Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Pro-Life Resolution for 2009: To Support the Development of Ethical Vaccines

Dear Friends,
It is not ironic that in this season of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child, Human Life International has been asked to support a new pro-life vaccine research company that is challenging, to the core, the practice of pumping unethical vaccines into the bodies of our children. This non-profit company also provides a safe-haven for the consciences of parents that find themselves between the rock of government regulations and the hard place of vaccines made from cell lines using aborted fetal tissue. The Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) is the answer to these tough realities. Don’t be thrown by the “choice” in the name; their founders are actually helping to provide some real alternatives in this field. Dr. Theresa Dreisher, PhD, founder and CEO of parent company AVM Biotechnology, is a fantastic pro-life biomedical researcher, an internationally renowned stem cell scientist, guest lecturer and educator with over 22 patents. She has made a sacrificial commitment to provide necessary research for the pro-life community so that we can have ethical vaccines as well as credible research about unethical ones that will help us hold Big Pharmaceutical accountable for their practices.
I recently got introduced to their operation, and I can tell you that we just have to support this initiative! What do I mean? Here are a few stunning facts that her brochure highlights:
1. By the time a child enters school they have received an average of 36 vaccinations—a number of them during the first 12 months of life; several of these contain aborted fetal DNA and cellular contaminants, a fact that has many parents, scientists and medical professionals concerned. Also,
2. Before children received so many vaccinations and before modern vaccines with aborted fetal DNA, only 1 child out of 10,000 was diagnosed with autism, now 1 child out of 150 is diagnosed. Is there a link? Well, only serious and non-ideological research will give us that answer.

SCPI reviews, researches and disseminates the context and content of vaccines and other biologic medicines to enable physicians, pharmacists, parents and grandparents to be “informed consumers.” They investigate the biologic and physiologic consequences of human DNA and cellular contaminants in our medicines. Furthermore, they provide a “Pro-Life Produced” stamp on their medicine so that physicians, pharmacists or patients can be confident that the drug does not contain human DNA or cellular contaminants. They also have a “Pro-Life Compatible” stamp to indicate that that drug was not tainted during discovery, development or commercialization by the use of electively aborted, embryonic or any other unethically obtained human material. I just can’t see a downside to this great operation. They are just what we need!
We are asking that during this Advent and Christmas season you consider supporting them with a gift. They are a gift to men and women of conscience, and they need to know that we will stand behind them!
Click here to access SCPI information.
Dear friends, as we approach the blessed day of the Birth of the Christ Child, please accept HLI’s best wishes for you and your families and know that we are praying for you in gratitude for your ongoing support of the sanctity of life, marriage and family all around the world.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,

Why Should This Question Even Have to Be Asked About A Catholic Education?

This question was on the front of an envelope I received a few days ago . It was a fundraiser for St. Michael the Archangel High School.
Should Catholic students be taught the Culture of Life?
The fact that this question even has to be asked says something very negative but unfortunately true about the current state of Catholic High Schools when a school uses what should be the norm as a selling point for supporting it &/or sending your children to it over most Catholic Schools.
But the other question makes a good point:
How different would America be if they did?
even if it should never have to have been asked in the 1st place.
I checked out the school website to decide about supporting it. Went to the FAQ page & found this:
Saint Michael the Archangel High School is firmly committed to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the culture of life. In partnership with America’s foremost Catholic Pro-life organization, the American Life League (, Saint Michael will begin adding to our curriculum in the fall of 2008. We will be adding courses, lectures and internships that espouse the culture of life and will allow our young people to go out into the world and make a difference for the better.
Let's just say that the ALL conection is enough to convince me they are serious about what they claim.
Besides that they have a dress code that includes a tie for the young men.
Note: Any donations they receive before 22 Jan 2009 will be matched up to a total of $100,000.

Memo to All "Catholics In Name Only" & esp Kmiec, Biden & Pelosi

"We have duties, for the discharge of which we are accountable to our Creator and benefactor, which no human power can cancel. What those duties are, is determinable by right reason, which may be, and is called, a well informed conscience."
--Theophilus Parsons the Essex Result, 1778
In case you don't get it, that means "No twisting Catholic teaching to justify your malformed consciences." Rather they need to be reformed by authentic Catholic teaching. & while God is merciful, He is also just. Now is the time for mercy, at the judgment day it will be a time for justice. & you will have to answer for all you failed to do to protect the unborn.

A Little Year End Poem

I have never seen a purple squirrel,
I hope I never see one.
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

Isn't This How Baron von Frankenstein Started Out?

& we all know how that turned out. So what makes them think their results will be any less disasterous than Dr. Frankenstein's or Dr. Moreau's experiments?
SAN FRANCISCO – The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself.
Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering — a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.
In her San Francisco dining room lab, for example, 31-year-old computer programmer Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.
"People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process," she said.
So far, no major gene-splicing discoveries have come out anybody's kitchen or garage.
But critics of the movement worry that these amateurs could one day unleash an environmental or medical disaster. Defenders say the future Bill Gates of biotech could be developing a cure for cancer in the garage.
Many of these amateurs may have studied biology in college but have no advanced degrees and are not earning a living in the biotechnology field. Some proudly call themselves "biohackers" — innovators who push technological boundaries and put the spread of knowledge before profits.
Personally, I come down on the side of those predicting disaster. Some of the research is harmless enough. Trying to find out how something works for a cure is 1 thing. But when you attempt to create "new life forms" you are moving into an area reserved for God. & this goes not only for the hobbyists but the "professionals" as well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Court Of Human Wrongs Is A Better Name

I am willing to bet that the Court of Human Rights wouldn't have been so picky about proceedural issues if it involved the right to abortion or gay marriage or any of the other things pushed by the "culture of death".
What is the most disgusting part of this is the court saying the decision "regards 'only the people directly involved'." So, no one can speak for Eluana Enlargo except Eluana? If she could speak for herself there wouldn't be the need for others to do so.
This is just more evidence of what Papa Benedetto has said for years (even while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger). Europe is running away from its Christain roots & heritage.
But it is not only running from something, it is running to something, its own destruction as a result of its wholesale embracing of the "culture of death".

By Hilary White
ROME, December 23, 2008 ( - The European Court of Human Rights is refusing to hear the case brought by Italian pro-life advocates asking that Eluana Englaro be protected from euthanasia by dehydration. On Thursday, the Strasbourg Court announced that an attempt to appeal last month's decision by the Italy's highest appeals court lodged by a coalition of pro-life organisations was inadmissible because the groups had no direct legal link with Eluana.
Eluana Englaro is the young woman, frequently referred to as Italy's Terri Schiavo, who has been in a state of diminished consciousness since a car accident in 1992. Her father has been petitioning the courts for a decade, asking that her food and hydration tube be removed and that she be dehydrated to death. In November, the Court of Cassation in Rome, highest appeals court of Italy, upheld a lower court ruling granting her father's petition.
The Court of Human Rights ruled that the decision to allow the removal of Eluana's food and water, regards "only the people directly involved".
Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International told that the Human Rights Court, by restricting its decision mainly to procedural issues, is "masking" the court's bias in favour of legalised euthanasia.
"Really it's not a surprise because we knew the substantial position of the court, that they would not recognise the right to life of Eluana Englaro," he said. "We know due to previous cases that they have a liberal position on euthanasia," he said. "They do not hold in high esteem the life of the handicapped. They take a utilitarian position, that people like Eluana Englaro are 'useless mouths'. Their life has no social value."
Barreiro had previously warned that, given the clear biases of the Court, an attempt to bring an appeal there in favour of Eluana would fail. "The fact that the European Court of Human Rights used procedural grounds to reject the case at the beginning does not mean that we had any hopes," he said.
"The solution now is an action by the Italian government that they adopt a decree law saving her life." In the Italian legal system, so-called decree laws can be passed as an emergency measure and go into effect immediately and are subject to review by parliament.
With the announcement last week, that Eluana's father, Beppino Englaro, had found a clinic willing to participate in her killing, controversy in Italy has continued. At that time, the health and welfare minister of the Italian government issued guidance saying that under Italian law, withdrawal of food and hydration from helpless disabled persons in the care of public health facilities is "illegal".
Some legal experts have argued that this guideline does not apply to Eluana after the Cassation Court ruling. The Cassation Court's deputy prosecutor general, Marcello Matera, said the health minister's guideline was not relevant in the case of Eluana Englaro
"There is no doubt: the minister's guideline cannot interfere with the sentence being carried out," Matera said. He added that in the event that no clinic is prepared to carry out the sentence, it would be "theoretically possible" to ask for police intervention. "That kind of step would be decided by the Englaro family lawyers," he told ANSA news service.
On Wednesday Milan Appeals Court judge Filippo Lamanna also said that the Cassation Court ruling was "definitive" and could not be legally challenged. Both Beppino Englaro and the clinic director have said they will not proceed until the case is legally settled.
Read related coverage:
Italian Government Must Act Fast to Define Food and Hydration as a Human Right to Save Eluana: Prominent Italian Lawyer
It is "Illegal" to Stop Food and Hydration of Vulnerable Patients: Top Italian Minister

