I find it quite amusing that James White is once again mocking God and His plan of salvation in regards to the Theotokos. Go check out his latest rants on his blog site against Tim Staples and Patrick Madrid on the Christian teaching regarding the Blessed Mother. White is an embarrassment to apologetics. If you look at my latest 3 videos you can see how Mr. White uses props to hold up his false arguments. Once again lets look at White and his mockery regarding the Blessed Mother.
1. Does the term co-mediatrix or co-redemtrix imply we are equating Mary as a fourth person of the Trinity? Obviously not, because the term does not imply anything of the sort. Co means with. If Mary participated in God's plan of salvation, (which anyone who would deny this fact cannot call themselves a Christian) then she can be titled obviously a co-redemptrix, because she participated in God's plan. I will say this plainly, it seems that White is just (pardon my French) too damn stupid to understand what co means. Aside from all of this, this terminology has not been defined by the church as of yet. But White is great at crying wolf. Does anyone remember his asinine blog video of him telling us all that Rome was about to remove the excommunication of Martin Luther and reform him a few months back? He probably hopes that everyone has forgotten that foolish post.
2. White says that it is blasphemous to ask the Blessed Mother to pray for us, to intercede for us. Is it? Then I ask why in the world does every ancient Liturgy have petitions to her? You see, White knows that when it comes to the Church and her Liturgies he has no defense of for his outlandish heretical rants. The Liturgies of the Church show us plainly that Christians of the early centuries gave the Blessed Theotokos praise, and they asked for her intercession.
Livias in the 6th century wrote, "Raised to heaven, she remains for the human race an unconquerable rampart, interceding for us before her Son and God." Theoteknos of Livias, Assumption 291(ante AD 560),in THEO,187
3. What about the early Church regarding Mary's sinlessness and giving prasie to her, and calling upon her? Wow, I thought no one "prayed" to her in the early Church?
"O Virgin all holy, he who has said of you all that is honorable and glorious has not sinned against the truth, but remains unequal to your merit. Look down upon us from above and be propitious to us. Lead us in peace and having brought us without shame to the throne of judgment, grant us a place at the right hand of your Son, that we may borne off to heaven and sing with angels to the uncreated, consubstantial Trinity" Basil of Seleucia, PG 85:452(ante AD 459)
Now lets also call out James White on his video regarding the liturgy and Transubstantiation in which I posted responses to a few months back? I flat out called him on his erroneous conclusions he formed from his "12 century" arguments on the tabernacle, the host elevation etc. He loves to attack Catholics and mock them on his blog and his radio show, yet he cannot defend his own foolish arguments. Where is he and his arrogant response on this? We are waiting. In fact even some of his fans have expressed a perplexed attitude towards his refusal to acknowledge my video posts. We all know why don't we? When you can't defend your erroneous arguments, then you do not answer.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I have heard many today say that the Catholic Church has changed her stance on Freemasonry. I have heard Catholics in fact say that the Church has changed her stance and now does not consider membership to the Freemasonry a serious sin. A document given by the Church titled, "Irreconcilability between Christian faith and Freemasonry", tells us that the Church has not changed her judgment on this issue. I
have posted some passages from the document. The complete doc can be found here. The next time someone tells you the Church no longer condemns Freemasonry you can be ready to defend the faith.
Excerpts from ....
REFLECTIONS A YEAR AFTER DECLARATION
OF CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Irreconcilability between Christian faith and Freemasonry
Since the Church began to declare her mind concerning Freemasonry, her negative judgment has been inspired by many reasons, both practical and doctrinal. She judged Freemasonry not merely responsible for subversive activity in her regard, but from the earliest pontifical documents on the subject and in particular in the Encyclical Humanum Genus by Leo XIII (20 April 1884), the Magisterium of the Church has denounced in Freemasonry philosophical ideas and moral conceptions opposed to Catholic doctrine. For Leo XIII, they essentially led back to a rationalistic naturalism, the inspiration of its plans and activities against the Church. In his Letter to the Italian people Custodi (8 December 1892), he wrote: «Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are essentially irreconcilable, so that enrolment in one means separation from the other».
Above all, it must be remembered that the community of «Freemasons» and its moral obligations are presented as a progressive system of symbols of an extremely binding nature. The rigid rule of secrecy which prevails there further strengthens the weight of the interaction of signs and ideas. For the members this climate of secrecy entails above all the risk of becoming an instrument of strategies unknown to them.
In any case, for a Catholic Christian, it is not possible to live his relation with God in a twofold mode, that is, dividing it into a supraconfessional humanitarian form and an interior Christian form. He cannot cultivate relations of two types with God, nor express his relation with the Creator through symbolic forms of two types. That would be something completely different from that collaboration, which to him is obvious, with all those who are committed to doing good, even if beginning from different principles. On the one hand, a Catholic Christian cannot at the same time share in the full communion of Christian brotherhood and, on the other, look upon his Christian brother, from the Masonic perspective, as an «outsider».
Precisely by considering all these elements, the Declaration of the Sacred Congregation affirms that membership in Masonic associations «remains forbidden by the Church», and the faithful who enrolls in them «are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion».
Below is a document concerning Canon Law and Freemasonry. This also has not changed.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
DECLARATION ON MASONIC ASSOCIATIONS
It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.
This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.
Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.
It is not within the competence of local ecclesiastical authorities to give a judgment on the nature of Masonic associations which would imply a derogation from what has been decided above, and this in line with the Declaration of this Sacred Congregation issued on 17 February 1981 (cf. AAS 73 1981 pp. 240-241; English language edition of L’Osservatore Romano, 9 March 1981).
In an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved and ordered the publication of this Declaration which had been decided in an ordinary meeting of this Sacred Congregation.
Rome, from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 26 November 1983.
Joseph Card. RATZINGER
+ Fr. Jerome Hamer, O.P.
Posted by James Bellisario at 10:11 PM
In today's time we often witness what is called the charismatic renewal in the Church. Although the term is often misused to refer to a an event where people are speaking in tongues and some acting in a hysterical manner, the originality of the term is much different than this modern definition. As Catholics we of course believe that healings can take place miraculously and the the Holy Spirit gives us many gifts. The modern "charismatic" healing services today seem to be far removed from the tradition of the Church, and often resemble pagan practices from Protestant denominations. I went to the Vatican website and mulled a bit through the documents and found one on healing services and their proper practices within the Church. I found some very interesting information. I wanted to post a few passages from the document. The complete doc can be found here. I bold typed some of the texts that caught my eye. I know there are alot of people in the Church who wonder what is proper and what is not when it comes to "healing" services. This document answers many of the most commonly asked questions.
Taken from the document titled.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
INSTRUCTION ON PRAYERS FOR HEALING
September 14, 2000
Art. 2 – Prayers for healing are considered to be liturgical if they are part of the liturgical books approved by the Church's competent authority; otherwise, they are non-liturgical.
Art. 3 – § 1. Liturgical prayers for healing are celebrated according to the rite prescribed in the Ordo benedictionis infirmorum of the Rituale Romanum (28) and with the proper sacred vestments indicated therein.
Art. 4 – § 1. The Diocesan Bishop has the right to issue norms for his particular Church regarding liturgical services of healing, following can. 838 § 4.
§ 2. Those who prepare liturgical services of healing must follow these norms in the celebration of such services.
Art. 5 – § 1. Non-liturgical prayers for healing are distinct from liturgical celebrations, as gatherings for prayer or for reading of the word of God; these also fall under the vigilance of the local Ordinary in accordance with can. 839 § 2.
