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Light of the World

I’m very saddened, but unfortunately not surprised, to see the liberal media bandwagon spinning and twisting the Pope’s comments on condoms.  The reality is the Church continues to rightfully teach that the use of artificial contraception in any form is dangerous due to the “de-humanizing” such practices have on human sexuality – and by extension the human person.  Despite the “spin” on the Pope’s comments by the liberal media and progressive liberal “Catholics,” nothing has changed in Church teaching.  Neither the Church, nor the Pope, approves the use of condoms or other artificial conception in any case.

First, one must understand, as many do not, that the Pope is allowed to express personal opinion on any matter he wishes – just as we all have that right.  Despite what some think, Catholicism does not hold that whatever the Pope says is automatically “official” teaching of the Church.  The Doctrine of Papal Infallibility only applies to teachings related to faith and morals, and even then, it must be specifically and clearly invoked.  Most people don’t know that the popes have very, very rarely exercised this authority, despite their voluminous writings from audiences, homilies, letters, etc.  To make an infallible statement on the teachings of Jesus Christ is a very serious process and never something done in mere casual conversation with a reporter.  In this situation, namely an extended interview with a reporter, the Pope’s comments are personal opinion, not “official” Church teaching.  Even so, again despite the “spin” put on his words, what the Pope said is consistent with Church teaching and actually shows tremendous charity on his part.

Second, most people, including many Catholics, completely fail to understand Church teaching on human sexuality.  Briefly, the Church teaches that since God is infinite love and created everything out of His infinite love, all His creation is good.   It is actually a very old heresy going back to the early days of Christianity to claim the body and sex are somehow “bad” or inherently evil.  We must also understand God created not because He had to create, but because He wanted to create out of His free will and His infinite love – which again reinforces the very goodness of His creation.

When it comes to humans, not only are we part of the goodness of God’s creation, we are even more special since we are created in His image.  How are we taught to treat gifts of great value, like a special family heirloom?  We’re taught to treat it with great care as a sign of respect to the giver of that gift – we honor the person by cherishing the gift he or she gave us.  Our humanity, which includes our sexuality, is the greatest gift we can ever receive, for it is only because of that gift that we exist.  Therefore if we truly desire to love, honor and serve the Lord, we must treat His gift, our humanity, with the absolute greatest respect.  Consequently, we must refrain from doing things which “dehumanizes” or goes against the nature of humanity – which includes things like promiscuous sex, unmarried sex, engaging in homosexual acts, abortion, artificial means to prevent the gift of human life and so forth.  All these things work to destroy our human nature – we need only look to today’s society for abundant proof of this fact.

Pope Benedict XVI, as anyone who reads his writings comes to know, is a very intelligent, scholarly and intellectual person.  While on one hand, this is very good as one can gain very deep insights by reading his work, on the other hand his is not writing which lends itself to the short sound-bites so many rely on as their sole source of information today.  As we see in this situation, one comment in a book-length interview, before the book is even released, is taken out of context and twisted to mean something else.  A society fed on nothing but sound-bites eats it up and never bothers to discover the truth for themselves.

All the headlines completely ignore this line from the Pope’s comments: “[The Church] does not regard it [use of condoms] as a real or moral solution.”  Saying it’s not “a real or moral” solution means it is not the right choice, not an “acceptable” choice and not a moral choice – in other words, it is bad and immoral.  If one bothers to read the Pope in context, he makes it clear up front that he does not approve of condom use by anyone.

However, and here’s where the charity I mentioned comes into play, the Pope goes on to say that if someone infected with a STD uses a condom to prevent disease transmission that fact (again, while not the right choice or moral choice) might indicate the beginning of a proper understanding of human sexuality in that person.  He’s really saying the first step to fixing your problem is the recognition you have a problem in the first place.  If we never recognize we have a problem, especially a moral problem, we can never begin taking steps to resolve that problem.  Only if we begin taking personal responsibility for our actions can we begin moving into the light of understanding and Truth.

