Archive for Religion

UN blasts parental consent laws for abortion

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Catholic World News reports that:

The United Nations Population Fund has issued its annual State of World Population report.

The report decried barriers to adolescent “reproductive health” care, including laws that require parental consent for contraception or abortion. The report also lamented the influence of religious organizations in opposing “comprehensive sexuality education” and criticized religious leaders and parents for regulating “access to information and services.”

Parental consent laws in the U.S. Vary by state and leads to a situation where some states, like Maryland, require parental consent for a minor to use a tanning bed but not to have an abortion.

This story comes on the heels of reports that two other UN bodies, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge.

Pope Francis: Children have right to grow up with a father & mother

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Catholic News Agency

Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that “the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.”

The Pope made these remarks on Nov. 17 at the opening of the three-day international, interfaith colloquium entitled The Complementarity of Man and Woman, currently underway in the Vatican.

More from the pontiff:

“The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation,” the Holy Father continued, stressing the importance of marriage in the raising of children.

“Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity,” he said.

The pope also seemingly criticized the gay “marriage” movement:

He also warned against being moved by political agendas. “Family is an anthropological fact, he said, which cannot be qualified “based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history.”

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, had the following to say:

“We have this very beautiful idea, an image that the relationship between man and woman is an image of God,” he said. “In this sense, in the Catholic Church, the marriage between husband and wife is a Sacrament. This Sacramental issue is very important for us.”

The pope’s comments don’t fit the narrative the secular media has crafted about him to fit their agenda. Like his recent comments on abortion, they will either ignore them or misreport them.

Report: WHO/UNICEF sterilized Kenyan women without their knowledge

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Catholic World News:

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have revealed that young women have been sterilized without their knowledge as part of a vaccination campaign sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Over 2 million young women in Kenya have been vaccinated as part of the international campaign, which was promoted as a drive against tetanus. However, in October the Kenyan bishops expressed fears that the vaccine being administered to young women also contained a sterilizing agent. The bishops told the Fides news agency that “we are convinced it is a masked program of population control.”

Now tests has confirmed that the vaccine contains HCG, a hormone ordinarily produced by women during pregnancy. When HCG is taken prior to pregnancy, it causes the woman’s body to manufacture antibodies that will cause miscarriage in future pregnancies.

Testing multiple samples of the tetanus vaccine, Catholic health-care workers found HCG contained in every one. The tests were taken after health-care workers noticed that the vaccine was being administered differently to women of child-bearing age.

Of course, Kenyan officials deny it.

Is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown?

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I will start by noting that I am not going to answer the question in the title. I am going to note what has been said about the subject by much more eloquent writers than me and let the reader decide. Additionally, Anthony Brown is a placeholder in the subject line, so if you’re not in Maryland, like I am, you should substitute any other pro-abortion politician on the ballot Tuesday.

I’ll begin by urging Catholics to make the sacrament of Reconciliation a regular part of their lives if it isn’t already. Before you go to confession you should do a good examination of your conscience. One online examination of conscience asks the person examining their conscience if they “supported or voted for a politician whose positions are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” I’ll also note that two smartphone apps used for examining your conscience, both Confession and Mea Culpa, include certain voting behavior among their lists of sins. Specifically, the Confession app asks the user if they have “supported or voted for a politician whose teachings are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” The Mea Culpa app explicitly calls “voting for someone who is pro abortion” a Mortal Sin. (For anyone reading this who needs a quick primer on the definitions of mortal sin and venial sin, check out the very easy to read discussion at Catholicism for Dummies.)

I recently wrote the following:

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause. Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Anthony Brown got a D from the Maryland Catholic Conference on this issue and told them:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

He also told the conference he supports a discussion on physician assisted suicide, but that he voted against a ban on it as a legislator.

Brown is a Catholic but he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I previously discussed the obligations Catholic elected officials have on life issues in the primaries.

Yes, there are other issues of importance to Catholics, but, as Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

If you already voted for a candidate who supported abortion in early voting, whether here in Maryland or another state, you should also examine your conscience as well.

A Catholic’s Prayer on Reformation Day

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Via Catholicism.org:

O Mary, Mother of mercy and Refuge of sinners, we beseech thee, be pleased to look with pitiful eyes upon poor heretics and schismatics. Thou who art the Seat of Wisdom, enlighten the minds that are miserably enfolded in the darkness of ignorance and sin, that they may clearly know that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church is the one true Church of Jesus Christ, outside of which neither holiness nor salvation can be found. Finish the work of their conversion by obtaining for them the grace to accept all the truths of our Holy Faith, and to submit themselves to the supreme Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth; that so, being united with us in the sweet chains of divine charity, there may soon be only one fold under the same one shepherd; and may we all, O glorious Virgin, sing forever with exultation: Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, thou only hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world. Amen.

