Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve



"Census at Bethlehem" by Pieter Breughel the Elder

As I was walking the streets of San Francisco this evening, looking at all the Christmas trees in the windows, I was reminded of this message of St. Pope John XXIII, when he left his position as Archbishop of Areopolis in Bulgaria in 1935:

"There is a tradition in Catholic Ireland that on Christmas Day each family puts a lighted candle in their home, so that if Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary should be passing by they may know that within, beside a fire and a table blessed by the grace of God, the family awaits them."

All the lit windows made me see Christmas a sort of reverse Passover--instead of making a sign to ask God to pass over us, I saw the trees as an invitation for God to join us. May we invite our Lord and the Holy Family to join us always!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pastor Defends Marriage: Exactly what we need right now!

The Church speaks!

This letter (via Rorate) was included in all the parish bulletins at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, VA. This is a church that deserves our thanks, plus a donation at Christmas (which I sent). Their address is here:

St John the Baptist
120 W Main St.
Front Royal VA 22630



Affirmation of Faith Concerning Marriage and the Family
 
We, the Pastor and the Parochial Vicar, in union with the parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal, Virginia, have signed the following Affirmation of Faith concerning Marriage and the Family as a sign of our fidelity to Christ and His Holy, Catholic Church. 

Issues were raised and discussed during the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome (October 5-79,2074), touching upon essential elements of the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Magisterium, resulting in much confusion amidst the laity, and distortion by the secular media, so that we find ourselves deeply stirred to manifest our fidelity to Our Lord and His Church by publicly reaffirming those parts of Catholic Doctrine that seem to have been put in doubt.

We thereby reaffirm our submission to the One, True Church, and plead with Pope Francis, Christ's Vicar on earth, to proclaim and defend the authentic teaching of the Magisterium against those within and without the Church who seek to misrepresent, dilute or contradict the truths relating to marriage and family life,

1. We believe that the Sacrament of Matrimony, as established by Jesus Christ Himself, which images His own union with His Church, is indissoluble. Marriage is a holy and irrevocable vow and promise, made to God, between one man and one woman which is to be open to the children, which He may want to send them, and commits the couple to lifelong fidelity. As a consequence of this vow, and the sacramental grace it effects, many wonderful families have been established and exist among us. Also the many flourishing families in our parish are outstanding witnesses of the Grace of God who enables them to be able to keep their promise to each other and to Him.
2. We believe that anyone who breaks that marriage bond and remarries outside the Catholic Church, without first securing an annulment, sadly places oneself in an irregular union which is objectively a grave mortal sin! Though we dare not judge the heart of any person, we must view such marriages as invalid, and lacking sacramental grace. 

3. We believe, as St. Paul taught, that anyone living in the state of sin or being conscious of having committed any mortal sin, should not receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. To do so would result in sacrilege. Therefore, remarried divorced persons cannot be allowed to receive Holy Communion, until they manifest genuine repentance, followed by an amendment of life which removes them from an objective state of sin. Those who find themselves unable or unwilling to rectify their irregular situation are nonetheless children of God and should persevere in a life of prayer and penitence, not despairing of someday returning to His Grace and reception of the Sacraments. They should avoid presumption by not taking lightly their being in the state of sin, and be mindful of the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

4. We hope and pray that all individuals who have put their own souls in jeopardy by choices which result in their alienation from the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist, may find in our parish the inspiration and means to better form their consciences in accord with the teachings of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

5. We believe that God instituted the Sacrament of Matrimony primarily for the procreation of children and their education in eternal truths, unto Vita Aeterna. "Be fruitful and multiply." As a primary end of marriage is procreation, the Church must work to defend the traditional understanding of this Sacrament so that children may be welcomed and grow up with the blessing of two loving parents in a stable and enduring family life. "Let the little ones come to Me," Our Lord said. May they not find themselves to be "abandoned orphans of divorce."

6. We believe that God calls every Catholic family to be open to the children He intends to send, so that any form of artificial contraception or the selfish use of natural family planning, must be seen as objectively sinful and be strenuously opposed.

7. We believe that the family as planned by God is to be composed of one man married to one woman along with their children. Homosexual acts must be seen as intrinsically disordered as contrary to the Natural Law, thus the union of two homosexual individuals must never be seen as a "marriage" as such unions can never be open to procreation. At the same time, the Church must reach out to homosexual parishioners as She does to all those other members of the Church who may fail to live up to the high ideals of Christian chastity, which Christ has mandated for all His children, Any pastoral programs or outreach to homosexuals in a parish must have as their goal a life of celibate chastity! Only repentance, conversion and a strong purpose of amendment, in fidelity to Catholic Truth, will enable the homosexual person to be fully free. All of us sinners all called to become Saints!

8. We believe that the Sacrament of Matrimony is necessary for a Christian man and a Christian woman to establish a common life together into which they can welcome the children God sees fit to send them. Any bond outside of that Sacrament, be it in the form of cohabitation, or of mere civil marriage without the blessing of the Church, is lacking in grace. It is objectively disordered and as such is an offense against God. We as a Catholic people must be faithful in living out the Works of Mercy, one of which is to "admonish the sinner." The Church must not fail to raise Her voice as She proclaims the fullness of the Gospel in regards to marriage and family life, avoiding any temptation to give into the "political correctness" of our time. And the Church must remind us all that we need God's Sanctifying Grace to be able to live up to His Commandments.

