Thursday, 26 January 2012

Refute Falsehood

The Benedíctus antiphon, during Lauds for this morning, the memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, reads:

Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but always with patience and the intention of teaching.

These words were particularly notable to me today, specifically because of an article I read, which was sent to me yesterday, titled “The unconscionable consequences of conscience exemptions”. The article was written by Jamie Manson and, not surprisingly, appeared in the National Catholic Reporter. I am not sure that a truly Catholic newspaper would have published it.

Just as an aside, the National Catholic Reporter, in my opinion, is not a Catholic newspaper, regardless of what its name may imply! One only has to flip through its content to realise that it has a seriously poisonous character. So poisonous in fact that, as far back as 1968, Bishop Helmsing charged this newspaper with heresy[1] and asked that it remove the word “Catholic” from its name. The newspaper clearly chose to simply ignore the Bishop’s request, much as it, and many of its contributors, clearly still does today, regarding anything that the Church teaches.

The article, by Ms. Manson, is about the legislation introduced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This legislation requires that every health plan, even those that are Catholic, provide all FDA-approved contraceptives, including some that can cause abortions. I previously wrote about this on my Blog in a post titled, “Start Defending The Church”.

The article is long and filled with complete nonsense. Ms. Manson makes some incredibly unbelievable statements in her article. I have no intention whatsoever of addressing all the drivel in it. You’re welcome to waste 30 minutes reading it. I would however like to touch on two comments that she makes.

The first is a reaction to her statement that the introduction of this legislation, by the Obama administration, “is a promising attempt to prevent unwanted pregnancies and offers perhaps the most ethical and realistic approach to reducing the abortion rate.[2]

I am just totally amazed at how she could possibly reach this conclusion? All the evidence points in the exact opposite direction. Despite the increased availability of contraception and sex education, abortion rates, according to the Guttmacher Institute, have shown a steady average annual increase of about 3.3% during the period 1973 to 2008. Compare that to a population increase in the USA of only 1.4% per annum during the same period. The USA is killing babies at rates that are growing 135% quicker per annum than the actual population growth of the USA.

In addition to the fact that the number of abortions has continued to grow, at rates that exceed population growth in the USA, contraception has also caused another alarming growth, which is in itself an indication of the great horrors that are still to come for innocent little babies.

Today, 66% more teenagers are having sex, than was the case in 1971. So, the only thing that contraception and sex education really seems to have achieved, is that now teenagers, more than ever before, believe they can safely have sex, without having to worry about the consequences. Not only have the number of abortions increased, but we have also, at the same time, managed to successfully increase the number of teenage girls who are at risk of having an unwanted pregnancy.

Ms. Manson later in her article has the audacity to call this legislation “a groundbreaking move to protect women…” Sorry Ms. Manson, but, just exactly how is putting our daughters under increasing pressure to have sex, because of the availability of contraception, a move to protect women?

These are not difficult stats to understand. The story they tell is easy to grasp. Contraception is not gaining us any ground in this fight against evil. How can anyone possibly claim that this legislation, introduced by the Obama administration, is “promising” and “realistic”? Contraception is not working and it is clearly not the answer. An increase in moral values and self-control is the only answer!

The second comment I would like to address is Ms. Manson’s scathing attack on the Church hierarchy, while defending the Obama administration. She says, amongst many other things:

The bishops' reaction was characterized by increasingly typical cries of victimization and hysteria. This self-pity only further diminishes the seriousness with which U.S. Catholics take the hierarchy. The sad truth is, if the numbers of Catholics leaving the church are any indication, most Catholics in the United States probably see the hierarchy more as victimizers than victimized.[3]

Ms. Manson should know that it takes great courage to reject popular opinion and to defend the truth. She, after all, has clearly decided that she does not have the stomach to defend the truth taught by the Church. She has chosen instead to abandon the truth and has chosen popularity as the alternative. 

Rather than being ostracised by society for teaching the truth, she would much rather join the hoards, who ridicule and denounce the alleged “unethical” and “unrealistic” truths taught by the Church and hence her ridiculous article. It reminds me a bit of this passage from the bible:

After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you."
Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the cock crowed.
And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.[4]

If only Ms. Manson, and her cronies, would have the courage of their convictions to actually walk away from the Church? This is not very likely though. The “sad truth” is that Ms. Manson and her cronies clearly depend on Catholics for their living. If they didn’t, why would they, in this free society in which we live, choose to remain the poor “victims” of their “victimisers”, the Church hierarchy? Ms. Manson, I think it is in fact you and not the bishops, who is guilty of “hysteria” and “self-pity”.

I intend to increase my prayers, for the bishops throughout the world, so that they will grow in wisdom and courage to defend the truths taught by the Church. I pray also that more Catholics will have the courage to show them our support in the face of attacks from people like Ms. Manson. I will also pray for Ms. Manson.

I would like to end with the reading from Lauds this morning:

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.[5]

[1] National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Helmsing charges Heresy, October 16, 1968: Recovered Jan 26, 2012
[2] Manson JL, National Catholic Reporter, The unconscionable consequences of conscience exemptions, Jan 25, 2012
[3] Ibid
[4] Matthew 26: 73 - 75
[5] Hebrews 13: 7 – 9a

1 comment:

  1. I really love this article Mark, especially the quotes from the Benedictus antiphon. It reminds me that despite what learned people’s opinions might be on matters of faith and Church, whether they be theologians, scientists, newspaper writers (Supposedly Catholic or secular) or even the ordinary Joe, I should always look to the Church Herself, its good priests and bishops and the good Pope for the Truth as revealed in Christ Jesus the Lord.

    It gives me a great feeling of hope that no matter how confusing the world might be, no matter how different people’s views on important matters are, I can always find Christ and His love, His care and true teachings in the Catholic Church.