Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hell Freezes Over

A little, anyway. It sounds as if the San Francisco Police Department may start enforcing decency laws.

From the Bay Area Reporter (Caution: obscene photo):

"SF police crackdown on Dore fair sex

San Francisco police are cracking down on public sex acts at this year's Dore Alley street fair in July and are warning organizers that if they do not control attendees, the event's longevity will be in doubt.

The stepped up enforcement against lewd behavior at the South of Market street party, officially known as the Up Your Alley Fair, comes after two individuals filed numerous complaints with the city's Office of Citizen Complaints against the 14 police officers assigned to patrol the 2008 event for not addressing the acts of public indecency.

Police also point to the Web site that documented numerous photos of men performing oral sex, urinating in public, and masturbating from second floor windows overlooking the fair as another reason for their increased vigilance. The site, created by an anonymous local photographer, also questions why the police took no action against the public nudity and sexual behavior at the fair.

'The fair promoters are the ones who have to take charge; this is their event. If they don't run it properly, they will not be having it again,' said SFPD Lieutenant Nicole M. Greely, who oversees street closure issues for the police department's Southern Station.....

The department's stance caught off guard officials with Folsom Street Events, the nonprofit producer of both the Up Your Alley Fair and Folsom Street Fair....

At the hearing, Greely said that the 'public sex last year was very blatant' at Up Your Alley and that people sent the police photos that 'were very demented.'

This is heartening. It's good to see that Lieutenant Greely has enough sense and common decency to recognize perverted behavior when she sees it, and that she knows it must not be "tolerated." I'd acted on this issue before, but it had not occured to me to try and address the issue via the Office of Citizen Compaints. God bless whoever did!

In 2007, I sent letters to Paul Pelosi (son of Nancy Pelosi) who at that time was the President of San Francisco's Commission on the Environment (which gave the Folsom Street Events $19,000 in taxpayers money) and to Kary Schulmann, the Director of "Grants for the Arts" (which gave Folsom Street events $22,000 in taxpayers money). The letter was CC'd to the Mayor, the Police Chief, the DA, the US Attorney, and the City Controller. Also CC'd were: Archbishop Niederauer, Bishop Benjamin of the Orthodox Church; the Verey Reverend Alan Jones of the Episcopal Church, and Rabbi Stephen Pearce of Temple Emanu-El.

The only response was from Ms. Schulmann, who said our beef was with the SFPD (despite the fact that the bylaws of her own organization prohibit funding events that violate local law) and Reverend Jones, who was disturbed by the event, and agreed that it was a degradation of the human person.

On September 12, 2008, we sent a similar letter to the same authorities. We received a response from Deputy Chief Kevin Cashman, which said, in part:

"Inquiries were made with the Captain of the Southern district and several officers familiar with the event in order to best prepare a response to your concerns. We have also reviewed the website you mentioned."

So maybe our letters did have some small effect in preparing the ground when the complaints to the OCC were made. Let's hope this first step back towards sanity is followed up!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lila Rose v. the Culture of Death

The young activist from is getting under their skin!

Abortion supporter Bonnie Erbe is fit to be tied:

"After posting these videos (of Planned Parenthood employees refusing to obey laws requiring the reporting of statutory rape to the proper authorities) on YouTube and campaigning with them throughout the netherworld of the antiabortion movement, Lila Rose has succeeded in getting state and local governments to cut of hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to Planned Parenthood clinics. She has also created a public relations nightmare for the group."

From a recent LiveAction press release:

"Rose commends the Tennessee state lawmakers, led by Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and Sen. Jack Johnson, who have questioned the state's over $700,000 funding of Planned Parenthood. 'Why would citizens tolerate paying the bills of an organization that protects statutory rapists and victimizes young girls? This is the sad result of the careless abortion-first mentality that has persisted at Planned Parenthood for decades.'"

Why indeed?

God Bless the young lady!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Notre Dame: The Fallout Continues

Mary Ann Glendon refuses to accept Notre Dame's "Laetare Medal" because of the University's "honoring" of Obama. God Bless her!

Herer is an excerpt from her letter to Fr. Jenkins:

"First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it."

Thomas Peters has thorough coverage.


Meanwhile Fr. Euteneuer went to work over the weekend (excerpt):

"Let's be honest: all the hand wringing and justification for Fr. Jenkins' decision is just fluff. Despite the unprecedented tour de force of close to fifty US bishops objecting to this travesty, Fr. Jenkins's claim that his decision is "consistent" with the bishops' 2004 directive on speakers at Catholic colleges - simply because Barack Obama is not a Catholic - is, well, absurd on its face. No person in his right mind buys it.

And that's the point - Notre Dame leadership is not "in its right mind" any more. The ones who made or endorsed this decision are not thinking with the mind of the Church let alone the Mind of Christ. This doesn't just apply to Fr. Jenkins either. It also applies to his superior, Fr. Hugh Cleary, who has an obligation to demand Jenkins' immediate resignation from his post to end this scandal but who chose instead to make a sappy, glowing, politically-correct statement which dares call this hurtful fiasco a "teachable moment."

