Friday, July 30, 2010

Facts and figures: More on sexual abuse of children by priests

The whole article (from Newsweek, posted at AQ) is worth reading, but these are the three paragraphs which I would highlight:

Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. "We don't see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another," says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. "It's pretty even across the denominations." It's been that way for decades. While the company saw an uptick in these claims by all types of churches around the time of the 2002 U.S. Catholic sex-abuse scandal, Eric Spacick, Guide One's senior church-risk manager, says "it's been pretty steady since." On average, the company says 80 percent of the sexual misconduct claims they get from all denominations involve sexual abuse of children. As a result, the more children's programs a church has, the more expensive its insurance, officials at Guide One said.

The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College's study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from "sexual talk" to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims. (Reports made after 2002, including those of incidents that occurred years earlier, are released as part of the church's annual audits.)

Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in 10. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it's closer to one in 5. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn't realize how "profoundly prevalent" child sexual abuse is, adds Smith. Even those numbers may be low; research suggests that only a third of abuse cases are ever reported (making it the most underreported crime). "However you slice it, it's a very common experience," Smith says.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs, A.D. 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 29, 2010

More information on the Greens-Labor preference deal

From today's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald:

LABOR has released the preference agreement it signed with the Greens in a bid to shoot down Coalition claims it involved side deals on policies such as mining and carbon taxes.

The preference deal, signed by the ALP national secretary, Karl Bitar, and the Greens national convenor, Derek Schild, makes no mention of any policy deals, only how preferences will be distributed.

It says Labor will direct its Senate preferences in every state and territory to Greens Senate candidates ''ahead of all other candidates''.

In the House of Representatives, all Greens how-to-vote cards in 54 marginal seats ''shall recommend a preference to the ALP ahead of the Coalition''.

Of the 54 marginals, 12 are in NSW. They are Greenway, Page, Eden-Monaro, Macarthur, Macquarie, Hughes, Robertson, Wentworth,Paterson, Calare, Dobell and Bennelong.

The crucial NSW seats not included are Lindsay and Gilmore. Also part of the deal are 15 Queensland seats, nine in Victoria, eight in WA, six in South Australia, three in Tasmania and one, Solomon, in the Northern Territory.

On the death penalty in Japan

According to a report in today's Herald, "[a Japanese] cabinet survey carried out in February found more than 85 per cent of the public support the death penalty." Yet

Japan's Justice Minister, a foe of capital punishment, has announced a review of the death penalty after witnessing the first executions since her centre-left government took power in 2009.

"Russian Ministry Denies Lobby Permit to Same-Sex Marriage Group"

H.H. The Pope to discuss the interpretation of Vatican II at his annual reunion with former students

From D.I.C.I. (brought to my attention by a post at AQ):

In keeping with a tradition that he instituted when he was a theology professor in Regensburg (Germany), and as he has done each year since the beginning of his pontificate, Benedict XVI will meet from August 27 to 29, 2010, with a group of former students—the “Ratzinger Schülerkreis”—in his summer residence Castel Gandolfo. By way of exception, this meeting will include the participation of Bishop Kurt Koch, former ordinary of Basel (Switzerland) and newly-appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Among the former students of Professor Ratzinger will be the Archbishop of Vienna (Austria), Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Hamburg (Germany), Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke.

This year the circle of Joseph Ratzinger’s former students will work on the hermeneutic of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The theological discussion with Benedict XVI will take place all day on August 28. On the previous day the former students will have debated among themselves. The meeting will conclude with a Mass on the morning of August 29.


See also the first comment at that AQ post for a good editorial by Fr. Lorans on the matter.

"Neuroscience suggests heterosexual monogamy is best"

Excerpt from the CathNews article:

Mr [Kamal] Weerakoon told the national conference that neuroscientists working in sexology - which studies gender and sexuality - showed that sexual activity had three stages: lust, love and bonding.

"Biologically, we are wired to desire sex, to fall in love with the person we desire sex with, and for that love to develop into deep attachment. Our bodies are wired to operate best with one sexual partner for life," he said.

(I haven't read the full thing yet but I expect to do so soon.)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Martha, Virgin, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Mother's love key to dealing with stress"

From today's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald:

BABIES whose mothers shower them with affection are better at coping with stress when they get older, research shows.

Early nurturing and warmth has ''long-lasting positive effects on mental health well into adulthood'', the US researchers said.
See also]

No mention in either article of whether paternal affection is a substitute; no mention of paternal influence at all, in fact. I would expect that it would not be a substitute--mothers and fathers are complements, after all (heresy to the Sodomites' League, of course).

"480% Growth In Latin Mass Locations in German Areas"

Posted at AQ:

The locations, where the old rite is usually celebrated, have increased 480 % since the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum'. This is according to the director of the German Lay Society 'Pro Missa Tridentina', Monika Rheinschmitt.

In June 2007 there were in total 35 locations, where the Old Mass was regularly said in the German speaking areas.

Three years after, on the beginning of July 2010, there were 203 Mass locations.


A remark which reflects my own thinking on the impulse behind the inevitable drive by the Sodomites' League for public celebration--not mere tolerance--of their debauchery

Posted in the combox of a post at Mr. Muehlenberg's blog:

“The reason why the homosexual community works so hard and fights so tenaciously to become accepted in society, the very reason why they want church leaders to sanctify their abomination & their lifestyle by ordaining them into ministry, the reason why they want society to bless their vile acts, and the reason is because guilt…guilt because deep down these men and women created in God’s own image, know that their lifestyle is an abomination to the Lord. It is unnatural and they want church leaders to sanction what God could never sanction. They know that, and deep down they feel the guilt, so they look to anyone who would say “That’s really your own business”, and because of the nature of guilt acceptance is not enough. So the next step they want, not just acceptance, is the promotion of the lifestyle. They want to be treated as elite, but that’s not going to be enough, you see nothing is enough when guilt is seething in the conscience – nothing is enough”. -Michael Youssef Ph.D

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 28, 2010 at 4:04 am

I think I’m going to have to bow out of this discussion, since I’m not understanding this at all! Sorry.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Nazarius and Celsus, Martyrs, and of St. Victor I., Pope, Martyr, and of St. Innocent I., Pope, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, July 24-27, 2010

"U. of IL Says Catholic Prof 'Not Fired' - Just Can't Teach"

Apparently Dr. Howell's employment was not terminated; he was just barred from teaching (same effect, of course):

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 27, 2010 at 4:06 am

“But oddly, Your Eminence, according to Gleeson, the prevailing secular ideology DOES consider it possible to harm others and rejects any act that might result in such harm.”

Mr. Schütz, did you mean to say “DOES NOT“? Otherwise there seems to be an internal contradiction there.

“[You are] sure that in some circumstances a person can be (and should be) criminally charged for abuse even if (at the time of the abuse) the victim “consented”.”

I agree, and presumably so would most, perhaps all, secular (Godless) ethicists, but my point is that the Godless ethicist cannot prove, in the light of his first principles, that it is morally wrong–as in transgressing a moral obligation–to harm others, even against their will.


