Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SF Supervisors Pass Resolution Against Free Speech

Here's our article from yesterday's Catholic World Report. Unsurprisingly, the full Board of Supervisors passed the resolution.

Free Speech and Politics in San Francisco
Which banners actually “undermine public health”?

On December 26, the Walk for Life West Coast, working through the city’s Department of Public Works, had 50 banners placed on lampposts on San Francisco’s Market Street. The banners were in preparation for the January 25 Walk for Life West Coast, the second-largest pro-life event in the country and one of the largest annual events to be held in San Francisco. The banners met all requirements and proclaimed the Walk’s contention: “Abortion HurtsWomen.” Not everyone was happy. On December 31, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ellen Shaffer of the Silver Ribbon Committee, a pro-abortion group, had demanded that Mayor Ed Lee have the banners removed. Mayor Lee’s spokesman Francis Tang responded, “Mayor Lee is a staunch, longtime defender of a woman’s right to choose and disagrees strongly with the message of the banners, but the mayor’s disapproval obviously doesn’t and shouldn’t trump the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

Would that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could understand such a simple principle of civic responsibility. On January 14, in the latest seemingly willful effort to make themselves ridiculous, Supervisor David Campos, joined by six of his colleagues, jumped on Ms. Shaffer’s bandwagon, and introduced a resolution opposing the banners. The Chronicle reporter covering the resolution expressed appropriate skepticism: “While the resolution may have many San Franciscans nodding in agreement, it’s seems unlikely that city has any legal right to refuse to post something simply because politicians don’t like the message.”

The Supervisors’ resolution was reported nationwide.   Even the San Francisco Chronicle–no friend of the Walk for Life West Coast–condemned the resolution in a January 24 editorial. Here’s an excerpt from the Chronicle’s op-ed:

City can’t suppress unpopular message
From the Embarcadero to Civic Center Plaza, 50 banners proclaiming “Abortion hurts women” have waved for a month from city lamp posts in advance of the 10th annual Walk for Life rally Saturday.
The banners have infuriated pro-choice advocates, who hung their own banners from the same utility poles two years ago in observance of the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that enshrined a woman’s right to choose…
Supervisor Campos’ objections to the message likely reflect those of his constituents and many San Franciscans. Our position on abortion rights is well established: A woman’s right to choose is a matter of fundamental privacy that is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
However, this is not about whether we or anyone at City Hall likes the message on those antiabortion banners. If the city wants to keep contentious issues from those prime vantage points, it should be applied evenly. When it comes to the airing of views in public places, a government does not have the right to give an advantage to those it agrees with and to suppress those it does not.

Despite the Chronicle’s warning the full Board of Supervisors will vote on the resolution on January 28. The Supervisors call the banner’s message “false” and Ms. Shaffer called it “hate speech.” 

Had they joined the tens of thousands of peaceful people who were at the Civic Center and on Market Street on Saturday they could have learned otherwise. They could have listened to the post-abortive women at the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, held before the rally. They then could decide for themselves whether or not abortion hurts women, and whether what they were hearing is “hate speech.” They could listen to Gianna Jensen, who spoke at the 2008 Walk and bears the marks of a failed abortion to this day. They could listen to Vera Faith Lord, who spoke at the 2007 Walk. They could listen to the women in the “Been There” videos, who describe the pain of their abortions, pain they bear to this day. They could listen to world-famous actress Jennifer O’Neill, to former “card-carrying NARAL member” Karen Shablin, to Georgette Forney, to Karen Williams, to Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” from Roe v. Wade. All of these women grippingly testify that “Abortion Hurts Women.”

What makes the Supervisors contention that the banners "undermine public health" doubly ridiculous is the fact that every September banners advertising the notorious Folsom Street Fair will line Market Street. The HIV epidemic was and is the greatest threat to public health the city of San Francisco has ever faced. And, tragically, for the first time in six years, the city saw an increase in HIV cases in 2012.  All San Franciscans are sadly familiar with this. In fact, the co-founders of the Walk for Life West Coast, Dolores Meehan and Eva Muntean, first met while caring for AIDS patients at Mother Teresa's Gift of Love hospice in San Francisco’s Western Addition.  That behaviors which really do “undermine public health” take place at the Folsom Street Fair has been extensively and disgustingly documented.  But far from objecting to the Folsom Street Fair banners, in 2008 the Supervisors declared September 28, 2008 to be "Folsom Street Fair Day."  So one can take their professed concern for “public health” with a rather large grain of salt.

