Friday, August 31, 2007

They Try Again

Henry Jackson, an Associated Press Writer, has just reported from Des Moines, Iowa, that - two men were married outside a minister's home in the state's first legal same-sex wedding this Friday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out Iowa's ban on gay marriage.

An appeal was issued and the same judge, who threw out the ban yesterday, issued a stay today. Recorder Julie Haggerty said the instruction came from the county attorney's office and no more marriage applications from gay couples could be granted until the Iowa Supreme Court rules on the county's appeal.

We pray that the will of the citizens of Iowa be respected.

May Iowa’s Supreme Court respect God’s plan for marriage and may no more judges take the law into their hands to change it!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Have some fun

Bank Named TIME

Imagine that a bank credits your account each morning with $86,400. No balance is carried over from day to day. Any balance is deleted each evening. What would you do when you knew that you would not use all your daily balance? Why, withdraw every farthing, of course!!!!!!

You have such a bank and so have I. The name of our bank is TIME. Every day we are credited with 86,400 seconds. Every night, that which we have not used is debited from our account.

TIME bank allows no overdraft, there is no going back for a second chance. TIME bank does not allow borrowing from tomorrow and of course, and there are no leftovers. The clock ticks away, never waiting for sluggards to catch up, no waiting, for what might have been, relentlessly the clock ticks and ticks.

We must invest our treasure wisely so that we obtain the best return in health, success, happiness, giving freely to those in need of God’s love, the warmth of Jesus arms, the teaching of our taskmaster, The HOLY SPIRIT.
Source Unknown
If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

MHR & How it Got That Way.

“Gays and Grays: The Story of the Inclusion of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish” by Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ. Published by Lexington Books, 2007. Reviewed by Gibbons J. Cooney.

All quotations are from Fr. Godfrey directly, unless specified otherwise. Interpolations are in parentheses, and are for purposes of clarity/identification only.

Fr. Donal Godfrey’s book is a valuable document. It demonstrates clearly, and I believe honestly, how an originally Catholic parish became an heretical spiritual institution. Relentlessly and beyond doubt, it shows that the authentic community-forming experience at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco is not Catholicism, but homosexuality. Existentially, Most Holy Redeemer is not a Catholic parish. It is not a Christian parish. It is a gay parish:

“When I spoke with Sr. (Cleta Harold) about entering RCIA, I was clearly not about to compromise anything regarding my sexuality. I didn’t go into a lot of details, but I showed up in my Levis and leather jacket and talked about my background as a Gay activist, clearly not about to change that…I talked about my background with witchcraft and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and my disagreements with certain points of the catechism. Sister never batted an eyelash, but asked if I could show up Sunday mornings at 8.” Jack Fertig (aka “Sister Boom Boom” of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) quoted, p 42.

“So one Sunday I went to Mass, and I thought, oh my, this place is so gay. . . My older sister, she probably belongs to Opus Dei, I brought her here one time, and she wrote a letter saying that all these men who have sex with other men are going to communion. My sister said, ‘You know, it is social at MHR, and that should not be part of religion. You go there to save your soul…’ Her letter said it was her duty to tell me that I was sinning!” Charles Bold, quoted, p124.

“It started to dawn on me how gay it (MHR) was only after I started going there—you know the whole social thing, they are looking for boyfriends!” Jeff Ferris, quoted, p140.

This was to be expected when the community-forming experience of a people was the kind of genital pleasure they enjoyed. What other basis can there be for a “gay community”? And if the type of genital pleasure one enjoys is the community-forming experience of a people, it would be unheard-of for the spiritual institutions of that community not to be informed by this same experience. Fr. Godfrey says as much:

“I believe in other words, that the gospel must always be inculturated into every culture, and this must include gay culture.” p138.

"Is it less appropriate for gays to imagine Jesus as gay than for African Christians to picture him as black, Asian Christians as Asian?" p134.

Ah. Imaginary Jesus. To answer Father's question: given what "gay" means at MHR, in the surrounding neighborhood, and in the common-sense understanding of the word, namely, a man having sex with another man, yes, it is less appropriate. Father falls into a temptation that eveyone is subject to: because I am made in the image of God, and because God loves me, therefore what I am doing must be right:

"Can we hear the voice of God in the voice of this parish? MHR helped me to find my own voice..." p132.

And if what I am doing is right, then those who say something different must be wrong:

“The Catholic Church is not a credible moral voice within the gay community.” p153.

The moral credibility of the Catholic Church, then, will be determined by the extent to which it supports, or fails to support, the community-forming experience of the gay community. If, as I argue, the sexuality is experienced as more important than the doctrines of the Catholic Church, one would expect the doctrines of the Church to be discarded when they come into conflict with the community-forming experience. And this is exactly what happens:

“(Rev. Jim) Mitsulki (of Metropolitan Community Church) has very fond memories of ‘Fr. Tony’ (McGuire)…Mitsulki speaks of a certain revolving-door factor operating between their respective congregations. Some attended services at both churches . . . Sometimes parishioners from Most Holy Redeemer went to MCC for same-sex weddings they could not hold at MHR.” p54. (see footnote 1).