The 12 Pains of Christmas

More On What The Pope Really Said vs the Evil bearded Spock Universe's Media Version

LifeSiteNews has a look at more of the ways the Main Stream Media (MSM) is taking what the Pope said to the Curia on 22 December 2008 & twisting it to bash the Catholic Church. Needless to say the MSM has pulled out all the lies, canards & other usual suspects in their attempts to do their part to promote the agenda they support as willing participants of the "culture of death". Fortunately there are plenty of sources that enable the truth to get out. As it does, more people are learning not to trust the MSM because of its inaccuracies while claiming to be neutral. & the MSM wonders why it is losing readership & viewership?
Someday all these people who have promoted the "culture of death" & lied about what the Church & Pope said will have to face judgment before the throne of God, something that will come as a big surprize to most of them. When they try & squirm out of their responsibilities for their actions, their words & esp Papa Benedetto's will stand as irrefutable evidence of their guilt. I think it is safe to say that the Pope & I both prefer they all repent before that day when it will be too late.

Editorial by John-Henry Westen
VATICAN CITY, December 23, 2008 ( - In thousands of news articles and talk shows around the world today from Bulgaria to India, Pope Benedict XVI is being bashed for daring to say we should care as much for mankind as the tropical rainforests; that the harm caused by going against the Creator's plan for human sexuality is destructive and hurtful. In truth, he is being pilloried for having enough love to tell his brothers and sisters struggling with same-sex attraction, promiscuity, pornography, adultery and more, that their behavior is hurting them and society at large. It is hurting them physically, psychologically, but most importantly - hurting them spiritually.
The homosexual press has the most outrageous headlines on the topic; Pink News in the UK screams: "Pope Benedict learnt nothing from his time in the Hitler Youth" and "Pope Benedict's latest outburst 'justifies' homophobic bullying and attacks". But the coverage in the mainstream press is hardly less offensive.
A San Fransico Chronicle headline reads, "Pope Benedict at Christmas: Preaching bigotry disguised as compassion", and the Times of London opines: "Christmas was never meant to be about this". See one example of the explicit hate mongering by gay activists against the Pope in the YouTube video at
Interesting to note is the fact that nowhere in the Pope's remark did he even use the word 'homosexual' or 'homosexuality', rather he referred to 'gender' and to the Creator's plan for human sexuality as being in life-long marriage between one man and one woman. In this respect, he spoke not only to the problem of homosexual acts but also other sexual aberrations such as sex outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, and even contraceptive sex. This is borne out by the fact, unreported by the mainstream media, that within the speech he urged the faithful to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae - known most for its prohibition of contraception.
Hence, our coverage of the Pope's message yesterday was headlined "Pope's Christmas Greeting Says We Must 'Protect the Human Being against Self-Destruction' of Sexual Aberration". (see coverage here: )
See the full address with photos at
Trust me, the Pope is not going on about such matters to be popular, not because he has some vendetta against gays. He is preaching the truth out of love; love for God and his Truth, love for mankind as a whole, but specifically love for his fellow human beings who are hurting themselves with destructive sexual lifestyles. By being accepting of homosexual sex, or even encouraging it, society at large is playing the part of the appeasing friend who allows or even encourages the teenager to engage in 'freedom' - in those risky behaviours which will lead to his downfall. The appeasing friend may profit from the teen's self-abuse, or at least be seen as accepting. It is the role of those who really have the teen's best interests at heart - parents, teachers, sibling, and true friends - to point out the danger despite the rancor they may receive.
The Pope has sounded the alarm on rejecting God's plan for human sexuality and pointed to the dangers for those involved and society in general of fostering such behavior. He is now experiencing the backlash, but like any good parent, he will weather it in patience and love, knowing that one day, his aberrant children will come to their senses or at the very least that he has tried his best to get them to do so.
The statement made recently by atheist Penn Jillette of 'Penn & Teller' fame applies in this case, and serves as a reproach to all those Christian leaders who, out of fear of being politically incorrect and losing human respect, are - unlike the Holy Father - silent on the topic of sex outside the plan of God. Speaking on a video monologue recently, Jillette said: "If you believe that there's a heaven and hell, and that people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward ... - how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?"
See the Pope's complete Christmas address:

Monday, December 29, 2008

1 Time I am Proud to Be an Embarrassment

I'm an embarrassment to Barack!
I only scored 16 on the Obama Test

H/T: Joe of St. Thérèse @ Verbum Veritatis (Word of Truth) Mahonyland

Redneck 12 Days of Christmas

a Thought or 2 On What Has Been Going On in Texas

In thinking about the recent events in Amarillo & Corpus Christi, I noticed some interesting parallels.
1st of all there was the regular praying of the Rosary. I have spoken before about how powerful a weapon this is. These events help to confirm those claims.
The 2nd thing was the very active involvement of the Bishop. Notice that neither Bishop Garza nor Bishop Yanta merely called for prayer & action. Instead they took their call as shepherd seriously & led the charge, something that is all too rare in the US heirachy. 1 other bishop that comes to mind who has actively led prayer in front of a clinic is Archbishop Chaput of Denver.
Finally, in the news from Amarillo was the fact that there were Pro-Life Masses. Although it wasn't specificly mentioned in the Corpus Christi news, I think it is safe to assume that there were some Masses as well. (Again Archbishop Chaput has also sone so.)
I mention all this to emphasis something I have said again & again, that all our actions in the battle against the "culture of death" need to start & end with prayer. At the root this is a spiritual battle & we need to use the spiritual weapons God has given us if we are to ensure that even if it doesn't look like it, eventually we will see victory.
Praise God for this victories. May 2009 see many more of them.

Another Texas Pro-Life Victory

This story is of the David & Goliath variety. In this case, a small parish in Corpus Christi, TX is the David, the abortion industry is the Goliath.
This story is a testimony to the power of prayer. It is also the story of a parish that is wholy Pro-Life & living out the Catholic faith as it should be lived out.

