Thursday, August 4, 2016


Vice President Joe Biden performs same sex marriage for twins or is it the Property Brothers?:

I suspect for time in eternity, Catholics who are probate judges or even notary publics have been witnessing secular marriages. I think for many, that is a part of their job description. I would think that it would be similar to when I worked as a seminarian in a drug store at Cross Keys Shopping Center in the Roland Park area of Baltimore that when someone came to me at the cash register with condoms, contraceptives, Playboys and even worse, that I could not exclude what I found immoral, especially detergents with phosphates, which, thanks be to God, were eventually band by the late 70's! I had to ring it all up and thus become somewhat complicit in their polluting the water.

So when Vice President Joe Biden presides at a secular same sex "marriage" everyone wants him to be excommunicated. But is that the best way to deal with someone, who in his capacity as Vice President, can marry people in civil marriages? Isn't that a part of what a Vice President does?

But here's the story that I found at Deacon (not Deaconess) Greg Kandra's blog:

You may have seen this item—about the vice president presiding at a same-sex wedding—yesterday. Some readers and commenters have called for disciplining Biden, even to the point of excommunicating him.

It’s not that simple.

Canon lawyer Ed Peters writes:

Biden, a Roman Catholic, went out of his way to act with contempt for infallible Church teaching that marriage (everybody’s marriage, not just Catholics’ marriages) can only exist between one man and one woman.

In short, Biden is daring the Church to do anything about it. I say, Fine, but let’s begin with what the Church cannot, at present, do about it.

Excommunication (Canon 1331) is a canonical sanction that can be imposed only for certain types of canonically criminous conduct. Not all offensive behavior in the Church is a crime and not all Church crimes are punishable by excommunication. No canon excommunicates a Catholic for officiating at a “same-sex wedding” but Pope Francis or (long story made short) Cardinal Wuerl could issue legislation making such officiating an excommunicable crime. Canon law has long responded to changing pastoral needs with new legislation, and this seems to be one more example of where new law might assist the Church in dealing with a new and grave problem.

Even Canon 1364 (providing a latae sententiae excommunication for heresy), is not applicable here (at least, not yet), this, not because Church teaching on the man-woman requirement for marriage is not taught infallibly (it most certainly is taught infallibly), but because this Church teaching might (again I say, might) only be a teaching to be definitively “held” as opposed to one to be “believed”, and it is only the contradiction of objects of belief that trigger heresy canons, not matters to be held (Canons 750, 752, 1371). A scholarly consensus, on the other hand, that Church teaching on the man-woman requirement for marriage is “divinely revealed” (which view I think has much the stronger argument), or a formal declaration by Pope Francis to that effect, would settle this preliminary doctrinal question, raising the canonical issue to the level of heresy. But even then, one would still have to confront all the usual problems besetting other latae sententiae penalty cases. And they are many.

Canon 1369, a penal norm I think vastly underused in an age when Catholics routinely bash Church leaders and teaching in the main stream media, would be a stretch on the facts of this case, and canonical criminal law does not like stretches. Breaking the law/doctrine does not prove that one was attacking the law/doctrine itself. And the penalty envisioned by Canon 1369 is not excommunication anyway.

Canon 1379 on sacramental simulation (to which two Catholics attempting to enter a “same-sex marriage” would be, I think, susceptible) would not apply to the official witness (as Biden pretended to be) of such an act and, again, the penalty for violating Canon 1379 is not excommunication.


Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TJM said...

I will write the Apostolic Nuncio to the US and Biden's bishop but the Church is so weak I suspect nothing will happen.

I was watching Going My Way last night starring Bing Crosby and was reminded of how powerful, respected, and what an important force for good that the Church in the US once was. No Democrat would have DARED doing then what Biden is doing now.

But keep voting for the party of instrinsic evil, the Dems, fellow "catholics" and we will soon be back in the catacombs.

In Despair said...

Fr. McDonald,

With respect, your post is misleading. It fails to include the rest of the post, which reads:


But if canonical criminal law as found in Book Six of the Code is not (at least not immediately) useful against Biden’s affront to Christ’s and the Church’s teaching on marriage, canonical sacramental law as found in Book Four of the Code, especially Canon 915 therein, could be useful against Biden’s scandal. Canon 915, recall, directs ministers of holy Communion to withhold that most August sacrament from those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin”.

