new tardis

In the wake of the 13th Doctor announcement, everyone is focused on the fact the next Doctor will be a woman.

But the TARDIS also has changed it’s appearance (note the St. John’s Ambulance logo that characterized Steven Moffat’s tenure is gone).

Up to now, the Doctor has referred to the TARDIS as “old girl,” but if it also has regenerated, the real question is: Has the TARDIS become a male?

Will she now start calling it “old boy”?

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In this episode of Catholic Answers Live (July 11, 2017, 1st hour), Jimmy answers the following questions:

0:15 What are some of Cy’s favorite books?

2:30 What’s significant about John Paul II’s book “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”? (Hint: One thing is that he basically revealed the Third Secret of Fatima in it!)

4:50 Did Joseph Ratzinger ghostwrite many of John Paul II’s writings?

6:35 How to find hidden treasures in John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s Wednesday audiences.

11:50 How to respond to the challenge that Catholicism is false because it bases its teachings on things other than the Bible–the word of God.

16:00 What is the new path that Pope Francis has instituted for people becoming saints?

25:17 – What are some early church sources about the immaculate conception?

31:26 – Can a pope be a heretic personally?

33:40 – What is the earliest evidence for Purgatory?

37:50 – In Acts 11, St. Paul says his proof for the Gentiles in the Church is that the Holy Spirit falls on them. Is this analogous to the Holy Spirit working in other churches today?

44:06 – What are we supposed to be doing in the afterlife?

46:30 – How do we define grace? Someone told me we merit grace, but we also receive initial grace free of merit. So what are the different kinds of grace, where are some places we can find them in the Bible?

54:55 – Can a non-baptized person, who’s married to a Catholic, receive a Catholic funeral and burial?

57:50 – Do dogs go to Heaven?

Resources Mentioned:

The Drama of Salvation by Jimmy Akin

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From “The Green Death,” season 10, serial 5, episode 4.

1st female doctor who

Jon Pertwee comically disguised as a cleaning lady to infiltrate a chemical plant where a world domination plot is being hatched.

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In this episode of Catholic Answers Live (July 13, 2017, 2nd hour), Jimmy answers the following questions:

4:25 How to responding to the challenge that Acts isn’t reliable history because it was written long after the events it describes.

12:11 – How can we use the internet for evangelism?

20:40 – In Revelation what does it mean at the end when it gives a curse to people who add or subtract?

29:39 – I’m wondering if there’s a definitive description of Heaven and Purgatory.

34:45 – Why is it that God can strike someone dead with no warning?

44:50 – Do you believe that Catholics and Protestants can be reconciled? And what form might it take?

51:32 – I’m marrying a non-Catholic and he has some weird history questions, why is the Vatican surrounded with walls? Where did all the treasure from the Crusades go?

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free will in heaven

In this episode of Catholic Answers Live (June 22, 2017, 1st hour), Jimmy answers the following questions:

02:30 – What are your thoughts about baptizing infants twice? Once in the Catholic Church, once in the Protestant church.

10:30 – Will there be free will in Heaven?

12:10 – Does 1 John 5:13 tell Christians that they know for sure whether or not they are saved?

16:25 – What are some tips for Catholics who are concerned about doing wrong?

32:05 – What is your take on protesting on blasphemous images of Jesus Christ?

41:45 – Can I attend a SSPX Mass with my family?

44:55 – I have heard that Jesus had a blood brother who was not part of the faith until Jesus died and rose again. That was why he chose Peter. What is your stance on this?

49:50 – If one is experiencing temporal punishment because he committed a mortal sin, can the punishment be used as redemptive healing for someone else?

Resources Mentioned:

http://www.scrupulousanonymous.org


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francis-reading

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 29 June 2017 to 18 July 2017.