Here’s what Francis J. Beckwith wrote in 2010:

Since returning to the Catholic Church in late April 2007, I find Reformation Day has taken on a different meaning than when I stood on the other side of the Tiber. Nevertheless, even as a Protestant, my enthusiasm for October 31 never rose higher than modest appreciation for what I thought were Luther’s, and later Calvin’s, significant contributions in helping Western Christians to retrieve what had been lost. I say “modest appreciation,” since it always seemed to me rather unseemly to get too excited about schism and mutual charges of apostasy and heresy. It would be like celebrating the tenth anniversary of your divorce. You may think that the divorce was a good idea, but not because you think divorce itself is the proper end of a marriage.

Luther himself, though excommunicated, never saw his movement as anything more than a renewal movement within the Church. We, of course, know now that the movement he started had a life of its own, resulting in scores of different and often conflicting understandings of Scripture, sacrament, and Church, and each finding something in Christianity’s traditions to challenge.

More from Beckwith:

It is not surprising, then, why it is sometimes difficult for both Protestants and Catholics to think of ecclesial unity as the proper state of Christ’s Church. Because we are modern people, we tend to think of the Church as a collection of individual choosers, each with his own autonomy that may not legitimately be subject to something outside itself without good reason. That is, we assume that the burden of proving the necessity of ecclesial unity is not on the individual believer, but rather on the corporate entity that demands his allegiance. The Church, in that sense, becomes the enemy of faith, an unwelcome intruder into the believer’s pious solitude. For the modern mind, it would be like the commodity choosing the buyer, since religion, like sex and commerce, is just another act between consenting adults, which by implication makes the authority of creeds the doctrinal equivalent of annoying chaperones.

Ironically, this sort of mindset, which sees schism as proper and unity as unnatural, is one of the conceptual catalysts that helped lead me back to the Catholic Church. For I began to see that the whole idea of theology as something that is mine to choose – like a pair of slacks that I can have tailored for my own specifications – was precisely the problem. As long as “Church” was something that was under me rather than me under it, I was doomed to a life of ecclesiastical promiscuity despite my best efforts to practice safe sects.

Maryland Catholics, Voting, and Abortion

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I recently wrote this piece for a newsletter for the Knights of Columbus Council I am a member of (and Culture of Life Committee co-chairman.)

November 4 is Election Day and here in Maryland we will go to the polls to vote for state and local officials as well as members of Congress. As Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause.  Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Another positive step that could be taken in the executive branch of state government would be for a new governor to order the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to keep track of the number of abortions performed in Maryland every year. Those statistics have not been calculated since the current governor took office.

When pro-life Catholics vote based on the principles of their faith, they help elect government officials who will respect their wishes and start the ball rolling on incremental change that will ultimately lead to big changes.

As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in Living the Gospel of Life, “[t]he Gospel of Life must be proclaimed, and human life defended, in all places and all times.  The arena for moral responsibility includes not only the halls of government, but the voting booth as well.”

Besides voting, we need to continue to pray for our elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. We need to be especially sure to pray for the ones who are pro-abortion – that their hearts may be changed on the issue.

For more information on candidates and their views, visit the Maryland Right to Life website and the website of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Columbus sought gold to fund crusade to retake Jerusalem from Muslims?

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A Columbia magazine interview with Carol Delaney detailed her background:

[A] cultural anthropologist and long-time professor at Stanford University, had little knowledge or interest in Columbus — that is, until she was teaching a course called “Millennial Fever” at Stanford in 1999 and came across a reference to the explorer’s apocalyptic beliefs. Delaney was intrigued and set out to research Columbus at Brown University in the summer of 2003. Two years later, she retired from Stanford to devote herself to research, which launched a remarkable journey in the footsteps of the explorer.

The same interview discusses Delaney’s book, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America.

From the interview:

Everybody knows that Columbus was trying to find gold, but they don’t know what the gold was for: to fund a crusade to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims before the end of the world. A lot of people at the time thought that the apocalypse was coming because of all the signs: the plague, famine, earthquakes and so forth. And it was believed that before the end, Jerusalem had to be back in Christian hands so that Christ could return in judgment. Columbus actually calculated how many years were left before the end of the world. He seemed to think of his whole voyage as a mission, which was part of this apocalyptic scenario.

Delaney also discusses Columbus wanting to evangelize and convert the natives after they were instructed in the faith properly. She points out that Columbus thought he could convert the Grand Khan of China to Christianity and that his forces could march on Jerusalem from the east. She also wrote about Columbus ordering his men to treat the natives with respect.

Delaney’s assessment of Columbus and his successes:

He was angry with King Ferdinand for not pursuing the crusade, and he recognized that terrible crimes had been committed. From this point of view, he felt the quest was a failure. In reality, it was a major accomplishment. Columbus went across the ocean four times in small wooden ships, without the use of modern instruments. In the process, he discovered the New World, even though he thought that he had found only the periphery of Asia.

