Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Catholic medical ethics in our parishes and institutions


Last year, I was encouraged to read that the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Health Care was expected to release a revised/updated Charter for Health Care Workers, this year  (cf., Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, 11/13/12).  Is the new Charter still expected?  There certainly seems to be a wide variety of areas where Catholic medical ethics need to be reinforced - among Catholic parishes and institutions!

      1) there is a paucity of NFP-only physicians among OBGYNs with privileges (i.e., Only one OBGYN can be identified who is on One More Soul's list of NFP only OBGYNs);



    Catholic Hospitals and Abortifacients

    Fr. Juan Vélez is an Opus Dei priest with a doctorate in dogmatic theology and an M.D.  Along with Rebecca Peck, M.D., Fr. Juan writes:
    • "All physicians who value life, and especially Catholic healthcare institutions, have a duty to re-examine the available scientific information on Plan B. We think the data shows a small anovulatory effect and suggests a significant post-fertilization or abortifacient effect. Given this information, the Peoria Protocol, and other rape-based protocols should be abandoned, as use of Plan B during the critical fertile period, would not be expected to prevent ovulations in a majority of cases, and in fact, would lead to a significant possibility of post-fertilization effect.
    • "Moreover, as newer emergency contraceptives with better efficacies emerge, the precedent has been set for allowing agents with abortifacient mechanisms of action" ("Plan B’s Main Mechanism of Action: The Case for a Post-Fertilization Effect," Human Life International).
    In the words of Human Life International, I pray that "Catholic bishops and those who advise them in these issues will see the urgency of revisiting the approval of Plan B for treatment of women who have been raped. These women deserve the absolute best life-affirming care possible, and this care should not include drugs that only compound the violence already suffered by causing abortions." 

    "Brain Death"

    Dr Peter Colosi (a moral theologian) of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary has noted that Dr. Haas (a moral theologian) believes that "brain dead people (whole brain death) are dead," while at least two other members of the Pontifical Academy for Life - Dr. Paul Byrne (a physician) and Josef Seifert (a philosopher) - have actually cast doubt on brain death criteria (Bioethics of Organ Donation, Our Sunday Visitor, 8/19/12)!  As per Pope Benedict XVI, 
    "individual vital organs cannot be extracted except ex cadavere....In these years science has accomplished further progress in certifying the death of the patient. It is good, therefore, that the results attained receive the consent of the entire scientific community in order to further research for solutions that give certainty to all. In an area such as this, in fact, there cannot be the slightest suspicion of arbitration and where certainty has not been attained the principle of precaution must prevail....the principal criteria of respect for the life of the donator must always prevail so that the extraction of organs be performed only in the case of his/her true death (cf. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 476)" (Address to Participants at an International Congress Organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, 11/7/08).
    How can the faithful feel assured that there is the Holy Father Emeritus' guidance is indeed employed?

     

    "End of Life" Care and Information

    Concern has been expressed about the Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment [POLST] by the  Catholic Medical Association:
      "There are reasons to believe that the process of dying, already difficult in our contemporary, complex healthcare institutions, may only get harder given the increasing challenges in our culture ranging from rising healthcare costs to ongoing secularization. To respect human life and dignity, we must bring moral commitment, ethical principles, and the highest clinical standards to end-of-life care. We need policies to guide this care and tools to help us implement it. The POLST paradigm and form are too flawed to contribute to these goals, even though they were created with the stated goal of improving end-of-life care."
     
    We must be concerned about what is happening with POLST and that hospitals are providing information on end of life care which is consistent with Catholic teaching.  It is my opinion that neither Saint Mary's Advanced Directives and Living Wills, nor Holy Redeemer's Advance Directive form, nor Mercy Health System's Vendor Compliance Program properly specify:

    • Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and
    • that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.).

     

    Pharmaceuticals and Anaesthetizing Consciences

    As per Pope Benedict XVI's Address to Pharmacists, "it is not possible to anaesthetize consciences... concerning the effects of particles whose purpose is to prevent an embryo's implantation or to shorten a person's life" and calls for recognition of the right of "conscientious objection...[so as to] not to collaborate either directly or indirectly by supplying products for the purpose of decisions that are clearly immoral such as...abortion or euthanasia."  I believe that support for authentically pro life pharmacists requires vigilance, to ensure that parishes are not promoting providers of morally excluded particles and devices.

