Countries approve climate pact at COP26

The final pact comes after the two-week global conference stretched into the weekend.

The agreement calls for countries to step up their ambitions on climate change over the next year.

India proposed an amendment changing language that had previously called for a “phase down” of unabated coal rather than a “phase out,” which was ultimately added into the final language.

Shock: CDC Admits It Has No Record of Unvaccinated Person Spreading COVID Post-Recovery

Infowars.com

A response from the federal government to a lawyer’s FOIA request indicates the CDC has no record of an unvaccinated person spreading Covid-19 after recovering from the disease, making a strong case for natural immunity.

In a response to Siri & Glimstad attorney Elizabeth Brehm, the CDC’s chief FOIA officer notified her the agency could find no records of cases in which unvaccinated people who previously had Covid-19 and recovered, only to be re-infected, spread the disease to others.

Brehm’s request, submitted Sept. 2, 2021, sought CDC records regarding:

“Documents reflecting any documented case of an individual who: (1) never received a COVID-19 vaccine; (2) was infected with COVID-19 once, recovered, and then later became infected again; and (3) transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to another person when reinfected.”

Responding to the lawyer’s FOIA, CDC FOIA Officer Roger Andoh indicated,

“A search of our records failed to reveal any documents pertaining to your request. The CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) conveyed that this information is not collected.”

The information, or lack thereof, could provide a reasonable legal argument for lawyers defending clients who are refusing vaccine mandates on the grounds of natural immunity.

Apocalyptic times call us to act

jared-murray-SCFtNxwLs8w-unsplash.jpg

(Unsplash/Jared Murray)

(Unsplash/Jared Murray)

It’s mid-November. In the northern hemisphere, autumn’s splendor has faded and it’s too early for good snow. Much of the world seems to be cold, damp and drab. It’s a perfect time for some apocalyptic religiosity.

Although apocalyptic visions are famous for their dreadful details, disaster is only their context, not their message. The word apocalypse comes from two Greek words that together mean to uncover or reveal; apocalyptic visions and literature propose to reveal the redemptive potential of what appears to be a situation of personal and/or global disaster.

November 14, 2021

Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Mark 13:24-32

Although doomsayers in every age have amassed evidence that theirs was the worst of times, the turmoil and tragedy of our era give us every right to lament. There might not be an epoch of upheaval like ours since the century between Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press (1436) and the Council of Trent (1545-63). That era saw the discovery/invasion of a previously unimagined hemisphere eventually named America and the mushrooming of the African slave trade. During that century, the Reformation sundered Europe’s religious unity and Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits, the most unmonkish of religious orders. Everything that had given stability to the western world was up for grabs.

We might mark the beginning of our epoch with the 1960s moment when earthlings orbiting the moon sent us pictures of Earth that revealed the big picture irrelevance of the national borders pretending to divide and define our globe. Science has taught us that evolution is our history, and technology allows us to speak face-to-face with people anywhere on Earth while Google helps us overcome our language barriers. It would all be very hopeful if it weren’t so terribly frightening to lose our traditional stability and certainties.

More frightening than our losses are some truly novel elements of our 21st century context. We are in a climate calamity. Social media includes an uncontrollable and too-often irresponsible explosion of (mis)information. Churches feel the loss of traditional religiosity among both sincere and apathetic sectors of our societies while new, varied and vibrant perceptions of our humanity have broken open our old categories of gender, race, class, nationality, etc. As in the 16th century, it seems everything that once created stability has gone up for grabs. Perhaps we should rephrase a carol we’ll soon be hearing ad nauseam and sing, “We’re in our own apocalypse, right this very minute, we’ve got our own apocalypse now!”

Apocalyptic visions do seem to focus on catastrophe — to wit, Daniel’s “time unsurpassed in distress,” and Jesus’ prediction that the sun will be darkened, the stars falling and the powers in heaven will be shaken. Nevertheless, Daniel’s disaster sets the scene for the appearance of Michael, the angelic helper. Then, when Jesus talks about the fearsome signs, he explains, “When you see these things happening, know that the Son of Man is at the gates.”

Pfizer Secretly Adds Dangerous Ingredient to Injections for 5 to 11 Year Olds

Taiwan Stops Pfizer Shots for 12 to 17 Year Olds

by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

We are creating an entire generation of young people with weak hearts who will either die early, if they survive the COVID shots, or be dependent on the medical system to treat their weakened hearts for the rest of their lives.

The CDC and FDA know this, and have even issued warnings about it, but they call these events “rare” and refuse to stop injecting young people.

Health officials in Taiwan have apparently figured this out, as it was just announced that they are halting injecting children ages 12 to 17 with the second Pfizer shot, due to concerns about heart damage, and that they are NOT approving Pfizer shots for children below the age of 12 until this issue is settled.

George Liao of the Taiwan News reports:

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Wednesday (Nov. 10) that a panel of experts has decided to suspend administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID vaccine to children 12-17 years old amid concerns it may increase the risk of myocarditis.

Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after BNT vaccination of children between 12 and 17 years of age. According to U.S. statistics, the risk of youths experiencing myocarditis after receiving the second BNT dose is 10 times higher than after the first dose, CNA reported.

Some countries have adjusted their policies regarding administering COVID-19 vaccines to adolescents. For instance, Hong Kong has changed from two doses of BNT to only a single dose for those aged 12-17. The U.K. has done something similar, recommending only one shot for children between 12 and 18 years of age, per CNA.

Chen said that the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) has decided to halt administration of second BNT doses to this age group for two weeks, during which time experts and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) physicians will look at the 16 cases of myocarditis among adolescents after BNT vaccination before making a final decision on whether to go ahead with the second shot.

International data will also be consulted before the final decision is made, the CECC head said, adding that currently, children between the ages of 12-17 are being vaccinated with two doses worldwide except in Hong Kong and the U.K.

As for whether COVID-19 vaccines will be approved for children aged 5-11, Chen said the matter will not be considered until the second dose issue with 12 to 17-year-olds is settled. (Source.)

Meanwhile, as the United States rushes to inject as many children between the ages of 5 and 11 as possible, including in Red States and often right in churches, targeting 28 million children in this age group, Greg Reese of Infowars.com has just published an explosive report about a secret ingredient that Pfizer has added to the shots being given to children under the age of 12 that is not present in their other COVID-19 shots.

It is a drug called “tromethamine” that is used in patients with heart attacks, and like all pharmaceutical drugs, has multiple reported adverse side effects, which includes tissue damage.

It has never before been tested in use with a “vaccine.”

She Is A Treasure To Be Pursued; Not Prey To Be Hunted.

In this post, I am going to talk about some things that the church tends to be hush-hush about. First of all, God created sex. It is not wrong to talk about sex. God created sex to be kept within the boundaries that He has set. When people go outside of God’s boundaries, then there is a problem.

I highlight certain issues, not for the sake of gender wars. It is the opposite. I desire unity. There is a spiritual problem in the world. This spiritual problem sometimes manifests as disunity and contempt between men and women. God is love. I would much rather see things done His way in love. This is why I speak out on various issues.

That said, there are some bad analogies out there. One such analogy is that a man hunts a woman the way a lion hunts it’s prey. A lot of men refer to men as hunters, even in reference to pursuing a woman. They use the word “hunter” when encouraging women to allow themselves to be pursued by a man. As I stated, I have even heard the lion/prey analogy.

There are different ideologies behind phrases and analogies. I think the context in which many use the word hunter in these cases is not meant to be predatorial. However, I believe it is important to watch what we say, because whether we realize it or not, words are seed and take root in people’s minds.

Therefore, words plant ideas, and ideas produce behaviors. We should be mindful of what we say.

There is nothing wrong with being a hunter, but a man should not hunt a woman down, as if he is a beast looking to devour her as prey. While I agree with the principle that a man should initiate pursuit and a woman should respond, I do not view a man as a hunter, and a woman as his prey.

A woman is to be treasured as a valuable human being. The man who desires her should pursue and woo her in an attempt to win her over.

 

There should be nothing predatorial about the relationship dynamics between a man and a woman. I have also taken note that when referring to sexual activity, plenty men use violent words to describe the act. I do not believe that God’s intent was violence. It is supposed to be real intimacy, mutual giving, mutual pleasure, and in many cases, reproduction.

