Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Faith Resources Newsletter - Number 82 - January 2019

"My friend, the devil is not greatly afraid of the discipline and other instruments of penance. That which beats him is the curtailment of one’s food, drink and sleep. There is nothing the devil fears more, consequently, nothing is more pleasing to God." St John Vianney

Message from the Manager
The Christmas Season has passed and we sincerely hope and pray that the Christ Child showered all Cardinal Newman Faith Resources supporters and readers, their families and friends with rich blessings, as rich and peaceful as that first ‘Silent Night’.
The next three of Father’s Handouts concerning the submission to the Plenary Council are with this first edition for 2019, so we invite you to relax and take time to read his wise words.
The Daily Mass Readings over the past week give us food for thought as we welcome in the New Year. From loving our neighbour in thought, word and deed to being vigilant concerning the deceit of the devil, we have to keep our hearts and minds on Christ and lead holy lives, being ever mindful of the fact that though we live in the world we must not be of the world. Each of us is given daily sufferings and trials. If we choose to accept them wisely they will bring us closer to Our Lord and His Holy Mother, but we must also take care that our own words and actions do not make others suffer.
This month’s edition will be brief as we are busy stocktaking. We would like to take the opportunity to remind everyone that our once-in-a-decade 10-70% off RRP Sale takes place between 16th and 25th January. Only our Vision Books and Holy Heroes products which are heavily discounted all year are exempt. The heavily discounted items including Nativity Sets and Christmas stock have been tagged. 2019 Calendars and Diaries are 20-40% off. Books, CDs and most Piety goods that have no sticker or tag are 20% RRP off. DVDs and imported piety goods will be 10-15% off. It is highly recommended that you visit us in St Marys to take full advantage of the bargains we are offering. If you are unable to come due to illness or distance we invite you to ring between 7:45am-8:45am and 5:15-6:00pm so we can give you our full attention. If we do not answer please leave a message with your name and phone number and we will return your call as soon as possible.
In addition our extensive range of secondhand books and educational resources will be available for you to peruse. There are resources available for general education, especially homeschooling, religious education as well as books on many aspects of the Catholic Faith. Come prepared to spend some time checking out what is available.
Thank you for your prayers, generosity and patience in 2018 and we wish everyone a peaceful and safe New Year, as we ask God through Our Blessed Mother and the intercession of the saints, to protect and bless all of us with abundant graces during 2019.

Gai Smith

Featured items

2019 Columban Art Calendar (RRP $9.00) has been reduced to $7.00
Divine Mercy Wall Calendar (RRP $10.00) now $7.50
There is a limited supply of Tan Calendars (RRP $24.95) for $15.00 and the beautiful
Saints Calendar and 16-Month Planner (RRP $29.95) is $18.00.
Also 365 Days with the Lord 2019 (RRP $23.95) has been reduced to $16.75

The One-Minute Aquinas: The Doctor’s Quick Answers to Fundamental Questions by Kevin Vost PsyD
If you don't have a year to study the more than 3,000 pages which St Thomas Aquinas wrote then this is the book for you. Originally $39.95 it is on special at $24.95

There is a wide range of Christmas ornaments and Nativity sets reduced by 20-70%. Our little clear resin “Church” hanging light-up ornament was $15.95. It was on special for $9.95 before Christmas and there are still a couple left. We would like to clear these so we have taken a further 25% off making them $7.50 (Some Hartwood Creek Jim Shore Hanging ornaments will be reduced by 20-30%)
We still have some Nativity sets left. They range in price from $49.95 - $465.00 and will be reduced 20-40% from 16-25th January.

During The Year of Mercy we had some very informative books published by the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelisation. The information in the books is as relevant today as it was in 2015 and comes highly recommended. We have several books left including:
Mercy and the Fathers of the Church
Mercy and the Teachings of the Popes

The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy
Celebrating Mercy
Confession: The Sacrament of Mercy

The Parables of Mercy
The Psalms of Mercy
The Saints in Mercy

The books were $19.90 RRP each and have been reduced by over 70% to $5.00 each.
There is a full set of the 8 books available for $29.95

In the Question Time series of books Fr John Flader BA, DCL draws on more than 40 years of experience in handing on the Faith to answer questions on doctrine, the sacraments, moral life , prayer and devotions. They were originally published in Sydney's The Catholic Weekly.
Question Time 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as The Creed by Father John Flader each normally $29.95 RRP are only $19.95 each during the Sale.
Also Fr Flader’s DVD and Book Set Journey into Truth which includes the full set of DVDs and the book (RRP $129.90) will be available for $95.00 from 16th-25th January 2019.

Communion Photo Box or Baby Photo Box normally $19.95 are now $14.95
These boxes are silver plated and are ideal for storing rosaries, necklaces, medals and scapulars in addition to photos and can be placed on a dressing table or chest of drawers.
A Life of Our Lord for Children, The First Christians: The Acts of the Apostles for Children, St Patrick's Summer: A Children's Adventure Catechism and A Book of Angels by Marigold Hunt (RRP $23.95) will be $16.00 each, a saving of $7.95 a book. These books are wonderfully written and packed with pertinent information that gives children (6-15) a truly Catholic understanding of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Angels and the fundamentals of our wonderful Faith. They are highly recommended.

My Ideal Jesus Son of Mary (RRP $13.95). We have some slightly older copies which we have reduced to $9.75

Sister Germana’s Cucina: When Angels Cook: Traditional Italian Cooking for Body and Soul. We reduced this from $34.95 to $24.95 for Christmas and we still have a few copies left. We have reduced these to $19.95 for the duration of the sale.
Rosinella’s Journey by Rosa Melino (RRP $19.95) reduced to $6.00. This is the story of a young Italian girl who immigrated to Australia in 1954. The story of leaving their country of birth to make a better life in Australia is a common one but the author’s simple style gives readers an understanding of what life was like for those who came here, kept their faith and came to love Australia. It can be used as a reader for 6-10 year olds. Highly recommended.
Many Catechists love to teach their classes from the St Joseph’s picture book range, 25% off during the sale.


Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants — 22nd August, 2018
“Clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”
What’s to be done? The answer is Family Catechetics to make practising Catholics!
Download as a PDF

Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.  CCC n. 2226
Long ago, on 11th August, 1939, just two years after our last Plenary Council in 1937, Sydney’s Archbishop Michael Kelly mandated the Old Green Catechism, saying:-
...the supreme obligation of each Pastor, and of every parent, to have the catechism lessons taught to their respective children in the FAMILY, in the CHURCH and in the SCHOOL.
That family catechetics comes first, before parish instruction and Catholic Schools, is now in Canon Law:-
Before all others, parents are bound to form their children, by word and example, in faith and in Christian living. The same obligation binds godparents and those who take the place of parents (CCL c. 774 §2).
Family Catechetics is not optional. It’s essential. Also note the priest’s role:-
By virtue of his office, the parish priest is bound to ensure the catechetical formation of adults, young people and children.... The parish priest is also to promote and to foster the role of parents in the family catechesis mentioned in can. 774 §2.    (CCL c. 776)
Conduct pilot projects: Invite parents, priests and others teachers to volunteer to try out the Catholic Family Catechism in homes, parishes and schools — a mission for volunteers, not conscripts. CATECHISMS of Q&A fulfill St John Paul II’s prescription: “a suitable catechism for families”, “clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”. The Christian Family in the Modern World (Familiaris Consortio) §39.
Family Prayers are essential, plus parental guidance for bedside private prayers as well. SYSTEMATIC and/or INFORMAL teaching all suit Family Catechetics, but keep in mind:-
  • Opt for “both systematic and informal” rather than “either/or”.
  • Planned home-lessons are sometimes needed, though casual instruction is much better than none at all.
  • Tutor one-to-one or in groups, as seems best; older siblings can share in this catechetical work.
  • Sacred ceremonies/objects used in church or home suit explanation/discussion.
  • Sermons are often a foundation for discussion with older children.
  • Sing doctrinal hymns in lounge, kitchen, car etc; learn a hymn each week, or at least, one verse.
  • Learn/recite/chant an OT/NT Bible text weekly; check Creeds/Sacraments/Commandments/Prayers.
  • Write — hand and eye reinforce the ear; use dictation, copying, creative composing, etc.
  • Pictures, specially for youngsters, at home, in church; also draw your own pictures, also diagrams.
  • Church history, beginning with Bible History; lives of saints and biographies of the faithful.
  • Home library (and suggest to the priest a parish have a library of DVDs, CDs, books, articles).
  • Gather monthly with other families to get ideas, inspiration, encouragement, what to avoid.
  • Invite a priest to talk to parents while others give a catechetics class to children in age groups.
Invite homeschoolers, catechists and Catholic school teachers to get children memorizing Questions & Answers. Try it out! And back it up by urging parents to have family prayers, at least before meals, and to come to Mass, for which children can be apostles to their parents.
Persuade the lapsed to pray so God can prompt them to long to come closer to Him at Mass.
We can declare the Apostles’ Creed (pp. 39-40) our Vision Statement. It summarizes the whole Bible, it presents the principal mysteries of the Unity and Trinity of God, the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the mission of the Church, and it relates these to the ultimate end of man for all eternity. Our Mission Statement is Christ’s clarion call to “Repent and Believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15), issued to each of us and to all mankind.
We need to cultivate those Seven Senses (p. 2) for spiritual sensitivity to hear and heed God, and to empathize with His people:-
A sense of faith
and a sense of the sacred,
a sense of compassion
and a sense of humour,
a sense of history
and a sense of wonder,
a sense of the urgency of the apostolate.
Catholic Homeschooling — an alternative to “Schooling in Schools”
Catholic HOMESCHOOLING is often adopted after Family Catechetics has proved a success. Even call it Home TUTORING, to emphasize the one-to-one teaching of tutor to pupil, parent to child. In Victoria, HOME-EDUCATING is a preferred name for homeschooling, to indicate its totality.
By any name, it really produces Catholic lay apostles for our pagan society.
It is a complete education for a good and Godly upbringing in Christian discipling and lay apostolate, and to be more genuinely human, in that it cultivates the 7 ’Rs, not just the 3 ’Rs:-
