Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some thoughts on our Midnight Mass this year

I just wanted to take a few minutes to give my thoughts on Midnight Mass this year at St. Teresa's. There were 3, but I went to the one at 8pm. We got in through the side door around 7pm. There were few people there, but when they opened the doors, people swarmed in like it was a boxing day sale!

It was great to see so many people around, many of whom only show up to Mass once or twice a year. Fr. Tony at the beginning explained that since Advent of this year, we've been using a new translation for the Mass and people should look at the cue cards provided to say the right things. Most people were caught off guard when we read the new translations. There was also a fair bit of confusion over when to kneel and at one point my family and I were the only only people in our "area" doing so.

The Mass had some very nice music, and was celebrated well by Fr. Bidgood. (Wow, that's weird, just as I'm typing this I heard what sounded to be church music coming from my computer, but I cannot ascertain the source and it's gone now. Anyway, back to the blog post). We actually read out the entire Nicene Creed, which is a little unusual at our parish. I then proceeded to take up the collection from a corner of the church. It was extraordinary how much money people gave. My basket was overflowing and people were dropping in twenties all over the place. It was great.

I did, though, have some criticisms. First of all, several times during Mass people applauded. A couple of times it was for the performances by the choir, another time was when the priest specifically recognized certain people or groups. This violates the intention of the Mass. The Mass is not about a "performance" and our focus should not be on the choir no matter how good they are. Yes, they add to the celebration of the Eucharist, but they are not the focal point of it.

As Cardinal Ratzinger said:

"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. " (Spirit of the Liturgy p. 198)

I think part of the blame lies with the parishioners who decide to clap, especially weekly churchgoers. They should know the difference. But a lot of the responsibility lies with how the Mass is set up. It's hard not to expect applause if a solo piece is performed, after which there is a period of silence. You can rest assured that in that circumstance, applause will break out.

Another issue I had was the choir director invited children to sit in the sanctuary during the Mass to sing a Christmas song. Again, we are taking the focus away from Christ and his sacrifice and placing it on children singing a song. I have no problem with children singing, but there is a proper time and place for everything. People may think I am being a big scrooge, but they wouldn't say that if they understood the Mass. If someone said they didn't want a special children's choir singing at a funeral, would they be a scrooge? The focus of the Mass should always be on Jesus Christ and his sacrifice.

I guess these things were my main concern. The priest also plays into these ideas when, at the end of the Mass, he specifically points out the efforts of the choir and asks everyone to thank them. This is before the Mass is officially ended. An analogy I thought of to describe this is to imagine being at the crucifixion of Christ and then instead of focusing on Christ and the great sacrifice he is making, people are asked to focus on someone playing a musical instrument in the background.

I finished the preceding sentence after I wrote what was before that. In between those two times, I heard someone, I think on Catholic Answers Live, making a similar analogy. He asked if you would clap at the crucifixion of Christ. He asked how people reacted to Jesus, once they knew he was the Son of God. He said they would fall on their face or kneel before him. It was not a party, especially at the crucifixion.

Even Christmas Eve Mass is about Christ's sacrifice on the cross to save humanity from our sins so that we can be with God in the next life. Every day has a different feast, but they are all the sacrifice of the Mass.

Overall there were many great things about this Mass, but I think we sometimes need to remember that Mass is not a form of entertainment, but a very solemn and holy time to focus on Jesus.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nigeria Christmas Day Church Bombings - radical Muslim sect has claimed ...

This is absolutely atrocious. One of several bombings of churches on CHRISTMAS DAY this year. Those responsible claim they want to enact Sharia law throughout all of Nigeria. How do they think this will further their aim? Is killing Christians part of Sharia law? What is wrong with these people?

I wonder if someone can answer this for me. These people say they want to implement Sharia law, which is the Islamic legal system. They seem rather concerned with having a particular legal system. In terms of Sharia, you would think they would be "law-abiding citizens". So the question is, how does this fit into their law? If these people are totally focused on having a certain legal system, it would not be logical that they would be violating that very same legal system in order to achieve it... So the question is, how can they reconcile the two?

Apparently this same sort of thing happened last year.

One of the priests at my church, Fr. Gabriel is from Nigeria. It must be so difficult for Christians from that area.



Monday, December 05, 2011

Dramatic Supreme Court Trial on Bill Whatcott

Wow, there is a lot of drama happening in Canada's Supreme Court as Bill Whatcott is tried for "hate speech". This Supreme Court decision will determine the fate of hate speech laws in Canada. The courtroom discussions are very frank, especially thanks to Bill's lawyer.

It’s not like they didn’t hear the truth on homosexuality: Waiting on the Supreme Court (Part 2) | LifeSiteNews.com:

'via Blog this'

Friday, December 02, 2011

Crystal Cathedral now owned by Catholic Church

So I just found out that last night the Crystal Cathedral had to declare bankruptcy and was subsequently acquired by the Catholic diocese of Orange, California. The Vatican has formally approved the $57.5 million transaction.

The Church seats 2,736 people and was designed by Philip Johnson. It was established at the behest of Reverend Robert Schuller, who has been the main pastor there for decades.

The Catholic Diocese struck a deal with Robert Schuller's organization to allow him to lease the church for 3 years, after which they will move to a smaller Catholic church in the area, and the Catholic community will take over this large edifice.

Interestingly, the currently named "cathedral" is a misnomer since no bishop has his "cathedra", or chair, there. But after three years, it will indeed become a cathedral once the Catholic bishop officially relocates. Was this foreshadowing?

Apparently there has been substantial growth in the Catholic community of that area which is why they require this large church. I'm glad to see this type of growth.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Now that it's sports, the tables have turned

I was driving home not long ago when I heard Jian Gomeshi on his program Q on CBC Radio speaking with journalist Jane Leavy, from the Washington Post. She wrote an article in which she tries to sympathize with Mike McQueary, a wide receiver for the team, who witnessed Jerry Sandusky allegedly rape a 10-year-old boy. Mike told two school officials and Joe Paterno about the incident but did not contact the police or any other law enforcement agent.

Jane Leavy then wrote an article exploring all the possible psychological issues a person faces in these situations and says he is perhaps not all that blameworthy.

Her article takes the form of a letter to Mike McQueary, beginning with the following:

Dear Mike,

We don't know each other and I doubt we will ever meet, though I'm available if you want to talk.

She goes on to explain away the action or inaction of this man.

The reason I am writing this is not to say she wasn't hard enough on Mike. I'm writing to show the hypocrisy in the world of journalism. No one ever wrote a letter saying they understand the actions of the handful of bishops who did not report the activities of a small number of priests to the authorities. These bishops were lambasted for not going to the police. In fact, people have condemned the entire church, and have tried to implicate the Holy Father himself.

I have seen no attempt in all the years since the Catholic sex abuse story broke to try to explain the actions of the bishops from everyday journalists. This is an amazing double standard.

And this is not the only case of childhood sexual assault to be found in the sports sector. More and more cases emerge all the time of sexual abuse of minors by hockey coaches. So it's not an isolated incident.

But even though these abuse cases seem widespread in sports, just as much or more than in the Catholic Church, I don't hear anyone say the entire NCAA or NFL or NHL are guilty of these crimes. I don't see multi-million or billion dollar lawsuits emerging. I certainly don't hear anyone say marriage must be the cause for the actions of this minority of sports leaders.

One thing about all these stories is that it is emerging that sexual abuse does not only happen in the Catholic Church, it happens anywhere where there are children. That is becoming very clear, and in some areas it's far worse than in the Church. Nowadays the Church is the safest place for kids anywhere. For example, out of 40,000 priests in the US in 2008, there were only 6 accusations of sexual impropriety. That's accusations, not convictions.

If this lady wants to write an article which attempts to understand the actions or inactions of this sports player, that's fine, I don't have a problem with that. My main problem is that the Catholic Church is portrayed as uniquely bad, and cut absolutely no slack. Rather the entire Church is implicated and hardly a journalist anywhere tries to correct that misperception. How about less bias?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dr. Scott Hahn at Franciscan University of Steubenville

Amazing video by Dr. Scott Hahn explaining Mass. He is such a great speaker. I urge you to listen to even the first ten minutes of this presentation. You won't regret it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins: Pride - History Channel - WATCH

There's a lot of iffy stuff in this documentary about Pride, but it's fun to watch and actually does contain some truth. So check it out.





