Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, December 7-Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1. "If present trends continue, Europe and Japan will lose half their population by the end of the century"

http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/article.php?classID=3&subclassID=7&articleID=9327&class=Features&subclass=Cardinal's Comment

Labels: demography

2. Several web-pages on or relating to a recent development in U.S. foreign policy

2.1 "US ready to push for gay rights abroad"









Labels: G.L.B.T., human rights, U.S.A.

2.2 "Nigeria’s bishops praise ban on public expression of homosexuality"


Labels: G.L.B.T., Hierarchy, Nigeria

2.3 "[U.S.] Senate blocks El Salvador ambassador over homosexual-rights advocacy"


Labels: G.L.B.T., U.S.A.

3. On two recent court cases involving polyamory:
Two court cases, one in Canada last month and one in Australia earlier in the year, show that while British-based law remains resolute against multiple partner marriage, it accepts that a common law threesome is not illegal or even necessarily family-unfriendly.

In the Canadian case, British Columbia Chief Justice Robert Bauman upheld Canada's anti-polygamy law, but left polyamorous families free from sanction if they do not commit an overt act of multiple marriage.

The Australian case involved a man whose wife had left him for another man and a woman, and taken the children. When the trio set up house together, mingled their respective offspring, and shared the same bedroom, the jilted husband applied to the court seeking an urgent order that the children be removed from the "immoral" household.

But magistrate Philip Burchardt rejected the application, saying the threesome seemed to be "thoroughly decent and honest people" and "I do not regard the relationship . . . as being damaging to the children."

[ellipsis in the original,
(See here for Mr. Muehlenberg's reaction to that Weekend Australian article.)

Labels: families, marriage, polyamory

4. "Under a new policy approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the heads of other Roman dicasteries who wish to apply to the Pontiff for "special faculties" to handle problems outside the normal processes of canon law must apply through the Secretary of State, rather than appealing directly to the Pope"


You can read the relevant Rescript, in its original Italian, on pp. 127-128 (pp. 41-42 of your browser) of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, here.

Labels: Roman Curia

5. "[Catholic] School forced to take same-sex couple's daughter"



Related coverage:









Labels: Catholic schools, G.L.B.T.

6. Dr. Arndt on the inadequacies of research findings which purport to show that children in the custody of same-sex couples do at least as well as those of opposite-sex ones:
It has never made sense that gay parents complain of prejudice and exclusion and in the same breath propose their children are suffering no adverse consequences. In fact, in recent years the research allegedly supporting these rosy claims has come under scrutiny and found to be sorely lacking.

"The methods are so flawed that these studies prove nothing," say Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai, experts in qualitative analysis.

"Not a single one of these studies was conducted according to generally accepted standards of scientific research," concludes sociology professor Steven Nock.

Most of the scholarship on gay parenting is conducted by researchers sympathetic to gay concerns and fails to include proper controls, relies on very small samples and uses unreliable or invalid measures.

The reality is that while resilient children may do well despite the prejudice many encounter, others have a hard time.

I include the first and last sentences of that quotation in order not to seem to suggest that Dr. Arndt questions the findings because she thinks that same-sex 'parenting' is innately inferior to opposite-sex parenting; apparently, Dr. Arndt would attribute disadvantage experienced by children in the custody of same-sex couples relative to those of opposite-sex ones to 'discrimination', 'prejudice', 'homophobia', 'exclusion', the usual buzzwords.

Labels: families, G.L.B.T.

7. "JAY Weatherill[, the South Australian Premier,] has backed a push by a gay MP on his frontbench to allow same-sex couples to access IVF in South Australia"

And a "new law will at last give de facto lesbian couples in South Australia the same rights as others to be formally recognised as co-parents and ensure their child has two legal parents":


Labels: birth certificates, G.L.B.T., I.V.F., S.A.

8. "The Irish Government is now issuing the certificates to applicants who can prove their Irish ancestry"

http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/article.php?classID=1&subclassID=3&articleID=9314&class=News&subclass=CW World

This is the website of that initiative:


Labels: Ireland

9. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference's (A.C.B.C.'s) Media Blog has, apparently, been officially launched

Here is its U.R.L.:


I say "apparently", judging by a recent article in the Sydney Catholic Weekly which provided a round-up of the acts of the recent A.C.B.C. plenary but which does not seem to be available on-line; the Media Blog has been on-line for some time now, so I presume that what occured at the plenary was its official launch.

Labels: A.C.B.C., blogs

10. Mr. DeLano has a blog:


(That came to my attention via this comment at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog.)

Labels: blogs

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, November 30-Tuesday, December 6, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

2. Msgr. Williamson on the State's duties regarding Christ the King


Labels: Church and State, Confessional State, morality, political science, Social Reign of Christ

3. H.H. The Pope on the death penalty




VIS 20111130 (290)

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, death penalty

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Notes: Wednesday, November 30-Tuesday, December 6, 2011 (part 1 of 2)

1. Several recent articles on or relating to so-called Gay marriage

1.1 Dr. Walter on conscience votes and religion in politics


I would like to write a rebuttal of that article but I don't have time, so I just want to consider one point here: Dr. Walter concludes by writing that "to judge legislation according to the requirements of religious belief is to avoid the discipline of public life, and we should loudly and clearly call this abuse of office". Now, how does Dr. Walter propose to remedy that "abuse" if the politician is, say, a Catholic who takes seriously the teaching of St. Pius X. in §24 of Pascendi?

Labels: Church and State, morality, secularism

1.2 Prof. Gaita on so-called Gay marriage


I log that as an example of the befuddlement which afflicts even the more learned advocates of so-called Gay marriage.

