Monday, November 30, 2009

And the diocese endorses .....

On Saturday, Alex Schadenberg spoke on the subjects of euthanasia and assisted suicide to interested persons in Halifax. Alex is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, an advocacy group that he founded ten years ago in response to the trial of Robert Latimer, a man who had gassed his own daughter who suffered from cerebral palsy.

Alex has six children of his own, one of whom has autism, and the Latimer case brought home to him the fact that the disabled will be threatened by any legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

One attendee at the talk was a woman who had suffered through cancer and its treatment only to be a victim of a car accident that left her severely handicapped. At age 54, with a terminal disease compounded by losing the use of her legs, Maggie was thinking seriously of euthanasia. She felt life had become too much of a burden. However, she survived and she was there at Alex's talk to bear witness to the fact that Bill C-384 will threaten people like her, if it is passed. She had also called the press and the television stations and had managed to get a reporter from the Chronicle Herald to attend, as well as a reporter and photographer from CTV.

I was anxious to hear how Alex departed from Dr. Nuala Kenny on this subject, since I had been forewarned that he did. I posted previously about how Dr. Kenny was not very clear on the subject of removing nutrition and hydration. I had emailed her to try and get more information about where she stood on this issue, but she declined to comment, stating "Sorry, these are not topics amenable to e-mail; misunderstanding is inevitable." (November 13, 2009)

Alex was quite clear on this subject however. Removing nutrition and hydration from a patient who is not dying is euthanasia; removing nutrition and hydration from a patient who is dying may be considered, because there comes a point where the person's body cannot handle these and organs are shutting down; at this point, it is actually wise to remove food and fluids and "let the person die".

Now, why could Dr. Kenny not be as clear as that? I think that she was not clear on this, because she herself does not consider removing food and fluids to be euthanasia. It would seem that she is willing to make a judgment about quality of life and take measures based on that; Alex Schadenberg states very clearly that we cannot make decisions that bring about a person's death on the basis of whether we think their life has quality or not. This is the danger zone at which we must draw the line clearly and maintain it.

It is pretty darn clear, that if a person is suffering from something terminal or is the victim of an accident and they are dying, their body will reject further care. The difference must be made between treatment and care; we may dispense with treatment, when such treatment will no longer be of any benefit to the person. What we must keep in mind here is that giving nutrition and hydrating a person is not treatment; it is basic nursing care, and such care must never be discontinued. To cease such care is to deprive a person of what they deserve simply by virtue of being a human being.

What is disturbing is that Dr. Kenny's talk was offered by the Diocese of Halifax and was attended by approximately 200 persons; Alex's talk was offered by the pro-life group of St. Thomas Aquinas/Canadian Martyrs Parish and was attended by 80 persons. Which view received the endorsement of the diocese?

The people who attended Dr. Kenny's talk are sure that she gave them the Church teaching on what constitutes a good death and where to draw the distinctions between letting someone die and committing euthanasia. However, Dr. Kenny did not define that difference very well, and she actually stated that she disagreed with the Magisterium of the Church on the death of Terry Schiavo. Alex Schadenberg did not hesitate to say that Terry Schiavo was euthanised, as did Pope John Paul II. So it is Alex who is giving the accurate Church teaching on the subject of euthanasia.

If only the bishop and the clergy had been present to hear both talks, and if only they were interested enough to find out where they should be on this issue.

Visit Alex's blog here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Issue Voting and "Seamless Garment" Thinking

"I don't believe that one should vote on one-issue only."

I am sure that many of you have heard this statement, usually in reference to abortion. Those who espouse this view claim that there are many issues that must be looked at, that a candidate's stand on abortion is only one of many positions to be considered, and that one should really weigh all the issues and pick the candidate who appears to best support one's beliefs.

What's the problem with this position? The person who holds this does not "get" what abortion is. As Mother Teresa said "if a mother can kill her own child, what is to stop us from killing anyone?" Coming face-to-face with the evil of abortion, one realises that the violence of abortion gives birth to all manner of other violence and that is but one reason of many to vote against anyone who supports legalized abortion or a woman's "right to choose".

