Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When The Culture Of Life Is Really The Culture Of Death

On his way to Cameroon Pope Benedict restated the Church's position on the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. When meeting with reporters and answering six previously submitted questions, Benedict stated:

"The problem cannot be overcome with the distribution of condoms. This only aggravates the problem," Benedict told the media as he flew to the western African country of Cameroon.

Instead, the pontiff said sexual abstinence was the best way to fight the deadly disease.

This statement of Benedict's is an outright lie. Condoms most certainly do not aggravate the AIDS problem. We have reams and reams of evidence to the contrary. When used correctly condoms save lives and help reduce the spread of the disease.

It's one thing for Benedict to restate the Church's position on the use of condoms, but it's quite another to flat lie about their effectiveness and in this case, to go so far as to state they aggravate the problem. The fact they work effectively aggravates his problem with the absolute ban on birth control. Perhaps that's the aggravation he was referring to.

The condom ban is another one of those absolute sexual morality statements which applied absolutely result in absolute deaths. Benedict's statement that abstinence as the best way to fight the disease is correct, unless you happen to be married. Nobody gets married so they can practice abstinence. In fact, the Church herself would annul such a marriage as not being a marriage.

Unprotected marital relations are killing spouses and children and leaving existing children orphans---by the millions. We all know this truth. Except for Benedict I guess, who apparently sees it just the opposite. Would it really take a theological rocket scientist to come up with the notion that in cases of marital sex the primary function of condom use is therapeutic intervention rather than birth control? Well, it's been suggested and it's been rejected.

What I find incomprehensible about this is that it is morally permissible to take oral contraceptives for certain conditions, acne comes to mind, precisely because the intent is therapeutic and not birth prevention. Somehow the condom is in a class of it's own when it comes to the therapeutic uses for birth control devices. So women die and children die or are left orphans, while acne sufferers in the West can use oral contraceptives. How in the world does this make any sense? A cynic could read this as saying acne in whites is a bigger deal than AIDS in blacks.

In all honesty, I have to admit that this particular issue is the issue which forced me to finally leave the Church. The refusal to allow the use of condoms in marriage where one partner is infected by HIV says all there is to say about where the Church really is regarding the culture of life. There is no spin that can address this stupidity. It's heartless, and that's the whole problem with the Institutional Church. It lacks any heart, any compassion, any sense of reasonableness. It favors cold logic based on unsupported assumptions and takes these to absurd conclusions, almost exclusively to the detriment of women and children. This is really all about a 'culture of life' for some at the expense of others, whether that's a nine year old rape victim in Brazil or the preventable HIV infection of a mother in Cameroon. Somewhere Jesus weeps.


  1. It really isnt all that hard to understand. We know that the one thing we can expect from the Magisterial Authorities it to lie. This is just the latest. Lori, Chaput, Morline, Benedict, all the same, always the same, lies, lies and more lies.

    The beauty of the process is that everyone (except the truly faithful catholics) are able to see the deceptions with perfect clarity now. And, yesterday, Benedict in his speech signed his own epitaph when he said:

    "In the face of...abuse of power, the Christian must never remain silent." Benedict XVI, Cameroon, March 17, 2009

    A brilliant statement that will no doubt come back many times to haunt him and his Magisterial Authorities.

  2. having lived in Africa for a couple of years. . .all i can do is shake my head. . .After all these years we still attempt to indoctrinate the developing world with such ethnocentric views. . .When i left Africa knew in the deepest bones that the majority of missionary zeal in Africa was not spreading the Good Word, but rather indoctrination of Westernization of the Natives. . . all too often. . .

    Colleen i take a small but respectful step into your statement about leaving the Church. . .I did not know you had left the Church. . .I want you to go back and be a vital presence in the Church of your heart. . .The Church needs folks like you more than ever, especially those that the Church Magisterial thinks don't belong there. . . dear soul i want you to stand like a child wrapped secure in her Mother's apron with a big empowered smile, that says to those that think your kind or any kind do not belong there; " My Mother loves me, and as she birthed Her Son, all of us Children red, yellow, black and white, gay, straight, half-baked and burned to the crisp belong here as urchins of the Living God both Father and Mother. . ."

