Bp. Morlino still stepping up to the plate

You might remember my entries about Bp. Robert Morlino of Madison, about how he changed his mind after Summorum Pontificum, about how he celebrated a Pontifical Mass recently.

Now I read in a CNA story (my emphases): 

Madison, WI, Dec 21, 2007 / 01:34 pm (CNA).- Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Diocese of Madison has urged opposition to a state bill that would mandate hospitals, including Catholic ones, to administer the morning after pill, “emergency contraception,” upon request to women who have been raped.

In the newspaper for the Diocese of Madison, Bishop Morlino explained to readers that the bill did not protect the consciences of institutions or individuals who want to protect both women who have been raped and any babies possibly conceived in that rape.

“Women who have suffered the tragedy of rape need to be protected, but if a pre-born child has been already conceived, the future of that child also requires our protection,” he said.

Bishop Morlino expanded on his concerns in a letter to the members of the Wisconsin Legislature.  He insisted that the safety, inherent dignity, and God-given rights of women were deeply important.

In fact, the bishop said that Catholic hospitals have always provided emergency contraception “when this was appropriate.”  He said that such treatment was appropriate when every effort had been made to ensure the drug would not prevent implantation of a newly conceived human being.  In cases where implantation was prevented, he explained, “this would amount to an abortion.”

The bishop said this was not a distinctively Catholic issue, “but a matter of biology and human rights.”

Bishop Morlino distanced himself from the earlier stance of the Wisconsin Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had adopted a neutral position towards the bill.  He said the position of neutrality did not have its desired effect, and inadvertently caused scandal among Catholics who began to believe the bishops were becoming less fervently pro-life.  Bishop Morlino also said Bishop Jerome Listecki of the Diocese of LaCrosse was supporting him in his new approach against the legislation.

In his letter to the legislature Bishop Morlino said he was “firmly convinced” that conscience exemptions to the bill were threatened.  He also questioned the motives of some supporters of the bill, saying, “It is clear that Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and their colleagues are more interested in promoting a state-supported, contraceptive ideology than they are in simply, reasonably, protecting women.”

Bishop Morlino said that the peace especially hoped for in the Christmas season can only happen “when there is respect for every human being, protecting every woman and every pre-born human child.”

WDTPRS salutes Bp. Morlino! 

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105 Responses to Bp. Morlino still stepping up to the plate

  1. john pope says:

    catholic hospitals cannot provide contraception– -period

    life begins at fertilization—conception—–a life a soul is present it does not matter how intercourse occurs a life is a life

    how the devil has warpped our minds—emergency contraception is evil –it is murder!!!!!

  2. Richard says:

    Thank God for true shepherds who display the simple courage to care more about the truth than what other people think about them.

  3. Dave says:

    ‘The bishop said this was not a distinctively Catholic issue, “but a matter of biology and human rights.”’

    I found this line particularly refreshing. I distinctly remember one Catholic
    bishop overseas who stated something to the effect that “To us Catholics” life
    begins at conception.

    Thank you Bishop Morlino!

  4. EDG says:

    Bp Morlino has obviously been thinking and praying a lot about this, and has simply decided to go for it and state the Catholic position (unlike most of his peers in the USCCB). I wonder how much of this new courage was related to his experience with the classical rite and the theology that automatically accompanies it. I think that one of the reasons our bishops have been so wonky on moral issues is that they feel they have no support from the Church, ranging from their timid superiors to the “morally neutral” laypeople created by VatII.

    My feeling is that the return of the classical Latin Rite is going to be the equivalent of a depth charge in the moral life of the Church (particularly in that of the heirarchy).

  5. Louis E. says:

    “life begins at conception” is the interpretation of biology favored by Catholicism but it certainly isn’t the only way of looking at the reproductive process.
    I believe that Catholic hospitals should not be obliged to provide contraception,and that governments should not be obliged to provide
    subsidies and recognition to hospitals that don’t.

  6. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Sorry for the long post, but it might saves some lives….

    What will be a man is a man already… Quite the carnal observation for the Angelic Doctor, but he was right, and he knew the difference between biology and theology, between reason and faith. So much for the anti-intellectual emtionalism of Louis E., who pretends to make abortifacients into contraception and take away people’s right to choose a doctor who is pro-life. What an irony.

    First of all, note that the leading experts in the field of biology are not usually going to be bishops and their moral theologians, who have huge conflicts of interest, like keeping the Catholic hospitals open by tweaking any policy which might respect life (until untold numbers of children die in the womb), and all this so that the hospital can keep receiving federal monies channeled through restrictive, oppressive, pro-death state regulations.

    Secondly, note that the leading experts in the field of biology are not going to be those Catholic journalists who happen to be life-long friends of those heading Catholic hospital ethics commissions and have told me that they say what they say on this issue for the sake of past friendships. It’s as if nobody heard Thomas More not going along with the Duke of Norfolk since he didn’t want to go to hell for the sake of friendship.

    Thirdly, note that doctors such as Eugene Diamond are experts, hands down, no comparison, and they say that it is absolutely impossible to determine if, for instance, conception will take place at the same time or immediately after any such conscience-cleansing, self-absolution pregnancy test. The egg might already be adrift in the tubes, or not, and it can take a very short or a very long time for the sperm to reach the egg. Timing is everything, but the timing CANNOT medically, scientifically be established. There is no test for the precision needed not to risk murdering someone. Procedures building up a scenario are all guess work. ” Oh! ” someone might say, “that means that there’s a lot of evil going on, too much to believe that it could go on.” But that’s what people are depending on you to say. Let’s wake up. Christ was ripped to shreds on the cross for a reason.

    Fourthly, congrats to bishop Morlino for what he’s done, but he MUST do more research, asking tough questions, and not depending on the vacuous statements of some of the most “orthodox” moral theologians in the U.S. of A. (each one praised as THE icon of orthodoxy),

    • one of whom told me this (not denying the facts as I’ve presented them above): “What do you want us to do, close the hospitals?”, (and that one is a prof in one of the best seminaries in America)

    • another of whom told me this (not denying the facts as I’ve presented them above): “It doesn’t matter. No one will know. It’s so small” (and that one is now the rector at another one of the most “orthodox” seminaries in America),

    • and another of whom told me this (not denying the facts as I’ve presented them above): “It doesn’t matter for Catholics[sic] because these are not in-patients we are dealing with”, [No kidding!](and that one was responsible for tens of billions worth of hospital properties in one of the largest and more conservative Archdioceses in America.)

    • and another of whom told me this (not denying the facts as I’ve presented them above): “They’re all doing it. What do you want. We’re the experts. I have a name.” (and that one recently went to prison for helping himself to the money…)

    I won’t name names. There’s no reason to do so. Ask the super-Catholic moralists the tough questions about the timing of things, and watch them squirm, almost to a man. They’re responsible for keeping the hospitals open. Then ask doctors who are willing to put everything on the line for the sake of obeying God’s will, and you’ll get a different story. And they are the one’s who know.

    Don’t be blown away by the enormity of the problem.

    Again, God bless Bishop Morlino for what he’s done so far to reverse the hell in Catholic medical ethics and moral theology for many decades now.

  7. Diane K says:

    God bless this shepherd for acting on the grace of courage.

    When Christ exemplified being counter-cultural, who would have thought that a bishop would need to go against the grain of his fellow bishops?

    May the graces of God be given to, and acted upon by, all of our bishops. They need to form one voice. Anything less results in confusion.

  8. dcs says:

    John Pope writes:
    catholic hospitals cannot provide contraception—-period

    That is not exactly true; they can provide contraception to rape victims because the intention is to protect the woman from an unjust aggressor. This is standard pre-Vatican II moral theology (I think you can find it in Jone). If so-called “emergency contraception” is abortifacient, then no, they can’t provide it if the rape victim may be pregnant (they could provide it to inhibit ovulation if that has not yet occurred).

  9. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    dcs

    wow… about abortifacient effect… you cannot know if the woman is just about to ovulate when you provide the so-called “test” (which, really, is a myth)… You cannot risk murdering someone. Well, you can, but can also risk going to hell.

    wow… about contraception… consider the following reasoning about pre-Vat II moral theology, as you call it, updated for circumstances of, for instance, wars in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where soldiers with HIV-AIDS systematically rape all women. Obviously, any abortifacient chemicals which may be added to a condom (in case of breakage) are to be excluded. What I write here has been vetted at the CDF and elsewhere, passing the inquisition perfectly. This was written some years ago against I think it was four Cardinals who, at the time, were encouraging the use of Condoms in, more or less, any and every circumstance. Happy, careful, reading. You have to know that ethics (mere customs) and real morality are worlds apart, the first demoncratic — I mean democratic — and the second based on natural law, which does not change before or after any council. Think continuity for Truth!

    And, sorry, John Pope, but distinctions are in order. You may even agree.

    ============

    ON THE LICIT AND ILLICIT USE OF CONDOMS

    1. The use of condoms by a married couple who have what seems to be a good reason to use condoms – such as a risk of death due to diseases exacerbated by pregnancy, e.g., certain types of cancerous growths, diabetes, heart conditions – remains gravely dishonest for two reasons: (1) sexual activity is inherently ordained to the begetting of children in such manner that the act is to remain open to the transmission of life (which can be clearly proven from both reason and the fonts of Revelation); (2) the unity of the couple obliged by the very act of sexual union is gravely damaged in its biological integrity. Abstinence is required in the face of fatality for these diseases, as with others such as HIV-AIDS. As it is, condoms are not reliable.

    2. Fornication and adultery, i.e., gravely disregarding the exclusive and indissoluble relationship demanded by the very act of sexual union, does not excuse the use of condoms by a man and woman who are not married to each other (regardless of the presence of disease), for the use of condoms remains intrinsically dishonest for the two reasons given in the previous case: it is not an exchange of vows regarding an exclusive and indissoluble relationship which – by way of secondary intention – provides the sexual act with its nature of being ordained to the begetting of children by way of due physical union. Instead, this nature of the sexual act is intrinsic to sexuality.

    3. The usage of vaginal condoms by women who are in grave danger of being raped does not contradict the points made above since, in the case of rape, not only is there is no possibility to assent to an exclusive and indissoluble relationship (which would also be impossible for adulterers), but also because the coercion involved requires a rejection of the physical integrity of the sexual act inasmuch as this is possible. If there is no force, rejection of the physical integrity of the sexual act is gravely immoral. Rejecting unjust aggression by inhibiting the physical integrity of the sexual act with a vaginal condom does not reject the intrinsic nature of the sexual act in and of itself, as does the use of condoms in any other situation which excludes force. An analogy would be an ectopic pregnancy, whereby the fallopian tube, for instance, can be removed even though an embryo is attached. Although the rejection of the tube is the rejection of a dangerous metamorphosis of a structure with which the embryo, through no fault of its own, finds itself, that rejection of the structure undergoing a dangerous metamorphosis is not a direct rejection of the embryo itself. Again, it is not any secondary intention which demands or excuses from either an exclusive and indissoluble relationship or from the physical integrity of the sexual act, for those are things which are demanded by the sexual act in and of itself.

    4. In regard to the use of condoms by homosexuals, the grave perversity of sexual activity between two people of the same sex is not circumstantially made into something even more serious by the use of a condom. However, such usage cannot be encouraged with the idea that condoms are safe or safer in view of, for instance, HIV-AIDS, for such encouragement is, in principle, a denial of the power of grace in regard to the practice of abstinence. Moreover, it is inevitable that after a given length of time, the risk in regard to disease will be fulfilled.

    5. In regard to the objection that the fulness of moral truth should not be taught to people even for many decades (such as with the often cited example of the early work of the Jesuits in South America), that objection is simply a proclamation that the grace of Christ cannot work except through a pelagian usage of culture. The reason why a principle of natural law is rejected after it is (quickly) known is not so much because of human weakness, but because the bearer of the message is not credible. The messenger must, like Christ and the saints, be willing to be a martyr. People know when they are being suffocatingly patronized. While pedagogy demands that one speak firstly of Christ’s Sacrifice as God’s marriage with the Church, one is not to set out to hide any aspect of moral truth from anyone, assuming that everyone is insincere, and in bad faith.

  10. magdalen says:

    I wrote to thank this bishop.

    As a pharmacist with a conscience clause, I was deeply distressed when the
    Connecticut bishops chose to ok this contraceptive/abortifacient. I and
    others in the medical field have put our own jobs on the line to defend
    life from the MOMENT of conception to natural end. I had to leave a previous
    position for example. So to have bishops ‘pull the rug’ out from under us
    by giving approval was disheartening. They are, in fact, saying that
    contraception and abortion are okay in this instance. Then the next instance? The next ‘emergency’? One must stand fast to ALL the Church teaches without
    exception and how we need our shepherds to guide us and not just confuse
    us or, worse yet, be our enemy.

  11. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Magdalen, may the tiny Infant Jesus bless you superabundantly. I’ve met nurses like you. You are not alone. Many suffer and are the martyrs of today. Thanks, and thanks again. The last thing those who have lost their fatherhood in their Holy Orders think about is that there will be martyrs. The more martyrs we have, the more we know the Lord is blessing us. THIS is the seedbed of good vocations!

  12. Jordan says:

    It amazes me that so many people choose to subscribe to the morals of homophobic, mysogynistic, racist, violent, cattle-sacrificing Mesopotamian nomads who lived 2000 years ago who “knew” that the world was flat and that the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is exactly 3. That’s wisdom?

    The Bible in its current form was edited by committee vote at the First Council of Nicaea in order to consolidate political power in the Roman Empire under Constantine, a sectarian dictator, who assimilated the various sects of pagan religions of that time into one official State religion, enforced by penalty of death.

    Fascism comes in many forms: atheist, Christian, Islamic… one is not better than the other. Hiding behind the supposed holiness of the largest political entity in the history of the world, the Catholic Church, does not make Christian intrusion upon the lives of others morally sound.

  13. Puzzled says:

    Dear Jordan,

    Right you are! Those nomads were as silly as they come. Refraining from murder? Respecting one’s
    parents? Avoiding the bed of Mrs. Smith next door? Eating beef? Forgiving debts? What nonsense!

  14. Brian C. says:

    Dear Fr. di Lorenzo,

    Thank you, a thousand times and more, and God bless you for the much-needed clarity in your response! It cuts to the bone of what I sometimes call the “holy obfuscation”(or perhaps “holy mental fog”?) which is all-too-present, even in many of the apparent “orthodox champions of Catholicism” in the United States.

    I especially appreciate your double exhortation to “wake up”, and yet “don’t despair”; those are two of the three major temptations (I’ve found) when one truly confronts the monstrosity and unearthly enormity of the culture of death: sedate yourself mentally (and restrict your thoughts to more tame issues, such as immigration, helping the poor, and other non-mass-murder issues), or throw up our hands in defeat (followed closely by the third: rant and rave and commit most every possible sin against charity, against anyone in range who isn’t lock-step with one’s own fastidious take on the given situation).

    Our bishops in Wisconsin all seem to mean well (isn’t that usually the case?), but there’s an incredible reluctance (with the blessed exception of Bishop Morlino) to make statements which would “upset people too much”, and I can only guess at the reasons for that. I’ve been told (by people who are in positions which could allow reasonable access to such information) that the curias of the Wisconsin dioceses are rife with secular-minded and/or “progressive” laity who are deeply entrenched in their positions of “power behind the throne” (while the few good curia members are persecuted rather mercilessly by the rest).

