ProLife & Family Issues

“How big was baby Jesus in Mary’s womb when Mary visited Elizabeth?” That is the question I asked myself while visiting the Church of the Visitation in Israel. What I learned was quite revolutionary and amazing. This is one of the best pro-life arguments from Scripture and one I’ve not heard discussed before.

It also says a lot about who Jesus was and the “stranger than fiction” event taking place in space and time in the womb of young girl about 15 years old.

Pictures sometimes show Mary very pregnant — better get to Bethlehem fast! But in reality that is not the case. In scientific terms Jesus was just a blastocyst, a few hundred miniature cells no bigger than a millimeter (0.039 inch).

At the Visitation, Jesus was a “blastcyst” like on the top right

How big was Jesus? Read this article I just wrote and step back in time to the first days of Jesus’ life taking on a human body even though you could have barely seen him with the human eye at the time.

Here is an excerpt from my new article “How Big Was Jesus at the Visitation?”

 “When Mary arrived for the Visitation, as we Catholics refer to the her visit, she was not “showing” yet. Isn’t if funny how we see pictures of a very pregnant Mary as though the baby was ready for Bethlehem. But in reality Jesus—100% God and 100% human — was so small he was practically invisible. 

 Though this blastocyst attached to Mary’s uterus had not seen the light of day He had created with his soon-to-develop eyes, nor breathed fresh air He had created with His still-to-develop lungs, yet He was very alive and very human. The cells were replicating at a rapid rate and they were already developing distinct bodily features. It contained the DNA—the genetic code of Mary.

 The microscopic cells were not just extraneous tissue in the mother’s body—something to be discarded, a disease or something. It was human life with a soul. From conception Every baby shares in the image of God and true humanity with inestimable value long before it takes it’s first breath—right from conception. 

 These replicating cells in Mary’s body were truly human life, God himself taking on human flesh. St. John tells us, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt (literally, “pitched his tent” of flesh) among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” John 1:14).

 One thing many people do not think about—what was Jesus’ size and the stage of development in the womb when Mary arrived at the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth? And, how did Elizabeth and the unborn baby John the Baptist react upon pregnant Mary’s arrival?” …

 Continue reading the full article, click HERE.

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There are so many issues to write about; I would have wished that this would not be one of them, but…

Canon Lawyer Dr. Ed Peters brings clarity to the confusion caused by the Pope’s recent words. 

If you’re concerned about marriage, the problems in the Church in that regard, the Pope’s recent words about cohabiting and civil unions — and the trend that is developing — then this is an excellent place to start reading.

Canon Law is the friend and defender of Catholic theology and the Sacraments. Catholic theology, laws, morality and the Sacraments cannot just be treated willy-nilly in anyway we want. The Church has been very clear about the sacrament of matrimony, it’s theology, it’s practice and it’s laws. 

Right when the secular world is abandoning marriage, making homosexuality and other arbitrary relationships equal to marriage, and mocking traditional morality — the Church should be standing tall and beaming a bright light of truth and clarity. The leader of the Catholic Church should be a clear voice to bring clarity not only for Catholics but also for the culture at large. 

Unfortunately it seems the opposite is happening. Recent writings and comments by Pope Francis have muddied the waters, confused the faithful and given fodder to the anti-Catholic crowd.

I highly recommend Dr. Peters’ article here as he critiques the Pope’s recent problematic words about cohabitation and the validity of non-sacramental marriages. Peters does a good job of clarifying the actual teaching of the Church especially in regards to Canon Law.

His review dissects the Pope’s recent public comments. Here is how the article begins, “

“The pope’s most recent comments on marriage point in a disturbing direction but let’s address two important matters first.

Point One. Cohabitation is not marriage.

Largely overlooked amid the furor caused by Pope Francis’ rash claim that “the great part of our sacramental marriages are null”—an assertion reckless if false (which it is) and brimming with despair if true (which it is not), a claim followed not by an apology, an official retraction, or even a bureaucratic ‘clarification’ but instead by an Orwellian alteration of the pope’s words in Vatican records—overlooked, I say, in this greater mess was the pope’s later but equally problematic comment about his being “sure that cohabitating couples are in a true marriage having the grace of marriage”.

