Friday, September 21, 2012

Another online class--this one in German!

A priest in Austria responded to my Twitter announcement about Father Medley's class (streaming from London every Saturday) with the news that he is offering a study of "Love and Responsibility" via YouTube (in German, of course). Sure wish I could follow along, but all I know of German is something my Dad (after his Army experience in the Black Forest) used to say: "Mach schnell!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A new TOB video class online!

SOLT priest Father Samuel Medley has started a new online video study of Karol Wojtyla's "Love and Responsibility" every Saturday. It's 7:30-9:00 pm LONDON time, which puts it at a very comfortable spot here on the other side of the pond: 1:30-3:00 Central Time.

I don't yet know if he will be archiving the sessions; maybe if we ask nicely... The first session was today (Sept. 15).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Melinda Gates, TOB and a Voice from Africa

By the bounty of Twitter, I was led to this post featuring an open letter to Melinda Gates by a Nigerian woman in the biomedical field. You may have heard that Gates plans to pump $4.6 billion in birth control into Africa to "liberate" the women of that continent. "I see this $4.6 billion [in birth control] buying us misery. I see it buying us unfaithful husbands. I see it buying us streets devoid of the innocent chatter of children. I see it buying us disease and untimely death."

Now working in England, Obianuju Ekeocha (age 32) points out that the African women she knows and among whom she grew up, do not look on childbearing in the same way that the billionaire American does. "Unlike what we see in the developed Western world, there is actually very high compliance with Pope Paul VI's 'Humanae Vitae.' " There is a natural, societal appreciation for the language of the body (that the cosmopolitan North had to learn from Pope John Paul II).

There is a healthy acknowledgment, too, that their villages do not have the medical infrastructure that widespread access to contraceptive chemicals and devices presume: "...Where Europe and America have their well-oiled health care system, a woman in Africa with a contraception-induced blood clot does not have access to 911 or an ambulance or a paramedic. No, she dies."

Then there's the environmental impact: " $4.6 billion worth of drugs, IUDs and condoms get used, they will need safe disposal. Can someone please show us how and where will that be? On our farm lands where we get all our food? In our streams and rivers from whence comes our drinking water?"

Ekeocha doesn't just tell Gates (and the rest of the wealthy western world) where she has failed to think things through; she suggests ways that the allocated billions could respond to the needs of African women and children, beginning with prenatal and pediatric care, and continuing through food and education programs and support for women-run microbusiness and for already functioning organizations that deal with issues of domestic violence, sex trafficking and forced marriage.

Ekeocha's letter (and a follow-up email to the blogger who posted it) shed real light on the issues behind one very confused Catholic woman's efforts to use her incredible wealth on behalf of others.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What difference does the difference make?

Jane and Jim
The US bishops have a comprehensive website up now that can help you understand and express the Church's convictions about marriage.
"Marriage: Unique for a Reason" is its provocative title. and it's worth your time.

Chicago Cathedral doing TOB book study

The Young Adult group at Holy Name Cathedral is hosting a book club for young adults in their 20s and 30s (single and married). The book for September is Called to Love by Carl Anderson and Jose Granados, with the optional addition of Karol Wojtyla's "The Jeweler's Shop." From the Cathedral bulletin: "Christianity has long been regarded as viewing the body as a threat to a person's spiritual nature and of denying its sexual dimension. In 1979, Pope John Paul II departed from this traditional dichotomy and offered an integrated vision of the human body and soul.... he explained the divine meaning of human sexuality and why the body provides answers to fundamental questions about our lives... Called to Love brings to life the tremendous gift John Paul II bestowed on humanity and gives readers a new understanding of the Christian way of love and how to embrace it fully in their lives."

50 Shades of TOB

One young adult responds to the current best seller, critiquing it from a Theology of the Body perspective:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pornography and Purity of Heart

While I was visiting my family in south Louisiana, I managed to make it to the chapel of Our Lady of Wisdom in Lafayette for my friend Fr. Sibley's mass and TOB homily. He gave a broad TOB introduction before focusing on the sin of "unchastity" mentioned in the Gospel. (If the people of Lafayette realized what a fantastic preacher Fr. Sibley is, he'd have to celebrate Mass in the Cajun Dome to accomodate the crowds!)

Listen to Fr Sibley's homily on porn addiction for yourself, and then share the link far and wide so that it reaches people in most need.