§ 3. Anything resembling hysteria, artificiality, theatricality or sensationalism, above all on the part of those who are in charge of such gatherings, must not take place.
Art. 8 – § 1. The ministry of exorcism must be exercised in strict dependence on the Diocesan Bishop, and in keeping with the norm of can. 1172, the Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of September 29, 1985,(31) and the Rituale Romanum (32).
§ 2. The prayers of exorcism contained in the Rituale Romanum must remain separate from healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical.
§ 3. It is absolutely forbidden to insert such prayers of exorcism into the celebration of the Holy Mass, the sacraments, or the Liturgy of the Hours.
Art. 9 – Those who direct healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical, are to strive to maintain a climate of peaceful devotion in the assembly and to exercise the necessary prudence if healings should take place among those present; when the celebration is over, any testimony can be collected with honesty and accuracy, and submitted to the proper ecclesiastical authority.
Art. 10 – Authoritative intervention by the Diocesan Bishop is proper and necessary when abuses are verified in liturgical or non-liturgical healing services, or when there is obvious scandal among the community of the faithful, or when there is a serious lack of observance of liturgical or disciplinary norms.
Posted by James Bellisario at 9:23 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I wanted to post a portion of Cardinal Kasper's address to the Anglican Church at the Lambeth Congress, CANTERBURY, England, JULY 31, 2008. The Cardinal gave no quarter to the issues of homosexuality and women's ordination. You can read the entire article at Zenit.org I have bold typed some of the text to emphasize certain texts that I found interesting.
"Regarding the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate, the Catholic Church’s teaching has been clearly set forward from the very beginning of our dialogue, not only internally, but also in correspondence between Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II with successive Archbishops of Canterbury. In his Apostolic Letter “Ordinatio sacerdotalis” from May 22, 1994, Pope John Paul II referred to the letter of Paul VI to Archbishop Coggan from November 30, 1975, and stated the Catholic position as follows: “Priestly ordination… in the Catholic Church from the beginning has always been reserved to men alone”, and that “this tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.” He concluded: “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” This formulation clearly shows that this is not only a disciplinary position but an expression of our faithfulness to Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church finds herself bound by the will of Jesus Christ and does not feel free to establish a new tradition alien to the tradition of the Church of all ages.
As I stated when addressing the Church of England’s House of Bishops in 2006, for us this decision to ordain women implies a turning away from the common position of all churches of the first millennium, that is, not only the Catholic Church but also the Oriental Orthodox and the Orthodox churches. We would see the Anglican Communion as moving a considerable distance closer to the side of the Protestant churches of the 16th century, and to a position they adopted only during the second half of the 20th century.
Since it is currently the situation that 28 Anglican provinces ordain women to the priesthood, and while only 4 provinces have ordained women to the episcopate, an additional 13 provinces have passed legislation authorising women bishops, the Catholic Church must now take account of the reality that the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate is not only a matter of isolated provinces, but that this is increasingly the stance of the Communion. It will continue to have bishops, as set forth in the Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888); but as with bishops within some Protestant churches, the older churches of East and West will recognise therein much less of what they understand to be the character and ministry of the bishop in the sense understood by the early church and continuing through the ages.
I have already addressed the ecclesiological problem when bishops do not recognize other’s episcopal ordination within the one and same church, now I must be clear about the new situation which has been created in our ecumenical relations. While our dialogue has led to significant agreement on the understanding of ministry, the ordination of women to the episcopate effectively and definitively blocks a possible recognition of Anglican Orders by the Catholic Church.
Posted by James Bellisario at 12:56 PM
The most misunderstood aspect of the Catholic Church is how it defines doctrine and dogma. The infallibility of the Church is constantly under attack. Doctrines that are taught infallibly such as the Church's teaching on contraception are often denied by both Catholics and Protestant alike. In recent posts here we saw how 2 Protestants constantly misconstrued how the Church teaches doctrine and dogma. They both had the audacity to misrepresent how the Church teaches infallibly, both not understanding the Ordinary and Universal aspect of the Church's teaching authority. If there is one book to summarize this, it is Cardinal Dulles' book called Magisterium. No Catholic should be without this book. It should be read, and read again to really understand how the Church works in her teaching authority. You can get it at Amazon. I also recommend it to non-Catholics so they can converse intelligently on the subject. Visit Catholic Champion for other recommended books.
Posted by James Bellisario at 12:18 PM
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Pope Paul III was a great defender of the faith during the height of the Protestant rebellion. He was born in Rome in Feb of 1468. As a youth he lived a worldly life. However at the age of 46 he took religious vows and withdrew to a religious life. He was a very intelligent man also well versed in the political realm. He was elected Pope in 1534. He convened the Council of Trent in 1542 to battle the heresies of the Reformation. He began to also reform the Curia within the Church as well. This would be the beginnings of what would be known as the Counter-Reformation. He took the heresies of the "Reformers" very serious and attempted to unite Charles V and Francis I to build a united front against the heretics. Pope Paul III was also a great lover of the arts and loved to give glory to God through them. He commissioned many works of art which included Michelangelo's The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and the dome of Saint Peters in Rome. He died on Nov 10, 1549. Although he was not able to complete his work, the foundations of the Counter-Reformation were laid by him. Pope Julius III would be his successor.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
EX SURGE DOMINE
Condemning The Errors Of Martin Luther
Pope Leo X
Bull issued June 15, 1520
Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod. When you were about to ascend to your Father, you committed the care, rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant church, to Peter, as the head and your vicar and his successors. The wild boar from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.
Rise, Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned above.
Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth.
We beseech you also, Paul, to arise. It was you that enlightened and illuminated the Church by your doctrine and by a martyrdom like Peter's. For now a new Porphyry rises who, as the old once wrongfully assailed the holy apostles, now assails the holy pontiffs, our predecessors.
Rebuking them, in violation of your teaching, instead of imploring them, he is not ashamed to assail them, to tear at them, and when he despairs of his cause, to stoop to insults. He is like the heretics "whose last defense," as Jerome says, "is to start spewing out a serpent's venom with their tongue when they see that their causes are about to be condemned, and spring to insults when they see they are vanquished." For although you have said that there must be heresies to test the faithful, still they must be destroyed at their very birth by your intercession and help, so they do not grow or wax strong like your wolves. Finally, let the whole church of the saints and the rest of the universal church arise. Some, putting aside her true interpretation of Sacred Scripture, are blinded in mind by the father of lies. Wise in their own eyes, according to the ancient practice of heretics, they interpret these same Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands, inspired only by their own sense of ambition, and for the sake of popular acclaim, as the Apostle declares. In fact, they twist and adulterate the Scriptures. As a result, according to Jerome, "It is no longer the Gospel of Christ, but a man's, or what is worse, the devil's."
Let all this holy Church of God, I say, arise, and with the blessed apostles intercede with almighty God to purge the errors of His sheep, to banish all heresies from the lands of the faithful, and be pleased to maintain the peace and unity of His holy Church.
Posted by James Bellisario at 11:11 AM
Pope Leo X
The Bull 'Decet Romanum': the Condemnation and Excommunication of Martin Luther, the Heretic, and his Followers, January 1521.
