Sunday, November 23, 2008

Obama's Homosexual Agenda

President-elect Obama has released plans to advance the homosexual agenda. You could read it if you wanted at, but I will sumarize with this CNA article. A brief warning, you might get sick, so be sure to sit down and have a puke bucket handy. Or just don't read this.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


I am providing emphasis and [commentary].
Citing what they call America’s “promise of equality,” the Obama administration plans to push for homosexual rights by including protections of sexual orientation, “gender identity” and “gender expression” as civil rights. [Note here: there is now gender (what you are) gender identity (what you think you are) and gender expression (what you act like). It is unbelievable. All three of these things are now to be protected, they aren't to be considered craziness.] His office proposes expanding hate crimes statues and the adoption rights of homosexuals while supporting full civil unions for “LGBT couples” to give them “legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples.”

The proposals are announced under the Civil Rights section of their agenda presented at, the web site of the Obama campaign’s self-described “Office of the President-elect.”

A section titled “Support for the LGBT Community” outlines the agenda for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered activists and quotes remarks Obama made on June 1, 2007.

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do,” Obama said, referring to riots which followed a police raid on a New York City gay bar.

“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

According to the web site, President-elect Obama and vice-president-elect Joe Biden will support expand crimes legislation such as the Matthew Shepard Act. They also back the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which they claim will “prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

“While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy,” the web site states, referring to similar legislation sponsored by Obama in the Illinois state legislature.

Regarding civil unions and same-sex marriage, the site says “Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples.”

Advocating the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the agenda plans to “enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.” [Did you know that there were more than 1100 "rights and benefits" to married couples? Me neither.]

The site also references Obama’s Senate vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which, in the site’s words, “would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.” [Not legislative extension, or anything like that. Catch what he's saying? He wants judges to be able to change laws, that's the implication here.]

On the subject of adoption rights, the web site states: “Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, [even individuals] regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.”

The Obama agenda further advocates the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy barring open homosexuals from serving in the military.

Its AIDS prevention policies also pledge to enact a “comprehensive” national strategy including contraceptive sex education and “combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception.”
You can't un-read it!

This is not what the people voted for. They were scared about the economy, for which the actual President will probably not matter. The American people don't want gay marriage. Even Californians don't want gay marriage and they are fruits and/or nuts. Yet, here we are.

May God help us.

Our Response to Homosexuality

Before I begin, I must leave a short disclaimer. As I am not a moral theologian, I cannot say for sure that my musings on this subject are correct, at least from a Church perspective. I, however, will strive to do my best to represent the teachings and directives of the Church.

The subject of homosexual marriage or same-sex union has been in the news a lot recently, especially with all the ballot measures that passed in various states. I have been reflecting on our role as the Church Militant to defend the Church's teaching in this matter. It tends to be a very personal issue with many people. I think this is because of a misplaced compassion and the fact that so many people either know or are related to persons with a homosexual attraction. This makes it a very divisive issue, and one in which people will attack you for speaking out, just because you spoke out, or at least this is my experience.

There are a few questions me must address in order to understand our role as the laity. First, we must ask what the Church teaches regarding persons with same-sex attraction. Next, we can consider the question of secular rights of gay persons. Finally, we will try to formulate the Catholic argument regarding the answers to the above questions.

What does Holy Mother Church, in her wisdom, give to us as guidance regarding homosexuality? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) discusses homosexuality directly in paragraphs 2357-2359.

(2357) Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

(2358) The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

(2359) Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

These shall form the backbone of our understanding of the Church's teaching in this matter.

Homosexual acts are gravely depraved. This means that they are the grave matter required for Mortal Sin. Under no circumstances can they be approved. This must guide our thoughts. To say "as long as you are in a committed, permanent, etc. relationship..." would be wrongheaded. Under no circumstances.

