In Pennsylvania's

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Comments from Casey, Fitz, & Toomey on Obergefell v Hodges....


Outright Rejoicing, Silence, and Both Sides of the Mouth

  • "Over the years, I have supported efforts to end discrimination based on sexual orientation, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. Yet I have also long supported the traditional definition of marriage. Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that all states must recognize same-sex marriage. Understandably, many people will celebrate this decision. While I disagree with it, I acknowledge the Supreme Court's ruling as the law of the land" (U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, 6/26/15 (as reported by PennLive)).

The First Amendment Defense Act

PASSAGE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT DEFENSE ACT SHOULD BE AN ABSOLUTE PRIORITY FOR PEOPLE WITH PRO-LIFE/PRO-FAMILY VALUES!

*In addition to is "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 Pa Catholic Conference also posts alerts.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Where Do We Go From Here?

King v. Burwell


  • "....The Supreme Court's decision demonstrates that the Court is willing to overstep, as it has in the past, the limited role granted to it by the Constitution, in order to promote a social outcome it finds desirable....While the need for authentic health care reform was apparent long before the Act was approved in 2010, the legislation was poorly drafted and hastily passed in a partisan manner. The confusion about how health insurance should be subsidized pales in comparison with other significant errors written into the Act. We object above all to its provisions for federal funding of abortion, its inadequate protection of conscience rights and religious freedom, and its concentration of health care control in the federal government, which increases the costs of care while disrupting the relationship between patients, doctors, and insurers...." (The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Response to the Supreme Court Decision in King v. Burwell June 25, 2015, © 2015 by the National Catholic Bioethics Center)

Obergefell v. Hodges

http://bcove.me/ksp67bkb
  • "....Regardless of what happens at the end of this month, nothing the court says can change what marriage truly is....Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said with a certain rhetorical expressiveness, 'Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.  The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.'  We may have to suffer this lie about marriage in the law, but we must not participate in it or keep silent about it...." (Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, 6/11/15 Address to the USCCB (Go to 22:21 of video for his address.))
  • "The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision on marriage is not a surprise. The surprise will come as ordinary people begin to experience, firsthand and painfully, the impact of today's action on everything they thought they knew about marriage, family life, our laws and our social institutions. The mistakes of the court change nothing about the nature of men and women, and the truth of God's Word. The task now for believers is to form our own families even more deeply in the love of God, and to rebuild a healthy marriage culture, one marriage at a time, from the debris of today's decision" (Archbishop Charles J. Chaput).

    The First Amendment Defense Act

    Friday, June 26, 2015

    Supreme Court Decision on Marriage “A Tragic Error” Says President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference

    http://www.usccb.org/news/2015/15-103.cfm

    Response to the Supreme Court Decision in King v. Burwell - The National Catholic Bioethics Center

    "Please Note - This article may be reposted and distributed only when the following information is included:

    "The National Catholic Bioethics Center
    Response to the Supreme Court Decision in King v. Burwell
    June 25, 2015
    © 2015 by the National Catholic Bioethics Center







    "Response to the Supreme Court Decision in King v. Burwell


    "June 25, 2015


    "....The Supreme Court's decision demonstrates that the Court is willing to overstep, as it has in the past, the limited role granted to it by the Constitution, in order to promote a social outcome it finds desirable. Such a decision undermines the authority of Congress and the legitimacy of the Court.


    "....the problems that this one small piece of legislative language has caused—economically and jurisprudentially—should remind us of the significant problems that remain in the Affordable Care Act. While the need for authentic health care reform was apparent long before the Act was approved in 2010, the legislation was poorly drafted and hastily passed in a partisan manner. The confusion about how health insurance should be subsidized pales in comparison with other significant errors written into the Act. We object above all to its provisions for federal funding of abortion, its inadequate protection of conscience rights and religious freedom, and its concentration of health care control in the federal government, which increases the costs of care while disrupting the relationship between patients, doctors, and insurers. These problems are significant and should be addressed promptly and appropriately by the President and Congress through amendment of the Act...."

