Archives for October 2014

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #155)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: A new movie asks “Why would anyone become Catholic?” Lauren Hill will soon play the game of her life, maybe. A good wrap-up report on the Synod of the Family. Planned Parenthood tries to hide how central abortions are to their business. Understanding vs. denying the facts and size of radical Islam. The work of a terminal cancer patient. A bicyclist literally caught in the middle of a truck and car collision.

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A new movie project asks “why would anyone become Catholic?” A good question, answered in part by many fellow bloggers linked on my Convert Stories page. Answered also in a new movie currently in development.

The movie is Convinced. They have an Indiegogo campaign to finish it, but what they have so far is already awesome. There are converts (including the likes of Scott Hahn, Francis Beckwith, Taylor Marshall, Holly Ordway, Abby Johnson, Jeff Cavins, Devin Rose, Matthew Leonard, Mark Regnerus, Jason Stellman, John Bergsma, Christian Smith, Kevin Vost, David Currie, Richard Cole, and Kenneth Howell) and other experts (such as Patrick Madrid and Donald Asci). Check-out the trailer:

— 2 —

For Lauren Hill, the opening women’s basketball game at Mount St. Joseph University will be the “game of a lifetime…” if she lives that long.

— 3 —

EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo has this good wrap-up segment on the Synod of the Family.

— 4 —

You might think that people would see through the lies of Planned Parenthood, but a surprisingly large number of folks don’t. PP does their best to obscure the facts, but as has pointed-out, the abortion numbers (number, total income, percent of all abortions, percent of revenue, etc.) is huge for PP. When you think abortion, think PP. Students for Life takes a look at PP’s manipulations to make abortion appear as only a tiny part of their business (exactly opposite of the truth):

— 5 —

I take some issue with some of this guy’s (in the video below) numbers and broad definition of radical Islam. He overstates the case, but the overall point is valid. Yet, the PC crowd remains staunch deniers. Fr. George Rutler talks about that in his excellent piece for Crisis Magazine: Mad Intelligence: The Secularist Response to Islam.

— 6 —

Greg Thomas lost his propane delivery job at 57…   after he was diagnosed with stage 4 head and throat cancer. He was nourished by a feeding tube. His family was told to prepare for the inevitable. One thing he could do in his final days is take walks, where he came upon a Catholic church in a bean field, abandoned for a hundred years. Read more here.

Spotted by Fr. Z

— 7 —

Not his time. Watch this multi-vehicle accident unfold, with a bicyclist in the middle of it. The guy didn’t stand a chance…

He actually goes through the wreckage of the car, between the body and the bumper assembly. Then, the truck tilts off its left wheels just in time to miss him before rolling back over on that side.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Childlike Faith

Childlike Faith

Guest contributor:   Ed Trego

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4)

Have you ever watched a small child interact with his or her parents? In a loving family relationship the faith exhibited by the child is remarkable. Trust and love is given with no thought of betrayal. This is the kind of faith Jesus was referring to in the scripture above. The kind of faith that a child has when they jump from the edge of the pool into the waiting arms of Mom or Dad. There is no thought of danger, even though the child doesn’t know how to swim and without the saving arms of the parent, he might drown. The child knows and has total confidence in the love of her parents and rightly trusts that they would let no harm come to her.

I once watched as a small child ran full speed toward our priest after mass. When she got a few steps away she jumped, holding her arms up to the priest. She knew that she could trust him to catch her. Of course he did, and both of them beamed with happiness. That little girl had faith enough to risk jumping into thin air, never doubting that she would be caught in those loving arms and be safe from harm.

God wants us to have that kind of faith, that kind of trust in our lives. Trust enough to risk everything, with absolute confidence that God will always catch us and protect us from harm. This is the trust and love that we, as adults, must have in our relationship with God. If we don’t have enough faith to jump into the waiting arms of God with full confidence that He will catch us, we are not living our faith to the fullest.

As adults we seem to lose that level of faith and trust. Certainly, most of us had it when we were children. We trusted our parents and had faith that they wanted what was best for us and would do all in their power to protect us.

What happened? Where did the faith go? Maybe we found our parents, as humans, weren’t as trustworthy as we expected. Maybe they let us fall into the pool instead of catching us and keeping us above water. Maybe when we went to them with a problem, they didn’t seem to have time for us. Maybe, just maybe, we were abused by them, either physically or mentally. Maybe we just began to believe that we could rely on ourselves and didn’t need to trust them any longer. Whatever the reason we lost our childlike faith in our parents. If we are to be children of God, it’s vital that we rediscover that level of faith and confidence in our relationship with Him.