    Have you guys ever read the book, " Drama of the Gifted Child, by Alice Miller?. . .It is a small book but one of the most insightful books i have ever read in this life time. Often when i read your comments i see several of you as "Gifted Child" in relationship with the Church level rather than family level. In the book the Child is in psychological relationship with Narcissistic parents.

    Hope i did not over step the boundaries here, but i like you guy and i see each of you daily sitting in Mary's lap and at her feet.

    My word is OVARIES! Maybe the Mother wanted to word verify stamp this little too personal comment.

    love and honor to each

  3. Speaking of ovaries, someone wrote a comment in NCRonline that the 9 year old little girl who was raped by some biological fluke produced eggs and someone else said that was not true and then Dr Dennis Porch stepped in and said that was a comment to tear someone down. Another person wrote about ovaries and eggs that makes some sense.

    The truth about ovaries is that they are not eggs, but that ovaries are there in a fully formed fetus of a girl and are there at birth. Without ovaries and sperm, however, there can be no fertilization to make it into an egg.

    Colleen, the Magisterium is so poisoned with illogic and unmerciful dogma to continue down this path that has become truly a culture of death as you say for married couples and a partner with HIV. It is unconscienable and intransigent deadly reasoning against compassionate, merciful and loving reasoning to insist against the use of condoms when one partner has HIV.

    You are right to say "Nobody gets married so they can practice abstinence." This is foolish nonsense to push the idea of abstinence on married people.

    Also, abstinence is also called for in the case of couples who are remarried outside the Church. During an annulment process they are required to abstinence until a decision has been made on the annulment, which can take several years.

    The Magisterium is totally out of touch with human beings and with how to be merciful and loving, as well as lacking in life giving grace for the burdened members of a civilization to thrive and survive. They cannot espouse to be teachers of Jesus' teachings, while not having mercy and teaching others to not have mercy as well. This indicates that they do not know Jesus Christ, nor value the life of Christ in anyone else.

    The absolutist Magisterium is creating the circumstances for the death of the Catholic Church, an empty Church and empty pews, as well as empty heads and empty laws and hearts with no compassion for their neighbor. Yet, the "defenders of the faith" unite behind this blighted Magisterium to further their cause of the Church's destruction and division. These absolutist call us the enemy of the Church, when we are calling on the hierarchy of the Church to enlightenment and to life in Christ and to merciful acts of compassion towards their neighbor.

    It is a very sad state of affairs in the Catholic Church hierarchy when they forbid its members from having ideas which are Christ-centered and merciful toward their neighbor.

    And some people of the "faithful" are saying "if you don't like it, just get out." This is what they are being taught is the Catholic way to be toward their neighbor. If we don't like injustice, a lack of mercy and grace, we should just get out. This is insanity and is what is leading the Church to its own demise.

    Very sad. Why should someone stay in an institution that goes against grace and will not listen to the word of God?

    Are we not called to the desert to find the promised land? Are we not called to His Holy mountain to hear His voice?

    This brings me to the time Jesus walked upon the earth and the years that were missing from age 12 to about 30. That is a lot of years of Jesus being an anonymous citizen of the world before taking on the institutions. Perhaps this is where we find ourselves now, in strengthening our relationship with God and Jesus from afar?

    word is frunkidi

  4. "There is no spin that can address this stupidity. It's heartless, and that's the whole problem with the Institutional Church."

    Profound and very true words, Colleen. Great posting.

  5. Sparrow, I also have left ... for a 2nd time. I have tried to go back, tried to make an appointment to talk to the priest at my parish. He is willing, I am not.

    To his honor, he truly is pastoral, truly is a living reflection of the best of catholicism. He is the reason I returned to the catholic church. The bishop here, on the other hand ...

    The bishop is the main reason I left - again. I simply could not, in good conscience, be part of a church (the church of the magisterial vatican that is) that presented itself the way it did during and after the election. I could not be part of a church that was a church of hypocrisy, hate and exclusion.

