Friday, April 29, 2011

"There be Dragons"

Speaking of movies "There be Dragons," a movie about the life of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, will open next week. Here's the trailer:

"No Greater Love"

Ignatius Press is releasing a new movie on DVD about the lives of Carmelite Sisters in England "defiantly at odds" with contemporary society."



Lots of prayer, then a Nun with a chain saw...what's not to like!

Governor Daniels Signs Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

or, as Mark Shea calls them, "Murder Inc."

From the AP:

"INDIANAPOLIS – Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he will sign restrictive abortion legislation and make Indiana the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood, a move likely to boost his credentials among social conservatives as he considers whether to run for president."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Contributions of the LGBT Movement to American Society"

Our friends over at California Catholic Daily ran an article this Monday on San Francisco's annual "Hunky Jesus" contest, which is held by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence each Easter Sunday. Being a text-oriented Catholic publication, they cannot do an accurate story on the event, any more than the San Francisco Chronicle, a "family newspaper" can do an accurate story on the Folsom Street Fair.

But, Zombie, the San Francisco photojournalist, can--and "A Shepherd's Voice" will show you the (censored) reality of the event. The picture is from him. You can check out his story here--warning: very obscene.




He adds this twist: he titles his story "Christians mock gays at shocking Easter service" and writes "If the story as I originally titled it was true ('Christians mock gays at shocking Easter service'), it would indeed have been national news." He also shows that some San Francisco parents actually thought bringing their children to the event was a good idea.


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were a fixture for many year's at San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer Church, and would still be today were it not for the efforts of people like us. This is a good time to review the video of their visit in 2007:





Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Finally....Cardinal George Suspends Fr. Pfleger

The young people over at CatholicVote.org are on the case. Matt Bowman writes:

"The Archdiocese of Chicago has suspended the pastorship and priestly faculties of Fr. Michael Pfleger, the (in)famous left-wing priest in Chicago.

The dispute stemmed from discussions about a move away from pastorship, a move that Cardinal George said Fr. Pfleger wanted, but the details of which had not been finally resolved yet.

According to a letter released by Cardinal George, Fr. Pfleger took these private discussions onto national radio and television broadcasts to accuse the diocese of succumbing to right-wing pressure to take him out of the parish.

But what broke the camel’s back were comments by Pfleger during those interviews, in which he declared that the dispute could lead him to actually leave the Church.

Cardinal George correctly observed: 'If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish.'


Cardinal George has shown a superhuman patience towards Fr. Pfleger--perhaps more than was prudent. Matt writes:

"Even patience has its limits: as Cardinal George pointed out, to fend off Fr. Pfleger’s likely claim of victim status: 'This conflict is not between you and me; it’s between you and the Church that ordained you as a priest, between the faith that introduced you to Christ and gives you to the right to preach and pastor in his name. . . . You are not a victim of anyone or anything other than your own statements.'”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Andy McCarthy Spanks King & Spaulding

They've asked for it, and they're getting it.

Mr. McCarthy points out what everybody knows: the Defense of Marriage Amendment is anything but unpopular.

"The high dudgeon about lawyers heroically taking on unpopular causes is malarkey. DOMA is unpopular only on the left — but that is enough to ensure that the lawyer Left won’t touch it.

Then he points out that King & Spaulding has no problem in embracing genuinely unpopular causes, anyway:

"But terrorists, murderers, illegal aliens, animal-rights activists, and global-warming alarmists? Count them in."

Then he echoes William Duncan of the National Organization for Marriage on counterfeit "marriage" advocates' willingness to overthrow society, if need be, in the pursuit of some chimerical "equality":

"Social justice is not about ensuring a fair process. It’s about achieving outcomes of which the Left approves, by any means necessary. You can tell what they’re for by what they volunteer to do and what they’re against by what they won’t go near."

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

9 out of 10 Lawyers Agree...King & Spaulding Blew It

A remarkable across-the-board consensus seems to be developing among lawyers that King and Spaulding acted improperly in agreeing to defend DOMA, and then backing out when pressured by counterfeit "marriage" advocates. This response should also serve as a warning to those advocates to civilize themselves.

Those supporting Paul Clement and condemning (either implicitly or explicitly) King & Spaulding now include Attorney General Eric Holder, former Attorney General Mike Mukasey, Benjamin Wittes, Clinton Administration Solicitor General Seth Waxman (whose firm is arguing the other side of the DOMA Case), Professor William Jacobsen, the guys over at the Volokh Conspiracy, and NYU Law Professor Stephen Gillers. That is just a sample.