As humans we tend to grow out of the childlike faith Jesus talked about. At some point our parents began to let us replace our faith in them with faith in ourselves. “Grow up”; “stand on your own two feet”; “if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else is going to”. Most of us heard those or similar admonitions as were growing up, becoming more mature. Self reliance is, in many ways, necessary to life as an adult. We learn to rely less and less on others and more on ourselves. While that is needed in the world we live in, it is destructive to our faith life with God. There is a dichotomy at work in our lives; we need to be self-sufficient, but we aren’t self-sufficient. We may think we can handle whatever comes our way, but sooner or later we come to realize that some things are bigger than us and can’t be resolved without help.

As an adult, we still need someone to place our faith and trust in. Without it, life becomes lonely and, in many ways, scary. In some cases it becomes intolerable, resulting in alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide. If there were someone to turn to in whom we had absolute confidence, we wouldn’t need the artificial means of enduring the hard times. We certainly wouldn’t reach the point of taking our own life.

The early Christians had that kind of faith. With no hesitation, Stephen, the first Deacon and martyr, clearly stated his faith before the Sanhedrin knowing full well the consequences. “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.'” (Acts 7:55-56)

Though it cost him his earthly life, Stephen had faith enough to know that God would receive him with open arms and he would be safe. Even as he was being stoned he asked that God not hold the sins of those throwing the stones against them.

The early Church saw many martyrs who willingly gave their lives rather than deny their faith in God. They saw that the rewards of faith far outweighed the sin of denying that faith. Even today, there are martyrs throughout the world, being punished, imprisoned and dying for their faith. As with most things of God, the national and international press tends to ignore these events. But they occur with far too much frequency in many countries around the world. Even in a country such as the United States, where the constitution promises the freedom of expression of religion, there are those who would take that away. They want to claim a right to “freedom from religion”, whatever that might mean. In many ways we should feel sorry for them. It must be difficult to live in a world where there is nothing greater than oneself to rely upon. I can’t imagine not being able to turn to God; to thank Him for His many blessings and to ask His continued blessing and grace.

How do we regain the faith of a child? By truly accepting God as our Father and knowing that He will always be there for us. We need to reach a level of trust that assures us that, regardless of what happens, God is on our side. He will protect us, shelter us, comfort us. That doesn’t mean we will not have trials and tribulations, but it does mean that our reward will be great when these sufferings are over and we enter into His kingdom. It also means we have a mighty partner in our efforts to overcome those trials. We must give up the concerns of this world and concentrate on the glory of the next.

This does not mean, however, that we have no responsibility for ourselves and our lives. We must willingly turn to God and accept the help He provides. He will always be there, waiting to help; hoping to help. But we must make the decision to ask for and then to accept that help. Even though the path He would have us walk may not be the path we would chose, we must live for Him and follow where He leads. Christ died for us, we must die to our sins if we are to develop the kind of faith He desires. We must look to God with the faith of that young girl who willing threw herself into thin air, fully confident that God will catch us just as the priest caught her.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalms 26:1)

The above meditation is a chapter from Ed’s new eBook “The Narrow Gate”.

Available now for only $1.99 on Amazon,


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and other fine publishers.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #154)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: A Synod on the Family wrap-up – a good written summary from Mary Jo Anderson and brief video summary from Cardinal Pell. Raymond Arroyo has another truly excellent interview on synod issues. Lutheran Satire takes on eternal truth (and a bit of scripture mis-interpretation). For the first time, two ladies experience flight. One prisoner who will not submit to the confines of his imprisonment. A commercial invites us to reconsider our biggest political choice. On second thought, do not reconsider anything – the debate has ended, the matter is settled (everyone says so).

— 1 —

The first phase of the Synod on the Family is over (finally). As you know from news reports, the Church is throwing out all the old, hateful, intolerant, oppressive doctrines and warmly embracing all the enlightened secular “values” of the modern world. NOT. (1) Doctrines of the Church are eternal truth, shared in loving charity and (2) they can not be changed – not now, not ever.

