30 June 2014

The Hobby Lobby case

As I've mentioned before, the argument for "religious liberty" is quite a slippery case and would eventually lead to the undermining of particular things. Now that said, the victory for Hobby Lobby is a good thing for the hopeful destruction of Obamacare. I do however have some thoughts.

1. Why should an employer pay for the moral license of anyone? A company pays an employee to do work for them, not for their time off the premises. (When not functioning in a work capacity)

2. With an entity the size of the government, considering how competent we know certain places to be, what would have happened if HL decided to not provide them anyway?

3. Is not the fact that we're depending on SCOTUS to save our behinds both a symptom and a part of the problem?

Lord have mercy

Pax Vobis

29 June 2014

12 years...still not easy

While the Church of East and of West celebrates the solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, today is the 12th anniversary of my mom's death.

In your charity, if you can please pray for her, and for myself, my oldest nephew, my sister and my dad. By no means do these things get any easier, Normally I find it much easier to hide my own suffering, but I guess it's one of those things that a teenage boy should not have to watch his mother deteriorate right in front of him.

For the blessed repose of my mother, let us pray to the Lord, Lord have mercy

For the souls of the faithfully departed, let us pray to the Lord, Lord have mercy

For a good account before the fearsome judgement seat of Christ, let us beesech the Lord, Grant this O Lord.

Pray for me, it's been rather rough this year, and I really do feel like breaking down

Pax Vobis

27 June 2014

Thought of the day

If Jesus is the center of our Faith, it should logically follow that He be at the center of our churches. There is a beautiful theology as to why we have the Tabernacle in the middle, it's definitely time to revisit it.

26 June 2014

Thought of the day

Those that are hurt often hide their pain, not because they're trying to be secretive, but rather because it is difficult to express the pain adequately. They may or may not speak of their pain, but they do pray for an apology....it would definitely help them.

25 June 2014

Thought of the day

Pride is one of the toughest sins to overcome, the exalting of our egos makes for a tough journey. It's antidote is authentic humility, which of course requires things to be done, which we don't always wish to follow.

23 June 2014

22 June 2014

Pope Francis...on the legalization of drugs...a partial agreement

Sorry for the link to NBC, but tis the link that was shared with me...Pope Francis' words here

In yesterday's thought of the day, I was alluding to this particular point, but I thought it a good idea to expand upon this point.

In our day where we have the government lusting for power and seeking to control every aspect of our lives, I can see really why people don't want the government involved in the regulation of drugs and such things like that. Seeing also our overcrowded prison systems, and the criminal activities that are involved in the drug war, I can see why the temptation to want to legalize drugs is here. Some points for consideration though:

1) Criminals will disobey laws regardless of whether they're there or not. That is to say, a criminal isn't going to suddenly behave morally because a law is passed for x. Those with the intent of breaking the law, will do so regardless of the consequence. This is of course not a good use of the free will they've been allotted, but hey, who am I to judge? :p

2) Drugs in of themselves are not an intrinsic evil. That is to say drugs can be used for good, or for evil, can be used to better you or make you sick. As with virtually anything, if one over uses something it is potentially harmful.

Now I did mention yesterday how the war on drugs in my humble opinion is a waste of money and resources. Why? I'm of the opinion that the money that is spent attempting to snuff out drugs could be better spent in other places, such as infastructure, the actual poor, you know those famous left wing pet causes that they pretend to care for, those ones :p....

But before we can even begin to have this discussion, we first need to figure out what role is the state supposed to play? Is the state supposed to play the moral police a la Saudi Arabia and other fundamentalist countries? Is the state supposed to just get out the way? Or is the answer somewhere in the middle? As I proceed to quote the catechism for a bunch of times...join me after the citations

CCC 1897 Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all."15 
By "authority" one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.

CCC 1898 Every human community needs an authority to govern it.16 The foundation of such authority lies in human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.

CCC 1903-04 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."23 "It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the 'rule of law,' in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men."

CCC 1880A society is a group of persons bound together organically by a principle of unity that goes beyond each one of them. As an assembly that is at once visible and spiritual, a society endures through time: it gathers up the past and prepares for the future. By means of society, each man is established as an "heir" and receives certain "talents" that enrich his identity and whose fruits he must develop.3He rightly owes loyalty to the communities of which he is part and respect to those in authority who have charge of the common good.

