Monday, June 30, 2008

USF Update

Relating to the previous post, here's what happens when a situation such as the one at St. Joan of Arc is not addressed. You end up with a Father Donal Godfrey, SJ, as Executive Director of University Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

We just came across two of his published homilies. They were given at Most Holy Redeemer Church and are posted on the "Gay Catholic Forum" website: "The Call to Come Out" and "Finding God in the Erotic."

There's nothing surprising about this. Fr. Godfrey is the same priest who said:

“The Catholic Church is not a credible moral voice within the gay community.” --from "Gays and Grays: The story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church" by Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ p153.

Does Father mean he does not consider the Catholic Church a credible moral voice? I don't believe anyone can read much of his work without concluding: he considers the gay community to be "his" community, thus the answer is "yes."

But if he does not consider the Catholic Church to be "a credible moral voice," should he be responsible, as Executive Director of University Ministry, for the 8,500 souls at USF? Should he not in good conscience resign? Of course, there is another possibilty:

"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.'" ibid, p132.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

More from Minneapolis

Archbishop Nienstadt has plenty of allies. This lady absolutely nails the issue in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The real story behind the gay pride issue at St. Joan

Star Tribune June 29, 2008

"Last week, controversy erupted when Archbishop John Nienstedt informed St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis that it could not hold a gay pride prayer service in its sanctuary. The service -- held for several years in conjunction with the annual Twin Cities Gay Pride festival -- celebrates the gay identity.

In response, organizers moved the celebration outside the church. One gay activist attended in what must have struck him as a clown's outfit, given the occasion -- the robes of an archbishop, miter and all.

David McCaffrey of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM) condemned what he called Nienstedt's "reign of homophobic hatred."

In an e-mail to the group's members, he characterized the archbishop's decision as "yet another volley of dehumanizing spiritual violence directed at GLBT persons and their families."
Clearly, there is hatred here. But it is not coming from the Catholic Church. Rather, it's a tool of those who are trying to compel the church to conform to their personal demands with caricatures and public mockery.

Opponents charge that the church does not welcome gays. They point to the fact that the archdiocese won't sponsor a gay pride prayer service as evidence. . . "

Read the whole thing.

Might as well close the Church...

. . . if we're not going to battle sin because "there's nothing we can do to stop it."

From the Washington Times:

Bishop knew of abortion plan. Told 'there was nothing he could do'

"The Roman Catholic bishop of Richmond was told that a diocesan charity planned to help a teenage foster child get an abortion in January and did not try to prevent the procedure.

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo "was told erroneously that everything was in place and there was nothing he could do to stop it," said Steve Neill, Bishop DiLorenzo's communications officer. "He is very apologetic about the whole episode.

"It is very awkward, it is very embarrassing. A human life was taken. He certainly has not taken it lightly in any way. He is clearly opposed to abortion."

"Awkward." "Embarassing."

And you know the Church has lost her way when attorneys speak for her:

"He was told it could not be stopped," Mr. Etherington (attorney of the diocese) said. "It was erroneous information. He didn't have to sign off on it. He was not personally involved."

"He was not personally involved." When a human life and souls are at stake. So I guess His Excellency did not even meet with the teenager in question.

h/t Southern Illinois Catholic

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why they hate him is why we love him!

More on the appointment of Archbishop Burke, form the liberal Associated Press:

"Every pro-choice Catholic Democrat politician should be very nervous," Reese said. "He made his name in the U.S. by denying Communion to pro-choice politicians.

"If he gets that view articulated strongly in Rome, he could become the voice for having that position for the universal church."

When Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit "America" magazine is worried, something good must be happening!

And get this, from excommunicated priest Fr. Marek Bozek:

"I've been getting phone calls since 6 o'clock this morning from parishioners singing 'Ding, dong, the archbishop is gone,'" said the Rev. Marek Bozek, who, along with his parish board, were excommunicated by Burke after a long-simmering dispute over control of St. Stanislaus Kostka's assets."

Actually, it wasn't about assets but about disobeyeing his previous bishop and also "Ordaining" women. Besides, just off hand, what kind of parish is filled with big fans of "The Wizard of Oz" . . .?

h/t: Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit

Posted by Gibbons

From the Anglican Conference in Jerusalem

News from the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) being held in Jerusalem.

The GAFCON Bishops object to the hijacking of God's Word by confused Anglican Bishops in the more "developed" world:

"'We grieve for the spiritual decline in the most economically developed nations, where the forces of militant secularism and pluralism are eating away the fabric of society and churches are compromised and enfeebled in their witness,' it said in a final statement . . .

In its statement, GAFCON accused churches in the West of proclaiming "a false gospel (that) undermines the authority of God's Word" and promotes a 'variety of sexual preferences and immoral behaviour', including same-sex marriages.

'We acknowledge God's creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family,' it said.

A Primate's Council -- a body of the heads of member Anglican churches -- would be formed to lead the conservative provinces and offer alternative leadership to conservatives in liberal 'churches under false leadership,' it said.

'The time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates' Council,' it said in a challenge to Anglicanism's usual geographical structure."

That's from Reuters.

And this, from a story in the

"The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, said this week that the 'sheer existence' of the Gafcon movement posed a challenge to the existing Anglican Communion but insisted the liberals had brought the split upon themselves.

'The American revisionists committed a strategic blunder in 2003. I don't think they believed there would be consequences. It was a horrific strategic blunder they committed and there are consequences. The consequences are unfolding and our churches are divided.'

'Our churches are now divided and a permanent division exists around the world. The sleeping giant of evangelical and orthodox Anglicanism has been roused in Canada and the US.'"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

War on Abstinence

Ryan T. Anderson - First Things blog- was startled to discover an alarming trend that has gone unreported:

"The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have teamed up in an aggressive campaign over the past several years -- a campaign to pressure states to eliminate abstinence education and to reject federal funding for these programs.

"And though their work hasn't drawn much attention, it has been remarkably successful. A year ago, only four states refused federal abstinence-education funding. Today the number is seventeen. The goal is to get enough states to refuse the federal abstinence-education funding to the point where the ACLU and Planned Parenthood can convince Congress to eliminate such funding entirely.

"All this is happening, by the way, as fresh reports arrive almost every month about the benefits of teen abstinence and the effectiveness of abstinence programs."

Too many public schools, esepcially in California, are supporting abortion by denying the voice of abstinence only proponents. Parents beware!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Archbishop Burke to Rome!

It's St. Louis' and America's loss, but (Holy) Father knows best...

The great Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, has been appointed as Prefect of the Appostolic Signatura in Rome. Readers of this blog know how highly we think of His Excellency. That's why we have a permanent link to his website at the right.

