Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Virtue of Blind Obedience (yes. that's actually a virtue.) Part of a Series on the Ten Virtues of Mary.

Blind obedience is a tough sell these days.

If you're anything like me, it's going to take a lot to even convince you that it's not utterly WRONG, let alone a virtue to be cultivated.

In our culture, the concept of obedience has fallen out of favor. We are hesitant to encourage blind obedience in our children. We want to reason with them, to value their input, to give them choices. We want them to do as we ask because they wish to do so, not because they were MADE to obey without question.

How much less do we hope to cultivate blind obedience in ourselves? Our culture champions choice above almost all other things. Many of us struggle to ask for or follow the advice of our husbands or parents or pastors or spiritual directors. Many of us struggle to follow the Tradition and Magisterium of our Catholic Church, especially when its teaching on important and personal social issues sounds so far removed from what our secular culture believes.

The world out there (and the occasional priest in here) tells us we need to listen to our own consciences alone, not just mindlessly follow the oppressive rules of a dusty old church run by a bunch of old men who don't really understand what these policies MEAN for us, for our bodies, for our lives.

But that's not what the Mother of God tells us. Mary was blindly obedient. Gloriously, blindly obedient. Obedient even to things that sounded crazy. That sounded wrong. That sounded like they would cause her to face ridicule and scandal and unimaginable heartbreak.

Her obedience set her free and sanctified her.

And mine, when I can manage it, does the same thing.

Deciding not to use artificial contraception as a newlywed felt like the craziest decision I had ever made. I made it without wisdom or understanding, without much trust or much hope. All I had to give was blind obedience.

The only reason I'm where I am today is that even though what the Church said sounded completely insane, I just couldn't quite justify thinking I knew better than thousands of years of Church teaching.

And I didn't know better. The Church was right, she was right about it all. I am deeply grateful that God gave me the grace to make that decision in that moment, and that I was somehow able to correspond to it.

I was able to come to understand the teachings of the Church, because I was willing to be obedient BEFORE I understood.

The beautifully counterintuitive thing about blind obedience is how liberating it is.

We don't make decisions in a vacuum. We make them in the world, and often in crisis. It's nearly impossible to make a detached decision on an issue related to sex or marriage or fertility or infertility or life or death, because the moral aspect of these issues is inextricably tangled with our own fears and desires.

In times of difficultly and confusion, we can fall back on blind obedience.

We have a responsibility to form our own consciences, of course, but obedience covers a multitude of sins. If I've chosen wrongly, but in obedience to a person or entity in whom it was reasonable to place my trust, I'm very confident trusting in God's mercy.

But how to find someone to give me good counsel?

1. My husband.

Husbands are mostly better for this than we give them credit for. We're quick to run to our girlfriends or moms or the world wide web when we need advice, but I know that my husband is my greatest source of drama-free advice. And if I can make myself be obedient to it, I'm always better off.

2. My gals.

I also happen to have girlfriends and a mom and bloggy friends who have the same life and afterlife goals as I do. If they didn't, I just wouldn't ever, ever ask them what they thought I should do.

3. My spiritual director.

I am in spiritual direction. When my husband or friends are stumped or not available, or when the situation is too close to them, I take it to spiritual direction. A spiritual director can be anyone you'd trust to advise you well. I've met with both priests and laywomen as spiritual directors over the years. Both have been great. I'm seeing a priest now, and we meet once a month. I believe some priests and nuns take a vow of obedience to their spiritual directors. My situation isn't so formal. I just get good advice. I could choose not to take it, but that would kind of defeat the purpose.

I am striving to cultivate the virtue of blind obedience in myself. For me it looks like knowing when to just stop asking questions and say okay. It likes like agreeing to do it someone else's way, even though I like my way better. It looks like eating what is set before me, be it too much or too little, something I like or something I don't much like. It looks like trusting my God, my husband, my parents, my Church, to know what's good for me.

I am also striving to cultivate that virtue in my children. I want to raise bold, confident, self-starters, who understand that there is a time to ask questions and there is a time to zip it and do as you're told.

Confidence is not at odds with obedience. Both are virtuous. Being obedient doesn't mean being cowed. It means knowing when to say:

How shall this be done, because I know not man?

And when to say:

Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.

Perfect confidence, perfect obedience. All in the same conversation. Not bad for a fourteen year old.


