Thursday, September 29, 2005

From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Who was transferred from somewhere in North Carolina to Houston just in time for Hurricane (unlovely) Rita but he and his family are OK!

An anti-porn Sunday?

Makes sense for non-liturgical Protestants

Of course the Catholic world East and West has a huge choice of saints, from married people (like the late last Tsar and his wife, who really loved each other) and of course holy celibate heroes to St Maria Goretti*, whose feast-days are occasions to tackle this problem from the pulpit. And of course we always have the confessional since few of us live up to the demands of truth.
"Addictions of any sort, including pornography, set in motion a compulsion that interferes with daily life," says Anderson, who previously ministered to students as a counselor at Judson (Ill.) College. "Suddenly, the day begins to revolve around that addiction. In the case of pornography addiction, nearly everything in the person's speech and actions becomes sexualized, and everything they do is done through that sexualized screen. It becomes their god."
Of course the problem isn’t sex, which is good and from God. As Fr Leo (Schlosser) explained to me once in a small conference on a retreat at his Byzantine Rite Benedictine monastery and Mark Bonocore refined for me, desire is good; the abuse of sex is lust and certainly in this case is a psychological and spiritual dead end.

Of course as a libertarian I wouldn’t want the government to try to stamp out private vice. People have the right to be wrong.
‘It seems to me hypocritical [of Dick] to turn up at Mass every Sunday and break the rules about sex during the rest of the week.’

‘It does’t strike a Catholic that way. We don’t cease to believe when we cease to behave. If the Communists seized control of England, Dick would cheerfully die in defence of the Church...

‘You seem to think that because a Catholic can’t keep all of the commandments he should, in consistency, keep none of them. I dare say Dick hopes that God will make allowances for those who lack the heroic virtue which alone enables a young and very attractive man to avoid the sins of the flesh, but missing Mass is like cutting an important parade. It’s bad manners, and as good manners are easier to acquire than good morals, bad manners are in some ways more inexcusable.’
- Arnold Lunn in And Yet So New (1958), quoted by William F. Buckley Jnr in Nearer My God

Or as Mark Bonocore explained to me, when Catholics sin we don’t try to bend the church to approve but acknowledge what we’re doing is wrong even if we keep doing it.

More to the point, as Evelyn Waugh wrote, being good isn’t necessarily the same as being holy... the difference between brothers Bridey and Sebastian. It is a funny old world and though there are road-maps and signs we ignore only at our peril, God does write straight with crooked lines.

Kurgan region of Siberia tries to tax baptisms and funerals
‘Is outrage!’

*Best known in Philadelphia (‘Fluffya’) as the name of an RC girls’ high school (‘Greddy’ as in ‘Greddy girls’) in South Philly that’s no more, having been merged with St John Neumann High School for boys (where the joyful Prof taught music for years).

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