The Bull "Decet Romanum"
Through the power given him from God, the Roman Pontiff has been appointed to administer spiritual and temporal punishments as each case severally deserves. The purpose of this is the repression of the wicked designs of misguided men, who have been so captivated by the debased impulse of their evil purposes as to forget the fear of the Lord, to set aside with contempt canonical decrees and apostolic commandments, and to dare to formulate new and false dogmas and to introduce the evil of schism into the Church of God—or to support, help and adhere to such schismatics, who make it their business to cleave asunder the seamless robe of our Redeemer and the unity of the orthodox faith. Hence it befits the Pontiff, lest the vessel of Peter appear to sail without pilot or oarsman, to take severe measures against such men and their followers, and by multiplying punitive measures and by other suitable remedies to see to it that these same overbearing men, devoted as they are to purposes of evil, along with their adherents, should not deceive the multitude of the simple by their lies and their deceitful devices, nor drag them along to share their own error and ruination, contaminating them with what amounts to a contagious disease. It also befits the Pontiff, having condemned the schismatics, to ensure their still greater confounding by publicly showing and openly declaring to all faithful Christians how formidable are the censures and punishments to which such guilt can lead; to the end that by such public declaration they themselves may return, in confusion and remorse, to their true selves, making an unqualified withdrawal from the prohibited conversation, fellowship and (above all) obedience to such accursed excommunicates; by this means they may escape divine vengeance and any degree of participation in their damnation.
I [Here the Pope recounts his previous Bull Exsurge Domine and continues]
II We have been informed that after this previous missive had been exhibited in public and the interval or intervals it prescribed had elapsed [60 days]—and we hereby give solemn notice to all faithful Christians that these intervals have and are elapsed—many of those who had followed the errors of Martin took cognisance of our missive and its warnings and injunctions; the spirit of a saner counsel brought them back to themselves, they confessed their errors and abjured the heresy at our instance, and by returning to the true Catholic faith obtained the blessing of absolution with which the self-same messengers had been empowered; and in several states and localities of the said Germany the books and writings of the said Martin were publicly burned, as we had enjoined.
Nevertheless Martin himself—and it gives us grievous sorrow and perplexity to say this—the slave of a depraved mind, has scorned to revoke his errors within the prescribed interval and to send us word of such revocation, or to come to us himself; nay, like a stone of stumbling, he has feared not to write and preach worse things than before against us and this Holy See and the Catholic faith, and to lead others on to do the same.
He has now been declared a heretic; and so also others, whatever their authority and rank, who have cared nought of their own salvation but publicly and in all men's eyes become followers of Martin's pernicious and heretical sect, and given him openly and publicly their help, counsel and favour, encouraging him in their midst in his disobedience and obstinacy, or hindering the publication of our said missive: such men have incurred the punishments set out in that missive, and are to be treated rightfully as heretics and avoided by all faithful Christians, as the Apostle says (Titus iii. 10-11).
III. Our purpose is that such men should rightfully be ranked with Martin and other accursed heretics and excommunicates, and that even as they have ranged themselves with the obstinacy in sinning of the said Martin, they shall likewise share his punishments and his name, by bearing with them everywhere the title "Lutheran" and the punishments it incurs.
Our previous instructions were so clear and so effectively publicised and we shall adhere so strictly to our present decrees and declarations, that they will lack no proof, warning or citation.
Our decrees which follow are passed against Martin and others who follow him in the obstinacy of his depraved and damnable purpose, as also against those who defend and protect him with a military bodyguard, and do not fear to support him with their own resources or in any other way, and have and do presume to offer and afford help, counsel and favour toward him. All their names, surnames and rank—however lofty and dazzling their dignity may be—we wish to be taken as included in these decrees with the same effect as if they were individually listed and could be so listed in their publication, which must be furthered with an energy to match their contents.
On all these we decree the sentences of excommunication, of anathema, of our perpetual condemnation and interdict; of privation of dignities, honours and property on them and their descendants, and of declared unfitness for such possessions; of the confiscation of their goods and of the crime of treason; and these and the other sentences, censures and punishments which are inflicted by canon law on heretics and are set out in our aforesaid missive, we decree to have fallen on all these men to their damnation.
IV We add to our present declaration, by our Apostolic authority, that states, territories, camps, towns and places in which these men have temporarily lived or chanced to visit, along with their possessions—cities which house cathedrals and metropolitans, monasteries and other religious and sacred places, privileged or unprivileged—one and all are placed under our ecclesiastical interdict, while this interdict lasts, no pretext of Apostolic Indulgence (except in cases the law allows, and even there, as it were, with the doors shut and those under excommunication and interdict excluded) shall avail to allow the celebration of mass and the other divine offices. We prescribe and enjoin that the men in question are everywhere to be denounced publicly as excommunicated, accursed, condemned, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them. They are to be strictly shunned by all faithful Christians.
V We would make known to all the small store that Martin, his followers and the other rebels have set on God and his Church by their obstinate and shameless temerity. We would protect the herd from one infectious animal, lest its infection spread to the healthy ones. Hence we lay the following injunction on each and every patriarch, archbishop, bishop, on the prelates of patriarchal, metropolitan, cathedral and collegiate churches, and on the religious of every Order—even the mendicants—privileged or unprivileged, wherever they may be stationed: that in the strength of their vow of obedience and on pain of the sentence of excommunication, they shall, if so required in the execution of these presents, publicly announce and cause to be announced by others in their churches, that this same Martin and the rest are excommunicate, accursed, condemned, heretics, hardened, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them, and so listed in the enforcement of these presents. Three days will be given: we pronounce canonical warning and allow one day's notice on the first, another on the second, but on the third peremptory and final execution of our order. This shall take place on a Sunday or some other festival, when a large congregation assembles for worship. The banner of the cross shall be raised, the bells rung, the candles lit and after a time extinguished, cast on the ground and trampled under foot, and the stones shall be cast forth three times, and the other ceremonies observed which are usual in such cases. The faithful Christians, one and all, shall be enjoined strictly to shun these men.
We would occasion still greater confounding on the said Martin and the other heretics we have mentioned, and on their adherents, followers and partisans: hence, on the strength of their vow of obedience we enjoin each and every patriarch, archbishop and all other prelates, that even as they were appointed on the authority of Jerome to allay schisms, so now in the present crisis, as their office obliges them, they shall make themselves a wall of defence for their Christian people. They shall not keep silence like dumb dogs that cannot bark, but incessantly cry and lift up their voice, preaching and causing to be preached the word of God and the truth of the Catholic faith against the damnable articles and heretics aforesaid.
VI To each and every rector of the parish churches, to the rectors of all the Orders, even the mendicants, privileged or unprivileged, we enjoin in the same terms, on the strength of their vow of obedience, that appointed by the Lord as they are to be like clouds, they shall sprinkle spiritual showers on the people of God, and have no fear in giving the widest publicity to the condemnation of the aforesaid articles, as their office obliges them. It is written that perfect love casteth out fear. Let each and every one of you take up the burden of such a meritorious duty with complete devotion; show yourselves so punctilious in its execution, so zealous and eager in word and deed, that from your labours, by the favour of divine grace, the hoped-for harvest will come in, and that through your devotion you will not only earn that crown of glory which is the due recompense of all who promote religious causes, but also attain from us and the said Holy See the unbounded commendation that your proved diligence will deserve.
VII However, since it would be difficult to deliver the present missive, with its declarations and announcements, to Martin and the other declared excommunicates in person, because of the strength of their faction, our wish is that the public nailing of this missive on the doors of two cathedrals—either both metropolitan, or one cathedral and one metropolitan of the churches in the said Germany—by a messenger of ours in those places, shall have such binding force that Martin and the others we have declared shall be shown to be condemned at every point as decisively as if the missive had been personally made known and presented to them.
