Sunday, October 31, 2010

H. R. 4646

Someone with interest went to the THOMAS (Library of Congress) and printed out and read all 15 pages of this bill which has been given the "Short Title" of "Debt Free America Act." It is the most socialistic thing I have ever read. Just think, if you deposit $5,000.00 into your checking account or savings account the bank has to take out 1% or $50.00 of that money and send it to Washington . Then, any checks or cash you take out of your bank they will deduct 1% from what is still in the bank and send it to Washington . This bill spells it out that everyone will pay the Government 1% of their gross income.

Page 9 states the House and Senate shall convene not later than November 23, 2010 and Page 11 states the vote on passage shall occur not later than December 23, 2010.
SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. EVERYONE NEEDS TO CONTACT THEIR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR AND TELL THEM TO VOTE 'NO' ON THIS BILL. If you don't know who your Congressman or Senator is, go to Google, type in "(your state) Congressman email address". When it comes up, click on "Complete E-mail address for Congress/House, Senate, Governors and get both e-mail and FAX info.

The bill is HR-4646 introduced by US Rep Peter DeFazio Dem-Oregon and US Senator Tom Harkin Dem-Iowa. It is now in committee and will probably not be brought out until after the Nov. election. Suggest that you pass this along and also to your state senator and representative and US Congressman and Senators.

One percent transaction tax is proposedPresident Barack Hussien Obama's finance team is recommending a transaction tax. His plan is to sneak it in after the November election to keep it under the radar. This is a 1% tax on all transactions at any financial institution i. e. Banks, Credit Unions, etc.. Any deposit you make, or move around within your account, i. e. transfer to, will have a 1% tax charged. If your paycheck or your social Security or whatever is direct deposited, 1% tax is charged. In other words, you are taxed 1% of every dollar which goes into your bank account and 1% on every dollar which comes out. That’s really a 2% overall tax on money on which you have already paid taxes. Plus the “death tax” which you are taxed on when you die. Consider all the taxes you also have to pay to buy something when you actually spend your money.This from the man who promised that if you make under $250,000 per year, you will not see one penny of new taxes.Keep your eyes and ears open, you will be amazed at what you learn. Remember: once the tax is there they can raise it at will.



What’s gone strange with America?

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) --

Saturday, October 30, 2010

California Gerrymandering: Proposition 20

As Tuesday approaches, one of the interesting questions on the California ballot is Proposition 20. Proposition 20 will prevent California politicians from drawing Congessional districts in the state, and will instead turn this function over to an independent commission. Here's a video discussing the question.

Sexual Obesity

Mary Eberstadt warns that America is growing fat on pornography.

As the impressively depressing cover story "America the Obese" in the May issue of The Atlantic serves to remind us all, the weight-gain epidemic in the United States and the rest of the West is indeed widespread, deleterious, and unhealthy – which is why it is so frequently remarked on, and an object of such universal public concern. But while we're on the subject of bad habits that can turn unwitting kids into unhappy adults, how about that other epidemic out there that is far more likely to make their future lives miserable than carrying those extra pounds ever will?

That would be the emerging social phenomenon of what can appropriately be called "sexual obesity": the widespread gorging on pornographic imagery that is also deleterious and unhealthy, though far less remarked on than that other epidemic – and nowhere near an object of universal public concern. That complacency may now be changing. The term sexual obesity comes from Mary Ann Layden, a psychiatrist who runs the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She sees the victims of Internet- not: Quietly, patiently, and irrefutably, an empirical record of the harms of sexual obesity is being assembled piecemeal via the combined efforts of psychologists, sociologists, addiction specialists, psychiatrists, and other authorities. Young people who have been exposed to pornography are more likely to have multiple lifetime sexual partners, more likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the last three months, more likely to have used alcohol or other substances at their last sexual encounter, and – no surprise here – more likely to have scored higher on a "sexual permissiveness" test. They are also more likely to have tried risky forms of sex. They are also more likely to engage in forced sex and more likely to be sexual offenders…

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and consulting editor to Policy Review.

Friday, October 29, 2010

About those "Moral Theologians"...

On Tuesday we commented on the CCHD's new funding guidelines, and indicated that we were not impressed by the fact that the CCHD honchos promised to have their funding choices vetted by "moral theologians."

Right on cue, Fr. Charles Curran and Fr. Thomas Resse prove that our concern is not misplaced.

Fr. Curran was giving a lecture at SMU called "The U.S. Catholic Bishops and Abortion Legislation: A Critique From Within the Church." From the Dallas Morning News:

Essentially, (Fr. Charles Curran) said, being in favor of a woman's right to choose is not the same as being pro-abortion.

"God has given human beings our free will. All of us will use free will at times to commit sin," he said. "But God does not advocate sinning."

Of course there is nothing in that argument that is not applicable to other forms of homicide, or to rape, or any other crime. The difference, now, is that the crime of abortion is legal.

Fr. Reese supported Fr. Curran:

"The Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center in Washington D.C., had a chance to read Curran's paper.

'His argument is within the mainstream of current thought by Catholic moral theologians,' Reese said. 'He makes a sophisticated and complex argument that Catholics can disagree over the prudence of various legal approaches to abortion while still holding that abortion is immoral.'"

Yes, it's all so sophisticated.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holy Father and Archbishop Burke On Abortion and Voting

And both are totally on the same page.

