Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
connotation. Few people know what the word actually means, but nearly
everyone knows that it was one of Martin Luther's chief complaints
about the Catholic Church. So what are indulgences?
First off, the term "indulgence" means "favor". If you indulge
someone, you treat them well, you look after them, you take good care
of them. Some people mistakenly think the word itself carries the
modern meaning of over eating or gluttony. They assume an indulgence
is a license to indulge in something; particularly sin. In fact,
the word means the Church is granting a favor, or is being good to
someone. In this way the Church indulges me. I do not indulge in
Now that we have the cumbersomeness of the word out of the way, what
does it actually mean? The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the
power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes
in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of
the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of
mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins.
Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these
Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and
Ok, but what does that mean? The key concept is that sin has two
repercussions; temporal (in tine) and eternal (outside time). Jesus'
death on the cross forgives the eternal consequence of sin, which is
infinitely more important. This is the big deal, does a soul go to
heaven or hell.
However, the Bible suggests, and Tradition has always taught, that
there is temporal punishment due for sins as well. This punishment is
designed to repair the damage done to ourselves and those around us
because of our sin. Similar to a thief who steals money but is
pardoned (eternal forgiveness) but must still repay what he stole
(temporal punishment), we must "repay" what our sins have stolen.
The normal means of repayment are acts of penance, "offering up"
suffering you're experiencing, and purgatory. This is the whole point
of purgatory; to provide a place where souls who still have temporal
punishment, but eternal forgiveness, can be purified before entering
This is also where indulgences come in. Indulgences are a grace
granted by the Church for particular pious actions and this grace is
particularly effective at atoning for temporal punishment.
In other articles we will discuss the different types of indulgences,
what the whole selling indulgences thing was about, and how to get
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A new report by Allan Guttmacher Institute, which is part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, has released a study that shows a staggering 70,000 women each year are killed each year by unsafe abortions.
The study indicates that countries that limit access to abortion have equal numbers of abortion as those countries that legalize it (in other words, legalizing abortion does not increase abortion). In those countries where abortion is illegal, it is deemed to be unsafe.
The study goes on to show that those countries that accept contraception with open arms have decreased need for abortion while those stubborn countries, especially in Africa, that don't like contraception have higher abortion rates.
That's weird since the abortion rates in Britain, the poster-child from easy access to all imaginable types of birth control, have skyrocketed since abortion became legal there in 1967; and the rate continues to rise.
It's also weird since that trend is repeated in many other European countries. When contraception goes up, abortion goes up.
How strange that a research organization that is funded by an abortion and contraception provider would discover that contraception and legalization of abortion is the way to prevent these women from needing unsafe abortions.
It reminds me of the old adage, consider the source.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is currently creating a response to the report and I'll make sure to post that here as soon as I get it.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thank you for the two wonderful, healthy children you have given my wife and I. Thank you, also, for the parents of the baby in this video. Thank you for their compassion, their faith in you, and their selflessness in choosing to allow their son to live and experience life as well as he could.
Thank you for giving them the grace they needed to resist sending him home early.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
"We are committed to social justice, mindful of the 46 million women worldwide who have an abortion each year, almost half in dangerous and illegal situations. We seek to create a world where abortion is safe, legal, accessible, and rare."
"We affirm women as moral agents who have the capacity, right and responsibility to make the decision as to whether or not abortion is justified in their specific circumstances."
"However, we uphold the teaching of many religious traditions: the health and life of the woman must take precedence over the life of the fetus."
"It is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious that no woman should be coerced to carry a pregnancy to term. We support responsible procreation, the widespread availability of contraception, prenatal care and intentional parenting."
"Scripture neither condemns nor prohibits abortion….Scriptural commitment to the most marginalized means that pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion should be safe for all women."
"More than half (53%) of US Catholics identify themselves as pro-choice, and more than six in ten (61%) believe abortion should be legal."
To Protestants who belong to denomnations firmly opposedto abortion, I encourage youto let your leadership know you support that position. Do what you can to prevent your denomination from sliding down the slope toward acceptance.
Remember that when the Anglican Church allowed contraception in 1930, Protestants and Catholics stook shoulder to shoulder denouncing it. Then one by one each Protestand denomination "chnged their minds". Today Catholics stand alone.
lease don't let that happen with abortion.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
A common statement by abortion supporters is that these witnesses "harass" people. Chck out a video taken very recently in New York. Who's harassing whom?
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
There is a lot that goes into the Church’s teachings on homosexuality; but first among them is the Church does not hate people, any people, no mater what they have done or how they are inclined. The Church NEVER hates people. All of the Church’s teachings are derived from love for people; true love. Love in the sense that we will give you the truth; not just what you want to hear. Telling someone what they want to hear when it’s not true is never love; it’s appeasement.
When we say something is “right” or “wrong” we mean it brings a person closer to, or farther from, Christ. Some actions bring us closer; others push Him away. Homosexual orientation is neither right nor wrong, in the Church’s eyes, it’s the behavior that can stem from it that can bring a person away from Christ.
First, marriage exists for the creation and raising of children. The purpose of marriage is not for the married people to enjoy each other; it is to have children and protect those children. Homosexual marriage cannot be approved by the Church for the simple reason that two people of the same sex cannot naturally create children. We believe that is not God’s plan and therefore we have no authority to do so.
Second, extra-marital sex takes a person away from Christ. God created sex only to be used in the context of marriage. This means opposite sex and same sex couples having sex outside of marriage is equally sinful. This puts homosexuals in a very difficult position of not being able to be married, and therefore, not able to have sex in its correct context.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses this issue in paragraphs 2357-2359, and they are worth reading in their entirety but the gist is this: We don’t know if people are born homosexual or not. However, those who are so inclined are called to live their life chastely. Remember it’s not the inclination that brings a person away from Christ, it’s the acts that may come that do. All people are tempted to one thing or another; the temptation isn't sinful but giving in to temptation is.
Homosexual people are to be treated with just as much love and respect as all other people. Paragraph 2358 says it very well: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.
The Church does not hate or reject anyone based on sexual orientation, age, race, color, or anything else. Our aim is for all to draw closer and closer to Christ; and we are willing to tell you the truth; regardless of how difficult that may be.