In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Safeguarding the Environment / Pa Cathlic Conference mailings

As per Chapter 10 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • “Only man and woman, among all creatures, were made by God 'in his own image' (Gen 1,27)....The biblical vision inspires the behaviour of Christians in relation to their use of the earth, and also with regard to the advances of science and technology....

    “A correct understanding of the environment prevents the utilitarian reduction of nature to a mere object to be manipulated and exploited. At the same time, it must not absolutize nature and place it above the dignity of the human person himself….

    “Christian culture has always recognized the creatures that surround man as also gifts of God to be nurtured and safeguarded with a sense of gratitude to the Creator....

    “nature is not a sacred or divine reality that man must leave alone. Rather, it is a gift offered by the Creator to the human community….

    “the goods of the earth were created by God to be used wisely by all. They must be shared equitably, in accordance with justice and charity....

    “The close link that exists between the development of the poorest countries, demographic changes and a sustainable use of the environment must not become a pretext for political and economic choices that are at variance with the dignity of the human person….

    "Although it is true that an uneven distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development….

    “Inadequate access to safe drinking water affects the well-being of a huge number of people and is often the cause of disease, suffering, conflicts, poverty and even death....the right to safe drinking water is a universal and inalienable right.

    "lifestyles should be inspired by sobriety, temperance, and self-discipline at both the individual and social levels”



from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference....



  • "Earlier this month, the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania issued a letter requesting that all Catholics dedicate the regular Lenten Friday practice of prayer and abstinence from meat as well as the additional practice of fasting on Friday, March 30, to the preservation of religious liberty. The call to prayer and fasting is part of a continued response to the mandate imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that forces all employers, including religious employers, to buy coverage for sterilization & contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortion. The mandate is a serious infringement on freedom of conscience, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment" (March 31st mailing from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).


  • "the PA Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender bias found that racial, ethnic and gender bias 'significantly affect the way parties, witnesses, litigants, lawyers, court employees and potential jurors are treated'....Justice calls for punishment for crimes, but in America’s modern penal system, there are alternatives to killing – like life imprisonment – that would break the cycle of violence created by the death penalty" (March 31st mailing from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).


  • "As the state budget is debated in Harrisburg, there are two programs that should receive funding because of the important work they do in assisting those in need. First, the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) offers short-term loans to Pennsylvanians who find themselves unable to make their monthly mortgage payments due to circumstances beyond their control....The GA program supports the most vulnerable in our commonwealth ....'Both of these programs have proven to help those in need and their continuation is necessary for providing a sound, reasonable safety net in Pennsylvania,' said Fran Viglietta, Director of the Social Concerns Department, 'We ask that Governor Corbett and the state legislature ensure that those in need are recognized during this budget debate through the restoration of HEMAP and GA.'"(March 23rd mailing from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The International Community

In a recent guest opinion, our congressman made some excellent points about our role in the international community:



  • "The rise in a price of a barrel of crude oil on the global market has coincided with increased levels of unrest in the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, political instability in places like Venezuela and Nigeria, both exporters of oil, has caused a jump in prices.

    "The heightened tensions between the West and Iran have also driven up the price of a barrel of oil....Potential turmoil in these global hotspots over the course of the last year has served as a stark reminder of the risk we take in relying on these unstable regions for our energy supplies....

    "A combination of relying on unpredictable foreign sources while neglecting our own natural resources has created the conditions for the rising cost of filling our cars and heating our homes. The facts are simple: As long as we remain dependent on foreign oil sources, our gas prices will continue to be subject to the volatility of prices in the global oil market....

    "we must conserve our existing energy resources by aggressively pursuing energy efficiency and conservation programs....

    "Next, we must increase and diversify use of our traditional domestic natural resources, namely coal, oil and natural gas....

    "we must also accelerate the development of clean and renewable energy alternatives....

    "Finally, we must make a transition to a sustainable energy future....We need a 21st century energy infrastructure to power a 21st century economy" (Mike Fitzpatrick, Courier Times, 3/19/12)

At this juncture of history, it certainly appears that energy independence is a path to national security and peace. No right thinking parent or grandparent wishes to jeopardize the safety of her/his descendants. As per Chapter 9 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • “To bring about & consolidate an international order that effectively guarantees peaceful mutual relations among peoples, the same moral law that governs the life of men must also regulate relations among States....The universal moral law, written on the human heart, must be considered effective and indelible as the living expression of the shared conscience of humanity....

