Attorney General says the Defense of Marriage Act is the result of vehement enmity, hatred and ill will … so he won’t defend it in court.

The decision by Attorney General Holder not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act raises very grave questions.

Justifying his position, he says that in the congressional debate there were “numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate family relationships.”  He went on to describe this as “animus” (defined by Webster as vehement enmity, hatred, ill will)-violating the Equal Protection Clause.

“Animus” to defend a moral position based on 2,000 years of classical and Christian teaching rooted in reason and scripture?

Holder has embraced the position of Federal Judge Vaughn Walker in California that opposing so-called gay marriage can be “harmful to gays and lesbians.”  But this is like claiming that opposition to polygamy is harmful to polygamists or that laws defining marriage as the union of two people harm those who prefer to live in what are called sexual “triads” or “quadrads.”  Our historic marriage laws harm nobody–they serve husbands, wives, children, and the common good of society.

If the expression of our deepest convictions is treated as animus, our religious liberty is in peril.  We cannot fail to speak the truth even if it is labeled hate speech.

Read more at ManhattanDeclaration.org

Where, oh where, have the real Catholics gone?

One of the worst mistakes American Catholicism ever made was the scrapping in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s of the subculture that had served it well up to that time. That was the era of the great flight from what Catholic intellectuals snobbishly called the “Catholic ghetto.” Yes, the subculture as it then existed did need updating and renewal. But instead of that, what we got was a foolish, self-imposed dismantling — the secularization of Catholic colleges and universities, the deliberate withering of Catholic organizations — driven largely by the craving of academic and religious elitists to be trendy and in step with the times.

To a great extent, ecclesiastical officialdom went along with it. “When I was growing up,” a friend recalls, “I watched the Legion of Mary and other local Catholic organizations struggling for lack of interest by the priests and chancery office staff who considered them anachronisms. Even as a young man, I saw the sadness and frustration in the faces of many of the older members, especially as nothing was being offered as a replacement.”

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Bishop Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, on the Wisconsin union standoff

… To the documents quoted by Archbishop Listecki I would also offer a quotation from the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens*, which gives us even more “food for thought” on this matter:

“Just efforts to secure the rights of workers who are united by the same profession should always take into account the limitations imposed by the general economic situation of the country. Union demands cannot be turned into a kind of group or class ‘egoism,’ although they can and should also aim at correcting — with a view to the common good of the whole of society — everything defective in the system of ownership of the means of production or in the way these are managed. Social and socioeconomic life is certainly like a system of ‘connected vessels,’ and every social activity directed towards safeguarding the rights of particular groups should adapt itself to this system.

“In this sense, union activity undoubtedly enters the field of politics, understood as prudent concern for the common good. However, the role of unions is not to ‘play politics’ in the sense that the expression is commonly understood today. Unions do not have the character of political parties struggling for power; they should not be subjected to the decision of political parties or have too close links with them. In fact, in such a situation they easily lose contact with their specific role, which is to secure the just rights of workers within the framework of the common good of the whole of society; instead they become an instrument used for other purposes.”

Read the entire letter

*Click here to read Laborem Exercens on the Vatican website

This week’s Ask Alice: Catholic Church teachings on homosexuals attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion. (Or anybody, for that matter.)


Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

John Asks: What does the Catholic Church teach about an active gay/homosexual attending Catholic Mass and receiving Holy Communion?

Alice replies: The Catholic Church welcomes all properly disposed gay and lesbian persons to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion. The exact same policy applies to heterosexual persons, as well.

The rules regarding the reception of the Holy Communion are the same for all Catholics, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual.

That Holy Communion may be received not only validly, but also fruitfully, certain dispositions … both of body and of soul … are required:

For the former, a person must have fasted for at least one hour, from everything in the nature of food or drink. (Water and medicine are permitted, if necessary.)

The principal disposition of soul required is freedom from (at least) mortal sin … and from ecclesiastical censure.

