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  • Mar
  • 27

Confimation classes hear about chastity

Posted By March 27, 2015 | 6:07 pm | Lead Story #3
Photo by Patricia O’Connell
Ola Prochorski and Fernando Limbo III of Pure in Heart America discuss chastity at the North County confirmation retreat held at St. Anna Parish.
Photo by Patricia O’Connell Ola Prochorski and Fernando Limbo III of Pure in Heart America discuss chastity at the North County confirmation retreat held at St. Anna Parish.

By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

LEOMINSTER – High school students are usually told that chastity is important. But, last weekend, a group of confirmation candidates were also given detailed information about the benefits of living your life according to Church teachings.
Chastity is something we are all called to practice, explained two representatives from the Boston-based Pure in Heart America. They had traveled to the St. Anna school gymnasium, where the teenagers were gathered, to talk about why the Church teaches that sexual activity is to be reserved for marriage.
This multi-parish confirmation event titled Authentic Love & Bioethics included talks by Pure in Heart members Ola Prochorski and Fernando Limbo III, as well as presentations by Dr. Paul Carpentier, Dr. Mark Rollo, and Barbara Meier, RN.
The talk by the Pure Heart speakers followed Dr. Carpentier’s speech on “Authentic Love.”
Miss Prochorski told the students, and their parents who were also in attendance, that there were four criteria for true love, which desires the good of the other person, above our own selfish needs.
In order to meet this definition, the love has to be free, total, faithful and fruitful. She explained that “sex as a recreational activity” does not meet these requirements. This is why, she noted, this is a gift that God designed for married couples, who can give themselves totally to one another.
“We need to make sure we are giving our total selves,” she told the crowd.
Miss Prochorski also explained that straying from this path will have spiritual repercussions.
“Your body and your soul are one,” she stated. “Whatever we do with our bodies impacts our souls.”
The two speakers, who graduated just a few years ago from Boston University, also talked about the importance of love given freely, as well as the beauty of faithfulness. Fruitfulness is another outgrowth of true love, which, by God’s design, can create a new life.
Mr. Limbo pointed out that love is also sacrificial. During this part of the presentation, they displayed a projection of Jesus nailed to the Cross.
“When you look at the Cross, back in the day (of Jesus) that Cross was a sign of death,” he said. “Because of that sacrifice, (it) turned around the symbolism of the Cross to something we can hope for.”
He then asked the students to think about little sacrifices they could make in their everyday lives, such as being able to “open the door to someone who ticks us off.”
Or, he suggested, we could “be kinder to someone.”
Miss Prochorski then pointed out “to do that, we have to discover what the truth is.”
“What does it do?” she asked rhetorically. “Why do these teachings make sense? Faith and reason together always lead to truth.”
Miss Prochorski then explained that growing up in a Catholic family, she was well aware of what the Church taught. But she didn’t understand the whys, she said, until she got to college and then started seeking answers to those questions.
“The Church’s teachings make so much logical sense,” she added. “It’s a beautiful gift that God gave to us, our human intellect.”
Later, Miss Prochorski and Mr. Limbo showed a graphic that showed the risks of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, if someone has multiple partners. After just a few partners, the risk seemed to increase exponentially. But there is a way to avoid these diseases.
“The best way is if you abstain and if you maintain your chastity,” said Miss Prochorski, who noted that someone who has multiple sexual partners is putting their eventual spouse at risk too.
Mr. Limbo also noted “the person involved in these actions is not bad. The action in and of itself is wrong.”
Both Pure in Heart America representatives also spoke about modesty. “Modesty protects women from being seen as objects,” said Miss Prochorski, who noted the downside of attracting a man for the wrong reason, versus someone who recognizes “the whole person, versus the reduced parts.”
Mr. Limbo pointed out that men can practice modesty as well, and can decide not to engage in “locker talk” about women, and to discourage this type of chatter in a group. He urged other men to “halt the conversation politely,” an example, he noted, which was set by one of his high school teachers.
In addition, Mr. Limbo pointed out the evils of pornography, which, he said, “strips men and women of their dignity.”
“There is a huge danger, especially for people who are addicted to porn,” he added. “It can destroy relationships.”
Students were also given a short refresher course on the Church teaching against artificial contraception, as well as homosexual acts.
“All people, no matter their sexual orientation, are called to chastity,” he said. “Marriage can only be between a man and a woman, even if the government says otherwise.”
“What about people who have same-sex attraction? He noted that he’s met many people suffering from this temptation, but, nevertheless, have chosen chastity.
Miss Prochorski said that there are a lot of ways to fall, and God knows this. “That’s why we have this beautiful sacrament of confession,” she stated.
She concluded her talk with these words, “Don’t just do what people around you are doing,” she said. “Think for yourselves.”