In my mind, some of the people who use aggressive terminology are well-meaning, no doubt. I think it is just lingo they picked up from society’s influences. Historically, women have been objectified and sexuality has been viewed as a power dynamic; a conquesting event where the man conquers the woman who surrenders to him.

The vocabulary used has often been of a violent and aggressive nature. Descriptions of the pursuit of a woman by a man includes analogies such as hunting, the way a lion hunts. Descriptions of sexual activity are sometimes described as something a man does to a woman, instead of with a woman. Do we see a problem with this?

Words used to describe the man’s actions are “banged”, “nailed”, “broke”, etc. Naturally, harsh, animalistic verbs describe the treatment of the woman. These words are not typically used to describe actions that affect the man.

For some, sex is about the man’s power, conquest, and the woman’s surrender.

Characteristics describing men’s anatomy are powerful words such as rod, hammer, and stick, while women’s anatomy is referred to with weaker words such as an alternative for the word cat. Hmmm. Interesting. There is nothing weak about a woman’s anatomy! She gives birth and goes through an awful lot. Her body can do too many amazing things to be described using weak terminology!

I believe the reason so many people have a toxic view of sexuality and some women end up feeling used, sexually repressed, and objectified is because of the unhealthy, imbalanced way some people view relationships and sexual dynamics. There seems to always be a sort of power struggle.

This is not God’s intent. God made everything good and beautiful. The adversary aims to distort and pervert it. This post is to shed light on some things that people carelessly say and do. Certain things said are harmful to our interpretations of and perspectives on the good things God has created. Consequently, these toxic perspectives have aided in toxic behaviors.

Keep in mind the context of the following verse, and keep in mind the first and second great commandments and the golden rule at the same time.

 

Remember, Jesus said these are the two greatest commandments:

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 

The second is equally important:

‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

The two great commandments are important to remember, because 1 Corinthians 7: 4 can be, and has been used out of context to imply that a man and a woman are allowed to harm each other’s bodies or do whatever they want to each other. It has especially been the case that some men have implied that a man gets to do what he wants sexually, whenever he wants with his wife.

This is not true, because if this were the case, it would defy the 2nd great commandment and golden rule. Instead, 1 Corinthians 7: 4 is proof that the husband and wife give themselves to each other, for the sake of mutual pleasure and intimacy, and reproduction.

It is a love thing. There should be no taking, forcing, or harm inflicted. There should be no power struggle, but mutual giving and receiving. The man is made to initiate in the giving.

 

I am also highlighting this, because even some professed Christian men have a strange, power- seeking and distorted view of the dynamics between a husband and wife. This includes men who are public figures. They perpetuate their ideas. They preach to the masses.

Some people eagerly adhere to their harmful ideologies. There are women who end up feeling used and objectified. Then some men wonder why their wife may not be as sexually responsive as they hope she would be. God did not wire women to be positively responsive to, or attracted to being objectified.

We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We are to love others as we love ourselves. This means that we don’t get to harm other people for our own selfish gratification. It means that we don’t try to force or demand our way, because we would not want someone to do that to us. Yet, each person should have a selfless attitude.

While in compliance to the two great commandments, this is to be accepted and enjoyed also: “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7: 4. As we can see, God’s design is balanced, beautiful, and beneficial.

The Nature And Purpose of Purgatory

Those who deny Purgatory speak against the justice of God.

?—?St. Thomas Aquinas, ST, Supplement, Appendix 2, 1

Does purgatory exist?

Some who deny the existence of purgatory cite Revelation 14:13: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth. ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” The Catechism makes it clear, however, that purgatory exists as a place of cleansing or purgation (1030–1032).

St. Thomas Aquinas explains that the verse from Revelation refers to the labor of working to gain spiritual merit, but does not address the labor of suffering to be cleansed from sin. Any person whose soul is in purgatory has died in charity and merits the eternal reward of heaven, but only after having been cleansed of any remaining venial sins. A soul in purgatory may also bear the effects of mortal sins that have been forgiven, but for which the person has not yet made satisfaction through penance. Revelation confirms that “nothing unclean shall enter” heaven (21:27).

Thomas further explains Church teaching on purgatory with another passage from Scripture and a line from the Eastern Church Father St. Gregory of Nyssa (A.D. 335–394). Scripture tells us, in reference to Judah Maccabee, that “it was a holy and pious thought” that “he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (2 Macc. 12:45). Thomas elaborates that there is no need to pray for the souls in heaven, since they already have their reward. Neither is a need to pray for those in hell, because they can no longer be freed from their sins.

Yet those who have died in charity can never suffer everlasting death, since charity covers all sins (Prov. 10:12), and those who follow Christ will have eternal life (John 11:26). Gregory of Nyssa says that the person who loves and believes in Christ, but dies before his sins have been washed away, “is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory.”

Here, God’s justice is made clear. He has provided the purging fires of purgatory so that believers who die still tainted by sin may become clean in the afterlife. Further, He has provided a means whereby we, through our prayers as the Church Militant on earth, may help loosen the bonds of sin of the Church Suffering in purgatory, so that they might sooner rest eternally with God in heaven. Such prayer is, indeed, “a holy and pious thing.”

Are souls cleansed and damned within the same place?  

While the existence of purgatory is an established doctrine of the Church, made clear especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent (CCC 1031), Thomas tells us that “nothing is clearly stated in Scripture about the situation of Purgatory, nor is it possible to offer convincing arguments on this question.” In other words, the Bible does not tell us exactly where purgatory is. Still, Thomas declares that some opinions are “of no account”?—?for example, the idea that purgatory is somewhere above us because the state of the souls in purgatory lies between those living on earth and God in heaven. Nonsense, says Thomas, since those souls are not punished for being above us, “but for that which is lowest in them, namely sin.”

Thomas notes that it is “probable,” according to statements made by holy men and many private revelations, that “there is a twofold place of Purgatory.” One place is according to the “common law.” This place is below us and near hell, so the same fire torments both the souls being cleansed and the souls that are damned in hell, though the damned, being of lower merit, are consigned to the lowest place. Thomas makes the important distinction that while the fires of hell serve to afflict the damned, the fires of purgatory, while painful, serve primarily to cleanse souls from sin.

The second place of purgatory is according to a special “dispensation,” whereby, “as we read,” souls are sometimes punished in various places so that the living may learn from them, or those souls themselves may be “succored [comforted], seeing that their punishment being made known to the living may be mitigated through the prayers of the Church.”

Indeed, we can all hope that we will never know firsthand where in hell the damned reside, and that, should we come to know purgatory’s location (or locations) firsthand, we will not reside there very long!

Are the pains of purgatory greater than any pains of this life?

In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire. With regard to both the least pain of Purgatory surpasses the greatest pain of this life.?

?— St. Thomas Aquinas,?ST, Supplement, Appendix 1, 2, 1

In this quotation, Thomas expands upon Augustine’s declaration that “this fire of Purgatory will be more severe than any pain that can be felt, seen, or conceived in this world.” The soul’s pain of losing the divine vision of God will be greater than any sense of loss of earth because the more we desire something, the more we suffer when it is absent. (Any person who has lost a loved one can attest to this kind of pain.) Yet in purgatory, our overwhelming desire to see God is completely undiluted. The soul’s desire is not hindered or distracted by things of the body. Further, the soul knows that had it not been held back by the weight of sin, it would already have achieved the “Sovereign Good,” as Thomas puts it. Therefore, the soul grieves most intensely because the delay of purgatory keeps it from its ultimate goal.

The soul’s pain of sense in purgatory does not refer to a hurt or injury itself, but to the sense thereof. “The more sensitive a thing is,” Thomas explains, “the greater the pain caused by that which hurt it.” We know from experience that hurts inflicted upon the most sensitive parts of our body cause the greatest pain. Because all bodily sensations arise from the soul, it follows that the most exquisite pain is suffered when the soul itself is hurt.

Therefore, Thomas concludes that the pains of purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpass all the pains we experience during life.

Do souls in purgatory suffer their punishment voluntarily?

This is an interesting question with, perhaps, a surprising answer, for we cannot imagine choosing to suffer such great pain. Evidence suggesting the answer is no includes the anecdotes in Gregory’s Dialogues about souls in purgatory who appear to the living and ask to be set free. Thomas says the answer is yes, but this requires precise thinking about just what makes an act voluntary.

First, an act may be voluntary as an absolute act of the will. In this sense, the very idea of punishment is contrary to the nature of the will, which always seeks the good, and not pain or punishment. Second, an act may be voluntary as a conditional act of the will, as when a person willingly undergoes some pain or punishment because it allows him to obtain a good he could not attain otherwise. Thomas provides the simple example of submitting to painful surgical procedures to restore our health and the extreme example of martyrs, who submit to bodily death to procure their reward in heaven. It is in this second sense that the punishments in purgatory are voluntary, since the souls know they will someday set free and obtain their goal of heaven. This we see in the many stories of souls in purgatory who appear to people on earth and ask for prayers to hasten their purification.

Does the fire of purgatory pay the debt of punishment for sin?

Thomas notes that as the punishment one voluntarily endures in this life serves as satisfaction to atone the guilt of sin, all the more so will the more grievous pains of purgatory atone for the debt of punishment for sins. Anyone in debt is freed by paying what he owes. The obligation incurred by guilt is the debt of punishment, and a person is freed from that obligation by undergoing the punishment. Therefore, the answer is yes: “The punishment of Purgatory cleanses from the debt of punishment.”

Are some souls released from purgatory before others?

Some argue that because more-grievous sins warrant more-severe punishments, more-serious sinners would be punished more severely in purgatory, but all souls would suffer for the same amount of time. Thomas answers with an interesting observation about a line from the writings of “the Apostle” (St. Paul) comparing venial sins to wood, straw, and hay (1 Cor. 3:12): as wood remains longer in a fire than straw and hay, some kinds of venial sins will be punished longer than others in the fires of purgatory. Some venial sins “cling” to us more persistently than do others, as we are more inclined to indulge in them repeatedly, and “since that which clings more persistently is more slowly cleansed, it follows that some are tormented in Purgatory longer than others, for as much as their affections were steeped in venial sins.” Further, the severity of punishment corresponds to the amount of guilt, while the length corresponds to how firmly the sin has taken root in the soul. Therefore, some souls may spend longer in purgatory, but suffer less, and vice versa.

Blame Biden, Pelosi and the Media On Communion Controversy

EDITORIAL: The fault lies with the news media that continually misrepresent the matter — and, even more, with Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the other prominent Catholic politicians who continue to scandalize the faithful by their Eucharistically incoherent support for legal abortion.

President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi depart following a meeting with the Democratic caucus at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2021.
President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi depart following a meeting with the Democratic caucus at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on October 28, 2021. (photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty)

The U.S. bishops will gather Nov. 15-18 in Baltimore for their annual fall assembly. There, it’s virtually certain that the issue of Catholic politicians who promote abortion rights and also insist on receiving Communion will once again dominate the secular media’s coverage of their discussions. Staff writer Lauretta Brown previewed the meeting.

Yet it’s not the bishops who are forcing debate of this issue at the assembly. The problem has been generated by these wayward politicians’ obstinate refusal to reform their consciences and to repent of their support for the evil of abortion — a scourge that has been responsible for the deaths of more than 60 million innocent unborn babies in the half-century since abortion was legalized in the United States.

Moreover, as has been documented many times over in these pages during the course of this year, it’s impossible to avoid the matter in light of the actions of the two most prominent Catholic politicians in the nation, President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Since Biden became president in January, aided and abetted by Pelosi’s actions in Congress, he has sought to push forward the Democratic Party’s current pro-abortion agenda, which is far and away the most extreme expansion of the so-called right to abortion in our nation’s history.

Neither Biden nor Pelosi has had the slightest compunction about continuing to advertise themselves as being devout, Mass-attending Catholics, despite their profound political breach with the Church’s teaching about what the U.S. bishops call “the preeminent moral issue of our time.” In October, both politicians made a point of traveling to Rome to meet with Pope Francis to parade their Catholic credentials, highlighting areas where their political perspectives do align with the Church’s, while ducking away from the efforts of faithful Catholic media outlets to question them about why they are ignoring the Holy Father’s repeated characterizations of abortion as a form of murder.

Clearly, by their own actions, Biden and Pelosi — along with other U.S. Catholic politicians who similarly push for the advancement of legal abortion and yet present themselves for Communion — are forcing our bishops to address their lack of Eucharistic coherence. That’s why the bishops’ conference has reinitiated the discussion.

Secular news media continue to circulate the canard that it’s the bishops who are “obsessing” over the issue, when it’s obvious for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear that it’s the fault of these Catholics in public life who have so egregiously placed themselves outside of communion with what their Church proclaims about the sanctity of life, which includes the unborn.

The truth is, the bishops plan only to include a relatively small component addressing the worthiness to receive Holy Communion in a new document on the Eucharist that will be debated and then voted on in Baltimore. The document is called “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” and it has been crafted by the USCCB’s doctrine committee in conjunction with the evangelization committee’s proposal to launch a three-year National Eucharistic Revival.

During the assembly, the bishops will also vote on the plans for the revival. It’s an initiative that is urgently needed, in light of recent polls that show a majority of U.S. Catholics have major misunderstandings about this central sacrament of our faith.

As always, there are a number of other significant USCCB proposals that the bishops will discuss, including an update of their “Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines”; a discussion of the implementation of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities’ “Walking With Moms in Need” initiative, which aims to mobilize parishes and dioceses in support of expectant mothers who are facing difficulties in their pregnancies; and a new pastoral framework for marriage and family ministry that’s drawn from the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). Given the scope of these discussions, it should be clear the bishops are responding constructively to a broad range of pastoral needs, not fixating narrowly on the issue of Catholic politicians and reception of Communion.

Another falsehood that continues to be propagated by secular media outlets that align with the abortion lobby is the claim that the bishops’ conference intends to reignite the so-called “wafer wars” by advising local bishops that they are obliged to deny Communion to obstinately pro-abortion public officials. In fact, there is virtually no chance this will happen; the discussion in June and a draft of the Eucharistic document have clearly communicated such actions will remain at the discretion of individual diocesan bishops.

In fact, the draft indicates the U.S. bishops will be less specific in their document than was the Latin American bishops’ 2007 Aparecida document, which was drafted under the leadership of then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. It stated forcefully, “We must adhere to ‘Eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they [i.e., legislators, heads of government and health professionals] cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia and other grave crimes against life and the family are encouraged.”

The point is that these politicians are the ones who need to discipline themselves to stay away from the Communion line, since they can have no legitimate excuse any longer for insisting that their “pro-choice” position is acceptably Catholic.

Maybe it’s too much to hope that such Catholic politicians will ever be swayed by a medicinal correction regarding their support for legal abortion. But don’t criticize the bishops if the issue of reception of Communion does overshadow the other things on the agenda at the meeting in Baltimore. The fault lies with the news media that continually misrepresent the matter — and, even more, with Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the other prominent Catholic politicians who continue to scandalize the faithful by their Eucharistically incoherent support for legal abortion.

 

Praying With Non-Catholics

Is there a contradiction between what Pope Pius XI said and what Vatican II said, or are the two in harmony?

Trent Horn

One criticism of the second Vatican Council is that it contradicts previous magisterial teaching on the question of praying with non-Catholics. For example, the Council document Unitatis Redintegratio says: “In certain circumstances, such as prayers ‘for unity’ and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren” (8). But in the encyclical Mortalium Animos, written almost forty years earlier, Pope Pius XI said,

It is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it (10).

The key to resolving this discrepancy is to distinguish between active communion and passive communion. The former is an illicit form of worship or behavior that directly imitates worship. It is scandalous because it involves praying the distinctive prayers of another religion as if one were professing allegiance to that faith. That is something Catholics cannot do as a matter of divine law, which no Church directive could ever change.

So we can’t pray with non-Catholics in this active sense . . . but we can pray with non-Catholics in the sense of praying “in their presence.” This is the licit kind of passive communion that Catholics and non-Catholics can share. This kind of distinction can be seen in the writings of St. Alphonsus Liguori, who said, “It is not permitted to be present at the sacred rites of infidels and heretics in such a way that you would be judged to be in communion with them” (Theologia Moralis).

