Please pray and help us to Keep Ireland Abortion-Free
Lord Jesus, you are the source and lover of life.
Reawaken in us respect for every human life.
Help us to see in each child the marvellous
work of our Creator.
Open our hearts to welcome every child as a
unique and wonderful gift.
Guide the work of doctors, nurses and
May the life of a mother and her baby in the
womb be equally cherished and respected.
Help those who make our laws to uphold the
uniqueness and sacredness of every human life,
from the first moment of conception to natural
Give us wisdom and generosity to build a
society that cares for all.
Together with Mary, your Mother,
in whose womb you took on our human
Help us to choose life in every decision we
We ask this in the joyful hope of eternal life
with you, and in the communion of the
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.
All the Saints of Ireland, pray for us.
I have reflected for a long time on the development of the state’s replacement of virtue, as underpinning society, to arbitrary rights: We now have many if not most citizens sincerely believing that it is ‘good’ in itself to kill unwanted infants, or unwanted old or sick people, or unwanted anyone.
This is the greatest human-rights struggle of our time – and of all times.
I think it is good to encourage those who expect a Downs birth and just cannot accept the child in spite of counseling and supportive therapy ,to bring the happiness of a Downs child to couples on the waiting lists for adopting Downs Syndrome children. It would be best to keep the Child, but if a person does not have the emotional strength to do so , it would be better for the child and parent(s) to offer the child to a waiting couple. Hopefully this would not divide the married couple parents.
The Church has always allowed parents to give up children for adoption for serious reasons.
The innocence and trust one sees in the faces of Downs people – young and old – makes one wonder if they are not the most blest. Can anyone imagine a baptised Downs person in hell? Has anyone ever seen a sinful Downs person? How can they be? And yet, they are not unconscious, nor are they conscienceless beasts. They are awake and they know right from wrong.
Toad may wish to mention his dogs, as if there were equivalency between them and Downs people. I hope not.
Good evening, my CP&S minions: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to insert a verb in my penultimate line…This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
[GC: JH, is that the verb you wanted? I have to admit I get confused with conditional tenses, the subjunctive etc.]
When I first saw this video, with that adorable little smiling boy with Downs syndrome peering curiously at the camera, I so wished I could pick him up and hug him tight. Then a pang like a stab would went through me when I realised that hundreds (perhaps thousands) of little children just like him were being destroyed in other countries (including Spain) by that pre-natal test performed on pregnant women to detect the syndrome, and then kill the child! It is a terrible tragedy.
It is true that there are varying degrees of learning difficulties for the children who suffer from Downs syndrome, but they all appear to be so happy in their childlike innocence, an innocence they never lose (as JH says) as they grow older. Abortion not only destroys their own right to life and happiness, but also – due to their special needs, and the dedication caring for them will demand – to a path towards sanctification for their parents.
Shieldsheafson @ 15:12, September 28th:
I have reflected for a long time on the development of the state’s replacement of virtue, as underpinning society, to arbitrary rights…This is the greatest human-rights struggle of our time – and of all times.
Absolutely – this is the key thing here. All the related ‘hot-button’ issues that we find ourselves fighting against are the result of a profound change in our culture’s view of what the human person is, what our natural ends are, etc, and therefore what is right for us. Instead, as you say, this has been replaced with the right to do things, and the results are both arbitrary and deeply destructive.
Msgr. Pope’s most recent blog post touches on this matter too, and, as usual, expresses things very clearly:
Michael, I am very glad you picked up on Shieldsheafson’s most insightful reflection on “the state’s replacement of virtue, as underpinning society, to arbitrary rights”. It is indeed the key thing to understanding this turnabout.
In Mary Kenny’s well-acclaimed book “GOODBYE TO CATHOLIC IRELAND – How the Irish Lost the Civilization They Created”*, the author goes into this phenomena in great detail. (Ireland here could be homologous to many other former devoutly Catholic countries.) Mary Kenny had been a 1960’s militant feminist who through God’s grace had the ‘dust removed from her eyes’. She gradually came to realise the error of her ways and aware of the stark reality: that the Catholic Church had been a tremendous force for good in the country, and Ireland had abandoned her birthright!! At one point she notes:
“As the 1960s slogan had it – if it feels good, do it! What feels natural, is natural. The crucial change that the 1960s had brought about was this shift from reasoning to feeling.”
That’s it! Reasoning was suddenly shifted to feeling, in the same way that virtue was changed to some supposed rights!
The demonic spirit known as “the spirit of Vatican II” had well and truly done his dirty work in destroying Catholic civilization in Ireland… and elsewhere.
But all is not lost; a strong and growing remnant, wise in hindsight to the destruction, is now making up for the evil that was spread abroad from the 1960’s onwards. We, traditional Catholics, have a duty to restore and rebuild the damaged work of the satanical forces.
* Roger Buck (an American Catholic now living in Ireland) has written an extensive and detailed “review with commentary” of this book on his blog. Well worth reading! 🙂
“,..children who suffer from Downs syndrome, … …all appear to be so happy in their childlike innocence,”
Indeed. Montaigne says something to the effect that – if it’s true the dimmer we are, the happier we are – shouldn’t we all start taking dimming lessons immediately?
If Reasoning, as opposed to feeling is the keyword – is it permissible to reason why Downs syndrome, (or even stillbirth) forms part of God’s Plan?
Original sin, possibly? Surely not?