The Supervisors’ resolution will not affect the Walk for Life West Coast banners in any way. It’s a political charade, as the Chronicle intimated. It’s not news to us, any more than it is to most San Franciscans, that the Supervisors find time to waste the taxpayers’ money on an unreal issue.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

“Massive and Diverse”...Walk for Life West Coast Continues to Grow

On Saturday, January 25, the 10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast was held at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. The event, the second-largest pro-life event in the United States, was the biggest yet. Life News headlined its coverage “60,000 pro-lifers line the Streets of San Francisco During West Coast Walk for Life.” Although organizers of the Walk did not give a numerical estimate of attendance, co-chair Eva Muntean said "We are so proud to have the largest number of people and the largest number of youth showing the pro-life face of the West Coast.” The Associated Press reported “San Francisco police did not immediately provide an official crowd estimate, but at one point marchers stretched across more than a mile of Market Street, the liberal city’s main thoroughfare.”

One photo of the Walk (below) was taken from a high-rise building in the area of Civic Center Plaza and posted on the San Jose Mercury News “social media reaction” page. It showed two city blocks around the plaza still densely packed with those waiting to start, while the body of the Walk stretched beyond visual range down Market Street towards the Walk’s end at the Ferry Building.

The day began with 17 Catholic Bishops joining San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore in concelebrating a special Mass at 9:30 AM at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The cathedral was filled to overflowing. At the pre-Walk rally, speakers included "October Baby" actress Shari Rigby, Lamb of God Maternity Home founder Grace Dulaney, and Monica Snyder of Secular Pro-Life. Ms. Snyder, introduced by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, said “This is a debate about life and death. When you peel away the glossy wrappers, the pro-choice movement is about death." The final speaker was Walk for Life West Coast mainstay the Reverend Clenard Childress, Director of LEARN and founder of, who told the crowd, by then overflowing the Plaza: “Never surrender conscience, even if the state demands it. This walk sends a message to the state, to the government, to Washington, D.C.—I will not surrender conscience."

In honor of the Walk’s 10th Anniversary, nineteen speakers from previous years were in attendance, including Father Pavone, former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, Frank Lee of Asian Americans Pro-Life, and San Francisco Hispanic pro-life activist Alfredo Abarca.

San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone read a letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Papal Ambassador to the United States, sending "the affectionate greetings and spiritual closeness of Pope Francis" and continuing "Indeed, the Holy Father is most grateful to you for your readiness to show solidarity with the most innocent and vulnerable members of the human family."

In an effort to pull and end-run around the media’s habitual failure to give the Walk the coverage its magnitude deserves, organizers decided this year to launch a twitter campaign in the week before the Walk to “End the Media Blackout.” The idea, well-tailored to the Walk’s youthful demographic, was the brainchild of a young employee at the Archdiocese. Joanna Dasteel reported in LifeSiteNews: “So this year, when 50,000 smart-phone-toting pro-life activists descend upon the city, organizers will be asking them to tweet pictures of the events with the official event hashtag #WalkForLife and to include @CNN, @FoxNews, @USAToday, and local news outlets @sfchronicle, @abc7newsBayArea, @nbcbayarea, and @KTVU.”

The campaign may have worked. On the morning of the Walk, the Associated Press ran a wire service story about the event, and followed that with another from the Walk, quoted above. The wire service story was picked up by ABC News, NBC News, NPR, Yahoo News, the Washington Post, and scores of other outlets. From the story: “A massive and diverse crowd of protesters rallied in front of City Hall before marching down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza for the 10th annual ‘Walk for Life West Coast’…San Francisco police did not immediately provide an official crowd estimate, but at one point marchers stretched across more than a mile of Market Street, the liberal city’s main thoroughfare.” The San Francisco Chronicle picked up the AP story, but its own coverage of this major event in its own city consisted of a large photograph with a caption.

This year’s Walk was enlivened by the response of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to the Walk’s “Abortion Hurts Women” banners which lined Market Street in the month prior to the event. A pro-abortion group had labeled the banners “hate speech” and asked San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to have them removed. He declined, citing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, on January 14, the Board introduced a resolution in opposition to the banners. But the Board may have bitten off more than they could chew. Their action gained national attention, and even the Chronicle expressed opposition to the resolution. The ensuing publicity did nothing to harm the Walk.