    At the risk of seeming ironic (given my respectful disagreement with michigancatholic on a similar issue), I can’t fathom why the entire curia in such cases (save for the faithful ones) wasn’t given a collective pink slip, long before now; certainly, none of the lay members of the curia have spiritual/ontological ties to the diocese, as do the priests and bishops themselves. (Similar “well-placed” friends have told of how Bishop David Zupic suffered greatly at the hands of a hostile curia and “educational establishment” who attempted to undercut virtually everything he did in the Diocese of Green Bay.)

    At the risk of sounding like an apocalyptic nut: it doesn’t take much imagination to see that battle lines are being drawn in our culture–and in colors that are far more stark and bold than I ever would have thought possible. It makes me think of the [fictional] mass apostasy of the U.S. bishops portrayed in Michael O’Brien’s book, “Father Elijah”. It’s a relief to know that better bishops seem to be replacing the heterodox and rogue ones… but the widespread dissent, coupled with Papa Benedict’s voiced preference for a “smaller, purer Church” (which implies that he will not gladly settle for placating heterodoxy) leads me to wonder if there isn’t a terrible battle shaping up. THAT, by the way, is one of the main reasons why I’m so especially emphatic about having us–the laity who are at least halfway informed and motivated–NOT use the weapons of Satan (e.g. calumny, detraction, mean-spirited criticism of individual people, willingness to let good ends justify evil means, etc.) in order to try to defeat Satan; not only won’t this work, but it’s insanely foolish. That’s why I’m grateful to Fr. Z and others who, even when they use irony and focused scolding, never seek to damage the *persons* who hold the nutty positions (or their reputations, whatever those might be); even if the final battle between the Church and the Anti-Church doesn’t climax for another thousand years, we really need to keep our wits (and our sense of objective moral and spiritual reality) in front of us.

    We need to keep up the good efforts on all fronts, by all means… but pray, fast, and sacrifice, as never before! The time has come for Christians to make such mortifications a way of life, rather than a brief dabble during Lent and Advent. Read Ephesians 6, every time you’re tempted (especially when rightly and sorely provoked) to lash out against our bishops and priests. Certainly, champion the truth… but keep the truth in Ephesians 6 clearly in mind; truth does not contradict truth, and nothing will excuse us if we play the fool by fighting evil with evil.

    In Christ,
    Brian C.

  15. Louis E. says:

    While of course expecting opposition,I am nonetheless stunned that the criticism of my declaration that biology is just NOT as simple as the anti-intellectual emotionalist Catholic teaching wishes it were,is that I am engaging in anti-intellectual emotionalism!
    Nor am I seeking to “take away people’s right to choose a doctor who is pro-life”,merely to preserve their right to choose a doctor who is NOT “pro-life” by Catholic definition.(I am as anti-euthanasia as any Catholic).Women who believe abortion is wrong will not have abortions!
    And pro-choice people of any faith will not insist that they do so.

  16. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E. Only anti-intellectual emotions stun anyone. Once you come out of your self-proclaimed stupor, you might realise that it is in utterly bad taste to promote the murder of babies to those who are celebrating the birth of Someone they love very much. Your message could not be clearer.

    Your penchant for death is bad on any day, but this rampaging of yours on this day smacks of the triumphalism of the culture of death, an emotionalism which seeks death for… all. You claim you are not for euthanasia, but, give it a few hours and some honest reflection. No eggnogg for you. Anyone who has such an emotion to kill babies wants everyone dead. There can be no other way. It’s a kind of “seamless garment” for you. There’s a bit of irony there. If you don’t know what that is, look it up.

    And, oh, by the way, Christ rose from the dead, no longer to be killed off. I hope you find that out before you die.

    You might start your adventure by discovering that for however much you try to make biological issues for Catholics into Catholic opinions, that is not the case. Catholics look to the natural moral law which is applicable to everyone, whether you like or not. You cannot escape your responsibilities for life just because you throw a tantrum and say that such things are for Catholics only. Your biological ability to promote the murder of others does not mean you have a right to promote the murder of others. Now, before you respond with more emotionalism, THINK: Natural Moral Law, not Catholic opinion.

  17. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E. insists on the right to choose a doctor who is NOT “pro-life”

    Lets make this simple for all your complexities, what Brian C. brilliantly calls “holy obfuscation”(or perhaps “holy mental fog”?) (see above):

    Natural Law 101

    Lesson I

    Do good; avoid evil

    Lesson II

    Error has no rights

    Lesson III

    There is no right to murder the innocent

  18. Louis E. says:

    Where your church errs is in extending the definition of “the innocent” prior to birth…and in doing this,it does evil.

    If you want to oppose the murder of BABIES,I suggest you train your sights on Eduard Verhagen and his “Groningen Protocol”.I’m with you in being against that.

  19. Emilio says:

    Louis, when I was young and foolish I thought the way you do. But after 15 years of Jesuit education I lost my faith and had to think about it again.

    If you believe that there is a moment when God puts a soul in a body, it is reasonable to believe that this happens at birth. But if you no longer believe in God (or the soul), what happens at birth that could change a “fetus” into a “baby”? If you leave out all the “magic”, you have to say that this organism is not much different than it was five minutes ago. At what time can you tell it is not what it was a moment before? Only at conception can you say clearly that “this is different”.

    So in my case it was not “my church” which made me “pro-life”, but “my reason”. If you believe that at the moment of birth something happens that turns a fetus into a baby, what is it?

  20. Louis E. says:

    There isn’t a real “ex nihilo” moment for an individual.The combination of live human sperm and live human ovum into live human zygote does not result in the quality of living-ness or human-ness being acquired by something that had not had it.The fact that the zygote has different DNA than the prospective mother is shared by many many millions of her intestinal flora,that unlike the zygote are capable of living independently of her.As it develops,if the embryo receives nutrition it is because she eats,if its heart beats it is because hers beats,if it gets air it is because she breathes.Separability from her life is acquired gradually but to accord a RIGHT to life before birth,is to subtract rights from hers.

  21. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E.,

    Isn’t it good that God is Love, and has us depend on one another! How beautiful the family is, a father, a mother and children! Vulnerability is not evil to hate, but is an occasion to show love and respect to others, even if you yourself have not experienced any love or respect. Vulnerability does not exclude personhood or “quality of life”.

    Only the hatred of utterly cold individualism can equate separability, as you call it, with a so called quality of life that is sufficient enough — in your make-yourself-into-god perspective — to accord that “product of conception” (as they say) with a right to life.

    When you pretend to “accord a RIGHT to life,” you make yourself into a god, desiring to fool yourself into thinking that YOU are the one to grant the “ex nihilo” moment when someone, in your very private, convenient, self-serving perspective, chooses to do this. So, you are religious after all, worshipping yourself as the death god. Not good.

    Actually, Louis E., rights are not granted by you. They are inherent with who we are because this is the way God made us. Check it out: natural law.

    Louis E., there is a better way, and God, who is Love, not hatred, wants this for you too. He really does love you. Even with this diatribing of yours, or even if you’ve commited some horric offense against God and neighbor, such as dragging a girl-friend or spouse to be submitted to an abortion, or even if you an abortion “doctor”, know that God is Love. IF you want this love, instead of living in the misery of isolation, of separability as you call it, it there to receive.

    Choose life, Louis E. Choose life. God wants you with Him, and we do to.

  22. Andy says:

    What always amazes me is that *men* are most busy debating this issue, while it is *women* who are affected by it. Don’t you think we should abstain from judgment in the matters we have no real idea of? None of us, men, can even imagine what it feels to be raped and pregnant because of a rape. I think in such cases women should decide, not men.

  23. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Oh, way to go Andy (if you’re not really a woman pretending to be a man) [appropriate irony subsequent to your own indications].

    You’re telling women to murder others so that they can pretend to undo violence against them. Instead, you, another death-god like Louis E. was, objectively speaking, being in his comment above, are having such women spend their lives in subservient reaction against such violent people as rapists. Take about male egotistic rubbish!

    Instead of doing the right thing by respecting life, and, therefore, freeing themselves from the control that the rapist would otherwise continue to have over these suffering women, they commit murder by way of abortion, and then, on that day, “Andy”, well, realizing that they have allowed themselves to be controlled by the rapist in this way, reacting against him, and not being free, on that very day, well, it is the day when women are most at risk of committing suicide. You don’t want to help women. You want them to murder others and die themselves. No thanks for that kind of “help”.

    Your perspective of hatred for women, for that is what it is, is also apparent in that you think women have no moral capactity whatsoever. Women, like men, can suffer and still do the right thing. Give women credit where credit is due. Indeed, whether or not you hate or love women, they can do the right thing regardless of what you think. Perhaps you feel incapable of doing that because you think that you cannot suffer and still do the right thing. That’s a licence to kill that you clearly want to own.

    But God is Love, and wants us to be with Him, and will make you capable of such love even in the worst of circumstances, IF you want this love. God wants you with Him, and we do too.

  24. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Also, since male babies and aborted as much as female, of course men have a say, IF that say is pro-life, that is, according to the natural law.

  25. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Also, women who do survive the day of an abortion, say that they go through life noticing, heart-wrenchingly, other children who are the same age as their children would have been. Why put them through such a lifetime of agony?

    Having said all that, I say to any women who have had an abortion and are reading this, know that God wants you to be with Him too. There is no evil that we can commit which is more powerful than the mercy of God is to forgive us and bring us back to Himself. Really. That’s why He came to us as One just conceived in the womb, spending nine months there, and being born. Should you want to receive this great mercy of His, well, then, Happy, Holy Christmas to you! The Lord does bring healing. Really.

  26. Jordan says:

    Dear Puzzled,

    “Right you are! Those nomads were as silly as they come. Refraining from murder? Respecting one’s
    parents? Avoiding the bed of Mrs. Smith next door? Eating beef? Forgiving debts? What nonsense!”
    Comment by Puzzled — 24 December 2007 @ 4:45 pm

    Yes, they had some ideas that in certain specific ways result in respect and decent treatment toward fellow human beings. That does not mean that all of their ideas are morally right or truthful. Many of their ideas have resulted in violence and oppression of fundamental human rights throughout history, and they continue to do so today. Much of what was acceptable to them is now seen as inhumanly cruel and disgusting by believers and atheists alike. I am saying that the authors of the Bible should not be viewed as a moral authority.

    Many people say we need God to make us behave when what they really mean is that we need police. You don’t need to be afraid of an imaginary friend to be good to your fellow human beings.

  27. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    How about some rational responses to rational arguments? Oh, I see. Error cannot be rational; that is why it is error.

    “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.”

    God doesn’t make anyone behave. He gives us free will and respects our use of it, though He will reward those who do good and punish those who do evil. Death comes for all of us. And police are great. They lay their lives on the line daily in their service. Obviously, you only need yourself to stomp on your fellow human beings, in this case, with zippo knowledge of the meaning of the Scriptures, you proceed to vent your anti-Semitic diatribe. It’s true that many “religious” people think as you do, but you have to learn to not take scandal from the ignorant. God expects us to confront reality, and part of that is knowing that individuals can be weak and do no more than vomit out political correctness, looking for your approval. But that is not what you want; otherwise you wouldn’t be here, again.

    Here we go. Bible 101 for atheists.
    [And this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a close look at natural law!]

    It is not good when a creature shakes his fist at his Creator, but that’s what has been done. There are consequences chosen with this rebellion: weekness, temptation, sickness, death, and subsequent scepticism for goodness that wants to tear down any goodness down to our level.

    The Lord knew what we would do with our scepticism for goodness before His Goodness. He let us show our worst to Him, which is what we deserve ourselves. In taking this on, He has the right in justice to have mercy on us.

    Perhaps we were hoping against hope that someone, necessarily divine, would rise above the worst we could give out, and still love us. Our Lord passes our test. This is very much about the Liturgy which this website promotes so ardently.

    The Lord does hold out forgiveness: “Father, forgive them.” As a pedagogy, and in justice, he also keeps us, in this world, in all the other effects of sin: weakness, temptation, sickness, death. But he uses that to teach us how to be open to receiving His strength, His goodness and kindness, His Charity, the Living Truth of Charity that He is.

    To prepare us to understand what He was to do on the cross, He taught a certain people just how seriously wrong sin is, especially original sin, so that they could bring this truth to the rest of us.

    No one has a right to life in this world when that right is claimed against God. The Lord has a claim on our whole being, not only as our Creator, but also as our Redeemer. If someone dies a little ahead of time in order to teach this truth of the gravity of sin so necessary for all of mankind, that doesn’t mean that such people will go to hell. Instead, if we do not learn from what happened to them, we risk going to hell.

    Anything sanctioned by God in the Hebrew Bible is absolutely morally good forever, but in its place, that is, previous to the our redemption on the cross. Any pedagogy leading up to the crucifixion of the Lord, like stoning adulterers, cannot be continued after the crucifixion of our Lord, for, since He is divine, there can be no greater pedagogy for how horrific sin is, nor how deadly serious the Lord is in His eagerness that we should be in His good friendship.

    But… having said all that…

    “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.”

    Sorry for jumping in, Puzzled. I couldn’t resist.

  28. Brian C. says:

    Fr. Rendo, is there any chance you’d be willing to excardinate to the Diocese of La Crosse, WI? :) At least a few of us would welcome you with open arms!

    In Christ,
    Brian

  29. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brian C., moving to Wisconson, such an incredibly beautiful state, would put me close to a favorite football team, and that would really be good.

    For now, I’m so busy hearing Confessions! It’s a little quiet now, but when it gets going, it can be almost non-stop.

    Thanks for your support, Brian C. (and others too!). I must say that I also really appreciated your well thought out comments on fatherhood a while back.

    And thanks to Fr Z, for this blog, the whole of which just has to raise the level of any discussion, whether its about birettas or philology or other aspects of our lives, the joys, sorrows, sufferings of which the Lord takes up in His Holy Sacrifice, if we want that. God is good!

  30. Jordan says:

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo,

    You’ve explained what you believe is in store for me if I’m wrong about the existence of a god. heaven, and hell.

    I’ve explained a bit about what I believe, which is that you are wrong about the existence of a god, heaven, and hell. Have you considered that you might be wrong, just as you’ve presumed that I am?

    These viewpoints are irreconcilable. I can no more easily fear something that isn’t real than you can abandon the belief system and profession in which you have so much invested. I do have faith in the ability of people to change for the better, because I’ve seen it in others and experienced it myself. There’s a lot of inspiration to be found in the world if you can move beyond the “good vs. evil” world view.

  31. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan, truth be told, I’m wanting to see you in heaven. And that’s certainly possible.

    Now, if you don’t like “good vs. evil”, aren’t you being inconsistent. Your “I’m nice; you’re nice; we’re all nice all the time” if only we admit that evil is as good as good is good just, well, doesn’t cut it.

    Actually, if you knew me, the last thing you would say is that I ever do anything because I have so much invested in it. Try to learn from Thomas More when his daughter Meg was in the tower with him, trying to convince him to take the oath. She said that he’s done everything that God could reasonably expect. He shoudn’t get his head chopped off. He answered to the effect that it’s not so much a matter of our own human reason, but the LOVE which makes it all REASONABLE.

    Anyway, concerning God, you might check out http://www.peterkreeft.com/

    Any other readers with suggestions for simular sites for Jordan?

