Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can a Whitewash be Transparent?

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have responded to LifeSiteNews's series documenting the funding of groups that support abortion and contraception by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (more commonly known as "Development and Peace" or "D & P"). D & P is the Canadian version of Catholic Relief Services.

LSN has produced evidence showing that D & P's funding for organizations supporting abortion and contraception extends to at least 17 organizations in 10 countries: Benin, Brazil, East Timor, Guinea, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, and Togo.

The Canadian Bishops' replied yesterday with a two and one-half page report. That is not a serious reponse to a situation that has caused some Canadian Bishops to withhold funding from D & P, and for the Bishops of Peru to write:

"It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada."

Further, the COCB report only examined the instances where D & P had funded organizations that support abortion and contraception in Mexico. It ignored the other 9 countries involved. The report takes the strange tack of "beginning by concluding"

1) In conclusion of our inquiry regarding the Mexican Episcopal Conference and the five non-governmental organizations in question, we believe the allegations by Lifesite News – that financial assistance by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) aided projects related to the promotion of abortion – are not founded on the facts....
We questioned their leadership for considerable time, and confronted them with the allegations and accusations we had heard, but did not find any evidence that they have been implicated in promoting abortion.

Well, what LSN reported were neither "allegations" or "accusations" but simple facts. One example of many: The Mexican group "Comaletzin" received $32,000 from D & P in the 2007-2008 year. On April 22, 2009 LSN reported:

"Comaletzin's General Coordinator, Ofelia Pastrana Moreno, told LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview yesterday that the organization promotes the use of artificial birth control and 'sexual and reproductive health' services. If contraceptives fail, said Pastrana, Comaletzin seeks to make abortion available to women who don't want what she called the 'product' of conception, meaning the unborn child."

And the report's final point:

6. We make an urgent appeal to the leadership of Lifesite News that it establish an open and fruitful dialogue with Canadian Catholic groups. We are convinced that when a group makes allegations, accusations and denunciations against another, this can bring nothing positive to our Church and is a counter-witness to that Gospel spirit.

That's identical to the rhetoric coming out of America magazine or Notre Dame or Catholic Charities when they are called on their defiance of church teaching.

Published by Gibbons J. Cooney

President Obama, Please read...

Jun 26, 2009 (CNA) -- The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a Richmond, Va. 6-5 decision on Wednesday, June 24, upheld Virginia’s partial-birth abortion ban.

Judge Paul V. Niemeyer authored the majority opinion in Wednesday’s decision, which won the concurrence of Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III. "A partially born child is among the weakest, most helpless beings in our midst and on that account exerts a special claim on our protection," Judge Wilkinson wrote. “The fact is that we -- civilized people -- are retreating to the haven of our Constitution to justify dismembering a partly born child and crushing its skull,” his opinion continued. “Surely centuries hence, people will look back on this gruesome practice done in the name of fundamental law by a society of high achievement. And they will shudder.”
(California Catholic Daily)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thought for the Day

"There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all."
-- Ogden Nash

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Speaking of MHR: Talk About Chutzpah!

Earlier this week, we received this email claiming to be from Mr. Joe Cooper, webmaster for Most Holy Redeemer parish, and a member of the MHR Pastoral Council:

Dear Mr. Cooney,

Please remove any and all photos used from the Most Holy Redeemer website from the following web page: http://johnmalloysdb.blogspot.com/ There was no permission asked or consent given to use these photos.

In the future, please refrain from the use of any verbiage or photos from the website for any of the websites administered by yourself or Fr. John Malloy, including but not limited to:


I would appreciate your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at this address.

Thank you.

Joe Cooper
Most Holy Redeemer Web Administrator

Here's comes the chutzpah: the email was cc’d to His Excellency Archbishop George Niederauer; as well as to Most Holy Redeemer pastor Fr. Steve Meriwether; Mr. Maurice Healy, Executive Editor of Catholic San Francisco; and Fr. John Itzaina, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church.

We find it delicious that in the very week His Excellency Archbishop Niederauer was awarded a “Pink Brick” at the instigation of Most Holy Redeemer Pastoral Council member Matt Dorsey (see “Niederuaer Deserves Pink Brick” in the Bay Area Reporter) for his "remorseless" support of natural marriage, another member of the MHR Pastoral Council, Joe Cooper, chose to copy the Archbishop on this email.

We hope His Excellency, and Mr. Healy, and Fr. Itzaina had an opportunity to view the photos in question. (Since MHR is Fr. Meriwether’s parish, he probably doesn’t need photos.) They are instructive: one shows two openly same-sex "married" persons, plus a very open and active member of the "leather community" serving at Mass, one shows a "transgender" MHR Eucharistic Minister presenting the MHR Young Adults Group as "debutantes "at the 2007 "SF Transgender Cotillion", and one shows Fr. Donal Godfrey, Executive Director of Campus Ministry at USF with his arm around another guy at the 2003 Gay Pride parade. We don't blame Most Holy Redeemer for being touchy--as we have pointed out before, they are the only parish in the history of the Roman Catholic Church to have photos of parish events posted on a website that requires an obscenity disclaimer.

We respect Mr. Cooper's request, but we think the creation of a counter-church in the Castro is a very important event, and one that deserves full coverage. And it's our opinion that material which is posted on a non-commercial website which is then posted (with proper credit) on another non-commercial website for purpose of criticism, comment, and education, constitutes fair use.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

"Public Ridicule and Defiance"

The blatant defiance of Church teaching over at Most Holy Redeemer is being noticed far and wide. The latest is yesterday's column by Deacon Keith Fournier, over at Catholic Online:


"Expose and Engage the ‘Fifth Column’ in the Catholic Church"

"On Wednesday, I wrote a story for Catholic Online entitled 'Archbishop Niederauer to be Mocked by Homosexuals for His Support of Marriage'. Itconcerned the plan to publicly ridicule the Archbishop for his clear and courageous defense of marriage. This will be done within the context of the 39th San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade on June 27 and June 28th. Homosexual activists will give him the so called 'Pink Brick award' and publicly
mock him.

To regular readers of Catholic Online, the extreme antics of some within the homosexual community in San Francisco should come as no surprise. However it is evident from some of our recent letters with our rapidly growing readership that some of our newer readers were shocked by one dimension of this story. That was the participation of some Catholics from the Most Holy Redeemer Parish of San Francisco in this act of public ridicule and defiance.

Here is an excerpt from just one letter we received: 'Dear Catholic Online Editor, Do I understand correctly that there is a Catholic Church (Most Holy Redeemer) in San Francisco that supports the LGBT lifestyle? … Is the whole parish approving of the LGBT? Has the Archbishop denounced the Parish, if this is the case? I don’t understand. Am I the only Catholic left in a total quandary by your posted articles on the activities at Most Holy Redeemer Church and the Archbishop of San Francisco?'

Deacon Fournier responded to the questioner:

'First, I do not know whether it can be said that the Parish 'supports' the lifestyle. However, a trip to the website is quite informative (http://www.mhr.org/). Even a cursory review of its history and public posture seems to point in that direction. However, I do know that a member of their Parish Council, Matt Dorsey, in a May 28, 2009 opinion piece he wrote for the 'Bay Area Reporter', proposed the awarding of this Pink Brick to his own Archbishop."

We are a little less unsure than Deacon Fournier. For all intents and purposes, the proper answer to the question is "yes." We refer readers of our post of January 4, 2009

"Most Holy Redeemer Pastor Sympathizes with Prop. 8 Vandals--Just Sorry They Picked His Church."