    Read full statement:
    http://www.ncbcenter.org/resources/response-to-the-supreme-court-decision-in-king-v.-burwell

    The USCCB's NFP Awareness Week (July 19 - 25)

    Thursday, June 25, 2015

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    The Holy Father, the First Amendment Defense Act....

    A sample of Pope Francis' recent comments on marriage/family



    As per the USCCB*and/or the Pa Catholic Conference,


    *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."

    As per the Pa Catholic Conference ,

    • Support "Supportive, Comprehensive End of Life Care" [i.e., Oppose "doctor-prescribed suicide." While the battle rages over assisted suicide, many forget that in 1990, the United States Supreme Court allowed euthanasia by dehydration and starvation. First, by declaring artificially-administered food and water (ANH) as a form of 'life support' and then, granting third parties the ability to remove ANH (feeding tubes) from persons with disabilities, it became effectively legal to deny a human being food and water against their will in the United States....Anyone requiring only a feeding tube is not brain dead, but often brain injured....Even fully-conscious people may require tube feeding" (Dr. Jacqueline C. Harvey)]

    As per the American Life League, 

    • The purpose of the Life at Conception Act (HR 816): is "'to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.'  The bill says: 'Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being. . . . For purposes of this Act: The terms "human person" and "human being" include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.'  There are no exceptions in this bill. It declares that every preborn human being, from the first moment of their existence, has the right to life" (American Life League, 5/15/15).  Ask our congressman (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com/)) to become a co-sponsor of HR 816.

    As per the Pennsylvana Pro Life Federation,
    • "There’s a new move in the state legislature to take away your right to vote for appellate judges. House Bill 1336, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler, has been introduced and referred to the PA House Judiciary Committee. It would establish a so-called merit selection system of appointing judges, thereby taking away your right to vote for these critical office-holders.  Please call and email the following pro-life members of the House Judiciary Committee with this urgent message: 'I urge you to oppose House Bill 1336. I do not want my right to vote for judges to be taken away from me.'  Here is the contact information for the pro-life House Judiciary Committee members you will want to contact:
    Chairman Ron Marsico:  (717) 783-2014  rmarsico@pahousegop.com; Democratic Chair Joseph Petrarca: (717) 787-5142 jpetrarc@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Tim Krieger: (717) 260-6146 tkrieger@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Marcy Toepel: (717) 787-9501 mtoepel@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mike Vereb: (717) 705-7164 mvereb@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Jim Cox: (717) 772-2435 jcox@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Barry Jozwiak: (717) 772-9940 bjozwiak@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mark Keller: (717) 783-1593 mkeller@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Kate Klunk: (717) 787-4790 kklunk@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Tedd Nesbit: (717) 783-6438 TNesbit@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mike Regan: (717) 783-8783 mregan@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Rick Saccone: (717) 260-6122 Rsaccone@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Tarah Toohil: (717) 260-6136 ttoohil@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Bryan Barbin: (717) 783-1491 bbarbin@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Ryan Bizzarro: (717) 772-2297  rbizzarro@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Gerald Mullery: (717) 783-4893   gmullery@pahouse.net
    Thank you for making these critical calls and sending these important emails!"

    As per the Pennsylvania Family Institute, 

    A sample of Pope Francis' recent comments on marriage/family

    Pope Francis, 6/24/15 General Audience

    "In the last catecheses we spoke about the family that lives the frailties of the human condition: poverty, sickness, death. Today, instead, we reflect on the wounds that are opened in fact within the family’s coexistence. When, that is, harm is done in the family itself -- a most awful thing!...

    "We are well aware that no moments are lacking in any family history in which the intimacy of dearest affections is offended by the behavior of its members....

    "The deprivation of conjugal love spreads resentment in relations, and often the break-up falls on the children.

