Monday, December 29, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #63

Here is your new poll question, the last poll of 2008:
  • True or false?: Since Confirmation gives the Holy Spirit to strengthen the believer in his witness to the world, the denial of one's faith requires a re-Confirmation to restore the Spirit of Witness.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in the sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or false?: The liturgy is the work of Mary and all the saints, as well as that of Jesus.
    • True: 18 (64%)
    • False: 10 (36%)
The correct answer is:
  • TRUE, cf. CCC no. 1187: The liturgy is the work of the whole Christ, head and body. Our high priest celebrates it unceasingly in the heavenly liturgy, with the holy Mother of God, the apostles, all the saints, and the multitude of those who have already entered the kingdom.

    1139: It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments.
I think the part that confused a lot of people was the notion of liturgy being "the work of" the people. What does that mean? If you take it to mean that the liturgy is created by man or that it is an essentially (or solely) a human work, then that would be incorrect. The liturgy is God working with us to achieve our sanctification.

If by "the work of the people" you mean that the entire Body of Christ celebrates the liturgy and participates in it, then you would be correct, and I think that this is the sense that the Catechism is employing. Note that no. 1187 is from the "In Brief" section at the end of the article "Celebrating the Church's Liturgy." It is attempting to summarize nos. 1136-1144, which appear at the beginning and provide the necessary context for understanding no. 1187. They read as follows:
  • I. WHO CELEBRATES?

    1136 Liturgy is an "action" of the whole Christ (Christus totus). Those who even now celebrate it without signs are already in the heavenly liturgy, where celebration is wholly communion and feast

    The celebrants of the heavenly liturgy

    1137 The book of Revelation of St. John, read in the Church's liturgy, first reveals to us, "A throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne": "the Lord God." It then shows the Lamb, "standing, as though it had been slain": Christ crucified and risen, the one high priest of the true sanctuary, the same one "who offers and is offered, who gives and is given." Finally it presents "the river of the water of life . . . flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb," one of most beautiful symbols of the Holy Spirit.

    1138 "Recapitulated in Christ," these are the ones who take part in the service of the praise of God and the fulfillment of his plan: the heavenly powers, all creation (the four living beings), the servants of the Old and New Covenants (the twenty-four elders), the new People of God (the one hundred and forty-four thousand), especially the martyrs "slain for the word of God," and the all-holy Mother of God (the Woman), the Bride of the Lamb, and finally "a great multitude which no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes, and peoples and tongues."

    1139 It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments.

    The celebrants of the sacramental liturgy

    1140 It is the whole community, the Body of Christ united with its Head, that celebrates. "Liturgical services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is 'the sacrament of unity,' namely, the holy people united and organized under the authority of the bishops. Therefore, liturgical services pertain to the whole Body of the Church. They manifest it, and have effects upon it. But they touch individual members of the Church in different ways, depending on their orders, their role in the liturgical services, and their actual participation in them." For this reason, "rites which are meant to be celebrated in common, with the faithful present and actively participating, should as far as possible be celebrated in that way rather than by an individual and quasi-privately."

    1141 The celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized who, "by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, that through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual sacrifices." This "common priesthood" is that of Christ the sole priest, in which all his members participate:

    • Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people," have a right and an obligation by reason of their Baptism.

    1142 But "the members do not all have the same function." Certain members are called by God, in and through the Church, to a special service of the community. These servants are chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders, by which the Holy Spirit enables them to act in the person of Christ the head, for the service of all the members of the Church. The ordained minister is, as it were, an "icon" of Christ the priest. Since it is in the Eucharist that the sacrament of the Church is made fully visible, it is in his presiding at the Eucharist that the bishop's ministry is most evident, as well as, in communion with him, the ministry of priests and deacons.

    1143 For the purpose of assisting the work of the common priesthood of the faithful, other particular ministries also exist, not consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders; their functions are determined by the bishops, in accord with liturgical traditions and pastoral needs. "Servers, readers, commentators, and members of the choir also exercise a genuine liturgical function."

    1144 In the celebration of the sacraments it is thus the whole assembly that is leitourgos, each according to his function, but in the "unity of the Spirit" who acts in all. "In liturgical celebrations each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should carry out all and only those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the norms of the liturgy."
I hope that helps to explain things better. What are your thoughts on this particular aspect of the liturgy? Leave a comment and let me know.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Wearing a Veil for Our Eucharistic Lord

My fiancée wears a veil. I have always highly regarded her decision to do that. Depending on where we go to church, there may be other women wearing one too, or she'll be the only one. While this latter scenario may make her a little uncomfortable, it is also an excellent opportunity to witness to people and invariably someone will ask her or me why she's wearing it, which gives us the chance to explain the rich meaning behind a woman veiling herself for Mass.

Recently, via my "Catholic Q&A" column in the Church bulletin, I provided such an explanation. I am particularly indebted to the following articles:
Now, on to the Q&A:

Why do some women wear a veil at Mass?

It has been a long-standing custom in the Church for a woman to wear a veil at Mass or in the presence of our Lord in the Eucharist. Although it seems to have gone out of fashion nowadays, there is certainly nothing that prevents a woman from continuing this practice, and it is a commendable one for many reasons.

For one, Paul tells us in 1 Cor 11:2-16 that when a woman veils herself at Mass, she is acknowledging the headship of Christ and the authority of her husband (or father, if she is single) who is called to represent the headship of Christ in her life. “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Eph 5:23).

