Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An accurate reflection of present-day Australian views on marriage and family?

Today's Herald's letters page is leading with the reaction to an article (which I seem to have missed) by a well-known relationships counsellor who apparently suggested that living in sin is inferior to being married. Eight letters, to which two sections, and the first two, of the letters page have been devoted, were published on the matter, all of them from women, none of them supporting the counsellor's views, and some of them objecting to them quite vehemently. I wonder whether the coming days will see any supporters of the natural law's commands and prohibitions in domestic matters sending in their letters? Presumably they haven't already, or the Herald would have published them, if only for balance.

"How Far We Have Sunk- a case for censorship as a social good"

Mr. Michael Webb has posted at Cath Pews a link to an interesting Australian Catholic Truth Society pamphlet on censorship. The pamphlet is quite long but might be worth reading if you have the time.

Confirmed: Ms Gillard is an atheist

Until this disclosure The Hon. Julia Gillard M.P. apparently identified as a "non-practising Baptist", but clearly not any more:

Julia Gillard on Jon Faine ABC 774 yesterday:

Faine: Do you believe in God?

Gillard: No, I don't, Jon, I'm not a religious person. I'm of course a great respecter of religious beliefs but they're not my beliefs, Jon.
See also]

One wonders whence she thinks the binding force of the laws which she takes part in enacting comes. Or maybe, like any atheist who follows his or her beliefs to their logical conclusions, she does not think that laws impose any true obligation.

Blog comment by me:

At Coo-ees:
Cardinal Pole said...

"And all because "Jesus sat with the sinners and the saints"."

I'm having trouble working out the missing step/s in Ms Keneally's logical sequence:

Jesus sat with sinners and saints.
[Missing step/s]
Therefore we should legislate for adoption by same-sex couples.

"Is this an issue to remind Catholic politicians of the consequences in the life of the church?"

A very good question.

June 30, 2010 3:37 AM
Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval.
Reginaldvs Cantvar
Commemoration of St. Paul, Apostle, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2010

Here's what Cr. Clover Moore M.P. had to say when she moved "That this bill be now agreed to in principle":

My Adoption Amendment (Same Sex Couples) Bill will make same-sex couples legally eligible to adopt. It will provide for the introduction of a second-parent adoption provision similar to the existing step-parent adoption provision, and allow same-sex couples to be assessed for adoption as a couple. Importantly, under the bill, adoption laws would treat families headed by same-sex couples in the same way as families headed by heterosexual couples. Same-sex couples in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory already have these rights. Specifically, the bill changes the definitions for "couple" and "spouse" provided in the Adoption Act from "a man and a woman who are married or who have a de facto relationship" to "persons who are de facto partners, whether they are of the same or opposite sex".

So it's what the recent Inquiry into adoption by same-sex couples recently recommended but which the Government declined to pursue. Saturday's edition of the Herald and yesterday's edition of The Punch each carried opinion pieces, both of them rubbish, in favour of the move, and as far as I know none of Sydney's mainstream media have run any articles against the move, though it was pleasing to see a good number of comments against it in the combox at that piece at The Punch. If I had more time I'd write a post refuting the arguments of Cr. Moore, Ms Pryor, and Mr. Raj, but I don't, so refer to the contents of this blog's "G.L.B.T." tag, and in particular the end of this post, for the case against adoption by same-sex couples. (In an nutshell, though: It is to be rejected for the good--chiefly the complementary influence of parents of both sexes--of which it deprives children and for the evil--chiefly the bad moral example, the scandal, which the lifestyle of two people living in open defiance of the natural law inflicts on the children in their care--in which it immerses the children involved.)

Meanwhile, New South Wales's "devout Catholic" Premier, The Hon. Kristina Keneally M.P., has the following to say on the matter:

"My religious views do not play a part in the legislation that I as a leader of the Labor Party bring before the government," she said.

"If I look at the gospel message it is one of acceptance, it is one of love ... Jesus sat with the sinners and the saints and he was not a man of judgment but rather a man of love".

But even that wasn't politically correct enough!

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally under fire over religious parable

AAP June 28, 2010 3:31PM

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally says she didn't mean to compare homosexuals to "sinners" in a religious parable.

The devout Catholic was answering questions about the same-sex adoption Bill, introduced to Parliament last week by independent MP and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Today, she reaffirmed her "in principle" support for the bill and said she would allow Labor MPs a conscience vote.

When asked to reconcile her progressive view on adoption with her religious background, she replied: "Jesus sat with the sinners and the saints and he was not a man of judgment but rather a man of love".

The Premier was later forced to clarify her position, saying her choice of words was not a direct comparison between "sinners" and same-sex couples.

"That's not all what I meant to say," she said.

"My point is this - is that Jesus loved all. He loved all and he accepted all. And for me that is the strongest message that comes out of the gospel." [...]
See also]

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles, A.D. 2010

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, June 26-29, 2010

Gay rights activists hope a federal government grant of almost $400,000 for aged-care training will help to decrease the stigma, discrimination and exclusion to which gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people can be subject.

[...] Training for aged-care staff was important to ensure older gay people were treated with dignity and respect, said a spokesman for the Australian Coalition for Equality, Corey Irlam. For too many years older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people and their specific needs had been largely ignored by the government and parts of the aged-care sector, he said.

Mr Irlam and a gerontologist, Jo Harrison, recently met Ms Elliot's staff, other MPs and departmental staff to discuss issues affecting older gays, including creating safe and inclusive environments.

Despite a change to the Aged Care Act 1997 giving same-sex couples the same entitlements and obligations to health and ageing programs, Ms Plibersek said the training would raise awareness of gay ageing issues among service providers and the broader community.

"While we can change the law, the greatest challenge will be in generating changes in attitude," she said.

The executive director of the National LGBT Health Alliance, Gabi Rosenstreich, said: "Older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians experience significant health and wellbeing issues due to decades of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion."

So the big question is: Just what are these "specific needs"/"gay ageing issues"? "[C]reating safe and inclusive environments" is a rather vague goal on which to spend hundreds of thousands of taypayer dollars. And could it be that whatever 'gay-specific ageing issues' there might be arise not so much from "decades of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion" as from decades of living a debauched lifestyle?

A good letter to The Australian on a recent finding regarding abortion

Compassionate killing?

The Australian June 28, 2010 12:00AM

THE question of whether or not a 24-week-old fetus can feel pain ("No pain for fetus prior to 24 weeks", 26-27/6) may be interesting to those who have a genuine concern for the welfare of an unborn child.

It is, however, quite irrelevant to the issue of abortion, the sole purpose of which is to kill a living human being who, at that stage of development is fully recognisable as such, with fingers and toes, eyes, nose and mouth and a heart which started beating at around three weeks after conception.

I find the notion of compassionate killing totally incongruous. It should hardly need pointing out that a human being at any age or stage of development can be killed painlessly by a variety of means -- bullet, gas, electrocution -- but that in no way lessens the crime of a deliberate act of killing. Why should abortion be different?

Peter Davidson, Ashgrove, Qld

Mr. Wilson with a quotation from The Catholic Encyclopedia in rebuttal of errors about St. Gregory the Great's understanding of the powers of the Pope

H.H. The Pope on religious liberty

The fourth paragraph of the following Vatican Information Service (V.I.S.) daily e-mail bulletin item contains what would have to be the most sweeping Papal endorsement of the error of 'religious liberty' ever:


VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father received participants in the annual Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), whose work this year focused chiefly on preparations for the forthcoming Synod for the Middle East.