USCCB marriage advisor resigns after suggesting devil plays role in homosexuality

First of all, I don't know of any evidence that homosexuality is genetic. But what if some people were predisposed to it, and they were born like it. Would that justify homosexual actions or even gay marriage? I would say no. Within Catholic teaching, something doesn't automatically become acceptable as long as someone has a "natural" desire for it. Adultery is wrong. But you could argue that a man is naturally predisposed to want to have sex with a woman who is not his wife. Should we then be accepting of this because it's "natural"?

Just imagine a man who cheats on his wife reassuring her by saying "This is just who I am. It's natural, I was born this way! God wouldn't have created me this way if he didn't want me to act on it!" I doubt his wife would be very convinced.

But the same argument could be made for all kinds of behavior. A serial killer could argue he was "born that way", that he didn't choose to be a killer, but it's just how God made him. Or a pedophile. He could also argue that's how God made him, and then rhetorically ask "if God didn't want me to act on my pedophilia, why would he create me like this?"

I'll probably get a bunch of comments blasting me for comparing homosexual actions to murder, but all I can say to this is that you are missing the point. The point I'm trying to make is that just because we find a "natural" desire to do something, that doesn't automatically legitimize it.

Article here by LifeSiteNews.com

Pope ranks 7th on Forbes 2011 Most Powerful List

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Gluttony: One of the Seven Deadly Sins

Good History Channel show on this vice:





Tuesday, November 08, 2011

IVF vs. C-section

Ok, so I wrote a comment on that last video on Youtube outlining my objection to IVF. Another user responded to my comment by asking what the difference between IVF and a C-section is. I didn't fully know how to answer his question, so I decided to see if by chance Catholic Answers Live had an appropriate guest on the show to answer my query. Amazingly, Fr. Tad Pacholczyk was there and was the perfect guy to ask.

Here is the response I received from him:



Then I typed in Fr. Tad's name into Google, and the second result that appeared was Fr. Tad talking about IVF and the Catholic position on it. That video can be found here:

Friday, November 04, 2011

Alison Motluk: A Primer on Assisted Reproductive Technology

This clip talks about the terribly immoral act of IVF. Most of the time embryos are destroyed. Children have the right to be conceived in the loving embrace of their parents and not at the hands of a lab technician in a petri dish in a sterile laboratory. Not only that, some of these innocent children never discover their real parents. What a sad story. A moral country would ban such a practice.

Unfortunately, besides briefly saying the word "moral", there is no discussion of the morality of this act. Truly horrible.

A Very DISGUSTING Harold and Kumar Christmas

Thank goodness for movie reviews. The only way I would suggest going to Harold and Kumar Christmas Movie would be if you were in immediate need of an emetic. The kind of absolute filth you will find in this film is staggering. But don't worry, they make sure only to mock Christians, and mostly Catholics. That's right, they wouldn't dare criticize any other faith, only society's perennial whipping boy, the Christians.

If the foul language and disgusting jokes aren't enough to make you upset, the inappropriate sexual references to Catholics priests and nuns will surely put you over the edge. From the reviews, this movie seems to have no redemptive quality to it whatsoever, just a roller coaster ride of gag-inducing humorless schtick that's only funny through its sheer shock value.

Apparently you can say whatever you like about Catholics and get away with it in Canada. How many human rights cases will emerge because of this work of depravity? None of course. But I don't have a problem with that. I don't think there should even be a Human Rights Tribunal. The whole idea is stupid. All I'm saying is there is complete hypocrisy here. Criticize any other group like this and you would be in deep "descriptor this movie". You'd be lucky if this movie got a PG rating in Canada. Probably go in as G. Teachers will probably bring their students to see it.

For some Christian reviews of this production that somehow passes as a movie, please visit this site.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Overpopulation on Night Line

This is an audio clip of me on VOCM Night Line speaking about the 7 Billionth child being born

Scary CBC commenters solution to so-called "overpopulation problem"

As the world celebrates the birth of the 7 billionth person, others are not so happy. The population extremists, who have existed since Malthus in the 18th and early 19th century when the population was only 1 billion, are sounding the alarm on our impending doom unless we enact freedom-destroying legislation to curb the growth of the human disease, uh, I mean population.

As you may rightfully point out, not everyone who thinks the Earth is overpopulated has bad intentions. Some genuinely believe we are in a crash course to a population-caused disaster. Some say we are already there. But some of the comments I read on CBC are rather frightening. Perhaps even more frightening is that many of them have high approval ratings from other readers. Here are just a few:

12 out of 16 agreed with this statement:

Yes we should care, but it's not the West's fault. It's the East's. They need to stop having so many damned kids. Countries with over 1 BILLION people just in the one country? That's insane.

15 out of 22 agreed with this statement:
This is just plain scary! Which brings up the question, "why are we here?" We are just destructive, selfish, wasteful creatures, and have done absolutely nothing good for this planet.


This one is particularly scary. 14 out of 23 people gave this one a "thumbs up":
I'm sure there will be a plague in Asia or Africa sometime in the next 50 years that will bring the population back in check.

A majority, 7 out of 12, even agreed with this callous statement:
Luckily global warming will help reduce those numbers.

34 out of 40 assented to this comment:
global warming and the next ice age will sort out the population problem

36 out of 66 people agreed with this comment:
As long as people believe it is somehow a "right" to have children - regardless if you can feed, shelter and clothe them - the Earth is doomed.

A rebuttal to these comments and those who support them could be that often people will indicate they like a statement but if they don't like it, they will simply ignore it. However, I found the majority of people gave a thumbs down to the following comments:

5 out of 7 people disliked this comment:
Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years.


I find it scary that there is a group of people who have such a callous disregard for human life and see it only as a disease on the planet. Some people seem to think that certain others do not have a "right" to reproduce. Let's try to maintain human dignity and remember that everyone has a right to be here.

Burgeoning Population Now is Being Termed a Graver Threat to Human Society than Nuclear Bombs

So said an article published in the October 26th, 1965 edition of the Free Lance-Star, and written by Associated Press Science Writer Alton Blakeslee, when the Earth had only reached 3 billion people. Ever since human population has been calculated, there have been alarmists who have insisted that unless massive, centralized action is taken worldwide, the human race was bound to destroy itself.

It doesn't seem to matter how many people there actually are, the threat always concerns some inexact time in the future when the proverbial excrement hits the fan. I think people see it like everyone in the world is in a huge Boston Marathon, just running the race, not realizing there is a sheer cliff just up ahead. The population controllers feel it is their duty to informs these individuals of their impending doom and to enact draconian laws which often violate human rights to "save the masses".

These predictions have been made since Thomas Malthus, a late 18th, and early 19th century scholar who predicted dire consequences for the earth because food production increases at a lower rate than population growth. This was back when the population was only 1 billion, compared to our current 7 billion.

What people seem to forget is that humans are very adaptable. If a particular resource runs dry, we develop new ones. If we run out of oil, there are dozens of other technologies emerging. Who could have known 200 years ago that Uranium could be used to produce energy? Or even oil for that matter. Scientists have shown that there is currently enough food to feed more people than the entire population of the Earth. A lot of food is even diverted away from food, like corn, which is often used as biofuel.

There are many fallacies about the population. In the next article, I will talk about some of the scary comments people have made about their "solutions" to these problems and how others have reacted to these solutions.

Welcome, baby 7 billion

Article from LifeSiteNews.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Libyan Christians – All Foreigners: Leader Says Sharia Law is Law of Libya: What Do You Know About Noah’s Grandfather? | Maggie's Notebook

According to the following article, "Libya is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, and missionary activity is not allowed, though clergy say the regime has respected Christians’ freedom of worship."

How will this change now that Libya has said the main source of their new legal code is Sharia Law?

Libyan Christians – All Foreigners: Leader Says Sharia Law is Law of Libya: What Do You Know About Noah’s Grandfather? | Maggie's Notebook

The great population debate: too many carbon footprints?

I've watched about half of this video so far. It's around an hour. I think it's important for Catholics to watch who take their faith seriously, even though it's not a religious video. The video concerns the idea of overpopulation, and there is a debate between two men in their respective fields.

