Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Canadian Catholic Church and the State

Last night, I listened to the Erasmus Lecture given by Archbishop Chaput. This is sponsored annually by First Things and this was the 26th or 27th lecture. 

First Things is a publication begun by Father John Nieuhaus who felt the need to equip Christians to witness to their faith in the public square. He obviously could foresee the threats to religious freedom that were coming from the secular culture and from the ever-growing body of government.

The talk is now online at this link.


Archbishop Chaput is a marvellous thinker and I have never read anything by him that wasn't relevant to today's issues.

Last night, he began the lecture by telling the brief story of the province of Quebec. From a province that was 95% Catholic with extremely high church attendance, Quebec has dropped to one of the most secular places in the modern world. I am not quite sure of the numbers, but I thought he said that only 11% of Quebecers now state that they are Catholic and only a small proportion of those attend Sunday Mass.  It has an abortion rate of 48% (pretty close to half of all pregnancies are aborted). The "silent revolution" took people away from institutional faith and the result is a province that is openly hostile to the Church.

It is important to remember that Canada's ruling party, for the most part, has been the Liberal party. And the majority of leaders of the Liberal Party have been Catholics from the province of Quebec. What does this portend for Canada as a whole on the issue of religion and state, religious freedom, upholding of the traditional values that were the underpinnings of this country?

I keep telling my husband (ad nauseum) that our archbishop here is a product of Quebec and, to understand him, you have to keep in mind that he has spent his entire life growing up in a province that is increasingly anti-Catholic, a province that has been making concessions all along to the secular government and is abandoning any Catholic/Christian roots. Our bishop's thinking is bound to be formed by those 60 years, the majority of his life. It should come as no surprise that he doesn't understand those Catholics who think that inviting a "Catholic" abortion-supporting politician to speak at the annual Archbishop's dinner is beyond problematic. It is a disgrace.

I am re-reading the book Catholics Against the Church, a history of the pro-life movement in Toronto in the years 1969-1985. I think it is the doctoral thesis of Michael Cuneo. A second reading brings things out much more clearly: the roots of the antipathy between pro-life Catholics and their bishops, the reluctance of the Catholic Church to be vocal on the pro-life issue (unlike the American church that has many outspoken advocates amongst the clergy). And always there is the thread running through the history of abortion in Canada:  that it was Catholics with political power who made abortion legal in this country.

The  more I read, the less sure I am of where the answers lie. How do we motivate our pastors and bishops to speak out on injustice?  how do we engage them in the "public square" when they firmly believe that they shouldn't be there in the first place?  How can we make advances in key areas, such as abortion politics and the drive towards legalizing euthanasia when our clergy have been advised decades ago to keep clear of all that controversial stuff?  When people like Cardinal Carter of Toronto set the tone by meeting privately with Prime Minister Trudeau, a meeting in which he gave Trudeau his support for the new Charter of Rights and in which he got in return the continued funding of Catholic schools in Ontario. Although this cannot be proven definitively, it certainly looks as if that is the way it went and there were definitely collusions between Liberal politicians and Church hierarchy at the time. 

I have always suspected that our clergy have been closet Liberals, and some (heaven forbid are NDP), but there is some solid evidence there for that suspicion. There is a shroud of compromise and shady deals that has covered the Canadian Catholic Church for a long time.  How do we tear that shroud away?  Or will it simply take a brand new generation of priests to accomplish that?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Appeal from Africa to the Synod

An incredible appeal made to the cardinals and bishops attending the Synod and of course to Pope Francis. 


Our heart-felt appeal for Gospel values to be upheld is indeed a cry for survival of our people. Because in this year alone many African nations and leaders have been terrorised and threatened by powerful and well funded homosexual lobbying groups who have tried to bend us or break us into acceptance of their lifestyle. We have seen humanitarian aid withdrawn by Western nations at the insistence of these totalitarian groups. We have seen a new brand of "comprehensive sexuality education" targeted at our African children. We have suffered the scourge of abortion lobbyists from the West. We have been forced to welcome extremely rich western philanthropists bearing the unwanted "gift" of contraception.   -  

Obianuju Ekeocha


Thursday, October 9, 2014

This is the Pro-life Generation

I have heard it said that the majority of the younger generation is pro-life. I don't see this here in my neck of the woods, Halifax Nova Scotia, but I don't think that Halifax is representative of the rest of the country.

Here we have a very vocal pro-choice faction in the city that rises up against everything pro-life, even objecting to bus ads that simply give women the choice to visit a pregnancy centre.

But they are not in the majority. Young women like Lia in the video are coming out as pro-life. As one young person said quite simply:  "abortion is really mean." 

Isn't that the truth?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sexual Behaviour and Christian Discipline

How do we stand for our principles in a world that is calling those principles intolerant and judgmental?

The article posted on LifeSiteNews,  https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/scandal-inside-the-synod-on-the-family-a-push-for-acceptance-of-homosexuali, brings this problem right out into the light.

