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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reputable Pro-Life Catholic Leader Roots for Sotomayor

Washington Times, May 29 by: Victor Morton
A prominent pro-life Catholic says he will be quietly rooting for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and said she may even be an improvement over retiring Justice David H. Souter - as both sides of the abortion issue try to discern her position.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Judge Sotomayor's record has more bright spots than conservative Catholics can reasonably expect to get from an appointee of President Obama.

"If the Republicans are smart, they would not fight this one," he told The Washington Times in an interview Thursday.

"I wish I knew more about her. But from what we know, it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement."

Judge Sotomayor's record on abortion-related cases is thin and tangential. She ruled on the right of pro-life protesters to sue on charges of police brutality and on a challenge to the "Mexico City policy," which prevented U.S. government funds from going to aid organizations that counsel for or provide abortions.

The White House said that Mr. Obama did not specifically ask her about her views on the issue but that the president is confident she agrees with him on the fundamental constitutional issues.

But pro-choice groups are uncertain about Judge Sotomayor, and this week they called on senators to ask her directly how she would rule on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

"We encourage the Senate Judiciary Committee to engage Judge Sotomayor and any future nominees to the Court on their commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Anything less threatens not only a woman's constitutional rights, but her life and health."

Pro-life groups also said senators should press for answers.

"We believe it is critical that senators thoroughly explore whether Judge Sotomayor believes that Supreme Court justices have the right to override the decisions of elected lawmakers on such issues as partial-birth abortion, tax funding of abortion and parental notification for abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

Contine Reading the rest of the article HERE

Meet William Donahue

Visit Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Read New York Times Recent Profile of William Donahue titled:
A 'Marine' for Catholics Sees a Time of Battle

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dawn Johnsen: Pro-life laws “reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers” ~ Nominee to Head the Office of Legal Counsel in Limbo

by: Georgia Kijesky

Dawn Johnsen has been nominated by President Obama to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice, and as a former NARAL Attorney, she brings some outrageous views about abortion to the table.

She has worked for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

While serving as legal director of NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League) from 1988 to 1993, Johnsen argued in a Supreme Court brief that restrictions on abortion violate the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery because “the state has conscripted [the pregnant woman’s] body for its own ends.”
She believes that a pre-born child has no separate existence apart from the mother.

In the late 1980's she worked on a lawsuit, United States Catholic Conference v. Abortion Rights Mobilization, that sought to strip the Catholic Church and other religious denominations of their tax exempt status because of their pro-life advocacy.

Shortly after President Clinton took office in 1993, he signed five executive orders overturning abortion restrictions. The author of those orders? You guessed it,
Dawn Johnsen.

Contrary to settled law, Johnsen believes that “economic justice” requires the government to provide funding for the exercise of constitutional rights, especially abortion rights. She has called the Hyde Amendment’s prohibition on federal funding of abortions a “callous” and “discriminatory” policy.

The U.S. Bishops have publicly opposed the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), that, if enacted, would repeal every state and federal restriction on abortion. This would include forcing Catholic hospitals to start performing abortions or have their funding pulled. Who was a contributing author to this heinous bill? That's right, Dawn Johnsen.

She has compared pro-life demonstrators praying outside of abortion clinics to the Ku Klux Klan.

Johnsen has a long track record of intolerance to positions conflicting with her pro-abortion agenda. Following the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Johnsen violated the rule against accusing judges of bias when she said that “In any abortion or sexual harassment case, Judge Thomas’s ability to be unbiased or neutral is highly suspect.”

While speaking on the House floor about radical pro-abortion nominee Dawn Johnsen, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sheds some light on how Dawn Johnsen views motherhood. Johnsen holds radical views not only on abortion, but she also holds a contempt for motherhood itself. Her bizarre legal reasoning is far too dangerous for the Office of Legal Counsel.

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) delivered remarks on the House floor about his reservations concerning the President's nomination of Dawn Johnsen to lead the Office of Legal Counsel.

As of today, the nomination remains in limbo. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said that he does not have the votes to bring up President Barack Obama’s pick to run the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.

“Right now we’re finding out when to do that,” Reid said, responding to a question about the status of Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to the Justice post. “We need a couple Republican votes until we can get to 60.”

Reid also indicated that at least a few Democrats would also oppose Johnsen, making the task of reaching 60 votes to avert a Republican filibuster even more difficult.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) “is very concerned” about Johnsen’s nomination, press secretary Clay Westrope said, pointing to her tenure as the legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America as a point of concern.

"Senator Nelson is very concerned about the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, based on her previous position as Counsel for NARAL. He believes that the Office of Legal Counsel is a position in which personal views can have an impact and is concerned about her outspoken pro-choice views on abortion," said spokesman Clay Westrope.

Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), who recently joined the Democratic Conference after 29 years as a Republican Senator, has stated that he will vote against Johnsen’s nomination when it hits the floor.

Please, help STOP the nomination of Dawn Johnsen NOW!! If she wins the nomination--she may someday soon be sitting as a Supreme Court Justice of the United States...alongside Sonia Sotomayor...

Type your name and contact information and hit "Enter", to be taken to a page to write your Senators today. Tell them to vote against Dawn Johnsen nomination!

Sign the Petition,


Friday, May 29, 2009

Contraception: Obama's 'Common Ground' and the Leading Cause of the Family Breakdown

by: Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture

[In his commencement address at Notre Dame, President Obama suggested that advocates and opponents of abortion should find common ground in a campaign to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Although he did not flesh out that suggestion, he clearly intended to suggest more aggressive promotion of contraceptives. That option should be recognized as unacceptable-- not just by Catholics, but by anyone attuned to the prescripts of natural law and indeed the realities of modern life.

More than a decade has passed since I published the op-ed below; it originally appeared in several US newspapers as the world marked the 30th anniversary of the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae. The fundamental argument has not changed, but I would contend that today the evidence is still more powerfully in support of my conclusion: that the widespread acceptance of contraception has had a devastating effect on American family life.]

A generation ago, American politicians debated about the Cold War and the Vietnam conflict, the problems of poverty and racism, and the challenges of the space program. But back in 1968, did anyone forecast that we would soon be talking about a general breakdown in ordinary family life?

Yes, someone did.

Some 30 years ago, Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae an encyclical letter which upheld the time-tested Christian teaching that artificial contraception is morally wrong. In 1968, Pope Paul worried that:

... a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument of the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Today, in the midst of an epidemic of domestic abuse, thoughtful people ought to ask: Was Pope Paul right or wrong?

And if contraception became widely accepted, Pope Paul asked:

Who will blame a government which... resorts to the same measures that are regarded as lawful by married people ...? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone.
Today the government of China stands accused of requiring abortions for women who have already fulfilled their one-child quota, the Peruvian government has sterilized illiterate women without their consent, and massive population programs funded by our own federal government have been accused of employing deception and coercion. Again, was Pope Paul right or wrong?

Many people forget— and many more are too young to remember— how radically the introduction of the birth-control pill changed popular thinking, and altered our approach to sexuality. Not long ago, moral leaders of EVERY description condemned contraception, and agreed that if the practice ever became widespread, it would inevitably lead to disaster.

Consider, for example, the words of Mohandas Gandhi:

There is hope for a decent life only so long as the sexual act is definitely related to the conception of precious life.
Or listen to Sigmund Freud:

Moreover, it is a characteristic common to all perversions that in them reproduction is put aside as an aim. This is actually the criterion by which we judge whether a sexual activity is perverse-- if it departs from reproduction as its aim and pursues the attainment of gratification independently.
In 1930, when the leaders of the Church of England broke from the previously universal Christian consensus, and allowed for the use of contraceptives, a Washington Post editorial lamented that the move "would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality."

Gandhi, Freud, and the Washington Post were obviously not promoting a “Catholic” or “Christian” position. Their opposition to contraception was based on a simple, age-old understanding of human nature. In the 1960s Americans ignored such warnings, and plunged headlong into the sexual revolution. Now, with the casualties of that revolution visible all around us, are we still foolish enough to believe that THIS generation has understands human nature-- and in particular human sexuality-- better than all its predecessors?

