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March 29, 2006


Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

DA MONKISH CODE (The Truth about "Dialogue")

English gets "dialogue" from the Greek "dia" (through) and "logos".

If one would coin a Latin-root cognate, one would have:
"perverb"--from "per" and "verbum".

From this I am able (willing) to deduce that ideological "dialogue" is a codeword for perversion.


Donald R. McClarey

The sick man tells the Doctor that his sickness is his strength and that the Doctor should renounce his heath and emrace the sickness of the patient.


It seems to me that complaining about foreign priests can veil some nasty attitudes of racism or xenophobia.

I feel I can say this, because I had to do some soul-searching on this point, myself, once upon a time.

If a priest has an accent, and I have to focus closely on every word to understand him, is that bad? Or have I been given the grace of learning to overcome distractions during Mass?

If a priest draw analogies from a country and a culture not my own, is that bad? Or am I learning to respect and be a part of a truly universal church?


As a Canadian and a recent "convert" to Catholicism from Protestant {minister} along with my whole family, this issue touches too close to home. I am discouraged, and grateful, tentative. Discouraged because this is the spiritual leadership of the Church I risked family, reputation and livelihood for; it's a disappointment. Grateful because my own two priests and our Bishop are each solidly with Pope and Vatican and our local parish is vibrant and thriving yet conservative and mindful of Tradition and Magisterium. I have written our Bishop and affirmed him as well as asking that he continue to uphold truth; it has been so rewarding and uplifting to have made the "journey home" via this local parish. Tentative because it is quite likely that we are going to move soon and I fear, yes that would be the word, fear having to find priest and parish that is not numbered among the many who are staying.

The pdf document is a must read for all my fellow Canadian Cathlics but I suggest, if you are of a mind with Pope and Rome to keep a rosary a hand.

I will admit that I am torn when I read the request that full communion be offered to "all marginalized persons, divorced and remarried Catholics, and to homosexuals", because my heart aches for the peace of people in these broken places. These are not demographic entities but people, people capable of all the same emotional, intellectual and physical needs and rights common to all people. At the same time, a question I have asked much recently is what are Rights and what are Rites?

As a new Catholic I cannot imagine being without the nourishment of the Eucharist, or instance. Why it should bother me that others have to miss out when I'm OK is not a turmoil I've asked to know but I feel it strongly enough that it hurts my heart. Stupid eh?, or is it because we really are one body?

It is largely for the Eucharist that I left all I have known for the Catholic Church. However, I also reconciled with Rome because, -- and damn, here I am coming out {or reverse coming out} on someone else's blog and in the comments no less -- I believe, am in agreement with the stand of the Catholic Church on the teachings of the RC as expressed in the Catechism and this would include those teachings under primary attack, those pertaining to life.

Is it schism? Yes, potentially, very much yes. As a former Protestant {and God help me I honestly intend no disrespect here} I want to ask Catholics, if the elements of this document are what you want, please, go join one of the multitude of Protestant denominations who are already long down the road you wish to travel on. If this document is where the RC is headed in Canada then as a Canadian Catholic I do have to ask, why the hell did I bother converting at all?

Amy, this is a lenthy comment. I probably should move it to my own blog but for now, sheesh, here it is. For all my years in ministry this artist's heart is not well enough equipped to engage in a full discussion. I unhappily admit that I am torn, heart says one thing, mind and logic say another. I admit that I am like man St. James wrotes about, double minded, torn by compassion and reason.

I find myself, for instance agreeing with the two people who have posted already, during the time I have been writing this one {time I should have been at the easel painting} but it's hard for me to be glib or blunt. You see, I agree this Fr. and brother who beat me to posting a comment and at the same time I am torn with an aching heart of Catholics who by action of their own or no action of their own seem to taken themselves out of full communion and yet still desire it as anyone would.

I need to stop. If you are replying to me be kind, I'm a long time Christian but fresh Catholic. I am, by blessing and hard work, fortunate to be a straight, 22 year married man with the children who are an absolute joy and strength. I am now many, many months unemployed, a part of the cost of terminating my job as a minister to join the Catholic Church. I am making art again and selling but things are um, tender.