The weekend of the Walk has turned into one of the busiest Catholic weekends of the year in the Bay Area. Special masses in both the Novus Ordo and Extraordinary Form were celebrated, special adoration vigils observed. There was also a youth rally with the Sisters of Life, the Law of Life Legal Summit, a training session for sidewalk counselors, and the first ever West Coast Students for Life Conference held at the Cathedral.

The Walk began in 2005 with 7,500 participants. It seems to be growing at about 15-20% annually. A writer at the New Feminism blog commented “The air literally sizzled with joy, happiness and gratitude.” Walk co-chair Dolores Meehan had a similar take: "It's great to see so many joyous people bringing love and peace to the streets of the city of St. Francis."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Pre-Walk for Life West Coast Friday Events!

More important updates about the most Catholic weekend of the year in San Francisco from the blog of the  Walk for Life West Coast. The picture at lest is from last year's all-night Eucharistic Adoration for Life at Saints Peter and Paul. Check it out:

"The Standup 4Life Rally and Walk is not the only Walk-related event going on tomorrow. Check out these great opportunities:

St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco, 9:00AM

All teens (7th to 12th grades) are welcome to a morning of prayer and reflection with the Sisters of Life. There will be a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas Daly at 10:30 am. The event flyer may be downloaded here. Contact Vicki Evans or 415-614-5533.

St. Mary’s Cathedral Conference Center, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco, 4:00-6:00PM by RSVP only (space very limited)

First ever “West Coast Summit” sponsored by Life Legal Defense Foundation, Ave Maria School of Law and the National LIFE Runners. An action-packed event bringing together pro-life leaders and students to create measurable and achievable objectives for overturning Roe v. Wade and for defending the sanctity of human life. Contact for more information.

St. Dominic’s Church, 2390 Bush St, San Francisco, 5:00 pm

The Sisters of Life will host their annual Prayer Vigil for Life! This year, TWELVE of the Sisters will be with us, including Mother Agnes Donovan, SV who has been a past WFL Rally Speaker. Vespers will be at 5:00pm and Mass will be celebrated at 5:30pm by Bishop Thomas Daly of San Jose. Everyone is welcome! The event flyer may be downloaded here. Contact the Sisters of Life or (845) 357-3547.


St. Margaret Mary Church, 1219 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, 5:30 pm

Guests include Father Frank Pavone, Star Parker, Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Abby Johnson, Jeff White, Cecilia Chavez, and Lori & Walter Hoye. For more information, visit here. The event flyer may be downloaded here. Contact Joni at 925-550-3122.

Saints Peter and Paul Church, 666 Filbert Street, San Francisco, 7:00PM

Saints Peter and Paul Church, 666 Filbert Street, San Francisco, 8:00PM-7:00AM
Adoration begins at 8PM, and will last until 7AM on Saturday, January 25."

Standup 4Life Rally and Walk TOMORROW in Oakland!

From the blog of the Walk for Life West Coast comes this important reminder:

"Although the Walk for Life West Coast is not until Saturday, there are many related events taking place. Tomorrow, our dear friend Walter Hoye will lead the 7th AnnualStandup 4Life Rally and Walk. The Rally and Walk begin at 12 noon at the Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. Walter writes:

“We walk because abortion in the Black community is a form of genocide, it is the Darfur of America. We walk because abortion in Black America is the civil rights issue of our day. We walk because abortion does violence, both physically and emotionally, to men and women, to their children, and to their families.

Walk with us and help us change the perceptions of a culture that thinks aborting children is an option.”

The black community has been hurt far more that any other by the inhumanity of legalized abortion. Join Walter, Reverend Clenard Childress, Pastor Walter Moss, and Pastor Bruce Rivers, as they work to end this insanity and rekindle hope in the black community. You can find all details of tomorrow’s Standup 4Life event here."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Archbishop Cordileone teaches it!

Our good Archbishop calls out Attorney General Holder, and stands up for truth. God bless him! With bishops like him the Church is "a light to the nations"--and that is a light that is always needed. We are so lucky to have him as our shepherd!

From the blog of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Attorney General Holder Acts Contrary to Supreme Court Decision

By Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone 

Last week Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize so-called "marriages" performed in Utah between persons of the same sex that even Utah itself does not recognize as marriage. Presently, Utah defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. On December 20, 2013, a federal district judge struck down that definition, but on January 6 of this year, the United States Supreme Court stayed that decision while the case is on appeal. 

