Thursday, September 30, 2010

Changes at USF: Fr. Donal Godfrey Out as Executive Director of University Ministry

The "Lane Center's" Julia Dowd to serve as Interim Director.

On September 15 we noted the apparent departure of Fr. Donal Godfrey, SJ from the position of Executive Director at University Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco. His departure is now confirmed.

Godfrey’s departure comes on the heels of the revelation that his long-time associate Patrick Mulcahey, has, over a number of years, been teaching and moderating workshops on the Master/slave and sado-masochistic lifestyle. (See California Catholic Daily, September 3, 2010).

As recently as August 30, 2010, according to a cached webpage from the ministry’s site, Fr. Godfrey was still serving as Executive Director of the Ministry. Sometime between August 30 and September 15, 2010, (which obviously includes the date the California Catholic Daily story was published) Fr. Godfrey was replaced by Ms. Julia Dowd, a layperson. Fr. Godfrey will continue to serve as one of the ministry’s five “Associate Directors.”

Fr. Godfrey was appointed on August 1, 2007. His views on the Church’s position on homosexuality were already quite well known: In 2002 he was one of the panelists at the University’s "New Jewish & Christian Approaches to Homosexuality" symposium (where he quoted Mr. Mulcahey extensively). In 2006, he gave a homily at San Francisco’s predominantly homosexual Most Holy Redeemer Church on “Finding God in the Erotic.” The homily was published in the “Gay Catholic Forum.” In April 2007, he celebrated the famous “Gay Service” at Most Holy Redeemer, which was broadcast worldwide on "BBC Radio4." The photograph above is from San Francisco's 2003 Gay Freedom Day Parade. Photo credit: Most Holy Redeemer Church.

Immediately following his appointment, Lexington Books published "Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish." Fr. Godfrey had been working on the book for much of the decade. On March 3, 2008, Godfrey plugged the book in an Australian publication called in an article titled "Towards a church apology for gay prejudice." On March 9, 2008, Godfrey gave another homily at Most Holy Redeemer “The Call to Come Out.” The homily likens Jesus’s calling Lazarus to come out of the tomb to same-sex attracted persons coming out of “the closet.” That homily was also published in the “Gay Catholic Forum.”

On July 18, 2008 Godfrey visited World Youth Day in Australia. He attended an "Acceptance" forum. "Acceptance" --"gay, lesbian, bisexual, & transgender Catholics"--is the Australian version of "DignityUSA." The Australian Church did not allow Acceptance to attend the official World Youth Day events.

While Catholics will be heartened by the news that one of the world’s most famous homoactivist priests is no longer be in charge of ministry at a Catholic University, his replacement, Julia Dowd, does not give much reason for rejoicing. On October 20, 2007, Ms. Dowd, joined by members of USF’s LGBTQ Caucus, attended the "OutThere" conference at De Paul University. The conference’s program makes clear that the its purpose was to create more effective advocacy for positions opposed to the Catholic Church on Catholic Universities. The description of USF’s presentation reads:

“This roundtable describes a series of community conversations on LGBTQ issues and Catholicism held in 2006 at the University of San Francisco. Three public forums, two held at local parishes, invited open dialogue in the midst of a church-wide debate following statements by church officials about LGBTQ issues. Roundtable participants will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the series as a model to educate and create community debate.”

The “conversations” described include “Is it Ethical to Be Catholic? Queer Perspectives” held at Most Holy Redeemer Church on February 12, 2006.

In addition to her new position as Executive Director of University Ministry, she continues to serve as an associate director of USF’s Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought. Over the past few years, the Lane Center has hosted such speakers as Fr. James Keenan, SJ, who, on April 28, 2003 spoke before the Massachusetts legislature "as a Catholic moral theologian," opposing Massachusetts Bill H. 3190, which would define marriage as between one man and one woman; Professor and ex-priest Paul Lakeland, who is best known for his support of Connecticut's recent attempt to have lay persons take over the governance of the Catholic Church; renegade Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, (despite Archbishop George Niederauer's orders that he was not to speak at any Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese); professor and abortion advocate Sylvia Marcos, who believes in working to make abortion legal in countries where it is now illegal; and the Rev. Ignacio Castuera, President of the Clergy Network of Planned Parenthood and the Rev. Lisa Sargeant, Chaplain of (now defunct) Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. Ms. Dowd was also one of the signatories to a March 1, 2009 document supporting the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to the release of the document, Sebelius’ Archbishop, Joseph Naumann had already called Sebelius' actions on abortion "a scandal to the faithful," and had requested she refrain from receiving communion.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Human Rights" Court Forces Church to Hire Adulterer

They are trying, anyway. From Catholic Culture:

"A European court has ruled that a German Catholic diocese cannot terminate the employment of a church musician who left his wife to live with another woman.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg upheld the complaint of Bernhard Schueth, a music director at a parish in the Essen diocese. The European court ruled that German courts had erred in their findings that the diocese was justified in dismissing Schueth. Diocesan officials pointed to an employment contract under which Schueth, like other parish employees, had made a commitment to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church."

Catholic Culture links to Ekklesia, which provides more information. The adulterous musician lost his job in 1997, and has been suing the Church for 13 years, each time rebuffed by a German court:

"ENInews reports that the European court ruled on 23 September 2010 in favour of a church musician from the diocese of Essen, in western Germany, who lost his job in 1997 after separating from his wife and forming another relationship.

In the last 13 years, church organist and choirmaster Bernhard Schueth has fought a protracted legal battle in his country. Time and again, Germany's courts have ruled in favour of the parish of Sankt Lambertus because Schueth, like all employees of Catholic Church institutions, had to sign a pledge to uphold the values of the church.

In separating from his wife and in forming a relationship with another woman, German courts ruled that Schueth was in breach of contract with the church even though he is not divorced.

The court found that the German labour courts had "failed to weigh Schueth's rights against those of the church employer in a compatible manner [with the European Convention on Human Rights]."

What with having to pay off the debts of their less thrifty neighbors, I hope the Germans will soon have had enough of the EU. This case reminds me of the 2009 case in Italy, where the EU ordered Italy to remove crucifixes from the classroom, caused the Italians to say "CHI VI CREDETE DI ESSERE!" (I know a more apt phrase in Italian, but Fr. Malloy would excommunicate me.) That case is currently under appeal.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sharp Rebuke

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a sharp rebuke Wednesday of a book by two Creighton University theologians, saying it contradicts church positions on homosexuality, premarital sex and birth control, among other issues.

