Amazing fact: Chastity and abstinence has proved to be only 99.999% effective at preventing birth.

The only time chastity and abstinence ever resulted in a birth

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Mary’s virginity

496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived “by the Holy Spirit without human seed”.146 The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:

You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,. . . he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate. . . he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.147

497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility:148 “That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”, said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.149 The Church sees here the fulfillment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.”150

498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Mark’s Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus’ virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike;151 so it could hardly have been motivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. The meaning of this event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the “connection of these mysteries with one another”152 in the totality of Christ’s mysteries, from his Incarnation to his Passover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: “Mary’s virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord’s death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God’s silence.”153

Mary – “ever-virgin”

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary asAeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”.156

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.157 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”.158 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.159

501 Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: “The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother’s love.”160

Mary’s virginal motherhood in God’s plan

502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

503 Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. “He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.”161

504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.”162 From his conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives him the Spirit without measure.”163 From “his fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace.”164

505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. “How can this be?”165 Participation in the divine life arises “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”.166 The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit’s gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God167 is fulfilled perfectly in Mary’s virginal motherhood.

506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith “unadulterated by any doubt”, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will.168 It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.”169

507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: “the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse.”170

What manliness is all about

Where feminist ideology prevails, egalitarianism replaces chivalry. If men and women are equal and the same, then women do not expect or inspire service — indeed, they may be actively contemptuous of men or claim to be utterly independent of them.

If patriarchy is the root of all evil and men are superfluous to the fulfillment of women (as some feminists claim), there is no call for knightly behavior.

As the natural, inherent distinctions between men and women are increasingly denied — even in military institutions and in the armed services — chivalry is forgotten. Chivalry can flourish only when a culture clearly defines the meaning of masculinity and femininity. A gentleman knows that a woman deserves to be treated in special, considerate, sensitive ways that are reflected in manners, speech, and courtesy. If men and women look alike, dress alike, talk alike, and act alike, then the mysterious, idealistic, or romantic relationship between men & women disappears.

Knightliness and gentlemanliness also flourish when women hold men to high standards, expecting them to be magnanimous, gallant, civilized, and chaste. The ideals that women instill in boys, and that they expect of men, determine the moral level of a society.

Do sex-education courses, coeducational dormitories, and condom distribution in schools promote the chivalrous treatment of women, or do they encourage the lustful exploiting of women for selfish pleasure?

Without the virtue of chastity governing the relationships between men and women, the respect due to a woman’s honor is absent.

http://www.newoxfordreview.org

Submitted by Doria2

Married priests: The unfortunate and scandalous “downside”.

We then learn the details of Canon Clitherow’s personal life.  He married his first wife in 1982 and they had two children, but they divorced in 2002.  He married his second wife that year, a women he had first met in 1992 when she was a high school student and he the chaplain of her school.  This marriage also produced two children, but in March 2011 he announced to the congregation that he was divorcing a second time.

The Mail lets us know that rumors at the church swirled around this second divorce, with tongues wagging about the vicar’s affair with a blonde divorcee who was a member of the choir.  At the time of his divorce the vicar informed his bishop that the marriage had broken down but that there was no other person involved. The vicar went on sick leave following Easter services, citing stress as the culprit — and then married the blonde divorcee at a private ceremony at a registry office over the Christmas holidays.

Read more

Editor’s note: The Catholic Church can look forward to these new (for us Catholics) types of scandals, now that we are accepting married Anglican/Episcopalian priests into the pope’s new ordinariate. Nothing wrong with the ordinariate … I’m just saying that we better start getting ready for this new type of moral assault on the Catholic priesthood.

Celibate or not … there’s still no substitute for fidelity and chastity … inside or outside of matrimony … by layman and/or priest.

Teaching adolescents to understand and observe the 6th commandment (regarding, chastity, pornography, fornication, etc.)


by Ed Smetana, a Catholic Catechist, for over 15 years

Having taught CCD for for 15 years, I found that the best way to teach the fundamentals of understanding and observing the 6th Commandment is to let the Catechism of the Catholic Church do it for you.

