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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

1 Man's Journey to Pro-Life

For those of you who don't recognize the name, Gary Graham starred as Matt Sikes in FOX TV's “ALIEN NATION" & as Ambassador Soval in “STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE”. (It also gives a clue why the Pro-aborts are so opposed to providing ultrasounds before an abortion.)
by Gary Graham
I’m not a person filled with hate. I don’t brew strong stomach acids when I hear/see things I think horrendously idiotic or unjust in the news or on the street. Initially, my reaction is to laugh. The irony is simply too much, and I crack up. Generally, it’s either laugh…or cry. And who wants to spend the day in tears? For I would, were I to give in to that option of dealing with the utter, naked insanity in our midst on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about something that ‘isn’t quite right’ or… ‘is just a tad out of whack’…I’m talking about the United States of America in this year of 2009 being completely off its moorings and slipping into the abyss.
“What the hell is Graham on about now?? What momentous, screeching rant is he conjuring up now; can somebody put him on a stupid TV show so he’d shut up already??” – Your name here.
No. I’m going to say it. I’m going to say what millions know in the front of their brains, and many, many more millions know in the depths of their hearts…but won’t allow themselves to think it, much less feel it. And believe me, I know I’ll be hated for saying it, I’ll be hated by people who don’t know me, have never worked with me, have never golfed with me, had a drink with me, shot the shit with me. They’ve never met me, don’t want to meet me…but they will hate me. I’m going to say it anyway: Abortion is murder.
Screams, bomb blasts, machine-gun rounds rip through plaster, I duck, but the copper-tip spears tear into meat, I run, the fire sears flesh, more screams, are they coming from me, or are they my head being torn from…my…
In the sixties and seventies I was a proud part of the peace generation. Long-haired hippies, rocker-lovers, lover-rockers, music festivals, drug explorations, peace not war, and there’s this cute piece right next to me, I’ve got a sleeping bag, would you like to get warm, and there’s a little hash left, you’re so pretty… Hey don’t laugh, we thought we were changing the world. Free love, baby, do it if it feels good, don’t look back, power to the peeps, and do your own thing. Wow, really? You mean you can be cool, have a lot of sex…and save the world all at the same time? Damn this is so f*cking bitchen! Ooh, my hair’s getting really good in the back… (Brown shoes… don’t make it! — F.Zappa)
But wait – I’m in college. I’m on a fast track to jump into the business world. I’m going to be some stick-up-the-butt loser in some establishment straight-ass job, when I really just want to party. Oops, I mean… I want to help save the world! Through drugs, sex and rock and roll. All right, we don’t really have a solid business plan made up yet…but we’re working on it. Of course I’m a Democrat! Duh!
End of flashback.
I have been on all sides of this issue for most of my life, and I can simply not escape the logic. That fetus a pregnant woman is carrying inside of her, regardless of the gestation stage, is a living, breathing human being. Yes, breathing – the amniotic sac forms 12 days after conception, and in the second trimester the baby is actually breathing the amniotic fluid. It’s not an ‘unviable tissue mass.’ Not a wart, a mole, a skin outcropping, a boil, or a bundle of uncoordinated cells. It’s not just a ‘fetus’.
It’s a baby. Not fully developed, true. Like an infant is not a fully developed and mature adult. But it’s a baby.
And the first time I got a girl pregnant, I would have wrestled you to the ground for saying that. How f*cking dare you? You don’t know what you’re talking about! You piece of crap, you don’t know!
Well I do know. And I stand condemned. I’ve paid for three of them and was responsible for probably several more, I’m not really sure. But it breaks my heart. Because I’ve been convicted in my soul. It took years after the fact, but I was shown the Truth. And not to get mumbo-jumbo, oogly-boogly on you, but it was a spiritual awakening that did it. It happened unexpectedly, and it threw me to my knees in sudden tearful epiphany of what it meant for a man to be with a woman, what sex was really designed for by our Creator and… what abortion is.
And up until that point, I was completely ‘Pro-Choice’. I had bought the whole ‘women’s rights’ thing, completely agreed with ‘the constitutional right of a woman’s freedom to choose’…and I was just fine with that. Sure took the pressure off of me, a guy, interested in sex who had been raised in the era of, “Hey, you get a girl pregnant, you marry her!” But times had changed. Now abortions could be had legally if a doctor determined the life of the mother was in danger. Girls in college told me what a joke that was. They’d go in to see a doctor, tell him they’re pregnant, and the conversation went like this:
Doctor: “You’re feeling suicidal?” (hint hint, wink nudge.)
Girl: “Oh. Yeah… suicidal. I’m feeling suicidal.”
Doctor: “All right, then.”
Abortion as a method of birth control became the norm. I knew a few girls who had had as many as five of them by the time they were twenty-five. And they seemed fine on it…mostly because everyone around them was telling them that they should feel fine about it.
So this abortion thing was pretty damn convenient for a guy. And for a time, I was quite the Lothario. I kept a roster of seven girlfriends. Why seven? I don’t know…maybe Lucky Number 7 (yeah maybe)…or seven days in a week (more likely). But I would meet someone new, and I would simply go through my list…and kick one girl off. I would simply stop calling her. And to my great shame…this was my chosen method to ‘decathect.’ In retrospect, I wish I’d had the balls of utter honesty in my early relationships; but I was a drug-addled, post college idiot and that was the best I could muster. This was my m.o. and I knew I wasn’t alone…not by a long shot. We were proud products of the Love Generation.
Jump forward thirty years and Nancy Pelosi tells us yesterday that ‘family planning’ is now a fiscal responsibility to ‘reduce costs.’ Her defenders will say that NO, she’s talking about condoms and sex education. But anyone with a mind who’s been around for a while knows that ‘family planning’ is code for abortion. She is asking for 200 million dollars for Family Planning Services to ‘expand the economy.’ These are taxpayer dollars, dontcha know. Your money. She says states are in terrible fiscal crisis and it’s ‘part of what we do for childrens’ health and education’…” I’m trying to figure out how ripping an unborn child from it’s womb is aiding in it’s health or education, but maybe I’m missing something here.
I’ve heard it argued that a fetus is not a baby because it could not survive outside the womb on its own. But what about three-day old baby? Or even a two week old baby? If you set it down on the floor and leave it alone…will it survive on its own? Or will it die? So what’s the cut-off for determining whether it’s a baby or not?
It really comes down to this: when does life begin? When is it a baby? At the point of conception? First trimester? Third? At the point of actual delivery? When the umbilical cord is cut? Two weeks afterward? When?
I’m telling you, once you draw that line and say this is the moment it’s a human being…you’ve lost the argument. Because it’s arbitrary. On this date it’s a baby, but yesterday it was just a bunch of cells…this blob of a nothing and you can do anything you want with it, it’s okay. Babies have been born premature in the second trimester and lived. Happens all the time. So please, somebody tell me how is taking a baby and delivering all but the head, then plunging a tube into its skull and sucking the brains out…how is that not murder? This is what happens in partial-birth abortions, and unfortunately, this happens all the time, too.
And we as a nation…as a people…are all right with this?
I understand the hate that is leveled at someone like me who reminds people of this. To contemplate the reality is daunting. The act is horrendous and made more tragic when you consider the numbers of babies that are being disposed of every day.
Our willingness to tolerate such a holocaust says volumes of how our entire culture has been coarsened. How life itself has been cheapened. We are told to have sex any time we feel the urge. Condoms are handed out in grade schools. Promiscuity is not only condoned, it’s tacitly encouraged. Illegitimacy has enslaved an entire underclass of our citizens, relegating them to government assistance for a lifetime, bankrupting cities, and holding an entire subculture down in dependent despair. But if you should get pregnant and it’s just not a ‘convenient’ time for you, don’t worry, there are Family Planning Services, funded, thanks to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, by your tax dollars. That inconvenient fetus can be surgically ripped from its uterine moorings, ground up and tossed into the trash like so much garbage. Problem solved, and the mother can resume her egocentric lifestyle. But the scars on that woman’s soul will never quite heal. I’m a man, but I’ve got them on mine.
I’ve heard from liberals the following quote: “We want abortion to be legal…but rare.” And I ask, Why rare? What’s wrong with abortion, that you think it should be a rare occurrence? I’ve had moles removed from my skin. Doctors don’t tell us that a mole removal should be rare. So what’s with this ‘rare’ business? Or is it a tacit agreement that abortion…is plain wrong?
And in the double-standard department… Will somebody tell me how it is that Scott Peterson gets convicted of a double homicide – his wife, and his unborn son – and yet it’s not murder if a doctor does basically the same thing in a clinic? Explain it to me; why is it murder in the one case, and totally acceptable in the other? You tell me, “HEY! It’s my body, I’ve got the right to do whatever I want with my body!!” Well, no you don’t. You don’t have the legal right to prostitute yourself (Nevada excepted). You don’t have a right to pick up an axe and lop off your boyfriend’s head if he gives you lip. You don’t have the right to murder. And your anger will bring you back to the its-not-a-baby, it’s-my-body mobius.
Illogic without end.
Try this exercise: Every time you hear someone use the phrase “…a woman’s right to choose…” mentally complete the phrase with the following words – “…to kill her baby.” That’s what the argument’s about. A woman’s right to kill her baby.
In the extreme cases of incest…rape…severe birth defects. Hey, I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. That’s a tough one. But there has got to be a better way than abortion. Adoption comes to mind. With all the thousands of couples out there unable to make a baby…doesn’t it seem the right thing to do…to give birth and give the unwanted baby up for adoption into a loving family?
Just a thought.
I saw my daughter’s ultrasound when she was at four weeks. All I saw was this little pulsating cylinder about the size of my little fingernail. Each little vibration was a heartbeat. Yes, a heart barely formed; cells still differentiating into form and function…but her little heart was just wailing away. I burst into tears. And I realized… I was beholding an utter miracle. The miracle of life. And I also realized that from the very first merger of cell into cell, and the first divisions…that the whole miracle of life was from that point on struggling against all odds to become a fully-realised human being.
I don’t mean to preach. I’m just telling you what I have come to know, and that I know that I know. The unborn fetus is a baby in development…and to end that life prematurely is to murder that life.
I truly wish that I had had this conviction way back when…when I was only concerned about my selfish convenience of the day. But I didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to think about it. It was inconvenient to think about it.
How ironic that the ‘Love’ Generation should spawn such a culturally accepted abomination as abortion.
May God have mercy on us all.

Come Holy Ghost!!!!!

[photo source: (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, HO)]

Any doubts that what the Pope was teaching was of God were put to rest when the Holy Spirit made a surprize appearance at the Sunday Angelus.

Pelosi's Non-Answer Answer

Notice how Nancy Pelosi hems & haws as she gives her supposed answer. & in the end she can't come up with an honest answer. Why? Because she knows there isn't 1. So she hides behind the claim that it will save the states money.
The only reason it will save the states money is that the Feds will underwrite it instead. It will still be your tax dollars being used. Only more of them because of the added expense of filtering the money through the Federal beauracracy as well as that of the states.
The only economy this will help is the death industry's. & she knows it. But she can't admit that all this is is payback to the "culture of death" for their help in last Fall's election. By supporting them Pelosi etc are providing formal cooperation in their agenda. Bishops how much longer will you let them? Your silence by not banning them from Communion &/or excommunicating them is equally formal cooperation as far as I am concerned.
We won't go into the fact that her claim everything in it is to stimulate the economy is a lie, unless such things as funding ACORN for it to be able to create more voter fraud & the 1 time expenses for the 2010 Census found in it could be considered economic stimulus. In her mind, I guess they would be.

Like I Said, Only A Minor Setback

I have to wonder what is still hidden & yet to come to light. All these funds are making a dirty joke out of the term "stimulus package". Or it would be a joke if it wasn't for the fact that these are our tax dollars being wasted. & even less of a joke is what they are being wasted on.
This is a battle that is not going to go away. Pray that God continues to bring all these hidden expenses will be brought to light. & in a way that will force Pelosi & her cronies to have to remove the money.
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2009 ( - Just one day after millions of dollars in contraception and abortion handouts in Obama's nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus package were made public and immediately discarded, news has come to light of another $335 million set aside for condoms and sexually explicit "STD prevention" programs.
The Drudge Report headlined the discovery of another chunk of stimulus money headed primarily for promoting sexually-transmitted disease (STD) prevention programs, via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition to funding graphic sex-education programs and birth-control methods such as condoms, the CDC has come under fire for pouring taxpayer funds into irresponsible and obscene STD prevention programs, which sometimes openly promote promiscuity."
All too often many of CDC's largest grantees were hosting events that produced questionable, if any, results and in some cases promoted activities in direct contradiction with known risk-behaviors for spreading the disease," wrote Sen. Tom Coburn in a 2007 Senate subcommittee report.
Among the concerns raised in the report was the CDC's granting millions of dollars to events featuring prostitutes, transgender beauty contests, and "sex workshops."
In addition, the CDC scheduled a National STD Prevention Conference in 2006 with a panel called, “Are Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs a Threat to Public Health?” The panel invited speakers claiming abstinence-until-marriage programs were ineffective and are even dangerous.
“It’s obvious that Congressional Democrats are trying to pull the wool over Americans’ eyes as they rush this so-called ‘stimulus’ bill through Congress, while middle-class taxpayers are still finding out about frivolous spending provisions that have been hidden in the bill,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain in a press release regarding the STD-prevention spending.
“It is one thing to believe that we can borrow and spend our way out of recession like Bobby Bright does, but it is quite another to use this trillion dollar spending bill as a vehicle for liberal pet programs,” he said.
Though Washington legislators are still starkly divided along party lines over the bill, it is expected to pass the Democrat-led House today.
See previous articles:
“Comprehensive” Sex Education is Ineffective: Abstinence Works, Major National Study Shows
Major Study Reveals Overwhelming Bias of "Comprehensive" Sex Education

Abortion Bailout Part 2 Has a Minor Setback

The good news, the money for the abortion industry to fund condoms & birth control & expand family planning has been taken out of the economic stimulas package. But that isn't really the set back it would seem. Everything that was taken out was already included in the Prevention 1st Act that was introduced at the start of the legislative session as Senate (S. 21) House (H.R. 463). So this is just a bump in the road.
Still it is an embarrassing 1 for Obama & his buddies at Planned Parenthood. The outcry from House Minority Leader John Boehner & other Pro-Life members of Congress was so loud that Obama was forced to have Democratic Congressional leaders remove it. Naurally PP is upset & is fighting back. But the message is loud & clear. Just because we lost the election, we aren't going to lie down & let them do everything they can to promote the "culture of death". We are still going to put up a fight. & small as it is, it i still a victory that should encourage to keep up the fight. Especially on our knees in prayer.
I share the following from last Wednesday's STOp Planned Parenthood e-mail newsletter:
Those opposed to PP owe much to John Boehner and the others in congress who, without hesitation, fought against this PP largesse and won. We encourage you to contact Mr. Boehner and thank him for his stand.
You can reach him at:
Office of the House Republican Leader
H-204 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4000
Fax: (202) 225-5117

