Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Most Holy Redeemer Update

Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ, is in the news again. There's a fawning review of his book "Gays and Grays," a chronicle of the corruption of Most Holy Redeemer Church, in this week's National Catholic Reporter. One reads the entire article without sensing in any way that souls are at stake. For our review, which at least takes Most Holy Redeemer and its parishioners seriously, go here.

The whole tone of the NCR piece is summed up in this sentence:

“'Suddenly, Most Holy Redeemer had the most fabulous crèche you could imagine..."

And it closes with:

"The example set at Most Holy Redeemer gives voice to hope for a new church 'revolution through evolution,' as Godfrey called it, in a worshiping community where, he said, murmurs and whispers no longer cloak gay people in darkness and shame."

Well, Father is right about that. If there's one word that does not immediately spring to mind when thinking of MHR, it's "shame." To see what we mean, visit

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Pray for Them

When I was in New York, I met Fr. Groeschel. That was before he started a new society. I’ve admired his work and writings for some years now and would like to offer this excerpt from one of his talks:

He expressed dismay about what is happening in our Catholic institutions, which no longer seem very Catholic, and Catholic politicians who are opposed to everything the church teaches. He mentioned Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who considers herself to be a devout Catholic but supports abortion rights. "You can't be a Catholic and support abortion," Father Groeschel said with emphasis. But rather than rail against Ms. Pelosi and the other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, such as Senators Kerry and Kennedy, Father Groeschel expressed concern for those who abandon their faith. As an example, he cited the first Catholic Supreme Court chief justice, Roger Taney, who went against his religion and joined his colleagues in the awful Dred Scott decision, which declared that blacks were property. "That decision precipitated the Civil War, which cost the lives of more Americans than all the wars put together, including World War I," he said. He then asked the crowd to join him in a prayer for these politicians who "I'm afraid are in danger of losing their souls."

Common sense and not "Condom sense"

What can we learn from South Africa?

Recently, as quoted in Zenith, Carrie Gress had an interview With Bishop Hugh Slattery of Tzaneen, South Africa:

Condoms are not an effective solution in the fight against AIDS, says Bishop Hugh Slattery, and the situation in South Africa proves it.

Bishop Slattery: The situation in this province is by no means the worst in the country -- that distinction belongs to KwaZulu Natal. The situation, however, is really bad throughout the country and continues to get worse. The Limpopo Province is one of the poorest in the country. In the adult population, aged 15 and up, the HIV/AIDS prevalence is around 20%.

The vast majority of the people living with the disease are totally unaware that they have got it and so it continues to spread at an alarming rate.It has recently been predicted that if HIV/AIDS continues to spread at its present rate, a girl 15 years of age in South Africa today has a 50% chance of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS during her lifetime. For a boy, the infection rate is slightly lower. People are much more aware of AIDS today than they were some years ago, but often their knowledge is poor and inaccurate. This awareness and knowledge, however, seldom translate into action.

Bishop Slattery: Parents really struggle when it comes to giving appropriate guidance to their children. Most of them didn't get that kind of guidance when they themselves were growing up and they generally lack the skills to give it to their children.

The transition to democracy in this country has brought about freedom but at a price, especially for young people. There has been an aggressive promotion of a very secular human rights culture for everyone, including children. As a result, parents feel they have no authority over their own children and just let them do what they like. Sometimes children threaten their parents: "If you touch me, I'll tell the police!"

The government passed a very liberal abortion law in the mid-'90s, allowing minors to have abortions without the consent of their parents -- they are just counseled, but not obliged, to inform their parents. Despite the promotion of condoms in schools, there is a high rate of pregnancy among schoolgirls, sometimes as high as 20%.South Africa and the neighboring countries of Botswana and Swaziland have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS infection in the world and also the highest rate of condom distribution.

The conclusion is inescapable that more condoms mean more cases of AIDS and more deaths. It is, of course, "politically incorrect" both here and in the Western world to even hint at the possibility that condoms may in fact be fueling the spread of this deadly disease rather than curbing it.

Today, because of AIDS, there is a deep sense of hopelessness and fatalism. There is a great deal of pain and suffering, of silence and shame, of anger and guilt, of confusion and blaming of others in families and communities. Our society is traumatized and paralyzed as the pandemic continues out of control and the number of AIDS orphans and child-headed households increases steadily.