Catholic News Agency describes his new post:

"In his new position, Archbishop Burke will serve as the head of the Church’s supreme tribunal, which ensures that justice is correctly administered.

Also known as the Church’s Supreme Court, the Tribunal also oversees the administration of justice within the Church, examining administrative matters referred to it by the Congregations of the Roman Curia, as well as questions committed to it by the Holy Father."

We commiserate with our brothers and sisters in St. Louis who have lost such a fine shepherd, but we think His Excellency has so ably led their Archdiocese that we feel confident the incoming man will be great as well.

The St. Louis Catholic website has a long post about the Archbishop. Here is one of the quotataions:

"When asked about his usually outspoken manner in controversial issues, he responded, "Is there something unusual about a bishop saying that it’s wrong to be in favor of procured abortion? I’m a Roman Catholic priest and bishop. What else would you expect me to say?"

God Bless you, dear Archbishop! May Mary Help of Christians aid you as you take on your new responsibilities!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pray for Tolerance?

First a little T.S. Eliot:

"It is hard for those who have never known persecution,
And who have never known a Christian,
To believe these tales of Christian persecution.
It is hard for those who live near a Bank
To doubt the security of their money.
It is hard for those who live near a Police Station
To believe in the triumph of violence.
Do you think that Faith has conquered the World
And that lions no longer need keepers?"

I thought of this when a friend told me they had been at mass at St. Dominic's in San Francisco last Sunday and that one of the prayers of the faithful was something like "During this Gay Pride week let us pray for tolerance for Lesbian Gay Bisexual etc. etc...."

I rather think we'd better start praying for tolerance for the Church of God!

It also made me remember a young man who interviewed me about Fr. Malloy right after he had finished his term as Pastor at SS. Peter and Paul. The young man was doing a story about Father's forthright upholding of the Church's teaching on sexuality. One of the questions he asked was if we had ever run into any opposition from any "gay activist groups." When he asked that, I realized: there are no "gay activist groups" in San Francisco. The "gay activists" are now the entire power structure of the city.

Mayor Gavin Newsom, who celebrates same-sex "marriages";
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who voted 11-0 to condemn the Catholic Church as "hateful" for daring to state that adoptive children should be only placed with natural families;
The San Francisco Police Department, who last year had a recruiting booth at the insane Folsom Street Fair, where the worst kind of illegal sexual immorality takes place in public;
The San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and Department of the Environment who use tax dollars to fund the Folsom Street Fair, where ditto;
The San Francisco Chronicle, whose website has an entire department in the "Entertainment" section devoted to "Gay" events, and whose entire datebook section of last week was devoted "Gay Pride" week;

It's also:
A.T. & T.
Bank of America
Wells Fargo Bank
Kaiser Permenante
Bass Ale
Virgin America
the San Francisco Chronicle
Smirnoff Vodka

all of whom are sponsors of this week's "Gay Pride" parade.

Who knew being untolerated paid so well? Anyway, as Catholics, we're not called to tolerate, but to love. Which means you care about people and what they do and the good of their souls.

*For the origin of the "Gay Rome" tag, go here. It's at about 1:14 into this audio of a USF seminar, sponsored by the Lane Center, and held at (where else?) Most Holy Redeemer.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

WHY Lord?

A mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die in Iraq ? '

A mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die in Saudi Arabia ?'

A mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die in Kuwait?'

Another mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die in Vietnam?'

Another mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die in Korea?'

Another mother asked this President... 'Why did my son have to die on Iwo Jima?'

Another mother asked President... 'Why did my son have to die on a battlefield in France?'

Yet another mother asked President... 'Why did my son have to die at Gettysburg?'

And yet another mother asked President.. 'Why did my son have to die on a frozen field near Valley Forge?'

Then long, long ago, a mother asked...'Heavenly Father .. why did my Son have to die on a cross outside of Jerusalem?'
'The answer is always the same... 'So that others may live and dwell in peace, happiness, and freedom.'

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Adult Stem Cell Update!

It's one of our mantras here at "A Shepherd's Voice": Are California voters having second thoughts yet about shelling out $3 billion + for immoral & unproven embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to show a single cure, while adult stem cells are curing people left and right?

The latest, from Catholic News Agency:

Pfizer to invest in adult stem-cell treatment for eyes

"The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced that it is funding a new adult stem-cell treatment that could treat diabetes-induced retinal damage, a leading cause of blindness.

Forbes Magazine says that Pfizer is funding the creation of a San Diego biotech company named EyeCyte to develop stem-cell treatments for eye diseases. The company will base its work upon Scripps Research Institute ophthalmologist Martin Friedlander’s research involving stem-cells from blood and bone marrow. EyeCyte will receive about $3 million from Pfizer, which in return has the right of first refusal regarding the new company’s products . . .

In animal experiments, adult stem-cells have shown a remarkable ability to target and repair damaged blood vessels in the eye, which are a key problem in diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration.

"It is unbelievable. These cells know where to go and they target the site of injury," said Friedlander, according to Forbes. He said that in his lab he has cured mice “10 times over,” but noted it is unknown whether the treatment will help people."

Now, those guys over at Pfizer aren't investing $3 million as charity. There doing it because they think this process has serious potential to help cure blindness in human beings, and thus enable their investment to be profitable. Nothing wrong with that. Pray God the treatment works! But when's the last time you heard of ANY breakthrough from embryonic stem-cells that would induce investors to shell out their own money? What happened was the backers of Proposition 71 sold the voters pie-in-the-sky stories about ESCR, then they got $3 billion of your money, taxpayer's money, to do heaven knows what.

The breakthroughs in adult & cord blood stem cells are coming so fast that it seems that even the scientists can't keep up with them. Make sure to check out the website of Mr. Don Margolis. He seems to be right on top of the various new treatments. Just in the last two days he has posted about adult stem-cell treatments for cerebral palsy and epilepsy, pulmonary hypertension, and sickle-cell anemia.

Good News on AB2747!

We've just received an email from Bill May of "Catholics for the Common Good" on California Assembly Bill 2747, that contained provisions that rendered it an "Assisted Suicide" bill. The good news is that due to intense opposition, those objectionable provisions have been removed.

AB2747 Objectionable Language Removed No Need to Call Senators or Attend Hearing on Thursday 6/26.

CCG is Now Withdrawing Opposition

"In order to get enough votes to pass the Senate Health Committee, the author agreed to remove all of the objectionable language that made AB2747 a platform for assisted suicide. They removed starvation and dehydration as a medical option. They removed mention of rarely used palliative sedation that renders a patient unconscious.

