Monday, February 27, 2012

Lenten bulletin more about Greenpeace than Catholic spirituality

The picture I've attached here on the blog is the latest bulletin that came out on the first sunday of lent. I think it's totally ridiculous and inappropriate. it looks more like a manifesto from greenpeace or wwf than it does about Catholic spirituality. instead of talking about the corporal works of mercy or the spiritual works of mercy this bulletin focuses on very modern environmental concerns. some people may be attracted to environmental issues like the ones presented in this bulletin but these are not issues of faith and morals. Catholicism is about faith and morals and whether or not we use styrofoam cups has nothing to do with it.

There is not a single suggestion on this 32 suggestion list that has anything to do with something a church father or saint wrote about. we have 20 centuries of catholic teaching and yet not a single thing on this list has anything to do with catholic teaching.

if you read the entire catechism, out of the hundreds of paragraphs you may find 1 that relates to the environment and how we have to treat the environment with respect but this represents only a very tiny and insignificant part of Catholic spirituality.

Catholic spirituality is about saving souls not about saving mother earth. If somebody wants to have a compost in their backyard or if somebody wants to recycle bottles that's their decision but that is not the focus of catholic theology and spirituality.

For an item which appears on the first sunday of lent this is absolutely ridiculous. there's nothing here about obeying the 10 commandments or avoiding the 7 deadly sins or going to mass more often during lent or giving up some sort of sinful behavior during these 40 days which are the true reasons for Lent. Jesus did not go into the desert for 40 days so that he could recycle a plastic bottle.

Somehow I do not recall saint paul speaking about the need to turn your thermostat down to 20 degrees or to bring your own bags to the grocery store. I don't remember saint alphonsus telling us to eat more meat substitutes like tofu. or maybe somebody could tell me where james in his letter tells people to use phosphate-free detergents.

The Catholic Church has over 2000 years of helping people overcome their temptations, their trials, and their sinful behaviors. tens of thousands of books have been written by canonized saints, church fathers and other holy people. why then do we ignore this invaluable tradition and instead focus on modern fads?

that this article appears on the first sunday of lent in a Catholic bulletin is disgraceful. when someone asked Jesus how to get to heaven Jesus never once said use phosphate-free detergents or recycle or have a compost heap. these things are very much secondary and they have nothing to do with Catholic spirituality.

the church is a place were people go for the salvation of their souls, not a place to hear the platform of green peace. by putting these articles front and center in a Catholic bulletin not only does injustice to the parishioners but it does an injustice to Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

the Church was established by Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls not to promote the new fangled environmental movement. let's hope from here on in St. Teresa's can focus on Lent and not on these fads.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Ash Wednesday and beginning of Lent everyone.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI on redistributing wealth

Much has been made about Pope Benedict's alleged call for wealth redistribution in the world. However, he clearly does not advocate such a policy. Here is a quote from the Holy Father:

"The illusion that a policy of mere redistribution of existing wealth can definitively resolve the problem must be set aside. In a modern economy, the value of assets is utterly dependent on the capacity to generate revenue in the present and the future. Wealth creation therefore becomes an inescapable duty, which must be kept in mind if the fight against material poverty is to be effective in the long term," Pope Benedict XVI said in his Jan. 1, 2009, message for the World Day of Peace.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

22 men become cardinals in the catholic church

1 of the 22 is archbishop thomas collins from toronto. 

Watch "Benedict XVI welcomes 22 new cardinals" on YouTube

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentines day and remember next tuesday is the day before ash wednesday which of course is the first day of lent

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm glad there has been a huge backlash against Barack Obama as he tried to override religious freedom by forcing religious groups to cover contraception as part of their "health plan" even if this violated their morality. No other president would think of doing something like this.

The Church is opposed to artificial contraception because it takes something healthy and turns it into something non-functioning. Contraception is the only "medical intervention" which does something like this. Everything else is meant to restore health, not destroy it.

People, on the other hand, can understand their bodies and decide to refrain from sexual relations in order to avoid pregnancy. This is no different than understanding that eating right before bed is a bad idea and refraining from doing so to avoid gaining weight. It would be immoral though to eat a pile of food, then cause yourself to vomit it all up. They both accomplish the same goal, but one does it in a morally licit way.

Anyway, Obama was trying to force Catholic organizations to do this, but they fought back hard. Now he has had to reverse his big-brother autocratic decision in favor of religious freedom. Obama also wants to remove conscience rights which people enjoy which allows them to refrain from performing immoral actions.

Obama needs to leave. He does not respect religious freedom.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Gay marriage

On my facebook, every second post seems to be about people advocating gay marriage or homosexuality in general. They say how dare society try to restrict the definition of marriage. They say people who oppose gay marriage are bigots. But here is my question. Obviously, every word has a definition, and every word includes and excludes certain things. Marriage MEANS something. So how would a gay-marriage advocate define marriage. They might say something like marriage is the union of two people who love each other. But that definition is also bigoted because you are excluding unions of more than two people. How dare you say that polygamists don't love each other! Maybe polygamists should make some slick internet photo / caption showing three unions of people, two of heterosexual couples and one of a polygamist group with the caption: "Love. There is no difference." or "Do you spot the difference? If yes, then you're a bigot!" Or something along those lines.

Are gay marriage advocates willing to admit that they too are bigots by restricting marriage to just two people? Perhaps some of these advocates would say sure, let polygamists marry, why not? Ok, so now our definition must change again. Now it must be any size group of people who love each other. Sounds pretty watered down right?

But now we must go still further. We must define "love". Is love an emotion, a fleeting feeling? What is it? That's how a lot of people view love. According to this view of love, what if there is a couple who may not have these "feelings" all the time? If there is a time when they do not have these feelings, are they considered no longer married?

What about close relatives? Why can't they marry? What if a father and daughter wanted to marry? Would you try to stop this? Would you restrict the definition of marriage to exclude such unions? If so, you are again being a bigot and intolerant, two big no-nos.

Hmm, does marriage even have a definition any more? If so, what is it?

How about: "The union of any number of people which may or may not be based on the feelings they have for each other".

As you can see, if marriage can be anything, then marriage is nothing.

Also, why would the state have any interest in protecting such a nebulous concept? There is no practical reason for the state to have any interest in this.

I don't blame gay rights activists exclusively for this issue. It's the fault of the general population in my opinion. We already redefined marriage when people started getting easy divorces, when people decided from the outset that they would have no children, etc. We need to reclaim a Catholic understanding of marriage.

Perhaps it would be best for the state to just get out of the whole marriage thing altogether. It sometimes seems like a losing battle anyway. Well, it was already lost in Canada unfortunately.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Religion causing war

Very few wars are caused by religion. In fact, some argue that religion has stopped war for a number of reasons. One is that it often unites a large group of people who would otherwise have nothing in common. These people are less likely to wage war on one another. There is however no statistics that I'm aware of showing how many wars have been stopped because of religion.

In any event, I realized just a few moments ago how silly the argument is that religion is bad because it causes war. The reason is war can be caused by anything. Think about the cause of wars. Many are fought over resources, some are race-based, others stem from xenophobia. However, we wouldn't say natural resources cause war, so we shouldn't have natural resources. Or that races cause war, therefore we should not have other races. And so on. In fact, these statements don't even make sense.

So, war can be caused by virtually any reason, and when it comes to religion it's usually people misusing religion as an excuse to take up arms. But just because we can identify a cause, this does not automatically lead to the conclusion that the cause must be eliminated.

Saturday, February 04, 2012