In Armenia, The Pope's Prayer: "May Our Communion Be Complete" - Amid what's arguably been the most under-covered PopeTrip of recent times – all the more given the usual hysteria surrounding this pontificate – Francis' ...
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|Images of Moses and his wife and Aaron. Source: PASUGO June 2011 p. 32.|
|(Photograph of the sanctuary and altar rail at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salisbury, NC)|
“(The altar rail) is still a marker of the place where heaven and earth meet, indicating that they are not yet completely united…But, at the same time, the rail is low, very permeable, and has a gate, so it does not prevent us from participating in heaven. So we could say there is a theology of the rail, one which sees it as more than a fence, but as a marker where heaven and earth meet, where the priest, acting in persona Christi, reaches across from heaven to earth to give the Eucharist as the gift of divine life.”
How lack of reverence for the Eucharist puts people off Catholicism
Patrick Madrid recalls the Mormon who told him: 'I've never seen Catholics show awe. So I guess they don't believe it'
A woman receives Communion during a Mass for young adults at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York City (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
Having referred to Patrick Madrid’s Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learnt in My First Fifty Years (US, UK) in my last blog, I have found it both so readable and so full of wise reflections based on his own experiences (which could easily be the reader’s experiences too), that I will highlight another chapter here.
Madrid relates that, as a full-time Catholic apologist, he was once giving a lecture on the Catholic faith when a Mormon in the audience asked if he could speak to him later on. During their conversation, which happened to be on the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, the Mormon remarked, “I really don’t get the impression that most Catholics believe what you have just said about ‘the Eucharist’.”
Madrid was taken aback, commenting: “As a Catholic I figured that I’d know a whole heck of a lot better than what he, a Mormon, could possibly know about what Catholics believe, especially on something as central … as the Eucharist.” Then the Mormon explained that he had been to several Catholic weddings and to other Catholic Masses “And the Catholics I’ve seen there sure didn’t seem as though they believed in what you just said about Jesus being in the Eucharist.”
|Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, left, and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (AP Photo)|
Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control
Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
Business Insider Feb. 8, 2012, 4:39 PM
Painting the Catholic Church as "out of touch" is like shooting fish in a barrel, what with the funny hats and gilded churches. And nothing makes it easier than the Church's stance against contraception.
Many people, (including our editor) are wondering why the Catholic Church doesn't just ditch this requirement. They note that most Catholics ignore it, and that most everyone else finds it divisive, or "out-dated." C'mon! It's the 21st century, they say! Don't they SEE that it's STUPID, they scream.
Here's the thing, though: the Catholic Church is the world's biggest and oldest organization. It has buried all of the greatest empires known to man, from the Romans to the Soviets. It has establishments literally all over the world, touching every area of human endeavor. It's given us some of the world's greatest thinkers, from Saint Augustine on down to René Girard. When it does things, it usually has a good reason. Everyone has a right to disagree, but it's not that they're a bunch of crazy old white dudes who are stuck in the Middle Ages.
So, what's going on?
The Church teaches that love, marriage, sex, and procreation are all things that belong together. That's it. But it's pretty important. And though the Church has been teaching this for 2,000 years, it's probably never been as salient as today.
Today's injunctions against birth control were re-affirmed in a 1968 document by Pope Paul VI called Humanae Vitae. He warned of four results if the widespread use of contraceptives was accepted:
- General lowering of moral standards
- A rise in infidelity, and illegitimacy
- The reduction of women to objects used to satisfy men.
- Government coercion in reproductive matters.
Does that sound familiar?
Because it sure sounds like what's been happening for the past 40 years.
As George Akerloff wrote in Slate over a decade ago,
By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father.
Instead of two parents being responsible for the children they conceive, an expectation that was held up by social norms and by the law, we now take it for granted that neither parent is necessarily responsible for their children. Men are now considered to be fulfilling their duties merely by paying court-ordered child-support. That's a pretty dramatic lowering of standards for "fatherhood."
How else are we doing since this great sexual revolution? Kim Kardashian's marriage lasted 72 days. Illegitimacy: way up. In 1960, 5.3% of all births in America were to unmarried women. By 2010, it was 40.8% [PDF]. In 1960 married families made up almost three-quarters of all households; but by the census of 2010 they accounted for just 48 percent of them. Cohabitation has increased tenfold since 1960.
And if you don't think women are being reduced to objects to satisfy men, welcome to the internet, how long have you been here? Government coercion: just look to China (or America, where a government rule on contraception coverage is the reason why we're talking about this right now).
|ERIC SCHWAB/Getty Images|