Beginning his remarks to them, the Pope noted that "all of us desire the gift of stable peace and secure coexistence in the Holy Land, in Iraq and in the Middle East. This will arise through respecting human rights, families, communities and peoples, and through overcoming religious, cultural and social discrimination".

He went on: "I encourage our brothers and sisters in the East ... who continue to keep the faith and, despite numerous sacrifices, stay in the land where they were born. At the same time I encourage emigrants from the East not to forget their origins, especially their religious origins. Their human and Christian faithfulness and coherence depend on this".

The Holy Father made special mention of "Christians who suffer violence because of the Gospel", entrusting them to the Lord. "I continue to hope that the leaders of nations will truly guarantee, without distinction and in all places, public and community profession of religious belief".

Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm with which the Eastern Catholic Churches participated in the recently-concluded Year for Priests, recalling how in antiquity the East was a cradle for great schools of priestly spirituality. In this context he particularly referredto the Church of Antioch, which produced extraordinary saints, and he called on the priests of the Eastern Churches to continue to reflect this spiritual heritage.

Referring then to the Special Assembly for the Middle East, due to be held from 10 to 24 October, the Pope said: " I am pleased at the broad co-operation provided thus far by the Eastern Churches and for the work which, from the beginning, ROACO has done, and continues to do for this historical event. This joint effort will have fruitful results because of the presence of some of your representatives at this episcopal gathering and your ongoing relationship with the Congregation for the Eastern Churches".

The Holy Father asked the participants in the annual meeting "to contribute with your activities to keeping the 'hope that does not disappoint' alive among the Christians of the East. ... We would like to be with them always! Trusting in the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul, I commend to the Lord the benefactors, friends and collaborators (living and dead) who in one way or another are linked to ROACO, with a special mention for the recently-deceased Bishop Luigi Padovese".

AC/ VIS 20100625 (460)


From another recent V.I.S. daily e-mail bulletin:


VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Secretariat of State today announced that Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, received the Letters accrediting Nikolay Sadchikov as ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See. In the near future, Archbishop Antonio Mennini will present Sergei Lavrov, minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, with the Letters of Credence accrediting him as apostolic nuncio to that State.

SS/ VIS 20100628 (80)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles, A.D. 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Notes: Friday, June 25, 2010

Who placed these particular resolutions on the agenda?
I believe there were a number of cardinals assisted by theological experts who were in agreement with liberal ideas.

Who, for example?
Cardinal [Joseph] Frings from Germany, Cardinal [Franz] Koenig [from Austria]. These personalities had already gathered and discussed these resolutions before the Council, and it was their precise aim to make a compromise with the secular world, to introduce Illuminist and Modernist ideas into the Church doctrines.
[square-bracketed interpolations in the original]

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. William, Abbot, A.D. 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Notes: Thursday, June 24, 2010

H.S.H. The Sovereign Prince of Monaco to marry

Body of the article from today's edition of The Australian:

PRINCE Albert II of Monaco has announced his engagement to 32-year-old South African Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock.

Albert, 52, has ruled the tiny Mediterranean principality since succeeding his father Rainier III in July 2005. Wittstock was a school teacher and is a former Commonwealth Games 100 meter backstroke champion.

The prince, a longtime bachelor who many thought would never marry, is the son of famous American actress and style icon Grace Kelly.

A letter to The Australian comparing the taxation of single- and double-income families

Body of the letter:

PETER Apps (Letters, 22/6) seems to have forgotten that families where both mum and dad have a paid job have two $6000 tax-free thresholds.

Families where dad has a wage and mum cares for the kids pay much higher rates of tax on the same total income.

The Howard government introduced the family tax benefit part B to lower the tax rates of single-income families, but it's not full compensation. Income-sharing for tax purposes would be a fairer solution.

Apps should redo his sums, taking total family tax into account. He would find that on average, families where mum receives paid parental leave will be better off by thousands of dollars than families with a stay-at-home mum and the baby bonus.
A. Carman, Greenacres, SA


A Herald letter on accessing The National Library of Australia's on-line resources

It's all there online

I was amazed to read Bruce Ryan's complaint about the lack of online library access in Australia (Letters, June 22). His experience is not mine. I don't claim to be an academic, but I am retired and a researcher who specialises in colonial South Asia.

Through the National Library of Australia I can access a wealth of digitised resources from home, which are the envy of friends and colleagues in Britain and elsewhere. These include historic and current newspapers, magazines, academic journals and innumerable books. All Australian residents need is internet access and a National Library reader's ticket, which they can apply for online without charge.

Sylvia Murphy Telopea


On N.A.T.O.-Russia military co-operation

From a post at AQ:

Despite tensions over the deployment of Patriot missiles, Russia and NATO are cooperating with increasing closeness, especially in military training.

At least 10 Russian combat units are heading to various NATO countries, including the U.S. and Germany, to participate in international military educational programs.

This comes as part of collaboration on military training exercises within the framework of Russian-NATO relations, which includes cooperation on broader issues like fighting terrorism and drug trafficking.

Launched in 2004, the joint exercises will resume for the first time since the conflict in South Ossetia two years ago that severely strained relationships between Russia and NATO.

The positive trend was also reinforced by the presence of NATO troops from the US, Britain and France taking part in the Victory Day Parade on May 9 in Russia this year.

The Russian armed forces also announced they will be ordering a new fleet of military transport aircraft from Ukraine.


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Nativity of St. John the Baptist, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, June 19-22, 2010

Wedding of T.R.H. The Crown Princess of Sweden and The Duke of Västergötland

I found this bit particularly interesting:

In what was considered a controversial and old-fashioned decision in Sweden, which is renowned for its liberal views, the Crown Princess, 32, was escorted down the aisle by her father, the King, rather than walking with her husband-to-be, which is customary in Sweden.

More information on the wedding is available at the official website of the Swedish Royal Court. May Their Royal Highnesses' union be a long and happy one. And may the Lord deliver the Swedish Monarchy from Protestantism, Freemasonry, and liberalism.

Mr. Wilson on the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War

Excerpt from a comment at AQ:

Guernica is one of the greatest myths of the 20th Century, while based on a true event: The bombing of the city during the Spanish Civil War; most of the "facts" as recounted in the official versions are pure fiction. Guernica was a city of military value, laying on the front of the Communist lines; the Luftwaffe did bomb some of the outlying portions of the town, causing little damage, but the Communist forces deliberately set fire to the town and planted dynamite charges in buildings to cause cause greater damage, in order to prevent it from falling in to the hands of Franco's forces intact (this is what they did in Irun, and what they were planning to do in Bilbao, but were here prevented by the Basque militias). This arson fire burned out of control and caused the death to the majority of the victims which numbered around 100 (not the thousands that the red propaganda machine would have you believe). The town could have been saved even then, but the fire fighting forces sent from Bilbao were under orders not to do anything to prevent the fire from spreading, so that it took over eight hours of the fires burning out of control for the town to be destroyed.
Pablo Picasso's famous painting was nothing more than a product of the artist's own imagination fueled by his Communist ideology and his sympathy and support for the Communist forces fighting Franco.

"Jordanes" on the Virginity of Our Lady

Excerpt from a comment at Rorate Cæli:

There is a long tradition connecting Mary to the Temple in Jersualem.