Letters

Motu Proprio

Papal Tweets

  • “Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, and war.” @Pontifex 8 July 2017
  • “I entrust sailors, fishermen, and all those in difficulty on the seas faraway from home, to the motherly protection of Mary, Star of the Sea” @Pontifex 9 July 2017
  • “Europe has a unique patrimony of ideals and spiritual values, one that deserves to be proposed again with passion and renewed vigour.” @Pontifex 11 July 2017
  • “Let us be led by the Virgin Mary on the path that leads to the holy mountain that is Christ, where God and man meet.” @Pontifex 16 July 2017
  • “We must overcome all forms of racism, of intolerance and of the instrumentalization of the human person.” @Pontifex 18 July 2017

Papal Instagram

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WHO035

Jimmy Akin, Fr. Cory Sticha, and Dom Bettinelli discuss the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. What does it mean for the Doctor to be a woman now?

How will it change the show? Is there any precedent in Doctor Who history?

And what does the mysterious word “pre-pleblican” mean?

And next time, we’ll be discussing the Big Finish audio play, “Spare Parts”.

If you want to listen before our next episode, you can purchase and download the audio play for just three dollars.

Here’s the reveal video:

Use this link to get the audio of the podcast directly.

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charlie_gard

Charlie Gard is an eleven-month old baby in England. He has a rare genetic disorder known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

According to press accounts, Charlie is terminally ill at this point. His parents have raised more than $1 million to try an experimental treatment to help him, but hospital officials—backed by British and European courts—have forbidden his parents to take him from the London hospital where he currently is.

Officials have also forbidden his parents to take him home to die.

According to the British tabloid newspaper, The Sun:

Charlie’s mum and dad say he is a “prisoner” in hospital and Great Ormond Street [hospital]’s treatment has been “inhuman”.

You can read more about the treatment controversy surrounding Charlie here.

 

Why are officials denying the wishes of Charlie’s parents?

According to their public statements, they believe that Charlie’s condition is too grave and that the proposed medical treatments are not in his interest (meaning, they would be too burdensome, too likely to be ineffective, or both).

Consequently, rather than undertake the treatments desired by his parents, hospital authorities state that it would be in Charlie’s best interests to allow him to die.

They therefore propose discontinuing the things keeping him alive.

 

What does Catholic moral theology hold about situations like this?

The Church does not have a teaching addressing Charlie’s specific condition, but it has articulated principles that address situations like this in general.

The usual obligation to use medical procedures to extend life does not apply when the treatments would be “heroic” or disproportional to the good to be achieved.

In other words, if the treatments would be too burdensome, too unlikely to succeed, or both, they are not obligatory.

Experimental treatments like the one proposed for Charlie typically are riskier than approved treatments—commonly involving both a higher burden on the patient (e.g., more side-effects) and lower chances of success.

Because of this, such experimental treatments generally are not morally obligatory.

 

If the treatment is not morally obligatory, what’s the controversy about?

Ordinarily, a patient would speak for himself regarding whether he wishes to receive such treatments.

However, in this case the patient is a baby and cannot do so. Therefore, the parents—by natural law—are the logical ones to make the decision.

Only if the parents are incapable of making a rational decision would it be warranted for others to step in and make the decision in their place.

Note the test required for intervention by others: It isn’t that the parents must make the correct decision. People can have a legitimate diversity of opinions on which medical procedures are warranted in a case. That’s why patients are often encouraged to seek “second opinions” from physicians.

The standard that must be met is that the parents aren’t capable of making a decision that is within the pale of reason. They must be making a patently irrational one before others should intervene.

In this case, the treatment proposed for Charlie has worked for others, indicating a rational hope it would work for him.

Consequently, the attempt by the hospital officials and the relevant courts to impose their will on Charlie, against his parents’ explicit wishes, appears a monstrous and inhuman overreach.

The refusal to let the parents take baby Charlie home to die (as if palliative care couldn’t be given in a home environment!) only twists the knife.

The way the situation has played out, it looks like an Orwellian, faceless bureaucracy is determined to kill this child against the reasonable will of the parents.

That bodes ill for all of us, given the statist and anti-life trends on the loose in Western culture.

 

What has the Catholic Church in the UK said about this situation?

Archbishop Peter Smith issued a statement which you can read here.

He expressed sympathy with the parents and reviewed some relevant moral principles.

