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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tiller: Making A Murderer a Martyr

As someone who works 3rd shift I have a different schedule than many a person who reads this. So, it wasn't until I got up this evening that I found out that George Tiller had been shot in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church where he was ushering. All Fox News said was he was shot at church & the alledged murderer was in custody.
I was shocked. I couldn't believe it, but as it sunk in, the full measure of what it means sunk in.
1st of all, like all true Pro-Lifers, I abhore what happenned to him. Tiller's murder can not be justified in any way shape or form. No Pro-Life leader or organization approves of killing or violence as a way of dealing with the abortion industry. This is 1 of those few times I have to agree with Obama. He issued a statement today that said: "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence." Every Pro-Life organization that I have seen a statement from has decried his murder. Every Pro-life blogger I have read tonite has condemned the killing. (I will put the statements from Pro-Life leaders at the end of this post.)
Right now it isn't clear why Scott Roeder (alledged but not yet charged) did what he did. No motive has been brought up. But, if he did do it, there is evidence that his views on abortion did have something to do with it. (The Killers Own Words?) & Roeder does have a 1996 conviction for having bomb components in his car trunk.
If Roeder did do it because of Tiller's abortion connection, he has ended up doing more harm than good. But even if the murder is totally unrelated to Tiller's being a late term abortionist, the fact is, that is what the abortion industry will turn it into. By his murder the abortion industry has been handed a martyr on a silver plate. The truth won't stop the Pro-aborts from once again painting the entire Pro-Life movement as violent & dangerous.
Tiller's murder will enable the Pro-aborts to sweep the evil he did under the rug. They will ignore all of his crimnal actions. He will be painted as a hero. In fact, they already have. Which is no surprize. But expect to see it continue in the days & weeks, months & even years ahead. What is really sad is that most of the statements are really crocodile tears. They will make it sound like they are truly sad. & while some people, including his family, are truly sad, the majority of them are seeing this is an opportunity to do more to villify & silence the Pro-life movement. Tiller has become worth more to them now that when he was alive.
I don't know how quickly Tiller died. I don't know if he had a last minute chance to repent of the evil he did. I will not take it on myself to judge where he soul ended up. All I do know is that he had to stand before God in judgement for his actions. He had to answer for all the babies he actually murdered or helped murder through his clinics.
How this will play out remains to be seen. It is at least a short term set back for the Pro-life movement. But, I am standing on the promise in Scripture that ll things work for good for those that love the Lord. God will turn this evil to good. I don't know how, just that He will.
Again, I reitterate that no matter what Tiller did, that does not justify his murder. Pro-life is just that, pro-life for everyone, including our enemies. As Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life puts it: "My Uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a servant of Jesus Christ. Using non-violence as a strategy, and the Bible as a weapon of love, Dr. King led the movement to overcome the constraints of racism during his lifetime. This same strategy, the non-violent love of God, is what is needed to promote the culture of life today." (Priests for Life Declaration on Non-Violence)
"Leaders within the pro-life movement often discuss justice in connection with our mission to end the tragedy of abortion. Today, Dr. George Tiller's life ended in an act defying those principles.
With genuine sorrow, we reflect on today's events in prayer. Justice for all human beings includes the lives of those with whom we fundamentally disagree as well as the victims of abortion. We firmly hope the perpetrators of this act are apprehended, that the facts be made known, and that justice according to the law is preserved and dispensed.
Today's actions were tragic, and serve as another reminder that all human life is sacred. Pro-lifers by our nature and commitment to human rights reject violence as a means of resistance. Our thoughts and prayers indeed extend to the Tiller family and the community at Reformation Lutheran Church.
" - Shaun Kenney, executive director
I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment. “But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.” - Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life (video statement by Fr. Pavone below)
Operation Rescue
"We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down. Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning." - Troy Newman, President, Operation Rescue (note: for some reason Operation Rescue's website is down. The pro-aborts are making a big deal out of this as their covering something up. I suspect it will be a simple technical problem or a hacker who wanted to do harm by making them look bad at this time. If it is the former, you probably won't see any apologies, the latter, no condemnation by the pro-aborts.)
"National Right to Life extends its sympathies to Dr. Tiller’s family over this loss of life.
Further, the National Right to Life Committee unequivocally condemns any such acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal
." - NRLC Executive Director, David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
The Susan B. Anthony List condemns this anti-life act in the strongest of terms. The heart of the pro-life movement is one founded in love. Without this driving powerful center no justice can possibly be achieved. Authentic progress in women’s rights has always encompassed the protection of human rights of every person across the board. The rights of one human being can never be honored by diminishing or ignoring the rights of another. This week as we gather for our annual June Tea event, themed Love Lets Live, we will lift up George Tiller's loved ones in prayer.” - Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser
"As a nationwide organization dedicated to peaceful and prayerful solutions to the crisis of abortion, 40 Days for Life is shocked and dismayed by the shooting death of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller. Such violence against a fellow human being is never justified, and 40 Days for Life condemns this senseless act. We encourage people of faith to join in prayer for all those affected by this unconscionable action." - David Bereit, National Director
Lifesite news reports the following:
"Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, who has also been closely involved in Tiller’s case, issued a brief statement saying simply that he and his coalition “condemn” the shooting.
Jim Hughes, the president of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, and vice president of International Right to Life, also reacted to the shooting with dismay. “Not only is this sort of violence seriously damaging to the pro-life cause, it is also deeply contrary to everything that is meant by the phrase pro-life,” he told “Those of us in the pro-life movement do not want to see abortionists die, we want to see them convert.”
Hughes speculated that the shooter may be someone who has been personally affected by abortion and was seeking revenge against Tiller. “May God have mercy on his soul,” said Hughes of the abortionist
." (BREAKING: Kansas Late-Term Abortionist George Tiller Shot and Killed - Pro-Life Groups React)
Other Bloggers:
This Ain't The Way.
posted by Fr. Erik Richtsteig at Orthometer
posted by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at What Does The Prayer Really Say? -
posted by Jeff Miller at The Curt Jester
Fr. Pavone video:
Many more organizations have or soon will issue statements. This is only a sample. But, as I said, the 1 common thread is that no Pro-life leader or blogger I know of approves of this killing.

Do We Really Mean It When We Pray "Come Holy Spirit?"

Well do we?