Notice that Liguori adds the qualifier about in such a way, that would intimate being in communion in a false theology, and not mere proximity.

Moreover, when we examine the historical context of the pre-Vatican II discussion on “praying with non-Catholics,” we can see that the directives were not meant to be universal condemnations of any association with non-Catholics in a religious context. For example, in Mortalium Animos, Pius XI criticized believers for calling themselves pan-Christians, arguing for all believers to be united into one invisible Church. This contradicts the fact that Christ established one visible Church with an authoritative hierarchy. But the pope was interested in finding ways to restore unity between Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. In his book Ecumenical Associations, James Oliver writes:

Much was done by Pius XI for better relations between the Oriental and Latin Churches. The study of the culture, practices and beliefs of the Orientals was very important to him. . . . [The pope] urged the cardinals to work for unity with the East. In an allocution delivered to the Italian University Catholic Federation on January 10, 1927, Pius XI said that most necessary to reunion is for people to know one another and to love one another. He recognized this call as one that would be shared in the relations with those separated during the Reformation (pp. 32-33).

Oliver goes on to say of Mortalium Animos that the pope “both welcomed the separated brethren and clearly stated what was and was not possible for Catholics regarding dialogue with non-Catholic Christians concerning theological differences and unity.”

In 1949, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith likewise released a document on ecumenism that outlined when it was and wasn’t appropriate, so this isn’t some radical, post-Vatican II development. Here’s a part of the instruction:

The previous permission of the Holy See, special for each case, is always required; and in the petition asking for it, it must also be stated what are the questions to be treated and who the speakers are to be. . . . Although in all these meetings and conferences any communication whatsoever in worship must be avoided, yet the recitation in common of the Lord’s Prayer or of some prayer approved by the Catholic Church, is not forbidden for opening or closing the said meetings.

It is true divine law that prohibits active participation in non-Catholic rituals . . . and Vatican II’s declaration on ecumenism does not instruct believers to do that. It says: “Witness to the unity of the Church very generally forbids common worship to Christians, but the grace to be had from it sometimes commends this practice” (8).

The “common worship” being spoken of here should be understood as an endorsement of passive communion where attendees pray next to each other or share in a common, authorized prayer like the Our Father. Nothing in the Second Vatican Council contradicts earlier teachings that forbid Catholics from actively taking part in the unique aspects of non-Catholic worship services.

Thomas Aquinas on Transgenderism

Thomas Aquinas, the Church’s greatest theologian, had lots to say about the nature of the human person. So what would he say about the modern transgender movement? We asked Father Hugh Barbour.


Cy Kellett:What would Thomas Aquinas say about transgenderism? Father Hugh Barbour is next.

Cy Kellett:

Hello, and welcome to Focus, the Catholic Answers podcast for living, understanding and defending your Catholic faith. So much talk about transgenderism these days, and it finally occurred to us, I wonder what Thomas Aquinas would have to say about that? And so we decided, we’ll ask a Thomist what would Thomas have to say about our current confusion regarding sex and gender? And so we have a really good Thomist that we can call up and get ahold of, and that’s father Hugh Barbour. And here’s what he had to say.

Cy Kellett:

Father Hugh Barbour, thank you for being with us.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Happy to be here.

Cy Kellett:

I want to talk to you about transgenderism and the whole kind of transgender movement. And it seems to me that so many people say, and I think they’re right when they say this, this gets right to the core of what it means to be a human being. And when you get right-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Close to the core.

Cy Kellett:

Close to the core. Okay. All right. Maybe you can explain that more as we go. But when you think about issues of what it is to be a human being, you think, well, what did Thomas Aquinas have to say about that? Because he had a lot to say about these profound things.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well he did, but he said what he found in sake of Scripture and in the truth of the revelation of the faith. So he found what’s found in Genesis, that God created man in his image. That’s the real core.

Cy Kellett:

That’s the central core.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Man made in God’s image.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And then male and female, God created them, because man is a composite being of soul and body, and so is multiplied by procreation. Unlike angels, who are multiplied by, “bang.” They’re created right individually. But man is multiplied by procreation. Angels don’t have mommy and daddy. No other creature cooperated in the making of an angel. God made them directly. But with human beings, apart from Adam, the first man, and Eve, who came forth from Adam, and even that’s a cooperation, all human beings come into existence by the power of God, who creates their immortal soul and infuses it into the body, generated by the cooperation of their parents through procreation through intercourse.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So man is made in God’s image as to his soul or his spiritual nature. Best to say his spiritual nature. Made in God’s image according to his understanding and his power to love, his intellect and his will. But then insofar as he can be duplicated, replicated, multiplied, then that requires procreation. Because bodies require a process of procreation. And that is why God created man in his image. And then it says right away in Genesis, male and female, he created them.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right. Yeah. So it’s just this next-step truth about man. Man is created in God image. Man is created male and female. So as to have more human beings after God’s image. So the multiplication of God’s image is the main thing, but that comes about for human beings not by the wild excess of God’s goodness as he does with the angels, just but with a particular kind of goodness, which allows the human persons who exist to cooperate in bringing forth new life as male and female.

Cy Kellett:

All right. Well, then, I’m going to ask you now a question that I had thought I would ask later, because it seems to present itself immediately from what you just said, that if you say the core of the matter is God created man in his own image, and then the immediately following upon that is male and female he created them, how do we address the person who’ll say, “See, the main thing is that we are in God’s image. The maleness and femaleness is just an accidental of our person. It’s not essential to who we are.”

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, it’s essential for human nature as the common possession of the whole human race.

Cy Kellett:

Okay.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Because you can’t have new human beings, ultimately. I mean, you can talk about the technological things they can do now to cause procreation without-

Cy Kellett:

Well, yes, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

But, I mean, naturally speaking, you cannot produce human beings without the cooperation of both sexes. And so the distinction of sex is part of the essence of human nature, insofar as we’re bodily, but not insofar as we are also spirits destined to a life of contemplation of God and the possession of spiritual goods, in which case men and women are not distinct. As St. Paul says in Galatians 3, “In Christ, there’s neither male or female.” And that’s referring to the grace of baptism. A little girl baptized is no less baptized into Christ than a little boy, because they all become members of Christ, the Body of Christ.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

The Body of Christ, which, this is where we can get into the gender ideologies maybe, is both male and female in its members. Christ the head is a man, like Adam was a man, but his body is both male and female. And indeed, in relation to him, all souls who are bodily are as female to Christ the bride groom, the one who renders them spiritually fruitful. But at that point, we enter into a realm of metaphor or analogy describing our relationship with God as though it were like the relationship between a man and a woman, even though, in fact, it is not. But it’s used as an image in the Scriptures to convey that to us. That’s a whole lot in one answer, so maybe we can chop it up a little bit. Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

Well, I’ll go this direction. We’ll see if this does chop it down a little bit. But so for someone like Thomas, who you said really derives his anthropology or his theory or his understanding of what the human person is directly from the earliest lines of-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

From Genesis, right. Yeah. Not just from Aristotle.

Cy Kellett:

No. Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

He uses Aristotle, but he doesn’t get his anthropology of Aristotle. Just like uses Plato, but he doesn’t get his anthropology from Plato. He gets it from the Bible, from divine revelation.

Cy Kellett:

Right. And his faith permits him a certainty that this is true, that-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, exactly.

Cy Kellett:

That man in the collective is made … and in each individual case, too, made in the image and likeness of God, and that male and female he created them. So he starts there, he starts with-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right. Right. Exactly.

Cy Kellett:

He doesn’t start with, you know … But there’s certainly helpful insights in Plato and Aristotle.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right. Right. And that’s part of … Yeah, go ahead.

Cy Kellett:

Okay. So, I’m still not clear, then, in even in how you described it, how would a person … No, let’s not say a person like Thomas. How might Thomas respond to the claim of this transgender movement, that there can be a difference between our physical sex and what we are as a person, our gender, so to speak?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, he would respond in this way. He would say, looking at the human person with all of the faculties in powers of the soul, he would try to locate in that composite where the inclination contrary to the biological sex would be found. So if you have a boy who’s born male, I mean, he has male chromosomes. He’s biologically a male. And that’s, strange enough, that’s almost controversial even to say that, but that’s the way it is. All right? So you have a boy who was born male, who feels strongly, is convinced, that he is actually female. Then you have to locate that desire or that inclination somewhere in his nature. You can’t locate it on the level of simply bodily nature. Because biologically, he’s male.

