12 March 2010

Dissent is the problem, not celibacy

Cardinal Schonborn stirred up a little controversy recently when he seemed to suggest that mandatory celibacy for priests was part of the sexual abuse scandals in his archdiocese.  Reading his actual comments, it is easy to see that once again the media are fishing for juicy bits to use against their favored whipping boy, the Church.  The Cardinal said no such thing.

Included in the linked article are these two paragraphs outlining the dessicated views of dinosaur faux-Catholic theologian, Hans Kung:

This week the dissident theologian Father Hans K√ľng, who was stripped of his licence to teach Catholic theology in 1979 after he rejected the doctrine of Papal infallibility, said in The Tablet that denials of any link between abuse and celibacy were “erroneous”.

He said celibacy was not the only cause of the misconduct but described it as “the most important and structurally the most decisive” expression of the Church’s repressive attitude to sex. 

Can celibacy cause sexual repression?  Yes, it can.  So can sexual promiscuity and monogamy.  If a priest (or anyone else) finds himself sexually repressed by celibacy, this is a sure sign that celibacy is not a discipline he should be practicing. . ."better to marry than burn." If you can't practice celibacy, don't seek ordination as a Catholic priest.  If you are already a Catholic priest and can't be celibate, then seek to be laicized.   

If a man is sexually integrated and emotionally stable before he enters seminary, there's almost no chance that the discipline of celibacy will cause sexual repression, much less cause him to molest children or teens.   Keep in mind:  the number of sexual abuse cases in the public school system is significantly higher than in the Church.  I doubt many public school teachers are celibate. 

The real problem with celibacy is the constant attacks on the practice by people like Kung.  How many sexually problematic men go through seminary listening to the "inevitable revolution" rhetoric of Church dissidents and believe that any day now the Church will see the light and allow priests to marry?  I know for a fact that many women in the '70's went to seminary to train for Orders b/c they listened to these same dissidents tell them--in knowing prophetic tones--that women's ordination was inevitable, so they had better be prepared!  Their disappointment forms one of the strongest pillars of radical feminist rage against the Church.

Is it any wonder that Mother Church comes out looking like a Prude given that your wildest (and impossible) dreams, planted by dissent and nourished by heresy, are thwarted by the truths of the faith?

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11 March 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Losing credibility:  they have no one to blame but themselves.  Science properly done is always credible, if not always absolutely correct. 

Wards of the State riot against Nanny in Greece as French and German E.U. Super Nannies tell their Greek wards to make financially responsible decisions. 

Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional.  Go figure.  Remember the important question to ask when you hear people complain about the civil use of "God":  "OK.  You're offended.  But have you been harmed?"  We do not enjoy the right not to be offended.

How Marx got it wrong:  BXVI on the failure of socialism.

I'm 100% in favor of having women play a greater role in the decision-making of the Church.  However, no one should be deluded into thinking that More Women = Better Decisions.  American university faculties are dominated by women.  The LCWR is a women-only group.  The E.U. machine has lots of women working in prominent positions.  Liberal Protestant churches are top-heavy with women leaders.  None of these institutions can lay claim to being "more perfect" simply b/c women have a greater role in the decision-making process. IOW, women are as prone to the temptations of the Devil as men are. . .sin knows no gender bias.

God, the Heavy Stone, and a Mistaken Notion of "Almighty."

My new fav show:  Caprica.  If you want a dramatic rendition of the problems faced by philosophers of science and religion, this show is for you:  mind vs. body, real world vs. virtual world, polytheist culture vs. monotheist insurgency, theocratic inculturation, ethics of technology, nature of personhood, etc.  Good stuff.

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Quick updates

Mea culpa!

I'm WAY behind on homily postings and "question time."  Second and third Sunday of Lent homilies are still in the pipeline.  I could regale you with hundreds of perfectly legit-sounding excuses. . .but I won't.  

