Tuesday, December 27, 2011


A new TV ad from CatholicVote.org features a little girl. "Dear President Obama," she says. "Can I ask you a question? Why are you trying to force my church and my school to pay for things that we don't even believe in?"

It's a good question. Apparently it's not enough that contraception be legal, cheap and available. As The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius illustrates, modern American liberalism cannot rest until those who object are forced to underwrite it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Keep Christ in Christmas

Richard Dawkins may want to take God out of public life, but don’t try to take the Christ out of his Christmas carols.

In the Christmas issue of the New Statesman, published this week, the eminent zoologist and author of “The God Delusion” began an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain by heartily wishing him “Merry Christmas!,” adding that he will accept no substitutes.
“All that ‘Happy Holiday Season’ stuff, with ‘holiday’ cards and ‘holiday’ presents,” is a tiresome import from the United States, where it has long been fostered more by rival religions than atheists,” Mr. Dawkins wrote.
As a “cultural Anglican,” Mr. Dawkins continued, “I recoil from such secular carols as ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the loathsome ‘Jingle Bells,’ but I’m happy to sing real carols, and in the unlikely event that anyone wants me to read a lesson I’ll gladly oblige — only from the King James Version, of course.”
,,, “A depressingly large number of of intelligent and educated people, despite having outgrown religious faith, still vaguely presume without thinking about it that religious faith is somehow good for other people, good for society, good for public order, good for instilling morals, good for common people even if we chaps don’t need it,” Mr. Dawkins writes. “...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pro-Life Group Worth Supporting at Christmas!

We published this list a couple of weeks ago, but want to offer it again. We also want to include the National Organization for Marriage. A generous donor has offered to match every gift NOM receives through the end of the year dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million!

To donate, go here. 

Here are some great Catholic and Pro-Life organizations that surely deserve consideration when you make your Christmas donations:

California Catholic Daily. California's only independent Catholic news provider. Not a "company newspaper."

LifeSiteNews. Fearless in defense of life and the family.

First Resort and Alpha Pregnancy Center, both in San Francisco. The city of San Francisco is going after these two crisis pregnancy centers; they must be doing something right.

Catholics for the Common Good. Bill May quietly and relentlessly goes about the business of promoting the Culture of Life.

The Issues4Life Foundation. That's the Reverend Walter Hoye....need we say more?

Immaculate Heart Radio. Broadcasting the faith, everyday.

The Cardinal Newman Society. Tirelessly exposing how major Catholic Universities have been turned from bastions of the faith into enemies of the faith.

Finally, the Salvation Army. Under fire from "gay" groups, they deserve your support.

There are MANY other groups equally deserving of your support, of course, but we wanted to mention these.

Big Victory for Pro-Life New Jersey Nurses!

The great Steve Ertelt at LifeNews has the story:

"A federal court late Thursday gave pro-life advocates a huge victory in the case of 12 nurses being forced to assist with abortions at a New Jersey hospital.

The court held a hearing concerning a motion filed by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys on behalf of the nurses that asks the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would halt any efforts by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to coerce the nurses in violation of federal law while their lawsuit moves forward."

Speaking of great, New Jersey's great Republican congressman Chris Smith said:

“Due to the brave voices of these 12 nurses and the diligent work of their attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, the hospital has finally agreed to respect their rights. The nurses may continue to provide compassionate life-affirming care without being complicit in the destruction of innocent human life...”

LifeNews is wonderful! Please consider donating to support their great work this Christmas. You can donate by going here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Most Important Liberty Case in the Past Thirty Years

Freedom of religion means the right of religious persons, groups, and ideas to participate fully and equally in the life of the community and in the marketplace of ideas.

Thirty years ago today, on December 8, 1981, the Supreme Court decided the case of Widmar v. Vincent—probably the most important pro-religious-liberty judicial decision of the modern era. The question at issue was whether the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), a state university, could bar a Christian student group named “Cornerstone” from using university facilities because the students wished to engage in religious worship and expression. While UMKC allowed other student groups to use its facilities, the university excluded Cornerstone from doing so under a regulation forbidding the use of its buildings “for purposes of religious worship or religious teaching.”

By a vote of 8–1, the Court held that the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause protects religious speech and association by private speakers and groups, just as it protects speech by any other speakers on any other subject, and that the Establishment Clause does not authorize discriminatory exclusion of religious speech....Widmar marked a decisive turning point. Of course, the disposition to suppress private religious expression—to exclude, to hamper, to discriminate—persists even today. But Widmar (with its many successor cases) stands firmly in the way of the view that such suppression is in any way justified, let alone required, by the onstitution. Widmar repudiated such First Amendment ignorance.

Here is what the Court held in Widmar: Freedom of speech forbids government from prohibiting, punishing, or penalizing speech based on its content. This was already an oft-stated principle. The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment thus forbids government from excluding religiousspeakers and groups from forums for expression—or from any other benefit—on account of the religious content of their expression or the religious nature of their views or association.

...Widmar’s free-speech holding is thus fundamental to the freedom of religion. It is the basis for the right of evangelism: Freedom of religious expression, and the equal status of religious ideas, keep government from suppressing religious discourse and debate. And Widmar’s free-speech principle is closely allied with the freedom to exercise one’s religious convictions in society generally: It is the principle that proclaims the equal status of religious views, religious arguments, religiously motivated actions, religious associations, and religious identity in American public life. Freedom of religion means, at bedrock, the right of religious persons, groups, and ideas to participate fully and equally in the life of the community and in the marketplace of ideas....
Michael Stokes Paulsen is University Chair and Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis, and co-director of its Pro-Life Advocacy Center ).

The Third Heaven

At the Winter Solstice, there are cultists who would turn the celebration of Christmas into some sort of light worship, replacing the Son with the Sun

That myopia venerates only what can be seen. In ancient cosmology, the "first heaven" was the easily visible part of the universe, and the "second heaven" was the stellar complex beyond that. But St. Paul said: "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter" (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
It is likely that he was speaking of the third heaven in the third person about himself. He encountered directly the "glory" that God allowed Moses to approach by indirection: "When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen" (Exodus 33:22-23). Peter, James and John bowed before this radiance at the Transfiguration, and the crowd saw it at the Ascension when they "returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the Temple praising God" (Luke 24:52-53).

A reflection of that joy was on the face of the Lady who appeared at Lourdes. In 1863 the sculptor Joseph-Hugues Fabisch interviewed St. Bernadette and made his famous statue from her description, but the saint was deeply saddened by how poorly it matched what she had seen. Our Lord guides us cautiously to glory so that we might not become blinded or made speechless by it. With splendid subtlety, the stars on the robe of Our Lady of Guadalupe are exactly as the constellation was in the Mexican sky when the image appeared on the tilma of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on December 12, 1531. Those stars show the lesser heavens, but are hints of the "third heaven" from which the Light of the World came to shine in our darkness first as a baby and then as a man.

At His birth "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). The night before His death, Christ "looked toward heaven" and prayed: "Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you" (John 17:1). Until then, the heavenly song had been hushed, for as Chesterton wrote: "There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Archbishop Nixes MHR's Homosexualist Advent Speakers

Today's Bay Area Reporter reports that Archbishop George Niederauer has caused San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer to dis-invite three of their scheduled Advent Vespers speakers:

"At least three gay and lesbian clergy members were disinvited from participating in Advent services at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in the Castro, the Bay Area Reporter has learned.

The call for the gay clergy not to attend came from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, sources said."

The three were retired same-sex "married" Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles; the openly homosexual Presbyterian Reverend Jane Spahr, and the Reverend Roland Stringfellow, the Director of Ministerial Outreach at the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Spirituality and Ministry in Berkeley. The BAR article continued:

"George Wesolek, spokesman for the archdiocese, confirmed that Archbishop George Niederauer made the decision."

