Daily Prayer for Priests

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church ... give us holy priests. You yourself maintain them in holiness.

O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares, which are continually being set for the souls of priests.

May the power of Your Mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priest, for You can do all things. - St. Faustina (Diary, 1052)

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Irish Priest Warns about Yoga’s Bad Spirit

Yoga Is Outside Our Christian Domain

Courageous Priest Special Offer:  Well, we went to Google, looking for a St. Patrick shirt.  You know one that actually honors St. Patrick.  Not only did we not find one, we had no idea how bad St. Patrick shirts really are.  Glorifying drunkenness, kissing, leprechauns, charms, and all types of secular shenanigans   Then it dawned on us.  We can take back St. Patrick, one shirt at a time.  So, here it is a St. Patrick shirt that honors St. Patrick, not beer or leprechauns.  Please buy now and help support the Courageous Priest apostolate.

The sale ends Monday, March 2nd.  Because you are a valued subscriber, we are giving you a St. Patrick’s $5 off promo, which ends this February 28th.  Please check it out.  We also discounted shirts for your children or grandchildren.   Thanks so very much for your support.

St. Patrick, pray for us.

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Time is running out.

Derry Journal, by Sheena Jackson:  

Fr. Roland Colhoun, who is based he  Ireland, issued caution when saying mass in Drumsurn two Sundays ago, when he says he was drafted in at short notice. He said his sermon was based on the devil and exorcism.

“I mentioned a number of things that are part of the new age movement. It’s so embedded in our culture now that it has gained a kind of a respectability, but the new age practices, they’re certainly not good for us and the Church is very concerned about people employing them and has written specific documents on the new age movement. There is a great body of research (theological, spiritual and physiological) already done on it.”

Fr. Colhoun said he mentioned yoga and Indian head massage. “The Indian head massage,  the difficulty is that it involves the laying on of hands on another person’s head. There is a risk when you do that because that is a rite we use in the sacramental practice for the communication of the Holy Spirit in baptism and confirmation, and ordination as well,” said Fr. Colhoun, “but if you do that outside of a sacramental rite you’re running the risk of communicating a bad spirit, not the Holy Spirit.”

Fact: the poses in yoga each represent a “god.”

Regarding yoga, Fr. Colhoun said the medical journals have taken great interest in yoga and the case studies of yoga practitioners who gained injuries and long term disabilities.

 

The bad spirit can be communicated in a variety of ways.

“Pope Francis said ‘do not seek spiritual answers in yoga classes’. Yoga is certainly a risk. There’s the spiritual health risk. When you take up those practices from other cultures, which are outside our Christian domain, you don’t know what you are opening yourself up to. The bad spirit can be communicated in a variety of ways. I’m not saying everyone gets it, or that it happens every time, and people may well be doing yoga harmlessly, but there‘s always a risk and that’s why the Pope mentioned it and that’s why we talk about that in terms of the danger of the new age movement and the danger of the occult today. That’s the fear.”

Fr. Colhoun said yoga or Indian head massage “don’t have their origins in Christianity”.

“There is definitely power from them, but where it’s from the Church is nervous and that’s why it fits into the sermon on the devil,” said Fr Colhoun who accepts some people may be bemused by his comments, but said: “I would refer people to the evidence. The Church documents are written on it. It’s not an exhaustive study as the new age movement keeps changing. The documents give great caution about their practices.”

Additional related quotes: Prominent officials in the Catholic Church have expressed wariness about yoga in the past.

In 2011, the Vatican’s chief exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, said that yoga leads to a belief in Hinduism, and that “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.

“Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” he told the Telegraph.

50 Shades of Grace

Valentine’s Day & 50 Shades of Grace

Father Leo Patalinghug: By definition, “passion” comes from the Latin verb, “Pati.”  It doesn’t mean passion exclusively in a sexual sense.  It actually means “to suffer.”  True passion means love worth suffering for.  It’s the kind of love that made Valentine, the martyr for Christ, the inspiration for St. Valentine’s Day. It’s no coincidence that Cupid’s arrow painfully piercing the heart is a popular symbol of love.  Love and passion don’t always feel good.

In light of the controversial highly female-erotic movie based on the popular book to be released on St. Valentine’s Day, I wanted to offer a reflection that can hopefully respect the many different opinions about this film and the topic of love. Since everyone else is talking about 50 Shades of Grey, I instead want to talk about “50 Shades of Grace”!

