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Originally posted by djs:


We live in a sex saturated, contraceptive, quick to divorce, promiscuous, heterosexual culture. That is not the fault of gays, they are just keeping up. In a society that valued chastity and modesty, in which one's sex life was a private matter, gays would be invisible. And as long as we scapegoat them - at the risk of contributing to invidious discrimination and even violence - we will not overcome the fundamental problem that we face. But with the notable exception of Bill Bennett, how often do you hear conservatives stipulating that gay issues are of minor consequence on our children's lives as compared, e.g., to rampant divorce. But what attention does it get as an issue? Why the disparity?
djs,

you are truly a voice of sanity in the midst of the insane.


And those were my final remarks on this board!

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Shlomo Incognitus,

I was refering to Sunday.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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I fail to see how sodomy, one of the
Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance
is "of minor consequence on our children's
lives...."

antonius
(who HAS met DocBrian)

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A need reality check.

At a local School Board meeting some years ago I heard something that, as a Catholic, I found to be so totally preposterous that I could not believe someone calling himself "Catholic" capable of making such a statement.

The Board and the Community were told by a "c"atholic that the "sin of Sodom was inhospitality" and that Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica challenged natural law arguments, and said that "homosexuality is natural, not unnatural and that homosexuality among animals is natural, not unnatural."

I would simply ask this individual to give us the exact references in the Summa Theologica where Thomas Aquinas made those statements.

It should not be required to formally refute such outrageous, scandalous statements but because of the confusion spawned by dissident theologians who would create their own heretical "magisteria" co-equal with that of Holy Mother Church, a response is in order.

I will let Saint Thomas Aquinas respond directly through his own words in the Christian Classics 1948 Benzinger edition translation of the Summa Theologica, the clarity of which is unmistakable. First the Natural Law will be addressed, then homosexuality.

The Natural Law.

"Since, however, good has the nature of an end, and evil, the nature of a contrary, hence it is that all those things to which man has a natural inclination, are naturally apprehended by reason as being good, and consequently as objects of pursuit, and their contraries as evil, and objects of avoidance.

"Because in man there is first of all an inclination to good in accordance with the nature which he has in common with all substances; inasmuch as every substance seeks the preservation of its own being, according to its nature: and by reason of this inclination, whatever is a means of preserving human life, and of warding off its obstacles, BELONGS to the Natural Law. Secondly, there is in man an inclination to things that pertain to him more specially, according to that nature which he has in common with other animals: and in virtue of this inclination, those things are said to belong to the Natural Law, WHICH NATURE HAS TAUGHT TO ALL ANIMALS, such as sexual intercourse, education of offspring and so forth.

"Thus man has a natural inclination to know the truth about God, and to live in society: and in this respect, whatever pertains to this inclination belongs to the Natural Law." [Summa Theologica, Vol II, Pt. I-II, Q.94 Art. 2]

"For it has been stated that to the Natural Law belongs everything to which a man is inclined according to his nature.

"Wherefore, since the rational soul is the proper form of man, there is in every man a natural inclination to act according to reason: and this is to act according to virtue.

"Temperance is about the natural concupiscences of food, drink, and sexual matters, which are indeed ordained to the natural common good, just as other matters of law are ordained to the moral common good.

"By human nature we may mean either that which is proper to man - and in this sense all sins, as being against reason, are also against nature, as Damascene states (De Fide Orthod. ii. 30): or we may mean that nature which is common to man and other animals; and in this sense, certain special sins are said to be AGAINST nature; thus contrary to sexual intercourse, which is natural to all animals, is unisexual lust, which has received the special name of the UNNATURAL CRIME." [Summa Theologica, Vol II, Pt. I-II, Q.94 Art. 3]

"Consequently we must say that the Natural Law, as to general principles, is the same for all, both as to rectitude and as to knowledge.

"As, in man, reason rules and commands the other powers, so all the natural inclinations belonging to the other powers must needs be directed according to reason." [Summa Theologica, Vol II, Pt. I-II, Q.94 Art. 4]

"The Natural Law dates from the creation of the rational creature. It does NOT vary according to time, but remains unchangeable.

"The Natural Law was perverted in the hearts of some men, as to certain matters, so that they esteemed those things good which are naturally evil." [Summa Theologica, Vol II, Pt. I-II, Q.94 Art. 5]

"THY LAW IS WRITTEN ON THE HEARTS OF MEN, WHICH INIQUITY ITSELF EFFACES NOT. But the law which is written in men's hearts is the Natural Law. Therefore the Natural Law CANNOT be blotted out.

"There belong to the Natural Law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles. As to those general principles, the Natural Law, in the abstract, can NOwise be blotted out from men's hearts." [Summa Theologica, Vol II, Pt. I-II, Q.94 Art. 6]

Homosexuality.

"The unnatural vice IS a species of lust. It is reckoned together with other species of lust (2 Cor. xii. 21) where we read: 'And have not done penance for the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness," where a gloss says: 'Lasciviousness, i.e., unnatural lust.'

"The venereal act is rendered unbecoming through being contrary to right reason, and because, in addition, it is contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race: and this is called THE UNNATURAL VICE. This may happen by copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female, as the Apostle states (Rom. i. 27): and this is called the VICE OF SODOMY." [Summa Theologica, Vol IV, Pt. II-II, Q.154 Art. 11]

"Augustine says (De adult. conjug.) that 'of all these', namely the sins belonging to lust, 'THAT WHICH IS AGAINST NATURE IS THE WORST.'

"I answer that, in every genus, worst of all is the corruption of the principle on which the rest depend. Now the principles of reason are those things that are according to nature, because reason presupposes things as determined by nature, before disposing of other things according as it is fitting. This may be observed both in speculative and in practical matters. Wherefor just as in speculative matters the most grievous and shameful error is that which is about things the knowledge of which is naturally bestowed on man, so in matters of action it is most grave and shameful to act against things as determined by nature. Therefore, since by the UNNATURAL VICES man TRANSGRESSES that which has been determined by nature with regard to the use of venereal actions, it follows that in this matter THIS SIN IS GRAVEST OF ALL. After it comes incest, which is contrary to the natural respect which we owe persons related to us.

"Just as the ordering of right reason proceeds from man, so the order of nature is from God Himself: wherefore in sins contrary to nature, whereby the very order of nature is violated, an INJURY IS DONE TO GOD, THE AUTHOR OF NATURE. Hence, Augustine says (Conf. iii. 8): 'Those foul offenses that are against nature should be everywhere and at all times DETESTED and PUNISHED, such as were those of the people of Sodom, which should all nations commit, they should all stand guilty of the same crime, by the law of God, which hath not so made men that they should so abuse one another. For even that very intercourse which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature, of which He is the author, is POLLUTED BY THE PERVERSITY OF LUST.'

"Vices against nature are also against God, and are so much more grievous than the depravity of sacrilege, as the order impressed on human nature is prior to and more firm than any subsequently established order.

"The nature of the species is more intimately united to each individual, than any other individual is. Wherefore sins against the specific nature are more grievous.

"Wherefore among sins against nature, the most grievous is the sin of bestiality, because use of the due species is not observed. After this comes the sin of Sodomy, because use of the right sex is not observed." [Summa Theologica, Vol IV, Pt. II-II, Q.154 Art. 12]

Thus spoke Saint Thomas Aquinas.

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REINVENTING RELIGION

The PC police constantly remind us of the great "diversity" which exists in the world and the need to accommodate it. But somehow all this diversity ends up looking the same. Moreover, this "diversity" does not include those who cherish the traditional family and have moral objections to issues like abortion, homosexuality, and the lie of safe sex outside of marriage. These people are treated as merely obstructionists in need of "education" as somehow "diversity" would be better served by having everyone agree. They are forced to embrace ideas which their faith holds in anathema and are hypocritically coerced to give sole allegiance to a "state belief system (religion)" of amorality. This can take many forms. Locally, it is subsidizing a University which promotes homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle, a cause for affirmative action, through the Vice-Provost Office of Educational Equity. It is subsidizing a school district which has succeeded in doing nothing but polarizing a large segment of the community through the efforts of a minority of board members to follow the University lead in the recognition of sexual orientation as a civil right - a problematic concept. We are talking about behavior which has been proven changeable as opposed to skin color and ethnicity which isn't. This observation has been made by Alveda Celeste King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and General Colin Powell.

In a recent column purporting to "straighten out the issue of gay 'choice'", we saw in response to a Christian mother's concern regarding the homosexual tendencies of her son, that "we choose the God we need." An interesting comment given that Genesis tells us that man was created in the image of God, not vice-versa. This constitutes a "reinvention of religion" which was addressed by Anthony Sheehan in "The Georgetown Academy", March 1995, quoting Cardinal Newman. "This is a religion which is pleasant and easy, benevolence is its chief virtue, intolerance and excessive zeal are its first sins. It includes no true fear of God, no deep hatred of sin, no indignation at the blasphemies of heretics, no jealous adherence to doctrinal truth, and is therefore neither hot nor cold but rather lukewarm." This is a religion which refuses to talk about the gravity of certain sins as measured by the extent in which they depart from the rule of right reason totally ignoring the words of Our Lord to Pilate (John 19:11); "He that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin." This is a religion which merits the most serious admonishment by God in the Book of the Apocalypse, "I would vomit you out of my mouth."

As Philippe Beneton describes in his essay "True and False Tolerance", "Tolerance is an ambiguous word greatly valued in the prevailing multicultural climate. Who would be against tolerance? There wouldn't be anything left to say if the current idea of tolerance was not fundamentally distorted."

Properly understood, tolerance implies respect for people but not agreement with their error or fault. Another way of saying this is that it is not people who are being judged but rather their actions if anarchy is to be avoided - a positive law precept also found in the Decalogue. This distinction is clouded by those seeking victim status for their actions.

In a relativistic world, to affirm that a particular proposition is true by itself, apart from mere opinion, is considered an attack on tolerance. After all, "there is no such thing as right or wrong" - the message of the homosexual agitprop video "It's Elementary" recently shown to some of our public school teachers.

Another column asks us to "challenge, but don't silence the voice of art." We are told that all citizens have the right to express their views, however they wish to do it, without harming their fellow man". And that "the expression of ideas is sacred and crucial to the growth of individuals and the evolution of society." There is a slight problem here. Just who determines whether or not "their fellow man" is being harmed? Surely not the one doing the harming; he's the agent for conjectured harm. Those claiming that they've been harmed? Hardly, they have nothing to fall back on except their opinion. In the absence of some universal truth, how is this situation resolved? It isn't in a moral relativistic world which doesn't have an answer to the question "what happens when A's unlimited rights (freedoms) conflict with B's?" It also overlooks the fact that there is something called a "common good" for society which carries precedence over "individual good." It confuses freedom with license.

Beneton continues, "These are my values, say the brutal, the violent, the sadistic. If all values" are equal, how can I answer them? Pure freedom knows no limit. Pure liberty subverts everything, including liberty itself. The relativism of choices, values, and opinions results in a comprehensive leveling. If everything is worthy, nothing is."

Sheehan points out that personal morality for most people has become subjective dictating a God made in man's image. "One can do anything as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Such an attitude encourages every kind of depravity and vice within a man, while it ignores the reality that only good people can make society good. Man's relationship with God is even more crucial because all morality depends on it. We cannot learn to love our neighbors as ourselves until we first learn how to love God, and we cannot learn to love God unless we learn to obey Him."

The chasm between personal morality and man's relationship with his creator cannot be bridged by any amount of shared values or moral discourse. There is no common ground in this sense as evidenced by Christ words in Scripture, "He who is not with me is against me." Toleration is not the uncritical acceptance of all ideas and does not extend to evil or error which must be condemned because truth and falsehood cannot be equal. Truth whether rational or revealed cannot be compromised.

As G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and never tried." Of late, it might be added, "it has been reinvented" in the best tradition of the political spin-doctors. They want us to forget that before the Resurrection was a cross that had to be carried. A cross that explains why bad things happen to good people. (John 3:16).

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Subject: Canada "sodomite marriage" bill to be signed into law today. This is no law that can be obeyed since it is against the Law of God to which all others are subsidiary.


What does the world expect when it ignores the Catholic teaching against contraception? When procreation is no longer important in marriage, what's to keep Joe from marrying Sam?

As rational beings we do things in a distinctive human way. The Natural Law is our guide to human flourishing, i.e., the determination of how and what activities contribute to our good or bad. The telos or end of human sexuality is three-fold, pleasure, intimacy or bonding (union), and babies (procreation). We also must consider the nuptial meaning of the body in regard to human sexuality, an absolute requirement else we’re left with moral anarchy and a civilization in ruins. Animal sex is a willy-nilly occurrence with raw physical action the principle characteristic. A human being is much more than just a body in an animalistic sense; a human being is a body and a soul with an intellect – the soul being the form of the body, the life giving essence to the body without which the body is reduced to matter at death. Before and after death bodies still exist. So humans have to be much more than just bodies. At death something has left. That something is the soul. Thus the physical pleasure of animal sex is differentiated from human sex with the soul coming into play on the part of human sexual activity, which facilitates a caring bonding, resulting in a human life coming from human life, not animal instincts. Moreover, unlike animals instinctively reproducing for survival of the species, human beings with souls procreate to populate Heaven in accord with God's plan for His Creation!

Humans, then, are multidimensional (body and soul) rational creatures ordering things to the good. They are made in the image and likeness of God and act out of thinking and choice, not just instinct. This choice is in accord with what is good. We can think of an analogy with the Triune God, having a relationship with three Divine Persons in One God. We’re also relational since humans are not nourished by being sufficient only unto themselves, totally divorced from the world about them. We are not disembodied minds ala Descartes unable to know the universe via sensory perception. Our bodies show us that we are directed toward someone of the opposite sex, our natural tendencies verified by our physical plumbing albeit there are those who confuse rectal waste function with reproduction. According to the Natural Law, which is God’s plan, two become one – another trinity, male, female, and baby. This trinity becomes a community of love, which is what human sexuality is directed or ordered to.

It is impossible to be a human being and engage in sex without some kind of bonding going on. Sex brings a special closeness as we’re not just talking about two bodies uniting but also two spirits. The soul that makes humans human is directly involved. Bodies may be able to walk away from a sexual experience but spirits don’t, which makes sexual intercourse – the total giving of yourself to another person not easy to take back. You are affected radically for all time.

We arrive at a fundamental principle of the Natural Law. Since sex brings with it babies, the rational responsible good human being will not have sex unless that human being is prepared for babies and bonding. The conclusion drawn from this is that you’re not prepared for sexual intercourse unless you are married. To do so outside of marriage is to hold back, not totally giving yourselves to each other. Babies require a lifetime of care. If you are not prepared for this then you should not be having sexual intercourse. This obligation to your child for its lifetime demands the best possible environment for its upbringing. Just as certain foods are good for you while others are not, certain sexual activity is good for you while others are not. This begs the question "What kind of sex is good for you in that it promotes intimacy and bonding?" The only common sense answer, which is what the Natural Law is all about, is sex within marriage since premarital intercourse only wants pleasure, nothing else. The inevitable result of ignoring this Natural Law principle is babies born out of wedlock with the concomitant chaotic consequences for all involved including not just the immediate parties but also their children and the culture as a whole.

The power of sex makes you overlook other values that you should be taking into account. The Natural Law teaching on sexuality is that you must respect the goods of sexuality, pleasure, intimacy, and bonding. You should not be engaging in sexual intercourse unless you can assume the full responsibilities of the consequences that naturally result from it. The wisdom of the Catholic Church has always taught that the proper place, moreover the only place, to protect the goods of sexuality in a Natural Law sense is marriage.

