Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kagan Partial-Birth Deception UPDATE

John, at the respected Powerline blog, has now weighed in on Shannen Coffin's revelation that Elena Kagan deliberately created misleading info in order to defend partial-birth abortion:

"Unless there is some other interpretation of these documents that does not occur to me, it appears that Elena Kagan participated in a gigantic scientific deception. On behalf of the Clinton White House, she deliberately subverted what was supposed to be an objective scientific process. The ACOG report was certainly seen in that light by the federal courts.... The federal courts were victimized by a gross deception and a perversion of both the scientific process and the judicial process, carried out, the evidence appears to show, by Elena Kagan.

Ms. Kagan has a great deal of explaining to do. Unless she can come up with an innocent explanation for these documents, she should not be confirmed."

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: The Blind can Now See With Their Own Stem-Cells!

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! From LifeSiteNews:

"For individuals blinded by chemical burns, the ever advancing field of adult stem-cell research has provided yet another astonishing cure – giving them sight through their own stem cells.

Italian researchers have reported developing a very successful therapy to cure those who were either blinded, or whose vision was severely impaired, thanks to chemical burns to their corneas. Such burns can come about through handling everything from toxic cleaning substances at home to heavy-duty chemicals at work....

In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists treated 107 eyes of 106 patients with stem cells derived from the limbus, the rim around the cornea, where stem cells are naturally produced by the body to do repairs on the cornea.

The researchers derived the stem cells from a patient’s healthy eye, and then encouraged them to multiply. Once they had enough stem cells, they removed the scar tissue over the bad eye, and then grafted the stem cells on over the site of the cornea, which then began to generate new corneal tissues.

After 12-24 months had passed, these grafts were then followed up by corrective surgeries.

One patient had severe alkali burns on both his eyes from 1948. Researchers, however, were able to adapt and derive limbal stem-cell cultures with biopsied tissue taken from the patient’s left eye. The therapy managed to successfully restore both corneal surfaces, transitioning the man from blindness to having an almost normal, combined vision of close to 20/30. Follow-ups after two and five years showed that both eyes were stable after the treatment.

In all, the treatment had a 76.6 percent success rate, sustained over the past decade. The researchers note that all their failure cases occurred within the first year of treatment. In all 82 of 107 eyes had successful cures, with partial success in 14 others.

"They were incredibly happy. Some said it was a miracle," one of the study leaders, Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena's Center for Regenerative Medicine in Italy, told the Associated Press. "It was not a miracle. It was simply a technique."

The Family Research Council blog has more, including ABC News video about the case. We also repeat what has become one of our mantras at "A Shepherd's Voice" ever since Prop 71 in California passed:

"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?"

We must point out it was idiots in the press (like ABC News) that were foursquare behind ESCR, and painted those of us opposed to it as anti-science bigots.

Our friend Don Margolis has been beating the adult stem-cell drum (he refers to them as "repair stem-cells") for years, calling them the greatest medicine ever known to mankind, and it looks like he is right. Visit his website: http://donmargolis.com/blog/ and check out the list of diseases and conditions being treated with adult stem-cells.

"Why are Jews Liberal?--A Symposium"

"Why Are Jews Liberal?" was a September 2009 symposium at Commentary magazine, which I just ran across. Five noted Jewish writers--David Wolpe, Jonathan D. Sarna, Michael Medved, William Kristol and Jeff Jacoby--responded to that quesion asked by Mr. Norman Podhoretz, in his book of the same name. Just about all the of the five point out that the disease of liberalism does not affect those who are serious about their Judaism--the Orthodox.

The short essays by each of the five are very interesting, and, in as much as one cannot answer the question "Why are Jews Liberal?" without at least roughly defining liberalism, the essays go beyond the specific Jewish/liberal question. Some examples:

Jonathon D. Sarna: "Nor is it (liberalism) a ‘substitute for religion,’ it is a religion in its own right, complete with its own catechism and its own dogmas and . . . obdurately resistant to facts that undermine its claims and promises....Jewish liberalism endures, Podhoretz concludes, because turning conservative, in liberal eyes, is nothing short of heresy—or worse, apostasy."

Michael Medved: "For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn’t solidarity with Israel; it’s rejection of Christianity....Jewish voters don’t embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity—especially the fervent evangelicalism of the dreaded “Christian Right.”

