Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who's responsible for this Crisis?

On September 11, 2003 the New York Times ran the following story:

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry...

The story closed with:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Monday, September 29, 2008

First "Yes on 8!" ad hits the Airwaves

The "Yes on Proposition 8" Campaign has released it's first ad in defense of natural marriage:

Proposition 8: Fr. Itzaina Nails it!

Fr. John Itzaina, Fr. Malloy's successor as Pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco was interviewd last night on KCBS Radio. The subject was Proposition 8.

The segment is short and powerful. The audio is here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bishop is Catholic: Gay "Catholics" Appalled!

That'd be Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.

His Excellency was invited to keynote at the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries conference in Long Beach on Sept. 18. According to California Catholic Daily, two Catholics who decided to attend the conference were happy to hear the Bishop “'courageously but gently' gave a clear presentation of Church teaching on sexuality."

Included in His Excellency's fine speech was a discussion of Proposition 8:

"What is a particular concern and alarm for us in California as well as others across the country is the bold judicial challenge to the longstanding cultural and moral understanding of marriage as a sacred covenant between a woman and a man. Our own efforts to restore common sense through the ballot initiative, Proposition 8, are portrayed as bigoted and out-of-touch. The irony is that what we propose is most in touch with the nature of families and what is good for the welfare of all.

That we find ourselves at this time, reasserting the basic moral and reasonable understanding of marriage, means that much has changed in the popular perceptions of sexuality and common notions about marriage. While we work to pass Proposition 8 this coming November, it is important to remember why we do this. Like Jesus, in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew that I cited, we are saying a strong “no” to the California courts and to many who support the court’s wrong-headed decision. This “no” is not rooted in bigotry or bias. It is firmly rooted in a greater “yes” to a truer, more authentic appreciation of love’s calling and love’s design for the human heart. "

Others at the conference were not so happy, however: according to the article at least five people walked out during the Bishop's speech, and:

"While the audience members were responding to the bishop’s remarks, a board member of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries came up to one of the tables in the room and said, "On behalf of the board, I apologize. We had no idea Bishop Soto was going to say what he said."

I wonder what they thought he was going to say?

A full transcript of His Excellency's speech is here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Folsom Street Fair Honored by San Francisco Board of Supervisors

When election day rolls around, and it comes time to vote on Proposition 8, I hope California voters think about the kind of people who support it, and whether or not they have any interest in the common good.

This is from the minutes of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for September 23, 2008:


081244 [Folsom Street Fair Day in San Francisco]

Resolution declaring September 28, 2008 as Folsom Street Fair Day in San Francisco. Supervisors Dufty, Ammiano presented. ADOPTED."

Here is what goes on at the Folsom Street Fair. (Standard San Francisco obscenity disclaimer.)

The San Francisco Bay Times story of September 25 provides some context:

"Anna Damiani stood in for Assemblymember Mark Leno to praise FSE for raising over the years a total of $3.4 million and to announce an official resolution: 'Resolved that the Board of Supervisors hereby celebrates, commends, and congratulates Folsom Street Events on its 25th anniversary, and be it further resolved the Board declares September 28 as “Folsom Street Fair Day in San Francisco.”'"

“It’s wonderful to welcome this 25th year of Folsom Street Fair to what we call Our House here at City Hall,” said Supervisor Bevan Dufty. “It’s really important that we have this event because the leather community means so much – not just to the LGBT community, but to San Francisco, the history of our City, and to the traditions we hold proudly: individuality, freedom, sexual expression, and all the things that drew so many of us to this City.”

By the way, that's the same Bevan Dufty who was a welcomed speaker at Most Holy Redeemer and who was a "consultant" to Catholic Charities when the adoptions "compromise" with Family Builders by Adoption was crafted.

Righteous Anger!

Eduardo Verastegui, star of "Bella" lays it on the line about abortion. In Spanish with English subtitles:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Folsom Street Fair, Tolerance, and the Common Good

It’s September. In San Francisco, that means the Folsom Street Fair. It is probably difficult for those outside of the city to believe how far the corruption of San Francisco has spread. A big reason for that is that what goes on at the Fair is too obscene to be shown. But behavior at the Fair is only part of the problem. The real obscenity is that this event is welcomed by the public officals of our city. In this year's Folsom Street Fair program:

• For at least the second year in a row Mayor Gavin Newsom (of same-sex "marriage" fame), has taken out a full page ad in the program, officially welcoming the fair in the name of all San Franciscans:

“Dear friends,

On behalf of the City and County of San Francisco it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 25th Annual Folsom Street Fair on Sunday, September 28, 2008.”

• Assemblyman Mark Leno, a political office holder for the state of California, and the major legislative force behind same-sex “marriage,” also officially welcomes the fair, on California State Assembly letterhead:

“Dear friends,

As your California Assemblyman from San Francisco and a member of the state’s LGBT Legislative Caucus, I am very pleased to welcome you to the 2008 Folsom Street Fair!”