The article then includes this statement, which I find confusing:

"'The basic reason is that Archbishop Niederauer felt the themes for vespers should better reflect the themes of Advent,'" Wesolek told the B.A.R."

But if the objection is not to the speakers, only to the "themes," the implication is that if Bishop Charles and the Reverends Spahr and Stringfellow had come up with better, more Advent suitable themes, they would have been welcome. That can't be right.

I'd say the objection is that Bishop Charles and Reverends Spahr & Stringfellow are engaging in and promoting behaviors that are sinful and wrong.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday... "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 203,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

Health Issues?

The Wall Street Journal has an article “The Church of Kathleen Sebelius” by William McGurun which should be read by all believers in life issues and the politics of Obama verus the Catholic Church.

In the church of Kathleen Sebelius, there is little room for dissent. "We are in a war," the Health and Human Services Secretary declared to cheers at a recent NARAL Pro-Choice America fund-raiser. Give the lady her due: Her actions mostly match her words.

Mrs. Sebelius's militancy explains the shock her allies are now feeling after last Wednesday's decision to overrule the Food and Drug Administration on Plan B, a morning-after pill. The FDA had proposed allowing over-the-counter sales, which would give girls as young as 11 or 12 access without either a prescription or a parent. Now the secretary's allies are howling about her "caving in" to the Catholic bishops.
Let’s hear it for Kathleen! But read on:

On this score they needn't worry. Notwithstanding the unexpected burst of common sense on Plan B, the great untold story remains the intolerance so beloved of self-styled progressives. In this Mrs. Sebelius has proved herself one of the administration's most faithful practitioners: here watering down conscience protections for nurses and doctors who don't want to participate in abortions; there yanking funding for a top-rated program for victims of sexual trafficking run by the Catholic bishops, because they will not sign on to the NARAL agenda; soon to impose a new HHS mandate that will require health-insurance plans to cover contraception, sterilization and drugs known to induce abortion.

Alas for her president, her zeal for this agenda has yielded two unintended consequences. Within her party, it is creating a rift between the Planned Parenthood wing and the president's Catholic and religious supporters. Outside her party, it is illuminating the danger of equating bigger government with a more just society.
Thus far, attention has mostly focused on the politics. One reason is that even Catholics who supported President Obama on his signature health bill recognize the contraceptive mandate as a bridge too far. These include the Catholic Health Association's Sr. Carol Keehan, whose well-publicized embrace of the Affordable Care Act gave the president critical cover when he needed it. Others simply question whether forcing Catholic hospitals to drop health insurance for their employees rather than submit to Madam Sebelius's bull is really the image the president wants during a tough re-election year.

Then there are the Catholic bishops. Just two years ago, many seemed to regard ObamaCare as a compassionate piece of legislation if only a few provisions (e.g., conscience rights and abortion funding) could be tweaked. Now they are learning the real problem is the whole thing is built on force—from the individual mandate and doctors' fees to the panels deciding what treatment grandma is entitled to. The awakening has led to a new bishops' committee on religious liberty, and tough, unprecedented criticism.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pro-Life Groups Worth Supporting at Christmas

Here are some great Catholic and Pro-Life organizations that surely deserve consideration when you make your Christmas donations:

California Catholic Daily. California's only independent Catholic news provider. Not a "company newspaper."

LifeSiteNews. Fearless in defense of life and the family.

First Resort and Alpha Pregnancy Center, both in San Francisco. The city of San Francisco is going after these two crisis pregnancy centers; they must be doing something right.

Catholics for the Common Good. Bill May quietly and relentlessly goes about the business of promoting the Culture of Life.

The Issues4Life Foundation. That's the Reverend Walter Hoye....need we say more?

Immaculate Heart Radio. Broadcasting the faith, everyday.

The Cardinal Newman Society. Tirelessly exposing how major Catholic Universities have been turned from bastions of the faith into enemies of the faith.

Finally, the Salvation Army. Under fire from "gay" groups, they deserve your support.

There are MANY other groups equally deserving of your support, of course, but we wanted to mention these.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Strange Defense of Marriage

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has made statements opposed to natural law and Catholic doctrine on several occasions. It seems to me the Archbishop needs to review what he was taught in classes of Moral Theology.

Read his statement: “We would want to emphasize that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship [and] a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision,” the archbishop said. “As a Church we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life.”

However, the archbishop also explained that the same equality that permits a “partnership” does not allow homosexual “marriage”. It is not clear why the same logic would not apply.

Asked about his statements by the Catholic News Agency (CNA), Archbishop Nichols replied that he was defending marriage but also avoiding “being accused of being homophobic.” Asked whether he was not going against Vatican guidelines, the prelate answered that the bishops have tried “to recognize the reality of the legal provision in our country of an agreement, a partnership, with many of the same legal safeguards as in marriage.”Surprisingly, he also affirmed — as if to justify himself — that unlike marriages, homosexual. partnerships “have no root in a sexual relationship!” Such a statement makes it difficult to determine on what planet the Archbishop of Westminster lives!

This is not the first time Archbishop Nichols has made absurd statements opposed to natural law and Catholic doctrine. In 2010, during a debate on the BBC, answering a homosexual’s accusation that the Church opposes the agenda of the homosexual movement, he said, “That’s not true. In this country, we were very nuanced. We did not oppose gay civil partnerships.”6His answer to the question, “Should the Church one day accept the reality of gay partnerships?” was, “I don’t know.”7 Asked if the Church would one day accept the ordination of women and homosexual unions, he likewise said, “I don’t know. Who knows what’s down the road.”

Thanks for input from Luiz Sérgio Solimeo &The American TFP [tfp@tfp.org]

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stephen White on the "Rainbow Sashers"

Stephen White, writing over at the Catholic Vote gets it completely:

"Without rehearsing the arguments about the impossibility of same-sex “marriage,” or the Church’s teachings on the nature of homosexual acts, and without rehearsing the Church’s teaching on the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist, I simply want to ask: If Mr. (Joe) Murray and the rest of the Rainbow Sashers really wanted to receive communion, why not simply take off their sashes and receive anonymously, like the rest of us?

The answer, of course, is that they refuse to compromise their most fundamental belief. If it’s a choice between The Eucharist and The Sash (and all that it stands for) they choose the latter."

Exactly right, and what we have been arguing for years. From the "Most Holy Redeemer and Ecumenism" page over at our sister site "Homosexual Activism in the Archdiocese of San Francisco":

"At MHR, one's religious affiliation is irrelevant--what matters is one's attitude towards the celebration of homosexuality. That is the issue on which compromises will not be made, where differences will not be tolerated--because that is the real lived religion, not Catholicism."

Do We Have a Pro-Life ‘Good War’ and an Anti-SSM ‘Bad War’?

My friend Tim Dalrymple asks just this question over at Patheos. He shared his observation with Fred Barnes, who put it this way:
Foes of gay rights are now seen by the press as fighting the bad war, roughly analogous to Vietnam. Pro-lifers are waging the good war, like World War II. “You get much less grief fighting against abortion than you do fighting to preserve traditional marriage,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

I’ve seen this reality on college campuses. Speak to conservative college students and you’ll generally find enthusiastic pro-life support and deep ambivalence about — if not outright hostility to — preserving traditional marriage. Younger conservatives want to talk about life. They don’t want to talk about sexuality. In the larger culture, support for life is growing, with the percentage of Americans identifying as pro-life now in rough parity (and sometimes exceeding) the percentage of Americans calling themselves pro-choice. And while there’s no question that the media has long exaggerated public support for same-sex marriage (marriage amendments keep winning in state after state), there’s also no question that general polling trends are decidedly negative.

