Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Children, dogs and... soccer

I have three children in soccer. Last year I only had two, and they were on the same day. This year, I tried to get them signed up on different days, but that didn't work out, and they are ALL THREE on the same day. The good thing is, the two youngest play at the same place, at the same time. My oldest however, plays at a different place every week, but at THE SAME TIME as the others. Technically though, he is supposed to be there 15 minutes early, which means there is a coach waiting there, 15 minutes early, so I can drop him off early and then take the two others to their games. I also pick him up about 10-15 minutes after his game, once the two youngest are done. But he is 11 now, so that's not a big deal. The sad thing is, I do not get to watch ANY of his games, since I basically stay to watch the two youngest, especially Maryssa who is only five and still needs that parental encouragement...

ANYWAY, I thought, yesterday, that I would be on time for everything,... I had brought Dominic's shoes to the door so he could put them on before leaving an hour before, and when it was time to leave, I could only find ONE shoe!! Arggggghh! The dog, (there are days when I could gladly shoot him) sometimes takes shoes and drags them someplace to lie down with. But I could not find the shoe anywhere upstairs, nowhere the dog could have put it. Sometimes Gabriel throws shoes down the stairs, but there were no shoes downstairs... that shoe has disappeared into thin air. I looked everywhere I could think of looking, inside and out... until I finally had to give up and tell Dominic to wear his regular shoes. Needless to say, although Jean-Alexandre was right on time, the other two were late for soccer... GRRRRRRRRRR!!! And the shoe?? Still haven't found it...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Typical Canadian Humour, et the expense of our Neighbours...

I would like to say that the following does not entirely represent my own personal views and to apologize to any Americans who might be reading this...

"On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry. I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. (OK, I have to point out that I don't actually believe George Bush is a moron. However, I do have a hard time with a lot of his policies, especially that so-called war on terrorism...) If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him. I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper an better than your own. (Where I was living 2 years ago, in Prince George BC, this was definitely a sore point...) I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. I'm sorry we burnt down your White House during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice. I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer, but we feel your pain. (HA HA HA!) I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you want to have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons. And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with. Thank you."

L'Avortement

L'Avortement
Jeanne Chabot
11 juin 2004


Je me disputais avec quelqu'un sur la question de l'avortement. Lui comparait l'embryon à une masse de cellules telle un kyste. Un embryon, selon lui, n'est pas un être humain. On ne devient être humain qu'après trois mois de grossesse. "La cour suprême l'a dit..." Pas pire pareil, cela vient de la même bouche qui se moque des Catholiques qui "suivent le Pape aveuglement".

Et d'où on tire ce chiffre magique? À minuit, le jour où bébé aura trois mois de gestation, pouf! La Fée Bleue lui apparaît telle qu'à Pinocchio et lui donne vie?

Le fait qu'on puisse comparer un embryon, aussi inachevé qu'il soit, à un kyste, me parait incroyable. Ça ne prend pas un cours de biologie pour savoir que dès la conception, un embryon en santé développera inévitablement des bras, des jambes, un ceour, un cerveau... à moins de lui enlever la vie avant qu'il ne puisse le faire bien sûr. Il a déjà tout ce qu'il faut pour déveloper. C'est écrit dans ses genes, dans ses chromozomes qu'il est un être humain. Dévelopé peut-être pas, mais écrit oui! Prenez un embryon et faites une analyse d'ADN. Son ADN vous dira la vérité. C'est un être humain! On ne peut même pas comparer, cette précieuse "masse de céllules" à un spermatozoïde ni à un oeuf car seuls, aucun des deux n'est un être humain, ils n'ont que la possibilité de le devenir. Chacun n'a que la moitié de ce que ça prend pour devenir un être humain. Alors comment peut-on comparer un embryon qui est inévitablement un être humain à un kyste qui n'a même pas la possibilité de devenir un être humain?

C'est effrayant cette idée de comparer un petit être humain à quelque chose qui n'est pas bien mieux qu'une parasite. Mais cela va de paire avec la nouvelle mentalité que les enfants sont un fardeau, un devoir, et non une bénédiction.

