Saturday, January 31, 2009
From Catholic News Agency:
Minneapolis, Jan 31, 2009 / 03:43 pm (CNA).- A Catholic high school in Minnesota has denied honors for a state legislator who is a candidate for governor, citing his active support for “pro-choice issues.”
Holy Angels Academy in Richfield, Minnesota had considered alumnus State Rep. Paul Thissen as a nominee for its Activities Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who “through their citizenship and achievements, have brought honor to themselves, their school and the community.”
Thissen, a 1985 graduate of the school, was to accept the honor at a January ceremony, the Star Tribune reports.
However, the school’s president called Thissen days before the ceremony and asked him to withdraw his name from consideration. He refused and was told the day before the ceremony he would be stripped of the award because of his support for abortion as a state legislator of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party."
To be pro-choice is to be pro-murder: once the mother decides to kill her child the pro-choice position immediately becomes a pro-murder position. There should never be any such person anywhere near a Catholic school.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
He's dead right--I personally know people who profess the Catholic faith, and who came right out and said to me it was OK to vote for the most pro-abortion President in history, because of "Faithful Citizenship."
"Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said 'led to confusion' among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.
The US bishops’ document, 'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,' stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of 'other grave reasons,' as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position...
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal 'a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.'
'But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.'" (emphasis added).
His Excellency also took on Catholic News Agency:
"Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.
'The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,'” he said.
One can appreciate the wisdom of Bishop Martino of Scranton when he pointed out that the USCCB has no jurisdiction in his Diocese.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"It's not easy being me let me tell you. I went to a silent retreat. Turns out it was a regular retreat, just nobody wanted to talk to me. I can't get no respect."
Check it out
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?
PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?
PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.
It's the worship of Moloch..."Just sacrifice your children to me, and I'll make you rich." Which reminds me, here is a picture of one of the counter-demonstrators at Saturday's Walk for Life West Coast:
Believe it and I have a bridge for sale.
Austin Ruse, director of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, telling CNA: “One of the abortion questions that is almost unanimous in America is that we do not want federal funds being spent on abortions. By striking down the Mexico City policy, President Obama gives lie to the claim that he wants fewer abortions. In fact, he is the most pro-abortion President in the history of the Republic. Those so-called pro-life Catholics who supported Obama have a lot to answer for.”
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Photos Courtesy Darwin Sayo
The Walk for Life West Coast 2009 was a smashing success. I've been to all of the other West Coast Walks (except one) and this was definitely the biggest. Smallest number of counter-protestors, too. The cross section of people is amazing: every race, religion and age under the sun. It's the real America.
At Saints Peter and Paul, we had seven separate groups (totalling about 300 young people) staying with us. Housing visiting young people for the Walk is a tradition begun by Fr. Malloy and continued with our good current Pastor, Fr. John Itzaina. The groups came from Northern and Southern California, Oregon, Wyoming, and New Mexico. We also had all night adoration the night before the Walk. Nothing better than seeing a Church full of praying teenagers at about 1:30 AM!
God Bless the organizers and volunteers, the Bishops and speakers, and all who came. More later.
Online photos/video can be found here:
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Obama issued a memorandum rescinding the Mexico City Policy, also known as the "global gag rule," which President Ronald Reagan originally instituted in 1984, President Bill Clinton reversed in 1993 and President George W. Bush revived in 2001.
The memorandum revokes Bush's order, calling the limitations on funding "excessively broad" and adding that "they have undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family programs in foreign nations." In an accompanying statement, Obama said he would also work with Congress to restore U.S. funding support for the United Nations Population Fund "to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries."
Friday, January 23, 2009
UPDATE: It was great! Good Reverend Walter Hoye led us, we had great speeches by Karen Shablin, Craig Deluz, and Pastor Clenard Childress was on fire! Jocelyn Golden was there too and led us in song throughout the march. God bless them all and all who came.
That's Reverend Hoye, and Walk for Life West Coast Co-Chairwoman Dolores Meehan before the March.
Jesus told us to love our enemies....and I love the press SO MUCH!!!!!
UPDATE: Get Religion caught the headline, too: http://www.getreligion.org/?p=6563
Thursday, January 22, 2009
"The Impact Of Abortion In The African-American Community!"
"All of our events strongly adhere to and enforce the "Nonviolent" philosophy embraced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you cannot remain nonviolent, please do not attend our events.
We walk because abortion in the Black community is a form of genocide, it is the Darfur of America.
We walk because abortion in Black America is the civil rights issue of our day.
We walk because abortion does violence, both physically and emotionally, to men and women, to their children, and to their families.
Walk with us and help us change the perceptions of a culture that thinks aborting children is an option."
Friday, January 23rd, 2009
Time: 12:00 Noon to 2:00 P.M.
Location: Oakland City Hall at One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Come out and stand with Reverend Hoye. March with Reverend Hoye More than any other group in America, African Americans have been decimated by abortion.
A simple web search for the order of presidential succession in the newly-minted Obama administration makes clear what a profound debacle the '08 election was for the pro-life movement in the United States. The country's top leadership now looks like a Who's Who of the National Abortion Rights Action League's "100% pro-choice" club. Largely ignored in the last election, abortion remains a massively important political issue. Catholics who did so should be ashamed of themselves for voting with disregard for a ticket and party that is inimical to a central moral tenet of their Church's teaching. Abortion kills.