The post included this all-too-believable quote given by Pastor Steve Meriwether to KCBS radio:

"Pastor Steve Meriweather told KCBS his parishioners actually share the vandals' sentiment against Prop 8. 'I think it's unfortunate that they selected ourcommunity to attack,' said Meriweather, 'because it's the wrong one.'

We continued:

"So one can understand Fr. Meriwether's surprise and chagrin at "his" church being attacked. He's got seven (at least) lectors, acolytes, and/or Eucharistic Ministers on staff who have "married" persons of the same-sex and at least five current and former Pastoral Council members who donated to the 'No on Proposition 8 Campaign.'

I mean, what more does he need to do to prove his credibility to the gay community?"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Saturday, June 27, 2009

They're Losing it Over at "America"

Over the past few weeks we've been blogging about the increasingly odd writing coming out of America magazine, and the responses it has engendered.

We've been following Fr. Z's responses (see here and here) to America's editorials. And last Thursday, we covered Jack Smith's very hard-hitting post, "America Mag's Calumny in Sevice of a Human Master."

Today Carl Olsen, over at Ignatius Press weighs in, with "What Planet is America Magazine Living On?" One of the items Mr. Olsen responds to is the column "Obama Going to the Vatican" by Michael Sean Winters. Mr. Winters' column ran to 631 words, but I can give you the sense here:

1) "Conservative" Catholics objected to Notre Dame honoring Barack Obama.
2) But the Holy Father will meet with Barack Obama.
3) Therefore, the objectors were wrong, and it was OK for Notre Dame to honor Barack Obama.

I'm serious--that's his argument. The refutations are so immediate and obvious that I won't bother. Anyway, Mr. Olsen knocks Mr. Winters and America out of the park. The comments are interesting, too.

Throwing oil on the blaze of teenage sex

Carolyn Moynihan 24 Jun 2009
From the country that brought you the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe -- television ads for condoms and abortion. Will the British government never get it? The more “harm reduction” they go in for, the worse the problem gets.

Friday last saw the end of a three-month consultation by the government’s broadcasting standards watchdog, the BCAP, on a proposal to allow abortion clinics to advertise on TV before 9pm. Condom ads, currently confined to one channel, would also be shown in the earlier time slot. Pro-life pregnancy counselling services could also advertise -- if they could afford it -- but would have to make it clear that they do not refer for abortion, “so that delays do not result in medical complications,” as one news report puts it. It would be too bad, wouldn't it, if women had time to think about what they were doing.

Already the morning after pill is advertised after 9pm on three channels. If the proposed broadcasting regime goes ahead it would be one of the most liberal in the world. The BCAP says it is responding to government calls for action to combat rising teenage pregnancy. Some doctors, at least, are against the move. The Mail on Sunday reports:
Dr Mark Pickering, a GP in York, said: ‘We know that TV is a powerful medium which gives young people messages that sex is fine, sex is great and they are not getting enough of it. It is full of beautiful young people jumping in and out of bed with each other. Allowing abortion services to advertise on TV would then be saying, “Here is a quick medical fix for the consequences of having sex.” That is giving all the wrong messages and is very disturbing.’
Dr Pickering said doctors at a meeting of the British Medical Association next Sunday would vote against it.

In a submission prepared by the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales pointed out that abortion is still illegal in the UK unless it meets certain criteria and that advertising it like a consumer product would send a profoundly misleading message. It would further normalise an action that is the deliberate taking of an innocent human life, and would increase the number of abortions and sexual infections -- which the country is supposed to be trying to reduce.

“What is needed is the development and financing of a comprehensive programme aimed at reducing the abortion rate and promoting positive values of human life and relationships.”
Advertising condoms to those under 16 would contribute to the sexualization of children, raising legal as well as moral issues since the age of consent is still 16, the statement said. No evidence had been given for the claim that that it will combat teenage pregnancy and STI rates;in fact, the opposite may happen, as even those who support condom use admit to frustration when it comes to reducing STIs in practice.

“The analogy between condom promotion campaigns and promotion of “reduced risk” cigarettes may be instructive. Whereas young people are standardly advised to reduce risks of sex by using condoms, rather than abstain, health campaigns have tended to urge smokers to ‘quit’, rather than promoting ‘reduced risk’ cigarettes. One study found that “the unregulated promotion of “reduced risk” products threatens to undermine smoking cessation (which is proven to save lives), cause former smokers to resume their addiction, and even attract young people to tobacco products.”

The bishops’ statement concludes:
Our society is already failing young people by presenting an impoverished view of sex, too often entirely separated from any context of committed love and readiness for parenthood. It is very important that this process is not encouraged by a willingness to advertise services which have already done enormous damage to perceptions of sex in our society. In the many cases where respect for life, as well as sex and marriage, is at issue, the situation is still more serious, since not only the rights of young people are at stake, but those of any child they conceive. Respect for life, sex and parenthood are central to a healthy society, and advertising standards should reflect this.”

Let’s hope common sense if not moral sense prevails in the government. But with lords and baronesses pushing sexual pragmatism, the odds are stacked against it, one fears.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Good News from Boston! Cardinal O'Malley Teaches!

From Boston.com h/t Curt Jester:

Caritas Ends Venture Over Abortion Issue

"Caritas Christi Health Care, the financially challenged Catholic hospital system founded by the Archdiocese of Boston, is abruptly ending its joint venture with a Missouri-based health insurer at the insistence of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who has decided that the relationship represented too much of an entanglement between Catholic hospitals and abortion providers."

"The dramatic development, just days before the joint venture was scheduled to start providing care to low-income residents as part of the state's efforts to establish near universal health coverage here, is a vindication of sorts for a variety of very conservative Catholic critics of the cardinal, who have been arguing angrily and loudly that it would be "evil" for Caritas to partner with a health provider that covers abortion services."

(Yeah. It's "very conservative Catholics" who think abortion is "evil.") More, from the joint statement of the Archdiocese of Boston and Caritas:

"Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley said, 'I am pleased that Caritas Christi was able to achieve this outcome. Throughout this process, our singular goal has been to provide for the needs of the poor and underserved in a manner that is fully and completely in accord with Catholic moral teaching. By withdrawing from the joint venture and serving the poor as a provider in the Connector, upholding Catholic moral teaching at all times, they are able to carry forward the critical mission of Catholic health care."


"Expansion of Caritas' care for the poor and the uninsured was the original motivating force in entering the agreement with Celtic Group, Inc. (a subsidiary of Centene Corporation). Catholic health care in the United States has two principal goals: providing health care for all, a basic requirement of social justice; and protecting the sacredness of human life from conception until natural death. The protection of human life and dignity demands that Catholic institutions never contribute to procedures which are inconsistent with Catholic moral teaching, such as abortion and sterilization. These procedures and others are prohibited by the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops."

"Having withdrawn from the original joint venture, the provider agreement will allow Caritas Christi to fulfill its mission of serving the poor without participation or cooperation in procedures forbidden by the moral teaching of the Catholic Church"

God bless his Eminence!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"That is not the way a Christian works for the Risen Lord. But their master is not Risen. He resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Jack Smith has a very hard-hitting post today over at "The Catholic Key" exposing the duplicitous methods the editors of America magazine are using to smear Kansas City Bishop Joseph Finn. The editors of America were attempting to tie His Excellency to the killing of Dr. George Tiller. These are the same guys who are always making phony pleas for "civility" and "courtesy."

Mr. Smith shreds their "arguments," and concludes:

"So why would the editors at America, NCR, and Commonweal, who all got on this anti-bishop bandwagon, attempt to associate Bishop Finn and by extension other outspoken bishops and the pro-life movement as a whole with murder and truly incendiary speech and threats? Why would they seek to make those who have consistently at personal cost defended human life, the enemies of life?

Is it because the ultimate strategy for them to “Sing a New Church Into Being,” is to alienate the Faithful from their Shepherds? Is it because the defenders of life have criticized their master? They will muster any excuse for him, praise him immodestly for actions he has not taken, and destroy the reputations of any who dissent from him.

That is not the way a Christian works for the Risen Lord. But their master is not Risen. He resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And serving a man this way is idolatry."

Readers will remember America's May 25 article by Fr. John O'Malley: "Barack Obama and Vatican II," which opened with the statement "We have a Vatican II President." If that's so, the true colors of these "supporters" of Vatican II are being unveiled at last. They now realize that their agenda is not something that will ever be supported by the Catholic Church. If a faithful Catholic realized that, he would abandon his agenda. But the editors of America have decided to keep the agenda and abandon the Church. As Mr. Smith said, they have hitched their wagon to a politician.

Fr. Z has also been exposing America magazine. Some recent examples are here, and here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Disgraced ex-President was Pro-Choice

Another real winner in the pro-choice camp. From LifeSiteNews:

"WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Although US President Richard Nixon remained silent on the landmark 1973 Supreme Court rulings that legalized abortion on demand, newly released tapes show the disgraced President actually believed legal abortion was “necessary” in certain cases, such as when the baby was of mixed-race or conceived through rape."

‘If fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?’

Simple, short video from the Family Research Council. H/t American Papist.

"A new advertisement from the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm, FRC Action, cites Sen. Barack Obama’s endorsement of fathers who “recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception” to press the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to defend his stand on abortion."--Catholic News Agency

Tom Peters comments:

"And smart not because it scores 'political points,' but because it challenges Obama and the pro-abortion movement to face the contradictory nature of the two things they are trying to say. The only conclusion that they can arrive at - but they avoid it at all costs - is that they honestly believe you can end human life when it is inconvenient. That's an inhuman solution."

Support for Same-Sex "Marriage" Dips

When it's an issue the mainsteam media supports, they describe a 9% drop as a "dip" and a "slight decline." In an election, 9% is a landslide. Still, it is good news. The public is thinking about what marriage really is.

Poll: Support For Gay Marriage Dips

(CBS) Support for same-sex marriage has declined slightly from two months ago, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds.

Most Americans support some legal recognition of a same-sex couple’s relationship. The poll found 33 percent favor marriage for same-sex couples, down somewhat from a
high of 42 percent in April, and another 30 percent support civil unions. A third of Americans think there should be no legal recognition of a same-sex couple’s relationship. Views in this poll are similar to those found back in March of this year....

This poll was conducted among a random sample of 895 adults nationwide,
interviewed by telephone June 12-16, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from
RDD samples of both standard land-lines and cell phones. The error due to
sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three
percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release
conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Poll.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Candian Catholic Relief Service and Abortion: "Secular Messianism"

There's a battle going on in Canada over the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP or D&P). Development and Peace is the Canadian counterpart to the Unites States' Catholic Relief Services. Development and Peace has a long history of anti-Catholic activities.

Throughout 2009, LifeSiteNews has documented "that over 20 of Development & Peace’s partners around the world are involved in abortion and/or contraception advocacy." On April 17, 2009 LifeSiteNews published a list of some of the organizations that are funded by, or partners with, Development and Peace, along with their objectionable activities. The list can be found

On May 28, 2009, the Peruvian bishops sent a
letter to the Canadian Bishops, objecting to Development and Peace's funding of pro-abortion groups in Peru, and they asked that such funding be stopped. From the letter:

"It is very disturbing to have groups which work against the Bishops of Peru by attempting to undermine legal protection for the right to life of unborn children, be funded by our brother bishops in Canada."
Yesterday, the Vatican News Service radio reported the story, under the headline “Aid for Food and Medicines, Not for Birth Control, Needed in Latin America.” The broadcast can be heard by following the link..

The response of the Candian bishops has been decidely mixed. From yesterday's LifeSiteNews article:

"Archbishop James Weisgerber, the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has claimed that there is “no evidence” of abortion involvement on the part of groups funded by the bishops’ official development arm, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P). The remarks were made in response to questions about the results of a recent investigation into five of D&P’s Mexican partners, which LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) had reported in early March were involved in abortion advocacy." ...

"The archbishop made his statements in support of D&P despite a recent letter from the family commission of the Peruvian Bishops Conference, in which the Peruvian bishops formally requested the Canadian Bishops to stop funding three pro-abortion groups in their country. LSN has also documented evidence – including interviews and photographs - that over 20 of D&P’s partners around the world are involved in abortion and/or contraception advocacy (read all the evidence here)."...

Despite Archbishop Weisgerber’s assertions, the bishops of Canada do not appear to all be on the same page when it comes to the question of D&P. Insiders have
informed LSN that most of the bishops of Quebec are onside with the organization, with a few notable exceptions. However, most Ontario bishops have taken the allegations seriously enough to withhold funding until the results of the investigation have been considered."....
His Excellency then made this strange argument:

“It seems that there is a tendency on the part of some people to trust allegations on websites more than they trust the bishops,” he said. “That’s the role of the bishops in the Church and when the bishops investigate something, when the bishops look at things and when the bishops teach, according to our theology, we should have confidence in that.”
But that "argument" is not in any way responsive to the evidence presented by LifeSiteNews (and others) at all.

In the article cited in our first paragraph Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight magazine, explored the roots of the scandal:

"In September 1968, the majority of the bishops had deleted Pope Paul's encyclical Humanae Vitae as unsuited for Canadians. That ended all teaching and all preaching against contraceptives; indeed, it ended the bishops' interest in family morality. They closed the conference's Bureau of Family Life in 1973 . . .

"The Church, as many thought, having emancipated itself from narrow-mindedness in family morality, presently offered a secular messianism through economic and political activism."

Separation of Church and State

'Liberty and Tyranny' by Mark Levin Reviewed

"I learned from this book the bigoted reason that the constitutional misconception of separation of church and state became the law of the land through the Supreme Court's 1947 Everson v. Board of Education decision."I knew anti-Catholicism had supplied a unifying principle for a majority Protestant culture threatened by fragmentation and decline in the first half of the 20th century. And because Catholicism seemed to represent unification of church and state, many Protestants came to use the Jeffersonian language of "separation of church and state" in generally opposing Catholic participation in politics and education.

"What I learned in Mark's book (pages 30-31) is that former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black -- who wrote the fateful, culturally damaging, precedent-breaking 5-4 decision -- was described by his own son as an avid reader of the vilest anti-Catholic hate literature. This fact contradicts the usual excuses for Black's former membership in the Ku Klux Klan (youthful indiscretions, socially required, etc.). So this American Civil Liberties Union-cherished provision was not the product of 18th-century enlightenment, but 20th-century rural anti-Catholic Protestant bigotry. Fascinating and useful. "

by Tony Blankley, [excerpt by Thomas Brown III)

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Totally Unnacceptable"

Good news on the Feastday of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher! Archbishop Nichols of Westminster steps up.

From the Daily Mail UK:

Gay rights law halts Catholic adoptions

The adoption agency headed by Britain's most senior Roman Catholic churchman declared yesterday that gay rights laws have forced it to stop trying to find potential homes for children.

The Catholic Children's Society, whose president is Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, announced that it will no longer assess individuals or couples as prospective adoptive or foster parents.

