Monday, March 29, 2010

To the Media: Learn what "infallibility" means.

Over the past several days as a media frenzy has blown up around the Pope, the word "infallibility" has been bandied around quite liberally. It's interjected into almost every news story done on the pope as if trying to show some sort of hypocracy or inconsistency. Unfortuantely, the media almost always uses the word in the wrong way, or uses it in such a way that it's implication is totally off. Perhaps some reporters are aware of the true defintion, but interject it into ambiguous places to give readers or listeners the wrong idea.

For example, I heard a CBC reporter talking about sex abuse, and he ended his commentary with a line something like "accusations are reaching all the way to the Vatican on the doorstep of the man Catholics believe is infallible." Or someone might make a comment like "How can the Pope be infallible if his apology left much to be desired!" and so on.

Infallible has a variety of meanings, but in Catholic theology, there is only one. Papal infallibility does not mean the pope is perfect or that he cannot sin. It does not mean he doesn't make mistakes or that he can't be wrong. It doesn't mean he is holy or righteous or even a good example to follow. Of course, personal goodness and holiness are desirable characteristics of the Pope, but they do not fall under the definition of infallibility.

According to its definition, Papal infallibility is the dogma in Roman Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation.

So it's a pretty tight definitions. In July 2005, Pope Benedict even remarked "The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know."

Theoretically the Pope could commit terrible sins and this would not destroy papal infallibility. It is also a necessary doctrine. Since Catholics believe that the Church is the "foundation and bulwark of the truth", there needs to be a final arbiter, and that final arbiter is the Pope. This was promised to the Church when Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against her.

Popes are human, given a special office. Our current and past popes were known to frequent the confessional often, probably more frequently than most other Catholics. These would not be the actions of someone who couldn't make mistakes.

I hope the media start using the definition of infallibility correctly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Free speech not widely observed in Canadian University

Once again, free speech has taken a back seat to liberal activism in Canada. Ann Coulter was going to speak to students at the University of Ottawa. She is a well-known conservative speaker and has written several books. But many students, some placing the number in the thousands protested her speaking at their campus. They violently yelled and harassed her until her group decided to leave. But it wasn't just students who were doing this. The President of the University sent her a warning her that she could go to prison if she wasn't politically correct enough. But his threat didn't need to be carried out. The open-minded students forced her out.

This is a major blow to democracy. Ann Coulter is a speaker, not a terrorist. Just because she is not Liberal, doesn't mean she has no right to speak. But this is just another step in a terrible policy making its way through the Canadian university system. Groups that support conservative values are being banned from even expressing their opinion. Several campuses across Canada have disallowed pro-life groups from operating, including at the University of Guelph, McGill University, and in my hometown, Memorial University of Newfoundland. It seems being conservative and supporting pro-family and pro-life policies is illegal in Canada.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pope issues heart-felt letter to Ireland

The Pope issued a very understanding, concerned and loving letter to Catholics in Ireland after a great deal of pain and suffering caused by the clergy sex abuse scandal in that country.

With no stone left unturned, the Pope is showing his solidarity with victims and taking steps to ensure there are no more. He says, "You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured."

The Pope notes that throughout the years, he has sat with victims, spoken to them, tried to understand them. I was watching CNN one day about the Pope's visit to America. There were 3 victims of sex abuse who met with him. They said he was truly on their side and that he showed great concern. One of the victims said the Pope is a truly good man.

The pope, in this letter, also addresses priests who have abused children by saying "You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals."

The pope also addresses parents, children, and priests and religious.

I suggest anyone read the Pope's letter.

For the official English translation, please go to:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food, water, shelter, and contraceptives

The Conservative government of Canada has announced that it will provide a large amount of support and help for people in less developed countries. This includes food, water, shelter, and other necessities for life. However, many MPs are angry because Harper's plan does not include condoms, sponges and spermaticide jellies. According to his opponents, these "safe" sex products are just as important as food and clean water.

