In Pennsylvania's

Monday, December 27, 2010

The State of Our Unions 2010

With yesterday having been the Feast of the Holy Family, it is a wonderful time to recall the truth about marriage and family, as proclaimed in the Catechism:
  • "2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society."

In the wake of widespread rejection of Humanae Vitae by numerous Catholics, the path was paved for widespread rejection of marriage and family. How magnificently the late great Pope John Paul II called us back to an authentic appreciation of what our Church proclaims on these matters, in what has become known as his Theology of the Body:

  • "The whole of the catecheses...can be grasped under the title, `Human Love in the Divine Plan," or with greater precision, `the Redemption of the body & the Sacramentality of Marriage'....The first part is devoted to the analysis of the words of Christ....The second part of the catechesis is devoted to the analysis of the sacrament based on Ephesians (Eph 5:22 - 23), which goes back to the biblical beginning of marriage expressed in the words of Genesis, `a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh' (Gen 2:24)" (11/28/84).
  • "The reflections about the sacrament of Marriage were carried out in the consideration of the two dimensions essential to this sacrament, namely, the dimension of covenant and grace and the dimension of sign....The doctrine contained in...[Humanae Vitae] remains in organic relation both with the sacramentality of marriage and the whole biblical problematic of the theology of the body, which is centered on the `key words' of Christ.... all the reflections dealing with the `Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage' seem to constitute an extensive commentary on the doctrine contained precisely in Humanae Vitae" (11/28/84).

An appreciation for the magnificence of the vocation of marriage has still not recovered from the assault on Humanae Vitae. Correction requires ongoing vigilance. Early in each new year, the Holy Father addresses the Roman Rota (i.e., the Church's "Supreme Court," if you will) on misunderstandings about the vocation of marriage, even at very high levels. On January 29, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI described how

  • "some maintain that pastoral charity could justify every step towards declaring the nullity of the marriage bond in order to assist people who find themselves in irregular matrimonial situations. Truth itself, even if lip service be paid to it, tends thus to be viewed through a manipulative lens that would seek to adapt it, case by case, to the different requirements that emerge....
  • "a pronouncement on the nullity of a marriage...directly concerns the human and supernatural good of the spouses, as well as the public good of the Church....
  • "Charity without justice is not charity, but a counterfeit, because charity itself requires that objectivity which is typical of justice and which must not be confused with inhuman coldness....One must avoid pseudo-pastoral claims that would situate questions on a purely horizontal plane, in which what matters is to satisfy subjective requests to arrive at a declaration of nullity at any cost....
  • "The problem arises when the very essence of marriage, rooted in the nature of man and woman, is more or less obscured, as it is the essence of marriage that makes it possible to express objective judgments on a specific marriage. In this sense, existential, person-centred and relational consideration of the conjugal union can never be at the expense of indissolubility, an essential property which, in Christian marriage, obtains, with unity, a special firmness by reason of the sacrament (cf. CIC, can. 1056). Moreover, it must not be forgotten that matrimony is favoured by the law. Consequently, in case of doubt, it must be considered valid until the contrary has been proven (cf. CIC, can. 1060). Otherwise, there is a grave risk of losing any objective reference point for pronouncements on nullity, by transforming every conjugal difficulty into a symptom of failure to establish a union whose essential nucleus of justice – the indissoluble bond – is effectively denied."

The magnificent truth about marriage and family is NOT some sort of sectarian idiosynracy, which can be bartered away:

  • "2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society13 entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty 'to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity.'"

  • "2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
    - the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
    - the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
    - the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
    - the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
    - in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care [Note: To this blogger, it would be absolutely disingenuous for anyone to maintain that this would justify supporting anti-life policies which are dishonestly promoted as medical care.], assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
    - the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
    - the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority."

The State of Our Unions is an annual report from the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project (formerly at Rutgers) and the Institute for American Value's Center for Marriage & Families. As described in a USCCB article, "The annual report monitors the health of marriage and family life in America." The attached Social Indicators of Marital Health & Well-Being section specifically examines some "key findings" with regard to

  • Marriage,
  • Divorce,
  • Unmarried Cohabitation,
  • Loss of Child-Centeredness, &
  • Fragile Families with Children.

Our next Congress will be faced with steep challenges to honor and assist authentic marriage and family. As per Pope John Paul II, "The future of humanity passes by way of the family."



Social Indicators of Marital Health _ Well-Being

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"What is Marriage?" (Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy)


What is Marriage [Harvard article] -

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FWD: URGENT: Stop Senate power abuse - ramming repeal of 'DADT' down America's throat

As per the forwarded email at the very bottom of this email, the American Family Association is asking for immediate calls to Senator Specter (202 224 4254), Senator Casey (202 224 6324), and Congressman Murphy (215 826 1963), urging them to vote "'NO' on any effort to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" Yup, there are new efforts to push this through!

Archbishop Broglio provided an analysis, which far surpasses that of the American Family Association. In his June 1 statement, Archbishop Broglio cited #s 2357, 2358, & 2359 of the Catechism: "The Archdiocese for the Military Services—the only jurisdiction charged with the pastoral care of all Catholics in the military, VA Administration, and at the service of the Federal Government outside of the boundaries of the United States, which is also charged with endorsing Roman Catholic priests urges the Congress not to repeal the current policy for the Armed Forces."Little has been said about the impact of this policy change on religious liberty. In an October 22nd interview, Archbishop Broglio spoke of an unanticipated and chilling impact on the freedom to proclaim and teach the Truth: "'As Catholics,' he warned, 'we must be attentive to the protection of our freedom of religion'-- neither subordinating it to the idea of tolerance, nor trading it for the mere 'freedom of worship.' If members of the Church do not defend this freedom in the public square, he said, 'we may well lose it.'"




-----Original Message-----
From: AFA Action Alert
Sent: December 14, 2010 4:29:16 PM GMT
To:
Subject: URGENT: Stop Senate power abuse - ramming repeal of 'DADT' down
America's throat





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URGENT: Stop the power abuse - ramming repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" down America's throat Trying to force-feed bad policy against the will of the people...again! Vote could come as early as today!December 14, 2010


Dear Friend,



We urged you just two weeks ago to call your senators and representative and urge them to oppose the effort to repeal the law that prohibits open homosexuals from serving in the military, the law commonly known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Thanks to your phone calls, the repeal effort failed in the Senate on December 9.

But liberal Senators Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are dead set on ramming through a bill at the 11th hour that will allow open homosexuals into the armed services, which will do severe damage to readiness, recruitment and retention.

If pro-homosexual lawmakers are successful, our military will change forever and our national security will be compromised. The stakes are as high as they can be.

Some Senators who voted against repeal last week are faltering in the face of political arm twisting. One of them may be yours!

TAKE ACTION

It is urgent that you call your two senators and representative immediately and urge them to vote "NO" on any effort to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Get the phone numbers for your two senators and representative here.

Get the direct telephone numbers for your senators and representative here.

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.


Sincerely,



Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
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Action Link
* http://www.capwiz.com/afanet/callalert/index.tt?alertid=20757501&type=CO



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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Murphy v. Religious Freedom

As per a June 1 statement from Archbishop Timothy Broglio, in which he cited #s 2357, 2358, & 2359 of the Catechism: "The Archdiocese for the Military Services—the only jurisdiction charged with the pastoral care of all Catholics in the military, VA Administration, and at the service of the Federal Government outside of the boundaries of the United States, which is also charged with endorsing Roman Catholic priests urges the Congress not to repeal the current policy for the Armed Forces."This issue has received exceedingly superficial treatment in the media; little has been said about the impact of policy change on religious liberty. In an October 22nd interview, Archbishop Broglio spoke of an unanticipated and chilling impact on the freedom to proclaim and teach the Truth: "'As Catholics,' he warned, 'we must be attentive to the protection of our freedom of religion'-- neither subordinating it to the idea of tolerance, nor trading it for the mere 'freedom of worship.' If members of the Church do not defend this freedom in the public square, he said, 'we may well lose it.'"

As per this past Friday's Courier Times, it is clear that Patrick Murphy, in his closing days as a U.S. Congressman, has chosen to disregard Archbishop Broglio. Now, Patrick is a very young man. As an older (& hopefully more mature) man, he will have to look back at his four years on the public stage and see his repeated betrayals of the natural law and the Faith which he professes. In these closing weeks, he has the opportunity to correct course and make public amends.

Were (a) pastor(s) to turn a blind eye to Patrick Murphy's continued betrayals and not urge public repentance, wouldn't that constitute an incredible lack of pastoral solicitude - true pastoral negligence? Where is the true concern for Patrick's eternal salvation?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great victories in th 8th, but it should have been a clean sweep!


CS_ T editorial

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Time to Say Welcome Back & a Time to Say Good-Bye

The Inquirer is calling a winner!
Welcome back Congressman-Elect Mike Fitzpatrick!

We wish you well Patrick Murphy, but we've seen more than enough. As Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman would say - It's Time to Say Good-Bye. Come back to politics, when you truly embrace Catholic teaching.


Monday, November 1, 2010

John Galloway - pro-life, pro-conscience, pro-family

Individuals represented in the U.S. Congress’ 8th Congressional district are also represented in the Pennsylvania House & the Pennsylvania Senate. The 140th district of the Pennsylvania House is fortunate to be able to vote for St. Joseph the Worker parishioner, Rep John Galloway - the Democrat candidate. Of Pennsylvania House candidates (from the 8th Congressional District) who responded to the Catholic Standard & Times, only Rep John Galloway (140th) consistently answered in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family.

Rep Galloway's opponent is Jane Burger, a Holy Trinity parishioner. Since she is a Republican, some people are mistakenly thinking that she is embracing pro life positions. Here's a sample of how both responded to te Catholic Standard & Times:

Ms. Burger answered (D) to question # 4: "I oppose legalized abortion, except when the life of the mother is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest." John Galloway took the Catholic position (B) in his answer: "I oppose legalized abortion in all circumstances."

Question # 8 inquired about "requiring employers to provide employee benefits to which they are morally opposed." While John Galloway took a Catholic position in defense of conscience, Ms. Burger indicated that employers should be required to provide contraceptive coverage (Much of what passes for "contraceptive" has abortifacient potential.).

