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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
A.L.L. Issues Call to Prayer After Bishop Says Pro-Abortion Sen. Robert Byrd 'Experiencing Perfect Joy'
What was Bishop Bransfield thinking? Only God knows for certain whether a deceased person is in heaven, hell or purgatory. We have no way of knowing if Senator Byrd had a last-minute repentance for his support of abortion.
American Life League President Judie Brown asked supporters to pray and make reparation for the sins of pro-abortion Sen. Robert Byrd, who passed away June 26.
The call comes after West Virginia’s sole bishop, Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, released a statement offering condolences to the late senator’s family, praising him as “a great statesman and public servant,” and suggesting that he is now “at peace with the Risen Lord and, with his late wife Erma Ora Byrd, is experiencing Perfect Joy.”
“We are saddened by Bishop Bransfield missing an opportunity to instead encourage Catholics to pray for Sen. Byrd’s soul, rather than scandalize the faithful by suggesting that he is ‘at peace with the Risen Lord,’" Brown said.
“Clearly, no one knows the state of Sen. Byrd’s soul. We do know that during his lifetime, he consistently advocated the killing of preborn children, an act that is anathema to the risen Lord and a crime described by the late Pope John Paul II as murder. There is no indication that Sen. Byrd publicly repented for his consistent support of abortion prior to his death. The public record testifies to this.”
Wednesday’s release of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" promises to be a blockbuster success, if last week’s premiere in Los Angeles, where hundreds of fans camped out for days in advance order to get a glimpse, is any indication. The film’s massive popularity comes as no surprise to Canadian novelist and author Michael O’Brien, who analyzes the Twilight series in his latest book. O'Brien argues convincingly that the vampire novel series dangerously twists evil into good and may even be demonically influenced.
Commenting today on the film’s release, O’Brien told LifeSiteNews, “Unprecedented cultural phenomena such as the Twilight series, Harry Potter and Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials series represent a sliding scale of familiarity with evil. It is time for the people of the West to awaken to the fact that we are in the midst of a cultural revolution that is reshaping our understanding of reality itself in powerful ways. It succeeds in this by rewarding us with copious sensual pleasures stimulating the imagination in all the wrong directions.”
Someone call Michael J. Fox. These people were helped by adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have shown no results, and destroy life.
For individuals blinded by chemical burns, the ever advancing field of adult stem-cell research has provided yet another astonishing cure – giving them sight through their own stem cells.
Italian researchers have reported developing a very successful therapy to cure those who were either blinded, or whose vision was severely impaired, thanks to chemical burns to their corneas. Such burns can come about through handling everything from toxic cleaning substances at home to heavy-duty chemicals at work.
The new stem-cell therapy, however, is specific to chemical burns and cannot be used to remedy other diseases or damages to the eye, such as from glaucoma or retinal damage.
In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists treated 107 eyes of 106 patients with stem cells derived from the limbus, the rim around the cornea, where stem cells are naturally produced by the body to do repairs on the cornea.
The researchers derived the stem cells from a patient’s healthy eye, and then encouraged them to multiply. Once they had enough stem cells, they removed the scar tissue over the bad eye, and then grafted the stem cells on over the site of the cornea, which then began to generate new corneal tissues.
Seeking to help catechize and educate Catholics on the meaning of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage has launched an initiative titled “Marriage: Unique for a Reason.”
The initiative’s launch coincided with the release of the first of five videos. The first in the series is titled “Made for Each Other” and includes a viewer’s guide and a resource booklet, a USCCB press release reports. The video examines sexual difference and the complementarity between man and woman as husband and wife in marriage.
Other videos in the series discuss the good of children, the good of society and the nature of discrimination, religious liberty and issues particular to a Latino audience.
After several months of speculation, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re has resigned from his position as head of the Congregation for Bishops.
In major appointments, Cardinal Ouellet to head bishops' congregation
In major appointments, Cardinal Ouellet to head bishops' congregation
The Saints of the Day for June 30 are the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.
There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the "Apostle of the Gentiles" (see Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in A.D. 57-58.
