Monday, September 27, 2010

Notes: Saturday-Monday, September 25-27, 2010

A letter in The Australian on contraception

When I read His Eminence The Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney's opinion piece in last Saturday's edition of The Weekend Australian I feared that there would be a flood of anti-Pell, pro-Pill letters, but The Australian has so far published only one letter on the topic, and I was pleased that it was supportive of His Eminence:

THERE will be any number of reasons submitted as to why Cardinal Pell is wrong to reject the pill ("The relationships market after 50 years of the pill", Commentary, 25-26/9) but they could be boiled down to one: argue as you will but don't deprive us of the pleasure of easy sex.

As to the argument that celibate priests know nothing about sexual relationships, it can fairly be stated that a Catholic priest learns more via the confessional in one year than the average person learns in a lifetime.

Bob Denahy, Holbrook, NSW

Leo XIII. on Christendom, social unity in the Faith, and union of Church and State

In an AQ thread on the Eastern Schism, someone posted Leo XIII.'s Apostolic Letter Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, some of whose excerpts are also worth highlighting for their reiteration of some points of Traditional socio-political doctrine:

Nothing is more foreign to her disposition than to encroach on the rights of civil power; but the civil power in its turn must respect the rights of the Church, and beware of arrogating them in any degree to itself. Now, what is the ruling spirit of the times when actual events and circumstances are taken into account? No other than this: it has been the fashion to regard the Church with suspicion, to despise and hate and spitefully calumniate her; and, more intolerable still, men strive with might and main to bring her under the sway of civil governments. Hence it is that her property has been plundered and her liberty curtailed: hence again, that the training of her Priesthood has been beset with difficulties; that laws of exceptional rigor have been passed against her Clergy; that Religious Orders, those excellent safeguards of Christianity, have been suppressed and placed under a ban; in a word, the principles and practice of the regalists have been renewed with increased virulence.

Such a policy is a violation of the most Sacred Rights of the Church, and it breeds enormous evils to States, for the very reason that it is in open conflict with the Purposes of God. When God, in His most Wise Providence, placed over human society both temporal and Spiritual Authority, He intended them to remain distinct indeed, but by no means disconnected and at war with each other. On the contrary, both the Will of God and the common weal of human society imperatively require that the civil power should be in accord with the Ecclesiastical in its Rule and Administration.

Hence the State has its own peculiar rights and duties, the Church likewise has hers; but it is necessary that each should be united with the other in the bonds of concord. Thus will it come about that the close mutual relations of Church and State will be freed from the present turmoil, which for manifold reasons is ill-advised and most distressing to all well-disposed persons; furthermore, it will be brought to pass that, without confusion or separation of the peculiar interests of each, the people will render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

[...] As regards the political question, which aims at reconciling liberty with Authority--two things which many confound in theory, and separate too widely in practice--most efficient aid may be derived from the Christian Philosophy. For, when this point has been settled and recognized by common agreement, that, whatsoever the form of government, the Authority is from God, reason at once perceives that in some there is a Legitimate right to command, in others the corresponding duty to obey, and that without prejudice to their dignity, since obedience is rendered to God rather than to man; and God has denounced the most rigorous judgment against those in Authority, if they fail to represent Him with uprightness and justice. Then the liberty of the individual can afford ground of suspicion or envy to no one; since, without injury to any, his conduct will be guided by Truth and rectitude and whatever is allied to public order. Lastly, if it be considered what influence is possessed by the Church, the mother of and peacemaker between rulers and peoples, whose mission it is to help them both with her Authority and Counsel, then it will be most manifest how much it concerns the commonweal that all nations should resolve to unite in the same belief and the same profession of the Christian Faith.


With that in mind I was dismayed to read this comment by a confused individual at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog.

Mr. Farr on Sen. Brown's (changing) priorities

I was interested to read the following in Mr. Malcolm Farr's column in the Sydney Daily Telegraph last Friday:

Expectations of loopy legislative rants by the Greens, and of instability caused by them, will be disappointed.

Personally [Sen. Bob Brown] strongly opposes what he calls discrimination against same-sex marriage but as leader of the third-biggest voting bloc in Parliament he won’t attempt to end it by legislation.

So let me get this straight: Dr. Brown went into the election with, if I'm not mistaken, so-called gay marriage, but not euthanasia, among his stated priorities, but now he's given up on the former but is pursuing, in effect, the latter?