This could not have happened without your phone calls that brought attention to the sinister language in the bill to State Senators. It could not have happened without the people who demonstrated in front of the State Capitol building today and expressed their opposition at the hearing."

We'll add: it could not have happened without the hard work and dedicated leadership of the folks over at Catholics for the Common Good. They work hard, but they can always use our and your help. The Culture of Death has tons of money. Catholics for the Common Good doesn't. Let's help them out if we can:

Catholics for the Common Good Donations page.

"An LGBT Pride Service is Really Inimical to the Teachings of the Catholic Church"

It shows how far we have fallen that such a thing even needs to be said. But it does need to be said, in every diocese in the world, and God Bless Archbishop Nienstadt for his leadership!

From the Catholic News Agency

"The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has forbidden one of its parishes, St. Joan of Arc Church, from holding a “gay pride” prayer service because the event violates the teachings of the Church.

St. Joan of Arc Church has held the service for several years in conjunction with the Twin Cities Pride Celebration, according to the Associated Press. After discussions between the parish’s associate pastor and the archdiocese, the parish will hold a 'peace' service in its place. An announcement last week in the St. Joan of Arc parish bulletin said that a prayer service had been scheduled in the church for Wednesday at 7 p.m. 'to celebrate and give thanks for the gifts of our Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered community.'

'This service is part of Pride week in the Twin Cities,' the announcement continued.

Archdiocesan spokesman Dennis McGrath said that the service’s use of the descriptor 'LGBT' was 'not possible on church property . . . The reason is quite simply because it was a LGBT pride prayer service, and that is really inimical to the teachings of the Catholic Church.'. . .

According to the Associated Press, McGrath said Archbishop Nienstedt is following Catholic doctrine, adding 'the church welcomes people with same-sex attractions among its worshippers.'

'The distinction is people who fully adapt to the GLBT lifestyle are not permitted to receive the sacraments or be the subject of a prayer service that endorses that lifestyle,' McGrath said."

It's exactly what we've been objecing to for years at Most Holy Redeemer. Of course at MHR, the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

Or right on Most Holy Redeemer's own website:

Gay Pride 2003

Gay Pride 2006

Gay Pride 2007

Posted by Gibbons

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spiritual Killer

Karl Keating writes in Catholic Answers

One of today’s silent but most deadly “spiritual killers” is pornography—especially Internet pornography. Pornography kills the soul because using it is a mortal sin. It kills marriages because it’s a form of unfaithfulness…It turns love into lust…And it often leads to extra-marital affairs and divorce. And it kills the innocence of children who unintentionally stumble upon it when they’re on the Internet.

Today, pornography is the #1 most downloaded and most viewed category of material on the Internet. According to the Internet Filter Review, the worldwide Internet porn business is a $97 billion-a-year industry—and growing. It’s no wonder. At last count, there were 4.2 million pornographic Web sites, with 420 million pages of pornographic material. (These numbers grow by the hour—because thousands of new sites come online every week.) 43% of all Internet users view porn sites while they’re online.

The estimate is that 72 million people visit porn sites each month. According to Media Metrix, more than 70% of men ages 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site each month. 2.8 billion pornographic e-mails are sent every year. And the number of children being exposed to pornography has skyrocketed due to the Internet.

According to research conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science, fully 9 out of 10 children from ages 8 and 16 have seen Internet pornography—usually without even intending to. The Internet Filter Review reports that the average age of a child when he is first exposed to Internet pornography is 11 years old.

Of children 15 to 17 years old, 80% have multiple exposures to hard-core Internet pornography. 90% of 8- to 16-year-olds have viewed pornography online—most while doing homework.

In 1996 while battling the ACLU (a major supporter of Internet porn), the United States Department of Justice stated… “Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions” (U.S. Department of Justice, Post Hearing Memorandum of Points and Authorities, Reno v. ACLU, 929 F. Supp. 824 [1996]).

Internet pornography is truly a plague that has infested our land—and it’s infecting our homes, our families, our churches, and our entire community. According to the National Catholic Register, Fr. Mark Bautista of British Columbia—who has been a pastor of several major parishes—estimates that up to 30% of the men in any given parish are regular viewers of Internet pornography. He said he’s noticed a staggering increase in porn use that coincides with the growth of the Internet. It’s not just among the men of the parish, but the children, too. He routinely hears porn confessions of boys and girls as young as 13.

Christopher West of the Theology of the Body Institute says that at least 80% of Catholic adults have used pornography and that up to 40% of Catholics view porn compulsively. Our apologist friend Jeff Cavins agrees. In his view, 40% of Catholic men and teenage boys are regular porn users.
No wonder they call the Internet “the Web”!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why Fathers Matter

Ten Reasons

1. Children’s well-being. Children living in intact families tend to fare better on cognitive achievement and behavioral outcomes than peers living in families with unmarried biological fathers, stepfathers, and mothers’ cohabiting partners.

2. Adolescents’ psychological well-being. Close relationships between adolescents and their fathers are positively associated with adolescents’ psychological well-being.

3. Adolescents' behavioral problems. Adolescents of more involved fathers tend to exhibit lower levels of behavioral problems than peers of less involved fathers.

4. Youth delinquency. Adolescents who report having more positive relationships with their fathers are less likely to engage in delinquency than peers who have less positive relationships with their involved fathers.

5. Teen substance use. Adolescents who report having more positive relationships with their fathers are less likely to abuse substance than peers who have less positive relationships with their fathers.

6. Young adult’s educational attainment. Individuals whose fathers showed more involvement in their lives early on tend to attain higher levels of education than peers of less involved fathers.

7. Young adults’ incarceration rates. Growing up without a father appears to be associated with greater likelihood of incarceration later in life.

8. Father-child relationships. Adolescents living in intact families report, on average, having closer relationships with their fathers than peers in non-intact families.

9. Fathers’ engagement with children. Among urban fathers, those who frequently attend religious services tend to be more engaged with their children than those who attend less frequently.

10. Fathers’ well-being. Among disadvantaged fathers, those who increase their engagement with their children report improved well-being.
(as reported in

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Evangelical Examples

Certainly we've all noticed the great energy and scripture knowledge many of our Evangelical converts bring to Catholicism (and, let's be honest, some of those who have not yet converted).

From Catholic News Agency:

"Austin Ruse, director of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, has warned that 'Europe is almost certainly dying' because of falling birth rates, radical social policies, and the decline of marriage on the continent. Its only hope for revival, he argues, is for Europeans to again proclaim the 'lordship of Christ.'

Ruse’s comments, published on the new web site 'The Catholic Thing,' tell of his attendance at the 'Post-Christian Europe and the Resurgence of Islam”conference held earlier this month in Vienna to discuss secularism and Islam . . .