Let us go back to the topic of contraception and ask "What has been the effect of contraception in contributing to the creation and furtherance of a culture-of-death that pervades the world today?" Young people need to be chaste before marriage not only because of the love they hope to share with their future spouses, but also because of the responsibilities they have to their future children. In the past the chief reason for refraining from sexual activity before marriage was the fear of pregnancy. Pregnancy was feared both because young people were not prepared to take care of children and also because there was considerable societal disapproval of sexual intercourse before marriage. The societal disapproval is gone and contraceptives have largely removed the fear, though not the reality, of unwanted pregnancies. As such, contraceptives have become one of the chief reasons for much of the sexual misconduct of our times. There were fewer teenage pregnancies, many fewer abortions, a lesser incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, etc., before contraception became widely available. An enterprising psychologist might ask, "Why are we seeing these results such as documented by the well known October 1994 issue of Atlantic Monthly which totally debunked the Planned Parenthood version of sex education, which is prominent in most of our schools, i.e., the "safe sex" myth via contraceptives?" The answer is simple. All one has to do is look at the ignorance of the goods of the Natural Law in regard to human sexuality. Contraception makes people feel secure that they can have sexual union apart from the obligations of marriage and child rearing. However, contraception does not remove the responsibilities that come with the child-making possibilities of sexual intercourse. Young people, being notoriously irresponsible about almost everything, are roughly as responsible about using contraceptives as they are about doing their homework, hanging up their clothes, and doing their chores. Those using contraceptives are not out of the woods because contraceptives are not really safe; they do not always work, in particular in an age when the size of a deadly virus is measured in microns causing no difficulty whatsoever in its going through porous contraceptive materials. It must be emphasized to our young people that they are not ready for sexual intercourse until they are ready to be parents, for sexual intercourse always brings with it the possibility of being a parent.

In any sane society, if George and Harry apply for a license to "marry" each other, the response would be some variant of "Get lost." But if it is entirely up to man to decide whether sex will have any relation to procreation, why should marriage be limited to male-female combinations? The contraceptive society cannot deny legitimacy to the homosexual lifestyle without denying its own basic premise. Its only objections to homosexual activity and homosexual "marriage" will be pragmatic or aesthetic. "Homosexual activity, like contraception, also frustrates the interpersonal communion that is intrinsic to the conjugal act. And where that act should be open to life, homosexual activity is a dead end. It rejects life and focuses instead on excrement, which is dead." [See 50 Questions On The Natural Law, Charles Rice.] This is why you invariably see Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL, NGTF, PFLAG, and national homosexual rights organizations all on the same side, the unholy alliance between the two most prominent components of the culture-of-death, Big Abortion, and Big Homosexuality. It is ironic that those, whose constitutions destroy forever the concept of marriage as a holy sacrament, are married eternally in the culture-of-death. Barring repentance, their wedding reception will occur in a "very hot place."

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Same-Sex "Marriage" and Mental Health
Interview With Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Catholic Medical Association

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania, JULY 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- A recent meeting of the American Psychiatric Association calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage shows a political agenda that disregards scientific data, says a psychiatrist.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons was a major contributor to "Homosexuality and Hope," an essay by the Catholic Medical Association, and co-author of "Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope" (American Psychological Association Books, 2000).

Fitzgibbons shared his views with ZENIT about the APA's definition of same-sex marriage as a mental health "need" for the stability of the partners and the children they adopt.

Q: Is the opinion of the APA on same-sex unions and adoption consistent with the research on the medical and psychiatric difficulties in those with same-sex attractions and on the developmental needs of children?

Fitzgibbons: No. The APA has chosen to ignore the significant medical research which has documented serious psychiatric and medical illnesses associated with those same-sex attractions and behaviors.

This research and that on the needs of children for a father and a mother have been reviewed in several important recent papers from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the University of Utah School of Medicine.

The peer-reviewed literature demonstrates that an inability to maintain committed relationships and rampant promiscuity are the norm in the homosexual lifestyle. To illustrate this, one recent study in Amsterdam, by Xiridou, demonstrated that 86% of the new cases of AIDS came from those in committed relationships, and that those in casual relationships averaged between 16-28 sexual partners per year.

Q: What else does the research show in regards to psychiatric and medical health risks for those living the homosexual lifestyle?

Fitzgibbons: Well-designed research studies have shown that many psychiatric disorders are far more prevalent, three to five times, in teen-agers and adults with same-sex attraction [SSA]. These include major depression, suicidal ideation and attempts, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, conduct disorder, low self-esteem in males and sexual promiscuity with an inability to maintain committed relationships.

It is important to note that "homophobia" is not the cause of these disorders, as many of these studies were done in cultures in which homosexuality is widely accepted.

Another recent study has shown that a high percentage, 32%, of males with SSA have been abused by other males with SSA.

In addition, those with SSA have a shortened life expectancy. The sexual practices in the lifestyle, particularly sodomy, are associated with numerous serious medical illnesses. All this research was ignored by the APA.

Q: What do the social and medical perspectives of scientific research indicate about the needs of a child for a father and a mother?

Fitzgibbons: Dr. Reekers and Dr. Byrd's summary of some of the vast literature on child development demonstrates the vital importance of a father and a mother for the developmental needs of a child.

In effect, the social science research supports the recent statement of the Vatican that to deliberately deprive a child of a father or a mother through adoption by those in the homosexual lifestyle would inflict severe harm onto those children.

The APA's statement ignores the vast scholarship on the needs of children such as Henry Biller's "Fathers and Families: Paternal Factors in Child Development," which includes a bibliography of almost 1,000 separate articles or books on the positive effects of fathers on children.

These studies were not done as part of a political campaign, but as serious scholarship to increase our knowledge of child development. The literature on the needs of a child for a mother is even more extensive, and was equally ignored.

Q: If the opinion of the APA in support of same-sex unions and adoption is not based on medical, psychiatric and social science research, then what do you think it is based upon?

Fitzgibbons: I believe that the decision is an ideological and a political one, not one based in medical science or on the protection of the health of adults or of children.

The unscientific position of the APA brings to mind the warning of Pope Benedict XVI in regards to the dictatorship of relativism in the West.

In my professional experience as a psychiatrist with expertise on the nature and treatment of excessive anger, the APA's decision is strongly influenced by a long standing bias toward Judeo-Christian and, particularly, Catholic morality. The recent legal recognition of same sex unions by Canada and Spain which is not based on medical science or on the well-being of adults and children is another illustration of this bias.

This bias has led to the experience of not a small number of Catholics with mental health professionals in which their faith and morality have been blamed for either their emotional struggles or those in their child, or in which attempts were made to change their moral code in regard to sexuality.

Q: What advice would you give to other psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors, faced with this ideological trend in their fields?

Fitzgibbons: A number of colleagues have told me that they plan to leave the APA because of its abandonment of medical science and its caving in to an ideological and political agenda.

Personally, in this struggle I have been encouraged by, and have encouraged some of my colleagues, with the words of John Paul II, "Prayer joined to sacrifice constitutes the most powerful force in human history."

Catholic mental health professionals need to trust that the Lord will act to protect the sacrament of marriage, but we need to do our part.

Also, regardless of the APA's unscientific statement, doctors have a responsibility to inform their patients of the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle.

In his study "The Health Risks of Gay Sex," an internist and colleague, Dr. John R. Diggs Jr., wrote, "As a physician, it is my duty to assess behaviors for their impact on health and well-being. When something is beneficial, such as exercise, good nutrition or adequate sleep, it is my duty to recommend it. Likewise, when something is harmful, such as smoking, overeating, alcohol or drug abuse, it is my duty to discourage it. As a physician, it is my duty to inform patients of the health risks of homosexual sex, and to discourage them from indulging in harmful behaviors."

Q: What advice would you offer Catholic parents in regard to the attempt to redefine marriage and establish same-sex civil unions and adoption?

Fitzgibbons: Catholic parents today need an understanding of homosexuality in view of both the attempts to redefine marriage and of the crisis in the Church.

This knowledge is available in the updated brochure of the Catholic Medical Association, and at the Web site of the National Association for Research and Treatment of Homosexuality.

Contrary to the media and professional organizations' political propaganda, same-sex attractions are not genetically determined and are preventable and treatable.

Parents would be helped by reading Pope Benedict's recent statement on marriage and civil unions when he headed the Congregation for Doctrine and Faith. He wrote, "The marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church."

Other excellent family resources which can help parents present to their children the beauty of God's plan for marriage and for human sexuality are "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality," from the Pontifical Council for the Family; "Humanae Vitae"; "Love and Responsibility"; John Paul II's "Theology of the Body"; and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In response to the recent APA statement, Catholic parents need to monitor more carefully their children's education, because many educators will now intensify their present efforts to initiate required curriculum on homosexuality from grades 1-12.

These programs fail to present the truth about the homosexual lifestyle, including the inability to maintain commitment, the rampant promiscuity, the medical and psychiatric illnesses and damage done to children who are denied their right to a father and a mother.

Instead, these biased efforts attempt to falsely portray homosexuality as a healthy alternative lifestyle. Parents should request that the truth be presented to their children.

Many of these educational programs attempt to mask their true goals by the use of names such as diversity, tolerance or "no name-calling weeks" when, in fact, they attempt to undermine the Church's teaching on marriage, human sexuality and, now child-rearing.

Catholics should also act in the political arena to influence elected officials to learn the truth about homosexuality and to support the basic unit of society upon which the well-being of a society is founded, the family, based on a marriage between a man and a woman.

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Why is the Church in Canada allowing itself to be tried in a Kangaroo court?

The Canadian bishops should not be hesitant whatsoever to witness to the Truth Who is a Someone, not a something. What I find very disturbing in the report below is the willingness of bishops to shy away from testifying to the fact that faith and reason are married not divorced. Faith enables a reason, which in turns reinforces faith. How dare pro-sodomite MPs presume to question Holy Mother Church on what she can and cannot do it fulfulling the only reason for her existence - to get souls to Heaven instead of hell!

[Note: I am speaking of the article that appeared in LifeSiteNews.com on June 8, out of Ottawa which reported in part:]

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry was grilled by openly homosexual MP Bill Siksay.

Siksay was the MP chosen to replace disgraced gay activist MP, Svend Robinson in his Burnaby-Douglas riding in Vancouver BC. Siksay has been vigorously supporting the proposed legislation and in committee hearings has made no secret of his contempt for religious arguments. Bishop Henry, however, stressed that he had made no reference to religious reasoning but had argued purely from the Natural Law philosophy common to people of any religion or none.

He said, "I specifically decided not to talk about sacramentality. I haven't quoted scripture, not one verse. I'm simply saying, let's look at this from the vantage point of philosophy, of reason, and natural law."

Despite this, Siksay persisted in pursuing the issue of religion asking, "Can you be a devout Catholic and still support same-sex marriage? Are there any dissenting Catholic voices?"

Bishop Henry responded: "There are some who call themselves Catholic, but then it gets to be questionable as to whether or not they ought to go parading under that label of devout Catholic. For example, if they were in my diocese, they were a public official, they would be refused communion."

The exchange continued:

Siksay: So you would take action to do that?

Bishop Henry: Absolutely.

Siksay: Do you do that on other issues as well?

Bishop Henry: Yes, there are some issues, that if you're a notorious public sinner, you're refused communion also.

Siksay: Can you give me some examples of what those would be?

Bishop Henry: I would say, I have told some people, for example, that have acknowledged that they are in abusive relationships that they are not to receive communion until these matters have been dealt with forthright.

Some time later Conservative MP Jason Kenney asked Bishop Henry jokingly, "Your Grace, it might comfort Mr. Siksay, from the NDP, to know that one nickname the media has given you in the past--if I may--is "Red Fred". Is that not correct?" To which Bishop Henry replied, "Yes, Ted Byfield gave me that one when I got a little too far to the left on some social issues."

We are talking about more than a sin against the dignity of man, i.e. man's nature. We are talking about a grave sin against Almighty God, a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance per Sacred Scripture.

We have to think of family all the time in the promulgation of our laws which are rooted in the natural law which is a participation in the eternal law of God. The Ten Commandments can be considered an early warning system. They are not the ten suggestions. If you obey them, you will flourish; if not, you will participate in your own destruction. Civilizations that have played fast and loose with the Commandments, stable marriage, and family life no longer exist. What the reinventers of St. Thomas Aquinas, Sacred Scripture, and Church tradition do not understand is the proper interpretation of Aquinas’ natural law in a metaphysical context. They fail to understand Aquinas’ understanding of nature and its role in his evaluation of ethics.

There are several fundamental principles that one must keep in mind when interpreting Aquinas’ natural law teachings:

1) Aquinas understands God to be the author of nature and thus what is natural is good.

2) The primary meaning of the word “nature” for Aquinas is not physical or biological but ontological in that “nature” most precisely refers to the essence of a substance, in the case of man, to a substance that is a unity of spirit and body.

3) natural law ethics and virtue ethics are integrally related for virtues are a perfection of man’s nature. All sins are a violation of some virtue.

4) Since the Fall, man’s physical nature and intellectual nature are flawed and thus can mislead him in his actions.

Aquinas is concerned about what is fitting for man’s telos. What is fitting in this sense is what is ordered to the good, not what is objectively disordered. His concern about this “good ordering” is centered around its leading to the perfection of one’s nature toward this final end, something totally rejected by modernists like Spinoza, which leads to the union of body and soul, the soul being the form of the body. So Aquinas has a very metaphysical purpose in defining nature in that the soul cannot be divorced from the body in an eternal sense.

Although Aquinas speaks of the good of sexuality as being “the propagation of the species,” the propagation of the human species should not be understood in the same way as the propagation of all other species, since humans have immortal souls, and are destined not just to contribute to the longevity of the species but also possess an intrinsic value in their own right. Humans in generating offspring are not just preserving the species; they are “multiplying individuals,” i.e., they are helping to populate Heaven, not just Earth. Thus, humans not only reproduce; more properly they procreate. They participate in the coming to be of a new human soul. God is the Creator of each and every human soul but He requires the provision of matter by human beings in order to affect the coming to be of a new human being (body and soul). Semen, then, (and the ova) is part of the matter into which God infuses the human soul. To deliberately misuse semen, or the ova, i.e., to use them in a way that prevents them from providing the matter for new human life, is to violate a great good in a metaphysical sense, which is against the natural law. Man is not allowing God to be God. Thus, the “natural” in the natural law for Aquinas not only applies to “natural” in a biological sense, i.e., a violation of the plumbing, but more properly to “natural” in a supernatural sense, where metaphysics is the path of reason to the Divine.

Aquinas’s first level of human inclination, common to all beings, is to do good and to avoid evil with the primary good on this level being one’s preservation in affirming life, not destroying it. How are killing innocents, in what should be their safest place of refuge – their mothers’ wombs, affirming life? How is promoting sexual perversion, which leads to an inordinate amount of sickness and death in the homosexual community relative to the total population, affirming life?

The second level of inclination, common to all animals, was the preservation of family and children. How is aborting children preserving them and perfecting the family? What does the celebration of homosexuality have to do with any sane concept of the traditional family as opposed to a bastardization of it? How can homosexuals have children when the very act of homosexuality carried to the limit guarantees their extinction?

The third level of inclination is distinctively human as a political being, the forming of associations, acknowledging the good and fairness of getting along with others with concomitant concepts of justice. How is killing human beings for the sake of expediency for specious reasons of female “reproductive rights” going to provide for political associations when humans are eliminated? Where is the justice for the unborn? What about their rights to existence? What associations can be formed among homosexuals that will lead to societal common good given that homosexuality has been proven to lead to physical and psychological ruin? In regard to the final level of inclination, how can the truth about God be known by violating His commandments, which is what abortion and living homosexual lifestyles do?

The natural law is an ethics that requires much observation of the world around us, and penetrating insight into the nature of things. This insight is gained through a process of induction that leads us to recognize that man is a rational animal. Through the experience of man we learn what his natural inclinations are and to what goods he is naturally inclined. Next we must discover and determine what are good means of achieving these goods.

The fundamental tenet of all human thought is the principle of non-contradiction, something cannot “be” and “not be” at the same time and in the same respect. To deny this is to verify it. Natural law theory works on the same premise. We should all act for the good at all times. “Do good and avoid evil.” This leads to the following initial natural law principles:

1. All things have a nature, essence or purpose – a telos (an end or goal), a principle which is relatively uncontroversial.

2. That nature in question is good; all things have an internal principle that makes them tend towards what is good.

3. It is good for things to act in accord with their nature.

The natural law is based on man’s ability to make generalizations about things having natures, what they are, what is good for these natures and acting in accord with them. If a person did not believe in God he still would know how to treat a person in a certain way through a realization of the natural law.

Expanded to the supernatural level God is the author of all nature. As such the natural law becomes a law of God written on the hearts of men. In recognizing the truth of the natural law we will have more reverence for God’s creation and the Creator as He is behind the great ordered universe making it His will that we live in accord with the natural law.

How can we know what is in accord with the natural law? All non-rational created things participate in the natural law by inclination only, by instinct. All rational creatures participate by inclination and rational free will. In considering the natural inclination to things, experience telling which are good or bad, the rational reflection upon what to do, and the rational ordering of the doing, we see a natural algorithm that human beings follow in determining what is good or bad, an algorithm that is unique to human beings.

God did not intend for the state to be some disinterested observer in regard to man's redemption. He did not intend for man to live in solitude but rather socially with his neighbors whereby the common good is promoted naturally by the state leading ultimately to a supernatural end. In that regard the state has an obligation to be advised by the eternal immutable truths of Holy Mother Church. This is traditional Catholic teaching.

The bottom line is that no Catholic, in particular Catholic bishops as successors of the apostles, should be reticent to relate the natural law to the Decalogue. They should not let themselves be intimidated by the disciples of the devil in this regard. Rather, they should unashamedly profess that which they are solely called to do as priests, i.e., their only reason for existence as priests - to preach Christ crucified to the world for the sake of its conversion to the one true faith per the end of Matthew's Gospel. They certainly should put the devil on notice that he has no rights, i.e., "Who is he [Siksay or any of the other Canadian MP's] to arrogantly question the Church that Christ founded upon the Rock that is Peter on matters of Catholic dogma (faith and morals)?"

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Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2005 3:19 PM

[Subject: My Letter to the editor, as a Catholic member of the research faculty, re PSU's same sex benefits per the enclosed report.]

In an age where reason is eclipsed on a daily basis with indoctrination masking as education, the news of Penn State giving domestic partner benefits to individuals inclined to homosexual acts, sadly, comes as no surprise. However, I find it hard to believe that there is so little opposition, as reported in the CDT, based on my experience with concerned members of the General Assembly, faculty and administrative colleagues, students, local and state residents, who do not share Penn State’s zeal for promoting sexual promiscuity to the extreme of unnatural acts as part of official University policy.

This is nothing more than a frontal assault on the institution of marriage. Since when are benefits entitled for pleasure only? This deviates from what every culture in history has recognized as the heart of marriage: the begetting and education of children. The happiness of the couple is vital, to be sure, but it is not the only or primary purpose and never has been. Why? Because “happiness” produces no definitive benefit for society, whereas the rearing of children clearly does. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage.

It is incredible that an institution of purported “higher learning” would summarily ignore the well documented adverse physical, psychological, and social consequences of such policies as consistently reported, for example, by the Center for Disease Control whose statistics clearly show that homosexual acts are the main cause of HIV/AIDS in the U.S., and all of the social indicators showing the inordinate increase of STDs of all types, with the resulting problems, which are directly correlated with a selfish permissive society that trashes the “common good” – the primary goal of the state on an altar of hedonism.

For a major university receiving State funding to arrogantly ignore the fact that a significant number of Commonwealth residents do not appreciate seeing their hard earned tax dollars being irrationally used to promote aberrant behavior, which is held to be in anathema by their faith, and antithetical to the “common good,” does not speak well for Penn State’s leadership. To ignore the consequences of the natural law and its Author is lunacy, not education, as typified by the pathetic excuse that the “best and the brightest” are found exclusively among those inclined to homosexual acts.

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[Enclosed report]

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/11982362.htm


Posted on Sat, Jun. 25, 2005


Penn State offering benefits to same-sex partners

By Genaro C. Armas

The Associated Press

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Penn State is now formally offering health benefits to workers with same-sex partners, adding one of Pennsylvania's largest employers to the dozens of colleges and universities around the country offering such benefits.

The change went into effect in January. Faculty and staff were told of the new benefits then, though the school didn't issue a press release.

About two dozen workers have signed up for the benefits, school spokesman Tysen Kendig said Friday. Penn State is the seventh-largest employer in Pennsylvania, with almost 39,000 people, just over half of them full-time, at its 24 campuses.

"We make changes to the benefits package all the time and don't issue a statement or news release on it," Kendig said. "We're dealing with such a small number of people who have signed up to receive the benefits."

Before this year, Penn State workers with same-sex partners could apply for benefits out of an "emergency special assistance fund" established in 2003 from private donations. It was established primarily to help gay and lesbian domestic partners, Kendig said.

"We did it that way to get a feel of how the program would operate" before such benefits were made part of the regular plan, he added.

The university didn't feel any political pressure over the move, Kendig said.

The change has been greeted warmly on campus by advocates, although some students, faculty and staffers who sit on diversity advisory committees also questioned whether the school wasn't being more vocal because of political or legislative pressure.

Under its classification as a state-related university, Penn State receives some state funding but isn't owned by the state.

"It's been a challenge for the university because, politically, they face numerous people who don't want to see this at Penn State," said Tom Donohue, executive director of Who's Positive, a State College-based AIDS awareness and outreach program. Donohue served on an advisory committee two years ago and makes presentations at Penn State through his program.

Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group, said 290 colleges and universities around the country offer some sort of domestic partner benefits, up from about 267 in 2003. Besides Penn State, 22 other Pennsylvania schools offer such benefits, including Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh.

Schools that don't offer comprehensive same-sex benefits would be left "out of the game when it came to attracting the best and brightest employees," said Daryl Herrschaft, the group's deputy director. "It's also demonstrative of how far workplace policies are progressing in the state of Pennsylvania."


-------------------

[A response to this letter follows with a subsequent rebuttal from me]


http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/opinion/12102874.htm

Posted on Tue, Jul. 12, 2005


Your Letters

Changed concept of marriage

Those in favor of marriage or even domestic partner benefits for gays and lesbians are often portrayed as being far out of the mainstream. Marriage is and has been between a man and a woman, opponents argue.

While this is (more or less) true, the institution of marriage has changed over the years, for the better in the view of most folks.

Wives are no longer the property of their husbands. Partners are chosen by each other based on love rather than by their parents based on financial or political considerations. It is no longer considered acceptable (in Western culture) to marry a girl of the age of 10 or 13.

[The] recent letter showed just how far out of the mainstream opponents of domestic partner benefits are.

"Every culture in history," he wrote, has recognized "the begetting and education of children" as the heart of marriage.

While child-rearing is clearly a social benefit, do most people really believe in mandatory procreation as a condition for receiving the benefits of marriage?

The implication is that childless marriages should perhaps be aned (sic) when discovered, freeing the fertile partner to remarry. (The barren one could perhaps be sent to a nunnery to protect her virtue and channel her energies toward more socially productive activities.)

This is a radical proposal, one that goes against the widely accepted view that marriage is about love and commitment, that partners should be free to choose each other, whether or not they decide or are able to have children.

Penn State is right to confer domestic partner benefits on committed couples regardless of their ability or interest in having children.

-----------------

[My rebuttal follows.]

What a sad selfish letter, which is to be sadly expected in a world where hedonism reins supreme!

Children are a gift from God. It is not for man to "choose" whether or not to have them. When man does that, he becomes the ultimate arbiter of when life begins, and will soon demand to be the ultimate arbiter of when life ends. Just ask the family of Terri Schindler Schiavo. Man's "choice" in this regard has resulted in the barbaric consequences of Roe v. Wade where innocents are slaughtered in what should be their safest place of refuge, their mothers' wombs. Moreover, this "choice" resulting from the contraceptive mentality of the age is the primary cause of the world's moral aberrations to especially include the oxymoronic concept of sodomite marriages. If the procreation of children is no longer of any importance, what's to keep Ray from "marrying" Sam? This is exactly the argument presented in the letter above.

One of the most selfish acts that man can commit is to enter into marriage with the express intent of NOT having children. In the eyes of the Church, this is mortal sin. It is one thing to want to have children, and not be able to. At least the correct intent is there. It is something else to not cooperate with God in His plan for creation, which is not just to reproduce for survival of the species, which any animal is instinctively capable of, but primarily to procreate to populate Heaven. Alas, the supernatural importance of what is happening here is lost to a Godless world.

Reference the The Forgotten Teaching of Casti Connubii

http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/l/glm7/m199.htm

rooted in Sacred Scripture

The adverse social consequences of blatantly promoting sexual promiscuity by eliminating the need for marriage have been well understood for some time with the children suffering the most. Of course the father-of-lies uses this fact to promote contraception instead of the solution proposed by God in Genesis resulting in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, which was instituted by God to give the Grace needed for man to survive naturally, leading ultimately to his supernatural salvation.

Nowhere in the letter is there any reference to what I originally pointed out regarding the well known documented adverse health consequences, e.g., physically, psychologically, socially, of such policies. It is hypocritical for the President of Penn State, Graham Spanier, to go before the General Assembly of the Commonwealth asking for more money because of increasing health costs when he goes out of his way to promote behavior which is as unhealthy as it comes. How is such a position conducive to the common good, the furtherance of which has been classically understood from the time of Aristotle's Politics to be the primary goal of any "good" state?

I repeat, Why should a significant number of the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have their hard earned tax dollars going to support aberrant behavior that is antithetical to the common good, and held to be in anathema by their faith? Faith and reason are married, not divorced. What Penn State is doing is an assault on both faith AND reason. As such, it needs to be called to task for such irrational policies!

You would think that [the author] could see the folly of what he’s advocating economically, if for no other reasons. Demographic studies clearly show that countries are dying because of an inability to reproduce themselves. Such are the consequences of violating God’s Natural Law, which is a participation in His Eternal Law. And we have the audacity to wonder about the demise of the social security system! You don’t need a PhD to see that without children, there will soon be no one to support an aging population that deserves more than to be euthanized, which is on the horizon. These things happen when you don’t allow God to be God! That the modern world considers such truth to be “extreme” is a gauge of the insanity that has overtaken it.

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We Want a Supreme Court, Not a Supreme "Farce" - Some History Worth Revisiting; Else, It Might Be Repeated!

Of late, clearly, logic, common sense, and reason are not qualifications for the Supreme Court. Is there an indication that this will change with the nomination of John Roberts by President Bush? It has been said that Roberts is a “devout Catholic.” This is cause for hope, as certainly that descriptor applies to the best Justice on the Court right now, Antonin Scalia. It also must be remembered that being a Catholic in the true sense of the word means not checking your faith at the door upon entering public life, regardless of your secular vocation to particular include being a judge at the highest level. If a “devout Catholic” isn't going to correct the errors of what can only be considered the “unsettled law” of pseudo-Catholic Kennedy, per his horrendous decisions that are irrational in the extreme being assaults on both faith AND reason, e.g. Planned Barrenhood vs. Casey, and Lawrence vs. Texas, then I don't know who is. Catholics are supposed to be setting a good example for the attainment of a Kingdom not of this world with the natural leading to the supernatural.

I have read some encouraging things about Mr. Roberts, and I hope and pray that they are true. But I also live in the reality of a Vatican II Church that accords error rights, which is why a Catholic pedigree has to be examined carefully these days given that much masquerades for Catholicism.

While there is cause for hope, there is equally cause for concern, given reports implying that Roberts might tend to agree with the lunatic faction that “privacy trumps all, to heck with the common good.” In an article appearing in Knight Ridder Newspapers nationally on Sunday, July 24, 2005, by Stephen Hendersen entitled “Roberts may bring restraint to the court,” we see the following.

"His own approach?

"A look at his 2003 testimony and the opinions he’s issued as a judge since then suggests he embraces a conservative judicial restraint that evokes an approach that has largely been absent from the Supreme Court for decades. If Roberts employs a restrained judicial outlook once he’s confirmed, he’ll probably disappoint both liberals and conservatives who look to the court for consistently favorable political results …
But on balance, court historian David Garrow said, “there’s every indication that Roberts is not an ideologue or an activist.”
“If the president had wanted to pick someone like that, he had choices available. This guy doesn’t look like he’s going to overturn any apple carts,” he said …

"Roberts seems unlikely to embrace the “strict constructionist” brand of constitutional interpretation the president says he admires.
Roberts said in 2003 that he found that approach helpful sometimes, but not always. He said he didn’t adhere to any particular school of constitutional interpretation …

"Roberts also hasn’t indulged efforts to wipe away the expanded notions of individual and civil rights that have evolved …

"Roberts told the Senate in 2003, for example, that the idea of a right to privacy, the foundation for Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion case, goes back much further in American law than most people think.
That isn’t an answer you’d probably get from court conservatives such as Justice Antonin Scalia or Rehnquist, who’ve been critical of that right. For many conservative thinkers, the constitutional right to privacy, which doesn’t appear in the text of the Constitution, is the hallmark of liberal court activism."

I will wait until Mr. Roberts makes some decisions on the court before I make mine. In particular, the judiciary must understand that man's laws are subsidiary to God's.

Now it’s time for that necessary revisiting of history.

In what can only be regarded as a “day of judicial infamy” of tyrannical proportions, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court told the country “privacy trumps all” regardless of what despicable acts are involved. That Justice Kennedy led the charge of this madness should come as no surprise since this is the same man who, in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, held that the autonomous unencumbered rights of the individual extend to the extreme that every man can define his own universe of rights with no thought whatsoever about the consequences of what happens what his universe collides with his neighbor’s in the absence of universally recognized moral absolutes. The answer is easily to see for anyone still capable of rational thought – “anarchy is inevitable.”

Now, in a decision that eclipses Roe v. Wade in its monstrous illogic, this same Justice Kennedy tells the country that being inclined to aberrant unnatural changeable behavior, if performed in private, is perfectly OK with no consideration again for the consequences as a result of bastardizing the classical primary goal of the state understood from the time of Aristotle’s Politics, which is promoting the “common good” of society.

What's next, a constitutional right to bestiality? After all, the pervert [bestialist] in question, I am sure, will ensure that his despicable acts are performed in private—which makes them OK, as privacy trumps all, right? No matter that the allowance of the private act wounds society severely. Just where does Justice Kennedy’s judicial madness stop? That Kennedy somehow purports to be “Catholic” boggles the mind!
What is happening in America is the excusing of aberrant self-destructive behavior, which has been recognized as such for millennia from both faith and reason standpoints, on the part of a radical fringe that is hell-bent on getting society to confirm them in their vices under force of law. Such actions are not solitary in ANY sense. They affect society as a whole. Those responsible individuals who recognize that faith enables reason, and reason reinforces faith, i.e., faith and reason are eternally related, not divorced, are not obliged to forfeit their rights under the Constitution because a majority of the Supreme Court has lost its collective mind.

Jacques Maritain in Man and the State reminds us of the importance of a “higher law”, a natural law in regard to the limitations of the “will of the people.”

"There is no need to add that the will of the people is not sovereign in the vicious sense that whatever would please the people would have the force of law. The right of the people to govern themselves proceeds from Natural Law: consequently, the very exercise of their right is subject to Natural Law. If Natural Law is sufficiently valid to give this basic right to the people, it is valid also to impose its unwritten precepts on the exercise of this same right. A law is not made just by the sole fact that it expresses the will of the people. An unjust law, even if it expresses the will of the people, is not law."

Maritain goes on to distinguish authority from power.

"Authority and Power are two different things: Power is the force by means of which you can oblige others to obey you. Authority is the right to direct and command, to be listened to or obeyed by others. Authority requests Power. Power without authority is tyranny.

"Thus authority means right. If, in the cosmos, a nature, such as human nature, can be preserved and developed only in a state of culture, and if the state of culture necessarily entails the existence in the social group of a function of commandment and government directed to the common good, then this function is demanded by Natural Law, and implies a right to command and govern.

"Finally, since authority means right, it has to be obeyed by reason of conscience, that is, in the manner in which free men obey, and for the sake of the common good.

"But by the same token there is no authority where there is no justice. Unjust authority is not authority, as an unjust law is not law.
Whatever the regime of political life may be, authority, that is, the right to direct and to command, derives from the people, but has its primary source in the Author of nature."

What is this “Natural Law” that Maritain is talking about? As Socrates reasoned, it is something above power or force that gives content to the notion of justice. There is such a thing as a natural right. This is a notion, which in turn, suggests that there is a higher law or a natural law by which the positive law of the city is to be measured and judged. Saint Thomas Aquinas gives us the formal definition of such a law in the Summa Theologica I-II. He does this via a logical sequence starting with the definition of law in Question 90, presenting a formal definition for the natural law in Question 91, discussing its characteristics in Question 94, going on to present its relationship to human law in Question 95, and considering when such laws are binding in Question 96.

"Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, decreed by authorities in charge of the community. [See ST I-II, Q. 90, a. 4.]

"Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to divine providence in a more excellent way, insofar as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others. Wherefore it has a share of the eternal reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end, and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. Hence, the Psalmist, after saying “offer up the sacrifice of justice,” as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: “Many say, ‘Who shows us good things?’,” in answer to which question he says: “The light of Your countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us”; thus, implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which pertains to the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the divine light. It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law. [See ST I-II, Q. 91, a. 2.]

"A law is a certain dictate of practical reason. Now it is to be observed that the same procedure takes place in the practical and in the speculative reason, for each proceeds from principles to conclusions. Accordingly, we conclude that just as, in the speculative reason, from naturally known indemonstrable principles we draw the conclusions of the various sciences, the knowledge of which is not imparted to us by nature but acquired by the efforts of reason, so too it is from the precepts of the natural law, as from general and indemonstrable principles, that the human reason needs to proceed to certain particular determinations of the laws. These particular determinations, devised by human reason, are called human laws. [See ST I-II, Q. 91, a. 3.]

"The precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason because both are self-evident principles. Wherefore the first indemonstrable principle is that the same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time, which is based on the nature of “being” and “not-being,” and on this principle all others are based, as it is stated in Metaphysics IV. Now, as “being” is the first thing that falls under apprehension simply, so “good” is the first thing that falls under the apprehension of the practical reason, which is directed to action, since every agent acts for an end under the aspect of good. Consequently, the first principle in the practical reason is one founded on the notion of good, viz., that good is that which all things seek after. Hence this is the first precept of law, that good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based upon this, so that whatever the practical naturally apprehends as man’s good (or evil) belongs to the precepts of the natural law as something to be done or avoided.
Since, however, good has the nature of an end, and evil the nature of a contrary, hence it is that all those things to which man has a natural inclination are naturally apprehended by reason as being good, and consequently, as objects of pursuit, and their contraries as evil and objects of avoidance. [See ST I-II, Q. 94, a. 2.]

"As regards the general principles, whether of speculative or practical reason, truth or rectitude is the same for all and is equally known by all. [See ST I-II, Q. 94. a. 4.]

"The natural law dates from the creation of the rational creature. It does not vary according to time but remains unchangeable. [See ST I-II, Q. 94. a. 5.]

"Augustine says, “Thy law is written in the hearts of men, which iniquity itself effaces not.” But the law which is written in men’s hearts is the natural law. Therefore, the natural law cannot be blotted out. [See ST I-II, Q. 94, a. 6.]

"As Augustine says, “that which is not just seems to be no law at all”; wherefore the force of a law depends on the extent of its justice. Now, in human affairs a thing is said to be just from being right according to the rule of reason. But the first rule of reason is the law of nature, as is clear from what has been stated above. Consequently, every human law has just so much of the nature of law as it is derived from the law of nature. But if, in any point, it deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer a law but a perversion of law. [See ST I-II, Q. 95. a. 2.]

"Laws framed by man are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience from the eternal law whence they are derived, according to Pr. 8:15: “By Me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things.” Now laws are said to be just from the end, when, to wit, they are ordained to the common good, and from their author, that is to say, when the law that is made does not exceed the power of the lawgiver, and from their form, when, to with, burdens are laid on the subjects according to an equality of proportion and with a view to the common good.

"Augustine says, “A law that is not just, seems to be no law at all.” Where such laws do not bind in conscience. Laws may be unjust through being opposed to the divine good; such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry or to anything else contrary to the divine law, and laws of this kind must nowise be observed because, as stated in Acts 5:29, “we ought to obey God rather than men.” [See ST I-II, Q. 96, a. 4.]"

It is Aquinas’s doctrine of Natural Law that is recognized as the best formulation of the understanding of a higher law that guides, restrains, and influences the will of a government or a people.

His doctrine in relation to human law can be summarized as follows. Laws are the works of reason for the common good. The Natural Law is the participation of a rational creature in the Divine Law in that it is a participation in the wisdom and goodness of God by the human person, formed in the image of the Creator. The Natural Law expresses the dignity of the person and forms the basis of human rights and fundamental duties. For Aquinas the Eternal Law, God’s will for His created universe, consists of the Divine Law, God’s Eternal Law as revealed in Sacred Scripture, and the Natural Law, our participation in the Eternal Law. In turn, Human Law comes directly from the Natural Law as it is a particular demonstration of it, being the measure or norm of all human law. The Natural Law is a key to the understanding the foundation of political authority. Positive law ultimately derives its authority from the foundation of what is right by nature. If the purpose of the polis is that of societal common good, i.e., human flourishing, the lawmaker must know what are the elements of human flourishing. Aquinas identifies the fundamental goods of human flourishing from the various inclinations of the human being and the intelligible good which is achieved through such activity. He does this by observing that the rational creature has a natural inclination to its proper act or end with the first principle in the practical reason founded on the nature of the good; hence, this becomes the first precept of law: good is to be done and promoted and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the Natural Law are predicated on this such that all things which practical reason naturally apprehends as man’s good belong to the precepts of the Natural Law under the form of things to be done or avoided. This is an immutable law that is the same for all, known by all, and not erasable. Any human law that deflects from the law of nature is no longer a law but a perversion of the law. Human laws are just or unjust. The former are binding in conscience because of their derivation from the Eternal Law via the Natural Law; the latter are not binding.

The political relevance of the teaching of the Natural Law as a higher law can be readily appreciated in the American experience. Our founders appealed to “nature and nature’s God” as the foundation for the rights which government ought to secure. See the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence below.

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Orestes Brownson in “The Democratic Principle”, Quarterly Review 1873, voiced a concern that the rule of law as rooted in Nature and in Nature’s God might be forgotten. Such a principle declares that the will of the people is the sole foundation for political authority, an extreme version of democracy run amuck that is described as a regime to be avoided in Aristotle’s Politics. What shapes or restrains the will of the people? Brownson feared the philosophy of democratic government that would brook no restraint upon the will of the majority. There is no authority above the people, not God, not nature, not Nature’s God. Utility and not justice becomes the final rule of government – a doctrine that is diametrically opposed to authentic freedom leading to true human flourishing. Brownson recommended various political devices to protect freedom such as rule of law and constitutionalism but most of all he looked to the sentiments, convictions, manners, customs and habits of the people. In particular, good habits or virtues, which man needs to reach his perfection, the acquisition of which is acquired through training. [See ST I-II, Q. 96, a. 3.]

The people must acknowledge a moral law that guides and forms their conscience. Without moral order, and divine sanction, Brownson thought that the teaching of the democratic principle would corrupt a free people. Brownson was right. Moreover, without the moral order, without some type of a realization that there are absolute immutable truths in accord with the Natural Law, corruption of a free people is guaranteed with anarchy the only possible result, and the eventual destruction of civilization as we know it.

We will now look at the importance of a higher law in regard to two contemporary issues, abortion and homosexuality. We will do this by asking some rhetorical questions pertaining to Aquinas’s tenets of the Natural Law, specifically, the inclinations of human beings to their proper end.

Recall Aquinas’s first level of human inclination, common to all beings, is to do good and to avoid evil with the primary good on this level being one’s preservation in affirming life, not destroying it. How are killing innocents, in what should be their safest place of refuge – their mothers’ wombs, affirming life? How is promoting sexual perversion, which leads to an inordinate amount of sickness and death in the homosexual community relative to the total population, affirming life? The second level of inclination, common to all animals, was the preservation of family and children. How is aborting children preserving them and perfecting the family? What does the celebration of homosexuality have to do with any sane concept of the traditional family as opposed to a bastardization of it? How can homosexuals have children when the very act of homosexuality carried to the limit guarantees their extinction? The third level of inclination is distinctively human as a political being, the forming of associations, acknowledging the good and fairness of getting along with others with concomitant concepts of justice. How are killing human beings for the sake of expediency for specious reasons of female “reproductive rights” going to provide for political associations when humans are eliminated? Where is the justice for the unborn? What about their rights to existence? What associations can be formed among homosexuals that will lead to societal common good given that homosexuality has been proven to lead to physical and psychological ruin? In regard to the final level of inclination, how can the truth about God be known by violating His commandments, which is what abortion and living homosexual lifestyles do?

Yves Simon in Philosophy of Democratic Government is careful to point out that only in the gravest circumstances do the people have a right to exercise, albeit in limited fashion, a power greater than that of the governing personnel, which the governing personnel received by the act of transmission via a duly proper election procedure. This is the right to undertake campaigns of intense opinion for decision-making purposes. When conditions are so bad that these campaigns of opinion must act in a decision capacity as opposed to their more proper consultative capacity is the criteria that Simon uses for their proper choice in the former capacity. I respectfully submit that, given the current state of the United States of America, where hedonism is promoted as a cause celebre by our legislators, judges, and government administrators, to include particularly those calling themselves Catholic, such a grave condition exists and has existed for some time. In short, in regard to abortion and homosexuality, we are not dealing with just laws in a Natural Law sense and, as such, we are bound by our informed consciences not to obey them.

I heard the pro-sodomite Human Rights Campaign reiterating the equal protection clause on FOX News as justification for the horrendous Supreme Farce decision in Lawrence vs. Texas.

What's equal about the natural vs. the unnatural? Why doesn't anyone immediately answer the HRC's aforementioned insane equation with that question, i.e., "What's natural about equating an orifice used solely for waste with one for reproduction?"

However, there is a more important point to be made. When you divorce the procreative from the unitive aspects of the marital act, which is what is done via contraception, you have just put a severe constraint on your arguments. Recall that, in God's plan per Genesis, we're procreating for Heaven. See The Forgotten Teaching of Casti Connubii

http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/g/l/glm7/m199.htm

The following section from Casti Connubii speaks particularly to the sodomite bastardization of marriage in regard to the just punishment deserved by replacing sanctity in accord with the natural and divine laws of God with the hedonism of the devil!

"By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God's decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises. Hence the nature of this contract, which is proper and peculiar to it alone, makes it entirely different both from the union of animals entered into by the blind instinct of nature alone in which neither reason nor free will plays a part, and also from the haphazard unions of men, which are far removed from all true and honorable unions of will and enjoy none of the rights of family life. {Para. 7}

"From this it is clear that legitimately constituted authority has the right and therefore the duty to restrict, to prevent, and to punish those base unions which are opposed to reason and to nature; but since it is a matter which flows from human nature itself, no less certain is the teaching of Our predecessor, Leo XIII of happy memory: "In choosing a state of life there is no doubt but that it is in the power and discretion of each one to prefer one or the other: either to embrace the counsel of virginity given by Jesus Christ, or to bind himself in the bonds of matrimony. To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words 'Increase and multiply,' is beyond the power of any human law." {Para. 8}"

Casti Connubii makes it very clear that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children. Man does not just reproduce for survival of the species, which is something that any animal is instinctively capable of doing. Rather, man, made in the Image and Likeness of God, procreates to increase the population of Heaven, which was God’s intent for man at creation.

"Since, however, We have spoken fully elsewhere on the Christian education of youth, let us sum it all up by quoting once more the words of St. Augustine: "As regards the offspring it is provided that they should be begotten lovingly and educated religiously," - and this is also expressed succinctly in the Code of Canon Law - "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children." {Para. 17}

"Nor must we omit to remark, in fine, that since the duty entrusted to parents for the good of their children is of such high dignity and of such great importance, every use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state. {Para. 18}"

It does not get any clearer than the following sections from Casti Connubii as to what man’s priorities are given that the “first blessing of matrimony” is the procreation of children.

"The second blessing of matrimony which We said was mentioned by St. Augustine, is the blessing of conjugal honor which consists in the mutual fidelity of the spouses in fulfilling the marriage contract, so that what belongs to one of the parties by reason of this contract sanctioned by divine law, may not be denied to him or permitted to any third person; nor may there be conceded to one of the parties anything which, being contrary to the rights and laws of God and entirely opposed to matrimonial faith, can never be conceded. {Para. 19}

"Wherefore, conjugal faith, or honor, demands in the first place the complete unity of matrimony which the Creator Himself laid down in the beginning when He wished it to be not otherwise than between one man and one woman. And although afterwards this primeval law was relaxed to some extent by God, the Supreme Legislator, there is no doubt that the law of the Gospel fully restored that original and perfect unity, and abrogated all dispensations as the words of Christ and the constant teaching and action of the Church show plainly. With reason, therefore, does the Sacred Council of Trent solemnly declare: "Christ Our Lord very clearly taught that in this bond two persons only are to be united and joined together when He said: 'Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh.’" {Para. 20}

"Nor did Christ Our Lord wish only to condemn any form of polygamy or polyandry, as they are called, whether successive or simultaneous, and every other external dishonorable act, but, in order that the sacred bonds of marriage may be guarded absolutely inviolate, He forbade also even willful thoughts and desires of such like things: "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." Which words of Christ Our Lord cannot be annulled even by the consent of one of the partners of marriage for they express a law of God and of nature which no will of man can break or bend. {Para. 21}

"Nay, that mutual familiar intercourse between the spouses themselves, if the blessing of conjugal faith is to shine with becoming splendor, must be distinguished by chastity so that husband and wife bear themselves in all things with the law of God and of nature, and endeavor always to follow the will of their most wise and holy Creator with the greatest reverence toward the work of God. {Para. 22}"

The sodomite faction uses the sophistry of the former nonsensical equal rights analogy along with the prevalence of contracepting and aborting generations into oblivion to say, that "What are we doing that's so unlike what you're doing?"

What I am referring to here is traditional Catholic teaching rooted in Genesis where the call by God for man to multiply is to populate Heaven, i.e., we're not reproducing solely for natural reasons for survival of the species. We're going beyond that in accord with God's reason for creating us. God made us to show forth His Goodness, to know, love and serve Him in this life, and especially to share an eternity with Him in the next. To come to the point, we're procreating for supernatural reasons, to populate Heaven. That is the reason for the sexual complimentarity of the sexes, a supreme gift to mankind from God, a gift to be cherished, not bastardized by the blasphemous extension of it to unnatural acts.

This extension is made easier by the divorce of the unitive from the procreative in regard to the sexual act, which is not possible if we are obedient to the Will of God. Once this divorce is made, the sodomites can say, we're doing exactly the same as you are, i.e, seeking sexual pleasure for its own sake. What's your problem? By embracing contraception, we make it difficult to answer this question with the force that we can in union with our observations about the unnaturalness of the act as opposed to heterosexual sex.

