I am sharing the powerpoints I use for a ten-day course on Ecclesiology (the theology of the Church) that I teach every year.
This is mainly based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
I am sharing the powerpoints I use for a ten-day course on Ecclesiology (the theology of the Church) that I teach every year.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
1.1 Same-sex attraction (SSA)- this is usually not a choice, but a result of multiple factors.
1.2. Homosexual behavior - this is a choice, because 50% of people who performed homosexual actions before age 15 never did it again.
1.3. Homosexual self-identification - a choice of what to label oneself. (Source: Samesexattraction.org, FRC, Top Ten Myths )
2.2. Weak masculine identity and loneliness due to lack of male peer acceptance due to inability to play team sports
2.3. Mother perceived as domineering, overly demanding
2.4. Sexually abused
7.3 The Battle for Normality: A Guide for (self-) Therapy for Homosexuality: http://www.jonahweb.org/sections.php?secId=238
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 8:16 PM
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Strengthened and inspired by the Year of Faith which ends today, let us take on the ordinary challenge of addressing the greatest needs of Filipino Catholics Christians.
Last year, I conducted a Quick Survey about the "top three formational needs (or faith-moral failings) of Filipino Christians, which if effectively addressed will have the greatest impact on Filipinos' personal and social life."
There were 101 respondents, most of whom are involved in one way or another in the Christian development of Filipinos. Most of them gave three replies.
Here are the top formational needs:
1. Basic catechesis on the Catholic Faith – 40 votes
2. Church teachings on marriage, family and Christian parenting – 22 votes
3. Social Doctrine of the Church – 18 votes
Chastity and the Theology of the Body – 18 votes
Consistency of faith and daily action – 18 votes
4. Prayer life and relationship with Christ – 14 votes
5. Morality: commandments, values and virtues – 12 votes
6. Sacramental life – 11 votes
7. Centrality of God and his love – 8 votes
Church doctrine on work and professional excellence – 8 votes
8. Rational control of emotions and self-discipline - 6 votes
Magnanimous mission to share the faith – 6 votes
Supernatural concept of Church authority – 6 votes
What do we do with these data? I suggest that we focus our efforts using the principle of First Things First. Give our utmost effective involvement on the greatest need, which will then have the greatest impact on the life of Filipino Catholic Christians: provide basic Catholic catechesis. According to the survey respondents, this catechetical teaching should be clear, complete, regular, and, as several insisted, not watered-down.
Archbishop Soc Villegas suggested that young people teach catechism to fellow youth. A couple suggested that all public school and private school teachers be taught the catechism to achieve a great multiplier effect. Some suggested that the preaching of priests should have good doctrinal content. I would say that the rest of the list of formational needs point to aspects of the basic doctrine that need stressing when one gives these catechetical classes.
In another post I will write down other formational needs given by the survey respondents and discuss more ideas on how we can focus on these needs
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 6:06 AM
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Highlights of his life
• St. Anthony founded a religious institute of missionaries, known today as the Claretians.
• He placed great emphasis on the Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her rosary, it was said, was never out of his hand.
• He began reforming the Church by almost ceaseless preaching and hearing of confessions.
• He suffered bitter opposition mainly for opposing concubinage and teaching to black slaves. He suffered at least 15 assassination attempts.
• He wrote or published 200 books and pamphlets.
• He vehemently defended the infallibility of the Pope during the Vatican Council I.
• He was declared a Saint on May 7, 1950. The men who have followed in his way, the Claretians, now number over 3,000 strong and minister in over 60 countries worldwide.
Love of God
• I live, but my life is that of Christ’s. And in possessing me, my poor Lord possesses nothing. And I, in possessing Him, possess everything.
• What has our Lord not done for the glory of His Father and for the salvation of souls? Ah, I see Him agonizing on the cross, despised, and loaded with sufferings.
Then am I, for the same reason, and aided by His grace, firmly resolved to suffer, to toil, to be despised, to be laughed at, calumniated and persecuted, and even to suffer death itself. Thanks be to God I am having my share of these crosses in my life.
• I pray to Him like this: O Lord, you are my love. You are my honor, my hope, and my refuge, my glory, and my last end. 0 my love, my happiness, my conserver, my joy, my reformer and my master! You are my father, the spouse of my life and of my soul!
I do not seek or desire to know anything but your holy will, in order to do it.
I love only you, my God, and all other things only for you, in you, and for your sake. You are more than sufficient for me, and I love you, my strength, my refuge, and my consolation. You are my Father, my brother, my spouse, my friend, and my all. Help me to love you as you love me, and as you will that I should love you.
• When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I can’t describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible.