This post is part of a series on the Ten Virtues of Mary, hosted by To the Heights and running every Tuesday until the middle of December. So if you need some help in the virtue department, here's a great place to start ;)

October 7 - An Introduction to the Ten Virtues of Mary - Olivia of To the Heights
October 14 - Lively Faith - Molly of Molly Makes Do
October 21 - Blind Obedience - Kendra of Catholic All Year
October 28 - Constant Mental Prayer - Jenna of Call Her Happy
November 4 - Heroic Patience - Kelly of This Ain't the Lyceum
November 11 - Profound Humility - Carolyn of Svellerella
November 18 - Angelic Sweetness - Regina of Good One God
November 25 - Divine Wisdom - Britt of The Fisk Files
December 2 - Universal Mortification - Abbey of Surviving Our Blessings
December 9 - Divine Purity - Gina of Someday Saints
December 16 - Ardent Charity - Christy of Fountains of Home
December 17 - Massive GIVEAWAY at To the Heights - Just in time for Christmas


Monday, October 20, 2014

An Inspired Capsule Wardrobe

You'll find me at Blessed Is She today, discussing the parable of the rich man who stores up his grain . . .
I don’t have any grain, myself. But you know what I do have? Baby clothes. Washed and folded, sorted by size and separated into bins. I installed built-ins in the guest room closet to fit all the little seasons and sizes.
All so I could rest easy knowing that I had enough tiny sneakers and sweater vests to last me a lifetime.
Now, fortunately for all the little sneaker-wearing people who live in this house, my life has not yet been required of me. But, nor have I required all that stuff I so carefully hoarded for so many years.
Read the rest here. Or just subscribe already and you'd have it in your email inbox!

I wrote that post over a month ago, and in the weeks since then, it seems like I can't swing a bag of cats without bumping into another capsule wardrobe post on the internet.

The first I heard of it as a concept with a name was on this blog and I was smitten. She's just the cutest. But I guess this is where it all started?

In any case, I can't get it out of my head. For years now, I've felt uneasy about all the all the all the clothes in this house. There's this tug between wanting to use things for multiple children, and wanting to keep stuff for myself, just in case I need it . . . and, on the other side, feeling like I'm slowly drowning in stuff that other people could be using.

I wrote this post about how we pack for the kids, and ever since have secretly known that if my kids can get by on that amount of clothing for two weeks, then there is absolutely no reason they couldn't get by on it for three months. Or more in Southern California. My boys really only need pants for church and January.

Then I wrote this post giving us all permission to get rid of stuff that's cluttering up our homes, and ever since I've known that I could stand to do a better job of following my own advice.

Because the more I think about the concept of a small, seasonally appropriate wardrobe being the only thing in my closet the more I see it as not just a way to declutter and do less shopping, but as a step in the right direction in my Christian life.

We are called to be detached from our possessions. We are called to be "poor in spirit." That doesn't mean being unhappy. It means living a spirit of poverty, treating the things I own as not belonging to me, just as things I'm looking after, because everything belongs to God.

St. Basil says, “The coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked; the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes. . . . Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.”

These closets stuffed with clothes that I might need sometime are a symptom of attachment, and of a lack of trust in God's providence. I have a vision of myself having to get all these clothes burned off of me, slowly, layer by layer in Purgatory. Am I being overly dramatic here? Perhaps.

But I'm thinking NOW is the time to pull the trigger on this thing. It's finally started to cool down here in Los Angeles. So tomorrow, a terribly stylish friend is coming over to help me actually DO IT and not chicken out.

We'll see what ends up happening, but my plan is to create a fall/nursing capsule wardrobe to put in my closet now, that will last me until at least advent. I'll also choose pieces I like out of my existing wardrobe to create capsules for other seasons, and because I'm still in THIS part of my life, I'll need to create 1-2 maternity capsules, plus a postpartum, and maybe a not-pregnant/not-nursing one too. Then everything else goes. Out, out, out. (And then on to the kids?)

I'll be posting photos of the process and my picks, so stay tuned.

Now. Who's with me?! Who has done this and can offer me advice and encouragement? Who keeps hearing about capsule wardrobes and wants to give it a try with me? Who keeps hearing about capsule wardrobes and just wants it to stop?