Q: What are some of the creative ways the Church is implementing to stop the spread of the disease, especially given the pervasive belief that condoms are the key to managing it?

Bishop Slattery: As a Church, we are trying to lift the veil of secrecy and denial around HIV/AIDS and get people to talk about it openly. It is certainly difficult to do this, especially with men. People are totally brainwashed into believing that in fact there is no real crisis. They see that a lot of the younger generation are dying but are told that people get AIDS because they don't use the condom correctly to have "safe sex." Behind this is the widespread belief that people who die of AIDS have been bewitched. The first and decisive step is to try and convince people that there is a problem…The next step is to show people in a convincing manner that there is also an answer….abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage will quickly stop the spread of AIDS.

Uganda was the first country to really take a strong stand against the AIDS pandemic from the early '90s. The strong and clear leadership of President Museveni was the decisive element in bringing down the spread of HIV/AIDS from over 25% to 6%. He preached "common sense" and not "condom sense" as he mobilized his country in promoting abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage as cultural values. He said, "I have emphasized a return to our cultural values that emphasized fidelity and condemned premarital and extramarital sex." Uganda is rightly held up as a model for Africa and the world in stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Frequently, however, especially in the Western media, the reason for Uganda's success is not given truthfully. It is falsely claimed that condom promotion was the main reason for the country's success. This misrepresentation along with the aggressive and dishonest promotion of condoms seem to be the main reasons why other countries have been rather slow in following Uganda's lead by opting strongly for abstinence and fidelity in the war against AIDS.

It is highly unlikely that World AIDS Day will ever have "abstain and be faithful" as its theme. It is a response that builds character, ensures good family life, costs nothing and has a 100% guarantee of success. Recently in this country, there have been some murmurs in high government circles about the role of abstinence and fidelity in combating AIDS. Hopefully, the murmurs will increase and convictions will grow stronger about this foolproof solution as we look to Uganda for inspiration in turning back the onslaught of AIDS.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Death Dealers

It’s very hard today for one to be a democrat and not support abortion. That is what makes it so difficult to decide whom to choose for the highest office in our land. We must not have an abortion supporter!

A former aide to San Francisco Rep. Nancy Pelosi who last year became president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has decided that the nation’s largest abortion provider must now become actively involved in politics because “reproductive rights are under assault by Republicans,” the Wall Street Journal reports. They plan to spend tens of millions on 2008 elections.

Other pro-abortion organizations are also adding their resources to the election. Emily’s List, a group that supports pro-abortion female Democrats, hopes to exceed the $46 million it raised for the 2006 election. NARAL Pro-Choice America also plans to spend $10 million to support pro-abortion candidates. It is very sad to see the huge sums of money being spent to destroy human life.

God forgive us if we allow this to happen!

Friday, January 25, 2008


This was sent to me by a good friend who is a law enforcement instructor:

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain.

It works if you park in your driveway or garage If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break in your house, odds are the burglar or rapist won't stick around... after a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that.

And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there.....This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. It would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone.A wife suggested to her husband to carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

Favorite Video from the "Walk for Life"

This is my favorite video (so far!) from the "Walk for Life" It shows Saints Peter and Paul, plus I love the music! It's Jeff from "Simple Servants."

Posted by Gibbons

A Jesuit Speaks on Abortion

Excellent article in the Washington Post, by Fr. Willam Blazek, SJ.

I particularly liked this:

"Final point, we kill the Church when, in ignorance, we hold it up to ridicule. Last Spring, I asked several medical students in a seminar whether they rejected Catholic teachings regarding reproduction and artificial contraception. Several raised their hands. I prompted them to articulate the position and to give their critique of it. Conversation languished for some while. None in that group of graduating physicians had an answer, yet these well-educated role models were willing to publicly disagree with an argument they could not explain."

H/t Karen Hall, via Curt Jester

"Cinema Vita"-- the "Pro-Life Film Festival"

We're all still glowing from the wonderful experience we had last Saturday at the "Walk For Life West Coast." But there is another pro-life effort that needs your support: the "Cinema Vita Film Festival."

The Office of Public Policy & Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Ignatius Press are colloborating on this project, which will be held in San Francisco on March 7, 2008. The success of Bella, Juno, and other movies with a life-affirming message shows that the public has a great hunger for such art. But a Film Festival needs films! Few of us are filmmakers, of course, but we can help get the word out to those who are. For full information about the festival, go to the Cinema Vita Page. Ignatius Insight also has an insightful (!) rundown on the festival.