I ask this question that has been on my mind for the last few days. Like many others I have been praying the Pentecost Novena. I have been meditating on what I have been asking.
I have been thinking about what we say at Mass today. We pray the ancient Latin hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit) attributed to Pope Innocent III (c. 1160-1216), as the Pentecost sequence between the 2nd reading & the Gospel. We often sing the even more ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest), verses are ascribed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). We pray "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love."
Some people pray the prayer written by Cardinal Mercier: "O Holy Spirit, Soul of my soul, I adore thee. Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in everything that thou shalt ask of me and to accept all that thou permits to happen to me, only show mewhat is thy will."
On the Solemnity of the Ascension in the 1st reading at Mass we hear Jesus say: "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8) We read in Acts & elsewhere not only of the gifts the Holy Spirit pours out but of the powerful working of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles & the rest of the early Church. The Holy Spirit worked so powerfully that when Paul & his companions arrived at Thessalonica the comment made was " 'The people who have been turning the whole world upside down have come here now." (Acts 17:6)
So why can't the same thing be said of us? Why is it that we seem to be more like the Apostles in the Upper Room on Easter, in the Upper Room with our doors locked out of fear? If we truly are empowered with the Holy Spirit why are we acting like cowards.
Why aren't we being bold in proclaiming the Gospel? Why aren't we expecting God to work through us, to hear our prayers & using us to defeat the "culture of death"?
Are we afraid of persecution? Are we afraid of rejection? Are we afraid to fail?
We shouldn't be. The same Holy Spirit that was poured out on the 1st Pentecost is the same Holy Spirit we received at Baptism, that was given to us anew in the sacrament of Confirmation/Chrismation. We have that same power. If we truly mean what we pray today, then we need to say Yes to all that entails.
But we also need to realize that it will cost us. As the title of a book written in the 70s by Fr. Orsini points out, there is a cost in Pentecost. That cost is our surrender, our surrender of all to Jesus to let Him use us, to let him him lead & guide us. The cost included dying to sin, dying to self, surrendering our lives completely. & yes, it may include persecution, & even martyrdom.
Are we are truly willing to pay that cost, to truly say yes, to pay the cost to surrender ever more fully to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to the Lordship of Jesus? If we are, then we will see the world again turned upside down. (Actually, right side up.) We will be able to defeat the "culture of death". We will bring people back to the faith. We will call people to repentance & they will heed our words. We will have the courage to call sin sin. God will do all this & more through us, through our prayers & through our actions. Are we willing? Do we mean what we pray?
If we really mean what we say then we will stand up & defend the Bride of Christ, His Church. If we mean it then we will let the Spirit give us the courage we need to speak up when the teachings of the Catholic Church come under attack. If we say yes & let the Spirit make us into the soldiers we have been empowered to be then we will stand up & defend the Vicar of Christ, the Pope. We will defend him when he is attacked by the media for upholding the Church's teaching on abortion, on condoms, on marriage etc. Are we willing to stand up & defend the Church from all attacks, from without as well as within?
We are at a major turning point in history. God is calling us to action, actions that will have eternal consequences for us as well as others. Maybe in the past, we could say "Come Holy Spirit" & not be serious. Not any more. We need to decide. Are we going to let the world turn us upside down? Or are we going to let God use us to turn the world right side up? Do we really mean it (individually & as a whole) when we pray "Come Holy Spirit"?
Do we?

The Dew of the Spirit

The sending of the Holy Spirit
From Against the Heresies by St Irenaeus

When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God.
He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.
Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.
This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of broad, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.
If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.

Archbishop Nienstedt Takes on the Rainbow Sash Alliance

The Brian refered to is Brian McNeill, organizer of Rainbow Sash Alliance USA. The letter from the Archbishop is in reply to a letter sent to the Archbishop to let him know that once again they would ignore the call by Neinstedt's predicessor, Archbishop Flynn to not do so.
On 2 May 2005 Archbishop Flynn wrote a letter to McNeill. In it he said:
"Brian, it has become apparent to me that the wearing of the sash is more and more perceived as a protest against church teaching. Such a perception has been heightened by the explicit statements to this end made in other parts of the United States. Locally, people wearing the sash did not honor Father Talbot's request to remove the sash prior to receiving the Eucharist. Brian, the fact that you personally chose to confront Father Talbot after that Mass confirms the adversarial nature of your appearance at the Mass. Finally, the Vatican has communicated to me that it does indeed consider the wearing of the Rainbow Sash during reception of Communion to be unacceptable, a directive that I believe all Bishops will adhere to.
Therefore, this is to notify you and the other members of the Minnesota Rainbow Sash group that I am asking you to remove your sashes before you receive Holy Communion. I ask you to observe this sign of respect for the Eucharist not only in the Cathedral but in all our parishes. No one wearing the sash will be permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
In closing, I want to reiterate that the stated policy of the Catholic Church and of this Archdiocese is to be welcoming to baptized Catholics of all backgrounds, including those with same sex orientation. The criterion for reception of the Eucharist is the same for all - recipients must be in a state of Grace and free from Mortal sin. While the decision for that judgment rests with an individual Catholic's conscience, it has never been nor is it now acceptable for a communicant to use the reception of Communion as an act of protest.
Brian, in the past you have assured me of your desire to advance the unity of the Church. Counting on that, I trust that you and your members will honor my request. I invite you not to use Pentecost as a cause celebre that creates further disruption and damages the communion of our Church. "
Here is Archbishop Neinstedt's letter:
Dear Brian,
I write to acknowledge your letter of May 10, 2009, alerting me to the fact that you and some fellow protesters will be wearing rainbow sashes at the noon Mass on Pentecost in the Cathedral of St. Paul. I ask you to refrain from such a public act of dissent, especially as it so clearly shows disrespect and irreverence for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Anyone wearing a “rainbow sash” will not be permitted to receive Holy Communion, since their dissent is a sign that they have publicly broken communion with the Church’s teaching. I also ask that those not wearing the sashes refrain from sharing the Holy Eucharist with those who do. Such an action is unbecoming the dignity of the sacrament.
With regard to the dialogue you request, it would first be essential that you state clearly that you hold with the conviction all that the Church teaches on matters of human sexuality. If you do not believe, then there cannot be dialogue, but only debate. The truths of our faith are not open to debate.
Again, I hope you will see how disruptive your planned protest will be for those who will gather on Pentecost to pray. I ask you to refrain from being the cause of such disruption.
Sincerely your in Christ,
The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Here is what McNeill has on the website about this year's actions: "Join the Rainbow Sash Alliance USA this year on Sunday, May 31, 2009. Put on a Rainbow Sash and stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics as we celebrate the diversity of God’s creation. We cannot repeat too often that we attend Mass on Pentecost to celebrate who we are, not to protest. We participate in Mass in the same way we do all the other days of the year. But on Pentecost we come out of the closet as lgbt Catholics, family and friends to remind our fellow Catholics that we too are part of God’s loving family." (emphasis mine)
My question is this, If this isn't dissent, what is? The past & present Archbishop have asked them not to, the Vatican has asked them not to. The chose to still do so. It IS dissent. It IS disobeience clear & simple. It IS a protest, despite claims to the contrary. As Archbishop Neinstedt said, it: "clearly shows disrespect and irreverence for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ."
I would also remind McNeill et al, that when you chose to reject God's truths & live in sin, esp mortal sin then you have willfully seperated yourself from God's loving family. You have cut yourself off & out. You made the choice to reject God's love. You made these choices, not Archbishop Neinstedt, not the Catholic Church, not God.
I applaud Archbishop Neinstedt for his defense of the Eucharist & Catholic teaching. I hope & pray all of his priests will operate in the letter & spirit of the vow of obedience to their Bishop that they took at their ordination & have the courage to do what he asked. But, I won't bet on it. Those priests that don't refuse Communion will make it clear that they prefer the honor of men rather than obedience to Christ. They will make it clear that they deny the reality of the Real Presence. They will be denying the truth from God & condoning a lie from Satan. They will be causing scandal. They will have much to answer to God for when they stand in judgment.