In explaining this phenomenon, Tim sees a number of factors at work. First, the life argument is simply easier to make. You don’t have to appeal to scripture or other holy texts to argue that a child should not be dismembered in his or her mother’s womb. By contrast, marriage arguments tend to be more abstract, especially since there’s no readily identifiable “victim” of gay marriage. Second, the media and liberal establishment relentlessly stigmatize supporters of traditional marriage, often labeling its advocates as no better than the white supremacists of the bygone South. This campaign has had a profound effect. As Tim notes:
Consider this little bit of anecdotal information. As an editor and director for a large religion website now, I can tell you: It’s substantially easier to find Christians and evangelicals to write on the abortion issue than it is to find ones who will write on same-sex marriage. Academics in particular are terrified that anything critical of homosexuality or same-sex marriage will come up before hiring or tenure committees. One of the first subjects we addressed in our “Public Square” at Patheos was the same-sex marriage debate, and nearly every person I approached to write on the topic had to ask himself or herself: “Am I willing to give up the next job, the next promotion, the next award, because of my views on this topic?”

I agree with Tim’s explanations, but I’d like to add another. After more than a generation of no-fault divorce, the very concept of “traditional marriage” is seeping out of our cultural DNA, replaced, sadly, by the core conviction that marriage is no longer a covenant, but a contract — specifically a contract for the fulfillment and enjoyment of adults. Our churches not only acquiesced in this cultural change, many of them continue to facilitate it even as they argue against same-sex marriage. There are many taboos in the modern evangelical church, and one of them is “judging” anyone’s divorce. Even wayward and unfaithful spouses will rationalize their betrayals through long lists of real and imagined slights, and church discipline for adultery and divorce is largely a thing of the past.

What kind of message does this send? Imagine the incredulity of a Christian college student — themselves too often the product of a broken home, where they had a front-row seat to their parents’ contentious festival of self-love — watching a thrice-married fellow congregant rail against gay marriage. It just doesn’t add up.

The battle over marriage, frankly, needs to broaden. We shouldn’t necessarily speak of “defending traditional marriage” when traditional marriage has already been mortally wounded by no-fault divorce. Perhaps we should instead emphasize marriage restoration over marriage defense. What do social conservatives want? To restore marriage to its rightful place and definition in our culture (which includes defining it as a covenant, not a contract) and to repair what is broken. To be sure, making and winning such an argument is an immense cultural challenge, but as the pro-life movement has demonstrated, courage, persistence, and truth can turn the tide.
Fred Barnes - Weekly standard

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cardinal O’Malley, Resisting Gay Pressure, Stands by His Editor

Something is very wrong when priests join forces with gay activists in any cause whatsoever. The presumption must be that the priests in question are sympathetic to gay activism, and this constitutes scandal. That’s why I was glad to see Cardinal Sean O’Malley stand by the editor of his diocesan newspaper when some priests joined gay activists in demanding his dismissal.

You may recall the incident that occasioned the outcry. The editor, Antonio Enrique, failed to catch problems with a column by Daniel Avila which attributed same-sex attraction to Satan. Avila repudiated his column and, unfortunately, ultimately lost his job with the USCCB. I already explained the relevant theological issue in the fourth part of a recent In Depth Analysis, Parsing Beleaguered Words: The Perils of Getting Things Wrong. I also expressed the hope, unfulfilled in the event, that nothing more would be required of Avila than the retraction. Although he did not get things quite right, he was really making a needed effort to refute the common claim that same-sex attraction is given to some by God and so God must intend that they act upon it.

But now, apparently, it is not enough to crucify Daniel Avila for a theological error in treating a difficult question in a hostile culture. Now those who will brook no criticism of the gay lifestyle at all think that Antonio Enrique must go for having failed to prevent the column from being published in the first place. Now it so happens that Enrique has eleven children. One inevitably wonders if this alone is not sufficient to incur the wrath of the sterility lobby.
Look, I tried to be fair-minded. I pointed out that Avila had made a theological mistake in attributing same-sex attraction directly to the Devil when it is more properly discussed as one of a great many disordered inclinations characterizing the state of Original Sin. I pointed out that the issue is so sensitive nowadays that it is difficult to survive this sort of mistake, and that Avila should have had the good sense to realize he was in over his head in the first place.

But please note: It is not as if Satan is not involved at all. Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the events that led up to Original Sin; he tempts all of us—including those of us with same-sex attraction—to act on our disordered inclinations instead of seeing them for what they are and resisting them; and he certainly tempts contemporary apologists for the gay lifestyle to confuse God’s active will with his permissive will so that they can assert something that is always false and damaging to assert—namely, that because God permits us to suffer both disorder and temptation, it must be true that disorder and temptation are really not disorder and temptation at all.

That argument, you see, has all the marks of a Clever Mind. I grant that it is not so clever that we absolutely must designate its author with capital letters. But then I'm not writing in a diocesan newspaper, am I? I answer to my readers, who are smart enough to make distinctions and charitable enough to make allowances.

This is precisely the error which Daniel Avila was attempting to refute. In doing so, he sought to show that the author of same-sex attraction was not God but Satan, an over-simplification with unfortunate theological consequences, and one which needed to be corrected. But to call for the editor to be fired because he permitted a poor theological argument to run in his newspaper is outrageous, especially when it comes from a party of activists who more or less deliberately distort Catholic doctrine and theology at every turn, not in an effort to defend the truth but in an effort to make white black and black white.

Moreover, if anyone suddenly thinks that editors in the Catholic press must be summarily removed for permitting any sort of theological misstatement, I can only say that such a person is very late to the party indeed. Such a one must surely have slept through the Modernist revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s which put actual heretics in charge of much of the Catholic press throughout the Western world. We might welcome, within due limits of course, such admirable zeal. But I wonder what we have seen in the last fifty years that would lead us to think that these particular zealots are truly solicitous for the truth, or that they would make any effort to be even-handed in their punishment for editorial errors across the board.

Happily and rightly, Cardinal O’Malley has indicated that he intends to stand firm. This is a blessing. One can imagine—no, one can remember—a time when this would not have been the case. So let us all permit Antonio Enrique to do his job in peace. The man seems, at the very least, to understand rather thoroughly how God in fact actually did design sexual expression, and for what purpose. Can his critics say as much?

Jeffrey Mirus - President of CatholicCulture.org

Monday, December 5, 2011

Abortion Survivor Movie "October Baby"

The Blaze is reporting on the new movie "October Baby" about a woman who survived a failed abortion. The film was inspired by the story of Gianna Jensen, a real life abortion survivor, and the filmmakers, brothers Andrew & Jon Erwin, may have been further inspired by her testimony at the 2008 Walk for Life West Coast. From The Blaze:

"Hannah (played by Rachel Hendrix), the central character, is a beautiful 19-year-old college freshman. Despite her youth and her good looks, she has always had a sense that something was missing — a sense that she doesn’t really have a right to exist.

Her world is turned upside down when she finds out that she was adopted. While shocking enough on its own, this is the only beginning of her personal tale. In addition to grappling with this new-found knowledge, she also learns that she was the survivor of a failed abortion — a startling fact for the young girl to process. So, she decides to embark on a road trip with her friends in an epic journey to find her birth mother. This, of course, is the premise of 'October Baby.'”

You can watch the trailer for October Baby below, and the film's website is here.

And here is Ms. Jensen's testimony at the 2008 Walk for Life West Coast:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

CatholicVote Reports on HHS Hearings

Tom Peters attended last week's congessional hearing on HHS's decision on not to fund the US Bishop's programs to help the victims of human trafficking. From Peters' report:

"Apart from the religious liberty and conscience questions, there remains underlying all of these issues a fundamental disagreement between Democrats + HHS, and Republicans + US Bishops about what sort of care victims of human trafficking deserve, and who is best suited to give them that care.