Do you have a blog post about capsule wardrobes we should see? Link it up!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween for Kids on Netflix Streaming: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

For my inaugural Netflix Stream Team sponsored post, we're going to look at the kids' Halloween-type movies streaming has available. I'm going to tell you about a few I really like, a bunch that are kinda meh, and a few that you should NOT SHOW TO YOUR CHILDREN. This is how you do sponsored posts, right? I'm KILLING this selling out thing.

If you are logged into your Netflix account, clicking on the titles of the shows should take you to them in Netflix.

See this post . . .


for my full review of of The Nightmare Before Christmas and four other Halloween favorites. But, the short version is that my kids and I really, really like this movie. It's creepy but not TOO scary, and has a great message about following your vocation, not just your dreams. Stephen Graydanus also has a great review at Decent Films.

I guess the marketing folks at Disney would like you to watch this compilation year-round, so they've called it House of Villains, but it's 100% Halloween. It's made up of fun classic Disney cartoons featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, with lame new filler transitions in between.

Like the movie above, what I enjoy about these cartoons is that they ARE a little scary. I think my kids can handle that. I want them to be able to handle that.

The individual cartoons vary in style and substance, but I wasn't troubled by any of them. The first, especially, is definitely in the "make fun of the devil" (in this case a witch with a broom named Beelzebub) tradition championed by some. While that's not the focus of OUR family's Halloween, it doesn't bother me any. There's one starring Mickey about how too much technology in your home could well result in your house attacking you. Pay attention kids. The one starring Goofy is wordless, which always enraptures my little ones.

This isn't a Halloween movie, per se. But it is magical and creepy, both good ingredients for Halloween. The giant bugs and the evil aunts are both pretty monstrous, but for different reasons.

The movie is very true to the spirit of the book, and I didn't notice any major plot deviations (except that in the movie the aunts survive being squished by the titular giant peach).

It's an intense story that includes James being mistreated by his aunts, and the fanciful, stylized deaths of his parents (they are eaten by an angry rhinoceros). There are scenes of peril, but it's a story about teamwork and making the best of things.

This indie musical cartoon from France (but in English now) has a VERY devoted following. We watched it on the airplane a couple years ago, before I was watching things with blog-eyes, so I'm not ABSOLUTELY certain that there's nothing questionable in it. But the kids and I enjoyed it. There's singing, and action, and perilous situations, and bad guys who aren't who you think they are and vice versa. Lessons are learned about not jumping to conclusions about people.

It doesn't reference Halloween that I recall, but there's a monster and some steampunky mad science.

If you're looking for a seasonal movie the whole family can sit through, and Tim Burton isn't your cup of tea, A Monster in Paris should do the trick.

Not to worry, everyone, The Musters IS available via Live Streaming on Netflix. I know you've been concerned. I tried watching a few of the Halloweeny shows in the category below with the kids and they were just so. very. very. dumb. that we decided to put on an episode of The Munsters instead.

And, granted, it's also kinda dumb. But it's dumb in an old fashioned, campy, occasionally clever way. We watched the very first episode and it was fun to see how they introduced all the characters. My kids all thought it was hilarious, and it was a show that was in a spooky setting, about creepy characters, but with lots of winking humor and without any real scares that would be too much for little ones. All my age groups enjoyed it.

I watched a couple of episodes of this show from the mid-90s on my own, and was really pleasantly surprised. It's suspenseful and pretty darn scary, without being gory. And, unlike the newer R.L. Stein show I tried (see below) the kids and families in the two episodes I watched were likable.

If you have middle grade kids who are looking for a good clean scare, check it out.

And one more . . . with a caveat

This newest incarnation of the iconic series is really, really well-done. It's smart and funny and stylish. And it's COOL. They made Scooby Doo cool again.

But. But. But.

It's not a kids' show. Really. It's not intended for kids. It's intended for grownups who liked Scooby Doo when THEY were kids. So it's just too edgy for my twelve and unders. The girls are rather . . . forward. Velma and Shaggy are a couple, and Daphne is after Fred, but he's oblivious, being utterly obsessed with building traps for monsters. It's pretty funny, but, ya know, a bit much for kiddos. When she asks him about the swimsuit magazine in his couch, he says he only reads "Traps Illustrated" for the articles.

*I* just might watch it again though.


Some of these my kids have watched, some of them I have watched some of, some of them we haven't watched at all. But to my knowledge there isn't anything objectionable in any of them. It's just that they're SO LAME.

