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, December 31, 2011

The End (of 2011) is Here!!!!!

Things That Made Baby Jesus Smile In 2011

OK, I looked at some things that made Baby Jesus cry this last year. But there was also plenty that made him smile as well.  Here are a just a few of those things:

1. Probably 1 of the biggest things was the widespread defunding of Planned Parenthood in many states as well as huge cuts in funding in others. The  U.S. House of Representatives voted to federally de-fund Planned Parenthood as well but it got nowhere in the Senate. In September the U.S. House of Representatives launched a formal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices. These actions were the result of investigations by Live Action & Operation Rescue among others. 1 of the fruits of that defunding was the closing of many Planning Parenthood sites that put some huge crimps in the abortion pipeline. In fact, 1 leader of Planned Parenthood has called 2011 "one of the most discouraging years ever". & other leaders aren't very optimistic in their evaluation of 2011 either (Planned Parenthood Leaders Say 2011 Was Worst Year Ever)
2. As LifeNews story also pointed out: "The Guttmacher Institute reported for the first 6 months of 2011, states enacted a record number of pro-life laws, more than 80, more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. States like Nebraska, Idaho, and Ohio are three who have already enacted fetal pain laws that protect preborn children from abortion after 20 weeks. Arizona and Virginia have enacted a law to regulate abortion facilities, forcing them to comply with the same set of medical standards that other types of medical facilities must follow. And others like South Carolina and Texas passed ultrasound laws that require abortionists to mothers the opportunity to see her preborn child. All of these laws will reduce abortions, and they enjoy broad support with more than 60% of Americans supporting these laws." No wonder PP calls 2011 discouraging.
3. Attempts to silence Pro-life Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the state of Maryland & the cities of Baltimore & New York got shot down by the courts for what they were, attacks on free speech. Meanwhile, all across the nation these centers continued to offer multitudes of women alternatives to abortion & saved countless lives as a result. These successes are what lead to abortion industry cronies  to pass those laws there as well as start the process elsewhere.
4. The continued peaceful, prayful presence of Pro-life protestors outside Planned Parenthood sites & other abortion clinics that has lead to saving many more lives by their being able to share the truth with women as they entered.
5. The shut down in October of the Rockford Abortion Mill by the Illinois Department of Health of the dangerous conditions inside and its being a threat to public health. This has resulted in the saving of hundreds of lives in the Rockford area. (Note: a hearing is scheduled for 4 Jan 2012 on whether to allow it to reopen. Please pray that it will stay closed.) 
6. The continued work of groups like Project Rachel, Silent No More & others to bring God's forgiveness & emotional healing to women & men scared by their participation in an abortion
7. More defections of Planned Parenthood workers to the Pro-life movement.
Not everything that made Baby Jesus smile is abortion related.
8. On the 1st Sunday in Advent, the new & definitely improved translation of the Novus Ordo Mass in English speaking countries took effect. The discomfort it caused to the dissidents who opposed it & attempted to sabatoge its implimentation over the past year & their failure had to bring a smile or 2 to His face as well.
9. Everytime Cardinal Burke openned his mouth to defend Catholic Church teaching.
10. EWTN celebrating 30 years of being on the air defending the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church & proclaiming the Gospel.
Finally, I can't end this post without mentioning 2 other things that I am absolutely certain made Baby jesus smile more than once over the past year.
11: I am refering to 2 blogs, Acts of the Apostasty written by the (in)famous LarryD (occasionally abetted by ) & The Curt Jester aka Jeff Miller. Using humor they defend the Catholic Church as well as occasionally taking a lighthearted look at living "la vita Cattolica".

Let us pray that 2012 will plenty of smiles to Baby Jesus' face.


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Making Baby Jesus Cry in 2011

Last year I decided to do a year end post about things that made Baby Jesus Cry in 2010. Well, There was plenty in 2011 to ensure that Baby Jesus shed more than a few tears as well. & some of them involved the same people as those in 2010.

1. Once again Nancy Pelosi did her best to keep Jesus in tears. While continuing to claim she was a devoit Catholic, she attacked the USCCB for daring to speak up about their concerns with ObamaCare & how it would force Catholic doctors & hospitals to provide birth control, abortifacient drugs, & abortions, even though providing birth control and performing abortions runs counter to Roman Catholic teaching. She dismissed their concerns as lobbying. Then there was her statement where she said  "I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk" & went on to say that risk was to let women die on the floor rather than give them health care after a botched abortion.  Then there was the blasphemous statement where she claimed embryonic stem cells "really have the biblical power to cure in a very, very special way."
2. Speaking of politicians who claim to be Catholic, our next stop is Illinois. In particular the governor, Pat Quinn. In January he signed a bill legalizing same-sex unions & requiring Catholic (and other religious) adoption & foster care agencies to place kids with same-sex couples or to beguilty of “discrimination” if they refuse. The result was the basic shutting down of Catholic Charities foster care & adoption agencies in Illinois. Then in November he came under fire from the Illinois Bishops for agreeing to  present an award at a November 17th lunch held by Personal PAC, a group dedicated to supporting pro-abortion candidates for political office. His response to the Bishops was that he was going to go ahead & do it (which he did. He claimed doing it was “the proper Christian thing to do.” In short he was defying the Bishops in their upholding of authentic Catholic teaching
3. & while we are speaking about Catholics who are doing their best to undermine the Catholic Church & its teachings, let us not forget HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius.  She continued her long record of doing what the abortion industry wants that goes back to her time as governor of Kansas. The fact that under her administration vital evidence that was needed for a prosecution of Planned Parenthood for covering up child sex abuse was shredded enabled Planned Parenthood to have some charges dropped earlier this year. But not one to sit on her corrupt laurels, she also announced new regs in August that would force almost every Catholic institution to provide insurance coverage of contraceptives, which include abortion-inducing drugs such as Plan B & Ella, as well as elective sterilizations.
4. Which leads us to the Catholic Health Association lead by Sr. Carol Keehan. They recently came out with a statement calling for a so-called compromise in the insurance mandate that was anything but a compromise. They recomended applying  Section 414(e) of the IRS Code as the standard. The trouble is, that standard still forces almost every Catholic college or university to pay for contraceptives etc.  This follows a statement in September lauding ObamaCare. & in February while claiming to support Bishop Olmsted's right to declare a hospital in Phoenix no longer Catholic for allowing an abortion, she basicly said he was wrong to do so. & even though the hospital can no longer call itself Catholic it was allowed to remain a memeber of the CHA.
5. Then there was the aiding & abetting of the CHA by Notre Dame in their call to apply Section 414(e).  
6. & let us not forget a huge part of the reason why Nancy Pelosi continues her claims to be a devout Catholic, her bishop. Archbishop Niederauer has not only been mostly silent when it comes to her actions, he was recently thanked by the Rainbow Sash Movement for  for tolerating a San Francisco church’s activism for their cause. For those unfamiliar with the group, they work to undermine Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Their thanks to Niederauer was for allowing Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church to promote an agenda contrary to Catholic teaching.
7: & Lest I forget, there was Jon O'Brien, president of ---- for Choice*. In November he appeared on the Laura Ingraham show. Despite Laura's attempts to get a straight answer he refused to answer her questions about unborn children. He also misrepresented Catholic teaching on Family Planning by equating all family planning with artificial birth control. he also did his best to undermine the magesterial teaching office of the Pope & Bishops by making it sound like he new more about what the Church actually taght than they did.
I could go on, but many of them would be repeats from last year's list that have continued into 2011.  So rather than repeat them just follow the link to read the list from last year.
I am not trying to be self-righteous with this list. Remember that whenever any of us sin we also make Baby Jesus unhappy & sometimes cry. & whenever Baby Jesus cries it makes the Blessed Virgin Mary & St. Joseph unhappy & cry as well.
But most of us are not causing public scandal & leading others into sin in the same way these people are. Their actions need to be pointed out for what they are in order to call people to turn away from where they are heading & to listen to & obey what Jesus is telling us through the Pope & the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. Doing so will help to dry some of those tears shed.

*Catholics should be the 1st word, but I refuse to use it since they are anything but Catholic.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

On the 6th Day of Christmas, a Little Christmas Cheer From the 70s.

Many moons ago, back in the mid '70s, I came across a gospel singer of Norwegian descent by the name of Evie (full name Evie Tornquist & from 79 on on Tornquist-Karlsson). She was a 4ft eleven dynamo that truly sang from the heart. In 1977 she came out with a Christmas album, Come On Ring Those Bells. Since I don't currently have a working turntable, I haven't heard the music from that album in years. I recently came across a few of the songs from that album on YouTube that brought back some memories of those younger simpler times when Christmas hadn't been affected by my years of working in retail..
1st of all, the title song from the album:

Next up is One Small Child (The video features the album cover):

Oh Holy Night from a '78 Dutch Christmas appearance:

& from that same Christmas Special, Mary's Boychild

Next up, No Room

& one more from that special, 1000 Candles

Finally a more recent version of Come On Ring Those Bells:

These days many artists come out with a holiday album that will be mostly forgotten in a year or 2. Evie's music not only is still fresh, it is a much needed antidote to the secularization we see the world pushing on us to forget what Christmas is really about.

Have a blessed 6th Day of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the Beginning GOD Created the Heavens & the Earth, NOT chance!

Killing the Holy Innocents - 2000 Years Ago & Now

Then it was done under the orders of King Herod because he was afraid of any rival that might cause him to lose his power as ruler. 

Now it is done by Planned Parenthood & the abortion industry with the approval of President Obama whom they helped elect & he is doing his best to keep happy so that they will help him stay in power.

Pictures of aborted babies here

The names may have changed, but the story is the same one, people sold out to evil working to create a "culture of death" in opposition to God's plans for a Culture of Life.  Of course there is 1 huge difference. Herod probably had only 20-30 babies murdered. Planned Parenthood alone murders an unborn baby every 96 seconds, day in & day out. There are about 3-4 thousand total abortions done daily in the USA alone.
But just as back then, the children were not the only victims. The story of the Holy Innocents in Matthew 2 ends with the following: "Then were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 'A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more.'" (Matthew 2:17-18)
These days, despite claims by the abortion industry to the contrary, there are many other victims of abortion. They include the women who had the abortion as well as the fathers of the aborted children. The damage done to them is emotional, just like that described in the prophecy from Jeremiah. Studies, many of them done by abortion supporters, have shown that men & women feel emptiness & isolation after abortion. Additionally, there is the guilt often felt knowing that what they have done was wrong. & while the abortion industry attempts to deny or downplay this damage, it isn't. That is why many groups have sprung up to help people find the spiritual & emotional healing they need. I have links to many of them in the right hand column under Post-abortion healing.
History for the most part has ignored what Herod did. Some even try to deny it because they say there is no contemporary evidence outside the Bible. Given the total track record of Herod, it is easy to see how this would be seen as just another in the long list of atrocities done by Herod, & a minor one at that.
These days, the abortion industry has shown that they are deserving to be called modern day heirs to the Herodian dynasty, not only by the number of abortions, but by the many other atrocities they have done as well. I have reported many times about the coverups of rape & incest, the horrific conditions of abortion clinics etc. & like Herod, they are doing all they can to maintain their power, no matter how illegal, immoral,  or corrupt the actions they use.
Herod the Great killed the Holy Innocents & even his children to maintain his corrupt reign. His granddaughter Herodius had John the Baptist killed because he proclaimed the truth about her sinful relationship with Herod Antipas. Today, the modern Herods do not like the message that the Catholic Church & others are proclaiming about what they do. So they try to get bubble laws passed, they try to pass laws attacking crisis pregnancy centers, they paint all pro-lifers as violent while they are the truly violent ones. (As a reminder, those few who do commit violent acts like arson, assault & murder in the name of ending abortion are not truly representative of the Pro-life movement. In fact they are antithetical to what we stand for.)
On this day, as we remember those 1st martyrs for Christ let us rededicate ourselves to fighting to put an end to abortion. Let us ask God to give us the courage to proclaim the truth in word & deed. May He guide & bless our efforts to build a Culture of Life. May we soon see an end to the "culture of death".

Holy Innocents we ask your intercession for those of us who are working to put an end to abortion. Plead with God for His blessings on our efforts to put an end to this modern day slaughter of innocents. Pray too for those men & women who are suffering from the emotional damage done to them as a result of participating in an abortion. Lead them to those groups who offer God's healing forgiveness they so sorely need.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

The Feast of St. Stephen

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me bread and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

What Happenned After Washington Beat the Hessians

funny pictures history - Baconalia Awaits
see more Historic LOL

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Padre Pio's Christmas Meditation

Far into the night, at the coldest time of the year, in a chilly grotto, more suitable for a flock of beasts than for humans, the promised Messiah – Jesus – the savior of mankind, comes into the world in the fullness of time.
There are none who clamor around him: only an ox and an ass lending their warmth to the newborn infant; with a humble woman, and a poor and tired man, in adoration beside him.
Nothing can be heard except the sobs and whimpers of the infant God. And by means of his crying and weeping he offers to the Divine justice the first ransom for our redemption.
He had been expected for forty centuries; with longing sighs the ancient Fathers had implored his arrival. The sacred scriptures clearly prophesy the time and the place of his birth, and yet the world is silent and no one seems aware of the great event. Only some shepherds, who had been busy watching over their sheep in the meadows, come to visit him. Heavenly visitors had alerted them to the wondrous event, inviting them to approach his cave.
PPInfantJesus.jpg (17808 bytes)
So plentiful, O Christians, are the lessons that shine forth from the grotto of Bethlehem! Oh how our hearts should be on fire with love for the one who with such tenderness was made flesh for our sakes! Oh how we should burn with desire to lead the whole world to this lowly cave, refuge of the King of kings, greater than any worldly palace, because it is the throne and dwelling place of God! Let us ask this Divine child to clothe us with humility, because only by means of this virtue can we taste the fullness of this mystery of Divine tenderness.
Glittering were the palaces of the proud Hebrews. Yet, the light of the world did not appear in one of them. Ostentatious with worldly grandeur, swimming in gold and in delights, were the great ones of the Hebrew nation; filled with vain knowledge and pride were the priests of the sanctuary. In opposition to the true meaning of Divine revelation, they awaited an officious savoir, who would come into the world with human renown and power.
But God, always ready to confound the wisdom of the world, shatters their plans. Contrary to the expectations of those lacking in Divine wisdom, he appears among us in the greatest abjection, renouncing even birth in St. Joseph’s humble home, denying himself a modest abode among relatives and friends in a city of Palestine. Refused lodging among men, he seeks refuge and comfort among mere animals, choosing their habitation as the place of his birth, allowing their breath to give warmth to his tender body. He permits simple and rustic shepherds to be the first to pay their respects to him, after he himself informed them, by means of his angels, of the wonderful mystery.
Oh wisdom and power of God, we are constrained to exclaim – enraptured along with your Apostle – how incomprehensible are your judgments and unsearchable your ways! Poverty, humility, abjection, contempt, all surround the Word made flesh. But we, out of the darkness that envelops the incarnate Word, understand one thing, hear one voice, perceive one sublime truth: you have done everything out of love, you invite us to nothing else but love, speak of nothing except love, give us naught except proofs of love.
Padre_Pio_a_Natale.jpg (68654 bytes)
The heavenly babe suffers and cries in the crib so that for us suffering would be sweet, meritorious and accepted. He deprives himself of everything, in order that we may learn from him the renunciation of worldly goods and comforts. He is satisfied with humble and poor adorers, to encourage us to love poverty, and to prefer the company of the little and simple rather than the great ones of the world.
This celestial child, all meekness and sweetness, wishes to impress in our hearts by his example these sublime virtues, so that from a world that is torn and devastated an era of peace and love may spring forth. Even from the moment of his birth he reveals to us our mission, which is to scorn that which the world loves and seeks.
Oh let us prostrate ourselves before the manger, and along with the great St. Jerome, who was enflamed with the love of the infant Jesus, let us offer him all our hearts without reserve. Let us promise to follow the precepts which come to us from the grotto of Bethlehem, which teach us that everything here below is vanity of vanities, nothing but vanity.
Appearing in volume four of the Italian-language edition of Padre Pio's letters, this essay was taken from Padre Pio's hand-written notebooks. To the best of my knowledge, it is presented here for the first time in English.
Translated by Frank M. Rega, December 2005.
"Padre Pio da Pietrelcina: Epistolario IV," Edizioni Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo, 2002, pages 1007-1009.

Tu scendi dalle stelle

In keeping with what has become a tradition here at my blog I share what is my favorite of all the Christmas carols out there, "Tu scendi dalle stelle" (You came down from the stars). The melody & lyrics for the hymn were written by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. The hymn is traditionally sung at the end of Midnight Mass at St. Peter's.
There are many versions out there of this hymn, some serious & some a bit more lighthearted. Part of the tradition is to share 1 lighthearted version that I love followed by some other versions. The verses in Italiano & an accurate translation in English are at the end of this post.

Next I Piccolo Coro Santa Maria Ausiliatrice di Milano, al concerto di Cassano Magnago del 13 dicembre 2008

& our final stop is St Peter's at the end of the 2009 Mass:


Tu scendi dalle stelle

Tu scendi dalle stelle
O Re del Cielo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo
E vieni in una grotta
Al freddo al gelo.

O Bambino mio Divino
Io ti vedo qui a tremar,
O Dio Beato!
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.
Ah, quanto ti costò
L’avermi amato.

A te che sei del mondo,
Il creatore,
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.
Mancano panni e fuoco,
O mio Signore.

Caro eletto pargoletto,
Quanto questa povertà
Più mi innamora,
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.
Giacchè ti fece amor
Povero ancora.

You Come Down from the Stars
(English Translation)

You come down from the stars
Oh King of Heavens,
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.
And you come in a cave
In the cold, in the frost.

Oh my Divine Baby
I see you trembling here,
Oh Blessed God
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.
Ah, how much it cost you,
Your loving me.

For you, who are of all the world
The creator,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord,
No robes and fire,
Oh my Lord.

Dear chosen one, little infant,
This dire poverty,
Makes me love you more,
Since Love made you
Poor now,
Since Love made you
Poor now.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Democratic Party Christmas Special

Not sure to call this a Christmas Jape or a realistic look at how the Dems/left ACTUALLY see things.

Friday, December 23, 2011

This Would Explain a Lot About Chicago Politics

The actual location of Mordor has been found!

Click on to enlarge

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Notred Dame, Catholic Health Association Continue Their Sell Out to Obama Administration

Given how both Notre Dame lead by Fr. Jenkins & the the Catholic Health Association lead by  Sr. Carol Keehan have already sold their souls to Satan, that they would continue to sell out the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church to continue currying favor with Obama should be no surprize. This whole thing smacks of trying to look like they are defending the Church's teachings while doing nothing at all to really protect Catholic organizations. It is PR spin pure & simple, nothing else. 
Notre Dame has not recovered from the PR disaster that inviting Obama was. Jenkins et al showed that they had no regrets for thumbing their nose at both Catholic teaching ^ USCCB regulations, especially with how it treated those protestors that were arrested by refusing to request leniency for the Notre Dame 88.  (Charges dropped against ‘Notre Dame 88’)
The CHA has continued to cheerlead for ObamaCare ( Catholic Health Association lauds ObamaCare) & condoned the abortion at the Phoenix Hospital that resulting in  Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix revoking the hospital’s Catholic status .(Catholic Health Association reiterates support for former Catholic hospital’s abortion).
So both of them need something to make it look like they have returned to the fold while they really haven't. Thank God for the work of the Cardinal Newman Society in getting the truth out.

Catholic Health Ass’n, Notre Dame pushing dangerous compromise on birth control mandate: watchdog
WASHINGTON, December 21, 2011 ( - A proposal made by the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic Health Association (CHA) to dodge the Obama administration’s birth control insurance mandate could undermine the religious liberty of many Catholic colleges and universities, says one watchdog of Catholic higher education.
Under the new law, as announced by the Obama administration this summer, virtually all private employers will be required to cover sterilization and all contraception, including abortifacient drugs. The religious exemption currently applies only to organizations that mainly hire and cater to individuals within their own sects, which would exclude most religious colleges, schools, hospitals, charities and other organizations.
In public letters to the Obama Administration, both the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and Fr. John Jenkins of the University of Notre Dame have pointed to Section 414(e) of the IRS Code, which exempts church-related pension plans from the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). They recommend the language in 414(e) as an improvement over the strict and narrow religious exemption published by HHS.
But in a letter to federal health officials Dec 20, the Cardinal Newman Society said the proposed revision would still leave many faith-based colleges out in the cold, “just like the flawed religious exemption it is intended to replace.”
Under Section 414(e), notes CNS, exemption from federal law is available only to an organization that is “controlled by or associated with a church or a convention or association of churches,” meaning that the organization must at least share “common religious bonds and convictions with [its] church or convention or association of churches.”
However, under federal court precedent “common religious bonds” has been interpreted to rely on three factors: that the church play an official role in the governance of the organization, that the organization receive assistance from the church, and whether a denominational requirement exists for any of the organization’s employees or customers.
This litmus test, CNS notes, is not one that most Catholic colleges and universities are likely to meet. Some of the most orthodox Catholic colleges are entirely controlled by the laity, they point out, and few impose religious tests when hiring employees or accepting students. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops already argued against the 414(e) option in its September 17th comment to federal health officials, calling it “inadequate.”
Other Christian organizations also face problems with the 414(e) language, because it exempts only religious organizations with denominational affiliations.
“While some of our institutions are affiliated with larger church organizational or denominational structures, many are independent religious organizations,” Dr. Paul Corts, President of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, told CNS. “They are religious not because they are associated with a church or denomination but rather because of their legitimate religious beliefs and practices that are openly held out to the public as such—the critical legal characteristics of a religious entity—and yet, would not be recognized as such under [414(e) language].”
The Society’s concerns were repeated in letters to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.
In an op-ed Wednesday in The Washington Times, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly writes that the practical effect of the Notre Dame and CHA proposal “would be to slam the door on most religious organizations while providing political cover to the Obama Administration.” But he also recalls that neither the University of Notre Dame nor CHA “is a stranger to controversy when it comes to President Barack Obama and his support for abortion rights.”
Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins honored Obama with an honorary law degree at the school’s commencement ceremony in 2009, drawing condemnations from 80 active U.S. bishops and over 300,000 petitioning U.S. Catholics.
Months later, CHA president Sr. Carol Keehan emerged as a key supporter of Obama’s health care overhaul, earning accolades from the administration for flouting the USCCB’s direct opposition to the abortion-expanding law.

The full Cardinal Newman Society letter to Secretary Sebelius is below.

December 20, 2011

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 120F
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

We are writing with concern about the dangerous implications of a proposal that has been presented to you by the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic Health Association, which could violate the religious liberty of the faithful Catholic colleges and universities that The Cardinal Newman Society promotes to Catholic families.

As you know, many religious organizations have sought the repeal of the Interim Final Rule on Preventive Services published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 46621), which mandates health insurance coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including some that cause abortions. At the least, religious organizations and individuals seek conscience protection to be exempted from this mandate.

The Cardinal Newman Society, which works to help renew and strengthen the Catholic identity of Catholic colleges and universities, is especially concerned about the impact of this mandate on Catholic higher education. As we noted in our September 29th comment to your department, joined by 18 Catholic colleges and universities and the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ committee on Catholic education: “No federal rule has defined being “religious” as narrowly and discriminatorily as the Mandate appears to do, and no regulation has ever so directly proposed to violate plain statutory and constitutional religious freedoms.” Of great concern is the impact on Catholic college health plans for students, which are not currently exempt from the regulation.

The religious exemption in the regulations is inadequate, but so is the replacement proposed by the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic Health Association in their own comments to your department. They propose language similar to Internal Revenue Service Code Section 414(e), which describes organizations exempt from provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Embracing 414(e)-like language would mean leaving many Catholic colleges unprotected, just like the flawed religious exemption it is intended to replace.

A religious exemption similar to 414(e) would only marginally expand the current HHS exemption and would undermine religious liberty. Under the 414(e) rule, exemption is available only to an organization that is “controlled by or associated with a church or a convention or association of churches,” meaning that the organization must at least share “common religious bonds and convictions with [its] church or convention or association of churches.” In 2001 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said that three factors bear primary consideration when deciding whether an organization shares “common religious bonds and convictions” with a church:

1) whether the religious institution plays any official role in the governance of the organization; 2) whether the organization receives assistance from the religious institution; and 3) whether a denominational requirement exists for any employee or patient/customer of the organization.

The Fourth Circuit set a precedent that has been followed by other federal courts, and it is not a test that most Catholic colleges and universities are likely to meet. Many are unaffiliated with a religious order; indeed, some of the most faithfully Catholic colleges are entirely lay-controlled. Few impose religious tests when hiring employees or accepting students. It is even an open question as to whether Notre Dame would meet the criteria for a 414(e) exemption, which the university has never sought, according to Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argued against the 414(e) option in its September 17th comment to your department: “…[S]uch an exemption would be inadequate, because it would fail to protect many stakeholders with a moral or religious objection to contraceptives or sterilization, including individuals, insurers, and even many religiously affiliated organizations.”

While our mission relates to Catholic education, we also support the concerns of religious organizations that are inter-denominational or non-denominational. As explained by Dr. Paul Corts, President of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, in a note to The Cardinal Newman Society yesterday: “While some of our institutions… are religious not because they are associated with a church or denomination but rather because of their legitimate religious beliefs and practices that are openly held out to the public as such—the critical legal characteristics of a religious entity—and yet, would not be recognized as such under an exemption requiring conformity with the requirements of IRS Code Section 414(e).”

Secretary Sebelius, the fact is that the 414(e) language would fail to protect the religious liberty of too many religious organizations that object to sterilization, contraception or abortion, including many faithful Catholic colleges and universities. This is unacceptable.

We continue to urge you to repeal the mandate altogether, or at minimum to protect the consciences of all individuals and organizations that oppose sterilization, contraception or abortion because of their religious beliefs.


Patrick J. Reilly

cc: Joshua DuBois, Executive Director, Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Enterprises

See also: Notre Dame, CHA Push Dangerous Compromise on Religious Liberty

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lily of the Mohawks to Be Declared a Saint

The USA is about to get 2 more saints added to the list. Along with the miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Kateri, a miracle attributed to Blessed Marianne Cope were approved by Papa Benedetto. While Blessed Kateri is fairly well known, Blessed Marianne isn't so well known. She worked with St. Damian of Molokaʻi toward the end of his life.

.- Pope Benedict XVI formally recognized miracles attributed to Bl. Marianne Cope and Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha on Dec. 19, clearing the way for both women to be canonized.
The two women, who both lived in the United States, were among numerous individuals whose sainthood causes were advanced by decrees authorized by Pope Benedict XVI on Monday.
Sister Grace Anne Dillenschneider, vice postulator for the Cause for the Diocese of Syracuse, told CNA on Dec. 19 that the date for Bl. Cope’s canonization has not yet been confirmed.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints had already approved Bl. Cope’s second official miracle, which involved the medical recovery of a woman in Syracuse who was cured of a fatal and irreversible health condition.
Born in western Germany in 1838, Bl. Marianne Cope entered religious life in Syracuse, N.Y., where she served as a teacher and principal and established two hospitals before traveling to Hawaii, where she spent several years caring for lepers.
She died in 1918 and was beatified in 2005.
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, known as "the Lily of the Mohawks," was born in 1656 in upstate New York.
Her father was a Mohawk chief and her mother was an Algonquin who was raised Catholic.
A smallpox epidemic killed both of her parents and left her with poor eyesight and a badly disfigured face at a young age.
Despite objections from her relatives, she was baptized at age 20, after meeting several Catholic priests.
An outcast from her community, Bl. Tekakwitha lived a life of deep prayer, with a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Witnesses said that the scars on her face disappeared after her death.
Bl. Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, the first Native American to be declared blessed.
On Dec. 19, Pope Benedict also authorized promulgations recognizing miracles attributed to the intercession of 10 other individuals, allowing them to move forward towards beatification or canonization.
In addition, he recognized the martyrdom of more than 60 individuals, including priests, religious and laymen, who can now move forward in the process towards beatification.
The Pope also approved decrees recognizing seven individuals as having lived out heroic virtue and being venerable. These individuals will each need a miracle attributed to their intercession before they can be beatified.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas At Our House

2 versions of the song that truly captures what it was like this time of year growing up in an Italiano-American home.
1st Lou Monte's version. (Note: No, the houses weren't lit up like this, so ignore the pictures & just listen to the music.)

Then we have Joe Dolce's take.


What's In A Name

Where Is the Line to See Jesus????

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christian Bale Attacked for Trying to Visit Opponant of China's Forced Abortion & Sterilization Policy

Amazingly, the video news report mentions that it is China's abortion policy that Chen Guangcheng is protesting. Chen Guangcheng exposed the systematic use of forced abortion & sterilization in Linyi City in 2005. For four years & three months, he was jailed, tortured & denied medical treatment. Since his release he has languished under strict house arrest. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
I said amazing given the Main Stream Media's pro-abort stand & their reluctance to shed any negative light on abortion. The AP story simply calls Chen a human rights activist. & CNN's written story talks about Chen's exposing "abusive practices by China's family-planning officials".
I have to admit thar even more amazing is the fact that Hilary Clinton has actually spoken out in support of him. Not only would you think the Obama administration would be supportive of a fellow socialist regime, you would think he would not want any attention drawn to this ugly side of the abortion issue, esp since the abortion industry has remained silent on the issue of forced abortions.
As I said, this story hasn't really gotten the coverage it should in the Main Stream Media because of what Chen is protesting, forced abortions & forced steralizations. Given how the MSM is publicly pushing the need for population control message it doesn't want the ugly, dark side of what is included in that agenda to get out.
For more on the myth of overpopulation & the coercion, deception, & racism inherent in promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, & chemical & surgical sterilization being labeled as “population stabilization,” “family planning,” & “reproductive health” programs go to Population Research Institute's website.