Cy Kellett:

Ah. That’s … I see what you’re saying. Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So where are you going to locate that? You have to look at him and you have to say, well, he got it where? From some impression made on his senses, which entered into his imagination? Which … And every form that we receive begets an inclination, begets a desire or an aversion. So something came to his senses, which was collated into his imagination and his memory, which so affected them that he feels strongly that he would rather be female.

Cy Kellett:

Yes.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right? And therefore, you have to locate that particular orientation towards defining his identity, you have to place it in the emotional life based upon past experience of this person. That’s where you have to put it. There’s no denying, you have to respect people. When someone says, “I want to be a woman, even though I’m a man,” they probably do want to be a woman. Yeah. Now-

Cy Kellett:

Or they may even be convinced that they are.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Of course. Right, right. Convinced or otherwise. Some people may find that a painful inclination, which they resist and try to overcome. Others may, with a lot of help from other people nowadays, say, “Well, this is what I am and so I’m going to assert it.”

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And that’s where it’s found. So you have to say, well, in my nature, I’m a man. But should I desire not to be a man but a woman, that particular inclination will be found somewhere else in my nature, but not in my bodily biological construct. Certainly not in my genitals, certainly not in my hormones, certainly not in any of that, but rather in an affect that is an emotion which is generated by experience.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And there are examples. People can have traumatic experiences of trauma associating with being male. I know of a case of a famous writer whose mother was in perpetual mourning over the loss of her beautiful brother to syphilis this in 19th century. And so when she found the little boy when he was five touching himself in his genitals, she went nuts because she associated men with sexual pleasure and the death of her brother with this syphilis coming from his running around. And so she went to the kitchen and got a knife, and she waved to the little boy and said, “You know, if you ever do that, I’m going to cut those things off.”

Cy Kellett:

Horrific trauma for that child.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

To a five-year-old. Okay? And, so, consequently, he took that for what it was worth. He loves his mother. He takes her word. This is something really bad. I should be something else. And therefore where the shame and the fear associated with having a penis and balls made him not want to have them, or to have them from someone else who had them securely and assertively, and not insecurely. And throughout the course of his life, and this is a Catholic writer. I won’t name him now, but he’s very well known in certain parts of the world and very much admired, he struggled with this his entire life.

Cy Kellett:

As one would. I mean, five years old, the whole threat from his mother.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

But that’s there. Now, there might be on the other side, a less traumatic and more soft version where daddy wanted a daughter, and mommy doesn’t have any problem with that because mothers, the initial identification of a child is with the mother. And with the boy especially, he has to make the transition to identifying with his dad and with his peers. But girls, that’s no problem. They identify right away with their mothers and then they continue. And therefore, it’s a very different kind of psychology. But the boy has to make this transition.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, what if neither father nor mother are particularly interested in making that transition? The mother’s perfectly happy to address the boy up in girls’ clothes or to let him have girls’ entertainments and identify with other girls and play with them and not do anything that would be expected of a little boy? The father respects his son’s sensitivity, doesn’t do the normal male things with him, and he never identifies with masculinity.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And then they hear a show on NPR and then their little boy says, “You know, I’d like to be a girl.” And they said, “Yeah, that’s right. So let’s go talk to the doctor.” Now, that’s a reality. That little boy has received such impressions in his life that he is convinced on the level of his emotions that this is what he is. Not what he wants to be, but what he is.

Cy Kellett:

And when you say it’s not physical, in other words, a scientist could deconstruct-

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:13:04]

Cy Kellett:

In other words, a scientist could deconstruct his body, examine it in every way, look in every single cell, and you would find no evidence of the female. It’s not…

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Not there.

Cy Kellett:

So that’s what you mean, that it’s not arising from the body.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Other than the fact that men have estrogen too. So they can-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

You could have a case of, some men have more testosterone than others, that kind of thing. But no, basically you’ve got it right there. There are certain cases of androgynous births-

Cy Kellett:

Sure.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Where they can’t determine the sex, but those extreme cases, which are physical still on the level of chromosomes, they’re usually pretty clear. But even there there’s some difficulties sometimes, but the extreme cases don’t prove the point. They just prove that there’s some disorder there.

Cy Kellett:

Sure.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

That’s on the level of a physical disorder like people can be born with other chromosomal difficulties that also cause deficiencies. Or we might say, nowadays we say more differences From other people. But that’s something that has to be worked out on a very individual level. That’s not a model for everybody.

Cy Kellett:

It does seem to me that even… I shouldn’t say even, certainly among our Catholic brothers and sisters, among many, many Christians and among many who are kind of part of the popular, modern religion, whatever it is that’s left over from Christianity, has a sense that the soul is a thing within the body. And that is not Thomas’s view of the soul, that we might call a dualism, or a kind of dualism. And then there’s another kind of modern modernity or modern way of… This, look, the soul bit, all that soul business is a fantasy. You’re just a physical body. That’s what you are. And so in the latter case, if you feel like a girl, be a girl, because there’s no… The truth of the matter is irrelevant. You’re just a physical body anyways. In the former case, maybe you do have a female soul in a male body.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Yes. Well, we would say of course, as far as the spirit goes that we don’t distinguish sex according to spirit, because that would make two different kinds of being, men and women would be different natures altogether and not share common human nature if there were female souls and male souls. They differ by their body, but not by their souls. But it’s important to keep in mind that the bodily nature of human beings is informed by the soul as a principle of life, the soul being immaterial, why do we say it’s totally spiritual or immaterial? Because totally in the sense that it has those root… The power to exist without a body. Because we have operations that we can perform that do not require a body, such as the generation of a universal concept from sense experience. Nothing in sense experience is going to give you a universal of any kind.

Cy Kellett:

Right [crosstalk 00:15:57].

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Everything we experience on the level of senses is something individual. So the power that we have to universalize our sense experience, our sense knowledge, shows that we have something that goes beyond the material because the material order is only composed of individual material things. The universal notion comes by a spiritual nature. That is, there are only human beings, Joe, Jack, Mary, Paul and all the other names according to ethnicity. But human nature, humanity is something which the mind perceives and really exists in those people, but is only perceptible to a spiritual faculty, that is without matter. So the, the point you’re really driving at is that we have an ideology that’s come up, especially since the 60s in universities, which began as a way of interpreting literature of the postmodern or deconstructionist movement. Where there’s a basic and universal denial of natures in favor of materiality and brute experience.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So that there is no such thing as human nature. There is no such thing as an essence, there’s only your being and your ability to project your being in the world however you will. So basically there’s being and willpower and you decide what you want. And if you succeed in getting what you want, well, that’s fine. Your life project, they call it, or if you can succeed in that fine, if you don’t, well, it’s too bad, but everybody is doing that. No one is actually living a life in order to fulfill the rules or the laws that apply to universal human nature as such, in order to attain an end, which is common to all human beings.

Cy Kellett:

Yes.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And so then this ultimately devolves after several decades from being nerdy university analysis of literature, all the way down to, you can determine your reality. And you can decide that you are female even if you are bodily and scientifically, we would say male. They can just say science, that’s a cultural construct. What I have is my experience.

Cy Kellett:

Yes.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And what I want, and I can assert that and no one has the right to oppose my right. And the only way to make society run is just to have all these people, doing whatever they want, as long as they don’t impede what somebody else wants, but that is almost an impossible world to maintain because you will have people disagreeing. And when they disagree, what do they do? They give reasons why they disagree.

Cy Kellett:

Oh and all of a sudden we’re back into the-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

We’re back to natures-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And arguments based upon reality.

Cy Kellett:

Yes. Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And so otherwise, I mean, if you’re in a black room with no light and no visibility of whatsoever, and you could just sit there and throw stuff at other people and find a comfortable position and grab something to eat and whatnot, without any notion of knowledge of anything whatsoever, but just survival of the fittest without any knowledge. Well, then you would have the kind of world that this sort of thing would lead to. But fortunately, because God made a world that is full of natures and realities that can be ascertained rationally, nobody is able to be consistent in the application of this ideology. Nobody.