The tradition to which you refer tells us that Sts. Joachim and Anne presented their daughter and only child Mary to the Temple priests, who accepted her as one of the virgin handmaidens of the Temple who are mentioned in Judges (the story of the near annihilation of the tribe of Benjamin, whose survivors were permitted to abduct and marry the young women who served at the Tabernacle in Shiloh) and I Kings (the story of Phinehas and Hophni, wicked sons of Eli the High Priest -- his sons defiled some of the Temple virgins).

"Putin's demons"

From an article in a recent edition of The Weekend Australian:

Putin's demons

COMPARE that approach to Russia, where schoolchildren in St Petersburg have been given a prayer to say for PM Vladimir Putin, asking the power/s above to keep him safe from "demonic temptations". Putin has denied there is a personality cult growing around him. We suspect the same cannot be said for South Australian Treasurer Kevin Foley.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Paulinus of Nola, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Notes: Friday, June 18, 2010

"Athanasius" on celibacy, chastity, continence, and Tradition

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 18, 2010 at 3:25 am

Wait, before you go: When you said earlier

“Thus is the Sabbath rest slapped in the face”

What did you mean by that, PE?

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Ephrem, Deacon, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, and of Ss. Mark and Marcellian, Martyrs, A.D. 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mr. Farrelly on how to get Catholics back to the practice of the Faith

For Christ's sake, will the Church please wake up!

I am not being blasphemous. I am making a prayerful plea and at the same time venting my frustration at what I have suddenly realised is perhaps the real reason seven of my eight grandchildren remain beautiful little pagans. No offence to all the other beautiful pagans out there – God made us all.

So far, so good. And I, and no doubt many others, shared the following sentiments too:

But my real frustration, my real anger, is directed at the Church and hence my opening prayer: For the sake of Christ, wake up.

Cardinals and bishops, please listen: Many of you are largely responsible for what is happening here. You are among the main reasons so many adults have stopped going to Mass and hence deciding that their children need not go to a Catholic/Christian school. You are in large part responsible for these little children remaining unbaptised and having only a secular education.

I know that you face extraordinary obstacles; I know that the you have not brought about the rampant materialism that so distracts people of all and of no faith from God and morality. But many of you seem unwilling or unable to deal with these challenges.

But then in the next paragraph the article, with which I was thitherto largely in agreement, took an ugly turn:

And to the minority of courageous bishops and cardinals who are trying to come to grips with these challenges and who know that the Church has to become more relevant to people's everyday lives, I say God bless you and thank you. And likewise to the many priests, nuns and brothers who walk the same path.

Ah, I see, so the Conciliar Church isn't 'relevant' enough for Mr. Farrelly and, according to him, lapsed Catholics. Hence:

It's long past time to accept that God made women and men equal. It's time to ask ourselves: if Jesus was standing physically among us right now, would he say women cannot be priests? Would he say priests can never marry? Would he come out of Sunday Mass feeling refreshed and stimulated by a homily that inspired and challenged him? Would he have an open mind to this suggestion: Allow single young men and women to become priests for a fixed period, say five to ten years, after which they could decide to stay on or leave to follow a different vocation.

This rightly elicited the following comment from one of the readers there:

Really? Did I miss the bit where Jesus commissioned apostles for 10 year contracts? If we're going to invoke the WhatWouldJesusDo clause, we need to be mindful of what Jesus did.

Posted By: Raphael Hythloday, West Melbourne

Basically, Mr. Farrelly and those of his ilk want the Church to follow the path of the Anglicans and the Uniting Church. But as the commenter "Barry" rightly observed,

I see no evidence of a better rate of adherence and practice in the Anglican and Uniting Churches.

Or as a commenter at Coo-ees more pungently put it (in a different discussion, but perfectly apposite here),

somnambulist said...

Brian when all the traces of catholicism are gone, especially the fancy clothes- you've got a bit of a fixation on that haven't you?- all the 86% will come flooding back to the inclusive, pro-gay, pro-divorced, pro adultery, believe anything Uniting Church type structure you wish we were. And we'll have a 100% attendance rate just like the Uniting Church has. Right.

December 01, 2008 7:33 PM

I'll finish here by dealing with a particularly perplexing comment at that CathNews article:

Margie Back is right: God has no grandchildren.
There is wholesale confusion between what Catholics call 'the faith' and the reality of Christian faith, an entirely different mode of being. It consists, as the Catholic Church teaches, in the surrender of one's whole being to Christ, True God and True Man. It is impossible to lose Christian faith once it has been given, since it requires submission of one's past, present and future to Christ Jesus.
It also means surrendering one's children and grandchildren, in fact all of one's possessions to Jesus the Christ. The faith on the other hand can be lost as soon as other cares occur.

Posted By: Alex Reichel, Oyster Bay

How odd. Usually one thinks of 'the Faith' as either the truths which God has revealed and to which we are required to assent or as the theological virtue with which one assents to those truths. One can truly have the virtue of Faith but later lose it by sinning against it, as Trent taught, but Dr. Reichel seems--and I stress seems; I don't want to make a rash judgment--to disagree. It's hard to tell, though, because having explained what he means by "the reality of Christian faith"--which would seem to correspond to 'the Faith' considered as a virtue--Dr. Reichel fails to explain what he means by "the faith", simply concluding that "[t]he faith on the other hand can be lost as soon as other cares occur". Can someone clarify this for me?

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Facts and figures: Prof. Sloan with some interesting facts about the male-female earnings gap

Professor Judith Sloan, of The University of Melbourne's Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, has the following to say in an article in today's Australian:

But contrary to what many people believe, the occupational segregation that is still part of the labour market (men doing "men's jobs" and women doing "women's jobs") actually narrows the earnings gap between women and men in Australia.

In other words, women's relative earnings would fall if the occupational distribution of women's employment were the same as men's.

In important research by Juan Baron and Deborah Cobb-Clark, the gender pay gap for low paid workers in Australia is found to be completely explained by wage-related characteristics.

In other words, there is no evidence of pay discrimination for low-paid workers.

And, in fact, Siobhan Austin and her colleagues at Curtin University have demonstrated that the effect of minimum wages in Australia has been to reduce the gender pay gap.

The real action is at the other end of the earnings distribution where the overall gender pay gap for highly paid workers is only partly explained by work-related characteristics.

In fact, work-related characteristics explain none of the gender pay gap in the public sector whereas these characteristics explain some of the pay gap in the private sector.

Pay discrimination in the workplace is confined to high-wage workers and, interestingly, not just in the private sector.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Notes: Thursday, June 17, 2010

FEDERAL Health Minister Nicola Roxon has launched an attack on Tony Abbott and his religion, accusing the opposition leader of letting his "personal beliefs" in Catholicism affect policy formulation.

Ms Roxon fired the salvo during question time today when discussing Labor's commitment to an "expanded and improved pregnancy, birth and baby hotline".

"We want to provide help and information and choice to women, not give them a lecture," the health minister told parliament.

"This is in stark contrast to the complete failure of the leader of the opposition's own baby, and that was the national pregnancy support helpline."

Mr Abbott's helpline was established in 2007 after he failed as health minister to stop the introduction of the abortion pill RU-486.

Opponents argued the groups selected to formulate the advice to be provided on the helpline were biased because they followed Catholic teaching and were openly pro-life.

Ms Roxon said Mr Abbott allowed his "personal beliefs to interfere and get in the way of providing completely accessible and non-judgmental public services".