    “As the Magisterium sees it, the right to development is based on the following principles:
    unity of origin and a shared destiny of the human family;
    equality between every person &...every community based on human dignity;
    the universal destination of the goods of the earth;
    the notion of development in its entirety; &
    the centrality of the human person and solidarity….

    “Among the causes that greatly contribute to underdevelopment and poverty, in addition to the impossibility of acceding to the international market, mention must be made of
    illiteracy,
    lack of food security,
    the absence of structures and services,
    inadequate measures for guaranteeing basic health care,
    the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation,
    corruption,
    instability of institutions & of political life itself....

    “international cooperation requires that, beyond the strict market mentality, there should be an awareness of the duty to solidarity, justice & universal charity....

    “Complex causes of various types lie at the origin of the debt crisis....The greatest sufferings, which can be traced back both to structural questions as well as personal behaviour, strike the people of poor and indebted countries who are not responsible for this situation.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Political Community

In the very same state that has given us notoriously confused Catholic elected officials, such as Father Robert Drinan, SJ, the Kennedys, and John Kerry, a 3/15/12 NY Times piece may unwittingly help us understand how some imprudent actions/inactions from a prince of the Church set the stage for the longstanding scandal of Catholic politicians supporting abortion....




  • "Michael Dukakis does not mince words. He admits to being 'flabbergasted. by the debate between the Catholic hierarchy and the Obama administration over the mandate that requires employers to provide contraception coverage. 'I thought birth control wasn’t an issue anymore,' he told me....

    "Nearly 50 years ago, as a state representative from Brookline, Mass., Dukakis was part of a compromise [emphasis added for irony] between opponents and proponents of contraception, a compromise that involved coordination between Planned Parenthood and the church that would be unthinkable now. Dukakis remains convinced that contraception became legal in Massachusetts only with the assistance of the local Catholic leadership.

    "Cardinals today do not enjoy the same secular power Boston’s Cardinal Richard Cushing did in the 1960s....

    "In the 1960s, it was Cushing who took center stage in a prominent public debate over access to contraception....according to Dukakis, Cushing’s conduct at the time was a 'great act of statesmanship'....

    "Two states had very strong anti-contraception laws on the books in 1965. The Supreme Court was considering the constitutionality of Connecticut’s all-out ban on the use of contraception. In Massachusetts, a state legislative panel was holding an open hearing on a proposal submitted by State Representative Dukakis...to remove an 86-year-old bar to the distribution of birth control devices and information....

    "In 1948, Cushing...led a public charge against Referendum No. 4, a statewide ballot measure designed to relax the ban on contraception....In the end, 57 percent of voters rejected the referendum.

    "Cushing had won, but victory came at a cost. 'Deployment of the Church’s political muscle,' the historian
    Leslie Tentler argues, offended non-Catholics in and out of the commonwealth....

    "It was not until the 1960s that reformers next attempted to amend the state’s birth control restrictions....He [Cushing] clearly had a change of heart on the appropriateness of laws like the state’s birth control restrictions....Two days before a fellow Massachusetts Catholic won the first primary of the 1960 presidential campaign, Cushing argued that a Christian must engage in 'friendly discussion with those whose views of life and its meaning are different than his own.' The times had changed, and so had he....

    "Poor health prevented Cushing from appearing before the legislative panel considering the Dukakis bill in March 1965, but he dominated the hearing nonetheless. In a written statement he declared that 'Catholics do not need the support of civil law to be faithful to their own religious convictions and they do not seek to impose by law their moral views on others of society'....He requested that Gov. John Volpe appoint a commission to craft a repeal to 'satisfy the conscientious opinions of the whole community.'

    "'Cardinal Relaxes Anti-Birth Law Stand' read the Boston Globe’s banner headline, while an editorial noted that because of Cushing’s new position the birth control issue was 'no longer a rancorous controversy.' Volpe appointed a 21-member committee to draft a revised bill on the same day, as it happened, that the Supreme Court invalidated Connecticut’s ban on the use of birth control. The new bill met Cushing’s concerns about the young by prohibiting pharmacists from furnishing contraception to those who had not 'attained age 21' or lacked a doctor’s prescription. Importantly, however, the cardinal chose not to speak out either in favor of or against the revisions....