Paul also says that a woman’s long hair is “her pride,” or her glory (1 Cor 11:15), and rightly so. Women should celebrate all that makes them distinctly feminine, and often times, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman’s hair! But, in the Mass, where we are called to humbly present ourselves before the Almighty God, we must, as St. John the Baptist says, “decrease so that he may increase” (Jn 3:30). So, a woman veils herself so that all glory will be given to God and not to herself.

Thirdly, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, vessels of life are often veiled. In the Old Testament, the “Holy of Holies” – the place where the life of God in the Ark of the Covenant resided – was separated from the rest of the Temple by a veil. In Mass, the chalice that holds the Blood of Christ is veiled until the Offertory. In between Masses, the ciborium that contains the Body of Christ is veiled inside the tabernacle. These are, as Jesus himself tells us, the sources of our spiritual life (cf. Jn 6:53). Finally, Mary, who consented to bring the life of Christ to the world, is almost always pictured with a veil on her head.

Like Mary, women have been given the sacred privilege of being co-creators with God by bringing new life into the world. As such, they often veil themselves in Mass, as a way of promoting due reverence for their unique, God-given purpose as vessels of life. Wearing a veil is also a way of imitating Mary, who is the pre-eminent role model for all women.

Finally, you have to admit: nothing remedies a “bad-hair-day” like a veil!

Peace of Christ to you,
Nicholas Hardesty
Director of Religious Education

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homily for the Fourth Week of Advent

From my twin brother, Matthew, who, as a seminarian, is practicing his homiletics:
  • Today we have finally reached the Fourth Sunday of Advent. During the tail-end of this season, from Dec 17 to 23, the Church observes the ancient custom of praying on each day one of the seven “O” Antiphons. They are called “O” Antiphons because each one addresses the Son of God with a different Old Testament title, beginning with the invocation “O”. These texts, traced back to seventh-century Europe, are drenched in biblical allusions offering a rich source for personal prayer and reflection during these final days of preparation for the celebration of Christmas. They also appear in the liturgy as the Gospel acclamations for each day and there is a verse for each one in the famous hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. So, for example, up until today we have prayed to God the Son “O Wisdom”, “O Root of Jesse”, and “O Key of David”. After today we will pray to Him “O King of Nations” and finally “O Emmanuel.” But today, we pray to Him “O Dayspring”.
For the rest of the homily, see Homily Fourth Sunday of Advent Year B. I think he's done a great job with all four of his homilies for Advent. Very catechetical :D

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Monday, December 15, 2008

Scripture on the Fall of the Angels

Irecently answered the following question for my Church bulletin:


  • What is the “fall of the angels”? Is this in Scripture anywhere?
At the beginning of time the angels in heaven were given a choice: follow God or rebel against Him. That a resident of heaven would ever rebel against God is one of the great mysteries of our faith. At any rate, some of them decided to rebel and they were thus cast out of heaven by St. Michael and the faithful angels. This is “the fall of the angels” and the prince of the fallen angels is Satan. The scriptural witness to this is very interesting.

In Gen 3, we see that there already existed a spirit of evil who tempted man into pride. Thus, there must have been some type of fall among the angels that caused one of them to be evil. Job 4:18 says, “Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error.” Traditionally, Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19 are also seen as referring to the sin and resulting fall of the angels.

Jesus himself says, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven” (Lk 10:18). Perhaps the most explicit reference is from the second letter of Peter, where it is written:
  • 2 Pet 2:4,9 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.
We see from these verses that there was a fall among the angels. That their expulsion was lead by St. Michael is one of the most enduring Christian symbols. In Christian artwork, he is seen with a sword, trampling the devil underfoot. In Scripture he is always fighting against evil (cf. Dan 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 1:9). His role in the fall is most clearly seen in the Book of Revelation:
  • Rev 12:7-9 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
That is why, as Catholics, we are fond of praying to St. Michael in moments of temptation or when we need protection from evil. Let us be more like the angels who announce the Lord’s coming and less like the angels who rebelled! St. Michael the archangel … pray for us!

Peace of Christ to you,
Nicholas Hardesty
Director of Religious Education
Blessed Mother Catholic Church

Trying Out a New Background Pattern

Check it out! It kinda looks like snowflakes, huh? It's from Evan Eckard via Din Pattern, if you're in the market for a background pattern. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Homily for the Second Week of Advent

Those of you who enjoyed my twin brother's homily for the first week of Advent may like to read his homily for the second week as well. Once he posts his homily for the third week, I will be sure to link to it.

Again, your prayers are most appreciated.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Friday, December 12, 2008

Introducing Dignitas Personae

To wet your appetite, here is the first article of the Instruction Dignitas Personae, released today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, twenty years after Donum Vitae, the Instruction it is updating:
  • 1. The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great "yes" to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today's world. The Church's Magisterium has frequently intervened to clarify and resolve moral questions in this area. The Instruction Donum vitae was particularly significant.1 And now, twenty years after its publication, it is appropriate to bring it up to date.

    The teaching of Donum vitae remains completely valid, both with regard to the principles on which it is based and the moral evaluations which it expresses. However, new biomedical technologies which have been introduced in the critical area of human life and the family have given rise to further questions, in particular in the field of research on human embryos, the use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes, as well as in other areas of experimental medicine. These new questions require answers. The pace of scientific developments in this area and the publicity they have received have raised expectations and concerns in large sectors of public opinion. Legislative assemblies have been asked to make decisions on these questions in order to regulate them by law; at times, wider popular consultation has also taken place.