9. We believe that the Canonical Process of Nullity with all its carefully crafted elements of procedure is an expression of the care and mercy of the Church for the souls who have had a divorce and who seek to find out whether, before God, their first marriage was indeed a valid Sacrament or not. Any shortcuts in this process must be avoided lest we give the impression that an annulment is equivalent to a Catholic divorce, as some already view it. In every Diocese, there should be a sufficient number of priests to expedite cases so that a sound judgment can be rendered in a reasonable amount of time, remembering that "justice delayed is justice denied"!

10. We believe that Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are infallible guides in evaluating marriage and family life in order to promote the salvation of souls, which is the supreme law! True love and true mercy must be grounded in Truth if souls are to be saved. Therefore, any equivocation or laxity in the Church's pastoral practice must be excluded lest the Catholic people be left in a confusion, which appears to be increasing in our time, potentially resulting in the loss of many souls. Affirming doctrine, while at the same time instituting pastoral practices which can appear to undermine that same doctrine, would be a terrible risk to take, and create new dangers and obstacles, which could hinder one's sanctification and salvation. Some within our parish have themselves traveled the path of conversion and an amendment of life, and can thus affirm that only by such fidelity to the Gospel and discipline of the Catholic Church (always a Merciful Mother), can we truly love God in Himself, and then manifest that same love and mercy to others. True happiness comes only from union with God in Jesus Christ, Our Lord. He alone reveals the Truth that will ultimately make us free in this world and happy forever in the world to come. Finally, and fittingly, we pray: May the Immaculate Virgin Mary Mother of the Church, protect that Church in these troubled times and assist Christ's Bride to be totally faithful to Him. It was the abundant love of God who sent His Blessed Mother to Fatima, in 1917, to warn us that "More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh (sins of impurity) than for any other reason." May Our Lady's admonition not go unheeded but rather sober all of us that we may be led to a deepening of our Christian lives in faith and practice. May the Patron of our parish, Saint John the Baptist, as well as the Patron Saint of our Diocese St. Thomas More, who were both martyred for their defense of marriage, pray for the Church as it prepares for the Synod of Bishops next year!

Front Royal, 28 October 2014, Feast of Saint Simon Zealot and Saint Jude Thaddeus

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

27,000 Honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in SF!

On Saturday, January 6, tens of thousands of Bay Area Catholics turned out on a cold morning to honor Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. The pilgrimage began at All Souls Church in South San Francisco (at around 5AM!) and finished at around 2PM at St. Mary's Cathedral where His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone celebrated Mass. Here is a photo from Holy Cross Cemetery, early on in the pilgrimage:


Photo courtesy Holy Cross Cemetery.

Catholic San Francisco covered the event:

Thousands process for Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 10th, 2014


Thousands of people walked 12 miles from All Souls Church in South San Francisco to St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 6.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe likes the number 12, because she did appear to Juan Diego on Dec. 12, 1531,” said Pedro Garcia, organizer of the Cruzada Guadalupana de San Francisco, which celebrated its 21st anniversary this year. The group’s first stop after All Souls is at Holy Cross Cemetery, where the staff opens early to welcome them and the second decade of the rosary is prayed.

About 4,000 people began the pilgrimage at All Souls, said Garcia, with others joining all along the route until organizers counted 27,000 at Van Ness Avenue and Market Street..."

Bless their hearts!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fr. John Malloy 5K for Life in SF’s Golden Gate Park


(A shorter version of this post appeared in yesterday's California Catholic Daily).

Before you WALK for Life…RUN for Life!
Fr. John Malloy 5K for Life in SF’s Golden Gate Park



On January 24, 2015 the Walk for Life West Coast will be preceded by the Father John Malloy 5K Run for Life.

The Run for Life, which honors the Late Fr. John Malloy, SDB, the founding chaplain of the Walk for Life West Coast and first winner of the Walk’s St. Gianna Molla award for pro-life heroism, is a joint production of the Walk for Life West Coast and LIFE Runners.

The run will begin at 7:30 AM in the parking lot on the north side of the Polo Fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park at 1232 JFK Drive. Runners will run half-way around the Polo Fields, proceed west, then turn east for over a mile on John F. Kennedy Drive before turning south on Chain of Lakes Dr. E. The final turn will be at South Lake, west onto the trail toward a final 3/4 lap around the Polo Fields. The finish is just past the original starting line at the parking lot on the north side of the Polo Fields. All participants will find ample parking along JFK drive, near the Polo Fields.