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let the Bishops Know We Want Them to Act

I received the below e-mail that talks about the Frank Rega article I posted a couple days ago (Well USCCB, Are You Up to This Challenge?). It gives us a voice to get the message out to our Bishops that we expect them to do the right thing & be the shepherds they are called to be. Too many of them are unwilling to offend a few powerful people because they think that the average person in the pew won't care, or if they do, won't do anything. It is time to disabuse them of that notion. & here is a way to do it.
Re: Bishops ought to unite in order to warn Catholic legislators that they will be publicly denounced by name if they vote for FOCA

Yes, the USCCB should have a strategic policy in place to deal with Catholic politicians that support FOCA. This is what we are asking Cardinal George in our
petition drive. Thirty Catholic legislators signed on to co-sponsor FOCA previously.
They can be viewed here: We are asking the local ordinary to invite these confused Catholics and the 82 Catholic legislators accepting money from the abortion lobby into spiritual direction.
This false public witness for decades has eroded our Catholic culture and incorrectly led Catholics to believe they can support abortion rights even though they are personally opposed.
We share this call.

Best regards,

Lisa Correnti
Phone: (619) 992-1502

NBC"s Super Double Standard

I applaud NBC for rejecting the PETA ad for its obcene content, although given the sexual content of many Super Bowl ads in recent years this has got to be something of a 1st. & it raises an interesting question. If it had been milder, then is it safe to assume that NBC & the NFL would have accepted it? I think the answer that is implied is a resounding yes.
I see a double standard operating if that is so. & more. PETA's ad is just as much "political advocacy" ad as the CatholicVote ad. So, why reject it? & why not simply use the political advocacy reason for it as the article points out below?
The answer to that is simple. NBC didn't reject it for its sexual content. Like I said, look at some past ads that no one had qualms with. The PETA ad doesn't sound any worse or any more offensive than many of them. That is the cover they are using to keep from offending their buddies on the left who are a part of PETA. By using the content as an excuse, they are subtly implying that they are still operating under the fears of censorship because of the Republican pressure on the FCC to enforce its obcenity rules. & it does so in a way that also enables them to keep from offending the huge group of meat eaters that are NFL fans.
Their claiming political content is just a convenient cover for them rejecting an ad that is clearly Pro-Life & would reach a huge audience that includes a large number of people that might be swayed to that side of the issue. Again, they keep their buddies on the political left happy while claiming they are being neutral.
NBC Rejects Super Bowl Pro-Life Ad Featuring Unborn Baby Obama

CHICAGO, IL, January 29, 2009 ( – NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political advocacy or issues.’
Brian Burch, President of said, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life.”
“NBC told that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that’s not what they told PETA,” said Burch. “There’s no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group. NBC rejected PETA’s ad for another reason altogether.”
According to an email posted on, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: “The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards.” Morgan even detailed “edits that need to be made” in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl. The PETA ad depicts lingerie clad women in highly sexually suggestive poses.
“NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison,” said Burch.
“The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama,” said Burch. “We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks.”
The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days. The ad was in the top 10 ‘most viewed’ category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.
The ad shows an ultrasound of an unborn baby and reads: “This child’s future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him. Despite the hardships he will endure … this child … will become … the 1st African-American President.” The ad concludes with the tagline, “Life: Imagine the Potential.” The ad is the first of several ads in new campaign launched by
The ad can be viewed at - a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy.
To express your concerns to NBC, write:

Colima MX Congress: No to Expanding Abortion

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, South American Correspondent
COLIMA, MEXICO, January 29 ( - The Mexican State of Colima has become the latest to reject an initiative by Mexican socialists to legalize abortion, in a 19-1 vote in the state Congress.
The representative who formulated the law, Adolfo Nunez Gonzales of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), attributed his loss to the influence of the Catholic faith in the state, which led the liberal Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to vote with the more pro-life National Action Party against the bill.
"It's not a secret for anyone that the Catholic Church is a sector with a lot of power and weight, and that, of course, what is said in a church one Sunday or whatever day the mass is done, influences the people to analyze it all week," he said. "PRI members are not foolish and know that if they have a good relationship with the Church, it can encourage the votes of many people."
The PRD has been promoting the legalization of abortion throughout Mexico since passing legislation in the ultraliberal stronghold of Mexico City in 2007, where their party has a majority in the legislature. However, its national pro-abortion initiative has consistently failed and has even provoked constitutional amendments at the state level explicitly acknowledging the right to life from conception.
Members of all political parties, including the PRD, voted to maintain the existing law in the state of Colima, which provides criminal penalties for all abortions except those undertaken in cases of fetal deformities, rape, or danger to the life of the mother. Members of the PRD have opposed abortion legalization in other parts of Mexico as well.
Although exemptions from criminal penalties often exist at the state level in Mexico, Mexicans rarely have recourse to them, due to the strong pro-life values that permeate Mexican society.
Gonzales' comments on the Catholic Church show both his ignorance of & disdain for the Church. He shows his ignorance by how he talks about the Mass. He shows his disdain by saying what he did about the Church's political clout. It is true, that when you have devout Catholics, they will follow the Church's guidance. & that does have a political effect. But, I wonder if he would be complaining if the Church & he were in agreement about an issue. I doubt it.
Sadly, the state law still allows for limited abortion. Hopefully that will change someday & all life will be protected. But for now, expansion of the law has been halted.

Archbishop Burke: USCCB “Faithful Citizenship” Document Contributed to the Election of Obama

Election of “Most Pro-Abortion President”
Also says Bishops’ Catholic News Service needs to be given "some new direction"
By Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
ROME, January 28, 2009 ( – A document of the US Catholic Bishops is partly to blame for the abandonment of pro-life teachings by voting Catholics and the election of the “most pro-abortion president” in US history, one of the Vatican’s highest officials said in an interview with Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.
The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of "other grave reasons," as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position.
Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly ... there was also a number who did not.”
But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.
“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal “a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.’
“But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.”
Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.
“The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,” he said.
For some reason, I am unable to link this to the LifeSiteNews site at this time.
I also found it sad to see that the Catholic On Line report headline completely ignored the heart of the matter, Archbishop Burke's statement on the document. Instead they titled it Archbishop Burke: Catholic News Service (CNS) Needs 'New Direction'. That criticism is only the last line of the article. It is almost like they are taking their cue from the Main Stream Media. (Actually the MSM would probably ignore it completely.)
So far, I don't see anything about it on the Catholic News Service website. But then why would they put up anything critical of them?
Several of my posts have had concerns about how the Bishops have handled the issues of the past election. & yes, even some criticism, as well as congratulating those Bishops who have stood up. It is heartening to know that what I am seeing isn't just me, or a few of us. When someone that high up in the Vatican sees it, then there must be some strong basis for my concerns. Especially when the person saying it has 1sthand experience with the USCCB.
Archbishop Burke's comments make the article by Franl Rega that I posted Wednesday (Well USCCB, Are You Up to This Challenge? ) all the more timely.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Abortion Reduction IS a Scam

by Deal W. Hudson

The centerpiece of Obama's Catholic outreach in the recent election was the "abortion reduction" trope. This was the cover provided by Catholic supporters for some of the most pro-abortion politicians in U.S. history. Doug Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life, has detailed its deceptions and misrepresentations.