I'd much rather my kids watch something clever, even if it's scary, than watch an insipid super duper Halloween fun cartoon. I'm pretty sure I'd sit my kids down to watch Psycho before I'd sit them down to watch Barney's Halloween Party.

But that's just personal preference. Maybe you feel differently. And I couldn't find a comprehensive, recent list of kids' Halloween shows available on Netflix Streaming anywhere on the internet. Including on Netflix Streaming.

So here are ALL the Halloween shows and movies I could find.

1. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Frankie loves Curious George. Maybe we'll watch this at some point. But I like scary for Halloween.

This is one of the Netflix customer reviews:
The music was... ok. The plot was down-right pathetic. Really, a headless scarecrow that kicks off people's hats? How is that scary in the least bit? Even to a kid! Stupid. There are so many more better movies that they could've used. I enjoy the show, it's pretty cute (except the Man with the Yellow Hat really needs to not let George get away with so much stuff). Oh... And one more thing, how does everyone, including the "intelligent" adults, believe in No-Noggin? And seriously... No noggin? Really? That's supposed to be scary.I don't have if a Halloween movie is scary, especially with the kids that can't handle scary movies (I couldn't, myself). But, don't pretend to be scary just because it's a Halloween movie. Just take the "no-noggin" part out and put in a usually Curious George story. About him getting into shenanigans.BUT, on the other hand... My son did like it. And that's the most important part. It doesn't matter if I liked or not, it matters if HE likes it or not. So, 4 out of 5 stars just for the simple fact that my son liked it. If he didn't, it probably would have been a 2 (and that's only out of respect for Curious George).
I like how this guy thinks. I think we can trust him.

2. Barney: Halloween Party

Don't know, didn't watch it. Won't. Ever.

3. Dreamworks Spooky Stories: Scared Shrekless and Monsters vs Aliens, Mutant Pumpkins

My kids watched this one and found the three shorts just really loud and confusing and odd. And they like pretty much everything, so that's really saying something.

4. Casper's Scare School

Weird computer animation. Stars Bob Saget.

*"bad" as in "not great cinema," not "you shouldn't let your kids watch this."


There aren't a ton of scary movies aimed at kids available on streaming, so I was tempted to watch these with my kids.

But the reviews I found on them were troubling, so I thought I'd better preview them before I let the kids watch, but I haven't had time to get through all (most) of them.

So, if you've seen any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought of them.

1. The Addams Family

I know I saw this as a kid, and liked it. I remember it as being about a quirky but loving family. But the Common Sense Media review of it freaked me out a bit. "Strong sexual innuendo, especially between Gomez and Morticia. The couple can be heard having an orgasm while in public. There are several subtle references to sadomasochism, and a quick reference to child molestation relating to Uncle Fester. Much of this will go over the head of young viewers."

Please tell me they're overreacting?

2. ParaNorman

Common Sense Media didn't mind this one, but Stephen Graydanus was pretty convincing in his dislike.

3. The Haunted Mansion

The Common Sense Review: "Go on the Disney ride instead. It's over sooner." Ouch.

4. R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour

This one is a TV series from 2010, based on the author's book series. I was intrigued, because the girl who plays young Snow White in Once Upon a Time is on the cover. But I quit watching after just a few minutes of the first episode. It's probably fine, but it was all her demanding dolls and stuff and her parents giving in to her. Maybe she learns her lesson, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style, but I wasn't getting a good vibe from it, so I moved on.

*potentially, you tell me

Okay, first sponsored post in the books. I'm supposed to put in the logo. Done.

And, now, it's your turn. Tell me in the comments about what you've been watching on Netflix Streaming and/or for Halloween. Or, for this month, if you've got a blog, link up your Hey Watch This! posts below and let us know what we should or shouldn't be watching.


Cranky Frankie Went to the Fair

We spent this afternoon and evening at our parish's annual festival. A good time was had by all. Even Frankie. But you wouldn't have known it to look at him.

Kid has a bad case of grumpy resting face.

There were just too, too many to Instagram them all, so I decided they needed their own blog post.

So, here goes . . . we'll begin with Frankie on the ride he was talking about all day: The Blue Fwyin Cauw. As you can see, it's all he remembered it would be.

For comparison purposes, here is how Anita experience the same ride.

Then the swings. Careful buddy, you're nearly smiling there.

And the roller coaster.

Then we had something to eat. Everyone loves to eat at the fair, right?

And listened to some live music.

And, finally, that most magical of childhood experiences, the carousel.

