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Showing posts from October, 2008

The Catholic Conscience

Yesterday, the priest at daily Mass emphasized the primacy of the right to life as an election issue. He encouraged each of us to study, pray, then vote. We must follow our conscience, but it must be a well formed conscience. To help you in that regard, here is a thoughtful video.

Bishop Loverde Adds His Voice

I am very happy to add my own bishop, Bishop Paul Loverde, to the growing list of bishops who have spoken out about the primacy of the right to life in the upcoming election. You can read his full letter here.

More change. We must clearly understand and willingly share the fullness of Catholic teaching with those we encounter in our everyday lives. The depth and breadth of Catholic teaching, rooted in Sacred Scripture, Tradition and natural human reason, is a great gift from God and a resource available to us all. Unfortunately, Church teaching regarding the most vulnerable and most weak has been misrepresented time and again. The Church’s position (regardless of what any individual member of the Church might assert) is, and always has been, clear: life starts at the moment of conception and a direct abortion is, in any circumstance, an intrinsic moral evil. It would be difficult, indeed quite rare, to find an issue that is proportionate in both importance and gravity to the issue of a…

Bishop Finn Calls the Church Militant to Action

Every Catholic must read this:

Warriors with Our Eyes Fixed on Heaven
Last Saturday I had the privilege of consecrating the restored church of Old St. Patrick. This is the oldest existing Catholic church in Kansas City. It will serve as the Oratory for the Latin Mass community which first began here under Bishop John Sullivan, and for many years has shared the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows.
One of the beauties of the Traditional Latin High Mass that I celebrated is that it highlights a most profound aspect of the Mass, namely our participation with the Communion of Saints. The high altar, multiple candles, incense and Gregorian chant, collectively give us a striking image of the Heavenly Jerusalem which is our ultimate home. Every Mass celebrates this reality, but I must admit that the traditional Mass captured this magnificent expression of the ultimate hope and goal of Christians in a powerful way. We should reflect on this often, because the ultimate goal of everything we do is to ge…

Pro-Life Mission of the Domestic Church

In this intensely political climate as we are on the home stretch to the elections, we must not lose sight of the fact that there will be a November 5. The elections will be over. Whether or not or pro-life candidates are victorious, the pro-life movement must go on. If the culture of death wins this battle at the ballot box, those of us who fight for the dignity and rights of those who have no voice must work even harder to change hearts. When the culture of death enacts laws that enshrine the taking of innocent human life we will face an uphill battle in changing hearts. Too many in our culture assume that if it is legal, it must be moral. If we were in this battle alone, we would surely fail. But we are not in this battle alone. God will stand firm with us. As the Angel Gabriel said to Mary, “With God, all things are possible. Therefore, we must remain faithful no matter how the winds of our culture blow.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland asserted this as he assailed the passage o…

Pelosi: 1=2

But I do tell you that if the Democrats win, and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan," said Pelosi.

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

Please note that the word “bipartisan” begins with the prefix “bi”. That refers to the number two—as in two parties. If the Democrats win with substantial majorities in both the House and Senate (You do know we have a bicameral legislature, don’t you?), that would be one party running the show. It is hard to see how that is bipartisan.

You know in just the last few months you have declared that the Catholic teaching on the immorality of abortion is only about fifty years old, that natural gas is not a fossil fuel, and now that one party controlling everything is bipartisan. I have to wonder if you and I are both speaking English because I really don’t understand what you are saying.


Catholic Mom
(Actually, I am not sure you know what Catholic means either)

A Beacon of the Gospel

Today is the feast of Sts. Simon and Jude. The Gospel reading for today includes the call of the twelve Apostles. At Mass this morning, Father brought to our attention how many of the Apostles are related. Peter and Andrew are brothers. James (the Greater) and John are brothers. St. Jude is the nephew of St. Joseph so is the legal cousin of Jesus. James the Lesser is also thought to be a cousin of Jesus. The point of this is that evangelization begins at home. While we may want to speak to the world we must first speak to our spouses, our children, our parents, and our siblings. If each of us developed our own domestic church into a beacon of the Gospel, the evangelization of the world would take care of itself.