Labels: G.L.B.T., marriage, morality

1.3 "the Queensland parliament last [week] passed a bill that legalised civil unions for same-sex couples"



Labels: civil partnerships, G.L.B.T., Queensland

1.4 Msgr. Nichols on "civil partnerships"




Labels: civil partnerships, G.L.B.T., marriage, morality, Vincent Nichols

1.5 "Labor voted overwhelmingly [last Saturday] to adopt marriage equality as its official policy - but granted a conscience vote to its MPs to avoid a damaging split"


Labels: Australian Labor, G.L.B.T., marriage

1.6 Mr. Wallace on the Gay lifestyle:
In demanding more money be spent on health for their community, Canadian gay activists have claimed that the system was homophobic in not taking into account: "lower life expectancy than the average Canadian, suicide, higher rates of substance abuse, depression, inadequate access to care and HIV-AIDS ... all kinds of health issues that are endemic to our community". No amount of sharp video promotion by GetUp! can make this lifestyle normal in light of its own facts.

The activists, of course, attributed all the negatives of the lifestyle to bullying or homophobia, including that a homosexual man has a life expectancy some 20 years less than the average male.

However the fact that he has 25-26 times the chance of contracting HIV compared with a heterosexual man must surely have more to do with it, as would the acknowledged higher incidence of drug abuse.

If our schools are concerned about discouraging smoking for its 7-10 year shortening of life, how can we in all honesty encourage a lifestyle for men that shortens it on average by double that? But promotion of the lifestyle this has become.

[ellipsis in the original,
Labels: G.L.B.T., H.I.V./A.I.D.S., health

1.7 "Same sex adoption is not a game"


(That came to my attention via this Cath Pews post.)

Labels: families, G.L.B.T., morality

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, November 15-Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1. The November 2011 issue of the Regina Coeli Report (from the United States District of the S.S.P.X.)


(I log that for its information on the 2011 Angelus Press Conference on the Kingship of Christ. It came to my attention via a recent edition of the S.S.P.X. U.S. District's e-mail update, to which you can subscribe at that District's website (see this blog's links section).)

Labels: Social Reign of Christ

2. "HUNDREDS of doctors have formed a coalition to support voluntary euthanasia and lobby state governments to decriminalise the practice"


(That came to my attention via this CathNews page.)

Labels: euthanasia

3. The latest on Australian popular support for so-called Gay marriage



In The Australian's editorial on some of those findings, that newspaper reminds us that it "believes that consenting adults should be free to make their own lifestyle choices". So why does it put the word "marriages", when writing of "unregistered polygamous … Sharia "marriages" among Muslims", in inverted commas when, in line with its aforementioned belief, it does not do likewise for so-called Gay/same-sex marriage?

Labels: Australian, G.L.B.T., Islam, marriage

4. "Purgatory in Scripture: New Developments"


Labels: Purgatory, Scripture, theology

5. Some recent findings on Australian demography


The findings which are of most interest to me are, in the order in which they appear in that article, that "[o]ver 6.3 million families were couples with children and 14 per cent were one-parent families", that "[o]ne million children or one in five of those aged 0-17 had a natural parent living outside the household", that "[i]n the 12 years since 1998 the percentage of couples with children in which both parents were employed increased from 56 per cent to 61 per cent", that "31.5 [is] now the median marrying age for men and 29.2 the median age for women", and that "[t]he median age of Australians is 37.6".

Labels: demography, families, marriage, work

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Saturninus, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, November 9-Monday, November 14, 2011

1. "Franco resisted bid by Paul VI to end role in naming bishops"


According to the web-page to which that AQ thread-starter links,
In his letter, Paul VI recalled the Council’s appeal to governments to renounce their privilege in nominating bishops.
Would anyone care to let me know the Act of Vatican II in which the Council made that appeal? (I don't recall it being in Dignitatis humanæ, and I checked Lumen gentium, Gaudium et spes, and the Address of Paul VI., on behalf of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, to "all those who hold temporal power" but couldn't find it in any of them.)

Labels: Church and State, Francisco Franco, Hierarchy, John Charles I. Borbón, Paul VI. Montini, Spain

2. "The proportion of IVF cycles resulting in a live baby remained at 17 per cent in 2009, the same as in 2005, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare"


Labels: I.V.F.

3. Fr. Zuhlsdorf and Messrs. Magister and Keener on H.H. The Pope's apparent call, in Caritas in veritate, for a World State


I do not find Mr. Magister's defence of the Holy Father's vision for the governance of globalisation convincing. The word "moderamen" is used once in Caritas in veritate, in §57:
Ne periculosa quaedam constituatur universalis potestas monocratici generis, globalizationis moderamen formam induere debet subsidiarietatis, diversis in gradibus ordinibusque dispositum, qui mutuo cooperentur.
[italics in the original,
AAS 101 [2009: 8], p. 693 (53 in Adobe),
The Vatican website's English section has the following translation:
In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together.
[italics in the original,
But the same logic would apply to ordinary, non-worldwide States; so for instance, in the case of several small States uniting into a Federation, one might say that 'in order not to produce a dangerous Federal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of interaction between member States must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together'; subsidiarity is, after all, a requirement of any society which is made up of other, smaller societies.

Furthermore, keep in mind the rest of §67; the proposed "true world political authority" ("vera Auctoritas politica mundialis"—italics in the original) would "need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights" ("Auctoritas sane haec ab omnibus est agnoscenda, quae reali potestate pollere debet, ut unicuique securitas, iustitiae observantia, iurium item tuitio praestentur") and would "have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums" ("facultate ipsa pollere debet suarum deliberationum observantiam sodalibus itemque simul disposita in internationalibus tribunalibus praecepta imperandi"). How is that anything other than a World State in all but name?

(Caritas in veritate in Latin is also available here.)