Cy Kellett:

No, it’s not possible, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

It’s not possible.

Cy Kellett:

It’s not-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

It’s a-

Cy Kellett:

because you end up saying something like, there is no such thing as human nature and you have no right to violate it. It becomes a kind of moronic-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right and this individualism, you say, well dad, I’m a girl, you can’t say I’m not. And if you do, you’re hateful, you hate me. You’re a hateful person. You’re like Adolf Hitler. All right. That’s usually the… It goes to there. All right. And then dad could say, wait a minute, I’m an individual, too, and I don’t think you’re a girl. So, but you’re not me. He said, what rule tells me that, why can’t I just make you a projection of me? I decide that you are me and you are my identity. And you will be what exactly, what I want you to be. Now where could you use in this ideology, gender ideology anything that would justify your maintenance of your individual dignity against someone else’s claims?

Cy Kellett:

You have no ground to stand on-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

You can’t. You can’t.

Cy Kellett:

Because you’ve already said there is no human nature to defend.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, exactly. And so you can just do it however you want. This is very different from, for example, the problem or the challenge, or the reality say like traditionally of sexual morality, per se, where you can analyze it according to male and female and say, well, okay. The mean of virtue in sexual matters is chastity in marriage. And that’s a relationship between man and woman for the sake of procreation of children. And then the excess of lust goes farther and farther away from that as you move along. So fornication, adultery, self abuse, sodomy, bestiality, you go around the line, getting farther and farther away from the mean, but it’s all a question of excess of lust. Do you know how to interpret it? But the world in the late 19th century came up with new categories. Instead of just male and female, the psychologist gave us homosexual male, heterosexual, male.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, homosexual-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Homosexual female, heterosexual female. Oh, so now we have sexual identities that are based upon inclinations and not based upon bodily reality. Before they had those notions in the world that existed before, a man might have strong feelings for another man. But it was out of the question that he should act on them sexually. He got married and had children. There are very few men that are attracted to other men who couldn’t, in an ideal world, and in some circumstances marry and be happy. There’s some men that are super masculine and have no inclinations towards their own sex. Although there are a lot that do, but all of them could marry. You have these writers, C.S. Lewis, even while they said they went to boarding schools, kids behaved in various ways, but everybody married and had kids. It was not based upon the sort of psychology of identity based on inclination.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, that stuff started. Of course we can handle it because we’re still dealing in the categories of male and female, irreducible, because physical. And classically, no one wants to be a woman less than a homosexual man. So-called homosexual. I don’t like the term, but I’ll just use it for now. And no one wants to be a man less than a homosexual woman. So the sex aspect is clear, but now we’ve moved to another realm where we’re saying that independently of sexual desire, you can choose your sex. And now we have the situation where there are men who want to transition, as they say, to being female, but they still will maintain their relations with the quote, unquote, opposite sex. What is that? Psychologically, it has to be analyzed. It has to be analyzed on the level of desire, because it’s no longer a simple case of the assertion of masculinity over femininity.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Or as some feminists say, maybe it is. Because not only do I get to be a man, but I get to take your sex. That’s why the old fashioned feminists now, no one will let them speak and put public anymore because they’re lobbed with us. Because they maintain the distinction of the sexes. And so the classic Gloria Steinem types, they say, “No, no, if you weren’t born a woman, you can’t be a feminist.” I mean a representative of a feminist association. But then you have women’s colleges like Smith and Mount Holyoke back east who are now forced to receive men who have become women as their students, because they don’t want to be identified with genderless essentialism.

Cy Kellett:

No, right, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So it’s all gone completely stark raving mad, but there is a reason for it, as we can easily see, you simply separate sexual desire from sexual identity. And then you end up with this situation.

Cy Kellett:

You go back to a thing where you have men and you have women and the sexual desire can come and go and be what it is or… but-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

But you’re still a man or a woman.

Cy Kellett:

But you’re a man or a woman and-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And morally-

Cy Kellett:

You’re made for the opposite-

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right.

Cy Kellett:

Sex.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Morally and psychologically you have to evaluate your sexual inclinations. You have to make it reduce back to your sex. And then evaluate your desires in accordance with the reality, the standard that your sex represents. That’s the point. I mean, how many married couples would one come across in life, and it does happen where the man is kind of effeminate and the woman is kind of tough.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And yet they’re married and they have children and there’s no issue there.

Cy Kellett:

No.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

The stereotypical marks of masculine and femininity, they work to a point. They are truly conventional. And normally people abide by them, but there are always cases where they don’t. But if they observe the moral law, no one’s going to point at that couple and go, “That’s disgusting.” Now they could, if they’re just emotionally immature. And they just don’t like the fact that he’s a little light in his loafers and she’s tough. But they found each other, they love each other. They married and it’s all working out fine. And that’s in accordance with the moral law and that’s the way it always was until these identities were created first homosexual, heterosexual. And then when they lifted the onus of psychological disorder from it in the 70s, everyone decided, well, it’s a psychological disorder and now it’s not anymore, so it must be okay.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And you have to go back to that and say-

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:26:04]

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

… And now it’s not anymore, so it must be okay. You have to go back to that and say, well, the church never evaluated sodomy as a psychological disorder. It was evaluated as an immoral act that was [crosstalk 00:26:12].

Cy Kellett:

A physical, immoral act.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

A physically immoral act.

Cy Kellett:

Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

And the various predispositions like, why you did it, all right? If you did it because you were the Royal Navy in the 18th century, all right? The British Navy is always used for that [crosstalk 00:26:25].

Cy Kellett:

Pick on the Royal Navy.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, no, that’s the stereotype. Or because you’re in a prison or in a boarding school, boarding schools actually are better playgrounds for masculinity than co-ed situations where the boys are not, and the girls also are not challenged to identify with their own sex, so that stuff happened but it’s only because there were no girls around. That’s different. All these things happened, but they were never regarded as signs of psychological illness, they were just sins.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. You just, right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

But then when they turn it into a creepy, psychological illness, the shame element enters in and so people [crosstalk 00:27:02].

Cy Kellett:

And that’s in the 19th century, basically?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, the nineteenth century and then in the 20th century, and so the people are eager, please don’t call me that because that means I’m crazy. Then, you’re ostracized and therefore, if you’re going to lay hold of it, you’re going to have to really make an extra hard, emotional effort to identify with what other people regard as craziness. Then, you’re stuck because you have really embraced first, a false view of your own condition, and then, are due to the expectations of society around you which are completely false. The church just says, look like St. Philip Neri said, have fun boys but don’t sin.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

That’s it. [Foreign language 00:27:43]. That’s the point is that the individual inclinations, psychological predispositions, circumstances, all of that has to be evaluated, but the church is interested in men behaving as men sexually and women behaving as women sexually on the level of their bodies. That means that they can only have sexual relations within a permanent, marriage relationship which is open to procreation because that’s what our sex is ultimately for.

Cy Kellett:

Right. Because we do have a nature.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, exactly. We do have a nature and anything outside of that is either lust or the rare, St. Thomas says it barely has a name because it’s so rare, the vice of insensibility, people that have no sexual desire at all. Now, in this context then, the transgender ideology, they talk about people that don’t identify as either, they’re non-binary.

Cy Kellett:

Oh, yes. Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So, I’m not male or female. Well, I just ask one question. Does that mean that you don’t have sexual relations?

Cy Kellett:

Oh, I see.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

All right? Because if by non-binary you mean, I don’t have sexual relations with people, I’m not identifying as male or female at all, then fine. But if you’re having sexual relations, then at that point, you are identifying in that action with either one or the other. You can’t do both.