    As per lists maintained by One More Soul and Pharmacists for Life International, all but a handful of pharmacies - across the country - sell abortifacients and contraceptives.  Bucks County is fortunate to be home to the St Clare Pharmacy, which is self-reported to NOT sell abortifacients or contraceptives.  Why does any Bucks County parish instead allow ads for providers of abortifacients and contraceptives?  At the present time, four parishes in Bucks County are providing such offensive ads: 
    I pray that you will instruct Rev. Michael F. Hennelly, Rev. Msgr. Joseph P. Duncan, Rev. Michael J. Lonergan, and Rev. Michael J. Davis to discontinue these offensive ads. 
Thank you,





Monday, November 11, 2013

Catechesis on the Permanence & Indissolubility of Marriage in the Pope Francis Era


No matter what may be reported in the secular press, the pontificate of Pope Francis is NOT deviating from what the Church always proclaimed about marriage, as reiterated in Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii, Vatican II's Gaudium et Spes, Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  However, in his quarter century of annual addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe Pope John Paul II showed growing dis-ease about possible misuse of marriage tribunals, triggering the Vatican's 2005 Dignitas Connubii.  In his own addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe Pope Benedict XVI continued in the same vane as Pope John Paul II:
  • "pastoral sensitivity must be directed to avoiding matrimonial nullity when the couple seeks to marry and to striving to help the spouses solve their possible problems and find the path to reconciliation" [Emphasis added.] (1/28/06).
  • “the conviction that the pastoral good of the person in an irregular marital situation requires a sort of canonical regularization, independently of the validity or nullity of his/her marriage...has also spread in certain ecclesiastical milieus" (1/27/07).
  • "The value of interventions of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium on matrimonial and juridical issues, including the Roman Pontiff's Discourses to the Roman Rota....authoritatively teach the essential aspects of the reality of marriage" (1/26/08).
  • "a problem that continues to be very real is visible to everyone....that of preserving the ecclesial community 'from the scandal of seeing in practice the value of Christian marriage being destroyed by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity...on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness.... real incapacity...is always an exception to the natural principle of the capacity necessary" [Emphasis added] (1/29/09)
  • "some maintain that pastoral charity could justify every step towards declaring the nullity of the marriage bond in order to assist people who find themselves in irregular matrimonial situations. Truth itself, even if lip service [sic] be paid to it, tends thus to be viewed through a manipulative lens that would seek to adapt it, case by case, to the different requirements that emerge....Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit" [Emphasis added] (1/28/10).
  • "The good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded upon marriage is so great as to call for full pastoral commitment to this particular area" [Emphasis added.] (1/22/11).
  • "Christian maturity leads one to love the law ever more and want to understand it and to apply it faithfully....These reflections acquire a special relevance in the area of laws regarding the constitutive act of Matrimony and its consummation, and the reception of Holy Orders, and of those [laws] pertaining to the respective Processes" (1/21/12). 
  •  "although the spousal bond is a natural reality, it has been raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized....The indissoluble pact between a man and a woman does not, for the purposes of the sacrament, require of those engaged to be married, their personal faith; what it does require, as a necessary minimal condition, is the intention to do what the Church does [Emphasis added]....Yet, closure to God or the rejection of the sacred dimension of the conjugal union and of its value in the order of grace certainly makes arduous the practical embodiment of the most lofty model of marriage....the sacrifice offered by the abandoned spouse or the spouse who has suffered divorce, is still precious today, if — recognizing the indissolubility of the valid matrimonial bond — they refrain from 'becoming involved in a new union…. In such cases their example of fidelity and Christian consistency takes on particular value as a witness before the world and the Church' [Emphasis added.] (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio [22 November 1981], n. 83)".
While the secular press would have us believe that Pope Francis would really like to fast track declarations of nullity and otherwise dilute Church teaching on marriage, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!  As per Pope Francis' own Lumen Fidei (6/29/13):
    "52. In Abraham’s journey towards the future city, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the blessing which was passed on from fathers to sons (cf. Heb 11:20-21). The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise (cf. Heb 11:11)."

As per Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna (9/12/13),
    "While up until only a few years ago the term 'marriage' (coniugalità) was univocal, had only one meaning, and was the vehicle for the representation of only one reality, the sexual affection between a man and woman, today the term has become ambiguous because it can also signify a homosexual union. From this ambiguity derives a total and objective disconnection from the beginning of a human life....
         