If man makes himself, through contraception, the arbiter of when life begins, he will predictably make himself the arbiter of when life ends. Contraception prevents life while abortion kills existing life. Both involve the deliberate separation of the unitive and procreative aspects of sex, which cannot be separated according to Natural Law principles. A contraceptive society requires, moreover, demands abortion to the point of insuring that a dead baby always occurs as a result of the intrusion of the abortionist into what should be the safest place in the universe for a baby, its mothers womb, regardless of whether the abortion is "botched" and the baby somehow is delivered alive in the manner God intended. Man needs the insanity of a "born-alive infants act" to combat the heinous evil of infanticide, insanity in the sense that we have digressed as a society to the point of being unable to recognize First Degree Murder for what it is. The availability of abortion is also a factor in the decision of some to engage in sexual relations without using contraception. Many contraceptives are abortificient in that they cause the destruction of the developing human being, RU-486 being the prime example.

The Church recognizes that having a sexual-genital attraction to another person of the same sex can never lead to a morally good act between the two individuals, but rather will always lead to an immoral act as the unitive and procreative aspects of sexuality are violated.

Where the procreative and unitive aspects of sexuality are violated is by the unnatural acts of homosexuality which is why the Church teaches that any orientation to this behavior is objectively disordered, i.e., it is an orientation to a misuse of human sexuality, an orientation to acts which are sins against nature and nature's God. The unitive is violated because the plumbing doesn't work, i.e., man wasn't created physically for homosexual acts; the procreative is a consequence of this fact.
Heterosexual attraction is natural to man and woman (Catholic Catechism #2333), while homosexual tendencies are unnatural. Heterosexual attraction is God-given, and for the vast majority of the human race, leads to marriage, children, and family; same-sex attractions are an objective disorder, but not sinful in themselves (CDF Statement, 1986, sect. 3). One often hears this objection to the term "objective disorder" being applied to homosexual tendencies: "If a man lusts for a woman or vice versa, this too is an objective disorder." But this is not so, because, if the man or woman controls this natural attraction, and wills to express it in the natural state of marriage, it is a good thing, desired by the Creator. But if one has a sexual-genital attraction to another person of the same sex, it can NEVER lead to a morally good act between the two individuals, but rather it will ALWAYS lead to an immoral act. That is why it is called an objective disorder.

To say that the "Church does not ask homosexuals to deny their homosexuality" implies somehow that homosexuality is a gift from God - another obfuscation of Church teaching reinforced by the latest research in regard to homosexuality and orientation toward it. The Church clearly is teaching those inclined to homosexual lifestyles out of unconditional love for them that they are embarking down a road leading elsewhere than to salvation per the Catechism.

The word "orientation" has serious theological implications. If you believe that some people are essentially homosexual, you turn Christian anthropology on its head. Christianity holds that we are all heterosexual in our God-given nature, though some heterosexuals have a problem with same-sex attractions. If you believe that homosexuality is part of a person's nature, given by God, then homosexual acts become a fulfillment of a person's God-given nature, and that has never been the Catholic teaching.

Dr. Janet Smith of Ave Maria College in "Aquinas’s Natural Law Theory and Homosexuality", Homosexuality And American Public Life ed. by Christopher Wolfe, tells us that no thinker is as closely associated with Natural Law theory as Thomas Aquinas, which is why his thought is a point of departure for those who appeal to the Natural Law tradition in arguing against the validity of a homosexual lifestyle. Similarly, those who wish to undermine the Natural Law understanding of homosexuality, of necessity, must attack or attempt to reinterpret Aquinas. For if Aquinas’s understanding of homosexuality would turn out to be groundless or incoherent, the Natural Law approach to this question could be vitiated.

There are several fundamental principles that one must keep in mind when interpreting Aquinas’s Natural Law teachings: 1) Aquinas understands God to be the author of nature and thus what is natural is good. 2) The primary meaning of the word "nature" for Aquinas is not physical or biological but ontological in that "nature" most precisely refers to the essence of a substance, in the case of man, to a substance that is a unity of spirit and body. 3) Natural Law ethics and virtue ethics are integrally related for virtues are a perfection of man’s nature. All sins are a violation of some virtue. 4) Since the Fall, man’s physical nature and intellectual nature are flawed and thus can mislead him in his actions. Aquinas is concerned about what is fitting for man’s final end (telos). What is fitting in this sense is what is ordered to the good, not what is objectively disordered. His concern about this "good ordering" is centered around its leading to the perfection of one’s nature toward this final end, which leads to the union of body and soul, the soul being the form of the body. So Aquinas has a very metaphysical purpose in defining nature in that the soul cannot be divorced from the body in an eternal sense.

Although Aquinas speaks of the good of sexuality as being "the propagation of the species", the propagation of the human species should not be understood in the same way as the propagation of all other species, since humans have immortal souls and are destined not just to contribute to the longevity of the species but also possess an intrinsic value in their own right. Humans in generating offspring are not just preserving the species; they are "multiplying individuals", i.e., they are helping to populate Heaven (not earth). Thus, humans not only reproduce; more properly they procreate. They participate in the coming to be of a new human soul. God is the Creator of each and every human soul but He requires the provision of matter by human beings in order to affect the coming to be of a new human being (body and soul). Semen, then, (and the ova) is part of the matter into which God infuses the human soul. To deliberately misuse semen, or the ova, i.e., to use them in a way that prevents them from providing the matter for new human life, is to violate a great good in a metaphysical sense, which is against the Natural Law. Man is not allowing God to be God. Thus, the "natural" in the Natural Law for Aquinas not only applies to "natural" in a biological sense, i.e., a violation of the plumbing, but more properly to "natural" in a supernatural sense, where metaphysics is the path of reason to the Divine.

Joe Sobran wrote a good column a few months ago addressing just this topic when he said that we're all sodomites in that sense.
I will quote from Sobran's article The Traditional Catholic and Liberal Cultures, which appeared in The Latin Mass, A Journal of Catholic Culture, Vol. 12, No.2 Spring 2003 pp. 34-37.

"We're All Sodomites now," crows the title of an essay by the only sodomite columnist Andrew Sullivan, who claims to be both Catholic and a conservative. How times have changed, one sighs for the hundredth time. Sodomite, conservative, and Catholic? What happened to the country - the world - we were born in?

"Sullivan does have a point, thought. In days of yore, "sodomy" had a broader range of meaning than homosexuality. It referred to a wide variety of perverse sexual practices, including contraception, in which nonprocreative sexual pleasure was sought for its own sake. And since about 95 per cent of American married couples now use contraception, Sullivan argues, under the old definition nearly everyone now qualifies as a sodomite, one way or another. Sodomy has become normal.

"Who are Moses and St. Paul against Gallup?

"Sullivan's real "point" is that one you legitimize "unnatural sex" in any form, there are no limits. One possible conclusion is that Sullivan is right, and all is well. Another is that we are now seeing the social cost of disregarding strict Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

"The Catholic Church is now isolated in upholding the "old" morality. What was not so long ago the consensus of Christians has become "the Catholic position," or as it is called in some quarters "the Vatican position," since the American bishops have become rather notably silent and noncommittal about it.

"As a middle-aged Catholic, I feel an increasingly deep pity for young Catholics, who hardly know - and can hardly be expected to take seriously - a teaching so at odds with contemporary culture that their own pastors rarely dare to assert it. The only world they know is one in which fornication (now known as "premarital intercourse," and not even confined to a prospective spouse), sodomy ("gay sex"), and abortion ("choice") have become "rights," not only legal but moral.

"It is no use blaming the young for this. They have been spiritually disinherited. How can they know? They rarely even realize there was once, and not so long ago, another and better world, in which "the Catholic position" was the anchor of nearly universal moral presumptions. In that world, fornication was shameful, and the sodomite and the abortionist (not the "abortion provider") were figures of horror and disgust.

"For my generation that world is only a fading memory. For the young it is not even that. People now approaching middle age have no recollection of when abortion was a crime. . .

"With the confusion of Catholics has come the defilement of America. The America of 2003 would have been unrecognizable, and utterly appalling, to the America of 1961, when I was baptized. Catholics wanted to be good Americans; and it seems that they have succeeded only too well. Will Christ, at the Last Judgment, congratulate them on having assimilated so perfectly to this America?

"It would have been better for them, and better for America, if the Church in this country had remained less adaptable to the environment, teaching her children that keeping the Faith was still, and would always be, a stern duty."

Hopefully, John Roberts IS the “devout Catholic” that he’s claimed to be, understanding the totality of the eternal truths of the faith, in particular, that faith enables a reason, which, in turn, reinforces it. If he’s not, then President Bush will have followed in the sorry footsteps of his father. The United States of America cannot afford more Souters if it is to survive. Moreover, it will not deserve to survive, as Almighty God will not be mocked indefinitely! God will not bless a country that is no longer worthy of His blessing.

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3.1.1 No right exists to aberrant behavior
Making sexual orientation a cause for nondiscrimination says that orientation to objectively disordered behavior is acceptable. One could logically ask, if this is true, what prevents anarchy?

In 1990 J. of Homosexuality produced a double issue devoted to adult-child sex. One of the many disturbing quotes said, “parents should look upon the pedophile who loves their son ‘not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home...’“ (pg 164). The American Psychological Association did not denounce this position. Why? Why are these views being publicized in “homosexual” journals? The answer is in J. Sex and Marital Therapy which shows a strong correlation between homosexual males and pedophilia in proportion to their numbers (about 1 out of 36 men).

The following evidence showing the correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia is current research from NARTH, The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, in an article entitled The Problem of Pedophilia.
http://www.narth.com/docs/pedophNEW.html

Gay advocates correctly state that most child molesters are heterosexual males. But this is a misleading statement. In proportion to their numbers (about 1 out of 36 men), homosexual males are more likely to engage in sex with minors: in fact, they appear to be three times more likely than straight men to engage in adult-child sexual relations (8). And this does not take into account the cases of homosexual child abuse which are unreported. NARTH's Executive Director Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, for example, says that about one-third of his 400 adult homosexual clients said they had experienced some form of homosexual abuse before the age of consent, but only two of those cases had been reported.

While no more than 2% of male adults are homosexual, some studies indicate that approximately 35% of pedophiles are homosexual (9). Further, since homosexual pedophiles victimize far more children than do heterosexual pedophiles (10), it is estimated that approximately 80% of pedophilic victims are boys who have been molested by adult males (11).
8. Freund, K. and R. I. Watson, The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443.
9. K. Freund et al., Pedophilia and Heterosexuality v. Homosexuality, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 10 (Fall 1984): 197.
10. Freund, K. and R. I. Watson, The Proportions of Heterosexual and Homosexual Pedophiles Among Sex Offenders Against Children: An Exploratory Study, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 18 (Spring 1992): 3443.
11. Schmidt, Thomas (1995). Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, p. 114.

A Fringe Element Begins to Make Inroads into the Mainstream
NAMBLA--the North American Man-Boy Love Association--was once the lone voice lobbying for the normalization of pedophilia. NAMBLA representatives marched in gay-pride parades as a fringe element of the gay-rights movement.

Then in 1990, the Journal of Homosexuality produced a special double issue devoted to adult-child sex, which was entitled "Male Intergenerational Intimacy" (1). One article said many pedophiles believe they are "born that way and cannot change" (p. 133). Another writer said a man who counseled troubled teenage boys could achieve "miracles... not by preaching to them, but by sleeping with them." The loving pedophile can offer a "companionship, security and protection" which neither peers nor parents can provide (p. l62). Parents should look upon the pedophile who loves their son "not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy's upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home..." (p. 164).

A British university professor wrote: "Boys want sex with men, boys seduce adult men, the experience is very common and much enjoyed" (p. 323). A professor of social science at the State University of New York says he looks forward to the day when Americans will "get over their hysteria about child abuse" (p. 325) and child pornography.

A.P.A. Publishes a New Study: Not All Pedophile Relationships are Harmful

The American Psychological Association did not denounce the positions advanced within that journal. In fact, just recently, the A.P.A. published a new, major study (2) written by one of those same Journal of Homosexuality writers.
This latest article appears in the A.P.A.'s own prestigious Psychological Bulletin. It provides an overview of all the research studying the harm resulting from childhood sexual abuse.

The authors' conclusion? That childhood sexual abuse is on average, only slightly associated with psychological harm--and that the harm may not be due to the sexual experience, but to the negative family factors in the children's backgrounds. When the sexual contact is not coerced, especially when it is experienced by a boy and is remembered positively, it may not be harmful at all.

The authors of the article propose that psychologists stop using judgmental terms like "child abuse," "molestation," and "victims," using instead neutral, value-free terms like "adult-child sex." Similarly, they say we should not talk about the "the severity of the abuse," but instead refer to "the level of sexual intimacy."

The authors conclude that behavior which psychotherapists commonly term "abuse" may only constitute a violation of social norms. And science, they say, should separate itself from social-moral terminology. Religion and society, these writers argue, are free to judge behavior as they wish...but psychiatry should evaluate behavior by its own set of standards.

In fact, the authors of the Psychological Bulletin article propose what they consider may be a better way of understanding pedophilia: that it may only be "abuse" if the child feels bad about the relationship. They are in effect suggesting a repetition of the steps by which homosexuality was normalized. In its first step toward removing homosexuality from the Diagnostic Manual, the A.P.A. said the condition was normal as long as the person did not feel bad about it.

Few laymen are aware that the American Psychiatric Association recently redefined the criteria for pedophilia. According to the latest diagnostic manual (DSM--IV), a person no longer has a psychological disorder simply because he molests children. To be diagnosed as disordered, now he must also feel anxious about the molestation, or be impaired in his work or social relationships. Thus the A.P.A. has left room for the "psychologically normal" pedophile.

The questionable worth of our professional psychiatric and psychological associations
Thus, the American Psychological Association’s prestigious Psychological Bulletin concludes that childhood sexual abuse is on average, only slightly associated with psychological harm - and that the harm may not be due to the sexual experience, but to the negative family factors in the children’s backgrounds. Incredible!

It is good to remember that much has been made of the American Psychiatric Association no longer including homosexuality on their disorder list. This APA, the other being the American Psychological Association, also no longer includes sadism, masochism, and pedophilia on this list, depending on what tortured version of its Diagnostic and Statistics Manual is referenced. Does this mean that these “orientations” might eventually be embraced as causes for nondiscrimination?

Furthermore, the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of the American Psychiatric Association has said that there is no problem with pedophilia unless it bothers the pedophiliac - so much for the concern of the safety of children.

Are we as a society obliged to follow the dictates of so-called professional associations whose surreal positions defy reason?

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What kind of message do we send to our children?

Noted Catholic moral theologian, Msgr. William Smith once commented on how “rights talk” and “tolerance” have reached intolerable proportions. He observed that G.K. Chesterton was right to say that tolerance is the only virtue common to those who do not believe in anything. What Msgr. Smith was referring to indirectly related to the situation in the public square where many believers are being coerced into supporting laws which their faith holds in anathema. Somehow, this clarion call for unconditional tolerance conveniently excludes those who, for reasons of faith, cannot welcome the sin with the sinner. Moreover, they are certainly not required to do so in any sane reading of Sacred Scripture and Church tradition that does not erase significant portions of the Bible or Church teaching to accommodate the current vices in vogue.

What kind of message do we send to children growing up? If we send an ambiguous or ambivalent message, a message that human sexuality whether it is normal or deviant is just like being right or left handed, we are sending a very dangerous message leading to physical as well as spiritual destruction.

Law functions as a teacher

Law functions as a teacher as to what we approve and disapprove of in society. Thus, to imply that “sexual orientation” is equated with immutable natural characteristics or constitutionally protected behavior says that being inclined to behavior which is an intrinsic moral evil is OK, and there is nothing wrong with inclinations that are objectively disordered (morally reprehensible).

What we must never lose sight of is that we are talking about a disordered form of behavior to which no one has any conceivable right. If there is no right, there can be no discrimination in regard to opposing this behavior.

Every parent with an IQ in double figures knows that growing up with extra burdens, extra pains is not good for children. Sending wrong signals in our society will only complicate their lives.
If we cannot affirm the normative position of stable, heterosexual marriage and family life of “mother, father, and children,” then our society will become a footnote in history like so many others which destroyed themselves from within.

