We should always pray and never give up!  

A Safe Harbor is Jesus

I love this parable of the persistent widow how she never gave up praying. Have you ever had your back against the wall ? Where you thought you would never get out of a horrible situation you were in. Emotionally, you were a mess. Maybe that is where you find yourself at this moment, then this passage should speak to you to pray and never give up.

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.”Luke18:1

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Religion: Thick & Thin…. rebogged

 

 Religion: Thick & Thin reblogged
Religion: Thick and Thin

David Carlin

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017

I am an old man – old enough to have vivid memories of what American Catholicism was like prior to the end of Vatican II (1965). {Me too but I’m only an OLDER 72 yers ld Catholic mns} If I were asked to give a very short summary of the differences between the pre-V2 and post-V2 versions of American Catholicism, I would say the former was a “thick” religion while the latter is a “thin” religion. And I would add that thick religions are “hard” while thin religions are “easy.” So pre-V2 Catholicism was thick and hard, while present-day American Catholicism is thin and easy.

To be sure, the pre-Vatican II religion wasn’t the thickest of American religions. The religion of the Amish was much thicker; and so was the religion of the Hasidic Jews. Nor is the post-Vatican II religion the thinnest of American religions. The religions of mainline Protestant denominations are thinner, and they grow thinner and thinner all the time as they grow more and more liberal.

What made Catholicism thick in the old days?

Doctrine. In the old days Catholics used to believe all the articles of the Nicene Creed plus a few other doctrines (for instance, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist). Now, it’s not that modern Catholics disbelieve in the Creed, and certainly the Church has not officially repudiated a single article of the Creed. But post-V2 American Catholics don’t think articles of belief are especially important. What’s important in religion is being good. As long as you’re good, it doesn’t really matter very much what you believe. And you can receive Communion on a weekly basis without troubling your mind about the vexed theological question of transubstantiation.

 Catholics, when doing an examination of conscience, had to ask himself or herself questions about many topics. Am I chaste when it comes to sex? Am I temperate when it comes to drink? Do I give my employer an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay? Am I honest in paying my taxes? Do I avoid profanity in speech? And more. Today’s Catholics make a much briefer examination of conscience, for there is only a single question: Do I love my neighbor as myself?

 Polytheism (or something like it). Catholicism, of course, teaches that there is only one God, the Trinitarian God. But the traditional Catholic veneration of saints, above all the Virgin Mary, bears a resemblance to the polytheism of the ancient Greek and Roman world. The official Catholic teaching has always been that all the saints can do for us is to pray to God on our behalf. But in practice pre-V2 Catholics often believed that saints, if prayed to in the right way and if in the right mood, could work miracles for us; the saints were in effect minor gods. Post-V2 Catholics no longer have much interest in the saints – except of course for Mother Teresa and Francis of Assisi, who can serve as good examples to us even though they are not so godlike as to be able to make miracles.

Miracles. In the old days, Catholics readily believed in stories of miracles. And not just miracles that happened in famous places like Fatima and Lourdes, but miracles that happened in one’s neighborhood or in one’s family. And Catholics loved to be in close physical proximity to holy pictures, holy statues, holy candles, rosary beads, miraculous medals, holy water, etc.

Laws – lots of them that had to be obeyed, some of them God-made, some Church-made. You had to avoid meat on Fridays. You had to abstain from food and drink (even water) after midnight on a day in which you intended to receive Communion at Mass. You had to go to Confession before receiving Communion.

Chastity. If unmarried, you had to abstain from fornication. If married, you had to abstain from contraception. Of course, the Catholic Church still officially considers fornication and contraception sins –mortal sins. But among younger American Catholics, fornication has been demoted from the rank of mortal sin to the rank of venial sin, if not non-sin. And among married Catholics contraception has been kicked out of the category of sin altogether. It is now a virtue.

Community. And then there was the importance of staying as much as possible inside the Catholic community – the “ghetto” as it was often called. You should go to a Catholic school and college. You should read Catholic magazines and books. You should join Catholic social clubs. Above all, you should marry inside the Church. Don’t marry Protestants or other non-Catholics. And if (God forbid) you do, the wedding won’t take place inside a church; and the non-Catholic will first have to promise to bring up the children as Catholic.