All in all, King and Spaulding's cowardly action is provoking an admirable professional response among America's lawyers. Heaven knows we disagree with most of these lawyers--still, it is good to see, and a proud moment for the legal profession.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Counterfeit Marriage Updates

Our friend Bill May writes today on the cowardly action of the law firm of King & Spalding and the dignified action of attorney Paul Clement, who is defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

"On April 17, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement was hired to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Within the week, Clement had been forced to resign from his law firm. This is just the latest example of the heavy-handed tactics of gay rights' groups in their effort to redefine marriage and stifle any dissent."

You'd think they would have learned something from Gavin "Whether ya like it or not!" Newsom, but apparently not. They're quickly reaching the status of "nobody likes them, not even their friends": see here, here, here, and here.

On February 23 I noted how little understanding of the common good is shown by same-sex activists:

"It is instructive to reflect on how the supporters of counterfeit "marriage" show time and again they have no concern for the right to self government nor for the common good of society.

William C. Duncan, noted this today, writing in The Corner:

"There is something about the marriage issue that provokes an “any means necessary” approach from its proponents (among whom I believe we can count the president, notwithstanding campaign rhetoric to the contrary)."

That's been the case right from the start, when Mayor Gavin Newsom unilaterally and in violation of the law decided to start issuing counterfeit "marriage" licenses.

It continued when opponents of Prop8 filed suit to have the measure removed from the ballot. Prop 8 went to the voters anyway.

It continued when then-Attorney General Jerry Brown changed the title of Proposition 8, in order to weaken support for it. Prop 8 won big despite the change.

It continued when Attorney General Brown refused to do his duty and defend Prop 8, passed by a significant majority of Californians.

It continued in Massachusetts when the state legislature refused to allow the people of the state to vote on a constitutional amendment defending marriage, despite the record number (170+000) of signatures.

This is self-interest denying the common good, and the right of the people to self-government."


Prediction: Paul Clement will win the DOMA case.

Meanwhile the attorneys defending Proposition 8 have taken the advice of Ed Whelan and have filed a motion asking that Judge Walker's ruling be vacated because he was in a long-term same-sex relationship while he was hearing the case.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Question

Here is a Vatican translation of the transcript from Benedict XVI's appearance on a television program titled "A Sua Immagine" [In His Image] of the Italian channel RAI. The Pontiff answered seven questions from individuals, including a Muslim woman from the Ivory Coast and Christians from Italy seeking deeper understanding of Christ's resurrection and Mary's role in our lives.

The first question comes from a seven-year-old Japanese child who says: "My name is Elena. I am Japanese and I am seven years old. I am very frightened because the house where I felt safe really shook a lot and many children my age have died. I cannot go to play at the park. I want to know: why do I have to be so afraid? Why do children have to be so sad? I'm asking the Pope, who speaks with God, to explain it to me".

A. Dear Elena, I send you my heartfelt greetings. I also have the same questions: why is it this way? Why do you have to suffer so much while others live in ease? And we do not have the answers but we know that Jesus suffered as you do, an innocent, and that the true God who is revealed in Jesus is by your side. This seems very important to me, even if we do not have answers, even if we are still sad; God is by your side and you can be certain that this will help you. One day we will even understand why it was so.

At this moment it seems important to me that you know "God loves me" even if it seems like He doesn't know me. No, He loves me, He is by my side, and you can be sure that in the world, in the universe, there are many who are with you, thinking of you, doing what they can for you, to help you. And be aware that, one day, I will understand that this suffering was not empty, it wasn't in vain, but behind it was a good plan, a plan of love. It is not chance. Be assured, we are with you, with all the Japanese children who are suffering. We want to help you with our prayers, with our actions, and you can be sure that God will help you. In this sense we pray together so that light may come to you as soon as possible.
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On the Need for Liturgical Referees

The great Jeff Miller is on the case.

"Have you ever been a Sunday morning quarterback during Mass where you critique and liturgical abuses or experimental oddities that you have observed. You just wish at times that somebody would step in and do something about what your are observing.Well we have some good news for you! Francis Cardinal Arinze the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has introduced a new program that will surely have an effect."

Check it out.