From CNS (via Catholic Vote):

Pope Benedict told the Brazilian bishops that while direct involvement in politics is the responsibility of the laity, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it, pastors have a serious duty to make moral judgments even in political matters."

Certain actions and political policies, such as abortion and euthanasia, are "intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity" and cannot be justified for any reason, the pope said....

"When political positions openly or covertly include plans to decriminalize abortion and euthanasia, the democratic ideal -- which is truly democratic only when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person -- is betrayed at its foundations," Pope Benedict told the bishops.

Bishops and priests have an obligation to help Catholic laity live in a way that that is faithful to the Gospel in every aspect of their lives, including their political choices, he said. "This also means that in certain cases, pastors should remind all citizens of their right and duty to use their vote to promote the common good," the pope said.


And from Catholic World News:

Never vote for a candidate who supports abortion: Archbishop Burke

"Catholic voters have a 'very serious' moral duty to use their ballots to defend the natural law, says Archbishop Raymund Burke.

In an interview with Catholic Action, conducted shortly after the announcement that he would be elevated to the College of Cardinals in November, the former Archbishop of St. Louis said flatly that one 'can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion.'"

The interview may be seen at Catholic Action for Faith and Family.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CCHD Issues New Guidelines

Just in time for their nationwide November second collection (more on this below), the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has published new guidelines that will, hopefully, prevent the funding of groups who act in opposition to Catholic teaching. The new guidelines can be found in full here, the Executive Summary here.

#9 of the CCHD's new "Ten Commitments" includes:

"Ethical Guidance – No group that advocates or acts in opposition to fundamental Catholic social and moral teaching is eligible for or will receive CCHD funding. CCHD is developing greater capacity for ethical guidance in applying Catholic moral teaching to matters of funding, collaboration, coalitions and relationships. This includes regular consultation with moral theologians and the use of a Review Board to advise bishops, CCHD and dioceses in disputed cases."

On the face of it, that would rule out, for example, the San Francisco Organizing Project's receiving grants from the CCHD. When the CCHD uses parishioner's money to fund a political action group (the SFOP) which uses its muscle to advocate (acquiring $200,000) for another group (the Mission Neighborhood Health Center) which offers "emergency contraception" to young women in its youth clinic, that is a clear violation of Commitment #9.

We mention the proximity of the document's publication to the CCHD's nationwide second collection because last year, in the week of the CCHD second collection, Catholic San Francisco published a long letter to the editor by Ms. Monica Landeros, associate director of the Office of Public Policy and Social Concern at the Archdiocese, in which she tried to defend the CCHD's funding of the SFOP:

"The San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) is a community organizing group that has always maintained a strong relationship with our office and the Archbishop. SFOP has not engaged in any activities contrary to Church teaching."

Stop. False. See above.

"Most recently, SFOP has worked to expand access to health care to children and low-income communities. SFOP is fully aware of the Catholic Church’s position on health care, and they in no way support or endorse funding for abortion or any other life issue that would be contrary to the Church’s teaching."

Stop. False. See above.

The new guidelines cannot be dismissed out of hand, of course, but the previous guidelines should have prevented the SFOP from receiving funding from the CCHD, and they didn't. It's not the plan, but the execution. Commitment #9's reference to "moral theologians" does not cut much ice, either. It was moral theologians who advised His Excellency Archbishop Niederauer to allow the Catholic Charities/Family Builders by Adoptions disaster to go forward. As Monsignor William Smith, professor of moral theology at St. Joseph's Seminary, said at the time "Bishops could find a moral theologian to tell them that water runs uphill."

I sincerely hope the CCHD will get its house in order. But I will wait a year before I consider donating again.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Professor Jonathon Turley on Ninth Circuit / Catholic League Case

Liberal law Professor Jonathon Turley weighs in on the Catholic League case. Professor Turley says he agrees with the sentiment expressed by the city--but recognizes that to be a different issue from what the court had to decide:

"The resolution has the Board directly calling on Catholic leaders to defy the Cardinal and directly objects to the Vatican policy. That would seem to take an 'official position on religious doctrine.' I would be less concerned if the resolution solely addressed the Cardinals statement as hateful rhetoric as opposed to an official rejection of the religious based policy....

There is a good-faith debate as to whether such anti-discrimination laws violate the religion clauses. I would not criticize leaders participating in such a debate. However, the resolution in this case calls for defiance of the Cardinal and the removal of the policy."

The Professor also says:

"I have struggled with this case because I find the language of the resolution troubling — though not the sentiment."

But the "language of the resolution" is the resolution. And as the three judges who supported Catholic League pointed out, the sentiment does not matter--the resolution is what is at issue.

"Regardless of what the underlying motivation may be for the various individuals on the city council, a court must, in deciding whether a government action violates the Establishment Clause, read the words of the government enactment."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jack Smith Weighs In On Catholic League Case

And, as usual, makes a very good point. He quotes this bit from the opinion of the judges who sided with the city of San Francisco:

"We would have a different case on our hands had the defendants called upon Cardinal Levada to recant his views on transubstantiation, or had urged Orthodox Jews to abandon the laws of kashrut, or Mormons their taboo of alcohol. Those matters of religious dogma are not within the secular arena in the way that same-sex marriage and adoption are."

