Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2009

George Weigel defends the conclusions of Natural Law as the language of our society's great debates

I have had the honor for the past 20 years to be able to count George Weigel as a friend. His family's annual visits with Fr. Richard Neuhaus at his Ottawa Valley every summer afforded me the opportunity to dine and visit with George and participated in many discussions about the issues of faith,culture and politics. I have the privilege of reading each of his books, and I eagerly await his upcoming companion volume to Witness to Hope which should be available for purchase within the next year or so. George takes on the editors of the Washington Post in an article posted here in which he makes an argument for the preservation of the cultural understandings that we have built our modern society on: the fruits of the application of reason and the natural law. This is one of my favorite subjects to expound upon. I have been decrying the redefinition of our societal definitions since I began this blog. Simply put: if we let the forces of secular atheistic humanism vitiate definit

Join the conversation!!

Your participation is invited to an enlightening conversation on the subject of the basic concepts of society. "Advokat" is without a doubt as solid in his convictions of life as I am in mine. Clearly neither of us expects to "convert" the other. He is also as sincere in his willingness to engage in a civil debate/discussion about the major questions of the day. If I can use an obvious self-promotion, it's a discussion... "where the rubber hits the road." Respect the integrity and authenticity of people such as (s)he, engage in the conversation. There is a great deal to learn from them and, as we ask that they not abuse us of our rights, so too we should refrain from pounding such souls with scripture and piety. It's a civil conversation, perhaps even sometimes a heated debate: it is not a place or time to demonstrate one's evangelization skills. We don't need to try and turn each other into "roadkill".

Gender Mainstreaming at Save a Family Plan

John Pacheco of the SoCon website has been raising concerns about the Save A Family Plan, a Catholic charity group that works out of St. Peter's Seminary and in India. He has pointed out that SAFP practices "Gender Mainstreaming" which is a phrase with many definitions. The United Nations seem to use this term to cover a multitude of anti-life and pro-homosexual programs that are absolutely in opposition to church teaching. If SAFP were to use the term to mean the same, then with would be a major scandal. However, according to the SAFP website , this is not what they mean when they use the term. Below is their definition of "Gender Mainstreaming": Gender Mainstreaming SAFP is committed to achieving gender equality, and as a means of addressing gender disparity, gender mainstreaming is applied across all SPED II program activities as a cross-cutting theme. By integrating gender considerations into all organizational and program activities—planning, implem

An interesting exchange between a theist and an atheist.

by Advokat Nov 25 2009 4:51 PM Fr. Tim: I disagree with just about every posting I have ever seen from you, reject the entire premise of your belief system, and am generally very skeptical of any statements built on a foundation that includes any notion of 'god' or other fictions, I too am sickened by the story that you posted. (Baby Gabriel case) That said, this case does not raise 'right to die' issues. This is not a case of a competent mind expressing a wish to be allowed to die, and it was intellectually dishonest for you to have raised it in this context. The case that you have raised instead highlights the horrors associated with allowing accountants to make medical decisions. Disgusting? Absolutely. But really irrelevant to the 'dying with dignity' movement. As a 'slippery slope' argument the case is unpersuasive - although, notwithstanding your 'That which is permitted..." quote, in my experience this kind of argument usual

Chris Matthews vs Bishop Tobin

Chris Matthews interviewed Bishop Tobin on his recent instruction to Rep. Kennedy not to receive communion. Quite a few voices have arisen from the more traditional adherents of the Catholic faith to have Mr. Matthews sanctioned in some way for conducting an "abusive" interview. I heartily disagree. Mr. Matthews treated Bishop Tobin in the same manner that he does with most of his guests. He always talks over his guests, seemingly berating them when he does not agree with what they are saying. In this he is no different than those darlings of the right, Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck. Where Mr. Matthews went astray in the interview was in his insistence of framing the argument in such a way as to separate "law" from "morality" as if the two concepts where somehow antithetical to each other. Further, by placing the onus on the Bishop to determine what a "specific" law on abortion should be, or what punishments should be meted out to a woman

Interesting article from ZENIT

Making Belief More Believable Conference Address Question of Faith in Secular Age By Kirsten K. Evans WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 25, 2009 ( Can belief be made "more believable" for both seekers and the faithful alike? This is the question Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. episcopal conference, and Charles Taylor, professor of philosophy at McGill and Northwestern Universities and 2007 Templeton Prize Winner, sat down to discuss on the campus of Catholic University of America last Thursday evening. The public forum kicked off a 15-month research project that will re-examine religion and faith in this secular age. Sponsored by Catholic University's Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, the project "Faith in the Secular Age" will be developed in conjunction with the university's Center for the Study of Culture and Values and the Jesuit Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown. Thursday's forum drew

Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of being unable to tell doctors he was conscious

This story was written by Rom Houben of the Online Mail . One might hope that it will give pause to those who so frequently are calling for those in a persistent vegetative state to be euthanized. A car crash victim has spoken of the horror he endured for 23 years after he was misdiagnosed as being in a coma when he was conscious the whole time. Rom Houben, trapped in his paralysed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them - but could make no sound. 'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegatative state. 'I dreamed myself away,' he added, tapping his tale out with the aid of a computer. Doctors used a range of coma tests before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'. But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally. Mr Houben described t

A story taken from LifeSiteNews that should chill the soul of everyone

A Tennessee hospital is facing a possible emergency injunction after Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed legal papers today to save the life of nine-month-old Gabriel Palmer. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital says it may abandon his medical care, resulting in the child’s death. Baby Gabriel was born prematurely with a genetic abnormality, club foot, and narrow airway, but he flourished when he went home from the hospital in June. There, he grew, played, and received physical therapy while going to regular doctor visits. He was fed through a tube and received some oxygen and medications. On an October weekend, when the baby’s regular doctors were unavailable, Catherine Palmer took her son to the ETCH emergency room because of breathing problems. After interventions by the medical staff, the baby went into shock, developed pulmonary vascular disease, and was placed on a respirator. ETCH recently began giving up on Baby Gabriel’s care, and on Nov. 13, the head of ETCH’s PICU, D

Matt Gurney (National Post) argues for the legalization of euthanasia

On the religion blog of the National Post, and as a op-ed piece in today's paper version, Matt Gurney, editor of the "Holy Post" blog makes an argument for the legalization of euthanasia. I post his argument below, as well as my response. I am very interested in your comments on the strengths and weaknesses of my argument. Thank you. Matt Gurney: My life, my choice Posted: November 25, 2009, 5:09 AM by Matt Gurney Euthanasia, Matt Gurney, Holy Post A recent 60 Minutes segment gave viewers a distressing peek into how the American medical industry delivers care to patients in their final days. End-of-life care has become an enormous financial expense, and that has left some doctors frustrated. "Collectively, as a culture," one said, "we really have to acknowledge that we're mortal ... and start looking at what a healthy, morally robust way to die looks like." Some legislators in Canada have begun doing just that. That has upset my friend and

Catholic Answers

See the Reference Articles box for the first two blogs from "Catholic Answers", "Suicide", and "Old law/New law". They are orthodox, pastoral and pithy - three "very good things", compliments of the Dominican Edinburgh Seminary.

Interesting position of modernism and its implication for understanding clerical celibacy

Posted by Fr Longenecker at Monday, November 23, 2009 After analyzing the modernism in the Anglican Church it was pointed out that there's plenty of modernism in the Catholic Church too. True enough, and because blog posts should be short and punchy, I left this issue for another day. It is true that all the problems I outlined in the post on Modernism in the Anglican Church are present in the Catholic Church. In many ways the effects have been even more devastating. At least the Anglicans with their good taste have preserved beautiful liturgy, architecture and sacred music in the midst of the modernism. Many Catholics have been even more gung ho on the dumbing down of Christianity, the vulgarization of the liturgy, art and architecture that is the philosophical offspring of modernism. The moral crisis among Catholic clergy which has caused so much pain and scandal is the direct effect of mixing clerical celibacy (which modernists simply cannot understand) with modernism and t

Respect for Each Other in a Polarized Community - Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Respect for Each Other in a Polarized Community - Fr. Ron Rolheiser 2009-11-15 We live today in a highly polarized world and within highly polarized churches. In this, we are not unique. A certain degree of polarization exists within every community and is normal and healthy. However the bitterness, mean-spirit, and lack of respect that characterizes much of our political, ecclesial, and moral discourse today is not normal and is far from healthy. And we shouldn’t delude ourselves in thinking that it is healthy or, worse yet, in the name of truth or justice or God, try to rationalize our lack of respect for those who think differently than we do. We aren’t holy warriors, just angry people with a highly selective compassion. Perhaps labels like liberal and conservative don’t accurately name the various tribes we invariably divide into today, but, as an over-generalization, these names still work. We are bitterly divided, liberal from conservative, conservative from liberal, and in