Toward the end of his statement, Archbishop Smith said:

We do, sometimes, however, have to recognise the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs.

The statement as a whole was carefully balanced, but this sentence could come across as discouraging the parents’ efforts to save Charlie’s life.

A much more problematic statement was issued in the name of the Pontifical Academy of Life in Rome.

 

What did the Pontifical Academy of Life say about Charlie’s situation?

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the academy, issued a statement which you can read here.

This statement also expressed sympathy for the parents. However, it went on to say:

The proper question to be raised in this and in any other unfortunately similar case is this: what are the best interests of the patient?

We must do what advances the health of the patient, but we must also accept the limits of medicine and, as stated in paragraph 65 of the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family.

Archbishop Paglia has mischaracterized what Evangelium Vitae says. It does not say that we should “avoid” such medical procedures. It says that refusing them is not the same thing as euthanasia. It says “one can in conscience refuse” such treatments, but not that one should or must do so.

Evangelium Vitae leaves open the question of what treatments can be used in an effort to preserve life. If a patient—or those who speak for him—feel it is appropriate to use aggressive or experimental treatments, that is not precluded by Evangelium Vitae 65.

Even more unfortunately, Archbishop Paglia continued:

Likewise, the wishes of parents must heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation and not be left to face their painful decisions alone.

Although this could be taken as a statement of abstract principle, in this context it comes across as a paternalistic statement regarding Charlie’s parents and how they “must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation”—as if an archbishop in Rome were more familiar with it than the parents who are having to live the situation!

The statement was therefore widely criticized. It came across as out-of-touch, pastorally insensitive, and precisely the kind of thing that would drive hurting parents away from the Church.

Fortunately, Pope Francis walked it back.

 

What did Pope Francis say?

According to Crux:

Wading directly into a charged moral and political debate in the UK, and also appearing to recalibrate an earlier statement from the head of his own Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis on Sunday expressed hope that the desire of 10-month-old Charlie Gard’s parents “to accompany and care for their own child to the end” will be respected.

“The Holy Father follows with affection and commotion the situation of Charlie Gard, and expresses his own closeness to his parents,” reads a statement issued by Greg Burke, the pope’s spokesperson.

“He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”

Pope Francis also Tweeted:

To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.

Following this, the pediatric hospital Bambino Jesu (“Child Jesus”) in Rome—which also treats the popes—offered to treat Charlie.

American President Donald Trump also offered to facilitate treatment in America, saying:

If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.

Thus far British officials have sent mixed signals regarding whether the parents will be allowed to take Charlie from the hospital where he is currently being held.

Let’s all pray for this horrific situation.

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FrancisBlessesPalms

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 23 May 2017 to 3 July 2017.

Angelus

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Letters

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

  • “May we entrust ourselves to the intercession of Sts Peter and Paul in order to give witness to God’s liberating action on us.” @Pontifex 29 June 2017
  • “There is great need to feed Christian hope, which gives us a new view capable of discovering and seeing the good.” @Pontifex 30 June 2017
  • “To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.” @Pontifex 30 June 2017
  • “A Christian’s mission in the world is splendid, it is a mission intended for everyone, it is a mission of service, excluding no one!” @Pontifex 1 July 2017
  • “How beautiful it is to see when young people are “street preachers”, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street and every corner of the earth!” @Pontifex 2 July 2017

Papal Instagram

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Jimmy Akin, Fr. Cory Sticha, and Dom Bettinelli discuss and analyze the 12th episode of the 10th Season of Doctor Who entitled “The Doctor Falls.”

Cybermen attack! Regenerations amok! Teary goodbyes.

This episode has it all as it brings to a conclusion this season of Doctor Who with only the Christmas special left with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. We discuss it all!

But you don’t have to wait until Christmas for more Secrets of Doctor Who. Next time, we’ll be discussing the Big Finish audio play, “Spare Parts.”

If you want to listen before our next episode, you can purchase and download the audio play for just $0.99.

Links for this episode:

Use this link to get the MP3 directly.

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