Question # 11 asks about positions on "legislation that forces health care providers to provide, pay for, or refer for services contray to their conscience for moral or religious reasons." While John Galloway took a position in defense of conscience protection for health care workers, Ms. Burger unbelievably warns that this is a "Dangerous precedent" which "Could easily expand to other areas. Grocery workers won't ring up pork because their religion won't allow them to eat it?" Health care workers should particularly be alarmed by Ms. Burger's response.

John Galloway's responses are consistent with Catholic teaching & the natural law on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family. Democrat John Galloway's responses are infinitely more consistent with those of fellow Pro Life, Pro Family Mike Fitzpatrick, than Republican Jane Burger!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

C.S. & T's Candidates' Questionnaire

While the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's "PA-Statewide-2010-Bulletin-Insert" was made available early, it only looked at candidates for the statewide positions of governor and the U.S. senate. In its current issue, the Catholic Standard & Times looks at candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives (including the two candidates from our own 8th congressional district), as well as the Pennsylvania House & the Pennsylvania Senate.

In our own race for the U.S. House of Representatives, an examination of the Catholic Standard & Times "Candidates Questionnaire" quickly reveals that Mike Fitzpatrick shares the Catholic positions on those absolutely essential issues of opposing federal funding of abortion, supporting conscience protections, opposing embryonic stem cell research, & defending marriage/family. Congressman Patrick Murphy did not even bother to answer the questions!

Individuals represented in the U.S. Congress’ 8th Congressional district are also represented in the Pennsylvania House (18th, 29th, 31st, 140th, 141st, 142nd , 143rd, 144th, 145th, or 178th districts ) & the Pennsylvania Senate (6th, 10th, 12th, or 24th districts.)....

With regard to candidates (from the 8th Congressional District) for the Pennsylvania House, only DiGirolamo (unopposed in the 18th), Burger & Galloway (140th), Clymer (145th), and Petri (178th) responded. Feinberg & O’Neill (29th), Ciervo & Santarsiero (31st), Davis & Glasson (141st), Farry & Toth (142nd), McQuarrie & Quinn (143rd), Watson & her opponent??? (144th), Whitesell (145th), and Apfelbaum (178th) did not respond.

  • Of those who did respond, only Rep John Galloway (140th) consistently answered in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family. While others are identified elsewhere as Pro Life - Rep DiGirolamo (18th) & Rep Clymer (145th) (cf., Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation & Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania), they may just be more Pro Life than their opponents. In addition to those three, non-responder Rob Ciervo (31st) has been identified as being in the Pro Life camp (cf., Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation & Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania).

With regard to candidates (from the 8th Congressional District) for the Pennsylvania Senate, only Allen (6th), Greenleaf (12th), & Mensch (24th) responded. Tomlinson (6th), McIlhinney (10th), Philo (10th), Damsker (12th), & Wallace (24th) did not respond.

  • Of those who did respond, only Sen Bob Mensch (24th) consistently answered in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, and marriage/family. In addition, non-responder Sen Tomlinson (6th) has been identified as being in the Pro Life camp. It may be the case that he is just more Pro Life than his opponent Bryan Allen (cf., Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation & Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania).



CST Candidates' Questionnaire

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Pope says bishops must educate faithful to vote against abortion"

As per words today from the Holy Father, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it, pastors have a serious duty to make moral judgments even in political matters....When political positions openly or covertly include plans to decriminalize abortion and euthanasia, the democratic ideal -- which is truly democratic only when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person -- is betrayed at its foundations"


A brief clip of the Holy Father's words is available on YouTube.

A VERY Unofficial Translation is also available....

"At home, Patrick Murphy says he supports Pennsylvania values..."

Please see today's mailing from the Susan B. Anthony List:

SBA List

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fathers & Monsignors, please find your voices this weekend....

In the Battle for the Culture of Life, the Church Militant Needs Its Officers!

Taking a look at material from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, it is clear that candidate for governor Tom Corbett and candidate for U.S. senate Pat Toomey hold positions on human life and the sanctity of marriage, which are far, far closer to what the Church proclaims, than do either of their opponents.
In addition to confirming that Corbett and Toomey are exceedingly preferable, the Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation identify pro-life candidates in other races....
  • With regard to the race for the U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Mike Fitzpatrick has been identified as pro-life.
  • In races for the Pennsylvania Senate, Bob Mensch (24th district) and Tommy Tomlinson (6th district) are identified as pro-life (The Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation indicates that Tomlinson's opponent, Bryan Allen, is also pro-life.).
  • In races for the Pennsylvania House, Rob Ciervo (31st district), and Paul Clymer (145th district) are identified as pro-life. In addition, the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation indicates that Gene DiGirolamo (18th district) and John Galloway (140th district) are pro life.

Please, please remind your parishioners of how vital it is to vote for candidates who support the sanctity of human life and marriage!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Two Irish Catholic guys in an Irish donnybrook here in Bucks County, Pa."

Dear Congressman Murphy,

According to National Public Radio, you have characterized the 8th District Congressional race as "Two Irish Catholic guys in an Irish donnybrook here in Bucks County, Pa."

