Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Media and a non-democratic religion... give it some thought- we are not the same as our secular counterparts!

(Journey in a Broken World; Catholic Watchdog South Africa; Media Study South Africa)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Our non-related Sister in Catholic journalism in South Africa- South Africa's Catholic Weekly, whom we sometime agree with, and sometimes really disagree with- the Southern Cross has two interesting editorials this week. Those who know me usually know that the word interesting often is a slur with me, and today I am somewhat disappointed in what we can expect to read this Sunday, when we buy the paper from our local churches.

I read two editorials, both of which are critical of the Vatican- one almost begging for women priests, and rebuking the Vatican for no taking action against "pedophile" priests, the other attacking the introduction of psychological testing in seminaries, saying it discourages homosexuals from the priesthood- because the guidelines aim at ensuring well fit priests for the job. Sadly, neither article is in line with what Catholic Culture would define as high fidelity. The same newspaper which attacked the view of the church on condoms, and I may add that the church has a much better scientific argument than the pro-condom advocates, is now attacking two policies in one week. The fact remains that it is an Excathedra statement of Pope John Paul the Second- which declares that the church has now not, nor ever will have any right to create "women priests", like divorce- a woman priest is something the church cannot ordain. The issue is closed.

So is it wrong to excommunicate those who support women priests- no, if they are in heresy, it is only fair to do so. The Southern Cross then says that the church should get rid of the sexual offenders, and stop mistreating the supporters of women priests, but is this mistreatment?

Canon law clearly excommunicates automatically all who ordain or are ordained as women priests. Canon law has a different penalty for sexual abuses. In other words, for the one, the people already are kicked out of the church- and this means the church believes they will very likely end their life with the devil in hades if they do not get re-infused into the church by correct ceremony. A priest who absolves his sexual partner of their sexual sin is also automatically excommunicated, except in danger of death.

An active homosexual lifestyle, is not only proven to shorten the lifespan, and contribute to levels of sexual disease, but also is directly condemned in the New and Old testaments, and in every statement on the matter by the church, from the earliest times, to Vatican II, to today!

As for homosexuality and the priesthood, the Southern Cross misinterprets the same document we ourselves have reported on. Its purpose is not to root out homosexuals, but to root out sexual predators, and those who cannot control their urges. Unless the Southern Cross wants to appose the papacy and Vatican II's authority, they must agree that the church should have no interest whatsoever in appointing men to the priesthood who will break with celibacy, yet already they seem in danger of Canon 1373, and 1371, of creating animosity against the papacy, or bishops over an act of ecclesiastical authority.

So, how does the Catholic media keep their superiors accountable, and the answer is- we don't.

In a democracy- freedom of speech is a vital sector of society, in an autocracy, it has a different purpose. The Catholic media is not a watchdog waiting to pounce on the church and call for resignations. We are called to respect authority above us. I certainly appose the South African Bishop who went around promoting condoms, even in other countries, and i have a right to, so what do I mean we are not a watchdog?

I mean- we are not telling people how to vote in the next bishop or pope, we don't vote for these, we just obey them or walk! The system is not a democracy, and so the subjects need a different sort of information.

If a bishop teaches heresy, they must be named and shamed- in such a way as to encourage repentance, counter their harm, and inform their superiors. If a bishop says something that is valid, you should not try to create animosity to them, as though this institutes change.

The role of our secular brothers- is to safeguard their democracies, the role of the Catholic media is to safeguard the pillar and foundation of our truth- our autocracy.

Where a bishops apposes a valid act of the papacy, by all means- we must appose this bishop, and not give him good press, but if we disagree with the bishop or papacy on a valid point- we have no right to publicly whip them in the press.

The sin of detraction, and the law of the church cautions one validly about media circuses and also that we are not to interfere via force in valid ecclesiastical choices and decisions. We may appose some of them- but have no right to appose dogmas such as the celibate male priesthood- the "enuchs made so by God" (Jesus of Nazareth).

It is not the media who runs the church, but the validly ordained bishops- we may advise- but in an autocracy- in general- it is best to give people the information to best cope with what superiors have said. If we are trying to move public opinion to gain our goal, against the wishes of the Vatican- then we do not want an autocracy, but a democracy. Democratic religion is so strongly condemned by the early Christians, and the bible, that we shall not mention it. Simply, a democratic religion changes truth.

I am disappointed in what the Southern Cross will distribute in our parishes this Sunday, as it is, we already have such troubles in Southern Africa, our country and church. Driving a larger wedge between the Magisterium and the laity will not help the situation, and yet our media seems so certain of their solution to the problem, that they seem almost oblivious to the idea that the Vatican has already investigated it. Condoms have a proven success rate in increasing aids, or so I am lead to believe by statistics- whereby Uganda is conquering the disease via abstinence, and in South Africa we simply get more of the disease through our condom happy campaigns.

History has shown time and again- Orthodoxy is potent- it spreads the faith and hurts persecution. If we are to solve the actual crisis in the modern church- I might suggest covering up our bishops actual gaps- by education the Catholic populace in Orthodoxy, as EWTN does on Radio Veritas, as our bishops would need to appreciate, as we are obeying their position by this. Let us be true Watchdogs- knowing that Watchdogs are loyal to their owners, and eat biscuits, and nice bowls of doggy food. Let us mimic our pope in Catholic media, let us be "God's Rottweilers"- watching not on our cultural desires, but keeping an eye on the dignity of the human person- and never letting it be attacked, even by someone attacking their own divine dignity. Our aid is at truth, not politics, not opinion, and as Catholics we believe that comes from tradition (I Timothy III verse XV). Our job is to spread the gospel and the truth, but we must realize that the church is pillar and foundation of this. Our basis must not be human rights, but human dignity, not kindness, but truth.

I invite my brothers at the Southern Cross to a new evangelism- how about next week publishing a justification of the Male celibate priesthood, and of the Vatican's choice to screen priests to end abuses more fully. Since when should catholics care about the "right" of gay people to be priests- no one has a right to be a priest- only the church has this right to appoint people. I truly am disappointed today.

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