More from Mr. Muehlenberg on euthanasia

A couple of excerpts:

And the argument for a right to suicide is a very strange argument indeed. A person seeks to use his autonomy to end his autonomy! Suicide thus means the end of personal autonomy. It seems to be the ultimate oxymoron to speak about the choice to rob oneself of choice. As Leon Kass points out, “In the name of choice, people claim the right to choose to cease to be choosing beings.”

Or as Arthur Dyck asks, “how can suicide be considered a right, when the freedom to undertake it puts an end to all possibilities to act, to freedom and life, and hence is an act that abolishes these basic rights?” So much for choice and autonomy.

And as J.P. Moreland says, “Suicide is also a self-refuting act, for it is an act of freedom that destroys future acts of freedom; it is an affirmation of being that negates being; it serves a human good (e.g., a painless state) but, as a means to that end, violates other, more basic human goods (e.g., life itself).”

Also, it is a very strange kind of compassion which says that the way to relieve suffering is to kill the sufferer. We should be concentrating on removing the suffering, not the sufferer. That is why the many advances in palliative care and the treatment of pain are so important: it really is quite unnecessary to argue for the legalised killing of patients, even if done in the name of compassion.

"Athanasius" on the 'death-bringing' Old Law

Athanasius citing Johannes Baptist Franzelin:

... On the other hand, the doctrine and practice of the Quattordecimans are of a different species altogether, for they contended that Christians were required to keep both the rite and time of Jewish celebration from the Mosaic law, which is the error of the Ebionites. Thus it was no longer a matter of simply apostolic tradition, but of Divine Apostolic tradition, as it stands the rights, laws and types after their fulfillment through Christ the anti-type are dead and, the gospel being sufficiently promulgated, are also death bringing (mortiferos esse). -De Traditione, Thesis I

Athanasius in his own words:

Moreover, Christ revealed exactly Who God is, by the Divine economy He established by which His preaching was entrusted in toto to the Apostles and passed down to us. When the Jews deny the incarnation or the distinctions within God of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, after this revelation has been made they are no longer worshiping the same God. ...

Mr. Hennessy on the withholding of information about the trialled ethics classes

In yesterday's Sydney Catholic Weekly, Mr. Jude Hennessy, director of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine from The Diocese of Wollongong, was quoted thus:

“Like Mr O’Farrell, we have concerns about the process that first led to the implementation of the ethics classes and subsequently the review. In the first instance, the schools that volunteered their own involvement in the trial, have also written their own report card for Dr Knight.

“Anyone else who wanted to get access to the lessons were unable to do so, and in fact we are still awaiting access to eight of the 10 lessons under Freedom of Information requests.

“Certainly, we regarded it as strange that review process was formulated after the conclusion of the trial, and then not properly communicated to stakeholders.”


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs, A.D. 2010


Cardinal Pole said...

I was wrong to write yesterday that

"The Australian has so far published only one letter on the topic"

There was, in fact, also a short letter published in the "Last Post" section:

"Who cares if Cardinal Pell opposes the pill for economic or any other reason? No one is forcing him to take it.

"Richard Sallie, Nedlands, WA"

Which (letter) of course misses His Eminence's point: Individual decisions have social consequences.

Cardinal Pole said...

"Dr. Brown went into the election with, if I'm not mistaken, so-called gay marriage, but not euthanasia, among his stated priorities, but now he's given up on the former but is pursuing, in effect, the latter?"

See also Mr. Costello in Fairfax today:

"When Greens leader Bob Brown was asked to name his first legislative priority for the new Parliament, he had no hesitation - euthanasia. He wants to repeal the federal statute that outlawed euthanasia in the Northern Territory. "This will restore the rights of Territorians to be able to legislate for euthanasia,'' he told Network Ten.

"I wonder if all those people who voted for the Greens in August expected that? They might have thought that a carbon reduction scheme was the number one Green priority or an end to logging. But it turns out it is euthanasia.

"The Greens have a funny attitude to people. They care about them, of course, but they worry that there are too many of them and that this will choke the environment. They say we need a "sustainable relationship between humans and the environment" that involves a lot more birth control and a lot less use of natural resources.

"The Greens are the only political party committed to abortion on demand. The other parties leave it to the conscience of each MP to decide how to vote on abortion. Labor has members with differing views as do the Liberals. Not the Greens. Their position is spelt out in their policy platform."