Well, those were the “good old days” – and now they are gone, gone with the wind. Will they ever return? It’s awfully hard to believe they will.

But unless it once again becomes something like the old thick religion, American Catholicism will continue to shrink and shrink and shrink. It will become less and less important in American life. A religion that was once on the verge of becoming the single most important religious factor in our national life will become little more than a hole-in-the-corner religion. It will never be able to flourish if it continues to be what it is now, a “thin” and “easy” religion. If it is ever to flourish in this country, it will once again have to become what all flourishing religions are, both “thick” and “hard.”

Am I hopeful? Yes. One must never give up hope.

Am I optimistic? No. One must be realistic.

© 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

David Carlin

David Carlin is professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

 

“Religion: Thick & Thin” reblogged

 Miracles. In the old days, Catholics readily believed in stories of miracles. And not just miracles that happened in famous places like Fatima and Lourdes, but miracles that happened in one’s neighborhood or in one’s family. And Catholics loved to be in close physical proximity to holy pictures, holy statues, holy candles, rosary beads, miraculous medals, holy water, etc.

 

 

Laws – lots of them that had to be obeyed, some of them God-made, some Church-made. You had to avoid meat on Fridays. You had to abstain from food and drink (even water) after midnight on a day in which you intended to receive Communion at Mass. You had to go to Confession before receiving Communion.

 

 

Chastity. If unmarried, you had to abstain from fornication. If married, you had to abstain from contraception. Of course, the Catholic Church still officially considers fornication and contraception sins –mortal sins. But among younger American Catholics, fornication has been demoted from the rank of mortal sin to the rank of venial sin, if not non-sin. And among married Catholics contraception has been kicked out of the category of sin altogether. It is now a virtue.

 

 

Community. And then there was the importance of staying as much as possible inside the Catholic community – the “ghetto” as it was often called. You should go to a Catholic school and college. You should read Catholic magazines and books. You should join Catholic social clubs. Above all, you should marry inside the Church. Don’t marry Protestants or other non-Catholics. And if (God forbid) you do, the wedding won’t take place inside a church; and the non-Catholic will first have to promise to bring up the children as Catholic.

 

 

Well, those were the “good old days” – and now they are gone, gone with the wind. Will they ever return? It’s awfully hard to believe they will.

But unless it once again becomes something like the old thick religion, American Catholicism will continue to shrink and shrink and shrink. It will become less and less important in American life. A religion that was once on the verge of becoming the single most important religious factor in our national life will become little more than a hole-in-the-corner religion. It will never be able to flourish if it continues to be what it is now, a “thin” and “easy” religion. If it is ever to flourish in this country, it will once again have to become what all flourishing religions are, both “thick” and “hard.”

Am I hopeful? Yes. One must never give up hope.

Am I optimistic? No. One must be realistic.

© 2017 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

David Carlin

David Carlin is professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

 

“It Is Sometimes Necessary to Risk Giving Offense” by Msgr Charles Pope

It Is Sometimes Necessary to Risk Giving Offense

Msgr. Charles Pope • February 22, 2017 •

We live in times when many people take offense very easily. While this may have been a human problem seen in all ages, it is particularly evident today, when relativism and subjectivism are so widespread. Relativism is essentially a form of subjectivism. In subjectivism, the measure of truth shifts from the object (i.e., that which is being perceived) to the subject (i.e., the one who is perceiving). In this system, truth becomes relative, because there are as many versions of truth as there are subjects to perceive it. In this highly subjective perception of reality, people tend to take their own views very personally and are easily offended by views contrary to their own.

Over time we have seen how subjectivism has given rise to “identity politics.” No longer does a person say that he holds liberal views; rather he says, “I am a liberal.” No longer does a person say that he struggles with same-sex attraction; rather he says, “I am ‘gay’.” Views and interpretations are no longer merely philosophies, paradigms, or tendencies through which a person interprets things. Rather, the cry goes up, “This is who I am. If you disagree or even worse seek to refute my viewpoint, you are offensive and hurtful. By disagreeing with me you are attacking me; you are a hater. You are an enemy whom I must fear and must keep at a distance lest you do me harm.” So-called “safe zones” on college campuses are an extreme outcome of this. In identity politics, the mere questioning of one’s views amounts to a personal assault that may cause lasting harm to the psyche!