    "holding that 'marriage' is a term lacking meaning, that social consensus can determine its meaning, is the destruction of the fundamental fabric of human sociality: the genealogy of the person....
    "The human person is his body: he is a person-body. And the body is the person: he is a body-person.
    "Femininity and masculinity are not mere biological data. They form the face of the person; they are the 'form'....
    "Why are there two 'forms' of humanity, masculine form and the feminine form? Sacred Scripture, which is also confirmed by our deepest experience, responds in the following way: so that both can leave behind their 'original solitude,' and realize themselves in each other (cf. Genesis 2).
    "Being rooted in humanity itself, man and woman are also able to constitute a communion of persons and to find in this communion their fullness as human persons.
    "This capacity, characteristic of man as a person, the capacity for self-gift, has both a spiritual and bodily dimension. It is also through the body that man and woman are predisposed to form that communion of persons in which marriage consists. The male and female bodies are not only an expressive but a performative language of conjugality.
    "In marriage understood and founded in this way paternity and maternity are inscribed. It is only in the context of marriage that the new human person can be introduced into the universe of being in a manner that is adequate to his dignity. He is not produced but generated. He is awaited as a gift, not demanded as a right (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/cardinal-caffarra-on-what-is-marriage-part-1)....
    "The good that is marriage has two fundamental aspects.
      1. Marriage is a 'communio personarum' (a communion of persons). The goodness of marriage is a communal goodness. I would like to show you some dimensions of it.
        (a) Such a relationship can only be given among persons, and the basis is the perception of goodness, of worth proper to the person. The husband and wife are persons for each other.
        (b) The communion of persons that constitutes the good of marriage is not based on emotions, on mere psycho-physical attraction. Animals too are capable of connections based on these factors. Only persons are capable of making the following promise: 'I promise to be faithful to you always ... all the days of my life.' Only persons are capable of living in communion because they are capable of choosing in a free and conscious way.
        (c) Only the person is capable of making a gift of himself and only the person is capable of accepting the gift....But the person can also give up his freedom and live in the manner of those who let themselves be carried along by social mainstream or by his own impulses. Marriage is particularly vulnerable to this trap.
        (d) The communion of conjugal persons – mutual self-donation and reception – is rooted in the depths of the person: in one’s own 'I.' It is the person as such that is given/received. Here is perhaps the most profound mystery of marriage. You know well that Sacred Scripture indicates the sexual relationship between a man and a woman with the verb 'to know.' There is a revelation of one to the other in their intimate identity....
      2. The second aspect of ethical value ('preziosità') that is proper to marriage is its intrinsic capacity to originate another human person....
    "Conclusion 
    "Two basic concluding reflections. First, you have seen that I have been careful to avoid using the word 'love'....Love is one of the key words of the Christian proposal but it has been appropriated by modern culture and become an empty word, a kind of receptacle into which everybody puts what he wants....

As per Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller's The Power of Grace (10/23/13):
    "Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions?  Are her hands permanently tied on this matter?....
    "The comparison drawn by the prophets between God’s covenant with Israel and the marriage bond includes not only the ideal of monogamy, but also that of indissolubility.  The prophet Malachi expresses this clearly:  'Do not be faithless to the wife of your youth ... with whom you have made a covenant' (Mal 2:14-15).
    "Above all, it was his controversies with the Pharisees that gave Jesus occasion to address this theme.  He distanced himself explicitly from the Old Testament practice of divorce, which Moses had permitted because men were 'so hard of heart', and he pointed to God’s original will: 'from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and ... the two shall become one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder' (Mk 10:5-9; cf. Mt 19:4-9; Lk 16:18).  The Catholic Church has always based its doctrine and practice upon these sayings of Jesus concerning the indissolubility of marriage.  The inner bond that joins the spouses to one another was forged by God himself.  It designates a reality that comes from God and is therefore no longer at man’s disposal....
    "Saint Paul presents the prohibition on divorce as the express will of Christ....
    "Christian marriage is an effective sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church.  Because it designates and communicates the grace of this covenant, marriage between the baptized is a sacrament....
    "In the Orthodox Churches today, there are a great many grounds for divorce, which are mostly justified in terms of oikonomia, or pastoral leniency in difficult individual cases, and they open the path to a second or third marriage marked by a penitential character.  This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.  But it represents an ecumenical problem that is not to be underestimated [Emphasis added].
    "In the West, the Gregorian reform countered these liberalizing tendencies and gave fresh impetus to the original understanding of Scripture and the Fathers.  The Catholic Church defended the absolute indissolubility of marriage even at the cost of great sacrifice and suffering.  The schism of a 'Church of England' detached from the Successor of Peter came about not because of doctrinal differences, but because the Pope, out of obedience to the sayings of Jesus, could not accommodate the demands of King Henry VIII for the dissolution of his marriage....
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R27F7XBA87HN6Y
    "Through the sacrament the indissolubility of marriage acquires a new and deeper sense:  it becomes the image of God’s enduring love for his people and of Christ’s irrevocable fidelity to his Church.
    "Marriage can be understood and lived as a sacrament only in the context of the mystery of Christ.  If marriage is secularized or regarded as a purely natural reality, its sacramental character is obscured....
    "The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio – issued by John Paul II on 22 November 1981 in the wake of the Synod of Bishops on the Christian family in the modern world, and of fundamental importance ever since – emphatically confirms the Church’s dogmatic teaching on marriage....They too belong to the Church, they are entitled to pastoral care and they should take part in the Church’s life....And yet they cannot be admitted to the Eucharist.  Two reasons are given for this:
      a) 'their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist'
      b) 'if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage'....
       