The conference noted that at one point, "The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology" asserts "some homosexual acts may be morally right."

"The authors insist that the moral theology of the Catholic tradition dealing with sexual matters is now as a whole obsolete and inadequate and that it must be re-founded on a different basis," the conference's 23-page statement says.

The book was written by Todd Salzman, chairman of the Creighton's Department of Theology, and Michael Lawler, professor emeritus at the Jesuit university in Omaha. It won a Catholic Press Award last year.

I hope the Conference turns its attention to our own USF situation and other Catholic Universities that seem to promote homosexuality.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"What’s gone strange with America”

A message that all of our bishops should take to heart and proclaim as fearlessly as Archishop Chaput.

Christians’ cowardice prevents cultural renewal, Archbishop Chaput tells Catholic scholars. Christians’ lack of faith and cowardice are the primary obstacles to Christian culture at a time when unbelief is the spirit-destroying “state religion” of the modern world, Archbishop Charles Chaput has told a gathering of academics. He urged personal repentance and witness as the path to cultural renewal….

He told the scholars that their task is to strengthen their zeal in advancing the Gospel, their courage in struggling against sin, and their “candor in naming good and evil.” He advised them to use their God-given skills to strengthen this spirit in each other, their students, and their colleagues. “If you do only that, but do it well, then God will do the rest,” Archbishop Chaput declared.

Comparing American Catholics to the ancient Israelites who “forgot their faith because they weren’t taught,” he said that if Catholics no longer know their faith or their obligations, “we leaders, parents and teachers have no one to blame but ourselves.” ...
Baltimore, Md., Sep 26, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Killer Physicians and Surgeons"

Harsh but true words from Bishop Doran of Rockford, Illinois. Full column published at LifeSiteNews:

"'In our devolving and decaying morally relativistic society, there are many people who regard the killing of a pre-born child as of no consequence whatever.'

The bishop's column, titled 'The practice of abortion in our country and city holds hidden dangers," addresses the danger of abortion "not only for its victims but also for its perpetrators and for societies that permit it, allow it and license it.'

'As with other forms of wrongful activity sanctioned or winked at by the government, procured abortion is for the killers and those who support them, immensely profitable,' the bishop says.

'Abortuaries are gold mines for their operators. Killer physicians and surgeons, distaining the Hippocratic Oath, travel hundreds of miles to assassinate a few children, and you may be sure that that kind of doctor or nurse does not work for nothing.'"

Friday, September 24, 2010

March for Life in Berlin!

It took place on September 18, and about 1,800 people were there:

Bryan Kemper, an American who attended, has a report at Life News:

"Many of you may have been to a March for Life in America where there are hundreds of thousands of people, and you probably feel safe and powerful with so many people on our side. This year in Berlin the organizers were ecstatic that they had 1,800 people show up to march; this was 500 more than last year.

Besides the 1,800 pro-lifers in attendance; there were hundreds of riot police to protect us from the over 500 pro-abortion protesters who came to interrupt and attempt to attack us."

People came from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and the U.S. to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, the most defenseless among us.

Here's a link to some German sites describing the event, if you speak German, or want to use your browser's translator:

Holy Father Supports "40 Days for Life"

His Holiness sent a letter of support to the 40 Days for Life London team.

The letter is posted on Love Undefiled.

"Leather Week" in San Francisco

We’ve recently covered the story of Most Holy Redeemer’s Patrick Mulcahey, a past parish council vice-president and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, who was leading s/m workshops at the “Master/slave Conference 2010.”

It is almost incomprehensible to the average person that the sado-masochistic sexual perversion is not only respected, but affirmed, in a Catholic parish. But as we said in 2007, in our review of Father Donal Godfrey’s book, “Gays and Grays,” Most Holy Redeemer is no longer a Catholic parish. It is not a Christian parish. It is a gay parish. It would better be described as a homosexualist spiritual institution. The community-forming experience around which the parish congregates is not Christianity, (except perhaps incidentally) it is the celebration of homosexuality. This is demonstrable. At any place or time that Christianity comes into conflict with the celebration of homosexuality, the congregation will choose the celebration of homosexuality.1 In this, MHR is quite conventional and representative of its surrounding environment. Sado-masochistic leather “sexuality” is affirmed by the surrounding culture; MHR, as a representative institution of that culture, must affirm it as well.

It is equally incomprehensible to the average person that the sado-masochistic sexual perversion can not only be respected but affirmed as a positive good by the government of a major American city. Yet such is the case. For the entire month of September banners advertising the largest homosexualist s/m event in the world, the Folsom Street Fair, are on every lamppost on Market Street from Van Ness Avenue to Castro Street. On the Sunday of the Folsom Street Fair, which this year will be Sunday, September 26, the leather flag (red, black and blue: symbolization obvious) takes the place of the rainbow “gay rights” flag at the corner of Market and Castro streets.

The leather subculture is not exactly a dispossessed and oppressed minority. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took out a full page in the 2007 Folsom Street Fair program officially welcoming the “wonderful and exciting” event. In 2007 State Senator Mark Leno, one of the most powerful politicians in Sacramento, attended the InterClub Fund awards at (where else) Most Holy Redeemer. Befitting the occasion, Senator Leno was decked out in leather. Senator Leno, again in leather, attended the 2008 & 2009 "Up Your Alley Fairs", smaller versions of the Folsom Street Fair. (left: Senator Leno at the 2009 "Up Your Alley Fair" Photo: SFIST and Gothamist, LLC).

The San Francisco Police Department threatened to withhold a permit for the fair in 2009 because in 2008, the fair Leno attended, men were urinating on other men and masturbating into the crowd from a third-story window. Senator Leno chairs the state Senate’s Public Safety Committee and the Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

At the 26th Annual “Leather Daddy” awards Supervisor Bevan Dufty presented a proclamation to the event from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Dufty is currently running for Mayor in San Francisco, and has a fair chance of winning.