For those in a state of grievous (mortal) sin, confession is necessary.

It is important to note that engaging in sexual relations outside of the sacrament of matrimony is (objectively) a mortal sin.

When a person commits a sexual sin due to weakness or other occasional circumstance, it may be ordinarily confessed and routinely absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Conversely, sexually active couples who are permanently living together (without benefit of marriage) MAY NOT typically receive sacramental absolution, since as long as their present living circumstances prevail, there would be no real prospect of repentance (turning away from the sin) … something which is always necessary for a good confession.

While heterosexual couples can always get married in order to eliminate this particular problem, such permanent living arrangements will … for homosexuals … always remain mortally perilous to the soul.

For homosexuals, one significant part of the solution is to avoid cohabitation, always maintaining one’s very own, private residence. This would, at least in theory, make possible a good, sacramental confession.

See “A Last Chance for Lost Souls”

“God shows personal favor to no one.” (Galatians 2:6) And God commands us to love one another. Often, my homosexual friends have shared their joys and sorrows. Here are some tips, based on the lessons I’ve learned.

TIPS FOR LOVING ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN

1) DON’T ASSUME. If two male or two female friends are living together or spend every day together, don’t assume that they are engaging in sexual activity. No one except God knows what goes on behind closed doors.

2) DON’T BE A COMMUNION COP. Even if our friend is engaged in homosexual behavior, only God knows the true state of his soul. (Unless perhaps, he is a public advocate, loudly proclaiming, promoting, and/or lobbying for his particular brand of sexual perversion.)

3) DO SPEAK THE TRUTH. If our friend asks us what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality, we must tell him the facts honestly and compassionately.

4) DO LOVE EVERY PERSON UNCONDITIONALLY! The best way to help our homosexual brothers and lesbian sisters get to Heaven is by being faithful, loving friends to them.

5) LEAVE THE JUDGING TO GOD! “The Lord does not look at the things men look at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Additional comments by Doug Lawrence: Catholics are under no obligation to “knuckle under” to the ill-considered, unholy demands of militant, openly homosexual persons or groups. We are called to resist them.

Nor are Catholics permitted to act in opposition to authentic Catholic Church teachings in regard to homosexuality, which is a seriously disordered practice that has always been defined as gravely sinful and contrary to the natural law.

We are reminded however, to scrupulously avoid any type of unjust discrimination.

In this general context, two provisions of Catholic Canon Law are worthy of note:

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.

Canon 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.

For all the reasons stated above, as well as many others … no matter what the government may decide … the practice of homosexuality will always remain morally wrong, and (objectively) gravely sinful.

The support and/or promotion of certain types of “gay rights” … particularly, any form of homosexual marriage … is never permissible … since that type of arrangement would typically prove deadly to the souls of all who might be involved.

The greatest acts of charity we Catholics can perform … for all our brothers and sisters … is to pray for them, treat them with respect, stand firmly on God’s truth, proclaim that truth with love, and be there for them, in their time of need.

Blacks aborting blacks: Abortion kills more than 300,000 black people every year.


A representative of Life Always, Marissa Gabrysch, says her group, which paid for the billboard, is trying to draw attention to the fact that abortions kill 300,000 black unborn children annually.

“There’s a grave disparity and just a huge disproportion that African-Americans represent 13 percent of the U.S. population yet represent 36 percent of abortions in the United States,” she told NBC NY. African-Americans are claimed in abortions twice as frequently as they lose their lives to violent crimes, AIDS, cancer, heart disease and motor vehicle accidents combined.

Life Always board member Pastor Stephen Broden told the Catholic News Agency: “During Black History Month, we celebrate our history, but our future is in jeopardy as a genocidal plot is carried out through abortion. We have seen the heartbreaking effects of opportunists who happen to be black abortionists perpetrating this atrocity; it’s not just babies who are in danger, it’s also their mothers, and our society at large.”

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The violence against Christians in Iraq is real and is driven by Muslim extremists and government indifference.

The last year has seen bombings directed at Catholic students from the University of Mosul and the massacre at the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, he continued.

He said he personally knows people were only allowed to escape from the church with their lives after renouncing their faith to their kidnappers.

Though the government has decried the attacks and announced its “closeness” to the Christian victims, “the attacks have become ever more ferocious,” he said.

“Amid all this should the world have been silent? Should such a miserable and humiliating position be tolerated?”

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Couple killed by Somali pirates was Catholic

More details have emerged about the events that led to Somali pirates shooting and killing four U.S. hostages, including Jean and Scott Adam, who were parishioners at St. Monica Catholic Church.

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Additional coverage

Former Protestant writes about how and why he became Catholic

When I got into R.C.I.A., I then realized what had been calling me to the Catholic Church ever since I was a little boy; John 1:14 “…and the Word became Flesh and made His Dwelling among us…”. The Eucharist; the TRUE Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It was not just ‘communion’, it was not just bread, or a cracker, or a wafer and wine, it was the TRUE BODY of Jesus and it was and IS the TRUE BLOOD of Jesus!

This knowledge transformed my life, my ways of thinking, living and what I was going to do in the future. I often tell people, I fell in love with my Catholic Faith so much that I wound up marrying my R.C.I.A. instructor! I came into Full Communion with the Church on Holy Saturday, April 19, 2003, and for the next several years I had prayed that God would send me a Beautiful Woman, a Holy woman, a Spiritual Woman; a woman I could continue to grow and learn my Faith from. I thought the Lord was going to have to let me marry a Nun! He gave me my beautiful Bride, Donna L. (Grant) Lane, and we were wed in St. Alphonsus Liguori “Rock” Church on May 27, 2006.

Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…”, and the Church has given me the Vision of how Jesus has and continues to make a Way out of no way for me in my life; how Jesus has shown me Truth in His Church and in my own personal life; How Jesus gives us eternal life, if we continue to do His Will and Follow His Church; He gives us the ‘fullness of the means of Salvation’ within His Church. The Eucharist! The Body of Jesus; the Blood of Jesus; the Soul of Jesus; the UNENDING Divinity of Jesus is all contained within the Eucharist! Why am I Catholic? I will give you one guess; it starts with an E and ends with a T!

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An interesting chronicle of the trial proceedings and death of St. Joan of Arc

Asked if she knew she was in God’s grace, she answered: ‘If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.’ Notary Boisguillaume later testified that at the moment the court heard this reply, “Those who were interrogating her were stupefied.”

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Catholic writer Lisa Graas takes Archbishop Listecki to task for his stance on the Wisconsin Cheese (Union) Revolution

St. John Chrysostom once said, “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” The reasoning for this quote can be found in the Book of Luke which, paraphrased, means “to whom much is given, much is required.” Bishops are responsible for the souls of their flock. So it is that they will have much to answer for when they meet God. These are the things I considered when I learned that Milwaukee’s Archbishop Listecki decided to back Wisconsin’s Government Cheese Revolution and, in justifying it, took both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI completely out of context. Catholics in Wisconsin, and in states across America, especially those who don’t want to see their state go bankrupt, deserve to know the truth.

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If God truly loves the souls in Hell, then why does he make them suffer?

Questions to ponder – Beyond this though there are other questions to ponder, based not only on what the commenter says, but also what I have said. I want to say that I do not write these questions glibly or merely to tweak. They are not rhetorical (merely argumentative) either. What I am trying to do is take up the voice of a questioner who is authentically trying to wrestle with a difficult topic. I think many of the questions I raise have a clear answer, and propose one at the end. But I merely raise them to paint a picture of what might go through the mind of one pondering the matter. So here are some questions that might occur in terms of God and the souls in Hell:

1. Is it really a sign of hate or vengeance, rather than love, that God sustains the souls in Hell?

2. Does he really keep them alive merely to torment them?

3. What is more loving, to sustain them or to slay them?

4. Is the description of hell advanced by our commenter over the top or is it accurate? Granted, the torture of my family for “my mistakes” would be wrong since, theoretically they are innocent of my mistakes and would not be in hell.