Fact.  Only 1/100 St. Patrick's Day shirt on Google honors St. Patrick.  That's way we professionally created this one.  Our faithful subscribers get $5 off until February 28th.    Grand children shirts are also available.

Fact. Only 1/100 St. Patrick’s Day shirts on Google honors St. Patrick. That’s why Courageous Priest professionally created this one. Our faithful subscribers get $5 off until February 28th. Grand children shirts are also available.  Offer ends March 2nd.  St. Patrick, the cross and the blessed Trinity, now that’s a great trio!  This link guarantees the St. Patrick $5 off promo.  Thanks for the support.

The classical philosophers note that love has many dimensions, generally characterized as  “shades” or ways of understanding love. Philosopher and Theologian, CS Lewis describes the Greek understanding of storge (affection), philia (friendship), agape (a Godly love of charity), and eros (erotic or romantic love) in his book “The Four Loves.”  While the commercially popularized fiction novel-turned-movie 50 Shades of Grey may not be the best context for discussion, all the talk about this movie shows a real need to discuss the topic of eros for the modern world.
People of faith cannot be afraid of the topic of human sexuality.  There just needs to be a better place to discuss the inner secrets, longings and our human need for physical love in a world that is so broken and inhabited by people equally broken.  While the commercialization of this topic is shameful, we have to overcome the shame that people have when discussing this topic.
Where is the best place to discuss this topic?  Our faith teaches us that we ought to talk about these topics in a few different places – and the movie theatre is not the best place!  Instead of talking about this topic so publicly, it is best to start a conversation with God in prayer.  Yes, God won’t blush if you’re honest with Him in prayer.
Another place to discuss this topic, especially if we let the brokenness get the best of us, is in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confession isn’t a “counseling” session per se.  The priest – especially an experienced confessor who has heard a lot of confessions – can tell you that private sins, if brought to the light of grace in the Sacrament can be a real opportunity for true and humble love. Confession really provides education about this sensitive topic – which is much more than a novel or movie can offer.
Finally, another place to discuss this very private topic is with your spouse.  What should be obvious is not. Admittedly, many couples do not know how or have the courage to share their concerns about physical intimacy or sexual needs with their spouses. Despite the age of information, many couples are uninformed or misunderstand the church’s very positive outlook on human sexuality. Certainly, the Church’s teachings approach the topic of sexuality with sensitivity but not out of embarrassment. It is always out of respect for the power erospossesses.  Eros has power to do great-saint-making-good, but also great destruction.  It requires a sensitive, honest, and faithful discussion!
A priest can’t stop a person from watching the movie or reading this book or other books and movies like it. It is interesting that even many secular observers have deemed this movie raunchy, seedy, or inappropriate for public consumption.  That should be prevention enough! Perhaps in prayer you may realize that God offers you a better experience of love – all shades of it – if we  allow Him into the inner, most intimate recesses of our hearts.  While the content of the book and film will raise eyebrows, and in some regards, bolster the efforts of a misguided sexual revolution, it remains a legitimate topic that ought to be discussed.  My questions and challenges for you are where, how and with whom ought this discussion take place?
The title of this email blast “50 Shades of Grace” came from my meditation on the 50 beads of the Holy Rosary.  Yes, Mary was a passionate woman.  She can really help women understand the deeper meaning of love. Do something romantic and passionate with your spouse:  pray the rosary together.  It’s truly more than 50 shades of Grace!

As you prepare for St. Valentine’s Day, use this opportunity to learn more about what the Church teaches about marriage, sexuality, intimacy and couple’s conversation through my book, Spicing Up Married Life. This book has been used by marriage preparation programs, couple enrichment nights, and couples across America. Counselors use the book to help heal and strengthen those relationships that need God’s grace.   Couples who have used this book develop an understanding of the theological language of marriage.  They begin to appreciate, not fear, the Catholic Church’s very positive teaching on human intimacy, sexuality, and the need for all types of love – including romance!  Consider this book a gift for you and your spouse, fiancé, or a couple preparing for marriage.

Click to order the book.