Amy, I'm really sorry about taking up all this space, something triggered here and I've ended up baring my soul in an unlikely place and an unanticipated way and probably in an incoherent manner such that now, well, I either delete it all quick or just his Post. God come quickly to my aid; I'm hitting Post.


I saw the reference to this doc on Mere Comments, downloaded it, but didn't have the stomach to read it all. The Church in Canada (I'm from Ontario) has been suffered from an overdose of the secular culture within which most of its members have been formed.

There are still a huge number of Catholics in this country who assume that any differences between Church teaching and secular "progressive" policies will all eventually be worked out with the Church coming to realize the error of its ways.

But political and judicial developments over the past couple of years -- Marc Hall case, election scaremongering about abortion, same-sex marriage -- have at least begun the process of waking many of our Bishops from their dogmatic slumber. (Not all have been asleep, of course.)

My impression is that the religious orders are still essentially asleep at best. (and this document certainly suggests something worse).

All of which raises the question of why the difference? Prescinding from the spiritual, on a sociological level might it have something to do with "self governance?" Even an effectively dissenting Bishop (or priest for that matter) knows he's in for some problems if he teaches his flock contrary to the defined doctrine of the Church. Are the same external "disciplines" in place for religious?

Regardless it's a sad situation. I have experienced this first hand (well, not really first-hand it was a cyber-experience!) In researching a possible vocation I came upon the web site of the Canadian province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Eucharistic adoration, life in community, the Liturgy of the hours, and a varied social apostolate all sounded appealing. But on the links page of their web site I found a link to the "Eighth Day Centre", and of course prominently displayed on that site was a document strongly opposing the recent Vatican instruction concerning the ordination of same-sex attracted priests. (Including as one of its sources an essay entitled "The Sin of Heterosexism"!)

Why such folks think they will attract new vocations from among those who think the Church's teaching is itself sinful is beyond me.


There's only so much the people, in this case the Religious in question, can do. The Church in Candada needs visionary leadership, just as the churches in American and around the globe do.

There is only so much life the people can bring without the leadership being on board. Perhaps the letter is in part a call to do just that, to match step and lead.


And the sorry joke is on me because over half of my pained comment was cut. That's best Amy because now I will have to move it on over to my blog where I should have been brace enough to say what I was saying in the first place.

I'll get the full text up there. Thanks.


In the end the full comment was posted here. Now that I feel like a complete blog idiot, I have left the republished comment on my own site as well. I'm gonna shut down and go paint. Duh on me.


Owen: thanks for sharing your heartfelt comments here. I feel the same way sometimes when contemplating the American religious scene (as in the religious orders). [I'm not a convert from Protestantism, though]

Brian, I believe the whole problem that this so clearly brings to the fore is which "board" is the leadership supposed to be on?


Re: my earlier comment after this post is a link from the council web site that might go some way towards explaining the "unique" culture of the religious orders. Link is to a pdf of a demographic analysis of the makeup of the orders. Let's just say it's a fairly "mature" group.


Will Barrett

I love this comment from a representative of the religious communities:

Ambeault praises the Church in some instances, especially its efforts to attract young worshippers, but at the same time he laments the lack of freedom of speech within the institution.

It would be interesting to see his full quotation but there is a delicious irony in someone who has just written a letter trashing the Church, thereby using his "right to free speech," criticizing the Church for not giving him the right to free speech. I suspect he means that the Church won't proclaim what he wants it to proclaim thereby endorsing his speech.

Mark Windsor

God love you, Owen, if you were in Texas I'd find a way to hire you for something!


Isn't this merely a case of the chickens coming home to roost?? Many of these religious were formed in the days when most of the episcopacy of Canada was in de facto schism over Humanae Vitae. The bishops of Canada repented of this in the run up to 2000, now the penance must be done in cleaning up the mess they, or their predecessors, created. Godspeed.

Maria Ashwell

Owen, thank you for sharing so personally. Would that cradle Catholics loved the Church as much as your comments expressed, we wouldn't have letters such as these. I will pray for you and your family and all Catholics in Canada.


Owen, from a fellow convert welcome!! Don't get discouraged, try to remember that you are now a part of the Universal Church that spans across time and space and that the Communion of Saints in heaven and and earth is praying for you!