• The faith I have when I am in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament is so strong that I find it impossible to express what I feel….When the time comes to leave I must force myself to overcome the inclination to prolong my stay with Jesus."
• Humility, obedience, meekness, and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. O my Jesus help me to imitate you!
• The Blessed Sacrament should be honored by hearing Mass, receiving Communion frequently, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and making spiritual communions.
The rosary should be said daily...We should meditate on the mysteries, applying them to the circumstances of our own lives.
Hell and Evangelization
• A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned! For, as their lives have been, so also will be their end.
• Another thing that spurs me on to preach ceaselessly is the thought of the multitude of souls which fall in the depths of hell... If you had a beloved brother who, sick and in the throes of delirium, were to insult you with all the angry words imaginable, would you abandon him? I am certain you wouldn't. You would have even more compassion for him, do your utmost for his speedy recovery. This is how I feel in regard to sinners.
You may say the sinner doesn't think of hell, nor even believe in it. So much the worse for him. Do you by chance think he will escape condemnation because of his unbelief? Truth is independent of belief... I must warn sinners and make them see the precipice which leads to the unquenchable fires of hell, for they will surely go there if they do not amend their ways.
Woe to me if I do not preach and warn them, for I would be held responsible for their condemnation.
• How often I pray, with St. Catherine of Siena: 'O my God, grant me a place by the gates of hell, that I may stop those who enter there saying: Where are you going, unhappy one? Back, go back! Make a good confession. Save your soul. Don't come here to be lost for all eternity!
• When you see a condemned man on his way to the gallows, it moves you to pity. If you could do something to free him, you would do it. Well, brothers and sisters, when I see a person in mortal sin, I see someone drawing nearer with every step to the gallows of hell. And seeing him in this unhappy state, I happen to know the way to free him: that he be converted to God, ask God's pardon, and make a good confession. Woe will befall me if he does not.'
Maybe you will say that a sinner is not interested in hell, or does not even believe in it. All the worse. Do you think that this will stop him from being damned? Indeed no; rather it is an even clearer sign of his fatal condemnation, as the Gospel says: "He who does not believe will be condemned.
Sanctity through obligations
• Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well.
Prayer to Mary for souls
• Mary most holy, conceived without original sin, Virgin Mother of the Son of the Living God, Queen and Empress of heaven and earth: Since you are the Mother of pity and mercy, deign to turn your eyes toward an unhappy exile in this vale of tears, anguish, and misery who, though unworthy, has the great happiness of being your son. O Mother of mine, how much I love and esteem you, and firmly trust that you will grant me perseverance in your holy service and grace until death.
• Come now, loving Mother, let us lose no time. Here I am: dispose of me as you will, for you know that I am wholly yours. I trust that you will do this out of your great kindness, pity, and mercy, and I ask you this through the love you bear for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Modesty in dress
• Now, observe, my daughter, the contrast between the luxurious dress of many women, and the raiment and adornments of Jesus. . . Tell me: what relation do their fine shoes bear to the spikes in Jesus' Feet? The rings on their hands to the nails which perforated His? The fashionable coiffure to the Crown of Thorns? The painted face to That covered with bruises? Shoulders exposed by the low-cut gown to His, all striped with Blood? Ah, but there is a marked likeness between these worldly women and the Jews who, incited by the Devil, scourged Our Lord! At the hour of such a woman's death, I think Jesus will be heard saying: "Cujus est imago haec et circumscripto. . . of whom is she the image?" And the reply will be: "Demonii. . . of the Devil!" Then He will say: "Let her who has followed the Devil's fashions be handed over to him; and to God, those who have imitated the modesty of Jesus and Mary.
Reason for Evangelization
• Making people happy. Another force that drives me to preach and hear confessions is my desire to make my neighbor happy. If there is so much joy in healing the sick, freeing the prisoner, consoling the afflicted, and cheering the sad, then there is far greater joy in bringing one's neighbor to the glory of heaven. It means saving him from every evil and bringing him to the enjoyment of every good -- and for all eternity. Mortals cannot understand this just now, but when they are in glory they will know the great good that was offered them and that they will have, happily, attained. Then they will sing the everlasting mercies of the Lord and bless those who have been merciful to them.
• Because he is concerned also for his neighbor, the man of zeal works to fulfill his desire that all men be content on this earth and happy and blessed in their heavenly homeland, that all may be saved, and that no one may perish forever, or offend God, or remain even for a moment in sin. Such are the concerns we observe in the holy apostles and in all who are driven by the apostolic spirit.
• Hunger of people. When I see the need for Divine teaching and how hungry people are to hear it, I am atremble to be off and running throughout the world, preaching the word of God. I have no rest, my soul finds no other relief, than to rush about and preach.
• Ministry received from God. At any cost I must discharge the ministry I have received from God Our Lord, which is to preach the Gospel... I have no worldly end in view, but... that God may be known, loved and served by all the world... that sins and offenses against Him may be hindered as much as possible...
• Consumed with love. A son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man who is consumed with love and who sets on fire everything in his path. He is a man who unceasingly expends himself to light the fire of divine love in the world. Nothing stops him; he places his joy in privations, he undertakes all works for the glory of God; he embraces willingly every sacrifice, he is happy in the midst of calumnies; he exults in torments. He can think of but one thing — working, suffering, and seeking at all times the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls, to imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Driven by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles travelled throughout the earth. Inflamed with the same fire, apostolic missionaries have reached, are now reaching and will continue to reach the ends of the earth, from one pole to the other, in order to proclaim the word of God. They are deservedly able to apply to themselves those words of the apostle Paul: The love of Christ drives us on.
• The love of Christ arouses us, urges us to run, and to fly, lifted on the wings of holy zeal. The man who truly loves God also loves his neighbor. The truly zealous man is also one who loves, but he stands on a higher plane of love so that the more he is inflamed by love, the more urgently zeal drives him on. But if anyone lacks this zeal, then it is evident that love and charity have been extinguished in his heart. The zealous man desires and achieves all great things and he labors strenuously so that God may always be better known, loved and served in this world and in the life to come, for this holy love is without end.
Effectiveness in evangelization and love
• Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.
Mary and Evangelization
• I beseech and beg you my Mother, to destroy at the proper time the heresies that devour the flock of your most holy Son. Remember, O most gracious Virgin, that you have the power to end them all. Do so out of charity for that great love you bear toward Jesus Christ your Son. Look upon the souls redeemed through the infinite price of Jesus' Blood, who are falling once more under the power of the demon, and neglecting your Son and you.
What is lacking then, my Mother? Would you perhaps avail yourself of some instrument with which to remedy so great an evil? Here is one however vile and contemptible he knows himself to be, is yet assured that he will serve the better for this end, since your power will shine forth all the brighter, and all will see that it is you who are at work, not I.
Love of enemies
• I can see what they say of me [calumny, criticism and persecution]. I can only comment that it is a reminder of the patrimony left us by Christ. This is the pay the world accords us. We do well to recall the words of Isaiah, ‘Your strength is in silence and hope.’ Blessed be you, my God. Give your holy blessing to all who persecute and calumniate me. Give them, Lord, prosperity—spiritual, corporal, temporal, eternal. And to me give humility, gentleness, patience, and conformity to your holy Will, that I may suffer in silence and love the pain, persecution, and calumny that you permit to descend upon me.
• I keep in mind the teaching laid down by St. John of the Cross which states: "If anyone affirms that one can reach perfection without practicing exterior mortification, do not believe him; and even though he confirm this assertion by working miracles, know that his contentions are nothing but illusions.
As for me, I look to St. Paul for my example, for he mortified himself, and said publicly: "Castigo corpus meum et in servitutem redigo, ne forte cum aliis praedicaverim ipse reprobus efficiar -- I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps when I have preached to others I myself may become a castaway." All the saints until now have done in like manner. Venerable Rodriquez says that the Blessed Virgin said to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, that no spiritual grace comes to the soul, commonly speaking, except by way of prayer and bodily afflictions. There is an old principle which goes: "Da mihi sanguinem et dabo tibi spiritum." Woe to those who are enemies of mortification and of the cross of Christ!
In one act of mortification one can practice many virtues, according to the different ends which one proposes in each act, as for example:
1. He who mortifies his body for the purpose of checking concupiscence, performs an act of the virtue of temperance.
2. If he does this, purposing thereby to regulate his life well, it will be an act of the virtue of prudence.
3. If he mortifies himself for the purpose of satisfying for the sins of his past life, it will be an act of justice.
4. If he does it with the intention of conquering the difficulties of the spiritual life, it will be an act of fortitude.
5. If he practices this virtue of mortification for the end of offering a sacrifice to God, depriving himself of what he likes, and doing that which is bitter and repugnant to nature, it will be an act of the virtue of religion.
6. If he intends by mortification to receive greater light to know the divine attributes, it will be an act of faith. 7. If he does it for the purpose of making his salvation more and more secure, it will be an act of hope.
8. If he denies himself in order to help in the conversion of sinners, and for the release of the poor souls in purgatory, it will be an act of charity towards his neighbor.
9. If he does it so as to help the poor, it will be an act of mercy.
10. If he mortifies himself for the sake of pleasing God more and more, it will be an act of love of God.
In other words, I shall be able to put all these virtues into practice in one act of mortification, according to the end I propose to myself while doing the said act.