We have also seen how relativism and subjectivism have led to the shaming and silencing of politically incorrect views, especially those based on traditional biblical faith. Too many Christians have allowed themselves to be silenced by accusations such as this common one: “You are judging me.” Never mind that the conversation is about a moral issue or a particular behavior, not about “you.” Identity politics says, “I am my behavior, therefore your contrary view hurts me; this makes you a bad and offensive person.”

No one (other than a sociopath) deliberately tries to hurt or offend others. Many Christians have been effectively silenced by the fear of causing offense, even if there is no reason for offense to be taken. As our fearful silence has spread, the moral darkness has grown ever deeper.

Volumes could be written to address the problems associated with subjectivism and relativism. St. Thomas Aquinas provided a cogent response to the issue of so easily taking offense in his Summa Theologica:

It was foretold (Isaiah 8:14) that Christ would be “for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to the two houses of Israel.”

The salvation of the multitude is to be preferred to the peace of any individuals whatsoever. Consequently, when certain ones, by their perverseness, hinder the salvation of the multitude, the preacher and the teacher should not fear to offend those men, in order that he may insure the salvation of the multitude. Now the Scribes and Pharisees and the princes of the Jews were by their malice a considerable hindrance to the salvation of the people, both because they opposed themselves to Christ’s doctrine, which was the only way to salvation, and because their evil ways corrupted the morals of the people. For which reason our Lord, undeterred by their taking offense, publicly taught the truth which they hated, and condemned their vices. Hence we read that when the disciples of our Lord said, Dost Thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? He answered, Let them alone: they are blind and leaders of the blind; and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit (Matthew 15:12,14).

A man ought so to avoid giving offense, as neither by wrong deed or word to be the occasion of anyone’s downfall. “But if scandal arise from truth, the scandal should be borne rather than the truth be set aside” as Gregory says (Hom. vii in Ezech.).

[Summa Theologica III, Question 42, Article 2 ….  END QUOTES

“Tghe Anatomy of Original Sin” by Msgr. Charles Pope: blogged

The Anatomy of Original Sin

Msgr. Charles Pope • February 12, 2017 •

Last week we explored the creation accounts of Genesis, finishing with the account of original sin, that committed by Adam and Eve. Today and tomorrow I’d like to examine original sin more closely. Today, I’ll present the stages of sin that are manifested in Adam’s and Eve’s struggle.

Many tend to describe original sin merely as the eating of a forbidden fruit. While this accurate, it is incomplete and leads many to wonder why all this trouble came just from eating a piece of fruit. I believe it is helpful to consider the sin of Adam and Eve more richly. While the eating of the fruit is an external act, like any human act it proceeds from the heart and admits of some complexity.

I will use this passage from the Book of James to help frame our reflections. It describes the stages of sin:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:13-15).

From this, we can distinguish the following stages of sin:

  1. The lure of temptation
  2. The engagement of desire
  3. The conception of sin
  4. The birth of sin
  5. Spiritual death

When we examine the sin of Adam and Eve we can see these stages at work.

Preamble – God had put Adam in the garden even before Eve was created:

The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden in order to have him work it and guard it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen 2:15-17).

Adam’s task was to work the garden and also to guard (keep watch over) the Garden. There was also a boundary that God told Adam not to cross related to the tree. God does not explain why, but simply notes the danger and asks Adam to trust Him.

Adam is to tend, till, and trust. As we shall see, Adam fell short in two of these, and they are aspects of what we have come to call original sin.

  1. The Lure of Temptation– The story opens with the description of the serpent, the most cunning of all the wild creatures God had made (Genesis 3:1). While most of us imagine a snake of some sort, that description is given only afterGod curses Satan, who is allegorically represented by this creature. Exactly what this creature looked like before the fall is not stated, and hence we need not imagine a talking snake. Whatever creature Satan made use of (or whatever creature the author of Genesis allegorically made use of), it is representative of the way in which Satan interacts with Eve.

Cunning and subtle, Satan uses intellectual arguments to appeal to aspects of what would later come to be called pride and sensuality. He also seeks to undermine her trust in God’s goodness.

