Does a UK Court Plan to Kill Baby Jake?

08/25/2015 Comments (7)

A UK court has ruled that it would be lawful to withhold some medical treatments from the severely ill 10-month-old son of developmentally disabled parents, even if the baby dies after those treatments are withheld.

The baby's name is Jake, and it's a heartwrenching story. But is it a story about euthanasia?

I would like to set aside, as a separate issue, the question of whether the court or someone else ought to be making decisions about Jake's medical care. In this post, I will only address the issue of whether the care itself, as described in the news story, is ethical.

One Catholic pro-life site reports

Since 10-month-old baby Jake is not expected to live long enough to enjoy his...READ MORE

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Fr. Longenecker Building "A Church That Looks Catholic" in Bible Belt

Our Lady of the Rosary Breaks Ground for Its Romanesque Church Building

08/25/2015 Comments (12)

The title of Our Lady of the Rosary was originally Our Lady of Victory that was given after her critical help for the victory in the Battle of Lepanto. Putting the proverbial two-and-two together, there is another victory for a parish and for church architecture going on as Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, S.C. On July 5, with Charleston Bishop Robert Guglielmone, it broke ground for a new Romanesque edifice.

Like Lepanto, what a tremendous challenge for a small parish of 500 families in what is considered a poor section of town to take on in building a new church. But the victory is assured from the fortitude of the pastor, Father Dwight Longenecker, the passionate...READ MORE

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Stephen Colbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Henry Newman, and the Providence of God

08/25/2015 Comments (32)
Just last week, Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which the depth of his Catholic faith was on pretty clear display. Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man—the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash—he told the interviewer how, through the ministrations of his mother, he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it: "Boy, did I have a bomb when I was ten; that was quite an explosion...It's that I love the thing that I wish most had not happened." Flummoxed, his interlocutor asked him to elaborate on the paradox. Without missing a beat, Colbert cited J.R.R. Tolkien: "What punishments of God are not gifts?" What a...READ MORE

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Conservationism and Conservatives

08/25/2015 Comments (19)

Victor Meirelles (1832–1903), "The First Mass in Brazil"

"The Mass is the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven."
—Fr. Frederick Faber

The essence of conservatism is the desire to conserve something.

Whether it's traditional Christian morality or the rainforests, we are all driven to conserve what we are most passionate about.

This is true, even if a lot of people don't naturally see themselves as 'conservative'.

It makes sense therefore to ask what Catholics are 'conservative' about. What does the Church wish to conserve?

In the secular world, the government might protect a terrible building simply because it’s a good example of a noted school of architecture — something therefore worthy of preservation.

Similarly, it is often the case...READ MORE

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A Defeat for Women? FDA Approves Libido Drug Addyi

08/25/2015 Comments (20)

We’ve all seen the commercials for Viagra. Now there’s supposedly an equivalent for women, though it works quite differently. Viagra provides a physical solution to a physical problem. Flibanserin, marketed as Addyi, however, addressing not a physical condition, but a lack of sex drive for women and does not address this issue physically but by altering brain chemicals. Specifically, it increases dopamine and norepinephrine, while decreasing serotonin.

Addyi claims to address Hypoactive Sexual Drive Disorder (HSDD), which results from a change in hormones, sometimes resulting from medical issues, but many times from menopause, or from emotional difficulties, arising from relationships or...READ MORE

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What Keeps Us from Praying?

08/25/2015 Comments (1)

What are the obstacles to prayer? Being able to name them and identify them will help us to, first, be aware of them and, second, begin to take measures to address them.

Nine Impediments to Devotion, from Finding God through Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara

As there be nine things which do promote devotion, so likewise there be nine impediments that do hinder the same.

Venial sins: The first impediment of devotion is sins not only mortal, but also venial, for these, although they do not quite abolish charity, yet, at leastwise they diminish the fervor of it and consequently make us less apt to devotion. Wherefore, with all diligence they are to be avoided, not only for the evil...READ MORE

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We Must Shun Group-Think Politics and Have the Mind of Christ

08/24/2015 Comments (19)

Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543), "Portrait of Sir Thomas More"

Why would a pro-life person stay in the Democratic Party?

Or, if a person stays in the Democratic Party, can they be truly pro-life?

Those questions are based on a presumption of political purity that does not exist outside fantasy. I know. I lived the many conundrums of full-speed contact politics for many years. White horse politics, which is looking toward political party or a politician on a white horse to save us from ourselves, is a fantastical creation of those who do not understand the real meaning of Calvary as it applies to humankind.

If we could attain to Heaven on our own, Jesus would not have had to die for our sins. That is the touchstone of our faith. We overlook its...READ MORE

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My Perspective on the Facebook Fracas

08/24/2015 Comments (34)

It was quite a week, last week. I am surely not the first cleric of the Catholic Church to be caught up in Facebook’s perplexing policy stated by them:

“We ask everyone on Facebook to use the name they go by in everyday life so that friends know who they’re connecting with.”

Indeed, Deacon Greg Kandra, Fr. Jay Finelli, and many others had already been required to remove the “title” that was attached to their first name. Then when I sent my tweet out of my suspension from Facebook until I sent government ID and complied with their policy, quite a little storm erupted. I guess by the time my tweet went out the storm had been brewing for quite a long time. Sadly, I was not as aware of the...READ MORE

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