Long after he helped to introduce the birth-control pill, Dr. Robert Kistner of Harvard Medical School began to understand the forces he had helped to unleash. "For years I thought the pill would not lead to promiscuity, but I've changed my mind," he confessed. "I think it probably has."

Once again, Pope Paul VI had foreseen the problem:

Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that men—--and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation-- need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.
The famous “Moynihan Report” of 1965 saw a crisis in family life among Black Americans, because 23.7% of black children were born out of wedlock. By today's standards, that statistic looks tame. In 1996-- despite the contraceptives that spilled off the shelves of every pharmacy-- that figure had soared to a catastrophic 70.4% for black children, and 25.5% for whites.

With divorce rates also climbing, more and more young children are growing up without the support of their parents. (Among married couples who do not use contraceptives, the rate of divorce is a negligible 2%.) In 1965 more than three-quarters of all American newborns came home to a married mother and father and (except when death intervened) remained in that household through childhood; by 1990 that figure had slipped below one-half. Few social scientists dispute the gravity of these trends. Children who grow up in a single-parent household are more likely to fail in school, more likely to experiment with drugs, more likely to commit crimes, more likely to spend time in prison.

In the past 30 years our federal government has invested $4 trillion in social programs designed to treat the consequences of a breakdown in family life: the nagging problems of poverty, illiteracy, and crime; the steady rise in drug abuse and sexual promiscuity; the frightening increase in child abuse and domestic violence. Can anyone possibly be satisfied with the returns on that investment?

Is there any limit to the amount of money we shall spend on government programs that treat the symptoms of family breakdown, before we finally admit the need to address the underlying disease? How many families will be broken, and how many young lives will be scarred, before we admit that the solution to family problems lies not in condoms but in chastity?

If contraception is a leading cause of family breakdown, then we are pouring fuel on the fire with condom giveaways, and exporting our problems to the Third World through family-planning programs. And if contraception is not to blame for the burgeoning crisis in American family life, can anyone offer a better explanation?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sotomayor Shows Admiration for Socialist in Yearbook

Surprise, Surprise!

Ms. Sotomayor quotes The Great American Socialist leader, Norman Thomas……

The quote is:

“I am not a champion of lost causes, but of causes not yet won.”

Thomas also said,

“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Mr. Harrington, of The Harrington Report informs his readers that he is not saying Sonia Sotomayor is a socialist…..but asks if we really want someone who obviously admires a Socialist leader on the Supreme Court?

I ask: Is it any surprise that our Socialist leader, huh.. I mean.. President, chose her as the Supreme Court nominee?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Obama's Record vs. Rhetoric ~ a Blatant Contradiction

Despite President Obama's claim that he wishes to seek "common ground" amongst people on both sides of the abortion debate, his actions, speak louder than his words. Let's take a look at the evidences......

When President Obama held a health care Summit in March to dialogue on how health care reform should be implemented, the President shut out Pro-Life activists. He had no problem, however, inviting Planned Parenthood and other groups that support abortion.

David Brody, a national correspondent for CBN News, notice the absence of pro-life groups.

"The White House is holding their big Health Care Summit in an attempt to begin the conversation about how to reform the healthcare system with the goal of bringing America some sort of universal health care system," Brody says. "There's just one problem. Where are the pro-life leaning medical groups who may have a thing or two to say about reforming healthcare in this country?"

"The Obama administration wants this public debate over healthcare to be an honest dialogue in an attempt to come up with real solutions. Great idea," Brody added.

"But if the Obama White House is interested in hearing diverse opinions across a broad spectrum, why not reach out to these well established pro-life leaning medical groups and make it more balanced. One pro-life group?" he asked.

Brody confirmed the interest pro-life advocates have in the outcome of the national health care debate.

"When you talk healthcare "reproductive care" is an integral part of the conversation. That means topics like abortion and contraception are part of the discussion. You don't think there will be a big controversy if President Obama's healthcare plan covers abortions?" he said.

Brody said the invite list makes the Obama appear hypocritical.

"President Obama said today that in the health care discussion, he wanted every voice heard, every idea considered, and every option on the table. But are we really getting every voice, idea, and option from participants at the forum?" he concluded.

Ironically, Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic Health Association, received an invitation to the gathering. She came under fire for praising Obama's pro-abortion picks.

Keehan was upset LifeNews.com exposed her support for the pro-abortion staff selections and nominees.

Since that meeting, many other decisions that President Obama has made points to his anti-life, pro-abortion agenda.

On March 9, March 9, 2009 - President Barack Obama signed an executive order forcing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

March 10, 2009 - Obama announces the creation of a new foreign policy position to focus on women's issues. He names Melanne Verveer, an abortion advocate, to occupy the post.

March 10, 2009 - Reverses an executive order to press for more research into ways of obtaining embryonic stem cells without harming human life. The order Obama scrapped would have promoted new forms of stem cell research.

March 11, 2009 - Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration known as the White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama's director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, an abortion advocate, became director of it.

March 11, 2009 - Obama administration promotes an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.

March 11, 2009 - Obama administration officials deny negative effects of abortion at United Nation's meeting.

March 17, 2009 - President Barack Obama makes his first judicial appointment and names pro-abortion federal Judge David Hamilton to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

March 26 - President Obama announced $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.

April 7 - The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.

April 7 - Obama has named pro-abortion law professor Harold Hongju Koh as the top lawyer for the State Department.

April 7 - Put more abortion advocates on his White House advisory council for faith-based issues.

April 8 - Obama nominee for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Ron Weich, is pro-abortion.

April 14 - Obama administration releases document that claims pro-life people may engage in violence or extremism.

April 17 - Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines that implement his decision to allow taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

April 23 - Refused to appeal a ruling requiring the FDA to allow 17-year-old girls to purchase the morning after pill without either a doctor visit or parental involvement beforehand.

April 27 - Obama's women's ambassador Melanne Verveer touted Obama's decision to send $50 million to the United Nation's Population Fund.

May 5 - Details emerge about a terrorism dictionary the administration of President Barack Obama put together in March. The Domestic Extremism Lexicon calls pro-life advocates violent and claims they employ racist overtones in engaging in criminal actions.

May 8 - President Obama releases a new budget that allows the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.

May 8 - President Obama's new budget calls for taxpayer funded abortions in the nation's capital.

May 8 - President Obama's budget eliminates all federal funding for abstinence-only education

May 17th, Delivers specious, "common-ground" speech at Our Lady's beloved University

May 25, Obama HONORS an employee of Late-Term Abortionist, George Tiller "The Killer" at the White House.

May 26, Obama nominates radical Pro-Abortion supporter, Sonia Sotomayor, as our next Supreme Court Justice.

I wonder if he will invite and HONOR Fr. Frank Pavone, Nat'l Director of Priests For life in an effort to find "common ground" with those who disagree with his anti-abortion policies. Here is what Fr. Pavone has to say about the President's nomination:

I have just one question about Judge Sonia Sotomayor as she is nominated by President Obama for the Supreme Court: “Does justice include the right to tear the arms and legs off of babies, crush their skulls, and treat them as medical waste?”

“We all draw the line somewhere. An avowed racist or anti-Semite is not acceptable on the Supreme Court. Why should we give a pass to the violence of abortion?”

Now, the U.S. Bishops call for Congress to expand Health Care without Abortion. But will Obama welcome them into his idea of "dialogue?" Will he try to find "common ground" with them? I think the evidence speaks for itself--his reponse, or lack thereof, will be where the rubber meets the road.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Author Dawn Eden Weighs in on Catholic Jesuit Priest, Fr. James Martin's Public Support of President Obama on CNN

*This article is brilliantly written, honest and insightful. While I agree with Fr. Martin's principle of "Charity," I honestly believe that, in this particular case, it is being used as a "tool" to blanket the real culprit: moral relativism.
To be charitable is to be loving.
4,000 babies are going to be killed today.
The question I pose to Fr. James Martin is: How are we being "charitable" to them? How are we loving them?
Many thanks to Ms.Eden, for her passion, zeal, & tireless efforts in helping to build a culture of life! God Bless! ~Georgia

Thursday, May 21, 2009
Father James Martin's strife with the saints
by: Dawn Eden

"Why do we Catholics so often bayonet our own troops?"