  32. Louis E. says:

    Unlike the “Jordan” here (clearly not Jordan Potter) I am emphatically not an atheist.One can be secularist while still upholding the absolute necessity of an Infinitely First Cause.
    I believe that both God and Natural Law are on my side regarding abortion rights.Remember that you can’t “choose life” if the law says you have no choice!

  33. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Um, Louis E, you confuse natural law and a positive “law” which, because it would be unjust, wouldn’t be a law at all. This is major confusion.

  34. Jordan Potter says:

    Louis E said: Unlike the “Jordan” here (clearly not Jordan Potter)

    Yeah, that’s definitely not me. There’s no way you’ll ever find me parroting Da Vinci Code whoppers such as, “The Bible in its current form was edited by committee vote at the First Council of Nicaea in order to consolidate political power in the Roman Empire under Constantine, a sectarian dictator, who assimilated the various sects of pagan religions of that time into one official State religion, enforced by penalty of death.”

    Clearly, if you want to be an atheist, it helps a great deal to not know all that much about history, especially Christian history.

  35. Jordan says:

    Jordan Potter,

    I haven’t read or seen the Da Vinci Code. The Christian history about which you presume I don’t know much…who wrote it? Perhaps people with an interest in disguising Christianity’s pagan foundation? Eloquence belongs to the conqueror, and Christians have done a smashing job of writing their own history.

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo,

    Anything sanctioned by God in the Hebrew Bible is absolutely morally good forever, but in its place, that is, previous to the our redemption on the cross. Any pedagogy leading up to the crucifixion of the Lord, like stoning adulterers, cannot be continued after the crucifixion of our Lord, for, since He is divine, there can be no greater pedagogy for how horrific sin is, nor how deadly serious the Lord is in His eagerness that we should be in His good friendship.

    This is a rationalization to justify the horrific and inhumane treatment of people described in the Old Testament. Although this behavior was not seen as such by its authors, it is by modern standards morally reprehensible. Advocacy of the stoning of adulterers, the murder of homosexuals and non-virgin brides, and slavery are just a few examples of what the evolution of human regard and respect for one another has deemed morally wrong. Why are these ridiculous men regarded as moral authorities to this day?

    Rationalizations and excuses about free will and redemption are unnecessary if you can entertain the thought that God is imaginary.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=zDHJ4ztnldQ

  36. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Hey Jordan, and not prejudicing comment from Jordon Potter, I guess you didn’t read the bit about pedagogy, did you. Pretty serious, that.

    As far as you giving yourself a licence to kill and maim and commit whatever sin you want, for that is what you doing, listen to this true story:

    There was once a young man who was walking around America preaching to whomever would listen. He had a beard such that he looked like any picture of Jesus you ever saw. He wore white flowing robes and told everyone how nice everyone is, that we are nicer than those in the past.

    This was starting to get obnoxious to the major news networks, as huge crowds were turning up everywhere he went. A brilliant reporter (either from FOX or CNN, I think) was finally able to ask this question:

    “Oh Jesus person, don’t you think that after Jesus’ coming into this world to save us, that, after all He did, we are better?”

    “Yes!” said the young man. “Of course we are better! Jesus isn’t a failure.”

    “Then why, Oh Jesus person, has there been more violence in the world in this past century that in all the rest of the history of mankind put together?”

    No answer came from the young Jesus person. Nothing has been heard from him since… Unless, unless, YOU, Jordan, are THAT young man, confused, and insisting against the facts, as if controlled by ideology.

    Again, we are obliged to learn from what happened in the Old Testament. We are obliged to learn that the we are all at the ready with any kind of hell if not for the grace of God and whatever circumstances. If you deny this, you are giving yourself a license to kill, for, in that case, you are nicer than anyone who ever existed, and whatever you do is, by definition, nice. You can do what you want. Sorry. That kind of self-righteous is what has brought death to hundreds of millions of people. How odd that you are scandalized by a few people in OT times who died for your benefit.

  37. Jordan says:

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo,

    Regarding pedagogy: If the teachings of Jesus are to be considered the ultimate moral authority, why bother keeping the Old Testament in the Bible at all? What’s the harm in accepting it as a collection of mythology that makes for interesting literature but should not be regarded as historical fact and certainly not a model for one’s behavior? We already give that status to Greek, Norse, Celtic, and Egyptian mythology. Is it unreasonable to see this mythology in the same way?

    Regarding your “license to kill and maim and commit whatever sin you want:” Are you suggesting that the only thing stopping you from maiming and killing people is your belief in the God of the Bible and a resulting fear of eternal punishment? If that’s what it takes for your fellow humans to be safe from your otherwise untempered base instincts, then please continue to believe what you do; the human race will be better for it. Personally I don’t struggle daily with urges to lie, cheat, steal, rape, maim, kill, or otherwise inflict injury on fellow human beings. I suspect and hope that you do not either.

    A lack of belief in a supernatural being does not give one license to do these things any more than ardent belief has been successful in preventing them throughout human history. I manage to be a decent human being — or “nice”, your word — without any form of magical cosmic police looking over my shoulder, and there’s nothing unique or special in my ability to do so.

  38. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    The point about pedagogy is that this helped those who came before Christ to recognize the significance of what happened to Christ when He came. This pedagogy can be noted by us with great benefit, realizing though, as I have said, that any violent pedagogy comes to a close with the supreme pedagogy of Calvary.

    Other than that, for the OT, there are few passages like that. The rest is equally, utterly brilliant. The poetry soars, capturing the heights and depths. Just magnificent. Why would anyone want to ignore that unless they are anti-Semitic, which attitudes do bring about maiming and killing, etc., called the holocaust. Oh, I forgot. You’re nice.

    You fool yourself with nice circumstances, but anyone with your attitude having different circumstances, including yourself then, might be doing something altogether less than nice. Don’t tell me you have no idea that one’s circumstances can change in a moment?

    Again, don’t forget to look to the natural law.

    And, odd thing about mythology. It points to religion, to our confused response to God, confused because of orginal sin. The good thing about the OT is that there is no confusion. The revelation was not easy for the chosen people to bear. If they failed, they became part of the pedagogy. So many of their best, the priests and prophets, were killed by nice people. This is not how mythology comes about. This is called reality. You haven’t read the OT, have you?

    BTW, I was right, wasn’t I? You ARE that Jesus person all of a sudden grown a bit older.

    ANOTHER STORY (I KNOW YOU LIKE THEM).

    In Chesterton’s Fr Brown stories, Flambeau, if I remember correctly (the greatest thief of all), is sitting with the retired priest detective on a veranda looking out so a wonderful Spanish sunset. Flambeau asks Fr Brown how it is that he was able to capture a thief like himself when no others were able to do so.

    Fr Brown said that it was just like hearing confessions. A Confessor is able to give good advice since he, with humility, is able to know that he could do the very same things given the circumstances and the lack of God’s grace. And why not? None of us are better than anyone else on our own, certainly not because of fleeting, nice circumstances! No transference rubbish here. Just the facts.

    Fr Brown said that he applied the same principle to hunting criminals, saying that by this he was able to be one step ahead.

    Humility, Jordan, humility.

    BTW… What’s really bothering you Jordan? You’re obviously wanting to discuss something. Why don’t we skip to what’s really concerning you. Really.

  39. Jordan Potter says:

    Jordan said: I haven’t read or seen the Da Vinci Code. The Christian history about which you presume I don’t know much…who wrote it? Perhaps people with an interest in disguising Christianity’s pagan foundation? Eloquence belongs to the conqueror, and Christians have done a smashing job of writing their own history.

    Hey, if you’d rather traffic in unfalsifiable and ahistorical conspiracy theories than find out for yourself what the historical record says, knock yourself out. Or you can trust me when I assure you that there is not the slightest shred of evidence that “The Bible in its current form was edited by committee vote at the First Council of Nicaea in order to consolidate political power in the Roman Empire under Constantine, a sectarian dictator, who assimilated the various sects of pagan religions of that time into one official State religion, enforced by penalty of death.” Sorry, but it just didn’t happen that way. Not even close. Nicaea I concerned itself with many things, but the form and editing of the Bible was not one of them. (Well, actually Nicaea I did edit and rewrite the Bible to prop up Constantine, but we Catholics destroyed all the evidence because we wanted to make you look foolish.)

    This is a rationalization to justify the horrific and inhumane treatment of people described in the Old Testament.

    By what standard do you judge it to be horrific and inhumane, since you don’t believe in God? Why should anyone care if something is horrific and inhumane, if we’re all going to die anyway and simply cease to exist? What difference does it make?

    Advocacy of the stoning of adulterers, the murder of homosexuals and non-virgin brides, and slavery are just a few examples of what the evolution of human regard and respect for one another has deemed morally wrong.

    “Human regard and respect for one another” didn’t just “evolve,” Jordan — they were consciously and deliberately, and through great strivings, IMPROVED BY THE EFFORTS OF CHRISTIANS. You adhere to Christian morality but want to throw out the Christianity, and then you look back at earlier times and find fault with them because the people back then didn’t have as good an understanding of Christian morality.

    Why are these ridiculous men regarded as moral authorities to this day?

    To you they seem ridiculous, but to them you would seem ridiculous? How do you propose we arrive at a means of determining whether it is you or they who are right, seeing that without God any notion of morality must be constantly evolving and changing.

  40. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    To Jordan Potter: excellent points. I wonder if he’ll answer.

    To Jordan: Again, what is it you really want to discuss. Perhaps an indication can be taken from the original post concerning a Catholic Bishop going in a pro-life direction with regard to the unborn. Do you really think that is, for instance, mysogynistic, to use your word?

    Are you, then, someone who wants to maim and murder the unborn. That’s violent language, to be sure, but do you know what happens at an abortion? Maybe you are what you pretend to hate. In that case, it’s time for you to come home to the faith.

  41. Jordan says:

    Fr Renzo di Lorenzo,

    The notion that a supernatural being singled out a specific tribe or race as “the chosen people,” as somehow superior to all of the others and deserving of special treatment, is contained in the OT mythology. It is racist.

    Incidentally, it would be wonderful if the supposed occurrences of Calvary could have ended violent pedagogy for Christians. What are the lessons to be learned in the Church’s failure to turn the other cheek during the Crusades? If we must get into discussions about the Holocaust, please keep in mind that while Hitler’s actual beliefs are under dispute, he was an altar boy and communicant in the Catholic church and never left it. He repeatedly claimed to be a Christian and stated that he was doing the Lord’s work in fighting off the Jews. I’m not particularly interested in debating his actual beliefs or lack thereof, just calling attention to what megalomania has wrought when combined with superstition based on racist mythology.

    You have not answered my question. If your faith disappeared, would you immediately take up arms against your neighbors? Or are you too “nice?” Is there something underneath that would reveal such behavior to be irrational, or would we hear about your killing spree on the news?

    What is it about the OT that causes you to view it as anything more than superstitious mythology? It is filled with unscientific nonsense about the geological origin of the Earth; humans living far, far, beyond what archaeological evidence demonstrates was possible; the claim that every species now alive had a male and female member that lived within walking distance of Noah’s house and were thus saved during a great flood (Gilgamesh, anyone?); and the ability of trumpets and shouting to collapse a city’s wall.

    Your straw man about the “nice” “Jesus person” is cute, but that’s not the position I’m presenting. I’m saying that Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals that benefit the human race, and that no supernatural being nor mythology of any kind is required for people to subscribe to them. If you or any other Christians require it to keep you from inflicting harm on your fellow human beings, that’s odd, but it doesn’t make it so for anyone else.

    Where you see “God’s grace” in your latest parable, I see “taking responsibility for one’s actions.” I too can attempt to see someone else’s behavior through their eyes and understand that it could easily be me if I did not take responsibility for being compassionate to my fellow man. No imaginary friend is required.

    Jordan Potter,

    I am willing to discover that I’m wrong about what occurred at Nicaea I. One of the great things about human intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind when presented with new evidence. What I would like to hear is your explanation for the numerous similarities among the myths of Jesus, Osiris, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius, Perseus, and such.

    I judge behavior in the OT as horrific and inhumane when I think about what it would be like to have it inflicted upon me. The “Golden Rule” attributed to Jesus is a simple and very rational way to determine whether behavior is humane. Again, having some good ideas does not mean that all ideas from that source should be followed. Do you intend to sell all of your possessions in order to enter the “kingdom of Heaven?” “Christian morality” is contradictory and sometimes bizarre, e.g.: http://youtube.com/watch?v=dzzORZhnCao

    You can cast me in whatever light you wish, but with regard to morality we have much more in common than in contention. It’s ok to keep the ideas that are rational and discard the nonsensical mythology in which it is presented.

    And finally, to Fr Renzo di Lorenzo,

    Indeed, the reason I posted in the first place is the insistence that a medical practicioner denying medical treatment to a victim of brutality is an issue of protecting the conscience of the doctor or nurse, which should override the wishes or medical needs of the victim. I find the cognitive dissonance required for someone advocating compassion for women to hold such an opinion stunning.

    Do you know what happens at this type of abortion? For the first 3 days after the rape, the zygote consists of 16 cells. It has no nervous system, heart, lungs, or reproductive organs and is –except for its differing DNA — no more a “child” than is a tadpole. A woman may wish to see a pregnancy intiated by rape through to birth, but that should be her choice. The wish of Bishop Morlino is to deny her the opportunity to make the quite compassionate decision to terminate a pregnancy before any further human suffering can occur, such as might happen with a later-stage abortion, if she does not wish to continue the pregnancy that was forced upon her.

  42. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan

    1. No, the chosen people were chosen for a task. And that’s how our social nature works. When they did the wrong thing, THEY paid the price. But you didn’t read that, did you. You don’t want to. So you can’t.

    2. People keep their free will (what you truly fear with yourself), and can choose the wrong thing. Really, Jordan, admit it. You spit on the natural law in favor of your own relativistic law unto yourself, because then you cannot make a mistake in your own mind. You are afraid of that. But then, you are giving yourself a license to kill, and you use it by promoting the death of the unborn.

    3. Instead, Jordan, I mean, do you have ANY humility at all: it is faith which lets me admit that, given the circumstances and without the grace of God, I, or anyone else, including you, could do anything. You fool yourself with nice circumstances. We all grow up with different circumstances. But these can change. You ARE the one we read about, Jordan; isn’t that true? You are then one promoting the anti-Semetism. You are the one promoting the countless deaths of children in the womb. You are the one… Don’t you see? Oh, I guess not. Because you think that you can fool yourself with your nice circumstances. This is the point of this original posting about the bishops, so many of whom are fooling themselves with nice lives even while they turn a blind eye to murdering countless children in the womb. Then, you one bishop starts to turn away from this, you freak out.

    4. “What a beautiful sunrise!” Do you ever say that, Jordan? Know that the Bible employs normal means of communication, too. Hey, what a scandal! It even utilizes mythology. Of course it does, but not to copy it, but as an apologetics, taking what people are used to, trouncing their theological ideas, raising the argument with revelation. In fact, Jordan, I would say you must be utterly ignorant of both the OT and mythology, for you do not know this. Not only is this awesome to see done, but there is more. Justice and mercy, morality (in its pedagogical epoch), etc., is always the same and reasonable, utterly consonant with the natural law. Meanwhile, mythological rubbish changes its mind all the time. If you knew any cuneiform, you would know that. Instead, you like to cling on to ignorance.

