Monday, March 31, 2008

God Bless Bishop Trautman!


Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman will not attend the Mercyhurst College graduation in protest over Sen. Hillary Clinton’s visit to campus Tuesday.

Trautman issued a written statement on Monday, the day after the college announced Clinton would be speaking. The full text of the statement follows:

“I am disappointed in Mercyhurst College for not reflecting the pro-life stance of the Catholic Church regarding abortion. As tangible expression on my disappointment, I have notified (Mercyhurst President Tom) Gamble that I will not be present for Mercyhurst’s graduation. I am open to meeting with Dr. Gamble in the future to ascertain how the Catholic identity of Mercyhurst can be better clarified.”

H/T to Father Z.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Choose Life!

Many times we have asked if California voters were having second thoughts about spending $3 billion + for immoral embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to show a single cure, while adult stem cells are curing people left and right.

The experts have finally caught up with the Church’s teaching on embryonic stem-cell research: “When I saw the embryo [through a microscope at a friend’s fertility clinic], I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters. I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.” –Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, pioneer in reprogramming adult cells to behave as embryonic stem cells, quoted in the NY Times, Dec. 11, 2007.

“If human embryonic stem-cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” Dr. James A. Thomson, the first to isolate stem cells from human embryos in 1998, who also has found a way to reprogram adult cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, quoted in NY Times, Nov. 22, 2007

Friday, March 28, 2008

Woman Pregnant, Claims to be Man... what the headline should have read.

Watching ABC just now, and saw a story they were doing on a "pregnant man." Had to wait a few minutes to find out that the "man" --"Thomas" Beatie of Bend, Oregon, is actually a "transgendered" woman.

You can fool yourself--but reality is another matter. As Benjamin Radford on "Live Science" writes:

"The inescapable biological fact is that men cannot become pregnant . . if Beatie has retained his (her) babymaking equipment, then (s)he is in fact still biologically a woman, not a man. (Of course, "She's Having Their Baby” isn't quite such a startling news headline...)"

"her" and "(s)he" added in the interest of fidelity to truth....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Parents, Beware!

Once more I must speak out against our California Public Schools and implore parents to take their kids out of the system, or be ready to speak out and protect their correct understanding of human sexuality.

The California Board of Education has unanimously approved new health-education “content standards” that require public schools to teach students about contraception, AIDS, and respect for all sexual orientations. “The California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, which was adopted by the legislature in 2003 at the behest of Planned Parenthood, became law on Jan. 1, 2004. State education officials were given until this month to meet the law’s requirements. Under the new law, school districts that offer sex-ed may no longer offer abstinence-only programs. Instead, students must learn about contraception, condoms, human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases in a way that is “medically accurate and objective.

Religion can not be mentioned. The law also requires that any sex-ed taught respect all sexual orientations and be tailored to meet the needs of different sexual orientations, cultures and ethnicities.

While school districts cannot offer abstinence-only sexual education, the law does permit them to offer no sex-ed at all. In addition, at the beginning of each school year, parents are given the opportunity to withdraw their children from sex-ed instruction, although critics say the new law is much less strenuous in this respect than was the case before it was passed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Abortion is the Darfur of the African-American community. "

Our good friend, Preacher Walter Hoye, shepherd of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church of Berkeley, is in the news today.

That's Preacher Hoye on the right with the Reverend Clenard Childress at the 2008 Walk for Life West Coast.

Here's the story:

Washington, DC ( -- A leading African-American pro-life advocate says Barack Obama and other black leaders must confront the phenomenon of black women having abortions at significantly higher rates than their white counterparts. Instead of advocating more abortions, the leader says Obama and others should promote alternatives.

"With an estimated 1,900 black babies being aborted every day, African-American leaders must do the math, understand the impact of abortion on the African-American community," Hoye concluded.

Go here to read the full article.

Photo courtesy James McKenzie.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Michelangelo, Risen Christ

Il Cristo Risorto. In the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday

And they laid Him in a tomb.

What seemed so final was only the beginning.

A new and more glorious light comes from the dark tomb:
The Light of Life and Hope of Salvation for all of us.

Sorrow is transitory, joy eternal
for all who accept the invitation of the cross:
a way of suffering, the sadness of death
and the new life promised for all who die with Christ.

Take Him Down

Over many years, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen always ended his traditional Good Friday preaching... with the following stirring and timeless reflection:

" For whenever there is silence round about me---by day or night---I am startled by a cry!

It came down from the cross the first-time I heard it!

And I went out and searched....... and I found a man in the throes of crucifixion!

And I said: " I will take you down”!

And he said: " I cannot be taken down until every man and woman and child come together to take me down”!