5. But what of the torture of guilty in hell? Is our commenter’s description accurate in this sense? Jesus after all, uses some pretty vivid descriptors of hell where the fire is never extinguished and the worm dies not (Mk 9:48). Where there is wailing and grinding of teeth (Matt 13:42) and where there is torment and thirst (Lk 16:24).

6. Are these images of Jesus just allegory (figurative)?

7. Are they Jewish hyperbole (exaggeration)?

8. Or are they to be interpreted in a literalistic way?

9. In other words, is Hell really this bad?

10. Are the Biblical descriptions as understood literally the only way to see Hell?

11. And if it is, is our commenter right that it would be better for God to slay the wicked?

12. If it IS better, is God despotic and vengeful in keeping them alive in this condition?

13. Is “killing the patient” ever good therapy?

14. Should God just cancel the reality of hell and bring them to heaven?

15. If He did, would this also cancel justice?

16. If He did, would this violate the freedom and the choice of those who preferred not to live in his Kingdom?

17. If it does violate their freedom, is killing them only thing left?

18. Is THAT just?

Read the article

Ave Verum Corpus: A Little Slice of Heaven for you.


Watch/listen to the video

This great hymn is a solemn praise of the passion
of the Lord Jesus.

Latin:

Ave, verum corpus

natum de Maria Virgine,

Vere passum immolatum

in Cruce pro homine,

Cujus latus perforatum

unda fluxit et sanguine,

Esto nobis praegustatum

in mortis examine.

English:

Hail, true Body, born

of the Virgin Mary,

who having truly suffered, was sacrificed

on the cross for mankind,

whose pierced side

flowed with water and blood:

May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]

in the trial of death.

 

Thanks to Catholic Tube

Real Life Experience With Hospice and Advance Health Care Directives Reveals A Flawed System Skewed Towards Death.

The trio consisted of Larry’s physician, a “hospital social worker,” and the head of “hospice care.” They informed me that, in their opinion, Larry was not going to survive, and that only the most extreme measures could prolong his life, and even then it would probably only be for a short time. Furthermore, any operations or chemotherapy or other treatments could very well kill him more rapidly, considering his delicate condition. Considering all this, they recommended transferring Larry to “palliative care.”

When I seemed confused by this term, they explained that “palliative care” meant that the hospital would no longer try to diagnose or treat his condition, but rather would just let him drift toward death at his own pace. The only steps the doctors would take would be to ease his suffering with potent painkillers.

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Miraculous Healing of Non-Catholic Man Leads To Sainthood of Mother Theodore Guerin

Phil McCord was director of facilities management at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and Convent when he received a miraculous cure. Troubled by the prospect of undergoing surgery for a cornea transplant, McCord had stopped in the chapel at the school one day and offered a short prayer asking Mother Theodore and God for the strength to go through with the surgery.

After the prayer, he felt a sense of peace, and the next day, he noticed his eye had improved. Eventually, doctors determined that McCord’s eye had completely healed and there was no need for the surgery.

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“Outraged” Joy Behar shills for abortion lobby on TV.

The one thing that Behar and her guests unsurprisingly glossed over is the recent undercover videos by the pro-life group Live Action that exposed Planned Parenthood workers’ cooperation with an actor portraying a pimp who had an underage sex ring.

Despite all the preventive screenings and measures performed by Planned Parenthood and cited by the three women, the organization is not irreplaceable in providing these services, and these goods do not outweigh their collaboration with sex criminals, both real and simulated, along with the hundreds of thousands of abortion that they perform every year.

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Is God Just A Mathematical Singularity?