    5. You say: “I’m saying that Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals that benefit the human race”. Finally, you’ve said it, except you don’t understand. I’ve been advocating natural law all along. But that’s not what you are taking about. You want a relativistic law, which is no law, by which you can insist on, for instance, the murder of little children in the womb. That is monstrous, Jordan, and is proportional to the monstrosities found in mythology. Say, you aren’t a mythological monster, are you?

    6. You are scandalized by our weakness when we are young. You are SUCH a hypocrite. If you think that weakness invites your agression, especially against children, well, Jordan, really… NO!

    7. You need to re-read all the contributions to this post. In particular, an exchange with Andrew, who says:

    What always amazes me is that men are most busy debating this issue, while it is women who are affected by it. Don’t you think we should abstain from judgment in the matters we have no real idea of? None of us, men, can even imagine what it feels to be raped and pregnant because of a rape. I think in such cases women should decide, not men.

    And, then, my answer:

    Oh, way to go Andy (if you’re not really a woman pretending to be a man) [appropriate irony subsequent to your own indications].

    You’re telling women to murder others so that they can pretend to undo violence against them. Instead, you, another death-god like Louis E. was, objectively speaking, being in his comment above, are having such women spend their lives in subservient reaction against such violent people as rapists. Take about male egotistic rubbish!

    Instead of doing the right thing by respecting life, and, therefore, freeing themselves from the control that the rapist would otherwise continue to have over these suffering women, they commit murder by way of abortion, and then, on that day, “Andy”, well, realizing that they have allowed themselves to be controlled by the rapist in this way, reacting against him, and not being free, on that very day, well, it is the day when women are most at risk of committing suicide. You don’t want to help women. You want them to murder others and die themselves. No thanks for that kind of “help”.

    Your perspective of hatred for women, for that is what it is, is also apparent in that you think women have no moral capactity whatsoever. Women, like men, can suffer and still do the right thing. Give women credit where credit is due. Indeed, whether or not you hate or love women, they can do the right thing regardless of what you think. Perhaps you feel incapable of doing that because you think that you cannot suffer and still do the right thing. That’s a licence to kill that you clearly want to own.

    But God is Love, and wants us to be with Him, and will make you capable of such love even in the worst of circumstances, IF you want this love. God wants you with Him, and we do too.

    ======

    Jordan, you have the biological freedom to insist on the death of others (though error has no rights). Yet, what you think you can do doesn’t give you the license in natural law to do it. You are law unto yourself. What did I say before: a license to kill. That IS what you are doing when you so vigorously promote the death of others. Why don’t you read what others have to say, instead of rampaging with your death for all wish? You are just so right, in your own eyes. Again:

    “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.”

    Of course, maybe you are Dan Brown, doing research. In that case, we see your level of understanding. Zippo. Zilch. Nothing. Because you don’t want to see.

  43. Louis E. says:

    Whatever the views of Jordan the atheist,I am no relativist…I believe that when it comes to abortion rights,Catholic teaching is absolutely wrong.A fairly recent wrong turning and one that I hope will be repented.

  44. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E. proclaims his “right” to murder with his “abortion rights”.

    And you are a relativist. You don’t accept the natural law. Anyone who solves “problems” (children are not problems) by murder is a relativist, the tyrany of relativism: “Whatever’s good for me in my own opinion, that’s moral.” You couldn’t be more wrong.

    The Church is always pro-life, was, is, will be. Praise the Lord.

  45. Jordan says:

    1. No, the chosen people were chosen for a task. And that’s how our social nature works. When they did the wrong thing, THEY paid the price. But you didn’t read that, did you. You don’t want to. So you can’t.

    The “chosen people” in Hebrew scripture were chosen by the Hebrew scribes that wrote it, not God. God is imaginary. I suspect you and I aren’t going to be able to agree on this fundamental point.

    2. People keep their free will (what you truly fear with yourself), and can choose the wrong thing. Really, Jordan, admit it. You spit on the natural law in favor of your own relativistic law unto yourself, because then you cannot make a mistake in your own mind. You are afraid of that. But then, you are giving yourself a license to kill, and you use it by promoting the death of the unborn.

    I don’t choose moral relativism “because” it allows me the delusion that I cannot make a mistake. I don’t believe that I cannot make a mistake. I choose moral relativism because the moral absolutism of the God of the Bible is irrational, defensible only by a litany of excuses and odd rationalizations, and because God is imaginary.

    Again, I am not giving myself a license to inflict harm on fellow human beings. Common sense and compassion are enough to prevent that. I am not promoting the death of zygotes, groupings of less than 16 cells that are months from even developing the ability to feel pain. I would rather women who are gestating them be allowed to make their own choice, based on their own morals, as to what to do with them. Seems like common sense to me. Why the opinion of people with delusions of a supernatural entity should have any bearing on a woman’s choice in the matter, especially in the case of an unwanted pregnancy intiated by violence, even going so far as to legislate that opinion into secular law, is a mystery to me.

    3. Instead, Jordan, I mean, do you have ANY humility at all: it is faith which lets me admit that, given the circumstances and without the grace of God, I, or anyone else, including you, could do anything. You fool yourself with nice circumstances. We all grow up with different circumstances. But these can change. You ARE the one we read about, Jordan; isn’t that true? You are then one promoting the anti-Semetism. You are the one promoting the countless deaths of children in the womb. You are the one… Don’t you see? Oh, I guess not. Because you think that you can fool yourself with your nice circumstances. This is the point of this original posting about the bishops, so many of whom are fooling themselves with nice lives even while they turn a blind eye to murdering countless children in the womb. Then, you one bishop starts to turn away from this, you freak out.

    The “grace of God” does not enter into it because God is imaginary.

    First, it’s odd that you presume to know the slightest thing about my circumstances, past or present. And second, it’s interesting that you assume that my common sense and compassion would leave me with a change in those circumstances. Once again — and I have a feeling I’m going to end up losing count of how many times you avoid answering this question — is this what you fear about yourself? About your congregation? Are they aware that you regard them so poorly, as barbarians in waiting, kept decent only by the constant interference of a supernatural being?

    Here, repeated again, is the assertion that an aborted pregnancy is the “murder” of a “child.” And again, I’m going to insist that a biological entity incapable of perception, sentience, or thought of any kind, especially a grouping of 16 cells or less, is many weeks away from becoming anything even slightly resembling a child.

    Do you believe that life begins at conception? Why arbitrarily choose that point? Why not extend it a bit further and say that life begins at erection? At the feeling of love (or lust) that precedes it? At the intention to meet or speak to a sexual partner for the first time? Your morality is as relative as mine.

    Could you please show me the Bible verses where Jesus addresses the issue of abortion? It’s been pretty contentious as of late; you’d think that the human incarnation of an omnipotent, all-knowing being would have something to say about it in order to save a lot of people a lot of time and anguish.

    4. “What a beautiful sunrise!” Do you ever say that, Jordan? Know that the Bible employs normal means of communication, too. Hey, what a scandal! It even utilizes mythology. Of course it does, but not to copy it, but as an apologetics, taking what people are used to, trouncing their theological ideas, raising the argument with revelation. In fact, Jordan, I would say you must be utterly ignorant of both the OT and mythology, for you do not know this. Not only is this awesome to see done, but there is more. Justice and mercy, morality (in its pedagogical epoch), etc., is always the same and reasonable, utterly consonant with the natural law. Meanwhile, mythological rubbish changes its mind all the time. If you knew any cuneiform, you would know that. Instead, you like to cling on to ignorance.

    No sarcasm intended here…I honestly do not know what you are talking about in paragraph #4. Could you please explain it further? I can’t follow it. What point(s) of mine are you addressing?

    5. You say: “I’m saying that Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals that benefit the human race”. Finally, you’ve said it, except you don’t understand. I’ve been advocating natural law all along. But that’s not what you are taking about. You want a relativistic law, which is no law, by which you can insist on, for instance, the murder of little children in the womb. That is monstrous, Jordan, and is proportional to the monstrosities found in mythology. Say, you aren’t a mythological monster, are you?

    As intelligent, rational people, we can apply the concepts of compassion and common sense to agree on a law that doesn’t rely on the kaleidoscopic subjective ideas about an imaginary being that are held by followers of “revealed” religions. I’m all for a law, justly and universally applied, with no one human as its source or authority. Let’s just skip the silly parts about laws coming down from on high from voices from the ether and hallucinations. They called it revelation; these days we call it schizophrenia, although of course the Biblical authors did not have the grasp on mental illness that we now possess.

    6. You are scandalized by our weakness when we are young. You are SUCH a hypocrite. If you think that weakness invites your agression, especially against children, well, Jordan, really… NO!

    Sorry, what? Please explain to me how I am “scandalized by our weakness when we are young.” Again, I don’t follow.

    I will in fact re-read the rest of this thread. While I’m working on that, could you show me where I’ve done any promotion, vigorous or otherwise, of the death of others? I’m advocating for the right of women to do with their bodies, and their zygotes, what they choose. The decision is still up to them. If you can get them to go along with your unscientific nonsense about what constitutes a child, then you will have succeeded in preventing the death you reference. I’m not going to picket emergency rooms and browbeat women into aborting their pregnancies. It’s their choice.

  46. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Strange that the Chosen People would suffer so much when they broke God’s law. That doesn’t fit in with your law of self-convenience, does it?

    What will become a man is already a man. But that’s been said. And you haven’t listened.

    Law, common sense, compassion, is impossible to one who says: “I choose moral relativism”.

    If you do not realise that the statement “What a beautiful sunrise!” is astrophysically silly, though a common expression, even among scientists, and if you do not realize that forbidding the Bible to use such phrases without being accused of error is also silly, well, what to do?

    When you say – – – “Do you believe that life begins at conception? Why arbitrarily choose that point? Why not extend it a bit further and say that life begins at erection? At the feeling of love (or lust) that precedes it? At the intention to meet or speak to a sexual partner for the first time?” – – – you don’t show yourself to be a biology whizkid, do you? It’s interesting, though, that you would define others (babies in the womb) by the intentions of others. There you show your murderous nature (for a person’s right to life, then, for you, only depends on the changeable intentions of others), but you can’t see that, because you say that you are nice.

    Your nice circumstances, whatever they really are, are nice to you because you call yourself nice even while you promote the death of others.

    I said that “You are scandalized by our weakness when we are young. You are SUCH a hypocrite” for the reason that you think someone who is just a few cells large is not a person, and therefore, can be abused. You are alive. Why? You were once just that small. For you, when would your “right” to abuse children change for you? When they feel pain, as you say? Really?Abuse of children because they are small is really bad, Jordan. Really.

    Finally, let me put it to you this way. If you or I or anyone else, Jordan, were given the circumstances of someone else, say, of a soldier on Calvary, and if we were without the grace of God, well, because no one is better than anyone else without the grace of God, then anyone could do any horrific act that has ever been done in this world, including crucifying the Son of God. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you wouldn’t do that. Why are you better than anyone else. Oh, I forgot, because you and your murder-all-the-babies relativism said so. I see.

    Your objection to “kaleidoscopic subjective ideas” coming from many religions is, in fact, to be rejected. There is only one true God and, therefore, one true religion. That’s just reason. Really, reason can get that. You must not have gone to http://www.peterkreeft.com/

    You only want to speak of religion because this is your way of thinking that you can avoid the natural law with your relativism at any cost, including the murder of little children.

    By the way. Why bother? If everything is so relative, why rampage about your views which you hold to be so relatively infallible? And you are rampaging, here, if you didn’t notice, trying to convince as many as possible to murder children. Or, have you forgotten you’ve done that. You, Jordan.

    This brings us to Jordon Potter’s brilliant questions. You didn’t bother with them, did you?

  47. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    You helped to frame the pro-abortion legislation in Wisconson, didn’t you, Jordan?

    No! Well then, let me see. Oh, I get it.

    You, Jordan, are doing this as part of a pro-abort politician’s campaign, using this blog as your platform for hatred of children.

    Really, I don’t think that will get any votes for pro-aborts here.

    RSV Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    And there is much in the law and the prophets legislating protection for the unborn. Oh, I forgot, you hate the OT.

  48. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan, if you just can’t help yourself, get help for yourself. Check out the beauty of life as presented in the Scriptures at:

    http://priestsforlife.org/brochures/thebible.html

    Didn’t want me to say that, now, did you? And just before the elections!

  49. Jordan says:

    Strange that the Chosen People would suffer so much when they broke God’s law. That doesn’t fit in with your law of self-convenience, does it?

    In reality, there is no Chosen People, because God is imaginary.

    What will become a man is already a man. But that’s been said. And you haven’t listened.

    Is your scrotum filled with millions of men? Does a premenopausal woman kill a man every month when her egg goes unfertilized?

    If you do not realise that the statement “What a beautiful sunrise!” is astrophysically silly, though a common expression, even among scientists, and if you do not realize that forbidding the Bible to use such phrases without being accused of error is also silly, well, what to do?

    My objection to the Bible is with its nonsensical mythology being construed as literal truth. By that I mean the impossible assertions within, not the poetry with which it is presented.

    When you say – – – “Do you believe that life begins at conception? Why arbitrarily choose that point? Why not extend it a bit further and say that life begins at erection? At the feeling of love (or lust) that precedes it? At the intention to meet or speak to a sexual partner for the first time?” – – – you don’t show yourself to be a biology whizkid, do you? It’s interesting, though, that you would define others (babies in the womb) by the intentions of others. There you show your murderous nature (for a person’s right to life, then, for you, only depends on the changeable intentions of others), but you can’t see that, because you say that you are nice.

    Your nice circumstances, whatever they really are, are nice to you because you call yourself nice even while you promote the death of others.

    I said that “You are scandalized by our weakness when we are young. You are SUCH a hypocrite” for the reason that you think someone who is just a few cells large is not a person, and therefore, can be abused. You are alive. Why? You were once just that small. For you, when would your “right” to abuse children change for you? When they feel pain, as you say? Really?Abuse of children because they are small is really bad, Jordan. Really.

    You, and only you, say that I am nice. I’ve explained at some length my personal philosophy, which you continue to reduce to “nice,” a word sufficiently vague to be meaningless. It amounts to a straw man which you seem to be taking considerable satisfaction in creating and knocking down again and again.

    My definitions, to the extent that my current knowledge allows me, come from the differentiations that biologists have deemed necessary to precisely explain human development. Apparently Catholic biology is satisfied with “baby” or “child” as the one stage of prenatal development. You either possess no more biological knowledge than I, or you choose to ignore what you know in support of your ideology. Yes, I have my ideology, too. Being that you seem to use “ideology” in the pejorative sense, I hope you’re not deluding yourself into thinking your system of belief isn’t one as well.

    Please explain to me how an entity possessing no more sentience and far fewer cells than were found under your fingernail the last time you scratched your skin can be “abused.”

    Finally, let me put it to you this way. If you or I or anyone else, Jordan, were given the circumstances of someone else, say, of a soldier on Calvary, and if we were without the grace of God, well, because no one is better than anyone else without the grace of God, then anyone could do any horrific act that has ever been done in this world, including crucifying the Son of God. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you wouldn’t do that. Why are you better than anyone else. Oh, I forgot, because you and your murder-all-the-babies relativism said so. I see.