But I said: "What can I do ?! ....I cannot bear your cry"!!

And he said: " Go into the world and tell everyone that you meet---
There is a man on the cross!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

USF Homosexual Activism Update

Who says Jesuit Institutions don't produce Vocations?!

Vincent Pizzuto, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies (as well as a member of the "LGBTQ Caucus" ) at USF is now the Reverend Pizzuto. You may remember him from the "Queer Perspectives" seminars. Reverend Pizzuto was ordained priest into the "Celtic Christian Church" sometime on or before August 21, 2007 --that's when these pictures were posted on the "Celtic Christian Church" website.

We were quite surprised when we stumbled on this. We check the USF news pages regularly, and for some reason they didn't consider the ordination of one of their faculty to be newsworthy. Given the scarcity of ordinations coming out of Jesuit Institutions, you'd think it would be. Of course, he wasn't ordained as a Jesuit, or a Catholic, or even into a church in communion with Rome, but still you'd think some congratulations would have been in order.

Posted by Gibbons

Good Friday

He died for me and you, because He loved us.
How do we show our love for Him?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

USF Update IV

Life in SF, or what our friends over at USF refer to as "the Gay Rome."*

Following up on our post of earlier today, we were happy to see a couple of wide-awake San Franciso Catholics take Fr. Privett to task today in the "Letters" page of this week's Catholic San Francisco.

We sent a letter in too, but they didn't print it. Here it is:

USF President Fr. Stephen Privett’s defense of his fellow Jesuit Fr. James Keenan (CSF 3/14/08) is brazenly duplicitous. The facts are easily found. Fr. Privett says Fr. Keenan “did not testify in support of gay marriage.” Well, the issue was Massachusetts Amendment H. 3190, which reads, in relevant part:

"… only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent."

Did Fr. Keenan testify on this issue? Yes. His testimony, submitted to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on April 28, 2003, begins: “I am here today to testify against H. 3190 because it is contrary to Catholic teaching on social justice.”

And it ends: “In this light, as a priest and as a moral theologian, I cannot see how anyone could use the Roman Catholic tradition to support H. 3190. On the contrary, the Catholic theological tradition stands against the active and unjust discrimination against the basic social rights of gay and lesbian persons. For these reasons, I urge you to recommend a no vote on H. 3190.”

So when Fr. Privett says Fr. Keenan “did not testify in support of gay marriage” his words are in the most technical legalistic sense true, but in reality a lie. Quite the role model for the students of USF. As for Fr. Keenan, I guess Fr. Privett better defend him, since he’ll be USF’s 2008 Summer Scholar-in-Residence.

Gibbons J. Cooney

San Francisco

*For the origin of "the gay Rome" tag, listen to this q & a from the USF "Queer Perspectives" seminar, held at, where else, Most Holy Redeemer.

Posted by Gibbons

Vagina Monologue

I have often questioned our Catholic Universities, including USF & Dominican, as to their Vagina Monologue productions. It has been a scandal to me. I am delighted with the clear, reasoned response of Bishop D’Arcy which is printed in full here.

Cardinal Newman Society Thanks Bishop D'Arcy for Strong Statement on ND's Decision to Host V-Monologues

Today, Patrick Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society, issued the following comment on the strong statement by Bishop John M. D’Arcy, Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend, on Notre Dame’s decision to once again allow the Vagina Monologues:

“Bishop D’Arcy has once again earned the gratitude of faithful Catholics scandalized by the performance of the Vagina Monologues at the University of Notre Dame. His strong statement criticizing Notre Dame’s decision to allow the play to be performed during Easter Week should be required reading by students, parents and college officials committed to the renewal of Catholic higher education.”

The Bishop’s statement follows:

The decision to allow performances of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at the University of Notre Dame
March 2008Reverend John Jenkins, CSC, and I have been in communication about his decision to allow performances of “The Vagina Monologues” at Notre Dame. I am grateful to Father Jenkins for the extensive time he has put into our conversation and correspondence on these matters over the last two months, and I have taken care in this statement to present his position accurately in order to make a fair response. Father Jenkins has informed me that, while he thinks that this play is a bad play, he believes that permitting its performance under certain conditions, namely, in an academic building without fundraising and with a panel discussion afterwards in which the Catholic perspective is represented, is consistent with the identity of a Catholic university.

In particular, Father Jenkins believes that reading the works of authors such as Nietzsche, Gibbon, Luther and Joyce, who in various ways espouse ideas that are contrary to Catholic teaching, in classes at Notre Dame, is comparable to permitting performances of “The Vagina Monologues” under the conditions specified. As bishop of this historic diocese, entrusted with the spiritual welfare of all those who live within its borders, including the students at our beloved Notre Dame, I believe that, once again, I must publicly and respectfully disagree with Father Jenkins’ decision.

