Of Silence, Saint Death and Saint John

silenceFeel free to peruse an article I just finished on Shuasku Endo’s controversial novel Silence, pusblished in 1966, and now soon to be released as a major Hollywood production.  The book follows a Jesuit missionary, Sebastian Rodrigues, forced to choose between apostasy, and saving a whole group of people being tortured.  The tale analyzes the nature of  faith, evangelization and love.  The ‘controversial’ bit is that Endo seems to imply that apostasy can in fact be the deepest form of faith and ‘love’ for others.  Hmm.  I would, and do, argue that the Church thinks most emphatically otherwise.  Give it a read, and let me know your thoughts.


On that note, I read with interest this morning on the rapidly growing cult of Santa Muerte, ‘Saint Death’, a bizarre belief in the ‘deity’ of death, with a disturbing similarity to the Grim Reaper, who brings blessings (usually of the material variety) galore.  This devotion, which apparently counts millions of adherents in Mexico alone, is syncretized with traditional Catholic devotions, but without some of the, well, moral strictures. One of the most significant sentences in the article was the following: (Saint Death) is (m)ore forgiving than the Catholic church – she is said not to punish traditional sins – she grew popular in Mexico’s prisons.  In other words, a talisman, a good luck charm, perhaps even a demonic influence, guiding one to worldly success and a lax conscience, a wide and easy road to, well, who knows where?  As the article goes on:


These actions have only further incensed the Catholic church, which already viewed the folk religion as a blasphemous threat to its standing in Mexico. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, has declared the faith the “degeneration of religion”


Not quite the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom Santa Muerte now rivals in popularity.  We can only hope that fair Mother of God, the defeater of heresy and idolatry through the ages, will triumph over ‘holy death’, for death, really, is the result of sin, and Christ has defeated both by His own death and resurrection.


And speaking of Christ, today is the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, also called the ‘Beloved’, as the one closest to the heart of Our Lord, likely the youngest, who lived to ripe old age, writing his Apocalypse (Revelation) towards the end of the first century.  He is the only Apostle not celebrated as a martyr, witnessing to his faith in other ways, by his life and writings, and in his exile by Emperor Domitian to the lonely, barren isle of Patmos in the Aegean Sea, where tradition has it that he composed his treatises.  His Gospel follows a different trajectory of Christ’s life from the other three ‘synoptic’ Gospels (literally, with the ‘same eye’), which all follow more or less the same events.  John sees things from a more theological perspective, eternal, heavenly, with the greatest emphasis and clarity on Christ as the pre-existent Logos, always ‘with’ the Father (which is why his symbol is the eagle).  But Saint John also portrayed Christ in His full humanity, the ‘Word made Flesh’, to deny which, as he declares in his first letter (4:3), is the very spirit of the Antichrist (shades of Silence?).  So let us pray to the Apostle today, that we may see things from just such a perspective, far above the passing travails of this world, as time and history move ever onward to the end of the 2016, and, in a broader sense, to whatever personal or worldwide apocalypse we all must face, one day.


A Merry and Joyous Christmas to One and All!

family around the piano


A very joyous, merry and grace-filled Christmas to all faithful readers!


Awake, awake, fling off the night!


For God has sent His glorious light!


And we who live in Christ’s new day,


Must deeds of darkness put away. 

Christmas Terror

truck-attackAs a number of pundits have predicted, there was a terrorist attack in Berlin, at a Christmas festival, with a multi-ton ‘lorry’ smashing full speed into a stall selling mulled wine. Eleven people were killed by the truck, with scores wounded, some severely, and a twelfth victim, the operator of the truck, killed by an Islamic hijacker, who careened it into the market.  


Just today, we heard that the alleged perpetrator was shot and killed by police in Milan, after a random street check at 3 am. The terrorist, pulling a gun from his backpack, managed to shoot one of the officers in the shoulder before the other office, a trainee, shot him dead.  God rest his soul, and the souls of his victims.  


On that note, here is what I had to write last year, after the massacres in Paris, and the principles, to my mind, still hold sound. Editor.


Our first response in a terrorist attack like this is to pray for the victims and their families, but there must also be a practical, this-side-of-eternity response also.  Mr. Hollande’s promise to ‘wage a war without compromise’ sort of misses the point:  This is not a ‘war’ in any traditional sense of the word, for there is no ‘nation’ attacking France, unless one includes the vague and indeterminate ‘nation of Islam’.  But that is just the point:  The enemy himself is ‘vague and indeterminate’.  He does not wear a uniform, he may be from any nation, indeed, he may be born on the very soil of France, he may even swear allegiance to all that France (or name your country) holds dear.  For in Islam, lying to the infidel is no crime or sin at all (at least, we may presume, in the ideological interpretation of ISIS).