Virtue has so much more merit, is more resplendent, charming and attractive, when accompanied by greater sacrifice. Man, who is vile, weak, mean, cowardly, never makes a sacrifice, and is not even capable of doing so, for he never resists even one appetite or desire. Everything that his concupiscence and passions demand, he concedes, if it is in his power to yield or reject, for he is base and cowardly, and lets himself be conquered and completely overcome, just as the braver of two fighters conquers the cowardly one.
• To labor and to suffer for the one we love is the greatest proof of our love.
God was made man for us. But what kind of man? How was He born? How did He live? Yes, and what a death He endured! Ego sum vermis et non homo, et abjectio plebis -- I am a worm and no man, and the outcast of the people. Jesus is God and Man, but His Divinity did not help His Humanity in His crosses and sufferings, just as the souls of the just in heaven do not help their bodies which rot under the earth.
In a very special manner God helped the martyrs in their sufferings, but this same God abandoned Jesus in His crosses and torments, so that He was indeed a Man of Sorrows. The body of Our Lord was most delicately formed, and therefore more sensitive to pain and suffering. Well, then, who is capable of forming an idea of how much Jesus suffered? All His life, suffering was ever present. How much did He have to suffer for our love! Ah, what pains He underwent, so long-enduring and intense! O Jesus, Love of my life, I know and realize that pains, sorrows and labors are the lot of the apostolate, but with the help of Thy grace I embrace them. I have had my share of them, and now I can say that by Thy aid, my Lord and my Father, I am ready to drain this chalice of interior trials and am resolved to receive this baptism of exterior suffering. My God, far be it from me to glory in anything save in the cross, upon which Thou wert once nailed for me. And I, dear Lord, wish to be nailed to the cross for Thee. So may it be. Amen.
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 8:54 PM
Monday, October 7, 2013
Francis didn't even use the word dogma, but "love over dogma" was the take-away summary of the secularist press of the Pope's first interview. Catchy and pithy, the phrase does the job of calling attention to the centrality of love in Christianity and in the thinking of the recent Popes.
However, it can lead people to think the Pope is throwing away dogmatic truth. Francis in his more precise teachings has actually said: "love needs truth". He stressed that "If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time."
These he said in his first and most important teaching, the Encyclical Lumen Fidei, the Light of Faith:
Most people nowadays would not consider love as related in any way to truth. Love is seen as an experience associated with the world of fleeting emotions, no longer with truth.
But is this an adequate description of love? Love cannot be reduced to an ephemeral emotion... love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time...
Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit.
The phrase "love over dogma", although missing in the actual text, brings forward a key strategy of effective leaders: First things, first. The essentially first truth of Christianity is love. God in his innermost life is love, and his project is aimed at leading his creatures to become like him: love incarnate. Truth and dogma are for this one goal of the universe. "The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching," the Catechism teaches, "must be directed to the love that never ends."
Francis knows this full well, and acutely understands that to help people open themselves to the essential and central truth of Christianity people have to experience God's love through the Pope's own attitude -- an experience of mercy, understanding and healing. And, by his example, he wants more people to experience the same through us.
Love the sinner, hate the sin is an ancient but timeless aphorism that bears its order of application. Thus Francis has been timing --and balancing, as he says -- his reminders on demanding truths. Only after he talked about mercy and healing, not judging and not condemning (all basic Catholic moral teachings), did he blast away at abortion. Nobody cares how much you know, said one wise man, until they know how much you care. And thank God, it seems to be working.
We can further understand the relationship between love and truth from the angle of the two great conflicting political ideologies of our time. These pervading biases have colored people's way of reacting to Pope Francis. "Liberals prioritize personal freedom. Conservatives prioritize objective truth," said Peter Kreeft with some over-generalization. "Liberals absolutize persons and see truth as relative to persons. Conservatives absolutize truth and see persons as relative to truth. (Both are right in what they affirm and wrong in what they deny. Both persons and truth are absolute.)"
"If love needs truth, truth also needs love," preached Pope Francis. "Love and truth are inseparable."
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 2:39 AM
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
For those who can read Spanish here is the take of a good friend of Pope Francis, Msgr. Mariano Fazio, Opus Dei's Vicar in Argentina.
Here is the very rough English translation as per Google Translate, with some help from me:
Direct, honest, provocative, open, witty. Francis has found his own style to make a mess in the global village: "I am a born undisciplined," he said. A proposal, at the same time believing and credible, based on the essential: charity.
But not an abstract charity, but a love incarnate the Gospel presented in the Good Samaritan, who washes, heals and comforts the needy. A new ministry for a new era, nearer, inclusive and exciting.