The charity has pulled out of its principal role because it cannot reconcile Church teaching on marriage and the family with the demands of the Sexual Orientation Regulations, Labour's gay rights laws that compel adoption agencies to assess same-sex couples as prospective parents as well as heterosexuals. 'We do this with deep regret but have been forced into this position,' said a spokesman.

The agency was founded in 1859 and the move brings to an end a service offered by one of the oldest adoption agencies in the country.

'The trustees are convinced that what is best for children is that they be brought up by married couples. This is shown by research but it is also consonant with the teaching of the Church.

'It would be totally unacceptable for our Catholic agency to act in a way that is at odds with the teaching of the Church.'

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

"Dialogue? No, thank you!"

So much for "dialogue"--and no wonder. A serious Council on Bioethics would be a standing rebuke to Obama's entire career. From the New York Times:

Obama Plans to Replace Bush’s Bioethics Panel

Members of the President’s Council on Bioethics were told by the White House last week that their services were no longer needed and were asked to cancel a planned meeting, a council staff member said Wednesday.

The council was disbanded because it was designed by the Bush administration to be “a philosophically leaning advisory group” that favored discussion over developing a shared consensus, said Reid Cherlin, a White House press officer.

President Obama will appoint a new bioethics commission, one with a new mandate and that “offers practical policy options,” Mr. Cherlin said.
Obama likes dialogue--on his opponent's territory. Less so on his own.

h/t American Papist

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Come for Pride, Stay for Dignity"

The June 21 Most Holy Redeemer parish bulletin published an announcement promoting DignityUSA’s 2009 National Convention. The convention will be held in San Francisco from July 2 through July 5. Because one of their stated aims is to “reform (the Catholic Church’s) teachings and practices regarding human sexuality”, Dignity is not allowed to meet in any Catholic Church or Catholic church property within the Archdiocese of San Francisco. But, no surprise, Most Holy Redeemer and the University of San Francisco will be represented at the convention. We ask: why would a Catholic Church promote such an event? Let’s look at the convention’s webpage:

One of the two Keynote speakers will be radio and television commentator Richard Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez is a parishioner of Most Holy Redeemer. Immediately, on the convention’s “Keynote” webpage, Mr. Rodriguez attempts to confuse issues:
“The institutional Roman Catholic Church promulgates its teaching and guidelines for pastoral ministry to homosexual persons admonishing Thou Shalt Not Love Same Gender Persons.”
That’s a gross misstatement of Catholic doctrine, and Mr. Rodriguez knows it. I can’t count the number of same gender persons that I love. Or hug, for that matter,-- a “physical expression” of love.

But back to our question: why would a Catholic Church promote such an event?

On November 25, 2008 Salon online magazine interviewed Mr. Rodriguez on the subject "Why Churches Fear Gay Marriage.” In the interview Mr. Rodriguez described his church:

"I belong to a Catholic parish in San Francisco (Most Holy Redeemer), where my partner and I are acknowledged by the other people in the parish as a couple. We take communion together, the priests know who we are, they're supportive of who we are, and what we are, and they see us in various roles -- giving eulogies to dead friends but also helping to baptize little babies. We're very much a part of that community. That's why I'm not prepared to lose it because some archbishop in Colorado or cardinal in Los Angeles is behind Proposition 8. It is not my church that they're talking about, it's not even my experience of love."
In a July 21, 2006 interview with PBS host Bill Moyers, Mr. Rodriguez was equally clear:

“Well, the question is is my Catholic Church closer to Protestant Christianity, and I think it is.”

Why would a Catholic Church promote such an event? Convention “workshop” presenters include:

Rosemary Ananis: An “ordained bishop” of the American Catholic Church of New England. Lives with her partner of more than 20 years.

Bob Butts and Dick Young : Life partners since 1987. Young is a former National Board member of DignityUSA. Some years ago, Butts worked with DignityUSA’s then national president, Mark Matson, to establish the Ohio chapter of the “Defenders.” The “Defenders” are a group that "takes a stand for the sacredness of our leather sexuality and explores practical ways of integrating sexuality and spirituality." The Defenders have been frequent guests at MHR's parish hall.

Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ, the executive director of Campus Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. ‘Nuff said.

Sr. Jeannine Gramick: Co-founded New Ways of Ministry, and a number of Dignity USA chapters. Two of her books were the subject of a Vatican investigation and were judged to be dangerous and erroneous. In a 1999 decree signed by Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prohibited her from pastoral work with lesbian and gay persons.

John McNeill: Jesuit priest expelled from the order in 1987 by the Vatican for publicly challenging the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of homosexuality. Co-founder of the New York City chapter of Dignity.

Victoria Rue: A “Roman Catholic ‘woman priest‘” who was ordained in July 2005 by three women “bishops." Lives with her partner of twenty years.

Nicole Sotelo: Former member Dignity San Francisco Board of Directiors. Coordinator at Call to Action/USA. Ms. Sotelo made news earlier this month with a column “Don’t Tell the Pope” in the National Catholic Reporter, in which she basically denied the existence of the priesthood.


We asked: why would a Catholic Church promote such an event?

We answer: a Catholic Church wouldn’t. We answer: Most Holy Redeemer is no longer a Catholic Church. Back on August 28, 2007 we reviewed Fr. Donal Godfrey’s book “Gay and Grays: the Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish.” At that time we wrote:
“…the authentic community-forming experience at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco is not Catholicism, but homosexuality. Existentially, Most Holy Redeemer is not a Catholic parish. It is not a Christian parish. It is a gay parish.”
This can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. All one need do is to look at any occasion in which the teaching of the Catholic Church comes into conflict with the celebration of homosexuality. Having openly homosexual “married” persons serving on the altar as lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, or Acolytes at the Mass, is not seen as blasphemous, or even objectionable at MHR.

No, what is seen as blasphemous at MHR is anything that challenges the celebration of homosexuality. Our review of Fr. Godfrey’s book has some examples, which could be multiplied just about endlessly.

Or just look at the recent column by MHR Pastoral Council member Matt Dorsey attacking Archbishop Niederauer for his support of natural marriage and the family. Three times in that column, Mr Dorsey used the phrase “our community,” e.g. “We owe it to our community to Pink Brick Archbishop George Niederauer.” Not once does the phrase “our community” refer to the Catholic Church--he is always refering to same-sex attracted persons.

Why does our Archdiocese ignore this issue? I hope it is because they want to encourage same-sex attracted people to come into the Church, and they fear that asserting Church teaching on homosexuality would discourage them. But if that is indeed the approach, it must be termed a failure. After 25+ years we don’t have same-sex attracted persons coming into the Church, but rather an entire parish church that has come out as gay. But much worse than that, the victims are those scandalized same-sex attracted persons struggling to live a chaste life. A commentator to “A Shepherd’s Voice” has written:

"I was active in the gay community including co-habitating with "boyfriends" for almost a decade... The fatigue of watching friends die and one night stands, alcohol and recreational drugs... all the stereotypes - I did them.

One day I could not take it anymore and after hearing an MP3 of a sermon given by a pretty traditional priest, I found myself making a good confession for the first time in 8 or 9 years.

What frustrates me to no end is that in catering and cajoling these folks this opportunity this call to conversion may never come. It is also rather a slap in the face to those of us who seek to grow in chastity and holiness and have turned from this."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"An Abortion Absolutist"

The famous columnist Mark Steyn has a column today about President Obama's "even-handed" approach to both "sides" involved in the unrest in Iran--that is the side of the people, who are asserting their right to self-government, and the side of the government, which is asserting it's "right" to break peoples heads if they assert their right to self-government.

