Archive for the ‘Early Childhood’ Category

Aphorism LXIII

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

A core dumb idea of our age: that somehow the parental love of two men can substitute for the love of one natural mother for her child, complementing the love of one natural father.

Two men can never be a mother.

A century of needless folly and suffering will be spent revealing the truth of this statement.

© Copyright 2013, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Aphorism LVIII

Monday, November 12th, 2012

It is a wonderful ideal that every child would be loved and wanted.

But the fact that human beings may be unloved and chosen by no one is no reason to kill them.

Each human being, whether loved or unloved, wanted or unwanted, has a right to live.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Aphorism LVI

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Imagine if most measures used within a school were established to advance a student’s progress, instead of to evaluate the teacher.

Imagine if each student began their school career with a ability / disability diagnostic, repeated periodically, to address sight, hearing, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive strengths and weaknesses that would be systematically addressed with an individualized, multi-year development strategy geared to each student.

Imagine if the student’s advances in health, safety, creativity, play, nutrition, occupation, vocation, and spirit were supported and coordinated along with their education.

Imagine if parents, teachers, and other caregivers, but not the state, were partners in such a freely chosen, voluntary process.

This, then, can be the Catholic school of the future.

But if the state tried to impose such a model on all, it would be forcing into existence a dysfunctional, totalitarian regime beyond the wildest dreams of the most notorious tyrants in history.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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A Child’s Right to a Father and a Mother

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

A fundamental right of a child is to have the lifetime love of both a father and a mother in an intact family.

Not all children realize this right, and exceptional resilient children may thrive for a time without the benefit of this right, but those who would intentionally deny this right to a child deeply violate that child’s rights.

“Children have a right to grow up in a home with the mother and father who gave them life and who promised to share their lives forever. They have a right to be born in a family founded on marriage. Where they can discover their true identity, dignity and potential. Where they can learn in love the meaning of truth, beauty and goodness.

So we have a duty — each one of us as citizens — to promote and defend these rights for our children. Our children have no voice. They are depending on us. ”

From: The ‘Human Ecology’ of Marriage and Family
by Archbishop José H. Gomez, May 18, 2012
.

To deny the above is to deny the Vatican II Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, which makes similar points about the family in its numbered sections 47 to 52. To deny the above also is to deny the statements in Blessed John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, the Charter of the Rights of the Family of 1983, and the statements in the document The Family and Human Rights of 2000.

To deny the above is in the end to deny the very words of Jesus in Matthew 19, and to begin stepping away not only from Catholicism, but from Christianity.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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That Time Magazine Cover. . . About Breastfeeding

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

We may wish to think again about being shocked by the breastfeeding of children old enough to walk, as depicted on the controversial Time Magazine cover dated 5/21/12.

Until the invention of rubber (1845) and then plastic nipples (1900s) for baby bottles, the breastfeeding of toddlers and young children even to ages four and beyond was the human norm. It is highly probable that Jesus of Nazareth was nursed for more than two years.

But the separation of the female breast from its nutrition function by decades of unrelenting cultural pornography has over-sexualized the human breast to the point where we cannot see the the breast for what it is–a fountain of nourishment.

We forget that the human female breast is formed to feed babies and young children.

So it is because we have been conditioned to view the human female breast as primarily sexual and not primarily nutritional that we are shocked–shocked by something seen in public for centuries, but now hidden from modern view by a taboo that has consigned the female breast to the shadowy realm of pornography.

Human female breasts should instead be freed to be known within the realm of blessing:

Before she comes to labor, she gives birth; Before the pains come upon her, she safely delivers a male child.

Who ever heard of such a thing, or saw the like? Can a country be brought forth in one day, or a nation be born in a single moment? Yet Zion is scarcely in labor when she gives birth to her children.

Shall I bring a mother to the point of birth, and yet not let her child be born? says the LORD; Or shall I who allow her to conceive, yet close her womb? says your God.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her!

Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, That you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts!

For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap;

As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

(Isaiah 66:7-13)

With that thought, Happy Mother’s Day!