December 21, 2008-January 3, 2009 Issue Posted 12/12/08 at 8:01 AM
When pro-life messages and actions are consistent and regular, pro-life fruits are sweet and abundant. The 4 1/2-year-old parish of St. Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas, is seeing several ripen.
Every Tuesday, in numbers too big to ignore, parishioners plant themselves in front of the city’s one remaining abortion business. They pray the Rosary and offer counseling. Led by their pastor, Father James Farfaglia, they’ve been at it for nearly two years.
Thanks to the work of Bishop Emeritus Rene Gracida, along with a very active chapter of Operation Rescue, three of the city’s four abortion businesses had closed by the time the St. Helena group got a full head of steam. Only one remained. On Jan. 22, 2007, after Father Farfaglia finished the Rosary during the annual diocesan Roe v. Wade protest at this lone business, he asked parishioner and longtime pro-life worker Ray Reeves: What next?
“Be here,” Reeves said assuredly, “every week.”
Father Farfaglia took that suggestion to heart and brought it to his flock at the still-new parish. With Lent about to begin, “I told my people rather than giving up desserts and candy, let’s do something serious. Let’s be at the abortion site Tuesday mornings as our Lenten sacrifice.” Throughout Lent, up to 100 people showed up every week. When Lent ended, they continued.
Father Farfaglia and Reeves calculate that, at the start of these Tuesday vigils, between 40 and 50 abortions — possibly as many as 75 — were being carried out each week. Now, they estimate, the business is down to less than 20.
“The single most important thing a member of the clergy can do is be on the front lines of the sidewalk,” says Reeves, who from the early 1980s was involved with Project Gabriel and Operation Rescue with Randall Terry. Now he is chairman of Corpus Christi’s Hope House, a place for unwed mothers and their children. “The presence of a Roman collar and rosary beads is probably the single most powerful message that a pastor could send to his parishioners about his dedication to life.”
Therese Perez seconds that sentiment. “When I joined St. Helena’s, I didn’t realize the extent Father James would lead us into an actively pro-life parish,” she says, pointing out that she had already been active in sidewalk counseling for several years. “It really is a remarkable difference. When we started two years ago, the parking lot would be overflowing to the point where customers had to park on the street.”
“Now it’s so different; there are much less people [coming as customers],” adds Perez. “The only thing we can attribute our success to is the power of prayer and presence.”

Parish Powerhouse
Reeves points out these aren’t the only amazing results for their small parish of 200 families. Many young couples are drawn there because of the community’s openness to large families. Several have four to six children.
“There are different ways of doing pro-life work,” explains Father Farfaglia, St. Helena’s founding pastor. “What I’ve always done in parishes is to encourage families to be open to life, to procreation, to possibilities to have large families. That’s what the Church teaches. We have a lot of babies and births in the parish.”
“Father is very encouraging from the pulpit to be open to life and to God’s calling for your family,” says Virginia Metz. “He never said you have to have 12 kids to be holy, but he just encourages you to be open to life. That’s the way we’ve lived our vocation as married people. It’s been a beautiful journey to say we’re open to God’s will.” She and her husband, John, have six youngsters.
Metz is one of the moms from the home-schooling group who show up Tuesdays with their children to pray the Rosary. She says it’s a very powerful witness to see all the children there.
The witness helps convince women that letting their babies live is the best choice. Perez, who specializes in sidewalk counseling, tells about a parish group called the Handmaids. They organize baby showers and offer help and encouragement for mothers who choose life.
“We’ve gotten to hold their babies and keep in contact with moms,” says Perez.
Naturally, women are also steered to Hope House.
Says Father Farfaglia, “This is the other aspect of our pro-life work: providing an option to take care of mother and baby.”

Life Changes Lives
While the group was counting, they numbered 30 known “saves” of babies and their mothers. But there are probably many more.
One fruit ripened at a time when the crop looked momentarily in doubt late last winter. Father Farfaglia had led the Rosary and was on his way to his car when Perez called him back. With her was a young girl with a tiny infant.
The girl had scheduled an abortion, but, struck by the people she saw praying at the business, she decided to have her baby.
Perez picks up the story: “Two weeks after the baby was born, she came to show us her beautiful baby ‘because you were all here and you saved my life,’ she said. It’s been a true joy for our parish. I always tell people: ‘Can you imagine holding a child who was doomed to die, and because you were there, this child lived?’”
The mother’s name is Victoria; she named her baby Liberty Justice. That’s fitting, says Perez, because “God’s mercy and justice are why we were there. It was an interesting day, because Father James and I were very discouraged, hoping the abortion clinic would close. That day God sent us this message: Don’t worry; don’t give up. There will be victory; there will be liberty; there will be justice.”
“None of us ever spoke to Victoria before,” continues Perez. “She simply saw the people there. She couldn’t pass us. Just our simple presence there made is possible for a baby to live.”
Father Farfaglia says Victoria came out of nowhere to encourage pro-lifers to continue praying the Rosary, witnessing to life and counseling. She accepted his invitation to join St. Helena’s and had Father Farfaglia baptize her baby.
“Thanks to Father James, there’s a lot of good fruit,” says Perez. “As parishioners, we have seen our lives and our whole attitude toward life change because of the graces we’ve received in this ministry.”

JQ Adams Knows Something the "Seperation of Church & State" Myth Promoters Don't Want You to Know

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? … Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth. That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?
- John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1837

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Judie Brown on the Texas Panhandle Victory

This past weekend's news from Amarillo, Texas is an answer to prayer, steadfast focus on the evils of Planned Parenthood and commitment to expose the truth about an organization rooted in racist, eugenicist propaganda. The news is that as of the first of the year, Planned Parenthood's chief executive in the Texas Panhandle, Claudia Stravato, announced that the Planned Parenthood office in Amarillo will sever all ties with Planned Parenthood's national office and adopt a new name.
Under the name Texas Panhandle Family Planning and Health Centers, the reorganized group, which says its services will not change, will be dissociated from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which, it claims, is moving away from efforts to "serve the community's poor." Thus, as of January 1, there will be no organizations in the Texas Panhandle bearing the name Planned Parenthood.
This remarkable achievement occurred because for the past 12 years, Stop Planned Parenthood International’s director, Jim Sedlak, has been collaborating with Bishop John Yanta, who recently retired, and his Respect Life coordinator, Rita Diller. But as many know, from the moment Bishop Yanta arrived in the Amarillo diocese, he had one very important goal in mind: taking out Planned Parenthood.
The record of Bishop Yanta's accomplishments would fill a book, but we are proud to be able to give you the highlights, which alone are testimony to unwavering dedication to principle. In October 1998, Respect Life Month, Bishop Yanta wrote a letter to his flock, in which he made the following statement:

Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and promoter of abortion, promotes contraceptives to minors without the parents' knowledge, promotes emergency contraceptives that are used after an act of "unprotected" sex. The International Federation of Planned Parenthood is around the world promoting contraception, sterilization and abortion with millions and millions of American dollars. Helen Alvare, director of Planning and Information, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., states: "So why does Planned Parenthood-with its much vaunted PR message on 'preventing abortion' continue to pursue its condom-in-every-pocket campaign, when, in the United States, decades of hawking condoms and other contraception to teenagers and unmarried adults-via our tax dollars-have coincided with increased premarital sex, increased out-of-wedlock pregnancies, staggering increases in sexually transmitted diseases and skyrocketing abortion rates?"
Unfortunately, there are many Planned Parenthood centers (or Family Planning Centers) located in our Diocese of Amarillo. As your bishop and shepherd, I ask all Catholics not to use their services, not to belong to any of their boards, not to serve as a volunteer and not to be employed there. In resigning your employment there, I will be happy to assist you in finding employment elsewhere so you will not be cooperating in these immoral practices and being a source of scandal both within and outside the Church and community. I make this plea, in love, as my duty to continue the mission of Jesus Christ: to teach, to sanctify and to govern.
Subsequently, according to the timeline that Stop Planned Parenthood International has faithfully kept, in 1999, four Planned Parenthood clinics shut down. Bishop Yanta's constant focus on the evils of Planned Parenthood and his wonderful ability to gently persuade Catholics that they needed to get involved in protesting this organization was already paying off!
In 2000, Stravato said the remaining 15 offices would continue to operate. PP had been hard at work trying to minimize the impact of the closings and to cast them all in an economic light. But STOPP supporters knew that there was much more to these closings. As Rita Diller pointed out,

Bishop Yanta has taken every possible opportunity to speak out against their agenda. The Dimmitt office was a full-time clinic that closed after the director walked out one morning into the midst of those praying the Rosary exclaiming ardently that she would never come back. Some weeks later it re-opened part-time, and now it is closed permanently.

