Cardinal O’Malley, who is a member of the Papal G8 that Pope Francis appointed to consider reforms in the Church, says that the Catholic Church is not going to change its 2,000-year-old teachings on marriage.
The Church will not change her teaching on the dissolubility of marriage, he said in an interview with Joan Frawley Desmond of the National Catholic Register.
He goes on to say that there may be a simplification of the annulment process, which he says “would be a wonderful first step for addressing a crucial pastoral problem for the Church.”
My eleven-year-old son put it better than anyone I have ever heard.
Homeschoolers socialize with other homeschoolers. We took our kids to movies together, enrolled them in activities that ranged from classes at the local science museum to participation in swim teams, homeschool soccer leagues and even a homeschool chess club.
We also had picnics, went to movies and other recreational activities.
It was after a homeschool picnic that my son gave me the best description of God’s viewpoint of us that I’ve ever heard.
We were full of food and feeling mellow and we got into a discussion of the first chapter of Genesis. We were all, including the kids, just kicking it around, expressing our own views. One of the homeschooling mothers took an absolutely literal, and, to me at least, narrow and inaccurate, view of the first chapters of Genesis. She believed that God had created the earth (and presumably the whole universe) in six twenty-four hour solar days.
I kept raising the buts inherent in her argument … but 24 hour days are based on how long it takes the earth to turn on its axis, and there was no earth and no sun “in the beginning,”
… but God created time, so in the beginning there was no time …
… but …
She would have none of it. She couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that there was once nothing, absolutely nothing, and God created all creation out of this nothingness.
To her, and a lot of other people on both sides of the existence-of-god arguments, the idea of a beginning in which light, time, atoms, the rules of physics — everything, everywhere — simply did not exist was too incomprehensible to bother considering.
My eleven-year-old piped up, “but God created time,” he said. “God is not part of time. When God looks at creation, He doesn’t see a line, going off into the future. He sees a dot.”
My son’s comment didn’t make a ding in our friend’s thinking. It floated past her without engaging one brain cell.
But I was stunned by the simple understanding of an eleven-year-old.
He had said it all.
When scientists taught that the universe always was, they were dodging the obvious. The metaphysical implications in an existence which began from nothing are enormous.
If everything — everything — had a beginning, and that beginning was a sudden something when nothing exploded into all that is, then the question of “What, or Who, did this?” comes shortly after.
I’ve read comments about the discovery of the Big Bang Echo to the effect that the Big Bang Echo debunks the Biblical story of creation once and for all. I assume that by the Biblical story of creation they were referring, not to the Scriptures themselves, but to interpretations of those Scriptures like that of my fellow homeschooler.
The idea that God created the universe in seven 24-hour solar days has so many holes in it, from simple logic, that it won’t stand. If you read the thing literally, really literally, you’ll see that it doesn’t say any such thing. It says “day” and day, used this way, is poetic. It can mean almost any space of time.
The first chapter of Genesis is a poem. Anyone can see that. It’s what it is.
But it also describes, in poetic rather than scientific terms, a reality. God did create the heavens and the earth. He “spoke” existence into existence.
What it does do is let us see it.
As my eleven-year-old son once said, God created time. He is outside time the same way that Henry Ford was outside and not part of the Model T, that I am outside and not part of this blog post. Mr Ford and I both leave our signatures all over our creations. There is an image of us in what we do. But we are not governed by the realities of what we have created. It is governed by us.
God created time just as He created everything else. He is outside of it. I think that when God looks at creation, he sees all of it, all at once, all the time.
When it comes to time, we, who are in it and of it, are like a grasshopper, standing in the middle of an interstate highway. From our vantage point, the highway of time goes on in both directions forever. It has no beginning and no end. But to God, Who is outside of time, the beginning, and the end, are both constantly in view.
That is what it means to be transcendent.
We, who are made in the image and likeness of God, possess the capacity to slowly and painstakingly unravel this mystery of how God did it. From inside our temporal prison, we can, by use of all our wits and by building on one another’s thinking, figure it out.
I believe that’s because we are made for more than this life. Where else did this drive to touch the face of God with our minds come from? What practical purpose does it serve for us to seek and find the echo of the Big Bang from which we came? We are made for more than what we appear to be. Our craving for transcendence is a hunger that we feed but cannot satisfy with the devices of our minds.
What we are hungering for is not the what of existence, but the Who that is behind it.
This Being Who spoke existence into existence, this Word that was there from the beginning, loves us. He left us clues to how He did it scattered throughout creation like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs.
The Big Bang echo is one such crumb. It allows us, for the first time, to see creation as it was created. That is its significance. And its gift.
Science is not the enemy of faith. Ham-handed fools who try to use science to “prove” their personal prejudices can make it seem to be the enemy of faith. Occasional misapprehensions of the partial discoveries we make as we follow the bread crumbs can yield to this hubris and, again, make science seem like the enemy of faith.
But in truth, science is just us, figuring out the creation we’ve been handed.
Science misapplied can be our undoing, both spiritually, and, as we meddle deeper into the building blocks of our existence, physically. We can blow ourselves up or mutate our genes and end ourselves with science. The threat is right in front of us every day we live.
That’s because science is our creation, and as our creation, it is flawed in the ways that we are flawed. It a tool that our tool-making kind has devised to help us understand How He did it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Public Catholic discusses any number of controversial topics.
Sometimes, the conversation gets blunt. There are days when I’m the bluntest of all.
But the purpose of Public Catholic is to equip people so that they can go out into the world and be the light that Jesus called all of us to be.
People who disrespect the Holy Father, are, in my opinion, speaking for the darkness.
I’ve deleted almost all such comments that have shown up here, with the exception of a few that I allowed as an illustration of what not to say.
I understand that Pope Francis has said things that unsettle people, and I have no problem with commenters who express their feelings of being unsettled. I have no problem with honest questions and honest seeking. In fact, I not only encourage them, I often share them. We are all seekers in our walk with Christ.
These are things we need to work through together, in faith.
But Pope Francis is the pope. He is Peter. I will not tolerate spiteful and malicious attacks on his character on this blog.
Tu est petra.
Et portae inferni non praevalebunt.
Doctors can now target which babies to kill with even greater accuracy.
A new blood test allow docs to discover which unborn babies might have Down’s Syndrome. The best is touted as being far more accurate than previously used methods. According to a news report, this means that fewer expectant mothers will “be made anxious” by an inaccurate test telling them that their baby has Down’s Syndrome.
The new test is not the final step. If it comes back suspicious, then the woman is sent for either amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling.
Doctors are recommending that all pregnant women should be “screened for Down’s Syndrome and other trisomies.”
Amniocentesis which involves sticking a needle through the wall of the woman’s abdomen and the wall of the uterus (a procedure which doctors blandly describe as uncomfortable) and extracting amniotic fluid, does have legitimate medical uses. It can be used to detect if the baby’s lungs are developed enough for it to survive. This can be life-saving for both the mother and the baby in certain circumstances.
However, I don’t know of a legitimate medical use for this blood test. It would allow older women to know that their baby does not have Down’s Syndrome. But the blanket move to have every pregnant woman take the test sounds very much like eugenics to me.
Does the test have any use other than targeting which babies to kill?
Why, other than trying to kill unborn children with disabilities, would anyone want every pregnant woman to take the test?
More and more, a medical license is becoming a license to exploit and kill. Everything from euthanasia, to egg harvesting, surrogacy and abortion is being sold to us as for our own good.
How can any of us trust doctors who are so willing to kill their patients?
This story is a couple of weeks old, but I’ve been too busy to take it on until now.
A few weeks back, a federal judged made the landmark ruling that Kentucky had to honor gay marriages which were contracted in other states. This ruling, if upheld, has the practical effect of legalizing gay marriage in every state of the union. The judge’s ruling was based on last summer’s hydra-headed Windsor ruling by the United States Supreme Court. Windsor overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, (DOMA.)
In what has become a predictable dereliction of duty, Kentucky’s Attorney General, Jack Conway, announced that he would not defend the state statute, because “it was discrimination,” and, as he said in his announcement, “that I will not do.”
In other words, he’s appointed himself the legislature, court and will of the people of the entire state. He is also, flatly and obviously refusing to do the job he was elected to do. Pious pronouncements aside, this is a clear failure of integrity on his part. As I said before about other attorney general’s who have done this same thing, they don’t seem to know what their job is.
Attorney’s General are chief law enforcement officers. They are not lawmakers, and even though law enforcement rests in the judicial branch, they are not judges. Attorney General Conway obviously ran for the wrong office.
Now, Kentucky’s Governor, Steve Beshear, has announced that he will hire an independent law firm to defend the state.
Does anyone “get” what a dereliction of duty this attorney general is indulging in? Does anyone understand how wrong it is for the governor to have to spend tax payer money to hire outside attorneys to do the job that the attorney general of Kentucky was elected to do?
I am way past glad that the Governor is taking this step. This court decision is huge. It must be challenged.
In the meantime, I’m wondering if the people of Kentucky are so caught up in the gay marriage bubble that they don’t “get” the full significance of what their AG is going to them. I wonder if any of the people of this country can understand what a breakdown it is for so many attorneys general to refuse to do their jobs.
This isn’t a small thing. It’s a symptom of a very ugly infection of narcissistic dishonesty in the body politic. I am not talking about gay marriage, per se. I am not talking about any issue. I am talking about our system of governance, which depends on people who will govern by the law and by responsible action, not opinion polls.
United States Attorney General Eric Holder has stepped in with a “ruling” of his own, saying that “states attorneys general don’t have to defend gay marriage bans if they view them as discriminatory.”
Isn’t that nice? The nation’s number one cop as decided to publicly indulge in selective law enforcement. He is unilaterally giving anyone who wants to violate their oath in support of the side of an issue that he happens to agree with a free pass from the Justice Department.
If the laws are enforced selectively — which is what the United States Attorney General is doing — then the laws are by definition unjust. Selective enforcement of the law is — dare I say it? — discriminatory on its face.
One interesting side note in this story: Both the governor and the attorney general are Democrats.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday that his office would hire outside counsel to appeal a court ruling that the state must recognize same-sex marriages performed outside Kentucky, just moments after the state attorney general, a fellow Democrat, said he would no longer defend the ban.
Jack Conway, Kentucky’s attorney general, said Tuesday that if he appealed the recent ruling, he would be forced to defend discrimination. “That I will not do,” he said in a statement. “As Attorney General of Kentucky, I must draw the line when it comes to discrimination.”
Beshear promptly announced that his office would continue the appeal, the Associated Press reports, saying there would be “legal chaos” if the courts don’t delay any changes until after an appeal. “Employers, health care providers, governmental agencies and others faced with changing rules need a clear and certain roadmap,” Beshear said. “Also, people may take action based on this decision only to be placed at a disadvantage should a higher court reverse the decision.”
The rapid-fire action and reaction underscored how states are struggling to respond to a wave of court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans of various kinds. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said state attorneys general don’t have to defend gay-marriage bans if they view them as discriminatory.