Saturday, July 26, 2008
Rome has approved the new English-language translation of the main constant parts of the Mass, but don't expect to see it until 2010 or beyond. Specific changes are spelled out at the Catholic Courier website.
VATICAN RESPONDS TO YESTERDAY'S CONTRACEPTION AD
VATICAN CITY, JULY 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- It's been 40 years, and the critics of "Humanae Vitae" still don't get that it's about love, says a Vatican spokesman.
Jesuit Father Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said this today in response to a half-page ad appearing in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, which voices disagreement with the Church's stance on artificial contraception. ...
The spokesman said the major error of the letter is that it misses the point of "Humanae Vitae," that is to say, "the link between the human and spiritual relationship between spouses."
"In the entire letter, the word 'love' doesn't appear," he added. "It seems as if this doesn't interest the signatories at all. For them, it seems that the hope of couples and the world is only in contraceptives.
Read it here
What Rome doesn't seem to understand is that there are times when a married couple might want nothing more than to have a baby but love combined with fear causes them to avoid contraception because medication can damage the fetus. This can be the case in many medical dilemmas, not just in cancer.
There are economic factors as well when love demands a response from the parents toward their already born children. There may also be times when separation is forced on the parents so that only the mother is available to raise the child. This happens to many couples when employment issues loom.
I truly don't think celibate men understand any of this. Lack of love is not the single motivating factor in contraception decisions. To claim that it is, is a gross oversimplification.
LAMBETH CONSIDERING FAITH AND ORDER COMMISSION
An Anglican version of the Holy Office - the Vatican body responsible for endorsing doctrine and suppressing heresy - was proposed yesterday in an attempt to resolve the ongoing rows over homosexuality and bring the church back from the brink of schism.
The initiative, revealed yesterday in Canterbury as the town hosts the Lambeth Conference, would tackle divisive issues such the ordination of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex relationships.
The Vatican body is formally known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Setting up an Anglican "Faith and Order Commission" could bring guidance on "issues raised by our current crisis", according to a document released by the Windsor Continuation Group, which analyses tensions within the communion.
I DON'T GET IT
I REALLY don't get it !!!
London, July 26 (ANI): With the picture of a sari-clad Virgin Mary and a loincloth and turban-clad Joseph in the first Indianised Bible, the Vatican is hoping to attract more people into turning to the Catholic church in India - as congregations decline in Europe and North America.
And the news comes straight from the mouth of Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, who released The New Community Bible during a recent ceremony.
I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians, Times Online quoted him, as saying.
Read it here
The article says the Society of St. Paul produced the bible which is written in English and has 27 sketches of mostly Indian scenes. Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa are also included. There are quotes from Hindu scriptures used in an effort to show parallels between Hindu Scriptures and Christian beliefs. The first run of 30,000 books sold out in a week.
Isn't the Bible supposed to contain absolute truth? Did Joseph wear a turban? Why has no one told us that he did until now? Did the Blessed Virgin wear a sari? If it promotes the faith to dress the leading figures of the faith story in local garments, why not put the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph in blue jeans for the American Bibles? Is Gandhi a Biblical figure? And Mother Teresa?
Catholicism may turn out to be the New World Religion by simply claiming all the religions of the world are part of Catholicism. If that happens, will the faith still have any meaning?
I REALLY REALLY don't get it!
THE COST OF WAR
The total cost of the Iraq war is approaching the Vietnam War's expense, a congressional report estimates, while spending for military operations after 9/11 has exceeded it. The new report by the Congressional Research Service estimates the United States has spent $648 billion on Iraq war operations, putting it in range with the $686 billion, in 2008 dollars, spent on the Vietnam War, the second most expensive war behind World War II. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. has doled out almost $860 billion for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world.
Read it here
I was around when that Viet Nam War was fought. The American economy was booming, and it was assumed the reason it was booming was work generated by the war effort. Why is this not also true today?
Friday, July 25, 2008
CONVERT, PAY, OR DIE
A Catholic bishop in the southern Philippines’ Basilan province has received a letter from self-described “Muslim warriors” possibly linked to Abu Sayyaf who are threatening him with harm if he does not convert to Islam or pay “Islamic taxes.” Further, authorities are seeking the return of three adults and two children, all Catholics, who were kidnapped in the same area this week.
The writers of the letter claimed to be “Muslim warriors” who “don't follow any laws other than the Qur'an.” They say the bishop should convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax, called a “jizya,” to their group in exchange for protecting him “in the place of Muslims.”
If the bishop refuses, the letter threatened, “force, weapons or war may be used” against him. Citing bombings in other Philippines cities, the letter said he should not feel safe even if protected by soldiers.
IS HUMANE VITAE ON THE VERGE OF BEING LEGITIMATELY DEBATED IN ROME
A Reuters story describes the paid half-page advertising in Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest newspaper, "saying the Church's ban on contraception has been 'catastrophic' and urging him [the pope] to lift it. "The Vatican said it would likely issue a statement on the letter later on Friday."
Meanwhile, Cardinal James Francis Stafford recounts the events surrounding the approval of HV and his own refusal to sign on approval of the document.
In the early days of AOL with cheap public access to the web, I looked at the arguments being presented against HV and soon realized that this was the foundation of present day divisions. It is possible that this one document helped to foment the sexual abuse scandal. It has been the elephant in the livingroom that no one who called himself a faithful Catholic dared to discuss. Yet Catholic couples across the board dissented from HV by their actions.
From my own perspective in looking at this document from the viewpoint of a married woman of child-bearing years who is being treated for cancer, I believe the document forces her into sin at the very moment when her life is threatened and she most needs God.