Whom does Mr. Hollande plan to capture and jail?  It is illegal in France to take a census  based on religious affiliation, but the estimates are that 5-7% of France identifies as Muslim, which translates to about 3-5 million people.  Of these, one poll estimates that one in six supports the aims of the ‘Islamic State’, otherwise known as ISIS:  Here is the Washington Post earlier this year:


And when it comes to levels of extremism within France’s Islamic community, attitudes are again hard to ascertain. One recent poll suggested that 1 in 6 French citizens supported the Islamic State militant organization.


If true, that is about 640,000, more than half a million, Muslims who may be supporters of the radical, no-holds-barred, torture-as-you-may, throat-cutting barbarians of ISIS.  As the articles warns, we must take all such polls with a large grain of salt, and very few Muslims are terrorists, but a number of them seem to sympathize, and are open to ‘radicalization’.  Even if it is only 1%, that amounts to thousands of would-be terrorists in your very midst, who are already citizens and have full rights thereof. How many unemployed, disaffected, even angry, young Muslims are there in the vast, bleak, impoverished, concrete wasteland bainlieues of the Parisian suburb just waiting for some ideology to guide their lives, to give them a purpose, a plan?


Even the majority of ‘moderate’ Muslims who disdain any connection with terrorism and live quiet lives as good citizens still venerate their founder, a man who spread his religion by sword and by coercion, whatever the Qur’an might advocate of modern ‘jihad’ one way or the other.


If this is a war, it is a war of ideology, of culture and ultimately of religion, and can only be won on those grounds.  But France, once the ‘eldest daughter of the Church’ has by and large lost her faith.  In a curious irony, the concertgoers who comprised most of the dead and wounded were there to hear the band ‘Eagles of Death Metal’.  Likely the ISIS terrorists (presuming it was indeed them) knew and planned this, as part of their war against the ‘Great Satan’ of what they perceive to be decadent Western culture.  So much, at least, for ‘death metal’ culture in France; who is going to attend one of their concerts now?


What really is holding France (or Germany, or Canada) together?  For what is she fighting, and what is she defending?  French cuisine and art?  The ‘freedom’ to do whatever it is one wants?  Who is at war with whom?  Back in the days of Charles Martel, who defeated the Islamic hordes invading from the south in the great battle of Tours in October of 732, France was a united country under the Catholic faith and the cohesive culture to which that faith gave rise.  She knew for what she fought.


But now, in November of 2015?  France, along with most of Europe, is in a demographic and cultural death spiral, and has allowed Islam, in its multifold forms, to fill the vacuum.  Germany is even further down the road to dissolution, as Chancellor Merkel seems intent on allowing an unending stream of vigorous, young male ‘refugees’ through the borders with scarcely a security check.  At least one of the suicide bombers in France was found with a Syrian passport on his mangled body.


I know not what the future holds, but, from the looks of things today, not good for France, nor for Europe.  On a minor but significant note, the Irish band U2 has already cancelled a planned concert in France, and Paris, the number one tourist destination in the world (up until now) will likely see many more such ‘cancellations’ in the near future.  France has closed her borders, imposed a curfew, and is under martial law, with ten thousand army troops deployed to ‘walk the streets’, an unprecedented move since the darkest days of World War II.  The terrorists have already won by fear.

In the meantime, we pray for the dead, the wounded and their families and, yes, for the perpetrators of this carnage.  May God have mercy on all.


Italian Marriage and Continuing Mayhem

married-handsFrom the extinction of marriage files:  Italy is considering officially removing the ‘fidelity’ aspect  in the promises of legal marriage; no longer will one have to be faithful to one’s wife or husband (or, I suppose now, any significant ‘partner’), and adultery, in its various manifestations, will no longer be grounds for divorce.  The Italian Senators argue that this a


cultural legacy from an outdated and obsolete view of marriage, family and the rights and duties of spouses,” according to a dozen senators giving their backing to the bill“.


I am not sure that the Italian parliament realizes this will make marriage in the country of Saint Peter and Dante invalid. Tracing back to Saint Augustine, there are requirements even for a natural, non-sacramental marriage: fides, proles et sacramentum:  Faith (or fidelity), openness to children, and the indissolubility. To forego, delete, remove or just plain not intend any of these ‘ends’, ‘purposes’, or ‘goods’ of matrimony invalidates the marriage.


