In Pennsylvania's

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NJ Assisted Suicide Bill to be voted on, tomorrow....

Please share with family/friends in the Garden State....

In a separate matter,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A2270, the NJ Assisted Suicide Bill

NJ Right to Life is coordinating efforts TODAY, to voice opposition to A2270, the NJ Assisted Suicide Bill (http://capwiz.com/njrtl/callalert/index.tt?alertid=63262361).

The NJ Catholic Conference is also coordinating efforts, to voice opposition to A2270
(https://votervoice.net/mobile/NJCC/Campaigns)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Every child comes from a mother and a father and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing to be loved by his mother and father is an outright injustice."

"Love is the answer, but love in truth....Every child comes from a mother and a father and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing to be loved by his mother and father is an outright injustice...none of these solutions [i.e., He mentioned various social initiatives] will have a lasting effect if we do not rebuild a marriage culture....Praise to God forever and ever.  Amen" (Archbishop Cordileone, March for Marriage, 6/19/14).

As chairman of the USCCB's Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone is urging support and co-sponsorship in the U.S. House of Representatives for
  • the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (HJ Res 51),
  • the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (HR 3133), and
  • the State Marriage Defense Act (HR 3829).

How has Pennsylvania's representation in the U.S. House of Representatives been responding? 
Bravo Representatives Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster!  Bravo Bravissimo!

BTW, the March for Marriage was NOT just a Catholic event, NOT just a Christian event....

"People from across the ideological spectrum will all admit that marriage between a man and a woman is best for raising children and building strong communities."

"This is a movement based on love for what is best for children and families in America.  People from across the ideological spectrum will all admit that marriage between a man and a woman is best for raising children and building strong communities....Marriage is not just a romantic relationship between two people....We have to re-claim marriage for what it is" (Rick Santorum, March for Marriage, 6/19/14).


"Until we engage and demand every member of Congress stand for marriage, stand for families, stand for our children['s], they will not engage on our side." 

"Until we engage and demand every member of Congress stand for marriage, stand for families, stand for our children['s], they will not engage on our side"

As per Archbishop Cordileone's 2/19/14 letter to Congressman Tim Huelskamp, "As the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, I write in strong support of your resolution, H. J. Res. 51, the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution....[I] urge your colleagues to join H. J. Res. 51 as cosponsors."
  • "The response in Congress has been nearly deafening silence....The language we selected was identical to language adopted in 2006.  Two hundred and thirty eight members [sic] of congress voted for that language in 2006, but...today we only have fifty-eight co-sponsors for the traditional definition of marriage....Two hundred and thirty six to fifty-eight.  One could surmise we are losing ground here and yes much of the political class in Washington has sat quietly by....The battle, remember, is won by those who are engaged and not by those sitting on the sidelines....Until we engage and demand every member of Congress stand for marriage, stand for families, stand for our children['s], they will not engage on our side" (Congressman Tim Huelskamp, March for Marriage, 6/19/14).


In addition to HJ Res 51, the USCCB has endorsed the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (HR 3133) and the State Marriage Defense Act (HR 3829). How has Pennsylvania's representation been responding?
Bravo Representatives Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster!  Bravo Bravissimo!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=gKqhClu0sHE#t=2057

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"the effort to protect marriage in Pennsylvania continues."

As per yesterday's email from the Pa Family Inst,

"Once again, Federal District Judge John E. Jones made his opinion known about Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  On May 20th, Judge Jones overturned that law, stating that the very notion that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman should be thrown 'on the ash heap of history.'

"This morning, and again with strong language, Jones denied a request for intervention in the case made by Schuylkill County Register of Wills Theresa Gaffney.  Mrs. Gaffney seeks to appeal Judge Jones' ruling overturning DOMA, since neither Gov. Corbett nor Attorney General Kathleen Kane would do so.

"However, the effort to protect marriage in Pennsylvania continues. This afternoon, attorneys representing Mrs. Gaffney filed papers with the US Court of Appeals, seeking to overrule the denial of intervention, and to allow an appeal by Theresa Gaffney to go forward.