VIII It would also be difficult to transmit this missive to every single place where its publication might be necessary. Hence our wish and authoritative decree is that copies of it, sealed by some ecclesiastical prelate or by one of our aforesaid messengers, and countersigned by the hand of some public notary, should everywhere bear the same authority as the production and exhibition of the original itself.
IX No obstacle is afforded to our wishes by the Apostolic constitutions and orders, or by anything in our aforesaid earlier missive which we do not wish to stand in the way, or by any other pronouncements to the contrary.
X No one whatsoever may infringe this our written decision, declaration, precept, injunction, assignation, will, decree; or rashly contravene it. Should anyone dare to attempt such a thing, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
Written at St. Peter's, Rome, on the 3rd January 1521,
during the eighth year of our pontificate.
Posted by James Bellisario at 7:37 AM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I don't know how many caps James White has, but this is really out of control at this point. It seems that every video he has now he is sporting a new color hat. Did he order one every color that they had? This is kind of amusing. I do hope he keeps sporting new colors. I can keep adding to my collage. Maybe he can hold the record for most hats sported by a Reformed apologist! Just some fun here folks. My hats off to Dr. White..
Update...new hat! Canary yellow!
Dr. Alexander R. Pruss has been kind enough to allow us to post an excerpt from his upcoming book on human sexuality, in response to those who try and equate Natural Family Planning to contraception. What a blessing it is to have great scholars like Dr. Pruss engaging this most important issue of our time. You can find it here.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I had the pleasure of visiting Rome in 2005. One of my favorite places was the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva). I believe it is the only Gothic church in Rome. The present church was built by the Dominican Friars in (1254-1261). Not only is this a very beautiful church, but it contains the relics of Saint Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380). Her body is under the altar. I had the opportunity to give honor and glory to God by venerating her relics. How wonderful to know that God makes us Saints! How wonderful it is to know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are always a part of us since they are members of the Body of Christ. They are as much a part of our lives as those we see with our eyes on the earth. We know there are none dead in Christ the living God.
Saint Catherine is known for her piety, as well as her insight into the spiritual life. She received a special insight into the life of the soul. Her work the Dialog is her most famous spiritual work. She was Canonized in 1491 by Pope Pius II. She is also a doctor of the Church, and considered to be one of the great mystics of the Church as well. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. She died when she was 33. Her body was found incorrupt in 1430. Her feast day is April 29
Although our perfect model is Christ himself, we can also look to the Saints to see how they imitated our Lord in their lives. We do this in order to help us understand our own vocations and our own unique relationships with Our Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Catherine is a perfect model to follow. Her insistence on prayer was unwavering. Below is one of her prayers.
My Nature is Fire
Prayer 12 (XXII)*
In your nature,eternal Godhead,I shall come to know my nature.
And what is my nature, boundless love?It is fire,because you are
nothing but a fire of love. And you have given humankind
a share in this nature, for by the fire of love
you created us. And so with all other people and every created thing;
you made them out of love. O ungrateful people!
What nature has your God given you? His very own nature!
Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing
through the guilt of deadly sin? O eternal Trinity,
my sweet love! You, light, give us light.
You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength,
strengthen us. Today, eternal God, let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know and follow your Truth in truth,
with a free and simple heart. God, come to our assistance!
Lord, make haste to help us!
*Taken from The Prayers of Catherine of Siena. 2nd edition. Suzanne Noffke, OP, translator and editor.
(San Jose.: Authors Choice Press, 2001)
(Roman numerals indicate the number of the prayer in
the critical edition of G. Cavallini).
Posted by James Bellisario at 11:52 PM
Monday, August 4, 2008
No matter how hard I want to get away from this topic, Heckle and Jeckle just will not leave well enough alone. Let us look at Gene Bridges latest amusements from the TF blog. Normally I would not go to this extreme comment here, but now we can see that Gene Bridges is just a plain liar and an obstacle to truth. One thing I can't stomach
is a liar. Good spirited debate is wonderful, even colorful comments etc, even an insult here or there. Mistakes are made sure. But someone who will outright lie I cannot tolerate. I want to point out very clearly how he is now lying outright with reference to his comments on contraception.
Bridges has now said, "I've not argued that Rome PROMOTES the withdrawal method, etc"
Yet let us look at his prior statement.."Natural contraception includes the withdrawal method and natural family planning. This is a simple fact." "Rome advocates these means."
But wait....look.....he was not done.....he said
"Rome advocates these means."
Here is the earlier post in full,
Gene Bridges posting on Thoughts of Francis Turrretin Blog,
"One more thing...
Natural contraception includes the withdrawal method and natural family planning. This is a simple fact.
Rome advocates these means. It does not advocate artificial means, like barrier methods.
And is not I who "don't know what I'm talking about." I'm the one who spent several years as a public health educator, and STD/HIV prevention and services was the discipline in which I served. I know what I'm talking about, because I've had this discussion with more than one Roman Catholic priest and I've read Rome's own documents. Who should I believe, Rome's documents and what her own priests have told me to my face, or Matthew Bellisario?"
Now today he posts this...
"What MB and his supporters have failed to realize is that, in addition to documenting from public health education literature the definition of "contraception," I've been quoting and paraphrasing Moderate to Liberal Catholics, including bishops and ethicists within the Catholic communion.
And here's why:
I've not argued that Rome PROMOTES the withdrawal method, etc. As my friend Turretinfan (hereafter TF) has correctly stated, I have shown that there is no infallible condemnation of the rhythm method."
So now Bridges is completely contradicting himself. I can no longer address, nor tolerate this guy. In fact I am beginning to think I am debating Bill Clinton, since he is nothing more than a "Slick Willy".
Since Bridges will try and slither out of this by some slick wording, I have provided the definition of advocate that he used on his earlier post. We can see that it means the same thing as promote.
The thesaurus says for the word advocate the following, To aid the cause of by approving or favoring: back, champion, endorse, get behind, plump for, recommend, side with, stand behind, stand by, support, uphold. Idioms: align oneself with, go to bat for, take the part of. See support/oppose.
Definition from the free dictionary.com online says,
verb 1. recommend, support, champion, encourage, propose, favour, defend, promote, urge, advise, justify, endorse, campaign for, prescribe, speak for, uphold, press for, argue for, commend, plead for, espouse, countenance, hold a brief for (informal) << OPPOSITE oppose
Case closed on that one..
Now this is humorous as well, Bridges continues "
I've shown that Catholicism is not monolithic on this issue. In fact, it's rather easy to document the amount of past and present dissent within Catholicism itself on this, ranging from individual priests to entire groups of bishops, particularly in the US, Canada, and Europe. Remember, Rome's standard for infallibility is the Pope speaking ex cathedra or the Pope speaking UNITED with the Bishops in her communion. The bishops, indeed not even the Cardinals, are united with the Pope(s) on this one. So, we're left with a bunch of lay Catholics like MB who are, it seems, more conservative than members of their own hierarchy. So much for obedience to your bishops. I thought that was a high value for the Papists. I guess not. The reason I addressed it, was because, like a good chess player, I was thinking several steps ahead, leading my opponent down the primrose path the whole time. I would like to thank MB for playing along."
Playing along? A good chess player? I am playing chess with the court jester of King Henry's court! I am simply pointing out his false statements and refuting them by documented sources. Bridges here has not provided one source. Here is how he likes to argue. Instead of providing a source, he says, and I quote, " " I've been quoting and paraphrasing Moderate to Liberal Catholics, including bishops and ethicists within the Catholic communion." My question is, where???? Where???? Where??? We can see, he favors liberal sources, but whom, we do not know.