Assemblyman Leno really means it. He has unabashedly appeared in “leather” regalia at celebrations of sadomasochistic organizations. See here and here. (The owner of that website asks that you go to his homepage first. Incidentally, these photographs were taken in the parish hall of Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco, a “Catholic” church.)

• And this year according to the Fair's website:

"Leather pride flags will adorn Market Street for the first time ever."

So flags celebrating sado-masochistic sexuality will fly on the major thorougfare of an American city.

It should be pointed out that since 1980, 19,000 San Franciscans have died from AIDS. Of that number 90% are men who engage in sexual practices with other men. In the years 1999-2003 (latest statistics available) AIDS continued to be the single greatest cause of death for men in San Francisco ages 25-54. Given those numbers, and given the behavior that goes on at the fair, one asks: why is the Folsom Street Fair allowed?

The reason is that a majority of San Francisco citizens would rather allow 19,000 people to die than to be thought "intolerant" or "prudish."

We urge all San Franciscans concerned about the common good, including our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters, to express their outrage to Mayor Newsom for his continued irresponsible actions.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Catholic Charities Adoptions UPDATE

Readers of a"A Shepherd's Voice" know that we have followed the Catholic Charities/ Family Builders by Adoption debacle from the beginning.

In August, I had an article published in the California Catholic Daily proving that Catholic Charities, by supplying paid staff to Family Builders by Adoptions, was also commiting itself to Family Builders goal of "Increasing the number of children adopted by Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) adults." That goal is not optional; it is mandated by Family Builders contract with the City and County of San Francisco--a contract that was signed one day before Catholic Charities announced it was supplying staff to Family Builders. The article went on to show that Family Builders was also the website "adoptionSF." The AdoptionSF's website was much more forthright than Family Builders' site in it's specific targeting of LGBT adults. (Original document proving each of our claims can be found by going here).

We use the past tense because all that has changed. Family Builders has now updated it's own website, family builders.org, and it is now much more out-front in it's targeting of LBGT adults. The new page has a slideshow (similar to the one on it's "sister" organization, adoptionsf.org) featuring happy adoptive households. Five are shown: one natural family, two households of homosexual men, and two single persons of indeterminate gender.

What caused this change? We think it is because we publicized the fact that Family Builders and adoptionSF were one and the same organization. Of course that connection was there before, for anyone who knew where to look, but once we publicized it, Family Builders' attempt at a more "mainstream" approach no longer served any purpose.

This is an organization that is seeking, not by accident, but by design, to increase the number of children placed in households where they will never have a mother and a father.

This is an also an organization that is staffed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, to the tune of $250,000 per year by Catholic Charities.

As I said before: "Asking the parishioners to support CCCYO is to ask them to subsidize sin."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adult Stem-Cells Block Stroke Damage

From Scientific American:

"Injecting stem cells into the brains of mice that recently suffered a stroke can reduce nerve cell (neuron) damage by up to 60 percent, according to new research....

Study co-author Darwin Prockop, director of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine, says that previous studies have shown that mesenchymal stromal cells (bone marrow stem cells) can reverse neurodegeneration in the brain caused by disorders such as Parkinson's disease. But scientists were not quite sure how."This is the first time really that the mechanisms were laid out," Prockop says."

Hat tip to Mr. Don Margolis. Check his site for the lastest in adult (or, as Don refers to them, "repair") stem cells.

Bill May on EWTN!

There's lots of Catholic heroes in our Archdiocese this week!

Our good friend Bill May, Chairman of "Catholics for the Common Good" was on EWTN's "The Good Fight" on September 13. Bill discusses family, marriage, prayer, and how we as laity need to apply the teachings of the Church.

You can listen by going here, or download an audio file (13MB) by going here.

Bill comes on about 18 minutes into the show.

Respect Life Coordinator Gets It!

The fallout of the Pelosi/Biden statements on abortion, and the Bishop's response, continues.

On September 15, the San Francisco Chronicle printed a column by Mr. Jon O'Brien, of "Catholics for Choice" a dissident group that supported Nancy Pelosi against our Catholic Bishop's. Fr. Malloy responded with a letter (unprinted) below. Today Mrs. Vicki Evans, the Respect Life coordinator of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, took Mr. O'Brien to school. This column appeared in today's issue of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Catholic bishops have last say on abortion teachings
Vicki Evans

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- Thursday, September 18, 2008If you were a member of an environmental group and Big Oil tried to dictate to you what environmentalism really meant, what would your reaction be? Outrage at the audacity and arrogance of Big Oil? Disbelief that anyone would actually take seriously the apostasy presented?

This was the reaction of faithful Catholics who read Jon O'Brien's op-ed in The Chronicle ("Pelosi views on abortion in synch with most Catholics," Sept. 15).

Jon O'Brien is the president of Catholics for Choice, an organization that has been condemned by the Catholic Church for its heretical views on abortion. Its board of directors includes some of the most ardently pro-abortion individuals in the country, like Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL, and Frances Kissling, former president of the National Abortion Federation. Are these the people to whom we should listen for a clarification of Catholic teaching? Or are these the organizations that stand to profit from unlimited abortion on demand?

