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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From St. Jerome & Gutenberg to I-pod & Kindle, God's Word Goes Forth

It was on this day in 1452 that Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg 1st printed the Bible with his moveable type. The Bible was an edition of the Latin Vulgate translation by St. Jerome. Up to that time all Bibles in existance were copies made by hand by monks. Because of the work involved, copies of the Bible were rare & thus expensive & valuable. This leads to the real reason that they were chained down in Catholic Churches, to keep them from being stolen. The anti-Catholic myth is that it was to keep the average person from reading it. Not true. Back then, the average person, rich or poor usually could not read. Often only the priest had the education & thus was able to read. So St. Jerome's translation made his job of preaching the Gospel easier.
With the invention of moveable type more people were able to learn to read. & the price of books became affordable as well. Today we take the fact that everyone can have his or her own Bible. Before 1452 it was impossible.
I think it is very appropriate that today is the anniversary of that 1st printing given that it is also the feast day of St. Jerome. St. Jerome translated the Bible from the Greek & Hebrew into the everyday Latin spoken by the common man. (Hence the name Vulgate, from the Latin, vulgar.) St. Jerome was a firm believer that "ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." He knew that if the priest could read Scripture at Mass in the everyday language of the time than people could be better Catholics. The Church wanted to make Scripture as readily available & understandable as possible at the time.
Today the Bible is being translated into more & more languages. It is becoming available in more formats, including many electronic forms. I honestly think that we have no idea how much of a blessing this is. The 1st century Catholic Church only had what we call the Old Testament (Septuagant version). It wasn't until the end of the 1st Century that all the books of the New Testament were written. It wasn't until the 4th Century that the Church officially confirmed which writings were inspired Scripture. Like I said, any copies of the Bible were hand copied, rare & expensive. It stayed that way for about 1000 yrs until Gutenberg. & while there are many languages for the Bible to yet be translated into, we are at a point where technology has made it almost universally available.
God's Word is readily available & we no longer have any excuse to be ignorant of Christ or Scripture. Yet, despite being a best seller, we don't read it, let alone listen to what God is saying as we should. People are trying to deconstruct it to justify ignoring the truths taught. Yet, if we are willing to take advantage, God is waiting to speak to us. Are we willing to listen?

Are You Ready For Pro-Life Memorial Day 2008?

La Beata Vergine del Santo Rosario di Pompei

Thanks mainly to the efforts of Pope Leo XIII, October has been traditionally celebrated as the "Month of the Rosary" in the Catholic Church. We should be praying it regularly. However, at this time of year, the Church encourages us to make additional use of this devotion over & above our normal practice. I've talked several times about how powerful a prayer the Rosary is, so I won't bother to repeat anything more about that here. Instead, I will start out this post by recommending a few Papal Encyclicals for you to read. Hopefully, they will encourage you to a greater use of this spiritual weapon as well as strengthen & deepen your faith.
The 1st is 1 by Pope St. Pius V, Consueverunt Romani (17 September 1569). His description of the conditions of his day are similar to where we are today. Next up is Pope Leo XIII's Fidentum Piumque Animum (20 September 1896). This is just 1 of many he wrote on the Rosary. & don't forget Quamquam Pluries that I mentioned in my recent post on San Giueseppe. In it he gives an excellent theological explanation of the Rosary. Pope Paul VI wrote Christi Matri (15 September 1966) to urge all to pray the Rosary so that we might have God's peace. he also talked about praying for an end of the slaughter of innocent people. While not refering to abortion, it readily applies to the slaughter of the unborn. I found a website that has a list of many more Papal Encyclicals on the Rosary with links so you can read them.
October is also 1 of 2 times each year at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompei (shown above) when there is a solemn recitation of The Petition to the Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii. It is prayed at the Shrine at Noon. The petition can be prayed any time of year, but there is a solemn form for this day. This year the 1st Sunday of October is the 5th. The 5th is also the feast day of Blessed Bartolo Longo, founder of the Shrine.
Then on Sunday 19 October 2008, Papa Benedetto will make a pastoral visit to the shrine. He will say Mass & pray the Petition as well as lead a Rosary. (I may be wrong, but given his recent track record, I suspect a Golden Rose will accompany him.)
Finally, on 4 October 2008, Justin Cardinal Rigali will be the main celebrant at the Mass for the Dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of Pompei at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. The chapel recognizes the deep devotion that the Italian-American Community has for the Blessed Mother. It has a life-size image of Our Lady of Pompei in mosaic. Also in mosaic will be the Luminous Mysteries that Pope John Paul the Great added in 2002.


San Giuseppe, Terror of Demons, Protector of Holy Church, Pray for Us

On 15 August 1889, Pope Leo XIII issued an encyclical, Quamquam Pluries, encouraging a greater devotion to San Giuseppe. In explaining his reasons, Pope Leo gave a description of the circumstances the Church found herself in that could be said to be similar to today.
"During periods of stress and trial - chiefly when every lawlessness of act seems permitted to the powers of darkness - it has been the custom in the Church to plead with special fervour and perseverance to God, her author and protector, by recourse to the intercession of the saints" . . . . "Now, Venerable Brethren, you know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity. These things are, indeed, so much a matter of notoriety that it is needless for Us to expatiate on the depths to which society has sunk in these days, or on the designs which now agitate the minds of men. In circumstances so unhappy and troublous, human remedies are insufficient, and it becomes necessary, as a sole resource, to beg for assistance from the Divine power." Like I said, sound familiar?
Pope Leo goes on to call for greater prayer by the faithful. He also explained the special role that San Giuseppe played as Padrone of the Universal Church. He also called on the faithful to develop a greater devotion to San Giuseppe, esp asking his intercession. He even had a special prayer composed that he sent out with the encyclical. He called on the faithful to use this pray. "We prescribe that during the whole month of October, after the recitation of the Rosary a prayer to St. Joseph be added and that this custom should be repeated every year."
October is still the month of the Rosary. Sadly the prayer to San Giuseppe has fallen mostly (but not completely) into disuse. Given the fact that the circumstances we face are similar, I would suggest that we again regularly say this prayer, not only after the Rosary during the month of October, but year round.
This prayer is esp appropriate for those of us who are on the front lines battling for the "Culture of Life". As Pope Leo said: "It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."
On 15 August 1989, Pope John Paul the Great released an Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris Custos to commemorate the 100th Anniversay of Pope Leo's encyclical. Towards the end he echoed Pope Leo's call: "Even today we have many reasons to pray in a similar way: "Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin...graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness...and just as once you saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity." Today we still have good reason to commend everyone to St. Joseph."
Pope John Paul went on to say: "It is my heartfelt wish that these reflections on the person of St. Joseph will renew in us the prayerful devotion which my Predecessor called for a century ago. Our prayers and the very person of Joseph have renewed significance for the Church in our day in light of the Third Christian Millennium."
God gave us the gift of the Saints in Heaven interceding for us. He wants us to call on them, just as He wants us to call on our Christian brothers & sisters here on Earth, to intercede for us. We would be foolish not to take advantage of all the gifts available for us to accomplish the work to which we have been called by Jesus.
Prayer of Pope Leo XIII to St. Joseph
To Be Said After the Rosary
To you, O Blessed Joseph, we come in our trials, and having asked the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently ask your patronage also. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.
O most provident guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Most beloved father, dispel the evil of falsehood and sin. Our most mighty protector, graciously assist us from heaven in our struggle with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of her enemies and from all adversity. Shield each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall 2008 40 Days for Life - DAY 6: 48 Lives Saved & Counting...