Let’s be clear: Canon 915 is a sacramental disciplinary norm. As such, Canon 915 is not a response to canonically criminal behavior but rather it looks primarily to address the classical scandal (CCC 2284-2287) given by one’s on-going, public, objectively evil conduct. Now, standing alone, a single, albeit grave, affront to Church teaching (such as voluntarily assisting at one “same-sex wedding”) would not suffice to trigger Canon 915 (which looks for, among other things, perseverance in evil conduct), but it would certainly qualify as an especially egregious manifestation of one’s general contempt for Church teaching, a contempt that might have been demonstrated in other behaviors such as, say, on-going political support for “same-sex marriage”, and, for that matter, for legalized abortion, and so on.

Now, setting aside a very few 915 cases that could be decided on the spot (see my discussion of Canons 230/915, here), before being visited with the consequences of Canon 915, a Catholic should be formally confronted by the competent ecclesiastical authority about why holy Communion is going to be henceforth withheld and the steps required for readmission to the Sacrament explained. I am not aware, however, of any Catholic official with canonical-pastoral authority over Biden who has ever made such contact with him. Still, whatever pastoral failing that past lack of formal contact might represent, it does not preclude their discussing his situation with him now.

And Joseph Biden, I would say, stands in obvious need of such outreach.


In short, your original post gives the impression that a) Biden has done nothing wrong and b) that even if he has done something wrong, there's nothing to do for it. Such a claim, if made, would be simply incredible.

In Despair said...

Further: If someone who has been very insistent that he's Catholic--as Biden has--acts so contrary to the faith in such a high-profile fashion as this and receives no public censure from his bishop of from the pope, what sort of damage does that do to the faith of Catholics?

Frankly, I've had it. If Francis a)insinuates Trump isn't Christian because he wants to build a wall (and based on my arguments in my recent debate with A2 on this point, please don't anyone try to insult my intelligence by arguing that he didn't), b) continues the Church's stand against SSPX, and then c) says nothing about this Biden debacle, I will write Francis off not as merely heterodox or heretical but as a material apostate and hope for an orthodox pope someday. Modernists who claim the name of Catholic are welcome to it. I won't argue the point anymore. If this is Catholicism, I am neither Catholic nor want to profess to be one.

You may say I'm overreacting, but for me this is simply the cherry on top after all that has gone on for the past couple of generations and in this so-called papacy.

Marc said...

In Despair,

Let's assume Francis is a material apostate (an assumption with which I agree there is sufficient evidence to support). That does not give us leave to abandon the faith. The pope is not the barometer of Catholicism. Recall that, even though all but one apostle fled the Cross, others were obliged to remain.

Billy the Kid said...

Francis is a bad joke...except it isn't funny. The Church is in real danger and everyone just rolls merrily along. I don't put much stock in the so-called "new generation of Priests" because, despite their alleged traditionalism, they were raised in the era of compromise and negotiation. That is all they know. They will be easy marks for Leftist/progressive prevarication and manipulation. Can't post it on here, but see Clint Eastwood's remarks about this generation in the morning news.

Marc said...

An addition: Today is the feast of St. Dominic, a saint who devoted his life to putting down the Albigensian heresy. There are many such saints who fought for the faith against various heretics. How many of them were popes? Yes, there are some saintly pontiffs known for their staunch defense of the faith against heresy. But there are many more confessors and martyrs among the lesser hierarchical ranks and the laity who are revered for fighting heresy.

The lesson is that it is alien to the Church's history to merely look to the pope to put down errors. And in some cases, one even finds that the pope is the source of the problem and needs to be confronted by a confessor saint.

The rule of faith is the Church and her Tradition. This is true for you and me, your bishop and mine, as well as the pope. The pope is not the rule of faith, does not invent anything and can change nothing. Therefore, we have an obligation, like all the martyrs and confessors before us to adhere to the rule of faith even if every other person on earth abandons it.

Daniel said...

Shouldn't we be consistent in venting about Catholic politicians who support the death penalty, punish immigrants, demonize minorities, and support a proto-fascist dictator wannabe?

