In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Tale of Superheroes: Chen Guangcheng & Christian Bale

Last December, "Famed Batman star Christian Bale...traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng. The actor never got the chance, however, as he was roughed up and forced away from Chen’s village by Chinese government officials, according to a CNN report....Chen Guangcheng exposed the systematic use of forced abortion and sterilization in Linyi City in 2005" (, 12/16/11).

As reported this past May by,

    "Chinese officials have allowed forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng to apply to leave the country and study abroad at a university in the United States....

    "the Chinese government has subjected men and women to forced abortions, sterilzations, home detention and imprisonment, taken away their jobs and benefits and fined them for violating the nation’s one child policy....documents Chen Guangcheng compiled place the focus squarely on why China subjected him to years of house arrest: brutal forced abortions....

    "'In the astonishment surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s extraordinary escape from house arrest, let us not forget why he was arrested,' [Reggie] Littlejohn [president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers] told LifeNews. 'In 2006, Chen exposed the Chinese government’s systematic, massive use of forced abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy”'" (5/4/12).
As explained by the Wall Street Journal, "In an online campaign calling for Chen Guangcheng's release, hundreds of Internet users uploaded photos of themselves wearing sunglasses in imitation of the blind activist" (5/2/12)

Almost a year after he attempted to visit Guangcheng in China, Christian Bale had the opportunity to bestow a human rights award upon the pro life activist.

As reported by the Catholic News Agency,
  • "Hollywood actor Christian Bale presented a human rights award to Chinese pro-life advocate Chen Guangcheng for fighting forced abortions in China, praising him as a courageous and inspirational figure....Chen was the 2012 Human Rights Award Honoree at an Oct. 25 gala in New York City hosted by Human Rights First, an organization that challenges the United States to live up to its ideals.  Bale met the blind human rights activist for the first time at the gala. The Batman star had previously attempted to visit Chen during his time in house arrest but was roughed up and turned away by plainclothes guards."

"The method of conception doesn't change the definition of life."

Somehow or other, there will be some Catholics voting for Obama on November 6th.  Yet, the Obama Campaign makes absolutely no secret of its disdain for those with consistently pro life positions:
The Obama Campaign is in full attack mode against recent comments by candidate Richard Mourdock: "Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." [The criminal is NOT the innocent pre born child but the rapist!  Here's a man daring to speak the truth, "whether it is convenient or inconvenient," in a time "when people will not tolerate sound doctrine...and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths."]

The Obama Campaign shows its absolutely pro death extremism, in its attack on the words of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan: "The method of conception doesn't change the definition of life" [Bravo Paul Ryan!!!].

Judie Brown, founder of the American Life Leage and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has long been like "the voice of one crying out in the desert."  While others remain silent, she dares to speak the truth amidst terrifying hatred toward vulnerable human life and the character of those who come to the defense of our vulnerable brothers and sisters:

  • "First it was Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin who defended the lives of innocent preborn children created during the vicious act of rape. Now it’s Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who has done the same—and the media is going nuts...."And while it is clear to pro-life Americans that both of these men have taken positions consistent with their pro-life philosophy, it is not so with the mainstream media. CNN, among others, has labeled such statements as forms of extremism....

    "men like Akin and Mourdock are making it possible for the glimmering lights of truth and reason to shine through.

    "We are obligated to grasp these opportunities and expand on the teaching moments they provide. By sharing simple, humane explanations that defy the illogic of pro-abort apologists, we will appeal to those who see beyond the 'issue' to have a glimpse of the human baby....

    "An extremist is a radical who possesses a rabid rhetoric that is designed to instill fear, uncertainty, and instability among those who are not well grounded in facts. This is the role into which CNN, many other media, and more than a few politicians have willingly stepped in an effort to protect decriminalized abortion at all costs. And if that requires lies and misleading statements, so be it they say.

    "Oh really? Well we say no! Now is the time to meet the real victim of abortion and to understand that whether he is created during a violent act such as rape or incest, in a petri dish, or through the loving embrace of a couple, he is an individual who possesses every shred of integrity that you and I do.

    "Extremism is a practice, an excuse for defending the indefensible; being pro-life on the other hand is a prudent, sensible way of living life to the fullest. We have the advantage; let us use it."
The document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States identifies Seven Key Themes of Catholic Social Teaching, which are not always well understood...
* The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person
* Call to Family, Community, and Participation
* Rights and Responsibilities
* Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
* Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
* Solidarity
* Caring for God’s Creation

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fwd: A message for Catholic voters

All of us need to take a good long look in the mirror....