No, Father Cleary - a "teachable moment" would be your removing Fr. Jenkins from office to show the world that the Church really means what she says in calling abortion an "abominable crime." (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 51)

As far as I am concerned, a thunder of judgment has just been shaken down on Notre Dame, its Board of Directors and any faculty, students or alumni who endorse the decision to bring Barack Obama to Notre Dame's campus to sully Our Lady's good name and our deepest loyalties."

No Room For Mothers or Fathers in Iowa?

It used to be a political joke: "Opposing (fill in the blank) would be like opposing motherhood!" but I guess it's not a joke any longer.

Today the Associated Press has a story about the legalization of counterfeit "marriage" in Iowa, and its predictable consequences:

"Public health officials are reworking paperwork to give couples options beyond the tradition "bride" and "groom." Agency spokeswoman Polly Carver-Kimm said officials are considering other changes, including the designations of "mother" and "father" on birth certificates."

Sure. Once you've let equality and non-discrimination become your ordering principles, you've got to get rid of "bride" and "groom", "Mother" and "Father."

It's "equality" at the expense of sanity.

President Lincoln and Abortion Abolitionists

We are the new Abolitionists.

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

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


"We believe that there are self-evident truths about the dignity of each human life, and that this dignity derives from our having been fashioned in our Creator’s likeness. In this new century, these beliefs make us the counterculture. One does not need to be a Catholic to appreciate that abortion involves the brutal taking of innocent human life. To argue that this is a Catholic truth, or even a religious truth, is to overlook what science and sonograms tell us – and to insult the Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and, yes, even some atheists, who appreciate that a civilization which sanctions abortion as a human right is in some essential way writing its death warrant." - William McGurn, "A Notre Dame Witness to Life," April 23, 2009.

"Near eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for SOME men to enslave OTHERS is a ``sacred right of self-government.'' These principles can not stand together. They are as opposite as God and mammon; and whoever holds to the one, must despise the other." -President Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois, October 16, 1854.


"…In the past few weeks, we have read more than once the suggestion that to oppose this year’s speaker and honorary degree is to elevate politics over the proper work of a university. In many ways, we might say that such reasoning lies at the core of the confusion. As has become clear with America’s debates over the destruction of embryos for scientific research, over human cloning, over assisted suicide, and over other end-of-life issues, abortion as a legal right is less a single issue than an entire ethic that serves as the foundation stone for the culture of death." - William McGurn, "A Notre Dame Witness to Life," April 23, 2009.

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


"With the idea that one human being has the right to take the life of another merely because the other’s life is inconvenient, our culture elevates into law the primacy of the strong over the weak." - William McGurn, "A Notre Dame Witness to Life," April 23, 2009.

"If A. can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right, enslave B.—why may not B. snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A?—

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.

You do not mean color exactly? You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks, and, therefore have the right to enslave them? Take care again. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.

But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest; you have the right to enslave another. Very well. And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you." -President Abraham Lincoln,
Fragment on Slavery, c.1854.

"The discord that this year’s commencement has unleashed – between Notre Dame and the bishops, between members of the Notre Dame community, between Notre Dame and thousands of discouraged Catholic faithful – all this derives from an approach that for decades has treated abortion as one issue on a political scorecard." - William McGurn, "A Notre Dame Witness to Life," April 23, 2009.

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

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More Respect, Not More Condoms

A  response to: Cardinal Pell Responds to Media Criticism of Pope

As an Archbishop, dealing on a daily basis with people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, I know that the Pope is speaking the truth. I suspect that those who were so vociferous in condemning the Pope have never touched an HIV infected person, let alone rendered any care and attention. It is so much easier to distribute gadgets, especially at other people's expense.

What reduces infections is less casual sex, not more condoms. That is the truth.
Those who accuse the Pope of being "unrealistic," that young people will have sex anyway, have no respect for the young people. When they are given true orientation, they freely respond with far greater sexual responsibility that the armchair social experts can ever imagine.

As an African Archbishop, it is my nephews and nieces that are in danger of dying of HIV/AIDS. Let no one ever suggest that they are more concerned about them than I am. The condom distributors should listen to the truth coming not only from the Pope and Bishops, but even from impartial and serious scientific research. The facts are there, as Cardinal Pell has briefly illustrated. To ignore these facts is the greatest disservice anyone can do to the future of Africa. The struggle continues, and we are overcoming!

Archbishop John Onaiyekan
Archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria

Homosexual Politician Fantasizes About Killing Miss California

From the Sun:

"Shadow leader of the House of Commons Alan Duncan was appearing on BBC comedy show "Have I Got News For You" when he made the gaffe.

Mr Duncan, who had earlier in the show revealed his ambition to become Home Secretary, was discussing American Beauty Queen Carrie Prejean's belief that same sex marriages were wrong.