Satan begins by attempting to make God seem unreasonable, suggesting that He had forbidden them to eat from any of the trees in the Garden. Eve easily deals with this temptation and dismisses it, correctly stating that it is only one tree that has been proscribed. This is a common tactic of Satan’s even today: presenting God as unreasonable, demanding too many things and forbidding too much. This accusation wholly ignores the fact that God has given incredible liberty to the human person, who, unlike any other creature except the Angels, is permitted to say no to God.

Satan’s second attack is more successful. He declares that God is not telling them the truth. In effect, he says that God (who has given them everything) is holding something very important back from them. Satan argues that God is restraining them from being the gods they deserve to be. In effect, he says, “Why do you let anyone have power over you? Why do you let anyone tell you what to do? Why do you not instead say, ‘I will do what I want to do and I will decide whether it is right or wrong’?” Satan appeals to their incredible pride by saying, “You will be gods!”

And thus Eve is in the first stage of sin, the lure of temptation. One may well wonder where Adam is. Satan has been talking to Eve, but where is Adam? The text says that he is right there with her! (Gen 3:6)

Now here’s a problem integral to Adam’s sin. He was told, among other things, to guard the garden, to keep watch over it. It is arguable whether he could have prevented Satan from being there at all (he probably could not), but surely he could have tried to protect and guard his wife! Satan is there and Adam says and does nothing. He does not try to ward off the evil one, nor does he assist his wife in resisting the tempting thoughts. No, he stands quietly by. Adam is a passive husband here.

As the head of his family, Adam was obligated to come to his wife’s aid, to protect her, to assist her in this grave temptation and threat. But the text reports him doing nothing but standing quietly by. Indeed, Adam is so unobtrusive that when I point out the sixth verse, which says he was with Eve, people are surprised. Even many a passive husband would intervene if he were to see some strange individual speaking to his wife.

“But Father, but Father! Are you saying that Adam already sinned even before original sin was committed?” No, not necessarily. The point here is that original sin is more complicated than merely biting into a piece of fruit. Like many sins, it has layers. Adam may not yet have sinned, but his silence is surely puzzling; indeed, it is troubling. It is not a sin to be tempted (even Jesus was tempted), but to do nothing in the face of temptation is to at least open the door to the next stage of sin.

  1. The Engagement of Desire The text says, the woman saw the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise(Genesis 3:6).

Temptation is a thought that either occurs to us or is presented to us by another. If I were to say to you, “Why don’t we go down to the corner store and rob it?” I have simply presented you with a thought or proposed course of action, which may or may not appeal to you. Temptation of itself is merely a thought.

In the second stage of sin, the tempting thoughts of Satan stir up Eve’s desires. The fruit engages her sensual desires; it looks tasty and delights the eyes. It also engages her intellectual desires, for it has been described to her as a source of empowering wisdom.

Thus, temptation moves from being a mere thought to becoming a kind of force or power. Eve’s desires have been engaged and ignited. Things are a bit more difficult. A purely intellectual response will not be enough, the will must be engaged in such a way that the desires can be curbed and subject to truth and right reason. Either she will obey God (who has given her everything) and thus decide reasonably, or she will yield to temptation and desire and decide to accept the proposal of Satan, who has given her nothing except an appeal to her sensuality and pride.

Again, note the silence of Adam. How tragic this is! Eve seems quite alone and without support. One would hope that in any marriage in which one spouse is struggling, the other will be strong. Adam remains silent. He is no leader. He seems to wait to see what his wife will do. Adam is a passive husband.

  1. The Conception of Sin The text simply says, she took of its fruit(Genesis 3:6). In reaching out to take hold and possess this fruit, Eve conceives sin in her heart. Her husband will do the same thing, taking hold of it before he eats it.

What are they taking hold of? Several things.

First, there is a colossal pride. Satan had said, “You will be gods.” Now, Adam and Eve are laying hold of and conceiving of this idea. They are laying hold of the prideful and rebellious notion that “I will do what I want to do and I will decide whether it is right or wrong. I will be under no one’s authority. I will do as I please. I answer to no one. I am god.”

They also sin against gratitude. God had given them everything, but even paradise was not enough for them; they wanted more. Ungratefully, they reject God, who has given them everything. They turn to Satan, who “promises” more, but has delivered nothing.