Charity comes from understanding and openness to others, to break the self-referentiality.
"The missionary proclamation focuses on the essentials, on the necessary; on the other hand, it's what attracts and is fascinating and what makes the heart burn".
Pope leads the way to proclaim Jesus Christ to the world today.
His easy manner to clearly address the problems and challenges of the Church emerges as a model of creativity in continuity.
Francis himself has stated on several occasions that some of the words that have drawn attention have been nothing more than "what the Catechism says".
So why cause so much impact? Why is so much attention generated? Perhaps the new tones and modes of communication precisely makes the message more credible.
The Pope understands the language of the people and the media. And he speaks it. For just over six months he builds a bridge with the current culture, connecting with the heart of each person.
The cornerstone of this bridge is listening: "The preacher must recognize the heart of his community."
Listen to God, listen to the culture, listen to the people, especially the poor: "My decisions [...] are linked to spiritual discernment that responds to requirements born of things, of people, of reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way to govern. "
This open attitude leads directly to a vision of the Church as the "house of all", which is able to "heal wounds and bring warmth to the hearts", to take care of people with mercy, as a good mother who loves and wants the best for her children, because she is also a pastor.
Therefore, in the center should be the most important: "Jesus Christ has saved you!"
First is the proposal of a full life in Christ. As said by the Pope's favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux, our vocation is love.
Falling in love with Christ to come out of ourselves and serve others, also with the announcement of the moral consequences of following the Lord.
But first love: only in this context can one understand the moral demands of the Gospel.
Mariano Fazio, Vicar of Opus Dei in Argentina, was President of the Council of Rectors of the Pontifical Universities of Rome and an expert in the Conference of Aparecida. His latest book is "Francis: Keys to his thought".
Una nueva pastoral, cercana e inclusiva
Por Mariano Fazio
Directo, sincero, provocador, abierto, ocurrente. Francisco ha encontrado su propio estilo para hacer lío en la aldea global: "Soy un indisciplinado nato", ha dicho. Una propuesta, a la vez, creyente y creíble, sustentada en lo esencial: la caridad.
Pero no una caridad abstracta, sino un amor encarnado que el Evangelio presenta en el buen samaritano, que lava, cura y consuela al necesitado. Una nueva pastoral para una nueva era, más cercana, inclusiva y entusiasmante.
La caridad parte de la comprensión y la apertura al otro, de quebrar la autorreferencialidad.
"El anuncio misionero se concentra en lo esencial, en lo necesario, que, por otra parte, es lo que más apasiona y atrae, es lo que hace arder el corazón".
El Papa marca el camino para anunciar a Jesucristo al mundo actual.
Su desparpajo para tratar con claridad los problemas y desafíos de la Iglesia, surge como un modelo de creatividad en la continuidad.
El mismo Francisco ha señalado en distintas oportunidades que algunas de sus palabras que más han llamado la atención, no han sido más que expresar "lo que dice el Catecismo".
Entonces, ¿por qué causan tanto impacto? ¿Por qué se genera tanta atención? Quizá los nuevos tonos y modos de su comunicación hacen, justamente, al mensaje más creíble.
El Papa entiende el idioma de la gente y de los medios. Y lo habla. Desde hace poco más de seis meses construye un puente con la cultura actual, que conecta con el corazón de cada persona.
La piedra angular de este puente es la escucha: "El que predica tiene que reconocer el corazón de su comunidad".
Escuchar a Dios, escuchar a la cultura, escuchar a la gente, especialmente a los más pobres: "Mis decisiones [...] van ligadas a un discernimiento espiritual que responde a exigencias que nacen de las cosas, de la gente, de la lectura de los signos de los tiempos. El discernimiento en el Señor me guía en mi modo de gobernar".
Esta actitud abierta lleva directamente a una visión de la Iglesia como la "casa de todos", que sea capaz de "curar heridas y dar calor a los corazones", que se haga cargo de las personas, con misericordia, como una madre buena que ama y quiere lo mejor para sus hijas e hijos, porque es también pastora.
Por eso, en el centro debe estar lo más importante: "¡Jesucristo te ha salvado!"
Primero está la propuesta de una vida plena en Cristo. Como decía la santa preferida del Papa, Teresita de Lisieux, nuestra vocación es el amor.
Enamorarnos de Cristo para salir de nosotros mismos y servir a los demás, también con el anuncio de las consecuencias morales de ese seguimiento del Señor. Pero lo primero es el amor: sólo en ese contexto se entienden las exigencias morales del Evangelio
Vicario del Opus Dei en Argentina, fue presidente del Consejo de Rectores de las Universidades Pontificias de Roma y perito en la Conferencia de Aparecida. Su último libro es "Francisco: Claves de su pensamiento".