Within a year, five more Planned Parenthood facilities had closed their doors and the rest is, as they say, history.
This story of perseverance continued, and in 2004, Jim Sedlak published a letter from Rita Diller, which said in part,

For quite some time now, Planned Parenthood in Tulia has been dying a slow death. This was a full time facility that cut back its hours dramatically within the past year or so. First it appeared to be shut down completely, then it was open once a month, then once a week. On last night's Channel 10 News, Claudia Stravato, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, announced that the facility is closed. The cause stated was low patient load and not enough government funding to reimburse Planned Parenthood for their expense at the facility. It was stated on the news report that they were only seeing 2 or 3 patients per week at the facility…
It was stated on the news that this is the 14th closing of a Planned Parenthood facility in the Texas Panhandle. However, in 1997 Planned Parenthood listed 19 facilities on its web page. Today, with the closing of the Tulia facility, only 3 remain: Borger, Dumas and Amarillo.
Local Catholics, including Bishop John W. Yanta, Fr. Fern Couture, and Fr. John Hickey, have kept a prayer vigil at the facility in Tulia for a number of years. It would appear that the people of Tulia have said NO to Planned Parenthood by boycotting their "services." Thanks be to God!
This amazing victory did not happen by accident. It took the brave, unyielding dedication of a great shepherd whose flock, even after he retired, carried on to this very moment when a nail in Planned Parenthood of the Texas Panhandle’s coffin has finally been delivered.
Twelve years of unfailing prayer, activism and education resulted in this incredibly momentous day. We are grateful for the heroism of Bishop John Yanta, who inspired his flock to do the impossible! And now, it appears that Planned Parenthood in the Texas Panhandle is to be only a memory.
The challenge is now upon every Catholic bishop to do likewise.
Judie Brown


Holy Innocents - Then & Now

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”
- Matthew 2:16-18
This event happenned 2000 years ago when Herod found out about Jesus' birth. These children have become the patron saints of those innocents murdered these days by abortion.
The last verse was also the inspiration for an organization started to help those men & women who have emotionally damage as a result of the abortion experience they were a part of. Rachel's Vineyard was started to be "a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing."
They exist to help those in need of healing a chance to "experience God's love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion." They "are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety."

They provide " therapy for the soul. Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness."
OK, much of what I just said is a direct quote from their website. But that doesn't make it any less true.
The abortion industry has done everything it can to cover up the truth about abortion. The 1st victim is obviously the child who was murdered. But there are many more victims as well. The mother, father & other relatives are often harmed emotionally as well.
Sadly, the psychiatric profession has sold itself out to the "culture of death" as well. Remember the recent study by Johns Hopkins that denied any evidence for emotional harm. But when a closer look was taken at their methods, etc, it became clear that the study was manipulated to support their agenda rather than deal with the facts.
Fortunately groups like Rachel's Vineyard, Silent No More, & the other organizations that I have listed at the right won't let that stop them from telling the truth so that everyone who has been harmed by abotion can receive the emotional & spititual healing she/he needs.
Despite claims by the abortion industry, the Pro-life movement is about much more than simply stopping abortions. These groups are a huge part of what Pro-Life is all about, the respect & value of every human life, no matter the age.
I share this on this day, because this is normally the day that the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Innocents. (Some Eastern parts of the Catholic Church as well as the Eastern Orthodox Churches celbrate it on a different day this week.) There are thousands of innocents being murdered via abortion every day. My prayer is that this slaughter will soon end. & my hope for this post is that someone will see it who has been harmed by abortion & will seek the healing she/he needs & God desires him/her to have.

The 12 Days of Christmas - Great White North Edition

"All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close up."

Biblical Reflection for the Feast of Holy Family
Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
TORONTO, DEC. 25, 2008 ( In the afterglow of Christmas, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family. This weekend we are invited to reflect on the gift and mystery of life and the blessing of family life in particular.
In Luke's Gospel scene of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, we encounter four individuals who embrace the new life of Jesus held in their arms: the elderly and faithful Simeon, the old, wise prophetess Anna, and the young couple, Mary and Joseph, who in faithful obedience offer their child to the Lord. Simeon’s beautiful prayer is nothing more than an anthology of the prayer of ancient Israel:
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
The whole scene of the Presentation, and the carefully chosen words of Simeon's prayer raise several questions for us: How do I see God's glory in my life? Do I thirst for justice and peace? What are the new situations and who are the new people who have entered my life in the last little while? How am I light and salvation for other people?
Today I would like to borrow from my new profession of television production and zoom in on Joseph, one of the characters found in this most touching Gospel scene of the Presentation. To “zoom” in on the foster father of the Lord gives us some profound insights into the family background of our Savior.
Joseph is often overshadowed by the glory of Christ and the purity of Mary. But he, too, waited for God to speak to him and then responded with obedience. Luke and Matthew both mark Joseph’s descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge about him: he was "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:18).
Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been engaged, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. Joseph was also a man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).
We are told that Joseph was a carpenter, (more likely a builder), a man who worked to provide for his family. Joseph wasn't a wealthy man, for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb.
Joseph revealed in his humanity the unique role of fathers to proclaim God's truth by word and deed. His paradoxical situation of "foster father to Jesus" draws attention to the truth about fatherhood, which is more than a mere fact of biological generation. A man is a father most when he invests himself in the spiritual and moral formation of his children. He was keenly aware, as every father should be, that he served as the representative of God the Father. Joseph protected and provided for Jesus and Mary. He named Jesus, taught him how to pray, how to work, how to be a man. While no words or texts are attributed to him, we can be sure that Joseph pronounced two of the most important words that could ever be spoken when he named his son "Jesus" and called him "Emmanuel." When the child stayed behind in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48).
Joseph’s life reminds us that a home or community is not built on power and possessions but goodness; not on riches and wealth, but on faith, fidelity, purity and mutual love.
The present challenges to fatherhood and masculinity cannot be understood in isolation from the culture in which we live. The effect of fatherlessness on children is deeply alarming. How many young people today have been affected by the crisis of fatherhood and paternity! How many have been deprived of a father or grandfather in their life?
It is not for naught that St. Joseph is patron of the Universal Church and principal patron of Canada. If there was ever a time when we needed a strong, saintly male role model who is a father, it is our time. And the feast of the Holy Family is a very significant day to go to Joseph and beg him to send us good fathers who will head families.
Joseph and Mary, more than anyone else, were the first to behold the glory of their One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). May St. Joseph make of us good priests, religious and laymen who will imitate the humble worker from Nazareth, who listened to the Lord, treasured a gift that was not his, all the while modeling to Jesus how the Word becomes flesh and lives among us.
* * *
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica is the chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada. He can be reached at:

Star Trek Evil Universe Is Right

On the 24th I put up a post on how the Main Stream Media covers the Catholic Church & how they think they know the mind of God than the Pope & the Catholic Church do. To be fair to the MSM, the reason they think they know the mind of God is because they think that they are not only the voice of God, but that they are God.
A couple days ago, Jeff Miller posted a piece that gives more proof of what I said in my post. In it he puts up part of a speech that Papa Benedetto gave on Monday to the Curia & then how the MSM (Reuters in particular) reported it. Compare the 2 & you will see what the Pope actually said & how the MSM rewrote it to promote their agenda. I like Jeff's title of his post, The media got their story from the bearded Spock universe. Anyone who is a Star Trek fan knows that the bearded Spock universe is the evil twin universe. If the MSM is actually from that universe, it would explain a lot.