Faithful Citizenship Novena

The USCCB encourages to pray a novena (nine days of prayer) for faithful citizenship. The Novena prayers can be found here. You can find it in both text and podcast formats.

Today's prayer is:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

Ps 8:2, 4-10

O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!
You have set your majesty above the heavens!
When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—
What are humans that you are mindful of them,
mere mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them little less than a god,
crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the works of your hands,
put all things at their feet:
All sheep and oxen,
even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord,
how awesome is your name through all the earth!

How will I praise God to…

Steps on the Journey

In the post below I mentioned I was intending to post something on the phases of one’s spiritual journey but got sidetracked. Well, a commenter on that post asked me about the Church’s teaching on contraception. That is actually a really good bridge to this topic.

I am currently moderating an adult study class of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. We are using the Christopher West series Introduction to Theology of the Body. Pope John Paul II uses the language of the mystics to describe a spiritual journey. He divides it into three phases: purgative, illuminative, and unitive.

Of course, before one even gets to the initial stage of the journey, one must commit to making the journey in the first place. I can say I want to travel to New York City, but if I never look into the travel options, costs, lodging, and sites to see I will never find myself in New York City. It isn’t really my destination.

The same is true of our spiritual journey. Do you want to be ultimately united with Go…

Bishops Speaks to Those Who Want to Just Reduce Abortion

This is big news! The Bishops have some very clear words for those “Catholics” who are supporting Obama because they speculate his economic policies will reduce the number of abortions:

Recently, some have called on the Church to abandon most of this effort. They say we should accept Roe as a permanent fixture of constitutional law, stop trying to restore recognition for the unborn child’s human rights, and confine our public advocacy to efforts to “reduce abortions” through improved economic and social support for women and families.

The Catholic community is second to no one in providing and advocating for support for women and families facing problems during pregnancy. Catholic hospitals, charitable institutions, and thousands of pregnancy aid centers, provide life-saving care and compassionate alternatives to the violence of abortion. We have advocated for universal health care coverage, generous family leave policies, increases in the minimum wage, humane welfare policies for wome…

Another Bishop Speaks Out

The chorus of bishops speaking out about the need to keep the moral issues front and center in this election is growing. Take a look at the words of Bishop Wenski of Orlando:

And whether as citizens or as elected officials, if we are to be faithful to the truth about the human person, we must oppose uncompromisingly policies and laws that undermine the common good precisely because they originate in a defective understanding of the human person. For this reason, the Church –clergy and laity – while agreeing to disagree on other matters of prudential judgment cannot but oppose the evils of abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and so called same sex “marriage." In these areas, there can be no other legitimate Catholic position. And, as Catholics, we best contribute to our democratic process by voting as faith filled and faithful citizens; that is, in a way coherent to our Catholic beliefs and teachings.

Welcome Visitors!

Welcome to all the visitors to my blog from Obama supporting sites. It seems an anonymous commenter is going to these sites and posting the same comment: "What makes me angry is when other bloggers say that it is morally illicit to vote for Obama". He then links to my blog. He is probably the same anonymous poster on my blog post below. In any case, welccome to the blog. Feel free to comment, but I do ask that your comments be civil. We try to keep things family friendly around here.

In response to my angry anonymous poster, I will offer the words of Bishop Hermann:

I have no doubt that there may be some so-called good Catholics who are reading this column and who may be really angry about now. I ask the question "Why would such a person be angry?" If we do good deeds, then our conscience is at peace. If we do evil deeds, then our conscience bothers us. It is my hope that this column will lead some of our so-called good Catholics to study the Catholic Catechism.

Why the Blogosphere Exists

Have you ever wondered why blogs have flourished? Are there so many of us who are egocentric enough that we just have to see our words published for the world to see? Or maybe it is that we are so frustrated that the current mainstream media is actively promoting a world view that is very foreign to our own. They are no longer purveyors of objective news but rather cogs in a great big propaganda machine. Read this piece by Orson Scott Card. It should serve as an examination of conscience for every American journalist:

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailou…

It is Morally Illicit to Vote for Barack Obama

This week’s lesson in my course on bioethics deals with the principles of cooperation with evil. It is a long recognized principle that it is impossible for an individual to do good in the world without having some association with evil. In light of the Anonymous comment to my last post, I want to evaluate the action of voting for a pro-abortion candidate, specifically Obama, using the principles of cooperation with evil.

Let me first state my premises: Abortion is an intrinsic evil. It is never justified. It cannot be tolerated. Barack Obama supports abortion as is evidenced by his past senate votes and 100% NARAL rating, his endorsement by Planned Parenthood, and his promise to sign the radical Freedom Of Choice Act as one of his first official acts as president. An astute and very precise legal analysis of the dire ramifications of the Freedom of Choice Act can be found here. It can also be assumed that Obama will support US funding of abortions as part of foreign aid packages as we…

Modern Day Battle of Lepanto

I wanted to post a rather philosophical musing on the phases of one’s spiritual journey, but something far more urgent and far more practical must take precedence. Please read all of this exhortation by Bishop Hermann of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Here is a snippet:

Save our children! How can a so-called good Catholic vote for a candidate that supports laws that take the life of innocent children, when there is an alternative? If there were two candidates who supported abortion, but not equally, we would have the obligation to mitigate the evil by voting for the less-permissive candidate.

Save our children! How can a so-called good Catholic vote for a candidate that supports laws that justify the killing of a child that survived a botched abortion? How can such a so-called good Catholic receive the Holy Eucharist?

In Chapter 10 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he states: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The br…

Coming to a Community Near You

Since we know many liberal candidates are supportive of same sex "marriages", consider this possibility in your community:

The 18 Creative Arts Charter School students took a Muni bus and walked a block at noon to toss rose petals and blow bubbles on their just-married teacher Erin Carder and her wife Kerri McCoy, giggling and squealing as they mobbed their teacher with hugs.Mayor Gavin Newsom, a friend of a friend, officiated. A parent came up with the idea for the field trip - a surprise for the teacher on her wedding day."She's such a dedicated teacher," said the school's interim director Liz Jaroslow. But there was a question of justifying the field trip academically. Jaroflow decided she could."It really is what we call a teachable moment," Jaroflow said, noting the historic significance of same-sex marriage and related civil rights issues. "I think I'm well within the parameters."
Lord Have Mercy!
For the sake of His sorrowful Pas…

A bunch of those "Catholics" aren't really Catholic

Every time I see one of these headlines about the split Catholic vote I want to scream! Inevitably, the article will go on to distinguish the results in terms of practicing and non-practicing Catholics.

The survey found that both Catholics (73 percent) and non-Catholics (71 percent) agreed that America needs a "moral makeover." Non-practicing Catholics — defined as those who attend church less than twice a month — were more likely to support abortion rights and same-sex marriage than the American population at large.

Here is the deal: if you don’t attend Mass and you reject the teachings of the Church, YOU ARE NOT CATHOLIC. Your dear grandmother may be Catholic. Your dear mother may be Catholic. But Catholicism is not an ethnicity. You don’t inherit it. Maybe at one time you were Catholic. You went to Mass. You received the Sacraments. But now you have rejected it. How dare you claim that your voice is part of the Catholic voice! Calling yourself a Jedi would be as accurate a…

God Bless Aledo Texas

Read this beautiful story and make sure you have plenty of tissues. God bless the people of Aledo, Texas. It is clear that the parents here have raised some mighty fine children. This is a community that understands what it means to be pro-life.

Seeking Truth

How do you get the truth about the news? Read this article from ABC news and see if you can detect the bias. What is striking is that Nancy Pelosi’s name is annotated with her party affiliation. Tim Mahoney, the congressman accused of paying off his mistress to avoid a sexual harassment lawsuit is not identified by political party. Do you think this is possibly because Nancy Pelosi rooting out unethical behavior sheds a favorable light on the Democrats while Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney’s behavior puts a negative cast to the Democrats? Am I just paranoid to think that if Tim Mahoney were a Republican, ABC News would be posting that “R” every time his name was mentioned? Actually, I don’t think I am paranoid. When ABC News reported on Senator David Vitter’s connection to the DC Madame they identified him as “R-Louisiana”.

The sad truth is there is very little true news reporting from any media outlet. I subscribe to both the Washington Post and the Washington Times because I hope …

Faithful in Spite of Frustration

O stupid Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? I want to learn only this from you: did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith in what you heard? Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh? Did you experience so many things in vain?—if indeed it was in vain. Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works mighty deeds among you do so from works of the law or from faith in what you heard?

(Gal 3:1-5) from the Magnificat for Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yesterday I spent an hour praying in front of an abortion facility as part of the 40 Days for Life campaign. A gentleman that was praying with me expressed great frustration that the pro-life movement was not seeing more dramatic results. How can people not see the truth? I feel this frustration at times as well. Today’s first reading shows we are in good company. Do you think St. Paul was a bit exasperat…

The Slope is More Slippery than Ever

The culture of death initially proposed the abortion of disabled children as a voluntary option and presented it as a liberating act. It has now degenerated into an expectation with harsh criticism levied when the “option” is not selected. Similarly, the “freedom” to choose suicide at the end of life has turned into a duty to die if one is a burden to one’s family or society in general. Professor John Hardwig, head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Tennessee, takes this stand on BBC radio. I am afraid I cannot find the audio broadcast that features him but you can appreciate the gist of his position from this written summary:

Hardwig thinks that we may have a duty to die when the burden of caring for us seriously compromises the lives of those who love us:

* they may be physically exhausted by caring for us
* they may be emotionally exhausted by caring for us
* they may be financially destroyed by the cost of our healthcare
* they may be financially destroye…

Ephesians 5 and the Dignity of Women

A few weeks ago our local congressional race made national news. “Ardent, practicing Catholic” Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee decided to run a smear campaign against Republican candidate Keith Fimian.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has sponsored a series of postcards delivered by mail to residents of Virginia’s 11th district. One DCCC-sponsored postcard proclaims, “Did you know Congressional candidate Keith Fimian is an officer of a group that promotes rolling back women’s rights?” The postcard says that Legatus, “promotes like-minded groups who are dedicated to outlawing constitutionally guaranteed rights of women.” That “guaranteed right” is abortion.

“One of the groups that Legatus promotes advocates the end of access to contraception for women,” the anti-Fimian postcard says. “Fimian’s group Legatus even promotes a group ( so extreme that they encourage women to be more ‘submissive’ to their husbands.”…Hmmm….do y…

This Was A Surprise and It Shouldn't Have Been

Many bloggers and news outlets are covering the address by Sacramento Coadjutor Bishop Jaime Soto to the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries conference.

But there was noting ambiguous about Bishop Soto’s remarks to the group. “Sexual relations between people of the same sex can be alluring for homosexuals, but it deviates from the true meaning of the act and distracts them from the true nature of love to which God has called us all,” Bishop Soto said. “For this reason, it is sinful. Married love is a beautiful, heroic expression of faithful, life-giving, life-creating love. It should not be accommodated and manipulated for those who would believe that they can and have a right to mimic its unique expression."

At least five members of the audience walked out during the bishop’s address. When he finished speaking, there was general silence -- with only a very small number applauding.

The chairman of the conference then announced that the bishop would a…

Ora Pro Nobis

I haven’t been shy about asking my readers to offer a few prayers now and then. As I scanned the blogs over the last few days I noticed there are quite a few bloggers for whom it would be nice to pray. So please remember the following intentions as you pray today:

For Barb and her father as they deal with her father’s newly diagnosed illness.

For Michelle and Bill on the occasion of their wedding anniversary and for Bill as he recovers from surgery.

For Carl Oson, his family and a little girl named Elanor

Dominico Bettinelli requests prayers for his mother and sister

Please feel free to add your own intentions in the comment box.

For these intentions and all the intentions in our hearts, we pray in Christ’s Name. Amen.