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 7:37 PM
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
This 2004 Ratzinger CDF memo is not so well-known, but is very important.
It says these :
>The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected.
>When "these precautionary measures [Pastor meeting with public sinner and giving warning] have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."
>A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia.
>When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.
WORTHINESS TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION: GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
[Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]
1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: "Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?" The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," nos. 81, 83).
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. [...] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it'" (no. 73). Christians have a "grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. [...] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it" (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
4. Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1385 To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."218 Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.
On EWTN Cardinal Arinze was asked if pro-abortion politicians should be denied communion. He replied: “The answer is clear. If a person says I am in favour of killing unborn babies whether they be four thousand or five thousand, I have been in favour of killing them. I will be in favour of killing them tomorrow and next week and next year. So, unborn babies, too bad for you. I am in favour that you should be killed, then the person turn around and say I want to receive Holy Communion. Do you need any Cardinal from the Vatican to answer that? . . . “Simple, ask the children for First Communion, they’ll give you the answer.”
Ipinaskil ni Raul sa 11:08 PM
Monday, September 16, 2013
Letter to the Philippine Daily Inquirer that did not see print.
The importance of the issue of the beginning of human life was clearly put forward by Professor Emeritus of Human Embryology of the University of Arizona School of Medicine, Dr. C. Ward Kischer: “Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was adjudicated, there have been many socio-legal issues involving the human embryo. Abortion, partial-birth abortion, in vitro fertilization, fetal tissue research, human embryo research, [embryonic] stem cell research, cloning and genetic engineering are core issues of human embryology. Every one of these issues has been reduced to a question of when human life begins. And that question is as prominent in the public media today as it was when first posed in 1973.”
There are many opinions given to answer this question, including some published in your newspaper. But what is important is not opinion, purely subjective views, but scientific discoveries that present the objective truth. What does science say about this issue? We at the American College of Pediatricians concur with the statement of the Philippine Medical Association, when it said that "a human person or human being already does exist at the moment of fertilization." (https://www.philippinemedicalassociation.org/downloads/circular-forms/Position-Paper-on-the-Republic-Health-Bill-%28Responsible-Parenthood-Bill%29.pdf)
As we state in our website, "Scientific and medical discoveries over the past three decades have only verified and solidified this age-old truth. At the completion of the process of fertilization, the human creature emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is not one of personhood but of development." (http://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/life-issues/when-human-life-begins)
This is the final answer to this issue, as Professor Kischer puts it. In an article published at the Linacre Quarterly entitled "When Does Human Life Begin? The Final Answer", he categorically states: "“Virtually every human embryologist and every major textbook of human embryology states that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being.”
American College of Pediatricians
American College of Pediatricians
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Through reason alone, as demonstrated by Peter Kreeft in his Extremely Brief Summary of 24 Arguments, one can arrive at the following ways of considering God:
• Most perfect conceivable Being
• First Mover
• Uncaused Cause
• Intelligent Designer
• Highest degree of perfection
• Necessary basis of contingent beings
• Big Banger: Cause of beginning of time
• Cause of the idea of perfect being
• Authoritative Voice of conscience
• Eternal, objective and absolute Truth
• Meaning of life
• Beauty revealed by beauty
• Cause of mystical experience
• Perfect moral Ideal
• Object of innate desire
• Provident Guide
• Dialogue Partner in prayer
• Object of belief of wise people
• Joy and power of saints
• Only chance of winning eternal happiness
It's good to review Kreeft's Extremely Brief Summary of 24 Arguments of God's Existence, because they offer us a deeper glimpse of the object of our love. And as we know from our Catechism: "Faith seeks understanding": it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love.
For me, it is quite moving to be able to name God in all these ways, given Kreeft's attempt at comprehensiveness and at a cumulative probative effect. Of course, nothing beats deeper knowledge based on the data of Revelation through the perfect Communication of God himself, Jesus Christ.
But for those who love God, any additional information about him, even at the level of reason alone -- and in this case one of the most comprehensive attempts to summarize what we can know of God through sheer human intelligence -- can help us fall in love with him with more passion.
And for those who don't, these can help convince them to start on the road of loving him until they reach the goal of loving him as he asked us to: with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.
God is the Logos. Our efforts to use the spark of reason within us to reach Him who is Reason Himself will surely please Him.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Several historians report that Rizal retracted his anti-Catholic ideas through a document which stated: "I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct have been contrary to my character as a son of the Catholic Church."[note 13] However, there are doubts of its authenticity given that there is no certificate of Rizal's Catholic marriage to Josephine Bracken. Also there is an allegation that the retraction document was a forgery.