No wonder Planned Parenthood is trying to stop them in NY City (NY City Council Members. . . .).
Here is some of the latest good news from the Fall 2008 40 Days for Life campaign taken from today's update by David Bereit:
Want to hear some great news this Monday morning? (Of course!!!!!)
Thus far, local 40 Days for Life coordinators have reported 48 babies saved from abortion! And reports are still coming in. It's awesome!
Karen in Oklahoma City tells of a young woman who approached sidewalk counselors outside the clinic."They could tell she was conflicted and open to their words," she said.
This young woman was the victim of sexual assault. "She was afraid of carrying a child she did not really want," said Karen, "but she was also afraid that she might fall in love with her baby if she chose life."
After the counselors described the free resources available, she asked if she could choose an adoptive family for her baby. The answer was a resounding yes ."The counselors hugged her and thanked her for choosing life for her unborn child," Karen said. "She left smiling and happy. Praise God!"
Michele in Colorado Springs reports a car drove up to the clinic and two young women got out -- a woman scheduled for an abortion and her friend. The friend called out to the people praying outside the clinic,"I'm with you! Pray for her!" And of course they did just that. The two women went inside the clinic, then came back out and talked. They went back in again, and came back out and talked again.
This time, someone shared a scripture verse with them-- Isaiah 49:15: "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." After reading this together, the two young women went home. The baby was saved!
Carol in Toms River, New Jersey was praying with a small group outside the clinic when a young couple walked out, quietly talking to one another. "She was crying," Carol noticed. "He hugged her and then she began to walk down the steps with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes."
The young woman looked at the vigil volunteers and said, "I could not do it. I just could not do it." Still, she was afraid of her mother's reaction, because it was her mother who was pushing the abortion. She also had concerns that her boyfriend might not be able to finish college. "But she took the first step in conquering those fears," Carol said, "and God will bless her."
Carol added, "There is much to be said when you realize that our prayers really make a difference. There is much to be said when you know in your heart you are part of God's plan. If you have not yet gotten involved in 40 Days for Life, I cannot tell you the blessings you will experience and the wonderful people you will meet -- all for the glory of God."
Keep praying everyone. GOD IS WORKING POWERFULLY!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can go to 1 of the sites to pray do so. If not, & there is a clinic nearby where local Pro-Lifers regularly pray, then join them if your schedule allows. If not, pray at home. Which is what you should at least be doing already. Prayer by an individual is powerful. But when 2 or more people prayer God's power usually works exponentially.


Coming 30 September 2008 Papa Benedetto's 3rd Encyclical - Caritas in Veritate

Apparently. Usually there is an advance notice from the Vatican when a new encyclical is coming out. You don't expect to find out about it from 1st. But there it on their site as coming out on 30 Sept. Ditto for Borders, Deep Discount & websites. Barnes & Noble as well as publisher Ignatius Press just says September 2008 without a specific date for Love in Truth.) I didn't even find anything on Zenit. & usually it comes out from the Vatican before it is published in book form. I suspect that this was the tentative date of publication based on when the Vatican's original release date, but something has delayed it. (I may be wrong.)
From the description it sounds like it will be interesting. It promises to have much to think about & digest. It will definitely challenge us & society as a whole to look at where we are in comparison to what the Gospel says. I am looking forward to reading it.
Sadly, I suspect the media will do the usual hatchet job & twist it to their views where it suits them & ignore (or downplay) what he says on abortion & the other issues they disagree with him on. & a lot of people won't read it, but use the media's description to uphold or attack it. So what else is new?
Now to see if it does come out Tuesday.
Here is Ignatius's description:
Pope Benedict’s third encyclical, Love in Truth (Caritas in Veritate), applies the themes of his first two encyclicals —love and hope (God Is Love, Saved in Hope) — to the world’s major social issues. Drawing on moral truths open, in principle, to everyone (the natural law) as well as on the teachings of the gospel (revelation), Pope Benedict addresses Catholics and non-Catholics alike, challenging us all to recognize and then to confront the social evils of our day.
The first part of the encyclical examines the dynamic teaching of Benedict’s predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Both men contributed greatly to the body of doctrine known as “Catholic social teaching”. Both men challenged the simplistic division of political perspectives into “conservative” and “liberal”, and “right” and “left”. Both men were convinced that the natural moral law and the teaching of the Gospel were indispensable for a world in desperate search of hope and meaning.
In the second part Benedict surveys the social issues that confront the human race today—assaults on the dignity of the human person such as the attack on human life, poverty, issues of war and peace, terrorism, globalization, and environmental concerns. Benedict provides sound moral principles to address these social and economic problems, and to promote a culture of life and genuine peace.
In this outstanding work, Pope Benedict shows us why so many observers regard him as the world’s leading moral voice, as well as one of the most insightful and profound social/political thinkers of our day.

Prostitutes Will Enter the Kingdom Before You

Gospel Commentary for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, "Son, go out and work in the vineyard today." He said in reply, "I will not," but afterward changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, "Yes, sir," but did not go. Which of the two did his father's will?' They answered, ‘The first.'"
The son who says "yes" and does "no" represents those who knew God and followed his law to a certain extent but did not accept Christ, who was "the fulfillment of the law." The son who says "no" and does "yes" represents those who once lived outside the law and will of God, but then, with Christ, thought again and welcomed the Gospel.
From this Jesus draws the following conclusion before the chief priests and elders: "Truly, I say to you, even the publicans and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of God before you."
No saying of Christ has been more manipulated than this. Some have ended up creating a kind of evangelical aura about prostitutes, idealizing them and opposing them to those with good reputations, who are all regarded without distinction as hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. Literature is full of "good" prostitutes. Just think of Verdi's "La Traviata" or the meek Sonya of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment"!
But this is a terrible misunderstanding. Jesus is talking about a limited case, as it were. "Even" the prostitutes, he wants to say, are going to enter the Kingdom of God before you. Prostitution is seen in all its seriousness and taken as a term of comparison to point out the gravity of the sin of those who stubbornly reject the truth.
We do not see that, moreover, idealizing the category of prostitute, we also idealize that of publican, which is a category that always accompanies it in the Gospel. The publicans, who were employees of the Roman tax collection agencies, participated in the unjust practices of these agencies. If Jesus links prostitutes and publicans together, he does not do this without a reason; they have both made money the most important thing in life.
It would be tragic if such passages from the Gospel made Christians less attentive to combating the degrading phenomenon of prostitution, which today has assumed alarming proportions in our cities. Jesus had too much respect for women to not suffer beforehand for that which she will become when she is reduced to this state. What he appreciates in the prostitute is not her way of life, but her capacity to change and to put her ability to love in the service of the good. Mary Magdalene, who converted and followed Jesus all the way to the cross, is an example of this (supposing that she was a prostitute).
What Jesus intends to teach with his words here he clearly says at the end: The publicans and prostitutes converted with John the Baptist's preaching; the chief priests and the elders did not. The Gospel, therefore, does not direct us to moralistic campaigns against prostitutes, but neither does it allow us to joke about it, as if it were nothing.
In the new form under which prostitution presents itself today, we see that it is now able to make a person a significant amount of money and do so without involving them in the terrible dangers to which the poor women of previous times, who were condemned to the streets, were subjected. This form consists in selling one's body safely through cameras. What a woman does when she loans herself to pornography and certain excessive forms of advertisement is to sell her body to the eyes if not to contact. This is certainly prostitution, and it is worse than traditional prostitution, because it is publicly imposed and does not respect people's freedom and sentiments.
But having denounced these things as we must, we would betray the spirit of the Gospel if we did not also speak of the hope that these words of Christ offer to women, who, on account of various circumstances (often out of desperation), have found themselves on the street, for the most part victims of unscrupulous exploitation. The Gospel is "gospel," that is, "glad tidings," news of ransom, of hope, even for prostitutes. Indeed, perhaps it is for them first of all. This is how Jesus wanted it.
Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The readings for this Sunday are Ezekiel 18:25-28; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32.