Trying to understand

A person going by the handle "John T Hutt" posted the following in the threads of the Antigonish story on the CBC website: TM4321 wrote: "....who is to say that foregoing an active sexual life is "abnormal", or that it is "abnormal" to control one's passions." Tim, you have unintentionally hit the nail on the head. The entire problem has been caused by culture of sexual libertarianism that exists in the priesthood. For the most part, secular society controls the expression of "abnormal" passions. In fact most people in the wider world perform some sort of self-diagnosis and seek help if their passions are harmful to themselves or others. The problem with the Catholic Church is that the relatively normal passions of homosexuality have for cultural reasons bled over into the profoundly abnormal passions of child abuse. I am trying to understand what he is saying. Any opinions?

Working in "virtual" fields to produce a harvest of faith

While participating in the threads of the CBC website news story about the appointment of Bishop Brian Dunn as Bishop of Antigonish, a gentleman who identified himself by the nom des plume, "nonreligious" posted the following to me. To Fr. Moyle To expand my previous post, my repeated abuse as an altar boy occured in 1973 on northern Vancouver Island. I remember the person wanting me to keep quiet and telling me God would heal all wounds. I dared not tell my parents, mostly out of fear and confusion, and because I felt they would not believe me. I had been taught that God was always right. I was nine at the time. For those who have not walked in our shoes, which is most of you, trust me when I say that you lose all grasp of reality and have it replaced by something that is foreign. It's like you initially know it's not right, but after time it starts to feel that way. And you learn to deal with it any way you can under the circumstances. It never mattered to me t

Just a little humor that tickles a priests' funny bone.

Forgive me for saying this, but there are times that I can really relate to "Fr. O'Malley". An Irish priest by the name of Father O'Malley, was transferred to a small rural community in southern Ontario . As he arose from his bed one morning. It was indeed a fine spring day in his new Canadian parish. He walked to the window of his bedroom to get a deep breath of the beautiful day outside. He then noticed there was a jackass lying dead in the middle of his front lawn. He promptly called the local police station...... The conversation went like this: "Good morning. This is Sergeant Jones. How might I help you?" "And the best of the day te yerself. Dis is Father O'Malley at St. Ann 's Catholic Church. Dere's a jackass lyin dead in me front lawn." Sergeant Jones, considering himself to be quite a wit, replied with a smirk,"Well now Father, it was always my impression that you people took care of the last rites!"

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Why Not?

A ccording to some surveys, three-quarters of Canadians would favour the legalizationof euthanasia. Above all, they fear one day becoming a burden and having their lives unduly prolonged in suffering. Given the immense confusion surrounding euthanasia, it is reasonable to question these statistics and some unreliable surveys. It is more than likely that the majority of citizenswould change their minds if they were properly informed. However, a very effective lobby is manipulating words and emotions in order to promote euthanasia and assisted suicide. For example, some erroneously use the phrase “passive euthanasia” to describe the withdrawal of futile medical treatment. The need to dispel confusion by returning words to their true meaning has become urgent. It is also important to recognize euphemisms for “euthanasia” and “assisted suicide”: voluntary interruption of life… active aide in dying… hastened death… physician assisted death… To begin with, it is important to clarify

Link to the Manhattan Declaration

Learning when and how to pick a fight.

The rain has been falling steadily all day, so it seems appropriate to share a few thoughts about those who have recently been raining on the efforts of others to work to promote Catholic values in our society. It would not be so bad if these voices were coming from those who are agents of the "Culture of Death", but alas this is not the case. The criticisms have come from those who claim to be fighting for the church. Allow me to offer an example. Bishop Fred Henry, (Diocese of Calgary, AB) has released a letter that calls for the defeat of Bill 384 which is imminently to be voted on in the Canadian House of Commons. This proposed piece of legislation would permit the widest possible application of the "right to die", a.k.a. euthanasia for everything from people suffering with terminal diagnoses through to those who suffer from depression or other mental diseases. Clearly this bill must be opposed. It is one thing for individuals to refuse treatment or to be tr

If You Look for the Bad In People, You're sure to Find it.