Unfortunately, many people were misled and now have dashed false hopes. Good people, people Pope Francis and all the faithful want to reach, may now feel even less welcomed. Mary Jo Anderson writing for the excellent Crisis Magazine has a good summary of what happened. Cardinal Pell (Australia), interviewed by CNS, also offers some very brief comments:

— 2 —

Raymond Arroyo (EWTN) as usual, has another truly excellent interview on the Synod. Here, he interviews Fr. Robert Dodaro (author of Remaining in the Truth of Christ) on some problematic viewpoints:

— 3 —

Perhaps you are still unconvinced of the unchangeable nature of Christian truth. Lutheran Satire to the rescue! These guys produce some really good stuff we Catholics can wholeheartedly agree with.

— 4 —

Vodafone has a brand image marketing campaign which introduces people to firsts. That is, it introduces people to things that they have never done before. Here, two senior ladies take their first flight:

(This video is no longer available.)

Spotted by my friend Tom

— 5 —

No prison can hold me!

— 6 —

I hope people are coming to their senses like the lady portrayed in this commercial. While the president’s ratings are supposedly terrible, it still amazes me how many people, even if far fewer than before, still believe he is wonderful. To say they are projecting their hopes and dreams is an understatement.

— 7 —

When the intolerant left is not calling for imprisonment or even execution of those in opposition, they take another tact. Simply declaring the debate to be over (when it is anything but). If you disagree, you are a poopy-face and action should be taken against you. Andrew Klavin summarizes:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Homosexuality, marriage and chastity

Homosexuality Marriage Chastity

Reports in mainstream media related to the recent Synod on the Family, based partially on an erroneous, misleading, unapproved draft report – have done much to confuse the Catholic faithful and non-Catholics alike. The official, approved, final report is excellent but is likely to be largely ignored by the media.

The purpose of the synod is to focus on a broad array of challenges to the family. That is a family formed by a “traditional,” faithful, permanent union between a man and a woman. Also to be considered is the pastoral needs of those in “re-marriage” situations and forms of homosexual unions. The headlines have unfortunately been only on this subset and have generally been very inaccurate.

Will there be changes in doctrine?

No. None whatsoever. Not on this or any other doctrinal issue, ever.

The Church can not change truth. No meeting of Synod Fathers, the Magisterium, bishops, cardinals (princes of the Church), or the Pope (the Vicar of Christ) can change doctrine. It is simply impossible. In other ecclesial communities (e.g. Protestantism), it is common for meetings to be held and official changes to belief enacted (typically by vote). This is not so in the Church established by Jesus, protected by the Holy Spirit and led by successors to the Apostles.

Marriage and Sex

Valid marriages (formed without impediments) persist until the death of a spouse. No earthly power can set aside a valid marriage. Jesus said “I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9)

All people are called to chastity. Sexual union within a valid marriage, open to life, is a beautiful and proper response to God’s vocational call. All other sexual relations are non-chaste and gravely sinful. This includes promiscuity, cohabitation, “re-marriage” and any homosexual unions.

Civil authorities do NOT have the power in God’s eyes to set aside a valid marriage. Nor do they have the power to redefine marriage as anything other than the permanent covenantal union between a man and a woman.

Is divorce a sin?

Not necessarily. That may surprise a lot of folks.

The civil act of divorce, as a last resort, is sometimes necessary for the legal protection of a spouse or children. Contrary to what the state says, it can not end the marriage. The “divorced” person remains married and is not free to attempt another marriage. There are many faithful Catholics, in good standing, who are unfortunately separated from their spouse in this way.

Since those in valid marriages who civilly divorce remain married in the eyes of God, marrying another is not possible. Those who do, or more properly put – attempt another marriage, remain married to their “first” spouse and are at the objective level, persisting in an adulterous relationship.

However, it is possible (for many reasons) that a marriage — upon very careful and thorough investigation — may be found to be invalid due to impediments at the time it was entered. For example: a brother marries his sister, a person marries someone who is already married, a person is coerced into marriage, or even if a person enters into marriage without fundamentally understanding its nature. In such circumstances that marriage would not be valid and thus never actually existed. The Church provides a means for such investigations and when invalid marriages are confirmed, can issue a decree of nullity (an “annulment”).

Is attraction to others of the same sex sinful?

No. That also may surprise a lot of folks.

All people have equal human dignity. We all face temptations. We are all sinners, who sometimes yield to temptation and sin – damaging or breaking our communion with God. Thus, all sin is disordered. Through our Lord’s sacrifice, we are not condemned by our sins if (and only if) we are sorry for them and seek forgiveness.