There was a Great Battle in Heaven, Michael & His Angels Fought With the Dragon

Revelation 12:7

By Joseph Meaney
Never have these words been more appropriate than today. We live in a world that refuses to prioritize basic values such as the worship of God and respecting the right to life of our most defenseless neighbors, preborn children.
The Feast of the Archangels, Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, which is celebrated on September 29th, is an excellent opportunity to examine our lives. All the angels, but especially St. Michael, remind us of God’s infinite goodness and the spiritual warfare that surrounds us at all times. How often do we invoke St. Michael and our guardian angel for protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil?
It is abundantly clear from the pro-life situation internationally that a great spiritual battle is raging. The legalization of abortion in the land of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, is a direct challenge to the Patroness of Life. In countries like Lithuania that are attempting to roll back their pro-abortion laws, the frenzied defenders of death can only be described as diabolical.
Human Life International (HLI) has seen the abundant fruits that come from the conversion of those heavily involved in the sin of abortion. Dr. Stoyan Adasevic of Serbia committed thousands of abortions before a dramatic change of heart made him a witness to the preciousness of life. His conversion came about in this way: He was aborting the baby of his own niece when she began to bleed to death. Dr. Adasevic made a promise to God that if she survived, he would stop aborting. Amazingly, they were able to stop her blood loss almost immediately. Now he travels around Serbia and central and eastern Europe proclaiming the Gospel of Life with HLI’s assistance. Such conversion stories are seen wherever HLI works, but we need more prayers to pull all the lost souls out of the darkness.
That is why we see an urgent need for a prayer campaign to bring about the conversion of the agents of death. Pope Leo XIII composed the powerful St. Michael Prayer to counter the greatest threats to the Church. Today the culture of death is looming over our world. The total number of victims of surgical abortion is now counted in the billions. This is an almost unimaginable evil.
Join with us, the staff, and worldwide collaborators of HLI as we offer up the St Michael Prayer daily for the conversion of abortionists. Many parishes and communities have continued or re-established the venerable practice of reciting the St. Michael Prayer after Mass. If your parish is currently doing this, or decides to do so, please indicate this by using the appropriate check box on the
pledge form as we are documenting this fact.
We have distributed over 600,000 St. Michael prayer cards already.
Order them online for prayer groups and parishes. (The cards are free—we only charge for shipping.) Our hope is that millions will join us from all continents. The petition to ask our priests and bishops to lead the faithful in prayer to St. Michael after Mass is a great opportunity to counter the culture of death. To sign the petition click here.
May God bless you and your families in your spiritual commitment to creating a culture of life!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NY City Council Members Prefers to Worship at the Altar of Moloch Rather Than Uphold the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution

(For those of you who have no idea who Moloch was in ancient mythology, he was a false god back in OT times who required his followers to worship him by burning children alive on his altar. He has come to symbolize the sacrificing of the unborn at the altar of abortion.)
The other day in my post on the 1st day successes by this Fall's 40 Days for Life campaign I talked about the reaction in New York City. Apparently exercising their 1st Amendment rights of free expression of their faith, freedom to peacefully assemble & free speech by those in the Pro-Life camp is trumped by an alledged right to abortion.
Anyone who knows the truth, knows that those of us who protest outside abortion clinics, never stop anyone. We pray, are willing to talk & carry signs. But we never harrass. Unless you consider that our very presence is hated by those promoting abortion, esp when it does stop an abortion.
So, to justify passing a law that is intended to silence free speech, they lie about our actions. In NY City they are trying tochange the law to make our very presence there be harassment. But don't take my word for it. Here is a quote from a press release by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn : "The legislation will also ease the burden of proof currently required in order to prosecute harassers. The current local law requires prosecutors to prove that a defendant intended to prevent someone from obtaining or assisting in reproductive health services. Under the new legislation, proof of such intent would no longer be required for prosecution. Additionally, either a clinic or a patient will be able to file a harassment complaint; currently only an individual’s complaints about such behavior are able to be prosecuted." The whole press release is an attempt to demonize the Pro-Lifers with lies. The false claims reek of fascism plain & simple.
It is no surprize to see who is supporting this law, NARAL & Planned Parenthood. Sadly, a group that should be supporting free speech, the New York Civil Liberties Union, is instead supporting this attempt to destroy the 1st Amendment.
But Pro-Life forces are not going to take this lying down. This is not the 1st attempt to silence ProLifers by abortionists. We know we need to fight back. Both American Life League & 40 Days for Life have issued a call tom action.
In her statement, Katie Walker the Director of Communication for American Life League said: "Please call Ms. Quinn's legislative office at 212-788-7210 or e-mail her at and tell her to stop pushing her pro-abortion agenda at the expense of New York City citizens' constitutional rights to free speech and free assembly."
40 Days for Life is also providing the same info.
In his release about this, David Bereit the National Campaign Director of 40 Days for Life explains why they are so up in arms. "This fall's 40 Days for Life campaign in New York City has already documented 7 children saved from abortion due to the peaceful vigils... " He goes on to say: "...And the abortion industry is furious." Naturally, evil hates it whenever their plans are thwarted.
Dave Bereit goes on to talk about the New York City abortion industry's #1 enemy: "The proposal also appears to target Chris Slattery, who directs 40 Days for Life campaigns in the Bronx and Queens and has a history of effective pro-life activism as president of Expectant Mother Care-EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers."
He goes on to say: "Chris Slattery has fought similar battles before and is well known for refusing to back down from abortion industry attacks, and he certainly isn't backing down in this case, either.
Slattery told the media he will vigorously oppose the legislation. "Within minutes of learning of this new proposed bill on Wednesday, I contacted David Bereit, and we have begun assembling a crack legal team and activist support network for a full scale counter-attack against this unfair, biased and blatantly unconstitutional bill," he said."
Besides contacting the NY City Council we need to pray that these attempts to silence the Pro-Life forces is thwarted. Pray for wisdom for the legal team so that they can clearly present the righteousness of their side. Also, pray that the lies claiming the Pro-Life protestors threaten women, harrass them or may cause them harm will be silenced as well. The truth is, it is the Pro-aborts who are creating the fear by their attempts to demonize us on the Pro-Life side. & pray for those who are supporting abortion that they will be converted & turn away from the evil they are doing.
What is going on in NY City is just another example of the persecution that is being leveled at the Church for standing up & proclaiming the truth. They hope to scare & bully us into silence. & if that doesn't work, then put us in jail, or worse. This is nothing new, it has been going on for almost 2000 years. Peter & John & the Apostles refused to let the threats of the Sanhedren when stop them from preaching the Gospel. We must say the same thing they did: "We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4) I won't lie, it may cost us, like it did the Apostles & others in the early Church. Many of us have already started paying that cost, some to a greater extent. We see the cost as worth it.
To borrow a line or 2 from John Adams: "I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us . . . . -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction." John Adams wrote these words to his wife Abigail on 3 July 1776. He was talking about what would follow as a result of the events of the day before when Congress declared independence from England. But what he said over 225 yrs ago is just as true today. They were willing to lay down everything to fight for life & liberty. We need to be willing to do the same to defend that right for those who cannot fight for it themselves.