FANTASTIC POST from Michael Brandon at Freedom of Thought Blog!! Thank you Michael! So look for the good in them instead." The title, subtitle and this last sentence are a direct quote from that great paragon of Christian missionary thought, Polyanna, who was actually quoting one A. Lincoln at the time. Polyanna said these words to the reverend, played by Karl Malden. The reverend character was a fire breathing preacher, who under Polyanna's tutelage saw the light. There are days that I am ashamed to be a blogger. Today is one of those days. But, sometimes shame can be useful. I hope that today is one of those days. The other day, I innocently posted a copy of a letter from Bishop Henry that Fr. Tim Moyle of Where the Rubber Hits The Road had reprinted on his blog. What happened after was sickening to me. Catholic Dialogue picked up on it, and then went on a rant about an issue about fatal euthanasia at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ontario. John Pache

Archbishop Chaput (Denver) on the cost of discipleship

What the hell don’t you understand about the term separation of Church and State. Keep your evil hands off of our Health Care Bill. Mind your own business. We don’t care about your beliefs, and if you want to meddle in our affairs, we will be coming for you. If that’s how you want to play, we will come for your pedophile priests, your ill-gotten money you stole for decades. The Catholic church is just another organized crime syndicate that should be put out of business. Get the f–k away from Congress, or you will regret it … . That’s a real e-mail from a real person. The man who sent it last week was either very candid or very foolish about his anger: he added his real name and e-mail address. I’ve withheld them here because I like to hope that most people, or at least many of them, are better than the poisonous things they sometimes write. But this e-mail does teach a useful lesson, because it’s not just a case of a random bigot getting in touch with his inner bully. Instead, it’

Catholic Church needs more Internet savvy: bishop

The Roman Catholic Church should leave its "ghetto" and recognise the importance and reach of the Internet, a French bishop said Thursday. The Internet is increasingly an integral part of everyday life," Monsignor Jean-Michel Di Falco said at the start of a four-day Vatican meeting of European Catholic bishops concerned with the media. "By not being present (on the Web), you cut yourself off from a large part of people's lives," added the bishop of Gap, in southeastern France. He noted three events involving the Church that have "shaken Planet Internet" in recent months: the lifting of the ex-communication of a Holocaust-denying bishop; the ex-communication of a doctor who performed an abortion on a nine-year-old rape victim; and remarks by Pope Benedict XVI about condom use and AIDS in Africa. The pope himself stated at the height of the affair involving British Bishop Richard Williamson that a simple check on the Internet would have quic

I couldn't say it better myself

To the Editor: Bishops need to take responsibility for abuse crisis By The Post-Standard November 19, 2009, 7:10AM In today's Post-Standard, a Roman Catholic priest criticizes bishops' handling of reported sexual abuse by priests. To the Editor: As a Roman Catholic priest in good standing, I find myself in the midst of a great dilemma. Of which should I be more ashamed? The fact that less than 3 per cent of my priest brothers have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors? Or the fact that 97 percent of the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops seem to be in a state of invincible denial? The assertion that “homosexuality is no factor in abusive priests” (Post-Standard, Associated Press, Nov. 18) is so utterly absurd as to defy rational credibility. Fact: Ninety-five percent of all reported cases of sexual abuse by priests involved the homosexual predation of teenage boys! What was the bishops’ response as this crisis was festering for more than 50 year

Chuck Colson posts an article about religious freedom that is as true in Canada as it is in the USA

By Chuck Colson, posted on Catholic Exchange Blog Allow me to make a very direct statement. I believe it is time for the Church in this country to stand up for religious freedom. Especially over the course of the last few years, we have seen repeated efforts—in the courts, in state legislatures, in Congress, and on Pennsylvania Avenue—to erode what has been called the first freedom: religious liberty. It isn’t hard to cite numerous cases where Christian organizations and individuals have been singled out and punished for adhering to their faith. In New Jersey, a Methodist camp lost its tax exempt status for refusing to hold a same-sex civil union ceremony. In California, Christian doctors were successfully sued for refusing to offer in-vitro fertilization procedures for a lesbian couple. Catholic Charities in Boston had to shut down its adoption services because it was being forced by the state to place children with same-sex couples. The current health care bill has no prote

Article from Atlantic Catholic writer, Francis Campbell.

