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Posts Tagged ‘Bishops’

line-in-the-sand

News today from Joan Frawley Desmond in the National Catholic Register that Nancy Pelosi will be honored with Planned Parenthood’s highest honor, the Sanger Award. From the article:

SAN FRANCISCO — On March 27, Planned Parenthood will bestow its highest honor on Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., minority leader in the House of Representatives and a self-identifying Catholic. The Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization’s founder, who was a known proponent of eugenics, will recognize Pelosi for her legacy of “excellence and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement.”

Desmond chose the right word for the award. It is a “legacy” recognition. The recipients are often feted for their lifetime achievement in advancing the agenda set forth by Margaret Sanger. Desmond also wastes no time in the article in getting down to brass tacks:

“Abortion and Catholicism never go together. When a national leader, such as Speaker Pelosi, conflates the two, it, unfortunately, can lead other Catholics — who believe there is no issue with pro-abortion beliefs and the practice of their Catholic faith — to miss the opportunity to reconcile their views with Church teaching,” Scot Landry, the director of Catholic Voices USA, told the Register.

“That is sad, a tremendous scandal in our Church and a disservice to all those who follow her example.”

In 2013, Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, stated in a published interview that Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law “must be applied” to determine whether Pelosi should receive the Eucharist.

“This is a person who, obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic,” said Cardinal Burke.

Read it all.

Cardinal Burke was quite correct, but back here in the States his admonition seems to have gone unheeded.

No More.

Planned Parenthood has changed the game with this recognition, and in a way that goes far beyond just Pelosi. This is about all of Pelosi’s fellow travelers from the Church: Biden, the Cuomo’s, the Kennedy’s, etc. They play as a team, and they have been winning as a team for generations with over 57 million dead babies to their credit. Add to that Obamacare and its malignancy, the HHS mandate, loss of religious freedom, advancing the culture of death in our schools… Why shouldn’t Planned Parenthood applaud such a malignant record? There is no way this could have been achieved without the Catholic squad on the Democrat team. Catholics such as the late “Lion of the Senate,” Teddy Kennedy, and Speaker of the House Pelosi have made Cecile Richards’ organization wealthy, powerful, and deadly. The reception of this award cannot go unaddressed by the Church. It is the final, defiant finger in the eye to the bishops.

These Catholic leaders have been at war with the Church, with God, and with humanity for generations. Apart from a few lions through the years, the meek and timid response of the bishops in the face of the rising tide of the blood of innocents has been scandalous in itself. I have been told by some that the concern is a loss of our tax-exempt status. If the bishops can’t see that looming on the horizon anyway, then they are blind, indeed. The only hope to save that status, and the souls of countless Catholics is to rouse themselves at this turn of events.

We are beyond conversation about reception of the Eucharist at this point. The question is why we cannot acknowledge that legislators who vote specifically for abortion funding (not general budgets containing abortion funding) but specific legislation for protecting, funding, and facilitating abortion are formal cooperators in abortion, and as such have already incurred automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication as such? On the consequences of this there can be no more doubt or debate. None of the Catholics in the party of death have defended the Church against the Obama administration’s war on religion. They are all in, all the way.

We have nothing to lose that we have not already lost, or will lose soon enough. That said, what is most frightfully at stake is the very moral authority of the bishops themselves. Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion Catholic legislators are celebrating a lifetime of malignant success in the middle of Lent. The time has come for the bishops to recognize that milestone with a pronouncement of their own, one that is long overdue.

We lift them up in prayer as we witness this mockery of all that is sacred.

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On the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom, there are those within the Catholic Church who are denying that the two-week observance has anything to do with the Church’s teaching on contraception and everything to do with upholding the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religious expression. That’s a false dichotomy and misattribution of the causal nature of our current dilemma.

It’s akin to those who say the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, that it was all about states’ rights; which of course begs the question: The right to do what?

There is no doubt that the states who seceded feared the loss of self-government to the Federal Government, but the loss of liberty was rooted in the issue of slavery which was woven into the very social and economic fabric of the South. In the case of slavery (which took on a more prominent role for Northerners as the struggle wore on) it was an example of the Federal Government getting it right. The unalienable (That is, God-given) right to liberty had been denied to African-Americans for far too long. Federal troops were sent to both preserve the Union and end slavery for good.

In the current struggle, the Federal Government has sought to attack the Catholic Church over an issue that is central to her identity and mission, the teaching that all human life is made in the image and likeness of God from the moment of fertilization and is to be respected as such until natural death. Our loss of freedom is centered on the mandate by the Federal Government that we pay not only for birth control pills, some of which are known abortifacients, but that we pay for sterilizations and known abortifacient morning-after pills such as RU-486 and Ella.

Further, the Government is dictating what institutions constitute “religious” institutions and which do not. The only “religious” institutions that qualify for an exemption by the Obama criteria would be those who violate equal opportunity law by hiring most of their employees who are members of that church, and whose services go mainly to members of that same church.

Otherwise, Catholic hospitals, schools, and social service agencies are required to pay for contraceptives, abortifacients and abortions, and sterilizations. If the bishops do so, they shred Humanae Vitae and every decent moral precept undergirding Catholic Anthropology. If they voluntarily close down these institutions, they cooperate with evil by giving our enemies precisely the evisceration of our Church that they seek.

Perhaps jails overflowing with civilly disobedient Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity will be the sole salvation of religious liberty in America. We’ll see soon enough how this situation breaks. The Supreme Court ruling on the HHS mandate is due out any day, and then there are the November elections.

That’s plenty of reason to pray during this fortnight.

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It is a well-known phenomenon that generals have a tendency to “Fight the Last War,” meaning that they tend to use the tactics that brought them victory in the last war they fought. The problem is that the enemy usually shows up with new weapons and new tactics. Either the generals adapt, or go down to defeat.

In the war over the HHS Mandate, it seems that the bishops have shown up with Cardinal O’Connor’s playbook from the 1980’s. It won’t work, and they had better grasp that reality today, and with all due urgency.

This past week, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago issued a letter to his faithful warning that the archdiocese will need to get out of the hospital and healthcare business, as well as education, social services, etc., if the Obama administration does not back down. Some excerpts:

Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.

The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.

If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir. On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.

There’s much more in the letter. Read it here.

Cardinal George’s tactic here was that of Cardinal O’Connor in the 1980’s, when Mayor Ed Koch passed Executive Order 50 that would have forced the Catholic Church to hire homosexuals in all of our institutions. From Wiki:

O’Connor actively opposed Executive Order 50, a mayoral order issued in 1980 by Mayor Ed Koch, which required all City contractors, including religious entities, to provide services on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to race, creed, age, sex, handicap, as well as “sexual orientation or affectational preference”.[25] After the Salvation Army received a warning from the City that its contracts for child care services would be canceled for refusing to comply with the executive order’s provisions regarding sexual orientation,[26] the Archdiocese of New York and Agudath Israel, an Orthodox Jewish organization, threatened to cancel their contracts with the City if forced to comply.[26] O’Connor maintained that the executive order would cause the Church to appear to condone homosexual practices and lifestyle.[27][27] Writing in Catholic New York in January 1985, O’Connor characterized the order as “an exceedingly dangerous precedent [that would] invite unacceptable governmental intrusion into and excessive entanglement with the Church’s conducting of its own internal affairs.” Drawing the traditional Catholic distinction between homosexual “inclinations” and “behavior”, he stated that “we do not believe that homosexual behavior … should be elevated to a protected category.”[28]

The Church won its case in court, but O’Connor was willing to close our schools and child care agencies if we lost, forcing a city just inching back from bankruptcy to pick up the cost.

Different times.

Back then, I was in my early 20’s. The bulk of voters were the Greatest Generation, then in their 50’s, and the generations who preceded them. In other words, most voters actually had education in civics, and most men came from a generation when military service was regarded as a rite of passage into manhood. They valued the Constitution, and a thug such as Barak Obama never would have made it past being a city councilman from a radical district. Back then, voters understood the need for fiscal responsibility and Ed Koch would have had his goose cooked if he threatened the fragile economic recovery of the city, or if he incurred a threat made good by Cardinal O’Connor.

Different times.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who wants them to abandon the field in every sector: education, social services, healthcare…

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who have added ten trillion dollars of debt to the nation in two years. That they don’t care at all about fiscal responsibility is an understatement.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who understand that the bulk of the voters who stood behind Cardinal O’Connor almost thirty years ago are dead. In their place are the Baby Boomers, the children and grandchildren of the Boomers who are largely ignorant of American History, civics, or the Constitution.

Today the bishops are in contention with a Democrat Party headed by a president who are catering to the pervasive narcissism and hedoniosm of a society that stands in shameful contrast with the Greatest Generation that backed O’Connor. That’s why the HHS mandate has a good chance of prevailing.

Cardinal George is no fool, and he understands what he’s up against with the Democrats and Obama:

The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

He’s right. However, the tactics need to change. We do not have a half-century to fight this one as we did the Cold War. We have until November. If Obama is reelected, we’ll lose our tax-exempt status and be stripped of all our agencies by a president who hates who we are and what we stand for. This is no longer a fight over a facet of Obamacare.

It never was, and the bishops need to awaken to that reality. This is a new Marxism, as Cardinal George alluded to. If Obama backs down and the bishops claim victory they will live to regret being duped in so monumental a manner. A Marxist has declared war on the only Church with enough institutional infrastructure to pose a threat to his party’s agenda.

The Catholic vision of human anthropology, who we are, is lived out in our healthcare and social services, and is inculcated through our educational institutions.

Obama gets that.

Cardinal George left out the fifth, and only viable option. The Church has had war declared on her by the government. She must now rally her faithful to vote out this wicked administration in November. She must coordinate strategy with all people of faith from other religions and Christian denominations. If she doesn’t, we lose everything. If she does, a new administration will not permit her to lose the tax-exempt status for having been forced into political organizing to fight an existential threat from the government. (And there are hundreds of videos of Democrat politicians campaigning in Protestant church pulpits).

The plan as laid out by Cardinal George is yesterday’s strategy. It worked for Cardinal O’Connor in a different age, with a different electorate. It’s time for our normally quiet and pastoral bishops to gird their loins.

This one’s for all the marbles.

UPDATE: Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Ill. responded to this post. His response and my rejoinder here.

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In my youth, the differences between the Soviet Union and the United States were made abundantly clear to us. We had the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, and they didn’t. Teens at drive-thru fast food restaurants were iconic of American freedom.

The freedom to recreate our culture through music, food, mobility.

Our fathers fought despotism in World War II and Korea and told us of the communist menace, always juxtaposed with the freedoms for which they fought. We could only imagine the deprivations endured by our peers who were trapped behind the iron curtain. We’d heard of the Soviet commissars with the red stars on their sleeves, whose job it was to enforce all of the myriad dictates of the state in what was a dreary existence. The human spirit withers in the absence of authentic freedom. I thanked God for being an American.

Now after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the flowering of freedom in the former Soviet-bloc nations; we have decided that since we beat them, we should emulate their former system of government.

The America of my middle years increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, especially as regards the all-out war on religion. More on religion in a moment.

Under our Dear Leader in the White House, we now have Soviet-style commissars who are paid agents of the state, enforcing Department of Health and Human Services food guidelines in preschool by inspecting lunchboxes from home, and seizing the offending food items, supplanting them with state-approved food and billing the family. The following story from Sara Burrows at Carolina Journal Online is chilling:

“A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

“The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs – including in-home day care centers – to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

“When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

“The girl’s mother – who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation – said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a ‘healthy lunch’ would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.”

Read the rest here.

That’s not an isolated incident. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has decided that trans fats should be outlawed, and so they were. Sales of trans fats in any food in New York is prohibited, even in Twinkies and Devil Dogs! Grannie Bloomberg has also decided that cigarettes are bad for one’s health and raised the price of a pack to $14.50 with new taxes. He has also decreed that all eating establishments, from the finest restaurants to Dunkin’ Donuts, must list the caloric content of each menu item right next to the item on the menu. Soda (pop) machines have been taken from schools, and increased punitive taxation (similar to cigarettes) was proposed for all soda (pop) in New York City. Bloomberg might have gotten away with it, but for the hordes of New Yorkers ready to tar and feather him.

At least soda is safe, for now.

Another New York Moment occurred a few years back when some City employee decided that New Yorkers seeking to escape our 8 1/4% sales tax by shopping in New Jersey (no sales tax on clothes) should have our license plates photographed at New Jersey malls by government commissars, and then some sort of fine be mailed to the offending party. No word on the career of said bureaucrat after that lead balloon crashed.

Then, in California, there was this recent gem:

“One sun-drenched August morning, armed officers wearing sunglasses and bullet-proof vests descended on a market in Venice, Calif., searching for illegally sold goods. It marked the end of a year-long investigation where undercover agents posed as customers.

Their target: raw, unpasteurized milk.

Federal regulators say it’s a dangerous and unnecessary public threat, pointing to 143 cases of contamination linked to still births, miscarriages and kidney failure since 1987, the latest involving five California children. Grassroots, back-to-nature consumers say the product strengthens the immune system by keeping intact good bacteria that’s killed in pasteurized milk. The choice should be theirs, the activists say.“These guns are being drawn on basically aging hippies, all because of illegal milk,” said Ajna Sharma-Wilson, a Los Angeles lawyer for the Venice market owner, in an interview. “This is a waste of taxpayer money.”

Get the rest here, from Bloomberg News!

Enter the HHS mandate and the Catholic Church.

There is actually no better metaphor for Obama’s brand of government in relationship to the Church than what happened to that little girl. The government seized a healthy turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, banana, and apple juice and handed the child a plate of chicken nuggets.

When government is permitted to legislate what we may or may not eat, tries to make it a crime to shop where we wish, demands that we be confronted with the caloric content of our food every time we eat out, the Catholic Bishops have an uphill battle on their hands. It isn’t only Obama whom they are fighting.

It is a nation that has quit on itself, a people who have grown weary of freedom and personal responsibility and who are increasingly trading freedom for the meager rations that come with enslavement. We’ve quit the game. The America of my middle years barely resembles the America of my youth. The Greatest Generation, tempered by war and the Great Depression spawned the Me Generation, softened by excess. With the Greatest Generation all but gone, the Me Generation is in charge. My grandmother used to say of the Boomers in our youth, “I’m glad I’ll be dead when they’re in charge.”

I’m beginning to understand why.

We’ve settled for the chicken nuggets.

Narcissism and hedonism breed their own enslavement, and there will never be a shortage of political opportunists who will seize on the desire for freedom without responsibility, ready to stand guard over the prison of our own making. Our clergy, silent for far too long, now fight a two-front war. On the one hand, they must resist the efforts of the government to dictate every facet of life, lest the people not have the requisite freedom to make moral decisions. On the other hand, they must somehow shake people from their narcissistic torpor and instill in them a renewed appreciation for evil and its effects.

Before the bishops can convince the enslaved of the evil of losing their freedom, they need to convince them of their beauty.

We deserve better than chicken nuggets.

When I was a seminarian, Msgr. William Smith would tell us in moral theology class that the freedom of choice would one day become a mandate. We’re seeing that now with the aggressive eugenics in maternal-fetal medicine with extreme pressure to abort being made on mothers of handicapped babies.

The freedom to use contraception will become a mandate once the government is picking up the tab. There is a hidden mandate within the HHS mandate. Our bodies, our families are increasingly becoming the property of the state.

This November we will either begin walking this abuse back, or a new iron curtain will descend.

How ironic that we, the victors of the Cold War, will have done this to ourselves.

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The following is a statement by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Brooklyn Diocese, regarding the passage of the gay marriage bill in New York. The Diocese of Brooklyn is one of the largest in the United States in terms of population, and Bishop DiMarzio’s is therefore a very influential voice. First Bishop DiMarzio’s statement, and then a few comments.

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.

Bishop DiMarzio’s statement is to be lauded as a good first step, but only as a first step. It isn’t enough to refuse honors from, or give honors to legislators. There are members of the Catholic Church who have been waging war against all that we stand for and then walk up on Sunday and receive Holy Communion.

Enough!