Lying About Gingrich Is Getting Worse

Earlier this week I put up 2 posts (here & here) about the attacks on Newt Gingrich's Pro-life record & how much of what was being said was innacurate. Well, it has since gotten worse. Now someone is putting out fliers & claiming that they were put out by  Iowans for Life. There is 1 problem with that claim. Iowans for LIFE had nothing to do with them (Fliers Claiming Newt Not Pro-Life Falsely Use Group’s Name) But since they are lying about Gingrich's record, it should be no surprize that they are lying about where they came from as well.
 Maggie DeWitte, the executive director of the Iowans for LIFE said the following in an e-mail that I received on Thursday: “Iowans for LIFE had no involvement in producing or having these flyers distributed. If the party or parties responsible for putting this information together intended association with Iowans for LIFE in conveying their message, they have done so fraudulently in an apparent reckless effort to cut down a presidential candidate.
Iowans for LIFE is not responsible for producing this material or placing it on vehicles at the event at Hoyt Sherman Theater in Des Moines.”
She added: “Iowans for LIFE is the oldest pro-life organization in the state, beginning in 1972. IFL has a long history of providing education on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Our education is fact-based and we do not attack the character of anyone. While we feel that all the candidates that attended this event are solidly pro-life, Iowans for LIFE is not endorsing any presidential candidate. Iowans for LIFE condemns any actions taken in our name without permission and for the purpose of disparagement of any individual as reprehensible and intolerable.”
I can't say I am surprized by this. It seems like it is open season on Gingrich. & mudslinging is in fashion for doing it. OK, I will admit Gingrich's record isn't perfect, but it is clearly documentable that it is no where near as bad as those RoboCalls or this flier paint it. As a reminder, I am supporting Ron Paul. But I also am concerned about the damage whoever is behind this is doing to the Pro-Life movement.
The original LifeNews article had a link to the story source. In the comments section someone who calls himself "Real_Republican" (RD) is throwing the mud not only at Gingrich, but at any & everyoneone who tried to get the real record out there. Steve Ertelt of Life News put the following comment with a link to the article: "Never mind that Gingrich had a pro-life record in Congress, voting pro-life 98% of the time." RD's response started out like this: "You can't cover Gingrich's tracks Ertelt. Your phony "98% pro-life record" doesn't wash. It is more than the voting record that counts, and Gingrich worked overtime to make sure pro-life legislation didn't get passed or was watered down:" & then he goes on to give an example from 92.
So I decided to point out how we need to give Gingrich the benefit of the doubt about his conversion etc. & I came under fire. I won't go into all the details of the vitreolic attacks on me. I will just share the following: "Clearly, your agenda is the same as his, and you are just trying to cover up Gingrich's past because you yourself have no conscience when it comes to the murder of the innocent in the womb."
Never mind that I have made it totally clear I am not a Gingrich supporter & talked a bit about my Pro-Life stands, that I am not kowtowing to his positon gives him the right to slander & libel me & accuse me of being Pro-abort. Anyone who regularly reads this blog, & a lot of people in the Pro-life movement, locally as well as a few nationally, know how strongly Pro-Life I am. To state that I have no conscience is an out & out lie, slanderous, libelous & an attempt to ruin my good name with those who might read his comments. God have mercy on him.
Now I am not saying this to get sympathy. But why is this person throwing all this vitreol & mud & claiming that he is right & anyone who disagrees with him is NOT Pro-Life or a real Republican? & why did someone come out with these fliers claiming Iowans for LIFE put them out when they clearly didn't? In both cases there is 1 huge thing in common, the anonymity of the real source. Who is doing it? Why is he out to destroy Gingrich at all costs, even if it means lying about his record? Is this a personal vendetta? & why is this person (these persons) willing to destroy the reputation of anyone who is truly Pro-life to do it?
Is this someone who is supporting another candidate but doesn't want that fact out because of the backlash? Is it someone who is really pro-abort & is trying to sabotage the Pro-Life movement? Is there some other reason? I have no idea. What I do know is that we have to be sure that the person or persons behind this do NOT suceed in doing damage to the Pro-Life movement. There are plenty good Pro-life candidates running for the Republican nomination. None of them are perfect, but all of them are better than Obama. & we can't let people like those behind the attacks derail us from our real goal, to end abortion & save the lives of millions of unborn children.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Voters Guide to Republicans

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maybe the Gang at Susan G. Koman Might Want to Read Exodus 20:13

or: Susan G Koman, blasphemously using the Bible to promote abortion.

I kid you not, the Koman Foundation, whose connection to Planned Parenthood is well documented, has come out with an edition of the Bible (I am assuming a protestant translation here folks) that is being used as a fundraiser for Koman. $1 from the sale of each copy goes to Koman to use for their programs.

(From the WalMart website description) “The Here’s Hope Breast Cancer Bible is a reminder that God has not forgotten you, a friend, or loved one who has been impacted by breast cancer. Not only will you find encouragement and inspiration through testimonies from breast cancer survivors but more importantly you’ll encounter God’s life-sustaining words for you.”
While their reason behind this special edition sounds good, as I have mentioned here many a time before, Koman gives plenty of money to Planned Parenthood. & while they claim it is to promote mamograms, it has been well documented that PP does not do them, merely gives referals. Thus this money is going into PP coffers to underwrite their abortion business.
Koman would do well to remember that abortion is murder & banned by 1 of the 10 Commandments, Thou shalt not kill! (yup, Exodus 20:13).
Additionally, despite denials by PP, Koman & other abortion supporters, there is strong evidence linking abortion to breast cancer. So, Koman is basicly defeating the purpose they claim they exist for.
The Bible does give us hope & comfort, especially in times of trial. It is God speaking to us to tell of His love for us. It also tells us how we are to live. As I pointed out, 1 of the things were are forbidden to do is commit murder. & abortion IS murder. & to use the Word of God as a fundraiser to support the abortion industry leader, Planned Parenthood strikes me as nothing less than blasphemy.

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A Bit More on the RoboCalls About Newt

Yesterday I put up a post about several RoboCalls I had gotten about Newt Gingrich & the group behind them. (What Is the Real Reason behind These Calls) Later I found out who is the person actually behind Iowa ProLife Action. The person is Aaron Dorr. I have also found out that these calls are part of a 2-pronged attack on Newt Gingrich. He is also the person behind a gun owner rights group (Iowa Gun Owners) that is also making RoboCalls about his votes on gun owner issues. (UPDATED: Robo-calls in Iowa accuse Newt Gingrich of ‘anti-gun record’)
That call script follows a similar tact. It focuses on Gingrich's failure to return a presidential gun rights survey & then goes on to give what they see as the reason. In this case, Gingrich's support for the Brady bill. While not as inaccurate, it doesn't perfectly reflect Gingrich's record either.
I can't speak as to why Gingrich hasn't responded. I do know that Gingrich is a member of the NRA
That lead me to something interseting. I also found that this group is affiliated with another group that seems to think the NRA isn't strong enough on gun rights.
Another fact that is interesting is that Dorr's name does not appear anywhere, at least as far as I can tell, on either of the websites of the groups he started. It isn't like he isn't known to be a part of the groups. So why isn't he as out front as he should be?
Which leads me back to my question, what is the real reason behind these calls? I have no problem with Dorr being opposed to Gingrich. I do object to resorting to lies & half-truths however as they damage to the efforts to defend gun owners rights & defend the unborn. & why does Dorr feel he has to use them to get his message across when there are other ways.
As a reminder, as I pointed out yesterday, I am a Ron paul supporter. But I am willing to give Gingrich the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise that he is telling the truth, esp on the Pro-Life issues. Looking at his record in Congress is fair game for raising questions. But to say that he is lying now because he took the wrong stands then isn't right, or fair. So I repeat that I think there is more behind this than meets the eye. Dorr's actions are coming accross as a personal vendetta that has to do with a lot more than any Gingrich stands, past or present. I have no idea what the reasons behind that vendetta are. & I could be wrong about there being more. But I still think it looks like there is a whole lot more than meets the eye.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Is the Real Reason behind These Calls