    I believe that anyone is just as capable of compassion — in the absence of any kind of God — as I, and I don’t put myself above anyone else. If you believe that I am “better than anyone else,” why do you believe yourself to be worse than anyone else? Again, do you act with decency and compassion toward your fellow man only to garner approval with and escape punishment from a supernatural being? That’s not character, that’s sycophancy, maintained only by your belief that you are never not being watched. You continually challenge me with your but-for-the-grace-of-God scenarios while refusing to be challenged by its opposite. What is so difficult or unsettling about my question?

    “Murder-all-the-babies relativism?” Another strawman. I already explained to you in detail that I have no desire to interfere with any woman’s pregnancy, which you continue to ignore. You and the Bishop, on the other hand, feel a duty and a right to interfere even in the case of a rape. I can appreciate how bizarre my position on this issue must seem to you, because I assume it is approximately as bizarre as yours seems to me. The only thing I would ask is that you refrain from ignoring and misrepresenting my position.

    Your objection to “kaleidoscopic subjective ideas” coming from many religions is, in fact, to be rejected. There is only one true God and, therefore, one true religion. That’s just reason. Really, reason can get that. You must not have gone to http://www.peterkreeft.com/

    That sounds familiar. That’s because it is continually asserted by every monotheistic religion, and it amounts to “my imaginary friend is more real than your imaginary friend.” I did in fact go to Peter Kreeft’s site. I didn’t spend much time there after I noticed his reliance on superstitions such as the Argument From Design. Those who posit that argument see a God-shaped hole in what science admits is an incomplete understanding of the universe, although by virtue of scientific investigation it is always becoming more complete. For some reason some people are content to equate not knowing yet with we’ll never be able to know. Hmmm, looks designed to me…don’t understand it? Must be God! (never mind which one!)

    You only want to speak of religion because this is your way of thinking that you can avoid the natural law with your relativism at any cost, including the murder of little children.

    By the way. Why bother? If everything is so relative, why rampage about your views which you hold to be so relatively infallible? And you are rampaging, here, if you didn’t notice, trying to convince as many as possible to murder children. Or, have you forgotten you’ve done that. You, Jordan.

    Set him up, knock him down. You keep yourself very busy fighting that straw. I have entered this discussion because Catholics are trying to impose (and legislate) their superstitions on others, not because I had any particular interest in debating with delusional people the substance of their delusion.

    This brings us to Jordon Potter’s brilliant questions. You didn’t bother with them, did you?

    I bothered with them yesterday; please scroll up:

    Jordan Potter,

    I am willing to discover that I’m wrong about what occurred at Nicaea I. One of the great things about human intelligence is the ability to change one’s mind when presented with new evidence. What I would like to hear is your explanation for the numerous similarities among the myths of Jesus, Osiris, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius, Perseus, and such.

    I judge behavior in the OT as horrific and inhumane when I think about what it would be like to have it inflicted upon me. The “Golden Rule” attributed to Jesus is a simple and very rational way to determine whether behavior is humane. Again, having some good ideas does not mean that all ideas from that source should be followed. Do you intend to sell all of your possessions in order to enter the “kingdom of Heaven?” “Christian morality” is contradictory and sometimes bizarre, e.g.: http://youtube.com/watch?v=dzzORZhnCao

    You can cast me in whatever light you wish, but with regard to morality we have much more in common than in contention. It’s ok to keep the ideas that are rational and discard the nonsensical mythology in which it is presented.

    Now this is a whopper:

    You helped to frame the pro-abortion legislation in Wisconson, didn’t you, Jordan?

    No! Well then, let me see. Oh, I get it.

    You, Jordan, are doing this as part of a pro-abort politician’s campaign, using this blog as your platform for hatred of children.

    Really, I don’t think that will get any votes for pro-aborts here.

    RSV Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    And there is much in the law and the prophets legislating protection for the unborn. Oh, I forgot, you hate the OT.

    If I were here on behalf of a political campaign, I’d probably be a bit more “on-message,” wouldn’t you think? In reality, I’m just a person who believes that victims of rape deserve not to be further victimized by the superstitious beliefs of Catholic clergymen.

    What is a “pro-abort?” Could you provide me with a list of candidates (partial list is fine) who have ever told any women to abort their pregnancies? Again, back in reality, pro-choice candidates think such decisions should be trusted to women themselves, although you conveniently and erroneously claim that the pendulum must swing fully the other direction in order to equal the magnitude of your interference in women’s lives.

    Naturally, now that you’ve made the accusation, I can’t disprove that I’m here on behalf of a campaign any more than you could disprove that you eat children if I were to accuse you of such. The onus is on you (or me, in the latter case) to provide evidence for your claim. Your attempt at guilt-by-association is fallacious and distracts from the substance of your arguments. I can’t speak to whether that was your intention.

  50. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan, “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.

  51. Jordan says:

    Do you have no other reply to the points I’ve addressed? Are you still unwilling to answer whether you would begin murdering, raping, maiming, etc., without your belief in God?

    “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest.”

    Yes, yes. I heard you the first few times. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

    The truth is that God is imaginary.

  52. Jordan Potter says:

    Jordan said: I am willing to discover that I’m wrong about what occurred at Nicaea I.

    I’m glad to hear it — and let me assure you that you will discover thast you’re wrong about what happened at Nicaea I, and during the reign of Constantine.

    What I would like to hear is your explanation for the numerous similarities among the myths of Jesus, Osiris, Dionysus, Mithras, Apollonius, Perseus, and such.

    Christians assert that the superficial commonalities between the Christian myth and the false pagan myths are in large part a preparation fo rthe Gospel. They reflect the truths of the Gospel, for man has long known of his need for redemption and restoration of his broken relationship with his Maker. But sin has darkened his intellect, such that the ancient Messianic promise and hope was only grasped imperfectly by the pagans of the ancient world, and thus distorted man’s understanding of what God would do for him. In addition, the spiritual forces of darkness have encouraged and prompted such religious errors in hopes of preventing man from recognising his salvation. But the seeds of truth nestled within those erroneous myths are capable of careful cultivation, helping evangelists to explain to the pagans what they really need and what their hearts have always been longing for, so they will be better able to see what God did in Israel to restore human nature and reestablish our relationship with Him.

    But it must always be kept in mind that similarity of religious rite or doctrine is not necessarily an indication of a genetic link between one religion and another.

    I judge behavior in the OT as horrific and inhumane when I think about what it would be like to have it inflicted upon me. The “Golden Rule” attributed to Jesus is a simple and very rational way to determine whether behavior is humane.

    Why do you think it is rational? Why should you, or anyone else, care how you are treated by others and how you treat others? It is just so this pointless and unimportant life we live is not as annoying or painful until we die and are eaten by worms? How about someone making himself strong and influential so that he can wield power over others to get his pleasure regardless of what anyone else wants or needs? Why may not the besta nd the brightest lord it over those who are inferior and force them to serve them hand and foot? After all, whether rich or poor, strong or weak, beautiful or ugly, all go to the same place: the vast human garbage dump we call cemeteries — we’re all dust, and to dust we return, and after that: NOTHING. So why not live for today, and look out for number one? Get your joy now, eat, drink, and be merry? We don’t answer to anybody except those who happen to be strong enough to curb our appetites — there’s no judgment hereafter, and no such thing as “right or wrong” in the here and now, just users and used, just consumers and consumed. I say if this life is all we’ve got, just follow your bliss while you have the time. Who’s to say I’m wrong? If they disagree with me, big whoop: they’re entitled to their opinion, not that it really matters, since we’ll all be dead eventually anyway.

    Again, having some good ideas does not mean that all ideas from that source should be followed. Do you intend to sell all of your possessions in order to enter the “kingdom of Heaven?”

    Yes. God holds the title deed on all that I “own,” so I intend to give it all up for Him, to hold nothing back.

    You can cast me in whatever light you wish, but with regard to morality we have much more in common than in contention.

    Of course we do — that’s because you were raised in the remains of a civilisation that was created by Christians, and you also have the natural law written in your heart, so that, try and you might to disregard the edicts of morality, you can still instinctively recognise the basic principles of morality.

    It’s ok to keep the ideas that are rational and discard the nonsensical mythology in which it is presented.

    That’s not a bad explanation of how the Christian myth took shape, though of course there’s a lot more to it than that.

  53. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan: “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.

    I answered your question many times, but you can’t see the answer, since it needs humility and reason, both of which you reject, by definition, with your self-proclaimed relativism. It’s all summed up, again, with the phrase which starts, “There, but…” which you throw tantrums about, and so cannot accept the answer.

    This has been a good exercise in seeing just how irrational relativists are. Really, a tyrrany of relativism.

    You don’t accept natural law or anything other than relativism.

    BISHOP MORLINO IS GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

  54. Brian Coughlan says:

    I have just been through this thread, and although most of it a fairly turgid read, Jordan stnds out as patient, polite and relentlessly rational, but Renzo di Lorenzo is simply oblivious to the banquet of logic and eloquence placed before him. Preferring instead to gnaw on the stale crusts, and brackish water of his ludicrous mythology.

    Until the Catholic Church can demonstrate unequivocally, and in a repeatable fashion, that a soul (or some equivalent, lets be reasonable) exists at the point of conception, we need to stick with what we know.

    Speculation about invisible mystery realms, creatures and entities, absent any meaningful test to verify them may be fun, but it’s a piss poor basis for law or social policy.

    I declare Jordan the “winner” of this thread:-)

  55. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan: Finally, Romans 1. It’s about those who suppress the truth, like you with your rampaging, self-serving relativism:

    RSV Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; 7 To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, 10 asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish: 15 so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

  56. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brian Coughlan: It’s about saving lives from the likes of you and your buddy.

    You and your friend have no excuse, as Saint Paul says, for suppressing the truth.

    The ruthlessness that follows the suppression of the truth is what you and your friend relish.

    If there are any “winners”, it will be some babies lives that are saved.

  57. Different says:

    I declare Jordan Potter the winner. His last post destroys ‘other’ Jordan’s argument.

    Well done, Mr. Potter!

  58. Brian Coughlan says:

    If there are any “winners”, it will be some babies lives that are saved.

    The use of the word “babies” is both wrong and deliberately inflammatory. Try and stick to the subject Renzo.

  59. Louis E. says:

    Natural law is NOT what Catholic teaching asserts it to be.
    The conceit that “life begins at conception” is an oversimplification demanded by a church determined to deny the reality of complex issues.It was only during the pontificate of Pius IX that the teaching on abortion (after centuries of generally disapproving debate) hardened into a uniform and unequivocal prohibition…a mistake which,I say again,can and should be repented.The evil done by denying the woman the right to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term needs to be recognized.
    Of course my differences with Christianity go all the way to the root…the notion that Jesus was unique among all who called mankind to awareness of God,and in fact WAS the God he prayed to.There have been many wrong turnings between those who listened to him in his life and those who claim to speak for him today (the triumph of the Nicene Heresy over the teachings of St. Arius not the least).
    I believe that truth concerning God is not the province of any one organization,nor is it found undiluted in any “holy book”.
    I salute those who are sincere rather than hypocritical,and have no respect for those who favor “change with the times” of things that must be inalterable by man for a religion to have credibility.
    But calling a zygote or blastula a “baby” is just as wrong as calling a same-sex sexual relationship a “marriage”.If you stretch the definition too far it breaks.

  60. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Jordan and “friends”: Only those lost in relativism think that the presence of babies is inflammatory.

    How can you argue from relativism. It is absurd. It is like saying that suppressing the truth will have a good result. Instead, what Saint Paul says is true:

    Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

    Now there’s a proof for the existence of God. Justice against those who suppress the truth. The trouble is that this proof is only seen by those who do accept God. Those who do not think they are nice, even though they are given up to ruthlessness.

    Different: Jordan Potter is a martyr of patience. But you, Different, are you ill in the head? We’re talking about saving lives here. It’s not a contest to see who’s gets you to applaud. But that’s relativism for you. Those who are immersed in it can’t see that they are doing wrong. They don’t want to see it. All is reduced to who “wins” because of democratic applause. Meanwhile, babies are ripped to shreds in their mother’s wombs.

    This life will be over quickly, and then we shall see God’s judgment. Do any of you ever think that it is God’s judgment that counts?

  61. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Louis E.: obviously, you need to read this too:

    http://priestsforlife.org/brochures/thebible.html

    Anyway, natural law is what the Church teaches, correctly, always.

    Natural Law is for everyone.

  62. Brian Coughlan says:

    Renzo, you keep quoting the bible. This is premature, first you must make the case that the bible is worth quoting.

    The trouble is that this proof is only seen by those who do accept God.

    But hang on, if God is my creator etc. … back to circular proofs and tautology I see. Depressing.

    Look Renzo, I get that you’ve made your bet, placed all you own on the Catholic Church and spun the wheel, I get that you have choosen a stunted, truncated, and not entirely sane lifestyle, and need to find something transcendental and motivational (they are killing BABIES!!) even if it’s an obvious lie, to give it all meaning, but why should the rest of us have to do the same, or subscribe to the body of mythology you’ve embraced? Plenty of your fellow clergy manage to live their wierd, dissonant lives without intruding too obviously into the real world. Perhaps you need to drink more.

    No. We don’t have to embrace anyones mythology. The hawkers of a given story need to convince us of it, not threaten us like a two bit mafia loan shark mumbling “It would be an awful pity if something were to happen to and your family ….”.

    So far, you have merely reinforced the stereotype, of the detached and slightly batty elderly virgin, established by my catholic youth. Good going slugger!!

    Finally, the Catholic Church was complicit in Franco’s crimes, they cooperated (barring a few courageous individuals) at the highest level with the fascists in world war II, and lets not even articulate what has been revealed in the last few decades. These points are a matter of fact, history and record, not the kind of nebulous speculation you seem so eager to engage in.

    To claim that this corrupt and depraved organisation is representative of “natural law”, of anything other than the accumulation of power for its own sake, just makes the author of the claim appear at best naive and ignorant, at worst foolish or disingenous.

  63. Brian Coughlan says:

    Of course we do—that’s because you were raised in the remains of a civilisation that was created by Christians, and you also have the natural law written in your heart, so that, try and you might to disregard the edicts of morality, you can still instinctively recognise the basic principles of morality.

    This “morality comes from God” carnard is so pernicious and widespread, it really is the zombie argument that will not die. Returning again and again from the dead, in worse shape each time, reanimated by sheer mindless stupidity. Time to shoot this thing in the head.

    The capacity for empathy and compassion is hard wired into our brains and is cultivated through the guidance of our parents and interactions with our peers.

    Several peer reviewed studies have now demonstrated, that chimps show visible signs of distress when confronted with the mistreatment of other chimps. Dolphins have been seen helping injured companions to the surface to breath.

    This clearly demonstrates that even lower order primates, and other mammals, are endowed with an innate capacity to empathise. They don’t need the Bible, “God” or a transcendent chimp lawgiver to tell them that torture is wrong, and neither do you.

    Besides, there is the old classic :

    “Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral, or is it moral because it is commanded by God? The first horn of the dilemma (i.e. that which is moral is commanded by God because it is moral) implies that morality is independent of God and, indeed, that God is bound by morality just as his creatures are. God then becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge.

    If you disagree that this is the case … well then you get into all kinds of serious trouble.