Here's some info about submissions:

Filmmakers who participate in the festival are encouraged to think of new and different ways to approach the meaning and sacredness of life. Focusing on unplanned pregnancies is just one of many possible approaches; the inherent dignity given by God to every person shines forth, for example, in the infant with cerebral palsy, down-syndrome or autistic child, the medical student, the underdog athlete, the terminally ill spouse, the frail parent, the person limited to a wheel-chair person, and the inmate on death row.

Submissions to the festival are to be 3-to-5 minute original films. They can be entered in one of three divisions: high school, college and an open category. Films will be judged based on the overall impact of their message, the storyline/plot, technical quality, and appeal to a broad audience. Prizes for each category include $250 plus valuable in-kind prizes chosen to encourage emerging filmmakers. For submission guidelines, prizes, and other information on sponsorships, timetable and prizes, please visit or call 415-387-2324.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walk for Life: Thank the SFPD

Photo courtesy of American Phoenix.

One reason the "Walk for Life West Coast" is always such a success is the presence of our good San Francisco Police Department. I think it's fair to say that without them, the "pro-choice" demonstrators would prevent the "Walk" from proceeding.

Let's make sure we don't forget to thank them!

Here is a sample letter you can download and send to Police Chief Heather Fong.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


A group of 96 influential Catholics issued a petition January 21 that explicitly criticizes a statement by 96 other prominent Catholics and released in November 2007 that called for greater "civility" among Catholics in political discourse.

It appears the main purpose of the first statement was to silence pro-life positions.

Among the many orthodox statements made is that of William Saunders of the Family Research Council, who said, "I signed this statement because, as the Church teaches, abortion is the most important issue in the world; it is not an issue like others, it is not one on which reasonable people can disagree. We cannot let calls for civility toward pro-abortion Catholic politicians obscure our fundamental obligation to oppose abortion."

Where does that leave our Democratic Party? I would say: "Out of the Church." And I would prayerfully add: "Off the politicial scene."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Benedict Speaks to the Jesuits

The Jesuits have just elected a successor to Fr.Peter-Hans Kolvenbach as Superior General of their society: Adolfo Nicolas.

Prior to the election the Holy Father had written to the Jesuits, gathered in convocation in Rome:

"I heartily hope," said the Holy Father, "that the present Congregation affirms with clarity the authentic charism of the founder so as to encourage all Jesuits to promote true and healthy Catholic doctrine.

"It could prove extremely useful that the General Congregation reaffirm, in the spirit of St. Ignatius, its own total adhesion to Catholic doctrine, in particular on those neuralgic points which today are strongly attacked by secular culture, as for example the relationship between Christ and religions; some aspects of the theology of liberation; and various points of sexual morality, especially as regards the indissolubility of marriage and the pastoral care of homosexual persons."

The General Curia of the Jesuits responded to the papal letter in a press statement stating that the General Congregation intends "to respond with sincerity to the invitations and petitions of the Holy Father." "The General Congregation will dedicate to these all due attention during its work session," continued the note, "a considerable part of which will be dedicated precisely to the topics of identity and mission of the Jesuits and of religious and apostolic obedience, in particular of obedience to the Pope."

Our earnest prayer for the Jesuits is that their charism of fidelity to the Pope be reaffirmed. Only in that way will the Jesuits stop the rapidly diminishing number of members of the world’s largest order of religious men

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Walk for Life West Coast 2008 (updated)

How about that? Even bigger than last year!

At least 25,000 and maybe 30,000 peaceful witnesses to life! (Above: SF Chronicle Photo).

Lots of photos:

SFist, who does not like us, says "How many people came to the Walk for Life? Tens of thousands, a huge crowd this year."

Our local ABC affiliate has the story here.

Gerald over at "The Cafeteria is Closed" has some fine photo work of the "Walk."

And Matteo over at "Cartago Delenda Est"

And Pipeline News has a very nice photo essay.

Here's a great photo over at "Blog by the Sea"

Here's why we "WALK FOR LIFE"

From good Bishop Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, in Catholic News Agency:

Fargo, ND, Jan 19, 2008 / 02:10 am (CNA).- In a presentation given at Loyola College in Baltimore, Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, said opposition to intrinsic evils, such as abortion, is non-negotiable for Catholic politicians and all Catholics.