That question posed last week by Mark Shea in the wake of the vitriol following Christopher West's "Nightline" appearance, applies even more to the treatment of Father James Martin S.J. following his CNN appearance last Sunday.

The author of My Life With the Saints,* interviewed on CNN after President Obama's speech at Notre Dame, made some comments that sparked outrage among pro-life bloggers such as Insight Scoop's Carl Olson. They were made more dramatic by the fact that Martin defended his points even as EWTN host Raymond Arroyo, interviewed alongside him, countered with an articulate defense of Magisterial teachings on life. The layman was correcting the priest, and, to many of those schooled in the breadth of Church teachings on the culture of life, the priest was closer to the views of the prevailing culture than those of the Magisterium.

Among Martin's statements that caused offense were his response to whether Obama deserved the honorary degree from Notre Dame:

I mean, I think first of all, if anyone deserves a degree in law, it’s this constitutional law scholar. I think that needs to be kept in mind. But also, I think the pro-life world is a lot broader than simply abortion. I don’t think you can just sweep the death penalty, torture -- things like that under the carpet. The pro-life world is really what Cardinal Bernardin called ‘a consistent ethic of life.’ I think, unfortunately, for a lot of people in the pro-life movement, life begins at conception, but seems to end there. I mean, it just cannot be about simply abortion, and I really lament the fact that -- that some of the bishops have turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ into simply abortion. And so, I think we need to look at a broader perspective here.

When Arroyo argued that Obama represented a "pro-abortion policy," Martin responded:

I don’t think you can call President Obama pro-abortion. I mean, someone who talked about convening a task force between pro-life and pro-choice people is certainly not someone who is pro-abortion. I don’t know anyone who’s pro-abortion, and I think that label is really very misleading.

I am among those who believe Father Martin is in the wrong on this issue, but that is not my purpose in calling attention to his words. The Jesuit had an opportunity to articulate Catholic teaching in the media spotlight and he blew it. His misstep, however, regardless of whether it reflects deep-seated dissent or simple ignorance, has since been overshadowed and, to my mind, eclipsed, by the unpardonable behavior of numerous people who should know better.

Since the controversy broke, Martin has engaged in dialogue with Olson and several other pro-life bloggers, and, while not offering a complete retraction, has accepted correction on some points. He has also made it clear that he is "unabashedly pro-life." Throughout, he has conducted himself with the utmost civility.

The same cannot be said of many blog commenters and others who have vilified Martin with visible glee, as though they had been saving all their vitriol against Catholic Obama supporters—and particularly against Jesuits—for this very occasion.

One commenter on Amy Welborn's blog accused the priest of denying the Resurrection. An Insight Scoop reader questioned his vocation, while another asked "Is he on crack?"

Having corresponded with Martin since he guested on this blog last year, I wrote to him to offer background on Obama's record—which is not just pro-abortion, but pro-infanticide—and to ask if he had anything to say about the response to his comments.

He wrote back:

Where, I wonder, does charity fit into all of this?

For me, I respect all of my Catholic brothers and sisters and assume that they are trying to live out their faith lives as best they can. And I know that they are following their consciences in making the best decisions that they can as Christians. So why are we tearing one another apart in the pro-life movement? I am unabashedly pro-life: that is, I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. Yet I have a quite (and perhaps quietly) different way of working towards that goal.

That difference seems to have earned me enmity among some in the pro-life movement. Critiques about the prudence of a certain strategy call into question my reverence for life, my vocation as a priest, my commitment to my vows as a Jesuit, my fidelity to the church, my Christian beliefs, and led one email correspondent to call me a "murderer," another a "liar," another a "baby-killer," and another "deceitful."

For me, the most helpful way forward come from St. Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. "[L]et it be presupposed that every good Christian is to be more ready to save his neighbor’s proposition than to condemn it." In other words to give people the benefit of the doubt. Or as Pope Benedict XVI said, "Encounters with others need to be marked by tolerance..." Even, it should be underlined, when those "others" are on the same side, in the church, Catholics all, united in the faith.

Calling for charity is not, as some have charged, "selling out" or "watering down" or "avoiding the issue." It is the foundation of the Christian message and one of the Christian virtues that we set aside at our peril--literally.

In other words, while we're being Catholic we shouldn't forget about being Christian.

While I agree with his warnings against forgetting charity, Father Martin neglects to say is what I believe is really the issue here: He is being used as a scapegoat for the failure of Catholic pro-lifers to convince 53 percent of U.S. Catholics to vote against Obama. In particular, as Archbishop Burke has admitted with regard to the the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' voting guide, there were massive missteps of catechesis in the last presidential election, all the way down from the highest levels of the American Church. Despite the efforts of many pro-lifers to make Obama's abortion extremism known—and, to their credit, they did get through to a slim majority of Mass-attending Catholics—the message did not reach the wider masses, let alone priests such as Father Martin.

Since his CNN interview, Father Martin has admitted to blogger Edward Mechmann that perhaps he is "just naive" in his belief that no one thinks it is "a good thing" for a woman to have an abortion. But then he adds,

In general, though, when Obama says that he wants to "reduce abortions" I think it's good for the church to take him at his word. At least this is a place of common ground--the desire to reduce abortions. It's a start for both sides to come together to work towards the reduction of abortions.

Naivete aside, Father Martin has a point here that is worth considering—if pro-lifers (and I include myself) can overcome their visceral reaction against the vagaries of the Obamaspeak he defends.

Based on his unyielding support of Planned Parenthood, I don't believe Obama wants to reduce abortions by pro-life means such as promoting marriage and aiding pregnant women. I believe that, when he says "reduce abortions," he means "promote contraception, sterilization, and 'comprehensive [e.g. pornographic] sex education.'" Certainly, that is what Planned Parenthood and their allies hear when he says that.

Behind his rose-colored glasses, however, Father Martin's point is that pro-lifers should take Obama at his word and hold him to his promise, putting pressure on him to reduce abortions in ways that don't contradict the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person. That is in fact a point with which some major pro-life organizations agree—otherwise they would not have taken opportunities to meet with White House staff to discuss the issue. The Church likewise, from the Pope with his congratulatory telegram, to Cardinal George with his meeting with the President, has demonstrated her desire to work with Obama through whatever doors he opens to dialogue. He is, after all, the only President we have, and it is, to my mind, utterly foolish to think that the next 44 months will be any better if we stay in our own pro-life echo chamber and adopt a barricade mentality.

Father Martin writes to me that the e-mails he received to his CNN appearance were "overwhelmingly, almost embarrassingly positive." Again, what does that say about the impact the pro-life movement has on the average Catholic? Remember, the priest did not speak in favor of abortion. Rather, he mistakenly characterized Obama as not being pro-abortion. His argument was from the position not of an abortion supporter, but rather of a pro-lifer unwilling to see wrongdoing or base motives on the parts of the President and Notre Dame.

There are millions of Catholics like him, who consider themselves pro-life (as does the majority of the American populace in recent polls), but are charmed by President Obama and believe him when he claims to seek to reduce abortion. They are the ones we should be targeting—not with vitriol and abuse, but with love and truth. It's time to get out of the comboxes, get into the pews and out at the water coolers, and leave the echo chamber behind.

UPDATE: Mike Potrema, literary editor of National Review, says:"Get Over Notre Dame...and Look at the Big Picture

Dawn Eden is Author of, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On ~ Visit her Website / Visit her Blog

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baptist University Drops Democrats as Official Club for Not Upholding Pro-Life, Pro-Family Promise

Our Protestant friends are firmly upholding the sanctity of life; remaining true to the principles of Christ. We can only hope & pray that many Catholics who are in such a position, will find the courage to follow their lead.

The Washington Times (photo: Jerry Falwell,Jr., Chancellor of Liberty University)
May 24, 2009

(Lynchburg, VA)Liberty University says the school's College Democrats chapter can no longer be recognized as an official club because its principles are anathema to the Lynchburg, Va., school's Christian doctrine and because club officials misled the school.

"It's a symbolic thing," said Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. "These are great Christian kids. I sit with them at ball games, they mean well, but they're not doing what they said they were going to do when they formed."