"Mr Abbott doesn't live in the real world," she said.

The attack comes after the Rudd government warned Australians that the latest opinion polls showed Mr Abbott could win the next election.

Frontbenchers lined up to label the opposition leader as "too risky" for the top job.

Excerpt from the second:

A bid by Family First leader Steve Fielding to turn a parliamentary debate about paid parental leave into one about abortion has angered fellow senators.

A largely bipartisan Senate debate about the Rudd government's paid parental leave scheme became heated today when Senator Fielding introduced amendments dealing with abortion.

He called for a stricter definition of a mother's eligibility in the event of a late-term abortion, to ensure those women are not eligible for any paid parental leave.

“Drug addicts and welfare cheats can go out there and get themselves pregnant and then after 20 weeks have an abortion and still pocket the government's cash,” Senator Fielding told the Senate.

The debate moved to the difference between stillborn babies and those that had been aborted.

“We don't need assurances, we need to make sure this is in the law,” Senator Fielding said.

“There may be mums out there who want to cheat the system in an horrific way.”

"Groups seek Federal protection for Catholic education"


Catholic Education Commissions have joined the Federation of Parents and Friends Associations in a combined push for six Federal commitments that will ensure Catholic education remains sustainable.

The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) issued a statement outlining the demands that have come from the Federation of Parents and Friends Associations and the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC).

These are that:

•Catholic schools and systems should have a direct (funding) relationship with the Commonwealth Government, underpinned by legislation.
•Catholic schools and systems from 2013 have, at the very least, access to the same funds, indexed to government school costs, as currently available.
•Catholic systems have the
capacity to distribute funds to schools according to need. •Funding levels must be indexedannually, using a transparent mechanism, to ensure that Catholic schools and systems are able to meet the rising costs of education.
•Funding for students with disabilities must be increased towards parity with government school funding.
•Capital funding should be increased for educationally disadvantaged communities and areas of population growth.

As the only commenter at that article said:

Why do these organisations still call themselves Catholic Education or Catholic Schools? They're of little use to the CHurch Mission.

Posted By:
John Streaky Bay SA

It sounds to me like a recipe for driving the final nail into the coffin of genuinely Catholic Catholic education in Australia.

H.H. The Pope on the theology and philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas

Here's an interesting allocution by the Holy Father (this is the text of the relevant item in today's Vatican Information Service e-mail bulletin):



VATICAN CITY, 16 JUN 2010 (VIS) - In his catechesis during this morning's general audience, Benedict XVI continued his presentation of the figure of St. Thomas Aquinas, "a theologian of such importance that the study of his works was explicitly recommended by Vatican Council II", he said. He also recalled how in 1880 Leo XIII declared him as patron of Catholic schools and universities.

The Pope noted how Thomas Aquinas focused on the distinction between philosophy and theology. This was because in his time, in the light of Aristotelian and Platonic thought on the one hand, and the philosophy of the Church Fathers on the other, "the burning question was whether ... a philosophy elaborated without reference to Christ and the world of faith, and that elaborated bearing Christ and the world of faith in mind, were compatible or mutually exclusive".

"Thomas", the Holy Father explained, "was firmly convinced that they were compatible, and that the philosophy elaborated without Christ was awaiting only the light of Jesus in order to be made complete. The novelty of Thomas, what determined his path as a thinker, was this: to demonstrate the independence of philosophy and theology, and at the same time their inter-relation".

For the "Doctor Angelicus", the Pope went on, "faith consolidates, integrates and illuminates the heritage of truth acquired by human reason. The trust St. Thomas places in these two instruments of knowledge (faith and reason) can be explained by his conviction that both come from a single wellspring of truth, the divine Logos which works in the area of both creation and redemption".

Having established the principle of reason and faith, St. Thomas makes it clear that they follow different cognitive processes: "Reason accepts a truth by virtue of its intrinsic evidence, either mediated or direct; faith, on the other hand, accepts a truth on the basis of the authority of the revealed Word of God".

"This distinction ensures the autonomy of the human sciences, ... and the theological sciences. However this does not mean a separation; rather, it implies mutual and advantageous collaboration. Faith, in fact, protects reason from any temptation to mistrust in its own capacities and stimulates it to open itself to ever broader horizons".

"Reason too, with the means at its disposal, can do something important for faith, offering it a triple service which St. Thomas summarises thus: ... 'demonstrating the foundations of faith; using similitudes to explain the truth of faith; rebuffing the objections that arise against the faith'. The entire history of Christian theology is, in the final analysis, the exercise of this duty of the intellect, which shows the intelligibility of the faith, its inner structure and harmony, its reasonableness and its capacity to promote the good of man.

"The correctness of theological reasoning and its true cognitive significance is based on the value of theological language which, according to St. Thomas, is principally a language of analogy", the Pope added. "Analogy recognises shared perfections in the created world and in God". Thomas based his doctrine of analogy, "not only on purely philosophical arguments, but also on the fact that, with the revelation, God Himself spoke to us and, thus, authorised us to speak about Him".

The Holy Father highlighted the importance of this doctrine which, he said, "helps us overcome certain objections raised by modern atheism which denies that religious language possesses objective meaning and holds that it only has a subjective or merely emotional value. In the light of the teachings of St. Thomas, theology affirms that, however limited, religious language does have meaning".

St. Thomas' moral theology retains great relevance in its affirmation that "the theological and moral virtues of man are rooted in human nature", said Pope Benedict. "Divine Grace accompanies, supports and encourages ethical commitment but, according to St. Thomas, all men and women, believers and non-believers, are of themselves called to recognise the requirements of human nature as expressed in natural law, and to draw inspiration therefrom when formulating positive law; that is, the laws produced by civil and political authorities to regulate human society.

"When natural law and the responsibility it implies are denied," he added, "the way is thrown dramatically open to ethical relativism at an individual level, and to totalitarianism at a political level. Defending the universal rights of man and affirming the absolute value of the dignity of the person presupposes a foundation: and is not this foundation natural law, with the non-negotiable values it contains?".

"Thomas", the Holy Father concluded, "presents us with a broad and trusting view of human reason. Broad, because it is not limited to the area of empirical-scientific reason but open to all of existence and therefore also to the fundamental and inescapable questions of human life; trusting, because human reason, especially if it welcomes the inspiration of Christian faith, promotes a civilisation which recognises the dignity of the person, the inviolability of his rights and the cogency of his duties".
AG/ VIS 20100616 (830)


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mr. Muehlenberg on the State: Its origin, powers, and form of government

Mr. Muehlenberg begins by asking several questions about the State, and then writes in his second paragraph that

But there are some basic biblical principles that can be drawn upon here as we seek to address these concerns. The first and most basic principle is that God in fact created the institution of the state. It was his idea of restraining sinful humans in a fallen world.

Mr. Muehlenberg is quite right to say that God created the institution of the State--which (creation) can be known not just from the relevant Scriptural passages but also from unaided reason--but he is wrong to say that God created the State in order to restrain sinful humans in the Fallen world, which would imply that, had the Fall not occured, there would have been no States. As St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, teaches, with accompanying proofs, in Chapter 7 of his magnificent De Laicis, or, The Treatise on Civil Government,

even if servile subjection began after the sin of Adam, nevertheless there would have been political government even while man was in the state of innocence.