“Catholics in the political arena must recognize that opposition to intrinsic evils, such as abortion, euthanasia, genocide, embryonic stem cell research and same sex unions, is always required by the faithful Catholic,” the bishop wrote in his presentation entitled “The Sanctity of Human Life from Conception to Natural Death”. “Because these intrinsic evils are direct attacks on human life and marital dignity, they are non-negotiable for every Catholic.”

If you're in the Bay Area today, come join us at the grassy section of Justin Herman Plaza as we celebrate the Fourth Annual "Walk for Life West Coast." For more details, go here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Four Great Stories

One of my favorite correspondents has forwarded me these stories, worth passing on:
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush.
He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.
It became very quiet in the room.
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
Once again, dead silence.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
You could have heard a pin drop
A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!"
The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any damn Frenchmen to show it to."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh, Canada....

Good thing Fr. Malloy is no longer the Pastor up at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Surrey, British Columbia.

Given the insane "Human Rights Commissions" they've got up there, he'd probably be in prison or on trial for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There's been a lot of news lately about Mr. Mark Steyn, because people in Canada did not like his writings. That's fine, but in Canada when people are "offended" by your writing, the government steps in to shut you up. They're trying the same thing with Mr. Ezra Levine, a publisher. Here's his videotaped statement before the Canadian Human Rights Commission:

I do not doubt that our modern-day liberals, who are in fact totalitarians, will do the same thing in the US, if it becomes possible. Look at the Oakland "Bubble Ordinance"

On second thought, it's too bad Father isn't up in Canada....he'd be in the middle of the fight.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Walk for Life Web Broadcast

If you did not have a chance to hear last week's "Walk For Life" webcast, you can still hear it on tape.

Just go to this page, and doubleclick on the play button. Very inspiring speeches from Fr. Frank Pavone, Dr. Alveda King, abortion survivor Gianna Jesson, and Walk for Life co-founder Eva Muntean.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Adult-Stem Cell update!

It's (one of) our mantras: Remind us again why California voters spent $3billion+ for immoral human-life destroying embryonic stem-cell research that has yet to produce a single cure while adult stems-cells are curing people left and right?

Check out this story in the New York Times:

"The researchers removed all the cells from a dead rat heart, leaving the valves and outer structure as scaffolding for new heart cells injected from newborn rats. Within two weeks, the cells formed a new beating heart that conducted electrical impulses and pumped a small amount of blood.

With modifications, scientists should be able to grow a human heart by taking stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and placing them in a cadaver heart that has been prepared as a scaffold, Dr. Taylor said in a telephone interview from her laboratory in Minneapolis. The early success “opens the door to this notion that you can make any organ: kidney, liver, lung, pancreas — you name it and we hope we can make it,” she said."

The Doctor says it will be 10 years before this procedure is actually in use, but still, what an achievement! And all without human life destroying research. As bioethics expert Wesley Smith says:

"At this point in posts about stories such as this, I usually make a crack about how embryonic stem cells don't offer the only hope after all. But that is so abundantly clear by now, it basically goes without saying."

Help Needed

I am copying a message received this morning:

Greetings Everyone .

This Friday, January 18th, 2008 at 12:00 noon, Dr. Alveda C. King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will lead a "Standing up for Life" Walk in Oakland, California. Dr. King will address the "sanctity of life" in the African-American community, in front of Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, and lead a walk in downtown Oakland.

Currently, over 1400 African-American babies are aborted every day. Although African-American women constitute only 6% of the population, they comprise 36% of the abortion industry's clientele.

The leading abortion providers have chosen to exploit African-Americans by locating 94% of their abortuaries in urban neighborhoods with high African-American populations.

This high rate of abortion has decimated the African-American family and destroyed African-American neighborhoods to the detriment of society at large.

The Issues4Life Foundation is organizing this important event. However, today, the Issues4Life Foundation is $3,000.00 short of the funds required to fuel the Walk in Oakland.

I am asking all who feel the leading of God to give a financial gift to the Issues4Life Foundation. Whether you chose to give $30, $300, or $3,000, we appreciate the support and realize that every dollar counts!