    "if for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, the new union cannot be dissolved, then the two partners must 'bind themselves to live in complete continence'....
    "the faithful concerned may not present themselves for holy communion on the basis of their own conscience....If doubts remain over the validity of a failed marriage, these must be examined by the competent marriage tribunals....
    "He [Pope Benedict XVI] confirms 'the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments', but he urges pastors at the same time, to devote 'special concern' to those affected: in the wish that they 'live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children'.  If there are doubts concerning the validity of the failed marriage, these are to be carefully examined by the competent marriage tribunals.  Today’s mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children.  Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith [Emphasis added.].  Therefore assessment of the validity of marriage is important and can help to solve problems.  Where nullity of marriage cannot be demonstrated, the requirement for absolution and reception of communion, according to the Church’s established and approved practice, is that the couple live 'as friends, as brother and sister'.  Blessings of irregular unions are to be avoided, 'lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage'.  A blessing (bene-dictio: divine sanctioning) of a relationship that contradicts the will of God is a contradiction in terms....
    "Where the fundamental insights of Christian faith have been lost, church affiliation of a purely conventional kind can no longer sustain major life decisions or provide a firm foothold in the midst of marital crises – as well as crises in priestly and religious life....
    "On the other hand, the ideal – built into the order of creation – of faithfulness between one man and one woman has lost none of its fascination....Moreover, one must not forget the anthropological value of indissoluble marriage:  it withdraws the partners from caprice and from the tyranny of feelings and moods.  It helps them to survive personal difficulties and to overcome painful experiences.  Above all it protects the children, who have most to suffer from marital breakdown [Emphasis added.]....
    "If anyone should doubt whether the marriage bond is ontological, let him learn from the word of God:  'He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh' (Mt 19:4-6)....
    "The Church cannot respond to the growing incomprehension of the sanctity of marriage by pragmatically accommodating the supposedly inevitable, but only by trusting in 'the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God' (1 Cor 2:12).  Sacramental marriage is a testimony to the power of grace, which changes man and prepares the whole Church for the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Church, which is prepared 'as a bride adorned for her husband' (Rev 21:2).  The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour [Emphasis added].  By adapting to the spirit of the age, a weary prophet seeks his own salvation but not the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.....  
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XXSI3WNZ2F6N
    "Admittedly there are situations – as every pastor knows – in which marital cohabitation becomes for all intents and purposes impossible for compelling reasons, such as physical or psychological violence.  In such hard cases, the Church has always permitted the spouses to separate and no longer live together.  It must be remembered, though, that the marriage bond of a valid union remains intact in the sight of God, and the individual parties are not free to contract a new marriage, as long as the spouse is alive.  Pastors and Christian communities must therefore take pains to promote paths of reconciliation in these cases too, or, should that not be possible, to help the people concerned to confront their difficult situation in faith....
    "It is frequently suggested that remarried divorcees should be allowed to decide for themselves, according to their conscience, whether or not to present themselves for holy communion.  This argument, based on a problematical concept of 'conscience', was rejected by a document of the CDF in 1994.  Naturally, the faithful must consider every time they attend Mass whether it is possible to receive communion, and a grave unconfessed sin would always be an impediment [Emphasis added.].  At the same time they have the duty to form their conscience and to align it with the truth.  In so doing they listen also to the Church’s Magisterium, which helps them 'not to swerve from the truth about the good of man, but rather, especially in more difficult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it' (Veritatis Splendor, 64).  If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals [Emphasis added]....'If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful, and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible.  The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception' (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 'The Pastoral approach to marriage must be founded on truth' L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 7 December 2011, p. 4)....
    "Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her 'Go and do not sin again' (Jn 8:11).  God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church.  Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father....
    "Insofar as the parties make an effort to understand the Church’s practice and to abstain from communion, they provide their own testimony to the indissolubility of marriage."

Pope Francis' Address to Members of the Apostolic Signature (11/8/13):
    "the Defender of the bond....must propose all sorts of proofs, exceptions, recourses and appeals that, in respect of the truth, foster the defense of the bond....it is necessary to always keep alive the connection between the action of the Church that evangelizes and the action of the Church that administers justice. The service to justice is a commitment of apostolic life: it requires to be exercised by keeping one’s gaze fixed on the icon of the Good Shepherd, who bends down to the lost and wounded sheep."


HHS Mandate = Assault on Religious Liberty & Awful "Medicine"

With regard to the HHS Mandate, Gregory J. Sullivan maintains that "Nothing less than the religious liberty of a host of exemplary Americans is at stake" (Oppressive view of religious liberty approaches fanaticism, 10/4/13).  With regard to that same mandate, John E. Slezosky maintains that "Because contraception and abortion may be part of an employee benefit does not make the provider of the benefits — the employer or the insurance company — the party responsible for their implementation. The choice to utilize either or both of the benefits is solely a matter of an employee’s conscience" (Why religious institutions should not be exempt from the law, 11/3/13).  Personally, I think that both Sullivan and Slezosky may have the "accent on the wrong syllable."  

Now don't get me wrong - I wholeheartedly agree with Sullivan that requiring contraception and abortion is an assault on religious liberty.  The flip side of the coin is requiring contraception and abortion is bad medicine - it's awful medicine!  Perhaps, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has shied away from this side of the coin, in the belief that we would attract more allies by emphasizing religious liberty.


Catholic health care ethics are completely consistent with the original wording of the Hippocratic Oath: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”  It maintains that each and every patient (including the one not yet born) is to be treated as the health care practitioner should treat God!  Recognition of the sanctity of human life from the very first moment of fertilization is not some sort of religious peccadillo: "At the instant of fertilization, your baby's genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl" (Pregnancy and Conception, WebMD).  Any subsequent interference with the fertilized egg is properly called abortifacient and not contraceptive.