New survey shows millennials’ attitudes about contraception, abortion

By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — U.S. millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, don’t want to be pigeonholed into categories.

They are predominantly religiously unaffiliated and not identified by any political party. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than the general population.

This group of 18- to 35-year-olds doesn’t like to be labeled as “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” They mostly approve of the use of contraception and they support policies to make contraception more widely available and affordable. They also have a predominantly positive view of marriage, not viewing it as old-fashioned or out of date.

These findings are from a study released March 27 by the Public Religion Research Institute, which surveyed 2,314 young adults online in February. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

The study, “The 2015 Millennials, Sexuality and Reproductive Health Survey,” looked at how race and religion shape attitudes on these topics.

During a presentation in Washington to review the results, panelists including health care advocates and Robert Jones, the research institute’s CEO, emphasized that today’s young adults tend to form their views on sexuality and reproductive health based on those of friends and family.

They said millennials focus on relationships and tend to take a more liberal view such as supporting same-sex marriage or accepting those who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. The group, as a whole, also tends to be pragmatic. As one panelist pointed out, millennials have always lived in a world where HIV/AIDS exists.

“Experience trumps ideology,” said more than one panelist, noting that often young adults base their opinions on experiences of people they know.

According to the survey, 71 percent of millennials said the use of contraceptives was morally acceptable and 9 percent said it was morally wrong. Fourteen percent said it depends on the situation.

When the survey group was broken down by religious and ethnic traditions, white evangelical Protestants stood out as the only group that views abstinence as more effective than contraceptives.

Seventy-two percent of white Catholics and 74 percent of Hispanic Catholics said an emphasis on safe sexual practices and contraception was more effective than abstinence. The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is morally wrong.

Seventy-eight percent of millennials overall favored making all forms of legal contraception readily available on college campuses and 81 percent favored increasing access to contraception for women who cannot afford it.

On the issue of abortion, millennials reflect the attitudes of the general public. Fifty-five percent of them said abortion should be legal in most or all cases. Along religious divides, 80 percent of white evangelical Protestants again said abortion should not be legal. Fifty-one percent of white Catholic millennials and 55 percent of Hispanic Catholics said abortion should be legal.

The Catholic Church believes abortion is morally wrong and that human life is sacred from conception onward.

Compared to other ethnic groups, Hispanic millennials exhibited the greatest moral reservations about having an abortion. Forty-five percent of Hispanic millennials said having an abortion is morally wrong, compared to 35 percent of whites, 30 percent of blacks and 23 percent of Asia Pacific Islanders.

The survey found that most millennials seek out information about sexual health and relationships from doctors or health care providers, friends and the Internet. Thirty percent said they seek such information from a parent and 11 percent look for it from a religious leader.

The survey also showed that 73 percent of millennials said sexual assault is at least somewhat common on college campuses and 53 percent said such incidents are somewhat common in high schools.

In another reveal, the survey notes that millennials view men who concentrate too much on work as a more serious concern for families than women who have a full-time job. Forty-nine percent of millennials said that family life suffers when men focus too much on their work, compared to 30 percent who said family life suffers when a woman has a full-time job. Sixty-six percent of millennials disagreed that women working full time is a threat to family well-being.

When panelists reviewing the survey were asked what it is millennials, so often described as nonjudgmental, really want, the consensus was that they want what everyone else does: love, support and companionship.