In Pennsylvania's

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Some Pennsylvania Catholic Colleges Hesitant to Follow Bishops’ Lead Opposing HHS Mandate"

Say, aren't there also Pa dioceses in places like Allentown, Greenville, and Scranton - as well as an archdiocese somewhere in Pa? Why are we not hearing more statements like those of Bishops Zubik and Persico - or am I missing them?

"The bishops in Pittsburgh and Erie have stated that they will not comply with the HHS mandate, but some of the Catholic colleges in their dioceses appear to be less resolute....

"The charge was led by Pittsburgh’s Bishop David Zubik and Erie’s Bishop Lawrence Persico who stated that they cannot cooperate with the mandate because it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.  Bishop Zubik told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 'I would not be able to live with myself knowing that we're contradicting what we believe'....

"The relative silence from Pittsburgh-area Catholic colleges stands in stark contrast to the statements by Bishop Zubik, who plans on combating the mandate for as long as it takes to win ...

"In the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Bishop Persico mirrored Bishop Zubik’s resolve to resist the HHS mandate."

 - See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2717/Some-Pennsylvania-Catholic-Colleges-Hesitant-to-Follow-Bishops’-Lead-Opposing-HHS-Mandate.aspx#sthash.75s6Fqdv.dpuf

 more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2717/Some-Pennsylvania-Catholic-Colleges-Hesitant-to-Follow-Bishops’-Lead-Opposing-HHS-Mandate.aspx#sthash.75s6Fqdv.dpuf

See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2717/Some-Pennsylvania-Catholic-Colleges-Hesitant-to-Follow-Bishops’-Lead-Opposing-HHS-Mandate.aspx#sthash.75s6Fqdv.dpuf

See more at: http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2717/Some-Pennsylvania-Catholic-Colleges-Hesitant-to-Follow-Bishops’-Lead-Opposing-HHS-Mandate.aspx#sthash.75s6Fqdv.dpuf

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/2717/Some-Pennsylvania-Catholic-Colleges-Hesitant-to-Follow-Bishops’-Lead-Opposing-HHS-Mandate.aspx

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Let us give thanks to God "Who fosters people's growth from their mother's womb"!

At today's Mass, the first reading will reminds us that God "fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb, and fashions them according to his will!"  

In the Responsorial, we will repeatedly declare that "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  

Speaking to the Corinthians, we will then read Paul saying, "I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus"!   

Yet in the Gospel, Jesus must ask: "Ten were cleansed, were they not?  Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?"

This Thanksgiving Day and every day is the appropriate time to give thanks to God and to call ourselves, our community, and our elected officials back to God!

WASHINGTON
  • People of good will need their senators to oppose ardently pro abortion judicial nominess. It is deeply troubling that Senator Casey was among those who voted on November 21, "to take away the ability...to use filibusters against judicial nominees, including those pro-life groups oppose" (http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/21/senate-democrats-break-rules-to-take-away-filibuster-on-judges-from-republicans/).

  • It is deeply troubling that Senators Casey and Toomey voted for S 815, which the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches."  We need Representative Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house vesion, HR 1755.

    In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - please CO-SPONSOR/ SUPPORT the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (HR3279), the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (HR732/S32/S369), an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage (HJRes51), the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HR940/S1204), the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (HR3133), the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (HR7/S946), the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR1797/S1670/S 886), and To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia (HR301/S653).

    Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve what the USCCB has called a "just and fair Farm Bill" and "compassionate immigration reform."  

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279
As per Cardinal O'Malley's 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, "I am writing to ask your support for Rep.Chris Smith's Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act' (H.R. 3279)."  Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 117 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279.  

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369
As the USCCB previously explained, "a mother in Pennsylvania, where parental involvement is required, testified before Congress that her daughter was taken without her knowledge to New Jersey for a secret abortion by the parents of her daughter's boyfriend. After contacting state police, she learned that nothing could be done to protect her parental rights.... 'We urge Congress to pass this law to help protect vulnerable girls from this kind of exploitation'" (USCCB, 4/27/05).  

Though the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act has yet to become law, the 2/15/13 edition of Pa Pro Life On Line News dramatically highlighted the continued need: "Abortion facilities are luring vulnerable teens across state lines for abortions.  Many states including Pennsylvania have laws that protect pregnant teens by making sure their parents are involved in the decision.  However, there are states on our borders that do not have such protections in place.  A look through yellow pages in phone books and online reveals that out of state abortion centers are targeting teens with ads that say they can get an abortions without telling their parents."  

On Planned Parenthood's web site, you can enter a zip code to find the closest of their so-called "health centers."  If you enter "18977" (Washington's Crossing), "19030" (Fairless Hills), "19067" (Morrisville, Woodbourne, Woodside, and Yardley), their facilities on East State Street in Trenton (Unit 1 and Unit 2) will appear among the top three.  Of those three, Planned Parenthood readily acknowledges providing "Abortion Services" at Unit 2.  On a page devoted to Parental Consent and Notification Laws, Planned Parenthood also indicates that "A judge can excuse you from" parental permission in Pennsylvania and that New Jersey has "no parental involvement requirement" (On Saturday mornings at 9:45 a.m., a Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy are prayed near Clinton and East State Streets in Trenton.  On Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30, the Rosary is prayed.).

Thank God for the reintroduction of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act!  "Federal lawmakers praised the reintroduction of a bill requiring parental notification to transport minors across state borders for an abortion....Earlier versions of the legislation passed the House of Representatives in previous years but failed in the Senate due to filibuster efforts opposing it" (National Catholic Register, 2/18/13).  

Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 112 co-sponsors of HR 732.  NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

De-Fund Planned Parenthood
In a 4/13/11 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, then chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood: "The current and future budget debate will involve hard choices and much shared sacrifice....Whether to fund the largest abortion network in the country is not one of those hard choices.”  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "Tax funding PPFA is too often debated as an 'either-or' proposition, as if healthcare for underserved women and the poor depended on the decision ....With other choices available, neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey need to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815
As S 815 has already passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital to tell Mike Fitzpatrick to oppose HR 1755. While Casey was a co-sponsor of S 815, the Pennsylvania Family Council notes that "It is deeply disappointing and troubling that U.S. Senator Pat Toomey broke his promise to Pennsylvania voters that he would oppose the 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA) should it come before the Senate."  The Pa Family Council set up a  web site to facilitate contacts to Toomey (https://www.votervoice.net/PAFI/Campaigns/33809/Respond).  As per the USCCB's 10/31/13 letter to the U.S. Senate, "the USCCB continues to promote the dignity of both work and marriage and to oppose unjust discrimination on any grounds, including those related to homosexual inclination or sexual identity. But we cannot support a bill, like ENDA, that does not justly advance the dignity of all workers and authentic non-discrimination, but instead:
  • Lacks a BFOQ exemption. ENDA does not include an exemption for a 'bona fide occupational qualification' (BFOQ)....
  • Lacks a status/conduct distinction. ENDA’s vague definition of 'sexual orientation' would encompass sexual conduct outside of marriage, thus legally affirming and specially protecting that conduct.
  • Supports marriage redefinition....
  • Rejects the biological basis of gender. ENDA’s definition of 'gender identity' lends force of law to a tendency to view 'gender' as nothing more than a social construct or psychosocial reality, which a person may choose at variance from his or her biological sex. This provision also fails to account for the privacy interests of others....
  • Threatens religious liberty. ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct. Moreover, the bill’s religious freedom protection, which is derived from Title VII, covers only a subset of religious employers, and as a result of recent litigation, is uncertain in scope. Recent experience also shows that even exempted employers may face government retaliation for relying on such exemptions."
Farm Bill
As per an 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. Senate's Farm Bill Conference Committee from Bishop Stephen E. Blaire (Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development), Bishop Richard E. Pates (Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on International  Justice and Peace), and others:
"As you work to finalize the 2013 Farm Bill, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, urge you to negotiate a bill that reflects a commitment to the common good....A just and fair Farm Bill will put poor and hungry people first, serve small and medium-sized family farms, promote sustainable stewardship of the land, and help vulnerable farmers and rural communities at home and abroad."


Federal Marriage Amendment - Support HJ Res 51
On 6/28/13, Representative Tim Huelskamp introduced H.J. RES. 51, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. As per the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, "We offer general support for a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as we continue to work to protect marriage in state legislatures, the courts, the Congress and other appropriate forums" (Reaffirmed on 3/14/06).  Mike Fitzpatrick has not joined the 56 co-sponsors of H.J. RES. 51 (including Representative Chris Smith). The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HJ Res 51: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.

Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204
As per the USCCB, "All House and Senate members should be urged to support and co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, so our First Freedom can regain its proper place as a fundamental right protected in our health care system."  While kudos go to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 188 co-sponsors of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S 1204.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/campaigns/30694/respond), to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204

Immigration Reform
The USCCB has a web site to facilitate this message to Senators Casey and Toomey and Representative Fitzpatrick (http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=62312721&type=CO):
"I agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops that now is the time to pass just and compassionate immigration reform. I ask that in the 113th Congress you support immigration reform that
- Provides a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
- Preserves family unity as a corner-stone of our national immigration system;
- Provides legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States;
- Restores due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies;
- Addresses the root causes (push factors) of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.
I look forward to monitoring your public position on this vital issue to our nation. Our nation can no longer wait."

Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133
The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, but Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 91 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133.  The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HR 3133: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.
  
No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946
In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal O'Malley notes the USCCB's support for HR 7 (introduced by Representative Chris Smith).  There are now 138 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 1670 / S 886
As per a 6/14/03 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "I urge you to support the common-sense reform offered by H.R. 1797." Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on 6/18/13.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being among the 40 co-sponsors of S. 1670 and the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886.  Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 1670 and is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.

To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia - 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 19 co-sponsors of S.653On 9/18/13, Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301 - Bravo. 





HARRISBURG
Support Admitting Privileges legislation 
As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "The Republican and Democrat leaders of the Pa. House Pro-Life Caucus ...are preparing to re-introduce 'Admitting Privileges' legislation....The lead sponsors of this legislation are seeking to gather additional co-sponsors before introducing it....[It] has the same language as H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term....Please urge your State House members to co-sponsor Admitting Privileges legislation in the 2013-2014 term." Bucks County's own Paul Clymer is already on board as a co-sponsor. 



Support Marriage / Family and HB 1349 - Oppose HB1647/SB719
"A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference):
  • Support HB 1349: On 5/8/13, Bucks County's own Paul Clymer joined Daryl Metcalfe and 25 others, in introducing HB 1349, which seeks to strengthen Pennsylvania's Constitution, by adding this: "Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." 
  • Oppose HB1647/SB719: In a 7/12/13 memo, Representative Mark Cohen announced that he was "introducing a bill to repeal the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act and to recognize all same sex marriages made in other states and other countries" [HB 1647]. HB 1647 and its companion SB 719 would negate the fundamental right of children to both a mom and a dad!
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pennsylvania's DOMA (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/32995/Respond).