"Please pray for this case, for Theresa Gaffney, and for the attorneys that are continuing to press this case onward."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pa Catholic Conference "Current Alerts" and USCCB's "Alerts Central"


As per the USCCB's "Alerts Central" (http://cqrcengage.com/catholicbishops/action):

(Click chart to enlarge sections of chart.)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father's Day Model for the Defense of Life and Marriage

As reported in today's Courier Times, it was on Father's Day a half century ago that Phillies' father of seven (at the time) Jim Bunning threw a perfect game against the New York Mets....

On June 21, 1964, 32 year old Bunning had brought his family for a trip to Shea Stadium.  In 1964 and  1965, the New York Mets' home was adjacent to the World's Fair grounds (Michelangelo's Pieta was even there at that time.).  With the post perfect game media frenzy, the Bunning family had to wait for another day to visit the World's Fair!

After his baseball career, Jim Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and the United States . In 2004, Jim Bunning was elected to his second term in the United States senate, where the Catholic statesman  had a reputation as untiringly pro life and untiringly pro marriage (Nothing about that in today's Courier Times!)...


One day, our Lord will call for Jim Bunning (like He will for each of us) out of the bullpen of this life. To Jim Bunning, it is easy to imagine that our Lord will say: "Well done, good and faithful servant." 

Come Judgment Day, Jim Bunning's untiring defense of life and marriage will be of far, far greater significance than the game he played in 1964.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Most Holy Trinity and Marriage - and Father's Day!

The Most Holy Trinity and Marriage

"Jesus Christ revealed to humankind what man could never know by the power of the human intellect alone: the mysterious and wondrous secret of the inner life of God: the Most Holy Trinity. Through the revelation of the Holy Trinity a new dimension of understanding is presented to man, which throws a divine and revealing light upon the reality of who the human person is, the purpose of his existence, and the life to which he is called....: 
"'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the hierarchy of the truths of faith' (CCC No. 234)....
"Christ's revelation of the inner life of God illumines not only our dependence on God, but who we are as persons, how we should relate to others, and how society should function and exist in relation to God. Therefore the Most Holy Trinity is the Light that enlightens every aspect of the human person.

"The Compendium of The Social Doctrine of The Church (CSDC) states:
"'The revelation in Christ of the mystery of God as Trinitarian love is at the same time the revelation of the vocation of the human person to love. This revelation sheds light on every aspect of the personal dignity and freedom of men and women, and on the depths of their social nature' (CSDC, No. 34)....
"Pope John Paul II stated in his apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) that 'Man - whether man or woman - is the only being among the creatures of the visible world that God the Creator has willed for its own sake; that creature is thus a person. Being a person means striving towards self-realization, which can only be achieved through a sincere gift of self. The model for this interpretation of the person is God himself as Trinity, as a communion of Persons.'
"Since the model for interpreting ourselves 'is God as Trinity, as a communion of Persons,' we can easily extend this principle to include marriage and family. Thus we can understand why the errors of our age concerning the meaning and purpose of marriage are so completely at odds with  what the reality of a true and correct interpretation is....


"As we reflect on the Holy Trinity one of the first things we notice is the inseparable relationship between the three distinct Persons who are the one God. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. We might say that the life of the Triune God is the highest and supreme principle of familial relationship. This profound bond of unity among the three divine Persons makes them 'inseparable in what they are,' and 'inseparable in what they do' (CCC No. 267). This inseparable unity also occurs in matrimony: that Christian marital bond between man and wife which is established and sealed by God himself (see CCC Nos. 1639-1640)....

"[The] aspect of Love giving life to yet more Love is clearly what occurs in marriage when children are conceived. The man and wife, in an act of complete self-giving, produce, as a result of their own love for one another, a new life: a child whose eyes reflect the Most Holy Trinity, and whose love for the parents is so completely bound up in his or her life as to be inseparable from it. At birth, this child will look into his father's and mother's eyes; yet he is not meeting his parents for the first time; for he has already known and loved them. The family existed at the moment of the child's conception, bound together in unity and love.

"The importance of the family cannot be overstressed. The Church considers the family as 'the first natural society,' and 'places it at the center of social life' (CSDC No. 211). John Paul II observed in Christifideles Laici that the family is presented, in the Creator's plan, as 'the primary place of ''humanization'' for the person and society' and the 'cradle of life and love'" (F.K. Bartels, The Most Holy Trinity: Supreme Model for Family And Marriage, 7/2/10).