Catholic health care ethics also recognizes the sanctity of how each and every human life is meant to begin.  At a time of enhanced awareness about chemicals and additives in foods, it is incredibly ironic that people would ingest chemicals or utilize foreign objects to “protect” themselves from fertility.   Somehow, documented problems with these chemicals and foreign objects gets lost in the haze.  Essure and Yaz/Yasmin are just two examples:


  • "more than 800 adverse event reports that have been made to the Food and Drug Administration.  The complaints range from the device lodging in organs, to pregnancy, to women having to undergo hysterectomies to remove the device....Due to a law passed in the 1970’s, medical devices like Essure that go through pre-market testing and are approved by the FDA are exempt from lawsuits." (Action News, 10/24/13).
  • "According to Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant has paid out more than $1.6 billion in settlements over Yasmin and Yaz blood clot embolism injuries....It is well documented that all birth control pills have an increased risk of blood clots, but medical studies had showed that Yaz and Yasmin increased the risks of side ffects when compared to older contraceptives on the market" (The Legal Examiner, 11/9/13).

  • While the HHS Mandate will help to subsidize the already affluent pharmaceutical industry, mandating insurance coverage for contraception and abortion is terrible "medicine."  In contrast to chemicals and foreign objects, NaPro Technology has had tremendous success in teaching fertility awareness — for achieving or postponing pregnancy.  

    Why should any one of us instead be forced to subsidize abortion and contraception?

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    "The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour"

    In his quarter century of annual addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe that Pope John Paul II showed growing dis-ease about possible misuse of marriage tribunals, triggering the Vatican's 2005 Dignitas Connubii.

    In his own addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe that Pope Benedict XVI continued in the same vane:
    • "pastoral sensitivity must be directed to avoiding matrimonial nullity when the couple seeks to marry and to striving to help the spouses solve their possible problems and find the path to reconciliation" [Emphasis added.] (1/28/06).
    • “the conviction that the pastoral good of the person in an irregular marital situation requires a sort of canonical regularization, independently of the validity or nullity of his/her marriage...has also spread in certain ecclesiastical milieus" (1/27/07).
    • "The value of interventions of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium on matrimonial and juridical issues, including the Roman Pontiff's Discourses to the Roman Rota....authoritatively teach the essential aspects of the reality of marriage" (1/26/08).
    • "a problem that continues to be very real is visible to everyone....that of preserving the ecclesial community 'from the scandal of seeing in practice the value of Christian marriage being destroyed by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity...on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness.... real incapacity...is always an exception to the natural principle of the capacity necessary" [Emphasis added] (1/29/09)
    • "some maintain that pastoral charity could justify every step towards declaring the nullity of the marriage bond in order to assist people who find themselves in irregular matrimonial situations. Truth itself, even if lip service [sic] be paid to it, tends thus to be viewed through a manipulative lens that would seek to adapt it, case by case, to the different requirements that emerge....Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit" [Emphasis added] (1/28/10).
    • "The good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded upon marriage is so great as to call for full pastoral commitment to this particular area" [Emphasis added.] (1/22/11).
    • "Christian maturity leads one to love the law ever more and want to understand it and to apply it faithfully....These reflections acquire a special relevance in the area of laws regarding the constitutive act of Matrimony and its consummation, and the reception of Holy Orders, and of those [laws] pertaining to the respective Processes" (1/21/12). 
    •  "although the spousal bond is a natural reality, it has been raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized....The indissoluble pact between a man and a woman does not, for the purposes of the sacrament, require of those engaged to be married, their personal faith; what it does require, as a necessary minimal condition, is the intention to do what the Church does [Emphasis added]....Yet, closure to God or the rejection of the sacred dimension of the conjugal union and of its value in the order of grace certainly makes arduous the practical embodiment of the most lofty model of marriage....
      the sacrifice offered by the abandoned spouse or the spouse who has suffered divorce, is still precious today, if — recognizing the indissolubility of the valid matrimonial bond — they refrain from 'becoming involved in a new union…. In such cases their example of fidelity and Christian consistency takes on particular value as a witness before the world and the Church' [Emphasis added.] (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio [22 November 1981], n. 83)".

    While the secular press would have us believe that Pope Francis would really like to dilute Church teaching, giving us a "Marriage Light" - NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!  This past week, Pope Francis' head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave us The Power of Grace:
      "Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions?  Are her hands permanently tied on this matter?....
      "The comparison drawn by the prophets between God’s covenant with Israel and the marriage bond includes not only the ideal of monogamy, but also that of indissolubility.  The prophet Malachi expresses this clearly:  'Do not be faithless to the wife of your youth ... with whom you have made a covenant' (Mal 2:14-15).
      "Above all, it was his controversies with the Pharisees that gave Jesus occasion to address this theme.  He distanced himself explicitly from the Old Testament practice of divorce, which Moses had permitted because men were “so hard of heart”, and he pointed to God’s original will: 'from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and ... the two shall become one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder' (Mk 10:5-9; cf. Mt 19:4-9; Lk 16:18).  The Catholic Church has always based its doctrine and practice upon these sayings of Jesus concerning the indissolubility of marriage.  The inner bond that joins the spouses to one another was forged by God himself.  It designates a reality that comes from God and is therefore no longer at man’s disposal....
      "Saint Paul presents the prohibition on divorce as the express will of Christ....
      "Christian marriage is an effective sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church.  Because it designates and communicates the grace of this covenant, marriage between the baptized is a sacrament....
      "In the Orthodox Churches today, there are a great many grounds for divorce, which are mostly justified in terms of oikonomia, or pastoral leniency in difficult individual cases, and they open the path to a second or third marriage marked by a penitential character.  This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.  But it represents an ecumenical problem that is not to be underestimated.
      "In the West, the Gregorian reform countered these liberalizing tendencies and gave fresh impetus to the original understanding of Scripture and the Fathers.  The Catholic Church defended the absolute indissolubility of marriage even at the cost of great sacrifice and suffering.  The schism of a 'Church of England' detached from the Successor of Peter came about not because of doctrinal differences, but because the Pope, out of obedience to the sayings of Jesus, could not accommodate the demands of King Henry VIII for the dissolution of his marriage....
      "Through the sacrament the indissolubility of marriage acquires a new and deeper sense:  it becomes the image of God’s enduring love for his people and of Christ’s irrevocable fidelity to his Church.
      "Marriage can be understood and lived as a sacrament only in the context of the mystery of Christ.  If marriage is secularized or regarded as a purely natural reality, its sacramental character is obscured....
      "The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio – issued by John Paul II on 22 November 1981 in the wake of the Synod of Bishops on the Christian family in the modern world, and of fundamental importance ever since – emphatically confirms the Church’s dogmatic teaching on marriage....They too belong to the Church, they are entitled to pastoral care and they should take part in the Church’s life.  3. And yet they cannot be admitted to the Eucharist.  Two reasons are given for this:
        a) 'their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist'
        b) 'if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage'....
         
      "if for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, the new union cannot be dissolved, then the two partners must 'bind themselves to live in complete continence'....
      "the faithful concerned may not present themselves for holy communion on the basis of their own conscience....If doubts remain over the validity of a failed marriage, these must be examined by the competent marriage tribunals....
      "He [Pope Benedict XVI] confirms 'the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments', but he urges pastors at the same time, to devote 'special concern' to those affected: in the wish that they 'live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children'.  If there are doubts concerning the validity of the failed marriage, these are to be carefully examined by the competent marriage tribunals.  Today’s mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children.  Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith [Emphasis added.].  Therefore assessment of the validity of marriage is important and can help to solve problems.  Where nullity of marriage cannot be demonstrated, the requirement for absolution and reception of communion, according to the Church’s established and approved practice, is that the couple live 'as friends, as brother and sister'.  Blessings of irregular unions are to be avoided, 'lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage'.  A blessing (bene-dictio: divine sanctioning) of a relationship that contradicts the will of God is a contradiction in terms....
      "Where the fundamental insights of Christian faith have been lost, church affiliation of a purely conventional kind can no longer sustain major life decisions or provide a firm foothold in the midst of marital crises – as well as crises in priestly and religious life....
      "On the other hand, the ideal – built into the order of creation – of faithfulness between one man and one woman has lost none of its fascination....Moreover, one must not forget the anthropological value of indissoluble marriage:  it withdraws the partners from caprice and from the tyranny of feelings and moods.  It helps them to survive personal difficulties and to overcome painful experiences.  Above all it protects the children, who have most to suffer from marital breakdown [Emphasis added.]....
      "If anyone should doubt whether the marriage bond is ontological, let him learn from the word of God:  'He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh' (Mt 19:4-6)....
      "The Church cannot respond to the growing incomprehension of the sanctity of marriage by pragmatically accommodating the supposedly inevitable, but only by trusting in 'the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God' (1 Cor 2:12).  Sacramental marriage is a testimony to the power of grace, which changes man and prepares the whole Church for the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Church, which is prepared 'as a bride adorned for her husband' (Rev 21:2).  The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour [Emphasis added].  By adapting to the spirit of the age, a weary prophet seeks his own salvation but not the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.....  
      "Admittedly there are situations – as every pastor knows – in which marital cohabitation becomes for all intents and purposes impossible for compelling reasons, such as physical or psychological violence.  In such hard cases, the Church has always permitted the spouses to separate and no longer live together.  It must be remembered, though, that the marriage bond of a valid union remains intact in the sight of God, and the individual parties are not free to contract a new marriage, as long as the spouse is alive.  Pastors and Christian communities must therefore take pains to promote paths of reconciliation in these cases too, or, should that not be possible, to help the people concerned to confront their difficult situation in faith....
      "It is frequently suggested that remarried divorcees should be allowed to decide for themselves, according to their conscience, whether or not to present themselves for holy communion.  This argument, based on a problematical concept of 'conscience', was rejected by a document of the CDF in 1994.  Naturally, the faithful must consider every time they attend Mass whether it is possible to receive communion, and a grave unconfessed sin would always be an impediment [Emphasis added.].  At the same time they have the duty to form their conscience and to align it with the truth.  In so doing they listen also to the Church’s Magisterium, which helps them 'not to swerve from the truth about the good of man, but rather, especially in more difficult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it' (Veritatis Splendor, 64).  If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals [Emphasis added]....'If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful, and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible.  The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception' (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 'The Pastoral approach to marriage must be founded on truth' L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 7 December 2011, p. 4)....
      "Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her 'Go and do not sin again' (Jn 8:11).  God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church.  Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father....
      "Insofar as the parties make an effort to understand the Church’s practice and to abstain from communion, they provide their own testimony to the indissolubility of marriage."


    "The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour"

    In his quarter century of annual addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe that Pope John Paul II showed growing dis-ease about possible misuse of marriage tribunals, triggering the Vatican's 2005 Dignitas Connubii.

    In his own addresses to the Roman Rota, I believe that Pope Benedict XVI continued in the same vane:
    • "pastoral sensitivity must be directed to avoiding matrimonial nullity when the couple seeks to marry and to striving to help the spouses solve their possible problems and find the path to reconciliation" [Emphasis added.] (1/28/06).
    • “the conviction that the pastoral good of the person in an irregular marital situation requires a sort of canonical regularization, independently of the validity or nullity of his/her marriage...has also spread in certain ecclesiastical milieus" (1/27/07).
    • "The value of interventions of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium on matrimonial and juridical issues, including the Roman Pontiff's Discourses to the Roman Rota....authoritatively teach the essential aspects of the reality of marriage" (1/26/08).
    • "a problem that continues to be very real is visible to everyone....that of preserving the ecclesial community 'from the scandal of seeing in practice the value of Christian marriage being destroyed by the exaggerated and almost automatic multiplication of declarations of nullity...on the pretext of some immaturity or psychic weakness.... real incapacity...is always an exception to the natural principle of the capacity necessary" [Emphasis added] (1/29/09)
    • "some maintain that pastoral charity could justify every step towards declaring the nullity of the marriage bond in order to assist people who find themselves in irregular matrimonial situations. Truth itself, even if lip service [sic] be paid to it, tends thus to be viewed through a manipulative lens that would seek to adapt it, case by case, to the different requirements that emerge....Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit" [Emphasis added] (1/28/10).
    • "The good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded upon marriage is so great as to call for full pastoral commitment to this particular area" [Emphasis added.] (1/22/11).
    • "Christian maturity leads one to love the law ever more and want to understand it and to apply it faithfully....These reflections acquire a special relevance in the area of laws regarding the constitutive act of Matrimony and its consummation, and the reception of Holy Orders, and of those [laws] pertaining to the respective Processes" (1/21/12). 
    •  "although the spousal bond is a natural reality, it has been raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized....The indissoluble pact between a man and a woman does not, for the purposes of the sacrament, require of those engaged to be married, their personal faith; what it does require, as a necessary minimal condition, is the intention to do what the Church does [Emphasis added]....Yet, closure to God or the rejection of the sacred dimension of the conjugal union and of its value in the order of grace certainly makes arduous the practical embodiment of the most lofty model of marriage....
      the sacrifice offered by the abandoned spouse or the spouse who has suffered divorce, is still precious today, if — recognizing the indissolubility of the valid matrimonial bond — they refrain from 'becoming involved in a new union…. In such cases their example of fidelity and Christian consistency takes on particular value as a witness before the world and the Church' [Emphasis added.] (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio [22 November 1981], n. 83)".

    While the secular press would have us believe that Pope Francis would really like to dilute Church teaching, giving us a "Marriage Light" - NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!  This past week, Pope Francis' head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave us The Power of Grace:
      "Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions?  Are her hands permanently tied on this matter?....
      "The comparison drawn by the prophets between God’s covenant with Israel and the marriage bond includes not only the ideal of monogamy, but also that of indissolubility.  The prophet Malachi expresses this clearly:  'Do not be faithless to the wife of your youth ... with whom you have made a covenant' (Mal 2:14-15).
      "Above all, it was his controversies with the Pharisees that gave Jesus occasion to address this theme.  He distanced himself explicitly from the Old Testament practice of divorce, which Moses had permitted because men were “so hard of heart”, and he pointed to God’s original will: 'from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and ... the two shall become one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder' (Mk 10:5-9; cf. Mt 19:4-9; Lk 16:18).  The Catholic Church has always based its doctrine and practice upon these sayings of Jesus concerning the indissolubility of marriage.  The inner bond that joins the spouses to one another was forged by God himself.  It designates a reality that comes from God and is therefore no longer at man’s disposal....
      "Saint Paul presents the prohibition on divorce as the express will of Christ....
      "Christian marriage is an effective sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church.  Because it designates and communicates the grace of this covenant, marriage between the baptized is a sacrament....
      "In the Orthodox Churches today, there are a great many grounds for divorce, which are mostly justified in terms of oikonomia, or pastoral leniency in difficult individual cases, and they open the path to a second or third marriage marked by a penitential character.  This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.  But it represents an ecumenical problem that is not to be underestimated.
      "In the West, the Gregorian reform countered these liberalizing tendencies and gave fresh impetus to the original understanding of Scripture and the Fathers.  The Catholic Church defended the absolute indissolubility of marriage even at the cost of great sacrifice and suffering.  The schism of a 'Church of England' detached from the Successor of Peter came about not because of doctrinal differences, but because the Pope, out of obedience to the sayings of Jesus, could not accommodate the demands of King Henry VIII for the dissolution of his marriage....
      "Through the sacrament the indissolubility of marriage acquires a new and deeper sense:  it becomes the image of God’s enduring love for his people and of Christ’s irrevocable fidelity to his Church.
      "Marriage can be understood and lived as a sacrament only in the context of the mystery of Christ.  If marriage is secularized or regarded as a purely natural reality, its sacramental character is obscured....
      "The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio – issued by John Paul II on 22 November 1981 in the wake of the Synod of Bishops on the Christian family in the modern world, and of fundamental importance ever since – emphatically confirms the Church’s dogmatic teaching on marriage....They too belong to the Church, they are entitled to pastoral care and they should take part in the Church’s life.  3. And yet they cannot be admitted to the Eucharist.  Two reasons are given for this:
        a) 'their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist'
        b) 'if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage'....
         