Oppose HB300/SB300 
"Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).  The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and senator to oppose HB300/SB300: https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/33451/Respond

Oppose SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age" - Pa's Version of NJ's S2278
As reported in Jewish World Review (11/18/13), "A couple who wants to send their 15-year-old son to counseling to curb his attraction to other males is suing New Jersey over the state's ban on so-called gay conversion therapies for minors.  In August, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill in that outlaws the therapies....the family alleges that the law violates their freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, as well as the parents' fundamental rights" 

In contrast to philosophies behind SB 872 and S 2278, eminent Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County maintains that "Youth have the right to be provided informed consent about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses, and risks, of the homosexual lifestyle. Pediatricians, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal responsibility to do so, and parents, family members, educators, and clergy a grave moral responsibility" (Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and Their Right to Informed Consent, 5/21/12).





DOYLESTOWN
  • Please email Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille and the Bucks County Commissioners (and the Courier Times), thanking Mr. Petrille for doing his job (i.e., defending traditional marriage) and upholding the law!
"Ground zero for the debate surrounding the state's ban on same-sex marriages may be Norristown....But the issue is also bubbling in Doylestown because of its register of wills' spirited defense of traditional marriage....Register of Wills Donald Petrille came under fire for a brief he included in the groundbreaking court case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.  That case seeks to overturn the marriage law, and the 41-year-old Petrille - who is also a lawyer at McNamara, Bolla & Panzer - was included as a defendant because he declined to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple in July....Petrille argues that marriage is rooted in the 'biological fact that opposite-sex couples reproduce,' and that the government should not 'deprive a child of access to the comfort of their creators.'  To distance themselves from those arguments, the county commissioners - two Republicans and one Democrat - issued a joint statement two week ago saying that they had 'no input whatsoever' on the brief.  Diane Marseglia, the Democrat, issued an additional statement asking that the brief be withdrawn. She sent an e-mail to a group of officials, including Petrille, calling the brief 'reprehensible'....The unrest upsets people such as Kathleen Appell, 70, from Warminster. She said the commissioners were not publicly backing Petrille as vigorously as they should.  'If you can't defend your own elected officials,' she said at Wednesday's meeting, 'then why bother having them?'" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/25/13)

On 11/19/13, the Courier Times advocated abandoning efforts to seriously support Register of Wills Donald Petrille: "we support Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia’s suggestion the county should refuse to mount a serious and costly defense against a federal lawsuit targeting Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille....the county commissioners should seriously consider Marseglia’s suggestion to unlace the boxing gloves. The commissioners have to approve paying those bills, and so they are within their rights to instruct county attorneys to stand down" (In an email to this blogger, Marseglia indicated that all of the commissioners share her position.).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Farm Bill

"The U.S. Bishops declared that "the primary goals of agricultural policies should be providing food for all people and reducing poverty among farmers and farmworkers in this country and abroad." (For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers and Farmworkers).

"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have worked closely to support policies in the Farm Bill that support rural communities and family farms; strengthen and expand domestic anti-hunger programs; promote conservation and good stewardship of the land; ensure safe living and working conditions for farmworkers; promote fairness for farmers in developing countries; and provide food security aid efficiently and effectively to hungry people worldwide. "
http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/agriculture-nutrition-rural-issues/farm-bill.cfm

Pope Francis: "Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple."



"66. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born “of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life”.[60]

"67. The individualism of our postmodern and globalized era favours a lifestyle which weakens the development and stability of personal relationships and distorts family bonds. Pastoral activity needs to bring out more clearly the fact that our relationship with the Father demands and encourages a communion which heals, promotes and reinforces interpersonal bonds. In our world, especially in some countries, different forms of war and conflict are re-emerging, yet we Christians remain steadfast in our intention to respect others, to heal wounds, to build bridges, to strengthen relationships and to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2). Today too, various associations for the defence of rights and the pursuit of noble goals are being founded. This is a sign of the desire of many people to contribute to social and cultural progress."
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

"Supreme Court Accepts Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obama’s HHS Mandate"

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/26/hobby-lobbys-battle-against-obamas-hhs-mandate-heads-to-supreme-court/

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"U.S. District Judge John Jones III, who earlier this month denied the state's request to dismiss the case, said he was looking at a June 2014 date for the challenge to Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act."

http://touch.mcall.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-78295737/

We need the truth on marriage/family to be forthrightly proclaimed!http://faithfulinthe8th.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-bad-news-possibly-good-news-and.html


"another factor that may be holding growth down more than high tax rates"

"there is another factor that may be holding growth down more than high tax rates. And that is the widespread disintegration of the family structure....Government policy can't force people to get or stay married. But it may be able to encourage them to do so....No one knows for sure whether more favorable tax and benefit treatments would encourage two-parent child rearing, although evidence from France (which provides them) and other European countries suggest it might....Today a strong case can be made that we need tax and other policies not just to encourage entrepreneurs but also, to the extent possible, to help bolster family formation."

http://jewishworldreview.com/michael/barone112613.php3#.UpR3Spoo6Mk

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The bad news, the possibly good news, and the need to spread "The Gospel of the Sanctity of Marriage"

The Bad News

Heretofore, there have been mounting attacks on marriage/family, largely waged by public figures who identify themselves as "Catholic."  This past week, these attacks culminated in Illinois, where they did not go unanswered by Springfield's courageous bishop.... 