It was Fr. Malloy’s support and hosting of San Francisco’s 2004 Rally in Defense of Marriage which gave the impetus to the creation of the first Walk for Life West Coast in 2005. In that year he was named the Walk’s original chaplain, a position he held until his death, at age 91, in 2013. Fr. Malloy’s stand for the unborn was unshakable, and he used his pulpit to preach the pro-life message. He did not shy away from calling out Catholic politicians by name when they supported abortion. One of many examples was in the Saints Peter and Paul parish bulletin Pastor’s message of July 20, 2003:

“Certain political positions increase my blood pressure every time I come across them. One of the most upsetting is the abortion issue. How anyone in his/her right mind could support abortion (murder), at this time in history, is, for me, inconceivable....You and I, my dear parishioners, are called upon to affirm the dignity of women, and to protest this attempt to force abortions and sterilizations on helpless women.”

Fr. Malloy’s association with the Walk for Life West Coast was one of his proudest achievements. We take great comfort in his eternal prayerful support for life and family.



LIFE Runners, the world’s first pro-life running team, was co-founded by running partners Dr. Pat Castle and Dr. Rich Reich in 2008 as the Pro-Life action arm of the LIFE Group Devotions which they had co-founded in 2007. LIFE Runners currently has over 60 chapters in all 50 states of the union, plus more than 20 countries worldwide. In 2013 LIFE Runners raised over $100,000 for pro-life organizations. In addition to local races, LIFE Runners sponsors the A-Cross America Relay. The A-Cross America Relay consists of four separate arms, starting at the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, Corpus Christi Bay in Portland, TX, and the Red River Bridge in Grand Forks, ND. The route goes by abortion facilities, where runners will pray with 40 Days for Life groups. All 4 arms will unite on Palm Sunday at the beautiful Falls Park near St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD.

To register for the Fr. Malloy 5K Run for Life, please go to the LIFE Runners sign-up page: www.liferunners.org/signup/ which will complete both your LIFE Runner and 2015 Fr. Malloy Walk for Life 5K registrations (be sure to check "Yes" for the Fr. Malloy 5K field! If you are already a LIFE Runner, please just email a quick note that you'd like to register for the Fr. Malloy 5K, put on your LIFE Runners gear and meet us at Golden Gate Park on January 24th!

To learn more about the Father Malloy 5K for Life, visit:


To learn more about LIFE Runners, visit www.liferunners.org/

To learn more about the Walk for Life West Coast visit www.walkforlifewc.com


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Does Archbishop Cupich believe in the Real Presence?


On November 30, Archbishop Blaise Cupich of Chicago was interviewed by Norah O'Donnell on Face the Nation. O'Donnell asked about giving communion to pro-abortion politicians--that is, Catholics who are persisting in grave sin:

“So, when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.”

Cupich responded:

I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It's also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth."

This reasoning obviously applies to any mortal sin: murder, rape, sodomy, you name it.

Speaking as an all-too-frequent sinner, I DO NOT receive communion when in a state of mortal sin. My frequent sinfullness has given me the opportunity to reflect on why:

Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is in the same situation as Jesus on the Cross. As was the case at Golgotha, He is utterly defenseless, helpless For me, or anyone else, to receive Jesus when in a state of serious sin, is to attack an utterly defenseless Person.

That of course is presupposes a belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament. And reading the Archbishop's statement, I remind him  that the "time of forgiveness of sins" is during the sacrament of penance.

Speaking of Law, a sad story with a very nice aspect


From Lenore Skenazy, writing at Reason.com:


Pedophile Panic at the Salvation Army: No Teen Boys Allowed-Too Dangerous

"When it comes to helping families in need, the Salvation Army turns a cold shoulder to one class of people: Teenage boys. A family in Johnson City, TN, found this out recently when, on a freezing cold night, they asked the organization for shelter. But because their family of five contained a 15-year-old boy, they were turned down.

As the dad, Tim Lejeune, explained to WMC Action News 5:

'They said he's too old to stay on the women's side, because of the women running around in their pajamas and they said he's too young to stay on the men's side in case some pervert wants to do whatever,' Lejeune said.

Lejeune says his wife, their 15 year-old son, 16 year-old daughter and five year-old son, all down on their luck, have been living in their car for the last several weeks.

So instead the family headed to their car. The temperature: 18 degrees.

Somehow, local police officers came upon them and brought them to the Johnson Inn. The officers then pooled their money to pay for a room. When the night clerk figured out what was going on, he comped the room, so the officers' money went to groceries for the family.

Meantime, 911 dispatchers who had been in on the action pooled their money to provide the Lejeunes some more food.


And after that, the Salvation Army did take the family in—minus the teen boy.

He's not sleeping on the streets. He's now in a mental health facility. He had a breakdown, his dad says, because he thought it was his fault the family was turned away from shelter.

I blame a society so obsessed with sex crimes and predators that it has lost its mind. It cannot imagine a 15-year-old male, chilled to the bone, simply and gratefully sleeping through the night. In our worst-first fantasies, which we give the weight of fact, all young men are either innocent victims about to be violated by predators, or predators eager to prey upon innocent victims.

The Salvation Army told WMC it is now reconsidering its longstanding prejudice against teen boys.

That should make us all sleep a little easier."

Emphasis added. God bless the good police officers, the good motel clerk, and the good 911 operators!

Now that the Feruson dust has settled...


MICHAEL BROWN WAS NOT A VICTIM.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!



All creation is a blessing and a gift. Thanks be to God!
 