Mr. Steyn's says this is characteristic of Obama, and he applies this rather crisp takedown:

"...the president's preferred rhetorical tic is to stake out the two sides and present himself as a dispassionate, disinterested soul of moderation: 'There are those who would argue…' on the one hand, whereas 'there are those who insist…' on the other, whereas he is beyond such petty dogmatic positions. That was pretty much his shtick on abortion at Notre Dame. Of course, such studied moderation is usually a crock: Obama is an abortion absolutist, supporting partial-birth infanticide, and even laws that prevent any baby so inconsiderate as to survive the abortion from receiving medical treatment."

Emphasis added.

Mr. Steyn gets it. Father Z gets it. The editors of "America" get it, too--they just use "dialogue" as a cover.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fr. Z eviscerates "America" Magazine

Go here to read good Father Z's shredding of a disingenuous and hypocritical editorial in the Jesuit America magazine.

He makes the quite correct comparison between today's liberal Catholic clergy who are "tolerant" on abortion and the Catholic Clergy of the 1950s and early 60s who were "tolerant" on segregation. That's a comparison our good friend Pastor Walter Hoye has made many a time.

Fr. Z closes with:

"Dear Editors of America,

For the umpteenth time, numbers too large to measure of American Catholics were disgusted by Notre Shame’s decision to award President Obama an honorary doctorate in law, ... in law ...because, as an Illinois law maker, he twice voted against a bill that would have criminalized the abandonment-to-death of babies who were born alive in spite of medical teams’ attempts to kill them.

That is, infanticide."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

San Francisco Versus the Church (Update)

The June 18 San Francisco Bay Guardian's "Politics Blog" has an article on the June 16 hearing over the city of San Francisco's attempt to impose new taxes on the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We've covered this story here and here. The hearing adjourned with no decision, and according to the Bay Guardian, it will be continued next month.

We've argued that this is payback from the City of San Francisco for the Church's support of Proposition 8, and questioned whether the Archdiocese can get a fair shake.

We've pointed out that the City Assessor, Phil Ting, who brought the case, is a supporter of same-sex "marriage" and has has himself performed same-sex "weddings."

We've also pointed out that of the three members of the review board hearing the case, one, city treasurer Jose Cisneros, sits on the board of Equality California, and another, Amy L. Brown, head of the city's real estate division, coached other city employees on how to perform same-sex "marriages" and was herself a contributor to the "No on 8" campaign.

We've also pointed out that of the three counties served by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, only one, San Francisco county, (the one controlled by homosexual activists) has seen fit to attempt this maneuver.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our friend Diane over at the "Te Deum Laudamus" blog.

Her mother Rose has gone home to the Lord. As readers of Diane's blog know, her mother had been in critical condition for a number of days.

"At 6:20 pm this evening, my mother peacefully went to the Lord with her family surrounding her. It was nice for her to have a few hours of peace without all of the tubes and machines which were removed just after 2:00pm. She was kept comfortable and quickly fell into a deep sleep."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Most Holy Redeemer Pastoral Council Member Gets "Pink Brick" for Archbishop Niederauer

Well, we told you so. It seems like just yesterday (actually it was Monday) that we wrote:

"...the activists--in conjunction with likeminded persons both inside and outside the Church--will try to intimidate the Church from without and undermine it from within."

Today's Bay Area Reporter has an article about this year's "Pink Brick" awards. For those of you living in more sane places, the "Pink Brick" is an "award" bestowed annually by San Francisco's LGBT Pride Celebration Committee--they are the folks who put on the disgraceful Gay Pride parade. They give it to people they don't like. I'd say receiving one is something to be proud of.

This year the committee decided to award the thing to Carrie Prejean, whose conviction that marriage is between one man and one woman they found objectionable. But they also decided to give another one, to our Archbishop George Niederauer, for his defense of natural marriage and the family. From the article:

"The membership and board of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee voted at their June meeting to award a second Pink Brick, this time to Catholic San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer.

The so-called runner-up Pink Brick was apparently decided on following the committee's first selection last month of now-dethroned Miss California USA Carrie Prejean.

Pride board President Mikayla Connell said that the committee received 'thoughtful feedback' from community members following the decision that pointed to Niederauer's actions in support of Proposition 8 last year...."

It's no surprise that His Excellency's work in defense of natural marriage and the family would earn the wrath of the homosexual activists. It's more newsworthy that the homosexual activist leading the charge should be a member of a Catholic church's pastoral council. More from the article:

"In a May 28 Guest Opinion column for the Bay Area Reporter, Matt Dorsey, a gay man who's on the parish council of San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, argued that the Pink Brick should have gone to Niederauer, rather than Prejean.

In his column, Dorsey wrote that the San Francisco Archdiocese had produced and distributed campaign fliers to local parishes and schools, acknowledged as having been "Paid for by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco," misleading people that supporting Prop 8 would secure parental rights to teach children about marriage.

Dorsey also noted that Niederauer had voiced opposition to same-sex marriage in a video that appeared on the Web site http://www.marriagematterstokids.org/. Dorsey told the B.A.R. this week that he was grateful for the decision to award the Pink Brick to Niederauer 'and for being open to community feedback.'"

Mr. Dorsey is an employee of the City of San Francisco--the communications director for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. His bio on the Most Holy Redeemer Pastoral Council page can be found here. His May 28 guest column in the Bay Area Reporter can be found here.

Here we have a member of the Most Holy Redeemer Pastoral Council publicly attacking the Archbishop for his adherence to Church teaching and the natural law. Is Mr. Dorsey's action unusual for the MHR Pastoral Council? Not at all. He is representative of the council. Five current and past members of MHR's Pastoral Council donated to the "No on Proposition 8" campaign--at the exact time when all the Catholic Bishops in California asked Catholics to vote for, volunteer for, and contribute financially to its passing.

But that pales in comparison to the infiltration of the Liturgical Ministries at Most Holy Redeemer. By our count there are at least seven persons serving in liturgical functions (lectors, acolytes, eucharistic ministers) at MHR who have "married" persons of the same sex. These are the people serving at Mass. Documentation can be found here, here, here, and here.

As we wrote on December 29, 2008:

"How (and why) can our Archdiocese continue to remain passive with MHR? This is no longer about gay people who are sinners like the rest of us. As I've argued before, this is about the establishment of a new religion, a religion using the
trappings of Catholicism but that is actually something else."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Reminder

Our President is a powerful speaker and has most of the country in the palm of his hand. But words and change should not be lightly accepted without some basic premises to keep in mind.

Let me remind you once again of the "five non-negotiables." As you know, the majority of American Catholics have traditionally voted for political candidates who take the WRONG positions on the key moral issues of our day:1. Abortion2. Euthanasia3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research4. Human Cloning

5. Homosexual "Marriage" Why?Why do Catholics vote for the very things they're bound in conscience to oppose?The answer is simple . . . They aren't really aware of what they're doing!And the #1 reason for that is the bias, misinformation, and lack of information that comes from the mainstream news media.

Think about it . . .* When was the last time the news media showed the truth about abortion? They never show the American people what abortion does to babies. They'll show graphic pictures of all kinds of other violence, but they never show the truth about abortion.* When Terri Schiavo was being put to death by starvation and dehydration, the news media went out of their way to convince the American people that she "deserved" to die because she was a "vegetable." The majority of American people were thus in favor of Terri suffering a horrible death-even while her family wanted to take care of her.

* When stem cell research comes up, the news media never tell people about adult stem cells-and the tremendous progress being made with them. The media want the American people to think that we have to kill innocent human life in order to reap the benefits of science.