    "Why did the cardinal remain silent? Certainly, he had privately endorsed the repeal effort following his WEEI statement in 1963. With his blessing, a series of meetings had quietly taken place between lay and clerical Catholics and associates of Planned Parenthood to draft a blueprint for repealing the ban through the Legislature....

    [In a particularly dopey manner, the author - at this point - goes on to infer that Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedon somehow supported this nonsense.]

    "When a bill that would allow physicians to prescribe birth control to 'any married person' was introduced in the next legislative session — a bill otherwise similar to the one House members had rejected 119–97 the year before — Cushing endorsed it publicly by praising its 'safeguards' while reaffirming his position that Catholics did 'not seek to impose by law their moral view on other members of society [Unbelievable!].' This time the bill passed, 136–80. The Senate followed suit, and Volpe signed the amendment to the state’s General Laws on 'Crimes against Chastity, Morality, Decency, and Good Order.'

    "Wednesday’s announcement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops....echoes the foreboding tone and language from Cushing’s bitter campaign against the 1948 reform rather than that of the 1960s effort toward reconciliation [Amen to that!]....

    Seth Meehan is a Clough Center Graduate Fellow at Boston College. He is the author of “From Patriotism to Pluralism: How Catholics Initiated the Repeal of Birth Control Restrictions in Massachusetts,” which appeared in the Catholic Historical Review in 2010" (
    Seth Meehan, Catholics & Contraception: Boston 1965, NY Times, 3/15/12).
As per Chapter 8 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Political Community), the Church is not called to play a Machiavellian role:




  • "Considering the human person as the foundation & purpose of the political community means in the first place working to recognize & respect human dignity through defending & promoting fundamental & inalienable human rights....

    “Authority must be guided by the moral law ....

  • "Unjust laws pose dramatic problems of conscience for morally upright people: when they are called to cooperate in morally evil acts they must refuse.[Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, 73: AAS 87 (1995), 486-487.]....Such cooperation in fact can never be justified, not by invoking respect for the freedom of others nor by appealing to the fact that it is foreseen & required by civil law. No one can escape the moral responsibility for actions taken, and all will be judged by God himself based on this responsibility (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12)"




The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

Economic Life

As per Chapter 7 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • “Through the gift of his Spirit & the conversion of hearts, he [Jesus] comes to establish the 'Kingdom of God', so that a new manner of social life is made possible, in justice, brotherhood, solidarity & sharing. The Kingdom inaugurated by Christ perfects the original goodness of the created order & of human activity, which were compromised by sin. Freed from evil & being placed once more in communion with God, man is able to continue the work of Jesus, with the help of his Spirit....

    "economic activity is to be considered and undertaken as a grateful response to the vocation which God holds out for each person....Economic activity and material progress must be placed at the service of man and society....Goods, even when legitimately owned, always have a universal destination....

    “The Church's social doctrine insists on the need for business owners & management to strive to structure work in such a way so as to promote the family, especially mothers, in the fulfilment of their duties"
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

A Blueprint for Confusion?

In the very same state that has given us notoriously confused Catholic elected officials, such as Father Robert Drinan, SJ, the Kennedys, and John Kerry, a 3/15/12 NY Times piece helps to explain how imprudent actions/inactions from a Bay State prince of the Church unwittingly fostered a longstanding scandal of Catholic politicians supporting abortion....



  • "Michael Dukakis does not mince words. He admits to being 'flabbergasted. by the debate between the Catholic hierarchy and the Obama administration over the mandate that requires employers to provide contraception coverage. 'I thought birth control wasn’t an issue anymore,' he told me....

    "Nearly 50 years ago, as a state representative from Brookline, Mass., Dukakis was part of a compromise [emphasis added for irony] between opponents and proponents of contraception, a compromise that involved coordination between Planned Parenthood and the church that would be unthinkable now. Dukakis remains convinced that contraception became legal in Massachusetts only with the assistance of the local Catholic leadership.

    "Cardinals today do not enjoy the same secular power Boston’s Cardinal Richard Cushing did in the 1960s....

    "In the 1960s, it was Cushing who took center stage in a prominent public debate over access to contraception....according to Dukakis, Cushing’s conduct at the time was a 'great act of statesmanship'....

    "Two states had very strong anti-contraception laws on the books in 1965. The Supreme Court was considering the constitutionality of Connecticut’s all-out ban on the use of contraception. In Massachusetts, a state legislative panel was holding an open hearing on a proposal submitted by State Representative Dukakis...to remove an 86-year-old bar to the distribution of birth control devices and information....

    "In 1948, Cushing...led a public charge against Referendum No. 4, a statewide ballot measure designed to relax the ban on contraception....In the end, 57 percent of voters rejected the referendum.

    "Cushing had won, but victory came at a cost. 'Deployment of the Church’s political muscle,' the historian Leslie Tentler argues, offended non-Catholics in and out of the commonwealth....

    "It was not until the 1960s that reformers next attempted to amend the state’s birth control restrictions....He [Cushing] clearly had a change of heart on the appropriateness of laws like the state’s birth control restrictions....Two days before a fellow Massachusetts Catholic won the first primary of the 1960 presidential campaign, Cushing argued that a Christian must engage in 'friendly discussion with those whose views of life and its meaning are different than his own.' The times had changed, and so had he....

    "Poor health prevented Cushing from appearing before the legislative panel considering the Dukakis bill in March 1965, but he dominated the hearing nonetheless. In a written statement he declared that 'Catholics do not need the support of civil law to be faithful to their own religious convictions and they do not seek to impose by law their moral views on others of society'....He requested that Gov. John Volpe appoint a commission to craft a repeal to 'satisfy the conscientious opinions of the whole community.'

    "'Cardinal Relaxes Anti-Birth Law Stand' read the Boston Globe’s banner headline, while an editorial noted that because of Cushing’s new position the birth control issue was 'no longer a rancorous controversy.' Volpe appointed a 21-member committee to draft a revised bill on the same day, as it happened, that the Supreme Court invalidated Connecticut’s ban on the use of birth control. The new bill met Cushing’s concerns about the young by prohibiting pharmacists from furnishing contraception to those who had not 'attained age 21' or lacked a doctor’s prescription. Importantly, however, the cardinal chose not to speak out either in favor of or against the revisions....

    "Why did the cardinal remain silent? Certainly, he had privately endorsed the repeal effort following his WEEI statement in 1963. With his blessing, a series of meetings had quietly taken place between lay and clerical Catholics and associates of Planned Parenthood to draft a blueprint for repealing the ban through the Legislature....

    [In a particularly dopey manner, the author - at this point - goes on to infer that Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedon somehow supported this nonsense.]

    "When a bill that would allow physicians to prescribe birth control to 'any married person' was introduced in the next legislative session — a bill otherwise similar to the one House members had rejected 119–97 the year before — Cushing endorsed it publicly by praising its 'safeguards' while reaffirming his position that Catholics did 'not seek to impose by law their moral view on other members of society [Unbelievable!].' This time the bill passed, 136–80. The Senate followed suit, and Volpe signed the amendment to the state’s General Laws on 'Crimes against Chastity, Morality, Decency, and Good Order.'

    "Wednesday’s announcement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops....echoes the foreboding tone and language from Cushing’s bitter campaign against the 1948 reform rather than that of the 1960s effort toward reconciliation [Amen to that!]....

    Seth Meehan is a Clough Center Graduate Fellow at Boston College. He is the author of “From Patriotism to Pluralism: How Catholics Initiated the Repeal of Birth Control Restrictions in Massachusetts,” which appeared in the Catholic Historical Review in 2010" (Seth Meehan, Catholics & Contraception: Boston 1965, NY Times, 3/15/12).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Human Work / School Choice

As per Chapter 6 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • "Work is 'a foundation for the formation of family life, which is a natural right and something that man is called to'.[633] It ensures a means of subsistence and serves as a guarantee for raising children....it is necessary that businesses, professional organizations, labour unions and the State promote policies that, from an employment point of view, do not penalize but rather support the family nucleus."

As per the Catechism of the Catholic Church,



  • "As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise" (# 2229).

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic conference,



  • there will be a rally "in support of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program....in Harrisburg on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 12 noon....Thanks to the EITC, more than 40,000 students each year are able to choose a school that best fits their needs....School choice supporters are advocating for a voucher program and an increase [to] the long standing and successful EITC program....send a message to your state legislators today in support of school choice!