    "Scheduled for approximately the same time that Gov. Pat Quinn signs into Illinois law the redefinition of civil marriage, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will offer 'Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage'....'The context for this prayer service may be understood by recalling the words of Pope Francis when he faced a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 2010,' Bishop Paprocki said.
    "Regarding the proposed redefinition of civil marriage in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote on June 22, 2010: 'The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex. The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts. ... Let us not be naive: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a 'move' of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.'
    http://books.google.com/books?id=-FJePalai4AC&pg=PT138&lpg=PT138&dq=The+Argentine+people+must+face,+in+the+next+few+weeks,+a+situation+whose+result+may+gravely+harm+the+family.+It+is+the+bill+on+matrimony+of+persons+of+the+same+sex.+The+identity+of+the+family,+and+its+survival,+are+in+jeopardy+here:+father,+mother,+and+children.+The+life+of+so+many+children+who+will+be+discriminated+beforehand+due+to+the+lack+of+human+maturity+that+God+willed+them+to+have+with+a+father+and+a+mother+is+in+jeopardy.+At+stake+is+the+total+rejection+of+God%E2%80%99s+law+engraved+in+our+hearts&source=bl&ots=zH4fjsr9Wc&sig=yvV4E3DKwasVxWeX8U0niQWqCO0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cyeSUrHuEYXNsQSYqoGgBg&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=The%20Argentine%20people%20must%20face%2C%20in%20the%20next%20few%20weeks%2C%20a%20situation%20whose%20result%20may%20gravely%20harm%20the%20family.%20It%20is%20the%20bill%20on%20matrimony%20of%20persons%20of%20the%20same%20sex.%20The%20identity%20of%20the%20family%2C%20and%20its%20survival%2C%20are%20in%20jeopardy%20here%3A%20father%2C%20mother%2C%20and%20children.%20The%20life%20of%20so%20many%20children%20who%20will%20be%20discriminated%20beforehand%20due%20to%20the%20lack%20of%20human%20maturity%20that%20God%20willed%20them%20to%20have%20with%20a%20father%20and%20a%20mother%20is%20in%20jeopardy.%20At%20stake%20is%20the%20total%20rejection%20of%20God%E2%80%99s%20law%20engraved%20in%20our%20hearts&f=false
    "Bishop Paprocki noted, 'The pope's reference to the ''father of lies'' comes from the Gospel of John (8:44), where Jesus refers to the devil as ''a liar and the father of lies.'' So Pope Francis is saying that same-sex ''marriage'' comes from the devil and should be condemned as such'....
    Bishop Paprocki said that since same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God (see Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. He also noted that politicians who enacted civil same-sex marriage legislation are 'morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin.'

    "'It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church,' he said. 'All politicians now have the moral obligation to work for the repeal of this sinful and objectionable legislation. We must pray for deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our church.'
    http://dio.org/communications/press-releases/349-bishop-to-offer-prayers-of-supplication-and-exorcism-in-reparation-for-the-sin-of-same-sex-marriage.html#sthash.NmvF2A6s.dpuf
    "Bishop Paprocki concluded, 'Pope Francis has also urged us to be mindful of God's mercy, so it is good to recall the profound expression of divine mercy uttered by Jesus as he was dying on the cross to save us from our sins, ''Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'' (Luke 23:34)'" (Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, 11/14/13).
     

The Possibly Good News: Illinois Can Be the Last Stop for Railroading Against Marriage/Family

"Illinois is the last state where gay-marriage advocates have an advantage in both the governor’s office and statehouse, and defenders of traditional marriage say the political playing field will be far more level in the remaining 34 states in the years ahead....activists 'have run out of easy targets,' Mr. Brown [of the National Organization for Marriage] said.  The 'false narrative of "inevitability" ends here,' he said, because most of the remaining states either have constitutional amendments that recognize only man-woman marriages or have significant popular opposition to same-sex marriages....The state-by-state battle over gay marriage was set up by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in June....Although gay-marriage supporters hailed the ruling as a victory, the high court declined to take the more ambitious step of invalidating all laws at the state level banning gay marriage....Three states that do not have constitutional provisions on gay marriage — West Virginia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania — already are embroiled in 'freedom-to-marry' lawsuits" (Washington Times, 11/19/13).


"The Gospel of the Sanctity of Marriage"

If Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage is correct, we may experience somewhat of a respite from the attacks on marriage/family.  We need to re-group and better acquaint ourselves with what Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller calls "The Gospel of the Sanctity of Marriage."

No matter what may be reported in the press, the pontificate of Pope Francis is NOT deviating from what the Church has always proclaimed about marriage, as reiterated in Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii, Vatican II's Gaudium et Spes, Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  While the secular press might like us to believe that Pope Francis would like to dilute the Truth, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!


As per Pope Francis' Lumen Fidei (6/29/13):

    "52. In Abraham’s journey towards the future city, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the blessing which was passed on from fathers to sons (cf. Heb 11:20-21). The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise (cf. Heb 11:11)."



As per Pope Francis' Press Conference on the Return Flight From World Youth Day (7/29/13):

    "if a person, lay or priest or Sister, has committed a sin and then has converted, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is important for our life. When we go to confession and truly say: 'I have sinned in this,' the Lord forgets and we don’t have the right not to forget, because we run the risk  that the Lord won’t forget our [sins].... I think so many times of Saint Peter: he committed one of the worst sins, which is to deny Christ, and with this sin he was made Pope....If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him?" 


As per Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller's The Power of Grace (10/23/13):

    "The comparison drawn by the prophets between God’s covenant with Israel and the marriage bond includes not only the ideal of monogamy, but also that of indissolubility.  The prophet Malachi expresses this clearly:  'Do not be faithless to the wife of your youth ... with whom you have made a covenant' (Mal 2:14-15).
    "He [Jesus] distanced himself explicitly from the Old Testament practice of divorce, which Moses had permitted because men were 'so hard of heart', and he pointed to God’s original will: 'from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and ... the two shall become one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder' (Mk 10:5-9; cf. Mt 19:4-9; Lk 16:18).  The Catholic Church has always based its doctrine and practice upon these sayings of Jesus concerning the indissolubility of marriage.  The inner bond that joins the spouses to one another was forged by God himself.  It designates a reality that comes from God and is therefore no longer at man’s disposal....
    "Christian marriage is an effective sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church.  Because it designates and communicates the grace of this covenant, marriage between the baptized is a sacrament....
    "In the Orthodox Churches today, there are a great many grounds for divorce, which are mostly justified in terms of oikonomia, or pastoral leniency in difficult individual cases, and they open the path to a second or third marriage marked by a penitential character.  This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.  But it represents an ecumenical problem that is not to be underestimated.
    "In the West, the Gregorian reform countered these liberalizing tendencies and gave fresh impetus to the original understanding of Scripture and the Fathers.  The Catholic Church defended the absolute indissolubility of marriage even at the cost of great sacrifice and suffering.  The schism of a 'Church of England' detached from the Successor of Peter came about not because of doctrinal differences, but because the Pope, out of obedience to the sayings of Jesus, could not accommodate the demands of King Henry VIII for the dissolution of his marriage [Emphasis added]....
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14689c.htm
    "The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio...emphatically confirms the Church’s dogmatic teaching on marriage....They too belong to the Church, they are entitled to pastoral care and they should take part in the Church’s life....And yet they cannot be admitted to the Eucharist.  Two reasons are given for this:
      a) 'their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist'
      b) 'if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage'....
       
    "if for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, the new union cannot be dissolved, then the two partners must 'bind themselves to live in complete continence'....
    "the faithful concerned may not present themselves for holy communion on the basis of their own conscience....If doubts remain over the validity of a failed marriage, these must be examined by the competent marriage tribunals....
    "He [Pope Benedict XVI] confirms 'the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments', but he urges pastors at the same time, to devote 'special concern' to those affected: in the wish that they 'live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children'.  If there are doubts concerning the validity of the failed marriage, these are to be carefully examined by the competent marriage tribunals.  Today’s mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children.  Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith [Emphasis added.]....Where nullity of marriage cannot be demonstrated, the requirement for absolution and reception of communion, according to the Church’s established and approved practice, is that the couple live 'as friends, as brother and sister'....
    "the ideal – built into the order of creation – of faithfulness between one man and one woman has lost none of its fascination....Moreover, one must not forget the anthropological value of indissoluble marriage:  it withdraws the partners from caprice and from the tyranny of feelings and moods.  It helps them to survive personal difficulties and to overcome painful experiences.  Above all it protects the children, who have most to suffer from marital breakdown [Emphasis added.]....
    "If anyone should doubt whether the marriage bond is ontological, let him learn from the word of God:  'He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said: for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh' (Mt 19:4-6)....
    "The Church cannot respond to the growing incomprehension of the sanctity of marriage by pragmatically accommodating the supposedly inevitable, but only by trusting in 'the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God' (1 Cor 2:12).  Sacramental marriage is a testimony to the power of grace, which changes man and prepares the whole Church for the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the Church, which is prepared 'as a bride adorned for her husband' (Rev 21:2).  The Gospel of the sanctity of marriage is to be proclaimed with prophetic candour [Emphasis added].  By adapting to the spirit of the age, a weary prophet seeks his own salvation but not the salvation of the world in Jesus Christ.....  
    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XXSI3WNZ2F6N
    "Admittedly there are situations – as every pastor knows – in which marital cohabitation becomes for all intents and purposes impossible for compelling reasons, such as physical or psychological violence.  In such hard cases, the Church has always permitted the spouses to separate and no longer live together.  It must be remembered, though, that the marriage bond of a valid union remains intact in the sight of God, and the individual parties are not free to contract a new marriage, as long as the spouse is alive.  Pastors and Christian communities must therefore take pains to promote paths of reconciliation in these cases too, or, should that not be possible, to help the people concerned to confront their difficult situation in faith....
    "It is frequently suggested that remarried divorcees should be allowed to decide for themselves, according to their conscience, whether or not to present themselves for holy communion.  This argument, based on a problematical concept of 'conscience', was rejected by a document of the CDF in 1994.  Naturally, the faithful must consider every time they attend Mass whether it is possible to receive communion, and a grave unconfessed sin would always be an impediment [Emphasis added.].  At the same time they have the duty to form their conscience and to align it with the truth.  In so doing they listen also to the Church’s Magisterium, which helps them 'not to swerve from the truth about the good of man, but rather, especially in more difficult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it' (Veritatis Splendor, 64).  If remarried divorcees are subjectively convinced in their conscience that a previous marriage was invalid, this must be proven objectively by the competent marriage tribunals [Emphasis added]....'If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful, and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible.  The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception' (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 'The Pastoral approach to marriage must be founded on truth' L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, 7 December 2011, p. 4)....
    "Jesus encountered the adulteress with great compassion, but he said to her 'Go and do not sin again' (Jn 8:11).  God’s mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the Church.  Rather it supplies us with the grace and strength needed to fulfil them, to pick ourselves up after a fall, and to live life in its fullness according to the image of our heavenly Father....
    "Insofar as the parties make an effort to understand the Church’s practice and to abstain from communion, they provide their own testimony to the indissolubility of marriage."


Synod of Bishops' Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization (11/5/13):

"I. Synod: Family and Evangelization....
"The social and spiritual crisis, so evident in today’s world, is becoming a pastoral challenge in the Church’s evangelizing mission concerning the family, the vital building-block of society and the ecclesial community. Never before has proclaiming the Gospel on the Family in this context been more urgent and necessary. The importance of the subject is reflected in the fact that the Holy Father has decided to call for a Synod of Bishops, which is to have a two-staged itinerary: firstly, an Extraordinary General Assembly in 2014, intended to define the 'status quaestionis' and to collect the bishops’ experiences and proposals in proclaiming and living the Gospel of the Family in a credible manner; and secondly, an Ordinary General Assembly in 2015 to seek working guidelines in the pastoral care of the person and the family.


"Concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago have arisen today as a result of different situations, from the widespread practice of cohabitation, which does not lead to marriage, and sometimes even excludes the idea of it, to same-sex unions between persons, who are, not infrequently, permitted to adopt children. The many new situations requiring the Church’s attention and pastoral care include: mixed or inter-religious marriages; the single-parent family; polygamy; marriages with the consequent problem of a dowry, sometimes understood as the purchase price of the woman; the caste system; a culture of non-commitment and a presumption that the marriage bond can be temporary; forms of feminism hostile to the Church; migration and the reformulation of the very concept of the family; relativist pluralism in the conception of marriage; the influence of the media on popular culture in its understanding of marriage and family life; underlying trends of thought in legislative proposals which devalue the idea of permanence and faithfulness in the marriage covenant; an increase in the practice of surrogate motherhood (wombs for hire); and new interpretations of what is considered a human right. Within the Church, faith in the sacramentality of marriage and the healing power of the Sacrament of Penance show signs of weakness or total abandonment....

"II. The Church and the Gospel on the Family

"The good news of divine love is to be proclaimed to all those personally living this basic human experience of couples and of a communion open to the gift of children, which is the family community. The teachings of the faith on marriage is to be presented in an articulate and efficacious manner, so that it might reach hearts and transform them in accordance with God’s will, made manifest in Jesus Christ....


"The Plan of God, Creator and Redeemer

"The beauty of the biblical message on the family has its roots in the creation of man and woman, both made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:24-31; 2:4-25). Bound together by an indissoluble sacramental bond, those who are married experience the beauty of love, fatherhood, motherhood, and the supreme dignity of participating in this way in the creative work of God.

"In the gift of the fruit of their union, they assume the responsibility of raising and educating other persons for the future of humankind. Through procreation, man and woman fulfill in faith the vocation of being God’s collaborators in the protection of creation and the growth of the human family....

"Jesus Christ restored the beauty of matrimony, proposing once again the one plan of God which was abandoned because of the hardness of the human heart, even within the tradition of the people of Israel (cf. Mt 5:31-32; 19:3-12; Mk 10:1-12; Lk 16:18). Returning to the beginning, Jesus taught the unity and faithfulness of the husband and wife, refuting the practice of repudiation and adultery.

"Precisely through the extraordinary beauty of human love — already celebrated in a heightened manner inspired by the Song of Songs, and the bond of marriage called for and defended by the prophets like Hosea (cf. Hosea 1:2, 3.3) and Malachi (cf. Mal 2:13-16) — , Jesus affirmed the original dignity of the married love of man and woman.

"The Church's Teaching on the Family

"Even in the early Christian community the family appeared as the 'domestic church' (cf. CCC, 1655)....

"Over the centuries, especially in modern times to the present, the Church has not failed to continually teach and develop her doctrine on the family and marriage which founded her. One of its highest expressions has been proposed by the Second Vatican Council in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes....
"After the Second Vatican Council, the successors of St. Peter enriched this teaching on marriage and the family, especially Pope Paul VI with the Enyclical Humanae vitae, which offers specific principles and guidelines. Subsequently, in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio, Pope John Paul II insisted on proposing the divine plan in the basic truths of married love and the family....
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church gathers together the fundamental aspects of this teaching....

"The doctrine presented in the Catechism touches on both theological principles and moral behaviours, developed under two separate headings: The Sacrament of Matrimony (nos. 1601-1658) and The Sixth Commandment (nos. 2331-2391)....

"The recent encyclical of Pope Francis, Lumen fidei, speaks of the family in the context of a reflection on how faith reveals “just how firm the bonds between people can be when God is present in their midst” (LF, 50)."


As per Pope Francis' Address to Members of the Apostolic Signature (11/8/13):

    "the Defender of the bond....must propose all sorts of proofs, exceptions, recourses and appeals that, in respect of the truth, foster the defense of the bond....it is necessary to always keep alive the connection between the action of the Church that evangelizes and the action of the Church that administers justice. The service to justice is a commitment of apostolic life: it requires to be exercised by keeping one’s gaze fixed on the icon of the Good Shepherd, who bends down to the lost and wounded sheep."

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Washington, Harrisburg, and Doylestown!

Marriage/Family are absolutely under attack, and our Faith calls us to raise our voices! We need each parish in Bucks County to be regularly reminding its parishioners to contact their elected officials....

WASHINGTON

"People of good will need their senators to oppose ardently pro abortion judicial nominess, such as Cornelia Pillard, Robert Wilkins, and Patricia Millett. It is deeply troubling that Senator Casey was among those who voted on November 21, "to take away the ability...to use filibusters against judicial nominees, including those pro-life groups oppose" (http://www.lifenews.com/2013/11/21/senate-democrats-break-rules-to-take-away-filibuster-on-judges-from-republicans/).
"We are deeply troubled by Senators Casey and Toomey voting for S 815, which the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says 'could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches.'  We need Representative Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house vesion, HR 1755.

"In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - we need your CO-SPONSORSHIP/ SUPPORT of HR 3279, HR 732 / S32 / S369, HJ Res 51, HR 940 / S 1204, HR 3133, HR 7 / S 946, HR 1797 / S 1670 / S 886, and HR 301 / S 653, as well as HR 1091 / S 583, and HR 23.

"Further, we need you to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve what the USCCB has called 'compassionate immigration reform.'"  


Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279


As per Cardinal O'Malley's 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, "I am writing to ask your support for Rep.Chris Smith's Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act' (H.R. 3279)."  Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 117 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279.  


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



As the USCCB previously explained, "a mother in Pennsylvania, where parental involvement is required, testified before Congress that her daughter was taken without her knowledge to New Jersey for a secret abortion by the parents of her daughter's boyfriend. After contacting state police, she learned that nothing could be done to protect her parental rights.... 'We urge Congress to pass this law to help protect vulnerable girls from this kind of exploitation'" (USCCB, 4/27/05).  

Though the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act has yet to become law, the 2/15/13 edition of Pa Pro Life On Line News dramatically highlighted the continued need: "Abortion facilities are luring vulnerable teens across state lines for abortions.  Many states including Pennsylvania have laws that protect pregnant teens by making sure their parents are involved in the decision.  However, there are states on our borders that do not have such protections in place.  A look through yellow pages in phone books and online reveals that out of state abortion centers are targeting teens with ads that say they can get an abortions without telling their parents."  

On Planned Parenthood's web site, you can enter a zip code to locate the closest of their so-called "health centers."  If you enter "18977" (Washington's Crossing), "19030" (Fairless Hills), "19067" (Morrisville, Woodbourne, Woodside, and Yardley), their facilities on East State Street in Trenton (Unit 1 and Unit 2) will appear among the top three.  Of those three, Planned Parenthood readily acknowledges providing "Abortion Services" at Unit 2.  On a page devoted to Parental Consent and Notification Laws, Planned Parenthood indicates that "A judge can excuse you from" parental permission in Pennsylvania and that New Jersey has "no parental involvement requirement" (On Saturday mornings at 9:45 a.m., a Rosary and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy are prayed near Clinton and East State Streets in Trenton.  On Thursday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30, the Rosary is prayed.).


Thank God for the reintroduction of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act!  "Federal lawmakers praised the reintroduction of a bill requiring parental notification to transport minors across state borders for an abortion....Earlier versions of the legislation passed the House of Representatives in previous years but failed in the Senate due to filibuster efforts opposing it (National Catholic Register, 2/18/13).  


Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 112 co-sponsors of HR 732.  NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

De-Fund Planned Parenthood

In a 4/13/11 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, then chair  of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood: "The current and future budget debate will involve hard choices and much shared sacrifice....Whether to fund the largest abortion network in the country is not one of those hard choices.”  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "Tax funding PPFA is too often debated as an 'either-or' proposition, as if healthcare for underserved women and the poor depended on the decision ....With other choices available, neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey need to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815

As S 815 has already passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital to tell Mike Fitzpatrick to oppose HR 1755. While Casey was actually a co-sponsor of S 815, the Pennsylvania Family Council notes that "It is deeply disappointing and troubling that U.S. Senator Pat Toomey broke his promise to Pennsylvania voters that he would oppose the 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA) should it come before the Senate."  The Pa Family Council has set up a special web site to facilitate contacts to Toomey (https://www.votervoice.net/PAFI/Campaigns/33809/Respond).  As per the USCCB's 10/31/13 letter to the U.S. Senate, "the USCCB continues to promote the dignity of both work and marriage and to oppose unjust discrimination on any grounds, including those related to homosexual inclination or sexual identity. But we cannot support a bill, like ENDA, that does not justly advance the dignity of all workers and authentic non-discrimination, but instead:


  • Lacks a BFOQ exemption. ENDA does not include an exemption for a 'bona fide occupational qualification' (BFOQ)....
  • Lacks a status/conduct distinction. ENDA’s vague definition of 'sexual orientation' would encompass sexual conduct outside of marriage, thus legally affirming and specially protecting that conduct.
  • Supports marriage redefinition....
  • Rejects the biological basis of gender. ENDA’s definition of 'gender identity' lends force of law to a tendency to view 'gender' as nothing more than a social construct or psychosocial reality, which a person may choose at variance from his or her biological sex. This provision also fails to account for the privacy interests of others....
  • Threatens religious liberty. ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct. Moreover, the bill’s religious freedom protection, which is derived from Title VII, covers only a subset of religious employers, and as a result of recent litigation, is uncertain in scope. Recent experience also shows that even exempted employers may face government retaliation for relying on such exemptions."

  • Federal Marriage Amendment - Support HJ Res 51

    On 6/28/13, Representative Tim Huelskamp introduced H.J. RES. 51, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. As per the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, "We offer general support for a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as we continue to work to protect marriage in state legislatures, the courts, the Congress and other appropriate forums" (Reaffirmed on 3/14/06).  Mike Fitzpatrick has not joined the 56 co-sponsors of H.J. RES. 51 (including Representative Chris Smith). The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HJ Res 51: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.

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

    As per the USCCB, "members of Congress of both parties are sponsoring the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204). The Act would improve federal law in three ways:
    1. Correcting loopholes and other deficiencies in the major federal law preventing governmental discrimination against health care providers that do not help provide or pay for abortions.
    2. Inserting a conscience clause into the health care reform law, so its mandates for particular “benefits” in private health plans will not be used to force insurers, employers and individuals to violate their consciences or give up their health insurance.
    3. Adding a “private right of action” to existing federal conscience laws, so those whose consciences are being violated can go to court to defend their rights. (Current enforcement is chiefly at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is itself sponsoring some attacks on conscience rights.)
    "All House and Senate members should be urged to support and co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, so our First Freedom can regain its proper place as a fundamental right protected in our health care system."

