Monday, June 29, 2009

Ss. Peter and Paul

After a long hiatus, I'm back. I have some news to discuss, but will leave that for a little bit.

Today is the Feast (Solemnity, really) of the apostles Peter and Paul. This ends the Pauline Year, and leaves us completely to focus on the Year for Priests.

The Handbook of Indulgences lists this:
The Christian faithful obtain a partial indulgence when they make devout use of a devotional object (such as a cricifix or cross, a rosary, a scapular, or a medal) which has been rightly blessed by any priest or deacon.

If the devotional object has been blessed by the Pope or by any bishop, the Christian faithful can obtain a plenary indulgence while making devout use of it on the solemnity of the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, provided they add to its use a profession of faith made by any legitimate formula. (EI 35)
There is a footnote that says that to be rightly blessed, a proper formula ought be used from the Book of Blessings, but notes that a sign of the cross, even without words, is sufficient, assuming the intention to bless was present.

The normal requirements for indulgences are also, of course, in play.

As an aside, the only object I have that I know was blessed by a bishop is an old and broken scapular, but it still holds sentimental value, and can still be devoutly used, just not in the same way as before.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Corpus Christi Indulgence

I think indulgences are great. They codify the good works and special prayers and remembrances which can act as special reparation for the temporal punishment we all deserve for our sins. And more than that, we can apply this reparation to those who have died, both those we know and those we've never met.

There are many specific grants in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, the Handbook of Indulgences, and some of then are attached to specific days. In the dioceses of the United States, the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) is transferred to this Sunday. The grant in the Handbook attached to this feast is the recitation of the Tantum Ergo.
A partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly recite the above verses [the Tantum Ergo]. The indulgence will be a plenary one ... on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ during its liturgical rites. [EI 59]
Keep this in mind come Sunday (or if you happen to be reading in a country where the feast is not transferred, Thursday). Remember, the standard requirements for obtaining a plenary indulgence: sacramental confession, eucharistic communion, a prayer for the pope's intentions, and the exclusion of all attachment to sin.

Incidentally the Pope's intentions for the month of June are
Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for June is: "That international attention towards the poorer countries may give rise to more concrete help, in particular to relieve them of the crushing burden of foreign debt"

His mission intention is: "That the particular Churches operating in regions marked by violence may be sustained by the love and concrete closeness of all the Catholics in the world".

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spain and Abortions

It has been a long time since I have written about Spain. Indeed, at one point in history I wrote so often about the goings-on over there that I decided to have a specific tag "Spain". This has fallen by the wayside in recent months, but I have come across some quite disturbing news. See if you can count the ways this is wrong.
The State Coordinator of Feminist Organizations in Spain said this week that since 13-year-old girls can legally engage in sexual relations in Spain, “then they should also have the right to decide about the consequences of those relations,” without input from their parents.

The State Coordinator of Feminist Organizations sent 12,145 signatures to the Spanish Congress this week opposing the proposed reform of abortion laws, arguing that abortion on demand up to the fourteenth week is “clearly insufficient” and that the proposed reform does not guarantee legal protection for women and health care professionals who perform abortions.

Yolanda Iglesias, the spokesperson for the office, said one of the organization’s complaints is that the law should be broader. “We want the government’s reform not to be so restrictive, so that it truly can be one of the most advanced norms in Europe, as Socialist lawmakers assert it is,” she said.

The feminist groups also oppose requiring doctor’s approval for abortions between the fourteenth and twenty-second week of pregnancy, claiming the requirement leaves “the decision about health and maternity in the hands of others.” “For this reason we are sure that many pregnant women will travel to more permissive countries or will seek out clandestine abortions,” they said.
Here's what I found.
  1. The age of consent is 13? How does that remotely even make sense?
  2. If 13 is the age of consent, then that implies a certain maturity, but is it really warranted to assume a 13-year old girl has the emotional maturity to make such a decision without even consult of her parents. Would the laws in Spain allow a 13 year old to choose to not receive medical treatment for diabetes against her parents wishes? This should be no different.
  3. Considering abortions are legal, what sort of "legal protections" do they mean?
  4. Up to the 14th week not enough? What would be enough? I'm sure that any limit would be too restrictive.
  5. "Advanced" is apparently the new word to mean liberal, or something of that nature. This is not the way I learned the word.
  6. Wouldn't you think doctors would need to approve of an abortion? It would seem doctors need not even be involved in Spain.
  7. For that matter, isn't the health of the patient the concern of a doctor in the first place?
Did I miss anything?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fr. Peyton, CSC

As usual, I am a day late. Yesterday, June 3, marks the anniversary of the death of the Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, CSC. I think he is someone you should know about.

I first looked into his story when I ended up with a rosary with his face and name on it. He is known as "the rosary priest" and founded the Family Rosary Crusade. Believe it or not, he coined the phrase "the family who prays together stays together."

His cause was opened in 2001, and so we can pray for his intercession and canonization.
Dear Jesus, Father Peyton devoted his priestly life to strengthening the families of the world by calling them to pray together every day, especially the Rosary. His message is as important for us now as it was during his life on earth. We beg you, therefore, to hasten the day of his beatification so that your faithful people everywhere will remember his message that the family that prays together stays together, will imitate him in his devotion to your Mother and ours, and will be inspired by his holy life to draw ever closer to you with childlike confidence and love. Amen.

The Vice Postulator of his cause is Fr. George Lucas, CSC. This is not the same George Lucas who was just appointed Archbishop of Omaha. Neat.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

After Tiller

I wasn't originally going to discuss the whole Tiller murder, because the mainstream blogs seem to be doing a good job of it. It is a tragedy, as all murders are. The fallout has been as predicted, and that is what I'd like to discuss.

I was surprised when the US Marshalls were called out to protect high profile Abortion advocates. This after a murder of one person, who was caught fairly quickly and who seems to be a lone gunman. This is a bit extreme, says I. I wonder if a Catholic leader (a bishop, perhaps, or a high profile priest, maybe in California) were killed by, say, a radical gay rights extremist if such measures would be put in place to offer protection to the Bishops, for instance.

I read an article today from the wonderful Lifesite News, with some disturbing comments from a professor at a Catholic university. (emphasis mine)

Marquette University theology professor and former Jesuit priest Daniel Maguire published a statement on The Religious Consultation website lamenting the fact that Tiller was murdered "for honoring the law of the land."

"He is not the first doctor to so die and unless we get serious about this form of terrorism, he will not be the last," wrote Maguire. "Religious and political leaders who fan the flames of anti-choice, anti-woman fanaticism are not without guilt."

How, might I ask, is violating the laws, which Dr. Tiller allegedly had in a number of circumstances, honoring the law? How, even, is performing an action protected by law honoring it. Do I honor the smoking laws of the country each time I light up my pipe? Do I honor the alcohol laws of the country each time I drink some whiskey?

Just because an action is permitted by law does not mean it is good. Honoring a law means not violating it; I honor the smoking law when I take my pipe outside and away from building entrances, and I honor the drinking law when, for instance, I don't drink while driving, or while underage.

The article goes on to quote some other pro-life leaders who are claiming, for instance
"But I'd like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for performing abortions that I -- and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words."
Essentially by saying "abortion is murder" we incite murders, even though we say "murder is evil". We cannot, therefore, say anything that indicates abortion is as evil as it actually is, it would seem. By making this concession, the pro-life movement would lose the language battle, which is essential to changing the hearts and minds of the public.