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ON THE TRANSCENDENTALS OF BEING | We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Life Wins!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Where is hope... and grace? Chaput at the Synod

The question was asked here a few days ago (Oct. 5th)—"Where is grace?"

Here it is, a message of grace and hope. Pray that this message from the good Archbishop of Philadelphia is heard and embraced. People at risk (and the Synod fathers!) need to hear this message of hope founded upon the transformative grace of God!

Marriage as a Witness to Hope
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered the following speech, termed an intervention, Oct. 7 in Rome at the Synod of Bishops on the Family. Pope Francis is leading selected bishops from around the world this month to discuss pastoral issues concerning marriage and family.—

The Instrumentum seemed to present us with two conflicting views: pastoral despair or a decision to hope. When Jesus experienced the pastoral despair of his Apostles, he reminded them that for man a thing may seem impossible, but for God all things are possible.
In mastering nature for the purpose of human development, we human beings have wounded our oceans and the air we breathe. We’ve poisoned the human body with contraceptives. And we’ve scrambled the understanding of our own sexuality. In the name of individual fulfillment, we’ve busied ourselves with creating a new Babel of tyranny that feeds our desires but starves the soul.
Paragraphs 7-10 of the Instrumentum did a good job of describing the condition of today’s families. But overall, the text engenders a subtle hopelessness. This leads to a spirit of compromise with certain sinful patterns of life and the reduction of Christian truths about marriage and sexuality to a set of beautiful ideals — which then leads to surrendering the redemptive mission of the Church.
The work of this synod needs to show much more confidence in the Word of God, the transformative power of grace, and the ability of people to actually live what the Church believes. And it should honor the heroism of abandoned spouses who remain faithful to their vows and the teaching of the Church.
George Bernanos said that the virtue of hope is “despair, overcome.” We have no reason to despair. We have every reason to hope. Pope Francis saw this himself in Philadelphia. Nearly 900,000 people crowded the streets for the papal Mass that closed the World Meeting of Families.
They were there because they love the Pope, but also because they believe in marriage. They believe in the family. And they were hungry to be fed by real food from the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
We need to call people to perseverance in grace and to trust in the greatness God intended for them — not confirm them in their errors. Marriage embodies Christian hope – hope made flesh and sealed permanently in the love of a man and a woman.
This synod needs to preach that truth more clearly with the radical passion of the Cross and Resurrection.

The Synod on the Family. What are they doing there?

"If everything was concluded with the report yesterday (by Cardinal Erdo), then what are we doing here?" Archbishop Celli asked.
If the Synod Fathers are merely concerned about a PR campaign, i.e., trying to enable the Gospel to be communicated in a more effective and positive way to the world, then fine. Let them take a lesson from the pop-feel-good gurus and use nicey-nice language and glitzy TV ads to draw in potential believers. As long as the content of the unchanging Faith is preserved unblemished and taught to be observed and obeyed, no harm done. Well, mostly no harm done. By presenting the Faith using slick advertising campaigns, there is a risk that the Faith will be equated with (and reduced to) the pop mush that dominates contemporary media.

In ancient times, when the Church took heresies really seriously, council fathers spoke clearly, often with great force to confirm the teaching of the Apostles. So serious did the ancients take heresy that they often came to blows with one another, heretics on one side and orthodox on the other. No one condones the use of violence to prove a point, of course. The point is, however, that heresy can do serious damage to the Church, and our Mother requires a defence that is charitable and unyielding. Reasoned arguments and the facts of the Catholic and Orthodox Faith must counter attempts to insert heterodoxy into the religion of Christ. The Church needs warriors who speak the truth with love.

The fathers of the great ecumenical councils did not mince words. They spoke the great creeds of the Church. They were concerned about communicating the Truth in terms that the Church, i.e., (Catholic) Christians, would understand, not language necessary tailored to the understanding of the worldly. It is the job of bishops and priests to communicate doctrine to believers and people of goodwill in a way that meets the hearer and allows him or her to access the edges of the mysteries (sacraments) and thus be led more deeply into an intimate communion with Christ and His Church. Haven't we opened up the windows into the nave of the Church wide enough for the past 50 years? Isn't it high time we started sweeping up the dust and dead leaves of relativism and dissent that has blown in from the street and deposit it where it is tread under foot?

