epic EPPC survey

Highlights from the groundbreaking research include the finding that while only 13% of church-going Catholic women completely accept the Church’s teachings on family planning, acceptance doubles (27%) among young women (18-34) who attend Mass weekly. It climbs still higher, to 37%, among women who both attend Mass weekly and have been to confession within the past year.

“The data show that the more plugged-in a woman is to the Church and the Sacraments, the more likely she is to accept Church teaching on family planning,” says study co-author Mary Rice Hasson. “But our research also uncovered a hidden opportunity. There are many Catholic women out there who don’t fully accept the Church’s teaching but are open to learning more about it. Two-thirds of these women are already involved in parish life. In short, they are receptive and reachable. This is good news.”

Hasson notes that the Church is missing a prime opportunity to communicate persuasively its teachings on family planning: although 72% of church-going Catholic women rely on the Sunday homily as their primary source of learning about Church teaching, just 15% of these women fully accept Church teaching on contraception.

Even so, notes report co-author Michele Hill, “Nine out of ten Catholic women say their faith is important to their daily lives. They want to be good Catholics. And they are a far more diverse group than they are given credit for. Many of them will be receptive to Church teaching, given the right message and the right approach. I can’t encourage our priests enough to present the Church’s beautiful teachings-gently, but with conviction.”

Forward this to every priest you know!


So easy

Having gone online to figure out what precinct I vote in, and having generated a personal ballot, and having pored over the text of the state ballot proposals, I can now walk with confidence into the primary election booth and cast my vote. I know which ticket I want to support and why, I have examined the incumbents' voting records, and I have read Faithful Citizenship.

I am a fully informed and conscientious voter in the state primary, and as such I will be in the stark minority of citizens of this state.

Why don't more people even show up at the primary? Do they not realize how much they can influence what happens in November? At the very least, they can narrow down the names that will be on the November ballot, but more than that they communicate to party leadership what the platform should include.

Go. Be an informed voter. VOTE!


Yes, Virginia, some sins are mortal

Do you suppose the adolescent dissenters at Natl. catholyc Fishwrap will take note that our hip, post-Vatican II pontiff still believes there is such a thing as a mortal sin?

Pope Francis noted that June 26 is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. “In this circumstance I reiterate the firm condemnation of every form of torture and I invite Christians to oblige themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families.”
“Torturing people is a mortal sin!” he exclaimed. “It is a very serious sin!”

Yeah, I'm guessing that's a no.

Also, I think Mark Shea gets to have a big head about this, since he's been decrying our military policy of torture for some time now.


March for Marriage

Archbishop Cordileone told a crowd of 5,000 that dads are indispensable:

Let us, then, take our cue from the best our predecessors in faith have inspired, and not humanity’s frequent failings and sins.  Like them, we now in our own time need to proclaim and live the truth with charity and compassion as it applies to us today: the truth of a united family based on the union of the children’s father and mother in marriage as the foundational good of society.  Every child comes from a man and a woman, and has a right, a natural human right, to know and be known by, to love and be loved by, their own mother and father.  This is the great public good that marriage is oriented towards and protects.  The question is then: does society need an institution that unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world, or doesn’t it?  If it does, that institution is marriage – nothing else provides this basic good to children.

Here's what some others said about marriage, in 5 words or less, who attended the March:

Two that become one flesh.

We’re servants to each other.

Coordinated discipleship training.

Two words: redemptive suffering.

Different but complementary.

The Trinity on Earth.

Covenant of life-giving love.

A foretaste of Heaven.

Reflection of the Holy Family.

Unity in difference.

Best friends forever.

Till death do us part.\

Read the whole list at Catholic Sistas.



are indispensable.

They impart a truth about God:

This year on the civil calendar, the Feast of the Holy Trinity is denoted as Father's Day.  That is a chronological coincidence, but it also may be understood as a theological providence.  The true meaning of fatherhood, far exalted above plain biological parenthood, is rightly understood only by understanding the inner nature of the Holy Trinity.  For old heretics called Gnostics, who flourish today by different names, the Fatherhood of God is a human concept, and basically a psychological projection of a patriarchal society.  Through Christ and the Holy Spirit, we know that the mystery of God the Father is the very opposite of a human self-projection.  Christianity is singular in its vital worship of God truly as father and not as a symbol or metaphor.

