Beauty, beauty, how we need thee…

There is nothing quite like something beautiful. And I’m not talking the cover of Vogue beautiful, but pure, glorious, awe-inspiring beauty, to lift the heart to God. I think as Kiwis, as casual and sometimes minimalistic that we can be, we can forget that easily…whilst wallowing in a wealth of false beauty among our consumer society.

However, this week in Africa I came across two beautiful churches – the Consolata Shrine and St Jude’s, the church of a local Franciscan community – both in suburban Nairobi, Kenya.

Beauty can be sensed in many ways…natural beauty, moral beauty, the beauty of truth…

The CCC says (33) The human person: with his openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God’s existence. In all this he discerns signs of his spiritual soul. The soul, the “seed of eternity we bear in ourselves, irreducible to the merely material”, can have its origin only in God.

Truly beautiful things can lead us to ponder the existence of this great mysterious God, Abba, Father…our whole origin. Pretty cool.

A beautiful church is a work of art in itself…and: (2501) Created “in the image of God,” man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works. Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression; beyond the search for the necessities of life which is common to all living creatures, art is a freely given superabundance of the human being’s inner riches. Arising from talent given by the Creator and from man’s own effort, art is a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and skill, to give form to the truth of reality in a language accessible to sight or hearing. To the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a certain likeness to God’s activity in what he has created. Like any other human activity, art is not an absolute end in itself, but is ordered to and ennobled by the ultimate end of man.

Art can bear a certain likeness to God’s activity…so…build beautiful churches, works of art, worthy of the God to whom worshipped is offered within. None of these ‘budget saving’ jobs!!

And a final note, may the soul of Fr Joseph Bertaina rest in peace. Fr Joseph, a Consolata priest of 82 years old, was found dead in his office in Nairobi last week, brutally murdered by three men and a women. He is an Italian missionary who has been in Kenya since the 1950s, evangelising the Gospel in a radical way. They announced at Mass this morning that one of his murderers was a former Vincentian Seminarian – all the more tragic. It reminds us that no one is free from the snares of the devil, even those who were on the path to a life of service for God can find themselves falling greatly. Pray for the soul of Fr Joseph, and for those who sent him to his death for the mere sake of stealing some petty cash.

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    Comments: 150

    1. Chris Sullivan January 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      Beauty is certainly a wonderful image of God !

      We visited a very beautiful Buddhist temple over the holidays and it did give me a greater appreciation of the beauty of Churches and temples.

      http://www.fgs.org.nz/english/index.aspx

      Here’s the very beautiful cable the Holy Father sent to President Obama today on his inaugration. There’s a beauty in seeing the goodness in people overcome generations of slavery, exploitation, and racial discrimination.

      Let us be reminded, and take encouragement from this inspiration, that when people unite and work for social change, we do have the power to make it happen.

      Lets keep that beautiful vision in mind; we’ll need it.

      THE HONORABLE BARACK OBAMA

      PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      THE WHITE HOUSE

      WASHINGTON, DC

      ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR INAUGURATION AS THE FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I OFFER CORDIAL GOOD WISHES, TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS THAT ALMIGHTY GOD WILL GRANT YOU UNFAILING WISDOM AND STRENGTH IN THE EXERCISE OF YOUR HIGH RESPONSIBILITIES. UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP MAY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO FIND IN THEIR IMPRESSIVE RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL HERITAGE THE SPIRITUAL VALUES AND ETHICAL PRINCIPLES NEEDED TO COOPERATE IN THE BUILDING OF A TRULY JUST AND FREE SOCIETY, MARKED BY RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY, EQUALITY AND RIGHTS OF EACH OF ITS MEMBERS, ESPECIALLY THE POOR, THE OUTCAST AND THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE. AT A TIME WHEN SO MANY OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD YEARN FOR LIBERATION FROM THE SCOURGE OF POVERTY, HUNGER AND VIOLENCE, I PRAY THAT YOU WILL BE CONFIRMED IN YOUR RESOLVE TO PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING, COOPERATION AND PEACE AMONG THE NATIONS, SO THAT ALL MAY SHARE IN THE BANQUET OF LIFE WHICH GOD WILLS TO SET FOR THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7). UPON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, AND UPON ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I WILLINGLY INVOKE THE LORD’S BLESSINGS OF JOY AND PEACE

      BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

      http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2009/01/on-inauguration-day-pope-hails-chief.html

      God Bless

    2. Gianna January 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm

      I will indeed pray for that priest and those that killed him

    3. chucky January 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      Excellent post Tuppence.

      Beautiful message from the Pope.

      It looks like Obama has deaf ears though. All this Obama-talk of hope and solidarity, and he’ll start his presidency with massive monetary support for baby-murder. Great guy! yeah right.

      New President Will Reverse Mexico City Policy on Wednesday

      Posted on January 20, 2009, 9:56 AM | Deal W. Hudson

      On his first day in office, President Obama will reverse the Mexico City Policy, thus allowing federal funds to be spent on abortions overseas. I have e-mailed some pro-life leaders trying to determine how many pre-born children will die as a result of Obama’s first act as president.

      As I watch the inauguration this morning, I cannot shake the sadness of knowing the thousands, if not more, of children who will die as victims of abortion because of this new administration.

      If viewed from the perspective of race relations, it is an historic day, no doubt.
      Yet the abortion question impinges even on that issue, since African-American children are victims, disproportionately, of the abortion industry. The Obama presidency will increase the number of abortions among African-Americans, along with every other group.

      So even as I try to think along the lines of what has brought so many millions into the city across the Potomac River from where I sit, I feel only more sadness.

      It’s like America is in a type of delerious self-deception.

    4. Helens Bay January 21, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      Deal.W Hudson
      He certainly sounds like a sad individual and nothing like our beautiful Holy Father

    5. dave morgan January 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

      howdy people,

      hi helen, how are you? :P

      i hope you are well :)

      i don’t know who hudson is, but these other stories confirm what he has said

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012012.html

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012010.html

      peace all ;)

    6. Scribe January 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm

      And before Chris comes in denouncing Deal Hudson and LifesiteNews, here’s an objective article from a very reputable news source: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/19/obama.abortion/

      Seems like all that trepidation from the pro-life movement was justified, despite what some people say.

    7. Don the Kiwi January 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      Whilst wishing Pres. Obama a successful term as leader of the US and therefore the Free World, I do have real trepidation and concern for some of the policies he has stated he will introduce, and in particular his policies on abortion.

      This will put him in headlong confrontation with the Church and the pro-life movement.

      I fear his presidency could be one of turmoil and division, rather than one of peace, justice and reconciliation.

      We should all pray for him to have a change of heart.

    8. Benedicta January 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      They announced at Mass this morning that one of his murderers was a former Vincentian Seminarian – all the more tragic.

      What a tragedy……..such a waste.

      The opposite of beauty – death, murder, abortion, genocide…

      Amalek still trying to rule.

    9. Gianna January 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

      Re Obama; I don’t have a good feeling about him and disagree hugely of course with his pro life stance however, he is a very smart politican and I suspect will be very successful. However, I’m going to hold judgement until a few years in. I only hope he doesn’t let down the american people who have put so much trust in him. He seems like a very driven man and I wish him the best. As I said, I’ll reserve judgement. I just pray his life policies will change.

      Helen’s I don’t mean to be rude but your comment was out of line, no one was insulting Obama and there was nothing ‘sad’ about the individual. It came out of left field and without any explanation as to your judgement, something you don’t like people doing normally.

    10. Don the Kiwi January 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      Dave.

      Deal Hudson has done a tremendous amount for the Church in USA. He started Crisis Magazine – an excellent Catholic publication.

      His views tend to be conservative and has espoused a politically conservative stance, which is unpopular with some people (no names ;-) )

      I understand he was a convert about 16 years ago from Evangellicalism. Google the name Deal Hudson, and you will get all the info you want.

    11. Chris Sullivan January 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

      Deal Hudson was appointed by the Republican National Committee to head the Republican Party’s “Outreach to Catholics” programme.

      Politically neutral he certainly is not.

      The contrast between the approach of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI and Deal Hudson and lifesitenews is quite marked, isn’t it ?

      If you didn’t know better you’d think that the President Obama the Pope sent a message to is a completely different President Obama to the man the Catholic Right love to villify.

      The truth is that the Pope’s view doesn’t actually have much in common with the Catholic Right because Benedict XVI can see the potential and the good in Obama and the Catholic Right, often blinded by sectarian politics and a narrow focus on abortion only, cannot.

      However, the Mexico City Policy seems to be one of the few good things Bush did to stop abortions. Let’s hope and pray that Obama has the good sense to keep it in place (unlikely though that may be).

      Although I understand from a Catholic who has studied the Mexico City Policy that it has some serious flaws, so it’s possible that Obama might have a good case to shelve it.

      For example:

      The groups that were previously prohibeted from receiving federal funds were not exclusively engaged solely in promoting abortion, but also engaged in activities designed to decrease the need for abortion, such as dispensing contraceptives. While there is some merit to the argument both for and against the Boxer Amendment the issue is not as simplistic or clear-cut as that TownHall, would have you believe.

      http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2007/09/08/senate-votes-to-fund-foreign-abortion-providers/

      It was always likely that Obama would shelve Mexico City as the Senate had already voted to ditch it back in 2007.

      The pro-life movement should cheer up. The Civil Rights movement mobilised millions in concerted action for civil rights. The tailend of which has much to do with Obama’s election. The pro-life movement can do the same.

      In the words of the great Catholic trade union organiser Joe Hill: “Don’t mourn, Organise”.

      God Bless

    12. Benedicta January 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm

      I will take the same position as you Gianna – let’s wait and see.

      I don’t think anyone so myopic on abortion and so very focused on it has the right approach to humanity. More a social utilitarian view which is the antithesis of the Church’s view on life.

      So at least some tensions ahead.

      How crazy can it get?

    13. Benedicta January 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm

      Perhaps you could teach a class at CIT Chris, Obamamania 101.

      The pro-life movement should cheer up.

      Really?

      I read a description of a late term abortion. It seared me……no other way to put it. I know about these things to a certain degree as I nursed years back….but nothing prepared me for the brutality of that as a medical procedure.

      The antithesis of beauty – pure evil.

      I think Islam could get quite chique. Quite trendy. Barack Hussein Obama – CNN compared the inauguration to the HAJ! (When Muslim pilgrims flock to Mecca). He isn’t a Muslim but his romantic past will capture a few spiritual imaginations, including the media. He is going to give a major speech from a Muslim country within 100 days. My pick is Indonesia.

      Off to bed, sleep tight………

    14. Helens Bay January 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm

      Benedicta
      If Obama is as evil as some on this site believe and have even called him a murderer,how come The Holy Father can be so gracious and welcoming.
      Is he being obtuse or cowardly.?
      why does he not upbraid Obama,surely he has as much power and authority as the President ?
      Or maybe unlike some of the ABF critics he is a man of Peace and Charity.

    15. Gianna January 21, 2009 at 10:33 pm

      chris near as i can tell you don’t respect anyones opinion if they align polically to the right of you. its tiresome. you don’t like dave. fine.

      I liked what he wrote thought. he feels the heartbreak of abortion

    16. Gianna January 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

      also people have been open that he is not politically neutral but I think you’d find you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who is NOT politically neutral.

      Sigh. this was getting into a good blog. can we please not have it hijacked by a pointless discussion about all this stuff which keeps getting brought up again.

    17. Scribe January 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

      The pro-life movement should cheer up.

      Get serious, Chris. You and like-minded people need to wake up and wise up. You are a solid pro-life crusader, but you’ve been sucked in by the hype spread by people like Doug Kmiec.

      Barack Obama, in all his history-making glory, is the most radically pro-abortion president in the history of the US. Many of the top Democrats were late to join the Planned Parenthood Christmas list; Obama has been a darling of theirs since day one.

    18. Gianna January 21, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      Of course the HF is going to welcome Obama, he went to meet Fidel Castro (well JPII) and we can assume he didn’t agree with his policies.

      Also Helens, you don’t strike me as a man or women (sorry not sure :) ) of charity and peace with comments about that author being sad etc.

      Ok calm down Gianna….

    19. Joan January 22, 2009 at 12:33 am

      Thanks for the post Tuppence. Sad about Fr Joseph but the Lord will count him as a faithful servant and friend so perhaps sadder for those that killed him, they need our prayers.

      Africa sounds like a wonderful experience for you and it is great to hear positive hopeful news about the Universal church. we are so blessed to be Catholic. Thanks for reminding us.

      Beauty and creativity are profoundly wonderful and awe inspiring in the true sense of that word. I always find beauty either man made or in the natural world leads me to ponder and reflect on God in some way. Its like beauty is a private language of God and when we see it our soul understands even if the intellect, faith and will is dulled.

      I love Phil. 4:6-8 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

      Its a whole lot more than just aceentuate the positive. Its living with gratitude and praising God for beauty in all the myriad of things we experience every day; raindrops on a sunny day, salt spray at the beach, a dewy spider web in the morning, the smell of baking bread, the hushed silence of a church in adoration, the breathing of a baby, the spires of a Cathedral, the bells ringing out across a city, sunsets and sunrises, puffy clouds and fallen rose petals, the look that passes between lovers walking hand in hand, the crinkly warmth of an elderly hand in mine. Theres treasure everywhere as Calvin and Hobbes would say. When we feel the need to respond to evil in some attentive way, we must always remember and come back to the beauty that is God whom our soul seeks. Only in him is my soul at rest and there, allowing that which is true, good and beautiful to fill our hearts and minds we can find God and his peace even in the worst storms of life. I feel a song coming on. :)

      J

    20. BTM January 22, 2009 at 12:52 am

      “The pro-life movement should cheer up.”