The city government’s embrace of the s/m lifestyle has not weakened since 2007. In the September 23, 2010 issue of the homosexualist Bay Area Reporter (“Politics and Leather a Natural Alliance in SF”), Matt Bauer writes

“There may be no better example of San Francisco's priorities than the city's giddy anticipation of two upcoming events: the November elections and this Sunday's 27th annual Folsom Street Fair.

The city's long-established leather community tends to enjoy a strong relationship with city government.

‘Local politicians have been very friendly and supportive,’ said Liza Sibley, executive producer of Ms. San Francisco Leather. ‘[State Senator] Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has always been fabulous for the leather community. [Assemblyman] Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has always been wonderful in talking to the leather community." In addition, she observed, District 8 supervisor candidates Rebecca Prozan, Scott Wiener, and Rafael Mandelman were present at this year's annual Leather Walk.’

‘This is a rare Folsom I'll miss,’ Leno told the Bay Area Reporter.”

The embrace of perverted sexuality is not harmless. Since 1980, over 18,866 people in San Francisco have died from AIDS. That number includes four persons quite close to me. It includes Senator Leno’s “life partner.” Of the over 18,000 deaths, 17,035 were of same-sex attracted men (14,125 men who have “sex” with men; 2,869 men who have “sex” with men who were also intravenous drug users).2 15,330 of those who died were under 50 years old—in the prime of life. In March, 2010 the Center for Disease Control reported that in the United States men who have “sex” with men are 44 times more likely to contract HIV than are other men. They are also the only risk group among whom HIV infection rates are increasing. This is neither random nor a chastisement from God. It is the clearly demonstrable result of specific behavior. In his important 1997 book "Sexual Ecology: Aids and the Destiny of Gay Men" activist Gabriel Rotello writes "For various reasons we are, in effect, defending the behaviors that are killing us."

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors can find time to unanimously issue a resolution urging “Meatless Mondays” as a public health measure. Yet in the face of the greatest public health crisis in the city’s history, one that has cut down over 15,000 people under age 50—people in the prime of life--the city’s government is on record as supporting the behavior that contributes to the holocaust.

1) According to Professor Jerome Baggett’s recent book “Sense of the Faithful” 93% of Most Holy Redeemer parishioners polled think “a person can be a good Catholic” without obeying the Church’s teaching on engaging in homosexual acts.

2) San Francisco Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report, 2008.

3) "Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men" p. 202.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Hopeful Sign: The Pledge to America

It's a good document, getting down to principles. Excerpts from the preamble:

"In a self-governing society, the only bulwark against the power of the state is the consent of the governed, and regarding the policies of the current government, the governed do not consent...."

We've been talking about the consent of the governed here for years, specifically where courts impose counterfeit "marriage" on the people.

"An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down longstanding laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people."

That would be Judge Walker, etc. The Pledge goes on to assert:

We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.

We'd rather they used "natural" instead of "traditional" for marriage--still, the meaning is intact.
On abortion, in the body of the pledge:

"Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion. This prohibition would go further and enact into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment as well as ban other instances of federal subsidies for abortion services. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals."

The very smart pro-lifer Yuval Levin is impressed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tom Peters Touring California

Thomas Peters, the "American papist" will be touring California next week as part of the "Vota tu Valores" (Vote your Values) outreach to Latino Californians. The tour runs from September 27 to October 6.

This is your chance to meet this young man, who has done so much to help the Church in the digital age. From his website:

"It is organized by Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, and the pro-marriage National Organization for Marriage.

I will be riding in the WI-FI equipped “Vota Bus” pictured above and at right, taking photos, sending out updates and live-tweeting at the Tus Valores Twitter account."

The tour will cover 2,500 miles and make 42 stops. dates and times of the stops are listed here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Jesus said to love our enemies, not flatter or fawn on them"

Koran blessed in Sacramento's Cathedral.

From the blog of Abbott Joseph, the superior of Holy Transfiguration Monastery (aka Mt Tabor Monastery), a Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic monastic community in Redwood Valley, CA.

"It seems that insanity is reaching new levels in certain places. Here is a portion of the story: “Representatives of different religions, including members of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, and Druid [yes, California has everything] communities, took part in an interfaith blessing of the Qu’ran at Sacramento’s Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on September 11. During the ceremony, Father Michael Kiernan, rector of the cathedral, read from the Beatitudes… Several dozen people placed roses on the Quran, in front of the main doors to the cathedral. Upon placing their roses, people said before the crowd, ‘Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me....

Jesus said to love our enemies, not flatter or fawn on them. We love them by prayer and sacrifice, begging God to enlighten them to the truth, to convert them from their murderous intentions, to forgive their sins by the power of the Precious Blood of Jesus so that they may be saved and find everlasting life in Him. That is genuine love, not making ineffectual gestures that weaken us by denying, in effect, that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him.

This is an isolated incident, but the fact that it can happen at all, and then of course be plastered all over the internet, means that some internal housecleaning is indicated. Those Koran-blessers are doing it in the name of peace, but peace is not an absolute value (see Lk. 12:51; Mt. 10:34), and it can’t simply mean 'peace' in the sense of placating those whom we fear will slit our throats if we look at them the wrong way—which seems to be the reason why practically the whole world is allowing Islam to pervade and possess it."

The very week this event took place, Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist who came up with the "Everybody Draw Mohammed" idea, was forced to go into hiding on the recommendation of the FBI for exercising her right to free speech. Those who threaten Ms. Norris will take heart that nothing is out of bounds for them--whatever they do, our collapsing culture will accomodate them, simply becasue it is easier than the alternatives. What the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament should do is give sanctuary to Ms. Norris.

It is often said that those who seek to impose Islamic law on others by violence or intimidation are not truly representative of Islam. That's nice to believe, but it is not exactly true. Certainly not all Muslims support that, but those who do, as counterterrorism and Islamic expert Brian Fairchild has argued on Reclaiming the Culture, "Salasfism: Understanding a Strain of Radical Islam" are indeed representatives of a quite legitimate strain of Islam.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

The Holy Father Returns from Britain

So much has been written by so many good people about His Holiness triumphant visit to Great Britain that we have nothing to add.

Father Z has many wonderful posts about the visit.

Raymond Arroyo, writing in National Review:

"The Pope saved the most important news of his visit to the United Kingdom for the end. Most people didn’t even hear or see it. But I imagine Thomas More and John Henry Newman were smiling . . .