What the Pope really said:

Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to transmitting to its faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for Creation, and it should validate this responsibility in public.
In so doing, it should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of Creation that belong to everyone. She should also protect man from destroying himself.
It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man, understood in the right sense. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected.
This has to do with faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, which, if disregarded, would be man's self-destruction and therefore a destruction of God's work itself.
That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term 'gender' effectively results in man's self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator. Man wants to do everything by himself and to decide always and exclusively about anything that concerns him personally. But this is to live against truth, to live against the Spirit Creator.
The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, yes, but man does not deserve it less as a Creature of the Spirit himself, in whom is inscribed a message that does not mean a contradiction of human freedom but its condition.
The great theologians of Scholasticism described matrimony - which is the lifelong bond between a man and a woman - as a sacrament of Creation, that the Creator himself instituted, and that Christ, without changing the message of Creation, welcomed in the story of his alliance with men.
Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God.
One must reread the encyclical Humanae vitae with this perspective: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against consumer sex, the future against the exclusive claim of the moment, and human nature against manipulation.
Meanwhile, here is the MSM rewrite:
VATICAN CITY, Dec. 22 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the Pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration. [The Pope clearly says saving man 'from the destruction of himself', not from gays, nor saving 'gays' or homosexuals, or any other way of parsing his statement uncharitably and erroneously.(Added by Jeff)]
"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less.
"The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."
The Pope said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as "a destruction of God's work."
He also defended the Church's right to "speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected."
Here are Jeff's closing comments: "Got that. Defending marriage most beatifically is an attack on people who have same-sex attraction or gender confusion. The media has the charism of infallibility when it comes to reporting what the Pope did not say.
I can just imagine the typical reporter reading what the Pope said. First they would come across the comparison using ecology and think "darn, no headline there" and then come to the part on "between a man and a women" and the pink triangle alarm bells went off with them shouting "stop the presses!" or whatever term is used today.
I am sure that the MSM wasn't too happy with this line of the Pope's: "It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected." It goes right to the heart of what the "culture of death" & its MSM cheerleaders are doing. They are attacking God's natural order. But, they don'w want the light of truth to be shone on their actions. & this is exactly what Papa Benedetto is doing, shining God's light on their evil deeds. Any surprize that they will twist & misrepresent the Catholic Church's teachings to hide God's light under a bushel?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

John Adams & the Pope Agree

John Adams was anything but a fan of the Catholic Church. I wonder how he would feel if he knew that he & the Pope were on the same page.
"Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God."
--John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
"Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God."
- Papa Benedetto's Address to the Curia 22 December 2008
(Emphasis mine)


Al Gore's 12 Delusions He Has This Christmas

If You Are On the Wrong Planet, Then Leave

This statement by Illinois Governor Blagojevich just shows how removed from reality & morality the Democratic political machine in Chicago is.
"If somehow that's impeachable, then I'm on the wrong planet and I'm living in the wrong place."
Earlier in the same interview he said: "Look, if I'd have known people were listening, I probably wouldn't have said some of the things you say in private conversations."
My question for him is this, if what you said wasn't wrong, then why would you have said anything differently had you known it was being taped? Besides, the whole point of his not knowing he was taped was to be sure & get the truth, not give him the chance to cover up.