Finally, and most problematically, they sin against trust. Note that the tree is called “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” In the Bible, “knowing” refers to more than simple intellectual knowing; it means knowing something by experience. Thus, in naming this tree “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” and commanding them to stay away from it, God is saying,

I am asking you to trust me to tell you what is good and what is evil, and not to demand to know this personally for yourselves. I want you to trust me, and that I tell you this for your own good. But if you take from that tree, you are insisting on knowing for yourself what is good and what is evil; and more importantly, you are insisting on knowing and experiencing evil.

In this way, Adam and Eve refuse to trust God, insisting on knowing (experiencing) for themselves the difference between good and evil. The Catechism describes original sin in this manner:

Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness (CCC # 397).

So we see that at the heart of original sin (and all other sin) is a refusal to trust God, a refusal to trust in His goodness, and an abuse of our liberty.

All of this has been conceived in the heart of Adam and Eve as they lay hold of this fruit.

  1. The Birth of Sin Little needs to be said of this stage; the sin is engaged. Note that Eve eats first and then entices her husband to do so as well. I will discuss this topic further in tomorrow’s post, in which I will reflect on St. Paul’s commentary on the “Sin of Adam.” For today, suffice it to say that the sins of Adam and Eve are described somewhat differently. Eve is described as being deceived while Adam is described as being, in effect, seduced. Neither of them is without blame, but the nature of their temptation and the way in which their desires are engaged is different.
  2. Spiritual Death Adam and Eve do not immediately die a physical death; rather, they die spiritually. This is symbolized in many ways in the verses ahead.

As they become aware of their nakedness, they feel exposed, no longer innocent. They feel vulnerable and ashamed. Righteousness and integrity have died in their hearts. They are now “dis-integrated” and disoriented, turned away from God and turned in on themselves.

Most seriously, they are cut off from God, who is the source of their life. When God walks through the Garden at the usual time, they do not run to Him, but from Him; they are afraid. Having died spiritually and embraced the darkness, they now fear Him who is Life and Light. They cannot endure His presence.

Recriminations follow, and the prophecy of suffering, strife, and ultimately, death; the wages of sin is death. Had they been willing to trust Him, God would have spared them of this, but Adam and Eve wanted to know for themselves. Mysteriously, they sought a “better deal” than paradise, even knowing that its price would be death—so tragic, foolish, and horrifying!

Too often, original sin is reduced to the mere eating of a piece of fruit. In fact, far more was at stake and far more was going on beneath the surface in the subtleties of the story. There were many moving parts and numerous layers to the sad reality we call original sin.

END QUOTES

“A Brief Primer on Catholic Faith and Conscience” by Father Mark A. Pilon

 

A Brief Primer on Catholic Faith and Conscience

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2017/02/22/a-brief-primer-on-catholic-faith-and-conscience/

Fr. Mark A. Pilon

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017

In 1930, the Anglican Communion abandoned the universal Christian moral teaching of two millennia, which condemned artificial birth control as a grave moral evil, contra naturam, and destructive of marriage. It did so by allowing the individual subjective conscience to overrule the absolute moral norm that such actions are intrinsically evil and thus allow no exceptions.

This was a death knell for Anglicanism as a moral authority. The result has been not only the total independence of Anglicans from their traditional moral teaching but the collapse of religious practice among the laity (except for the African branches of this once vibrant communion). Where private, subjective conscience becomes the ultimate moral authority, religion based on faith is simply no longer tenable.

So it’s shocking that, eighty-seven years later, certain national Catholic bishops’ conferences have taken the same path. In practice, the elevation of subjective conscience as the ultimate moral principle began right after Humanae Vitae in many local churches, especially in Europe. Now the Maltese, Argentinean, and German bishops are making the same mistake about divorce and remarriage, adultery and relevant sacramental disciplines.

 

This so-called “pastoral solution” was the very path taken by the Anglican hierarchy regarding contraception forty years, more or less, before Humanae Vitae, which, they assured the Anglican faithful, would be rarely applied and only for serious reasons. Actually, it very quickly produced a contraceptive mentality and moral relativism – key elements in the 1960s sexual revolution and an even more radical relativizing of all moral norms. Some Catholic bishops and hierarchies, too, began to weaken. And it was only a matter of time (fifty years, more or less), until this false notion of conscience would be extended to other unpopular moral teachings, like divorce and adulterous second unions. That day has arrived, and it’s just the beginning.