This nation daily tolerates the willfully procured death of over 3,200 innocent and defenseless human beings, and that slaughter is an abomination far beyond other considerations that entered into electoral decisions last year. To maintain any sort of credible witness to the value of human life, Catholic leaders and faithful must choose to directly and publicly reengage the pro-life movement and to put John Paul II's Gospel of Life at the very top of their social and political agendas in the battles that lie ahead….
The Respect Life community failed to make abortion a meaningful issue in the past election and the current situation is the sour fruit of that negligence. Catholics especially abandoned the unborn at the polls. At least 54% of those identifying themselves as Catholic supported President Obama, while "Church-going Catholics" voted 50% for McCain to Obama's 49%. Either number demonstrates an inability in the ecclesial hierarchy and the lay leadership in the Catholic Pro-life movement to make a convincing argument about the nature of the abortion act and the issue's relative importance versus other weighty but lesser political questions such as the election of African-American leaders, the economy, or the war on terror....
Dr. William Blazek, a Jesuit scholastic and physician, is a board certified specialist in Internal Medicine and a Research Scholar in the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He teaches ethics and clinical skills as an Adjunct Assistant Professor while preparing for ordination to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
President of the United States of America
The White House
On the occasion of your inauguration as the Forty-fourth president of the United States of America I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that the Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities.
Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice.
At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, cooperation and peace among the nations, so that all may share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7). Upon you and your family, and upon all the American people, I willingly invoke the Lord's blessings of joy and peace.
Signed Benedict XVI
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
As the country inaugurates the most pro-abortion President in history, Joseph Fromm has a nice montage over at "Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit," listing a number of reasons to extend our gratitude to President Bush.
The link is here.
Every life has potential is the message of an ad to be aired repeatedly on Black Entertainment Television in Chicago during today's coverage of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration.The 30-second spot, produced by CatholicVote.org, begins with ultrasound image of an unborn baby. "This child's future is a broken home," the overlying text states, with music playing in the background. "He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him.""Despite the hardships he will endure," the text continues, as the music gets louder and is mixed with sounds of a cheering crowd, "this child ... will become ... the first African American president."
Then showing a picture of Barack Obama, the text says: "Life: Imagine the potential."The ad is the first in a series to be released this year as part of a new educational campaign, titled precisely "Life: Imagine the Potential."Brian Burch, executive director of CatholicVote.org, commented on the ad in a press statement: "Our message is simple: Abortion is the enemy of hope. The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of President-elect Obama."
"Each human life has dignity and worth," he added. “Given the political climate, we acknowledge that the fight to protect human life faces an uphill climb," continued Burch. "For this reason, we developed an ad that we hope can transcend the political obstacles ahead, and provoke the consciences of our leaders and fellow Americans."CatholicVote.org is a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy
Monday, January 19, 2009
USF has been inactive in the fight to defend marriage in California, and that in itself is significant. That a Catholic University should declare itself neutral when every Bishop in California was in the battle for marriage and the family, over what the Holy Father has called a “non-negotiable” issue, would be bad enough, but in point of fact the Jesuits of USF are on the other side.
Before the November election there were only two public actions/statements from USF that could be said to pertain to the issue. The first was the naming of Fr. James Keenan, SJ as 2008 Summer Scholar-in-Residence at the University. Keenan is best known for arguing “as a Catholic moral theologian” before the Massachusetts legislature against Resolution H. 3190—in effect, arguing in favor of same-sex “marriage.” The late, great Fr. Richard John Neuhaus shredded Fr. Keenan’s arguments in the pages of First Things.
The second was a statement made by Fr. Donal Godfrey, the Executive Director of University Ministry at USF, in the San Francisco Chronicle. Fr. Godfrey attempted to undercut the teaching of Archbishop George Niederauer on the issue of marriage by asserting that the Archbishop did not really believe what he was saying, that he was simply parroting the Vatican line:
"The bishops must feel pressure to go along," he said. "There aren't that many going around campaigning for (Prop. 8). I think they signed off on (the e-mail) and hoped it ends soon."
All of which brings us to an upcoming event at USF’s Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, presented on March 9, by Professor James Nickoloff:
“'Intrinsically Disordered': The Role of the Despised in Establishing the Holiness of the Church. A community conversation exploring gay marriage and Catholic identity in light of Proposition 8. Sponsored with the USF LGBTQ Caucus.”
“Sponsored with the USF LGBTQ Caucus.” I wonder what their take on Proposition 8 will be?
Who is James Nickoloff? He’s an Emeritus Professor at Holy Cross University and a Bannan Fellow at Santa Clara University. He was in the news this past November when Holy Cross held a “Rainbow Alliance Week.”
The Cardinal Newman Society of Holy Cross covered “Rainbow Alliance Week.” Among other things, the event included a series of panel discussions. According to the Cardinal Newman Society’s website, one of the panels was:
"Tuesday, November 6th: ABiGaLe panel at 7:30 pm in Hogan Suite A. The panel is on homosexuality and the Bible, featuring Prof. Nickoloff who is a former Jesuit, openly homosexual and married to his homosexual partner in Massachusetts…”
The Society’s page further says:
“Prof. James Nickoloff, of the Religious Studies department, is a former Jesuit priest who told a student group in November that he was personally engaged in homosexuality and 'married' in the state of Massachusetts to another man.”