Though multi-facetedly wrong (theologically, canonically, pastorally, socially) the pope’s equating cohabitation (‘faithful’, whatever that means) with Christian marriage did not, mirabile dictu, get edited down to a platitude or deleted completely: his words are still there … “

For the whole article click HERE. For more on the Church’s practical and correct teaching on cohabitation, click HERE. Not the first time the Pope seemingly gave a nod to cohabitation HERE.

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Updates:

Dr. Peters’ follow-up to article below: The Missing Middle Term on the Pope’s Off the Cuff Comments on Marriage

John Allen of Crux responds to Dr. Peters and defends the Pope: Lets Not Get Bent Out of Shape by Changes to Papal Transcripts

Canon Lawyer Ed Peters fires back to John Allen’s comments and criticism: A Few Notes on Journalistic Points Made Today

Excellent Summary by Phil Lawler The damage done (again) by the Pope’s statements on marriage

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By Ed Peters, June 17, 2016 [Initial Article]

Last time a ranking prelate (Cdl. Kasper) opined that half of all marriages were null his attribution of such a reckless assertion to Pope Francis himself could be dismissed as hearsay, deflected as referring to marriage in general and not Christian marriage in particular, or at least minimized as describing merely ‘many’ or even ‘half’ of all marriages. But none of those qualifications can be applied to blunt the impact of the pope’s startling claim “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null”.

If last time was bad, this time is very bad.

Consider: Marriage is that natural human relationship established by God as the normal way for nearly all adults to live most of their lives. God blesses marriage and assists married persons to live in accord with this beautiful state in life. When, moreover, baptized persons enter this quintessential human relationship, Christ adds the special graces of a sacrament and assists married Christians to live as signs of his everlasting spousal union with his Church.

To assert, then, that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” is really to claim that the great majority of Christians have failed to enter the most natural of human states and have failed to effect between themselves the exact sacrament that Christ instituted to assist them in it. The collapse of human nature presupposed for such a social catastrophe and the massive futility of the Church’s sanctifying mission among her own faithful evidenced by such a debacle would be—well, it would be the matrimonial version of nuclear winter.

I am at a loss to understand how anyone who knows anything about either could seriously assert that human nature is suddenly so corrupted and Christ’s sacraments are now so impotent as to have prevented “the great majority” of Christians from even marrying! How can anyone responsibly even posit such a dark and dismal claim, let alone demonstrate it?

But beyond the arresting scope of the claim that nullity is rampant, there is the debilitating effect that such a view can and doubtless will have on couples in difficult marriage situations. After all, if “the great majority” of Christian marriages are, as alleged by Francis, already null, then couples struggling in difficult marriages and looking for the bread of spiritual and sacramental encouragement may instead be offered stones of despair—‘your marriage is most likely null, so give up now and save everyone a lot of time and trouble.’

This is just a blog post so, simply invoking the same extensive credentials to speak on Catholic marriage law that I invoked two years ago, let me just say that I believe that the great majority of Christian marriages are valid, that a matrimonial contract was therefore effected between the parties at the time of their wedding, and that by the will of Christ an indissoluble sacramental bond simultaneously arose between those spouses.

To be clear, I also hold that many marriages are (and could be proven to be) canonically null and that the percentage of null marriages has indeed risen over recent decades, but I can and do reject anyone’s claim that the majority, let alone “the great majority”, of Christian marriages are null.

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Finally—and I make this point mostly to preserve it for future discussion—the pope, toward the end of these remarks, made some comments about cohabiting and/or civilly married Catholics being in “a real marriage [and having] the grace of a real marriage”. Canonically (if I may be forgiven for mentioning canon law) such a claim is incoherent.

Whatever good might be going on in the life of cohabiting and/or civilly married Catholic couples, it is not the good of marriage and it is not the grace of matrimony, but this—and here is my point—largely because of the Church’s requirement of canonical form for marriage. I would be glad to see the requirement of canonical form eliminated, but unless and until it is, cohabitation and civil-only marriage is not marriage in the Catholic Church.

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Want to do something loving and ProLife today?

June 4, 2016

Want to something nice & Prolife today? Purchase a puzzle piece on my daughter’s Adoption Puzzle, help her find her baby. Visit her website, read her story and buy a puzzle piece HERE. When you “donate” on the right side of the page it purchases a puzzle piece.

