Archive for July, 2012

A response to the many queries I’ve been receiving about this topic:

The technological genie is out of the bottle.

We live in the age of Molecular Biology, where diagnostics (including those for Down Syndrome) are becoming much more accurate, sensitive, and inexpensive. It’s a blessed thing to behold.

That may come as a surprise statement to many, but the truth of the matter is that diagnostic testing for Down Syndrome has great potential for good, especially the newer blood tests that can detect Down Syndrome earlier.

First, letting parents know much earlier takes from the more eugenic Ob/Gyn’s the leverage that comes with the more traditional (and later) amniocentesis. Women often receive those tests results within days to a couple of weeks of the legal limit for having an abortion. It doesn’t give the woman time to emotionally digest the diagnosis, leaving her vulnerable to coercive pressure from genetic counselors, doctors and family.

Next, the earlier blood tests allow more time for women to sit with their decision, and to seek out and receive alternative advice without the deadline for abortion looming large on the horizon. Contrary to arguments that say the abortion rate will skyrocket with such testing, as early term abortions are easier to have, one need only consider that research from Harvard University shows that 93% of all Ds babies diagnosed are being aborted; so there’s little margin for any skyrocketing of abortions.

The glass is half-full here.

By itself, the technology is morally neutral. This technology can alert an Obstetrician to the need for more sonograms and the need for bringing onboard a perinatologist. Some Ds babies have anomalies that require immediate surgical intervention at birth. Early diagnostics can help to determine whether the birth should be vaginal or C-section, and whether or not a surgical team needs to be on standby.

Early diagnostics can help the parents emotionally come to terms with the reality of their child’s needs, and the unanticipated trajectory those needs will put the parents’ lives onto; all of which is critical for bonding.

Receiving a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is akin to the same reception of a diagnosis of autism. It’s like a small, tactical nuclear warhead exploding amidst the landscape of joyful reveries about our children and our hope for their futures. I was devastated by all of Joseph’s diagnoses, and would never want to repeat that experience.

Knowing the devastation that often comes with such diagnoses is key to helping parents through that difficult time, and the earlier the diagnosis, the more time we have to help them.

With so much potential good that can come from this technology (and so little room for matters to get worse), it is unwise, even counterproductive to fight against it. Science has actually given us a buffer zone.

We need to exploit it.

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Here in the bluest of blue cities on the political map we have a mayor who has taxed cigarettes into the stratosphere (~$12 per pack) because he wants people to live healthier.

The same mayor trampled the rights of business owners to create smoke-free restaurants and bars.

The same mayor decided that trans fats were so bad for us that they needed to be outlawed, making it a crime for any eating establishment to sell trans fats in New York City.

This same mayor is so concerned that New Yorkers are fat that he issued another of his famous edicts requiring that all restaurants, from 5-star establishments to fast food places and Dunkin’ Donuts test their foods for the caloric content and then publish the calories on the menu. Never mind that under his tenure (where he seized control of the schools) literacy levels have plummeted so badly that only those educated before his tenure can read those menus.

Still not enough, old Granny Bloomberg has decided that any soda (er, pop for those outside of NYC) over 16 ounces should be outlawed. The mayor has stated that one may purchase as many sodas as one wishes, but that limiting the size of the beverage is meant to make people think about what they’re doing.

Now old Granny B. is going after moms with newborns. From FoxNews:

The nanny state is going after moms.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

“If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed,” said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, ages 4 months and 9 years. “It’s for me to choose.”

Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.

With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.

My wife, a NICU/PICU nurse tells me that hospitals have had initiatives going for some time to encourage breastfeeding. As all of our children were breastfed, I’m sold on its benefits over formula, but that’s not the issue here.

Whatever happened to “Choice?”

Specifically, “My body, my choice!”

Bloomberg’s actions could easily be written off as the obsessive eccentricities of a daffy billionaire who is squandering political capital on needless battles over personal liberties issues while his city plunges further into educational, financial, and criminal disarray, especially in a summer that has seen the murder rate soar. But this would be a mistaken assessment.

The truth is that Bloomberg’s actions comport with the broader agenda of his political party as the nation hurtles toward nationalized health care, complete with rationing systems set in place.

If we add to that a new eugenics movement that makes the eugenics of the early 20th century pale in comparison (because our eugenics employs legalized abortion), the dimensions of the storm upon us begin to come into sharp relief. For example, a few weeks ago, the Democrats in Washington defeated legislation intended to outlaw sex-selective abortions, and 93% of Down Syndrome babies diagnosed in utero are aborted.

A government that is broke, $15 TRILLION in debt and responsible for paying the medical bills, will certainly dictate every aspect of our daily lives as it rations care.

A few months back I had dinner with my friend, Reggie Littlejohn who began and runs the great organization, Women’s Rights Without Fronteirs, dedicated to ending the one child policy, forced abortions and forced sterilizations in China. At dinner, I asked Reggie to help me understand how and why it could be in the best interest of the government of China to maintain and enforce such policies, especially in light of their desire to be an economic superpower. Reggie’s answer was a cause for great concern in light of Granny B. and company.

“If the government can control your body, your fertility, they can control every aspect of your life. It’s a tool of totalitarian control.”

I couldn’t help but remember those words as I read of Bloomberg’s newest mechanism of control. Voluntary on the part of hospitals, for now, but coercive for patients. These same democrats who would apply coercive pressure on mothers to have their babies continue to feed from their bodies post-partum are the same democrats who support killing the child for doing the same while in utero, if that’s the mother’s desire.

So the lesson here is that the only bodily autonomy that is absolutely sacrosanct is an act of autonomy that kills the baby. And my fellow New Yorkers sit still as the legal precedents stripping us of our bodily autonomy continue to mount.

In the not-too-distant future we may well see women being coerced into eugenic abortions by a government unwilling to pay the bills for anything less than a perfectly healthy baby, which is probably why the Democrats couldn’t even get behind legislation aimed at preventing little girls from being aborted for simply being little girls. It would be an unwelcome precedent and a future encumbrance.

If there is any ray of light in all of this, it’s that the Democrats have finally given up on the mantra, “My body, my choice!”

It always did ring hollow.

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Mississippi is down to its last abortion mill, and if it closes we’ll have the first state in the Union without an abortion mill in the forty years since Roe. That’s quite an accomplishment, and the people of Mississippi and the many pro-life groups from around the nation who have made that happen are to be congratulated.

It takes quite a bit of education, activism, and prayer to make a Mississippi happen. In a state with a large African American population, that is an especially welcome reprieve from the kind of eugenic decimation of African Americans so prevalent here in New York City, where fully 60% of all African American pregnancies end in abortion.

In fact, the abortions in New York State are an atrocity across the board. A review of New York State’s Vital Statistics from 2000-2009 shows that we have aborted 1,206,652** babies statewide. That number is three times greater than the number of citizens by which the state population grew. Get the whole story here.

Here in New York City, we have over 80K abortions per year. In certain neighborhoods there are several abortion clinics on one street! The disparity with Mississippi is glaring and begs the answer to several questions, all centered on “Why?”.

Why has Mississippi had such success and New York remained the abortion capital of the nation? Are the people here really so cold and calloused? Do we hold our lives cheaper that those in Mississippi?

The short answer is, no.

Compared to other quarters in the nation, we don’t have a large and effective pro-life movement in New York. Those who are involved are a hearty and extraordinarily devoted band, and the slaughter would undoubtedly be worse but for their complete and self-less devotion. However, as the numbers bear out, it just isn’t enough. We need much, much more here in New York to begin to make a dent in these numbers.

This is Planned Parenthood’s epicenter, and NARAL’s last redoubt. New York City is ripe for a massive and coordinated pro-life awareness campaign. The National Black Pro-Life Coalition came here in January 2011 and helped to start up pro-life ministries in Black neighborhoods.

We need more. We need Freedom Summers in our communities of color. 79% of all abortions in NYC are black/hispanic. We need the coordinated efforts of all of our churches, and yes, we are pro-life missionary territory.

We need missionaries from Mississippi and other regions of the country to come here and live among us.

We need the consolidation of Catholic physicians and nurses in NYC, as NYC no longer has a single Catholic hospital left. There is a good effort underway to get this done, but we need more.

We need Catholic OB/Gyn’s willing to come here and open practices like Dr. John Bruchalski’s Divine Mercy Care.

We need good, solid, pro-life medical conferences here in NYC, and lots of them.

We need more billboard campaigns, and plenty of them.

We need more Pregnancy Centers.

We need people with money willing to underwrite all of this.

In fact, the list can go on and on, so great is the need here in New York. We rejoice with Mississippi and our brothers and sisters in states where the killing has slowed to a trickle. But while we rejoice, it is impossible to turn a blind eye to the killing fields of New York, and equally impossible to miss the great opportunity before us.

Saving more than 80,000 lives per year will require ten times the human and financial resources that we currently have in the field. It will require the building of a formidable and identifiable pro-life, Hippocratic medical community. It will require a recalibration of people’s spiritual lives and the priorities of the government and its citizens.

Now that matters are well in hand in Mississippi, who will join us here in New York?

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This today from LifeSiteNews:

CHICAGO, July 26, 2012, (Operation Rescue)—New documents released in the Tonya Reaves tragedy reveal a timeline leading to her death that clearly shows Planned Parenthood delayed summoning emergency care for the dying woman for five-and-a-half hours after a severely botched abortion.

At 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Reaves received a second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion at Planned Parenthood, located at 18 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

Tonya Reaves, 24, died after Planned Parenthood’s care.
After the abortion, Reaves suffered bleeding. The bleeding continued at Planned Parenthood for five-and-a-half hours before a Fire Department ambulance finally took her to Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 4:30 p.m. according to a report from Steve Miller of the CBS news affiliate WBBM.

“It is clear that Planned Parenthood botched the procedure that resulted in uncontrolled bleeding then failed to treat the hemorrhage while Reaves was at their clinic, allowing her to bleed for over five hours before finally calling for help. There can be no doubt that this delay contributed to her death,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “The injury and the untreated hemorrhage happened at Planned Parenthood, and they are solely responsible for it.”

Once at the hospital, it appears the emergency room staff had to start from scratch to figure out the extent of Reaves’ injuries.

While I’ve not been privy to these documents, the report by Operation Rescue indicates that a young woman contracted Planned Parenthood to perform a second trimester abortion and died later that day.

A few things stand out.

First, if true, a 5 1/2 hour delay for a woman hemorrhaging is beyond comprehension. When this woman was finally sent to the hospital, she was sent to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which according to their website is a Level 1 Trauma Center.

That’s significant.

From Wiki:

Level I
A Level I Trauma Center provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. Being treated at a Level I Trauma Center increases a seriously injured patient’s chances of survival by an estimated 20 to 25 percent.[12] It has a full range of specialists and equipment available 24 hours a day[13] and admits a minimum required annual volume of severely injured patients. A Level I trauma center is required to have a certain number of surgeons, emergency physicians and anesthesiologists on duty 24 hours a day at the hospital, an education program, and preventive and outreach programs. Key elements include 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons and prompt availability of care in varying specialties—such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery (plastic surgeons often take calls for hand injuries), anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery (trained to treat injuries of the facial skin, muscles, bones), and critical care—which are needed to adequately respond and care for various forms of trauma that a patient may suffer. Additionally, a Level I center has a program of research, is a leader in trauma education and injury prevention, and is a referral resource for communities in nearby regions.[14]

Level 1 trauma centers in big cities such as Chicago have for years been saving the lives of people pulled from horrific car wrecks and shootings by assault weapons which devastate the internal organs. Yet this hospital, the only hospital in Illinois named to the U.S. News and World Report National Honor Roll, with its Level 1 trauma center could not save this young woman from Planned Parenthood.

More from the LifeSite article:

According to Dr. James C. Anderson, M.D., in his 30 years of experience as an emergency room physician, abortion clinics never informed him about their patients’ conditions.

“I have always had to evaluate the situation, come to my own conclusions, and initiate what I thought was appropriate treatment. This definitely created some time delays that were not in the patient’s best interest,” stated Dr. Anderson. “These delays can have life-threatening implications when dealing with hemorrhage or infection.”

In Tonya’s case, that delay proved fatal.

At 5:30 p.m., doctors performed an ultrasound, which revealed the abortion was incomplete, something solely the responsibility of the Planned Parenthood abortionist.

Reaves was then given a second D&E abortion procedure, but that apparently did not solve the problems and pain Reaves was experiencing.

A second ultrasound revealed a perforation in Reaves’ uterus.

Reaves was returned to the operating room at 10:12 p.m. for additional surgery, where “an uncontrollable bleed was discovered.” At 11:20 p.m., Reaves was pronounced dead.

Read the rest here.

The story as recounted in LifeSite is nauseating. That a Level 1 trauma center in Chicago was powerless to save this young woman is chilling.

It’s understandable that women die in well-equipped hospitals during routine childbirth. Gynecologic traumas do suddenly arise, but when they do, they arise in well-equipped hospitals and not clinics that attempt to treat those traumas for 5 1/2 hours.

In the cold and brutal calculus of war, generals know well that they need to sacrifice a part of their forces in order to gain ultimate victory in the field. It’s no different in the cold and brutal calculus of the abortion war. That’s why we never hear much about the Tonya Reaves’s whose deaths, if they even get mentioned on the evening news are never pursued and quickly forgotten.

It’s just that way in war.

But Tonya Reaves was somebody’s daughter, niece, friend. She was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her, and one of those young women of color whom Planned Parenthood targets with over 75% of their outreach. Perhaps we’ll never know what drove this young mother to seek the death of her well-developed baby, or whether she knew just how well developed her baby truly was.

What is known is this: By the time Planned Parenthood was finished with her not even the best trauma center in town could save her. It may well be infrequent, but that’s cold comfort to Tonya’s family.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace. Amen.

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged on Joseph’s progress in Boy Scouting, almost a year. We just returned from a week at summer camp where I ran a program for new scouts and Joseph was on his own, earning five merit badges of his choosing, four of which had significant prerequisites that took months to complete.

This summer’s haul included: Emergency Preparedness (required for Eagle), Reptile and Amphibian Study, Insect Study, Space Exploration, and Pulp and Paper.

Among the prerequisite assignments were the observation of a reptile or amphibian pet for a minimum of thirty days. Joseph thought it quite a bargain that his two long-tailed grass lizards and one anole cost less than $20 in total (Habitat: $167, weekly supply of crickets $8, but who’s counting….) I must say that his observations of the little beasts and his notes were worthy of a 19th Century naturalist, as were his notes and painstaking photographs of over 20 insect species in the wild.

After having built his own model rocket at camp and successfully launched it (quite high), Joseph has announced a new hobby–model rocketry. But we still have the grass lizards and the anole to contend with. I’m thinking of slipping them into one of the rockets and launching them into orbit…

Adding to all of that, Joseph qualified as a full swimmer this year, and with that status, had the ability to go boating on his own. With that has come something every parent hopes for and fears: an appetite for independence. I barely saw Joseph at all as we headed in our own directions, but I heard from everyone how much he came out of his shell last week. More importantly, I had boys asking me his whereabouts so they could challenge him to any one of several games or activities.

At summer camp, Joseph sat with his scoutmaster and shared that he feels ready to assume a leadership position in the troop (now at 63 boys with 13 more on the way from Cub Scouts in March). His scoutmaster agreed and told him to plan to attend the Leadership Training weekend in September. By December he’ll reach the rank of Star, and by next September, the rank of Life Scout (one away from Eagle). All by age 14.

While all of that is cause for gladness, there’s more. Recently a boy with Asperger’s joined the Troop. He’s a month younger than Joseph. Joseph has taken him under his wing and made this boy feel completely at home. When a discussion about Asperger’s and ADD arose among some of the new boys, Joseph shared very matter-of-factly his own experiences with autism and ADD (I let Joseph know about his diagnoses this year).

The real beauty of the Boy Scouts is how completely accommodating these boys are. It’s just not an issue to them, nor to the men who lead the troop. In another troop in my community, a boy with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder that will likely claim him before his twentieth birthday wanted to become a scout, and joined. His troop organized a series of car washes in order to raise the money to buy him a specialized wheelchair that would enable him to go camping with the troop.

As we sink further and further into the morass of a resurgent eugenics movement it is people such as these young men and their leaders who are a bright, shining star in the encroaching darkness. For parents who fear for their prenatally diagnosed children, there is a need for a message of hope. For Regina and me, it has come from an organization whose oath begins with three simple, powerful words:

“On my honor…”

For Joseph, the road to full participation has been paved smooth in no small measure by these boys and young men. He continues to grow, to thrive, to flourish.

It was a good week in ways he’ll never realize, but most importantly of all…

It was fun!

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Life happens.

It’s been a rather eventful year on the homefront, with accidents and illnesses, some life-threatening, consuming my attention. Blessedly, all is well and normal again. Starting today, Coming Home resumes its mission of bringing the truth of science to light, scientific truths that bolster every dimension of the pro-life cause.

Much has been published in my absence, so there’s much to digest. First up, though, is some light and uplifting fare, Joseph’s progress through scouting and trend with boys on the autism spectrum. That follows in the next post.

It’s good to be back.

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The web has been filled with breathless accounts of Father Frank Pavone’s great victory over his bishop in Amarillo. Lifesitenews recently reported on the situation with characteristic balance:

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life has not been suspended, said the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy in May, but his bishop has the right to assign him duties outside his pro-life ministry, according to the Diocese of Amarillo.

Amarillo Bishop Patrick Zurek reported that the Vatican body granted at least a partial victory for the Priests for Life leader, who had petitioned Rome for clarification after Zurek announced that he had “suspended” Fr. Pavone last September.

According to the diocese, the Vatican clarified that Pavone was not canonically suspended, and remains a priest in good standing. However, the statement from the Vatican also apparently re-asserted Zurek’s authority to appoint Pavone chaplain of a religious community in Amarillo.

“In its decree of May 18, 2012, the Congregation for the Clergy has sustained Father Frank A. Pavone’s appeal of his suspension from ministry outside the Diocese of Amarillo and his appointment from me on October 4, 2011, as Chaplain of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in Channing, Texas. Father Pavone is to continue his ministry as chaplain until further notice,” said Zurek in a June 20 statement.

“As a gesture of good will, I will grant permission to him in individual cases, based upon their merits, to participate in pro-life events with the provision that he and I must be in agreement beforehand as to his role and function,” the bishop stated. “All other matters are outside the purview of this statement.”

In its own statement, Priests for Life (PFL) lauded the Vatican statement that “Father Pavone is not now nor has ever been suspended.” However, like Zurek’s statement, the ministry’s words indicated that the affair had yet to be resolved, and that PFL would continue to seek enough freedom to pursue pro-life ministry.

Read the rest here.

So, the Congregation’s decision has simply clarified the situation as it has existed all along. Bishop Zurek has the right to assign Father Pavone anywhere he, in his discretion as Bishop, deems appropriate. Father Pavone was suspended from his ability to perform his public duties as head of Priests for Life, but was never suspended from his priestly faculties in his home diocese of Amarillo, a point made by his diocese early on.

Bishop Zurek has made it clear that Father Pavone’s pro-life activities and appearances outside of the diocese remain subject to his approval.

Judging from the vile commentary on the web by pro-lifers, commentary aimed at Bishop Zurek and the rest of the U.S. Bishops, this victory is for pro-lifers a Pyrrhic victory at best. Such commentary is not only short-sighted, it is blurry as well. It fails to grasp where we are in the abortion battle, and the larger battle regarding religious liberty. It is divisive, to say the least, and will come back to haunt us in the not-too-distant future.

If, as many opine, the bishops have been largely absent from the field in the battle against abortion, this sad episode involving Father Pavone has done nothing but to further estrange the activist wing of the movement from the bishops. From the outset I wrote that this was a private matter of accountability of a priest to his bishop and that everyone needed to give these two men the time and face-saving space they needed to resolve matters.

In truth, one couldn’t blame the bishops for resolving to steer clear of pro-life activists, especially in light of some of the hit pieces that were produced and distributed on the web. If Bishop Zurek, or any bishop, hears concerns raised about one of his priests and that priest’s stewardship of large sums of money, he is obligated to investigate to his satisfaction. If such investigation is simply used to persecute a priest, Rome has Canon laws, Congregations, and Courts to see that justice is done.

Priests in turn have a duty to be not only obedient, but respectful to their Bishops. That duty flows from the solemn vows of respect and obedience that they registered in Heaven on their ordination day.

Father Pavone and I are about the same age. Realistically, we will not see the end of abortion in our lifetime, and anyone who believes otherwise must be reading some other world’s newspapers.

The truth of the matter is that abortion is growing, not diminishing. Chemical abortions are on the rise everywhere.

The truth is that abortion and sterilization are a part of our national healthcare.

The truth is that billionaires such as Bill and Melinda Gates support population control, which continues to spread worldwide.

The truth is that euthanasia is on the rise around the world, with physician-assisted suicide gaining in every corner.

The truth is that in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood continue to rise in popularity and spread across the globe.

The truth is that we live in an age of eugenics which eclipses the eugenics of the mid-twentieth century.

The truth is that religious freedom of Christians and tolerance of Christianity are in decline globally, including on our college campuses and in our government. We are living in an age of red martyrdom which eclipses that of the first three centuries of the Church in size and numbers.

The truth is that marriage has collapsed in every developed nation on the planet, and is actively being redefined.

Now, more than ever, we need our bishops and clergy to stand with us on ALL of these issues. It isn’t just the Church which is in peril. Western Civilization has imploded and a new Dark Age encroaches. Perhaps not everyone can see this yet because we live in the last well-lit corner of the world, though that light is going out rapidly.

What happened in Amarillo served nobody well. It was a circus, and one which Father Pavone advised against. The measure of one’s Catholicism is not the degree of one’s pro-life activism, but as Paul instructs us in 1 Thess. 5, regarding the bishops:

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Not only will we not see the end of abortion anytime soon, we will see the end of our religious freedom as we’ve known it as well unless we unite as one Church. That didn’t happen in Amarillo, as many of Father Pavone’s supporters, against his advice and stated wishes, engaged in a orgy of frustration and even outright hatred for the bishops. There are a great many other assaults on human freedom and dignity apart from abortion, most of which are equally deadly. We need the bishops with us on those issues, too.

It’s time for the bishop-bashers within the Church to cease and desist. Seeing the Amarillo circus, no bishop in his right mind would want to risk that show arriving on his doorstep. Anger is one of the seven deadly sins, and the fractious, alienating rage at the bishops may well cost countless lives when all is said and done.

Father Pavone is a good man and a good priest who has done what few before him have had the courage to do. He won’t be the last. Like the Exodus generation in the desert, I don’t think he, or any of us, will live to see the promised land. We’re now fighting this war without any of the pillars of Western Civilization as supports, and with increasingly diminishing Constitutional protections.

We’re in this for the long haul, and we won’t get there without our bishops. What will get us there is a mature Catholicism characterized by Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians 2,000 years ago.

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