Saturday, March 2, 2013

True Marian Devotee

To be a true Marian devotee is to imitate Mary in her faith, hope and love in her Son. There is a reflection of Mary in every authentic Marian devotee.

Her true devotee has her:

Chasity: She kept herself pure from her younger years.

Piety: She was praying when the Angel Gabriel came to her.

Faith and Trust: She believe that God can do the impossible,  her virgin birth.

Obedience: Her Fiat, "Be done to me according to your word."

Courage: She knew that her virgin birth might be mistaken for adultery and might end up in her stoning. But she still said "Yes" to God's Will.

Charity: She went to her cousin Elizabeth, who was in need, even though she herself was pregnant. She was the one who went out of the way for love's sake.

Loyalty: She never abandoned her Son at the foot of the Cross, even though that might implicate her.

And most of all, her love for Jesus and her bringing of souls to Him: "Do whatever He tells you." She always points to her Son.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

G.K. Chesterton on Democracy

This is the first principle of democracy: that the essential things in men are the things they hold in common, not the things they hold separately. And the second principle is merely this: that the political instinct or desire is one of these things which they hold in common. Falling in love is more poetical than dropping into poetry. The democratic contention is that government (helping to rule the tribe) is a thing like falling in love, and not a thing like dropping into poetry. It is not something analogous to playing the church organ, painting on vellum, discovering the North Pole (that insidious habit), looping the loop, being Astronomer Royal, and so on. For these things we do not wish a man to do at all unless he does them well. It is, on the contrary, a thing analogous to writing one's own love-letters or blowing one's own nose. These things we want a man to do for himself, even if he does them badly. I am not here arguing the truth of any of these conceptions; I know that some moderns are asking to have their wives chosen by scientists, and they may soon be asking, for all I know, to have their noses blown by nurses. I merely say that mankind does recognize these universal human functions, and that democracy classes government among them. In short, the democratic faith is this: that the most terribly important things must be left to ordinary men themselves--the mating of the sexes, the rearing of the young, the laws of the state. This is democracy; and in this I have always believed.

But there is one thing that I have never from my youth up been able to understand. I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. The man who quotes some German historian against the tradition of the Catholic Church, for instance, is strictly appealing to aristocracy. He is appealing to the superiority of one expert against the awful authority of a mob. It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history. The legend is generally made by the majority of people in the village, who are sane. The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad. Those who urge against tradition that men in the past were ignorant may go and urge it at the Carlton Club, along with the statement that voters in the slums are ignorant. It will not do for us. If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.

From Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Cannot be a Good Catholic and be Pro-SIN

What do you call a basketball player who dislikes dribbling? When he gets the ball, he just carries it and runs toward the hoop and shoot it, a good basketball player? I think not!

What do you call a citizen who disagrees with the concept of private property that he steals from other people, a good citizen? I think not!

What do you call a Catholic who supports and promote abortion, contraception and the liberal immoral homosexual lifestyle, a good Catholic? I think not!

Sadly, many Catholics believe they can go disobey Catholic teaching on Faith and Morals and at the same time be “good Catholics.” It does not really make sense, But somehow it does to them.

A good basketball player is the one who plays by the rules. A good citizen is the one who conforms to the law of the land. A good Catholic is the one who submit themselves to Teaching and the Magisterium of the Church. 

If you start breaking the rules, you stop being “good”. It is that simple. Yet somehow, many don't get it!

When the Church reminds her children to follow the rules or accept the consequences (all our actions have consequences… that is called the Law of Cause and Effect), the Church is accused of living in the “Dark Ages”. If the referee calls a foul when there is a foul, is the referee “living in the Dark Ages?” Or if a judge puts a thief in jail, is he “living in the Dark Ages?” It is the person who broke the rules is the one who placed himself in that situation, not the referee, not the judge and not the Church.