The argument comes from the Natural Law, which is knowable through reason (c.f. CCC 1956). The creation of Man and Woman, their nature and purpose, is written into their bodies. It is clear from the use of reason, that the reasonable (in the sense of using reason) use of the human body is the conjugal union of man and woman. The Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, of blessed memory, wrote in his catechesis on the Theology of the Body about the sexual complementarity of Man and Woman. This complementarity is not existent in a homosexual union. Any reasonable person, considering the rational arguments, should come to the conclusion that Man and Woman are made for each other.

The homosexual inclination is objectively disordered. This is a philosophical term, and probably should be avoided in an argument, simply because the word "disordered" has many negative connotations which can bog down a conversation. What is meant here, by disorder, is the literal meaning dis-, being against, order. The order of the world is not toward homosexual unions, but toward the union of a man and a woman. This is the natural law argument put forward above. All desires toward sinfulness are disordered. The baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires (CCC 2520). I cannot say that the desire felt by homosexual persons is the same as any other disordered desire, but we are all called to fight our disordered desires, of whatever sort they are.

Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. Is it just to allow someone to continue in sin, or to even encourage this sin? No. This is why the Church opposes state supported institutions which encourage or promote a homosexual lifestyle.

The catechism points 2358-9 can really apply to anyone. We are all called to chastity. We are all called to self-mastery. We are all called to approach Christian perfection.

Finally I must make a point regarding Church teaching. The Church tells us that Marriage is a sacrament, and as such can only be validly received as a couple which is one man and one woman. This is not a question of licit/illicit, but rather of valid/invalid. Just as no woman can receive priestly ordination, no homosexual couple can receive marriage. This is what the Church teaches, and as such, no matter what the State says, no homosexual couple can be married.

This still leaves the question of secular rights that should be granted to persons with homosexual attraction. We consider here the things that gay-rights activists claim are important to the requiring of gay marriage. We must remember here that the catechism does distinguish between homosexuals who are Christian and who are not. We will assume we are talking about the case of non-Christians at this point.

Homosexual persons want the right of inheritance, that is, they want their partners to be able to inherit their things, and be protected as such under the law. My first question is this: are people prohibited under the law, today, from leaving their inheritance to whomever they wish? Is it not true that anyone could be named a benefactor for life insurance. If a homosexual person desired someone specific to be a medical proxy, would this be allowed?

I could be wrong, but I think the answer to all of these is yes. What is it, then, that people want? Married filing jointly seems like a feeble reason to get married, though the ethics of our tax code is outside the scope of this discussion. Perhaps extending health care in a job to same-sex partners, though marriage, is what is desired. This is perhaps a noble pursuit, and is one of the only practical reasons I can see that people would want homosexual unions.

I haven't addressed the most important reason the homosexual lobby wants gay marriage. They want to have homosexuals and homosexualism to be seen as "normal" "mainstream" or "acceptable". They are smart in that sense. Recall what happened around when Roe v. Wade was decided. It was a sad, unacceptable procedure before then, but as time went on, its legality caused its use which led to its becoming accepted by society. Now, people see it as an option. Now you have people who can be "personally opposed" but are in essence accepting of the practice. The same is desired of homosexual marriage. We are not at this point, and California's Prop. 8 is a good example of this. In places where laws were snuck in (through the courts for instance) the people saw to it to overturn them. Even Californians can see that homosexual acts are otherwise unacceptable and shouldn't be legally recognized or legitimized.

We are left, finally, with addressing the role of the laity in regards to recognition of homosexual marriage, etc. I have heard on the radio of a Catholic mutual fund, which has as one of its criterion that the company not support benefits for non-married couples (gay or otherwise). Yet, who can oppose the concept of extending health care benefits to more people (whoever they be)? We must always go back to the line in the catechism: "Under no circumstances can they be approved."

What does this mean to us? It means, indeed, that we can't, as laity, just say "I don't care what you do in your bedroom." Under no circumstances. Indeed, when confronted with such situations, we must oppose them. We cannot support political action leading toward a legitimizing or regularizing of homosexual relations. We should not, in the course of our conversations give assent to homosexual relations. This is what we are called to witness to.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Worst time of the year

Friends, we have made it to that time in the liturgical year again. That's right, it's the endtimes. From here on out, until Advent, the daily Mass readings will all come from the Book of Revelation. In Cycle I (odd years) we get readings from the books of Maccabees, and Daniel. But, since it is Cycle II, we hear only from Revelation.