I think one can look at abortion from two angles (at least). The first is to consider the child who is being aborted. Medical science has definitively stated that, from conception onwards, this is human life - no question about that. Those who argue that it isn't, are simply clutching at straws. Those who claim that this is a human life but not a person, and therefore the unborn child does not have the rights that are accorded "born persons", are hiding behind words. For they are stuck with the dilemma of deciding when does "personhood" begin? Who is going to define the arbitrary moment when a developing fetus takes on "person" status? Saying that the moment of birth can be the defining moment ignores the medical advances in which premature babies are surviving at younger and younger gestational ages. To claim that one becomes a "person" by virtue of leaving one's mother's body, is as silly as to claim that one is only a person by virtue of location. Since when is someone less of a person because of where they are?

The argument of dependence is also ridiculous because the newborn baby is totally dependent upon another human being to care for it, just as the unborn baby is dependent upon its mother's body to care for it. Whether the care is done through an umbilical cord or through the breast, does not change the nature of being dependent. Without some kind of care, the newborn will die just as the unborn dies without the care of the womb.

Without a doubt, abortion terminates the life of a human being, of a person, of a member of the human race. We cannot deny that this is killing, pure and simple. Abortionists admit this; it is time that pro-choice feminists admitted it as well. Not to do so is dishonest. Even their spokesperson, Naomi Wolf, challenges pro-choice women to admit that they are killing a human being when they abort their child.

But what is far worse about abortion than other murders, is that abortion is the killing of those who are dependent upon us for their survival. As Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) pointed out, in 1991, abortion is part of "a true war of the mighty against the weak ... With the complicity of States, colossal means have been used against people at the dawn of their life ..." (The Problem of Threats to Human Life, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, April 8, 1991)

Doesn't this make it worse than ordinary murder? When we read of troops or terrorists slaughtering the weak- the very old, the very young, the very disabled - this seems more inhuman than the killing of vigorous adults. There is something in us that responds to weakness with compassion and deference... When a blind man is robbed of a wallet, our humanity is more deeply injured than when a sighted person has his wallet stolen. The thief has committed an act not only wrong but shameful.- Abortion is More Than Murder, Richard Stith

The great John Paul II, in Evangelium Vitae, criticizes abortion and euthanasia for being "Attacks that strike human life at the time of its greatest frailty" and adds that even "more serious is the fact that, most often, those attacks are carried out in the very heart of and with the complicity of the family - the family that by its nature is called to be the 'sanctuary of life'"

Moreover, by officially authorizing abortion throughout pregnancy, and even into birth, current American law willingly tempts and enables mothers and fathers to turn violently against those little lives that utterly depend on them. Our entire legal system, and those who support it, is itself complicit in an act far worse than ordinary murder.- Richard Stith

This is the ultimate betrayal, when those whose lives depend upon another to maintain them are betrayed by the very person who is caring for them. This is why women suffer post-abortion syndrome, because they have betrayed the person for whom they are the only one who can ensure their life. One does not recover easily from that.

We tear out the roots of human trust when we authorize the killing of our own children... Those unable to bargain out their rights and duties - such as the unborn or the mentally disabled - thus come to count for very little. Their destruction is rationalized by the idea that autonomy alone is the basis for human dignity... Accepting the killing of strangers eats away at our community from the outside in; accepting the killing of our own children rots us from the inside out. - Richard Stith

If we understand what Stith writes, then we can make the leap to understanding why Mother Teresa said that abortion will cause nuclear war. She understood the small step between the violence against the unborn and violence against the entire human family.

Abortion may be "one issue" but it is the most important issue, because it deals with the very ability of people to enter this world. No other issue matters for the unborn unless they get to arrive. No arguing about universal health care, the death penalty, unjust wars, third world poverty can be entertained unless one gets to be born first. Depriving someone of their "right to life" by abortion, gives power to the strong over the weak, something that we would fight fiercely if we saw it manifested, simply if we saw it. Abortion is the greatest injustice and remains so because it is unseen.