* When the topic turns to human cloning, the same thing is true. The news media never address the issue of the morality involved in creating cloned human life-and where our society will end up if we try to play God.

* And woe to you if you say one word against homosexuals wanting to get "married." The news media immediately brand you as a "homophobe" and "extremist"-but they never explain the arguments against homosexual "marriage." They act as if it's a foregone conclusion that men should be allowed to marry men, and women should be allowed to marry women, and transgender people should be allowed to marry . . . who knows what.

Well, the five non-negotiables (as it turns out) are among the key moral issues in our day. True to form, the mainstream news media did their best to obscure these issues in the minds of the American people.What's more, the media aren't telling us exactly where our political leaders stand on the five non-negotiables.As a result, many Catholics are still confused, bewildered, and befuddled when these issues are proposed as laws.History shows us that most of the bad candidates who have been elected never would have gotten into office were it not for the Catholic vote. Besides abortion, there undoubtedly will be other key moral issues that will come up for review by the Supreme Court in the coming years: euthanasia, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and homosexual "marriage." . As you know, many candidates outspokenly support abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning, and homosexual "marriage."Sadly, this is true even for many of the Catholic politicians, including Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, Christopher Dodd, Rudy Giuliani, Dennis Kucinich, and Bill Richardson, Nancy Pelosi…..Keep an eye on legislation regarding these basic life issues and don’t be fooled by words which obscure the truth.

Nigeria, East Timor Stand Against Culture of Death

From Catholic World News:

Nigerians reject abortion bill pushed by American group

Imo, Nigeria, Jun 15, 2009 / 06:08 pm (CNA).- By a vote of 13-1, the legislature in the small state of Imo, Nigeria rejected the Reproductive Rights Bill last week, marking a pro-life victory in a state whose rich heritage, culture and religious traditions welcome life and respect the lives of unborn children.

It was a decision that the national Nigerian newspaper This Day described as a “victory of the superior Imo cultural values over the new global Western Cultural
Revolution” and “yet another triumph of reason… a triumph of democracy and the popular will.”

and from LifeSiteNews:

Feisty Timor Leste Bucks Abortion Lobby, Upholds Right to Life:
More on New East Timor Abortion Law

By Piero A. Tozzi, J.D.

NEW YORK, NY, June 11, 200 (C-FAM) - The parliament of East Timor – a small, Catholic nation in South East Asia recognized as an independent state in 2002 – has resisted concerted pressure from United Nations agencies and pro-abortion non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by enacting a revised penal law that continues to criminalize abortion in virtually all cases.

With last week's 45 to 0 vote with only 7 abstentions on the main operative paragraph, parliament retained penal sanctions on abortion, except in instances where abortion is the "only way" to prevent death to the mother as attested to by three independent physicians. A preambular paragraph states that life "from the moment of conception" is entitled to protection. Abortionists are subject to up to eight years imprisonment, depending on the circumstances. The law also recognizes the conscience rights of doctors to refuse to perform abortions....

East Timor has been in the crosshairs of the international pro-abortion movement. The Alola Foundation, an NGO backed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and headed by East Timor's Australian-born First Lady, intervened repeatedly in the ongoing Timorese debate by seeking abortion liberalization.

In contrast, grassroots NGOs with on-the-ground membership such as Organização das Mulheres Timorenses, whose bona fides were established during the resistance to Indonesian rule, reportedly opposed liberalization, reflecting popular Timorese sentiment.

One international NGO supported by the Australian government and the United States Agency for International Development, the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), claimed that "International treaty law specifically supports the right of women to have access to safe abortion methods," including in cases of pregnancy due to rape and incest or where the fetus is abnormal. Echoing arguments made elsewhere by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, JSMP citied treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is no support for such assertions in the language of either treaty, however, nor in any other treaty to which Timor Leste is a signatory.

Meanwhile, back in the good old USA:

Hillary Clinton Swears In Melanne Verveer to Lead Obama's Intl Abortion Agenda
by Steven Ertelt, June 15, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In a late Friday ceremony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swore in the new head of the Office of Women's Issues who will promote President Barack Obama's international abortion agenda. Melanne Verveer becomes a new ambassador whose mission is to promote abortion as part of a focus on women.

The founding document of our country justified the creation of the United States of America by referencing unalienable rights, the first of which was the Right to Life. Our current leadership has abandoned that moral norm. But the self-evident unalienable rights still exist, and third world countries recognize this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

‘We cannot forget what has happened at Notre Dame’

From Catholic World News:

"In an interview with Inside the Vatican, Archbishop Raymond
Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, said that 'we cannot forget what has
happened at Notre Dame. We need to take the measures that are necessary so that
this is not repeated in other places.'

Archbishop Burke added: That the premiere Catholic university in the United States would give an honorary doctorate of law to one of the most aggressive pro-abortion politicians in our history is profoundly shocking … "

Defender of infanticide welcomed at Notre Dame:

Opponent of infanticide arrested at Notre Dame:

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, June 12, 2009

California Defense of Marriage Update

Jerry Brown, Attorney General of the state of California, paid by the people of the state of California, is refusing to defend the expressed will of the people of the state of California.

From today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Brown now fights Prop. 8 in federal court
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, June 12,

"Attorney General Jerry Brown, who tried to persuade the state Supreme Court to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage, took the same position in federal court Friday, saying Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equality....

Two same-sex couples, represented by attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies -
the courtroom adversaries in the Bush vs. Gore case that decided the 2000
presidential election - challenged Prop. 8 in federal court on May 22, four days
before the state's high court upheld it....

Brown's refusal to support Prop. 8 means that the conservative Christian groups who sponsored Prop. 8 will defend it in federal court, as they did in the state Supreme Court."

That's fine, since the attorneys for the "Conservative Christian Groups" (53% of the population) did an excellent job before the California Supreme Court. I can't wait to see this case before the U.S. Supreme Court!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

SF and the Church: More Evidence that We Are Right

There's another interesting article in this week's Catholic San Francisco. It deals with the issue we've been blogging about this week: San Francisco's attempt to impose a transfer tax on the Archdiocese following it's reorganization:

"Archdiocese challenges determination of San Francisco County Assessor/RecorderJune 10th, 2009

In a fight to preserve the freedom of religious organizations to restructure, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is contesting an attempt by the San Francisco County Assessor/Recorder to impose a property transfer tax on an internal reorganization involving Archdiocesan parish and school properties.

An administrative hearing to decide the issue will be held on June 16, 2009. The panel consists of the San Francisco Tax Collector, the Chief of Real Estate and Controller. The decision of the panel can be appealed, if necessary, to the civil courts."

The article then relates something we had not known:

"The same transfers at issue in San Francisco were made promptly without the imposition of a tax in both San Mateo and Marin counties more than a year ago...

(Archdiocesan attorney Jack) Hammel said, 'The San FranciscoAssessor/Recorder is alone among county recorders in taking such an extreme position.'"
As we wrote yesterday:

"... there is an irreconcilable conflict between what the homosexual activists want and the teaching of our Church. Today the government of San Francisco, controlled by homosexual activists, has moved far beyond the bludgeon of program defunding. In payback for our Church’s defense of natural marriage, they are now trying a new interpretation of the tax code to punish the Church."
The Archdiocese of San Francisco covers three counties: San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The fact that only one one of the three counties has seen fit to try and impose new taxes on the Church seems to to support our argument.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

USF Prof: “Calling USF a Catholic school is like Saying Hillary Clinton is a Carmelite Nun"

The (Jesuit) University of San Francisco is on the cover of the June 12, 2009 "Catholic San Francisco" newpaper:

"USF honors dissenting South African bishop"
By Michael Vick"

The headline refers to the honoring of Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa, but the article itself brings overdue attention to USF's "Catholic character." "A Shepherd's Voice" first reported this story back on May, 3, 2009, when USF announced this year's commencement speakers, and we covered it again on May 23 and May 24, following the commencement exercises. There is not much in the article that will be news to our regular readers, but that it is being reported on the cover of the Archdiocesan newspaper is new, and welcome.