1.       Religion brings us to God and God to us, and so fulfils our created dignity, duty & destiny;
2.       Respect for self & others, i.e. manners and self-control, helps us live with ourselves and to be easy to live with;
3.       Reason, memory and understanding, are from the image of God in us;
4.       Responsibility for our thoughts, words and deeds: discernment to choose the good and reject evil;
5.       Reading, especially “living books”, helps us share in the knowledge and goodwill of suitable authors;
6.       ’Riting, by which thought is expressed most succinctly, and preserved, shared and disseminated;
7.       ’Rithmetic, with fluency in figuring, add, subtract, multiply, divide; also mentally for small numbers.
N.B. nn. 5,6,7 are life-skills of mind and body. Yet the absence of nn. 1,2,3,4 reduces the efficacy of classroom teaching of the 3 ‘R’s to an endless, painful and wasteful struggle in “crowd control”.
·         Their own schooling/post-schooling.
·         Completion of three or four years of High School plus life experience is enough to teach Primary.
·         Ongoing reading/study of curriculum/content/method, and later on, taking courses/degrees:
·         cumulative experiences builds up specialized skills in tutoring ages 2-20 years;
·         successfully married & bringing up children for years;
·         unique interest in welfare of their own children in body & soul;
·         God’s grace of state in the Sacrament of Matrimony;
·         proven success: pupils get employment and university entry at age 16 or 17 through “open university”.
·         Professionals teachers for classes of 25-30 try to cope with disparate ability, effort, interest. However, diverse ability, interest, effort can be tutored more creatively one-to-one. Moreover, home-techniques can induce pupils to work on their own with texts, “living books” and internet, a better preparation for tertiary study.
HOME-TUTORING ensures (1) the practice of the Faith and (2) better socialization.
Centering on the family, that under-valued yet most vital resource of our civilization, home-tutoring is a richer and a different life-style of schooling. It’s benefits are:-
  • Socialization (across ages 0 to 90+) is better without the peer dependence from age-grading in schools.
  • Peer friendships of home-tutored children need not weaken parental and sibling relationships.
  • It forms children for inner security in an increasingly insecure world.
  • No money is wasted on school fees or transport; and no time is wasted in travelling.
  • Employability is proven in the outcomes: they pay taxes and don’t go on the dole.
  • Family manners and discipline predispose children for home-tutoring; their absence is a nightmare
  • Each learns at his own pace — not achieved by a school’s higher pupil-teacher ratio and more distractions.
  • The home-tutored are free to work ahead of schedule and their academic success is proven.
  • School-style Homework is unnecessary: afternoons and evenings are freer for jobs, hobbies and reading.
Socialization means getting on well with parents, siblings, cousins, neighbours and strangers both young and old. Big families hold out welcoming hands to smaller. Indeed, some parents have given socialization as their first reason for home-schooling. USA sociological studies show home-tutored pupils are mostly better socialized, more courteous, secure and ‘open’ than pupils at ordinary schools. Others again have been moved to homeschool to impart the faith and life of the Catholic Church when the official Catholic Schools failed to do so, or even worked against it with false teaching.
Champion of Christian homeschooling in the USA, psychologist Raymond Moore, found that schools do not socialize children, rather they make them ‘peer dependent’, i.e. subservient, enslaved. Peers at school can reduce, usurp, even negate parental influence: victims relate less well to their older and younger siblings at home.
Yes, children do need peer friendships outside their family: cousins, neighbours, i.e. peers without schools.
At a school, pupils easily lapse into ‘human respect’, i.e. thinking or speaking (even acting out) false or ignoble ideas lest they lose esteem in the eyes of peers — like a crowd lowering one’s moral sensitivities. Peer pressure easily becomes psychological bullying.
Also some parent groups set up Charter-style really Catholic Schools — make enquiries, dialogue and visit.
Father James Tierney