One thing that became clear during the course of the morning was that, in the eyes of the Democrats and those who made the final decision at HHS, it is more important that a victim of human trafficking (often girls as young as 12-14 years old), it’s more important that they be offered abortion, sterilization and contraception than that they be cared for by a faith-based organization such as the Catholic Church.

Steve Wagner’s National Catholic Register column points out how denying young women who have been victims of sex trafficking the unique care and human-dignity-affirming compassion of the Catholic Church is unconscionable. I couldn’t agree more."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pelosi Bashes Catholics: “They Have This Conscience Thing”

Our NancyPelosi dislikes Catholics who live their beliefs. While taking Communion she raising money for abortions. The church teaches that we should help our neighbors and those in need. Pelosi creates taxes that make people poor. The bible teaches to save lives, Nan voted for Obama death panels that have already voted to keep life saving drugs from some breast cancer victims.

“This time, Pelosi is upset that the nation’s Catholic bishops are protesting a potential Obama administration decision forcing insurance companies to cover birth control, contraception and drugs that could cause abortions. They say certain religious groups may not be exempt from providing the insurance, which would violate their moral and religious views.

Pelosi says the position is akin to having hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion,” she told the Washington Post.
“Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing” that the Post said Pelosi “insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.”

San Fran Nan is a liar–a devout Catholic who supports the killing of the unborn. She is as devout a Catholic as an Atheist.

Be sure to check Steve Frank's California News & Views http://www.capoliticalnews.com/!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SF Columnist Contrasts Rev. Walter Hoye With "Occupy Oakland"

Debra Saunders writes in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Inside Oakland bubble, all free speech isn't equal

For all their whining about the "police state" and the city's failure to respect their "First Amendment rights," Occupy Oakland activists have managed to flout the law with regular impunity. Somehow demonstrators have managed to turn Frank Ogawa Plaza into a tent stew and shut down parts of the city in a so-called general strike Nov. 2, and still they think they're victims who have been deprived of their free speech rights.

But if they want to see what it's really like to fight City Hall, they should talk to Walter Hoye. Hoye's offense was to walk up to people with a sign that said, "Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help." For that he was arrested twice in 2008 and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Read the whole thing, but we have to quote the Reverend's final sentences, because it captures the man's kindness and humility in a nutshell:

"I asked Hoye how he feels when Occupy Oakland protesters complain that they are victims whose free expression has been suppressed.

'I don't think they really know what being treated unfairly is,' he answered. 'I didn't see any of the kind of leniency that they received.'

And: 'Thank you for thinking of me. People have asked me about that.'"

The picture shows Reverend Hoye with Zack Goodman, a 12 year-old pro-life activist from Colorado, and Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs.

MHR UPDATE: Second Non-Catholic Minister who Advocates Same-Sex "Marriage" to Speak at Vespers Services

On November 22, California Catholic Daily reported on the scheduled appearance of retired Episcopal Bishop Otis Charles at San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer Church. Bishop Charles is the invited speaker for the church’s November 30 Advent Vespers service. The Episcopal Church severed ties with the Bishop when he “married” another man in 2004.

Bishop Charles is not the only 2011 Vespers speaker invited to Most Holy Redeemer who is a same-sex “marriage” supporter, nor the only one who has been disciplined by his church. According to the November 27 Most Holy Redeemer bulletin, the scheduled speaker at the December 14 Vespers service is a “Ms. Jane Spahr.” Unless there are two Jane Spahr’s knocking around San Francisco, she’s not “Ms.” Jane Spahr; her correct title is the Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr. From her biographical page at the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, & Transgender Religious Archives Network: “The Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, Janie, as she prefers to be called, describes herself as a lesbian, feminist, Presbyterian minister committed to justice issues for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community, pursuing connections for wholeness with other oppressed communities claiming their freedom.” Other “queer” religious websites refer to her simply as a “lesbyterian.”

In August of 2010 a regional court of the Presbyterian Church meeting in Napa, California “rebuked” Reverend Spahr for celebrating 16 same-sex “marriages.” The “marriages” took place in 2008, during the time when such things were legal in the state. The Christian Post reported: “In a 4-2 vote by the Redwood Presbytery Judicial Commission, the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr was found guilty of representing the ceremonies as marriages, persistently disobeying church law, and violating her ordination vows.” Rev. Spahr had received a previous censure from the Presbyterian Church for performing two such “marriages” in 2004.

While there has been no public response from the Archdiocese of San Francisco on Most Holy Redeemer’s hosting of Bishop Charles and the Reverend Spahr, others have taken note. One group which is watching carefully, and who say they are encouraged by Archbishop Niederauer’s silence, is the homosexual activist Rainbow Sash Movement. On November 23, Bob Anderson wrote at the Rainbow Sash blog: : "The Rainbow Sash Movement is encouraged by Archbishop Niederauer lack of action on this matter, and believes he is taking a role in responding to the rampant homophobia that is alive and well in the Church."

Mr. Anderson should be encouraged. It is precisely due to 30+ years of inaction on the part of the Archdiocese that these two speakers were invited to MHR at all. Even if the Archbishop prevents Bishop Charles and Reverend Spahr from speaking, that does not address the underlying issue. The problem is that the community-forming experience and the real lived religion at MHR is not Catholicism, it is the celebration of homosexuality. That’s why ministers, even non-Catholic, even non-Christian, are welcome speakers at vespers. They are welcome even though they oppose the Church on non-negotiable issues. They are welcome because they oppose the Church on non-negotiable issues. Faced with a choice between Catholic truth and the celebration of homosexuality, the parishioners at MHR will, quite rationally from their point of view, choose the celebration of homosexuality every time. If Catholic truth on sexuality is ever preached MHR, I think it quite likely that most parishioners would leave. That does not mean the Archdiocese is excused from preaching it.

Is the Church falling apart?

According to the annual "Status of global mission" report produced ​​in 2011, the Catholic Church has one billion and 160 million faithful around the world, with 34,000 new people joining every day. The figures from the study, released by the agency Analisis Digirtal, say that there are two billion people in the world today, out of a total of approximately seven billion, who have never received the Gospel’s message. Another two billion and 680 million listen to it sometimes, or are vaguely aware of it, but they are not Christians.

"Despite the fact that Jesus Christ only founded one Church, and shortly before his death he prayed ‘that all would be one’ today there are many separate Christian denominations: at the beginning of the Twentieth century there were 1600; in 2011 there are 42,000," according to the study. The number of charismatic Protestants reaches 612 million. There are 426 million “classic” Protestants and this number is growing at a rate of 20,000 a day.

The Orthodox Churches count 271 million baptized believers and are joined by an additional five thousand a day. Anglicans, concentrated mainly in Africa and Asia, amount to 87 million, with three thousand more joining each day. Those which the study defines as "marginal Christians" (Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, those who do not recognize the divinity of Jesus or the Trinity) amount to 35 million and are growing at a rate of two thousand a day."The most common form of growth is to have many children and make them adhere to their religious tradition. Conversion is more uncommon, however there are millions of cases of this every year. The most common example, is one spouse converting to the faith of the other.” In 2011, Christians of all denominations will have spread more than 71 million Bibles around the world (there are already one billion and 741 million, some of which are clandestine). Each year, 409 thousand Christians set off to evangelize a country that is not their own, organized in 4800 different missionary organizations.
Marco Tosatti -- Rome

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pelosi and "that conscience thing": Dead Silence From One Peter Yorke Way

Nancy Pelosi's latest attack on faithful Catholics has been widely reported. From LifeNews:

"Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at it again, bashing Catholics for their pro-life position when she has promoted abortion in defiance of Catholic Church teaching at every turn.

This time, Pelosi is upset that the nation’s Catholic bishops are protesting a potential Obama administration decision forcing insurance companies to cover birth control, contraception and drugs that could cause abortions. They say certain religious groups may not be exempt from providing the insurance, which would violate their moral and religious views.