Then says:

"Translated, your freedom of religion encompasses all the superstitious voodoo you care to indulge in, but you may not have a religious dogma at variance with something the City cares about – like sex.

Ninth Circuit / Catholic League Story in Today's California Catholic Daily

Check it out here:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Newsom's San Francisco "Not only is the fox guarding the henhouse, the fox has opened a KFC franchisce"

An excellent article in the SF Weekly. Despite the fact that the SF Weekly carries advertising for pot clubs and massage parlors, it also produces the best reporting on the disaster that is San Francisco politics--far better than the San Francisco Chronicle. Needless to say, every single politician mentioned is a Democrat. Please remember this, Californians, when you see Gavin Newsom's name on the ballot for Lieutenant Governor.

Here are excerpts, with the link to the full article at the bottom.

Let it Bleed: The city is awash in red ink, thanks to billion-dollar benefit giveaways and our politicians' lack of will.

"'Infinite' is not a word you expect to find in a report on municipal spending. It's more of a science fiction–type term — Tremble, Earthling, before the infinite might of Galaxor! But there it was, in a recent report on San Francisco's finances: Spending on the city's employee retirement system in the past decade had grown at an "infinite" rate.

Naturally, that's an exaggeration. If you do the math, the city's retirement costs for employees in the past 10 years actually grew only 66,733 percent....

In fiscal year 1999-2000, the city spent about $300,000 on its retirement system. In fiscal year 2009-10, it was $200.5 million. Benefits alone — not salaries, just benefits — for current and retired employees this year are budgeted at $993 million. Spending on retirees' health care and pensions is conservatively projected to triple within five years. ...

This election cycle, the city's practiced mastery of procrastination and hand-wringing has been brought to the fore by Proposition B, a so-called pension reform measure that would require increases in pension and health care contributions from the city's workforce. Its author, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, admits that it doesn't come close to solving the fiscal nightmare. But even this baby step has been subjected to a coordinated assault. Unions have assembled a million-dollar war chest against it; the Democratic County Central Committee voted 29-0 to tell people to vote against it; every single elected official (besides Adachi) has gone on record opposing it — and Mayor Gavin Newsom has said publicly that, if it passes, he expects to find a way around it."


I wish I could write as cleverly as these guys:

"At a September hearing, Supervisor Carmen Chu repeatedly referred to a 4.5 percent return as the "worst-case scenario." Clearly, she has worked in government too long. When you invest, the "worst case" is that you lose money, not that you have 4.5 percent more of it than when you started."

"In San Francisco, when labor asks to change a twenty, it always gets back three fives and a ten."

"Not only is the fox guarding the henhouse, the fox has opened up a KFC franchise."

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Catholic League v. San Francisco: "Religion Directly Condemned by the Government." Excerpts from the Dissent

In yesterday's opinion, the dissenting judges, members of the Ninth Circuit (the most liberal and overturned Federal court in the country) made powerful statements:


"We have not found another Establishment Clause case brought by people whose religion was directly condemned by their government."

"The only recent Court decision on government hostility to a particular religion that we have found is the free exercise decision of Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, where the Court notes that its Establishment Clause cases “have often stated the principle that the First Amendment forbids an official purpose to disapprove of a particular religion or of religion in general.” That case, along with many other opinions of the Court, stands for the principle that government has no legitimate role under the Establishment Clause in judging the religious beliefs of the people — either by praise or denunciation. This principle requires that we nullify San Francisco’s governmental condemnation of Catholic doctrine."

"The municipality argues that its purpose was not to condemn Catholicism, but rather to foster equal treatment of people who are gay and lesbian. That is indeed a legitimate purpose, but we would not have this case before us if that were all that the resolution said. The San Francisco government would face no colorable Establishment Clause challenge had they limited their resolution to its fourth “whereas,” that “[s]ame sex couples are just as qualified to be parents as heterosexual couples.” San Francisco is entitled to take that position and express it even though Catholics may disagree as a matter of religious faith. But the title paragraph, the other five “whereas” clauses, and the “resolved” language are all about the Catholic Church, not same-sex couples."

"Regardless of what the underlying motivation may be for the various individuals on the city council, a court must, in deciding whether a government action violates the Establishment Clause, read the words of the government enactment."

To read Resolution 168-06, go here.

"The resolution also must satisfy the second prong of the Lemon test, that its “principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion . . . .” Here, the argument seems to be that the resolution has no effect at all, let alone a “principal or primary” one, because it is merely an ineffectual expression of the Board of Supervisors’ sentiment and not a compulsory regulation of behavior. That argument cannot stand because of the extensive Establishment Clause jurisprudence where government, arguably with similar ineffectuality, endorses religion, and the mere endorsement is deemed unconstitutional."

The “effect” prong of the Lemon test “asks whether, irrespective of the government’s actual purpose, the practice under review in fact conveys a message of endorsement or disapproval.” That is to say, a mere message of disapproval, even in the absence of any coercion, suffices for an Establishment Clause violation under Lemon. If the government action conveys a message of disapproval of religion, then it violates the Establishment Clause. The “message” in the resolution, unlike, say, the message that might be inferred from some symbolic display, is explicit: a Catholic doctrine duly communicated by the part of the Catholic church in charge of clarifying doctrine is “hateful,” “defamatory,” “insulting,” “callous,” and “discriminatory,” showing “insensitivity and ignorance,” the Catholic Church is a hateful foreign meddler in San Francisco’s affairs, the Catholic Church ought to “withdraw” its religious directive, and the local archbishop should defy his superior’s directive. This is indeed a “message of . . . disapproval.” And that is all it takes for it to be unconstitutional."