© The Rev. B.J.H. Tierney. Handouts are free and may be copied for any non-profit teaching purpose. However, donations to defray costs are welcome and should be made to the publisher and distributor, the Cardinal Newman Faith Resources Inc. PO Box 359, St Marys NSW 1790; phone 02 9673 2235; fax 02 9623 3181 email <>

Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants — 24th August, 2018
“Clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”
Download as a PDF
Part 3.    Confession
SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION is for the healing we can’t give ourselves
This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.    (ccc n. 980)
Priests have received from God a power that he has given neither to angels nor to archangels...
God above confirms what priests do here below.    (ccc n. 983)
NAMES OF THE SACRAMENT: Is it Penance, Reconciliation or Confession?
Penance is penitence (Mark 1-.15) i.e. conversion (ccc nn. 1423, 1424). Many think of “penance” as “doing their penance”, the Act of Satisfaction, because their penance is sacramentalized in this Sacrament of Forgiveness.
Pope St John Paul II popularized the name “Sacrament of Reconciliation”, and the CCC uses it extensively, though by no means exclusively. However, he also insisted that:
All seven sacraments are reconciliation...
The old name, Sacrament of Confession, still stands.    (Reconciliatio et Penitentia §27 of 1984).
Canon Law, too, uses the expression “hearing confessions” 22 times (in CCL nn. 961 §1 *1 to 986 *2; also in 566 *1, 630 *4), so better to say, “This is my First Confession”, because First Reconciliation was Baptism.
CALL TO HOLINESS continuous conversion: “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15)
All the faithful are called to holiness (Lumen Gentium chapter 5; “Be holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16; cf. Matthew 5:48)) and therefore go to Confession regularly. The Introduction to the Rite of Penance says:
The members of the Church are exposed to temptation and unfortunately often fall into sin (Rite of Penance n. 3).
Frequent confession of venial sins is like washing hands before meals, a mid-course correction:
In the sacrament of penance the faithful obtain from the mercy of God pardon for their sins against Him; at the same time they are reconciled with the Church ... which works for their conversion by charity, example and prayer (ibid n. 4).
The healing which penance provides is varied. Those in grave sin ... are called back ... to the life they have lost. Those with venial sins ... gain the full freedom of the children of God (ibid n. 7).
The faithful must confess to a priest each and every grave sin which they remember upon examination of their conscience. Moreover, frequent and careful celebration of this sacrament is also very useful as a remedy for venial sins. This is not a mere ritual repetition or psychological exercise, but a serious striving to perfect the grace of baptism ... to conform more closely to Christ and to follow the voice of the Spirit more attentively (ibid n. 7).
Mortal sin is a ticket to Hell. The Sacrament of Penance is “a second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace” (CCC n. 1446) and CCC n. 1447 gives its historical development. It implies God (1) is merciful; (2) justice has moral absolutes, “Maker’s instructions”, Ten Commandments.
If morality is taught in black and white, our conduct will rise at least to various shades of grey. However, if morality is taught as shades of grey, the conduct will be very black indeed.
The Third Rite of the Sacrament of Penance is for emergencies, never normative, and not for a large group of penitents who have left it too late for normal confession (the First Rite) before a big feast day. (ccc nn. 1483-1484; ccl nn. 961-963). The lure of an easy option kills any zeal for holiness.
We need a challenge, not a soft option: the easy is cheap and not valued. Think of the Syrian leper, Namaan, angry at the casualness of Elisha the Prophet, who wouldn’t even come to the door, but sent a servant to tell him to wash seven times in the Jordan. Namaan was insulted and turned away in a towering rage. He was being taught humility, and repented after his own servants chided him:
If the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? (2 Kings 5:8-14)
Bringing out the best in a man requires him to do something especially difficult:
Tom had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it, namely, that, in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make it difficult.
Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, on whitewashing the fence.
Significantly, this is quoted in The Book of Virtues, as also is Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), who was flooded with applicants after his advertisement for volunteers for an antarctic expedition:-
MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.
Making-it-more-noble is even more important than “making-it-difficult”: a motto for the Christian life must be “Excelsior”, “Friend, go up higher” (Luke 14:10), “Be perfect”, “be holy” (Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15,16).