Adult Stem Cells ARE Saving Lives

Once again, the question that those promoting embryonic stem cell research rears its ugly head. Why do you need to kill unborn children to do research that has been proven to be useless at best & harmful most of the time? Esp when adult stem cells are being proven safe & effective as well as successful.

Research using adult stem cells has saved the life of a Texas boy suffering from sickle cell anemia.
Dallas-area residents Joe and Darlene Davis welcomed the news of a pregnancy and later the birth of their first son.
Texas Alliance for Life recorded an interview with the couple.
"I was very excited to find that I had a son -- but finding out that he had sickle cell anemia, as a nurse I knew there was going to be a lot of problems associated with that disease," Joe said.
"The child can have strokes," Darlene also noted. "It can stunt his growth and damage some organs, and the child can die at an early age -- age 15 maybe or earlier."
Stem cell therapy was the key, and when the Davises received news of a new pregnancy and the birth of another son, they were elated because stem cells from the new baby's umbilical cord could be used to help their ailing firstborn.
"[Cells from] Isaac's umbilical cord blood, adult stem cells, [were] going to save my son's life, and that adult stem cell got my son cured today. He is healed," Darlene adds. "What I'm talking about is no more sickle cell, no more running to the hospital, no more fevers, no more blood transfusion. He's a healthy child today."
Research shows adult stem cells are now being used to treat well over 70 diseases and medical conditions, while research using embryonic stem cells -- which requires killing of a human embryo -- has produced no results.


Wisconsin to Poor Pregnant Women: Have an Abortion-Yes, Health Care to Have the Child-NO

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 29, 2009
Madison, WI ( -- Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and the majority Democrats in the state legislature are coming under fire for a budget that doesn't reflect pro-life values. It features funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business and a revocation of funding for poor pregnant women who may be considering an abortion.
Doyle presented the budget to the legislature in February and, this week, the Joint Finance Committee approved it and sent it to the full legislature to consider.
The budget proposes $5.4 million for Wisconsin Planned Parenthood. Although the money is technically slated to be used for family planning, it frees up funds that Planned Parenthood can use to promote and perform abortions.
As has reported, the Doyle budget also removes health care coverage for poor pregnant women and their unborn children.Wisconsin had been one of a dozen or more states that had taken advantage of the Unborn Child Rule.
During the Bush administration, President Bush displayed his concern for both mother and unborn child by putting an administrative rule in place allowing states to cover unborn children in the SCHIP program.
The rule, in place since 2002, entitles the pregnant mother to receive health care as well as her unborn child and pro-life groups supported the rule saying it would help reduce the number of abortions for poor women who decide to have an abortion for financial reasons or lack of health care during pregnancy.
Although pro-life advocates would like to get these provisions out of the budget before the bill goes to Doyle for his signature, the Democratic-controlled legislature likely won't allow that.
"We oppose these things going into the budget, but we don't have the power to take them out," pro-life state Sen. Glen Grothman told The Catholic Times newspaper.
Wisconsin Right to Life previously told that Doyle's budget provisions were poor decisions.
"In the current law on BadgerCare Plus, there are numerous references to the unborn child and the unborn child's mother. By removing benefits eligibility for the unborn child, the practical results would be most disturbing," said Susan Armacost, the group’s legislative director.
Armacost told that Wisconsin Right to Life is calling on the Joint Finance Committee and the entire state legislature to maintain benefits eligibility for unborn children under BadgerCare Plus.
Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life -

The 1 & Only Genuine Original Pentecostal Church

by: Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

A reflection on the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost and the person, gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit. The Feast of Pentecost, originally the Jewish Feast of weeks commemorating the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Exodus, was the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the Upper Room upon the apostles and other disciples in the form of tongues of fire and a strong wind, fifty days after Easter Sunday, the day marking the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Pentecost is seen as the birthday of the Church.

As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out.

Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their upbringing in the Church. For them, religion means frustration, failure, and guilt.

Somehow they, and I, missed the good news about Pentecost. OK, we Catholics celebrate the feast every year and mention it in Confirmation class, but lots of us evidently didn’t “get it.”

Because if we “got it,” we’d be different. Bold instead of timid, energetic instead of anemic, fascinated instead of bored. Compare the apostles before and after Pentecost and you’ll see the difference the Spirit makes.

The gospel is Good News not just because we’re going to heaven, but because we’ve been empowered to become new people, here and now. Vatican II insisted that each of us is called to the heights of holiness (Lumen Gentium, chapter V). Not by will-power, mind you. But by Holy Spirit power. Holiness consists in faith, hope, and especially divine love. These are “virtues,” literally “powers,” given by the Spirit. To top it off, the Spirit gives us seven further gifts which perfect faith, hope, and love, making it possible for us to live a supernatural, charismatic life. Some think this is only for the chosen few, “the mystics.” Thomas Aquinas taught to the contrary that the gifts of Is 11:1-3 (wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord) are standard equipment given in baptism, that all are called to be “mystics.”

Vatican II also taught that every Christian has a vocation to serve. We need power for this too. And so the Spirit distributes other gifts, called “charisms.” These, teaches St. Thomas, are not so much for our own sanctification as for service to others. There is no exhaustive list of charisms, though St. Paul mentions a few (I Corinthians 12:7-10, Ro 12:6-8) ranging from tongues to Christian marriage (1 Cor 7: 7). Charisms are not doled out by the pastors; but are given directly by the Spirit through baptism and confirmation, even sometimes outside of the sacraments (Acts 10:44-48).

Do I sound Pentecostal? That’s because I belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world. Correcting the mistaken notion that the charisms were just for the apostolic church, Vatican II had this to say: "Allotting His gifts “to everyone according as he will” (1 Cor. 12:11), He [the Holy Spirit] distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. . . . These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church" (LG12).

Powerful gifts, freely given to all. Sounds like a recipe for chaos. But the Lord also imparted to the apostles and their successors a unifying charism of headship. The role of the ordained is not to do everything themselves. Rather, they are to discern, shepherd, and coordinate the charims of the laity so that they mature and work together for the greater glory of God (LG 30).

So what if you, like me, did not quite “get it” when you were confirmed? I’ve got good news for you. You actually did get the Spirit and his gifts. Have you ever received a new credit card with a sticker saying “Must call to activate before using?” The Spirit and his gifts are the same way. You have to call in and activate them. Do it today and every day, and especially every time you attend Mass. Because every sacramental celebration is a New Pentecost where the Spirit and his gifts are poured out anew (CCC 739, 1106).

That’s why the Christian Life is an adventure. There will always be new surprises of the Spirit!