      Why?

      Have we stopped killing 18,000 innocent babies every year in NZ?

      Have we now recognised the rights of all unborn human persons, and enshrined them in international law?

      No we haven’t, so if it’s all right with you Chris, we’ll leave the celebrations until after truth is recognised and the killing has ended.

      In the meantime we have hope, but hope that is grounded in the reality that Obama is the most pro-abortion President in US history and that things will get worse before they get better for unborn persons because of this fact.

      “The Civil Rights movement mobilised millions in concerted action for civil rights. The tailend of which has much to do with Obama’s election. The pro-life movement can do the same.”

      Chris, you are comparing apples with oranges here.

      The Civil Rights movement had popular and political support behind it – especially when the Kennedy brothers came to power.

      But such a time has not yet come for the pro-life cause.

      Imagine if the US had elected a Klu Klux Klan leader in 1960, instead of JFK, and imagine how hard it would have been for the Civil Rights movement under such conditions – cause that’s exactly the sort of opposition and struggle that the pro-life movement now faces in the US.

      Kind regards,
      Brendan Malone

      PS – If anyone is interested, I am going to be speaking on Radio Rhema tomorrow morning at approx. 7:10am, about the anniversary of Roe V. Wade and the impact of that case on the abortion debate today

    21. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 7:06 am

      Well, here are the facts. Despite all the hype from the anti-Obama crowd that the very first thing Obama would do was to sign FOCA into law – but wait FOCA hasn’t even passed Congress yet and looks very unlikely to ever do so. Then we were told that the very first thing Obama would do was to ditch the Mexico City Policy.

      But actually, the very first thing Obama actually did do on attaining office was issue this wonderful proclamation about RECONCILIATION.

      Something the knee-jerk anti-Obama crowd (who are almost exclusively WHITE) would do well to take notice of and apply to themselves.

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (White House Press Office) – In his first proclamation the 44th President of the United States President Barack Obama issued the following proclamation only minutes after having received the Oath of Office:

      A National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      A PROCLAMATION

      As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

      We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of America is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven.

      On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright—it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.

      So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: “The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

      http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=31715

      It’s a wonderful thing that after centuries of slavery and Jim Crow racial discrimination, a black man has been elected as President of the United States.

      And that isn’t much thanks to the Catholic Church who herself oficially supported slavery as Catholic doctrine as late as the Holy Office’s 1866 declaration that slavery was morally licit.

      At the start of the civil war in 1860, the US Catholic bishops were still teaching that it was OK for Catholics to own slaves and many of the US Catholic Bishops themselves owned slaves.

      And even during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960′s, Catholics (with some noteable exceptions) were largely absent, bishops were ordering nuns not to participate in Civil Rights demonstrations, and many Catholic schools had themselves been segregated.

      And even during the Obama election period a small minority of white US bishops and priests took it upoun themselves to try to bully Catholics into voting Obama by threatening their eternal salvation and their right to receive Holy Communion.

      Not good enough Catholics.

      I think we need to examine our own collective conscience as Catholics and ask ourselves why it is that we failed to take a stronger stand against slavery and racism ?

      And why it is that so many of us (most of whom seem to be WHITE) fail to see something good in Obama’s selection ?

      God Bless

    22. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 7:11 am

      Brendan,

      The pro-life movement will win by building a mass movement for change just as the Civil Rights movement did.

      The inspiration and hope we should take is that they were able to do this and did succeed – they even got a Black man (warts and all) into the White House.

      Our job is to do the same.

      We need to leave off the snarking against Obama, take up his call for reconciliation and justice and human rights and use those noble ideas to build a mass movement for reconciliation and justice and human rights for the unborn.

      Take up what is good in Obama (and there is much that is good) and build on it to fulfill it.

      Negativity, of which there is too much in the predominantly right wing Catholic blogosphere, won’t get us there.

      God Bless

    23. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 7:34 am

      Scribe,

      Doug Kmiec is already wised up on Mexico City. He’s on the public record asking Obama to keep it.

      Those of us who supported Obama from a Catholic pro-life position did so fully aware of his failings and the likelyhood that he would ditch Mexico City (its a policy which seesaws between Republican and Democrat Presidents).

      I was frankly surprised at the time that Obama opponents did not make more of an issue of Mexico City. Perhaps they thought it wasn’t that significant ?

      I’d like to know more about Mexico City especially its failings. I know that it, like all of Bush’s positions on abortion (which are not fully Catholic), makes exceptions for rape, incest, or life-threatening conditions.

      Here’s Clintons reason for rescinding Mexico City and some arguments against Mexico City :

      President Bill Clinton rescinded the Mexico City Policy on January 22, 1993. He referred to the policy as being “excessively broad” and stated that it had “undermined efforts to promote safe and efficacious family planning programs in foreign nations”.

      The nature of the policy has implications for organizations in certain countries such as South Africa. Even if these organizations support the policy itself, it is illegal for them not to inform a woman seeking an abortion of her rights, and/or refer her to a facility where she may have an abortion. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief is excluded from the Mexico City Policy.

      Critics of the Mexico City Policy refer to it as the “global gag rule”, arguing that, in addition to reducing the overall funding provided to particular NGOs, it closes off their access to USAID-supplied condoms and other forms of contraception.[12] This, they argue, negatively impacts the ability of these NGOs to distribute birth control, leading to a downfall in contraceptive use and from there to an increase in the rates of unintended pregnancies and abortion.[12] Critics also argue that the ban promotes restrictions on free speech as well as restrictions on accurate medical information.[13][14][15][16] The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development presented a petition to the United States Congress signed by 233 members condemning the policy. The forum has stated that the policy “undermines internationally agreed consensus and goals”.[17]

      Supporters of the policy have argued, using the example of the Philippines, that the ban prevents overseas health organizations from using U.S. government funds to contravene the contraception and abortion laws of the countries in which they operate.[18] Supporters also argue that the policy prevents the health agencies from promoting abortion at the expense of other birth control methods.[19][20]

      Some pro-life commentators have also criticized the policy and Bush’s reinstitution of it as being only a nominal gesture toward the pro-life community. They argue that a stipulation in the policy means that it applies only to overseas NGOs which promote abortion “as a method of family planning”, and, as such, that those organizations which promote abortion on other grounds are still able to receive full federal funding.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City_Policy

      The Mexico City Policy may not be the perfect policy that it is claimed to be.

      Makes you wonder why Bush’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief was excluded from the Mexico City Policy.

      God Bless

    24. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 7:43 am

      Gianna,

      I do respect Deal Hudson and his views, it just that I don’t always agree with him.

      I used to enjoy reading his weekly email newsletter which unfortunately was canned when Crisis Magazine collapsed and Deal left in public disgrace.

      Deal is certainly worth listening to, and especially on pro-life issues to do with Presidential policy, because of his background there.

      But one needs to carefully discern what Deal says, because he has a very politically partisan axe to grind.

      God Bless

    25. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 7:55 am

      This doing the rounds;

      A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

      ‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 yr. old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.’

      So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’

      She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’

      The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’

      She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

      Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.

      The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!
      ‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution. The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

      He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same!

      so Christopher and HB
      would you accept Obama legalising infantacide? because it might be a way of reducing abortion!

    26. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 8:08 am

      Interesting piece here on the problems of the Catholic Right’s alignment with the Bush administration and the consequences of that for the Church.

      When it gets so bad that people are walking from the Church, then you know we have a problem we need to address.

      http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=2702

      God Bless

    27. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 8:13 am

      Dei,

      Re #25.

      No, of course not.

      As Scribe says above, I’m a solid pro-life crusader.

      But I’m interested if your tale is a true story.

      God Bless

    28. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 8:41 am

      Despite all the hype from the anti-Obama crowd that the very first thing Obama would do was to sign FOCA into law – but wait FOCA hasn’t even passed Congress yet and looks very unlikely to ever do so.

      I’ve pointed this out before, Chris, but you either don’t listen or choose to ignore the facts. Obama publicly stated that the first thing he would do was sign FOCA. How can it be scaremongering if it’s using his own words? Answer: It can’t be.

      It’s not going to be the first thing he does, but he wishes it was.

      But actually, the very first thing Obama actually did do on attaining office was issue this wonderful proclamation about RECONCILIATION.

      Talk is cheap, let’s see what he actually does, not how well he reads a speech someone else wrote for him.

      Let’s see how long it is before he funnels more funding into Planned Parenthood. You know, that organisation that carries out the abortions on hundreds of thousands of babies in the US each year — a disproportionate number of which are African-American — and millions more around the world through its “sister” networks.

    29. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 8:43 am

      joan amazing post. that scripture has helped me immensely. thank you.

      chris mate, i’m not touching your posts with ten foot pools because they’ve already been argued over and over again.

      Needless to say you obbsession with constantly reminding us of the faults of the Catholic Church, whilst defending every other religion/denomination and never acknowledging their faults and your constant comments against anyone to the ‘right’ (as I said before why is it only conservatives that have ‘adgendas’?) makes me think YOU have an axe to grind.

    30. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 8:47 am

      RE Obama.

      The man is very intellegent, with serious political capability and a good understanding of international situations. I think he is a great orater and talks a lot of big talk. Like I said, I have an underlying gut feeling that hes not as great as he is hyped up to be but I’m willing to reserve my judgement until I see him in action for a while. Call me paranoid, but being part German, I have gut reactions against people always who have massive personality cults, as I see the immense damage they can do. They can also do a lot of good provided that person is guided by Truth. AS I said, lets see.

      My worry is that the hopes of the american people may not be fufilled. I hope it is but I wonder how someone who has publically admitted being so pro abortion can fully appreciate the struggle of the downtrodden when he is forgetting the most downtrodden and forgotten of them all; the unborn?

      And yes Chris, Obama publically said the first thing he would do is sign FOCA in. So while it may not happen, there was certainly reason to think it might.

    31. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 8:48 am

      Ok apologies about my shocking spelling this morning!!! Gosh!! I’m in bed sick so not doing so well on the typing front!

    32. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 8:52 am

      Christopher 26;
      I respect your proclaimation of prolife intentions but I am concerned at your solidity (to me you seem a little fluid as in other things)

      When it gets so bad that people are walking from the Church, then you know we have a problem we need to address.

      John 6 66
      Christopher to whom did they go (that had the words of eternal life)?

      Jesus didnt change his Truth to attract His followers back why should the Church? In fact it would disrespect calvary to do so.

      Goats amongst the sheep seems to confuse the flock anyway.

      I think that B16 has already stated that he expects the western Catholic Church to get smaller.

    33. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

      Nice story here about how Obama intends to close Guantanamo, the US military base in Cuba where suspects in the infamous “war on terror” were held without due process, abused, and tortured.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10553018

      A pity we didn’t hear a louder voice from the Catholic Church against the use of torture (which the Church defines as intrinsically evil) when it was going on under Bush.

      And Garth George has a nice piece in today’s Herald on the Hope expressed in the election of Obama.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10552944&pnum=0

      God Bless

    34. chucky January 22, 2009 at 8:59 am

      “The pro-life movement will win by building a mass movement for change just as the Civil Rights movement did.”

      Yes, you may have missed the point Chris.

      Brendan Malone has made that point clear when he drew a parallel with the KKK.

      Trying to build a pro-life movement for change with this government will be like trying to build a pro-black movement for change with a KKK government.

      It will be almost impossible because people won’t listen to reason, are prejudiced against a certain group, and are ideologically driven.

      Chris, you’re not in touch with what is really going on.

      Obama is the new Kennedy. People live in a sycophantic fantasy when it comes to JFK. He was a terrible president when it came to pro-life and family values, but helped somewhat in the civil rights movement. He was the one who opened the way for legalised abortion in the US. He paved the way for Roe vs Wade. He and his senior advisers met with moral theologians Fr Richard McCormack, Fr Charles Curran (Curran is one of the biggest dissenters in the American Church) and others, and discussed how they could come up with subtle moral sophistry and arguments to convince Catholic people to accept legalised abortion, and vote him in.

      Obama is the new JFK, and we have big problems. He talks about hope and new wind, and many things that seem ok, (whited sepulchres) but on the inside his policies for human life are all corrupt and like dead men’s bones.

      The Pope is talking that way so as to keep the doors of communication open, and he is leaving his men on the ground in the USA (the bishops) to talk the hard talk and fight the fight. It’s a typical way of dealing with such issues.

    35. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 9:00 am

      Dei,

      Look at the mass counts in Sydney since Cdl Pell took over.

      They are in free fall. People are walking.

      That’s why the Church picked Sydney for WYD. Because of the state the Church is in there.

      We have a problem and we need to address it.

      God Bless

    36. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 9:02 am

      What???? Cdl Pell is doing AMAZING things!!!!

    37. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

      Look at the mass counts in Sydney since Cdl Pell took over.

      They are in free fall. People are walking.

      Chris, look at the seminary rolls in Sydney since Cardinal Pell took over. They are booming.

      That’s why the Church picked Sydney for WYD. Because of the state the Church is in there.

      How do you come up with this nonsense? Pope Benedict thought Cardinal Pell, a personal friend, was doing such a bad job, he thought he’d have WYD in Sydney to fix the Church. Is that how it happened? Get real, man.