 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

“This is the Good News!” Courage Movie 'Desire of the Everlasting Hills' at Faith Formation Conference Friday

On Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Dioceses of Monterey, Oakland, San Jose, and Stockton will sponsor the 2014 Faith Formation Conference. This year’s conference, the ninth annual event, will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Over 50 different workshops will be offered.

This year’s conference includes an added ‘special event’ on Friday, November 21: two screenings of the 2014 movie Desire of the Everlasting Hills, produced by Courage International, the church-approved ministry to and by people with same-sex attraction. The screenings will be at 5:30PM and at 7:30 PM in Ballroom H at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Each screening will be followed by a question and answer period with two of the three people profiled in the film, Paul and Rilene. From the Faith Formation Conference website:

“The film Desire of the Everlasting Hills delivers three intimate and candid portraits of Catholics who try to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith and homosexuality. Dan, a gregarious musician who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation from those who loved him; Rilene, a successful businesswoman who realized that twenty-five years with her partner did not provide the fulfillment she had longed for; and Paul, an international model who, after a life of self-indulgence, found grace in the last place he expected….” 



The movie’s website, www.everlastinghills.org, includes a welcome from Fr. Paul N. Check, Executive Director of Courage International. Fr. Check writes:

“It… takes humility and courage to face certain questions about our lives. One such question is, ‘How do I know if I am designing my life well? By what standard can I come to a conclusion?’ This question is closely linked with another, ‘What is the purpose of my life? What does it mean to be fulfilled and at peace?’ And these are the central questions around which the film Desire of the Everlasting Hills turns. The film does not claim to answer these questions completely. They have been mulled over, talked over, even fought over, for as long as humanity has found its home in this world. Anyone who has ever thought about whether he or she has “done the right thing,” has started to think about these questions.

I admire the three people whom you will see in this movie—Rilene, Dan and Paul. I admire them because of their humility and courage. I realize—and more important, they realize—that some viewers may be troubled, offended, or even angered by their stories. No one involved in making this film wishes to cause anyone distress. On the contrary. But if we are free to design our lives, then each of us will have a story, and whether or not this story is welcome, it deserves respect. It deserves respect not only for the unique mind and heart the story reveals, but also for what it may contain for others.”

Austin Ruse, reviewing the movie in Crisis Magazine, wrote “It is impossible to watch this important documentary without tears, and not sad tears either, but happy ones, tears that come from a joyful movement of the spirit. These are people who have been deeply wounded by the choices they have made and who have struggled through to a profound peace.”

As Dan, one of those profiled in the film, says “Chastity isn’t a consolation prize. Our lives are better because of the Church’s teachings. The Church shouldn’t be embarrassed. They should shout it from the mountaintops. This is the Good News!”

A trailer for the movie may be seen at the website www.everlastinghills.org

The Santa Clara Convention center is located at 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Walk-ins to the Conference are welcome.

Note: An email from Rilene Simpson, one of those profiled in the movie, was published in today's California Catholic Daily.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Catastrophic Catholic Fall-Off in Latin America

Yesterday, Pew Research released a new study which documents the catastrophic fall-off among Catholics in Latin America (via Rorate):

Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) across Latin America and the Caribbean.


Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic (See History of Religious Change). Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. Emphasis added.

The worst fall off is in Honduras, where, since 1970, Catholics have fallen from 94% to 46% of the population. Honduras is home to our Salesian Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga. His Eminence has been a bishop in Tegucigalpa, Honduras' capitol, since 1978. If he is not already, he needs to do some reflecting on why this is happening. The author at Rorate opines that the falling away is the result of the Second Vatican Council. I think that is right. He also notes that while the increase in secularism during that time "...would explain the collapse in Western Europe, North America, and Australia. But in Latin America (where the current pope studied to be a priest during the 1960s, being ordained in December 1969), what happened instead during the same period was an intense religious revival."

Except it was not a Catholic revival, but one among the various Protestant denominations. The fall-off is not from religion, but from whatever it is that the Church in Latin America is offering. Reflection and soul-searching are in order--that is, if the Latin American hierarchy considers this to be a problem. If they don't consider this to be a problem, that is a real problem.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Steve Sailer reflects on the 2014 elections

The interesting Steve Sailer analyzes the recent elections, and the direction American society is taking.


Core Vs. Fringe, Cont'd: Media Starts To Catch Up On Sailor Strategy

"I’ve been analyzing elections since 2000, [GOP Future Depends on Winning Larger Share of the White Vote.November 28, 2000] and, ever so slowly, some of my insights are starting to become conventional wisdom.

For example, following the 2014 elections and the sputtering of the Democrats’ 'Republican War on Women' strategy, it’s not quite as much of a secret anymore that the little known Marriage Gap is usually larger than the celebrated Gender Gap. George Hawley, a professor of political science at the U. of Alabama, writes in his informative new book White Voters in 21st Century America:

'Steve Sailer is one of the few journalists who began writing extensively on the marriage gap long before the 2012 presidential election.'[P. 125]

(I find Sailor's novel breakdown of statistics to be fascinating. Example: following the 2004 elections, David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, said "As Steve Sailer pointed out in The American Conservative, George Bush carried the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates, and 25 of the top 26. John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest rates.")

