XY Motherhood: What do Recent IVF Cases in the News Tell Us? – Updated

UPDATE: For a detailed treatment of the question of intersex persons and the possibility of sex change, see Christopher Tollefsen writing at Public Discourse, "Sex Identity."   *** A friend shared two articles about genetically XY women who conceived via IVF.  She wonders what we are to make of such cases.  A few thoughts:1. The real scandal in these particular stories (here and here) is the use of IVF, which is gravely immoral.2. I'm not aware of any particular Church teaching on how t … [Read more...]

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Is Abstinence Hard on a Marriage?

NFP Awareness Week is around the corner, and in certain quarters bloggers are already expressing painful awareness.  The topic is abstinence, lots of abstinence, and just how miserable that can make a pair of persons.  Big question: Do extended periods of abstinence harm a marriage?To a certain extent it's a moot point, and we'll come back to that in several ways. As a recap, here's Church teaching on sex, marriage, and abstinence in a nutshell:Sex is for making babies.  It does other go … [Read more...]

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How to Make Sense of Pope Francis News, This Saturday on Outside the Walls

Yesterday I had more fun than a person should be allowed to have before 10AM, recording my contribution to the July 4th segment of Outside the Walls with Timothy Putnam.  The topic was my blog post on Weird Things Pope Francis Says.  What you get if you tune in Saturday morning:Tim & I talking about communication styles, and how that affects our reading of the Bible, the Pope, and Everything.  (Evangelization is a nice slice of the Everything.) The scoop on how you can get reliable Po … [Read more...]

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Gay Marriage, Slack Parents, and Religious Ceremonies: An Even Simpler Solution

The usually sensible Fr. Longenecker proposes that the Catholic Church get out of the civil marriage business as a way to avoid being forced to officiate at same-sex ceremonies.There is a much simpler solution: We could decline to offer Catholic wedding ceremonies to couples unless at least one of the two is a practicing Catholic.We already try to do this, witness the massive hoops that Catholic couples are forced to jump through in order to get a church wedding as it stands.  We attempt … [Read more...]

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Six Months ‘Till Christmas: Feast of John the Baptist

I had this long rocky relationship with the Liturgy of the Hours, which finally came to a peaceful resolution when the breviary and I admitted that really what I want is the Office of Readings.  Turns out it doesn't matter how many helpful people suggest Morning, Evening, or Night prayer as the ideal place for beginners to start, what I need is the Geek Hour.  Some people use their feelings to stir up their intellect, I use my intellect to stir up my feelings.  I'm backwards that way.So last … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis’s Puzzling Comments on Guns and War: The Clue to Understanding Laudato Si’

H/T to Kate O'Hare, who linked to these initially puzzling comments from Pope Francis on weapons manufacturing and just warfare: It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no .... I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher ...” And a double face is also a curr … [Read more...]

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The Terrible Problem with Laudato Si’

"Living our vocation to be protectors of God's handiwork is essential to the life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience."Laudato Si' 217 The difficulty, the dreadful, unspeakable, shield-your-eyes difficulty with the Pope's new encyclical on the environment comes down to one nasty problem: The man is right.For the popular press, hoping all this time that Pope Francis would be something new and different, created in the image of The Today Show, t … [Read more...]

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