The Feast of the Holy Trinity follows Pentecost because it is only the Holy Spirit, promised by the Son, who enables the Church to know the Father.  No one comes to the Father but through the Son and the bond of love between them by which the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, makes him known.  The less a society is guided by this mystery, the less it understands human fathers.  We need only look around us to see the social and material chaos caused by an increasingly fatherless culture with all its consequences:  family breakdown and gender confusion.

In such a dark time, the Church has the vocation to instruct in the meaning of fatherhood, to encourage young men to embrace the role of fathers of families, and to guide those who do so.  "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Ephesians 3: 14-17).


So children in the womb aren't a group with rights?

"You can’t advance the rights of one group against the loss of rights of another group.” -an actual statement made by an anti-surrogacy, pro-choice feminist, referring to the refusal of same-sex marriage advocates to endorse laws preventing for-profit surrogacy even though it commodifies women's bodies

...layers upon layers of invincible ignorance.


Catholic Meta-List

OSV provides a rather substantial list of the best websites in the Catholic blogosphere, some of which I have linked to before and forgotten to include in my menu, and some that I've never seen.

Peruse at will:


a Catholic version of buzzfeed? --http://sqpn.com/

I haven't read Cardinal Dolan since his presidential term ended --http://blog.archny.org/



I've been following the TotB thread here --http://catholicstand.com/

Catholic Dads has more content than the last time I visited --http://www.catholicdadsonline.org/



Pets are not Babies

I'm pretty sure Amy Welborn was the most vocal proponent in the blogosphere of the idea that the problem with modern society is that people are having pets instead of babies.

Every time I see a commercial for organic dog food or cat therapists or pet spas, I mutter aloud, "Go have a baby!" and then I rant to my wife or whomever is listening that the problem with modern society is that people have pets instead of children.

Well, I'm in good company and feeling rather vindicated:

“It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness.” -Pope Francis, in his homily to newlyweds on Monday

I'm so grateful that Kathy Schiffer posted that excerpt. Otherwise my ranting would lack the papal seal of approval. Now it's not just my opinion- it's a pontification.


The Devil hates the Family

I'm hoping a better translation will be forthcoming:

The family came next: mother, father and three children. "We are here with our children and so many good hopes. For us, Renewal means rediscovering the beauty of creating a family, a joyful experience. It is possible to talk to each other, listen to each other, support each other but above all exchange with each other. A new love leads us to educate our children to the faith in Jesus. Every day we need the faith that comes from the other, the force that helps us reach the grace of unity in the family. May it confirm us in our faith and bring upon all the families of the world, especially those in difficulty, the graces we expect. We pledge you our prayers."
After listening, the pope stood and embraced the members of this family. Addressing them, he said, "Families are the home Church where Jesus grows. He grows in the spouses' love and in the children's lives. For this reason, the enemy attacks the family so much. The devil does not want it. He tries to destroy it, to prevent love from becoming free. Families are the home church. But married people are sinners like everyone else, they do not want to go in faith, in its fertility, in children and the faith of their children. May the Lord bless the family, and make it strong in the face of the crisis by which the devil wants to destroy it."



New find

This is funny, because I used to call myself LiturgyGuy, and my email address was liturguy@hotmail.

Now here is a blogger with the same name!


Sheep and Goats

Pope Francis noted that these people did not say: “Let's go to the Jews first, then the Greeks, then pagans, then everyone. No! They allowed themselves to be carried by the Holy Spirit! They were docile to the Holy Spirit". And then, he said, "one thing leads to another" and "they end up opening the doors to everyone: to the pagans, who were considered unclean in the mentality of the time ... they opened the doors to everyone."

This, he stressed , "is the first group of people, those who are docile to the Holy Spirit". Sometimes, he added, "the Holy Spirit prompts us to do bold things, such as driving Philip to go and baptize" the Minister of Ethiopia, or "how he pushed Peter to go and baptize Cornelius".