More ON Planned Parenthood's Being Run Out of the Texas Panhandle By God

You could also call this the story Planned Parenthood doesn't want to be told. As Judie Brown rightly said in a recent column "This past weekend's news from Amarillo, Texas is an answer to prayer, steadfast focus on the evils of Planned Parenthood and commitment to expose the truth about an organization rooted in racist, eugenicist propaganda." (WHEN HEROES STAND TALL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FALLS) I'll be posting her entire column soon. But she is right about what this means. This is a joyous story of the power of persistant prayer in the battle against the "culture of death".
Planned Parenthood out of Texas Panhandle
In a stunning development just before Christmas, Claudia Stravato, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, announced that she was resigning her position and that the local PP affiliate was, effective December 31, 2008, disassociating itself from the Planned Parenthood Federation and would no longer use the name Planned Parenthood.
To understand the magnitude of this announcement, we need to look briefly at the fight against Planned Parenthood in the Texas Panhandle.
In 1997, Bishop John W. Yanta was installed as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Amarillo, Texas. He was grieved to learn that there were 19 Planned Parenthood facilities within the boundaries of his diocese. He described that situation as "a bishop's worst nightmare."
One of Bishop Yanta's first public appearances as Bishop of Amarillo was at a protest of a Planned Parenthood fundraiser where abortionist Henry Foster was the featured speaker. Bishop Yanta has continually taken a strong stand against Planned Parenthood and the culture of death by attending many of the weekly prayer vigils that take place outside Planned Parenthood facilities throughout the diocese. He also established a weekly diocesan Respect Life Mass.
Bishop Yanta invited STOPP to come to Amarillo and educate the community and pro-life activists on Planned Parenthood. STOPP’s leader, Jim Sedlak, had previously worked with Bishop Yanta while he was in San Antonio. Jim was to work closely through the years with Rita Diller, head of the diocesan Respect Life Office.
In October of 1998, Bishop Yanta sent a message to all Catholics of the diocese regarding Planned Parenthood: "As your bishop and shepherd, I ask all Catholics not to use their services, not to belong to any of their boards, not to serve as a volunteer and not to be employed there. In resigning your employment there, I will be happy to assist you in finding employment elsewhere so you will not be cooperating in these immoral practices and being a source of scandal both within and outside the Church and community. I make this plea, in love, as my duty to continue the mission of Jesus Christ: to teach, to sanctify and to govern."
The Respect Life office instituted STOPP’s plan to defeat Planned Parenthood. They did so in a very organized and persistent way – adding activities to the plan as the needs arose.
The first fruits of this activity were realized in 1999 when Claudia Stravato, chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, announced that Planned Parenthood was closing down four of its offices. She blamed the closures on federal funding cuts.
Bishop Yanta was continually active in the fight against Planned Parenthood. Here is a short description of one of the bishop’s many activities:
The Most Rev. John W. Yanta, bishop of Amarillo, Texas, led 40 faithful Christians in the Rosary outside of the gates of the exclusive Citadel Community in Amarillo on Sept. 22, 2000. Inside the community, at the home of a PP supporter, the "Friends of Planned Parenthood" were holding their annual party to honor ten longtime contributors and to increase membership. Bishop Yanta has been an outstanding champion for life and opponent of PP. Joining the bishop on Sept. 22 were fourth degree Knights of Columbus, dressed in full regalia, and holding a large picture of baby Malachi, a 21-week-old pre-born child found dead at an abortion facility. PP partygoers had to face the reality of what PP does to children.
A pro-lifer in attendance commented, "This child received honor and dignity from the Knights. As I stood there I kept thinking of the words of our Lord, 'as you do it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.'" As the sun set, Bishop Yanta closed with a special prayer for the repentance of those involved in the abortion industry.
The faithful pro-lifers of the Texas Panhandle witnessed the closure of another clinic in 2000 and then five more clinics closed down in 2001. By the end of 2003, a total of 14 Planned Parenthood clinics had closed their doors.
Numbers can’t tell the whole story of what happened in Amarillo. To give you a real feel for the kind of activity going on there, the following is a report we received from Rita Diller in September of 2004 as they were working hard to get the remaining five PP clinics closed:
I have to tell you about our amazing evening. On September 11, eight pro-life supporters, ranging in age from thirteen to eighty-something ventured onto Club View Drive carrying signs and praying in opposition to a Planned Parenthood fundraiser that was to be held at the home of Don and Dean Paxton in a very opulent neighborhood near Tascosa Country Club, an area inhabited for the most part by physicians.
Since there were no sidewalks, we had no choice but to stand in the street near the curb. We found a place that we thought would be ideal in front of a vacant lot, nestled among what must have been the New York City of red ant beds. We strategically placed our signs, including a very large sign comparing the Nazi Holocaust with Planned Parenthood’s Holocaust, and dutifully and earnestly began praying and stamping ants. It must have indeed looked like a very strange tribal ritual taking place, what with all the praying and stamping.
At any rate, the neighbors began to pour out of their houses to survey the unusual situation. The gentleman who lived directly across from our little gathering came out to tell us how much he supported our opposition to Planned Parenthood and to wonder aloud why we were in front of his house instead of the home where the party was taking place. I explained to him that there were safety concerns for the individuals who were standing in the street praying because of past vehicular assault threats by Planned Parenthood supporters.
We were then approached by another resident of the neighborhood who said he had been deceived about what type of function was taking place at the Paxtons, and he left us saying that he was going to “get in the faces of the Paxtons” for hosting a fundraiser for, in his words, “Planned Murderers.”
The angry neighbor had no sooner departed than three police squad cars rounded the corner in great haste stopping, of course, right in front of our little tribal prayer-dance. They said someone had reported “protestors all over the street” and they came prepared for a mob, I suppose, only to find eight Catholics praying the rosary and stamping ants, in between visiting with the neighbors. They decided that we were fine and went down the street to talk to the Paxtons.
A few minutes later our friendly patrolmen were back, saying that we had supporters in the neighborhood and that the gentleman two houses down from the Paxtons had invited us to stand in his yard. However, he said the gentleman was standing in his yard greeting those who were attending the function with the news that “Planned Parenthood is a bunch of murderers.” I told the officer we would just stay put.
Yet another neighbor stopped to tell us he is Catholic and opposes Planned Parenthood and thanked us for being there.
Then Planned Parenthood supporters began employing their usual tactic of attempting to park their cars where we were standing to block the view of our signs. The gentleman across the street from the ant bed told us we could stand in his driveway. Ah, at last, the ant dance could stop, but not before I had a swollen toe to show for my lack of dexterity.
He became our host for the evening, along with the neighbors to the north. The red carpet was rolled out for us, and as sometimes happens when we go into a neighborhood to pray because of a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, we made some very dear new friends. The residents of the neighborhood brought us soft drinks and Gatorade – enough for twelve times as many as were there. Others kept stopping by to tell us how much they supported us and were going up and down the block telling other neighbors why we were there.
The neighbors to the north stood outside with us since they were very opposed to Planned Parenthood and were very interested in seeing who was supporting them. They brought us insect repellent. We had escaped the ants only to find the mosquitoes were starting to bite. They were vicious little creatures, too. At any rate, about an hour into the evening, the son of the neighbor to the north showed up with a date and they were headed for … Planned Parenthood’s party. They parked in Mom’s driveway, who let them know in no uncertain terms that Planned Parenthood’s party was not the place to go, but the date was a cousin of one of the hosts so off they went. After all, they thought it was just a party.
Mom had Younger Brother move Older Brother’s car out of the driveway and into the street all the way to the far end of the block. Younger Brother made a sign and placed it on the back window of Older Brother’s car. It said “Abortion is Bad.” Sister was very distraught and came over to tell us that Older Brother had gone to the Planned Parenthood function.
Then Older Brother came home. He told Mom that he felt nasty and slimey for having been there; that they were trying to get him to join Friends of Planned Parenthood and he finally just walked away. Soon his date called and asked him to come back and get her. She did not want to be there, either. The two younger brothers decided they wanted to hold signs opposing Planned Parenthood and that is exactly what they did for at least an hour, standing on the street until after dark in opposition to the debacle that Planned Parenthood was conducting in their neighborhood. By the way, the signs showed up very nicely in the headlights of the party-goers as they were leaving.
We prayed umpteen decades of the rosary, also the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and just had the most blessed three and a half hours you could ever imagine among our new found friends. There is always so much trepidation involved in going into an unknown neighborhood to proclaim the Gospel of Life, but God blesses these efforts beyond belief, and I know that what we saw and heard and experienced out on Club View Drive in Amarillo, Texas on September 11 was only a tiny bit of the impact that prayer vigil will have on the neighborhood and on our city. Thanks be to God for giving us the opportunity and courage to be there and for the wonderful people of the neighborhood who made us feel like royalty.
Can you imagine what a tremendous impact the response of this neighborhood must have had on Planned Parenthood’s annual membership gala? Only in God’s great design could something like this have happened.
Remember, this all took place seven years after the battle against Planned Parenthood had begun in Amarillo and after 14 of 19 clinics had already closed their doors. The folks in Amarillo are dedicated to the task of closing down Planned Parenthood.
The struggle continued. Planned Parenthood actually opened a new clinic, but had to close it down six months later for lack of business. By the end of 2006, it had closed three more clinics and had only two left – both in the city of Amarillo.
Through all of this activity, Planned Parenthood of Amarillo was struggling financially. It had seen its net assets fall from $3,165,225 in 1998 to just $279,633 in 2007. It was clear that all the pro-life efforts had hurt the financial stability of the organization and Planned Parenthood Federation of America was after the local affiliate board to merge its operation with another, more successful operation. But the local board refused and, instead, has disaffiliated itself from Planned Parenthood.
Thus, after 12 years of intense effort, the Diocese of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle are Planned Parenthood – Free. Beginning January 1, 2009, there will not be a single Planned Parenthood clinic operating there. Praise God!We are so happy to be able to bring you this wondrous news in the week we celebrate Christmas. To God goes all the glory.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Being Anti-Christ & Anti-Motherhood As Well, Not That Surprizing Is It?