In November of 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an extraordinary invitation to Anglicans disaffected by the changes taking place in their communion. The failure to affirm traditional Christian orthodoxy, the ordination of gays, and the recent push to create female Anglican bishops have splintered the communion and caused heartbreak among both clergy and laity....
With this understanding, the symbolic and stated message of Pope Benedict during his British sojourn comes into stark relief. His meeting with the Catholic and Anglican bishops at Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury for 800 years (the first 70 Archbishops of Canterbury were Catholics), his visit to Westminster Abbey (built by the Catholic king, Henry III and home to Benedictine monks until the Reformation), his moving speech at Westminster Hall (where Catholic martyrs Thomas More, Edmund Campion, Bishop John Fisher, and others were condemned to death for their refusal to disavow their faith), and finally his beatification of the 19th century Anglican convert to Catholicism, Blessed John Henry Newman suddenly all seems one piece. Benedict’s visit was a stand against relativism in the heart of Europe and a plea for Britain to return to herself — to return to her Catholic roots. In a visit worthy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, with precise language and symbols, communicated a message that will long be felt in England. It was a message controversial and reasonable, bold, and utterly faithful — a simple call, really: England, come home to what you were, and truly are."

Hilary White, at LifeSiteNews

"And how did the British people, millions of whom followed the papal events on the BBC’s live feed on the internet and on television, react to the pope? “They listened,” said Fr. Hugh Allan, the superior of a community of priests, called Norbertine canons, in Chelmsford, Essex, who attended some of the events.

“They really wanted to hear him, and that is going to make the difference. I’ve heard it from so many people.”

On the phone today, Fr. Allan confirmed that the anti-pope crowd have badly lost the argument, and the sympathy of the British public with their months of shrill, fever-pitch attacks. The British people, he said, wanted to hear what the pope had to say.

“One of the most beautiful things has been to see an eighty-three year old man completely taking the wind out of the sails of the Peter Tatchells and the rest of the crowd,” Fr. Allan said....

The pope’s messages, that Christianity has a foundational place in the building of a just society, one that cannot be suppressed without destroying the foundations of freedom, were delivered fearlessly but gently, in a tone that one had to strain to hear and with an accent one had to concentrate to understand.

“He was just stating the truth,” Fr. Allan said. “It’s really swept people off their feet.”

“How prejudiced can a judge be?”

Hard-hitting pastoral letter (The following is a September pastoral letter by Fresno Bishop John Steinbock published on the diocesan website.)

My dear people of God, How is one to react to a single judge declaring that homosexuals have a right to be married, overturning the clear will of the majority of the people as expressed in proposition 8?

Here are ten brief thoughts: The judge, who is homosexual himself, ethically should have recused himself as he is in the position to benefit financially from a possible homosexual marriage for himself, with tax benefits, etc. His impartiality can certainly be questioned.

The judge redefined “marriage,” actually making it the same as “a committed relationship or friendship” between any two persons, with no relationship essentially to children or family.

The ruling by its very arguments is imposing the homosexual agenda on the rest of society, and is a form of social engineering according to the judge’s ideology. It is incredible that the judge literally accuses the millions who voted for proposition 8 of having ill will and discriminatory intent in their vote.

How prejudiced and condemnatory can a judge be who is accusing others of prejudice? This is insulting to every one who believes that marriage is a divine institution. The judge is finding a right in our Constitution that is not present in any way. Human law at many times can be at variance with divine law. This is just one example.

Another example in our country would be the so called “right” to have an abortion; another example would be the so called “right” now in some states to euthanasia.

Let us never mistake human law as the law of God. We must emphasize all the more the true nature of marriage as designed by God, both to ourselves and to our children. Lord only knows what will now be taught in our public schools regarding marriage because of this ruling. It will certainly not be the traditional definition and understanding of “marriage.” A “true” marriage is a unique relationship between one man and one woman and it is designed to procreate life and form a family, for the good of the children and of society. This is of divine origin and not of human origin. We are seeing the result of society separating the gift of sex from bringing forth life, which can infect all of us. More and more people in our society now justify not simply homosexual relationships, but living together without marriage, fornication, sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage, prostitution, contraception, quick and easy divorce.

All of these lead us to seeing children as secondary, and self-love becoming more important than self-giving love, which leads to a narcissistic society, with people never really growing up. The good old Baltimore Catechism tells us: “The effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony are: 1st, to sanctify the love of husband and wife; 2nd, to give them grace to bear with each other’s weaknesses; 3rd, to enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.” (BC#1 285) Let us pray for this judge, for our children, for our society. Lord knows we all need it.
(courtesy California Caholic Daily)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

LifeSiteNews Fundraising Drive

LifesiteNews needs help! The goal of their Fall 2010 Fundraising Drive is $100,000--they are at around $30,000 now. LifeSiteNews has been at the forefront of a lot of important pro-life pro-family stories. We heartily endorse them.

To donate, go to:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Defend Marriage: Stand with Children Training and Formation Program

An important message from our friend Bill May and Catholics for the Common Good, who are working for the defense of marriage and the family.

Join the Community Shaping the Future of Marriage and Family
Sunday, October 3 in Richmond

The latest judicial decisions regarding Prop. 8 have illustrated just how confused our culture is about the reality of marriage and family. Watching media coverage leads us to believe that no one knows understands or knows how to discuss the reality of marriage.

Catholics for the Common Good's Stand with Children Training and Formation Program is different from what any other group or organization is doing. It is the first grassroots organization and mobilization effort in the country teaching people how to discuss marriage using terms that will not subject them or their children to persecution, and will put those who want to redefine marriage on the defense. Through this Program, we are uniting a community shaping the future of marriage and family.

Proponents of redefining marriage are intent on shutting off any and all debate, even within families. It is more critical than ever that we become formed in the reality of God's creation and armed with positive techniques for promoting marriage and family.

The "Regaining the Offense on Marriage" Training in Richmond is open to anyone wanting to promote marriage and family. Register today! This is an opportunity that you cannot afford to miss. The future of your children and your families depend on this. As Pope John Paul II said, in this time and culture, "it is not permissible for anyone to remain idle." Help assure that no one will be turned away from training events because they cannot afford the modest fees. Please make a
tax-deductible donation to Catholics for the Common Good Institute to support our generous scholarship program.