    38. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 9:10 am

      You’re like a broken record, Chris. Don’t you get sick of hating on the Catholic Church — and two of its leading lights, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Pell — while kissing the feet of Islam, Judaism and Buddhism? ‘Cos I get sick of reading it, as many others do too.

    39. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

      Chuky,

      It will be almost impossible because people won’t listen to reason

      I disagree.

      The ability of the pro-life movement to work for real change does not depend on Barrack Obama.

      It depends on us getting out there and doing the work for change.

      And if the KKK was elected then of course that would wake people up and inspire them to take action for change.

      When the going gets tough the tough get going.

      The night is always darkest just before the dawn.

      Step back a little from Obama and take a wider view.

      We are slowly winning the battle against abortion because we are winning the battle for hearts and minds.

      The tide has turned.

      we will win.

      But we need to keep at it and not get discouraged, all put all our trust in politicians (of either party).

      But your comment does raise a very important issue.

      Which is that the US pro-life movements has substantially discredited itself by its uncritical alignmnent with the Bush regime and the Republican Party, its at times fanatical opposition to Obama and the Democrats and even to those in the prolife movt who support Obama (eg Doug Kmiec), and it’s refusal to take a consistant pro-life position against war, torture, and the death penalty.

      All those mistakes have severely damaged the pro-life movement.

      We need to learn from them and get over them.

      God Bless

    40. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 9:12 am

      Yes Bush = republican = bad

      Obama = democrat = good.

      And you don’t have a political axe grind??

    41. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 9:29 am

      Scribe,

      How do you come up with this nonsense?

      I read Zenit.

      Auxiliary Bishop Fisher OP readily admits the problems in the Australian Church :-

      We want to get the message out not just to the “churched,” but to the 95% of Australian Catholic youth who are not yet regular attendees

      http://www.catholicradio.ca/news/arc6-2007.html

      If 95% of our young Catholics are not reglarly attending mass, then we have a problem.

      And the hard line Pell approach is not fixing that, as we can see from the mass counts in Sydney which have continued to fall since Pell was appointed.

      As Fr Flynn’s Zenit article admits

      The newspaper also published an analysis by Bernard Salt of the situation regarding young people and religion. He commented that the proportion of believers aged 20-35 contracted by no less than 5% between 2001 and 2006. The latest census data, he added, suggest that people in this age group are much less inclined to hold traditional beliefs than were their age counterparts in the 1980s.

      God Bless

    42. MrTipsNZ January 22, 2009 at 9:37 am

      The latest census data, he added, suggest that people in this age group are much less inclined to hold traditional beliefs than were their age counterparts in the 1980s.

      So you’d consider your job done then Mr Sullivan, subverting the youth away from Truth?

      So please enlighten us Chris, tell us when Cdn pell took over and then tell us what the daily mass counts for the Sydney diocese are since he took over. Remember to include the previous three years to make it properly comparable.

    43. MrTipsNZ January 22, 2009 at 9:39 am

      Step back a little from Obama and take a wider view.

      We are slowly winning the battle against abortion because we are winning the battle for hearts and minds.

      Oh yes, that’s why he will sign FOCA if it passes. We’ve really got a pro-life winner in Obama.
      NOT.

    44. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 9:43 am

      MrTipsNZ,

      Glad to be of service.

      http://www.beingfrank.co.nz/?p=631#comment-22993

      God Bless

    45. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

      #35

      Look at the mass counts in Sydney since Cdl Pell took over.

      They are in free fall. People are walking.

      provide me the evidence please

      likewise

      Auxiliary Bishop Fisher OP readily admits the problems in the Australian Church :-

      We want to get the message out not just to the “churched,” but to the 95% of Australian Catholic youth who are not yet regular attendees

      http://www.catholicradio.ca/news/arc6-2007.html

      If 95% of our young Catholics are not reglarly attending mass, then we have a problem.

      This is a result of failed liberalism in the Australian Church mirrored in NZ
      Good on B Fisher for confronting it.

    46. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 9:48 am

      so if it was a problem before pell then clearly the approach before pell wasn’t working either??

    47. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

      Gianna,

      Bingo !

      Over liberalism doesn’t work.

      Hard line conservatism doesn’t work either.

      Maybe we should just stick with authentic Catholicism ?

      The Holy Father’s approach to Obama is an excellent model of how to be doctrinally firm while still reaching out in charity.

      God Bless

    48. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 10:02 am

      the Fisher statement was pre WYD Chris stump up with the mass count evidence or shut up

    49. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

      Dei,

      I have.

      See #44 above.

      I think that on the whole Cdl Pell does a great job but I think that there are problems with a number of his approaches and that they are problems which are driving people out of the Church unnecessarily.

      Some of them are documented here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pell

      God Bless

    50. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 10:07 am

      All,

      Anyone planning to discuss issues with some of the community of Being Frank would do well to understand the “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” logical fallacy. Simply put, the phrase is Latin for “after, therefore because of it” and basically means you are assuming that since one event followed another, that event must have been caused by it.

      It is false logic because any number of other factors not considered in such statements could be the actual cause of the event.

      I raise this because you will see plenty of examples of this in the comments of Being Frank (and may other blogs out there) as people try to take statistics and bend them to their will.

      A great recent example of this is claiming that Cardinal Pell’s “hardline attitude” is the reason for declining Mass numbers in Australia, “proven” by the fact that Mass counts are down in his home state. Obviously oversimplifying by excluding the myriad of other factors involved in such a situation.

      Definitely worth reading up on, if you’re already familiar with it.

    51. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 10:08 am

      Chris,

      Maybe we should just stick with authentic Catholicism ?

      Okay Chris. Sounds great. Can you provide us with an example of a diocese around the world that adheres to what you call authentic Catholicism where Mass attendance is rocketing upwards?

    52. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 10:10 am

      And the report you’ve linked to, Chris, from what I saw, talks about national trends, not Sydney ones. To prove your allegation against Cardinal Pell, you have to show Sydney’s problems are greater than other dioceses AND show numbers in the years preceding his appointment were much better than after. Good luck.

      Looking deeper into the statistics, it’s also interesting that the number one reason Catholics don’t go to Mass is because they don’t think they need to in order to be a “good Catholic”. In other words, they’ve been misinformed and delivered Catholic lite — nay, Catholic falsehood.

    53. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Actually statistically it doesn’t work either. Just to add more weight, just because two statistics coninside (for example deaths at work with increase in apple sales) doesn’t mean that apples are causing more deaths at work.

      You can never in fact imply causality from any two statistics, you can just continue to rule out possible other factors.

    54. MrTipsNZ January 22, 2009 at 10:13 am

      Nice try Mr Sullivan but you are still being subversive and dissembling.
      I also doubt you have read either of those documents as neither is an actual study of the Sydney diocese. They are general documents concerning numbers of the Church in whole of Australia and attitudes as to why people don’t go.

      My question still stands: give us the data from my questions in post #42.

      You can’t.

      I’m off to take some Troll Ignor.

    55. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

      Scribe,

      It would be interesting to see at what point Mass attendance numbers (as a percentage of Catholics) did start to drop off. Do we have stats going back to pre-Vatican II?

    56. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 10:28 am

      On the steadily declining mass attendence in the Sydney diocese of Cdl Pell, here’s Cdl Pells’ own words :-

      Cardinal Pell said while the number of those identifying as Catholic in Sydney increased by 202,000 in the 2001 Census from 1996, only 18% attend mass weekly.

      “There has been a very slow, steady decline in the number of people who are worshipping each week,” Cardinal Pell said.

      http://www.cathnews.com/news/312/99.php

      God Bless

    57. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:35 am

      Yes but that doesn’t mean he is the cause!!!!

    58. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:39 am

      To be honest we’re looking at least in the Western world at a drop in people going to religious services full stop. I’m not saying that as Catholics we don’t need to do something but there is something wrong with our culture as well.

      Why is that a lot of our Churches are packed here in NZ with internationals? Because in other parts of the world, ie non western parts there is a massive rise in religious participation.

      Interesting

    59. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

      Cardinal Pell said while the number of those identifying as Catholic in Sydney increased by 202,000 in the 2001 Census from 1996, only 18% attend mass weekly.

      News flash, Chris. Cardinal Pell didn’t become Archbishop of Sydney until 2001, so there’s another black mark against your argument. Were people leaving the Church in fear of his appointment, which no one was predicting or expected?

      Was your New Year’s resolution to present arguments with no supporting evidence whatsoever?

    60. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 10:47 am

      Scribe,

      News flash.

      Cdl Pell in Dec 2003, a good two years after his appointment as Archbishop of Sydney, stated that, with reference to his Sydney diocese

      “There has been a very slow, steady decline in the number of people who are worshipping each week” Cardinal Pell said.

      Sydney wasn’t chosen because it was a shining powerhouse of Catholicism.

      It was chosen because of the real problems there which WYD attempted to help address.

      I expect much the same applies to Madrid.

      God Bless

    61. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:48 am

      Chris I’m sorry but you have no evidence for your wild accusations.

    62. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 10:53 am

      The research project of the Australian Catholic Bishops conference on why Catholics have stopped attending mass found that the Church’s treatment of women was a significant factor, as were other factors related to the perception of a rigid, hard, and uncharitable line :-

      In the Spirit of Generation Y project (Mason, Webber, Singleton & Hughes 2006), 363 Australians aged 13-59, including 102 Catholics, were asked why they did not attend religious services. The Catholics were inclined to cite negative publicity about clergy and the Church’s attitude to moral issues as reasons for non-attendance, and about a quarter of them said it was not necessary to attend Church to have a personal relationship with God. Many of the young people in the group (not just Catholics) said they:

      * were disillusioned by the churches’ attitudes to moral issues.
      * were disillusioned by the restricted role of women in the church.
      * felt that the church was unrealistic and out of step with society.

      The Research Project on the Participation of Women in the Catholic Church in Australia carried out for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (Macdonald et. al. 1999) identified various reasons, particularly those related to gender issues, why people felt dissatisfied with the Catholic Church. Reasons given included:
      * a perceived lack of support by the Church for single women.
      * the Church’s perceived discrimination against and active exclusion of those who were divorced
      and remarried without an annulment

      In the United States, Hoge et. al. (2001) conducted a study of young adult Catholics aged between 20 and 40 years. Of those surveyed, a large majority had become inactive Catholics since making their Confirmation. The reasons they gave for becoming inactive included:
      * no longer believing in the Church’s teachings.
      * being tired of religion and religious commitment.
      * feeling alienated from the Church.
      * having a problem with the Church’s teachings on marriage, divorce and sexuality, including homosexuality.
      * being divorced.
      * marrying a non-Catholic.
      * the position of women in the Church.
      * regarding the Church’s teachings as arbitrary

      http://www.ppo.catholic.org.au/pdf/DCReport.pdf

      I think that some of the more controversial things ABp Pell has done would not have really helped to overcome those problems but would probably have convinced many to walk.

      I mean, if we have evidence for some of the reasons people are walking, shouldn’t we taylor our pastoral response to take those factors on board ?

      That doesn’t mean we need to backpedal doctrine.

      But it does mean that we need to be savvy in what we say and how we say it.

      It doesn’t matter too much if the committed Catholic thinks the bishop is a great hard line conservative.

      It matters if the solo mum in the pews thinks that the kind of Church the bishop presents is the kind of Church she wants to stay in.

      God Bless

    63. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 10:53 am

      Chris,

      You planning to answer my question?

      If not, here’s a new one: at what point were Mass numbers increasing in Sydney? i.e. have they just been in decline for decades?

    64. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 10:56 am

      How’s Mass attendance going in NZ?

    65. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:57 am

      ok if

      * were disillusioned by the churches’ attitudes to moral issues.
      * were disillusioned by the restricted role of women in the church.
      * felt that the church was unrealistic and out of step with society.

      Then should we change the Churchs attitude to moral issues too? Christ was all about changing the truth so people would come to him…no … wait…

      Seriously Chris is people are disillusioned by Churches moral attitude should we start changing the ten commandments??

    66. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

      Chris my mum is a committed Catholic and a solo mum.

      They’re not mutually exclusive.

      And she as a solo mum has no problems with the Churches teachings.

      Please don’t put people into boxes to make us feel like its only rich white conservative Catholics that agree with Church teaching

    67. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

      http://www.ppo.catholic.org.au/pdf/DCReport.pdf
      christopher;
      that report shows a co relation between catechesis and lack of attendance.

      Likewise, former attenders were less likely than frequent
      attenders to affirm Christian teachings such as:
      the divinity of Christ (65% compared with 86%)
      the power of Jesus’ death to bring about the
      forgiveness of sins (57% : 90%)
      Jesus’ resurrection from the dead as an actual
      historical event (60% : 84%)
      life after death (53% : 82%)
      heaven (66% : 93%)
      hell (32% : 73%)
      the devil (32% : 75%)

      this is a direct consequece of loopy teaching in the Church which you seem to be a promoter and product of.

    68. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

      It is one thing for people to act as in John 6 66 if they cant take the teachings but it is quite another to have them leave when they dont know what the church teaches

      This is millstone territory for those educators who have undersold our young people. Shame on them! and yes I blame the RE system that parents thought was doing something for their children and the likes of CIT that have promoted personal agendas before the Truth of the Church!
      Being Frank is at least one way of countering these tragic consequences and praise God for that opportunity

    69. Helens Bay January 22, 2009 at 11:24 am

      Giaanna
      I attende Sunday Mass at 9.30 am at the Cathederal in Sydney after WYD and the Church was about 1/4 full.
      That didn`t include the the tourists wandering about taking photos.
      The number of children and young people attending was virtually nil and this was only a week after WYD.
      I can`t attribute these figures to Cardinal Pell but proportionally we would have more people attending in my own parish in Dunedin.

