Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our Parish Camping Trip

Mass at the campground at Fintry Provincial Park
 Fr.Deprey celebrates Mass
 General Store, candy, candy
 O'Keefe Ranch

 Members of Holy Family Parish FSSP

First Annual Event

Parishioners from Holy Family in Vancouver made their First Annual camping trip to Fintry Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake the week of July 24, 2011. For five days the aroma of incense was overtaken by the smell of insect repellent.
Besides the usual activities of swimming and hiking, the opportunity for daily Mass provided a great way for parishioners to interact with one another outside of Sunday service (including swatting away at mosquitoes during daily rosary).
The additional bond of sharing meals, stories and the popular anonymous “Ask Father” a question box (overflowing by day 3) brought a special touch to this spiritual retreat. The location provided the opportunity for a pilgrimage to a historic Catholic site located approximately 30 min. drive from Fintry, the Historic O’Keefe Ranch. The visit initiated inspiration and supplied an educational outlook on a Catholic family living in the 19th century in the Okanagan.

 Cornelius O’Keefe founded the Ranch in 1867 with his business partner Thomas Greenhow, at one time it was one of the largest cattle ranches in British Columbia consisting of more than 20,000 acres. With the full support of O’Keefe in 1886, plans were drawn up and local Catholics were asked to contribute their money and time to build the Church, which was finally completed in 1888-89. The rustic looking Church sits adjacent to a cemetery where many of the O’Keefe family member’s have been laid to rest. Recently the appeal of the Church, due to the location and small size, has grown in popularity with wedding events from all denominations. However on this Tuesday in July its Roman Catholic identity was restored even if just for a few hours providing a venue for Mass offered in the Traditional Latin Rite. The traditional High Altar with communion rail along with priestly vestments encased in glass on the wall and statues of Our Lord and Blessed Mother was a reminder of the roots of this Church; The Church has never had a resident priest, but was served by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate until the 1940’s. By this time the establishment and growth of St.James parish in Vernon (1908) surpassed St.Anne’s as the Central Catholic Church in the area. Father Eric Deprey of Holy Family parish celebrated Mass in the Extraordinary form and local priest Father Dale Normandeau from St.James in Vernon was the guest homilist and gave a short history lesson on the tiny Chapel.
The campsite provided a great opportunity for public witness to our faith, with our camping neighbors who recognized our Catholic identity.
See you next year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Trailer For Divine Mercy Online Course

Here is the trailer for the online course I directed for Divine Mercy Essentials. It is a 30 episode course hosted by Dr. Robert Stackpole, STD the director of the John Paul II institute on Divine Mercy in Stockbridge Massachusetts.Father Donald Calloway,MIC and Father Seraphim Michalenko MIC speak on the message of Divine Mercy as well.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Trojan Horse For Catholics