Bruce Wayne said...

Since most of us hide behind our fake names or no names, I guess Fr. McD is the only one who knows our secret identities. I have a hunch, though, that many among us are , to put it politely, conservative clergy. I, as you may have guessed, am not. Who would have the, to put it politely, courage to admit that he is a priest...?

rcg said...

I understand they considered asking Senator Joe Lieberman to host the pig roast reception but didn't because they respected his commitment to his faith.

Marc said...

The Church does not condemn the death penalty.

There is no natural right to immigration. Nations, on the other hand, have the duty to secure their borders since the protection of the citizens of the nation is the God-ordained purpose of the state.

Demonizing minorities is wrong. Politicians should not do that. They also shouldn't demonize majorities.

Mark Thomas said...

Joe Biden has assured us that people who oppose the Culture of Death's promotion of sodomy are not bad people. Said persons are simply "ignorant" folks. The "ignorant" people in question must simply be led by elites to accept the truth...that is, "ignorant" Culture of Life folks must be taught that the promotion of the sodomite agenda is right and proper.

In 2015 A.D., Vice President Joseph Biden visited Dallas, Texas, to speak at a Gill Foundation event. The Gill Foundation is a powerful pro-homosexual group who donates money to those who advance the cause of sodomy.

-- Joe Biden to Address Secretive Network of Gay Donors

-- Vice President Joe Biden Speaks at OutGiving 2015

"On Saturday, May 2, Vice President Joe Biden delivered remarks at the biennial OutGiving conference in Dallas. OutGiving brings together major donors and institutional funders – both LGBT and allies – in a private setting to connect, learn, and exchange ideas on ways to advance equality through strategic and intentional philanthropy."

What is OUTgiving? (By the way, the Gill Foundation emphasizes OUTgiving.)

OUTgiving is "a network of LGBT and allied philanthropists and funders."

"OutGiving conferences are invitation-only, private events open to LGBT and allied donors and institutional funders whose annual philanthropy exceeds $25,000 and are interested in collaborating with like-minded funders to increase the effectiveness and impact of their giving in support of LGBT equality."

Vice President Joe Biden's address to OUTgiving.

"I came for a simple reason. I came to say thank you. And I really mean that. Not only for what you’ve done for the LGBT community, but for what you’ve done for every straight man and woman in America.

"You’ve freed decent, ordinary Americans, the vast majority of whom are not homophobic, the vast majority of whom are just unsure, ignorant, not knowing, not exposed."

That is all. People who support the Culture of Life aren't bad, "homophobic" types. They are simply "ignorant" folks who have not been "exposed" to the wonderful world of sodomy.

But via such elite, wealthy, powerful Culture of Death groups as the Gill Foundation, to whom Joe Biden has presented himself as a slave to promote their satanic agenda, "ignorant" Culture of Life folks will someday learn to accept the sin of the Sodomites.

How nice.


Mark Thomas

Daniel said...

Which majority do you believe is being demonized, Marc?

Billy the Kid said...

RE: Proto-Fascist Dictator Wannabee,,,so, you have finally come to your senses about Hillary...good job!

Marc said...

Which minority is being demonized?

Daniel said...

Marc, you do not seem terribly well-informed on church teachings (and "which minority is being demonized? :) ).
You can look this stuff up, you know!

Anonymous said...

Short answer: Yes this should outrage Catholic's . It is a direct assault on their beliefs. It is a political message directed at them, a public spit in the face. No, the Catholic pew warmers cannot excommunicate him, they lack that authority. They can and should vote for someone else. They should avoid voting for anyone associated with him. Mr. Biden clearly told Catholics to "Go to hell." Catholics should tell him to do the same. That's their moral obligation.

gob said...

Eugene...I just had a beverage, a visit and a conversation with my friend, attorney (and BTW Superior Court Judge). In spite of his belief that there is a fairly good chance that a civil suit against you could yield a significant settlement, for your threat to my life, I have decided that I do not want your money. I will not go forward at this time with any action against you. You are, for now, off the hook. Sleep well....Peace be with you...Try to grow up...

Billy the Kid said...

