I just found out this morning that I will be writing for the Catholic Register, Canada's oldest English-language Catholic weekly newspaper. It was launched in 1893 and traces its roots back to The Catholic, which was founded in 1830.
The newspaper is distributed throughout Canada, but its presence is not as strong in Atlantic Canada, including Newfoundland, my home province. In addition to writing articles, I will hopefully be helping increase readership in my area.
Specifically I will be writing for the Youth Speaks News section of the paper. I look forward to this great opportunity! I will share more details as they become available.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I just found out this morning that I will be writing for the Catholic Register, Canada's oldest English-language Catholic weekly newspaper. It was launched in 1893 and traces its roots back to The Catholic, which was founded in 1830.
Ramadan is a time of year when Muslims fast during daylight hours. It happens once a year and lasts around 28 days. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, each year it is 10 or 11 days earlier than the year before. After Ramadan, the next day is Eid, where there are great feasts in the Muslim world. I remember 7 or 8 years ago when Eid was around the same time as Christmas, but this year it will be in September. But something has struck me as funny, and a little bit disconcerting. People seem more aware of Ramadan than Lent. Lent, of course, is the Christian time of penance, fasting and almsgiving. But I find people are more familiar with Ramadan than they are with Lent.
A couple of examples will illustrate this point. I was speaking to a friend of mine at a party one time. I told him that at the time it was Lent. He seemed a little confused as if he wasn't really familiar with Lent. This person was born in Quebec, the most Catholic province in Canada, and is a completely bilingual white man. I indicated that Lent is a time of fasting and so on for Christians, and as though a light went off inside his head, he exclaimed, "Oh, like Ramadan!" It seems to me, it should have been the opposite. He is not Muslim, and although he himself would probably not consider himself Christian, his heritage surely is.
A second example is of another friend, who is also a white Canadian. Although he himself cannot speak French, he has French ancestors (from France), but mostly of Canadian origin. He dated a Muslim girl for several years. They broke up. Later he started dating a Christian girl. One night the topic of Ramadan came up because it had recently started. He perked up. He became interested becuase he said he normally participates in the fasting, not for religious purposes he says, but for the beneficial effects fasting can have on a person, such as self control. He was concerned however, because his new girlfriend was quite Christian and he felt that participating in Ramadan might give her a bad impression. Interestingly, he failed to consider Lent, which would be wholly acceptable to her, regardless of her particular denomination since he would be imitating Christ. My hunch is that he had never even heard of Lent.
But how do these examples exist? In Canada, about 77% of the population considers themselves Christian, and around 44% call themselves Catholic. Compare this to the less than 2% who are Muslim. I think there may be several reasons for this occurrance. One of the main reasons is something I wrote about in a previous post and it has to do with self-hatred. We as a society seem to hate ourselves. The closer we approach our own culture, religion, way of life, historical values, and even skin colour, the more we want to lash out in angry vitriol. Yet, at the same time, we feel compelled to be overly consiliatory when it comes to other cultures and religions. Statement: Christianity is against abortion. Response: "Well, don't tell me what to do about my body! And how dare the Church try to tell me anything! What about when *insert random, unrelated, exaggerated incident(s) from the Church's past*?" But then tell someone about cannibals in a foreign country and say that's morally wrong and people will once again lash out, but this time in defense of that culture. Response: "How dare you try to push your imperialistic ambitions on these poor innocent cultures that are living how they have lived for centuries! Don't push your morals on them! You're worse than they are for judging them!"
What makes this situation even more surprising is that there is good reason to believe that Ramadan is just a Muslim version of Lent. Mohammed came into contact with Christians, albeit nonorthodox ones, and from them took many Christian ideas and changed them in certain ways. He also took pagan beliefs and incorporated them into Islam. The idea of Ramadan came directly from Lent. In the time when Mohammed got his idea, Christians had a very strict regiment during this penitential season, even stricter than Muslims now. There was little or no eating during the day, eating meat was prohibited, including derivatives such as butter, cream, etc. Also, there was much prayer. Mohammed didn't just take the idea of Lent and turn it into Ramadan, he also took many other ideas from Christianity and modified them. He took the idea of monks praying 7 times a day and changed it to Muslims praying 5 times a day. He took everything he wrote about Jesus, the New Testament, and the Old Testament from the Christians he met, including the idea that only Christ and Mary were sinfree their entire lives. He took the ideas to a certain extent. He did not accept that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and fulfilled all of scripture and thus removed the necessity for another prophet (since Christ fulfilled all prophesy). He could not accept this, because this would mean he was no longer a prophet and that he would simply be a follower. So, Mohammed changed things as he saw necessary to give himself his own self-title of prophet. As a warlord, Mohammed spread his message by the sword. Having said this, I believe Muslims worship the same God (although they have an incomplete concept of him), and I believe many Muslims are good people. But we must also not be afraid of the truth.
Somehow, out of a sense of political correctness, we feel compelled to act as a defense lawyer for all "others", while feeling a similar obligation to denigrate our own culture. I'm not saying we should be disrespectful or encourage racism or prejudice. I'm just saying we need to stand up for ourselves, love ourselves, love our culture, our religion, our way of life. We must respect others as well, but not at the expense of our own self-respect.
It is just so very ironic. If someone speaks about 9/11, it is considered terrible to mention anything about Islam, and if someone does mention that the hijackers were Muslim, it is quickly and emphatically followed up with statements about the peaceful nature of "most" Muslims. However, it is considered completely alright to bring up anything about the Church's history when opposing her in some way. I've read articles written for top newspapers in the United States that have been along the lines of the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion, but how dare they speak out against abortion when there was a sex abuse scandal! Or The Catholic Church does not allow women to be priests. How dare they do this, considering all the stuff that happened during the sex abuse scandal! Or The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. But why not use that money to pay off sex abuse victims instead! Imagine using the same logic when it comes to Muslims. As in "Muslim countries are against same-sex marriage. How dare they! Remember 9/11!" It would seem completely illogical, and it would be! It seems logic is not necessary when bashing the Catholic Church.