Unfortunately, in all the media “spin,” we completely fail to grasp the Pope’s real message, a message applicable to all of us.  For far from being an affirmation of condom use, the Pope’s message is actually an affirmation of hope.  The hope we should all share as Christians that even the greatest sinner will eventually recognize his sins, open his heart to God, beg forgiveness and redemption and thereby gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.  That is the Pope’s real message.  The headlines should actually proclaim:

“Pope says Hope of Redemption Possible for even the Greatest of Sinners”

Here are some links which further expound on the Pope’s true message:

http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2010/11/excerpt-pope-benedict-xvi-discusses-condoms-and-the-spread-of-hiv.html

http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2010/11/what-does-the-holy-father-really-say-about-condoms-in-the-new-book-janet-e-smith.html

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/the_pope_condoms_and_confusion.html

http://www.jimmyakin.org/2010/11/new-developments-on-the-pope-and-condoms.html

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Monsignor Charles Pope posted an excellent piece on the Archdiocese of Washington blog entitled “The Politician and the ‘Private’ Sin: Christine O’Donnell Runs Afoul of the ‘New Morality.’”  Msgr. Pope uses the “controversy” generated by recent airing of old video showing O’Donnell denouncing masturbation as a springboard for a discussion of the Catholic view of sexuality and masturbation.  Please follow the link above and read his full article.  Msgr. Pope’s teaching is spot-on and delivered with excellent pastoral care and wisdom.

I’m firmly convinced one of the greatest causes for a negative reaction against the Catholic Church today and for producing dissent from Church teaching by many “Catholics” is the very “closeness” of the Church herself.  Because the Church is so “familiar,” many people believe they’re complete experts on what the Church teaches based on nothing more than their own opinions and hearsay, particularly “Catholics” who vaguely recall Sister So-and-so (often a feminist dissenter – such as in my “Catholic” grade school) saying something about something in grade school Catechism class during the 1970s or 1980s.  Yet, what they think the Church teaches has little to no connection to her actual teaching.  Sexuality is a prime example.

Most people, and far too many “Catholics,” believe the Church teaches that anything connected with the body or with sex is “evil” and “dirty” – and that we should feel “guilty” for having any sort of “sinful” thought or feeling about sex.  This is pure rubbish!  Nothing could be further from the truth regarding actual Church teaching on human sexuality and the human body.

The Church has consistently taught that because Jesus was fully divine and fully human (two natures in one person), the human body is not inherently “dirty” or “evil.”  Any teaching to the contrary is heresy – and in fact the Church has fought many heresies founded upon the notion of the human body as “dirty” or “evil” since the days the early Church.  God would not have become fully human if He viewed our bodies and our sexuality as “dirty” and “evil.”  Instead, He gave us our bodies and everything associated with them, including our sexuality, as a gift of His free will.  Therefore, the Church has always held the body, and sexuality by connection, are wonderfully beautiful gifts from God.

The Church teaches that, as a gift from God, we should treat our sexuality with the utmost reverence and respect as we’d treat any other great gift given us by someone who cares deeply about us (and no one cares more about us than God).  As part of caring for and treasuring this gift, we should keep it oriented towards its divine purpose – the physical union of man and woman in marriage to produce children.  We don’t like to hear it today, but orienting our sexuality towards any other purpose goes against its nature and against God’s intention.

Instead of treating our sexuality with such respect, many of us discard it to the dung heap.  In a perverse twist of reality, our secular society claims this dung heap is “good” while Church teaching (which is the message of God and not man) is “bad.”  Secular society completely objectifies sexuality.  We are consistently taught, particularly through pornography, to treat people as nothing more than sexual objects for our self-centered sexual pleasure – including even our own bodies.  We’re taught to not worry about the true purpose of sexuality (little lone its beauty) by using contraceptives, and if those don’t work, “eliminating” the “accidental” “product” of a sexual encounter “gone wrong.”  After all, as Barack Obama believes, we wouldn’t want to “punish” anyone with a baby for a “mistake.”

We’ve truly become blind people wondering around in the dark eating from the trash heap while believing it’s a gourmet meal.  God offers us true light, true vision and a Heavenly banquet, yet we refuse His offer, believing we know better than Him the purpose of our humanity and sexuality.  The Church offers a guiding hand to help lead us blind souls into the light, yet we slap it away.  Why have we allowed Satan and his demons to blind us so?

It’s not a new problem.  It’s actually a very old and very simple problem.  From the time of Adam and Eve, humans have acted like unruly children by “playing God” and thinking they know better what’s best for them than the Father.  The solution is likewise abundantly simple.  We must submit our wills to the will of God.  We must trust that the Father does know what’s best for us.  Only in this decision do we find true freedom and authentic expression of our humanity and sexuality.