Not that it matters much, anyways, for marriage was already on its way to extinction in Italy, with ageing men and women maintaining their ‘youth’ well into middle age, bambinos and bambinnettes, still living in their childhood bedroom, hanging out in nightclubs and Mediterranean beaches, with any thoughts of ‘marriage’ in their sunburned brains distant indeed. But this puts one more obstacle in the way of any revitalization of what was once the centre of Catholic culture.


And speaking of which, we wake up on this Advent Monday morning to more terrorist attacks, this time in Jordan, where several men opened fire on tourists visiting the ancient ruins of the Karak castle, curiously, although likely not incidentally, a former Crusader stronghold.  At least ten are now deceased, including a retired Canadian teacher.  This will not do wonders for the what survives of the tourist industry in Jordan, still a relative ‘safe zone’ in a whole region of Islamic disintegration and internecine strife. Consider the 48 soldiers who were killed the other day in Yemen, by, yes, a suicide bomber.  There is almost no way to defend oneself, and one’s citizens, by those willing to kill by dying.  We are well past the time that castles such as Karak will provide a defense; for those plotting such mayhem, hopefully a very small minority, are in the very midst of what was once a Christian civilization.


Feel free to peruse this scathing article by R.R. Reno in First Things, on the recent document from the Atlantic bishops of Canada, in their response to ‘medical assistance in dying’ and the reception of the sacraments.  I can sort of see what the bishops are trying to get at, but the impression of complicity in the grave evil of murder and suicide is difficult to avoid in what they write.


The Holy Father celebrated his birthday the other day, December 17, officially becoming an octogenarian. Let us continue to pray for him, whatever our thoughts about some of his recent comments and actions, that he continue to guide the Church with fidelity, constancy and clarity in the truth.


Hope, always hope, in this last week of Advent, for God has His omnipotent hand in all things, guiding all things, and that includes all persons, to their final end, in one way or another.  Rest in the duty of the moment, take care of what God has given you, and trust Him at all times.

Would a Real Conservative Please Stand Up?

patrick-brownPatrick Brown continues his castration of the Conservative Party of Ontario, this time rebuking a fellow MPP for making some off-hand comments about the Conservatives being, well, conservative. It seems Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nichols said the following at a dinner for Christian supporters, who may become rare in the near future; after admitting that the party would never be elected on a social conservative platform, he confessed:


Social issues are very, very important. We need to form government, then watch us go…watch us go.


Well, Patrick Brown was having none of that.  As the article goes on:


Brown responded to the report by saying he plans to lead “an inclusive government where intolerance will have no place,” adding “the comments made by MPP Nicholls were false and need to be immediately retracted.”



Nicholls, bad boy that he was, was brought to his knees:


Nicholls did as ordered, issuing a statement saying the Tories “will not be revisiting divisive social issues” in opposition or in government.


“I retract and apologize for my comments of last week,” Nicholls said. “I fully support the direction the leader is taking our party.”


What direction, pray tell, might that be?


So much for the Conservatives.  After the vote late last month eviscerating governmental acknowledgement of the natural family, making illegal any reference to ‘father’ or ‘mother’, allowing up to four parents, and lowering the parent-child bond to the level of a legal contract, what does one now expect from Mr. Brown, who has thrown to the wind even any pretense of being actually conservative?  That a man like Mr. Nicholls, who seems genuinely conservative, would actually stand up to Brown, tell him where to go, and do what he thinks right in conscience, truth and right order?  Ah, we Pollyannas, always expecting the best from people. Thomas More, where art thou?  To give up one’s very conscience for Wales was bad enough, but I would hope Mr. Nicholls has not done so for Chatham-Kent-Essex.


What is it, then, that the Conservatives stand for?  Fewer wind farms?


The question that remains now is, where do real conservatives go? What else is there?  At least in some practically realizable way?


I am open to answers and suggestions, and will publish those that come this way.


And in the meantime, all the joys and blessings in this last Advent novena and countdown before Christmas…


O Antiphons

Tomorrow, we begin the proximate preparation for Christmas.  I try, in some small way, and not, I must admit, very well, to resist the celebration of Christmas before Christmas.  I know this is a weathered lament, but one that merits restating:  We prepare for Christ in the season of Advent, and we celebrate his arrival with Christmas.  The zeitgeist of the age, outside and, to some extent, even within, the Church, is difficult to resist, with everything from social events to advertisements in shops to songs, but resist to some extent we must.  Some application to bodily and spiritual preparation is requisite so that Christmas remains Christmas, and that the celebration does not end the day after Christmas, just when it is supposed to begin.   (Which day, incidentally, is not Boxing Day, but the feast of (Saint) Stephen, the first martyr, as the opening lines of the traditional hymn on Good King Wencelsaus makes clear).


