Tag Archive: catholic church


I haven’t blogged on this topic up until now, as usually it’s better if “internal” matters can be resolved internally if at all possible, without bringing in the whole world.  However, during this past week CBC News Ottawa carried the story, Catholic University in Ottawa opposes free condoms.  This is not a new story.  Last year it came to our attention that condoms were being handed out to students of our university by the student association (SPUSA – Saint Paul University Student Association; SPUSA on Facebook).

Many of us felt that this was totally inappropriate to be happening in a Catholic university, and so made representation to the university administration to take appropriate action.  We particularly asked the university administration to be faithful to the fact that Saint Paul University is a Catholic institution.

The story came to light in the media this week probably due to an online petition that was created by a “Concerned Student” – St Paul University’s condom ban is unacceptable!  As the petition front-page says, SPUSA was to enter into talks with the university administration this past week in order to reach a resolution on this issue.  At this stage, we wait to hear the outcome of these discussions.

But, to continue the thought I began in the title of this post, I offer the following as the beginning of some reasons why I oppose the handing out of condoms at a Catholic university.

I believe that, as a Catholic, I rightly expect that I won’t find things that are opposed to the Catholic faith happening on Catholic property.  Not only in classrooms, in terms of what is taught, but the whole atmosphere of an institution that belongs to the Church should faithfully express what the Church believes.  I don’t believe that people have a right to do things that are offensive to the Catholic faith on Catholic property.

As some have pointed out, in one sense trying to block the handing out of condoms is a futile exercise.  People can get contraception everywhere.  But that is part of my argument too!  If they can get it anywhere and everywhere, they certainly don’t need to get it at a Catholic institution.

One thing I find offensive about allowing condoms to be handed out is that it ignores the fact that the Church has a positive and life-affirming vision of sexuality.  It is a challenging vision, and it certainly does not include contraception.  Many people may disagree with the Church’s vision, and many want to pretend that the Church doesn’t teach such things any more.  But we do, and to act otherwise is a lie.  Handing out condoms – and allowing this to happen – ignores the Church’s vision of sexuality and effectively condones immoral behaviour.  It suggests that the students are incapable of controlling themselves.  Instead of challenging students and offering the richer teaching of Christ which involves self-control and chastity, we are giving in to the ways of the world.  Handing out condoms, and allowing this practice, is an epic failure in Christian leadership, in my opinion.  This is why I have spoken up about this issue.  We can, and should, be doing much more for the formation of the young people who are in our Catholic institutions.  Not to offer them the fullness of what we believe – whether they accept it or not – is a failure on our part.  They can receive the teachings of the secular world anywhere else, but we have something different, something better, to offer: the way of life given us by Christ and handed on in his Church.

By coincidence, this blog post alerted me to this excellent lecture by Fr James Dominic Brent, OP: Catholic University of America Professor on Contraception: “To Be Someone Radiant.”

It is well worth the read, and it expresses excellently why I oppose the handing out of condoms at a Catholic university.

Please pray for our university and all of us here!

UPDATE 18 MARCH 2012A story in the Ottawa Citizen, Saint Paul University, students clash over condoms: School wants student association to stop distributing the contraceptives presents some new information and refers to a joint press release issued by SPUSA and Saint Paul University.

That statement can be found here: http://ustpaul.ca/en/jointpressreleasefromsaintpauluniversityandsaintpauluniversitysstudentassociation_1058_17.htm or here (if the link doesn’t work): Joint Press Release from Saint Paul University and Saint Paul University’s Student Association

It is certainly my hope that the leaders of Saint Paul University, who act in the name of the Church, will truly do that, and will work to see that the truth of the Catholic faith is shared with all who come to our University.

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I pass on the following message I received:

‘All welcome’  to see and hear Fr. Barron who hosts the popular ‘Catholicism’ series which has been showing on Briz 31 each Sunday morning from 10.00am – 11.00am.

Fr. Barron will be in Brisbane –
Thursday night, 8th March, 7.30pm, St. Laurence’s,  Edmond Rice Hall, Stephens Road, South Brisbane. 

We hope to see many there for Fr. Barron’s visit.

For more go to: http://students.acu.edu.au/student_life/campus_community/faith_on_campus/upcoming_events/frrobertbarron/

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The Holy Father is recommending us to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially during the Year of Faith, and as a fundamental text for the work of the new evangelization. Here’s a resource to help you delve into the Catechism. If you don’t have a copy, go to http://www.vatican.va and click on “Resource Library” on the main page.

Dominus mihi adjutor

One of the tragically under-utilized resources of the Church is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a rich, readable, and reliable compendium of the teaching of the Church on pretty much everything. Most people, myself included, usually use it ad hoc, dipping in as need requires. But this is to miss the structure that makes the whole book cohere and logically flow.

However, why don’t we read it, cover to cover? Some clever boys have decided to help us do that. They have started a website from which you can download each day week (!) a podcast/audio file (or just use it online) which will cover a number of paragraphs of the Catechism each day. All you have to do is listen, or grab your copy of the Catechism and follow along as it is read out to you. If you do not have a copy…

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One opportunity presented by the current ruckus in the US between the bishops and the president is for the Church to restate its teaching on contraception.  Some people probably roll their eyes at that suggestion, “here we go again,” they say.  Well, yes!  The truth may not be fashionable, but the truth it remains.  Many suggest that what Pope Paul VI predicted in Humanae vitae has in fact come true.  The truth is that a non-contraceptive mentality is more life-giving, more healthy, ultimately a more human way of life.  This is the truth that the Church has been given to share.