Once we enter in any kind of sports, country, organization or institution, we bind ourselves to their rules. If you decide to live in the Philippines and be a Filipino, you have bound yourself to the laws of the country. If you decided to be a basketball player, you have bound yourself to the rules of basketball.  If you have decided to be or remain a Catholic, you have bound yourself to Teachings of the Catholic Church. Common sense? Yes?

One does not shove his twisted logic into the Church so he can justify his sins. He cannot make the wrong, right and the right, wrong, for his convenience.  The Church will never bow down to his twisted logic. The Catholic Church was not founded to please sinners but to save them.  And the Church’s Truth can never be changed by anyone, for its Author is God… Truth Himself.

So you cannot be a good Catholic and be Pro-SIN.

Common sense will tell you that it is simple as that.

Get it?

I hope so.

Notes from the Catechism:

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.

2396: Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2370: Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil.

2399: The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).


2270: Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

2271: Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

Additional Notes:
Canon 915: Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who OBSTINATELY PERSIST in MANIFEST GRAVE SIN, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This must seem like a strange title, "Contraception: Fatal to the faith." What does the title mean? Does it mean that to believe in contraception is contrary to the faith? Or does it mean that-Christian believers may not practice contraception? Or does it mean that those who practice contraception are in danger of losing their faith?

Please be more clear on just what we mean when we say, "contraception, fatal to the faith?"

What do we mean by the title and what is the thesis of this presentation? We mean that professed Catholics who practice contraception either give up the practice of contraception or they give up their Catholic faith.

Needless to say, this is a startling statement that many would violently disagree with. They will point out the widespread practice of contraception among many--some would say the majority of professed Catholics in a country like the United States. They will quote from numerous professedly Catholic moral theologians openly defending contraception. They will give you the pronouncements of whole conferences of bishops who claim that contraception is really a matter of conscience. Those who sincerely believe that contraception is morally permissible may not be told they are doing wrong; they may not be debarred from receiving Holy Communion; in fact, they need not even have to confess the practice of contraception when they go to confession.

We return to where we began, to make clear what we are saying. We affirm in this conference that the deliberate practice of contraception between husband and wife is objectively a mortal sin. Those who persist in its practice are acting contrary to the explicit teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. They may protest that they are Catholic. They may profess to be Catholics. But their conduct belies their profession.

Someone may object that we are living in a contraceptive society. Moreover, the silence of so many bishops and the overt teaching of so many nominally Catholic moralists defending contraception forbids our saying that contraception and the Catholic faith are incompatible.

In the light of all the foregoing, let me address myself to the following topics which collectively prove the underlying thesis of this lecture.

      + The Catholic Church teaches infallible doctrine, both in faith and morals.
      + This infallible teaching is done by the Church's extraordinary and by her ordinary universal authority or magisterium.
      + The grave sinfulness of contraception is taught infallibly by the Church's ordinary universal teaching authority.
      + Therefore, those who defend contraception forfeit their claim tobeing professed Catholics.
      + Consequently, those who persist in their defense of contraception, deprive themselves of the divine graces which are reserved to bona fide members of the Roman Catholic Church.


There is some value in explaining that the Church's infallibility covers not only doctrines that are to be believed, like Christ's divinity or His Real Presence in the Eucharist. No, the Church also, and with emphasis, also teaches infallibly what the followers of Christ are to do.

In His final commission to the Apostles, Jesus told them to teach all nations, "to observe all that I have commanded you."

To mention just one infallible teaching in the moral order: the permanence of the marriage bond. Emphatically, the Church's irreversible doctrines include truths that we are obliged to believe. But they also include precepts that we are universally bound to obey.

This deserves to be emphasized. Why? Because there are nominally Catholic writers who are claiming that the Church's gift of infallibility extends only to her teaching of the faith. It does not, so the claim goes, include grave moral obligations like the prohibition of adultery, sodomy or contraception. That is not true.


