13 December 2009

Rejoicing on Gaudete Sunday

My priest announced at mass today that the H1N1 restrictions put in place in November in the Calgary diocese have been lifted! Praise God. I was able to receive on the tongue for the first time in weeks.

It was wonderful to be able to receive Christ reverently again- especially on Gaudete Sunday.

I haven't heard from any of my friends at St. Anthony's if mass has been resumed there, but I assume it should be.

Thank you all for your prayers for Bishop Henry, and this diocese.

Rejoice, rejoice!

09 December 2009

Planned Parenthood, Brad Trost and the USSU

I could start this post by asking "which one of these is not alike"- the answer is pretty easy.

Brad Trost is the MP for my old riding of Saskatoon-Humboldt, and I think its a crime that this man is still just a backbencher. I've spoken with him a couple of times, and I think he truly has the good of his country and his constituency in his mind whenever he acts. One of the (many) things I like about him is that he is a member of the multi-party Parlimentary Pro-life Caucus. And this post is really about the petition he is sponsoring in the House of Commons. You can view it here.

The petition asks the Government of Canada to stop funding the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). You see, as of 2006, the taxpayers of Canada agreed to pay IPPF $18 MILLION over 4 years. I'm not going to go into the reasons why the government did this (because I don't know, and anything I say will just be ranting speculation) but they have.

I think Mr. Trost's petition is a great idea, and I encourage you all to print a copy off and get people signing it.

That brings me to the next part of the post- the USSU (or University of Saskatchewan Students Union). I paid money to this organization for 6 years while I was a student and I'm so happy they no longer get a dime of my money. The USSU is, like all Student's Unions I'm aware of, an extreme left wing institution that seems to exist to waste its members money. (I bet you have no idea how I really feel about it.)

Anyway, one of the members of the executive (who is elected by the student body) took offense to Mr. Trost's petition and is circulating a petition of his own. It asks the government to continue funding IPPF.

Now, I have no problem with an individual disagreeing with a politician's stance (I know its often me disagreeing) but I have a real problem with a institution that is funded by members taking such a stance- because the institution should be speaking for its members.

Having attended the U of S, and been involved with the U of S Students for Life, I know there are many USSU members who support Mr. Trost's petition, and not the USSU's. Consequently, I think it is wrong for the USSU to sponsor their petition. If individual members of the USSU or its executive want to have a counter petition- that's fine- that's what a democracy is about. But I think its wrong for them to use the USSU name to do it. Read their press release. It states that the USSU "condemns a petition being circulated by Brad Trost." The USSU should be doing no such thing.

So, for those of you who are U of S students (or alumni) please contact the USSU and tell them what you think of this- in polite, charitable terms.

One final comment is on Mr. Trost's response to the USSU's petition. You can read it here. But the title of the response says it all- "Freedom of Speech is an Absolute Right." Did I mention Mr. Trost was a stand up guy? Almost makes me wonder how he ended up in politics... and explains why he's still a backbencher.

But, if I still lived in that riding, he'd have my vote in the next election.

07 December 2009

Being an Ultra-Catholic

Just a quick post tonight-

There was an interesting article posted on Inside Catholic today. The article explores the idea that a Catholic who is faithful to Church teachings is considered a fanatic.

I don't consider myself to be a fanatic, but it's a term I have been called in the past- along with hardcore and fundamentalist. These are not used as terms of endearment. Language is so important- it shapes our understanding of the world.

Think of it- the pro-aborts use the term "pro-choice" and call us "anti-choice." We do the same and call them "pro-aborts." Language has power.

We need to do a better job of fighting on the language battlefield. I've talked about it before, but this article reminded me of it.

I guess I'll have to claim my title- I'm an ultra Catholic. How about you?

01 December 2009

Faith, the Flu and the Diocese of Calgary

H1N1 hysteria has hit Canada hard. In October, the new H1N1 vaccine was the leading story for weeks. H1N1 is often still the leading news story. People are panicking trying to get their vaccine.

I've alternated positions between laughing at the gullibility of people and shaking my head at the nonsense. That was until the hysteria affected me personally. (No, I don't have the flu, nor does anyone I know). But my diocese ( the diocese of Calgary) has put into place H1N1 "precautions."

