NEWS:  December 30, 2011

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

DEATH PENALTY IN POLAND  -   Early this month, the Polish Law and Justice Party proposed the restoration of capital punishment for “especially brutal murders.” Shortly afterward, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of that country’s Bishops’ Conference, went public to support this proposition. Michalik stated his position quite clearly: “If society is powerless against this aggressor, he must be neutralized so as not to spread evil and kill innocent people. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the death penalty is permissible in such an exceptional situation” (The Tablet, December 10, 2011, p. 30).

A noose for the death penalty

The death penalty was always used to keep society healthy
I could not let pass this rare occasion - when a Catholic Prelate takes a courageous attitude and goes against the powerful progressivist tide that abhors the death penalty,  without manifesting my admiration and sending him my encouragement to firmly maintain his position.

It is unnecessary to say that, as soon as he took this position, he met robust opposition. Among the many voices criticizing him is that of the Secretary-general of the same Bishops’ Conference. Indeed, Bishop Wojciech Polak argued that John Paul II in his Encyclical Evangelium vitae left no room for doubt on his opposition to the death penalty. Polak defends life imprisonment for brutal crimes in lieu of capital punishment (ibid.)

NICHOLS’ HYPOCRISY  -  The Archbishop of Westminster and Catholic Primate of England and Wales Vincent Nichols recently gave another proof of his remarkable hypocrisy. After the government decided to introduce homosexual “marriage,” he issued a statement approving homosexual civil unions as a factor of “stability in society.”

These were his introductory words: “We would want to emphasize that civil partnership actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship, a lifelong partnership, can find their place and protection and legal provision.”

Modern madona lesbians

Nichols, below - When homosexuality is practiced stably it helps society
Archbishop Vincent Nichols
He made his pronouncement immediately after the late November meeting of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Acting as a spokesman for that organization, Nichols affirmed: “As a Church we are committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life. … The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationship and undertakings that people give. Stability in society depends upon the reliability of commitments that people give. That might be in offering to do a job but especially in the relationships with one another. Equality and commitment are both very important and we fully support them” (The Tablet, November 26, 2011, p. 32).

To me this reasoning seems a cheap sophism. Both Nichols and the Bishops, who supposedly are teachers of Catholic Morals, conveniently forgot that only actions that obey Natural Law and Morals have the necessary characteristics of stability for the benefit of society. When actions are criminal or immoral, any stability they may acquire makes them worse than if they were sporadic crimes. When such actions become stable, they are extremely harmful, not beneficial, to society.

Regarding actions against nature, suppose two persons commit to live together to advance their macabre vice of vampirism. Their combined efforts make them more dangerous to society than each one individually. Crimes, especially those against Natural Law, are more dangerous when they are practiced in common than individually. This is elementary to any judge, lawyer or policeman, better said, to any person with good sense. But, according to Nichols’ logic, this commitment of two vampires must also be a positive factor for the stability of society

Additionally, regarding actions against Morals, the Catholic Church teaches us that open immoral actions must be considered as public sins and scandals. This is the case, for example, of a man and woman living together without being married. Since their situation is a frontal attack to the stability of family life and a bad example to all, the possible stability of their union is not beneficial, but detrimental, for society. To pretend that the stability of their union is an indifferent matter or beneficial for society is tantamount to casting aside Church Morals and her Social Doctrine.

In the case of the civil unions of homosexuals, the crime against nature is added to the public sin and scandal. These are the concepts that the Archbishop Primate of England purposely ignored in order to go along with the government’s decision to introduce homosexual “marriage.” How can he and his fellow Bishops still pretend to be Catholic? Further, these statements are a clamorous manifestation of hypocrisy and opportunism.

LAY-LED MASSES DEMANDED IN BELGIUM  -   Six thousand Belgian Catholics, including 211 priests, are urging their Bishops to allow lay men and women to preach and lead Mass in parishes where there is no longer a resident priest. These calls for change are laid out in a petition that started in the city of Bruges, where the local Bishop was obliged by the public to resign for having abused two of his minor nephews.

The document also urges ordination for married men and the ordination of women. These exigencies repeat similar ones made in Germany and Austria during this year of 2011, which ends tomorrow. This year we have also witnessed Bishops and even the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon admitting the possibility of the ordination of women.

One sees, therefore, that resistance against these points is growing weaker every day. Sooner or later, we will see the Vatican using its acrobatics skills to juggle words to allow married men to be ordained, as well as permit the return to ministry of those priests who,  to marry,  abandoned their sacerdotal vocation.

Since the Belgian petition is self-explanatory, I believe that the best thing to do is to offer its full text for my readers’ perusal. It follows:

Believers Speak Out

Parishes without a priest, Eucharist at inappropriate hours, worship without Communion: these things really should not be happening! What is delaying the needed reform of the Church? We Flemish believers, ask our Bishops to break the impasse in which we are locked. We do this in solidarity with fellow believers in Austria, Ireland and many other countries, with all who insist on vital church reform.

We simply do not understand why the leadership in our local communities (e.g., parishes) is not entrusted to men or women, married or unmarried, professionals or volunteers, who already have the necessary training. We need dedicated pastors!

We do not understand why these our fellow believers cannot preside at Sunday liturgical celebrations. In every active community, we need liturgical ministers!

We do not understand why, in communities where no priest is available, a Word service cannot also include a Communion service.

We do not understand why skilled laypeople and well-formed religious educators cannot preach. We need the Word of God!

We do not understand why those believers who, with very good will, have remarried after a divorce must be denied Communion. They should be welcomed as worthy believers. Fortunately, there are some places where this is happening.

We also demand that, as quickly as possible, both married men and women be admitted to the priesthood. We, people of faith, desperately need them now!
(National Catholic Reporter, December 9, 2011, p. 28)


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