Mr. Muehlenberg invokes Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 and says that "[t]hese passages tell us that the state is from God to maintain justice and punish evil", which is true, but the State is not only for the maintenance of justice and punishment of evil; indeed, those passages speak respectively of (the prince as) "God's minister to you, for good" (source) and of "governors as sent by [the king] for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good" (source). The State's purpose is the common good, not merely "a modicum of peace, order and justice, and the protection of basic human rights"/"a degree of order, justice and civility in a fallen world", as one might infer from Mr. Muehlenberg's post. To be fair, Mr. Muehlenberg notes in his conclusion that "[i]n this very brief and sketchy outline [he] ha[s] only scratched the surface of what is a rather complex discussion", but the common good is such an elementary thing to mention in any discussion of the basic theory of the State that I do not think that this is a good enough excuse.

And when Mr. Muehlenberg writes that

In a fallen world all we can hope for is a modicum of peace, order and justice, and the protection of basic human rights. We certainly should not expect secular utopian ideologies to be of any use.

he is proposing a false dilemma. It is not as though there is a binary choice between a nightwatchman State on the one hand and a Nazi/Communist-type state on the other; between the two extremes of the Social Reign of Pilate and the Social Reign of Barabbas there is the Social Reign of Christ.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Facts and figures: On mixed (religion) marriages

The latest (that is, June 2010) edition of Life, Marriage & Family News (the useful e-mail newsletter of The Archdiocese of Sydney's Life, Marriage and Family Centre) linked to a website with the following information:

Family Life Office personnel who coordinate marriage preparation in the Cincinnati archdiocese estimate that about 46 percent of new marriages are between Catholics and other Christians. National statistics are more elusive. Faithful to Each Other Forever, a 1989 handbook for marriage preparation issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, indicates that 40 percent of American Catholics now enter interreligious marriages (not necessarily marriages between Catholics and other Christians, but between one partner who is Catholic and one who is not).

Regional figures vary greatly, according to Father Kilcourse. In the South, where the Catholic population is small, those statistics often climb as high as 75 percent, while in areas with a high Hispanic and traditionally Catholic population, the percentage plunges.

[...] Still, the numbers represent such a surge over the past 20 to 30 years that Church leaders struggle to name and define the phenomenon.

The corresponding figure for The Diocese of Wollongong is similarly disturbingly high:

According to the 2006 Census, 60% of Catholics in the Diocese (aged above 25) were married, with 58% of these marriages between one Catholic and one non-Catholic.
[p. 7,]

Presumably the high rate of mixed marriages in the post-Vatican-II period is an important factor in the loss of large numbers of young people from the practise of, or even belief of, the Faith; even were the issue from such marriages to have soldily Catholic parishes and schools the home situation would undermine the efforts of those institutions. The prospects for establishing the Social Reign of Christ, with its requirement that the populace be united in the Faith, would be bleak enough at present, even without the problem of society's basic cell, the family, not even being united in the Faith even when at least one spouse is Catholic. (And worse still, when Conciliar Catholics regard the latter disunity as something to celebrate, something 'ecumenical'.)(If I had more time I'd do a full-length critique of the first web-page, but the problems with its tone are obvious enough anyway.)

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Notes: Monday-Wednesday, June 14-16, 2010

Interesting discussion on, among other things, the grounds for sovereignty, with reference to the British Monarchy

Msgr. Prowse initiates a process of pastoral planning for The Diocese of Sale

First paragraph from that web-page:

Bishop Christopher Prowse of the regional Victorian Diocese of Sale has released a pastoral letter aimed at promoting discussion on the future directions of the diocese, according to a diocesan media release.

See also this blog's "Our Journey Ahead (Wollongong Pastoral Plan)" tag for coverage of The Diocese of Wollongong's process of pastoral planning.

Mr. Muehlenberg on abortion and bestiality


The examples of this moral decline are legion, and I often report them on this site. Two more prime examples can be offered here which occurred yesterday. The first has to do with the annual Queen’s Birthday honours in which various Australians are chosen to receive the Order of Australia.

[... Y]ou can expect a steady supply of those who are politically correct and left of centre to pick up these honours each year. Let me mention just one recipient this year: “Dr Joanne Wainer, Shire of Nillumbik, Vic For service to the community as an academic and researcher in the area of women’s reproductive health rights, and through leadership roles promoting women in medicine, particularly in rural and remote areas.”

By this euphemistic description, the unaware reader would not know that what she is being honoured for is baby-killing. Ms Wainer is a long time feminist and pro-abortion activist. Listen to her own words as she celebrates the Victorian abortion law changes in late 2008: [...]

[...] If this is not a descent into barbarism, I don’t know what is. Well, actually I do, and it concerns the second disturbing event that took place yesterday. I refer to the ABC television program, Q&A. ...

[...] But the real concern was when [Prof. Peter] Singer was asked about some of his really bizarre ideas. I have written up this vegetarian, pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia and pro-infanticide activist elsewhere, eg:

But he has also been known for his outrageous views on bestiality. I have already had many people express their shock at what Singer advocated last night, but I have had to tell them that he has been pushing this position for years. Indeed, he was happy to go public with this a decade ago. ...

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 15, 2010 at 3:53 am

“Thus is the Sabbath rest slapped in the face”

What did you mean by that, PE?

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Friday, June 11, 2010

Notes: Friday, June 11, 2010

"Panama Abp blasts government decision to abandon Sunday rest"

Here's the body of the article posted at AQ:

During a Corpus Christi address, Panama’s leading prelate strongly criticized a government decision to eliminate Sunday as a day of required rest for workers. “The dignity of man and woman is what must be upheld, if we do not want to become victims of economic interests,” said Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta. “For all men and women, not only for Christians, this has a great importance and significance, and this recognition should not be just formal but real, allowing the Sunday rest for all workers.”

"We Christians cannot abandon the Christian meaning of Sunday, paganizing it or underestimating its importance," he added. "To fully live out Sunday, the Church invites us to participate in Sunday Mass, to wear our appropriate outfit, to share meals with the family and with friends."

An interesting fact about Magna Carta

Here's an interesting excerpt from an article posted at AQ:

After many years during which John had abused his subjects and acted aggressively towards other countries, Innocent declared that his rule was no longer legitimate and he released John’s subjects from their obligations of fealty — his subjects thereupon were under no obligation to obey him. Eventually, this resulted in the subjects drawing up the famous Magna Carta, which they forced John to sign. The document was signed after John had placed himself under the Pope’s protection as his vassal. Because the Magna Carta was not only directed against the abuses by the king, but also the authority of the pope, Innocent declared it to be null and void. Eventually, after years of repeated deception and tyranny, through the tireless efforts of the pope, John’s influence was drastically reduced.

I didn't know that Magna Carta also challenged the authority of the Pope.

"Study confirms Jewish Middle East origins"

Excerpts from the first linked article:

PARIS: Research has found that Jews share a genetic bond with Cypriots and Druze and confirms the Jewish diaspora maintained a strong DNA continuity despite its long separation from the Middle East, scientists say.

[...] ''We found evidence that Jewish communities originated in the Near East,'' said the molecular scientist Doron Behar of the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, who led a team of experts from eight countries.

''Our genetic findings are concordant with historical records.''

[...] The study confirmed the Middle Eastern, or Levantine, origins of Jews as documented in ancient Hebrew scriptures. This lineage is visible in communities today, ages after the Jews were expelled from Israel.

More unexpected was the discovery that Jewish patterns of SNPs were closer to those of Cypriots and Druze than with Middle Eastern populations.

Mr Behar said he would be dismayed if his research became misused for genetic profiling.

''It is very important for me to mention here that as a scientist, genetics has nothing to do with the definition of the Jewish identity,'' he said.

Possible presentation of a Spanish law on religious liberty


VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, prime minister of Spain. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

"The cordial discussions provided an opportunity to exchange opinions on Europe, the current economic-financial crisis and the role of ethics. Reference was also made to countries of Central America and the Caribbean as well as to other situations, in particular the Middle East.

"As the conversation continued, attention turned to bilateral relations, and to matters of current interest for the Church in Spain such as the possible presentation of a law on freedom of religion, the sacredness of life from conception, and the importance of education. Concerning the Holy Father's visit to Santiago and Barcelona this year, and to Madrid next year for World Youth Day, it was recognised that the Spanish government has shown great readiness to collaborate in the preparation and realisation of these events".
OP/ VIS 20100610 (200)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle, A.D. 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Notes: Thursday, June 10, 2010

"[Coptic Orthodox] Pope defies court: will not accept divorce and remarriage"

Full text (very short):

Pope Shenouda II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has confirmed that his church will refuse to abide by a decision of Egypt's highest court, which ruled that the Coptic Church must allow divorce and remarriage.

In May the court ruled that because "the right to family formation is a constitutional right," no religious body can deny that right. In Egypt all marriages must be endorsed by a religious body. The court said that the Coptic Church must alter its teachings to allow for the civil rights of divorced people.

Pope Shenouda said that the Coptic Church will disregard the ruling, insisting that the court has no authority to dictate religious beliefs and practices.

The latest rant from Fr. Kelly

According to Fr. Kelly,

One of the heresies common among Catholics - I've even heard it from priests - is that the supreme significance of priesthood is that from Ordination on, the priest has the power to change bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord. It was put that starkly by one commentator responding to my recent blog on the Real Presence of Christ in the celebration of the Eucharist.

(The comment to which Fr. Kelly refers seems to be the one by "Byzcat" here.) Let me simply quote the teaching of the Council of Trent on doctrine on the Sacrament of Orders, in its twenty-third sesssion:

From Chapter 1, on the institution of the Priesthood of the New Law:

... that to the apostles and their successors in the priesthood was handed down the power of consecrating, of offering and administering His body and blood, and also of forgiving and retaining sins, the Sacred Scriptures show and the tradition of the Catholic Church has always taught ...

Canon 1 of the Canons on the Sacrament of Order:

If anyone says that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood, or that there is no power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of forgiving and retaining sins, but only the office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel, or that those who do not preach are not priests at all: let him be anathema [cf. n.957 960].
[square-bracketed interpolation as in the source for this quotation,

Unsurprisingly, the commenters at the CathNews combox (which has lately, and sadly, degenerated into a cosy little mutual admiration society) failed to challenge Fr. Kelly on this, but surprisingly, neither have any bloggers. Nor did any of the commenters at CathNews challenge Fr. Kelly when he spoke of "the alcoholic cultures that have infected the clergy of many dioceses in Australia". It doesn't surprise me that CathNews published an heretical 'blog', but it does surprise me that it has published one with such a gratuitous, unsubstantiated slur against Australian clergy.

An interesting observation regarding priestesses

By Fr. Zuhlsdorf in an interpolation in a comment by someone else at his blog:

Temple prostitution was the inevitable result in the ancient world of the cult of priestesses.

N.S.W. review of its laws on those who kill unborn children

From yesterday's Sydney Daily Telegraph, p. 18:

Laws for unborn

THE fight for "Zoe's Law" inched closer this week with the release of the terms of reference into a review of the laws involving unborn children.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Michael Campbell was appointed to head up the review after a campaign by The Daily Telegraph in support of Brodie Donegan's unborn child Zoe. The 32-week-old foetus was killed after an alleged drug-affected driver slammed into Ms Donegan on Christmas Day.
The review will consider if the century-old Crimes act 1900 -- which holds that if a child has not taken a breath, it is not human -- enables justice to be served in the criminal death of a foetus in modern society.

More on this in this earlier story from Sydney Archdiocese's Catholic Communications service.

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 10, 2010 at 3:52 am

“[You] cannot imagine and did not as a Catholic know a single person who would so express that they were Catholic, let alone some construction like a member of the Archdiocese of Omaha as a church, in communion with the bishop of Rome”

So how would you imagine and/or how did Catholics when you were a Catholic express that they were Catholic?


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland, Queen, Widow, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Facts and figures: Some sad demographic projections

Millions more to live alone as population ages

Date: June 09 2010


A RAPID rise in the number of people living alone will lead to 1.7 million more single-person households in 20 years, the Bureau of Statistics has projected.

Couples without children are set to overtake the nuclear family as the most common family household within three years.

As the number of households reaches 11.8 million nationally in 2031, a rise of 4
million homes from 2006, lone person households will rise 91 per cent.

Couples with children are the dominant family household now but by 2031 - if present trends are maintained - will drop to only 2.5 million households as the number of couples without children rises to 3.8 million.

''Mum, dad and the kids are down to one household in five. Over 50 years the shift has been quite profound,'' said KPMG demographer Bernard Salt. The rise in single-person households was caused by an ageing population, he said.

''These are not young, sexy singles living in Pyrmont but sad, lonely, old baby boomers - the widowed, separated and divorced. I'm not sure if Sydney is ready for an army of single old people living in suburbia disconnected from the community,'' he said.

[...] Lixia Qu, a research fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, said the trend for more people to live alone could be seen internationally.

The steady decline in marriage, increase in cohabitation and in divorce rates since the 1960s had created a much larger pool of single people with more fluid living arrangements. Living alone was often short term, as people moved between relationships or left marriages.

''Financially, people are more able to live alone than in the past. Community attitudes have changed,'' said Ms Qu.

Rapidly changing social expectations are starkly seen in the living arrangements of 25- to 29-year-olds. In 1991, 34 per cent of this group lived as a couple with children, but this will fall to only 7 per cent by 2031.

And the bureau predicts 28 per cent of 25-29-year-olds will still be living with their parents by 2031. The decline in women under 30 having children contributed to this age group staying longer in the parental home, Ms Qu said.

''Life has been postponed. Leaving home is not just a one-off any more. If their job doesn't work out, or relationship doesn't work out, they go home again,'' she said.

The projections assume the rate of change the bureau observed between 1991 and 2006 will continue. But Ms Qu said the forecast might not be borne out. The fertility rate had leapt again and was 1.9 per cent, which was relatively high.

Her research had shown more young Australians were interested in marriage again. ''We shouldn't say it is the end of the family … they still see marriage as the way to go.''

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Columba, Abbot, A.D. 2010

Notes: Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AQ thread with useful information on the status of the Second Vatican Council and its teachings

Particularly this comment.

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 9, 2010 at 4:54 am

“To accept the “so when” part, on which the rest depends, is entirely outside of following Natural Law”

No, not entirely; as I said, the natural law commands us to believe/accept whatever God deigns to reveal to us. The content–”God assumes a human nature [and] founds His Church as the historical continuation of His Incarnation”–of the command cannot be known by unaided reason, but the fact that the relevant command would exist can. In other words, the command’s matter is not of natural law, but its efficiency is.

