Saturday, April 11, 2015

Truth in Charity vs. Zero Tolerance

I am very glad that Patricia Jannuzzi, the New Jersey Catholic school teacher who appeared for a few weeks there to have been thrown under the bus by her bishop for comments made about same-sex “marriage” on her Facebook page, was reinstated to her position. Finally, a victory for the right side!

The Catholic blogosphere, who appropriately flew to her defense with posts and petitions, is cheering!

But I have to wonder about the understanding that was reached.

Initially Bishop Bootkoski said her comments “were disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance.” Now the letter just sent to parents states, “It is the School’s position that a Catholic school teacher must always communicate the faith in a way that is positive and never hurtful. Tone and choice of words matter and I trust Mrs. Jannuzzi’s stated promise to strive always to teach in a spirit of truth and charity.”

Well, I suppose that her original post could have been a tad more charitable.

One can immediately see that she should have left out the expletive “bologna”. But I’m not sure what other words she should have chosen or how she could have softened her tone, yet still make the same point.

First Things pointed out that she was in some pretty good company. In 2010, then-Cardinal Bergoglio had this to say about same-sex “marriage” legislation in Argentina, “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God,”

Look, we all need to strive to deliver the truth in charity.

At the same time, we need to understand that the militant homosexual activists in this country do have some critical mass of popular support. So much so that they no longer has any use for tolerance. No matter what words we choose, no matter the tone, if the content of our speech dares to call a spade a spade in matters concerning marriage, the sixth commandment, natural law or aberrations thereof, they would have us punished for our words. Our truth-telling words. They would have us silenced. It's very plausible to think that in the future, these truth-containing words will be classified as hate-speech. Let's not hasten that date by silencing ourselves.

I wonder, was silence part of the understanding with Mrs. Jannuzzi?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

At least it's not a homosexual "pride" event this time

As a Catholic, I find it embarrassing whenever I find on the Archdiocesan website a listing for an event which is decidedly contrary to the faith. At least this time, it's not some function at a "gay-friendly" parish; but it is pagan!

Catholics: take heed! This article by Sue Brinkman on Johnetta Benkovic's Women of Grace® (of EWTN fame) blog explains why Tai Chi and Catholicism don't mix.
The belief that a life force energy pervades all of nature is known as pantheism and is not compatible with Christianity. The Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue called this impersonal energy force a “New Age god” in their document, Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life.

“This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life,” they write. “God is in himself personal, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who created the universe in order to share the communion of His life with creaturely persons.”

[A]dditionally, many non-Christian beliefs are intrinsic to tai chi.

An article published by Catholics United for the Faith entitled “Hold Fast What is Good: On Borrowing Forms of Meditation from Eastern Religions “ points out that “even though Tai Chi is often used as a means of exercise and relaxation, as well as a martial art, it has its origins in the Chinese religion of Taoism.

“Although there is nothing objectively wrong with the physical movements of Tai Chi, there are many philosophical elements contrary to Christianity. The idea that the physical world comes from dualistic principles, which in turn come from an ultimate force, cannot be reconciled with the idea that the universe was created by an all-good, personal God. Furthermore, the attempt to channel and direct spiritual forces and the use of talismans violate the First Commandment (cf. Catechism, no. 2117).”
Bottom line, if an individual Catholic decides that he or she can manage to do the exercises while steering clear of the philosophical and religious aspects of Tai Chi, it is his or her perogative. Nonetheless, such an activity should never be promoted on the Archdiocesan website or even permitted by the archbishop in a Catholic institution within his see, especially when it is known that the instructor is going to go beyond the exercises and promote use of (i.e., belief in) a pantheistic "life force energy".