CCC 1881: Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but "the human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions."4

CCC 1882: Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man; they are necessary to him. To promote the participation of the greatest number in the life of a society, the creation of voluntary associations and institutions must be encouraged "on both national and international levels, which relate to economic and social goals, to cultural and recreational activities, to sport, to various professions, and to political affairs."5 This "socialization" also expresses the natural tendency for human beings to associate with one another for the sake of attaining objectives that exceed individual capacities. It develops the qualities of the person, especially the sense of initiative and responsibility, and helps guarantee his rights.6

CCC 1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. the teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."7

CCC 1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

CCC 1886: Society is essential to the fulfillment of the human vocation. To attain this aim, respect must be accorded to the just hierarchy of values, which "subordinates physical and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones:"8
Human society must primarily be considered something pertaining to the spiritual. Through it, in the bright light of truth, men should share their knowledge, be able to exercise their rights and fulfill their obligations, be inspired to seek spiritual values; mutually derive genuine pleasure from the beautiful, of whatever order it be; always be readily disposed to pass on to others the best of their own cultural heritage; and eagerly strive to make their own the spiritual achievements of others. These benefits not only influence, but at the same time give aim and scope to all that has bearing on cultural expressions, economic, and social institutions, political movements and forms, laws, and all other structures by which society is outwardly established and constantly developed.9

Virtually no one would argue that a government is not necessary for the basic functioning of society. Where people disagree is how said government should function.

The sense from the Catechism, is that the role of government is to preserve the order of society, for the sake of the common good...and in this context we can understand why there are regulations of particular goods and services and why certain laws are on the books.

Most certainly drugs fall into this category as well and I'm going to preface the next part by making a distinction. Decriminalization in my context would mean removing the jail portion of the punishment of an activity. Delegalization would be to take the laws off the books entirely. 

I would say the responsibility primarily belongs to the individual to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to use temperance in the use of drugs for good or for ill. In other words, know your limit and don't go beyond it. It is NOT the role of government to ensure that you stay within your limit. It's a violation of the misuse of free will. It is however the responsibility for the government to keep order in society, thus if one acts out of line or does something wrong, the government should step in with this particular situation. 

I would be for the removal of jail sentences for the possession of drugs. As I think jail should be used for real crimes (rape, murder, things like that). It's a complicated scenario to me...I'd rather see the resources for law enforcement be used appropriately (on say illegal immigration) rather than the drug war, but this is my opinion.

Pope Francis is right by saying we should say no to illegal drugs, but perhaps we should place responsibility on the individual first?

What are your thoughts?

Pax Vobis

20 June 2014

Thought of day

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is Temperance...that is to say self control. While I do believe the drug war is a waste of money and resources, perhaps it should be said, that we shouldn't lead ourselves to potential sinful situations.

19 June 2014

Pictures say 1000 words

How do we explain this? (And before anyone mentions it, it was wrong for JPII to be blessed by the pagan priestess)....

Items that are apparently worthy to make the news

  • Considering all the problems that we have in the states' and the wonderful, competent, think they know better than us geniuses better known as Congress/US Patent Office, they're worrying about the nickname of the Washington football franchise? Honestly, if we base things based on our "offendedness" would we even be able to accomplish anything? Virtually anything can be found "offensive" if we really try. As it's said in the Bill of No Rights, we don't have a right to not be offended. Maybe we ought to have the Bill of No Rights enshrined somewhere. 
  • Pope Francis is finally taking a vacation....I pray he comes back refreshed, and puts the insults to an end. 
  • So it's often advisable to not read the comments in various media...I hear the intelligence is often lacking from these things. Something to bear in mind, we don't wish to be the thought police, and should allow multiple viewpoints to take place, always in the light of Truth, and with respect and civility. I'd rather someone express something "hurtful" or hateful and it be seen in the open, than play the role of censor, but it is also true that lines need to be drawn somewhere.
  • I find it a bit becoming of some to solicit "likes" on a facebook page. Maybe it's just me, but I don't feel that everything I personally "like" in real life needs to be acknowledged, or shown on facebook, I could be wrong...but I find the intrusion into personal privacy to be a bit much. 
  • Cardinal Dolan is up to his old antics again...whether it be allowing this, or kicking this priest out. I must say, I've never really been a fan of his...He can use some prayers. 
  • There's an icon exhibit at the Getty, for those of you local, I recommend that you go. 
  • There some personal intentions, in your charity, I'd love if you could pray for them. 
Pax Vobis

13 June 2014

Thought of the day

Some have asked what is Eastern Catholicism, well, one day I'll blog on it, my thoughts, my journey, and various things...now however is not the time.

Please pray for the repose of the soul

Of Father Walker FSSP, here's a news story here, (and Rorate) as well as for the recovery of Fr Terra FSSP, the families involved and for the parishoners of the parish...Kyrie eleison

10 June 2014

Unity, through subsidiarity?