At Terra's blog:

(Response to Wolsey)

"A state that compels participation in liberal democracy is not acting in furtherance of the common good as liberal democracy does not further the common good."

Interesting that you say that, York; it had occurred to me that Australia's liberalism was a factor to consider in this discussion, though no-one had raised it explicitly until your comment. I see it this way: Democracy is a legitimate form of government. Liberalism, however, is evil, false, absurd, and condemned irrevocably by the Church. Liberalism, then, is like a cancer in the body politic. Now we know that the common good is to the State what health and well-being is to a human person. So if a person had a cancer, even a self-inflicted one, would that mean that we were forbidden to help that person with other aspects of his health and well-being? No, not necessarily, so long as we weren't co-operating formally in the carcinogenic behaviour. Hence I don't see why the natural law would necessarily forbid us to participate in the political life of a liberal democracy.

(Response to Anon.)

Anon., I don't dispute that Australian governments have sometimes, perhaps often, acted against the common good; I dispute that Australian governments have ceased to be legimitate governments or that they are legitimate but that their laws are to be regarded as invalid until proven otherwise.

(Response to Salvatore)

"Surely the AEC represents a reasonable source of information in such a discussion?"

A few problem with that information come to mind:

1. It only applies to Queensland.
2. Were government members the only M.P.s to vote for the relevant Bill (remember, a government doesn't legislate--Parliament legislates)?
3. Even supposing that that Act was invalid at the time, subsequent governments, including Labor governments presumably, didn't repeal it.

And as you concede, the law still wasn't necessarily invalid just because it might have been badly motivated.

"Consequently, if the Australian Government’s imposition of this duty is to be just, there must be some characteristic(s) of our nation or its system of government which requires it. What might this (these) be?"

I don't know, and I don't need to know in order for the Act to bind my conscience, just as I don't need to know that, say, a given industry and its influence on the common good require a certain piece of industrial legislation in order for it to bind my conscience. I can only regard legislation as valid until proven invalid, and nobody has proven the Act, or the relevant parts, invalid.

July 27, 2010 3:53 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Pantaleon, Martyr, A.D. 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Notes: Friday, July 23, 2010

Just some blog comments by me:

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 23, 2010 at 4:37 am

“It is true that we don’t have a collection of secular doctrines neatly arranged as a sort of “Secular Catechism” – but wouldn’t it be helpful if we did?”

We do. Read The Declaration of the Rights of Man, the Syllabus of Errors, Quanta cura, things like that.

Cardinal Pole
July 23, 2010 at 4:53 am

“does secular ethics ever say it is possible to do harm to yourself, even if your action does no harm to anyone else?”

If by secular ethics we mean Godless ethics, and if without God there is no such thing as true and proper moral obligation, and if the absence of moral obligation is moral liberty, then secular ethics tells us that we not only have the moral liberty to harm ourselves, but also unrestricted moral liberty to harm others, indeed, to do anything we please. That’s why, as Fr. Fahey mentions in The Kingship of Christ according to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas, in the secularist ethics axiom which can be stated as ‘do whatever you want, however self- or mutually-destructive, so long as everyone involved consents’, the ‘so long as everyone else involved consents’ bit is baseless. Secular ethics’s first and only principle is: Do whatever you want, full stop. And if you don’t like the sound of that, then, as Professor Dawkins might say, tough!


At Terra's blog:

Cardinal Pole said...

"compulsory voting was introduced in this country by (various) Governments solely because they believed it would be an advantage to them in an upcoming election."

Prove it. (Not that it would matter; a bad motive on the part of a legislator doesn't necessarily invalidate his legislation.)

"Compulsory Voting unjustly vitiates [your] ‘Right to Participate’ by depriving [you] of [your] ‘Right to Not Participate’."

Absurd. People in a democracy have no more 'right not to participate' than the king in a monarchy has a 'right not to participate'.

Another way to look at it is this: Rights are either natural or acquired. Obviously your supposed 'right not to participate' is not an acquired right, so it must be a natural right. So you need to show how the natural law gives you this 'right'.

"Given that ‘right’ and ‘duty’ are antithetical, the statement is

So you deny that someone with a right can conceivably have, on occasions, a duty to exercise that right?

July 23, 2010 2:54 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Apollinaris, Bishop, Martyr, and of St. Liborius, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Russian Orthodox patriarch praises Pope, rips Protestant compromises with secularism"

An interesting Herald letter with a proposal for reform of Australia's preferential voting system

In today's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald:

Preferential system is not half what it could be

The primary vote of minor parties has increased in recent elections, but the preferential system distorts the result.

A candidate who is an elector's third choice receives the same ''vote value'' as if he or she was the first choice - hardly what the voter intended. Not only does it not reflect the wishes of the voter, it distorts the level of support candidates have garnered.

A more equitable structure would be to discount the value of preferences by 50 per cent each time they are distributed, to more accurately reflect the voter's choice. Thus 100 votes cast as a first preference would become 50 votes when passed to the next preferred candidate and 25 votes when passed to the third choice. This concept takes on increased relevance with the recent arrangement of the Greens and Labor to exchange preferences in the lower house.

There is much to commend the concept of preferential voting, but in its current format it fails the test of being truly representative of the electorate's wishes. By amending the system to incorporate a 50 per cent reduction as each preference is passed down, it makes the system truly representative.

Alan Plumb Milsons Point


Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 22, 2010 at 4:40 am

There was a good discussion on that communique at the Angelqueen forum:

At Terra's blog:

Cardinal Pole said...

Terra's comment of July 22, 2010 1:23 AM answers the previous comments quite well, but I'll still offer, if I may, the following thoughts:

(Response to Salvatore)
"[You] suppose ultimately it depends on whether one regards voting as a duty or a right."

No, it depends ultimately on whether the natural law commands, forbids, or permits compulsory voting, not on whether a private citizen 'regards' voting as this or that (sorry if that sounds curt; I don't mean it to be).

"If it’s a duty then there’s no problem with the State coercing its subjects to vote."

It isn't necessarily a duty, but it will be in polities in which the competent authority commands its subjects to vote (though even where voting is voluntary the natural law can sometimes command, on pain of sin, voters to exercise that right--see Fr. Jone in Moral Theology).

"A right, on the other hand, represents a freedom to act (or not) and, as such, cannot of its nature be the subject of compulsion."

Nevertheless, the natural law can, whether remotely (that is, through a lawful superior) or proximately, command one to exercise a right in certain instances.

"As [you]’ve never been convinced by the ‘duty’ arguments for voting, [you] maintain that the compulsion to vote vitiates [your] democratic rights."