To make a donation please use the link below:


To send a donation via U.S. Mail, please make the check or money order payable to the "Issues4Life Foundation" and send it to the address below:

Issues4Life Foundation
1684 Decoto Road, Suite 261
Union City, California 94587-3544

The Issues4Life Foundation is a California non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible!

Thank you in advance for your financial support!

Walter B. Hoye II
Issues4Life Foundation

Confidentiality Note: The information contained in this message, and any attachments is confidential and/or privileged material.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Other Side

This is an excerpt of an article I received from a friend. It was written by a Fr. Robert D. Smith (deceased Dec. 15, 2001) entitled "The Other Side of Christ."

"There is another kind of heresy that is largely untalked about but is far more pervasive in its effects on priests, affecting in one way or another probably ninety-five percent or more of the priests in this country: the idea that virtually all men must be saved.

"The priests affected by this, and they are legion, are affected in either of two ways. First, there is a large group of outright heretics, modernists, who believe that no one can possible be damned, that somehow sin does not ever lead to Hell. This is a direct contradiction of dozens of passages in the New Testament. Second, however, there is another large group who are not directly modernistic, who do not really believe that everyone is necessarily saved, but who are severly tainted by modernism. This second group still retains an idea of sin but is afraid to teach it as it was taught by Christ. They believe that their congregations would reject it, but that is very mistaken. Even now, people in church recognize and accept Christian truth when they hear it. In fact, the whole subject, carefully treated, is very interesting to them and a refreshing change from their regular diet, the saltless food of modernism's "positive" approach.

"And here is the great pity, the great unseen heart of the disease. Between the effects of those priests severly tainted by modernism and those who are directly modernistic, great numbers in church seldom hear Christ's teaching, His own most frequent teaching, on a strict and coming judgment. The modernistic priests and those severly tainted by modernism are all ashamed....of a central teaching of Christ! Because of their failure to teach it, because of their shame at teaching it, they shall not only have to answer to Christ on Judgment Day, but to all the lost souls they failed to warn in this world."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nick Vujicic is a giant of a man

If you think things are tough in your life take a few moments to check out this video.
You'll be amazed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Walk for Life UPDATE!

It's right around the corner...January 19 to be exact, and our friends over at the Walk for Life West Coast have come up with a wonderful new tool to prepare for the Walk.

They're having a webcast/teleconference covering important detail;s of the Walk that will take place tomorrow, Thursday, January 10 at 7:00 PM. Go to this page:

and register to hear it. It's totally free, and well worth it.

"Boys will be Girls..." MHR Update

Small world... I was reading this article in today's California Catholic Daily about a man suing the Daughters of Charity (who run Seton Hospital) over their refusal to do breast enhancement surgery for him...and I noticed they quoted the legal director from the "Transgender Law Center."

That rung a bell and reminded me that the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Transgender Law Center is "Lisa Rae" Dummer, who is a Eucharistic Minister at (you guessed it) Most Holy Redeemer.

Unless my native San Franciscan eyes deceive me, "Lisa Rae" is a man. This puts into perspective the statement of Fr. Steve Meriwether, Pastor of Most Holy Redeemer, when he called the controversy over Archbishop Niederauer mistakenly giving communion to the two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence "overblown." In a sense, he's right. What's the big deal about two transvestites receiveing communion once, if you've got a "transgendered" Eucharistic Minister on a regular basis?

As I said about USF last week "Quite the little operation they've got going on over there..."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Time of Reformation

The Jesuits are gathered in Rome to evaluate their mission in today's world, and to elect a new superior-general.

The Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (Cardinal Franc Rode) had some pointed remarks for them:

"Within your charism and your tradition you can find valuable points of reference to enlighten the choices which the Society must make today,"

He spoke particularly about the role of the Jesuits in restoring the "sensus Ecclesiae."

"Consecration to service to Christ cannot be separated from consecration to service to the Church," he said. "It is with sorrow and anxiety that I see that the 'sentire cum ecclesia' of which your founder frequently spoke is diminishing even in some members of religious families. The Church is waiting for a light from you to restore the 'sensus Ecclesiae.'"

The 73-year-old cardinal also noted a "growing distancing from the hierarchy."
"The Ignatian spirituality of apostolic service 'under the Roman Pontiff' does not allow for this separation," he said. "Religious obedience can be understood only as obedience in love. The fundamental nucleus of Ignatian spirituality consists in uniting the love for God with love for the hierarchical Church."