Marc, RE: "Which minority is being demonized?" Virile, conservative Christian white males.

TJM said...

gob, do you have Alzheimers? Your comments are sillier than usual?

rcg said...

TLM, reread gob's post. He was quoting the superior court judge; that speaks to him from the hole in his wall with the other voices. The funny part is that the voice (along with Napoleon and Nostradamus) was probalbly patronizing gob so he would stop talking to them. We should show respect and pity for the voices.

TJM said...

rcg, Touche!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When Biden announced his support for gay marriage on one of those Sunday talk shows a few years ago, if I were his bishop (whether the DC one or his home state of Delaware), I would have sent him a terse note saying he has 48 hours to publicly repudiate such remarks; failure to do so would lead to indefinite suspension from access to the sacraments. Sometimes "quiet diplomacy" just doesn't work, if that is what Cardinal Wuerl (of Washington) had in mind, or whoever Delaware's bishop is (think it is a one diocese state). Same for Tim Kaine's bishop up in Richmond.

But I have been wise not to hold my breath!!!!

Marc said...

gob, in order to prevail in a tort suit, you need two things: an action or inaction by the tortfeasor and damages.

Let's assume that you have been the victim of some tortious conduct. What sort of damages did you experience as a result of that conduct?

Marye said...

Joe Biden is a wonderful Christian Catholic Man. He has suffered a great deal during his life and his faith has pulled him through it all. Joe Biden chooses not to judge people based on who they love. Why is there such a fear of Homosexuals? While I do not understand them it is not my place to judge. Why can't the Catholic church be more accepting as other churches have become? No matter what you may think of Homosexuals they are here to stay and are a part of our Culture. Why can't we just monitor our own behavior and not judge? What does it matter to any of us if a Homosexual is in Church with us? I just do not understand the cause for so much hatred. Why can't we just mind our own business.

Joe Biden's Bishop is very aware of this situation. Why should we worry if his bishop is not worried? Why is it our place to judge Joe Biden? Is what he does a reflection on us? No. I love the Catholic Church but it disturbs me a great deal that we often are so critical if people "stray from the path". Didn't Jesus leave the flock to go and find the one lost? Didn't Jesus say the well did not need the doctor? If only the perfect and holy are allowed to be Catholic then we are missing our role. We need to spend more time monitoring our own thoughts and actions and less time judging others. Catholics are not the judge, God is.

Anonymous said...

Marc we respect your remarks because we know that you indeed are a lawyer. If a human being knows that a person carries guns into a church when it is against the law and that this person has admitted killing people and "sleeping like a baby" and then that person threatens to "Maybe" shoot us, wouldn't that be cause for alarm? Psychologically couldn't the person be so afraid because of a threat that they are terrified to go to church? Psychological damage can limit a person's life. During this day and time when we see shootings almost every day on television isn't a threat a cause for alarm? Legally can't something be done if a person threatens to shoot you?

I'm sure the threat was just a joke because Gene constantly jokes. However during these times we must be careful and not even joke about such things. I was also very upset about guns being taken into our church. I did not call attention to the problem by calling the newspapers or TV stations because our church does not need that kind of public attention. The community would be very upset with Catholics if they saw the threats and racists remarks on a Catholic Blog. I feel sorry for people that are so angry and afraid that they have to hide guns when they go into our church. That bing said, I do not want the public to know about all of this. Not a good image for our Macon Church.

Billy the Kid said...

Anonymous @ 10:56, You are the text book example of a hysteric.

Marc said...

Anonymous at 10:56, Georgia (where both gob and Gene are) requires a physical impact to support a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, which is the name of the tort that gob is alleging here. Since all the alleged "action" here took place online, there is no physical impact. As for damages, merely experiencing "psychological damages" doesn't equate to damages.

See Reason said...

Anonymous at 10:32: If I say repeatedly that I'm a Democrat, but I'm against abortion, against gun control, oppose Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, want to repeal Obamacare, want to cut other entitlement programs and massively increase defense spending, voted for Republican presidential candidates in every one of the last ten presidential elections, and donate regularly to the Republican party, am I really a Democrat?

Likewise, If Joe Biden acts in ways that are clearly contrary to the Catholic faith, is he really Catholic?

