In a WSJ interview with Bari Weiss, Camille Paglia, a self-described “notorious Amazon feminist” who is identified as a lesbian and a mom, actually sees that we have a problem with how we view men in our culture. This is the theme I discussed in my previous blog, “Towards a Theology of Authentic Masculinity.” She [Read More...]
The author of this guest post has asked that we not use his real name. Living in an environment in which merely supporting the Biblical worldview could bring charges of “homophobia”, he fears the effect it would have on his career and his social relationships. Let’s just call him “Bob”.
Here is his story.
Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty spoke about homosexual behaviour, but is there a bigger question to look at?
A Matter of Identity
|The Pontifical Academy of Sciences|
With the upcoming “Geneva II” talks, the “resumption of the U.N. peace process, this time with the U.S. and Russia on the same side to prevent violence, might succeed in keeping al-Qaida at bay—a shared interest—and finding a pragmatic long-term solution for Syria’s complex internal divisions.”
Meanwhile, a two-person delegation representing the Syrian government delivered a letter for Pope Francis from Assad. The letter was delivered Dec. 28 when the Syrians met at the Vatican with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican foreign minister, and gave a ‘message’ to the Pope.
The January talks in Geneva are a follow-up to a meeting in June 2012 when international parties proposed a peace plan calling for a transitional government body in an effort to end a civil war that began in March 2011.
Catholic News Service reports that the conflict between Assad’s government and rebel forces has killed more than 100,000 people, driven 2 million refugees out of Syria and displaced more than 4 million inside the country.
“I do not consider myself to be God—which, of course, was a provocation. You should show that we are all responsible for our actions on earth—that no one can forbid any woman to make decisions about their own bodies. This is exactly what Cardinal Joachim Meisner has done, however, by refusing to permit abortions. This is an unworldly approach, which fights against the Femen.”
“We act not against believers, but against the institution [of the Church] and people like [Cardinal] Meisner, which they use to oppress women.”
- First is that the media, obviously cued in advance about the FEMEN protest, were standing ready to capture the protest on film, but no one in the media offices had the personal fortitude to warn authorities or to take any action to prevent the sacrilege within Germany’s largest cathedral. FEMEN’s stunts are designed for maximum publicity; and the organization had invited the largest media outlets to ensure that the world would hear the story. The Express, Cologne’s largest newspaper, had a reporter and photographer present. A cameraman from Hans Paul Media, one of the world’s largest paparazzi organizations, had already photographed Josephine Witt fully clothed in her pew; he now waited in the south wing of the cathedral for the Mass to be interrupted, so that he could capture the bold protest as it happened.
- And secondly, I am irritated by the reports that German police are seeking the man who slapped the protester—presumably to slap an assault charge on him. Is it not possible, I wonder, that a woman who charges the altar—stripping naked in front of God and small children, and screaming obscenities—is a hostile invader? Didn’t the Catholic worshippers have the right to protect themselves, their elderly archbishop, and their Church?
|Bishop Richard E. Pates|
“Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance,” Pope Francis said. “Let us never lose the courage of prayer! The courage to say: Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world. And I also invite non-believers to desire peace with that yearning that makes the heart grow: all united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace.”
In Israel and Palestine, he will attend a meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land. The Holy Land Coordination consists of representatives of Catholic bishops’ conferences of Europe, North America, and South Africa. The group will hold sessions and make visits:
• To understand the social, political and ecclesial realities of the Holy Land
• To advocate more effectively for justice and peace
• To support the efforts of the local Church especially through the work of Catholic agencies
• To support the mission of the Apostolic Nuncio especially regarding fundamental and basic agreements.
More information on the work of the Committee on International Justice and Peace can be found at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/index.cfm
As expected, the Obama administration is standing by its decision, requiring Catholic nuns to pay for insurance coverage which includes birth control and abortifacients.
|Fr. Frank Pavone
President, Priests For Life
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — 4:58pm An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.
“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”
“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger. We have to take action.”
On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.
Father Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.
Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”
|Justice Sonia Sotomayor|
Please consider, then, the result of your Administration’s current policies. In the coming year, no employer, large or small, will be required to offer a health plan at all. Employers face no penalty in the coming year (and only $2000 per employee afterwards) for canceling coverage against their employees’ wishes, compelling them to seek individual coverage on the open market. But an employer who chooses, out of charity and good will, to provide and fully subsidize an excellent health plan for employees – but excludes sterilization or any contraceptive drug or device – faces crippling fines of up to $100 a day or $36,500 a year per employee. In effect, the government seems to be telling employees that they are better off with no employer health plan at all than with a plan that does not cover contraceptives. This is hard to reconcile with an Act whose purpose is to bring us closer to universal coverage.
The government is “temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Sotomayor said in the order. She gave government officials until 10 a.m. EST Friday to respond to her order.
Mark Rienzi explained, “The Little Sisters are an order of Catholic nuns whose religious faith leads them to devote their lives to caring for the elderly poor. Not surprisingly, they have sincere and undisputed religious objections to complying with this Mandate.”
The Obama administration crafted a compromise, or accommodation, that attempted to create a buffer for religiously affiliated hospitals, universities and social service groups that oppose birth control. The law requires insurers or the health plan’s outside administrator to pay for birth control coverage and creates a way to reimburse them.
But for that to work, the nuns would have to sign a form authorizing their insurance company to provide contraceptive coverage, which would still violate their beliefs, he said.
“Without an emergency injunction, Mother Provincial Loraine Marie Maguire has to decide between two courses of action: (a) sign and submit a self-certification form, thereby violating her religious beliefs; or (b) refuse to sign the form and pay ruinous fines,” he said.
Sotomayor’s decision to delay the contraceptive portion of the law was joined by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which also issued an emergency stay for Catholic-affiliated groups challenging the contraceptive provision. But one judge on the three-judge panel that made the decision, Judge David S. Tatel, said he would have denied their motion.
“Because I believe that appellants are unlikely to prevail on their claim that the challenged provision imposes a ‘substantial burden’ under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I would deny their application for an injunction pending appeal,” Tatel said.
The full press release from the USCCB and letter from Archbishop Kurtz to President Obama can be viewed here.