The life and writings of 20th century Dublin civil servant Frank Duff are in the early stages of investigation for canonization. Mr. Duff was not without sin - he was simply a man who put God first. With an understanding of the apostolate of the laity which anticipated Vatican II and Pope John Paul II's Christifideles Laici, this great Irish Catholic guy was tirelessly involved in the donnybrook of bringing Truth to the public square. Indeed, the Catechism tells us that this is our very calling from God.

Archbishop Raymond Burke is the Vatican's prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. For lack of better comparison, he is akin to "Chief Justice" for the Vatican's "Supreme Court." Regarding those who profess to be Catholic but who work against what the Church proclaims about human life and marriage/family, Archbishop Burke is unequivocal: "It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner." All Irish Catholic guys - indeed all people of good will - are called to the defense of human life and marriage/family.

Some try to intimate that Catholics who defend what their Church teaches are pharisaical. Archbishop Burke notes that "One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church....Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities."

Congressman, the fact that you self-identify as Catholic mystifies many of us. Each Catholic adult is challenged to look in the mirror and pose this question: If being a Catholic were to suddenly be declared illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict me? And maybe even more difficult than looking into the mirror is looking into the eyes of our own children - attempting to explain why we claim one allegiance and act in a manner which is antithetical to it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fitzpatrick being maligned for standing strong on life

In today's Bucks County Courier Times, there is a letter to the editor from a Democratic Committee person. Neil Samuels openly criticizes pro life / pro family Mike Fitzpatrick for coming to the defense of Terri Schiavo and for standing against pro abortion forces in our country.....
Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District would truly be blessed to once again be represented by a fine young man like Mike Fitzpatrick. Congressman Patrick Murphy has repeatedly made it clear that he would continue to stand against life and marriage/family were we to make the mistake of re-electing him.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

This begins with a tale of unexpected champions for defense of the sanctity of human life....

Willowbrook was an institution for people with mental retardation, many of whom had Down Syndrome. Institutionalized abuse of Willowbrook residents included deliberate inoculation with Hepatitis. Rather than 1930s Nazi Germany, this happened from the mid 1950s till the early 1970s in New York City's Staten Island - one hour's drive from Lower Bucks County!

  • "A combination of rising placements, budget cuts, ignorance, arrogance and indifference, created notorious conditions at Willowbrook....in January 1972, Geraldo Rivera, the television reporter, began a series of programs that shook the conscience of New York State and the nation and inspired parents and others to take legal action" (http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/archives/WillowbrookRG.htm)

  • Also in 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were making appearances on “The Dick Cavett Show." At one point, Cavett tried to lecture Lennon & Ono on the alleged importance of reducing human population (See www.earcandymag.com/filmreviews12-05.htm and http://www.youtube.com/v/3yRh5NNiFG0.). However, Lennon strongly indicated that supposed "overpopulation" was a mere rationalization for mistreatment of the weak by the powerful (Amidst current hoopla about what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, many people might be extremely surprised to hear his strongly pro life argument!).



Some baby boomers may recall that, on August 30th , 1972, Geraldo introduced Lennon to a packed Madison Square Garden for the “One-to-One” benefit concert. Reform gained momentum, and “The end result was the signing of a consent judgment….The closure of Willowbrook, the placement of individuals with developmental disabilities in community residences, the growth of voluntary agencies and the expansion of day programs and special education can all be linked to the Judgment” (See www.library.csi.cuny.edu/archives/WillowbrookRG.htm). Yet tragically, that great victory for recognition of the sanctity of human life was largely obliterated by Supreme Court decisions of the following year, legalizing abortion.

At the same time that some people have beautifully learned to appreciate the giftedness of a child with Down Syndrome, a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome results in an elective abortion, in 91 to 93% of the cases. There has been an absolute genocide of people with Down Syndrome, which has largely gone unreported in the media and uncondemned from our pulpits.

As per this past Wednesday's edition of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News, October is Down Syndrome Awareness month. We can recapture the truly progressive spirit which cherishes all human life, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Watch the 10/14/10 Murphy-Fitzpatrick debate

The 10/14/10 Murphy-Fitzpatrick debate can be viewed online: http://www.pcntv.com/pcnplus/index.html?pages/election2010/8thdistrictdebate1013_str.html.


As you will see, Congressman Murphy comes across in this debate as embarassingly ill-equipped. By his own ready admission, Patrick Murphy had difficulty graduating from Archbishop Ryan High School and gaining admission to King's College. At the time of his graduation, his alma mater was considered to be among the least impressive of American law schools. Other than for his experience in the military, his work credentials were also extremely limited, before election to one of the highest offices in the land. In sum, Patrick Murphy went to Congress as a prime candidate for manipulation by others. Is it possible that Patrick Murphy has even been deluded into believing that his anti-life positions are acceptable for Catholics in public office?

Does the clergy of the 8th congressional district love Patrick Murphy, pre-born children, and the rest of us enough to publicly correct his egregious errors?

"Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life & the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled"

I am forwarding a copy of the 10/9/10 address by Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, to Human Life International. His comments were absolutely powerful, challenging "the hypocrisy of Catholics who claim to be practicing their faith but who refuse to apply the truth of their faith in their exercise of politics, medicine, business, and the other human endeavors....The obedience of faith obliges us in all situations of life, also in situations in which it is most difficult to do what God asks of us. Ultimately, the obedience of faith could require martyrdom." Not exactly a feel good, "I'm OK, You're OK" sort of homily! Archbishop Burke specifically talks of "self-professed Catholics, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage. It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner."
The archbishop also offers clarification about the nature of scandal - a clarification which can be uncomfortable, to say the least: "To ignore the fact that Catholics in public life...who persistently violate the moral law regarding the inviolability of innocent human life or the integrity of the marital union, lead many into confusion or even error regarding the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, in fact, contributes to the confusion and error, redounding to the greatest harm to our brothers and sisters, and therefore, to the whole nation. The perennial discipline of the Church, for that reason among other reasons, has prohibited the giving of Holy Communion and the granting of a Church funeral to those who persist, after admonition, in the grave violation of the moral law." In offering those words, it seems quite reasonable that Archbishop Burke would have easily recalled two recent funerals in Massachusetts for professed Catholics & long time advocates of abortion (While Senator Ted Kennedy was certainly well known at the time of his death, younger Catholics may not have been familiar with Father Robert Drinan, SJ's career as a U.S. congressman.). We can certainly not know the state of someone's soul at the moment of their death, but "The person in question bears a heavy responsibility for the grave scandal which he has caused. The responsibility is especially heavy for political leaders. The repair of such scandal begins with the public acknowledgment of his own error and the public declaration of his adherence to the moral law."
(Oh and by the way, is Canon 915 followed in our own archdiocese?)
Among many Catholics trying to defend the sanctity of human life & marriage/family, there sometimes exists a perception that they are not receiving clerical support. Archbishop Burke comments that "One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church....Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities."


Archbishop Burke's 10 9 10 Address

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I like your crucifix. I got one as well."

You may be interested in reading "Same Names, Changed Turf" (NY Times, 10/12/10); the article happens to describe how Patrick Murphy is using his alleged Catholicism to woo voters:

Susan B. Anthony List


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton
300 Wyoming Ave
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503

Your Excellency:

On September 26th, I requested that a public statement be issued, with regard to Senator Robert Casey's vote for the Defense Authorization bill. A vote for that bill was tantamount to a vote for abortions in military hospitals. The pro life community of Catholics and others of good will was firmly opposed to that bill as written. When I phoned last week, your secretary assured me that I would be hearing from you.

Your Excellency, consequences of Senator Casey's ongoing betrayal of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians are becoming more apparent. In fact, it appears that three Catholic hospitals in your diocese are about to be lost forever; they may very well wind up in the hands of individuals who will permit abortions. Despite denials from such individuals as Sister Carol Keehan, many view the need to sell these hospitals as a direct consequence of “ObamaCare" and a start of things to come. All the while claiming to be pro life, Senator Robert Casey defied the analysis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and voted for ObamaCare (cf., http://spectator.org/archives/2010/10/11/the-presidents-nun-obamacare-s).

Governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Pa. Senator, & Pa. Representative

On November 2nd, citizens of Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district will be voting for Pennsylvania's Governor, one of our two U.S. Senators, and our representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, citizens of the 8th congressional district will be voting for a Pennsylvania State Senator (District 6, 10, 12, 0r 24)

and a Representative in the Pennsylvania House (District 18, 29, 31, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, or 178). The below information has been pulled from the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation's "Voter Guide 2010":

Faithful Citizens in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District should also be aware of what has happened thus far with the proposed Pennsylvania Marriage Amendment in the Pennsylvania Senate:

Faithful Citizens in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District should be aware of what has happened thus far with HB 1163 in the Pennsylvania House:

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Hitters & Perfect Games

With one of only two "no hitters" in post season play and one of only twenty "perfect games" in major league history, Roy Halladay is having quite a season!

In 140 seasons, there have been 500,000 major league baseball games. Out of a half million games, there have only been twenty "perfect games" - super no hitters, if you will. In addition to being a no hitter, a perfect game is where a pitcher has allowed no one to reach base - not by a hit, walk, hit batter, or error. It's only happened eight times in the National League. Amazingly, two of those eight perfect games were thrown by Phillies' pitchers. The other Phillies' perfect game came almost a half century ago....

Even in 1964, it was unusual for a major league pitcher to have seven children. Yet, the Phils had an ace with a genuine family man reputation. On Father's Day, 32 year old Jim Bunning loaded his kids in the car for a trip to Shea Stadium, where he was scheduled to pitch that afternoon (In 1964 & 1965, the New York Mets' home was adjacent to the World's Fair grounds. Michelangelo's Pieta was there at that time.).
With post game media frenzy following his perfect game, the Bunning kids had to wait for another day to get to the World's Fair!

In 1996, Jim Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2004, Jim Bunning was elected to his second term in the United States senate. According to CatholicAdvocate.com, Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky is one of only six Catholics in the United States Senate to have a voting record which is perfectly consistent with the teachings of his Church.
One day, our Lord will be calling for Jim Bunning (like He will for each of us), out of the bullpen of this life. To Jim Bunning, it is easy to imagine that our Lord will say: "Well done, good and faithful servant." Come Judgment Day, Jim Bunning's other "perfect" record will be of far, far greater significance than the game he played in 1964.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"It is proper for the noblest hearts to discover the most urgent need of their epoch and to consecrate themselves to it."