      "if for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, the new union cannot be dissolved, then the two partners must 'bind themselves to live in complete continence'....
      "the faithful concerned may not present themselves for holy communion on the basis of their own conscience....If doubts remain over the validity of a failed marriage, these must be examined by the competent marriage tribunals....
      "He [Pope Benedict XVI] confirms 'the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments', but he urges pastors at the same time, to devote 'special concern' to those affected: in the wish that they 'live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children'.  If there are doubts concerning the validity of the failed marriage, these are to be carefully examined by the competent marriage tribunals.  Today’s mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children.  Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith [Emphasis added.].  Therefore assessment of the validity of marriage is important and can help to solve problems.  Where nullity of marriage cannot be demonstrated, the requirement for absolution and reception of communion, according to the Church’s established and approved practice, is that the couple live 'as friends, as brother and sister'.  Blessings of irregular unions are to be avoided, 'lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage'.  A blessing (bene-dictio: divine sanctioning) of a relationship that contradicts the will of God is a contradiction in terms....
      "Where the fundamental insights of Christian faith have been lost, church affiliation of a purely conventional kind can no longer sustain major life decisions or provide a firm foothold in the midst of marital crises – as well as crises in priestly and religious life....
      "On the other hand, the ideal – built into the order of creation – of faithfulness between one man and one woman has lost none of its fascination....Moreover, one must not forget the anthropological value of indissoluble marriage:  it withdraws the partners from caprice and from the tyranny of feelings and moods.  It helps them to survive personal difficulties and to overcome painful experiences.  Above all it protects the children, who have most to suffer from marital breakdown [Emphasis added.]....
      "If anyone should doubt whether the marriage bond is ontological, let him learn from the word of God:  'He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh' (Mt 19:4-6)....
      "The Church cannot respond to the growing incomprehension of the sanctity of marriage by pragmatically accommodating the supposedly inevitable, but only by trusting in 'the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God' (1 Cor 2:12).  Sacramental marriage is a testimony to the power of grace, which changes man and prepares the whole Church for the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Church, which is prepared 'as a bride adorned for her husband' (Rev 21:2).  The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour [Emphasis added].  By adapting to the spirit of the age, a weary prophet seeks his own salvation but not the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.....  
      "Admittedly there are situations – as every pastor knows – in which marital cohabitation becomes for all intents and purposes impossible for compelling reasons, such as physical or psychological violence.  In such hard cases, the Church has always permitted the spouses to separate and no longer live together.  It must be remembered, though, that the marriage bond of a valid union remains intact in the sight of God, and the individual parties are not free to contract a new marriage, as long as the spouse is alive.  Pastors and Christian communities must therefore take pains to promote paths of reconciliation in these cases too, or, should that not be possible, to help the people concerned to confront their difficult situation in faith....
      "It is frequently suggested that remarried divorcees should be allowed to decide for themselves, according to their conscience, whether or not to present themselves for holy communion.  This argument, based on a problematical concept of 'conscience', was rejected by a document of the CDF in 1994.  Naturally, the faithful must consider every time they attend Mass whether it is possible to receive communion, and a grave unconfessed sin would always be an impediment [Emphasis added.].  At the same time they have the duty to form their conscience and to align it with the truth.  In so doing they listen also to the Church’s Magisterium, which helps them 'not to swerve from the truth about the good of man, but rather, especially in more difficult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it' (Veritatis Splendor, 64).  If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals [Emphasis added]....'If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful, and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible.  The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception' (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 'The Pastoral approach to marriage must be founded on truth' L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 7 December 2011, p. 4)....
      "Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her 'Go and do not sin again' (Jn 8:11).  God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church.  Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father....
      "Insofar as the parties make an effort to understand the Church’s practice and to abstain from communion, they provide their own testimony to the indissolubility of marriage."



    The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

     

    Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

    Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

    Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

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    About Me

    I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

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