Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back in Black

I'm back!

I apologize to my gratious readers for my absence. Did ya miss me? Yeah, I know, not much to miss, haha. To be honest I think I just needed a break. Not just from blogging, but the whole traditional cause. Not that it's not a noble one, only very taxing sometimes. You work to spread the truth yet you see so many obstacles and others working against you. And you feel like what can your little blog do? You're only one voice out of thousands. But if everyone took that point of view there would be no one left. So I congratulate those who had the strength to continue when I did not.


Now that my batteries are recharged, there are pressing issues to discuss, my fellow faith warriors:

Lately, I've been debating on a Catholic forum about the moral licitness of a bishop in the UK approving legal regulation on prostitution and a priest in Venice allowing muslims use of his church for friday prayers.

First a short snippet:

LONDON (Reuters) - A Roman Catholic bishop in the city of Portsmouth is backing a campaign to legalise brothels without in any way condoning them.

The Right Reverend Crispian Hollis supported the local branch of the Women's Institute which wants to licence brothels.

"If you are going to take a pragmatic view and say prostitution happens, I think there is a need to make sure it's as well regulated as possible for the health of people involved and for the safety of the ladies themselves," Hollis said.

"That's not to say I approve of prostitution in any way. I would be very much happier if there was no prostitution in Portsmouth," he told The Portsmouth News.

"But it's going to be there whatever we do and it has been from time immemorial. So I think that is something we have to be realistic about."

Does his reasoning sound familiar? People who back 'safe' abortion, giving out condoms in schools, school nurses giving the pill to 13 year old girls, euthanasia, a 'safe' environment for their kids to abuse alcohol and drugs, etc. all use the "they're gonna do it anyway, let's make it 'safe' " argument. Which everyone can see is absurd.

One person even went so far as to apply the double-effect doctrine to justify it. The key thing about doube-effect is that the undesired side-effect is just that: undesired. It's not the aim of the action.

This, on the other hand, does nothing but facilitate the sin, it's not double-effect at all. There is no way to legalize and regulate a sinful behavior and at the same time stop that behavior.

Now about the muslims using the church:

Believe it or not! A parish Church turns into a mosque every Friday, for the Muslims brothers and to offer their customary prayers. This isn't a sequence from any Bollywood film, but a reality in the parish of Our Lady of Assumption of Ponzano near Venice, the romantic city of Italy. The pastor of the parish, Don Aldo Danieli, 69, affirms, "It's useless to speak of religious dialogue and then bang the door on their face. Pope John Paul II addressed them as, 'dear Muslim brothers'. How can we close our church doors to them?"

At Ponzano, in the province of Treviso, live some 11,500 people of whom 232 families are immigrants, making their number roughly 650. These are mainly immigrants from North African countries and Eastern Europe. Two years ago, Don Aldo decided to open the doors of the church to these Muslim immigrants and keep a portion of his own parochial house including a kitchen and a little at their disposal. On Fridays an average of 200 Muslim believers gather in the church and offer prayers. But in the month of Ramadan, the number swells to 1000-1200. "They requested me and I said yes, moreover, the kitchen and hall were a home for spiders".

The decision of Don Aldo has disturbed the peace of mind of more than a few parishioners. The protests of even the local bishop and priests have reached his ears. "I haven't asked the express permission of the bishop, because it's an act of charity. No permission is needed to do charity. For the rest, I am older than the bishop and been his professor in the seminary too.

Oh, ok. Since he was his professor I guess that gives him a higher authority than the bishop. I wonder why, if this professor-priest knows so much better than the bishop does, why is he only a priest? Shouldn't a man of his intellectual excellence be rewarded with a crook of his own? I guess the Vatican doesn't recognize the intellectual powerhouse they're wasting.

Mean old Vatican.

Or perhaps they want to keep him in a place where he can't do much damage, as this example shows. That, or they see in him only hot air and ego. Perhaps both.

The debate on this issue surrounded the topic of is his actions an example of christian charity?

Back on October I covered Pius IX's moral declarations on modern democratic freedoms. I think every true Catholic that's worth his or her catechetical salt can agree that mankind does not have the moral right to false worship, and that any worship contrary to the Catholic faith is false. Granted, ignorance can mitigate or even remove a person's culpability of sin, but the priest isn't ignorant of what is true and what is false worship.

Christian charity obligates us to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned, etc. Providing shelter means giving the homeless a place to sleep, rest, and eat that keeps the cold and the rain out. But that's where it ends.

Is facilitating false worship an act of christian charity? According to the nine ways of being accessory to another's sin, wouldn't we be complicit in the sin of false worship by allowing it to occur in our own churches without a peep of protest? The muslims may not know better, but we as well as the priest do know better. There's no claim to ignorance here.

Should we provide a place for them to practice their sin of false worship just because they desire it?

Should we provide needles for a junkie for their sin of drug abuse becuase they desire it?

Should we provide contraception for a person because they desire it?

Remember, none of the parties involved think their acts of sin are wrong. Knowing better, should we facilitate their sins?

The debate then turned into how this makes steps forward in 'ecumenism' aka indifferentism and how it is a good thing. I say bull-oney. Christ wouldn't even let jewish moneychangers hang out outside the temple let alone inside of it, He chased them off with a whip. There's no reason why a Catholic should allow false worship in the House of God with the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the tabernacle as a witness.

This act forsakes the respect of God for the respect of men.



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