However, Attorney General Holder is ignoring Utah law and imposing a contrary federal definition of marriage in that state. In this, General Holder’s decision is actually contrary to the Supreme Court's decision last year in United States v. Windsor. Windsor unfortunately struck down a uniform federal definition of marriage, but it made clear that the federal government is to respect a state's definition of marriage. In particular, the Court said that the federal government is to defer to “state sovereign choices about who may be married” and furthermore criticized federal actions – like General Holder’s – that “put a thumb on the scales and influence a state’s decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws.

The Utah Attorney General, who (unlike General Holder) is responsible for enforcing Utah law, has declared that the validity of any same-sex “marriages” performed in Utah between December 20 and January 6 "will depend on the result of the appeal process.” 

In other words, out of respect for the legal process, Utah will wait for the federal courts to decide. But not the Attorney General of the United States, who has already ruled that same-sex “marriages” performed between December 20 and January 6 are valid for purposes of federal law. If the federal government is legally obliged to defer to the marriage law of the state, as Windsor itself holds, then how can the federal government recognize as valid – even if only for federal purposes – marriages which a state has not deemed valid? This logically opens the door for the federal government to recognize any type of relationship (and with any number of partners) as valid marriages in contradiction to state law. 

Events over these past several months (the most recent being the January 14 decision by a federal court in Oklahoma ruling that state’s marriage amendment unconstitutional) have made it clearer than ever that the marriage debate we are having in this country is not about access to the right of marriage, but the very meaning of marriage: what it is, and what it is for. 

I encourage all those who know and believe the timeless truth about marriage, as well as all those who believe in following the established judicial procedures to address such issues, to not remain silent, but to exercise their constitutional rights as citizens of this great nation and to stand up for the truth."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SF Supervisor Introduces Resolution Opposing Walk for Life West Coast Banners--claims they interfere with 'snowflakes'

Yesterday, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, joined by six of his colleagues, introduced a resolution officially opposing the Walk for Life West Coast's "Abortion Hurts Women" banners that are currently flying on Market Street in preparation for the January 25, 2014 Walk for Life West Coast. Among other things, the Supervisor complained that the banners appear on lamp posts that "display holiday snowflakes." Well, there's a hanging offense!

You can read the San Francisco Chronicle article (which treats the resolution with the seriousness it deserves) on the resolution here, and the Walk for Life West Coast's response is below.

SF Supervisor Issues Resolution Opposing Walk for Life West Coast Banners
Concerned 'Abortion Hurts Women' Signs Interfere with 'Snowflakes'

On January 25, 2014 the 10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast will be held in San Francisco. In preparation, the Walk has placed 50 banners along Market Street, San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, and the route of the Walk. The banners, hung with city approval, proclaim the Walk’s message “Abortion Hurts Women.”

The banners have certainly worked. The December 31 San Francisco Chronicle reported: “The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women wrote a letter to Mayor Ed Lee this week saying the banners contain ‘a false and hateful statement’ and demanded they be removed. Ellen Shaffer, director of the Silver Ribbon Campaign, said she considers the banners hate speech against women….” The Mayor rejected Ms. Shaffer’s “demand,” but now the SF Board of Supervisors has decided to get involved.

 The January 14, 2014
Chronicle reported: "Mayor Ed Lee may be staying out of the brouhaha over a series of anti-abortion banners on this liberal city’s main thoroughfare, but the Board of Supervisors isn’t. On Tuesday, Supervisor David Campos introduced a resolution that would put the board on record opposing the banners, which read ‘Abortion hurts women’ and were put up last month in anticipation of a January 25 antiabortion rally.”

 The Department of Public Works, which issue permits for banners on Market Street does not judge content, only whether the banners show profanity or nudity. The six clauses from the resolution which the Chronicle reproduced were all about content, although Supervisor Campos was also on record as concerned that the banners were posted on “…lamp posts that also display holiday snowflakes.” The Chronicle article concluded “While the resolution may have many San Franciscans nodding in agreement, it’s seems unlikely that city has any legal right to refuse to post something simply because politicians don’t like the message...."

 Dolores Meehan co-chair of the Walk, and a fourth-generation San Franciscan, said “I’m practically speechless. Interfering with snowflakes. They’re so deficient in any sort of statesmanship, it’s actually expected. They’re ridiculous.”