Please note what I'm NOT asking here. I'm NOT asking you if the Catholic Church's teachings on homosexuality are correct. I'm NOT asking you whether or not Biden has a strong faith in God or whether or not that faith has been important to him through his hardships. I'm NOT asking you whether or not people are, or should be, afraid of homosexuals. I'm not even asking you whether or not Biden is a good man. I'm simply asking you whether or not Biden is really Catholic--even if he says that he is--when he repeatedly, publicly, unapologetically, acts and speaks in ways that are blatantly in violation of the plainly stated doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church.

See Reason said...

My previous post should have been addressed to Marye at 10:32.

Marye, here's a second question for you. Are you judging us for judging whether Joe Biden is Catholic? Your post sounded a little judgmental to me. But didn't you suggest that we shouldn't judge others?

Here's a third question. Do you judge the horrible things to have happened to Biden (e.g., the loss of his on) to be good or bad? Or do you refuse to judge them?

See Reason said...


My first post didn't go through. Assuming that Fr. McDonald failed to get it, I repost here:

If I say repeatedly that I'm a Democrat, but I am against abortion, against gun control, vote against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, voted for George Bush, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump, want to repeal Obamacare and cut other entitlement programs, and increase defense spending, am I really a Democrat?

Likewise, if Joe Biden says repeatedly that he's Catholic, but he repeatedly and publicly says and does things that fly in the face of clearly expressed Catholic doctrine and does so in ways that suggest he believes his statements and actions are good, is he really Catholic?

Please note what I'm _not_ asking here. I'm _not_ asking whether Church teachings on homosexuality are right or wrong. I'm _not asking you whether or not Biden has a strong faith. I'm _not_ asking you whether or not that faith is important to him. I'm _not_ asking you whether or not Biden is a good man. I'm simply asking whether you really think he's Catholic when he has held, for years if not for decades, positions that blatantly contradict basic Catholic teaching.

Marye said...

See Reason I understand your questions. Joe Biden is a public figure so everything that he does in open to public debate. I don't know if you see this in your own Church but I see this contradiction in my church. Catholics have very strict rules. Some I agree with and some I do not. It has been my experience that most Catholics like Biden use conscience now more than playing by the rule book. I think that the Catholic Chruch needs a lot of reform. Many women in my church use birth control and still receive communion. There are many gay people in my church who actually run gay organizations in my town and they go to communion. There are those who have been divorced and remarried that go to communion. I think today most people pray and use their conscience. I would imagine that it is this way in most churches today. Most young Catholics do not even know all of the teachings of the church. As I said earlier in another post I think the gravest sin is judging others. Joe Biden and his decisions are his decisions. I am not going to be upset because he had some role in a homosexual marriage. He has a bishop, he did not hide the fact that he was at this ceremony. His bishop is the one to worry about Joe Biden not I. And sadly I do think that Joe Biden is just as Catholic as most Catholics. You find very few like it or not that follow all the rules. Some of the rules and teachings today need to be modified so that this church can become more loving and accepting to those who are different from the norm. Again this is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Marc Several weeks ago a young man threatened police on a blog here in Georgia. He did not even name a specific person just threatened. He was arrested in just a matter of hours. Was that not legal for the police to arrest him? This is a topic that interest me because of bullies on the internet. (I have a daughter who was bullied) Can someone threaten to kill you and nothing be done about it? Im not talking now about statements on this blog I just want to know the law. Can people bully and not get in trouble especially if they threaten your life?

Anonymous said...

Gene @ 10:56 You are probably correct that I am hysteric. Many people today are experiencing that feeling as we watch the news from around the world. I simply believe that given the horrible incidents that occur today that we must not even in jest threaten someone. And threatening even as a joke is not a christian behavior. I guess I am a product of the current situation in the world. I guess I am a hysteric.

Billy the Kid said...

Anonymous @10:56, Hysteria is not caused by external events. It is of psychogenic origin.

Anonymous said...

Well then I guess it is of psychogenic origin.

Marc said...

Anonymous at 1:48, that's a criminal law. We are discussing civil law here.

See Reason said...