I believe it is high time that we put away our self-loathing and rediscover a love for our culture and heritage. There are innumerable things to be proud of when it comes to being Christian, and specifically Catholic. The Catholic Church furthered the idea that scientific laws were rational and that science is possible because everything is not as it is right this moment because God is specifically willing it to be that way (i.e. everything is a miracle). The Catholic Church founded the university system we have today. The Western study of astronomy started with the Church. International Law came from the Church. We built innumerable schools, hospitals, and other places which provide social services. We've campaigned for the poor and abandonned. Monks gathered and transmitted knowledge from the ancient world to our own. You may say others have done this also to some extend, but none come anywhere near the Catholic Church. It is the largest chartible organization on the planet. 22% of hospitals in India are Catholic, even though only 2% of the population is. 50% of AIDS victims in Africa are cared for by Catholic organizations. There are many more statistics like these.
Let us spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and his Church!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Posted by Philip Lynch at 7:18 pm
I've known this for a while, but I found a good article on the topic, found at MSNBC. It shows that seminarians are opting for traditional Catholic training. I think this is logical. The Catholic faith is the Truth, so any deviation from this is a deviation from the Truth. When you present the Truth in all its splendor, it attracts people. I love my Catholic faith. I love reading about saints who persevered in the harshest times and circumstances. I am not inspired by cafeteria Catholics who want to have nothing to do with Truth or sacrifice or living the faith Christ calls us to live. I want the real deal. And so do these seminarians. Great article, worth a read:
Posted by Philip Lynch at 5:55 pm
On July 10th, Obama went to visit the Holy Father in the Vatican, and while there handed him a letter written by Senator Ted Kennedy. Many have speculated as to the contents of this letter, but they are now revealed. Well, most of them anyway.
Kennedy basically defends his record of public service to the poor and unfortunate. He reassures the pope that any health care reform will respect medical practitioners' right to conscience. He also asks for the Pope's blessing and prayers.
Many Catholics may be upset that Kennedy did not specifically mention his pro-abortion legislation or ask forgiveness for these. He specifies several times that he tried his best and admits he hasn't always been perfect, but this falls short of a repudiation of his positions, which many may have been hoping for, even if against all odds.
The pope very graciously gives Kennedy his blessing and invokes God's protection on him. The pope does not mention how Kennedy's legislation has contradicted Catholic teaching, but this was not expected.
We will entrust Ted Kennedy's soul to God.
Please read the following article:
Ted Kennedy to Pope Benedict: 'I am writing with deep humility...' -- Politics Daily
Posted by Philip Lynch at 5:31 pm
Friday, August 28, 2009
This is an interesting article written by Time Magazine concerning Ted Kennedy and his relationship with his religion - Catholicism. It shows how he went from receiving first communion from Pope Pius XII to becoming one of the strongest pro-abortion politicians in the country.
After Kennedy's Death: Silence from the Pope
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:47 am
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Beautifully explained and well written. I suggest you take a look!
Father Raymond J. de Souza: Why priests dont have kids
Posted by Philip Lynch at 6:30 pm
Ted Kennedy, who recently passed away, spent about the last 30 years defending a pro-choice agenda, however prior to about the time of Roe v. Wade, Ted Kennedy was Pro-life. Click the link below to read the story about it and see the letter he wrote speaking of his pro-life convictions:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
At the beginning of Ramadan, a Muslim month of fasting, Obama made a special announcement commemorating its start. His speech was geared toward American Muslims and those outside the country. However, Obama made no similar speech concerning Lent, the Christian season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Why would Obama pay special attention to Islam, while ignoring his own alledged Christianity?
This question becomes even more mind boggling when you consider the fact that a whopping 78.4% of Americans call themselves Christian, while just a very tiny group call themselves Muslim - just 0.6%, not even 1 percent of the population. There are more Buddhists in the US than Muslims.
If Obama had paid any attention to the Christian time of fasting, perhaps this would not be a big deal, but Obama probably didn't even know it existed. Many have questioned whether Obama is really a Christian in the first place. He vehemently says that he is, but where does the evidence point? Between Easter and his inaguration, Obama and his family missed church services for 11 straight weeks. While in Turkey, Obama declared that the United States is not a Christian nation. We all know Obama's record on life issues, valuable to all serious Christians.
Why does Obama go out of his way to mark the beginning of a Muslim month, while ignoring the Christian season from which many believe it is derived. Just as Mohammed took most of his new religion from Christianity and changed it to suit his needs, he also took the practice of Lent and turned it into Ramadan.
Now, in a country where almost four fifths of the population consider themselves Christian, while only 3/5 of 1% consider themselves Muslim, Obama decides to commemorate Muslims and ignore Christians. This would be the equivalent of being the key note speaker at a World War II conference attended by 130 veterans, then during your speech you congratulate the head waiter on his 15th wedding anniversary but completely ignore everyone else in the conference and mention nothing about the veterans or the war.
If Obama really is Christian, I think it's about time he try to prove it!
This is really a great article which needs to be read. It's quite short, but sweet and to the point. The basic theme is that there is no such thing as liberal Catholicism. The Church is quite clear on her teachings and doctrine will not change. Worth a read!
Note to The Tablet: 'Liberal Catholicism' is a flawed concept
Posted by Philip Lynch at 1:17 pm
There is a new movie out about the founder of Opus Dei, who is now a saint in Heaven. People seem to be upset that the maker of the movie did not portray Jose Maria Escriva in a bad enough light. I have a suspicion that people are objecting not so much to the historical inaccuracy but with Opus Dei's teaching on mortification and the primacy of the Church. Check out the full article below:
JoffÃÂ© defends biopic of Opus Dei founder
Posted by Philip Lynch at 12:42 pm
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Galileo case is a favorite among anti-Catholics and anti-Christians. They believe it shows the Church's record of anti-science and her hatred for rationality. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Galileo was a strong Catholic who happened to be an astronomer. He was very popular in his day. He made friends with many top Vatican officials, even the future pope. He was well respected. His theory of heliocentrism was nothing new. Copernicus, a loyal Catholic cleric, had pioneered the theory several decades prior. Galileo attempted to further his research in this field.
