In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Catholic" Votes AGAINST Recent Pa Pro Life Legislation - a Correction

Your Excellencies:


As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,



  • "Senate Bill 732 passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 151-44 on Tuesday, December 13....it was again passed in the Senate (32-18) in concurrence with the House. The bill awaits the governor’s signature. The new law addresses concerns that stemmed from a tragedy that occurred in the Philadelphia abortion clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell where a woman died and seven newborn babies were killed by infanticide. Conditions in the clinic were so filthy and unsafe that investigators called it a 'house of horrors.' The measure holds abortion facilities to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements, and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities. The passage of this bill into law is a victory for women and children in Pennsylvania."


Perhaps naively, many thought that SB 732's application of common sense health standards to abortion facilities - especially in light of the grand jury report on Kermit Gosnell & his associates - would find quick and easy consensus. Yet 44 members of the Pennsylvania House & 18 members of the Senate actually voted AGAINST final passage of SB 732. In the Pennsylvania Senate, 4 of the 18 whom the Pa Legislature's web site indicates to have voted against final passage of SB 732 identify themselves as Catholic :



With regard to the Pennsylvania House, it appears that 2 of the 44 whom the Pa Legislature's web site indicated to have voted against final passage of SB 732 identify themselves as Catholic :



(Subsequent to an earlier email, it was brought to my attention that Rep Brendan F. Boyle (170) of Philadelphia, Dante Santoni, Jr (126) of Reading and Jesse White (46) of Cecil voted for final passage of SB 732. I apologize for that earlier error.)



As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,



  • "On Monday, December 12, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 146 to 45 to remove abortion funding from the state health care exchanges that will be created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)....House Bill 1977 now goes to the state senate. This bill is similar to Senate Bill 3, which passed 37-12 in the Senate earlier this year, and has been sent to the house."

In other words, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 45 members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly voted AGAINST HB 1977. Isn't that tantamount to a vote to make you pay for other people’s abortions? This group of 45 included 7 who are identified as Catholic:



Please consider whether it has become "necessary for the bishop to publicly say something" (Archbishop Chaput,7/19/11), out of concern for elected officials' souls and for the common good.


Sincerely,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rep Davidson & SB 732

Hon. Margo L. Davidson
106 East Wing
PO Box 202164
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2164

Dear Representative Davidson,

As per Amy Worden's recent article in the Inquirer:



  • "Standing on the floor of the state House, her voice choked with emotion, the first-term Democratic legislator from Upper Darby explained why she had just voted for the bill tightening regulations for abortion clinics. State Rep. Margo L. Davidson said her 22-year-old cousin had been a victim of Kermit Gosnell....'I honor her memory by voting for this bill.'"
As I live in Bucks County, I especially wish to thank Representatives Paul Clymer, Gene DiGirolamo, Frank Farry, John Galloway, Brian O'Neill, Scott Petri, Marguerite Quinn, & Kathy Watson (144th) and Senators Bob Mensch, Stewart Greenleaf, & Tommy Tomlinson for supporting SB 732. I apologize for the shameless efforts of Bucks County's Representative Tina Davis, Representative Steve Santarsiero, and Senator Chuck McIlhinney to block this legislation.
Representative Davidson: While I applaud and thank you for your "yea" vote on Tuesday at 5:15, I am absolutely confused by your "nay" vote on Tuesday at 4:45 - especially in light of the Inquirer article. Was that a mistake?

Thank you,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Not any better at home....


In our own archdiocese, just one week before Christmas Day 2011,
Of specialists in obstetrics/gynecology, why is only one NFP-only physician to be found practicing in Philadelphia's Catholic hospitals!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Not any better at home....


In our own archdiocese, just one week before Christmas Day 2011,
Of specialists in obstetrics/gynecology, why is only one NFP-only physician to be found practicing in Philadelphia's Catholic hospitals!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christian Bale - ACting Like a SuperHero in Real Life!

As per Batman star Christian Bale roughed up while trying to visit China pro-life activist, "Famed Batman star Christian Bale is making headlines after he traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng. The actor never got the chance, however, as he was roughed up and forced away from Chen’s village by Chinese government officials, according to a CNN report....Bale was in Beijing for the premiere of 'The Flowers of War,' a drama about the 1937 Rape of Nanjing....Chen Guangcheng exposed the systematic use of forced abortion and sterilization in Linyi City in 2005" (LifeSiteNews.com, 12/16/11).





Defunding Planned Parenthood, Conscience Protection, Banning Funding of International Abortion - INVALUABLE & NON-NEGOTIABLE

As per GOP Freshmen: Budget Deals Weakening Pro-Life Bills, "some Republican lawmakers feel betrayed that their party's leadership has asked them to support a bill that doesn't reflect the House's pro-life advances, including:
■The defunding of Planned Parenthood.
■Conscience protections for health care workers opposed to abortion.
■Banning international funding of abortion" (CBN News, 12/16/11).

Certain issues CANNOT be traded away....
■ Defunding Planned Parenthood,
■ Conscience Protection, &
■ Banning Funding of International Abortion
are INVALUABLE & NON-NEGOTIABLE!

See http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2011/December/GOP-Freshmen-Budget-Deals-Weakening-Pro-Life-Bills/

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Contact Senators Pileggi & McIlhinney, TODAY!

As Archbishop Chaput reminded us this past week,




  • "The Church in southeastern Pennsylvania has deep roots and an extraordinary legacy of saints, service and public witness....But all of these good facts depend on our willingness to sustain them by our actions in the present. Advent is a season of self-examination in the light of God’s word; a season of conversion and looking forward in hope to the birth of a Savior at Christmas. There is no better time to speak frankly about the conditions we now face as a community of believers. Complacency is the enemy of faith."

PENNSYLVANIA SB 3 / HB 1977

In Pennsylvania's Senate, Bob Mensch & Tommy Tomlinson were among those who introduced SB 3. In Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, Marguerite Quinn was among those who introduced the house version, HB 1977.



  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") requires states "to operate and maintain 'health insurance exchanges' to provide a menu of low cost, government subsidized insurance plans to help otherwise uninsured people get access to necessary health care....To assure that elective abortion is not included in the Pennsylvania exchange, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law....This legislation is critical if the Commonwealth is to prevent public dollars from being spent on a program which includes elective abortion coverage" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).
In the vote which took place on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Representatives Paul Clymer (145th), Gene DiGirolamo (18th), Frank Farry (142nd), John Galloway (140th), Brian O'Neill (29th), Scott Petri (178th), Marguerite Quinn (143rd), & Kathy Watson (144th) were among the 146 "YEAS." Thank you! Representatives Tina Davis (141st) - who has a bachelor's from LaSalle - and Steve Santarsiero (31st) - who has a master's from Holy Family - were among the 46 who shamefully voted "NAY."

We need to continue to resist the complacency of which Archbishop Chaput speaks and advocate to see SB 3 / HB 1977 signed into law!







PENNSYLVANIA SB 732



  • This "would hold freestanding abortion clinics to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities. Currently, the state’s abortion industry is exempt from commonsense safety standards that apply to other surgery centers" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).
In the vote which took place last evening, Representatives Paul Clymer (145th), Gene DiGirolamo (18th), Frank Farry (142nd), John Galloway (140th), Brian O'Neill (29th), Scott Petri (178th), Marguerite Quinn (143rd), & Kathy Watson (144th) were among the 149 "YEAS." Thank you! LaSalle graudate Tina Davis (141st) and Holy Family graduate Steve Santarsiero (31st) were among the 46 who shamefully vote "NAY."

The Senate Rules Committee could be considering SB 732, as early as TODAY....

PLEASE, PLEASE contact the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Dominic Pileggi (350 Main Capitol, Harrisburg 17120; 717-787-4712; dpileggi@pasen.gov) with the following message:


  • "Please run S.B. 732 in the Senate Rules Committee as soon as possible."
Please contact your senators - particularly those on the rules committee, such as Bucks County's Chuck McIlhinney (a professed Catholic)....


ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT ON CATHOLICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE



  • "I think that people who make decisions contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in public ways, in matters of faith and morals, should decide for themselves not to receive communion. They've broken their communion with the church, and to receive communion means you're in communion with the church. If you're not, it's hypocritical to receive communion.

    "I think the best way to handle this is the way the bishops of the United States have agreed together to handle it, which is first of all to talk personally with those individuals who make decisions contrary to the teaching of the church. If they fully understand the teaching of the church and continue to act contrary to it, we should ask them not to receive communion.

    "If they persistently decide to do so in a way that causes scandal, which means leading other people into the same kind of sin, then I think it's necessary for the bishop to publicly say something" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

HB 1977 Passes in Pa House of Representatives

In yesterday's vote, Representatives Clymer (145th), DiGirolamo (18th), Farry (142nd), Galloway (140th), O'Neill (29th), Petri (178th), Quinn (143rd), & Watson (144th) were among the 146 "YEAS."

Representatives Davis (141st) and Santarsiero (31st) were among the 45 "NAYS."

Sunday, December 11, 2011

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Action Needed on HB 1977.

Dear Dr. O'Hara et al.,

Last January, two state senators from Bucks County - Bob Mensch & Tommy Tomlinson - were among those who introduced Senate Bill 3:



  • "In March of 2010, the U.S. Congress passed a sweeping health care reform law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Under the Act, states are required to operate and maintain 'health insurance exchanges' to provide a menu of low cost, government subsidized insurance plans to help otherwise uninsured people get access to necessary health care....To assure that elective abortion is not included in the Pennsylvania exchange, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law. Senate Bill 3 will clearly prohibit the taxpayer supported insurance plans from covering abortion" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 1/24/11).

On November 15th, a representative from Bucks County - Marguerit Quinn - was among those who introduced the house version of Senate Bill 3, HB 1977. HB 1977 will be up for a "third consideration" vote tomorrow, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Dr. O'Hara, please activate your resources to get Pennsylvania's Catholics to demand passage of HB 1977, tomorrow.


Sincerely,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Action Needed on SB 3 / HB 1977, SB 732, & HB 1434

Coming from Bucks County, Senators Stewart Greenleaf (12th), Chuck McIlhinney (10th), Bob Mensch (24th), and Tommy Tomlinson (6th) are in the Pennsylvania Senate. Prior to the November 2010 elections, Senators Greenleaf (12th) & Mensch (24th) responded to a Catholic Standard & Times candidate questionnaire, while Senators McIlhinney (10th) - a professed Catholic - and Tomlinson (6th) did not. It should be noted that Senator Bob Mensch consistently answered Catholic Standard & Times questions in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family.

Coming from Bucks County, Representatives Paul Clymer (145th), Davis (141st), Farry (142nd), DiGirolamo (18th), Galloway (140th), O'Neill (29th), Petri (178th), Quinn (143rd), Santarsiero (31st), Watson (144th) are in the Pennsylvania Assembly. Prior to the November 2010 elections, Representatives DiGirolamo, Galloway, Clymer, and Petri (178th) responded to a Catholic Standard & Times candidate questionnaire, while Representatives Davis, Farry, O’Neill, Santarsiero, Quinn, and Watson (144th) did not. It should be noted that Representative John Galloway consistently answered in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family.


PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 3 / HOUSE BILL 1977

Senators Mensch & Tomlinson were among those who introduced SB 3; Representative Quinn was among those who introduced the house version, HB 1977.