Before I start my commenting, I have to state that I am supporting Ron Paul & plan on voting for him @ my Iowa caucus site next month.
When I saw this article headline on LifeNews it caught my eye immediately. The reason is because over the last week I have gotten several of these calls with the message left on my answering machne, sometimes several times in 1 day. In listening to it, I knew it didn't accurately reflect Gingrich's stand, especially his present. I began thinking there was something more to this than merely going after Newt's record. & I had to also wonder why it was only Gingrich they were going after, especially since Romney's stand has been even more inconsistant than Gingrich's.
Not too long before I started getting these calls, I got a fundraising letter  from Ia. Senator Kent Sorenson for Iowa Pro-Life Action. The group is promoting an Iowa personhood amendment that Sorenson in the Iowa Senate & Kim Pearson in the Iowa House plan to introduce.  They are both strong on the Pro-Life issues.
I began wondering if there might be some ulterior motive for these calls which seemed to be hijacking the group for a purpose unrelated to their claim to be single issue, personhood. So I decided to see who Pearson & Sorenson are endorsing for the Republican nominee. Sorenson has endorsed Bachmann & Pearson has endorsed Ron Paul. The fact that they endorsing different candidates eased my doubts, but only a little.
At this point I am hoping that I am wrong, but I still have a feeling that there is more to this than meets the eye. It still looks to me like it is a deliberate attempt to sabotage Gingrich's candidacy in Iowa. But again, why Gingrich & not Romney? If it is an attempt to sabotage Gingrich's, it is going to eventually come out. & when it does, then it will do huge damage to the personhood amendment movement here in Iowa. & for me, that is intolerable.
That aside, back to why the mudslinging?, because that is exactly what I see this as. Is it because of Gingrich's past, especially his divorces? Or is it because Gingrich wasn't as pro-life as he claims to be now. OK, even if Gingrich wasn't as strong as he could of been in the past, he could change (ditto Romney). After all, Reagan did. When he was governor of California he signed the legislation legalizing abortion. He later realized his mistake & became vocally pro-life to the point of  writing piece on the subject while president. It later cmae out as a small book, & sitting presidents don't normally write books. But Reagan did. 
One thing I AM sure about is that these robocalls are not accurate, not even close. & that they are a waste of money that should be used to promote the Iowa personhood amendment instead. So other than forcing me to delete 2 or 3 of them a day from my answering machine as well as having the Ginrich campaign waste time their workers could be putting towards the campaign, these calls are accomplishing nothing worthwhile. Except maybe for someone who wants to sabotage Gingrich's campaign. & is willing to harrass Pro-lifers with multiple calls to do it.      
Misleading Calls Claim Newt Gingrich Not Pro-Life on Abortion
little-known Iowa “pro-life” organization is running misleading robocalls in Iowa telling republican voters that former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the leading GOP presidential candidate in most polls now, is not pro-life on abortion.
An organization calling itself Iowa Pro-Life Action, which supports a personhood amendment in the state, is behind the calls — which attempt to make it appear Gingrich promoted abortion during his time as a Georgia congressman even though he maintained a 98% pro-life voting record on more than 70 votes.
“Dear friend of the unborn as we approach the Iowa Caucuses, it’s important for is to know who supports the rights of the unborn and who just talks the talk,” the calls claim, according to pro-life Daily Caller reporter Matt Lewis, who obtained a transcript of them.
The call continues: “You see while multiple GOP nominees may be trying to hide their views on life Newt Gingrich’s record is clear. Gingrich used his power as Speaker of the House to fight for abortion rights for women in nearly all cases. Gingrich threatened pro-life legislators who were fighting for unborn babies, calling those pro-life legislators “extreme”. Newt said they were going to “get hurt”. Gingrich even taught pro-abortion legislators how to use parliamentary tools to help pass pro-abortion bills. Please take a moment to call Newt’s Iowa office today.”
The calls are inaccurate, as Gingrich compiled a 98.6 percent pro-life voting record on pro-life issues ranging from abortion to embryonic research during his time in Congress. For the 20 years that Gingrich served in Congress (1979-1999), Gingrich supported the pro-life position in 70 out of 71 votes.
Gingrich voted in favor of a ban on partial-birth abortion and also voted to cut federal funding to organizations that perform or promote abortions abroad, including the United Nations Population Fund, which is complicit in carrying out China’s One Child Policy. In addition, Gingrich supported restrictions on funding for assisted suicide.
Gingrich recently restated his pro-life views, saying he believes life begins at conception, or fertilization.
“As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception,” Gingrich said in the statement. “I believe that every unborn life is precious, no matter how conceived. I also believe that we should work for the day when there will be no abortions for any reason, and that every unborn child will be welcomed into life and protected by law.”
“That is why I have supported, and will continue to support, pro-life legislation that not only limits, but also reduces, the total number of abortions, with a view to the eventual legal protection of all unborn human life,” Gingrich continued.
Talking about what he would do initially as president, Gingrich said: “As I have also stated in the past, on day one of my administration, I will sign an executive order reinstating Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas. I will also work with Congress to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood so that no taxpayer dollars are being used to fund abortions but rather transfer the money so it is used to promote adoption and other pro-family policies, and to enact legislation that provides greater protections for the unborn.”
Gingrich again noted he believes human life begins at conception, saying, “In terms of new pro-life legislation, I stated as recently as November 19 at a public form of candidates in Iowa that I support Congress enacting pro-life legislation under the 14th Amendment, including legislation that would define personhood as beginning at conception.”
In the 2012 presidential race, Gingrich has pledged to appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court, end taxpayer funding of abortion, de-fund Planned Parenthood and sign into law a federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Gingrich is also committed to repealing the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law, which contains massive abortion funding and threats of rationing.
On Gingrich’s campaign website he lists the executive orders he would sign on his first day in office if elected president. Two of these include reinstating the pro-life Mexico City Policy and restoring conscience clause protections for pro-life healthcare workers.
On the issue of conscience protections, Gingrich’s website states; “No American working in a medical environment should be forced to perform any procedure that he or she finds morally or ethically objectionable based on religious teaching. This protection should include, but not be limited to abortion. Existing conscience clause protections need to be strengthened.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of the Pro-Life Movement

(Note: This is a part of the "From the Pastor" written by Fr. Parker for the 11 Dec 2011 St. Mary's/Nativity BVM parish bulletin.)  