Ruse believes the reaction to one conference panel was indicative of a deeper problem. The panel, made up of Southern Baptist theologians and historians, spoke about Christendom, the history of Christian Europe, the Crusades, and other similar matters of faith. 'They quoted quite a lot from scripture. Many were offended,' Ruse says . . .

'Keep in mind that these Evangelical scholars were not sermonizing, waving their arms around, or damning anyone to hell. What they said was quite mild, yet drew anger from scholars who were otherwise puzzled as to why Europe was in decline' . . . (emphasis added).

Europe can only be saved, Ruse says, by 'more Europeans proclaiming the lordship of Jesus Christ,”'using an expression popular among Evangelicals.

Ruse praises the pious language of America and American Evangelicals, saying such language has 'kept America percolating as the most religious country in the west.'

'Catholics owe a great debt to Evangelicals for this kind of language. It may not be our language, but it is language that has protected this country from going the way of Europe,' Ruse writes."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chris Matthews Goes to Church...

Last night on "Hardball," Chris commented on the funeral of his friend and colleague Tim Russert (may Tim rest in peace!) :

"I was at the funeral mass at Holy Trinity, which is a wonderful (church) in Georgetown. It‘s a Jesuit Catholic Church. The Jesuits run that church. It has a certain quality . . .

It‘s nice to go to a church. By the way, it‘s a Jesuit church. It‘s liberal. It‘s my kind of Catholic. It‘s really nice. They are very forgiving in that church. They‘re very forgiving at that church. The only sins in that church are nuclear war and racism. "

A "certain quality," indeed. Chris probably left out smoking . . . and mixing paper & plastic.

But a question: Why forgiveness if you don't believe in sin?

Posted by Gibbons

New York Bishop gets it on Same-Sex "Marriage"

That's Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, New York. Some excerpts from the Catholic News Agency story:

"In his column, Bishop Murphy explained that, “our new governor has decided to circumvent the legislature, the courts and any testing of the will of the people. He has decided by an administrative decree that unions of persons of the same sex which are recognized as ‘marriage’ in another state would be recognized and honored as such here in New York. This is just plain wrong . . .

The fact is what the truth is: this is wrong and no amount of trying to appeal to ‘fair play’ or ‘equality’ or ‘putting all relationships on the same footing’ can make this right . . .

He explained that the state is able to give “certain rights and privileges to married couples” because “the state has a vested interest in the bond that a man and a woman make to each other in public when they marry. That interest is the common good of society which is enhanced and stabilized by marriage as a public institution which is the basis of all other societies. That interest is in the present and future good of society that can be guaranteed in the long run only by stable married and family life which is possible only in the natural order of a union between a man and a woman.”

In all these levels, sexual intimacy between persons of the same sex does not pass muster. They do not serve the common good. They cannot do so because they contradict biological teleology and the natural law. (emphasis added). This does not impugn the motives or the goodness of any person. This does say that the truth must never become victim to misguided actions that seek to impose a false interpretation of what is real on our society.”

“In this case the governor not only sidesteps democratic process. He acts contrary to the common good and introduces into New York a phenomenon that corresponds to the desires of a few at the expense of the whole and at the expense of the good of New York.”

We can expect the good Bishop to be viciously attacked for stating these simple truths. He needs to know we support him! Here's an email link to his office.

Most Reverend William Murphy

Posted by Gibbons

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"How can gay marriage hurt anybody else?"

...asks Rod Dreher. He answers by quoting from this story, from National Public Radio. Excerpts:

"As states have legalized same-sex partnerships, the rights of gay couples have consistently trumped the rights of religious groups. Marc Stern, general counsel for the American Jewish Congress, says that does not mean that a pastor can be sued for preaching against same-sex marriage. But, he says, that may be just about the only religious activity that will be protected.

"What if a church offers marriage counseling? Will they be able to say 'No, we're not going to help gay couples get along because it violates our religious principles to do so? What about summer camps? Will they be able to insist that gay couples not serve as staff because they're a bad example?" Stern asks.

Stern says if the early cases are any guide, the outlook is grim for religious groups. A few cases: Yeshiva University was ordered to allow same-sex couples in its married dormitory. A Christian school has been sued for expelling two allegedly lesbian students. Catholic Charities abandoned its adoption service in Massachusetts after it was told to place children with same-sex couples. The same happened with a private company operating in California.

A psychologist in Mississippi who refused to counsel a lesbian couple lost her case, and legal experts believe that a doctor who refused to provide IVF services to a lesbian woman is about to lose his pending case before the California Supreme Court."

And Mark Shea comments: "The main result (and, in the plan of Hell, the principal goal) of the legitimation of gay marriage is to have a new weapon with which to attack the Church."

Two Views on Same-Sex "Marriage"

Here are two opposing views on same-sex marriage: one from George Neumayr of the "Catholic World Report" writing in the "American Spectator" and the other from Professor Dale Carpenter, writing in the "Bay Area Reporter."

While each writer has a diametrically opposed view on the issue, they both share an understanding of the stakes involved and the civilizational importance of the issue. This is quite refreshing after the mainstrem media's "oh, isn't that cute!" coverage and even some rather weak statements by those who claim to be defenders of marriage.

Some excerpts are below. First, Professor Carpenter:

"It's impossible to predict now what the net political effect of all these gay nuptials will be. But it is possible to say what the stakes are . . .

If Californians reject the amendment, it will be the first time voters anywhere in the world will have approved gay marriage. (emphasis added) They will have done so where the issue is squarely presented. They will have done so in a state inhabited by almost 40 million people, a state whose influence on the nation's culture and law is even larger than its share of the population. Vermont could be ignored. Massachusetts could be legally quarantined. But California can be neither disregarded nor isolated.

In future years, gay couples from across the country will be able to go to California – not to some foreign country – to have their relationships sanctioned. This alone will put enormous pressure on other states to move ahead and to do so more quickly than they otherwise would have. The federal government, too, will face increased political pressure to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in a state . . .

The stakes for the cause of gay marriage are higher than they have ever been. We are headed for a momentous battle in a full-scale culture war on the most strategic terrain in the country."

Now, Mr. Neumayr:

"'A passionate tumultuous age will overthrow everything, pull everything down,' wrote Soren Kierkegaard, 'but a revolutionary age that is at the same time reflective and passionless leaves everything standing but cunningly empties it of significance.'

Something like this seems to be happening in California. In the heat of revolutionary fervor, California's leftists once called for the abolition of marriage, which they regarded as an 'outmoded' and 'oppressive' tradition. But these days they praise marriage as a hallowed institution while they harness it to their original destructive purposes. (emphasis added).