Pelosi says the position is akin to having hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion,” she told the Washington Post.

“Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing”...

That is the position of "devout Catholic" Pelosi at the exact time faithful Catholics nurses are threatened with losing their jobs for refusing to participate in the killing of unborn children. There has been no reponse from Archbishop George Niederauer.

We point out that nearly five years ago, in his pastor's message of January 14, 2007, Fr. Malloy had no trouble responding to Pelosi, in the clearest possible English:

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

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Judge Rules for SF Archdiocese in Transfer Tax Case

From today's Catholic San Francisco:

"A Superior Court judge on Nov. 18 issued an opinion that would throw out an attempted multi-million-dollar “delinquent” tax bill imposed on the Archdiocese of San Francisco by the San Francisco assessor/recorder, Phil Ting, after a more than three-year legal fight.

Judge Richard A. Kramer issued a 43-page “Tentative Statement of Decision” in favor of the archdiocese, Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the archdiocese, reported Nov. 22. A case management conference is scheduled Jan. 9, 2012....Kramer agreed with the archdiocese’s central arguments: The transfers were not “realty sold,” and the transfers were a change in the form of ownership that did not make them subject to transfer tax.

“The Archdiocese of San Francisco is delighted that the Superior Court has vindicated the position the archdiocese has taken all along,” said George Wesolek, director of communications for the archdiocese.... “It would have chilled the missions of this and all churches, religions and non-profit organizations in the city, and would have sent ripples through the for-profit community as well... Fortunately, the court saw through this attempt.”

Mr. Wesolek then notes that this is another case of San Francisco Democratic Party politicians using the legal system to harass good people at public expense, just like they are doing right now with First Resort:

“The Assessor/Recorder apparently expected the archdiocese to roll over in the face of this attack but underestimated the resolve of the church. It is unfortunate that the miscalculation forced the archdiocese to spend more than three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees to defeat this illegal action, but the archdiocese is hopeful that the Assessor/Recorder’s office will now be dissuaded from taking similar measures in the future.”

Don't hold your breath, George.

You can read our previous posts on the issue here.

What are we teaching our teens?

If you put stock in the media hype, the hit TV show, “Glee,” is breaking new ground this week.

The game-changer in the controversial episode consists of two parallel sexual initiations - one a heterosexual teen couple and the other a homosexual teen couple. This may be new in the sense of it being even more corrupting than previous episodes or containing even more indecent material shoved in our faces, but it’s certainly not a positive new development. Such media promotion of early sexual activity - not to mention the promotion of gay behavior - flies in the face of what is best for teenagers and bucks the current, more positive trends that show teen sexual activity, teen abortions and teen births declining.

Anyone familiar with social-science research knows that abstinence is healthiest for teenagers. Teenage sexual activity routinely leads to emotional turmoil and psychological distress. Rather than increasing a teen’s self-confidence, engaging in sexual activity leads to empty relationships, feelings of self-contempt and a sense of worthlessness - typical precursors to depression. In fact, sexually active teens are more likely than those who are abstinent to attempt suicide (15 percent to 5 percent for girls, 6 percent to 1 percent for boys). Only 1/3 of girls who had early sexual activity describe themselves as “happy” as compared with more than half of those who waited. But the most telling fact is that the majority of teenagers who have engaged in sexual activity express regret over experimenting sexually and wish they had waited longer to have sex - 72 percent of girls and 55 percent of boys.

The bottom line is that more than two-thirds of teens who become sexually active admit they wish they could go back to sexual innocence again and wish they had waited.
Concerned Women for America released a major study on sexually transmitted diseases in July that describes some 49 types of STDs, some curable, others not. Twenty percent of all AIDS cases are among college-aged young people. Having three or more sexual partners in a lifetime multiplies by 15 a woman’s odds of contracting cervical cancer. The shocking facts about the extent of STDs among young people are documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 19 million new cases a year, with half of those cases among 15- to 24-year-olds. These STDs are hidden by the glossy advertisements in the media that make them appear to be an insignificant health threat and suggest that all are cured or controlled without difficulty or complications (as anyone who has seen the TV ads for herpes medications can attest). Sadly, most of the young people with STDs will be dealing with the symptoms and consequences for the rest of their lives. In the United States, new cases of STDs are triple what they were just six years ago. Many of the STDs are incurable and others have persistent, significant symptoms requiring bothersome, expensive, lifelong treatment.

We have begun making headway with teen births. The latest birth data for 2009 show that the teenage birth rate fell 6 percent to 39.1 per 1000 women. In addition, the number and rate of births to unmarried women declined, but the percentage of nonmarital births increased to 41 percent. These numbers indicate a glimmer of hope that some truths about sexual realities are breaking through in contemporary culture. The bottom line is this: The radical rhetoric of the past 40 years is not quite as in vogue as it used to be, but its ethic of sexual experimentation is widespread and firmly rooted in the popular culture - as evidenced by “Glee.”

The media have saturated our culture with the myth of sexual freedom and public schools, along with Planned Parenthood and theSexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, have implicitly condoned, if not actually promoted, sexual permissiveness via “comprehensive” sex education which sells the idea that casual, recreational sex is acceptable for singles as long as the persons involved are “responsible,” defined as using a condom.

But that isn’t true, particularly for teens. Early sexual activity means more sexual partners. If a girl begins sexual activity in her early teens, she is, on average, likely to have more than a dozen partners over her lifetime, and the “turnover” rate of partners is more than four times as high among those who begin sexual activity in their early 20s. Such girls are also more than twice as likely to become infected with STDs. And about 40 percent of teens who are sexually active eventually become pregnant out-of-wedlock.

The vast majority of young people - 92 percent - think marriage would make them happy and want to be married some day; most also want to have kids. The assault on teens - telling them casual sex is “no big deal” and has “no consequences” - will not be neutralized until those who know better find their voices and convince today’s “Glee” generation that only discipline and restraint will open the gateway to achieving dreams and ambitions. Our culture must change to cultivate the attitude that says, “I won’t mess up my tomorrows by fooling around today.”

Janice Shaw Crouse, author of “Children at Risk” (Transaction, 2010), is director of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute.
© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

BREAKING: CA Supremes: Prop 8 Backers CAN Defend Measure


New Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye makes a powerful statement about the lawless behavior of the Governor and Attorney General:

"It is essential to the integrity of the initiative process ... that there be someone to assert the state's interest in an initiative's validity on behalf of the people when the public officials who normally assert that interest decline to do so," Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said in her first significant opinion since taking office in January.

"Neither the governor, the attorney general, nor any other executive or legislative official has the authority to veto or invalidate an initiative measure that has been approved by the voters," Cantil-Sakauye said.

UPDATE: The court ruled unanimously. The great Ed Whelan has this short excerpt from the ruling:

"In a postelection challenge to a voter-approved initiative measure, the official proponents of the initiative are authorized under California law to appear and assert the state’s interest in the initiative’s validity and to appeal a judgment invalidating the measure when the public officials who ordinarily defend the measure or appeal such a judgment decline to do so."

Very big news on the Defense of Marriage front. We were sure the court would vote this way, it's a no-brainer, but you never know. Eventually the case will wind up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the LA Times legal blog:

"The California Supreme Court decided Thursday that the sponsors of Proposition 8 and other ballot measures are entitled to defend them in court when the state refuses to do so, a ruling likely to spur federal courts to decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans.

The state high court’s decision, a defeat for gay rights groups, sets the stage for a federal ruling -- which could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- that would affect marriage bans outside California.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering an appeal of a trial judge’s ruling that overturned Proposition 8, had asked the California court to clarify whether state law gives initiative sponsors standing, or legal authority, to defend their measures.

