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)

New Popemobile

Pope gets Mercedes-Benz M-Class plug-in hybrid | Car Advice | Reviews

Of course all pro-lifers must be guilty of something!

Pro-Lifer Arrested, Reported Odd Package at Planned Parenthood | LifeNews.com

What can an ex-priest do?

I didn't realize the life of an ex-priest was so restricted.

What can an ex-priest do? — UPDATED | The Deacon's Bench

Jimmy Akin's take on new Corapi information

Jimmy Akin has produced a very thorough analysis of new information as it relates to the John Corapi incident. It seems to be a rather tangled web. One thing that really stands out is that the name "Black Sheep Dog" was registered a year ago, before this incident began (3 months ago)... Read the full story in the link below:

New Information on the Fr. Corapi Situation | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Something unexpected happens with Fr. Corapi

Fr. John Corapi has announced that he is leaving the priesthood on the 20th anniversary of his ordination. He will now start a new "ministry" called Black Sheep Dog, which he says will be broader in its approach targeted to not only Catholics, but people from all walks of life.

The reason for this abrupt plan is that Fr. Corapi thinks he is being treated unfairly by his superiors and that he is being silenced. He says in the Church legal system, a person is considered guilty until proven innocent when accusations of a sexual nature are made. He said some people do not want him in ministry, and are thus leaving him to linger until he eventually fades away into oblivion.

Fr. Corapi is fighting this perceived injustice by leaving the priesthood and thus becoming a free agent, not restricted, to teach and preach in whatever way he sees fit. Fr. John Corapi, now or soon to be simply Mr. John Corapi, however, wants to make clear that he does not hate the Church and he is in full obedience to her. He also says that he fully accepts the authority of bishops in this matter, regardless of his personal opinion.

There are many different attitudes in this case, basically ranging from supporting Corapi to seriously opposing his actions. Some say he is right to step away from the priesthood if they are silencing him. That he must continue his important ministry no matter what. Others, however, are saying he should follow the example of Jesus and not fight his accusers.

I've heard similar stories and how certain saints reacted to them. St. Gerard Majella, a Redemptorist, was falsely accused of impregnating a woman. Although he was persecuted for this, he remained silent, until eventually the woman confessed that it wasn't him. Ever since then, Redemptorists have decided not to defend themselves against accusations, but rather suffer through them.

Another case is that of St. Padre Pio. When his fame started to grow, his bishop became worried and put him out of sight. He did not like the attention, and this may have been a legitimate concern. But Padre Pio did not fight against it, he simply did whatever the bishop told him.

So, I have given the examples of Jesus Christ, St. Gerard, and Padre Pio and how they reacted to persecution. I think they provide a great example. However, I am not willing to say what Fr. Corapi did was completely wrong. I have nothing bad to say about this man, and he has taught some very good things over the years. In his estimation, this is his best course of action, and I will leave the judging up to God on that one.

Fr. Corapi does some things which are very good. For example, he forgives his accuser and wishes her well. He says he is still obedient to the Church and respects the decisions of the bishops. He has not abandoned his faith. Perhaps his new ministry will reach a lot of people and create a lot of good.

I wish John Corapi all the best whatever he decides to do.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Priest for St. John's NL

On Wednesday, June 15, 2011, Cecil Critch added "Fr." to his name, after being consecrated a priest by Archbishop Martin Currie. The nearly packed Cathedral-Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John's, Newfoundland was filled with the glorious sounds of the St. Bonaventure's College Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Chamber Choir.

Over 2000 parishioners watched as the archbishop laid his name upon Cecil Critch's head. This is the official action which consecrates him to the priesthood. After the archbishop completed this ancient rite, he was followed by dozens of priests who did the same.

Overall, there were priests from across the province, totaling around 50. Father John Hillier and Dr. Michael Bautista were the witnesses of Fr. Critch's ordination.

This was a truly sacred event, and it all centered around Christ in the Eucharist. The number of priests and laity present evoked a magnificent atmosphere.

Prior to choosing the life of a priest, Cecil was a teacher and principal. Later he became a deacon, and now he is a ministerial priest of Jesus Christ.

After the ordination, there was a reception held at St. Bonaventure's school gymnasium.