We were unable to find independent confirmation that Nickoloff is same-sex “married” in the state of Massachusetts. But it would not be totally improbable, because we did learn:
• On May 14, 2004, Nickoloff was signatory to a document by a group of Catholics addressing the court imposition of same-sex marriage on the people of Massachusetts. Although ambiguously worded, given the context the document can only be read as an endorsement of same-sex “marriage.”
• In September, 2006, Nickoloff led a Focus Group (PDF) at the 13th Annual Conference of the National Association of Diocesan Gay and Lesbian Ministries in Brooklyn, NY;
• On April 11, 2007, Nickoloff was a signatory to the “Fortunate Families” letter to the United States Catholic Bishops. You can find out about “Fortunate Families” by going here.
The description of the “Intrinsically Disordered” event on the Lane Center’s website describes it as a “community conversation.” Will any of the Jesuits at USF stand up, in their own University, for Church teaching on sexuality, and will they defend natural marriage?
• Will Fr. Godfrey? I doubt it. Following the election, Fr. Godfrey stated in the pages of the Catholic San Francisco that he 'personally opposed Prop 8 which is a matter of conscience…'
• Or will we hear from the pastor of St. Agnes Church, Fr. Cameron Ayers, SJ? Will he walk the six blocks from St. Agnes to USF to defend Catholic teaching? I doubt it. Fr. Ayers donated $100 to the campaign against Proposition 8.
• Or will we hear from Fr. Stephen Privett, the President of the University? I doubt it. Father President did not say a public word about Proposition 8 that I am aware of, although in his Baccalaureate homily of 2003 to the students of USF, he chose to illustrate Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness…” with the example of a student who “came out” about his homosexuality.
• Or will we hear from Fr. James T. Bretzke, Professor of Moral Theology at the University? I doubt it. When two Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence embarrassed our Archbishop and caused worldwide scandal by presenting themselves for communion at Most Holy Redeemer, the Professor of Moral Theology said: "Over-accessorizing and poor taste in makeup is not an excommunicable offense."
• Or will we hear from Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University? I doubt it, but to do him justice, when Fr. Pizzuto found he was unable to adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church he did the honorable thing: he left the Church and was ordained as a Priest of the “Celtic Christian Church” which is not in communion with Rome. (Incidentally, his ordination is nowhere mentioned on the USF website.) That means, according to Canon 833, (clauses 6 & 7), that he should not be allowed to teach philosophy or theology at a Catholic University. But you can hardly blame Fr. Pizzuto for that-- it is the fault of those at USF whose responsibility it is to see that Catholic doctrine is what is taught at their school of Theology.
Certainly, we may be wrong. Some Jesuits from USF may attend "Intrinsically Disordered..." and defend Church teaching. We will wait and see.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Last November we mailed a plea to the president to free two border patrol officers. Amnesty time was running out. Today our plea was granted, at least partially. Felony charges were not removed, as the ten year sentence was declared excessive.
Here's part of our original post:
The Times also called President Bush's failure to act, "blindness." Congressman Tom Tancredo recently wrote: "These are the kinds of men whose government failed and destroyed them - all while they were serving a cause greater than themselves. These men deserve justice. I, and many other members of Congress, have repeatedly called upon President Bush to exercise his power to pardon - but he has not done so.”
There are many who believe that Agents Compean and Ramos were wrongfully prosecuted. Congressman Ed Royce stated: “Ramos and Compean have been living in the torture of solitary confinement for almost two years for something they never should have been prosecuted for in the first place. We are pleading with the Pardon Attorney to make a favorable recommendation of commutation to the President so he can finally do the right thing by these men and their families."
1. Homosexuality is not a necessary component of society, as is the family. Society is organized around the relationship of the couple that is formed by a man and a woman. They find each other in conjugal life and in family life. In this sense, the couple and the family enter into the sphere of social life, and because of this, of civil law. The relationship between two persons of the same sex is not the same as the relationship of a couple that is based on the sexual difference. These two situations depend on structures that are not of the same nature. The homosexual relationship does not enter into this social sphere. It is, as such, a private question. Legislators make an anthropological error when they want to socially organize homosexuality. They run the risk of provoking an intellectual confusion, as well as confusion of identity and relationships. It should not be forgotten that confusion frequently favors insecurity, unstable relationships and violence, when legislators don't respect the fundamental sense of human relationships. The family is a common good of humanity that is not at the free disposition of legislators to respond to the subjective and problematic demands of today. The individual desire cannot be the foundation for the law. Here we find ourselves in the presence of a confusion between the law, which is of the public domain, and the desire, which is subjective.
2. Affirming that homosexuality is a private fact, the president of the Pontifical Council of the Family is not justifying it. The cardinal simply underlined that homosexuality does not contribute favorably to the organization of individuals and of society. The exercise of homosexuality does not reflect the truth of friendship. Friendship is inherent to the human condition in that it offers relationships of proximity, help and cooperation, in a courteous and amiable climate. Friendship should be lived chastely.
3. The Church maintains its preoccupation of welcoming and accompanying homosexual persons. Every person that has difficulties to live their sexuality properly is called to find Christ and to live, consequently, in accord with the demands of liberty and responsibility of faith, hope and charity. On the other hand, it is contrary to the truth of the human identity and the design of God to live a homosexual experience, a relationship of this type, and even more to attempt to demand same-sex marriage. It is contrary to the true interests of the persons and of the needs of society. It constitutes a transgression of the sense of love as God has revealed to us through the message of Christ, of which the Church is a servant, as an expression of love toward the men and women of our time.
Monsignor Carlos Simón Vazquez, subsecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
[Translation by ZENIT]
Sunday, January 18, 2009
"BALTIMORE -- President-elect Barack Obama capped the first day of his inaugural celebration here before a crowd of about 40,000 people by calling for a “new Declaration of Independence” and a return to the idealism of 1776.
The "old" Declaration of Independence justifies the creation of the new country thusly:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."
As has been thoroughly documented, President-Elect Obama voted twice to deny the first, necessary right of the Declaration, the right to life, to children born in the State of Illinois. The Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act sought to assure that every child born alive in the state of Illinois would receive medical care. Simple as that. Twice Obama spoke and voted against this.
No wonder he wants to get rid of the "old" Declaration. It's a standing condemnation of his career.
h/t Threshing Grain
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Friday, January 16, 2009
City officials said the adult male is thought to have migrated west in search of warmer weather and possible employment at this year's Folsom Street Fair. It was last seen in the vicinity of the University of San Francisco.
The monkey is not considered dangerous.
*Apologies to the Associated Press. Satire. Please don't get mad at us! The original story about the monkey is here.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Oakland, CA (LifeNews.com) -- A California pro-life advocate has been found guilty of violating what pro-life attorneys call an unconstitutional city law that is used specifically to prevent providing information to women outside abortion centers. Oakland officials had enacted the law that appeared to be directed at Walter Hoye, a black pastor.
Hoye says the new law is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech and he was charged under it earlier this year.
At a pre-trial hearing in Oakland Superior Court last month, city officials demanded that Rev. Hoye plead guilty to one misdemeanor count and agree to stay away from local abortion centers for an unspecified period of time in exchange for dismissing three other criminal charges against him.
Hoye refused and now a jury has found him guilty of violating the new law, which prohibits contact within eight feet of women entering abortion businesses without their consent.
Allison Aranda, an attorney with the Life Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Hoye, tells LifeNews.com that the jury convicted Hoye despite a video tape the defense presented at trial showing that prosecution witnesses conjured up phantom patients whom Hoye had allegedly harassed.
The tape also showed that Hoye had not threatened two abortion facility escorts or its director, as had been alleged.
"This is a miscarriage of justice and we will appeal this verdict," Aranda said.
After speaking with several jurors after the verdict was read, it is clear that the court's failure and outright refusal to instruct the jury regarding the key elements of the crime led to the erroneous conviction of Rev. Hoye," she added.
Hoye, who is African-American, feels a special calling to work for the end of the high number of abortions taking place in the black community.
As part of his efforts, he stands in front of an abortion business in Oakland with leaflets about abortion alternatives and a sign offering help for women.
LLDF attorneys say the "clinic escorts" are upset by Hoye's presence and they surround him to impede his movement, block his sign with large sheets of blank cardboard, and make raucous noise to drown out his quiet offers of assistance. Because their actions didn't deter Hoye, the Oakland city council approved the new law. The penalty for illegally approaching a person to talk or hand out a leaflet is one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
At the pre-trial hearing, Hoye's LLDF attorneys cross-examined the victims.
The escorts admitted that Hoye never used force against them, threatened them, or blocked them. They proudly testified that they routinely block Hoye to prevent women from seeing his sign. "
I am fortunate enough to have met Reverend Hoye a number of times. I am proud to consider him a friend. A kinder, quieter, more gentle man I have never met. I always feel inadequate in his presence--it's nothing he does, he is charity personified--it's just the contrast between the person he is and the person I should be. That sentence above about "clinic escorts" drowning out Walter's "quiet offers of assistance" is absolutely true--and will ring true to anyone who has ever met Walter.
This is a disgusting miscarriage of justice. It is disgraceful that in Oakland, a city in which a plurality of the citizens are black, an African American pastor is being judicially railroaded in a way reminiscent of the south in the civil rights era. Well, that happened to Reverend Martin Luther King, and it happened to Jesus, too. Walter is in the best possible company.
Pray for Walter, and that this ruling be overturned. Go to his website www.issues4life.org and make a donation. It's the least we can do.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
LifeSiteNews has an excellent commentary by Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The piece discusses is entitled "The Idol of Our Many Understandings – Bishop Gene Robinson at Prayer." Mr. Mohler is commenting on the inclusion of Pastor Rick Warren and Bishop Eugene Robinson at Obama's Inauguration. Bishop Robinson is of course the openly homosexual Bishop of one wing of the Episcopal Church, and Pastor Warren was an open defender of natural marriage and supporter of Proposition 8.
"One interesting facet of the controversies over Warren and Robinson is the fact that the inclusion of the one does not placate the critics of the other. Homosexual activists are still angry over the choice of Warren to deliver the invocation on January 20. A host of others will be offended by the choice of Bishop Robinson. These two responses illustrate the depth of the divide over the issue of homosexuality. The question cuts to the heart of issues including biblical authority and the very nature of humanity. Representation is undoubtedly symbolic, but Rick Warren and Gene Robinson represent radically divergent worldviews and incommensurate goals. They are not two very different representatives of one religion. They are instead two very symbolic representatives of two very different religions."