He really did have a good time, I promise.

So did we all.

Can't get enough of Cranky Frankie?

There's more . . .



Friday, October 17, 2014

How I Changed My Mind About Sleep Training

There are people who have blogs who eventually learn that there are things you're just not allowed to write about on the internet: vaccines, spanking, breastfeeding in public, crying it out, etc. I am not one of those people. And I get a lot of reader questions about those things, especially about crying it out. A lot of mothers worry about sleep training. They worry that allowing their baby to cry it out will have long term adverse effects on their relationship with their child and on the child's personality and temperament. I had those same concerns as a new mom. I'm not someone who ever, ever thought I would let my baby cry. But, I changed my mind. So, here we go again.

When I was pregnant with my first, I read all the parenting books and I knew I was attachment-parenting for-evah. Because, obviously, anyone who did anything else was just not trying hard enough.

So, since God is funny, I got a baby who was a terrible, terrible sleeper even though I did all the things the books said. And, since I am stubborn, I just kept doing those things, even though they weren't working.

It took a few babies, actually, for me to figure out what works for me and my particular brand of baby.

I'm still an attachment parenting-type. I sleep with my babies, and wear them during the day, I've been able to exclusively breastfeed seven children. I find that the convenience and flexibility of attachment parenting is worth sacrificing baby-free date nights, and regular bathing, for a few months.

I cannot put my sleeping babies down. If I do, they wake up. Almost immediately. I also mostly can't nurse them to sleep in bed and sneak away from them. (Except on the day when I wrote my Day in the Life post!) I just wear or carry them all the time.

We sail right along, with them sleeping on and with me, until right around nine months. Then, for me and for my babies, it stops working. They stop being able to sleep for long periods in the carrier, and they stop sleeping well with me at night. They get reeeeeeal wiggly.

So, eventually, painfully, stubbornly, over many months and years and babies, I figured out that when the thing I was doing before stops working, I need to do something else. I need to do something that works, even if books and people on the internet try to scare me and insist that the way they do it is the only acceptable way. 

They are wrong.

That's why I'm not here to tell you to sleep train your baby. Co-sleeping and babywearing is awesome. That "parenting to sleep" thing is fine with me. If it is working for you and your baby, if you are both well-rested and functioning then keep right on keepin' on. BUT. If you and your baby are tired and grumpy, or even if you just sometimes need two hands and your back free all at the same time, or to be able to go out to dinner with your husband and not have anyone grab a handful of your potatoes . . .

I am here to tell you that, in my experience with my many children, sleep training did not make any difference in the temperament, personality, or attachment of my babies. Even when it included long periods of crying.

No difference at all. My outgoing babies were outgoing before sleep training and they were outgoing after. My reserved babies were reserved before sleep training and they were reserved after. My grumpy old man baby was still grumpy. My happiest baby on the planet is still happy.

And all of them still have a very strong attachment to me, both before and after sleep training.

Not responding to their cries while they learn to fall asleep on their own has also in no way lessened their predilection to ask for help, they pretty much do that all the livelong day. Nor has it made them withdrawn and wary of the world around them. They are very friendly and outgoing. Except for the ones who aren't. They are as God made them.

Sleep training did not make a difference for my babies, but it did make a difference for me. Once I figured out that I could get my babies to sleep in a crib, and I worked up the nerve to actually do it, it made a positive difference for me as a mother. Once I begin sleep training, I am able to get an uninterrupted, or at least a less-interrupted night's sleep. I am able to get out of survival mode in cooking, household upkeep, and meeting the needs of my other kids. I am able to spend more quality time with my husband.

Sleep training my kids has run the gauntlet from very easy to very, very hard, but every one was worth the trouble and stress it caused my husband and me at the time, because it's such a beautiful thing when it's accomplished. There are few things in the world that are better than holding a newborn baby. But also in my top ten, is putting a ten month old down to sleep . . . all by herself, and just walking away.

p.s. Just for the record, I don't have any experience with attempting to sleep train babies younger than about nine months old, so I can't speak to how that goes.