Your Excellency:

The long, sad tale of Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3 starts before your September 2011 arrival in Philadelphia.  Designed to prevent Pennsylvania tax payer funding of abortion in "Obamacare," SB 3 was approved by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in January 2011 and passed by the full Senate in June 2011, by a vote of 37 to 12.  Rather than simply put SB 3 up for a vote in the House, an identical bill - HB 1977 - was instead put up for a vote and passed by the House in December 2011, by a vote of 146 to 45

With the promise of the governor's signature, pro life advocates assumed that the House and Senate would work together and get this abortion "opt out" legislation signed!  Yet for all intents and purposes, the story ended in December 2011.  The legislative session ended last week, and Pennsylvania still lacks "opt out" legislation - despite its being passed by the Senate and the House and having the promise of the governor's signature!  Truth be told, we were played for fools.  When our Lord told us to be "shrewd as serpents and simple as doves" (Matthew 10: 16), He certainly was not advocating gullibility.

I believe that each and every one of us needs to take a good long look in the mirror.  How is it that we let this gift-wrapped opportunity get by us?  Well, a lot of Catholics missed the boat on SB 3's importance.  I believe that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's advocacy on this matter should have been abundantly more powerful and more visible.  I also believe that when we have providers of abortifacients advertising in parish bulletins and practitioners of absolutely immoral practices allowed priveleges in our Catholic hospitals, the credibility and seriousness of our commitment to human life comes across as suspect.  Catholics get the notion that this is simply no big deal.   Your Excellency, I am requesting that you release a statement, to condemn the disingenuousness of what transpired with SB 3.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Al Smith Dinner: How Did It Play with NYC's 3 Major Dailies?

Your Emminence,

The crux of the numerous objections to your hosting President Obama at the Al Smith Dinner was that the wrong message would inadvertently be sent.  With photos of you yucking it up with the president, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to take the USCCB seriously, when it proclaims that Obama stands opposed to human life, marriage/family, and the Church.  Judged by yesterday's coverage by NYC's 3 major dailies (i.e., the Daily News, the Post, and the Times), that fear was fell founded indeed!

Your Emminence, is that really MSNBC's Chris Matthews sitting right behind President Obama?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Almost laughably, the Obama Campaign (Click the image) is trying to make an issue of Romney talking about defunding PBS and making Big Bird into a victim!  I guess they don't realize that Big Bird is BIG business in Lower Bucks! 

Sesame wants the Obama Campaign to cut it out!
Instead of preparing for Thursday's debate, Joe is right in the middle of the action!

--- On Tue, 10/9/12, Joe Biden wrote:

From: Joe Biden
Subject: The only way Mitt Romney beats Barack Obama...
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 2:03 PM

Friend --

In two days, when I shake Paul Ryan's hand onstage before the vice presidential debate, his side will be halfway through a $23 million week-long ad blitz attacking Barack in 10 battleground states.

Our organizers on the ground are going to be busy counteracting that.

But the fact is our organizing depends on budgets and those budgets depend on you, right now. This campaign needs to make critical decisions this week, and with just 28 days to go, there's no "I'll get to it later." If you've been waiting for the right moment to chip in, now is the time.

Can you donate $5 or more today? That's just 18 cents for each day we have left -- making sure our folks on the ground have the resources they need to get this done.

The only way someone like Mitt Romney -- who gets fact-checked by his own campaign on his health care plan, thinks Sesame Street deserves tougher treatment than Wall Street, and wrote off half of the country when he thought no one was listening -- beats someone like Barack Obama is if you and I don't step it up when it really matters.

Because Barack and I cannot do this alone.

We need you and it's always been that way.

It's more important now than at any point in this campaign that our grassroots organization is strong and ready to fight alongside us. Your donation helps more now, when we're making some of the most important budget decisions in this race, than it can later. Now's the time to step up and take ownership of this campaign.

If you can, please donate $5 or more today:

Thanks for everything, seriously.


P.S. -- Four weeks from today, this election will be over. We'll know whether we did enough -- or if we needed to do more. Chip in today.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

re: Patrick Murphy's "The Catholic Vote: Honor Our Nation's Highest Ideals"