This is my least favorite time of the liturgical year. I'm okay with the whole Easter season, and hearing only from the Acts of the Apostles for that period, but I really don't like the book of Revelation.

I, John. This is how all the readings start. Then all you seem to hear about is crazy dragons, and beasts and 144,000 people. Now, I'm not dumb enough to not realize that this book is a typical example of apocalyptic literature. That doesn't mean I like it. The endtimes are important, this is true, but must we always hear such strange stories at this time of year?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The New Evangelization

This is a video on the New Evangelizeation by the Diocese of Tyler, Texas that is fit for the internet, which is good, because that is where kids hang out. You should really check it out!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fake Punt!

An update to the earlier reporting. The Catholic News Agency is reporting here that the Bishops are indeed going to publicly discuss abortion and politics as they had planned.
According to bishops involved in the organization of the three-day meeting, which starts this Monday, the agenda, including a public discussion of abortion and politics, is fully on track.

“We plan to set aside time to discuss practical and pastoral implications of political support for abortion, an issue that remains problematic for us and our people,” he [Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland] confirmed.
So there you have it folks. Either there was some misquote, or a wishful misquote (villainy is afoot), which ended up with the Bishops punting down field. May the Holy Spirit come upon them!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Obama seeking more power

After these years of President Bush taking perhaps unprecedented executive powers, which many, especially the Democrats, have strongly opposed, I was surprised to see a headline like New President Could Bypass Congress, on Key Issues. My emphasis and [commentary]. (Yes, I have decided to adopt this format, which I am stealing from Fr. Z at WDTPRS)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Top aides to President-elect Barack Obama are reviewing some 200 executive orders issued by President Bush, with an eye toward Obama possibly reversing many of them soon after he takes office in January.

Obama's transition-chief, John Podesta, said Sunday that review includes presidential orders involving stem cell research, oil and gas drilling, and other major issues.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that a team of about four-dozen Obama advisers have been working on the review of existing executive orders, to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration on a wide range of issues that also include climate change and reproductive rights [Abortion]. The paper said that team is consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs.

Obama has already signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research -- a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's. [See the slant there? This last line is unnecessary unless you want to introduce a bias into your article. Embryonic stem cells have led to ZERO cures compared to some cures derived from adult stem cells.]

Bush's August 2001 decision pleased religious conservatives, who have moral objections to the use of cells from days-old human embryos, which are destroyed in the process. [Slant...]

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says the new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups [Abortion groups] that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal.
Well, so much for Obama ruling from the center, like he and his team have said as recently as today on Meet the Press (for instance). Liberal advocacy groups are who he is seeking input on. I hope those people who decided to vote for Obama because he wouldn't actually increase abortions are happy. We could wake up on January 21 with an unparalleled shift away from a pro-life governance (since Roe v. Wade at least), with no legislative input. That the big points he mentioned are stem cells, Abortion here and abroad, and the environment should tell you something. The pro-life fight is going to be an uphill battle each day from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2013. Maybe there is some legal reason why this won't work. Maybe somehow this will result in fewer abortions and more souls going to heaven in the end. Maybe.

I only wish we had more contemplatives praying for us. The way this country is going we need every little bit we could get. May the LORD have mercy on us.


My posts have been getting me down recently, we must remember Hope and not despair.
CCC 2090: Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment.

2091: By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy.
In discussing the remnant Church in the United States with a good friend, we came up with this exchange:
ME: So, the question is, can we regain our Catholic identity, and will we ever see numbers of faithful that we have enjoyed in the past?
HE: I guess the answer to that lies with how hard we're willing to work to bring it about.
That describes it perfectly. The way to combat despair is to fight for the kingdom. Let's not mourn the American Church, let's go out and fix it!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bishops to Punt on First Down

The Religion News Service is reporting that the US Bishops have removed the planned discussion on the Political Support for Abortion from their upcoming meeting. This seems like exactly the wrong thing to do.