After analyzing six major documents of Rizal, Ricardo Pascual concluded that the retraction document, said to have been discovered in 1935, was not in Rizal's handwriting. Senator Rafael Palma, a former President of the University of the Philippines and a prominent Mason, argued that a retraction is not in keeping with Rizal's character and mature beliefs. He called the retraction story a "pious fraud." Others who deny the retraction are Frank Laubach, a Protestant minister; Austin Coates, a British writer; and Ricardo Manapat, director of the National Archives.
Those who affirm the authenticity of Rizal's retraction are prominent Philippine historians such as Nick Joaquin,[note 14] Nicolas Zafra of UP León María Guerrero III,[note 15] Gregorio Zaide, Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Ambeth Ocampo, John Schumacher, Antonio Molina, Paul Dumol and Austin Craig. They take the retraction document as authentic, having been judged as such by a foremost expert on the writings of Rizal, Teodoro Kalaw (a 33rd degree Mason) and "handwriting experts...known and recognized in our courts of justice", H. Otley Beyer and Dr. José I. Del Rosario, both of UP.
Historians also refer to 11 eyewitnesses when Rizal wrote his retraction, signed a Catholic prayer book, and recited Catholic prayers, and the multitude who saw him kiss the crucifix before his execution. A great grand nephew of Rizal, Fr. Marciano Guzman, cites that Rizal's 4 confessions were certified by 5 eyewitnesses, 10 qualified witnesses, 7 newspapers, and 12 historians and writers including Aglipayan bishops, Masons and anti-clericals. One witness was the head of the Spanish Supreme Court at the time of his notarized declaration and was highly esteemed by Rizal for his integrity.
Because of what he sees as the strength these direct evidence have in the light of the historical method, in contrast with merely circumstantial evidence, UP professor emeritus of history Nicolas Zafra called the retraction "a plain unadorned fact of history." Guzmán attributes the denial of retraction to "the blatant disbelief and stubbornness" of some Masons.
Supporters see in the retraction Rizal's "moral courage...to recognize his mistakes,"[note 16] his reversion to the "true faith", and thus his "unfading glory," and a return to the "ideals of his fathers" which "did not diminish his stature as a great patriot; on the contrary, it increased that stature to greatness." On the other hand, senator Jose Diokno stated, "Surely whether Rizal died as a Catholic or an apostate adds or detracts nothing from his greatness as a Filipino... Catholic or Mason, Rizal is still Rizal - the hero who courted death 'to prove to those who deny our patriotism that we know how to die for our duty and our beliefs'."
Notes 13 to 16
^ Me retracto de todo corazon de cuanto en mis palabras, escritos, impresos y conducta ha habido contrario á mi cualidad de hijo de la Iglesia Católica: Jesus Cavanna, Rizal's Unfading Glory: A Documentary History of the Conversion of Dr. José Rizal (Manila: 1983) ^ Joaquin, Nick, Rizal in Saga, Philippine National Centennial Commission, 1996:""It seems clear now that he did retract, that he went to confession, heard mass, received communion, and was married to Josephine, on the eve of his death". ^ "That is a matter for handwriting experts, and the weight of expert opinion is in favor of authenticity. It is nonsense to say that the retraction does not prove Rizal's conversion; the language of the document is unmistakable." ^ The retraction, Javier de Pedro contends, is the end of a process which started with a personal crisis as Rizal finished the Fili.
^ Ildefonso T. Runes and Mameto R. Buenafe, The Forgery of the Rizal "Retraction" and Josephine's "Autobiography" (Manila: BR Book Col, 1962) ^ "Rizal's Retraction: A Note on the Debate, Silliman Journal (Vol. 12, No. 2, April, May, June 1965), pages 168–183". Life and Writings of José Rizal. Retrieved September 9, 2009. ^ Rafael Palma, Pride of the Malay Race (New York: Prentice Hall, 1949) ^ a b Ambeth Ocampo (2008). Rizal Without the Overcoat. Anvil Publishing. ^ a b c Nicolas Zafra (1961). Historicity of Rizal's Retraction. Bookmark. ^ Guerrero, León Maria III (1963). "The First Filipino: A Biography of José Rizal". National Historical Institute of The Philippines, Manila. ^ a b Gregorio Zaide (2003). Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist and National Hero. National Bookstore. ^ Schumacher, John. "The Making of a Nation: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Nationalism". ^ Molina, Antonio M. (1998). "Yo, José Rizal". Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica, Madrid. ^ "Uncovering Controversial Facts about José Rizal" (mariaronabeltran.com) ^ a b Marciano Guzman (1988). The Hard Facts About Rizal's Conversion. Sinagtala Publishers. ^ a b Jesus Cavanna (1983). Rizal's Unfading Glory: A Documentary History of the Conversion of Dr. Jose Rizal. ^ Javier de Pedro (2005) Rizal Through a Glass Darkly, University of Asia and the Pacific ^ "Evolution of Rizal's Religious Thought". ^ (1950-01-06). "Joint Statement of the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines on the Book 'The Pride of the Malay Race'". CBCP (Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines) Documents. Retrieved on 2012-09-30. ^ Garcia, Ricardo P. (1964). "The Great Debate: The Rizal Retraction - Preface". R.P. Garcia Publishing Co., Quezon City. ==============
Note: Below you can find the state of the section on the Retraction controversy dated Nov 22, 2009 before my first contribution. This reveals the extent of the information (or misinformation?) prevalent at that time: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jos%C3%A9_Rizal&oldid=327222377#.27Retraction.27_controversy
That his burial was not on holy ground led to issues raised on the veracity of accounts of his 'retraction,' which the Church ever since has been vigorously defending. Many continue to believe that Rizal neither married his sweetheart Josephine Bracken in Roman Catholic rites hours before his execution nor ever retracted those parts of his writings that were anti-Roman Catholic.
Those who deny the retraction point out to a revealing clue tucked in 'Adiós', I go where there are no slaves, no hangmen or oppressors, where faith does not kill... Whether this stanza was his final comment on the Catholic Church is a subject of dispute. In most of his writings Rizal maintained that the men of the cloth were the real rulers and the real government. Much of the Church's case rests on claims of a signed retraction, a copy of which could not be produced and shown to the Rizal family despite their repeated requests.
Here is my first edit dated Nov 23, 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jos%C3%A9_Rizal&diff=327427806&oldid=327222377
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
There is one decisive test for charity: to love the very person who goes contrary to us. -- St. Gregory the Great, Homily on the Gospels 2
Don't judge without having heard both sides. Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 454
To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved (St. Ignatius de Loyola) -- CCC 2478
Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior. -- CCC 2481
Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. -- CCC 2477
Let us be slow to judge. — Each one sees things from his own point of view, as his mind, with all its limitations, tells him, and through eyes that are often dimmed and clouded by passion.
Moreover, as happens with those modernist painters, the outlook of certain people is so unhealthily subjective that they dash off a few random strokes and assure us that they represent our portrait, our conduct.
Of what little worth are the judgments of men! Don't judge without sifting your judgment in prayer. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 451
Charity does not consist so much in 'giving' as in 'understanding'. Therefore, seek an excuse for your neighbour — there is always one be found, — if it is your duty to judge. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 463
Seek first to understand then to be understood. We often prescribe before making a proper diagnosis when communicating. We should first take the time to deeply understand the problems presented to us. -- Steven Covey
It is no wonder that pride gives birth to dissension while love generates unity. -- St. Augustine, Sermon 46 on Pastors
"Among the proud there is always strife". (Prov 13:10): because he who has high concept of himself and looks down on others cannot bear their faults. -- St. Thomas Aquinas, About Charity 1.c.
Never correct anyone while you are still indignant about a fault committed. Wait until the next day, or even longer. And then, calmly, and with a purer intention, make your reprimand. You will gain more by one friendly word than by a three-hour quarrel. Control your temper. -- St. Josemaria, The Way 10
When you correct someone — because it has to be done and you want to do your duty — you must expect to hurt others and to get hurt yourself.
But you should never let this fact be an excuse for holding back. -- St. Josemaria, Forge 567
When they take their little children in their arms, mothers —good mothers— make sure they do not have any pins in their clothes which could hurt them. When we deal with souls, we should have the same gentleness, together with all the determination required. - St. Josemaria, Furrow 959
Carefully avoid anything that can hurt other people’s hearts. -- St. Josemaria, Furrow 807
If bare justice is done, people may feel hurt.
—Always act, therefore, for the love of God, which will add to that justice the balm of a neighbourly love, and will purify and cleanse all earthly love.
When you bring God in, everything becomes supernatural. -- St. Josemaria, Forge 502
Nothing makes us resemble God more than being always disposed to forgive. -- St. John Chrysostom, Homily on St. Matthew 19
It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love one another; how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves will sooner put to death the other. -- Tertullian, Apologeticum 39,7
The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love (Roman Catechism) -- CCC 25
When we Catholics defend and uphold the truth, without making concessions, we have to strive to create an atmosphere of charity, of harmony, to drown all hatred and resentment. -- St.Josemaria, The Forge 564
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. -- 1 Cor 13:4-7
It should be noted that blessedness is granted in proportion to charity and not in proportion to any other virtue. -- St. Thomas Aquinas, About Charity 1.c.