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, Caritas in veritate, political science

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Josaphat, Bishop, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, November 1-Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

6. "Kyrgyzstan returns to Kremlin fold"
IT is the only country that hosts both Russian and American military airbases.

But the first act of the new President of the highly strategic central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, within hours of his election victory, has been to serve notice that Washington must leave its big supply and transit hub close to Bishkek, the capital.

[...] But there's another alarming element in Atambayev's decision - the extent to which Russia, skilfully using Putin's plans for a Eurasian Union, is again asserting itself in Central Asia, exerting influence over highly strategic recent converts to democracy such as Kyrgyzstan, enticing them back into the Kremlin's fold.

[bold type in the original
"Kyrgyzstan returns to Kremlin fold" by Bruce Loudon
Labels: Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Vladimir Putin

7. "ADL Releases New Book On Pope John Paul II and His Historic Accomplishments in Catholic-Jewish Relations"


(That came to my attention via this AQ comment.)

Labels: A.D.L., Assisi III, inter-religious dialogue, Jews, John Paul II. Wojtyla

8. Mr. Baker on usury


Labels: economics, morality, usury

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Four Crowned Martyrs, A.D. 2011

Notes: Tuesday, November 1-Tuesday, November 8, 2011 (part 1 of 2)

1. "The [Jewish] organizations represented [at Assisi III] are: ... the Anti-Defamation League (Rabbi Eric Greenberg), B’nai B’rith International (David Michaels), ..."


(That quotation apparently comes from a report published before Assisi III got underway, strictly speaking, though I'm not aware of any cancellations other than the unrelated cancellation, on his own initiative, of A. C. Grayling.)

Labels: A.D.L., Assisi III, B'nai B'rith, Jews

2. "Pepsi Shareholders Demand It Stop Using Aborted Fetal Cells"


Labels: abortion, Pepsi, Senomyx

3. H.H. The Pope on "healthy secularism", "freedom of worship", and religious education

His Holiness's speech of October 31, 2011 to the new Ambassador of Brazil to the Holy See is not yet available in English at the relevant Vatican web-page so I took the following quotation from VIS 20111031 (530), "BRAZIL: FRUITFUL COOPERATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE", an item in a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin:
One important chapter of this "shared fertile history" was the agreement the Holy See and the Brazilian government signed in 2008, which "officially and juridically sealed the independence and collaboration of the two parties". In this context, the Pope also expressed the hope that the State would recognise that "healthy secularism must not consider religion as a mere individual sentiment, relegated to the private sphere, but as a reality which, being organised into visible structures, requires public recognition of its presence".

"It is therefore up to the State to ensure that all religious confessions enjoy freedom of worship, and the right to practice their cultural, educational and charitable activities, when these do not contrast with morality or public order", he said. ...

Benedict XVI identified a number of fields of mutual cooperation, including that of education in which the Church has "many institutions which enjoy prestigious recognition in society. The role of education cannot, in fact, be reduced to the mere transmission of knowledge and abilities for professional formation", he explained. "Rather it must comprehend all facets of the individual, from social factors to the longing for transcendence. We must, therefore, reiterate that the teaching of a particular religion in State schools, ... far from indicating that the State assumes or imposes a certain religious belief, is recognition of the fact that religion is an important value in the formation of the individual. ... Not only does this not prejudice the secularism of the State, it guarantees parents' rights to chose the education of their children, thus helping to promote the common good".

[all ellipses, except the one at the end of the second paragraph, in the original]
The State imposing Catholicism on those who were never Catholic is one thing, but what's wrong with the State assuming Catholicism?

(That speech was also reported at CathNews and AQ:



Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, education, religious liberty, secularism

4. An interesting discussion on H.M. The Queen's authority in Australia


Labels: Constitution

5. St. Ambrose on how the civil ruler is a minister of God:
St Ambrose affirmed in his Commentary on Luke’s Gospel: “The institution of civil power derives so clearly from God that whoever exercises it is also a minister of God” (Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam 4:29). ...
Labels: political science, St. Ambrose, theology

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Four Crowned Martyrs, A.D. 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, October 19-Monday, October 31, 2011

1. On recent Australian Government treatment of de facto marriages compared to (recent Australian Government treatment of) de ivre ones

Can anyone provide an answer to this recent comment of mine at Mr. Schütz's blog?

Labels: marriage, taxation

2. Some information regarding Catholic schools in England and Wales


Labels: Catholic schools

3. According to Cardinal Tauran, "[r]eligious freedom necessarily includes immunity from coercion by any individual, group, community or institution"


(That message came to my attention via VIS 20111020 (300), "CHRISTIANS AND HINDUS: PROMOTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM", an item in a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin.)

Labels: Jean-Louis Tauran, religious liberty, Roman Curia

4. Pius XII. on the death penalty

(section 33)

(That came to my attention via this comment in the combox of this recent blog post by Prof. Feser.)

Labels: death penalty, morality, Pius XII. Pacelli

5. Some recent information:

5.1 On Australian demography:


Labels: demography, marriage, social trends

5.2 On world demography:


Labels: demography

6. "That [I.C.E.L.] translation [of John Paul II.'s 1990 revision of Paul VI.'s ordinal for priestly ordination] was so bad that in 1997 the Congregation for Divine Worship issued in response a letter of a harshness that [Fr. Zuhlsdorf] had never seen before from any dicastery of the Holy See"


Labels: I.C.E.L., Priesthood, Roman Curia, Sacraments

Reginaldvs Cantvar
All Hallows' Eve, A.D. 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, October 11-Tuesday, October 18, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

8. "Patriarch Kirill lauds Putin for ‘enhancing Russia’s international authority’"


(See also the first comment after the thread-starter for information about recent developments in the Russian Orthodox Church.)