In our world where love and sex can become mutually exclusive or confused, it’s always helpful to know that there is someone you can talk to about your deepest desires of love and intimacy –  the true doctor, the Divine Physician.  Let God pull you out of the grey areas of this topic and bring you into the light of true love.  The Doctor will see you now!
Let us Pray: Lord, teach us how to love. It’s so easy to get caught up in the confusion of emotions that we get lost on our way as we seek the Love that fulfills.  We pray for those who are hurting because of unbridled and abusive power of the eros.  We pray for those caught up in the industry that confuses sex for love.  We pray that none of us become destructively critical, but humbly aware that these sins – no matter how embarrassing they may be – are ultimately forgivable by God’s loving mercy.  Help us to love dear God as Jesus taught us by his Passion! Amen.

5 Ways to Reclaim St. Patrick’s Day That Don’t Involve Beer

How to Reclaim St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick is one of the best known Catholics Saints. His feast day is celebrated by the secular world as well as Catholics. Sadly, St. Patrick’s feast day may best known for beer. Lots and lots of beer.  In some sects, the homosexual agenda has ravaged the parades with highly offensive sexual immorality.  No details are needed.

As a matter of fact, if today you were to google images of St. Patrick’s Day, well let’s just say that you better have a parental control filter installed.  And you won’t find anything about St. Patrick.

Even good Catholics forget to remember the St. Patrick purged Paganism from Ireland.

“St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate” is said to have been composed by St. Patrick in preparation for this victory over Paganism. Here is a portion of his prayer.

Honestly, does this sound like a man who would endorse most of the parties that celebrate his name?  Would littering be the proper way to celebrate Earth Day?  Why don’t we just take a 12 pack to an AA meeting? Neither is rowdy drunkenness (or worse) the way to celebrate St. Patrick’s feast day. Sure, have a green beer, but avoid the secular shenanigans.

I am sure St. Patrick is honored to be honored, but not by the way our society does it today.  So how should we honor St. Patrick’s Day?

5 Sure Fire Ways to Honor St. Patrick

Saint Patrick Breast Plate

  1. Go to Mass!  Offer the mass to the reparation of sins that will happen on this day. This is the best way to honor a man such as St. Patrick.
  2. Say a Novena to Saint Patrick.  Click here to for the Saint Patrick Novena.
  3. Learn more about the Life of Saint Patrick.
  4. Say the prayer we have the listed to the right.  A portion from the “St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate.”
  5. Do Not Wear St. Patty’s Beer Shirts.  Please go with a Catholic Alternative that truly honors the Saint and the way he lived his life.  BTW: We are offering a St. Patrick’s Tee, which actually honors St. Patrick.  Because you are a valued subscriber, we have a St. Patrick’s $5 off promo which ends this February 28th.

Saint Patrick, Pray for us!

 

by Dan Quinn:  You can find him at the Immaculation Conception of Mary  Facebook Community Page.

 

PS – Jeff and I are teaming up with my twin bother, Dan, promoting St. Patrick.  The sale ends March 2nd with the $5 off promo ending February 28th.  Please check it out.  We also have shirts for your children or grand children.    Thanks!

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Bishop Athanasius Schneider: Battling the New Gnosticism Within The Church

The Battle We Are Fighting Is Against More Than Ignorance.  It Is A Battle Against Powers And Principalities

Bishop Athanasius Schneider – It is a sad truth that we are in a time of great crisis in the Church. God is with us, however. You have asked me what the faithful can do to combat the errors spreading through the Church. I would like to answer with some suggestions:stmichael321

Spread The Gospel And Teachings Of The Church

We must create groups of true Catholics, scholars, families, and clergy who will spread courageously the full Catholic truth, especially on the Church’s teachings on the family, on nature, and the commandments of God.

As a means to this aim, we must make use of all the resources that the modern world offers to us. We are not confined to waiting for the media to spread these messages. We do not have to wait for each individual pastor to preach them from the pulpit. We should embrace the new media forms that allow us to spread the Gospel and the teachings of our Holy Mother, the Church. We should take our message to the Internet, publish it on websites, blogs, and social media.

But we must not forget to engage with our fellow Catholics in more traditional ways. We should organize conferences and symposiums on a scholarly level. We should use these to create publications, papers, and books that can be used as a reference and broaden our discussion.

Witness In Truth And Love God’s Design For The Family And Sexuality

We should also create a movement of Catholic families, of “domestic churches”, to witness, defend and spread the integral faith and the teaching on family, marriage, and the order of nature.

