So, the US Supreme Court, relying on what Justice Scalia has called “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”, has ruled that two persons of the same sex can marry. The only relationship on earth limited to two people of the opposite sex has been gutted of its core identity by our highest judicial body. Words fail. 

Of course, the Court has not yet reached the end of its marriage line, for yet to come are “marriages” between siblings, parents and children, groups of people, and so on, but come they will, for the corner was turned today, much like the corner was turned on abortion back in 1973—in another ruling never righted. 

The Court might, of course, from time to time, get some other cases correct, but it clearly cannot be relied upon as a repository of judicial, or even logical, good sense in tumultuous times. The loss is a grievous one for the American body politic.

Anyway, I make here two points especially for Catholics.
First, we need to recall that the State has long recognized as married some persons who are not married, namely, when the State allows divorced persons simply to remarry. We have lived with persons in pseudo-marriage for many decades; so now the pool of such people is larger. 

The pastoral challenges in consequence of this latest decision are greater as will be the sacrifices needed to meet them. But so far—and this is a key point—State power has not been applied to try to force Churches or their faithful to treat as married those who, by doctrine or discipline, are not married. This brings me to my next point.
Second, Catholic doctrine and discipline can never, ever, recognize as married two persons of the same sex, and any Catholic who regards “same-sex marriage” as marriage is, beyond question, “opposed to the doctrine for the Church” (Canon 750 § 2). 

I am sorry so many Catholics apparently think otherwise and I recognize that many who think that Church teaching on marriage can and should change, do so in good faith. But they are still wrong and their error leads them, among other things, to underestimate how non-negotiable is the Church’s opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions as marriage.
The Church (and for that matter our nation) will have great need of Catholics who understand and accept the teaching of Christ and his Church on marriage if the damage done by the Supreme Court today is ever to be repaired. Appreciating the infallible character of this teaching on marriage is the first step.
As for whether we succeed in righting this wrong, that’s not our concern. The question we will be asked at Judgment will be, Did we try?



Oh well! I have very little optimism for our country. I lost that a long time ago. Because of God I have hope, but hope is different than optimism.

Now let’s wait for the marriage ruling …


The Pope’s Green Theology

By Fr. Robert Sirico, June 18, 2015 6:54 p.m. ET

Let’s cut to the chase: Much of what is in Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental stewardship, Laudato Si’, poses a major challenge for free-market advocates, those of us who believe that capitalism is a powerful force for caring for the earth and lifting people out of poverty. But one of the most welcome lines is a call for honest, respectful discussion.

Francis warns against both extremes: on one end, “those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change.” And on the other end those who view men and women “as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced.”
He continues: “On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views.” That Francis would lend the full moral force of his office to call for an honest debate is a great step for the planet. This has not characterized the past few decades of discussion.

The document is not a political manifesto, though it will have political implications when Pope Francis visits the U.S. in September. It is not a scientific manifesto, though it references various scientific reports and conclusions. Nor does it turn the Magisterium of the Catholic Church over to Greenpeace. Those on the left will undoubtedly celebrate some of its policy recommendations. Yet it includes several more authoritative teachings with which they will not be so happy, and which they will attempt to ignore or dismiss, such as the contention that “concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion.”

The document is a theological statement that places environmental concerns within the context of Christian life. Concern for our common home is a just concern for all people of good will, and the longing for clean air, better use of resources, and an end to waste and pollution are worthy goals. In articulating these, the encyclical clearly makes an important contribution.

But much of the discussion in this encyclical and many of its underlying assumptions are imprudent. There is a decided bias against free markets, and suggestions that poverty is the result of a globalized economy, as this citation exemplifies: “The alliance between the economy and technology ends up sidelining anything unrelated to its immediate interests.”

Yet capitalism has spurred the greatest reduction in global poverty in world history: The number of people living on $1.25 a day fell to 375 million in 2013 from 811 million in 1991, according to the International Labor Office. This is only one statistic among reams of evidence that vindicate capitalism. An honest debate among experts will lay this canard to rest.

The encyclical unwisely concedes too much to the secular environmental agenda, for example, by denigrating fossil fuels. But it also voices moral statements dismissing popular, ill-conceived positions. The repeated lie that overpopulation is harming the planet—expressed by even some of the advisers for the Vatican—is soundly rejected. It is bewildering that the people who have been most vigorous in developing the policies proposed in the encyclical are those who also vigorously support population control and abortion as solutions to the environmental problem.

Note too that the pope praises the material advance of humanity, praises science, and praises the practical arts that have given rise to so many wonderful tools for making a better life. “It is right,” he says, “to rejoice in these advances and to be excited by the immense possibilities which they continue to open up before us.” His concern is that this progress be balanced with a deep respect for nature, which God places into human care. Technology alone, without a moral center, can have profoundly damaging results. Here again, Francis’ writings defy common political categories.