God Bless Fr. Critch as he continues his spiritual journey.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If the Westboro Baptist Church did not exist, it would be necessary to create them

The Westboro Baptist Church is a tiny hate-filled church led by Fred Phelps from Topeka, Kansas. Although they boast a mere 71 members, they are probably one of the most well-known Christian churches in the United States or the world. They are known for protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers and desecrating the American flag. They also display placards declaring that "God hates fags".

But how did this minuscule group become so prevalent? Many people would say it is because they are so hateful and they just caught the media's attention. My controversial belief, however, is that some people are glad the Westboro Baptist Church exists. No, I'm not talking about other hateful people. I'm talking about certain atheists.

To atheists, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a perfect example of the dangers of religion. The WBC is how atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens want to portray all believers. The WBC unwittingly makes their point for them.

There are many hate groups out there, from the KKK and other white supremacist groups, so-called black power groups which are basically black supremacist groups, and everything in between. Yet, these groups are rarely portrayed in the media nowadays. On the other hand, the WBC gets plenty of airtime.

Atheists and religion-haters need this group. It's essential. All an atheist has to do to outline the dangers of religion is to say "westboro baptist church", and their point is made. There is no ambiguity. No one would say "yeah, but they also do a lot of good!" In a world of soundbites, the Westboro Baptist Church is very effective. It's something like the unenviable status achieve by McDonald's for anti-globalization advocates. To point out the dangers of globalization, all a group has to do is talk about how an evil profit-hungry organization like McDonald's is destroying the culture of many countries by putting their restaurants there.

The main benefactors of the hateful speech of the Westboro Baptist Church are groups that want to eradicate religion. The church is so tiny, it's not worth even mentioning in a national dialogue, yet they command an incredible presence. This 71-member group has such a strong identity that simply typing "west" in Google will show "Westboro Baptist Church" as the third suggestion. Also, typing "fred" will show the church's founder "Fred Phelps" as the seventh suggestion.

The hope among atheists is to simply associate groups like the Westboro Baptist Church with all religious conservatives. This group, say the atheists, are just one more group among many that are exactly like this. As an example of this, Michael Cobb from the University of Toronto (whose religion is unknown to me) wrote a book called "God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence (Sexual Cultures)". Cobb is using a line from the WBC and using it as the title of his book about "religious violence". He is using the specific case of the WBC to incriminate all religious people.

Using only a small amount of logic will show the falseness of these assertions. If the beliefs of the WBC are so common, why would everyone focus on that tiny group? Why not choose a group that has a million members, not a microscopic 71.

Perhaps the Westboro Baptist Church is so pleased with its fame that it never bothers to ask where it came from and who it serves.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bach - Cantata "Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut" BWV 173: I. Sinfonia

This piece was written for Pentecost Monday (today). It also happens to be one of my favorites from Bach.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Whitewash - homosexuality and sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church

Catholic News Roundup 06-08

Should we sing "Happy Birthday" during Mass?

Answer here

Controversial Billboard Targets Abortions by Latinas - Fox News Latino

I don't really consider this controversial. It's the truth. It may be controversial in that people do not want to acknowledge this truth.

Article here

Is is wrong to change ones gender?

Answer from Fr. Vincent Serpa of Catholic Answers Forums

Controversial: Man Places Billboard Criticizing Former Girlfriend’s Abortion

Somehow our society has accepted that not only are abortions legal, but fathers who supply half the baby's genetic material and were instrumental in bringing the child into the world have absolutely no say in what happens to their babies. This is an outrage. This man decided to do something about an injustice he and his child suffered:

Controversial: Man Places Billboard Criticizing Former Girlfriend’s Abortion | CatholicVote.org

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Remembering the Real Jack Kevorkian

Article here from NCRegister.com

What if Rep. Weiner were Fr. Weiner?

Kresta In The Afternoon: What if Rep. Weiner were Fr. Weiner?: "Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows: Priests who engage in lewd conversations with teenagers are suspended from min..."

Gay rights once again trump human rights

To once again refute the argument that gay marriage and classifying gay rights above other rights will have no impact on anyone else, here is an argument showing how it does. Gay men will now be allowed to donate blood in the UK, despite the increased risk that someone will be infected with HIV because of it. The reason? Some believe not allowing gay men to donate blood is "discriminatory", you know, that catch-all term used when gay rights activists don't get their way?

Tests showed that allowing gay men, who have been engaged in homosexual activity in the last 5 years, to give blood would increase the risk of spreading HIV by a little under 5%. By increasing the wait time to 10 years, it would half the risk to a little under 2.5%.