We have to think of family all the time in the promulgation of our laws which are rooted in the natural law which is a participation in the eternal law of God. The Ten Commandments can be considered an early warning system. They are not the ten suggestions. If you obey them, you will flourish; if not, you will participate in your own destruction. Civilizations that have played fast and loose with the Commandments, stable marriage, and family life no longer exist.

The proper interpretation of Aquinas’s natural law in a metaphysical context

What the reinventers of Aquinas, Sacred Scripture, and Church tradition do not understand is the proper interpretation of Aquinas’s natural law in a metaphysical context. They fail to understand Aquinas’s understanding of nature and its role in his evaluation of ethics.

There are several fundamental principles that one must keep in mind when interpreting Aquinas’s natural law teachings: 1) Aquinas understands God to be the author of nature and thus what is natural is good. 2) The primary meaning of the word “nature” for Aquinas is not physical or biological but ontological in that “nature” most precisely refers to the essence of a substance, in the case of man, to a substance that is a unity of spirit and body. 3) natural law ethics and virtue ethics are integrally related for virtues are a perfection of man’s nature. All sins are a violation of some virtue. 4) Since the Fall, man’s physical nature and intellectual nature are flawed and thus can mislead him in his actions. Aquinas is concerned about what is fitting for man’s telos. What is fitting in this sense is what is ordered to the good, not what is objectively disordered. His concern about this “good ordering” is centered around its leading to the perfection of one’s nature toward this final end, something totally rejected by modernists like Spinoza, which leads to the union of body and soul, the soul being the form of the body. So Aquinas has a very metaphysical purpose in defining nature in that the soul cannot be divorced from the body in an eternal sense.
Although Aquinas speaks of the good of sexuality as being “the propagation of the species,” the propagation of the human species should not be understood in the same way as the propagation of all other species, since humans have immortal souls, and are destined not just to contribute to the longevity of the species but also possess an intrinsic value in their own right. Humans in generating offspring are not just preserving the species; they are “multiplying individuals,” i.e., they are helping to populate Heaven, not just Earth. Thus, humans not only reproduce; more properly they procreate. They participate in the coming to be of a new human soul. God is the Creator of each and every human soul but He requires the provision of matter by human beings in order to affect the coming to be of a new human being (body and soul). Semen, then, (and the ova) is part of the matter into which God infuses the human soul. To deliberately misuse semen, or the ova, i.e., to use them in a way that prevents them from providing the matter for new human life, is to violate a great good in a metaphysical sense, which is against the natural law. Man is not allowing God to be God. Thus, the “natural” in the natural law for Aquinas not only applies to “natural” in a biological sense, i.e., a violation of the plumbing, but more properly to “natural” in a supernatural sense, where metaphysics is the path of reason to the Divine.

Historical roots of the natural law
What the natural law is and why it is necessary guide for human action

What is this “natural law?” As Socrates reasoned, it is something above power or force that gives content to the notion of justice. There is such a thing as a natural right. This is a notion, which in turn, suggests that there is a higher law or a natural law by which the positive law of the city is to be measured and judged. Aquinas gives us the formal definition of such a law in the Summa Theologica I-II. He does this via a logical sequence starting with the definition of law in Question 90, presenting a formal definition for the natural law in Question 91, discussing its characteristics in Question 94, going on to present its relationship to human law in Question 95, and considering when such laws are binding in Question 96.

Law is an ordinance of reason for the common good, decreed by authorities in charge of the community. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 90, Art. 4) {[4] pg 995}

Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to divine providence in a more excellent way, insofar as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others. Wherefore it has a share of the eternal reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end, and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law. Hence, the Psalmist, after saying “offer up the sacrifice of justice,” as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: “Many say, ‘Who shows us good things?’,” in answer to which question he says: “The light of Your countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us”; thus, implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which pertains to the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the divine light. It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 91, Art. 2) {[4] pp 996-997}

A law is a certain dictate of practical reason. Now it is to be observed that the same procedure takes place in the practical and in the speculative reason, for each proceeds from principles to conclusions. Accordingly, we conclude that just as, in the speculative reason, from naturally known indemonstrable principles we draw the conclusions of the various sciences, the knowledge of which is not imparted to us by nature but acquired by the efforts of reason, so too it is from the precepts of the natural law, as from general and indemonstrable principles, that the human reason needs to proceed to certain particular determinations of the laws. These particular determinations, devised by human reason, are called human laws. (SummaTheologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 91, Art. 3) {[4] pp 997-998}

The precepts of the natural law are to the practical reason what the first principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason because both are self-evident principles. Wherefore the first indemonstrable principle is that the same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time, which is based on the nature of “being” and “not-being,” and on this principle all others are based, as it is stated in Metaphysics IV. Now, as “being” is the first thing that falls under apprehension simply, so “good” is the first thing that falls under the apprehension of the practical reason, which is directed to action, since every agent acts for an end under the aspect of good. Consequently, the first principle in the practical reason is one founded on the notion of good, viz., that good is that which all things seek after. Hence this is the first precept of law, that good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based upon this, so that whatever the practical naturally apprehends as man’s good (or evil) belongs to the precepts of the natural law as something to be done or avoided.

Since, however, good has the nature of an end, and evil the nature of a contrary, hence it is that all those things to which man has a natural inclination are naturally apprehended by reason as being good, and consequently, as objects of pursuit, and their contraries as evil and objects of avoidance. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 94, Art. 2) {[4] pp 1009-1010}

As regards the general principles, whether of speculative or practical reason, truth or rectitude is the same for all and is equally known by all. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 94, Art. 4) {[4] pp 1010-1011}

The natural law dates from the creation of the rational creature. It does not vary according to time but remains unchangeable. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 94, Art. 5) {[4] pp 1011-1012}

Augustine says, “Thy law is written in the hearts of men, which iniquity itself effaces not.” But the law which is written in men’s hearts is the natural law. Therefore, the natural law cannot be blotted out. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 94, Art. 6) {[4] pp 1012-1013}

As Augustine says, “that which is not just seems to be no law at all”; wherefore the force of a law depends on the extent of its justice. Now, in human affairs a thing is said to be just from being right according to the rule of reason. But the first rule of reason is the law of nature, as is clear from what has been stated above. Consequently, every human law has just so much of the nature of law as it is derived from the law of nature. But if, in any point, it deflects from the law of nature, it is no longer a law but a perversion of law. (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 95, Art. 2) {[4] pp 1014-1015}

Laws framed by man are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience from the eternal law whence they are derived, according to Pr. 8:15: “By Me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things.” Now laws are said to be just from the end, when, to wit, they are ordained to the common good, and from their author, that is to say, when the law that is made does not exceed the power of the lawgiver, and from their form, when, to with, burdens are laid on the subjects according to an equality of proportion and with a view to the common good.

Augustine says, “A law that is not just, seems to be no law at all.” Where such laws do not bind in conscience. Laws may be unjust through being opposed to the divine good; such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry or to anything else contrary to the divine law, and laws of this kind must nowise be observed because, as stated in Acts 5:29, “we ought to obey God rather than men.” (Summa Theologica, Vol. II, Pt. I-II, Q. 96, Art. 4) {[4] pp 1021-1022}

It is Aquinas’s doctrine of natural law that is recognized as the best formulation of the understanding of a higher law that guides, restrains, and influences the will of a government or a people.

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In summary, "error" has no rights if the common good, the understood primary goal of the state from the time of Aristotle's politics, is to be furthered. Catholics, in particular, must understand this in following the charge by Christ to His disciples at the end of Matthew's Gospel, to convert the world to the one true faith. Only by doing so will the natural lead to the supernatural, the latter being the only reason for the Church's existence, i.e., to get souls to Heaven instead of hell!

Let us revisit Pius XI's encyclical Casti Connubii to see what is owed the Church by the state in recognition of Catholicism being the last bastion of Truth in a world firmly in the grip of the "father-of-lies."

The traditional Catholic Church teaching on the importance of Christian Marriage as a sacrament is no better given than in Casti Connubii, On Christian Marriage, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 31, 1930, which spoke to the world, not just the Church, for the sake of its eternal salvation.

How great is the dignity of chaste wedlock, Venerable Brethren, may be judged best from this that Christ Our Lord, Son of the Eternal Father, having assumed the nature of fallen man, not only, with His loving desire of compassing the redemption of our race, ordained it in an especial manner as the principle and foundation of domestic society and therefore of all human intercourse, but also raised it to the rank of a truly and great sacrament of the New Law, restored it to the original purity of its divine institution, and accordingly entrusted all its discipline and care to His spouse the Church. {Para. 1}

In order, however, that amongst men of every nation and every age the desired fruits may be obtained from this renewal of matrimony, it is necessary, first of all, that men's minds be illuminated with the true doctrine of Christ regarding it; and secondly, that Christian spouses, the weakness of their wills strengthened by the internal grace of God, shape all their ways of thinking and of acting in conformity with that pure law of Christ so as to obtain true peace and happiness for themselves and for their families. {Para. 2}

… let it be repeated as an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that matrimony was not instituted or restored by man but by God; not by man were the laws made to strengthen and confirm and elevate it but by God, the Author of nature, and by Christ Our Lord by Whom nature was redeemed, and hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture; this is the constant tradition of the Universal Church; this the solemn definition of the sacred Council of Trent, which declares and establishes from the words of Holy Writ itself that God is the Author of the perpetual stability of the marriage bond, its unity and its firmness. {Para. 5}

The following section from Casti Connubii speaks particularly to the sodomite bastardization of marriage in regard to the just punishment deserved by replacing sanctity in accord with the natural and divine laws of God with the hedonism of the devil!

By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God's decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises. Hence the nature of this contract, which is proper and peculiar to it alone, makes it entirely different both from the union of animals entered into by the blind instinct of nature alone in which neither reason nor free will plays a part, and also from the haphazard unions of men, which are far removed from all true and honorable unions of will and enjoy none of the rights of family life. {Para. 7}

From this it is clear that legitimately constituted authority has the right and therefore the duty to restrict, to prevent, and to punish those base unions which are opposed to reason and to nature; but since it is a matter which flows from human nature itself, no less certain is the teaching of Our predecessor, Leo XIII of happy memory: "In choosing a state of life there is no doubt but that it is in the power and discretion of each one to prefer one or the other: either to embrace the counsel of virginity given by Jesus Christ, or to bind himself in the bonds of matrimony. To take away from man the natural and primeval right of marriage, to circumscribe in any way the principal ends of marriage laid down in the beginning by God Himself in the words 'Increase and multiply,' is beyond the power of any human law." {Para. 8}

Casti Connubii makes it very clear that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children. Man does not just reproduce for survival of the species, which is something that any animal is instinctively capable of doing. Rather, man, made in the Image and Likeness of God, procreates to increase the population of Heaven, which was God’s intent for man at creation.

Since, however, We have spoken fully elsewhere on the Christian education of youth, let us sum it all up by quoting once more the words of St. Augustine: "As regards the offspring it is provided that they should be begotten lovingly and educated religiously," - and this is also expressed succinctly in the Code of Canon Law - "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children." {Para. 17}

Nor must we omit to remark, in fine, that since the duty entrusted to parents for the good of their children is of such high dignity and of such great importance, every use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state. {Para. 18}

It does not get any clearer than the following sections from Casti Connubii as to what man’s priorities are given that the “first blessing of matrimony” is the procreation of children.

The second blessing of matrimony which We said was mentioned by St. Augustine, is the blessing of conjugal honor which consists in the mutual fidelity of the spouses in fulfilling the marriage contract, so that what belongs to one of the parties by reason of this contract sanctioned by divine law, may not be denied to him or permitted to any third person; nor may there be conceded to one of the parties anything which, being contrary to the rights and laws of God and entirely opposed to matrimonial faith, can never be conceded. {Para. 19}

Wherefore, conjugal faith, or honor, demands in the first place the complete unity of matrimony which the Creator Himself laid down in the beginning when He wished it to be not otherwise than between one man and one woman. And although afterwards this primeval law was relaxed to some extent by God, the Supreme Legislator, there is no doubt that the law of the Gospel fully restored that original and perfect unity, and abrogated all dispensations as the words of Christ and the constant teaching and action of the Church show plainly. With reason, therefore, does the Sacred Council of Trent solemnly declare: "Christ Our Lord very clearly taught that in this bond two persons only are to be united and joined together when He said: 'Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh.’" {Para. 20}

Nor did Christ Our Lord wish only to condemn any form of polygamy or polyandry, as they are called, whether successive or simultaneous, and every other external dishonorable act, but, in order that the sacred bonds of marriage may be guarded absolutely inviolate, He forbade also even willful thoughts and desires of such like things: "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." Which words of Christ Our Lord cannot be annulled even by the consent of one of the partners of marriage for they express a law of God and of nature which no will of man can break or bend. {Para. 21}

Nay, that mutual familiar intercourse between the spouses themselves, if the blessing of conjugal faith is to shine with becoming splendor, must be distinguished by chastity so that husband and wife bear themselves in all things with the law of God and of nature, and endeavor always to follow the will of their most wise and holy Creator with the greatest reverence toward the work of God. {Para. 22}

What the modern Church has forgotten

Now we see something in Casti Connubii that is missing in the modern Church, something that needs to be restored, i.e., the formal recognition that the Church alone must be the primary advisor to the nations of the world in order to preserve the moral order by countering the confusion of the “father-of-lies.” Where but in the Catholic Church, where there is worship of the One Triune God, is there found a consistent moral ethic that is never compromised, and clearly delineated in accord with the teachings of her Founder Who is Perfect Truth? For example, where in the non-Catholic world has there been complete consistent opposition to the contraceptive mentality of the age with all of its attendant derivatives to include sexual promiscuity, abortion, homosexuality, and euthanasia to name but a few? The worship of illusory false gods, in particular the Kantian “god in the mirror,” and/or the denial of the True Faith does not lend itself to such moral clarity and confidence, which Catholicism solely enjoys as being infallibly protected by the Holy Ghost in matters of faith and morals. Nowhere is this infallible protection better evidenced than by observing that the Church has been prophetic in regard to the consequences of ignoring her moral teaching, e.g., Casti Connubii.

But not only in regard to temporal goods, Venerable Brethren, is it the concern of the public authority to make proper provision for matrimony and the family, but also in other things which concern the good of souls. just laws must be made for the protection of chastity, for reciprocal conjugal aid, and for similar purposes, and these must be faithfully enforced, because, as history testifies, the prosperity of the State and the temporal happiness of its citizens cannot remain safe and sound where the foundation on which they are established, which is the moral order, is weakened and where the very fountainhead from which the State draws its life, namely, wedlock and the family, is obstructed by the vices of its citizens. {Para. 123}

For the preservation of the moral order neither the laws and sanctions of the temporal power are sufficient, nor is the beauty of virtue and the expounding of its necessity. Religious authority must enter in to enlighten the mind, to direct the will, and to strengthen human frailty by the assistance of divine grace. Such an authority is found nowhere save in the Church instituted by Christ the Lord. Hence We earnestly exhort in the Lord all those who hold the reins of power that they establish and maintain firmly harmony and friendship with this Church of Christ so that through the united activity and energy of both powers the tremendous evils, fruits of those wanton liberties which assail both marriage and the family and are a menace to both Church and State, may be effectively frustrated. {Para. 124}

Governments can assist the Church greatly in the execution of its important office, if, in laying down their ordinances, they take account of what is prescribed by divine and ecclesiastical law, and if penalties are fixed for offenders. For as it is, there are those who think that whatever is permitted by the laws of the State, or at least is not punished by them, is allowed also in the moral order, and, because they neither fear God nor see any reason to fear the laws of man, they act even against their conscience, thus often bringing ruin upon themselves and upon many others. There will be no peril to or lessening of the rights and integrity of the State from its association with the Church. Such suspicion and fear is empty and groundless, as Leo Xlll has already so clearly set forth: "It is generally agreed," he says, "that the Founder of the Church, Jesus Christ, wished the spiritual power to be distinct from the civil, and each to be free and unhampered in doing its own work, not forgetting, however, that it is expedient to both, and in the interest of everybody, that there be a harmonious relationship. . . If the civil power combines in a friendly manner with the spiritual power of the Church, it necessarily follows that both parties will greatly benefit. The dignity of the State will be enhanced, and with religion as its guide, there will never be a rule that is not just; while for the Church there will be at hand a safeguard and defense which will operate to the public good of the faithful." {Para. 125}

The message of Catholic teachings that many reject out-of-hand

A formed conscience in accord with the natural law is the message of the truth of Casti Connubii. The natural law as an extension of the eternal law written on the hearts of mankind demands a clear interpreter with technology changing at a pace so rapid that moral concerns are subordinate to achieving anything theoretically possible in a scientific sense, e.g., the cloning of human beings. If this interpretation is left to each individual or group in society with a vested interested in the aforementioned scientific achievement, totally devoid of any moral concerns, then as a society, the common good will have given way to anarchy. Who or what will be a better moral interpreter of the natural law if not the Church founded by a God Who gave it to mankind, as we are told in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, On the Peace of Christ in His Kingdom, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 23, 1922.

We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver. {Para. 39}

The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: "My children, keep discipline in peace." (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) "Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord." (Psalms cxviii, 165) "He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace." (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God." (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18) {Para. 40}

If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life -- if we stop to reflect, let us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace. {Para. 41}

Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God. {Para. 42}

Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11) {Para. 43}

An answer to the confusion of those who seek a geopolitical utopia solely via natural means and institutions is given in the following sections of Ubi Arcano. (Hint, it is not found in the UN, contrary to some prominent voices in the Vatican today).

Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual. {Para. 44}

When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road. {Para. 45}

There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail. {Para. 46}

It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace. Pius X in taking as his motto "To restore all things in Christ" was inspired from on High to lay the foundations of that "work of peace" which became the program and principal task of Benedict XV. These two programs of Our Predecessors We desire to unite in one -- the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Christ by peace in Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." With might and main We shall ever strive to bring about this peace, putting Our trust in God, Who when He called Us to the Chair of Peter, promised that the divine assistance would never fail Us. We ask that all assist and co-operate with Us in this Our mission. Particularly We ask you to aid us, Venerable Brothers, you, His sheep, whom Our leader and Lord, Jesus Christ, has called to feed and to watch over as the most precious portion of His flock, which comprises all mankind. For, it is you whom the "Holy Ghost hath placed to rule the Church of God" (Acts xx, 28), you to whom above all, and principally, God "hath given the ministry of reconciliation, and who for Christ therefore are ambassadors." (II Cor. v, 18, 20) You participate in His teaching power and are "the dispensers of the mysteries of God." (I Cor. iv, 1) You have been called by Him "the salt of the earth," "the light of the world" (Matt. v, 13, 14), fathers and teachers of Christian peoples, "a pattern of the flock from the heart" (I Peter v, 3), and "you shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. v, 19) In fine, you are the links of gold, as it were, by which "the whole body of Christ, which is the Church, is held compacted and fitly joined together" (Ephesians iv, 15, 16), built as it is on the solid rock of Peter. {Para. 49}

The duty of Catholic philosophy is to present to the world arguments from reason that reinforce faith to underscore the truth of the traditional teaching of the Church in regard to the earthly reign of Christ the King leading ultimately to a Kingdom not of this world.

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I have just finished reading THE CHURCH CONFRONTS MODERNITY - Catholic Intellectuals & the Progressive Era by Thomas E. Woods Jr., taking the time to highlight in detail this excellent work for future reference in the fight for the heart and soul of the Church being waged by Catholics who know their faith, as opposed to those who are having it subtly stolen from them. Before I was even a third of the way through the book I had gone through a highlighter, which gives an indication of the importance of what Dr. Woods is saying to what is left of the Catholic world, post the ambiguities of Vatican II, in particular, post the efforts of those who would destroy the Church from within.

Anyone familiar with the writings of Woods, in particular, his Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and The Great Façade - Vatican II And The Regime Of Novelty In The Roman Catholic Church, which he co-authored with Christopher Ferrara, knows that here is an American Catholic who tells it like it is. To be technically correct, in THE CHURCH CONFRONTS MODERNITY, hereafter referred to as CCM, Woods not only tells it like it is, but how it used to be, and, if the Church is going to survive as a viable institution in serving as the world's repository of Perfect Truth, Who is a Someone, not a something for salvations sake, which is the only reason for the Church's existence, how it must be again. Woods is right to persuasively insist that looking back to how Catholic giants in America confronted the modernists in the progressive era in combating the work of the devil is our only hope of escaping the modern catacombs in order to convert the world to the one true faith, per Christ's admonition to His disciples in the last paragraph of the Gospel of Matthew. THE problem, as Woods so clearly points out, is that "how it used to be," in reference to the Church in America, was orders-of-magnitude better than "how it is now" with the prospects for "how it will be" no better, if the lessons from the past are not learned.

The focus for Woods is on the Catholic intellectual critique of modernity during the period immediately before and after the turn of the twentieth century where defenders of the faith were plentiful because they understood what it meant to be Catholic in more than name only. This is to be contrasted with an institutional Catholic Church today that, for all practical purposes, is unrecognizable as Catholic, as a direct result of the dissenters being given carte blanche to destroy it from within with impunity. Woods is talking about a Progressive Era where Catholics knew their faith well enough to use what good they could find in Progressivism for the greater Glory of God, in particular, the Church that He founded upon the Rock that is Peter. Catholics at the beginning of the twentieth century understood that discipline is one of the highest, if not the highest forms of love, which is something parents must come immediately to grips with; else, they cease to be responsible parents. Similarly, the Church under Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Saint Pius X, understood this seminal Catholic Truth, which is a Someone, not a something. This was directly reflected in orthodox catechesis which helped formed the consciences of a generation of Catholic leaders like Thomas Shields, William Kirby, and Edward Pace, who fought the good fight against the likes of James Dewey, and other representatives of Pragmatism as it played out in ethics, education, and nationalism. These were not the unencumbered autonomous consciences of Kant but rather those of an economic and political philosophy rooted in the natural law as articulated by Catholic giants like Thomas Aquinas, consciences which were informed in accord with the infallible teaching Magisterium of Holy Mother Church on faith and morals, consciences which understood that faith and reason are married, not divorced, with faith enabling a reason, which, in turn, reinforced faith.

Woods in The Church Confronts Modernity describes how decidedly nonpluralistic Catholicism responded to the modernist assault on faith and reason, and, moreover, must continue to respond, to an increasingly hostile pluralistic intellectual environment. Catholicism insisted on the uniqueness of the Church and the need for making value judgments based on what it considered a sound philosophy of humanity.

What is especially striking about the Catholic Church during this (progressive) period, especially at a time when reigning philosophical presuppositions tended to be so antagonistic to its own, is its self-confidence. Its apologetics truly believed that it was "the greatest, the grandest, and the most beautiful institution in the world." The Catholic faith was "the one immutable thing in a universe of ceaseless mutations." Catholic writers spoke with great affection of Pope Pius X, who reigned from 1903 to 1914 (and who became the first pope to be canonized since the sixteenth century). Time and again Catholic periodicals pointed with pride to Pius's vigorous and uncompromising stance against modern political and intellectual trends, and indeed many authors considered the Church's willingness to stand alone against modernity as an important testimony to its divine foundation. {[CCM] pg 6}

The year following his election as pope in 1878, Leo XIII issued one of the most important encyclicals of his twenty-five-year pontificate: Aeterni Patris, or On the Restoration of Christian Philosophy. With this document the pope launched what became known as the neo-Scholastic movement, the systematic promotion of the thought of the medieval schoolmen and in particular that of their most illustrious representative, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Common Doctor of the Church. The tradition of Scholasticism, having fallen largely into desuetude, was to be revived - not as a museum piece or as a reactionary throwback of a romantic medievalism, but as a living philosophy that would both lend an indispensable support to the Catholic faith and provide an alternative to those systems of modern philosophy that denied man's ability to use his reason to attain metaphysical truth. {[CCM] pg 23}

Some examples of what Woods is referring to are given in Lamentabili Sane, The Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the modernists, Encyclical of Pope Pius X, July 3, 1907, and the famous Pascendi Dominici Gregis, On the Doctrine of the Modernists, Encyclical of Pope Pius X, September 8, 1907.

We initially turn to Lamentabili Sane in looking at some of the more blatant modernist errors related to faith and reason that are condemned by the Church.

5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences. (condemned)

7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced. (condemned)

11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error. (condemned)

12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document. (condemned)

19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes. (condemned)

22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort. (condemned)

23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church's dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain. (condemned)

24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves. (condemned)

25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities. (condemned)

56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions. (condemned)

57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences. (condemned)

58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him. (condemned)

59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places. (condemned)

63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress. (condemned)

64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted. (condemned)

65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism. (condemned)

Pascendi Dominici Gregis gives a much more detailed response to the condemned modernist errors.

One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to us of feeding the Lord's flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things," "vain talkers and seducers," "erring and driving into error." It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office. {Para. 1}

It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor Pius IX wrote: "These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts." On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason"; and condemned still more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth." Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: "Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation." {Para. 28}

If we pass on from the moral to the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first and the chief which presents itself is ignorance. Yes, these very Modernists who seek to be esteemed as Doctors of the Church, who speak so loftily of modern philosophy and show such contempt for scholasticism, have embraced the one with all its false glamour, precisely because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognize confusion of thought and to refute sophistry. Their whole system, containing as it does errors so many and so great, has been born of the union between faith and false philosophy. {Para. 41}

The Modernists pass judgment on the holy Fathers of the Church even as they do upon tradition. With consummate temerity they assure the public that the Fathers, while personally most worthy of all veneration, were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived. Finally, the Modernists try in every way to diminish and weaken the authority of the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character, and rights, and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries. To the entire band of Modernists may be applied those words which Our predecessor sorrowfully wrote: "To bring contempt and odium on the mystic Spouse of Christ, who is the true light, the children of darkness have been wont to cast in her face before the world a stupid calumny, and perverting the meaning and force of things and words, to depict her as the friend of darkness and ignorance, and the enemy of light, science, and progress.'' This being so, Venerable Brethren, there is little reason to wonder that the Modernists vent all their bitterness and hatred on Catholics who zealously fight the battles of the Church. There is no species of insult which they do not heap upon them, but their usual course is to charge them with ignorance or obstinacy. When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that renders them redoubtable, they seek to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack. This policy towards Catholics is the more invidious in that they belaud with admiration which knows no bounds the writers who range themselves on their side, hailing their works, exuding novelty in every page, with a chorus of applause. For them the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquity, and of his efforts to undermine tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium. When one of their number falls under the condemnations of the Church the rest of them, to the disgust of good Catholics, gather round him, loudly and publicly applaud him, and hold him up in veneration as almost a martyr for truth. The young, excited and confused by all this clamor of praise and abuse, some of them afraid of being branded as ignorant, others ambitious to rank among the learned, and both classes goaded internally by curiosity and pride, not infrequently surrender and give themselves up to Modernism. {Para. 42}

In successive chapters entitled 1 - The Stage is Set, 2 - The Challenge of Pragmatism, 3- Sociology and the Study of Man, 4- Assimilation and Resistance: Catholics and Progressive Education, 5-Economics and the "Social Question", 6-Against Syncretism, and an Epilogue: Into the Future, Woods presents a blueprint for how Catholicism should be responding to its critics today as a direct function of how it did so in the past on the seminal issues of right and wrong that are not characterized by liberal shades of gray, read confusion. It is made clear that this response is not a function of an evolving Magisterium anymore than our country has an evolving Constitution. What are the worth of dogma and laws rooted in the Law of God if penumbras are found in both the religious and secular arenas in order to make society comfortable with its vices? Thus, what Woods shows is that the educated Catholic response of the past must be the response today, and in the future, to the disciples of the "father-of-lies" given the Church's immutable Teaching Magisterium.

Woods's time capsule into the Church of yesterday is an absolute requirement for the survival of the Church in America, which is something that is not guaranteed by the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, i.e., the survival of the Church in any particular country is not a certainty. Recall that Mary and John witnessed at Ephesus, which is no longer Catholic. Please note that I made reference to an "educated Catholic response." Today, sadly, given that the dissidents have been allowed to do their work well, it is incumbent for Catholics to educate themselves in the faith by rediscovering what has been traditionally believed by Church, as opposed to the lies masquerading as Catholicism today. This requires effort, but given that eternity is at stake, nothing less will suffice. Woods's book is a welcomed part of that education.

We will briefly look at some of the CCM chapters for examples of unashamed Catholics witnessing to their faith, Catholics who clearly understood the charge by Christ at the end of Matthew's Gospel, to convert the world to the one true faith for eternity's sake. We open CCM to Chapter 1.

Chapter 1 The Stage is Set - During the Progressive Era, however, the Church in America found itself in the midst of an intellectual milieu in which a variety of disparate (though perhaps distantly related) trends in thought were tending to the conclusion that attachment to dogmatic and moral absolutes was inimical to the democratic ethos. … The Social Gospel movement in American Protestantism, while said to be an effort to bring Christian values to bear upon the social problems facing the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was at some level also a rejection of the idea of Christianity as a system whose ultimate basis lay in dogma, creed, and ritual. … Those Enlightenment thinkers who were not altogether hostile to Christianity emphasized the urgency of retreating from aspects of the religion that were purely ritualistic or devotional and of stressing instead the rational and didactic. Immanuel Kant was the standard-bearer of this group. And beyond all this there was, very simply, the unmistakable Progressive instinct for efficiency, centralization, and simple practicality, none of which was thought to be aided by attachment to the outworn dogmas and moral teachings of an authoritarian institution out of step with modernity.

What is especially striking about the Catholic Church during this period, especially at a time when reigning philosophical presuppositions tended to be so antagonistic to its own, is its self-confidence. Its apologists truly believed that it was "the greatest, the grandest, and the most beautiful institution in the world." The Catholic faith was "the one immutable thing in a universe of ceaseless mutations." Catholic writers spoke with great affection of Pope Pius X, who reigned from 1903 to 1914 (and who became the first pope to be canonized since the sixteenth century). Time and again Catholic periodicals pointed with pride to Pius's vigorous and uncompromising stance against modern political and intellectual trends, and indeed many authors considered the Church's willingness to stand alone against modernity as an important testimony to its divine foundation.

Pius is so often remembered simply as the anti-Modernist pope that his positive program - "to restore all things in Christ" - is frequently overlooked. The Jesuit writer John J. Wynne, for example, founded the weekly periodical America in response to the pope's call. America would cover news in the Church and in the world at large for a Catholic audience, always with the good of the Church and country in mind. {[CCM] pp 5-6}

Times have certainly changed. Here was an America magazine that was Catholic. Today's version, with its forums for notorious dissenters like Notre Dame's Richard McBrien, is not. Such has been the devolution of the faith from the Progressive Era to post Vatican II.

We turn to CCM Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 The Challenge of Pragmatism - The whole spirit of Progressive education, with its emphasis on training children in democratic ways of thinking, ran counter to the inculcation in children of knowledge, such as religious dogma, that could not be demonstrated by means of the scientific method.

Indeed, Progressives were united in the conviction that if there was one thing that modern social, economic conditions had to reject, it was dogma of any kind. … Social Gospel theologians, for their part, frankly admitted that they were revolutionizing Christianity or - what was the same thing - at the very least tearing away the dogmatic Roman encrustations that over the centuries had become attached to the primitive Christian faith. What America needed, they insisted, was a religion adapted to modern needs. Thus Washington Gladden could write that religion in the modern era must be less concerned about "getting men to heaven than about fitting them for their proper work on the earth… For any other kind of religion than this I do not think that the world has any longer very much use."