So the marginalized are the divorced and remarried and the, I assume, practicing homosexuals, and they should all be admitted to full communion. Is this a demand for admission on paper? Because in practice they have long since admitted themselves, certainly in my area and I would imagine elsewhere. In the U.S. we still paper over the schism. As long as there's paper, there's hope.

About priests with heavy foreign accents. Yes, it is praiseworthy to strain and strain to understand the homily but for elderly and hearing challenged folk, one hopes the church will have beautiful windows. All accents can be managed. Bishops need to invest in speech correctionists and compel affected priests to take instruction. They themselves should require such assistance in their contracts.


According to their "16-page letter" recommending "the Catholic Church become "a truly collegial institution where bishops may ... enjoy autonomy in their dioceses, and that this autonomy be fully respected by Roman authorities." Instead of being Catholic, what these heretics seem to want is to be members of the Episcopal Church (or in their case the Anglican Church of Canada). Why don't they just admit this and join them?

Mila Morales

Owen, your comments brought a tear to my eye. That you should value the Eucharist so, and are able feel for those who can't receive because we are "one body" is a grace God has granted you. He will keep you in the palm of HIs hand. You and your family will be in my prayers.


"Why don't they just admit this and join them?"

Because in order to validate their own positions they *must* convince the rest of us recalcitrants to see things their way.

They are a disgrace to their calling.


I'd really like to know if every single community who is a member of this CRC has signed onto this document? A quick perusal of the PDF file has no signatories, just the head of the CRC. Anyone know?


Oh, and one more thing, Owen. Before I was able to enter the Church my husband, who was a divorced Catholic was required to petition for an annulment. He spoke very affirmatively of the personnel at the Diocesan tribunal who oversaw the process. It was ultimately all worth it. I have been Catholic for almost ten years now and would go through it all again with no hesitation.

For those Catholics who need to have their marriages regularized in the Church, the assistance is there.


If full communion was offered to "every marginalised person" we would define the Church out of existence, since by definition, everyone not already in it would be marginalised, and therefore must be included (whether they liked it or not, I suppose).

Posturing is always so much easier than thinking.



Is it schism? Well, if it is, then SSPX'ers are Mormons.

CCC 2478 would suggest we take a more measured approach in our opinion of the people behind this. These are people like Owen, who have made a substantial commitment to God, their faith, and their Church. I think it's premature to start wishing people would jump the Barque, though it might be emotionally satisfying.

Clericalism and poorly trained priests are a problem in the States, too. If I were writing such a document, I'd include this passage from Christus Dominus 15:

"(Bishops) should, therefore, constantly exert themselves to have the faithful know and live the paschal mystery more deeply through the Eucharist and thus become a firmly-knit body in the unity of the charity of Christ. "Intent upon prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4), they should devote their labor to this end that all those committed to their care may be of one mind in prayer and through the reception of the sacraments may grow in grace and be faithful witnesses to the Lord.

As those who lead others to perfection, bishops should be diligent in fostering holiness among their clerics, religious, and laity according to the special vocation of each. They should also be mindful of their obligation to give an example of holiness in charity, humility, and simplicity of life. Let them so hallow the churches entrusted to them that the feeling of the universal Church of Christ may shine forth fully in them."

Are our bishops humble enough to take this seriously? Are they willing to listen to correction from people who might be in the know?

John Gibson

This could have been written by the Call To Action Group here in the USA.


John Gibson

zthomas tucker

Owen- I agree, don't get discouraged. One thing you have to realize is that not everyone is on the same point of the spectrum in embracing or living the teachings of the CHurch. even those of us who embrace them still have problems living out them out, obviously. So, be patinet with those who aren't there yet and may bever be "there." on the other hand, there is a real problem when those who are supposed to be teachers in the Church do not embrace the teachings, and many people have been ordained who should not have been because they reject Church teaching. Even then, these people eventually leave or die, and I don't mean that realistically rather than uncharitably. So, one pice of advice I have is to work out your own salvation in fear and trembling (to coin a phrase) and keep your eyes on the Lord,remembering that the gates of Hell will not prevail (we have a promise on that) rather than being overly concerned about these kinds of things- they are a simply a distraction.

anna domini

TiaKay, I don't know much - - - but from what I understand there were some religious communities, e.g. those who run the shrine of St. Anne-de-Beaupre, who were not consulted for this document. I think it would be safe to say that this document is representative of the thinking of one strata of religious leadership - - - not universal by any means...