Thank you for your answer. You're right that a lot more people who claim to be Catholic rely on their consciences today. But to that I have the same question: if they're doing that in ways that lead them to believe and act in repeated/constant violation of Catholic doctrine, are they really Catholic?

Further, even if a whole lot of people are doing this--such as the huge numbers of women who claim to be Catholic who use birth control--does that make it according to Catholic teaching?

Please note that you did stray into answering one of those questions that I specifically didn't ask, i.e., whether or not what the Church teaches is actually correct (or in your words "needs a lot of reform"). Before we discuss that, let's take one thing at a time--in this case, the definition of "Catholic."

So back to this role of conscience. If the Church says that murder is evil, and I follow my conscience, and my conscience says that murder is good, and so I murder someone, then am I not in the same position as Biden? After all, we have both used our conscience to disagree with the Church and yet we both still claim to be Catholic.

I'm guessing that you might be tempted to say that these are two different cases, because murder is worse than publicly condoning homosexuality. I will agree that murder is worse than publicly condoning homosexuality. But if a person relies on his conscience to disagree with one law--any law, whether it's murder or homosexuality or birth control--then hasn't that person done two things: 1) rejected the basic authority of the lawmaker to make law--any law--and thus the authority of every law that the lawmaker has ever enacted, and 2) adopted the position that he, not the law, gets to judge what is right?

I think you'll find that adopting this position is the essence of Protestantism, not Catholicism. Conscience does play a role in Catholicism, but not to this degree. Protestantism began when people said that what the Church clearly teaches is wrong and that following conscience instead of that clear Church teaching is right. That's the very definition of Protestantism.

As for judgment, I'm not judging the state of Biden's soul. I _am_ judging his act, because that act plainly violates the teachings of the Church, and yet the person committing the act is unapologetically claiming it to be a good thing and still claiming himself to be Catholic. The problem with that is that it can and does confuse people about what Catholicism is and what it teaches.

Marye said...

See Reason I understand everything that you say and I agree. I do tho believe it is a fact that Catholic membership is declining. Many who are in the church and are counted among the declining number do not follow church teaching. So I wonder really "What is a Catholic" today in 2016? I say this with respect. With the exception of very few I do not see most following church teachings. Its sad really because many do not even know all of the church teachings. So perhaps even those that are "Catholics" are really not Catholics at all. That is interesting. They are not Catholic and they do not even know it.

Marye said...

See Reason I have a question for you. Perhaps you can help me understand. Many of the church teachings were inspired by God long after Jesus had died and returned to heaven. I do not know the process by which something becomes church teaching. I am ignorant about such matters. I wish to learn.

I will use birth control as an example. Jesus never discussed birth control because during his lifetime that was not a possibility. (I guess) Later the church adopted that belief. To use birth control is considered a mortal sin if I am understanding correctly.

I am older and the issue with birth control is not a concern for me however I have a situation that calls for reflection. A young lady in my workplace has three children. She is not 30 years old. She had a great deal of trouble with her last child and suffered a mild stroke. Two doctors have told her that she should not have any more children due to the risk to her own life. This woman talks to me a great deal and is a Catholic. She herself is one of 9 children. She will now take birth control based on her doctors advice. She feels that her young children need a mother and does not want to take the chance that she could die having another child. She tells me that she will continue to go to communion. She told me that she went to confession and that the priest told her to follow her conscience. Was the priest giving her false advice? Is she committing a mortal sin based on her decision that could save her life? How many young Catholic mothers in her shoes would not have chosen the same path? Will the church ever reform the teachings on birth control for health reasons? Can they reform the doctrine?

Billy the Kid said...

There was birth control in the Roman Empire. Clove oil was rubbed on the face of the uterus. I'm sure there were other methods, as well.

Anonymous said...

Something to think about: The young couples today want what their parents were able to provide for them. They want a home and a good education for their children. A good education is a Catholic Education. (Have you seen the tuition for a Catholic High School lately?) In order to provide just these basics both young couples have to work. (unless they are very lucky) Most young couples today struggle to afford more than two children. When a woman has to work just as hard as a man and is not able to stay at home with her children the issue of birth control becomes very important just for the couple to care for the children they already have. I see no reason why the church should call birth control a mortal sin when a married couple desires a home, a good education for their children and the woman has to work outside of the home as hard as a man. This is the major reason why the church fails to attract young couples that would support the church and Catholic Schools. It is a very sad situation. The couple are trying to live a responsible life and because of working mothers gone are the days when a family can have 5 or more children. It is just not possible. The church looses these good young people.