Register for the training Today!

Richmond Regaining the Offense on Marriage Training
Sunday, October 3, 2010
St. David of Wales Parish
5641 Esmond Avenue
Richmond, CA
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You can also simply mail a check to:

Catholics for the Common Good Institute
P.O. Box 320038
San Francisco, CA 94132

Thursday, September 16, 2010

God forgive the environmentalists!

The following message was sent to me by a friend.

Some time back I was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. was the guest. This is out of context, but this is the actual question as asked. The host said to Forbes, "I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer, how much oil does the U.S. have in the ground." Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, "more than all the Middle East put together." Please read below.

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; western South Dakota; and extreme eastern Montana..... check THIS out:

The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable... we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5 trillion.
'When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.’ says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial analyst.

'This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years' reports, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the 'Bakken.' And it stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves.... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL!

That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.
And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from more than TWO YEARS AGO!
U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World!

Stansberry Report:
Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this mother load of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling?
They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

- 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
- 18-times as much oil as Iraq
- 21-times as much oil as Kuwait
- 22-times as much oil as Iran
- 500-times as much oil as Yemen
- and it's all right here in the Western United States.

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America becomes independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.....WHY?

James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we've got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped. That's more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post.
Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price - even with this find? Think again! It's all about the competitive marketplace, - it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
Got your attention/ire up yet? Hope so!

By the way...this is all true. Check it out at the link below!
GOOGLE it or follow this link. It will blow your mind.

Why do we drill offshore? Environmentalists smell the roses!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fr. Godfrey Out as Executive Director of Ministry at USF?

It looks that way.

According to (Jesuit) University of San Francisco's "University Ministry" webpage, Father Donal Godfrey is no longer the organization's Executive Director. As recently as August 30, 2010, Fr. Godfrey was listed as Executive Director of the school’s University Ministry on the Ministry’s cached webpage. Sometime between August 30 and September 15, 2010 Fr. Godfrey was demoted to the position of Associate Director. The Executive Director of University Ministry at the Jesuit school is now Ms. Julia Dowd, a layperson.

The 2007 appointment of Fr. Godfrey, one of the most visible homoactivist priests in the world was a slap in the face to any Catholic who believes that students at a “Catholic” university have a right to expect Catholic teaching from their priests. Godfrey’s appointment should never have happened. His public dissent from Church teaching—dissent is far too weak a word—his public teaching that the Church is simply wrong about the sinfulness of homosexuality has been tolerated, and with his appointment, actually encouraged by his Jesuit superiors for many years. What, after all of Fr. Godfrey’s ongoing and public activities, could finally cause the Jesuits to rethink having him in this important position?

On September 3, 2010, the California Catholic Daily reported that Mr. Patrick Mulcahey, a past parish council vice-president and current Eucharistic Minister at San Francisco’s notorious Most Holy Redeemer parish was presenting workshops at the “Master/slave Conference 2010” which was held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Silver Springs, Maryland on September 3-6. From the article:

“The workshop presenters biographical page has this to say about Mr. Mulcahey: 'Patrick has been tying men up and doing unspeakable things to them for 35 years. He has presented on M/s, leather and BDSM [bondage discipline sado-masochism] topics in the Bay Area and currently serves as vice chairman and special events chair of the 15 Association, a men’s leather/BDSM club celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. He lives in San Francisco with his slave Patrick where he earns his living as a writer….'”

The article further revealed a long standing relationship between Mr. Mulcahey and Fr. Godfrey, dating back at least to 2001:

“In 2002, at USF’s New Jewish and Christians Approaches to Homosexuality symposium, Father Godfrey cited Most Holy Redeemer as an example, and quoted Mr. Mulcahey at length. In April 2003, at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Father Godfrey offered a preliminary version of his 2007 history of Most Holy Redeemer as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree of Doctor of Ministry. When the history was published in 2007, under the title Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, the first person Father Godfrey chose to acknowledge and thank for his support was Patrick Mulcahey. Gays and Grays quotes Mulcahey numerous times."

The direct quote from the very first page of Gays and Grays in which Fr. Godfrey’s acknowledges and thanks Mr. Mulcahey reads:

"Three others gave special support. They are Patrick Mulcahey, Dr. Patti Jung, and Robert Garrett . Patrick Mulcahey is a friend, three time Emmy-winning writer, and parishioner at Most Holy Redeemer."

The California Catholic Daily article continues to describe the ongoing relationship between the two men. Fr. Godfrey obviously considers Mr. Mulcahey to be an authoritative voice:

“On March 3, 2008, in the Australian online Jesuit publication, Godfrey quoted Mulcahey again. On December 2, 2008, Books, Inc., located in San Francisco’s Castro District, hosted a discussion of Gays and Grays with Father Godfrey. The homosexualist publication, the Bay Area Reporter, published a blurb for the event: “Executive director of University Ministry at the University of San Francisco, and author of Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church discusses his book and the gay-inclusive parish; writer Patrick Mulcahey joins the discussion.”

Of course it is possible that the California Catholic Daily article had nothing to do with the demotion of Fr. Godfrey—although the timing is certainly suggestive. But if it did not, the questions should be: why not? Why is he still even an Associate Director of University Ministry? The revelation that a Catholic priest has a long-standing friendship and alliance with a man who publicly boasts of keeping a “slave” and who gives workshops on the Master/slave lifestyle (on more than one occasion) should be enough to cause his superiors to send him on an extended period of discernment and reflection. Under no circumstances should such a priest have been appointed to a position overseeing the spiritual welfare and development of young people.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Straight Talk From Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion

He was speaking at the Annual Nicean Club Dinner at Lambeth Palace in London. The Most Reverend Hilarion is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, and Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations. Speaking fraternally, he minced no words to an audience that included His Grace Archbishop Rowan Williamson of Caterbury.


"Why do the Churches, both East and West, still remember the Fathers of the Nicean and later Ecumenical Councils with such gratitude? Why are the great theologians of the past, the opponents of heresy, revered in the East as ‘great universal teachers and saints’ and in the West as ‘Doctors of the Church’? Because throughout the ages the Church believed it to be her principal task to safeguard the truth. Her foremost heroes were those confessors of the faith who asserted Orthodox doctrine and countered heresies in the face of new trends and theological and political innovations.