And the MP called her a 'silly bitch' and said 'If you read that Miss California is murdered you will know it was me'."

The link above has video of this outrage. It is actually worse than it looks on paper--it is not a "gaffe" at all.

Miss Prejean is a "Miss California" we can be proud of. God Bless her!

h/t American Thinker

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No Room for Graduate Theology at USF

It's all falling into place quite nicely up at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

Just as the President of its Faculty Association says USF is no longer Catholic (see previous post), Catholic San Francisco reports (page 5) that the one-time "Catholic" university of the Archdiocese of San Francisco will no longer be offering a graduate program in Theology.

"USF ends graduate theology

SAN FRANCISCO – The University of San Francisco is ending its masters program in theology to focus its resources on undergraduate theology and religious studies. This semester, there was demand for only three courses, with an average of six students in each, USF spokesman Gary McDonald said. The Jesuit-run university will continue classes for all current students in the Master’s program in theology but will not accept any new students. USF is working with both Santa Clara University and the Jesuit School of Theology to help accommodateany student who may be interested in pursuing an advanced degree in theology. USF will continue to offer theology and religious studies programs for undergraduates, including a major and minor, a required class for all undergraduates, an interdisciplinary minor in Catholic Studies and Social Thought and the St. Ignatius Institute Great Books program grounded in the tradition of Christian humanism."

About time. It's not surprising, given that the university has:

Fr. Donal Godfrey serving as Executive Director of Campus Ministry;

Reverend Vincent Pizzuto of the "Celtic Christian Church" serving as Assistant Professor of what they call Theology and Religious Studies;

hosted the "Religion and Sexuality: What's the Connection" seminar, featuring the President of the Clergy Network for Planned Parenthood and the Chaplain of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate;

honored Shannon Minter and Therese Stewart (the attorneys who overturned California's Proposition 22, which recognized that marriage can only be between one man and one woman)

at least eight faculty members who donated to the "No on Proposition 8" campaign fund;

• stuck their thumb in Archbishop Niederauer's eye (and not for the first time) by hosting a performance of the play "Be Still and Know," adapted from a book by homosexual activist Alex Sanchez, after His Excellency had forbidden the play to be performed at Most Holy Redeemer parish;

• etc., etc . . . We could go on and on and on, but it would take too long--for a chronological report of USF's misdeeds go here.

Obviously such an organization has no room for Catholic Theology. It would be a standing reproach, and is in direct contradiction to practically everything else they do. It's actually surprising such a place could attract the few graduate students they have.


*For the origin of the "Gay Rome" tag, go here. It's at about 1:14 into this audio of USF's "Queer Perspectives" seminar, sponsored by the Lane Center, and held at (where else?) Most Holy Redeemer.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Is The (Jesuit) University of San Francisco a Catholic University?

Not according to the Faculty Association President.

Valerie Schmalz over at Our Sunday Visitor has the latest news on USF's paying for abortions. On December 12, 2008, she reported that USF's Health Plan covered abortions for students, then on March 20, 2009, she reported the good news that the University had dropped any that coverage.

But at that time she also reported:

"A separate problem reported by OSV was that the university's two health insurance plans for employees provided abortion coverage. The USF administration says it can't do anything about a Kaiser health plan for faculty that offers abortion because it is included in a contract that was extended for three years in November. But it has changed its Blue Cross coverage, effective March 1, and has notified faculty that Blue Cross will no longer cover abortion in any form, including the drug RU486."

From Ms. Schmalz's article of today:

"If you work for the Jesuit University of San Francisco, no matter which USF health insurance you choose, it will pay for an abortion, sterilization, artificial contraception and some infertility treatments. And that is unlikely to change anytime soon, despite a report here earlier this year.

The USF Faculty Association president, Elliot Neaman, said today that if the university tries to remove the abortion benefit, it would file an unfair labor practice complaint.

Whether abortion involves the killing of a child is “not relevant,” Neaman told OSV. “You are mixing up morality and contractual obligations,” he said...

Neaman said the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion is irrelevant, Neaman said, because USF is not legally a Catholic university. 'A long time ago, to get federal funding, the Jesuits divested themselves of the university so it is basically run by the board of trustees. They cannot apply for an exemption as a Catholic university because they could lose federal funding because of that,' he said."

Heaven forbid USF should lose federal funding!

Nightmare Presidency

Carl Olsen over at Ignatius Insight has a post called "No Wheeling and Dealing When It Comes to Killing"

Carl is responding to this assertion in the New York Times:

“It’s hard to think of a place where he’s (President Barack Obama) taken a really hard position.”

Carl answers:

"It's not hard at all. Here's a clue: it begins with an "a" and end with murder. It just happens to be the one issue on which Obama has always taken a really hard position."

He then links to a National Catholic Register article detailing all of Obama's pro-abortion actions. Of course we were well aware of these things; still, to see it all on one long webpage is instructive.

The Register will update the list periodically, as Obama enlarges his "begins with an 'a' and ends with murder" agenda.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy on the Notre Dame Scandal

This is Bishop D'Arcy's letter to the faitful on the scandal of President Obama at Notre Dame. All emphases/interpolation added. h/t The Catholic Key

Statement to the faithful

April 21, 2009

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recently, Father John Jenkins, CSC, in a letter of response to Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, who had written him, critical of the decision to invite President Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree of law at Notre Dame, indicated that it was his conviction that the statement “Catholics in Political Life” (USCCB) did not apply in this matter. Father Jenkins kindly sent me a copy of his letter, and also at a later meeting, asked for a response.

In an April 15th letter to Father Jenkins, I responded to his letter.

Now the points made in his letter have been sent by Father Jenkins to the members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and have been publicized nationally, as well as locally in the South Bend Tribune. Since the matter is now public, it is my duty as the bishop of this diocese to respond and correct. I take up this responsibility with some sadness, but also with the conviction that if I did not do so, I would be remiss in my pastoral responsibility.

Rather than share my full letter, which I have shared with some in church leadership, I prefer to present some of the key points.

1. The meaning of the sentence in the USCCB document relative to Catholic institutions is clear. It places the responsibility on those institutions, and indeed, on the Catholic community itself.

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

(How many times we at "A Shepherd's Voice" have quoted those two sentences in response to some action at USF, at Most Holy Redeemer, at Catholic Charities of San Francisco).

2. When there is a doubt concerning the meaning of a document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where does one find the authentic interpretation? A fundamental, canonical and theological principal states that it is found in the local bishop, who is the teacher and lawgiver in his diocese. — Canon 330, 375 §§ 1 & 2; 380; 381 § 1; 391 § 1; 392, & 394 §1.

3. I informed Father Jenkins that if there was any genuine questions or doubt about the meaning of the relevant sentence in the conference’s document, any competent canonist with knowledge of the tradition and love for Christ’s church had the responsibility to inform Father Jenkins of the fundamental principle that the diocesan bishop alone bears the responsibility to provide an authoritative interpretation.

4. I reminded Father Jenkins that he indicated that he consulted presidents of other Catholic universities, and at least indirectly, consulted other bishops, since he asked those presidents to share with him those judgments of their own bishops. However, he chose not to consult his own bishop who, as I made clear, is the teacher and lawgiver in his own diocese. I reminded Father Jenkins that I was not informed of the invitation until after it was accepted by the president. I mentioned again that it is at the heart of the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility to teach as revealed in sacred Scripture and the tradition. (“Lumen Gentium,” 20; and “Christus Dominus,” 2.) I reminded him that it is also central to the university’s relationship to the church. (“Ex corde ecclesiae,” 27 & 28; Gen. Norm., Art. 5, §§ 1-3.)

5. Another key point. In his letter to Bishop Olmsted and in the widespread publicity, which has taken place as the points in the letter have been made public, Father Jenkins declared the invitation to President Obama does not “suggest support” for his actions, because he has expressed and continues to express disagreement with him on issues surrounding protection of life. I wrote that the outpouring of hundreds of thousands who are shocked by the invitation clearly demonstrates, that this invitation has, in fact, scandalized many Catholics and other people of goodwill. In my office alone, there have been over 3,300 messages of shock, dismay and outrage, and they are still coming in. It seems that the action in itself speaks so loudly that people have not been able to hear the words of Father Jenkins, and indeed, the action has suggested approval to many.

In the publicity surrounding the points Father Jenkins has made, he also says he is “following the document of the bishops” by “laying a basis for engagement with the president on this issue.” I indicated that I, like many others, will await to see what the follow up is on this issue between Notre Dame and President Obama.

6. As I have said in a recent interview and which I have said to Father Jenkins, it would be one thing to bring the president here for a discussion on healthcare or immigration, and no person of goodwill could rightly oppose this. We have here, however, the granting of an honorary degree of law to someone whose activities both as president and previously, have been altogether supportive of laws against the dignity of the human person yet to be born.

In my letter, I have also asked Father Jenkins to correct, and if possible, withdraw the erroneous talking points, which appeared in the South Bend Tribune and in other media outlets across the country. The statements which Father Jenkins has made are simply wrong and give a flawed justification for his actions.

I consider it now settled — that the USCCB document, “Catholics in Public Life,” does indeed apply in this matter.The failure to consult the local bishop who, whatever his unworthiness, is the teacher and lawgiver in the diocese, is a serious mistake. Proper consultation could have prevented an action, which has caused such painful division between Notre Dame and many bishops — and a large number of the faithful.

That division must be addressed through prayer and action, and I pledge to work with Father Jenkins and all at Notre Dame to heal the terrible breach, which has taken place between Notre Dame and the church. It cannot be allowed to continue.

I ask all to pray that this healing will take place in a way that is substantial and true, and not illusory. Notre Dame and Father Jenkins must do their part if this healing is to take place. I will do my part.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Exposing Abortion" Conference at UC Berkeley

Our good friend the Reverend Walter Hoye will join other pro-life heroes at Live Action's Exposing Abortion Conference this Saturday, April 25, at the Lippman Room of Barrows Hall on UC's Berkeley campus.

Other guests will include Greg Cunningham, The Center for Bioethical Reform; Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America; Dr. Linda Haldeman, Healthcare Policy Advisor in the California Center; Abortion survivor Gianna Jensen; and Lila Rose of Live Action.

You can find out everything about the conference by going to the Live Action website.

UC Berkeley might sound like going into the lion's den, but since Walter just spent three weeks in jail for exercising his Constitutional rights, and Lila is always taking on the Temples of Moloch known as Planned Parenthood, and abortionists already tried to kill Gianna once, I doubt they're worried.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Is That So Hard To Understand?

I guess only if you are committed to missing the point on purpose.

Very nice post today by Thomas Peters at the American Papist, in response to John Tomasic, who criticized Archbishop Chaput for his "showboating" on abortion. Thomas responded (excerpt):

"1) Abp. Chaput believes that abortion is the murder of an innocent, helpless human being. Science agrees - but we don't need to get into that now. For our purposes, Abp. Chaput genuinely believes abortion is murder.

2) There are millions of abortions each year. That means Abp. Chaput believes there are millions of human beings being murdered in the United States every year.

3) Because of 1 & 2, Abp. Chaput believes abortion is the No. 1 moral issue of our age. Because he does not have an infinite amount of time, as much as he sincerely cares about these other issues, he focuses on abortion in a special way when he speaks publicly."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Defending Marriage in New Hampshire

There is an excellent column in today's "Manchester Union-Leader" by Joseph McQuaid:

"The Fantasy of Gay Marriage"

"You really can't have 'gay marriage,' you know, irrespective of what a court or a legislature may say.

You can have something some people call gay marriage, because to them the idea sounds worthy and necessary, but to say a thing is other than it is, is to stand reality on its head, hoping to shake out its pockets.

Such is the supposed effect of the Iowa Supreme Court's declaration this month that gays and heterosexuals enjoy equal rights to marital bliss. Nope. They don't and won't, even if liberal Vermont follows Iowa's lead.....

"One can say without too much fear of contradiction that people who set themselves up as the sovereign arbiters of reality are -- would "nutty" be the word?"

It would. We have commented on the rejection of reality underlying the push for same-sex "marriage" here, here, and here.

Meanwhile, columnist Frank Rich over at the New York Times says anyone opposed to same-sex "marriage" is a bigot.

That made us think of our post of December 29, 2008, on the outrageous going-away party for departing Catholic Charities Executive Director Brian Cahill. One of the speakers at the event was openly homosexual San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Certainly Dufty is for same-sex "marriage"--but we noticed that when he and a "lesbian" woman had a child together, via artificial insemination, they decided to live together and are raising the little girl together. I guess this means he thinks it best for a child to be brought up by his or her parents, who are, and always will be, a man and a woman. As we said at the time this makes him a bigot, too. Welcome to the club, Bevan— “Bigots for Reality!”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ND UPDATE: Jenkins Accomodates Obama but Cheats his Students

He knows he's trapped.

From LifeSiteNews:

"In the letter Father Jenkins wrote that 'conditions for constructive dialogue simply do not exist' and that students could disregard his earlier invitations to meet with him.

Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic educational watchdog group which has closely monitored the Notre Dame controversy and has sponsored a petition where 275,000 pro-life advocates have opposed UND's invitation, responded to the latest news.

'Father Jenkins has insisted that his honor for President Obama is all about ‘dialogue’—even though a commencement ceremony offers no opportunity for debate or discussion—yet now rejects dialogue with the students who profoundly disagree with honoring a pro-abortion politician,' he said. (emphasis added)

'The students’ preconditions are reasonable and should not have prevented discussion,' he told"

I agree. Go here to read the letter outlining the students preconditions.

Fr. Jenkins does not want any dialogue with the students because he knows he has an indefensible position. So he refuses to discuss.

As a Catholic, he has ignored the teaching of the Church. Now, as an educator, he has repudiated the first principle of the educator's vocation. As Archbishop Dolan said, in a masterpiece of understatement, "They made a big mistake."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Only Room for One Messiah

Obama comes, Jesus goes. At Georgetown University, Our Lord gets sent to His room when the quality arrives.

From Julia Dunn's story in the Washington Times:

"Julie Bataille from the university's press office e-mailed me that the White House had asked that all university signage and symbols behind the stage in Gaston Hall be covered.

'The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches,' she wrote. 'Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn't high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.' ("Respectful" to whom? And what is meant here by "out of context"?)

Ms. Dunn continues:

I also noticed the Free Republic blog had photos comparing "before" and "after" depictions of the unfortunate monogram, which the university covered with what looks like a black cloth.

Not every Catholic institution would have caved to quite this extent. Victor Nakas, spokesman for Catholic University, e-mailed me to say several presidents have visited CUA and the most recent administration official to speak there was then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

'I can’t imagine, as the bishops’ university and the national university of the Catholic Church, that we would ever cover up our religious art or signage for any reason,' Mr. Nakas wrote. 'Our Catholic faith is integral to our identity as an institution of higher education.'"

The Drudge Report linked to a similar story on the Catholic News Service website, but the link apparently caused more traffic than the CNS site could handle. It should be live again before to long.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: Diabetes

From today's "New Scientist":

"DAZZLING but controversial claims about a stem-cell treatment for diabetes now seem to have been borne out. The latest results indicate that the initial positive response was indeed due to the treatment and not simply to better care, as critics suggested in 2007.

The treatment is designed to stop the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes from destroying the pancreatic islet cells that make insulin, the hormone which regulates sugar concentrations in blood. A team led by Júlio Voltarelli of the Regional Blood Centre in Ribeirão Preto in southern Brazil took blood from 15 patients and saved the CD34 stem cells from it....

In 2007, Voltarelli's team announced that some of the patients were able to live without injections of insulin for months - in one case for three years. Others, however, put this down to the "honeymoon" period after a treatment, in which patients receive better care as they are being monitored.

The latest results, which cover the initial 15 patients plus eight more who have received the same treatment, seem to put such fears to rest. Twelve now live free of insulin injections, eight need less insulin than before and only three have not benefited at all. All who benefited had drastically raised concentrations of C-peptide, a by-product of insulin production, which indicates that they were making the insulin themselves." (emphasis added)

As our friend Don Margolis often says, adult stem-cells are the greatest medicine in the history of man. It's tragic that our current President, for ideological reasons, chooses to spend his efforts on immoral and pointless Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

For a more technical take on the story, go to the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ex-SF Archbishop Quinn Advises Catholics on Obama

In the current issue of America magazine, Archbishop Emeritus John Quinn of San Francisco has this advice for those Catholics (including 33+ bishops) who are urging Notre Dame University to rescind the invitation to Barack Obama: don't.

Unfortunately, the former Archbishop's track record of social analysis and judgement is not such as to inspire confidence.

I recall that it was under Archbishop Quinn that Most Holy Redeemer Parish began "outreach" and "dialogue" with the same-sex attracted community of San Francisco's Castro District in the early-1980s. From Fr. Donal Godfrey's indispensible history of Most Holy Redeemer, "Gays and Grays":

“'They came from the chancery, the personnel board, to ask questions, to see whom to send. We have to replace Fr. Moriarity, they said; ‘What kid of pastor do we need in this parish?’ I said, ‘The parish is gradually becoming more gay. These are the demographics of the area. This needs to be thought about in making this decision.’ There was absolute stone-dead silence in the room. . and the meeting went on to another point.’
--Deacon Laurence Rolle, quoted in "Gays and Grays", page 27.

“Fortunately, Archbishop John Quinn was well aware the question needed to be asked, and chose a man who turned out to be especially suited to the new sociological profile ofthe parish. Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn….Anthony McGuire became the ninth pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish in 1982.” -"Gays and Grays" pps 27-28. (emphasis added)

That was in 1982. Over the next 19 years did Archbishop Quinn learn anything that might cause him to reconsider--years in which the celebration of homosexuality at MHR became the defining fact of parish life? Apparently not, because this next quotation is from an inteview the former Archbishop gave to Fr. Godfrey on February 13, 2001:

"I think Most Holy Redeemer does an important service, an important role for the Church in the city of San Francisco. I think if there weren't a Most Holy Redeemer we should create one." -"Gays and Grays" p. 54

Well, they certainly did that.

They created a parish that today has at least seven openly same-sex "married" lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and acolytes; a Liturgical Planning Coordinator who competes in the "Golden Dildo" awards; that has at least one "transgender" Eucharistic Minister; that welcomed the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence when they embarassed our current Archbishop George Niederauer; and where Archbishop Niederauer recently had to forbid the performance of a play by teenagers from Sacred Heart High School of Atherton.

In other words, Archbishop Quinn's attempts at "outreach" and "dialogue" (to put the best face on what he was trying to do) have actually prevented any genuine Catholic outreach and dialogue with the same-sex attracted community. What happened is simply that a formerly Catholic parish turned into a "gay" parish. That's not dialogue, it's surrender. Worse, to the extent MHR is perceived as being the Catholic church in the Castro, it has become a cause of scandal to the surrounding community. They see the word "Catholic" applied to teachings and activities that are in direct opposition to the Catholic Church, and they naturally wonder: what is the real teaching? Which is the true Church?

This sounds a lot like what is happening because of Notre Dame's invitation to Obama. MHR is a good object lesson as to what happens when the former Archbishop's advice is followed.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: Al Gore gets on Board.