In the Western tradition of the Catholic Church, one of the liturgical preparations in this near-season for Christmas are the ‘O Antiphons’, seven titles from the Old Testament pointing to the coming Messiah.  The origin of their compilation goes back to the dawn of the Middle Ages, with reference to them in the writings of Boethius (480-524 a.d.).  The seven antiphons, which begin today, December 17th, and end on December 23rd, Christmas Eve’s Eve,, are as follows, in their Latin original:  O Sapientia, O Adonai, O Radix Iesse, O Clavis David, O Oriens, O Rex Gentium, and O Emmanuel.


They are, in their somewhat variable English translations, O Wisdom, O Lord God, O Root (or Rod) of Jesse, O Key of David, O Rising Sun (or Morning Star), O King of the Nations (or Gentiles) and O Emmanuel.


Each day, these antiphons comprise the basis for the antiphons at Vespers, the universal Evening Prayer of the Church.  Readings also go along with each antiphon, taken from the Old Testament , and making clear how each of these titles allegorically referred to the coming Messiah.


It is a curious phenomenon, and may well be intentional, that the acronym formed by the  first letter in the antiphons, when spelled backwards from the Latin original, makes ero cras, which is Latin for “I will be (there) tomorrow”.   This could be coincidence, but the mediaeval theologians loved puns and plays upon words, so we may surmise the antiphons were deliberately framed this way, to help us even further in our ‘waiting upon’ the Christ, who would free His people from their sins, and offer the world redemption.


So a very blessed last days of Advent to one and all, as we prepare for the birth of our Saviour and King…

Canadian Pot Heads

canada-pot-leafNext spring, Trudeau, the only sitting Member of Parliament ever to admit to smoking a joint (and hence breaking the law), along with his majority Liberal government, plan to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada (medicinal/therapeutic use is already legal here in Her Majesty’s Dominion); the ‘task force’ tasked with the weighty task of coming up with ‘recommendations’ concluded yesterday with various parameters within which this would work:  Only four plants per ‘household’ (like that will be enforceable); a mix between ‘official’ production (read: vast hash factories, like the one described here, which hopes to start producing 100,000 kg by 2017) and ’boutique’ grow-ops (read: homegrown, as in your backyard); some cascading tax on the product (of course) depending on potency; plain labelling (as in cigarettes) so as not to unduly encourage usage, but with the amount of the active ingredient (THC, tetrahydracannabinol) clearly labeled; and to top it all off, a minimum age of 18 to buy and use.



The future of Canadian agriculture.

So you can get stoned at 18, but cannot enter a licensed establishment or sip a beer.  Curious.


But more curious is that physicians called for a minimum age of 25, due to the, shall we say, deleterious ‘effects’ of marijuana on the developing brain, and one might argue on the brain and the soul in general.


There will be societal ramifications of this misguided legislation, almost all of which will flow from what this drug does to the individual who inhales or ingests this psychotropic substance.  Here are just some of the effects of regular use of m-j and hash.  Here is what Dr. Ed Gorek had to say in an article last year:


An article published in Current Addiction Reports listed dozens of studies showing that marijuana damages the still-developing teenage brain.  The brains of teens who smoke pot have less gray matter, more disorganized white matter, and disrupted blood flow.  Dozens of structural changes show up on brain scans, and these changes are linked to less ability to think and plan, more impulsivity, poor attention, and worse memory.  Teenage marijuana users think more slowly and process less.  And most of this damage is permanent; even if they later stop using marijuana, their brain function does not return to normal.


There is no ‘safe’ amount of marijuana, for its effects at the microscopic, neuronal level of the brain are still  not fully understood, but what is known is not good, including loss and inhibition of dendritic growth (which undergirds learning and motivation).  The science bears strong evidence to the anecdotal characterization of users as ‘potheads’, ‘stoners’, who are zombified, lack willpower, soft, effeminate creatures whose zeal and strength, determination and focus, are sapped; and the effects last, as the good doctor declares, even if one stops.


