Monday, December 29, 2008

Catholic Charities/Most Holy Redeemer Update.

Back on November 25, 2008 we posted on the upcoming “Salute to Brian Cahill” which took place in San Francisco on December 1.

We noted that the Honorary Committee was filled with opponents of the Catholic Church, and included people like Supervisors Ammiano, Mirkirami, and Sandoval, all of whom signed Resolution 168-06 which condemned the Church for daring to say a child should be brought up in a home with a mother and father; City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who sued the state of California to legalize same-sex marriage; plus other luminaries who have contributed to and worked for the legalization of same-sex "marriage."

He wasn’t on the honorary committee but Supervisor Bevan Dufty showed up and addressed the gathering. Dufty is the man who, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, acted as a consultant to Catholic Charities at the time the disastrous partnership between Catholic Charities and Family Builders by Adoption was created.

I wonder what all those churchmen thought as they were being addressed by a man who: a) is openly homosexual; b) voted to condemn the Catholic Church as “hateful” and “discriminatory”; c) champions the legalization of same-sex “marriage”; d) is on record as supporting pornography; and e) is a “homosexual” man who had a daughter with a “lesbian” mother via artificial insemination? (I put the words “homosexual” and “lesbian” in quotes, since, like everybody, Dufty and the mother are biologically heterosexual—the adorable little girl is the proof of that. Sometimes our bodies are wiser than our minds--see footnote 1.) No pictures of Dufty appear on the Catholic Charities photo page covering the event, but his presence is well documented on the site of Drew Alitzer. Mr. Alitzer photographs many “society” functions in San Francisco, including this one.

Most Holy Redeemer was represented, too. Here’s a photo, from the Catholic Charites website, of Monsignor Harry Schlitt with Nanette Miller and Olga Barrera.

As readers of “A Shepherd’s Voice” know, Ms. Miller is an open lesbian who also happens to be Treasurer of Catholic Charities. According to the “Bay Area Career Women” website (a now defunct lesbian networking site) Miller and Barrera were “LGBT Newlyweds” on February 22, 2004—back when Mayor Gavin Newsom was “marrying” same-sex couples. At Most Holy Redeemer Church, Miller serves at Mass as a lector and acolyte, and is also a member of the Liturgy Planning Committee. Ms. Barrera serves Mass there as a Eucharistic Minister. That’s a direct violation of Redemptionis Sacrementum #46, but the folks at MHR hold that teaching in contempt. We've shown that here and here. Ms. Miller herself honestly laid out the agenda in the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle on September 27, 2005:

"I'm someone who believes you have to live how you believe, and by doing that people will change"

One wonders if the Monsignor was aware of these facts. But is Ms. Miller right? Mr. Cahill is gone from Catholic Charities and that's good. But why is an openly lesbian, same-sex "married" lady still serving as treasurer of an Archdiocesan organization? Is there not a single faithful Catholic in the entire Archdiocese capable of reading a balance sheet? Ms. Miller's presence as treasurer would only be absurd if it were a mistake, but it is not a mistake.

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

"Is it less appropriate for gays to imagine Jesus as gay than for African Christians to picture him as black, Asian Christians as Asian?"

That's from Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ, "Gays and Grays. The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church." p134.

Footnote 1)
According to published reports Dufty and the child’s mother live together and are raising the little girl together. I guess this means he thinks it best for a child to be brought up by his or her parents, who are always a man and a woman. Of course, this makes him a bigot, too. Welcome to the club, Bevan—“Bigots for Reality!”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Popular Evil

In a Reuters article published yesterday the finalists were reported. They were seeking the most popular Russian leaders.

Can you believe that Josef Stalin came in third?

Millions of Soviet citizens perished from famine during forced collectivization, were executed as "enemies of the people" or died in Gulag hard labor camps during Stalin's rule which lasted for almost 30 years until his death in 1953.

At the top of the list was 13th century prince Alexander Nevsky, who defeated German invaders.

My question is who or what is responsible for the selections of the majority? The voters in the contest were certainly victims of the media which controls minds and changes hearts. A prominent actor and film director Nikita Mikhalkov, one of the contest's judges, said:” We may find ourselves in a situation where absolute power and voluntarism that ignores people's opinions may prevail in our country, if a fairly large part of the nation wants it."

How can bad look good? Take out God and deny moral responsibility. The resulting vacuum will be filled with personal power—whoever will appear to be a good leader who can take care of us and give us all our wants.

Sad to see so many young Russians yearning for the “good ole days.” Why are they blind?

There’s a lesson there for all Americans.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jerry Brown and Proposition 8

By now everybody has heard about California Attorney General Jerry Brown's decision not to defend Proposition 8 in court. Practically, it's no big deal because the Defend Marriage side was not counting on him anyway. The case will be argued by the Proposition 8 attorneys.

But his action and reasoning deserves a little comment. The Attorney General refuses to defend Proposition 8 on constitutional grounds--he does not want to defend a Proposition that he says amounts to the tyranny of the majority. But by refusing to exercise his sworn duty as a public servant he is engaging in a tyranny of the attorney general. One can argue the case that Proposition 8 is a tyranny of the majority. It's not true, but it is an argument. But there's no argument that a public servant has the right to refuse to exercise his office, and yet still remain in office.

Certainly, majorities can reach what one considers to be wrong decisions. But the way around that, unless one chooses to abandon our system of government altogether, is to convince the voters to reach a correct decision. It's what President Lincoln, who knew a little about such things, called "appealing to the better angels of our nature."

Arguments to the Declaration always cite the "unalienable rights." But the next sentence is often forgotten: "... That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

If the Attorney General was really a serious man, he would resign his office, and then use his formidable intellectual tools to argue philosophically why Proposition 8 is wrong. But his actions here show he is unfit for his office.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Confession:

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a Nativity Scene, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.

I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking. Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events.. terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school The Bible says "Thou Shalt not Kill, thou Shalt not Steal", and "Love your Neighbor as Yourself." And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards,
Honestly and respectfully.
Ben Stein

Are Catholic Schools Catholic?

I received this note from a Blog reader. Unfortunately I could not access the URL provided to ascertain the original story.

Fr. John, I can't find an email link to write to you directly, so I'm using this comment feature to give you the information I think would interest you. A "Catholic" high school in San Jose…, just published a parent newsletter with some disgraceful statistics from a mock election that was held among the student body. In just two examples, 80% of the students voted against Proposition 8 and 62% voted against Proposition 4. If you'd like to see the newsletter yourself and write a blog story about it, lamenting the failure of our Catholic schools, go to the url provided and look on page 6 of the newsletter.