The first man, in my opinion, is rather annoying. He represents a group which believes people are having too many children and that the Earth is overpopulated. He believes in using contraception to reduce the population of the planet. But the thing that struck me about him is his enormous arrogance. He speaks about those who do not believe in overpopulation as if they are very stupid. He talks down to anyone who disagrees with him. In fact, in one part he refers to "rednecks". This all comes back to a form of elitism, where certain people feel they must tell others what to do and use the government to back them up, or else those people will not know. He thinks he can plan out the whole planet.

And something else he says is actually kind of shocking. Without any prompting whatsoever, he mocks the idea of salvation and God. I have no idea why he tried to bring religion into the debate, but he does. Also, he seems extremely critical of the pope.

Feel free to skip the first guy. He does seem rather intelligent, but you can strongly sense what the second man calls "misanthropy". Basically, the population control people seem to view human beings as viruses of the Earth.

Anyway, the second guy who speaks does present some very good arguments. He is great to listen and will provide ammo to anyone debating against the myth of overpopulation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Rome Protesters destroy Statue of the Virgin Mary

I saw a video today which was very disturbing. I don't want to post it here because it is rather offensive, and I think a lot of people would prefer not to see it. Basically in the video, a protester in Occupy Rome finds a large status of Our Lady, takes it out to the street, lifts it up, and the smashes it onto the ground. It is basically destroyed or at least badly damaged. Some people then kick it or do other actions. This is absolutely deplorable and very sad. Let's say a special prayer of atonement.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Canadian Anti-Catholic Bigotry Kills African Women | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Canadian Anti-Catholic Bigotry Kills African Women | Blogs | NCRegister.com

This is another article about Dr. Walley and his crusade to save women's lives. He is in charge of MaterCare, an international organization whose goal is to prevent the deaths of women during childbirth. Unfortunately, the so-called Conservative government refuses to fund MaterCare because it does not provide abortion and contraception, which as Dr. Walley points out, is very irrelevant when it comes to maternal deaths.

Other organizations are being sponsored by the government, which is really our hard-earned taxpayer dollars. These include abortion-loving organizations like Planned Parenthood. Apparently it's okay to want to save the life of women as long as you're also open to killing babies.

My solution to this problem is not to fund MaterCare with taxpayer dollars, but rather to defund all other institutions, give us back our tax money and let people decide for themselves who they want to sponsor. It's sickening to think that tax money goes to slaughtering babies, but a pro-life organization is summarily dismissed even though there are plenty of pro-lifers out there.

For anyone in doubt, think about this: right now we have a Conservative government at least in name. All the other parties are more liberal and even more in favor of abortion and contraception. But even with this government, we are forced to pay for abortion. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that the Canadian Government will ever use its power to provide funding to pro-life organizations. The best course of action is to reduce the government. There is a huge movement toward this in the United States, but we are a little behind the times in Canada. We still see the government as our maternal care-giver. But remember, once the government has the power, it can use it for good or evil. Give the power back to the people!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pray for Copts

Coptic Christians are being slaughtered in Egypt. It's a very sad situation. Now that the dictator, Hosni Mubarak is gone, these Christians have no protection from the violent mobs and military. First, their churches were being destroyed by the violent mobs, then while they were peacefully protesting, the military opened fire on them killing 26 people, and injuring over 200 more. It's truly shocking and terrible. I can't believe this is happening.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taxation Immorality

Michael is picking up on the idea I've been talking about in my blog, but from a somewhat different angle.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Mention of Dr. Walley from Newfoundland

This is Catholic News Roundup, a service of RealCatholicTV. In this episode, they mention Canada and Newfoundlander Dr. Walley, who is the founder of MaterCare. Sadly, but unfortunately not surprisingly, Canada is not going to fund a pro-life organization, which provides maternal care for mothers giving birth.

I believe the reason is that the organization does not provide abortion or contraception, but as Dr. Walley pointed out, women who are about to give birth do not require any of those things.

It's kind of cool that Dr. Walley is mentioned, but too bad it has to be in this way.

Today in History: Council of Chalcedon

Council of Chalcedon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Archbishop Currie and Poverty

The Archbishop of St. John's, Martin Currie, a man whom I respect greatly, has taken on the laudable task of reducing poverty in our province. It's interesting that I'm writing this article now because just yesterday I wrote a similar one, but this morning I was made aware of a religious coalition in the province which aims to reduce poverty, of which Archbishop Currie is a member. Unfortunately, I think he may be barking up the wrong tree when it comes to solutions.

The archbishop is a member of the multi-religion group called "Religious Social Action Committee". Its stated goal is to reduce poverty, but I'm afraid its solutions are off-base and need to be seriously re-evaluated. They basically come at poverty from the tired old perspective of the NDP and other socialist groups which claim the reason people are poor is because other people are far too rich, that we need to "spread the wealth around". That's essentially the idea behind communism. On the surface, it sounds like a fantastic idea, but history, and economics shows it is intellectually bankrupt.

One of the big themes these people constantly harp on is the "growing gap between rich and poor". At first, that sounds fine, but when you scratch the surface a little, you realize it is somewhat illogical. If the average poor person at Time 1 has $10,000 per year and the average rich person has $100,000, but then at Time 2, the average poor person has $20,000 per year and the average rich person has $500,000, then the gap between rich and poor has grown substantially. But the poor are far better off than before. The rhetoric of the gap between rich and poor is thus invalid. It has gone from concern for the poor to envy or hatred toward the rich. I have not accumulated too many statistics, but in our province, the median income (which counters the effects of outliers like very rich people) shows an increase in income from $19,400 per year in 2005 to $24,550 in 2009, for the median person, which means your typical Joe. If the rich are indeed getting richer in Newfoundland, it seems so are the "poor".

What this underlies is a misunderstanding of wealth? Most people conceive of wealth as a zero-sum game, where if one person gains, someone else loses. So if a person becomes a millionaire, that means lots of people lost that potential money. But this is demonstrably false. 100 years ago, there was far more poverty than now, and also far fewer millionaires, even after accounting for inflation. But everyone rose in wealth. That's because wealth is created. As a good example I heard one time, most people conceive of wealth as a pie, where if one person receives a larger piece, everyone else must make do with a smaller piece. But in fact, new pies are created all the time, and real wealth is created.

So what solution does the Religious Social Action Committee suggest for reducing poverty? Of course, they propose the old canard of raising taxes on the people and companies who have "too much" money. They have decided, by the way, that too much money is people making more than $250,000. They say they should get a higher tax rate and people making more than $500,000 should get an additional surtax on top of that. Sounds lovely, but doing this will probably not result in the intended effect. Thomas Sowell, a preeminent economist, notes that tax rate and tax revenue are two different things and often they are negatively correlated. He points out that the Bush tax cuts that everyone is up in arms about actually increased tax revenue in the country. The same with the Reagan tax cuts and the Kennedy tax cuts.

The knee-jerk reaction to "tax the rich" is faulty on other levels as well. Many companies, such as those offering certain services, or even manufacturers, etc are not geographically bound. They set up shop in favorable business environments. If Newfoundland raises taxes, these companies will decide to locate elsewhere and thousands of jobs could be lost. The key to economic success is increased productivity. By pushing away large companies, the province is reducing the potential of people to earn money. Also, because productivity is the key to economic success both individually and for society as a whole, simply redistributing wealth will not add any value. What we need is an influx of money, not redistribution.

The problem with this anti-poverty group is that they are unable to see that what they are advocating is exactly what got us here in the first place. Too much government is the problem, and they just want more government. Political parties are all too willing to use this point of view to their advantage. Even the theoretically more fiscally conservative group, the PCs, never speak about the role of government or how much government is necessary, but instead focus on what the government will do for "you". How it will spend more and more money on countless programs. The problem with government programs is that they are awash in bureaucracy and red-tape. They are inefficient and there is no incentive or mechanism to improve.

So, let's get back to basics. What makes a company successful? A company is successful if it provides products or services more people want and creates more value. The executives who create companies that do this best are also compensated the best. Bill Gates became a billionaire by providing billions of people with technology that improved their lives. No one forced anyone to buy any of Microsoft's products. People willingly chose to buy them, and because Mr. Gates satisfied more people, he received remuneration for that. By doing what he did, he created tens of thousands of jobs, and by increasing productivity, he increased the wealth of the entire country.