 It’s not the first time the Supervisors have meddled with the Walk for Life West Coast. On January 11, 2005, in response to the first Walk for Life West Coast, the Supes issued resolution #050019, which declared “January 22, 2005 as ‘Stand Up For Choice Day.’” The resolution also supported “…the local Pro-Choice community demonstrating in San Francisco,” which, in practice, meant supporting those who attempted to block the Walk for Life West Coast from taking place. On December 11, 2012 the Supes issued resolution #121172, declaring January 26, 2013 to be a celebration of the Roe v. Wade decision, and again expressed support for a rally opposing the Walk. Since the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is actually on January 22, and January 26 happened to be the date of the city’s Ninth Annual Walk for Life West Coast, the resolution seemed targeted more at the Walk than a commemoration of Roe v. Wade.

Despite the Supervisors hostility, the Walk for Life West Coast has grown every year, from 7,500 participants in 2005 to an estimated 50,000 in 2013.

Walk co-chair Eva Muntean said "We are delighted with the publicity our banners have generated. We urge all people of good will to join us on January 25 as we march in defense of the littlest among us. Our opponents seek to censor our message ‘Abortion Hurts Women,’ not because it is false but because it is true. We invite San Franciscans to attend the rally and Walk, and especially to attend the Silent No More Awareness Campaign at 10:45 AM in Civic Center Plaza, where post-abortive women share their stories. Just listen to them and judge for yourselves if what you are hearing is ‘hate speech.’”

The 10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast is on Saturday, January 25 at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. The Rally begins at 12:30 PM, followed by the Walk at 1:30.

For more information, visit:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"No one entrusted with her guardianship is opposed to continuing Jahi’s life..."

The following thoughtful column is by Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City.  It was published on January 9 in The Catholic Key, the newspaper of the Kansas City diocese.  He makes, to me, the important point that no one, except Children's Hospital in Oakland, wanted to remove Jahi's life support.  Thank God Jahi was transferred to a place where the medical team will at least try to keep her alive.

Jahi McMath: Sometimes Things Are Not As They Seem

About 5:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day, I took a phone call from a friend concerning Jahi McMath. She is the little girl in California whose routine tonsil surgery last month left her in a critical state.

 I was between visits with friends on what was becoming a snowy evening to start the New Year. I headed back to my residence and eventually connected with Dr. Paul A. Byrne, M.D. who was looking for some assistance. I had met Dr. Byrne more than ten years ago when I was editor of the St. Louis Review, Diocesan weekly in St. Louis. We were then in a firestorm about a controversial protocol for end of life organ donations. We had written an editorial about the protocol, seeking conscience protection for health care workers who were rightfully hesitant about participating in non-heart-beating organ harvesting procedures at a local hospital. Dr. Byrne is a Board Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician, and is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of Toledo, College of Medicine. He has also emerged over the last decades as an expert on brain death. With his direction I ended up reading a ton of material on the subject and learning a lot about the phenomena of determining when death occurs.

Jahi is the 13 year old California girl whose tonsillectomy went wrong. On December 12 she was declared dead by doctors at the Children’s Hospital Oakland. But sometimes things are not as they seem, and Dr. Byrne, who went to Oakland a few days after Christmas, doesn’t believe Jahi is dead. What moved me most was something I had not yet read in any media accounts: He told me that Jahi was not totally unresponsive – but rather, when touched or talked to by family members, she moves her arms and/or legs. I must say that this is not what I imagined in the case of someone who is dead.

In Jahi’s circumstance, the little girl’s parents and family all want to keep Jahi alive, rather than removing life support at this time. No one entrusted with her guardianship is opposed to continuing Jahi’s life except the hospital where she – at the time of this writing – remains. It seems clear to me that the effort to keep Jahi alive is a matter of “extraordinary means.” As such in Catholic moral teaching a person or family could choose to end life support with moral justification. However, Catholic moral teaching would also support the extraordinary efforts required to keep the child alive, if that was the chosen path.

What the family desired was that the acute care facility, the children’s hospital, start feeding Jahi and begin therapy to prolong her life. Specifically the request that now came to me from Dr. Byrne was to help locate a doctor – an ENT, Ear, Nose, Throat, specialist – who would be licensed in California and who could perform a tracheotomy, so that Jahi could then be transported to a chronic care facility. One or more such facilities were ready to receive her. Money had been raised to transport Jahi. I started praying, and I also made several calls to friends in California to try to assist the family in caring for their loved child.

Let us go back, for a moment, to the issue of the determination of death. The brain death criteria were developed primarily because of the desire to transplant non-paired vital organs (e.g. heart, liver) to save other lives: the lives of persons needing such donations to survive. The needed organs for transplant must still be “alive;” they cannot start to decay or they no longer will be useful. Before these procedures for transplant had become viable practices, it was less important to know exactly when death had occurred.

We knew that after a person had died, the body (or cadaver) became cold and rigor mortis (rigidity) occurred. From a theological perspective, the principle or source of life is the soul. What happens at death is that the soul leaves the body. This cannot be observed, except that the signs of death (rigors, loss of temperature, decay) begin to show themselves after death has occurred. “Brain death” is established by a measure of brain activity (or loss of it). Dr. Byrne would point out that brain waves are a measure of such activity in three parts of the brain: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. He would hold, and has written in many talks and articles, that measuring activity within the deeper recesses of the brain is not yet possible, and therefore may still exist in a subject. He also believes that children have a higher rate of recoverability from brain injuries. Their brains are more “pliable” and can heal in ways that often surprise the experts. The observation of reactions (movement of arms or legs) like those reported to be seen in Jahi, lends credence to the possibility that, though there are no measurable brain waves, brain activity may still exist and life may still be present. Thus seems to be the conviction of the family of Jahi McMath.

As I write this so much is changing, and by the time you read this so much may have occurred in the life of Jahi and her family. But I still ask you this: Pray for Jahi and for this family. Pray also that authentic moral principles will be upheld in the midst of a scientific endeavor which is always complicated, but which requires many, many prudential decisions. We must work hard and speak out clearly for the protection of human life at all its moments.

Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother, pray for us.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Walk for Life West Coast "A San Francisco tradition"

So says our dear Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, God bless him!

Here's today's article from Valerie Schmalz at Catholic San Francisco:

10th annual Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 25

The Walk for Life West Coast celebrates 10 years of standing up for life in San Francisco with the Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 25 – and organizers expect more than 50,000 people to crowd Civic Center Plaza and walk down Market Street this year.

The pro-life spirit is truly alive in San Francisco and the Walk for Life West Coast continues to be a wonderful way for those who care about women and their babies, born and unborn, to show that life is the only choice,” said Eva Muntean, co-chair of the Walk for Life.

The event begins with the rally at 12:30 p.m. and the walk down Market Street starts at 1:30 p.m. concluding with a celebration at Justin Herman Plaza near the Ferry Building.

To celebrate and promote this year’s walk, the Walk for Life has released a promotional 2 ½ minute video which can be seen at

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone called the walk “a San Francisco tradition,” in his invitation to all priests of the archdiocese. Archbishop Cordileone will deliver the invocation for the walk at Civic Center Plaza. He has invited the priests and people of all the parishes and schools of the archdiocese to attend.

It's January 25! And make sure to check out all the amazing events surrounding the Walk, which has turned to one of the biggest Catholic Weekends in San Francisco!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

USF Basketball Fans Invited to March in Gay Pride Parade

Celebration of Sin at USF/Pepperdine Game

On Saturday, January 4 the men’s basketball team of the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco faced off against the Pepperdine Waves at USF’s War Memorial gym. The game was also billed as an “LGBTQ Community Celebration.” The “Upcoming Events” page on the USF Dons website read “Featuring Performances by the SF Gay Men’s Chorus and Cheer SF. LGBTQ community leaders will be recognized. For $10 tickets use promo code EQUALITY at checkout.” Since the “LGBTQ Community” defines itself by fornication with persons of the same-sex, an “LGBTQ Community Celebration” is by definition a celebration of sin.

Memorial gym was at about 50% of capacity. According to the announcer, the Gay Men’s Chorus sang the National Anthem, but that must have happened well before tip-off. About 11 minutes into the game, during a time-out, the announcer asked for a round of applause for the two co-chairs of the Jesuit school’s “LGBTQ Caucus.” As the two went to center court, the announcer briefly described the mission of the LGBTQ Caucus, and said it had its roots in the Jesuit tradition. He went on to say that last year 75 members (students and faculty) of USF had marched in San Francisco’s “Gay Pride” parade. He then encouraged the crowd “to join the USF contingent in this year’s parade on June 29, 2014.”

It is fortuitous that the first ever LGBTQ celebration coincided with a game against Pepperdine. Both USF and Pepperdine are religiously founded and affiliated schools: USF with the Society of Jesus, and Pepperdine with the Churches of Christ. But there is a stark difference between the two schools’ teaching on sexuality, and to the sin of homosexuality in particular. While USF has an LGBTQ Caucus (not to mention a cadre of openly homosexualist professors and priests) Pepperdine allows no such group. Indeed, Pepperdine’s refusal to allow a “Gay-Straight Alliance” on campus has led to demands, including a petition on, that the school recognize such a group. So far Pepperdine has held firm. It does have an “LGBT Legal Society” “…for the limited purposes of discussing LGBT-related legal issues and networking for legal employment or professional development” and, in 2013, Pepperdine created a needs-based scholarship available to those who “advocate and promote the health (mental or physical) and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community.” But it still does not allow the Gay-Straight Alliance.

Respective statements from the school’s handbooks on sexual relations on campus are equally divergent. Pepperdine: “In keeping with Pepperdine University’s Christian mission and its heritage in Churches of Christ, all members of the University community are encouraged to consider and respect the teachings of Jesus and historic, biblical Christianity. Pepperdine University affirms that sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between husband and wife. This view of sexuality and marriage is rooted in the Genesis account of creation and is maintained consistently throughout Scripture. Sexual relations of any kind outside of marriage are inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture, as understood by Christian churches throughout history, including Churches of Christ. Therefore, as a matter of moral and faith witness, all members of the University are expected to avoid such conduct themselves and to respect this understanding of sexual relationships.”

By contrast, Jesuit USF’s Overview of Sexual Misconduct Policy Expectations mentions neither marriage nor Christianity nor Jesus. The only “misconduct” the Jesuit school mentions is “consent,” or lack thereof (to what is not specified): “The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity.” While for Pepperdine, then, sexuality is to be a positive “matter of moral and faith witness,” the USF Jesuits’ view of sexuality is negative: no good is envisioned, all that is mentioned is an evil (lack of consent) to be avoided.

The players were unconcerned with the extraneous activities. Behind a strong defense, Pepperdine held USF to 19 points in the first half, and led 27-19 at the break. But with less than a minute remaining in the half, the Waves lost one of their best players, Malcolm Brooks, and he was out for the rest of the game. USF’s coach, Rex Walters, made adjustments at halftime, and in the second half, behind excellent three-point shooting by forward Mark Tollefson (16 points) and guard Tim Derksen (15 points) the Dons overcame the deficit and pulled away to win 77-66. USF’s athletic and energetic forward Kruize Pinkins led all players with 19 points, along with 11 rebounds. Pinkins made one extraordinary play, a leaping save of a ball going out of bounds under the Pepperdine basket. His save started a fast break with the Dons having a 3-to-2 advantage, but the Dons, like the USF Jesuits, were unable to convert.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vive La France! (cont.)

Here's an excerpt from an article posted at Gallia Watch. The Gallia Watch post links to an article in La Salon Beige (in French), about a mother who had received an award from the French Government. The award honors families. The mother returned the award following the French governement redefinition of the family through its legalization of counterfeit "marriage."

An interesting article posted at Le Salon Beige in May 2013 tells of one woman's decision to return the medal she received on June 6, 1993, during the presidency of François Mitterrand. In a long letter addressed to François Hollande, she explains that the Taubira law legalizing homosexual marriage denatures the institution she and her husband valued and dedicated their lives to, as they raised eleven children.

The Gallia Watch author then translates excerpts from the very well written and thoughtful letter:

"In the recognition that a nation grants to its families there is the consideration of a service. It is a simple service, natural but demanding, of a mother and a father who bring into the world the children born of their love. Because of this love, they raise them, not only for themselves and their right, but to build the civilization of tomorrow....

Here you have, Mr. President, a profound contradiction between the concept of the family advocated by the Republic until now, and what you are implementing in your policies. In truth, marriage and raising children, in your ideology, are nothing more than 'rights' that justify the modification of natural concepts in order to adapt to individual practices. But this individualistic vision that you place above all else is to the detriment of a truly socialist concept of our country. Through your reform, the family is no longer in the service of the nation, it is no longer the nation of tomorrow; it is the expression of individual rights and is subject to the forms that each person chooses.

Of course, we have always been aware of the life styles of some people. If we found them strange, we did not question their freedom. But what an absurd idea to try to group them under the name of the family: filiation is not a poker game where the one who cheats best wins! At the official website, I see that the law passed by your parliament reproduces the same identical provisions as the preceding law on the Medal of the Family. Will you decorate them when they have purchased a sufficient number of children on these new slave markets that already exist in certain foreign countries?..."