On Divine Mercy Sunday 2010, a priest from the Diocese of Palm Beach recalled words "of the famous French priest, Lacordaire, in speaking of the pathway to holiness: 'It is proper for the noblest hearts to discover the most urgent need of their epoch and to consecrate themselves to it' [emphasis added]....many of those who strive for holiness today will consecrate themselves to the most urgent need of our epoch: namely, putting an end to the wholesale slaughter of the innoncents by modern day Herods and Pharoahs." The priest goes on to offer a deeply disturbing, yet profound challenge to all of us:

  • "it is only the united Christian church, expressed most completely in the authority of the Catholic Church, that has the spiritual resources to end the culture of death; a work which it could accomplish overnight if it were to fully 'consecrate itself' to the mission of driving out the demon of child sacrifice from our land. It is painfully evident to any objective observer that the Church has not yet fully taken up this mission. In fact, the lack of unity of Catholics in this country is largely responsible for the prolongation and intensification of the culture of death since the 70s. When Catholic bishops publicly contradict each other on the appropriateness of the nation's Abortionist-in-Chief receiving an honorary degree at a prestigious Catholic university; when 54% of so-called Catholics vote for the most pro-abortion President and elect the most radical Congress in American history; when Catholic doctors prescribe abortifacient birth control, and Catholic hospitals look the other way with a wink and a nod at sterilization and abortion referrals from within their walls; when Catholic women pour into killing centers at the same rate as the pagan generation we are immersed in; when alleged Catholic politicians and public figures use their high profile positions to aid and abet the prevailing evils of our day--the Church has clearly become part of the problem instead of being the solution to these evils. The Church at all levels, from the bishops to the people, has clearly failed to understand the demonic nature of the industry that practices its evil right down the street from many Catholic churches. It has also failed to marshall the spiritual resources at its disposal to stop it"

In his book, the priest reminds us that "spiritual warfare is not a material form of warfare. As such, there is never any justification or excuse for violence of any sort, and anyone who would use the Church or the tenets of spiritual warfare to justify violence is simply making an illegitimate argument for change that the Church neither makes nor accepts....Prayer is the primary weapon of spiritual warfare when understood as an act of the whole Church. Lay persons pray powerfully when they stand in front of abortion centers and plead for the lives of the unborn, but they need the leadership of the clergy to guide them in the formal prayers of the Church at these clinics [By the way, 40 Days for Life efforts continue at Comley Road, Warminster and nearby Trenton.]....Other types of spiritual warfare are the various means of witness and conscientious objection that have a public character."

Now, if we believe that there will indeed be a Judgement Day, how can any Catholic remain on the sidelines? If we believe that there will be a Judgement Day, how can we let any of those whom we love fall into an abyss?On his own campaign web site, Congressman Patrick Murphy flagrantly defies the teaching of his Church and attacks his opponent for following those very same teachings! By his own ready admission, Patrick Murphy had difficulty graduating from Archbishop Ryan High School and gaining admission to King's College. At the time of his graduation, his alma mater was considered to be among the least impressive of American law schools. Other than for his experience in the military, his work credentials were also extremely limited, before election to one of the highest offices in the land. In sum, Patrick Murphy went to Congress as a prime candidate for manipulation by others. Is it possible that Patrick Murphy has even been deluded into actually believing that his anti-life positions are acceptable for Catholics in public office?

There are many who believe that clerical silence, with regard to Patrick Murphy, is coming from a fear of alienating "Catholics" who reject the teachings of their Church. Does the clergy of the 8th congressional district love Patrick Murphy, pre-born children, and the rest of us enough to publicly correct egregious errors?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Responsible Citizenship"

There is a wonderful item about "Responsible Citizenship" in this week's bulletin from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Doylestown.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's Voter Guide Bulletin Insert

is now available; it looks at candidates for the statewide positions of governor and the U.S. senate. Information on candidates for other offices (i.e., the U.S. Congress & the Pennsylvania legislature) is available from the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation and the Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Social Justice: Take Back the Term from the Thieves and Build a New Catholic Action"

As per Deacon Keith Fournier,

"The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church is the key to building a new culture of life.

"Some have begun to use the phrase 'Social Justice' in a disparaging manner. They want to expose the error committed by some who have stolen the term 'Social Justice' to hide a 'leftist' political agenda. There are others who use it but reject the existence of objective moral truths....some words and phrases must be rescued when they are stolen. Social Justice is such a term. It lies at the heart of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church and, properly understood, is key to building a new culture of life....

"This social doctrine confronts the current 'Dictatorship of Relativism' and insists there are unchangeable truths which can be known by all. They provide a framework for structuring our social life. The foundational truth is the dignity of every human person at every age and stage. This human dignity is present in every person because we are all made in the Image of God. It demands respect for every human life whether that life be in the first home of the womb, a wheelchair, a jail cell, a hospital room, a hospice, a senior center or a soup kitchen.

"Another truth is that marriage is between one man and one woman, intended for life, and ordered toward the bearing and raising of children in the family. Marriage is not some social construct which can be redefined by courts or legislatures. It is also another example of a word we must not give up! It is the foundation for family and family is the first society, first church, first school, first economy, first government and first mediating institution.

"Another truth is that all human persons created in the Image of God, are created for one another and called to community. We can never fully experience human flourishing outside of social relationships. These relationships are perfective of our human person. The human person is by nature - and grace - made for relationship. The first community which humanizes and civilizes us is the family.

"This social doctrine rejects any notion of 'freedom' which begins and ends with the isolated, atomistic, person as the measure of its application. Authentic human freedom must be exercised within a moral constitution, choosing what is good and what is true. Otherwise it becomes a counterfeit and enslaves. It must also recognize our obligation in solidarity to one another. We are our brother/sister's keeper.

"This social doctrine offers principles to help us order our economies. It does not propose any particular economic theory. Rather it insists that every economic order be at the service of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing and the family. We are called to give a love of preference to the poor, recognizing our solidarity with them. This call to solidarity is to be applied through the application of the principle of subsidiarity, rejecting all forms of dehumanizing collectivism.

"The market economy has been recognized in recent social teaching as having a real potential for promoting all of these goods - when properly understood and morally structured. However, the Catholic Church does not take a position on which economic theory is the 'best' among many. She properly stood against the materialism of the atheistic Marxist system. She properly cautions Nations which have adopted a form of liberal capitalism that there are dangers in any form of 'economism' or materialism which promotes the use of persons as products and fails to recognize the value of being over acquiring.

"The truths and principles contained within Catholic social doctrine are not merely "religious" positions, in the sense that only religious people need assent to them. They are revealed by the Natural Law and can be known through the exercise of reason. The truths are true for all people and for all time. The Church calls us to offer them as leaven to be worked into the loaf of human culture. We are called to build a just and human society."

"What you need to know for the Nov. 2 election!"

As per yesterday's edition of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News,

  • "The fall 2010 edition of LifeLines, the full-color newspaper of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, was mailed last week to donors across the Commonwealth. If you haven't seen it, you may view it by clicking.... There is news and information you don't want to miss--especially regarding the November 2nd general election....
  • "October is Respect Life month. If you'd like bulletin inserts celebrating the right to life for your church congregation, please e-mail lifelines@paprolife.org. Please specify if you'd like the full size (8 1/2 x 11 inch) or the half-page size. The inserts can be easily printed and copied from your personal computer."
As the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's Voter Guide Bulletin Insert

is only looking at candidates for the statewide positions of governor and the U.S. senate, voter information from the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation and the Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania will also be vitally important to your parishioners.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"This particular race is a good indication of where our country and our Church are at the moment."

We are being watched! As per a letter to Catholic columnist Matt Abbott,

  • "My wife and I are supporting a wonderful pro-life GOP congressional candidate, Mike Fitzpatrick, in the race for Pennsylvania's 8th district....
  • "It might be interesting to contrast a candidate like this with his opponent.... Congressman Murphy...has a 100 percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League, which gave him its endorsement here.
  • "Mike Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, has a 100 percent approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He is the only pro-life U.S. congressman to have served Pennsylvania's 8th district since before Roe v. Wade....
  • "This particular race is a good indication of where our country and our Church are at the moment. On one hand we have faithful, orthodox and loyal Christians living our their faith in the public square; on the other we have nominally Christian politicians claiming to be faithful while contradicting Church teaching on many issues. It's important to raise awareness among the pro-life community about what is at stake in November, and I think this race is a great example of that. "

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"This particular race is a good indication of where our country and our Church are at the moment."

As per a letter to Catholic columnist Matt Abbott,

  • "....My wife and I are supporting a wonderful pro-life GOP congressional candidate, Mike Fitzpatrick, in the race for Pennsylvania's 8th district....
  • "We're supporting Mike because he's a great Catholic candidate: committed in his pro-life and pro-family positions, the father of 6 kids, a respected lawyer and former U.S. congressman who held the seat for one term, from 2004-2006. He is exactly the type of man we need representing us in government.
  • "It might be interesting to contrast a candidate like this with his opponent, the current incumbent, Patrick Murphy, a 100 percent pro-choice 'Catholic' Democrat whose most notable legislative action has been as sponsor of the amendment to repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. Congressman Murphy also has a 100 percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League, which gave him its endorsement here.
  • "Mike Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, has a 100 percent approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He is the only pro-life U.S. congressman to have served Pennsylvania's 8th district since before Roe v. Wade....
  • "This particular race is a good indication of where our country and our Church are at the moment. On one hand we have faithful, orthodox and loyal Christians living our their faith in the public square; on the other we have nominally Christian politicians claiming to be faithful while contradicting Church teaching on many issues. It's important to raise awareness among the pro-life community about what is at stake in November, and I think this race is a great example of that. "

Monday, September 27, 2010

Robert Casey, Jr.

[sent by email on 9/26/10]

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton
300 Wyoming Ave
Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503

Your Excellency:

As you are certainly aware, the Defense Authorization bill did not make it out of the U.S. Senate, this past Tuesday. A vote in favor of that bill was tantamount to a vote for abortions in military hospitals. The pro life community of Catholics and other people of good will was firmly opposed to that bill as written. Thanks be to God, it did not makee it out of the Senate - despite the votes of our two U.S. Senators! (cf., ).