I have lumped in with this post, the phrase "seamless garment" because this theology is used by people who declare that one should not be a "single issue voter". The "seamless garment" is the theology put forth by Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago in the 1980's. Bernardin proposed "placing abortion within the context of the entire gamut of social-justice issues". (Richert, see below) In simple terms, abortion was considered one of many social justice issues, such as capital punishment, poverty, health care, to name a few. He probably did not intend to cause this but Bernardin's theory resulted in

...a significant number of American Catholics (who) pointed to the seamless-garment approach to justify casting their votes for politicians who would not only protect "abortion rights" but even expand them and provide taxpayer funding for abortions. - The Practical Effects of the Seamless Garment, by Scott P. Richert

Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have spoken out against this misinterpretation of the "seamless garment" theology. They have both stated that the "right to life" is the fundamental right and that therefore abortion and euthanasia are intrinsic evils. They cannot be weighed against other options when choosing an elected representative; they are key issues on which one must stand firmly either for or against. No "proportional" thinking allowed in this area; one cannot in good conscience vote for someone who supports or promotes abortion.

While it sounds like good theology, "seamless garment" thinking actually is the ultimate cop-out. I can absent myself from the abortion issue because I am taking on one of the other social ills of society. But there is no other social ill that gets such a hard time as abortion. Stand up for the poor, participate in anti-war demonstrations, protest environmental abuses, work to halt child pornography and sexual abuse, and you will be praised and lauded, or at least tolerated. But take a stand against abortion, and be prepared to face crude hand gestures, scathing and sometimes foul-mouthed verbal abuse, and some even face violence as in the case of students at UBC when they put up a graphic display of anti-abortion signs. Being actively pro-life does not win you any popularity points, in fact quite the opposite - be prepared to endure persecution.

When I hear people say that they think of pro-life in terms of all the issues that promote life, I hear someone making an excuse for not doing anything for the unborn.

When we reduce abortion to a nonissue in order to elevate other areas with which Catholics are concerned, the poor and defenseless suffer. And there's nothing Catholic about that. - Richert

Previously I stated that I thought there were (at least) two ways to view abortion. The second way that I had in mind was the global scale of abortion. Most people have no conception of how widespread abortion is. Face it, most people do not think beyond their immediate circumstances. As Michael Coren said recently, when you mention abortion, you touch a nerve, because the person you are talking to has either had an abortion, knows someone who had an abortion, has been complicit in getting an abortion, or would procure an abortion if they felt the need. Practically everyone shares guilt in this evil. This is why pro-lifers get such a hard time; you can be sure that when reactions occur, a nerve has been touched.

In speaking to a friend of mine, she said that she was fortunate in that abortion had never touched anyone in her family. At least, not that she knows about, I thought. And that is one of the problems of people who say they are pro-choice. They have no idea of how many abortions there are, they have no idea what abortion is doing to society as a whole, and they have no conception of the degree to which abortion has become a world-wide plague. People say society will always have abortion, and that is true. Whenever women experience an unplanned pregnancy that they feel they cannot endure, they will consider abortion even if it is illegal.

But take a look at this map -
Abortion world wide

Combine the red and purple areas to see how widespread legal abortion is. It is only the green areas where abortion is only legal in the "hard cases" of rape or incest, and the yellow areas where abortion is illegal in all cases, unless the mother's life is in danger.

We hear talk about the swine flu being a pandemic, but no one speaks of the pandemic of abortion. Abortion takes more lives than all wars combined.

