Ann Barnhardt heckles Bishop

From the new group blog set up by Hilary White for the duration of the Synod:

A little while back I had the opportunity to attend a small conference about Marriage and Evolution, as in Darwinian evolution, specifically addressing the damage that the Evolutionary theory has done to society in general, and to the cultural foundation of marriage and family, namely by the Evolutionary base premise that everything is constantly changing and that everything “new” is “better” and everything “old” is “inferior” or, sin-of-sins, “unevolved”. The morning session was a series of presentations on marriage and family, and then the afternoon sessions were incredibly interesting hard science – fossil records, genetics, molecular biology, etc.

The final presentation of the morning session was an overview by a laywoman of the horrific situation in North America that has existed for decades now with regards to annulments. The Catholic church in America has been handing out declarations of nullity – de facto “Catholic divorce” – to pretty much everyone who asked for them for, well, completely coincidentally, just about 50 years now. That is no secret. Just ask any Kennedy.

In fact, permit me to quickly recount as an aside an illustrative horror story from my time in RCIA in the very (relatively) conservative neocon parish in Denver, which is itself one of the more conservative dioceses in the former U.S.

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program was run by a “team”, which consisted almost entirely of laypeople, mostly middle-aged and elderly women. In fact, I entered the Catholic Church without ever, one time, speaking to a priest. The first time I spoke to a priest was my first confession several weeks after entering the Church. But I digress.

Anyway, one of the team members told one of the RCIA catechumens who was in a romantic relationship with a civilly divorced Catholic to – and I quote verbatim – “Just go to Vegas and get married and let the chips fall where they may. All annulments are approved. You just have to do the paperwork.”

This team member was advising a person getting ready to enter the Church to commit mortal sin, thus excommunicating themselves, not to mention the presumption upon God’s Mercy. This woman also thought that it was unfair that her sodomitical hairdresser and his boyfriend couldn’t adopt a pet child, and that when people die they become angels. Ah, the New Pentecost…. It is enough to make a person ask whether or not these people actually believe any of it in the first place….

So back to the conference I recently attended. At the end of the laywoman’s presentation about the extreme injustice of both the no-fault civil divorce culture in North America, as well as the push within the Church to make the annulment process into de facto Catholic no-fault divorce, she touched very briefly on the September 8th Motu Proprio and how it was simply moving the entire Church toward the North American model of “annulment on demand”. There was a Q&A period, and there were two visiting bishops present in the audience, one from the Middle East somewhere and one from subsaharan Africa somewhere.

So I raised my hand and asked the final question of the session. My question was this:

“The disastrous September 8th Motu Proprio contains a list of criteria that could be cited as grounds for declaring a marriage null, including “lack of faith”, which is a universal condition. I myself am already receiving questions from orthodox faithful Catholics who are happily married who are now questioning whether or not they are even married because one or both of the spouses was “nervous” on the morning of the wedding, perhaps indicating a “lack of faith” per the Motu Proprio. This is the diabolical fruit of the September 8th disaster. My question is, what can we do or say to people to assure them that they are, in fact, sacramentally married and should not doubt this?”

Here’s the rest of the article written by the inimitable and intrepid Ann Barnhardt

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19 Responses to Ann Barnhardt heckles Bishop

  1. At the moment, I can think of only one word to describe Ann Barnhardt and her ideas: SENSATIONAL!

    Dear God, can’t You also give Your bishops her kind of thinking and her kind of courage?

  2. Plain old Toad says:

    “A little while back I had the opportunity to attend a small conference about Marriage and Evolution, as in Darwinian evolution, specifically addressing the damage that the Evolutionary theory has done to society in general, and to the cultural foundation of marriage and family, namely by the Evolutionary base premise that everything is constantly changing and that everything “new” is “better” and everything “old” is “inferior” or, sin-of-sins, “unevolved”.”
    Utter nonsense. Evolution is neither “good,” nor “bad,” – just a fact, and has, in itself, done no damage to anything. Everything evolves, from dogs, to disease, to computers. It often isn’t for the better – the evolution of weapons, as a more efficient way of killing each other – is not a good thing, just inevitable. We may consider the evolution of the internet good, or bad. Matter of how we look at it.
    Of course, everything is “constantly changing.” What else has it ever done?

  3. Plain old Toad says:

    “This woman also thought that it was unfair that her sodomitical hairdresser and his boyfriend couldn’t adopt a pet child….”