It’s business as usual in the Catholic Church. Some seven weeks have passed since Bishop Raymond Lahey was arrested in Ottawa on child pornography charges. The bishop had recently presided over a $15-million dollar legal settlement for victims who had been abused by priests in the Antigonish Diocese dating back to 1950. That settlement elicited allegations of sexual abuse by priests that had to that point remained unspoken. But now all the hushed whispers were coming to the fore. The numbers of young boys callously deprived of their youth and their innocence by sick and manipulating clergy throughout many of the small communities that make up the diocese escaped from soft murmur into open, public conversation. And it was almost too much for many churchgoers to bear. Then a bishop, the very bishop who had brokered the settlement for abuse victims, was charged with possessing and transporting child pornography. It was enough to make Archbishop Anthony Mancini, the man now in charge

Nova: Becoming Human

PBS concluded a four part series tonight, Nova: Becoming Human. It was a study of anthropological study of evolution, examining the development of the fossil record from the beginning of the journey of the human species. I highly recommend it. To quote the wisdom of Louis Black (for the pro-evolution camp)when bemoaning the label "theory" that was attached to "evolution"... FOSSILS, FOSSILS!! FOSSILS!!! I remember too of the wisdom of my earliest priest mentor. From the first moments of my life on earth, through the first ten years of my priesthood, Fr. J.J. Delaney, - Diocese of Sault-Ste-Marie, who has been the most primal source of my understanding of what it means to be a priest. He was the priest who baptized me into the Church as an infant. He was there through the transition of the Catholic world from the latin world of the 1950's through to implementation of those first steps of Vatican II. He was the homilist at my first mass, I at his funeral. &

Excellent dialogue on St. Joseph's Health Care Center's (London, Ontario) practice in dealing with unborn babies who suffer fatal anomalies

I have been engaged in a civil and enlightening discussion with "Steve" who blogs at Catholic Dialogue ( on the controversial practice of inducing early birth for babies determined to have fatal deformities. LifeSiteNews brought attention to this story by declaring that this was a Catholic hospital that was performing "abortions". While I do not agree with the assessment of those who are opposed to this practice, it is one that needs to be debated with the aim of bringing clarity to the issues. I have studied bioethics and moral theology as part of my seminary training and ongoing education, but I do not presume to call myself expert in these fields. Your presence in this discussion would no doubt be welcome by Steve, as well as by anyone who is concerned about this issue. See you there!

Big Ecumenical Announcement on Friday!!

Given the signatories of this statement, it will be big news for the ecumenical effort. Note the address of where the document will be posted on Friday. November 17, 2009 The Manhattan Declaration: November 20, 2009 The ecumenical level of cooperation at very high levels here will be, I believe, unprecedented in the U.S. The importance of this event may well be historic (though that is not the sort of thing one can predict): ***Updated Media Advisory*** NATIONAL RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO RELEASE HISTORIC DECLARATION OF CONSCIENCE WHAT: Orthodox, Catholic & evangelical Christian leaders will release the Manhattan Declaration at a Washington, D.C., press conference. Addressed not only to Christians, but to the president, Congress, and civil authorities, the 4,700-word document—signed by more than 125 religious leaders—addresses the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty. WHERE: National Press Club, Lisagor Room 529 14th

From Blue Wave blog

Here's is a message from a "player" of a winning "team" of the secularist camp. We ignore his assessment at our own peril.

Archbishop Duncan of the Anglican Church of North America on the Anglican Schism

Any argument that ends as does below is a definite must read for any serious Catholic! Archbishop Duncan, however, said he appreciated the gesture by the Pope because it was an acknowledgement that orthodox Anglicanism is a legitimate part of the ancient Church. He made it clear that ACNA wants to remain faithful to Anglicanism but there will be a small minority of Anglicans with Catholic leanings that will seek a home in Rome. He also noted that the Anglicanism of the future could learn from the Catholic Church. “In the 20th century they began to rise to true global leadership. They made extraordinary choices in John Paul II and Benedict who are building a Church for the future. The British system has not produced leaders as capable.” (Italics added). Here's the address:

Zenit reports on the need to increasing the Catholic voice within the internet

Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube in the Vatican Preachers of Truth Meet Sellers of "My Own Truth" By Jesús Colina ROME, NOV. 13, 2009 ( There are not a few voices in the Church calling for the message of the Gospel to make better use of the Internet -- Benedict XVI's is among them. And yet, when representatives of some of the most successful Internet initiatives met in Rome today with the European bishops' Commission for the Media, a great difference in mentality became obvious, even if there was also evidence of a genuine desire for mutual understanding. The chamber of the former hall of the synod of bishops -- which the producers of "Angels and Demons" rented for millions of euros -- witnessed two views of reality: On one hand, an institution, the Church, founded for 2,000 years on the proclamation of Truth; and on the other, exponents of successful business initiatives, which arose a few years ago, based on giving everyone the chance to