Almost 1700 years have elapsed since the Council of Nicaea, but the criteria that were used by the Church to distinguish truth from heresy have not changed. And the notion of church truth remains as relevant today as it did seventeen centuries ago. Today the notion of heresy, while present in church vocabulary, is manifestly absent from the vocabulary of contemporary politically-correct theology – a theology that prefers to refer to “pluralism” and to speak of admissible and legitimate differences.

Indeed, St Paul himself wrote that ‘there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval’ (1 Cor. 11:19). But what kind of differences was he referring to? Certainly not those which concerned the essence of faith, church order or Christian morals. For, in these matters, there is only one truth and any deviation from it is none other than heresy.


All current versions of Christianity can be very conditionally divided into two major groups – traditional and liberal. The abyss that exists today divides not so much the Orthodox from the Catholics or the Catholics from the Protestants as it does the ‘traditionalists’ from the ‘liberals’. Some Christian leaders, for example, tell us that marriage between a man and a woman is no longer the only way of building a Christian family: there are other models and the Church should become appropriately ‘inclusive’ to recognize alternative behavioural standards and give them official blessing. Some try to persuade us that human life is no longer an absolute value; that it can be terminated in a mother’s womb or that one can terminate one’s life at will. Christian ‘traditionalists’ are being asked to reconsider their views under the slogan of keeping abreast with modernity."

Pro-Life Catholic Scores Major Upset in Delaware

Christine O'Donnell has won a convincing 53-47 victory against Congressman Mike Castle in the state's Republican Senate primary. Mr. Castle, who mostly supports abortion and always supports funding embryonic stem-cell research, has been in the U.S. Congress since 1993. O'Donnell will be battling Democrat Chris Coons, who ran unopposed, for Vice President Biden's Senate seat.

How nice it would be to have the pro-life Catholic O'Donnell replacing the Party of Death's "Catholic" Joe Biden!

She trails Mr. Coons, but the Washington Post's political blog said an O'Donnell primary victory was "considered a political impossibility a month ago," too--and remember the "impossible" candidacy of Senator Scott Brown?

Fox News reports:

"A lot of people have already said that we can't win the general election," O'Donnell said in her victory speech, joining the crowd in a "yes we can" chant. "It is those same so-called experts who said we had no chance of winning the primary."

Here's a link to her website, which is currently down (probably overwhelmed with traffic):

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fr. Malloy's 70th Anniversary of Profession!

As we mentioned in the post below, on Sunday Fr. Malloy and some of his confreres celebrated their anniversaries. For Fr. Malloy, it was the 70th Anniversary of his profession, and the 60th Anniversary of his ordination as Priest of God. Here are a few photos, (more here) courtesy Eva Muntean:

The Salesians prepare to renew their vows.
The reliquary of St. John Bosco is at the right, just in front of the Pieta.

The Jubilarians renew their vows, laying their hands on the relic of the Salesian founder. It's is a little difficult for Fr. Malloy to walk far nowadays, so he paused and held onto the Ambo--with the result that he renewed his vows talking right into the microphone! The parishioners loved it.

Father visits the Relic after Mass.

Following the Mass there was a dinner honoring the Jubilarians over at the Italian Athletic Club.

Fr. John with Parish Council President Anne Kimmel.

Annie, Father, and Walk for Life West Coast co-founder Eva Muntean.
Tough duty, Father!

Everybody in the parish loves the old Priest, who has been such a blessing to Saints Peter and Paul, and beyond. He came to us when he was about 80. In that time, under his leadership, we relit, restored, and repainted the inside of the church, not changing a thing, only restoring it to its original glory, and with the increased lighting, actually surpassing the original. He hosted the Rally to Defend Marriage in 2004, which attracted 1,500 people. That turned into San Francisco's Walk for Life West Coast, which in 2010 numbered 40,000 people. He is still Chaplain of the event.

You can't even list all his accomplishments, because they keep popping up. Last year, Saints Peter and Paul hosted the American Boychoir, considered the premier boys' choir in the United States, and someone with the group casually mentioned that decades past a Salesian Priest had been the Chairman of the Board and had taken the boys on a singing tour of Europe, arranging all the travel and lining up restaurants where they could eat--at greatly reduced prices! That alone should have been enough to indicate it was Father Malloy--a true Son of Don Bosco!

God bless you Father--ad moltos annos!

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don Bosco Is Here!

The relics of the Salesian Founder, St. John Bosco, arrived at Saints Peter and Paul at about 2:00 AM on Sunday morning. We had anticipated an 11:30 PM arrival, but a tie-up in customs at the U.S./Mexican border caused the delay.

Over 100 people joyfully waited in and in front of the Church. Inside we prayed the rosary and listened as our elderly Salesians shared stories of how they were first attracted to the priesthood and the Salesians. The children of the Salesian Boys' and Girls' club, who were having a sleep-over, led us in the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary. When we found out about the delay in the relics' arrival, Brother Thien set up a screen and played part of the "Don Bosco: Mission to Love" movie.

Outside the church was just as much fun. We had searchlights playing around the facade and crosses on the steeples, which generated a lot of interest. Those familiar with North Beach on a Saturday night will understand that we attracted a diverse crowd! But they were all respectful, if not all completely sober, and it gave us a chance to share the story of the Salesians and our founder with new people. One guy loved one of the Knights of Columbus, in full regalia, and inststed on getting his picture taken with him. He took one with me, too. A girl from Italy asked what was going on, and we told her it was for Don Bosco, she said "Don Bosco!" and before you know it she was inside praying for Divine Mercy. I met three young men--students at the Academy of Art, an illustrator, and architecture student, and a film student. Great young men--interesting and interested.

The delay at customs was not the only hitch. The heght of the stairs at Saints Peter and Paul proved to be too great for the wheel ramps from the truck. They would only reach to about the fifth step below the level of the church. The reliquary weighs 1800 pounds. What to do? Strong men who were awaiting the relic gathered around:

"One two three DON two three DON two three DON BOSCO..." and we got it up the final stairs. Somehow the physical effort combined with the waiting made the moment even more precious.


Sunday Masses were phenomenal. Each Mass was packed as if it was Easter. Catholics from all over, from every ethnic group and walk of life came to honor the good Saint. His Excellency Bishop Ignatius Wang celebrated the 10:15 Cantonese Mass, assisted by Fr. Mario Rosso, Director of SS. Peter and Paul's Chinese Apostolate.