Redefining Marriage and Disenfranchising Fathers

"same-sex marriage stands as a particularly decisive blow in the disenfranchisement of fathers in American culture. How? By reinforcing the idea that one parent is disposable....

"At its root, same-sex marriage is predicated on two grossly faulty premises:
(1) that children do not need both a mother and a father;
(2) that two moms or two dads are just as good as a mother and a father." (Kathleen Parker,Same-sex Marriage And The Disposal Of Fatherhood, 7/4/04)

The Most Holy Trinity and Marriage - and Father's Day!

This weekend, let us pray that priests and deacons throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Indeed, throughout all Pennsylvania) will recognize that the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061514.cfm ) - as well as Father's Day - presents an especially appropriate time to proclaim the truth about marriage and family!


Harrisburg & DC updates on human life and marriage/family

Harrisburg


The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference indicates support for HB 587, SB 75, and HB 2111 / SB 1339.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is opposed to HB 162 and HB 300 / SB 300.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference supports marriage and is opposed to its re-definition (Click to Email Gov Corbett, Lt Gov Cawley and all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg on these matters.).

Email Gov. Corbett and all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg, asking that they oppose SB 872 and HB 1848.
  • Oppose SB 872: ''the American College of Pediatricians and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality insist that adolescents retain their right to choose SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts] with full informed consent under the care of experts in the field'' (Adolescents, Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, American College of Pediatricians, 2/13/14).
  • Oppose HB1848 - As per the Pa Pro Life Federation, ''this is a bad bill which would take away our right to vote for appellate judges.''
Support HB 1762.  As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "Please call and write the following State Representatives and urge them to promptly pass H.B.1762.
"Rep. Jerry Stern
Chairman
Pa. House Pro-Life Caucus
324 Allegheny Street
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648-2013
814-695-2398
315A Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2080
717-787-9020
jstern@pahousegop.com
"Rep. Ron Marsico
Chairman
Pa. House Judiciary Committee
4401 Linglestown Road - Suite B
Harrisburg, PA 17112-8557
717-652-3721
218 Ryan Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2105
717-783-2014

rmarsico@pahousegop.com

"Rep. Mike Turzai
Pa. House Majority Leader
125 Hillvue Lane - 1st Floor
McCandless, PA 15237-7317
412-369-2230
110 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2028
717-772-9943
mturzai@pahousegop.com"


Washington, D.C.

Please copy/paste the following into a message for Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/30688/Respond):
 

"It is deeply troubling that Senators Casey and Toomey voted for S 815, which the USCCB says 'could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches.'  We need Mike Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house version, HR 1755.



"In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - please CO-SPONSOR/ SUPPORT HR 3279/S1848 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act), HR732/S32/S369 (the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR940/S1204 (the Health Care Conscience Rights Act), HR3133/S1808 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), HR7/S946 (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act), HR1797/S1670/S 886 (the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), HR 3829/S2024 (the State Marriage Defense Act), and HR301/S653 (To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia).


"Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood. 


"Please work to achieve what the USCCB has called 'compassionate immigration reform.'  As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, I ask that you oppose the SAFE Act (cf, https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/33031/Respond)."

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ocean City and Humanae Vitae

For many in Pa's 8th Congressional District, Ocean City (NJ) constitutes extremely familar turf. At ww morning's 8:30 am Mass, Father read some of the prophetics words from Humanae Vitae,
  • "17. 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. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection."

  • "Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.
This weekend, let us pray that priests and deacons in the 8th Congressional District will evidence similar forthrightness and mark the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061514.cfm
) as an especially appropriate time to proclaim the truth about marriage and family!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

HB 1762

As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, HB 1762 would require
  • "abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion chamber where they seek to commit abortions.  Several states, in addition to Texas, have recently passed this legislation....An urgent need exists to pass this bill in the Pa. House in June, so it has a realistic chance of passing in the Pa. Senate, so it can be signed by Gov. Tom Corbett while he is still in office....please contact Rep. Stern at jstern@pahousegop.com and 717-787-9020 and ask him to urge Rep. Marsico to run H.B.1762 in the Pa. House Judiciary Committee as soon as possible."

