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Archive for March, 2011

In their latest sting, Live Action decided to call Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 states to set up appointments for mammograms. Not surprisingly, they admitted to not owning the machines or performing the service. Get the details and listen to the recording Here.

This sting is in response to PP president Cecile Richards’ claim that stripping PP of federal funding would be devastating to women’s health, as PP performs vital mammograms. She’s wrong. PP performs breast exams, not mammograms. PP gives referrals for mammograms. Therefore the only people who will be negatively impacted are adolescent males across America.

It’s every puerile male dream come true to have women pay to have their breasts felt for no useful medical purpose, only to have a referral handed to them for a mammogram. Scanning the breast for lumps not yet detectable is the essence of mammography. Sorry boys, but Live Action ruined the dream.

This also calls to mind Susan G. Komen Foundation’s donations of millions of dollars to PP with the explanation that PP performs mammograms. Komen President Nancy Brinker sat on the board of directors for PP in Texas, and certainly knows better. So there’s even more fraud afoot.

So, Live Action has demonstrated through their stings that PP:

Lies about performing mammograms.

Lies about what abortion is.

Conspires with children to cover the age of the child’s rapist.

Conspires with pimps in child sex-trafficking.

Believes that parents of young children have no right to know of their daughter’s sexual activity.

Has in place programs to bypass mandatory parental notification and consent laws through judicial bypass.

Denies treatment to people lacking insurance or cash.

Sends sex workers and others to donate blood as a means of obtaining free STD testing.

Claims condoms to be safe and effective, when CDC states otherwise.

It’s time to begin the mantra that PP is bad for the public health.

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Bishop Patrick V. Ahern

Last week two New York giants died within days of each other; one a pro-abortion political trailblazer who did much to advance abortion, and the other an auxiliary bishop who left behind him a legacy of life-giving love to handicapped children and their families. The politician is Geraldine Ferraro (my commentary on her right to a funeral mass here), and the bishop, none other than Patrick V. Ahern.

Ferraro was the first woman vice-presidential candidate, and rabidly pro-abortion. She hailed from New York City and her nomination electrified the nation. For as earth-shattering as the idea of a woman on the presidential ticket was, the American people weren’t buying what she was selling and buried Mondale-Ferraro in the largest electoral landslide in American History. The only state they carried was Mondale’s home state. Ferraro couldn’t even carry her home state, liberal New York, the first state to legalize abortion on demand fourteen years earlier. It was a bloodbath.

It was the mid-80’s and New York belonged to John Cardinal O’Connor who famously went after Ferraro and then-Governor Mario Cuomo on their irreconcilable pro-abortion polemics and self-professed Catholicism. I had just entered the college seminary system and had the good fortune to go out to dinner one night with Staten Island’s Vicar, Auxiliary Bishop Ahern. At dinner, the conversation turned to Cuomo and his protestation that as Governor he couldn’t push his own private beliefs and that he was bound by an oath sworn on the Bible to uphold the law of the land. As only young men can do, I looked Bishop Ahern dead in the eye and asked if the Church was suggesting that Cuomo violate his oath. I also asked if the Governor was permitted to allow his private faith into public office. Bishop Ahern’s answer was one for the ages.

He smiled his warm and gracious smile and explained that the Church fully expected the Governor to uphold the law of the land and his constitutional oath. However, Bishop Ahern went on, all politicians work from within the political system, using the machinery of politics to effect what they perceive to be just laws. Cuomo as Governor can work with legislators to get legislation sponsored on any matter he believes to be an injustice in need of remediation. That’s what was done in the Civil Rights movement. That he does not is an indication that he’s being less than honest when he claims to be personally opposed to abortion but unable to act on what he believes to be an injustice.

Bishop Ahern went further. Governor Cuomo is personally opposed to capital punishment, yet repeatedly vetoes any legislation put on his desk for signature, that would reinstate capital punishment. Thus, the Governor shows his duplicity, the same for Ferraro who works to enact legislation on a range of issues that are informed by her conscience.

Now that was greatness. They were a great duo, O’Connor and Ahern. Now they’re gone, along with the rest of their pro-life generation of Bishops, There are few left like them. What we have now are men who cower, fearful of losing our tax exempt status should we proclaim the Gospel of Life and hold our Catholic pro abort politicians to account. Such timidity is a death spiral for the Church.