Unfortunately I find more and more evidence that many Catholic teachers in our schools are not in line with the teachings of the Church they were established to uphold. I believe that much of this has been due to institutions of higher learning.-- including some of our own Catholic Colleges and universities-- which promote the liberal philosophy that destroys values: civic as well as spiritual.

Bishops and pastors need to step up to the plate: The only way the situation can be bettered is to demand that our Catholic school teachers be loyal to the teachings of the Church.

Fay Wong

Our friend Bill May over at Catholics for the Common Good sent the news that pro-life heroine Fay Wong went home to the Lord last Tuesday.

Fay was an elderly Chinese lady, about four and a half feet tall, with the heart of a lion. She was well known around the Archdiocese for her prayer vigils at abortion clinics and her indefatigable signature gathering drives at parishes for any pro-life or pro-marriage measure on the ballot. She'd show up with her cane and her little cart and signs and gather signatures the whole weekend long in front of our church as well as others.

Fay seldom wasted time on trivialities such as "hello." Conversations would generally open with "OK, here's what we need to do..."

While our prayers and condolences are with Fay's grieving family and friends, I personally just can't feel too sad. We'll miss Fay certainly, but if we can say for sure that any person has gone straight to heaven, that person is Fay. As Dolores Meehan, co-founder of the Walk For Life West said, "She's in heaven now, seeing the faces of all those babies whose lives she tried to save!" I don't even feel right saying "Rest in Peace"--the idea of Fay resting at all is incomprehensible.

God Bless you, dear Fay, and may we follow your example!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ANOTHER Same-sex "Married" Lector at Most Holy Redeemer

Back on December 4, we posted and linked to a "Wedding Announcements" article from the Bay Area Reporter reporting that a man named Philip Carrizosa had "married" another man. The article also mentioned that Mr. Carrizosa served as an acolyte and lector at Most Holy Redeemer Church.

Today, the December 19 issue of the "Catholic San Francisco" newspaper (PDF: 4.72MB; page 20) published across this letter to the editor. It opened with:

"Salt in Wounds

Archbishop Niederauer’s recent “open letter” did nothing but rub salt in the wounds for at least two members of his flock. My husband and I do not think we are alone."

and was signed:

"Michael Vargas
Martin Bednarek
San Francisco"

Michael Vargas is a Lector at Most Holy Redeemer. And in the September 9, 2007 church bulletin, "Marty" Bednarek is listed as serving in the music ministry at MHR. This now brings to seven (by our count) the number of people serving in liturgical ministries at MHR who have "married" persons of the same sex.

We repeat what we said in our post of December 4:

"It will be good here to remind ourselves of Church rules.

From 'Redemptionis Sacramentum' #46 'The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium recommend them.'"

Why in the world would "Catholic San Francisco" give a platform to persons expressing blatant contempt for the teaching of the Church? Since we are reminding people of Church rules we will remind the editors of Catholic San Francisco of this sentence from the USCCB's statement "Catholics in Political Life" :

"The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

All emphases are added.

Not only does our Archdiocese tolerate openly same-sex "married" lectors, eucharistic ministers, and acolytes serving at the Holy Mass, they are now allowing them to publish their contempt for Church teaching in the Archdiocesan newspaper. Vargas and Bednarek come right out and say it in Catholic San Francisco: We're Catholics, we're gay, we're "married," get used to it.

I cannot understand why our Archbishop is willing to take the heat for defending natural marriage yet at the same time allows Most Holy Redeemer to have people serve at Mass, who, in the most public possible way, disobey the Church on this foundational issue. MHR is directly under his authority.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Sacredness of Sexuality

Another fine homily, given by our friend Fr. Anselm Ramelow, O.P. Fr. Anselm is a Dominican Priest and Professor of Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology here in the Bay Area.

Advent Monday III

While in today’s Gospel we hear a debate about Jesus’ and John the Baptist’s authority, the first reading does sound already somewhat more like Christmas: we hear Balaam announcing the star, i.e., the Messiah: I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.

Of course, as he said: it is not here yet, it is still a time of expectancy. Expecting is anticipation, and in some sense something that is already there, and yet not quite. We also use the word “expecting” for pregnant mothers, and that is indeed the road that our Lord chose to come into this world. Balaam says that this star shall rise from Jacob, i.e. be an offspring of the house of Jacob. It was, as it turned out, Mary who conceived from the Holy Spirit, and fittingly two Marian feasts fall into the time of Advent, the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Maybe that is also one of the reasons why the Church a few days ago chose these Marian feast days to clarify some bioethical questions in a document called Dignitas Personae, the dignity of the human person, addressed not just to Catholics but to all doctors and researchers, because this is not a matter of faith only, but of human dignity and rights. It treats of the various ethical parameters that are to be taken into account, when doing research on human embryos. It is another way of highlighting the time of expectancy, a time of Advent, in which we are attentive of something to come, and yet is already there.

This special attentiveness and attention the new document gives to the question of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and all forms of artificial reproduction of human life, and it might be good to say a few words about this, since many people do not know about the Church’s teaching or have a hard time understanding it.

The document spells out the ways in which a human being must not be the product of someone else’s designs. We have a right not to be forced into being or even designed by someone else.

It is part of the dignity of the human person to be begotten, not made. Allowing God to arrange our genetics in the marital act of our parents is a way of giving God what is God’s. Our soul is created directly by God in the moment of conception. That is what makes that moment so special and sexual acts sacred. It is the place where the dignity of the human person emerges.

We might also want to think that although the way Mary conceived from the Holy Spirit is unusual and supernatural, there is still is an element of special divine intervention in the conception of each of us. For all of us it is true what the Gospel of John says that we are conceived not by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God (Jn 1, 13), and that we are all children of God, made in the image and likeness of our heavenly Father. We, too, are (to use the words of today’s Gospel) not just of human origins, but of “heavenly” origin.

Certainly, there are some couples who cannot conceive in the normal way. But more recently many ways have been developed in which they can be helped with legitimate medical procedures and their number is therefore actually fairly low. If nothing helps, there will certainly be a painful cross; but we also should not forget about the possibilities of adoption, especially in a time where there are so many unwanted babies.

This might be a little more plausible, if we consider the opposite possibility: in vitro fertilization. This is not only against the dignity of the human person that is to be conceived, but also against the dignity of the marriage.