I am convinced that permitting performances of “The Vagina Monologues” is not consistent with the identity of a Catholic university and not comparable to the long accepted academic tradition through which a wide variety of authors are read and discussed in classes at Notre Dame and in all institutions of higher learning. In the first place, the difference between the works of authors such as Nietzsche, Gibbon, Luther and Joyce, and “The Vagina Monologues” is a difference, not of degree, but of kind. The former have written serious philosophical, theological and literary works, which have influenced Western thought. As such, their work has academic merit and is worthy of serious discussion and critique in a classroom setting.

Father Jenkins believes that Eve Ensler’s play was written to shock and offend. How can one put such a play, which many consider pornographic, on the level of serious works such as the writings of Gibbon and Luther? Even if one could make a case that this play has academic merit, it could be read in class. When a book or play is read in class, the student expects it to be discussed and critiqued; indeed, this is an essential part of the classroom experience. This is not so when one attends the performance of a play. One generally goes to a play and leaves; staying afterwards to listen to a panel discussion about the play is not inherent in the activity of attending a play. No one who comes to the play is required to stay for the panel discussion, and Father Jenkins’ attempt to give the performances of this play an academic quality seems deficient.

In addition, unlike reading the play as a classroom assignment, the performances are themselves an endorsement of the international V-Day campaign, even if this is done without fundraising. Is this not the motivation of the departments that have asked to sponsor the play and the young women who will be acting in it? Did they not propose to have multiple performances of the play again this year because they believe it conveys an important message, and they want as many people to see it as possible? In short, people push to have this play performed year after year because they endorse the message it conveys, and they want to be part of the international campaign to promote this message. In allowing performances of the play on campus again this year, whether or not they are officially considered part of the V-Day campaign, Notre Dame continues to cooperate in advancing the campaign’s agenda, an agenda which, as I have repeatedly reflected in my several statements over the years, is directly opposed to the dignity of the human person and is antithetical to Catholic teaching.

According to their Web site, the international V-Day campaign has extended the time when this play can be performed to March 30. But if this play is performed on the dates scheduled, it will be held during Easter week, the holiest time of the church year. Notre Dame has a long and blessed tradition of liturgical excellence, a tradition both theoretical and practical and eminently pastoral and prayerful. Easter week is liturgically considered as Easter Day. Surely Notre Dame will not prefer or even seem to prefer the requirements of the V-Day campaign to the proper observance of Easter.

Perhaps an analogy might illustrate how critical the context is when making decisions about what is appropriate to allow. Suppose that Notre Dame was a Catholic University in Nazi Germany in 1938, and a portion of the faculty and student body were Nazi sympathizers. Suppose further that there was a national movement to show a prominent Nazi propaganda film on college campuses. Would not the showing of such a film at Notre Dame involve the university in providing a platform for Nazi propaganda and entail some level of cooperation with the evil of Nazism? Would providing a panel in which the Catholic attitude towards Nazism was included as one among several viewpoints, in any way mitigate the evil involved in showing such a film? Would not the university bear moral responsibility for the fact that some students who viewed the film on campus might be persuaded by the propaganda and became Nazi supporters? I chose this analogy because Father Jenkins, in our correspondence, made mention of a series of documentary films shown recently on campus concerning the early days of Nazism, which he believes would also have to be banned if “The Vagina Monologues” were banned. But there is an enormous difference between showing a Nazi propaganda film in 2008 and showing it in 1938. One is a matter of historic and scholarly interest in a long-past event, and the other constitutes active cooperation in promoting a current and threatening evil ideology. I am convinced that, in the current cultural context, allowing performances of “The Vagina Monologues” at Notre Dame is analogous to the situation described above. The play is little more than a propaganda piece for the sexual revolution and secular feminism. While claiming to deplore violence against women, the play at the same time violates the standards of decency and morality that safeguard a woman’s dignity and protect her, body and soul, from sexual predators. The human community has generally refrained from exposing and discussing the hidden parts of a woman’s body, preferring to consider them private and even sacred. Most importantly, the sexual sin, which the play depicts in several scenes, desecrates women just as much as, if not more deeply than, sexual violence does. The play depicts, exalts, and endorses female masturbation, which is a sin. It depicts, exalts, and endorses a sexual relationship between an adult woman and a child, a minor, which is a sin and also a crime. It depicts and exalts the most base form of sexual relationship between a man and a woman. These illicit sexual actions are portrayed as paths to healing, and the implication is that the historic, positive understanding of heterosexual marriage as the norm is what we must recover from.

Father Jenkins has informed me that after each evening performance there will be a panel discussion, which will include someone who will give an informed and sympathetic presentation of Catholic teaching. In so doing, he notes that Notre Dame “has taken stronger steps than many other Catholic institutions to put limits on the performance of this play.” While this may well be true, there are a growing number of Catholic institutions of higher learning that have permanently banned the play. The overriding issue here is moral. The play is an affront to human dignity, as Catholic teaching understands it. If it is performed, it should be denounced. Otherwise, the university appears to endorse it as in some way good and the impression is given that Catholic teaching is one option competing among many. This method places faith in a defensive position and on the margin and is unacceptable at a Catholic university. “A faith that places itself on the margin of what is human, of what is therefore culture, would be a faith unfaithful to the fullness of what the Word of God manifests and reveals, a decapitated faith, worse still, a faith in the process of self-annihilation.” — John Paul II, Address to Intellectuals, to Students and to University Personnel at Medellin, Columbia, 5 July, 1986. Cited in “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” 44.

Some claim that a performance of the play followed by a panel will “engage the culture” and that out of such a discussion the “truth will emerge.” Sadly, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” is even cited in defense of this position. But what makes a Catholic university distinctive is the conviction that in the search for truth, we do not start from scratch; we start from the truth that has been revealed to us in the Word of God, the person of Jesus Christ, and the teaching of his church. The notion that truth will emerge from a discussion in which many points of view are represented both disrespects revealed truth and separates the search for truth from the certainty of faith; instead, as Pope John Paul II stated in “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”: “A Catholic university’s privileged task is ‘to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.’” — John Paul II, Discourse to the Institut Catholique de Paris, June, 1, 1980, cited in “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” 1.

For these reasons, I believe that the performing of this play, even with one or more persons willing to present Catholic teaching, is in direct opposition to both the spirit and letter of “Ex Corde Ecclesiae.” Also, because it depicts and endorses sinful sexual acts in direct opposition to church teaching, I believe its performance to be pornographic and spiritually harmful. This judgment is made after prayer, reflection and dialogue and after preparing several statements over many years.

Because of this pastoral finding, of which I am convinced, and keeping in mind primarily the spiritual welfare of our young students, the good name of Notre Dame and her well-earned position of academic and Catholic leadership, and the blessed Easter week — I remain hopeful that Father Jenkins will reconsider his decision for this year and future years. A decision not to sponsor the play is not only consistent with academic freedom but is a right use of such freedom for it shows respect for the truth, for the common good and the rights of others. ( “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” 12)

USF Update III

Life in SF, or what our friends over at USF refer to as "the Gay Rome."*

Today California Catholic Daily has an article on a column published in last week's Catholic San Francisco by USF President Fr. Steven J. Privett. Privett was responding to a column by George Weigel. The CCD article focused on Privett's blatant misrepresentation of Jesuit Fr. James Keenan's testimony on same-sex marriage before the Massachusetts legislature. (Keenan will be USF's summer Scholar-in-residence in 2008).

Another item in Fr. Privett's column that the CCD article could have mentioned but didn't was his citing of USF's "Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought" as an example of Catholic teaching in a Jesuit University. Fr. Privett would have been well advised to leave the Lane Center out of it. Just one example: on May 23, 2007 the 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.

For an ongoing examination of the University of San Francisco, visit this page.

*For the origin of "the gay Rome" tag, listen to this q & a from the USF "Queer Perspectives" seminar, held at, where else, Most Holy Redeemer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Abortion HURTS Women...

That's the message of our friends at the "Walk for Life West Coast." Here is more evidence of that, if any were needed, from the London Sunday Times:

"Royal college warns abortions can lead to mental illness"

"Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health. "

Absolutely. But what really stopped me in my tracks was this:

"MPs will shortly vote on a proposal to reduce the upper time limit for abortions “for social reasons” from 24 weeks to 20 weeks, a move not backed by the government. A Sunday Times poll today shows 59% of women would support such a reduction, with only 28% backing the status quo. Taken together, just under half (48%) of men and women want a reduction to 20 weeks, while 35% want to retain 24 weeks."

So, nearly 59% of women agree that reducing the upper time limit during which one should be allowed to have an abortion "for social reasons" would be a good thing. But when men are included in the polling, that number drops all the way down to 48%. A shift that large indicates an enormous disparity in how men and women view the issue.

Abortion hurts women. And who supports it? Irresponsible, self-indulgent men.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Mimi Says....

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lord, Hear our Prayer!

A friend has ask me to post this message:

We publish this to encourage our bishops to help us with these signature gathering campaigns. It is within their legal and canonical rights (absolutely NO threat to the 501 C 3 tax exemption status) and is their obligation to the innocent babies, to their vows, and to the Church to do so.
Publicly - NO support from our California bishops (individually or as a conference) on the 2 most important legislative issues in the next election
Protect Life and Protect Marriage

California Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCC) new 'policy' issued Feb 2008
CCC Policy on Initiatives Circulating for Signatures

February 2008 There are several initiatives now circulating for signatures. One is known as Sarah’s Law and the other Protect Marriage. The proponents of both efforts hope to qualify their initiatives for the November 2008 California ballot. The California Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCC) strongly supports legislation requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion and legislation affirming that marriage is only between a man and a woman. That is clear from the Bishops' strong support of these initiatives when they have appeared on the ballot over the past several years. Nevertheless, it is the policy of the Bishops not to formally endorse any initiative until it has actually qualified for the ballot. Individual Catholics who wish to become involved in a signature-gathering campaign are encouraged to do so. The Initiative organizers deeply appreciate the involvement of Catholics in the signature gathering effort. However, signature-gathering can not be done in a parish without the express consent of the bishop of the (arch) diocese as well as the permission of the pastor. (WHY are they not INITIATING THE COLLECTION OF SIGNATURES ON THESE 2 PETITIONS?)To comply with the CCC policy, diocesan Respect Life offices will not be organizing signature-gathering campaigns, nor will they be asking pastors to do so. (THE CCC HAS NO RIGHT TO INSTRUCT THE RESPECT LIFE OFFICES IN INDIVIDUAL DIOCESES. THEIR OFFICE HAS NO CANONICAL AUTHORITY TO DO SO!)If one or both of these initiatives qualify for the ballot, the CCC will provide bulletin announcements and fliers for use in the parishes. Parishes—as well as individual Catholics—will be encouraged to actively support the passage of the initiatives.

For the Conference to dismiss SPECIFICALLY these 2 initiatives, is a disgrace. Also, it is very odd that we had no such policy publicly stated until February of 2008 and the only 2 initiatives mentioned in the policy are Sarah's Law and Protect Marriage. Ned Dolejsi, Director of the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, when asked when, precisely, this became policy for the CCC and was asked for a date and document, his response was, 'that's not germane to the conversation.' - I guess if Ned doesn't want to answer a question, it automatically becomes, 'not germane'.'

Bishop Brown's website seems to encourage legislative participation!
Bishop Brown's website (from the site)

'Legislative Advocacy
Catholics are called to use eyes of faith to bring moral convictions to their civic and political life. Faithful citizenship calls believers to measure all candidates, policies, politics, and platforms by the values of Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching. It is our responsibility to keep in mind and heart the life, dignity, and rights of all people, to do what we can to advance the common good, and especially to protect the poor and vulnerable among us. There is more to Faithful Citizenship than voting responsibly. Catholics are called to participate in the continuing political and legislative process.'

So, WHERE ARE THE BISHOPS? The bishops have every right AND OBLIGATION to instruct their pastors and priests to discuss this from the pulpit and to request signatures on these initiatives (Protect Marriage and Sarah's law) and to collect signatures AT THEIR PARISHES and SCHOOLS!But, Bishop Brown, and MOST (if not all) of the California bishops, have not and will not support these signature gathering campaigns. Bishop Brown's Chancellor, Shirl Giacomi, today stated that Bishop Brown will NOT allow HIS pastors/priests/deacons to speak about these issues from the pulpit in homilies, pulpit announcements or bulletin announcements. He has the authority to allow it, and he has said emphatically, 'NO'. He is forbidding them from declaring the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on these issues at this time. When asked if there was any legal, canonical or moral reason the priests COULD NOT speak about these issues from the pulpit, her response was, 'No'. 'We can't get involved with every issue...' , she said. 'We can't use up our resources...' - It doesn't cost a nickel or any volunteers to preach the teachings of the Church from the pulpit nor any funds to put petitions at the back of the church or in the pews with some pens and to request signatures. Or to send them home with school children for their parents and families. Simple, easy, no cost - to save thousands of innocent babies!Again, where are our bishops? (see Bishop Brown's memo/signed on the attached document. text below)

February 15, 2008
Dear Pastors/Administrators,
A new Parental Notification Initiative known as SARAH'S LAW is now gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2008 California ballot. The California Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCC) strongly supports legislation requiring family involvement in a minor's abortion. This is clear from the Bishops' strong support of these Initiatives when they have appeared on the ballot over the past several years. However, it is the policy of the Bishops not to formally endorse any initiative until it has actually qualified for the ballot.

Individual parishioners who wish to become involved in the signature-gathering campaign are encouraged to do so. The Initiative organizers deeply appreciate the involvement of our parishes in the signature gathering effort. Remember---it is up to you to give permission for the collecting of signatures by individuals if you wish to do so. Your Respect Life Representative may contact you for permission. Also please keep in mind the Feb. 6 letter that was sent to you from Father Mike Heher regarding politics in the parish.

To comply with the CCC policy, the diocese will not be organizing signature-gathering campaigns, nor will I be asking pastors to do so. The real push will come when Sarah's Law has qualified for the ballot. At that time, bulletin announcements and flyers will become available from the CCC and parishes will be encouraged to actively support passage of Sarah's Law.
Available in the office now are posters outlining Part III of the USCCB Faithful Citizenship document. The ten goals in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship are in English and Spanish on 12 x 20 cardstock suitable for hanging in the vestibule or hall. Please contact if you would like to request one.

In Christ our Savior,
Bishop Tod D. Brown
Copy: Bishop Dominic Luong
Shirl Giacomi

But he'll take full advantage of a photo op in San Francisco to display to Catholics in the Diocese (OC CATHOLIC February issue) and probably to the Vatican, an 'active' pro-life stance.

People who've read the documents know the truth. He has done little to nothing to actually support specific pro-life work or issues. Here's a link to his Respect Life webpage: You have to go 4 levels into the website to get this one page that has NO information.

Diocesan Offices - Justice and Peace
Back to >>> Peace and Justice Resources PageThe respect life committee of the Diocese of Orange is part of the social justice deanery. The mission of this organization is to cherish and speak out defending the value of an individuals life from conception to natural death. Organized activities in support of public awareness against the death penalty and peaceful protest against abortion can be viewed at their link.

('Their link' is NOT a link to 'the respect life committee of the Diocese of Orange' nor to 'Organized activities in support of ...' It is a sales page for pro-life cd's from the USCCB.)'s it - no pro-life or anti abortion documents, no activity, no links, not one letter, notice, proclamation (currently on the diocesan website) from this bishop in 8 years. (this issue IS an absolute teaching of the Church). BUT - He HAS extensive documentation on his website on immigration issues. (which are NOT an absolute teaching of the Church)

(The Just Faith organization noted on this page, is run by ex- St. Simon and Jude youth instructor, Joyce Cottage. During the Christmas season she wears a sweatshirt that has an image of the nativity scene with the words 'It's a GIRL!' ) 'Peace and Justice E Newsletter' (8 of them online) states that Immigration and Ending the Use of the Death Penalty are THE PRIORITY ISSUES SINCE 2006.The newsletters list dozens of meetings and activities and dozens of different parishes over the 11 month period- NONE are pro-life activities NONE!!! in 58 parishes in 12 months. Why? Please call Fr. Michael Heher (Vicar) and B. Dominic Luong (Pro Life Director) and Bishop Tod Brown and ask them WHY ARE THEY NOT ORGANIZING PETITION SIGNING AT EVERY PARISH! If the excuse is 'it's the policy of the CCC..' - THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. - Millions of babies are being torn apart limb by limb while they do nothing but 'make policy' or 'follow policy'. Call Ned Dolejsi, Director at the CCC and tell them to CHANGE THE POLICY. 916-313-4000 Bishop Stephen Blaire, President of the CCC - 209-466-0636 ANDBishop Brown (and every diocesan ordinary) has complete and specific authority to direct a signature gathering campaign on these issues. BY THE AUTHORITY given him by the Holy Father, as bishop and successor to the apostles. And, as was stated by his chancellor, there is NO LEGAL, CANONICAL or MORAL REASON NOT TO DO THIS. If the excuse is 'we can't get involved in the dozens of issues presented on petitions', we know, of course, that is true. BUT WHEN THERE ARE ONLY 2 that are DIRECTLY RELATED TO ABSOLUTE TEACHINGS of the Roman Catholic Church, it's time for the bishops to act publicly. As he states on his website, 'There IS more to Faithful Citizenship than voting...' Call and tell him you expect HIM to instruct pastors to BEGIN PREACHING AND TEACHING ABOUT THESE 2 PETITIONS AND THAT THEY SHOULD BE SIGNED BY EVERY CATHOLIC during the next 2 weeks.Parochial Vicar Fr. Michael Heher 714-282-3110Bishop Dominic Luong (Pro-Life Spokesman) 714-282-3102 (secr) and 714-282-3103 (B. Luong)Chancellor Shirl Giacomi 714-282-3115 And Bishop Tod Brown 714-282-3106 (or contact your local bishop in the state of California) Please call ALL of them - so that they ALL know that the Catholics in this diocese are concerned about the lack of assistance and direction on these serious matters directly concerning the official and absolute teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. ps -This legislation is vital to the entire country. Please, even if you are outside California, Call these bishops as members of the ONE Catholic Church.Laity/Bishops/Aux Bishops/pastors/priests/deacons/pro-life reps: To get petitions for these 2 initiatives contact these organizations today (deadlines are approaching quickly). Sarah's Law (parental notification for abortion) Marriage

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bishop Devine Gets It...

Scottish bishop urges Christians to join cultural battle

Glasgow, Mar. 13, 2008 ( - "An outspoken Scottish Catholic bishop has stirred controversy by charging that homosexual activists are engaged in a "huge and well orchestrated conspiracy" to undermine Christian beliefs."

Think he's kidding? Check this out.

Posted by Gibbons.

Cinema Vita a Smashing Success!

The first Cinema Vita Pro-Life Film Festival took place last Friday at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco. The place was packed, and the organizers are already looking forward to next year!

For those who were unable to attend, you can still now the winning entries on the Cinema Vita Page.

Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all who submitted films, and special thanks to the Festival organizers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dog Lessons

You can learn from your dog.
Zack has come into my life at this late stage. He's just a little more than a year old, but he is smart and has taught me some lessons some of which are:

- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. 

- When it's in your best interest -- practice obedience. 

- Take naps and stretch before rising.

- Run, romp, and play daily.

- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

- Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do. 

- On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

- No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the
guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.

- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

- Be loyal. 

- Never pretend to be something you're not.

Rite of Initiation

The Church is not ready to throw in the towel and roll over dead.

Once again this Holy Saturday tens of thousands of RCIA enrollees will join the Catholic Church.

Numbers vary from diocese to diocese. The Diocese of Orange, California, for example, will baptize more than 650 people and welcome more than 500 others into full communion.

The Archdiocese of Detroit registers some of the largest numbers with 589 catechumens receiving full initiation and 497 candidates from other Christian traditions being received into full communion.

In Ohio, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will welcome during the Easter Vigil 437 catechumens and 541 candidates for a total of 978 people; another 65 candidates were brought into the Church at other times during the year.

Most of those coming into the Church through the RCIA program are adults, but in some instances children are part of both groups, usually as members of a family that enters the Church together. According to early figures from the 2007 Official Catholic Directory, last year almost 64,500 adults were baptized in the Catholic Church and nearly 93,000 came into full communion.

These numbers are supplemented by the baptisms of infants that occur in parishes throughout the year. It is estimated that more than a million infant baptisms will take place in the U.S. during 2008. (statistics courtesy of,March 11, 2008)

Worldwide Adoration on April 2!

"Inspired by the incredible witness given by Pope John Paul II, Catholics across the world have been returning to the gift of Eucharistic Adoration. Through spending more time in Adoration, parishes have experienced tremendous growth, healing, and renewal."

The Worldwide Hour of Eucharistic Adoration will take place at 7:00 p.m. local time on April 2nd, 2008, the Third Anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death.

By hosting this hour in time zones throughout the world, this will result in a full calendar day of Eucharistic Adoration in remembrance of Pope John Paul II.

For more info, go to the Worldwide Adoration Project.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Leaning Left

There was an interesting question raised by the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago: The Ivory Tower Leans Left, but Why?

NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY wrote: ”That liberals dominate the faculties of American universities would seem to be a settled question. But anyone still harboring doubts can now look at faculty support for this year's presidential candidates. Barack Obama is the clear favorite. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, he had received, by the end of last year, almost a third of the funds donated by faculty and administrators nationwide. In recent years a number of conservatives and a few honest liberals have tried to figure out why this political lopsidedness persists.”

Our higher institutions of learning are leaning as far left as possible in this presidential year. Do the liberals have an irreversible hold on university positions—academic and administrative? It has been that way for some time now, and I presume it will not change in the near future.

It seems we are leaning toward a socialist form of government, God forbid.
Look what’s happened to Spain these days.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Memories: Fr. Malloy and Mayor Newsom

Fr. Malloy would never blow his own horn, so I'll do it for him.

Some of you have seen the article in yesterday's California Catholic Daily "Eat Your Heart Out, Guys" which covered an interview SF Mayor Gavin Newsom gave to "The Santa Clara"--the student paper of the University of Santa Clara, Newsom's Alma Mater. The story contained this bit:

"Newsom spoke of “one of the most well-known priests” in San Francisco, who “said the worst decision in his life was telling people to vote for me for mayor.” The priest “actually led a protest against me in the City on the streets to City Hall.” Newsom said this did not offend him, since the priest “had a right to disagree. But he didn't extend that same consideration and right to me. And then he's questioned my own faith, which I reject as fundamentally inconsistent with everything I've learned.”

The "most well-known priest" was Fr. Malloy. What was interesting to me about this was that despite his years at the Jesuit College, which he claimed formed him, the only priest he remembered or thought worthy of mention was Fr. Malloy. I think that's because in Fr. Malloy, Gavin Newsom encountered a priest who took him and his actions seriously. An encounter with a real teacher of the Catholic faith is memorable.

By the way, the "Defense of Marriage" rally the Mayor mentions was a blast. Photos of the event are here.

Posted by Gibbons

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On Marriage....

Today the Supreme Court of California will begin hearing arguments in (S147999) "in re Marriage Cases." These are the cases, brought by the City and County of San Francisco, among others, that would overturn, by redefinition, the institution of marriage in California.

Another party to the case is the Equality California Institute. You remember them. A member of their Board of Directors, transvestite "Donna Sachet" has entertained at at least one Catholic Charities Fundraiser and many times at Most Holy Redeemer Church.

In case anyone has forgotten, here is the Church's teaching on marriage:

From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "The Nature of Marriage and its Inalienable Characteristics"

"The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives."

For the full text of the Vatican's statement on "Same Sex Unions" click here.

Let us pray that the California Supreme Court Justices remember the will of the people of the State of California, and the unique nature of marriage.

The Homiletic & Pastoral Review also has a great article on marriage today.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Salesian General Chapter

For our Salesian friends: Here's what's going on in Rome these days.

Copyright 2003 Eddie Traversa //

Vatican City, Mar 3, 2008 / 10:17 am (CNA)

The Salesians of Don Bosco are gathering in Rome this week for their 26th general chapter meeting. To mark the beginning of the chapter, Pope Benedict wrote a letter to the order encouraging them to continue to seek out a spiritual life rooted in “profound mysticism and a solid asceticism” instead of activism.

In his Message, dated March 1, the Holy Father writes that the theme chosen for this general chapter - "Da mihi animas, cetera tolle" (Give me souls, take away all else) - expresses "that same program of spiritual and apostolic life which Don Bosco made his own".

Pope Benedict also brings up a point that he has been making to religious orders lately, that of drawing inspiration from their founders and returning to the charisms of their founding.
"It is vitally important for the Salesians to draw continual inspiration from Don Bosco, to know him, study him, love him, imitate him, invoke him and make their own that apostolic passion which flows from the heart of Christ," the Pope wrote.

Another trend that the Pontiff has been warning religious orders about is the temptation to abandon the quest for holiness in favor of a religious activism of sorts.

In his letter, the Holy Father writes that the theme that the Salesians will study this week "expresses in synthesis the mysticism and asceticism of Salesians” and “is necessary to overcome the dispersive effects of activism and to cultivate the unity of spiritual life by acquiring a profound mysticism and a solid asceticism.” He continued, saying, “This nourishes apostolic commitment and is a guarantee of effectiveness in pastoral activity. It is in this that each Salesian's path to sanctity must consist, and on this that the formation of new vocations to Salesian consecrated life must concentrate".

The Holy Father points out that "evangelization must be the principal and priority frontier" in the Salesian mission. "In pluri-religious settings and in secularized ones, it is necessary to find new ways to make the figure of Jesus known, especially to the young, so they may become aware of His perennial attraction".

"It is important to help young people to turn their interior resources to account as dynamism and positive desire; to bring them into contact with ideas rich in humanity and evangelical values; to encourage them to become active members of society through work and participation in the common good".

Benedict XVI also takes the opportunity to thank the congregation "for the research and educational activities of the Pontifical Salesian University". Going on to refer to the "educational emergency" that exists in many parts of the world, he writes: "The Church needs the contribution of scholars to study the methodology of educational and formative processes, the evangelization of the young and their moral education, together finding answers to the challenges of post-modernity and inter-culturality, and of social communications, while at the same time seeking to come to the help of families".

At the end of the Message, the Pontiff recalls that 2015 will mark the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, and expresses the hope that the anniversary may stimulate Salesians "to be ever more 'credible signs of God's love for the young', and to ensure that the young truly do become the hope of the Church and society".

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Totally Believable...

Our friend Q over at at LA Catholic is on the case.

We're talking about the conversation between a Planned Parenthood staffer and a caller who wanted his donation to go towards the extermination of African-American babies. For an audio file of this, go to Live Action's Adocate website.

Some folks call this "unbelievable" but I can't see why. What they really mean is that it is hideous, atrocious, and disgraceful.

It is all those things, but remember this is Planned Parenthood, founded by the notorious Margaret Sanger.

It's anything but unbelievable.