    "See, the children. I would like to reflect somewhat on this point. Notwithstanding our seemingly evolved sensibility, and all our refined psychological analyses, I wonder if we are not also anesthetized in regard to the wounds of children’s soul....Do we feel the weight of the mountain that crushes the soul of a child, in families in which there is bad treatment and harm is done, to the point of breaking the bond of conjugal fidelity?....When adults lose their head, when each one thinks only of him/herself, when father and mother harm one another, the soul of the child suffers much, he experiences a sense of desperation. And they are wounds that leave their mark for the whole of life....

    "If we think of the harshness with which Jesus admonishes adults not to scandalize the little ones -- we heard the passage of the Gospel -- (cf. Matthew 18:6), we can also understand better his word on the grave responsibility to protect the conjugal bond that begins the human family (cf. Matthew 19:6-9). When man and woman have become one flesh, all the wounds and all the abandonments of the father and the mother affect the living flesh of the children.

    "On the other hand, it is true that there are cases in which separation is inevitable. Sometimes it can even become morally necessary....

    "Let us ask the Lord for great faith, to look at reality with God’s gaze; and a great charity, to approach persons with his merciful heart" (Pope Francis, 6/24/15 General Audience)

    Pope Francis' 6/21/15 "off the cuff" and prepared talks to youth in Turin

    "the questions are on the subject of the three words of John’s Gospel that we heard: love, life, friends. Three words that are intertwined in John’s text, and one explains the other: one cannot speak of life in the Gospel without speaking of love – if we speak of true life -- and one cannot speak of love without this transformation from servants to friends. And these three words are so important for life but all three have a common root: the desire to live. And I permit myself to recall here the words of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a youth like you: 'To live, not to live poorly!' To live!...

    "it makes me very sad at heart to see young people retire at 20!....when a youth loves, lives, grows, he does not retire. He grows, grows, grows and gives....

    "love has two axes on which it pivots, and if a person, a youth doesn’t have these two axes -- these two dimensions of love -- it’s not love. First of all, love is more in works than in words: love is concrete....

    "And the second dimension, the second axis on which love pivots is that love always communicates itself, that is, love listens and responds, love is made in dialogue, in communion: it communicates itself....

    "Love is in the works, in communicating, but love is very respectful of persons, it does not use persons, that is, love is chaste. And to you young people in this world, in this hedonistic world, in this world where only pleasure gets publicity, having a good time, having a beautiful life, I tell you: be chaste, be chaste.

    "All of us in life have gone through moments in which this virtue was very difficult, but it is in fact the way of genuine love, of a love that is able to give life, which does not seek to use the other for one’s own pleasure. It is a love that considers the life of the other person sacred....Forgive me if I say something you didn’t expect, but I ask you: make the effort to live love chastely....

    "Look at the love of parents, of so many mothers, of so many fathers who in the morning arrive at work tired because they haven’t slept well to look after their sick child – this is love! This is respect. This is not having a good time. This is – we go to another key word – this is 'service.' Love is service. It is to serve others. When after the washing of the feet Jesus explained the gesture to the Apostles, He taught that we are made to serve one another, and if I say that I love but don’t serve the other, don’t help the other, don’t make him go forward, don’t sacrifice myself for him, this isn’t love. You have carried the Cross [the WYD Cross]: there is the sign of love. That history of love of God involved in works and dialogue, with respect, with forgiveness, with patience during so many centuries of history with His people, ends there -- His Son on the Cross, the greatest service, which is to give one’s life, to sacrifice oneself, to help others. It’s not easy to speak of love, it’s not easy to live love....

    "Sometimes I have said that we are living the Third World War, but in pieces. In pieces: there is war in Europe, there is war in Africa, there is war in the Middle East, there is war in other countries....If you only trust men, you have lost!....

    "people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! 'No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no .... I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.' Ah! And why? 'Because the interest is somewhat higher ...' And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy ...l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin ... How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at 'certain' freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!

    "I understand what you say about mistrust in life, also today when we are living in the throwaway culture, because whatever is not of economic usefulness is discarded. Children are disposed of, because they are not developed or because they are killed before they are born; the elderly are disposed of, because they are not useful or are left there, to die, a sort of hidden euthanasia, and they are not helped to live; and now young people are disposed of: think of that 40% of young people who are without work. It is in fact a rejection! But why? Why are man and woman not at the center of the global economic system, as God wants, but the god of money. And everything is done for money.