There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in A.D. 49-50. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city "caused by the certain Chrestus" [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius's death in A.D. 54. Paul's letter was addressed to a church with members from Jewish and gentile backgrounds.
In July of A.D. 64, more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a "great multitude" of Christians were put to death because of their "hatred of the human race." Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.
Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68 at the age of thirty-one.
Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
How the Supreme Court nominee manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion.
When President Obama promised in his inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place,” he never explained what that rightful place would be. Documents recently released in connection with the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan suggest an answer: wherever it can best be used to skew political debate and judicial outcomes.
The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.
One theme (of many) running through Toy Story 3, currently the top movie at the box office, is the conflict over "toy nature," so to speak -- the nature, purpose and value of the toy characters.
The toys' owner is all grown up and leaving for college, and they face an existential crisis. Without a child to play with them, what are they supposed to do? Are they unwanted? Will they be thrown out?
Sadly, the Pope is correct. We have way too much pollution within the Church.
During his address for today's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Holy Father asserted that the “greatest danger” to the Church is not external persecution, but the “negative attitudes” of the world that can pollute and “infect the Christian community” from within.
The Pope made his remarks on Tuesday morning at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, where he concelebrated with 38 metropolitan archbishops whom he bestowed the pallium upon after delivering his homily.
The pallium is a white stole made of wool from lambs blessed and presented to the Pope each year on the feast of St. Agnes. It is reserved for use by the Pope and all metropolitan archbishops, and expresses communion with the Bishop of Rome.
In his homily, Pope Benedict first reflected on the theme of freedom for the Church, emphasizing that Sts. Peter and Paul demonstrate that “God is close to his faithful servants and frees them from all evil, and frees the Church from negative powers.”
Speaking on Christ's promise in the Gospel that the “powers of hell shall not prevail” on the Church, the Pontiff explained that this not only “includes the historical experience of persecution suffered by Peter and Paul and other witnesses of the Gospel,” but “it goes further, wanting to protect especially against threats of a spiritual order.”
The Saints of the Day are Sts. Peter and Paul.
Peter's original name was Simon. Christ Himself gave him the name Cephas or Peter when they first met and later confirmed it. This name change was meant to show both Peter's rank as leader of the apostles and the outstanding trait of his character — Peter (in Hebrew Kephas) the Rock. Peter was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Like his younger brother Andrew, he was a fisherman and dwelt at Capernaum. Peter's house often became the scene of miracles, since the Master would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus' disciples (John 1:40-50).
After the miraculous draught of fish on the Sea of Galilee, Peter received his definitive call and left wife, family, and occupation to take his place as leader of the Twelve. Thereafter we find him continually at Jesus' side, whether it be as spokesman of the apostolic college (John 6:68; Matt. 16:16), or as one specially favored (e.g., at the restoration to life of Jairus' daughter, at the transfiguration, during the agony in the garden). His sanguine temperament often led him into hasty, unpremeditated words and actions; his denial of Jesus during the passion was a salutary lesson. It accentuated a weakness in his character and made him humble.
After the ascension, Peter always took the leading role, exercising the office of chief shepherd that Christ had entrusted to him. He delivered the first sermon on Pentecost and received the first Gentiles into the Church (Cornelius; Acts 10:1). Paul went to Jerusalem "to see Peter." After his miraculous deliverance from prison (Easter, 42 A.D.), Peter "went to a different place," most probably to Rome. Details now become scanty; we hear of his presence at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:1), and of his journey to Antioch (Gal. 2:11).
It is certain that Peter labored in Rome as an apostle, that he was the city's first bishop, and that he died there as a martyr, bound to a cross (67 A.D.). According to tradition he also was the first bishop of Antioch. He is the author of two letters, the first Christian encyclicals. His burial place is Christendom's most famous shrine, an edifice around whose dome are inscribed the words: Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.
Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was born at Tarsus in the Roman province of Silicia about two or three years after the advent of the Redeemer. He was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was reared according to the strict religious-nationalistic party of the Pharisees, and enjoyed the high distinction of Roman citizenship.