ANSWER: Nada, not one

QUESTION: How many state representatives from Bucks County were among the 20 to sign a June 10th letter, expressing support for the courageous action of Theresa Gaffney?
http://www.pahousegopnews.com/AttachedFiles/June_10_2014/letter%20to%20mrs_%20gaffney-PA%20DEFENSE%20OF%20MARRIAGE%20ACT001.pdf

It is certainly NOT surprising to NOT see Tina Davis' or Steve Santarsiero's names on this list. However,
Where is Paul Clymer's name?
Where is Gene DiGirolamo's name?
Where is Frank Farry's name?
Where is John Galloway's name?
Where is Bernie O'Neil's name?
Where is Scott Petri's name?
Where is Marguerite Quinn's name?
Where is Kathy Watson's name?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Catholics (and others) Defending Marriage

As per yesterday's email from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,
  • "Theresa Gaffney, Clerk of the Orphan's Court of Schuylkill County, is working to protect the beauty of marriage between one man and one woman in Pennsylvania. She has filed a motion to intervene in the recent federal district case that declared unconstitutional the law defining marriage between one man and one woman." The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has set up a special web page to send messages of support to Theresa Gaffney: https://www.votervoice.net/mobile/PACC/Campaigns/36379/Respond 
As per the Pro Life Coalition of Pennsylvania,
  • "the leaders of the Pa. General Assembly have legal standing to petition to intervene to appeal this case....The leaders of the Pa. General Assembly and their contact information are as follows:
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley [of Bucks County]
President, Pa. Senate
200 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0022
717-787-3300
jimcawley@pa.gov
ra-ltgovweb@pa.gov

Sen. Joe Scarnati
Senate President Pro-Tempore
292 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3025
717-787-7084
jscarnati@pasen.gov

Rep. Samuel H. Smith
Speaker of the Pa. House
139 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2066
717-787-3845
shsmith@pahousegop.com
Please contact these officials and urge them to petition to intervene and appeal Judge Jones May 20, 2014 decision that declared Pa.'s Marriage Law to be unconstitutional."

The USCCB
  • On the federal level, don't forget that we need to get behind USCCB-backed efforts to defend marriage, such as HJ Res 51, HR 3133, and HR 3829. Representatives Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster deserve our thanks:

As per the Archdiocese and the March for Marriage (June 19)
  • "The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Life and Family is sending a bus from each county of the Archdiocese to attend the Marriage March in Washington, D.C.....Archdiocesan buses will aim to arrive at 10:00 am....A seat on a bus costs $15 per person.  To reserve seats on a bus, please contact the bus captain directly.  Mail your payment to the parish in an envelope marked 'Attn:  March for Marriage'. Checks should be made out to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Seating is limited, reserve your seats soon....
Bucks County
St. Andrew Parish
81 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940
Bus Captain:  Peggy, yardleymom@gmail.com"
http://phillycatholiclife.org/marchformarriage/

"Colleges and Evangelicals Collide on Bias Policy" (NY Times, 6/10/14)

Keep in mind that these excerpts are NOT from a socially conservative publication but from our country's socially liberal paper of record....

"BRUNSWICK, Me. — For 40 years, evangelicals at Bowdoin College have gathered periodically to study the Bible together, to pray and to worship....

"After this summer, the Bowdoin Christian Fellowship will no longer be recognized by the college....

"In a collision between religious freedom and antidiscrimination policies, the student group, and its advisers, have refused to agree to the college’s demand that any student, regardless of his or her religious beliefs, should be able to run for election as a leader of any group, including the Christian association.

"Similar conflicts are playing out on a handful of campuses around the country, driven by the universities’ desire to rid their campuses of bias, ...but also, in the eyes of evangelicals, fueled by a discomfort in academia with conservative forms of Christianity. The universities have been emboldened to regulate religious groups by a Supreme Court ruling in 2010....

"At Cal State, the nation’s largest university system with nearly 450,000 students on 23 campuses, the chancellor is preparing this summer to withdraw official recognition from evangelical groups that are refusing to pledge not to discriminate on the basis of religion in the selection of their leaders. And at Vanderbilt, more than a dozen groups, most of them evangelical but one of them Catholic, have already lost their official standing over the same issue; one Christian group balked after a university official asked the students to cut the words 'personal commitment to Jesus Christ' from their list of qualifications for leadership.

"At most universities that have begun requiring religious groups to sign nondiscrimination policies, Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and mainline Protestant groups have agreed, saying they do not discriminate and do not anticipate that the new policies will cause problems....

"The evangelical groups say they, too, welcome anyone to participate in their activities.... But they insist that, in choosing leaders, who often oversee Bible study and prayer services, it is only reasonable that they be allowed to require some basic Christian faith.... and often an implicit expectation that unmarried student leaders... will abstain from sex....

"Some institutions..have opted to exempt religious groups from nondiscrimination policies.... But evangelical groups have lost official status at...others, and their advocates are worried that Cal State could be a tipping point....

"Bowdoin officials say they, too, are disappointed.

“'I want them on campus, because it’s a sanctuary for many of our conservative evangelical students — Bowdoin has accepted these students, and they need a place, and they need to have their faith challenged,' said the Rev. Robert Ives, a United Church of Christ minister who is the director of religious and spiritual life at Bowdoin. 'But every organization has to be open to every student, and every position of leadership has to be open to any individual, without discrimination'"
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/10/us/colleges-and-evangelicals-collide-on-bias-policy.html?_r=0&referrer=

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Penn Catholic Conf: "Send an email of support [to] Theresa Gaffney today!"

The Pa Catholic Conf has set up a special web page to send messages of support to Theresa Santai Gaffney: https://www.votervoice.net/mobile/PACC/Campaigns/36379/Respond

On the federal level, don't forget that we need to get behind USCCB-backed efforts to defend marriage, such as HJ Res 51, HR 3133, and HR 3829. Representatives Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster deserve our thanks. They are Pennsylvanians who have gone to the U.S. House, embracing marriage:


The Most Holy Trinity and the defense of authentic marriage....

Defending authentic marriage may not be appealing and may in fact be frightening, but it is what we are called to do.
"Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
This coming Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (www.usccb.org/bible/readings/061514.cfm
) has also been given to us and happens to be an especially appropriate time to proclaim the truth about marriage and family! Let us pray that our pastors embrace that ring!

On a state level, all of us need to get behind rare and courageous leaders like Theresa Santai Gaffney and Daryl Metcalfe. At the same time, we must remember that it is NOT just a state issue!....

On a federal level, we need to get behind USCCB-backed efforts to defend marriage, such as HJ Res 51, HR 3133, and HR 3829. Kudos to Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster - Pennsylvanians who have gone to the U.S. House, embracing this:


Monday, June 9, 2014

Feast of St Ephrem, June 9

Bucks County is home to one of the few parishes in the U.S. named for the saint whose feast we celebrate, today...

"St Ephrem the Syrian...was born into a Christian family in Nisibis in about 306 A.D. He was Christianity's most important Syriac-speaking representative and uniquely succeeded in reconciling the vocations of theologian and poet....He died... in 373, a victim of the disease he contracted while caring for those infected with the plague....

 "Ephrem's reflection on the theme of God the Creator is important: nothing in creation is isolated and the world, next to Sacred Scripture, is a Bible of God. By using his freedom wrongly, man upsets the cosmic order [emphasis added].

"The role of women was important to Ephrem. The way he spoke of them was always inspired with sensitivity and respect: the dwelling place of Jesus in Mary's womb greatly increased women's dignity. Ephrem held that just as there is no Redemption without Jesus, there is no Incarnation without Mary. The divine and human dimensions of the mystery of our redemption can already be found in Ephrem's texts....

"Ephrem honoured by Christian tradition with the title 'Harp of the Holy Spirit', remained a deacon of the Church throughout his life" (Pope Benedict XVI, 11/28/07).

"clergy must boldly proclaim the truth about the nature and purpose of marriage. Citizens need to courageously take a public stand."

As Michael McMonagle BRILLIANTLY explained in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
  • "On May 20, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones 3d declared Pennsylvania's law that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman unconstitutional. The next day, Gov. Corbett refused to appeal the ruling, which represents a betrayal of his duty as governor and his promises to voters....the most likely explanation for this change of heart is that he believes his political interests are best served by not appealing. But here's the reality: Corbett's failure to appeal greatly reduces his reelection chances, as many pro-life voters will not reward such betrayal..... Corbett is wrong to suggest that his decision does not conflict with his Catholic faith....the undermining of God's image through same-sex marriage undermines the sanctity of human life....clergy must boldly proclaim the truth about the nature and purpose of marriage. Citizens need to courageously take a public stand" ( http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20140605_Appeal_ruling_on_marriage.html#imrcsecpXVcgevlY.99)

Since Corbett's announcement, little has been said from Bucks County pulpits, as to the truth about marriage and family. In the short term, the temptation is to return to "business as usual" and to let this whole marriage issue "fade away." Our children and our grandhildren are far too important for us to forget whom we serve!

On a state level, we need to get behind those rare and courageous leaders like Theresa Santai Gaffney and Daryl Metcalfe. Yet, marriage is NOT just a state issue!....

On a national level, we - and our legislators - need to get behind USCCB-backed efforts to defend marriage, such as HJ Res 51, HR 3133, and HR 3829. Kudos to Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, Keith Rothfus, and Bill Shuster - Pennsylvanians who have gone to the U.S. House of Representatives, already recognizing this:


  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A2270/S382 would legalize assisted suicide in NJ

As per Bishop O'Connell of the Trenton Diocese, "The 'NJ Death with Dignity Act' is immoral and, therefore, unacceptable for Catholics to support." As per today's update from NJ Right to Life ,
  • " On June 5, 2014, the NJ Assembly Health and Senior Services committee released Bill A2270 from committee by a vote of 8-4 along party lines. The bill was amended to change the name from the NJ Death with Dignity Act to the NJ Aid in Dying for the Terminally ill.  The referendum lanaguage was also removed so it will not be a question that will go before the voters at election time. It still has the same bill number, which is A2270....Please contact your two Assembly members and State senator immediately and tell them to vote NO on A2270/S382.  Please also contact Governor Christie and urge him to veto this bill"


http://njrtl.org/news/newsdetail.cfm?id=1464

"The federalism proposed by the liberal opponents of a constitutional amendment is in fact a sham" (Robert George and David Tubbs, 2014)

Prophetic words in 2004 from Princeton University legal scholar Robert George and David Tubbs: http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_4_marriage_amendment.html :

  • "When President George W. Bush declared his support for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, his most vitriolic critics, such as Senator Edward Kennedy, accused him of playing a divisive, mean-spirited political game. The New York Times and Washington Post, supporters of the idea of same-sex marriage, raised a more sophisticated objection to the amendment: it betrays, they claim, the venerable principle of American federalism that respects states' relative autonomy in setting marriage policy. Interestingly, some prominent conservative opponents of same-sex 'marriage'...were also skeptical about the amendment on federalism grounds. State voters could and would prevent the imposition of same-sex marriage, these critics argued. There was no need to nationalize the issue.

  • "Despite its widespread appeal, the states' rights solution won't work. Without a federal marriage amendment, we're going to wind up with same-sex marriage in all 50 states. And here's why.

  • "The federalism proposed by the liberal opponents of a constitutional amendment is in fact a sham. It is a contrivance for permitting liberal state judges, abetted by sympathetic justices on the Supreme Court of the United States, to foist same-sex marriage upon the whole nation....

  • "Regrettably, ...state-level political efforts ultimately won't stop the march to redefine marriage [That is NOT to say that those efforts should be abandoned.].  The reason: the Supreme Court is almost certain to nationalize the issue and make same-sex-marriage legal from coast to coast....

  • "Will a Supreme Court...that has refused to accept state differences in laws on contraception or abortion-indefinitely tolerate a federalist approach to marriage policy? It's extremely unlikely....

  • "Were it not for judicial overreach, we would not be having a national debate on same-sex marriage. That we are having one raises troubling questions about the condition of democratic self-government in America today. For defensive reasons, therefore, we need a federal marriage amendment."