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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David Morrison’s Book, Beyond Gay

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

David Morrison had been a gay activist for several years, and had fought against traditional Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality (CCC 2357-2359) while defending gay rights. For many of Morrison’s years, the Catholic faith was the enemy.

But over time Morrison was drawn to the person of Jesus Christ in a way that he never could have anticipated due to a sense of spiritual emptiness. He wrote:

I remember that when I was still sexually active this apparent dichotomy puzzled me. I knew I loved my partner on a number of different levels. I knew I found him a sexy and passionate bedmate. I knew our sex could reach real heights of emotion and desire. But then, whether passionate or merely sleepy, when the sexual act was done and all that remained was the wiping up afterward, I couldn’t understand whey there seemed to be such a letdown. Why did I feel so empty? Only later did I recognize that I felt so empty because the act had no meaning in the deepest parts of myself. There can be no real communion in same-sex acts, no deepest love, I have come to realize; only the experience of children playing with people they have made into toys.

David Morrison, Beyond Gay, Our Sunday Visitor, 1999, pg. 153, ISBN 0-87973-690-9.

David Morrison’s story is not that of a self-hating gay man who tried to go straight, but of a man like any other with a spiritual hunger that could only be met by Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. Morrison followed that hunger for the love of Jesus where it led him, and thereby came to more deeply understand himself and others.

Morrison did not deny his same-sex attraction and did not attempt to be “cured” of it, but grew in spiritual and intellectual understanding and depth as he searched and came to know Jesus, who led him to the Catholic faith.

Morrison took a path that many think they can’t take, that of a life of chastity, which he astutely differentiated from a life of celibacy (CCC 1579-1580). He joined the Catholic group, Courage, and continues to share his story.

Morrison’s journey also included the death of many of his friends from HIV, guidance from a kind Protestant pastor, and the love of a Christian family with small children, whereby Morrison gained the experience of what I call “re-parenting,” the process of gaining insight into one’s own development by parenting or observing the parenting of children over the course of the children’s development.

Morrison’s 1999 book, Beyond Gay, is eloquently and insightfully written. While not matching the consistent heights of St. Augustine’s Confessions, Beyond Gay nevertheless does have similar moments. Beyond Gay is a beautifully-crafted tale of a personal search for Jesus, and how Jesus led the searcher to Catholicism.

Morrison confronted the meaning of the very direct language of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexuality (CCC 2357-2359), and for Morrison this language paradoxically revealed truths about creation and his own place as part of God’s family, of the Catholic Church, and of the wider human family.

The Catholic teaching on homosexuality is generally a shock, if not an insult, to young, same-sex attracted men or women. Catholic teaching is heard as a big “No” to same-sex sexual intimacy, to same-sex adoption, and to same-sex marriage.

Like many Catholic moral teachings, the Church’s teaching on homosexuality is more often accepted after mature reflection based upon life experience than upon youthful enthusiasm.

But Catholic teaching on human sexuality requires all who seek to live the faith, whether LGBTQ or not, to radically commit to a way of thinking and acting on human sexual practice that is fundamentally different from postmodern hedonism. To live as a faithful Catholic requires much more that praying St. Augustine’s youthful prayer, “Lord, give me chastity, but not yet.”

Courage is not as popular in some cities as is DignityUSA for the very reason that Courage fully accepts Catholic teaching and challenges LGBTQ men and women to live in chastity.

Throughout his book, Morrison confronts the lack of charity and understanding on the part of some Catholics toward LGBTQ persons. But he also confronts those, like the Dignity of the 1980s and 1990s, who sold Catholic teaching rather short.

Many now attack Catholic teaching on sexual life using the arguments of human rights. The Catholic teaching on sexuality is often the road not taken for this reason. But for those who have tried same-sex sexual relationships (or any sexual relationships) and who have felt the same spiritual hunger that Morrison described, Morrison’s book is a good start.