By ending the Mexico City Policy, President Barack Obama is moving quickly to keep his promise of removing all restrictions to abortion on demand. Millions of taxpayer dollars will now be spent through non-governmental organizations like Planned Parenthood to kill unborn children around the world.

And yet the abortion reduction con still continues. Only two days before Obama announced the end of the Mexico City Policy, two Catholic organizations who supported Obama -- Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United -- were handing out their abortion reduction literature at the March for Life. What's more, neither of these organizations issued statements condemning Obama's actions. Catholics United, in fact, used the occasion for another attack on Catholic League president Bill Donohue for an "inaccurate and racially charged press release critical of President Obama's executive order reversing the Mexico City policy."

The Washington Post didn't recognize the scam, either. In their page-two coverage of the March for Life, the only organizations in attendance mentioned by name were Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance. The Post called them leaders in a new pro-life movement "to further reduce abortions through education, better health care, and counseling for pregnant women and new parents."

Obviously, anyone familiar with the history of the pro-life movement knows there is nothing "new" about providing education, health care, or counseling.

While some aspects of the abortion reduction dodge are obvious at first glance, others are more sophisticated. Take the example of Doug Kmiec's recent tribute to the late Father Richard John Neuhaus. Kmiec argues that since
the Declaration's more fulsome affirmation of life seems unlikely . . . we have no alternative but to be about the business of helping one woman at a time make a choice in favor of life. Many will recognize this as the Obama approach, but what may be overlooked (but should not be) is that it was also that of Father John (emphasis added).

The obvious response here is that like all ardent pro-lifers, reducing abortion through means such as education, health care, and counseling is indeed part of the larger effort -- but that effort cannot be reduced to just these.

Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington rightfully answered Kmiec by addressing the false dichotomy at the heart of the argument: "This is not an 'either/or' matter; one can advocate both for social policies that may reduce the number of abortions and for the overturn of Roe v. Wade."

In his BeliefNet interview, Kmiec responded directly to Doug Johnson's charge that abortion reduction is a scam. Kmiec defended his support for Obama by stating outright, "Senator Obama has never been pro-abortion, and is not now."

I wonder if he'd still say that.

A Difficult Decision But the Only Correct 1

Manassas, Va. – The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., denied a request to allow a gay rights group to cosponsor a pro-life conference on campus last Saturday, citing the university’s Catholic identity.

The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) advocates the right to life as the basis of all other human rights. But the organization’s support for “gay rights”—including same-sex “marriage”—and its apparent condoning of homosexual activity run contrary to Catholic moral teaching.

An undisclosed university representative told leaders of the Students for Life of America annual conference, which was held last Saturday, January 24, that the gay rights group’s mission statement “goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church,” according to an article today in the campus newspaper, The Tower. The article notes that CUA did not permit the group to co-sponsor the conference or set up an exhibit booth on campus, but still welcomed PLAGAL members to attend the conference. A CUA spokesman told The Cardinal Newman Society that “the essential elements of the Tower article are accurate.”

“CUA made a difficult but admirable decision in restricting PLAGAL’s activity on campus,” said Patrick Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “We need a unified front in the fight against abortion, and PLAGAL has an important place in the pro-life movement. Nevertheless, CUA is a public witness to the Catholic faith, and its first obligation is to its students. PLAGAL has historically sought to convince pro-life Christians of its gay rights agenda, which in some respects opposes Catholic moral teaching.”

For many years, The Catholic University of America has hosted young people who travel nationwide to join the March for Life. It also has had a strong presence at the U.S. bishops’ annual Mass to pray for unborn children, held adjacent to the CUA campus at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

This year the March for Life saw the
participation of many other students from Catholic colleges and universities dedicated to their Catholic mission. All 21 institutions of higher education recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College are committed to supporting the pro-life movement.

Cardinal Newman Society
26 January 2009

Mary Ann Glendon On Being Ambassador to the Vatican

“So I Sent In My Resignation...”

Mary Ann Glendon, the scholarly, profound United States Ambassador to the Holy See during the past year, resigned her post this past week to allow Barack Obama, the new US president, to choose a new US ambassador to the Vatican to his liking. Now Glendon reflects on her year in Rome in an interview with our correspondent, Roman journalist Alberto Carosa. Glendon’s reflections give an insight into the work of diplomacy in Rome at the highest level.

By Albert Carosa

Ambassador Glendon, your one year mandate as US Ambassador to the Holy See just expired and you have just returned to your home in the United States. What are your feelings now? A bit saddened?

Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon: It was an enormous privilege to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See during a period when relations between the United States and the Vatican were so close. And of course I will miss my friends in Rome. But it’s also a great feeling to be returning to my vocation of teaching and scholarship with so many first-hand experiences to draw upon. For someone like me who works in the field of international studies, it was a dream come true to witness diplomacy in action as practiced by the outstanding members of the Holy See diplomatic corps.
How did you come to know that your mandate would not be confirmed or extended? Were you told so (and by whom, if I may ask) or was it your personal decision?
Ambassador Glendon: When a new U.S. President is elected, it is customary for all Ambassadors who were political appointees of the outgoing administration to be asked to submit their resignations prior to Inauguration Day. The notification that was sent to us after the November election specified a procedure to be followed by Ambassadors who wished to apply for an extension of their term. But I was satisfied with what I had been able to accomplish during my tenure, and I was eager to get back to my home, my library, and my writing projects. So I sent in my resignation to be effective in time to be on the premises for the spring semester at Harvard Law School.
Can you briefly mention some of the most notable highlights of your work in Rome?
Ambassador Glendon: There are so many images that will always be fixed in my mind—the liturgies in St. Peter’s, so expressive of the universal nature of the Church, the Memorial Day services at Nettuno, where more than 7,000 American soldiers lie buried, and of course the exchange of visits between President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI. The first part of my term was much taken up with planning for the Pope’s historic journey to the United States in April 2008. It was an unforgettable experience to be at the airport with the President as he welcomed the Pope, calling him “the greatest spiritual leader in the world.”
Then, two months later, President Bush came to the Vatican where he was given an equally extraordinary welcome. Heads of state are usually received in the formal setting of the Apostolic Palace, but on this occasion the meeting between the Pope and the President took place in a picturesque tower overlooking the Vatican Gardens and was followed by a stroll to another idyllic spot where they were serenaded by the Sistine Chapel choir.
In your last “farewell” meeting with the Holy Father, what was the special message, if any, that he conveyed to you?
Ambassador Glendon: Well, it was really more of a “goodbye and welcome back” meeting, since I travel to Rome regularly in connection with my work for the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, a body that reports directly to the Pope. Perhaps it was only my imagination, but I had the impression when the Holy Father asked me about my future plans that he sometimes misses the tranquil life he enjoyed as a professor. (Photo: Pope Benedict XVI poses with Mary Ann Glendon, the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, during a private meeting at the Vatican Feb. 29, 2008 --CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)
We saw you carried out many important projects during your mandate, especially the two anniversaries on human rights and US-Holy See relations. Could you elaborate a bit on this?
Ambassador Glendon: Having accepted the position of Ambassador for a relatively short stint, I had to think hard about how I could best promote the shared values of the US and the Holy See in a limited period of time. I decided that the best way to do so would be to take advantage of the coincidence of the 25th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Holy See with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Since the UDHR expresses so many of the ideals to which both the U.S. and the Holy See are dedicated, the conjunction of those anniversaries provided many occasions to explore and expand common ground.
So I arranged for our Embassy to sponsor a series of five conferences on various aspects of human rights: the contribution of Latin American and Catholic thought to the modern human rights tradition; human trafficking as a modern form of slavery; current challenges to the idea of universal rights; the role of philanthropy in bringing rights to life; and the American model of religious freedom.
I also accepted numerous speaking engagements on human rights themes, including the keynote address for Vaclav Havel’s annual Forum 2000 in Prague; a BBC conversation with Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; a public dialogue on religious freedom with Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the past President of the Italian Conference of Catholic Bishops; and a speech at last summer’s Communione e Liberazione Meeting at Rimini where I discussed the Pope’s April address to the UN. Many other opportunities for public diplomacy grew out of the fact that the Italian translation of one of my books, Traditions in Turmoil, appeared last spring and won some Italian literary prizes.
Can you also elaborate now about what you see as the common points between the Vatican and your country?
Ambassador Glendon: For the past several years, there has been a strong correspondence between the views of the U.S. government and the Holy See on the importance of strengthening the global moral consensus against terror (especially against the use of religion as a justification for violence); promoting human rights (especially religious freedom); fostering inter-religious dialogue; and working for peace in the Middle East and other troubled areas of the world. And of course President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI shared a common outlook on a wide range of social and cultural issues.
There is another area of common concern, however, where it seems to me that neither the U.S. nor the Holy See receives the recognition they deserve. I’m referring to their commitment to the relief of poverty, hunger, and disease. On those fronts, a natural partnership has grown up between the United States, as the world’s largest and most generous donor of humanitarian aid, and the Holy See, which oversees the world’s largest network of health care, educational, and relief agencies.
That community of interest intensified over the past eight years thanks to President Bush’s energetic embrace of one of the most important political ideas of the late 20th century, namely, that social services can often be delivered more efficiently, effectively and humanely through the mediating structures of civil society, than by government acting directly. President Bush has said he considers his initiatives with faith-based institutions as one of the “crowning achievements’ of his presidency, a presidency that saw the U.S. government double its aid to Latin America, quadruple it to Africa, and triple it worldwide. Through creative partnerships between government and faith-based organizations, America has provided the world with successful models for getting official aid to its intended beneficiaries with low transaction costs and high accountability.
These initiatives, permitting participating religious groups to maintain their principles and identity, are very much in the spirit of Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est ("God Is Love") where he wrote that “The state that would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing the suffering person—every person—needs: namely love and personal concern." The notion that charity is merely a social service, he pointed out, “demeans man and ultimately disregards all that is specifically human” (DCE, 28b).

And what about the differences between Rome and Washington? Will they be overcome one day?
Ambassador Glendon: By the time I arrived last year, there was no disposition to revisit the major difference that had arisen in recent years--that over the decision to take military action against the regime in Iraq. The focus of both the U.S. and the Holy See had moved on to the need to establish stability, peace, and protection for minorities. The relationship has historically been a strong one in which both entities are able to express and explain their points of view in an atmosphere of good will and mutual respect, and I am hopeful that it will continue in that vein.
Is there any particular way the Vatican has appreciated and acknowledged your valuable and tremendous work as Ambassador to the Holy See?
Ambassador Glendon: It was very gratifying for me and my staff that many Holy See officials attended and participated in our events and conferences. Particularly memorable were the speeches by Cardinal Renato Martino, President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, at our October conference on “Universal Human Rights and the Challenge of Diversity”; Professor Guzman Carriquiry, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, at our May conference on “Latin America and the International Human Rights Project”; and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, at our 25th anniversary conference on “The American Model of Religious Freedom.”
Do you have any special plan or project to pursue a particular professional endeavour, now that you are no longer the US Ambassador to the Holy See?
Ambassador Glendon: In the summer of 2007, when I got the call from the White House asking whether I would be interested in becoming the Ambassador to the Holy See, I was half-way through writing a book, “The Forum and the Tower”, about persons who had been engaged in both of what Aristotle called the two most choice-worthy vocations: philosophy and politics. I have long been fascinated by how persons like Plato, Cicero, Tocqueville, Burke, Weber, and others dealt with the push-and-pull between those two worlds. Now, after having spent some time in the forum myself, I’m looking forward to getting back to the ivory tower and finishing that project.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Will Lead You Into the Desert

In May of 1975, as a part of the Holy Year, the International Conference on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was held in Rome. It was held there at the invitation of Pope Paul VI, who addressed the group in St. Peter's Basilica. At that same session of the conference, with Pope Paul present, a prophecy was given that was quite controversial. It spoke of a coming time of trial & purification. It was rejected by some as being too negative.
At the time I had only been active in the Charismatic renewal for a yaer. When I heard it, I thought that it would the time of trail would come soon & pass quickly. As time passed, I forgot about what was said. Recently I came across this article by Fr. Collins. It reminded me of that prophecy. He talks about that prophecy (& 2 others) & whether they hav&/or are coming true.
He also talks about a prophecy from the 1976 Notre Dame Conference which I attended. I had totally forgotten about this prophecy until I was reminded of it in this article.
I present this article for your consideration & reflection. I will share my opinions afterwords.
by Fr Pat Collins CM

Fr Pat Collins CM, a well known author of many books and a retreat leader based in Dublin, Ireland, reflects on some of the prophecies that have been circulating recently and what they might mean.

Over the years I have heard many prophecies. It is notoriously hard to know whether they come from God or not. However, there are some which have considerable authority because of the circumstances in which they were spoken, the acknowledged giftedness of the people who spoke them, and the way in which they evoked an answering amen of approval in the Christian community. On Pentecost Monday 1975 such a prophecy was given by Ralph Martin in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, in the presence of Pope Paul VI. It seems to contain a number of distinct but interrelated points which are particularly relevant for the Church in Western countries.

A time of darkness and purification in the Church
The Lord seemed to predict that a time of purifying darkness was about to afflict the Church. “Open your eyes, open your hearts to prepare yourselves for me and for the day that I have now begun. My church will be different; my people will be different; difficulties and trials will come upon you…I will lead you into the desert…I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me.” The Lord went on to say more about the purpose of the time of trial and purification. “You need the power of my Holy Spirit in a way that you have not possessed it; you need an understanding of my will and of the ways I work that you do not yet have.”
Thirty three years later, would it not be true to say that this aspect of the prophecy has been fulfilled. It is as if the powers of hell have been unleashed, in order to mount a full frontal attack on the people of God. The effects of this time of trial are fairly obvious. Many people, including members of the clergy, have failed in the day of testing. For instance, in western countries practice rates, together with vocations to the priesthood and religious life have fallen rapidly. For instance, in 2004 only 15 men were ordained in Ireland while over 160 priests died. There also has been a decline in Christian morality. This is particularly obvious in the form of sexual permissiveness, rising levels of violence, binge drinking, drug taking, dishonesty etc.

Faithful remnant
While all of this was happening, however, there has also been a growing minority of Christian men and women who not only have remained faithful during the years of darkness, but have grown in age, wisdom, and grace. For example, they adhere to the magisterium of the Church while avoiding reductionist tendencies which try to water down the doctrinal and ethical teachings of the scriptures in order to make them more acceptable in the context of secular culture. Nowadays there is a significant number of praying people, happily many of them charismatics, who are firmly committed to Christ and who try conscientiously to answer the universal calls to holiness and evangelization.

Disruption and breakdown in secular world
The prophecy given in St Peter’s in 1975 seemed to say that the time of darkness in the church would be followed by a time of darkness in the secular world. “Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation.” I have believed for many years that a time was coming when there would be great disruption and even breakdown in the secular world. Indeed I can remember saying something on those lines in Unveiling the Heart which was published in 1995. At one point I suggested that, “In the coming years it is possible that, as a result of growing irrationality and moral blindness, we may have to endure a time of economic and political disruption…No matter how painful the dislocation of society may be, it could lead many people to reject questionable philosophical and economic beliefs, just as it has already done in the former Soviet Union.”
I discovered recently that a prophecy was spoken at the American NSC in 1976 which said, “Son of man, do you see the city going bankrupt? Are you willing to see all of your cities going bankrupt? Are you willing to see the bankruptcy of the whole economic system you rely upon now, so that all money is worthless and cannot support you?” As breakdown occurs it will have three predictable effects. It will tend to unleash the dark irrational aspects of the human unconscious. As unrest increases it will cause some people to say despairingly, “let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!” (Cf. Eccl 8:15), and others to say, “let us seek the Lord while he may still be found” (Is 55:6). At the time of writing, early Nov 2008, it looks as if the predicted time of secular darkness has already begun in the form of collapsing financial institutions, a falling share price and the likelihood of a world wide recession or even depression.

Purification followed by a new Springtime for the Church
This brings us to a third point in the prophecy. The Lord intends to use his committed followers, whom he has raised up and equipped during the church’s time of darkness, to evangelize those who will seek him during the time of darkness in the secular world. As the Lord said in the prophecy in St Peter’s, “A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my church, a time of glory is coming for my people…I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has not seen.”
I was interested to see that Ralph Martin said in Goodnews (May/June 1999) that he had reason to believe that the fulfillment of the 1975 prophecy might be imminent. He wrote: “I believe that we are now in a time of visitation… we are on the verge of a significant action of God [my italics], an action that will function as a two edged sword, depending on our preparation and willingness to respond to the prophetic message we are being given. And is it not possible that the fullness of the “new springtime” will not come until we are first purified through judgement or chastisement, and awakened to the holiness of God?” When this process is well advanced in the secular realm the Lord will bring in the new Springtime by means of widespread evangelization.
From a Biblical point of view, the new Springtime has a paradoxical dimension. The Jews planted their seeds in the Autumn when the early rains fell. They harvested the crops in the Springtime following the later rain (Cf. Deut 11:14-15; Joel 2:23-24; Jm 5:7). Some writers say, that reference to the early and late rains can be applied in a symbolic way to an initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit, e.g. at the birth of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, and hopefully a new outpouring of the Spirit in the not too distant future, as a preparation for harvesting a great number of souls for God. There is a Biblical precedent for this expectation in Acts 2:1-12 and 4:27-31.

A time of rebuilding in preparation for great harvest
Until that time comes the followers of Christ have to continue to rebuild the breaches in their own lives and the life of the Church (cf. Neh. 2 & 4). Many centuries ago St Francis engaged in prophetic action of a symbolic kind. With the help of friends, he set himself to repair five churches in Assisi. He did this because he heard the Lord say, “Francis, go and build up my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.” When the work was completed we are told that, “he began to preach the gospel.” In the next few years a great deal of restoration will be required in the lives of the people of God so that it will be ready to engage, not only in the new evangelization mentioned in the prophecy given in St Peter’s in 1975, but also in receiving into the Christian community those newly evangelized people who will want to joyfully commit their lives to Christ.
My opinion, Father is right. It seems to me like some parts have already started to come true & others are on the verge of being fulfilled. I also believe that the Lord has been warning us for a long time through His mother Mary, especially at Fatima & Akita, of the same thing. We are definitely going through a time of trial & purification. That is what chastisement is about God chastises to correct us & make us purer.
I have said several times on this blog that we are entering this period because of how we have failed to heed God's warnings. I don't think it is coincidential that I should come across this article at this time. God wants us to know & understand what we are going through. It won't be fun, it probably will even include persecution. But, as Father points out, when we are rebuilt we will then be able to go out & reap the harvest of that New Springtime that will be fully manifest.
Note: I know in that for some the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is very controversial. I will admit that over the past 30+ years I have been involved I have seen some people give good cause. They may claim to be Catholic & Charismatic, but they don't represent the reality of the Renewal. I can honestly say that the leadership is solidly Catholic. The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Rome has even gotten formal recognition from the Vatican under Canon 116.
Popes Paul, John Paul & Benedict have all spoken to Charismatic gatherings in Rome. All have given it their blessing & approval. Back in the 90s when the new Catechism came out the Renewal was at the forefront of promoting it. The leadership has used the 2000 Jubilee as well as this year of St. Paul as special ways to show our Catholic identity as well as oportunities to help people know what the Catholic Church actually teaches.
My involvement in the renewal has led me to a greater desire to know & live the Catholic faith. It has led me to a deeper devotion to the Eucharist as well as Mary & the Saints. I know that may strike some as odd, a Charismatic who is fully supportive of those who love the Traditional Latin Mass. But I see no conflict. If you are at the heart of the Church, then you want what the Holy Spirit wants, not those who are out to destroy the Church. & if the Holy Spirit is leading the Pope to restore greater use of the TLM, who am I to argue?

Well USCCB, Are You Up to This Challenge?

Abortion is the ultimate "hate crime" and FOCA would permanently codify it
The battle for life is escalating quickly under the new Obama administration, and a strong pro-life thrust must occur, and soon. Since the election, many individual Catholic bishops have come out with some very strong words about the lack of respect for pre-born life shown by the Obama government.
Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, has stated unequivocally that those who back abortion but say they love God, are liars! ( Regarding the anti-life agenda of the Obama administration, Detroit's incoming Archbishop Allen Vigneron recently affirmed that "We are going to have to represent our opposition as forcefully as we can . . . " (
Addressing the Vigil Mass for the March for Life, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia asked: "Are we prepared to say yes to His will without counting the cost?" (
But individual bishops cannot be expected to take on the burden of this fight separately, they must act in concert. Most if not all of our bishops are fully cognizant that FOCA is gravely evil, since it will prevent and outlaw any attempts to mitigate the heinous abortion holocaust. Abortion is the ultimate "hate crime," and FOCA would permanently codify it.
Therefore the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) should unite and as a body announce their intention to take definitive action to publicly rebuke and censure - by name - any and all Catholic Senators and Representatives that vote for approval of FOCA. Such a rebuke might be extended to include refusal of Holy Communion, and even to Excommunication.
This link lists the pro-life offices for each diocese in the country.
Clicking on the name of the diocese should bring up its pro-life page and contact information.
This is the email address for the pro-life office of the USCCB:
Certainly we are all being called to pray, but prayer should be joined to action, when action is possible.