At the time when Galileo was proposing his theory, another theory, proposed by Ptolemy many centuries prior, was very widely accept by scientists. The theory was that of geocentrism (the Sun revolving around the Earth). This was the dominant view in the scientific community, not just the religious community.
Galileo made several wrong moves when it came to his presentation of his theory. He demanded that church officials accept it as true, even though it was far from proven. Galileo even wrote a book in which he put the popes words and theories into the mouth of a character named Simplicio (similar to Simpleton). Obviously this was very insulting.
The Church said that until a theory can be proven, it should not be presented as fact. This was very wise, especially considering that several aspects of Galileo's theory proved wrong. For example, he believed the Sun was the centre of the universe, whereas we now know that the Sun also moves around an orbit at an even faster rate than the Earth.
The Church was not against, and certainly not against astronomy. In fact, many churches used their tall towers as planetary observatories. Many of the first astronomers were Catholic and even religious. The first person to propose the big bang theory was Fr. Lemaitre, a Catholic monseigneur (high ranking priest).
Many want to say the Church has always been against science, but this is simply untrue. Monks were responsible for transmitting practically everything we know of ancient Greek and Roman science and culture. Gregor Mendel, a priest, discovered the field of genetics. The first European universities were founded by popes.
The Galileo Case is a favorite among anti-Christians because the lies surrounding it have become so well-accepted. I would suggest you do your own research and find the truth.
Utah gets Catholic-themed radio station - KIFI - Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Jackson WY - Weather News Sports-
This is great news. Although Utah is very much associated with Mormonism, Catholicism is also quite large in Utah, representing 10% of the population, the largest non-Mormon group of Christians in the state. Over 60% of the population is Mormon, so this radio station should hopefully have an impact and many will come to the Catholic faith.
Utah gets Catholic-themed radio station - KIFI - Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Jackson WY - Weather News Sports-
Shared via AddThis
Posted by Philip Lynch at 1:05 pm
I think this is a great article. Mickey Rourke always seemed like such a tough guy in movies. Now he is crediting his life to his Catholic faith, saying without it he would have committed suicide. Check out the full article:
Mickey Rourke thanks God and Catholic faith for 'second chance'
Posted by Philip Lynch at 1:01 pm
I just read a great story of a man named John Heard, from Australia, which sharply contrasts the typical "I'm a Catholic, but I disagree on........" story, and instead is a story of true love of God and his Church. This man puts his love of God first, as we all should.
You can read the full article at:
Make Us Worthy of the Promises of Christ
Same-sex Attracted Catholic Puts Faith First
Published: August 25, 2009
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:03 am
Monday, August 24, 2009
Religious freedom is being taken away quite blatantly in Wisconsin. How long will it take before other states follow? Imagine forcing a Jewish butcher shop to sell pork, or forcing a Jehovah Witness hospital to perform blood transfusions. Catholics, who really helped build the United States, believe contraception is immoral. Many contraceptives cause abortion by chemicals. An embryo is sometimes destroyed with contraception. Plus, Catholics believe it violates human sexuality and hurts relationships. This of course has been proven by information on contraception use. But what's a little forcing people to violate their consciences among friends, right? Next thing on the agenda is to force pro-life doctors to perform abortion. After that we might as well get used to the catacombs again. Goodbye freedom, welcome oppression.
Wisconsin requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraception coverage
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:43 pm
Something rather amazing has occurred. Recently I have been pondering whether we as a society have started to hate ourselves, and the closer we come to "us", the more we despise it. I wondered that question even today. Then I happened to come across, by chance, and without searching, an article written by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI on Europe's self-hatred. Part of what he says is the following:
My last point is the religious question. I do not want to enter into the complex discussions of recent years, but to focus on only one aspect that is fundamental for all cultures: respect for what the other holds sacred, and in particular respect for the sacred in the highest sense, for God, something that we can legitimately suppose to find even in one who is not disposed to believe in God. Wherever this respect is denied, something essential in a society is lost. In our present-day society, thank God, whoever dishonours the faith of Israel, its image of God or its great personalities, is fined. Whoever scorns the Koran and the basic convictions of Islam is fined, too. Instead, with regard to Christ and to what is sacred for Christians, freedom of opinion seems to be the supreme good, and to limit this would seem to threaten or even destroy tolerance and freedom in general. Freedom of opinion, though, finds its limit in this, that it cannot destroy the honour and the dignity of the other; it is not freedom to lie or to destroy human rights.
The West reveals here a hatred of itself, which is strange and can be only considered pathological; the West is laudably trying to open itself, full of understanding, to external values, but it no longer loves itself; in its own history, it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure.
It seems Cardinal Ratzinger was thinking the same thing I am now. Is this idea of self-hatred plausible? I think we just need to look at the evidence around us to find the answer.
As Ratzinger points out, there is this overwhelming need to be politically correct when it comes to other faiths. We must say all the right words, even use the right pronunciation. Nothing negative can be said of another religion, even if it's true. But when it comes to Christianity, and specifically the Catholic faith, anything goes.
A good illustration of this is an incident which happened to me several years ago. A lady at work very much lost her cool in an email to me after I had sent her an innocent message say I am Christian. Her response said vile and angry things about priests and the church, she even blasted the Bible and Mary. Her anger knew no bounds but were not spurred by anything I said. However, sometime close this to incident, this same lady corrected me hastily and with bitterness when I called what Jewish men wear on their heads a skull cap. She snapped at me and said "It's not a skull cap, it's a yamulke!" Her reaction was visceral. I felt as if I must have said something extremely offensive. It's important to note that this lady is a Christian (or former Christian) and indicated that she wanted to marry in a church.
It's rare to find someone who identifies as Christian and will stand up for Christian beliefs. You are much more likely to find people who identify as Christian or Catholic, but nonetheless feel it appropriate to bash their religion. It's common to hear people say things like "I'm Catholic, but I believe women should be allowed to have abortions if they want, and they should be allowed to be priests." People will say they are Catholic but believe gay people should have the right to marry or that they think contraception is fine.
If you have watched any television lately, you will notice something. The media will gleefully bash the Catholic Church on her stance on abortion, female ordination, contraception, married clergy, and any other issues. Comedians will constantly make crude jokes about pedophile priests, or to mock the Holy Father. If you are offended by this or object to this, you are condemned as a tight wad who doesn't know how to have fun. But if you even stated something that was factual about another religion you would be in the hot seat. Whenever there's a terrorist attack, media reporters and politians will bend over backwards to emphasize that Islam is in fact peaceful. Do we see these same reporters making sure to indicate that the vast (98% or more) or priests are faithfully celibate and wouldn't hurt a fly? Of course not!
How often do you turn on the TV and hear that HALF of all AIDS patients in Africa are receiving direct care from Catholic Aid organizations? I didn't even know abou this until I did some research. Of course you will hear about the pope being opposed to condoms in Africa.
You may hear the fictitious story about how the Catholic Church bullies its way into India to forcefully converts people against their wills. But do you hear the actual information that although only 2% of the population of India is Christian, a whopping 22% of hospitals are run by the Catholic Church? I doubt it.
The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on the planet, but you are far more likely to hear about the inappropriate behavior of one of her 500,000 priests before you ever hear that important stat. As professor Philip Jenkins says, Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.
The bottom line is the Catholic Church has done far more for the benefit of humanity than all other organizations combined. We ought to be very proud of our Christian heritage and understand that sharing it with others is helping them. We need to stop being ashamed of ourselves and start to realize the real contribution our faith has made to the world. But at the same time, we needn't be surprised by the persecution. Jesus promised we would be persecuted because of our belief in him. Any time we are persecuted, let us think of that as Christ's promises being fulfilled.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 5:23 pm
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I find people often characterize the debate on same sex marriage as a progressive, liberal, and even society-at-large vs. Christianity issue. Christian beliefs on homosexuality are characterized as bigoted, intolerant, hateful, and homophobic. Many often assume that other religions are much more lenient on the issue and either take a pro-gay stance or none at all. But after doing some research, I discovered that far from being hateful to homosexuals, Christianity, and specifically the Catholicism were probably the most understanding.
Every religion I found, especially the largest ones, were all against homosexual activity and condemned it in various ways. Here's a sample of some of the condemnation:
- Orthodox and Conservative Judaism are strongly opposed to homosexual activity and many Biblical references refer to this as being evil.
- Islam completely condemns all homosexual activity.
- Zoroastrianism is against homosexuality and says: "The man that lies with mankind as man lies with womankind, or as woman lies with mankind, is a man that is a Daeva [demon]; this man is a worshipper of the Daevas, a male paramour of the Daevas"
- Ancient Hindu law books from the 1st century onward characterize non-vaginal sex as impure.
- Buddhism refers to homosexuality as a deviant behavior
- In 2005, the world's highest Sikh religious authority described homosexuality as "against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature," and called on Sikhs to support laws against gay marriage.
- In Jainism, marriage is the only place in which sexual activity is appropriate, and homosexual acts give bad karma.
- Taoism is about yin and yang, male and female, and it believes sex must be complementary in order to bring harmony.
But if you think there are religions that do not have an issue with homosexual activity, you're right. The one religion I found that had no problem with homosexual activity is neopaganism. Surprise, surprise.
Catholicism has one of the most compassionate positions with regards to homosexuality. First of all, the Church does not regard same-sex attraction in itself to be a sin, like many Christian denominations do. They only regard acting or lusting on these attractions to be sinful. For someone to simply consider themselves "homosexual" would not be sinful.
Secondly, the Church recognizes it as a struggle, or cross to bear, and considers it in a similar way as it does with other sexual temptation, such as adultery, fornication, masturbation, etc. The Church believes these can all be gravely sinful.
The point is, the Church does not wish to gay-bash. She simply recognizes that a person is most happy when he or she fulfills his or her nature. A man is designed to be with a woman, a fact which is obvious from our biology. Homosexual relationships do not fulfill the deepest desires of a person's being. Violence is much higher in gay relationships than in heterosexual relationships. Children grow up happiest and healthiest in a home with a mother and a father. There are many reasons why a marriage must be between a man and a woman and that sex is reserved for marriage.
Let us pray for those who struggle with the cross of same-sex attraction, that they may find Christ's healing.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I'm always a little confused by these types of stories. In this report, it says some Jews are angry because the Bishops' Conference has declared that Christians must share their faith with everyone, including Jews and share with them the Truth about Jesus Christ. Christians have been doing this since the beginning. Jesus was a Jew, and he taught his message and preached to everyone, including Jews. He revealed himself as the Son of God. Obviously if we believe Christ is the Son of God and that he has an important message for the world, we would want to share it.
I don't understand how these groups suddenly think these statements are shocking. It reminds me of when the Pope said condoms aren't the solution to AIDS, and everyone was shocked. Do they not realize the Catholic Church has been teaching this since its beginning (against contraception)? The Catholic Church has also been teaching the conversion of all people since its start. None of this is new.
It always seems like these groups are surprised that the Church is maintaining a constant teaching on various issues.
Check out the article:
New York - US Jews Protest Catholic Salvation Text -- VosIzNeias
Posted by Philip Lynch at 2:36 pm
This is a really great article. One shocking part was that the author mentions how Obama is trying to present a new gospel and message from Jesus, where Obama claims Jesus supported gay activities and that references against homosexuality in the New Testament were somehow "obscure". This is a very common sense article which needs to be read.
Obama's 'gay marriage' doublespeak (OneNewsNow.com)
Posted by Philip Lynch at 12:42 pm
In my last post about Céline Dion and her new pregnancy, I wondered if the embryo with which she is pregnant was one that she froze over 8 years ago. Turns out it is. See the article below:
Céline Dion Pregnant with Embryo Frozen for 8 Years
Posted by Philip Lynch at 10:35 am
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Céline Dion, 41, is apparently pregnant again with her husband, 67 year old René Angélil. Her first child was born in 2001 when she was 32, and was conceived using fertility treatment. It is unclear exactly what fertility treatment was used, however her last child was conceived via in-vitro fertilization, and shortly afterward she said she had frozen an embryo for later, so the child could have a "twin".