Q: I’ve always been interested in the debate between God/higher power and mathematical infinity/singularity. I’m not saying I believe in one thing or the other. Say, we scientists, take the singularity that supposedly created our Big Bang, which lead to all sorts of beautiful patterns with patterns and chaos within chaos such as plants and black holes, and we ask where this singularity came from. From a scientific perspective, something that supposedly came from “nothing” but managed to unknowingly architect the universe we live in, couldn’t that be considered god? this singularity? I’m not talking about a Christian God or a Muslim God or a Bible, Torah whatever God. Just something that is represented by the mathematical concept of infinity. Something that is bigger, brighter, “more” than us but also contains us. I just think it’s poetic.

A: Your approach errs in that it reduces God to simply a mysterious force of nature, not unlike “The Force” in the “Star Wars” movies.

The Gospels provide us with insights into the true nature of God that are not only much richer and robust, but that also make it easier for us to come to know and love God, as well.

One of the practical aspects of the incarnation of Jesus Christ (God becoming man, and dwelling among us) was giving God a real, human face … along with a real, human heart … and a real, human soul.

In the person of Jesus Christ, the here-to-fore immutable, unknowable God became one of us, revealed God’s salvific plan for mankind, personally fulfilled that divine plan, and then left behind on earth his Catholic church … in order to make his truths and his plan widely known … and his provision universally available … to every generation.

That’s love. And it is also most certainly, poetic!

Much more on this here

The (4) traditional solutions to the problem of harboring impure thoughts.

Q: Why is the Catholic Faith so strict? In the matter of serving God, it is instructed that impure thoughts create sins in every day journey. Why can’t we allow our minds to be free as long as we do not act out every fantasy? I do notice that the mind, unchecked can come up with the strangest of science. But why should I not be able to let my mind be free in its own process? Please help.

A: The Catholic Church has high standards because its standards are God’s own standards. As a faithful Christian, temptation is supposed to strengthen you … not lead you astray. Giving in to lustful thoughts leads you in the wrong direction, even if you don’t act on every fantasy. It’s a lot like fasting from food. Denying some of your more basic urges permits you to master them … hopefully … for the greater glory of God.

Fortunately, the sacraments of the Catholic church are powerful enough to reconcile a person with God, no matter how badly … or how often … they might fail.

The whole idea is to attempt to gradually approach the perfection of Heaven … so when you die … you’re ready.

So … along with faith, hope and charity … your own personal orientation or spiritual “disposition” may be one of the most critical factors, come Judgment Day.

The term “disciple” comes from the word “discipline”.

That … along with God’s grace … is what it takes to reject Satan … and ALL his works.

The (4) traditional solutions to the problem of harboring impure thoughts:

1) Get married.

2) Keep busy.

3) Avoid known temptations.

4) Make up your mind well in advance, to do all of this. Then stick to your plan.

Eight Habits of Highly Effective Bishops

by Mary Jo Anderson

What qualities best equip today’s bishop to fight the culture war? That’s the question I posed in a survey of Catholic authors and activists, priests and scholars. It brought a flurry of thoughtful responses. Correspondents were quick to note that each diocese – like each family – has its strengths and weaknesses. One may be strong on liturgy but lag on catechesis. Another operates in the black, its fiscal house in order, but lacks vocations. Renewal – fostering a Catholic renaissance – is a long-term process, and our own impatience shouldn’t ignore sure but gradual progress.

A review of the responses revealed eight basic good habits that were cited often by respondents. If we as lay people are to exhort our shepherds, we must have a clear idea what we’re exhorting them to do. This list offers a point of reference for that effort.

See all eight of them

Catholic Canon Law on “Shacking Up” (and other things)

Canon Law 915 states that persons “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

In addition, the Catechism, section 2390,  states that “in a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. … The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments.

All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law.

The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.”

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Who is Michael Voris and Where Did He Come From?

Click to see the full-sized version