Daily Archives: February 9, 2009

I think Fellay’s serious: now Williamson has been deposed as head of the SSPX seminary

I don’t know if there has been a time in history when a schismatic group or heretical group has been fully reintegrated to the Church–if anyone can name one, let me know.

Usually, some prominent members may return–laity may return individually or en masse–but there is always a core group of hold-outs, and there are always arrogant leaders who like their newfound power.

When the Pope offered to dialogue with Martin Luther, Luther replied by calling the Pope the “Antichrist” and refused.
In 1274, the Second Council of Lyons resolved the theological debates behind the Great Schism, but the majority of the Eastern clergy refused to accept the Council. Again, in 1439, the Council of Ferrara-Florence brought a potential resolution to the Schism, but the populace of the East refused to accept it.

Who knows what will happen in the case of the Society of St. Pius X. However, the firestorm about Bishop Williamson has provided Bishop Bernard Fellay with an outstanding opportunity to show his willingness to work with Rome: first, by silencing Williamson, then taking down any possibly anti-Semitic material from the SSPX website, and now by removing Williamson has the head of the SSPX seminary in Argentina.

Secular Leftist Columnist Challenges the dangers of IVF

Funny: the Catholic Church is almost alone as an institution in Her opposition to contraception. She gets some political allies when it comes to giving contraceptives to unmarried people or when it comes to government funding of contraception. There are other religions that join her in condemning contraception as immoral–notably Islam, some forms of Evangelical Protestantism and some forms of Hinduism.
However, when it comes to her condemnation of in vitro fertilization (IVF), the Catholic Church is pretty much alone in the world. And, even then, most Catholics think IVF is A-OK. Certainly, they don’t want to criticize the “poor childless couples” who use it.
Various “reality” shows on cable, like A Baby Story and Jon and Kate Plus Eight glorify IVF. We’re supposed to feel joy for these couples and their “lifestyle choices.” Of course, to those who advocate large families and fighting against the Malthusian ethos that dominates our culture, there is a temptation to cheer people like Jon and Kate.

Yet the Catholic Church insists that IVF violates the Natural Law.

Now everyone is talking about the case of a woman who is unmarried and already has six kids, but has given birth to octuplets conceived via IVF. She is jobless. She’s just obsessed with having kids. Judie Brown confronts the complexities of this issue here.

But far more fascinating is the commentary in the above-linked column by Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle. She is basically arguing from a Leftist standpoint about why what this woman did is wrong: she will be poor; her family will drain the welfare system; her octuplets were born prematurely and will have health issues. . . .

But those are all, interestingly enough, Natural Law arguments: they draw from the natural consequences of the action, and they look at the biological and sociological repercussions.


Ogden has "Confirmation Conversion"

David Ogden, the ACLU attorney nominated for Deputy Attorney General, is claiming in his confirmation hearings to have renounced the radical views he’s built his career on.

It’s probably just a smokescreen. However, we also often hear about how presidents’ appointees disappoint them by shifting views when they get in power.

LifeSiteNews starts video series

LifeSite News has started a “Facing Life Head On” Video series. The first installment is a three part video on the Abortion-Breast Cancer link. Here they are in Windows Media Player format: Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

The Italian Prime Minister Moves to save Eluana Englaro

Where is Bill Donohue for stuff like this?

Back in October, Bill Donohue issued a press release about an episode of Bones in which the title character–an atheist–makes disparaging comments about the Pope to her partner, a Catholic who made what many considered a weak attempt at defending the faith. There was a long thread on Catholic Answers Forums about it.

Now, the episode in question actually showed a great favorability to religion–albeit, “all are welcome” liberal religion. I insisted at the time that the show usually depicts Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan’s (Emily Deschanel) atheism as being one aspect of the many areas where she’s out of touch with what’s most important about human nature.

The most recent episode, “The Hero in the Hold,” builds on that theme big-time. The episode, as a whole, is one of the best single television episodes I’ve ever seen. It involves an exciting mystery, with some cool clues and a great twist (though I identified the culprit early in the show). It ties together different threads from the series. It involves a great deal of character development for everyone. It would have made a fantastic season finale.

Without giving away too many details, Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) is kidnapped by a master criminal they’ve been pursuing for a couple seasons and imprisoned in what ends up being the hold of a decommissioned Naval vessel.

When he escapes from his first prison, he is greeted by a former comrade from the Army Rangers, a young private named Teddy Parker who died under his watch. Teddy–looking just like he did over 10 years ago–is happy to see his old “Sarge,” but Booth insists he’s a hallucination. However, Teddy helps booth lift heavy objects, retrieves tools for him, and gives him advice that hallucination cannot give. At one point, he touches him. I kept worrying that there would be some “reveal” that Teddy was actually the criminal, but there wasn’t.

We learn that Teddy’s last name is Parker when Booth tells him about the name of his soon: Parker Booth. We learn that Booth visits Teddy’s grave every year on the anniversary of his death, coming up the next day. Teddy had a girlfriend “back home” named Claire, and she also visits his grave every year, but Booth is afraid to speak to her due to his sense of guilt over Teddy’s death.

Just before the inevitable rescue, Teddy ensures Booth that it wasn’t his fault, that he didn’t come back to haunt him to but to tell him it was OK.

At the grave site, for the anniversary, Booth and Brennan are talking. She says his report indicated achievements that would have required two people. He says there was a ghost. She says, “Well, you were drugged, injured, deprived of oxygen. . . ..”
He replies, “You keep telling yourself what you need to, Bones.” In other words, “atheism is just wish fulfillment”.
There’s more, and it’s fantastic. Watch the whole episode for free on Hulu by clicking here.

I’ve embedded the precise “Take that, atheists!” scene below. The dialogue is great enough, but what happens is even cooler:

Can Boys be Boys on PBS Kids?

The other day, the kids asked me to read The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream.

Reading the book to them, I was struck by the huge difference in the point of the book versus the “television adaptation” by Nelvana on PBS.

Both the book and the cartoon version deal with Brother’s obsession with an action figure line called Space Grizzlies. Sister thinks Space Grizzlies are scary.

In the cartoon version, sister is proven right. She and brother both end up with nightmares, and Mama tells them to cool it with the Space Grizzlies. It plays the whole “boys aren’t allowed to like the kinds of things boys like” that permeates the airwaves. Reminds me of when Grandma used to ask, “Does watching shows like He-Man promote violence in children?”

However, the book is a different story altogether, showing what kind of social engineering goes on at PBS. In the book, Brother wants Sister to play Space Grizzlies with him. She agrees, if he compromises by playing three things with her that she wants to play, including bean bags and paper dolls. They go to the movies, and Brother sees the Space Grizzlies movie while Sister and their parents see a movie about a ballerina.

That night, Sister dreams that she’s a ballerina falling through a bean bag hole and being chased by Space Grizzlies. She runs into her parents’ room. They explain how we can have nightmaress about *anything*, that dreams are our brain’s way of filtering through different stuff we’re thinking about, sometimes in strange ways.

Then brother comes running in after having his own nightmare–that he was a paper doll, being chased by the evil Space Grizzlies. Moral of the story: ballet and paper dolls can cause nightmares just as much as action figures.