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Warning! Says the Bishops. Beware Catholic Faithful.

I was reading the blogs that I frequent and I came across this by Dr. John Bergsma on his shared blog The  Sacred Page.  I was not aware things like this were taken care of at a more local level.  

The USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine wrote a document last week warning the faithful of the book, The Sexual Person: Towards a Renewed Catholic Anthropology by Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler.  It finds its empitome in this blurb: 

“Its interpersonal and experiential approach points to a thorough revision of Church teaching on birth control, reproductive technology, premarital sex, and homosexuality.” — Edward C. Vacek, SJ, professor, Department of Moral Theology, Weston Jesuit School of Theology (my own emphasis added)

 The bishop’s document (found here) is coherent, clear, and straightforward about the inadequacies and outright problems with the work.  First and foremost, it oversimplifies and (possibly) unintentionally desacralizes Sacred Scripture treating it with as much or less reverence than a publication of poems written by and for four year olds.  Each moral statement in Scripture is sociohistorically conditioned, so conditioned as to have no relevance in the 21st Century.  They don’t even bother to do the work of deconstruction to take down the arguments they go the easy route of absolute relativism.  However, “The Church has never doubted, however, that with proper study and analysis it is possible not only to come to an understanding of the meaning that the scriptural writer intended but also, through an understanding of the human words, to come to an understanding of what God intended to convey to us by means of the human writers.  History is not an impassable barrier for communication of God’s truth through Scripture.” (7 of bishop’s document)

The document goes on to speak about Salzman and Lawler’s lack of grasping the natural law.  Their conclusions are dissident, disrespectful, and moral relativistic.  Be warned this book is not representative of Catholic sexual ethics.  Do not be mislead by their use of Catholic language including the Theology of the Body-esque title of the book.  

Catholic New Media and the Baptismal Call of Evangelization

Now first of all, I don’t claim to have an extensive knowledge of new media even Catholic New Media (these guys do). I don’t feel like I have the greatest grasp on why Catholics blog, podcast, vidcast, or whatever new media I’m not even familiar with. I think I can make one assumption though, there is a definite evangelistic tinge to all Catholic media, as there is to all things Catholic. These Catholic new media peeps wish to share with the world their faith in Jesus Christ. They try to embody this:

“Evangelizing the social sector, then, means infusing into the human heart the power of meaning and freedom found in the Gospel, in order to promote a society befitting mankind because it befits Christ: it means building a city of man that is more human because it is in greater conformity with the Kingdom of God.”*

The way in which I have experienced Catholic new media those bloggers, podcasters, and vidcasters emoby this evangelistic thrust. Whether they are discussing the inner workings of the Catholic hierarchy, or sharing videos on vocations, or discussing whether Jesus spoke Greek, all of these people wish to share the freedom and meaning of the Gospel and the Christian life.

So, whomever reads this: SUPPORT CATHOLIC NEW MEDIA. Give the support it needs to reach more and more people not for the sake of popularity or numbers or pride but for the greater possibility of saving more souls.

* Compendium of Social Doctrine, para. 63

Reading Insights from Catholic Underground

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Catholic Underground’s podcast. Two priests and two layman get to get together to talk about faith and technology. Trying a new format, Fr. Ryan Humpheries heads this show. He talks about the Pope Benedict XVI’s new encyclical Caritas in Veritate as well as a very popular book called The Death of a Pope by Pierce Paul Reid. Fr. Humphries gives a great explanation on Benedict’s idea of the continuity and unity of Catholic teaching. He also warns people of the problems of Pierce Paul Reid’s book. I personally have not heard all of the hooplah over this novel, but according to Fr. Humphries it’s been the book to talk about in Catholic circles. Nonetheless, it also deals with the continuity and unity of Catholic teaching or lack thereof. Check it out.

Friends Rocking the Blog-o-sphere

About a month and a half ago, I was sent an invitation on Facebook to be a fan of Histube. I was evidently curious as to what this would be. My first thought was a cheesy Christian ripoff of youtube. (I love first thoughts. They get proved wrong so many times.) This is one of those cases. I found out a friend of mine and fellow seminarian, Joshua Johnson (a diocesan brother of Brent, the dude without a nickname that writes for this fantastic blog), had set this up in conjunction with Focus Television Studios. Focus most definitely has an older audience in mind with more of their television programing. Histube is their foray to the younger generation. It’s basic premise is the same as youtube (post video, comment about said video and other videos, etc). It thankfully lacks the useless and tactless comments found on many videos you find on youtube. Furthermore, they are very spiritually helpful. It also has a blog section called Through the Grapevine. Two fine ladies new to the blog-o-sphere have taken over this arm of the site. My younger sister Katie and fellow lover of John Paul II, Dorissa, write for the blog. Although they new to this medium of publication they are new in sharing their faith and minsitering through their written word. They are very much guided by the Holy Spirit. Although at the moment, one cannot follow them via RSS feed. Checking the blog every once in a while will never leave you disappointed.

Upon further research of said site there is a place to gather a feed (the bottom left hand side of the homepage). Sorry for the misinformation

Another Home run for American Catholic Biblical Scholarship

Dr. Scott Hahn from Franciscan University of Steubenville has just published a new bible dictionary called the Catholic Bible Dictionary. This is a very exciting thing in Catholic Biblical Scholarship in the 21st Century. It will be an invaluable resource for lay ministers, laity in general, priests, students, religion teachers, and biblical scholars alike. It’s both concise and thorough. Dr. Brant Pitre gives a real good description and recommendation on his blog. Check it out.