Friday, October 12, 2012

Mrs. Jesus Revisited

I knew it!!! Fr. Z gets to the bottom of the papyrus controversy.

Of papyrus fragments. “Mrs Jesus” … getting a divorce!

A Tale of Two Catholics

Last night, we witnessed to men who are baptized Catholics explain the role in which their faith plays in the personal and public lives. Both showed an understanding of Catholic teaching and professed a belief in its truth. Belief is one thing; putting that belief into practice is another and that is where they greatly differ. Take a look at the following two quotes from last night's debate.

“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that -- women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that.” -Vice President Joe Biden

“I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith,” Ryan said. “Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life."   -Congressman Paul Ryan

See a difference here? One choses to seperate his faith from his public life and the other uses it to inform him in his decisions. Jesus commands us to go "make deciples of all nations" and to teach others to "observe all that I have commanded you." (Mt. 28: 20) He makes no distinction as to our public or private endevors. What we profess at Mass should be the same as what we do in our homes, in the workplace, or in public service.

Is it easy? That would be no. But Jesus never said it would be. St. Paul encourages us, actually charges us to proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching, (2 Tim 4:2) even if it costs us friends, family, a job, or even votes. Are you listening Mr. Biden?

The Vice President went on to say: "Life begins at conception in the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life." So, he can't claim ignorance to Church teaching and is ok with with other people killing an unborn child. That's the same as saying stealing is wrong according to the Church and I accept that, but it's ok if you commit grand theft. I could give a lot of examples here but you get the point.

On the flip side of this arguement, if the Vice President believes that he shouldn't impose his views on someone else, why does he support the HHS Mandate requiring religious institutions to provide free contraceptives and sterilizations? There are many people who have strong held beliefs that those are morally wrong, however the government is requiring that they pay for them. Congressman Ryan stated how he was troubled by what he feels is the Obama administration’s infringement on “our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties."

Biden contended that “no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.” A fact? Really? The USCCB's reaction to that "fact" can be found here.

There is a difference in how one believes goverment resources should be allocated, the most sound tax plan, or how we should shape the country's foreign policy. But there are certain truths that need to be upheld and are non negotiable.

Be blessed!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Door of Faith

 “Dear brothers and sisters, you're among the protagonists of the New evangelization which the Church has undertaken and carried forward, not without difficulty, but with the same enthusiasm of the early Christians."   Pope Benedict XVI  Oct. 16, 2011

On October 11, the Church will begin the Year of Faith which will coencide with the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and end on the feast of Christ the King in November 2013. Here is a link to the Pope's Apostolic Letter announcing this year-long reflection on the richness of our Catholic faith and encourging all of us be part of the New Evengelization.

More to come on this...
Be blessed! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So the Smithsonian Channel (never heard of it) is postponing its blockbuster documentary that will apparently shake Chrisendom to its core. The subject of this program, as you may have guessed, is the tiny, business card-sized piece of papyrus that purportedly proves that Jesus had a wife. They cite "upcoming tests" as the reason for the delay.

Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried. Any evidence to the contrary would shake up debates about priestly celibacy and the role of women in the church.  

So let me get this straight: Four Gospels, and twenty-three other books of the New Testament can be regularly misinterpreted or even completely ignored, but this one fragment of writing of unknown and questionable origin is going to change Church teaching that much?  Not to mention there are various non-Christain sources that at least support the earthly existance of Jesus. Even these sources have verifiable origens. Seriously? Where have wer heard this arguement before?


The Smithsonian Channel promoted the fragment as "one of the most significant discoveries of all time." After scholars began questioning it, the channel initially said it had no plans to delay the broadcast. But later it decided to postpone the Sept. 30 premiere.

So, if all it takes is small scrap of paper to get some Ivy League professor to proclaim the greatest discovery ever, I can make it easy for them. I'll have one of my children write something like "Jesus is God" and "The Catholic Church is the One True Church" and drop it off at Harvard. This could be the "next big thing."

Hey, an American 4 year old writing in crayon can be just as much of an "expert source" as an anymonous 4th Century Copt, right?