Is the child she is pregnant with now, that child from over 8 years ago? There are many immoral things happening here, including in-vitro fertilization, freezing embryos, etc. But just think about this from a practical point of view. If this is the embryo from 8 years ago, that could mean the child with whom Dion is pregnant with now could be the twin of the 8 year old. In that case, they would be twins separated by 8 years. Does this not sound absurb.
Of course, all children are gifts from God, despite how they were conceived. However, conception has to be done morally. A good example I hear one time was if a couple was infertile, so the man, unbeknownst to the wife, had sex with a prostitute, she got pregnant, then he adopted the child and raised him as his own. The method of conception was immoral (having sex with a prostitute and violating wedding vows) but the child himself is not immoral or bad or evil.
People need to realize that children are gifts from God, not personal rights!
Let us pray for all those with difficulty conceiving that they may choose licit and valid ways to give birth.
Céline Dion pregnant again
Posted by Philip Lynch at 11:37 am
There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend, says the Lord. This is a truly amazing story. It is sad but also shows amazing bravery and love. And it's from my home province, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dead N.L. woman 'angel' to rescued girl's family
Posted by Philip Lynch at 11:20 am
This is an interesting article. I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately. This have been very busy. My brother got married on Saturday. It was a beautiful day. My grandmother, who is very frail, made it out. That was very nice. It really made my day. She can rarely leave the home where she now resides, so this was very special.
Like my grandmother, many people are quite old and frail. In the United States, they are now looking at a bill which would pay doctors to have talks with patients concerning end of life issues. Of course, this in and of itself is not a bad thing. Catholic teaching would encourage people to consider end of life issues, especially the state of their soul. Also, people must decide how extraordinary the level of care they would like in case of great illness.
In the absense of any information, medical personnel must presume that a person ought to receive an ordinary level of care at the minimum. Anything less would be immoral. Therefore, food and water, and basic medical care must be provided. There are many ethics concerning this issue in Catholic teaching.
The fear I have about something like this is our culture of death. The culture of death promotes euthanasia and suicide as good ways to die, but they are contrary to Christian morals. Some people say we ought to have the right to die as we see fit. I believe our life is sacred and that we do not take our own lives just as we did not give ourselves lives. We owe everything, including our lives to God, and he chooses what we do with it.
But another more down to earth issue about this is that a lot of older people are being pressured into assisted suicide. Relatives complain about how much they must spend on their dying relative, how much time and effort they must put in. The elderly person feels very guilty and bad about this. Then the elderly person mentions assisted suicide. The same people who made her feel guilty are all too happy to show her the literature concerning assisted suicide and encourage her to do it. The elderly person feels the most compassionate and loving thing to do is to give up her life so that she is not so much of a burden. The last thing any elderly person wants is to feel guilty.
If someone wants to commit suicide, whether you call is assisted suicde, euthanasia, or anything else, there is a serious reason. No one just decides to kill themselves for something to do. I believe the only good reaction to this is to help them and counsel them and reassure them that their life is valued and that God loves them, not that they are a burden and disposing of them makes everything easier.
Let's stand up for the sick and elderly, and let them know they are loved. Help them, don't kill them.
End-of-Life Counseling Had Bipartisan Support - ABC News
Posted by Philip Lynch at 11:16 am
Thursday, August 13, 2009
To date, I have not received the kind of reaction I have for the blog I wrote concerning Tim Horton's and its on-again, off-again support of a gathering in support of traditional marriage and families. After receiving some flack from gay-marriage groups in Canada, Tim Hortons decided to scrap its sponsorship of the program in Rhode Island. I feel this was an unfortunate choice.
I would like to respond to some of the comments I received. Most of the comments were angry, and some were personal attacks. Some were quite vitriolic. I even had to remove some of the comments because they had absolutely nothing to do with the argument, or were practically spam. I know they were not pure spam because in order to post a message on my blog, you must enter a code, which proves you are human.
For some reason, the comments completely went off track and started to become a theism vs. atheism debate. One particular individual posted the same link several times to an atheist website. Another affirmed his belief that Jesus did not exist and that Constantine invented him. I'm not sure what these things have to do with the gay marriage debate. Perhaps it is because as a philosopher once put it, if God doesn't exist, nothing matters. This came from an atheist. He understood that logically, once you remove God from the picture, morals have no force anymore. It's simply one person's desires vs. another's. Therefore, the argument perhaps was that if God doesn't exist, then gay marriage is valid, but so is any other "sin", such as adultery, or rape. Once morals are personal and relativist, one person cannot claim their set of morals is superior to another's and the weakest are forced to accept the dictates of the strong.
Humourously, one person posted a comment which seems to indicate that Hitler was a Christian. This must be an example of the Godwin's Law, which states that "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." The user's comment, as can be seen on the bottom is:
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior" - Adolf Hitler
This quote represents an incomplete truth and something of an academic dishonesty. I'm not saying this particular poster is dishonest. Perhaps this quote came from somewhere else. The complete quote is as follows:
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison." - Adolf Hitler
Now, we have a completely different picture. Hitler was not affirming his Christianity, he was turning Jesus into an anti-semite. Hitler is claiming that Jesus fought for the world against what he calls a "Jewish poison." He downplays Christ's suffering and flips him around into a fighter against Jews. Is there someone else you can think of who fought against Jews and who considered them a poison? Hitler. Bingo. Hitler's only point here is that he wants to make those who fight and kill Jews heroes, and he wants to be the foremost.
The real story is that Jesus loved Jews, and most of the first followers of Christ were Jews. Christians constantly remind each other that it wasn't Jews that killed Christ, it was all of us, with our sins. Hitler was simply using Jesus as his justification for genocide.
Another commenter asked for a passage in which Jesus condemns homosexual activity. Jesus does do this.