Birth Control and Sterilization: The Trojan Horse for Catholics

Why do so many Catholics ignore Church teaching when it comes to birth control?
I am very interested in this topic because it appears to be one of the great sins that are overlooked by the majority of professed Catholics. My feelings on this is are not based on news headlines or popular Catholic authors, but on observing and talking with other self described Catholics that admit (and at most times proud) that they have undergone the procedure. I have been told: “Two kids is all we can handle”, “We want to make sure we do not have any oopsies”, “My wife didn’t want to keep taking the pill”, “My wife made me”, “The last baby was a difficult pregnancy”, “ My wife gets really sick and has already had two emergency c-sections”, the list can go on. The worst part of all these statements is that the persons who make them do not even know that the Church teaches that this is a grave sin. Many feel that it is not “true contraception”, I have been told: “It’s not like being on the pill”, “It’s not as bad as using a condom”. During the course of some of these discussions, which have always been started by others, usually because others would see the number of children I have and strike up the conversation by asking if I would like the number of a doctor. I have gone on to explain to the misinformed that sterilization is against Church teaching and if they knew that was the teaching they usually reply with “ I don’t believe that”, “ I don’t care”, “and it’s not a sin”. So from my own personal experience I have discovered what a truly viral problem this is. On this particular topic there is basically no difference in opinion between Protestants and many Catholics. Which is shocking. However there is a difference on what the Magisterium teaches and that of protestants.
The Catholic Church’s teaching on sterilization is no different than other forms of artificial birth control. It is intrinsically evil.
However the Church makes a distinction between direct and indirect sterilization. Direct sterilization is where the purpose of the medical procedure is to destroy the normal functioning of an otherwise healthy organ to prevent the future conception of children.
 It is clear from natural law and Canon Law
 that the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children. Therefore sterilization would be characterized as a sin against nature as it is a direct perversion of the order of nature. As Christians we must preserve our bodies as temples of The Holy Ghost. Contrary to modern popular belief we are not the owners of our bodies. St.Paul affirms this in his first letter to the Corinthians (6:19). More recently the subject has been debated endlessly by those so-called theologians who wish to destroy the teaching of the Christ .In the past 100 years the Popes have had to repeat again and again what has always been taught. In the encyclical Casti Connubii 
Pope Pius XI writes:
“No reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed, which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death …the Catholic Church …through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin “
The marriage act is a renewal of vows .Man and woman were called together from the beginning to be one flesh and to procreate.
 Blessed John Paul II writes that the original nakedness of man and woman is the key for understanding God’s original plan. 
“ Nakedness reveals the spousal meaning of the body which is the body’s “power to express love: precisely that love in which the human person becomes a gift and through this gift fulfills the very meaning of his being and existence”
The Catholic Church has consistently taught that contraception is a mortal sin, however it is not a sin to abstain from intercourse. Many faithful practicing Catholics use Natural Family Planning as a responsible way to exercise their parenthood.
“ One must recognize that responsible parenthood is exercised either by the prudent and generous decision to raise a [Large] family, or by the decision, made for serious reasons and with due respect to the moral law, to avoid for the time being, or even for an indeterminate period, a new birth”
There is however a danger in couples abusing NFP for the wrong reasons, specifically not to get pregnant because you simply do not want any more children. Unfortunately the grave reasons required for abstaining during fertile periods for an extended time is not completely understood by most Catholics nor is it explained clearly by most NFP facilitators. It is a difficult situation for Catholic parents today, especially if they would love to have more children but because of extraordinary circumstances feel they cannot. The battle to do what is right is perennial, St. Paul explains in Romans 7:11-25 the interior battle we all experience between good and evil. Catholics in the liberal camp claim that sterilization is not as grave a sin as it used to be by quoting canon 1055
 that proclaims marriage is primarily “ordered towards the good of the spouses” and the method of periodic continence is a right and should be praised. The problem lies in Catholics deciding what is right and what is wrong (Genesis 3:5) rather than listening to God (the Church). If Catholics judge that they have had enough children it is for their own personal good by using their judgment to stop. Many ill-informed may argue that sterilization is a new technological advanced process compared to other forms of contraception and that the Church has never spoken out against this process until recently. Pope Pius XI in 1930 wrote: 
“Furthermore Christian doctrine establishes, and the light of human reason makes it most clear, that private individuals have no power over the members of their bodies than that which pertains to their natural ends; and they are not free to destroy or mutilate their members, or in any other way render themselves unfit for their natural functions, except when no other provision can be made for the good of the whole body”
We do not have rights over our bodies; we have control over how we use our bodies, which must always be geared towards the will and law of God. The Lord gave us the gift of faculty to be co creators of children. Those who voluntarily sterilize themselves           (through surgery or other means) are guilty of self-mutilation, the direct act it self is for the deliberate attempt to block pro creation. Ergo, indirect sterilization is morally permissible. If a person must have surgery (cancer in the uterus) radiation and or surgery to remove the cancerous uterus indirectly leads to sterilization.  It is not only experience; natural law and the teaching of the magisterium that attest to the moral evil of contraception, but the writings of the Church Fathers recognize the sinfulness in blocking pro-creation as well.