All emphases added.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Split Ninth Circuit Rejects Catholic League Suit

But the issue is apparently not decided.

The Catholic League's suit is an ongoing part of the Catholic Charities/Family Builders by Adoptions fiasco. As we argued in part two of a June 7, 2009 post, the true genesis of this lawsuit was not the action by the city, in issuing Resolution 168-06, but the action by Catholic Charities CYO of San Francisco:

"...the lawsuit was in response to the resolution by the city, which was in response to a statement from the Vatican, which was in response to actions by Catholic Charities. The entire series of events was set in motion by Catholic Charities’ defiance of the teachings of the our Church."

From today's San Francisco Chronicle:

"A splintered federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit Friday by Catholics who objected when San Francisco supervisors condemned the Vatican for prohibiting Catholic Charities from placing adoptive children with gay and lesbian couples.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied requests by a Catholic organization and two local residents to order the city to repeal the supervisors' 2006 resolution.

But the 8-3 ruling failed to decide whether the city had expressed official hostility toward Catholicism, in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state."

Three judges said yes, Resolution 168-06 was anti-Catholic, three said no, and five said the Ninth Circuit did not need to decide the case:

"Only six judges addressed the question of whether San Francisco had attacked Catholicism, splitting 3-3.

Judge Andrew Kleinfeld, joined by Judges Sandra Ikuta and Jay Bybee, said the resolution was anti-Catholic, portrayed the church as a 'hateful foreign meddler in San Francisco's affairs,' and entangled the city in 'church governance' by urging the local archbishop to defy the Vatican.

Judge Barry Silverman, along with Judges Sidney Thomas and Richard Clifton, countered that the resolution had a legitimate non-religious purpose, 'to promote equal rights for same-sex couples,' and the supervisors were entitled to criticize church officials who 'have chosen to enter the secular fray.'

The other five judges said there was no need to decide the issue. They said private citizens who are merely offended by a government resolution that requires no action on their part have no concrete interests at stake and thus no standing to sue.

From the ruling, it's easy, to me at least, to see why Robert Muise, of the Thomas More Law Center, vowed an appeal, saying: "the ruling left the law so murky that 'the only one that can clarify this is the Supreme Court.'"

KLEINFELD, Circuit Judge:

A majority of the court has concluded that the plaintiffs have standing. A separate majority, for differing reasons, affirms the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim.

Parts I and II of this opinion are joined by Judges THOMAS, SILVERMAN, CLIFTON, BYBEE, and IKUTA.

Part III of this opinion, addressing the merits of the plaintiffs’ claim, is a dissent, joined by Judges BYBEE and IKUTA. Five of us, including Chief Judge KOZINSKI and Judges RYMER, HAWKINS, and McKEOWN, conclude that the plaintiffs have no standing, as set forth in Judge GRABER’s opinion. Three of us, including Judges THOMAS and CLIFTON, concur in the judgment, concluding that although the plaintiffs do have standing, their claim fails on the merits, as set forth in Judge SILVERMAN’s opinion.

The full opinion may be read here.

More on this later.

Illegal Immigrant Campaigning for Democrat in Washington State


From the AP/Fox News:

"SEATTLE -- When Maria Gianni is knocking on voters' doors, she's not bashful about telling people she is in the country illegally. She knows it's a risk to advertise to strangers that she's here illegally -- but one worth taking in what she sees as a crucial election.

The 42-year-old is one of dozens of volunteers -- many of them illegal immigrants -- canvassing neighborhoods in the Seattle area trying to get naturalized citizens to cast a ballot for candidates like Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who is in a neck-to-neck race with Republican Dino Rossi."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Study Claims Children of Homosexual "Parents" More Likely to Identify as Homosexual

That's the rather common-sensical conclusion reached by University of Kansas professor Walter Schumm.

Should be no surprise--children imitate their role models. I can't find the citation now, but where the father is absent, it is far more likely that a boy will grow up to be an absent father, too. I even recall seeing a nature show about a mother bear with an injured front leg. The injury required her to hold her leg and paw in an unusual way when hunting for salmon in the river. Her cub watched, and when he was old enough to hunt, he held his leg and cub in the same unusual way, although there was no physical need for him to do so.

Why would engaging in homosexualist behavior be any different?

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Senator Ma'am Boxer

Call Me Madam Joe from RightChange on Vimeo.

Will this be the year Californians finally say goodbye to the abominable pro-abortion, pro counterfeit "marriage" Barbara Boxer? Let's hope so--the race is close.

You can support her oppponent, Carly Fiorina, here. I made a donation yesterday.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Salesian Cardinal "a vanguard soldier of Papa Ratzi's 'border patrol'"

That's how widely respected Vatican-watcher Rocco Palmo described Salesian Cardinal-designate Angelo Amato in a June, 2007 posting. The appointment is wonderful news for Catholics, and special source of joy to Salesians in particular. In the same posting, Rocco quoted from an address His Eminence made to a group of Italian Chaplains:

"'Reading the daily papers -- or using internet, TV or radio -- every day we see a perverse film about evil, which is 'filmed' in every part of the world with scenery and backdrops ever more cruel, as we see in the thousands of provocations of international terrorism,' the archbishop said.