WHAT’S TO BE DONE? and urgently, since the Church exists to turn sinners into saints
Reminders are needed: sacramental Confession is required (except for newly baptized) for:
  • those in mortal sin (CCL n. 916; “Let a man examine himself,” 1 Corinthians 11:28);
  • receiving first Holy Communion ( "Let the children come to Me, Matthew 19:14; and CCL c. 914);
  • receiving Confirmation when separated from Baptism (ccc n. 1310; cf. n. 1319).
The sequence of these sacraments need not be exactly the same for children baptized in infancy as for adult catechumens and converts (see Handouts n. 11, The 3 C’s, Confession, Communion, Confirmation: What order?):-
In a special way, the parish priest is to ensure... children are properly prepared
for First confession and first communion, and for the sacrament of confirmation, [note the
order!] by means of catechetical formation over an appropriate period of time... (ccl c. ill 2°).
Counselling is a secondary aspect of the Sacrament of Penance. Yet when The Rite of Penance was renewed in 1976, other changes were slipped in as if they were parts of the new rite.
These involved extensive and expensive reconstruction of confessionals as “confessional rooms”, with a chair for the penitent to sit face to face with the priest and without the grill between them.
With a penitent no longer kneeling, but simply sitting, it seemed more like a therapy session and, in some places, the penitent was persuaded to forgive himself, psycho-style... Further, some priests insisted on ‘face to face’ — that or nothing. It was very insensitive towards those confessing embarrassing sins. And CCL of 1983 in c. 964 was somewhat imprecise in a more-or-less insistence on a fixed grill between priest and penitent. But sitting is the wrong body language. The previous supernatural symbolism of kneeling was gone. Besides, in the Bible, kneeling is for humility and adoration and an appeal for forgiveness (Matthew 18:29; Luke 5:8). Make it the default option.
Restoration of a three hour fast for Holy Communion would reduce embarrassment for those in need of Confession to avoid unworthy reception out of human respect. The present canon law is:
Whoever is to receive the Blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before Holy Communion from all food and drink with the sole exception of water and medicine.    (CCL c. 919 §1)
After suitable intense preaching, it could be changed from “At least one hour” to “three hours”, and dispensable by confessors in the internal forums of Confession or confidential counselling.
Indiscriminate Holy Communion at school Masses, weddings and funerals must cease, and the ignorance of non-Catholics and even practising Catholics, can be cured by kindly instruction.
School Masses for lapsed Catholics and non-believers might better be replaced by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The Real Presence and the Sense of Sacredness needs to be preached (see p. 6). It would help lax ‘pray-ers’ to adore God, and also children preparing for First Communion.
“Confession” of the Faith, the faith which is the truth about God
This is the usage in a majority of Bible texts on “confession”; confession of sins is in fewer texts.
Our chief pastoral need, as always, is to Proclaim the Good News. The Good News is:-
...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death...    (Philippians 3:10)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.    (John 3:16)
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the gospel.    (Mark 1:15)
Thus the Good News is to rejoice in Christ’s Resurrection and to take up His Cross.
WHAT’S TO BE DONE to love and serve the Lord?
Face the facts: some falsehoods abound:-
  • Christianity without the Cross; capitulation to worldliness; “politically correct” alien paradigms.
  • Morals without reality or revelation or any sound reasoning, left only with self-contradictory relativism.
  • Miracles in Scripture demythologized by an absurd hermeneutics of their ‘scientific’ impossibility.
  • Doctrine without Scripture, Tradition or Magisterium to suit “cafeteria pick-&-choose Christians”.
  • Catechetics without content and Catholic schools without Catholicism in many cases.
  • Three generations without prayer, faith, piety, Sunday Mass, Friday Penance, or any Confession.
  • Liturgy without The Sense of the Sacred and over-emphasis on intelligibility often reduced to banality.
  • Holy Communion without sacramental Confession of grave sins (or any sin) — abolition of a sacrament!
  • Ignorant insensitive priests making public their generalizations about confessions they have heard.
  • Ignorant judges, lawyers and politicians who think the seal of Confession is dispensable.
  • Character without the courage to renounce the Devil’s modern temptations: it’s a devolution into vice.
  • The addiction of churchmen to ‘experts’, gurus, fashions and “to hear something new” (Acts 17:21).
Father James Tierney

© The Rev. B.J.H. Tierney. Handouts are free and may be copied for any non-profit teaching purpose. However, donations to defray costs are welcome and should be made to the publisher and distributor, the Cardinal Newman Faith Resources Inc. PO Box 359, St Marys NSW 1790; phone 02 9673 2235; fax 02 9623 3181 email <>

Cardinal Newman Catechist Consultants — 24th August, 2018
“Clear, brief and easily assimilated by all”

Natural Morality (Natural Moral Law)
Download as a PDF
Australian laws and our Federal Constitution still contain a deal of the Bible — Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, as revealed by God to Moses, 13th century B.C. (or 14th or 12th ?) — thus:-
1.       God Almighty: pre-amble to Constitution and use of the Lord’s Prayer in Parliament.
2.       His Name not taken in vain: hence swearing into office and oaths in court in God’s Name.
3.       Keep holy the Lord’s (Sabbath) day: workers’ right to a weekly day-off for rest and worship.
4.       Honour father and mother: upholding of marriage and family life — until recently!
5.       Duty to defend human life from murder — now weakened by abortion and euthanasia.
6.       Duty to defend marriage from adultery — now abandoned, or even approved as “P.C.”!
7.       Duty to defend property from theft — more or less upheld.
8.       Prohibition on false witness — more or less upheld.
9.       Duty to avoid lustful thoughts — now little protection from pornography.
10.    Duty to avoid covetous thoughts — never could be law, but socially desirable.
The Code of Hammurabi from Babylon, 18th century B.C., has six of the Ten Commandments. It is a pagan testimony to natural morality (natural moral law), though in a motley mix with civil edicts and laced with penalties so draconian as to make Leviticus read like a toddler’s tale at a Sunday School picnic.
Each these principles as simple truths of good philosophy rather than as “Catholic Social Teaching”
1. How is social philosophy based on natural morality?
Social philosophy is based on natural morality:
1.                   Man is created by God, in His image;
2.       with the dignity of being a person;
3.       that is, with an intellect and freedom;
4.       called to an eternal destiny with God;
5.       with God-given rights and duties;
6.       blessed by God to live in society;
7.       which has authority to uphold rights.
2. Why is social philosophy complicated?
Social philosophy is complicated because the exercise of personal rights may have to be limited by society to ensure the rights of others in that the purpose of society is to uphold the common good.*
* A “good” is a perfection or purpose, e.g. “A struggle to make good.”

The Common Good
3. What is the common good?
The common good is the social benefit in which every person shares and which society has a duty to uphold to ensure the natural human rights of everyone. It is not the greatest good of the greatest number, nor is it decided by majority vote. The common good is not the same as the public good; the public good is the means by which the political society supports the common good.

Subsidiarity, a social Right: “All for one”
4. What is the principle of subsidiarity?
The principle of subsidiarity* is that society exists for the sake of persons and not persons for the sake of society, so society must help persons and smaller societies to function, and not usurp them, so that they enjoy freedom and rights and share in the common good.
* Subsidiarity is being supportive; subsidiary means subordinate.

SOLIDARITY, a social Duty - “One for all”
5. What is the principle of solidarity?
The principle of solidarity* is that every person and smaller society has a duty to make society workable by accepting its authority and so to contribute to the common good.
* Solidarity implies that some subordination is necessary.

“All for one, One for all”*
6. What ensures both personal freedom and social order within society?
Personal freedom and social order are ensured by a proper balance between subsidiarity and solidarity so that the common good is upheld. The common good is supportive of the person and the person is subordinate to the common good.
* More or less, “all for one” is subsidiarity, and “one for all” is solidarity.

Social Evils
7.  What happens if subsidiarity or solidarity is ignored?

If subsidiarity is ignored, an excessive emphasis on solidarity leads to socialism and totalitarianism, whether fascism or communism; if solidarity is ignored, an excessive emphasis on subsidiarity leads to capitalism and individualism.*
*To disregard these dangers is to rush headlong into the quick-sands of Modernism in the moral, juridical and social order, said Pius XI, 1931, in Quadragesimo Anno §46.
Society, Family and Person
8. When is socialization justifiable?
Socialization is justifiable only as a last resort.
“The function of the State’s authority is twofold: to protect and foster families and individuals, but neither to absorb them nor substitute itself for them.”*
* Pope Pius XI, 1929, Divini illius magistri §19 Catholic Family Catechism Apostles’ Edition nn. 458-471
“Confession of the Christian Faith” also means upholding Natural Morality
Morality for Politicians
Christians politicians need to uphold natural law morality in union with all men of goodwill:-
Political structuring and organization of social life... task of the lay faithful... on their own initiative... with the common good in view... conforming with the Gospel and the teaching of the Church... (CCC n. 2442)
NO ONE CAN NEGATE IN-BUILT MORALS — not even politicians and professors
Thus declared Cicero, a pagan Roman lawyer, 106-43 B.C.
If it were not grounded in nature there would be no justice, and all virtues would cease to exist.
How otherwise can magnanimity, love of one’s country, pietas, meriting the good opinion of others and honouring obligations, exist? For these arise from the fact that we are by nature inclined to love our fellow men. This is the foundation of justice. Were this not so, then respect for our fellow men, and for the ceremonies and religions of the gods would cease — things that must be preserved, not out of fear but because of the link that exists between man and god [in coniunctione quae est homini cum deo]. If what is just is decided by the will of the people, or by decrees of princes or sentences of judges, then thievery could be lawful as could adultery and perjury — if such were determined by the votes or opinions of the mob. Were such power to arise from the opinions and commands of unwise people, then by their will the very nature of things would be turned on its head. What is to stop such people declaring evil and pernicious things to be good and sound? If such ‘law’ [based on opinion] can make unjust things just, what’s to stop it making evil things, good? Nature is the norm that enables us to distinguish a good law from a bad one. And it’s not only justice and injustice that are judged by their nature, but also, of course, what is honourable and what is dishonourable. For, as common sense makes clear to us, and instills in our minds from our very beginnings, honour is derived from virtue, and dishonour from vice. It would be madness to think that their reality is determined by people’s opinion rather than by their very essence.
Cicero, De Legibus, Liber Primus §§ 43-45 ; transl. by Father Paul Stenhouse MSC, Annals Australasia 2/2017
Cicero speaks of it again in another passage:-
There is in fact a true law, namely right reason, which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men, and is unchangeable and eternal. By its commands this law summons men to the performance of their duties; by its prohibitions it restrains them from doing wrong. Its commands and prohibitions always influence good men, but are without effect upon the bad.
To invalidate this law by human legislation is never morally right, nor is it permissible ever to restrict its operation and to annul it wholly is impossible. Neither the Senate [of ancient republican Rome] nor the people can absolve us from our obligation to obey this law, and it requires no Sextus Aelius [a famous politician] to expound and interpret it. It will not lay down one rule at Rome and another at Athens, nor will it be one rule today and another tomorrow. But there will be one law, eternal and unchangeable, binding at all times and upon all peoples; and there will be, as it were, one common master and ruler of men, namely God, who is the author of this law, its interpreter and its sponsor.
Cicero, Republic III, 22 (trans. by Brother Christian Moe FSC)
St Paul also proclaimed objective moral goodness as a law “written in our hearts” (Romans 2:15).
Parliaments make civil law about justice; civil law is not about love or feelings.
God makes Divine Law about justice and love and feelings.
Laws are an alternative to dictatorial government by decree and not by law.
Civil laws harmonize relationships in society and so must deal with new situations, imposing obligations for behaviour, but always in accord with natural morality. They can change the details but not the underlying morality. They can confer various civil rights, but not abolish natural human rights.
Parliaments need to debate the limits of their authority, that they can’t do anything they like. .“We get the politicians we deserve,” and many now reject God, Conscience and Commandments, so they are quickly exhausting their inherited dwindling little stocks of moral capital into a moral bankruptcy.
“Political Correctness” from today’s social engineers reverses true priorities. A State-organized economy exists for the people, a means to end, not people sacrificed to the economy.
Forcing mothers into paid work is bad for children. See Dr Peter Cook’s Mothering Matters.
Indeed, great economies would be achieved if society upheld God, His Laws, human Conscience. Conscience is “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12KJV). Taxation could be reduced if the Ten Commandments were government policy and taught in state schools as standards for our society. It is in family life that we learn “no murder, adultery, theft or lies”. But first we must honour God and not insult Him.
Father James Tierney

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