Moreover, it may finally be sinking in that the Hispanic Tidal Wave doesn’t really look like the one in Interstellar.

What other ideas might pop up next? Perhaps the inherent fragility and divisiveness of the Democrats’ Coalition of the Diverse? ...."


Read the whole thing.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Reality of Marriage recognized by Sixth Circuit Court

A refreshing dose of sanity, via Catholic News Agency:

Seismic court ruling affirms link between marriage, kids

Defense of marriage advocates lauded a major 2-1 decision by a federal appeals court that noted the importance of children and sexual complementarity in upholding state laws defining marriage.

“We are particularly heartened by the Court’s acknowledgment of the reasonable arguments for preserving the true definition of marriage and by the Court’s respect for the self-determination of states on this issue,” said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.


(You can read His Excellency's statement here.)

On Nov. 6, the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals upheld state laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee that defined marriage as the unique relationship of a man and a woman.

The ruling is the first big victory for marriage defenders at the federal circuit court level. It comes after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases involving marriage laws in five states early in October.

The ACLU, representing the plaintiffs, has said it will ask the Supreme Court to review the case, and the National Organization for Marriage has also called on the Court to hear the case and uphold the marriage laws.

“We have been awaiting this decision for some time and welcome it not only as a tremendous victory, but as a common sense recognition that it is not for the federal courts to substitute their judgment about whether same-sex 'marriage' is a good idea or not, but to leave it to the people to make the decision about this fundamental institution,” the organization’s president Brian Brown stated.

The circuit court judges ruled that they did not have the constitutional authority to overturn a legal definition of marriage as determined by the citizens of a state.

The majority opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton and joined by Judge Deborah Cook, ruled that the state has the valid authority to regulate or define marriage, and that a fundamental right to marriage for every person does not exist in the Constitution.

“Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea,” they stated. Such a determination would make a “vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens” of the circuit.

“Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way,” the opinion concluded.

Archbishop Cordileone’s statement, issued through the U.S. Bishops Conference, singled out one passage from the decision as worthy of particular praise, grounding the state’s authority to define marriage as between a man and a woman in the natural law.

That passage stated, “It is not society’s laws or for that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws (that men and women complement each other biologically), that created the policy imperative.”

In addition, the ruling noted the role of government in encouraging people “to create and maintain stable relationships within which children may flourish.”

“By creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring. That does not convict the States of irrationality, only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes and that couples of the same sex do not run the risk of unintended offspring. That explanation, still relevant today, suffices to allow the States to retain authority over an issue they have regulated from the beginning.”

The states taking their time to consider the redefinition of marriage is not a violation of 14th Amendment rights of same-sex couples wishing to marry, the judges added.  

“A Burkean sense of caution does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, least of all when measured by a timeline less than a dozen years long and when assessed by a system of government designed to foster step-by-step, not sudden winner-take-all, innovations to policy problems.”

Not everyone has the fundamental right to marry, they stated.

“But the right to marry in general, and the right to gay marriage in particular, nowhere appear in the Constitution. That route for recognizing a fundamental right to same-sex marriage does not exist.”

Another organization praising the decision was the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief alongside state legislators or pro-marriage groups upholding the state marriage laws in Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky.

“The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. As the 6th Circuit rightly concluded, the Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of marriage be judicially imposed on everyone,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Brian Babione responded to the decision.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Attention Young Pro-Life Artists!


More great outreach to the young from the Walk for Life West Coast! From Friday's California Catholic Daily:

Walk for Life West Coast asks youth for help
Design-a-shirt contest

"From its inception, San Francisco’s Walk for Life West Coast has been notable for the presence of thousands of pro-life youth. The attraction of the pro-life cause to young people is pretty clear: in addition to the obvious moral objections, anyone born after Roe v. Wade understands that had they been killed through abortion it would have been perfectly legal. That attitude is well expressed though groups like the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust. But it is also true that Walk for Life West Coast organizers have consciously reached out to the young, counting on them for important functions at the Walk, such as the distribution of signs and with college age students, helping with security.

For the 2015 Walk, organizers have provided the youth with another opportunity to contribute: a pro-life Design-a-Shirt contest. From the Walk’s website:

“As we prepare for the January 24, 2015 Walk, we are offering a great opportunity for all young artists to use their creative talents in the service of the littlest among us. We are sponsoring a new Walk for Life West Coast Design-a-Shirt Contest.

There will be two divisions: one for high school age artists and one for college-age artists. The winning graphic will adorn Walk for Life West Coast t-shirts, which will be offered through the Café Press website.

Winning entries in both age categories will receive a prize of $500; second place, a prize of $350; and third place, a prize of $150. What’s more, First Place winners who are attending the Walk will be interviewed live on EWTN’s January 24, 2015 Life on the Rock pre-walk television show.

Asked what inspired the idea, Walk co-chair Eva Muntean said “I remember about five years ago during San Francisco’s 40 Days For Life a bunch of young people from St. Peter’s Parish came out to join the vigil at Planned Parenthood. This one kid had this unbelievably cool hoodie. It was black with a violet silhouette of Padre Pio. It was so cool! I asked him where he got it and he said he and his friend had designed it and had it printed.”

