It is clear to me.....this picture is very related to the war that is happening today....where people can be lead to choose or make a direct choice to have or perform an abortion. Truly, a mother/or her doctor really have no "authority" on determining to abort a child in womb. Should a fellow person have authority on when it is suitable to terminate your life? A mother, and of course all doctors nurses etc, have the duty, as given to them, to continue support for this child. He is a person! Pro-abortionists have such a purely distorted view of life! When science backs the beginning of life at conception 100%....yet these radicals still remain persistently mindless, senseless, and ignorant to the reality that to willfully abort a child is no different than assassinating his neighbor. Yet, the defense of "Choice" people choose to lead a distorted life, to live by this Ideology, like Nazi Germany believed, like the institution of slavery in America believed.....that if they can make it "LEGAL" to kill someone, or to 'use' someone as their slave, then there is nothing wrong with it, or that its even "good" to do. Sadly, the "pro-abortion/pro-choice movement" is no different than Nazi-ism or the institution of slavery. It is through tough acceptance of what abortion is, that pro-choice people must realize what they defend, the greatest evil of today. I pray for them to open their eyes and hearts.
How ridiculous the distortion of the pro-choice movement is. How absurd and cowardly those people choose to be and choose to think regardless of the truth. They live by the crookedness-thinking that 'Government' is what decides what is right and wrong through "legality"! In this case, the law can dictate something so inherently evil, and force its people to accept it as righteous. So under the Law of the US right now, there is a legality that grants one to terminate the very life growing in a mothers womb. Its insane!
May God have mercy on this evil President, who fervently defends a woman's right to murder her own defenseless innocent child in womb...and for his support of so many other intrinsically evil "perversions" to be made legal.
Contraceptives can help destroy marriages. Only four years after contraceptives were first tested, researchers found that marriages in which contraceptives were used were twice as likely to end in divorce than marriages in which there was no contraceptive use1. Why this huge difference? Well, using contraceptives means that a couple's fertility is suppressed, and treated like a disease. They are no longer able to share themselves with each other totally in the sex act. There is a barrier not just physical, but also emotional, erected between them. They are closing one part of themselves off from each other, and from God. Often the couple begin to be dissatisfied. The wife starts to feel that the husband does not desire her, only her body. The husband begins to feel that his wife doesn't really want to have sex with him, that she is cold and tired. These attitudes can poison their whole relationship. With this crucial part of their marriage gone bad, soon other problems develop. Before they know it, the couple is in divorce court, dividing up their mutual property.
Hormonal contraceptives, besides being abortifacient, have horrific side effects for the women who use them. From high blood pressure to blood clots2, to heart attacks3, to migraine headaches, to menstrual problems after you quit taking the drug, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, Norplant, and Depo-Provera etc) can wreak havoc on a woman's body. It is no coincidence that the rise in breast cancer followed ten to fifteen years after hormonal contraceptives first became readily available4. It is also no coincidence that many women who have been on the pill for years and now want children, find they are now infertile5. Infertility has become a national epidemic, with couples spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying desperately to conceive. Unethical doctors continue to become wealthy prescribing contraceptives and then treating the side effects.
Contraceptives treat children like a disease. We take medicine or have surgery done to prevent them. When a couple does become pregnant in our modern culture, it may be seen as an occasion for condolences rather than congratulations. A pregnancy after a couple has one or two children may be treated as an unfortunate mistake. As Christians, we know that this attitude is wrong. The Bible tells us that children are a gift from God. They are His blessings. An abundance of children is an expression of God's special favor. What right do any of us have to refuse a gift from God? Instead of the world's attitude that children are bothersome nuisances that prevent us from enjoying our hard-earned wealth, we need to see each child as a marvelous assist to full human life. We believe that all children are good and beautiful. Although some pregnancies may occur under tragic circumstances, each child is an occasion for celebration.
Contraceptives degrade women. From the day in junior high when a woman menstruates for the first time, a woman's fertility is a huge part of her life. If her constantly changing hormones were not enough, for five to ten days every month she gets powerfully reminded again and again that this body of hers was designed to conceive and bear children. When a woman uses contraceptives, she and her partner are actively rejecting this essential fact about herself. Her ability to become pregnant, one of the greatest blessings of her life, becomes unacceptable and a burden. Because most contraceptives are designed to be used by women, when they fail, and a pregnancy occurs, it is "her fault." She is expected to "deal with" her mistake, usually by having an abortion. The father of the child, although he is as responsible for this child as the mother, feels free to abandon both of them. After all, since the contraception wasn't his responsibility, why should he be responsible for the result of the contraceptive failure?
