ProLife & Family Issues

joseph10Today is the Feast day of St. Joseph the Worker!

There are some pictures of Joseph I don’t appreciate so much. They present him almost as soft, effeminate like he just came out of a beauty parlor. It appears he never worked in the real world and has not a wrinkle on his clothes or a speck of dirt on his hands and feet.

I understand why artists paint Joseph this way and why churches have statues and images of the flowery, dainty, “European” Joseph with his fair hair. It is because art tries to reveal the inner qualities. This soft art tries to show the righteousness, holiness, kindness and love of a man who cared so deeply for God and his family.

308f4d06baa56b279ed41a7a1b86e31eBut Joseph was anything but a fair-haired, effeminate man with soft skin. Joseph was a manly man. His hands were calloused, his face was brown and creased from the sun, his arms and legs were like iron from walking, lifting and working. Quite the opposite of how he is often portrayed.

We are told that Joseph was a carpenter. The word for carpenter in the Greek of the New Testament is tekton which means one who works with hard materials like wood, stone or metal. 

In short Joseph was a laborer, a redneck, a rock mason. Someone had to quarry the rocks near Nazareth; someone had to chisel them with hammers to shape them for walls, houses, etc. Most historians believe Joseph and Jesus were construction workers helping build the city of Sepphoris.

You see here a few of my favorite pictures of St. Joseph, probably better representing the way he and Jesus really looked. Rough hands, brown face, tussled hair, coarse clothing and dusty feet. Imagine a construction worker, a farmer in the field, a lumberjack or a ditch digger.

tissot-the-anxiety-of-saint-joseph-737x587x72When I first showed this picture of Jesus standing in the wood shavings and dust to a friend with a devotion to St. Joseph he was scandalized. He shouted, “That is NOT St. Joseph!” He had been meditating on the soft, effeminate Joseph, not the rugged working Joseph of the rustic town of Nazareth.

Nazareth was a backwater village with a network of about 25 caves. Very rustic living – no plumbing, no showers, to toilets, no refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines or air conditioners. How would such a life affect you? (In the picture to the right you can see Mary arriving from the well with a jug of water on her head.)

St. Joseph was a manly man and so was Jesus. They give us a good example of masculine men, working hard for their family. They demonstrated the dignity of hard work and the dignity of family life (CCC 533).

St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!

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Luke 16:18  “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Thus says Our Lord Jesus. Some Church leaders today seem to be contradicting His words and the Laws of the Church. Canon Lawyer Ed Peters comments on new developments:

“A single sentence threatens to undercut the good presented in “Sharing in the Joy of Love”, the graphically-attractive, 55-page pastoral plan published by the Archdiocese of Washington (DC) to implement Pope Francis’ document Amoris laetitia.

The problem sentence reads as follows: “Priests are called to respect the decisions made in conscience by individuals who act in good faith since no one can enter the soul of another and make that judgment for them.” SJL, p. 52.

This admonition can, of course, be appropriately applied in innumerable situations. But, if the sentence means that priests must “respect the decision” of divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics, living as though married to each other, to approach for holy Communion, and administer the Sacrament to them, then the admonition fails for violating Canon 915 and the Eucharistic discipline which that canon has always represented.

I say “if”, however, because whether that is what SJL calls for is not clear. The words “canon”, “law”, and “discipline”, for example, do not appear in SJL. Canon 915 is never mentioned—not attacked, mind, just never mentioned.

What makes one fear, however, that the sentence might be intended to sway ministers of holy Communion toward administration of the Eucharist under gravely illicit conditions—besides the fact that ministers so inclined could easily invoke SJL’s phrasing here in support of precisely such administration—is that the rational offered for such a stance, namely, that “no one can enter the soul of another and make [a conscience] judgment for them”, is repeatedly put forth these days as if a would-be communicant’s conscience preempted a minister’s application of Canon 915.

But the claim that Canon 915 yields to the conclusions of personal conscience as reached by a Catholic approaching for holy Communion is, as I have pointed out many, many times, completely wrong. Canon 915, and the tradition upon which it stands, operate in the face of observable behavior and not personal conscience. Civil marriage after divorce is observable behavior, behavior that is gravely contrary to Christ’s teaching on the permanence of marriage, to the Christian’s duty to avoid giving scandal, and to the Church’s law on reception of the sacraments.

In short, if encouraging ministers to give holy Communion to divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics is indeed what SJL intends by its wording here, then SJL is wrong; even if such is the use that some ministers intend to make of this passage in SJL, they are using the ambiguous wording of this sentence to avoid the clear directives of canon law and sacramental discipline.”


The Mid-air Marriage Gets Muddier

by Steve Ray on January 21, 2018

Written by Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer

Popes on planes aren’t supposed to be a setting from which to draw fodder for canon law essay exams, but as far back as Pope Benedict XVI, such flights have occasioned more than their fair share of papal words or actions carrying canonical implications but undertaken with little apparent advertence to canon law.

266AE510-8299-4163-9B4D-37E693C5E344Let’s start with some fact questions in regard to the mid-air marriage recently officiated by Pope Francis. It is emerging that maybe the wedding wasn’t as spontaneous as reported, that maybe the happy couple were not “astonished” at the pope’s allegedly sudden idea, and that maybe the ‘Here?!’ and ‘It was a great surprise’ portrayals were expected.