Is it possible that the solution for the "Union of the whole Church" can be solved through the principle of subsidiarity...

CCC 1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."7

That is to say, instead of looking to Rome to solve every issue at hand, that the local churches can make moves in that direction (certainly get ratification from Rome)..

Let me give an example: Say the Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Church come to an agreement on the recognition of the papacy and the issue of jurisdiction which separates us and they sign a deal expressing full communion with each other. Because the Ukrainian Catholc Church is already in Communion with the Roman Church, by extension the Ukrainian Orthodox would be in communion with the Roman Church, problem solved...Why could this not work? It seems to me it'd make more sense for the problems to be dealt with locally versus at the higher level.

The same situation for the SSPX...Could this not be solved on a local basis? Could not the Bishop lift the suspended A Divinis status (through permission of the Holy See obviously)...and grant faculties this way? Would it not be simpler this way than to go through all of the hoops and semantics that seem to be going on now? There are a few Cardinals who would be open to the SSPX running their seminaries...why couldn't it be solved on a local basis? 

Sometimes, I think there is an type of Idolatry towards Rome as if they're supposed to do everything...Could I be wrong?

Pax Vobis

09 June 2014

Thought of the day

Apparently, walking around with math books, makes me a target for protestant ladies seeking someone to go their ecclesiastical community...Maybe I should wear the crucifix on the front next time.

08 June 2014

Blessed Pentecost

A hymn for Pentecost here

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of Blessings and giver of life, come and dwell within us, cleanse us of all stain, and save our souls O Gracious One.

Today is the official end of Easter, today we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and Mary. The Apostles' were unable to bring the message of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, without the power from on high.

Today our colour is green for Hope (the only day in the Byzantine church we wear green), in our new life in the Spirit. (In Rome it is red for the Holy Spirit)

Let us pray to cooperate with the grace we receive.

Pax Vobis

07 June 2014

The re-writing of the GIRM part A

My Latin, while good, I'm much too lazy to use it at this hour, so I'm going to put it in English...I'm sure someone can forward all this to the Vatican later. I've cut all the useless language out, and got straight to the point, no need to BS.

The official GIRM is here

I Introduction

1) The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has four ends: 1) Adoration of the Holy Trinity 2) Contrition for our sins 3) Thanksgiving for Gods blessings and 4) Supplication or Intercession for our needs. It is a mortal sin against justice to abuse the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in any way. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass must be offered in full fidelity to the rubrics of the Missal, and neither a priest, Bishop or Pope has the authority to change the rubrics on his own accord.

2) What follows are not suggestions but mandates to the theological virtue of justice and the extension of right worship and religion.

II Music for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

3) Gregorian chant is to be used for all Masses. This may be done in the vernacular or Latin.
4) Hymns may be sung at the following points: Before the Introit, After the Offertory Chant, Before the Homily, After the Communion chant and accompanying verses, following the Dismissal and Last Gospel
5) Sources for Hymns may be taken from any Catholic or Orthodox source.
6) Secular songs are forbidden from the Liturgy.
7) Ab libbing from the texts that are prescribed is explicitly forbidden and a mortal sin against justice and the virtue of religion.
8) All texts from the Missal are to be sung according the the prescribed melodies in the Missal.

III The structure of churches, oratories and Cathedrals.

9) The Tabernacle must be in the center for every parish and oratory. For the Cathedral parish, the Tabernacle is to be located in a side chapel or a chapel near the altar of sacrifice, for the Bishop is High Priest for his diocese.
10) The altar of sacrifice may be free standing or attached. There must be room for Ad Orientem celebrations.
11) Altar railings must be in every parish to distinguish the sanctuary from the nave.
12) Architecture that does not communicate the Catholic Faith must be avoided...Modernism is a heresy which is condemned, and can't take form in the architecture of the local church.
13) The priest's chair must not face the congregation and off towards the epistle side of the altar.
14) The throne of the Bishop should be on the Gospel side of the altar....or for churches built in the basilica style behind the altar in the traditional manner.
15) The altar must be covered with three cloths as is traditional.
16) The traditional veiling of the Tabernacle is encouraged to be retained.
17) Statues and Icons are to be used liberally through the church.
18) Confessionals are to be gated as to maintain anonymity.
19) Holy Water fonts are to be filled at all times except during the Holy Triduum.
20) The tradition of side altars should be maintained.
21) Choir lofts are to be built in the back.
22) Chairs in choir must face the traditional direction.

Anything I've missed so far? I'm open to suggestions....

06 June 2014

Thought of the day

If this is true and takes place in a church, is it possible that we the lay faithful would have to resist?...Despite the "good intentions" it would be a scandal of great order sanctioned by the pope...the weariness scale went up from an 11 to a 100....Kyrie eleison

Well, some thoughts on the NO...and what could be done.

**I premise this post by stating I believe in the validity of the Missal of Paul VI without question!...Also I'm open to hearing Latin corrections

The disclaimer said, the problem is that the NO is an expression of different theologies (Roman, Protestant, and Eastern) and the combination of such while not an intrinsic evil (As even the Traditional Roman Missal has Eastern Elements)...the confusion of such without a distinct focus, I believe is a problem, and should be addressed....Looking at the texts themselves, here's my humble opinion as to how the problem can be solved.

My summary of changes would look like this:

  • Codified chanting for all parts of the Liturgy
  • Explicit references to sacrifice restored
  • Trinitarian references added 
  • More signs of the Cross
  • Options eliminated
  • Codified singing of the propers...(with elimination of the options there of)
  • Codified ad orientem
  • Restoration of all genuflections
  • Elimination of ab libbing chances
  • Codified prayers of the Faithful, time for the Church to think with the same mind.
  • Complete re-working of the GIRM

here's an example of what could be done for the doxology after the Our Father copied from the Greek text from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom into Latin, which alludes to yesterday's thought of the day: Quia tuum est regnum et potestas Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, Perpetuo, nunc et semper, et in saecula saecula...

Considering now is the season of interviews for teaching jobs...the time I have might be minimal, but I hope to finish soon. For I think that indeed the texts while not heretical are problematic and should be looked at. 

More to this post later

Pax Vobis

Is it entirely possible that the premise for Religious Liberty

...is a false one, which can never be successful?

I read about this story of a baker who is being forced to sell to a homosexual couple here...

The thing that I've always thought about these situations that have occurred is the thought, this is what happen when one allows error the same rights as Truth. On each side a "religious" view is being projected. In one case you have a person who is in support of "homosexual marriage" and seeking to have this publicly acknowledged by everyone. On the other side we have a person who does not wish to acknowledge homosexual marriage through the action of baking a cake (or whatever), which in doing so constitutes a type of support of the "homosexual marriage" taking place.

The argument for religious liberty MUST be based in the Truth of the Church, otherwise, it will fail, if it isn't blatantly obvious by now. As something that I have said before, it is impossible to have a morally neutral situation. Either morals from the conservative or liberal side are being "imposed" into the debate. That is to say, either we're imposing our morals on them, or they're imposing their morals on us. It is NOT possible for neither side to "impose" morals.

Think about it...If the baker is indeed forced to serve against his will, he has been forced to publicly acknowledge homosexuality. If the baker wins, homosexuality would not be acknowledged (which is what the person is seeking, deeply)...while most certainly, there are multiple options for getting a cake, and someone would be happy to give this couple business...What if this is the only bakery within a reasonable distance? Does this not make the situation different? One wouldn't expect anyone to travel an hour just to get a cake?

Error does not have a right to be promulgated in public...Truth however does. Since I'm quite familiar with the field of academia, I'll go with this example. If someone is doing research on a topic...that person can't present their findings as fact to their classes without a public criticism, or defense of their work. Yet there can easily be discussions on the research in private "think tank" so to speak. It is similar to this with errors of various kinds. It is one thing to discuss them in private in the "dialogue towards Truth" so to speak....however to present these errors as Truth would be a scandal to the rights of Truth to be presented for everyone to hear. (It's another issue entirely to follow)

The rather infamous document Dignitatis Humane can be read for yourselves...but in light of that, I wish to propose some questions...

1) Is the premise for Religious Liberty flawed?
2) Is it possible to have multiple definitions for religious liberty?

In our situation with the baker and the couple, is it not true that coercion from the "couple" is happening? That is to say if we're to understand religious liberty as follows: "This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits."...Are not the "couple" acting within their private beliefs? Do you see the problem here?

This is why it is important to define the parameters through with we're talking about "Religious Liberty" lest we be defeated with a taste of our own medicine. Religious Liberty can't be a vague principle which is not defined in the Truth of the Church...the quicker our Bishops get this, the better...and the more likely chance that they can actually win their case as a whole. The sooner we realize that we can't place error on the same plane as Truth, the better.

Pax Vobis

04 June 2014

Thought of the day

If the Romans are going to copy the longer form of the Our Father, they should at least do so correctly...For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.