Legal Analysts on Both Sides Say Judge Walker Should have Recused Himself

Judge Vaughn Walker's revelation that he is in a long-term same-sex relationship has caused legal experts who both oppose and support his ruling in the Proposition 8 case to agree that he should have recused himself.

Ed Whelan makes the case:

"Two weeks ago, former federal district judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled last summer in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, publicly disclosed for the first time that he has been in a same-sex relationship for the past ten years. A straightforward application of the judicial ethics rules compels the conclusion that Walker should have recused himself from taking part in the Perry case. Further, under well-established Supreme Court precedent, the remedy of vacating Walker’s judgment is timely and necessary."

Mr. Whelan also says that Judge Walker's ruling should be vacated:

"Now that Walker has finally disclosed facts that would have warranted his disqualification from Perry, the appropriate remedy is for the Ninth Circuit — or, if necessary, the Supreme Court — to vacate Walker’s judgment upon a request by Prop 8 proponents. As the Supreme Court ruled more than two decades ago in Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp. (1988), where a district judge has violated section 455(a) by deciding a case that he should have disqualified himself from, it is 'appropriate to vacate the judgment unless it can be said that [the losing party] did not make a timely request for relief, or that it would otherwise be unfair to deprive the prevailing party of its judgment.'”

Jack Marshall, a lawyer and ethicist who supports Walker's ruling agrees that Judge Walker should have recused himself:

"Reluctantly, I have to agree that his disclosure, a year after his ruling, that he was in a committed relationship with a man when he was ruling on Proposition 8 alters that conclusion. Weeks ago, former federal district judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled last summer in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, publicly disclosed for the first time that he has been in a same-sex relationship for the past ten years. A straightforward application of the judicial ethics rules compels the conclusion that Walker should have recused himself from taking part in the Perry case."

It's interesting that both experts, diametrically opposed on Walker's ruling, use exactly the same sentence to describe his unethical behavior.

Baby Joseph Goes Home!

Great story from Life Site News:

Baby Joseph and his family arrived in Windsor, Ontario on a medical transport flight from St. Louis, Missouri this morning. He is now at the family home, according to Brother Paul O’Donnell.

On behalf of Baby Joseph’s family, Brother O’Donnell told LifeSiteNews that that their son was weaned off ventilator support 12 days ago and has been successfully breathing on his own since then....

Commending the staff at Cardinal Glennon, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life said Joseph has defied so many critics.

“Our mission to save Baby Joseph and help his family was never based on any prediction of the future, but rather on the value of his life here and now. Our critics, on the other hand, looking into the crystal ball that ‘right to die’ advocates seem to always think they have, claimed our intervention was futile because Joseph would only end up having a machine do his breathing for him,” said Fr. Pavone.

“We don’t have to answer their criticism; Joseph is doing that for us, with every breath he takes.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Politics and the devil: Living as Catholics in an age of unbelief


Excerpts from a magnificent talk at Notre Dame University by HIS GRACE CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. Archbishop of Dencer,

University of Notre Dame Right to Life lecture series (April 8, 2011)



...A theme we've heard from many of our cultural leaders over the past few years – at least when they're not battling over the economy or health care – goes like this. America needs to return science to its "rightful place" in public life. And of course, who can argue with that? Science does an enormous amount of good. Obviously science should have its rightful place alongside every other important human endeavor. But one thing that this theme often means, in practice, is that we need to spend a lot more money on research. Especially the controversial kind. And while we're at it, we should stop asking so many annoying ethical questions, so that science can get on with its vital work….

God and the devil, are very real – and that history is the stage where that struggle is played out, both in our personal choices and in our public actions; where human souls choose their sides and create their futures….

f course, working to end abortion doesn't absolve us from our obligations to the poor. It doesn't excuse us from our duties to the disabled, the elderly and immigrants. In fact, it demands from us a much stronger commitment to materially support women who find themselves in a difficult pregnancy.

All of these obligations are vital. God will hold us accountable if we ignore them. But none of these other duties can obscure the fact that no human rights are secure if the right to life is not. Unfortunately, abortion is no longer the only major bioethical threat to that right in our culture. In fact, the right to life has never, at any time in the past, faced the range of challenges it faces right now, and will face throughout your lifetimes. Physician-assisted suicide, cloning, brain-computer interface (BCI) research, genetic screening of unwanted fetuses, genetic engineering of preferred physical and intellectual traits, cross-species experimentation and developments in neuroscience – these things already raise serious questions about the definition of "human nature" and the protection of human dignity in the years ahead....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Congress Picks DOMA Defender

The U.S. House of Representatives has picked a former U.S. Soliciter General to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, something the Obama Administration Department of Justice had declined to do. He is Paul Clement, who served for three years durning the Bush administration.

