Sunday, August 31, 2008

“Catholic” means pro-life

A wonderful column by Fr. Thomas Williams on Speaker Pelosi (and others) over at National Review. Excerpts are below. Emphases added.

"People — including apparently some 'ardent' Catholics — seem to forget how central the pro-life issue is to Catholic morality and why that is so. We are not quibbling here about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It is no exaggeration to say that the inviolability and sacredness of innocent human life is to Catholic morality what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is to Catholic dogma. Both are not only non-negotiable; they are foundational. I would challenge Speaker Pelosi to come up with any moral question on which the Church has expressed itself with greater clarity than on the intrinsic evil of abortion.

A solid core of beliefs or principles undergirds any human organization. These beliefs constitute the cement that binds the society together and determine its identity. Obviously plenty of issues fall outside this fundamental core, and there is a difference between legitimate pluralism of opinion and arrant contradiction. Environmentalists, for example, can disagree about many things — such as strategies, priorities, tactics, funding and the like — but devotion to the environment and its logical corollaries are not up for debate. If you sport a mink coat, you’re out of the club..."

"Some people think that when Catholics compare abortion to slavery or to Nazi anti-Semitism they are engaging in hyperbole. They couldn’t be more wrong. Abortion is not only the greatest social injustice of our century; it is arguably the greatest social injustice of all time. Abortion circumscribes an entire class of human beings (the unborn) as non-citizens, excluded from the basic rights and protections accorded to all other human beings. In this way abortion mimics the great moral tragedies of all time, which always began with the denigration of an entire class of people as unworthy of life or freedom.

The evil of abortion is compounded by the magnitude of the problem. Though completely reliable statistics are unavailable, conservative estimates place the number of legal abortions performed worldwide each year at 25-30 million, a figure that alone makes abortion a social problem of staggering proportions. “Humanity today offers us a truly alarming spectacle,” wrote Pope John Paul in his 1995 encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae, “if we consider not only how extensively attacks on life are spreading but also their unheard of numerical proportion.” The legal, systematic elimination of the most vulnerable members of society is the most heinous crime known to man. To fail to oppose it is to make oneself complicit in it."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Still More Bishops Teach!

From LifeSiteNews:

Bishop Jerome E. Listecki of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Archbishop John Nienstedt of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis have added their voices to the growing numbers of her Catholic leaders telling Nancy Pelosi she will never qualify as a Catholic theologian. Bishop Listecki said her support for abortion and misrepresentation of Catholic teaching "gives scandal and misleads the faithful."

Bishop Listecki said that Pelosi's assertion that there is ambiguity about when human life begins is "utterly and completely false."

Pelosi, he said, "misrepresented both the writings of St. Augustine and the settled doctrine of the Catholic Church in an attempt to justify uncertainty about when human life begins and thus to defend a right to abortion."

The bishop reminds Pelosi that the issue of the beginning of life is "is science, not theology". He cited "advances in ultrasound and other imaging technology", that clearly show the unborn are human beings.

"It is ironic," he said, "that, in an age that prides itself on scientific knowledge, there are those whose agenda drives them to invoke misinformed theology to cast doubt on some of the most basic biological truths."

Archbishop Nienstedt said in a media release, "On behalf of the 650,000 Catholics of this Archdiocese, I wish to reinforce what Cardinal Rigali, Bishop Lori of Bridgeport, Conn. and Archbishop Chaput of Denver have said about Speaker Pelosi's misinterpretation on the question of when life begins."

"The Church has taught for centuries that life begins at conception and there is no room for misrepresentation of that teaching. In addition, modern medical techniques have been able to confirm what the Church has already known."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Pelosi: Archbishop Chaput on Fox News

"The right to life from conception is the pre-eminent social justice and human right’s issue of our time."

So says good bishop Sam Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, the latest to add his voice to the chorus of outrage over Speaker Pelosi's uninformed comments.

From Catholic News Agency:

"Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota has joined several other U.S. Catholic bishops in refuting Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments that confuse the Church’s teachings about when life begins and abortion. Rep. Pelosi, meanwhile, said through her spokesman that she stands by her comments....

'As your bishop,' Aquila continued, 'I have the responsibility to present to you the authentic teaching of the Church, to correct the misinformation she has given, and finally to warn you that those who oppose the true teaching are not in good standing with the Church.'

Aquila also addressed the issue of Catholics who support 'so-called abortion rights.' These Catholics, he said, 'support a false right, promote a culture of death, and are guided by the ‘father of lies’ rather than by the light and truth of Jesus Christ.'

Aquila also stressed that Catholics who support these 'rights' have 'placed himself or herself outside of visible unity with the Church and thus should refrain from receiving Holy Communion' out of respect for the teaching of Jesus Christ and the Church."

Meanwhile, what can only be called a childish response from the Pelosi camp:

"While (Pelosi Spokesman Brendan) Daly could not deny that Catholic teaching is unambiguous about life beginning at conception, he tried to bolster Pelosi by saying that many Catholics do not agree with the Church’s teaching."

The article cites other bishops as well:

"Late on Wednesday afternoon the number of bishops criticizing Nancy Pelosi's comments grew as Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio and his auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantu added their voices.

'We agree whole heartedly with the statement issued by Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop William E. Lori of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine,' their statement said. " Yes on 8!

Here is a fantastic website for young people interested (and why shouldn't they be? it's their future) in the defense of marriage.
The address is or just click on the image above.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pelosi: More Bishops Teach!