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Photo: FreeFoto.com

In response to my re-posting of Archbishop Carlson’s article, “Before the Cross: Good Catholics cannot be Pro-Choice,” which, quite correctly, states that one cannot hold positions in opposition to fundamental Catholic teaching and still remain Catholic, I received the following comment from Dave, who seems to be exactly the type of  “Catholic” the Archbishop addressed:

“Most Catholics disagree with you on this. Just because the priests are with you doesn’t mean anything. Look who they are.”

While the comment is sadly uninformed and misguided, it unfortunately represents the view of many “Catholics” today who’ve been indoctrinated by a small, but vocal, group of dissenting theologians, Bishops and priests who worked (and unfortunately, a few still work) to undermine the true Church by claiming a false “Spirit of Vatican II” for the authority of their “teaching,” which wrongly claims Vatican II called for a complete break with established Tradition.  As a result, many “Catholics” today have been lead to the false belief that Catholicism is merely one religious sect among many, no better and no worse than any other, and that man determines the “doctrine of the day” by nothing more than a majority opinion poll on a certain topic at a certain time – further they believe that doctrine can (and must) change whenever the whims of man decide so.

Such false positions of relativism are very dangerous as they put one’s soul on the path to eternal damnation.  Consequently it becomes very important to counter these dissenting beliefs and, God willing, do something to help get these people back on the “small and narrow” path which leads to eternal salvation.  Instead of having my response buried in the comments, I decided to highlight this comment and my response in a post of its own.

It’s critically important for Catholics to understand Church authorities do not just “make up” doctrine as they go along.  Church doctrine, Church teachings and the authority of the Magisterium do not come from man.  Instead, Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Catechism and centuries worth of ecumenical councils and papal encyclicals all very clearly state that what the Church teaches infallibly (which includes teachings on faith and morals) comes from the divine revelation of God, not from man, and is therefore Truth not subject to the changing whims of man.  Individuals might not like the Truth, yet it remains the Truth to which we are called and to which we are held accountable, whether we like it or not.  Therefore, when “Catholics” dissent from fundamental Church teaching, they no longer freely and obediently submit their will to the will of God – they are no longer in unity or communion with the Trinity through Jesus Christ and thereby no longer members of His Church, which means they are no longer Catholics no matter how loudly they might proclaim otherwise.  To claim you’re a member of a certain group and to then reject the fundamental teachings of that group is an absurdity.

May God have mercy on your soul for believing in and propagating such rubbish!  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  If you reject the Magisterium of the Church because you don’t like what the Catholic Church teaches and you find yourself incapable of surrendering your will to the will of God since you believe you know better what’s best for your soul than does God (which is what it means when you refuse to freely submit yourself to Church teaching), you are completely free to leave the Church and “worship” whatever you chose.  Donum Veritatis (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian), issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on May 24, 1990, states the Church has always held “nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will.”  You do in fact, thanks to the infinite love of the Father, have the complete free will to absolutely reject His gift of salvation and instead chose the path of eternal damnation.

The Church has been quite clear from the time of Jesus to the present day that rejecting the defense of life is to choose death.  Just like the prodigal son, the Father gives you complete freedom to walk away from everything He lovingly offers you.  As Jesus tells us in His parable, the Father stands ready to joyfully welcome you back into the fold, but He will not go looking for you.  It’s up to you to return to Him of your own free will or to remain on the path of destruction.  “Catholics” who reject the Magisterium reject the Lord and thereby choose their own path and their own judgment.

Finally, your comment implies condemnation of the entire priesthood based on the heinous actions of a few (who, by the way, would not have been ordained to the priesthood had orthodox Catholic teaching been followed regarding the unsuitability of actively homosexual men to the priesthood – Ordination is a privilege, not a “right” – however that’s another blog post – funny how following the Magisterium can keep us on the right path and out of trouble).  While even one case of sexual abuse is unacceptable, in reality of the tens of thousands of active priests from the 1950s to today, only 1% have been accused of sexual abuse (in fact, children are one hundred times more likely to be abused at the hands of a public school employee than a Catholic priest).  In addition, in many cases, accusations are only coming out years after the accused died, which makes it rather difficult for the accused to present his side of the story.  Along with that, the vast majority of abuse cases in the United States are being filed by one attorney, who has a record of going on “fishing expeditions” in order to find “victims.”  While there are certainly legitimate cases which need to be severally dealt with (and the post-Vatican II Church is far from innocent in not taking the issue seriously – however, I suspect many complaining about Rome today would have accused it of acting “harshly” has it done what it should, when it had should), the fact remains that the vast majority of priests and Bishops stand accused of nothing and more importantly most of them are good, honorable and holy men.