Obamacare: Here it is.

The injustice of the HHS contraception mandate is a small part of the Obamacare disaster. We ain't seen nothing yet.

From the Daily Mail:

"Hospital staff in Northern Virginia are turning away sick people on a frigid Thursday morning because they can't determine whether their Obamacare insurance plans are in effect.

Patients in a close-in DC suburb who think they've signed up for new insurance plans are struggling to show their December enrollments are in force, and health care administrators aren't taking their word for it.

In place of quick service and painless billing, these Virginians are now facing the threat of sticker-shock that comes with bills they can't afford.

'They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!' a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield.

She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray."


"A similar situation frustrated Mary, an African-American small businesswoman who asked MailOnline not to publish her last name. She was leaving the Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia with two family members.

'I had chest pains last night, and they took me in the emergency room,' Mary said. 'They told me they were going to admit me, but when I told them I hadn't heard from my insurance company since I signed up, they changed their tune.'...'Why is this so complicated?' she asked. 'I had my own private insurance last year, but they cancelled me in November. I'm not sure which end is up.'

Private industry estimates put the number of policy cancellations as high as 4.7 million in the last quarter of 2013, mostly involving health care plans that didn't meet the Affordable Care Act's strict minimum standards...."


"President Obama has attracted widespread criticism, and a 'lie of the year' award from one newspaper's fact-checker, for promising that Americans who liked their health plans would be allowed to keep them.

Dr. John Venetos, a Chicago gastroenterologist, told the Associated Press on Thursday that he is seeing 'tremendous uncertainty and anxiety' among his patients who signed up for Obamacare plans but don't have insurance cards.

'They’re not sure if they have coverage,' Venetos said. 'It puts the heavy work on the physician.'

'At some point, every practice is going to make a decision about how long can they continue to see these patients for free if they are not getting paid.'"

Anyone could have foreseen this and many predicted it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bishops ask: Pray and Fast for those Challenging the HHS Mandate

Yesterday we posted about the exemption granted by Justice Sotomayor to the Little Sisters of the Poor and some other groups. But we noted there are plenty of others who have not received that relief--Notre Dame University, for one.

This week's intention for the U. S. Catholic Bishops campaign for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty is for those challenging the HHS mandate. Here is the bishop's email:

"We pray that all those who are challenging the HHS mandate - whether family-owned businesses or non-profit service ministries - would have the strength to keep fighting for religious freedom. 

This week, we continue to celebrate the
Christmas Season, a time when we can reflect on the roots of our faith. It is a time when our faith becomes especially visible to the outside world, whether we decorate our yard with a beautiful Nativity scene or our home with a brightly-lit Christmas tree. When we consider how difficult it is to be Christian in some parts of the world, we are especially grateful for the gift of religious freedom in this country.

 Unfortunately, however, this freedom has come under threat lately. The federal government has chosen this
January 1 to begin implementing its nationwide mandate forcing most Catholic universities, hospitals, and service ministries to violate Church teaching or face devastating fines. Faith-based organizations like these seek to practice what they preach. That is, they seek to live out the Gospel mandate to serve those whom Christ called 'these least brothers of mine' (Mt. 25:40) while adhering to the tenets of our faith-including promoting the sanctity of human life. We pray that the courts will uphold our ability to live out the Gospel in its entirety!"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Obamacare Contraception Mandate Halted--For Some

Many experts we respect call this good news, and we suppose it is, but we can't forget that there are any number of other institution that, I guess, as of today, are forced to comply with Obama's unAmerican, unconstitutional attack on the First Amendment's free exercise of religion.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary exemption late Tuesday to a small group of Catholic nuns that shields it from having to comply with a part of President Obama's healthcare law that requires it to provide contraceptive coverage in its insurance plans.

She acted on an emergency appeal from lawyers for the group who said the nuns faced 'draconian fines' beginning on New Year's Day if they failed to comply with the law widely known as Obamacare.

Sotomayor gave the government until Friday to file a response in the case. Her order extends only to the group of nuns and does not apply more broadly to the Affordable Care Act and its requirements."

It's our understanding that Justice Sotomayor's ruling affects a number of other groups as well, but there are still others not involved in this particular case who will have to wait until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the HHS contraception mandate.

In any case, God bless the great work of the good people at the American Freedom Law Center who have battled tirelessly for freedom and justice!