The 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae

The massive failure to respond in a Christian manner to the exhortation of Humanae Vitae is not so much the result of selfishness or a spirit of rebellion on the part of families, as it is a loss of nerve. The root problem is fear. Anxiety saturates our age, and for a family the generalized angst is multiplied exponentially. It becomes very difficult to maintain a “nuclear” family when the “extended” family disintegrates. And when a society’s economy rolls over in the direction of great benefits to the infertile and relentless troubles for those who are fully open to life, it becomes difficulty squared.

 


Continue reading

from Chesterton’s Orthodoxy

 

Not only is the Faith the mother of all worldly energies, but its foes are the fathers of all worldly confusion. The secularists have not wrecked divine things; but the secularists have wrecked secular things, if that is any comfort to them. The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world.

 

Continue reading

Benedict at Regensburg: Islam, War, Death, Apostasy…

The world grows more complex and inflamed, violence erupts everywhere, evil seems to be spreading. I think of the massacre of students a few weeks ago in Montreal by a youth who left a message declaring his hatred of Christians, and the massacre of Amish children in Pennsylvania a few days ago by a man who proclaimed he was doing it because he hated God. I think of the wars in the Middle East, and the rage of Islamic extremists over an academic paper delivered by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg, and the murder of a Catholic nun and burning of churches in reprisal for his talk. The list goes on and on and where it stops only Christians know — because the only place it stops is on a Cross on Calvary. Looking closely at what is happening in the world, or for that matter only superficially, we see murder in the human heart, violence as old as the story of Cain and Abel.

Continue reading

U.S. Bishops’ warning to Obama

The fundamental good is life itself, a gift from God and our parents. A good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973. This was bad law. The danger the Bishops see at this moment is that a bad court decision will be enshrined in bad legislation that is more radical than the 1973 Supreme Court decision itself.

In the last Congress, a Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was introduced that would, if brought forward in the same form today, outlaw any “interference” in providing abortion at will. It would deprive the American people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. It would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government and others of good will to reduce the number of abortions in our country.

Continue reading

The U.S. election 2008

If Americans choose to push the culture of death to a new level, it will be a grave sign that worse is to follow. Polls are saying that 55% of American Catholics support Obama. If even “the elect” cannot recognize the deception, how will they discern rightly when a far worse “Man of Sin” appears!

 

We do not know for certain if Obama is just one of many “anti-Christ” figures emerging in the world, or if he will gradually mutate into the actual long-prophesied Antichrist, the “Man of Sin.” As I said before, he seems too shallow a person for such a role, his face and manner radiating an apparently wholesome good will. He seems nice. But his policies are not so nice. Jesus cautions us that we will know a tree by its fruits, by the intentions and actions of a man. Moreover, we must not underestimate the corrupting effects of power—especially power of the magnitude that may soon be given to Obama. It should also be recalled that just as nature abhors a vacuum, so too the “dark side” lusts for an emptiness to invade.

 

“I call on heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live….” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Continue reading

Pope Benedict at Lourdes

Mary’s message is a message of hope for all men and women of our day, whatever their country of origin. I like to invoke Mary as the star of hope (Spe Salvi, 50). On the paths of our lives, so often shrouded in darkness, she is a beacon of hope who enlightens us and gives direction to our journey. Through her “yes”, through the generous gift of herself, she has opened up to God the gates of our world and our history. And she invites us to live like her in invincible hope, refusing to believe those who claim that we are trapped in the fatal power of destiny. She accompanies us with her maternal presence amid the events of our personal lives, our family lives, and our national lives. Happy are those men and women who place their trust in him who, at the very moment when he was offering his life for our salvation, gave us his Mother to be our own! 

Continue reading

Pope Benedict in Paris

 

 Pope Benedict in Paris —meeting with representatives of Culture, September 12, 2008 

Our present situation differs in many respects from the one that Paul encountered in Athens, yet despite the difference, the two situations also have much in common.  Our cities are no longer filled with altars and with images of multiple deities.  God has truly become for many the great unknown.  But just as in the past, when behind the many images of God the question concerning the unknown God was hidden and present, so too the present absence of God is silently besieged by the question concerning him.  Quaerere Deum – to seek God and to let oneself be found by him, that is today no less necessary than in former times.  A purely positivistic culture which tried to drive the question concerning God into the subjective realm, as being unscientific, would be the capitulation of reason, the renunciation of its highest possibilities, and hence a disaster for humanity, with very grave consequences.  What gave Europe’s culture its foundation – the search for God and the readiness to listen to him – remains today the basis of any genuine culture.

 

Continue reading

Sign of Contradiction and the new world order

Once utilitarianism, in theory, is defined and exposed, every Catholic would say, “Oh, yes, that’s evil.” Yet, all too often there is a disconnect between theory and practice, as if we feel that such evils are regrettable but unavoidable; and that it is impossible for us personally to bridge the great chasm between what we conceive as a Christian “ideal” and practical reality, what we feel are our sad but necessary compromises with evil. To the degree that we think this way, that is the measure of how badly we have become infected by utilitarianism. The objective reality here is that other human beings, who are as beloved by God as we are, will pay for our disconnect with their suffering and/or their deaths. We will continue to vote for the utilitarian who seems less evil to us or who offers us an apparent good, such as security or economic stability (which we have, consciously or subconsciously, decided is a higher good than the sacredness of human life). A problem deeper still is the inability to even see the disjunct. What is the cause of this? Is it utilitarianism alone, even the worst kind, religious, or is there something else that needs pondering here?

Continue reading