in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SB 3, SB 732, HB 383, & HB 1474

The Pennsylvania legislature is back in session, and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has indicated that support is needed for

Hopefully, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference will also announce its specific support for

  • HB 383 ("An Act providing for freedom of conscience of health care providers and health care institutions.") &

  • HB 1434 ("A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, providing for marriage.").
In comparison to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's very visible activism on school choice concerns, the support given to life and marriage/family issues can seem like faint praise.

By contrast, "action" messages from other Catholic Conferences are clearly prioritizing Life & Marriage/Family Issues:

Archbishop Dolan's 9/20/11 letter to President Obama on DOMA

As per Archbishop Dolan, USCCB president, in his September 20 letter to President Obama: "recent actions taken by your Administration...both escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage. This past spring the Justice Department announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court....Now the Justice Department has shifted from not defending actively attacking DOMA's constitutionality....every child has the right to be loved by both a mother and a father. The institution of marriage is built on this truth, which goes to the core of what the Catholic Bishops of the United States, and the millions of citizens who stand with us on this issue, want for all children and for the common good of society."

Franciscan from Morrisville's Got the Right Stuff!

Rev. Gabriel Zeis, TOR, President
Saint Francis University
117 Evergreen Drive
P.O. Box 600
Loretto, PA 15940

Dear Father Zeis,

Bravo, bravo, bravissimo to you and St. Francis University for canceling the on campus appearance of syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman. To readers of the Bucks County Courier Times, Goodman is well known as an unapologetic abortion zealot, whose philosophies are absolutely alien to Catholic Social Teaching. As you yourself are a "product" of Holy Trinity parish, a former teacher at Bishop Egan, and a former campus minister from The College of New Jersey, your forthright stand makes me burst with pride.

Sadly, it appears that some from St. Francis University are woefully ignorant about authentic Catholic Social Teaching. How wonderful that you can seek to address that with your on campus Dorothy Day Center! Poor Dorothy has been so misunderstood! While many recognize Dorothy to have been a great champion of impoverished people, few are aware of her disdain for manipulative, wrongheaded efforts that disrespect human dignity. Her words reveal an embrace of the Truth about human life and marriage/family - and an uncompromising rejection of both abortion and contraceptives:

  • "Day After Day - November 1933": "....Mrs. A. with her four children and unemployed husband living on $1.50 a week, is trapped by economic circumstances and everyone is so indifferent that it took three or four afternoons of Mike Gunn’s time to see to it that the Home Relief came to the rescue....Three little pigs are crowded into a too-small cage, the case is brought into court, the judge’s findings in the case being that pigs should not be crowded the way subway riders are. And a family of eight children, mother and father, are crowded in three rooms and the consensus of opinion is that they’re lucky to have that and why don’t they practice birth control anyway...."

  • "The Family vs Capitalism", January 1936: " is to the re-creation of the Catholic family, that microcosm of society and type of the Mystical Body, that we must look now if we expect later generations in this country to see Catholicism, instead of Marxism, a vital force in the nation, if we hope to maintain 'the freedom of the children of God' against the diabolic forces of fascism. if we wish our posterity to enjoy the peace which is their heritage from Christ instead of the strife of wars and hatreds between nations and New York..., there is no diocesan provision whatsoever for the poor who are trying to observe the teachings of the Church against birth control and raise families despite their economic circumstances! We would suggest that as a first, even though inadequate, step toward realizing out ideals of family life our Catholic lay-people and clergy show the sincerity of their conviction by raising their voices in loud agitation for Catholic provision of such care."

  • "Disgraceful Plight Of Migrant Workers On California Farms", May 1940: "....I must say that my first view of the government camps made me anything but happy....Margaret Sanger has sent her agents around, and there are birth control clinics at every camp....Here there is room indeed for farming communes, for missions modeled on those the Franciscans started in the beginnings of California. As it is, there is nothing so beautiful that man has made in the entire state as the remains of those very missions which non-Catholic as well as Catholic point out with pride. Here there is room for personal responsibility, for the 'Christ’s room' in every house and on every ranch that the early Father’s talked of, instead of leaving everything to the government, which in spite of all they have done that is good, still think in terms of corporation farming and birth control clinics for the rural proletariat."

  • "On Pilgrimage - July/August 1962": "....I seldom speak at state universities or non-Catholic colleges without the question of overpopulation, birth control, abortion, and euthanasia coming up. The entire question of man’s control over the life of others, over the life forces within man, is one of the most profound importance today...."

  • "On Pilgrimage - September 1963": "....It is one thing not to judge others, and it is still another thing to expect men and women to live according to right reason, to seek wisdom and live by it....there has been a pamphlet published in England by the Quakers which is said to condone premarriage sexual intercourse 'if the parties are responsible.' My reaction to this is that of a woman who must think in terms of the family, the need of the child to have both mother and father, who believes strongly that the home is the unit of society. Sex is a profound force, having to do with life, the forces of creation which make man god-like. He shares in the power of the Creator, and, when sex is treated lightly, as a means of pleasure, I can only consider that woman is used as a plaything, not as a person....the act of sex in its right order in the love life of the individual has been used in Old and New Testament as the symbol of the love between God and Man. Sexual love in its intensity makes all things new and one sees the other as God sees him...."

  • "Chastity," 12/10/66: "How presumptuous it is to try to treat of such a subject in a short article, when great books (like Dietrich von Hildebrand's In Defense of Purity ) have been written on the subject....the marriage act purged of impurities is the nearest thing to the beatific vision we can know....To offer the suffering of celibacy, temporary or permanent, to the Lord is to make use, in the best possible way, of man's greatest joy...."

  • "On Pilgrimage - December 1972": "....birth control and abortion are genocide...."

  • "On Pilgrimage - May 1980": "....I have lost my sister, who had always been my closest friend and confidante....One difference of opinion between my sister and me came strongly to my mind a few nights ago as I watched, on television, the story of Margaret Sanger....My sister...went to work for Margaret Sanger, whom she revered as a great pioneer. After Della’s own marriage, she had three beautiful children, and, as she explained to me 'We are true believers in planned parenthood, and only had those to whom we could give five years of college, or even more for research.' When she went on to exhort me on another occasion, that I should not urge, as a catholic, Tamar, my daughter, to have so many children, I got up firmly and walked out of the house...."
God Bless you Father Zeis, for standing up for the Truth.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Catholic Health East Maintains Association with Abortionist

Of the six Catholic hospitals operating within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, only Holy Redeemer does NOT fall under the very large umbrella of Catholic Health East:

Catholic Health East maintains an association with Dr. Frank Craparo, whom the blogosphere notes to be a popular provider of "selective reductions" (i.e., abortions). This situation has been repeatedly brought to the attention of the Catholic Health East CEO and Archbishop Chaput, as well as Cardinal Rigali and the auxiliary bishops of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The inappropriateness of a Catholic Health East association with Dr. Frank Craparo seems clearly indicated by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ethical and Religious Directives.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bishop O'Connell - Papal honors should not be bestowed on those who look the other way, regarding abortion.

Most Rev. David O'Connell
Diocese of Trenton
701 Lawrenceville Rd
Trenton, NJ 08648

Your Excellency:

Last week, you presided at a prayer service, at which papal honors were awarded to Judith Persichilli, CEO of Catholic Health East. Your Excellency, under Ms. Persichilli's watch, Catholic Health East is maintaining an association with known abortionist, Dr. Frank Craparo. Among those contemplating the euphemism of a "selective reduction," the blogosphere indicates Dr. Craparo to be a highly popular practitioner:

  • "For the women who are considering reduction and might read this, the dr. who will be doing my reduction, Dr. Craparo, questioned one of the commonly cited facts about selective reduction. I asked him about the often-heard statistic that the babies remaining after a reduction tend to be born early....Dr. Craparo said he was actually getting ready to study his own practice's results where the women stay with the practice for the duration of their pregnancy" (, 8/9/10).

  • "If you are willing to travel, I really loved Dr Craparo. Many women in this forum have recommended him. He is about a 2 hr drive from Manhattan (Abington PA)" (, 6/9/11).
Your Excellency, isn't the inappropriateness of a Catholic Health East association with Craparo clearly indicated by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers and the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives?

In your hometown of Langhorne, St. Mary Medical Center's web site was - until very recent - extolling Craparo's supposedly pioneering efforts in the prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. As per Archbishop Chaput, when Down Syndrome is diagnosed in utero, the end result is far more often than not for the parent(s) to opt for abortion (or to use Dr. Craparo's Orwellian term, "selective reduction."). Knowing his track record, it would be disingenuous for a Catholic facility to suggest that Craparo is merely helping parents prepare for the birth of a child with a disability. While an abortion cannot be performed at a Catholic Health East facility, Craparo could easily arrange for his Catholic Health East patients to go off site.

While I find it difficult to believe that St. Mary Medical Center was unaware of Craparo's "extracurricular" activities until I brought it to their attention, St. Mary Medical Center HAS removed Craparo from their online directory. As to other Catholic Health East facilities, however, Persichilli's response has been to ignore my correspondences and to allow the association with Craparo to continue. However much money she may have helped raise in the Trenton Diocese pales in comparison to Persichilli's allowing Craparo to practice in her facilities. How sadly ironic that the Trenton Diocese honored Ms. Persichilli at the same time that that it was honoring Rose Anna and Angelo Romanello - authentic and long time champions of people with Down Syndrome!

Craparo's affiliation with Catholic Health East is only the most glaring example of Catholic Health East's flaunting of Catholic teaching. Of physicians listed in various Catholic Health East online medical directories, only one gynecologist or ob/gyn specialist can also be found in an NFP-only medical professional directory in Pennsylvania.


  • As per the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers,

    61. The objectives of prenatal diagnoses warranting their request and practice should always be of benefit to the child and the mother; their purpose is to make possible therapeutic interventions, to bring assurance and peace to pregnant women who are anxious lest the fetus be deformed and are tempted to have an abortion, to prepare, if the prognosis is an unhappy one, for the welcome of a handicapped child.

    Prenatal diagnosis 'is gravely contrary to the moral law when it contemplates the possibility, depending on the result, of provoking an abortion. A diagnosis revealing the existence of a deformity or an hereditary disease should not be equivalent to a death sentence.'[135] [emphasis added]....

    143. If the health care worker is faced with legislation favorable to abortion he "must refuse politely but firmly."[274] "One can never obey a law that is intrinsically immoral, and this is so in the case of a law which admits, in principle, the lawfulness of abortion."[275]

    As a result, doctors and nurses are obliged to be conscientious objectors [emphasis added]. The great, fundamental value of life makes this obligation a grave moral duty for medical personnel who are encouraged by the law to carry out abortions or to cooperate proximately in direct abortion.

    Awareness of the inviolable value of life and of God's law protecting it, is antecedent to all positive human law. When the latter is contrary to God's law, conscience affirms its primary right and the primacy of God's law: "One must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29) [emphasis added].

    "It is not always easy to follow one's conscience in obedience to God's law. It may entail sacrifice and disadvantages, and one can in no way discount this cost; sometimes heroism is called for if one is to be faithful to these demands. Nevertheless, it must be clearly stated that the road of genuine progress for the human person passes through this constant fidelity to a conscience upholding rectitude and truth."[276] [emphasis added]

  • As per the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition,

    5. Catholic health care services must adopt these Directives as policy, require adherence to them within the institution as a condition for medical privileges and employment, and provide appropriate instruction regarding the Directives for administration, medical and nursing staff, and other personnel.

    9. Employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution and adhere to these Directives. They should maintain professional standards and promote the institution’s commitment to human dignity and the common good.

    37. An ethics committee or some alternate form of ethical consultation should be available to assist by advising on particular ethical situations, by offering educational opportunities, and by reviewing and recommending policies. To these ends, there should be appropriate standards for medical ethical consultation within a particular diocese that will respect the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility as well as assist members of ethics committees to be familiar with Catholic medical ethics and, in particular, these Directives.

    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers [Emphasis added.].

    50. Prenatal diagnosis is permitted when the procedure does not threaten the life or physical integrity of the unborn child or the mother and does not subject them to disproportionate risks; when the diagnosis can provide information to guide preventative care for the mother or pre- or postnatal care for the child; and when the parents, or at least the mother, give free and informed consent. Prenatal diagnosis is not permitted when undertaken with the intention of aborting an unborn child with a serious defect [Emphasis added.].32

    54. Genetic counseling may be provided in order to promote responsible parenthood and to prepare for the proper treatment and care of children with genetic defects [Emphasis added], in accordance with Catholic moral teaching and the intrinsic rights and obligations of married couples regarding the transmission of life.

    67. Decisions that may lead to serious consequences for the identity or reputation of Catholic health care services, or entail the high risk of scandal, should be made in consultation with the diocesan bishop or his health care liaison.

    71. The possibility of scandal must be considered when applying the principles governing cooperation.45 Cooperation, which in all other respects is morally licit, may need to be refused because of the scandal that might be caused [Emphasis added.]. Scandal can sometimes be avoided by an appropriate explanation of what is in fact being done at the health care facility under Catholic auspices. The diocesan bishop has final responsibility for assessing and addressing issues of scandal, considering not only the circumstances in his local diocese but also the regional and national implications of his decision.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catholic Health East - Making a Mockery of Conscience Protection

In a 9/7/11 letter, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged our representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate to co-sponor and support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467)." The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association have echoed Cardinal DiNardo's call for conscience protection. Yet Catholic Health East (parent organization for five of the six Catholic hospitals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) flaunts Catholic teaching to such an extreme that it continues an association with a known abortionist (i.e., Dr. Frank Craparo does so-called "selective reductions.")! In addition - of physicians listed in various Catholic Health East online medical directories - only one gynecologist or ob/gyn specialist can also be found among NFP-only medical professionals in Pennsylvania!

If Catholic Health East is doing such an absolutely miserable job of exemplifying properly formed consciences in Catholic health care, what hope of legal protection can Catholic health care workers possibly have who are working in secular settings? Catholic Health East is betraying Catholic health care workers and making a mockery of requests for conscience protection.

Personally, I fervently pray that our new archbishop will do everything in his power to immediately correct this sacriligeous and scandalous situation.

Friday, September 9, 2011

HR 1179 & S 1467

As per a 9/7/11 letter to Congress from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities,

  • "While I have written previously to encourage your support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467), recent events make this request more urgent....[A] new HHS mandate underscores a major deficiency in PPACA [i.e., the Patient Protectiona & Affordable Care Act] – it lacks a conscience clause to prevent the Act itself from being used to suppress the rights and freedoms of those who may have moral or religious objections to specific procedures....I urge you to support and co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, to help preserve respect in federal law for the freedom to follow the dictates of one’s conscience."

Please see the attached petition, echoing Cardinal DiNardo's request for support and co-sponsorship of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Our representation in D.C....

Click to check the status of federal legislation:

Click to ascertain legislation being sponsored or co-sponsored (and take note of what is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):

Click to check U.S. House votes.

Click to check U.S. Senate votes.


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