Thursday, June 23, 2011

Corapi and the Blogs

Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV says what needs to be said surrounding the Corapi controversy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Thought: Fr. Corapi's Announcement

I, like many others, was shocked and taken back by Fr. Corapi's decision to leave the priesthood. Fr. Corapi made this announcement in a Youtube video posted over the weekend:

This comes almost three months after a decision was made by Corapi to cease public ministry after an accusation was made against him in an alleged sex and drug addiction scandal.

The question needs to be asked: Why has Fr. Corapi left the priesthood all together?

Corapi is frustrated - that is quite clear - and he is angry, something that is easily picked up on by his tone and choice of words in this announcement. Then there are the comments directed to Church authorities not specified in the video, but there's some kind of beef with authority there. Personally I don't think it's the kind of issue with authority you'd expect from liberals and "contemporary" dissenters, but Corapi's gears have truly been grinded and he's had enough.

It comes as no surprise that some have thought that Corapi has pulled the pin to soon and seemingly given up in lieu of these circumstances, but to be fair and to be completely honest, none of us expect Corapi and those directly involved are aware to the extent of the situation. There is obviously more to this than meets the eye; anything we say, be we the laity, the public, the church militant, the Catholic bloggers, the Catholic media, the secular media, or the guy with the pulse on the proverbial truth of it all, is purely speculative! As my very straight forward/matter-of-fact next door neighbour would say to me often when I'm debating his athiestic world view: "You don't know jack until you know jack."

What Corapi needs at the moment, what ever the situation may be, is our prayers, and what ever is meant to be brought out into the light shall be (Luke 8:17). For now, be fervent in prayer, remain faithful and ask the intercession of the saints in Heaven for the mental and spiritual well-being of Corapi.

Blessed Pope John Paul II,
Pray for us!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quick Bible Answers: The Eucharist

Have you ever been in a discussion with a non-Catholic Christian on the topic of the Eucharist and have never been able to tell them where in the Bible the evidence for this is? I mean, you're a good Catholic and all; you know what the Bible pretty much says but locating it is another matter. Fear no further, because here is a very quick reference guide to help out!

John 6:35-57 -- the Eucharist is promised
Matthew 26:26 (Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19) -- the sacrament of the Eucharist is instituted
1 Corinthians 10:16 -- the Eucharist is participation in Christ's body and blood
1 Corinthians 11:23-29 -- Receiving the bread and the wine in an unworthy manner is to profane against the body and blood of Christ
Exodus 12:8, 46 -- the Paschal (Passover) lamb had to be eaten
John 1:29 -- Jesus is referred to as "the Lamb of God..." by St. John the Baptist
1 Corinthians 5:7 -- Jesus is called the "paschal lamb who has been sacrificed"
Exodus 16 & Numbers 11 -- the "manna", i.e. the bread that fell from Heaven which Jesus speaks of in John 6

... And if you like to teach your friends about what the early Christians believed about the Eucharist you can give them this which St. Ignatius of Antioch (a disciple of the first disciples and later Bishop of Antioch after St. Peter) wrote in a letter to the Smyrnaeans in around 110AD:

"[heretics] abstain from Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ..." - Letter to Smyrnaeans 6, 2, 2.

Further reading:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Spirit Magnus: Now Mobile-friendly!

Have you got an iPhone or some other brand of smart phone? If you do, you'll be able to view this very blog in a mobile-friendly format making it very easy to read when you're on the go! That's right: no more zooming in, pinching the screen, etc.; and you'll still be able to add your feedback and send me an email through this format if that is you desire.

Cool, huh? ;-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Chaste Joseph and Mary: Was it a Valid Marriage?

 A question was put to me recently over the validity of Joseph and Mary's marriage in light of the Catholic understanding that the two remained chaste for the duration of their marital relationship. This is a question I hear quite often from both non-Catholic Christians and even from fellow Catholics. The assertion they make is this: if their [Joseph and Mary's] marriage was not consummated, then it was not a valid marriage and would not have been acceptable given Jewish laws and customs.

First, some things to consider regarding Mary's perpetual virginity:

a.) If Mary had other children, then where were they or why weren't they mentioned when Jesus was lost for three days in Jerusalem at the temple during Passover (Luke 2:39-52)?

b.) When Jesus hung on the crucifix with Mary, his mother, and the "disciple whom he loved" (commonly accepted as John the apostle) and charged this disciple with the responsibility of taking Mary into his own home (John 19:26), if Mary had other children, then why wasn't this responsibility issued with them? If such children existed, then this would have been a grave offense as it was customary for Jewish parents to be taken into the homes of their own children (usually the eldest child).

c.) Why is Jesus referred to as "the son of Mary" and not "a son of Mary" in Mark 6:3?

Yes, "brothers" of Jesus are also mentioned in this passage (James, and Joseph, and Jude, and Simon; and sisters), but it may have also been the case that as Joseph was considerably older than Mary, he very well may have had children from a previous marriage; he may very well have been widowed (a document called the Protoevangelium of St. James backs this claim). So any "siblings" of Jesus were likely to be step-brothers or step-sisters. They very well may as well have been cousins, but since there was no word in Hebrew or Aramic for "step-brother/sister" or "cousin", "kin" or "kinsfolk" would have been the word used to describe the relationship Jesus had with these others. The use of the word "brothers/sisters" has been used errnigly in modern translations of the Bible and this may be due to shoddy translating.

It could be suggested that Joseph himself not being a virgin is somehow "disrespectful" to Mary and in their marriage, and this is where we have to distinguish between "chastity" and "virginity" and that even in not being a virgin, the purity of the marriage can be upheld.

Chastity is not the same as virginity, that should be very clear in most minds already. Chastity pertains to a self-discipline whereas virginity pertains to one's sexual state of being. One can be chaste in a relationship having had a previous sexual encounter, i.e. in the case of Joseph and Mary, even if Joseph had a wife and marriage previous to being betrothed to Mary, it does not mean that he could not remain chaste in his relationship with Mary. Having certain sexual desires does not mean that they will be given in to.

On the matter of consummation and and the validity of marriage. Mary and Joseph were validly married. What consummation does is make the marriage indissoluble. Their marriage was already valid, but due to it not having been consummated it could still be dissolved. This is why Joseph when first hearing news of Mary's pregnancy considered divorcing her "quietly" so as not to shame her:

"and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly." - Matthew 1:19

Divorce - this scenario - would not have been possible if the marriage was consummated; it would have been indissoluble.

I recommend reading the last few title points of this article for a more thorough explanation, but the key thing to focus on here is that a marriage is still valid even if it has not been consummated. Further to the point: any marriage is still valid even if it has not been consummated.