Additionally, Ordination does not create saints.  It creates an instrument, the priest’s hands, through which God works by way of the Holy Spirit to being you the sanctifying grace of the Sacraments.  It’s our job to take care of our priests.  If you know a priest who needs help, it’s your job as a faithful Catholic to help that man.  You will be held accountable by God for doing nothing and will be judged even more harshly for loudly complaining and libeling the entire priesthood.  My friend, I must warn you, as a Christian concerned about the salvation of your soul, your comments give me great concern regarding the path you’re on.

Any Catholic who takes such issue with the entire priesthood needs to enter into serious prayerful reflection instead of condemning the entire priesthood in the “court of public opinion!”  Only God knows what’s in the hearts of these men and it’s up to Him to judge their souls.  St. Peter denied Jesus, his very savior, three times, yet Jesus forgave him – and not only forgave St. Peter, but built His entire Church upon the “rock” of St. Peter, telling us that even the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church.  Instead of looking for ways to dissent from the Truth, I suggest you instead prayerfully seek God’s grace to help you freely surrender your will to His will and seek to live a life of Christian perfection through Jesus Christ in unity with His Church.

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[The following article from Archbishop Carlson is very clear — you cannot support abortion and still claim to be a Catholic.]

Before the Cross | Good Catholics cannot be pro-choice; The Fifth Commandment demands respect for life as God’s most precious gift

By Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
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God’s law in the Old Testament is clear and unambiguous: You shall not kill. Jesus is even more demanding: Every one who is angry is liable to judgment.

Sins against the Fifth Commandment are easy to commit. Any time we think, speak or act out of anger or hatred or jealousy or revenge, we abuse God’s commandment that we respect His most precious gift, the gift of life — especially human life.

Human life is sacred because, from its beginning until its natural end, it involves the creative action of God. The Fifth Commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. God alone is the Lord of life. No one has the right to end arbitrarily what God has begun, and sustained, through the gift of His love.

In the account of Abel’s murder by Cain (Genesis 4:8-12), Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in humankind, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of recorded history. God declares this as wicked, and He asks the question to be answered over the ages: “What have you done?” Today this question is asked not only of those who kill someone, but also of those responsible for violence, anger, hatred and vengeance in any form.

It is a shame that there are so many violent words expressed between members of the same family day in and day out. Anger and intolerance are also pervasive in our Church and in society. Such attitudes are destructive and sinful. They are of the Evil One and not of God.

The Fifth Commandment does not stop someone from self defense, because someone who defends his or her own life is not guilty of murder. Legitimate defense can be not only a right but also a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or the security of a nation. We risk our lives to protect ourselves and others because we value human life and freedom so dearly. They are gifts from God that we are bound to cherish and defend.

Since the first century, the Church has addressed the moral evil of abortion and the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb. People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment. You cannot be “pro-choice” (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing. That’s why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion. We are not being mean or judgmental, we are simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council said, “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes” (“Gaudium et Spes,” No. 51.3). That’s why formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life (see canons 1398,1314, and 1323-1324).

The Fifth Commandment also directs us to work for justice and peace — avoiding war whenever possible — and to limit the use of capital punishment to the most extreme (and rare) circumstances required to protect human life. Only God has the right to take the life of another human being. When we take that action into our own hands — in self-defense or in defense of others — we had better be sure that all other options have been exhausted!

In addition, euthanasia or deliberately taking of the life of someone who is sick, dying, disabled or mentally ill is morally unacceptable. The Church calls for the ordinary care owed to a sick person, but medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous or extraordinary are not necessary. If you are unsure about the moral implications of health care procedures that are being proposed for someone you love, contact your pastor or the archdiocese’s Respect Life Apostolate. They will be happy to help you consider approaches that are in accordance with our Church’s teaching about care for those who are sick or dying.

Taking proper care of our health, respecting others and showing respect for the dead are all matters covered by the Fifth Commandment’s demand that we reverence God’s most precious gift — human life.

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St Vincent of Saragossa

Sunday, January 17 – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (Trad)/2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (New)

St. Anthony the Abbot (356), Founder of Monasticism, Patron of Gravediggers (New, Traditional)

Monday, January 18

St. Prisca (270), Virgin, Martyr (Traditional)

Feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome (Historical)

St. Volusian (496), Bishop (Historical)

Tuesday, January 19

Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax & Abachum (270), parents and two sons, Martyrs (Traditional)

St. Canute (1086), King of Denmark, Martyr (Traditional)

St. Wulstan (1095), Bishop (Historical)

Wednesday, January 20

St. Fabian (250), Priest, Martyr (New, Traditional)

St. Sebastian (288), Martyr, Patron of Soldiers, Archers & Athletes (New, Traditional)

Thursday, January 21

St. Agnes (304), Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of the Children of Mary (New, Traditional)

Friday, January 22 – Day of Penance for the Sin of Abortion

St. Vincent of Saragossa (304), Deacon, Martyr, Patron of Sailors & Winegrowers (New, Traditional)

St. Anastasius (628), Religious, Martyr (Traditional)

Saturday, January 23

St. Raymond of Penafort (1275), Priest, Religious, Patron of Canon Lawyers (Traditional)

St. Emerentiana (304), Virgin, Martyr, Foster-sister of St. Agnes (Traditional)

Espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1 BC) (Historical)

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Catholics need not apply?

Why are we allowing anti-Catholicism to run rampant? Considering 54% of “Catholics” voted for two of the most pro-abortion people ever, I’d say it has something to do with how many “Catholics” are uneducated about the basic teachings and tenants of the faith.  This is not necessarily their fault.  Since the late 1960s, “progressives” have used Vatican II (used it improperly I might emphasize) as an excuse to wage war on everything in the Church they want to change, including killing off traditional, orthodox catechesis.  If people don’t know their faith, how can they live it, little lone defend it? 

It bears repeating that Catholicism is not a religion of man.  It is a religion of God, handed to us directly from Him by His Son, Jesus, and maintained by the succession of popes from St. Peter to Benedict XVI.  Catholicism does not change to suit the whims of man.  Man needs to change to suit the desires and commandments of God.  Thanks to progressive propaganda within the Church and secularist propaganda outside the Church, people today seem to have a very tough time understanding that basic tenant of the faith.  The Truth simply is.  Just because we sometimes don’t want to hear the Truth or don’t like the Truth, that is not an excuse to pretend the Truth does not exist — and it is certainly not an excuse for the presumptuous notion that man can change the Truth to suit his ever-changing whims and tastes. 

I believe it’s also important to point out “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the founding documents of the United States.  It’s a made-up concept instituted by the Supreme Court.  The United States was clearly founded upon Judeo-Christian values and principles.  The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights refers to a prohibition on the creation of a “state religion” akin to something like the Church of England.  It never intended God’s name be banned from the public square.  While spouting off the first ten words of the First Amendment as a lame justification for the so-called “separation of church and state,” the same people conveniently ignore the next six words: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  The founder’s placed no limitation on the free exercise of religion, for example the First Amendment doesn’t say “the free exercise only on Sundays” or “the free exercise only in church.”  Instead, unlike many countries in the world, in the United States, people are free to practice their religion whenever and wherever they want, including practicing no religion if they so choose.  Part of “the free exercise” of your religion includes living in accordance with its tenants and principles — and not being forced by the government to compromise your beliefs

Finally, some people, especially several politicians who pretend to be Catholic, claim they hold deep faith, but would never let their private religious views “interfere” with their public policy decisions or some other such nonsense.  This is a completely ridiculous position and any person claiming it is either a liar or a coward.  If you truly know and love your faith, it shapes your very core, it molds who you are, it provides a deep-seated moral compass guiding your principles, values and actions.  To claim you are a faith-filled person, but that you don’t let your faith interfere with your decisions is clearly an impossible position.  Anyone making such a statement is either lying about being a faithful person in a vain attempt to “play both sides” or the person is a coward who lacks the moral courage to stand up and publically proclaim his values and principles. 

