Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thinking about Freedom (of Choice or of Conscience?)

"It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn, aged and disabled and also a right to engage in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have relationships integrated around these practices be recognized and blessed by law—such persons claiming these “rights” are very often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to express their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Food for Thought

"The last thing we can afford to do is to re-define marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what marriage is."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Found a link on Facebook to this wonderful video for Catholic men; it seems a perfect match for what we're doing here.
Guys, are you familiar with "Catholic Mountain"? Described as "A ministry to help Catholic men grow in Christ, but a resource for all who want to learn about and grow in their faith." It looks like Facebook for Catholic men.

More Food for Thought!

"The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the law may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and influential."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Food for Thought

"The body is no mere extrinsic instrument of the human person, but truly part of the personal reality of the human being. Human beings are not merely centers of consciousness or emotion, or minds, or spirits, inhabiting non-personal bodies. The human person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food for Thought

"Marriage is made possible by the sexual complementarity of man and woman."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food for Thought

Redefining marriage "would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about procreation and the unique character and value of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of life. In spousal communion and the rearing of children (who, as gifts of God, are the fruit of their parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons for and benefits of the marriage covenant."
From the
Manhattan Declaration.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Food for Thought

"The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil and religious law and in the philosophical tradition that contributed to shaping the law."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Food for Thought

"...marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Food for Thought

"Marriage then, is the first institution of human society—indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food for Thought

"We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Food for Thought (and action)

"We will work, as we have always worked, to bring assistance, comfort, and care to pregnant women in need and to those who have been victimized by abortion, even as we stand resolutely against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can somehow be in the best interests of women to submit to the deliberate killing of their unborn children. Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just, humane, and truly Christian answer to problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother and child alike."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Keep thinking!

"Eugenic notions .... buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century, ... have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of “liberty,” “autonomy,” and “choice.”
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Food for Thought (and action)

"A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

TOB and teens

Today we had our usual session, but only two Chicagoans came (besides the presenter), and half as many online participants as usual (representing three or four countries!). Too bad, because the class was terrific. If you missed it (which is more than likely!), you really missed out. How to present Theology of the Body to young people. By a high school teacher who is a real TOB man (and an excellent teacher, besides!). He covered things like the foundations kids need so they can grasp what the Church teaches; how this message needs to be taught not only by parents, but by at least two other "reinforcing" sources, like the pastor and school; how to talk about virginity in a culture where kids are ashamed of theirs.
Pat Reidy has done some recording with Tabor Life Institute, and (best of all!) he speaks fluent Spanish, so he can also share TOB with the Hispanic community (the future of the American Church).
Here is today's presentation. Maybe you can join us in real time for February (2nd Saturday), when we'll have Fr. Loya back.

Food for Thought

"We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty."
From the Manhattan Declaration.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Just a thought

"Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense."
From the Manhattan Declaration

Love and Responsibility study group

A priest in Corpus Christi is starting a study of "Love and Responsibility" on what a great foundation for a deeper grasp of the Theology of the Body! First session, Jan. 22; continues for 10 weeks.

Here's the link; meet the group on Fridays (each and every Friday for 10 weeks!) 7-8 pm.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Full-body scanning and the Theology Thereof

Sr Anne posted this yesterday on "Nunblog"; since it is a Theology of the Body perspective, it is bi-locating here as well.
More talk about activating full body security scanning at O'Hare. Despite all the assurances that the persons monitoring the scans will not be in proximity to the victims, I mean, passengers; that data will not be kept; that it's all really important for public safety, I am not okay with this.
Am I being overly prudish? Hung up? Neurotic?
Isn't thwarting a potentially catastrophic act of terror worth a virtual strip search every time I travel?
What is it that really bothers me, deep down, about this "public safety measure"?
Is it that it is disproportionate, sifting through millions of travelers each week (or day, if you combine US airports that plan to install the equipment) to find one possible evil-doer (who would, of course, have chosen an alternate form of terror by that time)?
No, it's not that.
I'm beginning to realize that it's a theology of the body thing.
I object to full body scanning because I believe that, with the level of detail it offers (even if in silhouette), it violates what Pope John Paul called the spousal meaning of the body. The body's design itself makes it clear that we are meant for an "other", and we generally choose that "other" with care. We are vulnerable in revealing ourselves. Even at the doctor's office, we don't go full frontal unless that is precisely where our health is threatened. (That's why they give you that crazy paper outfit.) Self-revelation in the body is a lovely (in the full sense of the word), intimate gift. Because the body is meant for communion. Always.
It is not true that our body is just a sort of envelope for a sexlessly generic soul, or that it is a strange animal-like appendage to the "important," spiritual part, but that really doesn't matter in itself (although plenty of people in our culture seem to think this). Especially in this Christmas season, on this 12th day of Christmas, we ought to be alert to the tremendous significance of being "bodied persons": God became incarnate so he could relate to us in this very human way! (And, of course, Jesus is the true Spouse who seeks communion with us.)
So there's something really not right, in my book, with a "revelation" that takes place anonymously, apart from personal communion, in which I am being revealed to someone I cannot see or know; whose reaction I cannot guage; whose trustworthiness with the sacredness of my body's image I am asked to take on the good faith of the United States' Transportation Security Administration.
What is your take on this issue? Would full-body scanning make you think twice about buying a plane ticket through O'Hare?

The Manhattan Declaration

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.
That's an excerpt from the "Manhattan Declaration," a statement crafted in September by an ecumenical group, trying to help Christians speak in one voice about these pivotal social issues. Chicago's Cardinal Francis George said that he intends to sign the Declaration (in effect, a "Declaration of Independence" in which signers place their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" on the line for the values that are at stake). The Washington Times calls it "A Christian Call to Arms," and last month the New York Times Magazine did a story on its principal author, Princeton Prof Robert George.

It's well worth taking time to read through the Declaration, as well as the FAQs and testimonials. You might also consider staking your life, fortune and sacred honor on the principals it upholds.