Dewey and the Pragmatists were heir to a distinct if minority tradition within Western philosophy that spurned what it considered to be the fruitless search for pure metaphysical truth in favor of a more practical, action-oriented approach to philosophical thought. … Thus Pragmatists scorned the very idea of eternal or absolute truth and made no pretensions to possessing epistemological certitude. In place of these Dewey offered a more modest "warranted assertability," by which a statement could be held to be true were it efficacious. … Thus (William) James could say that Pragmatism "has no dogmas, and no doctrines save its method."

It hardly needs pointing out that Pragmatism represented a direct challenge to the Catholic world view. … Christians had traditionally used as evidence of the existence of God (as in the argument from design) and circumscribing the boundaries of the intellect - a divine seed implanted in man, said the Scholastics - in its search for truth. Finally, the "pluralistic universe" to which James's and Dewey's emphasis on the priority of experience led seemed to throw moral philosophy into chaos and to contribute to the same kind of moral and intellectual confusion and disorder that had resulted decades before upon the introduction of evolutionary thought into philosophy. … Claims of absolute truth and finality, they claimed, neglected the experiential aspect of truth, whereby what is accepted as true evolves with time and with new experiences. {[CCM] pp 26-28}

The Catholic response to pragmatism was swift and sure, pulling no punches as the responders did not suffer from a contemporary malady that causes Catholics to believe that they have to be "nice to the devil."

This "tissue of semi-hysterical absurdities," as Father Tierney called Pragmatism, far from originating overnight, was the culmination of a progression of religious and philosophical errors."

In a comprehensive series of articles that appeared in Catholic World, the monthly journal of the Paulist Fathers, Father Edmund Shanahan proposed to trace modern Pragmatism all the way back to the Protestant Reformation. Appropriately titled "Completing the Reformation," the series began with a discussion of the philosophical ramifications of the philosophy of Martin Luther. From there Shanahan traced his argument to its startling conclusion: "The attempt now being made to deprive human knowledge of all rational foundation and character is but the continuation and completion of the movement set on foot by the Reformers to derationalize Christian faith."

The reformers, Shanahan explained, misinterpreted the Church's position as being simply one of cold logic, whereby faith was reduced to an assent of the intellect to a series of formalistic syllogisms marching triumphantly to their conclusions. In fact, the Church was arguing simply that faith was reasonable, in that the intellect perceived that the authority proposing matter for belief was itself credible and trustworthy. {[CCM} pg 32}

Clearly, these were not the same Paulists who now offer "renewal" programs in the Church that are nothing more than forums for dissenters like Call to Action, which is basically a "call to apostasy."

A way of seeing this relationship that Shanahan is talking about, as referenced in CCM, between philosophy and theology or reason and faith, is in Aquinas, which casts a tremendous light on this relationship, i.e., Aquinas's notion of the preambles of faith.

At the beginning of the Summa Contra Gentiles, Aquinas distinguishes between two kinds of truth about God. First, there exist truths about God that can be known to be such on the basis of natural reason alone. What are these? That God exists is one since there are sound and cogent proofs for the existence of God. Other truths include that we can know some of the divine attributes. We can know that God is intelligent, that there cannot be more than one God, that God is powerful, and that He is the first cause. How does Aquinas know these things? Because they have been known by reason alone. Aristotle came to the knowledge of all of these things on the basis of arguments which Aquinas accepts as sound. It is a descriptive historical remark, a truism, for Aquinas, and not just some proposal as a possibility on his part, that knowledge of God can be known through reason.

There is a twofold mode of truth in what we profess about God. Some truths about God exceed all the ability of the human reason. Such is the truth that God is triune. But there are some truths which the natural reason also is able to reach. Such are that God exists, that He is one, and the like. In fact, such truths about God have been proved demonstratively by the philosophers, guided by the light of the natural reason. (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I, Ch. 3, Para. 2) {pg 63}

There exist other truths about God which can only be known by accepting revelation, e.g., there are three persons in God, the forgiveness of sins, and Jesus is both human and divine. We assent to these truths via the grace of faith even though we do not understand them. What Aquinas calls natural truths about God, which are knowable by reason, are also parts of revelation. Any believer holds, as an article of faith, that God exists, that He is One, Omniscient, and is the First Cause.

That there are certain truths about God that totally surpass man's ability appears with the greatest evidence. Since, indeed, the principle of all knowledge that the reason perceives about some thing is the understanding of the very substance of that being (for according to Aristotle "what a thing is" is the principle of demonstration), it is necessary that the way in which we understand the substance of a thing determines the way in which we know what belongs to it. Hence, if the human intellect comprehends the substance of some thing, for example, that of a stone or of a triangle, no intelligible characteristic belonging to that thing surpasses the grasp of the human reason. But this does not happen to us in the case of God. For the human intellect is not able to reach a comprehension of the divine substance through its natural power. For, according to its manner of knowing in the present life, the intellect depends on the sense for the origin of knowledge; and so those things that do not fall under the senses cannot be grasped by the human intellect except in so far as the knowledge of them is gathered from sensible things. Now, sensible things cannot lead the human intellect to the point of seeing in them the nature of the divine substance; for sensible things are effects that fall short of the power of their cause. Yet, beginning with sensible things, our intellect is led to the point of knowing about God that He exists, and other such characteristics that must be attributed to the First Principle. There are, consequently, some intelligible truths about God that are open to human reason; but there are others that absolutely surpass its power. (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I, Ch. 3, Para. 3) {pp 63-64}

What Aquinas notices is this. Some of the things that have been proposed for our acceptance on the basis of faith, some of the things that have been revealed by God, are identical with things that philosophers have come to know about God. So he takes this little subset of truths out of revelation, and gives us the preambles of faith, which means that they were known prior to faith. Thus, we can see what the range of natural reason is even in our sinful condition. In talking about the pagan Romans, Saint Paul says that they are without excuse for doing these things because they can, through reason alone, come to the knowledge of God, i.e., through the things that are made, they can come to knowledge of the invisible things of God.

Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it to them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made: his eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. (Romans, 1:19:20)

Accordingly, as Woods recognizes in CCM, the Church has taken this verse as a charter for claims that it is possible for human beings, independent of divine revelation, to come to some knowledge of God. This, in turn, provides Aquinas with a powerful argument for the reasonableness of the Faith. For if some of the things that have been revealed, the preambles of faith, can be known to be true, it is reasonable to accept the mysteries that we cannot understand in this life as true. If we accept and live this argument, then our ultimate reward will be the Beatific Vision where faith and hope will pass away, no longer being necessary, leaving only charity. Aquinas, in the Summa Contra Gentiles, lays the foundation for reason reinforcing faith with an important explanation regarding reason's limitations in reference to the Majesty of God Almighty while showing the marriage, not divorce, of reason and faith.

In Chapter 4 of CCM we see the caution of making man the ultimate arbiter of life and death in complete ignorance that man's laws are always subsidiary to God's. Recently, the tragic consequence of this lie was the murder of a disabled Catholic woman by the Florida Court system with the de facto approval of the executive and legislative branches of both the state and federal government, which took no action to save her. Today, oaths sworn to protect the citizenry from all enemies foreign and domestic are meaningless as the primary responsibility of the state, to further the common good, is summarily trashed.

For some, perhaps, many of its exponents, Progressive education was the logical outcome of a belief in the immanence of authority; that is, that the ultimate source of authority, indeed of the very moral law, rested not in some transcendent Being but in man himself. William H. Kilpatrick was particularly emphatic on this point. "The right of parents or other grown-ups to determine what children shall think must be essentially revised," he wrote.

In the field of morality, while Dewey did not advocate the hasty overthrow of inherited beliefs, he insisted that a moral system could no more be considered absolute and unchanging than could a scientific paradigm that was forced to give way in light of new developments and discoveries. {[CCM] pg 89}

The popes themselves had drawn the battle lines clearly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, thundering against the evacuation of religious content from education and sternly rebuking those parents foolish enough to subject their children to the perils of agnosticism and indifferentism that modern public schools were thought inevitably to encourage. Pope Pius IX condemned that statement "Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth, unconnected with the Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly social life." "Full of danger," declared Pope Leo XIII, "is that educational system in which there is either a false religion, or, as is usual in the schools termed 'mixed,' no religion at all." Furthermore, the pontiff went on, it is not enough that certain hours should be set aside for religious instruction; the "whole system should be redolent of Christian piety."

Catholic prelates and intellectuals in the United States issued the same warnings. An impressive number of Catholic writers saw something diabolical in the ultimate aims of the new education. It was, as they saw it, part of an ongoing assault on Catholicism whose ultimate origin dated back at least several centuries. "The enemies of religion," explained Paul Blakely, "understand the importance of the receptive, impressionable years of childhood far better than many a Catholic parent."

Can the Catholic parent who freely subjects his child to schools ruled by this base spirit, escape before the judgment seat of God, the condemnation of those who "scandalize these little ones that believe in me"? {[CCM pp 92-93}

The principals of education that Catholics defended were really quite simple. Edward Pace spelled out six basic ones in the Catholic Encyclopedia. First, intellectual education and moral and religious education must not be separated. The second built on the first: religion should not be a mere adjunct to education in other subjects but should be the focal point of the entire curriculum. Third, no real moral instruction was possible if divorced from religious education. Fourth, the welfare of the state demanded an education that united intellectual, moral, and religious elements, for it was only by steeping the child in such principles that he could be habituated "to decide, to act, to oppose a movement or to further it, not with a view to personal gain nor simply in deference to public opinion, but in accordance with the standards of right that are fixed by the law of God." The Catholic philosophy of education was thus "the most effectual preparation for citizenship." Fifth, advances in educational methods, far from rendering moral and religious training less necessary, accentuate it all the more; by the same token, the Church "welcomes whatever the sciences may contribute toward rendering the work of the school more efficient." And finally, Catholic parents have the grave duty to ensure that their children receive a good Catholic education, in order that both the intellectual and the moral dimensions of the child be properly cultivated. As Catholic University of America rector Father Thomas J. Shanahan put it, the Catholic teacher saw in the child "not only mental capacities that are to be unfolded, but a life that is to be shaped and a soul that is to be saved." The difference between the two approaches lay chiefly in the fact that the Catholic school taught a "clear and solid philosophy of life" - the very kind of all-encompassing outlook on the world, the very essence of the closed and abstract systematization that Dewey's philosophy, and Pragmatism in general, explicitly rejected. Another writer compared the Catholic and non-Catholic systems of education to two vessels, the latter of which was "without compass or rudder." This, then, was where Catholic educators took their stand. {[CCM] pg 95}

Woods finally comments on the state of affairs today in his Epilogue.

The triumphalist Church of the Progressive Era, eager to convert America to Catholicism, appears to be in full-fledged retreat, with many bishops apparently even embarrassed by the zeal of their preconciliar predecessors. Catholics would always have to be on guard against the kind of religious indifferentism that a pluralistic religious system inevitably encouraged. They were, moreover, one of the only groups in the United States who offered a serious, systematic response to the intellectual innovations of the Progressive Era. While their secular counterparts looked confidently to the future, Catholic intellectuals, feeling uneasy about what they saw ahead, urged their countrymen to be mindful of the wisdom of the past. "Why our scholars should shriek 'On, on!' when 'Back, back!' would be so plainly the more sensible cry," one Catholic proposed, "the great fault of the day - immoderate pride of progress - answers." No doubt they received the grudging admiration of some of their anti-Catholic countrymen for the apparent obstinacy of the positions they adopted. There was still a price to pay for resisting the spirit of the age, and insisting in the midst of an agnostic intellectual milieu that man at his best could come to know a truth outside himself, and by following that truth could both sanctify his soul and regenerate the world around him. But it was this strategy that sustained American Catholicism in a hostile environment, and that kept it mindful of its unique mission, in the words of Pius X's personal moot, "to restore all things in Christ." {[CCM] pp 175-176}

In the Bread of Life discourse in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, after Jesus's "hard teaching," many of His disciples left Him. He then asked the following question to the twelve.

Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed, and have known that Thou art Christ, the Son of God. (John 6: 68-70)

To whom shall the world go if not to Jesus Christ through the Church that He founded upon the Rock that is Peter?

And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19)

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

The basic message of CCM is that it should be the mission of Catholic philosophy to get the world to see that eternal truth through the light of right reason as a preamble to the faith for eternity's sake. This is the answer to the combined assault on faith and reason. But it is an answer that can only be given in light of the pure unadulterated presentation of the true faith, not a bastardization of it by the dissidents who would destroy the Church from within. For too long this group has gotten away with ecclesial murder with impunity via their treating the teachings of Holy Mother Church on faith and morals, which are infallible due to the protection of the Holy Ghost, as dead-on-arrival before the ink is dry - their modus operandi being interminable dialogue ad nauseam. How can an accurate rendition of Catholic philosophy ala Augustine, Aquinas, and Pascal be given when the core faith that enables it is unrecognizable as Catholic? It is no accident that those not influenced by modernist errors were able with such clarity and confidence to articulate a consistent Catholic philosophy and ethics. Augustine and Aquinas did not suffer the dissent permeating the Church today in their respective interpretations of Plato and Aristotle. It was not a watered-down Catholicism that enabled Pascal to shoot the "Christian arrows" into the hearts of the "pagan philosophers." And it most certainly is not going to be a "lukewarm faith" of the "Church of Laodicea" that will allow for joining the battle for our immortal souls by Catholic philosophers in more than name only, such as those described by Woods.

This brings me to the following point. It is becoming increasingly evident that the main reason that Catholics no longer know their faith is that the prime catechetical tool for teaching it to them, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, has been watered down such that many of the immutable truths of the faith are no longer a part of that sacred liturgy. Woods concurs in his Epilogue. Lex credendi, lex orandi, is more than just a pithy phrase. It is a foundational axiom for survival of the faith.

To the confusion and restlessness that seemed to be the product of relativism, the Church offered a philosophical defense of absolute values. To a world undergoing radical and seemingly ceaseless change, the Church responded with the piety and reverence of the traditional Latin Mass, which in its dignity and stately reserve, and in its reservation of sacred tasks to the priest alone, served to remind man that some things were not to be touched by him. Above all, the Church insisted on the importance, uniqueness, and purpose that lay behind human life, confident that her message could cover the spiritual nakedness that she believed modernity had inflicted upon the masses. {[CCM pg 172}

In the aforementioned CCM chapters that have not been formerly addressed here Woods continues to give the reader a glimpse of a time where Catholics knew their faith, and were not afraid to publicly defend it. He goes into the problems with the ambiguities of Vatican II that have given us a Church rife with confusion. He talks of the famous seminal social encyclical of Leo XIII Rerum Novarum, which Woods refers to as "a thoroughly Thomistic document," with particular emphasis that here was a pope who had no intention of compromising or altering traditional Catholic teaching as evidenced by his encyclicals Immortale Dei and Libertas. Woods raises huge red flags as to the dangers of a "creedless" faith where Christianity is recast "as a primarily ethical system concerned exclusively with men's relation to each other. And indeed a common feature of Social Gospel theology was a disdain for creeds and theological formulas."

Woods in CCM wrote about a time when Catholics understood that the devil exists, constantly prowling the world for the ruin of souls exposing the lie of the Social Gospel's "earthly utopia." The Catholics at the turn of the twentieth century taught by popes named Leo and Pius knew that the supernatural, a "Kingdom not of this world", is the priority. This should be the primary message of Catholic philosophy concerned with proclaiming the Truth, Who is a Someone, not a something. The Catholics of the Progressive Era understood this. They did not suffer from having their faith subtly stolen from them.

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Quote
Originally posted by antonius:
I fail to see how sodomy, one of the
[b]Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance

is "of minor consequence on our children's
lives...."

antonius
(who HAS met DocBrian) [/b]
Well said,Antonius!

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