But there is a deeper problem, prescinding from the deleterious medical manifestations of this or any other drug, and that is the need to use a substance solely for the euphoric or intoxicating effects that it produces which, in the Church’s teaching, is wrong.  And this applies not just to what we normally think of as ‘drugs’, but also to alcohol, widely touted by the Catholic culture.


Do not misunderstand me; I am no teetotaller, and enjoy a sip or two or three now and again.  As Belloc wrote:


Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine.  At least I have always found it so, Benedicamus Domino.


However, we always must imbibe primarily for the taste of whatever it is we are drinking, taking its (hopefully slight) euphoric effects very much as secondary. To use alcohol like a drug, to deliberately get high or drunk, is contrary to our nature, to the proper use of our reason, and, yes, sinful.  Coud you imagine injecting or inhaling alcohol?  Well, many can, and have done so, like a bar I heard of that maintains a ‘fog’ of distilled booze in the air, just to keep everyone buzzing and on the dance floor, busting moves they might not in a more rational mode.


Chesterton has a thoughtful essay on the intake of alcohol, which he compares to sex:  Just as we can never seek sex purely for the pleasure, but rather must engage in this most intimate of actions within the holy bond of matrimony for its primary procreative and unitive significations (although nothing wrong, and much that is right, with pleasure and enjoyment as a by-product; who would seek sex without it?  Is not that why God made it so pleasurable?).  So too, we should drink fine wines and well-crafted ales for their palate, their refreshment, the company, with the euphoria and hilarity as a bit of an added bonus.  As Chesterton said somewhere or other, always drink to remember, never drink to forget.


This is the key distinction between alcohol and marijuana, or any drug really, for drugs such as these are sought only for their euphoric and ‘high’ effects; as such, one level of ‘high’ is never enough, and attenuation and addiction inevitably ensues, with ever-greater potencies for ever-greater highs.


This, really, is what alcoholism is, using wine, ale and spirits as they are not meant to be used, as drugs, to escape reality.  Nietzsche once wrote that the test of a man was how much of the truth he could take. It seems we in Canada cannot take all that much.


All this new legislation will do is introduce a far greater number of people to dependency upon pot, with all that entails:  Societal and spiritual dysfunction, lost productivity and work hours, delinquency, apathy, listlessness, and an increase in psychiatric disorders. Now that I ponder it, perhaps this is what the government wants, to gather around itself a populace even more supine, sheep-like and docile than it already is.


All the more easy to control you with, my little children. So toke up, and let the good guru Trudeau along with his pied piping minions lead you where he may.


Bishop Rodgriguez, and Syrian and Pronoun Wars

javierechevarriaBishop Javier Ecchevaria Rodgriguez, the Prelate of the personal prelature Opus Dei, died yesterday of complications arising from pneumonia.  He had been chosen personally by Saint Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, to lead the worldwide lay apostolate, which fosters piety, spirituality in its members.  Bishop Rodriguez oversaw Opus Dei from 1994 until his death. May God receive the soul of His servant… requiescat in pace.


Syria continues its civil war, now apparently in its last stages.  One cannot believe everything reported in the media, to put it mildly, and one wonders in such a situation who is a ‘civilian’, and who not, who is in the right, and who in the wrong, the role of ISIS and militant Islam, and a leader, or a dictator, trying to ‘win back’ his country, rebels and loyalists, Russia, the United States, and on it goes.  There comes a time in a war, even an unjust one, wherein surrender is the only viable, and moral, option.  All we can do is pray for all those involved.


The once proud and prestigious, venerable and hallowed halls of Oxford academia are slipping further from the truth.  It seems the Students’ Union of the British university, founded more or less in the 12th century, has now decreed from on high that all students must use the pronoun ‘ze’, instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’.


The motto of Oxford, curiously, is Dominus illuminatio mea, the Lord is my light, from Psalm 27, which continues, whom shall I fear?  Well, one can fear the thought police at Oxford, now on the prowl for anyone who actually tries to make the (true) distinction between male and female.


Today is the memorial of Saint Lucy, the young virgin-martyr saint of ‘light’.  Maybe she can pray for Oxford, Catholic up until the ‘Reformation’, and more or less sane until a few years ago, that they live back up to their motto.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Triumphs over Evil

guadalupeWe celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe today, a commemoration elevated to a feast on the eve of the Third Millennium by Pope John Paul II, who also declared  her patroness of all of ‘America’, south, central, and north.  Appearing to (now saint) Juan Diego in 1531, while the Protestant ‘Reformation’ was wreaking havoc  across the Atlantic in Europe, the Virgin tenderly asked ‘Juanito’ as she called him, and through him asked all of us, ‘Am I not your mother?’, to which there is really only one answer.


