In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SB 3 / HB 1977 is needed, to resist Obamacare abortion funding in Pennsylvania

Please share this information with your parishioners....

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference threw its support behind An Act amending Title 40 (Insurance) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for compliance with Federal health care legislation (SB 3 / HB 1977):
  • "SB 3 assures all Pennsylvanians covered by an exchange health plan that they will not be forced to pay a separate premium to cover elective abortion. Without SB 3, every person enrolled (man or woman) in a plan within the Pennsylvania state exchange would be required to make a payment to fund elective abortion coverage for others" (undated).  From Bucks County, Senators Greenleaf, McIlhinney, Mensch, and Tomlinson all voted in favor of SB 3.  

  • "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" (12/20/11).  From Bucks County, Representatives Clymer, DiGirolamo, Farry, Galloway, O'Neill, Petri, Quinn, and Watson voted for HB 1977.  Representatives Tina Davis and Steve Santarsiero voted AGAINST HB 1977. 
It is noteworthy that Senate majority leader Dominic Pillegi, House majority leader Mike Turzai, and Governor Tom Corbett are all identified as pro life Catholics.  So, it is particularly ironic that, instead of moving along quickly for Governor Corbett's signature, there has been no further action on SB 3 / HB 1977We seem to be seeing a quiet acquiescence to those who voted against SB 3, those who voted against HB 1977, Planned Parenthood and all who are intent on seeing abortion coverage in the future Pennsylvania health insurance exchange.

In a recent visit to Lower Bucks County, Representative Kathy Rapp (a Protestant) commented admiringly on the Catholic hierarchy holding elected officials accountable for votes on life issues.  On this particular legislation, Senators Greenleaf, McIlhinney, Mensch, and Tomlinson went to bat for us and voted in favor of SB 3Similarly Representatives Clymer, DiGirolamo, Farry, Galloway, O'Neill, Petri, Quinn, and Watson did the right thing and voted for HB 1977.  Yet at this point in time, those who want abortion funding in the future Pennsylvania health insurance exchange are ruling the day! 

Please demand that Senate majority leader Dominic Pillegi (dpileggi@pasen.gov), House majority leader Mike Turzai (Mturzai@pahousegop.com), and Governor Tom Corbett (governor@pa.gov) show the fortitude to expedite SB 3 / HB 1977, making it law in Pennsylvania.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious"

On Friday, April 20, the Bucks County Courier Times published a piece by Rachell Zoll of the Associated Press, concerning the Vatican's Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Excerpts from the Vatican's assessment....
  • "The Holy See acknowledges with gratitude the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years....
  • "The current doctrinal Assessment arises out of a sincere concern for the life of faith in some Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. It arises as well from a conviction that the work of any conference of major superiors of women Religious can and should be a fruitful means of addressing the contemporary situation and supporting religious life in its most 'radical' sense—that is, in the faith in which it is rooted....
  • "Addresses given during LCWR annual Assemblies manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors....[Cited] as an example [was] specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s address about some Religious 'moving beyond the Church' or even beyond Jesus.  This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR....Some might see in Sr. Brink’s analysis a phenomenological snapshot of religious life  today. But Pastors of the Church should also see in it a cry for help....
  • "while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death....issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching....
  • "The Second Vatican Council clearly indicates that an authentic teaching of the Church calls for the religious submission of intellect and will, and is not limited to defined dogmas or ex cathedra statements (cf. Lumen gentium, 25)....
 Among the corrections....
  • "greater emphasis needs to be placed both on the relationship of the LCWR with the Conference of Bishops, and on the need to provide a sound doctrinal foundation in the faith of the Church"
  • "The Eucharist & the Liturgy of the Hours will have a place of priority in LCWR events & programs....
  • [There is a need to] "review LCWR links with affiliated organizations, e.g. Network and Resource Center for Religious Life. 
As reported by Newsmax.com,
  • “'I’m stunned,' said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network. 'I would imagine that it was our health care letter that made them mad,' Sister Campbell said. 'We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.'”
(This thought is NOT original:) Sister Simone Campbell appears to be an excellent candidate for the Captain Louis Renault award for feigned shock (Click the below image).