A few supplementary points: contraceptives are morally wrong whether they are abortifacient or not.   Secondly, a young man asking if it is wrong to use contraception when having sex with his girlfriend is asking the wrong question: sex with anyone other than one’s husband or wife is wrong.

For more, see:  Catholic Teaching on Contraception: For Married Couples Only?  Condemnation of Contraception is a Universal Norm (ZENIT).

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Symposium dealing with sexual abuse

The Pontifical Gregorian University has recently hosted an important symposium for Bishops and Religious Superiors, dealing with the sexual abuse of minors.  The symposium took place in Rome from February 6th to 9th, 2012.

Currently, all the papers given at the symposium are available online here.

UPDATE [19 February 2012]:  The papers are no longer at the above link.

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More or less coinciding with the Year of Faith called for by Pope Benedict XVI, the Australian Bishops have called the Church in Australia to celebrate a Year of Grace from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.  The Bishops see this Year as a chance to “start afresh from Christ” and to renew our contemplation of the face of Christ.

In a letter to Australia’s Priests and Deacons, Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, wrote:

“We make the same call to the members of your parishes and communities, to the Religious, and to all the agencies which are part of our mission – our schools and universities, our social justice and welfare organisations, our myriad committees and agencies.  We will challenge ourselves to keep asking the question: “What’s this got to do with Jesus?” 

We ask and invite ourselves to pray, to grow in prayer, to help others to pray and to pray better.  We hope you will share this challenge with us.

We will call ourselves to repentance for the areas in which we have failed, individually and corporately, by commission and omission.

And we will celebrate the gift of holiness, the gifts of the Spirit, with which the Father has blessed us through the Risen Lord.”

I’m interested to hear your practical suggestions of how we can achieve these goals that Archbishop Wilson mentions.   We can exhort people to pray – or deepen their prayer life – but would actually help you to do that?

What would help you to make Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013 truly a Year of Grace that would draw you closer to Christ?

Leave a comment below!

See: Year of Grace – Starting Afresh from Christ

Archbishop Wilson’s message to Catholics in Australia:

On the Media blog of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference is the following invitation:

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC MEDIA CONGRESS 2012 AT WWW.COMMUNICATINGTHEWORDACMC2012.COM

Dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to the Australian Catholic Media Congress 2012. The congress is run by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference through the Australian Catholic Media Council and aims to bring together Catholic media, Christian media, secular media, people working within Church agencies, and anyone with an interest in how we communicate the Gospel message in our society today.

The ACMC will be held from Monday April 30 to Wednesday May 2 at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney with the theme Communicating the Word: Timeless messages, new media.

The Congress aims to look at the phenomenon of Social Media and how the Church can use everything from Facebook, to Twitter to more traditional means to spread the message of Christ in our world.

Already, we have booked a tremendously exciting international guest Monsignor Paul Tighe from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and we are planning to have great line-up of Australian guests also including former Young Australian of the Year and filmmaker Khoa Do; Social commentator Melinda Tankard Reist; and musical contributions by Fr Rob Galea and Simon Hyland.

Please enter the site here and browse the program, and register early! This Congress promises to be the Catholic Media event of the year and I warmly invite you to consider attending.

With every blessing in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Bishop Peter Ingham

 

A good video can be found on xt3 dealing with the teaching of Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae, 1969.  What the Pope said in that encyclical letter is as true today as it was then.

On 25 July 1968 Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical letter called Humanae Vitae. A Latin phrase meaning “of human life”. The encyclical letter was written in answer to the development of the contraceptive pill in the 1960s and the new challenges this would bring to sexuality and marriage.

It presents the beautiful vision that the Church has always held of the dignity of marriage and our ability to participate in God’s creative work through our fertility.

In fact all Christian churches before the 1930s taught contraception was wrong.

However Humanae Vitae reaffirmed the Church’s enduring teaching that artificial birth control is not morally acceptable within this rich understanding of marriage and the creation of new life.

Humanae Vitae is also a prophetic document. Pope Paul VI predicted in the letter that the use of contraception would have four serious consequences:

  • Increased adultery
  • Sexual irresponsibility, especially among young people.
  • Contraception would lead men to use women as sexual tools and so lose respect for them.
  • And finally, contraception would enable governments to introduce population control programs.

Who can doubt that what the pope predicted has now become a reality? With contraception, sex, indeed, has become a casual past-time, just another activity on the dating round-a-bout.

Let’s listen to the wisdom and insights of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae.

 

We might add, too, that it’s indeed worth reflecting on the consequences of the widespread use of contraception and its link with abortion.

Watch the video here.

From the sacred lands of Israel to the beating heart of Uganda…from the glorious shrines of Italy, France, and Spain, to the streets of Mexico, Kolkata, and New York City, the fullness of CATHOLICISM is revealed. Journey deep into the Faith with this exclusive Australian tour!

 

[H/T to Fr Paul Catchlove]

O come, all ye faithful … O come let us adore Him: Christ the Lord!

 

 

Celebrate with the rest of the family!