Maggie Gallagher says this is very good news.

Friday, April 15, 2011

California Catholic Bishops Express Oppositon to SB 48

But their opposition seems a little tepid to me. For instance, I've heard of nothing being sent from bishops to pastors, instructing them to encourage parishioners to call their representatives.


"The California Catholic Conference is opposing a state bill that would require social studies texts to specifically include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The bill would also prohibit the state Board of Education from adopting instructional materials that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The bill, SB 48, is 'unnecessary and overly intrusive' conference Executive Director Ned Dolejsi testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee April 5. Teaching acceptance and tolerance is laudable but 'making the characteristic of an historical actor preeminent in the study of her or his accomplishment, contribution and/or historical significance potentially diminishes the individual and the subject matter being taught,' the conference said in a letter to the committee."

The article also quoted from the press release of Senator Mark Leno (D-SF), author of the bill:


"Most textbooks don’t include any historical information about the LGBT movement, which has great significance to both California and U.S. history. Our collective silence on this issue perpetuates negative stereotypes of LGBT people and leads to increased bullying of young people. We can’t simultaneously tell youth that it’s OK to be yourself and live an honest, open life when we aren’t even teaching students about historical LGBT figures or the LGBT equal rights movement.”


We responded to that argument in a post on SB 48 back in February: "While individual same-sex attracted individuals have certainly contributed to the good of society, it is undeniable that the 'great significance to both California and U.S. history' of the LGBT movement in 'contemporary society' has been the ongoing attempt at the destruction of marriage and the near self-extermination of male homosexuals through the AIDS epidemic."


We could add the role that the "LGBT movement" has played in the eradication of sexual modesty. The LGBT movement is not solely resposible for this, of course, but they bear their share of responsibility--certainly in San Francisco. Example: these two guys are in San Francisco's 2008 "Pride" parade--right in the center of the city:



Sorry if anyone is offended, but that is reality. For a very forthright bit of church teaching on the issue of same-sex attractedness, see this article about Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz.


Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Retired, Judge Walker Continues Unethical Behavior

From the great legal analyst Ed Whelan comes this news on the latest from retired Judge Vaughn Walker.

Vaughn Walker’s Continuing Defiance on Prop 8 Trial Recordings


"One of the clear early signs of former district judge Vaughn Walker’s determined malfeasance in the anti-Prop 8 case was his resort to procedural shenanigans and outright illegality in furtherance of his fervent desire to broadcast the trial, in utter disregard of (if not affirmatively welcoming) the harassment and abuse that pro-Prop 8 witnesses would reasonably anticipate. Walker’s escapade was blocked by an extraordinary (and fully warranted) stay order by the Supreme Court in an opinion that was plainly a stinging rebuke of Walker’s lack of impartiality:

'The District Court attempted to change its rules at the eleventh hour to treat this case differently than other trials in the district. Not only did it ignore the federal statute that establishes the procedures by which its rules may be amended, its express purpose was to broadcast a high-profile trial that would include witness testimony about a contentious issue. If courts are to require that others follow regular procedures, courts must do so as well.'

Walker ended up recording the trial proceedings but, assuring Prop 8 proponents that he was doing so only for his own use in deciding the case, he ordered the video recording of the trial to be placed under seal. But, believe it or not, Walker himself recently publicly displayed and broadcast a portion of the video recording—containing cross-examination of one of proponents’ witnesses—notwithstanding that he thereby violated his own order and his court’s local rules, contravened the policies of the Judicial Conference of the United States and of the Ninth Circuit, and thumbed his nose at the Supreme Court."


Speaking of Mr. Whelan, he will be testifying on Friday, April 15 before the Constitution subcommittee of the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee at a hearing titled “Defending Marriage.” God Bless him!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pledge by a 15yr. old Arizona kid

Since the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer Are not allowed in most Public schools anymore because the word 'God' is mentioned, here's a new pledge

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd.


If scripture now the class recites,

It violates the Bill of Rights.

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now.


Our hair can be purple, orange or green,

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.

The law is specific, the law is precise.