Finally, we believe that the use of contraception is wrong, because that is what our Church teaches. Although it has come under serious fire both from within and without, the Roman Catholic Church has never changed its centuries-old teaching that contraception is morally wrong, and that its use is immoral. Many Catholics have been deceived into believing that the Catholic Church has changed its teaching, or that it doesn't matter anymore. The truth is that the Church cannot change the Creator's design. What is intrinsically immoral will always remain so. We challenge all believers to find out the truth, examine their own consciences, and live up to the standard that our Church has set for us. It's never too late to make a change.
Read the full story here:
Questions and answers on the "Dignitas Personae" ...based on the inherent dignity of each and every human person from conception to natural death
1. What kind of document is this?
It is an “instruction” from the Catholic Church’s highest doctrinal agency, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), applying timeless moral principles to some new issues and situations arising from biotechnology. It does not declare a new infallibly defined dogma, but is approved by Pope Benedict XVI and has his authority.
Like most Church teachings, its moral judgments are part of the “universal ordinary magisterium.” Catholics are called to inform their consciences with such teaching, adhering to it with “religious assent” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 892).
2. What does its title mean?
The Latin title Dignitas Personae means “the dignity of a person.” All the conclusions of the document are based on the inherent dignity of each and every human person, from conception to natural death, and the need for all technology and other human activity to respect that dignity. While the Church must make a negative judgment about some misuses of technology, the Instruction explains: “Behind every ‘no’ in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great ‘yes’ to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence.”
3. Does it have precedent in other Church documents?
Yes. Chiefly it is a sequel to “Donum Vitae: Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation,” issued by the Congregation in 1987 to address human “in vitro” fertilization (IVF) and the abuse and manipulation of human life in its earliest stages that this technology made possible. Other judgments in the document – on human cloning, embryonic and adult stem cell research, genetic engineering, drugs and devices for preventing implantation, etc. – confirm and elaborate statements made in past speeches or other documents from Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI, or in the Holy See’s interventions at international forums such as the United Nations. In recent years these topics have also been the subject of symposia and/or documents from the advisory body, the Pontifical Academy for Life.
4. Why is the Catholic Church opposed to reproductive technologies such as “in vitro” fertilization?
The child conceived in human procreation is a human person, equal in dignity with the parents. Therefore he or she deserves to be brought into being through an act of total and committed marital love between husband and wife. Technologies that assist the couple’s marital union in giving rise to a child respect this special dignity of the human person; technologies that replace it with a procedure by a technician in a laboratory do not. The moral problem is aggravated by efforts to introduce gametes (sperm or egg) from people outside the marriage, to make use of another woman’s womb to gestate the child, or to exercise “quality control” over the child as though he or she were a product. IVF as practiced today also involves a very high death rate for the embryos involved, and opens the door to further abuses such as embryo cryopreservation (freezing) and destructive experimentation.
5. What topics in this document have not been specifically addressed in past
Some very new issues are discussed here for the first time. Some proposed methods for altering the technique for human cloning so it will produce embryonic stem cells but not an embryo (e.g., “altered nuclear transfer”) are judged to require more study and clarification before they could ethically be applied to humans, as one would have to be certain that a new human being is never created and then destroyed by the procedure.(These cautions do not apply to an even newer technique, using genetic or chemical factors to reprogram ordinary adult cells directly into “induced pluripotent stem cells” with the versatility of embryonic stem cells. This clearly does not use an egg or create an embryo, and has not raised objections from Catholic theologians.) Proposals for “adoption” of abandoned or unwanted frozen embryos are also found to pose problems, because the Church opposes use of the gametes or bodies of others who are outside the marital covenant for reproduction. The document raises cautions or problems about these new issues but does not formally make a definitive judgment against them. The document also goes into far more detail than past documents in raising moral concerns about use of “germ-line” genetic engineering in human beings, for treatments and especially for supposed “enhancement” or tailoring of human characteristics.
6. Do the cautions or negative judgments on such developments indicate a suspicious attitude toward modern biotechnology in general?
On the contrary, the document says that in making use of these new technological powers the human being “participates in the creative power of God” and acts as “the steward of the value and intrinsic beauty of creation.” It is because this power carries with it great responsibility that we must never misuse technology to demean human dignity, but always to serve the value and dignity of every person without exception. Misuse of genetic technology may make possible new forms of discrimination and oppression of the weak by the strong, in which some human beings exert ultimate control over others – creating and destroying them for supposed benefit to others, manipulating them to make the “better” human being, or denying them their most fundamental rights because they do not measure up to someone’s standard for human perfection. Because science and technology have a great potential for doing both good and evil, they must be guided by an ethic grounded in human dignity.