We must, at this dangerous time, be courageous in illuminating the truly Gnostic and revolutionary character of the “Kasper agenda,” demonstrating the continuity of the Divine doctrine on marriage and its practice throughout the two thousand years of the history of our Church. We should inspire the faithful with examples of holy husbands, families, children, and teenagers. We should demonstrate, on the one side, the real beauty of a marital, family, or single life in chastity and fidelity. On the other side, we must point to the demonstrated ugliness, unhappiness, and schizophrenia of a life against the divinely-established order.

To give hope to those who are struggling, it is important for us to give examples of repentant Catholics from the past and present time. Those who converted from their sinful life in adultery, divorce, or sodomy.

To address the errors currently being spread, true Catholic husbands, families and single persons must write to the pope, to the their bishops, and to the competent dicasteries of the Roman Curia, notifying them of heretical, semi-heretical, or Gnostic pronouncements of ecclesiastical persons or events with such an agenda which are being promoted though ecclesiastical persons or groups.

This Is A Spiritual War And Must Be Fought With Spiritual Weapons

These are all means of education and formation. But the battle we are fighting is against more than ignorance. It is against principalities and powers. It cannot succeed unless we organize a great national and international net of prayer through Eucharistic adoration, pilgrimages, solemn Masses, intercessional and penitential processions with themes such as “The Holiness of Family and Marriage,” “The Call to Chastity,”  “The Beauty and Happiness of a Chaste Life,” “The Imitation of Christ in Family Life,” and “Expiation for the Sins Against Family and Marriage.”

Perhaps most fundamental of all, we should pray fervently that God may give to His Church holy bishops and holy popes. Such a prayer should be prayed especially by children, because the prayer of the innocent ones penetrates heaven like no other.

Originally posted at OnePeterFive.

The “Lawless One”

The Liturgy, Signs of the Times, Sulphur, Lawlessness & Disobedient Shepherds

by Fr. William Moser:

I’ve never been one who wants to ignore the law of God and His Church – even if at times I perceived them narrowly or legalistically.  As I grow older, and – please God! – more mature, I have come to love the law of God and His Church.  I even confess I love all the rubrics of the sacred liturgy.  Yes, all of them!  You see, I’m of an age – 57 – at which I have seen a lot of disobedience and dissent and downright disdain for the Church’s liturgical laws. Worse, I have seen disdain for ecclesiastical laws.  And, worse yet, I’ve seen disdain for divine law as proclaimed by the Word of God and the constant teaching of the Church.

So, I’m really wondering what’s going on these days, even within high ecclesiastical circles.  Jesus, perfect God and perfect man has warned us, with His fatherly heart, to read “the signs of the times.” (cf. Mt. 16:3).  As I’m wondering about this, and what’s going on in the Church and civil society, so much lawlessness and Godlessness and defiance – I come across that mysterious passage in the second chapter of St. Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, wherein St. Paul speaks of “the man of lawlessness … the son of perdition.” (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3)  Chills go up and down my spine as I read his further explanation:  “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work … and then the lawless one will be revealed … the coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (cf. 2 Thess. 2: 7-10)

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. 2 Thess. 2:7

 

Sniffing Sulphur

Am I catching a whiff of sulphur these days? If St. Paul could say in his day that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work,” (cf. 2 Thess. 2:7) what would he be saying in our day?  If these are not the last days (and I’m not suggesting they are – not at all) what will it be like in the last days?  No wonder people of those times would rather be dead and our Lord mercifully shortens those days!

 

There’s Hope

I am here observing and wondering, not proclaiming the last days.  Actually, I am writing to bring hope.  Hope for a more positive proclamation of the new evangelization, one that is not at all as it seems to be presented by some, as an announcement of change (notice those who shout ‘change!’ never define what it is, until its fateful consequences are upon us) or an abrogation of all laws, that is, all previous laws without consideration of their merit and wisdom.  I am actually writing to promote a new appreciation of law and law for a more secure and firmly established evangelization.

A scene from a movie comes frequently to mind.  It’s a wonderful point and counter-point argument between St. Thomas More and his son-in-law, Will Roper, in the perennial masterpiece, “A Man for All Seasons.”  Here’s that tense, but splendid dialogue when St. Thomas More is considering his possible dreadful fate:

Will Roper:  So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

St. Thomas More:  Yes!  What would you do?  Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Will Roper:  Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

St. Thomas More:  Oh?  And when the last law was down and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?  This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?  Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of the law, for my own safety’s sake!”

So, I ask:  who can stand upright in the lawless winds that are blowing now?  Our country is planted thick with laws because of the prevalent disdain for God’s law.  If we don’t respect God and His laws, how on earth do we expect people to respect man’s laws?

 

Conforming to the World’s Way

This brings me to the place where we must be able to find respect for law:  the Church.  Alas! The Church (at least among some of her sons and daughters) seems to manifest a sign of conformity to the world’s ways instead of being “a sign of contradiction.”  I could amass a book full of examples.  Who is alive since the 1960s who doesn’t know about liturgical abuses, defiance of the Church’s basic morality, especially on the conception of new human life? Don’t forget the proud dissenters, lining up to show off – to any camera in sight – their latest heresies!  Oh, what Godlessness!  What … lawlessness!

 

Which is Worse?

Furthermore, there is the sight of so many shepherds defying God’s laws.  But, I’ll tell you what may be even worse, shepherds who never defend the faithful who are scandalized by such defiance.  They turn a blind eye to all manner of clerical deceit.  They are even annoyed by the faithful who complain about abuses when they have a right to hear the truth proclaimed and the Sacraments properly celebrated.   How many holy popes and bishops have counselled clergy to conform to the Church’s teaching and practice and to govern their people with truth and justice, but have found only deafness?

 

It is the Faithful Ones Being Punished

So, here we are in 2015 where dissenters are not disciplined, and note this well:  a Church wherein orthodox people, people who simply want to be faithful without any contention, are the ones who are punished.  What has happened?  What is that I smell?  A rat?  No, a bit of sulphur.  It’s the lawless one having his day.

 

What Will God Do Now?

You can ask friends of mine if you want, they will tell you I have never been confirmed in the idea that these are the last days.  Oh, I do get close.  I do wonder.  I am a realist and the sights and sounds of a world going insane gives me pause.  Here we are in a crazy world with omnipresent pornography, abortion on demand – almost demanded in many places – and what’s that I read lately? – of a school district offering transgendered education to our youth?  Sodom and Gomorrah were burnt to a crisp, but what will God do now?

Nevertheless, I hopefully hold on to the idea once proclaimed so confidently by St. John Paul II that there is going to be a “new springtime” in the Church.  He even said – God bless him! – he could see its first signs.  St. John Paul II wasn’t just a wistful optimist.  Need I remind you, this is a man who endured tyrannical communism?  He was not a naïve churchman kept carefully coddled in academic institutions.  St. John Paul II had the “smell of the sheep” as our present pontiff loves to say.

 

Thank You Homeschooling Moms

There are a lot of places I can point to as splendid examples of what that brilliant and beloved pope, St. John Paul II, observed.  Two quick examples are all that are needed for a quick review:  home schoolers – thank you homeschooling moms – you have done a wonderful but thankless task for the Church without support almost anywhere.  Another example, those wonderful young priests showing up and unabashedly and bravely ready to join the battle.  God bless you, young men!  Never give up, but above all, remember, we need holy priests, priests who love the Church – and her customs and her laws based on the apostolic and sacred Tradition she so lovingly upholds.

That brings me back to my point about the law.  Here, I want to suggest that, it’s most certainly an absolutely necessary support for the new evangelization.  None other than the great Cardinal, Raymond Burke, lights the way.  He did so at a previous synod of Bishops in Rome, on October 25, 2012.  Because it didn’t get the notice that it should have, I want to quote his words now:

“Among the most serious wounds of society today is the separation of legal culture from its metaphysical objective, which is the moral law.  In recent times this separation has been much accentuated, manifesting itself as a real antinomianism which claims to render actions which are intrinsically evil as legal, for example, abortion on demand, artificial conception of human life with the aim of carrying out experimentation on the life of a human embryo, the so-called euthanasia of those who have a right to our preferential assistance, legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriage and the negation of the fundamental right to conscience and religious liberty.

“This antinomianism embedded in civil society has unfortunately infected post-Council ecclesial life, associating itself regrettably with so-called cultural novelties. Excitement following the Council, linked to the establishment of a new Church which teaches freedom and love, has strongly encouraged an attitude of indifference towards Church discipline, if not even hostility ….

“Devoted to present-day evangelization, we have the task of laying the foundation for awareness of the disciplinary tradition of the Church and respect of the law of the Church.  How indeed will we be able to witness our faith in the world if we ignore or neglect the demands of justice within the Church?” (Cardinal Raymond Burke, Synod 2012).

 

Law Must be Respected and Loved

Renewing our respect for law in the way back on course, and the way forward in the “new springtime” ahead.  Law must be respected! Law must be loved! And, as our Lord would say, not one “jot or tittle” less!

Who better as models of this recovery of respect and love for the law can you find than St. Joseph and Holy Mary, our Blessed Mother, Mother of the Church?  In divine and civil law Joseph and Mary were models of respect!  The holy gospel of St. Luke reports:  “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled ….  And Joseph also went up from Galilee … to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.” (cf. Luke 2:1-6)  So, despite her advanced pregnancy and all the difficulties, Joseph and Mary followed the law.  Thus, they were good and law-abiding citizens.

Two other examples of their fidelity to the law of God will complete the picture as presented by the Word of God in written form.  Further along in chapter two of St. Luke’s gospel we read:  “And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’) and to offer sacrifice according to what was said in the law of the Lord ….” (cf. Luke 2:22-24).  The other passage reports:  “And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.” (cf. Luke 2:39).

Joseph and Mary are models of respect for the law of God and their own country.  May this respect, based on love, give us all a new respect for the law and propel us forward, into the new evangelization.  Let us leave the lawless one behind!

It’s Here: Cloning 3 Parent Babies

Britain Approving Genetically Modified Children

Bishop John Sherrington says the Church remains opposed to procedures where the destruction of human embryos is part of the process

Catholic Herald: The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has condemned the House of Commons decision to vote in favour of legalising three-parent children.

Auxiliary Bishop John Sherrington of Westminster issued a statement on behalf of the bishops, stating that “Whilst the Church recognises the suffering that mitochondrial diseases bring and hopes that alternative methods of treatment can be found, it remains opposed on principle to these procedures where the destruction of human embryos is part of the process.

“This is about a human life with potential, arising from a father and a mother, being used as disposable material,” he added. “The human embryo is a new human life with potential; it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception and not used as disposable material.”

MPs voted yesterday to legalise a genetic process to fight the transmission of mitochondrial diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, in which the DNA of a third individual is added.

If the legislation is approved in the House of Lords, Britain would become the first country to allow scientists to alter the human germ line in trying to defeat incurable diseases.

3 Parent Babies

The two procedures covered by the regulations are highly controversial because they are not permitted in any other country in the world, with international scientific opinion divided over their effectiveness.

After a 90-minute debate in the House of Commons, members voted 328-128 to approve the unamendable legislation.

Mitochondria are the biological power packs that give energy to nearly every cell of the body. Genetic defects can leave the cells starved of energy, causing muscle weakness, blindness, heart failure and death in the most extreme cases. It is estimated that, each year, defective mitochondrial defects affect one in every 6,500 babies in the United Kingdom.

Two procedures were covered by the regulations.

The maternal spindle transfer technique involves the extraction of the genetic material from a mother’s egg, which is then inserted into a donor egg in which the maternal spindle has been removed and discarded. The reconstituted egg then is fertilised by the father’s sperm before implantation in the mother. The procedure is known as “three-parent IVF.”

The second technique, pronuclear transfer, involves up to four parents. Potential parents would go through the procedure for in vitro fertilization with the embryo from the parents seeking a child to be combined with parts of a donor embryo. The process requires that both embryos be destroyed while the mother’s embryo is effectively cloned and repackaged before the cells begin to multiply and grow into a baby.

During the House of Commons debate Jane Ellison, public health minister, told politicians they had nothing to fear.

“This is a bold step for Parliament to take, but it is a considered an informed step,” she said. “This is world-leading science within a highly respected regulatory regime and, for the many families affected, this is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.”

After the vote, Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, Scotland, said the proposed techniques fail on ethical grounds.

“They destroy human life, since in order to construct a disease-free embryo, two healthy ones will have to be destroyed. The technique is not a treatment, it does not cure anyone or anything, rather it seeks to remove anyone affected by certain conditions from the human gene pool. Destroying those who have a particular disease and presenting it as a cure or as progress is utterly disingenuous and completely unethical,” he said.

The practice “distorts the natural process of fertility,” Bishop Keenan said.

“It is surprising that a society which increasingly favors and supports natural and ‘environmentally friendly’ products and services should countenance the genetic modification of human beings. How can we object when scientists genetically modify plants, but not when they do the same with people?” he said.

Helen Watt of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, an Oxford-based institute serving the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom and Ireland, called the vote’s outcome “a disaster”.

