Men and the “Right to Choose”

If liberals and libertarians sincerely believe that autonomy and choice should trump the protection of human life in the case of unwanted pregnancies, then the question has often arisen: why should men not be free to exercise their choice to terminate a pregnancy or opt out of an unwanted pregnancy in some other way? A regional branch of the youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal Party is now making the argument that they should have this “right”:

The idea, proposed by a regional branch of the youth wing of the centrist Liberal Party, would allow a potential father to legally abdicate his responsibility toward the child up to the 18th week of a woman’s pregnancy. The man would lose any rights to visit the child but also would not pay any child support he may otherwise be required to contribute.

If this seems horrifying, it should. But it is merely an extension of the disordered values that place autonomy above life, individualism above the common good, and choice above responsibility. Proponents of abortion-on-demand should not be shocked that other liberals are taking their arguments to their logical conclusions.


Fr. James Martin: We Are Holy Saturday People

Fr. James Martin has a great reflection on Holy Saturday and its relationship to our everyday lives. He writes:

Most of our lives are spent in Holy Saturday. In other words, most of our days are not filled with the unbearable pain of a Good Friday. Nor are they suffused with the unbelievable joy of an Easter. Some days are indeed times of great pain and some are of great joy, but most are…in between.

We are an Easter people, to be sure but also a Holy Saturday people.

Most of our days are, in fact, times of waiting, as the disciples waited during Holy Saturday. We’re waiting. Waiting to get into a good school. Waiting to meet the right person. Waiting to get pregnant. Waiting to get a job. Waiting for diagnosis from the doctor. Waiting for things at work to improve. Waiting for the results of our physical therapy to help us feel better. Waiting that relationship to improve. Waiting for life just to get…better

But there are different kinds of waiting….

there is the wait of passivity, as if everything were up to “fate.” In this waiting there is no despair, but not much anticipation of anything good either. It’s the wait of “Whatever.” This is also not the waiting what we are called to.

We are called to the wait of the Christian, which is called hope. It is an active waiting; it knows that, even in the worst of situations, even in the darkest times, God is powerfully at work. Even if we can’t see it clearly right now. The disciples’ fear after Good Friday was understandable; but we, who know how the story turned out, who know that Jesus will rise from the dead, who know that God is with us, who know that nothing will be impossible for God, are called to wait in faithful hope. And to look carefully for signs of the new life that are always right around the corner–to look, just like a few of the disciples were doing on Holy Saturday.

Because change is always possible, renewal is always waiting, and hope is never dead.

You can read the full reflection here.


Catholic Theologians Take Strong Stand Against Islamophobia

A number of blogs featuring Catholic and other Christian theologians, including some of the most talented millennial Catholic theologians, have posted a statement that condemns the rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment and all forms of violence directed toward Muslims on account of their faith here in the United States. The statement expresses their solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Here is the full text:

We, as Christian theologians in the public sphere, stand together in solidarity with Muslims in the United States in support of all Muslim citizens and residents of the United States.   We do so not despite our deep Christian faith, but precisely because of it.

Recent statements in the wake of the horrific actions of violence in Paris and San Bernardino have once again raised the threshold of acceptable actions in this country.  We reject and abhor any and all statements or actions that respond to these acts of violence with indiscriminate fear, suspicion, and hatred against our Muslim sisters and brothers.

We unequivocally oppose all acts of violence against Muslim places of worship.  We oppose all acts of violence–verbal, physical, or otherwise– against Muslims. We oppose all acts of violence against people perceived to be Muslim.  We oppose all attempts to establish any sort of religious test for citizenship or immigration status.  We oppose all attempts to deny the fact that Muslims have been present in the Americas since the 16th century, living as enslaved people, soldiers, politicians, leaders, sports heroes, rockstars, and faithful citizens.

As December is a time of holy preparation for Christ Who Redeems not through violence or fear, but through love, sacrifice, and hope, we call upon all Christians to be mindful of your neighbor in a special way this season.  Affirm your Muslim neighbors, who live in fear of the hateful stranger in a way we can never know.  Affirm and support those who have accepted Syrian refugees, even against the wishes of state authorities.  Affirm and support those who offer mercy, love, and support for those who flee persecution around the world.

We will not allow fear to define our Christianity, to define our vision of Christ.  And, in the spirit of Pope Francis, we will not allow violence to be the only answer to a world crying out for mercy.

We invite others to re-post this statement on their own blogs, to stand together in solidarity, both in person and in word around the internet.


Donald Trump is the Real Menace to American Values

Presidential candidate Donald Trump took his xenophobia and Islamophobia to the next level today, calling for a ban on all Muslims from entering the United States:

Donald J. Trump called on Monday for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on,” an extraordinary escalation of his harsh rhetoric aimed at members of the Islamic faith in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.

“Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine,” said Mr. Trump, the leading Republican candidate for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump confirmed the authenticity of the statement. Asked what prompted it, Mr. Trump said, “death,” according to the spokeswoman.

While the debate over whether or not Trump is a real fascist continues, one thing is clear: Trump rejects our highest ideals as both Christians and as Americans. The need to denounce his attacks on our Muslim brothers and sisters is clear, particularly, as Fr. James Martin has explained, because Catholics should be very familiar with this type of bigotry:

American Catholics in particular should reject this kind of ugly stereotyping because they themselves–we ourselves–were subjected to this precise kind of stereotyping in past centuries. We were the “Catholic menace,” dangerous because we were controlled by Rome, unfit to be considered good citizens.

The real menace is not a refugee fleeing terrorism or Assad’s barrel bombs or the average Muslim that Trump would bar from entering the country, but the megalomaniacal, bigoted Know Nothing who is the current frontrunner to be the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.



Cardinal O’Malley Endorses Catholic Climate Petition

via Brian Roewe at NCR:

The Global Catholic Climate Movement announced Friday that Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has become the latest prelate to sign their Catholic Climate Petition, joining 20 individual bishops, more than 200 Catholic organizations and more than 600,000 people from around the world.

The list of supporters includes Pope Francis, who in May endorsed the petition, though a papal representative signed on his behalf due to protocol preventing popes from individually signing such documents.

The petition seeks for global leaders attending the United Nations climate change conference, or COP 21, to reach agreement on a deal to collectively address climate change. The conference opens Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 11. A deal is expected to bind each country to pledges to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, and for developed countries to provide financing and assistance to underdeveloped countries in transitioning to clean energy technology and adopting mechanisms to both mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

The climate petition reads:

“Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people among us. Inspired by Pope Francis and the Laudato Si’ encyclical, we call on you to drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous 1.5°C threshold, and to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts.”

O’Malley is the second U.S. bishop to sign the petition, and the first active head of a diocese. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., has also signed the plea….

Notable international bishop signers include Tagle, Cardinal Peter Turkson, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, and Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

You join Cardinal Sean, these other great Catholic leaders, and hundreds of thousands of others by signing the petition here.


Catching Up on the Synod

Millennial’s primary focus is not on internal Church issues, the focus of this month’s Synod on the Family. But with the Synod touching upon topics that affect the overall mission of the Church, we wanted to give our readers a few resources for catching up on the latest news and analysis from the Synod.

For extensive coverage, check out: Crux’s coverage, featuring John Allen, Michael O’Loughlin, and Inés San Martín; Austen Ivereigh’s updates at Catholic Voices; NCR’s coverage of the Synod from Joshua McElwee and others; Gerard O’Connell’s posts for America; David Gibson’s articles at RNS; Grant Gallicho’s posts at Commonweal; Fr. Thomas Rosica on social media; Rocco Palmo’s tweets; CNA and CNS. Read More