Many executives receive very high salaries, but that is because they are creating many multiples of that in value for the company. If they are not creating value for consumers, they don't earn as much money. We should be attracting these people who know how to create business and increase wealth. By doing so, we can employ more people and improve their lives. Why then, is there a knee-jerk reaction to tax them to the hilt which will ultimately force them out?

But let's stop for a second and ask what the logical conclusion of this anti-poverty group would be. They want everyone to earn the same income. They want huge government control, high taxation, etc. This is basically the definition of socialism. So we are really comparing socialism and capitalism. It would be interesting to see what would happen if half the country ran on socialist concepts and the other half ran on capitalist concepts. This would be a good experiment. Fortunately, it has already been done! After World War II, Germany was divided into East and West, Socialist and Capitalist. The results are quite obvious. While East Germans were starving, and risking their lives to escape to West Germany, West Germans were far more successful, and their economy improved dramatically. How many people each year put build a rickety boat and risk their lives to escape the capitalism of Florida to enter the socialism of Cuba? None. But the route the other way is quite busy.

As Nobel Prize Winning Economist Milton Friedman once said, "So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system."

Let's remember that as we try to fight poverty.

Catholics and Political Parties

Ok, as usual I guess, this isn't really a scientifically researched document, but I think it's something that needs to be said.

Catholics usually try to do the right thing. So they can get confused by political rhetoric. Many are falsely led to believe if they care about the poor and less fortunate, they have to support the NDP. Little do they realize the NDP is a strong advocate for most of the moral issues Catholics must object to, including abortion, contraception, embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, etc. It's what Catholics Answers calls the non-negotiables.

But some Catholics support the NDP because of its declaration that it will help the poor and less fortunate, and tax the greedy corporations to pay for all the social programs. I say, don't be fooled.

Do some research and you will find that you do not have to compromise between morals and helping the poor. In fact, more right-wing parties are generally better for both.

I came to realize that when government gets involved, it doesn't help the poor in the long run or in any real way, but very clearly makes things worse. The list of things is almost innumerable. Suffice it to say more freedom means more prosperity for everyone, and conversely, more government control usually makes everyone worse off.

For example, we spend so much on education in this province, but we don't consider ways of improving it or getting more bang for our buck. The way it is now, the government have a complete monopoly on education. Because of this, there is no real mechanism for improvement. If the schools are terrible or wasteful or doing a terrible job, they continue to be funded. School choice would improve things.

Minimum wage sounds wonderful, but it actually prevents lower-skilled workers from entering the work-force because their skills do not justify a wage at or above the minimum, and they become unemployed. While unemployed or on welfare, they do not improve in experience or skill, so they never increase in value. They are then permanent members of the welfare program.

I could go on with many more examples.

But look at the properity brought to many Asian countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, etc. which used to be poor, but they employed capitalism and the lot of the everyman increased.

Anyway, the basic point I'm trying to make here is that a conservative or right-wing party can be the best of both worlds. Don't be fooled by vague references to "helping the poor", etc.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Principles

Just wanted to talk briefly about principles and how I think they are lacking in much of our society. This is not necessarily an overt religious article, but our religion informs our morality, so in that sense it is.

I find all too often, people sacrifice principles because a subjectively "good" end has been achieved. One such example is from the US, where Obama ordered the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen living in Yemen. Many people believe he was an evil person bent on the destruction of the United States, and I'm not here to argue whether or not he was.

The problem with the scenario, is that as an American citizen, Al-Awlaki is entitled to a trial before he is executed, regardless of where he is located in the world. Obama chose to ignore this and decided this man was better off dead.

What I'm talking about is principles. Many people rejoice at the death of a terrorist, and I'm not here to talk about that. I'm not a pacifist and believe countries have a right to defend themselves, but I find people are far too comfortable with saying that what happened was legally wrong, but oh well, we killed a bad guy so there's nothing wrong with that.

But this violates the entire purpose of due process and the law in the first place. The legal system was established not to treat our friends properly, but to uphold the rights of our worst enemies. Once we start ignoring the law and arbitrarily deciding who is protected by it or not, then it ceases to be a "law", and becomes more of a whim.

This man was not convicted, he was only suspected. That's why countries like Canada and the US have court systems. Even Jeffrey Dahmer, or Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka received a trial and were sentenced according to the law. No one would argue that these are good upstanding citizens. Indeed, most believe they are evil and reprehensible. Yet even for these individuals, there is a trial in an official court of law.

I'm sure not too many people would shed many tears if Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered after what he did, but does that give the government the right to assassinate him in the absence of real evidence in a court of law?

Once we go to this point, we start using vigilante justice, and the whole legal system is in jeopardy.

Michael Coren & Tanya Gralic Allan: Thomas or Tammy? An 8 Year Old's Se...



How disgrace are the actions of these parents! Michael Coren is absolutely right, they should be charged with a crime, and this child should be taken away. How did they even end up with this child? They are two lesbians, so it obviously wasn't an act of love between the two of them that produced this child. It was probably some sort of adoption or in vitro fertilization or something. And the woman is right too. Kids might ask for anything. They might want to be anything, but that doesn't make it right. It could be horribly wrong. And this really is.

Did you know that some people have a psychological desire to amputate limbs? Do we believe it's good to give in to these demands? Some people actually believe they are certain animals. Should plastic surgery be used to transform them? The answer is obvious.

This is not just an isolated incident. Things like IVF, surrogate motherhood, and other types of immoral sexual activity have bred a society which can accept or allow this type of grotesque thing to happen. It occurs when we believe we create life and that we control it. We need to have far more respect for life and dignity.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

World Youth Day Numbers from Madrid 2011

Earthquake in Washington, DC and Joe Biden Said What?!

Inequality Grows As Poor, Ignorant Atheists Swamp US | Via Meadia

Article here

Christine O’Donnell says masturbation, not gay marriage led to CNN walk off

A few days ago, I posted an article about an interview featuring Christine O'Donnell, where the host was asking her about gay marriage. At the time I said her subsequent walk-off was inappropriate and that she should have stuck around to answer Piers Morgan's questions. However, I will have to slightly change my opinion on the matter after I have discovered new information.

Apparently Piers was totally fixated on asking Ms. O'Donnell every imaginable question about sexuality, and most of it involving sexual immorality. Christine was a good guest and kept answering all of his questions, even though she did not come on the show to exclusively talk about how much sexual immorality she condones. Anyway, after he relentlessly asked the same types of questions, she finally walked off the set.

Unfortunately, the media is portraying this as innocent Piers asking her one little question about gay marriage and Christine O'Donnell just getting up and walking away. However, there is a lot of back-story.

Article here from Examiner.com

New Doctor of the Church: San Juan de Ávila



This is really amazing news. It's a very rare occurrence that a new Doctor of the Church is named. "Doctor" comes from Latin and actually means "teacher". In the Catholic Church, a person is assigned the title "doctor" if their contributions in writing have been vast and influential.

The title first started to be used in 1298 when the original four doctors were named, Sts. Gregory the Great, Ambrose, Augstine, and Jerome. Their writings on doctrine and teaching were very influential and are often quoted today by churchmen.

Until 1970, the title belonged exclusively to men, but in that year two women, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa of Avila were given that title. In 1997, St. Térèse de Lisieux became the third woman so honored.

Now, fourteen years later, St. John of Avila will become the 34th such individual. Some reports have stated that the designation is not yet official but that Pope Benedict is simply intending it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lots Of Work To Do

Communion in the Hand

Who needs a Creator when you've got gravity? (OneNewsNow.com)

Article here

ABC's "What Would You Do?" Buy Me Condoms



This one is similar to the last I posted, but it's about condoms, and not Plan B. This time the actor is a young man. Of course most people buy the condoms for him or just say they're too busy or something. But then a Catholic emerges and defends the teaching of the Church. Happily, the program presents this as a good thing, even if with a tinge of humour. Fast forward to around 5:30 to get to the good one.

ABC's "What Would You Do?" Buy Me Plan B

What would you do is unfortunately getting worse... As you probably know it's a show to catch on camera real people's reactions to various controversial situations.

Anyway this one is about an abortifacient known as Plan B. Yet this fact about Plan B is not mentioned. Almost everyone "helps" the girl get Plan B from the pharmacist. Two people object, but it's not for moral reasons.