'Besides the abominable terrorism of suicide bombers, which is ever-present in the media,' he went on, 'there is the so-called terrorism with a human face, which is also a daily occurrence and just as repugnant, which continues to be propagated by the media, manipulating traditional language with expressions that hide the tragic reality of the facts.'

Among his examples, Amato cited abortion clinics -- 'authentic slaughterhouses of nascent human beings'; 'the laboratories where, for example, RU-486, the morning-after pill, is made or where human embryos are manipulated as if they were simply biological material... [and] the parliaments of so-called 'civil' nations which promulgate laws contrary to the nature of the human person, like the approval of marriages between persons of the same sex, or of euthanasia.'

Six days later, amid a sustained furor in the press over his assertions, the complete text of Amato's remarks ran as a spread in the Sunday edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

The move was an unmistakable indicator that the Holy See stood firmly by the speech."

A good man! Cardinal-designate Amato has been a Salesian priest since 1967, and was ordained archbishop of Sila on Jan. 6, 2003, by Pope John Paul II himself. After serving as secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was named prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints on July 9, 2008.

In other Salesian news, Father Massimo Palombella has been appointed the director of the Sistine Chapel Choir. Father Palombella succeeds Monsignor Giuseppe Liberto, who held the post since 1997.

Father Palombella was born in Turin on Christmas Day in 1967--wow, quite a young man! He was ordained a Salesian priest in 1996. He has studied with maestros Luigi Molfino, Valentín Miserachs Grau, Gabriele Arrigo and Alessandro Ruo Rui, and earned a diploma in Choral Music and Composition.

He is the founder and director of the Inter-university Choir of Rome. He has worked in university ministry in the Diocese of Rome since 1995, and teaches in the faculties of theology, eschatology and of music and liturgy at the Pontifical Salesian University.

Congratulations, Father Palombella!

Ed Whelan Update on the Ludicrous Prop 8 Case

From the noble and invaluable Ed Whelan:

"Here’s the third sentence of the brief that plaintiffs/appellees in the anti-Prop 8 case in California (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) filed two days again (sic) in the Ninth Circuit appeal of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling:

'This case tests the proposition whether the gay and lesbian Americans among us should be counted as “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment, or whether they constitute a permanent underclass ineligible for protection under that cornerstone of our Constitution.'

This is the sort of absurd demagogic hyperbole that I’d expect from a Keith Olbermann rant, not something that I’d expect competent lawyers complying with minimal standards of professional responsibility to sign their names to.

If I must belabor what should be obvious: I fully acknowledge the passion of gay-rights activists who believe that redefining marriage to encompass same-sex couples is critical to their vision of equality, and I of course recognize that the claim that the Constitution compels that redefinition is at the heart of plaintiffs’ anti-Prop 8 case. But however that claim is decided, it is uncontested, and incontestable, that gay and lesbian Americans 'are ‘persons’ under the Fourteenth Amendmen'” and that they are fully entitled to protection under it. The question in the case is simply whether the rights afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment include the novel constitutional claim that plaintiffs are advancing, not whether gay and lesbian Americans are 'persons' for general."

Many months ago, at USF's kangaroo same-sex "marriage" seminar, constitutional law professor Calvin Massey of Hastings Law School, quite correctly described the plaintiffs' arguments as "simply ludicrous"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We mean, "His Eminence"

We love making THIS correction!

About 12 hours ago we referred to "His Excellency" Archbishop Raymond Burke. Since then, the Holy Father has released the news that at the upcoming consistory, His Excellency will become "His Eminence" Raymond Cardinal Burke. Fr. Z posts Archbishop Burke's letter. Excerpt:

"At the same time, my thoughts naturally turn to the many challenges which the Church faces in our day in carrying out her divine mission for the salvation of the world. In particular, I am deeply conscious of the critical importance of the loving witness of the Church to the truth, revealed to us by God through both faith and reason, which alone is our salvation. It is a witness which Our Holy Father tirelessly gives with remarkable wisdom and courage. I pledge myself anew to assist Pope Benedict XVI in this critical witness and in the many works of his pastoral charity on behalf of all our brothers and sisters in the Church and in the world."

We thank His Holiness for choosing such a fearless shepherd, and we pray for Cardinal-designate Burke.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The October 9 Speech of Archbishop Burke

Addressing the World Prayer Congress for Life, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Archbishop Raymond Burke, had powerful and timely words for all Catholics. Given the importance of the speech, it can not be summarized, but should be read, not only by all Catholics, but by all persons interested in the common good. It can be found in its entirety here.

His Excellency does discuss the duties of "Catholic" politicians (such as Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsom, Arnold Schwarenegger, etc):

"When a person has publicly espoused and cooperated in gravely sinful acts, leading many into confusion and error about fundamental questions of respect for human life and the integrity of marriage and the family, his repentance of such actions must also be public. The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders. The repair of such scandal begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law. The soul which recognizes the gravity of what he has done will, in fact, understand immediately the need to make public reparation."

He also notes something we are quite familiar with:

"One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dutch PROSECUTORS Urge Wilders’ Acquittal on Heresy Charges

That’s what the charges are. In a “multicultural” society Wilders is a heretic—never mind that he tells the truth.