We are in the wake of what could be seen as the biggest political loss seen by the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade. The Bishops acted surprisingly well, and many of them issued statements that were quite clear regarding the obligations of a Catholic voter especially as related to Abortion. They even corrected politicians such as Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Biden, when they publicly misrepresented the Faith.

This is not a time to give up. We lost the election, that has happened. Maybe we fumbled, and the culture of death was able to score a touchdown. But, we get the ball back and shouldn't be punting right now. With such prominent Catholics in positions of power (number 2 and 3 in the order of succession), the Bishops need to unite, and be the Shepherds they are supposed to be.

Our current system isn't working. Right now, the agreement reached by the USCCB puts the primary responsibility on the "home" Bishops of the Catholic Politicians. The Bishop of DC, for instance, then simply respects any agreements reached by the other Bishops. This arrangement has a couple fundamental flaws. First, there is no guidance, therefore no consistency, in applying, for instance Can. 915 (Those...who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.). Recourse to Rome, for instance Abp. Burke, would give the answer that voting pro-abortion is a sin which is 1) manifest and 2) grave. The agreement also potentially ties the hands of the DC Archbishop, who has the responsibility of preventing such scandal in his Diocese.

This is why we need to talk about it publicly. We need to get the Church's teachings out in the open. We need to be able to discuss this important issue in the open because it is so closely tied to our salvation. If some are led astray directly because of the nonintervention of the Bishops (undoubtedly there are some) then these Bishops will have to answer for this on Judgment day. When there is such a grave evil being supported, like Abortion, this is where the spiritual work of mercy "Admonish Sinners" comes in. The mission of the Church is nothing less than to get everyone into Heaven. And the Bishops, with their special mission to guard the faith and responsibility over their flock, are liable when they don't do all they can to fulfill that mission.

These are trying times, to be sure, and so we must be more vigilant and more faithful than ever. Our love of neighbor must drive us to do what we can to see all to Heaven. Learning what the Church teaches, and being told to follow would probably be a good start.

[EDIT Late Nov. 8 - My most recent post finds that this is indeed not the case, no agenda change is planned.]

Friday, November 7, 2008

Catholic college students rarely consistent

In a surprise news story (see here), it turns out the Catholic college students are inconsistent in their faith, by and large. I never would have guessed such a thing, not after seeing so many Obama shirts and buttons on students at a Catholic College. Obama stands for Hope, right? That's one of those virtues, right? Put your Hope in men, right?

The article is referring to students in Catholic Colleges, as opposed to Catholic students in College. Their survey results indicate that more than half of students on Catholic College campuses did not grow in their faith, or even decreased in faith.

About 64 percent of both Catholic groupings said they agreed that the fullness of God’s truth is found in the Catholic Church. Slightly more respondents, 67 percent of current Catholics and 69 percent of sacramentally-active Catholics, agreed that the communion bread and wine at Mass truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

In both groups, 61 percent agreed that women should be allowed to be ordained as Catholic priests.

Among all students at Catholic universities, 60 percent agreed that abortion should be legal, including about half of the Catholics. Similarly, 60 percent agreed that premarital sex “with someone you really care about” is not a sin, including slightly more than half of both Catholic groupings.

Further, 78 percent of all students disagreed that using a condom to prevent pregnancy is a serious sin, including 73 percent of current Catholics and 69 percent of the sacramentally active. Overall, about 57 percent agreed that same-sex marriage should be legal, including slightly more than half of current Catholics and slightly less than half of those sacramentally-active in college.

It would seem that the students are either not being formed properly in the faith, or otherwise they are coming in with no religious background in the first place. That half of the students identified as "sacramentally active" said abortion should be legal is quite a surprise to me. The numbers on morality weren't much better either. I never realized that the rates of premarital sex on Catholic campuses were as high as they seem to be. I might not have even guessed they were that high in secular schools. I am probably just naive.