Anonymous said...

Billy, I do not recall reading in the Bible, Jesus saying "Thou shall not use clove oil"

Billy the Kid said...

Gee, Anonymous @ 9:59, I don't remember him saying about that either. He also did not say anything about anal sex, public sex parties in the streets of some major cities, men using women's bathrooms, cocaine use, meth labs, gay marriage, or lesbiansm. I guess that must mean all these things are ok.

George said...


The Catholic Church approves a birth control method know as Natural Family Planning (NFP). It does not approve of artificial means of birth control, some of which are

"Jesus never discussed birth control because during his lifetime that was not a possibility."

Birth Control and abortion in some form or another did exist at the time of Christ.
Jesus did not explicitly discuss these things because they were considered abominable practices in the Jewish religious culture He was part of. They were already covered in the teachings of the time, such as in the Mosaic Law.

See Reason said...

Marye, thanks again for your comment and your question. I will break down my reply into multiple posts.
I agree that a great many people who are nominally Catholic today aren't aware of what the Church actually teaches. This is largely due not to their own failings but because the bishops, over the past half century, have allowed catechesis (Catholic education on doctrine) to go into catastrophic decline where they have not actively wrecked it. The reasons for this I won't get into here but could explain later if you wish.
First I'll try to explain authority further and then I'll reply specifically to your birth control question. Regarding authority (such as the Church later teaching something that Christ didn’t): think of it this way. You know about Sir Issac Newton laws of motion and gravity, which he set forth in the 1600s? The whole apple on the head thing? OK, here’s a question: did the law of gravity exist before Newton was born? Of course it did. Newton didn’t create the law of gravity; his law of gravity simply described something that had always existed.
Likewise the teachings of the Church. In the first place, we don’t know that Christ didn’t teach about birth control; we only know that the apostles didn’t _record_ any such teachings of Christ in the Gospels. Remember the end of the Gospel of John: “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” Further, as new questions and challenges arise, the bishops--who got their authority from the apostles, who got it from Christ, who is God--had to make clear things that had always been (like the law of gravity) but had never been clearly stated because there had been no need. For instance, three hundred years after Christ, when a bishop names Arius started arguing that Christ was a separate, lesser God from God the father (note this fact of a bishop teaching error), the Church responded with the Nicene Creed, which explicitly stated that Christ was the same God as God the Father. A thousand years later, when for the first time some breakaway groups (including Protestants) started challenging Transubstantiation and the Real Presence, the Church made several express statements defining and Transubstantiation. It had always been, but it didn’t need explaining until then (again, like Newton’s Laws). So the proper way to think of Church doctrines isn’t like Congress deciding what the income tax rate is and later deciding that the tax rate needs to be changed, but the Church, guided and protected from error by the Holy Spirit, discerning and declaring universal, unchangeable truths laid down by God from the beginning of the world. Does that help?
Of course, it can be argued (as Protestants and non-Christians do) that when the bishops announce these doctrines, they _aren’t_ guided and protected from error by the Holy Spirit and that the doctrines are thus wrong. That’s what I meant when I said that if the bishops get it wrong just once, then maybe they can get other things wrong--that they _aren’t_ guided by the Holy Spirit. But if somebody takes that view, he’s essentially saying that the Catholic Church isn’t what she has always claimed to be--the Church established by Christ and infallibly guided by God as she proclaims the True Gospel. If someone honestly believes in good faith that the Church has taught error, as nearly a billion Protestants do, then so be it. But is someone believes that and yet continues to claim he’s a Catholic, he either doesn’t understand Catholicism or he’s being deceitful, and either way he may well confuse other Catholics, which is why his actions must be addressed.
To be continued . . .

See Reason said...