State officials are entitled to champion ballot measures in court, but the governor and the attorney general have refused to defend Proposition 8.

Although the 9th Circuit is not bound by Thursday’s ruling, the decision makes it less likely that the appeals court would decide Proposition 8’s future on narrow, standing grounds.

The 9th Circuit panel considering the gay-marriage dispute indicated in a hearing last December that it was leaning toward overturning Proposition 8 if the standing question could be resolved. Former U.S. Chief District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who has since retired, overturned the marriage ban after a two-week trial that focused on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

Gay rights groups argued that ProtectMarriage did not have standing to appeal Walker’s ruling. But they also contended they could win the case in federal courts on constitutional grounds."

California's Fiscal Disaster: Two Stories That Should be Read Together

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle reported:

State fiscal nightmare: deep cuts on horizon

"California faces deep midyear cuts to its universities, community colleges, social service programs and public schools - which may have their year shortened - because the state will collect billions of dollars less in revenue than expected, according to a report released Wednesday."

Then read this article by Steven Malanga, at City Journal:

Cali to Business: Get Out!
Firms are fleeing the state’s senseless regulations and confiscatory taxes.


"As California has transformed into a relentlessly antibusiness state, those redeeming characteristics haven’t been enough to keep firms from leaving. Relocation experts say that the number of companies exiting the state for greener pastures has exploded. In surveys, executives regularly call California one of the country’s most toxic business environments and one of the least likely places to open or expand a new company. Many firms still headquartered in California have forsaken expansion there."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Diocese of Orange Hosts Conference Linking Immigration/Homosexual Activism

An edited version of this article appeared in this morning's California Catholic Daily.

On Saturday, September 19, the Diocese of Orange and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Santa Ana will host a forum called the “Orange County Assembly on Immigration.” The forum will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to the online invitation, local organizations co-hosting the event include the ACLU of Southern California; CIPC (California Immigration Policy Center) CLUE (Clergy & Laity for Economic Justice) the Diocese of Orange, El Centro Cultural de México en Santa Ana, Immáculate Heart at Mary and Father Ed, OCCCO (Orange County Congregation Community Organization), The Center of OC, and the SEIU.

An agenda of issues to be addressed at the forum is published on the invitation. While most of the items are general, and would seem to be of immediate interest to illegal immigrants, one is astonishing in both its remoteness and incongruous specificity. The agenda is reprinted below, exactly as it appears in the online invitation:

Come and learn about/Venga y aprenda sobre :

• Education/Educación

•The intersectionality between the LGBTQ and Undocumented communities/La interseccionalidad entre las comunidades indocumentada y homosexual

• Know Your Rights/Conoce Tus Derechos

• E-Verify

• Issues that affect our local immigrant communities/Problemas que afectan a nuestra comunidad inmigrante local.

• And much more!/Y mucho más!

The intrusion of the homosexualist agenda into a forum on immigration may seem inexplicable, but the application of the concept of “intersectionality” is a growing tactic of co-option among homosexualist activists. Examples can be easily found online. As recently as November 7, 2011, the LGBT Resource Center of the University of California at Riverside sponsored a lecture called “LGBTIQ & Undocumented Struggle: The Parallels and Intersectionality of Two Movements.” On October 5, 2010, we reported in California Catholic Daily on this trend: ‘Communities of color’ targeted; Homosexual activists to spend $350,000 in attempt to change minority attitudes on natural marriage.” The article documented how “the Horizons Foundation, the nation’s oldest LGBT foundation, is opening up a new front in California’s battle over the definition of marriage. In 2010, Horizons is awarding $350,000 in grants to organizations throughout California to ‘help build bridges and support for same-sex marriage in communities of color.’”

The “Orange County Assembly on Immigration” invitation does not indicate who requested that “The intersectionality between the LGBTQ and Undocumented communities” be included in the agenda. But the presence of the co-host “The Center of OC” is suggestive. The only group with such a name affiliated with the other co-hosts is “The Center Orange County” or “The Center OC.” Those names are accepted shorthand, as its webpage says, for the “Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County (The Center Orange County).”

The Center Orange County’s “About Us” page gives a the organization’s mission statement and history:

“The mission of The Center Orange County is to advocate on behalf of the Orange County LGBT community, and to provide services that ensure its wellbeing and positive identity…. The Center Orange County (The Center OC) was established as a volunteer organization in 1971 and incorporated in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit community based organization. We are one of the oldest gay and lesbian community centers in the United States.”

Affirming the “positive identity” of the LGBT community for The Center OC includes a long-time partnership with leather s/m organizations. A December 2007 calendar page from The Center OC’s website advertises a “BDSM Sampler” offered by a group called the OCLA (Orange Coast Leather Assembly). The page describes the event (partial):

“Created in 1991, Sampler is a weekend event for experts and novices alike, where you can 'sample' BDSM related play and concepts 1-on-1 with noted BDSM authorities.”

The page also stresses the long and close relationship between the OCLA and The Center OC:

“OCLA (Orange County Leather Assembly) is an educational organization and information source for the leather, S/M and fetish community in the Orange County and surrounding area of Southern California. The group is open to adults over 18 years old, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. OCLA has been an outreach program at the Center Orange County for last 15 years.”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

First Resort Sues City of San Francisco

No surprise at all. Our posts on First Resort and the City and County of San Francisco are here.

From First Resort's release:

"Today, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, First Resort filed suit against the City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The City adopted an ordinance set to go into effect in early December which, if left unchallenged, would significantly infringe upon our constitutionally protected right of free expression.

This law was enacted to hinder First Resort's ability to communicate effectively and truthfully with women who are or may be considering abortion. We cannot allow the government to control how and when we tell Bay Area women about our services.

This is a first for First Resort. We participated fully in the legislative process trying to defeat the ordinance. Both publicly and privately, we described its unconstitutionality; but we did not prevail in a politically charged election season against NARAL and other pro-abortion groups who continue their assault on us and similar organizations across the country."

Similar "laws" have been struck down in Baltimore, and suspended by injunction in New York, and just this week, in Austin, Texas. But the Culture of Death and their minions in the Democratic Party don't care. Why should they? Legal costs and settlements will be paid by you, the taxpayer.

You can support First Resort by going here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An unspeakable blasphemy!

Warrner Brothers distributes highly blasphemous and anti-Catholic film called “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”

In the new movie, “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” there are such disgusting scenes as:

Lesbian activity among nuns
Obscenities hurled at Our Lord Jesus Christ
Priests running after an altar boy
The trashing of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Small children high on cocaine

It shows that Catholics cannot become complacent when the Faith is attacked. Otherwise, the promoters of blasphemy keep on pushing the envelope with new and more outrageous insults to the Catholic Church.

Yet they don’t attack Muhammad in this same way!

For too long, Catholics have remained silent and done nothing while the Faith was attacked. Now, we must peacefully and prayerfully protest and speak out against these mockeries of our Faith.

And please do an act of reparation for this most terrible blasphemy against Our Lord, Our Lady and the Catholic Faith.

John HorvatTradition Family Property

See, We told You So: Catholic Charities UPDATE

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield Illinois gets it.

Us, writing on August 19, 2011:

"Catholic Charities can be true to their name by forgoing government contracts. Then they will have no worries about being Catholic, and they will be forced to once again become a charity."

Bishop Parocki, writing yesterday:

“The silver lining of this decision is that our Catholic Charities going forward will be able to focus on being more Catholic and more charitable, while less dependent on government funding and less encumbered by intrusive state policies,” said Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Adult Stem-Cell UPDATE: "This could be the biggest revolution in cardiovascular medicine in my lifetime.''

More great adult stem-cell news. This story is from the Telegraph:

'''The results are striking,' said Professor Roberto Bolli, one of the research leaders from the University of Louisville in the US. ''While we do not yet know why the improvement occurs, we have no doubt now that ejection fraction increased and scarring decreased.'