In Matthew 19: 4-6, it reads:
He said in reply, "Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female'5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
Jesus does not mention homosexual acts. He reaffirms the Old Testament view on marriage and confirms its goodness.
Anther passage where Jesus refers to homosexual activity is Matthew 10:15, where he says:
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
All people who were hearing Jesus at that time realized that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their sexual activity including homosexual activity.
I want to just emphasize something. I believe there are many sins, and homosexual acts are just one of them. Premarital sex, masturbation, and other sexual sins which affect heterosexual, as well as homosexual, people are big problems also. Am I saying I'm above these? No, of course not. I must hold myself to a high sexual moral as well. People with same sex attraction have a great deal of struggle and life is sometimes difficult. They are asked to try their best just like everyone else is. God loves gay people like he loves everyone.
Let's say a prayer for all people who suffer from sexual temptation and sin.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tim Hortons has made the unfortunate decision to back out of their support of traditional marriage. Instead of supporting the essential building block of all societies, Tims has decided to listen to a small but vocal group of gay activists.
Tims was supposed to be sponsoring a family event put off by the National Organization on Marriage in Rhode Island. Because of vocal protests they received from Canada, Tim Hortons decided to back out. This is very sad.
Gay marriage groups will be the first to say everyone should be allowed to live as they please. However, if someone affirms their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, this same group reacts very angrily and tries to squelch free speech and others' opinions. I guess everything is fine and dandy until someone opposes them.
People are made to feel that if they do not support any union of two people and consider it good for society (contrary to the evidence), they ought to be labeled as bigots and religious fanatics. The message is that in order to be considered "normal", one must completely support any form of marriage put forth, including same-sex marriage.
Tim Hortons made a very cowardly decision. Canada was built by hard working families, and that's who they were there to promote. The vocal gay and lesbian community is a new phenomenon, but that doesn't stop them from enforcing a reign of intellectual terror.
At least Tims was originally planning on supporting this event. Too bad they backed down when the bullies came around.
Check out the article below:
Tim Hortons pulls support for rally against same-sex marriage in U.S.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 3:14 pm
Friday, August 07, 2009
'Family Guy' and its abortion episode: Should Fox air it? EW.com
Posted by Philip Lynch at 1:15 pm
One of my favorite directors, John Hughes, has passed away at the age of 59 as the result of a sudden heart attack. I am very saddened by this news. Just last week, I rented one of my favorite movies of all time, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. My girlfriend and I watched it, but we still haven't finished it. We will watch the rest soon, probably this weekend. I really love that movie. John Candy, who is the main star along with Steve Martin, is one of my favorite actors. I think John Hughes and John Candy worked very well together because they shared a certain youthful optimism.
John Candy stands in stark contrast to many movie characters who are dark and mysterious. John Candy is open and innocent. He is a lovable guy who is not tainted by the evils of the world. He maintains his purity and innocence and often leaves his mark on the world that is much too cynical. Many parts of Planes, Trains and Automobiles will bring a tear to all but the most jaded of eyes. John Candy's character is not looking for wealth, fame, or power, but rather love and friendship.
Another great movie featuring John Candy, and directed by John Hughes, is Home Alone. One of my favorite scenes is when the boy meets the old man in church watching his daughter. The old man eventually tells the boy of his relationship with his son, and that they dont' talk anymore. The old man shares wisdom with the boy telling him he shouldn't be afraid of strangers or assume that they are bad people (judge not), and the boy equally gives advice to the old man, when he encourages him to talk to his son. Eventually the father and son are reunited.
John Hughes will be sorely missed. Why am I writing about him on a Catholic blog? I think John Hughes shows us values in his movies, more than most movies these days. He shows us a childlike simplicity, which echo Christ's words that we must be childlike to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He shows us that while we may have our own ideas about what's important in life, God has other ideas. What we see as childish, God sees as the most important. Virtues like brotherly love, love of spouses, forgiveness, happiness, joy, innocence, and non-judgementalism are most important than being rich and famous and powerful. These movies are great for young and old.
Maybe this weekend, if you're not too busy, you can pick up a copy of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and enjoy the innocent fun.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 10:17 am
I don't need to add anything to this article. Take a read:
Robert Fulford: Western feminists mute on ravages of shariah
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:08 am
Sonia Sotomayor (a Catholic), who was selected by Barack Obama to be the next Supreme Court Justice, will replace David Souter (an Episcopalian), to make the Supreme Court of United States two-thirds Catholics, or 6 Catholic and 3 Non-Catholic Judges. This is good news, but only to a certain extent. If these 6 judges followed Catholic moral reasoning and enacted and sustained laws which reflected Catholic beliefs, there would be a lot of healing and advancement in US law. But if these judges do not adhere to Catholic teaching and violate it on issues of gay marriage, abortion, fertility issues, embryonic stem cell reaserch, and cloning, then things will probably remain similar or become worse. But I would not lose hope. I believe there is a reason why so many of the Supreme Court Justices are Catholic. The Catholic religion has a long history of jurisprudence. Over the centuries, canon law was always seen as more important than civil law, because civil law deals with temporal earthly issues, whereas canon law deals with eternal issues of salvation.