“We can only hope that the House of Lords will take a more skeptical approach,” she said. “No one will be treated by these techniques, which transfer nuclear DNA out of and into eggs or embryos in the course of producing genetically modified babies.

“Children born and their descendants may be harmed in ways we are currently unable to predict,” she said. “This is human experimentation, to say nothing of the embryos destroyed — in the case of one procedure, two embryos destroyed every time that procedure is performed.”

During the House of Commons debate, Fiona Bruce, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, told members they were being asked to authorise experiments on children, adding that “the implications of this simply cannot be predicted.”

“But one thing is for sure, once this alteration has taken place, as someone has said, once the genie is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorize today go ahead, there will be no going back for society,” Bruce said.

The proposed technologies are prohibited by the European Union, opposed by the United Nations, and have been questioned by the US Food and Drug Administration, which has stated that the “full spectrum of risks … has yet to be identified.”

Among those concerned is Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, who told Catholic News Service on February 3 that he was “very disappointed” by the vote.

“With all the science that has been done on this it is still being portrayed as mitochondrial manipulation,” he said. “It is not, it is nuclear manipulation.”

Newman said he had no doubt the procedures amounted to the genetic modification of human beings.

“It’s basically the creation of a being from the bits and pieces of cells from different people,” he said.

“Scientifically, it you try to put together an organism from fragments of cells, it’s going to mostly not work. Frequently it will look normal, but there will be things wrong with it. That has been shown experimentally.”

He said it was dangerous because it disrupted the “evolutionary compatibility” between the nucleus of a cell and the mitochondria of the cell.

“It is going to lead to children with conditions which, in some cases, will probably be worse than the conditions they are trying to avoid,” he said.

There Is A Crisis Of Masculinity In The Church!

The Sense Of Sin Must Be Restored To Men So That They Can Truly Be Men!  A Roman Catholic cardinal in the US has blamed radical feminism for leaving men “marginalized” in the Church since the 1960s.

Interviewed by Matthew Christoff of the New Emangelization Project, which focuses on resourcing men in their discipleship as members of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Raymond Burke said: “Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men.”

He said that “the goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all … So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.”

Cardinal Burke, a noted theological conservative, spoke of the need for children to have good relationships with their fathers, saying: “We need that very close and affirming relationship with the mother, but at the same time, it is the relationship with the father, which is of its nature more distant but not less loving, which disciplines our lives. It teaches a child to lead a selfless life, ready to embrace whatever sacrifices are necessary to be true to God and to one another.”

He said: “I recall in the mid-1970’s, young men telling me that they were, in a certain way, frightened by marriage because of the radicalizing and self-focused attitudes of women that were emerging at that time. These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women. These divisions between women and men have gotten worse since then.”

The cardinal spoke of the abuse of women by men who “violated their own manly character” by their actions. He blamed a “fluffy, superficial kind of catechetical approach” to issues of sexuality and the “explosion of pornography” which “leads men and women to view their human sexuality apart from a relationship between a man and woman in marriage”.

He called for a recovery of home life in which children ate and talked with their parents, saying: “My generation has taken for granted the many blessings we were blessed with in our solid family lives and with the Church’s solid formation of us. My generation let all of this nonsense of sexual confusion, radical feminism and the breakdown of the family go on, not realizing that we were robbing the next generations of the most treasured gifts that we had been blessed to receive.”

One of the consequences of ‘radical feminism’, he said, was that “The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.

“Men are often reluctant to become active in the Church. The feminized environment and the lack of the Church’s effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out.”

The cardinal called for a recovery of a sense of sin, whose loss he blamed on a liberalizing movement in the Church following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. “Men are not going to Confession today because there has been a denial of sin,” he said. “There was a period after Vatican II where many were promoting the idea that there weren’t any serious sins. Of course, this is lethal for men, especially young men.”

He continued: “Confronting sin is central to being able to love one another. How does a man love? He loves by obeying the Ten Commandments. After Vatican II, that great call to love by confronting sin was lost, leading to the most horrible abuses of individuals, abusing themselves or others, the break down of family life, a precipitous drop in Mass attendance and the abandonment of the Sacrament of Penance. We must restore the sense of sin to men, for men to recognize their sins and express deep sorrow for their sins.”

By: Mark Woods, Christian Today.

Bishop David Ricken’s Admonishing Letter to St. Norbert College

I Do Not Approve of Pro-Abortion Speaker Steinem

“How refreshing it would be if St. Norbert College were to decide to be a vibrant Catholic College that embraces the church and her teaching in its entirety, not just the social justice teachings?”

By Bishop David Ricken:  Several months ago, I received many letters, emails, calls and complaints about St. Norbert College’s invitation to Gloria Steinem to give a presentation on their campus. The reason for inviting her, I have been told by college leadership, is to assist them in the discussion of the history of the women’s movement, especially as it may be understood in the context of domestic violence. Domestic violence is becoming a huge problem and, according to research, is almost an epidemic in the United States.  I agree that domestic violence is an extremely important topic.

Bishop David L. Ricken

Many of you asked me if I knew of the invitation to Steinem or if I approved of the invitation. I want to let you know that not only did I not approve of such a decision, I did not know about it. As bishop, I have the responsibility to ensure the Catholic identity of the Catholic colleges in our diocese. Even though Gloria Steinem has appeared at St. Norbert College before my time as the bishop of this diocese, and acknowledging that she has appeared at other Catholic colleges and universities, I do not approve of the appearance of Gloria Steinem at St. Norbert College. I have conveyed my strong disapproval to the abbot, the president of the college and the chair of the Board of Trustees.

 

Why Invite an Abortion Rights Activist?

That St. Norbert College wants to look into the causes and contexts for a huge societal problem is laudable and needs consideration and attention by society and church. However, I find the invitation of Steinem to be quite mystifying. Given the historical escalation of domestic violence in the United States, and the fact that the “tried and true methods” of the past 40 years do not work, a question arises in my mind: why would St. Norbert, a Catholic college, invite someone who is such a high profile and well-known protagonist and activist of abortion rights to weigh in on the causes and contexts of a dramatic increase in domestic violence in the United States?

St. Norbert College

Steinem is Self-contradictory

Unless she has radically changed her position on abortion, which I hope she has, the connection of abortion rights to the feminist agenda is a sad one and calls into question the logic of such an enterprise. The reason her position ought to be called into question is that it is an internal self-contradiction. One cannot build one’s claim to a right based upon the denial of another’s fundamental right to life. One cannot really advance the rights of women while taking the life of an innocent child in the womb. One cannot protest domestic violence outside the womb and be in favor of violence and denial of life in the home of the womb. Therefore, the good she might be doing is seriously compromised by her own positions and actions. Her positions are self-contradictory. For some reason, the SNC leadership community cannot see or does not want to admit this internal contradiction.

I understand that Gloria Steinem will not speak about abortion. Really, she doesn’t need to. Her whole career and life is a grand affirmation of the pro-abortion movement. These types of approaches are outdated, tired and confusing ways to approach these issues, especially given the fact that the Catholic Church has new approaches to women’s issues that are fresh, life-giving and highly respectful of the human person. It would be so refreshing if we heard the leadership and faculty use these new voices to help our young people live a life of integrity and holiness and to truly embrace life and peace for the most innocent of all.

I want to make it abundantly clear to those who have gotten trapped in the maelstrom of an unexpected pregnancy and have made the choice to abort under the duress of great pressure: the mercy of Jesus is super abundant for you. If you ask for forgiveness of God, His divine mercy will be given to you superabundantly.

Over the 35 years of my priesthood, I have heard the confessions of women and men involved with abortions directly or indirectly. The devastation that an abortion inflicts on a mother and/or father and the family and family system is considerable.

 

True Liberation

Catholic vision and teaching are truly liberating if they are integrated into the life of a college campus. How refreshing it would be if St. Norbert College were to decide to be a vibrant Catholic College that embraces the church and her teaching in its entirety, not just the social justice teachings (which SNC does so well), but also the doctrinal and moral teaching of the Gospel and the church. Rather than excusing it by finding ways to reason around it or to argue against it, why not embrace it with a real and comprehensive intentionality?

The invitation of Ms. Steinem gives the impression that the college may be merely giving lip service to the fundamental value of every human life instead of embracing the “Gospel of Life” with a clear intentionality.

When it comes to protecting life in all of its stages, from conception to natural death, including the horror of domestic abuse, the secret desire of all of our hearts is to build a “civilization of love.” Such a civilization can only be built on fundamentals, especially that every human being ought to have a chance at life. The right to life is not a Catholic right; it is a human right given by the Creator which the church wholeheartedly defends and celebrates.

Long live the “Gospel of Life” and those who defend it unapologetically!