Emphasis added. This is dead right, and it is precisely what we have been saying about, for instance, Most Holy Redeemer vs. the Catholic Church.
h/t Catholic Caveman.
Here's the first paragraph of a statement released ysterday by Monsignor Carlos Simón Vazquez, subsecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family. From Zenit.org
"Homosexuality is not a necessary component of society, as is the family. Society is organized around the relationship of the couple that is formed by a man and a woman. They find each other in conjugal life and in family life. In this sense, the couple and the family enter into the sphere of social life, and because of this, of civil law. The relationship between two persons of the same sex is not the same as the relationship of a couple that is based on the sexual difference. These two situations depend on structures that are not of the same nature. The homosexual relationship does not enter into this social sphere. It is, as such, a private question. Legislators make an anthropological error when they want to socially organize homosexuality. They run the risk of provoking an intellectual confusion, as well as confusion of identity and relationships. It should not be forgotten that confusion frequently favors insecurity, unstable relationships and violence, when legislators don't respect the fundamental sense of human relationships. The family is a common good of humanity that is not at the free disposition of legislators to respond to the subjective and problematic demands of today. The individual desire cannot be the foundation for the law. Here we find ourselves in the presence of a confusion between the law, which is of the public domain, and the desire, which is subjective."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
*For the origin of the "Life in SF: or notes from the Gay Rome" label, go here. It's at about 1:14 into this audio of a USF seminar, sponsored by the Lane Center, and held at (where else?) Most Holy Redeemer.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
"San Francisco will try to collect up to $15 million in taxes from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which is refusing to pay certain taxes on properties the church is transferring from one Catholic nonprofit organization to another.
That tax bill would be the second largest of its kind in San Francisco history. But the archdiocese has appealed the charge, saying the church should be exempt from property transfer taxes for a variety of reasons - primarily because the properties are being moved among groups that all are a part of the same overarching organization: the Archdiocese of San Francisco."
This action comes right on the heels of the Archdiocese's support of Proposition 8, which was opposed by the entire power structure of San Francisco, and it is in keeping with the City's hostility to the Church, notably expressed in Resolution 168-06, which was unanimously passed by the City's Board of Supervisors on March 21, 2006, and which called the Catholic Church "hateful and discriminatory" for asserting that adoptive children should be raised in a home with a mother and a father. Faithful San Francisco Catholics have sued the city in Federal Court over that action, and a ruling is pending.
Is there a connection between the Church's defense of natural marriage and the City Assessor's action? Jack Hammel, attorney for the Archdiocese of San Francisco said:
"The city has applied the law in an uneven fashion (e.g. We are aware of non-Archdiocesan, non-Catholic charities which have transferred property to other charities and no transfer tax has been levied)."
City Assessor Phil Ting responded:
"San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting said the tax is fair and equitable. He said his office spent months investigating the archdiocese's case and considering all of the reasons the church might be exempt from the tax."
Phil Ting, Phil Ting....where have we heard that name before? That's right, he's the city official who in June, 2008 officiated at at least one same-sex “wedding.” From Sing Tao Daily:
“Phil Ting spoke after the ceremony and said that he is very glad to marry gay and lesbian couples and very happy to see the day that the California government will allow their gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.”
And of course Mr. Ting was one of the "Honorary Committee" members at the going-away party for immediate past Catholic Charities Executive Director Brian Cahill. Quite the "Catholic" organization, Catholic Charities.
The fact that the Archdiocese is being singled out by the government of the city should not trouble San Francisco Catholics. Our city officially and annually welcomes events like the "Folsom Street Fair. " If they ever like us, then it's time to worry.
A city review board will hear the Archdiocesan appeal. This should be interesting.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
but unfortunately "...it has to be lived forward." said Kierkegaard.
From Catholic News Agency:
"Vienna, Jan 11, 2009 / 02:10 am (CNA).- The chemist who made a key discovery leading to the invention of the birth control pill has written a commentary calling demographic decline in Europe a 'horror scenario” and a “catastrophe' brought on in part by the pill’s invention.
Mr. Carl Djerassi, now 85 years old, was one of three researchers whose formulation of the synthetic progestagen Norethisterone marked a key step in the creation of the first oral contraceptive pill, the Guardian reports.
In a personal commentary in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, Djerassi said his invention is partly to blame for demographic imbalance in Europe. On the continent, he argued, there is now 'no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction.'”
Kierkegaard wasn't exactly right. To a certain extent, life can be "understood forward" if one's anthropological understanding includes "human nature"--which was in fact all human anthropological understanding until quite recently. That's why Pope Paul, whose anthropology did include a normative human nature, was able to exactly predict the development that Mr. Djerassi laments.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Monday, January 12, 2009
Speaking at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross last month, Smith said that although "responsible parenthood" is good in itself, it has a utilitarian meaning in English, associated with performing the duties of a parent well, or keeping the size of a family manageable. Replacing it with "conscious parenthood" instead better conveys the true nature of the conjugal relationship."If people are conscious of the fact that sex leads not just to a baby but to being a parent with someone, they will much more responsibly pursue sexual relationships," Smith explained. "
If I'm going to be a parent with someone, I must clearly love that person and I must want to affirm that person. So I choose as a future spouse someone suitable to be a parent. I've chosen that person because of what I think are their virtues and goodness rather than just my sexual desires."Smith stressed that John Paul II considered sexual desire to be a very important part of finding a spouse (what he called the "raw material" of love), but added that it must be "tested against the virtue of the person" because the two will eventually become parents together. Being conscious of parenthood, she said, will "guide a couple's decisions about sexual matters, help them experience many personal goods, among them growth in self-mastery and the ability to select a spouse well."
Using the term "conscious parenthood" also directs attention away from the self while conveying the awesome call to being a parent. "It means you really understand what a fantastic thing it is to be able to bring into existence a new human being," Smith continued, "that you are basically, what he [John Paul II] calls a pro-creator with God, that you are bringing something forth of infinite value, and you've chosen this other person, this spouse, to be the one with whom you engage in that.
"This teaching is especially poignant in today's society where sex has been severed from its true meaning and purpose, becoming a means of recreation rather than procreation. Like many others, Smith blames contraception for this rupture, leading to the erroneous belief that having sex and having babies are two entirely different activities. "The task of finding a sexual partner is very, very different from finding a future parent, and so you assess people very differently," she explained.
By Edward Pentin (Zenit.org)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Other headlines from Drudge:
Life At -78 Degrees In Alaska...
What To Wear...
Wisconsin: Record snow steals spotlight from frigid temps...
Snow continues to trap thousands at Madrid airport
Saturday, January 10, 2009
"I believe it is incumbent on all of us who are Catholic citizens to let our representatives know of our concerns about FOCA so that a bad and harmful law will not be passed. You can sign a postcard, write a thoughtful letter, make a phone call, send an e-mail, meet with your Representatives and Senators’ staff so that the dangerous extremes in this law might be eliminated."
Most Reverend Daniel F. Walsh,Bishop of Santa Rosa
Citing a recent national poll showing that just 9% of U.S. adults support abortion for any reason throughout the nine months of pregnancy, the USCCB’s pro-life committee says, “The national postcard campaign will send a timely message to Congress that abortion advocates are out of step with mainstream America, and that their agenda should not become a part of our nation’s laws in any way.
The FOCA is the next sick chapter in the book of abortion. If made a law then all limitations on abortion will be lifted which will result in the following:
1) All hospitals, including Catholic hospitals in the USA, will be required to perform abortions upon request. If this happens Bishops vow to close down all Catholic hospitals, more then
30% of all hospitals in the United States.
2) Partial birth abortions would be legal and have no limitations.
3) All U.S. tax payers would be funding abortions.
4) Parental notification will no longer be required.
5) The number of abortions will increase by a minimum of 100,000 annually. This is an estimation.Needless to say this information is disturbing, but sadly true. As Catholics, as Christians, as anyone who is against the needless killing of innocent children, we must stand as one.
We must stop this horrific act before it becomes a law.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
"Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died."
A holy priest, prolific writer, founder of Frist Things, and fierce defender of life he will be deeply missed by his countless friends and by the pro-life movement of the USA.
Eight years before he died he wrote a marvelous essay on the subject of death:
“We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already underway. The work of dying well is, in largest part, the work of living well. Most of us are at ease in discussing what makes for a good life, but we typically become tongue-tied and nervous when the discussion turns to a good death. As children of a culture radically, even religiously, devoted to youth and health, many find it incomprehensible, indeed offensive, that the word “good” should in any way be associated with death. Death, it is thought, is an unmitigated evil, the very antithesis of all that is good. …”
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
"Mr. Cooney, I lived for thirty years in the homosexual world before I came back to the Church. When I was in the process of deciding whether I could accept what the Church teaches on homosexuality I realized that I had made it my own god, and just as St. Paul says, all sin is form of idolatry. But there does seem to be something more idolatrous about homosexuality. Perhaps it's because it is not just a single act of sin, or even a whole series of acts that are sins. After all, an alcoholic indulges his sin all the time, yet alcoholism, though a form of idolatry, does not become a religion in the same way that homosexuality does. Maybe it's because that alcoholics and other sinners do not convert their behaviors into something to be praised. Anyways, I'd like to know what I can do to reach out to the community of people with SSA? I already write on-line a fair amount. But where else do you think I could be helping people who are trapped in this death-style?"
How much is packed into this short comment!
First, God bless you for your effort. May you be an example to all of us who are struggling with our own particular sinfulness!
"But there does seem to be something more idolatrous about homosexuality... Maybe it's because that alcoholics and other sinners do not convert their behaviors into something to be praised."
You hit the nail right on the head. The issue at MHR is not that people are sinners--the number of sinners in any church is 100%. The issue is that at MHR we have an entire church denying that one particular sin is not only not a sin, but is something to be celebrated. In fact, as you say, the issue is idolatry.
As to the question: what can you do? It sounds to me like you are already doing the best thing--living your life in accordance with the teaching of the Church, preaching the truth, and meeting our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters with love. If we can reflect the love of Christ the Holy Spirit will do the rest. And don't lose heart. You are living proof, and you are far from alone! If there is a "Courage" apostolate in your diocese, they could probably use your help. A happy, thoughtful person living in accord with the teaching of the Church is the best evangelization.