This excellent question and answer summary of "Dignitas Personae" (The Dignity of the Person) the Vatican's newest Instruction on Bioethics, is available of the web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
article may be found at http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=31057
The use of contraceptives did not really take off until the advent of the pill in the early '60s. At the time, the pill was heralded as a great boon to married couples because it would remove from sex the fear of pregnancy. The divorce rate in America was 25 percent. It proceeded to double quite rapidly. While there were a number of reasons for this general breakdown of marriage, the pill certainly contributed. One obvious reason is that it makes infidelity easier by taking babies out of the picture. It also turns premarital sex into a recreation like tennis or bungee jumping, so that many enter marriage with a consumerist attitude toward sex that is easily bored and dissatisfied.
But there are more profound reasons why the pill is so disruptive to marital happiness. It has to do with the nature of sexuality itself. Sex, we tell our audience, is a mystery that can never be reduced to mere biology. It has a meaning far beyond the physical act of love. In The Graduate when Mr. Robinson confronts young Benjamin Braddock about his adultery with Mrs. Robinson, Benjamin defends himself by saying that it was no big deal: "Mrs. Robinson and I might just as well have been shaking hands." Mr. Robinson gets even more upset, and rightly so; because behind Benjamin's statement is a gnostic separation of spirit and flesh, of heart and body, which even the dimmest of cuckolds can sense is utterly wrong.
Our culture has been able to turn sex into a casual activity because it has separated personhood from the human body. Most people have the idea that their real self is somewhere inside the proverbial ghost in the machine and that what they do with their bodies doesn't make much difference. But this has never been the view of the Church, which teaches that the body is not a mere appendage, but is as much a part of us as our soul. After all, we don't say in the Nicene Creed that we believe in the immortality of the soul, but in the resurrection of the body. In a very significant way, we are what we do with our bodies.
The Old Testament uses a very interesting verb for sex: to "know." One of the things we surrender in the act of love is knowledge about ourselves that only our spouse should have. Nobody has written about these aspects of sex more profoundly than John Paul II in Love and Responsibility (1959). In that book, the future philosopher-pope argues further that each person is an irreducible subject "a person, not a thing," who ought never to be used as an object. As we know, sex is an appetite which has a tendency to do just that: to treat persons as objects. A couple can easily slip into treating one another as objects, as things to be used in bed, rather than as persons giving and receiving the spousal gift of love. And this may be why so many couples are bored by modern sex: You can tire of an object, while you can never tire of a person.
There is also the matter of babies. God's first command to humanity was to be fruitful and multiply. For those made uncomfortable by divine injunctions, the most elementary biology textbook will explain that sex is for making babies. And since sex is such a deep part our identity, it may be that when you sterilize the baby-making potential of sex, you are doing damage to yourself.
Artificial contraception is wrong because it violates the gift of self that ought to be at the center of every act of physical love. When you take the pill or use a foam, diaphragm, condom, or whatever, you are, in effect, saying to your spouse, "In this, the most intimate act of our marriage, I am going to give myself to you, but only up to a point." Or, conversely, you are saying, "I want you in this act to make a total gift to me of yourself, except that part of you which so deeply defines you as a sexual being, your fertility."
The body has its own deep language, and when we add chemicals or latex to the act of love, when we deliberately destroy its potential for making new life, we falsify the nuptial meaning of its actions. We hold back the full gift of self which during the wife's fertile period must include an openness to new life.
A couple who use artificial birth control are not only falsifying the meaning of sex, they are also behaving immaturely: trying to extract gratification from an act while getting rid of its natural consequences. It is not unlike certain eating disorders.
Chesterton put it well when he said that birth control "is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself."