Kathleen @ 10:05, September 29th:
Yes, the shift from reasoning about things to an ethics (it sort of cheapens the word to use it with reference to the process we actually employ, but you know what I mean) based on impulse and emotion – and all the while cloaking it in a rhetoric of rationalism. We tell ourselves repeatedly that we are an age which bases all its decisions on reason, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Furthermore, sentimental ages (that is, ones that prize feeling over genuine love) always tend towards cruelty, as we can see all too well in abortion statistics and the public enthusiasm for euthanasia.
It’s been a long day today, so am off to bed, but will read that article by Roger Buck tomorrow!
Toad @ 10:25, September 29th:
if it’s true the dimmer we are, the happier we are…
Taking innocence for dimness – classic; really lovely stuff.
There’s that old repertoire again!
if it’s true the dimmer we are, the happier we are – shouldn’t we all start taking dimming lessons immediately?
Well that’s all the excuse I need to pour a (wee) afternoon whiskey.
“We tell ourselves repeatedly that we are an age which bases all its decisions on reason,”
Who tells themselves that? You don’t, Michael, and neither do I. Maybe the religious maniacs like Isis do. Ask Dawkins if he continually debates with people who rely on reason.
I believe it’s a mad, unreasoning and unreasonable world, myself. Always has been – and, unlike the Enlightenment gang, whom I admire, I don’t see any hope of improvement – ever.
Yes, you and I (and a good few others, including on here) try to reason stuff out, but most people? They haven’t got the time, or the inclination. And there are subjects that it’s blasphemy even to mention, let alone try to reason out. That doesn’t help..
(Since you bring it up, sort of, Montaigne actually cited “stupidity” rather than “dimness,” but I bowdlerised it, out of soft-heartedness. Should not have, I see. )
Who tells themselves that? You don’t, Michael, and neither do I.
I would have thought this was pretty clear, given the context, but I was talking about the culture at large, not individual people within that culture. You are right that most people don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to think things through for themselves (which is one of the reasons that having a clear view of where legitimate authority lies is so important), but a given culture will have a particular way of thinking things through and conducting discourse – when the narrative a culture tells itself about itself is at odds with the way it commonly thinks, speaks and behaves in practice, something is clearly awry.
So, to repeat, we in the West, as a culture, see ourselves as representatives of the ‘age of reason’, perhaps even the summit of that particular age. In reality though, most of our common speech, thought and practice betrays a reliance on sentiment and the indulgence of appetite, usually and even sometimes completely, divorced from reason.
Montaigne actually cited “stupidity” rather than “dimness,” but I bowdlerised it, out of soft-heartedness. Should not have, I see.
My point (again I thought this was reasonably clear) was not your choice of words, but that you attribute the source of happiness in people with Down’s Syndrome to dimness/stupidity rather than their childlike innocence.
I rake your point, Michael. I would attribute the apparent happiness of Downs syndrome people to lack of awareness of the horrors of life. They are to be envied in that respect.
I shouldn’t have dragged Montaigne into it, and I beg his pardon – and yours.
Michel was just talking about average dolts, not mentally underdeveloped people.
“…we in the West, as a culture, see ourselves as representatives of the ‘age of reason’, perhaps even the summit of that particular age.” I’m not convinced many reasonable people do believe that. But it may be so. If so, I personally do not – not do you.
I suppose each age generally thinks its culture superior to earlier ones. With the possible exception of the Enlightenment ( and Montaigne earlier) who believed Greek and Roman culture far superior to theirs. With some reason.
I’m not convinced many reasonable people do believe that. But it may be so. If so, I personally do not – not do you.
Unfortunately Toad, I think that a not-insignificant portion of people do see our age as being so. There is a fairly widely held belief that, because we have made many great scientific and technological advancements, that ‘science’* explains everything and that it is reasonable to take a scientistic view of the world. On that basis, they see our age (because of these technological advancements) as being based on ‘reason’, conveniently ignoring the moral chaos and cultural banality surrounding us all.
However, I must emphasise again that it is not even necessarily the majority beliefs of a society that constitutes the society’s self-description or self-knowledge. The scientism I just described is indeed held by a good many people, but I wouldn’t suggest they were in the majority (although these beliefs do ‘trickle down’ into the wider populace and are often affirmed in less zealous terms). The delusional narrative I described earlier is perpetuated by a minority of people who nevertheless have great influence over the way culture develops (or regresses) – politicians, the newspapers, television producers, academics. It’s hard to say who has precedence in this group, as the cultural changes we are witnessing are the result more of an assumed atmosphere than any clear concerted movement, but I’d say that the politicians actually have the least influence, and are usually just following the lead of media, the academy (and of course that dreaded species – the ‘public intellectual’).
*In inverted commas because quite a lot of people who profess faith in science don’t seem to realise what it actually is – a methodical, disciplined way of assessing data and assessing it according to various hypotheses – seeing it instead as some kind of comprehensive explanatory power, or even the basis of an ideology.
Written like the excellent scientist you clearly are, Michael. Your definition of science is spot on, I’d say. Which is to say, I agree with you on virtually all of your comment. (There’s a scary thought.)
As you will know, Wittgenstein said, more or less, “When we know everything, we will still know nothing.” And he’s right, I believe.
I agree with you on virtually all of your comment. (There’s a scary thought.)
Haha – indeed! 🙂
There is certainly some truth to what Wittgenstein said, in relative terms at least. I don’t know enough about him to make any sensible comment, but from what I do know he at least seemed to think that the things we can know ‘nothing’ about are the only ones worth studying.
Also, there is that anecdote about him presenting his ideas to the Vienna group, where, because they didn’t seem to grasp what he was on about, he just started reciting poetry to them in an attempt to knock down their presuppositions and open their minds to new ways of looking at things. Didn’t work apparently, but still makes for a good story, and perhaps says something about what he meant by our knowing ‘nothing’.