Reuters has the story.

Back on October 4 we wrote "Wilders is almost alone among European politicians (although that is changing) in taking Islam seriously. Liberal politicians don't take Islam seriously because they don't take themselves seriously."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Miracle in Chile

Prose is not adequate to describe what has just happened in Chile. It requires poetry -- like the poerty of the Psalms.

Thirty-three miners, caught in a mine cave-in hundreds of meters below the surface of the earth on August 5, 69 days ago, began to be brought up to the surface today, one by one.

The first man was rescued just after midnight, in the first moments of October 13, and as this is being written, a little after midnight in Rome, 28 miners are safe and the 29th miner is about to be brought to the surface, so it appears all will be brought out within one day.

All Lost, All Found

At the beginning, it was thought they were all lost, as there was no contact with them at all. Not a sound. Silence.

Then, after 17 days, they were all found to be alive, and safe in an underground cave. But it was still thought that the rescue operation would take many months, until Christmastime, perhaps, and that the men, confined in such a small space, might all go mad before they could be freed.

And now, today, in a feat of engineering worthy of all praise, they have all been brought up safe and in their right minds.

And the entire world has been able to watch as this drama has unfolded.

A Papal Gift

But there is a little known aspect to this amazing story, and that is an aspect related to Pope Benedict, and to the rosary.

The rosary the prayer par excellence of Our Lady, because in its traditional form, it contains 150 Hail Marys in 15 joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries -- the same number as the Book of Psalms.

Benedict offered public prayers for the miners on several occasions, but he also decided to send each of the miners a special gift: a rosary he himself had blessed.

The rosaries were brought to the miners personally by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago, Chile.

It is said that, to survive, the miners organized their life in a disciplined way, even creating a little chapel in the corner of their cave. Praying the rosary, according to a report, became a part of the trapped miners' daily ritual
By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

Iranian Study Indicates (again) Abortion/Breast Cancer Link

Today's LifeNews reports "Abortion Boosts Breast Cancer Risk 193% Study Finds, Giving Birth Lowers It."

We have posted about the increasing number of reputable national and international studies indicating an abortion/breast cancer link here and here.

The study the LifeNews article references is "Reproductive factors associated with breast cancer risk in northern Iran" by K. O. Hajian-Tilaki and T. Kaveh-Ahangar. The study was accepted in March 2010, and published in April 2010, by Medical Oncology, an international, peer-reviewed journal. From the abstract:

“Nulliparity, (never giving birth) late age at first birth and abortion were the most important reproductive factors associated with breast cancer risk; therefore, it is recommended to women with these risk factors to perform breast cancer screening tests earlier.”

The full abstract can be read here:

The full study can be purchased there, too, but like most academic research it is expensive--$34. ________________________________________________

The Iranian study is one of a number by the authors which seek to identify environmental factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer among women. Their most recent study is “Body mass index and waist circumference are predictor biomarkers of breast cancer risk in Iranian women” accepted in July, 2010 by Medical Oncology. That study concluded:

“...our study found that BMI (body mass index) has a predictive ability to distinguish pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer, indicating that weight control programs may have an effective role in prevention of female breast cancer. While WC (waist circumference) has a predictive ability for premenopausal breast cancer but after adjusting for BMI, no longer an association between WC and breast cancer was found. The findings imply to perform breast cancer screening programs in Iranian women with high BMI and WC.”

The abstract of the Body mass index study can be read here:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Souls are at Stake TODAY

A good reminder from Michael Voris.

“Sexuality and relationships are misunderstood”

Published: October 12, 2010

Bishop of Sacramento writes about ill effects of contraception on culture

In a wide-ranging commentary published last month in the first edition of the diocese’s new bi-monthly magazine Catholic Herald, Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto observes that artificial contraception has become “the unquestioned default mode of marriage,” with disastrous results for society.

The bishop used as a starting point the counsel of Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman: “He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.” “In the heated, partisan passions wrestling for political advantage in the trench warfare of abortion, we have to change hearts; as well as change laws,” wrote Bishop Soto.

“Creating that culture of life is more than a political agenda. The gospel of life has the power to transform hearts and habits as well as laws when the Christian follows Newman’s counsel and performs ‘the ordinary duties of the day well.’” Bishop Soto says we can “round our days” by observing routines in our lives that serve to sanctify us and evangelize others. Wearing one’s wedding ring or conversations around the dinner table with family are simple examples of this practice, he wrote, but they also include participation in the political process and more reflection and the cultivation of new habits “in the sexual practice of marriage.”

“One habit that has taken hold of many marriages is the use of artificial means of contraception,” wrote Bishop Soto. “The prevalence of the practice in and outside of the Catholic community has made contraception the unquestioned default mode of marriage. As a consequence, sexuality and relationships are misunderstood and misused; and their true purpose is misplaced.”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Audio of Reverend Hoye's Hearing

The Reverend Walter Hoye's Federal challenge to the city of Oakland's "bubble ordinance" was heard before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.

Presiding were Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Judge Marsha Berzon, and Judge Louis Pollak. It is especially interesting to listen to the court's questioning of Mr. Greg Richardson, who was arguing for the city of Oakland. That segment begins about 28:15 into the audio below:

It sounded to me like the judges had lots of problems with the ordinance--at one point Judge Berzon said a visitor from Mars would find it hard to believe that the ordinance was not "content based" in what kind of speech it prohibits and what it allows.