    These developments have led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to prepare a new doctrinal Instruction which addresses some recent questions in the light of the criteria expressed in the Instruction Donum vitae and which also examines some issues that were treated earlier, but are in need of additional clarification.
For more see:Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Monday, December 08, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #62

Here is your new poll question:
  • True or false?: The liturgy is the work of Mary and all the saints, as well as that of Jesus.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in the sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or False?: In the liturgy it is not only the Father who blesses us, but we who bless the Father.
    • True: 20 (69%)
    • False: 9 (31%)
The correct answer is:
  • TRUE, cf. CCC no. 1110: In the liturgy of the Church, God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son, in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption.

    1078: Blessing is a divine and life-giving action, the source of which is the Father; his blessing is both word and gift (eu-logia, bene-dictio). When applied to man, the word "blessing" means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving.
This may have been a difficult question because some people are probably unfamiliar with the notion of us blessing God. We usually think of it the other way around: God blessing us. I explained what it means to bless God in Poll-Release Monday #49:
  • What does it mean to "bless" God? Usually when I think of "blessing" I think of setting something apart for holy use or making something holy, like when a priest blesses oil or water. But, we can't set God apart for holy use or make Him holy, He's already holy!

    What I found is that blessing has a wider meaning than that. It can also mean "favor" as when God blesses us with every blessing (cf. Eph 1:3) or when he says that Abrahams descendents will be "blessed." This type of blessing is like a gift of joy and prosperity that God gives to us.

    When we speak of blessing God, we have in mind a gift of praise to God, usually in return for the blessings that he has poured out on us. The Psalms are full of examples of man blessing God, and there are examples in the NT as well:

    Psa 16:7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

    Psa 26:12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great congregation I will bless the LORD.

    Psa 34:1 A Psalm of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    Psa 68:26 "Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel's fountain!"

    Psa 103:1-2,20-22 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! 21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! 22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

    Psa 104:1,35 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty, 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!

    Psa 115:18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD!

    Psa 134:1-2 A Song of Ascents. Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place, and bless the LORD!

    Psa 135:19-20 O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD! 20 O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You that fear the LORD, bless the LORD!

    Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

    Rom 9:5 to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.

    2 Cor 11:31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie.


    Pretty cool, huh?
I hope that helps. For more on blessings see the following resources:
  • Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Blessing
  • Modern Catholic Dictionary: Blessing
  • New Advent Encyclopedia: Blessing
Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Bobby Jindal Tells His Conversion Story

I haven't said anything about this on my blog, but if you keep up with me on facebook then you know that I'm a big fan of Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana. I think he is a new and exciting face for the Republican Party. At any rate, I recently watched an excellent speech he gave at New Chapel Hill Baptist Church. He was there simply to give his Christian testimony, and I was very impressed by it. Imagine if a guy like this was our next president!!!

Here's the speech, in 5 parts (unfortunately). Leave a comment and let me know what you think:


A politician preaching the Gospel. Pretty crazy.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Homily for Advent

My twin brother, Matt (who is a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Louisville, KY) recently wrote a homily for Advent. I realize that it is for the first week instead of the second, but I thought you all might like to read it nonetheless. Here's his introduction:
  • Msgr. Ronald Knox, a famous early-twentieth century English convert to Catholicism and a brilliant homilist, characterized Advent as a traveler in the night who with bleary eyes squints at the faint light of his destination ahead. Because the darkness clouds his depth perception he plods forward hoping that the light is only a few hundred yards ahead rather than a few miles. The Hebrew prophets were very much like this traveler as they looked forward to the redemption of their people and the restoration of a true king in the line of David. They did not know how long it would take for this glimmer of light to break out into perfect day, they just knew that some day it would.
See Homily for First Week of Advent, Year B to read the rest. Please pray for my brother as he walks the slow and arduous path that leads to the priesthood.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Exposing Twilight: Critical Reviews of Stephanie Meyer's Saga

I have been disturbed for a while now by the recent craze over the Twilight books (and the new movie). My fears were first aroused when, browsing through the Facebook "Bumper Stickers" application, I found the following lovely works of art:


This, paired with the frenzied reactions of family and friends lead me to believe that perhaps the obsession over this series was getting out of hand (understatement), and I was curious to see if any Catholic or Christian writers had reviewed the book.

Below is a list of links to reviews and summaries of the Twilight series that bring to "light" it's various anti-Christian and truly harmful qualities. Perhaps this list will be a helpful resource for parents with swooning daughters, or youth ministers who can't get their group to calm down because they are too gitty over this stuff. When girls (and even their mothers!) start viewing Edward Cullen as the epitome of the "ideal man" then something is very, very wrong.

Any links to blog posts will be in chronological order.
More links to be added as I find them.

UPDATE (12/27/2010): I recently came across the following YouTube video that I would like to add to the collection as well:



UPDATE (11/17/2011): In honor of Breaking Dawn: Part 1, which hits theaters this Friday, I added at least a dozen or so links to the collection.

Check back regularly for updates. If you have any links that I have missed, please let me know in the combox.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

St. Christopher, Pray for Me

I have a 7.5 hr. drive to Steubenville and then a 12 hr. drive to Portland, ME to spend Thanksgiving with Amy's family. It looks like there might be some snow and rain involved, too. So, please pray for me that my LOOOOOONG trip is a safe (and happy!) one.

UPDATE: I made it to Maine safe and sound. I thank you all for your prayers!