Okay...many of you have experienced the type of churches in America, and elsewhere that are......"different?" Maybe some of you dont know what I'm talking about because you think..."a church is a church". Well, as a designer this sort of stuff infuriates me believe it or not. This "new age" mentality of practice. It bugs me to see how churches in America have gone from beautiful cathedrals to random shaped boxes/structures that "try" to translate an 'abstract design?'...all for the purpose to create a 'lax,' 'community,' 'hall' setting inside. From cushioned seats and kneelers, to abstract altars or 'no' altars, to the absence of crucifixes, to silly pictures in place of the stations of the cross...or sometimes i find myself challenged to discover where stations are hidden...The music arrangement is similar to that of a band..(does this sound like a "Simpsons cartoon?")...finally the most important part, the 'Tabernacle', usually hidden in some accessible closet or hidden area. Why? Why all this confusion and reconfiguration from good old tradition? Was their design intention to help us all 'forget' we are Catholic? These new Catholic churches mostly built after the 60's and 70's have been 'sapped' of their spiritual vitality. It should bring us all to question and wonder where the minds of these architects, and those Catholics who hired these architects were thinking. It seems the execution of their designs was everything 'but' Christian. I think you'd all be interested to know how drastic church architecture has changed in America and other places since after Vatican II. Perhaps the complete misinterpretation and then rejection of Vatican II in America awakened all this...and what has it done to our brothers and sisters but only detach them from 'Tradition'. hmmmmmmm...something to think about. An interesting book on this: "Ugly as Sin" by Michael S. Rose
here's a brief summary:
So argues Michael S. Rose in these eye-opening pages, which banish forever the notion that lovers of traditional-style churches are motivated simply by taste or nostolgia. In terms that non-architects can understand (and modern architects can't dismiss!), Rose shows that far more is at stake: modern churches actually violate the three natural laws of church architecture and lead Catholics to worship, quite simply, a false god.
Not content to limit himself to theory, Rose in Ugly As Sin takes you on a revealing tour through a traditional church and a modern church. He shows conclusively how the traditional church communicates the Faith, while the modern one simply doesn't. In the process, he'll give you a renewed understanding, love, and gratitude for the gift of faith that is your traditional church -- plus a keener sense of just what's wrong with modern churches that look like anything but churches. Rose provides you with solid arguments (as easy to explain as they are hard to refute!) and practical tools that you can use to reverse the dangerous trend toward desacralized churches -- and to make our churches once again into magnificent Houses of God!
Praise for Ugly As Sin
Michael Morris, O.P., Crisis Magazine
Not since 1836, when Augustus Welby Pugin wrote Contrasts, a book that compared the bankruptcy of contemporary English architecture to the idealized gothicism of the Catholic past, has such a forceful argument been made for a return to architectural tradition. Like Contrasts, Rose's book is dynamite, and there will no doubt be critical attempts to defuse it. Nonetheless, Ugly As Sin may well lead to a complete reassessment of Catholic liturgy, art, and architecture, just as Pugin's work ended up reforming style and ritual in the Church of England.
Catesby Leigh, Touchstone
Clear, jargon-free, extremely informative, and generously illustrated with photographs. [Rose] throws in just the right amount of historical detail…without getting mired in art-historical minutiae.
Duncan Stroik, National Catholic Register
Not since J.B. O'Connell's Church Building and Furnishing of 1955 has there been such a complete work on the history, theology and practical aspects of designing the house of God. Ugly As Sin is rich in theological allusion, biblical meaning and Church teaching as they affect the architecture of the church. Accompanying a plethora of images of beautiful and ugly churches is Rose's enjoyable, witty and readable text.
Emily Oren, Los Angeles Times
…a useful index of architectural elements and their spiritual significance… it has a pleasingly accessible narrative shape and a logical design, making for easy reference.
About the Author
Michael S. Rose is the New York Times best-selling author of Goodbye, Good Men, and four other books: In Tiers of Glory, The Renovation Manipulation, Benedict XVI: The Man Who Was Ratzinger and Priest. Among other controversial issues, he writes frequently and compellingly on sacred architecture. Rose holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture (B.Arch) from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from Brown University. He has worked in the offices of prominent architects in London, New York, San Francisco and Boston. His architectural criticism has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, Catholic World Report, New Oxford Review, Adoremus Bulletin, Latin Mass, Sacred Architecture, and elsewhere.
I also took advantage of using these images for my senior thesis project,depicting my concept for a Therapeutic Equestrian Riding School....
look at their beauty...some of them have monster dreadlocks...
Many people, including Catholics themselves, have no idea why we walk around on Ash Wednesday with dirty black smudges on our foreheads.
First, it’s not a smudge. It’s supposed to be a cross drawn with ash. However, some of the people administering the ashes are a little better artists than others. Either way, it gets the job done.
Second, the ashes represent our mortality and are an outward sign of our sinfulness.
But why would anyone want to be reminded of this?
Perhaps because it’s true. We are indeed mortal - we are dust, and to dust we shall return (Gen 3:19). We are sinful too. And in a world that constantly says “if it feels good, do it” and suggests that a guilty conscience is just one more thing we need a prescription for, we definitely need this healthy dose of reality.
There is something much more important that must go along with this, though. It always helps to put everything we do in the Church in context with the most important event - the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter.