Ive asked who all of these bishops are. Yet no response. He also does not understand the ordinary teaching Magisterium either. Just look at this complete nonsensical statement. Bridges says, "Remember, Rome's standard for infallibility is the Pope speaking ex cathedra or the Pope speaking UNITED with the Bishops in her communion. The bishops, indeed not even the Cardinals, are united with the Pope(s) on this one. So, we're left with a bunch of lay Catholics like MB who are, it seems, more conservative than members of their own hierarchy. So much for obedience to your bishops. I thought that was a high value for the Papists. I guess not"
Bridges over Troubled Water here lives up to his name as we can plainly see that he is completely misconstruing the whole meaning of the text. The text doesn't imply that all of the bishops have to agree like they are in a democracy. What foolishness. We can see that the Church taught the truth during the Arian heresy with most of the bishops in the Church in complete heresy. This guy Bridges is a legend in his own mind. I am done with this guy. Someone who is now to the point of lying is not worth my time. I would recommend Cardinal Avery Dulles book called Magisterium: Teacher and Guardian of the Faith.
Update #1 Turretin Fan defends Bridges by saying the he didn't really mean what he wrote and that I have taken the word to mean something that it does not. I am really to the point now of disassociating with these guys. I will finish my debate with TF. But after that I no longer have any use for someone who will not face reality. How can one take Bridges' statements above and reconstruct what he said so they do not contradict one another? This is the abominable state of our culture. One that cannot see a reality. Do you think that anyone would have gotten away with this stuff 40 or 50 years ago? No, they would not have. Today language means nothing. Words only mean what you want them to mean and nothing is absolute anymore. This is why I posted the definition of the word. I knew this is exactly what they would do. See the previous post above. Just like Bill Clinton redefining the meaning of a sexual act, we see this same "slick" model here followed. At this point I don't care what Bridges digs up on the net, nor what liberal bishop or priest he finds to support his false statements. All his credibility is lost with me now. When one can't even take the posts side by side and see that Bridges contradicts himself, all reality has been forsaken.
I am sick over this denial of the definition of the words promote and advocate. Read the two definitions, they mean the same thing.
Here is the synonyms for promote
1. To raise to a more important or responsible job or rank.
2. To advance (a student) to the next higher grade.
2. To contribute to the progress or growth of; further. See synonyms at advance.
3. To urge the adoption of; advocate: promote a constitutional amendment.
4. To attempt to sell or popularize by advertising or publicity: commercials promoting a new product.
5. To help establish or organize (a new enterprise), as by securing financial backing: promote a Broadway show.
Here is the Websters definition of advocate
Text: to promote the interests or cause of
Synonym.com has for the word promote
Main Entry: promote
Part of Speech: verb
Synonyms: abet, advance, advocate, aggrandize, aid, better, bolster, boost, brevet, champion, elevate, encourage, endorse, enhance, exalt, forward, foster, further, help, move up, patronize, plug, prefer, publicize, push, raise, sponsor, translate
What more can one say or do in this case of obvious contradictions in Bridges quotes? How does one get away with such an obvious contradiction in his statements? Tf says I am picking on his friend. No TF, he has obviously not interested in truth, nor in being honest. I also cannot understand you in wanting to go down with the ship defending him either. This is just too much. You will not redefine these two words to your own liking without regard to common definitions of the word. At this point anything else you post on this is not worth reading.
It was inevitable that I would not escape this topic without yet another post. It seems that Turretin is still in a state of denial about his own fallacious comments on contraception, as well as his buddy Gene Bridges. He even has the audacity to dismiss William May's scholarly work on the subject, which is quite laughable since TF gives us nothing in any sense of logic to refute May. Another source has been given by another blogger Apolonio, which reaffirms what I have been saying over the past 5 posts.
Thanks to Apolonio for the link he provided to another fine article written by the scholar Alexander R. Pruss, on why NFP is not contraception. Posted below is just a note from his amazing article on the subject of contraception and Christian Sexual Ethics.
Note 1. The term “contraception” will be used to mean any activity whose intended purpose is to decrease the fertility associated with a sexual act. Sometimes, to stay in line with accepted terminology, the adjective “artificial” will be used with “contraception”, but this is unfortunately misleading as it is not the “artificiality” in the sense in which we talk of, say, “artificial additives” in food which is relevant here (coitus interruptus on my definition, after all, counts as a method of artificial contraception) but the central feature is that the “artificial” contraception is directly aimed against the fertility of a sexual act. I would much prefer if the clearer term “direct contraception” were accepted in place of “artificial contraception”, but I will use the more traditional term in this paper. For clarity I now mention that certain timing methods for sexual acts, known under the title of “Natural Family Planning”, are not intended to fall under the above definition of “contraception”. That they in fact do not fall under it will be argued in Section 5.1.
Quick update on the unchangeable doctrine of the Catholic Church on this issue of contraception since the likes of our Protestant opponents heckle us in whether the church teaches this De Fide. For those who wonder if this is the case, here we see the Catholic Magisterium proclaiming it so. Once again the Church does not define between natural contraception or artificial.
4. The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity; it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life (the procreative aspect of matrimony), and to the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses (the unitive aspect of matrimony); it harms true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life.33
(Vademecum for Confessors 2:4, Feb. 12, 1997)
Lets all remember the original quote by Bridges. Here it is...""ii) Catholicism doesn’t condemn contraception. Rather, it draws an ethically arbitrary disjunction between “natural” and “artificial” contraception.
Update # 2.
Rumblings continue on the Turretin blog as he continues to dig himself further and further down into a state of denial. His new proposal is that the Church has not taught that contraception is an infallible teaching. We of course know that this is not true since the Church says so in her documents. We also know that there are different ways the Church can teach infallibly. Tf obviously knows nothing of the how the Church can teach infallibly. But if we wait I am sure he will cut and paste something to try and shore up his latest false comment. Lets look further at the many Catholic theologians who have interpreted the Church's documents on this as I have so far on this topic. In fact there is not much need of interpreting since the document reaffirms the teaching of the Church very clearly. Just read the above post. I of course posted the above quote from Vademecum for Confessors to show that the church was reaffirming here a constant and unchangeable teaching. The document standing alone isn't the infallible declaration as TF has misconstrued my post to suggest. It reaffirms that the Church cannot, nor will ever change this teaching. But to quiet Heckle and Jeckle we will provide more sources to silence them.
The late great theologian Fr. Hardon had this to say,
"We return to where we began, to the subject of contraception. It is infallible Catholic doctrine that contraception is a mortal sin? Yes!
How do we know? We know this from the twenty centuries of the Catholic Church's teaching. Already in the first century, those who professed the Catholic Faith did not practice either contraception or abortion, which were commonly linked together.
The people of the pagan Roman Empire into which they were born universally practiced
* Cohabitation of one man with either several legal wives, or with a plurality of concubines
In contrast with this moral promiscuity, Christians practiced monogamy, one man with one woman; they did not use drugs to prevent conception; they did not kill the newborn children whom they did not want to live; they did not practice sodomy or prostitution; and for the Christian, adultery and fornication were grave sins that might require several years of penitential expiation.
What do we call the Church's unbroken tradition in forbidding contraception? We call it her ordinary universal magisterium or teaching authority. This has always been considered a proof of infallibility, or from another perspective, irreversibility.
What do these two terms mean?
* Infallibility means that God protects the Church from error in her 2000 years of teaching that contraception is a grave sin against God.
