The Herod Approach

One of the more memorable scenes in Zefirelli's Jesus of Nazareth is when Herod strides through his palace screaming "Kill them all!" -- and that is the scene that comes to mind when I read the very strident defenders of the death penalty decrying Pope Francis as an antipope because of his use of the word inadmissible.

The culture of death, which is a contraceptive mentality, sees a problem and decides that the solution is to kill people. Abortions are sought because it would seem the only solution is to kill the baby. The harder choice would be for society and employers to go out of their way to provide care and income security to pregnant employees.

In the case of dealing with unreformable criminals, the solution seems to be to kill them. The harder task would be for society to work towards peaceful resolution of conflicts, to address the many downward steps that led to crime...

...or to ensure that every baby is raised in a home where the mother is provided care, nurturing, and income security. We should be working to ensure that children do not experience adverse trauma while in utero.

The most valued person in our society should be the woman-with-child. That would be a true liberation of women, rather than the sterilization pogrom currently in effect.

It's a harder task to seek a solution that does not include killing the person we would rather not be bothered with. The Holy Father is calling us to pursue the narrow way, as good popes have done for millennia. Monsignor Pope wisely counsels us to calm down and remember, "we should resist the vision of the culture of death, which insists that the killing of human beings is a legitimate solution to human problems." http://blog.adw.org/2018/08/lets-careful-charges-regarding-new-wording-catechism-death-penalty/


President Pence

...has a nice ring to it.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the establishment of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program on Thursday “to rapidly deliver aid to persecuted communities, beginning with Iraq.”

via Crux


Sex is Sacred

Happy 50th Anniversary of the prophetic encyclical of Paul VI!

My Godfather once said, "If love were impossible, the Lord would not have commanded it. If it were easy, the Lord would not have had to command it." Having recourse to infertile phases of a cycle is neither impossible nor easy, but it is the only true expression of love for a husband and wife who have discerned it vital to their family to postpone pregnancy.

Educate yourself, and join the Culture of Life:





Attributing to conscience an autonomy that would give it not only a normative but also a legislative role, would be contrary to the foundations of both natural and revealed ethics. Such autonomy would be tantamount to accepting subjectivism and relativism in morality. Now, subjectivism and relativism are in contradiction with true morality, especially with Christian morality, simply because these amount to the denial of objective moral good and evil and, consequently, of the specific function of conscience. It is, in fact, up to conscience to determine good and evil and to discern it according to the objective moral law. -St.JPII

I thank Your Holiness for the clear and decisive words You have spoken in the recent encyclical, “Humanae Vitae”, and I reaffirm my own faith and my unconditional obedience to Your inspired directives. -Padre Pio


NFP is also a very reliable and vastly less expensive means to achieve pregnancy, whereas IVF is neither reliable nor affordable.

By separating conception from the couple’s marital embrace, both contraception and IVF have had grave consequences. Happily, in the last 50 years there has been great progress in finding alternatives. Humanae Vitae led to significant advances in the realm natural family planning. This has in turn generated a new approach to infertility. NaPro technology combines fertility awareness with diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes of infertility. It does not replace or circumvent the marital act but works by increasing the chances of sexual union being fertile. NaPro even has a comparable rate of effectiveness to IVF, though it should be noted that neither IVF nor NaPro resolves infertility in most couples who seek it. Nonetheless, the NaPro journey is thought to be more helpful in allowing couples to come to terms with their infertility, whereas repeated failure at IVF can add to a couple’s distress.

But the historical evidence indicates that Paul VI did not set up this commission for the purpose of blindly following its recommendations. The late moral theologian Germain Grisez, who worked alongside one of the few commission members who upheld the traditional teaching on contraception, says Paul VI specifically sought out dissident voices. According to Grisez, Paul “wanted to see what kind of case they could make for that view. He was not at all imagining that he could delegate to a committee the power to decide what the Church’s teaching is going to be.” 


In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul made some positive predictions as well. He acknowledged that spouses might have difficulty in acquiring the self-discipline necessary to practice the methods of family planning that require periodic abstinence. But he taught that self-discipline was possible, especially with the help of sacramental grace. In Section 21, he remarked:
....the discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort yet, thanks to its beneficent influence, husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values. Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace; and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one's partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility.
While this passage of Humanae Vitae is rarely studied, Pope John Paul II is one commentator who recognizes the depth of its wisdom. It plays the central role in his reflections on Humanae Vitae; he focuses on the importance of "self-mastery" for the proper use of sexuality, and explains the meaning of the human body and the human person as these bear upon sexuality.