    Not convinced by the philosophical problems? Try this. Damage to the prefrontal cortex has been shown to alter moral decision making, suggesting a physical source of core morality.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/health/21cnd-brain.html?hp

    The article is fairly recent, and joins a growing body of anthropology, neurology and phsycology that have begun to illuminate a completely naturalistic explanation for morality and altruisim, in a variety of mammals, not just humans. By banging on about the “irreducible complexity” of morality, you are merely setting yourself up for an even harder fall when the process has been mapped and understood. This will simply do the same kind of damage to the standing of the church on morality, as the heliocentric system, and evolution have done to it’s standing on science.

    You guys really need to stop saying “Ah … but this [insert random claim here] you will never understand.”. This is really good advice, it may not save your church in the longterm, but it will almost certainly prolong its doomed life.

    Finally, if anecdote is your thing, watch the clip below. For courage, heroism, leadership, cognition and empathy in bucketfuls.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

  64. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Just like the others, you too, Brian Coughlan, are afraid of free will. There are those who call themselves Catholic and do the wrong thing. That is their choice. The Church is always the same. Amazing, that. Really. It would be absurd to say about any other group. But, in this case, it’s true. Amazing, that. Really.

    Reasoning to God’s existence is so easy. I’ve given a web-site for help. It’s emotionally rejected. Of course. Relativism can’t be reasoned with. Relativism is, by definition, absurd.

    You think that justice is mafia threatening. Not the case. In God, who is simple in a good sense, justice and mercy are the same. God is love, but those who reject this love will know their own rejection of love. But God remains the same for them. That is justice.

    This generation is not representative of the natural law. The natural law is what it is regardless of any generation. Those who want to follow the natural law can do so, regardless of their generation. The whole argument has been that we have the murder of babies because this generation does not accept the natural law. This generation, instead, suppresses the truth. St Paul gives a PERFECT description of what happens then.

    Being a fool for Christ’s sake, as saint Paul says, isn’t so bad. I am sad, however, to see those who congratulate themselves in being wise with this world’s self-congratulatory agression against others.

    ========

    ANOTHER STORY: THIS TIME A POEM BY CHESTERTON:

    THE DONKEY by G.K. Chesterton

    When fishes flew and forests walked and figs grew upon thorn
    Some moment when the moon was blood, then surely I was born

    With monstrous head and sickening cry and ears like errant wings
    The devil’s walking parody on all four footed things

    The tattered outlaw of the earth, of ancient crooked will
    Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb; I keep my secret still

    Fools! For I also had my hour, one far fierce hour and sweet
    There was a shout about my ears and palms before my feet

    [see Zechariah 9,9]

    [If you don’t know, this is about Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. I’m so happy to be held to be as “foolish” as that donkey. I’m such a jackass! Braying all the time.]

  65. Brian Coughlan says:

    Being a fool for Christ’s sake, as saint Paul says, isn’t so bad. I am sad, however, to see those who congratulate themselves in being wise with this world’s self-congratulatory agression against others.

    Easy on the flagellum Renzo. You set the tone with this Brian Coughlan: It’s about saving lives from the likes of you and your buddy. noxious and offensive post. I can be as sweet, friendly and “nice” as you like, but I get testy when presented with that kind of ad-hom.

    Back to the issue at hand. You can quote whatever ancient tome you like, but it doesn’t change the reality of what we actually know about conception.

    i) There is no soul.
    ii) A fetus can be terminated painlessly up to the 20th week.
    iii) If abortions are not provided in clean, subsidised hospitals, they will be provided in dirty back rooms at exorbitant cost.
    iv) A non viable fetus is not a “baby”. This is an obviously dishonest claim, please stop telling these lies.

    Now, I’ll grant you that beyond the 5th month of pregnancy, when a fetus is viable, and basically identical to a child that has been born, the question of abortion becomes much more ethically questionable. However, introducing unsubstantiated nonsense such as the “soul”, God and the afterlife will not help to resolve this difficult question. Leave it to the experts why don’t you?

  66. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brian Caughlan and friends:

    1) Wow. How do you know there is no soul! LOL! Actually, you can reason to existence of the soul as well. But, since no one is up to reasoning about God’s existence, because they suppress the truth, because they are relativists, and cannot, by definition, well, where to start? Anyway, what will become a man is already a man, not an ape or chimp. But since you deny the use of reason, because of relativism, you cannot understand that.

    2) So, for you and the others, lack of pain for you is a reason to murder?

    3) Or, you can just avoid abortions. You know that Roe vs. Wade was not a real case, dont’t you? The original woman involved has been speaking against the decision for decades.

    4) Viability doesn’t make a person. Being a person makes a person a person. Hitler defined lots of people as non-viable because he came up with his relativistic definitions of what a person is, like you and your friends do. You can throw tantrums all you want, but I will continue to call babies what they are, oh, let me see, that’s it: babies! What will become a man is already a man, not an ape or anything else. Where did I hear that before? Have some respect for life, for human life!

    – – – – So, even when a baby is viable outside the womb, you would still murder that baby for whatever convenient reason, wouldn’t you? Yes! You said it. It wouldn’t be wrong, just morally questionable, you said. Lots of people question. Questions don’t excuse murder.

    And seeing that, for you, murder at any age of the baby is O.K., when do you stop? Oh, I see, you said it already: “Time to shoot this thing in the head.” You mean, any baby, child or other person who doesn’t fit into your ideology. Hitler did a lot of that shooting in the head thing. You speak from and for a culture of death.

    Natural law, it’s as natural as using your reason. Oh, I forgot. You don’t like reason. You’re a relativist. Very convenient, that. You can even get away with murder, and still think that you are nice. But, let’s try it again, adding a bit this time, since you compare yourself to an ape or chimp:

    Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

    And, again:

    Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

    How can you argue from relativism. It is absurd. It is like saying that suppressing the truth will have a good result.

    Just wondering: are you Brian Coughlan, or Jordan, or others, ex-Catholic priests (or not ex- yet? It’s always anti-Catholic “Catholics” who hate babies as much as you all do.

    Let’s try repeating what Andy said, and the response again:

    What always amazes me is that men are most busy debating this issue, while it is women who are affected by it. Don’t you think we should abstain from judgment in the matters we have no real idea of? None of us, men, can even imagine what it feels to be raped and pregnant because of a rape. I think in such cases women should decide, not men.

    And, then, my answer:

    Oh, way to go Andy (if you’re not really a woman pretending to be a man) [appropriate irony subsequent to your own indications].

    You’re telling women to murder others so that they can pretend to undo violence against them. Instead, you, another death-god like Louis E. was, objectively speaking, being in his comment above, are having such women spend their lives in subservient reaction against such violent people as rapists. Take about male egotistic rubbish!

    Instead of doing the right thing by respecting life, and, therefore, freeing themselves from the control that the rapist would otherwise continue to have over these suffering women, they commit murder by way of abortion, and then, on that day, “Andy”, well, realizing that they have allowed themselves to be controlled by the rapist in this way, reacting against him, and not being free, on that very day, well, it is the day when women are most at risk of committing suicide. You don’t want to help women. You want them to murder others and die themselves. No thanks for that kind of “help”.

    Your perspective of hatred for women, for that is what it is, is also apparent in that you think women have no moral capactity whatsoever. Women, like men, can suffer and still do the right thing. Give women credit where credit is due. Indeed, whether or not you hate or love women, they can do the right thing regardless of what you think. Perhaps you feel incapable of doing that because you think that you cannot suffer and still do the right thing. That’s a licence to kill that you clearly want to own.

    But God is Love, and wants us to be with Him, and will make you capable of such love even in the worst of circumstances, IF you want this love. God wants you with Him, and we do too.

    BTW: babies are babies.
    BTW: if you were really as nice as I wanted you to be nice, you would stop promoting the murder of babies.

  67. Brian Coughlan says:

    1) Wow. How do you know there is no soul!

    Ah Renzo, you’re like a bad joke wrapped in a stereotype, hidden up in a caricature. What is it with theists and the topsy turvy thinking that the we need to disprove their obsessions? We have to disprove your God, and disprove the soul?

    Hmmmm ok, let me play this game. I could claim that it has been revealed to me, that an invisible third foot sticks out the anus of every human, and it is in fact this invisible third foot that is sent to hell to burn for eternity if you do not worship the great God K’athal. Disprove this invisible third foot in the anus theory.

    It is up to those asserting a claim to prove it, not up to someone else to disprove it.

    However, you have a tiny unintentional point. We cannot be absolutely certain about anything, including the non existence of the invisible third foot, or the soul. Although evidence allows us to assign probability. So let me put it this way, provisionally, my position is that there is no soul, because :

    a) There is not a shred of evidence for it.
    b) Morality, cognition and conciousness are all seated in the physical brain. Whatever we do with our brains can be mapped and tracked in realtime by MRI scans, no soul required.
    c) Where the church has disagreed with science, they have uniformly been wrong and even (to their credit) made a number of embarrasing retractions. Thus I reasonably expect that trend to hold true for the evidence free assertion of the “soul”, a concept dating from a time when humans didn’t even know what the brain was for, let alone capable of mapping it’s activities in real time.

    Stump up some convincing evidence though, I can think of a number of possibilities, and I’ll change my mind.

    For your part, what would constitute proof that there is no soul? If you can’t answer that question, it is simply a further demonstration of your fundamental confusion or dishonesty, perhaps both.

    I am not an “ex-catholic” priest, but I am encouraged that you are getting hassle from such people. I can imagine that I too would be pretty incensed if the best part of my life had been wasted on mumbo jumbo, only to wake up in my middle age to the massive confidence trick religion represents. Is it any wonder that alcoholism, substance abuse and that other unmentionable, are so widespread in the catholic clergy demographic? No, I merely see the danger that fundamentalist religion represents and want to see it back in it’s box. A private activity practised by consenting adults.

    To repeat. A non viable fetus is not a “baby”, terminating it is not “murder”. There is a certainly a discussion to be had about the grey zone, a few weeks either side of 24 weeks. There is also the akward reality, that plenty of your fellow Christians agree with me, not you. So your claim to absolute truth is also nonsense, you are just doing what we all do when faced with such difficult questions. Weighing the available evidence in the context of your world view.

    In the light of the actual evidence, to make the hysterical claims you do, is dishonest, irresponsible, hate speech. It is baseless, dangerous demagougery. It puts actual people at risk from the weak minded and suggestible that may believe you. It is the same kind of simplistic mindset that inspires the burning of witches, gassing of jews and torture of “heretics”. No surprise then that your church has been complicit in all of that too.

    It is too absurd that we should be forced to listen to the 6th century mutterings of such a tainted organisation, funny really, if it were not for the hundreds of millions that are currently misled by, and in harness to promote, its multi layered idiocy.

  68. The Reverend Dark says:

    Well as long as Morino and his loathsome ilk are promoting their sordid rape response agenda, why not go all the way into the primative bronze-age tradition from which it is drawn and allow the rapist to marry the victim for a paltry price of 50 pieces of siver (Deuteronomy 20: 10-14).

    It’s your bible you misogynistic hooligans, embrace it warts and all or toss it out like the lie it is.

    The Reverend Shayne Dark

  69. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    The right to life of babies isn’t up for democratic vote of the powerful stomping on the weak, like you and your friends continue to do. You gleefully accept a “grey zone” in which red blood flows because of your encouragement of butchery. You so happy with death, even when yourself would start to agree that it may well be murder. Wow. That’s really ugly.

    My speech is ceratinly hate speech to those who are murderous, but not to the babies I save. I notice that you jumped up the count from 20 to 24 and 27 weeks. Wow. Months more death mongering for you, just like that. When will stop the murdering? Oh, you won’t… I see. Next, it will infants, children, adults, anyone who disagrees with you. Really. That’s how the culture of death works.

    And oh, by the way, go ahead: try to prove there is no God; try to prove there is no soul. No, I mean, really. Not the illogical rubbish you’ve supplied. Your argument is this: “I, Brian Coughlan, am blind, and I don’t see because I am blind, and because of that fact I have proven that there is nothing to see.” That’s illogical, or you knew that already, didn’t you. It’s just that you don’t care because you are a relativist. You can’t prove things by negative argumentation. It’s impossible. But you wouldn’t know that, would you? Not much on logic and philosophy, are you? Oh, that right, relativism excludes reason.

    You said: “It is too absurd that we should be forced to listen to the 6th century mutterings of such a tainted organisation.” No. You don’t have to listen to anything. Oh, I forgot, you reject free will and embrace relativism, which makes communication impossible anyway. Just one non sequitur after the other. Meanwhile, babies continue to die as you continue your own version of an inquisition. Your question is: “Are you a baby?” Then, without waiting for an answer, you butcher everyone in sight, baby and mother. “Nice”.

    It seems a real sickness to me to be such a maniac in wanting the death of babies. Kill! Kill! Kill the babies, screamed Brian Coughlan and friends. Then, panting, covered in blood, he shrieked, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” No, Brian Coughlan. That’s no following of the natural law. Saint Paul promoted the natural law, did you notice? No? Let me quote from him again, for, as it is, Christianity is most reasonable, promoting the natural law:

    RSV Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

    ———

    “Dark” — are you a satanist? Fancy that. Here. Promoting death. You don’t know much about reading the bible in its historical context do you? No? Why not? Afraid? Who published your bible? Sure your quoting it correctly? Really?

    ALL: It’s not at all amazing that all the creatures of the night creep out to claim the death of more children, coming up with every non-argument they can to avoid reason and natural law in their relativism, in their desire to kill. But in all of this, the Prine of Peace, the Babe of Bethelhem, was born. He loved us, continues to love us and wants that we be with Him. God is good. Pray for our bishops. Pray for Bishop Morlino!

  70. Brian Coughlan says:

    Kill! Kill! Kill the babies, screamed Brian Coughlan and friends. Then, panting, covered in blood, he shrieked, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” No, Brian Coughlan. That’s no following of the natural law.

    Wow … no kidding. Renzo, dude. You jumped the shark here. Take a time out.

    I’d be interested to here from any Christian lurkers. Is this the kind of person you want to represent your views? If you don’t speak up, this is what we hear.

  71. Jordan Potter says:

    Brian said: Until the Catholic Church can demonstrate unequivocally, and in a repeatable fashion, that a soul (or some equivalent, lets be reasonable) exists at the point of conception, we need to stick with what we know.

    Wrong — abortion is evil regardless of when, or if, a soul is infused by God. Consider this: Catholicism has always regarded abortion as a grievous sin, even during the long centuries when the theory of delayed infusion of the soul was popular. It was speculated that the soul was infused 40 days into the pregnancy for boys and 80 days into the pregnancy for girls.. But even prior to the purported infusion of the soul, abortion was still a sin.

    I should say also that technically abortion prior to infusion of the soul, if there is such a thing, is not murder — it’s far worse than murder.

    As for Brian and Jordan complaining about human beings describing unborn babies as babies even a few days or weeks after conception, they’ll just have to get over it. They assert (well, Jordan asserts anyway) that it is arbitrary to decide human life starts at conception, but the real arbitrariness is in the notion that it’s a baby if the mother intends to carry the baby to term, but it’s only a “fetus” (a Latin term that means “baby” or “child,” by the way) or a blob of cells if the mother intends to kill the baby before he is born. Protest the sins of Francisco Franco and the Catholic Church all you want, Brian (while of course ignoring the far worse and bloodier crimes of the Republican communists who massacred thousands and thousands of bishops, priests, monks and nuns in Spain), but what could be more fascist than the doctrine that human life begins at the moment a lone individual decides it does and ends when that individual decides it does? The unborn in the early stages aren’t fully developed, can’t reason, can’t walk or talk or dance or laugh, so that means they’re not human? But that’s the anti-Christian, anti-human doctrine of the Nazis.