Would a high-profile Democratic leader who says they are Catholic, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, like to follow Catholic teaching? Sure, all things being equal. But all things are not equal. Abortion-rights activists are fundamental pillars of the Democratic Party, providing tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions and enormous grass-roots energy.

So instead of admitting they are simply in the pocket of the abortion lobby, Catholic politicians like Speaker Pelosi come up with self-serving arguments to support their pro-abortion positions to try to convince America that the Catholic Church is run by polls.

The reality is that those who support unlimited abortion, for any reason at any time, represent the fringe position. A June 2007 poll by the New York Times, CBS News and MTV found that 62 percent of young adults disagree with abortion on demand.

Last October, a CBS poll asked Americans about their "personal feeling" on abortion. Two out of three supported greater restrictions on abortion, with 34 percent saying it should be permitted only in cases such as rape, incest or to save the mother's life. A mere 26 percent said it "should be permitted in all cases."

And yet, Catholics for Choice has the audacity to challenge the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the church's teaching related to abortion. O'Brien's final line states that "the bishops would better serve American Catholics by acknowledging their true priorities."

It is the responsibility of Catholic bishops to teach clearly what Christ in his church teaches about faith and morals, and to oppose erroneous, misleading and confusing positions when they are advanced. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, willed either as an end or a means, is grossly contrary to the moral law."

In matters of faith and morals - proclaimed either "fallibly" or "infallibly" by the Catholic Church - the bishops have an authoritative role as teacher. The faithful have the responsibility of accepting the teaching and adhering to it with a religious assent. The reason for this is eternal salvation. The idea that politicians can usurp this teaching authority is ridiculous.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Catholic Vote

You need to watch this amazing video about the important issues at stake in this election on CatholicVote.com. Once on the site, you can also read up on the issues and the candidates, join other Catholics in prayer, and register to vote for the election!
Check it out at http://catholicvote.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Free

The San Francisco Chronicle had a forum article yesterday (Pelosi Views in Synch with Most Catholics). The author's claim was that most Catholics were against the official teaching of the Church as far as abortion, married priests, marrriage as between a man and a woman, etc.

The author, Jon OBrien, and his organization Catholics for Choice is as anti Catholic as the pro choice abortionists whom he supports. To state that the Catholic Bishops “are erroneous in not reflecting the fullness of Catholic teaching on abortion” shows an ignorance of Catholic teaching that is unconscionable. True, “Catholic theology tells the individual to follow their personal (informed) conscience in moral matters.” True, “Catholic teaching requires tolerance and respect for other people’s decisions.”

Not true is the claim that “bishops continue their attempt to make reproductive rights the single national issue that Catholics should vote on.” Catholic bishops are very much concerned about social justice, healthcare, education, immigration, etc. not just abortion.

Jon O’Brien, Speaker Pelosi, Joe Biden as well as many others, who call themselves Catholic, have strayed far from the faith. Personal conscience is their guide, they say.

Does personal conscience excuse one from following the Magisterium of the Church? No. It’s wrong to follow personal conscience when the conscience is uninformed.

A primary teaching of the Catholic faith is that the believer must follow the Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church. My personal conscience might be followed only when there is an invincible doubt about the truth of the doctrine. Catholics believe that the bishops in union with the Holy Father teach the truth. There is no ambiguity today about the sin of abortion. There is no ambiguity today about when life begins. To go back centuries as Nancy did in a recent interview and declare that early teachings did not declare when life begins (therefore abortion was not the killing of a human being) proves nothing. Such ignorance has now been dispelled by science—not religion—and to claim personal doubt as to life in the womb is insane.

You cannot believe in abortion and claim membership in the Catholic Church
It is not a matter of numbers or history.

The truth will set you free, and affirm the origin of life.

Professor Arkes on Abortion/Slavery...

It's getting to be (happy) habit for us to link to "The Catholic Thing."

This is from today's article "One Issue Among Many?" by Professor Hadley Arkes:

"In the season of politics upon us now, we are faced again with the question of explaining why “this issue” - slavery or abortion - is not just one among several, plausible issues, but the issue that must be more central than anything else...

In politics we are ever dealing with the righting of wrongs, the relief of injuries, the doing of justice - whether in health care, the laying of taxes, or hazarding young men in war. Every one of these issues hinges on the prior question of just what constitutes the “person” who is the bearer of these interests and rights - and the object of our concern. The question of slavery was central in the way that others were not because it touched the core of the question that affected the rights of everyone else on every other issue. And yet, 150 years later, a population showing far higher levels of formal education cannot quite grasp the same point when it comes to them as a matter of recognizing the human standing of our own offspring."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Professor McInerny on Pelosi

Over at The Catholic Thing:

"All too briefly we were permitted to savor the image of the Speaker of the House poring over the writings of St. Augustine in the watches of the night, looking for things of which the Bishop of Hippo had been unsure. Always mindful of the public, she did not keep her findings to herself. In an impromptu lecture to the press, she opined that she could tap into the putative Augustinian ignorance and go on killing babies and be as good a Catholic as he. Seemingly San Francisco had made her an honorary STD.