The anti-Christian obsessions of American Jews lead not only to skewed perceptions of our true friends and enemies but also to anomalous definitions of “Jewish issues.” Much of the communal establishment insists, for instance, that their support of same-sex marriage and “abortion rights” expresses timeless Jewish values. Why and how? In 3,000 years of well-documented tradition prior to, say, 1970, there was not the slightest hint of any sort of endorsement of homosexual coupling. Moreover, Jewish law has always frowned upon abortion, authorizing the procedure only in extreme cases where the welfare of the mother is profoundly threatened.

The liberal belief that Jews should be pro-choice and pro–gay marriage has nothing to do with connecting to Jewish tradition and everything to do with disassociating from Christian conservatives."

Jeff Jacoby: "Most American Jews, on the other hand, seem to have learned from an early age that to be Jewish is to be a liberal Democrat, no matter what. No matter that anti-Semitism today makes its home primarily on the Left, while in most quarters of the Right, hostility toward Jews has been anathematized. No matter that Israel’s worst enemies congregate with leftists, while its staunchest defenders tend to be resolute conservatives. No matter that Republicans support the Jewish state by far larger margins than Democrats do. No matter that on a host of issues—homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, racial preferences, public prayer —the “Torah” of contemporary liberalism, as Podhoretz calls it, diverges sharply from the Torah of Judaism. As Why Are Jews Liberals? convincingly and depressingly demonstrates, the loyalty of American Jews to the Left has been unaffected by the failure of the Left to reciprocate that loyalty.

David Gelertner: "The world of contemporary liberalism is wider than Jews and Judaism.... Western Europe is full of reactionary liberals....In fact, we can study Western Europe not only as a related case but also as a hint and a warning about the American Jewish future—because Europe is far ahead of America in the modern-liberalism department. In America, liberal aspirations are moderated by the Gulf Stream of a basically conservative, religious citizenry.
So what’s happened in Europe?

In much of Western (especially northwestern) Europe, marriage seems to be dying...Up-to-date Englishmen on the topic of science versus religion sound, too often, like smug low-church curates in Trollope holding forth on the British Empire versus the filthy natives....European sex (casual or not, hetero- or homo-) seems to have developed the moral significance of an ATM transaction on a street corner...

The strangest aspect of modern Europe is its tentative yet progressing love affair with death. (We think of Keats listening, darkling, to his nightingale.) The death wish is plain among Europeans who shrug off birthrates so low (and immigration rates so high) that their nations will be gone within a few generations. The death wish probably plays a part in the fervor some European nations (especially Germany) feel to lose themselves in the European Union, and in the outright enthusiasm in parts of Europe for assisted suicide. Modern Germany often cremates the dead with no rites and no comment, making death as humdrum as taking out the garbage."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Party-of-Death Nominee Kagan Distorted Report on Partial Birth Abortion

But that is what you get from the Democrats. Actually the National Review's headline is even stronger: "Kagan's Abortion Lie."

Over at "The Corner," former deputy assistant attorney general Shannen Coffin has the facts:

"The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court."

Mr. Coffen then describes how Kagan deliberately reworded the findings of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and he concludes:

"Miss Kagan’s decision to override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process. One must question whether her nomination to the Court would have the same effect."

As the good Rabbis said on Friday, "Kagan is not fir to serve on this court, or any court."

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Gay Marriage" Capitol of America Offers Condoms to Preschoolers

The school board of Provincetown, MA ruled earlier this week condoms available to all students, including preschoolers. After Governor Deval Patrick complained, they changed the policy to fifth graders and up--whoop de doo--but if it was up to the school board the original policy would have remained. The policy also allows condoms to be given to children without parental consent.

It's no accident that this happened in Provincetown "the gayest zipcode in America." In 2009, over 90% of the "marriages" that took place there were counterfeit. The Provincetown “2009 Annual Town Report” says:

"Five years after the Goodridge Decision, legalizing marriage in Massachusetts for same sex couples, marriage continued to significantly impact the Town Clerk’s Office in 2009. 2009 was the second busiest year for marriage filings, with a total of 528 marriage intentions filed in 2009, 492 of those filings by same sex couples – the highest total of marriage filings since the advent of same sex marriage in 2004, which saw a total of 899 marriage filings in that year."

One of the arguments made by proponents of same-sex “marriage” is that it would normalize same-sex couples and bring them into the mainstream culture. What this ruling from Provincetown shows us is that what is being normalized and mainstreamed is sexual irresponsibility--at the youngest possible age. When the schools in a town where 93% of "marriages" are between persons of the same sex offer condoms to 5 year-olds, without their parents consent, we can see what a crock that argument is, and always was.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Kagan "Not fit to sit on this Court--or any court."