As a youth he went to Jerusalem to become immersed in the Law and had as a teacher the celebrated Gamaliel. He acquired skill as a tent-maker, a work he continued even as an apostle. At the time of Jesus' ministry he no longer was at Jerusalem; neither did he see the Lord during His earthly-life. Upon returning to the Holy City, Paul discovered a flourishing Christian community and at once became its bitter opponent. When Stephen impugned Law and temple, Paul was one of the first at his stoning; thereafter his fiery personality would lead the persecution. Breathing threats of slaughter against the disciples of Jesus, he was hurrying to Damascus when the grace of God effected his conversion (about the year 34 A.D.; see January 25, Conversion of St. Paul).
After receiving baptism and making some initial attempts at preaching, Paul withdrew into the Arabian desert (c. 34-37 A.D.), where he prepared himself for his future mission. During this retreat he was favored with special revelations, Christ appearing to him personally. Upon his return to Damascus he began to preach but was forced to leave when the Jews sought to kill him. Then he went to Jerusalem "to see Peter." Barnabas introduced him to the Christian community, but the hatred of the Jews again obliged him to take secret flight. The following years (38-42 A.D.) he spent at Tarsus until Barnabas brought him to the newly founded Christian community at Antioch, where both worked a year for the cause of Christ; in the year 44 he made another journey to Jerusalem with the money collected for that famine stricken community.
The first major missionary journey (45-48) began upon his return as he and Barnabas brought the Gospel to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14). The Council of Jerusalem occasioned Paul's reappearance in Jerusalem (50). Spurred on by the decisions of the Council, he began the second missionary journey (51-53), traveling through Asia Minor and then crossing over to Europe and founding churches at Philippi, Thessalonia (his favorite), Berea, Athens, Corinth. He remained almost two years at Corinth, establishing a very flourishing and important community. In 54 he returned to Jerusalem for the fourth time.
Paul's third missionary journey (54-58) took him to Ephesus, where he labored three years with good success; after visiting his European communities, he returned to Jerusalem for a fifth time (Pentecost, 58). There he was seized by the Jews and accused of condemning the Law. After being held as a prisoner for two years at Caesarea, he appealed to Caesar and was sent by sea to Rome (60 A.D.). Shipwrecked and delayed on the island of Malta, he arrived at Rome in the spring of 61 and passed the next two years in easy confinement before being released. The last years of the saint's life were devoted to missionary excursions, probably including Spain, and to revisiting his first foundations. In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight into a great soul.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is drawing strong condemnation from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in their opening statements on the first day of her nomination hearings. Even Democrats are pointing out she has little record on which to examine her judicial philosophy.
Jeff Sessions, the pro-life Alabama senator who is the lead GOP member of the committee, minced no words today in his opening statement.
"Kagan has never tried a case before a jury. She argued her first appellate case just nine months ago," he said. "She has barely practiced law, and not with the intensity and duration from which real understanding occurs."
"Kagan has less real legal experience of any nominee in at least fifty years. It’s not just that she has never been a judge," he continued. "Kagan certainly has numerous talents and good qualities, but there are serious concerns about this nomination."
Sessions also pounded Kagan on abortion, saying "Kagan was also the point person for the Clinton Administration’s efforts to block Congressional restrictions on partial-birth abortions."
On Monday, following a private audience between Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schönborn (top right) and Pope Benedict XVI, a meeting of Vatican heavyweights took place. During the course of this closed session, Cardinal Schönborn and Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano (bottom left), attempted to clarify comments both had made in recent months. (top left is Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State)
A statement providing details of what local Italian media has called a "summit" between Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Sodano and Cardinal Schönborn was released by the Holy See's Press Office on Monday afternoon.
Following the one-on-one meeting between the president of the Austrian bishops and the Holy Father, Cardinals Bertone and Sodano offered statements attempting to clarify several controversial comments made this year.
The Holy See's statement recounting the meeting highlighted that, in the Church, accusations regarding cardinals are the "unique competence" of the Pope.
It is disgusting that the Belgian police used the clergy sex abuse scandal as an excuse to confiscate Church property and desecrate a crypt.
Pope Benedict XVI lashed out Sunday at what he called the "deplorable" raids carried out by Belgian police who detained bishops, confiscated computers, opened a crypt and took church documents as part of an investigation into priestly sex abuse.
Benedict made a rare personal entry into the escalating diplomatic dispute with Belgium, issuing a message of solidarity to the head of the Belgian bishops' conference and other bishops who were detained in the June 24 raid.
He said justice must take its course, but also asserted the right of the Catholic Church to investigate clerical abuse alongside civil law enforcement authorities.
It was first time the pope himself had commented on the raids, and his message to Monsignor Andre Joseph Leonard capped a daily ratcheting up of the Vatican's criticism. On Saturday, the No. 2 Vatican official said the raids were unprecedented even under communism.
Tom Cruise plays Roy Miller. it is soon apparent that he is a spy, but what is not as apparent is what his interest in June Havens (Diaz) is. As you see in the previews, he meets her at the airport. He is carrying a new perpetual source of energy, which the bad guys are after. The CIA claims he is a rogue agent..
Two elements of a good mystery are not knowing who the real bad guy is, and not knowing who you can trust. Both are done very well here.
There is almost non-stop action, and many comedic moments.
Both Cruise and Diaz are at their very best.
Content warnings: Minimal; aside from one single use of the F word, there is no other objectionable language. There is no nudity and no sex scenes.
I am seeing reports that the opening box office was disappointing, but I disagree. It is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen this year.
An excellent movie: SEE IT!
I am seeing reports that the opening box office was disappointing, but I disagree. It is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen this year.
An excellent movie: SEE IT!
The Saint of the Day for June 28 is St. Irenaeus.
Saint Irenaeus was born in the year 120; he was of the Greek tongue, and probably a native of Asia Minor. His parents, who were Christians, placed him while still young under the care of the great Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. It was in this holy school that he learned the sacred science which later made him a great ornament of the Church and the terror of her enemies. Saint Polycarp cultivated his rising genius and formed his mind to piety by his precepts and example, and the zealous young scholar was careful to reap all advantages offered him by the solicitude of such a master. Such was his veneration for his tutor’s sanctity that he observed all the acts and virtues he saw in that holy man, the better to copy his example and learn his spirit. He listened to his instructions with an insatiable ardor, and so deeply did he engrave them in his heart that the impressions remained vivid even in his old age. In order to confound the heresies of his age, this Doctor of the Church acquainted himself with the conceits of the pagan philosophers, and thereby became qualified to trace every error to its sources and set it in its full light. By his writings he was already known to Tertullian, Theodoret and Saint Epiphanus, who speak of him as a luminous torch of truth in the darkness of those times.
After Irenaeus had spent a number of years in combat against the eastern gnostics and philosophers of error, Saint Polycarp determined to send him to Gaul, where many of the heretics of Asia Minor had already migrated to pursue the Catholic religion, which was beginning to find roots there. With a company of about forty Christians, the valiant soldier of Christ ascended the Rhone to Lyons to rejoin and aid Saint Pothinus, its bishop. Saint Pothinus was already advanced in age, and his church’s neophytes could not always distinguish truth from the gnostic aberrations. Saint Pothinus received the apostles with joy and soon ordained Saint Irenaeus.
A hundred times he exposed himself to martyrdom by his zeal, acting as the right arm of the aging bishop, but God was reserving that crown for him twenty-five years later. When Saint Pothinus had glorified God by his splendid martyr’s death in the year 177, Ireneus was chosen to be the second bishop of Lyons. The persecutors imagined that Christianity had been stifled in Lyons, and they ceased their pursuits for a time.
This great Doctor of the Church wrote many important works, of which the most famous is his Adversus Haereses, Against the Heresies, in explanation of the Faith. By his preaching, Saint Irenaeus in a short time converted almost the whole country to the Faith; the Christians of Lyons became models by their candor, their estrangement from all ambition, their poverty, chastity and temperance, and in this way confounded many adversaries of their religion. Saint Irenaeus continued to imitate what he had seen done by his beloved master, Saint Polycarp, himself the disciple and imitator of Saint John the Apostle. One can readily imagine the excellence of the administration and the breadth of charity reigning in the Church of Lyons.