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.


For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all.

In silence alone we must meditate,

God's name is prohibited by the state.


We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks...

They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.

To quote the Good Book makes me liable.


We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,

And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.

It's 'inappropriate' to teach right from wrong,

We're taught that such 'judgments' do not belong..


We can get our condoms and birth controls,

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles..

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,

No word of God must reach this crowd.


It's scary here I must confess,

When chaos reigns the school's a mess.

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot; my soul please take!

Amen

Monday, April 11, 2011

More on the Party of Death: "The Most Important Issue in American Politics is Abortion"

Following up on our last post, here are some thoughts from others. First, the beginning of a column by Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist for the Washington Examiner:

"This Democratic Senate and White House are clearly willing to disappoint their base on many issues. They've agreed to spending cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy, scrapped a public option, and continued warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detention of terrorism suspects and unnecessary wars on Arab dictators. But in last week's budget debate we glimpsed the party's unshakable core: dedication to the abortion lobby
."


Read the whole thing.


And here is a thought from constitutional scholar, Robert L. Clinton, via National Review:

"The current controversy over the federal budget serves as a clear and disturbing reminder that the most important issue in American politics is abortion. The fact that the budget dispute resolved last night, threatening a partial shutdown of the national government, came down to the funding of Planned Parenthood, is a striking confirmation of Ramesh Ponnuru’s description of the strongest elements of the Democratic Party as belonging to the 'Party of Death.' The underlying 'fidelity-to-the-central-holding-of-Roe' litmus test for Supreme Court nominees, familiar since the Bork hearings of the 1980s, now seems to be the test for budget bills as well. If the decision whether to keep the government functioning at full strength boils down to resolution of a controversy over abortion, then we seem to be approaching a situation of the kind that obtained shortly before the Civil War, in which a flawed Supreme Court decision was followed by an unbridgeable congressional divide and governmental paralysis. As Hadley Arkes suggested around the time of the Bork hearings, Dred Scott and Roe are cut from the same cloth. While I would hardly venture so far as to predict another civil war, the circumstances and the history cannot help but give one pause."


We agree, and excerpt from a post we wrote back in 2009: "We are the new Abolitionists."

John Paul II says you cannot simply live comfortably with an immoral legal system, any more than you could live comfortably with slavery, and therefore you have to work to change the law. It's a society-dividing issue, and on this issue, we're with Abraham Lincoln and he (President Obama)'s with Stephen Douglas, and he doesn't like to hear that, but that's where he is."
-Cardinal Francis George, April 21, 2009. 2009 Louisiana Priests Convention.

"The question of slavery, at the present day, should be not only the greatest question, but very nearly the sole question. Our opponents, however, prefer that this should not be the case." -
President Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan, August 27, 1856.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party: Joined at the Hip

From Tim Carney's Beltway Confidential:

Planned Parenthood spent more than $1 million electing Democrats last cycle


"Here's something to keep in mind as Democrats risk a government shutdown in order to preserve federal subsidies of Planned Parenthood. From the Center for Responsive Politics:


'In 2010, Planned Parenthood and a California affiliate together spent more than $700,000 on federal lobbying efforts, a Center for Responsive Politics analysis of federal lobbying records finds. By comparison, all other organizations that primarily advocate for abortion rights collectively spent $247,280 on federal lobbying efforts during the same period, according to the Center's research.'"

"You Don't go to Planned Parenthood to Get Your Blood Pressure Checked"

Senator Jon Kyl nails Senator Harry Reid this morning. From the Corner:

"Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid said he was 'very hopeful' that an agreement can be reached today, announcing a special Democratic caucus meeting at 1:00 p.m.. He then went off on a ridiculous diatribe about how Republicans 'want to shut the government down because they think there’s nothing more important than denying women cancer screenings,” claiming the disagreement had “nothing to do with abortion.' (!)

'They want me to sarifice my wife’s health, my daughter’s health and my nine granddaughters’ health,' he said. 'As a father, a husband and a grandfather I am personally offended.'

Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) offered a swift rebuttal: 'You don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your blood pressure or cholesterol checked,' he said. 'If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood. That’s 90 percent of what they do.'

Catholics Must Oppose SB 48

Below is a letter from Bill May, Chairman of Catholics for the Common Good to members of the California state Senate on Senate Bill SB 48.

