Saturday, February 23, 2008

One Dead, One Wounded

My grandfather had all kinds of pro-life bumper stickers. One of them went along the lines of 'One dead, one wounded.' I guess in this case, it would be 'Three dead, period.' Artist hanged herself after aborting her twins

An artist killed herself after aborting her twins when she was eight weeks pregnant, leaving a note saying: "I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum."

Emma Beck was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day - her 31st birthday.

Emma was happy to find out she was pregnant, but Emma's boyfriend wasn't happy. Emma had a history of depression. When she finally got to the hospital after missing a few appointments as she struggled, a certified counselor was not to be found... They gave her a number to call because everyone was off on holiday leave.

Welcome, my friends, to the NHS.

Her suicide note read: "I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."


Requiescat in pace.

Remember This?

Less Than A Million... with the BBC story about how the number of worldwide religious had fallen below a million?

Magister as always presents for us the bright side:

But there are many of these. Some, although not very well known, are astonishing.

One of these, for example, is the Institute of the Incarnate Word.

Founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela in 1984 in Argentina, in the city of San Rafael in the province of Mendoza, after just a quarter century it counts today, in its men's branch, 302 priests, 21 deacons, 195 seminarians studying philosophy and theology, 51 novices, and 95 students in the minor seminary.

Its generalate house and its center of formation are in Segni, 40 miles east of Rome, in the empty buildings of the diocesan seminary. The bishop of Segni, with the approval of the Holy See, recognized it in 2004 as an institute of diocesan right. But it is also present in 32 countries, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, China, Tajikistan, and Greenland.

Its women's branch, named the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matarà, counts 226 religious under perpetual vows, 251 under temporary vows, and as many novices and postulants. It is headed by a young Dutch sister, Maria de Anima Christi Van Eijk, and is present in 22 countries. A Dutch bishop is also a close friend of the institute, Johannes Baptist Gjisen, who is now in Iceland as head of the diocese of Reykjavik.

Furthermore, there is a burgeoning third order composed of laypeople, under vows and not, with various degrees of membership.

t's spirituality is founded upon the Incarnation of the Word, and is expressed in both a strong missionary impulse and in the "evangelization of culture."

The central feature of formation in the institute is the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, mediated by one of the greatest Thomist philosophers of the 20th century, Fr. Cornelio Fabro.

The bolding and the link in the article are mine. Another example here in the US is the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist up in Michigan. I've gotten letters from them several times asking for funds to enlarge their mother house because as the cute form letter puts it, they are undergoing a 'vocations crisis' of a different sort. Then there are the Carmelites out in Wyoming, etc. Unless they are all misrepresenting their numbers and orthodoxy, I don't think the state of the religious life as put out there by the BBC is quite so stark.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Future of Europe?

Spengler's essay posted today needs to be read.

Salient points:

Europe’s Man of Destiny is Geert Wilders, the 35-year-old leader of Holland’s tiny Freedom Party. He has provoked the world Muslim community in order to draw the violent jihadists out of the tall grass, and he seems to be succeeding. Call what Wilders has done nasty but necessary, and blame Europe’s so-called mainstream leaders for abandoning their posts, and leaving the standard in the hands of a young man with the courage to grasp it. At the moment the Dutch government is quaking over the consequences of a 10-minute film that Wilders plans to release in April denouncing the Koran.

Thus far, the authorities of Europe have made clear that they will do nothing to prevent the murder of a prominent citizen. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose plea to the European Parliament made headlines, can expect no help from the authorities when her life is at imminent risk, what succor can the anonymous victims of Islamist violence expect?

I am ashamed to say that it did not become clear to me that Wilders has taken the only appropriate course of action until I read carefully the Archbishop of Canterbury’s now-infamous "sharia" speech. Stripped of casuistry, he proposed that Muslim women subject to forced marriages, genital mutilation, or domestic violence should be handed over to Muslim religious courts, rather than be offered the protection of English Common Law. To my knowledge, this is the first time that one of Europe’s spiritual leaders has proposed to abandon innocent victims to their fate.

Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams, to be sure, has a point. But he should have stated plainly what he really thinks. What he wanted to say is more or less: "To protect a few hundred or a few thousand colored ladies, the English state will have to put its big boots on, kick down the doors of Muslim homes, trample through Muslim living rooms, tear up the fabric of Muslim communities, and disrupt the social order. Why not turn such cases over to religious courts and wash our hands of them?" I reiterate: this is satanic hypocrisy.

If decent and well-meaning men like Dr Williams are so afraid of communal violence as to abandon the founding principles of common law and Judeo-Christian ethics, it is long past time to debate the fine points. Blessed are the pre-emptors, for they will get on with it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The man must be batty?

Almost a thousand years of slow and steady legal evolution that has defined the rights of Englishmen...

Dr. Williams thinks we all can't get along without separate courts:

An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger...

You, sir, are the danger!

On second thought, maybe he agrees with Irene's friend that imposing one's creed upon another is 'a damned cheek'?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Good Friday Prayer, Continued

Ruth Gledhill quotes a blogger named Irene who in turn quotes a friend who commented about the revision of the Good Friday prayer:

Irene, who is currently refreshing her knowledge of Latin at Haifa uni, says: This text would not be acceptable to the majority of the Jewish people, for whom any attempt to get us to convert to belief in Jesus as Messiah goes against the tenets of Judaism. This prayer would appear to be on a par with those evangelical Christians (not all, of course) who wish all Jews to emigrate to Israel, in order to hasten to second coming of Christ.

'I have an Anglican friend staying with me at present and I read it to her and she wasn’t very amused and thought it a damned cheek, actually.

'She said. ‘It implies that if you don’t recognize Jesus Christ, you won’t be saved’.
In Judaism you can be ‘saved’, or at least be worthy of heaven without being a Jew. This would appear to be the main difference between the Jewish and Catholic approaches.'

It is difficult not to conclude that this represents a re-emergence of supercessionism. A discussion of the Pope's views when he was still Joseph Ratzinger shows that the former Pope clearly regarded the 'new covenant' as the fulfilment of the covenant of Sinai.

Bolding of Irene's friend's comment is mine. A damned cheek indeed. But then of course, Jesus is only the Son of God...

The Good Friday Prayer

RORATE CAELI has the new version of the prayer in Latin and an unofficial translation.

Doctor Alcuin Reid:

Roma locuta est: causa finita est. This traditional maxim of Catholic life needs to be remembered. It refers to the right of the Holy See – and most specifically of the Sovereign Pontiff – to decide on matters of discipline and governance of the Church. Once the arguments have been duly heard and the Supreme Authority decides, loyal Catholics obey: even if they personally disagree about the prudence or otherwise of a decision.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Less Than A Million...

The number of members, predominantly women, some engaged only in constant prayer, others working as teachers, health workers and missionaries, fell 94,790 to 945,210.

Of the total, 753,400 members were women, while 191,810 were men, including 136,171 priests and 532 permanent deacons.

The figures were published next to a report of Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with nuns, monks and priests from many countries gathered in St Peter's Basilica in Rome last weekend.

The BBC's David Willey in the Italian capital says the accelerating downward trend must have caused concern to the Pope.

The Roman Catholic Church has an aging and diminishing number of parish and diocesan clergy and this latest fall is quite dramatic, our correspondent says.

The number of Catholic nuns worldwide declined by about a quarter during the reign of Pope John Paul, and this further drop shows that new recruits are failing to replace those nuns who die, or decide to abandon their vows, he adds.

Is this for real? The old orders are getting grey and dying off along with the rest of the post-war boom. Welcome to global demographics.