Cy Kellett:

You might switch around but your acts are binary.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

You can’t get around this by just saying, I’m not binary. What you’re actually saying is that your desires are sufficiently or your affections, your emotional life, is sufficiently ambiguous that you kind of like some things about being male and kind of like some things about being female and you combine them all. This society has always managed these emotional varieties perfectly well, or not so well, depending, but as long as the moral orders have had held, there’s a way around it. There’s some way to deal with this but we have to start and stay firmly entrenched in the reality of male and female. Then, we can avoid the cramped, Victorian, Freudian, shame-based, pathologization of people’s personalities and desires. Don’t make fun of the sissy, that any Christian parent or any Christian father that is worth his salt, teaches his sons not to make fun of boys who are effeminate.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

If you’re a bad dad and you want to make more people like that and make their lives miserable and harm them forever, then go ahead and despise sissies and say mean things about them in front of your sons. If you want real love and charity to prosper, then you teach your children to accept people in the personalities they have and evaluate morality according to the law of God, and don’t give in on either one. I accept you the way you are, I’m not going to judge your habits, your tone of voice, your gestures, or even your dress, or anything like that. Just be accepting and then you’ll be able to, if you establish a friendship, to make some corrections or suggestions or give that person the confidence of your friendship or companionship, so that the limitations that they place on themselves by their own behavior, can be gradually overcome. This can happen and that’s part of the tragedy in our culture right now is that no one is doing anything for these kids.

Cy Kellett:

Well, I have to say too, I mean, you [crosstalk 00:31:10].

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Except telling them it’s all okay.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. But your comment about men, I would like to add a comment about women, because I’ve seen this many times. Women sitting around talking about children, saying something like, oh, you can tell he’s gay because he’s just a sweet little boy. He’s just sweet. This kind of gossiping about children in that way is evil. You should never, ever do that.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Well, someone should just say, so what? Teach him the commandments, encourage him, make sure that he knows that he’s a man and that a man is made as a man, strictly speaking, for union with a woman. He will manage because what you call homosociality, that is the fact that men associate with men and women associate with women, is an emotionally satisfying reality that all men and women have to have. If a man is particularly inclined towards other men, well then fine, you make sure that he has good associations with men so that he can develop properly in the right way. You don’t immediately say, well, I guess you’re going to be taking a trip to X part of town, so you can find more of your kind, that kind of thing.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

No, you establish relationships that are broad, that are open, that encourage an identification with other males as males. Admiring them and whatnot? Because there’s always some level of homosociality with, I’m just talking mostly about boys because this is the way it mostly works out, female homosexuality is a different story, largely speaking. That has more to do with a protective, nurturing environment that they want because of the danger of associating with certain kinds of men who have hurt them or whom they view as threats, where it’s a little different, it’s more protective. Whereas, male homosexual culture is not that protective. It can be pretty wild and because it’s male, and this is what the feminists don’t like, it pretty much asserts that it should just be able to do anything it wants, you know? It’s not domestic in that sense, it’s not trying to keep a quiet life going.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

We need to recognize clearly that the parents have a particular role in guiding little children in the right way, without anxiety, without inducing shame, with encouragement, and with wisely looking at the opportunities they have to develop their identity according to the nature that God gave them. First of all, they’re boys and girls, that’s a very basic distinction that they all learn and they know right away without much training. Then, in those things which express masculinity or femininity, to be careful to make sure that they are conveyed in such a way that if they don’t get it right away, that they’re not being shamed for it. That if the little boy picks up a doll, you don’t just grab it from him and slap him and say, don’t do that.

Cy Kellett:

Here’s a machine gun.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, no. You behave in a way which is encouraging. Men like encouragement. They like being told they’re great and that they can do things and encouraged to do things and overcome fear. Because so often there’s just a fear there. The hesitant boy, who’s hesitant in sports and whatnot, a kind coach, a kind father that kind of moves him along so that he can begin to identify with other boys, he may develop so that he still has an inclination but he doesn’t have to view it as something that he’s required to act out on sexually.

Cy Kellett:

Right or that alienates him from other men.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

No, exactly. No, exactly. This is the problem is that with men like that, the very thing they need they feel alienated for because of this late 19th century psychologization where everyone’s ashamed of being nuts. They, if you look at that [crosstalk 00:35:10].

Cy Kellett:

Then, parents are afraid of that for their children. Because he this or that.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right. You look at poetry or art or photography before this period, men showed great affection for each other. I mean, how many, and they do this now online, they do it like, this is proof that they were gays forever. There are pictures of men sitting in each other’s laps or hugging each other or touching each other. Well, no, it was very common to have pictures, portraits made with your best friend.

Cy Kellett:

Before you made everybody uncomfortable, in other words [crosstalk 00:35:32].

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right and there was no, right, but then they created it as a pathology, these nerdy Germanic people. Then, they made it so that people became ashamed of that. All you can do is slap someone on the back, you know?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, right. Exactly.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Because before it was very, you read Tennyson’s, In Memoriam, where he goes on and on, an epic poem, all because he was completely devastated by death of his friend. Now, people say, well, that’s gay. That goes in the gay studies program. Well, no it was just a man in love with another man because they were friends, friendship, [foreign language 00:36:07], in Latin means, lovingness. That’s what it means literally, lovingness.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Augustine is a great example, his mourning for the death of his friend, where he said, I feared to die lest if I should die, he should die completely because he was half of my soul. He goes on and on and on about that and Cardinal Newman who determined that he should be buried, not next to, but in the same grave as Ambrose [inaudible 00:36:31]. Of course, all the clap trappers and the London Tablet and all this liberal Catholic press and whatnot, they go on and say, well, see, there was a gay relationship. No, they were friends. Get it.

Cy Kellett:

Well, let me ask you this [crosstalk 00:36:44].

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Read Socrates in The Symposium and the end, when Alcibiades comes to him and offers himself, and Socrates says, what? I would give you gold and you would give me bronze? That was his reaction. It’s a sound reaction, he was a pagan, but he knew this was not, this… no. It’s friendship but he didn’t deny the affection and he didn’t humiliate Alcibiades. He just said, look, what you’re offering me is not very good. I have something much better to offer you, name me the knowledge of the truth. Go ahead.

Cy Kellett:

Well, the problem with Alcibiades is if you got him angry, he’d just join the other side and go to war against you, so.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Yes, well, that’s what aristocrats are allowed to do. Because they’ve always got to be on the [crosstalk 00:37:24].

Cy Kellett:

Always got to be on the winning side. Okay, so you started by saying that Thomas’ anthropology then of male and female is rooted in scripture, is our way out of the madness simply, and I don’t mean this in a derogatory way because this is our great duty and the joy of our lives, simply the proclamation of the gospel to return people to sanity, or should we busy ourselves also making philosophical arguments and whatnot to help restore some sense of sanity?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Well, I’d say all of the above. Of course, depending upon what you’ve been given to do. Because, of course, obviously nature itself indicates the very same things but revelation indicates it in a way which is compact and portable. It’s like, that’s what we believe, it’s in the scriptures. What we have to do is to assert the reality of nature and to assert it calmly while not seeding to the accusation that what we’re saying is hateful. One approach I’ve used with several people who have come to me about these things rather vehemently is just to say, well, what about Orthodox Jews? They have a lot of rules about what is pleasing to God and what is not, ceremonial rules. Now, we Christians are no longer bound by the ceremonial precepts of the old law, but a lot of their rules are not just ceremonial, they’re moral. Orthodox Jews teach that homosexuality is wrong. They teach also that that abortion is wrong. They have strict limitations…

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [00:39:04]

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Also, that abortion is wrong. They have strict limitations on the way in which men and women relate in marriage, much stricter than ours, and so on. Are they haters? Are they awful because they keep kosher?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Just say, “Why don’t you give us Catholics a little slack?” I believe, because you’re going to have to say this more and more, because there’ll be lots of people who just simply cannot see what we’re saying, and we’ll be viewed as hateful. Use the religion card. Say, “This is my faith. This is what I believe. I’m not going to hurt you, but this is what we believe. We also believe that it should be true for you, because unlike the [inaudible 00:39:41] Jews, we would be happy if you would become one of us. We actually evangelize.”