* Irreversibility means that this teaching will never be reversed. Contraception will remain a grave sin until the end of time."
Germain Grisez on "Humanae Vitae," Then and Now
Q: What was the primary significance of "Humanae Vitae"?
Grisez: With "Humanae Vitae," Paul VI reaffirmed the constant and very firm teaching of the Church excluding contraception. I believe and have argued that teaching had already been proposed infallibly by the ordinary magisterium -- that is, by the morally unanimous agreement of the bishops of the whole world in communion with the popes. Together, they had taught for many centuries that using contraceptives always is grave matter.
Their manner of teaching implied that what they taught was a truth to be held definitively. Thus, the teaching on contraception met the conditions for infallible teaching, without a solemn definition, articulated by Vatican II in "Lumen Gentium," 25.
I could go on and on with this issue. It is a very important and timely issue to discuss, and I am glad that this engagement has taken place. Not just to show those outside the Church the Truth, but also to educate those inside the Church as to what the Church teaches who have not taken the time to learn it themselves. I could continue to provide an enormous amount of material from great theologians and Church documents. But if I am not careful Heckle and Jeckle will keep me engaged on endless attacks and arguments against Christ and His Church. You can see this by the means in which TF keeps heckling the images of Jesus on my blog site by saying they are evil and against the Second commandment. Maybe sometime in the future I will tackle these absurd fallacious comments as well. Until next time....May God Bless and keep you always.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Gene Bridges will not concede that he is absolutely wrong in stating that the Catholic Church endorses the "withdrawal method." He responds with the following.
My statement, No the Catholic Church does not allow the withdrawal method,
"Really? Coming from you this is a real showstopper, given the way you constantly equivocate over the meaning of "The Church." Are your own bishops and priests not part of "the Church?"
Me..And if Gene Bridges is going to make such statement, he had better be able to prove it from the Church, not some individual priest.
Notice that when MB feels he's right about the majority of priests and bishops, he calls them "the Church." when we find somebody who disagrees, he calls them "an individual priest." But who is MB? Where is his ordination certificate?
When did I say that the majority determines Catholic doctrine??? I didn't. Yet Bridges just cannot bring himself to realize his error and admit that he is wrong. Bridges also never names off all of these bishops and priests that allegedly agree with his incorrect position. All the while his friend Turretin stands alongside as modern day Hamlet. Quite amusing. It is time to put this topic to rest. I have proven from the Church and prominent bioethics scholars that it does not allow any form of contraception whatsoever. I have also proven from the Church and prominent bioethics scholars that NFP is not contraception, but only a natural form of birth control, they are not synonymous. Thirdly I have proven that the Church has never, nor ever
will endorse the "withdrawal method" which bridges has pulled out of thin air.
Lets look at what the Church teaches one more time here just for good measure as to remove all doubt.
In 1930, Casti cunnubi (56), Pope Pius XI declared, "any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of
nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin."
Pope Paul VI Humanae vitae, 1968 (14) "Similarly excluded is every action which,
either in anticipation of the conjugal act or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences, would
have as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible."
The above would include the "withdrawal method." Any means exactly that, any act.
My opponent also keeps posting this which as I said before gives no backing to his argument. In fact it does just the opposite. Where here does it equivocate NFP with any form of contraception? Once again it doesn't , but contrasts them, and it never calls it natural contraception does it?
6. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the publication by my predecessor Pope Paul VI of the Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae. The truth about human sexuality, and the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life and on responsible parenthood, must be presented in the light of the theological development which has followed that document, and in the light of the experience of couples who have faithfully followed this teaching. Many couples have experienced how natural family planning promotes mutual respect, encourages tenderness between husband and wife, and helps develop an authentic inner freedom (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2370; Humanae Vitae, 21). Their experience deserves to be shared, for it is the living confirmation of the truth which Humanae Vitae teaches. In contrast, there is a growing awareness of the serious harm caused to marital relationships by recourse to artificial contraception, which, because it inevitably thwarts the total self-giving implied in the conjugal act, at one and the same time destroys its procreative meaning and weakens its unitive significance (cf. Evangelium Vitae, 13)." (link to source - Official Vatican website)
William May who is a member of the Catholic Biotheics Center and serves on the International Theological Commission,in his writing says the following,
"People cannot contracept simply by taking thought. In order to contracept
they must choose to do something."
I have quoted him further below in length because he completely buries all of the arguments that are brought up by Protestants regarding this very issue which includes our friends Turretin and his sidekick Gene Bridges. He puts forth the refutations in a very detailed structure, far beyond what I am able to do here. The resounding conclusion is that NFP is not a form of contraception.
"This is clear from a consideration of what contraception is.
Contraception is not a sexual or genital act but is rather essentially related to one. A person would not think of contracepting unless he or she, planning to engage in the kind of action--genital sex--reasonably believed to be the kind of act through which new human life can be given, does not want life to be given in and through that freely chosen genital act. Thus the person does something, prior to the freely chosen genital act, during it, or during the course of its natural consequences, intended precisely to impede procreation, that is, to prevent the conception of the life that could be conceived through the genital act in question. This, indeed, is precisely how Paul VI defines contraception in Humanae vitae: "every action, which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [understood here merely as a genital act between persons who happen to be married], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of it natural consequences, proposes [intendat] either as end or as means, to impede procreation [ut procreatio impediatur]" (Humanae vitae, no. 14). In other words, what one does when one contracepts is intentionally to impede the beginning of a new human life that one reasonably believes could begin in the freely chosen genital act if one did not contracept. If new life does begin despite one's deliberate efforts to impede its beginning, it comes to be as an "unwanted child."
1. THE MORAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTRACEPTION AND PERIODIC ABSTINENCE
(Note.....Please read the complete article before commenting, in which I have posted from otherwise you will may skim over it and not understand the context. I am posting the arguments that he posted for and against, in which he refutes. Please follow the full argument on the link below. I was too long to post in its entirety. Thanks.
Complete article )
Those who claim that contraception and periodic abstinence are morally
equivalent frequently bring forward two principal considerations. They
first allege that the activities are morally the same because the
"intentions" of both contracepting couples and of spouses who practice
periodic continence in order to regulate conception are the same. They then
assert that the two are morally equivalent because they lead to the same
result, namely, the avoidance of conception.7
The first of these assertions is plausible only because those who make it
play on the ambiguity of the term "intention," thereby confusing the whole
matter. The fallacious character of this allegation has been lucidly
demonstrated by the brilliant English philosopher Elisabeth Anscombe, who
puts the matter this way:
"The reason why people are confused about intention, and why they sometimes
think there is no difference between contraceptive intercourse and the use
of infertile times to avoid contraception, is this. They don't notice the
difference between 'intention' when it means the intentionalness of the
thing you're doing--that you're doing 'this' on purpose--and when it means
a 'further or 'accompanying' intention 'with which you do the thing. For
example, I make a table; that's an intentional action because I am doing
just 'that' on purpose. I have the 'further' intention, of, say, earning my
living, doing my job by making the table. Contraceptive intercourse and
intercourse using infertile times may be alike in respect of further
intention, and these further intentions may be good, justified, excellent.