We can not “accidentally” sin. All sin is by our consent and purposeful (mortal sin is also of a grave matter). Temptation, not acted upon but rejected, is NOT sin. People who are attracted to the opposite sex, but do not act sexually on that attraction outside of marriage, commit no sin. This is an important distinction between desire and action. Likewise, people who are attracted to the same sex, but do not act on it sexually also commit no sin. There are many faithful Catholics, in good standing, who suffer from attraction to those of the same sex.

Are homosexual unions sinful?

All non-chaste sexual acts are gravely sinful. Sexual acts between people of the opposite sex who are not validly married are gravely sinful. For example: promiscuity, cohabitation and “re-marriage.” Since it is not possible for two people of the same sex to be validly married, sexual acts between them are always gravely sinful.

What can be done about non-chaste unions?

The world wants to change the Church to accept and even celebrate non-chaste unions (so long as “nobody is hurt,” or something like that). The Church exists not to be changed by the world, but to change the world. To lead people away from the false promises of sin and to Christ, to true happiness and eternal peace.

The solution was offered by Jesus to the woman caught in adultery. Our Lord did not bless her sinful union, but offered forgiveness that she “sin no more.” Where there is no contrition, no repentance, no intention or attempt to stop sinning — the separation from God is chosen and the sin not forgiven.

The Church invites humbly begs all sinners, including those in any form of non-chaste union to return to God. Only in Him can we find the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Is the Church homophobic?

Jesus Christ (God) and His Church (inseparable from Him) is not homophobic. That is absurd. Quite the opposite, people with same sex attraction are loved equally to everyone else. It is in genuine charity for all sinners that the Church speaks in truth. When people you love act in ways contrary to their own good, being truthful with them expresses that love. Remaining silent to avoid unpleasantness, awkwardness, name calling, legal action, physical threats, and so on means avoiding those things are more important to you than expressing real love.

The Church wants only the best for all people who are attracted to those of the same sex and for all people suffering other temptations. The universal call to holiness is to all of us, including rejecting temptation to sin – and seeking forgiveness and amending our lives when we fail. When we are judged, we will be judged in mercy for the sins we repented that we may hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:23)

Some regretfully, have treated our brothers and sisters suffering with same sex attraction poorly. In doing so, they have themselves sinned. There is no excuse for that — only the same properly ordered response to all sin (contrition, amendment, reparation). Note that the Catechism says the following:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.

Church Teaching on Homosexuality

My comments above are little more than a summary. So much more could be said! Likewise, the content below is but a sampling.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Always the gold-standard for understanding our faith, the Catechism contains the following excellent text on homosexuality.

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Included in the text are references to two footnotes, #141 and #142. #141 is 4 scripture references: Genesis 19:1-29 which is the entirety on the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This section as properly interpreted by the Church, is on people engaged in homosexual acts. Since it is long, I have not included it here (follow the link to review it). It has sometimes been incorrectly re-interpreted by those not in communion with the Church as being about “hospitality” (really!).

The other three verses are as follows (bold highlights are mine):

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.

Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, the unchaste, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Footnote #142 is from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled Persona Humana — Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics.

At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.

A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of.

Some Additional Scriptural Quotations

(Note: all quotations in this piece – above and below – are from the New American Bible and the links are to the USCCB website.)

Likewise, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

Some Statements from the Early Church Fathers

This is a particularly brief sample from a large number of statements.

“You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty…” [pederasty is sexual relations between a man and a boy]

“Conversation about deeds of wickedness is appropriately termed filthy speaking, as talk about adultery and pederasty and the like.”

Clement of Alexandria (AD 193)

“All other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities.”

Tertullian (Modesty 4, AD 220)

“effeminate manners are disapproved.”

Novatian (AD 250)

“He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers.”

Saint Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church (AD 367)

Certain men in church “come in gazing about at the beauty of women; others curious about the blooming youth of boys. After this, do you not marvel that bolts are not launched, and all these things are not plucked up from their foundations? For worthy both of thunderbolts and hell are the things that are done; but God, who is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forbears awhile his wrath, calling you to repentance and amendment.”

Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (AD 391)

“All of these affections…   were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males.”

Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (AD 391)

St. John Chrysostom also argued that homosexual acts are worse than murder and so degrading that they constitute a kind of punishment in itself – and that enjoyment of such acts actually makes them worse.

“Those shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way.”