This article originally appeared in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the Scripture readings for the Feast of Pentecost Sunday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Talk About An Insult

OK I don't think this was intentionally ment to insult my friends over at The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen, but it does. Unlike Waxman, they are smart enough to see through all this climate change BS that is out there.
Source: Moonbattery (Open Thread)

California Planned Parenthood: To Hell With Teachers, Libraries & Senior Citizens, We Need to Make More Profit

Planned Parenthood launches drive to stop funding cuts as California’s budget crisis reaches disastrous proportions, pro-lifers see massive deficit as rare chance to defund abortion giant
Now that California voters have overwhelmingly rejected a package of budget measures and the state faces a more than $20 billion deficit, Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state are sending out urgent email alerts to their supporters pleading with them to contact the legislature to prevent any reduction in the millions of taxpayer money Planned Parenthood receives each year.
On Tuesday, May 19, voters rejected by huge margins four ballot initiatives proposed by the governor and the legislature to narrow the budget gap. After the measures failed, state officials said this year’s deficit could reach as high as $24 billion and that the state could run out of money as soon as July. Two days after the special election, Planned Parenthood affiliates in California began sending emails to their supporters imploring them to contact their legislators immediately.
“We need your immediate help because the Governor is attempting to solve the state's budget crisis by cutting family planning,” wrote Darrah D. Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties in one such email message. “We are at a crisis point,” Johnson’s message continued.
“It is critical that your elected officials hear from you today and tomorrow in as many ways as possible! Please take five minutes of your time today and help us save services for thousands of women and families in California. We need you to pick up the phone today and tomorrow and place a call to your elected officials in addition to sending them a fax. Call your legislator today!”
According to the website of the California Attorney General, Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties had 2006 revenues of $33,179,930 and assets totaling $24,465,790.
Pro-lifers elsewhere in California note that Planned Parenthood affiliates in their area also show millions of dollars in revenue, and say they see the state’s deepening financial crisis as an opportune time to cut state spending or defund Planned Parenthood altogether. “While most companies struggle to survive in the current state of our economy, recent annual reports show that business has never been better for Planned Parenthood and profits have never been so high,” wrote Gingi Edmonds, a 23-year-old pro-life activist from Hanford, in a May 21 email message sent to readers of her blog, Gingi Edmonds ProLife Opinion. “In a press release last weekend, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards admitted that clinics like Mar Monte, California have seen as much as a 21 percent jump in the number of women they perform abortions on in a weekly basis.”
“Our budget in California is wacked,” continued Edmonds. “With the continued global recession we face a certain $15.4 billion shortfall. This is resulting in teacher lay-offs, library closures and reductions in prescription drug coverage for senior citizens. With this in mind, it's obvious that Planned Parenthood which netted more than one billion dollars in clear profits last year – and which is now strapping 21% more women into the cervical scraping stirrups -- clearly needs no help from taxpayers.”
According to Edmonds, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger already has included funding cuts for Planned Parenthood in his proposed revisions to the state budget. “This is a big deal,” wrote Edmonds. “We're talking about the nation's largest abortion provider losing 90% of its funding in the State of California.” Edmonds points to the “emergency emails” being sent out by Planned Parenthood affiliates “begging pro-abort activists to contact their legislators and elected officials and plead for a halt to the budget cut.”
“Well guess what pro-lifers?” says Edmonds in response. “There are a lot more of us than there are of them, according to four recent national polls. We need to call our elected officials in California RIGHT NOW and demand these long overdue budget cuts that will stop the funding of this abortion giant, and potentially save 73,000+ lives that are currently marked for death on our dime.”
To find your legislator if you wish to send a message on the subject, Click Here.
To contact Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Mail: Office of the Governor, State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA 95814
To email the governor, Click Here.


What 1st Amendment Rights?

" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 1st Amendment - US Constitution
Someone might want to inform San Diego County California officials about the 1st Amendment. It seems they are not be aware that it has been ratified. At least from the actions taken that are talked about in the story below.

(We won't go into the California Constitution except to say that it has similar provisions.)
Invasion of the Bible Snatchers

Where two or more are gathered in Christ's name, there San Diego County officials will be also. For a suburban California family, this was the shocking reality during last month's Good Friday holiday. A local pastor and his wife invited a dozen or so people to their house for a Bible study, only to be interrupted by a San Diego employee who threatened to fine the couple for breaking an obscure County land code.
People at Pastor Jones's church are stunned by San Diego's actions, particularly its investigation of the group's activities. According to the family's attorney, Dean Broyles of the Western Center for Law & Policy, the officials asked pointed questions such as, "Do you have a regular meeting in your home?" "Yes." "Do you say amen?" "Yes." "Do you pray?" "Yes." "Do you say, 'Praise the Lord?'" "Yes."
What business is it of the county's how the Joneses' worship? This is not communist China. The Joneses aren't operating an underground church in violation of state law. This is their home! And like every other American, they enjoy the freedoms of religion, assembly, and speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Broyles told reporters, "If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly... for poker night? What about... Tupperware parties?"
Every citizen in the nation should take this attack seriously. It matters little whether they agree with the Joneses' beliefs. If we allow the government to take their rights away, ours are next. Meanwhile, county officials have not budged on their insistence that a home Bible study of 15 people is a "religious assembly" that requires a "major use permit," which can cost upward of $10,000. Obviously, California is so desperate for income that it's willing to persecute men and women of faith to get a few pieces of silver.
As Christians from other states have learned, the government can use inconsequential rules on parking or zoning to regulate religion. In this instance, the application of those rules is, as Broyles says, "misplaced." Apparently, the size of government has grown so much that bureaucrats, like those in San Diego, are struggling to justify their existence. They have to invent controversies like this one just to keep busy. With California facing a budget shortfall, I know just where officials can start cutting unnecessary spending.

(Video added 1:17 am Sunday 31 May 2009)

USCCB: Ennunciating Moral Principles, Yes; Public Policy, No

This article raises a couple of good points about how the USCCB (& often state conferences as well) cross the line & go from clearly ennunciating moral principles, which the bishops must do clearly & forcefully, to promoting specific public policy, which the bishops have neither the charism nor the competence to formulate.