McCarrick, take note:

“Any cleric or monk who seduces young men or boys, or who is apprehended in kissing or in any shameful situation, shall be publicly flogged and shall lose his clerical tonsure. Thus shorn, he shall be disgraced by spitting in his face, bound in iron chains, wasted by six months of close confinement, and for three days each week put on barley bread given him toward evening. Following this period, he shall spend a further six months living in a small segregated courtyard in custody of a spiritual elder, kept busy with manual labor and prayer, subjected to vigils and prayers, forced to walk at all times in the company of two spiritual brothers, never again allowed to associate with young men.”


Kept busy with manual labor and prayer...

...perhaps all of us should spend more time in manual labor and prayer, for purposes of purifying the time we have on earth.


Good stuff






Two excellent posts about the virtue of Obedience:



which is really a matter of welcoming Christ into your heart:




I have long considered the 1970s to be the nadir of human civilization. That decade was the outcome of Hitler's Reich, rather than a crescendo of liberation. In a larger article about the retirement of Justice Kennedy, R.R. Reno makes this pithy observation that so closely echoes my own:

The worst of the 1960s was actually the 1970s. In that decade, idealistic hedonism gave way to a hedonism that was cynical and me-centered. Roe was a landmark of that slouching decade, and it remains a stain on our national heritage, a festering wound in our body politic.


Just what I said

When I listened to the priest mention in his homily this past weekend the importance of protecting innocent children from being separated from their parents at the border, I couldn't help but think if this same priest had ever made a similarly impassioned plea for children in the womb who are literally separated by dismemberment. Then I read this from CatholicVote:

The obvious comparisons to the abortion debate are unavoidable. Where are the media on children ripped from their mothers wombs? Does the New York Times care about what it means to be “pro-life” if it doesn’t harm Trump? And what about communion not being a “prize for the perfect, but medicine for the weak?” 
The height of hypocrisy was when Planned Parenthood weighed in on Father’s Day, saying “In our hearts and minds today: all of the fathers and parents who have been separated from their children at borders.” 
Nobody has done more to separate children from their parents than Planned Parenthood.

Where has all this outrage been hiding? Children were being separated from their parents under the Obama administration, yet no outrage was heard then.

Our society and government have been overlooking the rights of children to life, dignity, and security for decades, in the womb, at the border, and within marriage. Why are we only just now expressing outrage?


Marian Pentecost





Long live the creative procreators

The future of the Catholic faith belongs to those who create it with their fidelity, their self-sacrifice, their commitment to bringing new life into the world and raising their children in truth, and their determination to walk Christ’s “narrow way” with joy.
 -Archbishop Chaput, in response to this drop-the-mic insight


                                          ...but almost too much truth in it.



50 years of marching for human rights, and the prophetic words of MLK at Riverside Church still inspire the pro-life movement:

Because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned, especially for His suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them. This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

Alveda King declared in 2007 that the abortion industry has accomplished more than the Klan could ever have dreamed, because one quarter of the black population is missing.


Life in Exile

The first step believers must take is help one another to accept the reality that Exile is coming to the Western Church. Pretty much everything we have seen about how to plant, manage, fund, grow and lead churches is going to have to change. People’s expectations of career for themselves and their children will have to change. People’s commitment levels to church will have to change. 
Helping one another be open to the reality of Exile and its implications is the first step. I know of people who are developing friendships with believers who presently have more experience of these things, and I know of many who are spending hours reading about how the church has survived in previous ages that had similarities. 
Secondly the Church must accept that the Exile could well last centuries... and the full suffering of Exile is far from complete. The Egyptians and Babylonians had many ways to increase the suffering of God’s people: more bricks with less straw, a newly built golden statue, and the lion’s den. Our Exile will not be identical to the past Exiles – but it is clear in the Bible that Exile is often multi generational. The cycle plays out from parents to children to grandchildren to great-grandchildren and beyond. 
Given that, we must prepare for the future by investing in and helping the future leaders. They need to be prepared to suffer and serve in ways that we have not yet seen in our nations. At least not in living memory. How will we find the generation of servants to care for the church through perhaps centuries of Exile? 
I am grateful to have found this dire warning from Rev.Peter Sanlon in an interview by Rod Dreher.
It's precisely what I am trying to do in my classroom and in my domestic church: preparing a generation that can survive Exile.

At the end of the interview Sanlon says that we should seek "the spiritual solutions that are local, small, quiet and more shaped by the suffering of Christ’s cross..."

It has ever been so.

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