Wednesday, October 21, 2020

How does Pope Francis reconcile calling gay "marriage" as of the devil yet support civil unions?

Much ado is in the news again about Pope Francis and homosexuality. This time, the headlines from today read such as: Pope Francis calls for civil union law for same-sex couples, in shift from Vatican stance

THE BACKDROP
This story is at least 7 years old, however. It is apparently back in the news because a new documentary quotes him, apparently more recently, supporting civil unions. But, let's look at the backdrop. 

In March 2013, then-Cardinal Bergoglio was in the news because there was a push for gay "marriage" in Argentina. According to the New York Times, Bergoglio saw civil unions as some sort of concession to be supported to prevent the passage of a gay "marriage" bill:
Faced with the near certain passage of the gay marriage bill, Cardinal Bergoglio offered the civil union compromise as the “lesser of two evils,” said Sergio Rubin, his authorized biographer. “He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society.” 
–Cardinal Bergoglio, quoted in New York Times, March 13, 2013.
If this actually was and is Pope Francis's opinion, he reportedly thinks civil unions are "evil," but not as bad as gay "marriage." It is difficult to ascertain his opinion, however, because quotes from him are sparse, he is not known to issue clarifications, and the media doesn't push for clarification anyway. The Catholic News Agency reported in 2013 that the Pope supporting civil unions was false. 


2019 detail of photo of Pope Francis. Photo by В. Николов. Acquired from Wikimedia Commons.


Writing in 2010, Cardinal Bergoglio stated:
The Argentine people will face, in the coming weeks, a situation whose outcome may gravely injure the family. This refers to the project of the law regarding marriage of persons of the same sex. What is at stake here is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of so many children who will be discriminated against in advance, depriving them of the human maturation that God wanted to be given with a father and a mother. At stake is the outright rejection of the law of God, engraved also in our hearts. ... It is not a mere legislative project (this is only the instrument) but a ''movement'' of the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God. Jesus tells us that to defend ourselves against this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. (Letter (PDF) from Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. to the Carmelite Nuns
of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, June 22, 2010)
In the context of that same chapter in Argentina, we have Bergoglio saying the movement for gay "marriage" is from the devil himself. That being the case, it's hard to reconcile why he would believe conceding to "civil unions" would be a better alternative than standing firm in the truth. The recklessness of that opinion would explain why he was overrulled by his fellow bishops at the time—the only time he was overruled as head of the Argentinian Bishops Conference, according to the NYT article.

THE NEW DOCUMENTARY
All that being said, the quote from the documentary does not appear to offer any mention of civil unions as a necessary "evil." Pope Francis is quoted to now say:
Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,. ... What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered ... I stood up for that.
If the Pope currently believes confirming people in a sinful arrangement is a virtuous solution, then he is obviously mistaken. That's like conceding to give porn to an addict so he still feels "part of the family" and isn't "miserable." There is a perverted notion about placing "welcomingness" or "accompaniment" above truth among some clergy Church today. This brand of welcoming is like the spider saying "Come into my parlor!" to the fly.

If, when the Pope refers to when he "stood up for that" is in context of the Argentinian gay "marriage" movement of the early 10s, he either forgot that he said civil unions were a "necessary evil," or the "necessary evil" quote was misrepresented by his biographer Rubin. Otherwise, the Pope recently saying "I stood up for that" could be referring to the early 10s incident. It is unclear. There is also no mention I've seen in today's stories that the Pope reiterated that gay "marriage" was a lie of the devil.

MAGISTERIUM
Supporting civil unions puts Pope Francis in opposition to magisterial texts on the matter. For example, speaking doctrinally and formally on this matter, the Church has stated:
In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection. ... [It is] necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions...
(Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2003)
The document includes a variety of reasons why homosexual unions are to be opposed, including the natural law on which all morals are founded, and arguments addressing rational thought, the biological order, social order, and legal order.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS
Another matter comes from secularists as well as Pope Francis' more recent quote, such as "homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family...they're children of God..." etc. None of these assertions are disputed by supporters of marriage as between a man and woman. Supporters of true marriage actually agree with the notion that persons of homosexual disposition are children of God and belong in their families. But, to acknowledge that is a very different matter than whether same sex persons can "marry" or whether it's prudent to endorse some secular imitation of marriage in a "civil union." 

It's quite devious to imply that to love a person of homosexual disposition, one must confirm them in sin. But, to confirm someone in sin and lies is the exact opposite of love. Today's report on the Pope's words have resulted, again, in terrible scandal for the faithful. 

Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin summarized this sentiment today as well:
The Church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships. Individuals with same-sex attraction are beloved children of God and must have their personal human rights and civil rights recognized and protected by law. However, the legalization of their civil unions, which seek to simulate holy matrimony, is not admissible. (Bishop Thomas Tobin, statement on Pope Francis's recent comment on civil unions, Oct. 21, 2020)
Finally, the matter of papal infallibility inevitably comes up in these contexts. Secularists and heterodox Catholics grow zealous at the thought that Catholic dogma on homosexuality has "changed" because of the Pope's comments when it has not. Confusion has resulted from a Pope Francis story again. I received email notice of a statement from the Diocese of Rockford today, reading in part: 
The comments being reported by Pope Francis have not changed the teaching of the church in regard to the Sacrament of Marriage or the complementarity of men and women.
This matter does not remotely come close to being a statement under the charism of infallibility native to Pope Francis's office. The criteria for infallibility to occur (Vatican I, 4.4.9) includes that it is a matter of faith and morals, is stated as from the function of the chair of Peter, is for all of the faithful to hold as dogmatically true, and is defined.

The latest Pope quote from the documentary meets zero of those qualifications. Pope Francis's thoughts on this matter are his personal opinion.

EDIT 10/22/2020 to add: Additional clarification and thoughts have been provided in detail on this issue by Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Obergefell and legacies of lies

One of the big lies issued by the 2015 Supreme Court recognition of same-sex "marriage" is the following statement from the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. (Obergefell v. Hodges, IV)

Since the court's 5-4 ruling, we have seen multiple cases violating Justice Kennedy's "assurance." We have seen a county clerk imprisoned for refusing to issue gay "marriage" licenses despite conscious laws and the wide availability of licenses all over the state. A multitude of other cases include numerous lawsuits against bakers, photographers, caterers and more to compel them into labor for specific gay "marriage" ceremonies. Even a Catholic cemetery has faced legal issues for not submitting to the Obergefell plaintiffs' demands. 

Recently, another devious maneuver occurred during the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court confirmation hearings. 

Barrett's public history should be noted. Big media and leftist politicians have made much of Barrett's Catholicism—specifically, the Catholicism of one who is not known to trample Catholic teaching as many "Catholic" politicians or even clergy have. Thus, when convenient, the narrative attempts to convey that being truly Catholic somehow disqualifies one of judicial competence whereas someone irreligious is supposedly immune to biases. Now, I am not familiar enough with Barrett to know how much she adheres to Catholic teaching, but, for the purposes of this article, it is enough that her opponents perceive her as a traditional Catholic.

When Barrett was nominated to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Senator Diane Feinstein famously opined:

"Whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different. And I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country."

This attitude is consistent in the trajectory of anti-Catholic and anti-traditional discrimination from before Obergefell to the current acceleration.

Yesterday, activists of gay "marriage" ideology took another dishonest step. During Barrett's confirmation hearing, she used the phrase "sexual preference" to refer to persons of homosexual attraction. Known for other anti-Catholic opinions, Senator Mazie Hirono scolded the nominee, claiming the term was "offensive and outdated"—an attitude, incidentally, true to the 21st century's toddler-esque immaturity and obsession with what is "offensive."

So, how "outdated" is the term "preference" when referring to homosexual attraction? When did the term fall out of form?

Yesterday.

That's right. One day ago. Observant Twitter users noticed that Webster's dictionary altered the definition of the word "preference" as "offensive" when Amy Coney Barrett used the term in the context of sexual attraction. The English language was retconned to accommodate a leftist accusation, to ex post facto paint Barrett as some sort of bigot.

Other Twitter users noted how homosexuality-focused publications such as The Advocate and Pink News used the phrase "sexual preference" in the same sense in their publications as recently as three weeks ago.

Webster's live manipulation of language is Orwellian, devious, and dishonest. And, so is the fake outrage of Senators such as Hirono who suddenly claim offense at this term once used by a Catholic primed to be in a position of judicial authority. The language manipulation is simply a lie. Such lies are the devil's offspring. And this has been the hallmark of Justice Kennedy's promise of "proper protection" to those who recognize male-female marriage. Even the Barrett "preference" incident came up in the context of a question about Obergefell. This all fit the same pattern: No one is to question homosexual activism's narrative.

And now, those who seek to persecute Catholics and traditionalists have announced that they are not beyond changing the definition of a word in the dictionary to persecute you. This is dystopian, something you would expect of a one-dimensional movie villain. This is a perverse version of the Emperor Has No Clothes and no one is supposed to notice the lie in front of them. 

The trajectory of villainy against Catholics and traditionalists will only get worst unless there is something to alter the current course.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

7 historic images with Catholic back stories IV

Following is the 4th installment of images with Catholic back stories. (See volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3.)

