Strength, Sadness, Etc.

anaxagorasSomeone once asked the ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, “What were you born for?”

He replied, “For seeing.”

More on this later…

…In the nineteenth century, the King of Uganda kept a large court of young male pages.

On Ascension Day in 1886 (123 years ago yesterday), King Mwanga had some 25 of these pages burned alive.


The king was accustomed to sodomizing the boys in his service. But these particular young men had become Christians. They refused to submit to the king’s advances.

lwangaThese Christian heroes are the Martyrs of Uganda: Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Denis Sebuggwawo, and their companions.

Other confessing Christians, including St. Matthias Murumba and St. Andrew Kagwa, were killed in the widespread persecution that followed in the wake of the king’s murderous rage.

Six years ago, on the Memorial of the Uganada Martyrs, the Holy See published an illuminating doctrinal note regarding “homosexual rights.”

With this document, the Vatican answered some important questions:

1) Shouldn’t this really just be a matter of ‘live and let live?’

It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone.

In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour. Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage. (paragraph 6)

2) Isn’t it a matter of individual rights?

The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.

Two popes together in 2003
Two popes together in 2003

Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase. (paragraph 8)

3) What must we do if we live somewhere where the state certifies same-sex unions?

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. (paragraph 5)

serena_williams…I am experience no schadenfreude whatsoever at Serena Williams’ defeat. Just sadness.

Tennis is great. Tennis without Serena, however, is not quite as great.

Of course, Federer is poised for glorious victory!

2 thoughts on “Strength, Sadness, Etc.

  1. Serena, in defeat, gave no credit to her victorious opponent. Is LeBron’s refusal to shake hands worse than Sabrina’s ungracious words? P&BD gives Serena a pass but mercilessly criticizes LeBron. Why the disparity?

  2. Thank you Father for the question and answer format information. It is very logical and clear with references.

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