What is quite upsetting is that this commentator, and other same-sex attracted Catholics like John Heard and Eve Tushnet are being largely left to carry this burden by themselves. At least in our Archdiocese, those responsible have been unwilling to address the issue. For whatever reason, over the past 30 years the Archdiocese of San Francisco has been passive, at best, and now we see the result. Openly same-sex "married"and "transgendered" lectors, acolytes, and Eucharistic Ministers serve Mass and trumpet their "marriage" in the pages of the Archdiocesan newspaper. It is clear that the Archdiocesan approach, if it can be even be called that, has failed. And most importantly, that failure includes causing scandal to those who, like our commentator, are struggling to live a chaste life, but perhaps lack his fortitude.
I understand that if the Archdiocese ever insists on Catholic teaching at MHR, MHR will lose the vast majority of its parishioners. (according to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 1998 90% of the parishioners were gay). It might have to close. But at some point this will have to happen, and the point is not keeping buildings open, it's the salvation of souls.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
We congratulate His Excellency, and we pray that the Holy Spirit will send the Diocese of Oakland a worthy succesor.
Did you know that your body, as you are sitting here, contains material that goes back something like 15 Billion years? After all, everything material in this world, the whole universe was contained in the first moments of the Big Bang in an unimaginably small space and incredible amounts of energy. It took Billions of years to develop all the elements from hydrogen to helium down to all the other heavier elements. They are the result of nuclear reactions in stars and supernovas. Your very body that is sitting here in the pews consists of stuff that was once part of a supernova. This is quite amazing to think about.
Now consider that God in Jesus Christ took just one of those bodies as part of our human nature. That is what we call the Incarnation; we celebrate it at Christmas: God took our human nature in order to express his love for us. Already in Adam he used those flesh and bones to make an image and likeness of himself. Now in Jesus he takes up this human body with its elements in person. What this means, and what is important to notice here is that God is able to express his very own life in this nature of ours, including all the elements that it took billions of years to develop. This sheds some light, in retrospect, on the Big Bang itself, on the development of the entire cosmos with all its endless stars and galaxies. They are not just a meaningless cosmic explosion of which we are a random product. That God comes in the flesh means that he prepared for himself a body not just beginning from the promise to Abraham and the patriarchs, but from the creation of the world on. We know today that all those elements would not have emerged, if the Big Bang with its physical constants would have been just a tiny little bit off from what it actually is. Physicists have been puzzled by the minimal probability of the emergence not just of this our planet, with water and atmosphere, with life and the intelligent life that we have; even the emergence of just the heavy physical elements in the cosmos as a whole (which are a precondition for our life), are so improbable that one naturally has to suspect the hand of a creator who has orchestrated it, and who created the Big Bang in the first place.
Of all this we might want to think when we see the star over the manger. It indicates the cosmic background of the human nature with its tiny body lying in that manger. Both indicate the presence of God, guiding the astronomers of old to recognize him. In terms of importance, it puts the planet earth where older cosmologies always suspected it: in the middle of the universe. And in the middle of the earth we, like the magi, can find the manger.
Not all, however, allow themselves to be guided by this evidence. The first reading from the letter of John calls these the “false prophets” in the “spirit of the Antichrist.” They deny that God came in the flesh. Accordingly, they will not see the history of the cosmos, in spite of all its improbability, as the result of God’s plan and providence. For a scientist as such, be it physicist or biologist, it would indeed be proper to remain agnostic about this question, in so far as they are engaging in a particular field of science that does not make statements about these kinds of interpretations. Many, however, go outside the realm of their competence by denying that there is a God and creator, let alone one that can became incarnate in our nature. Everything, they say, is the outcome of chance, of random mutations, survival of the fittest and the like. As an ideology, this can properly be called the ideology of the Antichrist. It certainly is not science, because science as such cannot prove this point; if anything it rather points beyond itself.
This is not an abstract speculation, but it has consequences for our lives. It has consequences for how we view our own human nature, our very body with its physical elements and its design. Is it the outcome of God’s providence from the beginning of the world? Or is it a meaningless product of random happenings that can equally randomly be changed by modern technology, by surgery or genetic manipulation?
Pope Benedict recently was attacked in Europe for saying that we do not only have a duty to protect the nature of wildlife from the destructions of modern technology and economy; with that the ecologists will agree (and Pope Benedict is actually one of the most “green” popes ever). But he added that this includes human nature, which is equally subject to technological destruction and social deformations. That he mentioned the separation of what is now called “gender” from the biology of our human nature and sexuality in order to redesign it accordingly, naturally made many people angry. But this is indeed one of the implications of the new world view. Here is where cosmological hypotheses end up changing our view of human nature and life.