While material on his web site indicates that Senator Casey considers himself "pro life"(cf., http://casey.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=f4577a46-d28f-42ca-a356-e9dde9d5d5db ), his voting record says something else; he appears to lack a mature undertsanding of the pro life teaching of the Church. Senator Casey's voting patterns continues to be an occassion of scandal for Catholic Pennsylvanians. It was well known that this was an issue being addressed by your predecessor. Yet, the scandal continues.

This is a request for a public statement about Senator Robert Casey's most recent betrayal of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"The family is the basic unit of society. And so we need to adopt polices - tax policies, educational policies and the like that support the family"

At 7:35 of this YouTube clip of his debate with Patrick Murphy, Mike Fitzpatrick stated "I'm pro life Larry. That's my position. Everybody knows it....[Mike Fitzpatrick went on to say that] The family is the basic unit of society. And so we need to adopt polices - tax policies, educational policies and the like that support the family."

Three days after the airing of that debate, the Heritage Foundation released "Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty," which - in many ways - echoed Mr. Fitzpatrick: "Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result....Just as government discourages youth from dropping out of school, it should clearly and forcefully articulate the value of marriage....Marriage is highly beneficial to children, adults, and society; it needs to be encouraged and strengthened. Under current government policies, however, marriage is either ignored or undermined. This needs to change."

While her character was fictional, "Aunt Mae" from Spiderman II spoke absolutely true words: “Lord knows, kids...need a hero — courageous, self-sacrificing people....I believe there’s a hero in all of us…that keeps us honest…gives us strength…makes us noble

We need you back in Congress, Mr. Fitzpatrick!

Local Catholic Author Witnessing to the Culture of Life in Britain

Please, please watch the incredible video of local author Brian Gail, speaking from "across the pond" on the need for "a bold proclamation of the truths about the sacred transmission of human life."

Voter Guide Bulletin Inserts

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "As part of an effort to educate citizens about candidates and their positions on issues important to Catholic voters, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) sent a questionnaire to candidates for statewide office to give them the opportunity to make their positions known on key issues. All four statewide candidates (U.S. Senator and PA Governor) also participated in interviews about their views with PCC staff. The election resources posted here are for information purposes only; the PCC does not endorse candidates for political office." You are certainly familiar with the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's resultant Voter Guide Bulletin Insert, which looks at candidates for governor and the U.S. senate.



For Catholics striving to be Faithful Citizens (& all people of good will) in the 8th Congressional District, this is also a critical election year with regard to other offices. With regard to candidates for those other offices (as well as candidates for governor and the U.S. senate), information is available from the Pro Life Union of Southeast Pennsylvania.



Pro Life Voter's Guide November 2_ 2010 Election _annotated_ -

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manhattan Declaration update

As per today's update from the Manhattan Declaration, "So many of you emailed the Republican House leader's office last week urging the party not to backtrack on its commitment to life, liberty and marriage that you brought the email servers down. We have just been informed that the Republican leadership WILL now include references to marriage and federal funding of abortion in their election agenda."



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News

As per this past Wednesday's edition of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News, the "2010 Celebrate Life Banquet, which takes place October 19th in Harrisburg....[will include] former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and the new Catholic Bishop of Harrisburg, Bishop Joseph McFadden."

The Holy Father, St. Thomas More, & Patrick Murphy

Dear Congressman Murphy,

Yesterday at Westminster Hall, the Holy Father said the following:
  • "As I speak to you in this historic setting, I think of the countless men and women down the centuries who have played their part in the momentous events that have taken place within these walls and have shaped the lives of many generations of Britons, and others besides. In particular, I recall the figure of Saint Thomas More, the great English scholar and statesman, who is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose 'good servant' he was, because he chose to serve God first" (http://www.zenit.org/article-30387?l=english).

Since you were the president of your alma mater's Thomas More Society, you are undoubtedly familiar with that great 16th Century martyr, who was chancellor of England. In addition to now being recognized as the Patron Saint of Statesmen, Politicians, Lawyers, Justices, Judges & Magistrates, Saint Thomas More is also recognized as "Defender of the Weak and the Poor" and "Promoter of Human Life and Dignity" (cf., http://www.wf-f.org/Litany-ThosMore.html). In his lifetime, Thomas More knew that putting service to God first was the best guarantee of being a true public servant. Who can help but get shivers at the words he spoke before his execution, as remembered in A Man for All Seasons?


"I die his majesty's good servant, but God's first."

Last Sunday's debate between you and your challenger is available on
YouTube. Knowing that it would be aired to a general audience, you never pretended to be pro-life. In fact, you mocked the pro life position of Mike Fitzpatrick! At around 8:05 of this YouTube clip, you derisively note that Mike Fitzpatrick's "also against stem cell research - embryonic stem cell research. Here's this stem cells that they're gonna throw out in the garbage anyway" You must certainly realize that you should be taking that position yourself!

Congressman Murphy, it was absolutely cowardly of you to attack a fellow Catholic for doing the right thing.

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Christifideles Laici

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Our representation in D.C....

Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

To check U.S. House votes:

To check U.S. Senate votes:

Contacts:

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

Contacting Our Governor

717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

Contacting Our Bishops