by Dr. Jeff Mirus, May 29, 2009

Bishop William Murphy’s letter to members of the US House of Representatives endorsing comprehensive health care for every inhabitant of the United States (including illegal immigrants) raises an important question about the involvement of the United States bishops in politics. Granted, the letter comes from Bishop Murphy as chairman of the Domestic Justice and Human Development Committee of the USCCB. It is not, apparently, a mandate of the body of bishops as a whole. Nonetheless, the letter once again raises the critical question: Where is the line between moral principles, which the bishops must enunciate clearly and forcefully, and public policy, which the bishops have neither the charism nor the competence to formulate?
This question has long haunted the Church in America, especially in the heady post-Vatican II years when many bishops apparently believed that Catholic doctrine itself was in the midst of a major reformulation, resulting in episcopal political statements that were sometimes not so very well grounded in Catholic moral principles. But the main issue is not whether the bishops have a firm grasp of Catholic moral principles, but whether they have a superior grasp of how effectively this or that public policy embodies those principles. According to Church teaching, they don’t. In both theory and practice it is up to the laity, formed by Catholic principles, to determine the best prudential response to various public issues.
The episcopal office does not confer any particular special insight into either the feasibility or the effectiveness of proposed public policies; nor is there any historical warrant for suggesting that, in practice, bishops as a body are better at this sort of thing than laymen. In fact, both by training and experience, one would expect politically active lay persons to have a better grasp of the art of the possible in implementing effective public policies, just as one would expect bishops to have a better grasp of Catholic faith and morals.
Social Justice and Social Change
When the Church involves herself in politics, she is wont to talk about “social justice” rather than charity. However, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly stated in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, the special province of the Church is charity. It is the State which has justice as its proper end. This does not mean that the Church should not teach the principles of justice. Justice derives from the moral law, which Revelation helps the Church to enunciate with unmatched clarity. But there is a blurry line between charity and justice in the public context, even when both aim at the same goal.
For example, consider these questions: Is it a matter of charity or justice that free education should be available to all citizens? Or that the poor should receive a high level of housing and food benefits? Or that health care should be free? There is no “right” answer to these questions; the answers depend very much on the social context. In previous eras, nobody would have argued that the State had an obligation in justice to provide these things. The scope of the State was utterly insufficient to the purpose, and economic conditions were such that it simply could not be expected that a very large percentage of citizens could ever have access to such benefits. But if one person denied to another person a benefit to which he was ordinarily entitled—stealing a noble's inheritance or riding roughshod over a peasant’s right to common acreage and shared equipment—then a matter of justice was clearly present. For the rest, the charity of friends, neighbors and the Church herself was essential to get people through difficult times.
In Western affluent mass societies, the general level of material well-being is far higher, and it is not (in theory) based on rank or class. Universal public education is a fact of life, and in a non-agrarian society education is seen as a key to making one’s livelihood. We tend to think, therefore, that everyone has a right to be educated; hence it is a matter of justice if someone is denied schooling. But we carry this only so far. It does not apply to college or graduate school. In other words, a moment’s reflection reveals to us that issues of justice are not always absolute. Instead, many issues take on a dimension of justice by virtue of the conventions of the social context in which the issues are raised. The most important point to recognize here is that the term “social justice” is very malleable; it is what the ancients recognized as distributive justice, and it must take circumstances into account. Thus it depends only partly on the natural law and to a much greater degree on the expectations, customs and capabilities of the society in question. (In contrast, charity faces no such conceptual problems: It is always a personal response to another’s need out of love.)
Health Care
Health care is an excellent case in point. The very dream that all people should have access to a high level of professional health care depends on the peculiar features of particular societies: the widespread availability of competent professional care; a generalized familiarity with such care throughout the social order; a high percentage of persons already enjoying the advantages of this care; a significant understanding of public health; the advancement of medicine to the point that the difference between those who have medical care and those who do not is both significant and predictable; and of course tremendous affluence.
But for this dream to the be proper province of the State, we must somehow translate it from the sphere of desire to the sphere of justice. One would expect that the special gift of bishops would be to articulate the principles which make a given potential benefit a matter of justice; the case needs to be made because there is very little absolute about this sort of social claim. Thus the bishops might suggest (as I believe they would be right to do) that the claim to health care (or any other social benefit) becomes a matter of justice in a given society when that society begins to perceive, in its own context, that health care is unnecessarily unavailable to defined groups of people who—again, in the culture’s own particular context—would ordinarily be expected to have access to it.
The example of education may again prove useful. At a certain point in Western history, it became a feature of our common Western culture that the vast majority of people could be educated. A variety of philosophical, social and economic circumstances led to this cultural shift, and it took a very long time for the availability of education to reach anything like what we might call critical mass. Once critical mass was reached, it became the norm that all persons should be educated in a certain way (so much so that people gradually lost a great deal of personal control over the matter). Once this became the norm—and not before—society was in a position to judge it an injustice if anyone was prevented from going to school. Health care is perhaps now on a similar trajectory. However, it is not a matter of absolute principle but of socio-economic-political judgment whether, in fact, our culture is in a position to demand a certain level of health care as a matter of justice.
Once again, the primary role of bishops is not to endorse a particular policy proposal or a particular demographic result, but to explain the various principles and related considerations which might be sufficient to make health care a justice issue. Such a case may well be worthy of serious consideration, given the current characteristics of our society. Moreover, I would suggest that the bishops ought to be uniquely qualified to make this case—just as they are generally unqualified to endorse any particular method of embodying such principles of justice in public policy.
After all, there are grave problems with any specific implementation of these principles in health care. Costs, quality of care, and personal liberty in determining the nature and scope of one’s medical treatment are among the more obvious. But the very involvement of the public order in medical care raises problems of its own, just as it has in education. It is no secret that a very large number of bishops were reared in the social traditions of modern liberalism. Perhaps as a result, many bishops assume that if a social problem exists, the Federal government must be put in charge of solving it. But he who lives by the Federal government may well die by it, for the Federal government is deeply involved in and supportive of quite a few grave moral evils in the realm of standard health care.
Bishop Murphy recognizes this difficulty, sort of. He warns that “no health care legislation that compels Americans to pay for or participate in abortion will find sufficient votes to pass.” But this is only another political judgment that no bishop is qualified to make. The smart money, I think, suggests that a universal medical system, if it were to pass all the other objections, would not be long subverted by such “petty” concerns as contraception, abortion and the use of aborted embryos in medical treatments—or even by assisted suicide, should that become the secular norm. One needs only to consider how we have fared in keeping such things out of insurance coverage. In any case, the main point is that Bishop Murphy, who only “sort of” sees the problem, does not see it as something that would deter him from demanding that the Federal government institute comprehensive health care now. The same ideological problems that undermine the values of the American citizenry in public education will be at work in the actual giving and taking of life in public medicine.
It probably isn’t necessary to raise the question of costs; the public is very sensitive to cost issues at the moment anyway. But Bishop Murphy’s letter does endorse the provision of ”comprehensive and affordable health care for every person living in the United States.” This hides a hornet’s nest of questions, many of which revolve around the question of how much health care we can afford for how many. Alas, Revelation does not touch upon this issue. Questions of efficiency and quality are equally complex. For example, would it be unjust to allow persons of means to seek additional or better health care than the universal system provides? This would, after all, give them a social advantage. And would doctors and hospitals be permitted to provide such health care outside the system? Another huge consideration is the impact on illegal immigration of ever-greater public benefits for every man, woman and child residing on American soil.
Willy Nilly Doesn’t Cut It
Again, my point is not to argue against a better solution to health care in our society. As I have indicated, my personal assessment is that, although the best course is far from clear, our society does possess the combination of characteristics which make it morally necessary to think hard about this question, and to consider what might be done. As societies grow and change, along with their resources and their methods of using resources, different questions come to the fore, and sometimes circumstances do change enough to require the application of principles of justice to new areas of life, areas in which the question of justice was quite rightly inapplicable in another place and another time.
But it goes way beyond what we can know in our current context to assume willy nilly that these questions of justice are clear and easily applicable, or that one particular solution is obviously the best course. By all means, the bishops should lead a penetrating discussion of how and when certain social realities push new questions into the sphere of what we might call relative justice. They should apply this discussion very particularly to health care. And they should also point out clearly any absolute moral imperatives they see as critical to the discussion, such as not being forced to participate in murder. Then, based on an ever-deepening understanding of moral issues provided by cogent episcopal teaching, the bishops need to back away and allow the laity to do their own proper job: The formulation and implementation of specific public policies.

What's Wrong With This Picture: Waterboarding is Torture but Abortion Isn't?

The "culture of death" reached a new low when it defined torture as not allowing an unborn child to be murdered via abortion. Not allowing a woman to have an abortion is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of the woman. But an abortion which kills the unborn child is not? SICK & perverse logic that calls good evil & evil good.

By Piero A. Tozzi, J.D.
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The United Nations (UN) committee charged with monitoring compliance with the Convention Against Torture has declared that Nicaragua’s full protection of fetal life violates the country's obligations under the Convention. This is the first time this committee has reviewed Nicaragua since that government outlawed abortion for any reason three years ago.
The torture committee is the fourth UN committee to pressure Nicaragua with respect to its laws protecting unborn life, joining the committees charged with monitoring the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Critics are increasingly concerned with what they view as the politicization of the treaty monitoring system by committees charged with oversight. Neither the Convention Against Torture nor any other UN treaty mentions abortion, and it was not contemplated when such treaties were negotiated and ratified that countries were committing themselves to altering domestic legislation on abortion.
In contrast, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has conscientiously construed its mandate as focusing on actual instances of racial discrimination. Because of its refusal to expand its mandate beyond the scope of the treaty that created it such as by engaging in abortion advocacy, CERD has been criticized by some in the human rights establishment.
Among the human rights lobbyist organizations that have increasingly lent a voice to abortion advocacy in the developing world is Amnesty International, which abandoned its previous neutrality on the issue in 2007. In a shadow briefing to the torture committee, Amnesty asserted that Nicaragua's legislation banning all abortions was equivalent to government commissioned “torture” or at least “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” banned by the Convention.
Amnesty also claims that Nicaragua's law "causes women and girls to die," an assertion disputed by pro-life critics. Carlos Polo, Director of Population Research Institute’s Latin American Office and a close observer of maternal health developments in Nicaragua, notes that "the best indicator of what is happening in any country regarding bad practices in gynecological and obstetric services are rates of maternal mortality." Polo points to statistics compiled by Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health showing that maternal deaths have decreased since Nicaragua tightened its laws on abortion.
In comparison with Amnesty’s efforts to link abortion restrictions with maternal death regardless of what the evidence shows, even the unambiguously pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) has begun to shy away from making such claims. In a recent submission to the ICESCR committee, CRR criticized Brazil for emphasizing lack of access to abortion as "the most salient cause" of maternal mortality, pointing instead to its failure to provide emergency obstetric care. CRR went so far as to praise Sri Lanka for reducing maternal mortality – a country that CRR elsewhere acknowledges as having one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. In addition to Nicaragua, the torture committee has in the past pressured Chile and Peru, whose constitutions protect unborn life.

Cat & Mouse OR Loving Spouse?

"(T)he condom just destroys the marital act because it pits man against woman in a cat and mouse game where they each feel they have to 'protect' themselves from the other."
- Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, President, Human Life International; speaking at Salesian High School, Manzini, Swaziland, Feb 2009 (source: HLI's Special Report No, 293, May 2009)

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Common Sense Birthday

Today is the 135th Birthday of the "Apostle of Common Sense", G.K. Chesterton. What he said in the early part of the 20th Century is just as pertanent today as it was a 100 years ago. The topics ranged from history to politics, religion to science. Here are a few of his pearls of wisdom:
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910
"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter." - ILN, 5/25/31 (Even truer today!)
". . . For friendship implies individuality; whereas comradeship really implies the temporary subordination, if not the temporary swamping of individuality. Friends are the better for being two; but comrades are the better for being two million." ("A Case of Comrades" The Apostle and the Wild Ducks)
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." - ILN, 4/19/30
"The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." - A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901
"The only object of liberty is life." (Irish Impressions. 219)
"Because our expression is imperfect we need friendship to fill up the imperfections." (Illustrated London News, June 6, 1931)
"There is no bigot like the atheist." (Magic)
"When people talk as if the Crusades were nothing more than an aggressive raid against Islam, they seem to forget in the strangest way that Islam itself was only an aggressive raid against the old and ordered civilization in these parts. I do not say it in mere hostility to the religion of Mahomet; I am fully conscious of many values and virtues in it; but certainly it was Islam that was the invasion and Christendom that was the thing invaded." ("The Way of the Desert" The New Jerusalem)
"Modern man is staggering and losing his balance because he is being pelted with little pieces of alleged fact which are native to the newspapers; and, if they turn out not to be facts, that is still more native to newspapers." - ILN, 4/7/23 Remember this was 85 + years ago, things haven't improved, have they?)
"The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense." - ILN, 9/7/29
"We are learning to do a great many clever things...The next great task will be to learn not to do them.- "Queen Victoria" Varied Types
"It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged." - The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21 (Again, things definitely haven't improved, have they?)
"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." - ILN, 4/19/24
"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." - Christendom in Dublin, 1933 Do I have to say it?)
"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922
Finally, what I think is 1 of his best:
"The sort of man who admires Italian art while despising Italian religion is a tourist and a cad." ("Roman Converts" Dublin Review, Jan-Mar. 1925)

Sorry Archbishop Weakland, Calling Homosexual Inclinations Objectively Disordered is not Using Pejorative Words

While I haven't commented a lot about Archbishop Weakland's tome he recently wrote to justify all the evil & sinful things he did, I came across something that I had to share to point out to the Archbishop how wrong he is to claim that his sinful acts weren't sin & that a loving God wouldn't allow anyone with homosexual inclinations "any physical, genital expression of that love?

A couple of days ago I was skimming through Part 3 of the Byzantine Catholic Bishops of North American Catechism they put out in the 1990s. (Light for Living, Pt.3 The Mystery Lived) & came across an interesting section that talks about the Eastern Catholic view of sin that totally undermines anything Weakland is trying to say.

"God has outlined for us a way of life in which we can express the reality of our nature, living in communion with Him and with others. He has posted signs for our safety. . . . When we disobey . . . . we harm ourselves and others. We are punished by our sins, not for them. God is on our side. However, if we do not listen to Him (i.e. obey Him) damage continues to be done. We form an inadequate view of reality and try to live in conformity with it. This is the height of folly; and in the Old Testament :"folly" is one of the words frequently used for sin." (pg 62)

Now lets go back & look at what Weakland said: "If we say our God is an all-loving god,how do you explain that at any given time probably 400 million living on the planet at one time would be gay? Are the religions of the world, as does Catholicism, saying to those hundreds of millions of people, you have to pass your whole life without any physical, genital expression of that love?

Gee sounds like what he said there is a classic example of what the Byzantine Catechism defines as folly, doesn't it? Because of his wanting to remain in sin, Weakland definitely has an inadequate view of reality. & he is trying to live within it. & that is folly. As Catholic Church (Eastern & Western) has always taught that remaining in sin is folly. & it brings about its own punishment, both now &, if not repented of, for all eternity.
PS The answer to Archbishop Weakland's question is yes, they are to pass their whole lives living chastely by being celebate. No physical, no genital expression in any way shape or form. Our God is a truly loving God who has told us what is right & what is wrong. he gives us the free will to chose to obey or disobey. & when we disobey, we also bear the consequences. To say anything to the contrary is to turn your back on that loving God who made us. Such as what Weakland has said & done.
(FYI 2 pertenant paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church are # 1867 & # 2357)

The Latest Addition to Obama’s “Vichy Catholic government”

The title comes from a comment at the end of the article. For those of you who don't remember, the Vichy government was set up to appear like it was independent & the real government of France. It wasn't real except in name. It was under the complete control of Nazi Germany. The point being made is that these people who Obama has appointed are no more independent or real Catholics than the Vichy governmaent was.
The Vichy governement cooperated with Nazi Germany & its leaders, like Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, were convicted of treason after WW II. An appropriate comparision, I think, to those Catholics in the Obama administration.