Into your own email, feel free to copy & paste the email addresses of state legislators for areas of the Philadelphia Archdiocese:

farnese@pasenate.com, tartaglione@pasenate.com, kitchen@pasenate.com, washington@pasenate.com, rtomlinson@pasen.gov, hughes@pasenate.com, williams@pasenate.com, dpileggi@pasen.gov, cmcilhinney@pasen.gov, sgreenleaf@pasen.gov, leach@pasenate.com, andy@pasenate.com, bmensch@pasen.gov, eerickson@pasen.gov, jrafferty@pasen.gov, gdigirol@pahousegop.com, boneill@pahousegop.com, Ssantarsiero@pahouse.net, rgodshal@pahousegop.com, kharper@pahousegop.com, repbradford@pahouse.net, Jgalloway@pahouse.net, tdavis@pahouse.net, ffarry@pahouse.net, mquinn@pahousegop.com, kwatson@pahousegop.com, pclymer@pahousegop.com, tquigley@pahousegop.com, mtoepel@pahousegop.com, repgerber@pahouse.net, Tbriggs@pahouse.net, mvereb@pahousegop.com, Tstephen@pahousegop.com, tmurt@pahousegop.com, joshshapiro@pahouse.net, lcurry@pahouse.net, cschrode@pahousegop.com, dtruitt@pahousegop.com, wkampf@pahousegop.com, cross@pahousegop.com, tkirklan@pahouse.net, parep160@aol.com, jhackett@pahousegop.com, Nmiccarelli@pahousegop.com, nmicozzi@pahousegop.com, mdavidson@pahouse.net, Wadolph@pahousegop.com, gvitali@pahouse.net, dmilne@pahousegop.com, tkillion@pahousegop.com, dobrien@speakerobrien.com, Bboyle@pahouse.net, Kboyle@pahouse.net, mmcgeeha@pahouse.net, jsabatin@pahouse.net, MoBrien@pahouse.net, jtaylor@pahousegop.com, Spetri@pahousegop.com, tpayton@pahouse.net, acruz@pahouse.net, cthomas@pahouse.net, bjosephs@pahouse.net, mdonatucci@pahouse.net, Kjohnson@pahouse.net, Vbrown@pahouse.net, rwaters@pahouse.net, lwbishop@pahouse.net, PDeLissio@pahouse.net, mbrownlee@pahouse.net, jwilliam@pahouse.net, ryoungbl@pahouse.net, cparker@pahouse.net, mcohen@pahouse.net, devans@hacd.net

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine"

A short time ago, I phoned the office of Representative Darryl Metcalfe, who chairs the Pennsylvania House's State Government Committee. Metcalfe's office confirmed that a committee vote on HB 1434, the Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment, has been indefinitely delayed.


The delay on HB 1434 appears to coincide with a well-organized protest by marriage opponents. Why did the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference not organize a similar effort, at the very least? With respect to marriage concerns, it appears that the web site has not been updated since November 1! The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference appears to be - at least with respect to this issue - enjoying a good sleep....


May I respectfully request that you advise the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of the urgency of their attention to HB 1434?



As per Chapter 4 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • “The permanent principles of the Church's social doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These are the principles of:


      the dignity of the human person, ...which is the foundation of all the other principles & content of the Church's social doctrine;
      the common good;
      subsidiarity; and
      solidarity....

    "It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth"


The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love



"The Human Person and Human Rights" / Religious Liberty

As per Chapter 3 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,




  • “The Church sees in men and women, in every person, the living image of God

    “The whole of the Church's social doctrine …develops from the principle that affirms the inviolable dignity of the human person….

    “This marvellous vision of man's creation by God is inseparable from the tragic appearance of original sin ....The consequences of sin, insofar as it is an act of separation from God, are alienation, that is, the separation of man not only
    from God but also
    from himself,
    from other men and
    from the world around him....