From the Statement of Bishop David Zubik, of Pittsburgh, PA:

"Jesus proclaimed the sacredness of human life throughout his teaching and ministry. In a Roman world where abortion was commonplace, the Church proclaimed its intrinsic moral evil. The Didache, perhaps the earliest known Christian manual of moral teaching dating from the first century, rejected abortion. Early Church councils considered it one of the most serious crimes.

That teaching has remained constant and unaltered for two millennia."

And selections from a statement by Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs: (PDF)

"All other rights are useless if one is denied the right to live. Our founding fathers recognized this when they enumerated life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as unalienable human rights. They also recognized that these three rights are not equal in importance. Pursuing happiness means little if one is a slave. And freedom means nothing to someone who has been denied the right to life....

There can be no compromise on this issue. "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2272). "Those who are excommunicated . . . and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion." (Code of Canon Law 915).

Those Catholics who take a public stance in opposition to this most fundamental moral teaching of the Church place themselves outside full communion with the Church, and they should not present themselves for the reception of Holy Communion."

h/t American Papist.

Now Biden's a theologian....

From Ignatius Insight:

"My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine," says Biden, a six-term Democratic senator from Delaware."

Senator Biden is, of course, "pro-choice" on abortion. He says he accepts the church's teaching on when human life begins. Therefore, he thinks it's up to you whether or not you kill what he regards as a child. He does not tell us where in "Catholic social doctrine" he derives a justification for that position.

On Sunday we played a little "Nancy vs. Actual Expert" game on the question of whether anyone actually knows when human life begins. Now we'll do the same with would-be theologian Joe Biden.

Joe Biden: "My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine."

Actual Expert (Francis Cardinal Arinze): "Do you really need a cardinal from the Vatican to answer that? Get the children for first Communion and say to them, 'Somebody votes for the killing of unborn babies, and says, I voted for that, I will vote for that every time.' And these babies are killed not one or two, but in millions, and that person says, 'I'm a practising Catholic', should that person receive Communion next Sunday? The children will answer that at the drop of a hat. You don't need a cardinal to answer that."

Pelosi-gate, Day 4

American Papist has a rundown.

And apparently the Obama camp would just as soon not have Nancy on their side...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pelosi: Finally some Response from the Archdiocese of SF

Rick DelVecchio of "Catholic San Francisco," the newspaper of the archdiocese of San Francisco reports on the firestorm ignited by Nancy Pelosi's comments on abortion.


Pelosi's nationally aired abortion comments "disgraceful', "incompetent", "incredible" USCCB corrects House Speaker's views as "misleading" and outdated

By Rick DelVecchio

Catholic and conservative commentators reacted with outrage and disbelief to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's nationally televised comments that Church teaching is undecided on when life begins and that the question "shouldn't have an impact on a woman's right to choose."

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said he has had long experience with Catholic politicians disagreeing with Church teaching on abortion but never before with what he called "absolute misrepresentation."

"I have to tell you in 15 years of doing this job this one goes off the end," he told Catholic San Francisco....

The Archdiocese of San Francisco received hundreds of e-mails from around the country, many urging that the Church correct Pelosi. A "horrified" Bill Kelly of Carolina Shores, N.C., wrote: "Since she spoke as a Catholic will there be any action taken by the Archdiocese to refute her?"

Archbishop George Niederauer will address recent comments by Pelosi in a column in the Sept. 5 issue of Catholic San Francisco, archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy said."

I personally think waiting until September 5 is a very bad idea.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Pelosi: Deeper and Deeper...

Now Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempts to justify herself. "The Hill' publishes this statement from Pelosi's spokesman, Brendan Daly (h/t Amy Wellborn) :

“The Speaker is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren and fully appreciates the sanctity of family. She was raised in a devout Catholic family who often disagreed with her pro-choice views.

“After she was elected to Congress, and the choice issue became more public as she would have to vote on it, she studied the matter more closely. Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)

“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.

“The Speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace.”

"Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine..."

As we noted in our first post on this issue on Sunday, basing one's decisions on the science of 1500 years ago is a little hazardous.

Fr. Z points out that our beloved St. Augustine also thought "...that males were vivified at 30 days and females at 90 days," and he asks if the Speaker subscribes to that view as well. That's no reflection on the good Saint--he worked with what data had. Pelosi on the other hand, does have the data--she chooses to ignore it.

Nancy Pelosi: Cardinal Egan responds

From the website of the Archdiocese of New York:

Emphasis added:

Statement on Remarks by Speaker Pelosi
August 26, 2008



Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nancy Pelosi: The USCCB Responds

Our United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has weighed in on Speaker Pelosi's Meet the Press interview.

Bishops respond to House Speaker Pelosi’s misrepresentation of Church teaching against abortion

WASHINGTON--Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, have issued the following statement:

In the course of a “Meet the Press” interview on abortion and other public issues on August 24, 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion.

The full statement is right on the Bishops' home page:

The statement also contains three links. The third seems most interesting:

1) "The Catholic Church is a Pro-Life Church"

2) "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life"

3) "Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper”: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist

h/t American Papist.

Archbishop Chaput Understands--and Teaches

On February 4, 2007 Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco was interviewed on KCBS radio. A portion of the interview is below:

"Ed Cavagnaro: Now, one of your own flock, a Catholic woman from San Francisco, is now one of the most powerful people in all the country. Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic from San Francisco, is the Speaker of the House. She is not only pro-choice, but she would be someone who would be working to try to keep abortion legal. In your view is she less of a Catholic because of that?