 

From a review of Delaney’s book:

Delaney argues that Columbus was inspired to find a western route to the Orient not only to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown but primarily to fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the world—a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Drawing from oft-ignored sources, some from Columbus’s own hand, Delaney depicts her subject as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and tells the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour. Showing Columbus in the context of his times rather than through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests reveals a man who was neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem is not an apologist’s take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy.

Collins: Why I Will No Longer Sign Charleston County Marriage Licenses

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This originally appeared at Drew’s Views and is cross-posted here.

With the news today that Charleston County Probate Judge Irving Condon will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, I have decided that I will no longer sign marriage licenses issued by his office. Although I actually live in Berkeley County, where the authorities are not unilaterally defying the Constitution of South Carolina , the parish that I serve is located in Charleston County.

When I read of his decision I seriously considered engaging in civil disobedience — of officiating at weddings regardless of whether or not the couple had a license or not. While some clergy will include phrases like “By the authority vested in me by the State of South Carolina…” when pronouncing a new couple man and wife, I’ve never done so in the marriages at which I have officiated in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas, for several reasons, among them: 1. I am a Minister of the Gospel and get my authority from the Church, not from the State; and 2. Those words are not contained in the Book of Common Prayer . A cursory check of the Book of Common Prayer and the various Constitutions and Canons to which I am accountable revealed the following:.

The Book of Common Prayer of the Reformed Episcopal Church contains the following, identical to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
The laws respecting Matrimony, whether by publishing the Banns in
churches, or by License, being different in the several States, every
Minister is left to the direction of those laws, in every thing that
regards the civil contract between the parties.
And when the Banns are published, it shall be in the following form:
I publish the Banns of Marriage between N. of ___, and N. of ___. If any
of you know cause, or just impediment, why these two persons should not
be joined together in holy Matrimony, ye are to declare it. This is the first
(second or third) time of asking. — Rubrics at the end of the form for the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony
Ministers of this Church shall be careful to observe the law of the State or Province governing the civil
contract of marriage in the place where the service shall be performed, and they shall conform to the laws of this
Church governing the solemnization of HolyMatrimony.– Canon 34, Section 1
The Clergy shall ascertain that the man and woman, parties to the marriage, have a valid marriage license. — Title III, Canon 7, Section 3, Article 4
I am a priest under authority and while the extent to which I care whether or not the government of Charleston County has licensed a marriage that I officiate has been dramatically diminished by this foolhardiness, I have to respect the law of the Church. It’s worth noting that even if I were inclined to conduct a same-sex union — and I’m not — I am forbidden to do so by the Canons of both the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America and, in fact, my Diocese unanimous passed a resolution clarifying that just last month.

I won’t sign licenses issued by Charleston County because of what happens when a clergyman does so — something of which few people are aware. When I officiate a wedding I do so as an officer of the Church, but when the service is over and I gather with the newly married couple and witnesses and sign the license I have actually taken off my clerical hat (my Canterbury cap?) and donned that of an ex officio marriage registrar, performing duties authorized as a courtesy by the State. My fear — and I don’t think it unreasonable in light of some court decisions in recent litigation — is that I could potentially be opening myself up to action if I refused to perform that duty for same-sex couples. Because of that, I’ll require couples in Charleston County and any other jurisdictions that have granted same-sex marriage licences to provide me a copy of a license signed by a judge, notary public, or some other civil official before I’ll officiate at the religious service.

Alan Wilson, the Attorney General of South Carolina has announced his intentions to seek a stay from the South Carolina Supreme Court  to prevent Judge Condon from issuing these licences; I hope that he is successful — the coming days will certainly be interesting to watch as this plays out.

Report: Video shows beheading of British hostage Alan Henning

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Associated Press/WPIX:

An Internet video purports to show an Islamic State group fighter beheading British hostage Alan Henning.

The video was released Friday night. It mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq.

The video ended with an Islamic State fighter threatening a man they identified as an American.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos.

The barbarism continues from the “Religion of Peace.”

Top Stories from The Quinton Report in September 2014

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Here are the top 10 stories for September based on readership:

  1. Trade in your Ray Rice jersey for a free pizza
  2. Parody video targets Ray Rice in “Video Killed the Ravens Big Star”
  3. Video shows apparent beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff
  4. Natty Boh, PBR now owned by Russian company
  5. Top golf courses rejected Obama over Labor Day Weekend
  6. Did a MD GOP candidate lie about having a college degree?
  7. Bedbugs give some MD state employees the day off
  8. Police: Former WWE Wrestler Sean O’Haire committed suicide
  9. Canonization process for Archbishop Fulton Sheen halted
  10. Did FSU’s Jameis Winston punch an opponent?