Pendant longtemps on s'est entêté à croire que les gens de race noire n'étaient pas des personnes. C'était bien plus payant et convénient d'avoir une espèce d'animal si proche de nous qu'il pouvait faire notre travil, mais à qui on ne devait pas plus de respect qu'à du bétail. En fait, le bétail a eu plus de respect que beaucoup de ces gens-là.

Pendant longtemps on s'est entêté à croire que les femmes n'étaient pas des personnes. On ne voulait pas leur donner le droit de voter ni de travailler. Dans beaucoup de cas, elles étaient (et sont encore) traitées comme des possessions.

Aujourd'hui on s'entête à croire que les embryons ne sont pas des être humains. Nous sommes une société qui évite les conséquences et le devoir comme la peste. On croit que personne ne devrait être obligée de faire quoi que ce soit si ça ne lui tente pas. Si c'est ça qu'on enseigne à nos enfants aujourd'hui, il ne faut pas se demander pourquoi notre société à autant de troubles.

Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code, the Catholic Church and Opus Dei
A response to The Da Vinci Code from the Prelature of Opus Dei in Canada.

20 January 2005

Many readers are intrigued by the claims about Christian history and theology presented in The Da Vinci Code. We would like to remind them that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, and it is not a reliable source of information on these matters.

The book has raised public interest in the origins of the Bible and of central Christian doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus Christ. These topics are important and valuable to study, and we hope that interested readers will be motivated to study some of the abundant scholarship on them that is available in the non-fiction section of the library.

Readers who do further research and exercise critical judgment will discover that assertions made in The Da Vinci Code about Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and Church history lack support among reputable scholars. By way of example, the book popularizes the idea that the fourth century Roman emperor Constantine invented the doctrine of the divinity of Christ for political reasons. The historical evidence, however, clearly shows that the New Testament and the very earliest Christian writings manifest Christian belief in the divinity of Christ. Other examples of discredited claims presented in The Da Vinci Code can be found in the article from Crisis magazine linked to at right. For readers who are willing to take the time to get to the bottom of the issues raised in The Da Vinci Code, we recommend reading Amy Welborn's book, De-Coding Da Vinci, or The Da Vinci Hoax by Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel (see links at right).

We also want to point out that The Da Vinci Code’s depiction of Opus Dei is inaccurate, both in the overall impression and in many details, and it would be irresponsible to form any opinion of Opus Dei based on reading The Da Vinci Code. For those interested in further information about the various false impressions the book gives of Opus Dei, please continue reading.


1. Opus Dei and monks


Throughout The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei members are presented as monks (or, rather, caricatures of monks). Like all Catholics, Opus Dei members have great appreciation for monks, but in fact there are no monks in Opus Dei. Opus Dei is a Catholic institution for lay people and diocesan priests, not a monastic order.

Opus Dei’s approach to living the faith does not involve withdrawing from the world like those called to the monastic life. Rather, Opus Dei helps people grow closer to God in and through their ordinary secular activities.

“Numerary” members of Opus Dei - a minority - choose a vocation of celibacy in order to be available to organize the activities of Opus Dei. They do not, however, take vows, wear robes, sleep on straw mats, spend all their time in prayer and corporal mortification, or in any other way live like The Da Vinci Code’s depiction of its monk character. In contrast to those called to the monastic life, numeraries have regular secular professional work.

In fact, The Da Vinci Code gets Opus Dei’s nature 180 degrees backwards. Monastic orders are for people who have a vocation to seek holiness by withdrawing from the secular world; Opus Dei is for people who have a vocation to live their Christian faith in the middle of secular society.

Additional explanation from leading Catholic figures of Opus Dei’s focus on secular life.


2. Opus Dei and crime


In The Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei members are falsely depicted murdering, lying, drugging people, and otherwise acting unethically, thinking that it is justified for the sake of God, the Church, or Opus Dei (p. 13, 29, 58-9, etc.).

