Moral/Sexual Issues

(From Franciscan University of Steubenville)

After serving 25 years in state and federal prisons, Utah polygamist Addam Swapp was released from parole supervision last week. Incarcerated since 1988—at a time when marriage was defined as a union between one man and one woman—Swapp returns to a country that is now abandoning that definition.    

Convicted of orchestrating the 1988 bombing of the meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Marion, Utah, and implicated in the shooting death of Utah Department of Corrections Lt. Fred House, Swapp claimed that he was acting on a revelation from God to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the Church leaders had abandoned their commitment to polygamy.

Using dynamite to blow up the LDS building, Swapp believed his actions would lead to the “resurrection” of his father-in-law, John Singer, a Utah polygamist, who was killed by local law enforcement officers in 1979 when he pointed a loaded weapon at the officers as they entered his property to serve him with a contempt of court citation at his ranch in Marion, Utah. Singer, described by the Salt Lake City News Tribune as a “fundamentalist Mormon,” had been “embroiled in a years-long feud with local officials that began when he and his first wife, Vickie, decided to homeschool their children.”

During the years following Singer’s death, Swapp lived a polygamous lifestyle, having married two of Singer’s daughters.  He began to believe that Singer would be resurrected if he destroyed the LDS Church. After the bombing, which occurred on the ninth anniversary of Singer’s death, Swapp fled to the Singer ranch with 14 members of his extended family and began a 13-day standoff that ended violently with the death of Lt. Fred House. While he did not personally kill Lt. House—who was shot by Swapp’s brother-in-law, John Timothy Singer—Swapp was held responsible because he had created the conditions for the standoff. 

The US government’s opposition to polygamy within Mormonism (which officially rejected polygamy in 1890) was based on the government’s definition of marriage at the time—a union of one man and one woman. Both Swapp and Singer lived as polygamists with the memory of more than a century of opposition to their lifestyle (and that of their ancestors) from the government. Now that the government is sanctioning what it calls “same-sex marriage,” it will permit marriage between same-sex couples on the basis of a legislative negation of the previous definition. This is the same definition that has been used for more than a century to oppose polygamy.

For the whole article, read here: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3362/utah_polygamist_returns_to_a_world_without_a_definition_of_marriage.aspx

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Cohabitation, Canonical Form and Marriage

by Steve Ray on September 12, 2014

Cohabitation and canonical form

by Dr. Edward Peters

The latest tizzy is over Pope Francis’ plans to preside at the weddings of several Roman couples, including some couples who have been cohabiting for lengthy periods. There are two perspectives from which to look at this news, one canonical, one pastoral.

Canonically, this is a non-issue. No divine, natural, or canon law impedes a wedding between cohabiting persons (cc. 1083-1094) and therefore the fundamental right of the faithful to the sacraments in general (cc. 213, 843) and to marriage particular (c. 1058) should prevail in such cases. Unquestionably, these couples can, and must be allowed to, wed.

Pastorally, however, this might be a bigger deal.

Many parishes and dioceses have developed practices (even formal policies) against offering weddings to cohabiting couples. While, as one should conclude from the above, such approaches have always rested on canonically thin ice (cc. 838, 843), they seemed, in some cases at least, to have been pastorally successful in getting couples to realize that marriage (as opposed to concubinage or even just regular pre-marital sex) is a momentous step to be undertaken by those with more than a passing awareness of what it means. Whether the pope’s action will likely make it more difficult for priests and bishops to persuade cohabiting couples to approach their wedding as a life (including life-style) changing event remains to be seen.

Of course, if canonical form were not required for the validity of Catholic weddings (cc. 1059, 1108), then cohabiting Catholic couples could be invited to enter marriage—presumptively valid, sacramental, indissoluble marriage—by any public act, whereupon the Church would simply record that fact and recognize, as she should, such couples as married; meanwhile, those couples desiring a “church wedding” could be expected to demonstrate a higher level of commitment to preparing for that wedding appropriately. A no-cohabiting prerequisite could easily be made part of such preparation and no one’s rights to the sacraments or to marriage would be impinged thereby.

If canonical form were not required for validity.

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Homosexuality in Animals and in Human Genes?

by Steve Ray on September 6, 2014

Recently I had a heated discussion about homosexuality with some good liberal friends. They contend that since homosexuality is seen among animals and since “God made people homosexual” that it is natural, normal and must be accepted. The discussion was heated though friendly. I thought I would respond and I share the response with you.

My letter begins:

Dear Friends:

We enjoyed your company and friendship this weekend. We were glad that we could host the birthday party. You are all welcome here anytime. In line with our discussion, I did some research on homosexuality, especially homosexuality among animals and the genetic propensity to homosexuality.

The challenge was made that since there are “homosexual animals” it “proves” homosexuality is natural. But, given that a few animals seem to demonstrate what might be referred to as homosexual behavior, that in itself, certainly provides no conclusive or foundational basis for the acceptance of homosexual behavior in the human population.

It does not establish homosexual behavior as normal, healthy, desirable or even morally right. Animals can be born with two heads (my friend hatched such a snake a few years ago) and people can be born as Siamese twins, but such aberrations don’t make the condition normal, healthy, or desirable. In fact, both are considered as odd, things to be gawked at or corrected.