For more on this same topic, but with less-soothing pictures, see this post:


For my thoughts on babywearing, see this post:


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eeny Meany Miny Moe People Make Bad Choices

The recent stories of Brittany Maynard and Jennifer Lawrence are quite different in circumstance and gravity. But both women are suffering. And both have a skewed way of rationalizing what is happening to them.
My glioblastoma is going to kill me, and that's out of my control. I've discussed with many experts how I would die from it, and it's a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying. . . . I believe this choice is ethical, and what makes it ethical is it is a choice.  . . . I'm dying, but I'm choosing to suffer less, to put myself through less physical and emotional pain and my family as well.
--Brittany Maynard in People Magazine 

Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this. It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.
--Jennifer Lawrence in Vanity Fair

Choice. We are, of course, all too familiar with "choice" as a euphemism for abortion. But now, "choice" is being championed as the trump card to make any behavior acceptable, no matter how physically or emotionally destructive it may be to the chooser.

Jennifer Lawrence very rightly feels violated by all of the people viewing pornographic photographs of her. It is wrong for nameless faceless men to be lusting after her body, separating her sexuality from the wholeness and beauty of her personhood. It's wrong, because it is WRONG. Not, as she seems to think, because it wasn't her CHOICE to allow them to do so. It would still be wrong, even if she had chosen it.

Because people make bad choices.

Brittany's situation is more grave than Jennifer's. It's more permanent as well. There is no changing your mind once you've killed yourself. She can't know what tragedy or beauty her future might hold. And even though she, just like all of us, has probably made thousands of dumb choices in her life, in this most important of circumstances, we are to believe that just having chosen to commit suicide will make suicide the right choice.

People are dumb. We are emotional, irrational, fallen creatures. We choose wrong.

We need to be admonished for our bad choices, or counseled away from them, to avoid them in the first place, rather than celebrated for making them.

People who choose suicide and pornography don't feel like they have any other options. And that's not really a choice.

Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence were available to be stolen and distributed online because she felt that she HAD to create them. 

I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.
--Jennifer Lawrence in Vanity Fair

That doesn't sound empowered, that sounds resigned.

And Brittany Maynard seems to believe that her life is worth less if it becomes difficult for others.

I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that. I did not want this nightmare scenario for my family, so I started researching death with dignity.
--Brittany Maynard in her CNN Op-Ed

She's not alone. A Dutch study found that social and psychologic factors (e.g. concern regarding a loss of dignity, fears of becoming a burden to others) comprised four of the five most frequently cited reasons for euthanasia requests. . . . But in an early study of desire for death among terminally ill patients in an inpatient palliative care unit, of the 200 patients interviewed, only 10 acknowledged any suicidal ideation or desire for hastened death, and all 10 of these patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist as suffering from a major depressive disorder (based on DSM-III criteria). They reported that treatment for depression resulted in resolution of patients’ desire for death.

Treating the patients helps them. Not just supporting any old crazy thing they want to do just because they CHOOSE it.

It is a bad idea to kill oneself whether or not a person chooses to do it. It is a bad idea to make pornography whether or not a person chooses to do it.

Evil doesn't become good because it is chosen. And "choice" doesn't become a virtue by calling it one.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Bishops Have ALWAYS Said That: Don't believe everything you read about the synod

A quick tour of recent headlines regarding the Synod . . . in which we see that folks are, as usual, flipping the flip out over nothing new.

The Globe and Mail: Bishops say homosexuals should be accepted by the Catholic church

Pope Benedict, from then-Cardinal Ratzinger's Letter to the Bishops on Homosexuality in 1986: "The Bishops have the particularly grave responsibility to see to it that their assistants in the ministry, above all the priests, are rightly informed and personally disposed to bring the teaching of the Church in its integrity to everyone.”

USA Today: Roman Catholic bishops in Vatican City demonstrated unprecedented tolerance toward gays, acknowledging in a newly released document that same-sex partnerships have merit.

Actual Synod document: "The Church furthermore affirms that unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between man and woman. . . . Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority."


News.yahoo.com: Bishops say gays have gifts to offer church

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358: "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."


ThinkProgress: A Pastoral Earthquake, Catholic church proposes extraordinary shift on gays and lesbians

The "Pastoral Earthquake" quote comes from . . . wait for it . . . a GUY with a BLOG who said it. Think Progress is quoting a guy with a blog who read the document.

Hey! I've got a blog! I read the document! Quote me! 

Here's one: Worry not. I have it on good authority that the gates of hell won't prevail against us.

Simma down now everybody. Simma down.

You can read the text of the document for yourself here:

And this is a REALLY good explanation of what is NOT happening here by George Weigel (maybe you've heard of him ?):