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

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!

  • 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 use filibusters against judicial nominees, including those pro-life groups oppose" (

  • 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 (  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:

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 (, 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 (
"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:
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. 

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 (

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:

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).

  • 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.).

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