My 2nd Endorsement for the Nov 2008 Election

Today I am endorsing the amendment to the Colorado State Constitution that will "see that the Colorado state constitution is amended to include pre-born from the moment of fertilization as having their "personhood" clearly established, so that they may enjoy equal protection under the law."
It is clear that the authors of this amendment recognize the fact that conception has been redefined by those in the "culture of death" to no longer mean what it should. So, they make it clear that life begins at fertilization. This prevents the loophole that would allow for things like the morning after pill.
Like the referendum in South Dakota, this amendment is guarenteed to spur a court challenge that will end up in the Supreme Court. Besides supporting the amendment we need to keep do all we can to get people elected who will appoint people to the Supreme Court & lower courts who will uphold this & other Pro-Life laws. Ultimately, even though, as I said before, the Constitution does protect the unborn, we need a similar amendment to the Federal Constitution as well.
But, as I said before, we need to take evry step we can in the right direction. This is 1 of those steps.
The drive to pass Amendment Question #48 is being spearheaded by Colorado for Equal Rights.

il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo

(The Good, the Ugly, The Bad)
After writing my post on the goings on in Louisiana with LaBruzzo, I was feeling more than a little disgusted with some of the things I was seeing going on in the "culture of death". & while I was seeing some good things, like the news from the kick-off of 40 Days for Life, it seems like the bad news was almost overwhelming. It is like they were rushing to try & outdo one another in evil.
Then I had a chance to read Judie Brown's latest post on her blog (GLOOMY GUS WOULD BE IN TEARS!) In it she talked about many of the same things that were bothering me. In a way it was encouraging to know that it wasn't just me seeing these things.
I also got thinking about how clear the battle lines have become over the past few months. Those promoting the "culture of death" are getting bolder. They are on the side of bad & the things they are promoting are ugly. They are the ones who are openly promoting euthanasia, Baronees Warnock, letting newborns die, Peter Singer, letting those who survive an abortion die, Obama et al, Planned Parenthood'svarious crimes. I could go on & on about the bad & ugly.
But I realize that we have to be thankful that there is plenty of positives as well. Gov. Palin's son Trig shows us that every human being has value. All the calls to prayer & repentance leading up to the election show us that God's people are hearing & answering His call. Again, all that is going on with the 40 Days campaign. The ballot referendums in South Dakota & Colorado that are strongly Pro-Life in nature shows that we are fighting back. Bishops speaking out to correct Catholic politicians when they misrepresent the Church's teachings. These people & events are the good that way too often gets overshadowed by the bad & ugly.
I intend to go on pointing out the bad & ugly to bring it into the light of God's truth. I intend to keep telling the good so that we can be encouraged. I will keep calling us to prayer, fasting & repentance so we can be sure we are on God's side & letting Him work through us.
I won't be able to cover everything, no 1 of us can. But I will try to do my best to listen to God & speak out where He wants. Some of it will be about the political scene. Some will be just some fun things as well. But above all, I pray that I will continue to be used by God to bring Him praise, honor & glory.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bishop Jaime Soto “It is sinful”

On 18 September 2008 Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto 0f the Diocese of Sacramento gave an address to the meeting of the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries at Long Beach, CA. The Association is "based in Berkeley, is a network of local ministries that has the reputation of taking, at best, an ambiguous stance on the moral character of homosexuality and homosexual acts."
The talk turned out to be far different than what most attendees expected, or wanted. He had the courage to call sin sin. According to 2 attendees: "what they witnessed was a bishop who “courageously but gently” gave a clear presentation of Church teaching on sexuality." The result: "At least five members of the audience walked out during the bishop’s address. When he finished speaking, there was general silence -- with only a very small number applauding."
While the follow up comments were mostly negative, 2 people did express their agreement with what the Bishop said. Of the 8 negative comments, 1 was: "We know what the Church says. What we wanted you to talk about is the value of our lived experience as lesbian women and gay men." I suspect that what this person ment by experience is that she wanted the Bishop to approve her sinful lifestyle rather than issue a call to follow Christ's teachings on sexuality.
Given that 1 of the board members said the following to 1 of the tables, I highly doubt that Bishop Soto will be invited back: "On behalf of the board, I apologize. We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said."
The current bishop, William Weigland, is expected to retire on 30 November 2008. I expect that when Bishop Soto takes over there will be a few shakeups that won't sit too well with some of the more "progressive" segmants of the diocese.
I applaud Bishop Soto for his courage in speaking the truth in a situation where he knew it wouldn't be welcome.

When we meditate on the person of Jesus, we often call to mind the many ways that Jesus cared for people. In all the many instances in the gospel when people come to the Lord Jesus with their needs, he fed them, he healed them, he forgave them, and he saved them. This can oftentimes lead us to the conclusion that Jesus always said “yes.” He always gave people what they wanted. He was an agreeable person.

That is not always the case in the gospel. A couple of weeks ago, we heard in Sunday’s gospel the story of a difficult encounter between Jesus and Simon Peter. In the sixteenth chapter of Matthew chosen for the Twenty-second Sunday of the Year, Jesus begins to lay out for his disciples the pending passion and death that awaits him in Jerusalem. Simon Peter is a little put off by the subject of Jesus’ conversation concerning the suffering that awaits him. He tries to persuade the Lord that this is not a good idea for him or for his followers. What Jesus described was not the cruise for which Simon Peter had signed up. When Simon Peter first responded to the Lord’s invitation to come follow him, this was not on the itinerary.

Jesus says “no” to his friend, Simon Peter, in no uncertain terms, “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” The words of Jesus to Peter must have shocked Peter. This is not the agreeable guy he had come to know and follow. He probably felt like prophet Jeremiah who in the first reading that same Sunday said quite bluntly, “You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped.”

Jesus says “no” to Peter’s request so that he can say “yes” to Peter and to us with his sacrifice on the cross. Jesus does not give in to the expectations of Peter or the expectations of others. He has firmly planted in his heart the expectations and desires of his Father in heaven. He says “no” to Peter and challenges Peter to take up a greater “yes,” to take up his cross and follow him.
Paul had the same thing in mind when in the Letter to the Romans he says, “Do not conform yourselves to this age.” Paul reminds us that we are not to conform ourselves to the fads and fancies of our society. We are to conform ourselves to Christ.

We can easily give in to the temptation to go along in order to get along. We can easily be duped by the popular ideas and trends that surround us. “Everybody does it” can become reason enough to think it or do it ourselves. Like Peter we can think that what Jesus teaches us is too unrealistic, too unreasonable. Like Peter we can convince ourselves that we know better than the Lord. We may even try to negotiate with Jesus, like Peter does, for easier terms.

We see this especially in the area of sexuality. So much of what we see and hear every day can lead us to a distorted sense of our sexuality. Sexuality has been reduced to a matter of personal preference and personal pleasure without responsibility and with little respect for others. We can lose sight of the profound dignity of the human person who shares in God’s love and creative work through the chaste expression of one’s sexuality proper to one’s calling in life.

We are surrounded by a “contraceptive culture” that has reduced the procreative act to simple recreation absolved of any responsibility.

The deceptive language of “pro-choice” ignores the consequences of the choice for abortion that does violence to the most innocent and leaves traumatic scars on many young women.

What is a particular concern and alarm for us in California as well as others across the country is the bold judicial challenge to the longstanding cultural and moral understanding of marriage as a sacred covenant between a woman and a man. Our own efforts to restore common sense through the ballot initiative, Proposition 8, are portrayed as bigoted and out-of-touch. The irony is that what we propose is most in touch with the nature of families and what is good for the welfare of all.

That we find ourselves at this time, reasserting the basic moral and reasonable understanding of marriage, means that much has changed in the popular perceptions of sexuality and common notions about marriage. While we work to pass Proposition 8 this coming November, it is important to remember why we do this. Like Jesus, in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew that I cited, we are saying a strong “no” to the California courts and to many who support the court’s wrong-headed decision. This “no” is not rooted in bigotry or bias. It is firmly rooted in a greater “yes” to a truer, more authentic appreciation of love’s calling and love’s design for the human heart.