    Why would the child in this case be a ‘pet.”?
    Bit of “judging” going on here, wouldn’t be surprised.
    Well, serves the sodomites right.
    …For being sodomites. Nasty things.
    Still, it cheered up Robert John – and that takes some doing.

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    PoT says: “Utter nonsense. Evolution is neither ‘good’, nor ‘bad’ – just a fact…”

    No, evolution is a theory – a pretty persuasive proposition in some ways – but not a fact. I tend to be an agnostic when it comes to ‘evolution’, whatever that word means. But the person being quoted by PoT refers to the damage “Evolutionary theory” has done to society. That the theory of evolution has been put to some very wicked uses and continues to be is an undeniable fact. Survival of the fittest, eugenics, the notion of a permanent underclass destined for extinction…all these spring from evolutionary theorizing.

  5. Plain old Toad says:

    ” I tend to be an agnostic when it comes to ‘evolution’, “
    Then you don’t see cars evolving, JH? Or dogs, from wolves? Or the Aids virus?
    But I agree, with you, up to a point.
    Just because I see it as an unvarnished fact, doesn’t mean it is. But I will continue to believe in it until a more plausible theory comes along.
    Evolution, like Science, of Religion – is responsible for nothing “good,” or “evil,” except we make it so, interpret it so, or think it so.
    Although, in my interpretation, “the survival of the fittest, ” that is to say the most adaptable – not necessarily the strongest, or nastiest – is true.
    It’s why certain animals can survive in the desert or the Arctic, when others can’t.

  6. ginnyfree says:

    As an aside, I think you could probably write several books containing the antics and errors that converts/reverts go thru in the RCIA process. It would make for interesting reading. I wanted a T-shirt that read “I survived my RCIA class!” God bless. Ginnyfree.

  7. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing Ann’s SPLENDID article. Yes, great courage, that woman. She tells it as she sees it, no holds barred. I only check her blog occasionally so glad to have this come through my email box.

  8. Plain old Toad says:

    To get back to evolution (yawn) – surely a classic case is the Church itself? Once no more than a small group of homeless, penniless young men, now look at it – massive, gilded, rich, world-wide – and, so some would have us believe – nowadays ungodly and unCatholic. And possessed of a homolobby, to boot.
    All within the space of a mere two thousand years.

  9. Robert says:

    The Church did not Evolve Toad within the Old Testament are the Prophecies of the New and in Genesis is found the Apocalpyse Alpha and Omega. That is NOT evolution its the Triumph of the Lamb seen and revealed.
    What a false argument. You are placing the Faith at the same level as pagan religions. The mistake is to see this world as Paradise because it isn’t. Our Lord never said that this world was Paradise. Look at what Our Lady told the seers at Fatima. Look at what Our Lady told Bernadette.
    Think and look at the example of St Pio. Bilocution that is his body was in in more than one place at the same time. Think of the Eucharist Body Blood Soul and Divinity. Look at the reading of conscience of St Pio. Look at the sacraments the water, wine, bread and these are the channels of Grace. Think of True God and True Man (what Man an Ape Man?) Rubbish.
    Evolution is seductive it is a critic of God and His Creation. It can never unite because it includes the selfish perception of superiority. The Master Race evolving from the base races.
    Global Warming? No rather parading Sin as Virtue and Virtue as Sin that is the fruits of this generation.
    Christ and the weather? Christ controls the weather.
    Mark 4:37
    And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that the ship was filled.
    Luke 8:23
    And when they were sailing, he slept; and there came down a storm of wind upon the lake, and they were filled, and were in danger.
    Thank Heaven Ann has with courage spoken out!

  10. Robert says:

    There is this perception of progress as a rational for evolution. However go back to 12 century and look at St Francis (rebuild my Church) and St Dominic and Father Angelo (Carmelite) that was a warning then of the assault on the Church. The Reformation which shattered the Church.
    Look at Leo XIII and the 100 years given to Satan to destroy the Church. Then look carefully again at the progress (progress accentuated by world wars and social revolutions). Look learn and think why has the World exploded in progress, and why are scientists atheist?
    Look at Socialism and the founders of the London School of Economics.
    Think of the experiments on humans conducted by the Nazis (Superior Race!).
    Look at the Saints raised by God in this period. St Therese Of THE CHILD Jesus and of THE HOLY FACE. St Pio (Priest with stigmata and child of St Francis). Look at Fatima and 1917 where the structuring of the Middle East was imposed by France and Britian. The Russian Revolution. Portugal in 1917 was Socialist!
    Can you see today One Holy Catholic Faith? On the Contrary we are seeing factions Bishop against Bishop a House Divided.
    The Apostles Creed could not be more clear CREATOR of Heaven and Earth.
    Our Lord could not be more clear over Marriage!