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Catholics Shouldn't Stand Alone in Religious Freedom Fight " (Jewish World Review, 4/16/12)

As per an article in Jewish World Review, "the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are trying to refocus Americans on the threats to their religious liberty....this is exactly the sort of project in which all faiths ought to participate.

"The manifesto issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is an important document that is neither partisan nor an attempt to inflame sentiments on divisive issues.... Though non-Catholics, as well as many Catholics, may not agree with the church's beliefs, it is vital they stand in solidarity with its call for freedom.

"The blather about a fictional war on women has distracted the nation from the fact that....the rights of Catholics not to support activities that contradict their faith is under siege. The issue, as the bishops rightly put it, is not so much whether Catholics are allowed to gather in their churches or pray as they like at home but whether they and their institutions are to go on being permitted to participate in our national life.

"The principle at stake here is one in which it is clear that if the government gives itself the right to impose practices that contradict religious principles in this manner, it will fundamentally alter what the bishops rightly call our 'first, most precious liberty' of freedom of religion.

"As unfortunate as this movement to infringe upon religious liberty is, what is most distressing is the way the church has been largely allowed to face these attacks on its own....

"The bishops write, 'To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other.' The same sentence applies to Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Mormons and any other group including atheists who should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics in defense of religious freedom" (Jewish World Review, 4/16/12).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our modern day Al Smith; the Rick Santorum of his generation

Rick Santorum recently reminded us that "It Is Hard to Be Catholic in Public Life."


In accepting the nomination for President, Al Smith offered the reminder that "We must have people of character and outstanding ability to serve the nation." His words were largely ignored:



  • "By any measure, Alfred E. Smith, the Democratic candidate against Herbert C. Hoover in 1928, had a formidable record....Smith should have been an impressive candidate, but the electorate had several problems with him....Their foremost objection...was to his religion: Smith was a devout Roman Catholic....The Ku Klux Klan became actively involved in preventing a Catholic from ever getting near the White House, going all out to defeat Smith....Smith lost that year, badly....What really broke the governor’s heart, however, was that his own beloved home state thoroughly rejected him; New York went for Hoover, and outside of the five boroughs, only a scant four counties returned for Smith" (When a Catholic Terrified the Heartland, NY Times, 12/10/11).

There is a popular notion that anti-Catholicism faded away with the election of John F. Kennedy. Yet in his famed speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, Rick Santorum has rightly noted that JFK threw his Catholicism "under the bus" (my wording, not his):



  • "I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair....

    "I want a Chief Executive...whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation....

    "I ask you...to judge me on the basis of 14 years in the Congress, on my declared stands against an Ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools....

    "I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views -- in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

    "But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise."
    ]

Rick Santorum has also noted that New York Governor Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech at Notre Dame (often cited as masterful) popularized the dopey notion that it's OK for a Catholic to be "personally opposed" to abortion but promote it in the public square! Yet Cuomo ignored the Natural Law and seemed to intimate that issues of human life and marriage/family were mere Catholic peccadillos.


    Rick Santorum showed willingness to engage the culture on the destructiveness of contraception - fortitude that is rarely even seen from the pulpit. Truly Rick Santorum has shown himself to be our modern day Al Smith. Yet, it's more accurate to note that Al Smith was the Rick Santorum of his generation.




      "Many generations are never called to do great things, make great sacrifices to maintain liberty. We are the fortunate ones who have the opportunity not only preserve but build on the founders' vision of freedom supported by virtue which in turn is supported by a vibrant faith -- a mutually strengthening interface of church and state that with respect and our collective effort will keep America that beacon of hope, that shining city on the hill. May God continue to bless our country. May we do our part to carry the torch of freedom and pass it successfully to the next generation" (Rick Santorum, 3/30/12).

      Saturday, April 14, 2012

      "For a Civilization of Love" / "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty"

      As per the Conclusion ("For a Civilzation of Love") of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



      • "Above all, the pastoral activity of the Church in the social sector must bear witness to the truth of the human person....

        "Faced with the many situations involving fundamental & indispensable moral duties, it must be remembered that Christian witness is to be considered a fundamental obligation that can even lead to the sacrificing of one's life, to martyrdom in the name of love and human dignity [Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, 39: AAS 81 (1989), 466-468.]....