Even if the sperm and egg is taken from the couple themselves (because you should not make yourself pregnant with a child unrelated to yourself), the one who is getting the wife pregnant would not be the husband, but a technician or medical engineer, while the husband is just standing by, uninvolved. The sacred act of conception would not happen in the sanctuary of marriage, but among the machines of a medical laboratory. Surrender to God’s creative act is taken over by the technological control of man – something that modern technology has been designed to do from its very beginnings in the 17th century, making us into masters and owners of nature, including human nature and life, making human beings in our image and likeness, which therefore become our property, made and discarded at will (infanticide is the next step, which is already in the discussion). It is, in so many ways, an attitude of wanting and making rather than of allowing and letting; there is, accordingly, a lot of anxiety about life, and no “let go and let God.” Someone involved in these procedures recently said in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Jesus was not conceived in the normal way either. I don't lose any sleep over what we are doing.” That is missing precisely the point that the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived by saying “let it be done to me according to your will.” Children can be received only as a gift, not a right; we are living in a time where, paradoxically, this gift is rejected by many, while others want to receive it not as a gift, but as a right and as something of their own making.

Both aspects are intrinsically related: As you are aware, the Church is against contraception, because it separates the unitive aspect of marriage from the procreative. The Church thinks holistic for a number of reasons; what God has put together, man must not divide. Contraception separates the union of the spouses from procreation, but IVF does the same in the reverse: it separates procreation from the union of the spouses. And with equally damaging results: It is not surprising that a growing number of studies find that marriage suffers from these procedures.

Without going into details of these studies, we would already expect that, naturally, husbands tend to feel disconnected from a child conceived in this way, especially if it is not even related to them genetically. Women feel humiliated by the procedure, estranged from their bodies and struggling with psychological difficulties. Both will feel alienated from the child: interestingly, they are less likely to tell the child about its origin than in the case of adoption. The relationship of the couple itself also suffers from this intrusion in their relationship. All of this confirms that what is truly life-giving does not come from technological control and production, but from the self-forgetful giving of two persons in marriage.

Of course, one important aspect has yet to be mentioned, and that is the fact that IVF implies abortion on a large scale: one cannot achieve the desired result without multiple pregnancies and subsequent eugenic selection (including sex selection), i.e. abortion of the superfluous ones. Alternatively, the rest can be frozen, but is rarely be used, and discarded, i.e. aborted later. Pope Benedict spoke of the “absurd fate” of the frozen embryos, absurd, because ethically nothing can be really done with them, even though they human beings with personal dignity. Women especially, more than their husbands, will be painfully aware that they have other children out there somewhere, frozen in an absurd fate.

It will not have escaped you that these are the emerging features of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World; there even are experiments with pregnancy in an artificial uterus, in which the child would spend the first months of his life, deprived of the psychologically necessary prenatal relationship and bonding with his mother. (Other parts of that new world are already here: surrogate motherhood, human cloning; even human-animal hybrids are already legalized in England.)

It is also a lucrative market. Statistics show that infertile couples are likely to be: older, better educated, better off financially and desperate. Many of these procedures are expensive and complicated (involving the use of many drugs over a long time), yet they are often unsuccessful: the success rate is only 1/3, of which 9% (vs. 4.2% normal) are born with defects; and at a prize of about $10,000 per cycle (while other already living children are starving elsewhere in the world, which is not an insignificant ethical issue). Because of the low success rate, there is a pressure to get better ratings through procedures that imply more “wastage” of human embryos. Ironically, all of this trumps available medical procedures (called NaPro) that are ethically responsible, procedures that work with nature as God has designed it, and are therefore much more effective.

In Texas there is already a place where one can already order designer babies. The embryos are made from eggs and sperm from two donors who have never even met. The moment of conception occurs in the laboratory and is determined by the genetic combination the clinic thinks will best meet the needs of the paying couples on its books. For about $9,500 you can buy ready-made embryos matching your expectations, including eye and hair color; the advertisement boasts that its sperm donors have doctorates and the egg donors at least college degrees (and there are waiting lists for Aryan children). We will soon see human persons being sold in batches as “quality products”, a frozen and shipped commodity, to be ordered online. All of this is certainly not the testimony to the human dignity that the new Vatican document wants to uphold.

So, if the Church produced this document in this time of Advent, there is good reason for it. All of this is just the flipside of something positive that we are to remember. It is so that the true star will be rising in our hearts, the light of God, reflected in the dignity of his image and likeness, human nature elevated to participation in God’s very own nature in the Incarnation. It is in this time especially that we remember that God not only created natural marriage and fertility with all its dignity. We also remember that he gave conception a new title of dignity, by choosing this as his very own way of entering his creation. He graced it and elevated this way of conceiving to become the royal road to our salvation.

Freedom of Choice

Barack Obama has promised that a first act of his presidency would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Let us pray he does not keep this sinful promise.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph said this in a statement "The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), was first introduced in November of 1989. […] The more recent wording of FOCA, introduced last year, is as follows: A government may not: (1) deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose -- (A) to bear a child; (B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or (C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or (2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information."Bishop Finn explained that this act applies to "every federal, state, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, penalty, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before or after the date of enactment of this act."It would thus "make null and void every current restriction on abortion in all jurisdictions," he said.

Citing an article from the Family Research Council, the bishop noted that among the laws FOCA would automatically overturn are 44 states' laws concerning parental involvement; 40 states' laws on restricting later-term abortions; and 46 states' conscience protection laws for individual health care providers; as well as 38 states' bans on partial-birth abortions.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prayer Breakfast/USF UPDATE

This is an update to the recent posts "'Catholic' Mayor Publicly Attacks Catholic Faith" and "Good News From USF".

We just received our December 12 issue of "Catholic San Francisco" the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. They covered the insulting behavior of Mayor Gavin Newsom at the recent prayer breakfast. There was little new in the story except this quote from Fr. Donal Godfrey, Executive Director of University at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

"Jesuit Father Donal Godfrey, executive director of University Ministry at the University of San Francisco, said that while he 'personally opposed Prop 8 which is a matter of conscience,' he 'did not feel that this was the right occasion for a speech such as this.'"

Here we have the Executive Director of University Ministry at USF, charged with the spiritual welfare of Catholic students on a Catholic campus, defending "as a matter of conscience" (whatever that means) dissenting from the teaching of the entire Magisterium of the Church on what the Holy Father has called a non-negotiable issue.

I'd call this incredible, except it is business as usual at USF. To get a good feeling from where Fr. Godfrey is coming from, listen to this radio interview he gave to ABC Radio Australia during "World Youth Day" earlier this year.

