Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lila Rose Looking a Little Bit Like Joan of Arc

Komen cuts off funding to Planned Parenthood. Why? Congressional investigations. Why were there Congressional investigations? Lila Rose.

From the Washington Post:

"The Associated Press reports that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, will cut off its funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates, where the foundation has traditionally paid for preventive screening services.

According to the AP, the move will mean “a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.”Planned Parenthood confirms that Komen is the first, and only, organization to cut off funding since the Congress began debating the issue in earnest last winter.

Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding...."

We love Lila and her young associates. That's why we have a permanent link to Live Action in the right sidebar.

"The Gravest Threat to Freedom in American Life Today"

Yuval Levin, writing in National Review, has an excellent column about the Obama Admisinstration's HHS mandate. He begins by observing the across-the-board outrage to the mandate:

"When even E.J. Dionne can’t quite bring himself to defend the Obama administration’s assault on religious liberty, you know the president must have a real problem...."

Mr. Levin then explains why the Catholic Church is especially vulnerable, given the United States' particular tradition of religious toleration:

"The English common law tradition of religious toleration, which we inherited, has always had a problem with religious institutions that are not houses of worship—i.e. that are geared to ends other than the practice of religion itself. To (vastly) oversimplify for a moment, that tradition began (in the 16th century, and in some respects even earlier) with the aim of protecting Protestant dissenters and Jews but (very intentionally) not protecting Catholics. And the way it took shape over the centuries in an effort to sustain that distinction was by drawing a line between individual religious practice (in which the government could not interfere) and an institutional religious presence (which was given far less protection). Because Catholicism is a uniquely institutional religion—with large numbers of massive institutions for providing social services, educating children and adults, and the like, all of which are more or less parts of a single hierarchy—this meant Catholics were simply not granted the same protection as others. Obviously the intent to treat Catholics differently has for the most part fallen away since then, but the evolved legal tradition is very much with us, and it is not a coincidence that it always seems to be the Catholic Church that gets caught up in these situations when the government overreaches...."

Finally, he observes the totalitarian nature of Obama's approach--the attempt to remove all intermediate institutions between the government and the people, and notes that the HHS mandate is just one incident in this takeover:

"In this sense, what is at issue in the controversy over the administration’s rule is not just the question of religious liberty but the question of non-governmental institutions in a free society. Does civil society consist of a set of institutions that help the government achieve its purposes as it defines them when their doing so might be more efficient or convenient than the state’s doing so itself, or does civil society consist of an assortment of efforts by citizens to band together in pursuit of mutual aims and goods as they understand them? Is it an extension of the state or of the community? In this arena, as in a great many others, the administration is clearly determined to see civil society as merely an extension of the state, and to clear out civil society—clearing out the mediating layers between the individual and the state—when it seems to stand in the way of achieving the president’s agenda..."

The Church has always been the champion of those "mediating layers"--subsidiarity. Mr. Levin concludes:

"This approach is especially noxious and pernicious when it is directed at religiously affiliated institutions—both because they deserve special standing and because they do some of the hardest and most needful work of charity and care in our society. We should use every available means to protect those institutions from this mortal danger, and that certainly includes resorting to the language of conscience and exemption. But as we do so, we should not forget that we are dealing with an instance of a larger and deeper danger, and we should do what we can to combat that danger in its own terms. It is perhaps the gravest threat to freedom in American life today."


The Obama administration's abortifacient and contraception mandate is appalling, but I cannot claim to be surprised by it. In fact, I would have been surprised---indeed stunned---had the administration done anything significant to honor or protect the rights of Catholics and others on whose consciences the mandate will impose.

In every area touching the sanctity of human life and issues of sexual morality, the Obama administration is aggressively prosecuting the agenda its critics predicted and its most ardent left-wing supporters hoped for. Those who are driving the train, including key administration officials who self-identify as members of the Catholic Church, have no regard for the ethical beliefs of Catholics and others when they are in conflict with left-liberal orthodoxy.

Their task, as they perceive it, is to fortify and expand the "right to abortion" and "sexual freedom" wherever they can. They pursue this agenda with a religious zeal because, in fact, the ideology in which abortion is a "right" and "sexual freedom" is a core value is their religion. These beliefs are integral to their worldview. If, like Kathleen Sebelius, they happen to be Catholics, you can be assured that it won't be Catholic teaching, or the Judaeo-Christian ethic, that shapes their policies on issues of life and death and marriage and sexual morality; it will be liberal ideology---pure and simple---that does the shaping....

Pro-life citizens, including many Catholics, who in 2008 allowed themselves to be persuaded that Obama wouldn't, as his critics warned, push abortion hard and run roughshod over the religious liberty and rights of conscience of Catholics and other pro-life citizens and their institutions, have now gotten a rude awakening. ... In 2012, it is no longer possible to sustain illusions about what Obama and his people mean to do to us. They are already doing it. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."...

Posted by Robert George on MIRROR OF JUSTICE BLOG

Monday, January 30, 2012

Iraqi War Vets Honored in St. Louis

God Bless them! The people of St. Louis hosted the first ever "Welcome Home" parade for returning veterans from the Iraq war and it brought out an estimated 100,000 people!

Just give the people a chance to honor our troops and they pour onto the streets. Wonderful!

Full story in the Kansas City Star. Photo: Jeff Roberson.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Statue of Our Lady of Lepanto Resurfaces!

This is surely providential! Our Lady of Lepanto, Our Lady of Victory!

Fr. Z has the story:

"An alert reader sent me to an interesting article in Spanish at ABC about the original statue of Our Lady given by Venice to don Juan de Austria that was on the quarterdeck of his flagship (more properly “lantern galley”) at Lepanto.

Apparently it had been lost for years but was recently rediscovered and is undergoing restoration at the Spanish Navy Museum:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

AB. Nienstedt: This is the Change We Have Been Waiting For!

 Not only does the great Archbishop defend the common good of society, he makes clear it is the solemn duty of his priests and deacons to do the same.

WE support Marriage in Minnesota and everywhere! If you'd like to help defend marriage in Minnesota, visit http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com/ and click on the "Contribute" link.

Here's his Excellency's letter (emphasis added, but one could just as well emphasize the whole thing):

Dear Fathers and Deacons,

At our recent Clergy Study Day on October 19, I gave the following talk. I offer it here again for those who were not in attendance.

My dear brothers, I do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that in this movement to protect and defend the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman we are faced with one of the greatest challenges of our times. None of us can deny that the institution of marriage and family life are unraveling before our very eyes due to no-fault divorce, wide-spread cohabitation and promiscuous sexual activity. The end game of those who oppose the marriage amendment that we support is not just to secure certain benefits for a particular minority, but, I believe, to eliminate the need for marriage altogether. This can only lead to continued destabilizing the family unit itself. Both those realities will happen if marriage is redefined or, perhaps better put, “undefined.” Today we can say with clarity what the natural reality of marriage is. That may not be possible in years to come if we fail to be successful now. As I see it, we have this one chance as Minnesotans to make things right. The stakes could not be higher.

We did not choose this challenge nor do any of us relish the confrontation it will bring, but neither can we remain silent in order to get along. We must witness to the truth so as to realize the common good of our society. While the greatest good is surely life with God in heaven, we must, in truth, seek to foster the good here on earth. And we are not the first to confront this task, our brothers in California, Maine, Hawaii among others, have all taken up this defense and have been successful in doing so.

In doing so, we must never vilify or caricaturize those who argue otherwise. Indeed, we must acknowledge that all men and women are God’s sons and daughters. But it is this very truth and the fact that the truth is one and bears no contradiction that the Church and her ministers must witness here and now.

It is my expectation that all the priests and deacons in this Archdiocese will support this venture and cooperate with us in the important efforts that lie ahead. The gravity of this struggle, and the radical consequences of inaction propels me to place a solemn charge upon you all — on your ordination day, you made a promise to promote and defend all that the Church teaches. I call upon that promise in this effort to defend marriage. There ought not be open dissension on this issue. If any have personal reservations, I do not wish that they be shared publicly. If anyone believes in conscience that he cannot cooperate, I want him to contact me directly and I will plan to respond personally.

I see our united effort as a part of the New Evangelization, that of building a new culture for marriage. You know, this effort to pass a constitutional amendment is not an end in itself. We began a year ago to host 25 seminars across the Archdiocese to explain why marriage is what it is and why we believe in it.

Presently, I have appointed teams of a priest and a married couple to go into each of our Catholic high schools to address the topic of marriage.

I want the focus here to be a positive one — let’s celebrate the reality of what God designed from the beginning as affirmed in the first chapter of Genesis and that Jesus reaffirmed in the 19th chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel.

I am actively raising funds to assist in this educational endeavor. And if you and your parish wish to benefit from these programs, please let me know.

I thank you for your support. I count on your prayer. Be assured you have the same from me. Together, let us turn to our Blessed Mother — mother of all families, Mother of the Church and patroness of the new evangelization. Through her maternal intercession, our Lady will secure for us that which is needed most in these days — protection, wisdom and peace through the grace of her Son and Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God bless us all.
With every good wish, I remain
Fraternally yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“A truth of biology, not theology; a truth of science, not religion.”

Archbishopl Gomez of Los Angeles tells it like it is. From California Catholic Daily:

Writing in the Jan. 20 edition of the archdiocesan newspaper The Tidings, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez says abortion can never play second fiddle to ‘social justice’ as a moral issue for Catholics.
The archbishop said he often hears the questions, “Why does the Church still bother trying to change people’s hearts and minds on abortion? Wouldn’t our time and resources be better spent on pressing issues such as poverty, social justice and peace?”

And he replies: “These are good and sincere questions. For me, the answer is a matter of truth and first principles. The truth is true whether our society acknowledges it or not. And we always want to make sure we are living in the truth and not living a lie or a delusion.”

Read the whole thing at CalCatholic, and you can read His Excellency's full statement here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Catholic institution plans to host a notorious pro-abortion promoter

While pro-life Americans attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C. today, the Catholic Jesuit University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, is preparing for something unimaginable. In fact, they have invited an avowed abortion advocate and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies to give the keynote speech at the University on January 28.

The bishop of Scranton, most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, asked that the invitation be withdrawn. Unfortunately, his request was rebuffed by university officials. Yes, his request was denied…It’s unbelievable, but I still think that you and I can make a real difference if we peacefully protest and CALL the university today. You can pick up the phone and dial 570-941-7500 right now. Ask for Fr. Kevin Quinn, president of the University of Scranton and politely urge him to cancel the appearance of pro-abortion advocate Marjorie Margolies.

You see, after Ms. Margolies’ congressional career ended, her pro-abortion record only got worse, culminating in her position as Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign Fund, a pro-abortion organization dedicated to “dramatically increasing the number of women in elected office who support reproductive choices and options, from all parties and at all levels of government.

How can a woman with such a pro-abortion record be invited to give not only a lecture, but a keynote address at a Catholic University, an institution that should be a cornerstone in the defense of innocent life?

You are invited to pick up the phone and dial 570-941-7500. Ask for Fr. Kevin Quinn, president of the University of Scranton. And politely urge him to cancel the appearance of pro-abortion advocate Marjorie Margolies.

Great Walk for Life West Coast Video

By "Nukecry":

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Support Marriage in Minnesota

This year, Minnesotans will vote on an amendment enshrining the true defintion of marriage--the union of one man and one woman--in their constitution. This is supported by every Catholic bishop in the state. Of course, the enemies of marriage will have tons of money. Let's do our part!

You can support marriage by giving to Minnesota for Marriage: http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com/ and clicking the contribute button.

Breaking: Catholic Healthcare West Ending Affiliation with Catholic Church

At the exact time the Obama administration is stripping away conscience protections, Catholic Healthcare West may be stripping away what's left of its Catholicism.

There is a Sacramento Bee web listing on google to this story, but it goes to a dead link. However there is a cached version of the Sacramento Bee story here. The Bee story says they plan to make an announcement Monday. Maybe the Bee released the story early by mistake. Anyway here is a segment, and you can read the whole thing at the link above.

In quest to grow, Catholic hospital system breaks from church

Kaiser Health News
Published Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012

"WASHINGTON -- Catholic Healthcare West, one of the nation's largest hospital systems, is ending its affiliation with the Catholic Church and changing its name, two steps intended to help the system expand throughout the states in which it operates - California, Arizona and Nevada - and beyond.

The changes, which executives plan to announce Monday, underscore the challenges facing Catholic hospitals in the marketplace, where there are tremendous financial pressures for hospitals to merge or form alliances with other health-care providers to survive and thrive.

The change will have no effect on any patients or the medical care provided at the 25 Catholic and 15 secular hospitals in the system. But executives hope it will make it easier to merge or affiliate with other hospitals, doctors' practices and other health-care providers.

In the past few years, proposed mergers between Catholic and secular hospitals in Louisville, Ky., and Sierra Vista, Ariz., have collapsed in part because of concerns about the church's bans on abortion, in vitro fertilization and sterilization.

Other mergers have succeeded only with unusual contortions, such as in Troy, N.Y., where a separately licensed maternity ward free from Catholic doctrine was created on the second floor of a secular hospital taken over by a Catholic system. In Seattle, Swedish Medical Center last fall agreed to fund a Planned Parenthood office next door to quell objections about its planned affiliation with a Catholic system.

Lloyd Dean, the president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, said the concerns about his system's Catholic affiliation have hampered some potential deals.

You remember Lloyd Dean--Obamacare supporter honored by the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco in 2010--another institution stripping away its Catholic identity.

"I have been contacted over the last couple of years by many, many different constituencies who have an interest in Catholic Healthcare West and what we have accomplished," Dean said. "But one of the things when we get down to what I'll call the real discussions as they confer with their boards is, 'What does the future mean if we're a non-Catholic entity? Will we have to become Catholic? What will be the Catholic influence?...."

Not much worry of that, I'd say.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Father Malloy Specially Honored At Walk for Life West Coast

Well deserved, and God bless the old priest!

At yesterday's Walk for Life West Coast, Eva Muntean thanked all those who make the Walk for Life West Coast possible. She began by thanking "all of our spiritual leaders, and especially our dear 90 year-old chaplain, Fr. John Malloy who has been with us from the beginning...he is our chaplain, he is our everything."

Father could not make it to the Walk this year, but he made it to the dinner afterward, along with Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, Fr. Joseph Fessio, Fr. Frank Pavone, Fr. Mark from EWTN, Reverends Childress and Hoye, and other clergy. All of his Father's flock at the Walk were delighted, as always, to see him.

We were starving after the hard days work, so he blessed the food at our table quick! The picture shows Dolores & Eva presenting Father with the Gianna Molla Award for Pro-Life heroism at the First Annual Walk for Life back in 2005.

Posted by Gibbons

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Playing With Fire: From 'Clown Masses' to Excommunicated Parishioners

On December 27, 2011 in the article “Far From Rome” California Catholic Daily reported that Ms. Christine Fahrenbach, former co-director of the Lesbian and Gay Ministry at Holy Cross parish in Santa Cruz, was “ordained” a deacon in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement on Sept. 18, 2011. The event took place in Santa Barbara. Fahrenbach was one of six women “ordained” on that day, an act that incurs immediate excommunication from the Catholic Church. One of the others was, or is, an RCIA instructor at Christ the King parish in Pleasant Hill, California named Maureen Mancuso. Ms. Mancuso's bio on the Roman Catholic Womenpriests "ordained" page may be found here.

In previous articles, published on May 16 and July 20, 2011 California Catholic Daily had documented the close ties between an East Bay group called “Women of Magdala,” which works for the ordination of women, and Christ the King parish.

The May 16 article reported that “Roman Catholic Woman Priest” Victoria Rue:

"celebrates a ‘Eucharistic Gathering’ in a ‘house church’ in San Francisco’s East Bay. The event is organized by a group called ‘The Women of Magdala.’ The Women of Magdala was organized in 2004 by parishioners from Christ the King Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill, whose pastor, Fr. Brian Joyce, celebrated a now infamous ‘clown Mass’ in 2002.

The July 18, 2010 parish bulletin of Christ the King carried this blurb for the group: ‘The Women of Magdala is a name adopted by a group of women and men here in our own neighborhood, including parishioners from St. Stephen’s, Santa Maria and Christ the King parishes. Welcoming both men and women to join, they meet at Christ the King at 7:15 pm on the second Monday of each month. The group’s mission is to promote an equal role for women in the Catholic Church through liturgy, education and example. This Thursday at the 8:00 am Mass they will help us celebrate Modern Women Prophets whom they also feature and quote on the flap of today’s bulletin.’”

The July 20 California Catholic Daily article “New High Holy Day” reported:

“A parish in the Diocese of Oakland plans a celebration this Friday of the ‘Feast of Mary Magdala’ sponsored by a group that, among other things, says its members are ‘deeply concerned about the exclusion of women from the priesthood.’

In a July 17 message of the bulletin of Christ the King Church in Pleasant Hill (also posted on the parish’s homepage), the pastor, Fr. Brian Joyce wrote: ‘On Friday of this week we celebrate what is fast becoming a ‘high holyday’: the feast of St. Mary Magdalen. We’ll have a special observance and homilist at the 8:00 am mass with reception after and then at 7:00 pm in the evening, here in church, Fr. Tom Bonacci will give a presentation on Mary Magdalen and the Gospel.’

The group behind the event calls itself the Women of Magdala, and its calendar of events confirms the group is hosting a ‘Feast of Mary Magdala Liturgy followed by a breakfast reception’ on July 22 at Christ the King parish.’ The Christ the King website directory still offers a direct link to the Women of Magdala’s homepage.”

The July 20 article further showed that all four women listed as contacts on the Women of Magdala webpage were or are prominent parishioners at Christ the King. Ms. Mancuso, the newly excommunicated “deacon” is also the webmaster for the Women of Magdala. Other examples of encouragement by Fr. Joyce for the Women of Magdala, and tolerance, to say the least, for the idea of women’s ordination include:

• The CTK bulletin’s pastor’s message of October 25, 2009, written by Father Joyce, dealt with the investigation of American nuns by the Vatican then underway. Fr. Joyce urged parishioners to “…read over the statement of appreciation and support in today’s fold-out and consider signing it at one of the tables hosted by our Women of Magdala…”

• The CTK Bulletin of December 5, 2010 invited parishioners to attend a December 8 talk given in the Church by Dr. Gary Macy, author of The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination, Female Clergy in the Medieval West. The bulletin blurb was headlined “Do Women get Included?” and described Dr. Macy’s credentials: “During his years in (the University of) San Diego, Dr. Macy published several books and over twenty articles on the theology and history of the Eucharist and on women’s ordination.”

• The CTK bulletin for December 26, 2010 publicized a three-session reading of The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination in CTK’s Ministry Chapel.

• The CTK Bulletin of August 28, 2011 publicized a three-part study session of Miriam Therese Winter’s “Out of the Depths, the Story of Ludmila Javorova.” Javarova was a Czech woman “ordained” in 1970.

This encouragement of the Women of Magdala has now led to an entirely predictable result. Three weeks after the August 28, 2011 bulletin announcement, Ms. Mancuso was “ordained,” and thus automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. But, as if one excommunicated parishioner was not enough, the Christ the King parish bulletin of last Sunday, January 15, 2012 carried this blurb for an event to be held this Friday:

"Book discussion with Author Gary Macy & Dinner, San Damiano, 4pm, $35/person, contact Maureen Mancuso ....(sponsored by CTK Women’s Book Study.)"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pro Abortion Banners in SF Nailed by Life Legal Defense Foundation

On January 11, California Catholic Daily had a story about the pro-abortion banners recently hung on lamposts on San Francisco's Market Street. The great Katie Short of the Life Legal Defense Foundation filed an objection to the banners:

“It goes without saying that ‘politics happen’ – but they should not happen on what appears to be the taxpayer dime on lampposts along Market Street in San Francisco,” LLDF said in a news release issued yesterday. “The Life Legal Defense Foundation has challenged the city of San Francisco with a blatant violation of its own city code.”

Beginning earlier this month, according to LLDF, “inflammatory political statements promoting a Ms. Magazine initiated pro-abortion campaign now waft over foot and auto traffic, as this municipal local marketing tool is abused, allowing feminist rhetoric to take the place intended for promotion of farmers’ markets and neighborhood festivals.”

Today, even the liberal San Francisco Chronicle noticed a few, shall we say, inconsistencies, with the city code:

"But the Life Legal Defense Foundation has complained to the Department of Public Works that the banners are illegal because they’re not promoting a particular event, as required by city code. The code states that banners can be hung in conjunction with an “event or series of events of interest to a significant portion of the residents of San Francisco” and that organizers must “reasonably expect an in-person attendance of 500 or more people for a single event or 1,000 or more people for a series of events.”

"A spokeswoman for DPW told us the department issued a banner permit on Dec. 20 for the “Walk for Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign” event, a “parade/walk on a portion of Market Street from 6-8 p.m. on Friday January 20, 2012.” The group also applied for and received a parade/walk permit from the police department in November. The police permit, according to DPW, also includes an event at Justin Herman Plaza on Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. called “Celebration to Trust Women.”

Turns out, none of that’s quite right.

The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women’s website has long said to come back for more information about an upcoming event. Today, it released the specifics: Its Walk for Choice SF – billed as “an event to commemorate and admire the pro-choice banners on Market Street” will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. in Justin Herman Plaza. So the banners are promoting an event to admire the banners. And they’re not for the day or time listed on the event permits. Oh, and the campaign is expecting “a couple hundred people,” at the event, according to Ellen Shaffer, co-founder of the campaign."

Other than that, perfect compliance with the law. Let's see how the city responds.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walk For Life West Coast Speakers to Join Reverend Hoye in Oakland!

The Catholic News Agency reports that some of the Walk for Life West Coast speakers will be joining the great Reverend Walter Hoye at the Fifth Annual Standing Up 4Life Walk in Oakland on Friday, January 20. Standing Up 4Life begins at 12 noon in the Frank Ogawa Plaza, in front of Oakland's City Hall. After the Walk, there will be a discussion in the parish hall of Oakland's Christ the Light Cathedral, followed by an ecumenical prayer service in the Cathedral. Participants will include their Excellencies Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland and Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento.

Pro-life ecumenism takes root in Oakland, Calif.

Oakland, Calif., Jan 14, 2012 (CNA) - The Rev. Walter Hoye is preparing for his fifth annual Standing Up 4Life Walk in Oakland, Calif. The rally will begin at noon Jan. 20 in front of Oakland City Hall at 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

'The speakers want to come to Oakland,' said the Rev. Hoye, who thanked West Coast Walk for Life founders Eva Muntean and Dolores Meehan for their assistance.

'Eva and Dolores work together to get communities of color involved,' he said. The focus of the Oakland event is the impact of abortion on the minority community.

The Rev. Hoye is one of the nation’s leaders in framing the abortion debate as a matter of genocide...

An ecumenical prayer service will follow from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. The public is invited to attend the service. The Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, bishop of Oakland, and the Most Rev. Jaime Soto, bishop of Sacramento, Calif. will be among the speakers."Read the whole thing.

The Reverend Clenard Childress, Dr. Vansen Wong, Mrs. Lori Hoye, and Abby Johnson will be joining Walter. Full details of the Standing Up 4Life Walk can be found here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Judge Kramer Confirms Earlier Ruling in Favor of Archdiocese Against City of San Francisco

Gosh, I hope the Archdiocese sues the city to recover their legal costs. From U.S. Catholic:

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- A Superior Court judge made final his earlier tentative decision to throw out a multimillion-dollar "delinquent" tax bill imposed on the Archdiocese of San Francisco by the San Francisco assessor-recorder.

Judge Richard A. Kramer Jan. 9 confirmed a 43-page "Tentative Statement of Decision" he issued in favor of the archdiocese Nov. 18.

For more than three years, the archdiocese fought an attempt by Phil Ting, head of the Office of the Assessor-Recorder, to impose transfer taxes totaling more than $20 million on more than 200 parish and school properties involved in an internal reorganization by the archdiocese.

The archdiocese maintained that the effort came despite the fact that the city's "documentary transfer tax" ordinance, as it is called, applies only to property "sold" in San Francisco and specifically exempts internal reorganizations of this kind.

The church also countered that state and federal law have long recognized that intra-church reorganizations are not transfers and are not subject to such taxes.

"This has been a very frustrating experience," said Jack Hammel, general counsel for the archdiocese.

He said Ting's and his chief assistant's refusal "to recognize well-established law on this subject" and the "repeated delaying tactics" church officials encountered for three and a half years have "caused a considerable disruption to the charitable activities of the archdiocese."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, January 8, 2012

CYO Coaches Offer Prayer, Atheists Object, Priest Conflicted

This is a good sign from CYO, which is part of San Francisco's Catholic Charities.

Yesterday's Marin Independent Journal reports:

Call for prayer at games irks some San Geronimo Valley residents

"A decision by Catholic Youth Organization leaders to ask young athletes to pray before basketball games has touched a nerve among residents of the San Geronimo Valley.

'I understand that if we rent to one religious group, we have to rent to them all. But I still don't like it,' said Richard Sloan, a trustee of the Lagunitas School District, which co-owns the San Geronimo Valley Gym. 'I'm going to put up a sign in front of the gym: 'If you don't pray in my school, I won't think in your church.'

Officials from the San Francisco-based Catholic Charities CYO — which oversees athletic programs in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties — insist children won't be forced to pray against their will, and that the organization has attempted to be as sensitive as possible in creating a prayer for its athletes. Hundreds of Marin students in the third through eighth grades participate in the group's boys' and girls' basketball games at venues throughout the county, including Marin Academy, the Pickleweed Park Community Center in San Rafael and Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo.

The decision to pray, Johnson Clendinen said, came not from the organization itself but from its association of athletic directors, who voted on the proposal in January 2011...."

The article claimed that some parents were unaware of CYO's relgious affiliation--unaware that the "C" in "CYO" stood for Catholic. That's NOT a good sign--people should have no doubt that "Catholic" organizations are Catholic--but now they do know. If he is being quoted accurately, one of the local pastors certainly did not express any support for the coaches:

"Even the Rev. Cyril O'Sullivan, pastor at St. Cecilia's Church, is worried about the consequences of the organization's decision.'"

I'm told that the prayer is not being pushed on any families, that people have a choice,' said O'Sullivan, who added that he had only learned of the CYO's decision on Friday. 'But I don't like anything that causes division. Prayer, if it becomes divisive, would be a very poor form of prayer.'"

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, January 6, 2012

Holy Father Names 22 New Cardinals

They include Archbishop Dolan of New York, as well as Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. 18 of the 22 will be able to vote in Conclave.

Vatican Radio has the story, and here is the full list, courtesy of Caltholic Culture:

1.Archbishop Santos Abril Y Castellò, the Archpriest of the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major;

2.Major Archbishop George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, the leader of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church;

3.Father Karl Becker, SJ, a former professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

4.Archbishop Giuseppe Bertelli, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of the same State;

5.Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence;

6.Archbishop João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Religious;

7.Archbishop Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;

8.Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;

9.Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins of Toronto;

10.Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York;

11.Archbishop Dominik Duka of Prague;

12.Archbishop Willem Jacobus Eijk of Utrecht;

13.Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization;

14.Father Prospero Grech, OSA, a theology professor and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

15.Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, was named only yesterday as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary;

16.Major Archbishop Lucian Muresan of Fagaras and Alba Julia, the leader of the Romanian Catholic Church;

17.Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, Grand Master Knights of the Holy Sepulchre;

18.Father Julien Ries, for years a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain;

19.Archbishop John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong;

20.Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants;

21.Archbishop Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See; and

22.Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelk of Berlin.

Lord, be with them!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Honoring a Jesuit Giant!

The great Fr. Cornelius Buckley, SJ, priest, author, teacher, and head chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College, will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the priesthood in March of this year. God bless him! Here is a little video TAC put together of the good old priest:

The school has also established a scholarship fund in his honor, which you can learn about here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Catholic Charities: "We get government funds, so we are not Catholic."

In the Winter, 2000 issue of City Journal, Brian C. Anderson, analyzed the corruption of Catholic Charities following its ever-increasing acceptance of government funding. The article began:

"As advanced social thinkers rediscover the power of faith-based institutions to rescue the down-and-out by transforming the dysfunctional worldview that often lies at the root of their difficulties, you would think that Catholic Charities USA would be a perfect model to emulate, getting the poor into the mainstream by emphasizing moral values and ethical conduct. But no: rather than trying to promote traditional values and God-fearing behavior, Catholic Charities—and the same could be said about the Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies or the Lutheran Services in America—has become over the last three decades an arm of the welfare state, with 65 percent of its $2.3 billion annual budget now flowing from government sources and little that is explicitly religious, or even values-laden, about most of the services its 1,400 member agencies and 46,000 paid employees provide."

We at A Shepherd's Voice have been discussing for some time, too. See here and here.

Mr. Anderson continues:

"For wayward kids, for welfare moms trying to break free of dependency, for heroin addicts or drunks trying to kick the habit, faith-based programs work best. Psychologist David Larson at the National Institute for Healthcare Research cites many studies that show a strong correlation between religious participation and rejecting crime and substance abuse; criminologist Byron Johnson of Lamar University has shown big drops in recidivism for prisoners who go through Charles Colson's faith-based Prison Fellowship Program."

And he gives this example:

"Catholic Charities would have found none of this surprising 70 years ago, but many of today's Catholic Charities agencies pay little attention to the power of faith to transform lives. Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sparked a fierce controversy in 1996 when he rebuked Catholic Charities for drifting away from the faith under the pressure of government funding. Santorum told of a priest he knows who began a psychology internship at a Catholic Charities clinic. The clinic supervisor tested him on three hypothetical counselling situations: a depressed pregnant woman who wants to abort her child, two homosexuals seeking advice on their relationship, and a divorcing couple asking for counselling. In keeping with Catholic teachings, the priest advised against the abortion, refused to endorse homosexual unions, and encouraged the divorcing couple to save their marriage. He failed the test. His supervisor explained: 'We get government funds, so we are not Catholic.'"

The link to Mr. Anderson's article came from a December 21 article in Philanthropy Daily by Scott Walter called "Conquering the Private Sector", which extensively quotes the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Senator Moynihan, who grew up in a tough neighborhood in New York, and knew something about the causes of poverty, expressed great fear at the government's ongoing takeover of private charitable institutuions.