The nature of love has been distorted. Many popular notions have deviated from its true destiny. Love for many has come to mean having sex. If you cannot have sex than you cannot love. This is the message. Even more destructive is the prevailing notion that sex is not an expression of love. Sex is love. This reductio ad absurdam deprives sexuality of its true meaning and robs the human person of the possibility of ever knowing real love.

Sexual intercourse is a beautiful expression of love, but this is so when intercourse is understood as a unique expression intended to share in the creative, faithful love of God. As the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, elaborated in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, “Marriage based on exclusive and definitive love” – between a man and woman – “becomes the icon of the relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's way of loving becomes the measure of human love.” (DCE, n. 11) Sexual intercourse within the context of the marriage covenant becomes a beautiful icon – a sacrament – of God’s creative, unifying love. When sexual intercourse is taken out of this iconic, sacramental context of the complementary, procreative covenant between a man and a woman it becomes impoverished and it demeans the human person.

Sexual intercourse between a man and a woman in the covenant of Marriage is one expression of love to which the human person can aspire, but we are all called to love. It is part of our human nature to love. We all have a desire to love, but this love can deviate from its true calling when it exalts only in the pleasure of the body. Pope Benedict said in the same encyclical, “The contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure ‘sex,’ has become a commodity, a mere ‘thing’ to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man's great ‘yes’ to the body. On the contrary, he now considers his body and his sexuality as the purely material part of himself, to be used and exploited at will.” (DCE, n. 5) This is not our true calling. The human desire to love must lead us to the divine. Looking again to the Holy Father’s encyclical, he says, “True, eros – human desire – tends to rise ‘in ecstasy’ towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves; yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation, purification and healing.” (DCE, n. 5)

This path is the path of chastity. This is very true in marriage. It is also true in all of human life because it is the nature of all authentic love. We are all called to love. We are all called to be loved. This can only happen when we choose to love in the manner that God has called us to live. Love leads us to ecstasy, not as a moment of intoxication but rather as a journey, “an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God: ‘Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it’ (Lk 17:33).” (DCE n. 6)

Sexuality, then, as part of our human nature only dignifies and liberates us when we begin to love in harmony with God’s love and God’s wisdom for us. Chastity as a virtue is the path that brings us to that harmony with God’s wisdom and love. Chastity moves us beyond one’s desire to what God wills for each one of us. Chastity is love’s journey on the path of “ascent, renunciation, purification and healing.” Chastity is the understanding that it is not all about me or about us. We act always under God’s gaze. Desire tempered and tested by “renunciation, purification, and healing” can lead us to God’s design.

This is true for all of us. It is also true for men and women who are homosexual. We are called to live and love in a manner that brings us into respectful, chaste relationships with one another and an intimate relationship with God. We should be an instrument of God’s love for one another. Let me be clear here. Sexual intercourse, outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, can be alluring and intoxicating but it will not lead to that liberating journey of true self-discovery and an authentic discovery of God. For that reason, it is sinful. Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all. For this reason, it is sinful.

Married love is a beautiful, heroic expression of faithful, life-giving, life-creating love. It should not be accommodated and manipulated for those who would believe that they can and have a right to mimic its unique expression.

Marriage is also not the sole domain of love as some of the politics would seem to imply. Love is lived and celebrated in so many ways that can lead to a wholesome, earnest, and religious life: the deep and chaste love of committed friends, the untiring love of committed religious and clergy, the profound and charitable bonds among the members of a Christian community, enduring, forgiving, and supportive love among family members. Should we dismiss or demean the human and spiritual significance of these lives given in love?

This is a hard message today. It is the still the right message. It will unsettle and disturb many of our brothers and sisters, just as Peter was unsettled and put off by the stern rebuke of his master and good friend, the Lord Jesus. If the story of Peter’s relationship with Jesus had begun and ended there, it would have been a sad tale indeed, but that is not the whole story then nor is it the whole story now. Jesus met Simon Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He said with great love and fondness, “Come, follow me.” Peter would not only continue to follow the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem. Despite his many failings and foibles, he would eventually choose to love as Jesus loved him. He would die as martyr’s death in Rome, giving himself completely for the one who loved him so dearly.

The teaching of the Church regarding the sacred dignity of human sexuality is not a rebuke but an invitation to love as God loves us. The Church’s firm support of Proposition 8 is not a rebuke against homosexuals but a heartfelt affirmation of the nature of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. We hope and pray that all people, including our brothers and sisters who are homosexuals, will see the reasonableness of our position and the sincerity of our love for them.

For that reason, we should let the words of St. Paul haunt us and unsettle us: “Do not conform yourself to this age.” In so many ways we can allow ourselves to be duped, fooled, by the fads and trends of this age. It is far better that we allow ourselves to be drawn into the ways and the manners of Jesus. The Lord Jesus challenges us as he challenged his friend, Simon Peter, to not conform to what is fashionable and convenient. He has so much more to offer us. Do not think as others do. Let us think as God does. He shows us the way, the truth, and the life.

Another Reason I'm Impressed with Bishop Nickless

Bishop R Walker Nickless, Diocese of Sioux City, alreadyleft me favorably impressed with his comments on Nancy Pelosi's faux theology. Now I am even more impressed by the fact that he is encouraging his priests to learn more about both exorcism & the deliverence ministry. The chancery sent out a brochure promoting the Fourth Annual International Conference on Healing – Exorcism and Deliverance held in August at Mundelein Seminary, Chicago. 3 priests from the diocese attended.
I like the view towards deliverence expressed at the conference, that it is a healing ministry intended to free people of their suffering.
But what is really the thing I like best is that I see a shepherd who takes his responsibilities seriously & realizes that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan & is willing to provide his sheep with what they need to be victorious over evil by training priests in the skills they need for this to be accomplished.
Here is the full article from the Sioux City Diocesan newspaper:
When most people hear the term exorcism, visions of Linda Blair’s head spinning around in the well-known movie The Exorcist often comes to mind.
Three priests of the Diocese of Sioux City recently attended a conference on exorcism and deliverance. They learned that while the Hollywood version of Catholic exorcisms are rare, the need for and use of deliverance can be more readily applied as it is a healing ministry intended to free people of their suffering.
Father Jim Bruch, pastor at St. Boniface in Sioux City; Father Harry McAlpine, a retired priest of the diocese; and Father Patrick O’Kane, pastor at St. Bernard in Blencoe, St. John in Onawa and St. Joseph in Salix – attended the Fourth Annual International Conference on Healing – Exorcism and Deliverance held in August at Mundelein Seminary, Chicago.
These priests expressed interest in attending the conference after a brochure was sent out from the chancery to all priests of the diocese.
After reading the information on the conference, Father McAlpine questioned if this was something that he wanted to get involved in. Eventually, he felt drawn to check it out and see what it was all about.
Intense conference
“It was a good experience. It was a very intense week of listening to lectures,” he said. “A lot of it makes a lot of sense.”
He acknowledged that exorcisms today are few and far between, but he added that evil spirits do exist and influence people harmfully - thus the need for deliverance.
“A lot of people are hurting and floundering,” said Father McAlpine. “Jesus wants to heal us and this healing ministry is a significant step to bring freedom to those who are suffering.”
Father Bruch also expressed interest in going to the conference to learn more about this form of ministry.
“It was something that I had never really thought much about or had much teaching on,” he said. He also found the conference to be intense and compared it to going into the third grade with the expectation to learn subtraction and division and then having the instructor present calculus. “It was pretty high-powered.”
While this is not a gift or ministry to be used lightly, Father Bruch said all prayerful, baptized people are empowered to deliver people from evil spirits. He has witnessed how praying with people can bring relief.Father O’Kane said he was interested in attending the conference because he felt it would help him in giving spiritual direction and help him to be a better confessor in the sacrament of reconciliation.
“I was very interested in the topic,” he added. “I know that the evil one is very active in the world. It’s part of our ordinary healing ministry to help people in areas where healing is needed. When the evil one gets involved in our lives, we need to know how to deal with it.”
The devil is not something that is often discussed in this day and age, but Father McAlpine said there is no doubt that evil spirits are at work and that can be manifested in sinful behavior such as abuses of drugs and alcohol, pornography, sexual abuse and abortion.
“I think we have to call a spade a spade. Truly this behavior is the work of the devil,” said Father McAlpine, who continues to study about exorcism and deliverance. “It’s not a question of one, but many (demons) as indicated in the Gospels. Delivering people from evil spirits, along with forgiving sins and healing of the sick isan essential part of responding to the Gospel message.”
Part of Jesus’ ministry
Exorcism and deliverance was part of Jesus’ ministry and he passed that on to the apostles as a healing ministry. Father McAlpine said deliverance is a great way for the church to help people overcome whatever it is that has a hold on them – whether it’s sinful behavior, a loss of hope, pride or greed.
Father O’Kane agreed that deliverance can not only be used for habitual sin but for anything that people hang on to, even some addictions could be looked at in light of the presence of evil.
“One of the things I like to do is ask people what in their lives is keeping them from experiencing God’s tremendous love for them and prevents them from feeling really good about themselves – a whole person,” said Father Bruch. “Invariably, they are able to come up with something that stands in the way of that.”After helping people reflect on what is standing in the way of their relationship with God, he said if they are open to it, he prays a prayer of deliverance, asking the evil spirit to depart, if one in fact plays a part in it.
Father Bruch said he plans to use it mainly during the sacrament of reconciliation and in pastoral counseling sessions. He believes that most priests are already doing some form of this ministry in their own way.
He pointed out that even if a prayer of deliverance is offered asking for evil spirits to leave, the people must follow through with prayer and receiving the sacraments – especially the Eucharist and reconciliation.
“It’s not a magical thing. It takes work, on the person’s part,” said Father Bruch. “We (priests) too, need to be people of prayer.” He also stressed the fact that this isn’t a “cure-all.” People with mental, emotional and physical illnesses will continue to be encouraged to seek professional help for their problems. Additional prayer support could then be provided after they receive needed help.
Father O’Kane noted that he also plans to use this form of ministry during the sacrament of reconciliation as well as when he is counseling people and in spiritual direction of priests, seminarians and lay people.
Some people have somewhat forgotten about the wonderful gift of the sacrament of reconciliation, said Father McAlpine, where the faithful are offered forgiveness and deliverance.
“Because some people’s problems go much deeper, they need to renounce – under good spiritual direction – the evilness that is going on in their life and be freed from it,” he said.
Since going to this conference, Father McAlpine found that it has been personally helpful and insightful for him to be able to reach out to the people who are hurting. While there may not be time in the confessional to go into this in greater depth, he said it can be used as an invitation to seek further spiritual guidance.
“A person can come in and be really hurting and they are not possessed per se, need an exorcism, but they arecaught in demonic activity and need to be freed from it,” he said. “They need prayer and spiritual guidance to bring them to personal wholeness. Even priests that are involved in this are called to real holiness – to beable to accomplish this in the name of Jesus.”
This healing ministry has served as a good reminder to Father Bruch of the trust that people have to come in and unburden themselves and to believe in God’s forgiveness.
“It has given me so much more confidence in my own self for dealing with these things,” he said. “I’m not afraid of it.”
It has also helped Father O’Kane in his personal faith life, he said as he “heeds the call to become holier and more focused on the Lord.”
Father O’Kane pointed out that through ordination priests have received special graces to assist them in dealing with the evil one.
“Another reason why I wanted to attend the workshop, so I wouldn’t be afraid in dealing with it – so I could understand it more and be better equipped to engage and know what to do,” he said. “I know people are suffering because of this.”
The conference gave him more confidence and more skills.Father McAlpine acknowledged that with the busy schedules of priests, it probably prohibits most of them from becoming totally involved in this type of ministry, however, “I encourage them to at least pursue a background knowledge of the ministry, knowing there’s support for this healing within the diocese.”
These priests are open to having other priests call them to ask about this ministry. If people are struggling with sinful behavior, they encourage them to go to confession and speak to their pastor.
“Let’s open our hearts in receiving reconciliation and the Eucharist. These amazing gifts will change our lives forever,” said Father McAlpine. “Evil can be defeated through prayer, fasting and forgiveness. Satan has no power when we come forward in the name of Jesus. Exorcism and deliverance – if needed – can set us free.” He stressed the fact that good Christians can be oppressed and burdened.
“Don’t hesitate to come forward to receive God’s healing gifts of love and mercy,” said Father McAlpine.

My 1st Endorsement for the Nov 2008 Election

I am officially announcing my endorsement for Initiated Measure 11 on the South Dakota Ballot. While it doesn't totally ban abortions in South Dakota it is a move in the right direction. If it passes, it will almost certainly be challenged in court. & may even be a key in the overturning of Roe v Wade. Depending on how the ruling overturning R v W goes, it will, at the least allow states to ban abortion, at best, the ruling will finally recognize the already existing Constitutional protection of the unborn & declare abortion unconstitutional. (Although, I still think we need to have an amendment that makes clear what is already there to prevent the misreading done in the past from ever happenning again.)
Never doubt that the ultimate (& only true) goal is to eliminate all abortions in the USA. We need to be careful not to settle for any less, no matter what. But we also need to take every step we can in the meantime to put limits that began to reduce this holocaust. Again,any steps MUST lead to the complete banning of abortion as the ultimate goal.
In 2006, a referendum that would have completely banned abortions was defeated 44% for - 56% against. Surveys said that it would have passes with the few execptions in the current version. That is why they are trying again to at least get a law passed that will ban the great majority of abortions.
Planned Parenthood is doing all it can to defeat this bill. They are pouring in plenty of out of state money into the battle. They know that any limits on abortion will open the door for a complete ban of the proceedure if passed & upheld. They don't want to take that chance.
Vote Yes for Life doesn't have the deep pockets that PP & their buddies do. they need all the help they can.
Again, while the goal remains a complete ban, any step along the way that will put limits & cut down on the number of unborn murdered is a step in the right direction. Every abortion prevented, is 1 more life saved.
For more info & to donate check out Vote Yes for Life.