And then, mirabile dictu, the chiding voices of bishops were heard. Not one, not two, but half a dozen, perhaps more. Admonishing bishops have become almost as rare as theologians in Congress, but here we had corrective statements remarkable for their pith and point."

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Call to Action" front conference a bust

That would be the Northern California Lay Convcation, held at USF (where else?) on September 6. Why do we say it's a "Call to Action" front? Go here.

Anyway, we're glad to report the convocation was a bust. From this week's "Catholic San Francisco" (PDF 3.6MB):

"After a promising first year when more than 300 people gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, organizers for the second Northern California Lay Convocation were noticeably disappointed Sept. 6 when only around 100 people took part."

Posted by Gibbons

Friday, September 12, 2008

Religion 101 for Joe and Nancy

One of my interventions in the world of abortion politics, that literally circled the globe, was my letter to Nancy Pelosi in January 2007. Numerous respondents complained that the Bishops were not raising the same flag against abortion.

Bishops were willing to jump on the wagons of global warming, immigration, social justice and the like, but spoke very cautiously (or ignored it altogether) when it came to pro-life, single sex marriage, homosexuality, gay adoptions and the like.

But after Nancy’s anti-Catholic (and very ignorant) responses in her televised interview on Meet the Press; followed by our “Catholic” VP nominee Joe Biden’s display of ignorance re: Catholic morality on his Meet the Press interview, our Bishops rose, as they never had before, to speak out clearly and with a conviction –even though for the most part it went undeclared in the general media. Life begins at conception and the right to life starts then and may not be aborted.

I fail to understand how good Catholics, even priests who should know better, can support politicians who accept abortion with the excuse that they are otherwise good people supporting social just, etc.

What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? (see following post)

Nancy and Joe, you are both failures as Catholics and need to take Catholic Truth 101 again. At the same time learn what science has discovered: life is precious from conception.

For Whom Should I Vote?

I came across this quote from an article in today's California Catholic Daily News:

“Our Moral Responsibility as Catholic Citizens” Joint Pastoral Letter – September 8, 2008
Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy? Could a voter’s preference for the candidate’s positions on the pursuit of peace, economic policies benefiting the poor, support for universal health care, a more just immigration policy, etc. overcome a candidate’s support for legalized abortion? In such a case, the Catholic voter must ask and answer the question: What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years? Personally, we cannot conceive of such a proportionate reason.

The whole article can be found in the Sept. 12 issue of the California Catholic Daily News.

Bishop Malooly and Joe Biden

Yesterday's article, from the Catholic News Agency

Biden's remarks draw his local bishop into the fray

The Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Joseph Biden’s erroneous comments about Church teaching on abortion have prompted corrections from many U.S. bishops. Now Biden’s own bishop has responded by saying the sanctity of life is ‘crucial’ for a just society, with the Bishop of Fargo adding that “Our precious unborn children need us to speak for them.”

Biden, a Delaware U.S. Senator, had appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press last Sunday. There, he claimed that the point at which life begins is a matter of faith and stated that he cannot “impose” his beliefs about human life upon others.

W. Francis Malooly, the new Bishop of Wilmington, issued a statement on Wednesday duplicating the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement authored by Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William E. Lori.

The two bishops in a Tuesday statement emphasized that the duty to protect the unborn is not a “private” or “specifically religious” issue. They argued that embryology textbooks teach that life begins at conception and called the duty to protect the unborn a “demand of justice.”
Bishop Malooly, after reproducing the two bishops’ statement, said:

“It is my intention to build a supportive and trusting friendship with Senator Biden and as many public officials as I can. I will do my best, with your prayers, to assist him and all public officials as well as all citizens in our Diocese and beyond to understand how crucial the sanctity of human life is to a just society in the State of Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and our entire nation.”

Our prayers are with you, Excellency!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wow! I'm so proud of our Bishops...

Here is a statement from Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Oaklahoma

Excerpts below (but please do read the whole thing):

"A democracy, in order to flourish, must attend to the defense of the values that are essential to the human community. Ignoring this hard work and simply relegating abortion to the sphere of individual choice allows a cancer to eat at our very core, as we permit some human persons to sacrifice the lives of others for their own personal reasons. As Catholics, we cannot accept the premise that in the name of “privacy” all choices are equally right...

Once an evil is truly seen for what it is, neither can an emphasis on “privacy” excuse one’s moral responsibility to act to stop it, nor can defining murder as a “right to choose” change what it is that is actually chosen."

H/t to Fr. Z, who also reports that the Diocese of Tulsa has purchased a half page in the major Tulsa newspaper this Sunday--presumably to run this very statement. God Bless Bishop Slattery!

Father Thomas Williams over at National Review:

"The Gospel According to Joe Biden
Pro-choice Catholics just don’t get it"

The whole article is good. Sample:

"The more serious problem for Joe Biden at this point is not the loss of his credibility as a Catholic, but as a person of conscience. When you say on national television that you agree with your Church that abortion is murder, but that you intend to support legislation that keeps abortion fully available, you leave voters wondering why you would support a right to what you consider to be murder."


is online now.