    70. TTM January 22, 2009 at 11:27 am

      Chris,

      I have to agree with Scribe that, “You’re like a broken record… I get sick of reading it, as many others do too.”

      I’m sorry to see that the thread has been successfully re-directed to your pet themes, yet again. Tuppence had an excellent topic for discussion, and you had to manipulate it for your personal fixations, as we have seen before in ‘The Importance of Friendship’ thread when you wrote:

      There was a nice example of friendship the other day when 100 nuns spoke up for a priest in the firing line, even at some cost to their own reputation and position in the Church. Good on them for showing friendship, solidarity, and Love.

      Rightt…. that was as relevant to the topic (which was friendship) and non-contrived as your opening post in the current thread on beauty:

      Here’s the very beautiful cable the Holy Father sent to President Obama today on his inaugration. There’s a beauty in seeing the goodness in people overcome generations of slavery, exploitation, and racial discrimination.

      Please – if you don’t care about the topic of discussion, don’t ruin it for the rest of us. As much as we’re concerned with righting heterodoxies, we would also like the opportunity to have genuine (as opposed to being contrived toward some politicised agenda) appreciation for the good, the true and the beautiful.

    71. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 11:28 am

      Please don’t put people into boxes to make us feel like its only rich white conservative Catholics that agree with Church teaching

      Well said, Gianna.

      You may have also noticed the veiled accusations of racism above in the Obama discussion.

    72. chucky January 22, 2009 at 11:32 am

      Pell is a fantastic man. Rumours are that he is about to be appointed to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. That will be good news for NZ because he will have some say (with the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and of course the Pope) about who our future bishops will be in NZ.

    73. TTM January 22, 2009 at 11:33 am

      Chris,

      > “Look at the mass counts in Sydney since Cdl Pell took over. They are in free fall. People are walking.”

      Both slavery and Cardinal Pell have been discussed previously,

      In the thread, ‘I didn’t read that in the norms’, I posted that:

      you do realise that Cardinal Pell has been in Sydney only since 2001? Prior to his tenure the bishop of Sydney was Archbishop Edward Bede Clancy whose only indication of orthodoxy in the article is a negative one:

      “His tenure was not without controversy. After it had discovered that Clancy and other priests at his instruction had used the third rite of confession in circumstances other than “grave necessity”, as required by Vatican guidelines, the Vatican issued a negative, public rebuke of Clancy and the Australian church. Clancy responded by saying that the lack of priests in Australia and the dominant opinion of sin as a communal matter in Australia should have been taken into account before the rebuke was issued.”

      So, frankly, this isn’t a particularly good example. In fact, this is what you would expect for a diocese in recovery from liberalism.

      > “And that isn’t much thanks to the Catholic Church who herself oficially supported slavery as Catholic doctrine as late as the Holy Office’s 1866 declaration that slavery was morally licit.”

      You’ve reasserted this for the 100th time (and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration), but you haven’t been able to prove that the Church has ever endorsed anything above penal and indentured servitude (and I’ve said this just as many times). Again, the past threads on slavery for reference for any new readers:

      • Amazing Grace
      • Are We a Christian Country?
      • The Cafeteria Myth
      • Preach it Brother!
      • The Equality of Inequality
      • “But it says on page 1,326…”

    74. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

      I think the right way is to be doctrinally firm but pastorally merciful in applying it, taking on board that in todays world it is often very hard for people to live up to some of the Church’s moral teachings, particularly those on human sexuality.

      There are some other non-doctrinal practices that just need to change. Like the glass ceiling on women in the Church and the exclusion of whole categories of Christians from the eucharist.

      God Bless

    75. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

      Tuppence, being in Africa, might not have regular access to the Internet. I can imagine she’ll be thrilled to see 70+ comments on her post; then bitterly disappointed that it’s become just another thread that has very little to do with the initial post.

      Chris Sullivan strikes again.

      Maybe you should consider starting your own blog, Chris, rather than hijacking this one.

      MrTips,

      Where can I get some Troll Ignor? Is it prescription-only or available over the counter?

    76. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

      I think the right way is to be doctrinally firm but pastorally merciful in applying it

      I, and I’m sure Cardinal Pell, would agree with that statement. The rest of that comments reverts to Sullivanisms, though.

      There are some other non-doctrinal practices that just need to change. Like the glass ceiling on women in the Church and the exclusion of whole categories of Christians from the eucharist.

      Have you ever considered becoming an Anglican again (or did you never stop being an Anglican either)?

      Just curious, since the Anglicans are already doing all the things you reckon the Catholic Church should be doing.

    77. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 11:53 am

      Scribe,

      Your own first post in this thread (#6 above) isn’t exactly a shining example of sticking to Tuppence’s original topic, is it ? Unlike my first post, you didn’t say anything about beauty.

      Relax, it’s natural that people will want to discuss the issues of the day and the Obama inaugration is certainly one of them and there are many aspects of beauty in it (just look at a photo of the new President and his charming wife or the huge crowd including many black people who turned out).

      And every conversation will naturally follow the issues people raise and you’ve certainly done just that in your own contributions to this thread.

      God Bless

    78. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

      Your own first post in this thread (#6 above) isn’t exactly a shining example of sticking to Tuppence’s original topic, is it?

      True. I refuse to watch people spread nonsense and would rather go off-topic than risk people reading falsehoods or distortions and think they are authentic Catholic interpretations.

    79. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Have you ever considered becoming an Anglican again (or did you never stop being an Anglican either)?

      From time to time, momentarily – its good to occassionaly question why you are where you are. But it’s not my calling. And I don’t think giving up papal primacy is very helpful.

      And no I did not stop being Anglican when I became Catholic. Anglicanism is a proper subset of Catholicism and one day we’ll get to where the Anglicans are on eucharistic communion and women priests.

      God Bless

    80. James the Least January 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      All,

      You are simply mistaking Chris for being serious. He’s obviously not. He’s providing examples of the beauty of humour.

      Case in point:

      And no I did not stop being Anglican when I became Catholic. Anglicanism is a proper subset of Catholicism and one day we’ll get to where the Anglicans are on eucharistic communion and women priests.

      So, let the Jester jest and let’s move back to the topic at hand, shall we?

      I think Tuppence’s last point is a very interesting and compelling one:

      Art can bear a certain likeness to God’s activity…so…build beautiful churches, works of art, worthy of the God to whom worshipped is offered within. None of these ‘budget saving’ jobs!!

      What do you think about that?

    81. Scribe January 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm

      Well spotted, James. I couldn’t spot the humour for the heterodoxy.

      Auckland and Hamilton dioceses certainly poured a lot of money into their respective cathedrals, but I think both could now be described as beautiful. Different styles, obviously, but both massive improvements.

      And the new layout of the grounds of the Hamilton cathedral certainly makes it a very inviting site at a very prominent intersection in the ‘Tron.

    82. TTM January 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm

      * were disillusioned by the churches’ attitudes to moral issues.
      * were disillusioned by the restricted role of women in the church.
      * felt that the church was unrealistic and out of step with society.

      These represent the self-absorbed narcissism of the contemporary society rather well. It’s a bit like Satre’s arrogance in objecting to the Nuremberg trials because they had resource to the univeral and natural law instead of any particular and fashionable societal construct of the time (because, obviously, they could not appeal to the German law of the period). It seems to me that (as is usually the case) they want to enforce their ideologies of sexual revolution and radical feminism. Of course, there are valid elements in what they say (which we should take in and affirm), but for the most part it seems to come down to a self-centred attitude: “How dare they appeal to univeral and eternal principles that come from God! Don’t they know it’s all about what we want, in the end!?”

      Anyway, looking at the root of the problem, beyond the superficial, this seems like a direct result of the loss of faith. That can easily happen when, like in the Catholic ‘Alpha’ course or in some Charismatic movements, God is presented first and then the Church, almost as a non-essential add-on.

      The gift of faith necessitates historical continuity to Christ’s revelation, through the Apostolic witness, through the Church – that is what Scripture and Tradition are getting at, and the Church is integral to them in being both their instrumental and guarding principle in the Holy Spirit.

      The answer, then, is not some politicised set of compromises, but genuine faith. As DV points out, Catechises is an integral part of this. If they perceive the Church as being some merely humanistic structure, how can they believe in her teachings? No, we must first realise that the Holy Spirit is the formal cause of the Church, who uses the ‘matter’ of weak and fallible human persons to constitute the true Body of Christ, the spotless bride of the lamb who is our both mater (mother) and magister (teacher) by Christ’s own divine institution.

      Then, with reason and genuine faith, they may come to see the lucidity of the Church’s stance in moral issues, appreciate the dignity of femininity for itself (without women having to enthrone and strive toward masculinity) in accord with the natural law, and see that the society is out of step with the truth about living a genuinely human life in many ways.

    83. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm

      Our parish installed some icons at the end of 2007 which are very beautiful and they have improved the beauty of the view to the sanctuary.

      http://www.pakurangacatholic.org.nz/ParishInformation/ParishIcons/tabid/3959/language/en-US/Default.aspx

      You can see our new cross there too – it’s a huge improvement on the old one which was barely visable.

      God Bless

    84. BTM January 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

      Obama to Immediately Abolish Mexico City Policy, Likely Fund Embryo
      Research, Aides Confirm

      By Kathleen Gilbert

      WASHINGTON, D.C., January 20, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In the hours before Mr. Obama was to take the oath of office, anonymous reports confirmed that the new president intends to immediately open U.S. foreign aid funding to abortion proponents, and begin the process of opening funding to embryonic stem-cell research.

      Before the week of his inauguration is over, Obama is expected to issue an executive order repealing the Mexico City Policy, a Reagan-era policy that restricts overseas funding to groups that offer or aggressively promote abortion. Sources have not indicated whether he plans to issue the order on Thursday, which would coincide with the 36th anniversary of legalized abortion in America through the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

      According to a recent CNN interview, Mr. Obama said he might pursue funding for embryonic stem-cell research through the legislative process, rather than by executive order.

      “We’re still examining what things we’ll do through executive order,” Obama said. “But I like the idea of the American people’s representatives expressing their views on an issue like this.”

      Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) told LifeSiteNews.com that the news was a “revelation of priorities.”

      “President Obama is demonstrating that he aspires to be the abortion president,” said Smith. “There is no doubt in my mind that by giving the green light to population control groups like Planned Parenthood and others to promote abortion overseas that there will be more abortions.”

      Because removing the Mexico City Policy will pour funding into groups that lobby for more liberal abortion laws globally, Smith said that right to life laws in Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia will be put at risk by the Obama presidency. Smith also said that there have been requests for a doubling of funding for population control to as much as $1 billion – the other half of a “one-two punch” in aggressive policy change that is “very, very dangerous for children.”

      Smith said there is “very little doubt” that the policy change would take place by Thursday. “Regrettably, even though some had hoped he wouldn’t do this (I think the realists realized it) he’s a 100% abortion individual,” said Smith. “And we can hope and we can pray for some change or some mitigation, but this is not change we can believe in, and most Americans I think are going to be shocked as his presidency unfolds at just how extreme his positions are.

      “Look at the gatekeepers: he has embedded in key positions everywhere ardent pro-abortionists – some of the people that are really the movers shakers of the pro-abortion movement are in key gatekeeping positions when it comes to policy,” he said, noting that the new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has an unmatched pro-abortion record.

      “We already have very poor abortion policy, and now it’s going from bad to worse under Obama,” said Smith.

    85. TTM January 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm

      > “Unlike my first post, you didn’t say anything about beauty.

      Ever heard of self-deception, Chris?

      > “So, let the Jester jest and let’s move back to the topic at hand, shall we?

      James,

      Dare we hope for such a prospect? 8O

      With regards beauty, then, I do think the greatest need we have for beauty is in the liturgy. I’m glad to hear Scribe mention this:

      > “Auckland and Hamilton dioceses certainly poured a lot of money into their respective cathedrals, but I think both could now be described as beautiful.

      We need beautiful architecture, beautiful alters, beautiful music, beautiful vestments, beautiful images and statues, beautiful liturgical items (chalices, crosses, candle stands, etc.), and beautiful reverence. How else are we to realise that the Mass is participation in the heavenly liturgy, the wedding feast of the Lamb? Let us bring back the beauty that the dignity of the liturgy deserves, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

    86. TTM January 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

      Oops, in the first paragraph in #82, it should read:

      “…like Satre’s arrogance in objecting to the Nuremberg trials because they had recourse to the univeral and natural law…”.

      (It doesn’t make much sense with the other word!)

    87. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm

      TTM #86

      and beautiful preaching that encourages the faithful and brings the lukewarm back to the Truth.

      (it might even attract the vast majority of nominal anglicans to revisit their history :lol: )

    88. TTM January 22, 2009 at 1:57 pm

      DV,

      yah, and often the essence of beauty in words is not necessarily eloquence but that which is authentically good and true, and attitude of personal deference to it.

      If only more priests could preach in holy audacity, out of profound humility!

    89. TTM January 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      Speaking of beauty, liturgy, and profound humility, here’s a beautiful hymn composed by Robert Loretz on the prayer of St. Francis. The words are:

      All Highest, Glorious God,
      Cast Your light into the darkness of my heart,
      Give me right faith, firm hope, perfect charity,
      And profound humility,
      With wisdom and perception, O Lord,
      That I may do what is truly Your holy will.

    90. eleus January 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm

      re: Cardinal Pell; causality etc

      I have always understood that when a shepherd takes over caring for a flock just as his predecessor has opened the gate and sent the sheep hastening out of the fold, it will take him a while to stem the tide of leavers, start regathering the flock and bring them back into security. Let’s give Cardinal Pell a chance, eh?

      re: agendas of various people

      In fact all people have an agenda. I am a journalist. I still have an agenda. I hope never to pretend I don’t. Yes Deal Hudson has an agenda. Just like the people saying the opposite to him. Funny, huh.

      re: the actual topic

      as a writer and a musician I have always believed that art is only beautiful when it is ordered towards truth. For an excellent example head to St Mary Star of the Sea in Gizzie and see the beautiful works of art created for the church by a french artist, Olivier (sorry don’t know his last name).

      This post was a very good summary of what makes something truly beautiful.

    91. Chris Sullivan January 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm

      Something else good and beautiful happening and worth praying for the success of.

      http://www.zenit.org/article-24864?l=english

      God Bless

    92. chucky January 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm

      We need beautiful architecture, beautiful alters, beautiful music, beautiful vestments, beautiful images and statues, beautiful liturgical items (chalices, crosses, candle stands, etc.), and beautiful reverence. How else are we to realise that the Mass is participation in the heavenly liturgy, the wedding feast of the Lamb? Let us bring back the beauty that the dignity of the liturgy deserves, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

      TTM, were you at Hearts Aflame?

    93. Gianna January 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Chucky I love Hearts although was only there for three days this year.

      its amazing right?

    94. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm

      does a year at CDC sound beautiful to you?

      This appeal is doing the rounds;

      The CDC needs your urgent help!

      Any prospective students thinking of joining CDC for 2009 please contact Fr Neil Vaney – http://www.cdc.ac.nz, or (09) 489 8197 – by NEXT Wednesday, the 28th January.

      where are the fruits of WYD?

      If the College fails to get 2-3 more students it will have to close for this year.

      Please pray for us and act if Christ is inviting you to enrol for CDC.

      Kind regards,
      Father Neil Vaney

    95. Don the Kiwi January 22, 2009 at 9:39 pm

      Unconfirmed and yet unreported here, but I believe that Obama has reversed the Mexico City Policy. Will no doubt hear some time soon.

      A response, if I may, in support of Cdl. George Pell if indirectly, and advice to Chris on what has happened in the Australian Church- particullarly Sydney and environs.

      As some of you may be aware, I lived in Wollongong NSW – 100 km. south of Sydney – from 1979 to 1988. Our parish was Unanderra, and our PP, Fr. Leo Stevens was a wondeful, faithful and humble priest. In 1984 or thereabouts, at the First Holy Communiom mass he announced during his sermon about how overflowing the church was (This was a beautiful Italian architectured church built for an order of Italian Priests in about 1956 because there were so many Italians in the parish, and was generously paid for by none other than Bing Crosby). He went on to tell many of the parents present that it was their duty to bring their children to Mass every Sunday – not just show up for the photo op at their child’s First Communion. About twenty parents got up and walked out, leaving their children to recieve the Sacrament on their own. One can hold an opinion – not a judgement – on the state of their Catholicism. I congratulated Fr.Stevens after Mass.

      Around that time, my eldest son was attending Edmund Rice College – the local well reputed Christian Bros. school. The next year, I applied for my second son to be enrolled, and I took him along to be interviewed by the principal, Br. Evans. (whom BTW, I did not particularly like, however…..) My second son was (and is) quite a free spirit – direct and articulate. My older son, though also being articulate, was more compliant and a bit of a nerd – a study geek ;-).

      To my surprise, son no.2 was turned down, and when I went and told Fr. Stevens he was stunned.He rang Br. Evans, bot to no avail – so I took son No.1 out of Edmund Rice, and sent them both to Holy Spirit College, about 10 miles further away. This was a co-ed school run by the Marist Fathers.

      Move the clock forward 5 years – we had returned to NZ in 1988 – and both boys left school at the end of that year and got jobs. In 1990 Sandy and I went back to Wollongong for a nephew’s wedding, and then heard the news.

      An ephebophile ring had just been broken. Its members, a retired Lord Mayor, a wealthy but sickly real estate agent, the Parish Priest from a nearby parish, and Br. Evans – and another of the brothers. The sickly real estate agent died. The retired Lord Mayor was later convicted and spent a number of years in jail. Similarly the priest, who had not actually been active in ephebodephilia but was naively providng wrong sexual advice to young boys, and he did jail time. The second brother was also treated leniently, as he was not directly involved.

      But Br. Evans, the principal of the college, had been vetting boys who would be likely candidates for their booze and porno nights as a primer to further illicit activity. Now Evans had recognised that my first son was a possible target for recruitment due to his pliability – but he saw straight away that he would get nowhere with son no.2 . This became glaringly abvious to me with the 5 yr. later hindsight, and I thank God for his turning no.2 down so that I took them both away from his clutches. Over about 10 years, about 200 boys were involved and affected – a few dozen had severe psychological problems, and a couple committed suicide.

      Ah, but what happened to Br. Evans, you ask. When the ring was broken, Br. Evans disappeared, and could not be found. A month later, he was discovered hanging from the rafters in a bush cabin they used occasionally for camping holidays etc. He had hung himself, in true Judas fashion.

      So, after that lengthy dissertation, the church in Australia had been on the decline for quite a number of years, long before Goerge Pell was even a bishop I believe. It was in Oz that I was advised that — “…..of course, you know that there is no such thing as a mortal sin, now.”…what a lot a crap.

      My older brother lived in and around Brisbane for 20 or so years, through the 80′s and 90′s, and there were some very strange goins on there – and still are.

      So, to summarise, if some “Catholics” are voting with their feet in Australia, it is not because George Pell has driven them from the church – they were never really there. Cdl. George Pell has told them what Catholics are expected to be, and they haven’t like it.

      There has been a huge amount of liberal heterodox cafeteria catholicism going on in Oz for decades, and Geoge Pell has put a stop to it.

      Huzzah for Cdl. George Pell. May we have many more like him. May God bless him and guide him in the task of reforming Australia.

    96. Dei Verbum January 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      Thanks Don

      but we have much in common the same has and is happening here.

      But where is our George Pell ?

      Pray for the Church

    97. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 2:08 am

      Don,

      I think that the sex abuse by priests was what Paul VI meant by the “smoke of Satan”. Raplh Innervy’s book “What went wrong at Vatican II” has a chapter “1968 – the year the Church fell apart”.

      Abp Pell has never been completely cleared of he allegations against him – the investigation found the complaints very credible but simply didn’t find enough evidence to proceed, which is fair enough – innocent until proven guilty I guess – but we all know there is a lot of rot in the priesthood.

      Cdl Martini recently put his finger on the key problem – after HV and 1968 many Catholics lost all confidence in pretty much all of Catholic sexual teaching, with disasterous consequences for laity and clergy.

      God Bless

    98. Dei Verbum January 23, 2009 at 7:02 am

      Abp Pell has never been completely cleared of he allegations against him – the investigation found the complaints very credible but simply didn’t find enough evidence to proceed, which is fair enough – innocent until proven guilty I guess – but we all know there is a lot of rot in the priesthood.

      that is disgusting Chris
      a very small number of repetative offenders did a lot of harm but that is for them to answer for not the great majority of faithful decent and manly preists,

      What is rotten is the homosexual dissenters and disobedient laity who promoted dubious sexual teachings (even before HV was understood) that caused irreparable harm to peoples formation and understanding of Church teaching.

      Shame on you for perpetrating myth and calumny.
      In only 3 paragraphs you manage to warp truth in each, even for you this is a new low.

      maybe at 2.08am you are under some other influence?

      Admin;
      does this meet being frank standards or is it only some who are not to be named and defamed?

    99. Don the Kiwi January 23, 2009 at 7:19 am

      George Pell was completely cleared of the allegations against him. They were made by a mentally disturbed and handicapped person in Victoria dating back to the sixties. Pell was completely exhonourated – except, once again, by cafeteria heterodox conspiracy theory catholics. He stood down as Archbishop till he was cleared.

      Th e colapse within the Church happened before HV in 1968. It had been happening for about a decade. HV was simply the catalyst for it to come out into the open. I was married that year. For those of us who accepted the teaching of the Church, it was no big deal. For those who wanted their cake and eat it too – as they had been doing – it was a defining moment for them.

      Should they conform, or protest?

      Many confirmed their protestant status.

    100. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 8:14 am

      This is what the investigation into the claims that Abp Pell sexually abused a 12-year-old boy at a Roman Catholic youth camp in 1961 actually found.

      The Hon AJ Southwell, QC, a retired judge and an Anglican, was appointed a commissioner by the NCPS to conduct an inquiry into the allegations. The commissioner stated that it was “an inquiry, not an adversarial process in which the complainant bears the onus of proof. However, my task, as set out in the Terms of Reference, is to decide ‘whether or not the complaint has been established’”.[7] Since the allegations “amounted to the crime of indecent assault, which, at that time,[1961-62] was punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years Crimes Act 1958, s.68 et al.”, the level of proof must be very high.[8] The complainant first made the allegations to his wife abround 1975. Southwell found no evidence that the complaint was made through vindictiveness or desire for compensation. Southwell says: “As to motive, it should be noted that extensive enquiries made on behalf of the respondent [Pell] have unearthed no evidence of any other matter or incident which might have aroused spite or malice on the part of the complainant towards either the respondent or the Church. On the other hand, the respondent has had a strong motive to push memory (if there ever was memory) of these fleeting incidents by a 19 year old into the recesses of the mind, from which there could be no recall.” [Report p.9]

      Southwell concluded: “I accept as correct the submissions of Mr Tovey [for the complainant] that the complainant, when giving evidence of molesting, gave the impression that he was speaking honestly from an actual recollection. However, the respondent, also, gave me the impression that he was speaking the truth. … In the end, and notwithstanding that impression of the complainant, bearing in mind the forensic difficulties of the defence occasioned by the very long delay, some valid criticism of the complainant’s credibility, the lack of corroborative evidence and the sworn denial of the respondent, I find I am not ‘satisfied that the complaint has been established’, to quote the words of the principal term of reference.” [Report p.12]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pell#Accusation_of_sexual_abuse

      Basically, the investigation found the complaint credible but without sufficient evidence to establish the complaint.

      That doesn’t quite completely clear Pell. It just establishes lack of evidence, which isn’t surprising for an allegation that happened in 1961.

      I don’t have any axe to grind against Pell on this – I was one of those who signed a card supporting Pell when the allegations first arose.

      The problem with the reaction to HV was that almost all priests and laity rejected the teaching against contraception. The impression then grew that, if the Church was wrong about contraception, she might be wrong about much of her sexual ethics. That was incredibly damaging and we’re still recovering from it.

      God Bless

    101. Dei Verbum January 23, 2009 at 8:30 am

      The problem with the reaction to HV was that almost all priests and laity rejected the teaching against contraception. The impression then grew that, if the Church was wrong about contraception, she might be wrong about much of her sexual ethics. That was incredibly damaging and we’re still recovering from it.

      There was a hope from progressives that the Church may abandon tradition and adopt a world view to contraception and sexual morality. To the Churchs enduring credit she didnt.

      The prophetic teachings of HV have been proven correct and to now suggest that the Church was wrong is at best ingenuous but more likely heretical.

      This was a post on appreciation of beauty not what corrupts it. Satan get behind me!

    102. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 8:57 am

      Dei,

      I’m saying that the Church was right on contraception. It was one of the reasons I became a Catholic.

      But it’s also true that the Church could have handled the matter in a much better way which could have avoided much of the damage which resulted.

      For starters, Humanae Vitae could have been written in language that ordinary Catholics could understand and the reasons behind could have been explained much better than the encyclical did. John Paul II realised this which is why he developed the ideas in his Theology of the Body. But he was onto it well before Humanae Vitae as is clear from his excellent book “Love and Responsibility” whose argument I personally find even clearer than the later Theology of the Body, because its an argument clearly framed around the nature of love and wanting the best for the one loved.

      Cdl Martini was right that the way in which Humanae Vitae was presented cut many people off from the Church and her sexual teachings.

      http://ncronline3.org/drupal/?q=node/2407

      God Bless

    103. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 9:04 am

      John Allen contrasts the Holy Father’s 3 messages to Obama with the politics of the US Catholic Right

      http://ncrcafe.org/node/2376

      Love the signs from the contingent from the Ave Maria School of Law tweaking Obama’s campaign theme: “Yes we can … terminate abortion!”

      God Bless

    104. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 9:40 am

      Well, the very first Presidential orders are out and Obama has signed orders to close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, shut down secret overseas CIA prisons, review military war crimes trials and ban the harshest interrogation methods.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10553210&pnum=0

      Amen to that. All good, solid, pro-life presidential orders which remind us of some of the worst horrors of the Bush administration.

      Go Obama !

      And it looks like he hasn’t moved yet to ditch Mexico City (thank God for that).

      Beautiful !

      God Bless

    105. TTM January 23, 2009 at 10:00 am

      > “This was a post on appreciation of beauty not what corrupts it. Satan get behind me!

      I second that. It’s rather sickening, actually, this persistent politicised campaign of calumny and self-absorbed molestation of beautiful topics. Corruptio optimi pessima.

    106. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

      Beautiful photo here of Obama signing the orders to shut down the US army prison at Guantanamo where suspects in the “war on terror” were abused, tortured and denied due legal process.

      Catholic Vice President Joe Biden looks on.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20090122/obama-rdp/images/d75679af-2957-49e9-ac62-0d0b74c6508c.jpg

      God Bless

    107. Dei Verbum January 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

      can I give a plug for something that will likely be beautiful expresion of Church;

      Fr Dominique Faure is giving his second mission in New Zealand soon. He will be giving talks for nine days on our shores, with three major events planned so far: a weekend retreat in Auckland at the Carmel for Jan 24-5; a three day philosophy camp in Hamilton from Jan 28-30; a weekend retreat in Tauranga for Jan 30-Feb 1. The details are listed below:

      MAJOR EVENT ONE: WEEKEND RETREAT IN AUCKLAND

      Location: Carmelite convent, Mt Albert Rd.
      Topic: Exploring the Little Way of St Therese (six talks over two days)
      No charge for the weekend. Donations appreciated.

      Programme:
      Saturday 24th Jan
      8.30am Morning Prayer
      9.15am Talk one
      10.15 am Morning Tea
      11am Talk Two
      12 noon Lunch (please bring a plate to share)
      1.30 pm Talk Three
      2.30 pm Afternoon Tea
      3.00pm Holy Hour
      4.15pm Holy Mass (for Saturday)

      Sunday 25th Jan

      8.30am Morning Prayer
      9.15am Talk four
      10.15 am Morning Tea
      11am Talk five
      12 noon Lunch (please bring a plate to share)
      1.30 pm Talk six
      2.30 pm Afternoon Tea
      3.00pm Holy Hour
      4.15pm Holy Mass (for Sunday – there is also a Mass each morning at the Carmel at 7.30am)

      MAJOR EVENT TWO: Realist Philosophy Camp in Hamilton (registration required)

      Location: 52a Cedar Park Rd, Hamilton. Phone Liz and Bruce: 07-8582954. (Billeting available for those that get in early)

      Topic: Metaphysics – waking up to the real, the deep search in us for the truth. (10 philosophical talks over 3 days and two talks in mystical theology).
      No charge for the camp. Donations appreciated.

      Wednesday 28th Jan (feast of St Thomas Aquinas)

      10.15am Talk one
      11.15am Morning tea
      12 noon Talk two
      1pm Shared Lunch (bring a plate) and free time
      2.30 pm Adoration and Mass at St Matthew’s Hillcrest
      4.30pm Talk three
      5.30pm Dinner
      7.00pm Vespers
      7.30pm Topic in Mystical Theology at St Matthew’s Hillcrest
      8.30pm Compline (Night Prayer of the Church)

      Thursday 29th Jan

      8.30am Morning Prayer of the Church
      9.15am Talk four
      10.15 am Morning tea
      11am Rosary
      11.45am Talk five
      12.45pm Lunch and free time
      3 pm Talk six
      4pm Afternoon tea
      4.30 Talk Seven
      5.30 Dinner

      7.00pm Vespers at St Matthew’s Hillcrest
      7.30pm Topic in Mystical Theology at St Matthew’s Hillcrest
      8.30pm Compline (Night Prayer of the Church)

      Friday 30th Jan

      8.30am Morning Prayer of the Church at St Matthew’s Hillcrest
      9.00am Holy Mass (St Matthew’s) and adoration
      11am Talk Eight
      12 noon Lunch and free time
      2.30pm Talk Nine
      3.30 Afternoon tea
      4.15 Talk Ten
      5.30 Dinner

      End of Metaphysics camp

      Major Event Three: WEEKEND RETREAT AT TAURANGA
      Location: St. Mary’s Parish – 1st Avenue
      Theme: The Gospel of St John, Prologue and opening chapters
      No charge for the weekend. Donations appreciated.

      Saturday 31st Jan

      9.00 Holy Mass
      9.45 Talk one of retreat
      10.45 Morning tea
      11.15 Talk two of retreat
      12.15 Shared lunch (please bring a plate)
      1.30 Talk three of retreat
      2.30 pm Afternoon Tea
      3.00pm Holy Hour and Vespers

      7.30 Evening talk, stand alone topic

      Sunday 1st Feb

      9.30am Morning Prayer
      10.am Holy Mass
      10.45am Talk four of retreat
      12.15 Shared lunch (please bring a plate)
      1.30 Talk five of retreat
      2.30 pm Afternoon Tea
      3.00pm Holy Hour
      4.15pm Talk six of retreat
      5.15pm Vespers concludes the retreat

      7.30pm Stand alone topic (possibly at the Mount, to be confirmed)
      8.30pm Adoration and benediction or compline.

      The programme for Monday 26th Jan and Tuesday 27th Jan is yet to be confirmed.

      Biographical note: Fr Dominique Faure is a priest of the Brothers of St John (the Evangelist), a new community founded in France 33 years ago by Fr Marie Dominique Philippe (OP). Mother Teresa recognized the extraordinary gifts of Fr Faure in preaching and teaching and asked him personally to be responsible for the spiritual formation of her contemplative sisters, and this work has since expanded to include her apostolic sisters. This apostolate occupies half of his time in any given month. The rest of the time, he is the prior for the community of St John in India, where he runs an orphanage for children and young adults with AIDS and teaches philosophy and theology at the university nearby. The community of St John are devoted to the pursuit of the three wisdoms: philosophical (man’s natural search for what is deepest in reality); theological (the search of the intellect to understand more deeply the self-communication of God) and mystical (the openness of the soul to divinely given contemplation and the promptings of the Holy Spirit).

    108. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

      “Basically, the investigation found the complaint credible but without sufficient evidence to establish the complaint.”

      Gee you talk some crap Sullivan.

      If you had actually read the very statement that you pasted here in #100 you’d read this…

      “In the end, and notwithstanding that impression of the complainant, bearing in mind the forensic difficulties of the defence occasioned by the very long delay, some valid criticism of the complainant’s credibility, the lack of corroborative evidence and the sworn denial of the respondent, I find I am not ‘satisfied that the complaint has been established”

      In other words, the QC who headed this inquirey found that there was NOT actually enough susbtance to the claims made against Pell!

      Read what the retired judge actually said:

      1. The complainant had credibility issues
      2. There was no evidence to support the claims he was making

      If you read the background to this whole debarcle you’ll discover some very interesting things, such as the fact that the guy who made the complaint was a career criminal who had been involved in union coruption, drug dealing and all sorts of other high level crimes of dishonesty.

      Not only that, but the cleric who oversaw Pell’s case was a dissenter, who has since written a book attacking Catholic sexual teaching – and in several publications, his handling of the abuse accusations against Pell has been seriously called into question – he didn’t even follow the Australian Catholic Church manual for dealing with sexual abuse complaints, as Pell was not even told about the allegations for two months after a complaint had been laid!

      Once again Chris, you know very little about the actual things you speak of here.

    109. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 10:16 am

      Archbishop Pell: A Case Study in False Accusations

      Australian Situation Reveals Problems with Procedures

      SYDNEY, Australia, OCT. 19, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Vatican fears about the inadequacy of the U.S. bishops’ norms on dealing with clerical sex-abuse allegations are not without foundation — judging by the experience of Sydney’s Archbishop George Pell.

      The archbishop has been cleared by the independent inquiry set up to investigate an accusation of sexual abuse against him. Still unanswered, however, are questions about how the media cover this and similar cases, and how Church procedures deal with the abuse accusations.

      Archbishop Pell’s trial-by-the-media is not new. From the moment he arrived here from the archbishopric of Melbourne, some news media made clear their hostility. Media scrutiny sharpened last June when the prelate was accused of hushing up sexual abuses while he was an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.

      The accusations surfaced in the course of a television interview. The conduct of the TV program was analyzed in the October issue of Quadrant magazine, and the findings were not flattering. For openers, the show’s producers lied to Archbishop Pell about the content of the TV interview; they told him it would deal only with the abuse crisis in the United States.

      The Quadrant article details the tenuous nature of the accusations made by the television program, and the lack of real evidence against the archbishop. The program, nevertheless, sparked off a media frenzy. In the following weeks, numerous attempts were made to link Sydney’s archbishop to improper handling of abuse cases. This included the discovery of a bishop who had imposed a secrecy clause in a settlement — a bishop who was in no way under Pell’s authority. Yet, the media presented that as clear proof of the archbishop’s guilt.

      In fact, only three months into his tenure as Melbourne archbishop, Pell introduced tough changes into Church policy regarding abuse allegations, Quadrant observed. Clergy were to be dealt with much more seriously, and compensation for the victims was improved.

      In the latest case, where Archbishop Pell himself was accused of abuse, the amount of negative media coverage was enormous. After he was cleared by the inquiry, the Sydney Morning Herald noted Oct. 15: “The allegations of sex abuse against Pell received extensive overseas coverage. It is doubtful the clearing of his name on these charges will receive the same prominence.”

      The media published graphic accounts of the sexual abuse allegedly committed by Pell, while at the same time protecting the anonymity of his accuser. The coverage continued, despite a total lack of corroborating evidence.

      A monthly magazine on religious affairs, AD2000, in an article published before the archbishop was vindicated, commented on the increasing tendency of the media to “aggressively impugn the good reputation of a distinguished person on the basis of a mere assertion.”

      Even the president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman — no ally of Archbishop Pell — drew attention to the “hysteria” surrounding allegations of sexual abuse of minors. “So far have we gone down the road of trashing a presumption of innocence that a law change is called for to restore, and restore fundamentally, the principles of presumption of innocence,” O’Gorman declared.

      Church procedures questioned

      Doubts about how accusations were handled arose when the Herald Sun on Oct. 6 published details about the accuser. Pell’s alleged victim was, it turned out, a career criminal. He had been convicted of drug dealing and involved in illegal gambling, tax evasion and organized crime in a labor union. A commission probing the corrupt union even devoted a whole chapter of its report to this man’s activities. As the inquiry report noted: “The complainant has been before the court on many occasions, resulting in 39 convictions from about 20 court appearances.”

      Subsequently, doubts were also raised over how the archbishop had been treated by the Church guidelines covering sexual abuse accusations. Archbishop Pell said that he “had been kept in the dark by the Church for some two months, ignorant of the serious allegations made against him,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported Oct. 15.

      This took place while the Church body set up to handle abuse matters, Towards Healing, entered into correspondence with the accuser. “On this point,” the newspaper observed, “Towards Healing ignored its own protocol, which demands that accused clergy be told ‘as soon as possible’ once a complaint has been made.”

      Tess Livingstone, whose biography of Pell is about to be published, reported in an Oct. 15 article for the Courier-Mail on comments made by the archbishop after he was cleared. Asked if changes should be made to a system that allows people to remain anonymous after making unsubstantiated allegations against public figures, Archbishop Pell said: “I think that’s one of the factors we should be looking at.”

      Another problem relates to the matter of legal costs. The newspaper The Australian noted Oct. 16 that Archbishop Pell was obliged by Church norms to pay his own legal costs. But the Church paid the costs for his accuser.

      “Zero tolerance” under the microscope

      Concerns over procedures in abuse cases are also rising in the United States. The Washington Post reported Oct. 13 that a financial analyst, Joe Maher, has quit his job and founded a nonprofit group, Opus Bono Sacerdotii (Work for the Good of the Priesthood), to help pay the legal expenses of Catholic clergy accused of sex crimes.

      The newspaper also quoted Crisis magazine editor Deal Hudson as saying that Catholics in parishes are upset over the way zero tolerance has been implemented, with the sudden removal this year of more than 300 priests, often on allegations that are decades old.

      And in New York, about 150 current and former priests met this month to form Voice of the Ordained. The group is dedicated to upholding the rights of accused priests to due process under civil and canon law.

      A case study on how zero tolerance can go wrong was published by the National Catholic Register in its Oct. 6-12 issue. Monsignor Michael Smith Foster has been on administrative leave from the Archdiocese of Boston for more than a month. He has been suspended, in spite of the fact that the accusations have been dismissed by civil courts “with prejudice” — meaning they cannot be filed again. And the Boston Globe, not noted for favoritism toward the Church, has run exposés portraying the priest’s accuser as a pathological liar.

      Another example, published by the Register in its Aug. 25-31 issue, is that of Father Francis Perry, of the Diocese of Raleigh, in North Carolina. Father Perry admitted that 41 years ago, when he was 16, he “acted inappropriately” in the presence of a 4-year-old, a case of indecent exposure. The incident occurred 29 years before Perry, raised as an Episcopalian, converted to the Catholic faith and 37 years before the former psychologist was ordained a priest in 1998.

      Father Perry has now been removed from his parish and suspended from all public duties as a priest. According to the Register, parishioners at the two churches where Father Perry served as pastor were outraged.

      It’s clear that victims of sexual abuse were not given justice in past years. Now, the pendulum of unfairness seems to have swung toward the accused.

    110. TTM January 23, 2009 at 10:19 am

      > “I think that the sex abuse by priests was what Paul VI meant by the “smoke of Satan”.

      Wrong. It was liturgical abuse:

      Exclusive: the revelation of Card. Noè:” When Paul VI denounced the smoke of Satan in the Church, he was referring to liturgical abuses following Vatican II.”

      by Bruno Volpe

      …Paul VI’s denunciation of the presence of the smoke of Satan in the Church is unforgettable.   Still today, that discourse seems to be incredibly relevant.

      You from Petrus, have gotten a real scoop here, because I am in a position to reveal, for the first time, what Paul VI desired to denounce with that statement.   Here it is.   Papa Montini, for Satan, meant to include all those priests or bishops and cardinals who didn’t render worship to the Lord by celebrating badly (mal celebrando) Holy Mass because of an errant interpretation of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council.   He spoke of the smoke of Satan because he maintained that those priests who turned Holy Mass into dry straw in the name of creativity, in reality were possessed of the vainglory and the pride of the Evil One.   so, the smoke of Satan was nothing other than the mentality which wanted to distort the traditional and liturgical canons of the Eucharistic ceremony.”

      It is thought that Paul VI was the real culprit as the cause of all the ills of post-Conciliar liturgy.   But based on what you have revealed, Eminence, Montini compared the liturgical chaos, even if in a veiled way, actually to something hellish.

      He condemned craving to be in the limelight and the delirium of almighty power that they were following the Council at the liturgical level.   Mass is a sacred ceremony, he often repeated, everything must be prepared and studied adequately, respecting the canons, no one is “dominus” [lord] of the Mass.   Sadly, in many after Vatican II not many understood him and Paul VI suffered this, considering the phenomenon to be an attack of the Devil.

      Your Eminence, in conclusion, what is true liturgy?

      It renders glory to God.   Liturgy must be carried out always and no matter what with decorum: even a sign of the Cross poorly made is synonymous with scorn and sloppiness.   Alas, I repeat, after Vatican II it was believed that everything, or nearly, was permitted.   Now it is necessary to recover, and in a hurry, the sense of the sacred in the ars celebrandi, before the smoke of Satan completely pervades the whole Church.   Thanks be to God, we have Pope Benedict XVI: his Mass and his liturgical style are an example of correctness and dignity.

    111. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 10:23 am

      Scary,

      The official Church investigation into the claims that Abp sexually abused a 12 year old boy :-

      found no evidence that the complaint was made through vindictiveness or desire for compensation. Southwell says: “As to motive, it should be noted that extensive enquiries made on behalf of the respondent [Pell] have unearthed no evidence of any other matter or incident which might have aroused spite or malice on the part of the complainant towards either the respondent or the Church.

      The official investigation also found the complainants claims appeared to be honest :-

      “I accept as correct the submissions of Mr Tovey [for the complainant] that the complainant, when giving evidence of molesting, gave the impression that he was speaking honestly from an actual recollection.

      Hence, the investigation found the complaint credible. It was for lack of evidence that it was not upheld.

      the fact that the guy who made the complaint was a career criminal who had been involved in union coruption, drug dealing and all sorts of other high level crimes of dishonesty.

      Children who have been sexually abused often go on to lead very broken lives.

      God Bless

    112. TTM January 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

      Chris,

      you’d written:

      Scribe,

      Your own first post in this thread (#6 above) isn’t exactly a shining example of sticking to Tuppence’s original topic, is it ? Unlike my first post, you didn’t say anything about beauty.

      -

      …Go Obama !

      And it looks like he hasn’t moved yet to ditch Mexico City (thank God for that).

      Beautiful !

      -

      …Beautiful photo here of Obama signing the orders to shut down the US army prison at Guantanamo where suspects in the “war on terror” were abused, tortured and denied due legal process.

      Maybe I have to spell it out for you on behalf of everyone here:

      Merely contriving to mention the word of the topic of the thread does not make it on-topic. It merely makes it contrived and dishonest, not to mention distasteful. We’re sick of having your pet topics shoved into our face. Please cease and desist, starting right now. There are times when such topics may be relevant to the discussion – this has not been the case in most of the times you have brought them up.

      Please don’t simply ignore it and keep doing it. I don’t want to have to repeat this again, for the sake of all of us.

    113. chucky January 23, 2009 at 10:42 am

      Check this out…

      http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/01/meanwhile-and-i-do-mean-mean/

      Fr Z exposes the contradiction at the end.

    114. TTM January 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

      Chucky,

      > “TTM, were you at Hearts Aflame?

      Why yes, and you? I have to say their liturgies are always very beautiful. In fact, they’re what first woke me to the truly ‘awesome’ nature of the Mass. I miss the sung prayers of the Church too.

      Yes, Hearts Aflame – now there’s a hope for the NZ Church for ya. Like Fr. Z says, “save the liturgy, save the world!”

    115. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 10:50 am

      TTM,

      I think that way more damage has been done to the Church by the 1968 sexual revolution and by priestly sexual abuse than has ever be done by post Vatican II liturgical experimentation.

      And I think Paul VI in 1968 knew very well what was going on sexually in the priesthood and it was not good.

      God Bless

    116. TTM January 23, 2009 at 11:04 am

      Chris,

      the above quote (in #110) was taken from Paul VI’s papal M.C. Whatever else you think, I think it’s clear enough that Paul VI’s “smoke of Satan” referred to the irreverence in the worship of the heavenly liturgy paid to the Almighty God.

      If we truly believed the Eucharistic sacrifice to be the “fount and apex of the whole Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, 11), we should not be surprised if such irreverence precipitated downfall in any other aspect of the Church.

      On the positive side, we should not be surprised either if reverent and worthy celebration of the liturgy precipitated holiness and growth of the Church.

    117. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 11:10 am

      TTM,

      It’s not only I who think it.

      The National Review Board set up by the US Catholic Bishops to review sex abuse by priests said that “grievously sinful” acts of priests and inaction by bishops let “the smoke of Satan” enter the church.

      http://www.catholicnews.com/data/abuse/abuse08.htm

      Reverant and worthy celebration of the liturgy is a good thing.

      But I’d point out that when the sex abuse of the 1950′s and early 1960′s occured, we were still using the very reverant and worthy Tridentine rite.

      God Bless

    118. Scribe January 23, 2009 at 11:32 am

      Regarding Fr Dominique, he has also added a late engagement to his schedule. On Sunday evening, he will speak after the Diocesan Youth Mass at the Muddy Farmer (across the street from the cathedral). He’ll be speaking on “Serving the poorest of the poor”, something his good friend Mother Teresa did all her life. The talk will start at about 8.30pm.

    119. Scribe January 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

      Huffington Post now, Chris? Oh well, that fits nicely alongside your other sources of information — the National “Catholic” Reporter, America, Commonweal etc etc.

      Say what you like about Bush, Gitmo, torture and interrogation, he kept America safe after 9/11. Who would have predicted that it would be 7+ years before another attack on US soil? Not me.

      TTM has hit the nail on the head here:

      Merely contriving to mention the word of the topic of the thread does not make it on-topic. It merely makes it contrived and dishonest, not to mention distasteful. We’re sick of having your pet topics shoved into our face. Please cease and desist, starting right now. There are times when such topics may be relevant to the discussion – this has not been the case in most of the times you have brought them up.

      Please don’t simply ignore it and keep doing it. I don’t want to have to repeat this again, for the sake of all of us.

    120. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 11:42 am

      Say what you like about Bush, Gitmo, torture and interrogation, he kept America safe after 9/11.

      Shocking comment Scribe. The Catholic Church teaches that torture is intrinsically evil.

      But I suppose anything goes in your enthusiasm to support the Republican Party and George Bush ?

      God Bless

    121. Scribe January 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

      Shocking comment Scribe.

      Sorry Chris, did I say something to upset you? Build a bridge and get over it.

      Americans were safer with Bush as president than they are today; that’s surely one of the biggest jobs a president has.

      Funny how you hate on Bush, a non-Catholic, but love Joe Biden so much, despite him being a Catholic who openly flouts Church teaching.

    122. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 2:02 pm

      Bush’s Real Sin Was Winning in Iraq

      By WILLIAM MCGURN

      In a few hours, George W. Bush will walk out of the Oval Office for the last time as president. As he leaves, he carries with him the near-universal opprobrium of the permanent class that inhabits our nation’s capital. Yet perhaps the most important reason for this unpopularity is the one least commented on.

      Here’s a hint: It’s not because of his failures. To the contrary, Mr. Bush’s disfavor in Washington owes more to his greatest success. Simply put, there are those who will never forgive Mr. Bush for not losing a war they had all declared unwinnable.

      Here in the afterglow of the turnaround led by Gen. David Petraeus, it’s easy to forget what the smart set was saying two years ago — and how categorical they all were in their certainty. The president was a simpleton, it was agreed. Didn’t he know that Iraq was a civil war, and the only answer was to get out as fast as we could?

      The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — the man who will be sworn in as vice president today — didn’t limit himself to his own opinion. Days before the president announced the surge, Joe Biden suggested to the Washington Post he knew the president’s people had also concluded the war was lost. They were, he said, just trying to “keep it from totally collapsing” until they could “hand it off to the next guy.”

      For his part, on the night Mr. Bush announced the surge, Barack Obama said he was “not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

      Three months after that, before the surge had even started, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pronounced the war in Iraq “lost.” These and similar comments, moreover, were amplified by a media echo chamber even more absolute in its sense of hopelessness about Iraq and its contempt for the president.

      For many of these critics, the template for understanding Iraq was Vietnam — especially after things started to get tough. In terms of the wars themselves, of course, there is almost no parallel between Vietnam and Iraq: The enemies are different, the fighting on the ground is different, the involvement of other powers is different, and so on.

      Still, the operating metaphor of Vietnam has never been military. For the most part, it is political. And in this realm, we saw history repeat itself: a failure of nerve among the same class that endorsed the original action.

      As with Vietnam, with Iraq the failure of nerve was most clear in Congress. For example, of the five active Democratic senators who sought the nomination, four voted in favor of the Iraqi intervention before discovering their antiwar selves.

      As in Vietnam too, rather than finding their judgment questioned, those who flip-flopped on the war were held up as voices of reason. In a memorable editorial advocating a pullout, the New York Times gave voice to the chilling possibilities that this new realism was willing to accept in the name of bringing our soldiers home.

      “Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave,” read the editorial. “There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide.” Even genocide. With no hint of irony, the Times nevertheless went on to conclude that it would be even worse if we stayed.

      This is Vietnam thinking. And the president never accepted it. That was why his critics went ape when, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he touched on the killing fields and exodus of boat people that followed America’s humiliating exit off an embassy rooftop. As the Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti noted, Mr. Bush had appropriated one of their most cherished analogies — only he drew very different lessons from it.

      Mr. Bush’s success in Iraq is equally infuriating, because it showed he was right and they wrong. Many in Washington have not yet admitted that, even to themselves. Mr. Obama has. We know he has because he has elected to keep Mr. Bush’s secretary of defense — not something you do with a failure.

      Mr. Obama seems aware that, at the end of the day, he will not be judged by his predecessor’s approval ratings. Instead, he will soon find himself under pressure to measure up to two Bush achievements: a strategic victory in Iraq, and the prevention of another attack on America’s home soil. As he rises to this challenge, our new president will learn that when you make a mistake, the keepers of the Beltway’s received orthodoxies will make you pay dearly.

      But it will not even be close to the price you pay for ignoring their advice and succeeding.

    123. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 3:01 pm

      Scribe,

      Actually I think America will be much safer from terrorism under Obama because his policies will pull the rug out from under Islamic terrorists.

      Closing Guantanamo, refusing to stoop to torture and stepping back from war and bullying is the way to win over Muslim hearts and minds.

      Its following the Sermon on the Mount by loving your enemies instead of trying to torture and kill them.

      And then there’s the symbolism of a man of color with a name like Barack Obama which suddenly makes the human face of the “enemy” US seem much more like us to Muslims.

      I don’t hate Bush. I pray for him constantly. He’s done many good things and I think the Catholic blogosphere is lacking a decent post of appreciation for the good things he did do. Maybe you could write one?

      God Bless

    124. Gianna January 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      I think its a good think the USA is stepping back from ‘tortue’ (although I put money on it that Secret Service and CIA type people will still be dong it with the USA’s approval) and I admire Obama for that.

      (by the way Chris many people have written good things about Bush on this blog but everytime they do you seek to rubbish them :) )

      I do hope he doesn’t back down too much however on keeping America safe. Some terrorists will not rest until they see the West burning no matter how much ‘peace’ is made with them. A country has a legitimate right to defend itself.

      I’m not sure we can go so far as to call Iraq a victory. I don’t think its bad as Vietnam but I’m not sure its going super well either.

    125. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

      McCain has graciously issued a statement supporting Obama’s executive orders to close Guatanamo and end the US use of torture.

      Good on McCain – he had the humanity to distance himself from the Bush administration’s use of torture.

      Unfortunately, other Republicans are not with McCain on this.

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/22/guantanamo.order/index.html

      God Bless

    126. Joan January 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      ~YawN` Uggh. Not sure what anything to do with USA politics can have to do with Beauty or the original post. However despite concerns over Obama’s life issues one has to admit he speaks very well and there is something beautiful about the notion of people rising above racism and colour. It certainly is an historic moment in USA history. I pray he is graced to faithfully lead the people with justice and fairness for all. I am a bit concerned about the level of hope he engenders though. No man is likely to be able to fill those expectations.

      As an aside, my comment to Admin would be that maybe Chris Sullivan could be given his own blogspot to write the head thread once a week. :idea: If his issues and voice which always produce a sizeable response :shock: is given a valid outlet, then maybe he could restrain himself and be willing to let other topic’s stay on point, waiting to express his own original and entertaining issues at appropriate time. Just a thought. :roll:
      What say you admin?
      Are you interested Chris?
      How are these things determined anyway? Hope that thought not totally out lof line. :|

      J

    127. Benedicta January 23, 2009 at 5:17 pm

      Actually I think America will be much safer from terrorism under Obama because his policies will pull the rug out from under Islamic terrorists……

      Closing Guantanamo, refusing to stoop to torture and stepping back from war and bullying is the way to win over Muslim hearts and minds……..

      And then there’s the symbolism of a man of color with a name like Barack Obama which suddenly makes the human face of the “enemy” US seem much more like us to Muslims.

      We all want to be safe (not safer!) from terrorism, hopefully Obama will add to that. But if you think ‘policies’ being the reason (rather than the excuse) you are sadly misguided. The problem is within Islam itself – its aspirations,goals and view of humanity.

      You don’t understand Islam at all if you think they want to have their hearts and minds ‘won over’ to our way of thinking.

      How very colonial of you Chris. Also, are you suggesting that Muslims are also racist in that they need a black man to feel they are ‘seeing’ a human face.

      There are heaps of white Muslims – its a religion not a race.

      As for terrorism – how does this type work into your racist, warmongering justification. It certainly works with my knowledge of Islam. (Hint – its happened before with an American Bank in Saudi, literally stolen – lock stock and barrel – it wasn’t Islamic enough and had to be ‘reformed’, shame about the investors).

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/4309296/Barclays-may-lose-control-to-Gulf-investors.html

      The Government is in talks with Barclays after the bank admitted that raising extra capital could trigger a clause that would deliver control to its Middle East investors.

      Government insiders were last night reeling at the possibility that helping Barclays could see Britain’s fourth biggest lender automatically delivered to the Middle East as the result of a little known clause agreed in the bank’s October capital raising.

      Islamic finance (financing terrorism and also potential financial terroism)has found a ready market in the USA at the moment. Is this what Obama thinks might be ‘mutual interest”?

      Hope not. Better put your money under the mattress.

    128. Scribe January 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      Actually I think America will be much safer from terrorism under Obama because his policies will pull the rug out from under Islamic terrorists.

      I don’t really know what that means; we’ll have to agree to disagree on whether America’s safer or less safe though, Chris.

      although I put money on it that Secret Service and CIA type people will still be dong it with the USA’s approval

      Not so sure about that Gianna. I head Leon Panetta (sp?), the man to head the CIA, is unlikely to give those sorts of secret orders, despite the commander-in-chief’s public condemnation of the methods.

      If a group of people are committed to killing my fellow citizens, I’d consider a bit of torture and rough interrogation fair game.

      Imagine if you were a military parent, for example. Your daughter is trying to do her best to help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. The Taliban and/or al Qaeda are trying to kill her. You don’t want those guys tortured to find out about their plans if they’re captured? Like it or not, the interrogation techniques have saved lives.

    129. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      Scribe,

      You wrote:

      If a group of people are committed to killing my fellow citizens, I’d consider a bit of torture and rough interrogation fair game.

      OK, you have come out and said it plainly (at least you are honest).

      You are prepared to support torture against the clear teaching of the Catholic Church (Vatican II; JPII in Veritatis Splendor) that torture is intrinsically evil.

      I invite you to revisit your support for torture. It is not only against Magisterial teaching but is opposed to the pro-life position.

      It puts you on the side of the soldiers who tortured Our Lord.

      I’m sure that if you meditate on that mystery of the Holy Rosary then you’ll see why the Church opposes all torture.

      I will keep you in my prayers.

      God Bless

    130. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are…

    131. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      You guys might like to email Obama at comments@whitehouse.gov about Guantanamo/torture/MexicoCity/FOCA.

      I sent the following email

      Thank you so much for closing Guantanamo and comitting America not to use torture. Very much overdue.

      In the same spirit of respect for human dignity and human life I urge you to retain the Mexico City Policy against funding of abortions and not to sign FOCA into law.

      To do so is not only an affront to human dignity and human life, in contradiction to your stated aims, but also needlesly gives ammunition to your political opponents.

      God bless you and all your good work for human rights

      God Bless

    132. Benedicta January 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      Good one SWCB! Too true!

      The next post from Chris kinda proves the point doesn’t it.

      Chris, you self righteous!!!!!!!when you conform to the full Catechism which you clearly don’t – as you are a self professed pluralist; Muslim,Christian, Buddhist……….which is NOT Catholicism in any shape and form, in fact categorically rejected by Pope Benedict as the worst of temptations. Then you can throw stones at other people’s glass houses.

    133. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”
      “We love the leader!”

      So Chris, when do you drink the Kool Aid?

    134. dave morgan January 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      howdy people :)

      SWCB, funny!

      hey how does one inbed a youtube video like that in this blog? can you give us a tutorial on how to use the code tag stuff?

      thanks dude

      peace all! :P

    135. Gianna January 23, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      hey guys

      While I disagree with chris’s self righteous attitude about this (people in glass houses chris?) I do think hes right. Torture is never an option.

      That said I can understand why some governments or people would turn to it especially if for example your in a position where someone knows information that could save hundreds of lives (ie where a bomb is going to go off)

      But the Church is clear its not to be used.

    136. Gianna January 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

      Ok that video is soooooooooooooo funny

    137. Don the Kiwi January 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

      Hey Scary.

      “The Onion” has some pretty cool news clips eh?

      Chris has probably had a seizure :lol:

      Chris……wake up…….Chris….. are you okay? ;-)

    138. Chris Sullivan January 23, 2009 at 8:42 pm

      Benedicta,

      There’s nothing in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says a Catholic cannot be a Jew or a Muslim. I know that for a fact as I carefully read the entire Catechism before becoming a Catholic (a parishioner was most kind to give me a copy).

      Don,

      Scary’s insert is just a big blank box in my browser – we have internet filtering to keep out objectionable content :)

      God Bless

    139. Benedicta January 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm

      There’s nothing in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which says a Catholic cannot be a Jew or a Muslim

      Now that is truly daft.

      Of course there isn’t a direct statement. The concept is so far removed from the revelation of God in Christ that no one in their Catholic mind would think there would need to be such a statement.

      Have the honesty to admit you have your own religion.

    140. Don the Kiwi January 23, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      Okay Chris,

      but I think you’d have a grin at it – I’m sure you’ve watched “The Onion” before.

    141. Benedicta January 23, 2009 at 10:51 pm

      Also Chris,

      If you had such a tricky concern – can I be a Catholic a Muslim and a Buddhist et al…….why didn’t you just ask your priest. I think you know that that would have stopped you in your tracks………which is why you thought you’d rather just work it out for yourself.

      In fact retrospectively why don’t you write a letter to the Bishop and ask for an appointment to share your dilemma. Perhaps he can put you straight – you have absolute confidence in your Bishop so no fear there.

      You better make it a long appointment………do you have the courage?

    142. Benedicta January 23, 2009 at 10:58 pm

      Further,

      Bishop Dunn is a lovely man and I also believe he is or has been involved in interfaith dialogue. You could give him a novel experience and be interfaith all in one person!

    143. Scary white conservative with a banjo January 23, 2009 at 11:06 pm

      “Obama Suddenly Panicked After Gazing Too Far Into Future”

      MADISON, WI—Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) fell deathly silent in the middle of a speech on education before the Wisconsin Teachers Union Tuesday, his failure of words reportedly a result of the Democratic nominee’s forward-looking tendencies suddenly bringing him a harrowing glimpse of a future world shaped by madness and horror.

      “And that is why we must all strive to make our own tomorrow together,” Obama said to resounding applause before stopping abruptly, breaking into a cold sweat, and bringing his trembling hands to his blanched face. “Oh, God, no. They’re sentient. Every last one of them is sentient!”

      While spokespeople from the Obama camp have suggested that the candidate’s recent comments about magnets being “our only hope for survival” were taken out of context, they did confirm that he has canceled all future appearances in New Mexico, especially those taking place during the month of October.

    144. Scribe January 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm

      Gianna,

      Torture is never an option.

      I think it’s to be avoided if possible, but I don’t think you can say “never”.

      Do you support the just war theory? In other words, do you ever think it’s justified to engage in war?

      I can’t remember if you’ve engaged in discussions on that topic before. If so, I can’t remember your position, hence these are general comments, not directed at you specifically.

      I think if someone supports the idea of just war, which has very limited criteria, he or she can’t say that torture is NEVER an option. The former involves, by its very nature, the killing of people. Torture doesn’t (in most circumstances).

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m no torture-monger, but I don’t think it should be removed from the tactics open to people using it to try to protect human — and normally innocent — life.

    145. Benedicta January 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      Just to add to that Scribe, in Just War there is a mutual code between legitimate soldiers, engaged in warfare. Soldiers don’t or should not torture other soldiers. Also, civilians are not considered targets or objects of battle.

      With the Islamists, who are sent by no state, and target civilians, are operating as criminals according to the western code. (Even supported as they are by an empirical religious code).They are not due the status of legitimate soldiers , they are criminals of the worst kind.

      I think bearing in this in mind and that they freely choose to target indiscriminately civilian population, pressure must be brought to bear in appropriating information that prevents another attack. By pressure there are means which are not life threatening nor maiming but unduly uncomfortable and difficult to bear. I have no problem with this personally. Some might call this torture.

      War is war, if it is declared on you, and you must engage it, you must win.

    146. Don the Kiwi January 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

      Obama has reversed the Mexico City Policy WRT abortion.

      God help us.

    147. TTM January 25, 2009 at 10:15 am

      > “~YawN` Uggh. Not sure what anything to do with USA politics can have to do with Beauty or the original post… As an aside, my comment to Admin would be that maybe Chris Sullivan could be given his own blogspot to write the head thread once a week. If his issues and voice which always produce a sizeable response is given a valid outlet, then maybe he could restrain himself and be willing to let other topic’s stay on point

      As impractical as this may be, I do think it gets to the heart of the problem, which is demonstrated time and time again in threads such as this which contains perhaps only 2 or 3 revelant posts in it, and over a hundred on off-topic issues. This really is rather unfair – that a single poster should consistently be able to lead entire threads toward his own pet topics and ruin these threads. There is a reason why forums like that of Catholic Answers employ moderation and poster-censorship in order to make the place better for the 99% of those who would actually like to discuss the topics at hand.

      Honestly, though, in a place such as this, one would think that the posters could moderate themselves, or at least listen to the witness of at least 2 others (Matt 18:15). Failing this, I think we do have to have a way of moderation with the power of enforcement, if the offender refuses to listen to the whole ‘church’ at BF (Matt 18:16). It’s not something that we can shrug off and say we can’t do anything about, because that simply isn’t the case.

    148. Chris Sullivan January 26, 2009 at 4:49 am

      Scribe,

      I don’t think you have understood the Catholic doctrine of intrinsic evil.

      Intrinsically evil acts, as defined by JPII in Veritatis Splendor are moral acts which are never licit under any circumstances whatsoever. Intrinsically evil moral acts are never permissible under any circumstances or for any intentions.

      This is because we are never to do evil that good might come of it (a point thrice repeated in the Catechism).

      As Christ taught in the sermon on the Mount : “Do do resist evil with evil”.

      And as St Paul taught in Romans : “Do not sucumb to evil but overcome evil with good”.

      Torture is always evil and never justified for any reasons whatsoever.

      It is also against the military code, against the interests of our own troops and, frnakly, unAmerican.

      God Bless

    149. Gianna January 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

      Scribe. Regarding the use of torture. I do agree in a just war and I also see the legitimate right of a country to defend itself (where you draw the line is often more unclear.) And no Chris, I don’t want to get into a Just War argument with you.

      I’m also very clear that decisions in life esp. in positions of leadership, either of a country or military involve very hard decisions, often where both decisions will result in the loss of human life and doing nothing will result in the loss of human life. Sometimes it’s clear that in a fallen world where some people do really horrible things; there are decisions which need to be made which are the lesser of two evils. I don’t think not doing anything is a defense but more of a cop out

      That said, I’m still very uncomfortable with the use of torture. I realize that we do live in a fallen world but I don’t like making utilitarian arguments; i.e. that the good of the many (lives that may be saved) out weigh the good of the few (terrorist ‘x’ who will be tortured). Like Chris says you can’t defend actions because they have a good outcome.

      This may contradict my above paragraph on the difficulty in making life or death decisions, but it’s trying to illustrate the many moral issues that are there, and my difficulty in making a firm decision either way.

      Like I said I can see situations where someone may think torture is necessary. For example terrorist ‘x’ has hidden a nuclear bomb somewhere in down town New York. You know terrorist ‘x’ has the information that will find and stop the bomb, which if it will go off will kill literally hundreds of thousands of people. You only have half an hour to search for the bomb. Is it ok in this case to torture terrorist ‘x’ in order to obtain information that will save the lives of many?

      I don’t know. Logic in me says absolutely, but the moral side of me says that it’s a slippery slope once you start advocating the use of torture, even for extreme examples. Also if torture is OK to save life, is it then OK for the side your fighting against to use torture on you to obtain military information which will save the lives of hundreds of THEIR soldiers? Both examples saves lives, it sort of depends on which side you’re on.

      So I guess I can’t fully say that I know exactly where I stand on the use of torture. Bad people do bad things and force decisions of leaders that I would hate to have to make but that someone has to make. I just pray I’m not in one of those decisions because in reality, I don’t know exactly WHAT I’d do!!!

    150. greg bourke January 26, 2009 at 8:53 am

      Bush did not invent torture.
      Bush’s innovation was formally recognizing its existence. It would be naive to think that because Obama has rescinded Bush’s legal framework on torture that torture will cease.
      Torture in some form will continue to be used by US govt employees under Obama as it was under Bush, under Clinton, Reagan, Carter ecetera.
      Obama will certainly utilize any intelligence from such sources but will play the game of see-no-evil, hear-no-evil.