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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'Hurrah' to the Cardinal!

By now most of you have read about Cardinal Collins' statement on 'GSA's. It is a masterpiece of prose and of diplomacy. You can find the entire text here.

Please take the time to read His Eminence's full text. I find that many do not thoroughly understand the Church's actual view on homosexuality - at least not as well as the Cardinal does! A careful re-read of the Catechism could be in order too, especially paragraphs 2357-9.

Thanks for Your leadership, Your Eminence!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pentecost Inaugurates a New Age

What is Pentecost? The facile answer that it marks the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles isn't sufficient. 

Why? The Holy Spirit is given and was given many times.

What makes this gift so significant?

It is the answer to the question as to why it is better that Christ depart, as He indicated in John 16:17:

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Nothing seems like a good trade when you are trading away Christ, of course. But we should get a hint from another of Christ's enigmatic statements to the Magdalene in the same Gospel at 20:17:

"Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father."

Have not some of you thought the fair but blasphemous thought: I'd rather have Jesus than the Spirit? I know I have!

But let us take Him at His word. The gift the Spirit at Pentecost is the gift of the full power of the Paschal Mystery, which was never given before. Augustine understood the difference made through the Paschal Mystery with the simple nomenclature, 'the grace of Christ.' It stands to reason, then, that the difference between the Pentecost grace and all preceding graces would be the difference between sanctifying grace (that which makes one worthy of heaven) and actual graces (graces that do something, but do not give salvation itself). I think that this was the gift of sanctifying grace for the first time.

Yet, let's study for a moment the characteristics of this grace as portrayed in Acts. It is the grace that inaugurates the new age. It is clearly an outward-leading grace: the communicating of the Gospel to all peoples is its most obvious manifestation here. But you'll also note the virtues that suddenly came into being in the hearts of the Apostles that made this communication possible: courage, zeal, wisdom, piety, love, hope, faith.

Evangelizing cyberspace is a part of the work begun at Pentecost. May we do it with all boldness, wisdom, charity and creativity!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thoughts on the CBC

I used to listen to CBC Radio a great deal.

a) when it used to play classical music (instead of jazz or whatever it plays now)

b) before I grew up and realized how one-sided it is.

If it is Canadian, then I am not. And so they would want me therefore to conclude. I had occasion to listen to it today for about five minutes in the car - where I live, you drive behind a hill and suddenly you've got one station to chose from.

There was an interesting reflection on the failure - it seems - of the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. After that came on something else - "Q News" was it called? featuring a standard, long term CBC personality and someone whose name I did not catch but whose voice sounded like that red-headed comedian who was featured on an episode of Seinfeld. I'm sure many of you know who I mean. Well, whether I wanted to hear it or not, I learned that this woman is a lesbian. I don't know, sex seems like a fairly private affair. Why was she telling me? I don't believe that was the point of her being on the show, to tell Canadians about her sexuality, but she mentioned it anyway. In case any of us were dying to know.

I don't really care what the program was called, who the intended audience was, or anything else - and that's the point of this post: I DON'T CARE.

I Don't Care about CBC - But Shouldn't I?

As a Canadian. As a tax-payer.

Among the very few things that Harper and I seem to be able to agree about anymore, it is that CBC is terrible.

It is a media 'empire' that maintains a privileged place in the media layout in Canada - one which the other media companies in this country would kill for - that is to say, that it is financed in large part by tax-payer money. And so, knowing that it will never go bankrupt, how do you mess up a business like that?

It is one for which I have no use. And I'm Canadian. Other than for perhaps a total of fewer than 50 days of my life, my entire life has been lived a mari usque ad mare. I get Canada. It interests me. And I like the radio. I like news. I like culture. I like driving in my car listening to the radio. So do millions of other Canadians. Unfortunately, CBC registers the favourite channel for a dismal few of us.

And who would those few be?

I can tell you who it is not, who does not, it seems, deserve to be considered Canadian:

1. Conservative Christians of any stripe.

2. Conservatives Jews, Muslims, etc.

3. Social conservatives of any other stripe.

4. People who do not want to know about some disembodied voice's sexuality.

5. People who want to hear all sides of the story.

6. People who don't want representatives of the 'other' sides of the story presented as 'Exhibit A,' to be ridiculed by the cultured, bilingual cappuccino suckers in Ottawa and Montreal.

So, CBC, this is why your business model is failing (and this from a PhD in theology who is perpetually insolvent):

your audience is limited to the people you like.

That's kind of like deciding only to sell Coca-Cola to whities.