Tom Haessler

One of the things I find fascinating is that the statement prattles much about "prophecy", but clearly is clueless about the biblical dimensions of this word. The prophets of Israel, indeed, did stand for social justice, but only because of their very deep conservatism - denouncing idolatry, sexual immorality, and oppression of the poor on the basis of Israel's most ancient traditions going back to the Sinai experience. Another fascinating element is the political naivete of religious who want very much to be involved in "changing economic structures", but are often clueless about how many different takes there are on this difficult question that are all different prudential expressions of Catholic social teaching. A certain insularity and provincialism is disturbing.

Finally, the recuring them of sympathy for those struggling with same sex attractions. The problem, of course, is not that the Church could not do more in pastoral ministry for those wanting to live their lives in accordance with Catholic teaching on human sexuality, but that the whining about this has very much in common with oppositional stances toward "father" so characteristic of many (but not all) of those having a homosexual orientation. How delicious to combine pretensions of moral superiority with daddy bashing (in payment for all real or imagined failures to be everything a father should be).


The report is getting some press here in Canada. In fact in today's edition of the National Post, one of two national daily papers an article about this very issue is headlined "Blind obedience to Vatican's directives put Canadian bishops under fire". How's that for fair and balanced journalism..NOT. And this from a paper that is more often than not quite fair!

I think you should be aware that a significant element within the the leadership of the Canadian Religious Conference has a well known reputation for its past loud dissent on Catholic doctrine. The latest salvo is nothing new and it merely reflects what has been going on for a long time. But what is becoming clearer is that such dissidents are becoming bolder. I think that given the cultural momentum on certain issues such as "gay marriage", one would expect the dissidents to become increasingly more emboldened and indeed no longer fear any consequences of their actions. A lot of this stems from an episcopate that is, frankly, incredibly weak up here in Canada, particulary in Eastern Canada where a majority of the Church is. I'm fortunate to live in a diocese in Western Canada, Edmonton archdiocese, that has as its bishop a very orthodox leader. And yes, in our diocese there are a fair number of African and Indian priests, which is very much a blessing in that they tend to be very orthodox and anything but what you may read about certain other community leaders. If it's any comfort, I think some of the responses I've been reading here in Canada lead me to believe that the majority of religious are faithful to Catholic doctrine and would repudiate what its very leftist leaderhip would stand for.

All in all it does become very discouraging at times. People outside of Canada should realize that the situation in the Canadian church is much worse compared to its American counterpart. But the comforting fact is that the leadership of the dissidents are in many cases bitter and aged folks who who won't be here for ever. I don't know where I read the exact quote but something to the effect that "every funeral advances Orthodoxy one more step" certainly rings true. We need to remember that Christ leads his Church not the naysayers.

And Owen, don't be discouraged by what you might find in your diocese. It's people like yourself the Church needs. And realize that there's a lot of faithful Catholics that share your passion for the truth...don't given up.


A letter to the bishops from the Canadian Religious Conference, which represents 213 Catholic religious communities across the country, asks the church to consider offering full communion to "all marginalized persons, divorced and remarried Catholics, and to homosexuals."

Um, full communion is already available to homosexuals. It is simply a matter of avoiding sexual sin.


Imagine what you'd be feeling right now if you were one of that seemingly rare breed, a religious in Canada who sees, knows and loves the Church for what she is...and whose superior somewhere in Ontario had just voiced assent to this...thing.

I'd be gutted!

Chris Sullivan

Um, full communion is already available to homosexuals. It is simply a matter of avoiding sexual sin.

Unfortunately, for the divorced and remarried, and for homosexuals, avoiding sexual sin is not "simple" but can be painfully difficult and is a real and heavy cross that many bear.

Owen has a point that we ought to stand in solidarity with those Catholics excluded from the eucharist. This is what it really means to be the body of Christ.

