Monthly Archives: August 2007

Some Good advice on Confession/Sacrament of Reconciliation

Most of it can be heard many places, but she says one thing really neat. Normally, we’re taught to pray to the Holy Spirit to guide *us* in making a good confession. But she suggests praying for the priest, as well, that he be a good confessor, and she says it’s had amazing results.

Now, for a good virtual retreat to help you make a good confession, I strongly suggest Fr. John Corapi, SOLT’s Mercy! DVD set, including his conversion story, “Why does God allow Pain and Suffering,” “How to Make a Good Confession,” and “The Spiritual Roots of Addiction.” That set is the best value, but you can also get “Mercy!” on CD, or you can get the four episodes individually on video cassette (linked above).

If you are battling depression, addiction, or sin, or if you’ve been away from the Church a while and are coming back, Fr. Corapi’s talks can be a very powerful help, especially if you listen to them in conjunction with doing the Spiritual Exercises, which I will be posting for thirty days, starting today.

Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, Annotations

This is the introduction to the Spiritual Exercises. Read this the day before you officially begin. The link above is for Christian Classics Ethereal Library (great website): May require login.

Otherwise, here’s the whole thing.

Whether "any sexually active person is at risk for AIDS"

While searching for something else, I came across this About.com article on whether lesbians can transmit AIDS to one another. Here’s what this lady, Kathy Belge, says,

“Let’s start with the basics. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for HIV.”

Untrue. My wife and I are sexually active, and we are not at risk for AIDS. Neither one of us had sexual relations with anyone before we married. Neither of us has committed adultery.

Therefore, we are not at risk of getting AIDS (from sexual contact).

An excellent column from Judie Brown on the fight over the Gonzalez v. Carhart decision, and how the Colorado Right to Life ad was not an “attack” on James Dobson, but a “wake up call”:

Mrs. Thatcher once reminded her countrymen that when consensus among a
particular group of people becomes more important than the principles upon which
that group of people claims to stand, “abandoning all beliefs, principles,
values and policies” is the result. Such appears to be the case among those who
have for so long supported a politically-motivated effort that has resulted in
nothing of substance.

And here’s what Dr. Alan Keyes had to say about it:

I am of course not surprised or dismayed that there should be disagreement
among pro-lifers. I have been deeply disappointed, however, that instead of
answering the lucid arguments being made by people like Judie Brown and myself,
the Gonzales v. Carhart cheering section has chosen petty maneuvers and power
plays aimed at damaging or silencing their critics.

Now, the same can be said of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

What to the Vatican, Chile, El Salvador, and Malta have in common?

They’re the only countries where abortion is always illegal, with no exceptions.

Pontifical Academy for Life on Incrementalism

If you go through the staff and membership of the Pontifical Academy for Life, you will see many names from the USA. Many are people I’ve never heard of. One is John Haas of National Catholic Bioethics Center. One is Dr. Thomas Hilgers of the Paul VI Institute (Creighton Method and NaPro Technology). Down at the bottom, under “Correspondents,” you will see the name of Judie Brown, the executive director of American Life League, who is currently serving a second term in the PAL.

Now, one might respond that the she was on the PAL before the current situation (here’s her EWTN Q&A on the controversial “open letter”), but there are two problems with such a judgement. First, this is not the first time Judie has taken the USCCB or individual bishops to task. Secondly, this particular case is not nearly as direct as those past cases were. The worst they accuse the USCCB or Priests for Life of is being “misled” or “misinformed.”

Anyway, if you look on the PAL membership, you won’t see anyone from NRLC.

Continuing on the series about _Evangelium Vitae_, then (I tried to include this quote in the last post, but the formatting got messed up), let’s hear from the PAL’s document on the fifth anniversary of the encyclical (my emphasis bold):

“We accept the urgency and difficulty of this task, knowing well that Christians are called to be active in the real world of today: uncertain and changing, tempted to sacrifice transcendence to immanence and the supreme values to prosperity, they are also prompted to take refuge in pragmatic and utilitarian conventionalism, rather than to ally themselves with truth and reason. However, our hope is based not only on help from the Lord of life but also on the conviction that the sacred value of human life can be recognized in the natural law alone, written in the human heart, disregard for which is at the root “of a tragic obscuring of the collective conscience’ (Evangelium vitae, n. 70).”

John Paul II on "incrementalism"

The usual defense of incrementalism is based upon a passage from John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical _Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)_. In it, he states that a politician, who is known to have “absolute personal opposition to procured abortion” may in good conscience vote for measures which will restrict or limit abortions when there is no other alternative (paragraph 73.3). That does not say that Catholic politicians *should* pursue an overall “incrementalist” agenda, but merely that they can vote for incrementalist laws while actively working for a more immediate end to legalized abortion and contraception. It certainly does not mean that a Catholic can actively support an agenda or organization which leaves exceptions in its ultimate goals (e.g., “outlaw abortions except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother” or “I favor outlawing abortion, but not contraception”).

Earlier in the document, he writes that, in response to the popular acceptance of legalized abortion,

“we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception” (paragraph 58.2; my emphasis bold).

He later says,

“In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2)” (82.3; my emphasis).

In February, 2000,Pope John Paul II gave an address to commemorate the fifth
anniversary of _Evangelium Vitae_, in which he says (my emphasis bold),

“there is no reason for that type of defeatist mentality which claims that laws opposed to the right to life – those which legalize abortion, euthanasia, sterilization and methods of family planning opposed to life and the dignity of marriage – are inevitable and now almost a social necessity. On the contrary, they are a seed of corruption for society and its foundations. The civil and moral conscience cannot accept this false inevitability, any more than the idea that war or interethnic extermination is inevitable” (Address at the
Commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the Encyclical “Evangelium
vitae”, 14 February, n. 4; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 23
February 2000, p. 4
).