May 7, 2022 Column Father De Celles

MOTHER’S DAY. Today is Mother’s Day. All human beings have a natural inclination
toward a deep affection for their own mothers. But in spite of this, western culture has
gradually been subtly degrading the dignity of motherhood and mothers, discouraging
motherhood by pushing contraception, sterilization and, of course, abortion, and stressing
“careers” over maternity. And now we have the new efforts of gay and transgender
activists challenging the very notion and dignity of womanhood, and therefore
Against all this stands the Catholic Church, which recognizes motherhood as a
holy vocation, and mothers as the heart of the family. We recognize this dignity in all
women, even before their first tiny baby rests in their wombs—women are created with
this great gift written into their nature, with the tremendous capacity and potentiality to
give life and love not only to their children and families, but to the world itself.
Furthermore, the Church sees in motherhood the model for her own relationship
with God’s children: “she” is the bride of Christ, and “Holy Mother Church.”
And finally, the Church recognizes that one of the greatest gifts Our Lord Jesus
has given to us is His own Blessed Mother, Mary, to be our Mother.
God bless all our mothers, alive or deceased!
“THE LEAK.” By now I’m sure you’ve all read about the leak of a preliminary draft
opinion in case currently before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) case
known as, “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.” This is the case that could
answer the prayer of millions of Americans and finally overturn both Roe v Wade and
Casey v Planned Parenthood, i.e., the so-called “right to abortion.”
Of course this has set off celebrations by pro-lifers and riots by the pro-aborts. But
let me remind you: “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.” As the statement released by
SCOTUS reminded us: “it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position
of any member on the issues in the case.”
And let me remind you of another Scotus leak, this one in 1972, about the original
Roe v Wade case. As was widely reported on Tuesday, “the Washington Post published a
story …a June 1972 memo from Justice William O. Douglas to his colleagues that was
mysteriously leaked.” The memo disclosed that the court had originally voted 4 to 3 to
side with Roe, i.e., pro-abortion. The leak created a huge uproar in the pro-abortion
groups, and apparently great pressure was put on the 3 “anti-abortion” Justices to
change their vote. And in the final opinion issued months later (with two additional
Justices joining the Court in the interim) the vote was 7 to 2, with Chief Justice Burger
and Justice Blackmun changing their original “no” votes.
Many speculate on the reason the leaker released this draft this week. Personally, I
think it was to ratchet up the pro-abortion rhetoric to intimidate or at least influence the
anti-Roe judges.
In any case, the “fat lady” hasn’t sung yet: it ain’t over. So it’s not time to
celebrate—it’s time to redouble our prayers.
Stupid Response to the Leak. There were many crazy, irrational and mendacious

responses to the leak. But the worst came from our pro-abortion President, Joe Biden,
who said: “Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded, that
the existence of a human life and being is a question…Is it at the moment of conception?
Is it six months? Is it six weeks? Is it quickening, like Aquinas argued?”
Not quite. In short, the Catholic Church has always condemned abortion from
conception—which is the fusion of the male and female gametes (sperm and ovum)
becoming a dipoid cell (one cell with 2 sets of chromosomes) —a zygote. The only thing
that was ever questioned by the Church was when did the soul enter the body. But that is
not necessarily the same thing as human life—if the body is human and it’s alive…. And
ensoulment is not necessarily the same as conception. Moreover, Aquinas’ argument for
ensoulment at quickening (the baby’s first movement in the uterus felt by the mother,
usually at 13 to 16 week gestation) was based on his following the best science available
in the 13 th century. Science has come along way since then. So let’s follow the science
and not the talking points of the pro-aborts.
TATTOOS. I was disappointed to read and then see the video of the popular priest,
talking about his new tattoo. He basically says tattoos are usually okay, no sin, but you
have to be careful that you don’t do it for the wrong reason and of the subject matter.
I couldn’t disagree more strongly. Traditional Catholic moral theology teaches
that tattoos are a mutilation of a healthy body, and as such are usually sinful. True, they
are usually only venially sinful, but they can be mortally sinful too. But a sin is a
sin—i.e., not okay, not God’s plan.
Exceptions to this would be where tattoos are deeply imbedded in your culture.
For example, some cultures have centuries-old customs of tattooing tribal, military or
religious symbols on their people. In the American culture we find this in the case of
military tattoos (they are usually fine). But we find it hardly anywhere else. We
especially don’t find it on women and children. And we don’t find it in the culture of the
Catholic Church, and never on priests. It is true, that some recent immigrants might
legitimately bring that aspect of their ancient cultures with them, but the reality is most of
those customs have not made it past the first generation of immigrants.
Today, many people who have no cultural connection to tattoos are getting them.
In many cases, this is done to join in with the current “popular culture.” But this is using
the idea of “culture” in its broadest sense, not in the sense used above, and really refers
more to an anti-culture. In any case, how can this be something good when it is really the
(anti-)culture of secularism (Godless), especially influenced by the far left, which
embraces all sorts of un-Christian ideals?
In my view, the popular culture of tattooing is completely in line with other
degradations of the divine gift of the human body: i.e., sexual promiscuity and
perversion, gender confusion and “therapy,” abortion, contraception, pornography.
So, no, tattoos are not usually okay. They may be in some cases (e.g., military),
but not usually. And that especially applies to Catholics, and most especially to priests.
That being said, if you have a tattoo, don’t panic, and don’t think you have to have
it painfully removed. It’s probably only venial sin. But if you need to repent it, do so, and

learn from your mistakes. Just don’t get any more, and if you don’t have one, don’t get
one. And finally, DO NOT CONDEM PEOPLE WHO DO HAVE THEM! That is a sin
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles