Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christian Bale Tries to Say Thank You to Chinese Pro-life Dissident and Gets Roughed Up

Christian Bale was trying to see Chen Guangcheng, a lawyer and activist who has fought against China's one child policy - meaning forced sterilizations and abortions.  Since his release, after having served four years in a Chinese prison for something he claims he didn't do (which the Chinese government probably fabricated), he and his family have been under house arrest since September.  Bale said “What I really wanted to do was shake the man’s hand and say thank you, tell him what an inspiration he is."  Bale ended up getting roughed up by some Communist thugs.  The United States needs to grant asylum to Chen and his family.  Is there a way that Americans or America can stop China from oppressing its own people?  I definitely have a new kind of respect for Christian Bale.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Media Says Religious Beliefs Has No Place in Politics

Why should secularist, anti-religious beliefs be imposed on us? Religiously moral beliefs absolutely has a place in politics.  We need to continue to fight against those who try to force immorality and moral relativism on us and practice Christianophobia .

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bishop Foys Says No Holding Hands During Our Father

Bishop Roger J. Foys, Bishop of Covington, has issued a decree clarifying the proper gestures and postures during Mass.

From The Deacon's Bench:

Bishop Foys notes:
The rituals of the Roman Church, of which we are a part, call for specific words to be used as well as particular actions and gestures, both on the part of the priest and the faithful who join their hearts with his in their worship of God. We are encouraged as the Mystical Body of Christ to continual, ongoing conversion in the faith and to strengthen that which is good and holy in our individual lives as well as our common life as Catholics and to root out that which is evil.
Among the points his decree makes:
Special note should also be made concerning the gesture for the Our Father. Only the priest is given the instruction to “extend” his hands. Neither the deacon nor the lay faithful are instructed to do this. No gesture is prescribed for the lay faithful in the Roman Missal; nor the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, therefore the extending or holding of hands by the faithful should not be performed.
And he notes:
The text of the Roman Missal be used exactly as it is written. As stated in the citation from the Second Vatican Council none of us has the authority to change the text for any reason.
a. This includes altering or changing any of the language contained in the liturgical books of the Church, not only the Roman Missal, but the Lectionary and other ritual books – the responses and prayers of the priest, and also those of the people.
b. Please note that only those texts approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States may be used.
            c. Priests and deacons are restricted in their use of the Penitential Act          – Form C, to those invocations found in the Order of Mass of the Roman Missal and those inAppendix VI. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

In the next video Dr. Miravalle gives some historical background on what the Church Fathers stated about Mary and explains that they recognized the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peter Kreeft: How To Win The Culture War

This a marvelous speech, which I recommend to all the faithful.

Kreeft gives 7 basic reasons as to how we could be losing the culture war.

He gave this acronym to remember the reasons.

P - Politicization
H- Happy Talk
O- Organization
N- Neoworship
Y- Yuppidom
S- Spirituality

After that he goes over reasons on how to win the culture war.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Face of Pro-Life: Preemie Survivor April Burke Thriving Despite Weighing Less Than 2 Pounds At Her Birth

April Burke is a survivor of premature birth and discusses how she has survived and excelled even though being born at a stage of development when many are aborted under the excuse that she would be unviable. She was born 4-1/2 months early and weighed 1lb 13oz. and spent 3 months in the hospital. Of all the many problems the doctor said she would have, including severe mental retardation and not being able to walk, the only problem she actually had was that her retina where detached and is legally blind. She discusses with hostess Corinn Dahm: 
How she spends time learning computers and doing volunteer work. 
Her advocacy for blind people. 
How she was adopted and how adoption is a great option. 
How her birth mother could have aborted her but bravely resisted. 
All the things she likes to do like hiking, rolling coasters, she even drove a car and a snowmobile and even bunji jumped at Lake Compounce. 
Her education at a mainstream public school and at college. 

Face of Pro-Life #158: Pre-Mature and Excelling by AirMaria

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ad Limina: Pope Benedict discusses a Secularized Culture and Obstacles It Poses To Christian Faith With U.S. Bishops

This is part of Pope Benedict's first message to the American bishops during their "ad limina" meetings.  More and more in America today Christians are being targeted and discriminated against for our faith.  This is far from the America that our Founders envisioned.  We must keep up the good fight and speak the truth far and wide.  God Bless. 
Many of you have shared with me your concern about the grave challenges to a consistent Christian witness presented by an increasingly secularized society. I consider it significant, however, that there is also an increased sense of concern on the part of many men and women, whatever their religious or political views, for the future of our democratic societies. They see a troubling breakdown in the intellectual, cultural and moral foundations of social life, and a growing sense of dislocation and insecurity, especially among the young, in the face of wide-ranging societal changes.
Despite attempts to still the Church's voice in the public square, many people of good will continue to look to her for wisdom, insight and sound guidance in meeting this far-reaching crisis. The present moment can thus be seen, in positive terms, as a summons to exercise the prophetic dimension of your episcopal ministry by speaking out, humbly yet insistently, in defense of moral truth, and offering a word of hope, capable of opening hearts and minds to the truth that sets us free.
At the same time, the seriousness of the challenges which the Church in America, under your leadership, is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated. The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers, leading at times to that "quiet attrition" from the Church which you raised with me during my Pastoral Visit. Immersed in this culture, believers are daily beset by the objections, the troubling questions and the cynicism of a society which seems to have lost its roots, by a world in which the love of God has grown cold in so many hearts.
Evangelization thus appears not simply a task to be undertaken ad extra; we ourselves are the first to need re-evangelization. As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ's truth. Only through such interior renewal will we be able to discern and meet the spiritual needs of our age with the ageless truth of the Gospel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cardinal Burke Says Attacks On Unborn Are Rooted in 'Contraceptive Mentality'

“The attack on the innocent and defenceless life of the unborn has its origin in an erroneous view of human sexuality, which attempts to eliminate, by mechanical or chemical means, the essentially procreative nature of the conjugal act,” the prelate, who heads the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican’s highest court), told the McHenry County Catholic Prayer Breakfast in the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois on October 31st.

“A most tragic example of the lack of obedience of faith, also on the part of certain Bishops, was the response of many to the Encyclical Letter Humanae vitae,” he said.  “If the shepherd is not obedient, the flock easily gives way to confusion and error.”
But when the bishop is obedient to the Magisterium, he continued, “then the members of the flock grow in obedience and proceed, with Christ, along the way of salvation.”
“The shepherd must be especially attentive to the assaults of Satan who knows that, if he can strike the shepherd, the work of scattering the flock will be made easy,” he added.
“The so-called ‘contraceptive mentality’ is essentially anti-life,” the cardinal insisted.  “Many forms of so-called contraception are, in fact, abortifacient, that is, they destroy, at its beginning, a life which has already been conceived.”
“Through the spread of the contraceptive mentality, especially among the young, human sexuality is no longer seen as the gift of God, which draws a man and a woman together, in a bond of lifelong and faithful love, crowned by the gift of new human life, but, rather, as a tool for personal gratification,” he explained.
Correcting this “contraceptive thinking,” he said, is “essential to the advancement of the culture of life.”
The U.S. pro-life movement particularly is facing a “period of intense struggle,” he noted, as the U.S. government under President Barack Obama has chosen to follow “openly and aggressively a totally secularist philosophy with its inherent anti-life and anti-family agenda.”
He mentioned specifically a talk by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen for the abortion lobby group NARAL on Oct. 6th.  “It is profoundly saddening to note that [Sec. Sebelius] presents herself as a practicing Catholic, while engaging in public speech which is gravely injurious to good morals,” he said.
“Catholics in public office, who obstinately persist in advocating and providing for the most egregious violations of the natural moral law, are the cause of the gravest scandal,” he continued.  “They confuse and lead into error their fellow Catholics and non-Catholics alike regarding the most fundamental truths of the moral law.”

The Church needs to stand up - especially bishops - for life, resist the Smoke of Satan, speak out against abortion and make examples of those Catholics who are anti-life instead of allowing the Smoke of Satan to corrupt their souls as well as others.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nancy Pelosi and The Missing Conscience

In an interview with The Washington Post Nancy Pelosi defended her statement when she said that The Protect Life Act claimed that this piece of legislation would allow hospitals to “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Then she goes onto to defend her outrageous and false characterization by saying those who disagree with my statement “may not like the language,” she said, “but the truth is what I said.  I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it…but they (Catholics) have this conscience thing”

Why did she use the word "they"? Doesn't she consider herself Catholic?  She claims to be a "devout Catholic" but doesn't consider herself a Catholic much less a Catholic who has a conscience. It's interesting that she recognizes that she is an immoral person.  

It is obvious that Nancy Pelosi fails to meet the criteria required to be considered a morally, decent human being which recognizes the difference between right and wrong.  She claims to be a "devout Catholic" but fails to follow Catholic doctrines. 

Is it really possible for a Catholic to be "devout" but yet reject infallible teachings of the Church? 

Nancy Pelosi believes in forcing religious organizations, hospitals etc. to provide sterilizations and contraceptives under their health care plans even if that goes against Church doctrine. What kind of "devout Catholic" would force religious institutions and persons working at these places to violate their consciences? 

Nancy Pelosi's words and actions continue to cause grave scandal to the Church.  We need to pray for her conversion, so that she attains a conscience soon. It is extremely sad that she has lowered herself to such moral depravity. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Struggles, Piety, and The Church

What is causing the decline in church attendance while a majority of people say they believe in God? Father Ronald Rolheiser O.M.I. hypothesizes on this by saying "declining church attendance is paralleled everywhere:families and neighborhoods are dissipating and breaking down as people guard their privacy and individuality more and more. No wonder that our churches are struggling."

I definitely agree that privacy is one reason for the decline in church attendance. Individuality could be part of the reason, too. Most folks generations ago used to go to church for guidance. Do secular activities fill that vacuum today? Are people looking for guidance in the wrong places? Could part of the reason for the decrease in church attendance and the fact that it is so arduous for some people to come together in Church be that our society is so culturally divided in belief of values and worldviews today?

Has the Church ceded its influence over peoples' lives as it has become more indebted to the government? How often do you hear a sermon on abortion, contraception, sin and hell, or any of the tough or controversial issues from your parish priest today? Are priests worried about offending those who donate money? There are plenty of people who are yearning for a hard-hitting sermon and feel empty inside that may fill that monetary void if priests would just have more faith and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With the priest sex abuse scandal and other issues involving the Church could it be that some people see the Church as having lost it's way and not leading by example, like it used to?

Some may see the Church as flawed but the Church that Christ founded is perfectly and wonderfully made. It is the fallen people within the Church who are fallible. Here is a most apropos ode to the Church from Carlo Carretto:

"How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you! You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone. I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence. You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness. Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, yet never have I touched anything more pure, more generous or more beautiful. Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face - and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms! No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you. Then too - where would I go? To build another church? But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects. And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ's church. No, I am old enough, I know better."

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Bible, Inerrancy and Faith

In my post Biblical Inerrancy and The Challenge of Faith I talk about how hard it is for us to have faith and truly *believe* that certain things did in fact happen in the Bible.  There are some Catholics and Christians who assert that God did not punish the Amelakites and command Samuel to commit genocide in 1 Samuel 15 but that it is more of a fable which tells a lesson.  I know there are certain passages in the Bible where figurative language can be applied, such as in the case of the Creation Story and the number of days it took God to create the universe and all that is living but I am not sure how someone would apply a figurative meaning to the scripture in Samuel.
Some people are so certain that God would have never ordered genocide.  But then, what about Noah and the Flood? Moses and the Red Sea when he saved the Israelites?  Uza and the Ark of the Covenant?  Are we to assume that these things didn't happen in scripture?

The kind of thinking that rejects God's very words and twists the words very meaning is contrary to Church teaching with regards to inerrancy and scripture.

Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu stated:
"...Later on, this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine, which claims for these books in their entirety and with all parts a divine authority such as must enjoy immunity from any error whatsoever, was contradicted by certain Catholic writers who dared to restrict the truth of Sacred Scripture to matters of faith and morals alone, and to consider the remainder, touching matters of the physical or historical order as obiter dicta and having (according to them) no connection whatsoever with faith. Those errors found their condemnation in the encyclical Providentissimus Deus..."

Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Providentissimus Deus stated:

"It is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. The system of those who restrict inspiration to things of faith and morals cannot be tolerated. AU the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost."


"By supernatural power He (the Holy Spirit) so moved and impelled them (the sacred writers) to write - He was so present to them - that the things which He ordered, and those only, they first rightly understood, then willed faithfully to write down, and finally expressed in apt words and with infallible truth."

In Dei Verbum the Church makes it know that we as faithful Catholics are supposed to believe this "Since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation"

It is evident what the Church has taught throughout history with regards to Scripture being asserted by the Holy Spirit and it is without error.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Franciscan University Abortion Clinic Outreach

Abortion is murder.  Prayers are needed for this holocaust to end. Prayers are needed for the conversion of those who believe in the culture of death.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Archbishop Dolan Lays Down The Law On Same-Sex 'Marriages'

Archbishop Dolan makes it crystal clear that clergy may not participate in the solemnization of a civil same-sex "marriage" nor may properties and facilities of the Catholic Church be used for such events.

From CNA:
“Jesus Christ affirmed the privileged place of marriage in human and Christian society by raising this union to the dignity of a Sacrament when entered into by two baptized persons, the archbishop said in an Oct. 18 decree. “Consequently, the Church has the authority and the serious obligation to affirm the authentic teaching on marriage and to preserve and foster the supremely sacred value of the married state.”

The archbishop stated that no member of the clergy incardinated or assisting in his archdiocese, or any person acting as an employee of the Church, may participate in “the civil solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage.”
This includes providing “services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges for such events.”
The ecclesiastical solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriages is “expressly forbidden by canon law,” he added.

Under the decree, no Catholic facility or property, such as parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, or any place dedicated, consecrated or used for Catholic worship may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages. No Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions or benevolent orders may be used for such purposes.

The decree also bars items dedicated, consecrated or used for the celebration of Catholic liturgy from being used in such ceremonies. The items include sacred vessels, vestments, and liturgical books.

Archbishop Dolan said that the marital union between one man and one woman was “universally accepted by civil law as a constitutive element of human society, which is vital to the human family and to the continuation of (the) human race.”

The New York legislature’s new law is “irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law,” the archbishop said.

“The intimate partnership of life and love that constitutes the married state was established by God and endowed by Him with its own proper nature and laws,” he wrote. “According to Divine law, the nature of marriage is defined as a covenant between one man and one woman by which they establish a partnership of the whole life, which is ordered to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.”

Spirit Song

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Biblical Deck of Cards

I found this on The American Catholic: The story about a soldier using a deck of cards as a mnemonic device to remind himself of the Bible, set in the video above in the Vietnam War, goes back to 1778.  Versions of the story have been set in the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  
H/T The American Catholic 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Illinois Catholic Bishops Response To Gov. Pat Quinn's Formal Cooperation in Advancing Culture of Death

The Illinois Bishops statement is good. But did it go far enough?  Dr. Ed Peters is impatient like many other Catholics that the bishops didn't take more action in accord with Canon 915 - which prohibits the reception of Communion by the publicly unworthy - but doesn't see it as a failure that the bishops didn't go as far in their response as they could have.  This could be a good first step but I still think the governor should have been forbidden from taking part in the reception of Communion.  What do you think?

Here is Dr. Ed Peters article:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Struggling but offering it up to God

Ever since my surgery it seems like I have had one medical issue pop up or another.  For the past week or so I have had trouble breathing, felt dizzy and today I felt even dizzier than before.  I was blessed to see my doctor today.  I am so blessed to have a doctor who cares so much about me.  He gave me orders to rest.  This means no work, which means less money coming into the household.  But, I know God will help provide for us.

Here is a prayer to offer up our sufferings.

Dear Lord,
Help me to remember in these troubled times
The cross you carried for my sake,
So that I may better carry mine
And to help others do the same,
As I offer up (whatever your concern or problem here) to you
For the conversion of sinners
For the forgiveness of sins
In reparation for sins
And for the salvation of souls. Amen

Sunday, October 23, 2011

God's Interventions

Recently I have been thinking of God's interventions.  He intervened in the Bible in the case of Noah and the Flood and when in Exodus the waters crushed the Egyptian soldiers after Moses and the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea.

 I was originally scheduled to have to my surgery on October 24th but then got a phone call which asked whether I would want to move it up to October 17th.  I said Yes.  While it was my free will to change the date of surgery since they had a cancellation it is still my contention that it was an act of divine providence that I had my surgery this past Monday instead of this coming Monday.  My husband and I have had plans to help celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary out of town for quite some time and if the events which happened to me this past week happened this upcoming week there is no way my husband and I could have spent time celebrating my parents golden anniversary with them and other family members.

First, after I had surgery I had trouble with my stitches bleeding.  Then on Thursday I had an emergency where I was admitted to the hospital for a day.  I now know that this was truly God's intervention that had my surgery date rescheduled to an earlier date.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catholic Culture Clash Links -- 10-12-11

Bless all those in our government for foiling a terror plot attempted by the Iranians.  Factions of the Iranian government had planned a terrorist attack on the Israeli and Saudi Arabian embassies in Washington and planned to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.  This certainly takes chutzpa on the part of the Iranian government. But, what do you expect when we have a president who is willing to compromise with our enemies?  Do you think that this terrorist attempt is an act of war?  My question is what options do we have to hold Iran accountable for their actions?  Attorney General Holder said that the U.S. is going to hold Iran accountable for its actions. How? Okay... Just heard they've decided to try more sanctions.  That's about par for this administration - continuing with their failed policies.  If we retaliated with military action would this fall under the Just War Doctrine?

What is your opinion of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters? Over at Teresamerica I posed this question: Are They Astroturf Useful Idiots Who Represent the Bums of America?

Apparently a Catholic participant named Tom Beaudoin has proposed that Catholics follow this model and apply it to the grievances they have with the Church.   Look at this paragraph from Tom's article: 

What would be the last straw that would make you join such a movement? Would it be the episcopal malfeasance and coverup known as the sexual abuse crisis, would it be the steady disaffiliation, deconversion, and detachment of your family members or friends from the faith as church structures, teachings, and practices become steadily more incredible in contemporary society, or would it be the failure of the church to practice in its internal affairs the justice it preaches to the world -- or something else?" 

From this paragraph do you get the gist that Tom and other occupiers want to "transform" the Church into  something its not in order to fit into secular society's cesspool of moral relativism?   I'm sure Tom wants to abandon Tradition. No Thanks!  The Church's teachings are infallible and indefectible. 

Archbishop Gomez encourages Catholics to boldly defend life.    He said, “This issue is deeply related to who we are as Catholics, to our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ.” 

“This issue is deeply related to who we are as Catholics, to our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ.”

He is calling the faithful to pray together as a Church during the month of October for an end to “every offense against the sanctity and dignity of the human person”. 

Archbishop Gomez continued “Our religion, in a beautiful and mysterious way, is deeply identified with human life,” he said. “What other world religion remembers the time when its founder was in his mother’s womb?”

“Biblical religion is a religion in which family and children, and the promise of children, plays a big role,” he said. “Think of God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.’”

“An unborn child was the first to bear witness to Jesus! God loved us so much that he entered into this world as each one of us did — through the womb of a mother.”
“Jesus Christ took our human nature and spent nine months in the womb!” he underscored. “Why would he do this? To show us that human life is sacred. To show us that every life is precious to God.
To show us that each of us is a child of God who is loved in a special way by our Father in heaven.”

He went onto explain that Christians have been defending the right to life “from the very beginnings of the Church” and “why we defend for the right of every child to be born.”

Archbishop Gomez continued saying this, “This is why we defend the rights of the old and the sick to be cared for with love and compassion until their natural death.This is why we strive to preserve the mystery of marriage as the union of man and woman in the plan of God.  And this is why we strive for justice for the immigrant and the worker; for the imprisoned, the hungry and the homeless. This is who we are as Catholics. We are a people of life and for life.” 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bishop David Zubik Vehemently Denies Allegations: "This Collar Is Not A Bulls-Eye"

My bishop, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, is denying allegations that he molested a boy during the 80's. Every person who either volunteers or wants to become employed by a Catholic institution must pass a background check. The guy who has made the accusation against Bishop Zubik failed the background check. Now in a case of what seems to be of a retaliatory nature, this man has accused Bishop David Zubik of molestation after his failing the background check and his being denied the ability to volunteer as a lay minister for a parish in Pittsburgh. The accuser then when on to tell people that he intended to "bring down somebody pretty high up."

"The fear of every priest is that someone, sometime, somewhere, somehow will level a false accusation against him. That nightmare has been realized for me," he said. "I emphatically state no such behavior occurred, nor any semblance of such behavior. The accusation is false, offensive and outrageous." - Bishop David Zubik, October 5, 2011. 

From Channel 4 News in BEAVER, Pa. -- Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik on Wednesday vehemently denied an accusation that he sexually assaulted a student in the 1980s.

Channel 4 Action News' Bob Mayo reported that the bishop went public with a news conference to deny the accusation by 45-year-old Michael Rock, a former student at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, where Zubik served from 1980 to 1987.

"Specifically, my accuser alleged: 'He was the most violent with me. He forced me up against the wall in the chapel and tried to tongue kiss me.' I emphatically state no such behavior occurred, nor any semblance of such behavior. The accusation is false, offensive and outrageous," Zubik said, reading from a prepared statement.
Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh seemed to agree.

"I can assure you, based on 30 years of experience, I have never heard of a more convoluted, extenuated series of stories in order to justify the recollection of the now-made allegations against the bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh," Berosh said.
According to a news release from the Pittsburgh diocese, the accusation was made public in a blog post.

When the diocese learned of the accusation, it turned the information over to the district attorney's office, authorities at the Vatican and the independent diocesan review board, the statement said.

"Take a look at this collar. I've been putting this collar on every day for the past 40 years. In the name of my brother priests, I want to say that this collar is not a bull's-eye," Zubik said.

Even though the statute of limitations expired a long time ago, Berosh said his office did an in-depth investigation and found nothing to backup Rock's claims.

"The allegation was brought to our attention not by the alleged victim in this case, but by the diocese of Pittsburgh itself," Berosh said. "I believe that says a lot about the integrity of the (zero-tolerance) system that has been set up over a period of years between the district attorney's office of the various counties and the diocese of Pittsburgh."

Worshipers at St. Mary of Mercy Parish downtown expressed trust in Zubik on Wednesday afternoon.

"I cannot believe that this would happen to Bishop Zubik, and I am praying that this all just goes the right way for him because I trust in him," said Dennis Johnson, of Bethel Park.

"He's a good person. He's done a lot for us," said Joan Mastrandrea, of Mount Washington.

In an email to Mayo, Rock wrote, "I stand by my blog! It is really tough for me and my family right now. I have nothing more to say at this time."

From Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Bishop Zubik described his accuser as "a complex individual" and said he had no intention of taking legal action against him.

"I assure you that I am concerned about the welfare of my accuser. At the same time, I expect that my integrity and the integrity of the Church I lead will be respected as well. I pledge my prayers for my accuser, and I ask your prayers for both of us," he said.

Both Bishop Zubik and this troubled individual are in my prayers. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Father Frank Pavone -- Baby Joseph: A Life Worth Living

From Fr. Frank Pavone @ Priests For Life

I learned with sadness tonight of the passing of Baby Joseph Maraachli, the boy from Canada who, earlier this year, made international headlines as his family fought to give him the basic care he needed in order to breathe. I extend my condolences and prayers to his family.

This young boy and his parents fulfilled a special mission from God. Amidst a Culture of Death where despair leads us to dispose of the vulnerable, they upheld a Culture of Life where hope leads us to welcome and care for the vulnerable.

From my first conversation with Baby Joseph's parents, they expressed to me their trust in God. They had no demands of Him regarding how long their son would live. They just wanted to fulfill their calling to love their child unconditionally and to protect him from those who considered his life worthless.

And they fulfilled that calling. After encountering, to their astonishment, the unwillingness of the Canadian medical and legal establishment to give their son a simple tracheotomy, they turned to Priests for Life, and we arranged for the child to receive that treatment at Cardinal Glennon Childrens’ Medical Center in Saint Louis. I’ll never forget the night I flew in the medical jet to pick up the baby and his dad. (Mom and their older child joined us shortly thereafter.) It was the middle of the night. It was cold. And yet new hope and joy were born on that Kalitta MedFlight. Joseph’s Dad Moe was literally pinching himself, saying he could hardly believe that his son was now free from the prison of a hospital where he had been, and able to receive a new evaluation and care.

And what a joy it was, after those weeks in Saint Louis, to celebrate Holy Thursday and, on that day, to see Joseph go home with his parents, breathing on his own without tubes or machines. Nobody denied that he had a serious, degenerative neurological condition, and nobody was unwilling to accept professional medical judgment. What we refused to accept, however, was the arrogance of medical and legal professionals who presumed to judge the value of his life, and to say he wasn’t worth treating. Yes, there is such a thing as a worthless treatment, but there is never such a thing as a worthless life.

That’s the line that needs to be drawn in the sand again and again. That’s the prophetic witness that needs to thunder from our pulpits and be lobbied in the halls of government.

I praise God tonight for the tens of thousands who stood with Priests for Life and other prolife groups to save Baby Joseph. We remain convinced that the value of life is not measured in months or years, but rather reflected in the love we share moment by moment. We all loved Joseph, because God entrusts us to the care of each other. In that conviction we will continue to counteract the culture of death and restore protection and equality to all, born and unborn.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Baby Joseph's family. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Plea To Both Lisa Graas and Leila Miller

As a person who has experienced the rift of friendships due to politics and religious differences of opinion on Catholicism please do not let one statement get in the way of 12 years of friendship. It isn't worth it. Another Catholic blogger and I have now begun the healing process and I really don't want another friendship between faithful Catholics to go south.

This whole friction is over these words on Leila's blog, Little Catholic Bubble:

I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable

 I will honestly say that I read Leila's guest blog post by a gay, Catholic blogger and overall it didn't strike me as being anti-Catholic or charging Catholicism or Catholics as being anti-gay bigots.  That is my overall take but in my opinion these words collide with the overall demeanor of the blog post.  To me these words do give fodder to the LGBT community.  The majority of people who are gay are not Catholic.  I am wondering which gay activists don't make the charge that Catholics and the Catholic Church is "homophobic".  The problem is that most gay activists see the Catholic teachings on homosexuality and homosexual acts as intolerant so for Leila to keep this statement up is almost in effect admitting falsely that Catholic teaching on homosexuality is "homophobic".  Gay activists commit Christianophobia by claiming that Catholic beliefs on homosexuality are "homophobic".

I don't think that Leila should have defended this particular statement.  I also don't think Lisa Graas should end a friendship over this statement staying up on Leila's blog.  I think it would be appropriate for Leila to honor Lisa's request and delete these words from the guest post.  I will be keeping both Leila and Lisa in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catholic Culture Clash Links -- 9-19-11

Some in the LGBT community are not only intolerant but have violently threatened a Catholic blogger at the blog Accepting Abundance with whom they disagree.  This is unacceptable!!!! The hypocrisy in the MSM irks me to no end. If the situation was reversed the MSM would be capitalizing on this and saying how the defenders and promoters of the traditional lifestyle were extremists promoting violence against the LGBT.  But.... NO now we only hear silence coming from the MSM. Those who claim to be tolerant are actually the most intolerant of all.  All we traditionalists want is for the LGBT community to keep their perverse sexual escapades (kissing in public and so on) in the bedroom and not harm our kids.  When those in the LGBT community have Public displays of affection they are not only demanding that we are tolerant of them but they in fact want us to approve of their actions. I do not approve of their actions.  Their actions are contrary to Church teachings and the natural law.  Let us stand with Stacy Trasancos as she combats these devilish threatening comments.  Stacy, you are doing an excellent job standing up for the safety and vulnerability of all children as they are exposed to these perverse actions in public.  God Bless Msgr. Pope for defending Stacy and explaining the Church's position on homosexuality is not one of bigotry.

Apparently there is a challenge to the new same-sex marriage law in New York. Yea!! The attorney general of New York is now asking the case to be thrown out.  I hope the challenge to the law is allowed to move forward.  Governor Andrew Cuomo a not so Catholic Catholyc has caused scandal to the Catholic Church and IMO should at the very least be denied Communion if not excommunicated in order to send a crystal clear message to Catholyc politicians who dissent from Church Doctrine to STOP dissenting from Church Doctrine.

I have written an article on one of my other blogs called, Dancing With The Stars and The Natural Law.  This deals with the whole Chastity-Chaz Bono controversy.  Should our children be exposed to this?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Is there an attack on the pro-life movement from within?

It certainly seems so.

First, we have the news that Bishop Blaise Cupich of Spokane has given out marching orders to the priests and seminarians in his diocese to stop being active in certain pro-life activities and to stop promoting pro-life activism.  If you look at Bishop Cupich's previous actions and statements on pro-life issues he seems to be a staunch pro-life bishop so why all of a sudden would he order something which is so hostile to the pro-life movement? That is extremely puzzling to me.  If he is so pro-life why would he forbid his seminarians and priests from participating in sidewalk counseling, promoting 40 Days For Life and their activities, or their  participation in 40 Days For Life?  This just doesn't make sense.

Mark Shea says I don't get Bp. Cupich.  Neither do I.  He posted this from one of his readers:

Dear Friends,

We recently learned about a troubling decision regarding pro-life activities by our bishop, His Excellency Blase Cupich of the Diocese of Spokane.

I am emailing you because you are a parishioner in the diocese, or have a connection to the diocese, or you have the ability to make public this regrettable decision.

Bishop Cupich has informed all of his priests and seminarians that they cannot:
- pray outside of Planned Parenthood
- promote or organize peaceful protest outside Planned Parenthood in their parishes (naming 40 Days for Life specifically)
- or allow pro-life material to be distributed in their parishes unless it is published by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or the USCCB--who, ironically, support 40 DFL.

This information came to us directly from multiple Spokane priests. We were also told by these priests that Bishop Cupich identifies himself as pro-life, but disagrees with the "tactic" of praying outside of abortion clinics. The reason he gave for his decision is that he does not want his priests being identified with "extreme" pro-life persons.

We know you all understand the great concern that comes when a bishop is 1) not overtly supportive of pro-life activities and 2) will not allow his priests to fight for the pro-life cause by praying and giving witness to the sanctity of human life outside of Planned Parenthood.

My wife and I have written a letter that we will be sending to the bishop tomorrow and have copied the text below. I am asking that you also do what you can to help him change his mind, especially since we begin the fall campaign of 40 Days for Life in a few weeks.

Let us all pray for Bishop Cupich that he has a conversion of heart on this issue.

May God bless each of you as you fight for life!
Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich
Diocese Of Spokane
1023 W. Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99210

Your Excellency:
We have recently learned of facts that are highly disturbing to us. We are seeking clarification from your office.
We have been told that you have forbidden priests and seminarians of the Diocese of Spokane from praying in front of Planned Parenthood, participating in 40 Days for Life, organizing peaceful protest outside of Planned Parenthood (either as a part of 40 Days for Life or otherwise), and endorsing/allowing communication of pro-life activities involving the above two methods in a parish.
We also learned that no pro-life literature may be distributed in a parish except for those produced by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or by the USCCB. A few months ago, we learned that you declined to endorse 40 Days for Life—something Bishop Skylstad, your predecessor, did indeed endorse. Even the USCCB supports and promotes this organization.
We were concerned, but hoped you had a good reason for your decision, and that it might be a misunderstanding. With this new information, we find it hard to believe it is a misunderstanding.
As members of the Diocese of Spokane, we do not understand why our bishop, the man entrusted by the Church and by Christ to lead the flock, would not allow a peaceful protest of the destruction of human lives. The pro-life issue, which has been championed and endorsed by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the USCCB, is the most important of our age.
In the last 38 years, since abortion became legal in the United States, over 50 million children have been lost (that we know of) through the horror of abortion. While we are hoping that your denial of priests to pray for the unborn outside of the very place where children are murdered is a matter of disagreement on tactics, it seems as though you do not support the movement at all; again, we hope that is not true.
However, we do not understand how a bishop could not endorse praying the rosary, Our Lady’s prayer, for the sake of the unborn, their mothers and fathers and the workers, at the very scene of their deaths. Prayer and peaceful witness are the only ways that we will win the battle of converting hearts to believe in the sanctity of every human life. If what we heard is true, telling priests not to pray outside of abortion clinics would be equivalent to telling a priest in Germany or Poland that they should not pray outside of Death Camps. The same tragedy that happened in Germany is happening in our country today, but too many people are standing by without defending the unborn.
We need our priests and our bishops, our spiritual leaders, to take on the cause of defending the unborn! We need our priests and bishops to unabashedly proclaim the sanctity of human life! We need our priests and bishops to witness to the women who are going into a clinic and are in need of a friendly face! If they don’t lead the people of God, how will we win this battle for the lives of the unborn? How do we tell the world that the Catholic Church is the most pro-life faith when our bishops are not willing to sacrifice for the life of a baby?
We are not necessarily asking you to pray outside of Planned Parenthood or be the leader of 40 Days for Life, although we wish you would desire to do so.
But we are asking you to clarify why you would not allow your priests and seminarians to take part in this essential part of the pro-life movement. We are also asking you to publicly endorse 40 Days for Life, an important part of our witness in this diocese each year.
It saddens us that our new bishop is not overtly pro-life, let alone that he will not allow his priests and seminarians to express their own pro-life convictions.
Know that we will pray for you as the shepherd of our diocese. However, if this decision remains in effect, we will not be able to support you financially. We will be rescinding our 2011 pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal, additionally.
It is essential that the Catholic Church be the beacon of hope in this time where our society finds it acceptable to murder innocent human life by the millions each year.
May God bless you in your ministry and give you wisdom as you lead our diocese.

Now here is the second attack on the pro-life movement. Father Frank Pavone's Bishop is preventing him from running Priests For Life.  Apparently his bishop, Bishop Zurek of Amarillo, has some financial concerns with regards to Priests for Life.  But is that the real reason or is there really some ego turf war going in with the bishop?

This is where the bishop's letter gets personal. 
In his relationship to his bishop ordinaries, Father Pavone has gradually lost his need to show appropriate obedience to his Bishop. It seems that his fame has caused him to see priestly obedience as an inconvenience to his unique status and an obstacle to the possible international scope of his ministry. I would venture to say that the supreme importance that he has attributed to his PFL ministry and the reductionist attitude toward the diocesan priesthood has inflated his ego with a sense of self-importance and self-determination. This attitude has strained his relationship with me and has give me the impression that I cannot invoke obedience with him because he is famous. It is my desire to help him readjust his priestly bearing through spiritual and theological renewal in order to recapture that essential priestly hallmark of respect and obedience. It is also my desire to strengthen Father Pavone’s sense of communio sacramentalis with me so that he may be fortified with a healthy zeal to live in an authentic way his sacramental gift and mystery as a priest of Jesus Christ.

If you judged it to be prudent, I would like to ask that you would inform the Christian faithful under your care to consider withholding donations to the PFL until the issues and concerns are settled.

Taking this opportunity to express my esteem and to ask for your prayers, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Patrick J. Zurek, STL, DD
Bishop of Amarillo

You can read the entire letter here.

Here is Father Pavone's official response on this matter:

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has issued the following statement:

“For the past several years, my Ordinary, the Most Reverend Patrick Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo, has given me permission to do the full-time pro-life work that I have done since 1993. In 2005, I made a public promise in a Church ceremony in Amarillo, presided over by a Vatican Cardinal, that this full-time pro-life work would be a lifetime commitment. That’s a commitment I promise to fulfill without wavering.

“This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there.

“I am very perplexed by this demand. Despite that, because I am a priest of the diocese of Amarillo, I will be obedient and report there on the appointed date, putting the other commitments that are on my calendar on hold until I get more clarity as to what the bishop wants and for how long. Meanwhile, I continue to retain all my priestly faculties and continue to be a priest in “good standing” in the Church. The bishop does not dispute this fact. Rather, he has said that he thinks I am giving too much priority to my pro-life work, and that this makes me disobedient to him. He also has claimed that I haven’t given him enough financial information.

“Now, although Bishop Zurek is my Ordinary, he is not the bishop of Priests for Life. Each of our staff priests has his own Ordinary, and the organization has an entire Board of Bishops. We keep them all informed of our activities, and of our financial audits.

“I want to say very clearly that Priests for Life is above reproach in its financial management and the stewardship of the monies it receives from dedicated pro-lifers, raised primarily through direct mail at the grassroots level. To this end, Priests for Life has consistently provided every financial document requested by Bishop Zurek, including annual financial audits, quarterly reports, management documents—even entire check registers! In fact, on June 20, 2011, Priests for Life received the results of its independent audit examination for the year ended December 31, 2010. The organization's auditors issued an unqualified audit opinion indicating that the financial statements "present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Priests for Life, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America". This marks the tenth consecutive year that the organization's auditors have provided a 'clean' audit opinion, when reporting on the respective year's financial statements. Priests for Life has been completely transparent with Bishop Zurek and any other bishops who have requested information regarding our management and finances. Indeed, we have 21 bishops and cardinals who sit on our Advisory Board, and they are kept fully informed about our finances.

“Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.

“I also want to point out that, according to the canon law of the Catholic Church, because I have begun this process of appeal to Rome, the Bishop’s order that I return to Amarillo has been effectively suspended. Nevertheless, because of my great respect for this Bishop and my commitment to be fully obedient at all times, I am reporting to Amarillo this Tuesday, in hopes that I can sort this problem out with the Bishop in a mutually agreeable and amicable way.

“I would like to note that, unlike other organizations, which have sometimes been critical of the Church hierarchy or other institutions within the Church, Priests for Life has always remained 100% supportive of the Bishops, never criticizing any Church official, and always acting as a megaphone for the Bishops’ pro-life statements. Moreover, we serve dioceses and their priests and laity without asking for any speakers’ fees, and distribute millions of pieces of pro-life literature to dioceses completely free of charge. We do not seek parish collections, and we work to reinforce in each diocese the local pastoral plan which the bishop wants to implement for pro-life activities.

“We are committed to going forward with that same spirit, regardless of the recent action taken by Bishop Zurek.

“In the interest of full transparency, I would like to make it known that I do not receive any salary or financial remuneration from either the Diocese of Amarillo or from Priests for Life. Priests for Life, as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful, does provide for my residence and the expenses associated with the ministry, but these expenses are very small. Though, as a diocesan priest, I have never taken a vow of poverty, I have basically chosen to live in that fashion in solidarity with the pre-born children we are trying to protect—who are the poorest of the poor.

“I want to be clear that I do not harbor any ill will towards the Bishop of Amarillo, nor do I foster suspicions about his motives. I am merely confused by his actions. It is impossible for me to believe that there is no place in the Church for priests to exercise full-time ministry in the service of the unborn. We do it for the sick, the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned. But where in the Church is the place where a priest can exercise the same kind of full-time ministry for the children in the womb? That is the question that is at the heart of my own calling.

“I am confident that we will be able to resolve this difficulty soon, without any harm to either my own reputation and without any slowdown of the valuable pro-life work we do at Priests for Life.”

Here is an interview with Fr. Frank Pavone:

H/T LisaGraas 

Let's pray that both Bishop Zurek and Bishop Blaise Cupich hearts will be changed.  Let us also keep the priests and seminarians in the Diocese of Spokane and Father Frank Pavone in our prayers as they deal with these tenuous circumstances. God Bless. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 - 10 Years Later - Never Forget

In 2008 during the Pope's visit to America he visited the site of Ground Zero. He said this prayer:

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict XI--Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008

I penned some thoughts on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 here.

God Bless America!! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

God Bless Archbishop Chaput! - "If they don't believe what the church teaches, they're not really Catholic"

In an interview with the Associated Press Archbishop Chaput states that "If they don't believe what the church teaches, they're not really Catholic". He says that it's not the place for so-called "cafeteria Catholics" who don't accept all of its teachings.

Archbishop Chaput is spot on!  The Archbishop has also made it crystal clear that those Catholyc politicians who are pro-choice should not receive Holy Communion.  I agree with him. There are too many pro-abortion so-called Catholic politicians who have been allowed by their bishops to cause scandal to the Church publicly.  That has got to stop! Bishops need to start doing their jobs, reign in the lost sheep and if those lost sheep refuse to change their ways and refuse to follow the precepts of the Church then they need to suffer the consequences.