There is hope in the last line, though:
The survey also found that those who were sacramentally-active, prayed frequently or did not regularly view pornography received higher grades.
It's a big picture thing. It is all interconnected. If you make sacrifices in the spiritual life, you are likely to make sacrifices in the secular life as well.

After the elections

In this time after the elections, I find myself reflecting on the outcome nationwide. I'm not too surprised at our election of Sen. Obama to the presidency, it was an uphill battle for the republicans, and I don't think they handled themselves that well. Perhaps if the candidate would have had the audacity to vote NO on the 700 billion dollar bailout, or at least vote no on all the pork in the bill, he would have been seen as a candidate who stood on some principles. I think that many will be disappointed at the Democrat controlled federal government, and they will get their 4 years, and we will be back to a government which holds more moderate values.

I find it interesting, as well, how all of the state marriage amendments passed, and none of the state abortion measures passed. I wonder why that is. What people fail to realize, is that these issues are all interconnected. As the family is the instrument of new life, so too is the respect for life caught up in the respect for family. At least people can see the necessity of one; there may yet be hope.

And, speaking of the gay marriage amendment, it is almost funny how California is imploding with shock. Turns out, even people in California think marriage belongs between one man and one woman. The opponents of Prop. 8 have filed a lawsuit against the state, trying to overturn the amendment. I guess they don't understand the idea of a constitutional amendment. The court's job is to uphold, interpret, and defend the constitution (as amended). This is what they did when they found the right to gay marriage in the California constitution. So of course, the people, at this point, realized that this was not what they intended with their constitutional provisions, and, as such, decided to pass an amendment to more clearly articulate the position that the people desired in their constitution. This, my friends, is the democratic legal process at its finest. I wish I could say it is a slam dunk, but this is the California supreme court we are talking about.

This is a time of great need in our country, especially the needs of the unborn. We must, therefore, continue to be fervent in our prayers for them, and for those who oppose their rights. Pray for those politicians who support abortion, that they may see the error of their ways. Pray for the opponents to abortion, that they may be strengthened in their opposition and not give up the fight. Pray in a special way for those Catholics who support abortion, and those who supported candidates who favor abortion, for their souls may be in peril, and we must want them to be found worthy of Heaven when they are judged by the Just Judge. The Church recommends some good prayers for these (all) times. The Rosary is the scourge of the devil and is always a valuable tool of intercession. Holy Mass is the epitome of our prayer life, and should be piously attended often. The divine mercy chaplet is also powerful, as it is in this time when our nation is poised to expand legal powers against the unborn. The chaplet is especially efficacious at the 3:00 hour (the hour of mercy in which our Lord died on the Cross). Above all, pray, for the Lord truly hears us.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

On Ordination

This post, and indeed this Weblog assumes that the Church is serious when she says "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women." (OS 4) And further, we believe the CDF response to this document when it says "it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium." (Responsum ad Dubium) Therefore, we assume women can not receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, that this has been infallibly declared, and that it is to be held definitively by the faithful.

Now, we consider the case of the validity of Anglican Orders. As you may know, the Anglicans are a protestant denomination which is not in communion with Rome and the See of Peter. The Anglican church started during the reign of King Henry VIII. The details are unimportant, but as time went on, it happened that the various liturgical texts were changed, including the rites for ordination. In 1896, the Papal Bull Apostolicae Curae was issued by Pope Leo XIII, and it stated that Anglican Orders were "absolutely null and utterly void." The primary argument at hand was that the Anglican Rites of Ordination lacked proper form; that the words of ordination had changed in such a way as to no longer reflect the proper nature of the ordained priesthood. This papal bull was reaffirmed in 1998 by the CDF, when given as an example of a papal teaching that the faithful must affirm.