    Really, it’s not even necessary to get into metaphysical investigations of when the soul is infused, or if there is such a thing as a soul, because even atheists can recognise the irrationalism and moral arbitrariness that undergirds abortion. One of my friends used to be an atheist, but long before his conversion he came to see that abortion is never permissible, just by looking at the facts of human biology and embryology. Science and reason made him pro-life. Support for legal abortion flies in the face of the scientific evidence and the logic of human rights.

  72. Philip says:

    Hmmm didn’t I read somewhere that about 50- 60% of pregnancies actually abort without the woman noticing she was pregnant. Then there are painful and psychologically damaging miscarriages that usually adds up for about 20-30% of pregnancies. So I am guessing if the God you lot seem to want to support is a bit of a baby killer in his own right, doesn’t really make your case about women having abortions too water tight at all. Not to mention all the babies born with Downs Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X and all other host of nasty things that can befall babies in the first days or months of their lives. If there was a God involved in all this don’t you think he could have done a better job?

    Here is a nice story, 13 year old girl gets dragged into an alley and raped within an inch of her life and would not have survived without the help of a passer-by and the doctors that gave her medical aid. The usual tests were done and it was found out she was pregnant – this was in Catholic Ireland where abortion is completely out of the question and she eventually had to come to England to have the procedure done.

    Here is my problem with it

    A poor 13 year old girl who will be traumatised for the rest of her life is told that her baby, who was forced on her in the most terrifying way, must be born because somebody’s god says so. Tell me what is so wrong about the morning after pill in this situation? Why did she have to be further tormented by this religious bullying – was rape simply not enough?

    This is all because of an adherence to an ancient book of lies and the Dogma of a religious order in Rome that should have been arrested long ago for crimes against humanity.

    Please stop this talk of souls, its so highly unnecessary to helping humanity moving forward. If this ridiculous notion had been given up there would not be the spread of AIDS, HPV or the means by which to cure disease through stem cell research, just to name a few, that have been rallied against by the religious because of this soul nonsense.

    Grow up

    Philip

  73. Jordan Potter says:

    Brian said: No, I merely see the danger that fundamentalist religion represents and want to see it back in it’s box. A private activity practised by consenting adults.

    In other words, you want to repeal the Bill of Rights. Sorry, but we have religious freedom in this country, Brian. The fundamentalists have as much right to speak their mind and you have to post your bigoted anti-Christian rants.

    why not go all the way into the primative bronze-age tradition from which it is drawn and allow the rapist to marry the victim for a paltry price of 50 pieces of siver (Deuteronomy 20: 10-14).

    First of all, non-Christians have no business telling Christians what their Bible means. Please, leave biblical interpretation to us experts. Second, there’s nothing in Deut. 20:10-14 that says rapists can marry their victimcs if they pay a “paltry” 50 pieces of silver. The words “rapist” and “50 pieces of silver” and “marry” don’t even appear in those verses. You atheists need to actual crack open a Bible and read what it says, instead of just mindlessly repeating half-remembered bits of propaganda you saw at some atheist website somewhere. (Anyway, 50 pieces of silver back then was not paltry — it would be like having to pay a $5,000 fine today, which for the average person today would be kind of painful.)

    It’s your bible you misogynistic hooligans, embrace it warts and all or toss it out like the lie it is.

    Curb the hate speech and bigotry, or post your rants somewhere else.

  74. Vincent says:

    Lorenzo

    1. 50% of all fertilized eggs are aborted spontaneously before a woman knows she is pregnant

    2. Especially in the third world: God kills more babies “naturally” than humans do..

    3. You worship a baby killer..
    so..
    NEXT…!

    Referrence
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001488.htm

  75. Jordan Potter says:

    Vincent asserted: 1. 50% of all fertilized eggs are aborted spontaneously before a woman knows she is pregnant

    There’s no such thing as a “fertilised egg” — a human ovum that has been fertilised by a human sperm is an “embryo.”

    Also, if half of all embryos are aborted without anybody knowing they exist, how can we tell that half of them are aborted — since nobody knew they even existed? Your statistic is junk, Vincent, arrived at through the time-honored technique known as auto-anal extraction.

    Anyway, something that happens without direct and immediate act of someone’s will cannot be called “killing.” Natural death is not in the same moral category as intentional killing.

    This is the kind of illogic to which one must resort to justify the intentional killing of unborn children. Basically, to be “pro-chocie,” you have to check your brain at the door.

  76. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brilliant, Jordan Potter.

    ===============

    So, Philip, you want to kill embryos to cure (your) AIDS, etc.? That’s sick.

    Actually, one can reason out that sin is being the cause of all the catastrophe that we suffer in this world. God is not the cause of sin or suffering. Original sin is. Oh, I forgot, reason is rejected here. As if free will. There is all the difference between humanity suffering the just effects of original sin and people murdering each other. One woman’s miscarriage is your reason to murder. Non sequitur.

    Obviously, we need another read of past notes. Let’s try repeating what Andy said, and the response again:

    What always amazes me is that men are most busy debating this issue, while it is women who are affected by it. Don’t you think we should abstain from judgment in the matters we have no real idea of? None of us, men, can even imagine what it feels to be raped and pregnant because of a rape. I think in such cases women should decide, not men.

    And, then, my answer:

    Oh, way to go Andy (if you’re not really a woman pretending to be a man) [appropriate irony subsequent to your own indications].

    You’re telling women to murder others so that they can pretend to undo violence against them. Instead, you, another death-god like Louis E. was, objectively speaking, being in his comment above, are having such women spend their lives in subservient reaction against such violent people as rapists. Take about male egotistic rubbish!

    Instead of doing the right thing by respecting life, and, therefore, freeing themselves from the control that the rapist would otherwise continue to have over these suffering women, they commit murder by way of abortion, and then, on that day, “Andy”, well, realizing that they have allowed themselves to be controlled by the rapist in this way, reacting against him, and not being free, on that very day, well, it is the day when women are most at risk of committing suicide. You don’t want to help women. You want them to murder others and die themselves. No thanks for that kind of “help”.

    Your perspective of hatred for women, for that is what it is, is also apparent in that you think women have no moral capactity whatsoever. Women, like men, can suffer and still do the right thing. Give women credit where credit is due. Indeed, whether or not you hate or love women, they can do the right thing regardless of what you think. Perhaps you feel incapable of doing that because you think that you cannot suffer and still do the right thing. That’s a licence to kill that you clearly want to own.

    But God is Love, and wants us to be with Him, and will make you capable of such love even in the worst of circumstances, IF you want this love. God wants you with Him, and we do too.

    Pray for Bishop Morlino and all those who want to promote the right to life.

  77. Jordan Potter says:

    Philip said: Please stop this talk of souls, its so highly unnecessary to helping humanity moving forward.

    And yet every time we stop talking of souls, we seem to go backward — such as backward into a culture of killing unborn children.

  78. Vincent says:

    Jordan Potter wrote

    “First of all, non-Christians have no business telling Christians what their Bible means”

    You and your twisted books are telling young men and women that they will burn forever unless they surrender their wills to your master. You’re dictating on people how to live their lives and threaten them with emotional blackmailing and yet you don’t expect people to point out your excesses?

  79. Brian Coughlan says:

    what could be more fascist than the doctrine that human life begins at the moment a lone individual decides it does and ends when that individual decides it does?

    Who is doing that? I’m just reflecting the current societal attitude, which is based on the available evidence. Surely the Pope telling us all what to do and not to do, is exactly the situation you describe?

    The unborn in the early stages aren’t fully developed, can’t reason, can’t walk or talk or dance or laugh, so that means they’re not human?

    Yes actually that is exactly what it means. The cells on the tip of your nose that you just rubbed into oblivion have all the genetic material and potential for life of a fertilised egg. Yet, we don’t consider it genocide everytime we scratch ourselves? Well perhaps you do.

    Really, it’s not even necessary to get into metaphysical investigations of when the soul is infused, or if there is such a thing as a soul

    Well this is true, but not for the reasons you state, but merely because it is pointless. Metaphysics, like string theory is also interesting, but we don’t base social policy and jurisprudence on it.

    One of my friends used to be an atheist, but long before his conversion he came to see that abortion is never permissible, just by looking at the facts of human biology and embryology. Science and reason made him pro-life.

    Good for him, but his is nonetheless just an opinion. Like yours, mine and Renzos. Yet theists want to hold their opinions as special, as some kind of trancendent bedrock. What claptrap. I’ll tell you what, when you can get all the theists to agree on what that bedrock is, then I’d be interested to hear from you again.

    I mean, come on. It’s a bit rich to come offering this amazing standard of behaviour if you can’t actually agree among fellow theists, heck even fellow catholics, what it is.

    Nope, I’m afraid we will just have to argue over the best way forward, and the extremist theists like yourselves will continue to loose the argument in the secular and developed world, because the science is not (contrary to your friend’s outlier conclusions) on your side.

  80. Brian Coughlan says:

    Actually, one can reason out that sin is being the cause of all the catastrophe that we suffer in this world. God is not the cause of sin or suffering. Original sin is. Oh, I forgot, reason is rejected here. As if free will. There is all the difference between humanity suffering the just effects of original sin and people murdering each other.

    Ah yes, because a 4000 year old, talking snake with legs and forbidden fruit tree story, contradicting itself within a page or two makes so much more sense, then the hard won body of biology, neurology and cosmology?

    I’d get that memory problem looked into Renzo, you seem to forget an amazing amount, but worse than that, remember things that have never been said. Quite a novel affliction, you must be one of Gods favourites:-)

  81. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brian Coughlan: There you go again, afraid of free will, of the fact that some people, even theists, even Catholics, misuse free will. That’s a scandal to you, and so you reject free will for the tyrrany of your self-serving relativism. Wow… that follows well.

    And just what law are you going to establish apart from natural law that would be just, seeing that it would just be reflection of your self-serving relativism?

    If words on a matter do not reflect metaphyscial truth, they do not reflect any truth whatsoever. But, you cannot answer any of this since you reject natural law and reason, opting for your tyrrany of your self-serving relativism.

    Should I repeat it again? OK. You cannot answer any of this since you reject natural law and reason, opting for your tyrrany of your self-serving relativism.

  82. Joe says:

    God is imaginary?
    The OT is racist?
    It’s traumatic to force a 13-year old to have a child?

    Satan’s first mission is to convince people he doesn’t exist. Given the attitude of the secularists and atheists on this thread, he is succeeding.

    Fr. Renzo has fought the good fight, but the problem is that, as Billy Joel once sang, “You’can’t argue with a crazy mind.”

    Let’s play “guilt by association”. Atheists deny God. Communists are atheists. Atheism is central to Communism. Therefore, atheists are ideological allies of Communists. Who has murdered more people in the history of the world than atheistic Communists? 100 million, according to the Black Book of Communism. No God, huh? Don’t believe in Hell? You will when you get there.

    Nice ideological allies the atheists have – arguing for the death of the unborn. Where were the atheists when Stalin, Mao, and the like were murdering people by the millions? Silent, probably in quiet agreement.

    Atheism is the refuge of the egotistical stupid. Dostoyevsky proved it. If there is no God, then there is no right or wrong, and murder is a personal choice. That makes support of abortion and euthanisia really easy.

    Then again, the atheistic abortionsists & birth controllers may just abort and birth control themselves right out of existence.

    Brian Coughlin, Jordon, Louis – I declare YOU the losers of this thread, and possibly soon-to-be losers of everything. Satan laughs at your disbelief.

  83. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Brian Coughlan: Did I quote anything from the Garden of Eden just now. Didn’t think so. Instead, I said something about reasoning out that with our free will we did the wrong thing and there are just consequences for that. As it is, one can reason to God’s existence and His Goodness. We can reason out that we have free will. (Conversations are based on this.) And finally, that the consequences of sin we suffer are in fact consequences of an original misuse of free will. No science takes away from that at all.

    What’s horrific is that you would use the miscarriage of a woman would be used as an excuse to promote murder. Wow… Lots of death mongering here.

  84. Logicel says:

    Brian Coughland, excellent posts which I enjoyed very much reading. However, you are trying to be rational in a den of irrationality. Christians have a direct hot-line to an unproven deity, how can your mere rationality cut through that nonsense? It can’t. But, thanks for trying.

  85. Brian Coughlan says:

    Satan laughs at your disbelief.

    Does he indeed? Friend of yours is he? Send you video files through the internet of himself having a good old chuckle with a sign above his head saying “Me laughing at Brian et als disbelief”?

    If this is in fact not the case, then you are just a liar, or a fantasist aren\’t you? How could you possibly know what this (presumably) fictious character was up to?

    Billy Joel once sang, “You’can’t argue with a crazy mind.”

    Yeah, it\’s a great quote, but given my familiarity with \’ol Billy, I\’m thinking he didn\’t have me in mind Joe.

    How do you feel about worshiping Mary Joe, or saints? How do you feel about contraception, limbo and the ascenscion of Mary? I\’m betting there is a spark of personality in there somewhere, which means you too are just making it up as you go along, like Renzo and Co.

    I declare YOU the losers of this thread, and possibly soon-to-be losers of everything. Satan laughs at your disbelief.

    If you want to convince me of your perspective, make a case. It\’s crude thuggery to threaten me with eternal damnation, and any God that needs you to do that for it is just a metaphysical version of Stalin, Pol Pot or Kim il Jung.

  86. Brian Coughlan says:

    Did I quote anything from the Garden of Eden just now. Didn’t think so.

    Are you sure? Perhaps you’ve forgotten? OK, no more of that I promise, it’s my Original Sin (TM) mean streak:-)

    Instead, I said something about reasoning out that with our free will we did the wrong thing and there are just consequences for that. As it is, one can reason to God’s existence and His Goodness. We can reason out that we have free will. (Conversations are based on this.) And finally, that the consequences of sin we suffer are in fact consequences of an original misuse of free will. No science takes away from that at all.

    What have we here? A chink in the armour? Don’t believe in the literal Garden of Eden, Snake, tree and Adam and Eve? Tsk, tsk Renzo, that is an interesting bit of dissonance. So it’s all metaphorical is it?

  87. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Once the relativists see that relativism is self-contradictory, and, afraid then of how they’ve wasted their lives in promoting the destruction of others, and, not knowing where to turn, may I suggest, again, starting with reasoning to God’s existence:

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/

    Remember, this is about natural law.

    The pro-aborts want people to think that its all about religion, and so try to get the conversation away from the natural law. They are afraid of the natural law because it is there for everyone. They hate that. They are relativists. They must suppress the truth (despite the consequences).

    They wish to get bishops to say (and some do stupidly say): “In our Catholic opinion, life is sacred.” That would mean that these bishops think that neither Catholic doctrine nor natural law is worth considering. But this is not about what is held in the Catholic Church. This is natural law.

    Relativists hate this, and throw tantrums. More killing of babies, they shout; more, more, more.