What the open radicalism of the 1960s sought to accomplish overtly its more circumspect successors achieve subtly, leaving state marriage standing but trivializing and discrediting it. The Golden state that first took a cudgel to marriage with no-fault divorce takes a final swipe with same-sex marriage . . .

MEANWHILE, THE OPPOSITION to gay marriage seems depressingly wan, as a note of agnosticism about the immorality of homosexual behavior saps its drive. The case against gay marriage ultimately rests on the natural moral law, (emphasis added) but Republicans and conservatives seem to consider that too passe or embarrassing to be useful in the debate. Yet without that philosophical basis, the case against gay marriage appears arbitrary and strained . . .

Implicit in all these previous concessions was an acceptance of homosexuality that made the state's full embrace of it in gay marriage inevitable. Negotiating with the gay-rights movement at this point is obtuse. The revolutionary path blazed by the Summer of Love has terminated in the Summer of gay marriage, and there is no turning back unless the issue is engaged at a deeper level than politics."

Both men understand the nature of the issue. Supporters of same-sex "marriage" are well funded, supported at the highest level of government and business, and they are relentless.

Will we, as defenders of marriage, answer the call?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Los Angeles Bishops' Statement

The Catholic Bishops of the United States have affirmed repeatedly that persons with a homosexual orientation "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity." Accordingly the Bishops condemn all forms of violence, scorn, and hatred -- whether subtle or overt -- against men and women who are homosexual.

All people, regardless of sexual inclination, are called to holiness; and "should be encouraged to take an active role in the faith community" and to live according to its teachings. Nonetheless, the Church cannot approve of redefining marriage, which has a unique place in God's creation, joining a man and a woman in a committed relationship in order to nurture and support the new life for which marriage is intended.

The meaning of marriage is deeply rooted in history and culture, and has been shaped considerably by Christian tradition. Its meaning is given, not constructed. "When marriage is redefined so as to make other relationships equivalent to it, the institution of marriage is devalued and further weakened." The state has a primary and fundamental obligation to protect and promote the family, which is rooted in marriage and sustained by it.

Some benefits currently sought by same sex partners can already be obtained without regard to marital status. For example, individuals can agree to own property jointly with another, and they can generally designate anyone they choose to be a beneficiary of their will or to make health care decisions in case they become incompetent. Other desired benefits such as sharing in a partner's health insurance could be made available without the drastic step of a cultural or legal redefinition of marriage.

Let us strengthen our resolve to respect the dignity of each human being and to protect the sanctity of marriage, asking God's guidance in our efforts to promote the common good central to a free and democratic society.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Heroic Polish athlete dies to save life of unborn child

"Thousands of Poles lined up to say their final goodbyes to Agata Mroz, a young volleyball star who died on June 4 after postponing a bone marrow transplant in order to allow her daughter to be born."

It's a story of Christian love that has captured the imagination of an entire country. Read it here.

A friend from Poland says: "Everyone knew she had cancer, people were hoping she would get better, but she did not . . . When she died-- it was the front page story in ALL Polish papers, not just the sports papers. Literally, the whole of Poland has been following it. Her husband said at her funeral "...that he is not asking God why He took Agata, but that he is thankful that God put Agata in his life..."

We pray:

Niech cię przygarnie Chrystus uwielbiony,
On wezwał ciebie do królestwa światła.
Niech na spotkanie w progach Ojca domu
Po ciebie wyjdzie litościwa Matka.

(May glorious Jesus embrace you,
who has called you to the kingdom of Light,
May to the threshold of the Father's house,
Merciful Mother come to greet you.)

Day of Infamy

Today's the day!
June 16, 2008 will certainly go down as a DAY OF INFAMY In California.
Gay Marriage is Legal!

How foolish we are in accepting as legal what is unnatural and contrary to reason. Let’s forget religion for the moment.

Common sense tells us that gay marriage is no marriage, because a main purpose of marriage is the creation of the family. And the family needs children. Gay marriages cannot beget children. Adoption won’t do. Kids need mother and father.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"An institution to be dismantled, not pursued."

Amidst the San Francisco Chronicle's fawning coverage of the destruction of marriage in the state of California, we find this

"Jewelle Gomez and her partner, Diane Sabin, were plaintiffs in the case that granted same-sex couples the right to marry and, along with other couples, cheered the California Supreme Court's decision on the steps of the courthouse last month.

But in the moments after the decision was announced, Gomez still wondered - did she really want to marry?

That is a question many people who have long been part of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement are asking after the court's ruling. For much of the movement's four-decade history, marriage was viewed by many activists as an institution to be dismantled, not pursued."

Unless California voters pass the Marriage Protection Act, the "gay activists" will have succeeded.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Bishops Speak...

... on Stem-Cell research. Our bishops are way ahead of certain scientists who are still pursuing morally unacceptable Embryonic Stem Cell research, which has yet to produce a single cure, while adult and cord-blood stem cells are curing people right and left.

The statement opens with :

"The Catholic Church "appreciates and encourages the progress of the biomedical sciences which open up unprecedented therapeutic prospects" (Pope Benedict XVI, Address of January 31, 2008). At the same time, it affirms that true service to humanity begins with respect for each and every human life.

Because life is our first and most basic gift from an infinitely loving God, it deserves our utmost respect and protection. Direct attacks on innocent human life are always gravely wrong. Yet some researchers, ethicists, and policy makers claim that we may directly kill innocent embryonic human beings as if they were mere objects of research—and even that we should make taxpayers complicit in such killing through use of public funds. Thus, while human life is threatened in many ways in our society, the destruction of human embryos for stem cell researchconfronts us with the issue of respect for life in a stark new way.

And it concludes:

"The issue of stem cell research does not force us to choose between science and ethics, much less between science and religion. It presents a choice as to how our society will pursue scientific and medical progress. Will we ignore ethical norms and use some of the most vulnerable human beings as objects, undermining the respect for human life that is at the foundation of the healing arts? Such a course, even if it led to rapid technical progress, would bea regress in our efforts to build a society that is fully human. Instead we must pursue progress in ethically responsible ways that respect the dignity of each human being. Only this will produce cures and treatments that everyone can live with."

It's an excellent statement, and can be found here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"How the Laity Can Save the Church"

And I always thought the Church was here to save us!

But that's part of the title of a talk being given as part of a Voice of the Faithful/USF Lane Center sponsored event this Sunday at USF's Xavier Hall. The full title is "Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity can Save the Church" by Paul Lakeland.