Rec'd the author's proof-copy of the second prayer book yesterday.  Rather than cut more of the text, Liguori decided to increase the page limit by 24 pages.  They are also publishing the Beatitude Rosary as a separate chap book.  
French is chugging along.  We have an excellent teacher.  But I'm the dumbest kid in class.  This is always the case when I take foreign language classes.  It's bizarre:  I can grasp deconstuctive linguistics and process metaphysics, but tell me to introduce myself in a language I've studied for two years and my mind goes blooey.  God's way of keeping me humble (or trying to anyway).

Back to work.

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10 March 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

I wouldn't have stabbed her. . .but I would've considered it.  This is one of my pet peeves.  

The devil is at work in the Vatican?  Again, yes.  He is also at work in Canterbury, Jerusalem, Riyadh; in hospitals, restaurants, and supermarkets; even your kitchen and in your front yard.  Why is this news?

I stopped watching Law & Order way back in 2000.  Along with Boston Legal it had become a P.R. vehicle for leftist whining and anti-Christian bigotry.

Celibacy is not psychologically dangerous; however, promiscuity is.  Thus, the reason our sexual libertine culture attacks virginity, celibacy, and marriage.

The dangers (and absurdities) of the New Socialist Man.  Basic problem:  the denial of original sin and the imperatives of human evolution.

Something to forward to after Easter:  papal document on the Bible!

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Coffee Bowl Browsing (Verbose Edition)

The banality of the Postmodern Mystic:  "Americans seem to have done with mysticism what we’ve done with every other kind of human experience: We’ve democratized it, diversified it, and taken it mass market."

Will the Baby Boomers come to regret their revolutionary pretenses?  If demographics are any indication, yes.  Boomers raised my generation--the X'er's--and we raised the Millennials.  Boomers pushed free-love, abortion/contraception, Do Your Own Thing, etc. and now their twilight years will be spent wholly dependent on two diminished generations of citizens who are less inclined to feel any sense of duty toward the elderly, the family; support euthanasia, and shirk civic responsibility.  The hippie-chickens are coming home to roost and those are not golden eggs they're dropping.

Home-school biology textbooks dominated by anti-evolution Protestant fundamentalism.  Surely there are some Catholic home-schooling science textbooks out there that aren't based on biblical scientism?

What is nihilism?  Recently, an European friar admitted to me, "Europeans. . .we hate ourselves."

Why the MSM hates the blogosphere--two words:  Dan Rather.  There's a real generation gap when it comes to trusting the news reported on the internet.  I've noticed among Baby Boomer friars an entrenched prejudice against believing the truth of most anything first reported on the net.  The attitude seems to be:  "If it's not reported in the NYT or on CNN, it's not worth knowing."  Too bad.

These "women-priests" are starting to remind me of those creepy guys who travel around the world getting ordained over and over again in hotel ballrooms by bishops who claim apostolic succession through multiple obscure national churches.  At some point a hobby becomes an obsession and an obsession becomes a parody. . .in the case of "women-priests," a decidedly pathetic parody.

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09 March 2010

Recommendations for a cell phone?

I'll be heading back to the U.S. mid-June, and I need a cell phone.
Nothing fancy.  No contracts.  Just a simple phone to use in case of emergencies while I travel.  I want my parents to be able to contact me while I'm on the road.

Any suggestions?

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Venite Adoremus!

Great video about Eucharistic Adoration here at the Angelicum!

The video features our own chaplain for English-speaking students, Fr. Benedict Croell, OP of the Eastern Dominican Province.

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The sacrifice of forgiveness

3rd Week of Lent: Readings
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
SS. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

The young woman sitting in my office was recounting to me all the times she had been physically and sexually abused by her father. Before his death, he had been a heavy drinker and drug-addict. He had never married this woman's mother and only showed his face at home when he needed money. Before ransacking the house looking for goods to sell, he would beat the girl and her mother, and more often than not, rape one or the other or both. Without fail, he would return later in the week, crying, begging for forgiveness and promising to never hurt either of them again. He never kept this promise. He died of an overdose while serving a prison sentence for drug possession. The young woman was in my office, telling me this horror story because she wanted me to tell her how to forgive him. I had no idea what to say, so I asked instead, “Why do you want to forgive him?” She said, “Because he is my father, and I love him.” Better than I could then and even now, she understood the power of sacrificial love to push the wounded soul to forgiveness.