''If these results hold up in future studies, I believe this could be the biggest revolution in cardiovascular medicine in my lifetime.''

The ground-breaking new treatment involved extracting cardiac stem cells (CSCs) - self-renewing cells that rebuild hearts and arteries - from patients during bypass surgery.
The cells were purified and grown in the laboratory before being injected back into damaged regions of the patients' hearts four months later.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports more good news. Geron is abandoning the field of embryonic stem-cell research:

"The company doing the first government-approved test of embryonic stem cell therapy is discontinuing further stem cell work..."

UPDATE: Hah! The great Wesley Smith on Geron's pullout:

"This is an atom bomb of a story that will have a serious effect on the entire regenerative medical sector. And it should embarrass the critics of President Bush; the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which bragged about its part in funding a scientist involved in the research; and, perhaps most of all, the fawning media that have acted as press agent for both the field generally, and Geron specifically."

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

You can read all our adult stem-cell posts here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Catholic Charities of Southern Illinois Decides: We're the Government

On August 19, we asked "Can Catholic Charities Remain "Catholic" and "Charitable" While Accepting Government Contracts?" We showed that Catholic Charities are not really charities--in San Francisco 73% and in Chicago 86% of their revenue comes from the taxpayers. We showed that push was coming to shove in Illinois, and indicated that the deciding factor could be the institutional self-interest of Catholic Charities. We concluded:

"Catholic Charities can be true to their name by forgoing government contracts. Then they will have no worries about being Catholic, and they will be forced to once again become a charity. But in disentangling themselves from the government the biggest hitch will be what to do with all their staff: according to GuideStar, Catholic Charities of Chicago has 1,452 full-time and 1,221 part-time employees."

Well, this is from yesterday's Belleville, IL News: (emphasis added)

"The Belleville-based Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois is getting a new name and is splitting with the Catholic church in an attempt to maintain its state contracts to provide foster and adoption services.

The new organization will be called Christian Social Services of Illinois and will be ending its relationship with the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, according to a joint announcement from the Diocese and Social Services."

The story also included a confusing excerpt from a press release of the Belleville Diocese:

"Unable to remain faithful to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church while adhering to the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, the 64-year-old social service agency chose to dissociate from the Diocese," the Belleville Diocese said in a prepared statement. 'It is hoped that this new entity will experience no interruption in its services and programs.'"

A group that was sponsored by the Church for 64 years, left because it was "unable to remain faithful to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church," and the Diocese hopes it will "experience no interruption in services or programs?" Hell, I hope they go out of business--but there's no fear of that. The article continued with a statement from Gary Huelsmann, Executive Director of the (former) Catholic Charities:

"'We had to make a choice,' Huelsmann said. 'It was a very difficult choice.'

The new Social Services will allow placements to civil unions, Huelsmann said. The agency also withdrew earlier this week from a lawsuit filed by Catholic Charities in response to the state's decision.

Huelsmann said his organization is currently negotiating with the state to maintain foster care and adoption contracts that were to end Nov. 30 and to start receiving new cases. Catholic Charities had not had any foster care cases transferred to new agencies since the department's decision to terminate the contracts but it hadn't received any new cases either.

The article's final paragraph gets to the pivotal issue, even (as we predicted) mentioning the number of employees who would have had to have been laid off:

"Losing the state contracts for foster care and adoption services would be a huge financial blow to Social Services, considering they account for 72 percent of the organization's annual revenue of $13.1 million, according to Huelsmann. He had said the loss of that state revenue could have forced the organization to lay off three-quarters of its 187 employees."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

USF Update: Jesuit School Undermines Church Teaching, Honors Enemy of Marriage

Our last post spoke of activists undermining the Church from within ostensibly Catholic institutions. Here's Monday's story from California Catholic Daily, a story to which we contributed:

See a pattern here?
USF law school honors enemy of marriage (again)

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Public Interest Law Foundation of the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco honored San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang with a Public Interest Excellence Award at its 8th Annual Gala Awards Ceremony. Since its inception, the student-led foundation at USF’s Law School has made a nearly annual practice of bestowing the award on supporters of the homosexual agenda -- and Hwang was no exception.

Assistant District Attorney Hwang’s list of accomplishments on USF’s Public Interest Law Foundation “2011 Honoree” webpage notes: “His work includes authoring and coordinating the filing of an amicus brief on behalf of the Asian American community in support of marriage equality (Woo v. Lockyer)…”

The story then gave a rundown on past winners of USF's Public Interest Law Foundation Excellence award:

"At the first PILF Gala in 2004, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was honored. At the time, Newsom had been in office barely 10 months. His sole 'accomplishment' consisted in directing the County Clerk of the City and County of San Francisco to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In 2006, USF chose to honor Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

In 2007, USF honored Elizabeth Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein. Cabraser was the lead attorney for a series of friend-of-the-court briefs filed on behalf of 40 legal institutions with the California Supreme Court. The brief recommended the Supreme Court overturn Proposition 8. Cabraser also donated $30,000 to the “No on Proposition 8” campaign.

In 2008, USF honored Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and SF Chief Deputy City Attorney Therese Stewart. The USF website said they were honoring the two because '…Minter and Stewart successfully argued before the California Supreme Court this year that same-sex couples have the right to marry.'

In 2009, USF honored now-retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno -- the sole California justice who voted to invalidate the votes of a majority of Californians by overturning Proposition 8."

"Shadow Churches:" Tom Peters Gets It

There'a a very good post by Tom Peters over at Catholic Vote called "Why We Must Stop Liberal Catholics From Handing The Church Over To the State." Tom writes:

"I now realize that looking at the current Catholic controversies through a purely academic lens is totally insufficient to the gravity of the moment.

Here’s why, to put it simply: because liberal and orthodox Catholics aren’t actually debating theology per se anymore. We’re debating the very identity of the Church vis-a-vis the State, and our competing views of loyalty to the State and the Church — to God and Caesar.

For orthodox Catholics, the Church (founded on Christ) is the ultimate moral and personal authority, it supersedes the State in every area where the Church has primacy, namely, faith and morals.

For liberal Catholics, however, I see only increasing evidence that the State and the liberal view of the State are their ultimate authority."

That is a drum we have been beating here at "A Shepherd's Voice" for a while. You can read a couple of our posts on this issue: "Shadow 'Churches,'"

We discussed how activists enter the Church, then work with government agancies: "...the activists--in conjunction with likeminded persons both inside and outside the Church--will try to intimidate the Church from without and undermine it from within."

We are always tempted, charitably, to think people are acting in good faith. That is foolish. Earlier this year, Joseph Cardinal Zen, the heroic Archbishop of Hong Kong, visited Saints Peter and Paul Church. He attended a dinner reception hosted by our good Chinese Apostolate, and followed this up with a little talk and a short q & a. The subject was the difficulties facing the Church in Communist China, and the creation, by the Communists, of a shadow church to usurp the role of the Church of God. During his talk, the Cardinal related the story of a very intelligent and able young man who had joined the seminary. This young man studied for years and was well on his way to ordination before he confessed to his superiors that he was actually a Communist mole, sent to infiltrate the Church. The grace of God had obviously touched the young man, causing at least some level of conversion.

But it would be irresponsible to think he was the only mole sent to infiltrate the church. And what possible reason is there for considering such an action to be unique to China?

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

The Clock and the Crescent

As Muslims gather to undertake the hajj pilgrimage, the city of Mecca itself is experiencing a major transformation which seems to mirror larger upheavals in the Islamic world. A massive hotel complex featuring the world’s second tallest building has opened literally across the street from the mosque which forms the heart of the holy city. But more interesting than the intrusion of this gigantic tower is what caps off the building: the world’s largest clock face. Such a contrast of sacred and secular imagery is striking, for the clock actually represents an intrusion of modernity into a timeless place. It has also become the focal point of a movement which seeks to replace Greenwich Mean Time with “Mecca Time,” a movement partially explained by a rejection of colonialism, but one which also relies, as Salman Hameed at Religion Dispatches points out, on a growing consciousness of the need for Islam to establish its own place in the contemporary world rather than shun it.

Right now, the “Mecca Time” movement relies heavily on easily-disprovable scientific claims, which purport to demonstrate that the city of Mecca is world’s magnetic pole, among other things. But there is also a deeper change occurring here:

The urge on the part of some to show Mecca’s specialness in a scientific idiom has nothing to do with actual science. There is a whole genre in the Muslim world of claims that modern science is already in the Qur’an (such as modern embryology, the expanding universe, etc.), thus “verifying” the holy text’s truth. The claim that Mecca is the center of the world falls in this same unfortunate category. What is interesting here is the desire to use science (indeed, really bad science) as an instrument to verify religion...
Matthew Cantirino

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Parasites of "Occupy Wall Street" and their Allies

From Mark Steyn:

"Way back in 1968, after the riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, Mayor Daley declared that his forces were there to 'preserve disorder.' I believe that was one of Hizzoner’s famous malapropisms. Forty-three years later Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, and the Oakland city council have made 'preserving disorder' the official municipal policy. On Wednesday, the 'Occupy Oaklan' occupiers rampaged through the city, shutting down the nation’s fifth-busiest port, forcing stores to close, terrorizing those residents foolish enough to commit the reactionary crime of 'shopping,' destroying ATMs, spraying the Christ the Light Cathedral with the insightful observation “F***,” etc. And how did the Oakland city council react? The following day they considered a resolution to express their support for “Occupy Oakland” and to call on the city administration to 'collaborate with protesters'.”

And Creative Minority Report, via Fr. Z, has this useful graphic:


The sense of religious liberty is being lost in America, warned Archbishop José H. Gomez in a recent article.

Writing in the On the Square section of the Web site of the magazine First Things, his Oct. 25 piece noted that both courts and government agencies are increasingly overriding conscience rights when other rights or liberties are considered to be more important.

Bishop Gomez cited the denial a week before of a grant request made by the U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services agency. The agency has received funding for a number of years, in order to help the victims of human trafficking.
Not long ago the government requested the agency to provide abortions, contraception and sterilization services for the women in their care. Bishop Gomez said he hoped the grant application was not denied because the agency refused to provide such services.

This and many other similar cases motivated the United States bishops to set up a committee for religious liberty.
Announcing the move last Sept. 30, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Timothy Dolan, explained that religious freedom "in its many and varied applications for Christians and people of faith, is now increasingly and in unprecedented ways under assault in America."

Liberty problems

In his letter, dated Sept. 29, Archbishop Dolan listed six major problems regarding religious liberty in the period since June.
-- Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations that oblige all private health insurance plans to cover contraception and sterilization. This will oblige church employers to sponsor and pay for services they oppose.
-- The HHS request regarding refugees that Archbishop Gomez referred to.
-- The U.S. Agency for International Development is increasingly requiring condom distribution in HIV prevention programs, as well as requiring contraception within international relief and development programs.
-- The Justice Department's attack on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In July, the Department started filing briefs actively attacking DOMA's constitutionality, claiming that supporters of the law could only have been motivated by bias and prejudice.
-- The Justice Department recently attacked what is known as "ministerial exception," a constitutional doctrine long accepted by courts that allows churches to make employment decisions concerning persons working in a ministerial capacity.
-- A new law in New York State allowing same-sex marriage with only a very narrow religious exemption.
Concern over the present federal administration's position on conscience rights has been building for some time.


Earlier this year a 2008 rule that granted conscience protection to health care providers who opposed participating in abortion and sterilization was mostly rescinded.

Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, told the New York Times in a Feb. 28 article that in recent years "we have seen a variety of efforts to force Catholic and other health care providers to perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations."

In past months representatives of the Catholic Church have made repeated appeals to federal legislators on the topic of religious freedom.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote to members of Congress on the issue of the new HHS rules regarding private health insurers. His July 22 letter decried the failure to adequately allow freedom of conscience based on religious beliefs.An omission, he added, all the more notable given that the regulations allow people the right of objection if they wish to cure illness solely by prayer or for those on Indian reservations who prefer to use traditional tribal healing practices.

On Aug. 31 the Office of Counsel of the USCCB submitted a final statement to the HHS regarding the rule changes. Contraceptives, it pointed out, don't cure any health problem; rather they disrupt the normal functioning of the reproductive system, while also introducing health risks.

On the matter of conscience objection the submission said that the only ones protected are a small subset of religious employers, with no protection for individuals or insurers. "The exemption is narrower than any conscience clause ever enacted in federal law, and narrower than the vast majority of religious exemptions from state contraceptive mandates," the statement declared.
The changes will violate the religion and free speech clauses of the First Amendment of the Constitution and amounts to a specific targeting of Catholics by not allowing them to follow their consciences, the statement added.
Effectively, what will happen is that church organizations will be forbidden to practice what they preach. Such action is "an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into the precincts of religion that, if unchecked here, will support ever more expansive and corrosive intrusions in the future," the submission warned.
Subsequently, leaders of 20 national Catholic organizations signed a joint statement to protest the HHS rule changes. They also called for a reform of health care law to protect conscience rights, the Oct. 12 press release from the USCCB explained.

The signatories included heads of Catholic universities, health care associations, domestic and international agencies.

Most recently, Cardinal DiNardo returned to the fray, with a Nov. 1 letter to a Congress committee. Referring to health care reforms in general and not just the controversy over the HHS rules, he urged that any changes to the laws on health care "must not become a vehicle for abandoning or weakening longstanding federal policies that respect unborn human life and rights of conscience."
He lamented the fact that "a failure to respect conscience rights poses a serious threat to the goal we share of expanding access to health care."


Problems aren't limited to health care. Earlier this year Illinois's Department of Children and Family Services told the state's four Catholic dioceses that it would not renew their contracts for foster care and adoption services because they were not prepared to include same-sex couples among their clients.
The changed situation is a result of the ironically-named Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, that came into force on July 1.
The new law legalized civil unions for homosexual couples without protecting religious organizations, the Chicago Tribune reported, July 5.
In a later development Catholic organizations in the dioceses of Joliet, Springfield, and Belleville, have requested that a state appellate court halt the transition of their foster care cases to other agencies, the Chicago Tribune reported Oct. 7. They have also appealed to the court to examine the state's decision to terminate the foster care contracts with the Catholic agencies, saying that this violates their religious freedom.
The court refused, however, to stay the handover of the cases. In an Oct. 27 statement Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield criticized the state government's exclusion of Catholic agencies. He said that it has created an unnecessary crisis for the children and families who could have been helped.
The court has still to rule on the merits of the case regarding religious freedom.
Pressure on the Catholic Church is not confined to state actions. The Washington, D.C., Office of Human Rights is now investigating a complaint that the city's Catholic University of America is violating the human rights of Muslim students.
In his complaint John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, alleged that by not providing them with rooms without Christian symbols the university is offending Muslim students.

John Garvey, president of the university, said in a statement issued Oct. 28 that the charges are completely without foundation.
In fact, no Muslim student at Catholic University has registered a complaint about being able to practice their religion on campus, he said. Moreover, Banzhaf himself admitted that he has not received any complaints.

It seems that in an increasingly secularized society tolerance is to be extended to all, except churches and believers who want to live by their beliefs.

Freedom of Conscience Faces Increased Conflict in America
By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, NOV. 4, 2011 (Zenit.org).-