1. JOHNSTOWN FLOOD (1889) 

Sisters of Charity stereoscopic image in aftermath of Johnstown Flood.
Public domain image by George Barker.

 On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam failed in what resulted in the Johnstown Flood of 1889. The dam released 14.55 million cubic meters of water onto the town, resulting in over 2,200 deaths, and $17 million in damages (nearly half a billion modern dollars). Later that year, George Titus Ferris published The Complete History of the Johnstown and Conemaugh Valley Flood, in which he described various groups of people who responded to help with recovery. Among them, he cited the critical work of the nuns and priests: 
The Sisters of Mercy were also active in the good work in the ruined city, though the majority of the Catholic women and children had been removed to Pittsburgh, and were being cared for there. There were about thirty Catholic priests and nuns at work, the sisters devoting themselves to the care of the sick and injured in the hospitals, while the priests did anything and everything, and made themselves generally useful. Bishop Phelan, who reached Johnstown on Sunday evening after the flood, returned to Pittsburgh the next day. He organized the Catholic forces in that neighborhood, and all devoted themselves to hard work assiduously. What the hospitals would have done at first without the sisters is a difficult question. There were nine charity, seven Franciscan, and seven Benedictine sisters. Among the priests were: Rev. Fathers Guido, Goebel, Cosgrave, Gallagher, Trotwein, Rosensteet, Doren, Corcoran, Derlin, Boyle, Smith, O’Connell, and Lamb. 
Famous 19th century landscape photographer George Barker captured much of the Johnstown Flood. Among his techniques was the stereoscopic pair, a method of creating three-dimensional photographs by aligning two photos side by side, taken a few inches apart. When observed either cross-eyed, or looking “through” the pair, the image takes on three dimensions. Pictured above is Barker’s stereoscopic photo of the the Sisters of Charity house after the Johnstown Flood. 

2. POPE PIUS IX RAILROAD CARS (1859)

Altobelli & Molins (Italian, active until 1865), [Pope Pius IX's Private Train at Velletri], 1863, Albumen silver print, 26.4 × 35.2 cm (10 3/8 × 13 7/8 in.), 84.XP.373.2, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 

In 1859, Pope Pius IX was gifted three railroad cars for use in traveling to the papal states. The cars served different purposes that contained a chapel, meeting area, and even an open car from which the public could be addressed. The first trip was from Porta Maggiore to Albano, near Castel Gandolfo. The life of the papal railcars was short-lived, however, as Italy ended the authority of the papal states in 1870. The cars were not seen again until 1911 during a unification anniversary. 

Watch Rome Report’s 2-minute documentary on Pius IX’s train and see more images at Centrale Montemartini

3. MONKS, CAR, AND ST. BERNARD (1905)

Monks and workers pose with their first car and a St. Bernard at the Great St. Bernard Hospice in Switzerland. Photo by Dufour & Tissot S.A., Nyon.

To help weary travelers in the Swiss Alps, St. Bernard de Menthon founded a hospice and monastery in the late tenth century. St. Bernard is perhaps most well-known for the dogs that bear his namesake. For the monks availed the use of dogs in finding and helping weary travelers in the frigid Alps. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: 
Since the most ancient times there was a path across the Pennine Alps leading from the valley of Aosta to the Swiss canton of Valais, over what is now the pass of the Great St. Bernard. This pass is covered with perpetual snow from seven to eight feet deep, and drifts sometimes accumulate to the height of forty feet. Though the pass was extremely dangerous, especially in the springtime on account of avalanches, yet it was often used by French and German pilgrims on their way to Rome. For the convenience and protection of travelers St. Bernard founded a monastery and hospice at the highest point of the pass, 8,000 feet above sea-level, in the year 962. A few years later he established another hospice on the Little St. Bernard, a mountain of the Graian Alps, 7,076 feet above sea-level. Both were placed in charge of Augustinian monks after pontifical approval had been obtained by him during a visit to Rome. … At all seasons of the year, but especially during heavy snow-storms, the heroic monks accompanied by their well-trained dogs, go out in search of victims who may have succumbed to the severity of the weather. 
"The St. Bernards were never just a symbol," said Father Hilaire, a hospice monk, in 2006. "Before the 1900s, there were no skis, so the dogs made paths even if there were one or two meters of fresh snow. They helped us save lives." 

Pictured above is one of the dogs along with the monks and workers aboard the first motor vehicle owned by the hospice. The Wikimedia photo caption reads in part: 
This is the first motor vehicle owned by the Augustinian fathers of the Great St Bernard Hospice, Valais, Switzerland, identified as a 1904 Dufour...built in very limited numbers by Dufour &Tissot, engine makers, of Nyon, Vaud, Switzerland. This picture was taken 11 September, 1905 in Martigny, Valais, prior of what became the first climb of a motor vehicle to the summit of the Great St Bernard pass. The journey took about two hours. 
In today's rescue efforts, the monks also use helicopters.