I recently had the chance to visit the Sistine Chapel and gaze on artistic masterpieces - particularly the most celebrated "paint job" in the history of ceilings!  Whether Catholic or non-Catholic, theistic or atheistic, gazing on such scenes as Michelangelo's Creation of Adam and Creation of Eve can be absolutely inspiring and lead to a profound appreciation for God's own artistic masterpieces (i.e., each human being from the moment that the sperm joins the egg, until natural death)!  Respect for the sanctity of human life is not some sort of sectarian, "Catholic thing" but a mandate written on all of our hearts.
For Catholics and those with the same cycle of liturgical readings, the Creation of Eve was also recalled on October 7th.  Recognizing his true partner among God's creations, Adam is ecstatic: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!"  The reading concludes: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body."
Almost since the beginning, men have messed up the leaving the "father and mother," clinging to the wife and becoming "one body" arrangement; they've betrayed their wives and dallied in sexual sins of all sorts.  Yet when leaders asked for marital loopholes in the Gospel reading for October 7th, Jesus called humanity back to the "leaving the 'father and mother,' clinging to the wife and becoming 'one body' arrangement."
In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued a letter on the sanctity of human life, also calling humanity back to that "leaving the 'father and mother,' clinging to the wife and becoming 'one body' arrangement." Largely because it confirmed that contraceptives were to be rejected (even by married couples), Humanae Vitae was rejected in its entirety by countless Catholics (including many nuns, priests, and bishops).  Forty-four years later, Paul VI's warnings about destroyed marriages/families, widespread disregard for human life, and governments attempting to impose coercive population control seem prophetic. 
Early in his own pontificate, the late John Paul the Great, dedicated five years of general audiences to getting humanity to appreciate his predecessor's message (Those audiences are known as his Theology of the Body.).  More recently, the Vatican issued an instruction, Dignitas Personae, which reiterated that each new human being is owed uncompromising respect and has the right to originate in the loving embrace of mom and dad, who are married to each other.
Some Catholics try erroneously to infer that Catholic teachings about the sanctity of human life and marriage/family are just for "conservatives," while more hip Catholics can focus on "social teaching."  Such misunderstanding and/or misrepresenation is abundantly evident in an op ed by our former congressman (cf, Patrick Murphy, The Catholic Vote: Honor Our Nation's Highest Ideals, 10/5/12).  Though he speaks of the "sanctity of life" and describes himself as a "faithful Catholic," Patrick Murphy had a 0% pro life voting record as a member of the 111th Congress (National Catholic Register, 12/7/10).

If he is receptive to learning the truth, a study of the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church would make clear to Patrick that Catholic teachings on human life, marriage/family, and social issues are absolutely interconnected!  While he singles Paul Ryan out for criticism, it is ironic that Ryan has shown an appreciation of - and familiarity with - the Compendium (cf., Paul Ryan, Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, 4/25/12). 

Recent comments by our archbishop seem to anticipate Patrick Murphy's errors:
  • "I certainly can’t vote for somebody who’s either pro-choice or pro-abortion....Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell. Period. There’s just no doubt about it. That has to be a foundational concern of Catholics and of all Christians. But Jesus didn’t say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments. Anybody who would condemn someone because of their position on taxes is making a leap that I can’t make as a say that it’s somehow intrinsically evil like abortion doesn’t make any sense at all" (Archbishop Chaput, 9/14/12).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Patrick, ...the time has long since past for you to start wearing your big boy pants."

Whatever Courier Times readers think about so-called "abortion rights" and whether society should change the definition of marriage, the positions of the Catholic Church on these matters are quite clear. 

As the Catholic Church receives enormous criticism for these unchanging and unchangeable positions, it would be difficult to believe that any reasonably informed Catholic adult could be ignorant of them.  Hence, it boggles the mind that our former congressman identifies himself as "an active parishioner of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bristol" and a "faithful Catholic" (Patrick Murphy, The Catholic Vote: Honor Our Nation's Highest Ideals, 10/5/12).  It is certainly incumbent upon the pastor of St. Ann’s to address those public errors by any member of his flock that are a source of scandal.

Patrick Murphy has never offered a public statement to renounce his positions on promoting so-called "abortion rights" and changes in the definition of marriage.  While his op ed actually acknowledges the alarms sounded by our bishops, Patrick also dismisses Catholic concern about threats to religious liberty and/or conscience protections, emanating from the Affordable Care Act.  His op ed seemingly tries to equate criticisms of the budget proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan with Catholic opposition to so-called "abortion rights," changing the definition of marriage, and assaults on religious liberty.

Comments made last month by our archbishop seemed to anticipate Patrick Murphy's erroneous version of Catholicism:
  • "I certainly can’t vote for somebody who’s either pro-choice or pro-abortion....As an individual and voter I have deep personal concerns about any party that supports changing the definition of marriage, supports abortion in all circumstances, wants to restrict the traditional understanding of religious freedom....

    "Jesus tells us very clearly that if we don’t help the poor, we’re going to go to hell. Period. There’s just no doubt about it. That has to be a foundational concern of Catholics and of all Christians. But Jesus didn’t say the government has to take care of them, or that we have to pay taxes to take care of them. Those are prudential judgments.  Anybody who would condemn someone because of their position on taxes is making a leap that I can’t make as a say that it’s somehow intrinsically evil like abortion doesn’t make any sense at all" (Archbishop Chaput, National Catholic Reporter, 9/14/12).
Coments from the bishop of Springfield, Illinois were even more pointed:
  • “the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion ‘regardless of the ability to pay’....[and] same-sex marriage....There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils....People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins....

    “I have read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin....One might argue for different methods in the platform to address the needs of the poor, to feed the hungry and to solve the challenges of immigration, but these are prudential judgments about the most effective means of achieving morally desirable ends, not intrinsic evils....

    “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy” (Bishop Paprocki, 9/23/12)
The words of the Apostle Paul come to mind: "When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things" (1 Corinthians 13: 11).  Patrick, the positions of the Catholic Church should be abundantly clear to any faithful Catholic adult, and the time has long since past for you to start wearing your big boy pants.

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Our representation in D.C....

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