We had commented on SB 48 back in February, in the post "The Costs of Propaganda: SB 48 Ignores Real Significance of LGBT Movement."

April 4, 2011


RE: SB 48 (Leno) Instruction: prohibition of discriminatory content


The Honorable Noreen Evans, Chair Senate Judiciary Committee
State Capitol, Room 2187
Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Senator Evans,
Catholics for the Common Good opposes SB 48. While it is laudable to fight discrimination, SB 48 is unnecessary and will be counterproductive.

Problems regarding LGBT bullying are not going to be solved by cosmetically sexualizing social studies in California K-12 schools by drawing attention to a person’s sexual orientation or life-style. Inserting “heterosexual” along with “gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender” in the bill will help demonstrate how inappropriate assignments of sexuality are in the course of teaching the contributions of people in history.


Sexuality is common to every human person. Sexuality and related lifestyles are only a small part of a person, and children must be taught that they do not have any bearing on the intrinsic dignity of the person. Requiring a focus on the sexuality of the person in text books and curricula could actually have the opposite effect than that intended as it reduces the person to an identity when in reality he or she is so much more.


It is the intrinsic value of the person that is the foundation of human rights and is the requirement for respect regardless of ability, physical characteristics, age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or cultural background, etc.


That fact that LGBT persons have faced and continue to face unjust discrimination is an important fact that must be taught and not forgotten, but this bill will not affect that.


Prohibition of discrimination in curriculum content and school activities is already protected in both the educational and criminal codes. This bill does nothing to augment that. However, the language of SB 48 is so vague, and subject to such broad interpretation, that it can only lead to confusion, conflict, and the potential for complaints and litigation at the state and school district levels. We do not need more conflict in schools but more focus on the respect and the dignity of all persons, and on the primary job of education, which is to contribute to the development and flourishing of each and every child that they might reach their full potential as productive members of society.


We urge you vote no on this bill.


Sincerely


William B. May


cc: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee

The Honorable Mark Leno, Author

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Budget Impasse All About Federal Funding for Abortion

Both author Ramesh Ponnuru and Cardinal Burke have called the Democrats are the "Party of Death," and tonight there is more evidence for the charge.

From ABC News:

Still No Deal as Thursday Becomes Shutdown D-Day; Planned Parenthood Rider the Big Sticking Point, Sources Say


"His meeting with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., having concluded, President Obama came to the White House briefing room this evening to report 'additional progress' had been made and 'differences have been narrowed.'

But outstanding issues remain, he cautioned, ones so important – to both sides - the president said he wouldn’t express 'wild optimism' that there will be a deal....

The language in the rider stripping some powers from the Environmental Protection Agency is being 'worked through,' the Democrat said. 'The stickiest issue will end up being Planned Parenthood.'

The House voted earlier this year to de-fund Planned Parenthood but 41 Democrats in the Senate already have said they would not support legislation ending funding to Planned Parenthood, making the matter one that could be filibustered. The White House has said the president would not agree to any ban on funding to Planned Parenthood."

They are in great spiritual danger


Where does the Church stand on cohabitaton? Here is a excellent letter from the Archbishop of Santa Fe: (The following pastoral letter from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan was read at all Masses in the archdiocese last weekend.)

April 3, 2011 ‘Pastoral Care of Couples Who are Cohabitating’

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are all painfully aware that there are many Catholics today who are living in cohabitation. The Church must make it clear to the faithful that these unions are not in accord with the Gospel, and to help Catholics who find themselves in these situations to do whatever they must do to make their lives pleasing to God.

First of all, we ourselves must be firmly rooted in the Gospel teaching that, when it comes to sexual union, there are only two lifestyles acceptable to Jesus Christ for His disciples: a single life of chastity, or the union of man and woman in the Sacrament of Matrimony. There is no “third way” possible for a Christian. The Bible and the Church teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman and opposes same sex unions.

We have three groups of people who are living contrary to the Gospel teaching on marriage: those who cohabit; those who have a merely civil union with no previous marriage; and those who have a civil union who were married before. These people are objectively living in a state of mortal sin and may not receive Holy Communion. They are in great spiritual danger. At the best -- and this is, sadly, often the case -- they are ignorant of God’s plan for man and woman. At the worst, they are contemptuous of God’s commandments and His sacraments.