    While kudos go to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 188 co-sponsors of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S 1204.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/campaigns/30694/respond), to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204

    Immigration Reform

    The USCCB has a web site to facilitate this message to Senators Casey and Toomey and Representative Fitzpatrick (http://www.capwiz.com/justiceforimmigrants/issues/alert/?alertid=62312721&type=CO):
    "I agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops that now is the time to pass just and compassionate immigration reform. I ask that in the 113th Congress you support immigration reform that
    - Provides a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
    - Preserves family unity as a corner-stone of our national immigration system;
    - Provides legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States;
    - Restores due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies;
    - Addresses the root causes (push factors) of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.
    I look forward to monitoring your public position on this vital issue to our nation. Our nation can no longer wait."


    Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133


    The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, but Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 91 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133.  The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HR 3133: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.
      

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

    In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal O'Malley notes the USCCB's support for HR 7 (introduced by Representative Chris Smith).  There are now 138 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 1670 / S 886

    As per a 6/14/03 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "As chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, I am writing today to urge your support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797).....the proposed ban on abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization is a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as 'pro-life' and as 'pro-choice.'On behalf of our country and the children whose lives are at stake, I urge you to support the common-sense reform offered by H.R. 1797." Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on 6/18/13.  Kudos to Pat Toomey, who is one of the 40 co-sponsors of S. 1670 and one of the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886.  Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsors of S. 1670 and is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.

    To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia - 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." On 9/18/13, Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301 - Bravo.  NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey are among the 19 co-sponsors of S.653

    Life at Conception Act - Support HR 1091 / S 583

    As per CatholicVote.org, "'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 103 co-sponsors of H.R.1091.  NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey are among the 18 co-sponsors of S.583.

    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 is NOT among the 40 co-sponsors of HR 23.





    HARRISBURG


    Support Admitting Privileges legislation 


    As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "The Republican and Democrat leaders of the Pa. House Pro-Life Caucus ...are preparing to re-introduce 'Admitting Privileges' legislation....The lead sponsors of this legislation are seeking to gather additional co-sponsors before introducing it....[It] has the same language as H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term....Please urge your State House members to co-sponsor Admitting Privileges legislation in the 2013-2014 term." Bucks County's own Paul Clymer is already on board as a co-sponsor. 

    Support Marriage / Family and HB 1349 - Oppose HB1647/SB719

    "A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference):

    • Support HB 1349: On 5/8/13, Bucks County's own Paul Clymer joined Daryl Metcalfe and 25 others, in introducing HB 1349, which seeks to strengthen Pennsylvania's Constitution, by adding this: "Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." 
    • Oppose HB1647/SB719: In a 7/12/13 memo, Representative Mark Cohen announced that he was "introducing a bill to repeal the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act and to recognize all same sex marriages made in other states and other countries" [HB 1647]. HB 1647 and its companion SB 719 would negate the fundamental right of children to both a mom and a dad!

    The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pennsylvania's DOMA (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/32995/Respond).

    Oppose HB300/SB300 


    "Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith" (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference)The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and senator to oppose HB300/SB300: https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/33451/Respond

    Oppose SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age" - Pa's Version of NJ's S2278

    As reported in Jewish World Review (11/18/13), "A couple who wants to send their 15-year-old son to counseling to curb his attraction to other males is suing New Jersey over the state's ban on so-called gay conversion therapies for minors.  In August, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill in that outlaws the therapies....the family alleges that the law violates their freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, as well as the parents' fundamental rights" 
    In contrast to philosophies behind SB 872 and S 2278, eminent Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County maintains that "Youth have the right to be provided informed consent about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses, and risks, of the homosexual lifestyle. Pediatricians, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal responsibility to do so, and parents, family members, educators, and clergy a grave moral responsibility" (Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and Their Right to Informed Consent, 5/21/12). 








    DOYLESTOWN

    Please email Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille and the Bucks County Commissioners (and the Courier Times), thanking Mr. Petrille for doing his job and upholding the law!
    "A federal court challenge to Pennsylvania's 17-year-old law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages took an important step toward a trial...when a judge rejected two different attempts to block the lawsuit and said high court treatment of cases involving sex and sexual identity have undergone a 'sea change.'  U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III denied the motions to dismiss the lawsuit by Pennsylvania's secretaries of the departments of Health and Revenue and Bucks County's register of wills [Emphasis added.].  It is a strong sign the case is headed to trial and, potentially, the U.S. Supreme Court.... Lawyers for the plaintiffs, including the American Civil Liberties Union...said they were delighted with the decision....A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett said administration lawyers were reviewing the decision and he could not immediately say whether they will seek an appeal to Jones' decision" (Associated Press, 11/15/13).

    On 11/19/13, the Courier Times took a disingenuous, ostensibly objective position, advocating that we abandon efforts to seriously support the Bucks County register of wills: "we support Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia’s suggestion the county should refuse to mount a serious and costly defense against a federal lawsuit targeting Bucks County Register of Wills Don Petrille....the county commissioners should seriously consider Marseglia’s suggestion to unlace the boxing gloves. The commissioners have to approve paying those bills, and so they are within their rights to instruct county attorneys to stand down" (In an email to this blogger, Marseglia indicated that all of the commissioners share her position.)

    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