    BTW, EVERY abortionist I ever talked to said “We worship a different god than you.” I’ve never met an atheist abortionist. They all worship some god, themselves, or, I don’t know, maybe the god of the Rev. Dark above. It’s interesting that while they think they can prove there is no soul and no God, they readily admit to the possibility of Satan. Wow…

    Any threat of justice from God is no threat, just a fact. God and justice are the same. And God is love. If one doesn’t want that love, and stomps on the helpless innocent in this life, like you pro-aborts do, you risk knowing the full force of this justice. And don’t think you can hide behind your studied ignorance. Ignorance never justified anyone. Certainly, the malice of killing the innocent, of killing babies, never justified anyone.

  88. Ian Bamlett says:

    Is this really a matter for debate? It seems to me you either believe in the ‘ensoulment’ of a fertilized egg at conception or you do not. If you do not, then the idea of forcing a pregnancy on a victim of rape is despicable. As someone who does NOT believe this ridiculous concept I see this as further evidence of the inherent misogyny of religion.

  89. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Of course I believe in what happened with Adam shaking his fist at God and we suffering the consequences. If it is the “snake” you are talking about, know this: the actual translation, in context, according to historical philology, is “oracle”, that is, in a word-play with snake. Oracle because this is what this creature was supposed to provide for Adam. Snake because this symbolized what the oracle would be about, Adam’s vocation to till the ground. Snakes are spread out on the ground, aren’t they. This is simply an angel. Oh sorry, no God, no soul, no angel for you, because, no reason. The account is simply about how the usage of mythology worked at the time, trouncing it to manifest revelation.

    As far as trees, these are a description of free will. If one chooses what is consonant with those who are living, one chooses the fruit of the tree of the living ones (that being the actual translation). If one chooses selfishly, one chooses the tree of knowing good and evil, in order words, the corruption of knowing good and evil at the same time. Evil, by the way, is a lack of good. Brilliant.

    This is by far the most brilliant usage of mythology in the history of mankind. It manifests revelation and a super-accurate anthropology. Of course there was a first one of us. Of course he had free will. Of course he used it wrongly. That’s all reasonable.

    ——-

    Again, to Ian (try to think): what will become a man is already a man (regardless of what you think about the soul). Now read the comments to Andy, repeated for your poor vision.

  90. Mark Smith says:

    I’ve just read through this thread and would like to comment. But I’m not a believer. Looking at various of the comments, especially from Renzo. It seems if you aren’t a believer you aren’t able to see the truth and therefore are unable to say anything worthwhile. Is this right? If it isn’t, can you tell me what ‘authorities’ (pure reason? science? human rights? anything else?) I could base my arguments on that you would accept?

  91. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Obviously, we need another read of past notes. Let’s try repeating what Andy said, and the response again:

    What always amazes me is that men are most busy debating this issue, while it is women who are affected by it. Don’t you think we should abstain from judgment in the matters we have no real idea of? None of us, men, can even imagine what it feels to be raped and pregnant because of a rape. I think in such cases women should decide, not men.

    And, then, my answer:

    Oh, way to go Andy (if you’re not really a woman pretending to be a man) [appropriate irony subsequent to your own indications].

    You’re telling women to murder others so that they can pretend to undo violence against them. Instead, you, another death-god like Louis E. was, objectively speaking, being in his comment above, are having such women spend their lives in subservient reaction against such violent people as rapists. Take about male egotistic rubbish!

    Instead of doing the right thing by respecting life, and, therefore, freeing themselves from the control that the rapist would otherwise continue to have over these suffering women, they commit murder by way of abortion, and then, on that day, “Andy”, well, realizing that they have allowed themselves to be controlled by the rapist in this way, reacting against him, and not being free, on that very day, well, it is the day when women are most at risk of committing suicide. You don’t want to help women. You want them to murder others and die themselves. No thanks for that kind of “help”.

    Your perspective of hatred for women, for that is what it is, is also apparent in that you think women have no moral capactity whatsoever. Women, like men, can suffer and still do the right thing. Give women credit where credit is due. Indeed, whether or not you hate or love women, they can do the right thing regardless of what you think. Perhaps you feel incapable of doing that because you think that you cannot suffer and still do the right thing. That’s a licence to kill that you clearly want to own.

    But God is Love, and wants us to be with Him, and will make you capable of such love even in the worst of circumstances, IF you want this love. God wants you with Him, and we do too.

    Does that have to be repeated, again?

  92. Mark Smith says:

    Sorry, there was a typo in my last comment.

    I’ve just read through this thread and would like to comment. But I’m not a believer. Looking at various of the comments, especially from Renzo, it seems if you aren’t a believer you aren’t able to see the truth and therefore are unable to say anything worthwhile. Is this right? If it isn’t, can you tell me what ‘authorities’ (pure reason? science? human rights? anything else?) I could base my arguments on that you would accept?

  93. Different says:

    Fr. Di Lorenzo,

    I am not tainted by relativism. I’m sorry that you didn’t understand my post, although it wasn’t very long, so I’m not really sure where the disconnect was. My remark was that Jordan Potter had done an admirable job of undermining the relativist position that seeks to abolish morality.

    Of course, this isn’t about applause. It’s about children’s lives and relativists with no respect for logic or their senses.

  94. Alf says:

    No true logical Atheist claims to disprove the existence of God. I could not disprove the existence of black swans, or pink unicorns. It is just so extremely improbable that they exist.

    More to the point in a secular society, one base on reason and science, one would have to prove that there is a soul. It is the position of scientists (who understand cognition that the “soul” is merely human consciousness itself.

    If that is the case, the “soul” doesn’t come into being until well after conception.

    I agree there should be serious debate about the morality of abortion. But the issue doesn’t surround an eternal “soul”, since there isn’t any evidence that this even exists.

  95. The Reverend Dark says:

    Alas I should be more careful in my citations; trust your memory but verify: There are just so many versions of the bible to choose from – try: NIV/HJV Bible Deuteronomy 22:28. My biblical research tends more towards Ehrman and Friedman; as well as the study of comparative mythology.

    No, I am not a satanist; although I have read LaVey (more philosophy than mythology); just as I have read the unknown authors of Mark, Luke, John, etc. I am an ordained Reverend. It is easy enough to do; anyone can add a supposedly holy and authoritative title to their name. It is meaningless, whether you are pope or priest, parson, pasha or even Fra.

    You do not have to be Christian to interpret the bible, it actually helps if you are not, there is less emotional baggage in the way.

    Hey Jordan – you made me laugh. Your talk about 50 pieces of silver and the modern equivalent. You don’t seem to particularly care that women were a commodity to be bought or sold, you are just whining about the price. Consent is a very slippery slope in hebrew translation; and you can perform some very agile semantics to avoid the rape connontation in Deuteronomy; but only if the text is taken in more modern parlance. Seduction would be a possible translation – but the context is not the modern one. It is more akin to ‘Brace yourself Bridgette, the fleet is in town.’

    I point this out as Deuteronomy, as with much of the old and new testaments has portions that are vigorously ignored by the faithful as these particular aspects of bronze age myth have no place in a modern, rational world. How often has your church performed a short order inspection of the faithful, as Deuteronomy 23:1 – Jesus mentions the meek, but those for whom the wedding tackle have been damaged, ironically get the short end of the stick.

    Anyone in your area stone a shrimp ring lately? Leviticus again.

    You pick and choose the parts of the bible to obey and the parts to ignore. Are women not allowed to teach men as Timothy points out? Do you ask the female police officer if she is menstruating before swearing out a complaint – when she busts you in the chops you can beg Leviticus as your excuse. The bible Old and New testaments were written for their time. Not ours. They are parochial texts; whose admonitions require a fairly in depth knowledge of the time (long haird protitutes of Corinth, etc.) They are not universal. They are not even planetary or even continental. They encompass only the world known to the various writers. A tiny portion of the much larger world. It is only through the interpretations of those that wish to seize temporal power, that they are brought out of the region of their genesis.

    The Reverend Shayne Dark

  96. Janet says:

    To “logicel” and the other atheists:
    God ‘unproveable’?? Then you are blind and deaf! What goes through your minds when you walk in a garden or a forest or field of flowers? Anything at all?
    Take a look at those trees for once, and see what a miracle they really are. Look at all the intricate details in one of the most common flowers we think of as weeds. Listen to the birds, the insects, then look up through that blue sky to the sun which is precisely the distance away that enables life to exist at all on this planet.
    Think for a few minutes on what a fragile ballet of inter-relatedness exists between plants, animals, atmosphere, gravity, rock, mineral, water, etc., all of which is in perfect balance (except for the parts we humans have messed up).

    Do all this, and then tell me it\’s all accidental, a roll of the dice, evolution, no deity required to create or hold it all together moment to moment.

    Hogwash!

  97. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Mark Smith the non-believer says: “tell me what ‘authorities’ (pure reason? science? human rights? anything else?) I could base my arguments on that you would accept?”

    Well, try reason, biology, natural law…

    Oh, wait, I’ve said that, what, a thousand times? Not listening? Can’t? Try this:

    1. Reason: what will be a man is already a man
    2. biology: what will be a man is already a man
    3. natural law: respect what will be a man because it is already a man

  98. Habemus Papam says:

    The notion that rape is a reason for abortion is horrifying. How many countless thousands of people alive today must be the result of rape. How do i know that I am not a result of rape, how do you know YOU are not a result of rape? Rape happens in the marriage bed as much if not more than the street. Is that really a reason for abortion or just an emotive argument?

  99. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    Thanks, Different.

  100. Little Gal says:

    To Fr. Renzo:

    I have read your posts-as others have-with interest and if it wouldn’t seem too impertinent,I am wondering if you could tell us a little about yourself. For example, are you a native speaker of English? Are you based in the U.S? What kind of ministry are you involved in? Thanks and Happy New Year.

  101. Alf says:

    Janet,

    It is truly a simple view to look around and say “It is really complicated, so there must be a fantastic being somewhere”. One can be in awe of the universe without believing in God. Secondly it is logically fallacious to say “It is complicated, it must be created.” The reason being that if very complex things require creators, then the creator must be really complex. Therefore the creator then requires a creator or it violates the entire premiss of your argument.

    Furthermore it seems to me that there is a complete lack of design in the world, and that natural selection determines progress. If you have studied the human eye, you would see an example. The eye is “designed” upside down and backwards. Why would a creator make the eye in such a fashion. Why would he give humans a tail bone and an appendix? These are things that once served a purpose, but no longer serve a purpose.

    You are taking a far too simple view of the world.

  102. Dr Benway says:

    Jordan Potter said: In other words, you want to repeal the Bill of Rights. Sorry, but we have religious freedom in this country, Brian. The fundamentalists have as much right to speak their mind and you have to post your bigoted anti-Christian rants.

    But you want more than the right to express a personal opinion. You want laws against abortion.

    Any right you claim for yourself you must extend to others. If you are entitled to use supernatural claims no one can corroborate as a justification for social policies, so is Osama Bin Laden.

  103. Fr Renzo di Lorenzo says:

    For those who missed it, like “DARK”:

    Here we go. Bible 101 for atheists.
    [And this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a close look at natural law!]

    It is not good when a creature shakes his fist at his Creator, but that’s what has been done. There are consequences chosen with this rebellion: weekness, temptation, sickness, death, and subsequent scepticism for goodness that wants to tear down any goodness down to our level.

    The Lord knew what we would do with our scepticism for goodness before His Goodness. He let us show our worst to Him, which is what we deserve ourselves. In taking this on, He has the right in justice to have mercy on us.

    Perhaps we were hoping against hope that someone, necessarily divine, would rise above the worst we could give out, and still love us. Our Lord passes our test. This is very much about the Liturgy which this website promotes so ardently.

    The Lord does hold out forgiveness: “Father, forgive them.” As a pedagogy, and in justice, he also keeps us, in this world, in all the other effects of sin: weakness, temptation, sickness, death. But he uses that to teach us how to be open to receiving His strength, His goodness and kindness, His Charity, the Living Truth of Charity that He is.

    To prepare us to understand what He was to do on the cross, He taught a certain people just how seriously wrong sin is, especially original sin, so that they could bring this truth to the rest of us.

    No one has a right to life in this world when that right is claimed against God. The Lord has a claim on our whole being, not only as our Creator, but also as our Redeemer. If someone dies a little ahead of time in order to teach this truth of the gravity of sin so necessary for all of mankind, that doesn’t mean that such people will go to hell. Instead, if we do not learn from what happened to them, we risk going to hell.

    Anything sanctioned by God in the Hebrew Bible is absolutely morally good forever, but in its place, that is, previous to the our redemption on the cross. Any pedagogy leading up to the crucifixion of the Lord, like stoning adulterers, cannot be continued after the crucifixion of our Lord, for, since He is divine, there can be no greater pedagogy for how horrific sin is, nor how deadly serious the Lord is in His eagerness that we should be in His good friendship.

    But… having said all that…

    “Si non vis veritatem audire, nemo tibi dicere potest”.
    If you don’t want to hear the truth, no one [including God] can tell it to you.”

    ——-

    Then, let’s repeat this one, with an added phrase:

    Mark Smith the non-believer says: “tell me what ‘authorities’ (pure reason? science? human rights? anything else?) I could base my arguments on that you would accept?”

    Well, try reason, biology, natural law…

    Oh, wait, I’ve said that, what, a thousand times? Not listening? Can’t? Try this regardless of the presence of a soul:

    1. Reason: what will be a man is already a man
    2. biology: what will be a man is already a man
    3. natural law: respect what will be a man because it is already a man

  104. Janet says:

    Alf: “You are taking a far too simple view of the world”

    And I thank God for the grace which allows me this simple view, and I pray that He continues giving me the grace to be so “simple-minded” as long as I live.

  105. I think this has pretty much run its course. It is simply a rabbit hole now.

    A few observations are in order, however.

    When fertilization takes place, a human life is present, not some other sort of life. It cannot be other than a human life.  If we admit that human beings have any rights because they are human, then human rights must be extended to this newly conceived human.  Age or physical location of this particular human does not diminish basic rights, such as the right simply to live.

    Even on a simply practical level, leaving aside the ontological and biological dimensions, if you start tearing away at the most fundamental of all human rights, then all other rights and the bonds of society are imperiled.

    Moreover, the Church teaches that life begins at conception.  This should be obvious just using well-informed reason, but in this case we also have the assistance of the Church, who does not err in matters of faith and morals.

    In addition, the supernatural dimension of human life is evident from man’s activity, the fact that he reasons and the object of his reasoning.  To deny the fact of man’s ability to reason is in most cases probably evidence of immaturity.

    I recommend at least a quick reading of Fides et ratio, just to help, if nothing else, frame the question of the relationship of intellect and authority.

    My hope is that some of those who posted here will grow up and adopt a humbler few of their own ability to understand the mysteries of this present life.  It strikes me that they are terribly impressed with their own cleverness.  Maybe a little more time, a sense of their own mortality, will bring them around.  In the meantime, you might stop at this point and in a prayerful way ask their guardian angels to help and protect them.

    Finally, on my blog I will insist on a certain level of respect for others who post.  I don’t think this comment exchange was out of control, but it is heading in that direction.  Alas, these discussions tend to attract loons.  Also, I insist on proper titles for Catholic clergy.  For example, priests will be addressed as “Father”, at the very least.  I don’t care what your personal feelings about that are, on this blog that’s the way it is.  If you won’t abide by that, then don’t post comments.

    I have left a few comments above which I under normal circumstances might have deleted without additional consideration. They serve as object lessons about what happens when both ignorance and arrogance overwhelm good sense and leave people spinning downward towards self-absorption and eventually hatred of all that is not one’s self.