What are the two ways in which the Church teaches infallibly? She does so whenever the Pope solemnly defines a dogma of the faith, as when in 1950 Pope Pius XII declared that Our Lady was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

But the Church also teaches infallibly whenever her bishops, united with the Pope, proclaim that something is to be accepted by all the faithful. Thus abortion was condemned as murder by the Catholic hierarchy, under the Pope, already in the first century of the Christian era--and ever since.

It is therefore infallibly true that abortion is a crime of willful homicide. So, too, the grave sinfulness of homosexuality is infallible Catholic teaching.


We return to where we began, to the subject of contraception. It is infallible Catholic doctrine that contraception is a mortal sin? Yes!

How do we know? We know this from the twenty centuries of the atholic Church's teaching. Already in the first century, those who rofessed the Catholic Faith did not practice either contraception or bortion, which were commonly linked together.

The people of the pagan Roman Empire into which they were born niversally practiced
      + Abortion
      + Contraception
      + Infanticide
      + Cohabitation of one man with either several legal wives, or with a plurality of concubines

In contrast with this moral promiscuity, Christians practiced onogamy, one man with one woman; they did not use drugs to prevent conception; they did not kill the newborn children whom they did not want to live; they did not practice sodomy or prostitution; and for the Christian, adultery and fornication were grave sins that might require several years of penitential expiation.

What do we call the Church's unbroken tradition in forbidding contraception? We call it her ordinary universal magisterium or teaching authority. This has always been considered a proof of infallibility, or from another perspective, irreversibility.

What do these two terms mean?

      + Infallibility means that God protects the Church from error in her         2000 years of teaching that contraception is a grave sin against God.
      + Irreversibility means that this teaching will never be reversed.         Contraception will remain a grave sin until the end of time.


As Christianity expanded, the inevitable happened. Once professed Christians lapsed into their former paganism.

We read in the first three centuries about the thousands of Christians who chose to be thrown to the lions, or beheaded, or crucified--rather than conform to the pagan immorality that was so prevalent in the culture in which they lived.

It is possible to misunderstand the Age of Martyrs of the first three centuries of the Christian era. We are liable to associate professing the Christian faith by refusing to drop a grain of incense before a statue of one of the pagan gods. No, the issue was much deeper and more serious. To be a Christian meant to refuse to conform to the pagan morality of those who did not believe in Christ. To be a Christian meant to reject the pagan immorality of the contemporary world--at the heart of which was the practice of contraception.


contraception as a general practice is a recent innovation in the western nominally Christian world.

Its rise is partly explained by the medical discovery of drugs which either prevent conception, or which destroy the unborn child in its mother's womb.

But the rise of contraception is mainly the result of a widespread propaganda by women like Margaret Sanger and the powerful forces of population control.

What have been the consequences of this return to prechristian paganism which is now "the law of the land" in once Christian nations like the United States? The consequences are inevitable.

The once solitary defender of the sanctity of marital relations is now on trial for the profession of its Catholic faith.

In 1968, when Pope Paul VI published <Humanae Vitae>, the episcopal conferences of one country after another met in solemn session to pass judgment on the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.

Bishops in what we call the "Third World Countries" stood firmly behind the Pope's teaching. But the bishops of so-called developed countries, like the United States, or Canada, or France, or Germany, or Austria, or Scandinavia issued long documents that, to put it mildly,compromised the teachings of the Vicar of Christ.

What followed was as inevitable as night follows day. Once firmly believing Catholics became confused, or bewildered, or simply uncertain about the grave moral evil of contraception.

The spectacle of broken families, broken homes, divorce and annulments, abortion and the mania of homosexuality--all of this has its roots in the acceptance of contraception on a wide scale in what only two generations ago was a professed Catholic population.


We come back to where we started--by claiming that contraception is fatal to the Catholic Faith.

By divine ordinance, those who call themselves Catholic must subscribe to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church of which the Bishop of Rome is the visible head.

This Catholic Church now stands alone in the world as the one universal authority which condemns contraception as contrary to the will of God.