Opus Dei is a Catholic institution and adheres to Catholic doctrine, which clearly condemns immoral behavior, including murder, lying, stealing, and generally injuring people. The Catholic Church teaches that one should never do evil, even for a good purpose.

Opus Dei’s mission is to help people integrate their faith and the activities of their daily life, and so its spiritual education and counseling help members to be more ethical rather than less so. Opus Dei members, like everyone else, sometimes do things wrong, but this is an aberration from what Opus Dei is promoting rather than a manifestation of it.

Besides attributing criminal activity to Opus Dei, The Da Vinci Code also falsely depicts Opus Dei as being focused on gaining wealth and power. Additional comment from leading Catholic sources on Opus Dei’s alleged wealth and power.


3. Opus Dei and corporal mortification


The Da Vinci Code makes it appear that Opus Dei members practice bloody mortifications (e.g., pp. 12, 14, 29, 31, 73, 89, 127-28, 195, 276-79, 293). In fact, though history indicates that some Catholic saints have done so, Opus Dei members do not do this.

The Catholic Church advises people to practice mortification. The mystery of Jesus Christ’s Passion shows that voluntary sacrifice has a transcendent value and can bring spiritual benefits to others. Voluntary sacrifice also brings personal spiritual benefits, enabling one to resist the inclination to sin. For these reasons, the Church prescribes fasting on certain days and recommends that the faithful practice other sorts of mortification as well. Mortification is by no means the centerpiece of the Christian life, but nobody can grow closer to God without it: “There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2015).

In the area of mortification, Opus Dei emphasizes small sacrifices rather than extraordinary ones, in keeping with its spirit of integrating faith with secular life. For example, Opus Dei members try to make small sacrifices such as persevering at their work when tired, occasionally passing up some small pleasure, or giving help to those in need.

Some Opus Dei members also make limited use of the cilice and discipline, types of mortification that have always had a place in the Catholic tradition because of their symbolic reference to Christ’s Passion. The Church teaches that people should take reasonable care of their physical health, and anyone with experience in this matter knows that these practices do not injure one’s health in any way. The Da Vinci Code’s description of the cilice and discipline is greatly exaggerated: it is simply not possible to injure oneself with them as it depicts.

Additional explanation from leading Catholic sources regarding Opus Dei and corporal mortification.


4. Opus Dei and cult allegations


In various place, The Da Vinci Code describes Opus Dei as a “sect” or a “cult” (e.g., pp. 1, 29, 30, 40, and 279). The fact is that Opus Dei is a fully integrated part of the Catholic Church and has no doctrines or practices except those of the Church. There is no definition or theory - whether academic or popular - that provides a basis for applying the pejorative terms “sect” or “cult” to Opus Dei.

Opus Dei is a Catholic institution that seeks to help people integrate their faith and the activities of their daily life. As a personal prelature (an organizational structure of the Catholic Church), it complements the work of local Catholic parishes by providing people with additional spiritual education and guidance.

Opus Dei was founded in Spain in 1928 by a Catholic priest, St. Josemaría Escrivá, and began to grow with the support of the local bishops there. It received final approval from the Vatican in 1950 and began growing in many countries around the world. Today Opus Dei has roughly 83,000 lay members (about 500 in Canada) and 2,000 priests. Several million people around the world participate in its programs and activities, which are conducted in more than 60 countries.

The Da Vinci Code also makes melodramatic assertions that Opus Dei engages in “brainwashing,” “coercion,” and “aggressive recruiting” (pp. 1, 29, 325, 415), unfairly trying to tar Opus Dei with the same brush used against groups more deserving of such epithets.

Opus Dei proposes to people to give their lives to God, following a special path of service within the Catholic Church. One’s life can only be given freely, through a decision coming from the heart, not from external pressure: pressure is both wrong and ineffective. Opus Dei always respects the freedom of conscience of its members, prospective members, and everyone else it deals with.

As a manifestation of its beliefs about the importance of freedom, Opus Dei has specific safeguards to ensure that decisions to join are free and fully informed. For example, nobody can make a permanent membership commitment in Opus Dei without first having completed more than 6 years of systematic and comprehensive instruction as to what membership entails. Additionally, no one can make a temporary commitment before age 18, nor a commitment to permanent membership before age 23.