The cardinal said he wished to draw attention to one of the "new and urgent" necessities faced by the Church today.

"I will mention one," he said, "which in my judgment is urgent today and is at the same time complex and I propose it for your consideration. It is the need to present to the faithful and to the world the authentic truth revealed in Scripture and Tradition.

"The doctrinal diversity of those who at all levels, by vocation and mission are called to announce the kingdom of truth and love, disorients the faithful and leads to a relativism without limits. There is one truth, even though it can always be more deeply known."

Cardinal Rode said the living teaching office of the Church "is the voucher for revealed truth."

He added: "The exegetes and theological scholars are involved in working together 'under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings.'

"Through your long and solid formation, your centers of research, your teaching in the philosophical-theological-biblical fields, you are in a privileged position to carry out this difficult mission. Carry it out with study and in-depth examination, carry it out with humility, carry it out with faith in the Church. Carry it out with love for the Church.

"May those who, according to your legislation, have to oversee the doctrine of your magazines and publications do so in the light of and according to the 'rules for "sentire cum ecclesia,"' with love and respect."

The cardinal also mentioned the "feeling of ever growing separation between faith and culture, a separation which constitutes a great impediment for evangelization," saying this is another phenomenon that worries him.

Traditional Latin Mass Update

Here's a very interesting and balanced article about the TLM from the "Raleigh News & Observer.":

"To many Catholics, that careful attention to detail connects them more intimately with the purpose of the Mass, which is receiving the Eucharist, or the bread and the wine transformed into the body and blood of Christ, according to the Catholic faith.

'It makes you realize there's solemnity going on at the altar,' said Stan Wesner, 61, of Raleigh, who participated Sunday....

But traditionalists aren't the only ones who like it. Catholics too young to remember the rite were well-represented at Sunday's Mass. They are people such as 28-year-old Erich Engel of Cary, who said the English Mass is lacking in spirituality, in large part because parishioners feel obliged to hang on every word the priest says -- an experience they say places the priest rather than God at the center of the service."

H/T to the Caveman.

Catholics and Protestants Urged to Come Together to Back Huckabee

Bill May of Catholics for a Common Good, has forwarded this news release, which I share with you today:

FRONT ROYAL, Va., Jan. 7 /Christian Newswire/ --
"Governor Mike Huckabee is the only candidate for President we can support with confidence," said Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of Life Decisions International (LDI). "I urge my Protestant brothers and sisters to join me in doing all they can to advance Mike Huckabee's campaign."

"We need to back a candidate who has a consistent record of supporting traditional values," said Thomas C. Strobhar, chairman of LDI. "Mike Huckabee is that kind of candidate. I urge my Catholic brothers and sisters to join me in doing all they can to advance Mike Huckabee's campaign."

Scott commented on several other candidates:
"John McCain supports stem cell experimentation. When I served as executive director of Arizona Right to Life, I saw nothing that would make me believe he is even remotely concerned about life issues."
"Mitt Romney expects pro-family Americans to blindly accept his new-found convictions without healthy skepticism and a proven track record."
"Fred Thompson has given us no reason to believe he cares enough about family issues to warrant our support."
"Ron Paul believes abortion should be decided by the states, essentially making our nation 'half-slave and half-free'. This explains his mixed voting record in Congress."
"Rudy Giuliani supports virtually everything we oppose. His election would simply be a disaster."

"I believe it is the responsibility of every pro-life/pro- family American to support a candidate that wholeheartedly supports life--without apology and without compromise," Scott said. "While the only person I agree with on every issue is me, Mike Huckabee comes pretty close. And since his positions are faith-based, one can be sure he will not sell out the Pro-Life Movement the very lives of preborn children."

"Pro-lifers have been used and abused by too many candidates that claim to be pro-life only at opportune times," Strobhar said. "Mike Huckabee is not worried which way the political wind blows. He's the real deal."

"I am thrilled that there is a candidate I can enthusiastically endorse rather than holding my nose and supporting the 'lesser of two evils'," Scott said. "Mike Huckabee deeply and personally cares about these issues. He is the kind of candidate pro- family Democrats, Republicans and independents can support. The choice is clear; Mike Huckabee should be the next President of the United States. "

Note: In compliance with federal law, LDI cannot and does not endorse candidates. This press release is for news purposes only and endorsements are done as individuals. Life Decisions International (LDI) is dedicated to challenging the Culture of Death, concentrating on exposing and fighting the agenda of Planned Parenthood. LDI's chief project is a boycott of corporations that fund the abortion-committing giant.

Monday, January 7, 2008

St. Francis and the Muslims

There’s a new book out The Real Saint Francis—A Review of St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims by Frank Rega

I came across this very revealing critique by Michael Whitcraft reported by
The American Society for the defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

When one thinks of Saint Francis of Assisi, often what comes to mind are images of a soft and weak man immersed in a pacified landscape, full of birds and bunny rabbits who are awestruck at every word that falls from his lips. However, reality frontally challenges this limp-wristed portrayal.

This is evident from Frank Rega’s controversial new book, Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims. The author successfully dispels many of the myths spread about the saint’s persona. He states: “To reduce this saint to a glorified social worker, a nature lover, or ‘the first hippie’ is a great disservice to his true heritage.”

On the contrary, Mr. Rega paints the true picture of Saint Francis: a saint of prayer, courage and action, who, contrary to the claims of many modern biographers, actually supported the Crusades.

The second section of Saint Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims proves this contention. This part stands alone, for those who are only interested in reading about the saint’s correspondence with the Muslims. However, it is sandwiched between two other sections, which recount the saint’s life before and after his missionary journey to the Middle East. Together, these three sections make up an informative and highly readable biography of the Seraphic Father.

The book’s main thrust and most interesting section deals with Saint Francis’ true position in face of the Muslims. He felt a tremendous desire for their salvation and even risked torture and death to bring them the Gospel. However, he explicitly denounced Islam as a false religion that leads to damnation.

Thus, addressing himself to the Sultan, Saint Francis said: “If you do not wish to believe, we will commend your soul to God, because we declare that if you die while holding to your law, you will be lost; God will not accept your soul.”

This contrasts with the false idea of ecumenism commonly promoted today. The author explains: “Saint Francis’ dialogue with the Sultan was a dialogue of conversion to Jesus Christ, not a dialogue of finding common ground in order for the two religions to coexist peacefully.”
Mr. Rega also refutes the misconception that Saint Francis was opposed to the Crusaders taking military action to regain the holy land. While the saint wanted the Muslim’s conversion above all, he felt that war was justified if they did not accept Christ and adamantly held to the regions they had stolen from Christian hands.

Thus, when the Sultan argued that the Crusaders were not following the Gospels which taught that one should turn the other cheek when offended, he quickly rejoined quoting Our Lord’s words taken from the same discourse: “if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee.”

Saint Francis explained:
Here He wanted to teach us that every man, however dear and close he is to us, and even if he is as precious to us as the apple of our own eye, must be repulsed, pulled out, expelled if he seeks to turn us aside from the faith and love of our God. That is why it is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from His worship.

Mr. Rega’s work is filled with evidence to support his own Crusade against those revisionists who would like to paint a less virile Saint Francis. He decries those for whom Saint Francis: “was not a bold Christian evangelist, but a timid man, whose goal was to have the friars live passively among the Saracens and ‘to be subject to them,’ rather than convert them to the True Religion.” This book is a must-read for those whose minds have been sullied by the effeminate portrayals of Saint Francis that have been widely circulated. It can serve to shatter this false impression and reveal the true spirit of a great saint.

"The Darfur of America"

That's what our good friend, Preacher Walter Hoye calls the effect of abortion on America in general, and on black Americans in particular in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

"We want to create opportunities to dialogue on issues concerning life, and abortion is the leading cause of death in the African American community," Hoye said. "It is a moral issue as far as the church is concerned, and we want to strengthen the African American leadership."

And abortion is not just the leading cause of death among African-Americans but among American's in general. Look at these figures for 2004, from the Center for Disease Control:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death

Heart disease: 652,486
Cancer: 553,888
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,074
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 121,987
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 112,012
Diabetes: 73,138
Alzheimer's disease: 65,965
Influenza/Pneumonia: 59,664

In the same year, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, there were 1,287,000 deaths by abortion in the United States, more deaths than the next two causes (heart disease & cancer) combined.

What does it say about a society when by far the leading cause of death is voluntarily chosen? It says: that society is in desperate need of the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Preacher Hoye is the founder of "Issues4Life" and he is fighting this evil in the African-American community:

"Issues4Life has organized . . .events to coincide with the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 18 and Black History Month in February. All three events will feature Alveda King, the niece of the slain civil rights leader. A two-mile Walk for Life will be held in Oakland and a conference will be hosted at a Berkeley church Jan. 18."

