Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Pope Francis's throwing the faithful under the bus - one airplane interview at a time!

A few weeks ago, our parish held it's annual Pre-Cana day. One of the evaluations of the speakers was particularly interesting because of its sincerity in offering constructive criticism:

Some very old school ideals that need to be revisited with some of the newer adoptions of the church.
This was interesting because throughout the day, couples were reminded that they were hearing authentic church teaching.  In our presentation, we referred frequently to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is supposed to be the "sure norm" for what Catholics are supposed to believe and know about the church. That document is only around 20 years old. In a church that is over 2000 years old, that is hardly "old school." What could they be referring to by "newer adoptions?"
This week, I was reminded of what this attendee may have been referring to - enter Pope Francis.

On his return flight from Mexico last week the 79-year-old pontiff was asked about the Zika Virus and the birth defects it is alleged to cause:

Paloma GarcĂ­a Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain):Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”

To which Pope Francis replied:

Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.
Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.
On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

So after a long trip, on a crowded airplane, the tired  79-year-old Pontiff gives another off-the-cuff remark that pretty much undermines the well formulated teachings of Pope Pius XI, Pope Paul VI, John Paul II, and Pope Benedict the XVI - and the media gloms onto it with headlines about Pope Francis making contraception OK for Catholics!

Here are some examples:
Teen Vogue
Huffington Post
Youth Health Mag
New York Times. 

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has said  things like this.

So no wonder the young Catholic in our pre-cana session was confused!  And I'll bet they are not alone. IF your main source of news and info on the church comes from the media, or the spin of liberal news sources, it might seem as if indeed Catholic teaching on things like contraception has changed!

It has not. And it can't. Pope Francis can give a zillion of these off the cuff talks and but he alone does not have the power to change the clear unbroken teaching of the Magesterium.

What he can do, in his misguided attempt to be merciful, is make it very difficult for faithful Catholics, who have tried to live under these challenging teachings. He is betraying the trust and mocking the lives of Catholics who have struggled to live under the church's teaching on family life, and it feels a lot like a betrayal. It's confusing, exhausting and frankly, and I'm sort of over Francis mania.

So let's clear a few things up:

the beveridge family


  1. Thank you for this post. We agree with you 100%! I think it's the Pope's advisers who are giving him bad info and he is just repeating what they say, i.e., the erroneous story about Blessed Pope Paul VI. He should definitely stop giving those off the cuff press interviews!!!

  2. your main source of news and info on the church comes from the media

    I think this line sums up much of the problem. The media will twist words to fit their narrative. They often pull out small phrases from 80+ page documents to indicate what it was about. In a time of news bites in 128 characters, we've gotten lazy and complacent. It takes effort and time to learn and understand the truth, and that's not something people want to do these days.

    Great post!


Post a Comment