Within the Catholic ranks has arisen an army of dissidents who speak and write in defense of contraception. The sex-preoccupied Andrew Greeley of Chicago recently devoted a whole chapter of a book entitled, "That damned encyclical," referring to <Humanae Vitae>. This priest remains in good standing in ecclesiastical circles.

When the present Holy Father made his first pilgrimage as Pope to the United States, he pleaded in Chicago with the American bishops to do something over the scandal of so many Catholics on Sundays going to Holy Communion and so few going to confession.
All the evidence indicates that the core issue at stake is contraception. If contraception is not a grave sin, well then what is? And why go to confession if I am still in God's friendship although practicing contraception.

What is the new conclusion? That the single, principal cause for the breakdown of the Catholic faith in materially overdeveloped countries like ours has been contraception.

St. James tells us that faith with out good works is dead. What good is it to give verbal profession of the Catholic faith, and then behave like a pagan in marital morality?


The single most crucial need to stem this hemorrhage from the Catholic faith is for the Church's leaders to stand behind the Vicar of Christ in proclaiming the Church's two millennia of teaching that no marital act can be separated from its God-given purpose to conceive and procreate a child.

I make bold to say that the Catholic Church, the real Roman Catholic Church, will survive only where its bishops are courageous enough to proclaim what the followers of Christ have believed since apostolic times. But the bishops are frail human beings. They need, Lord how they need the backing and support of the faithful under their care. So I would like to close with a prayer:

"Lord Jesus, you ordained your Apostles as Bishops at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday night. We beg You to give our bishops the wisdom to see that contraception is fatal to Catholic Christians. Above all, give them the courage of Thomas a Becket and John Fisher, to stand firm against the demonic pressure to destroy the human family by contraception. Amen."

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Marriage, essentially

A philosophical reflection on what's wrong with the concept of same-sex marriage.

By: Richard Fitzgibbons

I have been an active debater on blogs in which the topic of same-sex “marriage” is discussed and contested. Recently I received a comment that might benefit from a reply that is sent far and wide, beyond the one blog. The issue raised is common and the answer clarifies in a philosophical sense why same-sex “marriage” should never be defended. Good-hearted people with no philosophical training are being taken in by the rhetoric that homosexuals have a “right” to marriage. The intent of this essay is to show unambiguously that not only is this untrue but also the granting of that supposed right will logically lead to harm to children and to social chaos.

Here is the comment from the advocate for same-sex “marriage”:

“I’d like to see you be more precise in your language. You use words like essence, purpose, and endpoint as if they meant the same thing. The purpose of marriage is to create a new, separate family that ends loneliness and provides a helpmate. Most of these new families produce children, but marriage doesn’t exist solely to create children.”

Now to my open letter to all who have an interest in the subject of same-sex “marriage”.

The essence of something tells us what it is. A children's ball for play has an essence because of the substance of which it is made, its shape, and its intended purpose. A ball like this is made of a substance that allows it to be bounced. It is round. And the intent of making the ball is play. The ball has an endpoint or purpose, that of enjoyment, play or fun. So, essence (what a thing is) differs from, but is connected to, its purpose or its function. If a person says that a square block of wood is a ball (what it is or it's essence) this just will not do because a square block of wood cannot achieve the purpose for a child that a true ball can. To give a child a square block of wood and then to tell that child it is a ball and to create the expectation that the child should now play with it in a way that he or she does with a true ball is to invite confusion. If we persisted in insisting that the wooden square was a round ball, this will bring frustration and unhappiness to the child.

Now to our discussion of same-sex “marriage”. The essence of marriage (what it is) has always and without exception been this: man and woman in a loving, committed relationship. The endpoint or purpose of marriage has always and without exception been this: mutual loving support of each other and -- and -- the creation and support of children. Just as a particular children's play-ball can have defects in structure, so too can any given marriage. These defects for particular play-balls or marriages do not change the fact of what the ball or the marriage are in their essence. If a particular man and woman choose not to have children, they are not availing themselves of the full purpose of marriage. The parent who puts the ball on a shelf and refuses to let the child play with the ball is not fulfilling for the child the full purpose of the ball. In either of these particular cases, the essence of marriage and the essence of the play-ball are not altered by particular uses or purposes that are idiosyncratic to these particular circumstances. The particular does not alter the universal essence of a thing.