If one replies, as you did, that homosexuality is natural because it is found among animals, then we should notice that there are all sorts of activities practiced by animals that we as humans reject as repulsive. There is extreme cruelty among animals: mothers eating their young, mates eating their partners after mating (e.g., the Black Widow spider), animals eating their own feces and vomit (dogs and cats), or urinating on themselves (goats), etc.

Some animals have mates for a lifetime while others have sex with multiple partners indiscriminately. I could go on and on. What can we draw from these facts? That it is OK for people to practice such things because animals do? Heavens no! Just because animals do things that animals do does not make them our model of morality and accepted behavior.

We are in sad shape if we look to the creatures to search for our origins or to find a model for our behavior. Even worse, if we begin to use animals as our model, we as humans can then justify any deviant behavior since many forms of aberrant and repulsive behavior can be found among the animals that share our planet. St. Paul was no fool 2,000 years ago when he wrote . . .

 To read the rest of the letter, click here.

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Stunning Statistics on Christian Men and Porn

September 2, 2014

‘Epidemic’: Study finds more than half of Christian men look at porn at least once a month LifeSite News  Wed Aug 27, 2014 – 3:58 pm EST A new study shows that while nearly 40 percent of self-identified Christian men believe they watch “excessive” porn, 64 percent of Christian men watch porn at least once a month. [...]

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A New Creed for the Modern World

July 8, 2014

Everyone knows the ancient Christian creeds are outdated and passé. It is time we have a new creed that fits everyone.  We believe that God is in all of us; He has been created in our image We believe that each one must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. [...]

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Hobby Lobby Wins; Religious Freedom Wins!

June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby just got a victory from the Supreme Court. This is a HUGE legal decision which punches Obamacare right in the face. It is a ruling which defends religious liberty. Any business that objects to abortion and birth-control no longer has to pay it in their health insurance. U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favour [...]

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Lawyers Team Up to Resist the Gay Mafia

June 11, 2014

A team of lawyers is being assembled to make sure there are no more cases like that of Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla. He was forced out of his position for contributing – years earlier — $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign in California in which voters themselves decided to define marriage in their [...]

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Prepare for a New America – Using Detroit as a Model

June 9, 2014

By Frosty Wooldridge (Frosty Wooldridge (born 1947) is a US journalist, writer, environmentalist, traveler). (I ,Steve Ray who is posting his article, was born in Detroit. My ancestors lived there since the 1700′s.)   For 15 years, from the mid 1970′s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan I watched it descend into the abyss [...]

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What Did Sister Jane Actually Say in Charlotte?

April 9, 2014

Dr. Ed Peters, canon lawyer, actually has a good point about the flare-up at the Catholic High School in Charlotte NC. Does anyone REALLY know what Sr. Jane Dominic actually said at the High School that started such a flurry of protest and defense? Much ado about, literally, who-knows-what by Dr. Edward Peters We either know [...]

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Welcome to the Reign of “Gay”

April 8, 2014

Make no mistake, it has nothing to do with fun and games, and everything to do with the forced rationalization of grave depravity By Carl Olsen, April 8, 2014 Editorial in Catholic News Report In the summer of 1992, I took my first real job, working as a graphic designer for the venerable Meier & [...]

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Update of Catholic School Uprising over “Theology of the Body” and Sr. Jane Dominic

April 8, 2014

News   Print Article  |   Email Friend  |  Reprint Permissions Charlotte diocese backs nun who gave school talk promoting Church teaching on homosexuality BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN   Mon Apr 07, 2014 18:27 EST CHARLOTTE, NC, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Charlotte is backing a Dominican nun who has been at the center of a fiery controversy since last [...]

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A Good Priest Friend in Deep Water Concerning Homosexuality after Teaching JPII’s “Theology of the Body”

March 31, 2014

  My good friend Fr. Kauth from Charlotte NC is embroiled in a huge fracas because of teaching JPII’s Theology of the Body in a Catholic High School. He is the chaplain at the high school. He invited a Dominican Sister to give a speech. She has a doctorate in theology. In the course of [...]

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Divorce and Remarriage: Platitudes, Principles, Mercy and Canon Law

March 14, 2014

  When faced with practical problems, rely on principles not platitudes by Dr. Edward Peters The line between principles and platitudes is a narrow one. Both sorts of assertions are true and both can put into a few words concepts that otherwise require many paragraphs to explain. But principles and platitudes are not the same thing; [...]

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Who Speaks for God on Morals? Many Choose their Church Like they Choose a Restaurant

December 11, 2013

We have a “church” near our house that is making it comfortable for anyone to join no matter who they are, what they believe or what they practice. They say it is our job to accept and love, to be nice, not to judge. Celebrate Diversity is a slogan of acceptance, multiculturalism, non-judgmental inclusion. Some [...]

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Sitting Next to a Transvestite at Mass this Morning

December 1, 2013

It was unsettling. You don’t expect to sit at Mass and discover the person next to you is a man dressed as a woman – actually, a man who “is” a woman. It was a bit discombobulating. You don’t expect such an spectacle at Mass any more than you expect an elephant to walk up [...]

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Five Step Battle Plan to Overcome Pornography

November 20, 2013

Matt Fradd and I just met a few weeks ago. He recently worked for Catholic Answers and is now striking out on his own. He is an excellent apologist and has a delightful Australian accent. He has recently written a book on how men can free themselves from addiction to the scourge of pornography. Matt [...]

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