Just hand the students copies of the Catechism, paragraphs #2346 to #2386. Have them read it to themselves. Then, collect the copies. No verbal explanation is typically necessary. If a student has a question, direct him/her to ask their priest. I never had any questions. Neither has father, as far as I know.

The Catechism does a concise job of outlining various sexual terms that today’s young people will probably never otherwise have explained to them, except perhaps in the locker room, from their friends, or on-line (from stranger-danger).

Reading this material is necessary to help counteract the rampant perversion of sex education in the school’s health classes and textbooks, where masturbation, along with many other types of illicit sexual behavior, is often referred to as “normal” and/or “healthy”.

What led me to see the need for this type of Catechetical guidance, generally beginning with 7th graders, was when I was informed that, in the “truth or dare” games that today’s young people ‘play’, every time you lose, you are required to do something that is sexually sinful.

When a girl observed that doing such a thing was wrong, she was told, “If it’s wrong, the teachers would not have encouraged it, and the pastors and CCD teachers would have said it was a sin. Therefore, how could it be a sin?”

Catechists should help young people form their consciences by reading appropriate portions of the Catechism with them, in class. How else are they to know? Not from their parents, because they were never taught or encouraged to read the Catechism.

I believe that on ‘Judgment Day’ good catechism teachers will be recognized, along with the rest of the sheep, and thanked by their students and their parents.

Link to the relevant section of the Catechism

Editor’s note: “CCD” means “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” which is the name of the association that used to be responsible for providing religious education in the Catholic Church. Like many other useful things of old, the association is basically out of business, and the term “CCD” is no longer in widespread use.

Priest offers positive, common sense definition (and defense) of celibacy

Fr. McBride said that the real reason for sex abuse and sexual misconduct by priests is not celibacy but “the failure to practice the virtue of chastity when faced with temptations to abandon their vow of celibacy.”

He noted that people often make the unfortunate mistake of defining celibacy in a negative way as if it’s simply the act of giving up marriage and and children.

However, “the positive view of celibacy,” he said,  “is that it is a form of loving God and people with an undivided heart.”

“Celibacy did not block Blessed John Paul II from being admired as one of the most courageous priests on earth,” Fr. McBride underscored. “See how one celibate priest stood up against one of the most corrupt governments of his time.”

“Priests that abused children did not do so because of their celibacy, rather they failed because they broke their vow to be chaste,” he said.

Read more at Father Z’s

Love, Sex, and the Cross

Being chaste until and within marriage, committing day in and day out to the self-giving and self-denial that lifelong marriage and child-rearing require of us, being open to God’s gift of new life in a generous and responsible way, and in this day and age, even carrying to term an unexpected child — these are difficult tasks, and our fallen nature rebels against them.

The world recognizes this natural rebellion, our desire to express human love in sexual intimacy, to seek pleasure and run from pain, to fulfill our own needs and desires while giving ill-attention to the needs and desires of others — in a word, to live our lives for ourselves.
Mistaking these desires for human nature — rather than fallen human nature — the world’s response is to laugh at Church teaching, to make a mockery of the Church and her seemingly archaic rules on sex and marriage, because they are so difficult, because they require so much of us.
Yet those who seek to follow the way of Our Lord understand that much is required of us. This is precisely the point. God calls us out of our fallenness, out of our self-centeredness and pleasure-seeking, to follow the way of perfection, to live in a way that is, by natural means, difficult — at times, even impossible. Many complain that Church teachings on sex and marriage are unrealistic, that the Church is out of touch. If we were meant to live by human means alone, to follow these teachings on our own strength, I would say the world’s complaints were absolutely right. Indeed, by my own strength, I failed at almost every one of them.

Read more

Chastity – A Catholic Truth for Catholic Youth

What does Chastity mean?
by Father Gerard Monaghan

Most people believe that being chaste means that one is not sexually active. WRONG!!!