People, particularly the most vulnerable, are the pope’s first concern. The proper goal should be to find sustainable systems in which a flourishing and growing population can live better. He speaks with passion concerning the lack of clean drinking water, the absence of sanitary medical care, and the unrelenting exposure to danger that is most intensely felt in the poorest countries. The solution here—one which did not get enough elaboration in the encyclical—is a path for economic progress. Wealth creation can diminish poverty, and poverty and despoliation often go hand in hand.

As a priest who strives to be faithful to his church, I know that I too am expected to use my God-given reason in evaluating these questions. The pope’s primary focus is the faith, and the moral implications that faith has for our behavior and the systems of politics and economics we create. In this sense, there is plenty of room for discussion. The purpose of an encyclical is not to close that debate, but precisely to open faith to understanding.

Fr. Sirico is president of the Acton Institute.


New Encyclical on Environment is Out

June 18, 2015

At 4 AM Eastern Time, or noon in Rome, Pope Francis officially released his newest encyclical titled Laudato Si — Praise Be: On the Care for our Common Home.  First — here is a link to the document itself: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html  In case the Vatican website is down (as it was earlier), here is another link [...]

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We are Going to Mother Teresa’s Canonization- Join Us!

May 27, 2015

On September 4, 2016, Mother Theresa will be canonized as a saint by Pope Francis. We already have everything reserved for a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization! Join us the first part of September 2016 for a full Rome and Assisi Pilgrimage. More details soon! Contact Suzanne at Sparran@ctscentral.net or (313) 744-2530 or toll-free [...]

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From Israel to Italy Today; Troublesome Muslims there too; Urinating on Mary; Wake up America!

May 20, 2015

On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.  They hurled verbal insults, shouts, and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing [...]

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Join Jesse Romero and Steve Ray in the Holy Land

April 25, 2015

…this November! Click HERE. Or call sparran@ctscentral.net or 1-800-727-1999, ext.121.    

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“Prominent Catholics” Attacking Great Archbishop

April 18, 2015

‘Prominent’ Catholics attacking Archbishop Cordileone are big donors to Pelosi and pro-abort Democrats | News | LifeSite 

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Don’t You Wish this Sign was on Every Church Door in the USA?

April 15, 2015

This sign confronts everyone entering the Carmelite Monastery Church of St. Joseph. This was the 1st convent started by St. Teresa of Avila.  Don’t you wish it was on every church door in America?   :-)   

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April 8, 2015

In the wake of the Indiana donnybrook over religious liberty, which somehow was transformed overnight into a question of gay rights, it couldn’t be long before the New York Times weighed in against Christians. Yet who could have expected the draconian measures the Times would propose? Either Christians fully embrace the gay lifestyle, or you will be coerced into [...]

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British Priests Speak Out on Marriage and the Sacraments – Chastized by their Bishop

March 26, 2015

Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer, writes in support of British priests who exercised their canonical rights to affirm the Churches teaching on Marriage on the Sacraments. He writes,  There isn’t a word—not one single word—in the short, open letter signed by hundreds of British Catholic priests to the Catholic Herald (London) defending Church teaching on marriage and sacraments that any [...]

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Behind the Scenes of the Christian Genocide in Iraq

March 24, 2015

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – As details of genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus began leaking out of Rwanda in 1994, the secular media and Hollywood jumped on the story and dozens of films were made, including the award-winning “Hotel Rwanda.” But who is making a film documenting the “religious cleansing” of hundreds of thousands [...]

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Christian Children in Cages; Parents to be Beheaded

March 8, 2015

Late Sunday afternoon on 1 March 2015, I received a message from M. Francoise, a delegate of the International Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and I managed to reach her by telephone. She was leaving for Paris, and collapsed at the news she had just received: members of the Society of Saint Vincent de [...]

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China: 33 Million More Men Than Women – Forced Abortions and Sex Selection

February 24, 2015

Picture of Chinese father handcuffed to his young daughter to keep her from being kidnapped and used for a future bride or worse. What a disaster! Read the article – a ticking time bomb: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/viral-photos-of-little-girl-and-her-dad-capture-why-china-is-a-ticking-time? ??

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China: 33 Million More Men than Women – Forced Abortions, Sex Selection

February 24, 2015

Picture of Chinese father handcuffed to his young daughter to keep her from being kidnapped and used for a future bride or worse. What a disaster! Read the article – a ticking time bomb: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/viral-photos-of-little-girl-and-her-dad-capture-why-china-is-a-ticking-time? ??

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President Obama: Abortion is a ‘core constitutional right’

January 23, 2015

Catholic World News – January 23, 2015 In a January 22 statement, President Barack Obama described Roe v. Wade as “a decision that protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a fundamental American value: that government should not intrude in our most private and personal [...]

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