Universalis, About this blog

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Local News of Note

A few reports I've dredged up, plus my reactions. Please excuse me if I rant in some issues longer (and with more intensity) than others.

"Priest facing 33 charges of sexual offenses", and it appears that the man is guilty. It is logical to resolve this with a thorough criminal investigation.

A rebellion in the Brisbane Archdiocese from a parish where the sacraments, liturgy and goodness knows what else have been twisted, abused, misused, or applied illicitly. The news is grim indeed, which to me only drives home the point about being clear in doctrine and firm in pastoring. Being vague and soft only invites errors from well-meaning but confused or misguided folks.

New abortion laws introduced in Victoria. Many recognize that the current laws, which allow abortions only in cases where the mother's life is in danger, are not being applied consistently. The twisted logic is thus to normalize the infractions by decriminalizing abortion completely. It is incredible to read opinions that this will not affect the number of abortions. Those who hold such opinions will not be held accountable, of course, even if they are proven wrong. Sadly, the implications are too real for the unborn as well as their mothers, should abortion be considered. The Women's Affairs minister, Ms. Morand, is doing a disservice to women. Women deserve better. The minister is not giving them a solution, nor does she seem to have taken a close look at the devastation wrought by abortion on demand in other countries. The data is there, and it spans 30 years and more than 30 million abortions since Roe vs. Wade in the US. Why don't they simply take a look? The exaggerated reports of backyard abortions are dwarfed by the abortions legally carried out in the US today. I can't understand the stubborn refusal to look at the evidence. Abortion kills. Just look at what is extracted, or compare what happens between two pregnant women nine months later, where one has an abortion and the other doesn't. Or check the DNA of the aborted fetus, which is not identical with the mother's. The data is clear. It's the politics/ideology that happens to be shadowy.

[Sources: The Age, News.com, and Yahoo News.]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When politicians make false claims

In Meet the Press recently, US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the following about the her views on when life begins, within the context of abortion:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Mercifully, a quick response came from the Church, this time, via this very straightforward statement coming from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver. [Links to a PDF file] The short form of his response is that the relevant issue to address is the fact that the Church has always considered abortion objectively and gravely wrong. The Curt Jester posts about several responses from the Church, in fact. I can only add from what I know that some ancient Christian literature such as the Didache and The Epistle of St. Barnabas are clear about this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fascinating (and one of the few endorsed) Marian apparitions

From a village in Lithuania, this amazing story about Our Lady of Siluva. Evangelicals these days are not as hostile to the Catholic faith as Protestants were of less recent days. It is reasonable for one to ask why a Christian already sharing a personal relationship with Christ our Lord should even bother with the Blessed Mother. This answer may seem glib, but it's no less true: it is the design and will of God to do so. Just as, for our Lady, it is the design and will of God for her to take us under her motherly love, children won by the salvation of our Lord's love and mercy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Nursing a lively little bug that's so far gone through every member of this household, it seems. And now that it's hit me, here's a little insight prompted by watching "Batman Begins" on DVD:

 Why do we get hurt? So that we'd know how others feel when they are hurt.

[The inspiration comes from this nasty bug and Bruce Wayne's memory of this question: Why do we fall, Bruce?

Monday, August 18, 2008

All is quiet here.. but not in the real world

On the contrary, life has been fairly hectic. The fact that this blog speaks little of it is actually a good thing. At least my wife would say so. To give a very brief report, life for this little family simply goes on. Kids got sick, they got better. K1 still has authority issues, but that's life; he's eight. I still struggle to strike a balance between discipline and moral support. He is a lively little boy with (I think) advanced social skills for his age. K2 has moderation issues, both with his irrepressible sense of humor (at the expense of his brothers, usually) and his toys. But he has his deep thinking moments, and that irrepressible humor is always a blast of sunshine that is so enjoyable when I open myself to actually enjoying it. K3 is growing up a true gem so far, all five years of him. He is cheerful, except when his brothers are too harsh with him, and he is so alive. Swinging his head this way and that, and sometimes all his limbs, he virtually dances to the liturgy, right there beside me.

And that's a brief report! :-)

As for theology, liturgy, faith and everything else I used to blog so much about, that's all going on in the background. No time to report on all that at this point, except to say ancora imparo: I am still learning. There is so much to learn, after all, and I am such a tiny vessel.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Good Frisking of Bad Scholarship

Being an academic has its lows, particularly when I read about academics who, wanting to prove their pet thesis so badly, will sacrifice anything -- even their integrity. Mark Shea (as usual) gives a good critique of the latest attempt to discredit Jesus Christ and Christianity using whatever will gain publicity. Nothing is inappropriate when engaging in non-scholarship like this. Even my 6-year old will be puzzled at this sensationalized but utterly insignificant claim that Jesus was Jewish. He'll probably go, "Of course he is. So what?"

Have a read of Mark's frisking above. In the end, all we can do is shake our heads, smile knowingly about this age-old story of the world rejecting Jesus Christ, time and again. The truth is much simpler, but that would be too demanding. So they continue to reject Him. But for all the amusement factor in such stories, for goodness' sake, let's teach our children well. Lest the world fool them into rejecting Christ, too, when we're not looking.