December 26th, 2008 by John Mallon
How many world religions have as one of their most central images a tender scene of a mother and child? I only know of one: Catholicism. It is a sign that Catholicism is a faith that occurs where we most intensely live, and where we are vulnerable, and values tenderness. The universal image of mother and child is something all people may relate to. Any person of good will can see this icon and feel joy and warmth.
It is also an image the enemies of God hate: specifically, those in the demonic realm and those under their influence on earth. I once saw something that made my blood run cold. I was standing in a cashier line at the Boston College Bookstore. In the next line was a mother with a baby over her shoulder as she fumbled with her wallet. I smiled and mugged at the baby looking for a smile. Then I noticed the woman standing behind them in line. I glanced at her expecting to see the woman smiling at the baby. What I saw instead shocked me. It is hard to describe the hard look on the woman’s face as she looked at the baby but it was something akin to disdain.
Boston College, that Jesuit institution, was infested with radical feminists at the time, with many angry feminists on the faculty. The experience shook me but didn’t surprise me.
We used to have hyperbolic expressions such as “That’s like being against motherhood and apple pie!” But there are people, militant people, violently disturbed by motherhood. People are also hostile against Christianity and Catholicism in particular, because of the Church’s unyielding opposition to abortion and homosexual activity. Those who promote and practice these activities behave and speak as though the opposition was against them personally instead against behaviors. Apparently they cannot distinguish between themselves and their behavior. Their identities have come to rest on their behavior rather than who they are as human beings.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has issued a statement December 22 detailing eleven incidents of vandalism occurring against nativity scenes nationwide. Here are just two of them:
- In Sandusky, Ohio, a 50-year old figure of the Baby Jesus was stolen from a downtown park; it was found a few days later hanging from a ceiling fan in the apartment of the thief who stole it.
- A Christian pastor in Loma Linda, California was beaten and left in critical condition while decorating his church.
As usual, for radicals “tolerance” is a one-way street.
Most vandalism is mischief but the increase we have been seeing-not limited to demolishing nativity scenes and beating up an innocent pastor decorating his church, points to something much more disturbing: the desecration and destruction of the Sacred Host. I have a Google alert set up for this and reports arrive every day. This, I believe, takes us into the realm of the demonic. We all commit evil. It’s called sin. By grace we feel the disturbance in our conscience and repent. This is Christianity: we need a savior and know it.
But when one smothers conscience and chooses to worship the creature rather than the Creator, (See Romans 1: 18-32), and persists — nay works — at evil, we have moved from evil to wickedness. Wickedness wants the evil. Our society today has the media and politicians pandering to wickedness, they have traded the virtue of Fear of the Lord to fear of offending radicals via the evil of “Political Correctness.”
Wickedness, which cannot harm God, seeks to destroy what God loves, we see this from the satanic mutilation of innocent animals right on up to the destruction of the innocent children in the womb. This evil — abortion — is the hub, the lynchpin unleashing diabolical rage. A simple scene of a mother and child can set off monstrous rage, hatred and confusion. The mentality of Antinatalism is enraged by the Nativity. This hatred of creation, and life itself — much less its redemption — has been unleashed, and those who have allowed the principalities and powers of wickedness into their souls are getting bolder. The death addicts are even turning on their political “messiah,” Barak Obama, for inviting a popular evangelical to pray the invocation at his inauguration.
Pray a lot. It’s going to be an interesting four years.

Urbi et Orbi Christmas 2008


"The grace of God our Saviour has appeared to all" (Tit 2:11, Vulg.)
Dear brothers and sisters, in the words of the Apostle Paul, I once more joyfully proclaim Christ’s Birth. Today "the grace of God our Saviour" has truly "appeared to all"!
It appeared! This is what the Church celebrates today. The grace of God, rich in goodness and love, is no longer hidden. It "appeared", it was manifested in the flesh, it showed its face. Where? In Bethlehem. When? Under Caesar Augustus, during the first census, which the Evangelist Luke also mentions. And who is the One who reveals it? A newborn Child, the Son of the Virgin Mary. In him the grace of God our Saviour has appeared. And so that Child is called Jehoshua, Jesus, which means: "God saves".
The grace of God has appeared. That is why Christmas is a feast of light. Not like the full daylight which illumines everything, but a glimmer beginning in the night and spreading out from a precise point in the universe: from the stable of Bethlehem, where the divine Child was born. Indeed, he is the light itself, which begins to radiate, as portrayed in so many paintings of the Nativity. He is the light whose appearance breaks through the gloom, dispels the darkness and enables us to understand the meaning and the value of our own lives and of all history. Every Christmas crib is a simple yet eloquent invitation to open our hearts and minds to the mystery of life. It is an encounter with the immortal Life which became mortal in the mystic scene of the Nativity: a scene which we can admire here too, in this Square, as in countless churches and chapels throughout the world, and in every house where the name of Jesus is adored.
The grace of God has appeared to all. Jesus – the face of the "God who saves", did not show himself only for a certain few, but for everyone. Although it is true that in the simple and lowly dwelling of Bethlehem few persons encountered him, still he came for all: Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, those near and those far away, believers and non-believers… for everyone. Supernatural grace, by God’s will, is meant for every creature. Yet each human person needs to accept that grace, to utter his or her own "yes", like Mary, so that his or her heart can be illumined by a ray of that divine light. It was Mary and Joseph, who that night welcomed the incarnate Word, awaiting it with love, along with the shepherds who kept watch over their flocks (cf. Lk 2:1-20). A small community, in other words, which made haste to adore the Child Jesus; a tiny community which represents the Church and all people of good will. Today too those who await him, who seek him in their lives, encounter the God who out of love became our brother – all those who turn their hearts to him, who yearn to see his face and to contribute to the coming of his Kingdom. Jesus himself would say this in his preaching: these are the poor in spirit; those who mourn, the meek, those who thirst for justice; the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness’ sake (cf. Mt 5:3-10). They are the ones who see in Jesus the face of God and then set out again, like the shepherds of Bethlehem, renewed in heart by the joy of his love.
Brothers and sisters, all you who are listening to my words: this proclamation of hope – the heart of the Christmas message – is meant for all men and women. Jesus was born for everyone, and just as Mary, in Bethlehem, offered him to the shepherds, so on this day the Church presents him to all humanity, so that each person and every human situation may come to know the power of God’s saving grace, which alone can transform evil into good, which alone can change human hearts, making them oases of peace.
May the many people who continue to dwell in darkness and the shadow of death (cf. Lk 1:79) come to know the power of God’s saving grace! May the divine Light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land, where the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians. May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq and the whole Middle East. May it bring forth rich fruit from the efforts of all those who, rather than resigning themselves to the twisted logic of conflict and violence, prefer instead the path of dialogue and negotiation as the means of resolving tensions within each country and finding just and lasting solutions to the conflicts troubling the region. This light, which brings transformation and renewal, is besought by the people of Zimbabwe, in Africa, trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening, as well as the men and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the war-torn region of Kivu, Darfur, in Sudan, and Somalia, whose interminable sufferings are the tragic consequence of the lack of stability and peace. This light is awaited especially by the children living in those countries, and the children of all countries experiencing troubles, so that their future can once more be filled with hope.
Wherever the dignity and rights of the human person are trampled upon; wherever the selfishness of individuals and groups prevails over the common good; wherever fratricidal hatred and the exploitation of man by man risk being taken for granted; wherever internecine conflicts divide ethnic and social groups and disrupt peaceful coexistence; wherever terrorism continues to strike; wherever the basics needed for survival are lacking; wherever an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations: in each of these places may the Light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.
Dear brothers and sisters, today, "the grace of God our Saviour has appeared" (cf. Tit 2:11) in this world of ours, with all its potential and its frailty, its advances and crises, its hopes and travails. Today, there shines forth the light of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High and the son of the Virgin Mary: "God from God, light from light, true God from true God. For us men, and for our salvation, he came down from heaven". Let us adore him, this very day, in every corner of the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a lowly manger. Let us adore him in silence, while he, still a mere infant, seems to comfort us by saying: Do not be afraid, "I am God, and there is no other" (Is 45:22). Come to me, men and women, peoples and nations, come to me. Do not be afraid: I have come to bring you the love of the Father, and to show you the way of peace.
Let us go, then, brothers and sisters! Let us make haste, like the shepherds on that Bethlehem night. God has come to meet us; he has shown us his face, full of grace and mercy! May his coming to us not be in vain! Let us seek Jesus, let us be drawn to his light which dispels sadness and fear from every human heart. Let us draw near to him with confidence, and bow down in humility to adore him. Merry Christmas to all!
German: Die Geburt Jesu Christi, des Erlösers der Menschen, erfülle Euer Leben mit tiefer Freude und reicher Gnade; sein Friede möge in Euren Herzen wohnen. Gesegnete und frohe Weihnachten!
English: May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Saviour has been born for us.
Spanish: ¡Feliz Navidad! Que la Paz de Cristo reine en vuestros corazones, en las familias y en todos los pueblos.
Portuguese: Feliz Natal para todos, e que a Luz de Cristo Salvador ilumine os vossos corações de paz e de esperança!
Irish: Nollaig shona dhaoibh go léir.
Latin: Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus!