It's important to note that the government has not specifically refused to include contraceptives, it just wasn't in the first plan. Of course, outrage ensued.

Canadians have been propagandized for so long that many believe contraception is essential for survival. Without contraception, the story goes, we would become mere beasts with no hope for peace. Contraception is what separates us from the animal kingdom.

Organizations have falsely believed that condoms can solve all the world's problems. If a country is war-torn and lives are desvastated, the best way to solve this is to make contraception very accessible. Of course! I would like to know who the condom companies hire to do marketing, they do a really amazing job.

When one of the most devastating earthquakes in history hit Haiti a few months ago, the first thing Planned Parenthood did was raise money to buy condoms, and oral contraception, not to mention material to promote abortion. Forget clean water, food, and medical help, all the people of this devastated land need are condoms. How could I not see that!

I always learned that the basic needs for survival are food, water, clothing, and shelter, but now it seems contraception has somehow made its way to the top of the list.

Many claim that more condoms can alleviate problems in poor countries. In fact, they cannot. More access to contraception actually increases the rates of STIs, abortion, etc. This has been seen in Africa. Uganda is the only country to promote abstinence and commitment. The others promoted greater condom use. Condoms are easier to find in Africa than clean drinking water. All provided by wealthy industrialized countries. So what happened? Uganda was one of the rare success stories in the fight against AIDS.

When the Pope made comments to this effect, many reacted with outrage. You mean to say contraception and abortion are not the solutions to all the world's problems? Did I hear that correctly? But this clearly goes against modern thinking! The pope's comments were also backed up by the head of Harvard's AIDS program.

Just imagine: a dying man approaches a Liberal or NPD MP. What is their first reaction? Water, shelther, food? No, contraception. This is ridiculous. Of all human needs, even for those advocating contraception, condoms and other such things should be at least #50 on the list of things people need to be healthy. It's pretty sad when your political platform is based around the culture of death. People who espouse that culture tend to view everything through their culture-of-death glasses and they will stop at nothing to further their ideology.

It's shocking that instead of backing up the Prime Minister with his support of the less-fortunate, many politicians have decided to focus on contraception. This is while people die from hunger, lack of clean water, war, and disease. Contraception doesn't reduce or eliminate disease, it makes it worse.

For once, these politicians ought to seek ways to help the needy, rather than try to push their culture of death policies.

Oh, and congratulations to Stephen Harper and his government: Way to go!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reverse Racism on Little Mosque on the Prairie

Racism is an unspeakable crime in Canada. Anyone guilty of it is publically shunned and criticized. But apparantly this is only the case for white Christians. Other people can feel free to mock and criticize the majority with impunity. This is clearly shown on Little Mosque on the Prairie.

The other day I finally decided to watch an episode. Every time I watch Jeopardy, previews for the upcoming show are shown. I heard reviews, but decided to have a look for myself. I was pretty disappointed.

The episode started when the Anglican priest ordered a Jesus statue, ostensibly for his own church. A group of Muslims, including a white woman convert, opened the crate that it came in and saw the statue. One of the men accidentally knocked over the large statue (larger than life-sized) and it smashed to pieces. They were worried about being caught, and made several jokes in bad taste. First of all, it seems rather shocking to feature an episode where a statue of Jesus would be smashed to pieces. Would there ever be an episode where a koran was accidentally shredded in an industrial shredder? Don't count on it. Jesus is obviously the central figure of Christianity and a statue is a likeness of Jesus which we use as a point of reverence. To smash it is a great insult. Why it's part of a comedy is a little odd to me.

We then go to the Anglican priest in the episode. The priest is shown as extremely untrusting and suspicious of Muslims in general. He believes they are all "up to something". This is quickly contrasted with the Muslims' acceptance and tolerance. The bigotted priest accuses Amaar, the young imam, of doing things which are wrong. The only basis for his accusation is that they are Muslim and must be up to something. Amaar, however, is the voice of morality throughout the episodes. He continually petitions others to "do the right thing". This of course is much different from the priest who only jumps to unfounded conclusions and whose morality seems somewhat skewed.

