My Life in Key West
Monday, December 7, 2009
Jasper “Key West Lou” [MC????]
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And back to Saint Ambrose.
The Italians celebrate his day big time. Especially in Milan where he sat as Bishop.
Ambrose was born in Germany around 340 AD. Not an Italian. He died in Milan in 397 AD.
Ambrose was rich. Also, a big time political figure. This is before he became Bishop of Milan. This is before he was even a priest. In fact, it is even before he was baptized a Catholic.
The Church had its problems even back then. Powerful political figures were elevated to lofty Church positions.
The Pope wanted to make Ambrose Bishop of Milan. A big job! But he was not even a baptized Catholic. Ergo, he was not a memebr of the Catholic Church.
No problem. He was sprinkled with water and baptized. A week later the Pope officially made Ambrose Bishop of Milan!
I do not know why the Pope made Ambrose bishop. Whatever he may have expected from Ambrose did not materialize. Ambose took the job seriously. He was not just another political hack.
He gave all his lands and money to the poor. Shades of Saint Anthony. He commenced living the ascetic lifestyle.
Ambrose was not married before he became Bishop. Nor did he marry afterwards. Nor did he fool around.
Clergy were permitted to marry in those days under certain circumstances. Ambrose would have nothing of it.
Theodosius was Emperor at the time. He and Bishop Ambrose had a falling out over some issue. Bishop Ambrose forbad the Emperor from partaking of the Sacraments, including receiving Communion. It took seven months for Theodosius to see the light of day. When Theodosius corrected what Bishop Ambrose thought were his errant ways, the Bishop returned him to the Sacraments and the right to receive Communion.
I tell this story on this special day because it reflects what some of the Catholic Church hierarchy are attempting to do with certain elected officials over the abortion issue today.
The Catholic Church in one of its corrupt times still had members who believed and lived God’s life. As it is today.
I do not know who is right. This abortion issue is difficult. I believe in separation of church and state.
Is refusal to offer communion a violation of that separation? Is abortion a violation of God’s law?
Enjoy your day.
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[JR: Abortion is certainly a difficult issue. And, I certainly don't hold myself out as a paragon of virtue or the ultimate moral authority. But certain principles are easily observable to this old injineer. (1) Abortion kills a potential human life. And is the start of the "slippery slope". (2) The Catholic Church has a right and duty to protect and preserve its "brand". Politicians, who voluntarily assert they are "catholic", have to observe the organization's dogmas. (3) As a Little L Libertarian, the "separation" is about the proper role of the State on the People. (4) As a "pro-lifer", I shouldn't be force to pay taxes for a morally abhorrent activity. (5) Finally, abortion is a personal issue. The State should have a very small role in protecting its future citizens. That is to make sure that abortions are as rare as possible. "Refusal" isn't a violation of the separation. Abortion as it is performed today most certainly is. Even if there is no God, it's a contra survival practice for a species. What if we have aborted the person who would cure cancer? Seems an appropriate Christmas reflection. Holy Innocents? Hope everyone had a happy holy day.]
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