    “The ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself & in God his Creator.... Pope John Paul II has drawn up a list…in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus:
    'the right to life…;
    the right to live in a united family & in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child's personality;
    the right to develop one's intelligence & freedom in seeking & knowing the truth;
    the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth's material resources, & to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one's dependents; &
    the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one's sexuality [Note: This does NOT mean that there is a “right” to have a child; NO ONE (including husbands & wives) has a “right” to use illegitimate means to have children.]
    In a certain sense, the source and synthesis of these rights is religious freedom, understood as the right to live in the truth of one's faith and in conformity with one's transcendent dignity as a person"

As per Pennsylvania's bishops,



  • "The assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty continues. Our concern and alarm flows from a mandate of the Department of Health and
    Human Services (HHS) which punishes the Church for its firmly held beliefs and consistent teaching. This mandate – published in the federal register without change, despite claims of 'accommodations' – would force Catholic employers to pay for abortion-causing drugs,
    sterilization and contraception....This is primarily about religious liberty and our First Amendment rights to the free exercise of our religion. Make no mistake about it – this government mandate is a step which will inevitably lead to other mandates that continue to strike at the heart of our Faith and the constitutional liberties....We did not pick this fight, but neither will we run from it....send a message to your legislators in support of conscience rights....we, the Bishops of Pennsylvania, request that all Catholics dedicate the regular Lenten Friday practice of prayer and abstinence as well as the additional practice of fasting on Friday, March 30, to the preservation of religious liberty."


The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

"The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine"

Patrick Murphy is back! As Charlie Brown would say, "Ugh!"



  • "At a debate in Philadelphia last month, Murphy argued that Pennsylvanians 'need someone to be a counterbalance to [Gov. Corbett] and the right-wing agenda'....

    "The attorney general should engage the office in legal challenges that reflect the political debates of the day - everything from women's reproductive rights to environmental class-action lawsuits, he said [days later].

    "'In a way it looks like he's modeled himself on Eliot Spitzer,' said Borick, referring to the former New York governor who, as that state's attorney general, made a name for himself taking on the financial sector....

    "Murphy...may owe credit to an unlikely source - Corbett, the most recent elected attorney general....

    "No former attorney general had successfully used the office as a launching pad for a higher political career" (Philly.com, 3/11/12)

Murphy's failure to understand/accept the teaching of his Church is clear to his former constituents in the 8th Congressional District. Chapter 2 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, for example, presents a vision vastly different from that of Murphy:



  • “With her social teaching the Church seeks to proclaim the Gospel and make it present in the complex network of social relations....

    “The Church has the right to be a teacher for mankind, a teacher of the truth of faith....Men and women must respond to the gift of salvation not with a partial, abstract or merely verbal acceptance, but with the whole of their lives — in every relationship that defines life....This right of the Church is at the same time a duty, because she cannot forsake this responsibility without denying herself and her fidelity to Christ....

    "The object of the Church's social doctrine is essentially the same that constitutes the reason for its existence: the human person called to salvation, and as such entrusted by Christ to the Church's care and responsibility....at play in society are the dignity and rights of the person, and peace in the relationships between persons & between communities of persons….the Church's social doctrine has the task of proclamation, but also of denunciation....

    "The first recipient of the Church's social doctrine is the Church community in its entire membership....This social doctrine implies...obligations of a secular nature — which belong to the lay faithful, not to priests or religious. These responsibilities belong to the laity in a distinctive manner, by reason of the secular condition of their state of life, and of the secular nature of their vocation"


The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

The Family, the Vital Cell of Society

There are indications that HB 1434 , the Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment, is scheduled for a vote TODAY in the House State Government committee. 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."
This very moment has become absolutely vital for Pennsylvania's legislators - particularly those who identify themselves as Catholic - to recall the truth which their Church proclaims about marriage and family. Yet, these are certainly NOT truths which are only applicable to Catholics!

As per Chapter 5 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,


  • “The family, the natural community in which human social nature is experienced, makes a unique & irreplaceable contribution to the good of society....The family possesses inviolable rights & finds its legitimization in human nature & not in being recognized by the State....
    “Faced with theories that consider gender identity as merely the cultural and social product of the interaction between the community & the individual, independent of personal sexual identity without any reference to the true meaning of sexuality, the Church does not tire of repeating her teaching: 'Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral and spiritual difference and complementarities are oriented towards the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarities, needs & mutual support between the sexes are lived out'…. responsibility for protecting and promoting the family as a fundamental natural institution, precisely in consideration of its vital and essential aspects, falls to the whole of society….
    “Marriage is not a simple agreement to live together but a relationship with a social dimension that is unique with regard to all other relationships, since the family…is the principal instrument for making each person grow in an integral manner and integrating him positively into social life....
    “Homosexual persons are to be fully respected in their human dignity & encouraged to follow God's plan with particular attention in the exercise of chastity. This duty calling for respect does not justify the legitimization of behaviour that is not consistent with moral law, even less does it justify the recognition of a right to marriage between persons of the same sex & its being considered equivalent to the family….
    “All programmes of economic assistance aimed at financing campaigns of sterilization and contraception, as well as the subordination of economic assistance to such campaigns, are to be morally condemned as affronts to the dignity of the person and the family. The answer to questions connected with population growth must instead by sought in simultaneous respect both of sexual morals and of social ethics"