Supported nomination of extreme pro-abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius as Health Secretary
By Alex Bush
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 28, 2009 ( - Miguel Diaz, a self-proclaimed “faithful Catholic” and a professor of theology at St. John’s School of Theology, was appointed as ambassador of the United States to the Holy See by President Obama yesterday.
Pro-life groups have expressed their significant concerns about the appointment. Diaz most recently made headlines after he threw his support, as a fellow “Catholic,” behind the nomination of Kathleen Sibelius as the new Health Secretary. Sebelius is considered by pro-life advocates to be one of the most notorious pro-abortion Catholic politician in the United States.
Diaz was among the 26 “faithful Catholic” leaders who signed onto a
letter of support for Sibelius earlier this year. “As faithful Catholics we proudly offer our support to Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who has been nominated to head the Department of Health and Human Services,” says the letter.
“Governor Sebelius is a woman of deep faith,” the letter continues.
Sebelius’ archbishop, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, however, said last year that Sebelius is giving Catholics a “spiritually lethal message.”
The letter that Diaz signed on to claims that Sebelius “agrees with church teaching that abortion is wrong and has lived and acted according to that belief.” The letter claims that the disagreement between Sibelius and the Church “has never been over the morality of abortion, but over what prudential policy is best in dealing with abortion.”
Sebelius, however,
vetoed a bill in Kansas that would have placed restrictions on partial-birth abortions just this past April. The move was simply the latest in a long series of pro-abortion actions on the part of the governor. The governor is know to have a close relationship with notorious Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller.
After Sebelius refused to recant her beliefs about abortion, she was
told last May not to present herself for Holy Communion by her archbishop, until she takes "the necessary steps for amendment of her life which would include a public repudiation of her previous efforts and actions in support of laws and policies sanctioning abortion."
Diaz, for his own part, has refused to comment regarding his own stance on life issues, saying that it would be inappropriate to discuss such matters before his confirmation hearing.
“I wish to be a diplomatic bridge between our nation and the Holy See, and if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I will continue the work of my predecessors and build on 25 years of excellent relations with the Holy See,” Diaz said.
Obama has appointed
numerous nominal Catholics, many of whom are notorious supporters of abortion, to prestigious offices. Those who have been appointed include Vice President Joe Biden, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Health Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and Commerce Secretary Bill Richardson.
The appointment of so many nominal Catholics to top positions in the Obama government has prompted one prominent writer and blogger,
Patrick Archbold, to refer to Obama’s “Vichy Catholic government” - a reference to the French town of Vichy where a puppet government was set up by the Nazi’s during World War II after France surrendered to the Germans.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here Comes the Next Round of Attacks on the 1st Amendment & the Catholic Church

By Kathleen Gilbert
AUGUSTA, Maine, May 25, 2009 ( - A homosexualist group is seeking to strip the Catholic Diocese of Portland of its tax-exempt status, after the diocese announced it would gather support for a voter's referendum on the new same-sex "marriage" law.
The California-based Empowering Spirits Foundation filed the challenge Wednesday claiming that the Church's signature-gathering violates IRS rules forbidding partisan political activity by non-profit organizations.
"By their individuals going on television, stating what they were doing, they're engaging in lobbying activities which is prohibited by the IRS for tax exempt purposes," objected Tyler Davis, a spokesperson for the Empowering Sprits Foundation, according to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
Soon after Maine Gov. John Baldacci approved the state's same-sex "marriage" legislation May 6, the Portland diocese condemned the law and announced that it would support a voter's referendum to overturn it.
"Same-sex marriage is a dangerous sociological experiment that I believe will have negative consequences for society as a whole," said Bishop Richard Malone.
"Children will be taught in schools that same-sex marriage and traditional marriage are simply different expressions of the same thing, and that the logical and consistent understanding that marriage and reproduction are intrinsically linked is no longer valid," he continued. "These are profound changes that will reverberate throughout society with tragic consequences."
Diocesan spokesman Marc Mutty had said that the diocese "will play a lead role in organizing this petition drive to bring the issue before voters."
Concerning the homosexual-rights group's recent allegation, Mutty called it a "bogus attempt to sidetrack the campaign," and said the signature-gathering did not violate IRS rules.
True marriage supporters will need to collect 55,087 voters' signatures in order to bring the same-sex "marriage" question to the ballot, where Maine voters would have a chance to overturn the law. Proponents have 90 days after the congressional session's end in mid-June to gather support.
See related coverage:
Maine Legalizes Homosexual "Marriage"

& Yet Again, The Elite Attempt Pro-Abortion Colonialism

The usual suspects & the usual modus operendi, financial blackmail.
By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The Dominican Republic has come under fire from some of the world’s most powerful abortion advocates, aiming to block a proposed constitutional amendment that would enshrine legal protection of the country’s unborn.
The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), backed by European nations, major foundations and the UN Population Fund, has launched an aggressive campaign to thwart proposed Article 30, which would protect human life “from conception.” The country’s national assembly approved the amendment in a first reading by an overwhelming majority of 167-32 on April 21st, but it must go through a second reading before final promulgation by the President.
IWHC is seeking to draw Dominicans into street protests and letter writing campaigns to the legislature claiming that Article 30 “violates international agreements signed and ratified by the Dominican Republic, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR], the American Convention on Human Rights [ACHR] and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women [CEDAW].”
In fact, the ACHR states that, “Every person has the right to have his life respected. This right shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.” The two UN treaties cited, ICCPR and CEDAW, do not mention abortion at all, and the committees that monitor them have come under increased scrutiny for reading a right to abortion into the treaties and pressuring States party to the treaties to liberalize abortion laws.
According to its latest annual report , IWHC’s largest backers for its $5.5 million annual contributions include the governments of Denmark, Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), De Beers, and powerful foundations including Ford, the Open Society Institute, Hewlett, MacArthur, Packard, Rockefeller, Woodstock, and Bill & Melinda Gates. IWHC also holds $3 million in assets.
As its funding sources suggest, IWHC maintains strong ties to the population lobby from which it emerged. A recent history of population control details the Population Crisis Committee (today’s Population Action International) founded IWHC to distribute abortion kits in the 1980s. The Hewlett Foundation promoted IWHC to fund abortion that lost U.S. aid under the then newly-enacted “Mexico City Policy.” When “population control” fell out of favor in the midst of massive scandals, the major foundations and feminist organizations re-branded the movement as promoting women’s rights. Today, IWHC’s mission is promoting “sexual reproductive rights and health” for adolescent girls and women.
IWHC’s first president was Joan Dunlop, protégé of John D. Rockefeller, 3rd. Soon after the group’s founding Dunlop recruited Adrienne Germaine, IWHC’s current president from the Ford Foundation where she had successfully convinced Ford to include abortion services in its extensive population control programs. Germaine was a chief negotiator for the Clinton administration’s attempts to get abortion recognized as an international human right at the 1994 Cairo and 1995 Beijing UN conferences. When that effort failed, she joined an elite group of UN officials that launched the 1996 Glen Cove “Roundtable” Report . The report lays out a strategy, which IWHC is using in the Dominican case, to misuse UN human rights treaties to establish a right to abortion by claiming that it already exists.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Priests In Space!!!!!!!!

Knowing a bit about Padre Pio's sense of humor, I suspect he would appreciate this.
H/T: Jeff Miller @ The Curt Jester

Some Random Thoughts - 27 May 2009

The other day on my post "A Catholic Priest & A Catholic In Name Only Priest Face Off About Notre Dame" I got the following comment from Simplex Vir: "So according to Father McBrien there really in no difference between evil and intrinsically evil." Later, as I reflected on the comment, it sent me off on 1 of those stream of consciousness flows that led to me reflecting on what McBrien was getting at. Basically, McBrien is saying that there is no such thing as intrinsically evil.
1st of what is ment by intrinsically? That means that the act is evil in & of itself, no matter what. The Catholic Church teaches that some acts are intrinically evil, like abortion or homosexual acts. They are always wrong. Then there are acts that can be evil under certain circumstances. For instance killing someone, cold blooded murder is evil, killing someone in self-defense isn't.
So what is McBrien saying? He is saying that since there is no such thing as intrinsic evil, there are circumstances that can justify abortion or homosexual acts. Basically, what we are seeing in his comments is a prime example of relativism. It all depends, there is no such thing as an absolute right or wrong.
Then I got thinking how these same people who use relativism to justify homosexual marriage, abortion etc are anything but relativistic when it comes to things like war, the death penalty. & saying anything about sin being sin, especially homosexual acts is always wrong. In other words, while saying there are no absolutes, the show how flawed their claims really are. They do have absolutes about what is or isn't wrong. It is just that when they want to justify wrong/sin then they fudge things & blur the lines.
Their hypocrisy is blatent. But when they are confronted they reply that people who support the death penalty or war are just as absolutist as they are. & while there may be a few people who are, almost all of them are anything but.
I don't know of a single person who supports the death penalty who also doesn't want to see it applied fairly, in accordance to Catholic teaching. The question isn't is the death penalty wrong? The Church says that under certain circumstances the state has the right to execute a criminal. As the Pope has pointed out, there is room for debate on what meets that standard, but there isn't for abortion.
The same is true about war. I don't know a single Catholic who ever wants a war. But, again the Church does give criteria for a just war. Again, their is room for debate on whether a specific war meets that criteria. (As an aside, neither Pope John Paul or Papa Benedetto ever condemned the Afghan or Iraqi wars. They just asked that every peaceful means be exhausted 1st.)
This then led me to think of all those anti-war nuns I have dealt with over the years. They are a prime example of relativistic hypocrisy.
Back in 1976, when I was still a registered democrat, I was a delegate to the DBQ Co convention. At that convention, Joe Hart, a fellow Loras student, & I went arround with a petetion to add a pro-life plank. 1 of the people I approached was a DBQ Franciscan who shall remain nameless, not to protect the guilty but to keep from her getting the egoistic attention she would love by naming her. She refused saying: "I'm personally opposed to abortion. But, I can't oppose my morallity on others." & over the years I have ran into many another Catholic; priest, religious & lay (& esp Catholic politicians) who say the same thing. Yet these same people's actions belie the claim. Those same nuns hold signs saying all war is immoral & should be stopped. They say the same about the death penalty. The politicians pass laws saying it is immoral to call homosexual acts sins, to stop gays from marrying etc.
In other words, when they really don't think something is immoral they hide behind the I don't want to impose ploy. But that is the very thing they are doing by trying to stop the death penalty, all war or make people accept gay marriage.
This leads me to my next point, pacifists who try to say that the early Church was pacifist because Catholics/Christians refused to serve in the Roman army during the 1st to 4th Centuries AD. Or they quit when they became Christians because they opposed war. That is an oput & out lie. While a few may have the overwhelming majority of them quit or left for a totally different reason. A Roman soldier was required to offer incense & say a prayer to the emperor. In other words, worship him as a god. As Christians they knew that they couldn't worship a false god & still be true to the Catholic faith. So they quit. & a huge majority of them were martyrs as a result. They weren't martyrs for pacificm, they were killed for refusing to worship idols & false gods.
A few years ago I came across a Catholic pacifict group who was lifting up an early martyr as idealizing what they stood for. I looked into the saint & found out that his quiting the Roman army & subsequent martyrdom had nothing to do with pacifism. He refused to worship the emporer. But these groups never let the facts stand in the way of imposing their viewpoint.
In the end, I prefer to stick with what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Jesus promised us that through the apostles & their successors, the Holy Spirit would lead the Church to know the whole truth. That truth is found in the teachings of the Church. & by staying with them I know I am following the mind of Christ. I refuse to call evil, like abortion or gay marriage, good. & I refuse to call good, like calling sin sin, upholding chastity etc, evil.
There are absolute rights & wrongs. Sin is sin. & I refuse to be called hateful for upholding those teachings that some people oppose. Homosexual acts are sinful abortion is sinful. I am not being hateful by saying so. In fact, my saying so is quite loving. Not speaking up is hateful. If I am to truly love my neighbor then that love means that I want him or her to spend eternity in Heaven rather than suffer eternally in hell.
Nor am I being a self-righteous pharisee. I am a sinner & know how much I need God's forgiveness. The fact that I accept God's mercy & forgiveness means that I also want others to have that same forgiveness.
Actually, it is the relativists who are the modern pharisees with their self-righteous condemnation of those who uphold the Church teaches.
This brings me to another point. A few years ago I was at a discussion about homosexaul marriage. 1 of the arguments presented in support was that God partied with sinners, thus showing he didn't oppose their sins. What they failed to mention is the reason Jesus gave for eating with sinners. He said He didn't come to call the righteous, but the sinners, He came for the sick (spiritually, not the healthy. & that ment He had to go where they were. he never condoned sin. In fact, from day 1 He called people to repentance.
Yes, it is true that He didn't condemn the woman caught in adultery. Why? He knew she had repented. Instead He told her to sin no more. & He used that phrase more than once. Remember that He warned 1 man He healed to sin nor more lest something worse befall him. Jesus only condemned those who refused to repent, those who called evil good & good evil.
People like Fr. McBrien will have to answer to God for their failure to uphold God's laws. He will have to answer for those souls who ended up in hell as a result of his actions & inaction. I can't be silent. I have to obey God's call to proclaim the Gospel. I have to do my best to be faithful to my baptismal promises. & when I fail, I need to repent. & tell others that they can be forgiven as well. That they don't have to continue on the path to hell, even if it feels good all the way there. It is not demeaning or hateful to say their actions are sinful, it is loving. It is bringing the true God to them. Not a false God like McBrien, Weakland & others proclaim.
For the record, my view on the death penalty is this. I do not see any need for it here in the USA. We have plenty of other adequate ways of protecting society. But, I recognize the fact that many do see the need to defend society with the death penalty. & in some cases they may be right. & in some countries, there still is no viable alternative. All I ask is what the Church asks, that everythiung is done to assure the guilt of the person who will be executed. In other words, I stand by what the Church teaches about it. Headlines

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