    "In Spanish, there is a good saying that says: 'the monkey dances for money'....with this disposable culture, can one trust life? -- with that sense of challenge that widens, widens, widens? A youth who can’t study, who hasn’t work, who has the shame of not feeling worthy because he doesn’t have work, doesn’t earn his life. But how many times these young people end in addictions? How many times do they commit suicide? The statistics on the suicides of young people are not well known. Or how often these young people go to fight with terrorists, at least to do something, for an ideal. I understand this challenge. And because of this Jesus told us not to put our security in riches, in worldly powers. How can I trust life? What can I do, how can I live a life that doesn’t destroy, that isn’t a life of destruction, a life that doesn’t dispose of people? How can I live a life that won’t disappoint me?....

    "We must go ahead with our plans of construction, and this life doesn’t disappoint. If you get involved there, in a project of construction, of help – we think of street children, of migrants, of so many in need, but not only to give them to eat one day, two days, but to promote them with education, with unity in the joy of the Oratories and so many things, but things that build, then that sense of mistrust in life recedes, goes away. What must I do for this? Not retire too soon. Do. Do. And I’ll say a word: to go against the current, to go against the current. For you, young people, who are living this economic situation, which is also cultural, hedonistic, consumerist with 'soap bubble' values, with such values one doesn’t go forward. Do constructive things, even if they are small, but which bring us together, which bring us together with our ideals: this is the best antidote against this mistrust of life, against this culture that only offers you pleasure: to have a good time, to have money and not think of other things....

    "So often advertising wants to convince us that this is good, that that is good, and it makes us believe that they are 'diamonds'; but be careful, we are sold glass! And we must go against this, not be naive. Not buy filth that we are told are diamonds.

    "And to end, I would like to repeat Pier Giorgio Frassati’s word: if you want to do something good in life, live, don’t live poorly. Live!....

    "at the end of the 19th century there were bad conditions for the growth of youth: there was full Masonry, even the Church couldn’t do anything, there were priest haters, there were also Satanists ... It was one of the worst moments and one of the worst places of the history of Italy. However, if you would like to do a good task at home, go to see how many men and women Saints were born at that time. Why? Because they realized that they had to go against the current in relation to the culture, to that way of living. Reality, live the reality. And if this reality is glass and not diamonds, I look for the reality against the current and I make my reality, but something that is of service to others. Think of your Saints of this land, what they did!....

    "I forgot to tell you that I will now deliver the written address" (Pope Francis' "off the cuff" talk to Turin youth, 6/21/15).

    Jesus "shows us to what point love goes: to the total gift of Himself, to giving His own life, as we contemplate in the mystery of the Shroud, when we recognize in it the icon of the 'greatest love.' However, this gift of ourselves must not be imagined as a rare heroic gesture or reserved to some exceptional occasion....The grandeur of love is revealed in taking care of one in need, with fidelity and patience; therefore, great is the love that is able to make itself little for others, like Jesus, who made Himself a servant. To love is to come close, to touch the flesh of Christ in the poor and the least, to open to God’s grace the needs, the appeals, the solitude of persons that surround us. Then the love of God enters, transforms and render little things great, it renders them the sign of His presence. Saint John Bosco is in fact a teacher to us because of his capacity to love and to educate from proximity, which he lived with youngsters and young people....

    "we must not wait for favorable external circumstances to really get involved but that, on the contrary, only by committing our life – aware of losing it! – we create for others and for ourselves the conditions of new trust in the future. And here my thought goes spontaneously to a youth who truly spent his life this way, so much so as to become a model of trust and evangelical audacity for the young generations of Italy and of the world: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. His motto was: 'Live, not live poorly!' This is the way to experience fully the strength and joy of the Gospel. In this way, not only will you find trust in the future, but you will succeed in generating hope among your friends and in the environments in which you live....

    "Turin’s men and women Saints teach us that all renewal, also that of the Church, passes through our personal conversion, through that openness of heart that receives and recognizes God’s surprises, driven by the greatest love (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14), which renders us friends also of persons who are alone, suffering and marginalized" (Pope Francis' prepared speech which was replaced by his "off-the-cuff" talk to Turin youth, 6/21/15).

    Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's mortal remains are enshrined in the same Cathedral that is home to the Shroud of Turin; they are reported to be incorrupt.
     



    Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati "was simply a young man who was in love with his family and friends, in love with the mountains and the sea, but especially in love with God....The Eucharist and the Blessed Mother were the two poles of his world of prayer....Frassati had a tremendous respect for human life: all life, from the earliest moments to the final moments. He was constantly defending life wherever it was diminished and under siege....Beneath the smiling exterior of the restless young man was concealed the amazing life of a mystic....God gave Pier Giorgio all the external attributes that could have led him to make the wrong choices: a wealthy family, very good looks, manhood, health, being the only heir of a powerful family. But Pier Giorgio listened to the invitation of Christ: 'Come and follow me.' He anticipated by at least 50 years the Church’s understanding and new direction on the role of the laity. In beatifying Frassati alone in St. Peter’s Square on May 20, 1990, Pope John Paul II described Pier Giorgio as the 'man of the eight Beatitudes'"
    http://wydcentral.org/pier-giorgio-frassati-verso-lalto/

    Monday, June 22, 2015

    Laudato Si'


    Laudato Si': The Holy Father's Magnificent Pro-Life/Pro-Family Manifesto!

    "From the start of his papacy, this Holy Father has tried to model St. Francis' simplicity and joy. And just as St. Francis treasured the beauty of the world as a mirror of God's love, so Pope Francis seeks to protect its beauty as a good steward....Laudato Si speaks eloquently of inter-generational solidarity; the beauty of the family; the dishonesty of population control as an answer to poverty; the broad duties of rich nations to those that are poor; and the dignity of the human body in its God-given masculine and feminine forms....For the Holy Father, a humane ecology includes much more than our treatment of the material world. It involves our bodies, our sexuality and personhood as well" (Archbishop Chaput, 6/18/15).  Between Laudato Si's introduction and its concluding prayers, its six chapters are "What is Happening to Our Common Home," "The Gospel of Creation," "The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis," "Integral Ecology," "Lines of Approach and Action," and "Ecological Education and Spirituality."  What follows are mere excerpts....
    "48. The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation...."

    "49....lack of physical contact and encounter, encouraged at times by the disintegration of our cities, can lead to a numbing of conscience and to tendentious analyses which neglect parts of reality. At times this attitude exists side by side with a 'green' rhetoric. Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor"

    "50....[To] blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. ...."

    "75....The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality."

    "84. Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. The history of our friendship with God is always linked to particular places which take on an intensely personal meaning; we all remember places, and revisiting those memories does us much good. Anyone who has grown up in the hills or used to sit by the spring to drink, or played outdoors in the neighbourhood square; going back to these places is a chance to recover something of their true selves"

    "90. This is not to put all living beings on the same level nor to deprive human beings of their unique worth and the tremendous responsibility it entails. Nor does it imply a divinization of the earth which would prevent us from working on it and protecting it in its fragility....At times we see an obsession with denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all human beings share in equal measure...."

    "102....We are the beneficiaries of two centuries of enormous waves of change: steam engines, railways, the telegraph, electricity, automobiles, aeroplanes, chemical industries, modern medicine, information technology and, more recently, the digital revolution, robotics, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies. It is right to rejoice in these advances and to be excited by the immense possibilities which they continue to open up before us, for 'science and technology are wonderful products of a God-given human creativity'.[81 [This end note links to a 1981 talk given by Saint John Paul II:
    '....science and technology are a wonderful product of a God-given human creativity, since they have provided us with wonderful possibilities, and we all gratefully benefit from them. But we know that this potential is not a neutral one : it can be used either for man's progress or for his degradation....There are three temptations to be avoided in this regard. The first is the temptation to pursue technological development for its own sake, the sort of development that has for its only norm that of its own growth and affirmation, as if it were a matter of an independent reality in between nature and a reality that is properly human, imposing on man the inevitable realization of his ever new possibilities, as if one should always do what is technically possible.  The second temptation is that of subjecting technological development to economic usefulness in accordance with the logic of profit or nonstop economic expansion, thus creating advantages for some while leaving others in poverty, with no care for the true common good of humanity....Thirdly, there is also the temptation to subject technological development to the pursuit or maintenance of power....I urge all scientists, centers of research and universities to study more deeply the ethical problems of the technological society....I believe that our generation is faced by a great moral challenge, one which consists in harmonizing the values of science with the values of conscience....We must convince ourselves of the priority of ethics over technology....]] 
    "116....our 'dominion' over the universe should be understood more properly in the sense of responsible stewardship.[94]"

    "117....When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself...."

    "119....Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God. Otherwise, it would be nothing more than romantic individualism dressed up in ecological garb, locking us into a stifling immanence."

    "120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?...."


    "128....Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work...."



    "136....it is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life. There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development. In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit. As we have seen in this chapter, a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power."
    "142. If everything is related, then the health of a society’s institutions has consequences for the environment and the quality of human life....social ecology is necessarily institutional, and gradually extends to the whole of society, from the primary social group, the family, to the wider local, national and international communities...."


    "155. Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an 'ecology of man', based on the fact that 'man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will'. [120] It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek 'to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it'. [121]"



    "156. Human ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a central and unifying principle of social ethics...

    "157. Underlying the principle of the common good is respect for the human person....It has also to do with the overall welfare of society and the development of a variety of intermediate groups, applying the principle of subsidiarity. Outstanding among those groups is the family, as the basic cell of society...."

    "181....in the absence of pressure from the public and from civic institutions, political authorities will always be reluctant to intervene, all the more when urgent needs must be met...."

    "185....we know that water is a scarce and indispensable resource and a fundamental right which conditions the exercise of other human rights. This indisputable fact overrides any other assessment of environmental impact on a region."

    "189....Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life...."


    "200.... Believers themselves must constantly feel challenged to live in a way consonant with their faith and not to contradict it by their actions...."

    "202.... A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal."



    "211....There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle. Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. All of these reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings. Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity."


    "213....In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life'.[149] In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say 'thank you' as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings."


    "217....some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an 'ecological conversion', whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience."


    "221....I ask all Christians to recognize and to live fully this dimension of their conversion. May the power and the light of the grace we have received also be evident in our relationship to other creatures and to the world around us. In this way, we will help nurture that sublime fraternity with all creation which Saint Francis of Assisi so radiantly embodied."

    "222....We need to take up an ancient lesson, found in different religious traditions and also in the Bible. It is the conviction that 'less is more'...."

    "227. One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need."

    "229. We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it...."


    "235. The Sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of mediating supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world on a different plane. Water, oil, fire and colours are taken up in all their symbolic power and incorporated in our act of praise. The hand that blesses is an instrument of God’s love and a reflection of the closeness of Jesus Christ, who came to accompany us on the journey of life. Water poured over the body of a child in Baptism is a sign of new life. Encountering God does not mean fleeing from this world or turning our back on nature. This is especially clear in the spirituality of the Christian East. 'Beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of a church, in the sounds, in the colours, in the lights, in the scents'.[164] For Christians, all the creatures of the material universe find their true meaning in the incarnate Word, for the Son of God has incorporated in His person part of the material world, planting in it a seed of definitive transformation. 'Christianity does not reject matter. Rather, bodiliness is considered in all its value in the liturgical act, whereby the human body is disclosed in its inner nature as a temple of the Holy Spirit and is united with the Lord Jesus, who Himself took a body for the world’s salvation'.[165]"
    "236. It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation....the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation."
    "237....Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world....the day of rest, centred on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor."

    "238. The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways. The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property. Consequently, 'when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity'.[169]"

    "239. For Christians, believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation...."

    "240....The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity."


    "241. Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world....we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom."

    "242. At her side in the Holy Family of Nazareth, stands the figure of Saint Joseph. Through his work and generous presence, he cared for and defended Mary and Jesus, delivering them from the violence of the unjust by bringing them to Egypt. The Gospel presents Joseph as a just man, hard-working and strong. But he also shows great tenderness, which is not a mark of the weak but of those who are genuinely strong, fully aware of reality and ready to love and serve in humility. That is why he was proclaimed custodian of the universal Church. He too can teach us how to show care; he can inspire us to work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us."

    "243....Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all."

    "244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God....Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope."

    "245. God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give Him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!
    * * * * *
    "246. At the conclusion of this lengthy reflection which has been both joyful and troubling, I propose that we offer two prayers. The first we can share with all who believe in a God who is the all-powerful Creator, while in the other we Christians ask for inspiration to take up the commitment to creation set before us by the Gospel of Jesus...."

    The First Amendment Defense Act and other political action....

    As per the USCCB*and/or the Pa Catholic Conference,
    *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."
    As per the Pa Catholic Conference ,
    • Support "Supportive, Comprehensive End of Life Care" [i.e., Oppose "doctor-prescribed suicide." While the battle rages over assisted suicide, many forget that in 1990, the United States Supreme Court allowed euthanasia by dehydration and starvation. First, by declaring artificially-administered food and water (ANH) as a form of 'life support' and then, granting third parties the ability to remove ANH (feeding tubes) from persons with disabilities, it became effectively legal to deny a human being food and water against their will in the United States....Anyone requiring only a feeding tube is not brain dead, but often brain injured....Even fully-conscious people may require tube feeding" (Dr. Jacqueline C. Harvey)]

    As per the American Life League, 

    • The purpose of the Life at Conception Act (HR 816): is "'to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.'  The bill says: 'Congress hereby declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being. . . . For purposes of this Act: The terms "human person" and "human being" include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.'  There are no exceptions in this bill. It declares that every preborn human being, from the first moment of their existence, has the right to life" (American Life League, 5/15/15).  Ask our congressman (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com/)) to become a co-sponsor of HR 816.
    As per the Pennsylvana Pro Life Federation,
    • "There’s a new move in the state legislature to take away your right to vote for appellate judges. House Bill 1336, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler, has been introduced and referred to the PA House Judiciary Committee. It would establish a so-called merit selection system of appointing judges, thereby taking away your right to vote for these critical office-holders.  Please call and email the following pro-life members of the House Judiciary Committee with this urgent message: 'I urge you to oppose House Bill 1336. I do not want my right to vote for judges to be taken away from me.'  Here is the contact information for the pro-life House Judiciary Committee members you will want to contact:
    Chairman Ron Marsico:  (717) 783-2014  rmarsico@pahousegop.com; Democratic Chair Joseph Petrarca: (717) 787-5142 jpetrarc@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Tim Krieger: (717) 260-6146 tkrieger@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Marcy Toepel: (717) 787-9501 mtoepel@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mike Vereb: (717) 705-7164 mvereb@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Jim Cox: (717) 772-2435 jcox@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Barry Jozwiak: (717) 772-9940 bjozwiak@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mark Keller: (717) 783-1593 mkeller@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Kate Klunk: (717) 787-4790 kklunk@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Tedd Nesbit: (717) 783-6438 TNesbit@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Mike Regan: (717) 783-8783 mregan@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Rick Saccone: (717) 260-6122 Rsaccone@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Tarah Toohil: (717) 260-6136 ttoohil@pahousegop.com;
    Rep. Bryan Barbin: (717) 783-1491 bbarbin@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Ryan Bizzarro: (717) 772-2297  rbizzarro@pahouse.net;
    Rep. Gerald Mullery: (717) 783-4893   gmullery@pahouse.net
    Thank you for making these critical calls and sending these important emails!"

    As per the Pennsylvania Family Institute, 

    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