Submissions are due on December 15, 2014 and winners will be notified on December 22.

For more information, visit www.walkforlifewc.com/event-info/design-a-shirt-contest/

And remember, the Walk for Life is on January 24, 2015!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Equality at the expense of sanity, epidemiology division part 3

Air travel from West African countries stricken by ebola must be stopped NOW. It won't solve everything, not by a long shot, but will allow the international community to at least attempt to get a handle on the epidemic, by restricting possible vectors.

Today's news--and it's not even from Africa, but from the US:

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/10/15/ebola-patient-traveled-day-before-diagnosis/

We saw how many people in Texas were required to take care of ONE ebola patient. Many more than one or two will be infected. Air flights WILL be restricted from the West African countries. It's just a question of how many people will die first.


2,000 Faithful--Bishops, Priests, Students, Novices, Laity--at SF Rosary Rally!

Great event! I'm sorry I missed it--we had the Columbus Day bazaar at Saints Peter and Paul the same day.

Below is Valerie Schmalz's article in this week's edition of Catholic San Francisco. You can see more photos at the "gallery" page of the Rosary Rally website.


Archbishop leads Eucharistic Procession

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone carried the exposed Eucharist in a monstrance through the streets of San Francisco, as more than 1,000 Catholics processed in a public display of faith from St. Mary’s Cathedral to United Nations Plaza for the fourth annual rosary rally Oct. 11. 

Procession down Van Ness Avenue (photo courtesy Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)

“Pope Francis prays three rosaries a day,” said keynote speaker Father Andrew Apostoli, co-founder with Father Benedict Groeschel in 1988 of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, urging the about 2,000 people gathered in the Indian summer sun at the noon rally to pray the rosary daily. 

“The key to world peace is to be praying the rosary,” said Father Apostoli, an expert on the 1916 revelations of the Blessed Mother to the three children at Fatima, Portugal. 

The day’s events begin with 10 a.m. Mass in Spanish for Hispanic Ministry Day at the cathedral, followed by a procession past City Hall to U.N. Plaza. The rally included reciting the luminous mysteries, speeches, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and benediction.


The Archbishop and the faithful in Adoration of Our Lord. (photo courtesy Dennis Callahan, Catholic San Francisco)


“Our Lady’s great concern was to save souls from being lost,” Father Apostoli told rally participants, repeatedly urging all to pray the rosary daily as the Blessed Mother told the children in each of her six appearances at Fatima. “She even let those three children see a vision of hell so that they could tell us hell was a real thing and we don’t want to go there.”

 The rosary rally, held near San Francisco’s City Hall, is a renewed tradition aimed at bringing public expressions of faith back to the Bay Area. In 1961, Father Patrick Peyton’s Rosary Crusade drew a half-million people to Golden Gate Park.

Fifty years later, in 2011 the Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus, Immaculate Heart Radio, Ignatius Press and the Archdiocese of San Francisco began a new rosary rally tradition in downtown San Francisco. This year the Guadalupañas joined as official sponsors.

 In a letter to pastors urging participation, Archbishop Cordileone wrote, “Our rosary rally is a good example of what the Holy Father calls ‘the evangelizing power of popular piety.’”

 Jerick Rea, a St. Dominic parishioner and member of the parish’s young adult group, saw the flyer at church and came with friend Rose Aerubi. “I felt it would be great,” said Rea who noted that eight novices from the Dominican Priory who he sees at daily Mass were also present. “I came to support the archbishop and to pray the rosary.”

 As they have every year, administrators and students from San Francisco’s Archbishop Riordan High School volunteered to walk with the archbishop from the cathedral and took up a collection at the rally’s conclusion. 

“It’s important because our school is sponsored by the Society of Mary,” said Riordan president Joseph Conti, many of whose students present were football players who had competed late the night before. “We are very happy to support the archbishop in this endeavor to bring the rosary rally back to life in San Francisco.”

 “In this very biblical prayer we turn to Our Lady so that she may direct us to her son,” Archbishop Cordileone said in a talk that explained the Hail Marys in the original joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary total 150, the same number as the number of Psalms. The luminous mysteries, instituted by St. John Paul II in his 2002 Apostolic Letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary, focus on five key parts of Jesus’ public ministry.

 St. John Paul II called the rosary a “school of Mary,” the archbishop said – “a school in which he says the Christian people are led to contemplate the beauty in the face of Christ and experience the depths of his love.”

 Father Apostoli told those gathered that even carrying a rosary brings a blessing. “The rosary is a prayer to bring God’s mercy for the salvation of souls,” he said. “I put a rosary in a little pocket in my pajamas.” 

Confessions were heard throughout the two-hour event, and even after the rally concluded at 2 p.m., there were lines of people waiting for confession administered by the four priests sitting on folding chairs on the tree-lined side of the plaza. 

Father Joseph Illo, administrator of Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco, and co-founder of a new venture to institute an Oratory of St. Philip Neri in the archdiocese, emceed the event. Father Illo introduced the archbishop, leading the crowd in a chant “Viva” for the archbishop, adding in a nod to the city’s hopes for the National League playoffs against the St. Louis Cardinals, “I know some of you were secretly praying for the Giants during your rosary.” 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'Cohabitation?' Do you mean fornication, Eminences?