Saint Augustine, Doctor of the Church (Confessions 3:8:15, AD 400)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225 to 1274) considered homosexuality unnatural, since it involves a kind of partner other than the kind to which the purpose of sexuality points. He considered it second only to bestiality as an abuse of sexuality.

Some Statements from Recent Popes

“At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother, and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts. Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Pope Francis (as Cardinal Bergoglio speaking on homosexual “marriage”)

“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

Pope Benedict XVI

“There is no denying the crisis that threatens it [the family] to its foundations – especially in the Western world. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.”

Pope Benedict XVI

“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”

Pope Benedict XVI

“It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.”

Pope Saint John Paul II (speaking on same-sex “marriage”)

Certainly no pope, but even the “father” of the Protestant revolution minced no words:

“The vice of the Sodomites is an unparalleled enormity. It departs from the natural passion and desire, planted into nature by God, according to which the male has a passionate desire for the female. Sodomy craves what is entirely contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversion? Without a doubt it comes from the devil. After a man has once turned aside from the fear of God, the devil puts such great pressure upon his nature that he extinguishes the fire of natural desire and stirs up another, which is contrary to nature.”

Martin Luther

The Synod on the Family, FINAL Report

In conclusion, I return back to where I started on the Synod of the Family.

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”

Synod on the Family
(approved, final report)

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #153)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Fireworks at the Synod on the Family in Rome. CS Lewis looked at why simply leading a “good” life is not enough. A wonderful video on the beauty and power of Mass. A mother tells of the impact Obamacare has had on her family. A scary-looking looking 3D printed weapon. Fr. Greg Boyle recounts the work of Homeboy Industries with gang rehabilitation. A prayer for a happy death.

— 1 —

The Synod on the Family is in process, now and in a year from now. Unfortunately, it has severely lacked transparency and been hijacked to a position contrary to infallible, unchangeable Catholic teaching by a minority of delegates. Father Zuhlsdorf has named it Latrocinium (the “Robber Synod”). The good news is the bishops in attendance have essentially revolted to stop such manipulations. The fall-out is far from over. Jimmy Akin has a good summary: Good news from the Synod of Bishops!.

One major “public face” of the synod has been a renegade Cardinal (to be completely honest) who has focused on Catholics “remarried” outside the Church and has made scandalous (yes, that is the right word) proposals. Unfortunately, Pope Francis has not shut this down so a great deal of confusion has been sown among the faithful as this Cardinal proceeds on a worldwide media blitz. The media love him (which alone should set off alarm bells).

Raymond Arroyo (EWTN World Over) recently interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke. The questions and responses are both very, very good. Highly recommended.

Father Zulshdorf has a good combined commentary with Ed Peters (perhaps the best canonist we have) on the interview. See it in Play by Play: Card. Burke’s video interview recap!

— 2 —

Why be Christian or even believe in God? Is not the same end fundamentally reached by simply leading a “good” life? No, not at all. CS Lewis addressed this topic in an essay entitled Man or Rabbit?. Here it comes alive, wonderfully narrated and illustrated:

— 3 —

The beauty and power of Mass. Why? Our Lady of Mount Carmel in San Diego produced this very nice piece:

Spotted by Patrick Archbold

— 4 —

Patty Curran’s story is long (37 minutes), sad, but not uncommon. Obamacare is hurting millions and placing millions more in jeopardy. As bad as it is now, it will get much worse after (1) the 2014 mid-term elections, then (2) after the 2016 presidential elections, or (3) as soon as the government stops covering the losses of insurance companies forced to participate in it. This is a disaster caused by radical ideology.

— 5 —

This scary-looking weapon is really cool. It was made mostly on 3D printers. I, along with every other guy, need one of these!

— 6 —

Fr. Greg Boyle founded Homeboy Industries to help former gang members. Father gave this TEDx presentation 2 years ago on compassion and kinship.

Spotted by Billy Kangas

— 7 —

A Prayer for a Happy Death

O God, great and omnipotent judge of the living and the dead, we are to appear before you after this short life to render an account of our works. Give us the grace to prepare for our last hour by a devout and holy life, and protect us against a sudden and unprovided death. Let us remember our frailty and mortality, that we may always live in the ways of your commandments. Teach us to “watch and pray” (Luke 21:36), that when your summons comes for our departure from this world, we may go forth to meet you, experience a merciful judgment, and rejoice in everlasting happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!