Archbishop George Niederauer: Well, I have met on one occasion, with Speaker Pelosi, before she was Speaker Pelosi. It was last year. And I -- we’ve -- exchanged viewpoints on a number of things. At that time, it was last spring, and it was principally about immigration, because that was very much the hot-button topic of the time. We haven’t had an opportunity to talk about the life issues. I would very much welcome that opportunity, but I don’t believe that I am in a position to say what I understand her stand to be, if I haven’t had a chance to talk to her about it."

Well, after Speaker Pelosi's interview yesterday on "Meet the Press," one hopes His Excellency can now "say what he understands her stand to be" (muddled though it was). Pelosi's stand is: abortion any time, all the time, on the taxpayers dime.

One Archbishop who has no such comprehension problems is His Excellency Charles Chaput of Denver. From today's Catholic World News:

"In a statement eloquently titled “On the Separation of Sense and State,” the Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., and his Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley harshly criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for giving a confusing view of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, during a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The statement of Archbishop Chaput and Bishop Conley deserves to be posted in full:


To Catholics of the Archdiocese of Denver:

Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the "separation of Church and state." But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a "political" issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.

Interviewed on Meet the Press August 24, Speaker Pelosi was asked when human life begins. She said the following:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition . . . St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose."

Since Speaker Pelosi has, in her words, studied the issue "for a long time," she must know very well one of the premier works on the subject, Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977). Here's how Connery concludes his study:

"The Christian tradition from the earliest days reveals a firm antiabortion attitude . . . The condemnation of abortion did not depend on and was not limited in any way by theories regarding the time of fetal animation. Even during the many centuries when Church penal and penitential practice was based on the theory of delayed animation, the condemnation of abortion was never affected by it. Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."

Or to put it in the blunter words of the great Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder."

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled." But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions
employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Denver

+James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver
Denver, CO - Monday, August 25, 2008

Archbishop Niederauer, beloved Excellency, father in faith, today about 4,000 defenceless, innocent human beings will be killed in America by abortion. It's not a mystery. I beg you: lead us, faithful Catholics of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, your sons and daughters in Christ!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nancy Pelosi on "Meet the Press"

The corruption of reason is one of the logical consequences of legalized abortion.

Here is the Speaker of the House this morning on "Meet the Press":

MR. BROKAW: Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade, whether you're looking at it scientifically or theologically. If he were to come to you and say, "Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?" what would you tell him?

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator--St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child--first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There's very clear distinctions. This isn't about abortion on demand, it's about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and--to--that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins."

To answer the simple question "When does life begin?" Nancy Pelosi chooses to cite the authority of a bishop who lived 1500 years ago. Madame Speaker, we don't ask the Doctors of the Church to "make that definition." One does not read St. Augustine to find out when life begins. One reads modern textbooks on biology and embryology. And when one does that, one finds out that we do know when life begins:

Nancy: "And so I don't think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins."

Actual expert: “When scientists could examine embryos under the microscope, they recognized that the processes of development constituted a continuum from fertilization through delivery. There is no magic moment at which an embryo suddenly becomes something different.” -William L. Nyhan, M.D.; Ph.D; “The Heredity Factor, " p256. (Professor Nyhan is a graduate of Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Illinois, and one-time Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California.)

The fact is that Nancy Pelosi deliberately chooses not to consult the experts as to when a human life begins. She must make this choice because she knows she can only maintain her support for legalized abortion by a deliberately cultivated ignorance.

But truth is one. To justify her support of legalized abortion, Nancy must not only ignore the teachings of scientists, who are the proper authorities on the question of when life begins. She must also ignore the teaching of the Church, who are the proper authorities on the morality of abortion:

"Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops—who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine—I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God, is transmitted by the Church's Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church."
-Pope John Paul II; "Evangelium Vitae," paragraph 62, March 25, 1995.

Pelosi says "that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time." Both assertions in that statement are false. She has not seriously studied the issue at all--to do so would force her to change her position. And no "ardent, practicing Catholic" has ever been, or ever will be, "pro-choice" on abortion.

"Abortion is never morally justified"

Archbishop Charles Chaput has been all over the news lately, and for good reason. This is from Kathryn Jean Lopez's recent interview with the Archbishop:

"Lopez: Is there an abortion litmus test for Catholics?

Archbishop Chaput: “Litmus test” is a media expression that’s front-loaded with the assumption of some priestly censor checking off behavioral-compliance boxes. That’s not how any sincere believer thinks about his or her faith. Faithful Catholics want to live their faith fully — and one of the principles of Catholic social teaching is that we can never deliberately kill innocent human life. Abortion always, deliberately kills an innocent unborn child. Nobody can honestly claim to be a faithful Catholic and then support a false “right” to abortion; it’s just an elegant way of evading the brutality of what abortion actually does.

Lopez: Is there any virtue to the Cuomo-esqe personally opposed, etc. formula we see over and over again with politicians, especially Democrats?

Archbishop Chaput: The problem isn’t unique to either political party, and no, there’s no virtue to the “personally opposed” argument at all. The word “virtue” comes from the Latin virtus meaning strength or courage. I don’t see much courage in maneuvering around the reality of abortion with sanitized labels like “pro-choice.”

Lopez: Whenever I write about Catholics and abortion, I am immediately asked, “What about war? What about the death penalty?” What about them? Can a Catholic vote for Senator “Surge”? We have killed people in Iraq, after all.

Archbishop Chaput: I’ve written and spoken against the death penalty for more than 30 years. And along with most other American bishops, I opposed our intervention in Iraq. But these issues are different in kind, not merely degree, from the violence involved in abortion. Anyone rooted in Scripture and Catholic tradition will understand the distinction if he or she reasons honestly. Genocide, euthanasia, abortion, and deliberately targeting civilians in war — these things are always grievously wrong. But in Catholic thought, war and capital punishment can be morally legitimate under certain carefully defined circumstances. Abortion is never morally justified."

No wonder he's not invited to the convention!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Media Favorite

"I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."-Barack Obama, July 29, 2008

Do you think the redistribution of wealth by the federal government is one of Americas best traditions? How about free child care? Free college tuition? Wage insurance? Nationalizing oil refineries? A global tax paid to the United Nations?

If none of these sounds like America's best traditions its because they are not. But to Barack Obama and the Democrats, this is exactly the type of nanny-government programs you can expect if they seize complete control of our government.

The liberal mainstream media is neglecting to report the facts about Obamas leftist agenda for America. They have made it clear who they want to win -- media campaign donations favor Barack Obama 20-to-1 over John McCain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blind Children Now See...

You'll have to forgive us for falling behind on our Adult Stem-Cell coverage. But that's because so much is happening in the field it would be a full time job. That's why we thank heaven for Mr. Don Margolis.

From the Don Margolis website today:

"There seems to be a never ending supply of stories coming out about children who can’t see due to Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and then off they go to China where they receive repair stem cell treatment . Optic Nerve Hypoplasia is when the optic nerve doesn’t form correctly leaving a child blind. Until repair (adult) stem cell therapy came along, these blind children had no hope to ever see, there was no cure for this disorder."

Mr. Margolis also has the "Repair Stem Cell Institute" website. A sub-page on the site called "Stem-Cells 101" explains the difference between embryonic and Repair (adult) stem-cells, and why adult stem-cells work and embryonic stem-cells don't and probably can't.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sharia Law

I received this note from the ACLJ:

I want you to take a few minutes to watch a special video preview that my team has prepared for you, live from the United Kingdom (UK). My son Jordan Sekulow went there to work on a critical story on religious freedom that will air on our television and radio programs in the weeks to come. You will meet a young couple who converted from Islam to Christianity and are now facing deportation to Syria. This will be a death sentence for them. They sought political asylum in the UK because of the danger they would face back in Syria. Under Sharia law, changing one's religion from Islam to Christianity is apostasy and is punishable by death.

I urge you to watch this very brief video update. Religious persecution worldwide is an increasingly urgent matter to which we are not immune here in the United States. We must remain vigilant - protecting our Christian brothers and sisters and fighting for religious freedom on their behalf. And we must keep our eyes open to the threats at the United Nations, poised by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Their dangerous resolution discriminating against Christians - so that practicing your faith is an international crime - is the most aggressive, far-reaching, anti-Christian push we are up against today. Please commit this serious matter to prayer.

The ACLJ is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law. American Center for Law and Justice is a d/b/a for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, religious corporation, specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center's purpose is to educate, promulgate, conciliate, and where necessary, litigate, to ensure that those rights are protected under the law.

Woman Priest?

The California Catholic Daily reports that Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, joined in an attempted ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska at a Unitarian church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bourgeois said he told his superiors that Maryknoll and other men’s orders need to be “open enough” and “have courage enough” to discuss with women the matter of ordination. “Can we can at least invite women in and just listen. Can we shut up long enough to hear their stories, their experiences of being marginalized in the church? Can we hear the pain they feel?”

Yes, we can discuss women’s ordination. Yes, we can hear their stories. Yes, we can hear the pain they feel (whatever that is!) etc, etc., but after all that we must remind them that they belong to the Catholic Church. They must respect the power of the Holy Spirit speaking to all of us through the Vicar of Christ and the Magisterium of the Church.

If Janice Sever-Duszynska must be a priest at any cost, let her join the Unitarian Church, where the attempted ordination took place, or some other religion that accepts women priests.

On Lesbian "parents"

Many of you have heard the story about the lesbian who sued a California Hospital because doctors, citing religious conviction, refused to artificially inseminate her. The story is here.

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle published Gibbons' letter to the editor on the subject:

Right to a parent

Editor - The story "Gays get equal doctoring under ruling" (Aug. 19) plumbs the depths of narcissism. Guadalupe Benitez is deliberately violating the fundamental right of three children to a mother and a father.

Given the endless sociological studies showing the importance of a father to the proper socialization of boys, this is unconscionable. How is a boy to learn the proper and responsible way to treat a woman or children without a father's day-by-day example?

And how are Benitez's girls to learn the proper way for a woman to respond to men and to demand respect, without the day-by-day example of mom relating to dad? From TV? They'll be susceptible to the first smooth-talking "player" to come along.

Of course, many marriages collapse into divorce and the children are bereft of a mother or father. That's a bad thing, but at least it's the failure of an attempted good thing. Here, the bad thing, children without a father, is sought from the outset.

If "equality" means deliberately leaving children without a mother or father, it's time for people to start rethinking the importance of "equality."

Gibbons J. Cooney
San Francisco

God Bless the Knights!

Our good Knights of Columbus have contributed $1 million to the fight to defend and preserve marriage in California.

"In a press release, spokesman for the Knights of Columbus, Patrick Korten said that the donation from the Knights 'is both an indication of how important we believe this referendum to be, and an encouragement to other groups and individuals of all faiths to lend their support as well.'

