We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"The Wijngaards Statement seriously misrepresents the authentic position of the Catholic Church." Legit Catholic scholars set straight the record.

H/T Archbishop Aquila of Denver

"Progressive (c)hristianity", raging as it fades into irrelevance, has produced a companion to Canada's accursed Winnipeg Statement referred to here and elsewhere as the Winjgaards Statement, a diabolical screed likely to be heralded by errant pastors as authoritative.
Petition to retract the Winnipeg Statement: CLICK HERE
An Historical Note on the Winnipeg Statement: CLICK HERE
The Wijngaards Institute (a wannabe magisterium of malcontents based in Rickmansworth, a town near London, England) is an international not-for-profit Christian educator founded in 1983 by Dr John Wijngaards, then a Mill Hill missionary (who resigned in protest over the Church's Magisterial teaching on ordination). We are an international network of about 20 part-time volunteers dedicated to researching and making accessible information about key areas of Christian theology where the official Catholic teachings and practice are in need of reform (said the self appointed pontiff.). Those volunteers include university professors, researchers, translators, leaders in commerce and industry, religious, clergy, teachers, and so on (WICR is a popular club that hosts many ne'er do wells). They work in institutions from Canada to Indonesia and China, and contribute, each in their own way, by providing free ad hoc assistance with regard to academic research, translations, and fund-raising.—from the WICR site.

The work in question, Catholic Scholars’ Statement on the Ethics of Using Contraceptives, is neither Catholic nor scholarly. The Winjgaards Statement is merely a shabby attempt to resuscitate a tragically flawed hedonistic philosophy popular among low-information, soft-headed Catholics and others who have bought into the rebellion of the 1960s and 1970s. The rebellion of said decades has enslaved souls and bodies in despair and disease no less than the other destructive ideologies of the 20th Century. I.e., fascism and communism.

The Winjgaards Statement is nothing more than an unnecessary repeat performance of consumerist religion, i.e., buffet (c)atholicism, popularly known as the Spirit of Vatican II. Let's hope that people are not dumb enough to allow themselves to be conned into attending a performance of tired clichés by a band of faithless liberal religionists who have succumbed to the spirit of the times.

It will come as no surprise to orthodox Catholics that among the wingnuts supporters of the ignominious Winjgaards Statement is supporter number thirty-one:
Prof Gregory Baum, Religious Studies (Emeritus), McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Among the fanboys of Baum, the fox-in-the-hen-house, ex-priest and arch-heretic of the Great White North, is well known television priest Fr. Tom Rosica.
cf., Baum lauded by Rosica; Rosica and Baum
Marshalling the Troops

An esteemed group of legit Catholic scholars, let's call them the faithful, have issued an entirely apt response to the bile spewed forth by the heterodox motley crew at the Wijngaards Institute for (c)atholic Research. Among many other cockeyed enterprises, the Wingnuts Winjgaards Institute engages in "promoting gender equality and shared decision-making in the Church". That is, the Institute promotes dissent on the issues of ordination, the divinely designed hierarchy of the Church and authority, and dissent from the Church's teaching on human sexuality. Truth be told, the only research the Winjgaards Institute promotes is the search for new and destructive ways to sow error and confusion among Catholics.

Here is a summary of the reply of faithful scholars posted at the Catholic University of America entitled Affirmation of the Church’s Teaching on the Gift of Sexuality. It speaks to the dignity of the person and, unlike the blather of the Wingnuts Winjgaards crew, offers hope by directing attention to the grace God makes available to those who trust in His design for human sexuality.
http://trs.cua.edu/humanae-vitae/
The Wijngaards Statement seriously misrepresents the authentic position of the Catholic Church. Among the most erroneous claims made by the Wijngaards Statement is that neither Scripture nor natural law offers any support for the Church’s teaching that contraception is never compatible with God’s plan for sexuality and marriage. During the past half century, there has been an enormous amount of creative scholarly thinking around the Church’s teaching on contraception, thinking that includes profound reflections on the Theology of the Body, personalism, and natural law. In addition, there has been extensive research on and analysis of the negative impact of contraception on individuals, relationships, and culture.
The Wijngaards Statement, rather than engaging recent scholarship in support of the Church’s teaching, misdirects the conversation from the start by claiming that the argument against contraception in Humanae Vitae is based primarily on “biological laws.” Humanae Vitae instead focuses, as it should, on the person’s relationship to God and to other persons.
The points below briefly outline the true basis of the Church’s teaching that contraception is not in accord with God’s plan for sexuality and marriage. It also responds to some of the erroneous claims found in the Wijngaards Statement.
God is Love

The God who made this beautiful and ordered world is a loving and good God. All of His creation is a loving gift to humankind. Even after the Fall, God continued to reach out to His people, gradually revealing Himself and the depths of his love and mercy. God the Father’s gift of His Son Jesus, whose life was poured out on the Cross, was the ultimate and complete self-gift. This great and radical love is borne out in Scripture where the biblical authors in the Old Testament often speak of God in the image of husband and His people as His wife, and in the New Testament where Christ is described as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride. Throughout the history of the Church, many have seen this spousal imagery as a key to understanding God’s relationship to every human soul.

Made in God’s Image

Because God is Love – a communion of Divine Persons– He made men and women in His image: able to reason and to choose freely, with the capacity to love and to be in loving relationships.

Gift of Self

God invites all people to share in His love. Every person, therefore, is beloved by God and made to be in loving relationships; every person is created to make a gift of self to God and to others. The gift of self means living in a way that promotes the good of everyone, especially those with whom one is in close relationship.

Marriage: A Unique Communion of Persons

Marriage was designed by God to enable a man and a woman to live out humanity’s core identity as lovers and givers of life, to enable the two to become “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24) and for that one flesh to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Human sexual relations fulfill God’s intent only when they respect the procreative meaning of the sexual act and involve a complete gift of self between married partners.

God’s Law, Not Man’s

“The doctrine that the Magisterium of the Church has often explained is this: there is an unbreakable connection between the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning [of the marital act], and both are inherent in the marital act. This connection was established by God and human beings are not permitted to break it through their own volition.” (HV 12) The teaching that contraception is always against God’s plan for sexuality, marriage and happiness is not based on human law: “The teaching of the Church about the proper spacing of children is a promulgation of the divine law itself.” (HV 20)

Faith and Reason

God has revealed the truths about sexuality to human beings through the biblical vision of the human person and has also made it accessible to our reason. Several well-argued versions of “natural law” defenses support the Church’s teaching that contraception is not in accord with God’s plan for sexuality and marriage. Each begins with different basic truths and thus each constructs its arguments differently.

The Theology of the Body: Saint John Paul II’s Contribution

Saint John Paul II’s Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body (virtually ignored by the Wijngaards Statement) provides a powerful defense of the view that contraception is not in accord with the understanding of the human person as conveyed by Scripture and sacred Catholic Tradition. He speaks of the “language of the body” and has shown that to violate the procreative meaning of the marital act is also to violate the unitive (the “commitment-expressing”) meaning of the marital act. There he demonstrates that our very bodies have a language and a “spousal meaning” -- that they express the truth that we are to be in loving and fruitful relationships with others.

Humanae Vitae as Prophetic

Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted view of human sexuality and intimate relationships that many in the modern world promote. Humanae Vitae was prophetic when it listed some of the harms that would result from the widespread use of contraception. Abundant studies show that contraception, such as hormonal contraceptives and intrauterine devices, can cause serious health problems for women. The widespread use of contraception appears to have contributed greatly to the increase of sex outside of marriage, to an increase of unwed pregnancies, abortion, single parenthood, cohabitation, divorce, poverty, the exploitation of women, to declining marriage rates as well as to declining population growth in many parts of the world. There is even growing evidence that chemical contraceptives harm the environment.

A Practical Help to Husbands and Wives—FABMs

In order to live God’s design for married love, husband and wife need moral family planning methods. Fertility Awareness Based Methods of Family Planning (or FABMs, i.e., the many forms of Natural Family Planning) respect the God-given spousal union and the potential to procreate. FABMs are fully consistent with the Church’s teaching on marital chastity. Couples using these methods make no attempt to thwart the power of acts that could result in the procreation of new human persons. They respect God’s design for sexuality; they help individuals grow in self-mastery; they have the potential to strengthen marriages and respect the physical and psychological health of women. Moreover, science demonstrates that they are highly effective both in helping couples limit their family size when necessary and conceive when appropriate.

Respect for Cultural Values, Freedom

International organizations and governments should respect the values and beliefs of families and cultures that see children as a gift, and, therefore, should not impose—on individuals, families, or cultures—practices antithetical to their values and beliefs about children and family planning. Governments and international organizations should make instruction in Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABMs) of family planning a priority. FABMs are based on solid scientific understanding of a woman’s fertility cycle, are easily learned by women in developing countries, are virtually without cost, and promote respect for women.

Christ Provides Grace

Because of Original Sin, men and women became subject to temptations that sometimes seem insuperable. Christ came not just to restore our original goodness but to enable us to achieve holiness. The Catholic Church invites married couples to participate in the life of Christ, to participate in the sacraments, especially in Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. The Church asks the faithful to deepen their relationship with the Lord God the Father, to be open to receive the direction of the Holy Spirit, and to ask Christ to provide the graces needed to live in accord with God’s will for their married lives, even the difficult moral truths.
Among the many distinguished signatories listed in support of the response posted at the Catholic University of America is:
Fr. Wojciech Giertych OP, Theologian of the Papal Household, Vatican City.

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