    I walked away from some good people, loving people, but if I had stayed, there was the chance I could have become a stumbling block for them. I was not willing to be that. I also am not able to just ignore the bishops rantings as some of the parishoners do. I suspect that is a blessing from being cradle catholic, the ability to blow off the dusty parts (being nice here), and practice the good stuff. I just cant do that myself. Integrity issue for me.

    I miss mass. I miss communion. But, so many bishops, including mine, said that anyone who voted for Obama did not deserve to receive communion (in addition to a lot of other hateful rhetoric). The message was really clear ... we dont want you here. So I left.

    That message continues to be displayed on almost a daily basis now. "We dont want you here ... go away ... get out of OUR church!"

    One of the "truly faithful catholics" asked why I was so angry. I told him basically the same thing. He called me a liar. Like he somehow has a window into MY heart!!! That really pissed me off! Enough of my ranting for tonight.

    By the way, thank you for the kind words. It was an intense day at work today and the kind words felt nice.

    Interesting verification words that are popping up lately.

  6. Just in case anyone is interested, NCR is editing the responses.

    I posted one yesterday in response to the article about Morlino, where I called him a bigot, liar and a fraud. They edited that part out, but left the rest in.

    I'm guessing they are straddling a fine line in KC with Bishops Finn and Naumann, who as I understand it, are cut from the same piece of decaying sackcloth as Morlino, Lori, Burke etal.

  7. This has been a really hard day for me. All the Bishop Morlino BS. What he's doing in Madison is exactly what he did in Helena. The temple police ruled the day and it destroyed the theology department of my alma mater and contributed to the early deaths of my two favorite priests.

    Morlino was a real piece of work. He bent over backwards to throw big parties for pre seminarians at the diocesesan retreat center which is a beautiful beautiful place up in the mountains on a lake. When these young guys came back I would ask some of them how ite went and they would tell me it was weird. They were beating around the bush, but what they were really saying was the guy was a flat out voyeur.

    I had to laugh, someone from Helena wrote on the NCR that he was known here as Bishop Jerk amongst other not so nice names. One of those unstated names was "The Sugar Plum Fairy".

    Sparrow: Believe it or not, I have been giving serious thought to going back, but every time I think that I get called to do a sweat, and lately every time I do a sweat someone gets healed from the energy raised by all of us at the sweat. Catholics have lost this spontaneous healing ability in their spiritual ceremony. When I think of the Church being dead, that's what I think of, the spiritual energy is being neutered in a vain attempt to shore up clerical power.

    My word is "dissem", and boy have I been dissin' em to today. Oh well, it's just been a long hard day down the Morlino memory lane.

  8. Carl, maybe that's why the NCR posted the article on Chaput where he talks about the incivility in today's instant internet world.

    Chaput said the right was meaner but the left used more vulgar language. I couldn't resist so I left a post that starts with bullshit.

    Well, I really have had experience stepping in that which makes my use of it an observation rather than an epithet.

  9. I came back to the Church after having an intense and life altering spiritual awakening prompted by the death of my father and experiencing the calming presence of angels. I began reading the Bible and discovered the writings of Thomas Merton. I needed to find out about this Church I grew up in and it was Thomas Merton who can take credit for my coming back to the Church after over 25 years. I needed to read the Bible with the new sight of faith I was given. I was not familiar with the new Mass at all, so it was all new to me. The entire idea of being a Christian in some respects was all new to me. I had passed from the darkness into the light of Faith in God, and He sent me to Jesus for healing and forgiveness and then Mary would come into my thoughts very strongly. When I started praying the Rosary for the first time in my life, Mary was there comforting me. That is from Faith, the gift of Faith. It is not from the Church. It is from God and His almighty love for all who are prepared by Him to receive Him. I felt their presence with me in those first few days of solitude and intense prayer after receiving the Lord into my heart. I felt Him near. I would open the Bible to read and it truly became the Living Word, as if the words were written for my very heart to heal and learn and be strengthened by the Lord. I could identify with Jesus' suffering. I had been on medication for depression for a few years and was able to do away with it and haven't needed it since. One cannot do that without faith and relying on the Lord. So I knew I was forgiven for any trespasses and this was a new day, a brand new day for me in Faith. I did go to confession and it was awkward because the last time I went there was a screen between you and the priest. There was no screen, just the priest. He was a good priest, an elderly guy.