        “Unfortunately, even in democratic societies, there still remain expressions of secular intolerance that are hostile to granting any kind of political or cultural relevance to religious faiths…. These attitudes even go so far, and radically so, as to deny the basis of a natural morality. This denial, which is the harbinger of a moral anarchy with the obvious consequence of the stronger prevailing over the weaker, cannot be accepted in any form by legitimate pluralism, since it undermines the very foundations of human society”


      As per Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,



      • "To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary....

        "As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad....

        "Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about his worry that religious liberty in the United States is being weakened. He called it the 'most cherished of American freedoms'—and indeed it is. All the more reason to heed the warning of the Holy Father, a friend of America and an ally in the defense of freedom, in his recent address to American bishops:



          'Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

          'Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.2....

        "Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans....

        "If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith....

        "A recent letter to President Obama from some sixty religious leaders, including Christians of many denominations and Jews, argued that 'it is emphatically not only Catholics who deeply object to the requirement that health plans they purchase must provide coverage of contraceptives that include some that are abortifacients.'13....

        "we recommend to our brother bishops that we focus 'all the energies the Catholic community can muster' in a special way this coming summer....

        "we propose a special 'fortnight for freedom,' in which bishops in their own dioceses might arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending our first freedom. Our Catholic institutions also could be encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths, and indeed, all who wish to defend our most cherished freedom.

        "We suggest that the fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to this 'fortnight for freedom'—a great hymn of prayer for our country....

        "we also urge that the Solemnity of Christ the King—a feast born out of resistance to totalitarian incursions against religious liberty—be a day specifically employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here and abroad.

        "To all our fellow Catholics, we urge an intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty."(USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty)

      HB 1977 / SB 3

      Dear Representative Turzai, Senator Pillegi, and Governor Corbett,

      The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has supported An Act amending Title 40 (Insurance) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for compliance with Federal health care legislation (SB 3 / HB 1977):



      • "SB 3 assures all Pennsylvanians covered by an exchange health plan that they will not be forced to pay a separate premium to cover elective abortion. Without SB 3, every person enrolled (man or woman) in a plan within the Pennsylvania state exchange would be required to make a payment to fund elective abortion coverage for others" (undated).


      • "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" (12/20/11).

      After passing both houses and with us presently having a pro life governor, I do not understand why this legislation has not moved along quickly for Governor Corbett's signature. I fear that we are seeing a quiet acquiescence to those, such as Planned Parenthood, who are intent on seeing abortion coverage in the future Pennsylvania health insurance exchange:



      • "PPSP is working with two coalitions at the state and regional level, Pennsylvanians for Choice and Raising Women's Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, to ensure that women's reproductive health care is not compromised during health care reform implementation efforts at the state level. Currently, PPSP is fighting a proposed ban on insurance plans from covering abortion procedures in Pennsylvania's state exchange, slated to be available for enrollment in 2014. The ban would drastically restrict Pennsylvania women's access to abortion services leaving women worse off than they currently are. Senate Bill 3 passed out of the PA Senate in June and will move to the PA House....House Bill 1977...passed out of the PA House and now moves to the PA Senate for consideration."

      Please expedite this vital legislation.


      Sincerely,

      Sunday, April 8, 2012

      Social Doctrine & Ecclesial Action

      Dear Representatives & Senators,


      Please note that, at his request, this email is NOT being sent to State Representative Steve Santarsiero (With Catholics making up 66.3% of Bucks County, it is incredible that Rep. Santarsiero is so willing to turn a blatant deaf ear to his constituents.). Whether or not our elected officials are Catholic, don't they want to know what our Church teaches about our roles in the social & political spheres? As per Chapter 12 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



      • “'It belongs to the layman, without waiting passively for orders and directives, to take the initiative freely and to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws and structures of the community in which they live' [Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 81: AAS 59 (1967), 296-297.].... "With special reference to local realities, the Bishop is responsible for promoting the teaching and diffusion of the Church's social doctrine....

        "The essential characteristic of the lay faithful who work in the Lord's vineyard (cf. Mt 20:1-16) is the secular nature of their Christian discipleship, which is carried out precisely in the world....