UPDATE #2: I'll be back in Owensboro on Monday night, Dec. 1st.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Monday, November 24, 2008

Exploring Catholicism: Part 4

[Also see Parts 1, 2, and 3]

Indefinitely, if I presented this argument to a friend, they would bring up the fact that in Matthew 16:18, in the greek, Peter –Petros- and rock –petra- do not agree in gender and so rock could not be referring to Peter. What is the rebuttal to that?
Matthew used the Greek word petros for Simon's new name, instead of petra because you can't use a feminine noun for a man's name. That would be like calling me "Nicole" instead of "Nicholas." At any rate, by the time Matthew's gospel was written, the words petros and petra had lost their distinction in meaning. In other words, both words meant "rock." If that weren't enough, in Aramaic, which was the language Jesus was speaking, the same word kepha would have been used both for Simon's new name and for the rock of the Church. So, Protestants who try to force a distinction between petros and petra in order to show that Peter isn't the rock of the Church are really making a whole lot out of nothing. Actually, there's a wealth of Protestant biblical scholarship that confirms everything I am saying here. See for yourself.

In general I could accept [the development of the papacy], the talk in the churches I am a part of now is how do we be relevant without sacrificing the truth. Now you may have to help form the following question as well as answer it, but through the lens I have always looked at the Catholic Church it seemed a development of role. What I mean is there seemed to be no clear indication of a papacy in the early church, then around the 300’s or 400’s (I can’t remember) it is defined. Then it becomes very prominent until very recent in which we have the definition of ex cathedra seemingly giving more strength. I glossed over many events but the question is what is the Catholic lens at which to look at this role and see it as a constant as opposed to a role created over time?
Well, I think the key here is to understand that the papacy has developed organically into what it is today, and that there is nothing wrong with organic development. Nothing of the prerogatives of the pope were ever invented. The belief that he is the head of the bishops and he has the authority to speak infallibly have always existed. Just because the Church, throughout the years, may provide a definition or a clarification of what She believes about the papacy, that does not mean that the topic in question is being invented at the moment. For example, Vatican I affirmed the pope's ability to speak infallibly, but this was something that the Church has always taught about the pope. I think that most of the change takes place regarding those aspects of the papacy that are more incidental to his primary mission (for example, the extent of his secular or temporal power, the bureaucracy that exists to help him run the every-day affairs of the Church, the vestments he wears, his ability to travel across the world, etc.).

I'm not really sure what else to say beyond that. Dave Armstrong has a few articles on the development of the papacy that may be of help:He has several articles on the general theory of doctrinal development as well. For these, see Biblical Evidence for Catholicism: Development of Doctrine.

Enoch and Elijah are two good examples [of an assumption in Scripture]. I would agree it seems scripturally sound. I have two hesitations with the other references. 1st - Were these instances assumptions or resuscitations? (and I don’t mean like CPR, I will explain) Example: Lazarus was “raised” but he more than likely died again. So you might call it resuscitation. I am not saying that he wasn’t really dead and brought back to life, but that he was not given the glorified body but “raised” back into the earthly. So were these that were raised also assumed or were they only raised?
From the biblical evidence, it appears that these were assumptions, not resurrections (as was the case with Lazarus). In other words, Enoch and Elijah do not appear to have experienced death. They were raised body and soul into heaven.

2nd- and this gets into a deeper question, You quoted from the apocrypha or deuterocanonicals. The church I am a part of now rejects them completely. I have heard some good case for their acceptance. Do you have a good case for their acceptance?
For this, I would like to direct you to some earlier blog posts that I have written on this subject:I hope those help.

Not that I expect you to find and list every one but I am curious is this an exhaustive list of verses hinting at Mary’s assumption or are there more?
There may be more, but those are the only ones that I am aware of.

Numbers 1 through 14 are very good. Let me see if I am understanding. In those first 14 sections is he simply saying that Mary’s role as Co-Redemptrix or Mediatrix (these are the same correct?) was in her free will participation with the will of God, just in the same way we can. So his remark about it being quantitative as opposed to qualitative means that she had a much larger, more important decision in regards to conforming her will to God’s than we might?
Well, first of all, the words "co-redemptrix" and "mediatrix" do not mean the same thing. The word "co-redemptrix" refers to her role in the redemption of mankind. The word "mediatrix" refers to her role in the mediation or distribution of grace to us. As for her role in salvation in comparison to our role, her contribution is quantitatively greater not because she had a more important decision to make, but because she is able to cooperate with God's will perfectly, whereas we are able to cooperate only imperfectly. Remember, Mary is without sin. This means that she can perfectly, completely, totally unite her will to the will of the Father. Since we are not sinless, we simply cannot cooperate with God as perfectly as she did.

My one hesitation with this article was the first sentence in 15. “Likewise, God chooses to distribute all graces through Mary.” When, where, and how is the jump from Mary having been the instrument used (past tense) for Jesus to enter allowing for all grace, to Mary being used (present) in the distribution of all graces. Biblical evidence would be nice but I don’t even necessarily need that, just the argument would be enough.
Perhaps the following paragraphs will help, from the article Fifth Marian Dogma: "Where Is That in Scripture?":
  • Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5), but all Christians are called to participate in the one mediation of Jesus Christ. All the baptized participate in Christ’s mediation by our prayers for one another. In our works of charity and evangelization we "mediate" Christ to others. The Blessed Virgin Mary was asked by God to take her part in her divine Son’s mediation in a unique and privileged way, like no other creature.

    The title "Mediatrix of all Graces" is appropriate for Mary simply by the fact that she gave Jesus his human nature. In accepting the invitation to be his Mother, she becomes the "God-bearer" and thereby mediates to us Jesus Christ, author of all graces. Therefore, the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) is an event of mediation on the part of Our Lady, as she finds herself "in the middle," that is, between God and us. She, alone, freely chooses whether she will or will not give flesh to the second person of the Trinity.