On Monday, December 12, we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. She has become the patroness of the Pro-Life Movement. She appeared in Mexico in 1531 & consequently the Aztecs put an end to their practice of human sacrifice. In a ten year period, since her first apparition to St. Juan Diego, nearly ten million Indians converted to the Catholic Faith. Along with the conversion to Jesus Christ & His Church they recognized the sanctity of life. Let us pray that our nation & world will come to respect God's precious gift of life.
Human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. Anyone who claims to be Catholic must obviously vote for pro-life candidates. We must follow God's loving ways & respect His rights, wishes & the gift of life. If our  nation would do this & make the direct killing of an innocent child in the womb illegal, we would be blessed by Almighty God. "Draw near to God & He will draw near to you" (James 4:8) There is no way arround it, abortion is murder. It must be stated that  those who say "I am pro-choice" are wrong. Our Lord Jesus Christ says, "You belong to your father, the devil & you willingly carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning & does not stand in the truth." (John 8:44)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rejoice Today is GAUDETE SUNDAY & Bambinelli Sunday

The Ugly Fact of Sex Selective Abortions

PRI President Steven Mosher testifies before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Committee on the Judiciary on December 7th, 2011, on the topic of sex-selective abortion.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, How lovely are your branches!

Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime.

white trash repairs - There I Fixed It: Much Easier To Clean Up
see more epicfails

Mary & the Church

From a sermon by Blessed Isaac of Stella, abbot
The Son of God is the first-born of many brothers. Although by nature he is the only-begotten, by grace he has joined many to himself and made them one with him. For to those who receive him he has given the power to become the sons of God.
He became the Son of man and made many men sons of God, uniting them to himself by his love and power, so that they became as one. In themselves they are many by reason of their human descent, but in him they are one by divine rebirth.
The whole Christ and the unique Christ – the body and the head – are one: one because born of the same God in heaven, and of the same mother on earth. They are many sons, yet one son. Head and members are one son, yet many sons; in the same way, Mary and the Church are one mother, yet more than one mother; one virgin, yet more than one virgin.
Both are mothers, both are virgins. Each conceives of the same Spirit, without concupiscence. Each gives birth to a child of God the Father, without sin. Without any sin, Mary gave birth to Christ the head for the sake of his body. By the forgiveness of every sin, the Church gave birth to the body, for the sake of its head. Each is Christ’s mother, but neither gives birth to the whole Christ without the cooperation of the other.
In the inspired Scriptures, what is said in a universal sense of the virgin mother, the Church, is understood in an individual sense of the Virgin Mary, and what is said in a particular sense of the virgin mother Mary is rightly understood in a general sense of the virgin mother, the Church. When either is spoken of, the meaning can be understood of both, almost without qualification.
In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s Word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful. These words are used in a universal sense of the Church, in a special sense of Mary, in a particular sense of the individual Christian. They are used by God’s Wisdom in person, the Word of the Father.
This is why Scripture says: I will dwell in the inheritance of the Lord. The Lord’s inheritance is, in a general sense, the Church; in a special sense, Mary; in an individual sense, the Christian.
Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith. He will dwell for ever in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where Are the Churches in the Battle to End Abortion?

This piece was written by Steve & appeared last Sunday in the Cedar Rapids Gazette. In it he raises a very good point, the lack of unity in the Body of Christ & how it is hindering the fight to defend life & put an end to abortion.
In John 17 we read how Jesus prayed for the unity of those who followed them as well as to preserve them in the truth. Sadly, as Steve points out, many of those who claim to be Christian are rejecting both the unity as well as the truth about abortion. The Church has always taught that abortion is wrong. 1 of the earliest non-Scriptural writings we have, the Didache (or Teaching of the 12 Apostles) makes it quite clear that abortion is wrong: " thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born". (2:2)
None of the experiences that Steve had in dealing with DBQ Churches came as a surprize to me. & the least surprizing of all was what he discovered about many of the "Catholic" Churches in the area. Not only do some of the priests & leaders in those parishes consider abortion an unimportant issue compared to their liberal socialist agenda, some actually have people who support abortion on their staff. & this reaches up to the Archdiocese of DBQ Chancery. & I won't go into where most of the religious orders in the area are these days when it comes to supporting abortion. All I will say is that what I reported a couple years ago about Sr. Donna OP is more the rule than the exception. Note: even among the worst, there are some faithful sisters who are pro-life. & even a few who actually show up to protest @ the local Planned Parenthood.
As for those Churches who see their mission as that of "saving souls", I have 1 question. "Isn't a part of saving souls calling them to repentance from sin, including the sin of abortion?"

Saving souls also means saving lives
By Steven N. Brody
The longer that I am involved in the pro-life movement, the more I am convinced that the battle cannot be won without a more unified involvement from our church community.
When I began my role as executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life back in 2008, one of the priorities I wanted to focus on was meeting with church leaders to broaden and expand our relationships. I had the naive notion that Dubuque’s churches were pro-life, but for some reason, not all were involved with our organization. What followed was an eye-opening experience to me.
I learned of the rifts and schisms within denominations that caused some to support abortion and some to oppose abortion. Within the Lutheran Church, those affiliated with the Missouri Synod were pro-life. However, if the church was affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), they were pro-abortion/pro-choice. Within the Presbyterian Church, same issue. Affiliate churches belonging to Presbyterian Church USA are pro-abortion/pro-choice, while affiliate churches belonging to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church are pro-life.
Some Baptist churches in town have no problem partnering with our organization. But others choose not to because of our relationship with Catholic churches.
A Methodist church in town declined to work with us because, in their words, “Our discipline differs from your point of view.”
And it may come as a surprise that although we may be viewed as a Catholic organization, some Catholic parishes do not uphold the sanctity of life to a level higher than other issues.
Finally, I will never truly understand why so many of the Jewish faith are pro-abortion/pro-choice, given the holocaust they suffered in Europe and the abortion holocaust going on today.
Within the evangelical Christian community, I have found more support, even though their congregations tend to be smaller than some of the other mainline churches in town. But even so, I have been turned away by some. They usually say something like: “We are pro-life but that is not something we focus on. We focus on bringing people to Christ. You respect what we do, and we’ll respect what you do.”
While speaking recently at an Assembly of God Church, I had an epiphany that will no longer allow me to accept this excuse. We are both in the business of saving lives! Our role is to save babies from being killed in the womb, so they can have an opportunity to live and perhaps one day enter into a relationship with Christ. If churches wish to succeed in saving lives and saving souls, they should understand and endorse the commitment of saving lives in the womb as potential lives to be saved later in life.
I am pleased to say that our church partnerships have grown and we are grateful. However, there are plenty more we would love to enter into fellowship with.
If you believe in the sanctity of life, and know it is a fight worth fighting, please join us. Together as a united front, we will succeed.
Steven N. Brody is executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life. Comments:

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