Papa Benedetto's Homily for Midnight Mass Christmas 2008

Saint Peter's Basilica

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?" This is what Israel sings in one of the Psalms (113 [112], 5ff.), praising God’s grandeur as well as his loving closeness to humanity. God dwells on high, yet he stoops down to us… God is infinitely great, and far, far above us. This is our first experience of him. The distance seems infinite. The Creator of the universe, the one who guides all things, is very far from us: or so he seems at the beginning. But then comes the surprising realization: The One who has no equal, who "is seated on high", looks down upon us. He stoops down. He sees us, and he sees me. God’s looking down is much more than simply seeing from above. God’s looking is active. The fact that he sees me, that he looks at me, transforms me and the world around me. The Psalm tells us this in the following verse: "He raises the poor from the dust…" In looking down, he raises me up, he takes me gently by the hand and helps me – me! – to rise from depths towards the heights. "God stoops down". This is a prophetic word. That night in Bethlehem, it took on a completely new meaning. God’s stooping down became real in a way previously inconceivable. He stoops down – he himself comes down as a child to the lowly stable, the symbol of all humanity’s neediness and forsakenness. God truly comes down. He becomes a child and puts himself in the state of complete dependence typical of a newborn child. The Creator who holds all things in his hands, on whom we all depend, makes himself small and in need of human love. God is in the stable. In the Old Testament the Temple was considered almost as God’s footstool; the sacred ark was the place in which he was mysteriously present in the midst of men and women. Above the temple, hidden, stood the cloud of God’s glory. Now it stands above the stable. God is in the cloud of the poverty of a homeless child: an impenetrable cloud, and yet – a cloud of glory! How, indeed, could his love for humanity, his solicitude for us, have appeared greater and more pure? The cloud of hiddenness, the cloud of the poverty of a child totally in need of love, is at the same time the cloud of glory. For nothing can be more sublime, nothing greater than the love which thus stoops down, descends, becomes dependent. The glory of the true God becomes visible when the eyes of our hearts are opened before the stable of Bethlehem.
Saint Luke’s account of the Christmas story, which we have just heard in the Gospel, tells us that God first raised the veil of his hiddenness to people of very lowly status, people who were looked down upon by society at large – to shepherds looking after their flocks in the fields around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that they were "keeping watch". This phrase reminds us of a central theme of Jesus’s message, which insistently bids us to keep watch, even to the Agony in the Garden – the command to stay awake, to recognize the Lord’s coming, and to be prepared. Here too the expression seems to imply more than simply being physically awake during the night hour. The shepherds were truly "watchful" people, with a lively sense of God and of his closeness. They were waiting for God, and were not resigned to his apparent remoteness from their everyday lives. To a watchful heart, the news of great joy can be proclaimed: for you this night the Saviour is born. Only a watchful heart is able to believe the message. Only a watchful heart can instil the courage to set out to find God in the form of a baby in a stable. Let us ask the Lord to help us, too, to become a "watchful" people.
Saint Luke tells us, moreover, that the shepherds themselves were "surrounded" by the glory of God, by the cloud of light. They found themselves caught up in the glory that shone around them. Enveloped by the holy cloud, they heard the angels’ song of praise: "Glory to God in the highest heavens and peace on earth to people of his good will". And who are these people of his good will if not the poor, the watchful, the expectant, those who hope in God’s goodness and seek him, looking to him from afar?
The Fathers of the Church offer a remarkable commentary on the song that the angels sang to greet the Redeemer. Until that moment – the Fathers say – the angels had known God in the grandeur of the universe, in the reason and the beauty of the cosmos that come from him and are a reflection of him. They had heard, so to speak, creation’s silent song of praise and had transformed it into celestial music. But now something new had happened, something that astounded them. The One of whom the universe speaks, the God who sustains all things and bears them in his hands – he himself had entered into human history, he had become someone who acts and suffers within history. From the joyful amazement that this unimaginable event called forth, from God’s new and further way of making himself known – say the Fathers – a new song was born, one verse of which the Christmas Gospel has preserved for us: "Glory to God in the highest heavens and peace to his people on earth". We might say that, following the structure of Hebrew poetry, the two halves of this double verse say essentially the same thing, but from a different perspective. God’s glory is in the highest heavens, but his high state is now found in the stable – what was lowly has now become sublime. God’s glory is on the earth, it is the glory of humility and love. And even more: the glory of God is peace. Wherever he is, there is peace. He is present wherever human beings do not attempt, apart from him, and even violently, to turn earth into heaven. He is with those of watchful hearts; with the humble and those who meet him at the level of his own "height", the height of humility and love. To these people he gives his peace, so that through them, peace can enter this world.
The medieval theologian William of Saint Thierry once said that God – from the time of Adam – saw that his grandeur provoked resistance in man, that we felt limited in our own being and threatened in our freedom. Therefore God chose a new way. He became a child. He made himself dependent and weak, in need of our love. Now – this God who has become a child says to us – you can no longer fear me, you can only love me.
With these thoughts, we draw near this night to the child of Bethlehem – to the God who for our sake chose to become a child. In every child we see something of the Child of Bethlehem. Every child asks for our love. This night, then, let us think especially of those children who are denied the love of their parents. Let us think of those street children who do not have the blessing of a family home, of those children who are brutally exploited as soldiers and made instruments of violence, instead of messengers of reconciliation and peace. Let us think of those children who are victims of the industry of pornography and every other appalling form of abuse, and thus are traumatized in the depths of their soul. The Child of Bethlehem summons us once again to do everything in our power to put an end to the suffering of these children; to do everything possible to make the light of Bethlehem touch the heart of every man and woman. Only through the conversion of hearts, only through a change in the depths of our hearts can the cause of all this evil be overcome, only thus can the power of the evil one be defeated. Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly entered into our night.
And speaking of the Child of Bethlehem, let us think also of the place named Bethlehem, of the land in which Jesus lived, and which he loved so deeply. And let us pray that peace will be established there, that hatred and violence will cease. Let us pray for mutual understanding, that hearts will be opened, so that borders can be opened. Let us pray that peace will descend there, the peace of which the angels sang that night.
In Psalm 96 [95], Israel, and the Church, praises God’s grandeur manifested in creation. All creatures are called to join in this song of praise, and so the Psalm also contains the invitation: "Let all the trees of the wood sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes" (v. 12ff.). The Church reads this Psalm as a prophecy and also as a task. The coming of God to Bethlehem took place in silence. Only the shepherds keeping watch were, for a moment, surrounded by the light-filled radiance of his presence and could listen to something of that new song, born of the wonder and joy of the angels at God’s coming. This silent coming of God’s glory continues throughout the centuries. Wherever there is faith, wherever his word is proclaimed and heard, there God gathers people together and gives himself to them in his Body; he makes them his Body. God "comes". And in this way our hearts are awakened. The new song of the angels becomes the song of all those who, throughout the centuries, sing ever anew of God’s coming as a child – and rejoice deep in their hearts. And the trees of the wood go out to him and exult. The tree in Saint Peter’s Square speaks of him, it wants to reflect his splendour and to say: Yes, he has come, and the trees of the wood acclaim him. The trees in the cities and in our homes should be something more than a festive custom: they point to the One who is the reason for our joy – the God who for our sake became a child. In the end, this song of praise, at the deepest level, speaks of him who is the very tree of new-found life. Through faith in him we receive life. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist he gives himself to us – he gives us a life that reaches into eternity. At this hour we join in creation’s song of praise, and our praise is at the same time a prayer: Yes, Lord, help us to see something of the splendour of your glory. And grant peace on earth. Make us men and women of your peace. Amen. Headlines

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