Last month, in an interview published in, Podest and Ciuffardi, picked to serve on the cabin crew for the papal visit, talked about their civil marriage from some eight years ago (which they had been too busy to convalidate), and stated that they “both hope that in January this delayed [wedding] plan can finally take place on the plane and be officiated over by none other than Pope Francis himself. ‘We would like it. This is our place, our second home, it is where we feel secure.’” *

C’mon, someone was obviously planning something. It would be interesting to know who and what.

For the rest of his article, click HERE.

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Major Conference Planned on Divisions in Church, Papal Infallibility

January 21, 2018

National Catholic Register, Major Conference Planned on Divisions in Church, Papal Infallibility Edward Pentin The international meeting in Rome, one of the last wishes of the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, is due to take place in April. One of the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra’s last wishes — to have an international conference to examine ways to […]

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“What I Learned in the Peace Corps in Africa: Trump Is Right”

January 20, 2018

What I Learned in the Peace Corps in Africa: Trump Is Right By Karin McQuillan writing for American Thinker Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town.  Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health.  That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of […]

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Saving Babies and Where’s the Pope

January 19, 2018

Saving Babies and Time Off in Purgatory Robert Royal writing for The Catholic Thing (which is well worth subscribing to!) THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2018 As I write, Washington lies under light snow and, with wind chill, is 90 F. In most of the country, not too bad for January. In Washington – between the incompetence of government […]

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Messy Parenting will be a Big Help to Your Own Messy Family :-)

December 9, 2017

Do any parent out there understand the phrase “messy parenting”? Or is your family all sewed up, perfect and without a disruption? Ah, I thought so. There is an excellent podcast that has now also moved into video called “Messy Parenting.” It is the result of my good friends Michael and Alicia Hernon from Franciscan University of […]

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Cardinal Burke on Confusion in the Church, “Perhaps we have arrived at the end times”

December 3, 2017

by Paolo Gambi posted Thursday, 30 Nov 2017 Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of […]

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They Fell for the Lie – I’ll Pray for Them

November 6, 2017

We are in the airport in Lisbon Portugal heading to Israel to pick up our next group. Janet and I were standing in line and a man started up a conversation with us. He and his wife were in their late 60s and I could tell they were good Americans. They’d be ideal neighbors, keeping […]

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Abortion: High Schooler Asks; My Daughter-in-Law Answers – Brilliantly and Compassionately

October 20, 2017

A few days ago a high school girl wrote to ask me questions about abortion. She was writing a paper and wanted to “interview” me on the topic. I was busy jumping planes and giving talks so my daughter-in-law Anna graciously — and brilliantly — answered the young lady for me. I think you will […]

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Continuing Discussion on Jesus and Homosexuality

October 4, 2017

Steve’s extensive response to new questions in the ComBox below. For the newly revised and full article click here. IN RESPONSE TO MY BLOG JESUS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBE, ROD WROTE: Rod May 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM Steve, Your posting is remarkable ! It is remarkable that, despite your attempts at convincing yourself that […]

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Was Jesus a Homosexual? Some say “Yes” and try to Prove it from the Bible!

October 3, 2017

After posting my blog entry “Jesus and Homosexuality” I received a correspondence from a Harry H. McCall, a self-proclaimed ex-reverend, on June 4, 2012. He referred me to his blog “Debunking Christianity.” His post was entitled Jesus the Homosexual: Evidence From the Gospels. It is despicable to even say or suggest this of Our Lord […]

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Dear Fr. James Martin: LGBT Activists Aren’t ‘Marginalized.’ Moms Are.

September 23, 2017

Excellent article showing who is REALLY marginalized in American society. CARLY HOILMAN ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article on Jesuit Father James Martin titled, “Jesuit Priest Stands Up for Gay Catholics, Then Faces Backlash.” In the piece, author David Gonzalez, a former board member of Martin’s America […]

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“Fr. James Martin Is Creating Chaos in Catholic Circles”

September 18, 2017

First, another article, this time in Crux by convert priest Fr. Dwight Longenecker. His article is entitled “Father James Martin on LGBT community: A Bridge too far?” ************************************ Second, an article by JOHN ZMIRAK Published on September 17, 2017 • For the Comments, follow link to the original article below. John Zmirak You might not follow inside Catholic baseball. I […]

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Cardinal Sarah: “How Catholics Can Welcome LGBT Believers”

September 2, 2017

It’s possible to stay faithful to the church’s teachings without turning away millions. By Cardinal Robert Sarah, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 31, 2017 7:10 p.m. ET, 353 COMMENTS The Catholic Church has been criticized by many, including some of its own followers, for its pastoral response to the LGBT community. This criticism deserves a reply—not to defend the […]

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Cardinal Burke Outlines Formal Correction of Pope Francis’ Teaching

August 17, 2017

Posted by Edward Pentin on Thursday Aug 17th, 2017 at 7:56 AM The former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura explains in a new interview how a correction on parts of the Holy Father’s magisterium would be enacted, pays tribute to the recently deceased Cardinal Meisner, and stresses the importance of true mercy. In a new […]

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