I believe sex belongs only within the context of marriage of one man and one woman. I believe it is a bond that cements a marriage for the purpose of raising children, and that using this bond outside of marriage weakens it. I believe that family is the purpose of the sacrament of marriage, and that refusing to have children defeats its meaning. I believe children are the best gift God gives, and that closing a marriage off to the possibility of having children is a major step in the direction of divorce.
Yet I also believe there are legitimate times when conceiving a child is detrimental to the marriage, as in the case of a woman being treated for cancer. I believe our Church also recognizes there are legitimate reasons to avoid conception, and that is the reason NFP is promoted. I believe NFP is a method of birth control. Yet we often hear it said that we call a couple practicing NFP "parents." I believe that only barrier methods of contraception could ever be approved because once a child is conceived it is murder to stop the child's development.
Abstinence during a woman's fertile times is a reasonable requirement to be made of marriage when conception is problematic. What I don't believe is that NFP is capable of assuring when those infertile times exist. And now I have a grandchild to prove it. That grandchild is healthy and the light of his parent's life. That would not be the case if his mother had been undergoing treatment for cancer and the child were seriously deformed.
There are many drugs that harm children. Some carry a potentially greater risk than others; thalidomide is a good example. Cancer drugs, by their very nature, damage the unborn. They are formulated to inhibit cell growth and do not target only cancerous cells. Cell growth is the life force of the unborn baby.
I believe that the gift of celibacy is not given to a married couple. Husbands and wives are intended to engage in the sexual act, and that act is a strong bond that keeps marriages together through difficult times. To impose long-term or even permanent celibacy on a married couple, as would be necessary in cancer treatment, is to be culpable in the potential destruction of the marriage. This is not what our Church wants to be, surely.
If I were the pope, I would enlist a team of research scientists to come up with a better method of determining the infertile days, one that is much more reliable than the present NFP, and until such a method is readily available, I would permit a dispensation, given to the married couple by a priest, to practice barrier methods of birth control during periods of crisis.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
CARDINAL DIAS AT LAMBETH
London, Jul. 23, 2008 (CWNews.com) - In a July 22 address to the Anglican prelates gathered for the Lambeth Conference, a ranking Vatican official warned that Christian leaders who ignore Church tradition may suffer from "spiritual Alzheimer's" and "ecclesial Parkinson's."
- Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, did not allude directly to the strained relations between the Vatican and the Church of England, caused by the Anglican moves to accept the ordination of female bishops and active homosexuals. But the Vatican official made his meaning clear when he spoke about the dangers that arise when Church leaders break from the shared traditions of Christian belief. ...
- Cardinal Dias said that all Christians should work together both to promote the Gospel and to encourage unity. But ecumenical work has its limits, he said, and "when diversity degenerates into division, it become a counter-witness."
Read it here...
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Our grandson is still in the special care nursery because his respiration is too fast and his heart rate is too high. This, they tell us, is nothing serious. The respiration will slow down when there is no more fluid in his lungs, a condition that affects many newborns. His parents just have to wait until it happens to take him home.
Mom was released last night at midnight but is permitted to continue to use the room like a hotel as long as the baby is still a patient. Both parents are staying at the hospital.
I spent part of yesterday in the lymphedema clinic at another hospital to start addressing my swollen arm. The therapy of choice is a type of bandage that looks like an ACE bandage wrapped around my hand and all the way up my arm to my armpit. This is then covered with a second bandage of similar material. Since my arm is already one-and-a-half times normal size, it has caused my sleeves to be tight. Add two thick bandages to that and there isn't a chance I can wear my clothes with it on. And then there is the baby issue. I can't bend it with the bandages on. We won't even talk about the heat it generates, especially when the temperature is in the high 80s and humid. I took one look at it, thought about holding a baby and about my promise to help my daughter when she comes home, and said there was no way it would work. On to plan B.
Plan B is an elastic sleeve and a glove that can be taken off and put on. I wore the sleeve yesterday and the glove as much as possible, but going into the special care nursery requires hand scrubbing every time. Add to that the fact that my chemo requires I drink lots of water which of course means lots of trips to let it out, which means the glove comes off. By the end of the day my hand resembled one of those rubber gloves blown up like a balloon. It has never swelled this much before. This process is going to be interesting.
In order to get into the special nursery at the hospital, grandparents are given a hospital-type name band which can't be taken off until the baby comes home. The attendant in the parking lot took one look at my husband's band, concluded he was an escaped patient, and for a moment wasn't going to let us out of the parking lot.
As I look at my new grandson the thought of late-term abortion so often comes to mind. How do mothers do it, especially considering the horrible way the infants are murdered? This precious little child embodies an eternity of hope for all of us who love him. The world looks new again as I look into his eyes. There is no thrill greater than to see him turn his head at the sound of my voice. His every whimper is a source of sheer delight that nothing else the world has to offer can duplicate. People--young people--trade in the miracle of a baby for the tawdry baubles of a world gone mad with gadgets and miss the only thing that makes getting up in the morning worth the trouble. They can't see that when life winds down those baubles will seem empty and worthless. When all of life is completed we must leave the stuff behind, but those we love can stay with us forever.
I thought I knew this baby before he was born. I talked to him, and now it almost seems as though he knows my voice. He calms down when I rub his head. Nothing I've ever done has given me greater joy than that.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
WE HAVE A GRANDSON !
Baby arrived at 8:14 last night, and ironically weighed 8 lbs. 14 oz. No wonder mom couldn't breathe! Mother and baby are doing well. Father is clearly rattled, bringing a smile to everyone considering he was a rock throughout the pregnancy. He wasn't too rattled to watch the delivery and cut the cord. Mother was calm, cool and collected and looked like she had done nothing more than vacuum the livingroom...her usual sweet-tempered personality restored.
I hope to be able to hold the little guy later today!