Marye: Now on to birth control and conscience. If you follow me so far, you can see where I’m going: that the Church’s doctrines on birth control aren’t just a policy the bishops just dreamed up long after Christ--a policy that can change with the times as birth control gets better or sexual behavior gets looser or womens’ roles in society change--but a very fundamental, unchanging statement of the nature of human sexuality (to the effect that marriage and sex is a sharing in God’s power of creative love) and that to try to render that love uncreative and infertile distorts the very nature of what it means to be human. In fact, we find some of the earliest statements about birth control (which as Billy points out did exist in the ancient world--in ancient Egypt they used crocodile dung) in a document called the Didache, which was written in the first century and which discusses the use of potions in regard to pregnancy--i.e., birth control. As time passed the Church, guided by God, issued clearer and clearer statements about it, and that teaching for centuries has been very clear. So when the priest told your friend to follow her conscience, I’m really not sure how that advice can be squared with what the Church plainly teaches, especially since we know that the pill can cause “silent abortions,” i.e. acting after conception to prevent the child from implanting in the uterus and thus killing him/her.

I think the thing that may be giving you (and your friend) a hard time--and you are not alone, as we have been infected these past fifty years with the worldly idea of sexual gratification--is that we all of us somehow have a “right” to have our own way in sex and in other matters. What she was asking (though she may not have realized it) was not “How do I avoid risking my life?” but “How do I avoid risking my life while still getting to have sex when I want to?” Those are two completely different questions. The answer to the first question--the one she should have been asking--was easy. Abstain from having sex. But that’s not something people want to hear at all, especially in this day and age when we’re bombarded by sex from every direction. So she naturally asks the second question, and she runs into a priest that for whatever reason either didn’t wish to explain the teaching of the Church to her or he himself had radical (and wrong) ideas about that teaching. (Remember, bishops and priests can be wrong. One thing that makes the Church different from Protestantism is that we can compare what the bishop or priest says with what the Church teaches, since those teachings are clearly set forth in various documents, and respectfully say to him “No, Father, what you’re saying isn’t what the Church teaches.”)
It’s a hard thing to accept that sometimes God calls us to make sacrifices and that sometimes those sacrifices are very big ones. But that’s how it is. Consider that your friend, by following her conscience and using the pill, may have experienced one or more abortions, i.e. killings of her own children. These doctrines aren’t here to be a drag--they’re here to protect us and help us get to heaven. We’re playing with live ammo.

Does this explanation help?

Adult said...

In my official Southern Orders documents, I'm changing the designation of "Billy the Kid" to "Billy the Child".

Marye said...

To See Reason, Thank you for taking the time to explain so much to me. You are an excellent teacher. I learned a great deal. I certainly do trust the church. If a doctrine helps us by protection and getting us to heaven I am all for it. I still tho worry so much about the women who have so many children they can't afford and health issues that come with having so many children. I guess one day God will explain it all to me. You helped me a lot. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Why is Billy the Kid always mad? We are all fellow Catholics who sometimes disagree or don't understand.
Why such language?

Marye said...

Thank You George. I am now a Grandmother. As a young catholic married woman I did use NFP and it worked perfectly for me. God gave the gift of just enough children and the money to take care of them. I was also very lucky because had I have had lots of children I could have not worked. My husband and I were lucky we were fortunate. I was also blessed with a Catholic husband who agreed with me. That is also a very important issue. But I must say I do not know if I would have been so at ease with our decision if I had of had health issues. The thought of something happening to me and leaving my children without a mother would have been horrible. I can't say honestly that I would not have used birth control if my doctor had advised. I thank God that I was never in that position. I do so worry about the women who do have serious financial and health issues and husbands that do not agree. You are indeed correct we should trust God. For some unlucky women they are terrified. Don't you think God understands these young women? I do.

DJR said...


The Bible condemns artificial contraception in several places. You can read a Protestant viewpoint at the link:

In addition to those mentioned in the article, there is a condemnation in a Deuterocanonical book, in a psalm, and in the Apocalypse (Revelation).

See Reason said...


Glad I could help.

George said...


Go to the link that DJR provided and read what is there. It goes into detail about what I was alluding to in my comment.

Marye said...

George and DJR I had NO IDEA that all of that was in the Bible. I think this should be shared with a lot of young Catholic mothers.