“So when one accepts Christian Revelation, and in fact, more specific than that, when one accepts the Roman Catholic version of Christian Revelation, [my] “then” follows.”

True, but that needlessly omits mentioning that that acceptance is natural-law obligatory.

“However, since accepting Christian Revelation in any version, including Concordia, is not from Natural Law but by faith which is the gift of God, it is false to say the Social Reign of Christ is established by Natural Law reasoning.”

Yet the person to whom the Gospel has been adequately announced yet formally rejects it sins against both natural law and Divine positive law. What you have written here is no disproof of my case for the natural-law obligation requiring societies to which the Gospel has been announced to make Christianity the State religion etc.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Columba, Abbot, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Facts and figures: On the proportion of women terminating their pregnancies who were on contraception

Thanks to Arabella at CathPews for bringing this to our attention:

A Flinders University study of 965 women over 30 who used Adelaide's largest abortion clinic found 62 per cent were using contraception when they became pregnant.

[...] Ms [Wendy] Abigail [Nursing and Midwifery researcher] said the finding, which was published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, added to earlier research that showed 70 per cent of women under 30 were also on contraception when they became pregnant and then sought a termination.


There are a few other things to say about the article, beginning with its headline: "Abortion not used as birth control" As a couple of readers pointed out in the combox,

... If you get [an abortion] because you don't want the baby, whether you used protection or not or it didn't work, is another form of birth control. It's stopping the baby from being born. ...
[J. G Posted at 12:39 PM June 03, 2010, Comment 8 of 12]

A pro-abortion commenter there proposed a more precise headline, in a comment dripping with sarcasm:

Durh of Duh Posted at 12:57 PM June 03, 2010

Anyone who ever thought otherwise must be seriously dense. And yes John and ITS A FORM... playing semantics is great fun, and we can all do it all day. In this case though, to do so in the way you have shows that you've completely misunderstood both the argument and the article, whether deliberately or out of ignorance. The headline should, of course, be "abortion not used in place of preventative contraception, but as a fallback when said contraception fails". Is that better? Can we all stop being idiots and go home for the day?

Comment 9 of 12

But the (obviously sarcastically-)proposed headline inadvertently reveals another problem: If abortion is "a fallback when said contraception fails", then its procurers would seem to be thinking of it as 'retrospective contraception', so to speak. If abortion is indeed, for these women, "not used as birth control", as the headline would have us believe, then wouldn't they think something like 'Oh well, I tried to avoid falling pregnant, it failed, so I suppose now I'll have to accept the consequences and see it through to full term'? So I would suggest that, if anything, these findings only show that the abortive mentality and the contraceptive mentality are mutually reinforcing. To prove or disprove this hypothesis, we would of course need figures on how many women who use contraception and fall pregnant end up terminating the pregnancy.

Also, one commenter pointed out the bias of Ms Abigail (or perhaps of the journalist):

Andrew of Adelaide Posted at 12:58 PM June 03, 2010

STORY:"There are many reasons why women don't use contraception, for instance domestic violence situations where the man controls what contraception is used," Ms Abigail said. So Ms Abigail blames male politicians for the myth and then blames male partners for many of the unwanted pregnancies - this is very anti-male; she is a masandrist. This is a classic strategy - portray women as victims of men and demand total choice over reproduction (ie no responsibility) When are women going to tell other women to act like grown ups? STORY: She said further research was needed to find out how many of the women who were not using contraception also did not want to become pregnant. Ummm - yes, i would think further research was required, if you actaully want to address the issue in the lead paragraph of this story about "abortion as birth control"

Comment 10 of 12

Finally, the findings might lend weight to the argument that abortion isn't widely used as a substitute for contraception, but those findings don't tell us why those contraceiving women who fell pregnant opted for abortion; in particular, it doesn't tell us whether the motives for abortion are the same as the motives for contraception. We read that

Ms Abigail blamed primarily male politicians for perpetuating the myth that women used termination as a convenience rather than for emotional and medical reasons.

But implicit in Ms Abigail's apparent conclusion is the assumption that when a woman on contraception accidentally falls pregnant she will necessarily terminate the pregnancy. Ms Abigail seems to assume that the abortion motivation 'because my contraception failed' is synonymous with emotional and medical motivations and incompatible with a motive of convenience, when, on the contrary, I would expect that 'because my contraception failed' indicates a desire to avoid the inconveniences of having a baby. Without asking the women what motivated them to terminate their pregnancies, I don't see why my opinion is any less valid than Ms Abigail's.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Notes: Monday-Tuesday, June 7-8, 2010

THE man whose recommendation for a human rights act was rejected by the Rudd government believes much of what he proposed will be adopted through the back door.

Frank Brennan chaired the consultation committee that recommended an act that would allow judges to assess Commonwealth laws and practices for their compliance with human rights.

Writing in a coming Australia Institute newsletter, Father Brennan says that although the government rejected the idea in April, it accepted other recommendations that would have much the same effect.

He says that as a result: ''Parliament will legislate to ensure that each new bill is accompanied by a statement to which it is compatible with the seven UN human rights treaties.''

Ultimately, Father Brennan says, Australia will require a human rights act to set workable limits.

But here is Fr. Brennan's response:

Transparent rights

You report that I believe that much of what the National Human Rights Consultation Committee proposed "will be adopted through the back door" (''Human rights by back door'', June 7). To the contrary, I believe much of what we proposed, other than a Human Rights Act, will be achieved by the government's national human rights framework; and some of what we proposed through a Human Rights Act will be achieved by the courts rightly applying the legislation introduced to Parliament last week. Nothing back door about any of that.

These are front door measures in which the executive, Parliament and the courts will play their distinctive roles transparently in the public domain, improving the protection of human rights.

Father Frank Brennan Chairman, National Human Rights Consultation Committee, Yarralumla (ACT)


DIVORCED clergy could be allowed to become Church of England bishops for the first time.

Church leaders have discussed the move and are set to reveal their decision next month at the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England.

[...] The change was agreed to at a meeting of the House of Bishops, the newspaper said.

A Church of England spokesman said the house considered the issue last month after seeking legal advice. "The house had asked for clarification of the relevant legal background and, in the light of that, has now agreed that a statement setting out its approach to these issues should be prepared," the spokesman said.

"It is expected that the statement addressing the relevant legal and theological issues will be available in July when the General Synod meets.

"There is no legal obstacle to persons who have remarried after divorce, or are married to spouses remarried after divorce, becoming bishops. The agreed policy is to pursue a discretionary approach on a case-by-case basis.

It will be interesting to see what goes on at the forthcoming General Synod, not just for its decision on this policy, but its decisions on other matters too.

AQ thread on post-Vatican-II changes to the celebration of the Sacraments

Particularly useful is this comment (though its source is sedevacantist).