"Elena Kagan is not kosher. She is not fit to sit on this Court--or any court."

So say the Orthodox Rabbis of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, bless them!

From CNSN News:

"Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the alliance, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that 'a great deal has been made about the fact that she would be the second Jewish woman on the court, and we want to signal to people across the country that we take no pride in this.'

Levin said most people are happy when 'one of their own' is nominated to such a high position. But, he added, 'We feel that Elena Kagan turns traditional Judaism on its head--from a concept of a nation of priests and holy people, she is turning it into, ‘Let’s homosexualize every segment of society. And by the way, partial-birth babies have no right to be delivered.’...

'It is clear from Ms. Kagan's record on issues such as abortion-on-demand, partial-birth-abortion, the radical homosexual and lesbian agenda, the 'supremacy' of the anti-family panoply over religious liberties of biblical adherents, et. al., that she will function as a flame-throwing radical, hastening society's already steep decline into Sodom and Gomorrah,' the rabbis said in the statement."

I'd love to hear a Bishop make a statement half as strong about any number of Catholic politicians.

"Reclaiming the Culture" Radio Show to Launch Monday

Monday marks the debut of "Reclaiming the Culture" a new Immaculate Heart Radio interview show that we at "A Shepherd's Voice" have helped with. The show's host, Dolores Meehan, descibes the mission:

“Bay Area Catholics are some of the strongest Catholics in the country. Reclaiming the Culture grew out of the desire to show that the Catholic Church in the Bay Area has the resources to confront the prevailing secular culture. Our purpose is to introduce great thinkers to listeners who may not have the opportunity to pursue an authentic, classical, Catholic education at, say, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. We see this as a chance to share the wisdom of the Catholic Church, which is far greater than many people realize, and is easily up to the task of engaging the prevailing secular culture. We want to move beyond catechesis and apologetics, important as they are, and enter into the arena where faith meets reason.”

There is a stellar line up of guests:

• On June 28 and July 5, Meehan will interview Fr. Michael Sweeney, President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, on “Authentic Catholic Education—and the Impact of the Land O’ Lakes Conference.”

• July 12: Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, of Oakland, on “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call to Christian Conscience.

• July 19: Fr. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute, on a neglected area of Catholic social teaching “The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Service to the Poor.”

• July 26, bioethicist/author Dr. Janet Smith, of Sacred Heart Major Seminary on “The Right to Privacy.”

Future guests include:

• Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, of Ignatius Press;

• the very interesting Ave Maria University Professor of philosophy Maria Fedoryka on "The Gift of Woman";

• a fascinating (and scary) three-part interview with Mr. Brian Fairchild, an expert on Salafist Islamic groups in the U.S.;

• and the renowned authors and thinkers Mrs. Mary Eberstadt, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, and Dr. Anthony Esolen.

Reclaiming the Culture airs every Monday at 9:10AM on KSFB Radio 1260 AM. For now, the show can only be heard live in the Bay Are, but podcasts of the interviews will be available following each show at http://www.reclaimingtheculture.org/

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"SIN" Back in Our Dictionaties!

The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, warned that it would be an error to remove the word “sin” from the human “dictionary” and believe that nothing is evil.

During his homily at Mass on Sunday, the cardinal lamented the “profound transformation” of the moral and religious understanding in many Christians. “For many today, nothing is evil, nothing is immoral and it seems like we’ve even erased the word sin from our dictionaries.”
“Without a guilty conscience, how will we feel the need for God’s forgiveness? How can we appreciate the salvation of Christ if we don’t think we need it?” he asked.

Related articles:
Of Human Life - By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Of Human Life - Addendum some common questions – By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Priest for Our Times

Close to 150,000 faithful flooded into Warsaw Sunday for the beatification of Jerzy Popieluszko, a Roman Catholic priest and opposition activist murdered 25 years ago by Poland's communist secret police.

Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B , the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, represented Pope Benedict XVI at the beatification mass also attended by some Cardinals, including William Levada, and 100 bishops, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Jerzy Buzek, the head of the European Parliament.

On October 19, 1984, Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a young priest from the Warsaw parish of St. Stanislaw Kostka, was invited to a prayer meeting held by the association for the pastoral care of workers of the town of Bydgoszcz. He celebrated Mass first, then commented on the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. He ended his comment with the following words: “Let’s pray God to set us free from fear and terror, but, first and foremost, from the desire for violence and vengeance.”