Additional explanation from leading Catholic figures on Opus Dei and cult allegations.


5. Opus Dei and women


The Da Vinci Code says about Opus Dei’s U.S. headquarters: “Men enter the building through the main doors on Lexington Avenue. Women enter through a side street” (p. 28). This is inaccurate. People, whether male or female, use the doors leading to whichever section of the building they are visiting. The building is divided into separate sections, for the straightforward reason that one section includes a residence for celibate women and another for celibate men. But these sections are not sex-restricted, and it is the women’s not the men’s section that fronts on Lexington Avenue, the opposite of what is said in the book. (Note: The book sometimes also inaccurately calls the building Opus Dei’s “world headquarters”).

The Da Vinci Code also suggests that women Opus Dei members are “forced to clean the men’s residence halls for no pay” and are otherwise accorded lower status than men (pp. 41, 415-16).

This is not true. Opus Dei, like the Church in general, teaches that women and men are of equal dignity and value, and all of its practices are in accord with that belief. Women members of Opus Dei can be found in all sorts of professions, those which society views as prestigious and those which society today tends to undervalue, such as homemaking or domestic work. Opus Dei teaches that any kind of honest work done with love of God is of equal value.

Some women numerary members of Opus Dei have freely chosen to make a profession of taking care of Opus Dei’s centers, both women’s and men’s. They also run conference centers where activities of cultural and spiritual formation are held. These women are professionally trained and are paid for their services, which include interior decorating, catering and other highly skilled work. The millions of people who attend retreats or other spiritual formation activities at Opus Dei centers can attest to their professionalism. The Da Vinci Code’s insinuation that their work lacks dignity and value is demeaning to these women.

Additional explanation from leading Catholic figures on Opus Dei and women.


6. Opus Dei and the Vatican Bank


The Da Vinci Code says that Opus Dei was made a personal prelature as a reward for “bailing out” the Vatican bank (pp. 40-41, 415-416).

Neither Opus Dei nor any of its members helped “bail out” the Vatican bank. The Church’s authorities made Opus Dei a personal prelature in 1982 because they recognized that this new canonical category was a good fit for Opus Dei’s mission and structure.

In any event, the personal prelature status is nothing special: it is simply one of several canonical categories the Church has for designating an institution that carries out special pastoral activities. In contrast to the implication given by the book, personal prelature status in no way implies some special favor of the Pope or that Opus Dei members are not under the authority of their local bishops.


7. The canonization of Opus Dei’s founder


The Da Vinci Code suggests that the Church bent its canonization rules to put Opus Dei’s founder on the “fast track” to being named a saint (pp. 40-41).

The canonization of St. Josemaría Escrivá in 2002 came 27 years after his death (not 20, as the book says). It was one of the first to be processed after the 1983 Code of Canon Law streamlined the procedures for canonization, and so it moved more quickly than was typical before. Mother Teresa is on pace to be canonized even more quickly, having been beatified just 6 years after her death (Escrivá was beatified in 17 years). Even under the old procedures, the canonization of St. Therése of Lisieux made it through the process in 27 years, roughly the same as Escrivá’s.

© 2005, Information Office of Opus Dei on the Internet

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Soccer Pics from Last Week


Maryssa bringing up the ball Posted by Hello

Jean-Alexandre going for a big kick Posted by Hello

Gabriel kicking the soccer ball Posted by Hello

Dominic, playing soccer Posted by Hello

Moose Factory Ontario, April 2005


Christina and her good friends who helped take care of her father, John Delaney as if he were their own father as well. Samantha (back left) and Christina (back right) who still live in Moose Factory, Robin (front left) who sent me the pics and came from Thunder Bay to help out and Phoebe (front right) who came all the way from Northern Ireland to be with them. Posted by Hello

My sister Rose Anne and I at Christina and Victor's... Posted by Hello

My brother Jean Pierre and I, sitting in Christina and Victor Linklaters' house, when we went up for the funeral of Christina's father, John Delaney. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Maryssa Posted by Hello

