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Vol 4 No. 3- Dedicated to St. Joseph By & For Santa Clara Valley Catholics
May / Jun, 1997

Publisher - Marc Crotty

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WHAT'S IN THIS ISSUE:

 We rememberEnglish lit:a parent’s lament

What’s wrong with sex ed?Answer: It does not educate

Beware of wolves in ‘Catholic’ clothing

Catholics should refuse invitation to Ellen’s coming out party

Book Review &

Responses

Bright Views

Dim Views

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

 PAST ISSUES OF THE VIEW

 OTHER CATHOLIC SITES

 LOCAL WEEKLY TRADITIONAL MASS SCHEDULE

 

We remember English lit: a parent’s lament

(This article was written by a former Catholic- school parent, whose son encountered seventh grade English literature.)

Our children are entrusted to the care of their teachers to be given a good Catholic education. Can we trust them?  Parents at an East San Jose Catholic school discovered they couldn’t trust their school. During Holy Week two years ago, seventh grade students were given immoral novels for reading class. The character in the book Hold Fast by Kevin Major was perverted and obscene. The book contained sexual situations (masturbation, wet dreams), obscene language, disrespect for authority, running away, stealing cars and deception. The teacher asked students to evaluate the stern uncle character and how the boy deals with his new life with his uncle’s family. There was no moral discussion about the book. The students were put in small groups to discuss it on their own. Why did they have to read this book full of immorality?After meetings with the teacher and the principal, who is a nun, parents were very disappointed. The teacher said she would not change her reading list, and the principal said, "I saw no problem with the book and will not tell the teacher how to teach her class or make her remove the book. "The pastor was informed and was appalled at first. But after he talked with the principal, nothing changed.Two other books, Space Station: Seventh Grade and its sequel Jason and Marceline, both by Jerry Spinelli, were discovered shortly after the Hold Fast incident. The Spinelli books are very disrespectiful of girls and both contained sexual situations. Parents sent a petition to the San Jose Diocese asking for the books to be removed and the literature classes be evaluated. After some months, only Hold Fast was taken out, but the other two books remained. Further discussion took place with no success. The pastor said the case was closed, and the new pastor did not act. Literature classes in a Catholic school should promote human dignity, respect, values and morals according to the guidelines of the Catholic Church. Children are being misled on what is acceptable behavior.

Contradictions in morality leave students baffled. Teenagers seek truth. Will your Catholic school guide them according to the Ten Commandments?

WARNING: Excerpts below are not suitable for children.

Check out your child’s reading list!

(View from the Pew decided to publish these excerpts from the story to demonstrate the validity of the writer’s protest)

From pages 96, 97 of Hold Fast by Kevin Major:  ". . . what kept me half awake was all these wild thoughts that started running around in my head about me and Brenda. Some of them was just about as private as you can get. And my hands under the covers didn’t do much to stop them. No need to say any more than that . . . when I woke up the next morning all I could feel was my underwear wet and sticking to me. Make no wonder, considering the dream I had after I went to sleep. It didn’t bother me much . . . The worst lousy thing was the stains it made. Thank heavens for the guy who invented printed sheets. "I don’t like to say it, but sometimes sex and all that goes with it can scare the shit out of a guy. I mean, I’m normal and all that, but you hardly knows what to do sometimes. I’ve been feeling it more and more over the past few months. I’m getting more erections than I’ve ever had before, especially when I wake up in the morning. Just guaranteed, guaranteed to be hard, especially if I’ve been dreaming . . . But, still, like I said, sometimes sex can scare the shit out of a fellow . . .

"From page 163 of Space Station: Seventh Grade by Jerry Spinelli:  "I went outside. I wanted to swear, cry and scream, spit, kick and kill myself – anybody – all at once. I cursed 9th graders. I cursed Debbie. I cursed dances. I cursed my mother and father for making me short. I cursed girls. I looked around, nobody was there. "Here ya go!" I yelled and gave the world the finger."I walked around the school. Just kept muttering: shit. Shit. Horse shit. Dog shit. Pig shit. Shit. Shit!

"From Jason and Marceline by Jerry Spinelli:  On mistaking a girl who has blossomed over summer vacation for a transfer student:  "How’d you like to plunk your face between them babies?" Jason comments on his friends’ desire to "nuzzle into Jewel’s jalopies" even though his friend is already in a deep sexual relationship with another girl. He concludes: "How could any self-respecting American male not want to plunk his face beteen them babies?  "When another girl seduces him under the football stands, he describes his sexual experience as, "a ride you wouldn’t believe." The next day he is dumped by the girl for someone else.

What’s wrong with sex ed?
Answer: It does not educate

Sex education in the schools rests on the assumption that kids will do it anyway, so tell ’em all about it so they won’t suffer the consequences.Teenagers know why this approach fails: They say it doesn’t teach them to use birth control; it teaches them it’s no big deal to use sex.

Nevertheless, when conservatives discuss the failure of sex education to dissuade kids, liberal eyebrows go up in despair. "Oh, boy, now we’re gonna hear from those old fogies who are too uptight to dissect a frog in biology lab – because it’s naked! Har! Har! Har!"Well, one does not have to be an old fogy to see that education about erotic zones, diseases and pregnancy has not changed lives for the better. That’s because real sex education is about love, responsibility, commitment and living out one’s vocation in this world according to God’s holy plan for creating life.

Sex education without spirituality – without God’s plan for life – is simply bad biology, bad because animals stop when their instincts are satisfied. And it’s also bad religion. School sex-education programs – including Catholic school programs – emphasize the wrong things: feelings, emotions, lust, peer pressure, hormones, disease, deviancy. And then they offer the wrong solution: ‘safe sex.’ Children get the idea they have no control over their bodies, no free will. Not only is this insulting, it is anti-Catholic. The Church teaches that man does have free will. Adam and Eve CHOSE not to obey God. Through Christ, we CHOOSE to obey, even when it’s tough.

The reason Catholic parents prefer to deliver this message to their children themselves is because of its very personal, very individual – and very important – nature. Nothing else can destroy a life so quickly or so dramatically as irresponsible sex. Nothing else is so elevating, so loving, so life-giving when used by husbands and wives in the service of God. And children must be taught that it is within their power, with God’s grace, to live a good life if they make the right choices.

Sex education in the schools involves a lot more than so-called "health" or "family-life" classes, however. Some very important moral information comes through other reading materials, like the ones included above in this issue of View from the Pew. Children read material like this, discuss it in small groups, and if they don’t come to the conclusion it’s acceptable, they at least get ‘loosened up’ for the next round of situation-values talk. In addition, they find the situations embarrassing, but they don’t want to be "uncool," so they join in the four-letter words, the kidding and the demeaning attitude toward each other’s bodies, all of which adds up to trouble.

Even a school that omits sex education will have its efforts destroyed by literature or science that teaches modern sexual ethics.

In one eighth grade science lab at a San Jose Catholic school, for example, students were asked to select a crew for a three-year journey to Mars. Students were instructed to make "good" selections, that is, people who were sterilized, divorced or otherwise not likely to make things messy up there in outer space. Later a student suggested the spacecraft should include a sick bay, "in case one of the crew members gets pregnant." This student, and the others in the class, had already swallowed the secular line on sex: Everybody does it, so be sure there’s an escape hatch.

Children must be taught that sex is inappropriate if it breaks the Sixth Commandment. Catholic teachers should bone up on how to do this: perhaps by taking fewer politically correct seminars and instead taking a refresher course on Catholic doctrine. But in the long run, only parents can be entrusted to teach their children to "just say no," not because Nancy Reagan says it, but because God says it.

Beware of wolves in ‘Catholic’ clothing

Beware! They may be coming to a Catholic Church near you.They call themselves "We Are Church" and "Call to Action" but it’s really a movement of apostates, heretics, pro-abortionists, militant homosexuals, and assorted left-wing dissidents who are trying to force the Church to "open up" to "new ideas."Their aim is to present millions of signatures to Pope John Paul II and the world’s bishops in St. Peter’s Square in October.They receive support from groups like "Catholics for a Free Choice," the "Women’s Ordination Conference," and the pro-homosexual group "Dignity." Their supporters read like the membership rolls of Who’s Who in the Anti-Catholic Church Movement.These are some of the "reforms" they are seeking:

Women should be ordained as priests and deacons;
Homosexuals should be allowed to marry in the Church, adopt babies, and raise children;
Contraception should not be considered a sin but a virtue;
Abortion should be a private matter of conscience;
Bishops should be elected by the people;
Priests should be permitted to marry;
A Vatican Council III should be convened with "the people" voting on doctrine and theology (and this is just the beginning!)

They hope to show the leaders of the Church it’s time to "get in step" with the modern world, to "relax" the Church’s old-fashioned ideas on sexual morality and to let the faithful decide for themselves which doctrines they’ll accept or reject.These radicals have already collected more than 2 million signatures in Europe and the United States.They also are invading our schools, and recruiting children to gather signatures and raise money for their nefarious scheme. For every signature the children get, they’re supposed to ask a $1 donation, and they split the proceeds 60/40: 60 cents for the children, and 40 cents for the radicals.

What can faithful Catholics who support the Holy Father and the Magisterium do to fight back? First, don’t sign their Church-wrecking petitions. Second, support Human Life International’s counter-drive (HLI, 4 Family Life, Front Royal, VA 22630). Third, pray for the conversion of these poor, misguided souls. Pray for the brave souls of Human Life International who are on the front line doing battle for God’s truth and the sanctity of human life every day.

Catholics should refuse invitation to Ellen’s coming out party

The media are all abuzz about Ellen DeGeneres, star of the ABC-TV sitcom "Ellen." Her claim to fame used to be her down-to-earth humor. But now that she has "come out" as a lesbian, she has been elevated to cultural hero. Both Ellen and "Ellen" are gay. On the sitcom, Laura Dern is Ellen’s love interest. Now Dern is generating her own press conferences because she’s so "brave" to portray a lesbian lover. But it’s not brave at all. As Joseph Sobran pointed out in the Wanderer newspaper, it would be brave for DeGeneres or Dern to go on the show advocating pro-life. In trendy Hollywood, being pro-gay is GOOD for a career, not to mention ratings.

What should the Catholic in the pew think about Ellen? First, remain true to Catholic teachings. The best place to go for a refresher course on this subject is the Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357-2359.. . . Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." (see Gen. 19:1-29; Rom. 1:24-27; 1Cor 6:10; 1Tim 1:10). They are contrary to the natual law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementary. Under no circumstances can they be approved.. . . Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.Second, do not allow children to watch the show. By making the character Ellen seem like a funny, happy, fulfilled human being, she popularizes a lifestyle that is not only difficult to live out in real life, but also has been declared "intrinsically disordered" by the Church. Third, TAKE ACTION! Catholics who let their beliefs or values be vilified are in danger of becoming converted -- to paganism. Take action by not buying the products advertised on the show and by writing letters to the advertisers, to the television stations and to the network. Addresses of advertisers can be found on their products: Take your pen and paper to the grocery store to make notes. Or look them up in the telephone book or on the Internet. Most companies are listed under their company name, for example, www.XYZ.com . Channel 11 has a similar listing: www.KNTV.com . Or use your "search" function to hunt for the company name. If you need inspiration to fight back, send for Fr. Benedict Groeschel’s Gates of Hell videotape. Fr. Groeschel admonishes Catholics not to take lightly moral decay or potshots against the Church. We’ve got to stop trying to "blend in." Get angry! Speak up! For a catalog that includes Gates of Hell, write to Daughters of St. Paul, 50 St. Paul’s Ave., Boston, MA, 02130.

Book Review &

Ignorance is not bliss

SEEKING CHRIST IN READING by The Rev. Eugene Boylan Scepter Booklets 481 Main St., Suite 401 New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801

This little booklet, a short reprint from the late Fr. Boylan’s book This Tremendous Lover, explains why it is good, even necessary, for adult Catholics to read about their faith. Prayer is a must. Receiving the Sacraments and living the Catholic life is a must. But allowing the mind to grow with the faith is a must, too. In today’s world, where living the Catholic life may be difficult, the "modern environment has a positive tendency to lead us away from God. This it does not so much by being against God, but rather by leaving him out."

Reading of the right sort may be the only way that Catholics can restore the balance caused by a pagan world. Religion is not just a matter of the heart; it is also a matter of the mind. Faith must be informed by reason. There is no reason why any educated Catholic should not go further, and bring his knowledge of Catholic theology up to the standards of the other branches of his knowledge . . .

A man’s mind develops after he leaves school; his knowledge and experience increase, his view broadens, his judgment matures . . .

To expect the grown and mature mind of the man to be satisfied with the hazy memory of what his immature mind had acquired from the limited instruction suitable to boys is, at the least, imprudent; one runs the risk of having religion rejected as inadequate. . .

Once educated, one reads differently; in fact it is only then that one performs the exercise which we wish to describe as a daily practice of the spiritual life. . .

Spiritual reading is a food, and we must digest what we read. . .

we must read slowly. . .

This exercise should be a daily one. . .

it should always be closely connected with prayer. . .

We must read in the spirit of faith. . . (that is) we must believe that God will speak to us in our reading, and when he does speak, we must be ready to listen to him and heed his words.

Fr. Boylan mentions one particular reading problem that other Catholics may have experienced: being left cold by readings about the lives of saints. Often, he says, the saints are presented as individuals who were always other-worldly, saintly creatures, not capable of spitting, stumbling or uttering an evil word. Boylan notes that the saints books are improving (this was in the 1960s), but books about the saints may not be as fruitful as books by the saints.

This little booklet is a gem. If you would like a copy, please send $1 (60 cents for the booklet plus mailing) to View from the Pew, P.O. Box 700084, San Jose, CA 95170-0084.

( + Responses ( +

Leaving the Church because of scandal makes us no better than Judas Iscariot

(Editor’s note: This response was written in reply to those Catholics who feel abuses compel them to leave the Church.)

Dear Editor: It is surely proof of divine care that the Church has survived its clergy. And there is another point that goes right to the heart of being scandalized by the Church: Leaving the Church for such a reason makes as much sense as apostatizing because Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. Fundamentally, my faith is a matter of accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior, and resolving to live discipleship as He would have me live it, within the community of His disciples. If Judas betrayed Him, if the others turned tail and ran out of the garden, that does not excuse me from discipleship or from the obligation to stand at the Foot of the Cross with Mary and John, as I do at each Mass I attend. I mustn’t take my eyes off Jesus, and abandon Him just because others have. If the option which tempts me is to continue to try to be a disciple, but to do without the Church which has so disappointed me – yes, in many ways our religion would be more comfortable for many of us without the inconvenient, maddening Church . . . which is why I should be profoundly suspicious of that very comfortable option! After all, the faults of the Church are OUR faults – yours and mine.

Finally, there is a theological axiom which we can never meditate upon too deeply – Grace builds upon Nature. Grace perfects Nature, it does not obliterate it. I think this has bearing here because there are so many Catholics who seem to idealize the workings of grace in the life of priests and religious.While I was going through that nine-year exercise in congenital idiocy that my bishop dignifies with the term "formation program," it was occasionally mentioned to us that we should be using the time to acquire the habits of prayer and study etc., which we would need as priests, for they would not be magically vouchsafed on the day of ordination. I knew that this was true – on some level. But as I look back it is obvious that on another level, I didn’t expect that this was true at all, for surely there was a transformation worked by ordination.Well, surely there is. But that is the story of the "life hid with Christ in God," as Paul tells the Colossians; the day after ordination I woke up the same man, with the same sinful tendencies, but now with a greater obligation to strive for holiness and with the assistance of the grace of orders. I stress this point because I’m afraid Catholics too readily idealize clergy. Religious, and even the saints, as though these are somehow "other" types of beings, are somehow made differently for the path to holiness, and there is a subtle danger in that holiness becomes an ideal out of reach of "regular Christians," whereas, of course, it is the invitation extended to us all. I suspect that many do not hear that invitation because they too readily idealize that call to holiness and think it is for others. And they become utterly scandalized when a priest or religious falls into sin and become disheartened, which is the great danger I fear. (Incidentally, nowadays we priests make exactly the opposite mistake. We so emphasize our utter humanity and so de-emphasize grace and the supernatural that we are utterly focused upon ourselves, our needs, our frailties. It is literally true that in seminary we had almost nothing of practical, spiritual or pastoral training, and that virtually all of the advice we heard had to do with being good to ourselves, taking time off, pacing ourselves, learning to say "No," and avoiding "burnout" – a complete denial of the reality that what we are seeing in the priesthood today ain’t burnout, it is rust-out. But this is the subject of another diatribe).
Fr. Wilson

J Bright Views J

Know where not to shop ’em
The St. Antoninus Institute of Washington, D.C., has increased the pressure on corporations that support abortion by publishing the Pro-Life Shopping Guide. The guide lists more than 100 corporations and more than 3,000 subsidiaries and brands linked to the pro-abortion movement.The guide can be downloaded from the following Web address; http://www.ewtn.com/antonin/listab.htm. A small donation is requested to support the institute’s effort. The guide is also available in a hard-copy version by calling Dr. Jean-Francois Orsini at (202) 686-0849.

Company aborts pill
German drug manufacturer Hoecht AG said it was transferring all rights for RU-486 to a former manager and would cease production of the drug.Hoecht said it had suffered damage to its image through association with the pill. Hoecht’s French subsidiary, Roussel Uclaf, will cease manufacturing, marketing and distributing the drug.In the United States, Hoecht has already transferred rights to the non-profit organization The Population Council at the request of the government.

L Dim views L

Condom distribution balloons
The U.S. government has made a grant of $1.6 million to Population Services International to expand its condom marketing program to fight AIDS in Cambodia.The grant brings to $4 million the amount of funding for PSI programs in Cambodia. In 1996, PSI sold 9.5 million condoms to this country of 18.5 million people. The condoms are promoted through advertising, aggressive sales and a popular mascot dressed in a giant condom that appears at public events.

30 fetuses found in box
The hot item from San Bernardino in March was the discovery of a box containing 30 fetuses. The fetuses appeared to be in early stages of development, according to sheriff’s deputies.Why does the media care? They weren’t babies. Were they?

Consider the source . . .
An Alabama judge whose order that the Ten Commandments must be removed from a courtroom sparked large protests was named the winner of the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage award.Circuit Court Judge Charles Price will be presented with the 425,000 award by members of President Kennedy’s family at a ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library and museum in Boston on May 29, the 80th anniversary of the president’s birth.

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REFERENCES

 Diocese of San Jose (Dioecesis Sancti Josephi in California)
Established January 27, 1981
Most Reverend Pierre DuMaine, D.D., Ph.D.
First Bishop of San Jose; ordained June 5, 1957; appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and Titular Bishop of Sarda April 28, 1978; Episcopal Ordination June 29, 1978; appointed Bishop of San Jose January 27, 1981. Office: Diocese of San Jose, 900 Lafayette St. Suite 301 Santa Clara, CA 95050-4966


The National Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth St., NE
Washington D.C. 20017

PAST ISSUES OF THE VIEW

Vol 4 No. 2 - Mar / Apr 1997

Vol 4 No. 1- Jan / Feb 1997

Vol 3 No. 6 - Nov / Dec 1996

Vol 3 No. 5 - Sept / Oct 1996

Vol 3 No. 4 - July/August 1996

Vol. 3 No. 3- May/June 1996

Vol. 3 No. 2 - March/April 1996

OTHER CATHOLIC LINKS

| Una Voce Rochester New York | 1962 Missal Romanum | New Advent Web Site |

| The Holy See | Guide to Early Church Documents | EWTN | Catechism of St. Pius X |

| DOMUS (Diocese of Monterey Under Siege) |

| Catholic Tradition, Action & Counter-Revolution Web Page | The Neumann Press |

| CREDO | Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi |

LINK TO OTHER CATHOLIC RELATED DOCUMENTS

Speech given by Archbishop John Quinn at Oxford - June, 1996

LINK TO LOCAL SAN JOSE TRADITIONAL MASS SCHEDULE

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