Here is what Pope Benedict said verbatim, outlining our responsibilities:
“Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not confine herself to passing on the message of salvation alone. She has a responsibility for the created order and ought to make this responsibility prevail, even in public. And in so doing, she ought to safeguard not only the earth, water, and air as gifts of creation, belonging to everyone. She ought also to protect man against the destruction of himself. What is necessary is a kind of ecology of man, understood in the correct sense. When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, then this is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender’, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Creator Spirit. Yes, the tropical forests are deserving of our protection, but man merits no less as a creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition. The great Scholastic theologians have characterized matrimony, the life-long bond between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator himself and which Christ-- without modifying the message of creation-- has incorporated into the history of his covenant with mankind. This forms part of the message that the Church must recover: the witness in favor of the Spirit Creator present in nature in its entirety and in a particular way in the nature of man, created in the image of God. Beginning from this perspective, it would be beneficial to read again the Encyclical Humanae Vitae: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against sexuality as a consumer entity, the future as opposed to the exclusive pretext of the present, and the nature of man against its manipulation.” So far the Holy Father.
What we are celebrating at Christmas, therefore, is also an Epiphany or manifestation of our very own human nature. It is only a natural consequence, if in today’s Gospel we see Jesus healing our physical nature and teaching our minds to see this nature correctly. Indeed, “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light”; it is God’s light, manifested in the cosmos as well as in our nature, in the light of the star over Bethlehem and in the light shining from the manger, God’s light and life expressed in our human nature.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
And here's an amazing quote from the story on the KCBS website:
"Pastor Steve Meriweather told KCBS his parishioners actually share the vandals' sentiment against Prop 8. 'I think it's unfortunate that they selected our community to attack,' said Meriweather, 'because it's the wrong one."'
Meaning there are other, right places to attack? Quite the spiritual director is Fr. Meriwether.
But one can see his point. Since 1982, when Fr. Tony McGuire was installed, Most Holy Redeemer has steadily changed itself from a Catholic Church into a spiritual institution whose orienting principle is the celebration of homosexuality. (Go here.) It's no longer recognizably Catholic--so why is it being attacked for positions the Catholic Church takes?
So one can understand Fr. Meriwether's peevishness--I mean, here's a picture of one of his Eucharistic Ministers posing with his "husband" in the nave of the church:
And below is a photo (courtesy Most Holy Redeemer website) of Archbishop Niederauer's visit back in October, 2007. That's the Mass that was disrupted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. But what this picture shows is: why worry about the "Sisters" in the pews when you've got two open lesbians and a leather daddy on the altar? Our Archbishop is surrounded and he doesn't even know it. Or maybe he does know it, and realizes how much the good word is needed.
In the picture you see four altar servers in white. The lady with the candle and the lady in the background (whose head is behind the candle the first lady is holding) have both "married" persons of the same sex, according to published reports. And (caution: adults only) the big guy in the back (bald head above first lady) is the Master of Ceremonies--he's a well-known attendee at public leather s/m events. He was even honest enough to complain in a letter to the editor about KRON-TV's coverage of the 2007 "Gay Pride" parade--because they did not give enough coverage to the "leather" community, to what he called "his" community! He also happens to be the coordinator of the parish's Liturgy Planning Group.
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
Yesterday, Diogenes linked to a story in the Wall Street Journal by Anne Hendershott called "How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma."
From the story:
"At a meeting at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Mass., on a hot summer day in 1964, the Kennedy family and its advisers and allies were coached by leading theologians and Catholic college professors on how to accept and promote abortion with a 'clear conscience.'
The former Jesuit priest Albert Jonsen, emeritus professor of ethics at the University of Washington, recalls the meeting in his book 'The Birth of Bioethics' (Oxford, 2003). He writes about how he joined with the Rev. Joseph Fuchs, a Catholic moral theologian; the Rev. Robert Drinan, then dean of Boston College Law School; and three academic theologians, the Revs. Giles Milhaven, Richard McCormick and Charles Curran, to enable the Kennedy family to redefine support for abortion.
Mr. Jonsen writes that the Hyannisport colloquium was influenced by the position of another Jesuit, the Rev. John Courtney Murray, a position that 'distinguished between the moral aspects of an issue and the feasibility of enacting legislation about that issue.' It was the consensus at the Hyannisport conclave that Catholic politicians 'might tolerate legislation that would permit abortion under certain circumstances if political efforts to repress this moral error led to greater perils to social peace and order.'
Father Milhaven later recalled the Hyannisport meeting during a 1984 breakfast briefing of Catholics for a Free Choice: 'The theologians worked for a day and a half among ourselves at a nearby hotel. In the evening we answered questions from the Kennedys and the Shrivers. Though the theologians disagreed on many a point, they all concurred on certain basics . . . and that was that a Catholic politician could in good conscience vote in favor of abortion.'
All emphases added.
I'd never heard this before, and I am genuinely shocked. Here we have Catholic Priests laying the groundwork for the murder of (to date) 49 million American children.
Diogenes closed his post:"It was a critically important event, illustrating how the Kennedy family has consistently exploited its Catholicism-- to the betterment of Kennedy political prospects, and the detriment of the faith. The more people know what happened at Hyannisport, the better."
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney
Friday, January 2, 2009
The Pope made this exhortation Wednesday during his homily at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica that included first vespers for today's feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the singing of the Te Deum in thanksgiving for the graces of 2008.
"This year closes with the awareness of a growing economic and social crisis that already concerns the entire world," he said. "Though not a few shadows are appearing on the horizon of our future, we should not be afraid.
"Our great hope as believers is eternal life in communion with Christ and with the whole family of God. This great hope gives us the strength to confront and overcome the difficulties of life in this world." (Zenit.org).-