Our House, May 17, now that the flowers are blooming... Posted by Hello

Gabriel by the lake today (May 17) Posted by Hello

Going to the Dogs

Here is an interesting read,... something I have noticed myself, the less people have children, the more they have dogs... I'm just glad Canada hasn't quite gotten to the stage some European countries are at because we'd be in serious trouble for "mis-treating" our poor dog, who doesn't get much attention, since we have four kids that do...

http://www.catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?art_id=28485


Lady, You Have One Ugly Kid!
By Eric Scheske

If you haven't heard, you haven't been listening: Europe is grossly under-birthed, and the United States isn't far behind. (Canada can't be far behind either, especially Québec.)

For a society to replace its population, demographers say each woman needs to average 2.1 children. Germany is at 1.3, Italy 1.2, Spain 1.1, and France 1.7. The rest of Europe might be a little better or a little worse (I don't have the stat in front of me, but I believe the Netherlands is at .9). Blue states in the US are slightly below 2.1, and red states are just a little above it, if memory serves.

So am I concerned about the lack of workers to pay for my social security? The collapsing infrastructure? Muslim immigration taking over traditional Christian countries?

Naw. Those are all legitimate concerns, of course.

But I'm worried about the dogs.

G.K. Chesterton said every person ought to have a dog. I disagree. I don't like dogs, don't want one, and resent being accosted by them on my walks.

Unfortunately, based on what I see around my city and in the news, people are having more and more of them. It seems like the fewer children we have, the more dogs I see. I've harbored this suspicion for years, but I've never run across any statistics or studies to show a direct correlation.

But last week, I found something better: Caesar. A reader at The Daily Eudemon sent this along:

Caesar, once seeing some wealthy strangers at Rome, carrying up and down with them in their arms and bosoms young puppy-dogs and monkeys, embracing and making much of them, took occasion not unnaturally to ask whether the women in their country were not used to bearing children; by that prince-like reprimand gravely reflecting upon persons who spend and lavish upon brute beasts that affection and kindness which nature has implanted in us to be bestowed on those of our own kind.

Ah, perfect! Not only are all the dogs understandable, but now I could also understand some crazy pet news I've seen lately:

• Seattle has more dogs than children.

• There are currently four bills pending in California alone that deal with dogs, from prohibiting pet cloning to criminalizing the clipping of a dog's ears for cosmetic reasons. (note: I am NOT for the clipping of dogs' ears myself, or of their tails or whatever else, if God/nature made them that way, there is surely a reason why, so leave them that way, poor things.)

• In London, it's reported that "Dog-lovers have taken 2.7 million working days off to care for their sick pets over the last two years.... Ten percent of owners missed five days of work, with half of these taking up to two weeks off to look after their pets. Dog owners are so concerned about their pooches’ well-being that 55 percent admitted they paid more attention to sick pets than an ill partner."

• Dog owners in Turin will be fined up to 500 euros ($650) if they don’t walk their pets at least three times a day, under a new law from the city’s council. People will also be banned from dyeing their pets’ fur or “any form of animal mutilation” for merely aesthetic motives. (Now this is where we'd be fined horribly,... we would definitely NOT have a dog in Turin, we don't even walk our dog ONCE day!! However I agree for the pet mutilation, that's just cruelty, and ridiculous.)

Contrary to the childless cultures of the West, the Church teaches that couples should have children. From the Catechism: "Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful" (2366). "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life..." (2367). "Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large families a sign of God's blessing..." (2373). (Have talked to a number of people, especially women, who secretly would like more children and who actually think there is something WRONG with them for wishing so,... not to mention those who decided to get tied, snipped or whatever and then have little regrets now and then although they don't seriously want more. The natural inclination IS still there though...)

Whenever we look at the Church's teaching, especially when it comes to morals, we need to understand that the teaching is always consistent with man's nature. F.J. Sheed in Theology and Sanity wrote, "Religion is a relation of man to God, and a true religion must be true to both. God will treat man as man is, and man will react to God's act as man is." The "supernatural does not ignore the natural or substitute something else for it."

When it comes to children, fecundity is natural. People are "hard-wired" to have children, and often lots of them, and the Church's teaching reflects this natural trait.

But when something natural is suppressed, something odd erupts to take its place. In today's world where the natural inclination to have children has been suppressed, I believe an unnatural affection for pets has erupted. (As a child, I was a die-hard dog/cat/animal lover. I didn't think that would change. I enjoy animals however, since taking in a dog last year, I have discovered that I no longer get very attached to animals. I don't think I'd miss him much if he died, and I'm not too sure we'd get another one. However, my children, at least the younger ones, love to play with the dog. I think that for children, pets are nice to have. For older, lonely people like my mother-in-law, a small dog is nice to have. Our neighbours couldn't have kids and they have our dog's sister, and I have to say she probably gets a lot more love and attention than our poor Toby. I have nothing against dogs myself, however when one is practically obliged by law to treat them like human children, that is just a little exagerated.)

And as a result, the Western world is going to the dogs.

© Copyright 2005 Catholic Exchange

Monday, May 16, 2005

Five year wait for JP II waived...

"So the process of beatification for John Paul II has been accelerated."

My husband tells me this with just a HINT of sarcasm in his voice (Oh please, why can't the media just let the pope(s) be and stop reporting on the Vatican and its activities, I don't need to hear my husband's horribly uninformed and totally biased comments on every last thing the Vatican does.) "And what miracle did HE perform?" (His whole attitude just communicates how ridiculous he thinks the idea of John Paul II being a saint is.)

I explain he didn't have to perform a miracle during his lifetime, most saints never did. And beatification isn't canonisation, he would only be blessed. For him to be beatified, there has to have been a verifiable miracle, an event un-explainable by scientists, attributed to him, asked for by intercession on his part, and that my sister has already heard of one person who attributes his healing (which took place after JP II's death) to John Paul II.

"Which sister?"

"Dorothy"

"That's what I figured." (In other words, Dorothy is NOT a valid source of information.)

So then he goes on to compare the whole process to the huge Gomery Commission Scandal with the Liberal Government here in Canada. It comes down to the same, people in high places giving gifts to their friends. That's how low Benedict VI has gone in accelerating the process of beatification for John Paul II. Look at John Paul II himself, he just canonized people by the dozens, in 25 years he canonized and beatified more people than all the other popes in the last 500 years put together. (And this is a BAD thing? Something that actually compromises the validity of canonizations? Not to mention JP II's own holiness? Maybe he just TOOK the time to do it!! My goodness!! Is there some kind of limit to the number of people a pope can beatify or canonize? Good for him if he made it easier for people to bring forward the cases for canonization and beatification.)

It is impossible to dialogue with my husband on any subject pertaining to the Catholic Church because he only wants to have a bashing session. He only sees bad, and does not WILL to see any good in it. I finally asked what on earth could the beatification of the pope possibly change in HIS life, and why on earth should he even CARE how or why the Church is doing it? Then he actually asks me why I'm getting mad. Uhhh, first of all, that wasn't mad, yet... just disbelief and surprise at his attitude and mentality, (Uh yes, he seems to be surpassing himself recently and can still surprise me with the depths of his utter anti-catholicism, it seems to be getting worse or maybe it is just that he doesn't bother restraining himself anymore.) I simply told him that if he hadn't understood why yet, he would never understand. (And how could he? There is no cause or belief that means anything to him that I could even begin to compare with my faith. He is totally clueless.)

For the record, if I am ever widowed, I will NEVER, EVER marry a second non-catholic. One un-believer is definitely enough.

Blame it on the Church...

To all those out there who would blame the problem of AIDS in Africa on the Church's refusal to promote condoms as a way of preventing AIDS:

1. If a couple were following the Church's teaching on sexuality, they wouldn't need condoms to prevent AIDS because neither of them would be having sex outside of marriage.

Find me ONE person, just ONE person who can validly say: "I should never have followed Church teaching on sexuality, if my wife/husband and I hadn't both followed Church teaching on abstinence and fidelity, I would not have AIDS today."

2. Either you are following Church teaching or you are not following Church teaching. If you decided to have sex outside of marriage and didn't use a condom and got AIDS, that is YOUR fault, you are the stupid one. Don't blame the Church.

Find me ONE couple, just ONE couple in this world who have decided not to follow Church teaching on abstinence and fidelity, (or Muslim teaching or Jewish teaching for that matter) yet have agreed between themselves that they must however follow Church teaching on contraception. Puh-lease!! If they are not using contraception, it is highly unlikely that they were influenced in any other way than by their own laziness, lack of money, lack of care, or some other reason, NOT by Church teaching.

Anyway, I don't have official quotes here, but I did read an article somewhere that 20 years ago, when the AIDS crisis started, Uganda promoted fidelity and abstinence while most other countries promoted use of the condom. Apparently, Uganda now has a lower rate of AIDS than most countries around it, along the AIDS highway.

I do however have some verifiable although undetailed stats on the Philippines and Thailand that I got from my brother Cecil:

Facts are stuborn things, aren't they?


AIDS victims in 1987: Philippines 135 / Thailand 112

In 1991 the WHO predicted the Philippines would have 80 000 to 90 000 cases and Thailand 60 000 to 80 000 AIDS victims.

Thailand promoted the use of condoms in massive campaigns where Catholic Philippines promoted "Abstinence" and "Be faithful".

The prognosis of the WHO was wrong for both countries:

1999: Philippines 1 005 / Thailand 755 000 AIDS victims

Source: British Medical Journal, volume 328, April 10th 2004.

Mark Shea comments succinctly: "The West's commitment to sexual promiscuity is a religion that people will both kill and die for." (via Jeff Culbreath.)

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to find stats actually verifying how many philippinos actually claim to follow the abstinence and fidelity rule, without which one can't know for sure if the government's campaign was actually successful, or if the population is using condoms and having sex outside of marriage like everyone else, despite the government's campaign, and just happens to be a lucky exception to the spread of AIDS.

Somehow, I doubt that the latter is true, because why would the Philippines constitute such an exception if it were doing exactly the same thing everyone else was? Why would the condom rule work so much better there? Are their condoms better than everyone else's? Or is it that the Philippinos the only ones capable of using them properly?

Then there is the theory that "you can't change the mentality of a country". That there is no point in trying to promote abstinence and fidelity (even if that is the best way to avoid AIDS) because noone would listen. Yeah right. Like our own mentality hasn't changed in the last hundred years. Tell me, in Canada in 2005, what are the chances that at their wedding, both partners would be virgins? 1 in 1000? 1 in 10 000? Where are the stats on that one? I don't think we need stats, look around at the people you know. Now go back a hundred years, what were the chances in 1905 that both partners were virgins at their marriage. (Not counting widows and widowers re-marrying of course)

Not to mention the fact that if you read any material from that time (this is still common knowledge today) it was considered immoral and unacceptable to have sex outside of marriage (even if it did still happen) Whereas today in most circles it is considered morally acceptable to have sex outside of marriage, and inacceptable to "prohibit" it. According to the world's standards, the Church is the bad guy,... again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sectes

Il y a peut-être un an de cela, une amie m'a dit qu'elle avait entendu dire certains gens traiter Marie-Jeunesse de secte.

Mon mari ne connait pas Marie-Jeunesse, mais il est convaincu qu'Opus Dei est un secte et le livre "Le code DaVinci" n'a fait, bien sur, qu'affirmer ses croyances.

Pourquoi est-ce que quand un groupe suit le Vatican et ses enseignements et encourage les autres à le faire aussi, même des personnes à l'intérieur de l'Église le traitent de secte?! La suite logique à cela serait de dire que le Vatican lui-même est un secte! Alors ces gens-là pensent quoi? Qu'ils ont la vérité et que c'est le Vatican qui en a dévié? Qu'ils sont les vrais catholiques, alors que le Vatican n'a pas de bons sens?