"Other times, the Holy Spirit leads us gently and the virtue is in allowing ourselves to be carried by the Holy Spirit, in not resisting the Holy Spirit, in being docile to the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit works in the Church today, is acting in our lives today. Some of you may say: 'I have never seen him!'. But pay attention to what is happening, to what comes to your mind, to what comes in your heart. Good things? It is the Spirit that invites you to take that path. It takes docility! Docility to the Holy Spirit”.

The second group presented to us in the readings of the day is the "intellectuals, who came to Jesus in the temple: they are the doctors of the law."

Jesus, the Pope noted, has always had problems with them, "because they never arrived at understanding: they always came back to the same point, because they believed that religion was a thing of the mind, of laws". They saw it as a question of "fulfilling the commandments and nothing more. They cannot even imagine the existence of the Holy Spirit". The questioned Jesus , "they wanted to argue. Everything was about the mind, the intellect". "These people had no heart - he added -there is no love or beauty, there is no harmony" these people “only want explanations":

"And you give them their explanations and, not convinced, they return with more questions. This is their way: they spin round and round ... As they spun Jesus around throughout his life, until the time that they were able to take him and kill him! These people do not open their hearts to the Holy Spirit! They believe that the things of God can be understood only with the head, with ideas, with their own ideas. They are proud. They think they know everything. And what does not fit into their intelligence is not true. You can raise a dead man in front of them , but they do not believe".

Jesus "goes further" and says "something very strong": "You do not believe because you are not part of my sheep! You do not believe because you are not of the people of Israel. You have left the people. You are in intellectual aristocracy". This attitude, he warned, "closes the heart. They have denied their own people".

"These people had become detached from the people of God and therefore could not believe. Faith is a gift from God! But faith comes if you are in His people, if you are, right now, in the Church, if you are helped by the sacraments, brothers and sisters, by the assembly, if you believe that this Church is the People of God. These people had distanced themselves, they did not believe in the people of God, they only believed in their own things, and thus built a whole system of commandments that chased the people away: they chased people away and would not let them come into the Church, the people. They could not believe! This is the sin of resisting the Holy Spirit".

Pope Francis concluded by saying there are "two groups of people": those who are "gentle, sweet people, humble, open to the Holy Spirit", and the others "proud, self-sufficient, detached from the people, intellectual aristocrats, who closed their doors and resist the Holy Spirit".

"This is not just stubbornness", he said , "it is much more: it is having a hard heart! And this is more dangerous". "Let us ask the Lord for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit to move forward in life, to be creative, to be joyful, because the other people were not joyful". When "there is a lot of seriousness, the Spirit of God is lacking," he said. We ask, therefore, "for the grace of obedience and that the Holy Spirit will help us to defend ourselves from this other evil spirit of self-sufficiency, pride, arrogance, closure of the heart to the Holy Spirit".

May 13 Homily, from Zenit


So much in a word

We just had our May Crowning this evening.

I still had the lovely strains of "Bring flowers to the fairest.." flowing through my head when I opened the Gospels-in-a-year email in my inbox. Today was the beginning of Luke, and in the footnotes I found this whopper:

(1) The expression full of grace is rooted in Catholic tradition and traced to St. Jerome's translation of this verse in the Latin Vulgate. Although fundamentally accurate, it lacks some of the depth of the Greek original. Luke could have described her with the words full of grace (Gk. pleres charitos) as he did of Stephen in Acts 6:8, yet here he uses a different expression (Gk. kecharitomene) that is even more revealing than the traditional rendering. It indicates that God has already "graced" Mary previous to this point, making her a vessel who "has been" and "is now" filled with divine life.
(2) Alternative translations like "favored one" or "highly favored" are possible but inadequate. Because of the unparalleled role that Mary accepts at this turning point in salvation history, the best translation is the most exalted one. For God endowed Mary with an abundance of grace to prepare her for the vocation of divine motherhood and to make her a sterling example of Christian holiness (CCC 490-93, 722). 
What a marvelous insight from the rendering of the word kecharitomene! It reminds me of the time I learned that St. Jerome originally rendered 'daily bread' as 'supersubstantiated bread'.

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