The poster was covered with crosses, one cross symbolizing the deaths of 10,000 people killed by war, starting with the American Civil War (both sides) picturing 50 crosses, representing 498,332 deaths. Next was World War I, 12 crosses, 116,708 deaths. World War II, 407,316 deaths, 41 crosses; Korea, 265,604 deaths; 3 crosses;
Vietnam, 58,168 deaths, 6 crosses.
Then came the crosses representing deaths by abortion (one cross for every 10,000) since 1973, and there were many - pages and pages, which totaled 35,000,000 (35 million). - Campaign Life Coalition, Nova Scotia Newsletter, Nov-Dec /09

How does one even fathom the extent of this loss of life? Someone once said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Yet every one of those deaths is a human life, that has been lost to this world. If we knew them, we would suffer that loss more intimately. We do not know the unborn; they are the nameless victims for whom there is not even a grave.

Somehow, we have to juxtapose the tragedy of that one abortion that we know about (most of us know someone who had an abortion and suffers the after-effects of it), with the millions of lives that have been lost worldwide.

Abortion is not just "one issue" among many; it is the issue that we must stand up against and settle. Because, if we don't, we are doomed as a civilization.

Monday, November 23, 2009

When Science Gets Political

I am married to a scientist, a geologist who is a professor at a Canadian university. Not a man to shout his opinions loudly (leave that to his wife), over the past year he has voiced his concerns over the wedding of environmental science and political agendas. In fact, on one occasion, he said to me that science has never been used as a political tool until this past decade with the theory of global warming.

So it is with a personal interest that I am reading about the internet release of data from the Hadley Centre’s Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University in England. This information was hacked by some Russians supposedly, although that has not been confirmed. And one would wonder what their motive would be, since Russia is not seen as a nation that wishes to demolish current scientific theory. It may take a few days for this news to hit the main-stream media, but it is all over the blogosphere now.

Reports are confirming that the data hacked and released is authentic and it is shaking up many political figures. It seems that the theory of global warming has been advanced and the data to confirm it has been put forward, while data to the contrary has been suppressed.

You can read about the news here and read an article by Rand Simberg on the repercussions of this news here and another by Charlie Martin here.

I was amused by a post on Small Dead Animals , a site by Canadian blogger Kate McMillan. One comment read that perhaps a suicide watch should be placed on David Suzuki. Not to mention Al Gore, who was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.

What is worrisome is the way in which this theory of global warming has been bought by governments everywhere. And those governments have been implementing policies based on this theory, policies that impact the lives of ordinary people. It is only common sense that we should be reducing our carbon footprint, that we should be reducing waste products of all sorts, that we should be good stewards of the earth's resources and ensuring the future of the environment for generations to come. But what we have seen recently is the proposal from bodies within the United Nations, to name one example, who advocate population reduction in order to reduce our carbon footprint and to "save the planet".

The global warming theory is science that has been stolen by those who have a political agenda, one that is not people-friendly at all.

Reports, such as this one from the London School of Economics and Political Science state that
"The best way to combat global warming is to reduce the surplus population through contraception and abortion" - Hilary White, LifeSiteNews, Sept 10, 2009

Environmental extremists are calling for a drastic reduction of the earth’s population to save the planet from global warming, saying the best “carbon offset” is no more carbon-dioxide emitting human beings ... A report published May 7 by the Optimum Population Trust declared that the best “carbon-offset strategy” was to reduce the number of human beings and thus defeat the “global warming” phenomenon
- Peter Smith, Steve Jalsevac, LifeSiteNews, May 8, 2007

Over the past thirty years, there has been a steadily-increasing pressure upon families in the West to reduce the number of children in their families. Not to mention the pressure that is now exerted by UN agencies upon families in the Third World. People are made to feel that they are irresponsible if they have more than two children, and if they dare to have a "largish" family of four or more children, they have to be prepared for an onslaught of criticism from, well ... everyone. And those who criticize have felt justified in doing so because now they have science to back them up, since every additional person adds to the threatening spectre of climate change.

Whoa, let's stop this recrimination right now. The actual truth is that the world is not in danger of over-population, nor is it in danger of warming up to unliveable temperatures, nor is the world not capable of sustaining population growth. These are theories being pushed by those who, for some reason, don't wish to have large families themselves or any families (if you look at these folks individually). And they don't want anyone else to have kids either.

And while I'm on this track, I'd like to add that those light bulbs that David Suzuki has been pushing on television commerials, should be sold with a clear warning. If they break, exit the building immediately, as fluorine gas is emitted, and guess what? it is toxic. Not to mention the fact that the light bulbs, which are supposed to be really long-lasting and therefore energy-saving, actually only burn for 1/4 of the time that they have been purported to last for.

If Suzuki doesn't need a suicide watch, he may need a washcloth to get the egg off his face.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Facebook Friends?

Garrison Keillor sings Unfriended

I just couldn't resist, after deciding to delete all the "friend requests" from Facebook that I get. Facebook Free !!!!!

The Dilemma of China

Two years ago, I read a riveting book called Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, a young woman raised in China during the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse Tung, and who left China to study in England in 1978.

Despite its length (524 pages), I could not put the book down. I was captivated by the telling of history through the young eyes of Ms Chang. She began with what she knew of her grandmother, who became a concubine of a warlord general in 1929, then traced the escape of her grandmother and the birth of her mother, through the huge cultural shifts taking place in China. From a rural lifestyle to life in a large city, Chang details what it was like to be the daughter of parents who joined the Communist party, only to later have her father arrested and tortured by the same party.

This book began a process of thinking about China, something I had not really done before. Being concerned with the subject of abortion, China comes to the forefront because of the one-child policy, which includes forced abortion and sterilization, plus state control of a couple's fertility. Many times, I remember a girl I worked with, in Toronto in the early 70's, telling me about this wonderful book she was reading called Fanshen, a Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village; she was enamored of how society was changing in China, for the better she thought. I wonder what she thinks of that now, given the fact that revolution came at the price of so many lives and the destruction of the traditional way of life.

Forward to November 2009 and I came across a book called The Lost Daughters of China; Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past.
Written in 2000, by Karin Evans, a Californian journalist who with her husband, adopted a baby girl from China. The book chronicles their journey through married life without children, to desiring a child, to taking the necessary steps to adopt an infant from China. Evans details the emotions involved in the long wait; she describes their eventual journey to China to an orphanage to obtain their daughter; she continues with descriptions of life with their little girl Kelly Xiao Yu and gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of those who adopt these little orphans.

What is so wonderful about this book is that, all through it, Evans speaks of Kelly's Chinese mother and what she must have gone through in giving her up. She writes with a mother's heart when she describes her bond with little Kelly in sentences that brought me to tears many times.

Kelly Xiao Yu and I spent our first full afternoon together at the hotel, rolling around on the bed, making friends... We laughed and played with each other's fingers and noses. We were getting to know each other on some primal level... When I hugged her, she felt full and warm - and necessary - in my arms, as if she were settling into a dent in my chest that I hadn't realised was so cavernous. Babies are made for this, I know, thanks to some evolutionary scheme that opens mysterious places in us into which only babies can fit.

This is a book written by a woman who has consented to love unconditionally. She is a woman who understands a mother's heart, for she writes:

This baby was found; she was meant to be found- that is the important point here. The story that Kelly's mother had to offer, I realized was closer than we thought. The best evidence was Kelly herself. Her sweetness and courage, her humor and grace. Her mother left the biggest clue of all in this baby's ready smile. Her mother loved her. If I know nothing else about this woman who gave me the gift of this beautiful child, I know this: When she cared for this baby, she cared wholeheartedly. When she set her down, she set her down gently.

A marvellous read, this is a book with a personal angle that helps to paint a better picture of China than any history book. An incredibly complicated and beautiful country, subject to centuries of oppression and now Communism, the Chinese people are resilient, gentle, and remarkably non-antagonistic. I noticed this during 40 Days for Life, when so many Chinese university students passed us during the prayer vigil. Every single one of those students would have had their lives touched by abortion; almost every one of them would be single children, or would have lost siblings to abortion, abandonment, or worse. Yet their faces were not hostile; perhaps they are so caught up in the learning of the English language and in their studies (it is well known how hard Chinese students work) that to be rebellious simply does not occur to them. At least not to the Chinese youth that we saw this fall.