Questioning got so tough that, in what may be a first for an attorney, Mr. Richardson basically asked for less time to argue his case, stating that he thought his five minutes were up. But 87 year-old Judge Pollak told him not to worry, that he though the the point under discussion--free speech--was an important one, and wanted it finished.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pray for the Good Reverend Walter Hoye

The constitutional challenge of pro-life hero Walter Hoye to Oakland's "Bubble Ordinance" will be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals tomorrow, Friday October 8.

Reverend Hoye will be represented by attorneys Mike Millen and Katie Short, of the Life Legal Defense Foundation.

The Reverend's original conviction was overturned by the Appelate Division of the Alamenda County Superior Court earlier this year. His constitutional challenge will be heard at the James R. Browning US Courthouse, at 95 Seventh Street, in San Francisco. It will be in Courtroom #1 on the third floor.

God Bless the good Reverend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Archbishop Nienstadt Denies Communion to Homoactivists

Good for him.


Tom Peters has a poll where you can let the good Archbishop know you support him.


Uncle Di's analysis is unbetterable:

"Let’s see. You reject certain Church teachings that have political implications. You wear an emblem that identifies you as someone who rejects those Church teachings that have political implications. You attend a Mass celebrated by a bishop who has recently affirmed those Church teachings that have political implications. You announce your plans to challenge him on those teachings that have political implications.

But you don’t challenge the bishop to a public debate on the political implications. No; you plan to create a confrontation during the Mass. As he distributes Holy Communion you make sure that you’re in his line, to challenge him. When he refuses to administer the Blessed Sacrament to you, you contact the media.

And what do you say?

'Jesus didn't play politics with communion,' Harry Knox, the HRC's religion and faith program director, said Tuesday in a statement from his office in Washington, D.C.

Good point, Harry. Jesus didn’t play politics with Communion. Neither did Archbishop Nienstedt. You and your friends did."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Development & Peace" Wants to keep Grantees Secret

Considering whom they fund, you can hardly blame them.

For these who do not know "Development and Peace" is the overseas aid arm of the Canadian Catholic Bishops. For well over a year now, they have been under fire from:

1) LifeSiteNews
2) The Bishops of Peru
3) The Catholic Register, Canada's largest Catholic newspaper
4) A number of Canadian bishops

over their funding for groups which support and provide abortions/contraception. We've covered the story in detail. Now they have asked a Canadian court to shield them from a Freedom of Information Act request, from Life SiteNews, which would have required them to disclose all their grantees. On September 29, the Catholic Register reported:

"The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace obtained a Federal Court injunction Sept. 12 to block an access to information request for the names and funding levels regarding its nearly 200 partner organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean,
Africa and Asia.

The request was made to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) by
LifeSiteNews, an online news organization that has published a series of articles over the past 18 months alleging links between Development and Peace-funded partners and pro-abortion lobbying in Mexico, Bolivia, South Africa and Nigeria."

We take issue with the Register's quoted second paragraph. As we have shown, what LifeSiteNews reported were not allegations, but simple statements of fact from a number of the organizations D & P funds. Example, from a post of our dated March 27, 2010:

"The Mexican group "Comaletzin" received $32,000 from D & P in the 2007-2008 year. On April 22, 2009 LSN reported:

'Comaletzin's General Coordinator, Ofelia Pastrana Moreno, told LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview yesterday that the organization promotes the use of artificial birth control and 'sexual and reproductive health' services. If contraceptives fail, said Pastrana, Comaletzin seeks to make abortion available to women who don't want what she called the 'product' of conception, meaning the unborn child.'

That's not an allegation or accusation but simply the report of a conversation with the coordinator of a group that receives $32,000 from D & P. If what LifeSiteNews has written is untrue, D & P and/or Ms. Pastrana should sue them for libel."

But they won't. Instead they use Canadian law to hide how they spend the money of Canadian Catholics.

Google Translator Better than ICEL

Probably, at some time or another, we've all laughed when using Goggle translator. But this is the first time I've laughed because Google is better than an official translation.

Fr. Z had some fun last week with an ICEL translation of the Collect for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary time:

Here's the Latin original:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
qui abundantia pietatis tuae
et merita supplicum excedis et vota,
effunde super nos misericordiam tuam,
ut dimittas quae conscientia metuit,
et adicias quod oratio non praesumit.

Via Google translator:

Almighty and everlasting God,
who in the abundance of Thy goodness
and exceed the proper and just punishment and vows,
pour it out upon us mercy,
‘so that the consciousness of forgive
what they fear him and will add to what we do not dare to ask.

Via Fr. Z's "Slavishly literal version":

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the abundance of Your goodness
surpass both the merits and the prayerful vows of suppliants,
pour forth Your mercy upon us,
so that You set aside those things which our conscience fears,
and apply what our prayer dares not.

Via the "Lame Duck ICEL" :

your love for us
surpasses all our hopes and desires.
Forgive our failings,
keep us in your peace
and lead us in the way of salvation.

As one commenter said:

How in the world did they go from “Omnipotens sempiterne Deus” to “Father”??