Finally he suffered martyrdom there, with many others, in the year 202, under the Emperor Septimus Severus, after eighty years spent in the service of the Lord. The imperial decrees renewing the persecutions arrived at Lyons at the time of the celebration of Severus’ tenth year of reign; the pagans found amid the celebrations an opportunity to take vengeance on the Christians, who refused to participate in the debaucheries which accompanied these feastings. Assassins armed with daggers, stones and knives filled the city with blood, and thousands of Christians won, with their bishop, the crown they had always admired as the greatest glory God could grant His servants.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Though the valiant work of Catholic Charities in New Orleans was going on before the BP oil spill, their work is being noted across the nation, including with the appearance of their clients in a new Spike Lee film.
Catholic Charities has set up an oil spill response center in New Orleans to assist those who have been impacted by the oil slick in the gulf. Some of the people who are receiving their assistance are Vietnamese-American fishermen who have been left unable to ply their trade. The fishermen are also going to appear in a new film directed by Spike Lee.
Lee was in the New Orleans area while making a documentary about how the area is recovering from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city five years ago. He is including the impact of the oil spill in his project.
Lee had the chance to interact with Catholic Charities clients, as well as volunteers from around the nation. One such volunteer was Thao Tran. Tran is Assistant to the Mayor of Seattle, Wash. He spent a week in New Orleans helping out at Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation.
“It was my honor to come and work with Catholic Charities to aid those in need from the BP spill,” wrote Tran. “I took and gained more from this experience than what I was able to give. I hope that I am welcome back.”
The clinic where we've been praying to end abortions has stopped performing them! This was the last day for them! Of course, we'll be watching carefully, and if they resume them, we'll be back. Until then, we'll move on to the next clinic. Here's part of the sendoff we gave them :)
The Saint of the Day for June 26 is St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer.
St. Josemaría Escrivá was born in Barbastro, Spain, on January 9, 1902. He had five siblings: Carmen (1899-1957) and Santiago (1919-1994) and three younger sisters who died when they were small children. His parents, José and Dolores, gave their children a deep Christian education.
In 1915, José Escrivá's business failed and he found other work, which required the family to move to Logrono. It was as a teenager in Logrono that Josemaria for the first time sensed his vocation. Moved by the sight of footprints left in the snow by a barefoot friar, he sensed that God was asking something of him, though he did not know exactly what it was. He thought becoming a priest would help him discover and fulfill this calling from God, so he began to prepare for the priesthood, first in Logrono and later in Saragossa.
Josemaría's father died in 1924, leaving him as head of the family. After his ordination in 1925, he began his ministry in a rural parish, and subsequently continued it in Saragossa. In 1927, Fr. Josemaría's bishop gave him permission to move to Madrid to obtain his doctorate in law.
On October 2, 1928, during a spiritual retreat, Fr. Josemaría saw what it was that God was asking of him: to found Opus Dei, a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian's ordinary duties. From then on he worked on carrying out this task, meanwhile continuing his priestly ministry, particularly to the poor and the sick. During these early years of Opus Dei, he was also studying at the University of Madrid and teaching classes in order to support his family. When the Civil War broke out in Madrid, religious persecution forced Fr. Josemaría to exercise his priestly ministry clandestinely and to move from place to place seeking refuge. Eventually, he was able to leave the Spanish capital; and, after a harrowing escape across the Pyrenees, he took up residence in Burgos. When the war concluded in 1939, he returned to Madrid and finally obtained his doctorate in law. In the years that followed he gave many retreats to laity, priests, and religious, and continued working assiduously to develop Opus Dei.
In 1946 Fr. Josemaría took up residence in Rome. During his years in Rome, he obtained a doctorate in Theology from the Lateran University and was appointed by Pope Pius XII as a consultor to two Vatican Congregations, as an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and as an honorary prelate.
He traveled frequently from Rome to various European countries, and to Mexico on one occasion, to spark the growth of Opus Dei in those places. In 1974 and 1975, he made two long trips to a number of countries in Latin America, where he met with large groups of people and spoke to them about their Christian vocation to holiness.
Msgr. Escriva died in Rome on June 26, 1975. By the time of his death, Opus Dei had begun in dozens of countries and had touched countless lives. After his death thousands of people, including more than a third of the world's bishops, sent letters to Rome asking the Pope to open his cause of beatification and canonization.
Pope John Paul II beatified Msgr. Escriva on May 17, 1992, in St. Peter's Square in Rome. The ceremony was attended by approximately 300,000 people. "With supernatural intuition," said the Pope in his homily, "Blessed Josemaría untiringly preached the universal call to holiness and apostolate."
Ten years later, on October 6, 2002, John Paul II canonized the founder of Opus Dei in St. Peter's Square before a multitude of people from more than 80 countries. In his discourse to those who attended the canonization, the Holy Father said that "St. Josemaría was chosen by the Lord to proclaim the universal call to holiness and to indicate that everyday life, its customary activities, are a path towards holiness. It could be said that he was the saint of the ordinary."
Friday, June 25, 2010
The world's largest Catholic statue will be unveiled on June 26 in the city of Santa Cruz in Brazil. The statue of St. Rita of Cascia towers 183 feet, which is 65 feet taller than the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that sits atop Rio de Janeiro.
According to Cancao Nova news, the rector of the Shrine of St. Rita, Father Aerton Sales, said he hopes the statue will attract greater religious tourism to the region. During the annual celebration of the feast of St. Rita, the shrine attracts some 50,000 visitors.
The inauguration of the statue will include a Mass and a ceremony of blessing that will be attended by the governor of the state of Rio Grande do Note, Ibere Ferreira de Souza. A procession will follow with the faithful carrying replicas of the massive statue.
Unfortunately, there is plenty of dissent in the Church, but rarely have I seen a dissident nun so proud of her heresy in promoting an abortion-expanding"health" bill.
Despite criticism from the U.S. Catholic bishops, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) has issued a statement saying it continues to support the insurance reform provisions in recent health care legislation and continues to “applaud” President Obama for his “strong leadership.”
The statement comes even though the U.S. bishops’ opposed the bill. Three leading bishops have said the divergence between the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and groups like the CHA have caused “confusion and a wound to Catholic unity.”
In a Tuesday statement, the CHA said President Obama’s June 22 remarks show he is “once again keeping national focus on the importance of implementing vital reform measures designed to protect the health and well being of millions of vulnerable people in this country.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the CHA, will soon “stop insurance companies from prohibiting coverage for pre-existing conditions and end lifetime limits of coverage and other abuses such as arbitrary rescissions.”
The organization said it was “confident” that the act will provide both access to more affordable insurance and a greater sense of security to 32 million Americans who lack these protections.
“We continue to applaud the President for his strong leadership in this important area.”
What the....? Some insanity from Massachusetts. No wonder kids are becoming sexually active earlier.
The town of Provincetown, Massachusetts has approved a new policy providing free condoms to students at public schools. The policy extends to both high schools and elementary schools. The policy requires school personnel to give out condoms on request, regardless of parents’ objections, and to keep the childrens’ requests secret from their families.
Having listened to a few World Cup games, I totally agree with Fr. Nichols.
Although himself an avid football fan, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is worried that the forthcoming Papal visit could be marred by vuvuzelas.
"I have had enough of them already," says the Archbishop of Westminster. "I hope they stay in South Africa. Personally, I think the football would be more enjoyable without this constant cacophony."
He is concerned that some people have got into the habit of using the plastic horns during the World Cup in South Africa and might not be able to resist using them when Pope Benedict XVI, pictured, addresses crowds in Britain. The Pope is due to arrive in September for a state visit when he will meet the Queen and beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman.
He is scheduled to visit Glasgow, Edinburgh, Coventry and London during his four-day visit and address a number of crowds.
h/t American Papist
Contact your Senators today! www.senate.gov
With a political audacity that has become characteristic since the caustic health care debates, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to approve a campaign finance disclosure bill that critics on both the left and the right say will disable grassroots political voices – including the nascent “Tea Party” movement that has been looking to sweep away liberal incumbents in November.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., the House voted 219-206 to approve H.R. 5175, the “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act,” which the National Right to Life Committee, other pro-life, pro-family groups, and even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have condemned as a threat to free speech and free participation in the political process. (See how your representative voted here.)
The Act would force grassroots organizations to release the names of donors and members into a publicly searchable database maintained by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Opponents of the bill say it would frustrate the ability of grassroots entities to communicate effectively with the public about public policy.
“This is a blatant attack on our organizations, members, and donors,” said Douglas Johnson, NRLC’s Legislative Director. “National Right to Life will do everything possible to keep this bill from coming out of the Senate.”
Johnson said that stopping the Senate from approving its version (S 3295) of the DISCLOSE Act is “a jump ball.”
The Saint of the Day for June 25 is St. William Of Vercelli.
William was born in 11th-century Italy to a noble family. He was orphaned as an infant and raised by relatives. At the young age of 14, he made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and decided to devote his life to God as a hermit.
He returned to Italy and lived as a hermit for two years at Monte Solicoli, where he was credited with healing a blind man. At Monte Vergiliano, his reputation for holiness attracted many disciples, and in 1119, he established a monastery with a Rule based on the Benedictines.
Five other houses were formed during his lifetime, but only the original survives today. He died June 25, 1142 of natural causes.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
They should back him...He is right.
After Bishop Thomas Olmsted publicly condemned an abortion authorized by Sr. Margaret McBride in a Catholic hospital in Arizona, and after much public outcry, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine has released a statement supporting the Phoenix bishop's decision.
A June 23 statement from the USCCB Committee on Doctrine addresses the Arizona controversy, and calls upon the teachings of the Holy Fathers to explain the issue at hand. “The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures” clarifies Church teaching, and applies it succinctly to the Arizona case.
Church teaching, said the statement, holds that direct abortion is never permissible. Direct abortion is an act whose primary intent is to terminate a pregnancy and kill an unborn child. However, medical procedures which have other primary intentions, and which indirectly end the life of the unborn child, are not considered to be direct abortions nor immoral.
From the catechism:
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
The Archbishop is 100% correct. The media uses any excuse to attack the Church and, in particular, the Pope.
A faulty perception of the Catholic Church as a “top-down” organization often leads people wrongly to blame the Pope, the Vatican, the archbishop or the archdiocese for problems, Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan is saying. This habit of blaming authority figures obscures the important Catholic practice of subsidiarity, he warns.
In a post on his blog “The Gospel in the Digital Age,” Archbishop Dolan sums up a popular perception: “Every problem in the Church, in this view, whether the decline in Sunday Mass attendance, the closing of a school or parish, or the shortage of vocations, is the fault of the Pope or the archbishop.”
In media reports, “decisions are always secretly made way at the top, and the ‘little guy’ is ignored.”
The archbishop says this is true not only of the secular media, but also of a prominent Catholic journal published in New York which had six “blasts at bishops and the Pope” in the first six pages of a recent issue.
A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows a plurality of Americans oppose the nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. That is an increase of nine percent from the week President Obama announced her nomination and the highest level of opposition to date in Rasmussen Reports tracking of the Kagan nomination.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters shows 35 percent think Kagan should be confirmed by the Senate for the Supreme Court while 42 percent oppose her nomination and 23 percent are still undecided.
By comparison, just before Senate hearings began last summer for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, 37% favored her confirmation, and 39% were opposed.
Two weeks ago, 33% thought Kagan should be confirmed, and 41% disagreed. Rasmussen has found support for Kagan’s confirmation was highest in mid-May, when 39% felt that way. Still, the same number (39%) did not think she should be a Supreme Court justice.
President Obama and leaders in his administration have made many statements to mark “LGBT Pride Month,” calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of anti-discrimination laws to advance the LGBT “agenda” in the U.S. and overseas. They characterized opponents as foes of progress.
On Tuesday President Obama spoke at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Pride Month Reception in the East Room of the White House. He noted his pledge not to put aside “matters of basic equality” despite “enormous challenges” for the economy and for foreign policy.
He claimed to have made “extraordinary progress” on LGBT political issues, pointing to the passage of a “hate crimes” act and to proposed changes to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring open homosexuals from service.
The president also announced a proposed federal rule that any hospital participating in Medicare or Medicaid, meaning “most hospitals,” give homosexual partners the same privileges and visitation rights as “straight partners.” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has sent a letter to these hospitals asking them to adopt the changes now.
Recipients of the letter include Sr. Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association (CHA).
From the catechism:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
The Saint of the Day for June 24 is St. John the Baptist.
This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.
Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today's feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today's observance in the following words:
"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.
"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I believe it is Joy who is not thinking when she makes ridiculous statements like this.
Oh, Joy of little faith.
On the June 22 episode of "The View," co-host Joy Behar criticized prayer, saying it "takes the place of logical thinking, then I think that's dangerous."
Behar's attack on prayer came as she defended comedian Janeane Garofalo, who during a June 16 appearance on Behar's Headline News show called prayer "anti-intellectual" in criticizing President Obama's reference to prayer during his speech about the Gulf oil spill. Behar said Garofalo should have said prayer was "un-intellectual," not "anti-intellectual."
USA scored a dramatic injury-time winner in Pretoria to secure a 1-0 victory that sees them qualify for the Round of 16 as winners of Group C. It looked as if the USA would be going home early after they missed a number of openings with Algerian goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi in stubborn form.
USA were sitting in third place as the 90 minute-mark ticked by but everything changed in the blink of an eye as Landon Donovan led one last attack. Jozy Altidore squared the ball into the danger zone, where M'Bolhi beat it away, but Donovan was able to latch onto the loose ball and passed it into an empty net, before being submerged among a sea of white shirts. It was the least Bob Bradley's team deserved, having also had a Clint Dempsey effort disallowed for offside, struck a post and seen Jozy Altidore pass up a glorious opening.
This is the abortion clinic where we've been praying every week to end abortion. Today I received an email with the following article. (I hadn't seen the article in the paper). Thank God for this victory. One down, three to go!
One of four Triangle abortion clinics will no longer do procedures after Saturday, but it's unclear whether it will close or simply stop offering abortions.
National Women's Health Organization of Raleigh, which was founded in 1976 by the late women's rights activist Susan Hill, is "in transition," said Ann Rose, a longtime friend of Hill's who has been affiliated with the business.
Rose said the last day of procedures would be Saturday but would not elaborate on that or on what "in transition" means for the clinic's staff and potential patients.
The clinic was widely believed to be for sale after Hill died of breast cancer in February.
In addition to the Raleigh facility on Haworth Drive, Hill owned abortion centers in Columbus, Ga., and Jackson, Miss.
Her brother, Dan Hill of Durham, said he is uncertain about the status of the clinics but said Susan Hill had no children and no heirs to leave the businesses to.
"I think it would be a shame if the clinic does close," Dan Hill said, noting that his sister was committed to providing a service she felt was needed. He said his sister was strident in opposing anti-abortion activists who at times threatened her life, and any successor would need a similar fortitude.
"It's a hard role for anyone to step into," he said.
If the clinic stops providing abortions, Raleigh will have two centers remaining. Abortions are also provided at Chapel Hill's Planned Parenthood affiliate, while the Planned Parenthood office in Raleigh only makes referrals.
"We have certainly made referrals to Raleigh Women's Health over the years, and they have been a valued partner in meeting the reproductive health care needs of women in North Carolina," said David Nova, vice president of Planned Parenthood Health Systems Inc.
Abortions in North Carolina have been declining, as they have across the nation. In 2008, the latest year for available data, about 27,000 North Carolina women had abortions, according to the N.C. Center for State Health Statistics. That was down 4.6 percent from the previous year.
Nationwide, abortions are at their lowest level since the 1970s.