Azariah finds himself in a very different predicament. From the flames of the furnace, he promises to honor his God on the altar of his contrite heart. He has no first fruits, no incense, no bull to offer; no priest for the sacrifice. He has nothing to give but his life, so he prays: “. . .let our sacrifice be in your presence today. . .for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. . .Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord.” Facing an agonizing death, Azariah's love for God does not falter on the off-chance that his ruler will spare him if he only recants his faith. Rather than cry out for vengeance against his murderer, Azariah cries out to God for rescue, offering the one victim that makes every sacrifice of the altar holy: the undivided, wholly surrendered, and contrite heart of the lover. “Let us be received,” he prays, “as though we were burnt offerings.” 

The young woman said that she wanted to forgive her father because she loved him. I asked her, “Is your love for him now forgiveness enough?” She said, “No. If I forgive him, then everything he did was O.K. It's like saying he did nothing wrong.” I didn't know how to explain to her that she could forgive him without condoning his crimes, that she could sacrifice her pain without celebrating his sin. How could I tell her that her desire to forgive him was also a desire to be forgiven her hatred of him and what he had done? Jesus tells us that if we want to be forgiven, then we must forgive. He says that we will be forgiven our sins in exactly the same way that we forgive those who have sinned against us. The sacrifice we must make is to release the grip we have on the sins committed against us. Held too closely and too tightly, these sins will turn rancid and poison us. 

Azariah doesn't pray for vengeance. He prays for rescue and offers his humbled spirit in sacrifice. The young woman in my office loves her father but cannot sacrifice the wounds he has inflicted on her. Azariah doesn't burn in the furnace because he holds nothing against his persecutors. There is nothing in him that is not already burned away. The young woman desires to forgive, but she still clings to her father's sins and there is much left to burn. 

Jesus teaches us the truth: we cannot forgive if we do not sacrifice; we cannot be forgiven if we ourselves will not forgive.

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08 March 2010

O.P. sisters in Mosul, Iraq

Sr Donna Markham, O.P., the Prioress of the Adrian Dominicans, reports on the terrible situation of our Dominican Sisters in Iraq and the entire Christian community in Mosul:

Dear Sisters, This evening I have received very tragic news about the situation in Iraq. I have just returned from being with the 5 Iraqi sisters who are with us in Adrian. Today, all the Christians have fled from Mosul.

There have been murders and rapes of Christians there and for now they are fleeing to the Christian villages. Sister Maria is very frightened about the safety of the sisters and the Christian people. As of now, the five elderly sisters who have been holding down the Motherhouse are choosing to remain there because they do not want to lose their Motherhouse to the terrorists. She said most Christians are making plans to evacuate from Iraq and, as a consequence, she does not know what will happen with her Congregation. She said they will follow the Christian people where they go, but where that will be is uncertain. The sisters' families remain in grave danger and, as you can imagine, the young ones with us and with Springfield are terrified. As of now, nothing is being reported in the US press. She asks if any of us know people in Washington whom we could contact and tell the story, to please do so. Most importantly, she asks for our prayers. 

Love, Sr. Donna

*forwarded to the friars by Fr. Brian Mulcahy, OP, Socius of the Eastern Dominican Province.

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We're back up and running. . .

Late Saturday evening, the proxy server that connects the priory network to the Vatican's main server went down.

The only friar in the house who has access to the proxy was out of town. . .so, we went two days without internet access.  A Perfect Example of the inefficiency of religious life in Italy!

Oh well, off to do French homework. . .

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