Interesting fact: the word 'cohabitation' appears in this week's relatio for the synod on the family 10 times, but the word 'fornication' not even once.

The word cohabitation refers to people living together. If the authors of the relatio are just referring to people living together, why is it there in a document of a synod purportedly about the family? I cohabited with my friend Kevin when we were in our early 20's. Our roommate situation would not belong in a synod on the family.

On the other hand, I know people who do not cohabit, yet have been having "regular, consummating sex" for years. There is a word for that: fornication, and it is absent from the relation. Are those people of any concern to you, Eminences?

The authors of the relatio are poisoning thought by political correctness--the unwillingness to call a thing by its true name, but the problem goes deeper. That's the narcissistic belief that we have a right to our own reality.


At Synod, divorce IS on the table--but whose?

Going into the current Synod on the Family one of the most publicized issues (rightly or wrongly) was whether or not to give communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. I have a disturbing sense that this is because some of the clergy at the synod are trying to divorce the Church, the Bride of Christ, from her groom, Jesus.

The big news yesterday was the bizarre paragraph 50, from the recently released relation, which asserting that the Church should accept sin.

"Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?"

A church document asserting that we should value sodomy. Only a Bishop or Cardinal who has divorced himself from Jesus Christ could have written that.

The authors are now scrambling for cover.

From Catholic News Agency earlier today:

1) First they report what the Holy See's Press office said:

"The General Secretariat of the Synod … reiterates that it is a working document, which summarizes the interventions and debate of the first week,” said an Oct. 14 declaration of the Holy See press office on behalf of the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops."

2) But the Synod declines responsibility:

"Cardinal Napier, a moderator of one of the small circles at the synod, openly dismissed the relatio during an Oct. 14 briefing with journalists, saying, 'that’s Cardinal Erdo’s text, not the synod text.'

The cardinal questioned whether 'some expectations of the synod are unrealistic,' and underscored that 'the synod is not called to discuss contraception, abortion, same-sex marriages. It was convoked to speak about the family.'

 'How it is written, the relatio conveys that there is an agreement on issues, on which there is not in fact an agreement' the Archbishop of Durban underscored.'


3) But Cardinal Erdo says:

"Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest and general rapporteur of the synod, said the relatio may not be completely attributed to him.

When asked about legislation regarding homosexual couples, Cardinal Erdo did not respond and instead gave the floor to Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, saying 'who has written the paragraph must respond.'

However, after Archbishop Forte’s response, Cardinal Erdo wanted to point out that the relatio lacks a mention of 'the disorder' of some behavior, even though synod fathers had stressed it."
Some Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests of course still respect their vows:

"In an Oct. 13 interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, told CNA the relatio 'is simply riven with very serious difficulties, and I'm deeply, deeply concerned and I'm not alone.'”

Indeed, he's not. Here's the comment of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. From La Repubblica, via Rorate:

"Undignified, Shameful, Completely Wrong."

 Vatican Radio (again, via Rorate):
 
"The document summarizing the first week of the synod is not acceptable to many bishops - so says Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki." 

 Archbishop Gadecki is the President of the Polish Bishop's Conference.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Supreme Court justices wash hands over fate of family

What an abdication of responsibility. Our good Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Bishop Richard J. Malone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth released this statement today.

Their Excellencies highlight the justices abdication of responsibility, and articulate the truth of what marriage is.

"Upholding the inviolable dignity of every human person is a duty for all, and this duty entails the defense of the unique meaning of marriage as between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court’s decision not to take up any of the cases striking down state laws reflecting the authentic meaning of marriage in five states is extremely disappointing and surprising. All of these state laws were democratically enacted, including most by the direct vote of large majorities within just the last decade. Millions of Americans had looked to the Court with hope that these unjust judicial decisions might be reversed. Instead, as a result of the Supreme Court’s action today, those decisions are allowed to take effect. Furthermore, marriage laws in six other states are now in jeopardy.

Marriage is and can only be between a man and a woman—a unique relationship in which the state has a vested interest. It is the only institution that unites a wife and a husband together for life and unites them to any children that come from their union. This truth presumes and supports the equal dignity of all people, especially of children whose right to a mother and a father deserves the utmost legal protection. The Supreme Court’s action fails to resolve immediately the injustice of marriage redefinition, and therefore should be of grave concern to our entire nation.

Globally, we are at a time of recognizing the decisive importance of marriage and the family when it comes to addressing challenges of poverty and serving the good of all. This is a time when marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. Our young people need encouragement to embrace the gift and responsibility of marriage as it truly is—a permanent, faithful, and fruitful gift of self between a man and a woman. May all of us continue to work to strengthen and protect marriage and stand for justice for all, especially children, who are the most vulnerable."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hundreds of thousands march for marriage and family in France

Wow! Check out these pictures, as the French stand for the rights of children. Marches took place today in Paris and Bordeaux.

And very interesting commentary at English Manif.