A Catholic couple, one of six couples invited to make a presentation to the Synod of bishops in Rome, has recounted their own experience with the son of a friend. This young man is in a homosexual relationship and his family decided that the loving thing to do was to invite the same-sex couple to their Christmas celebrations.
“They fully believed in the Church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family,” added the Pirolas. “Their response could be summed up in three words, ‘He is our son’.”
I can relate to this situation but my response is somewhat different.

When a couple, be they heterosexual or homosexual, seeks to be accepted by their Christian family and friends, shouldn't the response be one of truth given in love?  A wise priest once said to me that in these situations, the children pressure the parents into accepting their situation and therefore bully the parents into condoning their choice.  The parents comply because they are told by everyone that this is the loving thing to do, yet they themselves are being bullied into abandoning their principles. This is akin to emotional blackmail: the parents are being held hostage by a child who says "accept my behaviour or I will withhold my affection."  Who is being unloving here?  Aren't the parents' principles being in-tolerated?

This made me think of Alcoholics Anonymous and the companion ministry, Al-Anon. Who would encourage a family to invite an alcoholic to a Christmas gathering, knowing full well that the alcoholic would bring his bottle(s) with him?  The wise policy of Al-Anon is not to "enable" the person with the addiction, in this case the alcohol problem. Shouldn't our advice be not to "enable" the wayward child by condoning their relationship?

The family could certainly say to the person that they themselves are very welcome to the family gathering, but that their partner is not. This tells the son or daughter that they are loved by the family and still welcome to be there with them, but their choice of lifestyle will not be accepted.

The couple who addressed the Synod are opting for the "squishy", feel-good solution to a tricky situation. Who will this help in the long term?  The wrong message is given to the son or daughter and the parents and family have compromised their principles.

Love has to be tough at times; that may mean it appears to be intolerant. But the truthful approach to this problem is the more loving one in the long run.

In a recent interview with Cardinal Burke, (http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/10/interview-card-burke-our-challenges-and-authentic-pastoral-care/)  he spoke of the Church being pushed into accepting the current culture. This problem of sons and daughters choosing lifestyles that contradict Christian principles is exactly what he is talking about. When the culture encroaches on our principles, the approach must be one of pushing back, not of accepting what the culture demands in the name of tolerance. 

As for what Scripture has to say on the matter, this passage is the one that comes to my mind:

Hebrews 12:6-7: "...the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?"
From my perspective, the "loving, tolerant" approach that is a mark of our present culture is the opposite of what real Christian discipline should be. If such a person were to change their lifestyle and reconsider the values of their family, would he find any faith left there?

Friday, October 3, 2014

The numbers of abortions are staggering

Must watch video.

October 2, 2014  -  www.weneedalaw.org   placed 100,000 pink and blue flags on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. One tv photographer could not stop staring as he tried to comprehend the numbers. One volunteer said that she just couldn't look, it was too big to comprehend. 

Every year, 100,000 boys and girls are sacrificed on the altars of choice in hospitals and clinics. And the executioners are our own medical doctors, dressed in their scrubs. This has to end.

100,000 each and every year. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Flags for the Unborn

A picture is worth a thousand words. And in this case, a display is worth 100,000 words.  http://www.weneedalaw.ca/  put 100,000 pink and blue flags on Parliament Hill this morning to represent the number of abortions that take place annually in Canada.

This is only up for one day, until about 4 pm this afternoon. The big question is:  will the CBC national news cover it?  Call them and ask.




NDP leader Tom Mulcair walks past the display. As Suzanne Fortin said, ask him "when does life begin?"  

What a great move, people need to be shown the reality of abortion in some way. If they won't look at graphic signs, then let them take in the vast number of abortions. They have to be shocked in some way before they will comprehend the truth.

For more coverage on this:    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-group-plants-100000-tiny-flags-for-canadas-pre-born-on-parliament

And no, CBC didn't cover the story. Why anyone listens to the CBC is a mystery to me. They are paid for entirely by our taxes, yet they don't represent Canadian views, but the views of the liberal left. Privatize the network and see if it can float.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interview with Andrew Klavan on Kermit Gosnel

Crime writer Andrew Klavan has been hired to write the script for the movie about Kermit Gosnel.
What is interesting about Klavan is that he was once pro-choice but changed his mind after a pro-life friend proved him wrong. The video is only 3 minutes long, take a look.


Klavan says that he will not show the gruesomeness of abortion in this film, but he will show how the media turned a blind eye to Gosnel for decades because they had a pro-choice mindset. Now that Gosnel has been convicted and is in prison for years, the truth about his shady business and how it was ignored by health officials, by politicians will tell all the truth that needs to be told about abortion.

People will form their own opinions after they see the movie. As the interviewer says, "I can hardly wait".  

People are badly badly mistaken and are leaving somebody out of the equation: the most helpless, the most voiceless person.,The one person who has no power is the person being left out of the equation. What else is new in human history?  - Andrew Klavan