Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Since today is the Feast of the Archangels, a St. Michael's prayer in support of the amendments that would defeat evil would be appropriate.
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The business end of my trip was a bioethics conference in San Antonio. This is really an amazing educational program that involves a total of four seminars from now through April. It is called Converging Roads and brings together a study of bioethics, health care, and Catholic teaching. There are three remaining seminars so if you would like to spend some time in San Antonio exploring this fabulous city and learning about Catholic health care ethics, take a look at the Converging Roads program.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Similarly, take a look at this article from Our Sunday Visitor that corrects President Obama's claims on abortion coverage:
To highlight abusive practices, Mr. Obama referred to an Illinois man who "lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about." The president continued: "They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it."
Although the president has used this example previously, his conclusion is contradicted by the transcript of a June 16 hearing on industry practices before the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigation of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The deceased's sister testified that the insurer reinstated her brother's coverage following intervention by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. She testified that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week "window of opportunity" from "one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine," that the procedure "was extremely successful," and that "it extended his life nearly three and a half years."
The president's second example was a Texas woman "about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne." He said that "By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size."
The woman's testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist's chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.
These two cases are presumably among the most egregious identified by Congressional staffers' analysis of 116,000 pages of documents from three large health insurers, which identified a total of about 20,000 rescissions from millions of policies issued by the insurers over a five-year period. Company representatives testified that less than one half of one percent of policies were rescinded (less than 0.1% for one of the companies).
Cardinal Justin Rigali and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops say the existing health reform legislation mandates abortion and would allow government funding of abortion -- even though the president of the United States has labeled such statements "fabrications."
Nonpartisan Factcheck.org says the president is wrong.
"Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans," stated an Aug. 21 Factcheck.org news analysis.
Meanwhile, Michigan Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak, with the backing of the U.S. bishops, is trying to force a full public House vote on an amendment to block government funding of abortion when the health care reform legislation is sent to the House floor after the August recess.
Despite the Catholic Church's long-standing support for health care reform, Philadelphia's Cardinal Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, is urging lawmakers not to approve health reform that would mandate funding or coverage of elective abortions.
As currently written, the health care reform legislation marks a "radical change" in U.S. abortion policy, the cardinal wrote in an Aug. 11 letter to the House of Representatives. With the addition of an amendment introduced by New York Democrat Rep. Lois Capps, the House legislation specifically makes abortion a mandated benefit in the public health insurance plan and requires participants to pay a premium surcharge for mandatory abortion coverage.
All versions of the health care legislation introduced so far create government funding of abortion by allowing proposed federally subsidized health care vouchers to be used for public or private health insurance plans that include abortion, he said.
You know, this abortion funding issue could easily be cleared up by including something like the Hyde-amendment in the final bill. If as the President claims, the bill does not fund abortion, the addition of such an amendment would change nothing and would give the pro-life community the assurance it needs to be more supportive of reform. However, attempts in both the House and the Senate to include such an amendment have been defeated. If this legislation does not provide for federal funding of abortion, why should there be opposition to such an amendment?
When my children tell me only part of the story in order to mislead me, I don't cut them any slack. They lied and they are punished accordingly. I would say that the President is similarly guilty of telling only part of the story.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I, on the other hand, find the relevance of this day intensely personal. In 1992, I watched as my husband deployed for what was then known as Desert Shield. It would become Desert Storm. He was an F-16 pilot. I knew there would be no hanging back in safe zones for him. I was left at home with three children, ages 4,3, and 1, and with my own duffle bag packed and ready to deploy. I was an Air Force doctor. That turbulent time rocked both my husband and I to our core. By the grace of God, we emerged as stronger Catholics and better parents. Our marriage grew stronger. Everything we loved had been threatened, forcing us to appreciate what is truly important. Still, I would not wish such an experience on anyone.
So eight years ago, when I watched television images of the flame and the smoke pouring forth from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I felt my world once again reeling out of control. I reached for my rosary, hit my knees, and prayed with an ardor that I had not felt in quite a while. My three older children were in school. Part of me wanted to rush out, gather them in, and huddle in the safety of our home. I resisted that urge. Our country may have been attacked, but we were not going to be victims.
And so began a new era of military life. Deployments are now the rule, not the exception. Eight years later, I am still a military wife. However, I am also a military mother. My oldest is now an Army officer. There is one complex set of emotions that accompany sending your husband to war. Contemplating sending your son to war involves a completely different set, equally complex, but very different.
We owe it to the innocent victims and to the heroes who died on September 11, 2001 to do everything possible to make sure such horror does not occur again. For the last eight years and for the foreseeable future, military action is a necessary part of the strategy to accomplish this. Today, let us raise up in prayer those who died on September 11 as well as their families. Let us also offer prayers for all military members and their families. Our men and women in uniform are risking their lives to make sure that terrorist atrocities remain a remote history lesson and not a personal experience.
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer at Ground Zero
A Pilot's Prayer
Spouse of a Soldier
Mother of a Soldier
Those Who Serve and Those Who Don't
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
When we examine the education-alone approach of pastors with respect to pro-choice politicians, we see that it has basically become a personally opposed, publicly pro-choice position as well. There’s obviously a clear personal repugnance on the part of pastors to the pro-choice Catholic politicians’ separation between faith and moral action, schizophrenia between private and public personality, and lip service to the Church’s teachings. Many pastors have sought to exercise their teaching office, stating forthrightly what abortion is and what the responsibilities of all legislators are with respect to it. All of their teaching, however, has been trumped by the weightier educational value of the de facto “law” that has left everything to the conscience, however ill-informed, of the pro-choice Catholic politicians. These men and women have learned over time that, regardless of what canon law says, they are at liberty to ignore the Church’s teachings on life. Even though the U.S. bishops have taught with one voice that pro-choice Catholic legislators should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, if they pay no heed to that teaching and present themselves anyway, they have observed that in practice they will almost never be denied. With Senator Kennedy’s funeral, they have now grasped that even a 100% pro-abortion voting record will not only not prevent them from having a Catholic funeral, but will not even stop them from receiving possibly one of the most publicly panegyrical Catholic funerals in U.S. history. The upshot — these smart men and women have concluded — is that the Church’s practice is essentially “pro-choice” with respect to “pro-choice” Catholic politicians. The politicians’ own determination in conscience, erroneous or not, is given greater weight than, combined, the truth proclaimed by the Church, the duty to protect the politicians’ souls from a potentially mortal wound, and the responsibility to do all that is possible according to one’s office to try to stop the killing. The education-alone approach has failed for the same reason that the personally opposed, publicly pro-choice position has led to massive abortion on demand: the nature of sin is that the easier it is to commit, and the fewer the consequences for doing it, the more sin we’ll have.
The issue of Senator Edward Kennedy's elaborate Catholic funeral Mass that turned into the circus of adoration has been covered all over the blogosphere. There is no problem with Senator Kennedy receiving a Catholic funeral. There is no problem with Cardinal O'Malley presiding at this funeral. There is a huge problem with the public praise and adulation of Senator Kennedy. There is a problem with the abuse of the Eucharist by turning the Holy Mass into a public political platform. The intercessory prayers for the passage of health care reform and for gay rights were beyond the pale. Cardinal Sean O'Malley has shot back with a strong defense of his actions. Think about this in light of the second reading from this past Sunday (James 2:1-5)
|1||My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.|
|2||For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,|
|3||and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"|
|4||have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?|
|5||Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?|
Senator Edward Kennedy and most of the Kennedy clan (Eunice Kennedy Shriver being the most notable exception) made a mockery of the Catholic Church for decades. They have publicly flouted her teachings on marriage, sexuality, and life issues including abortion, contraception, and embryonic stem cell destructive research. In spite of this they were courted and lauded by the Church hierarchy in Boston. Their public dissent from Church teachings never received public repudiation. This lack of pastoral discipline produced two results. It told the average Catholic in the pew that Church teachings are negotiable if you have enough wealth, power, and prestige. It also very clearly sends the message that all the priests' and bishops' words about the sanctity of human life are empty. They lose all credibility as teachers on all issues, not just life issues. It is only bishops like Finn, Burke, Chaput, and Naumann, who do not bow to the altar of earthly prestige who will be able to lead us to the Truth.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
That is a very good question. The truth of the matter is these officials were elected by the people. If there is any listening going on, these officials should be listening to us. I am very uncomfortable with our elected officials being presented as trusted sages to young children.
The study guide suggests that after the speech children discuss the following questions:
What do you think the President wants us to do?
Does the speech make you want to do anything?
Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
How about the question "Should we do what President Obama is asking of us?"
Hillary Clinton made famous the phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child." I agree. Raising a child is made infinitely easier if there is a supportive community. However, Hillary Clinton's idea was to make the government the village. As a parent, I will choose my own village, thank you very much.