Thomas Aquinas, the 13th century Dominican, was famous for writing his Summa Theologica. In it, he expounds on virtually every religious topic from the nature of God, to the nature of sins. He goes into great detail to explain how we ought to live and what we ought to do, as well as what she ought to believe and why. This tradition has continued. There has always been an understanding of law that could only come from the Catholic Church. We believe in true right and wrong, in objective moral standards, in the law of non-contradiction. Other religions believe two contradictory statements can both be true. Our legal system would be doomed if this was the prevailing thought. Prostitution could be at once considered good and evil. Laws would go nowhere. Everything would be up to a personal decision each time. Another religion, Islam, sees moral laws as complete will of God. The only reason they believe something is as it is is because God is currently willing it to be that way. Therefore, moral laws for them could potentially change. Judaism has an understanding of God's divine law, and it's not surprising that 2 of the justices are Jewish. The remaining justice is Protestant. Protestantism does not have a thoroughly developed canon law, especially the more recent forms of it. For example, many will say all sins are equal. With no distinction between stealing a candy and murdering a family, you would be forced to violate your religious beliefs in order to enact laws which carry heavier sentences for certain crimes. There is no such dichotomy in Catholic teaching, where there is the concept of venial and mortal sins. Even within these sins, some are seen as greater than others. Pride is considered more serious than lust. This view of sin is very compatible with lawmaking. One could argue that serious sins cannot correspond to crimes. For example, someone could be the proudest person in the world, but they could not be convicted of pride. A person could be a major glutton, but they could not be sent to prison for that. This may be true, but we acknowledge that ultimately sins are between the person and God, and that punishment may come as a result of gluttony or pride, even if the state does not mete it out. Crimes which hurt society would be punished on a scale consistent with the crime.
Let us pray that these judges, whose profession is what it is largely because of the developments in the legal system by the Catholic Church, seek their Catholic roots when making decisions that affect all of our lives.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 9:00 am
Thursday, August 06, 2009
The Conservative government has a certain amount of money to spend on tourism, around $100 million in Quebec, and it denied a request to fund the Gay Pride Parade. I believe they wanted around $2 million for the parade. There are many reasons why I believe this is a good move.
First of all, no group should claim the "right" to have funding for tourism. If you read the complaints from this incident, most of those complaining seem to have some sense of entitlement. It's as though they believe gay rights are so entrenched in Canada that they not only have access to possible funding, but denying them funding at their whim is an injustice. They seem to want to be treated as a special group within society. They do not want equal treatment, they want preferential treatment. Any type of equal treatment is considered discrimination. Obviously this is not just in itself. I don't think gay people should be treated poorly, I think they should have the same treatment and standards as everyone else. But they certainly do not deserve special treatment.
The funding that was given out was appropriated in a way that the government saw fit and was within its jurisdiction. The government saw other programs as more meritorious.
Another issue is the nature of gay pride parades in general. Often, legitimate concerns are brushed aside or simply seen as homophobic. Many have rightfully complained that gay pride parades are largely a display of lewd acts, overt sexual behavior and other distasteful shows. If anyone speaks up against this, they are dismissed as homophobic or some kind of religious fundamentalist. In fact, these people are protesting lack of decency, which they should. Imagine if a group of chauvinistic men organized a parade where they drove along on booths featuring old men spanking young women, imitating lewd sexual conduct toward females, and having mottoes and slogans signifying male dominance and sexual aggression. I would imagine the entire community would react very strongly against this, and offer unfettered condemnations of this show. It would be considered lewd, sexually aggressive, and offensive. Any such concerns expressed against a gay pride parade are summarily dismissed. It seems many people want to bend over backward to not appear to have anything against gay people. I think this does an injustice to everyone if you treat one group specially.
Another point is that I wonder what benefit this type of parade could possibly have. Most other parades have some benefit to society. They may give money to charity, they support a worthy cause, they bring hte community together, etc. Gay pride parades are notorious for blatantly shoving offensive displays in peoples' faces. It does not politely ask people to accept them, but rather proclaims messages such as the famous "We're here, we're queer, get used to it". It's a very in-your-face proposition. They are essentially challenging others to accept them or too bad! They do nothing to win over people's hearts or to share genuine concerns to which people can react, but rather they force their ideology down your throat in the most distasteful way. In fact, moderate people could easily be turned off by the things they do at these parades. Their response to this: "Get used to it!"
I would like to applaud the Quebec government for not funding the gay pride parade. They made a wise choice.
To read more on the story, go to:
Posted by Philip Lynch at 11:33 am
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
It's very heartening to see the culture listening to the Church. In Australia, the bishop of Melbourne asked that football and other sports not be played on Good Friday. I've always noticed that there are many basketball games and other games on during Good Friday. I guess people most people are off on holidays. So this is a really great thing to see. Maybe now that people's favorite game isn't on TV anymore, they will find time to go to Good Friday services and participate in various forms of penance.
EWTN.com - Bishop Asks Australian Football League to Avoid Games on Good Friday
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:49 pm
Great article on how the Pope will be making a music CD. Wonder if he'll get as many sales as Pope John Paul II, who also released an album. If you are a faithful Catholic, I would suggest skipping the comments below. Trust me, anything goes when the CBC posts a Catholic-related news story.
Pope Benedict album set for holiday release
Posted by Philip Lynch at 11:13 am
There is no greater love than to give your life for a friend says the Lord. This story is truly inspiring, and very tragic. God will look very favorably upon this selfless man of God. I hope newspapers around the world pick up this story like they do for others:
Priest's tragic attempt to save a life 'heroic' | detnews.com | The Detroit News
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:54 am
The World Congress of Families was attacked by vandals. It's ironic that those who say we should just let everyone live as they choose and that there should be no rules, and basically espouse a completely moral relativist point of view, are often the same people who protest violently and cause damage in the form of vandalism to those they disagree with. Check out the article below:
Anti-Christian vandals target World Congress of Families meeting
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:45 am
The title pretty much says it all. This is a great article. Check it out.
Catholic congressman: I'd rather save my soul than vote for the health care bill
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:34 am
Monday, August 03, 2009
Nestorius was an early Christian, who was born in 386. He became the archbishop of Constantinople on Apil 10, 428, just 47 years after it was declared the second most important See after Rome, which is the diocese of the Pope. As you can see, Nestorius was no small figure in the early Church. In fact, some could argue, he was second only to the Pope in importance in those days.
Given this background, we can see how dramatic Nestorius's rise and fall really were. What caused Nestorius's ultimate downfall was his refusal to accept a declaration of the universal church, namely that of the Theotokos, or Mary as Mother of God. I mentioned that Nestorius's legacy lives on because today many Protestant denominations refuse to accept this doctrine as well. There is much which can be said of the doctrine, but the basic formula is as follows:
1) Jesus is God
2) Jesus was conceived and born from Mary
3) Mary is the mother of God
It is important to note, we do not believe Mary preceded God in any way. Of course, God has existed always and Mary came about in history as a creature. But, we cannot separate Christ's nature. He is a single person, a divine person, with a divine will and a human will (his wills are united also, but remain two).