At the end of the meeting Father Popieluszko decided to go back home even though it was late. He was traveling in a car driven by a certain Waldemard Chrostowski.

When the car got close to a village called Górsk, it was stopped by officers of the secret service in the disguise of traffic police. After handcuffing the driver, they stunned the priest with a knock on the head, gagged him and threw him into the trunk of the car and drove away.

Chrostowski managed to get off the running car and gave the alarm.

The escape of Popieluszko’s driver did not make the police officers change their criminal plans: they beat the priest to death — the doctor who did the autopsy declared that he had never seen a man with such internal lesions — tied his hands and feet behind his back and threw him into the Vistula river with a bag full of stones tied to one leg.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Church is Not Afraid of the Truth

Regarding the present uproar, the Church is not afraid to confront the horrific facts. Already in the reign of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), the Pope opened the secret Vatican archives to historians, saying that the Church is not afraid of the truth.

The same is true today. However, the problem is not the news itself but the way the facts are reported. Liberal media have an accurate “sense of selection” in which they emphasize sexual abuse only when it happens in the Church. They hide or minimize it when it takes place in other institutions. Conversely, the same media is only too ready to blow up the least expression of dissent or “reform” in the Church and “fail to see” demonstrations of filial submission and warm support for the Chair of Peter, or enthusiasm for the traditional devotional practices.

Paradoxically, the same liberal media rend their garments when reporting on abuse cases involving members of the Catholic clergy, but at the same time, favor the homosexual agenda, lewd fashions and licentious behavior in every way. They refues to acknowledge how the general amorality in sexual matters is the breeding ground for the proliferation of the deplorable abuse of minors everywhere.
Luiz Sérgio Solimeo

"Dads are not Second-Class Mothers"

A great column in the Wall Street Journal by Brad Wilcox (excerpts below from National Review's "The Corner")

"From Hollywood to the halls of the academy, as I point out in that WSJ piece, we often get the message that dads are superfluous. Plenty of people see men as second-class mothers. And large numbers of men and women in the U.S. think, on average, that single mothers can do just as good a job as a married mother and father in raising children.

But the science does not support the idea that fathers are fungible. On average, children raised in intact, married homes are much more likely to thrive in school, to steer clear of trouble with the law, to avoid a teen pregnancy, and to avoid an untimely demise. Moreover, the positive effects of fatherhood are especially strong for fathers who are engaged, affectionate, and firm with their children.

For instance, a recent study by sociologist Mark Regnerus found that the quality of a father’s relationship with his teenage daughter was a much better predictor of her sexual activity than the quality of her relationship with her mother. Dads appear to play a particularly powerful role in steering their daughters clear of early sex, as well as a teen pregnancy.

Studies like this suggest that dads are not second-class mothers. They have their own distinctive contributions to make to their children, and we should do more as a culture to encourage fathers to plug into their children’s lives and to enable them to keep that connection with their children alive."

This is a good time to show the "Mothers Matter/ Fathers Matter" segment of "Marriage Matters to Kids."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Closing Arguments in Trial over the People's Right to Self-Government

Judge Vaughn Walker heard closing arguments today in the Proposition 8 trial. The real subject of the trial is the right of the American people to self-government. We wrote back on January 25:

"We haven’t commented on the issue much, or even followed it, oreven followed it, because it seems to be mostly a propagandistic exercise in narcissism. The "trial" has the same relationship to a real trial as same-sex "marriage" has to real marriage. Proposition 8 was never about gay people, it was about the common good of society. The attempt by homosexualist activists to deny self-government to the people of California through the ruling of one judge just proves the point: they are more interested in themselves than in the common good."

We do expect Judge Walker to rule for the plaintiffs, and the case to be appealed. His conduct has been outrageous throughout the trial. On February 7, Constitutional scholar Ed Whelan wrote in The Corner:

"Walker’s entire course of conduct has only one sensible explanation: that Walker is hellbent to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage. Given his manifest inability to be impartial, Walker should have recused himself from the beginning, and he remains obligated to do so now."

And as we reported back in February, Hastings Law School Professor Calvin Massey said the arguments made by the activists were "simply ludicrous" but also that he too expects Judge Vaughn Walker to rule in favor of the plaintiffs anyway, but also that it "does not matter a lot what Judge Walker does" because the case will be decided by appeal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Fix Has Begun"

So says Michael Voris, commenting in the video below on the Holy Father's June 11 homily marking the end of the "Year of the Priest." His Holiness' full homily is here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Traditional Latin Mass in San Francisco!