They've also got a very nice video by our old friends from GrassrootsFilms:

h/t American Papist

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Biden: The USCCB Responds

Great statement from our US Catholic Bishops, Via American Papist:

BISHOPS RESPOND TO SENATOR BIDEN’S STATEMENTS REGARDING CHURCH TEACHING ON ABORTIONWASHINGTON - Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman, U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine, issued the following statement:

Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Meet the Press” (see:
here). On September 7, again on “Meet the Press,” Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response.

Senator Biden did not claim that Catholic teaching allows or has ever allowed abortion. He said rightly that human life begins “at the moment of conception,” and that Catholics and others who recognize this should not be required by others to pay for abortions with their taxes.

However, the Senator’s claim that the beginning of human life is a “personal and private” matter of religious faith, one which cannot be “imposed” on others, does not reflect Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that the obligation to protect unborn human life rests on the answer to two questions, neither of which is private or specifically religious.

The first is a biological question: When does a new human life begin? When is there a new living organism of the human species, distinct from mother and father and ready to develop and mature if given a nurturing environment? While ancient thinkers had little verifiable knowledge to help them answer this question, today embryology textbooks confirm that a new human life begins at conception (see
www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/fact298.shtml). The Catholic Church does not teach this as a matter of faith; it acknowledges it as a matter of objective fact.

The second is a moral question, with legal and political consequences: Which living members of the human species should be seen as having fundamental human rights, such as a right not to be killed? The Catholic Church’s answer is: Everybody. No human being should be treated as lacking human rights, and we have no business dividing humanity into those who are valuable enough to warrant protection and those who are not. Even this is not solely a Catholic teaching, but a principle of natural law accessible to all people of good will. The framers of the Declaration of Independence pointed to the same basic truth by speaking of inalienable rights, bestowed on all members of the human race not by any human power, but by their Creator. Those who hold a narrower and more exclusionary view have the burden of explaining why we should divide humanity into the moral “haves” and “have-nots,” and why their particular choice of where to draw that line can be sustained in a pluralistic society. Such views pose a serious threat to the dignity and rights of other poor and vulnerable members of the human family who need and deserve our respect and protection.

While in past centuries biological knowledge was often inaccurate, modern science leaves no excuse for anyone to deny the humanity of the unborn child. Protection of innocent human life is not an imposition of personal religious conviction but a demand of justice.

Biden a no-show

American Papist reports that Joe Biden had to cancel his planned attendance at the installation of new Wilmington, Delaware Bishop Fran Malooly. Excerpts below:

Update: Biden skips Mass where new Bishop speak out against him

"And it's a good thing, too. I wouldn't have wanted to present myself for communion after this homily by Bishop Malooly:

'... Mary’s mother, St. Anne, carried a very special life in her womb which serves as a vivid reminder that every life is special. We will continue to stress the constant teaching of the Church that each person must respect every life from conception to natural death. And we will continue to seek the intercession of Saint Thomas More for Statesmen, Politicians, Supreme Court Justices, Judges and Lawyers—that they may be courageous and effective in defending and promoting the sanctity of human life, the foundation of every human right, the foundation of our love for the poor.'

While Bishop Fran Malooly does not name Joe Biden (or Nancy Pelosi) by name, anyone who has been keeping up on this story knows what's being said quite plainly."

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Biden: Arcbishop Chaput (who else?) Teaches!

God Bless him! The full statement is here. Emphasis added.

"When Catholics serve on the national stage, their actions and words impact the faith of Catholics around the country. As a result, they open themselves to legitimate scrutiny by local Catholics and local bishops on matters of Catholic belief. In 2008, although NBC probably didn't intend it, Meet the Press has become a national window on the flawed moral reasoning of some Catholic public servants..."

"In his Meet the Press interview, Sen. Biden used a morally exhausted argument that American Catholics have been hearing for 40 years: i.e., that Catholics can't "impose" their religiously based views on the rest of the country. But resistance to abortion is a matter of human rights, not religious opinion. And the senator knows very well as a lawmaker that all law involves the imposition of some people's convictions on everyone else. That is the nature of the law. American Catholics have allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting the destruction of more than a million developing unborn children a year. Other people have imposed their "pro-choice" beliefs on American society without any remorse for decades."

Via American Papist

More Biden: Phil Lawler Weighs In...

Over at Catholic World News

Biden joins Pelosi in challenge to Church teaching on abortion

Sep. 8, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Taking his cue from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joseph Biden has told a nationwide television audience that although he believes human life begins at conception, he will not impose that "personal and private" belief on others by voting to protect unborn children....

"If he truly believes that an unborn child is a human person-- whether he reaches that conclusion foolishly, believing it to be an article of faith, or logically, realizing that it is an established biological reality-- Senator Biden has a moral obligation to protect that young life. This obligation is not a matter of confessional loyalty, but a duty under the natural law. Until late in the 20th century, the vast majority of American lawmakers recognized that duty, and laws against abortion were passed in all 50 states, invariably by legislatures in which Catholics were a minority.