The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

Sunday, March 11, 2012

God's Plan of Love for Humanity

During this election season, a surprising amount of attention has been paid to what the Catholic Church teaches. Because the Church's moral teaching is based upon the natural law, it is applicable to all people. Some may attention, and some disregard what the Church proclaims. As per God's Plan of Love for Humanity (Chapter 1 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church),



  • "Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the acknowledgment & homage given to God & a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation with the plan God pursues in history'.

    “The Ten Commandments, which constitute an extra-ordinary path of life and indicate the surest way for living in freedom from slavery to sin, contain a privileged expression of the natural law....

    “The universality and integrality of the salvation wrought by Christ makes indissoluble the link between the relationship that the person is called to have with God and the responsibility he has towards his neighbour in the concrete circumstances of history. This is sensed, though not always without some confusion or misunderstanding, in humanity's universal quest for truth and meaning”



Federal ProLife Legislation Specifically Suported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


The USCCB has urged support for the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act: "Passage of 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."


  • Senator Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 165 (as of 3/11/2012).


  • Representative Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor of HR 361.


  • Senator Toomey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 165 (as of 3/11/2012).
The USCCB has urged support for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.


  • Senator Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 906 (as of 3/11/2012).


  • Representative Fitzpatrick voted for HR 3.


  • Senator Toomey IS a co-sponsor of S. 906.
The USCCB has urged support for the Protect Life Act.


  • Senator Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 877 (as of 3/11/2012).


  • Representative Fitzpatrick voted for HR 358.


  • Senator Toomey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 877 (as of 3/11/2012).
The USCCB has urged support for the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.


  • Senator Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 1467 (as of 3/11/2012).

  • Representative Fitzpatrick IS a co-sponsor of HR 1179.

  • Senator Toomey IS a co-sponsor of S.1467.

and in Harrisburg....


Protecting the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
"DOMA is rational, and its repeal would be unjust....

"Redefining marriage to mean simply an arrangement of consenting adults violates justice because it interferes with basic human rights.

"First, changing the institution of marriage by making it indifferent to the absence of one sex or the other denies that children have the fundamental human right to be cared by both their mother and father. Such revision transforms marriage from a child-centered to an adult-centered status to the detriment of children....

"Second, redefining marriage also threatens the fundamental human right of religious freedom. Those who refuse on moral and religious grounds to accept or accommodate the redefinition of legal marriage are already being wrongly accused of bigotry and hatred, bias and prejudice....

"All persons have a rightful claim to our utmost respect. There is no corresponding duty, however, for society to disregard the meaning of sexual difference and its practical consequences for the common good; to override fundamental rights, such as religious liberty; and to re-define our most basic social institution"(Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion & Defense of Marriage, November 2011).




and in Harrisburg....



The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
Part One
Chapter 1, God's Plan of Love for Humanity

Chapter 2, The Church's Mission & Social Doctrine
Chapter 3, The Human Person and Human Rights
Chapter 4, Principles of the Church's Social Doctrine

Part Two
Chapter 5, The Family, the Vital Cell of Society
Chapter 6, Human Work

Chapter 7, Economic Life
Chapter 8, Political Community

Chapter 9, The International Community
Chapter 10, Safeguarding the Environment
Chapter 11, The Promotion of Peace

Part Three
Chapter 12, Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action


Conclusion, For a Civilization of Love

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers

Along with



    •The Right to Life & the Dignity of the Human Person
    •Call to Family, Community & Participation
    •Rights & Responsibilities
    •Option for the Poor & Vulnerable
    •Solidarity
    •Caring for God's Creation

the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers is one of the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching:



  • The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Economic justice calls for decent work at fair, living wages, opportunities for legal status for immigrant workers, and the opportunity for all people to work together for the common good through their work, ownership, enterprise, investment, participation in unions, & other forms of economic activity.”

As per Chapter 6 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



  • “To the first human couple God entrusts the task of subduing the earth and exercising dominion over every living creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion exercised by man over other living creatures, however, is not to be despotic or reckless; on the contrary he is to 'cultivate & care for' (Gen 2:15) the goods created by God....

    “In his preaching, Jesus teaches that we should appreciate work.... Jesus teaches man not to be enslaved by work....Work…[is a] participation not only in the act of creation but also in that of redemption. Those who put up with the difficult rigours of work in union with Jesus cooperate, in a certain sense, with the Son of God in his work of redemption and show that they are disciples of Christ bearing his cross, every day...Christians are called to work not only to provide them-selves with bread, but also in acceptance of their poorer neighbours….By his work and industriousness, man — who has a share in the divine art & wisdom — makes creation, the cosmos already ordered by the Father, more beautiful....

    “Work is 'a foundation for the formation of family life, which is a natural right and something that man is called to'.[John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 10: AAS 73 (1981), 600.]....it is necessary that businesses, professional organizations, labour unions and the State promote policies that, from an employment point of view, do not penalize but rather support the family nucleus."

Option for the Poor & Vulnerable

Along with

    •The Right to Life & the Dignity of the Human Person
    •Call to Family, Community & Participation
    •Rights & Responsibilities
    •Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers
    •Solidarity
    •Caring for God's Creation
the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that Option for the Poor & Vulnerable is one of the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching:
    "While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us— the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized."


As per Chapter 4 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,

    “The permanent principles of the Church's social doctrine constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching. These are the principles of:
      the dignity of the human person, ...which is the foundation of all the other principles & content of the Church's social doctrine;
      the common good;
      subsidiarity; and
      solidarity....

    "The principle of the universal destination of goods requires that the poor, the marginalized and in all cases those whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth should be the focus of particular concern. To this end, the preferential option for the poor should be reaffirmed in all its force”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Please support "The Women’s Right to Know Act" (HB 1077).

(Please note that this email is NOT being sent to Senator Santarsiero (31), whose district encompasses Lower Makefield, part of Upper Makefield, Yardley Boro, and Newtown (both boro & township) - roughly the same area that comprises the parishes of Saint Andrew, Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Saint John the Evangelist, and Saint Martin of Tours.)


As per the below forwarded email below from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation,



  • "A media misinformation campaign by opponents of the Women's Right to Know Act is misleading Pennsylvanians....House Bill 1077 would guarantee that pregnant women have an opportunity to view an ultrasound and to observe the unborn baby's heartbeat before an abortion is performed. The Women's Right to Know Act is good health care, plain and simple. Can you name a medical procedure where the results of a diagnostic tool would be hidden from you?....The consumer protection movement has strengthened Americans' resolve to be informed buyers of health care services. Certainly, abortion facilities should be held accountable--just as doctors' offices are--and should be required to provide all relevant information to a patient--including an ultrasound showing what's really going on with a woman's pregnancy....Please...vote for HB 1077 and... oppose any weakening amendments to it."

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,



  • "In 2012, ultrasounds are a common sense and even expected part of many medical evaluations and procedures. Without this bill, a double standard will remain whereby women in this time of need are not given complete information....The Women’s Right to Know Act addresses this disparity."

Representative Petri - Thank you for supporting HB 1077 in the House Health Committee.


Representative Farry - What on earth were you thinking!

Solidarity

Along with


    •The Right to Life & the Dignity of the Human Person
    •Call to Family, Community & Participation
    •Rights & Responsibilities
    •Option for the Poor & Vulnerable
    •Dignity of Work & the Rights of Workers
    •Caring for God's Creation

the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explains that Solidarity is one of the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching:

    We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Our Catholic commitment to solidarity requires that we pursue justice, eliminate racism, end human trafficking, protect human rights, seek peace, and avoid the use of force except as a necessary last resort.”

As per Chapter 1 of the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, “The universality and integrality of the salvation wrought by Christ makes indissoluble the link between the relationship that the person is called to have with God and the responsibility he has towards his neighbour in the concrete circumstances of history.






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