He said club organizers promised to stand for pro-life, pro-family causes and to work to move the Democratic Party in that direction, but have instead supported pro-choice candidates who work at cross-purposes to the school's Christian beliefs.

Click here to read full article......

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vatican Spokesman: Report on Ambassador Picks "Faulty" and "Inaccurate"

by: John Thavis
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican spokesman dismissed reports that the Holy See has rejected several candidates for U.S. ambassador to the Vatican because of their support for legal abortion.

"No proposals about the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See have reached the Vatican, and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected. The rumors circulating about this topic are not reliable," the spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told Catholic News Service April 9.

The spokesman's comments echoed off-the-record remarks by informed diplomatic and Vatican sources in Rome, who said the reports appeared to be unfounded.

"It's possible names have been circulated inside the U.S. administration, and perhaps rejected for some reason or other, but not because of any Vatican veto. It's also quite possible that the whole thing is conjecture," said one source.

An article published April 2 by Newsmax.com -- and recirculated in Italian media -- said the administration of President Barack Obama had put forward three candidates for consideration as ambassador, but that each had been deemed insufficiently pro-life by the Vatican.

Vatican sources said not only was the report inaccurate, but that its premise was faulty. The Vatican has not been in the habit of vetting the personal beliefs or ideas of candidates before accepting them as ambassadors, they said.

There have been occasions in the last two years when the Vatican has objected to ambassadorial candidates -- from Argentina, in the case of a divorced Catholic with a live-in partner, and from France, where the candidate was an openly gay Catholic in a union with another man.

"For Catholic ambassadors, there is the question of their matrimonial situation. But outside of that, I don't think there are other criteria," said one Vatican source.

Thomas Melady, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, explained to CNS that the diplomatic protocol for tendering ambassadorial nominations is far different from that suggested by the "three-rejections" rumor.

"That's not the process at all," said Melady, who represented the U.S. at the Vatican from 1989 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush. He also was ambassador to Burundi and Uganda under President Richard Nixon.

Melady, a Republican who is not involved in Obama administration discussions related to filling the Vatican post, said that in the first place names of potential nominees are proffered to governments in utmost secrecy. That secrecy is part of a protocol dating back centuries, which is generally strictly observed, said Melady, now a senior diplomat in residence at the Institute of World Peace in Washington.

The typical response to such proffers is no more than an indication that the person suggested "is agreeable" or that there is "no objection," Melady said. On rare occasions, an objection might be expressed, he said, but that happens even more rarely when it's the United States submitting the nomination.

Another rumor making the rounds of blogs says Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and briefly an aspirant for appointment to the Senate from New York, is favored for the job.

The White House does not comment on nominations before they are announced. But the rumor about Kennedy was downplayed by people familiar with the administration's plans. Efforts by CNS to reach Kennedy to ask her were unsuccessful.

As of April 9 only a handful of diplomatic nominations had been announced, including ambassadors to Iraq, Afghanistan and Ireland. Official diplomatic representatives were not in place in Great Britain, the Czech Republic or Turkey when Obama visited in early April.

It's not uncommon for a president not to have ambassadors in countries he visits early in an administration. Between the process of vetting nominees ahead of time and the often slow Senate confirmation system, many of the top spots in embassies sit vacant well into a president's first year.

Part of the slowness, Melady conjectured, is that several Obama nominees for various posts were delayed or sidetracked over problems with income taxes. Before they are announced, all names are now closely vetted for potential tax problems as well as the usual FBI background checks.

By comparison, Jim Nicholson, the first ambassador to the Vatican of the President George W. Bush administration, was nominated April 6, 2001, and presented his credentials at the Vatican in mid-September. Ray Flynn, President Bill Clinton's first Vatican ambassador, was nominated by mid-March 1993 and officially arrived at the Vatican in mid-July.

Read George Weigel's article:
The Pope vs. The Vatican at Standpoint

Obama advisor: “It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions”

by Wendy Wright, Concerned Women of America

Author’s Note: Because of the Obama speech at Notre Dame and the widespread misunderstanding that this Administration has fostered, others have urged me to make public what the White House official in charge of finding “common ground” stated in our meeting.

Two days before President Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame, I was at the White House for one of the meetings that he spoke about. About twenty of us with differing views on abortion were brought in to find “common ground.” But the most important point that came from the meeting was perhaps a slip from an Obama aide.

It revealed that what many people believe -- including high-profile pro-life leaders who support Obama -- is sorely wrong.

Ask nearly anyone, “What is Obama’s goal on abortion?” They’ll answer, “Reduce the number of abortions.” A Notre Dame professor and priest insisted this in a television debate after Obama’s speech. The Vatican newspaper reported it. Rush Limbaugh led a spirited debate on his radio program the next day based on this premise.

But that’s not what his top official in charge of finding “common ground” says.

Melody Barnes, the Director of Domestic Policy Council and a former board member of Emily’s List, led the meeting. As the dialogue wound down, she asked for my input.

I noted that there are three main ways the administration can reach its goals: by what it funds, its messages from the bully pulpit, and by what it restricts. It is universally agreed that the role of parents is crucial, so government should not deny parents the ability to be involved in vital decisions. The goals need to be clear; the amount of funding spent to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions is not a goal. The U.S. spends nearly $2 billion each year on contraception programs -- programs which began in the 1970s -- and they’ve clearly failed. We need to take an honest look at why they are not working.

Melody testily interrupted to state that she had to correct me. “It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions.”

The room was silent.

The goal, she insisted, is to “reduce the need for abortions.”

Well, this raises a lot of questions.

If you reduce the need, doesn’t it follow that the number would be reduced? How do you quantify if you’ve reduced the “need”? Does Obama want to reduce the “need” but not the number of abortions? In that case, is he okay with “unneeded” abortions?

Note what Obama said in his speech at Notre Dame:

“So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. …”

Abortion advocates object to the phrase “reducing abortions.” It connotes that there is something bad or immoral about abortion. Melody’s background as a board member of one of the most hard-core abortion groups in the country (Emily’s List even opposes bans on partial-birth abortion) sheds light on why she was irritated when that was stated as her boss’ goal.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2004 that Democrats, after losing the presidential election, began rethinking their harsh, no compromise stance on abortion. Their solution?

Change their language but not their position.

The LA Times interviewed me on this strategy and reported: “Wright said it was too early to know whether Democrats would change their votes on upcoming antiabortion legislation, or would only change the way they speak of abortion. She said the comments of some party leaders led her to believe that ‘it would just be changing of wording, just trying to repackage in order to be more appealing -- really, to trick people.’”

Howard Dean, then head of the Democratic National Committee, validated my concern. He told NBC's Tim Russert: "We can change our vocabulary, but I don't think we ought to change our principles."

By all his actions so far, Obama is following this plan.

Obama needs to be honest with Americans. Is it true that it is not his goal to reduce the number of abortions?

More importantly, will he do anything that will reduce abortions? Actions are far more important than words.

Wendy Wright is President of Concerned Women for America (CWA.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 22 ~ Feast of St. Rita of Cascia, Saint of the Impossible, Lost Causes, Troubled Marriages and Reconciliation

Don't miss: St. Rita, the Movie, on EWTN Sat5/22 & Sun5/23 @10pm(EST)

I absolutely LOVE Saint Rita!(The movie is FANTASTIC!!) She is certainly a miracle-worker in Heaven! She is VERY attentive to those who seek her assistance and intercession. Because of the miracles she has performed in my life, I have vowed to make her known. Have a Blessed Day! ~Georgia

Saint Rita [1381-1457] has been one of the most popular Saints in the Church for centuries. She is known as the "Saint of the Impossible" because of her amazing answers to prayers, as well as the remarkable events of her own life.

Saint Rita wanted to become a nun, but in obedience to her elderly parents, she married. Her husband was the source of much suffering as he was cruel to her, but she repaid his perfidy with prayer and kind attention to him: he was converted in time, becoming most considerate of others and God-fearing. Alas, he was murdered.

Rita discovered that her two sons were thinking of avenging their father's murder and she feared that they would actually undertake such an action. With heroic love for their souls, she begged God to take them rather an permit them to commit this mortal sin. Not long afterward, they both died, after preparing themselves to face God.

Left alone without her family, St. Rita devoted herself to prayer, penance, and works of charity. After a time she applied for admittance to the Augustinian Convent in Cascia. She was refused, but after praying to her three special patron Saints-----St. John the Baptist, St. Augustine, and St. Nicholas of Tolentino-----she miraculously entered the convent and was allowed to remain, about the year 1411.

In the convent, Sr. Rita's life was marked by great charity and severe penances. Her prayers for others obtained remarkable cures, deliverance from the devil and other special favors from God. So that she might share in the pain of His Crown of Thorns, Our Lord gave her a thorn wound in her forehead. It was exceedingly painful and emitted a disagreeable odor, yet she considered it a very great grace. She prayed: "O loving Jesus, increase my patience according as my sufferings increase." The wound lasted the rest of her life."

She died on May 22 [Her Feast Day], 1457 at the age of 76. People flocked to the convent to pay their respects. Innumerable miracles took place through her intercession and devotion spread far and wide. Her body was preserved incorrupt for several centuries, at times giving off a sweet fragrance. Much of her body is still incorrupt, including her forehead where one can see the wound. Today it is in a sealed glass coffin in a church of St. Augustine in Cascia, Italy, where pilgrims come to pray and ask for a miracle.

Immediately after death her body is said to have performed miracles and had signs of Incorruptibility. After centuries of veneration of her Incorrupt body and numerous documented miracles, Rita of Cascia was canonized in 1900. The Saint’s body is still partially incorrupt and housed in the Basilica of Saint Rita in the Umbrian town of Cascia.

Saint Rita's Shrine in Italy

National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia, Philadelphia, PA

Click HERE to order Fr. Sicardo's book from TAN books for $7.00

Prayers to St. Rita

Ex-Abortionist & Founder of NARAL Bernard Nathanson Exposes Lies of American Pro-Abortion Movement: "We were guilty of massive deception"

By Tim Waggoner

TORONTO, ON, July 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On July 9, 2008, CFRB talk show host, Spider Jones, interviewed former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson about his past involvement in the abortion movement and his conversion to the pro-life viewpoint.

At one time Nathanson was deeply entrenched in the American pro-abortion movement, having co-founded the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and overseen 75,000 abortions as director of an abortion clinic. During the CFRB program Nathanson recalled the deceitful and dishonest tactics that he and NARAL relied upon to push for the legalization and acceptance of abortion.

"We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions," he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

"I mean as a founding member and chairman of the medical committee, I accepted the figures which came from a biostatistician named Christopher Tietze and he and his wife passed along these figures to us at NARAL. We were in no position to validate them or not, so we accepted them in the interests of higher standards, or at least higher objectives," he explained.

Nathanson's conversion to the pro-life movement was sparked by the advent of the ultrasound machine in the early 1970s. He related how his heart was moved to realize that a fetus is in fact a human being after he watched an unborn baby recoil from a vacuum abortion device before being sucked from its mother's womb.

Nathanson titled the video of this incident "The Silent Scream" and began using it to spread the pro-life message. Planned Parenthood, however, took a page out of NARAL's book when the abortion giant spread rumors that the video was a fake. Nathanson confirmed that these rumors, like the tactics of NARAL, were lies.

"Planned Parenthood was responsible for that," he said. "But it was not faked and what we did in order to validate it was to go to Dr. Ian Donald in Scotland, who is the father of ultra-sound, the inventor of ultra-sound and he looked at the film and he swore an affidavit that everything was as it was shown and there was no doctoring or manipulation or any changes in the speed or anything else."

Nathanson then addressed the fact that abortion is now used as a form of birth control - a result of another pro-abortion fabrication.

"One of the myths that was fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that abortions taking place illegally, would be done legally. But in fact, abortion is now being used primary as a method of birth control all over the world and in the USA too."

Pro-abortion advocates "refuse to see what most people are now conceding, that the fetus is a human being and we have no business massacring it in large numbers," concluded Dr. Nathanson.

Former Abortionists Speak Out

Meet the Abortion Providers

Abortionists Speak on Abortion

How Abortionists Lie to Women: Abortionists Speak Out

Physiciansforlife.org exists to draw attention to the issues of abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, cloning, infanticide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, out-of-wedlock sexual activity and the medical merits of risk elimination through sexual abstinence.

“Obama not Pro-Abortion,” Says Editor in Chief of Vatican Newspaper

By Hilary White

ROME, May 21, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In recent weeks, pro-life Catholics around the world have been mystified and disturbed by the apparent enthusiasm of the Vatican’s daily newspaper for US president Barack Obama in a series of laudatory articles. L’Osservatore Romano’s editor-in-chief, Giovanni Maria Vian cleared up the mystery this week when he explained that he believes Obama – unanimously identified by pro-life advocates as the most pro-abortion president in US history – is not pro-abortion at all.

“What I want to stress,” Vian told the Italian political analyst and Vatican observer Paolo Rodari on Tuesday, “is simply the fact that yesterday [in his speech at Notre Dame], on this very sensitive issue, U.S. President has again said that the launch of a new abortion law is not a priority of his administration. And the fact that this has comforted me greatly.”

“I am also in my clear conviction: Obama is not a pro-abortion president,” he said.

He said that Obama’s speech at Notre Dame was to be appreciated because of its respectful tone and that Obama had tried to shift the debate away from ideological points of view.

“His speech at Notre Dame has been respectful toward every position. He tried to engage the debate, stepping out from every ideological position and outside every ‘confrontational mentality.’ To this extent his speech is to be appreciated,” Vian said. “In fact the world is not shocked by Obama,” he added.

Vian claimed that L’Osservatore Romano holds “the same position of the American bishops who regard abortion as a disaster.”

"We must promote, always and at every level a ‘culture of life’,” he said.

Despite Vian’s assertion that the Vatican newspaper is in accord with the US bishops, immediately following the Notre Dame speech a brief article appeared in the Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano in which no mention was made of the opposition of over 80 US bishops to Obama's appearance at the university. Neither did it mention the protests by students and arrests of priests and other pro-life advocates. Monday’s article emphasized only Obama’s assertion in his speech that he would attempt to find “common ground” with those who oppose him on abortion.

In the same edition, the paper carried an article reiterating the objections of the US bishops to Obama’s stem cell research policies. Vian offered this as evidence for the paper’s objectivity. “This is our policy, the way we inform,” he said. “If a national bishops’ conference says something, we report it.” However, he continued, it is “appropriate to present other perspectives.”

The Vatican’s quasi-official newspaper has produced several leading articles in the past number of weeks that have lauded Obama and accepted at face value his assertions that he wants to “reduce abortions” by providing more welfare services for women.

Last month, L’Osservatore Romano angered many experienced pro-life advocates by publishing a political editorial, “Obama in the White House: 100 Days that Didn't Shake the World,” by Giuseppe Fiorentino, in which Obama’s zealous promotion of abortion was downplayed. The article was subsequently re-published by the paper’s weekly English edition [http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_eng/text.html#5].

Austin Ruse, the head of New York's Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) wrote that the newspaper had “embarrassed itself” by glossing over Obama’s hostility to the sacredness of human life in abortion and embryo research.

The article, Ruse said, used the same euphemistic language to describe embryonic research used by anti-life lobbyists. Calling Fiorentino’s wording a “monumental error,” Ruse wrote, “It is disheartening to see an organ of the Vatican making the distinction between so-called therapeutic and reproductive cloning. This is the same distinction made by the enemies of life who want folks to think that at least one type of cloning is acceptable.”

Ruse cited several errors of fact by Fiorentino, who said that the Obama administration had not significantly changed the existing protections for embryonic human life. Ruse also pointed out that pro-abortion Catholic Democrats had seized on the 100 Days article for use in an advertisement attacking those Catholics - like former Vatican ambassador Mary Ann Glendon - who had opposed Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame. Further, Ruse pointed out that Fiorentino had accused those US bishops who had objected of being unduly “alarmist.”

In another article appearing in the Vatican paper’s May 12 Italian daily edition, titled “The Biblical Matrix of Obama's Rhetoric; the New Frontier and the Promised Land,” Lucia Annunziata compared Obama to the Old Testament figure Joshua, who completed the work of Moses to bring the Israelites into the Promised Land. Annunziata wrote that Obama’s electoral victory was the fulfilment of the struggle of the Civil Rights movement and signified “the overcoming” of US racial conflicts often spoken of by Rev. Martin Luther King.

Despite Vian’s assertion that Obama is not pro-abortion, the president’s political record has been accepted as such by US abortion lobby groups, who enthusiastically endorse him. According to the political website On the Issues, Obama has had an unblemished voting record in favor of every initiative to advance the abortion lobby’s agenda. He was rated 100 per cent supportive by the National Abortion Rights Action League on pro-abortion votes in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

In 1997 Obama opposed a bill preventing partial-birth abortion; he opposed the born-alive infant’s protection act, voted against prohibiting minors crossing state lines to obtain abortions and against a law that would require notifying parents. He voted to expand research on new embryonic stem cell lines and voted yes on a $100 million increase in funding for promoting and providing contraceptives to teenagers and low-income women.

As president, during his first 100 days, Obama refunded the U.N. Population Fund, which is involved in China's coercive one-child policy, that includes the use of forced abortion, and struck down the Mexico City policy that restricted US funds for abortion overseas.

In an article published by National Review, George Weigel, famous for his biography of Pope John Paul II, commented: “It is unfortunate that several recent pieces on the Obama administration in L’Osservatore Romano have been both factually questionable and analytically dubious.” Weigel explained that “the offices of the Holy See are replete with middle- and lower-level officials who are enamored of Barack Obama. Why? In most cases, because they are Europeans who share the typical European Obamaphilia and whose sources of information and analysis are manifestly skewed.”

Weigel concluded: “That is a problem for the senior officials of the Holy See to address, and they ought to address it soon.”

To contact the Vatican Secretary of State with concerns:
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone,
Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano,
Citta del Vaticano

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Why The Vatican Newspaper Said Obama’s First 100 Days Wasn’t All that Bad

Obama is "Joshua" to Martin Luther King's "Moses": Vatican Newspaper Article

Vatican Attempting to Build Diplomatic Bridges with Obama Coverage in L'Osservatore Romano: Rome HLI Leader

Obama's First 100 Days: The anti-life plan is now established

For more on Obama’s pro-abortion voting record

See also Deal Hudson Article
L'Osservatore Romano Needs a New Editor

Notre Dame: The First Battle in a New War

May 21, 2009 by: Jason T. Adams, The Catholic Exchange

Last weekend my family and I stood with a couple thousand Catholics on Notre Dame’s south quad protesting the university’s decision to invite Barak Obama as commencement speaker and award to him an honorary degree. At the same time, most of the 12,000 predominantly Catholic commencement attendees cheered on the most pro-abortion official our nation has ever known. In the lead up to commencement it was broadly assumed that the President would rise above the fray and offer an eloquent but conventional commencement speech. Indeed, many who supported the invitation early in the controversy argued that Obama was not coming to give an abortion speech, concluding that the abortion issue was moot. But speak about abortion he did, and why wouldn’t he? This was a golden opportunity to have a packed arena of Catholics enthusiastically applaud his pro-abortion agenda. What a public relations coup for the President!

Notre Dame’s commencement witnessed not Obama the head of state, but Obama the moral teacher. Consider the standards he advanced:

-While pro-life and pro-choice supporters have irreconcilable differences, the decision whether or not to abort a child is a personal moral decision a woman must be free to make.

-Abortion rights can exist alongside efforts to reduce the number of abortions. These efforts include helping single mothers, promoting adoption, and funding sex education programs that promote contraception.

-The ends justify the means in the issue of embryonic stem cell research. The lives of innocent unborn children can and should be sacrificed if embryonic stem cell research shows any promise of curing things like juvenile diabetes.

-The problems the world faces are too big for one religion to solve, so we must not see the faith and moral teachings of one particular religion as superior to any other.

Let me ask you, which one of these teachings does the Catholic Church accept? None! Every one of these dictates is irreconcilable with the most fundamental teachings of Catholicism. The real commencement message was never heard because it was couched in such lofty and eloquent platitudes. I can translate:

Let me begin by establishing my moral authority among Catholics. I carried the Catholic vote in November and I have plainly won the support of America’s preeminent Catholic college. By virtue of your having invited me to this commencement and awarding me this honorary law degree, you have shown that you are fair-minded, unlike the lunatic fringe that opposed my visit. You are the new mainstream Catholics, choosing to follow the dictates of pragmatism rather than those of a washed up hierarchy whose teachings are no longer relevant. It is time to abandon the pro-life dogmatism of yesterday for the greater cause of peace and progress. I outlined the solution to this worn out abortion debate during my campaign and I am reiterating that solution today. Keep abortion legal so women can exercise their right to privacy unhindered by meddlesome religious fanatics. Expand embryonic stem cell research so we can cure disease. Today, I would ask of you one more thing that will require of you a long overdue open-mindedness. Leave behind the antiquated sectarianism that has historically characterized the Catholic Church, and begin thinking in terms of one composite religion in which all doctrine is submitted to the larger goal of cooperation and tolerance. We need stand for nothing but unity. Will you follow me?

From the crowd there arose a resounding “yes!” -– loyal submission of intellect and will. Notre Dame has denied its rightful teachers, the bishops, for decades.

Notre Dame was wrong for inviting President Obama and awarding him an honorary law degree for two reasons. Never in our nation’s history has there been a President so hostile to the dignity of unborn children. He has promised to work vigorously to oppose everything the Catholic Church teaches on the most fundamental of human rights — the right to life. That ought to be enough to rule him out as a commencement speaker in what is arguably the nation’s most notable Catholic college. There is another reason Notre Dame is in the wrong. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has decided in no uncertain terms that Catholic institutions are not to issue speaking invitations and awards to figures who oppose the moral law: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions” (Catholics in Political Life , 2004).

By these two counts, Notre Dame has besmirched the Church’s solemn teaching on abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and has made a scandalous show of its animosity toward Church authority. At last count, over 80 bishops have publicly condemned Notre Dame’s actions, including the bishop of South Bend. When a major Catholic institution so publicly and egregiously betrays its commission, the Catholic faithful are obligated to oppose it. There was a time when the fight for the soul of Catholicism was something like an insurgency: a dissident professor here, a wayward bishop there, an occasional heretical book. We have, to an extent, been lulled to sleep while these small scale and episodic threats blend into the backdrop of Catholic life. While we were sleeping, a full frontal siege has been waged. The question is, will we ever wake up?

Jason holds a Master's in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville (2000) and teaches Theology at St. Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville, Indiana. He is the author of Called to Give Life: The Blessings of Children and the Harms of Contraception, published by One More Soul. You can read Jason's blog at www.amusingcatholic.blogspot.com.

What is Truth? A Question of Higher Education

Now THIS is a commencement address! We MUST remember, there are absolute truths-- regardless of whether or not people want to believe them. Was the world always round,even though many believed it to be flat? Is a tree still a tree if somebody believes it is a can of soup? If your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth the result is anarchy and chaos, making truth unrecognizable. "When nothing is true, everything is permitted," says Fr. Gomez. What can we do as individuals to effectively bring order to our disordered, divided and confused society? The Most Rev. Archbishop Gomez has a clear answer to this amiguous question. Enjoy, and have a Blessed day! ~Georgia
Address to Graduating Class of the
University of the Incarnate Word
San Antonio, Texas
May 9, 2009

The Most Rev. José H. Gomez, S.T.D.
Archbishop of San Antonio

Congratulations, my friends! This is a very proud day for you. And I am honored that you have asked me to share it with you and your families.

First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Agnese and the Board of Trustees of the University of the Incarnate Word for granting me the Honoris Causa degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. It is an unexpected honor and a source of joy to be a part of the Incarnate Word family. I’m happy to announce to you that today I’m becoming an IWU Cardinal and that the Universe is mine™! I’m happy to be part of the IWU Cardinals family.

Education was always very important in my family. I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico. My father was a medical doctor in Monterrey. My mother was raised here in San Antonio and she also went to college, which was not very common for women in the 1930s. My parents used to always say that the best thing they could ever do for my sisters and I was to give us an education.

I will always be grateful to my parents for that gift of my education. I know you are thankful too today for all the hard work and sacrifices your families have made to help you get your education.

Higher education is such a privilege. It is not only about getting training for a specific field. Higher education is about truth.

We all know the great drama of Good Friday. Pontius Pilate has Jesus in chains and is interrogating him. Jesus tells him that he has come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Pilate replies: “What is truth?”

This is the question of every time and place, my friends. It is a question of higher education. Pilate was not uneducated. But he was educated in such a way that he could not recognize the truth—even when the truth was standing right in front of him.

The gift of a Catholic higher education is the gift of the truth. Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” And he told us what the truth is: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (cf. John 8:32; 14:6). Jesus, who is the Incarnate Word, tells us the truth and he is the truth. He is the truth about who we are as human beings. He is the truth about who we are meant to be as children of God.

So as you leave this fine Catholic University, you have learned what you need to know to get a job or to go on to graduate school. But you have also learned that there is more to life than the job you land or how much money or influence you can earn. Those things are important, but they are not the most important thing.

You also know that each one of you is in this world because God, in his love for you, desired you to be here. St. Augustine said that God loves each one of us like there is nobody else. You know that is true. You also know that God has a purpose for you. God has certain things that he wants each one of you personally to do in this world.

Find that purpose that God has for you, dear graduates. Always be asking, in all the circumstances of your life—whether you are at home, or at work, or studying, or in your neighborhoods and communities—always be asking what it is that God wants of you in that moment.

Now the world you are entering into, dear graduates, sees things very differently. In fact, our society today is a lot like Pontius Pilate—it doesn’t recognize the truth. It doesn’t believe there can even be any one truth. Our culture believes instead that there are many truths—as many different truths as there are individuals, and that it’s wrong to try to decide or judge among these competing “truths.”

This sounds like a very fair and reasonable way to live in a free society where there are many different religions, lifestyles, and points of view. But in practice: when nothing is true, everything is permitted.

When the only truth is that there is no truth, then we end up with what Pope Benedict has called the “dictatorship of relativism.” What’s right or wrong, true or false, good or evil, is decided by majority vote or imposed by powerful special interests. As a result of this dictatorship of relativism, our society not only allows evils such as abortion, it also protects them under law.

My friends, part of what God is calling you to do with your higher education is to restore the sense of truth to our society—especially the truth about the sanctity and dignity of human life.

You have to help our society see that truths and moral absolutes do exist. That the truth is always true, no matter whether any one believes it or not. That we need to conform our lives—and our laws—to these truths.

Another problem in the world you are entering is that science and technology have almost taken the place of religion. We look to science for truth, especially the truth about human nature. We are suspicious about religious explanations because there are many different religions and they don’t all agree. But, we think that science is objective, that it gives us “proof.”

Recently I was reading about new developments in neuroscience. Leading brain scientists now claim they have located the part of the brain in which human beings “feel” the experience of God. Others claim they have found evidence of a genetic or evolutionary basis for moral sentiments—for our sense of right and wrong; for our sense of values such as fairness, compassion, and self-giving.

These scientists are well-intentioned. But they are overreaching. You can’t identify religious and moral ideas in the same way that you can isolate and identify proteins, enzymes or neural activity. You may be able to identify changes that occur in the brain when people are praying or thinking about moral questions; but that doesn’t give you any scientific basis to conclude that faith and morals are nothing more than feelings, intuitions, and emotions that have evolved in the human species over the centuries.

This is another area where the world needs you, my friends. We need great scientists who are also true believers. Who can help us to understand and appreciate the beauty of creation. Who can help us to discover new treatments for illness and disease. But who remain humble enough to know that there are many things we can’t know by reason and the scientific method alone.

So, my friends, you have some work to do out there in the world! Our world needs you, and God has things that he wants you to do.

I pray that you will always remember that your life is far more than a career track. It is a journey with Jesus to see God. If you let him, Jesus, the Incarnate Word, will be walking with you in the brightness of your days and in the times of darkness, too. Deepen your friendship with Jesus, and you will find your journey filled with beauty and joy.

Let me leave you with one more thought from St. Augustine. He said: “We go to God, not by walking, but by loving” (Letter 155).

Love is the only way to live my friends. Not selfish love, a love that clings to things and seeks only its own pleasures. But true love, making yourself a gift to God and to those around you. This is the way of Jesus, the way that sets us free, that leads us to life and truth.

Thank you for this opportunity to talk to you today. I pray that Our Lady of Guadalupe, the mother of us all, will watch over you all the days of your lives.

Again, congratulations and GO CARDINALS!

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fr. James Martin, S.J. on CNN: "Some of the Bishops Have Turned the Gospel of Life into Simply Abortion. I Don't Know Anybody Who is Pro-Abortion"

by: Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight Scoop, Tuesday, May 19

Raymond Arroyo teaches Catechesis 101 on CNN to......
CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield and Rev. James Martin, S.J., associate editor of America magazine. From the transcript of the conversation, which took place on Sunday following President Obama's speech at Notre Dame:

ARROYO: No, no -- we have to distinguish. Abortion is -- has been identified by both the Vatican and the bishops of the United States as a foundational issue. One can’t get to poverty or climate change or immigration if that person hasn’t been allowed to live. I mean, it’s a -- it’s a very simple rational idea. It’s reasonable.

WHITFIELD: So Reverend Martin, I’d like you to weigh in on this. Are -- are you in concert with all that Mr. Arroyo is saying?

REVEREND JAMES MARTIN, AMERICA MAGAZINE: Not exactly. I mean, I think first of all, if anyone deserves a degree in law, it’s this constitutional law scholar. I think that needs to be kept in mind. But also, I think the pro-life world is a lot broader than simply abortion. I don’t think you can just sweep the death penalty, torture -- things like that under the carpet. The pro-life world is really what Cardinal Bernardin called ‘a consistent ethic of life.’ I think, unfortunately, for a lot of people in the pro-life movement, life begins at conception, but seems to end there. I mean, it just cannot be about simply abortion, and I really lament the fact that -- that some of the bishops have turned the Gospel of Jesus Christ into simply abortion. And so, I think we need to look at a broader perspective here.

In other words, the most radically pro-abortion president in U.S. history is deserving of honor and praise from a Catholic university, while those in the "pro-life movement," including several dozen bishops who have criticized Notre Dame for honoring Obama, are narrow-minded, even extremist, in their understanding of Catholic social doctrine and the Gospel. I think, unfortunately, for a lot of people claiming to be pro-life, life begins at conception, but does end there because that life is destroyed before it can come forth from the womb. And then, as Arroyo rightly notes, it's too late for that person to be worried about poverty or clean air or whatever. And, as I noted recently, the mindless mantra that the pro-life movement has no interest in babies once they are born is either a knowing lie or a mindlessly repeated falsehood.

ARROYO: Well, Father -- Father Martin, this isn’t a game of fish. I mean, this isn’t moral fish where you go out and pull the piece of social teaching you like. It all hangs together as you said, but one can’t somehow push abortion to the side. It is -- it is a foundational issue. And the death penalty, obviously, is something the Church has discouraged, but it is at times -- it can be morally justified, as can war. But abortion, under no circumstances, can be according to Catholic teaching. It’s an intrinsic evil. That’s not my opinion. That’s the teaching of the Church immemorial.

WHITFIELD: So Reverend Martin, does it concern you that there is almost a selective understanding about what is permissible and what is not permissible?

MARTIN: No, it concerns me that life issues are being reduced to simply abortion, and I think the Gospel is a lot broader than that. If we’re going to look at someone who accepts or rejects the Gospel, we cannot simply boil it down to one issue, and I really think that does a disservice to all of Catholic moral teaching. It’s certainly the preeminent issue for the Catholic Church, but it’s not the only issue, and it’s certainly not a litmus test upon which we should judge people.

When pro-lifers oppose euthanasia, it's because, we're told, they are too narrow-minded. When they oppose contraception and "reproductive services," it's because they are too focused on one issue. When they express concern about sexual immorality, homosexuality, child abuse, single parent homes, divorce, and the weakening of the family, it's because they have blinders on as to the bigger, broader picture. And when they fight for the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent, they are skewered for "reducing" Catholic social teaching to a single issue—despite having also been criticized for addressing all of those other issues. This is a straw man, and Fr. Martin's entire argument is based on that straw man. Yet he then admits that abortion is "the preeminent issue for the Catholic Church," even while dismissing those Catholics who make it the preeminent issue. That is simply illogical. At best.

As for a "litmus test," I'm not sure what Fr. Martin is getting at since the pro-life movement is simply saying this: If you support abortion as Obama does, you are obviously supportive of abortion. Duh. It's not rocket science. God will judge the soul, but we must, in making all sorts of decisions everyday, judge the public actions of people.

ARROYO: But Father, when you say it’s the preeminent moral issue, is it or isn’t it? I mean, the bishops clearly say it is. Seventy-four bishops have spoken out against this, and let me -- we should be very clear. If Rudy Giuliani were here today, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, there should be and probably would have been just as vociferous an opposition, because the question is not here about the president. It’s about someone representing a pro-abortion policy, and vociferous pro-abortion policies being honored at a Catholic institution --

MARTIN: Yeah, I don’t --

ARROYO: That’s what’s at heart here. The politics is really irrelevant.

MARTIN: I think the politics is very relevant here. I don’t think you can call President Obama pro-abortion. I mean, someone who talked about convening a task force between pro-life and pro-choice people is certainly not someone who is pro-abortion. I don’t know anyone who’s pro-abortion, and I think that label is really very misleading.

And so Fr. Martin takes up, verbatim, the argument used by candidate Sen. Obama: "I don't know anybody who is pro-abortion. I think it's very important to start with that premise." Those, in fact, may be some of the most revealing words spoken by Obama. As I wrote back on January 24, 2008: "Obama's 'premise' is essential, because as soon as you give into the 'argument' that, 'Hey, no one really is pro-abortion,' you are engaged in a highly subjective argument over sincerity and intention, not about whether or not the abortion kills a child."

In his January 2008 interview with Christianity Today, Obama said, "But what I believe is that women do not make these decisions casually, and that they struggle with it fervently with their pastors, with their spouses, with their doctors." And the President, in his speech on Sunday, stated, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions." It's a brilliant tactic precisely because we've been taught (in school) and told (by politicians and the media), ad nauseum, that having an abortion is a private, personal decision filled with anguish and agony, so it must not be judged or criticized. But this completely side steps the real, bedrock moral questions: Is abortion wrong? Is it the killing of an innocent? Is it objectively evil? The Catholic Church says, "Yes," to all of those questions. Obama doesn't so much say, "No," but says, "You aren't in a position to make that judgment." And that, to me, is the Big Lie here, or at least one of the Big Lies, right there with, "I don’t know anyone who’s pro-abortion."

Imagine if someone said, "I'm struggling with whether or not I should cheat on my wife," or, "I'm wrestling with how I might get away with molesting a child," or, "I'm making a heart-wrenching decision about killing a co-worker I don't like." Horrific? Sure. But why? Seriously, why?

To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin" (Jn 8:34). — Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, par. 20.

Read Fr. James Martin's Response to Carl Olson's critique

Read Carl Olson's Response to Fr. Martin's Response to his critique

Congressmen Challenge Obama's Words at ND to 'Honor the Conscience of Those Who Disagree with Abortion': Stop Efforts to Rescind Conscience Protection

Washington, May 19 -
In response to President Obama’s commencement address last Sunday at the University of Notre Dame, today
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Congressman Chris Smith(R-NJ),, co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, held a press conference in Washington, D.C. and sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to publicly forgo rescinding the Bush Administration conscience protection regulation.

In the letter, Sensenbrenner and Smith write, “You indicated that you wanted to ‘honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.’ Given our agreement in regard to a conscience clause, we respectfully request that you put an end to your Administration’s review of the Bush Administration rule that enforces existing conscience protection laws and completely forgo the rescinding of this rule. In addition, we urge you to commit to defending conscience protections in future rulemaking that affects both individual and institutional health care providers.”

The letter goes on to state that, “We should reduce the number of abortions by continuing the restrictions on abortion funding… We urge you to use all the tools at your disposable to keep conscience protections in place and reduce the number of abortions in the United States.”

Congressman Sensenbrenner and Congressman Smith are heartened to share common ground with the President on the issue of conscience and want to work toward a better solution that protects life and the rights of health care employees.

“If this Administration wants to be the Administration of choice, then all people need to have their choices protected,” Sensenbrenner said. “The religious and moral views of health care workers should be respected. Workers should have the right to refuse to participate in an abortion procedure without the fear of losing their job or being discriminated against.”

“We’re simply asking President Obama to ensure that his deeds match his words,” said Rep. Chris Smith, co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus. “This past weekend President Obama said that he believes we should ‘honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” Smith noted. “To make that happen, Mr. President,” Smith added, “simply stop all your efforts, and those of your Administration, to rescind the current conscience regulations that protect the fundamental right to prolife healthcare workers—and Catholic Hospitals—to refuse to participate in procedures that they find morally reprehensible. Protecting conscience is the truly pro-choice position and respects the diversity of opinion in our society as well as the sanctity of life.”

In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule that prohibited recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in medical procedures in which they have religious or moral objections. The rule implemented existing conscience protection laws that ensure medical professionals cannot be denied employment because they do not want to provide abortions. Although federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them, the regulation required institutions that get federal funding to certify their compliance with laws protecting conscience rights, promoted education within the medical community regarding their rights, and provided an avenue of recourse in the event of discrimination through the Office of Civil Rights within HHS.

It was at the end of February, when the Obama Administration announced that it began “reviewing” the regulations implementing conscience laws, the first step toward rescinding the rule altogether. At that time, as part of a bipartisan effort, Sensenbrenner and Smith joined in a statement expressing their concern about the President’s review of the clause.

Read Related Headlines Below:

Congressmen Challenge Obama to Follow Through on Notre Dame Statement, Stop Efforts to Repeal Conscience Regulation

Pro-Life Leaders Respond to Obama's Plan to Revoke Conscience Regulations

New Poll Reveals Obama's Plan To Scrap Conscience Protection Extremely Unpopular

Lawsuit Launched to Quash Bush Administration's Freedom of Conscience Regulation

B-Team Amateur Catholic Blogroll

Obama's Pro-Abortion Record

"I Am Personally Responsible for over 75,000 Abortions"

*This video was made during the campaign to ban abortion in South Dakota. Bernard Nathanson repented of his ways and has became Catholic.*

100% of funds raised go directly to Pro-Life efforts
Randall Terry, founder Operation Rescue, addresses the assassination of George Tiller. Mr. Terry urges the pro-life movement to not surrender words and actions under the heavy opposition from child killers and the Obama administration.

This is, by far, the BEST prayer book I have ever read!

This is, by far, the BEST prayer book I have ever read!
Not just a prayer book for teens...but for people of all ages! You will LOVE it! Order your copy TODAY!

Books for Children

  • Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss
  • The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith, by Josephine Nobisso
  • The Princess and the Kiss, by Jennie Bishop
  • Angel in the Waters, by Regina Doman

More Recommended Reading

  • Abortion: Yes or No? by John L. Grady, M.D.
  • Changed ~ Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One's Abortion Experience, by Michaelene Fredenburg
  • Ending Abortion Not Just Fighting It, by Fr. Frank A. Pavone, M.E.V.
  • Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), by Pope John Paul II
  • God Is Love, An Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI
  • Humane Vitae: A Challenge to Love, by Pope Paul VI
  • Is the Fetus Human? by Eric Pastuszek
  • Led by Faith, by Immaculee Ilibigiza
  • Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibigiza
  • Living the Gospel of Life ~ the pastoral statement issued by U.S. Catholic Bishops
  • Noise, by Teresa Tomeo
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope for the World by Dan Lynch
  • Render Unto Caesar, by Charles J. Chaput
  • The Way to Love, by Anthony De Mello
  • Won By Love, by Norma McCorvey

Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of the Americas, Intercessor for the Pre-born
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