In this case, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent which is preparation for Easter. And real preparation for Easter isn’t done with travel plans, fervor over the Sunday afternoon meal, and a resolution to eat less chocolate. It’s done in your soul.
When we look in the mirror on Ash Wednesday and see that black smudge on our forehead, we should be reminded that, no matter what, we are still sinners in need of constant conversion. It is the Church calling us back once again to the graces of our baptism, to do penance, and amend our lives as we approach the greatest celebration in the Church - Easter.So don’t wear your ashes proudly, but make sure you wear them…and wear them humbly
The day after Fat Tuesday begins with suffering and self-sacrifice for many people…suffering from a hangover and a sacrificing of much needed sleep in order to make it to work on time. Somehow, I think many of us might be missing the point. For many, Fat Tuesday (English for Mardi Gras) seems to be just another reason to stay out late, drink heavily, expose ourselves, and commit all types of RAI (Random Acts of Immorality). And somehow it’s all excused because hey… it’s Mardi Gras!
Nobody likes to poop on a party, but it is quite obvious that we have lost sight of the true meaning of the festivities. If I thought that this next point would be contested by many, I might actually do a survey to verify it. But if we were to ask the average crowd on Bourbon Street during a Mardi Gras celebration, “What day is tomorrow?” I am willing to bet that many of them would not really have a clue what we were really asking. Midnight on Fat Tuesday is not just the end of the party, it’s the beginning of something much more significant and much more important. It’s the beginning of Lent. The day after Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday .
The whole purpose of Fat Tuesday is to feast in order to prepare for the fast of the 40 days of Lent. Traditionally, the feast consisted of fattened calves, dairy, eggs, fat, etc. that all had to be used up before Lent because the fast of Lent required abstaining from those things. This was back when the observed fast was generally stricter than just the “no meat on Fridays, etc.” that it is currently in the United States today. Fat Tuesday also marks the final day of the Carnival festivities, which comes from the words “Carne Vale,” meaning “farewell to the flesh.”
So the spirit of Fat Tuesday is one of preparation for the Lenten season to come. It is a farewell to the flesh. It is about preparing ourselves to die a little more to ourselves during Lent through fasting and abstinence in order to prepare for Good Friday and Easter, the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And since Easter is the climax of the Christian calendar, it deserves preparation. It is the Easter event that we celebrate most as Christians and, as Catholics, on a smaller scale every Sunday at Mass. So it is only appropriate that we prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to participate fully in the sacrifice and redemption of the cross. And we should do this for the celebration of the Mass each and every Sunday, but most especially for the Easter Mass. This Easter preparation is what the Church calls Lent.
The early Church, in its wisdom, evolved many of the pagan festivals and holidays existing during that time and turned them into Christian celebrations instead. This was because it was more difficult to kill existing traditions and begin new ones than it was to just change the meaning of the existing traditions. So what it did was take something that had strayed from God’s desires and converted it to a new meaning that pointed it back to God. (Which is pretty neat because that’s exactly what Christ came to do for us; He didn’t come to condemn our hearts, He came to convert them.)
Similarly, Fat Tuesday has its roots in hedonistic pagan rituals and celebrations, but the Church came and gave deeper meaning to them. It said, yes, be thankful for all these things you have, celebrate those, but here is Who you should be thanking: Jesus. And go ahead, live it up and be silly and happy. Fill yourselves with all of this wonderful food tonight, because tomorrow… tomorrow we fast and abstain for 40 days. Tomorrow we prepare for the real and ultimate fulfillment, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior. Tomorrow we prepare to receive the eternal food, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And of course with this new Christian purpose, even with all of the feasting and merriment prior to Lent, it was not an excuse to sin. It was a call to conversion from sinful traditions. It was just as much a call to repentance.
Unfortunately, currently we find ourselves very much back in that same situation. Most Mardi Gras celebrations today are a closer resemblance of the ancient hedonistic festivals than the Christian preparation for Lent that they are supposed to be. As Catholics (and other Christians who practice Lent), we must partially blame ourselves for allowing this holy time of year to be overshadowed by a drunken, over-indulgent, high-jacking of our own celebration. Like the early Church Christians, we have to give it meaning again. We have to point it back in the right direction — toward God. We have to allow ourselves to be converted and then work for the conversion of others. We shouldn’t wake up the day after Fat Tuesday suffering from a hangover. We should wake up immersed in the suffering and self-sacrifice of Lent. And everyone should know what day comes after Fat Tuesday. (article found at http://catholicexchange.com/2009/02/21/116108/)