    "Mediatrix of all graces" is also a fitting title for the Blessed Virgin in light of Luke 1:41, where the physical presence of Mary mediates grace to the unborn John the Baptist, by bringing to John the presence of the unborn Redeemer, resulting in the sanctification of the Baptist.

    At the Wedding of Cana (cf. John 2:1-11), we again see Mary’s mediation, and, most significantly, we see the effects of her mediation: "This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him" (John 2:11).

    As our Lord was dying on the Cross, he gives to his Virgin Mother the new role of Mother of all Christians: "Woman, behold, your son!...Behold, your mother!" (John 19:26). At the Lord’s command the Blessed Virgin becomes Mother of all Christians (and universally, the Mother of all peoples), and therein is called to exercise her supernatural duties as our spiritual Mother. This surely means that she will have the task of nourishing her children, and she does this by mediating the graces of the Redemption from Christ to mankind. Therefore, she is "Mediatrix of all Graces."
If you need something more, beyond what is written here, just let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I hope this helps.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Poll-Release Monday #61

Here is the new poll question for this week:

True or False?: In the liturgy it is not only the Father who blesses us, but we who bless the Father.
What do you think? Vote in the poll in the sidebar.

Here are the results from the previous poll:
  • Proper song and music in the liturgy, although acting as signs in regard to liturgical action, are not elements that promote the sanctification of the faithful.
    • True: 3 (10%)
    • False: 26 (90%)
The correct answer is:
  • FALSE, cf. CCC no. 1157: Song and music fulfill their function as signs in a manner all the more significant when they are "more closely connected . . . with the liturgical action" (SC 112 § 3), according to three principal criteria: beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly at the designated moments, and the solemn character of the celebration. In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful (Cf. SC 112) . . .
You may wonder how it is that song and music in the liturgy can promote the sanctification of the faithful. I have wondered this myself. Perhaps liturgical music acts as sacramentals do, nurturing in us the proper disposition with which to receive God's grace. Of course, in the Mass, liturgical music prepares us to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.

St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians .... pray for us!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8 and Homosexuality: Part 2

In response to Part 1, "Mexjewel" attempted to make the argument that a Christian could rightly live a homosexual lifestyle. I would like to respond to this position below:

My Jesus makes the definition of sin (and so sinners) easy. He bases and defines ALL sin on lack of love (Matthew 22:36-40). Such obvious sins as theft, murder and adultery are unloving because each has a victim, someone not receiving love. Can a Gay person be sinful by themselves, with only the attraction to their own gender? So the attraction is sinful?
I, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, do not believe that a person is a sinner just because he has a homosexual attraction. Men and women are tempted every day to do things that they shouldn't do. This doesn't make them sinners, it makes them human. The sin is not in having the attraction or the temptation. The sin is in acting on it. This is an important distinction that must be made whenever this topic is being discussed.

And so, if that Gay person has a lover (as I prefer to call my mate), which is the unloved victim in that homosexual relationship? Neither, of course. Neither is unloved, neither is hurt. Who could bring suit against the “sinner”?
I would assert that neither person is being loved as they should be loved. I realize that you feel very deeply for the person you are with and that this may come as a grave insult to you. I'm not trying to deny your feelings. What I'm saying is that God has made us for something better than what you currently experience and that the love you share with your mate is not the same as the love that God wills for us to share with each other.

You are both victims in this homosexual relationship. You are sinning against God too, by not living in accordance with His will. Of course, I realize that I have yet to prove this. I hope to do that here shortly.

I guess you alread have noticed that no Gospel writer nor prophet proclaimed homosexuality as sinful? Jesus didn't, of course. My questions are not rhetorical; they usually remain unanswered by those who refuse God's grace and live by working the law.
The Gospels and the prophets are not our only sources of truth in Scripture, and you are creating a false dichotomy by pitting them against the Pentateuch and St. Paul. Ultimately, there is only one author of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and He does not contradict Himself.

Certainly if God didn't want men to have sex with other men, He would have said “Man shall not lie with man PERIOD (Leviticus 18:22, 21:13). God wanted Moses to eradicate rampant idolatry in the Jewish nation. That whole “ . . . as with a woman” thing condemns straight men pretending to make it with a woman, such as during idol worship. Paul explains it further when putting down the straight Romans (1:26-28 ) for “leaving their natural relations” (i.e.... as with a woman) and having idolatrous sex with men. Gay men are attracted to other men by definition and by God. They can only imagine what sex “ . . . as with a woman” would be like.
This is a clever argument. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that having sex with someone of the same gender is only wrong when it is done by a heterosexual person within the context of idol worship. I disagree with this for several reasons.

For one, Scripture condemns the act itself. It says nothing of the orientation of the person performing the act. As soon as men began to lay down with men, they sinned. It doesn't matter if their actual sexual orientation is gay or straight. Secondly, where in the context of the various prohibitions of homosexual activity do we find that God meant to only forbid such acts that take place in the context of idol worship? You seem to have pulled that out of thin air. Thirdly, don't forget that any sexual activity, be it homosexual or heterosexual, that takes place outside of marriage (which Scripture only envisions as being between a man and a woman) is considered sinful. Thus, homosexual activity falls under every prohibition of "fornication" as well, and Jesus did talk about that (cf. Mt 15:19; Rev 21:8).