Labels: Cyril of Moscow, R.O.C., Russia, Vladimir Putin

9. "Princess wants stunning before slaughter"


I was surprised to learn, from Australia's Agriculture Department's acting deputy secretary for the live animal export taskforce, quoted in that article, that in Australia,
For cattle we do allow for ritual slaughter purposes, for stunning to occur after the cut has been done, so it's a post-cut stunning.
Labels: Islam, Jews

10. "Last Wednesday [two Lesbians] organised a forum for gay and lesbian parents with school-age children to address what they see as a stereotypical and heterosexual representation of family at their schools"
[...] The forum included representatives from the Board of Education and the Board of Studies, as well as 70 gay, lesbian and heterosexual parents.

[...] A group calling themselves Rainbow Schoolies have set up a work party to produce a program for principals and teachers on how they should include a child from a gay family in the school environment.

Although the program will initially be aimed at [one] primary school, the group hopes to extend the program to other schools in in Australia, and is planning a national conference next year.

[...] [One panellist at that forum, who is "an associate professor in the school of education at the University of Western Sydney" and "specialises in issues of gender and sexuality within education"] said the changes to the curriculum next year would be a chance to address issues of diversity and inclusion within the school environment, with a platform for members of the public to voice their concerns.

See also item 3 of this edition of Notes.

Labels: education, families, G.L.B.T., N.S.W., Rainbow Schoolies

11. "Growth [in the world's population] has been so rapid that the US Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 5 per cent of all the people who have ever lived are living now"


Labels: demography

12. "Toowoomba GP and pro-family activist David van Gend found himself in conciliation before the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland over a complaint that an article he wrote for Brisbane's The Courier-Mail, as part of a debate about same-sex marriage, vilified the homosexual community"



Labels: David van Gend, discrimination, families, G.L.B.T., marriage

13. A blast from Australia's 'sectarian' past

I was intrigued when I read a very short biography of one "Sister Liguori", of whom I didn't recall previously hearing, on the Sydney Daily Telegraph's history page yesterday, and planned to see if I could find out, on the Internet, more about her and the episode of Australian 'sectarian' history in which she featured so prominently. I've found that the Australian Dictionary of Biography's article "Partridge, Bridget (1890–1966)" is available here.

Labels: Bridget Partridge

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Notes: Tuesday, October 11-Tuesday, October 18, 2011 (part 1 of 2)

1. H.H. The Pope on Catholicism as the object of 'religious freedom'

This is a quotation from the Holy Father's Address of Friday, October 7, 2011 to the Bishops of Indonesia during their "ad Limina" visit:
... Appropriately, Indonesia’s constitution guarantees the fundamental human right of freedom to practice one’s religion. The freedom to live and preach the Gospel can never be taken for granted and must always be justly and patiently upheld. Nor is religious freedom merely a right to be free from outside constraints. It is also a right to be authentically and fully Catholic, to practice the faith, to build up the Church and to contribute to the common good, proclaiming the Gospel as Good News for all, and inviting everyone to intimacy with the God of mercy and compassion made manifest in Jesus Christ.
That Address came to my attention via an item headed "TO INDONESIAN BISHOPS: PATIENTLY UPHOLD RELIGIOUS FREEDOM" (VIS 20111007 (500)) in a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin.]
Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, religious liberty

2. "Only a third of marriages take place in church"


Labels: marriage, social trends

3. "Ireland bows to UN recommendations on contraception, same-sex unions, religious hiring [but resists on abortion]"


Labels: Alan Shatter, Ireland

4. "The headline figure [in 2008], drawn from the 2006 census, was 105,000 homeless. Of those, 16,000 were actual homeless (those sleeping rough) and 89,000 were potential homeless. The revised amounts are now 63,000 homeless: 8000 actual homeless and 55,000 potential homeless"


(As I've asked in the two other instances in which I've logged information about homelessness, please don't jump to conclusions about why I'm doing so.)

Labels: homelessness

5. A "a day-by-day report" on the recent Angelus Press Conference on the Kingship of Christ


I read that report--which came to my attention via the latest edition of the weekly e-mail from the U.S. District of the S.S.P.X. (and for which I encourage you to subscribe--you should be able to do so at that District's homepage, a link to which is available in the "Endorsed links" section of this blog's sidebar)--and thought how good it would be to have a transcript of the proceedings; at that stage, I knew only that audio recordings were to become available for purchase. Now I'm very pleased to see that Angelus Press has added to its catalogue Reflections on the Kingship of Christ:
... Along with biographical information about the speakers at the 2011 Angelus Press Conference, this book presents the relevant encyclicals from Popes Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII in their entirety, plus articles from the late Cardinal Pie, Fr. Juan Carlos Iscara, FSSPX, and Dr. John Rao. ...
(Reflections on the Kingship of Christ, which costs a mere US$10, came to my attention via the latest e-mail from Angelus Press.)

Labels: Social Reign of Christ

6. "Historian Peter Frankopan is challenging a millennium of scholarship in his view of the First Crusade"


Labels: Crusades, history

7. On the the first known recorded observation that 'a country gets the government which it deserves'
Joesph [sic] de Maistre in Lettres et Opuscules (1853):

EVERY country has the government it deserves.