Speaking of Voice of the Faithful/USF, tonight the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco is hosting Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, depite the fact that Archbishop Niederauer has asked Bishop Robinson not to speak in his diocese. So much for the faithfulness of the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Most Holy Redeemer Update

It appears that our Archbishop, His Excellency George Niederauer, has asked MHR not to march in this year's "Gay Pride Parade." As far as we know, he is the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to have done this, and we wholeheartedly thank him.

From "Lifesite News:

"SAN FRANCISCO, June 11, 2008 ( - The San Francisco Catholic parish that gave the homosexual movement its rainbow flag will have a new surprise in store at the upcoming annual gay pride weekend in San Francisco: they are not coming.

The San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese has asked Most Holy Redeemer Parish in the Castro district not to participate this year and the parish has so far agreed.

LifeSiteNews contacted the archdiocese after it was reported Tuesday by the California Catholic Daily that Most Holy Redeemer parish would once again participate in San Francisco's Pride Weekend - an event featuring sundry displays of obscenity, replete with floats and marchers celebrating all sorts of alternative sexual lifestyles from same-sex "marriage" to bisexuality to polyamory."

Readers of "A Shepherd's Voice" know that we have objected over and over again to some of the activities at Most Holy Redeemer. To read our posts about MHR, please click on the "Homosexual Agenda" label at the bottom of this entry. For a fuller examination of some of the objectionable activities at MHR, go here.

We completely support our shepherd, Archbishop Niederauer in his action. We continue to pray for him, and for our brothers and sisters in Christ at MHR. May they also pray for us!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Jennifer Roback Morse on Same-sex "Marriage"

Excerpts from the article in the National Catholic Register:

"Advocates of same-sex “marriage” present the idea as a step forward for tolerance and respect. But recent developments place that interpretation very much in doubt.

Legalizing same-sex “marriage” is not a stand-alone policy, independent of all the other activities of the state. Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social changes . . .

Marriage between men and women is a pre-political, naturally emerging social institution. Men and women come together to create children, independently of any government. The duty of caring for those children exists even without a government or any political order.

Marriage protects children as well as the interests of each parent in their common project of raising those children.

Because marriage is an organic part of civil society, it is robust enough to sustain itself, with minimal assistance from the state.

By contrast, same-sex “marriage” is completely a creation of the state.

Same-sex couples cannot have children. Someone must give them a child or at least half the genetic material to create a child. The state must detach the parental rights of the opposite-sex parent and then attach those rights to the second parent of the same-sex couple.

The state must create parentage for the same-sex couple. For the opposite-sex couple, the state merely recognizes parentage.

In her essay in The Meaning of Marriage, Seana Sugrue argues that the state must coddle and protect same-sex “marriage” in ways that opposite-sex marriage does not require.

Precisely because same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex marriage, the state must intervene to make people believe (or at least make them act as if they believe) that the two types of unions are equivalent."

h/t Ignatius Insight

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rally for Life June 18!

Important Show of Support Needed at State Capitol Rally for Life

Catholics for the Common Good is joining a broad coalition of pro-life organizations calling for thousands of people to descend on Sacramento on Wednesday, June 18 to demand the state cut abortion funding in the midst of the budget crisis.

The largest abortion provider in California is Planned Parenthood. With the state looking for places to cut expenditures, Planned Parenthood is in an especially vulnerable position:

Planned Parenthood is doing exceptionally well and has no need of taxpayers' dollars. As the nation's largest abortion provider, they reported $1 billion in income on the 2006-07 annual financial disclosure, with $114.8 million in profit and $1.12 billion in total assets.

There has been a recent scandal with Planned Parenthood accepting racist donations, with specific requests for the extermination of African American babies.

Planned Parenthood affiliates in California have been accused of overcharging the state and federal governments for over $180 million- they got contraceptives at discount prices and billed the government several times more.

Rather than pay for the killing of innocent babies, taxpayers' dollars- which represent 33% of Planned Parenthood's income- could be better spent on education, public safety, healthcare and other urgent needs in California.

Please save the date and help spread the word about the rally.

For the common good,

Bill May
Catholics for the Common Good


The most ironic thing about the current situation is that pro-lifers have just been handed a weapon that has enormous power to win this battle. But that weapon will do no good unless we can get the word out about it. What is it? Knowledge.

Scientists have discovered a way of turning adult cells—specifically, adult skin cells—directly into stem cells, without creating an embryo. Robert Lanza, the chief science officer of the cloning company Advanced Cell Technologies, declared that “It’s a new era for stem cells.” He went on to state: “It’s the holy grail. It’s like turning lead into gold.” He’s referring to a new discovery made by research teams in Japan and Wisconsin.

According to Wired magazine: In an unprecedented feat of biological alchemy, researchers have turned human skin cells into stem cells that hold the same medical promise as controversial embryonic stem cells.Two teams of researchers—one led by Kyoto University’s Shinya Yamanaka, the other by the University of Wisconsin's Junying Yu—used a virus to add four new genes to skin cells. Thus transformed, the reprogrammed cells became capable of changing into nearly any cell type in the human body.

This discovery sent shock waves through the medical community. The new technique of deriving stem cells from adult skin cells was so revolutionary that even some of the biggest supporters of ESCR have changed their minds about it.

Remember Dolly? Dolly was the first cloned sheep. She was produced in 1997 by a team led by the English scientist Ian Wilmut. Professor Wilmut is a big supporter of stem cells and is perfectly willing to kill embryonic children to get them. He wanted his new cloning methods to be used to produce embryos so that their stem cells could be harvested. But in the wake of the new discovery, Professor Wilmut has abandoned cloning—not because he cares about killing embryos but because he recognizes how superior the new advance is. As he told the BBC:
The work which was described from Japan of using a technique to change cells from a patient directly into stem cells without making an embryo has got so much more potential.

But not everyone is willing to embrace the new technology. Some are still hell-bent on killing babies to get at their stem cells . . .

“The Game Isn’t Over” The Boston Globe notes that in spite of the new advance:
Harvard, with stem cell funding in excess of $60 million, intends to maintain full-throttle efforts to clone petri dish human embryos, from which to harvest stem cells. This work has so far not been successful, but Harvard scientists also will press ahead with creation of human stem cells from frozen embryos . . .The view that efforts to secure stem cells from human embryos should stay on course is one expressed well beyond Harvard.“It’s very early days, the game isn’t over,” said Christopher Scott, director of Stanford University’s Program on Stem Cells and Society. “It would be folly to shove other research in the drawer in favor of following this one new direction, however promising.”Said Ronald M. Green, professor of ethics at Dartmouth College: “Not to move forward with research” involving human embryos “would be grossly irresponsible.”

You and I both know that the forces of death will stop at nothing in their quest to destroy unborn life. Even when adult stem cells have proven their value over and over again, anti-life activists have insisted on killing embryos as part of their nightmare research program. Why? Because they don’t want to admit that the unborn are human beings worthy of respect and protection. If they admit that in the stem cell arena, they would have to admit it in others—especially abortion. That’s why they can’t let go of embryo research and why they will do anything it takes to get federal funding for it. And in the end they’ll win . . . unless people like us do something about it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Gay Pride" in Rome

Diogenes reports:

"Rome was the scene of another gay pride parade on Saturday. It was over-reported, as usual, the sympathies of journalists and editors having overmastered their professional objectivity. As usual, hatred and ridicule of the Church was a chief theme of the festivities, which the media treated with amused indulgence....

The upshot is that, while the image of Benedict as a reptilian horned Hitler may be dismaying to Catholics, it's an indication that the pope is doing his job and that the Church over which he presides is doing hers. It means the players are in position. Were it to happen that your local transgendered performance artist (and his spiritual director) ceased to hang the pope in effigy, then you'd have cause for concern."

Saturday, June 7, 2008

USF update: More on Bishop Robinson

Back on May 23, we blogged on Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's scheduled June 13 appearance at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. The appearance was part of the bishop's "Voice of the Faithful" tour, and was co-sponsored by the Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought at USF. Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles denied the bishop permission to speak in his Archdiocese, and now our own Archbishop George Niederauer has done the same.

From today's LA Times:

"Four of California's leading Roman Catholic bishops, including Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, have taken the extraordinary step of urging an Australian bishop to cancel a monthlong tour of the United States to promote his controversial new book about clergy sexual abuse . . .

Following direction from the Vatican, the California religious leaders and eight other prominent bishops around the country have asked former auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Sydney to steer clear of their dioceses because of his 'problematic positions' on priestly celibacy and other issues . . . In a joint letter last month, Mahony and nine other American bishops warned Robinson that his visit could be 'a source of disunity and cause of confusion among the faithful of the particular churches we serve.' . . .

They cited an investigation of his book by Australian bishops, who found "doctrinal difficulties" and pointed out that the head of the Vatican office in charge of all bishops had asked Robinson to cancel his trip."I hereby deny you permission to speak in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles," Mahony wrote to Robinson last month, citing a bishop's authority under canon law that was repeated in separate letters from Bishop Tod Brown in Orange County and Archbishop George H. Niederauer in San Francisco . . .

But Robinson, 70, said he has no intention of canceling any part of a trip that began May 16 in Philadelphia and brings him to California on Tuesday for appearances in La Jolla, Costa Mesa, Culver City and San Francisco."

God bless our shepherd Archbishop Niederauaer! We strongly support his defense of the teaching of the Church. We do wonder whether USF will now ask Bishop Robinson and "Voice of the Faithful" to find a different location.

H/T Threshing Grain

Posted by Gibbons

More on the "Marriage" Ruling

On June 5, 2008, "Tradition Family, and Property" took out a 2-page ad ("Battling for America's Soul") in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Times, exploring the implications of the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex "marriage." The ad, which is actually an article, examines what the ruling means within the context of Christianity and Western Civilization, and what it means for faithful Catholics. Excerpts:

"By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. It calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval . . .

In any situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on Divine law and the natural order . . .

Left unchecked, this anti-Christian trend will become an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment and our American way of life that we do not hesitate to call persecution. "

The argument is on a higher intellectual level than one usually encounters in a daily newspaper, and is worth reading in its entirety.

"Human Rights" in Canada

From Ezra Levant:

"A Christian pastor has been given a lifetime ban against uttering anything "disparaging" about gays. Not against anything "hateful", let alone something legally defined as "hate speech". Just anything negative.

So a pastor cannot give a sermon.

But he must give a false sermon; he is positively ordered to renounce his deeply held religious beliefs, and apologize to his tormentor for having those views.

And then that pastor is ordered to declare to his entire city that he has renounced his religious views, even though he has not.

That's Alberta's human rights commission."

Read the whole shocking thing.

Posted by Gibbons

Friday, June 6, 2008

Evening with Immaculee in San Francisco

On June 12, from 7:00 to 9:30 PM Imaculee Ilibagiza will speak at St. Paul's Church at 221 Valley Street in San Francisco.

For those who don't know Imaculee's story, she is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, which saw over 1,000,000 people slaughtered in 100 days. How could a person not only survive such an ordeal, but manage to forgive those who murdered her family? From her foundation website:

"Immaculée Ilibagiza is a living example of faith put into action. Immaculée's life was transformed dramatically during the 1994 Rwandan genocide where she and seven other women spent 91 days huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's house. Immaculée entered the bathroom a vibrant, 115-pound university student with a loving family - she emerged weighing just 65 pounds to find her entire family had been brutally murdered (with the exception of one brother who had been studying out of the country).

Immaculée credits her salvage mostly to prayer and to a set of rosary beads given to her by her devout Catholic father prior to going into hiding. Anger and resentment about her situation were literally eating her alive and destroying her faith, but rather than succumbing to the rage that she felt, Immaculée instead turned to prayer. She began to pray the rosary as a way of drowning out the negativity that was building up inside her. Immaculée found solace and peace in prayer and began to pray from the time she opened her eyes in the morning to the time she closed her eyes at night. Through prayer, she eventually found it possible, and in fact imperative, to forgive her tormentors and her family's murderers. "

Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available and can be be purchased in advance by sending a check made out to St. Paul's Church and mailed to: 221 Valley Street, SFCA 94131 - attn: Katy. For more info, please call 415-648-7538.

All proceeds from this event will go to the Speaker's (Immaculee) Foundation and will be used to provide for Rwandan orphans.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

So that's what they mean by "Compassion"

From Catholic News Agency:

"Oregon health plan covers assisted suicide, not drugs, for cancer patient"

"Eugene, Jun 6, 2008 / 01:09 am .- An Oregon woman suffering from lung cancer was notified by the state-run Oregon Health Plan that their policy would not cover her life-extending cancer drug, telling her the health plan would cover doctor-assisted suicide instead.
Barbara Wagener discovered her lung cancer had recurred last month, the Register-Guard said. Her oncologist prescribed a drug called Tarceva, which could slow the cancer growth and extend her life.

The Oregon Health Plan notified Wagner that it would not cover the drug, but it would cover palliative care, which it said included assisted suicide."

Thanks be to God, Ms. Wagner's doctor appealed to Genentech, the drug's US distributer, and they will cover the drug treatment for a year, after which she can re-apply for the drug.

This is the "compassion" we keep hearing about from the advocates of assisted suicide. Remember, in California AB 2747, which will attempt to establish "voluntary stopping of eating and drinking" as a medical option, has already passed the Assembly and is now before the California Senate.

To find out more about AB 2747, and how to oppose it, visit Catholics for the Common Good.

Humanae Vitae

“Wedding Guide” in the May 23 Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the San Francisco archdiocese had an important reminder for all committed Catholics of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae.

Deacon Paul Turrentine called it “the most devastating thing I had ever read.” As a 14-year old in 1967 he had been “in full sympathy with the hippie movement.” In 1968, when the encyclical reiterating the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception was issued, Turrentine said he and his friends were certain “that the Catholic Church was a dangerous anachronism which opposed progress to control people afraid to think for themselves.”

Yet nine years later, Turrentine became Catholic. During his preparation for baptism, however, and even in the marriage preparation he and his fiancée underwent later, the Church’s teachings against contraception were never mentioned. “We assumed this was an ancient, dreamy ideal but certainly not a practical requirement for modern Catholics.”

Two years later, after reading Humanae Vitae and other Church documents, Turrentine said he and his wife, “with trepidation and self-pity … agreed that, as faithful Catholics, we had to submit to these teachings…. This was the heaviest cross ever thrust upon us. Growing up in a time of general rebellion against societal norms, the virtue of chastity was foreign to me.” Since the method of Natural Family Planning they learned “depended upon a single sign of fertility … which works well for the vast majority of couples,” but did not for them, the Turrentines had a “surprise pregnancy.” (They later discovered the Sympto-Thermal method, taught by the Couple-to-Couple League, that includes multiple signs of fertility.)

Despite all this, the Turrentines never turned back to contraception. Having “dispensed with artificial methods, our relationship had improved profoundly … [t]he use of contraception had involved exploitation. We discovered … what Pope Paul VI had warned about: by disrupting the baby-making part of sex, we had also been damaging the love-deepening part of sex.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Killing unborn only sometimes a murder"

That's the title of Gordon Dillow's article in Sunday's Orange County Register. Mr. Dillow begins:

"When it comes to the killing of an unborn child, California law seems more than a little confused. Because under the law, sometimes it's murder, and sometimes it's not."

He then describes a case where a drunk driver, Danny Ruiz, crashed his car, killing his pregnant girlfriend, along with the unborn baby she was carrying. Mr. Dillow continues:

"Ruiz now faces 100 years to life on two counts of murder. That's right, two counts. According to the criminal complaint against him, Ruiz 'did unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill ANDREA NAOMI GERDON, a human being.' But the complaint also charges that Ruiz 'did unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill UNBORN FETUS, a human being.'"

"'Obviously we believe they (fetuses) fall under the innocent-victims rule,' says District Attorney spokeswoman Susan Schroeder. 'They are people whose rights need to be protected.'

But that raises the question: In a state in which early-term abortions are legal under any circumstances, and late-term abortions are legal under some circumstances, how is the killing of a fetus a murder?

The answer is in Section 187 of the California Penal Code, which states that 'Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.' Courts have ruled that in California criminal cases a fetus can be considered a murder victim at seven or eight weeks after conception.

But Section 187 specifically excludes from the murder category any legal abortions, or any killing of a fetus that was 'solicited, aided, abetted or consented to by the mother of the fetus.'

To put it another way, in California an expectant mother can legally kill her unborn baby, or have it killed. But without the mother's consent, anyone else who kills that unborn baby can be charged with murder.

Mr. Dillow closes by asking:

So how can a 5-month-old fetus be a 'human being' in a criminal courtroom, but not necessarily be considered a 'human being' while in a doctor's office or an abortion clinic? How can that unborn baby have a legal right to life in one place, but not in another? "

It's an enormously obvious question, and the answer is simple: One can't offer the pro-choice argument on abortion without abandoning reason.

The "pro-choice" argument is justified on the basis of individual freedom. But freedom of choice can only take place in the context of lived life. It is contingent on life. This means that arguments for "choice" can't include abortion, since the act of abortion terminates all possibilities of choice for another human being. Hence, to be "pro-choice" on abortion is irrational. But once you've taken one position that requires the abandonment of reality, you've got to keep it up--because reality is not going to go away. Hence, the bizarre legal situation that Mr. Dillow describes.

Legal abortion absolves murder. It undercuts the first of the inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, on which our country is based. It has corrupted feminism. It has corrupted our legal system. And it has corrupted human reason.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Catholic Charities and same-sex "marriage"

We've blogged over and over again about the scandalous behavior of Catholic Charities of San Francsico. See here, here, here, and here.

This Tuesday, June 3, 2008, Catholic Charities will host its annual Red House Fundraiser. Last year's "Red House" event was notable due to the fact that the featured entertainer was transvestite and same-sex "marriage" activist "Donna Sachet."

This year's event is especially interesting because of its proximity to the recent California Supreme Court's decision on same-sex "marriage." Honorary Committee Members for this year's event (and their reactions to the court's decision) include:

Mayor Gavin Newsom: "What a day in San Francisco! What a day for equality! Who among us was prepared for this extraordinary moment and extraordinary time," said Newsom, who cut short a trip to Washington, D.C. to return home Wednesday night to await the court's ruling. "I can't tell you how proud I am to be a San Franciscan....It's an affirmation of the gay and lesbian community and an extraordinary day for all of us as Americans," Newsom told the Bay Area Reporter in a Thursday phone call.-Bay Area Reporter; May 15, 2008

Supervisor Bevan Dufty: "I think it is a win for justice and a win for California and a win for the future." -Bay Area Reporter; May 15, 2008.

Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director, San Francisco LGBT Center: "This is the best day of my professional life." -San Francisco Bay Times; May 22, 2008.

Another Honorary Committee Member is, once again, transvestite entertainer "Donna Sachet," who is a Board Member of the Equality California Institute. "Equality California" was one of those represented in the case before the Supreme Court.

You can contrast the statements of the Honorary Committee members with the position of the Catholic Church, as enunciated by Archbishop George Niederauer (here), Bishop Allen Vigneron (here), and the Vatican (here).

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Fr. Neuhaus over at "First Things"

...weighs in on the California Supreme Court's "act of raw judicial power."

"In an act of raw judicial power, and by a one-vote margin, the California Supreme Court has declared that there is, in California law, a constitutional right for same-sex couples to enter into what the state will recognize as marriage. This despite a recent referendum in which Californians overwhelmingly rejected the idea."

He also endorses the statement of good Bishop Vigneron of Oakland, saying his excellency speaks as a "true bishop of the Church."