Anyone who dares to downplay the seriousness of the conflict between the advocates of fact (orthodoxy) versus those lobbying the Church to embrace fiction (heterodoxy) is as guilty as those who advocate for a change in doctrine. Doctrine that is, in four words, NOT OURS TO CHANGE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

And you have to ask why we have problems in the Church in Canada?

In the "Oh brother, what's next?" category of goofy statements of the heterodox kind, a leading Canadian prelate excuses himself from Tradition by donning the mitre of untenable innovation.
A Canadian archbishop told a major Vatican meeting on family issues Tuesday that the church should consider allowing women to serve as deacons.
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, who was recently president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, was one of many top church leaders who gave short speeches to the hundreds of bishops meeting in Rome.
Pope Francis convened the meeting this month to suggest ways the Catholic Church can support modern families but within the context of traditional church teachings. The meeting opened Sunday and so far has been made up of bishops speaking for three minutes apiece about their various ideas on family issues and church teachings.
Durocher declined to comment to The Post, but pointed to a Catholic News Service piece about his comments. In the piece he says he had used his time mostly to talk about the role of women in the church, and about domestic violence and ways Catholic theology views gender roles.
Deacons in the Catholic Church can preach and preside at baptisms, funerals and weddings, but may not celebrate Mass or hear confessions. Becoming a deacon in the church requires training but not going to seminary, as priests do.
“I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons,” he told CNS he had told the synod. He also said he had recommended the synod “clearly state that you cannot justify the domination of men over women — certainly not violence — through biblical interpretation,” particularly what he called incorrect interpretations of Scripture that women should be submissive to their husbands.
O that crazy Saint Paul, misogynist and prisoner of his time.

Are we to believe a Saint and Apostle of the Church, or an archbishop who appears to thrive on creating false dichotomies which pit Catholics against Catholic Tradition?

Archbishop Derocher's comments have politicized the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

It would appear that His Grace has been drinking from the same poisoned well from which Anglicans and Lutherans have been drinking for some time. It would appear that His Grace has not only lost the ability to contextualize accurately the teaching of Saint Paul, he has failed to read the memos of popes of recent memory and the ancient sources which clarify that, excepting the practice within heretical sects, deaconesses were never ordained. His Grace has proved his ignorance of history and is well on his way to becoming the latest poster child for liberal religion in Canada. And, like all liberal-religionists, he, like the Protestant revolters, too, has embraced the heresies of the ancient dissidents rather than the ageless orthodoxy of the faithful.

Archbishop Derocher has failed to appreciate the effect of the decisions by those in the mainline Protestant communities that have gone against what little of the Apostolic Tradition they possessed by ordaining women which, as pleasing to contemporary ears as it may sound, is against the model established by Jesus Himself and preserved by the Apsotles. The opinion one typically finds in the blogosphere and elsewhere among Anglicans (e.g., among former Anglican ministers now Catholic priests, and "continuing Anglicans" of various flavours) who have parted company with the completely heterodox Canterburians confirms that the female diaconate was a ruse to inject into their community an innovation that opened the door to additional departures from Apostolic teaching. Those additional departures have rendered the Anglican Communion, for example, at odds with Catholics and the non-Catholic Eastern Churches (Oriental and Orthodox) and have made ecumenism all but impossible as long as Anglicans and others obstinately cling to innovations which contradict the living witness of the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the Apostle Peter.

Perhaps Archbishop Derocher is merely waking up Catholics to the dissent in the Church in Canada. Perhaps Archbishop Derocher is playing a role, whether he realizes it or not, that will expose to the light of day a current of thought among Catholic Canadians—or is that Canadian Catholics?—which is definitely not Catholic.