Bishop Wang has been right with us in the trenches at the Walk for Life West Coast from the very beginning, and pro-lifers will never forget it. Fr. Mario went to China when he was only about 15 years old, which would have been in about 1938, and he served there for many years, through the second world war, and the Communist takeover. He loves the Chinese people and they adore him. He speaks beautiful Cantonese and Mandarin, and those who know say his calligraphy is excellent.


The 12:00 PM Mass was celebrated by our school. It also was packed. From 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, people gathered in the church to venerate the relic and pray the rosary. The Missionaries of Charity were there kneeling in front of the relic as they prayed.


The 5:00 PM Mass, "Don Bosco: Model of Holiness" honored our Salesian Jubilarians--true sons of Don Bosco. Fr. Malloy celebrated 70 years of religious profession , and 60 years as a priest! Confratulations, and thank you, Fr. Malloy!

He was joined by Fr. Armand Oliveri, below, (70 years of profession, 60 years as priest), Fr. Salvatore Giacomini (70 years of profession), and Fr. Mario Rosso (70 years of profession), all from Saints Peter and Paul. All are true sons of Don Bosco, rock solid and full of love.

Right now, Monday morning at 1:00 AM, there are a few people in the church, which is open all night. They are praying and meditating, keeping Don Bosco company. The quietness is nice after all the excitement. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM, there will be a Mass for our schoolchioldren and those from other parishes. Then Don Bosco visits our sister Salesian parish, Corpus Christi.

All photos this page courtesy of Monarch Media and Design. To see more pictures of the Relics Celebration, go here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don Bosco Arrives Tomorrow Night!

The relics of the Salesian Founder, St. John Bosco, will arrive Saturday, September 11, at around 11:30 PM at Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco! We have been looking forward to this for more than a year, and we have been having lots of anticapatory events at Saints Peter and Paul already.

On Wednesday night, we had a dinner in the gym honoring all the Religious of the Archdiocese for the service they have given to the people of God. Over 160 Priests, Sisters, Brothers, Deacons, and seminarians came, including His Excellency Archbishop Niederauer. We also honored our local Catholic media--so we had representatives from Catholic San Francisco and Immaculate Heart Radio there too. The food was great--Matteo Crivello from Caesar's was the chef!

A lot of the dinner servers were volunteers from the Walk for Life West Coast, and someone told me the Archbishop said he had never seen a happier bunch of servers at any dinner. After dinner all the servers and Salesian religious and parishioners who were eating stood and took an oath of fidelity and support to the Archbishop and to our beloved Pope Benedict. It was a great moment.

His Excellency and all the religious and parishioners then celebrated Mass in the church. People were calling the next day saying they had not heard music like that in church for years! Pictures soon.


Last night, Thursday, we had a special Mass celebrating the contributions of the legendary Salesian Boys' and Girls' Club, founded by Fr. Oreste Trinchieri back in 1918. Salesian Provincial Fr. Tim Ploch was the main celebrant, and all of our other priests concelebrated. The music was led by Mrs. Lola Simi on the organ, who has been providing musical training to the club for about 50 years, and the (now grown) men of the club as choir. It was great to hear those very manly, somewhat rough (but loud and on key) voices singing--it was real sung prayer--not professional but totally authentic. I felt like I was hearing the apostles sing! From the club's website:

"The Salesian Boys' Club was established in San Francisco in 1918 by Fr. Oreste Trincheri. Father came to the North Beach area of San Francisco and found that its atmosphere spawned 60% of the city's delinquency. He realized that the volatile, creative Italian character of the boys that made up the area must have outlets for their energies. The Salesian Boys' Club was the answer.

Energies and talents were channeled into sports, dramatics, music and discussion programs. In accordance with the set norms of the Salesian method, the more promising boys were given responsibilities in the coaching of younger members, supervising recreation rooms, organizing and refereeing games in the yard and the gymnasium. Guided in this responsibility and with initiative encouraged, members began to develop that leadership which has marked Salesian graduates ever since. Today, whenever Salesian Old Timers gather in their annual reunions, many of the community's most respected citizens are of their number. Doctors, judges, lawyers, teachers, priests and outstanding business leaders and working men of sterling quality attest to the fine work the Salesian Boys' Club has done."

Of course, the ethnic demographic of the Club has changed somehat, but not its mission. Dues are $10 per year, but "No child will ever be refused membership because they cannot afford to pay." In his speech before the Mass, Russell Gumina, Executive Director of the Club (and only the third director in the Club's 92-year history) said--quoting from memory--that the club now has nearly 1,000 members and about $800 of services are provided to each member. How can they manage that when dues are only $10? Well, remember all those past members who are now doctors, judges, lawyers, business people, etc? They all contribute as do all the parents of the current members in whatever way they are able.


Tonight we have another special Mass at 6:30 PM. Fr. John Roche, SDB, will speak about the history of the Salesian movement at 6:15. Music will be provided by the choir of Salesian High School over in Richmond. And tomorrow Don Bosco arrives! The church will be open all night Saturday and all night Sunday for veneration. Here is a video of Don Bosco in Mexico. For lots more videos of Don Bosco in Latin America and a full schedule of events, go to

Jack Smith over at the Catholic Key has a nice post about the relics, too.

Civics Lesson Iowa: Counterfeit "Marriage" Judges on Ballot

This November , voters in Iowa will have the opportunity to remove three state Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex "marriage" on the state back in April, 2009. The Iowa constitution requires that voters confirm judges every eight years, and the term for the three is up now.

The recall movement "Iowa for Freedom" is being led by Bob Vander Platts. The website is

Life Site News reports:

"Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Wednesday waded into a unique state electoral battle, where conservatives are seeking to recall from the bench three state Supreme Court justices that legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2009.

Speaking at a panel organized by the Iowa State Bar Association in the Hotel Fort Des Moines, O'Connor asserted that 'the judges should not be subject to retaliation' from voters for the decisions they render."