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

They do. Some of them do, the [inaudible 00:39:49], but most of them don’t evangelize. They’re very careful about that, because they want to maintain those rules, whereas we are open, and we evangelize. We welcome people, even people who don’t quite get it.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

That’s why, on the progressive side of things, they’re not wrong by saying that Catholic parishes should be open to whoever shows up. There may be rules of prudence that you have to use in order to not to distress families and whatnot, but still, no one should feel like he, or she, or they, or whatever it is that people are saying nowadays-

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, right. Right, right, right. Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

… could be able to enter a Catholic church, and pray, and be turned away, because they’re treated like a freak.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah, no. Right.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Because people, it’s not right. On the other hand, we have to hold firm with what we teach, and be very firm about it, and persevering. The church has given us, in the recent magisterium, two truths, which are not dogmatically defined at the highest level, but which still are most certainly infallibly taught by the Universal Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiffs.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

One is the immorality of artificial contraception or contraception in general. The other is that women cannot be ordained to the sacramental priesthood. Okay, between those two truths, one of which is very fundamental and natural, that basically says that sex is for procreation, even though, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, it’s for the union of the couple, there’s a secondary end, but we need to get back to the language of not treating those two end, procreation and union as co-equal. If you don’t have the procreation part, the union is going to get you where we are now, okay?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

You have to have it. That’s what Paul VI was teaching, basically, by saying that you are not allowed to engage in sexual activities which are not at least in some way open to procreation, or at least where you are not deliberately blocking it, so that it can’t happen. If it can’t happen, there’s a physical reason in you, but it’s not something you did, right?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

That gives the bottom line about sexual morality right there. You can’t prevent conception and claim that it’s a moral sexual act. Therefore, that rules out all immoral sexual activity, including adultery and fornication, because those are about the circumstances which are necessary in order for procreation to occur.

Cy Kellett:

And including, your list went out to self-abuse and bestiality, too. All of it is covered.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

All those things. It’s all covered, right, but even adultery and fornication, they’re only more natural in the sense that they can bring forth children, but Saint Thomas says all the sins against chastity are against nature, in the sense that they are contrary to reason. You need a stable married life to raise a child, and therefore you have to rule out adultery, and you have to rule out fornication, because those offend the stability of marriage or the existence of marriage.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

So, all sexual sins are related to the reality of procreation and education of children. That, we have to maintain. Then, that women cannot be ordained to the sacramental priesthood. That means that a human society, at its height, which is beyond the political order and the sacramental order, that is our conformity to Christ through his sacraments, the offering of the Eucharist, and the gathering of the peoples into Christ body is governed by an awareness of the distinction of sex on the level of sacramental signs, that they point to something heavenly.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Therefore, we’re not allowed to ignore them as though the priesthood were simply some kind of job which a man or woman could equally well preform, but rather, there is the contemplative sign value of something, which the world does not understand, because the world uses signs only to make money, only to … No, it’s exactly true.

Cy Kellett:

I see what you mean.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Only to satisfy … It’s back to the hidden persuaders, you know?

Cy Kellett:

Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

It’s back to those old studies, or Marshall McLuhan studies in communications, and advertising, and all that. Signs are used for that, there, but for us, the signs are markers of what is ultimate and eternal.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Now, on that score, then, Saint Paul can then tell us, once we’re incorporated in Christ, and baptism, and are destined for Heaven, we all relate to him as the great high priest and spouse of our souls. Even though a priest represents Christ at the head, at the altar, as a sacramental priest, an instrument of Christ, the only full priest, still, it remains true that as a man, as an individual human being, he relates to Christ as the bridegroom.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Again, now, we’re moving from nature to analogy. You find out that Christianity has in it a tradition which is not transgender, but which relativizes and sublimates sexual distinctions into the relationship we have with almighty God, so that the whole church is like a bride coming out of heaven to meet her bridegroom. That’s all of us. The saints of the middle ages, even the male saints, spoke of the spiritual life in terms of the song of songs, where the soul is the bride, and Christ is the bridegroom.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Now, there are some modern Catholic people scandalized by the gender ideology who have written nasty works complaining about the exegesis of the song of songs as being the root of too much feminization in the church. Well, they should be just chastised, because we don’t reject the fathers and the doctors of the church just because we’re pissed off that in our own culture, [crosstalk 00:45:27]-

Cy Kellett:

Men are having trouble being men. Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Right, exactly. Don’t blame Saint Bernard, okay? He was a man’s man-

Cy Kellett:

Boy, was he.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

… in the toughest possible way, so don’t blame his commentary in the Song of Songs. Just look at the culture and the post-Cartesian culture, which separated the soul from the body, at least in popular understanding. That wasn’t Descartes’ exact intention, but that’s what came out. Let’s just assert these things to know that you still are free, as a Christian, to relate to Christ as your spouse, to relate to him as though you are female, on the level of the spiritual life.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to … Whatever. I don’t know what would be psychologically healthy, but the fact is, the doctoral truth is such that our relationship with Christ is so beyond understanding that it exceeds and outstrips the limits of our bodily nature while we remain united to him, because he is God. So, there is that aspect, which, properly understood, shows how broad is the Christian perspective, but it’s very different from this transgender stuff, I have to say. Sorry.

Cy Kellett:

You don’t have to say sorry.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Sorry just that, you know …

Cy Kellett:

Sorry. Yeah.

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Yeah. I’m sorry as in, like, sorry I have to disappoint you. Yeah.

Cy Kellett:

Yeah. Well, thank you, Father. May we have your blessing?

Fr. Hugh Barbour:

Certainly, okay. [inaudible 00:46:43] blessed virgin Mary, and by the mercies of Christ, spouse of souls, [inaudible 00:46:48] blessing almighty God, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you forever. Amen.

Journalist over publication on Southern Kaduna killings

Lukman ABOLADE 

A journalist and communications officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) Luka Biniyat is being held by the Kaduna State Police Command over a publication about killings in the state.

The ICIR learnt that Biniyat was arrested by the Kaduna State Command Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and has been detained for more than seven days.

The publication titled, “In Nigeria, Police Decry Massacres as ‘Wicked’ but Make No Arrests,” read in part that some lawmakers said they were outraged by the Kaduna government’s refusal to enforce the law.

“The government of Kaduna state is using Samuel Aruwan, a Christian, to cause confusion to cover up the genocide going on in Christian Southern Kaduna by describing the massacre as a ‘clash,’” Biniyat quoted Danjuma Laah, who represents Southern Kaduna Senatorial District, to have said.

Aruwan, who is the Kaduna State Commissioner of Home Affairs and Internal Security, contacted the Police command that a portion of the article wrongly indicted him.

Following his complaint, Biniyat was arrested and has remained in detention as of the time of filing this report.

The ICIR learnt that the Police command got a detention warrant from Ibrahim Emmanuel of the Chief Magistrate’s Court Banawa, Kaduna State.

Biniyat was eventually arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

During an interview with The ICIR on Tuesday, Aruwan admitted that he complained to the Nigeria Police over the publication.

“That publication has put my life and the lives of my families in danger and I am seeking justice,” Aruwan said.

However, he denied ordering the arrest of Biniyat by the Kaduna Police.

When The ICIR contacted Laah on Tuesday, the Senator quoted in the publication, he hung up the phone and did not answer subsequent calls.

Aruwan said in a response to a petition through his lawyer that Laah denied the statement published in Biniyat’s article.

Solicitors of Senator Laah responds to Aruwan

Chairman of the Kaduna State branch of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Adamu Yusuf told The ICIR that the union was initially unaware of the arrest until recently.

Yusuf said the NUJ was planning to organise a meeting between Aruwan and representatives of Biniyat to resolve the issue.

The Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Mudasiru Abdullahi did not respond to calls, texts, and WhatsApp messages from The ICIR.

Also, the Kaduna Police Public Relations Officer Mohammed Jalige did not answer or reply when contacted by The ICIR.

On October 10, 2014, before Aruwan was appointed as a commissioner in the state, he had also accused ‘elite the political class and other viable institutions’ of ‘perpetual silence’ over Southern Kaduna killings.

Section 380 (2) of the Criminal Code states that “The criminal responsibility of the proprietor, editor, or publisher, of any periodical for the publication of any defamatory matter contained therein, may be rebutted by proof that such publication took place without his knowledge and without negligence on his part.”

However, Biniyat was arrested and detained by the Police.

A lawyer, Olayinka Olaore, who spoke with The ICIR over the matter, said although defamation was a criminal offence in Nigeria, it was usually settled in a civil manner.

“Usually, what happens is that the alleged will write to the person or organisation who made the allegation, sometimes demand that the publication be deleted or a rejoinder is published and in some cases, they go to court and settle it in a civil manner,” Olaore said.

She said it was unusual that someone would be arrested for a publication in Nigeria.

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