The story actually complicates from there. In 1931 (which is after the 1896 Bull), the Bonn Agreement between the Anglican Church and various schismatic groups established communion between the groups. Bishops, who, though schismatic, still retained valid ordination and apostolic succession, joined in ordinations in the Anglican church. At this point, it has been argued, some semblance of apostolic succession could have been reestablished, perhaps re-validating the ministerial priesthood and the sacraments within the Anglican Church.

Recalling our initial assumption, however, that women cannot be ordained, it has also been argued that the Anglicans, if they ever did reestablish valid succession, no longer retain it universally because the bishops (in general) no longer have a proper understanding of the Priesthood (or Episcopacy), and as such cannot form the proper intention to ordain to the priesthood. Essentially, they do not ordain because their intention is to ordain to a priesthood that doesn't exist. This deficiency may not be universal, we will permit the possibility that individuals or groups who do properly understand the ordained priesthood could retain valid orders.

We take an aside here to state that this is not a well-defined area. It is manifestly unclear if some or all or most or none of the Anglican orders are or were valid at any point in history. Each of the arguments put forward are just that, arguments. They are not declarations (with probably the exception of the Bull of Pius XIII), and as such aren't definitive.

An important question here, really the important question, is considering what constitutes a requisite intention for a valid ordination. We know that for a sacrament to be valid, we must have a valid minister, proper form and matter, and proper intentions of both the minister and the recipient of the sacrament. In the case of holy orders, we need a validly ordained Bishop (minister) and a man who has been baptized and confirmed (recipient). There seem to be required words. Laying on of hands is necessary. Finally, the Bishop must intend to confer the ministry of Christ's priesthood and the recipient must intend and be free to receive it.

So again, we must ask what is requisite in this intention. It has been pointed out to me that there is little if any belief required in Baptism. In fact, the catechism states "The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop." (CCC 1253) And, "...anyone, even a nonbaptized person, with the required intention, can baptize. The intention required is to will to do what the church does when she baptizes." That said, there is no such statement I can find regarding Orders. Likewise, I was also reminded that an otherwise validly ordained priest who no longer believes in the Real Presence can validly consecrate. On the other hand, someone who does not believe in the real presence cannot receive the sacramental graces from the Eucharist without belief. The code of canon law requires that Bishops gather documentation of "the sound doctrine of the candidate" among other things (cf. CIC 1051).

This still doesn't answer our question. What is the (minimum necessary) required intention of the ordaining minister and the ordination candidate to remain valid? Let me be clear, my worry is that in this day and age when there are seminarians (at some of the less orthodox seminaries), priests, and sadly even Bishops (recall this post), who do not understand, or believe in the ministerial priesthood in the way that the Church does, there could be problems with regards to intention in receiving or giving orders. If it it possible (as I stated, it is not certain) that the Anglicans could have been deficient in their intention to ordain, in part, by believing that Women can be admitted into the Priesthood and Episcopate, then we must logically admit the possibility (again not certainty) that the same deficiency could exist in the Catholic Church.

Perhaps the answer to our question is "to confer (or receive) the ordination to the Church's priesthood" regardless of personal misunderstandings. If this were the case it would perhaps be harder to invalidate a priori the Anglican Orders as well, or at least those conferred on males. This is the reason we require so much of our bishops and seminarians. We don't want to be at the point where we question absolute minimums to be ordained.

Above all else, though, we can pray. Pray for our bishops, for all the seminarians, and those who educate them. Pray that the Spirit may help lead them along a path to holiness, and indeed obedience and orthodoxy. Perhaps all of these problems could be settled if more would pray for them. After all, the priesthood is the cornerstone of the sacramental life of the Church, and is a favorite target of the devil.

Ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.

A cynical return

I have decided to return to blogging, at least for a while, because I feel the need for a creative outlet. I may not make more than one or two posts ever again, hence the "cynical" nature of the return. Godwilling, this will be a good endeavor.

Also, the format may be less news, or rather less commentary with the news, and may be more original. And, it will unlikely be updated much more than weekly, which is already better than my current record.