And why companies like Sun News are growing while you scuttle along in your self-imposed irrelevance.

All you journalist execs working for CBC remember back to your undergrads, reading about how controlling education and the media could change people ('conscientizing,' Marx called it), and that is why you have adopted and been committed to this cynical mode of operation. Yet Marx wasn't completely right. Some people can do a little bit of thinking for themselves... maybe a surprising number, judging from CBC's lack of success in holding onto a market the Federal Government hand-delivers it.


This gets me thinking: what does a government like Ontario fear when a plan like the 'Gay Cults' they want to impose on Catholic Schools fails? Or succeeds? Alienating such a significant portion of your citizenry cannot but have negative long-term consequences. It's not simply victory.

Any of you SCCB readers and bloggers listen to or watch CBC?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When was the Last Time...?

..that the CCCB took the lead on an explicitly Catholic issue?

The Catholic News Agency finds the bishops talking religious freedom (finally). Looks like their big bro bishops in the US have emboldened them.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pilgrim Reader

I might be moving out of the Ottawa Valley soon. I have always wanted my blogs to promote this area - the wonderful land of - for lack of a better phrase - Catherine Doherty and of Madonna House. Since she came and set up this spiritual community other great things were drawn in - the formation house of the Companions of the Cross and Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Catholic college. Many wonderful families have come in as a result. If you are looking for a nourishing place to raise a family and grow in your prayer life, this is the place for you.

One little place I want to mention as well is a little book store that I have enjoyed visiting these last five years - The Pilgrim Reader. Run by the Lynch family, they have an excellent assortment of books. It is one of the best collections and one of the most pleasant book store environments I have ever encountered. Believe me, I have been to countless used bookstores! I am especially fond of their collection of Eastern Theology texts, specifically, their assortment of St. Vladimir's Seminary Press books, of which I purchased a few the other day. They also have a nice collection of children's books and books for young people.

If you can't make it into Combermere, visit them and order a book online. Support this fine family and their efforts to provide good books to this area.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blogmeet Ottawa March for Life

No doubt, I wish I could be there. The irony of many family cares is keeping me from the March for Life in Ottawa this Thursday.

But I do want to direct your attention to an idea that my friend, journalist par excellence, fellow-blogger, new Catholic, Deborah Gyapong, has for a blogger-meeting sometime around the time of the March. See her notice.

I'll make sure to post the pics here.

We need to get to know each other. I have met some of you in person and so many more of you online these last few months. Let's keep building community. I know we are on to something good!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parents as First Educators

I want to give a shout out to my new friend, Teresa Pierre, and the organization she heads up:

Parents As First Educators (PAFE).

They describe their organization in these terms: PAFE informs and activates Ontario Catholic ratepayers on issues of accountability, transparency and fidelity to the Catholic faith.

Why not pay their website a visit and see the good work they are up to?

Catholic Education

I don't like to quote American things here at the SCCB, since this is a Canadian forum, but I'd like to draw your attention to an article being carried by the Newman Society about a study conducted at Georgetown University on what consequences for faith life going to university has. Whereas upon entering university 11% describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated, upon leaving that number rises to 25 %. This is not all that unexpected, but, for as expected as it is, it might still give us pause for thought. See the executive report of the study here.

I want to address this matter here because it is obviously a serious one. Having spent the last twenty years in Catholic Education - both as giver and as receiver - and as a convert to the Faith - I find the positions Catholic families adopt on their children's education quite interesting.

What do you think of the state of Catholic higher education in Canada?

Perhaps I should also put in a plug for the two Canadian schools who made the Newman Society's list of good Catholic schools: my old employer, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom and another school that I have been hearing a lot of good things about, Redeemer Pacific. Give them some consideration.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Enduring, Evil Connections

It looks like Big Blue Wave was originally behind this one - see Socon or Bust for the Story.

These sites mentioned a link between the Diocese of Trois-Riviere and an abortion-supporting woman's group ages ago - in fact, it was back in February of 2010. But it's still on their website! That diocese mentions there an organization called La Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes de la Mauricie (TCMFM). If you go to that organization's website you will find the following phrase: le droit à l'avortement.

Everything sounds nice in French. When you translate it into English you get: right of abortion, or abortion rights, as we usually say. Not so nice. And so one might ask, why? Why is the Apostolic Church associating itself with a group promoting le droit à l'avortement?

It's not a small thing. It's a big, giant, evil thing. And why is this still going on? Somebody, a few somebodies, in Trois-Riviere obviously don't have the slightest problem with this. Absolute impunity.