The episode plays like a sort of "after-school special". It attempts to be comedic but falls short as it quickly become a politically correct lesson in Islam. Baber is a more traditional Muslim who seems to be in the episodes simply to provide a springboard for canned responses to popular opinions about Muslims. For example, in the episode Baber demands that his daughter wear a traditional Muslim veil. She refuses. This sets up a great "the more you know" opportunity. A Muslim woman informs the girl that: wearing the veil is a choice, one that must be made by all Muslim women. The entire episode was one contrived and humourless lesson opportunity after another.

The current Anglican priest replaced another who was less morally offensive. It seems they wanted to turn up the contrast of Muslim vs. Christian. Whereas the Muslims are seen as tolerant members of society who want to integrate themselves and help out the community, the Christians are viewed as backward and bigotted. In the episode, the original Jesus statue was (accidentally) replaced by a black Jesus. The priest had a good laugh at this "ridiculous" Jesus and went on a sort of racist rant. This was only to discover that the Catholic priest for whom he was storing the statue was himself black.

I have only watched one episode, and doubt I will watch more. However, I am not spared from the constant onslaught of commercials promoting the show on CBC. It seems the next episode will feature the same Anglican priest in a state of near ecstacy at the possibility of the Muslims leaving the community. I'm sure viewers can expect some comedic genius in that episode.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Canadian Government does something sensible - partakes in seal meat

On Wednesday in the parliamentary restaurant, MPs ate seal meat prepared in various ways. This was meant as another show of solidarity by the government with those in the seal industry, including many Newfoundlanders. The EU recently banned the sale of all seal products in Europe. This is also the case in the United States. But these bans are non-sensicle.

Please read my previous article for reasons why this ban is a bad idea: here

I am proud of the Canadian Government for making this move. Their support for the seal hunt is logical and moral, unlike the EU's position.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

When Life is more opposed to than Death

The Duggars, a famous American family known for having 18 children and their own TV show, has just given birth to the 19th member and are not planning on stopping until God tells them to. But in this strange world in which we live, many people are not happy about this.

Birth and children are true gifts. Each one is unique and brings something wonderful to the world. But many people are calling the Duggars 19th child a bad decision. They say it is irresponsible to have that many children. In order to justify their objection, they make up things which may or may not be true, but fit with their narrative. They say this many children cannot be loved, they cannot be supported financially, the mother's health is at risk, etc. But there is no coherence, because these are all invented objections.

The baby, named Josie, was born prematurely, but is doing well. She is born into one of the most loving families out there. Also, the family is quite secure financially. The forces of darkness are very upset about this because it acts in accordance with God's command to "go forth and multiply". Having a large family is a blessing from God. These children are well raised, respectful, and loving. They add a lot to their communities and the world.

How can people object to such a beautiful situation? The culture of death detestes stories like this. They contradict the idea that a woman can only be happy if she has a career where she is making tons of money, is independent, and has a maximum of 2 children, preferably a boy and a girl. That's a maximum. Women who denounce their childbearing ability are commended as heroes. One woman I heard of recently felt she was helping the world by rendering herself sterile. Angry, vindictive people refuse to believe that anyone who chooses to be a mother and raise a family is anything but oppressed by a patriarchal society. When a woman does this and is very happy and joyful, it does not fit well into their vision for the world.

On the other hand, a woman who procures an abortion is seen as brave, standing up for the rights of women everywhere, a champion of femininity. The is seen as progressing the women's rights movement. But a woman who bares a beautiful child willingly and lovelingly is attacked and berated. Every article you read will approach this story from the angle of "isn't this too many kids?" Never will a positive point of view be presented.

Also, how can we look at these 19 beautiful children and say "She had too many children"? Which of the 19 would you like to see disappear? These are not numbers, these are living, breathing human beings who are loved by their family and by God. Who are we to say they don't belong?

Let's celebrate this beautiful family and show them our support.