As mentioned previously, Nestorius was of such importance in the early Church, that his exile caused a predictable split in the Church. Of course Nestorius had his followers. They split and formed their own communities. But though some fall away, it is always important to maintain the Truth, and this is guaranteed when Jesus says the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.
Today, there are around 170,000 Nestorians in the world, a tiny fraction of Christianity.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 4:42 pm
A terrible crime has occurred, representing a sin of ommission, but political correctness has skewed the proper response by some people. Gilles Marchildon, spokesman for the Canada HIV/AIDS Legal Network, believes since the crime has already been done, there's no point in prosecuting the perpetrator. It seems he is saying this because he doesn't want to persecute people with the disease in general. That's fine, but we must also not put on our blinkers in order to remain politically correct. I find that happens a lot.
It reminds me of an episode of Larry King Live. Joy Behar was filling in for Larry King and they had Alec Baldwin on the program. He went off listing reasons why girls need a father in the home. He said without a father, girls are more likely to become involved with risky sexual behavior, to get involved with drugs, and other dangerous habits. Joy agreed. But then she said "Oh, but you don't mean gay parents right, like two moms, you're not saying that's bad are you?" Even though the information Alec just gave would in no way indicate there is an exception for lesbian parents raising a child, he quickly reassured her that he was not saying anything against gay parents raising children. But the evidence did not support him in this. That's what I'm talking about.
It also reminds me of abortion. Many people who are all for abortion will say that if a man injures the fetus (a wanted child), he should be charged with a crime against the baby as well as the mother. It seems they want the child to be a person when it's convenient.
That's what I think is going on here. Gilles Marchildon wants to make a special exception for people with HIV/AIDS. But we should not elevate any particular disease above any others. Please take a look at the article:
Man with HIV charged over sex
Posted by Philip Lynch at 3:16 pm
Many people try to make a false distinction between modern and traditional Catholics. Most of the time however, what they are really talking about is obedient vs. disobedient Catholics. A person can either be modern or have an inclination toward traditional ways of doing things, but no one can legitamitely call themselves Catholic if they go against Church teaching and violate her precepts.
Let's take two people and compare them. One is a man named Jim. He goes to Mass on Sunday, tries his best in most things, but doesn't do much church-related stuff outside of this. He likes Masses which feature guitars and saxophones, and church builidngs which are modern-looking. Outside of church, he likes to spend time helping out at soup kitchens, or volunteering at the animal shelter.
Another person, a lady named Joanne, goes to daily Mass, goes to confession every week, prayers the rosary daily and says many other prayers. Often in her spare time, she will read the Bible or the Catechism. She enjoys Masses celebrated with great reverence along with incense, bells, and solemnity. She enjoys going to Latin Mass whenever she can.
Based on the information above, both of these individuals are good Catholics in good standing with the Church. One is not "better" than the other. They both have preferences as to specifics, but in essence, they are practicing Catholics. You could say one is modern, and one is traditional. But neither is disobedient.
Most of the time, when you hear someone speaking about how the church has to modernize, what they are really saying is that the church has to drop divinely revealed truths and substitute them for that person's own preferences. The Church was founded by Jesus Christ, who said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus also established a Church. It's not as if Jesus lived and everything was recorded in the Bible, and any way we decide to live is ok because it's all man-made and Jesus is just an example for us. The fact is, Jesus specifically established a church, and gave her power to bind and loose, to make decisions authoritatively. Jesus gave us a shepherd, the first of whom was Peter to guide us into all truth.
You cannot simply accept Jesus as a non-committal buddy who makes you feel good about anything you decide to do. Either Jesus is the Son of God and our Lord and Savoir, or he is a liar who deserves no allegiance from us. You cannot make Jesus into your own image. The Church has been given the power by Christ to make binding decisions.
You may not like some Church teachings, but it is our obligation to try to understand them and live by them. It is ok to struggle with a teaching, but it is not ok to set ourselves up against God. Also, just because you want to believe something, doesn't make it true.
I hear so many people saying they want to change the church. I heard a young lady one time say she does not want to change the church, she wants the Church to change her. I struggle to be a good person, just like everyone does. But I do not think it is useful to simply dismiss anything which seems difficult in order to avoid struggle.
People who claim the church needs to modernize simply want the Church to change her teachings to suit them. Without ever investigating why the Church does what she does, they feel they have the right to dictate to the Church how she should operate. They demand Church acceptance of abortion in some cases, contraception, women priests, gay marriage, etc.
Christ constantly talked about division of people. He did not say everyone was right, in fact, he said quite the opposite. He said there would be good seed and bad. That there would be thorns as well as flowers. He said he came not to bring peace, but a sword and that there will be divisions even within families because some will proclaim the truth, while others won't. He said Christians will be persecuted for their faith. Jesus never said everyone is right and you just have to get along. Jesus came to show us the Truth, no matter how hard that may be for some people to accept.
Posted by Philip Lynch at 8:55 am
Sunday, August 02, 2009
I just found this interesting video of Pope Benedict talking to world class swimmers about to participate in Swimming World Championships. Pope Benedict reminds us that everything we do in life can be for the greater glory of God. Therefore, as St. Francis said, we must pray often, and when necessary, use words. Check it out:
Saturday, August 01, 2009
I was just looking at my calendar of feast days and August is a spectacular month for saints. Here are just some of the more popular saints from this month:
August 1) St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Redemptorists
August 4) St. Jean-Marie Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests
August 8) St. Dominic, founder of the Dominicans
August 10) St. Lawrence, early Martyr
August 11) St. Clare, follower of St. Francis of Assisi
August 14) St. Maximilian Kolbe, gave his life for man in concentration camp
August 20) St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church
August 21) St. Pius X, a holy and humble man
August 24) St. Bartholomew, One of the 12 Apostles
August 28) St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church