The whole story makes Plan B seem like a great thing and the people who get it for the girl are depicted as loving and caring individuals. That may be their motivation, but what they are objectively doing is sinful. They are providing the young girl with a way to abort the embryo in her body, if there is one, and that is murder.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Catholic News Roundup 08-18

Shut up, Socialists! 08-18

Put people ahead of profits, Pope says



Over the past several months, I have been learning more about economic theory, and have been especially influenced by Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell. They are economists who are very concerned about helping the poor and improving the lot of ordinary people. So it may surprise you to know that they advocate free market capitalism and the end to artificial barriers in trade.

I have not heard the pope speak directly, but his words are being widely reported. The pope allegedly condemned the profit-at-all-costs mentality and in fact cited it as a cause for the economic woes experienced in Spain. However, I must disagree with this stance. No system to our knowledge has done more to help the low person on the totem pole than capitalism. All other systems have failed the poor. On the other extreme, we have communism, where millions of poor people perished, with so much waste and mismanagement.

On the other hand, we see the effects of capitalism in Hong Kong, a desperately poor rock at the tip of China, once overwhelmed by poverty. The British took over and allowed free-market capitalism to reign free. The government did not offer support of benefits, just enforced basic laws. The result: the average person gained in wealth, and some individuals became extraordinarily wealthy.

The problem in Spain is not capitalism, but the leftist policies that have been adopted. In 1996, José María Aznar became Prime Minister of Spain. He enacted many conservative economic policies. The unemployment rate plummeted to 7.6% (compared to today's 20%).

Aznar moved to privatize many previously government-owned entities to increase efficiency.

Aznar also faced the powerful civil servant unions and froze their wages. This of course sparked their ire and protests ensued. But it was a good economic policy. Less government is the key.

The prime minister also attempted to help people by ending the tax-payed subsidies on the coal industry in the country. This would allow cheaper fuel to enter into the market and thus people would need to spend less on it. This would increase the real value of their money. Unfortunately the coal mining companies dramatically protested this and blocked off all the highways. This effectively ended the debate, but the people were all worse off for it, except maybe the coal miners.

Later, the government tried to end farming subsidies, which would benefit everyone except farmers in the short term. Also, they tried to adjust the welfare system so that it would be harder for recipient to turn down jobs. These reforms were met with violent protest and thus never got off the ground.

The government also attempted to pass legislation that would allow more choice in schools and would be based on merit, etc. People again reacted against this proposal, as they believed it might lead to some arbitrary "inequality".

There are so many socialist problems happening in Spain at the moment. Unions are far too powerful and there is too much government intervention. The problem is not with free-market capitalism. A free market system would allow people to get the best prices for products and services, not pay artificially high rates. Exports would increase and unemployment would go down. People would be better educated because they would have free choice in schools, and thus increase the wage they could earn.

It seems the only reason Spain is in the economic mess that it is is because of its socialistic economic policies.

Groundbreaking series on Catholicism to air on PBS this fall

Article from Catholic News Agency (CNA)

I can`t wait!! I`ve watched many Fr. Barron YouTube clips over the past couple of years. This amazing achievement is a 10 part series, which will air on PBS. It`s also available for purchase, where you can get a study guide and more.

The website for the series is http://www.catholicismseries.com/

Nuclear units still best for children

Article in the Herald Sun

So apparently there are some sensible Aussies left. Why do I say this? Well, I have seen a lot of news stories coming from the land down under concerning IVF and other immoralities, and they seem to have pushed quite far in this frontier. Now a prominent politician is having a baby which was achieved through a number of immoral actions. The baby is as innocent as any baby, but the way in which this woman went about it is very immoral, objectively speaking.

But this article presents a good defense to traditional thought on marriage and some good reasons why it ought to only ever be between a man and a woman.

Christine O'Donnell Walks Off Piers Morgan Interview

First of all, I didn`t realize Christine O`Donnell was Catholic, so that`s good anyway. But this interview is just terrible. Piers Morgan is just asking her a question which deals with a controversial subject, namely gay marriage. But for some reason, Michelle refuses to say anything about it, and then walks off stage.

If you are going to have a position about proper morals on issues such as marriage, sex, etc. you must have the ability to enunciate them properly. To just walk off a talk show because the host asks a question is a very bad idea. All it ends up doing is making her seem as though she has no idea what she`s talking about. It`s as though her position on gay marriage has no basis whatsoever.

People, especially politicians, have a duty to be informed about major political issues. In general, if you are an advocate of something, you should at least have some ability to present or defend it.

Here`s the video:

Protect humans, not just animals, bishop in Congo urges

Article from Catholic Culture

Humans must always come before animals in the order or importance. If a wild animal is a threat, it must be destroyed. Obviously, God created animals and all of nature, but they do not occupy the same place of importance as each human being with an immortal soul. This article is about monkeys severely attacking some workers in Congo, but they are protected species. This could be another example of Western interference, forcing Congo to recognize this animal as endangered, and then disallowing legitimate protection of humans. Any person is more valuable than even the last remaining one of these monkeys.

New York Times Abortion Story Shows How IVF Not About Children | LifeNews.com

Article from LifeNews.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Milton Friedman - Population and Ecology

Even Milton Friedman, the Nobel prize winning economist with no stake in religion, does not believe in the overpopulation myth, and this was back in the 70s when people were having more babies than they are now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Seek the Truth

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Craziness has reached a new high

So apparently not satisfied at their current reputation as being crazy, Planned Parenthood has decided to take things a step further and celebrate the forced insurance policy coverage of contraception with Bollywood dancers. I should correct myself, only 2 or 3 of the 25 person dancing troupe are Indian, the rest look like white feminists.

So now everyone has to pay for everyone else's birth control, no matter what. Other stuff, like medically necessary stuff, are not covered, but birth control is. Using birth control is morally wrong. For those who do not care about sexual morality, one good reason why it's immoral is that you are curtailing or frustrating a normal, healthy part of the body and that's self-abuse. A couple engaging in contracepting sex is withholding their sexuality from their partner. That union is not really a union, but almost just mutual masturbation.

Get real people, Margaret Sanger was an avowed eugenicist who considered the black population a problem that had to be solved by birth control. But since everyone started using it, all the stuff it was supposed to make better just got much much worse.

I hope Margaret Sanger went to heaven when she died, but people should know about history and realize what Planned Parenthood stands for.

Here's the article, and make sure to check out some of the comments. Some of the ones I read were really funny.

Planned Parenthood Goes Bollywood to Celebrate New Birth Control Guidelines - National - The Atlantic Wire

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Groups: Obama Admin Decision Violates Catholic Conscience Rights | LifeNews.com

Article

Religious liberty & the case against gay 'marriage'

This guy's Baptist, but I think it's appropriate for Catholic audiences. He makes some really awesome points. Those who are pushing a brand-new definition of marriage that isn't really valid anyway are not simply out for equally, they want complete domination. They want everyone to just shut up and not express their opinion and those who do are attacked in various ways.

Baptist Press - FIRST-PERSON: Religious liberty & the case against gay 'marriage' - News with a Christian Perspective

Good book for Catholics who consider themselves homosexual

New Release Simplifies Catholic Church's Views on Homosexuality; Book by James B. Lloyd | Benzinga.com

Mad scientists create sperm from stem cells

Scientists that would make Frankenstein blush have created sperm cells using stem cells in mice. I can't really explain the science, but basically they want to make sperm out of other cells. Of course, this is absolutely insane and immoral, but as usual, we will defer to the scientific community to see if it's ok to do this, even though science has absolutely no moral character and is utterly incapable of telling the morality of an action.

As usual, the general populace are like a frog in gradually heating water. First it was contraception, then in-vitro fertilization, then surrogacy, and it just keeps on going on. We have sperm banks and people donate eggs. Kids don't even know their parents and they are the real losers in all of this.

It's all just so sad.

Yet another attack on religious freedom

Contraception mandate tramples religious freedom, US bishops say :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anglicanism: a case study in moral relativism

The modern Anglican Church accepts openly gay bishops who live with their "lover", gay marriage, and the use of contraception within marriage. That's not to mention female priests and bishops plus many other issues.

But how did they get here? I was just looking back at some of the Lambeth Conferences that they've had over the years. This is roughly equivalent to an ecumenical council in the Catholic Church. After splitting from Rome, the Anglican Church managed to uphold most Christian doctrines, but suddenly in 1930 that began to change, and very quickly.

The change is truly astonishing and just goes to show the destructive power of moral relativism. It also shows the veracity of the statement "stand for something or fall for anything." Sadly, that's what happened to the Anglicans.

So what happened?

At the 1920 Lambeth conference, they completely rejected all forms of contraception even within marriage. Look at the uncompromising language used:

We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception, together with the grave dangers - physical, moral and religious - thereby incurred, and against the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In opposition to the teaching which, under the name of science and religion, encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must always be regarded as the governing considerations of Christian marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage exists, namely the continuation of the race through the gift and heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control.

It's shocking and hard to believe that just 10 short years later, the Anglican communion would disavow their previous comments and break from their own tradition, so clearly laid out so recently. In 1930, they became the first mainstream Christian church that accepted birth control, although at the time it was limited to married couples for certain reasons.

How could they be so clear in 1920, then reverse their position a decade later?

From there, it was a free fall of moral laxity. In 1958, the reaffirmed the use of birth control.

In 1968 there were more big changes. They began recommending women to the priesthood and the diaconate. They also endorsed "open communion". This is interesting because it seems their doctrines were so shaky and minimized that any less than open communion would appear illogical.

In 1988, they began accepting women to the role of bishop, although this continues to be debated in the various autonomous churches.

In 1998, something odd happened. The conference declared that homosexual actions were incompatible with Scripture. This was voted on and only succeeded narrowly. However, after this statement was issued, many Anglican bishops around the world issued apologies to their gay and lesbian parishioners. This shows the inherent division the Anglican communion is currently experiencing.

Of course, it must be noted that many priests and bishops in the Anglican Communion are far more traditional than others. Often these more conservative leaders come from Africa, and there is a huge split in the church.

I think the goal of the Anglican Church has been to please people, to become popular, but this strategy has backfired. The Anglican Church is not growing. I think the reason is that people either want the truth or they don't. They don't want an accommodated truth which cannot offend anyone. If someone is against the Christian faith, they will not accept a watered-down version of it. Conversely, someone who wants real Christian meat and potatoes will not settle for anything less than the real thing. The Anglican Church is trying to appeal to a group of people that really doesn't exist.

A few years ago, Pope Benedict created a way for Anglicans to make the transition to Catholicism easier and many thousands have taken up the offer. Let's hope more Anglicans are able to find a home with Rome.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Intelligent Design vs. Creationism

Revealed Theology, Natural Theology, and the Darwinist Concoction of “ID/Creationism.” | Uncommon Descent

Friends Don t Let Sociologists Do Theology | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Article by Mark Shea

World Youth Day organizers say Michael Voris catechesis not approved

Article by Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Disobedient women...

I like this article. Not because it is showcasing disobedient women who care nothing about legitimate authority in the Church, but because it presents both sides, and seems fairly objective. I also find it funny that this so called Roman Catholic Womenpriests has only 120 members in the whole world. It's barely worth talking about. You could find a group of 120 or more people who believe virtually anything.

The Catholic Church is not "forbidding" women from being priests because they are backward and outdated, it's because Jesus Christ did not ordain any women to the priesthood. He could have chosen his own mother as an apostle. She certainly was devoted enough to him, perhaps more than anyone up until he was crucified. Also, when the priest lifts up the Eucharist and says "This is my body", he is acting in Persona Christi, in the person of Christ, and Christ's maleness was essential to him.

The priesthood is not about power, as some wrongly believe. It's about being a servant and going even to death to serve others. Some people classify the Catholic Church as male-dominated or something along those lines, but really the priests have the hardest job. Even if a man thought the priesthood was about power, he would seem unfit to be a priest himself. Plus, not all men can be priests either. Like one of the women in this article, many of the people who disobey the Church when it comes to female ordination, also oppose the Church on many other topics, such as a celibate clergy or on sexual matters.

Pope John Paul II said we should not even discuss the topic of women ordination, and many theologians believe it is an infallible teaching of the Church. We would be better off putting our efforts elsewhere.

Article:
Women called to the priesthood » Ventura County Star

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Unwilling to Care

People just want comfort these days, and I'm probably no different. One area where this is manifested is in confronting struggles of others, including the loss of a loved one. It's quite popular these days for people to downplay someone's death or to simply explain it away. They do not allow themselves to even be shocked, let alone grieve.

A couple of days ago, the singer Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27. A told a friend about it on an internet chat service. His immediate reaction was surprise, but quickly after he simply said it was expected. It was no longer a sad event to him or even something he should care about. He simply brushed it off as being "expected" and that was that.

Same thing happens often times when a loved one passes away. Instead of grieving, the whole process is quickly dismissed by using some easy explanation. Often after the first few minutes of surprise, the person will simply explain it away as "the person was old, they lived a good life" or something along those lines. The individual no longer feels the need to grieve, because well that's just how things are.

I don't really know what the root cause of this is. It could be a couple of factors. One is that people see the gravity of things as being connected to their emotions. If their emotions tell them to be sad, they will be sad, but if not, then they dismiss the event as "not that important".

But more importantly I think people really fear sadness. They would rather just have fun and not have to worry about big topics. They want the world to be orderly and they don't want their daily routine to be altered.

Despite the fact that Amy Winehouse was a drug and alcohol user, her death is still tragic and ought to be responded to with sadness rather than a complete lack of concern.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

'Facebooking Father' to become Canada's youngest bishop

That's the headline from CBC. Tonight on the National they did a surprising story on this priest, soon-to-be-bishop, discussing how he will become the second youngest bishop in the world and youngest in Canada.

Fr. Thomas Dowd is only 40 years old and is highly involved with social media such as Facebook. He wants to reach out to younger generations, which really would include his own in the Catholic Church.

Of course, the usual riff-raff is back with their vitriolic comments. At the mere mention of the word "Catholic", many are sent into a frenzy of insults, each trying to outdo the other in the negative things they can say about the Catholic Church. It has become an absolute fixation. There's a positive, inspiring story about a Catholic man and people can't even see the good in it. All they can do is don their judgment hat and lash out at the Church. It's really a sad state of affairs.

We all know abuse occurred in the Catholic Church and its a great tragedy, but at some point people go from concern for victims to declaring all out war on a large, visible religious institution. Logic can take a back seat to this anger. This is despite the fact that abuse in Catholic Churches is certainly no worse than in other places, especially of late. Very few cases have emerged in the past 25 years. Yet, we never hear the same vitriol concerning an article about teachers or swim coaches.

Imagine if there was a story about a 40 year old man who was going to become the superintendent of a school district. I seriously doubt anyone would be lobbing insult-cocktails at this article. No one would imply that this man was somehow responsible for abuse in schools.

Is it possible that people react so strongly to stories about the Catholic faith for a deeper reason? Perhaps they are trying to undermine the moral authority of the Church so they don't have to feel bad about sinning? They attack the Church thinking if they can hate the Church enough, their consciences will not bother them as much. I could be barking up the wrong tree, but I do wonder about it.

Like I said, bringing up statistics about other groups of people and the fact that they commit acts of abuse does not seem to change the tone of the Church-bashers. I know a lot of evil occurred in the Church, but it also did in many other places, yet none of these places are attacked. I'm not saying two wrongs make a right, I'm just wondering why people are focusing solely on the Catholic Church. I think once people admit their reason, we will gain great insight.



Article here

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bishops praise injunction continuing Catholic foster care in Illinois

Article

Catholic News Roundup

It's sad to see that even though this Catholic News Roundup segment is produced in the US, half the articles are focused on Canada. The most recent one is the NDP trying to shut down Christian charities that let people with same-sex attraction know there is another option, and that is to live a virtuous life and that they don't have to accept homosexual propaganda. The NDP wants to shut down all such groups. I'm glad the NDP has no real power.

Consequentism and Sin

Consequentialism is the belief that an action or omission is not sinful in and of itself, but can only be considered morally wrong based on its external effects.

Although the term consequentialism is not an everyday one, the philosophy is dangerously common. In fact, in common parlance, this perspective is employed most of the time when decrying the evils of an act. However, our Christian faith makes it impossible for us to logically hold such a point of view.

Examples of the consequentialist belief system are all too common in our world. Here are just a few:

1) Pornography is considered bad by some because of its potential to breed rapists and to cause men to treat women poorly. However, many would contend that without these ill consequences, there is nothing wrong with a man who engages in viewing such material. This is a consequentialist point of view. Pornography is bad in itself, not because of some negative effect it may have. The effects only make it worse. It is bad because it distorts the marital act and turns it into something selfish, when it is meant to be something which is shared between spouses.

2) In-Vitro Fertilization is considered a good thing by many because the consequence is the birth of a child. This is despite the fact that many babies often must die for this one to be born. The evil is overlooked because of a good consequence. But to bring this point even further, even if in-vitro fertilization did not involve the killing of one or several embryos, it would still be evil, because it separates the procreative aspect of the marital act from the unitive one.

3) Gay marriage and children is often debated on the basis of how well the kids are raised in this type of relationship versus a traditional family. It is argued that if the kids end up okay, then same-sex parents should have the same right to raise kids as opposite-sex parents. But once again, this is a form of consequentialism. The same-sex couple is inherently infertile and is at odds with natural marriage which is life-giving. Plus, a parent deserves to be raised by his parents. This is his natural right. By allowing children to be raised with possibly one parent and a same-sex lover, we are denying a child his right to be raised in a life-giving and natural environment.

These are three among thousands of examples of how people employ consequentialism in everyday life. A much stronger argument does not use this faulty logic, but rather relies on objective good and evil.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

BioEdge: IVF child to have grandma, but no pa and no ma

This is a very disturbing story which highlights our society's obsession over personal fulfillment and going to any length to achieve it.

A 44-year old woman whose son died, decided to have his sperm extracted from his dead body and then used to fertilize the egg of some random woman and then the zygote implanted into yet another woman, a surrogate. This frankensteinian mix-and-match project was done to provide this woman with a grandchild. Forget the dignity owed to a corpse, or the immorality of using sperm and ova in this way, this woman wanted a grandchild and by golly she'll get one.

I'm sure it'll be such a touching moment when this baby is born and asked where she came from. Instead of the tried and true story of "mommy and daddy love each other a lot and came together and through a miracle, you were born". The baby is then given some chocolate chip cookies and goes to bed with a smile on her face.

No, her story will be far different.

"Come over here and let me tell you how you were born: You daddy died, and without his permission, I had sperm from his corpse removed. Scientists in white lab coats then took his sperm and fused it together with a strange woman's (who you don't know) egg. This was then implanted into another woman, who you also don't know, and you grew inside her. Every day she fed you through your umbilical cord. But once you were born, you were ripped away from this baby-making-factory of a woman and given to me. Thus my goal of having a grandchild was accomplished. Thank you for letting me put a check mark next to that goal on my list. You asked if your mommy and daddy love you. Well, your daddy had no idea you would ever be born, he never intended it, and he wasn't involved in any way. Only his corpse was, involuntarily of course. As for your mommy, well we have no idea who she is. She got paid a few hundred dollars to give us her ova which we used to conceive you in a laboratory. The main thing is you give me a personal sense of fulfillment."

Children are a gift from God, not a commodity or something you "order" like a new car or a cheeseburger. Why don't we try to have more respect for life.

BioEdge: IVF child to have grandma, but no pa and no ma

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ireland attacks confessional secrecy after Catholic sex abuse scandal | FaithWorld

In an article from Reuters, they are contending that the Irish Prime Minister wants to revoke the right of secrecy for priests in the confessional. This is obviously a major violation of religious freedom in the country. All over the world, laws are in place giving a priest special permission to withhold information disclosed during a confession.

Forcing a priest to reveal information given in a confessional will fall flat on its face for a number of reasons.

1) People tell priests all of their sins. Part of the reason they are so open and honest is that they know they're not going to be ratted out to the police if they've done something wrong. If the secrecy was threatened, people would just avoid going to the priest to confess their sins. They would probably wait until they were in another place where the secrecy was maintained.

2) A priest is under oath to never reveal anything heard in a confessional, EVER. There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if his life is threatened, he cannot spill the beans on a penitent's sins. Therefore, no threat from the government or anyone else will make priests break this commitment. If they do, they will be defrocked and only the priests who can keep a secret will remain in ministry.

3) A priest, upon hearing about a serious crime, can advise a penitent to go to the police. He can hold a penitent to this promise or withhold absolution if he does not. Therefore, the priest often will act in favor of the police. However, by not enforcing secrecy, penitents won't even make the first step and so the priest will have no influence.

4) The connection between a priest and a penitent is very intimate. A person tells the priest his innermost thoughts, things he would tell no one else. Forcing a priest to repeat what he hears in a confessional is the same as forcing a person to reveal their thoughts or feelings under threat of penalty. This kind of thing only happens in barbaric states.

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Many priests have met their end refusing to disclose a confession to some authority, including Fr. Andreas Faulhaber, Fr. Francis Vernon Douglas, St. John Nepomuk, and many others. If you know of other priests in this situation, please list them in the comments. We join our prayers to their that the persecution of the Church ends.

Here is the article for more information:

Ireland attacks confessional secrecy after Catholic sex abuse scandal | FaithWorld

What did the Pope really say about Harry Potter?

Free Colorado: The Pope and Harry Potter

The Associated Press: Vatican adviser urges tougher stance with China

Article

The Satanist on the path to sainthood | CatholicHerald.co.uk

The Satanist on the path to sainthood | CatholicHerald.co.uk

UN finally reverses its position on "overpopulation"

The United Nations Population Fund is admitting that overpopulation is not the problem, and that in fact, the greatest fear is that fertility rates are declining everywhere in the world, except for 16% of places, such as Africa. Elsewhere, there are issues with not enough population.

I'm very glad to see this change of tone from the UN.

Article here:

Friday Fax: Unfounded Population Fears Result in New UN Campaign Messaging

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

The latest from Fr. Corapi: July 11, 2011

End of An Era « The Black SheepDog

Irish 'Catholics"

Ok, so Michael Voris made this movie about Catholicism in Ireland. In it, he interviews a large number of people, two dozen according to him, on the topic of their faith.

I would like to respond by saying I think it is overly pessimistic. For example, at the end of the video, he says that was in Ireland in terms of religion "for 1500 years has been nearly totally destroyed in less than 40." He says it appears at the current rate, the faith will be extinct in Ireland soon.

But one of the interesting things is that at the beginning he says only one person actually goes to Mass by their own volition out of the 24. But in fact, more like 3 said they would keep going. And many others were sort of infrequent attendees to Mass. Probably about half or more maintained some connection with the Church. However, if you were to just listen to Michael Voris, you would get the impression every single person is atheist.

Some did say they were atheist, but I think Ireland presents great opportunities for the spread of the faith. Many people may not have been die-hard evangelists, but many were open to different things. These people need to be invited to go to Mass, events, and other gatherings. These things can strengthen faith.

Michael does say people have to act now to make sure the Catholic faith in Ireland grows, and I agree, but I think he has a tendency to be overly negative.

Catholic News Roundup 07-11

Discrimination of lower caste Christians in India

To sum up this article, in the Indian caste system, which has officially been eliminated but continues to be a part of life in India, there is a group of people known as the Dalits or untouchables. They fall outside the four main castes and are usually forced to perform the most menial or degrading of jobs.

Anyway, in an attempt to help Dalits, the government created a special program where Dalits could take advantage of various societal programs such as healthcare and education. This was first extended to Hindu Dalits, and also to Sikh Dalits, and Buddhist Dalits, but it has not been extended to Christian Dalits. This forces them to make some rather unpleasant choices. I.e. Either renounce their faith or renounce societal benefits.

There's a massive rally to demonstrate against this scheduled. Let's hope it works out.

Discrimination forces Dalits to leave church, says Catholic bishop | Ekklesia

Important news about Medjugorje

I know some people who are interested in Medjugorje, but I think there are some issues that need to be addressed. The apparitions and the information surrounding them are very suspect. Although the Vatican hasn't issued a general ban from the site, it has issued many cautionary edicts for people. It certainly hasn't received the Vatican's stamp of approval. I know it's an extremely popular site, but my advice for what it's worth is to focus on approved apparitions, of which there has been over a dozen. Check out the article:

Pope suspends Medjugorje priest amid complaints that Virgin Mary sightings were faked - Beliefnet News

Homosexuality and the Bible–Twisting the Truth

Article here

Shocking article about single motherhood

Casey Anthony — Single Mom of the Year! (by Ann Coulter) - Watchwoman on the Wall

Keep in mind that the views expressed by Ann Coulter are not necessarily mine. I just think she brings out some important information in her article.

Catholic Church explores Crystal Cathedral bid

This is pretty amazing. The Crystal Cathedral is a very large church and is quite nice. So now the Catholic Church has put a bid in on it after it went bankrupt. They put a bid of $46 million. After acquiring it, if that's what happens, the Church will probably do a lot of renovations to include statues, a proper altar, etc.

Catholic Church explores Crystal Cathedral bid – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

Great refutation on a stupid CNN article about Catholics and Abortion

CNN Contributor: Catholics Don't Think Abortion is 'Much of a Sin' | NewsBusters.org

Thursday, June 30, 2011

If Steven Greydanus didn't write this article about gay marriage, I probably would have.

I heard something along these lines before and I must say I very much agree. When talking about gay marriage, everyone focuses on the gay community and how they are forcing us to accept changing the definition of marriage. Well, as Steven Greydanus argues, we must take some of the blame because of how society in general has changed its view of marriage to something that is completely selfish. I've thought about this before and it really makes a lot of sense. Things don't happen in a vacuum. Sin is a gradual thing which gets slowly accepted, and this is no different. If all Christians lived according to the real definition of marriage, the debate about "gay marriage" probably would not even be happening.

Article here:

Redefining Marriage, Part 1: Who s to Blame? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I guess his second tweet will be Happy Birthday to me, hehe

Pope Sends His First Tweet : The Two-Way : NPR

It's my birthday today.

Dear followers of this blog,

Thanks for being with me these past several years, over 5 now I think. Today is my birthday and I turn 29!

If you're really tempted to send me a birthday gift, hehe, then you can do so by making a donation to this blog. I know, I know, this is a shameless plug for donations. But don't feel obligated! It would just help out a lot!

To make a donation, click below:





Sunday, June 26, 2011

This Film is Not Yet Rated

So I watched (most) of a documentary called This Film is Not Yet Rated. To sum it up, it is interviews with a bunch of filmmakers who are complaining about the MPAA rating system, which rates a movie in the US as G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17.

Most of the doc revolves around the upset caused to filmmakers when they receive an NC-17 rating as opposed to R.

After seeing this documentary, I am very glad such a system exists. In fact, it seems many of the directors of films are bent on exposing more and more people at younger ages to greater levels of depravity all the time. If it wasn't for this ratings board, films would be a total wild west of filth.

The arguments presented against the NC-17 rating were completely nonsensical. They said stuff like why can't we show pubic hair in R movies, when violence is allowed there! One guy, John Waters, basically said that since kids nowadays look at pornography, why not just let them watch anything in films!

Keep in mind, this film was against the rating system and these directors were there to show why its such a stupid system. Well, this documentary had the opposite effect on me. The directors just seemed so full of themselves. They mocked any traditional notion of morality, and considered anyone with a moral fiber in their being to be outdated. They spoke about concerned parents in the most condescending way.

One director, who did American Psycho, laughed at the idea that sexual representations on film can have any impact on people whatsoever, and she ridiculed the idea that violence is sometimes accepted but on-screen sexuality is often not accepted. She then pushed her theory further by ridiculing the idea that depictions of gay sex could possibly be negative.

I'm not sure where any of these people live, but they are not normal folks. The MPAA however rates its movies with the help of real parents, mostly mothers. These concerned parents look at films and give them ratings based on certain criteria.

Some said this was a form of censorship. But the movies are not being censored, only rated.

I, for one, am glad such a system exists. I like to know the level of violence and nudity present in a film before I rent it. I would not like to rent a movie thinking it's a family classic, only to later realize it's full of violence and explicit sexuality.

I believe the system works, and the vast majority of people polled feels it is a good system to have. I believe the directors and producers who have a problem with the system need to come back to Earth. Real people have morals, often informed by their religious faith. This needs to be respected, rather than ridiculed.

P.S. I am adding in later. But I forgot to mention, one of the parts of the documentary that emerged later was that two members of the clergy, one Catholic and one Episcopalian, participate in some capacity in the review process of films. One person interviewed said they have no part in the voting process and that they just observe, nothing more, but another anonymous person who was involved says they cast a vote. Anyway, the documentary seemed particularly concerned with this development. One guy says the relationship between churches and censorship is "palpable".

The movie concludes by revealing the names of Appeal Board Members which was supposed to be kept secret.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 22, 1955 CATHEDRAL RAISED TO THE RANK OF MINOR BASILICA BY POPE.

This is the mother church for my area in St. John's. It happened about 100 years after the church was consecrated.

June 22, 1955 CATHEDRAL RAISED TO THE RANK OF MINOR BASILICA BY POPE. | The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness

Not sure how I neglected to mention or notice this for so long, but the Archbishop of my diocese of St. John's has a blog, which he seems to update fairly frequently with great quality content. Please check it out:

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness

Ask Me Anything, I Am A Roman Catholic Archbishop - Connect with Mark Kelley

This is something I just came across and it is very interesting. It's called Ask Me Anything, and this time Archbishop Currie of St. John's got in front of the camera for CBC to answer any questions people ask him as they walk by.

As expected, nearly everyone just asked the same old questions about the sex abuse cases in the Church. Not only that, most of them asked as if Archbishop Currie himself was responsible. Others asked if it's even safe to be around a priest. It seems society at large is completely fixated on this whole issue. The Catholic Church is only seen in the public eye as a place where sex abuse of minors occurred, even though sex abuse happens everywhere and in many places at higher rates.

People spoke as if they had personally been a victim, even though they did not say they were.

In my opinion, it was kind of sad. I think it's rude and uncalled for for every single person to ask this bishop about the sex abuse case and imply that he and nearly every priest was and is involved. Respect took a back seat for these people.

But no wonder, the media bends over backwards to use every opportunity to talk about the sex abuse crisis in the Church. Even on unrelated matters, it will come up. Basically, if a news story involves the Church in any way, shape, or form, the sex abuse situation will also be talked about.

Of course, I do believe people have a right to information and so on. Plus, I ackowledge that what acutally did happen was very terrible and every precaution should be taken so that it never happens again. To see the video, please click below:

Ask Me Anything, I Am A Roman Catholic Archbishop - Connect with Mark Kelley

As a point of comparison, the CBC also ran an "Ask Me Anything" segment featuring a Muslim woman wearing a niqab, i.e. black clothing which covers her entire body and face. In comparison to the archbishop's interview, the people who approached this Muslim lady were very respectful and only asked inquisitive questions, never accusatory ones. No one was mean or harsh.

No one accused her of being a pawn for terrorists, or asked her what she is doing to stop extremism in her religion. No one asked if her husband is a terrorist or if she is related to one. No one lambasted her for all the people who have died because of terrorist attacks.

Yet, the archbishop, as far as anyone knows, is no more guilty or innocent that this lady. However, the reaction to each is completely different. Don't get me wrong, I do not believe anyone should have asked the above questions to this lady, and I think being respectful is a good thing. I'm just pointing out the double standard.

When it comes to Catholic priests or bishops, guilt is presumed, and proper manners and etiquette are seen as unnecessary. Yet, the utmost respect must be shown to anyone else, such as this Muslim lady. The people are so very cautious not to cause any form of offense to the lady, yet feel free to bash the good bishop.

If you look at the other interviews as well, none come in any way close to the level of anger displayed during the interviews with the archbishop. The seal hunter was treated pretty decently by most of the guests, with the possible exception of the vegetarian at the end.

Oh well, I guess that's the world we live in and why many commentators have pointed out that Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice. It seems everyone is afforded basic civility, except a man wearing a Roman collar.

Here is the segment with the Muslim woman.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No Comment from Archdiocese on Fraud Allegations

This is from my home archdiocese. It's a sad story because the man being charged with defrauding the Church of $500,000 also saved the archbishop's life. Sad and ironic.

VOCM.COM|No Comment from Archdiocese on Fraud Allegations | Article

Interesting?

'Benedictus': Fragrance Created for Pope Benedict XVI - Christian Newswire

Fr. Corapi's order 'saddened' by his choice to leave priesthood

Article from Catholic News Agency (CNA)