Senator Biden says that the unborn child is a human life, and yet he refuses to protect that life, because some Americans do not recognize the humanity of the unborn. The senator's logic suggests that laws can be based upon entirely subjective criteria, so that human life can be protected only if everyone agrees that it is human life-- regardless of demonstrable facts. The same sort of subjective approach prompted Chief Justice Roger Taney (a practicing Catholic) to observe that since some Americans regarded their African slaves as less than human, those slaves had "no rights which white men are bound to accept."

Mr. Lawler also notes that Senator Biden is scheduled to attend the installation of Bishop Francis Malooly today:

"Senator Biden's inaccurate rendition of Church teaching on abortion could be challenged today in a very public setting. On Monday, September 8, Bishop W. Francis Malooly will be installed as the new head of the Wilmington, Delaware diocese in which the Democratic lawmaker lives. Biden is expected to attended the installation Mass this afternoon. Thus the new bishop may be challenged immediately to decide whether a Catholic politician who flagrantly violates Church teaching on the sanctity of life will be allowed to receive Communion....

At his installation Mass today, Bishop Malooly will face a challenge. If Senator Biden attends the ceremony-- and especially if he receives Holy Communion-- his presence will be taken by millions of Americans as evidence that his public stand is within the boundaries of acceptable behavior for Catholic politicians. In his very first hours on the job, the new bishop must decide whether he can allow that impression to stand."

All eyes will be on Wilmington.

More Biden: Two Secular Commentators

From Hot Air: "A Bit Monstrous"

"Joe Biden told Meet the Press yesterday that he was “prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at conception,” a strange statement with a number of implications — most of them ugly and a few monstrous."

And from Michelle Malkin: "Slick Joe Biden Admits-Yes, I'm a Cold Blooded Murderer"

"Joe Biden gave us another notable moment this weekend on Meet The Press when he came the closest a high-ranking Democrat has come to admitting his advocacy of cold-blooded murder."

And Why We Love Uncle Di...

How'd I miss this ?!

"While Nancy Pelosi is waiting to dialogue with Archbishop Niederauer about whether or not he can still call himself a Catholic..."

Posted by Gibbons

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More on Biden: Bishop Morlino

From Bishop Robert C. Morlino, of Madison Wisconsin today (h/t Curt Jester):

"Biology not faith, not philosophy, not any kind of theology; Biology tells us science that at the moment of conception their exists a unique individual of the human species. It's not a matter of what I might believe. What my faith might teach me. What other people might ... Science the best science says at the moment of conception there is a unique individual of the human species."

It's the same obvious point we made the day Speaker Pelosi made her appearence on "Meet the Press," two weeks ago today:

"To answer the simple question "When does life begin?" Nancy Pelosi chooses to cite the authority of a bishop who lived 1500 years ago. Madame Speaker, we don't ask the Doctors of the Church to "make that definition." One does not read St. Augustine to find out when life begins. One reads modern textbooks on biology and embryology. And when one does that, one finds out that we do know when life begins."

The Bishop continues:

"Senator Biden has an obligation to know that and he doesn't know it. Again I believe that after the Council some theologians, probably some priests, and some bishops allowed him to be confused about this matter."

Respectfully, we can't agree with His Excellency here. We say of Senator Biden the same thing we said of Speaker Pelosi in the post we mentioned above:

"The fact is that Nancy Pelosi deliberately chooses not to consult the experts as to when a human life begins. She must make this choice because she knows she can only maintain her support for legalized abortion by a deliberately cultivated ignorance."

Biden and Pelosi aren't confused, they're liars. They are engaging in what George Orwell called the "escape into stupidity." They must do that in order to maintain their support for abortion "rights." It is naive to think that if they are just shown the truth of the matter they will change their position. For them, this is not about truth, and they are not acting in good faith. They are politicians catering to an interest group. It's about power.

It's time for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to assert a little power of their own.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Now Biden's a Theologian, Part II

It's amazing. "Now Biden's a Thelogian" was the title of an entry we posted back on August 27. The subject was Biden following Nancy Pelosi off the cliff. This morning on "Meet the Press" he's gone even further.

Tom Peters over at "American Papist" owns this (and the Pelosi) story. Go there for good analysis.

I actually think this is all to the good. For years it has been obvious that many "Catholic" members of the Democratic party disregard Church teaching on non-negotiable issues when it conflicts with their real religion. This is an undodgeable challenge to every bishop in the United States. My thoughts on the matter were summed up pretty well by Fr. De Celles (emphasis in original):

"On Sunday, before the whole nation, she (Speaker Nancy Pelosi) claimed to be an “ardent, practicing Catholic.” Imagine if someone came in here and said “I’m a mafia hit man and I’m proud of it.” Or “I deal drugs to little children.” Or “I think black people are animals and it’s okay to make them slaves, or at least keep them out of my children’s school.”

Are these “ardent practicing Catholics”?

No, they are not.

