None of us - neither laity nor clergy - should fear sharing the light that the Church brings to the darkness of our time. We should not be afraid to share alerts from the USCCB* and/or the Pa Catholic Conference from the pulpit, in parish bulletins, and on parish bulletin boards....
The USCCB* and/or the Pa Catholic Conference facilitate requests for leaders in Washington, to....
- Oppose the so-called Protect Women's Health from Corporate Interference Act (S 2578)
- Support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (S 946)
- Support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HR 940)
- Support the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act
- Support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR 36)
- Support "just and compassionate immigration reform" (Tell Pres. Obama to Oppose use of "family detention." Ask our member of the U.S. House to Support “a path to citizenship and to oppose repealing or undoing laws that protect vulnerable children, families and refugees.”)
- Support the Student Success Act (HR 5)
- Support the State Marriage Defense Act of 2015 (HR 824, S 435)
- Support the Marriage Protection Amendment (HJ Res 32). In light of Archbishop Cordileone's support of a Marriage Protection Amendment in the last Congress, it is anticipated that there will soon be a USCCB alert for a Marriage Amendment.. Until then, you can use http://www.capwiz.com/nationformarriage/issues/alert/?alertid=63432731
- Support the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act. In light of the USCCB's past support, it is anticipated that there will soon be a USCCB alert for the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act. Until then, you can use: http://www.capwiz.com/nationformarriage/issues/alert/?alertid=64032671&type=CO
*In addition to "ALERTS CENTRAL" the USCCB notes that "Action alerts for pro-life issues can also be found through our partner organization, the National Committee for the Human Life Amendment" and "Action alerts for issues related to immigration reform can be found through the USCCB-led Catholic coalition, Justice for Immigrants."
"The March for Marriage is set for Saturday, April 25th [at 10 a.m, near the Capital in DC] which is within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral argument on the cases before them that will decide the legal status of marriage. This case could prove to be the Roe of marriage, or it could be a great win for us" (Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage).If the Archdiocese does not organize buses to the March (It has done so for the first two Marches; keep an eye on www.phillycatholiclife.org.), Amtrak can take you from Trenton to DC's Union Station in 2.5 hours (about $52, each way).
As per LifeNews.com,
- "The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of pro-abortion Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General, replacing pro-abortion Eric Holder in that top spot in the Obama administration. Lynch’s nomination now heads to the full Senate....Contact your senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and urge a No vote on Lynch’s nomination."
On a state level, the Pa Catholic Conference facilitates requests for our leaders in Harrisburg, to....
- Support equal education funding
- Oppose HB 300 / SB 300 (As the Pa Catholic Conference explains, “In other states, this law has shuttered Catholic adoption agencies and trampled religious liberty….Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith.")
- "Urge Your State Lawmakers Not to Co-Sponsor Assisted Suicide Bills" (i.e., Rep. Mark Rozzi's so-called CARE Act and Senator Daylin Leach's so-called Death with Dignity Act)
As per LifeSiteNews.com,
- "Tell Canada’s Parliament to block Supreme Court ruling legalizing assisted suicide by using 'notwithstanding clause’"
As per the American Life League,
- "Please sign the petition asking Cardinal Dolan to step down as Grand Marshall" of the so-called St. Patrick's Day Parade (In Cardinal O'Connor's time, that parade could have rightly been called St. Patrick's!)
Starting near St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City's March 17th Parade goes up Fifth Avenue, as far as 81st Street. There at parade's end in 1980, this blogger saw the backs of a large group of apparently inebriated young men, as they relieved themselves against the wall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While I may have been in my own "wild and crazy" college years, I was embarrassed. As a first generation Irish Catholic New Yorker, that scene contributed to the worst stereotypes of my people.As per LifeNew.com,
In 1984, a priest out of Philly arrived on Broadway and took Gotham by storm. John Cardinal O'Connor had a feistiness ready to counter Big Apple brazenness with the loving truth of the Gospel. He fought to recapture the authentic identity of Catholic institutions. An unexpected friendship developed between O'Connor and New York City's brash mayor, Ed Koch, who was often on the opposite end of the philosophical spectrum:
"In New York as elsewhere, the Roman Catholic Church operates a network of institutions and projects, ranging from schools and hospitals to child care agencies and housing rehabilitation. Almost all of these activities involve public funds. In several areas, the city contracts with church agencies to carry out public functions, such as the care and placement of foster children. The Mayor takes the position that if there is a 'youngster who is sexually active, and who will be sexually active no matter what,' then his or her foster care program should encourage the use of birth control.
"The Cardinal, not surprisingly, insists on allowing 'Church-sponsored agencies to administer their programs according to their own principles.' As it happens, Catholic foster care programs now accept youngsters of other religious faiths. Even so, the issue is one of philosophy: contraceptive use by non-Catholics is no less immoral than it is for Catholics. If we pursue the Mayor's plan, the Cardinal adds, we may someday find condoms 'stashed into cereal boxes for little kids to discover as prizes'....
"The Cardinal links the Holocaust with what he sees as murdering the unborn: the one was, and the other is, intentional killing. Moreover, he does not regard his church's intervention in this area as an attempt to impose its will on other citizens. In his reading of natural law, this is a debate with only one valid side.....
"with the advent of the Mayor's Executive Order 50 in 1980, ...private agencies receiving funds from the city could not refuse to hire people because of their 'sexual orientation or affectional preference.' Thus Catholic charitable organizations receiving city funds might have to hire social workers who openly admitted their homosexuality....[The Church] would consider hiring a homosexual social worker 'as long as such an individual was sincerely trying to be chaste.' Needless to say, this is not what the Mayor and other promoters of Executive Order 50 had in mind" (NY Times, 3/26/89).
Cardinal O'Connor did not shy away from confronting prominent Catholic politicians, who were offering dopey statements as to how they could personally oppose abortion while publicly supporting it! For his forthrightness on moral topics, he was often an object of scorn and attack:
"While some 4,500 people demonstrated outside St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday, several dozen disrupted the Mass at 10:15 A.M. to protest John Cardinal O'Connor's recent statements on abortion, homosexuality and AIDS."Some of the protesters chained themselves to pews inside the cathedral, while others shouted or lay in aisles...."The police said 111 people were arrested, including 43 inside the church...."Cardinal O'Connor, who has frequently called homosexual acts a sin and has opposed the use of condoms, counseling abstinence instead, told the parishioners during the service, 'Never respond to hatred'...."He later said that he thought it was 'kind of ironic that I'm accused of not doing enough.' He said he had consistently advocated increased government spending on AIDS care and research. Cardinal O'Connor also said the archdiocese was devoting 10 to 12 percent of its health-care beds to people with AIDS, 'and expanding.'
"The protest was co-sponsored by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or Act-Up. The Women's Health Action Mobilization, or Wham!, also joined the protest. A spokeswoman said the group is devoted to securing 'reproductive freedom for all women'....
"About 100 counter-demonstrators gathered to support the Cardinal and to protest what several said was an encroachment on religious freedom."Mayor Edward I. Koch, who attended the Mass, criticized the demonstrators, saying 'If you don't like the church, go out and find one you like - or start your own'...."Protesters said yesterday's action was prompted by what they said was Cardinal O'Connor's growing verbal assault on abortion and on the use of 'safe sex' with condoms as a precaution against AIDS."In October, the Cardinal expressed his admiration for Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group that frequently blocks entrances to abortion clinics. In a speech at the Vatican in November, he re-stated his view that distributing condoms or clean needles was an inappropriate way to combat the spread of the AIDS virus. In a phrase frequently condemned by demonstrators yesterday, he said, 'Good morality is good medicine.'"The Cardinal has also denounced violence against homosexuals and against people with AIDS" (NY Times, 12/11/89).
Cardinal O'Connor famously resisted allowing groups in the March 17th Parade, under banners advocating practices absolutely inconsistent with Catholic teaching. Yet when I first heard about that, my thoughts went back to those not-yet-house-broken young men of 1980. How could the religious identity of the parade be insisted upon, when such disgraceful behaviors were tolerated? From what I later heard, Cardinal O'Connor quietly got much of that nonsense cleaned up.
"Avowing love and prayers for homosexuals, the Cardinal warned that he 'could never even be perceived as compromising Catholic teaching' by entertaining their admission as an identifiable group in the city's 232d parade up Manhattan's showcase avenue in honor of St. Patrick....
"The faithful listened to the prelate's every word and joined in the hymn 'Glorious St. Patrick.'
"'In the war against sin,' they sang, 'In the fight for the faith/Dear Saint, may thy children resist to the death.'
"The Cardinal's sermon was up to the spirit of that hymn as he ringingly vowed from the pulpit: 'Neither respectability nor political correctness is worth one comma in the Apostles' Creed'....
"Patricia O'Brien, a 30-year-old marcher with St. John's University, talked about life being a vale of tears that does not allow attention to every marcher. 'Everybody's a sinner,' she said as the music played and the rain descended. 'You don't have a banner if you eat too much or drink too much or live in sin with someone. You march with your own county'" (NY Times, 3/18/93).
In Cardinal O'Connor's time, the March 17th Parade could very rightly be called St. Patrick's!
Cardinal Dolan is absolutely a congenial man. A year ago, I ran into him on a NYC street and asked him to pose for a "selfie." He immediately obliged and swung his arm around my back, like we were old pals. He is a nice, nice man. However, his actions regarding the parade seem incoherent and tantamount to an insult to the memory of Cardinal O'Connor - and all struggling to keep a grasp on the truth about marriage/family.
- "Amnesty International Pressures Ireland to Legalize Abortions, Ignores Human Rights for Babies"