Fast Forward to 2014 and USCCB-backed Efforts to Protect Marriage on a Federal Level



HJ Res 51 - As per Archbishop Cordileone's 2/19/14 letter to Representative Tim Huelskamp,



  • "As the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, I write in strong support of your resolution, H. J. Res. 51, the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution....Recently, a number of federal courts have ruled against the constitutionality of state marriage laws that honor the reality of marriage as the union of one man and one woman....An amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the only remedy in law against this judicial activism that may ultimately end with federal judges declaring that the U.S. Constitution requires states, and consequently the federal government, to redefine marriage. Just as Roe v. Wade mandated a constitutional right to abortion throughout the country, we now have the possibility of another bad decision mandating a constitutional change in the meaning of marriage....I am, therefore, very pleased to support the Marriage Protection Amendment and urge your colleagues to join H. J. Res. 51 as cosponsors" (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Huelskamp-re-MPA.pdf)




HR 3133 - As per the USCCB's "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act Backgrounder",



  • "The
    M MarriageMarriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133, S. 1808) would bar the federal government
    from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their religiously-motivated
    belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual
    relations are properly reserved to such a marriage....The
    Act is needed because of growing intolerance toward religiously-minded
    individuals and organizations who want to live by their conviction that
    marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are
    properly reserved to such a marriage....In
    light of... government action against those who believe
    that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations
    are properly reserved to such a marriage, it is vital that Congress act now to
    prevent similar intolerance at the federal level" (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/marriage-and-religious-freedom-act-backgrounder.cfm).




HR 3829 - As per Archbishop Cordileone's 1/10/14 letter to Representative Randy Weber, 





Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pennsylvanians in the U.S. House of Representatives and Responses to USCCB Backed Marriage Legislation, as of 6 7 14

As this information gathers responses - thus far - to USCCB requests, it belongs in parish bulletins.... 


Kudos to Representatives Mike Kelly, Joe Pitts, and Keith Rothfus, as well as Bill Shuster!  Bravo!

HJ Res 51 - As per Archbishop Cordileone's 2/19/14 letter to Representative Tim Huelskamp,

  • "As the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, I write in strong support of your resolution, H. J. Res. 51, the Marriage Protection Amendment to the U.S. Constitution....Recently, a number of federal courts have ruled against the constitutionality of state marriage laws that honor the reality of marriage as the union of one man and one woman....An amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the only remedy in law against this judicial activism that may ultimately end with federal judges declaring that the U.S. Constitution requires states, and consequently the federal government, to redefine marriage. Just as Roe v. Wade mandated a constitutional right to abortion throughout the country, we now have the possibility of another bad decision mandating a constitutional change in the meaning of marriage....I am, therefore, very pleased to support the Marriage Protection Amendment and urge your colleagues to join H. J. Res. 51 as cosponsors" (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Huelskamp-re-MPA.pdf)

HR 3133 - As per the USCCB's "Marriage and Religious Freedom Act Backgrounder",

  • "The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 3133, S. 1808) would bar the federal government from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their religiously-motivated belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage....The Act is needed because of growing intolerance toward religiously-minded individuals and organizations who want to live by their conviction that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage....In light of... government action against those who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage, it is vital that Congress act now to prevent similar intolerance at the federal level" (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/marriage-and-religious-freedom-act-backgrounder.cfm).

HR 3829 - As per Archbishop Cordileone's 1/10/14 letter to Representative Randy Weber, 

  • "I am...very pleased to support the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014 and urge your colleagues to join H.R. 3829 as cosponsors" (http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Weber-re-SMDA.pdf).

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Assembly Health & Sr. Services Committee Schedules Hearing on Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide-Take Action Now!" (NJ Right to Life, 6/2/14)

Please share with pro life family and friends in New Jersey: http://www.njrtl.org/news/newsdetail.cfm?id=1464.  As per the Diocese of Trenton:
  • "The Death with Dignity Act is scheduled to be heard before the New Jersey Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on Thursday, June 5th at 10:00am.  Please contact your NJ State Legislators, even if you have already done so,  by clicking on this link to use the NJCC Faith in Action Center. The Death with Dignity Act, A2270, a bill authorizing physician assisted suicide, would allow a person who has a 'terminal disease' to request a prescription from a physician for lethal drugs that would end their life. Terminal disease is defined as an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, result in a patient’s death within six months. Please ask legislators to oppose A2270/S382. For more information click here."

June 5, June 7, 8, 19; July 20 - 26

6/5/14 - Public Witness at Governor Corbett's Southeast Pa Office


6/7/14 - "The Pill Kills"

http://thepillkills.org/
https://www.youtube.com/embed/jiCU46_lWeE?feature=player_embedded
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"

“We live in a world short on love.  Today, love is too often understood as romantic sentimentality rather than unbreakable commitment. But sentimentality is unsatisfying.  Material things, and comfort, and pleasure bring only fleeting happiness.  The truth is that we are all searching for real love, because we are all searching for meaning…. 

“Today, our culture rejects love when it rejects the gift of new life, through the use of contraception

“Husbands and wives are made to freely offer themselves as gifts to one another in friendship, and to share in the life-giving love of God.

“He created marriage to be unifying and procreative.  To join husband and wife inseparably in the mission of love, and to bring forth from that love something new…. 

“God made us to love and to be loved.  He made us to delight in the power of sexual love to bring forth new human beings, children of God, created with immortal souls.  Our Church has always taught that rejecting the gift of children erodes the love between husband and wife: it distorts the unitive and procreative nature of marriage.  The use of contraception gravely and seriously disrupts the sacrificial, holy, and loving meaning of marriage itself….

“God is present in every marriage, and present during every marital embrace.  He created sexuality so that males and females could mirror the Trinity: forming, in their sexual union, the life-long bonds of family.  God chose to make spouses cooperators with him in creating new human lives, destined for eternity.  Those who use contraception diminish their power to unite and they give up the opportunity to cooperate with God in the creation of life….

“The sexual intimacy of marriage, the most intimate kind of human friendship, is a pathway to sharing in God’s own life.  It is a pathway to the fullness of our own human life; it is a means of participating in the incredible love of God.  Contraception impedes our share in God’s creative love.  And thus it impedes our joy….

“Of course, there are some true and legitimate reasons why, at certain times, families may discern being called to the sacrifice of delaying children. For families with serious mental, physical, or emotional health problems, or who are experiencing dire financial troubles, bearing children might best be delayed.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that couples must have ‘just’ reasons to delay childbearing. For couples facing difficulties of various kinds, the Church recommends Natural Family Planning: a method for making choices about engaging in fruitful sexual relations. 

“Natural Family Planning does not destroy the power to give life: instead, it challenges couples to discern prayerfully when to engage in life-giving sexual acts. It is an integrated, organic and holistic approach to fertility care….

“I encourage all couples who use Natural Family Planning to be very open with each other concerning the reasons they think it right to limit their family size, to take their thoughts to God, and to pray for his guidance….

“I would like to address in a special way Catholic physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals….

“No Catholic healthcare provider, in good conscience, should engage in the practice of medicine by undermining the gift of fertility.  There is no legitimate medical reason to aid in the acts of contraception or sterilization….

“the effects of contraception often mask the underlying conditions that endanger women’s health.  Today, there are safe, natural means of correcting hormonal imbalances, and solving the conditions that are often treated by contraception….

“The good example of a physician who refuses to prescribe contraceptives and perform sterilizations or a pharmacist who refuses to distribute contraceptives in spite of antagonism, financial loss, or professional pressure is an opportunity to participate in the suffering of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for the Catholic physicians and pharmacists who evangelize their patients and colleagues through a commitment to the truth….

“Dear brother priests, I encourage you to preach about the dangers of contraception, and to visit with families in your parish about this issue….

“Today, openness to children is rarely celebrated, rarely understood, and rarely supported.  To many, the Church’s teachings on life seem oppressive or old-fashioned.  Many believe that the Church asks too great a sacrifice.

“But sacrifice is the language of love.  And in sacrifice, we speak the language of God himself.  I am calling you, dear brothers and sisters, to encounter Christ in your love for one another.  I am calling you to rich and abundant family life.  I am calling you to rejoice in the love, and the sacrifice, for which you were made.  I am calling your family to share in the creative, active love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Bishop James Conley, The Language of Love, 3/25/14).
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).  
In the above press release, the editor goes on to note:  "To reserve a bus seat, please contact the Office for Life and Family website at http://phillycatholiclife.org/marchformarriage/. For more information about the March for Marriage, please visit www.marriagemarch.org/about."




7/20/14 - 7/26/14 - National NFP Awareness Week

As per the USCCB,  "The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25)....[and] the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother." 


DON'T FORGET THE FEDERAL LEVEL....

Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT signed on as a co-sponsor of USCCB-backed HR 3279 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act),  HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR3133 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), or HR 3829 (the State Marriage Defense Act).  Especially because he has maintained that marriage is a "states'" issue, why is he NOT among the co-sponsors of HR 3829?

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?

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