"Jesuit Father Stephen Privett, president of the University of San Francisco, stirred up controversy May 22 with his presentation of an honorary degree to a South African bishop who has defied the Vatican by promoting the use of condoms in some cases...."

"Bishop Dowling first drew public attention in 2001 when a reporter asked him his opinion on condom usage to fight HIV. His response drew the ire of the papal nuncio to South Africa and his own bishops' conference, though Bishop Dowling has received no official reprimand and continues to serve as bishop in good standing."

From the 2001 statement of Bishop Dowling that Mr. Vick is referring to:

"Abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in a marriage is beyond the realm of possibility here. The issue is to protect life. That must be our fundamental goal.' Drawing attention to the especially difficult plight of women in the traditionally male-dominated societies of his diocese he continued, 'My passion is for the women. I'm in that corner.' About the African people, he says, 'They must use condoms,' maintaining his stance despite the Vatican’s continued opposition to such a policy”. Emphasis added. That sounds like His Excellency does not have much faith in his flock.

When we heard Bishop Dowling was to be honored, we asked: "Dare we say that Bishop Dowling is being honored because of this position, not in spite of it?"

Lo and behold, when Lilian Dube, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University introduced him she directly referred to his statement on condom use, and praised him for his "courageous stance." More from the CSF story:

"The university is no stranger to controversial speakers and events. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, a vocal proponent of same-sex marriage, was its May 23 graduate commencement speaker.

And when Harris was introduced by Jeffrey S. Brand, the Dean of USF Law School, he said: "She represents the best of what this great University is all about."

In defending the University's actions, Fr. Privett said:

"The Jesuit said Catholic universities should provide the Church with a forum for changing society constructively through conversation.

'Catholic universities show the country a more engaging model of change than the defensive ‘We won't talk to anybody who doesn't agree with us' model,' Father Privett said. 'The gospel calls all of us to be a leaven in society. You can't leaven society if you stay in a drawer.'"

Standing alone, the first statement is true. That is what Catholic universities should do. But Fr. Privett is implying that that is what USF does. But If USF wanted to provide the Church with a forum for changing society, why is it a "Catholic" University with no graduate program in Theology? What they do is to provide society an opportunity to change the Church.

The second statement is a straw-man. The objection is not to USF's speaking and acting, but to the content of USF's speech and actions. As for avoiding the 'We won't talk to anybody who doesn't agree with us' model, why, whatever did happen to the Ignatius Institute?

Fr. Privett badly need some new material.

But at least one professor at USF has had just about enough:

"Others, including at least one USF professor, believe the school’s Catholic character has eroded under Father Privett’s leadership. Philosophy professor Raymond Dennehy said the dialogue Father Privett said he hopes to encourage is presented in a one-sided manner on campus, with most guest speakers dissenting against Church teaching.

“Dialogue is having speakers both pro and con,” Dennehy said. “This is giving an award, and you can bet your bottom dollar that (USF) would not do that if (the speaker) were anti-gay marriage.”

He's correct, and USF has had no trouble honoring those who are pro same-sex "marriage." The USF School of Law has twice honored the attorneys who brought the case which overturned Proposition 22 back in June 2008--and which has resulted in 18,000 counterfeit "marriages" being recognized by the state of California.

"Dennehy said the university has set out to form a Catholic identity separate from the Church’s teaching on issues like abortion and homosexuality, citing examples like the invitation of Pelosi and the appointment to head of campus ministry of Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey, an outspoken proponent of gay-friendly theology."

Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ Executive Director of Campus Ministry at USF,
attending the 2003 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. (photo courtesy Most Holy Redeemer Parish website)

Professor Dennehy continued:

“Calling USF a Catholic school is like saying Hillary Clinton is a Carmelite nun,” Dennehy said. “USF has chosen to go its own way, and there is no one here to stop them. What is Catholic teaching? What is the so-called ‘institutional Church’"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

"Offensive Beyond Belief"

So says Dr. Alveda King:

"Comparing Abortionist’s Murder to MLK's Assassination ‘Offensive Beyond Belief,’ Dr. King’s Niece SaysTuesday, June 09, 2009
By Melanie Hunter-Omar

(CNSNews.com) – The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Tuesday condemned the remarks of late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart in comparing the recent murder of abortionist George Tiller to King’s assassination....

"For LeRoy Carhart to mention the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who worked through peaceful and non-violent means, in the same breath with that of George Tiller, whose work ended peace and brought violence to babies in the womb, is offensive beyond belief," Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life, said in a statement. "The analogy is just wrong."

"Dr. Carhart also speaks of hate crimes," added Dr. King. "I would simply ask him, is it not hateful to regard an entire class of people as non-human because they're unwanted?"

"The message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was that every human being has equal dignity. LeRoy Carhart and every other abortionist violate that message every time they dismember a baby. The comparison is ridiculous," Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said in a statement.

h/t Mark Shea.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NewYork Bishops on Same-Sex "Marriage"

"We Stand Unified in Our Strong Opposition"NEW YORK, JUNE 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).-

Here is the statement the bishops of New York released June 1 on the proposed law that would legalize same-sex "marriage" in the state of New York.* * *We face today the prospect of a law in New York which would radically change the timeless institution of marriage. As pastors of citizens from every corner of our great state, we stand unified in our strong opposition to such a drastic measure.

Throughout history, different cultures have had different customs regarding marriage. But the one constant has been the conviction that marriage is the union of a man and a woman in an enduring bond, ordered for the procreation and stable rearing of children. Regrettably, the state Assembly has voted to redefine what nature and our common heritage long ago defined for us. We fervently pray that members of the state Senate will stand firm in opposition to this ill-advised legislation, and we call on Catholics and all New Yorkers to contact their Senators to make their voices heard.

Our opposition to this bill is based not only on Catholic teaching regarding human sexuality and the Sacrament of Marriage. Just as importantly, it is based on reason, sound public policy, and plain common sense, as we stated in our 2008 pastoral statement on same-sex “marriage.” To briefly reiterate, the state has a compelling legal interest in promoting marriage between men and women in order to create stable families and provide for the safety, health and well being of children. The state has no such compelling legal interest in recognizing a relationship between two people of the same sex.If there are injustices against those in relationships other than marriage, those injustices can certainly be reformed and corrected in a way other than by drastically redefining marriage.

We close with a final point from our 2008 statement:"We want to make absolutely clear that our firm beliefs about marriage ... must not be misconstrued to be in any way a condemnation of homosexual people or an attack on their human dignity. Our Church teaches, and we affirm, that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God’s children. Indeed the Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that any form of prejudice or hatred – 'every sign of unjust discrimination' -- against homosexual people should be avoided" (CCC 2358).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Shadow "Churches"

We ended yesterdays long post on this note:

"...the activists--in conjunction with likeminded persons both inside and outside the Church--will try to intimidate the Church from without and undermine it from within."

We ask forebearance for rehashing old ground, but the lesson must be learned--and what actually happened in San Francisco is an important lesson. In 1997, homosexual activists in Catholic Charities, in conjunction with the City of San Francisco, worked to force "domestic partnership" benefits on the Archdiocese, and then in 2006, they forced the Archdiocese into allowing adoptions to same-sex households. The 2006 scenario was practically a carbon copy of the 1997 event, which makes sense, since it worked so well for the activists in '97.