This all leads to the conclusion that Catholics must get educated about their faith, truly live their faith, and equally important, defend their faith!  Anti-Catholic attacks will not stop until Catholics: a) know their faith well enough to provide solid counterarguments, and b) have the moral courage to stand up and speak the Truth. 

Coakley Excludes Devout Catholics From Emergency Rooms  

From InsideCatholic.com:  

by Deal W. Hudson, 1/15/10  

If you wonder if there is any limit to the anti-Catholicism of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians, you should try to get your arms around this story.  

Yesterday, Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, was asked in a radio interview whether doctors and nurses working in a hospital emergency room have religious freedom.  Coakley replied, ” You can have religious freedom, but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”  

No, I didn’t make this up.  The radio host, Ken Pittman, was asking her about her perspective as a “Catholic” on issues like birth control.  Coakley immediately went with her dissenting, reflex reaction of insisting on a “separation of Church and State.”  The conversation descended from there into the pit of puerile anti-Catholicism.  

If politicians like Coakley are put in charge of “health care reform,” the day may come when orthodox Catholics will be excluded from any medical services where they might decide not to provide an abortion, prescribe contraception, or euthanize a suffering patient.  

Our country needs to wake up and realize the centrality of attitudes like Coakley to the entire health care debate!  Coakley’s attitude is representative of dissenting Catholics in Congress from Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) to Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to Rep. DeLauro (D-CT).  

It was only a short while ago Pelosi was lecturing us, in good ninth-grade fashion, on how the Church’s teaching on abortion was a denial — yes, I said a “denial,” of free will.  

Please, please realize it’s as bad as it appears to be — there are no excuses for this kind of ignorant comments.  After all, Martha Coakley is the attorney general — imagine that! — of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Doesn’t that position require some modicum of detachment from one’s own personal prejudices?  

Coakley’s willingness to use her political power against orthodox Catholics serving in the medical profession should be a wake-up call.

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Archbishop Listecki

Praise be to God!  More and more Bishops are finding the moral courage to stand up unequivocally in support of Church teaching.  Archbishop Listecki captures the point so clearly: you can call yourself whatever you want, but if you refuse to follow the teachings of the Church you are not Catholic no matter how loudly you claim to be Catholic.

The Catholic Church is not about the people.  It is about God.  The Church does not change to suit the whims of man.  Man needs to change to suit his Creator.  This is a fundamental point so many “Catholics” fail to understand today.  They want the Church to be a “come as you are” affair and think they can pick and choose which articles of faith they want to follow – and think if they don’t like something, the Church needs to change it to suit their tastes.  This is an absurd position, which as the Archbishop says, “…is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess.”

Instead of demanding the Church change to suit our tastes, we need to pray for God’s grace to mold ourselves in accordance with His plan for us.  We need to partake regularly of the Sacraments – especially the often neglected Sacrament of Confession, and pray frequently, in particular the Rosary of Our Lady.

MILWAUKEE, December 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, has responded to a campaign by “Young Catholics for Choice” to promote use of contraception and abortion among Catholic youth. 

Using media advertising the group is, says the Archbishop-Designate, “attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing.”  However, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like ‘Young Catholics for Choice’ in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called,” added the archbishop.

Using language first employed by Catholic dissenters to Humanae Vitae, YCFC calls on Catholics to use an “informed conscience” to decide to use birth control and the morning-after-pill, also called “emergency contraception.”

 Their ad campaign states: “Young Catholics are having sex. We are using contraception and condoms. We are having abortions. We are bisexual, gay, lesbian, straight and transgender. And none of this makes us any less Catholic than conservative Catholics who speak out against us.

“The truth is, they don’t represent what the majority of Catholics – especially those of us in our 20s and 30s – think about sex. It comes down to Catholic teaching on conscience. Basically, every individual has the right and responsibility to follow his or her own conscience – and respect others’ right to do the same. With conscience and respect, good Catholic sex is not only possible, it’s already happening. ”

The group, claiming to be a youth wing of “Catholics for Choice,” admits that it’s mandate is to “take action to counter the bishops’ impact both in the United States and around the world. ”

Archbishop Listecki concluded his statement calling for prayers for the YCFC members.  “We pray that they may reconcile their position which is contrary to the Catholic Faith they claim to profess.” (source)

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