A fifth TLM will be celebrated in the Archdiocese, and the second in the actual city of San Francisco!

It will now be celebrated for a period of three months, after which it will be "assessed," at Holy Name Church, in San Francisco's Sunset District, where the great Bishop Emeritus Ignatius Wang resides.

From Holy Name's parish bulletin of June 13:

The traditional Latin Mass also known as Tridentine Mass will be offered on a provisionary period starting with its first Mass on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 7:15 PM and every third Sunday of each month thereafter for three months, after which it will be assessed. In order for everyone to be acquainted with the rubrics and liturgy of the Latin Mass, all are invited to a Seminar/Workshop about Latin Mass in the Flanagan Center from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on
Saturday, June 19, 2010."

Here is the Holy Name's contact info:

1555 39th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122-3015
(415) 664-8590

Other TLM's in the Archdiocese:

First Friday of the month at 7 p.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1425 Bay Rd. at Glen Way in East Palo Alto. For more information, call (650) 322-2152.

On Sundays at 12:15 p.m. at Holy Rosary Chapel at St. Vincent School for Boys in San Rafael. For more information, call St. Isabella Parish at (415) 479-1560.

On the first Sunday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at Mater Dolorosa in South San Francisco The parish is on 307 Willow Ave. South San Francisco, 94080. For more information call (650) 583-4131.

On the second Sunday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at St. Finn Barr, 415 Edna St., San Francisco, CA 94112(415) 333-3627.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yeah, SURE you can keep your health insurance...

From Investor's Business Daily

"Keep Your Health Plan Under Overhaul? Probably Not, Gov't Analysis Concludes By David Hogberg and Sean Higgins

Internal administration documents reveal that up to 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage because of ObamaCare."

And Yuval Levin comments in The Corner:

"Keep the Plan You Have? Well, No.

In making the case for the Democrats’ health-care bill, President Obama could not have been clearer in promising that if you like the insurance plan you have now, you will be able to keep it. Critics of the bill insisted that the text of the legislation simply contradicted his assurance. And now, the administration (in a draft rule intended to enforce the legislation’s provisions) admits as much. Here’s the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Over and over in the health care debate, President Barack Obama said people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it.

But an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers—51 percent—will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to the draft."

The whole thing was a boondoggle front to back, top to bottom. It must be repealed in toto.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, June 11, 2010

Democrats Vote for Publicly-Funded Abortion in Military Hospitals

Speaking of publicly funded abortions, the Party-of-Death controlled Senate Armed Services Committee has voted to allow publicly funded abortion in military hospitals. The New York Times reports:

Plan Would Allow Abortions at Military Hospitals

"In a vote that advocates of abortion rights sought beforehand to keep quiet, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a provision on May 27 to allow privately financed abortions at military hospitals and bases. Current law bans abortions in most cases at military facilities, even if women pay themselves, meaning they must go outside to private hospitals and clinics — an impossibility for many of the estimated 100,000 American servicewomen in foreign countries, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan."

While the paragraph describes the abortions as "privately financed" opponents of the provision quickly pointed out that that can't possibly be true:

"Opponents say that because the abortions would be performed in government facilities, taxpayer money would still help subsidize the underlying costs — the reason that Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat who is opposed to abortion, voted against the amendment. 'He opposes government-provided or funded abortion,' said Jake Thompson, a spokesman."

The full 852-page Pentagon Policy Bill goes to the floor this summer. This is as good a time as any to remind the famous writer Michael Sean Winters (and other Party-of-Death supporting Catholics) of the statement he made in the Jesuit magazine America on July 14, 2009:

"To be clear: I have never voted for a Republican in my life. My mother told me my right hand would wither and fall to the ground if I did. But, if the President or my representatives in Congress support federal funding for abortion in any way, shape or form, I will never vote for them again and I might risk my right hand in the next election by voting for their opponent....Politics is the art of compromise, but on this point, there can be none."

I know exactly where you're coming from, Mr. Winters. Since 1988, I've been the only Republican in the history of my family--a great disappointment to my mother! But as you said, on this point there can be no compromise.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Abortion Executive Order: Congressman Boehner Stays on the Case

The transparent fig leaf of an Executive Order used by Congressman Stupak et al to justify their support for Obamacare, with its public funding for abortion, has apparently been put back in the closet for another day. But House Republican leader John Boehner is not forgetting:

"House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), in a meeting with President Obama and Congressional leaders at the White House today, asked President Obama to provide the American people with a progress report on the implementation of his Executive Order which purports to ban taxpayer-funding of abortions. Leader Boehner noted that in her recent “progress report” to Congress on the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius did not make any mention of efforts by the administration to implement the president’s Executive Order (EO).

