Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gone fishing

For the next couple of weeks I will have limited, or no access to the Internet so I will not be signing into my blog. This means if you choose to leave a comment I probably won't see it until I have access again.

Thanks to everyone who reads and comments.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Infection

C. S. Lewis on Love from Mere Christianity
"All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that 'God is love'. But they seem not to notice that the words 'God is Love' have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something one person has for another. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love. Of course, what these people mean when they say God is love is often something quite different: they really mean 'Love is God'. They really mean that our feelings of love, however and wherever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to be treated with great respect. Perhaps they are: but that is something quite different from what Christians mean by the statement 'God is love'. They believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created anything else.

And that by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing--not even a person--but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a person...of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person. But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and the Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the three Persons who are God. The third Person is called, in technical language, the Holy Ghost or the 'spirit' of God...

...And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way around) each one of us has to enter the pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to get wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but whither and die?"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why, as a Catholic, I support Bill C-510

Why, as a Catholic, I cannot support Bill C-510 By Geoffrey F. Cauchi, LL.B. Issue: October 2010
It is disturbing that Geoffrey Cauchi has publicly come out against Bill C-510 Roxanne's law, a bill that would make it a criminal offense for anyone to coerce a woman to abort her unborn child. This is a positive pro-life bill because it will protect some babies. It will protect a woman who decides to keep her baby. It does this by allowing her to press charges against someone who tries to coerce her to abort.

(Mr. Cauchi's article also notes that: "the opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not necessarily represent the views of the pro-life organizations of which he is a member or leader." This may be so, but Mr. Cauchi is the president of Alliance for Life Ontario. Therefore the optics of his non-support for this bill will be very influential on the pro-life community, even if these are only his personal opinions.)

It does not need to be stated that Canada has no abortion law and that an abortion can be legally procured in Canada at any time during the nine month pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever, or for no reason at all. All pro-lifers are extremely well aware of this fact. We also know from past experience that all attempts to enact limitations on abortion have met with zero success. It's time to make some progress.

Mr. Cauchi says that according to Catholic teaching:
"if a proposed Bill is an intrinsically unjust law, it cannot, in good conscience, be publicly supported by Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium. In the Papal Encyclical, Evangelium vitae (EV, 73.2), Pope John Paul II, citing section 22 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974), confirmed long-standing Church teaching when he said: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it.” (the “No Exceptions Statement”)."

Mr. Cauchi then goes on to make his case that this is an unjust law, essentially because some unborn children will not be saved. Yet saving the lives of some of our children is better than condemning all of the aborted ones. Bill C-510 will do this.

With all due respect to Mr. Cauchi, he is a banking lawyer and not a moral theologian. I must therefore defer to what the moral theologians and ethicists have to say on the subject of incrementalism in abortion. I refer the reader to an article written by William E. May, “The Misinterpretation of John Paul II’s Teaching in Evangelium vitae n.73,” The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Winter 2006, Vol. 6 No. 4. p. 705. Mr. May makes some key observations on incrementalism. Here are some excerpts:

On page 705:
"In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium vitae, John Paul II takes up a "particular problem of conscience" that can occur "[when] a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on" (n. 73). He then makes the following most important statement: In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil effect. (n. 73)"

On page 707:
"But John Paul II judges that the kind of political decisions which can be licit do not have as their moral objects permitting or authorizing abortions, or the intentional killing of unborn children. Rather, the object that morally specifies the legislator’s act in this situation is to extend the protection of law to the lives of unborn children who are not protected under existing legislation or under alternative proposed legislation, which this legislation is intended to replace. This is evidently a good moral object."

On Page 713:
"Ratzinger writes: According to the principles of Catholic morality, an action can be considered licit whose object and proximate effect consist in limiting an evil insofar as is possible. Thus, when one intervenes in a situation judged evil in order to correct it for the better, and when the action is not evil in itself, such an action should be considered not as the voluntary acceptance of the lesser evil but rather as the effective improvement of the existing situation, even though one remains aware that not all evil present is able to be eliminated for the moment.19"

A few months ago Cardinal Ouellette and Archbishop Prendergrast said in a CTV interview:
"I think we need to look at the issue of how many abortions there are in our country and so Cardinal Ouellet and I last week took the tact of saying, look alright we aren’t going to change the law at present anyway, so let’s do something about reducing the number. If everyone says there should be as few abortions as possible, what are we doing for that? Why are we happy that the number is staying more or less static? You know in a country like this? The Cardinal gave the statistics that with 10,000,000 people in Belgium, they have fewer abortions than they have in Quebec where they have 8,000,000 people. Why is that? Who would not be opposed to reducing the number of abortions? (emphasis added) I don't think anybody...Well we would like to change the law, I would like to change the law and at least put some restrictions on it at least something like you have in Belgium where after the first trimester there aren’t any abortions or generally there aren’t any."

We can reduce the number of abortions by supporting bill C-510. Once we have some protection for the unborn, we know the job isn't finished--we will then move on to the next bill. If we insist on waiting for the perfect bill that completely eliminates all abortions, and decide that is the only acceptable objective, our children will continue to be destroyed.

If an incremental bill can save one child of the 100,000 killed each year through abortion, this bill will have been worth it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dominion over all creatures

"Christ has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature."

St. Cyril of Alexandria

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Principle and Foundation is the opening preface of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Exercises were composed between 1521 and 1522. The book was matured and revised through some twenty-five years until it was published in 1548.

In the commentary of the Exercises by George E. Ganss, S.J., Ganss says:
"St. Ignatius of Loyola's (1491-1556) worldview...was firmly based on five chief truths of God's revelation: God's purpose in creating human beings; their fall from grace through original sin; the Incarnation of his Son; the Redemption by which Christ restored humankind to God's grace through his life, Passion, and Resurrection; and the destiny of humankind to eternal salvation, that full satisfaction of each person's capacities and desires in the joy of the beatific vision. In other words, Ignatius' outlook was based on God's plan of creation and spiritual development for human beings who use their free wills wisely as this divine design evolves in the history of salvation. This plan is what St. Paul enthusiastically called "the mystery of Christ" (Eph. 1:7-8; 3:3-21). It had long remained hidden but was fully revealed through Christ."

"Human beings are created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by means of doing this to save their souls.

The other things on the face of the earth are created for the human beings, to help them in the pursuit of the end for which they are created.

From this it follows that we ought to use these things to the extent that they help us toward our end, and free ourselves from them to the extent that they hinder us from it.

To attain this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, in regard to everything which is left to our free will and is not forbidden. Consequently, on our own part we ought not to seek health rather than sickness, wealth rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short one, and so on in all other matters.

Rather, we ought to desire and choose only that which is more conducive to the end for which we are created."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An inconvenient truth

The pro-abortions get really cranky when the truth about abortion is shown out there in the world for all to see.

In particular, they don't like that the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform (CCBR) uses photos that show pictures of dead fetuses. These photos make it kind of hard to deny that fetuses exist. You see, if we just pretend that fetuses don't exist, then it follows that nothing actually dies during an abortion. But pictures of dead fetuses blows that pretense out of the water.

The solution for the pro-abortions is to come up with a new imaginary notion--that pictures of these dead fetuses in all its graphic horror somehow constitutes hate speech:
"If anti-choice activities, like those undertaken by the CCBR in co-operation with anti-choice campus clubs, are deemed to be hateful, this justifies a restriction in civil liberties. Establishing that the activities of such extreme anti-choice activities are hateful has thus been one of the primary goals of student pro-choice advocates."

How does the truth equal hate speech? Well of course, it doesn't. No matter--because the pro-abortions are on a roll. They've got a brand new bandwagon to jump on, that runs alongside their "reproductive health" and "reproductive rights" and "reproductive choice" they have invented "reproductive justice."

So tell me, do the pro-abortions also want "reproductive justice" for the women who want to KEEP their babies? Nope. At the end of this new abortion manifesto, they clearly come out against the Unborn Victims of Crime Act. Why? Well, Joyce Arthur let slip the real motivation behind opposition to that bill when she told Charles Lewis of the National Post:
“If the fetuses are recognized in this bill, it could bleed into people’s consciousness and make people change their minds about abortion.” (“Fetal rights stir debate on abortion,” by Charles Lewis, National Post, March 1, 2008).

We cannot under any circumstances protect those choices. As long as the choice is abortion--it's a go. Just don't let the truth of dead fetuses get in the way of "reproductive justice".

Monday, September 13, 2010

The great sin

C.S. Lewis on Pride from his book Mere Christianity:
"I now come to that part of Christian morals where they differ most from all other morals. There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves...the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite it, in Christian morals, is called Humility...According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil is was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind...

...pride always means enmity—it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God.

In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that--and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison—you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you...

...Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call humble nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A poached egg

C. S Lewis on Jesus Christ from his book Mere Christianity:
"...I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God'. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who is merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell, You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human being. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Natural Law: the innocent should not be attacked of killed

In this installment (#31 Laws and Virtues, 9433.mp3) of "Get a life in Christ", Father Benedict Groeschel discusses the laws: the law of Human Nature called the Natural Law:
"The Natural law is those convictions, those rules that are necessary for human life to survive. The first rule of the natural law is that we must do good and avoid evil. The natural law is absolutely essential for the survival of the society...the most important criminal trial in the twentieth century, was tried on the natural law: the Nuremberg war trial, where the Nazis were on trial. They could not be tried by the law of the German Reich, because the Nazis hadn't violated that law. Their plea was that they had done what they were told to by the law of the Reich. And in fact they were tried and convicted, and many of them were executed for violations of the natural law, specifically that the innocent should not be attacked or killed."

Fr. Groeschel also discusses Divine law and how it works with the Natural Law.

And he discusses conscience:
"We need to incorporate the law of God by a good conscience. St Thomas Aquinas says" The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding, placed is us by God so that we know what we must do, and what we must avoid. God has given us His law at our creation." Without conscience we can do very very little in life. The Vatican Council stated in GAUDIUM ET SPES:

"In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.(9) Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths."

Fr. Groeschel ends by saying:
"It is conscience that makes us different from animals, it is conscience that makes us noble creatures."

Interesting parallels there between the Nuremberg trials, conscience, and the current global abortion holocaust.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Canada caves to pro-abortions

Today we find out in the Ottawa Citizen that Bev Oda says Canada would support abortion infrastructure if asked but only as long as it's legal:
"As long as it is legal within the country and it's a legal procedure ... if we were asked to help in that way, we would do that."

This after our government promised Canadians we would not fund abortions in the Maternal Health initiative.

It gets worse.

In the Globe and Mail reported from Johannesburg that:
"Despite its refusal to consider abortion in its maternal-health plan, the Harper government has given financial support to an international agency that provides abortion illegally in some African countries."

The article also reported that the organization does not want to be publicly identified.

Then in this youtube video taken at the Global Safe Abortion conference held in London 2007, Paul Cornellisson, Marie Stopes Program Director for South Africa, admits that his organization promotes illegal abortion all over the world. Mr. Cornellison states:
"We do illegal abortions all over the world. In a way we could help people you know. We are just over the border from Johannesburg and Pretoria..."

What is going on? Has Canada done an about face and decided to fund legal abortions in Africa? Or has the completely unthinkable happened, and Canada will fund illegal abortions in Africa through Marie Stopes?

Either way, it's a sad sad day for the unborn children of the world.