For those who know me, they know that when I have not blogged in a while, that means health issues are kicking in. Things seem to be more stable now, at last.
Obviously, the biggest Catholic news is the mandate which the Administration of President Obama tried to force onto Catholic institutions of all kinds. At last, people are hearing why the Church opposes contraception.
Pope Paul VI predicted that if the contraceptive mentality was allowed to take over in the minds of the Catholic faithful and clergy, that it would lead to pushes for abortion, sterilization, sexual objectification of women, “recreational” sexual activity, and, as the respect for human life would decay, euthanasia. All are now present in Western society. And our society is one that has been steadily pushing itself out of existence, with negative birth rates, due to both contraceptives and abortions. Western Europe and Russia are both disappearing. American people congratulate themselves with a barely working birth rate, but it is solely due to immigration, legal and illegal. There have been 53 million surgical abortions and an estimated 4-5 million pharmaceutical ones in the US since 1973; the graying of America as baby boomers age is directly linked to the lack of descendants from the baby boomers.
The best links to follow for the news on all of this are:
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, sometimes a voice crying in the wilderness and lampooned by many for “alleged threats” to religious liberty. You open the door to something like this, and that door will be thrown wide open: look at what the communists did so successfully, and what the Nazis tried to do to the German and Austrian Churches. His blog: http://blog.archny.org/
The speech of His Holiness to our bishops: absolutely prophetic as to the attitude in the US, and what was coming our way:
Population Research Institute: sign up for their weekly newsletter. Learn the truth about what is being done elsewhere with our money to sterilize women, usually Catholic women, and the myths of overpopulation. It is an eye-opener, believe me.
See what has been done to China with the one-child policy: 10 million Chinese men have no chance of getting married, and they already face a graying workforce that has no social security, medicare, health insurance, or any other protection. Oh, and some of it is done with our dollars. Vice President Biden and President Obama have both given in to this atrocity at different times.
Claims about the mandate and responses: Kathryn Lopez. http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/292569/debunking-hhs-mandate-myths-kathryn-jean-lopez
The accomodation: horse feathers, as Colonel Potter of M*A*S*H used to say. Actually the word smokescreen is better.
See the open letter which was started by Jon Garvey (Catholic University), Mary Ann Glendon (former ambassador and Learned Hand Professor @ Harvard), Robert P. George (Princeton), O. Carter Snead (Notre Dame) and Yuval Levin (Ethics and Public Policy Center): http://ststephenparish.blogspot.com/2012/02/unacceptable-accomodation-hhs-mandate.html
I am not a raging right wing patriarchal nut case who wants women barefoot and pregnant. I am a priest, and a Catholic man and historian, who sees this intrusion as dangerous, and in line with bad historical precedents. Part of the responsibility for this whole mess and groups like Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Health Association and some Catholic journals liking this dumb accomodation is, I must say along with a bunch of Catholic commentators, the result of 40 years of bad catechesis, shirking from discussing sexual issues at all, failure by the Church to fund and explain Natural Family Planning as a source of marital strength, and thus leaving the faithful hanging with darn little to cling to. So, there are two good results:
a. for a while, everybody was on the same page of united opposition to this mandate; and b. Church teaching on abortifacents, contraception, and sterilization is finally being articuclated. The media does not want to do this articulation, but they have to do at least something in order to give some credence to being balanced. I hope and pray that this will work out well. And if the government continues to push harder and harder, then my fears about shoving the door open further will come true. And we’d best be all united then for sure.