“Undermining from within”

How did this come about? In the 1980s, Catholic Charities stepped up admirably to help those suffering from the AIDS epidemic. They continue to do good work with AIDS sufferers to this day. Since over 90% of San Franciscans suffering from the disease were men who engage in “sex” with other men, this meant that Catholic Charities would be working very closely with same-sex attracted men, and, unsurprisingly, a large number of homosexual persons ended up in the organization. From a San Francisco Examiner article of January 30, 1997:

“With strong connections to the Bay Area gay community - and with gay employees itself – the group (Catholic Charities) has struggled at times to distance itself from Catholic anti-homosexual doctrine, according to some gay Catholics. But that division has been difficult to maintain, say ex-employees, who complain they couldn't hand out condoms, discuss safe sex in an unrestricted fashion or disagree with decisions by the hierarchy….

Franco Lacayo, a former Catholic Charities AIDS case manager who resigned three years ago, said there were many gay people working at Catholic Charities. He said that when he worked at the agency he had been frustrated because he wasn't supposed to hand out condoms and because gay people were discouraged from displaying gay slogans . . . – “Catholic Charities delays AIDS event. Flap over domestic partners alienates gay employees.”-SF Examiner, January 30, 1997"

So we see that homosexual activists had infiltrated the organization no later than the early 1990’s. While those activists disagreed with the Church, they were in agreement with the government--and the government was ready to show its fist. What follows is an abbreviated version of events (for more details, go here).

By 1997 the city had passed an ordinance that required all those doing business with the city to provide domestic partner benefits to their employees--including same-sex couples. The Archdiocese refused to do this, since it is in conflict with Church teaching.

"Intimidation from Without"

So the city (which, as we pointed out yesterday, supplies Catholic Charities with the overwhelming majority of its funding) threatened to withdraw funding if the domestic partnership benefits weren't granted. After a lot of back and forth, threatened lawsuits, etc., the Archdiocese caved. A “compromise” was crafted, that allowed any person working for Catholic Charities to name any other person as a "domestic partner." And where did that "compromise" come from? According to openly lesbian Supervisor Susan Leal:

"...a representative of Catholic Charities had also floated the proposal."

Long story short: the proposal was accepted, the homosexual activists won, and Church teaching lost. After the dust settled, in an interview with “First Things,” then-Archbishop William J. Levada commented:

“It is a given in San Francisco, I am told, that politicians concerned about their future weigh very carefully the impact of their speech and actions on the gay and lesbian voters...But it would be my hope that our experience here would provide good reasons why any proposal elsewhere for similar legislation on domestic partners should be defeated."

One shares the Archbishops hope. But as the 2006 gay adoptions debacle showed, the Archdiocese had apparently learned nothing. In my opinion, it is unfair to blame Archbishop George Niederauer for this, since he was new to this hornet’s nest. Someone in the Archdiocese with some experience of the city should have tipped him off. In the event, he was blindsided by the activists.

After 2000, under the leadership of an openly homosexual director of programs and services Dr. Glenn Matula, (himself an adoptive "father") the activists inside Catholic Charities began placing children in the households of homosexual couples. Once again, an action totally in conflict with Church teaching. Once again, the Church stands up, argues for its right to be true to Catholic teaching. Once again, the city shows its fist, threatens to withhold funding. Once again, a “compromise” is crafted, this time under the “consultation” of openly homosexual supervisor Bevan Dufty, whereby Catholic Charities outsources its adoption program to “Family Builders by Adoption”, “the gayest (adoption agency) in the country”, on whose Board of Directors sat the same Dr. Glenn Matula, Director of Programs and Services at Catholic Charities. Once again, the proposal was accepted, the homosexual activists won, and Church teaching lost. It was a classic case of good cop/bad cop. The only upside is that this time our Archdiocese apparently learned something. They have cancelled Catholic Charities’ adoption program completely.

San Francisco and Connecticut

But as we said yesterday, there is an irreconcilable conflict between what the homosexual activists want and the teaching of our Church. Today the government of San Francisco, controlled by homosexual activists, has moved far beyond the bludgeon of program defunding. In payback for our Church’s defense of natural marriage, they are now trying a new interpretation of the tax code to punish the Church. That is very similar what happened earlier this year in Connecticut.

For now, it appears that the two homosexual activist legislators in Connecticut have overplayed their hand--for now. As Jack Smith (and others) have pointed out Connecticut Bill #1098 was nearly identical to a proposal put forward by members of "Voice of the Faithful," and its most vocal exponent was Professor Paul Lakeland. We know of Professor Lakeland in San Francisco: On Sunday June, 15, 2008 "Voice of the Faithful of Northern California" sponsored an address of his on “How the Laity Can Save the Church” at, where else, the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. For some reason that is no longer on the VOTF website, but we PDF’d it:

Shadow Power Structures

But let’s suppose that in Connecticut, Bill #1098 had passed, and that the activists had succeeded in restructuring the administration of parishes in that state. Who would have taken over? Are there any power structures being developed in or around the Church who could have stepped in? A power structure is simply a group of persons organized for common action. The homosexual activists we have described are one such power structure. In addition to corrupting Catholic Charities, they have completely taken over Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco. “Voice of the Faithful” is another such power structure--and, not coincidentally, two of the “Voice of the Faithful Northern California” leaders are also members of Most Holy Redeemer. Other power structures, potentially far more powerful, exist as well.

One of the recent developments in church life is the appearance of local “organizing committees” who work with groups of parishes. In the San Francisco Bay Area there are three: the “Bay Area Organizing Committee,” the “Marin Organizing Committee” and the “North Bay Sponsoring Committee.” In Los Angeles the organization is called “One LA.” They exist all over the country, including Connecticut.

They charge a fee, not small, for a parish to join. As it happens, I have some experience with one such group. In 2000, my parish signed up with the Bay Area Organizing Committee. We held some meetings. I, and a lot of the more active parishioners, were invited. I asked the leader of the BAOC what we were going to try and accomplish. The answer was that we were going to join together for common action. But for what aim? I asked. He responded that we were going to try and build an organization that would work on issues affecting the community. In other words, I got no answer. (Read this page from the “One LA” website to see what I mean.) This left me suspicious. Anyway, our relationship with the BAOC soon ended, because Fr. Malloy came in as Pastor the next year, and his idea was that the Catholic Church is all the organization you need.

What I did not know back in 2000, but I know now, is that every one of these "organizating committees" are all part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, an umbrella organization founded by the famous community organizer Saul Alinsky.

Certainly, some of the things the IAF pushes may be good, but so what? Remember that homosexual activism at Catholic Charities was a result of the organization’s admirable response to the AIDS epidemic. That response was a good thing too, but it also resulted in the development of an alternative power structure within the Archdiocese that has been a disaster.

Those activists did not want the Church to go away--they wanted to use it for their own ends. They had allies in government who could pressure the Archdiocese in such a way so that the activists seemed to be the ones able to offer a way out--thus strengthening their position. They were working together. The IAF affiliates are even more dangerous, because they are about developing power structures pure and simple. And nobody has any idea what they will use their power for.

Today, in Connecticut and San Francisco, we are seeing more government intimidation against our Church than ever before in American history. They won't try to get rid of the Church. They know that is impossible. What they will try to do is find allies within the Church who share their vision. Then they will use the power of government to help those allies create an institution more to their taste.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney