Monday, February 27, 2012

Archbishop Niederauer's San Francisco Chronicle Column

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle published this "Open Forum" piece by  His Excellency George Niederauer, Archbishop of San Francisco.

"It's about the tea," British newspapers proclaimed in 1774 as Parliament passed a bill to close Boston Harbor until the citizens of Massachusetts reimbursed the East India Company for the tea that had been thrown into the bay by American patriots. "It's all about the tea."
Of course it wasn't about the tea at all. It was about a fundamental diminishment of liberty that had led the American colonists to refuse to comply with a law that breached the freedom which was theirs by right.

I thought of this episode from our nation's history during the debate that we have been having across the United States during the past two weeks about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' newly imposed mandate on health care for religious hospitals, universities and charitable services. It has become commonplace to dismiss the questions that have arisen as merely revolving around contraception. In the process, immensely deep questions of fundamental liberty are being shoved aside.

Embedded in the seemingly innocuous new federal regulations pertaining to contraception is a radically new and sharply diminished approach to how government will define religious liberty in the future. Only those religious institutions that center directly upon the inculcation of faith, and which employ and serve predominantly members of that faith, are to be seen as fully religious institutions. Other religious institutions, which always in the past have been seen as religious employers by the federal government, are now labeled only marginally religious and given a sharply lesser degree of religious freedom.

The consequences for the religious landscape of our nation, and the architecture of religious liberty in the United States, are enormous and immensely troubling. It is a basic tenet not only of Catholic faith, but of most religious communities, that religiously organized service to the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the outcast is to be undertaken precisely as an act of faith. This religious mandate to serve those in need, regardless of the religious beliefs of those who are served, has been the foundation for the only real safety net that existed during most of our nation's history.

Now the very belief of religious communities that their faith compels them to reach out with care and consolation is cast as an obstacle to receiving the full measure of religious liberty in the United States.

The hospitals, homeless shelters, colleges, dining rooms for the poor, counseling clinics and senior centers operated by the religious communities across the nation are experiencing a dramatic reduction of their religious freedom, because of a small clause in health guidelines that promises to be the launching point for erecting a two-tier notion of religious freedom within the federal bureaucracy.

Not far into the future, this new notion of religious liberty could easily be used to require Catholic hospitals that serve Catholics and non-Catholics alike to perform abortions, i.e., to "offer a full range of reproductive services."

By way of contrast, here's one early instance of this country's great tradition of religious liberty in action: In 1804, as a result of the Louisiana Purchase, New Orleans, formerly governed by the French Empire, passed to the jurisdiction of the United States of America. Sister Marie Therese Farjon of the Ursuline order of sisters, serving in New Orleans, wrote to President Thomas Jefferson to ask whether the sisters' property and ministries would be secure under the new government.

In a remarkable letter, President Jefferson, the author of the doctrine of separation of church and state, replied: "The principles of the Constitution and the government of the United States are a sure guarantee to you that it will be preserved to you sacred and inviolate and that your institution will be permitted to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules without interference from the civil authorities. I salute you, holy sisters, with friendship and respect. Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States."

Apparently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is convinced that it has found a better interpretation of religious liberty than Thomas Jefferson. I respectfully disagree.

The issue of contraception is extremely important in American society. There are frameworks though which the government's desire to make contraceptives widely available and affordable, and the Catholic Church's desire not to be involved in supplying contraceptives that conflict with Catholic faith, can both be accomplished.

So, the core disagreement is not about contraception, but about religious liberty.

Again, it's not about the tea.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Let the Church Say: AMEN!"

Fantastic homily on Obamacare, Obama and his violation of the Constitution, by Fr. Sammie Malleta, Jr, of St. John the Evangelist Church. He claims his right to speak as an American Citizen and his a resposibility to speak as a Priest of God.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Obama and Infanticide

From LifeSiteNews:

"At the last Republican presidential debate before voters in Michigan and Arizona cast their votes, Newt Gingrich labeled Barack Obama the real abortion “extremist” because of his opposition to a bill that would have required doctors to care for babies who were born alive after failed abortions - a vote Gingrich said condoned “infanticide.”

The audience booed CNN moderator John King at Wednesday night’s debate in Mesa, Arizona, when he asked if each candidate “believes in birth control.”

The former House speaker, who has a habit of reformulating questions during debates, told King, “I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign—not once did anybody in the elite media—ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.”

He referred to Obama’s votes as a state senator to oppose the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, exposed abortionists’ practice of abandoning babies born alive after failed abortions, leaving them to die in a hospital utility room. Ultimately, Obama gave 10 different reasons for voting against the bill — from protests that it would undercut Roe v. Wade to allegations that Stanek and others lied under oath."

Good for Mr. Gingrich. We, and everyone else with an ounce of common decency, have brought up that monster's opposition to the the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act many times. The indecent mainstream media, who claim to want "healthcare for everyone" did not give a damn when babies were left to die in Illinois. Apparently Rush Limbaugh picked up Gingrich's answer and gave it a lot of play on the radio. God bless you, Mr. Limbaugh!

Everything that is Wrong With The Archdiocese of San Francisco

A version of this article appeared in the February 22 edition of California Catholic Daily.

Photo credit: Bill Wilson, Bay Area Reporter.

On Saturday, January 28, the Cathedral of St, Mary’s of the Assumption hosted an interfaith service and press conference. The event was held in support of AB 1081, a measure challenging the Federal “Secure Communities” program.

The event was organized by the San Francisco Organizing Project and PICO-California, which are ACORN-like organizations with whom the Archdiocese of San Francisco is in partnership. One of the invited speakers was San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. The Catholic San Francisco article covering the event said:

“Some 2,000 people, many of them Latinos who feel disproportionately targeted by what is known as the ‘Secure Communities’ program of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, attended an interfaith rally at St. Mary’s Cathedral Jan. 28 to ask Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris to support reform being drafted by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.”

Catholic San Francisco chose not to mention that Ammiano was actually in attendance at the event, let alone that he was actually allowed to speak in the Cathedral, but other media outlets did. The media page of the PICO National Network mentioned that Ammiano addressed the pews. The homosexualist Bay Area Reporter jumped on the event in an article accurately titled “Archbishop, Ammiano Share Stage.” They not only mentioned Ammiano’s role, but included a photo of him (and Bishop Bill Justice and Archbishop George Niederauer) speaking in the Cathedral sanctuary, which is reproduced above.

Given Ammiano’s history of attacking the Catholic Church, CSF’s reticence is understandable. Of the many California politicians who have attacked the Catholic Church, Ammiano stands out. A complete list of his attacks on the family, on the Catholic Church, and on common decency would take more space than this article allows, but include:

1997:  Ammiano was instrumental in forcing the Archdiocese of San Francisco to pay benefits to the “domestic partners” of employees of San Francisco’s Catholic Charities. The plan eventually crafted by then-Archbishop William Levada caused Ammiano to say “I think this is a very positive step for the two entities -- the archdiocese and the city - to try to coexist without devaluing each other's principles.'' The insincerity of this remark is illustrated by the following examples.

1999: over the objections of the Church, the Board of Supervisors, at Ammiano's request, granted the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence a street-closure permit for the purposes of staging an event mocking the crucifixion on Easter Sunday. This now-annual event is the “Hunky Jesus” contest in which the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus is ridiculed. The 2011 event was held in the city’s Dolores Park. It included one man dressed as “Jesus” being masturbated on stage by one of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in front of a large crowd which included children.

March 14, 2006: Ammiano introduced Resolution 168-06, which objected to the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow one of its organizations, Catholic Charities of San Francisco, to place children in homosexual households. Among other things the resolution stated that the teaching of the Catholic Church “is absolutely unacceptable to the citizenry of San Francisco”; that it amounted to “hateful and discriminatory rhetoric”; and that then-Cardinal Levada “is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former city”; further, it urged Archbishop Niederauer and Catholic Charities to “defy” Cardinal Levada.

Resolution 168-06 was a foretaste of the current HHS Mandate. It resulted in a lawsuit by faithful San Francisco Catholics, which made its way through the courts, although the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it. The suit’s last stop was the Ninth Circuit, where Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote in dissent: “The 'message' in the resolution, unlike, say, the message that might be inferred from some symbolic display, is explicit: a Catholic doctrine duly communicated by the part of the Catholic church in charge of clarifying doctrine is 'hateful,' 'defamatory,' 'insulting,' 'callous,' and 'discriminatory,' 'showing 'insensitivity and ignorance,' the Catholic Church is a hateful foreign meddler in San Francisco’s affairs, the Catholic Church ought to 'withdraw' its religious directive, and the local archbishop should defy his superior’s directive. This is indeed a 'message of . . . disapproval.' And that is all it takes for it to be unconstitutional.”

Law Professor Jonathon Turley, although he personally agrees with the city’s adoptions policy, noted the same thing: “The resolution has the Board directly calling on Catholic leaders to defy the Cardinal and directly objects to the Vatican policy. That would seem to take an 'official position on religious doctrine.’”

It was resolution 168-06 which caused the homosexualist San Francisco Bay Times to run a March 16, 2006 article headlined “Gay Supervisor Bitch-Slaps New Cardinal,” in which Ammiano was quoted as saying “Cardinal Levada is everything that’s wrong with the Catholic Church.”

Following the implementation of the disastrous adoptions “compromise” between Catholic Charities and Family Builders by Adoptions, Ammiano complimented Catholic Charities then-executive director Brian Cahill, a longtime opponent of the Church's teaching on homosexual adoption, for “crafting this” compromise, and invited everyone to move “…onward and upward, and gayly forward.” Faithful Catholics declined Ammiano’s advice, kept the pressure on, and in 2009 the Archdiocese severed all relations with Family Builders.

2008: Ammiano introduced resolution 408-08, which “celebrated commended, and congratulated” the infamous Folsom Street Fair, and declared September 28 to be “Folsom Street Fair” day. Ammiano’s resolution was adopted by the full Board of Supervisors on September 23, 2008.

Welcoming Ammiano into the Cathedral, unless he is there go to confession, is an abomination. Their Excellencies and the Cathedral staff should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Former CCCYO Boss / Current "Catholic San Francisco" Columnist Attacks Bishops On HHS Mandate

That would be Brian Cahill, immediate past Executive Director of San Francisco's Catholic Charities. Cahill, whose column Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, publishes from time to time, had a column published in today's San Francisco Chronicle. In the column, Cahill attacked each and every Catholic bishop in the United States for opposing Obama's unconstitutional HHS Mandate.

We point out that A Shepherd's Voice nailed this Cahill as an enemy of the Church years ago, when some of the Bishops whom he now attacks (he attacks all of them, since they have all opposed Obama's mandate) were perfectly happy with him, employed him, supported him, and attended his going away party.

We won't rehash Cahill's misdeeds here (follow the second link above for an exhaustive list)--suffice it to say they included honoring big-time abortion supporters, contributing money in support of counterfeit marriage and in opposition to Proposition 8, and allowing transvestites to "entertain" at CCCYO events. And who can forget the "gay adoptions" fiasco:

"It was under Mr. Cahill’s leadership that Catholic Charities embarked on the ill-advised “partnership” with Family Builders by Adoption -- 'the gayest adoption agency in the country.' That three-year partnership, which came to an end in 2009, united Catholic Charities with an organization that thought it was a good idea to advertise for gay adoptive 'dads' on the 'leather' and 'porn' pages of San Francisco’s two homosexual-oriented newspapers. The ad campaign, exposed by CalCatholic, was so outrageous that even the city government of San Francisco realized it had to shut it down."

UPDATE: And perfectly, on March 21, 2012, Cahill will be the Lenten Vespers speaker at (where else?) San Francisco's Most Holy Redeemer Church.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Free Condoms and STD Rates

State of California Offer Free Mail Order Condoms.
Despite Free Condoms in SF Schools, STD Rates Continue to Rise.

On February 18, the San Francisco Chronicle reported “Teenagers in several counties can get condoms in the mail for free under a program launched this week and supported by state public health officials. The Condom Access Project allows youth between the ages of 12 and 19 to order a package of 10 condoms, lube and health brochures online at, a website run by the nonprofit California Family Health Council.”

The article reported that the program will be available in Kern, Alameda, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties as well as parts of San Francisco. The inclusion of San Francisco would seem to be redundant. Free condoms have been available in San Francisco public schools since at least 1992. The 2009-2010 “Student and Parent/Guardian Handbook” issued by the San Francisco Unified School District includes the entry:

“High school students can secure condoms from licensed health care professionals or agencies at their school sites supported by health education. As part of the condom availability program, students receive information stressing abstinence as the safest method of preventing sexually transmitted disease, HIV infection, and pregnancy. Several community agencies which offer classroom presentations that address topics related to sexuality have been approved to give classroom presentations in San Francisco for elementary grades, middle school and high school.”

The “stressing of abstinence” is questionable. Another San Francisco Chronicle article, dated February 16, 2012, reported: “Galileo High School celebrated Valentine's Day in a style befitting San Francisco on Tuesday as hundreds of students lined up to "marry" their sweethearts regardless of gender, sexual orientation or relationship status. They then learned how to correctly put on a condom using goggles that gave them a drunken view of things, and played a variety of games that promoted safer sex….At one table, health teacher Raina Meyers put goggles on students that made their vision slightly blurry, simulating a drunken state. She then told them to put a condom on a wooden penis.” The article also reported “Many students admitted they decided to participate after teachers said they would get extra credit.”

Ironically, the articles coincided with the release of preliminary data on the incidence of venereal diseases in the city and county of San Francisco for calendar year 2011. Despite the ubiquitous availability of free condoms, venereal diseases in San Francisco continue to increase. The report, issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said: “Preliminary data on reported STDs shows increases for chlamydia, gonorrhea and early syphilis in 2011.” Detailed results were given: “Overall, reported chlamydia increased from 4,603 to 4,741 cases (3.0%) while male rectal chlamydia increased in 2011 from 914 to 959 cases for a 4.9% annual increase. Reported gonorrhea cases increased 15.4% from 1,943 in 2010 to 2,243 in 2011. Additionally, rectal gonorrhea among men also increased from 479 cases to 622 cases—a 38.2% increase. After declines in early syphilis seen in 2008, early syphilis continues to increase. In 2011, reported early syphilis increased by 3.5% from 659 cases to 682.”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, February 17, 2012

More SF Obama/HHS Protest Coverage

Our brothers and sisters at Bay Area Patriots, the local Tea Party group are getting lots of coverage for the Thursday protest. Because we were mixed in with them, we get coverage too!

Check these out, courtesy of The City Square; (more at the link, click for a larger image):

What is Sister texting?
"Barry, I'm very disappointed in you" ?

More at Gateway Pundit,  Fund 47, Weeping Eagle, Melanie Morgan

Nancy, the Theologian

When religious leaders told a House panel Thursday the Obama administration was violating basic rights to religious freedom with its policies for requiring that employees of religion-affiliated institutions have access to birth control. Nancy Pelosi remarked: "The Republican leadership of this Congress thinks it's appropriate to have a hearing on women's health and purposely exclude women from the panel, I may at some point be moved to explain biology to my colleagues."

Yes, Nancy,, you may explain biology, if you wish to do the "school teacher", but please stay out of religious doctrine, of which you seem to know so little.

HHS/Obama Protest: Fr. Peter Carota Interviewed on Univision

Bless him! In Spanish. You can watch him here.

HHS Protest: "What’s going to be next? Will it be freedom of the press?"

That's the question Dolores Meehan asked an ABC reporter who had asked Dolores why she was protesting Obama's unconscionable and unconstitutional HHS mandate. We contributed to this story, published in this morning's California Catholic Daily:

Singing hymns, praying the rosary and waving Vatican flagsCatholics protest President Obama’s contraception mandate during his visit to San Francisco

Around 150 Catholics prayed the rosary, sang the Ave Maria and We Shall Overcome, waved Vatican flags, and stood for religious freedom and the Constitution in San Francisco last night, a city that cast more than 85% of its votes for President Obama in 2008. One young man climbed a tree and waved an American flag surmounted by a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The impromptu protest came with only three days advance notice that President Obama would be in the city for a campaign fundraising event. Earlier Thursday, the president attended a $35,800 per plate dinner in Pacific Heights, the city’s “Billionaire’s Row.” The San Francisco event was a more modest $100 per person affair at the Masonic Auditorium atop Nob Hill.

Catholics -- and others – gathered across the street to protest the recently announced Obama Administration’s HHS contraception mandate, which has drawn nearly universal protest from U.S. bishops.

No bishops were able to attend the protest because all the bishops of the San Francisco province, which includes the dioceses of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Hawaii, were on a retreat together this week.

Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone sent a message of support, and assured organizers he would have been there, had it been possible.

Among the Catholic leaders who participated in the protest were Dominican Fr. Anselm Ramelow, chairman of the Philosophy Department at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley; Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, editor of San Francisco-based Ignatius Press; and Fr. Peter Carota, who led a group of parishioners all the way from St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon. Fr. Carota said he had heard about the rally in California Catholic Daily.

Dolores Meehan and Eva Muntean, co-founders of the Walk for Life West Coast, were also there. Many members of the Walk for Life volunteer team joined them. A number of 40 Days for Life volunteers were there too.

Also participating was Protestant Pastor Walter Hoye, well known in California pro-life circles for being unjustly imprisoned for violating Oakland’s abortion clinic “bubble ordinance” -- a conviction later overturned on appeal.

All the local affiliates of the major TV networks were also there. Many protestors were interviewed for both radio and television, including Pastor Hoye, Meehan and Muntean. Fr. Carota was interviewed by the Spanish-language TV network Univision, though little, at least thus far, has been broadcast.

All expressed outrage. In one segment that aired on ABC7News, Meehan responded to a reporter’s question by asking the reporter a question of her own: “Freedom of religion is the flavor of the day for him today, but what’s going to be next? Will it be freedom of the press? Are you going to be able to be out here and say what you want to say?”

More Obama HHS SF Protest Photos

Click on any image for a larger version.

The folks holding the red "NoBama" fingers are members of the "Bay Area Patriots"--the local Tea Party affiliate.

Walk for Life West Coast co-founder Eva Muntean joined the young man up in the tree!

That's where she got this shot of the other protestors. Up the street a little were the legal marijuana advocates. They were having a little "tea party" of their own...

More banners and flags.

Security was of course very tight. The Tea Partiers had one great chant:  "We love the cops! We love the cops!"

Viva Cristo Rey!

Me with one of John Herreid's great signs.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, February 16, 2012

First Photos and Video From San Francisco HHS/Obama Protest

Tonight's protest of Obama and his shredding religious liberty and the First Amendment was great! About 150 people attended, which is OK given the short notice--we only learned about his visit on Monday. We are across the street from San Francisco's Masonic Auditorium, where Obama was speaking. Click on any picture for a larger image.

Vatican flags in the streets of San Francisco!
You can see Fr. Joe Fessio, SJ and Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP in this picture:

We were interspersed with members of the Tea Party:

This young fellow climbed a tree with an American flag and a banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

And here's some ABC video of tonight's Obama/ HHS protest. Mostly it is not about us, but at about 1:04 minutes in, Dolores Meehan does a great job of refocusing a reporter's attention as to what Obama's repudiation of the First Amendment means:


TONIGHT! Protest Obama Visit/HHS Mandate in San Francisco

President Barack Obama will be visiting San Francisco TODAY. First he will attend a $35,8000 a plate fundraiser in Pacific Heights, then he will make an appearance at the Masonic Auditorium at 1111 California Street on Thursday, February 16. The Masonic Auditorium event begins at 6PM.

Priests, Sisters, Ministers, seminarians, and laity, Catholics and others concerned about his unconscionable violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, will be gathering at 5:30 PM at Grace Cathedral (across the street from the Masonic Auditorium) to express our opposition to his unconscionable HHS Mandate.

Join us in standing for the church and the Constitution!

Visit the Show President Obama You Support Freedom of Conscience Facebook page for more details:

Directions and a map may be found here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TOMORROW! Protest Obama/HHS Mandate in San Francisco

President Barack Obama will be visiting San Franciso this Thursday. First he will attend a $35,8000 a plate fundraiser in Pacific Heights, then he will go to the Masonic Auditorium at 1111 California Street on Thursday, February 16, at 6PM.

Priests, Sisters, Ministers, seminarians, and laity, Catholics and others concerned about his unconscionable violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, will be gathering at 5:30 PM at Grace Cathedral (across the street from the Masonic Auditorium) to express our opposition to his unconscionable HHS Mandate.

Join us in standing for the Constitution!

Visit the Show President Obama You Support Freedom of Conscience Facebook page for more details:

Directions and a map may be found here:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops Speak Out Against Mandate!

This statement is from February 2. Bless them! It could hardly be more concise:

Record of Protest Against the Infringement of Religious Liberty by the Department of Health and Human Services
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is comprised of the 65 canonical Orthodox bishops in the United States, Canada and Mexico, join their voices with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and all those who adamantly protest the recent decision by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and call upon all the Orthodox Christian faithful to contact their elected representatives today to voice their concern in the face of this threat to the sanctity of the Church’s conscience.

In this ruling by HHS, religious hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations will be required to pay for the full cost of contraceptives (including some abortion-inducing drugs) and sterilizations for their employees, regardless of the religious convictions of the employers.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

Join Protest of President Obama's Visit to SF This Thursday!

President Barack Obama will be visiting San Franciso this Thursday. First he will attend a $38,000 a plate fundraiser in Pacific Heights, then he will go to the Masonic Auditorium at 1111 California Street on Thursday, February 16, at 6PM.

Catholics and others concerned about his unconscionable violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution will be gathering at 5:30 PM at Grace Cathedral (across the street from the Masonic Auditorium) to express our opposition to his unconscionable HHS Mandate.

Join us in standing for the Constitution! Visit the  Show President Obama You Supoport Freedom of Conscience Facebook page for more details:

Directions and a map may be found here:

Monday, February 13, 2012

CCG 's Bill May on Radio Tuesday: Discusses Marriage & HHS Mandate

The great Bill May, President of Catholics for the Common Good, will be busy tomorrow.

At 9AM, Bill will be discussing Marriage and Prop 8 on the Bishop’s Hour on Sacramento's Immaculate Heart Radio, 1650 AM at 9:00 AM.

At 10:30 AM, he will be on KSFO, 560 AM, on the JD Hayworth program discussing the HHS Mandate. You can listen live or online.

Timely: President Reagan on the First Amendment


Sunday, February 12, 2012

IMPORTANT Statement From Bishop Cordileone

Like many Catholics, we were surprised by the delayed response by the great Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland to the unconscionable Obama/HHS mandate. His Excellency is nothing if not forthright, and in this statement he makes his position clear.

Not only that, but he appears to be taking steps to address the insurance coverage situation at Catholic Charities East Bay. Emphasis in the statement is ours.

A Message from Bishop Cordileone

To the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Oakland
February 10, 2012

The backlash provoked by the recent announcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandating all employers to provide insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives and sterilization is an encouraging sign that our nation’s collective conscience is still around. People of all political and religious persuasions rightly understood this as an attack on our God-given and constitutionally-protected right to religious freedom, and the recent reaction of the Administration gives us hope that this right can still be protected when we join together to voice our common concern. Its willingness to reopen the discussion is a helpful start to reaching a resolution, although the details of any such revision will still have to be studied and evaluated as they are made known.

The possibility of such a resolution notwithstanding, I wish now to add my own voice of protest to those of over 160 of my brother bishops and to many other people of good will all across the political spectrum. Some people have asked why I have not done so sooner. I hope to make that clear with this statement.

The new federal mandate does allow an exemption for religious organizations, but it gives the most restrictive definition possible. To qualify as a “religious organization,” the organization must (1) employ primarily people of its own faith, (2) serve primarily people of its own faith, and (3) have as its primary purpose the inculcation of religious values.

What many may not know is that the requirements of the HHS mandate are almost identical to a state law we have had in California for over ten years now. In fact, the 2004 decision of the State Supreme Court in the lawsuit challenging the law, Catholic Charities of Sacramento vs. Superior Court of the State of California, established quite explicitly that it is for the state, and not the Church, to decide for us who is and is not Catholic and what constitutes the “inculcation of religious values.” Now the federal government has stepped way beyond the boundaries of its authority by deeply breaching the wall of separation between Church and state.

While our dioceses as such and our Catholic schools qualify as religious organizations even with this most narrow of definitions, the real problem lies with our institutions that are committed to serving all people in need regardless of their faith or lack thereof, especially our Catholic hospitals, institutions of higher education, and Catholic Charities agencies. Only very recently was it brought to my attention that, in order to continue serving the poor as only they can, our Catholic Charities of the East Bay made some accommodations in the insurance coverage it offers its employees. I judged that I could not issue my own statement in good conscience without first gathering information and assessing the situation, and then begin to take steps to correct it. That is exactly what I have been doing these last several days. I have now had an initial discussion with the leadership of CCEB, and will continue working with them to make the necessary adjustments. I pledge to do whatever may be possible to enable CCEB to continue its good work in a way that fully respects our moral principles, but it is quite possible that we will not be able to do so without making some changes to allow for increased expense for employee compensation.

There are those who would say that, if our social service agencies are going to accept government funding, then they must do the government’s bidding. However, the government’s bidding is not to invade the sanctuary of peoples’ consciences. The role of the government is to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty.” In this, faith-based organizations are the most helpful – and should be the most welcome – partners with government agencies, for they accomplish more with fewer resources in serving the poor, the sick and the marginalized, thus contributing to the promotion of justice and the common good. Here in the Diocese of Oakland we can be rightfully proud of all that our Catholic Charities and Catholic schools accomplish in showing the face of the compassionate Christ to those in great need. When we are pushed out of our ministry of serving the needy by not being allowed to do so with reasonable protections of our conscience, everyone loses.

I therefore call on all of you, our good people in the Diocese of Oakland, to write to your congressional representatives and urge them to pass legislation to reverse this mandate. I also ask you to contact President Obama and encourage him to continue to be open to putting into place robust protections of religious liberty for faith-based health, educational and social service organizations. The contact information to do this may be found on the Diocese home page at

There is one more thing I ask you to do. Our beloved nation has reached a critical point in finding its moral compass; we need God’s help now more than ever. As we are now about to begin the holy season of Lent, I ask you to join me in offering your Lenten prayer and fasting in supplication to God. Please especially take fasting seriously this Lent; offer up your fasting both as a means for imploring God once again to grace this great land with His blessing and as a form of bodily penance in reparation for our sins, especially sins of negligence and omission. May God grant us the grace to truly “turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel,” for the general welfare of our nation and the salvation of our souls.

Republicans Vow to Bring First Amendment Violating HHS Mandate to a Vote

Meanwhile, from the Democrat side:

"Despite renewed statements of concern by Catholic leaders and lawmakers, the Obama administration is done negotiating and will finalize its plan requiring insurance companies to provide free contraception to women working and studying at religious institutions, President Obama's chief of staff said Sunday."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bishops Reject Phony Obama "Compromise"

This sounds pretty good to us, and for once they are working pretty fast. From Catholic News Agency:

Washington D.C., Feb 10, 2012 / 10:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops released a new statement rejecting President Barack Obama's attempted compromise over the Health and Human services contraception mandate, calling for its complete removal.

The article then reproduces the Bishops' statement, which concludes:

"In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters. The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.

We will therefore continue—with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency—our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government. For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. And we renew our call to the Catholic faithful, and to all our fellow Americans, to join together in this effort to protect religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all."

Just Another Lie

Our Bishops better not be taken in again.

Michael Walsh, National Review:

"Yuval, Andy, Ed and others were quick this morning to point out the shell game of the non-compromise compromise that the Obama administration is unilaterally imposing for the HHS mandate. Anybody who falls for it is indeed either a fool or a tool, and the only possible answer is General McAuliffe’s reply when asked to surrender at the Battle of the Bulge: Nuts."


“If the insurance plan of a Catholic institution must cover services it deems immoral, then such a healthcare plan is offensive, plain and simple,” said (Bill) Donohue in a statement Friday. “When it comes to the First Amendment, there is no such thing as a half loaf.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic higher education watchdog group, notes that Obama’s announcement means Catholic colleges and universities “will still be compelled under the force of law to pay for [birth control] coverage for their students and employees if they offer a health plan,” something they called “unacceptable and unconscionable.”

Thomas Peters, a prominent Catholic blogger with and the American Papist blog, said the rule also fails to protect the rights of faith-based insurance companies.

First Things:

So now we see how the Obama administration proposes to preserve the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated employers like hospitals, schools and charities while requiring all health insurance plans to include abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraception. According to the “fact sheet” released this afternoon by the White House, “Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage” or “subsidize the cost of contraception.” Nevertheless, the insurance companies with which religious employers contract to provide health insurance for their employees “will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge.”

On the other side, Sr. Carol Keehan, the Axis Sally of Catholic Healthcare Association likes it.

“Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

God bless Fr. Z.

He remembers Mary McCarthy's quote about Commie sympathizer Lillian Hellman, the title of our post. Father applies it to the gruesome Kathleen Sebelius.

God bless LifeSiteNews, too, the best Catholic news site on the web. They have crashed again, for the second time in a few days, because the Drudge Report is linking to their coverage of the Obama/HHS mandate, and the enormous traffic is too much for their servers to accomodate. When they are up again, donate to them so they can buy more & better servers!

Barack Obama’s 32 Month Report Card.

The number of firsts for the Obama presidency:
by Rich Carroll

First President to refuse to show a valid birth certificate.

First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student then denies he was a foreigner.

First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

First President to preside over a cut to the credit rating of the United States .

First President to violate the War Powers Act. First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .

First President to defy a Federal Judges court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

First President to spend a trillion dollars on shovel-ready jobs and later admited and joked about there was no such thing as shovel-ready jobs.

First President to spend on Cash for Clunkers First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.

First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

First President to terminate America ’s ability to put a man in space.

First President to encourage racial discrimination and intimidation at polling places.

First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly speak-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state they are allowed to locate a factory.

First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN) First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

First President to appoint 45 Czars to replace elected officials in his office. First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office.

First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

First President to coddle American enemies while alienating Americas allies.

First President to publicly bow to Americas enemies while refusing to salute the U.S. Flag. First President to go on multiple global apology tours. .

First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends, paid for by the taxpayer.

First President to refuse to wear the U.S. Flag lapel pin.

First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000.00 a year at taxpayer expense.

First President to meddle in trying to get Boeing to Change States when the organization and building were in place

First President to repeat the Holy Qur’an. Obama tells us, and openly admits the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.

First President to Challenge the Catholic Church and try to force them into health care funing abortion-sterlization-contraception

Remember that 32 months of Obama White House we the people have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our nation’s entire history, as the Obama’s plan their next extravagant vacation to the Indonesian Island nation of Bali .

Hope and change anyone??

sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wall Street Journal, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept of Labor, Standard & Poors, Case-Shiller, Federal Reserve, US Treasury, Heritage Foundation

Guilty: Obama's Catholic Voters

Andy McCarthy:

"What I personally find most offensive about the HHS mandate is the shock with which it has been met. Why? This is who Barack Obama is. There is no reason to be surprised by this. He is not being pulled to extremes by his base — he is the one doing the pulling.

McCarthy then gives the reason that I for one, will never even watch that monster speak, or read anything he has written, let alone do anything so insane as trust him on any issue at all:

Obama’s abortion extremism is such that, as a state legislator, he opposed protection for — I’ll use his words here — 'that fetus, or child — however way you want to say describe it' when, contrary to the wishes of the women involved and their abortionists, there was 'movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.' Babies were inconveniently being born alive, self-styled health-care providers carted them off to utility rooms where they would be left to die. That is infanticide, plain and simple. In Illinois, people tried to stop this barbarism by supporting 'born alive' legislation. Barack Obama fought them all the way....

McCarthy points out that this was completely common knowledge at the time of the 2008 election:

Again, this is not new news. The transcript is from ten years ago. He has done nothing since but confirm — by his positions, speeches, associations, and presidential appointments — that he is still exactly the same guy. Obama’s horrifying stance in favor not only of abortion but of infanticide was known when 54 percent of Catholics and 53 percent of Protestants supported him for election in 2008, and when such leading Catholic institutions as Notre Dame and Georgetown welcomed him with open arms.

That's Jenkins, that's Kmiec, that's Michael Sean Winters, that's Sr. Carol Keehan, that's the whole sick crew. Now they object, apparently when it involves them personally, but when that monster was voting to leave babies to die, no problem.

That is what we ought to find shocking. Obama, by contrast, should no longer shock anyone. Obama is simply doing what he came to do; what he said he was going to do when he promised to 'fundamentally transform the United States'; and what anyone with a shred of common sense would have predicted he’d do upon scrutinizing his record."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Obama Mandate to Catholics

Let’s keep the heat on Washington and on our “catholic” reps: Nancy Pelosi, Seellius, President Obama, etc. etc....Dr. Paul Kengor writes in CATHOLIC EXCHANGE:

America’s Catholic bishops are princes of diplomacy, highly educated, erudite, men of tact, propriety. They’re asked to shepherd the flock with a long historical timeframe—like, say, eternity. They tend not to have knee-jerk reactions to issues of the moment.

And so, it’s not often when a paragon of decorum, namely, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, publishes a letter in his diocesan newspaper with a title like, “To hell with you.”

Gee, what could have provoked that? The answer is the Obama administration via its horrendous mandate to Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients—that is, birth-control drugs that induce abortion. The Catholic Church defines these things as “evil.” The Church and its members are now being told they must provide them. By fiat, the Obama administration has issued that decree.

It sort of flies in the face of that old freedom of religion thing we’ve always had in America. And it’s certainly of concern not merely to Catholics but all Americans.

Speaking of social justice, didn’t Notre Dame University give an honorary degree to President Obama? Maybe it’s time for Notre Dame to revoke that degree. Does Notre Dame—and especially its trustees—have the moral courage to do that?

Fr. Z Calls on AB. Niederauer, Card. Wuerl to Tell Pelosi NOT to Present Herself For Communion

It's been more than five years since Fr. Malloy wrote:

"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."

On Tuesday, the good Fr. Z urged Archbishop Niederauer and Cardinal Wuerl to say the same thing:

I call upon Archbishop Niederauer and Card. Wuerl openly to state that Rep. Pelosi should not present herself for Holy Communion in their respective dioceses.

Nancy Pelosi considers it consistent with what Catholics do to take a stand against the bishops in favor of a policy that would force Catholic institutions to violate the teachings of her Church.

Pelosi, as a highly public figure, there are few more visible. She is committing the mortal sin of scandalizing the faithful in a matter which unquestionably grave matter. There has been all manner of discussion concerning her and the issues of abortion, contraception, when life begins, etc. She can’t plead ignorance of the Church’s teachings. She continues to be openly, publicly, scandalous in these matters.

Now, she is taking an open stand against the American bishops – precisely claiming her catholic identity – in favor of a manifest attack on the Catholic Church by the most aggressively pro-abortion President we have ever seen."

Canon Lawyer and Referendary of Apostolic Signatura, Dr. Ed Peters agrees:

"As a canon lawyer, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion as the just consequence of her public actions; as her fellow Catholic, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion to bring home to her and to the wider faith community the gravity of her conduct and the need to avoid such conduct altogether or, that failing, at least to repent of it. Quickly."

That is certainly correct. But even if they do tell her not to present herself, my opinion is she will anyway.

Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Members of Congess Join US Bishops in Attack on UnConstitutional HHS Mandate

Good to see. The painting at right, of President Obama trampling on the Constitution, has been making the rounds on the web. It seems rather timely.

From Catholic News Agency:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed Feb. 8 to use legislative means to fight the Obama administration’s controversial contraception mandate.

In a rare speech on the House floor, Boehner said that the recently announced mandate “constitutes an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country.”

He warned that if President Obama does not reverse the mandate, “then the Congress, acting on behalf of the American people and the Constitution we are sworn to uphold and defend, must....

Boehner, who is Catholic, spoke about the mandate on the same day that Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced that he plans to advance legislation “to reverse the controversial decision and restore longstanding conscience protections.”

Upton, who serves as the chair of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that he is “deeply disappointed with the recent decision” by the Obama administration, which he called a violation of the First Amendment."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Surprise: Ninth Circuit Undercuts Self-Government

UPDATE: Carrie Severino elaborates on our point in a column titled "The Ninth Circuit's Attack on Self-Government":

"This ruling effectively says that any attempt by the people of California to check their state courts’ liberal activism violates the United States Constitution. That proposition is not only legally laughable but is constitutionally backwards and may be the most serious attack on self government since the era of poll taxes and literacy tests. They have not only disenfranchised those who are poor or Black, they have effectively disenfranchised an entire state’s citizenry."

The most overturned judge on most overturned court in the land rules against the will of the people and  Proposition 8--as we predicted.

This case can't get to an adult court soon enough.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Archbishop Niederauer's Letter on Obama's HHS Mandate

His excellency released this statement this afternoon:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promulgated a new and radical interpretation of religious freedom last week when it announced new regulations regarding health insurance coverage of reproductive services which will be mandatory for employers in the United States.

For the first time in federal law, the government has determined that religious institutions such as Catholic hospitals, Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services are not truly religious employers because they do not have as their primary purpose “the inculcation of religious values” and do not primarily limit their services to those of their own faith.

In other words, the religious activities of our Catholic hospitals, our social services to the poor, and our outreach to the hurting and the marginalized in our society are not truly religious activities protected by the First Amendment because they enshrine the Catholic belief -- shared by virtually every religious community in the United States -- that religious communities are called to reach out to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, and heal the sick precisely as a religious activity.

The implications of this insidious new legal and policy principle, if allowed to stand, are chilling. Once it is accepted that religious institutions that serve the poor, the sick and the elderly do not enjoy the full protections of religious liberty, future administrations could compel religious hospitals and service organization to pay for insurance and other policies that mandate abortion or euthanasia. In addition, such a principle would likely create crises of conscience for religious institutions of virtually every faith, so that over time they would be forced out of the mainstream of the social fabric.

We cannot – we will not – accept this unjust redrafting of the principle of religious liberty which our Founders so rightly saw as an inalienable gift of God. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. And faith based service to those in need in our society cannot be classified as non-religious by our national government. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of many other faiths as well as others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Indeed, many journalists across the political spectrum, both supporters and opponents of the present administration, have called for a reversal of this policy.

Therefore, I ask for your help. Please email or write the White House and your representative in congress to call for a reversal of this new regulation. The addresses are listed below. Finally, please join me in prayer for our Church and for the wider religious community engaged in this struggle.

May God bless you and your family, and keep you always in His loving care.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend George Niederauer
Archbishop of San Francisco

You can find the contact information for your Senator or Congressman here. 

You can sign a White House "We the People" petition opposing the mandate here.

Ninth Circuit Proposition 8 Decision Expected Tomorrow

The Ninth Circuit is expected to rule tomorrow on the Proposition 8 case. As we have said many times before, given the court's makeup, we expect the Ninth Circuit to uphold Judge Walker's ruling, and we equally expect their decision to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Time to Speak Up

At least 142 U.S. Catholic bishops, representing almost 80% of America’s dioceses, have strongly denounced the religious persecution expressed in the rules promulgated January 20, 2012 by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HSS), in connection with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly dubbed “Obamacare.”
How about joining the Bishops and demand freedom of conscience?

Obama's office will take calls.