Saint Augustine wrote:
“ I am supposing then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives]”
The first council of Nicaea in 325AD proclaimed:
“ If anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy”
These are just a couple quotes of many that are to be found in the Apostolic Traditional teaching on contraception. Which brings us to the protestant view on our subject, if the Church always taught contraception was wrong then surely that must have been a subject of contention with the reformers? not so. John Calvin said:
“ The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between man and woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped -for offspring”
Many Protestants (as well as Catholics) appeal to cases where the mother already has many children and it is too dangerous for her to bear additional children. But it is only through the natural means (abstinence) that a woman’s health is helped. The end should not justify the means; we cannot do evil so that good may come of it. This would be a utilitarian view, which is a futile attempt to find a rational formula for what is right and what is wrong. Where you choose the act by comparing the benefits to the harm done. This premise is false on many levels, for how can we quantify human good or happiness? What if desires are perverse and cruel? , For example: Gladiator games? Our Lord himself was a victim of this weak thinking:
 “ Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation parish not. And he spoke not of himself: but being high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.”
Christians need to have unconditional love for one another, this love is selfless seeking of the good of another even if need be at the expense of ones own temporal good. It is important not to group all Protestants together when it comes to sterilization or contraception. There are various smaller groups that do follow the same understanding as the Catholic Church. The original reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin were strongly opposed to it. In fact all denominations condemned contraception until the Lambeth Conference in 1930, which stated in resolution 15:
“Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.”
After that the majority of Protestant denominations caved and began to preach that reproductive technologies (including contraception) is a matter of one’s individual conscience.
Of course not all Protestants are in favor of contraception. The Quiverfull movement is a group of Christians from various Protestant denominations that condemns all forms of birth control and promotes that true Christians need to have as many children as possible. They are also against Natural Family Planning (NFP) as well. The Quiverfull movement has been growing steadily in recent years because of the popularity of a reality show broadcast on the Learning Channel that centers on the Duggar family (19 children) who are part of the Quiverfull Full movement. They tend to cite Psalm 126:3-5 for their reason as to why they have such large families.
“ Behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken.”
As demonstrated it is not only Catholics that have larger than average families.
Why do most Protestants publicly declare that sterilization or other forms of birth control are up to the individual? To put it simply because Protestant’s deal in a more individualistic way when it comes to theology or their relationship with God. This is not an attack on the popular term “personal relationship” with Jesus, I feel every Christian, including Catholics need to have one. That being said, for Protestants, not having a single authoritative body to appeal to for moral reasons leaves them no choice but to make these decisions “personal”. This is a very serious problem, it is unfortunate Protestants do not see the irony in this perennial problem that has been with us from Genesis.
“ For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.”
Taking moral issues and strictly placed them into the hands of fallen creatures like us without guidance from the Church is a recipe for Hell. Christians have the perfect model for family life, The Holy Family. Saint Joseph remained true and chaste from the time he was placed to care for the Blessed Mother. The priests that deliver us the sacraments are to be models of Christ. True love is not always physical intimacy. For married couples the marriage act is a renewal of their marriage vows and is a celebration of their relationship, one that is open to the procreation of new human life. If married people contracept they are in fact contracepting their love for one another. If one or both sterilize, theirs is a love of sterility. Blessed Pope John Paul II stated this in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio:
“ The innate language that expresses total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life, but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.”
In closing, the Devil has specifically targeted Catholics by using a strategy that clouds judgment and preys upon the weakness of the flesh. The devil has entered the protected bastion of Catholic families by way of the bedroom, and many if not all who practice birth control have no idea Lucifer has become apart of their marriage.
Clayton Richard Long
i Catechism of the Catholic Church #2399
ii ibid #2370
iii Code of Canon Law, Can 1055
iv Casti Connubii, Pauline Books, p.28-29
v Genesis 2:24
vi Theology of the Body 15:1
vii ibid 121:5
viii 1983 Code of Canon Law
ix Casti Connubii, Pauline Books, p.35, 36
x Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17,
xii Calvin’s commentary on Genesis Vol.2 part 16
xiii Gospel of St. John 11:50-51
xv Scott B.Rae, Moral Choices: an introduction to ethics, Zondervan publishing, p.288-289, 2009
xvi Douay Rheims Holy Bible, Loreto Publications, 2005
xvii Ibid, Genesis 3:5
xviii Familiaris Consortio, sec.32, Nov.22 1981,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Post

This is not the new post, but a new post with some substance will be up in a couple of days. I had a very rough week which included 2 visits to the hospital, Oi Vey!