Saturday, September 23, 2017

Illicit but valid

It sounds like an oxymoron. Catholic officials used it to deny facts.

Vern is a musician for Catholic womenpriest Masses whose enthusiastic support of women’s ordination led to this email exchange. It followed a forum after Mass with our Mary Magdalene, First Apostle community.
We chatted about the phrase, “sacramentally valid but illicit.” And I think I remember you mentioning that the phrase was not said by any "authority" of the "regular" Roman Catholic Church. You went further to say the regular authority will not even discuss it.
I was wrong in saying the official Church does not apply the phrase to womenpriests, but right in saying the official Church does not allow womenpriests to administer sacraments.  In other words, womenpriests who say Mass, baptize, officiate at marriages and the like, make it really happen (it’s valid) but they're not allowed to do so.

They are like other priests not authorized to act as priests. One example is a friend of mine, an immigrant from India who is a married priest.  He and his wife have come to several Mary Magdalene, First Apostle events.
I remember back in the 1990s Pope John Paul II even ordered discussion [about womenpriests] not only to stop, but also not be brought up in the first place. His decree was most likely, but not exclusively, the result of the story of Ludmila of Czechoslovakia becoming globally public after the fall of USSR Communism.
Why did Vern remember Ludmila? He is a descendent of Czech immigrants. I went to Google to refresh my memory.

Ludmila Javorová was the first modern woman Catholic priest. She was secretly ordained in 1970 by a male Roman Catholic bishop in the underground Czech Church during communism’s oppressive rule of Czechoslovakia. When Soviet domination ended and Ludmila Javorová’s ordination was revealed, the Vatican refused to accept it. “Illicit but valid,” said a Czech archbishop. He based his ruling on Canon Law.
Could you tell me who and from where that phrase first came from?
I am so happy having places like MMFA for me to come and "rest" my questioning self.
Thanks for your help. St. Mary Magdalene Prayers to you always, Vern 
Vern’s modesty is remarkable. I don’t know when Canon Law first used this ridiculously rationalistic distinction, and I have to admit that Vern was more knowledgeable about the subject than I was. He led me to researching it.
Something tells me I heard that phrase, “illicit by valid,” or something like it came up when all the clergy abuse surfaced. There was a question about the validity of the Sacrament of Eucharist when Mass was conducted by a priest who abused. 
The validity question also came up in talk about the priest himself confessing, being forgiven, and then continuing to say Mass. There was also the question of an abusive priest hearing confession of his victim(s) and the confessions being valid.
Vern had deliberated on “illicit but valid” more deeply than I had.
I am impatient with the legalistic distinctions, and I'd guess Pope Francis would agree with me that the Church should instead reach out with compassion and mercy to all people who cry out for care. The insistence on official permission violates both conscience and common sense.

Vern agreed that insisting on permission violates conscience and common sense.
 Thank you, Vern, for caring so much. 



Monday, September 4, 2017

Mind over Matter

A few days ago, I was in an office at the doctor’s getting a referral appointment set up, when our conversation turned to a common phenomenon. The appointment secretary said it often happens to her. She’ll think about someone she hasn’t thought about for a while, and right then that person calls. We agreed that it’s uncanny and science can’t explain it. Her gift appears in more striking ways. She thinks of some event happening, and then it does.

“I bet you don’t talk about this to just anyone,” I said.

“Some people don’t like to hear about it,” she said, “but I think it’s pretty neat.”
I think her gift points to many phenomena that cannot be explained by the physical sciences. It makes scientists who deny the existence of non-physical reality so uncomfortable that they dismiss the phenomena or come up with wildly-improbable explanations in pursuit of anything to avoid admitting that spiritual reality exists.

But they cannot dismiss evidence from their own experiments.

It is hard to give an accurate sense of just how shocked physicists are by the implications of quantum mechanics, say physicists Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner in Quantum Enigma. They write,
For many physicists, this mystery, the quantum enigma, is best not talked about. It displays physics’ encounter with consciousness. It’s the skeleton in our closet.
When I first learned of the observer’s role in wave/particle experiments, I was flabbergasted too. Immediately I saw the spiritual implication, which apparently disturbs physicists. A colleague of Rosenblum and Kuttner objected to their teaching of the enigma.
[P]resenting this material to nonscientists is the intellectual equivalent of allowing children to play with loaded guns.
I probably am the kind of person that scientist worried about because I find evidence for non-physical or spiritual reality in this enigma that Einstein called “spooky.”

Unlike experimentation on other scientific theories, quantum experiments always—in 100% of cases—yield the same result. Stated in nonscientific terms, whether a thing is a wave or a particle depends on the decision of the experimenter. The material result—whether wave or particle—is produced by the scientist’s choice. The scientist's thought process, his or her consciousness, causes the outcome.

Scientists who are scientific materialists hate this because it apparently says that non-physical reality determines physical reality. They insist there is no non-physical or spiritual reality. I don’t see how they can skirt this conclusion: Spiritual reality not only exists, it is paramount.

Many physicists try to avoid the issue and just ignore the “Spooky Interactions” by pursuing practical applications of quantum mechanics in technology. Rosenblum and Kuttner write,
One-third of our economy involves products based on quantum mechanics.
But physics’ encounter with consciousness demands the attention of theoretical physicists, and the quantum enigma, say Rosenblum and Kuttner, “depends crucially on free will.” They quote this materialist position:
"You," your joys and sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.
Why should cells and molecules give rise to our sense of identity and free will? The authors of Quantum Enigma ask this and add,
. . . no mere account of physical process will tell us why experience arises.
They quote J.A Hobson:
Those of us with common sense are amazed at the resistance put up by psychologists, physiologists, and philosophers to the obvious reality of free will.
What follows from accepting our spiritual consciousness may be even spookier, but I have become comfortable with it. I have come to believe we create our own reality. The way this plays out is complicated. 

It’s not as easy as doing right instead of wrong, because each of us is part of the collective consciousness, which contains many, many layers of thought from multitudes who created the reality we were born into. And each of us has hidden beliefs, attitudes, expectations, and so on in our consciousness that influence our decisions. Understanding ourselves takes work.
 If you are fascinated by the debate between scientific materialists and people who accept the reality of the Inner Realm, you can get more of it by clicking on posts under Scientific Materialism” in my blog index. And this article by an esteemed scientist may intrigue you.