If we cower for fear of losing our tax-exempt status, then what good does that status avail us? We’ll lose the churches in which we cower and no longer boldly proclaim the Gospel. If we refuse to engage the Culture of Death and deal firmly with Catholic generals in the enemy camp, then we should lose our churches.

Christianity thrives when we don’t cower and count the cost of discipleship. That’s the lesson of Mary and the Apostles. The Church withers and dies when we do. That’s the lesson of the current crop of Bishops.

It’s stand and be counted time. It’s also time to fast and pray for our bishops.

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I’ve seen so much death, corpses in the hundreds. Friends, family, neighbors, parishioners, friends’ relatives, classmates… There is a finality in a corpse that is chilling. It’s over for that individual, their destiny sealed for all eternity.

It’s over.

Wakes and funerals cause me to reflect on my own mortality, and at age fifty, I think it’s safe to say that I have lived more years than I have remaining. My self-reflections take on an added urgency when they take place in that context. I don’t want anything to do with God’s Justice when I die, just His Mercy. Who among us could withstand His Justice? When I go, I’m hoping for lots of sustained prayer for my passage through purgation, and so it is that I find myself increasingly loathe to deny people such as Ted Kennedy and Geraldine Ferraro Masses that are meant to ask for God’s Mercy on their souls.

It’s over.

If anyone in the pro-life movement gloats over their death, or wishes them anything less than God’s Love and Mercy, then such a person is in fearful danger of losing their own salvation and has no grasp of the Gospel message.

There’s worse than abortion.

There is the confused and deplorable state of our Bishops who desperately need our prayers. A priest such as Father John Corapi has been suspended from priestly function for going on three weeks, and an investigation into the allegations that he had sex with grown women has not yet begun. The investigators as of yesterday had not even been chosen. He has been thoroughly trashed in the Catholic blogosphere, with superiors claiming that he enjoys the presumption of innocence while the man drips with the mud through which he has been dragged. Many other men who have suffered false allegation have been similarly slimed by the Dallas Charter’s excesses.

Meanwhile, Catholic politicians who run on a pro-abortion platform, vote hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars for abortion and Planned Parenthood, attempt to destroy pro-life judicial nominees are accorded kid glove treatment by the bishops. They are not held up to any sort of censure, let alone excommunication, for their formal and material cooperation in the murders of scores of millions. Unlike the unsubstantiated allegations against innocent priests, these politicians have public records of their atrocities and receive the presumption of innocence (we don’t know what goes on in their hearts or in confession) from the Bishops.

Yet Canon Law requires some public act of restoration from such public apostasy and atrocity, so the Bishops are acting rather disingenuously in the Eucharist debates.

Something is radically wrong here. If the people seem indifferent to abortion, might they be mirroring their bishops? The point of public censure of such politicians is at once medicinal for the politician, and catechetical for the laity. If the Kennedy’s and Ferraro’s of our time do not merit public censure and prohibition of Eucharistic reception in life, then it seems pointless and even cruel to suddenly get serious about their souls in death.

It’s over.

We should all pray fervently for Geraldine Ferraro’s soul, and moreso for the bishops whose timidity and tolerance may well cost many their salvation.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace, Amen.

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My article in today’s Headline Bistro.

Today is the Solemnity of The Annunciation of the Lord. We recall the moment in God’s perfect time when He sent His Son into the world to effect its salvation. It wasn’t on Christmas, but this day when God took on human flesh and entered into the world. From the single-celled zygotic stage of human development, Jesus became a man like us in all things but sin- fully human while fully divine. It was through Mary’s obedient assent that salvation entered into the world, an assent born of genuine humility, an assent that is a lesson for us all.

We look at artist’s renderings of Mary and typically see visages of serenity born of an extraordinary holiness. Such visages are at once both accurate and illusory; they both guide and mislead us. They lead us to reflect on Mary’s virtues and how those virtues lived through her human nature and how they should live through ours, especially as we strive to encounter a civilization in the throes of moral anarchy and teetering on the brink of implosion. The images mislead because they don’t show Mary’s worries.

Mary is first introduced to us in today’s Gospel. From the outset, we see that she was troubled by Gabriel’s salutation, confused. How can this be? I’m a virgin. But Gabriel assured Mary that she had found favor with God, and that with God, all things are possible. It was an assurance that she knew in her heart to be true, born of a faith and obedience to God’s will that found her the favor of which Gabriel spoke. His visit did not instill faith so much as it was an occasion of grace building on a perfected nature. Mary worked at her holiness, but that holiness did not insulate her from fear, bewilderment, sorrow, hardship, and ultimately witnessing the brutal execution of her son. Her ‘yes’ to God would require embracing it all.

Could Mary have imagined that nine months later King Herod would slaughter all boys under the age of two in an attempt to murder her baby? Could she have imagined a self-imposed exile in the land of their former slavery, Egypt? Could she have imagined the crucifixion? Gabriel never mentioned the cost, or all that would be required. One can only imagine how she broke the news to Joseph, how she must have agonized over her choice of words.

We see salvation through a retrospective lens and count Mary’s sacrifices as worth the cost. Mary didn’t have the benefit of hindsight and could only see the present through a “glass darkly,” and the future, not at all. She lived in the present moment and relied heavily on grace, much the same as we do today.

There is a cost to our discipleship, and the cost can be enormous. Being a Catholic, pro-life scientist who embraces the Magisterium doesn’t endear one to many of one’s peers. It calls one’s objectivity and sanity into question and closes many doors. Tragically, many who similarly embrace the Magisterium receive similar welcome in their own parishes. Even among clergy such divisions exist. We expect rejection and derision from outsiders. It stings worst of all when it comes from our own.

In the 1981 epic miniseries, Peter and Paul, Anthony Hopkins masterfully plays a determined Saint Paul. In a wryly-humorous moment, Paul and Barnabas are taking their rest under a tree after having been stoned and chased from yet another town. As Paul stirs himself and arises with determination to move on, a weary Barnabas arises more with resignation than determination proclaiming, “Perhaps the stones will be softer in the next town.”

And so it is with us. There are days when I’m more Barnabas than I am Paul, still others when I’m more Peter who hears Jesus say He’s going to Jerusalem to die and suggests they go elsewhere. But I know that I’m really called to be like Mary, “Be it done to me according to your word.” Following that call, and living such simple submission is never easy, as I’ve learned repeatedly. Mary did it well because Mary refused to sin, and had the abundance of grace that came with such refusal.

I take great consolation and direction from the mighty Saint Paul, who wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

We are called to live somewhere between Mary and Paul.

So as we go about the arduous task of rebuilding a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love, this is our feast day, the day when God took on human flesh and in such divine condescension elevated our humanity. This is the great North Star of Christian Anthropology. Through it all, Mary is our model and guide. She didn’t count the cost, and neither should we. Mary knew and accepted that which Paul (and we) needed to be told by God:

“My grace is sufficient for you.”

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In 2002, Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics did a telephone sting of over 800 abortion clinics in the U.S., using an actress posing as a 13 year-old girl. The Planned Parenthood clinics were the worst offenders at covering the crime.

See this TV News coverage of the investigation.

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I was made aware of this late last night. The following statement is from Fr. Corapi’s website:

A Call for Prayer

On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of this.

I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.

All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.

This is profoundly disturbing on many levels. Father John Corapi is a stalwart pro-life priest (a tragedy that such distinctions exist within the clergy). Unlike Father Euteneuer, there is no admission of any guilt here, and so we are left to ponder a great many dimensions.

First, it is possible that the allegations are true in whole, or in part. While I strongly doubt that may be the case, it is nevertheless a possibility, grounded in the reality of past cases of very public clergy, and people should have that level of awareness.

That of course raises what for me is the absolute certainty of a grotesque immorality that has been committed here, though not by Father Corapi. He has been placed on administrative leave, which is tantamount to being tarred and feathered in public, before any reasonable investigation has taken place. I see no indication in Fr. Corapi’s statement that his bishop has placed him on leave, and it may well be the action of his superior in his order. So before the bishop-bashing swings into high gear, we need some clarification.

However, we are not speaking of children. We are also not speaking of rape. The allegations seem to be about sex between consenting parties. They also happen to be about drug addiction. Regardless of who placed Fr. Corapi on leave, it is an outrage that we have devolved to the point where a man is denied due process and the presumption of innocence (An Enlightenment philosophy benefit, compliments of the protestants, trumping Catholic justice). A discreet investigation using Father’s whiskers, blood, and urine could easily put together a portrait reaching back months regarding drug abuse.

A discreet investigation on the sex charges could also provide some clarity. Taking Father at his word, none of this was done prior to publicly trashing his good name. It’s madness.

If denial of due process and the presumption of innocence are the new norm for our bishops, if the mere accusation of sin merits headline coverage, then our leadership has lost its way. Badly. The stress of such humiliation could well cause a relapse of the cancer and cost Father Corapi his life.

Innocent or guilty, the minimum standard of due process and the presumption of innocence ought to apply to our priests, as they do for the rest of us. That increasingly they do not is a sin greater than a priest’s dalliance. Our priests sacrifice marriage, family, career, etc for us. It’s about time the laity demand justice for the accused. If we don’t, we deserve empty seminaries.

My prayers for the restoration of Father Corapi and his good name, and for the intentions of the woman who has brought these allegations forward.

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My article in today’s Headline Bistro.

In the Congressional battle to defund Planned Parenthood, the predictable narrative of abortion, Roe v. Wade, women’s rights, and the separation of church and state has given way to a new web of lies. According to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards:

“In attacking Planned Parenthood, the House Republican leadership has launched an outrageous assault on the millions of Americans who rely on Planned Parenthood for primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, HIV testing, and more.”

In truth, Planned Parenthood’s disastrous targeting of children leads to the very diseases for which they test.

To begin, all of Planned Parenthood’s sex literature for youth, young adults, and young people is aimed at children beginning at age ten. This is from their own publication “Stand and Deliver: Sex, Health and Young People in the 21st Century”:

“The World Health Organization defines young people as those from 10 to 24 years of age, including adolescents (10–19 years) and youth (15–24 years). IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) uses the terms young people, youth and adolescents interchangeably to refer to people who are between 10 and 24 years.”

The booklet adds: “Culture, religion and traditions are some of the biggest obstacles in implementing sexual and reproductive health programmes for young people.”

In that light, consider the booklet made available to Girl Scouts in a no-adults allowed meeting at a United Nations conference on women. The booklet is Planned Parenthood’s publication aimed at young people with HIV, called “Healthy, Happy, and Hot.” It contains such advice as:

“You have the right to decide if, when, and how to disclose your HIV status.”

“There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. They may not want people to know they are living with HIV because of stigma and discrimination within their community. They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender. People in long-term relationships who find out they are living with HIV sometimes fear that their partner will react violently or end the relationship.”

“Some people have sex when they have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is your choice.”

Evidently Planned Parenthood has forgotten the public health campaigns of the ‘80s and ‘90s that admonished, “Get high, get stupid, get AIDS.”

Culture, religion and traditions are the glue that bind civilizations together and enable them to flourish. They are indispensable in helping adults guide children past the treacherous shoals of sexually transmitted disease and single parenthood, and into the safe harbor of marriage. In other words, they are indispensable tools in maintaining the public health and welfare, and have been identified by Planned Parenthood as obstacles to their “programme.”

Targeting children with sex education, with condoms at age ten is unconscionable. We place common-sense age restrictions on a host of activities that are grounded in a child’s ability to choose wisely and prudently, choices that affect the public well-being and not just the young person. Such restrictions include minimum ages for driving, owning firearms, enlisting in the military, voting, marrying and consuming alcohol.

So it is outrageous that Planned Parenthood should target children as young as ten, telling them that it is their “choice” whether or not they consume alcohol, use drugs and then have sex. It may be a choice, but it is one that is illegal, immoral and a public health disaster. So is the “choice” of cheating on one’s “partner,” using IV drugs behind their back and then reserving the right not to tell that person one has contracted HIV. Such advice from an organization that receives $360 million annually in taxpayer funding from Congress alone and holds itself out as the premier women’s health organization is nothing short of criminal.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t bother to tell our young people that their own statistician, the Guttmacher Institute, related the following failure rates for contraceptive methods under typical use:

• Pill (Combined) 8.7%

• Three-Month Injectable 6.7%

• Withdrawal 18.4%

• Male Condom 17.4%

They don’t tell that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teaches that condoms are practically worthless in protecting against most STDs and that abstinence and long-term mutual monogamy are the surest ways to avoid STD transmission. They don’t share the CDC data that indicate a steady rise in almost all STDs since the 1960s, as well as a steady, uninterrupted rise in the prevalence of HIV since its advent in the early 1980s. (Click here for an article showing all of the data.)

I’ve recently constructed a new website as a comprehensive parent’s guide to Planned Parenthood and the resources we need to regain the upper hand in determining our children’s fate (click here). There are plenty of great pro-life resources and key, informative articles there.

The time has come to put an end to the taxpayer subsidization of our children’s predators and to demand that they obey the standards of care in public health medicine. The momentum has shifted in our favor.

Our children’s lives depend on our response.

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