This book reveals to me how much we do not know about China, how incredibly intricate their historical tapestry is, how much there is to learn about this mysterious vast country that has produced 1/4 of the world's present population.

Obviously, I recommend this book for you to read. Be sure to have your box of tissues nearby.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Spectre of Euthanasia

On Monday evening, I attended a talk given by Sister Nuala Kenny here in Halifax. The subject was the Catholic idea of "a good death".

Sister Kenny (who is also a doctor, a pediatrician) pointed out the irony in the title of the talk, since the Greek word "euthanasia" actually means "good death".

The talk was excellent; I had never heard Sister Kenny speak before, and she is a well-informed and vibrant speaker - lots of character displayed, her use of humour at times very wry, and a logical train of thought presented in terms that the lay person can understand - all of these combined to make her talk exceptional.

Until the last few minutes. The last half hour or so was given over to questions from the audience and the inevitable question was raised: what about the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from patients who are diagnosed as being in a coma that seems irreversible or who are in a "persistent vegetative state"?

Dr. (or Sister, if you prefer) Kenny began by saying that she had hoped that confusing issue wouldn't be raised, because with it comes the case of Terry Schiavo, a woman considered to be in a "persistent vegetative state" who was being kept alive by food and water through tubes.

She said, and I agree, that Terry Schiavo's death was an example of a death that was not good in any sense. However, she went on to say that, much as she tries to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, in this case she had to disagree with Pope John Paul II. The Pope had stated that the doctors should not withdraw food and hydration from Terry Schiavo, because doing so would cause her death. President Bush also tried to intervene in the case, I believe.

Dr. Kenny stated that she felt the Pope was over-reacting, out of his commitment to his pro-life position, and his collosal effort to resist the culture of death. Although Dr. Kenny did not state that feeding should be stopped, she did indicate that keeping a person like Terry Schiavo on tubal feeding was a waste of medical resources, since she had no quality of life whatsoever. She also stated that the photos that were released in the media showed a woman who was simply reacting to her mother's face, they did not show a woman who could experience emotions or feelings at all.

Dr. Kenny had previously stated that, with the advance of technology, we can now keep people alive who could not have been sustained previously. And therefore, some technologies serve not to prolong life, but rather to prolong death. She also stated that some measures should not be used, as they are "extraordinary", and when death is in the foreseeable future, that we should let nature takes its course.
I have absolutely no problem with that, I believe Dr. Kenny is right.

However, feeding and giving nutrition by tube, is hardly an extraordinary measure. Medical staff have been doing this for decades and it is perfectly "ordinary". If you walk through any ward in any hospital, you see patients on IV apparatus in almost half the rooms, if not more.

I asked Dr. Kenny if giving Terry Schiavo hydration by IV was "extraordinary"? I said that I could see giving nutrition to someone in her state might be seen as prolonging an inevitable death, but surely glucose water is required to keep the patient from experiencing pain. I have read that death by dehydration is extremely painful.

At this point, Dr. Kenny got quite upset and stated clearly that "one should wish to die by dehydration, it is painless". She then said that Terry Schiavo's brain had atrophied to 2/3 its normal size (as revealed by the autopsy) and that therefore she felt absolutely no pain because that part of her brain no longer functioned. As she said that, I thought (but didn't say it) that doctors also thought babies felt no pain when they were aborted and have since revised that opinion.

The MC quickly brought the meeting to a close at this point, as we had exceeded the time limit, and Dr. Kenny had the last word on the subject. I was dismayed that the room of 200 people were left with her words in their ears, and I know that almost all of them believe her.

But Dr. Kenny is incorrect in her conclusion about Terry Schiavo. This was a case that I had read about previously and I was aware of quite a few facts about it before I went to this meeting. So I was not taken in by Dr. Kenny's statements.
I hurried home to google some facts about Terry Schiavo, as related by Father Frank Pavone, who spent four hours of her last day with her. And an article by Alex Schadenberg who will be speaking in Halifax on this very subject on November 27/28.

Click here for Father Frank Pavone's testimony of Terry Schiavo's last hours

and here for Alex Schadenberg's article The Death of Terry Schiavo - Euthanasia or Natural Death?

I look forward to hearing Alex in two weeks on this topic and I hope that some of the people who attended Dr. Kenny's talk will also be there. It is unfortunate that a talk sponsored by the diocese, as Dr. Kenny's talk was, resulted in the speaker giving voice to her opinion which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. The medical profession has been slowly accepting death by dehydration for some time now and, as with abortion, the slippery slope is there once again. It is absolutely essential that we Catholics hold the line on this issue; as with abortion, we will probably be the only ones who will. Thank you, Pope John Paul II, for giving us such clear leadership on the life issues.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Compare These Nuns

Sister Donna Quinn who has been volunteering as an abortion escort at an Illinois abortion facility for the past six years (full story here)

compared with

Cloistered nuns in Spain

A relationship with Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world between real nuns and those who think they are nuns, but sadly are feminists disguised as nuns.

So which order will be part of the rejuvenation of the Catholic Church? kind of a no-brainer.

By the way, the convent in Spain had no vocations for 23 years; but something happened and now the place is filled with young women, who look so obviously happy to be giving their lives to Christ.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let's Corrupt Those Teen Minds

On Friday, I got wind of a planned event at the Edge at St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Edge is the catechism class provided for students in grades seven through nine, so the kids are 12 to 15 years of age.

Here is the email sent out from the coordinator of the Edge program to parents:

As you may know from reading your religious education schedule, we are planning a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead celebration at Edge this Sunday, November 1. To make our celebration authentic we are asking all Edge participants to do what they would normally do if they were celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico -- that is, entice the spirit of a departed loved one to come to them. In Mexico, they do this by offering a favourite food, playing the loved one's favourite music, bringing an object that represents an activity that the loved one enjoyed, for example, if your loved one was an avid golfer, you could bring a golf club and a ball or something similar, perhaps you have an item of clothing or jewelry (not too expensive, please) that was a favourite of the departed loved one's. In addition, we ask that each participant bring a picture of their departed loved one so that we can all celebrate this person's life with them. The purpose of the Day of the Dead is to celebrate the life of the departed after a period of mourning. Since we just studied the beatitude "Blessed are those who mourn," last Sunday, I think it is particularly fitting that we celebrate the Day of the Dead this coming Sunday. Our guest speaker for the evening is Martha Carerra who has celebrated many Days of the Dead at her home in Mexico and has brought the tradition with her to Canada. We are very grateful that she is willing to share this important celebration with us.

When one parent raised objections to the parish priest that this was actually bordering on a seance, he was told that he was blowing things out of proportion and taking things too seriously. Yet he even gave the priest the Catholic teaching on this from the Catholic Catechism:

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. [Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8] Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

I'm sorry, but I don't find playing with the occult something that can be taken too seriously. What on earth are they thinking in this church? And who is overseeing this program?

Since September, it seems that many things are coming to light in our Catholic church here that have definitely been lurking in the dark. I pray that all of the things done in the dark will come to the light and be exposed. If God is shaking the tree of the Church here, I pray that He shakes it really hard and all the rotten fruit falls off, leaving just the good fruit to grow.

My blog does not get many readers, but I will try to do what I can to expose the works of darkness. I find it timely that last week, as I drove home from the 40 Days vigil each night, I was listening to the Christian radio station and all week, the topic was curses, how one gets cursed in one's life, and how to get free from a curse. The very first thing that brings a person under a curse is to have anything to do with the occult. So many people think this is totally harmless, from playing with a ouija board to reading horoscopes, to having their fortune read from tarot cards. They have no idea that they are entering right into the realm of Satan, who rules the underworld where all these things come from. This stuff is not harmless in the least, in fact it is playing havoc with many people's minds. And teens are so impressionable, that they get sucked right into it easily.

"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." - Ephesians 5:11