And on January 19, the Fourth Annual Walk for Life West Coast will be held in San Francisco, starting at 11:00 AM, at Justin Herman Plaza. EIGHT Catholic Bishops will be there, Alveda King and the good Reverend Clenard Childress will speak, and 20,000 peaceful marchers will send the message: Choose Life! Be Not Afraid!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


This posting thanks to Bill May--Catholics for the Common Good

"Inspiring a Wholehearted Faith in a Half-hearted Age For Parents, Teachers, Students, and All Concerned Catholics"

What can we do to counter the present de-Christianization of Western culture and to proclaim afresh the uniqueness of the Gospel?

Gil Bailie, a nationally-known lecturer and a CCG Advisory Committee member, offers fascinating answers to these questions in his series of talks called Emmaus Road Initiative. Following the observation of Pope Benedict XVI that a collaboration between theology and anthropology can lead to "the truly most exciting part of Christian faith", Gil's talks are designed to help us rediscover the excitement and give us a renewed appreciation of Christianity for this time and culture.

The series is very useful for all concerned about the re-evangelization of culture and deepening their faith. Please forward this e-mail to all who may be interested in attending the talk, and consider consulting your pastor about posting the flyer on the parish bulletin board.

San Francisco: Wednesday, January 9, 7pm-9pm.
St. Mary's Cathedral Parish Hall.
1111 Gough Street.
For more information, call 415-651-4171.

Santa Rosa: Thursday, January 10, 7pm- 9pm.
St. Eugene's Cathedral Spiritual Enrichment Center.
360 Farmers Lane.
For more information, call 866 506 5451.

Download flyer:

Friday, January 4, 2008


Gerald, over at "The Cafeteria is Closed," has a post about the 50% increase in vocations in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As his title says "All it takes is a good Bishop."

What's the secret? Well, Archbishop Burke wants vocations.

Which brings me to something I've wanted to get off my chest for a while: in my opinion, lots of Catholics, clerical and lay, don't want vocations. We often hear references (never positive) to the "hierarchical church." (Which is strange, coming from Catholics, since there there is no non-hierarchical Church, as far as I can see.)

But if one finds the "hierarchical church" to be objectionable, one can't possibly want vocations to the priesthood, because as soon as one has a priest and a congregation, one has a hierarchy.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Professor George Goes to Work...

Over at First Things.

Among other things, he takes up the never-ending battle against mind/body dualism:

"Everyone agrees that marriage, whatever else it is or does, is a relationship in which persons are united. But what are persons? And how is it possible for two or more of them to unite? According to the view implicit in sexual-liberationist ideology, the person is understood as the conscious and desiring aspect of the self. The person, thus understood, inhabits a body, but the body is regarded (if often only implicitly) as a subpersonal part of the human being—rather than part of the personal reality of the human being whose body it is. The body is viewed as serving the interests of the conscious and desiring aspect of the self by functioning as an instrument by which the individual produces or otherwise participates in satisfactions and other desirable experiences and realizes various objectives and goals...

The alternate view of what persons are is the one embodied in both our historic law of marriage and what Isaiah Berlin once referred to as the central tradition of Western thought. According to this view, human beings are not nonbodily persons (consciousnesses, minds, spirits, what have you) inhabiting and using nonpersonal bodies. Rather, a human person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit. The body, far from being a mere instrument of the person, is intrinsically part of the personal reality of the human being."

Why we love Cardinal Pell

"My task as a Christian leader is to engage with reality...."


You can read the whole thing over at Ignatius Insight.

light and Light

Two stabbings occured in Washington Square Park, across the street from Saints Peter and Paul Church on New Year's Eve. This is just weeks after lots of expensive new lighting was installed in the park to make it "safer."

It's an interesting comment on our society's propensity to seek technological fixes for moral problems: To prevent shootings: gun control. To prevent conception, birth control.

Whatever happened to self-control? But that of course is anathema in San Francisco, since self-control implies a norm, a kind of life we should be leading, which in turn means one thing is better than another, and who knows where that kind of thinking may lead....

As Father Armand Oliveri commented, all the light in the world won't do any good without that other Light...

Posted by Gibbons