The Church needs to implement what Christ taught - "feed my sheep".

There are increasing calls from many in the Church, the New Zealand bishops included, for a more pastoral approach to eucharistic communion for the divorced and remarried. It's a view the Holy Father has much sympathy with.

It's something worth working and praying for.

"Feed my sheep".

God Bless

Charles R. Williams

It is one thing to patiently teach those who are poorly catechised or who don't understant. It is another to tolerate people in positions of authority, informal and formal, who resolutely reject the mind of the Church on fundamental issues. This has been the policy of the Canadian bishops for decades. Now they reap the harvest of their weakness.


The whole PDF statement linked above is a caricature of sixties revolutionary-speak.

"We regret ... the prohibition, by Israelite authorities, from holding communal celebrations of calf-worship despite the fact that the People of God had expressed their positive support for this practice."

Also, the statistical breakdown of Canadian religious above was illuminating: about 80% of monks and 90% of nuns surveyed over 65 -- i.e., contrary to stereotype, most of these narcissists are too old to be boomers.


The Church in Canada is lifeless and decrepit?

The Church in Canada is not dead. I just thought I'd point that out to those who were wondering. We're very much alive.

The seminary in my archdiocese is full. We will have five deacons ordained to the priesthood this Spring. I attend monthly Eucharistic Adoration events where two hundred university students, on average, come together to spend a couple of hours in adoration before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament on a Saturday night. I know of handfull of young women from the archdiocese entering religious orders this spring/summer. We had over a thousand grade sevens attend a weekend event in preparation for confirmation last month. To quote Monty Python, "I'm not dead yet!"

Yes, statements such as this newest one by the Canadian Religiosu Conference are extremely frustrating and discouraging but we can either focus on complaining about it or focus on loving Christ and His Church. We need to pray for our priests. Pray for our bishops. Pray for vocations. Pray for our families. We also need to rise up and not be afraid to be leaders in the Church. I don't mean parish administrators or ordination of women, but rather people who lead others to the uncompromising yet consoling Truth of Christ.

Perhaps I'll get pinned down as being just another idealist member of the JPII generation, but really I don't care. What I do care about is Christ and His Church. Like many Catholics in Canada I am concerned with the state of affairs of the Church in Canada, but through the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, I trust that though bruised and battered she will stand. The Holy Spirit has guarded the Church for the past 2000 years. I don't see any indication of a change in this trend.

Amy also commented, I understand that there is a diocese or two out west in which quite a few of the priests, if not most of them are either Indian or African. Well, I have grown up in one of those diocese. I've had several Polish, Vietnamese, African, Indian, and Philipino priests serve in parishes I've attended. I'm grateful for these priests who have left their families and communities behind to follow Christ wherever He calls them, even if it's half-way across the world to a rural small-town in Canada. The witness and ministry of these priests has been a huge blessing to me and the many faithful they serve.

It's so easy to get discouraged but if we remember to keep Christ the centre of our own lives than we will witness the revolution of the saints that Pope Benedict XVI spoke of at great length at WYD this past summer.


oops, sorry about the italics...


Unfortunately, for the divorced and remarried, and for homosexuals, avoiding sexual sin is not "simple" but can be painfully difficult and is a real and heavy cross that many bear.

It's not necessarily "simple" for those of us who are heterosexual and have never been married either. The answer is not to receive the Eucharist unworthily because it makes you feel better. This is, as the Apostle warns us, eating and drinking judgement upon yourself. The answer is a firm purpose of amendment, a confessional, and a deeper prayer life.

Eileen R

Ok, guys, it's important to realize that Anglo-Canada does not reflect Quebec. Quebec, according to priests there I know, is one of the worst cases for Catholicism in the first world. Canada has its problems, but the rest of the country is nothing like Quebec.

Eileen R

I'm not at all surprised by this. From a priest that was there I heard that when Cardinal Ouelette was appointed to be bishop of Quebec City, many of the archdiocesan priests openly defied him at their first meeting when he asked them to say Mass on Sundays.

Eileen R

*is trying to get rid of italics *test*

Eileen R

Ok, italics pff. Like Tony, I'm from Edmonton, and can back up what he says about this diocese. One of the sons of a large family we're friends with graduated from high school last year with top honours and all sorts of scholarships to study engineering. But instead, he told Bishop Collins - who is always giving out his phone number in sermons and encouraging anyone considering a vocation to the priesthood or religous life to call and talk to him - that he wanted to be a priest. The bishop was delighted and sent him to Rome to study for all of last year. He's continuing with his studies back home. Just one example of how things are far from dead here in this Canadian diocese.

thomas tucker

Hey, Chris, you don't have to be homosexual or divorced and remarried to find it difficult to avoid sexual sin. It's pretty difficult for a lot of people.

Chris Sullivan


Yeah, Don't I know it !

Someone once opined somewhere on St Bloggs that mantaining purity in today's environment requires heroic virue and they are probably right.

The difficulty which we know ourselves ought to increase our compassion and love for those in these situations.

I think it's more helpful to think of the Eastern idea of eucharist as medicine for the sick, and of brandon's "firm purpose of amendment, a confessional, and a deeper prayer life" than of legalistic rules about who is included and who is excluded.

"Feed my sheep".

God Bless

alias clio

Some victims of divorce - e.g. spouses abandoned by their mates - are helpless and innocent. They deserve our compassion. In cases of divorce by mutual consent, however - which seem to make up the majority of divorce cases today - compassion seems misplaced. Of course we should not hate them - but need we pity them?

Homosexual persons who have no legitimate outlet for natural desire are in a quite different situation.


The Gazette writer misstates a fact about the survey: according to the CRC press release, it was sent to major superiors of 230 religious communities, not to all members.

That approach cannot produce a result even approximately representative of the communities' members.

To start with, superiors may not respond to such a survey, for any number of reasons. Come to think of it, a superior who puts other duties ahead of answering surveys gets points for common sense in my estimation!

60% did respond, and we can safely assume they did not all express identical views; however, the report does not indicate the level of support for any particular statements. Some of the points in the report may be merely the views of a few respondents, which the editors considered interesting or worthy of hearing.

Major superiors are not a random sample of religious: they are chosen for their duties because of particular skills, such as abilities in administration, negotiating, counseling, "leadership", etc. A collection of people chosen because they have those gifts is automatically not an average sample.

If the votes are not weighted according to the membership of the communities represented by each superior, a bias is added in favor of superiors who govern numerically small provinces of religious.

Depending on the design of the survey questionnaire, the superiors might be stating purely personal views; the survey might not even have asked them to represent the views of their subjects.

And if they were asked to estimate the views of a majority of their subjects, then the views of the contrary minority, if there is one, may not be represented.

The most we can say for sure about the statements in the report is that each one reflects someone's views.


The difficulty which we know ourselves ought to increase our compassion and love for those in these situations.

I do not think that you properly understand love. To excluding those in mortal sin from the Eucharist is the height of love. The Apostle warned the Corinthians of the judgement they would bring down upon themselves by receiving the body and blood of the Lord in such a way. To keep someone from spiritual suicide is very loving.

The Eucharist is medicine for a soul in venial sin, for it absolves those sins and provides grace to uphold and strengthen the soul against further sin. But to receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is to commit sacrilege. And sacrilege helps no one.


You obviously need a better understanding of the Eucharist. It isn't an entitlement; the are preconditions. It is offensive to God for anyone to take His Son's death so lightly as to commit sacrilege.

It wasn't so long ago that many priests would forbid confessors to partake of the Eucharist for many months. That is until thier Pennance was complete. For serious sins, absolution would not be granted for years.

This practice of course was dropped many years ago; but people had a much more profound respect for the Eucharist.


"I think it's more helpful to think of the Eastern idea of eucharist as medicine for the sick, and of brandon's "firm purpose of amendment, a confessional, and a deeper prayer life" than of legalistic rules about who is included and who is excluded."

Except, Chris, Eastern Orthodox Christians are far more rigorous in what they are asked to undertake in spiritual preparation. I have yet to meet an Orthodox priest who would even question the fact that while non-Orthodox are welcome at the Divine Liturgy, they are informed in no uncertain terms that Holy Communion is for baptized Orthodox only.

I'm sure not all Orthodox keep the rigorous fast during Orthodox Lent but the Orthodox Church certainly holds it up as the Christian ideal.

SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas recently affirmed that they are firmly opposed to abortion and recognize only heterosexual marriage.

By the way, it was St. Augustine who referred to the Holy Eucharist as medicine for the soul.

If any, the Orthodox expect far more of their people than many Catholic bishops do today. Their respect for the Holy Eucharist runs very deep.


"By the way, it was St. Augustine who referred to the Holy Eucharist as medicine for the soul."

Pardon me, I just remembered he actually referred to it as "medicine for immortality".


Unfortunately, for the divorced and remarried, and for homosexuals, avoiding sexual sin is not "simple" but can be painfully difficult and is a real and heavy cross that many bear.

tell me what sins are *simple* to avoid, if there are any? i should like to add them to my list.

i have a sin in my life that is painfully difficult and at times, nearly impossible to bear. but i figure if Jesus could carry His cross, i can carry mine and offer it up to those who are suffering greater challenges than i.

being able to receive Christ in the Eucharist makes it a bit more bearable and therefore, worth it to me.


I actually see this as a step forward. In 1972 the Canadian bishops met in Winipeg and basically declared Humae Vitae inoperable in Canada. Now we have the bishops who have moved towards orthodoxy. This is a good thing. The older religious are lagging behind. I would expect the great majority of the people we are talking about are over 60. I pray the bishops will continue to grow more faithful to the pope. They still have a long way to go. I pray also for a surge in young vocations. The quality of them is very good but we could use more numbers. Many orders are still to liberal to attract novices.


"Homosexual persons who have no legitimate outlet for natural desire are in a quite different situation."

All sinful desires are natural; some are stronger than others is what you're trying to say.

No one desires anything sinful except through a disordered desire for some lesser good at the expense of the greater good of conformity to God's plan of love. Since sexuality is intimately connected with love, we would naturally wish to present all of our sexual urges as in conformity with God's plan, but in fact we know that they are often (one might even say usually) not. They remain natural, though.

It is of course untrue that homosexuals have no outlet for sexual desire (most homosexual men, for instance, have found it possible to consumate sexual relations with women at least once), it is rather the case that their sexual desires are directed in such a way as to make impossible their legitimate and complete fulfillment without redirection.

The capitulation of the psychiatric community to demands to cease diagnosing this disorder is the great obstacle to fulfillment, but one which is tragically embraced by most homosexuals as part of their campaign for self-validation--identifying themselves fundamentally with their appetites, regardless of where they lead.



All sinful desires are natural

For clarity, I would like to distinguish this statement.

If we are using the word "natural" in the modern sense, which means "phenomenon that appear in the natural world", I would agree.

But if we are using it in the traditional Thomistic sense, which means "the essence of a thing insofar as it is the principle of the things motion", then I would have to disagree. In this sense all sin is against human nature, because all sin is against right reason.

This is a distinction that can be missed, and it is certainly one that is missed by most modern people who find natural law thinking incomprehensible.


But human nature (with two exceptions) is made defective through original sin; so sin is in fact congruent with that defective nature and its darkened intellect, but not its original nature conceived by God.

So, yes, sin is in that sense unnatural, but the human nature with which we must today confront the world is equally unnatural.



What about the other 40%?? Maybe they support church teach. At least they aren't in outright rebellion. I wish we had 40% American CAtholics accepting the Church's teaching on contraception.

Something about all of this doesn't quite pass the smell test - especially the part about the claim that it was "confidential". I think it has been rigged because those who sent it were looking for a specific outcome - which "surprise" they are now proclaiming.

Bernard Nathanson, MD addmitted that he and others lied about maternal deaths in order to pass an abortion-on-demand law in New York prior to Roe vs. WAde. Sometimes figures lie and liars figure. And for goodness sake - why 16 pages? It didn't take Martin much paper to list his complaints, but then he wasn't a Church bureaucrat.

I think it comes down to the property, titles, insurance and other material benefits they would lose if they up and left the Church. Doesn't it always come down to "things" in a divorce & somethimes the kids being treated like things?? They don't want to be jobless and thingless like dear Owen.

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