  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") requires states "to operate and maintain 'health insurance exchanges' to provide a menu of low cost, government subsidized insurance plans to help otherwise uninsured people get access to necessary health care....To assure that elective abortion is not included in the Pennsylvania exchange, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law....This legislation is critical if the Commonwealth is to prevent public dollars from being spent on a program which includes elective abortion coverage" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).

Please ask your representative to support HB 1977, which will be up for a "third consideration" vote on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.



PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 732



  • This "would hold freestanding abortion clinics to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities. Currently, the state’s abortion industry is exempt from commonsense safety standards that apply to other surgery centers" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).

Please contact your representatives, re: SB 732, asking:



  1. Please support the Dec. 7, 2011 Baker Amendment,

  2. Please oppose all weakening amendments and

  3. Please support the final passage of S.B. 732.

If S.B. 732 passes the House on Dec. 13, the Pa. Senate Rules Committee could be considering it the next day. Contact the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Dominic Pileggi (350 Main Capitol, Harrisburg 17120; 717-787-4712; dpileggi@pasen.gov) with the following message:



  • "Please run S.B. 732 in the Senate Rules Committee as soon as possible."
Please also contact Senator Chuck McIlhinney (a professed Catholic), who is also on the Rules Committee, urging McIlhinney (cmcilhinney@pasen.gov) to support S.B. 732 and to oppose all weakening amendments.




PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE BILL 1434


During the 2010 legislative session, Senator Mensch co-sponsored a Marriage Protection Amendment (SB 707). Though Senator Greenleaf voted in its favor, SB 707 did not get past the Judiciary Committee. Neither Senator McIlhinney nor Senator Tomlinson were known to go to bat for marriage protection.



Representative Paul Clymer recently joined Representative Daryl Metcalfe in introducing HB 1434, "A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for marriage."



  • "Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is facing a constitutional challenge in Federal Court in Philadelphia....The Church’s vision of human sexuality in marriage is a great truth entrusted to us by God as reflected in the way he created us. Jesus Christ also revealed to us what God’s plan is for our sexuality and for marriage. We not only cherish this great truth but we must also speak up in its defense because we hold marriage to be a sacred reality....Contact your state legislators to encourage them to support a Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment" [emphasis added] (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).

  • "This is the issue of our time....We have a duty as Catholics...to speak clearly about God's plan for human happiness. Part of that plan is traditional, faithful, Catholic/Christian marriage" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11).




ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT ON CATHOLICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE



  • "I think that people who make decisions contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in public ways, in matters of faith and morals, should decide for themselves not to receive communion. They've broken their communion with the church, and to receive communion means you're in communion with the church. If you're not, it's hypocritical to receive communion.

    "I think the best way to handle this is the way the bishops of the United States have agreed together to handle it, which is first of all to talk personally with those individuals who make decisions contrary to the teaching of the church. If they fully understand the teaching of the church and continue to act contrary to it, we should ask them not to receive communion.

    "If they persistently decide to do so in a way that causes scandal, which means leading other people into the same kind of sin, then I think it's necessary for the bishop to publicly say something" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, HR 361

As per a January 20th letter to members of Congress from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' committee on pro life activities,
  • "I am writing to urge you to support and cosponsor H.R. 361, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA)....ANDA is urgently needed to protect the civil rights of health professionals and other health care entities. This bill reaffirms a basic principle: No health care entity should be forced by government to perform or participate in abortions....The passage of such clarifying legislation is especially urgent now because of a coordinated national effort to force health care providers to participate in abortions."

In Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, we can be proud that Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick has been a co-sponosr of HR 361, since May 2nd! On this Feast of the Immaculate Conception, there has been an Action Alert on HR 361 from the Susan B. Anthony List,


  • "The recent controversies involving the New Jersey nurses forced to either assist an abortion or risk their jobs and the decision of the HHS to deny the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) a grant to aid for trafficking victims because the Church refuses to provide or refer for abortions proves the necessity of protecting the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers. The Abortion Nondiscrimination Act, (ANDA), HR 361, would codify the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, which prohibits federal, state, and local governments from discriminating against health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, and nurses, that refuse to provide, perform, or refer for abortions....Tell your Representative to include ANDA in the final version of the Labor/HHS Appropriations bill" [emphasis added].

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"This is the issue of our time" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11)


  • "This is the issue of our time. The church understands marriage as a unique relationship, with a unique definition, which is the faithful love of a man and a woman for each other, permanent, and for the sake of children. As children, if we don't know that our parents love one another, our lives are very unstable. That's why I think every child deserves a family where the father loves the mother, and the mother loves the father. For us to redefine marriage as anything else undermines that notion. I think it's very important that the church keep insisting on this.

    "It's also important to say that we're not against gay people. What we're doing here is promoting marriage and the meaning of marriage, not condemning others. The church does believe that human sexuality has a meaning in itself, that it's about love and procreation. Any other sexual relationship is contrary to the Gospel, and so a relationship between two people of the same sex is not in line with the teachings of the church and the teachings of the Gospel, and is therefore wrong. That said, we should always respect people who do things contrary to the Gospel. We live in a society where different ways of life are accepted by the general community, and it's important for us to live in a way that's not hostile to people.

    "We have a duty as Catholics, however, to speak clearly about God's plan for human happiness. Part of that plan is traditional, faithful, Catholic/Christian marriage" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11).