'From the day the organization was founded 126 years ago, strengthening and protecting the family has always been central to the mission of the Knights of Columbus. Preserving marriage as the indispensable institution in which children are conceived, born and raised to adulthood by a loving father and mother is vital to a healthy society. It is also the most favorable environment in which to protect the rights and best interests of children. We are proud to join the Catholic bishops and priests of California, and so many other people of good will, in this effort on which so much depends.'"

The full story is here.

God Bless them! To learn more about the Knights, or to find a Council near you go here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How Catholic Charities Committed itself to INCREASING "LGBT" Adoptions

The story is over at California Catholic Daily this morning:

"On Aug. 2, 2006, Catholic Charities of San Francisco issued a press release describing their new “partnership” with Family Builders by Adoption, which calls itself “the gayest [adoption] agency in the country.”

The release did not mention that the very day before, Aug. 1, 2006, Family Builders by Adoption had just begun fulfilling a $1,755,000 contract with another “partner”-- the City and County of San Francisco. That contract required Family Builders to meet the conditions spelled out in the city’s “Request for Proposal to Provide Various Adoption Services” (RFP #309), issued on May 15, 2006. RFP #309 specified “Increasing the number of children adopted by Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) adults,” as well as providing, “The plan should include targeted recruitment of LGBT adults.”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vatican on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Unions

Why are there absolutely no grounds for giving legal recognition to unions of homosexual persons? The Vatican document addresses this question, presenting the natural truth about marriage to show why the common good requires the protection and promotion of marriage between a man and a woman as a basis of a family, and why laws favoring homosexual unions are contrary to reason, obscure basic moral values and cause a devaluation of marriage.
(from Catholics for a Common Good)
See details:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

USF / Lay Convocation / Call to Action

UPDATE (8/22/2008): Well, we spoke to soon. We looked at the Convocation website again today and it now lists Fr. Gerry Brown, SS, the President of St. Patrick's Seminary, and Fr. Jim McKearney as confirmed speakers. Sr. Eloise Rosenblatt as well. Original post below:

Maybe "A Shepherd's Voice" is having some little effect...

Back on August 3, we reported on the 2008 "Northern California Lay Convocation" which is being held at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco on September 6, 2008. We said then, and we repeat, this sounds like a "Call to Action" conference in everything but the name.

Today, we visited the Convocation's website again. We are heartened to see that the names of Fr. Gerry Brown, SS, the President of St. Patrick's Seminary, and Fr. Jim McKearney, who back on August 3 were scheduled as speakers, no longer appear. Now, the listing just references "Chancery/Seminary Officials." We wonder who they are. We also note that Sr. Eloise Rosenblatt, who, back on August 3, was listed as one of the featured speakers is now listed as "possible." Since Sister Eloise gave a workshop at the 2005 West Coast Call to Action conference, we'd prefer she go from "possible" to "uninvited."

But we have our doubts. As we reported, at least three members of the steering committee for the 2007 "Northern California Lay Convocation" (Jim Jepson, Ellen Turner, and Lisa Striebing) are Call to Action Northern California "Regional Contacts." And the only organizational person whose name appears on the website of the 2008 Covocation person is L. (for Lisa) Striebing.

Reminder: on November 4, 2006, Cardinal Re had this to say about "Call to Action":

"The Vatican has determined that “the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint,” Cardinal Re writes. He concludes: 'Thus to be a member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith.'”

It is no surprise that USF is hosting this event. Readers of "A Shepherd's Voice" will remember that when Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson was doing a book tour in California, Archbishop George Niederauer specifically requested that Bishop Robinson not speak in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. USF essentially told the Archbishop "drop dead" and hosted Bishop Robinson anyway.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, August 15, 2008

Archbishop Naumann Teaches...

From Catholic News Agency:

"While he was in Quebec City, Canada for the Knights of Columbus’ annual conference, Archbishop Naumann took time to explain to CNA the intricacies of his decision to ask the Kansas governor (Kathleen Sebelius) to refrain from receiving Communion.

'One of the things that I said when I met with the governor at one point, is that some day she’s going to have to stand before God and account for her public service. And I hope that she’s going to have something better to say than what she does to this point on the protection of the innocent unborn. But I said if you go to God and you say, ‘Well, I didn’t understand how important this was’ or ‘I didn’t understand that this was such a crucial issue’ then as your bishop I’m the one responsible because I didn’t do enough to try and make sure of that. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that and so I wanted to make sure that she understood what a serious matter this was.'”

Read the whole thing

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Catholic case against Barack

In the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama rolled up more than 90 percent of the African-American vote. Among Catholics, he lost by 40 points. The cool, liberal Harvard Law grad was not a good fit for the socially conservative ethnics of Altoona, Aliquippa and Johnstown.
But if Barack had a problem with Catholics then, he has a far higher hurdle to surmount in the fall, with those millions of Catholics who still take their faith and moral code seriously.

For not only is Barack the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion, where the baby's skull is stabbed with scissors in the birth canal and the brains are sucked out to end its life swiftly and ease passage of the corpse into the pan.

Partial-birth abortion, said the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary."

Yet, when Congress was voting to ban this terrible form of death for a mature fetus, Michelle Obama was signing fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, Barack would be "tireless" in keeping legal this "legitimate medical procedure."
And Barack did not let the militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying "equal rights for women."

As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death."

Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste.
How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her – but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath?
How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf:
Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous.