Mr. Coyne on Original Sin

Here's the relevant paragraph:

I think a large part of the problem with "Original Sin" comes from the name itself. I think that perhaps if we called it "the fundamental disjunction" or some different expression like that it wouldn't have ended up attracting such a negative press. My sense is that it is NOT trying to tell us about some "first sin" committed by some "first parents" and we are saddled with their transgression and have to perpetually do penance for it until we are "redeemed" by some magic act by Jesus. It's trying to convey to us (humankind) that there is a "fundamental disjunction" built into creation and we are perpetually fighting against it as it were. To my own mind the "disjunction" is a by-product of the choice, or right to participation, that was extended to sentient creation. The by-product is that in our choices we will inevitably also make wrong choices — often for the very best of intentions. Our offspring very often cannot 'undo' the consequences of those wrong choices. The Godhead, or heaven (to use another term), is the only place in the whole of Creation where we are likely to get to a place where this 'disjunction' is finally resolved, ironed flat, or ruled out of contention as a factor in our lives. In the Christian context, Jesus represents the God-head, so it is true to argue that Jesus is the one who wipes away Original Sin or this Original Disjunction that we all have to battle against like Sisyphus perpetually rolling his stone up a steep hill. But it is not some "magic act" by Jesus that wipes away "the original disjunction" — it's by our entering into "the Way" (of thinking, feeling and acting) modelled by Jesus.

More from him on these matters here. This sort of thinking is nothing new at the Catholica forum, of course; see here and here for further coverage.

Two events, one recent and one upcoming:

1. The recent one:

Cardinal George Pell - Diary & Events
Thursday, June 3: 10am Chairs, NSW/ACT bishops’ meeting at St Mary’s Cathedral House, Sydney.

2. The upcoming one:

The sixth annual St Thomas More Forum lecture will be held from 6.30pm, for 7pm, on June 22 at the Canberra Southern Cross Club, 92–96 Corinna St, Phillip, ACT. The topic is St Thomas More – The Friend of Bishops. It will be presented by Archbishop Phillip Wilson, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Adelaide. The cost is $50 per person. Bookings close on June 14. For more details ring 6201 9814.

See also this advertisement for the lecture.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

“what “Cardinal Pole” says it flat wrong and contradictory to the Gospel and Christ’s church, but at least it is Catholic”

I have shown that the Social Reign of Christ is not “flat wrong” by natural-law reasoning. Now can you show how it is “contradictory to the Gospel and Christ’s church”?


Cardinal Pole
June 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

Oh, and our friends at Catholica helpfully remind us that the Roman Empire was not the first Catholic Confessional State:

“An extraordinary Christian called Gregory (known as the Enlightener or Illuminator) stepped into the breach and filled the vacuum. Like many of the saints of this period his life has been seriously obscured with fabulous legend. He is supposed to have been the son of a Parthian who had murdered King Khosrov I of Armenia. The baby Gregory was taken to Caesarea in Cappadocia where he was baptized and brought up. He married there and had two sons before returning to Armenia where he succeeded in converting King Tiridates III to Christianity at about the same time as the victory over the Persians; this after fourteen years of incarceration in a pit, presumably at the hands of the Zoroastrians, who were opposed to his mission. Having been consecrated as a bishop at Caesarea, Gregory spent the remainder of his life preaching and organizing the church in Armenia. Tiridates III helpfully destroyed the Zoroastrian sanctuary at Ashtishat that had been built on a pagan foundation, and erected a church in its place. He decreed Christianity the official religion of his country, the first ruler in the world to do so.”


Reginaldvs Cantvar

Friday, June 4, 2010

Notes: Friday, June 4, 2010

Mr. Muehlenberg contra Ms Caro on abortion

I had intended to blog against Ms Caro's opinion piece in last Saturday's Herald myself, but Mr. Meuhlenberg has saved me the effort by writing an excellent rebuttal of that piece.

An heretical comment by "MJ" at CathNews

For future reference:

The article is interesting enough but what sent a shudder down my spine is the picture of a line of priests offering solitary sacrifices. How could eucharistic theology and liturgy have once gotten to such a distubing practise and message?

Posted By: MJ, Camperdown, Sydney.

Ms Banham on torture in the world today

A weak, though interesting, article, since Ms Banham fails to give a definition of torture.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 4, 2010 at 5:08 am

PE and Mr. Schütz, let’s continue the discussion at the bottom of the main thread.


Cardinal Pole
June 4, 2010 at 5:24 am

“Natural Law … does not contain all of Revelation.”


“That Christ, or let’s back up a bit, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Christ is God, that the Christ is Saviour in the sense of forgiveness of sins allowing eternal life rather than damnation, is all in Christian Revelation, not Natural Law …”


“… and, though it contradicts neither, is undiscoverable by either Reason or Natural Law.”


“To impose the Roman Catholic Church as the state church on the basis of the “social reign of Christ” is utterly foreign to Natural Law”

False. There are two points to keep in mind here:

1. The natural law commands us to believe whatever God might deign to reveal to us.
2. The natural law commands that everyone in a society (here, we are of course dealing with civic society, the State) worship God in accordance with right reason and that everyone as a society worship God in accordance with right reason. In short, the natural law commands us to worship God both individually and collectively/corporately/socially. (In an unevangelised society, the State is the competent authority for prescribing the manner in which this corporate worship is to be performed; in the evangelised society, the Church is the competent authority.)

So when God assumes a human nature, founds His Church as the historical continuation of His Incarnation, and announces all this to us, then the State is indeed obligated, by natural law, to legislate to make this revealed religion the State religion, to make this Church the established Church, and to repress, where prudent, whoever commits offences against this religion.

Thank you for that information about the R.C.L.


Cardinal Pole
June 4, 2010 at 5:25 am

“My main problem with your theology, Your Eminence – and in fact PE’s as well -, is that both of you have an insufficiently eschatological view of the reign of Christ.”

Mr. Schütz, PE and I are talking about Christ’s Kingship over nature. As I said, Christ’s Kingship is three-fold: A Kingship of nature, of grace, and of glory, and eschatology pertains to the Kingdom of glory, not the Kingdom of nature (except insofar as that the Second Coming will mean the end of the Kingdom of nature as we know it, but obviously that’s not relevant to the discussion of the Kingdom of nature as we do now know it). So to say that I am insufficiently eschatological in my perspective is unfair.

“Christ reigns over the New Creation, his Kingdom is “coming”, we await his glorious appearance (as St Paul says).”

True, true and true–but there’s that word “glorious”, which confirms what I said earlier about eschatology pertaining to the Kingdom of glory, which is not of concern here.

“All kingdoms of this world thereby have been read their eviction notices”

True, to the extent that at the end of time God will no longer rule through fathers (in the society of the family), through heads of State (in civic society), and Popes (in the society of the Church), but will, rather, rule in person (I’ve got that right, haven’t I?). But irrelevant to the extent that those eviction notices have not yet come into effect!

“No Catholic Confessional State … is synonymous with “the Social Reign of Christ”.”

True in the sense that the Social Reign of Christ involves lower-level societies too–every lawfully-constituted society has Christ as its King–but nevertheless, the Social Reign of Christ is (subjectively) incomplete without it (the Confessional State).

“Christian Revelation tells us that there are “kingdoms of this age” and the “Kingdom which is to come”.”

And the kingdoms of this age were the ones on which PE and I were focussed.

“Christ’s reing is the latter: but not in the sense that it is absent from the here and now. Wherever the reign of Christ enters into the social reality in which we now live, we can see this as an advance sign (and only a sign – it is a pointer, not the thing itself) of the Kingdom which is coming.”

But, again, the Kingdom which is coming is the Kingdom of glory, with which I have not dealt (except to mention it) in my comments to PE. I would expect that PE and I would be in agreement as to what the Kingdom of glory involves, but we disagree, of course, as to what the Kingdom of nature involves.


Cardinal Pole
June 4, 2010 at 5:28 am

(Back on Monday night, Australian time.)


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor, A.D. 2010