Thursday, June 28, 2012

How the HHS Mandate Can Help the Catholic Church

[sarcasm]The catholic church is really missing out on the benefits and opportunities that the HHS mandate is presenting it for increasing the size of its church.  Religious institute and organizations are exempt from the HHS mandate; however, the definition of a religious organization is very narrow: all or most of the employees must be of the same faith and must serve people of the faith that the organization says to be.  For instance, a catholic high school would have to have a catholic employees and have all catholic students.  Do you see where I am going with this?  

Simply require that all employees who are not Catholic get baptized in the catholic faith.  Keep a priest on hand and simply baptize all people who seek services from your organization.  If you get shot through the chest and are taken to Our Lady of Prompt Succor hospital, in order to receive treatment the person would have to be baptized into the Catholic fatih. 

This alone could be great in reforming the religious life, as we could have an entire corp of ems technitions who are ordained priests. 

After the baptisms, the hospital would then require the mystogogical period of learning and catechesis for a 40% reduction from medical expenses. 

Several years would pass and the country would be majority Catholic and catechized in what the catholic faith is and not simply what it appears to be.   

I fail to see how the HHS is really all that bad. [/sarcasm]

Monday, June 25, 2012

A History of Wrongs

The history of Protestantism can be summed up simply as a history of wrongs. In 1517 Martin Luther says to the Catholic Church "you're wrong." Thus began what is now known as the Lutheran church and the Protestant reformation.  A couple of decades later Zwingli and Calvin say to Martin Luther "you're wrong" and begins the reformed churches. John Knox, a few decades after Calvin and Zwingli, says to Calvin and Zwingli "you're wrong" and founds the presbyterian church and later the Church of Scotland.   

In 1525 Grebel and Muntzer say to Martin Luther "you're wrong" and founds the anabaptist faith. Menno Simons says that Grebel and Muntzer are wrong and in 1537 founds the Mennonite church. About a century later Jacob Amman says to Grebel and Muntzer "you're wrong" and begins the Ammish faith. 

John Smyth too says to Martin Luther "you're wrong" and founds the Baptist church in 1609. William Miller, 250 years after Smyth, says to Smyth "you're wrong" and founds the Adventists church and then eventually the seventh day Adventists follow there after. 

George Fox, not liking Martin Luther's theology, says to Martin Luther "you're wrong" and establishes what will be known as Quakerism in 1648. 

Off the main land of Europe,  Henry VIII says to the Catholic church "you're wrong" and founds what is today known as the Anglican church in 1534. About 200 years later, John and Charles Wesley then say to Henry VIII "you're wrong" and found the Methodist church. Others think Wesley to be wrong and the Holiness Church's are found, which leads to the establishment of pentecostalism because someone thought the Holiness Church's we're wrong. Pentecostalism eventually gives birth to the Charismatic and non-denominational church because some thought the Pentecostal faith was wrong. 

In 1534 Robert Brown says to Henry VIII "you're wrong" and founds Congregationalism. 

 How can Protestantism claim to be inspired by the holy Spirit if none of the founders of the major denominations and even many of the modern spinoffs and evangelical church's claim that other christian expressions and faiths are doing it wrong?  How can Christ's church be one when many of the Protestant denominations cannot agree on simple teachings of the faith: are there seven sacraments or only one; can infants be baptized or only consenting adults; faith alone or faith and works; scripture alone or scripture plus tradition? Did Christ promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church of Luther or the Church of Wesley or the Church of England? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HHS Mandate, Religious Freedom, Vatican II

In the midst of the HHS mandate that is being discussed in the supreme court, it is helpful to take a look at the Vatican II document Dignitatis Humanae. It is the council's document on religious freedom.

Here are some high points from the document:

"the human person has a right to religious freedom" paragraph 2

"the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself." paragraph 2

"all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth." paragraph 2

"Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature." paragraph 2

"every man has the duty, and therefore the right, to seek the truth in matters religious in order that he may with prudence form for himself right and true judgments of conscience, under use of all suitable means." paragraph 3

"as the truth is discovered, it is by a personal assent that men are to adhere to it." paragraph 3

"the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly toward God." paragraph 3

"Injury therefore is done to the human person and to the very order established by God for human life, if the free exercise of religion is denied in society, provided just public order is observed." paragraph 3

"Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs, or if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all." paragraph 5

"In the use of all freedoms the moral principle of personal and social responsibility is to be observed."paragraph 7

"Wherefore this Vatican Council urges everyone, especially those who are charged with the task of educating others, to do their utmost to form men who, on the one hand, will respect the moral order and be obedient to lawful authority, and on the other hand, will be lovers of true freedom-men, in other words, who will come to decisions on their own judgment and in the light of truth, govern their activities with a sense of responsibility, and strive after what is true and right, willing always to join with others in cooperative effort.

Religious freedom therefore ought to have this further purpose and aim, namely, that men may come to act with greater responsibility in fulfilling their duties in community life." paragraph 8

"It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man's response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will." paragraph 10

"The disciple is bound by a grave obligation toward Christ, his Master, ever more fully to understand the truth received from Him, faithfully to proclaim it, and vigorously to defend it, never-be it understood-having recourse to means that are incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel." paragraph14 

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