This the Pope (Paul VI in 'Humanae Vitae') has noted. He sketched such a
situation and said: "It cannot be denied that in both cases [contracepting
couples and spouses using infertile times] the married couple, for
acceptable reasons," (for that's how he imagined the case) "are perfectly
clear in their intention to avoid children and mean to secure that none
will be born."8
Anscombe's point is quite clear. The term "intention" can refer either to
the intention to do "this" (in this case, either to contracept or to
abstain from marital relations during fertile times) or to the further
intention with which one does "this intentional deed." The further
intention is one thing (and it can be either good or bad) and the present
intention to do this is another (and it can be either good or bad). The
contraception advocate seeking to show the moral equivalence of
contraception and periodic abstinence fails to distinguish between the two
sorts of intentions and claims fallaciously that the "acts chosen" (the
intention to contracept and the intention to abstain during fertile times)
by contraceptors and by periodic abstainers are the same because the
further intentions of both may well be, as Pope Paul VI himself
acknowledges, the same.
Further clarification of this matter may be possible if we call the further
"intentions" of both contracepting couples and those practicing periodic
continence their "motives" for acting and call their "present intentions"
to do what they do (namely, contracept or abstain at fertile times) the
"acts" or "means" they choose to attain their further intentions or
The Catholic Church has consistently held that contraception is inherently wrong, despite enormous pressures to change this teaching. The courage of the magisterium in resisting these pressures, reflected perhaps most nobly by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, something for which we ought to be grateful, for at stake is the meaning of human sexuality, of marriage, and of the human person. The human person is inescapably and essentially a body person. Our body, with its sexuality and procreative power, is inherently personal, and contraceptive intercourse is an attack on the inherent goodness of the integral human person.
Here is the latest argument on how Turretin Fan is trying now to equate the sexual act to an act of survival such as eating...Watch, this is good...
MB's argument falls apart again, when one scrutinizes it logically:
1 (per MB): NFP consists of not engaging in carnal knowledge at certain times.
2 (per MB): Not engaging in carnal knowledge is not an act.
ergo: NFP is not an act, consequently NFP cannot be a contraceptive act.
At first glance, this might seem to have merit. How can not doing anything be an act? But if we apply it to an analogy, we can soon realize how foolish it is:
1 (analogy): Neglect consists in not feeding one's children.
2 (analogy): Not feeding one's children is not an act.
ergo: Neglect is not an act, and consequently cannot be an improper act.
I hope everyone realizes that such an argument is absurd."
Who is making the absurd analogy here?? Who is making the foolish comments?
First of all the sexual act between a man and a women is not an act of survival such as eating is. We can see here that there is no logic in this analogy. He is comparing the act of neglecting to feed one's children to abstaining from sex. This is really unbelievable at this point. I guess every person now who is walking the face of the earth who is married and not having sex is engaged in a contraceptive act according to TF. Like I said in the first post on this. This is like playing a game of chess with someone who simply does not know how each piece moves on the logic chessboard.
We also see that they can make false statements like telling us the "withdrawal method" is approved by the Catholic Church, and then once they realize they are wrong the try and sidestep the issue. Unbelievable here folks. But this is par for the course when dealing with these guys. Truth has no place in their thinking.
Here is another link explaining once again what I have said before on NFP not being contraceptive in nature.
I will not give any quarter to these two guys, Turretin Fan, nor Gene Bridges on this topic of contraception. Here is TF's latest attempt to slither out of the noose he and his friend have put themselves in.
"UPDATE: August 3, 2008 - MB has provided a second post (link - same 2nd commandment warning as above) in which he continues to refuse to let Gene Bridges' statement have any meaning. Apparently, Gene Bridges is not allowed (in MB's world) to disagree with MB's church over what constitutes "contraception." Why is this not just impolite but absurd?
Maybe an analogy would be helpful:
Suppose that Gene's church claimed to be against gambling, but suppose that they actually permitted betting on horse races. Someone would be within their rights to say that Gene's church was actually only against certain kinds of gambling. If Gene replied that his church defined gambling as betting on cards, and that consequently the critic has no idea what they are talking about, we'd laugh him out of town.
The same goes here. MB's church defines contraception (according to MB) in a way that excludes certain kinds of things that actually prevent conception. The fact that MB's church supposedly defines contraception only to include things that they prohibit is a laughable defense to the natural vs. artificial critique. In fact, Natural Family Planning (NFP) is often used expressly to engage in sexual intercourse without producing conception. That's a contraceptive practice, broadly defined - just as betting on horses is gambling, broadly defined."
So now am I going to let these two define what is an act or is not considered to be an act by their own musings? I think not. NFP cannot be a form of contraception because there is no act causing it. There is nothing that keeps the sexual act from happening except for abstinence. In order for Bridges and Tf to be right they would have to prove that every couple not engaged in sexual intercourse would be considered to be engaging in a contraceptive act. This is complete nonsense.
Another blunder...Gene bridges then responded to TF's post and made a bold, yet false proclamation. I want to post it here so we can all see what Bridges and his likes will do to win an argument rather than conceding that they were wrong.
"Gene Bridges says, "Natural contraception includes the withdrawal method and natural family planning. This is a simple fact.
Rome advocates these means. It does not advocate artificial means, like barrier methods."
You can see here that Bridges is not even close to the teaching of the Catholic Church on this. He is still trying to tell the Church what she believes and does not. In fact the Catholic Church has never taught that the "withdrawal method" is moral. When I responded to this and said that Bridge's comment was nonsense, I got this response from TF...
"plain nonsense" is a bit extreme.
While individual priests may permit the withdrawal method, the rhythm method is apparently the only widely promoted practice of infertility.
Ironically, because of difficulty in implementation (in both techniques), in practice both methods have about the same failure rate.
Now we can see how they react when they have made a complete erroneous statement. Yes it is nonsensical because it lacks any true research on this subject by my two opponents here. We can also see that TF still does not understand what NFP is either, after I have explained it in my earlier posts, because he says its failure rate is the same as the "withdrawal method?" What? Once again I am baffled here. They have tried to cover up this blunder now and are trying to have it both ways. We have Bridge's trying to tell us all what the Catholic Church teaches and defines as natural contraception, which doesn't exist. then we have TF coming in behind him to try and clean up his mess, which only makes it worse, because we can see that Bridges was doing what TF was saying he was doing by his post. Bridges was not conflating the term contraception, but redefining the word to is own liking, and on top of that he was telling everyone (plainly for all to see) that the Catholic Church taught something contrary to what it really does. Sorry, I will give no quarter on this. Bridges and TF get no free ride on this. the only way out of this noose is to cry uncle.
What I find so odd is that myself and other Catholic have made mistakes on the net before and have conceded, and admitted we were wrong. I however never see this from these guys, even when as we can see here, they are completely wrong on several of their comments regarding contraception.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I am baffled by Turretin Fan's last response trying to defend Gene Bridges' comments on contraception. To tell you the truth I am beginning to feel like I am trying to play a game of chess with someone who has no idea how the pieces move. I demonstrated very clearly how Natural Family Planning is not considered a contraceptive act. Not just by one statment, in which TF selectively interpreted, but by the definition of the act. Then Turretin posted a quote from Pope Paul VI which has absolutely nothing in it which contradicts what I have said. In fact it says nothing in the quote about natural contraception at all. It never supports anything that Gene Bridges has said.