    The sense of welcome back to the Church was lost when I found out about the annulment process. I thought the questions were voyeuristic, and said so to a priest. The thought of rehashing the past to strangers in writing and to a Tribunal who would judge me seemed against the designs and heart of Jesus Christ in His mercy. It could have brought me right back into a depressed state requiring medication. After reading Paul on the law it became clear that I was no longer under the law, anymore than he was no longer under the law when he experienced conversion of heart to Christ. The Church to me did not represent Jesus Christ with regards to the annulment issue. It represented more a very large corporation of nosey people with nothing better to do than judge me.

    Since then I have learned of so many unwise and unchristlike historical blunders of the Church by reading the history of the Catholic Church by a Catholic priest and in seeing the history now unfolding with Martino, et al.

    All of the negativity surrounding the Catholic Church, the secrecy. the hatred for people on the "left" and that could be whoever they deem in their imagination to be. The anti-intellectualism, the anti-women, anti-gay, anti-democrats, antiabortion in every situation including the 9 year old girl who was raped repeatedly, the pedophile scandal, the hiding of pedophiles, the building of huge Cathedrals for millions of dollars when people are starving in the world, the parading around in dresses and lace and acting pious wearing long trains or magna cappas, the anti-contraception, anti-womenpriests, anti-marriage for priests, anti-compassion for anyone not towing the fundamentalist line, anti-mercy for anyone who questions the authority of the Magisterium or a right wing fundamentalist Bishop. It is all so reminiscent of the inquisition.

    While I do not go to Church anymore that often, because I do not feel welcome, and their law says that I cannot receive Communion, why should I go and be part of this group that will not allow me to share in the bread, in the Eucharist? What kind of people do that? Since when are invited guests not allowed to partake in the meal and the breaking of bread with their brothers and sisters in Christ? Why should I put myself through that agony of rejection each time I go to Church? Being rejected has nothing to do with pride, which is what the fundamentalist would say someone like me is guilty of. Wouldn't it be better for me to sit in silence with the Lord and pray than be belittled? My answer lately has been to sit in silence and listen for the Lord and pray. It has also been to speak out against injustices.

    ordinary sparrow, after reading Colleen's blog I thought as you did about why the issue of condoms and not the Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Pope's trip to Africa? This is their message to Africa? No condoms allowed. It will make you bad. But in their teaching of no condoms the makers of such a rule are literally calling for the death and disease of countless men, women and children.

    For men who head this Catholic Church to not prioritize the teachings of Jesus Christ, nor to proclaim the Good News but to prioritize the belittling of people who know that condoms can save lives is just spiritual craziness or laziness or both.

    This is the tragedy I see about the Church's teachings vs the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is what has caused the divisions in the Church, if you ask me in my humble opinion. The insistence that people bow down to their laws first before welcoming them is blatantly unchristian, unmerciful, unforgiving. Being so makes it a Church that is not really Christian. That's not to say that people in the Church are all not Christian. That is to say, the leadership is not all that Christian.

    Yet, I am close to the Catholic Church, as well are you Colleen and Carl and Bill. Is there a day that we do not pray for the Catholic Church? Is there a day when we don't try to find something good happening within it? Lately, it has been a chore to read about Ruth getting fired by Martino, the 9 year old rape victim's mother and doctor being excommunicated, and Fr. Roy being excommunicated, and Sr Lear's how they treated her. We are very connected still to the Catholic Church. Just as the early Christians were connected still to the Synagogue in Jerusalem with Peter after the Resurrection of Jesus, we are always going to be connected and still Catholic. But we are not the new fundamentalist catholic that is being elevated in this world by men to be unlike Christ. We are like the Jewish-Catholic community after they were kicked out of the Synagogue, in my humble opinion.

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  11. I just wanted to say i honor the sharing from you hearts and soul on this. . Each day from what i read here there is evident how much you long for the deeper truth of the rock that your Church is built upon. . .and i do and will continue to hold in prayer the day will when the Church is able to reach with the arms that fill the soft spot in each of your souls. . .

    May it be real soon. . .