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?
Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.
Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

And which Catholic priests and prelates will it be who give invocations at Obama rallies, even as Mother Church fights to save the lives of unborn children whom Obama believes have no right to life and no rights at all?
By Patrick J. Buchanan, Illinois senator
(From WorldNet Daily)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beane Decree: Justice Served?

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Sandra Beane granted a restraining order against Walter Hoye, the Baptist pastor from Berkeley. Hoye has become the first person arrested in violation of the “bubble law’ ordinance. (Stay 8 feet clear of patients and patient escorts.)

The Family Planning Specialists Medical Group clinic on Webster Street, Berkeley, has often witnessed Hoye carrying a 40-inch sign that read, "Jesus Loves You & Your Baby. Let Us Help You," His signs and literature were confiscated and he was charged with a total of four misdemeanor counts. The order requires Hoye to stay away from the clinic. The judge’s decision came even after his accusers admitted under oath that he had never threatened or harmed them in any way.

Hoye insists that he obeyed the bubble law, and was aggressively contained by two clinic escorts, who sandwiched him between them and tried to hide his sign. “We got testimony from the two escorts who claimed that I was intimidating them to the extent that they were afraid for their lives,” Hoye said. “Once they were on the stand, they testified that I never physically or verbally harmed them or used force in any way against them or anyone else. One escort even said that I was nice.
(from the California Catholic Daily).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"The Goods of Marriage and the Future of the Family"

Life in Christ: Catechism #2363:

"The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family. The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity. "

Friday, August 8, 2008

School Indoctrination? Here's Your Evidence...

Today California Catholic daily ran a press release about the passage of Assembly Bill 2567 "...which will instruct all California public schools to 'conduct suitable commemorative exercises' in support of the anti-religious, sexual-anarchy agenda of the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. "

"AB 2567 comes on the heels of last year's school sexual indoctrination laws. When fully implemented, SB 777 and AB 394 will teach children in California government schools to support homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality via instructional materials, programs and activities, and school 'safety' guidelines. "

Think they're kidding? Look at this flyer put out by the San Francisco Unified School District in April, 2008. Click on the image for a larger version.

We covered some of this ground in our post "Proposition 8 and School Indoctrination" back on July 31.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nancy Pelosi's Catholicism Revisited

From The Hill:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she, unlike other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, has not clashed with her church about receiving communion."

I guess that means today is a good day to remind Nancy, that yes, she did clash with at least one priest of the Catholic Church, about receiving communion. We repost Fr. Malloy's "Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi" that was published in the Saints Peter and Paul Church Bulletin of January 14, 2007.

"Nancy, you are fooling yourself and I fear fooling many good Catholics. You are simply not in sync with the Catholic Church. Until you change your non-Catholic positions, you should stop calling yourself Catholic. Your record shows that you support embryonic stem cell research, Planned Parenthood, contraception, family planning funding, allowing minors to have an abortion without parental consent, and are against making it a crime to harm a fetus, etc. etc.

The fact that you favor married priests and women priests certainly would not classify you as conservative, but your answer to the question are you a conservative Catholic was: “I think so. I was raised in a very strict upbringing in a Catholic home where we respected people, were observant, were practicing Catholics, and that the fundamental belief was that God gave us all a free will, and we were accountable for that, each of us. Each person had that accountability, so it wasn’t for us to make judgments about how people saw their responsibility and that it wasn’t for politicians to make decisions about how people led their personal lives; certainly, to a high moral standards, but when it got into decisions about privacy and all the rest, then that was something that individuals had to answer to God for, and not to politicians.”

That sounds fair and tolerant, but your record belies high moral standards.

The NARAL rates you 100% pro-abortion. Your statement: “To me it isn’t even a question. God has given us a free will. We’re all responsible for our actions. If you don’t want an abortion, you don’t believe in it, [then] don’t have one. But don’t tell somebody else what they can do in terms of honoring their responsibilities. My family is very pro-life. They’re not fanatics and they’re not activists. I think they’d like it if I were not so vocally pro-choice.”

Do we not elect politicians to make laws that help people honor their responsibilities, such as protecting life itself? Can politicians not tell someone else not to kill? If you can kill a baby in the womb, Nancy, why not outside of it? Oh wait, you are in favor of partial birth abortion, so-called because the baby sticks out of the “mother” about halfway, while the “doctor” sucks out the baby's brain. That seems comparable to the choice the Nazis made killing six million Jews.

Yes, Nancy, we (together with your pro-life family) would all like it if you were not so vocally pro-choice, i.e. pro-death. Until your choice is in line with Catholic doctrine, please, Nancy, do not receive the Eucharist when you attend Mass.

Rev. John Malloy, SDB
San Francisco, CA"

h/t Deacon's Bench

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lee Harris on Same-Sex "Marriage"

"Was it [marriage] defined as between a man and a woman? Well, yes, but only in the sense that a cheese omelet is defined as an egg and some cheese — without the least intention of insulting either orange juice or toast by their omission from this definition. Orange juice and toast are fine things in themselves — you just can’t make an omelet out of them."

It's far from true that all same-sex attracted people support "gay marriage." The following is from an essay by Mr. Lee Harris called "The Future of Tradition." I like him. He's a good philospher who seems to me to have his feet on the ground. Mr. Harris also happens to be same-sex attracted .

"In the current debate on gay marriage, its advocates are cast in the role of long-oppressed suppliants demanding their just due. Indeed, the whole question is put in terms of their legal and moral rights, against which the opponents of gay marriage have nothing to offer but “residual personal prejudice,” to recall again the memorable words of the chief justice of the Canadian Supreme Court.

But it is a mistake to conflate the automatic with the irrational, since, as we have seen, an automatic and mindless response is precisely the mechanism by which the visceral code speaks to us. It triggers a rush of emotions because it is designed to do precisely this. Like certain automatic reflexes, such as jerking your hand off a burning stovetop, the sheer immediacy of our visceral response, far from being proof of its irrationality, demonstrates the critical importance, in times of peril and crisis, of not thinking before we act. If a man had to think before jumping out of the way of an onrushing car, or to meditate on his options before removing his hand from that hot stovetop, then reason, rather than being our help, would become our enemy. Some decisions are better left to reflexes — be these of our neurological system or of our visceral system.

This is why for most people, including many gay men and women, the immediate response to the idea of gay marriage came at the gut level — it somehow felt funny and wrong, and it felt this way long before they were able to spare a moment’s reflection on the question of whether they were for it or against it. There is a reason for that: They were overwhelmed at having been asked the question at all. How do you explain what you have against what had never crossed your mind as something anyone on Earth would ever think of doing? This invitation to reason calmly about the hitherto unthinkable is the source of the uneasy visceral response. To ask someone to reason calmly about something that he regards as simply beyond the pale is to ask him to concede precisely what he must not concede — the mere admissibility of the question.

Imagine a stranger coming up to you and asking if he can drive your eight-year-old daughter around town in his new car. Presumably, no matter how nicely the stranger asked this question, you would say no. But suppose he started to ask why you won’t let him take your little girl for a ride. What if he said, “Listen, tell you what. I’ll give her my cell phone and you can call her anytime you want”? What kind of obligation are you under to give a reason to a complete stranger for why he shouldn’t be allowed to drive off with your daughter?

None. A question that is out of order does not require or deserve an answer. The moment you begin to answer the question as if it were in order, it is too late to point out your original objection to the question in the first place, which really was: Over my dead body.

Marriage was something that, until only quite recently, seemed to be securely in the hands of married people. It was what married people had engaged in, and certainly not a special privilege that had been extended to them to the exclusion of other human beings. Who, after all, could not get married? You didn’t have to be straight; you could be gay. So what? Marriage was the most liberal institution known to man. It opened its arms to the ugly and the homely as well as to the beautiful and the stunning. Was it defined as between a man and a woman? Well, yes, but only in the sense that a cheese omelet is defined as an egg and some cheese — without the least intention of insulting either orange juice or toast by their omission from this definition. Orange juice and toast are fine things in themselves — you just can’t make an omelet out of them."

Posted by Gibbons

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wells Fargo, AT & T, PG&E, Time Warner: Enemies of Marriage

The Bishop's statement (see previous post) came not a moment too soon. From the "Equality California" website comes a press release about their August 2 fundraiser, where they took in over $2.2 million.

By making these donations the companies are attacking our civilization. But as I was writing this I realized something: Is AT &T Ken McNeely, or is it the guy who repairs your phone? Is Wells Fargo John Stumpf, or the tellers down at the bank? The gay lobby is a determined minority--about 2-4% of the population. By acting in a concerted manner they have intimidated corporate decision makers, because corporate decision makers know that a determined minority can generate bad publicity which affects stock values--which affects their elaborate compensation packages.

But people like the bank teller, the phone repairman, the cable guy, people like us, don't get "compensation packages"--we get wages or salaries. What scares the big shots hardly affects us at all. And remember, the teller's vote counts just as much as John Stumpf's. The phone repairman's vote counts just as much as Ken McNeely's. The SEIU janitor's vote counts just as much as Sal Roselli's. And there's a hell of a lot more of them.

My comments below are in black.

"EQCA Announces a Record $2.2 Million in Contributions at Los Angeles Equality Awards"

"The Service Employees International Union (SEIU-California) made a contribution of $500,000, presented by United Healthcare Workers-West President Sal Rosselli."

You can find SEIU's statewide offices here. While they are worth contacting, they are politically already totally committed to the enemies of marriage. You might have better luck contacting your local. There's no reason whatsoever to think the rank and file union members support this--and the vote of one union member counts just as much as the vote of an in-the-tank-for-the-gay-lobby union bigshot.

"David Sanchez, president of the California Teacher’s Association announced a contribution $250,000 on behalf of CTA."

No surprise there. Check out our post from a few days ago about homosexual activists infiltrating the public schools. Still, talk to your local public school teachers to express disappointment about how their union dues were spent. Again, one teacher's vote counts just as much as the vote of David Sanchez.

"Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California, presented a donation of $25,000 from the telecommunications corporation. EQCA supporters at the event also pledged an additional combined $350,000. All of those contributions will help fund the NO on 8 campaign. "

Contact the AT&T Board of Directors here. And the next time you call AT&T or see the truck outside, tell the person how disappointed you were that his company gave $25,000 to fund the destruction of marriage. These are normal people. I'll bet you the repairman did not know anything about it, and I know from asking that some of them are quite sore about it.

"Lead sponsors for this year's event included AT&T, Gary D. Soto, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Wells Fargo, Stolichnaya Vodka, Adam Press, Irell & Mandella LLP, Eric Webber & Gerard Kraaijeveveld, Skip Paul & Van Fletcher, United Healthcare Workers West, Time Warner Cable."

Contact the Wells Fargo Board of Directors here. And the next time you're in the bank, tell the teller the same thing: how disappointed you are that their company is supporting the destruction of marriage. I guarantee you: nobody asked them their opinion about that donation.