There are a number of schools of thought on how to know whether an obligation does or does not exist. Of the schools of thought which the Church tolerates, the least strict is probabilism (sp?), according to which there is no obligation if there exists a solid probability of non-obligation. Your reasoning here wouldn't be valid even for a probabilist; you have demonstrated neither an intrinsic probability--all you can say is that you aren't convinced by arguments for compulsory voting, therefore you aren't bound to do so, which would be like someone saying that he isn't convinced by the arguments for compulsory Mass attendance on Sunday, therefore he isn't bound to do so--nor an extrinsic probability--you haven't referred us to any respected authors who hold your opinion.

(Response to Anne Nonny Mouse)
"Huh? Cardinal Pole asserts without any justification "The onus is on whoever says that it is unjust to prove the alleged injustice.""

In my first, longer draft of that comment I gave the two reasons why, but I ended up deciding to submit as short a comment as possible. Anyway, here are the two reasons:

1. The general truth that 'he who affirms must prove'.
2. Lawful superiors enjoy the benefit of the doubt about their commands.

"Since the claim is for the state to compel people to act surely it is for the state to demonstrate that it has the authority to do so and that what it compels is just."

No it isn't; the State, like any lawful superior, enjoys the benefit of the doubt. What you're advocating here is a sort of 'presumption of guilt' when in fact lawful superiors enjoy a 'presumption of innocence', a presumption that their commandsare valid until demonstrated not to be.

Someone has to demonstrate that the natural law forbids compulsory voting if we are to reject the relevant sections of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 as invalid commands. (I say that to both Salvatore and Anne Nonny Mouse, as well as to anyone who disputes the validity of all or parts of the Act.)

July 22, 2010 3:20 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, Penitent, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Greens-Labor preference deal:

[T]he Greens will receive Labor Senate preferences in every state and territory, and Labor will receive Greens preferences in more than 50 marginal seats.

Mr. Muehlenberg contra Mr. Hinch on so-called gay marriage

I seem to recall that Mr. Muehlenberg had a response to Mr. Rodney Croome's recent piece on 'gay marriage' rejected by Fairfax, so I was glad to see this piece published in The Australian today. It is a mostly good summary of the arguments against this curious thing.

Mr. Winders's father was a Freemason

Occasionally one sees letters or comments in the papers or on-line by Mr. Lewis Winders; some of you might be familiar with these. Here is a revealing recent comment by him which I wish to keep for future reference:

Lewis Winders of Tasmania Posted at 3:28 PM July 20, 2010

Glad you mentioned the Freemasons, Henk (a group which, at the last tally, had a record of sexual assaults, infant rapes, violent crusades, tortures and burnings at the stake totalling absolutely zero). My late father was instrumental in introducing women to some of the formerly male-only ceremonies in the Lodge at which he was GM. It certainly rocked a few people's boats at the time but they soon noticed that the world continued to revolve on its axis, so the Great Architect was obviously not too enraged at the idea. Many of the members even grew to appreciate the ladies' company. Just imagine: a group of men enjoying the presence and contribution of women! How misguided is that?
Comment 14 of 14


(Wow, so no Freeemasons in the history of Freemasonry have ever individually or corporately committed sexual assault, or infant rape, or been involved in, to coin a term, compassades (e.g. rebellion leading to the usurpation of sovereignty over the Papal States; readers might be able to furnish other examples), or torture or killing (whatever happened to William Morgan, anyhow?)? Impressive!)

Mind you, I don't want to read too much into the younger Mr. Winders's Masonic connections; our society is so thoroughly liberal, naturalistic, and anti-Catholic that Mr. Winders could just as easily have picked up his tenets from extra-domestic/extra-parental influences.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 21, 2010 at 5:18 am

“precisely because Latin doesn’t have articles, if the sense of “one god, but not the one God” was intended, the text would need to include something to point to this.”

Which simply tells us that the sense of “one god, but not the one God” was presumably not intended.

” [I]Nobiscum Deum adorant unicum[/I] means that they adore the unique God along with us”

As would all monotheists (at least those who hold that God can and ought to be adored, of course), yet as we agree, the fact that two persons or sets of persons are monotheists does not mean that their respective monotheisms have the same God.

“the preceding sentence, which [I] don’t quote ”

Because I’m interested here in Islam in particular rather than monotheism in general; indeed, that first sentence reinforces my case to the extent that it reminds us that not everyone who holds that one god is the creator adores the same god.

“You can’t have [I]a[/I] unique God”

Why not? Each of us has, for instance, a unique Tax File Number.

“If the author wanted to say that Muslims and Christian each worship a god which they conceive to be unique, he would need to say that.”

Assuming, of course, that that was indeed what he wanted to say! If he just wanted to say that Muslims are monotheists and to list some of the features of their monotheism, which is presumably all the author in fact wanted to do, then he can do that by saying what was indeed said.

“In short, the [I]Deus unicus[/I] adored by Muslims is the [I]Creator[/I].”

As is the unique god adored by any monotheist who adores a god as creator.


Cardinal Pole
July 21, 2010 at 6:16 am

Just to clarify the sentence taking up text lines 4-5 of the body of that comment: What I mean there is that the author presumably just wanted to say that Muslims worship one God, while neither affirming nor denying that that one God is the one God, i.e., the same God we Christians worship.

At Terra's blog:

Cardinal Pole said...

"Is it just for the State to compel [you] to vote in elections"

The onus is on whoever says that it is unjust to prove the alleged injustice.

July 21, 2010 5:01 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, July 17-20, 2010

D.I.C.I. article on the new President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

D.I.C.I. commentary accompanying the article:

The statement by the new official responsible for ecumenism at Rome should be noted: “Benedict XVI does not want in any way to go backwards,” in other words, to what was taught before the Second Vatican Council—in the encyclical Mortalium animos (by Pius XI), for example. One should also remark that, according to the Swiss prelate, the pope desires a reformatio, a reform allowing the Church to “rediscover its authentic shape, as the Second Vatican Council has already effected/accomplished [réalisé(e)]”. Reading the excerpts from the latest work by Msgr. Gherardini (see our Documents) shows that such a reformatio is more than compromised because, according to the director of the review Divinitas, this council is in conflict with Tradition on at least 9 points which are not insignificant. In passing, one might also ask whether this reformatio, presented as “already effected/accomplished by Vatican II” still needs to be done. And if it has already been effected/accomplished, what are its fruits? The creation of a new Pontifical Council for the evangelization of the countries which “are experiencing the progressive secularization of society and a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God’” provides a significant answer to that question.

See also the first comment at that thread for an editorial by Fr. Lorans on the possible tension between the respective aims of that Pontifical Council and of the new Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
July 20, 2010 at 3:57 am

Mr. Schütz, neither of the two Conciliar/Catechism texts you adduced said that Muslims worship the same deity as Christians, or that what they adore is the God of Abraham:

“In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.”

“The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, [Cf St. Gregory VII, letter XXI to Anzir (Nacir), King of Mauritania (Pl. 148, col. 450f.) ] who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.”

Given that Latin doesn’t have articles, I would expect that things like “the one and merciful God” and “the one God” could be translated respectively as ‘a single, merciful god’, ‘a single god’ (with capital ‘g’s if you prefer). Note also those two texts’ purely subjective linking of the Muslim God to the God of Abraham–”professing to hold the faith of Abraham”, “Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself”.

So in fact it would seem that the one and only Magisterial pronouncement which supports the identity of the Lord and the Muslim God is when John Paul II. said that “[w]e believe in the same God”. But given that His late Holiness made that statement “to a rally of Muslim youth” can it even be considered Magisterial? (And I don’t ask that rhetorically–can someone tell me whether that is to be classified as a Magisterial pronouncement? Mr. Schütz says that it was an Act of the Ordinary Magisterium, but the criteria for that are that the pronouncement be on a matter of Faith–the Catholic Faith, not the faith of any other religion–or morals and in the Pope or Bishop’s teaching capacity. John Paul II.’s statement that we (Christians and Muslims) believe in the same God seems to me to fail the first criterion, and possibly the second one too.

Now of course Muslims profess much about God which is knowable by unaided reason. But they also profess much about which unaided reason can give no answer, thus exceeding the proper scope of philosophy. If you ask the hypothetical ‘virtuous pagan’ (to whom the Gospel has not been announced but who knows, loves and serves God as far as right reason dictates) how many Persons are God and he answers ‘I don’t know’, then he worships the same God as Christians. But he who answers ‘God is not personal’ or ‘only one person is God’ does not. (Furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, Muslims are also in error on some points of natural theology–a commenter at this blog recently mentioned how she said to a Muslim colleague that God is love, which he denied).

So do Christians and Muslims believe in the same God? Mr. Schütz was right to point out that it is a non sequitur to say that “Muslims profess to be monotheists and therefore the God they worship must logically be the God we worship”. But if the fact that both Christians and Muslims profess monotheism does not imply that we believe in the same God, then why would the fact that both Christians and Muslims profess ‘Abrahamism’, to coin a term, imply that we believe in the same God (given that we disagree as to the content of ‘Abrahamism’)? It seems to me that there is no logical or Magisterial reason to conclude that the respective objects of Christian and Muslim adoration are one and the same.


At Terra's blog:

Cardinal Pole said...

"since Australia has secret ballots the requirement is to attend a polling station. One can then voting informally."

That is incorrect. Section 245(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 gives the following command:

"It shall be the duty of every elector to vote at each election."

(The same Act (Section 101) also commands us to apply "forthwith" to become electors if not electors already. Also, Sections 239 and 240 prescribe the manner of voting for Senate and Lower House elections, respectively, thus ruling out the possibility that an informal vote could satisfy the obligation to vote.)

So given that the requirements imposed in the Act are, as far as I know, just, possible, and properly promulgated, the Act is a valid law and thus its commands are binding in conscience (I have no reason to think that they are purely penal) and it would therefore be a sin not to vote (properly).

To sum up:

1. Australian law commands non-electors to become electors.
2. Australian law commands electors to vote (and not merely informally).
3. A lawful command by a competent authority (which is what the preceding commands are) binds on pain of sin, so informal voting is sinful, as is obstinate non-enrolment.
(Obviously there are also exceptions.)

And of course in addition to these intrinsic reasons there are also, as Terra indicated, extrinsic reasons to vote properly--one way or another, one of the candidates is going to win whichever office is being contested, so it seems to me that we might as well do our part to make sure that the least-worst one wins.

July 20, 2010 1:17 AM
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At Coo-ees:

Cardinal Pole said...

Check out the
conference photos which Mr. Coyne has helpfully provided--can anyone spot any Roman collars (I don't want to be too droll and ask whether anyone can spot any cassocks)?

July 20, 2010 2:25 AM
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Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Jerome Emiliani, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Notes: Friday, July 16, 2010

D.I.C.I. article regarding a study by Msgr. Gherardini

"The Warden" on the situation in The Diocese of Wollongong

Blog comment by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog, where Louise informs us that her baby's birth is imminent:

Cardinal Pole
July 16, 2010 at 5:02 am

I’ll be praying for you and your baby, Louise.

Please pray for a safe delivery and quick recovery for mother and child.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, A.D. 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 15, 2010

WOMEN'S brains function better at remembering information than men's, researchers have confirmed.

A Cambridge University study of 4407 men and women from East Anglia, southeastern England, discovered gender plays a clear difference in memory function.

In tests on participants aged between 48 to 90 years, women made an average of 5.9 fewer errors than men, regardless of age.

[...] “Although the links between sex and education and cognitive function have been explored before, this very large dataset provides striking evidence that these factors play a major role in determining how good our memory function is as we age," Dr Andrew Blackwell, Chief Scientific Officer at Cambridge University's Department of Psychiatry, said.

“Using these data, we can determine whether or not an individual’s memory function is normal or not for people of their age, sex and education level.

“A body of scientific literature has demonstrated that women typically outperform men on test of verbal function, whereas men tend to outperform women on tasks of spatial function.

"However, in this study, we used a measure of memory that is spatial and women consistently outperformed men.

“There are many possible explanations for this, including both neurobiological and environmental differences.”

"U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Vatican's Immunity Not What It Seems, Says Legal Expert"

Most important part:

But Addison points out that the Supreme Court issued no ruling, but merely decided not to decide on the issue at this stage of the case. Further, he insists that the Ninth Circuit ruling has been grossly mischaracterized.

The Ninth Circuit decision, he writes, was merely meant to establish a theoretical point of law, where the court was asked to rule under the presumption that all of the plaintiff’s allegations are true. “There has been no trial regarding Doe’s allegations or assertions and all the legal proceedings so
far have been entirely questions of law,” emphasized Addison.

“For the purposes of deciding whether the Holy See COULD be liable the 9th Circuit had to accept the bare assertion by Doe that Father Ronan was an employee of the Holy See,” he writes. “On that basis they decided that if (and it is a very big IF) Ronan was an employee of the Holy See then the Holy See would be vicariously liable for his actions.”

Further, he pointed out that the appeals court accepted the Holy See’s status as a sovereign state, as well as the fact that that status guarantees it the same immunities as every other state.

Addison says the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case is “not unusual” given that there has not yet been a trial or any findings of fact. Given these circumstances, he concludes, the decision “does not mean that the Supreme Court necessarily agrees or disagrees with the 9th Circuit.” Rather, it indicates “merely that the case has not yet reached a stage which is appropriate for adjudication by the Supreme Court.”

"U. of IL to 'Review' Firing of Catholic Prof. [namely Kenneth Howell]"

Mr. Donnelly on adoption by same-sex couples

Dr. Brown on the respective pontificates of Paul VI. and John Paul II.

Pope Paul VI took a very soft stance on dissident priests, bishops, and theologians because he wanted to avoid a schism, and Pope John Paul II largely followed his lead (although he did push the church in the right direction in a lot of more subtle ways).
Comment by ies0716

It had nothing to do with wanting to avoid a schism. If PVI wanted to avoid a schism, he would not have been so hard on the SSPX. PVI wanted to move the Church to the left for political reasons, so the Church could deal with secular govts. JPII was also interested in international politics. Both were what the Italians call papa politico.

IMHO, Voris is right referring to the problems but not so right in attributing them to the present hierarchy, most of whom inherited the mess.

Comment by robtbrown — 13 July 2010 @
8:59 pm

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Henry II., Emperor, Confessor, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More on the firing of a Catholic university lecturer for stating--simply stating, apparently regardless of whether he agreed or disagreed with it--Catholic/natural-law doctrine on morality

According to those reports (this quotation comes from the last of the three),

An unidentified student sent an e-mail to religion department head Robert McKim on May 13, calling Howell's e-mail "hate speech." The student claimed to be a friend of the offended student. The writer said in the e-mail that his friend wanted to remain anonymous.

"Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing," the student wrote. "Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another."

So apparently Dr. Howell was not, as I suggested in yesterday's edition of Notes, fired for openly agreeing with the natural law's prohibition of sodomy, but simply for stating it! Of course, the problem with the complainant's objection is: What if "the tenets of a [certain] religion" declare "that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of [more precisely, the natural law pertaining to/binding on] man"?

More on Church of England moves towards having ladybishops

New A.B.C. Religion and Ethics portal

U.R.L. for the portal:

H.H. The Pope declares "Religious freedom, the path to peace" to be the theme for the 2011 World Day of Peace

The only item in today's Vatican Information Service e-mail bulletin:


VATICAN CITY, 13 JUL 2010 (VIS) - "Religious freedom, the path to peace" is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the 2011 World Day of Peace.

"The World Day of Peace", reads a communique on the subject released today, "will therefore be dedicated to the theme of religious freedom. It is well known that in many parts of the world there are various forms of restriction or denial of religious freedom, from discrimination and marginalisation based on religion, to acts of violence against religious minorities".

"Religious freedom is authentically realised when it is experienced as the coherent search for truth and for the truth about man. This approach to religious freedom offers us a fundamental criterion for discerning the phenomenon of religion and its expressions. It necessarily rejects the 'religiosity' of fundamentalism, and the manipulation of truth and of the truth about man. Since such distortions are opposed to the dignity of man and to the search for truth, they cannot be considered as religious freedom".

The communique recalls words Benedict XVI's pronounced before the United Nations General Assembly in 2008: "Human rights, of course, must include the right to religious freedom, understood as the expression of a dimension that is at once individual and communitarian - a vision that brings out the unity of the person while clearly distinguishing between the dimension of the citizen and that of the believer".

The text continues: "Today there are many areas of the world in which forms of restrictions and limitations to religious freedom persist, both where communities of believers are a minority, and where communities of believers are not a minority, and where more sophisticated forms of discrimination and marginalisation exist, on the cultural level and in the spheres of public, civil and political activity. 'It is inconceivable', as Benedict XVI remarked, 'that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves - their faith - in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one's rights. The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature'".

The communique concludes by highlighting how "man cannot be fragmented, and separated from what he believes, because that in which he believes has an impact on his life and on his person. 'Refusal to recognise the contribution to society that is rooted in the religious dimension and in the quest for the Absolute - by its nature, expressing communion between persons - would effectively privilege an individualistic approach, and would fragment the unity of the person'. It is for this reason that: 'Religious Freedom is the Path to Peace'".
.../ VIS 20100713 (470)

Sad. Fortunately this is only an act of the Ordinary Magisterium; for the teaching of the Ordinary and Universal--and hence infallible--Magisterium, see the comments by "Pax Vobiscum" at this AQ thread on the matter of the 2011 World Day of Peace theme.

Interesting AQ thread on Creationism:

Particularly the comments by "Blandina":

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prof. Savulescu on the morality of menopause prediction and ovum freezing

Occasionally one sees references in the mainstream media to medical ethics expert Professor Julian Savulescu, so I wish to keep for future reference the following excerpts from an article entitled "Welcome to the new ice age" and which appeared in the Health section of one of the supplements in The Weekend Australian two Saturdays ago (the relevant page was unnumbered, apparently page ten of that supplement) (I also include the article's first paragraph as background):

SEX for fun. Technology for procreation. Judging by findings presented this week in Rome, this sci-fi scenario is not only plausible, it would be welcomed by women keen to sidestep the dictates of biology.

[...] Julian Savulescu, a medical ethics expert based at the universities of Oxford and Melbourne, reflects the meeting's tone: "I believe we have a moral imperative to offer women egg freezing to achieve equality."

[...] Healy is also sceptical about claims Iranian doctors made at the conference that they can predict menopause from a simple blood test. "Other studies at this conference have found menopause testing was no better predictor of menopause than the women's age alone."

But if such tests are developed, Savulescu welcomes them. "With this information, you can plan pregnancy, your family and possibly freezing eggs for later use. Both egg freezing and menopause predictions are liberty and autonomy enhancing."

Savulescu adds that many concerns raised about freezing eggs for use by older women -- such as risks for the mother and implications for the child -- also apply to IVF treatment, which is routinely offered to older women.

He argues that preventing women using their eggs when older is sexual discrimination since men have no time limit on when they can father children.

Savulescu cites British IVF pioneer Robert Edwards's assessment: "If a man of 60 fathers a baby, then we buy him a drink and toast his health at the pub. But it's totally different with a woman of the same age."

Yet older women may be in a much better position financially and emotionally to care for their child, says Savulescu, noting that the arguments for egg freezing go beyond biology, as Nekkebroeck's and Gorthis's findings suggest.

"We should proactively seek to change this situation to ensure women have the opportunity to pursue a career as they choose, rather than having to fit into a model designed without them in mind."


Reginaldvs Cantvar

Notes: Friday-Tuesday, July 9-13, 2010

Mr. Magister on recently-published books by Prof. Amerio and Msgr. Gherardini and H.H. The Pope's expected attitude towards them

Msgr. Williamson on the Vatican-S.S.P.X. doctrinal discussions

More on G.L.B.T. aged care

I'm still trying to work out what all these 'gay-specific ageing issues' are which require this extra funding and attention. I checked out the provided U.R.L. for the GLBTI Retirement Association but I'm still none the wiser.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just a blog comment by me (no news articles, blog posts, or discussion-board posts worth highlighting today, it seems):

Cardinal Pole, on July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm Said:

“[You] did define rights.”

No, you didn’t, at least not in this post, in any other recent posts as far as I know, or in the posts to which you linked. Here are the three paragraphs where you talk about what you think rights are (the following is taken from the first of the two links which you provided; both of the posts to which you linked are, of course, almost identical, with a bit of American political history as background at the start, then these three paragraphs, then an explanation of why you think rights are important):

“Moving beyond Madison, a discussion of the concept of rights needs to happen. What is a right? A succinct definition is hard to formulate, but I think a good idea can be created. Something which does not infringe upon another’s rights should be a right [1.]. This alone isn’t much of a definition because it assumes the existence of rights, the very thing we want to define. But within a certain context [2.] it does give a good approximation of what a right should be; we already have established rights (free speech, religious beliefs, protest, etc), so assuming we agree [3.] on those, we can ask ourselves, does X infringe upon these? If the answer is “no”, then there’s a good chance [4.] that X is a right.

“I think it is eminently appropriate to also include safety and security as one defining piece of rights [5.]. Does X cause bodily harm to me or others? Does it cause undue financial hardships? Does it put someone at risk of life or health? If the answer is “no”, we again have another good indicator [6.] that X is a right.

“I hope it hasn’t escaped anyone that the previous two paragraphs are speaking of natural rights. These are rights which extend to all peoples, not merely Americans or Europeans or Russians or any one particular group. They are effectually based upon the idea that rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition [7.].”
[my square-bracketed interpolations throughout]

1. That’s a characteristic (and one asserted without explaining why it’s necessary), not a definition.
2. So you’re talking about rights “within a certain context”, and even then, you’ve only come up with a “good approximation”, not a definition.
3. Yeah, “assuming we agree”. And it’s hard to know whether we agree or disagree until you tell us what you think a right is.
4. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”; that’s nice. Still waiting for a definition, though.
5. Why? (And that’s still only “one defining piece of rights”, not a definition of rights.)
6. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”, and now we have a “good indicator”. Still no definition.
7. So “rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition”. Now we know on what rights are to be based, but we still don’t know what rights are.

So, no definition of rights. Do you, in fact, know what a right is? (Do you even know what a definition is?!)

“[I] have a search bar for 1,000+ posts, a number of which are on same-sex marriage.”

Ha ha ha, so I have to go trawling through more than a thousand posts in order to find “a number” (1? 2? 3? 998? 999? 1000?) of posts, which, while being “on” same-sex marriage, probably won’t even tell me what you think marriage is, if your posts “on” rights are anything to go by. If you don’t want to discuss these matters then just say so and save us both the time.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen, Widow, A.D. 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Notes: Wednesday, July 7, 2010


One of the items in yesterday's edition of Notes was headlined "Pretender Archbishop of Canterbury approves sodomite for Anglican pseudobishopric". But it is not clear whether Dr. John is or has been a sodomite (or catamite; whatever), that is, a practising homosexual, so I have revised that headline to read "Pretender Archbishop of Canterbury approves "openly gay cleric" for Anglican pseudobishopric".

"Mothers worse off in settlements"

Body of the article:

Mothers fare worse than fathers in property settlements after separation compared with the amount of time children spend with them, a study shows.

About two-thirds of the mothers received a smaller percentage of the property than the percentage of time with the children.

Some had the children for 80 per cent of the time but received less than 50 per cent of the settlement. The study by Belinda Fehlberg, professor of law at the University of Melbourne, involved 60 separated parents.

The starting position might be a 50-50 split and women would often get an extra 10-15 per cent if the children lived with them.

The study suggests the connection between settlements and parenting arrangements is no longer clear. ''The mothers were more financially disadvantaged,'' she said.

"Bill Forcing Compliance with Gay Ceremonies Passes Irish Lower House"

Excerpts from the AQ post (originally from LifeSiteNews):

On July 1st, Ireland’s Civil Partnership Bill completed its passage through the Dail (Lower House) without a vote.

Under the bill, civil registrars could face a fine of €2,000 (U.S. $2500) and up to six months in prison for conscientiously refusing to carry out a ceremony for a homosexual couple. Similar penalties are outlined for anyone refusing for reasons of conscience to rent meeting facilities for homosexual partnership ceremonies.

The bill would create a near-equivalent situation to marriage for same-sex partners in terms of property, social welfare, succession, maintenance, pensions and taxes.

In March, the Catholic bishops said in a statement that these provisions are a violation of the Irish constitution’s protections of religious freedom and the family based on marriage. It creates “a new and dangerous expansion of State power. Conscientious Catholics, Protestants, Muslims or Jews are effectively being told by the Irish State that they need not apply for a position as a Civil Registrar,” the bishops’ statement said.

[...] Homosexualist activists complained that the bill does not go far enough, saying it needs a clause allowing same-sex partners with custody of children to be legally recognized as “joint parents.”

Critics have said that the bill is contrary to the intention of the Irish constitution, which specifically protects marriage as the foundation of the family. Article 41 states, “The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage, on which the Family is founded.” The constitution also recognizes “the family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”

“The state, therefore, guarantees to protect the family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the nation and the state.”

[...] The homosexualist lobby has made huge strides very quickly in Ireland, where ten years ago “gay rights” were a non-issue in politics. Despite lack of interest in the issue among the general public, since 2001 the Irish media began to give increasingly favorable attention to the movement. By the 2007 general election, all parties had included support for homosexual civil unions, with Sinn Féin and the Green Party supporting full civil “marriage.”

With more sympathetic media exposure, the homosexualist cause has also started receiving greater public support. In 2008 a poll showed that 84% of Irish people supported civil marriage or civil partnerships for homosexuals, with 58% supporting gay “marriage” in registry offices.

See also "wrigleys"'s comment there for more information on the Irish Constitution.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Bishops, Confessors, A.D. 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Facts and figures: On extra-nuptial births, cohabitation, and mothers in the paid work-force

From today's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald:

NOTHING short of a revolution has swept through the institutions of marriage and family in the last 30 years, says the director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Alan Hayes.

The most striking change is the surge in babies born out of wedlock. More than a third of babies born in 2008 were to unmarried mothers, up from 8.3 per cent in 1970.

[...] The big rise in ex-nuptial births is to cohabiting couples, he says, with the proportion born to single women on their own having remained stable since the early 1990s.

[...] Professor Hayes will report today on the modern family at the annual conference of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, which has charted the dramatic changes since it opened 30 years ago.

[...] Rebecca Huntley, director of Ipsos Mackay Research, said for many members of generation Y, the sign of commitment was the decision to have children and to buy a house together. But later when they could afford it, the couple splashed out on a big, ostentatious wedding.

"They see the wedding as a party with 150 friends," she said. "For their parents' generation a wedding was the licence to buy a house and have the children."

Another sign of the revolution is the proportion of couples who have lived together before marrying each other, which reached 78 per cent in 2008 compared to 23 per cent in 1980. As well, both parents are much more likely to be in work, with 63 per cent of mothers of dependent children in jobs.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Notes: Saturday-Tuesday, July 3-6, 2010

the chief executive of the anti-abortion group Right to Life NSW, Chiang Lim, said the fact that the survey was conducted online meant it had to be taken with ''a bucketful of salt''.

''If you don't do it face to face with proper control groups you are not doing a proper survey.''

Pretender Archbishop of Canterbury approves "openly gay cleric" for Anglican pseudobishopric

Mr. Carr on Communists in the A.L.P.

The Hon. Bob Carr had an interesting opinion piece in yesterday's edition of The Australian. Here are some excerpts:

The revelation of dual [C.P.A.-A.L.P.] membership is rich in implications. They recast the political history of Australia from the 1950s to the 70s.

First, they vindicate the decision of a large part of Catholic Australia to veto the election of federal Labor governments by voting for the breakaway Democratic Labor Party after the Labor split of 1955.

Still something of a Labor romantic, I find it painful to squeeze this out, but it strikes me the DLP indictment of the ramshackle Labor Party led by H. V. Evatt and Arthur Calwell was mostly right.

A "pro-communist left wing" - you can hear Bob Santamaria enunciating it as one word - secured an elevated role in the ALP once so many Catholics withdrew and this Labor Left was led (or largely led) by figures who kept a dual membership in the Communist Party in their bottom drawers or pasted in the end piece of an unread Das Kapital above the family fireplace.

[...] From Aarons's book not just Whitlam but the whole ALP Right is elevated, the party members who did not take Santamaria's advice and walk out but who opted to stay in the ALP and fight. Their names should be recorded on some kind of honour roll. They include Laurie Short and John Ducker, and the secretaries of unions of carpenters, electricians and rubber workers now dead and forgotten, united in a view that the party of Curtin and Chifley was not to be packaged up and handed over to Marxist-Leninists and outright Soviet agents.

[my square-bracketed interpolations,]

And here are some interesting comments from that article's comments section:

Keiron J Long Posted at 10:49 AM Today

Bob Carr is a tad selective in his newfound historical narritive (Thankfully, Whitlam and Co, July 5). The Catholics were basically driven out of the Labor Party by Evatt and his Commie mates who Bob Carr only now discovers controlled the ALP. Someone should tell Bob about the number of Catholics that lost ALP endorsement as parliamentarians because of their opposition to communism within the Labor Party. Just for starters, why don't we mention the State seat of Hawthorn in Victoria, held by a Mr Murphy, for Labor. Once Mr Murphy was cut down by the ALP the seat became a Liberal stronghold.
Comment 11 of 25

corso cowboy Posted at 11:15 AM Today

So Bob Santamaria was right about the ALP after all? What comes out of this book is not to praise the "stay in an fighters" (as Carr does) but those who sacrificed their careers for principle and preferneced Menzies so ensuring that from 1954 - 1972 a Popular Front Government did not rule Australia.
Comment 15 of 25

G of Perth Posted at 11:24 AM Today

What is the difference between the policies of the 1960's Labor left described in this report and the policies of the current Greens Party of today?
Comment 16 of 25

See also these letters in today's edition of The Australian.

Blog comment by me:

At Mr. Hawkins's blog:

Cardinal Pole, on July 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm Said:

Clarify things? In those posts you don’t even define what rights, those posts’ very subject matter, are, let alone what marriage is.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Friday, July 2, 2010

Notes: Friday, July 2, 2010

Mr. Croome and Mr. Raj on so-called gay marriage

Both these opinion pieces are rubbish, but both are worth highlighting, Mr. Raj's because it provides a useful summary of the standard (fallacious) arguments for 'gay marriage', and Mr. Croome's because it's good for a laugh: He begins by considering some reasons why The Hon. Julia Gillard M.P. might have a 'personal view', as has been reported, against gay marriage, one of which is the following astounding non sequitur:

She has no children, so it can't be because she believes there's an obligatory link between procreation and the right to marry.

Did it not occur to Mr. Croome that the link between marriage and procreation might be precisely why Ms Gillard has neither married nor procreated? Whether it's a matter of not wanting to marry because there would be an obligation to have children, or not wanting to have children because it would entail an obligation to marry, either way, there's clearly no reason inherent in the condition of childlessness to think that the childless reject an obligatory link between marriage and children. Quite the contrary, in fact--a desire not to marry might be precisely why they haven't had children.

And I was interested to learn the following:

["[M]arriage equality advocates"] have asked the Icelandic Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, who married her same-sex partner a few days ago, to explain to Gillard why marriage equality is so important to same-sex couples and their families, and to a just society.

The Icelandic leader would also do well to ask Gillard if the Australian government will officially recognise her wife, should the couple visit Australia, and, if so, why that recognition can't be extended to the hundreds of Australian same-sex couples who are also legally married overseas.

Ha! What a sight that would be! Mr. Croome goes on to ponder why Ms Gillard might be personally opposed to gay marriage:

Perhaps she believes the overreaching claims of Pentecostal pastors about the influence of their mega-churches in key marginal seats. Perhaps she owes something to those right-wing Catholic MPs who are, in turn, under the unhealthy influence of Rome. Perhaps she simply wants to convince voters that she is a leader of conviction, even when she knows those convictions are wrong.

Perhaps Mr. Croome's intellect is under the unhealthy influence of Sodom, because it seems not to have occured to him that marriage, in any sense of the word, is the uniting of two complementary parts into a whole, that in marriage, in the sense of matrimony, the complementarity is primarily sexual (not merely semi- or quasi-sexual), and that, since two persons of the same sex have no sexual complementarity, then just as an opposite-sex couple in which at least one member is relatively or absolutely impotent cannot have matrimony, neither can a same-sex couple have matrimony. Could it be that Ms Gillard is, her atheism notwithstanding, clear-minded enough to recognise this, and hence she is opposed to so-called gay marriage?

Link to an on-line transcription of the 1859 Haydock Bible commentary:
(Discovered here:

A couple of observations regarding the recent Roman Curial appointments

From LifeSiteNews via AQ:

In his seventh year as a Cardinal and at age 66, Cardinal Ouellet still has at least 9 more years to be in a prominent role of service to the Church (official retirement age is 75). His appointment as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops comes at an especially opportune time given that nine of the 19 Latin Rite bishops in his home province of Quebec are set to retire in the next two years. And within that number are four of the five most powerful posts or 'metropolitan sees' as they are known.

Quebec's bishops, with the current exception of Cardinal Ouellet and perhaps one or two others, are known to be the principal force behind the spread of damaging liberalism throughout the Church in Canada - a situation many hope will change with the appointment of Cardinal Ouellet to head the Pope's 'bishop selection committee.'


From Dr. Brown at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog:

If the cardinal cannot appoint orthodox staff to his own seminary, I have no idea how he is going to appoint orthodox bishops to the universal Church.
Comment by Deimater

He won’t because it will not be his job. Bishops are nominated by the pope. Of course, the Prefect does have power, and there was a difference between the Congregation run by Gantin. On the other hand, the nominations are the result of a complex process involving the Prefect, the Sec (who seems to be a Re clone), the members, the nunzio, and certain powerful members of a nation’s episcopacy.

IMHO, of equal importance is that another Sodano ally is out of power. When BXVI became pope, Sodano was Sec of State, Sandri the Sostituto, and Re was at Bishops. That made it possible to frustrate whatever BXVI wanted to do.

Comment by robtbrown — 1 July 2010 @
8:19 am
[bold type in the original,]

Mr. Obeid refutes some of the standard Fundamentalist objections to Catholic beliefs and practices

H.H. The Pope appoints The Lord Bishop of Basel as President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

From today's Vatican Information Service daily e-mail bulletin:


VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland, as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, he succeeds Cardinal Walter Kasper whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NA/ VIS 20100701 (60)

A couple of blog comments by me:

At "For the Sake of Science", by Mr. Michael Hawkins: I just couldn't resist making this comment:

Cardinal Pole, on July 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm Said:

“No new data is gained from logic.”

No new data are gained from grammar, either.

which I published after my introductory comment:

Cardinal Pole, on July 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm Said:

Hello Mr. Hawkins, I came across your blog while looking for a transcript of the comment by Ms Gillard which you’ve quoted here.

I’m trying to work out why you support same-sex marriage. (Naturally I checked your “gay marriage” and “Same-sex marriage” labels first, but they contained links to posts from other blogs; I also skim-read your blog’s first page, to no avail.) Could you explain why, or direct me to a post where you do so? I can understand how, as an atheist/anti-theist, you would see no moral reason to oppose it (no higher being than man => no such thing as true and proper moral obligation, no natural law, &c.), but there would still be the logical reasons (following from the definition of marriage, in its most general sense, as the uniting of two complementary parts into a whole, with marriage in the particular sense of matrimony involving sexual complementarity) .

(I’ll be back on Monday night, Australian time.)


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary, A.D. 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Two V.I.S. bulletin items: One on the new Curial dicastery, the other on recent Vatican personnel changes


From today's edition of the Vatican Information Service (V.I.S.) daily e-mail bulletin:


2010 (VIS) - ...


And he went on: "It is in this perspective that I have decided to create a new organisation, in the form of a Pontifical Council, with the fundamental task of promoting renewed evangelisation in countries where the first announcement of the faith has already been heard and where there are Churches of ancient foundation, but where a progressive secularisation of society is being experienced, a kind of 'eclipse of the meaning of God'". These countries, he said, "are a challenge to us to find the adequate means to re-present the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ".

HML/ VIS 20100630 (650)

Important recent Vatican personnel changes:

Also from today's V.I.S. daily e-mail bulletin (note: The following is not the complete news item, just the parts of it which I want to highlight):


VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, as president of the recently-announced Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.

- Appointed Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, as president of the same academy.

- Appointed Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, as apostolic nuncio to Poland.

- Appointed Fr. John Richard Cihak as a master of pontifical ceremonies.
NA:NN:NER:RE:NEA/ VIS 20100630 (380)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, A.D. 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 1, 2010

Herald letters on Ms Gillard's opposition to so-called gay marriage and on Ms Keneally's support for adoption by same-sex couples

Interesting to read the following sentence from one of the correspondents:

Marriage equality will come to Australia in time, and Ms Gillard, Kristina Keneally, Tony Abbott and their ilk will be remembered as having been on the wrong side of history as the last defenders of this historic injustice and breach of civil rights.

Note two things there: The terms '[m]arriage equality' and 'wrong side of history'. Each of these terms is a part of the Sodomites' League's rhetorical repertory in discussions on so-called gay marriage; the former is in the name of an Australian pro-'gay-marriage' lobby organisation "Australian Marriage Equality" (whose website's F.A.Q. answers I refuted here), and a pro-real-marriage person--I'm not sure, but it might have been Prof. Robert George--predicted that we will see the latter used repeatedly by the Sodomites' League. Both these pieces of rhetoric are easy to refute though: As for the former, homosexuals already have complete marriage equality with heterosexuals, and as for the latter, the fact that something is on the 'wrong' or 'right side of history' is neither here nor there; what matters is whether it is logically and morally valid. One can easily imagine, say, the Bolsheviks warning their opponents about being on the 'wrong side of history', especially given the Marxist view of the stages of history, as they rose to power, but that doesn't make Bolshevism a good thing.

"John" with some information from MercatorNet about same-sex parenting

Two of "John"'s excerpts from the article were particularly noteworthy:

Research is increasingly clear that many lesbigay partners enter into their versions of a committed relationship with expectations that cheating is acceptable. Some research suggests that gay men have more stable relationships only if cheating is permitted.


Richard Redding, writing in a 2008 issue of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, concluded that gay parents were more likely to have gay children. My meta-analyses of 26 studies and ten books on GLBT parenting concur with his findings (Schumm, in press). Furthermore, my research indicates that many literature reviews have systematically excluded information about negative child outcomes associated with gay parenting -- that is, greater levels of insecure attachment and drug abuse among daughters of gay fathers.

Neither of these findings should come as suprises; as regards the former, as even the "homosexual advocate and intellectual" Mr. Andrew Sullivan has acknowledged, "[t]here is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman" (cited in the submission from The Archdiocese of Sydney to the N.S.W. Inquiry into adoption by same-sex couples, p. 5, section 17--go hither in order to download the P.D.F. submission) (and didn't you just love the paradox of "gay men hav[ing] more stable relationships only if cheating is permitted"?!).

A letter to the Tele on the natural law

I was pleased to see the following letter published on page thirty-four of yesterday's Sydney Daily Telegraph (apparently not available on-line, so the following is my own transcription), in a collection of letters under the heading "Waiting to see what this PM can do for us", with "Keep it personal" as the letter's own heading:

I AGREE with David Ridge (Your Say, June 29) that a politician should not push their [sic] religious views on to the general public.
However, every politician has a duty to uphold the natural law in all things, irrespective of their religious leanings or lack of.
In respect to abortion, natural law dictates that human life is sacrosanct from its embryotic [sic] beginning through to its natural or accidental demise, and any deliberate and intentional extinction of this life is a crime against nature.
Again, the erosion of human rights -- partiuclarly against women -- is in defiance of the natural law.
All people, irrespective of race, colour or religion are equal.
They may have different natural roles to play, but all people are entitled to the same respect. Because a politician is a member of a particular religion does not mean they are pushing their religious convictions politically.
All Christian religions have their basis in the natural law.
Tony Byrne Whitebridge

Obviously the letter wasn't perfect (for instance, the natural law does not forbid all deliberate and intentional destruction of human life, just the destruction of innocent human life on human authority), but I was nevertheless pleased to see it published, for a couple of reasons:

1. One problem with arguing for the morality or immorality of a certain act by appeal to 'traditional morality/ethics/values', 'Christian morality/ethics/values', or, most problematically of all, 'Judeo-Christian morality/ethics/values', is that one's opponent can simply dismiss one's reasoning as being perhaps internally consistent, but nevertheless not valid for those who are don't belong to that tradition or religion. (See this blog post, and particularly its combox, for examples.)

2. It's also just nice to see the natural law being mentioned in the mainstream media, in which we usually see 'traditional/Christian/Judeo-Christian morality/ethics/values' pitted against 'secular/non-religious morality/ethics/values', when we would do better to speak of the contest as being between natural-law morality and positivist (a/im)morality.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, A.D. 2010