Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas & To All a Good Condom!

I hope everyone reading this has a great Christmas. Try to stay calm if you are visiting annoying family and/or friends. There is a spike in heart attacks this time of year, which means the wait at the hospital will be longer if you have one. Don't forget to pray.

The New Roman Missal will be going into effect next Advent. The conservatives are continuing to win the small liturgical battles, but a bright spot on the ecclesiastical horizon was the pope's words regarding condoms. Basically, in this AIDS dangerous world that we live in, if you are having sex with someone who might have AIDS, wear a condom. For a closer analysis, see my blog from a couple entries ago.

A couple of days ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican put out a statement clarifying that the Pope's comments about condoms does not mean that condoms are okay to wear for the primary purpose of preventing pregnancy. Some conservatives are worried that now that the Pope okayed condoms to combat AIDS in certain circumstances, that he has created a slippery slope. And they are right!

The pope made clear that condoms are not bad in and of themselves, it is the primary purpose that counts. Right now the Pope does not see overpopulation as a problem, but when the Vatican realizes that close to 7 billion people is more than the planet should have to put up with, then we will see a Pope stating that condoms are legitimate for combating excessive population growth. In morality, Benedict is steering us in the right direction, even if he is not there yet on all the important moral issues of our day.

A Faithful Catholic

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Marian Apparitions Near Green Bay...

This past week on December 8th, Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay stated that the Marian apparitions to Adele Brise in Champion, WI in 1859 are worthy of belief. This does not mean that anyone is required to belief in them as a tenet of the Catholic faith or that they hold anything necessary for salvation. They are simply available as an aid for anyone who wishes to make use of them.

According to the shrine's web site, the message that Mary told Adele the one time that she spoke to her was: I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning, and that is well. But you must do more. Make a general confession, and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them... Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation... Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you."

The message seems simple enough. I am wary of any message that speak of Jesus punishing, but hell there are a number of different ways to understand hell. As should be evident from previous posts, I am not a big fan of Marian devotion, but I find no need to ridicule devotion that is within reasonable bounds and apparitions whose messages are benign. The comments to the article on this topic on JSonline are simply terrible and mean-spirited. As when the message was supposedly given, it is important for Catholics to remember that more is required in being faithful than receiving Communion. I think it is also more important than ever to teach our children the faith. Not, of course, in the way that many of my conservative blogger counterparts would, but in a manner that truly brings faith and reason together. One day, I will have to check out this site in Champion. If anyone reading this has visited the place, I would love to read your remarks.

A Faithful Catholic