's murder, tell them they must oppose it in general if they believe that. If they disagree, ask if it would be ok for someone to kill their neighbor without consequence. If they are being honest they would say no and they will realize their error.

Finally, they may say that abortionists do not consider abortion murder, even though they themselves do, and therefore, it is a matter of opinion. At this point suggest to them that Hitler did not consider the Jews to be human, therefore he was not committing murder in his opinion, therefore you would not consider what Hitler did to be wrong. In the same sense, if a psychopath considered all humans to be inferior to him and killing them to not be murder, then he should have the right to do this unabated.

No honest person would agree to this logic. Suggest they are using the same fallacy to justify their position, which hopefully they will see is completely untenable.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

One of Canada's worst days

Today is probably one of the worst days in Canadian history. For me, it will go down in infamy. Morgentaler, Canada's premier abortionist was given the Order of Canada. This was a unilateral decision by the Governor of Canada, and went against the wishes of the vast majority of Canadians. It is a truly sad day.

Today Canada is honoring a man whose hands are drenched in the blood of innocent children. He wasn't satisfied to perform abortions on his own, he recruiter others and started "clinics" to do his grim deed.

I will go to Mass today to grieve this event and ask God to forgive Canada. I will pray for this Nazi victim turned Nazi war criminal. This will truly be a sad day for the whole world.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Eucharistic Congress 2008 in Quebec

I had an awesome time at the Eucharistic Congress. In attendance were over 1,000 priests, hundreds of bishops, and over 20 cardinals. This was truly an event of huge proportions.

During the congress, we attended the largest mass in the world every day. These were beautiful ceremonies. The procession itself took over 10 minutes, by the time all the bishops had been seated.

The event was attended by over 20,000 people. This was truly awe-inspiring. No extraordinary ministers were needed for Eucharist. There were plenty of priests on hand. I've been to mass when there's less than 50 people there, and extraordinary ministers will be employed. This is simply unnecessary and possibly wrong.

I met my cousin Fr. Roy Farrell. I actually ran into him several times during the Congress. That was a good surprise.

I met a lot of great people as well. Many people my age who have devotions to the Blessed Sacrament, to Christ, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

One of the emphases of the congress was Eucharistic Adoration. Spending an hour with our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. This can be a very powerful devotion.

All in all, this was a very powerful experience. We will look forward to the next event in 2012 in Dublin, Ireland!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Don't get your religion from scientists

Some letters from Einstein were sold recently at an auction. In these letters, Einstein criticizes Jewish and Christian religion, peppering his letter with comments about superstition, etc. This was publicized in the news.

We shouldn't listen to scientists when it comes to religion. It doesn't make sense. Scientists think in terms of science. They use physical evidence to prove something. Each scientist has a particular field, some are chemists, some are biologists, some computer scientists. They have a particular area in which they feel comfortable.

A computer scientist could not be a biologist because their way of thinking is too different. A computer scientist thinks in terms of wires and electrons and commands, whereas a biologist thinks about animals, cells, organs, behavior, and things of that sort. A biologist might be able to understand medicine better than electricity.

In the same way, scientists in general behave a certain way and shouldn't be trusted to understand religion or theology or God very deeply. It is simply a different skill set. You can't pull out your calculator and calculate how large God is. But for certain scientists, especially ones like Albert Einstein, who really excelled in certain areas, they are good at certain things and not as good at others.

Einstein was good with a calculator, but he may not have been too good at sports. Therefore, he would end up on the basketball court trying to calculate trajectory, while the other players were scoring baskets. The same goes for religion. Einstein was not predisposed to understand religion and God. However, it is important to note that Einstein was certainly a theist, which is important to remember.

I think the confusion of this comes from the fact that some people think that religion is something anyone is entitled to just invent as they see fit. This is simply not true. Originally theology was considered the highest form of education, and things like literature, science, and law were considered inferior. The most advanced degrees, which took the longest to acquire, were religious ones. Philosophers of a bygone era were much more revered than any other field. That's because there is a right and there is a wrong. The job of theologians is to find out the truth, and there's nothing more important!