Labels: Joseph de Maistre, political science

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist, Martyr, A.D. 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, October 5-Monday, October 10, 2011

1. A key for understanding one of the most contentious parts of Dignitatis humanæ?

One of the most objectionable parts of Dignitatis humanæ is where one reads that, in dealing with matters which do not belong to the component of the common good which (component) that Declaration calls "public order", "the usages of society are to be the usages of freedom in their full range: that is, the freedom of man is to be respected as far as possible and is not to be curtailed except when and insofar as necessary". But Pius XII. spoke for Tradition when he said, in the Allocution Ci riesce, that “religious and moral error must always be impeded, when it is possible”, so when it comes to man's (psychological and physical, but not moral) freedom to disseminate error, it should be curtailed, not 'respected', as far as possible, and only 'respected' when and insofar as necessary. Now in the text of a recent lecture by The Rev. Fr. Frank Brennan S.J. A.O. (brought to my attention by a comment by Fr. Brennan at the CathNews post on that lecture), I was interested to read this quotation from The Rev. Fr. Robert Drinan S.J., writing in Theological Studies in 1970:
This author has no easy solutions or ready options for the Catholic legislator, jurist, or spokesman on the question of abortion and the law. Perhaps the central issue was described in the reasoning of John Courtney Murray SJ, who, while not addressing himself to the question of abortion, wrote as follows about the criminal law: 'The moral aspirations of law are minimal. Law seeks to establish and maintain only that minimum of actualized morality that is necessary for the healthy functioning of the social order ... It enforces only what is minimally acceptable, and in this sense socially necessary ... Therefore the law, mindful of its nature, is required to be tolerant of many evils that morality condemns.'
[ellipses in the original]
Labels: Dignitatis Humanæ, John Courtenay Murray, political science, religious liberty

2. "Putin eyes new economic Soviet Union"



Labels: Russia, Vladimir Putin

3. Msgr. Pozzo on, among other things, a future "reunification of the two forms[, i.e., the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Missæ], with elements that come together and complement one another"



Labels: Guido Pozzo, liturgy, N.O.M., T.L.M.

4. Dr. Farrell on how "[t]he demographics of women giving birth in Australia have changed dramatically in the past 50 years":
... The total number of babies a woman has in her lifetime has declined from a peak of 3.5 in 1961 to 1.9 in 2009. There has also been a tendency for women to have their babies at older ages. The median age of women giving birth in Australia reached a low of 25.4 in 1971 and rose to a peak of 30.8 in 2006. The proportion of older women giving birth has also risen, with mothers aged over 35 rising from 11 per cent in 1991 to 23 per cent in 2008.
Labels: demography

5. "Ireland Justice Minister fails to defend nation’s pro-life laws at UN hearing"


Labels: Alan Shatter

6. "A clause [of the Sovereign Grant Bill] allows for an heir to the throne who is not the Duke of Cornwall to receive revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall"


Labels: Sovereign Grant Bill

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Francis Borgia, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, September 27-Tuesday, October 4, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

7. On the death penalty

7.1 "Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, in his famous speech on the “Consistent Ethic of Life” at Fordham in 1983, stated his concurrence with the “classical position” that the State has the right to inflict capital punishment"; "[a]lthough Cardinal Bernardin advocated what he called a “consistent ethic of life,” he made it clear that capital punishment should not be equated with the crimes of abortion, euthanasia, and suicide."


(That came to my attention via this post by Fr. Zuhlsdorf.)

Labels: death penalty, Joseph Bernardin

7.2 Prof. Feser on the death penalty


That article, which came to my attention via this blog post by Prof. Feser, is well worth reading in full (and it isn't too long), but I want to highlight these parts, at least:
Most critics of capital punishment pay little attention to the question of “punishment,” focusing almost exclusively on their argument with “capital.” This is a fatal mistake, for as it happens, anyone who agrees that punishment as such is legitimate cannot fail also to agree, if he thinks carefully about the matter, that capital punishment can be legitimate, at least in principle. ...

[...] If wrongdoers do deserve punishment, and if punishment ought to be scaled to the gravity of the crime (harsher punishments for graver crimes), then it would be absurd to deny that there is a level of criminality for which capital punishment is appropriate, at least in principle. ...

[... Against the argument that the death penalty is offensive to 'human dignity':] ... On the contrary, to regard a person as deserving of punishment is implicitly to affirm his dignity as a human being, for it is to acknowledge that he has free will and moral responsibility, unlike a robot or a mere animal. If inflicting lesser punishments is not incompatible with human dignity and even implicitly affirms it, then given the principle of proportionality, capital punishment also can be compatible with (and indeed an affirmation of) human dignity.

[italics in the original, my ellipses and square-bracketed interpolations]
Labels: death penalty, human dignity, justice, morality

7.3 Two blog comments by Prof. Feser on New Natural Law theory and the death penalty



Labels: death penalty, justice, morality, New Natural Law

7.4 Prof. Long on the death penalty


That's quite a technical article, but I recommend that you read at least the paragraph (beginning with the words "Still, Tollefsen is consistent") on the Church's teaching on the death penalty. (Most usefully for me, it mentions a pronouncement by Pius XII. on the matter; in item 4 of this edition of Notes I linked to this web-page of the (Italian) text of that pronouncement, and now I see that it is also available, again in Italian, on pages seventy-two to eighty-five of AAS 47 (1955) here.)

Labels: death penalty, justice, Magisterium, morality, Pius XII. Pacelli

8. "No to legal marriages if Church forced to marry gays: archbishop"


Labels: Barry Hickey, funerals, G.L.B.T., marriage

9. The Catholica Forum welcomes a new participant


Labels: Aragon, Catholica Australia

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Notes: Tuesday, September 27-Tuesday, October 4, 2011 (part 1 of 2)

1. "British Muslims reviving polygamy"


Labels: Islam, polyamory

2. "E[very] child should take a citizenship pledge at school, and all Australians should know the pledge by heart, the Social Inclusion Minister, Tanya Plibersek, said last night"



Labels: liberalism, secularism

3. H.H. The Pope implicitly criticises the arrangements of union between Church and State which existed in history's Catholic Confessional States?

Excerpts from an item in a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin:

VATICAN CITY, 25 SEP 2011 (VIS) - At 5 p.m. today at the concert hall of Freiburg im Breisgau, the Holy Father met with representatives of Catholic associations active in the life of the Church and of society.

[...] "In the concrete history of the Church, however, a contrary tendency is also manifested, namely that the Church becomes settled in this world, she becomes self-sufficient and adapts herself to the standards of the world. She gives greater weight to organisation and institutionalisation than to her vocation to openness", the Pope said.

And he went on: "In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from the 'worldliness' of the world. ... One could almost say that history comes to the aid of the Church here through the various periods of secularisation, which have contributed significantly to her purification and inner reform".

"Secularising trends", he added, "whether by expropriation of Church goods, or elimination of privileges or the like, have always meant a profound liberation of the Church from forms of worldliness, for in the process she has set aside her worldly wealth and has once again completely embraced her worldly poverty". In freeing herself of material ties, "her missionary activity regained credibility".

Benedict XVI recalled that history shows how a Church detached from the world can bear more effective missionary witness. "Once liberated from her material and political burdens, the Church can reach out more effectively and in a truly Christian way to the whole world, she can be truly open to the world", he said.
[...]PV-GERMANY/ VIS 20110926 (750)
It's mainly the last of those paragraphs in which I'm interested here (I provide the others mainly for context, and the full text of His Holiness's speech is available here). Does it contain an implicit criticism of the arrangements of union between Church and State which existed in history's Catholic Confessional States? (I don't ask that rhetorically. What do you make of that speech and particularly that paragraph of it?)

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, Church and State, Confessional State, secularism

4. On Quærit semper

Excerpts from an item in a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin:

VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday promulgated "Quaerit Semper", an Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" which modifies the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus", transferring certain functions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to a new office established in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. The office will deal with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.

Extracts from the document are given below.

[...] "In the current circumstances it seemed fitting that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments should dedicate itself chiefly to giving fresh impetus to promoting sacred liturgy in the Church, in keeping with the renewal promoted by Vatican Council II through the Constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium'.

[...] The new norms will come into effect as of 1 October.
MP/ VIS 20110929 (460)
See also the following web-pages:




Labels: liturgy, Quærit semper, Roman Curia, Vatican II

5. Prof. Hamilton on differences between men and women:
With women to take on military combat roles, it is time to sound the Last Post over the rotting corpse of feminism. It's what has to be done to their minds. When the Defence Minister says the individual has to have "the right physical, psychological and mental attributes", he's thinking of male mental attributes - those needed to kill.

Putting women in the front line is a victory only for the campaign to obliterate difference, as if everything women were before the advent of feminism was the creation of patriarchy. But didn't women's life experiences and history provide distinctive qualities more needed today than ever? We should celebrate the uniquely female rather than bury it under the demand for equality.

Women's morality differs from men's. Feminist philosopher Carol Gilligan argues women are motivated more by care than duty, and inclined more to emphasise responsibilities than rights. They seek reconciliation through the exercise of compassion and negotiation rather than demanding "justice", through force if necessary.

War best represents the continued hegemony of male thinking, with the grunt culture of hyper-masculinity inescapable because survival depends on it. And no institution more purely reflects the male understanding of power than the armed forces, built on the idea that the world is a place of conflict where disputes can be resolved by lethal force, and the more lethal the better.

Labels: gender differences

6. Br. André Marie on "The Freedom and Exaltation of Holy Mother Church"


Labels: Church and State, Confessional State, Leo XIII. Pecci, T.L.M.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor, A.D. 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Notes: Thursday, September 15-Monday, September 26, 2011

1. Some figures on abortion in South Australia
According to the latest figures released by the South Australian government, abortion rates dipped slightly in 2009.

The number of abortions fell to 15.3 per 100,000 women of childbearing age from 16 a year earlier.

The highest abortion rates were among women aged 20 to 24 (30 per cent) followed by those aged 25-29 (22 per cent) and under 19s (18 per cent).

Labels: abortion, S.A.

2. In 2010, "a joint commission was set up, with experts of the commission “Ecclesia Dei” and of the congregation for divine worship, for the “updating” of the commemorations of the saints and the “possible insertion of new prefaces” into the preconciliar Roman missal of 1962", according to The activity of the Holy See for 2010, printed by Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Labels: liturgy, Roman Curia, T.L.M.

3. "Despite reports, Ireland not backing down on forcing priests to break seal of confession"


Labels: Ireland

4. On the latest development in Vatican-S.S.P.X. relations

OP/ VIS 20110914 (450)


Also, AQ has had several threads on the matter.

Labels: Roman Curia, S.S.P.X., T.L.M., theology, Vatican II

5. "ADL Urges Vatican To Ensure Anti-Jewish Sect Accepts Teachings Of Vatican II Before They Are Welcomed Back"


Keep in mind the relationship between the A.D.L. and B'nai B'rith, and the relationship between B'nai B'rith and the Vatican (see here and item 3.2 here); there might also be a direct relationship between the A.D.L. and the Vatican.

Labels: A.D.L., B'nai B'rith, Freemasons, Jews, S.S.P.X., Vatican II

6. H.H. The Pope on religion as a basis for social coexistence

From a recent edition of the Vatican Information Service's daily e-mail bulletin:

... "We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society, which considers the issue of truth as something of an obstacle in its decision-making, and instead gives priority to utilitarian considerations.

"All the same", he added, "a binding basis for our coexistence is needed; otherwise people live in a purely individualistic way. Religion is one of these foundations for a successful social life. 'Just as religion has need of freedom, so also freedom has need of religion'. These words of the great bishop and social reformer Wilhelm von Ketteler, the second centenary of whose birth is being celebrated this year, remain timely.
[...] PV-GERMANY/ VIS 20110922 (630)
I agree with the comment by Mr. Keener in the combox at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog post on that Papal address.

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, Confessional State

7. An interesting "CathBlog" and combox comments on metaphysics (or, perhaps more precisely, Natural, and Dogmatic, Theology)


Labels: philosophy, theology

8. The latest, and presumably most controversial, installment in Catholica's serialisation of Fr. Dresser's God is Big. Real Big!


That's the chapter in which one reads, among other things, that "[n]o human being can ever be God. And Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that!"

Labels: Peter Dresser, theology

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Cyprian and Justina, Martyrs, A.D. 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, September 6-Wednesday, September 14, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

9. Dr. Tighe on what makes a Council Ecumenical


Labels: Church Councils, Eastern Schism, Hierarchy, Papacy, theology

10. More from Dr. Brown on the notion of "the Eucharist [as] a memorial of the Last Supper"

Point 3 of this blog comment, in which there is a link to the text of one of Paul VI.'s General Audiences:


Labels: liturgy, Paul VI. Montini, Sacraments, theology

11. "it has now become a constitutional convention that [the British] Parliament does not interfere in the internal affairs of the Established Church"


Labels: Anglicans, U.K.

12. A very short, but very interesting, biography of St. Robert Bellarmine


(I first read that biography in the Sydney Catholic Weekly last Sunday.) These are the parts which were of most interest to me and for which I log that biography here:
His most famous work is his three-volume Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Particularly noteworthy are the sections on the temporal power of the pope and the role of the laity. He incurred the anger of monarchists in England and France by showing the divine-right-of-kings theory untenable. He developed the theory of the indirect power of the pope in temporal affairs; although he was defending the pope against the Scottish philosopher Barclay, he also incurred the ire of Pope Sixtus V.

[...] ... The process for his canonization was begun in 1627 but was delayed until 1930 for political reasons, stemming from his writings. In 1930, Pope Pius XI canonized him and the next year declared him a doctor of the Church.
Labels: Papacy, political science, St. Robert Bellarmine, theology, William Barclay

13. Two recent opinions pieces from Mr. Steyn

13.1 "Using rights to gag free speech"


(Needless to say, I reject that 'freedom of speech' is a true moral freedom; I mainly log that web-page for its information on examples of anti-'hate-speech' action.)

Labels: hate speech



Labels: abortion

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, A.D. 2011

Notes: Tuesday, September 6-Wednesday, September 14, 2011 (part 1 of 2)

1. A couple of recent posts from Mr. Muehlenberg:

1.1 On the latest initiative for propagating multiculturalism


Labels: education, multiculturalism

1.2 On his new book, on the challenge of homosexuality


Labels: G.L.B.T.

2. The latest evidence for a link between abortion and mental health problems



Originally I wasn't going to bother logging that AQ post, since anyone who opposes abortion--myself and, presumably, my readers among them--would regard the findings as unsurprising, but then I saw the print-edition version of the article to whose on-line version I link above here taking up about a quarter of page twenty-five of the Sydney Daily Telegraph of Friday, September 2, 2011, and so I thought that I'd better log it, since it's so rare for one of the mainstream media to highlight the adverse consequences of abortion (needless to say, the mainstream media tend not to regard the death of an unborn baby as a necessarily adverse consequence) that the findings must be important. Here are the key excerpts from that Tele article:
The research by American academic Priscilla Coleman, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, said abortion was linked with a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders and a 37 per cent higher possibility of depression.

This was more than double the risk of alcohol abuse, three times greater risk of cannabis use at 220 per cent and 155 per cent greater risk of attempted suicide.

[...] "Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion."

The study was based on an analysis of 22 separate projects, which together analysed the experiences of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had had an abortion.
Labels: abortion, mental health

3. Dr. Sammut on, among other things, "the disturbing significance of the controversial [recent] NSW birth certificate decision"


Worth reading in full, but the final paragraph is what I want to log here:
This is the disturbing significance of the controversial NSW birth certificate decision. That no gay spokesperson has expressed concern for the father and child stolen from each other speaks volumes about their priorities. Traditionalists have long argued in defence of marriage that the institution is fundamentally about the rights of children and that advocates of gay marriage just don't get this. Based on the "sperm donor dad" case, they appear to have a point.
Labels: birth certificates, child-rearing, families, G.L.B.T., marriage, parenthood, youngsters

4. "THE well-being of Australia's children and young adults has declined sharply in the past decade - and sliding marriage rates are partly to blame"; "marriage makes a difference, not just the characteristics of a child's parents, because of the commitment involved"


Labels: child-rearing, families, marriage, parenthood, youngsters

5. "A member of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government is calling for a ban on marriages at Christian churches if they refuse to also perform same-sex unions"




Apparently, such a ban would involve adopting the system, which is used in some Continental countries, in which prospective spouses who intend to wed in a religious ceremony have to get a 'civil marriage' as well.

Labels: G.L.B.T., marriage, U.K.

6. "Irish government backs down on confessional bill"


Labels: Alan Shatter, Ireland, sexual abuse

7. "Lesbian foster couple put six year old boy in girl's clothes and post photos on Facebook"




I wonder whether there has been any scholarly research into the phenomenon of one of the members of a same-sex couple undergoing a 'sex change'?

Labels: child-rearing, families, G.L.B.T., parenthood

8. "MEN'S bodies hardwire them to become caring fathers by dropping their testosterone levels after a child is born, a landmark investigation has found"


Labels: families, medicine, parenthood

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, A.D. 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Notes: Wednesday, August 24-Monday, September 5, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

8. Dr. Soutphommasane on Federal funding of State school chaplains


I'm logging that opinion piece because of this excerpt:
What is really at issue is the state's neutrality. As American legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin wrote, liberalism says "political decisions must be, so far as possible, independent of any particular conception of the good life".