Finally, when Scripture says that men had forsaken relations with women to lay down with men, that doesn't mean that you have to be with a woman first before your sex act with a man is sinful. What it means is that they traded a natural form of sexual expression with an unnatural one. The first form of sexual activity is pitted against the second form. The second form is wrong b/c it's not the first form. Plus, if as a man you have sex with another man, you are forsaking sexual relations with a woman, whether you've actually had sexual relations with a woman or not.

“Homosexual” was coined about 1865, so any Bible translation since then that uses a form of that word is a lie that needs to be emended. My King James version is honest and homosexual-free. That word premiered in a 1946 English Bible and continues to condemn loving Gays.
Just because the word may be absent from the Bible, that does not mean that the act it describes is not a sin. At any rate, the KJV does condemn "sodomites" (cf. Deut 23:17; 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7). What do you make of that?

It is noteworthy that Gay people employ themselves in loving professions like medicine, education and the ministry. However, some Christians evidently work in the Biblical judicial system.
I never said that individuals with a homosexual orientation are useless to society, or that they have an inability to love. Such individuals are just as capable as anyone else to do good works for others. But, that doesn't make their homosexual lifestyle morally acceptable, and when they try to communicate love by participating in homosexual acts, they love wrongly.

We Christians want to avoid sin that offends God. We do not unilaterally harm God but we do wreck our love relationship with Him by sinning. Created in His loving image, we fail to live up to expectations. Without Jesus and His deal to make it all right, we would be planning our new residence in Hell. But we have taken Jesus as Savior and Lord and He keeps us in His Father's loving will.
If you want to avoid offending God you must refrain from acting on your homosexual orientation. Jesus will not simply turn a blind eye to what you are doing just because he loves you. In fact, it is because he loves you that he calls you out of that lifestyle.

What is the most love one can show another sinner? Offer them an eternity with God through the redemptive cross of Jesus. Instead of judging them, shouldn’t Christians be telling those “sinful” homosexuals that Jesus died for their sins? The stumbling block is that Gays do not want to affiliate with unloving and judgmental Christians. Know Jesus, know love. No Jesus, no love.
That redemptive Cross of Jesus that you wish more Christians would offer to people who struggle with this orientation is exactly what I am offering you. If you will grant me your forbearance, I would like to quote from a document of the CDF that is very eloquent on this point:
  • What, then, are homosexual persons to do who seek to follow the Lord? Fundamentally, they are called to enact the will of God in their life by joining whatever sufferings and difficulties they experience in virtue of their condition to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross. That Cross, for the believer, is a fruitful sacrifice since from that death come life and redemption. While any call to carry the cross or to understand a Christian's suffering in this way will predictably be met with bitter ridicule by some, it should be remembered that this is the way to eternal life for all who follow Christ.

    It is, in effect, none other than the teaching of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians when he says that the Spirit produces in the lives of the faithful "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control" (5:22) and further (5:24), "You cannot belong to Christ unless you crucify all self-indulgent passions and desires."

    It is easily misunderstood, however, if it is merely seen as a pointless effort at self-denial. The Cross is a denial of self, but in service to the will of God himself who makes life come from death and empowers those who trust in him to practise virtue in place of vice.

    To celebrate the Paschal Mystery, it is necessary to let that Mystery become imprinted in the fabric of daily life. To refuse to sacrifice one's own will in obedience to the will of the Lord is effectively to prevent salvation. Just as the Cross was central to the expression of God's redemptive love for us in Jesus, so the conformity of the self-denial of homosexual men and women with the sacrifice of the Lord will constitute for them a source of self-giving which will save them from a way of life which constantly threatens to destroy them.

    Christians who are homosexual are called, as all of us are, to a chaste life. As they dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his Way. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, no. 12)
I hope that helps. In closing, I would like to provide a list of the passages of Scripture that condemn homosexual activity (from the RSV, unless otherwise indicated):
  • Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

    Gen 18:20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomor'rah is great and their sin is very grave,

    Gen 19:4-7 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; 5 and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." 6 Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, 7 and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly (cf. Judg 19:22-23)

    Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (cf. 20:13)

    Deut 23:17 (KJV) There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (cf. 1 Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Ki 23:7).

    Rom 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

    1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    [note: the Greek word translated in the RSV as "sexual perverts" is
    arsenokoites, which means "one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual" according to the KJV NT Greek Lexicon. The KJV translates this as "abusers of themselves with mankind" which is perhaps more indicative of the sin in question here.]

    1 Tim 1:9-11 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Booklet on the Funeral Rite

I recently provided a link to a booklet using Marian artwork in catechesis. It was the second part of a project on using beauty in catechesis, which also included a paper. Well, I created a booklet in conjunction with my paper on liturgical catechesis as well. See Learning the "Rite" Way: What the Funeral Rites Teach Us About Death and the Afterlife.

Let me know what you think.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Proposition 8 and Homosexuality

I received the following email from a mom in California on Prop. 8 and it's effect on her family. I haven't seen very much in the Catholic blogosphere on this, so I hope that what follows will be a worthwhile contribution to the debate on this subject. It's a miracle that Prop. 8 passed and we should certainly praise God for that. But, there is still much work left to be done. Pray for California!

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
- - - - - - - - - -
By way of background, I am a Catholic California mom of four, and my daughter is gay. I have gently counseled her on the Church's teachings on being gay: that if she is attracted to the same sex, she is respected and loved; but she should not sin by having sex outside of marriage.
These are all good points that you raised. Don't forget though that homosexual activity is wrong, no matter what context it is in. In other words, it's not just that it's outside of marriage that makes it wrong. It's also the fact that it is sexual activity with someone of the same sex, which is contrary to God's design.