        "The lay faithful should act according to the dictates of prudence, the virtue that makes it possible to discern the true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means for achieving it....
        “Promoting human dignity implies above all affirming the inviolability of the right to life, from conception to natural death, the first among all rights and the condition for all other rights of the person[Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Donum Vitae, (22 February 1987): AAS 80 (1988), 70-102.]….

        "In the present cultural context, there is a particularly urgent need to defend marriage and the family, which can be adequately met only if one is convinced of the unique & singular value of these two realities for an authentic development of human society[Cf. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 42-48: AAS 74 (1982), 134-140.]….

        “When the religious dimension of the person or of a people is denied, culture itself starts to die off, sometimes disappearing completely….
        “Faced with the many situations involving fundamental and indispensable moral duties, it must be remembered that Christian witness is to be considered a fundamental obligation that can even lead to the sacrificing of one's life....

        “to deny the basis of a natural morality….is the harbinger of a moral anarchy with the obvious consequence of the stronger prevailing over the weaker….it undermines the very foundations of human society"

      Thursday, April 5, 2012

      The Promotion of Peace / candidate info from the Pa Catholic Conf

      As per Chapter 11 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,



      • “The peace of Christ is in the first place reconciliation with the Father, which is brought about by the ministry Jesus entrusted to his disciples and which begins with the proclamation of peace.... Peace is then reconciliation with one's brothers and sisters, for in the prayer that Jesus taught us, the 'Our Father', the forgiveness that we ask of God is linked to the forgiveness that we grant to our brothers and sisters....

        “Working for peace can never be separated from announcing the Gospel....Peace is not merely the absence of war, nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies.[Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 78: AAS 58 (1966), 1101-1102.] Rather it is founded on a correct understanding of the human person [Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 51: AAS 83 (1991), 856-857.] & requires the establishment of an order based on justice & charity….

        "Seeking alternative solutions to war for resolving international conflicts has taken on tremendous urgency today....

        “States do not always possess adequate means to provide effectively for their own defence, from this derives the need & importance of international & regional organizations, which should be in a position to work together to resolve conflicts & promote peace [Cf. John XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), 288-289.]....

        "A war of aggression is intrinsically immoral....To be licit, the use of force must correspond to certain strict conditions:
        'the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave and certain;
        all other means… must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
        there must be serious prospects of success;
        the use of arms must not produce evils & disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.
        The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition. These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the ‘just war’ doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good'. [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2309.]

        "If this responsibility justifies the possession of sufficient means to exercise this right to defence, States still have the obligation to do everything possible 'to ensure that the conditions of peace exist, not only within their own territory but throughout the world'.[Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The International Arms Trade. An ethical reflection (1 May 1994), ch. 1, 6: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City 1994, p. 13.]....

        “engaging in a preventive war without clear proof that an attack is imminent cannot fail to raise serious moral & juridical questions. International legitimacy for the use of armed force, on the basis of rigorous assessment & with well-founded motivations, can only be given by the decision of a competent body that identifies specific situations as threats to peace & authorizes an intrusion into the sphere of autonomy usually reserved to a State….

        “Every member of the armed forces is morally obliged to resist orders that call for perpetrating crimes against the law of nations & the universal principles of this law.[Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2313.]....

        “The principle of humanity inscribed in the conscience of every person and all peoples includes the obligation to protect civil populations from the effects of war....

        “The twentieth century bears the tragic mark of different genocides:
        from that of the Armenians
        to that of the Ukrainians,
        from that of the Cambodians
        to those perpetrated in Africa
        and in the Balkans. Among these,
        the Holocaust of the Jewish people, the Shoah, stands out....
        The international community as a whole has the moral obligation to intervene on behalf of those groups whose very survival is threatened or whose basic human rights are seriously violated....if all other available means should prove ineffective, it is 'legitimate & even obligatory to take concrete measures to disarm the aggressor'. [John Paul II, Message for the 2000 World Day of Peace, 11: AAS 92 (2000), 363.]....

        "Sanctions, in the forms prescribed by the contemporary international order, seek to correct the behaviour of the government of a country that violates the rules of peaceful and ordered international coexistence or that practises serious forms of oppression with regard to its population. The purpose of these sanctions must be clearly defined and the measures adopted must from time to time be objectively evaluated by the competent bodies of the international community as to their effectiveness and their real impact on the civilian population. The true objective of such measures is open to the way to negotiation & dialogue. Sanctions must never be used as a means for the direct punishment of an entire population ....An economic embargo must be of limited duration & cannot be justified when the resulting effects are indiscriminate….

        "Any excessive stockpiling or indiscriminate trading in arms cannot be morally justified. Such phenomena must also be evaluated in light of international norms regarding the non-proliferation, production, trade and use of different types of arms....

        “Policies of nuclear deterrence, typical of the Cold War period, must be replaced with concrete measures of disarmament based on dialogue and multilateral negotiations….

        “'Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God & man himself. It merits unequivocal & unhesitating condemnation'. [Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 80: AAS 58 (1966), 1104.]….

        “Disarmament must include the banning of weapons that inflict excessively traumatic injury or that strike indiscriminately....

        “Appropriate measures are needed to control the production, sale, importation & exportation of small arms & light weapons, armaments that facilitate many outbreaks of violence to occur. The sale & trafficking of such weapons constitute a serious threat to peace....

        “The use of children & adolescents as soldiers in armed conflicts — despite the fact that their young age should bar them from being recruited —must be condemned....

        "Terrorism is one of the most brutal forms of violence traumatizing the international community today....The targets of terrorist attacks are generally places of daily life and not military objectives in the context of a declared war....Nor must we overlook the causes that can lead to such unacceptable forms of making demands. The fight against terrorism presupposes the moral duty to help create those conditions that will prevent it from arising or developing….

        “Terrorism is to be condemned in the most absolute terms. It shows complete contempt for human life and can never be justified, since the human person is always an end and never a means....

        “It is a profanation & a blasphemy to declare oneself a terrorist in God's name.[Cf. John Paul II, Address to Representatives from the World of Culture, Art & Science, Astana, Kazakhstan (24 September 2001), 5: L'Osservatore Romano, English ed., 26 Sept. 2001, p. 7.]....Martyrdom cannot be the act of a person who kills in the name of God....

        "The promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the Church's mission of continuing Christ's work of redemption on earth....Moved solely by this faith, the Church intends to promote the unity of Christians and a fruitful cooperation with believers of other religions....

        “The Church teaches that true peace is made possible only through forgiveness & reconciliation.[Cf. John Paul II, Message for the 2002 World Day of Peace, 9: AAS 94 (2002), 136-137; John Paul II, Message for the 2004 World Day of Peace, 10: AAS 96 (2004), 121.]....

        “Mutual forgiveness must not eliminate the need for justice & still less does it block the path that leads to truth. On the contrary, justice & truth represent the concrete requisites for reconciliation....

        “It is through prayer that the Church engages in the battle for peace....

        “The World Days of Peace are particularly intense moments of prayer for peace and for the commitment to build a world of peace."

      As per recent Pennsylvania Catholic Conference mailings....

      Sunday, April 1, 2012

      "It Is Hard to Be Catholic in Public Life" (Rick Santorum, 3/30/12)

      "Of all the great and necessary freedoms listed in the First Amendment, freedom to exercise religion (not just to believe, but to live out that belief) is the most important; before freedom of speech, before freedom of the press, before freedom of assembly, before freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, before all others.

      "This freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, is the trunk from which all other branches of freedom on our great tree of liberty get their life....

      "JFK delivered a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association to dispel suspicions about the role the Catholic church might play in the government of this country under his administration. Let's make no mistake about it -- Kennedy was addressing a real issue and real prejudice at the time. But on that day, Kennedy chose not just to dispel fear, he chose to expel faith....


        [A few snippets from what Kennedy said that night....

        "I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair....

        "I want a Chief Executive...whose fulfillment of his Presidential office is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual, or obligation....

        "I ask you...to judge me on the basis of 14 years in the Congress, on my declared stands against an Ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools....

        "I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views -- in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

        "But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise."
        ]
      "The idea of strict or absolute separation of church and state is not and never was the American model....While the phrase 'separation of church and state' doesn't appear in the Constitution, the concept of protecting religion from the government does....

      "Kennedy's misuse of the phrase constructed a high barrier that ultimately would keep religious convictions out of politics in a place where our founders had intended just the opposite....