May I remind you what he said? "He says that Catholicism does not condemn contraception, but only distinguishes between natural and artificial contraception." How in the world do these two quotes support this statement? Can anyone tell me? The quotes were, "The second area which His Holiness would stress is that of promotion. He repeats his encouragement and gratitude to all those who work for the promotion of natural family planning, whether directly with couples, or in medical and social endeavors." and "It is important that public authorities and international bodies, medical personnel and social workers, marriage counsellors and educators should recognize the high positive values that are to be found in the natural methods, in which the dignity of the human person is fostered: a knowledge and understanding of fertility help to assure personal autonomy by liberating couples from artificial means, while leading them to a degree of sexual self-mastery which is in direct contrast with the permissiveness and promiscuity that today constitute grave social problems to be solved." (source - note that this is from the official Vatican website)
Then Turretin says, and I quote, "The comments above are part of a message from pope Paul VI (sent by Cardinal Villot to Cardinal Cooke on May 24, 1978). If that evidence does not demonstrate exactly what Gene Bridges was saying, I don't know what would."
I think we can deduce the latter condition of Turretin's statement, that he doesn't know what would. The above quotes do not say that NFP is contraception of any form. We can see once again that when it comes to any kind of honest rational reasoning by these people, it just doesn't exist. How do the quotes he put above relate to anything he is saying? The artificial means are all forms of contraception. The above quote doesn't give any substance to Gene Bridges comments saying that the Catholic Church doesn't condemn contraception when we see that it does. The prior post I that put up explains what the Church teaches as a definition of contraception. NFP does not fall into that category.
This leaves me in a state of pure amazement trying to figure out just what in the world TF is talking about. You can read his post here and try and decipher his argument, then let know if you can determine how he can conclude that this makes for any rational defense of Bridge's statement. He may as well be quoting Winston Churchill at this point, since nothing he is writing is making any sense whatsoever. I will leave this topic for now. I think in the last two posts I have pretty much summed up the erroneous comment made by Bridges, and now by Turretin who is falling in lock and step with his buddy who now feels like it is his place to jump in on the debate.
Friday, August 1, 2008
This post is in counter to Gene Bridges who has had the audacity to jump in on my debate with Turretin Fan when the debate is not even over with. I normally would not stray off of the debate since the debaters usually wait until the debate is over before posting things by hecklers such as Gene Bridges. But since he has chosen to heckle me from the blog page of my opponent Turretin Fan, I will respond. I would ask in the future that anyone who has their 2 cents to put in, wait until the debate is finished before they start posting their thoughts, or misconceptions up on it. This is a class 101 on what the Catholic Church's teaching is on contraception, since he obviously has no clue as to what it is.
Below is a quote posted by a Protestant who blogs by the name of Gene Bridges. Below is just a sample of what kind of response you can get from a Protestant blogger on any number of topics pertaining to Catholicism. He says that Catholicism does not condemn contraception, but only distinguishes between natural and artificial contraception. Lets see here who it is cannot think in a logical manner. He put this up in response to a point I made on contraception in my Sola Scriptura debate against Turretin Fan in which I quoted a Scripture verse from Genesis on the matter. I used the term contraception in a general sense thinking that people reading it would have enough sense to know that I was referring to it in the Catholic sense of the term. I assumed to much from them, of course.
Bridges says the following while making a futile attempt to save his one of his friends in a debate on Sola Scriptura, which I am currently engaged in. I guess Mr Bridges doesn't know that I am not debating him, but no matter. He put the following statements on Turretin Fan's website.
"ii) Catholicism doesn’t condemn contraception. Rather, it draws an ethically arbitrary disjunction between “natural” and “artificial” contraception.
I add: So, all MB does is beg the question that contraception is "evil," without faithfully representing his own communions actual position, and then castigate us for not measuring up. That's mirror-reading. I take it logical argumentation isn't MB's forte."
First of all what is Bridges talking about? Has anyone even brought up the distinction between artificial and natural? Is there a natural form of contraception? What does the Catholic Church condemn as being immoral? So that no one may use this convoluted argument anymore I will put it to rest. I thought that readers would at least do their homework when it comes to the topic I am posting on. For the record, The Catholic Church does not allow any form of contraception. This includes the secular definitions of all artificial forms as well as what is known as natural. What is known as Natural Family planning, which involves being open to conception is not in any sense of the word considered “contraception”. Natural Family planning involves tracking a women's ovulation and menstrual cycles, from which we can deduce the more fertile or infertile periods. which God has created the women with. The couple then abstains from the sexual act. Obviously abstaining from the sexual act is not a contraceptive act, since no sexual act is happening. This action never steps into the bounds of contraception, because no act is taking place to completely prevent the conception of a baby through an act which is not in accord with the natural sexual act. When we read Humane Vitae, we can see that contraception is defined very specifically.
All "natural" forms of contraception as defined by secularists are condemned by the Church as contraception. These methods include condoms, both female and male, diaphragms, cervical caps etc. These may also be combined with the use of other natural substances, including natural spermicides. Actions such as the "pull out" method are also condemned. The Church also condemns the use of artificial methods of contraception as well, which include but are not limited to, sterilization, or the "pill"
This Gene Bridges hasn't a clue as to what in the world he is talking about, nor what The Catholic Church teaches. Lets see what the Church says about this in her documents shall we?
Humane Vitae says,
"Contraception is "any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual intercourse], or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" (Humanae Vitae 14)."
Can we all read, that any action that makes the conjugal act incapable of procreation by any intentional act? It doesn't say anything about natural or artificial now does it? Does Mr Bridges know more than the church? I think not. Does he counter my argument any way shape or form in my debate? I think not. Let me continue in my lesson. In her documents the Church includes all of the known secular "natural and artificial" methods and puts them into one group and defines them contrary to secular society calling them all artificial. There is a simple reason for this. Those using what the Church considers to be natural is not really contraception at all. In fact even if one follows the NFP it is never 100% and therefore the person is not acting in a way as to eliminate the pro creative from the act itself. The couple is never engaging in any act other than what God has created for them. They are just looking at the female body to find out when the most fertile and infertile periods are, so that those with a valid reason can choose to lesson the chance of having a baby, or space them out. They however never use a means that is contrary to what God gives us in the marital act. It is also understood that the couple cannot have a mentality in which they never intend to have children either. There are a few exceptions to these rules on certain form of contraception involving impending rape etc, which can be studied in depth in such readings published by the Catholic Bioethics center. Of course when I am using the term contraception in a debate, I am fully aware of these exceptions, and I am obviously speaking in generalities to prove a point. Bridges and Co will do anything they can to pull the heat off of their hackneyed positions of Protestantism.
Since we now know that NFP is not contraception, we also know that it is what the Catholic Church calls, the natural form of birth control. Birth control and contraception are not synonymous. We must also understand that there are appropriate times for the use of NFP, for we can never have the mentality to unjustly avoid procreation. NFP is not another form of contraception, as I explained earlier. Everything that falls into the category of artificial birth control would fall into the category of contraception. I hope we can now all talk on the same page when it comes to this topic. Now for a final thought. What group of so-called Christians endorse the use of contraception, and which does not? I'll give you a clue. One changed their minds at the Lambeth conference in 1930, while the other stood up to the world and spoke the truth.
William May, a prominent Catholic theologian says the following, “Utterly opposed to contraception is “recourse to the rhythm of the cycle,” whose concept of the human person and of human sexuality is, the Holy Father affirmed, “irreconcilable” with that of contraception. It thus seems to me that respect for the “rhythm of the cycle”—which is simply a way of referring to the periodic abstinence required in natural family planning when there are good reasons not to cause a pregnancy-- can be regarded as the “gateway” to the culture of life and the civilization of love precisely because its concept of the human person and of human sexuality rests upon solid anthropological and moral foundations. “
From the article..
CONTRACEPTION, GATEWAY TO THE CULTURE OF DEATH*
William E. May
Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology
John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at
The Catholic University of America