Evan Al Gore gets least when there is money involved.

From USA Today:

"Former vice president Al Gore is entering the stem cell arena with an announcement today of a $20 million biotech venture in the hot area of "induced pluripotent" stem cells.

Induced cells are attracting interest from researchers and biotech firms as an alternative to embryonic stem cells. Induced cells are made by inserting four genes into ordinary skin cells, and they offer a new path for "regenerative" medical treatments."

It's certainly not a moral issue with these guys. They don't invest in embryonic stem-cell research beacuse they don't think it will work.

It's been one of our mantras here at "A Shepherd's Voice:" Are California voters having second thoughts yet about shelling out $3 billion + for immoral & unproven embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to show a single cure, while adult stem cells are curing people left and right?

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just a little note from Austria:

There is always HOPE. May the Easter message increase our hope and faith in the gift God has given us.

A response to: Poll: Most Americans Celebrate Easter

Thanks. It is encouraging for many of us Christians in Europe to read the results of such polls coming from the USA. Although I do not have official polls of service attendance during the Easter holidays from Austria, I do not think that so much as we have seen in America would be attending this time. My parish belongs to those where attendance of services on such feasts is large, but the attendance is never more than 40% on its strongest day, the Easter Vigil. There is a very strong wind of secularism in Europe now fueled by nonbelievers and menacing public media that is getting ever-stronger, lacking respect, and critical of Christianity, especially Catholics.It is really nice to read that people in the USA are not so "faithless" as the media in Austria would want us to believe.

Thanks a lot.
Nikolas O. Abazie, Austria

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adult Stem Cell UPDATE: Dr. Oz Gets It!

Adult stem-cells are one of our regular themes on "A Shepherd's Voice." Below is a clip from the Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday.

We hope all of Oprah's many millions of viewers start to get the truth about stem-cells too!

To see all of our posts on this subject go here.

And we always recommend that readers interested in this subject start with Don Margolis.

H/t American Papist

Oakland's New Bishop Visited Rev. Hoye in Jail

Now there's a Bishop!

Today's Contra Costa Times reports that Oakland's new Bishop, Salvatore Cordileone visited the heroic Reverend Walter Hoye in jail this past Saturday:

"In jail, he (Rev. Hoye) ran bible study groups, counseled other inmates and "led six men to Christ," said his wife, Lori. He also received a visitor Saturday: Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, the Diocese of Oakland's bishop-designate.

"He visited Walter Hoye because he respects Hoye's affirmation of the value of human life," said Diocese spokesman Mike Brown, who declined to say whether Cordileone approved of Hoye's tactics.

Now there's some Catholic leadership!

And for a nice personal account from another person who visited Walter this past weekend, go here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Food for Thought

This is purported to have been written by a law student! Pretty articulate, eh?

Divorce Agreement

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists,Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass, each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes. We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You cankeep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.)

We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEOs and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC andHollywood .

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security. We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Yugo you can find. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya and We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag. Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely, John J. Wall

Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand and Jane Fonda with you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Logically fallacious, historically illiterate, and politically brutish"

That's Professor Matthew Franck of Princeton, describing last Friday's decision by the Iowa Supreme Court legalizing same-sex "marriage."

"Hence it is essential that public policy on marriage turn from love, and from lovers’ felt need for “affirmation,” to consider what reasons can be given for this or that way of arranging the family that makes a claim on our attention. Are all “relationships” created equal? Are all of them equally conducive to human flourishing? Is every way of bringing children into the world, or of rearing them, equally deserving of “affirmation”? How many men and/or women does it take to make a marriage that will perform the functions we want marriage to perform? Are children best prepared for healthy, responsible adult lives with both a mother and a father? Natural or “step-” or adopted? With a mother and a father or with “parents”? How many of each?"

Read the whole brilliant article here.

H/T Andy McCarthy

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Notre Dame Update

Diane over at Te Deum Laudamus! has been keeping a running total of Catholic Bishops who are speaking out on the scandal of Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.

And Kathy over at Threshing Grain has been covering the story extensively as well, including a link to this excellent letter from a Notre Dame Alum:

Damage control under the dome

April 2, 2009

In recent comments surrounding the controversy at Notre Dame, our own Cardinal George remarked that Notre Dame has put itself in an impossible position. On the one hand, by inviting President Obama Notre Dame did not understand what it means to be Catholic. On the other hand, out of respect for the office you don't disinvite the president.

Obama is a man of principle. One of these principles is his unwavering commitment to abortion rights. Time and time again, at every available opportunity--as a state senator, a United States senator and now as President--he has used his elected authority to effectuate every pro-abortion issue that has crossed his desk.

You don't disinvite the President? Indeed? There was a time, on principle, when the Catholic Church did not fear to stand up to emperors, barbarians and kings. There are some violations of universal truths that cannot be gilded even under the Golden Dome.

Vincent C. Muscarello
Notre Dame Class of 1979

Saturday, April 4, 2009

So much bad--so much good

Two Choices

What would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

B y the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball ... the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third!

Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:

1. Delete
2. Forward

May your day, be a Shay Day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Iowa Justices Reject Real Marriage (UPDATE)

And try to create counterfeit marriage.

We've said it before: the only time same-sex "marriage" advocates get anywhere is through the courts. They maintain their perfect record: zero victories whenever the people get to have their say.

Now, Iowa judges think they are masters of reality. Bishop Wenski of Orlando commented on this attitude back on July 1, 2008:

"(Bishop Wenski) characterized the 'culture wars' as a conflict about 'the understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality.' One side, which, he argued, includes homosexual marriage advocates, 'holds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things but by one's own individual will.' This position, in the bishop’s view, is a 'recipe for tyranny.'

The only remedy for this tyranny is an organized population. Citizens need to take power back from the courts, and even, if necessary, from their elected representatives. In Iowa, the constitutional amendment process takes a couple of years--and it has to begin in the legislature. If this report is accurate, there does not seem to be any great desire on the part of the legislature to take up the battle.

Thank God for California's referendum process!

Jack Smith over at "The Catholic Key" reported this assertion, made in the Des Moines Register:

"Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America."

Jack responded:

"A court victory hardly demonstrates 'acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America'. A court victory didn't even demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in California."

Ed Whelan over at "The Corner" weighs in:

The Iowa Supreme Court’s Attack on Marriage

"The lawless judicial attack on traditional marriage and on representative government continues...

Amidst the opinion’s 69 pages of blather, there are two key assertions (and they’re nothing more than that):

(1) '[E]qual protection can only be defined by the standards of each generation.' (p. 16)
If you were not attuned to the deceptive rhetoric of living-constitutionalist judges, you would sensibly imagine that that proposition would mean that the court would defer to the standard of the current generation reflected in the statute that Iowa adopted in 1998. But no:

(2) 'The point in time when the standard of equal protection finally takes a new form is a product of the conviction of one, or many, individuals that a particular grouping results in inequality and the ability of the judicial system to perform its constitutional role free from the influences that tend to make society’s understanding of equal protection resistant to change.' (pp. 16-17)

What gobbledygook."

Also writing at "The Corner," Maggie Gallagher quotes Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage" on the court's decision:

"The most heartbreaking sentence however is Footnote 26. In Footnote 26 these justices conclude: 'The traditional notion that children need a mother and a father to be raised into healthy, well-adjusted adults is based more on stereotype than anything else.'

Justices? Injustices. I hate being right about something so sad: but gay marriage really is about rejecting the natural family, the importance of bringing together the two creators of the child, the mom and the dad, to raise their baby in love together. The Iowa court ruling once again makes that connection crystal clear."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bishop Doran Preaches it!

There have been a number of responses from our Bishops to the scandal caused by Notre Dame University's invitation to Barack Obama. This, from Bishop Doran of Rockville may be the strongest yet.

March 31, 2009

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:

I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.

This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.” Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.

I sign myself

Very truly yours,
The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Rockford

From the Cardinal Newman Society, via American Papist.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"The truth is that he is simply correct"

Dr. Laura Schlessinger comments on the Holy Father's statement on condoms. In her article at "The Pope, the Rabbi, and Condoms" at the Catholic Education Resource Center, she tells this story:

"I remember listening to a rabbi describing a situation that occurred to his kosher family. His 7 year old child was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at one of those fast-food hamburger establishments. When he came to pick up his child at the end of the party, one of the mothers -- clearly annoyed -- chastised him for the pain he caused his son. 'All the children had hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries and dessert, and your little boy had to sit there and eat none of it. Imagine how terrible your son must have felt? How could you do this to him? Food is food. There is nothing sinful about food. What you are doing to him is just cruel.' Just about at the end of her tirade, his son bounded up to him, gave him a huge hug around the waist, and said 'I had a great time. This was a fun party.'

The woman blanched and walked away. The rabbi followed her and gently told her the following:

'Animals will eat whatever is around, even if it will make them unhealthy. Humans are to rise above animals and become masters of their urges. Imagine my son in a dorm room where harmful illicit drugs are being passed about. We already know that peer pressure and urges will not force him to relent and give in to the impulse. Learning at his early age to control impulse and desire is not a harmful trait -- many times, it might be a life-saving one. Look at him. He enjoyed the company of your son and the rest of the children without giving up his values. He looks happy and satisfied. We really need to bring up our children to be masters of their instincts, not slaves to them, don't you think?'"

Dr. Laura closes with this observation:

"The naysayers all have one thing in common: they refuse to want, believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior. The Pope believes in us more than that.

I am not Catholic, so this is no knee-jerk defense of my spiritual leader. The truth is that he is simply correct and too many people don't want to hear it, because they want to live lives unfettered by rules. It is sad that they don't realize that this makes them a slave to animal impulse versus a master of human potential."