Yes, she is our Mother, even in the midst of all the chaos, evil and mayhem of this world. Yesterday, on Gaudete Sunday, a time for rejoicing in the Lord in this subdued season of Advent, a Catholic Church was bombed in Cairo, with more than two dozen killed, many more injured, many of them women and children.  It is difficult to quantify ‘evil’, but this at least qualifies as a good amount of it.  Alas, the voluntarism of Islam (may we say, certain strains of Islam, but of its essential, original and radical nature?) wherein the decrees of Allah are to be carried out regardless of reason, mercy and charity…


We can only ‘rejoice’ that the souls of the victims are now rejoicing in heaven, but we must also have sorrow, and offer prayers, for the victims and, most of all, the perpetrators of this heinous act.


We know not how many souls Our Lady has brought into the Church through her miraculous image, which  sort of ‘floats’ on the tilma or cloak, maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees; scientists have detected a heartbeat, and there is in her eyes, detectible only by modern microcopic analysis, reflected the image of the bishop and someone else, as they likely appeared to her as she appeared to them on this day in December, 1531. No scientist, as yet, has any explanation for how the image was placed on, or is maintained, on the fragile tilma, which by any law we know should have disintegrated centuries ago. The image truly is one of those motiva credibilitatis, a ‘motive of credibility’, which has disposed untold millions towards the Faith, and increased the Faith of many more


We are now more than halfway through Advent, when the Light will soon be increasing, and with that, truth and hope, even though the darkness seems, and I say seems, to prevail.  In the end, goodness always wins.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, ora pro nobis!

The Modern Family and Their Tragic Children


Modern family, no more…

Following upon my post the other day, on the young woman who drowned her newborn, and was let off with more or less a warning, here is another bizarre story, from the opposite end of the spectrum:  An actor, Nick Loeb, of whom I know nothing, is suing his former paramour,  Sofia Vergara, of whom I know now only that she is the highest paid actress on television (she earns $1 million per episode for some show of which I also know nothing, ‘Modern Family’, but it does not sound all that good).


The suit is for the couple’s embryos, which they ‘produced’ together, so he (presumably with the help of the womb of a female friend) can save their lives and raise them up as his children. The bizarre part is that he has claimed the two embryos, who have been named Emma and Isabella, as cooperators in the suit.  That is, as near as I can figure this out, the embryos are suing their own mother, with the help of their father, for the right to life.  How can embryos, who are considered non-persons, sue?  Well, as the article explains


The potentially landmark case has been filed in Louisiana because the state legally recognizes an in vitro fertilized egg as a “juridical person” until it is implanted in the womb.


There is much wrong and right in this case. The good:  The father’s desire to save his children, and adopt them as his own.  Who’s going to argue with that?  There is also the life of the embryos themselves who, we hope, will achieve eternal bliss at the end of their tragic little lives.


The bad? Well, the ‘bad’ comprises most of this mess. The ill-fated coupling of these over-feted actors, so intent on their own fulfilment that they bring into existence, through the immoral means of in vitro fertilization, at least two little babies (likely more, who would have been destroyed), keeping them in the degrading condition of ‘cold storage’ from which there is no morally licit way to save them.


There are two Church documents which address the issue of ‘artificial reproduction’, the 1987 Donum Vitae, and the 2008 Dignitatis Personae, both promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:


Concerning his intention to somehow bring these embryos to term, the latter has this to say to Nick Loeb and all the other parents and would-be parents of frozen children:


It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of “prenatal adoption”. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.

Problems as in, the intrinsically perverse action of implanting a baby in a womb, real, artificial or something in-between.  As soon as we allow that, the door to Brave New World is wide open.  Thus, the document continues:


All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an “appeal to the conscience of the world’s scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of ‘frozen’ embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons” (emphasis in original).


That is, Emma and Isabella were doomed (in a temporal sense, not eternal) from the first moment of their existence.


There is one more good thing that might accrue, as per the Texas law requiring proper disposal of aborted and miscarried preborn babies:  It may wake up the wider world bit more to the fact that there is a life at conception, growing into full maturity, and any ‘interruption’ of this process on our part is a gravely immoral act.


Oh, and it may make people think twice before they watch the dysfunction that is Modern Family ever again.  Sometimes, art is all too true to life, or is that vice versa?