The sins of the Ted Kennedys, Andrew Cuomos and Nancy Pelosis are so vast, so deeply rooted, and entirely the fabric of the Democrat Party, that any confession by these people needs to have a public recanting of their deeds and concrete evidence of an action plan to undo them as the penance. If the politician is unwilling to work within the political system to undo their grave injustices and work toward a restoration of justice under law, then they are not contrite.

We have run out the rope on the excuse by so many bishops that we don’t know the private state of their souls. That simply strains credulity. If the politicians remain the same week after week, month after month, year after year, then as we say in Brooklyn, that’s a clue.

It’s a clue to their impenitence, and it is a sin against charity to confirm them in their impenitence by allowing them to eat and drink condemnation upon themselves, as Saint Paul put it.

As I’ve said before on this blog, if the fight was “too political” for the bishops in the past, the threat is now existential going into the future. The faithful are enraged over this law, and the bishops have a once-in-a-generation opportunity here to publicly call upon Catholic pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage politicians to publicly repent or face severe sanctions, beginning with being barred from the Eucharist, and leading to excommunication. There is a small window of opportunity here to reclaim the leadership most have eschewed for far too long.

For great good, or great evil, this is an historical moment for the United States Bishops in general, and New York’s bishops in particular. This is the great moment where the bishops can define what it means to be a Catholic in terms of sacramentality, and how to be a Catholic in the public square. This is the time for a muscular response. The faithful will back them to the hilt.

Carpe Diem!

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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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The Catholic Church has certainly taken its lumps for speaking out consistently against contraception and where it naturally leads. Today we contrast two quotes. They speak to very different visions of the same human reality, and point to a validation of Rome’s visionaries.. The first is from the Church’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The second is from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s statistician. Both excerpts speak for themselves.

SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

DECLARATION ON PROCURED ABORTION

15. The movement for the emancipation of women, insofar as it seeks essentially to free them from all unjust discrimination, is on perfectly sound ground.[22] In the different forms of cultural background there is a great deal to be done in this regard. But one cannot change nature. Nor can one exempt women, any more than men, from what nature demands of them. Furthermore, all publicly recognized freedom is always limited by the certain rights of others.

16. The same must be said of the claim to sexual freedom. If by this expression one is to understand the mastery progressively acquired by reason and by authentic love over instinctive impulse, without diminishing pleasure but keeping it in its proper place – and in this sphere this is the only authentic freedom – then there is nothing to object to. But this kind of freedom will always be careful not to violate justice. If; on the contrary, one is to understand that men and women are “free” to seek sexual pleasure to the point of satiety, without taking into account any law or the essential orientation of sexual life to its fruits of fertility,[23] then this idea has nothing Christian in it. It is even unworthy of man. In any case it does not confer any right to dispose of human life – even if embryonic- or to suppress it on the pretext that it is burdensome.

18. We know what seriousness the problem of birth control can assume for some families and for some countries. That is why the last Council and subsequently the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” of July 25, 1968, spoke of “responsible parenthood.”[24] What we wish to say again with emphasis, as was pointed out in the conciliar constitution “Gaudium et Spes,” in the encyclical “Populorum Progressio” and in other papal documents, is that never, under any pretext, may abortion be resorted to, either by a family or by the political authority, as a legitimate means of regulating births.[25] The damage to moral values is always a greater evil for the common good than any disadvantage in the economic or demographic order.

{The Bishops warned us that contraception took us one long walk down the road to abortion. They were ridiculed as clueless old celibates.}

Then, there is this from Guttmacher:

Contraceptive use is a key predictor of women’s recourse to abortion. The very small group of American women who are at risk of experiencing an unintended pregnancy but are not using contraceptives account for almost half of all abortions. Many of these women did not think they would get pregnant or had concerns about contraceptive methods. The remainder of abortions occur among the much larger group of women who were using contraceptives in the month they became pregnant. Many of these women report difficulty using contraceptives consistently.

This is quite an admission by Guttmacher. The people who hand out the birth control pills like candy indicate elsewhere that 54% of all women presenting for abortion were using contraception in the month in which they became pregnant. In the face of their colossal failure, they claim that what is needed is more contraception.

I love my Bishops.

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