4. FLYING AIRSHIP (1670) 

Francesco Lana de Terzi's design of a "flying ship" from 1670. Public domain image

In what could be called a forerunner of steampunk design is this sketch of a “flying ship” from 1670. Although this isn’t a “photograph” per se, the image is a famous one in aeronautics, which also happens to have a Catholic backstory. The sketch is by Italian Jesuit priest Francesco Lana de Terzi, who published the image in his book Prodromo

Lana speculated that such a design could create a lighter-than-air balloon, thus able to levitate a ship. His theory was inspired by the experiments of Otto von Guericke known as Magdeburg hemispheres—two hemispheres pressed together and evacuated of air. Although the materials he suggested would collapse under pressure, some speculate the vehicle could have worked with graphene or other materials

A model of Lana’s invention can be seen at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Incidentally, in his same book, Prodromo, Lana also proposed the invention of a raised alphabet for blind readers that was a distant forerunner of Braille (who is also covered later in this article). 

Of note here is how frequently historic scientific advancements or theories involve a Catholic and often clergy. This is an unspoken reality among those who have accepted the false narrative that Church and science are at historic odds. 

5. FORTY MARTYRS OF BRAZIL (2000/1570)

Underwater memorial for the Forty Martyrs of Brazil near the island La Palma. Public domain image.

They are known as the Forty Martyrs of Brazil La Palma. Ignacio de Acevedo was rector of the Jesuit college of Lisbon and at Broja. St. Francis Borgia appointed him as a leader in missions to Brazil, where Ignacio worked for three years. Many years later, he asked to return to Brazil, but in July, 15-16, 1570, he, along with thirty-nine Portuguese and Castilian companions were martyred by Huguenot pirates near the island of Palma. The Huguenots were French Protestants following the tradition of John Calvin. 

The voyage led by Ignacio was reportedly the “largest number of Jesuits leaving Lisbon for overseas missions and the most numerous collective martyrdom in all of the Modern Period.” A great number of galleries of Jesuit martyrs consist in depicting these Forty Martyrs of Brazil. Ignacio is said to have had in his hands when martyred the image of the Madonna di San Luca. Pictured here are memorial crosses dedicated to those Forty Martyrs whose earthly lives ended at sea. Installed in 2000, the memorial is located about twenty meters deep by the island of La Palma. 

For a lengthy account of the 40 martyrs, see 2010 article in the publication Cultura.

6. FIRST BRAILLE TYPEWRITER (1892)

The Hall Braillewriter invented in 1892 utilized Catholic Louis Braille's alphabet for the blind. Source: History of Blindness in Iowa.

Pictured here is the first Braille typewriter, the Hall Braillewriter. The invention builds upon another invention by Louis Braille, a French Catholic. 

Blinded since age five, a twelve-year-old Braille attended a lecture by a military captain, Charles Barbier—who was himself once a classmate of Napoleon. Barbier had created multiple communication systems including a complex raised-letter system for reading in the dark. It was this latter invention that inspired the young Braille to develop his simpler reading system for the blind.

A priest, Father Jacques Palluy recognized great aptitude in the young blind boy and took to teaching the youth himself and entrusting his schooling to a new schoolmaster. So skilled was Braille despite his blindness, that he served as the organist at the Church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs and at the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. Between the ages of 15 and 19, Braille had developed his system of writing for the blind. He published his Braille system in 1829. 

7. FIRST SELF-PORTRAIT (ca 1450)
Catholic artist Jean Fouquet's pioneering self-portrait miniature. Public domain image.

The Louvre
describes this enamel-painted copper medallion as "the first self-portrait by a painter which was not composed as part of a scene." Wikipedia calls the work "the earliest sole self-portrait surviving in Western art" (There is some debate whether an earlier work by Jan van Eyck is actually a self-portrait.) A separate Wikipedia article describes the medallion as "the oldest self-signed self-portrait."


In any case, it is a work of pioneership in the arenas of self-portraits and art miniatures. The artist, Jean Fouquet, was also a Catholic. The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the 6cm medallion Fouquet's "best portrait."

The technique of portrait miniatures arose in the 15th century from artists, such as Fouquet, whom were skilled in book illustrations and manuscript painting. He is said to be the first French artist to have traveled to Italy. During his time there, he also painted a famous portrait of Pope Eugene IV, which now survives only in reproductions.

Friday, July 24, 2020