Monday, October 4, 2010

Geert Wilders in Berlin

A beautiful and important speech in Berlin yesterday by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Wilders is almost alone among European politicians (although that is changing) in taking Islam seriously. Liberal politicians don't take Islam seriously because they don't take themselves seriously.

"In 1848, Karl Marx began his Communist Manifesto with the famous words: 'A specter is haunting Europe - the specter of communism.' Today, another specter is haunting Europe. It is the specter of Islam. This danger, too, is political. Islam is not merely a religion, as many people seem to think: Islam is mainly a political ideology. ...

[T]he renowned Oxford historian J.M. Roberts wrote in 1985: 'Although we carelessly speak of Islam as a 'religion'; that word carries many overtones of the special history of western Europe. The Muslim is primarily a member of a community, the follower of a certain way, an adherent to a system of law, rather than someone holding particular theological views.' The Flemish Professor Urbain Vermeulen, the former president of the European Union of Arabists and Islamicists, too, points out that 'Islam is primarily a legal system, a law,' rather than a religion. ...

These are not just statements by opponents of Islam. Islamic scholars say the same thing. ... Abul Ala Maududi, the influential 20th century Pakistani Islamic thinker, wrote - I quote, emphasizing that these are not my words but those of a leading Islamic scholar - 'Islam is not merely a religious creed [but] a revolutionary ideology and jihad refers to that revolutionary struggle ... to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth, which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam.'

(Listen to part three of Brian Fairchild's "Salafism: Understanding a Strain of Radical Islam" on "Reclaiming the Culture" to learn more about Maududi.) Wilders, continued:

"Politicians from almost all establishment [parties] today are facilitating Islamization. They are cheering for every new Islamic school, Islamic bank, Islamic court. They regard Islam as being equal to our own culture. Islam or freedom? It does not really matter to them. But it does matter to us. The entire establisment elite - universities, churches, trade unions, the media, politicians - are putting our hard-earned liberties at risk. They talk about equality, but amazingly fail to see how in Islam women have fewer rights than men and infidels have fewer rights than adherents of Islam. ..."

Wilders then addressed his German audience specifically:

"It is not up to me to define what Germany's national identity consists of. That is entirely up to you. I do know, however, that German culture, like that of neighboring countries, such as my own, is rooted in Judeo-Christian and humanist values. Every responsible politician has a political obligation to preserve these values against ideologies which threaten them. A Germany full of mosques and veiled women is no longer the Germany of Goethe, Schiller and Heine, Bach and Mendelssohn. It will be a loss to us all. It is important that you cherish and preserve your roots as a nation. Otherwise you will not be able to safeguard your identity; you will be abolished as a people, and you will lose your freedom. And the rest of Europe will lose its freedom with you."

h/t Powerline

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us

On August 13, the Salesian Information Agency reported that during her stay at Casa Don Bosco in Ronda, Spain, Michelle Obama, wife of Barack, revealed that her husband, the President of the United States, “always carries a picture of Mary Help of Christians in his wallet.” Mary Help of Christians is patroness of the Salesians.

Jack Smith, over at the Catholic Key, responded to the news:

My sister was born two years ago. She’s really fun. I can’t wait to play with her, but I can’t. I’m frozen in a tube and doctor says he needs my cells to help cure really famous people with really bad diseases.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

Here I am Lord, but momma doesn’t know I’m here yet. Doctor says I can’t possibly be here yet and he gave her some medicine. I’m in a dark place and trying to grab on to mom.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

I know I’m not perfect, Lord. Doctor says I have an extra chromosome. He told mom I’d be really miserable when I’m born.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

Mom thinks she made a mistake. I’ve been growing in her for a few months now. She doesn’t want anybody to find out. But dad found out. He told mom if she doesn’t take some money and go to Planned Parenthood, he’ll leave her.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

Mom’s been taking really good care of me for eight months now, but she never talks to anybody about me. She told grandma about me yesterday and grandma said she’s gonna disown mom. We’re taking a trip to some different state so grandma will still help mom.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

Dear God, I’m born at last! I’m in a really bright room. There were lots of people here, but nobody was happy when I came out of mom. Now everybody’s gone, and I don’t have a blanket, and I’m cold, and I’m bloody, and I’m hungry, and I need Help.

Mary Help of Christians, Pray for Us.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Governor Vetoes "Trojan Horse" Marriage Bill

Good news from our friend Bill May, over at Catholics for the Common Good:

"At the final deadline for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign or veto bills from this legislative session, he surprised us by vetoing SB 906, the “Trojan Horse” marriage bill sponsored by organizations working to undermine Prop 8 and marriage between a man and a woman.

Petition signatures calling for his veto were hand delivered by volunteer CCG leaders in Sacramento last Friday. The package of 330 pages of signed petitions included those that were circulated by volunteers in parishes and signed electronically online. Through this effort, your voices were heard loud and clear.

Our primary concern was that the bill created a new definition of marriage implying different kinds of marriage. Under the state constitution, thanks to the voters, only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized. Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker recently overturned the vote of the people on Prop 8, and his decision is currently being appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Governor, who does not support Prop 8 and recently refused to defend that section of the constitution, recognized the fact that creating new definitions of marriage would create confusion, but in the process of vetoing the bill sponsored by Equality California and Prop 8 opponents, he repeated his support for same-sex “marriage”. Whatever his reason, we are grateful for his veto."

Bill and CCG do great work, and they can always use funding. To donate, go here.