Morrison’s book is also a useful resource for Christian and Catholic parents of LGBTQ children who sometimes are confronted by a well-choreographed intervention at the time their children come out and declare their sexual orientation. In the end, many of these parents do not want their children to be lonely throughout their lives, and see no other alternative for them than the LGBTQ lifestyle in the postmodern mode, and even themselves as parents adopt much of the postmodern LGBTQ ideology. But Morrison directly confronts this question, among many other tough questions, and argues that a life of chastity in Christian community is in the end more spiritually fulfilling even than the alternative of a committed, completely monogamous same-sex relationship without full unity with Christ. Morrison learned that sexual intimacy without intimacy with God is for the Christian a form of slavery.

Morrison came to frame the meaning of his own sexuality within a wider theology and anthropology of all human sexuality, not within the narrow LBGTQ band.

All Catholic Christians are called by Christ to “enter through the Narrow Gate” (Matthew 7:13-14). While this road is narrow, the burden of Jesus is “light” (Matthew 11:28-30). One strong lesson from David Morrison’s book is that this gate should not be entered, this burden should not be undertaken, alone. The love of good Christians, of Courage, of other Catholics, and of people of good will helped David Morrison find a home in the Catholic faith.

To those young LGBTQ young adults who hate the Catholic faith, the story above may not satisfy their hurt and rage, like the young David Morrison’s hurt and rage, at the Church that always seems to say no to them. But by searching for Christ the true God and true Man, and by letting Christ find him, David Morrison reported finding wholeness as a man loved by God in, of all places, the Roman Catholic faith.

For more on what the Catholic faith really teaches on the meaning of sexual intimacy in creation, please see the original lectures given by John Paul II now called the “Theology of the Body,” also available in book form.

Please see my earlier writings on LGBTQ topics.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The “Ethics” of “After-Birth Abortion,” the New Word for “Infanticide.”

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

To my pro-choice friends: Because you opened the door for abortion, you’ve apparently also opened the door for legalized infanticide.

Please read on.

Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, theorized in a recent scholarly article entitled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” about the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion,” another word for “infanticide,” for euthanizing, i.e., killing, infants born with the same defects that would allow an abortion prior to birth. Here’s the full text of the article in in the Journal of Medical Ethics (full reference: Paper: After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? Alberto Giubilini, Francesca Minerva, J Med Ethics medethics-2011-100411Published Online First: 23 February 2012 doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411

I have two questions for my pro-choice friends:

1. If you support abortion before birth, what prevents you from supporting infanticide? (Professors Giubilini and Minerva have simply taken your support of abortion to its logical conclusion.)

2. And if you don’t support infanticide or “after-birth abortion,” then why don’t you extend the same protection to the pre-born infant?

The same ad-hoc reasons given for allowing abortion are often not strong enough tools for distinguishing abortion from infanticide.

The principal reasons for forbidding both infanticide and abortion are that life is either sacred, or life is an inalienable, intrinsic right of human beings. Paul VI thought this line of argument completely through when writing Humanae Vitae: Granting a single exception for the violation of life eventually unravels all rights to life, and this dreadful logic has been unfolding throughout the 20th Century until now.

One report states that Prof. Minerva herself does not support infanticide, but wrote the article as an academic exercise.

The “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” article however, has generated an explosion of controversy. There are now countless responses, scholarly and otherwise, posted on the Internet.

My favorite response so far is by Denise J. Hunnell, MD, with the comment by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) running a close second.

Please see also Catholic moral theologian and Fordham University Professor Charles C. Camosy’s catholicmoraltheology.com blog post on this subject, and his related response article posted at the Journal of Medical Ethics website.

Please see my previous post on “Why Babies Should Live”.

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Why Babies Should Live

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Each baby has his or her own birth story, but most babies are also genetically encoded for their own survival with reflexes that endure normally only in early infancy:

A newborn placed on her mother’s stomach will begin a kind of crawl to the breast.

A touch to the corner of a baby’s mouth will cause this little one to root about and attempt to nurse.

If the mother turns the head of her infant lying on his back, the infant’s arm extends, pointing involuntarily in the direction that the infant’s head is facing, thus opening to the nursing position.

The baby will grasp and latch her hands onto her mother, and characteristically will wrap all her little fingers around her mother’s or father’s finger. Some new babies are strong enough for a time to be lifted completely by two parental fingers when both their hands latch in this fashion.

A startled baby will extend or flail out his or her arms and legs, seeking a point of grasp or balance.

Each baby is thus born gifted with these and other specialized reflexes to survive, if not to thrive, by making immediate physical contact with a parent who is their presumed protector. Here is more information, with graphics, on infant reflexes.

These reflexes are also seen at work in late-term abortions, when the probe and vacuum of the abortionist stimulates the motion of the child. The child reaches out, but then flees from the pain. Instead of having his or her arm embraced and cuddled, her arm is dismembered as is the rest of her little body in a bloody conflagration. It is at this point that Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood facility director, reported that one abortionist said to the disintegrating child, “Beam me up, Scotty.”

This barbaric action of abortion is supported by progressive Catholics, by otherwise enlightened citizens, by certain population control fanatics, by hard-line feminists, by Chinese communist ideologues, by political, business, and labor leaders who care more about power than defending the innocent, by the ambitious or the lazy or the isolated or the uninformed or the afraid, and by the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

To these I ask, How could you?

© Copyright 2012, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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The Mass Explained to Children, by Dr. Maria Montessori

Monday, December 12th, 2011

While cleaning my office, I came upon a box of books from my late great aunt, Sr. M. Dolores (Alma) Schorsch, OSB, EdD, 1896-1984.

As I reorganized her books, I noticed an original copy of The Mass Explained to Children, by Dr. Maria Montessori, NY, Sheed and Ward, 1933. While the Sheed and Ward edition is out of print, the Kessinger edition and the Roman Catholic Books edition are still available.

What a wonderful book!

I especially recommend Dr. Montessori’s insightful Preface. In this book, despite the pre-Vatican II Mass being described, many parents will find the right words and approach to communicate the mystery of the Mass to their children. How deeply did Dr. Montessori understand and respect the mind of a child, and the theology of the Mass:

Is not the aim of the Mass to make us share in its mysteries, by yielding up the soul to God, in such recollection as is possible only by liberating our minds for a little while from all exterior distractions? This is the very reason why, in the first ages of Christianity, the catechumens were dismissed at the beginning of the Mass of the Faithful. One did not go to this part of Mass for instruction, which is an exterior thing; one went there to be united to Jesus Christ in the most intimate offering of the soul. Instruction in and sharing in the mysteries were seen to be two very different things, and were kept separate.

In actual fact the earliest division of the Mass into two parts was: the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. This should have great significance for us.

Maria Montessori, The Mass Explained to Children, with a Foreword by the Reverend Matthew A. Delaney, NY, Sheed and Ward, 1933, pp. xi-xii.

Here are a few more sample pages. . .

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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Miriam Grossman MD on the Window of Fertility, and on Sense and Sexuality

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Miriam Grossman, MD is a fully-accredited psychiatrist who worked for over 10 years at UCLA treating over 1,000 college students. She came to the conclusion that political correctness about sexual liberty worked against her patients’ best health interests, and thus began a journey that led her to author two books on the subject.

Here is a Google Books preview of Unprotected. Here’s a preview of You’re Teaching My Child What?

One of Dr. Grossman’s most persuasive presentations appeared on C-Span’s Book TV, during which she discussed the case of a female graduate student who waited too long to try to have children, and the toll this delay took upon this young woman. This story can speak to thousands of women in academic and professional life, and lead men to better understand the predicament of young women. For Dr. Grossman, reproductive freedom “includes the freedom to reproduce.”

Dr. Grossman backs up her presentations with multiple scientific references. She challenges the comfortable assumptions taught to children and young adults in our schools. She also prepared a pamphlet for college-age women on Sense and Sexuality.

Science by its very nature leads us to challenge our assumptions. If you already know all the answers, then perhaps you can ignore Dr. Grossman’s message. But if you are ready to be challenged and to learn something new, then click here.

© Copyright 2011, Albert J. Schorsch, III
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