Il y a presque 15 ans j'ai fait partie de Marie-Jeunesse, avant que ce groupe ne devienne communauté religieuse. Laissez-moi vous dire que Marie-Jeunesse n'a rien d'un secte. Libre à vous d'y aller ou d'y partir, personne ne vous retiendra de force ni vous fera de lavage de cerveau. Les gens qui en font partie vont à la messe à tous les jours, prient ensemble plusieurs fois par jour, (récitant entre autres le chapelet), leur but est l'évangélisation des jeunes par les jeunes, donc, beaucoup de music, d'activités sportives, culturelles et artistiques sont au programme... oui, ce sont toutes des choses qui font évidemment d'eux un secte. 


À chaque année ils ont un concile, une fin de semaine d'activités intenses, à laquelle sont invités des jeunes de partout. C'est une fin de semaine de chants, de jeux, d'activités sportives, mais aussi d'enseignements et de prière. Vraiment de quoi s'inquiéter... 

À l'automne ils font leur consécration à Marie et voeux de chasteté, (chasteté dis-je, ce qui ne veux pas dire célibat). Mais oui, ils croient encore que la chasteté est une bonne chose, cela doit être un secte certain...

C'est vraiment incroyable comment on peut vouloir prendre seulement ce qui nous convient d'une religion et laisser le reste de côté, et du même coup, en vouloir à ceux qui la suivent vraiment.


Si la foi n'avait rien d'exigent ni de mystérieux, est-ce qu'elle nous parlerait vraiment d'un Dieu infiniement bon et mystérieux? À quoi pourrait-elle vraiment servir si elle ne faisait que suivre les dernières tendances? Elle ne vaudrait plus rien, elle ne serait plus rien. 

Quel genre de personne va nous inspirer le plus? Quelqu'un qui reste fidèle à ses croyances, qui souffre, qui fait des sacrifices et qui ne lâche jamais? Ou quelqu'un qui fait quelques bonnes choses, en autant que ça ne lui fasse pas trop mal ni ne lui demande pas trop?

Et une Église qui nous dit: "Ben non, ben non, mes petits enfants, cela est trop dur pour vous la chasteté, voyons donc, ça n'a pas de bons sens, vous ferez ce que vous voudrez. Si cela vous semble bon, faites-le. Il n'y a pas de conséquences dans la vie. Il ne faut pas s'en faire. La vie humaine ne vaut pas grand chose finalement. Si vous avez besoin de tuer quelqu'un pour faire plus d'argent, cela se comprend. Justice sociale? Ben non, il faut savoir profiter des gens, sinon comment monter dans la vie? L'avortement? Allez-y fort, après tout, tous ces bébés souffriraient de vivre... et puis leur vie ne vaut rien. Jésus s'est trompé quand il a dit que le chemin qui mène au ciel était étroit, il voulait dire que c'était le chemin facile qu'il fallait suivre. Le péché n'existe pas.

On voudrait faire parti d'une Église comme ça? Où serait l'idéal à suivre? Nous avons un désir inné pour un bien plus fort que nous, pour quelque chose qui va au délà de l'égoïsme.  Pourquoi les gens pensent-ils qu'ils suivraient plus une Église sans cohérence et sans absolus? Si l'Église ne nous inspirait pas, on ne la suivrait pas. Si la foi des saints ne nous inspirait pas, on ne les imiterait pas. Si le pape faisait tout selon l'opinion populaire, ce serait la fin de l'Église. Elle perdrait son pouvoir de nous inspirer au bien et plus personne n'y adhérerait.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Finally! A sunny day!

After weeks of rain, it sure is nice to see the sun again!

Not writing much lately as I am always tired and often have a headache (like right now). Usually when I'm tired I get headaches in the afternoon, now they don't bother waiting for the afternoon anymore, I either wake up with a headache or I get one a few hours later... am looking forward to getting back some more energy... but not to getting a huge belly.

Need to find myself a midwife, or I'll be having this baby alone... (there's an idea...)

OK, time to go make lunch. (Actually, it was time to make lunch an hour ago)