  11. Michael says:

    To get back to evolution (yawn) – surely a classic case is the Church itself?

    Yawn indeed. There are, it seems to me, three different categories that need separating here:

    1. With respect to the Church, doctrine develops, in the same way that an oak grows from an acorn into a sapling, then becomes bigger, extends its branches, etc. This is natural and organic development within a species or body of some kind. The accumulation of wealth and appearances of scandal over the years are the inevitable consequences of being an enormous, far-reaching institution in the world, and nothing to do with this organic principle.

    2. In the theory of evolution, the basic and long-acknowledged principle that everything changes is combined with the also long-acknowledged recognition that amidst the diversity of life on earth, there are many shared characteristics between species, giving rise to the conclusion that the obvious changes we see evidenced on a micro level are responsible for larger changes over time in between species. This process may be teleological in some way, but it need not be.

    3. However, it is noteworthy that before Darwin’s theory was proposed, an ideological ‘atmosphere’ had already arisen in Western society, where it was beginning to be assumed that things in general did indeed tend towards some sort of goal, and that everything (history, peoples, civilisations) was tending towards an ever more perfect future. I.e.; a spirit of evolutionary thinking emerged first, and it was at least partly this spirit that acted as a catalyst for Darwin’s theory.

    When that theory was published, it gave scientific backing to the idea that everything was evolving towards perfection, and Social Darwinism was born – this led to racialist theories, eugenics, Nazism, and many other horrible things, and (as JH mentioned earlier) it still influences our thinking to a great extent, albeit in more subtle ways. Darwin himself, in his later work The Descent of Man suggested that certain people ‘in any marked degree inferior in body or mind’ should not reproduce, and supported his cousin, Francis Galton, in his championing of the early eugenics movement.

    As you can see, the third category is, though not identical to the second, closely related to it, and so one could legitimately say that evolutionary theory has done damage to society.

  12. Plain old Toad says:

    Very nicely put, Michael. I agree with it all (more or less.) Except I can’t have it that Evolution, that is to say the theory of Natural Selection, has ever done anybody any harm. The harm, as with religion,(or “Science”) is how people interpret it – and then apply their interpretation.

    I think you and I are in agreement (para 3) that the Enlightenment notion that humans are betting “better,” -let alone approaching perfection – is now, after two world wars and Good knows what else – seen to be tripe.

    “The mistake is to see this world as Paradise because it isn’t. “
    That mistake, Rogerbert, is not one Toad is ever likely to make. This is a very unsatisfactory planet. Too unstable, for one thing.

  13. Plain old Toad says:

    “Christ and the weather? Christ controls the weather.”
    That must be a consolation for the victims of floods and tsunamis.

    I see I’m being monitored again. Whoopee. What have I done now?

  14. kathleen says:

    @ PoT

    I see I’m being monitored again. Whoopee. What have I done now?

    Did you say “now”? Nothing new under the sun; you continue to mock Catholicism as much now as before. (Don’t know how your 7:19 yesterday bashing the Church got through ‘Moderation’!) Besides, AFAIK you wiggled out of ‘pre-Moderation’ and simply got put back in… a consensual decision I might add.

    Re the theory of Evolution – if you are really interested to know the Catholic Church’s position on it, then read through the CCC from about 337 onwards. The Church has dealt with the issue of Evolution long before Toad popped up😉 . Pope Pius XII’s Humani Generis is a brilliant explanation on Man’s origins too that you would benefit from reading.

    Michael makes some very interesting points in his 16:22 yesterday.

    Finally, for all atheists and toads, there is absolutely no valid answer whatsoever for the ultimate question: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’

  15. Michael says:

    Toad @ 17:20, October 6th:

    The harm, as with religion,(or “Science”) is how people interpret it – and then apply their interpretation.

    I do sort of agree with this, but the problem is that it is an abstraction – there isn’t really any such thing in practice as a theory without interpretation or application. And the problem with evolutionary theory is that it was, from the get-go, interpreted and applied in horrible ways – which I seriously suspect is because it arose in an atmosphere that was already tending towards these things (i.e.; the ‘spirit of the age’ preceded and in part shaped the theory; always something to bear in mind when considering the ‘obviousness’ of Darwin’s conclusions*) and because Darwin and others saw such applications (e.g.; eugenics) as being either inevitable or even favourable.