 

As with the Church of England, by adopting a subjective conscience approach to moral life back in the Sixties, the European Church accelerated already declining religious practice. A recent sociological study determined that about 2 percent of the French population is really practicing Catholics. A few more occasionally attend Mass or other services, but even many of these are not really “believing” Catholics. Many of these “attendees” are nostalgic Catholics, or what the study calls “festive” Catholics who attend Church on social occasions, like baptism or matrimony.

Roughly similar numbers are found in most European countries today. Italy is slightly better off. And now, if history teaches us anything, Malta, once the most Catholic of all, will soon join the trend of declining faith and practice. It’s all really easily understood if we properly grasp what faith actually is and how conscience relates to faith

Let’s begin with an anthropological fact: conscience is a function or act of practical judgment, that is, a function of the human intellect and not some imaginary mystical power of the soul. Thus, conscience, like other intellectual functions, has to be educated and informed from outside. It is not self-informed or innately informed. It has some innate first principles, just as the theoretical or speculative intellect does, but even these principles, except for a very few absolutely primary ones, are often clouded in the intellect.

 

The problem, as we learn from revelation, is our fallen nature: the intellect has been weakened and darkened. Fallen man’s lower powers, the appetites and passions, are often rebellious toward the higher ones, i.e., the practical intellect and the will.

Our wounded conscience, therefore, needs to be educated, informed by truth. We are not born with innate scientific truths. They have to be learned. So, too, we have to learn moral truths and norms in order to make correct judgments about how to act. Otherwise, conscience will act blindly and come to false judgments in many instances, especially where self-interest is involved.

Even unbelievers need to form conscience via teachers of great wisdom, great moral figures, past and present, whose reason is more perfected – though not infallible, since errors are found even among the greatest philosophers.

But for those who claim to be Christians, correctly educating their consciences, requires the whole person’s obedience to God’s teaching – the God Who teaches us through his designated representatives.

For Biblical Protestants, properly forming one’s conscience entails conforming one’s conscience to the teachings of sacred Scripture as interpreted by great teachers through the ages. But again, they have no infallible teaching authority.

Now, for Catholics, correctly forming one’s conscience means submitting to the teachings of Sacred Tradition and Scripture as interpreted by the great doctors and fathers of the Church, and as authoritatively handed on and developed by the Church’s Magisterium, the heirs to the apostles to whom Christ said: “he who hears you, hears me.” Reason also comes into play in the faithful application of moral norms to particular situations, but reason itself must also be subjected to faith, that is, to guidance of the Magisterium.

Anything else is to withdraw from what St. Paul calls the obedience of faith. Some may argue that a Catholic could, in a rare case, be in good conscience while dissenting. But it would be absurd to argue that the dissenter could also still be in full communion with the Church.

The truth of almost all of the Church’s moral teaching is guaranteed by the Holy Spirit simply because it has long been taught via the Universal Ordinary Magisterium, as Vatican I and II clearly taught. A few moral issues that have arisen only in recent times, and have not yet been authoritatively taught, may be open to discussion and disagreement. But these do not include teachings on matters like contraception or divorce and remarriage (a form of adultery), any more than on theft, fornication, murder, etc.

Not being in full communion of faith with the Church lies at the heart of the prohibition of the divorced and remarried from receiving Communion. And it ultimately has even more serious consequences: the loss of Catholic faith. It is this loss of faith that has emptied our churches and will continue to do so, until this false notion of conscience is firmly and clearly corrected.

YEA! and AMEN!

Trump administration to repeal transgender school bathroom order: ReportTop of Form

By Bradford Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Trump administration will rescind an Obama-era order compelling public schools nationwide to permit restroom and locker room access on the basis of gender identity, the Washington Blade reported.

The Blade cites Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, who says she heard from “reliable sources” that President Trump has authorized the Education and Justice Departments to revoke the guidance.

The Obama administration issued an edict in May forcing public schools nationwide to allow transgender students to use the restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities of their choice. Noncompliant schools risked losing federal education funding.

Twelve states filed a lawsuit challenging that interpretation of Title IX, the federal statute barring discrimination in education on the basis of “sex.” A federal court in Texas blocked the order nationwide in August.

 

The Obama administration filed an appeal challenging that ruling, but it was withdrawn this month by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.