Thursday, October 2, 2014

Charming photos from the Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

On a happier note, Father Z. passes along photos from a lovely Mass celebrated yesterday:

"In the Diocese of Lincoln, where it is still okay to be a faithful Catholic openly, there is a school where, on the Feast of St. Therese, the girls dress as the Little Flower for the day.  Bp. Conley celebrated Mass for the school.

(More) Photos HERE."











Equality at the expense of sanity, epidemiology division, part 2

Yesterday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said:

"There also are screening procedures in place at our border."

Our WHAT? Does the U.S. even have borders anymore? The southern border, which used to be the Rio Grande, is to a real border what counterfeit marriage is to marriage.

Today the New York Times reported:

"They said Wednesday that they believed 12 to 18 people had direct contact (with Liberian Ebola victim and carrier Thomas Duncan). On Thursday morning, a spokeswoman for Dallas County Health and Human Services said it was thought that 80 people had contact directly with Mr. Duncan or secondarily with his direct contacts. Then in an afternoon news conference, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that health workers were assessing 100 people — including hospital workers and emergency medical technicians — to determine whether they had been exposed. That number does not include secondary contacts, a spokesman for the agency said."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Equality at the expense of sanity, epidemiology division

CDC Director: 'We Will Control' First Ebola Case Diagnosed in U.S.

"Ebola is a scary disease because of the severity of the illness it causes," Frieden said Tuesday evening. "We're stopping it in its tracks in this country."

I would have felt safer had we not allowed it into this country in the first place.

Equality at the expense of sanity, "transgender" division

The picture is of Martin Rothblatt, who changed his name to "Martine." Has anyone ever seen a real woman pose like that? Such a pose is male to the core.


The picture is from the GenderTrender website. Heaven knows we don't agree with them on many things, but they certainly get the insanity of the "transgender" movement. The authors over there chronicle the invasion of "women only" spaces by men pretending to be women. Because the two sides are somewhat remote from the average American's experience, and because the mainstream media, (progressive to the core), always sides with whatever the latest "oppressed group" is, it does not get the coverage that it should. 

The vitriol targeting any 'anti-transgender' feminists is astonishingly hate filled. I cannot think of a comparable case, offhand. Pretty much everyone has heard about athlete Ray Rice's altercation with his girlfriend. But how many know about Fallon Fox (a male boxer) beating up (female boxer) Tamikka Brents? Because Fox is "transgender" he was able to get into the ring with Brents. He beat the crap out of her: gave her a concussion and an orbital bone fracture in under three minutes. LifeSiteNews did a story on it. GenderTrender's article on Fox/Brents covers a number of other "Transgender" men who have entered women's sports.



"The gay rights movement has devolved into a big lie factory"

No one has written or spoken more passionately and knowledgeably about the destruction of the family by homosexual activists than Robert Oscar Lopez. Here is another home run column of his at American Thinker:

Excerpts:

Like an obsessive-compulsive one-note Charlie, my refrain has been, for years: children have an inalienable right to a mother and father, cannot be bought or sold, and are entitled to know their origins. Whether it is straight people or gay people using divorce, surrogacy, trafficking, or any other means to deny people these rights, I oppose it.

This is a teachable moment because it reveals a great deal about what makes the Human Rights Campaign tick. They’re after your kids, plain and simple; all their other issues are mere window dressing.

They have convinced themselves that gays are a tribe unto themselves, so their consuming goal is to populate the tribe so they don’t disappear.

Parenthood is their great white whale. They want to have children to love them and call them Mom and Dad. They need to get those children from you because biology prevents them from siring them naturally. Gentlemen readers, these folks are trying to find a way to get the sperm out of your testicles and into their laboratories; lady readers, these folks need to find a way to implant an embryo of their sperm in your womb, keep you obedient during the gestation, and take your baby away forever.

The main item on the gay lobby’s agenda is patently insane. People don’t generally want to let lesbians milk sperm out of their testicles. People don’t usually like the idea of gay men gestating babies in their wombs and then taking them away. (And no, “visitation” plans where these gamete donors get to see their progeny a few times a month are not a good arrangement; that stuff’s really creepy.)

And at least with me, these HRC lackeys cannot pull the old “are you saying my children are worth any less?” routine. Just because you control a human being doesn’t mean that’s your child. Even if someone is your child, criticizing you is not the same as insulting your child. This is basic, but somehow the HRC manages to whitewash the complexities. Despite all the choreographed photographs of happy gay couples with children, people generally do not like growing up and knowing that half of them was sold to a gay couple...."

Mr. Lopez's website is English Manif. He is under no illusions, and he tells the truth unflinchingly:

"The gay rights movement has devolved into a big lie factory. The movement always did have a self-deluding component, especially during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, but in those days they were truly oppositional, even in NYC – now they are a monstrous force to be reckoned with, supported by all the power of law – and corporate America. There isn't a corporation that doesn't offer a diversity program, and a university that doesn't offer a “Diva University” webpage (I didn't make this up). The claim that the ligbitists are poor little victims is 100% false. The ligbitist movement has all the brute force of capitalism and Uncle Sam behind it. It is an establishment, oppressive, and coercive force. And it lies 24/7."