LaBruzzo = PAZZO

"A stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring." Margaret Sanger, "A Plan For Peace", Birth Control Review, April 1932, p. 106
"State Rep. John LaBruzzo (R-LA House District 81) says the government should consider cash incentives for poor people to undergo reproductive sterilization, because society is careening toward a day when persons on public assistance outnumber taxpayers and the economy collapses."
"LaBruzzo said he continues compiling such data and that his idea of providing Fallopian tubal ligations and a $1,000 bonus to impoverished women was a brainstorming tactic prematurely made public Monday on a radio talk show, followed by Internet and printed reports." (LaBruzzo sterilization idea at odds with welfare numbers)
Margaret Sanger would be proud that someone was buying into her ideas. There has been some outcry about what he said. What gets me is who.
It stikes me as ironic that 1 of his critics is an heir to Margaret Sanger's policies & programs, Julie Mickelberry, public affairs director for Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta.
"'Clearly Rep. LaBruzzo doesn't know a thing about prevention,' Mickelberry said. 'We know that offering bribes for sterilization won't do a thing.'
Instead, Mickelberry said, providing access to health care and information about avoiding unintended pregnancies is more likely to help impoverished people."
I can't prove a thing, but I suspect that she isn't so much turning her back on Sanger's ideas as she is positioning PP for more government money. Why? "After further thought, LaBruzzo said, he has modified his position toward calling for financial incentives for temporary forms of birth control, instead of surgery." (ie: the pill, condoms etc) & who would get a healthy share of this money to provide them. PP of course.
It is interesting to read what Rachel E. Luft, assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Orleans, had to say about his idea. According to the article: "Luft likened LaBruzzo's plan to the eugenics movement that sought to engineer low-income and ethnic groups out of the population a century ago, based on the belief that some people are less valuable than others. Adolf Hitler later adopted some of the movement's principles in Nazi Germany, Luft said." While she is right as far as she goes, she fails to mention that 1 of the leaders of the eugenics movement was Margaret Sanger, the founder of PP.
Given that LaBruzzo's occupation is described on his legislative web page as Medical Equipment Representative, I have to wonder if that doesn't play a part in his considering it. Wrong as his position is, what is even sadder is the response from some of his political backers.
Laywer James Garvey (State Board of Elementary & Secondary Education) $1000 donor: "It definitely caught me by surprise. I guess I would say that Johnny is a really good guy and really bright guy and that he comes up with ideas that have not been thought of by many other people. Some are good. Some are bad."
It gets worse. "Garvey said he had not given LaBruzzo's sterilization idea enough thought to take a position on it. 'This might turn out to be a horrible idea,' he said, 'but you can't get his good ideas without getting some of his off-the-wall ideas.'" WHAT NEED FOR THOUGHT??????? This is a bad idea plain & simple. It can't be defended.
Then there is the comment by $2000 donor, real estate developer Henry Shane. "'I'd have to know what he is actually proposing,' Shane said. 'It sounds like it might be unusual, but when you get into the details of it, it may make sense.'" NO IT DOESN"T MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL!!!!!
Meanwhile, should either plan be implimented, Margaret Sanger's goals will have been furthered. Let's pray that they aren't.
& to my paisan LaBruzzo I have this to say: "Are you totally & completely pazzo???? Per favore, quit acting like a gavone by promoting this infamia!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Strength In Numbers

On 18 September 2008, a "Planned Parenthood: BAD for America" summit was held in Rosemont, Ill. It was organized by the Pro-Life Action League (PLAL), of Chicago. Meeting together, they shared different techniques that have been successful in their battles against PP. 1 of the main goals of the summit was to work on a joint plan to battle PP. Talking about the gathering at a pre-summit press conference Eric Scheidler, PLAL communications director, said: "Each pro-life group emphasizes different strategies for effectively reducing abortion, but we all share a common goal - to stop abortion forever." He went on to say: "Today more than ever, the pro-life movement must stand together to oppose Planned Parenthood." At the concusion of the summit a statement was issued that explained the reasons for opposing PP as well as specific measures that will be implimented.
(I am happy & proud to report that 1 of those in attendance & signed the statement was the executive director of DBQ Co Right to Life, Steven N. Brody.)


WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood operates the nation’s largest abortion chain, reporting 289,750 abortions in 2006, 24% of the national total; and
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood targets adolescents with a message that divests human sexuality of any moral character, encourages unsafe, irresponsible sexual behavior, and undermines the relationship between parents and their children; and
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood has a well-documented history of shielding child predators by failing to comply with mandatory reporting laws regarding child and statutory rape;
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger, continues to pursue racist business practices, by targeting abortions disproportionately to minority women; and
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood has embarked on a major nationwide expansion effort, building massive new abortion centers in major metropolitan areas, skirting local zoning regulations, and attempting to lure more affluent clients with a new “upscale” image; and
WHEREAS, Planned Parenthood is assisted in their anti-child, anti-family agenda by the infusion of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars annually—a third of their billion-dollar national budget;
THEREFORE, we, the undersigned pro-life leaders from across the nation, hereby pledge to coordinate our efforts in a bold, new, national campaign to defend American families from Planned Parenthood.
TOGETHER, we will put Planned Parenthood out of business by implementing proven strategies across the nation, to achieve the following goals:
• To mobilize massive grassroots opposition to all new and proposed Planned Parenthood construction projects: close scrutiny of permits and applications, community advocacy, legal action and multi-faceted demonstrations; and
• To eliminate Planned Parenthood’s government funding at the local, state and federal levels; and
• To drastically reduce corporate funding of Planned Parenthood; and
• To utilize all media, both traditional and alternative, to expose Planned Parenthood’s attack on women, children and families; and
• To deprive Planned Parenthood of business and save unborn babies from abortion by expanding the pro-life presence at Planned Parenthood facilities; and
• To safeguard the health and innocence of children by empowering parents and teachers to remove Planned Parenthood programs from their communities; and
• To hold public officials accountable for enforcing all applicable laws, such as parental involvement and mandatory reporting of statutory rape; and
• To call upon all people of faith and conscience to unite in prayer for an end to Planned Parenthood and its detrimental programs and policies.
SIGNED this 18th day of September, 2008:

Patricia Bainbridge
Life Decisions International
Bill Beckman
Illinois Right to Life

David Bereit
40 Days for Life

Thomas Brejcha, Esq.
Thomas More Society

Steven Brody
Dubuque County Right to Life, Inc.

Al Carlson
Citizens for Life,
Rapid City, SD

Shawn Carney
Coalition for Life

Dr. Brian Clowes
Human Life International

Day Gardner
National Black Pro-Life Union

Lorraine Gariboldi
Life Center of Long Island

Jennifer Giroux
Women Influencing the Nation

Kristan Hawkins
Students for Life of America
John Jansen
Generations for Life

Joe Langfeld
Human Life Alliance

Keith Mason
Personhood USA

Janet Morana
Priests for Life

Steve Peroutka
National Pro-Life Action Center

Ray Ruddy
Gerard Health Foundation

Lila Rose
Live Action

Eric Scheidler
Families Against Planned Parenthood
Joe Scheidler
Pro-Life Action League

Doug Scott
Life Decisions International

Jim Sedlak
American Life League

Mary Strom
The Women’s Centers

Jill Stanek

Kathleen Sullivan
Project Reality

Fr. Norman Weslin
Gabriel’s Corner

Erik Whittington
Rock for Life

Kyleen Wright
Texans for Life Coalition

IN ADDITION, the following pro-life leaders and organizations have signed on to this Joint Statement subsequent to the initial September 18 signing:

Lawson Lipford-Cruz
Black Students for Life

Troy Newman
Operation Rescue

Ruben Obregon
No Room for Contraception

Dr. Peggy Elliott
Dr. Peggy Elliott Ministries

Kim Lehman
Iowa Right to Life

Steve Mosher
Population Research Institute


40 Days for Life Fall 2008 Campaign - Day 1, At Least 5 Lives Already Saved

From the daily e-mail update:

What a way to start the day!
The fall 40 Days for Life campaign was barely hours old when we received an e-mail from Jennifer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She and a few others had arrived at 6:30 Wednesday morning to pray at the abortion center. A couple arrived in the parking lot, got out of their car and walked towards the building. "Joe gave them a flyer," said Jennifer, "and she brought it into the clinic. About 10 minutes later they came out of the clinic and went to the car." The woman argued with the man for a time, but then they got in the car and left. "This lady looked at us praying and blessed herself with the sign of the cross," Jennifer said. "We saved our first baby!"
Shortly thereafter, a text message appeared on my phone from Chris, the campaign director from New York City: "David! 1st 40 Days turnaround!" Later in the day, another life was saved at the same location. *
Nance, organizer of the Grimes and Waller county,Texas, 40 Days for Life efforts e-mailed, "a BABY SAVED from Planned Parenthood in Houston!!!"
While driving to the 40 Days for Life kickoff event in South Bend, Indiana tonight, I received an excited call from the Indianapolis campaign leader. A first time 40 Days for Life volunteer was praying outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility this morning when a car leaving the center pulled over and the occupants beckoned for her to come near. Thevolunteer nervously approached and was told by themother in the vehicle, "Your prayers are working. My daughter just decided to not have an abortion."
We are hearing amazing success stories like this from all across North America......So let's spread the news!
* Meanwhile, in New York City Satan is trying to silence the voices for life. Given the success stories from this & past 40 Days, that is no surprize. I share this from an e-mail I got from FRC Action:
Life Gets a Restraining Order
Yesterday I told you about the nationwide prayer vigil called "40 Days for Life" going on outside of abortuaries. This effort is not to block access to the facility and definitely not to cause any harm to anyone (as opposed to the violence that occurs inside such "facilities") but to partake in the most powerful tool that God gave to us - to pray to Him on behalf of the young women and the children they carry inside them. Yesterday in New York City the pro-abortion City Council joined hands with the NARAL, Planned Parenthood and ACLU chapters in the city to introduce legislation that would stop these prayer warriors from being able to pray anywhere near an abortion clinic. In its two years of existence the "40 Days for Life" campaign has seen over 150,000 people join together to fast and pray for an end to abortion. Many of these people hold 40-day prayer vigils outside of abortion clinics and have seen great success in changing hearts and minds. Obviously pro-abortion forces in New York City rightfully fear the power of prayer and are attempting to shut them down. Please contact the New York City Council at (212) 788-7116 and ask them to "shut down" this bill that attempts to "shut up" prayer.
In the ACLU's eyes, a nonexistant Constitutional right to an abortion trumps 3 of the actually stated 1st Amendment rights to "free exercise" of religion, "the freedom of speech", & "the right of the people peaceably to assemble". Once again the ACLU shows the truth about its aim, it isn't to defend our rights, it is to help destroy our real freedoms.


How Not to Make Your Pro-Abort Buddies Happy

Admit, the truth that abortion is murder. & sound like you are proud of it as well.
Recently pro-abortion social commentator Camille Paglia said that very thing in a column she wrote for "I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful … which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue." (emphasis mine)
1 of the reasons that pro-aborts have denied that they are killing a human being is because they know that if the truth got out, they would lose a lot of support. I can't help but think that a large number of people out there still have some sense of decency & respect for human life & if they knew the truth would join the Pro-Life movement. Camille Paglia has shown the ugly truth about being pro-abortion, you condone murder. This leads to the question, who decides which lives are of value? & we see how the "culture of death" has been working. Euthanasia, mercy killing etc are all becoming acceptable, even though they are murder as well.
Right now there are 2 murder trials going on in the DBQ area. Using the standard set by abortionists, ethicists like Peter Singer & their ilk, these people shouldn't even be on trial. Why is it wrong for them to kill, but it be OK for someone else to let a newborn baby born as a result of an abortion die. Or as Singer would have it, to starve a newborn who doesn't meet a certain mental or physical standard of proving worth?
The reality is, murder is murder. It is always wrong, regardless of the age/ability or disabilities of the victim. Those people who commited those murders should be on trial & should pay the penalty if they are guilty. & every unborn child deserves the same protection, as do the elderly & infirm.
The fact that Camille Paglia's comments didn't raise more of an outcry shows how far down the path of destruction we have already gone. It isn't too late to turn back, but how much longer before it is & we have to face the consequences? This is why I cannot be silent. As a Nation, we need to repent & turn back. Those of us who are Pro-Life can't stop fighting & I won't!!!!! Even at the cost of my life.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The TRUTH(?) About Apple Computers

Actually, this is a great parody done by Jeff Miller aka The Curt Jester hoping to give Microsoft a better idea than the lame Seinfeld/Bill Gates comercials.

As Far As I Am Concerned, the Iowa Constitution Already Bans All Abortions

Now if we can only overturn Roe v Wade & get the right judges on the Iowa Supreme Court who will read it exactly as it is written.
Here is what the key section of the Iowa Constitution, written in 1857, says:

Rights of persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights--among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. (emphasis mine)
All means all, from the moment of conception ie: fertilization (when the egg & sperm are joined, not what they try & pass of as when the embryo is emplanted in the uterine wall).
Enjoying life - I think that is pretty clear
safety - abortion clearly threatens that safety
Of course, an amendment that makes it clear that abortions are forbidden is exactly what it means wouldn't hurt. & would keep the Pro-death contingency at bay. Esp given the fact that exact wording hasn't exactly keep the Ia or US Courts from saying what they want.
Actually, I am waiting for some court to declare the Iowa Constitution unconstitutional. Why? Because of the wording in the Preamble : PREAMBLE. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa, (emphasis mine)
We can't have a state constitution acknowledging a Supreme Being, & worse, we depend on Him. Actually we can, & we should. & in Iowa, we do!!!!!
Illinois' Constitution (1970) has a Preamble that starts out with: "We, the People of the State of Illinois - grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors".
Meanwhile over in Wisconsin, their constitution (1848) has a preamble that is just as unconstitutional: "We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution."
Quite a wide range of dates & God is mentioned in all of them. & if you still have any doubts that the so-called "seperation of Church & state" is the original intent of the US Constitution I give you this quote from the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world: "We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." It was written in 1779 by John Adams, Samuel Adams & James Bowdoin & adopted in 1780.
We won't go into all the clear references to "Natural Law". It is clear that the reality of the matter is that there is in no way, shape or form, the "right" to an abortion that trumps the "right to life".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Lady of Ransom

I just was reading a bit on the Catholic Culture website about a feast for 24 Sept on the old calendar for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It was the feast of Our Lady of Ransom. Here is a part of that article:

"The Church decided to organize the work of ransoming slaves. In 1198 St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois founded the Trinitarians. From then until 1787 they redeemed 900,000 captives. The Order of Our Lady of Ransom, called the Mercedarians, and founded by St. Peter Nolasco, ransomed 490,736 slaves between the years 1218 and 1632. St. Vincent de Paul, a slave himself, led his priests to save 1200 Christian captives in the short period between 1642 and 1660 at the staggering cost of 1,200,000 pounds of silver. An even greater achievement was the conversion of thousands in captivity, and steeling them against the sufferings of a cruel martyrdom for the faith."

"Our Blessed Mother herself appeared in a vision to St. Peter Nolasco, and requested him to found a religious order devoted to the rescue of captives. This was in 1218. Previous to that, since 1192, certain noblemen of Barcelona, Spain, had organized to care for the sick in hospitals and to rescue Christians from the Moors. St. Peter Nolasco, St. Raymond of Pennafort, and King James formed the new Order of Our Lady of Mercy. The group included religious priests who prayed and gathered the means, while the lay monks or knights went into the very camps of the Moors to buy back Christians, and, if necessary, take their very places. We have mentioned the magnitude of their success, a success that was won through the heavenly assistance of the Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Ransom."

As I read the article I couldn't help but think that something like this is going on today. I thought of all the unborn who are in danger of being killed by abortion. Clinics like those operated by, Care Net, Birthright International & DBQ's Clarity Clinic are doing the work of ransoming many of them from death. I have a modest proposal I offer to the Vatican for making Our Lady of Ransom their patron saint. Papa Benedetto, how does that sound to you? Headlines

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