And of course PG&E. They gave $250,000 to the enemies of marriage. You can contact their board of directors here. And if they're your power supplier, which they are if you live in Northern California, give 'em a call. You're their customer. Tell them you are disappointed, you understand nobody asked them, and that you hope they'll joinyou in voting yes on Proposition 8. But remember they are busy--don't take too much of their time--remember what it's like when someone calls you at work. Above all, be nice.

Posted by Gibbons

The California Bishops Speak on Marriage

Today, our California Bishops released a statement strongly urging Catholic's and all people, to defend marriage and support Proposition 8. The entire statement is below. Emphasis in the last paragraph is added.

A Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Californiain support of Proposition 8:
A Constitutional Amendment to Restore the Definition of Marriage

“Only the rock of complete and irrevocable love between man and woman is capable of acting as a foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings.”
Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the John Paul II Institutefor Studies on Marriage and the Family, May 11, 2006.

The issue before us with Proposition 8 is “marriage”—an ancient, yet modern, human institution which pre-exists both Church and government. Marriage, history shows us, is intrinsic to stable, flourishing and hospitable societies. Although cultural differences have occurred, what has never changed is that marriage is the ideal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and the continuation of the human race.

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the current law defining marriage as between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. This radical change in public policy will have many profound effects on our society, because it:

• Discounts the biological and organic reality of marriage—and how deeply embedded it is in ourculture, our language and our laws and ignores the common understanding of the word marriage; and because it:

• Diminishes the word “marriage” to mean only a “partnership”—a purely adult contractual arrangement for individuals over the age of 18. Children—if there are any—are no longer a primary societal rationale for the institution.

As teachers of the faith, we invite our faithful Catholics to carefully form their consciences. We do that by drawing on the revelation of Scripture, the wisdom of Tradition, the experience and insights of holy men and women as well as on what can be known by reason alone. Crystallizing the teaching on marriage, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1603, 1604) proclaims:

God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.

With all this in mind, we, as bishops, offer counsel to our Catholic people in California in their response to this radical change in California’s public policy regarding marriage.

First, same-sex unions are not the same as opposite-sex unions. The marriage of a man and a woman embraces not only their sexual complementarity as designed by nature but includes their ability to procreate. The ideal for the well being of children is to be born into a traditional marriage and to be raised by both a mother and a father. We recognize that there are parents who are single and we laud them for the great sacrifices they make in raising their children.

Second, we need to recall that marriage mirrors God’s relationship with us—and that marriage completes, enriches and perpetuates humanity. When men and women consummate their marriage they offer themselves to God as co-creators of a new human being. Any other pairing—while possibly offering security and companionship to the individuals involved—is not marriage. We must support traditional marriage as the source of our civilization, the foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings, and the reflection of our relationship with God.

Third, we need to remember that we are all children of God possessed of human dignity and that each of us is created in God’s image. Protecting the traditional understanding of marriage should not in any way disparage our brothers and sisters—even if they disagree with us.

Fourth, we must pray and work for a just resolution of this issue which is so important to the well being of the human family.

Fifth, as citizens of California, we need to avail ourselves of the opportunity to overturn this ruling by the California Supreme Court. On the November general election ballot, there will be Proposition 8 which reads:
“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

That language simply affirms the historic, logical and reasonable definition of marriage—and does not remove any benefits from other contractual arrangements.

And finally, we strongly encourage Catholics to provide both the financial support and the volunteer efforts needed for the passage of Proposition 8. And—please exercise your citizenship and vote in November.

Our Bishops strongly encourage us to provide financial support and volunteer efforts to save natural marriage.

Financial support can be offered at

You can volunteer through Catholics for the Common Good

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

From his address at the 2008 National Right to Life Convention:

"The contention between the culture of life and the culture of death is not a battle of our own choosing. We are not the ones who imposed upon the nation the lethal logic that human beings have no rights we are bound to respect if they are too small, too weak, too dependent, too burdensome. That lethal logic, backed by the force of law, was imposed by an arrogant elite that for almost forty years has been telling us to get over it, to get used to it.

But "We the People," who are the political sovereign in this constitutional democracy, have not gotten over it, we have not gotten used to it, and we will never, we will never ever, agree that the culture of death is the unchangeable law of the land."

A "Call to Action" front at USF?

That'd be the 2008 "Northern California Lay Convocation" which will take place September 6 at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. To see why I think it's a "Call to Action" front, go here.

When the 2007 "Northern California Lay Convocation" was held at St. Mary's Cathedral, their website identified their steering committee. At least three members of the steering committee were Call to Action Northern California "Regional Contacts." Maybe that's why this year's event is not being held at the Cathedral. For the 2008 "Northern California Lay Convocation," the single organizational person named is a lady named Lisa Striebing, who is the contact for registration and fees. Lisa Striebing is listed on the CTA-USA website as a Call to Action California Regional Contact.

Here's Ms. Streibing (at right) giving the opening prayer at the 2008 West Coast Regional Call to Action Conference.

The lady to her left is Mrs. Ellen Turner. Ms. Turner is also listed as Call to Action "Regional Contacts" for the state of California, and both were on the steering committee of the 2007 "Northern California Lay Convocation."

"The Vatican has determined that “the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint,” Cardinal Re writes. He concludes: 'Thus to be a member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith.'”

That won't bother them over at USF.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Love This!!!

Posted by Gibbons


I’ll be on my annual retreat at San Juan Baptista—week of August 3-- so, dear readers, have a prayer for me and the Salesians with me on those days of recollection and prayer.