Of course they should. Either that or we fold up democracy. As Matthew Franck wrote recently:

"When judges create a right to same-sex marriage out of whole cloth, that’s more than 'overstepping.' That’s a direct assault on the constitutional order, and the effort to defeat the offending Iowa jurists in this year’s retention elections is understood by its advocates to be an attempt to restore something severely damaged by the judges... As for the 'peril of subjecting judges to voters’ whims,' how about the peril of subjecting voters to judges’ whims?"

Iowa for Freedom campaign manager Church Laudner says:

“It is the citizens’ right to vote their conscience...Election Day is their turn to be the judge.”

"Salafism: Understanding a Strain of Radical Islam" Part Three

This week's "Reclaiming the Culture" features the third and final part of Dolores Meehan's interview with Brian Fairchild of the Intrepid Group, LLC on Salafi Islam. Obviously a very timely issue.

In part one, Mr. Fairchild described his background and experiences in Arabia, and began to describe what Salafism is.

In part two, he expanded on Salafism, and on the inadequate conceptual and instrumental response of our government.

In part three, Mr. Fairchild shows how Salfism is being inculcated into American society.

Listen here:

Mr. Fairchild is the co-founder of Intrepid Group, LLC. Since 9/11, Mr. Fairchild and his partner have trained over 10,000 US counterterrorism officials on the subject of Islamist terrorism, including officials from CIA, FBI, military special operations, and state and local law enforcement. The picture above shows Mr. Fairchild with Crown Prince Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi of the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates.

Podcasts can be downloaded, too.

Other Reclaiming the Culture shows:

Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of the Diocese of Oakland: "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call to Christian Conscience"

Father Robert A. Sirico, President, The Acton Institute "The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Service of the Poor"

Dr. Janet Smith, the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, "The Right to Privacy."

Dr. Maria Fedoryka, Ave Maria University, "The Gift of Woman"
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Lady Always Wins

Too funny!

We're probably all familiar with the controversy of the Empire State Building being unwilling to illuminate the building in honor of Mother Teresa's 100th birthday last week. Well, here's what the building has been looking like the past few nights, courtesy of Fr. Z:

The ESB website says the blue and white is in honor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. That's fine. I'm sure Our Lady, and Mother Teresa, are willing to share.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lee Harris on "Restoring Honor"

Timothy Dalrymple wrote the other day that "Glenn Beck gets it." I don't know anything about Mr. Beck, except that he has a radio or TV show, but as we wrote on the day of the rally "300,000 Americans who take honor seriously is a very good sign."

Here are some nice observations on the meaning of last week's Restoring Honor rally, by Lee Harris.

"To many hostile observers, the event was simply the latest installment in the ongoing antics of the Tea Party. But the keynote of the occasion, 'Restoring Honor,' along with its celebration of 'traditional American values,' suggests a decided movement, if not away from, then at least beyond the Tea Party. Far from being directed exclusively at Tea Partiers, Beck’s rally addressed those millions of ordinary Americans who are deeply resentful at what they perceive as a massive and well-coordinated attack on traditions they hold sacred.

The Tea Party began as an antitax and anti-big government movement. Many of the most prominent Tea Party spokesmen showed little interest in the vexing cultural issues that have increasingly divided Americans for several decades—indeed, most seemed quite happy to distance themselves from such hot button topics as abortion, immigration, and gay marriage. Out of the gamut of 'traditional American values,' the Tea Party focused almost exclusively on our Founding Fathers’ preference for limited government. Scant attention was paid to the emotionally charged themes celebrated in the Beck rally—the sacred causes of national honor, patriotism, God. To the Tea Party, the only sacred cause was liberty, including the liberty to ignore or even to flout traditions venerated by other people in their society....

The Beck rally bore abundant witness to the profound degree of alienation that American traditionalists feel when they look at the mass culture that surrounds them, and which they see as intent on mocking everything they hold to be sacred. Sure, they might want lower taxes and smaller government, too; but they also want to return to an era in which their own traditional values were reflected in the TV shows they watched, the movies they went to, the education that their kids received in the public schools paid for by their tax dollars. They do not want to see what they cherish most in the world held up to ridicule, especially when the ridicule is presented in attractively packaged forms that are designed especially to appeal to their own kids. They resent what they perceive as the indoctrination and brainwashing of the next generation. They feel that their own deeply held 'traditional American values' are under attack—and they are right."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Proponents of same-sex "marriage" "assume that which remains to be proved"

Common sense (which is not as common as it used to be) from the Texas Fifth Court of Appeals this week. The court was ruling on the "'Marriage' of H. B. and J.B"--a counterfeit marriage which took place in Massachusetts--and the attempt by the two parties to get a "divorce" in Texas. The court said No. "No valid marriage, no divorce."

I particularly like this bit, because I made the same argument and used a nearly identical phrase in the comments section of one of our blog posts a few months back.

Texas court:

"The court also held that “'the purported right to marry a person of the same sex’” requires first “asserting that marriage includes the union of two persons of the same sex,” and concluded: “A fatal flaw in this position is that it assumes the truth of the proposition to be proved.”


"... But Professor Mott (of Seton Hall) has already decided. He says of his class “It is one thing to say ‘I am for or against gay marriage, it’s another to actually understand the issue.” He thus assumes right off the bat what remains to be demonstrated--that there is such a thing as “gay marriage...”

In the article linked to above, William Duncan also highlighted some rather obvious points the court made:

"Where Judge Walker believed the only rationale for defining marriage as the union of a husband and wife was animus, the Texas decision found legitimate state interests in doing so:

● “The state has a legitimate interest in promoting the raising of children in the optimal familial setting. It is reasonable for the state to conclude that the optimal familial setting for the raising of children is the household headed by an opposite-sex couple.”

● “Because only relationships between opposite-sex couples can naturally produce children, it is reasonable for the state to afford unique legal recognition to that particular social unit in the form of opposite-sex marriage.”

● “The legislature could reasonably conclude that the institution of civil marriage as it has existed in this country from the beginning has successfully provided this desirable social structure and should be preserved.”

● “The state also could have rationally concluded that children are benefited by being exposed to and influenced by the beneficial and distinguishing attributes a man and a woman individually and collectively contribute to the relationship.”

Last week's A Shepherd's Voice book of the week was the New Science of Politics by Eric Voegelin. Here's an a propos quote:

"...disregard for elementary verities happens to be one of the characteristics of the positivistic attitude; and hence it becomes necessary to elaborate the obvious."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney