In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SB 3: We took our eyes off the ball!

Pennsylvania SB 3 was designed to prevent tax payer funding of at least some abortions in "Obamacare" and was passed by the Pa Senate in June 2011, by a vote of 37 to 12.  In addition to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, this vital abortion "opt out" legislation enjoyed the backing of the Pennsylvania Family Institute and the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation.

Rather than just run SB 3 in the House, the identical HB 1977 was run and  passed by the Pa House in December 2011, by a vote of 146 to 45.  As we had the promise of the governor's signature on this abortion "opt out" legislation, we naively assumed that the Senate, House, and governor would work things out and get the deal done.  We took our eyes off the ball!

Somehow or other, the legislative session ended with Pennsylvania still lacking "opt out" legislation!

We were played for fools. With election results in, the seriousness of this back alley rebuke to faithful Catholics and other pro life Pennsylvanians should be abundantly clear!


We apparently underestimated the influence of the powerful forces working against passage of abortion ""opt out" legislation, such as ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Women's Law Project.  A 6/4/12 ACLU memo to its board of directors is particularly telling
  • "Reproductive rights (HB 1077, HB 1977/SB 3, HB 2405): There has been little-to-no activity  around these bills for months. HB 1077, the bill to mandate an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion, hit a wall when it was voted out of committee, and the resulting controversy may have crippled the chances of the bills to block insurance coverage of abortion in the exchange created by healthcare reform, HB 1977 and SB 3.  We remain vigilant, however. In May, Rep. Metcalfe introduced HB 2405, a bill to block state funding of clinics that provide abortion care. State law already blocks the use of state funds for abortion, but this bill would go further by also prohibiting state funds for the other care those clinics provide, such as ob-gyn services, cancer screenings, etc. The main motivation of the bill is to stop state funds from going to our friends at Planned Parenthood. In an intriguing twist, the bill was not referred to the House Health Committee, which is chaired by anti-choice crusader Matt Baker, but to the House Rules Committee, which is chaired by House Majority Leader Mike Turzai."
In other words, the ACLU was encouraged when pro life legislation was NOT put in the hands of a pro life leader and was instead put in the hands of House majority leader Mike Turzai!  It certainly appears that we were played for fools by Mike Turzai.


Tell Governor Corbett (<governor@pa.gov>; 717 787 2500) that he needs to call members of the House back to finish their jobs and vote on SB 3!







Monday, November 12, 2012

Yet again, the fort's "been betrayed even by those who should have defended it."

When Henry VIII ascended the throne in the 16th century, Christopher Check tells us that "the faith was vigorous in merry old England. Whereas heresies had brought war to France and Bohemia, and clerical scandals had plagued the whole continent, Henry inherited a country with a thriving Catholicism. The English nobility supported hundreds of monasteries that looked after the corporal needs of the poor and the spiritual needs of all English souls....All this, Henry would destroy."

Though a well practiced adulterer, Henry had remained in communion with the Church.  Yet in the midst of his affair with Anne Boleyn, Henry conveniently decided that his marriage to Catherine (Katharine) of Aragon could not be valid.  In spite of Henry's theological rationalizations, the Pope had the audacity to NOT grant Henry an annulment!  King that he was, Henry eventually decided to have himself declared "Supreme Head" of the Church in England.

Christopher Check rhetorically asks, "How could Henry, a man of such learning, fail to see such obvious contradictions in his own schemes? The answer is in St. Thomas Aquinas, who reminds us that lust darkens the powers of reason: 'Unchastity's firstborn daughter is blindness of the spirit' [Translation: "Sin makes you stupid."]"....Check continues....

  • "to get the pope's attention, Henry, with a complicit Parliament, attacked the whole English clergy....Charged with praemunire, a kind of treason, the clergy were forced to pay Henry a sum of 100,000 pounds to purchase a pardon for the imagined offense and were forced to acknowledge Henry as the 'protector and Supreme head of the Church in England'....[Later] came the Submission of the Clergy....The Archbishop of Canterbury, William Warham, prepared a stirring rejection of this suppression of Church authority, but he failed to deliver it in Parliament, prompting Bishop Fisher [i.e., Saint John Fisher] to tell More [i.e., Saint Thomas More] that the 'fort had been betrayed even by those who should have defended it' [emphasis added]...[In the end,] More than one thousand monasteries and convents were destroyed and monks and nuns turned out into the street....In destroying them, Henry introduced the modern welfare state. Once, the poor were cared for in dignity and charity by men and women religious....The suppression of the Church in England was the dress rehearsal for the French Revolution, the Italian Risorgimento, the Mexican Revolution, and the Spanish Civil War. Henry VIII's divorce is the reason America is a Protestant country."

Fast forward almost five hundred years and "across the pond"....

    "The most anti-Catholic American president ever scooped up the Catholic vote again, winning half of all Catholics....an impressive feat after four years of persecuting the Church....Almost four out of ten church-going Catholics voted for Obama and 55 percent of Catholics who go to Mass a 'few times a month' voted for him...."Once again, the bishops proved feckless and divided. Some bishops raised their voices against Obama; most didn't. Nor did the bishops counter Joe Biden's misrepresentations of 'Catholic social doctrine' and 'de fide' abortion teaching late in the campaign.  Plenty of mixed signals were sent: depending on which bishop was speaking, Biden and Paul Ryan were either equally good Catholics or equally bad ones. One bishop wrote to his flock to tell them that Ryan was as 'inconsistent' in his adherence to Church teaching as Biden. Such bishops served as useful idiots for Biden, who used a campaign commercial featuring images of a crucifix to sell voters on the idea that the Obama administration embodied Catholic social justice" (George Neumayr).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Get the Deal Done with SB 3 - "Keep the Devil Way Down in the Hole."

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 3 was designed to prevent tax payer funding of at least some "Obamacare" abortions.  Though SB 3 passed the Senate in June 2011, an identical bill (HB 1977) was put up in the House (rather than simply putting up SB 3) and passed in December 2011.  With the promise of the governor's signature awaiting, pro life advocates assumed the House and Senate would work together and get this abortion "opt out" legislation signed!  Yet, the legislative session ended with Pennsylvania still lacking "opt out" legislation!  We need our bishops and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference to demand that Governor Corbett call the legislators back for an emergency session.  We do not want to cooperate with Obamacare crimes against humanity.

It is chilling to realize that the president actually bought votes for re-election with the promise of free contraceptives and abortifacients.  In the "Devil's Advocate," Al Pacino - as Satan - terrifyingly proclaimed:
"I've nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have.
I cared about what he wanted, and I never judged him....
Who in their right mind...could possibly deny that the 20th century was entirely mine?....
It's my time now. It's our time."

Though he wrote and performed the song in a mocking, blasphemous manner, Tom Waits struck upon the only antidote to evil - keeping the devil "Way Down In The Hole" (1987):
"All the angels sing about Jesus' mighty sword
and they'll shield you with their wings
and keep you close to the lord
don't pay heed to temptation
for his hands are so cold
you gotta help me keep the devil
way down in the hole"

For those who pidgeon hole him as the patron of front lawns and family pets, it would come as a surprise to learn of one saint's success at keeping "the devil way down in the hole."  Francis of Assisi is both "one of the best known and least known of all saints...Francis of Assisi was not a garden gnome, or a doe-eyed hippy skipping with animals and hugging trees....He was meticulous in the ceremonials of the Mass, insisting that every sacred vessel and vestment be the best, and his Rule dismissed any friar who parted from the Pope on the slightest article of Faith....May Saint Francis be our model in how to deal with the threats of our own day: not enfeebled by sentimentality and relativism, but armed with a Franciscan zeal for the conversion of souls” (Father George Rutler, 9/30/12).

Just outside the walls of Assisi, a bare hermitage is nestled amidst incredible scenery: "St. Francis first began coming to the beautiful forest in 1205....Living in a cave, Saint Francis prayed fervently and did penance. Other men soon followed him to the mountain, finding their own caves in which to pray."  In describing a modern tour of the medieval hermitage, it is explained that "visitors look down at a quatrefoil-shaped hole in the smooth pink stone, called the 'Devil Hole,' which looks into the not-very-deep crevasse into which St. Francis is said to have tossed a troublesome demon that tempted Brother Rufino"  (Catholic Online, 11/4/11).  Tom Waits' song unwittingly touched upon this exorcism!
Please, please urge Archbishop Chaput and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, to demand that Governor Corbett call the legislature back into session, and get the deal done with SB 3!  With God's help, we can similarly keep the devil way down in the hole!  The president has to know that Pennsylvanians reject paying for abortions!

SB 3 and St. Catherine of Siena

First and foremost, all of us should have prayed harder! Personally, I know that I stand near the front of the line in those regards. Second, we should have been certain that all of our materials were absolutely accurate and comprehensive with regard to voting districts. Third, we would have absolutely benefited from forthright teaching on morals last Sunday - the archdiocese should have allowed the introduction to the seminary appeal to wait until this weekend....

There were six races common to all Bucks County voters. Other than with regard to voting for our congressman and auditor general, the identified pro life candidate was rejected by Bucks County in each of those races!  Yet somehow or other, few Catholics who opposed pro life candidates will have any reluctance to receive Holy Communion, today.  All of us share blame for failing to more forthrightly challenge our fellow Catholics, and all of us will be asked for an accounting on Judgement Day.  Yet Pope Pius XI's words in Casti Connubii remind me of why I am glad that I am not a priest: "if any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust"  Wow, do we need God's mercy!

As another battle awaits us, there is no time for us to lick our wounds.  Pennsylvania SB 3 was designed to prevent tax payer funding for at least some abortions in "Obamacare" and was passed in June 2011, by a vote of 37 to 12 (It was consistently supported by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.). 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 Governor Corbett's signature in hand, pro life advocates naively assumed that the House and Senate would work together and get this abortion "opt out" legislation signed! Yet the legislative session ended with Pennsylvania lacking "opt out" legislation! We were played for fools. With election results now in, the seriousness of this back alley rebuke to faithful Catholics and other pro life Pennsylvanians should be abundantly clear!


With the current crop of legislators still officially intact till January, we must petition our "pro life" governor to demand that legislators come back to Harrisburg for a special session and get the deal done with this vital pro life legislation.

Along with St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), the late John Paul the Great declared St. Catherine of Siena co-patroness of Europe on 10/1/99:
    "The hope of building a more just world, a world more worthy of the human person... must be coupled with an awareness that human efforts are of no avail if not accompanied by divine grace.... "Saint Catherine of Siena['s]...role in the unfolding history of the Church and also in the growing theological understanding of revelation has been recognized in significant ways, culminating in her proclamation as a Doctor of the Church....Many people, including members of the clergy, gathered around her and became her disciples, recognizing in her the gift of spiritual motherhood....she stressed the reform of morals to all, without exception....Catherine addressed Churchmen of every rank, demanding of them the most exacting integrity in their personal lives and their pastoral ministry....strengthened by her intimacy with Christ, the Saint of Siena was not afraid to point out frankly even to the Pope, whom she loved dearly as her 'sweet Christ on earth', that the will of God demanded that he should abandon the hesitation born of earthly prudence and worldly interests, and return from Avignon to Rome, to the Tomb of Peter"
Monsignor Lodovico Ferretti details the situation and words of what was said to Pope Gregory XI:
    "From 1305, Rome had been deprived of its spiritual and political Father....Gregory XI, who ruled from 1370 - 1378 was, in theory, the most unlikely of them all to be energetic and steadfast in his resolution to return to Rome.  Elected Pope at only fory years of age, timorous and irritatingly indecisive by nature, he deserved Catherine's stern rebuke: 'Act like a man!'" (p. 57)
Saint Catherine of Siena would not have been one to counsel silence in the face of autracities, for fear of jeopardizing tax exempt statuses!  Please, please, please alert your parishioners to the need for Governor Corbett to call legislators back for a special session and get the deal done with SB 3, this vital pro life legislation.


(Siena, September 2012)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 Pro Life / Pro Marriage / Pro Religious Liberty Voter Information

Knights of Columbus from the 8th Pennsylvania Congressional District
•Information on candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives (from the 8th Congressional District)

Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation / Pennsylvania Family Council / Pro Life Union of Greater Philadelphia /
•In addition to candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, these are sources of information on candidates for statewide offices, as well as candidates for the Pa State Senate and the Pa House of Representatives (NOTE: Material from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does NOT cover candidates for the Pa Senate and House.).  The  Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation contrasts the candidates for the 10 House races from Bucks County, as follows:
  • 18: Rep Gene DiGirolamo is Pro Life and is running unopposed.
  • 29: Rep Bernie O'Neill leans Pro Life, while challenger Brian Munroe is Pro Abortion.
  • 31: Rep Steve Santarsiero is Pro Abortion, while challenger Anne Chapman is Pro Life.
  • 140: Rep John Galloway is Pro Life, while challenger Eric David did not respond.
  • 141: Rep Tina Davis is Pro Abortion, while challenger Anthony Sposato is Pro Life
  • 142: Rep Frank Farry is Pro Abortion but unopposed.
  • 143: Rep Marguerite Quinn leans Pro Life, while challenger Joseph Frederick is Pro Abortion.
  • 144: Rep Katharine Watson is Pro Life and is running unopposed.
  • 145: Rep Paul Clymer is Pro Life, while challenger Mary Whitesell is Pro Abortion.
  • 178: Rep Scott Petri leans Pro Life and is unopposed.
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
Know the Positions of PA’s Statewide Candidates
Know the Positions of PA’s Statewide Candidates (Spanish)
Statewide Candidates Complete Questionnaire
Interview with US Senate Candidate Tom Smith
Interview with US Senate Candidate Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
Know the Positions of PA’s United States Senate Candidates
Know the Positions of PA’s United States Senate Candidates (Spanish)
Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates (English)
Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates (Spanish)
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (from the USCCB)

Pennsylvania Catholics Network
2012 Issues for Pennsylvania Catholic Voters

Priests for Life
2012 Presidential Voter Guide
2012 Platform Comparison Guide

Catholic Answers
Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics

Please do not forget Casti Connubii.

Arriving in today's mail was a disturbing & shocking glossy ad from "Organizing for America Pennsylvania, a project of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party."

Two generations ago, no one would have believed that votes could be solicited with promises of continued free abortifacients & birth controlShame on ALL of US that ANY Catholic (& there will be many) would fall for this Faustian bargain! Yet with 44 years (post Humanae Vitae) of near-silence from our pulpits on contraceptives, it is hardly a surprise that Catholics would be among those lining up for the free abortifacients and contraceptives!

When preaching this weekend, please do not forget Casti Connubii, which has never been abrogated: "if any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: 'They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit'."


"Will It Play in Peoria?"

"While no one can say for certain who coined the expression, it was comedian Groucho Marx who made it popular. In the vaudeville era, it was believed that if an act received good reviews in Peoria, it would do well nationwide....the population of Peoria was fairly representative of the country as a whole. It is located in the heart of Illinois as well as the heart of the nation....in the 1960s and ‘70s it became one of the nation’s strongest test markets for consumer products....it was—and remains—an ideal place to take the 'pulse of the nation' on political campaigns and proposed legislation....While some longtime residents tire of the phrase’s heavy use, it is a distinctive part of our history. It is something to hang one’s hat on. And it will be playing in America for many years to come" (Amy Groh, The Phrase That Put Peoria on the Map, Peoria Magazine, June 2009).

The following letter is reportedly to be read at all Masses this weekend, in the Diocese of Peoria.  I believe that this forthrightness will play extremely well in Peoria - as well as the rest of this country, which is so hungry for the truth....
    MOST REV. DANIEL R. JENKY, C.S.C.
    OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
    DIOCESE OF PEORIA

    Election AD 2012

    By virtue of your vow of obedience to me as your Bishop, I require that this letter be personally read by each celebrating priest at each Weekend Mass, November 3/4.

    Dear Catholic Believers,

    Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present. Neither the president of the United States nor the current majority of the Federal Senate have been willing to even consider the Catholic community’s grave objections to those HHS mandates that would require all Catholic institutions, exempting only our church buildings, to fund abortion, sterilization, and artificial contraception. This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system. Contrary to the guarantees embedded in the First Amendment, the HHS mandates attempt to now narrowly define and thereby drastically limit our traditional religious works. They grossly and intentionally intrude upon the deeply held moral convictions that have always guided our Catholic schools, hospitals, and other apostolic ministries.

    Nearly two thousand years ago, after our Savior had been bound, beaten, scourged, mocked, and crowned with thorns, a pagan Roman Procurator displayed Jesus to a hostile crowd by sarcastically declaring: Behold your King. The mob roared back: We have no king but Caesar. Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin.

    For those who hope for salvation, no political loyalty can ever take precedence over loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ and to his Gospel of Life. God is not mocked, and as the Bible clearly teaches, after this passing instant of life on earth, God’s great mercy in time will give way to God’s perfect judgment in eternity.

    I therefore call upon every practicing Catholic in this Diocese to vote. Be faithful to Christ and to your Catholic Faith. May God guide and protect his Holy Church, and may God bless America.

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    +Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

    BISHOP OF PEORIA

Friday, November 2, 2012

The NY Times acknowledges a shift in Pa....

The entire presidential election could easily wind up hinging on Bucks County!

Is Joe Biden's Freudian Slip Showing?

“Bella” star warns of Obama’s assault on the values of Latinos.

2012 Pro Life / Pro Marriage / Pro Religious Liberty Voter Information

Knights of Columbus from the 8th Pennsylvania Congressional District
•Information on candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives (from the 8th Congressional District)

Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation / Pennsylvania Family Council / Pro Life Union of Greater Philadelphia /
•In addition to candidates for President, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives, these are sources of information on candidates for statewide offices, as well as candidates for the Pa State Senate and the Pa House of Representatives (NOTE: Material from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does NOT cover candidates for the Pa Senate and House.).  The  Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation contrasts the candidates for the 10 House races from Bucks County, as follows:
  • 18: Rep Gene DiGirolamo is Pro Life and is running unopposed.
  • 29: Rep Bernie O'Neill leans Pro Life, while challenger Brian Munroe is Pro Abortion.
  • 31: Rep Steve Santarsiero is Pro Abortion, while challenger Anne Chapman is Pro Life.
  • 140: Rep John Galloway is Pro Life, while challenger Eric David did not respond.
  • 141: Rep Tina Davis is Pro Abortion, while challenger Anthony Sposato is Pro Life
  • 142: Rep Frank Farry is Pro Abortion but unopposed.
  • 143: Rep Marguerite Quinn leans Pro Life, while challenger Joseph Frederick is Pro Abortion.
  • 144: Rep Katharine Watson is Pro Life and is running unopposed.
  • 145: Rep Paul Clymer is Pro Life, while challenger Mary Whitesell is Pro Abortion.
  • 178: Rep Scott Petri leans Pro Life and is unopposed.
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
Know the Positions of PA’s Statewide Candidates
Know the Positions of PA’s Statewide Candidates (Spanish)
Statewide Candidates Complete Questionnaire
Interview with US Senate Candidate Tom Smith
Interview with US Senate Candidate Senator Bob Casey, Jr.
Know the Positions of PA’s United States Senate Candidates
Know the Positions of PA’s United States Senate Candidates (Spanish)
Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates (English)
Know the Positions of the Presidential Candidates (Spanish)
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (from the USCCB)

Pennsylvania Catholics Network
2012 Issues for Pennsylvania Catholic Voters

Priests for Life
2012 Presidential Voter Guide
2012 Platform Comparison Guide

Catholic Answers
Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics

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