Abortion opponents widely viewed the EO as a disingenuous maneuver made by the Administration in the final hours of the health care fight to buy off 'pro-life' Democrats instead of passing the anti-abortion Stupak amendment, which would have prevented federal subsidies for abortion under ObamaCare. A recent analysis by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops confirms that under the new law, 'federal subsidies will be used to help expand access nationwide to abortion coverage” and that all Americans, regardless of one’s personal convictions, will be forced to “pay a nominal fee for full access to elective abortions - not to be estimated at less than ‘$1 per enrollee, per month.’"

h/t The Corner

Marquette U: Money Well Spent, Questions Remain

Marquette University has reached a settlement with Professor Jodi O'Brien. She is the Seattle University professor whose offer of a deanship at Marquette was withdrawn when someone at Marquette read her published work. Her now-rescinded appointment caused Archbishop Jerome Listecki to share his concern with Marquette President Fr. Robert A. Wild, SJ. We've followed this story here.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

"Marquette offered the deanship to O'Brien, a lesbian who has written scholarly works on gender and sexual orientation, but withdrew the offer in early May, saying that some of O'Brien's writings "relating to Catholic mission and identity" made her an unacceptable candidate. The withdrawal was criticized by more than 100 faculty members at Marquette and hundreds of students."

The Journal Sentinel also cites a knowledgeable Marquette source to the effect that the university will offer a financial settlement to Professor O'Brien off, although the university had no comment. That would be money well spent if it ended the story, but the article implies there may be more than money involved:

"(University spokesman Pat) Pfeil said the university was considering research projects, conferences, courses and service learning projects exploring the topics of Catholic identity and gender and sexuality issues, and details about some of these projects might come out when the fall semester nears. Pfeil would not say whether the settlement requires Marquette to explore any of these issues.

O'Brien said: "I appreciate the responsiveness of the Marquette representatives to suggestions regarding a legacy of community betterment, including research and education regarding issues of gender and sexuality."

Let's see if I have this straight. Marquette is now taking advice from a Professor "regarding issues of sexuality and gender," whose writings on those very issues caused Marquette to rescind her appointment in the first place.

What could possibly go wrong?

h/t Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Some Remarkable California Candidates Emerge

In California's 29th Assembly District (around Fresno), Surgeon and pro-life legislative analyst Dr. Linda Halderman was victorious in the Republican primary. Dr. Halderman (shown at work, left) is the real deal. On April 29, 2009 she joined Lila Rose, Walter Hoye, and other pro-life heroes at the "Exposing Abortion" conference held at UC Berkeley. Some of what she covered at the conference can be found here. Dr. Halderman is also a frequent contributer to the "American Thinker" website. She is brilliant but her brilliance has not eclipsed her common sense.


In the 5th Assembly District in Sacramento, the primary victor is Andy Pugno. Mr. Pugno played a gigantic role in the defense of natural marriage, serving as Co-Counsel during the recent case in which the California Supreme Court upheld the will of the people of California and restored natural marriage. Mr Pugno sits on the board of the Sacramento Life Center, which has a one-sentence mission statement:

"The mission of the Sacramento Life Center is to empower women to choose life for their preborn children."

He and his wife Colleen have three children, one adopted.

Both are wonderful candidates. They are not "weather-vane" thinkers. Their understanding of life is grounded in reality, not fantasy. Cynics will say "well, they are from small districts, and even if they win in the general election, how much power will they have?" They will have the power to tell the truth, and even one person telling the truth makes it hard for business as usual to continue. Look at the effect Governor Christie is having in New Jersey, simply by telling the truth.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More SF Politics: Same-Sex “Married” Eucharistic Minister in Runoff Election for Superior Court Judgeship

UPDATE: Since neither of the two candidates has over 50% of the vote, Messrs. Nava and Ulmer will face each other in a runoff this fall. Post corrected to reflect this.

Michael Nava, a parishioner and Eucharistic Minister at San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer Church was the leading vote getter in yesterday's election to seat 15 on the San Francisco Superior Court. With 99% of the ballots counted, Nava leads incumbent Richard Ulmer 45-42%. The two men will face each other in a runoff election in the fall.

The “Nava for Judge” website says:

“Since 2004, he (Nava) has been a judicial staff attorney for Carlos R. Moreno, Associate Justice of the court, perhaps best known for his dissent in the Proposition 8 case in which he defended the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Michael is also involved in the community as an active parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer and was a member of the board of directors of the GLBT Historical Society….In October 2008, just before Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage, Justice Moreno married Michael and his partner, George Herzog, an oncology nurse."

Mr. Nava is indeed an "active parishioner" at MHR. The Most Holy Redeemer Eucharistic Minister schedule for June-September 2008 lists Mr. Nava as Eucharistic Minister for the Church. That brings to eight (by our count) same-sex "married" persons serving in liturgical ministries at MHR.

There is nothing in the least hidden about any of this. It is a quite open contempt for the teaching of the Catholic Church--and considering the lack of response from the Archdiocese the contempt is understandable. It is why we refer to MHR as "The Counter-Cathedral in the Castro."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Pelosi to Address SF's "Gay Pride" Parade

Democratic Speaker of the House and wannabe Catholic theologian Nancy Pelosi has sent an official letter with "warmest greetings" and "best wishes" to the organizers of San Francisco's 2010 "Gay Pride" parade.

According to the "SF Pride" website, Pelosi will also address the event via a Jumbotron at San Francisco's Civic Center.

Readers of "A Shepherd's Voice" will remember that last year the Gay Pride parade gave their "Pink Brick" award to Pelosi's bishop, George Niederauer, in response to His Excellency's support of natural marriage and Proposition 8. The "dis-honoree" award was given at the prodding of Most Holy Redeemer Pastoral Council member Matt Dorsey.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Good News: Sr. Keehan Off Of Holy Family Hospital Board

Sr. Keehan's support of ObamaCare with its publicly funded abortion is coming back to haunt her. LifeSiteNews has the story. One of Keehan's fellow board members

"... who holds the position of Hospitaller, a leading office in the ancient Order, wrote a letter of concern to the presidents of all the Order of Malta associations in the United States noting that Sister Keehan remained on the board of the Holy Family Hospital Foundation even though she supported the health care bill, which opens taxpayer funding of abortion, and even though she acted in contradiction to U.S. bishops.

LifeSite then reports that Sr. Keehan resigned, and replied "...with a letter of her own in which she expressed great displeasure with the criticism directed at her, characterizing it as 'abusive.'”


There seems to be a some high-level disagreement among the Knights about what motivated Keehan's resignation, and whether her leaving is a good or bad thing:

"Although LifeSiteNews viewed Keehan's letter of resignation decrying 'abusive' treatment, Fred Caesar, Special Assistant to the CHA President, Keehan denied the situation. 'Sr. Carol Keehan was not 'pressured off the Holy Family Hospital Foundation Board' in any way,' Ceasar responded to LifeSiteNews. 'You can verify that fact with the Chairman,' he added, refusing further comment.

In fact, Chairman James Murray’s letter to the Hospitaller, also seen by LSN, said specifically that “Sister Carol has tendered her resignation from the Board as a result of your letter.”

The Chairman expressed displeasure with the situation saying that the Hospitaller had, by causing Keehan to resign, harmed the work of the foundation and the hospital as well as the women who use it.

In the end, suggested a Knight who wished to remain unnamed, “Carol Keehan was basically forced out under pressure by Knights and Dames of Malta.” It was, he said
“part of an ongoing effort to keep the Order of Malta true to its pro-life foundations.”

We certainly wish that effort every success.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

We Don't Believe You, Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

Every citizen with a modicum of insight into public affairs would say that America is now at a crossroads of decision about what kind of future we want for our nation - and, by extension, for the rest of the world. Whether we like it or not, you are the one who is designated by a vote of the electorate to lead us in that decision-making process. You have asked for the job, and you have proposed yourself as being competent for it. History will judge your Administration on its own merits when your term is complete, but we, the citizens of this country, must judge it for what we see happening before our very eyes. Quite frankly, the picture isn't pretty, and you haven't earned our respect as a leader.

The reason for this, Mr. President, is that we can't believe what you say, and frankly, what you do is utterly unbelievable at times. The recent Gulf Coast oil spill disaster is indicative of your utter carelessness with the onerous burden of governance. Not only did you dis the families of the 11 workers killed in the disaster, but you also attended fundraisers in CA, a trip to the golf course and several state parties in the White House during the whole time the Governor of Louisiana has been screaming frantically for your attention. How can you expect us to believe that you were actually "in charge" of handling the disaster? In six weeks we have seen hardly a shred of evidence to convince us of that.

A leader who says he is in charge of something and then conducts a systematic campaign of blaming, dodging, obfuscating, ignoring and even now prosecuting the others involved - instead of fixing the problem - will hardly go down in the record books as the savior he proposed himself to be when he was elected. You are the Commander-in-Chief who has gone AWOL on a truly national crisis.On top of all that, you basically blew off a sacred national holiday, Memorial Day, for the sake of a vacation to gangsterland. That slap in the face to our military men and women was not lost on anyone, nor was the narcissistic disregard for American history or anything other than what fits your extreme political agenda. These are appalling traits for the one who holds the highest political office in our land, and only a fawning and dishonest media allows you to get away with this negligence in office.

Speaking of which, what are we to make of your pathetic excuse for the crime of attempting to bribe Congressman Sestak to bow out of the Senate race against Arlen Specter? Do you really think Americans believe the utterly implausible story about offering him a "non-paying" position on some presidential panel? Your Administration's explanation, issued on the afternoon of a holiday weekend, rings hollow, and everyone knows it. "Hollow" is an adequate word to describe your Administration, your political theatre and your rhetoric. Even some of your staunchest ideological supporters admit that it is getting increasingly hard to believe that you mean anything you say.In the midst of all this domestic incompetence and dishonesty, we have seen no realistic response to North Korean, Iranian or Turkish aggression on the world scene.

Foreign politicians know you are a leftist lightweight, and so we can expect more of the same from the rogue nations of the world, further destabilizing the security of our nation and the world. We have, however, seen you and your inept band of political marauders pander to foreign dictators and exploit the Mexican President to abuse us and our national deliberations on serious issues. We have seen your ideological hacks take over whole industries, plunder the private sector, abuse the good will of states and consume sound American institutions as if they were your enemies and with a ferocity that would befit only those who we would call our true national enemies.

Like the Gulf oil spill, your Administration is out of control, and every day is another step closer to disaster. As the oil continues to pollute, kill and damage the external beauty and economy of a whole region, you and your team are doing the same with the trust of the people who built this great country. We deserve better, Mr. President, and it's time you start doing your job.

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

The smell of rain

A friend sent this and I thought you might appreciate it. At the end of this story, it gives you two options. I think you will figure out what option I chose.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery.Her husband, David , held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.

Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs.'I don't think she's going to make it,' he said, as kindly as he could.'There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one'

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

No! No!' was all Diana could say.She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana 's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more.

But that happy ending is far from the end of her story. One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving , Texas , Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby, when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, 'Do you smell that?' Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, 'Yes, it smells like rain.' Dana closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?'Once again, her mother replied, 'Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain.'Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced,'No, it smells like Him.It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.'

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.'

This morning when the Lord opened a window to Heaven, He saw me, and He asked: 'My child, what is your greatest wish for today?' I responded:'Lord please, take care of the person who is reading this message, their family and their special friends. They deserve it and I love them very much' The love of God is like the ocean, you can see its beginning, but not its end.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Subsidiarity and Obamacare

The Acton Institute has a fine column today by Samuel Gregg "What is the USCCB's Problem with Subsidiarity?"

Here is an excerpt, where Mr. Gregg quotes His Excellency Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City (h/t LifeSiteNews) :

"… the Catholic Church does not teach that ‘health care’ as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The ‘natural right’ of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under ‘prudential judgment.’ [I]n that category of prudential judgment, the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care. Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good – it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible – health care should not be subject to federal monopolization.

Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined ‘best procedures,’ which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens. The proper role of the government is to regulate the private sector, in order to foster healthy competition and to curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect. Private, religious hospitals and nursing homes, in particular, should be protected, because these are the ones most vigorously offering actual health care to the poorest of the poor."

Speaking of LifeSiteNews, they are currently running their Summer Matching Donor Drive. It is a good opportunity to help them in their fine work.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Archbishop Dolan: "God is the only treasure people desire to find in a priest."

Wow! Wonderful speech by His Excellency at Ireland's national seminary on May 27. Here is one great short paragraph, reprinted in CatholicCulture.org :

"Turning to the theme of priestly identity, Archbishop Dolan asked, 'Did He summon us to plan with Him? To organize with Him? To write strategic plans with Him? To draw up mission statements with Him? To work out with Him? To write job descriptions with Him? Nope! He did invite us to remain with Him, to abide with Him, to rest with Him, to come away with Him, to stay with Him, to keep vigil with Him.'”

The whole speech is filled with such wisdom. Read it here.