Of these three groups, the first two have no real excuse. They should marry in the Church or separate. Often their plea is that they “cannot afford a church wedding” i.e. the external trappings, or that “what difference does a piece of paper make?” -- as if a sacramental covenant is nothing more than a piece of paper! Such statements show religious ignorance, or a lack of faith and awareness of the evil of sin.

The third group, those who were married before and married again outside the Church, can seek a marriage annulment and have their marriage blest in the Church. Please remember that divorce still is no reason to refrain from Holy Communion as long as they have not entered into another marriage or sinful relationship. Many Catholics are confused on this point.

Christ our Lord loves all these people and wishes to save them -- not by ignoring their sin, or calling evil good, but by repentance and helping them to change their lives in accordance with His teaching. We, as His Church, must do the same. In accord with this, I would remind you of the following:

1. People in the above three situations cannot receive the Sacraments, with the important exception of those who agree to live chastely (“as brother and sister”) until their situation is regularized. Of course, those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant.

2. These people may not be commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, not only because of scandal, but even more because one commits the sin of sacrilege by administering a Sacrament in the state of mortal sin.

3. Nor are such people to be admitted to the role of sponsor for Baptism or Confirmation, as is clearly stated on the Archdiocesan Affidavit for a Sponsor. It is critical for the sponsor to be a practicing Catholic -- and can anyone be seriously called a practicing Catholic who is not able to receive the sacraments because they are living in sin?

4. When it comes to other parish ministries and organizations, I feel it best to leave these situations to the judgment of the pastor. Prudence is needed, avoiding all occasions of scandal. We must see their involvement in the parish as an opportunity to work urgently to bring such people to repentance and the regularization of their lifestyle.

5. Many of these sins are committed out of ignorance. I ask that our pastors preach on the gravity of sin and its evil consequences, the 6th and 9th Commandments of God, and the sacramental nature and meaning of Christian marriage. Our catechetical programs in our parishes -- children, youth, and adult -- must clearly and repeatedly teach these truths.

A Church wedding does not require some lavish spectacle and entertainment costing vast sums of money (Indeed, how often we have seen the most costly weddings end in divorce in but a few months or years!). While beauty and joy should surround a Christian wedding, we must remind everyone that it is a sacrament, not a show.

6. Those who are married outside the Church because of a previous union are urged to seek an annulment through our Marriage Tribunal. If it can be found that the first marriage lacked some essential quality for a valid marriage, the Tribunal can grant an annulment. Your pastor can help someone start a marriage case for this purpose. It is important for such couples to continue to pray and get to Mass even though they may not receive Communion, until their marriage can be blest in the Church.

Our popular American culture is often in conflict with the teachings of Jesus and His Church. I urge especially young people to not cohabitate which is sinful, but to marry in the Church and prepare well for it.

I congratulate and thank those thousands of Catholic married couples who role model the Sacrament of Marriage according to the teachings of Jesus and his Church.

Sincerely yours in the Risen Lord,

Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lovely: Pro-Life Flash Mob Greets Pro-Life Hero Joe Scheidler

Chicago's Pro-Life "Flash Mob" strikes again! Don't you love these happy young people? Old Joe looks pretty happy, too.



h/t LifeSiteNews, which has the story.

To see some of their previous work, go here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Horrible, Heartbreaking News from Ivory Coast: At Least 800 Slaughtered Seeking Refuge at Salesian Mission

Horror upon horror. Mary Help of Christians, pray for the people of Africa, pray for us!

The Salesian News Agency had reported on the developing situation on March 31.

From today's Herald Scotland:

"A massacre in a Roman Catholic mission compound in the heart of the Ivory Coast’s cocoa-producing region could come to be seen as a crucial moment in the West African state’s escalating civil war. Reports are mounting of atrocities by both sides in the conflict − those loyal to head of state Laurent Gbagbo, besieged in his presidential residence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, and those who follow northern leader and president-elect Allasane Ouattara.

Events at the Italian Salesian Roman Catholic mission in Duekoue increasingly echo a notorious church massacre during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Early reports suggested that more than 800 people, largely from the Gbagbo-supporting Gueré tribe, were killed in a single day at the sprawling Salesian Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus mission in Duekoue, 300 miles west of Abidjan towards the Liberian border.

The attackers seem to have been largely soldiers descended from Burkina Faso immigrant Muslim families loyal to Ouattara. Late yesterday the Roman Catholic charity Caritas said more than 1000 people were massacred in Duekoue. A Caritas spokesman said Caritas workers visited the town and reported seeing a neighbourhood filled with bodies of people who had been shot and hacked to death with machetes."



The Divine Ripples blog quotes charity workers saying the as many as 40,000 persons have sought refuge at the Salesian Mission.

Gateway Pundit says that the number of slain at the mission is over 1,000:

"At least 1,000 Christians were slaughtered this week in at the Salesian Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus mission in Duekou, Ivory Coast by Muslim troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara. The state-run media has been slow to report the facts."

The Salesians serving in the Ivory Coast are part of the Salesian French West Africa Province (AFO).

Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another Victory for LifesiteNews

Why do Fr. Rosica, Fr. Gravel (who's suing them) and a number of Canadian Catholic Bishops have so much trouble with LifeSiteNews?

Because they are effective. Here's an example:

On Tuesday, LSN reported that Canada's "Development and Peace" (the equivalent to our Catholic Relief Services) had invited pro-choice Mexican priest Fr. Luis Arriga to speak at a number of events. Over the past few years, LSN has earned the wrath of some Canadian Bishops because of their devastating exposure of Development and Peace's support (with parishioners' money) of groups who do things contrary to the Catholic faith. We followed that story here, here, here, and here.

Here's LSN's latest success (excerpt below, full story here):

BREAKING: Ottawa Archbishop: D&P partner acts against ‘right to life,’ speaker cancelled
"

Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast has cancelled the speaking engagements of the head of one of Development and Peace’s partners, after personally investigating and finding that the actions of the partner are “incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death.”


The archbishop has cancelled the scheduled appearances of Father Luis Arriaga, director of the Miguel Pro Centre for Human Rights (PRODH), who was to appear at the diocesan centre Saturday and at Catholic parishes in the archdiocese over the weekend.


A notice on the archdiocesan website announced that the archbishop had met with Fr. Arriaga upon his arrival in Ottawa, and “discussed with him, and with representatives of Development and Peace, the Centre’s support of groups espousing abortion.”


“Since the Centre’s support of groups in favour of abortion rights in Mexico is incompatible with the Church’s defence of the right to life from conception to natural death and the mission of Development and Peace, and in order to remove any doubt about this commitment, the speaking engagements of Fr. Arriaga have been cancelled,” said the statement.


As LSN reported Tuesday, Fr. Arriaga has shown a history of support for the pro-abortion group Catholics for the Right to Decide, while his organization has repeatedly put its name to pro-abortion declarations. In November of 2010 the priest praised and received an award alongside Consuelo Mejía, director of Catholics for the Right to Decide, while he also participated in an event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the pro-abortion group. Fr. Luis Arriaga of PRODH (right) with Consuelo Mejía, director of Catholics for the Right to Decide (middle), and Marisa Belausteguigoitia of the University Program for Gender Studies (left).


The confirmation by Archbishop Prendergast of PRODH’s pro-abortion activities is extremely significant for LifeSiteNews (LSN) and those who have followed the Development and Peace funding scandal over the past two years."


Bravo, LifeSiteNews! LSN is currently in a funding drive and "A Shepherd's Voice" heartily endorses their fine work.


Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Archbishop Wenski on Counterfeit "Marriage"



The young people over at CatholicVote.org continue their fine work.

They have a great post on an editorial in the Sun Sentinel by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. We have great admiration for His Excellency and have long contended that he articulatess the motivations underlying the push for counterfeit "marriage" as well as just about anybody:

"In our nation's culture wars, the two sides are fighting about the understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality. One side — and today, "gay marriage" is its poster child — holds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things, but by one's own individual will. The other side holds men and women are not self-creators, but creatures. Truth is not constructed, but received and thus must reflect the reality of things. Or, as the Book of Genesis says: "Male and female, He (God) created them." (Genesis 1:27)."

You can read the post at CatholicVote, which includes an hysterical response to His Excellency's well written column, by going here.

The post is titled "Archbishop Wenski’s words made true by gay writer who viciously attacks him for defending reality of marriage" but could just as easily have read "Archbishop Wenski’s words made true by gay writer who viciously attacks him for defending reality."

"Who Works for Whom?" Part II

From Stephen Moore, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

"If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government. It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined."


What happens when government, which is supposed to serve the people, and arbitrate between competing societal interests, becomes itself an interest group--and further, an interest group that can acquire the citizens' goods by force of law?
Many countries have found out, and now we are, too.