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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

2013 Respect Life Sunday

Please share this UPDATED information with your parishioners, families, friends, and all people of good will.... 

2013 Respect Life Sunday Statement

    "As adopted daughters and sons of God, each October we begin the activities of Respect Life Month with the observance of Respect Life Sunday, celebrated on October 6th this is my pleasure to introduce this year's theme, which echoes Pope Francis' call for all people to 'Open your hearts to life!'....
    "All members of the Church can bring healing to the world by upholding the beauty of human life and God's unfailing mercy....
    "Let us open our hearts and reflect on how God might be calling each of us to witness the sacredness of human life and assist in pro-life efforts.We may be called to help parents welcome their unborn child as a miracle of God's creation, to visit the elderly or aid those who are sick and suffering, to pray and fast for life, to advocate to our elected officials [emphasis added], or to assist educational efforts in our parishes" (Seán Cardinal O'Malley, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities).

Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204

In the attack on conscience, one member of the hierarchy pointedly reminds us that even more is at stake than the autonomy of Catholic hospitals:
    "If the present government, which can be described in no other way than totalitarian, is not held back from the course it is on, ...persecutions will follow. It will not be possible for Catholics to exercise most of the normal human services whether in health care, education, or social welfare because in conscience they will no longer be able to do what the government demands: to cooperate in grave moral evil. We are heading in that direction and even see it now" (Raymond Cardinal Burke, July 2013).
As per a 9/26/13 letter from Cardinal O'Malley and Archbishop Lori,
    "We are writing once again, as Chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty....We have already urged you to enact the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940/S. 1204). As Congress considers a Continuing Resolution and debt ceiling bill in the days to come, we reaffirm the vital importance of incorporating the policy of this bill into such 'must-pass' legislation"
The Catholic League  has a petition to "urge the Obama administration to withdraw the HHS mandate" (

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (, to contact Representative Mike Fitzpatrick, Senator Bob Casey, and Senator Pat Toomey, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204 (While Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey is a co-sponsor of S 1204.).

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has a similar site (, to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as Speaker of the House John Boehner. You may wish to consider adding this to your message:
    "In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - we also need your sponsorship/ support of 
    • HR 732 / S 32 / S 369, 
    • HR 1091 / S 583
    • HR 3133, 
    • HJ Res 51, 
    • HR 7 / S946, 
    • HR 1797 / S 886, 
    • HR 301 / S 653, and 
    • HR 23."


    Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369

    As per Priests for Life, "The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) would make it illegal to take a minor across a state line to evade the requirements of a pre-abortion parental involvement law in the girl’s home state."  There are 110 co-sponsors of HR 732 (including Representative Chris Smith), but Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT among them.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, Pat Toomey is one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

    Life at Conception Act - Support HR 1091 / S 583

    As per, "'The Life at Conception Act'... aims to employ the protections afforded by the 14th amendment in defense of the unborn." Mike Fitzpatrick is not among the 95 co-sponsors of H.R.1091.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S.583. 

    Marriage - Support HR 3133 and HJ Res 51

    Virtually lost in discussions about changing marriage/family laws is the social justice truth that children need both a mom and a dad - the authentic rights of children are being ignored.  While Bob Casey is openly opposing traditional marriage, very publicly supporting the so-called "Respect for Marriage Act (the legislation that repeals the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA])," Fitzpatrick and Toomey are far from strong advocates for traditional marriage (and that's an understatement!):
    In their reluctance to defend traditional marriage, Fitzpatrick and Toomey bring J.R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring to mind:
      I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    Fitzpatrick and Toomey need to step up to the plate. To claim or infer support for traditional marriage but to then try to pass it off as simply a states' issue flies in the face of reality.  The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act.  Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 62 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133, nor has he joined the 55 co-sponsors of H.J. RES. 51 (including Representative Chris Smith).

    No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946

    As per Priests for Life, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would prohibit the federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother."  HR 7 was introduced by Representative Chris Smith.  There are now 136 co-sponsors of HR 7, but Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT among them.  Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 23 co-sponsors of senate version S 946.  While Casey is the sponsor of S 142 (without any co-sponsors), it strikes this blogger as inferior to S 946.

    Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Support HR 1797/ S 886

    "Priests for Life believes this is the most significant legislative effort to date in bringing protection to unborn children. We have therefore already alerted every parish in America to inform and mobilize its congregation in support of this bill. We are also calling upon pro-life organizations large and small to give it their full support" (Fr. Frank Pavone, 5/21/13). Mike Fitzpatrick has yet to join 184 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 1797. Pat Toomey is among the 33 co-sponsors of S 886, but Bob Casey is not.

    Religious Freedom Throughout the World - Support HR 301 / S 653

    As per Bishop Pates' 5/20/13 letter to Senators Roy Blunt and Carl Levin, "As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I commend your tireless efforts to advance religious freedom as evidenced by your sponsorship of S. 653, a bill to establish a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia." Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S.653.  On 9/18/13,   Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301.

    The Sanctity of Human Life Act - Support HR 23

    As per Priests for Life, "The Sanctity of Human Life Act would declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution vests in each human being at 'fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency.'  Further, the measure states that 'the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.'"  Fitzpatrick has yet to join 40 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 23.

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