      "Ultimately Kennedy's attempt to reassure Protestants that the Catholic Church would not control the government and suborn its independence advanced a philosophy of strict separation that would create a purely secular public square cleansed of all religious wisdom and the voice of religious people of all faiths....

      "I agree with the founders that there is a natural law which can be known through the exercise of reason against which the positive or civil law must be measured and if needed amended....

      "a major political offshoot of Kennedy's articulated philosophy, sometimes referred to as the 'privatization of faith,' was best illustrated by Mario Cuomo's speech at Notre Dame in September 1984. There he espoused his nuanced position on abortion: that, as a result of his religious convictions he was personally opposed to abortion. But he then applies Kennedy's thesis and refrains from imposing his values upon others whose views, because the truth is indiscernible, are equally valid....


        [A few snippets from what Cuomo said that night....

        "Catholic public officials take an oath to preserve the Constitution....And they do so gladly, not because they love what others do with their freedom, but because they realize that in guaranteeing freedom for all, they guarantee our right to be Catholics: our right to pray, our right to use the sacraments, to refuse birth control devices, to reject abortion, not to divorce and remarry if we believe it to be wrong....We know that the price of seeking to force our belief on others is that they might someday force their belief on us [This argument ignored the Natural Law & seemed to intimate that issues of human life & marriage/family were just peculiar Catholic peccadillos.]....

        "I can, if I am so inclined, demand some kind of law against abortion, not because my bishops say it is wrong, but because I think that the whole community, regardless of its religious beliefs, should agree on the importance of protecting life -- including life in the womb, which is at the very least potentially human & should not be extinguished casually [Take note of this "potentially human" heresy against science.]....

        "The values derived from religious belief will not -- and should not -- be accepted as part of the public morality unless they are shared by the pluralistic community at large, by consensus. So that the fact that values happen to be religious values does not deny them acceptability as part of this consensus. But it does not require their acceptability, either [This seems to have become the game plan for so-called "pro-choice" Catholic politicians. Act as though questions about human life & marriage/family are just peculiar Catholic peccadillos. Ignore the existence of the Natural Law.]....

        "On divorce and birth control, without changing its moral teaching, the Church abides the civil law as it now stands, thereby accepting -- without making much of a point of it -- that in our pluralistic society we are not required to insist that all our religious values be the law of the land. The bishops are not demanding a constitutional amendment for birth control or on adultery" [In fairness to Cuomo, errors of prudential judgment by some of the hierarchy, as well as the presence of a Catholic priest in the U.S. Congress(See below.) may have misled him. In addition, we have come to learn that some of what was - & is - passed off as "contraceptive" is actually abortifacient.]


          Many modern Catholics may be unaware that - from 1971 till 1981 - Father Robert Drinan, S.J. served in the United States House of Representatives. They might be absolutely shocked and scanalized to learn that this Jesuit priest / congressman was a zealous advocate for abortion & advocated for partial birth abortion after leaving congress!


            "Drinan's position has always been that he fully accepted Catholic teaching on the subject [of abortion.]. However, even before the [1973 Roe v. Wade] Supreme Court decision he had supported, with increasing passionate intensity, every proposal to make the procedure legal and to fund it with tax money....Shortly after Roe v Wade, Drinan wrote a public defense of the decision, recognizing that it had flaws but finding it on the whole a beneficial judgment. He then proceeded, over the next several years, to compile an almost perfect pro-abortion voting record in Congress, often speaking passionately about a woman's 'constitutional right' to abort, even while stating that this right went completely contrary to his own conscience. If Drinan’s superiors, prior to l973, had found practically no one who criticized the priest’s presence in Congress, they now found themselves barraged with statements of outrage from all kinds of people, including other Catholic members of Congress" (Catholic World News, 7/1/96)
      "Many generations are never called to do great things, make great sacrifices to maintain liberty. We are the fortunate ones who have the opportunity not only preserve but build on the founders' vision of freedom supported by virtue which in turn is supported by a vibrant faith -- a mutually strengthening interface of church and state that with respect and our collective effort will keep America that beacon of hope, that shining city on the hill. May God continue to bless our country. May we do our part to carry the torch of freedom and pass it successfully to the next generation" (Rick Santorum, 3/30/12).




        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