“Well the question in my mind was, the people who make a conscientious decision to live together as a gay couple, and then they come to communion, just like people who make a similar decision on birth control, you don’t harass them. You respect their decision. The next step was, ‘Can a clearly gay couple take on open ministries in the church?’ Like if a gay couple apply for ordination, that would clearly be an obex. What about Eucharistic Ministers? I thought maybe I should consult [Archbishop Quinn], but then we already had them!” Fr. Anthony McGuire, quoted p52. (Emphasis added; see footnotes 2 & 3)

And the doctrines will not only be discarded, but mocked:

“(Pastor Anthony) McGuire used his marvelous sense of humor to touch his flock’s imaginations and to lubricate tense situations. His humor was even on display at his final Mass of Thanksgiving in the parish. In his homily he deadpanned that when he first arrived in the parish, he just though ‘Hail Holy Queen’ was a good entrance hymn! This line was captured on tape in a television news story about McGuire’s leaving the Castro. Of course, the entire assembly broke into laughter.” p34.

“When a former Catholic asked McGuire if his AA group might use the hall for a Halloween party, McGuire thought it sounded like a very appropriate request. When he said yes, he had no idea everyone would turn up either in drag or wearing practically nothing! The next day the woman who, in his words, was ‘the second most uptight parishioner,’ called and was furious. She berated him over the impropriety of such goings-on on church property. “It was like Sodom and Gomorrah!’ she thundered. To which McGuire answered meekly, with his mischievous humor, ‘Well, maybe Sodom’.” p36. (Emphasis added).

And this leads to the acceptance of blasphemy in an ostensibly Catholic Church. But such events will not be experienced by the parishioners as blasphemous, because they validate the community-forming experience:

“One of the most colorful members of the (MHR’s Gay and Lesbian Outreach) committee was simply known to everyone as Pansy…Pansy Bradshaw helped to write a definitive guide to San Francisco . . . ‘Betty and Pansy’s Severe Queer Review of San Francisco: An irreverent opinionated guide to the bars, clubs, restaurants, cruising areas, performing arts, and other attractions of the queer Mecca.’ Most Holy Redeemer was reviewed positively in the early editions; more recently, the parish is simply listed along with other ‘queer-positive religious organizations and churches.’” Footnote 14, p58. (Emphasis added; see footnote 4).

“The baptism of children being raised by gay couples took place publicly at the 10AM Sunday liturgy…One gay couple, Dan McPherson and Kevin Gogin, active MHR parishioners while McGuire was pastor, did adopt a daughter, Sarah, in 1998, but she was quietly baptized outside the parish at St. Ignatius Church. . . .Rob Lane & Don Propstra’s adopted son was baptized at a regular liturgy in the parish on October 21, 1990 . . . “Kevin and Dan [Gogin and McPherson] were the godparents.” p103-104 (see footnote 5)

“MHR itself has marched as a parish in the San Francisco Gay Freedom/Gay Pride Day parade since 1998.” p112. (see footnote 6)

“But it was a first for a Catholic parish (emph. orig.) in San Francisco. Parishioners who marched were unsure what to expect, some expected the worst, but found themselves moved by the overwhelming response of the crowd. Since 1998, taking part in the Pride Parade has become an MHR tradition. (Fr. Zachary) Shore’s semi-tacit sanctioning of a parish presence in the parade lent the Church’s legitimacy to this event of the gay community…” p112. (Emphasis in final sentence added).

“On (Gay Pride) parade day, June 25, 2005, Fr. Tom Hayes celebrated the 8:00AM Mass. He asked parishioners to join him in a special blessing for those who would be marching that morning. Then, with his typical wit, he exhorted those marching to make sure they gave a special blessing with a sign of the cross to the television cameras…: “You never know who may be watching you.” p114.

“Fr. Randy Calvo (now Bishop of Reno) remembers the tension in the church at that midnight Mass: At the beginning of the service someone started screaming—but he turned out to be ‘one of our own crazies: Charles. A former Cistercian, who hung around the parish. Well, there was a great deal of relief once we identified it as one of our own crazies.’… Since that Christmas, MHR and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have continued to interact from time to time.” p40 (see footnote 7).

Indeed, at this point, what will be experienced by the parishioners as blasphemous is that which denies the value of the community-forming experience:

“One of the first encounters I had was with Jim Stultz, President of the parish council at the time. He came to me and said I’d like to interview you before you get to the parish . . . I remember one thing he talked about. He criticized someone who gave a homily at MHR bashing people for going to the gay baths, and all that.” Fr. Randolph Calvo (now Bishop of Reno, Nevada), quoted p48. (see footnote 8)

“Dear Archbishop,

A week ago Friday, October 15, I was appalled to see the headlines of the San Francisco Examiner read ‘Catholics antigay Funds.’ As a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Church, I cannot accept the decision of the Bishops of California to allocate financial assistance to Senator Knight’s Protection of Marriage Committee.”
(Proposition 22, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman). Letter from Fr. Zachary Shore to Archbishop William Levada. p115. (see footnote 9)

“The institutional Church is blind, ‘just doesn’t get it,’ in the same way Jesus was initially blind and didn’t get it with the Canaanite woman. A parish such as MHR calls the rest of the institution to conversion…” p130.

There’s a word for this: heresy. For all I know, this heresy already has a name and has been catalogued. This particular heresy is probably not limited to homosexuality. The flowering of what is now called “identity politics” began in the 1960s; the “Gay Rights” movement grew out of that; and its extension into spiritual institutions I have detailed briefly above. I sense similarities between this and the rise of “national consciousness” that was a one of the impulses in the “Reformation.” Just what it is in our time that provokes people to define themselves in such strange and limited ways would be an interesting project for a real historical scholar.

The parishioners of Most Holy Redeemer are wrong but they should not be overly faulted. Most Holy Redeemer is indeed the expression of a genuine spirituality. Their church is not a Catholic Church, in any sense (Catholic meaning universal, and a spirituality based on the disordered sexual desire of 2-5% of the population is anything but universal), but Fr. Godfrey quite openly states that, when he says: “The Catholic Church is not a credible moral voice within the gay community.”

The fault lies squarely with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which, as detailed in Fr. Godfrey’s book, allowed a Catholic parish to turn into an heretical spiritual institution:

“‘They came from the chancery, the personnel board, to ask questions, to see whom to send. We have to replace Fr. Moriarity, they said; ‘What kind of pastor do we need in this parish?’ I said, ‘The parish is gradually becoming more gay. These are the demographics of the area. This needs to be thought about in making this decision.’ There was absolute stone-dead silence in the room. . and the meeting went on to another point.’" Deacon Laurence Rolle, quoted, p27.

“Fortunately, Archbishop John Quinn was well aware the question needed to be asked, and chose a man who turned out to be especially suited to the new sociological profile of the parish. Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn…. Anthony McGuire became the ninth pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish in 1982.” p27.

“The two gay men (on the MHR advisory board) suggested we start a gay and lesbian outreach. And that was approved 12 to nothing.” p29.

“The Gay and Lesbian outreach Committee—so unique, so bracing, so critically what the parish needed when it needed it—eventually withered away, a victim of its own success, when the entire parish had taken on the work it was formed to begin.” (Emphasis added) p29.

“When the entire parish had taken on the work it was formed to begin.” There’s a frightening provincialism in “modern man” and Churchmen are not immune. Some no longer believe that “heresy” is a concept that refers to anything real, or, if it does, it refers to something that arose in conditions of ignorance, in the bad old days, and that now, with enlightened types like us around, everything is amenable to rational argument. At his installation, our current Archbishop, George Niederauer, quoted from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Rock.” He could have quoted these lines from the same poem, but didn’t:

Do you think that the Faith has conquered the World
And that lions no longer need keepers?
Do you need to be told that whatever has been, can still be?

But homosexuality as a community-forming experience is not an idea that one can be argued out of, because it is not an idea at all. It is an experienced reality. It can, however, be transcended—those suffering from this condition must become part of the larger experience of following Christ, wherever he may lead, in chastity. But “how can they hear without someone to preach?” (Romans 10:15)

Aside from the “Courage” Apostolate (for which one looks in vain on the website of the Archdiocese of San Francisco), where is the support? It certainly is not coming from Fr. Godfrey. He says: “that the gospel must always be inculturated into every culture, and this must include gay culture”; his book shows that in practice this has meant imposing “gay culture” into the Gospel. Nor is there any support from the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Their neglect of the spiritual welfare of the parishioners at Most Holy Redeemer, and of gay people throughout the Archdiocese, is clerical malpractice.

But that is the reason Catholics should be thankful for Fr. Godfrey’s book. It is an unmistakable challenge to the leaders of our Archdiocese, indeed to Rome, and it puts them on the spot.

"I will not feign academic objectivity: if such a thing really exists. I firmly believe in a new approach and a new vision in this area of ministry. In this I do have an 'agenda.'" p132.

How will they respond? Will they take up the challenge, ignore it, or do they agree with Fr. Godfrey?

Actually, ignoring equals agreement: on August 1, 2007, Fr. Donal Godfrey was appointed Executive Director of Campus Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.


1. “The Metropolitan Community Church (in full, The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches or UFMCC, or more commonly MCC) is an international fellowship of Christian congregations. It is considered by many to be a liberal mainline denomination or communion. There are currently 250 member congregations in 23 countries, and the Fellowship has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities”

2. “Obex: Any obstacle in the recipient that would prevent a sacrament from producing the supernatural effect for which the sacrament was instituted. These obstacles are mainly a lack of faith, or of the state of grace, or of a worthy intention. (Etym. Latin obex, bolt, bar, barrier; from obicere, to throw against.)” -Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon.

3. “The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium recommend them.”- #46, Redemptionis Sacramentum: On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist. Francis Cardinal Arinze, Congregation for Divine Worship, 2004.

4. “Cruising for sex, or more commonly, cruising, denotes the act of walking or driving about a locality in search or pursuit of a suitable partner for sex, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety.”

5. Among the requirements for a baptismal sponsor under Canon 874, #1, of the present Code of Canon Law are: the person must “live(s) a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken,” and “When there are two godparents, they need to be a man and a woman so that the newly baptized will have a role model for each gender.”

6. Gay people of my acquaintance have referred to the gay pride parade as “nothing more than an excuse for bad behavior.” To see what they mean, click here. Caution: obscenity alert.

7. For an example of the activities of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” go here.

8. Apart from the sinfulness of the fornication that takes place in the “gay baths,” every reputable Public Health official considered them primary vectors in the spread of HIV, and worked hard to have them closed. See here.

9. For the statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Same-Sex “Marriage”,
go here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Day of Retreat

Sunday night I flew down to Los Angeles to be at Bishop Mora Salesian High School, where I was the first principal fifty years ago. I was invited to give a day of retreat for the incoming freshman students, all boys, and found it a wonderful exercise of priestly, Salesian ministry. I gave three talks: 1) the story of the school's founding; 2) who is Don Bosco? 3) a homily at Mass , and heard some confessions and got back to Richmond about 24 hours later--this Monday night, in fact.

The mentoring done by some senior students was a powerful example of the strong leading the weak and before the day was over the freshmen had learned to cheer with vim and vigor, to sing the hymns at Mass including the song to St. John Bosco, and to pray with attentive devotion. Don Bosco would be proud of these young men of East Los Angeles. I sure was.

I took to heart these words of Pope Benedict recently spoken to a group of young people at the Vatican:

"Do not cease to cultivate your own personal encounter with Christ, to keep him ever at the centre of your heart, since in this way your life will be converted into a mission; you will let Christ who lives in you shine forth.

"As young people, you are on the verge of deciding on your future. Are you doing so in the light of Christ, asking him, "What do you want of me?" Are you following the path he points out to you with generosity and confidence, knowing that as baptized people we are all, without exception, called to holiness and to be living members of the Church on whatever path we take in life?"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Historian’s Rule: Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.
• Wolf’s Law: Those who don’t study the past will repeat its errors. Those who do study it will find other ways to err. - Charles Wolf, Jr.
Lee Simonson, quoted by Herbert Prochnow in the Public Speaker’s Treasure Chest

Root of All Evil

There have always been problems for the people of God. The Bible is full of stories about victims and abuse of victims, about death and destruction, about exploitation and envy and jealousy and deceit and on and on…The problems facing our Catholic Church now is not just the horrors of sexual abuse and a world that wants no part of God, a new problem getting media attention is financial abuse. Sad stores of monies stolen from Church treasuries around the world. Greed is all too common in our “me, first” society.

Sex and financial abuse have always been part of our fallen nature, but with the media spot light, this knowledge of evil is making headlines and coming to the attention of millions.

Currently the Diocese of Cleveland is facing hard question in a civil trial concerning funds misspent to the tune of millions of dollars. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has gone though this purgatory of financial mismanagement some years ago and learned the hard way. But the warning was heeded.

I admire the way in which the Archdiocese of San Francisco oversees its financial assets. When I first became pastor at SS Peter and Paul, the parish books were scrutinized by a team of accountants. Annually, of course, an account, which covers governance as well and finance, is given to the Archbishop’s office. But now every three years the financial accounts are subject to an extensive in house audit and all the details of administration are carefully checked to see that all is in order with the laws of the land and of the church. For me, as pastor, this was a great blessing (albeit costly); for it guarantees that my parish and all of our parishes of the City are shepherded also along monetary and civil matters.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation
bangs on your front door forever

Dogs & Life

Our football quarterback star Vick has come to hard times.

What a fracas the public and press is making over his treatment of dogs!
I love animals and I, too, was disturbed at the way the non performing fighting dogs were so brutally killed. The outrage was merited. Punishment is called for the crime against animal life.

However, where is the outrage at the crimes against human life?

For 34 years, since Roe vs. Wade, a few Supreme Court justices have condemned to death without trial 45 million babies, just because they were not wanted.

The high court did state that if personhood is established (for the fetus), the appellant's case collapses, that is the right to life would be guaranteed by the 14th amendment.

It is absolutely necessary that a Life at Conception Act be passed by our Congress so that unborn children be declared persons as defined by the 14th Amendment and thus be entitled to legal protection.

Congressman Steve King and the National Pro-Life Alliance are urging citizens to contact their congress representatives and ask them to support such an Act.

You can help:
National Pro-Life Alliance
4521 Windsor Arms Court
Annandale, VA 22003

Friday, August 24, 2007

Don't let your worries get the best of you;
remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Catholics in the Public Square

A note from the report of Father John Flynn, L.C., writing in Zenit from Rome last month:

A series of recommendations over religion's role in politics came last year in the form of a question-and-answer booklet authored by the Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona. In his pamphlet, "Catholics in the Public Square," published by Basilica Press, he recommends the faithful to be respectful of the beliefs of others, or of those who have no faith.

At the same time, however, "Catholics should not be afraid to embrace their identity or to put their faith into practice in public life."

The Church, Bishop Olmsted continues, does not seek to impose its doctrine on others. It is, nevertheless, legitimately concerned about the common good, the promotion of justice and the welfare of society.

There is, unfortunately, he observes, discrimination against people of faith, and especially Catholics when they express their views in public debates. Not only is there misrepresentation of what Catholic view are, but there is also outright hostility to people of any faith.

"Nonetheless, it is our duty to engage the culture, not run from it," Bishop Olmsted comments. People of faith, like others, have every right to bring their views and beliefs into public.

Basic values

Another recent contribution to the theme of religion's role in politics came from Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl. On April 13 he spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.

In recent years there has been a weakening of support in public opinion for the role of basic religious values as a support for laws and public policy, the archbishop commented. Instead of values that are common to many faiths there are increasing calls for purely secular justifications of governmental policy.

Archbishop Wuerl argued that this tendency is contrary to the prevailing views of America's founders. There is one common principle in the American political experience, he maintained: "The belief in the binding character of moral law is fundamental to any understanding of American thought."

Catholic thought is in agreement, the archbishop continued. He noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of the importance of the natural moral law and how the commandments are privileged expressions of the natural law.

"Religious faith has played and continues to play a significant role in promoting social justice issues as it does in defending all innocent human life," the archbishop explained. Faith, he added, helps us to see our life and to judge right and wrong according to God's wisdom.

Faith of Our Fathers

In a recent interview with Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor - who turns 75 this month - in The Spectator he made this observation: "We live in a culture in which religion is being marginalised; in which, under the guise of legislating for tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance; and in which the threads holding together pluralist democracy may have begun to unravel.

" A proper secularist culture is one where different views are respected and given their place in, as it were, a neutral space. I think some of our media don’t regard the space as neutral. They want to put religion on the periphery, put it in the private sphere."

Different views respected? They should be, but the reality is that the media at large seems to despise religion, or at least deny its need or even its validity in the face of science
that demands fact not faith. I don't think they even want religion on the periphery and would like to see it out of the picture.

Faith was an integral part of the life of our American founders. It must remain a part of our life here and now, if we want peace and harmony in the land.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Excuses, Escuses

Sorry, folks, for my absence of the last several days. Our server was down, as work was being done to bring in new lines for our school. Just this hour, I'm back from a forced vacation.

Hold me excused!

After looking though 275 e-mails (mosly junk!), I am trying to get something posted so as not to look lazy!

Non Negotiables

I have written and spoken many times about my concern for Catholics voting Catholic.

I realize that the majority of Americans and Catholics vote along party lines and are all too often confused about the party line, since it so media driven. Too many Catholics take wrong positions on key moral issues, which they should know and uphold.

Why do so many Catholics vote for leaders they are morally bound to oppose? The answer is simple: they know not what they do. The press and mainstream media obfuscate the issues to the point that the voter throws up his hands and declares: one politician is as bad as the other, so I’ll vote for the party of my ancestors!

For example when did the media ever tell the truth about ABORTION? It reports all kinds of violence, but never the violence to the unborn child.

Adult stem cell research is a prime example: the tremendous benefits of this type of research are almost never reported in the press while EMBRYONIC STEM CELL research (unproven as it is) is touted as the savior of mankind.

The movement to promote EUTHANASIA, so-called mercy killing, is a fiscal effort to save money and is far from merciful.

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGES seem to most to be a given. Woe to the “bigot” who speaks against this “right to equality.” You never hear from the media arguments against such unions and the obvious advantages to society and children of father and mother.

HUMAN CLONING being advanced as scientific breakthrough is a very dangerous and immoral road to follow. It must be outlawed.

Catholics should know the morality of candidates and do the best they can to choose leaders who uphold these core values.

One of my main disappointments last year was the defeat of the parental notification law when voters in San Francisco sided with those who denied parents the right to know of their under-age daughter’s abortion.

If the Catholics in San Francisco had voted as Catholics, this law would not have passed. How could parents in their right minds agree with the law that says their children are free to have an abortion but cannot have an aspirin given them, or their ear pierced, without parents’ permission?

Communion & Politicians

Our Salesian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, made some interesting observations during a recent Press conference, after addressing a large gathering of Knights of Columbus in Nashville, Tennessee. (

“Politicians should have the right to follow their conscience even if their views are not in accord with the stance of their political party.”

He was asked about pro-abortion Catholic politicians, whether they should receive Communion, and if the Vatican plans to give guidelines to bishops for these cases.

"I don't think that it is necessary to repeat new norms because the norms are well explained in the doctrine of the Church," he said. "I don't understand how a person in public office or one engaged in political activity can be obliged to renounce his Catholic identity because the party, be it in the U.S. or in other countries, imposes an ethical choice on the basis of the party's program.

"This, according to me, does not respect freedom of conscience. It even seems to me to be an oppression of conscience. Where is the freedom of conscience that is so proclaimed and defended in America?"

Catholic politicians would do well to heed this admonition. They must not relinquish their core beliefs even if party policy demands it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Teachers, Beware!

According to the California Catholic Daily: “The California legislature is expected to approve this month a bill redefining ‘gender and discrimination’ in a way that poses a moral threat to California’s schoolchildren. According to Catholics for the Common Good (, the bill, SB 777, would ‘promote discrimination against the Judeo-Christian understanding of human sexuality.’” Sheila Kuehl, the lesbian author of this bill, claims that it will protect California students from "bullying and harassment" and to "ensure a safe learning environment."

Senator Kuehl has been trying for seven years to promote the acceptance of homosexuality in all its forms, including marriage. The bill would make it part of the state education curriculum, so that it would be a crime to prohibit any "instruction, school activities, or instructional material" that "reflects or promotes a discriminatory bias against" homosexual, transgender, or bisexual persons. Teachers may not, if this law passes, promote moral values that reflect normal sexual activity, traditional marriage, etc.

To make matters worse, silence may not be permitted, according to Randy Thomasson of Campaign for Children and Families. Schools refusing to implement this homosexual agenda could be sued.

Pray our governor veto this bill!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holy Father, Some Advice

We have a letter from St. Monica’s in Oakland addressed to the Holy Father. It has some beautiful paragraphs, but look at the rest of the letter:

“Your encyclical (Deus Caritas Est) explains how love embraces the whole of existence in each of its aspects, including time. Love in all its forms gazes at the eternal.” The area presenting the greatest breadth of opinion was the relationship between the Church’s social teaching and political life. American Catholics live in a nation that is politically and religiously diverse. The U.S. Constitution guarantees there will be no state established church and that citizens are free to practice their religion. Catholic politicians must wrestle with how to live their faith publicly and apply the Church’s teaching on disputed questions of public policy.

“… some bishops in the United States stated that the vote of a Catholic legislator on particular pieces of legislation should exclude that individual from reception of communion. The individual Catholic faces a like dilemma, but in the voting booth.Given our prayerful discussion, it was felt that before any bishop should respond in any punitive manner, there is in charity the responsibility to listen and understand the situation of a particular politician. Broad based sanctions were felt to be more harmful and misunderstood than beneficial and reconciliatory. The treatment of statements from certain bishops by mainstream media, led to confusion and misunderstanding by Catholics, and Americans in general.

"These statements not only reflect upon the faithful of a local church, but also upon Catholics across the United States. Our gathering felt it appropriate to remember the words of Thomas a Kempis: ‘In things essential, unity; in doubtful, liberty; in all things, charity.’”

My dear friends of St. Monica, are you blind to the non-negotiables of our Catholic position? We can argue on lots of issues concerning social justice: just war, just wage, just penal sentences, etc. When it comes to the moral principles there are no negotiables that Catholics, including politicians, can accept. Bishops have listened and certainly understand the position of politicians. They should proclaim the truth from the housetops: Abortion is always wrong. Mercy killing can never be permitted. Sex outside marriage is sinful. Same-sex marriage is a travesty. All these are things in the essential that Thomas a Kempis speaks of. They are not “doubtful,” so liberty is not to be given. Yes, charity in all things. Not giving the Eucharist to politiciams who deny the truths of their faith is charitable, because it prevents scandal and sacrilege. If there is confusion and misunderstanding among Americans, it is because we have denied the truth, not followed the Holy Father and have not made our position clear.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sex for Kids

Proponents of sex education in public schools are proponents of sex for kids.

They don't believe that. They say they are only trying to help kids understand their sexuality and practice sex safely. Young people can have fun and pleasure and avoid the consequences of troublesome pregnancies if they only know how to use condoms and practice safe sex! After all aren’t most kids involved with sexual partners by the time they reach the age to drive a car, and even earlier?

But WE have to ask: Isn't chastity still the most effective means of preventing pregnancy as well as a multitude of sexual diseases? Sexual diseases for young people are spreading more every day, with painful consequences and destroyed lives.

Should we not teach the young that premarital sex is immoral? It’s immoral for adults, too!

Unfortunately Planned Parenthood, which is making millions in tax payers dollars, urges abortion for unwanted pregnancies and supports the effort to prevent parents from even being notified of their daughters "problem." Parents must wake up to the realities of the internet and ipod world and the huge amount of pornography that is pouring into the lives of their sons and daughters. It is a sad reality that even our Catholic parents seem ignorant of this as well as of the effects of the parental notification law that failed to pass in California recently. Are parents encouraging our young people to refrain from sex before marriage? Where do you hear today, even from pulpits, that premarital sex is immoral?

To a secularist, it's heresy to say that human sexuality cannot be taught in public (or private) schools unless we teach moral principles. We know we are sinners, and we also know the difference between right and wrong. Even tiny tots can know that. Educators must not sell the kids short. Morality must be taught! Hold the young to a higher standard and they will have a happier life. Guaranteed!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Apartheid Priest

After reading the resume’ of Fr. Crosby, I was even more appalled at the Quote of the Day as pulished in Augustinus’ Blog, The Cafeteria is Closed:

"Why are so many thinking Catholics unable to any longer agree with some of the dynamics that are going on institutionally? Because of clericalism, sexism, and heterosexism in the Roman Catholic Church. We have unequal power relationships between lay and clerical castes, between women and men, between homosexual and heterosexual people. We have structured, institutionalized sexual apartheid, which is sinful. (Fr. Michael Crosby, OFM Cap)

What is going on in the mind of this priest? What are his beliefs and his understanding of the Catholic Church? Is he really disturbed by the fact that there are unequal relationships between men and women, between lay and clerical persons?

That “sexual apartheid is sinful:” What does that mean?

There will always be unequal relationships, what is sinul about that?

His statement that “thinking Catholics are unable to any longer agree with some of the dynamics going on…because of clericalism, sexism and heterosexism in the RCC,” is an insult to faithful Catholics who disagree with him and are also “thinking” Catholics.

It is so sad to see this Franciscan promoting disunity in the Chuch by challenging the truths of our faith and the authority of the Holy See.

He has written many books and given many workshops, but this quote of the day illustrates the king sized chip on his shoulder. Any school of theology or church workshop would do well to keep clear of him. Let him stay in his Milwaukee Friary. We certainly don't need him in Berkeley.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

"Ma maman"

Some years ago I had the pleasure of accompanying the American Boychoir of Princeton, NJ, on a European tour. One of our stops was at a Nazi death camp in Austria, where I witnessed the horrors of the extermination program. I’ll never forget the face of one young Jewish choir boy who, witnessing the line of Stars of David in a field outside the gas chamber, said, “Father, I think I’m going to cry.”

This incident came back to me as I read the story of Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, son of a Holocaust victim, who died August 5 at the age of 80.

During France's National Day of Remembrance to commemorate the deportation and death of French Jews during World War II, Lustiger, taking part in the reading of names in 1999, came to his mother's. "Gisele Lustiger," he said, then added, "ma maman," or "my mama," before continuing, Catholic World News reported.

Jean Marie, converted at the age of 14, became a priest, a brilliant scholar and author, and a great Archbishop of Paris, who worked hard to improve relations between Christians and Jews.

May he rest in peace!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Do Something

We know that there are Catholics who do not agree with Catholic teachings on abortion. They say that abortion is a choice. They feel that they do not have the right to say if a woman gets an abortion or not. Some even feel that the embryo or fetus does not have a right to live.

One cannot be pro abortion and Catholic at the same time. Millions of abortions occur worldwide. These aborted people are missing pieces of our history. Catholicism teaches abortion doesn't just destroy a clump of cells or blobs of tissue. Abortion kills humans. They have bodies, organs, experiences, and a path of life.

God loves everyone even at the moment of conception. Are pro-life Catholics against women and reproductive choices? Of course not. But Catholics, as all patriots, have responsibilities with voting and politics. Catholics need to make sure that politicians get into office who will protect matters Catholic, which are matters for the good of all Americans.

There are many corrupt laws in effect in our land. Christians need to stand up for truth and right. Catholicism does not mean to sit back and allow evil to triumph. Christians have a moral duty to vote to not let bad things happen. When someone who supports abortion is voted into office that means thousands more innocent lives are probably going to be killed. If we don’t vote, we share the guilt in allowing evil to win.

Catholics should vote for candidates who are just and have the good of society in mind. We all have basic rights. Some candidates want to overlook the basic right to life. Protecting human life should be a primary obligation of a country's leaders. A candidate who favors abortion rights or rights that devalue marriage is not for the good of society.

Don't just talk about wanting the good of society. Do something about it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dignity not Dignified

Fr. Malloy has posted before about "Dignity USA," a group founded in 1969 that "advocates for change in the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality." We've heard this before, but what does it mean concretely when put into practice?

For a good example, check out what "Dignity" refers to as one of its ongoing projects, a S/M group called "The Defenders" , "Dignity's outreach to the Leather (read S/M) community."

Their website says: "Defenders/SF is a Leather/Levi club, chartered by Dignity, the national gay Catholic organization. Defenders take a stand for the sacredness of our leather sexuality and explores practical ways of integrating sexuality and spirituality . . . " And what does that mean, concretely? Well, here's an example of "the sacredness of leather sexuality."

Way of the Cross

Today the Church commemorates the life and death of Edith Stein(St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross).

She hardly seemed Catholic-saint material. As a precocious Jewish teen she rejected God at the turn of this century in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland). As a child Edith was, at heart, a radical, one who goes to the radix, the roots. When she became convinced of the truth of an idea, her life fell into place around it

Born in 1891, Edith had a thirst for knowledge and by the outbreak of World War I had studied philology and philosophy. Her quest for truth lead to her conversion and she was baptized in 1922, the year I was born.

After the war, she resumed her higher studies at the University of Freiburg and was awarded her doctorate in philosophy Suma Cum Laude. She later became the assistant and collaborator of Professor Husserl, the famous founder of phenomenology, who greatly appreciated her brilliant mind

After her conversion, Edith spent her days teaching, lecturing, writing and translating, and she soon became known as a celebrated philosopher and author, but her own great longing was for the solitude and contemplation of Carmel, in which she could offer herself to God for her people.

She joined the Carmelite cloistered nuns in Cologne, but asked to transfer to Holland, when she realized that,as a Jew, she was putting her convent in danger of the Nazi extermination program. When the Nazis invaded Holland she was taken by cattle train to the extermination camp in Auschwitz and gassed on 9 August 1942.

John Paul II cannonized her saint and martyr, nine years ago.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Double Standards

When the media toots gay pride parades as “a coming together of community in all its facets” and “it celebrates its tolerance and diversity,” it speaks well of neither the community nor tolerance, not diversity.

This blog site has documented the perversity of the gay pride parade of San Francisco, but that of San Diego (July 21, 2007) may be just as bad.

Local papers reporting on the parades, both in San Francisco and San Diego, made no mention of the lewd and offensive behavior that characterized the parades.

San Diego Fire Chief, Tracy Jarman, an open lesbian, stated, “This is a fun event and all employees are encouraged to participate.” However four of the firefighters were forced to participate against their will and were subject to no little degree of sexual harassment during a three hour ordeal Civil rights have been denied and four firefighters are taking their case to the Court. The Thomas More Law Center is leading the charge

The firefighters were targets of gross sexual gestures to include the following: exposure of genitals, blowing kisses, grabbing of the crotch, rubbing of nipples, tongue gestures, men hugging and kissing one another passionately, many of them wearing make-up and dressed like women. Although the firefighters were not physically assaulted, the gestures were clearly directed towards them.

And what about the children along the parade routs? We let the kids see this obscenity, but if I so much a showed one child even one picture of what they were allowed to see in our gay pride parades, I could be put in jail. Talk about double standards!

Stirring the Pot

The SF Chronicle has given me some coverage this last month. It seems I raised a bit of hell re: the gay lifestyle.

Here's the reply I made and here's the letter that the Chronicle sought approval to print, but never did:


The pot is stirring and the nerves touched by the homosexual debate irritate many, as evidence by “More on sex, sin and immorality" (July 28)

People have a right to differ on issues, but their arguments should be germane to the subject of disagreement. Most of the letters to the editor attacking my statements were beyond the parameters of the problem of homosexuality. Slavery, pedophilia, Galileo, the Bill of Rights, etc, etc. are not the issue.

Wrongs don’t make rights for the Catholic Church or any other institution.

Homophobia is another catch word which is meant, it seems, to put down anyone who does not accept homosexual actions as moral.

And then there’s the Gay Pride Parade: that the Parade is “a coming together of community in all its facets” and that “it celebrates its tolerance and diversity” may be true. But does it make me a hypocrite to decry the demonstration of frontal nudity, suggestive gyrations, graphic displays that little children are subjected to in this event?

This would be a better world if we were all more decent and pure in our relations with each other: Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Embryonic Stem Cells--Waste of Money and Life

No proof exists that embryonic stem cells are any more versatile in being able to produce different kinds of cells than are adult stem cells. Adult stem cells, too, have, this advantage --- according to the American Life League, over 70 therapies currently use adult stem cells while no cures can be attributed to the use of embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cell therapies have helped in ameliorating the effects of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia (through bone marrow transplants.)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Deep Roots

A good friend of mine in Canada sent me this interesting attachment some time back:

1. The garden of Eden was in Iraq.
2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!
3. Noah built the ark in Iraq.
4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.
5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!
6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq.
7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.
8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.
9. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel.
10. Amos cried out in Iraq!
11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem.
12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq!
13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq
14. Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq.
15 Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.
16. Ezekiel preached in Iraq.
17. The wise men were from Iraq.
18. Peter preached in Iraq.
19. The "Empire of Man" described in Revelation is called Babylon, which was a city in Iraq!

You probably are aware that Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq! However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated it than Iraq.

And also.. This is something to think about! Since America is typically represented by an eagle. Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages... The following verse is from the Koran, (9:11) - For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace. (Note the verse number!)

A prayer that peace will come and our Salesians may be able to move back to Iraq to continue their work for the poor as they had so faithfully done for many years.

Friday, August 3, 2007

When all else fails . . .

...the engineers say, read the manual.

How many goofy adaptations, inculturations, juvenilifications, and abominations have been tried, ostensibly in order to make the Mass and our Church more "inviting," "relevant," and "inclusive?" And what has been the result? Plummeting religious vocations and church attendance.

We had a Mass that was good enough for 1500 years worth of Catholics. Then we changed it.

At the beginning of the change, there were lots of vocations and high mass attendance. 40 years on, there is a vocations crisis and low Mass attendance. If we want more vocations (a big if, for those who have problems with the "Hierarchical Church") and higher Mass attendance, how about we at least give a chance to what has worked for 1500 years?

Posted by Gibbons (while Fr. John is on Retreat).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Adult Stem-Cell Update:

Many times in the SS. Peter and Paul weekly bulletin, we asked whether California voters were having second thoughts about allocating $3billion+ for morally indefensible, pie-in-the-sky embryonic stem-cell reasearch, that has yet to show a single treatment, while adult and cord-blood stem-cells are treating diseases right and left.

The latest, from Science Daily:

"A special type of cell found in the eye has been found to be very important in regenerating the retina in zebrafish and restoring vision even after extensive damage. Now, a UK team of scientists believe they may be able to use these cells -- known as Müller glial cells -- to regenerate damaged retina in humans, according to a study published this month in the journal Stem Cells.... Müller cells with stem cell properties could potentially restore sight to someone who is losing or has lost their sight due to diseased or damaged retina," says Dr Astrid Limb, who led the study. 'Our findings have enormous potential. It may be possible to store the cells in a cell bank and transplant them into the eye or to use cells from a person's own eye.'"

Read the whole thing.

And to see how investors are starting to bail from companies that are doing embryonic stem-cell research, visit Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam.

Posted by Gibbons (while Fr. John is on Retreat).