This isn't an argument about whether religion is good or bad; it is about the proper limits of government power. The liberal state should generally aim to be neutral on matters of the good life.
The problem is that Dr. Soutphommasane describes himself as "one who believes in a value of national solidarity based on the common good" (source), and the importance to him of the common good has been evident in his previous "Ask the Philosopher" columns, such as when he wrote that a "politics of a common good, conducted by enlightened representatives and citizens, is unimpeachable in theory" (source). The common good is indeed the end, or purpose, of the State, but how can a State form the right understanding of the common good of its populace when the common good of a society is to that society none other than what the proper good of an individual--his corporal and spiritual well-being--is to that individual, yet we are, so liberals would have us believe, supposed to refrain from taking "any particular conception of the good life" as normative?

Labels: liberalism, morality, political science

9. Earliest Papal reference to 'healthy secularity'?

As you know, I'm no fan of talk of 'healthy secularity/secularism'; leave secularity and secularism to the secularists, I say. So it dismays me whenever I see that diction coming from the Holy Father, whose fullest treatment of the notion/s of secularity and secularism can be found, to the best of my knowledge, in his "Address to the participants in the 56th National Study Congress organized by the Union of Italian Catholic Jurists (December 9, 2006)", available in English here and in what I presume is its original Italian (since it was given to an Italian audience, though I can't find it in the A.A.S.; if any of you can find it there please let me know) here. (That Address came to my attention via this AQ post.) Now I had thought that Papal use of the term 'healthy secularity' only began with the present Pope, or perhaps with one of His Holiness's Conciliar/post-Conciliar predecessors, but reading Msgr. Lefebvre's They Have Uncrowned Him the other week I was surprised to learn that Pius XII. had spoken of 'the legitimate and healthy secularity of the State' in His late Holiness's Allocution to the inhabitants of the Marches, March 23, 1958. The text of that Allocution is available in AAS 50 [1958], p. 216, here and also here, and in both those sources we see, in the fourth-last paragraph, the words "la legittima sana laicità dello Stato"; perhaps it was with that very expression of Pius XII. in mind that the present Pope put the words "sana laicità" in quotation marks in that December 9, 2006 Address. But while the teaching of Benedict XVI. on the distinction between Church and State seems to be the same as that of Pius XII., distinction does not mean, and should not imply, separation, and whereas Pius XII. spoke approvingly, on at least two occasions before that Allocution, of the kind of union which existed between the Church and history's Catholic Confessional States, Benedict XVI. has, to the best of my knowledge, never done so, and indeed seems to favour the kind of 'union' in which Church and State co-operate but without any priviliging of the Catholic Church over non-Catholic sects; see item 6.2 here, for instance.

Anyhow, is the Allocution to the inhabitants of the Marches the earliest Papal use of the term 'healthy secularity' (or any equivalent expression), or are there earlier ones? If the latter, then what and when were they, and which is the earliest?

Labels: Benedict XVI. Ratzinger, Church and State, morality, Pius XII. Pacelli, political science, secularism

10. Leo XIII. on, among other things, the formal cause, analogically speaking, of the State

This is a quotation from Libertas, praestantissimum as found in the on-line version of ASS 20 [1887], p. 604 (the text of that Encyclical begins on p. 593) (there is at least one, quite obvious, typographical error in the quotation, as in the proximate source from which I quoted it):
... Etenim dubitari non potest quin sit Dei voluntate inter homines coniuncta societas, sive partes, sive forma eius spectetur quae est auctoritas, sive caussa, sive earum, quas homini parit, magnarum utilitati! m copia. ...
The Vatican website's English version of that sentence is as follows:
21. ... For it cannot be doubted but that, by the will of God, men are united in civil society; whether its component parts be considered; or its form, which implies authority; or the object of its existence; or the abundance of the vast services which it renders to man. ...
But in the translation in Msgr. Lefebvre's They Have Uncrowned Him, the section corresponding to "which implies authority" is give as "which is authority" (my emphasis in both quotations). I don't speak Latin, but judging by a critical use of Google Translate, the latter translation would seem to be the more accurate one. Would any Latinists reading this be so kind as to suggest their own translation?

Labels: Leo XIII. Pecci, morality, political science

11. Yet more evidence of the Sodomites' League's success in diverting public discourse on homosexuality away from a focus on behaviour and towards a focus on 'identity'

These are excerpts from a letter by Josie (no surname given) of Andrews Farm which was published under the heading "Live and love" on page thirty of the Sydney Daily Telegraph of Thursday, August 25, 2011:
To deny humans the right of identity and companionship is inhuman. ...
... We cannot stop biology/chemistry, we can only control behaviour and mutual consent.
[...] Marriage is for people who seek to share family identity in the formal bounds that marriage gives.

[I include the second paragraph excerpt there solely in order to avoid being accused of implying that the letter contained no reference at all to behaviour; clearly Josie does mention behaviour, but she fails to show any understanding of its significance to marriage.]
But marriage is not just about sharing 'identity'; it is about sharing a certain kind of behaviour; it is not merely some kind of Platonic relationship, but a conjugal relationship. Hence any discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual disorientation involved in upholding the natural law's design for marriage is only indirect, since the direct discrimination is only against those who cannot consummate their respective putative marriages, and this discrimination applies equally to opposite-sex couples in which one (or both) prospective spouse(s) is (are) absolutely or relatively impotent and to same-sex couples.

Labels: G.L.B.T., marriage, morality

12. "Almost 20,000 of South Australia's 48,783 Catholic school students are not members of the church"


Labels: Catholic schools

13. Some recent AQ posts regarding the Russian Orthodox Church



Labels: R.O.C.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Lawrence Justinian, Bishop, Confessor, A.D. 2011