Friday, September 20
If NFP is the only moral means of postponing pregnancy and it's a highly recommended thing to do for those interested in postponing pregnancy, why didn't God give humanity the means to figure it out before fifty years ago? Do you see what I'm saying? Writers on NFP speak of the cycles of fertility and infertility as a gift which God gives to couples, enabling them to work with Him to "plan" their families. (hate the word "plan" in relation to such things). It is written of in such a way that communicates that it's part of "God's plan" for couples and families and sexuality. Well, if that's so, why did Christians have to go hundreds of years before they gained the knowledge to figure out the plan?
The juxtaposition of the issues is symbolic, of course. We all know, because we've been told many times, that the Cathedral, like all building projects, was financed by special fundraising, by a combination of big donors and small change.
Readers of this blog also know my general disdain for most chancery offices. However, consider the following:
Catholic parishes and dioceses quite often devote great amounts of energy and time to raising money for buildings and operational expenses. Years were given over to this project, and much attention and energy was lavished on it. And since it is the cathedral of a major diocese, such attention and energy was necessary, although one wishes one had more of a sense that the cathedral came out of the community rather than was presented to it. But back to the energy and attention.
Almost every parish and diocese you know of probably has engaged in such efforts to raise money and build, and, more consistently, to encourage stewardship - financial mostly, although they give lip service to the time and talent too, but believe me, they'll settle for the treasure.
How many dioceses are you aware of have had major fundraising campaigns to raise gobs of money to assist pregnant women in need, to make sure that every woman or girl who needs pre and postnatal care gets it?
Los Angeles is the home of many, many poor people, especially African-Americans and Latinos. Everyone who knows anything about the abortion industry knows that this population is a particular target of abortionists. Los Angeles also happens to be located in the state of California which, in case you don't know, is a hotbed of liberal abortion policies and entrenched pro-abortion attitudes and a "Catholic" pro-abortion governor (for now).
Now. Now will you consider the symbolism? The Cathedral opens to great acclaim, and two weeks later, and two weeks before Respect Life Sunday, the Respect Life Office is given the news it will be shut down, with, I might add, funding to the archdiocese's Project Rachel (for women recovering from abortion) ELIMINATED. Not shifted to parishes, as would be the case with some of the other ministries, but ELIMINATED. (An annual retreat will continue to be funded, but that's it.)
Who says that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles didn't need a new cathedral? Of course it did. But even though the funds were especially raised and targeted, what galls is the extraordinary effort dedicated to the construction of a building and the absence of any equivalent effort to be a firm and unequivocal witness for life in a local environment that is deeply hostile to it and then the elimination of the one office in the archdiocese responsible for what witness there is.
So here's your answer to some questions raised below:
It will be a good day when those religious institutions devote as much energy to protecting human life, both spiritually and physically, as it does to creating buildings. Not instead of, notice - as much.
(And in regard to a thread below) It will also be a good day when parishioners concerned about the feelings of their priests who cruised the internet for fifteen-year old boys to have sex with match their compassion for the priest with one - even one - act of loving outreach to the youth the priest has participated in corrupting.
Teen pregnancy is not the problem. Unwed teen pregnancy is the problem. It's childbearing outside marriage that causes all the trouble. Restore an environment that supports younger marriage, and you won't have to fight biology for a decade or more.
I'll try to comment later. Try is the word.
The eight departments being closed are: the Office of Ministry with Persons with Disabilities; the Detention Ministry, which works with those in jail; the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women; Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs; the Ethnic Groups Ministry; the Office of Respect Life, which supports anti-abortion programs; Campus Ministry; and the Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics.
As you might expect, this NYTimes article focuses on the closing of the last office. It's not that these ministries - for example, prison ministry - will cease to happen in the Archdiocese. It's just that the central Archdiocesan office coordinating efforts and dissemination information will shut down with, as the article states, in many cases, the responsibilities shifted to other offices. This might work for some areas, but one is especially saddened (but not surprised?) to see the Respect Life office closed down....just in time for Respect Life Sunday (October 6) btw.
I had heard that one of Cardinal Egan's first budget-tightening acts was to close their Archdiocedsan Respect Life office and Natural Family Planning programs...is that true? Any confirmation?
Guimaraes sat with other defendants in the jury box Thursday, looking glum in a faded blue jail jumpsuit. For the most part he kept his face covered with his hands to shield himself from news cameras. Nearly a dozen parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Peace were in the courtroom to offer support.“A priest is a man. A man can be wrong sometimes,” said Aurora Moreira of West Palm Beach. “We’re just here to help him, to support him.”
DOESN'T IT MAKE YOU WANT TO SCREAM?????????????????????????????????
Okay, let's do it.
Catholic schools too often fall short in this mission, he said. "I am old-fashioned enough to think that Catholic universities exist to train students to be critics of the world they are about to enter, that criticism being rooted in a Catholic vision not only of social justice but of the hope that Christ brings to the world…"But I wonder: would Boston College, or any other Catholic university, be willing to withhold a diploma from any Catholic student who did not pass a sophisticated, mandatory test designed to measure a student's grasp of the forms and content of the faith? And if you did, how many of your students do you think would pass?In short, I see no point in talking about the laity's role in the Church if the graduates of our best Catholic universities are uninterested or unable to enter into that loving, critical conversation with the past, which is why we have tradition."
That last comment is worth an article....
Read the whole piece, written, incidentally by St. Blog's own Mark Sullivan
Patricio Pintado, 39, was arrested Wednesday on charges of third-degree sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors, said the spokeswoman, Barbara Thompson. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted. Pintado, who lives in Queens and works at the Good Shepherd Church in Washington Heights, was accused of inappropriately touching the 16-year-old from June through September, Thompson said.
Baker is a priest of the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., and is one of about 20 staffers at the Congregation of Bishops. He argued that even celibate gays may not be good candidates for the priesthood. He worried that homosexuals would have difficulty remaining celibate in the all-male seminary environment and would struggle with or deny church teachings on homosexuality. He also said gays "may be more familiar with certain patterns and techniques of deception and repression" as they learned to survive in a predominantly heterosexual world, hurting their spiritual development.
"It may be that a man could be healed of such a disorder and then could be considered for admission to the seminary and possibly to holy orders," Baker wrote. "But not while being afflicted with the disorder."
The most shocking thing about this article is that America is publishing it.
I will be blogging today, but more of the "linking" than "thinking" type - I have a column to write and a little girl's sleepover for which to prepare, not to speak of a Tennessee fan to get to the airport for a trip down south to some game that's happening tomorrow ....I forget which one.
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