Monday, January 29, 2018

Dialogue With a Pro-Choice Bodily Autonomist

I feel myself forced to agree with something many people (at least in the Catholic world) have observed: dialogue is dead. or at least, it's nearly dead. If one isn't devolving into personal attacks, then they're going in a hundred different directions, or ignoring legitimate questions in the course of a discussion. Below is a prime example of such a "dialogue".

Rare is the person who can be intellectually honest and actually have a legitimate conversation. It has happened before, in my experience... but man alive, is it rare. What you will read below stems from a meme that was posted on social media. The pro-choice person went on many different tangents, so I'll only include relevant portions of the thread. His words will be in red, mine in blue, and other persons' in varying colors. As you'll see as you're reading, I post this (and kept engaging this person) because some people may have encountered his arguments in the past and not known what to say. As this Facebook page gets a lot of traffic, I at least wanted to reply for their benefit, if not my interlocutor's, so as to show how ridiculous his position is. That fact will become increasingly clear as the conversation progresses.

The meme in question
Tom: I didn't realize you were being forced to have abortions.

Harriet: Each baby is forced to die without a choice in the matter.

Tom: "Baby"? I thought we were talking about fetuses. Do people abort babies now?

Harry: Oops, Tom has apparently swallowed the lie that fetuses aren't also babies.

Friday, January 26, 2018

What Is Theosis?

When I was writing a previous article for Ascension Press, I was thinking about how to counter the narrative that we see running through many "New Age-y" (yes, I added a "y" there) circles. That is, one is all and all is one. We are, and everything around us, in some way, is God. It's basically pantheism in a modern veneer. Well, as always, the Catholic Church and 2,000+ years of tradition has a better answer for us on how the universe works. I recently had the opportunity to write a little bit about what that tradition entails in my latest essay over on Ascension's blog.

Below, you'll find a snippet of the article. I was able to feature quite a few selections from the Catechism as well... that is, the Catechism of the Ukrainian-Greek Catholic Church. The Byzantine tradition of the Church has a lot of insight on what "theosis" or "divinization" is all about, and it's definitely not about what our New Age friends would have us believe:
The early Christians had a specific name for this process of becoming more like God. It was (and still is) called “theosis”. We sometimes see this rendered as “divinization” or “deification” in Western Christianity, but the three terms all describe the same thing. St. Athanasius puts it very succinctly: “God became man so that man might become God.” The Early Church Fathers found the roots of this concept of theosis in Sacred Scripture: 
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Follow the link to read the article in its entirety.
The Harrowing of Hell

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Changing the Teaching Proclaimed in Humane Vitae Will Have Grave Repercussions

This may be a bit late, but I really wanted to address something that is very disturbing and should certainly cause faithful Catholics to pray even harder for the clergy. A story broke just a couple days ago, found over at the National Catholic Register, that a priest who was recently appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Life, Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, gave a lecture last month at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Re-reading Humanae Vitae [HV] (1968) in light of Amoris Laetitia [AL] (2016). What's scary here is that Fr. Chiodi tries to prove that AL has opened the door for contraception to be permissible and morally licit in certain cases. In his lecture, he opines: 
"[I]n situations when natural methods are impossible or unfeasible, other forms of responsibility need to be found. There are circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8 — that precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception."
He is not referring to natural means of regulating births, but to artificial contraception as being "responsible" in a greater degree.. I find this to be really troubling, that this priest would so twist the words of Pope Francis.
Jacques Laumosnier- Wedding of Louis XIV of France

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Interview With Chaldean Catholic Pastor

I recently had the privilege to interview, and worship with, Fr. Fawaz Kako. He's a priest of a Chaldean Catholic parish here in the Chicago suburbs. As a native of Iraq, he has experienced first hand how Christians have been treated in the Middle East. To learn more about our Chaldean Catholic brothers and sisters, how they worship, and what they have endured, check out my interview with him over at Catholic World Report. You can find a preview of the article below:
"To be honest with you, the problem is not only with ISIS. The problem is that there is a systematic persecution against Christians. Not only Christians, but anyone who is different, or if, to be honest with you, if you are not Muslim. You are always looked at as a second-class citizen.  So the problem is not only with ISIS. For example, my name, Fawaz, is not a Christian name. It is an Arabic name. According to the law in Iraq, my parents were not allowed to give me a Christian name. I was given one at baptism, but my legal name has always been Fawaz. To give someone a Christian name was illegal."
The full interview can be found here.
St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy, MI

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Some Passing Thoughts on A Couple of Essays

About a month ago, Pope Francis' letter to the Argentine bishops on the implementation of Amoris laetitia (AL) in regards to the civilly divorced and remarried was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Dr. Edward Peters, a canon lawyer, addressed this with some clarifying remarks from Fr. Z over at his blog. I had posted some thoughts over there, and so as not to lose them in the shuffle, I'll post them here as well. I mainly wanted to bring up an excellent essay that had been published in print by Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S. A couple quick points though before I post those thoughts in response to Dr. Peter's essay...

I'm getting really tired of all the bad mouthing of His Holiness in certain pockets of the interwebs. It's really disgusting to see how he is being talked about in some quarters. Until proven otherwise, I take Pope Francis' words at face value: "I am a son of the Church". As I am too, I believe that there are many people out there who are twisting the pope's words in AL, and now in this published letter. After studying the issue I agree with both Dr. Peters and Fr. Raymond J. de Souza that "it is possible to read the Buenos Aires guidelines as consistent with the Church’s traditional teaching..." I defer to these men who are experts on the situation. I simply add my thoughts to this just to bring attention to what Fr. Brian Harrison had to say. My comment follows after the jump. It'd be best to read Fr.Z's comments linked above first before continuing.
The Country Wedding- John Lewis Krimmel

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reply on Pope Pius XI's Magisterium

In my latest essay over on Catholic Stand, I finished up talking about how the infallibility of the ordinary Magisterium works; what it is and what it is not. There was one commenter who had a question about Pope Pius XI and his encyclical Casti Connubii. The commenter's words will be in red, with my reply in blue.

Tom: Yet the other part of Casti Connubii -- condemning equal rights for women -- is that still the Magisterium?

Nicholas: I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific. I'll be happy to engage more fully then. It seems different people have different meanings of "equal rights". There are many different connotations. I can assure you, that in the fullest sense of the term, Pope Pius XI did not condemn equal rights in this encyclical; quite the contrary, actually.

Also, keep in mind that there are three categories when declarations of the authentic Magisterium are made. Only those in the first two categories are recognized as infallibly taught.

Tom: Pius condemns those who say "the rights of husband and wife are equal" (para. 74), called "the subjection of wife to husband" an eternal truth though the specifics vary with time and place (para. 26 - 28), and "there must be a certain inequality" legally (para. 76). I think we can confidently say that these teachings have been superseded.

He also condemns mixed marriages without a special dispensation (para. 82), another teaching which has been superseded.
Pope Pius XI

New Article on Mary, the Mother of God

Christmas ain't over yet folks! Far from it! We celebrated St. Stephen the Protomartyr's feast yesterday, and we have another extremely important solemnity coming up next week: Mary, the Mother of God. I recently wrote an essay over at the Ascension Press Blog.

You can follow the link here to read the short article.