    I think you and I are in agreement (para 3) that the Enlightenment notion that humans are betting “better,” -let alone approaching perfection – is now, after two world wars and Good knows what else – seen to be tripe.

    Yes, but it doesn’t seem to have reduced the influence of this way of thinking much unfortunately, whether it be in the ‘survival of the fittest’ approach taken to human interaction by the advocates of naked free-market economics by some on the right, or the social utopianism of most of the left.

    *Another key point, which I didn’t really stress before, is that it is these conclusions, or at least how comprensive an account of nature they actually provide, that many people query, not the basic facts that a.) things change, and b.) there are some clear similarities between species, particularly within classes and orders of species. Recognition of these latter two points does not necessitate acceptance of the conclusions drawn by Darwin (and elaborate on later by others) – the amount of things left unexplained by evolutionary theory makes it possible to accept none, some, or all, of its assertions.

  16. kathleen says:

    From “Catholic Answers”:

    The Catholic Church has always taught that “no real disagreement can exist between the theologian and the scientist provided each keeps within his own limits. . . . If nevertheless there is a disagreement . . . it should be remembered that the sacred writers, or more truly ‘the Spirit of God who spoke through them, did not wish to teach men such truths (as the inner structure of visible objects) which do not help anyone to salvation’; and that, for this reason, rather than trying to provide a scientific exposition of nature, they sometimes describe and treat these matters either in a somewhat figurative language or as the common manner of speech those times required, and indeed still requires nowadays in everyday life, even amongst most learned people” (Leo XIII, Providentissimus Deus 18).

    As the Catechism puts it, “Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things the of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are” (CCC 159). The Catholic Church has no fear of science or scientific discovery.

  17. Michael says:

    The Catholic Church has no fear of science or scientific discovery.

    Indeed – in fact, the Church was the greatest patron of the sciences all the way up to and including the Renaissance. The only reason it had less influence thereafter was because of increasing cultural hostility towards itself, and decreasing influence over culture overall. Even so, the number of significant Catholic contributors to scientific discovery since then have been rather high – some notable names being Louis Pasteur, Anton Lavoisier, Gregor Mendel and Georges Le Maitre.*

    *Ironically, these last two made discoveries that have been used by atheists in the (very confused) perpetuation of the idea that religion is hostile to scientific discovery – namely, genetic inheritance and the Big-Bang theory.

  18. Plain old Toad says:

    “… the problem with evolutionary theory is that it was, from the get-go, interpreted and applied in horrible ways…”

    That’s not the problem with evolutionary theory,, Michael – the problem is with the interpretation. You know as well as I do that the theory is almost certainly correct, at least I gather so from your comments.
    Well, don’t you?
    Just because many people regard some of the results as nasty, sordid and cruel, doesn’t mean it isn’t true, no matter how much we’d prefer it not to be.
    (Bit like GBS, who didn’t like sex , because he found it all a bit disgusting – a bit too physical, involving the “wrong” organs.)

  19. Michael says:

    Toad @ 16:48, October 7th:

    That’s not the problem with evolutionary theory,, Michael – the problem is with the interpretation.

    To save space and time, I shall re-direct you to read my comment at 09:44 again, particularly the first part of it.

    You know as well as I do that the theory is almost certainly correct, at least I gather so from your comments.

    Actually, I am, like johnhenry, fairly agnostic about it – I don’t think it explains anywhere near as much as is popularly claimed, and the gaps in the fossil record are still highly problematic (Darwin himself admitted as much), but I do agree that it does seem as if there has been development between and within orders of animals. I also find it very difficult to explain the hypertrophy of the human brain in solely evolutionary terms, or human consciousness in purely materialistic terms, evolutionary or otherwise. To put it simply – it explains some things (most of which were pretty obvious anyway), but leaves a lot to be desired.

    Just because many people regard some of the results as nasty, sordid and cruel, doesn’t mean it isn’t true, no matter how much we’d prefer it not to be.

    Whether it is true or not is not actually what is being debated – the point at issue is the effect it has had on the way we think about human persons and society at large. Again, see the first part of my earlier comment at 09:44 – I don’t think I can re-phrase any clearer than that.

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