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US Bishops Respond to Obama’s Bathroom Lunacy

May 17, 2016

Two Committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement in response to guidance issued May 13 by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education entitled “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students”: The Catholic Church consistently affirms the inherent dignity of each and every human person […]

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Visit My Daughter’s “Finding Baby Sorrill” Blog – She’s a Great Girl, Let her know you will pray for her and Wes

May 16, 2016

It is painful to want a baby and a baby does not come. Years of longing and trying and praying and … Well, my daughter Charlotte has put her sorrow in the hands of God and now plans to adopt and rescue a baby who needs a loving home. Her sorrow has turned to joy, […]

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Interview with German Philosopher and Friend of St. JP II: Robert Spaemann on Pope Francis’ “Amoris Laetitia”

April 30, 2016

Stuttgart, Germany, Apr 29, 2016 / 10:49 am (CNA).- Greatly valued as an advisor by Saint John Paul II, a friend of Benedict XVI, and widely held to be the most important German Catholic philosopher of recent decades, Robert Spaemann, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, expressed a distinctly critical interpretation of Amoris […]

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What Happens when a Transgender Guy Enters Women’s Restrooms and Targeting Target and Joining the Boycott

April 21, 2016

For video, see below…    Sign Petition: HERE. This whole transgender bathroom issue is ridiculous. I wonder how long it’ll take our country to realize how stupid it really is.  Anyway, we used to shop at target for a number of things but those days are over.    I just posted this on the target Facebook […]

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My Final Post on Pope’s Exhortation: A Catholic World Report Symposium with Links Galore

April 13, 2016

From Catholic World Report: Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the […]

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On Cardinal Burke’s Comments on Pope’s Exhortation

April 12, 2016

The world is a flurry with commentary on the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Seems to be understood very differently by different people with differing perspectives and agendas.  Cardinal Burke wrote an interesting piece on the Pope’s exhortation and John Jalsevac wrote an interesting critique of Burke’s column. I post this because it a very good summary of […]

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The Pope’s New Document “Amoris laetitia” on Marriage. Dr. Ed Peters’ (canon lawyer) first thoughts

April 8, 2016

Traveling home from Israel with no time to read this yet. Here are the thoughts of Dave Armstrong  Below are the thoughts of my trusted friend and canon lawyer Dr. Ed Peters. First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia. by Dr. Edward Peters There are as one might expect in a document […]

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Is the Catholic Faith Anti-Woman? Five Reasons the Catholic Church is the Most PRO-WOMAN Institution in History

April 1, 2016

COMMENTARY: One doesn’t have to look far to see that the term ‘war on women’ doesn’t apply. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! by ARINA O. GROSSU  Anyone who claims that the Catholic Church is anti-woman knows little about her rich history and Tradition in proclaiming the beauty and greatness of womanhood. There is no […]

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What to Do if You See Pornography? How to Talk to your Kids about an Important, Crucial Subject

March 30, 2016

This video is made by the Mormons but it is pretty good. It is for kids so they know what to do if they happen upon, see, or are introduced to pornography. It is worth a watch — at least it gets parents on the right track on how to talk to their kids and […]

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A Badass Feminist Can’t Hide the Truth About Abortion

February 27, 2016

The author of “Twenty Tips for Your First Abortion” says more about the experience than she perhaps intended. By David Mills. February 24, 2016. When you have your first abortion, go home and make jokes. Sit down and talk about “how you were ‘killin’ it’ today and laugh with your friends.” That’s the advice of […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live: “Raising Rebels in a Pagan Culture”

February 23, 2016

To listen on-line, click here. For more info and other listening options, click here. QUESTIONS I ANSWERED — It was a very lively show, what one listener called “smashing.” 1. What is the remedy when teenagers start having their “own personalities” and begin struggle with committing to the Catholic Church?  2. What should a parent […]

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Misunderstanding the (alleged) “Congo Contraception” Case

February 22, 2016

Misunderstanding the (alleged) ‘Congo contraception’ case by Dr. Edward Peters, Canon Lawyer, Professor at Sacred Heart Seminary, Advisor to the Vatican Even by the standards of his reign, the presser Pope Francis conducted on his return flight from Mexico has provoked an unusual number of questions. I wish to address only one of those here. […]

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