And neither is a person who ardently supports and votes to fund killing 1 to 1.5 million unborn babies every single year. Especially if that person is in a position of great power trying to get others to follow her. Someone, for example, like a Catholic Speaker of the House, or a Catholic candidate for Vice President of the United States, or a Catholic senior Senator who is stands as the leading icon his political party. Like the proud and unrepentant murderer or drug dealer, they are not ardent Catholics. They are, in very plain terms, very bad Catholics."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Why we love the Jester

That's Curt Jester:

"Whatever they put in the water at the last bishop's meeting I hope they keep using it. Spinal-fluoride to prevent truth decay."

And from Fr. Z's blog, a list of the Bishops who have commented on Nancy Pelosi, Theologian:

1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was the first American bishop to respond
2. Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary, joined him
3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC responded twice, first in a press release and second in a statement to The Hill. He has also appeared on Fox News, I am told.
4. Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued this statement through the USCCB website…
5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, joined him 6. Cardinal Edward Egan of New York publised a strongly worded statement of his own
7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo issued a letter correcting Pelosi’s claims
8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs have chimed-in
10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, CNA reports has added his voice …
11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, his auxiliary bishop, has joined him
12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville has published an extensive letter
13. Bishop Edward Slatter of Tulsa adds himself to the list
14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas has joined the USCCB’s efforts
15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin is on-board
16. Bishop James Slattery of Tulsa has a detailed response
17. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston mentions the USCCB on his blog
18. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando has written at length
19. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis challenges Pelosi’s statement
20. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the US Bishops, has weighed-in
21. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, OR publishes in the Catholic Sentinel
22. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse, WI responds in a word document
23. Bishop Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N C responds to the misrepresentation
24. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, OH will comment in his September 5th column (PDF)
25. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City, IA has one of the very best responses I’ve read
26. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has invited Pelosi to a "conversation"

And here, again, is Fr. Malloy's letter to Nancy Pelosi from way back on January 14, 2007.

Posted by Gibbons

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rabbi Schonfeld & Bishop Murphy Defend Marriage!

"We now confront a demand that same sex unions be classified as marriage. Advocates of this position argue that to do otherwise is to engage in a form of discrimination against homosexuals. We recognize that all persons share equally in the dignity of human nature and are entitled to have that human dignity protected, but this does not justify the creation of a new definition for a term whose traditional meaning is of critical importance to the furtherance of a fundamental societal interest.

God’s design for the continuance of human life, as seen in the natural order, as well as in the Bible (Gen. 1-3), clearly revolves around the union of male and female, first as husband and wife, and then as parents. A unique goal of marriage, which is reproduction and the raising of families, exists apart from that of same sex unions, which cannot equally participate in this essential function. While others may claim the right to establish private relationships between persons of the same gender that simulate marriage, the legal classification of such relationships as marriage dilutes the special standing of marriage between a man and a woman. Since the future of every society depends upon its ability to reproduce itself according to this natural order and to have its young people reared in a stable environment, it is the duty of the state to protect the traditional place of marriage and the family for the good of society."

Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld, Rabbi of Young Israel Synagogue, Kew Gardens Hills, New York.

Bishop William Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Centre

and members of the Consultation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America

The full statement is here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pelosi, the Archbishop, and Murder...

Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has addressed the storm created by Nancy Pelosi 11 days ago on "Meet the Press."

In his concluding paragraph, His Excellency says:

"Speaker Pelosi has often said how highly she values her Catholic faith, and how much it is a source of joy for her. Accordingly, as her pastor, I am writing to invite her into a conversation with me about these matters. It is my obligation to teach forthrightly and to shepherd caringly, and that is my intent. Let us pray together that the Holy Spirit will guide us all toward a more profound understanding and appreciation for human life, and toward a resolution of these differences in truth and charity and peace."

Indeed, let us pray. Let us also pray that during their meeting, if it happens, His Excellency summons more outrage than appears in this statement.

Let us also pray that during the "conversation about these matters" it is not forgotten that "these matters" are the murder of over 1 million defenseless human beings every year.

The full statement is here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Pelosi (and more): Cardinal George Weighs In

Jack Smith, over at "The Catholic Key" reports on Cardinal George's statement correcting the inaccuracies in Nancy Pelosi's "Meet the Press" interview.

From the Cardinal's statement (h/t/ Ignatius Insight):

September 2, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the midst of a lengthy political campaign, matters of public policy that are also moral issues sometimes are misrepresented or are presented in a partial or manipulative fashion. While everyone could be expected to know the Church’s position on the immorality of abortion and the role of law in protecting unborn children, it seems some profess not to know it and others, even in the Church, dispute it. Since this teaching has recently been falsely presented, the following clarification may be helpful...

This teaching has consequences for those charged with caring for the common good, those who hold public office. The unborn child, who is alive and is a member of the human family, cannot defend himself or herself. Good law defends the defenseless. Our present laws permit unborn children to be privately killed. Laws that place unborn children outside the protection of law destroy both the children killed and the common good, which is the controlling principle of Catholic social teaching. One cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good.

In his column Mr. Smith analyzes the Cardinal's remarks and points out their pertinence to a new pro-abortion rights "Catholic" group "Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good" (not to be confused with our friends over at "Catholics for the Common Good," who actually are for the Ccommon good):

Cardinal George Slams 'Common Good' Fraud

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is an organization whose purpose is convincing Catholics to vote for pro-choice Democrats. The sleight of hand they employ in this task is to claim that such candidates align so well across the board with Catholic teaching on the common good, that their support for legalized abortion can be fairly overlooked. In fact, the group does not even call for the repeal of the Roe regime and is constantly critical of those who do, preferring to praise those pro-choice politicians who claim to reduce abortions by adjustments in social policy.

Cardinal George attacks that notion today in a letter posted to the Archdiocese of Chicago website (excerpt):"The unborn child, who is alive and is a member of the human family, cannot defend himself or herself. Good law defends the defenseless. Our present laws permit unborn children to be privately killed. Laws that place unborn children outside the protection of law destroy both the children killed and the common good, which is the controlling principle of Catholic social teaching. One cannot favor the legal status quo on abortion and also be working for the common good."

Cardinal George does not call out Catholics in Alliance by name, but he has previously banned their deceptive material from parishes in his diocese.The tactics employed by Catholics in Alliance are not surprising given their birth from within the Democratic Party and strong ties to pro-choice Catholic politicians.

Read the full column, including Mr. Smith's response to a person who questions his veracity in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Pelosi: The US Bishops Issue Fact Sheet

Here's the Press Release from the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, via Yahoo News:

Tue Sep 2, 5:45 PM ET

Contact: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, O: +1-202-541-3200, H: +1-301-587-4762

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help end confusion caused by recent misrepresentations of Catholic Church teaching on abortion, the U.S. bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a two-page fact sheet called Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Churchs Constant Teaching.

Public debate on the topic was prompted by misleading remarks by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, August 24 in an interview on Meet the Press. On August 26, Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori, chairman of their Committee on Doctrine, issued a statement to correct her remarks. Other Catholic bishops released similar statements.

This well documented fact sheet will help Catholics and others form their consciences in accordance with the Churchs unchanging teaching in defense of unborn human life, said Deirdre McQuade, Assistant Director for Policy and Communications at the USCCBs Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Among other points, the fact sheet states that modern science has not changed the Churchs constant teaching against abortion, but has underscored how important and reasonable it is, by confirming that the life of each individual of the human species begins with the earliest embryo.

The full text of Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Churchs Constant Teaching is available here.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

American Papist has analysis.

Monday, September 1, 2008

More Pelosi: Fr. De Celles Preaches!

Today, National Review Online reprinted the homily of Fr. John De Celles, STL, associate pastor at Old St. Mary’s Church in Alexandria, Va for August 31, 2008 (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time). Excerpts below (emphases in original).

"On Sunday, before the whole nation, she (Speaker Nancy Pelosi) claimed to be an “ardent, practicing Catholic.” Imagine if someone came in here and said “I’m a mafia hit man and I’m proud of it.” Or “I deal drugs to little children.” Or “I think black people are animals and it’s okay to make them slaves, or at least keep them out of my children’s school.”

Are these “ardent practicing Catholics”?

No, they are not.

And neither is a person who ardently supports and votes to fund killing 1 to 1.5 million unborn babies every single year. Especially if that person is in a position of great power trying to get others to follow her. Someone, for example, like a Catholic Speaker of the House, or a Catholic candidate for Vice President of the United States, or a Catholic senior Senator who is stands as the leading icon his political party. Like the proud and unrepentant murderer or drug dealer, they are not ardent Catholics. They are, in very plain terms, very bad Catholics.

But the reason I say all this is not because I want to embarrass them or even correct them — they’re not even here. It’s because of you. Because back in the 1850’s when Catholic bishops, priests, and politicians were either silent or on the wrong side of the slavery debate, they risked not only their souls, but the souls of every other Catholic they influenced. I cannot do that, and I won’t do that."

"Catholic" Professor Endorses....

a man who voted to permit infanticide.

From Catholic News Agency:

"Doug Kmiec explains Obama endorsement at DNC forum."

For a thorough examination of Senator Obama's position on the "Born Alive Infant's Protection Act," go here:

"Senator Barack Obama and his campaign staff have made many conflicting claims in an attempt to "explain" his opposition in 2001, 2002, and 2003, while an Illinois state senator, to the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, legislation to provide legal protection for babies who are born alive during abortions."

For those unaware of this issue, Senator Obama voted to kill the Illinois "Born Alive Infant's Protection Act." In 2002, an identical bill passed the US Senate unanimously. That means no Senator, not Barbara Boxer, not Ted Kennedy, not John Kerry voted against it. Not even NARAL opposed it. From the National Right to Life website:

"The law guarantees that every infant born alive enjoys full legal rights under federal law, regardless of his or her stage of development or whether the live birth occurred during an abortion."

And Professor Kmiec endorses a man who opposed this!

California Girls, Listen Up!

Our battle to prevent the state from redefining marriage in California is not the only impotant issue on the ballot the November. Another critical issue is Proposition 4, "Sarah's Law" the adult family member abortion notification initiative.

Our wonderful young people are hard at work:

Go here to learn more about Sarah's Law.