You are asking society to change the essence of marriage, what it is at its core.

So what? you may be asking.

This. As you change the essence of marriage, you invariably change its purpose because essence and purpose are closely connected. You inevitably remove from the purpose of marriage this: the creation and support of children. Note carefully that you have done precisely that in your comment.

You then are left only with this as the purpose of marriage: mutual loving support of those entering into marriage.

How does the new purpose (it is new because part of the traditional purpose of marriage is deliberately eliminated) affect the essence of marriage (what it is at its core)?

Here is the punchline, so please read very carefully: If the purpose of marriage is only mutual loving support, it follows clearly and unambiguously that the essence of marriage can and must include polygamy, polyandry, and man-boy "love". Why? Because each of these social structures fits within the definition of your purpose for marriage with no contradictions whatsoever. By defining the purpose of marriage as you have, you have changed its essence and allowed for some very strange social structures, such as man-boy "love", of which you probably do not approve, but must logically accept.

What if you then say that you will alter the essence again and restrict the mutual love to only two adult people? You cannot do that logically.

Let us first discuss the issue of “two” and then turn to the issue of “adults”. Once you have reduced the purpose of marriage to the mutual loving support of those entering into marriage, "two" becomes what philosophers call an "accident" of a thing, something not necessary to the essence. It is like insisting that a ball always be red. Redness is an accident of the ball, not part of its essence because a blue or yellow ball still retains all of the essence of what a ball is. Similarly, 19 men and 5 women who come together willingly in mutual loving support completely fulfill your made-up essence and your made-up endpoint: what a marriage is and its purpose.

Now let us turn to the issue of “adults”. If you claim that any adults (man-man or woman-woman) have a right to marriage -- and you must accept any combination of adults by your own definition of marriage as we have seen in the above paragraph -- there is nothing to stop society from extending that “right” to consenting adolescents and children. After all, what right does anyone have to block the “wants” of children and adolescents who choose as their “right”, the “right to marry”? It is arbitrary to block their wants-as-rights if the wants of two men or two women or 19 men and 5 women are not blocked by society. You would be depriving them, based on your own words, of creating “a new, separate family that ends loneliness and provides a helpmate.” A 10-year-old fits this definition of your own making.

You might then say this: Well, the limitation of two persons must be arbitrary for heterosexual marriage also. No, it is not. Recall a vital purpose of marriage: to create and nurture children. Notwithstanding the methods of today’s reproductive technology, ultimately only one man and one woman can create a child. Research shows that the child is nurtured best with the mother and the father. The union of two is part of the essence of true marriage.

You might then say this: Well, the idea of only adults must be arbitrary for heterosexual marriages, too. No, it is not. Recall a vital purpose of marriage: to nurture the children. Only adults can do that because part of the essence of “adult” is maturity -- greater maturity than children or adolescents have. Please recall that if particular adults lack maturity, this defect does not take away from the universal meaning of the word “adult”. Only one man and one woman can both create and nurture children in a reliable way. “Adults and adults alone” is part of the essence of true marriage.

Whoever was confused about the “rights” of two men to marry or two women to marry, I ask: Are you still confused? If you are not, then what is the logical next step to protecting the essence of marriage and the clear purpose of nurturing and protecting children in that context? As you can see, and this is the logic of it, not my opinion only of it, the alternative is to invite social chaos. The alternative is a failure to protect children, as marriage has traditionally had as one of it’s purposes.

Richard Fitzgibbons is the director of Comprehensive Counseling Services in West Conshohocken, PA. He has practiced psychiatry for 34 years with a specialty in the treatment of excessive anger. He co-authored Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope, 2000, for American Psychological Association Books.