Her response is that God made her the way she is, and wants her to be happy. She is in a relationship with a young woman. I welcome them in my home. Does that make me a hypocrite?
Well, for one, there is no proof that homosexuality is a genetic disorder, or that God "makes" people that way. There have been several professional studies which show that this is actually not the case. Secondly, it is true that God wants her to be happy, but happiness can only come by living according to God's Will. The sources for discerning God's Will -- the Bible and the teaching of the Catholic Church -- all say that homosexual activity is not condoned by God.

As for welcoming your daughter and her girlfriend into your home, I don't think this necessarily makes you a hypocrite. It depends on how you handle it. If you come down too heavy-handed and forbid them to come over or to ever be in your presence, then they will probably just rebel and end up living together by the end of the year. But, you also don't want to ever appear to condone their lifestyle. So, I think you have to walk a thin line.

I would just lay some ground rules. Both feet on the floor at all times. Open door at all times. No kissing, holding hands, or any other public displays of affection. No crude talk. It's your roof so you call the shots. I don't think those rules are too much to ask either. Once they can be in your home in a controlled atmosphere, then you can begin the slow and grueling process of being a good witness to them and planting the seeds that will hopefully bring about their conversion.

Basically, you have to be like Jesus (no pressure! haha). Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Calmly and charitably explain your position whenever it comes up. Invite them to good Catholic events, like Bible studies, women's groups, conferences, and things like that where they can be evangelized. Place different books around the house on true feminism, homosexuality, and JPII's theology of the body. Pray like there's no tomorrow!! You can save your daughter -- but only with God's help.

In California, we just had Proposition 8 on the ballot - defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I voted for it. She is very upset, saying I voted for something that has nothing to do with my faith - and that I have voted for civil discrimination. She says there is no connection between what the state says and what the Church says, and has asked me to stand up and "fight" for her right to marry her girlfriend!
Prop 8 was an amazing victory for our society, and I applaud your courage in voting for it despite how close you are to the issue. In response to your daughter, I would first say that voting has everything to do with your faith. Our faith is not supposed to be something that we just bring to Church with us on Sunday. Our faith is supposed to inform everything that we say and do. God has revealed to us what is beautiful, good, and true -- and what is not. We are called to choose what is good and to avoid evil.

The idea that faith should be separate from politics is also false because, whether you like it or not, laws are based on moral principles. When you make a law that says that one action is right and another one is wrong, you make a moral judgment of that action. Our laws against stealing are based on the moral judgment that stealing is wrong. Our laws against rape and incest are based on the moral judgment that rape and incest is wrong. You get the idea. To separate law from morality is to create a false dichotomy.

I also disagree with your daughter when she says that Prop 8 amounts to "civil discrimination." This accusation rests on the presupposition that two people of the same sex have the "right" to get married. But, homosexual marriage isn't a right. Human rights are based on the dignity of the human person and what we should and should not afford a human being in light of that dignity. BUT, homosexual relationships are against our dignity as human persons. We were not made for such relations.

There is a complementarity between male and female (in temperament, psychological development, natural ability, physical makeup, etc.) that make them natural partners. When God saw that Adam needed a help mate, God made a woman, not another man. The complementarity of the sexes, the natural law that is imprinted onto our very bodies, is denied in homosexual relationships. The purposes of sexual intercourse -- unity and procreation -- are denied as well. For these and many more reasons, homosexual activity is contrary to the Will of God.

Now, in virtue of the free will that we all possess, I guess you could say that we all have the "right" to choose evil over good. God has given your daughter the free will to choose homosexual activity, if she so desires. But, homosexual marriage is not her "right" in the sense of something that she deserves in light of her human dignity, or something that society should legitimize.

Is there separation of Church and state on this issue as she claims? How can I respond without alienating her? I feel as thought I have to choose between my God and my child.
On the contrary, by choosing God you choose your child. You only want what is best for her, and, whether she knows it or not, it would not be good for her for society to legitimize her homosexual inclination. This inclination shouldn't be encouraged, by society or anyone else. Instead, it is something that must be -- and can be -- overcome, with God's help.

There are several books on homosexuality, theology of the body, and true feminism that may be helpful to you. Here are a few that I would recommend:
I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

Also see Part 2.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wise Words in this Tumultuous Time

The following blog post from Randy Alcorn (author of Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments: Expanded and Updated) is the best article I've read so far on how we should come to grips with the current direction of our nation. I encourage everyone to read it. It helped to lift my spirits at a time when I thought nothing could.

See "It's Over, But It's Not Over (One Day It Will Be)". Pray, hope, and don't worry.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #60

You have probably noticed that I've only been updating the poll every two weeks instead of every week. I think this is better because it gives people more time to vote and takes the pressure off of me to keep up with this so frequently. Honestly, I'm not sure how people post 4 and 5 times a day. Pretty crazy.

Anyway, here is this week's poll question. We're done with Holy Orders, so we turn now to the liturgy:
  • True or false?: Proper song and music in the liturgy, although acting as signs in regard to liturgical action, are not elements which can promote the sanctification of the faithful.
Let me know what you think by voting in the poll in the sidebar.

As for the previous poll, here are the results:
  • True or false?: The ordination of women remains an option which the Church may choose in the future.
    • True: 4 (9%)
    • False: 40 (91%)
The correct answer is:
  • FALSE, cf. CCC no. 1577: "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination" (CIC, can. 1024). The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry (Cf. Mk 3:14-19; Lk 6:12-16; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 2 Tim 1:6; Titus 1:5-9; St. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. 42, 4:44, 3: PG 1, 292-293; 300). The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ's return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible (Cf. John Paul II, MD 26-27; CDF, declaration, Inter insigniores: AAS 69 [1977] 98-116).
The Church is pretty clear on this point: She could not ordain a woman to the priesthood even if She wanted to. It is not in the Church's power to do so. This is how strictly tied the Church is to all that is objectively true. For more on this topic, see the following articles:Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Real Gem These Days

Check out what has recently become one of my favorite websites:


The articles on this site, while not yet numerous, are extremely effective in articulating the Christian, conservative viewpoint and in refuting the common errors we face. I have yet to be disappointed, and I wish the Witherspoon Institute continued success.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

The Poor and the Unborn: Part 3

More from my Facebook debate on Christians voting for Obama. Also see Part 1 and Part 2. Note that I had to keep my responses brief b/c Facebook comments don't allow for very many words.

Obama's campaign cites everything [about the "Born Alive" legislation] so you can check it out. This has been discussed a lot already and I think this link pretty much sums up the "pro-Obama" response. It is no secret that Obama is a pro-choice candidate that will protect Roe vs. Wade. He is not, however, pro-abortion or pro-infanticide.
Well, first of all, I tried to respond to your recent posts, but it would've been at least 20 comments long. There's just too much to cover. Instead, I would like to direct you to articles that refute the points you have made. I beg you to read them.

Now, regarding Obama's justification for voting against “Born Alive” legislation in Illinois, I offer the following:His arguments on this issue just don't hold up.

As for Obama being "pro-choice" instead of "pro-abortion," I think the distinction is ultimately pointless for one thing. I also think it gives Obama more credit then he deserves. The following articles explain why "pro-abortion" is an entirely justifiable label:There has never been a presidential candidate as staunchly pro-ABORTION as Barak Obama.

You said, "I see that you trust his words there. I don't. The reason I don't is b/c, when pro-choice politicians and organizations talk about 'women's health', 'family planning', and 'compassionate assistance' they really mean 'abortion.'" I don't see how you prescribe to know that. We will never know if every politician and organization that is pro-choice really does care about women's health, family planning, and compassionate assistance, but do you really believe they are all just trying to find ways to kill more babies and that they don't actually care about women at all?
I think Planned Parenthood certainly fits that bill. They're after one thing: the almighty dollar. The fact that abortion even falls under "women’s health" is misleading at best. Abortion does nothing positive for the health of the mother. Nothing. If these people really cared about women’s health they wouldn’t be "pro-choice." Here’s what their beloved "choice" is doing to women:Looks more like "women's victimization" to me.

About the number of deaths to malnutrition vs. abortion, both numbers are obviously estimates and there may be no statistically significant difference between the two, but I can concede the numbers are comparable. At any rate, here is an interesting journal article on the incidence of abortion worldwide that, I think, shows the concern that making abortion illegal does not seem to affect its practice much since abortion rates are roughly even between countries where abortion is legal and where it is illegal.
For one, there are too many extenuating variables involved from country to country to make the blanket statement that “Abortion rates are no lower overall in areas where abortion is generally restricted by law than in areas where abortion is legally permitted." Secondly, Michael J. New has done extensive research which shows that pro-life laws do actually work. See "Pro-Life Politicians Have Made a Difference, Pro-Life Laws Work". Thirdly, I reject the very logic behind your argument.

Abortion should be illegal because it’s wrong. Period. As far as I know, you believe it’s wrong, too. Well then, why not fight to make it illegal? Why must we force ourselves into this false dichotomy of either making it illegal or providing help for women in crisis situations? Why can’t we do both? That’s what any “pro-lifer” would advocate.

Yet, you somehow think a person can call themselves "pro-life" and still vote for a candidate who advocates unfettered access to abortion. The programs that you want to see … I want to see them too! But, we won’t see them under Obama. These programs will be seen as a threat to Roe vs. Wade and they will all be abolished. When his campaign was asked, "Does Sen. Obama support continuing federal funding for crisis pregnancy centers? Why or why not?" they responded: "No" (see here). That doesn't seem very "pro-choice" to me.

All I know to say is that abortion is deplorable and an issue of deep concern. Abortion rates are going down as programs are being developed, and that is a wonderful thing. Whether Roe vs. Wade is overturned or not, there will still need to be action taken to lower the number of abortions. Mccain and Obama have different plans for sex education and the economy. You said it is debatable if Obama's plans will work, but it is debatable whether Mccain's would as well. You mentioned FOCA, but I believe that will not pass if people like us write to our congressmen and senators--which is much more effective than just debating with friends, because unlike our friends, senators and congressmen must listen, if for no other reason than to be re-elected.
I think that’s naïve. For one, it is highly, HIGHLY probable that we will soon have a Democrat-controlled House AND Senate. If Obama is elected, that will mean a Democrat-controlled government through and through. When’s the last time the Democrats have been good on the abortion issue? If you don’t think they’ll pass FOCA you’re a few bricks short of a load (no offense). At any rate, why even risk it?

From now on Nick, I'm callin' you trouble. ; )
You call ME trouble? Obama is trouble par excellence. In case I have not been very effective at presenting my position, see Gerard V. Bradley's recent article "When Is It Acceptable for a Pro-Life Voter to Vote for a Pro-Choice Candidate?". He makes the case much better than I can.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic
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