As you know, "The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania." As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,



  • "Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is facing a constitutional challenge in Federal Court in Philadelphia....A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman....In order for a marriage amendment to be added to the state constitution, it must pass the state legislature in two consecutive sessions of the state legislature before it can go to voters in 2014 for passage....The Church’s vision of human sexuality in marriage is a great truth entrusted to us by God as reflected in the way he created us. Jesus Christ also revealed to us what God’s plan is for our sexuality and for marriage. We not only cherish this great truth but we must also speak up in its defense because we hold marriage to be a sacred reality....Contact your state legislators to encourage them to support a Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment"

Coming from Bucks County, Senators Stewart Greenleaf (12th), Chuck McIlhinney (10th), Bob Mensch (24th), and Tommy Tomlinson (6th) are in the Pennsylvania Senate. Prior to the November 2010 elections, Senators Greenleaf (12th) & Mensch (24th) responded to a Catholic Standard & Times candidate questionnaire, while Senators McIlhinney (10th) - a professed Catholic - and Tomlinson (6th) did not. It should be noted that Senator Bob Mensch consistently answered Catholic Standard & Times questions in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, and marriage/family.


During the 2010 legislative session, Senator Mensch co-sponsored a Marriage Protection Amendment (SB 707). Though Senator Greenleaf voted in its favor, SB 707 did not get past the Judiciary Committee. Neither Senator McIlhinney nor Senator Tomlinson were known to go to bat for marriage protection.




Coming from Bucks County, Representatives Paul Clymer (145th), Davis (141st), Farry (142nd), DiGirolamo (18th), Galloway (140th), O'Neill (29th), Petri (178th), Quinn (143rd), Santarsiero (31st), Watson (144th) are in the Pennsylvania Assembly. Prior to the November 2010 elections, Representatives DiGirolamo, Galloway, Clymer, and Petri (178th) responded to a Catholic Standard & Times candidate questionnaire, while Representatives Davis, Farry, O’Neill, Santarsiero, Quinn, and Watson (144th) did not. Representative John Galloway consistently answered in manners consistent with Catholic positions on the sanctity of human life, conscience protection, & marriage/family.

Upper Bucks should be rightly proud that Representative Paul Clymer recently joined Representative Daryl Metcalfe in introducing HB 1434, "A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for marriage." On his web site, Representative Metcalfe offers a downloadable petition, which belongs in every church in the Commonwealth:




  • "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, wish to amend our state Constitution to ensure that: 'only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this Commonwealth, and neither the Commonwealth nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.'"


ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT ON CATHOLICS IN PUBLIC OFFICE



  • "I think that people who make decisions contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in public ways, in matters of faith and morals, should decide for themselves not to receive communion. They've broken their communion with the church, and to receive communion means you're in communion with the church. If you're not, it's hypocritical to receive communion.

    "I think the best way to handle this is the way the bishops of the United States have agreed together to handle it, which is first of all to talk personally with those individuals who make decisions contrary to the teaching of the church. If they fully understand the teaching of the church and continue to act contrary to it, we should ask them not to receive communion.

    "If they persistently decide to do so in a way that causes scandal, which means leading other people into the same kind of sin, then I think it's necessary for the bishop to publicly say something" (Archbishop Chaput, 7/19/11).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SB 732 update

Please contact Sen. Sen. Dominic Pileggi (350 Capitol Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120; 717-787-4712; dpileggi@pasen.gov) with the following message:



  • "Please support the Pa. House's position on SB 732 regarding waiver requests from ASF requirements. Please oppose any special treatment for abortion facilities".

We are asked to also contact our own State Senator with this message, IF our own state senator is pro-life.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Failure of Catholic Hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to Be True Flagships of Conscience

Michael B. Laign, Holy Redeemer
Kathryn Conallen, Mercy Fitzgerald & Mercy Philadelphia
Jeff Snyder, Mercy Suburban
Christina Fitz-Patrick, Nazareth
Greg Wozniak, St. Mary Medical Center
Judith Persichilli, Catholic Health East
Sr. Clare Christi Schiefer, OSF, Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association


Greetings:

Just across the Delaware, "A dozen nurses have filed a lawsuit against their employer, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which told them they had to either assist in abortions or risk losing their jobs" (LifeNews.com, 11/1/11). Now, how can faithful Catholic health care workers in secular settings - indeed any truly conscientious health care workers - hope for legal protection in standing up for life, unless our Catholic health care system is being a true flagship of conscience?



In 2009's Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare , Professor Leonard J. Nelson noted the failure of some Catholic hospitals to comply with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's [USCCB's] Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services [ERDs] and warned of ramifications:





  • "compliance with the ERDs has been uneven when it comes to contraception and sterilization. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (p. 53).


  • [Some Catholic] "systems have entered into arrangements to provide services such as direct sterilizations and abortion referrals....The existence of such arrangements increases the risk of scandal and could embolden those who favor a mandate requiring all hospitals...to provide a full range of [so-called] reproductive services" (p. 102).


  • "any argument in favor of exemption from laws requiring a hospital to provide these services may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already, in some fashion, involved in either providing those services - as in the case of sterilizations - or involved in partnerships with entities providing such services" (p. 137).




For generations, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia enjoyed a reputation as being among the most faithful of American dioceses, in its schools, parishes, and institutions. Holy Redeemer and five hospitals under Catholic Health East constitute the six Catholic hospitals currently operating within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:





In a 2008 speech given at Christendom College, Dr. John Bruchalski noted that there are many "Catholic" physicians in the United States, yet only "69 obstetricians & NFP only doctors out of 80,000." Of physicians listed in the Philadelphia Catholic hospitals' online directories, I was only able to find one gynecologist or ob/gyn specialist who is also found among NFP-only medical professionals in Pennsylvania (Note: I would be delighted to learn that I overlooked someone.).



Via Mercy Health System, Catholic Health East continues an association with a known abortionist (i.e., Dr. Frank Craparo, whom the blogosphere notes to be a popular provider of "selective reductions.")! To me, the absolute inappropriateness of this association seems clearly indicated by the USCCB's ERDs, as well as by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers.



For hospitals to claim adherance to the ERDs, in the light of the above situations, strikes me as an insult to our intelligence - and their own! In my opinion, these situations speak to Philadelphia's Catholic hospitals doing a miserable job of exemplifying properly formed consciences. With the flagship operating in this manner, what hope of legal protection can there be for truly conscientious health care workers in secular settings?

I continue to pray that our new archbishop will do everything in his power to correct these situations. As his Excellency noted in Render Unto Ceasar, Catholics "can be disciples and missionaries, or we can be apostates; but there's no room for anything else."

Sincerely,



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bucks Cty Pro Life Choices in the November 8th Election

For the November 8th Municipal Elections, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does not appear to have made any candidate information available (Isn't that a serious omission, which should be addressed by our new archbishop and Pennsylvania's other bishops?). The attached takes the available and pertinent information from the Pro Life PAC for Southeast Pennsylvania (supplemented by available, additional information from the Pennsylvania Family Institute) and puts it into a "user friendly" format.

Why Isn't the Pa Catholic Conference Providing Useful Candidate Information Materials/

Dr. Robert J. O’Hara, Jr., Executive Director
Mr. Sean P. McAleer, Department on Elementary and Secondary Education Director
Mr. Francis J. Viglietta, Department on Social Concerns
Sr. Clare Christi Schiefer, OSF, President, Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association
Mrs. Amy B. Hill, APR, Communications Director
Mrs. Joelle E. Shea, Director of Outreach and Assistant Director of Communications
Mrs. Karen McFadden, Office Manager
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
223 North Street
PO Box 2835
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105

Dear Dr. O'Hara & staff,

As you are certainly aware, "Do's and Don'ts Guidelines During Election Season" which appears on the USCC web site is extremely restrictive:



  • "certain political activities that are entirely appropriate for individuals may not be undertaken by church organizations or their representatives. The USCCB Office of General Counsel (202-541-3300) provides detailed guidance on what is allowed and not allowed under the law. This detailed guidance is available at http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/political-activity-guidelines.cfm....

    "you should seek the advice of your diocesan attorney or state Catholic conference before giving permission for the distribution of literature or providing the opportunity for candidates to speak...

    "According to the USCCB Office of General Counsel, certain activities generally are appropriate for parishes and other Catholic organizations.
    Sharing the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching....Cards summarizing seven key themes of Catholic social teaching that can serve as guidelines for involvement in public life are available from the USCCB....
    Voter Participation....
    Ballot Measures....Parishes and other church organizations can take positions on such measures and work to support or oppose them within the limits of permitted lobbying activity for section 501(c)(3) organizations....
    Voter Education....This may include distributing the results of candidate polls or surveys, so long as these materials have been approved by your diocesan attorney or state Catholic conference. Voter education materials should (1) be consistent with church teaching on political responsibility; (2) cover a wide range of issues important to voters [As this would seem to have the impact of "diluting" the primacy of certain concerns, I would personally be especially interested in seeing a justification from the Catechism - Please advise.]; and (3) exhibit no bias for or against any candidate or party.
    Non-Partisanship: The Church does not and will not engage in partisan politics....



  • "parishes, other church organizations, and their representatives should remember these guidelines:
    Do not endorse or oppose candidates, political parties, or groups of candidates, or take any action that reasonably could be construed as endorsement or opposition.
    Do not make available the use of church facilities, assets, or members for partisan political purposes.
    Do not authorize distribution of partisan political materials or biased voter education materials (those that support or oppose—or exhibit bias for or against—any candidate or party) on church property, in church publications, or at church activities [This statement seems to have been poorly written, as it could be misconstrued to mean that educational materials concerning positions on life and marriage/family are off limits.]. Authorization should be given only after materials have been approved by your diocesan attorney.
    Do not invite or permit only selected candidates to address your members. Before inviting candidates, make sure such events are consistent with diocesan policy. If so, it is important that all candidates be invited [Question: Would this include candidates who unapologetically oppose the moral teaching of the Church?]....

    DO:
    ■Address the moral and human dimensions of public issues.
    ■Share church teaching on human life, human rights, and justice and peace.
    ■Apply Catholic values to legislation and public issues.
    ■Conduct a non-partisan voter registration drive on church property.
    ■Distribute unbiased candidate questionnaires covering issues of human life, justice, and peace that have been reviewed and approved by your diocesan attorney.
    ■Check with your diocesan attorney if you have any questions about what is appropriate.

    DON'T:
    ■Endorse or oppose candidates for political office.
    ■Distribute partisan campaign literature under church auspices.
    ■Arrange for groups to work for a candidate for public office.
    ■Invite only selected candidates to address your church-sponsored group.
    ■Conduct voter registration slanted toward one party.
    ■Distribute a biased candidate survey.

The bottom lines, as it seems to me, are two:



  • Even if "certain political activities...may not be undertaken by church organizations or their representatives," they may be "entirely appropriate for individuals." Hence, instead of promoting local Respect Life "ministries," Catholics would greatly benefit from an understanding of "apostolate."


  • There is tremendous responsibility on the part of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to provide comprehensive candidate information to parishes throughout the Commonwealth. This is simply not happening. Candidate questionnaires could easily be developed, which address the Seven Key Themes of Faithful Citizenship:
    ■1.The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person:
    "Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Direct attacks on innocent persons are never morally acceptable, at any stage or in any condition. In our society, human life is especially under direct attack from abortion. Other direct threats to the sanctity of human life include euthanasia, human cloning, and the destruction of human embryos for research." Agree or Disagree?
    ■2.Call to Family, Community, and Participation:
    "The human person is not only sacred but also social. Full human development takes place in relationship with others. The family—based on marriage between a man and a woman—is the first and fundamental unit of society and is a sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children. It should be defended and strengthened, not redefined or undermined by permitting same-sex unions or other distortions of marriage. Respect for the family should be reflected in every policy and program. It is important to uphold parents’ rights and responsibilities to care for their children, including the right to choose their children’s education." Agree or Disagree?
    ■3.Rights and Responsibilities:
    "Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life. The right to exercise religious freedom publicly and privately by individuals and institutions along with freedom of conscience need to be constantly defended." Agree or Disagree?
    ■4.Option for the Poor and Vulnerable: "While the common good embraces all, those who are weak, vulnerable, and most in need deserve preferential concern. A basic moral test for our society is how we treat the most vulnerable in our midst....This preferential option for the poor and vulnerable includes all who are marginalized in our nation and beyond—unborn children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, and victims of injustice and oppression." Agree or Disagree?
    ■5.Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: "The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. Employers contribute to the common good through the services or products they provide and by creating jobs that uphold the dignity and rights of workers—to productive work, to decent and just wages, to adequate benefits and security in their old age, to the choice of whether to organize and join unions, to the opportunity for legal status for immigrant workers, to private property, and to economic initiative. Workers also have responsibilities—to provide a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, to treat employers and co-workers with respect, and to carry out their work in ways that contribute to the common good. Workers, employers, and unions should not only advance their own interests, but also work together to advance economic justice and the well-being of all." Agree or Disagree?
    ■6.Solidarity: As per Pope John Paul II, "The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination." Agree or Disagree?
    ■7.Caring for God’s Creation: As per Pope Benedict XVI, "a correct understanding of the relationship between man & the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person." Agree or Disagree?

    Such questionnaires should already be getting sent to all candidates with results published, so that Catholics may prepare themselves to vote with the mind of the Church. It should not be difficult for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to annually coordinate candidate information for each of the counties in the Commonwealth - local Board of Election information would facilitate such (In my own Bucks County, for example, there is currently a 35 page list of candidates who appear on 307 different municipal ballots.).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guidance for the Upcoming Elections

On November 8th, citizens of Bucks County will be called upon to vote whether or not to retain




  • one Judge of the Supreme Court,

  • two Judges of the Superior Court,

  • three Judges of the Commonwealth Court, and

  • one Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

In addition to those retention votes, we will be asked to choose between candidates for



  • Judge of the Superior Court,

  • Judge of the Commonwealth Court, and

  • Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

Further, we will be asked to vote for



  • two County Commissioners,

  • a Register of Wills,

  • a County Treasurer,

  • a Clerk of Courts, and

  • a Coroner, as well as

  • various other choices in the different municipalities.

Even in this "off year" election, this is a staggering set of choices. What are the perspectives of these varied candidates on the issues of the sanctity of human life and marriage/family? Such information is so vital to our properly exercising our roles as Faithful Citizens.

While Catholics could certainly use candidate information, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does not appear to be providing such for these elections. Fortunately, guidance on the positions of some of these candidates is available from the Pro Life PAC of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

HR 358, Pa Senate Bill 3, & Pa Senate Bill 732

This email update contains information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. I hope and pray that you will share this information with your parishioners.....



HOW PA'S DELEGATION TO THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTED ON HR 358, THE PROTECT LIFE ACT

Voting NO:
•Representative Robert A. Brady (D - 01)
•Representative Mike Doyle (D - 14)
•Representative Chaka Fattah (D - 02)
•Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz (D - 13)

Voting YES (Bravo Bravissimo!):
•Representative Jason Altmire (D - 04)
•Representative Louis J. (Lou) Barletta (R - 11)
•Representative Mark S. Critz (D - 12)
•Representative Charlie Dent (R - 15)
•Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (R - 08)
•Representative Jim Gerlach (R - 06)
•Representative Tim Holden (D - 17)
•Representative Mike Kelly (R - 03)
•Representative Tom Marino (R - 10)
•Representative Patrick Meehan (R - 07)
•Representative Tim Murphy (R - 18)
•Representative Joe Pitts (R - 16)
•Representative Todd Platts (R - 19)
•Representative Bill Shuster (R - 09)
•Representative Glenn (GT) Thompson (R - 05)



  • "'By passing the Protect Life Act, the House has taken an important step toward authentic health care reform that respects the dignity of all, from conception onward,' Deirdre McQuade, USCCB pro-life spokeswoman, said....'Now that the House has acted, it’s the Senate’s turn to help make health care reform life-affirming,' McQuade said'" (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 10/14/11).



ON THE STATE LEVEL



  • Senate Bill 3: As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") requires states "to operate and maintain 'health insurance exchanges' to provide a menu of low cost, government subsidized insurance plans to help otherwise uninsured people get access to necessary health care....To assure that elective abortion is not included in the Pennsylvania exchange, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law....This legislation is critical if the Commonwealth is to prevent public dollars from being spent on a program which includes elective abortion coverage."

Please ask Representative Mike Turzai (110 Main Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2028; 717-772-9043; mturzai@pahouse.com) to schedule a vote on Senate Bill 3, ASAP.



  • Senate Bill 732: As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, this "would hold freestanding abortion clinics to the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements and quality assurance procedures as other freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities. Currently, the state’s abortion industry is exempt from commonsense safety standards that apply to other surgery centers."

SB 732 is expected to come before the House this Tuesday. It needs to pass without any weakening amendments.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dear Representative Fitzpatrick,

As per today's telephone conversation, I was delighted to learn of your support for H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act, as well as your signing the letter to President Obama urging that the United Nations Population Fund be defunded.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street v. 40 Days for Life

I hadn't been paying much attention to "Occupy Wall Street," until the night of September 30th, when I came upon a large group of young people near City Hall - the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. I'd just biked over the bridge & was needing to walk because of the crowd. Curious as to what was going on, I asked one young man the reason for the gathering. To the best of my recollection, he responded "The economy and the banks, that sort of thing." The next day, a group of 700 was arrested.

On Saturday the 8th, my wife, son, & I chatted with a group of primarily middle-aged folks, who comprised "Occupy Trenton" (Truth be told, their attire made me think of a cast of Godspell - grown old.). When asked about their agenda, we also found this group to speak in very non-specific terms. However, they did have some written materials, including a complaint about the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act. When I pointed out that this was done under President Clinton, they seemed to be aware of such & insisted that their criticisms were non-partisan (Yet, I have a hard time believing that the OWS crowd has a true understanding of the roles played in our financial troubles by the likes of Clinton & Barney Frank.).

The Trenton OWS group complained repeatedly about the lack of media coverage which they'd gotten. When the Mrs told them about the incredible news blackouts of the March for Life, she did get a respectful response. We didn't bother to mention that we've been part of the 40 Days for Life witness in Trenton - which has received NO media acknowledgement (Laura Ingrahm has noted something similar.).

Around 7 AM on Tuesday the 11th, I walked past Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd has been camping. I must acknowledge feeling somewhat envious of the gathering, thinking of how difficult it is to get people to publicly pray for an end to abortion. While I really don't understand the poem that it is from, one line from W.B. Yeats came to mind, as I thought of the few at "40 Days for Life" and the vast OWS crowd: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" (I apologize to well intentioned OWSers, who just don't realize that the bigger social justice issues are so ignored.):

Monday, October 10, 2011

re: "Comment Period Ends on HHS Mandate, What Now?" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 10/5/11)

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,



  • "September 30 marked the end of the public comment period on the 'preventive services' mandate from the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which fails to provide conscience protection and requires private health plans to cover female surgical sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs which can kill an unborn child before and after implantation in the mother’s womb. HHS is empowered to take this action under the 2010 health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).... Since Congress failed to include conscience language in PPACA, many individuals and groups, including the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) and Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association (PCHA), have urged Congress to adopt a Respect for Rights of Conscience Act....At issue is the ability for a Catholic organization to be true to its identity. If this rule stands, Catholic organizations will not be able to, well, be Catholic [Certainly, all health care and social service professionals of good will, working in secular settings, also need conscience protection!]. Now that the time for public comment to HHS has passed, all concerned citizens should visit, call, fax or e-mail their members of Congress urging them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 1179 and S. 1467."

As of Columbus Day 2011, there are only three co-sponsors of HR 1179 among Pennsylvania's delegation in the United Sates House of Representatives. Bravo to Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick [PA-8], Tim Murphy [PA-18], and Todd Platts [PA-19]! Thank you!!! It should be noted that the system for contacting members of the House has become increasingly convoluted (In fact, Representative Fitzpatrick seems to be the only Pennsylvanian with a good, old fashioned email address!). While most have web site contact forms, most of those forms will NOT accept messages, unless the sender has a zip code from within the representative's district. Hence, it becomes all the more vital that these members of the Pennsulvania delegation be contacted by their constituents:
•Representative Robert A. Brady (D - 01)
•Representative Chaka Fattah (D - 02)
•Representative Mike Kelly (R - 03)
•Representative Jason Altmire (D - 04)
•Representative Glenn (GT) Thompson (R - 05)
•Representative Jim Gerlach (R - 06)
•Representative Patrick Meehan (R - 07)
•Representative Bill Shuster (R - 09)
•Representative Tom Marino (R - 10)
•Representative Louis J. (Lou) Barletta (R - 11)
•Representative Mark S. Critz (D - 12)
•Representative Allyson Y. Schwartz (D - 13)
•Representative Mike Doyle (D - 14)
•Representative Charlie Dent (R - 15)
•Representative Joe Pitts (R - 16)
•Representative Tim Holden (D - 17)
Some of the above identify themselves as both pro life and Catholic. This is one of those moments where the "rubber meets the road." We need them to come through for us!

While both Senators Robert Casey & Pat Toomey identify themselves as pro life Catholics, NEITHER has become a co-sponsor of S. 1467, as of Columbus Day 2011.

In fairness to those of our obviously mislead representatives in the U.S. House and our two obviously misled U.S. senators, it has often been said that "We get the leadership which we deserve." Yet how are they to truly appreciate the absolute seriousness of abortion, abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations, if there is a "no big deal" attitude coming from the Catholic grassroots? In fact, there appears to be a disturbing and perplexing lack of support from the very institutions - Catholic hospitals and Catholic colleges/universities and Catholic parishes - which would be most impacted by the lack of conscience protections....



CATHOLIC HOSPITALS

Catholic hospitals have no business allowing priveleges to physicians who are known to provide immoral services in their private practices or providing referrals to individuals who are known to provide immoral services (In addition to common sense, I believe that this opinion is firmly supported by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers, as well as the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives (5th ed).). In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, five of six Catholic hospitals fall under the very large umbrella of Catholic Health East (Only Holy Redeemer does NOT.). On the web sites of Catholic Health East's Mercy Health System and St. Mary Medical Center, as well as Holy Redeemer, numerous obstetricians and/or gynecologists are identified. Yet, there is only ONE NFP-only obstetrician and/or gynecologist in the Philadelphia area!

It is perhaps the examples of Dr. Frank Craparo and Dr. Steven Smith which are most dramatic. An August 10th NY Times piece introduced the term "selective reduction" to many of its readers. Selective reduction is a euphemism for abortion, often for the well-to-do. Among those contemplating a "selective reduction," the blogosphere indicates Dr. Frank Craparo to be a highly popular practitioner (See FertileThoughts.com, 8/9/10 and FertileThoughts.com, 6/9/11.). Yet the names of Dr. Craparo and his associate, Dr. Stephen Smith (i.e., In a widely publicized case, Dr. Smith was noted by the Huffington Post (& others) to have recommended abortion to a St. Mary Medical Center patient.), remain on the online directory of Mercy Health System! Dr. Smith's name is also on the online directory of Holy Redeemer!


Again, Catholic hospitals have no business allowing priveleges to physicians who are known to provide immoral services in their private practices or providing referrals to individuals who are known to provide immoral services. Since a de fault message is being sent that adherence to Catholic medical ethics is "no big deal," why should we be surprised when SOME "pro life Catholic" politicians act in this manner?



CATHOLIC COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES

While there has been a subsequent trickling in of support from some Catholic colleges, the Cardinal Newman Society reported on September 29 that only "Eighteen Catholic colleges and universities [of about 190], all marked by their commitment to Catholic identity and fidelity to Catholic teaching, joined today with The Cardinal Newman Society in an appeal to the Obama administration to exempt all religious objectors from a mandate requiring health insurance plans to cover sterilization and contraceptives, including some that cause abortion." Of Pennsylvania's 18 Catholic colleges and universities, only 1 joined with the Cardinal Newman Society! Bravo to Father O'Connor & DeSales University of Center Valley! Thank you!



CATHOLIC PARISHES

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (Chairman of the USSB's Committee on Pro Life Activities) has reminded us that "The drugs that Americans would be forced to subsidize under the new rule include Ella, which was approved by the FDA as an ‘emergency contraceptive’ but can act like the abortion drug RU-486. It can abort an established pregnancy weeks after conception. The pro-life majority of Americans – Catholics and others – would be outraged to learn that their premiums must be used for this purpose" [Actually, hormonal contraceptives in general hold this abortifacient potential.]. Archbishop Chaput has explained that "The religious exemption is so narrowly crafted that hospitals, universities, religious affiliated social service agencies, Catholic dioceses, parishes and even Catholic elementary schools would be subject to the contraceptive/sterilization mandate." Yet, numerous Catholic parishes advertise providers of these poisons in their weekly parish bulletins (As just one example, try cross-checking those pharmacies with the manufacturer of the abortifacient Plan B!). The tragic reality is that it is barely a handful of pharmacies in the United States that refuse this blatant cooperation in evil. In a June 9, 2005 letter, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life reviewed "The principle of licit cooperation in evil":



  • "The first fundamental distinction to be made is that between formal and material cooperation. Formal cooperation is carried out when the moral agent cooperates with the immoral action of another person, sharing in the latter's evil intention. On the other hand, when a moral agent cooperates with the immoral action of another person, without sharing his/her evil intention, it is a case of material cooperation.

    "Material cooperation can be further divided into categories of immediate (direct) and mediate (indirect), depending on whether the cooperation is in the execution of the sinful action per se, or whether the agent acts by fulfilling the conditions - either by providing instruments or products - which make it possible to commit the immoral act. Furthermore, forms of proximate cooperation and remote cooperation can be distinguished, in relation to the 'distance' (be it in terms of temporal space or material connection) between the act of cooperation and the sinful act committed by someone else. Immediate material cooperation is always proximate, while mediate material cooperation can be either proximate or remote.

    "Formal cooperation is always morally illicit because it represents a form of direct and intentional participation in the sinful action of another person. Material cooperation can sometimes be illicit (depending on the conditions of the 'double effect' or 'indirect voluntary' action), but when immediate material cooperation concerns grave attacks on human life, it is always to be considered illicit, given the precious nature of the value in question.

    "A further distinction made in classical morality is that between active (or positive) cooperation in evil and passive (or negative) cooperation in evil, the former referring to the performance of an act of cooperation in a sinful action that is carried out by another person, while the latter refers to the omission of an act of denunciation or impediment of a sinful action carried out by another person, insomuch as there was a moral duty to do that which was omitted.

    "Passive cooperation can also be formal or material, immediate or mediate, proximate or remote. Obviously, every type of formal passive cooperation is to be considered illicit, but even passive material cooperation should generally be avoided, although it is admitted (by many authors) that there is not a rigorous obligation to avoid it in a case in which it would be greatly difficult to do so [emphases added]....

    [Specifically speaking of illicitly developed vaccines, it was stated:] "there remains a moral duty to continue to fight and to employ every lawful means in order to make life difficult for the pharmaceutical industries which act unscrupulously and unethically"

Bravo to the pastors of such parishes as Holy Trinity in Morrisville, St. Ignatius in Yardley, and St. Mark in Bristol for removing ads for offending pharmacies from their bulletins!!!


    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Congressman Fitzpatrick: Will You Support HR 358 & HR 2059?

    Dear Representative Fitzpatrick,

    As you know, H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act is expected to come up for a vote next week. As Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo wrote to Members of Congress on January 20th, urging support for H.R. 358. While it concerns me that you have NOT yet joined Representative Joe Pitts [PA 16] and 144 of your other colleagues in becoming a co-sponsor, I hope and pray that you will indeed vote in favor of H.R. 358.

    On May 31, Representative Renee Ellmers[ NC-2] introduced H.R. 2059, To prohibit funding to the United Nations Population Fund. As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Howard Hubbard wrote on July 5th that

    • "we seek to promote integral human development, reduce poverty, and improve stability in the world’s poorest countries and communities in morally appropriate ways....we strongly support restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion, and denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. It is also important to preserve the Helms Amendment, prohibiting U.S. funding for abortion, and the Kemp-Kasten provision, prohibiting support of organizations involved in programs of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

    Please join Representative Ellmers and 77 of your other colleagues and become a co-sponsor of H.R. 2059.


    Sincerely,

    "scorecard" from the Susan B. Anthony List & the National Organization for Marriage

    (Click images to enlarge)

    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