See also, shows how FOCA leaves the door open to mandatory abortion.
Related link: Why they fear Christmas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sorry Sister, But This Is Not What Vatican II was About

I am a full supporter of Vatican II & what it actually said & intended to do. Unfortunately, after it was over & didn't do what some people wanted, they came up with the phrase "Spirit of Vatican II" to justify a lot of things that were on their agenda. Actually what they were promoting was a "False Spirit of Vatican II". The true spirit of the Council, the Holy Spirit, was no where to be found in their "spirit". I have my suspicions of where their "spirit" actually came from. As the Church lady would say: "Could it be, o say, SATAN?????"
Being young (10 when V2 ended), I didn't realize that a lot of what was going on wasn't what was intended. But as time went on & I learned what was actually in the documents, I came to see what was really intended. & understood why some things that had bothered me were bothering. Under Pope John Paul things began heading the right way. & with Papa Benedetto, we are seeing things getting more & more on track, especially with the liturgy.
Last Sunday (25 Jan 2009) was the 50th Anniversary of when Pope John XXIII announced he was calling the Council. Naturally the Main Stream Media focuses in on the misinterpretation of the Council as good, while making the right interpretation seem to be the villian.
An article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a prime example. (Vatican II reforms set in motion 50 years ago with Pope John XXIII's edict)
Let's start with the following quote from Sister Christine Schenk of Cleveland, a St. Joseph nun. "'You went from a guy with his back to you, speaking in a language you didn't understand, to where you were one of the celebrants,' said Schenk. 'You went from a spectator to a player. It was all very exciting and new.'" Wrong, wrong wrong! We never became a celebrant. The "guy" as you call him is the only celebrant. & he isn't just a guy either. He is the ordained alter Christus who is the only one that can confect the Eucharist. We are not players, were are pray-ers. (Any bets she doesn't wear a habit, is into "New Age" & supports women's ordination?)
Then there is their parenthetical comment on what a nun said about the change of dress: "One nun told a documentary filmmaker that it was strange to feel wind on her forehead and in her hair. (John's fresh air?)" Does this show the author hasn't a clue about what Pope John really ment or not?
Want another sign of his cluelessness. Try this: "Vatican II eventually put an end to meatless Fridays and long hours of fasting before receiving Communion. It restored the stature of the Bible, which had taken a back seat to church teachings, and allowed lay people to hand out consecrated Communion wafers, a job only a priest had been allowed to do." No it didn't end meatless Fridays, they are still there, even outside of Lent. It did correct a myth that Catholics weren't supposed to read the Bible. They were & were called to do so in 2 Papal Encyclicals that came out in the years before V2. & the Bible never took a back seat to Church teaching. It was the basis & support for it. & calling distributing the Eucharist a "job" reeks od blasphemy to me.
Then we get to the heart of the matter, the "hot button issues". "But the newly empowered laity would speak up, unleashing a host of hot-button issues that today remain subjects of fierce debate: Ordination of women, marriage for priests, gay sexual intercourse and the use of contraception - all, to various degrees, not approved by the church hierarchy." Various degrees only in so far as the priest or Bishop was willing to defend the Church's stand on these issues, not various degrees of them not being approved.
That paragraph leads up to this quote from Marilyn Cunin, 78, of Cleveland Heights. They describe her as a lifelong practicing Catholic. From what you are about to read she is out of practice in my mind.
"I can't imagine why Rome would object to ordaining women. Women are perfectly equal." Maybe it is because equal doesn't mean the same.

& then there is this bit where she basicly throws out everything that Vatican II never got rid of: "Cunin said the church in pre-Vatican II days was preoccupied with the trappings of ritual - rosaries, candles, incense, icons, novenas - which, today, she said, have little meaning for her."
& she creates a false dichotomy. "I can appreciate the rituals, but sometimes there are people down the street going hungry while you're saying the rosary. I believe faith should be more about addressing the problems of world hunger, AIDS and injustices." Does she not know that the same Nuns, priests & religious who faithfully prayed the Rosary over the centuries are the same ones who built hospitals, ran soup kitchens etc. It was their devotion to the Eucharist & prayer that led them to do so as well as gave them the power to do it.
Now we get to the way they present those who support what the Church actually teaches with this section headline: "Small group of Catholics rejects reforms as heresy" After presenting the above as real reform which it wasn't, they go on to try & trivialize those who uphold the true reform by making it sound like they are the dodos heading for extinction. It is those who pushed the "false spirit" who are the dodos.
It starts with this: "Most Catholics, both liberal and conservative, support Vatican II, although they may differ in their interpretations of it. And most believe Pope John Paul II slowed the Vatican II movement by issuing conservative decrees and reaffirming Rome's authority, which to some is a blessing and to others a disappointment." Actually Pope John Paul slowed the false movement & started the work to get the real work of Vatican II on the track. Papa Benedetto has done even more since he became Pope.
It then goes on to look at what they say is "A small minority of Catholics" that " rejects Vatican II outright, calling it heresy and the work of the devil." It goes on to spend only 4 paragraphs on that minority & in particular it talks about "The Society of Pius X, based near Kansas City, Mo., is a breakaway group flatly opposed to Vatican II." Nothing about the Pope's lifting of the excommunication the previous week.
& after their hatchet job they go to the Rev. Donald Cozzens, who teaches religious studies at John Carroll University to wrap things up. Here is another person who has done much to undermine the authentic teaching of the Church. He is a darling of dissident groups like Voice of the Faithful. The article concludes with this quote from him after he talks about following & forming your conscience: "The commandments are really in your heart. They're not imposed arbitrarily by a church." ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like I said, I fully support what Vatican II really was. & it wasn't what this article said it was at all. This was a part of te effort of the MSM as a part of the "culture of death" to undermine the Catholic Church.

Portraits of "Courage"

There are different reasons why I decide to put up a post on my blog. Sometimes I see something I feel should be up there, an article, an event. Sometimes I am at something & feel it should be shared. Then there are post like this. Over the last few days several things have been leading up to me writing this post. Or should I say leading me to write it?
Last Week on EWTN there was a 2 part series called Portraits of Courage about Courage International & the work they do. Then a few days later in an on line group I belong to, they came up as a resource in answer to a question by a member from Brazil. So I began praying & discerning & decided I probably should write this, esp in light of a few news items & several recent posts related to their area of ministry. (This will make sense later for those of you who don't know what Courage is.)
Then Monday morning I am on my 4 am lunch break. I turn on EWTN's Bookmark & Doug Keck is talking to the founder of Courage, Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S. I said OK Lord! This is the confirmational icing on the cake.
So what is Courage? I'll let them explain: "Courage, an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, ministers to those with same-sex attractions and their loved ones. We have been endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family and our beloved John Paul II said of this ministry, "COURAGE is doing the work of God!" We also have an outreach called Encourage which ministers to relatives and friends of persons with same-sex attractions." (from their website)
So, how & why did Courage get started? Again, I'll let them tell their story: "Persons with homosexual desires have always been with us; however, until recent times, there has been little, if any, formal outreach from the Church in the way of support groups or information for such persons. Most were left to work out their path on their own. As a result, they found themselves listening to and accepting the secular society's perspective and opting to act on their same-sex desires.
His Eminence, the late Terence Cardinal Cooke of New York, was aware of, and troubled by this situation. He knew that the individual dealing with same-sex attractions truly needed to experience the freedom of interior chastity and in that freedom find the steps necessary to living a fully Christian life in communion with God and others. He was concerned that many would not find this path and would be constantly trying to get their needs met in ways that ultimately do not satisfy the desires of the heart.
In response to this concern, he decided to form a spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love.
Knowing of Fr. John Harvey's extensive ministry experience in this field, he invited him to come to his Archdiocese.
With the help of the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., and others, Fr. Harvey began the Courage Apostolate with its first meeting meeting in September, 1980 at the Shrine of Mother Seton in South Ferry.
With the endorsement of the Holy See, Courage now has more than 110 Chapters and contact people world-wide, over 1500 persons participating in its ListServs, and hundreds of persons per week receiving assistance from the main office and website. It has become a mainstream Catholic Apostolate helping thousands of men and women find peace through fellowship, prayer, and the Sacraments."
The Courage Central Office operates through the prayerful and financial support of the Archdiocese of New York as well as contributions and volunteer work from Courage members and other individuals and organizations committed to advancing its efforts. Individual chapters throughout the world are self-supporting and exist with the permission of their diocesan Bishop. Last Fall it was announced that Father Paul Check 48, of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CN would take over from Fr. Harvey as director of the Apostolate.
Courage was modeled on AA's 12 Step program. They also have the 5 Goals of Courage. These goals were created by the members themselves, when Courage was founded. The goals are read at the start of each meeting and each member is called to practice them in daily life.
They are:
1. Live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality. (Chastity)
Dedicate ones life to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. (Prayer and Dedication)
Foster a spirit of fellowship in which all may share thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone. (Fellowship)
Be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life and in doing so provide encouragement to one another in forming and sustaining them. (Support)
5. Live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example)
Courage also has a website where a person "will learn about homosexuality and chastity. By developing an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians, one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ." It is an excellent resource for information about Courage. The site includes an International Courage Chapter Listing as well as Encourage Chapters
1 thing that Courage doesn't do is us the terms "gay" & "lesbian". In fact it discourages the use of those terms. On their FAQ page they give 3 reasons for this. 1st, the use of these terms by the secular world; 2nd, labeling someone discourages those who may wish to try and move beyond homosexual attractions; 3rd, There is more to a person than one's sexual attractions. Even if one experienced same-sex attractions for most of one's life, he or she is first and foremost a child of God created in His image. To refer to that person as "gay" or "lesbian" is a reductionist way of speaking about someone.
Unlike some other groups that claim to be Catholic, Courage is truly Catholic & offers the 1 truly compassionate ministry that helps persons with same-sex attractions develop a life of interior chastity in union with Christ.
As Courage reminds all of us, above all we must keep in mind that homosexual inclinations do not make up a person's true identity as rational or Christian persons. "We are first and foremost men and women created in the image of God - we are exceedingly precious in God's sight and we have been given the gifts of intelligence and free-will. We can live a life of union with Christ, through prayer, and we can know the peace of interior chastity. This is God's desire for us, and He continually gives us the grace to live it."

I leave you with 2 other quotes from their website that summarize what I shared above: "In helping individuals gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Church's teachings, especially in the area of chastity, Courage extends the Church's invitation to a life of peace and grace. In chaste living, one finds the peace and grace to grow in Christian maturity."
"In Courage you will get to know men and women who share in your concerns, meeting them online through our Listservs, or in person at Chapter Meetings, Conferences, Days of Recollection, and Retreats.
Come see what we are about. Browse our pages. Get to know our community. You'll be glad you did!"

Pro-Life Loses Another Star

On Saturday 24 January 2009 Reverend Monsignor William B. Smith, professor of Moral Theology at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., host of numerous series on EWTN including “Catholic Morality and the Catechism,” and a regular guest on “Mother Angelica Live,” entered into Eternal Life. May he rest in peace.1
Msgr. Smith entered the hospital Jan. 13 with double pneumonia on Jan. 13, which subsequently affected his heart. Monsignor died peacefully of heart complications on Saturday morning, according to Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T. of St. Joseph’s Seminary.1
Smith was born and raised in Yonkers, ordained a priest in 1966 by Francis Cardinal Spellman and, after being chosen by Terence Cardinal Cooke to pursue a doctorate in moral theology at the Catholic University in Washington, assumed his position at St. Joseph's Seminary. While at the seminary, apart from being a teacher or mentor to most of the priests serving in the Archdiocese of New York today, he was an adviser on questions of moral theology and ethics to Cardinals Cooke, O'Connor and Egan.2
Fr. Smith helps out in various other works within the diocese; he assists at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Scarsdale, New York on Sundays, works as Vice-Chancellor-of the Archdiocese during the summer, and serves as chaplain for the South Bronx house of the Missionaries of Charity, a work which brought him to Calcutta, India to preach retreats to Mother Teresa and her sisters during Christmas of 1983.3
(I)t was in recognition of his service that, at the recommendation of Cardinal O'Connor, Pope John Paul II conferred the title of Monsignor upon William Smith in March of 1986. This honor singles out Msgr. Smith for his loyalty to the Church and loyalty to duty.3
Monsignor Joseph Giandurco, who served with Msgr. Smith on the seminary faculty for 12 years and is now pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Suffern, NY, commented in a Journal News report, "He was a top-notch moral theologian, highly regarded in the United States and in Rome. He corresponded with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now of course Pope Benedict XVI, on a number of sensitive issues over the years."2
"I feel, and other priests have said, that we lost another clear teaching voice that will be extremely hard to replace," Giandurco said. "Monsignor Smith was always cool, calm, and collected and sharp as a tack. He had such great knowledge of the teachings of the church."2
Mnsr. Giandurco is right. Whenever he was on EWTN he always made the teachings of the Catholic Church understandable to the average person. & never with an air of superiority on his part. The LifeSiteNews report describes his EWTN appearances thus: "(H)e was well known for his ability to clearly explain difficult theological and ethical concepts, as well as for his direct and expansive sense of humor."2 He was always humble, but would give no ground when it came to what the Church clearly taught.
An good example of Msgr. Smith's straightforward approach to ethical questions can be found in his reproof of the New York State Catholic Conference's endorsement of the use of abortifacient "emergency contraception" in Catholic hospitals for rape victims.
Msgr. Smith emphatically ruled out the use of abortifacients at Catholic hospitals. "It's wrong to say you can use anything that has abortifacient properties. Emergency contraception is double talk. It's what I call verbal engineering. Catholic hospitals are not free to proscribe or provide anything with abortifacient properties without contradicting their witness."2
His death comes way too soon after the recent deaths of Fordham University theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, and prolific pro-life activist and intellectual giant Rev. Richard John Neuhaus. Their deaths will leave an intellectual gap in the US Church that will be hard to fill. (As I am writing this, the image crossed my mind of those 3 getting together with St. Thomas Aquinas & St. Augustine to hold a Heavenly Roundtable.)
(Note: Tuesday (27 Jan 2009) EWTN ran a repeat of a Mother Angelica Live episode on which he appeared. It was an excellent example of his ability to answer difficult questions, remaining faithful to the Catholic teachings & showing that faithfulness & compassion do go together.) Headlines

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