"The Gospel asks Christians to love and respect persons, no matter how deeply we might disagree with them. But we have no such duty to accept bad law or the confusion it creates. Law not only regulates, it also teaches, which is why our national debates over abortion and marriage have been argued so vigorously in the courts....On the first Sunday after Judge John Jones' court decision and Governor Corbett's announcement that he would be derelict in his duties, marriage received minimal attention from our newspapers - and seemingly from our local pulpits. Among both laity and clergy, there has actually been a longstanding reluctance to boldly proclaim "The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage." Yet as per Princeton's Robert George: "The question of faith and fidelity that it put to us today is not in the form it was put to Peter - 'surely you are not this man's disciple' - it is, rather, do you stand for the sanctity of human life and the dignity of marriage as the union of husband and wife?"
"Witnessing what we know to be true also means expressing our convictions publicly and confidently. The Christian faith is personal but never private. It always has a community dimension. It always has public obligations" (Archbishop Chaput, 5/30/14).
How did we become so reluctant to proclaim "The Redemption of the Body and the Sacramentality of Marriage"? Well, Catholics did not escape from the scandalous influence of the Insistence on the inseparability of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act was treated with growing dismissiveness by many who should have known better. In the monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae, Saint John Paul II recognized failure to see the inseparable connection between what we do with our bodies and our spirituality. Across a span of five years, Saint John Paul II's weekly catechetical sessions focused on the Theology of the Body:
Despite what silly news reports might now claim, what Saint John Paul II declared in his Theology of the Body has continued to be declared by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis! On departing the Vatican on 3/27/14, the media missed the significance of Pope Francis giving President Obama a copy of Evangelii Gaudium:
6/5/14 - Public Witnesses at Governor Corbett's officesAs per the Pennsylvania Pro Life Coalition, there will be peaceful, prayerful 11:00 a.m. witnesses at Gov. Corbett's (717 772 9003; email@example.com) offices in Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton, urging that he reconsider and appeal Judge John Jones' horrendous court decision.
6/7/14 - "The Pill Kills"Monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Humanae Vitae was spearheaded by a rejection of the Church's teaching against contraception. While rejecting the Church's teaching, it seems likely that most of that era were ignorant of how many so-called "contraceptives" - including hormonal "contraceptives" - can work as abortifacients. The rejection of the inseparability of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act also left numerous Catholics unable to explain the magnificent truth of authentic marriage. On June 7, the American Life League's STOPP International, is urging law-abiding, peaceful, prayerful local efforts to focus "on the death and damage heaped upon women and babies by [so-called] contraceptives" (cf., http://www.stopp.org/article.php?id=13684). Almost every pharmacy (including those in department stores and supermarkets) sells abortifacients/contraceptives. Two of the world's "leading" manufacturers of "the Pill" are headquartered in our own backyard: Teva of North Wales and Wyeth of St. Davids (See http://contraceptive.ippf.org/search and www.thepill.com.).
6/8/14 Trinity Sunday - "Marriage Sunday"As per the Pennsylvania Pro Life Coalition, "The observance of Trinity Sunday...provides a very appropriate and timely opportunity for clergy to educate on the true nature of marriage and to urge contact with Gov. Corbett....This Sunday can also serve to promote attendance at the June 19, 2014 March for Marriage in Washington, DC....Please ask your Bishop and Pastor to conduct such activities on this Sunday, respectively, in their Diocese or Church."
6/19/14 - Gov. Corbett's deadline for appealing the decision and the March for Marriage
- "I am greatly disappointed in the Federal Court ruling overturning Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and redefining marriage. I am also disappointed that you have chosen to give up the fight and not to appeal this ruling. The Defense of Marriage law, declaring that marriage in Pennsylvania is the union of one man and one woman, was enacted by an overwhelming vote of the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge. It was wrong of Attorney General Kane not to defend it against the ACLU challenge, and I am asking you to not do the same thing.
"Children have a right to a mother and a father and that is a right that government is bound to respect and encourage. This ruling short-circuits the public debate and casts aside the will of the people of Pennsylvania and our elected representatives.
"I strongly urge you to reconsider your decision not to appeal the ruling and to ask the court to prevent issuance of licenses to same-sex couples while the case is on appeal. I look forward to your reply." (Click this Pa Family Institute link, to send the preceding message to the governor.)
- "The annual March for Marriage will take place on Thursday, June 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on the U.S. Capitol grounds, First Street NW and Constitution Ave., in Washington, D.C. This is a crucial opportunity for Philadelphia Catholics to show their support for the family and for marriage as a permanent union of one man and one woman. Buses will leave from St. Raymond Parish in Philadelphia; St. Andrew Parish in Newtown (Bucks County); SS. Simon and Jude Parish, West Chester (Chester County); St. Pius X Parish, Broomall (Delaware County) and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, Limerick (Montgomery County). Cultures change when people change. And people change through the word and witness of other people. This is a moment to show our support for the nature of the family and the integrity of marriage as foundation stones of our life as a nation. Please make every effort this year to join the March for Marriage" (Archbishop Chaput, 5/30/14).
7/20/14 - 7/26/14 - National NFP Awareness Week
"Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law."
DON'T FORGET THE FEDERAL LEVEL....
Immediately to our East, Congressman Chris Smith is the primary sponsor of HR 3279, as well as a co-sponsor of HJRes51, HR3133, and HR 3829. In what Fitzpatrick has indicated would be his last term in the House, would he stand with the USCCB and oppose HR 1755? Would he work to de-fund Planned Parenthood?
Should Catholics vote for someone who is not up to the task of standing up for life/marriage or seek a write-in?