There are many people living good chaste lives who have healthy and vibrant sex lives. It should be noted that they are married. That’s right, even married people are called to be chaste. As a matter of fact, chastity has more to do with fidelity than it does with foregoing sexual experiences. The essence of chastity is being faithful to one’s state in life. Therefore, for a married couple, it means saving their physical expression of love for their spouse, exclusively.

What does chastity mean for the single person?

For the single person it means the same thing. If you think this is crazy, stick with the tour and see for yourself. Sexual intercourse, despite what the media would indicate, is not an indoor sport. It is the ULTIMATE expression of love between a husband and wife. Sexual intercourse, despite what the media would indicate, is not merely a physical act.

It is the total self-giving of one person to another. It is so intimate that it is an emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical experience.

It is so profound that it strengthens and completes the bond of marriage.

Read more

Minnesota homosexuals reject Catholic church’s attempt to help them

Gay and lesbian Roman Catholics who contact the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for spiritual guidance can find themselves directed toward programs aimed at helping them become celibate (chaste).

Evidently, this upsets some local homosexual activists.

Editor’s note: Every unmarried Catholic, whether gay or straight, is expected to remain chaste, refraining from any type of sexual activity, under pain of grave sin. The Church really has no choice in the matter, which has been settled for around 2000 years.

Furthermore, the rules governing the sacrament of reconciliation require both contrition for sin, as well as a good faith effort at authentic repentance. Absent both of these, it is impossible to make a good confession, and impossible to receive valid absolution for one’s sins.

This is why the church counsels chastity for all those who request help, since chastity is the first step towards repentance, while true contrition and at least a firm purpose of repentance is required in order for sins to be forgiven.

Again, the same rules apply to gay and straight, alike.

What could be more fair?


Fr. Oprah (Alberto Cutié) calls it quits and jumps ship. Bishop responds.

cutie

Archbishop John Favalora of Miami released the following statement on Alberto Cutié’s “separation from the church”:

“I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church.According to our canon law, with this very act Father Cutié is separating himself from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church (c. 1364, §1) by professing erroneous faith and morals, and refusing submission to the Holy Father (canon 751). He also is irregular for the exercise of sacred orders as a priest (canons 1041 and 1044, §1) and no longer has the faculties of the Archdiocese of Miami to celebrate the sacraments; nor may he preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals (cannon 1336, §1). His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state.

This means that Father Cutié is removing himself from full communion with the Catholic Church and thereby forfeiting his rights as a cleric. Roman Catholics should not request the sacraments from Father Cuité. Any sacramental actions he attempts to perform would be illicit. Any Mass he says would be valid but illicit, meaning it does not meet a Catholic’s obligation. Father Cutié cannot validly officiate at marriages of Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Miami or anywhere.

Father Cutié is still bound by his promise to live a celibate life, which he freely embraced at ordination. Only the Holy Father can release him from that obligation.

To the Catholic faithful of Saint Francis de Sales Parish, Radio Paz and the entire Archdiocese of Miami, I again say that Father Cutié’s actions cannot be justified, despite his good works as a priest (statement of May 5, 2009). This is all the more true in light of today’s announcement. Father Cutié may have abandoned the Catholic Church; he may have abandoned you. But I tell you that the Catholic Church will never abandon you; the Archdiocese of Miami is here for you.

Father Cutié’s actions have caused grave scandal within the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami − especially our priests – and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large. Today’s announcement only deepens those wounds.

When Father Cutié met with me on May 5th, he requested and I granted a leave of absence from the exercise of the priesthood. Because of this, he could no longer be the administrator of St Francis de Sales Parish or the General Director of Radio Paz. For the good of the Church and to avoid the media frenzy, I chose not to impose publicly an ecclesiastical penalty, although his admitted actions clearly warranted it. Since that meeting, I have not heard from Father Cutié nor has he requested to meet with me. He has never told me that he was considering joining the Episcopal Church.

I must also express my sincere disappointment with how Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida has handled this situation. Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. I have only heard from him through the local media. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us. The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination. In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect.

In my nearly 50 years as a priest, I have often preached on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son – which really should be called the parable of the Forgiving Father (Luke 15, 11-32). Perhaps the story told by the Lord so long ago is applicable to our discussions this afternoon.

A father had two sons. One of them took his inheritance early and left home, spending his money wantonly. The father waited patiently for the return of his prodigal son, who after he had seen the error of his ways, repented and returned home. Upon his return, the father lovingly embraced him and called him his son. I pray that Father Cutié will “come to his senses” (Luke 15, 17) and return home. The Catholic Church seeks the conversion and salvation of sinners, not their condemnation. The same is my attitude toward Father Cutié.

We must not forget, however, that there were two sons in the Lord’s story. The other son, who never left home, was angry that his erring brother was welcomed home by the father. To all faithful Catholics, I say what the father said to this second son: “You are with me always and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice. This brother of yours was dead and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found” (Luke 15, 31-32).

In this beautiful parable Jesus teaches us that God is a loving and forgiving Father. Each of us has experienced that love, each of us needs that forgiveness; for we are all sinners. If our brother comes home, let us celebrate with the Father.

In conclusion, I commend and salute the priests of the Archdiocese of Miami and all priests who faithfully live and fulfill their promise of celibacy. By their fidelity to their promise they reflect more clearly to the world the Christ whose total gift of himself to the Father was pure and chaste love for his brothers and sisters. In our times so pre-occupied with sex, the gift of celibacy is all the more a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven where, as scripture says, there will be “no marrying or giving in marriage” (Matthew 22, 30). I encourage all Catholics to pray for and support our dedicated priests.”

Why are Catholic Priests required to remain celibate (unmarried)?

priest013p1_lg

Q: Why are Catholic priests required to remain celibate (unmarrried)?

A: (Answer from Anne, recently posted in the comments section of the California Catholic Daily)

The purpose of priestly celibacy:

The priest has as the proper field of his activity everything that pertains to the supernatural life, that he may promote the increase of this supernatural life and communicate it in the Mystical Body of Christ…. And it is precisely because he should be free from preoccupation with worldly things to dedicate himself entirely to the divine service, that the Church has established the law of celibacy, thus making it ever more manifest to all people that the priest is a minister of God and the father of souls.

By his law of celibacy the priest, far from losing the gift and duties of fatherhood, rather increases them immeasurably, for, although he does not beget progeny for this passing life on earth, he begets children for that life which is heavenly and eternal.

Is it impossible to be a gay christian?

Q: Is it impossible to be a gay christian?

A: It is possible … although from the way some people act, you would think that being gay is the unforgivable sin. Homosexual activity remains a serious sin … but merely being gay is not necessarily sinful.

The real “deal-killer” is entering into any form of permanent (sexually active) living arrangement, since such a thing would make repentance impossible, and hence, forgiveness would be impossible, as well.

The same thing applies to unmarried hetero couples, since chastity and abstinence from sex is the “norm” for all unmarried Christians.

Hetero couples can solve the problem by getting married … something that can never happen … at least in the Catholic Church … with gays.

It’s a tough lifestyle to try to reconcile with Christianity … and even society in general … but it’s possible … especially when one gets older … and sex tends to become less of a concern.

Do Catholics consider sex a sin?

Q: Do Catholics consider sex a sin?

A: III. THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE – from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

 2361 “Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”143

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, “Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.” So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.’ I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” And they both said, “Amen, Amen.” Then they went to sleep for the night.144

2362 “The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.”145 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.146

2363 The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

Click here to go to the Catechism

What Is God’s Will?

Q: What is God’s Will?

A: This is about as simple and direct an answer as I’ve ever come across: 

1Ti 2:1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men:

1Ti 2:2 For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:

1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.