Yesterday, after they were caught pushing a health plan on students that MANDATED abortion coverage, USF's PR Department said:

"We regret this mistake, and we take full responsibility for not adequately reviewing the contract. We are grateful to those who brought this issue to our attention."

Like hell they are. I don't think that was any more of an accident than the continued employment of Fr. Godfrey is an accident.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Greatest Need

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;

If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;

If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;

If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;

But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. (anon)

Good News from USF!

Haven't ever written that before. But I guess since the good news is just a negation of previously reported bad news, we are back at the status quo.

Jack Smith at "The Catholic Key," who brought the issue to light, reports that USF will drop abortion coverage, which was in their mandated health plan for students. "Our Sunday Visitor" also reports the news.

God Bless Jack for his work on this!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Catholic" Mayor publicly attacks Catholic Faith

Ignatius Insight has an article about Mayor Gavin Newsom's remarks at the recent 11th Annual San Francisco Interfaith Prayer breakfast.

According to Bay Area Reporter, a recent Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast in San Francisco got a little tense when Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to turn the event into his personal bully pulpit:

From the Bay Area Reporter story that Ignatius Insight is citing:

"Comments made by Mayor Gavin Newsom about Prop 8 during his remarks at the 11th annual Mayor's Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast last month drew a standing ovation from '75 percent to 80 percent' of those in the room but kept Archbishop George Niederauer and Mormon representatives firmly in their seats. (God bless 'em!)

Prop 8, which passed five weeks ago, eliminated same-sex marriage in California. Newsom spoke 'about his personal struggles and specifically about the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church,' said openly gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who was at the breakfast and described the mayor's remarks as 'emotional and eloquent.'"

(To see what kind of "leadership" Supervisor Dufty provides, check out his interview [caution: obscenity alert!] with the owner of "" a sado-masochistic pornography producer here in San Francisco. For those who live in other places it is probably difficult to believe that people like Supervisor Dufty actually hold power in a major American city.)

"Maurice Healy, spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, described Newsom's 'unprepared remarks' as 'an intemperate attack on those religions and people of faith who supported Proposition 8.'"

God bless His Excellency for going in to the lion's den!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

USF Update: Abortion

From The Catholic Key comes this chilling but unfortunately unsurprising news on the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. USF will force students to sign on to a medical plan that covers abortion:

"The only way students may opt-out of USF's plan is to prove 'that they have coverage comparable (equal or better) to the University-sponsored plan'. Otherwise, 'Students automatically will be enrolled in, and have their accounts billed for, the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan.' (Emphasis added)

According to the plan brochure:

'The University of San Francisco Student Health Insurance Plan has been developed especially for eligible University of San Francisco students and their eligible dependents. The Plan provides coverage for illnesses and Injuries that occur on and off campus, and includes special cost-saving features to keep coverage as affordable as possible. University of San Francisco is pleased to offer the Plan, as described in this Brochure, to students and their eligible dependents.'

The specially developed plan, which is available as a pdf at both USF's and Aetna's website includes the following coverage under the heading of 'Maternity Expenses':

'Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy - Covered Medical Expenses are payable as follows:Preferred Care: 90% of the Negotiated Charge.Non-Preferred Care: 70% of the Reasonable Charge."Employers are not required to provide abortion coverage in California. Other Catholic institutions in San Francisco which offer health insurance, including the Archdiocese of San Francisco, do not provide abortion coverage.'

Unless USF's website is grossly incorrect, it would seem that the institution 'Educating Minds and Hearts to Change the World' forces those minds and hearts to fund 'an unspeakable crime'. (Gaudium et Spes)"

We call this "unsurprising" because we have been following USF for a while.

• On May 23, 2007 USF's Lane Center hosted the "Religion and Sexuality: What's the Connection" seminar. The seminar featured as guest speakers the Rev. Ignacio Castuera, President of the Clergy Network of Planned Parenthood and the Rev. Lisa Sargeant, Chaplain of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate.

Lest anyone think that the seminar was a disinterested pursuit of truth, let's examine a portion of the agenda:

1:45 – 2:30 Small Groups

• What Can Be Done to Change Policy Makers’ Understanding of Sexuality and Religion?

• What Can Be Done to Change Public Understanding of Sexuality and Religion?• How Can Scholars, Progressive Clergy, and Sexual and Reproductive Health Organizations Work Better Together?

• Recommendations for Action.

This is obviously an activists' planning session. The seminar was sponsored by the "Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing." To see where they stand on "Abortion as a Moral Decision" go here.

And speaking of "Abortion as a Moral Decision," on October 30, USF's Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought hosted a lady named Sylvia Marcos. As we wrote at the time:

Ms. Marcos also happens to be one of the signatories to this document:

"A Faith-Filled Commitment to Development Includes a Commitment to Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health--Religious Reflections on the Millennium Development Goals--Prepared for the 2005 World Summit14-16 September 2005"

The document includes the following paragraph:

"Women must have access to comprehensive reproductive health services and information to prevent unplanned and high-risk pregnancies, which often lead women to abortion, even where abortion is unsafe and illegal. Unsafe abortion is a public health concern and where abortion is illegal governments and health systems should work together to change their country’s abortion laws and make safe abortion legal and accessible to those women who voluntarily choose to have one." (emphasis added).

The signatories of this document are arguing, on the basis of religion, that a woman has the "right" to kill her child.

For a comprehensive chronology of similar events at USF, go here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This is a Christmas Tree

This is a Christmas Tree

This is a Christmas Tree

This, too!

This is a Christmas Tree

This is a Christmas Tree

And these are Christmas Trees Also


These are NOT Holiday Trees

They are not Hanukkah bushes

They are not Allah plants

They are Christmas trees. Say it...

CHRISTmas , CHRISTmas , CHRISTmasYes CHRISTmas - not Holiday

We are not celebrating the birth of a Holiday!

We are
Celebrating the Birth of
Jesus Christ!

So I would like to say to each and everyone of you

Have a Very Merry CHRISTMAS

and may GOD BLESS each and every one of you!

More Proof The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Here's the first example Doug Patton cites in an article written for Copusa:

At the state capitol in Olympia, Washington, Gov. Christine Gregoire (a Democrat, of course), has approved the placement of an atheist sign for public display next to a nativity scene. The sign reads: "At this season of THE WINTER SOLSTICE, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds. Placed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on behalf of its Washington State Members."

I pray that reason prevail and Gov. Gregoire's constituency accept the God who made them before it's too late! Who wants to take a chnace on hell?

Without a Gay?

California Catholic Daily reports the following announcement:

A nationwide movement of homosexuals is urging “gays, lesbians, and straight allies” to skip work tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 10, in protest of bans on same-sex marriage adopted by voters in California, Arizona and Florida last month.

Not all gays agree and it does seem tome to be an exercise in futility. I cannot understand how this will help the gay movement and change the will of the people to keep marriage between a man and a woman.

Steve Adams, president of the group Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, told the newspaper that, “instead of staying away, people should be encouraged to come to the Castro to shop.”

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stem-Cells to Treat Arthritis in Your Pet

Yep, it's true.

While the majority of the public is still being swindled by the claims of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research advocates, which have produced zero results, there have been over 100 treatments/cures effected by adult stem-cells.

It's not even humans being treated anymore--adult stem cells are being used to cure animals.

From Don Margolis:

"In this blog, we have well documented the effects that Adult Stem Cells (or Repair Stem Cells as I call them) have on dogs. We have seen plenty of stories of stem cell therapy helping dogs. Now we have yet another dog helped by using his own Repair Stem Cells.

KC, a golden retriever was getting up in age- 11 years old. He was beginning to slow down. In his owner, Krista Moyes words, “He was having a hard time getting up in the morning and really wasn’t walking at all on his back leg.”

Krista took KC to the vet who said surgery wasn’t an option, it was typical for a dog KC’s age to start slowing down with arthritis and decreased range of motion in the legs- for KC it was the right leg.

The Vet, Dr. Lillian Rizzo suggested a new stem cell procedure. This stem cell therapy was developed by Vet-Stem, a stem cell company for horses, dogs, and cats that uses the animal’s own stem cells.

Dr. Rizzo then removed some fat tissue from KC, and sent it off to Vet-Stem where they isolate stem cells from the fat tissue and then send it back already packed in syringes and ready to go.
Then Dr. Rizzo simply injected the stem cells into the site of the injury and let the Repair Stem Cells do what they do best– REPAIR

I’ll let Dr. Rizzo have her say:

She explains, “I concentrate the stem cells at the site of injury and then the stem cells have mediated inflammation and repair. The injury to the joint cartilage and that’s really the only thing that can do that. The medications can help with pain and support to the joint cartilage but the stem cells actually rebuild the damaged joint cartilage.”

Dr. Rizzo says they are several benefits to this therapy. It is minimally invasive and pain medications may not be needed long term and you have a happier animal. And the results???

I’ll let KC’s owner, Krista handle this one:

“Two weeks after the surgery I looked at him one day and he was standing on his foot instead of just his toe,” Moyes says. “I really noticed an attitude change as far as his energy level he felt better so he was wrestling, carrying on and playing.”

Moyes says she is just glad she got her old friend back. “If it was going to help him just a little bit I was willing to do it.”

This is wonderful news and I’m very happy for Krista and KC. However, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could make the same thing available for humans-
Repair Stem Cells- simple procedure, very little downside and it can help improve the quality of millions of lives. If we had the will, this could be done now."

While Californians are still waiting for some sort of return on the $3 billion plus they shelled out for immoral and unproven Embryonic Stem-Cells, adult stem-cells are treating people (and now animals!) left and right.

Every few days I try to check Mr. Margolis blog, because he is totally committed to spreading the word about adult stem-cells (which he calls "repair stem-cells") and he always has the latest news. I encourage you to do the same. Right now he is at the World Congress of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells 2008 in China, giving a talk on stem cell treatments for diabetes. From his report:

"I’m meeting lots of doctors and stem cell researchers, ALL OF WHOM know about Repair Stem Cells vs. dozens of diseases and 97% of whom know embryonic stem cells can’t cure even a hangnail."

God Bless Him!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

From around the web:

Priests and the importance of fatherhood, over at Ignatius Insight.

"Priests are not just 'hosts' to the parish community; they are really fathers and consequently the heads of their parish families."

Capitalism: A Christian Heresy?, over at the New Oxford Review

"A group of theologians has been offering an extended critique of the deep-seated sickness affecting Western culture"

And over at Catholic and Enjoying It:

"When you lose any conception of the common good in your moral decision making and make consent the sole criterion...then there is nothing but custom left to say that something is "beyond the pale."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Most Holy Redeemer Lector/Acolyte "Marries" Another Man

While Archbishop Niederauer is taking heat for his firm yet charitable stand in defense of marriage, fifth-columnist homosexual activists in the Archdiocese continue to undercut his efforts. We have demonstrated this here, here, and here.

The latest is from today's Bay Area Reporter (motto:"Serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community since 1971"). The BAR has a "Wedding Announcements" page.

Today's announcements:

"This week's wedding announcements include Ralph Lindsey and Philip Carrizosa...
Ralph K. Lindsey Jr. and G. Philip R. Carrizosa were married Saturday, November 1, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at Terra Gallery on Rincon Hill overlooking downtown San Francisco. More than 75 friends and relatives attended the ceremony, which was officiated by retired Court of Appeal Justice Joanne Parrilli.

The story ends with:

"The ceremony was a mixture of civil and religious elements, reflecting the couple's deep faith. Mr. Lindsey is an active member of Glide Memorial Methodist Church while Mr. Carrizosa is an acolyte and lector at Most Holy Redeemer Parish."

We checked MHR's acolyte and lector webpages, and Mr. Carrizosa does indeed serve in those ministries. By our count that makes five persons serving in liturgical functions at MHR who have "married" persons of the same sex.

It will be good here to remind ourselves of Church rules.

From "Redemptionis Sacramentum" #46

"The lay Christian faithful called to give assistance at liturgical celebrations should be well instructed and must be those whose Christian life, morals and fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium recommend them."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Planned Parenthood at Work

From "Live Action Films" comes an undercover video of your tax-supported Planned Parenthood.

h/t American Papist

Your thoughts wanted.

Today the first reading was from Isaiah:

"On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines."

In Father Harold’s homily, he remarked that we should try to imagine what a gripping image “a banquet” was for the people of Isaiah’s time.

But listening, my question was, what relevance does this passage have for us?

In this country, we’re not hungry, we have an epidemic of obesity. We’ve got a multi-billion dollar diet industry. Sure there are poor people—we feed them everyday here at Saints Peter and Paul. But it’s a tiny minority and in fact, many of them lead a life of leisure. We see them everyday drinking, playing around, spending the day in conversation across the street in Washington Square. A novel type of poverty.

So when I hear about the “preferential option for the poor,” it has no application to San Francisco as far as I can see. It looks to more to me that what we are in need of is “a preferential option for the rich.” I say this because sometimes I think the focusing on poverty, in a place where there essentially is no poverty, is a cop-out from Christian duties. I realize this sounds bad, but I'm being honest.

I ask for anyone's thoughts.

Posted by Gibbons.

God or Ourselves?

Another fine homily, given this past Monday, by our friend Fr. Anselm Ramelow, O.P. Fr. Anselm is a Dominican Priest and Professor of Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology here in the Bay Area.

Faith is Necessary for Salvation


Jesus praises the centurion in today’s Gospel for his faith, the faith that lead to the healing of his servant. And indeed faith is necessary for our healing as well, for our salvation. Without faith, nobody can be saved. Jesus, whose first coming we remember during Advent, is the one and true mediator, and without faith in Him, we cannot be saved.

But if faith is necessary for salvation, how about all those before Jesus’ coming? How about those who did not know him? How about all the righteous people in the Old Testament? The Church teaches that all those who lived before Jesus, were saved by their faith and hope for the coming of the Messiah. This is described wonderfully also in the letter to the Hebrews, in the 11th chapter. There it also says: without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. So what we need is at least an implicit faith in God as our redeemer, and the readiness to accept everything he is going to reveal to us. It is faith as hoping for things unseen. During this Advent season we are entering in some way the mind of the patriarchs and fathers of ancient Israel again. We renew our faith.


Faith is an attitude of trust, a trust that is ready to embrace all and everything that the heavenly Father is going to reveal. The patriarchs of the Old Testament had this trust.

In our age, however, we sadly see that even those, to whom all of this has now been revealed, are not ready to embrace God’s revelation. Even those who claim to be Christians often claim the right to pick and choose among those things that God has revealed. They are often called Cafeteria Catholics. A few days ago, the wife of the governor of California explicitly called herself a Cafeteria Catholic. She called herself a good Catholic who is going to Church every week, but claims the right to pick and choose among the teachings of the Church. She is for gay marriage, abortion and communion for those who are divorced and remarried; what she likes and picks from Catholic teaching is only the message on compassion and social justice.

Even though it is more scandalous if this is said by a prominent Catholic in the news, it is by no means an attitude that is rare in the Church today. If Jesus in today’s Gospel does not seem to find the Centurion’s faith in Israel, he might today not find much of it in the Church either.

I think we need to be very clear that this is not a path that leads us to heaven. Without faith nobody can be saved. But a faith that willfully excludes something that God puts before us to be believed cannot be called faith. It is less than the faith of the forefathers of the Old Testament who in their hope for the Messiah were ready to accept everything that God was about to do even thought they did not know yet, what it would be. They were saved in hope and expectation.
We on the other hand know and yet we do not accept. But that cannot be supernatural faith; it is at the most human credulity. Faith is a grace that cannot be had on our own terms, but only on God’s terms, and that is: as a whole or not at all. Everything else is not faith, but mere human opinion, our own subjective choice, picking and choosing according to our taste.


Faith, I said, can be had only as a whole, or not at all. There are a number of reasons for this: the object of our faith, God’s revelation and all that is taught by the Church in matters of faith and morals, is one seamless garment. Everything hangs together, and you cannot have one without the other. Wherever in history we see groups rejecting one little detail, they will soon lose the rest as well; the fabric starts to unravel. Faith is then coming down like a house of cards, from which you remove just one. Because in our faith one element builds on the other, what we have left, when we deny any one of them, is something that cannot be understood and believed consistently. It does not have an inner unity. Unity without consistency is not unity, but confusion.


What we need, therefore, is the humble acceptance of everything that God shows us, regardless of whether we know all the details or understand them. Indeed, in some ways we find ourselves still in the situation of the Old Testament patriarchs. Who of us could say that he knows every detail of the Church’s teaching? Not even most theologians would claim that. And even what we know is something that we can still come to understand ever more deeply. Our faith is inexhaustible, and it is consoling to know that we do not have to know and understand everything all the time. We can be at peace in knowing that God entrusted this faith to the Church as a whole. She in the meanwhile guards it, keeping it in her profession of faith, even where we do not grasp the whole. The Church is the true subject of faith,
[1] and we can only enter the Church’s faith as something that will always be greater than our minds.
This does, therefore, require from us an act of trust, humility and faith before the Church that God has entrusted with this faith, knowing that it would be too big for us. That is why we confess: “I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Without the Church we cannot believe, we could only, like the Protestants, go our own ways, believing with our subjective credulity various things, contradicting each other, not knowing who is right; because none of us can exhaust the whole; only a Church guided by the Holy Spirit can safeguard the whole “deposit of faith.”


What is reflected in our relationship with the Church is ultimately our relationship with God himself. I said: what we believe, always remains a reality that is greater than we and the capacity of our minds, something that does not enter our mind (which could never contain it), but rather something into which our minds are entering. The reason for this is that the ultimate object of faith is God himself, who will always be greater than our minds. He is the principle of everything else; he is the author of his revelation as well as of our faith.
The traditional definition of faith is the following:

“Faith is the theological virtue that inclines the mind, under the influence of the will and of grace, to yield a firm assent to revealed truths, because of the authority of God.”

We believe because of God’s authority who witnesses to the truth. He is the one in whom we believe, as well as the one whom we believe. We believe in a God whose witness is truthful, because he reveals to us nothing else but what he himself knows to be true. Faith amazingly is a participation in God’s own self-knowledge here on earth. This is obviously not something we can have on our own power, but a gift from God, a pure grace. As such, faith is itself the beginning of our justification and salvation, because it is the beginning of our union with God, which will find its fulfillment in the beatific vision of heaven. But already here and now, faith enlightens our hearts and minds, giving us the strength to carry our crosses and endure our sufferings.

God’s own self-knowledge, in which we participate, is his own knowledge of who he is, and of what he decided to do here on earth, in creating this world and revealing himself in it. All of the content of our faith is contained in God’s self-knowledge. But just as God is utterly simple, so is his knowledge. He knows everything in one concept, in one word, in the Eternal Word which is his Son, who came to bring us the faith as the Messiah.

It is in the simplicity of this one word of God’s self-knowledge that we participate when we have true supernatural faith. This faith can only be total, it cannot pick and choose; it cannot be partial or half-hearted. As the philosopher Aristotle pointed out: something simple can be had only as a whole or not at all. You cannot pick and choose a part from a mathematical point, because a mathematical point does not have parts. And so it is with God’s self-knowledge, in which we participate by faith: it is simple, and we can participate in it only if we are that simple, too, i.e., if we are single-hearted and simple-minded enough to allow this faith to enter into us. We can only believe with whole-hearted surrender or not at all. [In the simplicity of God, everything in our faith holds together consistently, and in true unity rather than in confusion. Something simple does not have parts that could contradict each other.]

It is this simplicity which is the sign of true supernatural faith. It is a faith that does not make itself into a judge over God’s revelation. It is the single-mindedness that is itself a sign of the presence of God. It is this simplicity that is required of us, in order to go through the narrow gate, the needles ear, which is too small for anything to pass through except something that is simple and total. Just as the rich young man had to give up his riches to get through this needles ear, we have to give up the richness of our personal opinions that we reserve to ourselves in spite of what God shows to our faith through his Church.

What we receive in faith is simple and round like the host that we receive at communion. And just as we say our “Amen” there, we say it to the faith of the Church as a whole. The host contains the whole of God, as well as his mystical body the Church, under each and every particle. As we say “Amen” at communion, we say Amen to the whole God, and the whole Creed, and the entire faith of the Church.


The San Franciso Chronicle a few days ago quoted a parishioner of St. Dominic’s being upset about how backwards the Church is, and how she is trying to change the way the Church is thinking. Now we always want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but taken at face value, this statement is a counterexample of what I have just said. To think that we can teach the Church a lesson is not only a lack of the necessary humility, it also indicates a lack of insight into oneself. It indicates that we do not really know who we are, and who the Church is: we overestimate ourselves, or rather the influence of the secular culture that we have allowed to take over our minds; and we underestimate the Church, because we are already lacking the necessary faith that would acknowledge that the Church is not just a human institution or a party whose party-line we can change by our lobbying. The Church is divine in origin; it is founded in Jesus Christ himself, who built it on the foundation of the apostles. He charged the apostles with keeping the deposit of faith, because he knew that this faith would be questioned, and he asked Peter above all others, to strengthen the faith of his fellow apostles – something Peter and his successors have done ever since.


Without the Church, or even sitting in judgment over the Church, we are left to our own devices and credulities. We are making our own religion in our own image and likeness, i.e. according to our taste rather than God’s revelation. This faith of ours will be a form of idolatry, a work of our own making, be it our hands or minds. “I am spiritual, not religious”, often means that we want to fabricate our own beliefs. But it was always foolish to give our faith to an idol, the work of human hands and minds: idols cannot speak, they cannot hear; they are dead wood. And so are the fabrications that we call our religions or spiritualities, made according to our personal tastes and preferences. But indeed that is exactly what we need to be liberated from, because they will not save us as little as idols of wood. Salvation cannot be something that we make ourselves, as if pulling ourselves out of the mire by our own bootstraps. We need God to tell us the truth in such a way that we cannot replace his revelation again through our own productions and opinions, or worse, those of the secular world. In other words: we need the Church to believe. Faith comes from hearing, not from imagination.


This faith requires a decision, an assent of the will. It requires a conversion from the world and its opinions; we cannot listen to two masters, God and Mammon; we need to be single-minded. This can sometimes be harder to realize for cradle Catholics. But in these times we all will have to make a decision. These times force us into an examination of conscience: if you feel you cannot agree on some established teaching of the Church, be it matters of faith, as for the example the virgin birth, the divinity of Christ or his presence in the Eucharist; or be matters of morals, as euthanasia, gay marriage or abortion – if you cannot agree on this, then you have to do some serious soul-searching, because that is not optional. Read up on it; that is, if not an act of humility, at least an act of fairness of hearing all the sides, not just that of the secular world. (If you are getting your knowledge about the teaching of the Church from the secular media, then this might already be where your problem is.) And while you read also remember that, as Immanuel Kant and Cardinal Newman said: difficulties are not doubts. Finally bring it in prayer before God; say the Creed meditatively, asking yourself, whether you believe everything that is said there; and pray: “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”, help me to believe like the patriarchs of the Old Testament.

Again: faith is neither irrational or arbitrary; nor is it ever merely knowing something; it is an acceptance of something greater than our minds, of something that requires an assent of our will. This decision is a grace, a gift from God, something you need to pray for. And then you have to make that decision, knowing that what is at stake is nothing less but the salvation of your soul.

[1] “We believe…” has its truth after all; but the formula “I believe …” is important too, because by it we enter personally the faith of the Church.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Archbishop Niederauer and the Reaction to the Passing of Proposition 8

An excerpt from His Excellency's column of this week:

"Proposition 8 on November’s ballot added fourteen words to the Constitution of the State of California: 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.' In the weeks since the adoption of this amendment the media have carried many speculations about the role of the Catholic bishops in California, and about my role in particular, in the passage of this proposition."

The full column can be read here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Proposition 8 and the Archdiocese

Speaking of "fifth columnists," Proposition 8 has certainly clarified positions within the Archdiocese of San Francisco. While Archbishop Niederauer has written and spoken in support of the victorious amendment, that's not the case throughout the Archdiocese. We've already posted about the donations made by Brian Cahill, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, and Fr. Cameron Ayers, SJ, Pastor of St. Agnes Church, to the "No on Proposition 8" Campaign. We can now add Most Holy Redeemer Church to the mix. Three current members of the MHR Pastoral Council donated to the "No On Proposition 8" campaign. A past President and past Vice-President of the MHR Pastoral Council have done so as well. (Go here for links to donation records). This is no surprise.

Back on August 28, 2007, we reviewed Fr. Donal Godfrey's book "Gays and Grays: the story of Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church." Our review was called: "MHR and How it Got That Way" . We argued that Fr. Godfrey's book shows that the true organizing principle at MHR is not Catholicism, but homosexuality. We also showed how this could be proven by examining what happened whenever Catholic teaching and the celebration of homosexuality came into conflict. Whenever that happened, Church teaching was abandoned.

On November 25, Salon did an interview with Richard Rodriguez "Why Churches Fear Gay Marriage." Mr. Rodriguez is a well known TV commentator, and a parishioner at MHR. His interview once more undercores our point. He completely rejects the Church when it is in conflict with his own sexual desires:

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

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, November 28, 2008

What should we do?

Here’s a note from Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J., Bronx, NY

Isn't it curious that our young people overwhelmingly support pro-life activities, yet they support homosexual marriages? Our educators must be clear in their teaching about this issue. Youth are concerned about civil rights. It is here that the Church needs to make clear and cogent distinctions so that the emotional arguments are replaced with rational reasons for marriage between one man and one woman.

What About It?

Observations made by George Weigel in a Catholic Education Research Center's recent publication:

*The people of the United States have elected the most radically pro-abortion presidential candidate in American history, and by the largest popular vote percentage garnered by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson.

*The people of the State of Washington have adopted, in a landslide, an act permitting the euthanizing of the sick, elderly and burdensome under the Orwellian rubrics of "death with dignity" and "physician-assisted suicide."

*The people of California have exercised their sovereign will to prevent the parents of minors from being notified if their daughter intends to have an abortion -- although you may be quite certain that said parents would be consulted before said minor's school nurse administered an aspirin tablet.

*And the people of Michigan have decided to authorize a wholesale slaughter of human embryos for research purposes -- at precisely the moment that embryonic stem-cell research has lost much of its scientific luster, thanks to developments in the reprogramming of adult stem cells.

And we sit by and take it?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



What are we doing for his Creator?

May your Thanksgiving be a celebration of life and family!

God's bessimg be yours.


Set them free!

Enough is enough! With less than two months left before he leaves office, time is running out for President Bush to free two imprisoned American heroes, Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos!

The Washington Times had hard words for President Bush: "It's both baffling and disappointing that President Bush has not already pardoned two U.S. Border Patrol agents imprisoned since 2007... Time is running out for Mr. Bush to act to correct what one Congressman [Rep. Dana Rohrabacher] calls 'the worst miscarriage of justice that I have witnessed in the 30 years I've been in Washington.'"

The Times also called President Bush's failure to act, "blindness." Congressman Tom Tancredo recently wrote: "These are the kinds of men whose government failed and destroyed them - all while they were serving a cause greater than themselves. These men deserve justice. I, and many other members of Congress, have repeatedly called upon President Bush to exercise his power to pardon - but he has not done so.” There are many who believe that Agents Compean and Ramos were wrongfully prosecuted.

Congressman Ed Royce stated: “Ramos and Compean have been living in the torture of solitary confinement for almost two years for something they never should have been prosecuted for in the first place. We are pleading with the Pardon Attorney to make a favorable recommendation of commutation to the President so he can finally do the right thing by these men and their families." But, as Royce's statement indicates, there is hope for Compean and Ramos. Apparently the commutation of their sentences is presently under consideration.

According to CNSNews: "The case is now before the DOJ’s Pardon Attorney Donald Rodgers. The Office of Pardon Attorney works in consultation with the attorney general’s office to assist the president, who has sole power of clemency in federal cases under the Constitution." More details however, are not available. According to CNSNews , the Justice Department is not responding to inquiries and the White House refuses to comment on the matter: At a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino stated: “We never comment on pardons or people who are eligible to apply for a pardon. That goes to the Office of Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice, and we don’t comment on those deliberations.”

Compean and Ramos are running out of time! It is NOW or NEVER when it comes to securing the release of Mr. President... Free These Border Agents NOW!

There are numerous other problems that we can point to about how the prosecution and sentencing of these two brave Border Patrol Agents stunk from the get-go. Not the least of which was the fact that nearly the entire prosecution by our government of Ramos and Compean was based on the perjured testimony of an illegal alien drug smuggler who received immunity in return for his testimony.

As Congressman Ted Poe told the Daily Bulletin: “When you give deals to witnesses like immunity, the government usually gets the testimony (it wants)… This case is a perfect example.” As time goes by – as Agents Compean and Ramos sit in federal prisons for attempting to do their jobs by securing the border against illegal alien drug smugglers – more and more information comes to light about this travesty of justice.

That may be why Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said: “The Ramos and Compean case is the worst miscarriage of justice that I have witnessed in the 30 years I have been in Washington.” So much so that more than 100 Members of Congress have co-sponsored a resolution calling for Ramos and Compean to be freed. It makes no sense to let these brave Border Patrol Agents spend even one more day in prison. these brave former Border Agents. Now may be your last chance to make your voice heard!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catholic Charities Director's Going-Away Party

This Monday, December 1, Catholic Charities of San Francisco will hold a farewell reception for its outgoing Executive Director Brian Cahill. That's Mr. Cahill (right) with openly homosexual San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty at a 2008 Catholic Charities event.

We remind the reader that under Mr. Cahill’s leadership, Catholic Charities, among other things:

Formed the disastrous partnership with “Family Builders by Adoption,” which saw Catholic Charities staff an organization whose mission included "Increasing the number of children adopted by Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) adults." Thankfully, the partnership will be dissolved next year.

Invited male transvestite, same-sex “marriage” activist, and Equality California Institute borad member “Donna Sachet” to be a featured entertainer at one of their parties;

Honored Mr. George Marcus at their 2008 “Loaves and Fishes” dinner, ignoring the fact that Mr. Marcus had given over $175,000 to political campaigns in California promoting the culture of death, and which were unwaveringly opposed by the Catholic Church;

In between time, Mr. Cahill found time to personally donate $600 to "Equality for All" and “Equality California --No on Proposition 8.”

It’s no secret that “A Shepherd’s Voice” is glad to see Mr. Cahill leave, and a look at the “Honorary Committee” for Mr. Cahill’s going-away reception just underscores why.

Committee members include:

San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Ross Mirkarimi, and Gerald Sandoval, all of whom voted for Resolution 168-06 on March 21, 2006, which called the Catholic Church “hateful” and “discriminatory” for daring to say that a child should be raised in a home with a mother and a father;

Senator Dianne Feinstein, who made a television ad supporting same-sex marriage, and who has throughout her career garnered a 100% pro-death rating from NARAL;

Dr. Sandra Hernandez, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, who personally donated $1,000 to the Campaign opposing Proposition 8, and whose webpage states “The San Francisco Foundation endorsed a No on 8 position and in the coming weeks and months we will be tracking closely the next steps to continue the strategy for justice.”

Dennis Herrera, City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, who is currently suing the State of California to outlaw the definition of marriage and the will of the voters by invalidating Proposition 8;

Jim Illig, Director of Government Relations for “Project Open Hand,” who gave $300 to oppose Proposition 8;

Father Anthony McGuire, former pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish, of whom an admiring Fr. Donal Godfrey wrote: "Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn…” The “reborn” Most Holy Redeemer Church now has “married” lesbians serving as lectors, acolytes, and Eucharistic Ministers, and a Liturgy Planning Group Coordinator who participates at events that are pictured on a website requiring an obscenity disclaimer.

San Francisco City Assessor Phil Ting, who in June, 2008 officiated at at least one same-sex “wedding.” From Sing Tao Daily: “Phil Ting spoke after the ceremony and said that he is very glad to marry gay and lesbian couples and very happy to see the day that the California government will allow their gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry.”

We are glad to see the last of Mr. Cahill, and we pray Catholic Charities can find a way to fulfill its mission while being true to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney