Tag Archives: Pope John Paul II

Self-Flagellation: What is Wrong with this Practice?

Blessed Henry Suso

Some Filipino Bishops have made public announcements against the practice of self-flagellation, especially during Holy Week, when the practice is very common in their country.

It seems from the article, that their biggest problem with the practice of self-flagellation is that it  “expresses superstitious beliefs and are usually done out of the need for money and for tourism purposes which is totally wrong.”

As far as self-flagellation done for tourism and money-making, I think everyone would be in agreement that if that were done for those reasons, it would always be wrong.  Again, if self-flagellation were done for superstitious beliefs, I think we all could agree, that would be wrong as well.

However, what if someone was self-flagellating for none of those reasons, but was doing it for a legitimate penitential motive?  Would it be wrong in that case?  How about Blessed Henry Suso?  Or the other great saints throughout the history of the Church.  Were they somehow “sinful” for self-flagellation?  If it was proper for saints in the past to practice self-flagellation, why is it wrong now?

I might add that it has recently been reported that Pope John Paul II practice self-flagellation as well.  I think that obviously, self-flagellation would not be for everyone, and could only be done under strict guidelines from a respected spiritual advisor.  But given those conditions, I believe that if the history of our Church is filled with saints who used this practice to enhance their spiritual life, it cannot be a practice that is no longer “needed” or somehow we have “outgrown”.

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Planned Parenthood’s Crazy Notion of Women’s Universal Healthcare

The President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, blasts the U.S. Bishops for wanting universal healthcare that does not include abortion.  Why is she surprised by the U.S. Bishops action?  What did she expect them to “okay” abortion in this instance because universal healthcare is so important?

Cecile Richards
Cecile Richards

No.  Ms. Richards is just another anti-Catholic in a long line of anti-Catholics and worse, i.e. Margaret Sanger, who head Planned Parenthood, who attempt to use twisted logic and twisted, macabre examples, to not only bash the Catholic hierarchy, but also to push her sick and bizarre notion of “woman’s healthcare”.  The notion that woman’s healthcare include services and devices that are “harmful” to all women, is something straight out of some wacky sci-fi novel where in the future, citizens are brainwashed into thinking that bad things are good for them, and good things are bad for them, all for the benefit and glory of one illustrious, ego centric dictator.  Sound familiar?

Ms. Richards uses the same old tired rhetoric in attempting to make the U.S. Bishops Conference into hairy armed cavemen when she states, “Their hard-line opposition to women’s rights also endangers millions of women around the globe — where women also need universal health care access. The effort to criminalize access to safe abortion endangers most women in the developing world — the very women that you would think the bishops would be concerned about.”

It is not enough for Ms. Richards that over 40 million Americans have been legally murdered in America since 1973, nor is it enough that this “healthcare” for women has raped this country of precious souls, that Ms. Richards wants and desires that U.S. taxpayer money go to other lands so the murder and rape can continue in foreign lands.  Who is the true barbarian?

Ms. Richards continues on that over 68,000 women across the world die each year from abortion.  But of course, the Catholic Church is to blame because we do not support artificial contraception.  “The root cause of unsafe abortion is unintended pregnancy, a result of the lack of affordable and accessible contraception for women. The correlation between higher contraceptive use and lower maternal mortality is well established.”

Sorry Ms. Richards.  The root cause of unsafe abortion is:  the ABORTION!  68,000 women die annually because of abortions, not from continuing their pregnancy to full term.  Ms. Richards answer for this is to have more accessible contraception for women.  The facts are that in countries where condoms and  the pill are prevalent, sexual intercourse increases, which increases the risk for pregancy and for sexually transmitted diseases.

The fact of the matter is the U.S. Bishops Conference needs to do more in standing up and supporting the Church’s position on human sexuality.  They need, along with the laity, to speak up that abortion is murder; that artificial contraception is not the answer for women’s healthcare, and that condoms are not an effective, nor desirable means to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

The road Ms. Richards wants the U.S. to go down, has been trod before.  It is the road we are currently on since 1973, when abortion was legalized.  It is the road that Pope Paul VI warned about it in 1967 in Humanae Vitae, that abortion and contraception dehumanize women and places them as objects for mens sexual gratification, rather than as a loving partner between a husband and wife who are seeking to express their love for another through the sexual embrace.

It is obvious to anyone who wants to listen that the Catholic Church has been in the forefront of articulating the proper human sexuality (see Pope John Paul II and his Theology of the Body) and what true universal healthcare for everyone is all about.  The U.S. Bishops are on the right track, but much more is needed to be done if we are going to overthrow our current culture of death.