Politicians apparently felt this increased risk was acceptable. The main reason they changed the ruling of no blood from gay men to this is they felt it could be discriminatory. So it seems health and safety concerns take a back seat to perceived gay "rights".

Of course, no one will have the ability to know whether they are receiving the more or less risky blood. That would also constitute discrimination. They should at least allow people to choose the blood supply they use.

This is just one more example of how the gay agenda is producing laws which place gay rights above any and all other rights, whether they be moral or religious or health rights.

We are talking about people's health and safety here. The government had a choice of whether to be more concerned about the health and safety of its citizens or possibly offending some gay activists who believe it is their "right" to give blood. They made their decision in favor of not offending anyone.

What will the government tell its citizens if somebody contracts HIV from this tainted blood? Will they say this innocent victim got HIV because of our stupid laws, but at least we didn't discriminate against gay people.

Some will say there is extensive testing done on all blood. This may be true, but even if accounting for that fact, the risk increases by almost 2.5%.

This is unacceptable.

Source: Homosexual men allowed to give blood but sex banned for decade - Telegraph

Catholic News Roundup 06-07

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011

Jack Kevorkian's death from a Catholic perspective

I wrote about Jack Kevorkian a little over a year ago after a biopic movie was released starring Al Pacino. Here is what I wrote.

Now Kevorkian is dead, not by suicide, but by natural causes. It is always sad when someone dies, no matter what that person chose to do during their lifetime.

Unfortunately, Jack Kevorkian chose to help people end their own lives, which is contrary to human dignity. It also goes against our instincts. If a friend called up and said they were suicidal, our first reaction would be to help that person get through their problem, not to encourage them to commit suicide.

Euthanasia is forbidden in Catholic teaching, for it contravenes the commandment of thou shall not murder. Here is the explanation from the catechism:

Euthanasia

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

Many countries and areas are now pushing for the legal right of people to kill themselves or have doctors or others help them. Many frame this as a "right to die". It is imagined that some people, with full clarity and freedom decide that they would prefer not to live and so who are we to contravene their desires.

Well, the reality is usually much different. Many older people feel like a burden already because they are not contributing financially. Family members often speak about them in the third person even when they are in the room, especially if they are impaired in some way. Some people will make cruel comments, perhaps not realizing their impact. They will talk about how much work it is to care for this older person, where they will go when they cannot be cared for at home, etc. Some will even go so far as to discuss inheritance when that individual dies. They might even talk about funeral arrangements.

I have seen myself people become very frustrated as older people enter the last stage of their lives. They get annoyed by how the older person is acting or speaking and they do not attempt to hide their annoyance at all.

Now we want to introduce assisted suicide. Already feeling like a burden and worthless, many older people will readily accept assisted suicide when the option is presented. Many will probably be coerced into the situation.

It is easy to imagine suicide being presented as the loving option. "Hi grandma, we all know you're in a lot of pain, and the medical bills are really expensive. We are not going to tell you what to do, but we just want to let you know all your options. One of the options is to have a doctor help you pass on with dignity in the way you choose. We can have a living funeral, where you can say goodbye to all your family and friends, and everyone will be here with you when you make that decision. You've done so much over the years and this might be the right time for you. I don't think you want to drag this out any longer. You're already in pain and the medical bills are just piling up. I'm sure you don't want to burden anyone else with that. So grandma, like I said, no one is going to pressure you into anything. It's totally up to you. But we'll be here when you make that decision."

Of course, the scenario presented there is probably a lot nicer than many that are conceivable. Saying those things would certainly not be illegal, and even if someone is coerced into ending their life, who will vouch for that?

The pain argument is also sometimes presented, however this is not a good argument. The reason is that virtually any pain can be controlled with modern technology and medicine. In Catholic teaching, pain medication can be administered even if it is so strong that it could potentially kill the person. That's because the intended effect is to end suffering which is a good thing, but the unintended side effect is the death of the person, therefore because of the law of double-effect, it can be justified. This would of course mean that killing the person could not be the primary motivator or any motivator for that matter. The death must be an unintended secondary effect.

In order to build a Culture of Life, we must respect the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and we must never prematurely take an innocent life.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

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The Badger Catholic: The Contraception Contradiction

Catholic News Roundup 06-01

Encouraging news