These precautions include:
  1. No reception of the Blood of Christ
  2. No Holy Water in the fonts
  3. No shaking hands during the sign of peace
  4. No reception on the tongue
That last one is the most difficult for me to swallow. About a year ago (after feeling called to it for about 6 months, but being afraid to) I decided to start receiving the Body of Christ on the tongue.

I decided to do that for one reason, and one reason only. I am receiving MY SAVIOR. Literally, the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. I began to notice that after receiving in the hand, particles of Christ were still on my hand. I tried to lick them up, but that is not dignified for me, nor do I believe it demonstrates the reverence I should have for Jesus.

So, because I felt it was necessary to protect Christ, I began to receive on the tongue. I know people who say that receiving on the tongue gave them a stronger and deeper appreciation of their faith, but I can claim no such result. But I do feel it is more reverent, and it does humble me. The bottom line is, I do not like receiving in the hand. I'm paranoid that I'm dropping pieces of Christ to the floor to be trampled on.

And now, my Bishop is requiring that I do this. These rules have been in place for the past three weeks, and every mass I want to cry because of the indignity I am performing. (I know- I could refrain from taking the Eucharist, but I need the grace it gives. I need that close communion with Christ to help withstand sin. Maybe that's a position I need to reevaluate).

But I shouldn't have to. According to Redemptionis Sacramentum 92, the people have the right to choose how to receive. In fact, reception on the tongue is supposed to be the norm- reception in the hand is only an indulgence. In a letter dated July 24, 2009 the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) confirmed that it is not licit to deny the faithful reception on the tongue.

The edict from Bishop Henry just got worse today. He has gone one step further. Calgary has an FSSP parish- St. Anthony's. Mass there is in the Extraordinary Form, and they have been quietly ignoring the H1N1 precautions. Well, as of last Friday, Bishop Henry has shut down the parish. When someone pointed out the CDW's letter, he stated "I am well aware of what the congregation decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine. " (See the details here)

Ummm no. How can any bishop take that position? Excuse me Your Excellency, but I'm pretty sure it is the CDW's call. The Catholic Church is a hierarchy. Hierarchy's work from the top down. That means that the parish has to listen to the priest, and the priest has to listen to the bishop, and the bishop has to listen to the pope.

The reason I have been receiving in the hand for the last 3 weeks (despite the fact that it causes me great distress) is because I believe in the hierarchy, and I think the hierarchy is important. If my bishop says this is the way things are, I will do that. Unless and until the bishop is no longer obeying the hierarchy. At that point, who am I supposed to follow?

Oh, and didn't Pope Benedict issue something called Summorum Pontificum? The document that states that the laity has a right to the Extraordinary form? Yeah, he did. So not only is Bishop Henry defying the CDW (and the Magisterium), he is now directly defying THE POPE. The Vicar of Christ on Earth. The man the Holy Spirit chose to lead the Church.

Never fear, I will be writing to Bishop Henry. I request you do so as well. But be courteous. If all the letters Bishop Henry gets are rude, he will have no reason to take our concerns seriously. His e-mail address is bishopfh@rcdiocese-calgary.ab.ca. If you live in the diocese, please tell him which parish you attend, and if you live out of the diocese, please state which diocese you do live in.

And please pray for this diocese, Bishop Henry, St. Anthony's parish and all the people affected by this directive.

Until very recently, I have been a big fan of Bishop Henry. I like his no holds barred style when he talks about abortion and homosexuality, and the right of a church to get involved in public life. But this decision, and a few other ones have left me wondering what has happened to him.

Oh, and on a side note, please also pray for my old diocese- the Diocese of Saskatoon which has also suspended reception on the tongue. I know it is deeply troubling to people there. The diocese is currently without a bishop, so people really don't know who to speak to about it.

I'm back

Wow. Apparently I haven't posted since August. And its now December.

I really don't know where the time has gone. The Student-at-Law gig (and real life in general) have been keeping me busy.

There have been quite a few times when I've read something I wanted to post on, only to get busy and not end up posting.

My apologies. But I'm making a commitment now to all my readers (if I still have any-those of you who are still here, thanks for your faith that I would come back) that regular posts will resume now.

Know that you are all in my prayers, and I ask for your prayers as well.

God Bless!