In Pennsylvania's

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vatican Confirms Pope Met With Kim Davis | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/vatican-confirms-pope-met-with-kim-davis

Text of Pope's Prepared Address for Festival of Families

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/text-of-pope-s-prepared-address-for-festival-of-families

Pope's Farewell Address | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-farewell-address--2

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Full transcript of Pope Francis' inflight interview from Philadelphia to Rome"

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-transcript-of-pope-francis-inflight-interview-from-philadelphia-to-rome-60499/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+catholicnewsagency%2Fdailynews+%28CNA+Daily+News%29&utm_term=daily+news

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pope Francis' 9/27/15 Address to Bishops From Around the World Attending Meeting of Families

"....I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.

"The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.

"These, survivors of abuse have yourselves become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of you and your families our gratitude for your immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.

--

....For the Church, the family is not first and foremost a cause for concern, but rather the joyous confirmation of God's blessing upon the masterpiece of creation. Every day, all over the world, the Church can rejoice in the Lord's gift of so many families who, even amid difficult trials, remain faithful to their promises and keep the faith!

"I would say that the foremost pastoral challenge of our changing times is to move decisively towards recognizing this gift. For all the obstacles we see before us, gratitude and appreciation should prevail over concerns and complaints. The family is the fundamental locus of the covenant between the Church and God's creation, [which God blessed on the last day with a family.] Without the family, not even the Church would exist. Nor could she be what she is called to be, namely 'a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race' (Lumen Gentium, 1).

"Needless to say, our understanding, shaped by the interplay of ecclesial faith and the conjugal experience of sacramental grace, must not lead us to disregard the unprecedented changes taking place in contemporary society, with their social, cultural – and now, [unfortunately] juridical – effects on family bonds. These changes affect all of us, believers and non-believers alike. Christians are not 'immune' to the changes of their times. This concrete world, with all its many problems and possibilities, is where we must live, believe and proclaim.

"Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared. The two were interrelated and mutually supportive. This is no longer the case.....

"As shepherds following in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd, we are asked to seek out, to accompany, to lift up, to bind up the wounds of our time. To look at things realistically, with the eyes of one who feels called to action, to pastoral conversion. The world today demands this conversion on our part. 'It is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded' (Evangelii Gaudium, 23)

"[The Gospel is not a product to consume. It is not part of this culture of consumerism.]

"We would be mistaken, however, to see this 'culture' of the present world as mere indifference towards marriage and the family, as pure and simple selfishness. Are today's young people hopelessly timid, weak, inconsistent? We must not fall into this trap. Many young people, in the context of this culture of discouragement, have yielded to a form of unconscious acquiescence. They are paralyzed when they encounter the beautiful, noble and truly necessary challenges which faith sets before them. Many put off marriage while waiting for ideal conditions, when everything can be perfect. Meanwhile, life goes on, without really being lived to the full. For knowledge of life's true pleasures only comes as the fruit of a long-term, generous investment of our intelligence, enthusiasm and passion.

"[At Congress, a few days ago, I said that we are living in a culture that convinces and pushes young people toward not founding a family. Some because of a lack of material resources and others because they have so many resources that they are very comfortable as they are. And this is the temptation: to not found a family.]

"As pastors, we bishops are called to collect our energies and to rebuild enthusiasm for making families correspond ever more fully to the blessing of God which they are! We need to invest our energies not so much in rehearsing the problems of the world around us and the merits of Christianity, but in extending a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.

"[In Buenos Aires, so many women lamented: 'My son. He's 30 or 32 or 34 years old and he's not getting married! I don't know what to do.' 'Well, Señora, don't iron his shirts any more!

"We have to make young people excited about taking this risk, because this is a risk for fecundity and life.]

Here too, we need a bit of holy parrhesia!

"['Why don't you get married?' 'Yes, yes, I have a girlfriend, but we're not sure, if yes, or no.' 'We're saving up for the party, or for this other thing.' A holy parrhesia to accompany them and bring them to mature toward the commitment of matrimony.]

"A Christianity which 'does' little in practice, while incessantly 'explaining'ppp its teachings, is dangerously unbalanced. I would even say that it is stuck in a vicious circle. A pastor must show that the 'Gospel of the family' is truly 'good news' in a world where self-concern seems to reign supreme! We are not speaking about some romantic dream: the perseverance which is called for in having a family and raising it transforms the world and human history.

"A pastor serenely yet passionately proclaims the word of God. He encourages believers to aim high. He will enable his brothers and sisters to hear and experience God's promise, which can expand their experience of motherhood and fatherhood within the horizon of a new 'familiarity' with God (Mk 3:31-35).

"A pastor watches over the dreams, the lives and the growth of his flock. This 'watchfulness' is not the result of talking but of shepherding. Only one capable of standing 'in the midst of' the flock can be watchful, not someone who is afraid of questions, contact, accompaniment. A pastor keeps watch first and foremost with prayer, supporting the faith of his people and instilling confidence in the Lord, in his presence. A pastor remains vigilant by helping people to lift their gaze at times of discouragement, frustration and failure. We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to 'waste' time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.

"Naturally, experiencing the spirit of this joyful familiarity with God, and spreading its powerful evangelical fruitfulness, has to be the primary feature of our lifestyle as bishops: a lifestyle of prayer and [in second place] preaching the Gospel (Acts 6:4).

"[It's always caught my attention and I've been struck by the fact that at the beginning, at the beginnings of the Church, the Hellenists went to complain because the widows and the orphans were not being well taken care of. The apostles couldn't keep up, and they didn't take care of them sufficiently. And so they got together and invented deacons. The Holy Spirit inspired them to create deacons. And when Peter announced their decision, he explained: We're going to choose seven men to take care of this matter. And two things fall to us [bishops]: prayer and preaching. What is the first task of the bishop? It is to pray, to pray. And the second work, which goes along with this, is to preach. This dogmatic definition can help us ... and if I'm wrong, Cardinal Mueller ... It helps us. It helps because it defines what is the role of the bishop. The bishop is created to shepherd. He is a shepherd, but to shepherd first with prayer and with preaching. And afterward, everything else. If there's time.]

"By our own humble Christian apprenticeship in the familial virtues of God's people, we will become more and more like fathers and mothers (as did Saint Paul: cf. 1 Th 2:7,11), and less like people who have simply learned to live without a family. [How terrible. Very terrible.] Our ideal is not to live without love! A good pastor renounces the love of a family precisely in order to focus all his energies, and the grace of his particular vocation, on the evangelical blessing of the love of men and women who carry forward God's plan of creation, beginning with those who are lost, abandoned, wounded, broken, downtrodden and deprived of their dignity. This total surrender to God's agape is certainly not a vocation lacking in tenderness and affection! We need but look to Jesus to understand this (cf. Mt 19:12). The mission of a good pastor, in the style of God – and only God can authorize this, not our own presumption! – imitates in every way and for all people the Son's love for the Father. This is reflected in the tenderness with which a pastor devotes himself to the loving care of the men and women of our human family.

"For the eyes of faith, this is a most valuable sign. Our ministry needs to deepen the covenant between the Church and the family. [I emphasize this: deepen the covenant between the Church and the family.]  Otherwise it becomes arid, and the human family will grow irremediably distant, by our own fault, from God's joyful good news....

"If we prove capable of the demanding task of reflecting God's love, cultivating infinite patience and serenity as we strive to sow its seeds in the frequently crooked furrows in which we are called to plant, then even a Samaritan woman with five 'non-husbands' will discover that she is capable of giving witness. And for every rich young man who with sadness feels that he has to calmly keep considering the matter, an older publican will come down from the tree and give fourfold to the poor, to whom, before that moment, he had never even given a thought.

"[Brothers,] may God grant us this gift of a renewed closeness between the family and the Church. [The family needs it. The Church needs it. And we pastors need it.] The family is our ally, our window to the world, and the evidence of an irrevocable blessing of God destined for all the children who in every age are born into this difficult yet beautiful creation which God has asked us to serve! [Thank you very much.]"

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-bishops-from-around-the-world-attending-meeting-of-families

Pope Francis' 9/27/15 Address to Bishops From Around the World Attending Meeting of Families

"....I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart. I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.

"The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.

"These, survivors of abuse have yourselves become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of you and your families our gratitude for your immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.

--

....For the Church, the family is not first and foremost a cause for concern, but rather the joyous confirmation of God's blessing upon the masterpiece of creation. Every day, all over the world, the Church can rejoice in the Lord's gift of so many families who, even amid difficult trials, remain faithful to their promises and keep the faith!

"I would say that the foremost pastoral challenge of our changing times is to move decisively towards recognizing this gift. For all the obstacles we see before us, gratitude and appreciation should prevail over concerns and complaints. The family is the fundamental locus of the covenant between the Church and God's creation, [which God blessed on the last day with a family.] Without the family, not even the Church would exist. Nor could she be what she is called to be, namely 'a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race' (Lumen Gentium, 1).

"Needless to say, our understanding, shaped by the interplay of ecclesial faith and the conjugal experience of sacramental grace, must not lead us to disregard the unprecedented changes taking place in contemporary society, with their social, cultural – and now, [unfortunately] juridical – effects on family bonds. These changes affect all of us, believers and non-believers alike. Christians are not 'immune' to the changes of their times. This concrete world, with all its many problems and possibilities, is where we must live, believe and proclaim.

"Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared. The two were interrelated and mutually supportive. This is no longer the case.....

"As shepherds following in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd, we are asked to seek out, to accompany, to lift up, to bind up the wounds of our time. To look at things realistically, with the eyes of one who feels called to action, to pastoral conversion. The world today demands this conversion on our part. 'It is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded' (Evangelii Gaudium, 23)

"[The Gospel is not a product to consume. It is not part of this culture of consumerism.]

"We would be mistaken, however, to see this 'culture' of the present world as mere indifference towards marriage and the family, as pure and simple selfishness. Are today's young people hopelessly timid, weak, inconsistent? We must not fall into this trap. Many young people, in the context of this culture of discouragement, have yielded to a form of unconscious acquiescence. They are paralyzed when they encounter the beautiful, noble and truly necessary challenges which faith sets before them. Many put off marriage while waiting for ideal conditions, when everything can be perfect. Meanwhile, life goes on, without really being lived to the full. For knowledge of life's true pleasures only comes as the fruit of a long-term, generous investment of our intelligence, enthusiasm and passion.

"[At Congress, a few days ago, I said that we are living in a culture that convinces and pushes young people toward not founding a family. Some because of a lack of material resources and others because they have so many resources that they are very comfortable as they are. And this is the temptation: to not found a family.]

"As pastors, we bishops are called to collect our energies and to rebuild enthusiasm for making families correspond ever more fully to the blessing of God which they are! We need to invest our energies not so much in rehearsing the problems of the world around us and the merits of Christianity, but in extending a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.

"[In Buenos Aires, so many women lamented: 'My son. He's 30 or 32 or 34 years old and he's not getting married! I don't know what to do.' 'Well, Señora, don't iron his shirts any more!

"We have to make young people excited about taking this risk, because this is a risk for fecundity and life.]

Here too, we need a bit of holy parrhesia!

"['Why don't you get married?' 'Yes, yes, I have a girlfriend, but we're not sure, if yes, or no.' 'We're saving up for the party, or for this other thing.' A holy parrhesia to accompany them and bring them to mature toward the commitment of matrimony.]

"A Christianity which 'does' little in practice, while incessantly 'explaining'ppp its teachings, is dangerously unbalanced. I would even say that it is stuck in a vicious circle. A pastor must show that the 'Gospel of the family' is truly 'good news' in a world where self-concern seems to reign supreme! We are not speaking about some romantic dream: the perseverance which is called for in having a family and raising it transforms the world and human history.

"A pastor serenely yet passionately proclaims the word of God. He encourages believers to aim high. He will enable his brothers and sisters to hear and experience God's promise, which can expand their experience of motherhood and fatherhood within the horizon of a new 'familiarity' with God (Mk 3:31-35).

"A pastor watches over the dreams, the lives and the growth of his flock. This 'watchfulness' is not the result of talking but of shepherding. Only one capable of standing 'in the midst of' the flock can be watchful, not someone who is afraid of questions, contact, accompaniment. A pastor keeps watch first and foremost with prayer, supporting the faith of his people and instilling confidence in the Lord, in his presence. A pastor remains vigilant by helping people to lift their gaze at times of discouragement, frustration and failure. We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to 'waste' time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.

"Naturally, experiencing the spirit of this joyful familiarity with God, and spreading its powerful evangelical fruitfulness, has to be the primary feature of our lifestyle as bishops: a lifestyle of prayer and [in second place] preaching the Gospel (Acts 6:4).

"[It's always caught my attention and I've been struck by the fact that at the beginning, at the beginnings of the Church, the Hellenists went to complain because the widows and the orphans were not being well taken care of. The apostles couldn't keep up, and they didn't take care of them sufficiently. And so they got together and invented deacons. The Holy Spirit inspired them to create deacons. And when Peter announced their decision, he explained: We're going to choose seven men to take care of this matter. And two things fall to us [bishops]: prayer and preaching. What is the first task of the bishop? It is to pray, to pray. And the second work, which goes along with this, is to preach. This dogmatic definition can help us ... and if I'm wrong, Cardinal Mueller ... It helps us. It helps because it defines what is the role of the bishop. The bishop is created to shepherd. He is a shepherd, but to shepherd first with prayer and with preaching. And afterward, everything else. If there's time.]

"By our own humble Christian apprenticeship in the familial virtues of God's people, we will become more and more like fathers and mothers (as did Saint Paul: cf. 1 Th 2:7,11), and less like people who have simply learned to live without a family. [How terrible. Very terrible.] Our ideal is not to live without love! A good pastor renounces the love of a family precisely in order to focus all his energies, and the grace of his particular vocation, on the evangelical blessing of the love of men and women who carry forward God's plan of creation, beginning with those who are lost, abandoned, wounded, broken, downtrodden and deprived of their dignity. This total surrender to God's agape is certainly not a vocation lacking in tenderness and affection! We need but look to Jesus to understand this (cf. Mt 19:12). The mission of a good pastor, in the style of God – and only God can authorize this, not our own presumption! – imitates in every way and for all people the Son's love for the Father. This is reflected in the tenderness with which a pastor devotes himself to the loving care of the men and women of our human family.

"For the eyes of faith, this is a most valuable sign. Our ministry needs to deepen the covenant between the Church and the family. [I emphasize this: deepen the covenant between the Church and the family.]  Otherwise it becomes arid, and the human family will grow irremediably distant, by our own fault, from God's joyful good news....

"If we prove capable of the demanding task of reflecting God's love, cultivating infinite patience and serenity as we strive to sow its seeds in the frequently crooked furrows in which we are called to plant, then even a Samaritan woman with five 'non-husbands' will discover that she is capable of giving witness. And for every rich young man who with sadness feels that he has to calmly keep considering the matter, an older publican will come down from the tree and give fourfold to the poor, to whom, before that moment, he had never even given a thought.

"[Brothers,] may God grant us this gift of a renewed closeness between the family and the Church. [The family needs it. The Church needs it. And we pastors need it.] The family is our ally, our window to the world, and the evidence of an irrevocable blessing of God destined for all the children who in every age are born into this difficult yet beautiful creation which God has asked us to serve! [Thank you very much.]"

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-bishops-from-around-the-world-attending-meeting-of-families

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis' Homily at the Conclusion of the World Meeting of Families and Where Do We Go From Here?

video

Pope Francis' 9/27/15 Homily at the Conclusion of the World Meeting of Families

"....how beautiful it would be if everywhere, even beyond our borders, we could appreciate and encourage this prophecy and this miracle! We renew our faith in the word of the Lord which invites faithful families to this openness. It invites all those who want to share the prophecy of the covenant of man and woman, which generates life and reveals God. May he help us to participate in the prophecy of peace, of tenderness and family affection. May he help us to participate in this prophetic gesture of caring for our children and our grandparents with tenderness, patience and love.]

"Anyone who wants to bring into this world a family which teaches children to be excited by every gesture aimed at overcoming evil – a family which shows that the Spirit is alive and at work – will encounter our gratitude and our appreciation. Whatever the family, people, region, or religion to which they belong!
May God grant to all of us [to be prophets of the joy of the Gospel, of the Gospel of the family, of the love of families. To be prophets], as the Lord’s disciples, [and grant us] the grace to be worthy of this purity of heart which is not scandalized by the Gospel! [Amen]"

Pope Francis Highlights.... 

Where Do We Go From Here?

To aid us in applying the law of the Lord to our modern world, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference offers "alerts" and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers "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" (NCHLA), and that "Action alerts for issues related to immigration reform can be found through the USCCB-led Catholic coalition, "Justice for Immigrants."  

  • The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference warns that Pennsylvania HB 1510/SB 974, the so-called "Fairness Act" would "jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs.  In other states, this law has closed Catholic adoption agencies and violated religious liberty. These bills could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs....Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith."
  • HB 1510/SB 974 has received a surprising amount of support among state legislators who identify as Catholic or who have received Catholic schooling. From Bucks County, Representatives Steve Santarsiero (D), Tina Davis (D) John Galloway (D), Scott Petri (R) Marguerite Quinn (R), and Kathy Watson (R) are among the 84 co-sponsors of HB 1510.  While Galloway identifies as Catholic, the others have studied at Catholic schools (i.e., Santarsiero, MEd, Holy Family; Davis, Bachelors, LaSalle; Petri, JD, Villanova; Quinn, BA, St Joseph's, and Watson (studied at Villanova).).  Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R), who identifies as Catholic, is among the 26 co-sponsors of SB 974.
  • "Stand for true tolerance: oppose Senate Bill 974 and House Bill 1510" (Pa Family Council). 


WE MUST PROTECT GOD'S LITTLEST ONES, but with our avowedly pro-abortion governor and our avowedly pro-abortion president, pro life bills will more than likely be vetoed.  The key to stopping Planned Parenthood at this moment in time is in budgeting processes.  NOT ONE DIME FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD!
  • Thirty-one members of the U.S. House have pledged ''that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution — an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise — that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.''  Some "pro life" representatives and senators have been fearful of being blamed for a government "shutdown."   Email Representative Fitzpatrick, Senator Casey, and Senator Toomey, to urge them to get on board with a moratorium.  Please also ask pro life Representatives Joe Pitts ((202) 225-2411), Pat Meehan ((202) 225-2011), and Ryan Costello ((202) 225-4315) to back a moratorium.
  • On the state level, the Pennsylvania Family Institute tells us that "the Administration, following what can only be described as a cursory review of Planned Parenthood abortion sites in Pennsylvania, stated that the organization’s hands are clean in the burgeoning nationwide scandal involving the gruesome procurement and trafficking in the remains of unborn children aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics....the taxpayers of Pennsylvania can have no confidence that Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration can or did conduct a fair and thorough probe, given his close ties with Planned Parenthood before, during and after his campaign for Pennsylvania Governor." Email all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg, to urge a state moratorium on monies for Planned Parenthood.

The apostolate of the laity involves engaging the culture, which includes the struggle to defend all human life, marriage/family, religious liberty and conscience protections.  So, what are we to think of "Catholic" hospitals in our own archdiocese?

  1. Among OBGYNs with privileges, there is a paucity of NFP-only physicians!
  2. There are privileges for IVF specialists!
  3. There are privileges for associates of a practice involved with so-called fetal reduction!
  4. Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions (http://www.holyredeemer.com/Main/AdvanceDirective.aspx) fails to specify Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.

Since all but a handful of pharmacies - across the country - sell abortifacients and contraceptives....

Email local parishes with bulletin advertisements for providers of contraceptives and abortifacients.

  

"How to Save A Life" (The Fray & Papal ASL Choir, 9/26/15)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7UPiE0w_mU

"The Precepts of the Lord Give Joy to the Heart"

  • To aid us in applying the law of the Lord to our modern world, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference offers "alerts" and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers "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" (NCHLA), and that "Action alerts for issues related to immigration reform can be found through the USCCB-led Catholic coalition, "Justice for Immigrants."  
 

"Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts."

  • As per The Atlantic Monthly, “The United States now accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants—and about 25 percent of its incarcerated inhabitants....In 2010, a third of all black male high-school dropouts between the ages of 20 and 39 were imprisoned, compared with only 13 percent of their white peers....The suite of drug laws adopted in the 1980s and ’90s did little to reduce crime, but a lot to normalize prison in black communities....Surveys have concluded that blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates....the chasm in incarceration rates is deeply tied to the socioeconomic chasm between black and white America.”  "It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities. It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society....All of us have something we need to be cleansed of, or purified from. May the knowledge of that fact inspire us to live in solidarity, to support one another and seek the best for others" (Pope Francis, 9/26/15).


"Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth."

  • The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference warns that Pennsylvania HB 1510/SB 974, the so-called "Fairness Act" would "jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs.  In other states, this law has closed Catholic adoption agencies and violated religious liberty. These bills could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs....Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith."
  • HB 1510/SB 974 has received a surprising amount of support among state legislators who identify as Catholic or who have received Catholic schooling. From Bucks County, Representatives Steve Santarsiero (D), Tina Davis (D) John Galloway (D), Scott Petri (R) Marguerite Quinn (R), and Kathy Watson (R) are among the 84 co-sponsors of HB 1510.  While Galloway identifies as Catholic, the others have studied at Catholic schools (i.e., Santarsiero, MEd, Holy Family; Davis, Bachelors, LaSalle; Petri, JD, Villanova; Quinn, BA, St Joseph's, and Watson (studied at Villanova).).  Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R), who identifies as Catholic, is among the 26 co-sponsors of SB 974.
  • "Stand for true tolerance: oppose Senate Bill 974 and House Bill 1510" (Pa Family Council). 

 

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."



WE MUST PROTECT GOD'S LITTLEST ONES!  Yet with our avowedly pro-abortion governor and our avowedly pro-abortion president, pro life bills will more than likely be vetoed.  The key to stopping Planned Parenthood at this moment in time is in budgeting processes.  NOT ONE DIME FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD!
  • Thirty-one members of the U.S. House have pledged ''that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution — an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise — that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.''  Some "pro life" representatives and senators have been fearful of being blamed for a government "shutdown."   Email Representative Fitzpatrick, Senator Casey, and Senator Toomey, to urge them to get on board with a moratorium.  Please also ask pro life Representatives Joe Pitts ((202) 225-2411), Pat Meehan ((202) 225-2011), and Ryan Costello ((202) 225-4315) to back a moratorium.
  • On the state level, the Pennsylvania Family Institute tells us that "the Administration, following what can only be described as a cursory review of Planned Parenthood abortion sites in Pennsylvania, stated that the organization’s hands are clean in the burgeoning nationwide scandal involving the gruesome procurement and trafficking in the remains of unborn children aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics....the taxpayers of Pennsylvania can have no confidence that Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration can or did conduct a fair and thorough probe, given his close ties with Planned Parenthood before, during and after his campaign for Pennsylvania Governor." Email all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg, to urge a state moratorium on monies for Planned Parenthood.

    Pope Francis Highlights.... 

Pope Francis’ 9/26/15 Address to Residents of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility

(Some background: “The United States now accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants—and about 25 percent of its incarcerated inhabitants....In 2010, a third of all black male high-school dropouts between the ages of 20 and 39 were imprisoned, compared with only 13 percent of their white peers....The suite of drug laws adopted in the 1980s and ’90s did little to reduce crime, but a lot to normalize prison in black communities....Surveys have concluded that blacks and whites use drugs at roughly the same rates....the chasm in incarceration rates is deeply tied to the socioeconomic chasm between black and white America” (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/10/the-black-family-in-the-age-of-mass-incarceration/403246/).)
 
 
"....It is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities. It is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society. The Lord tells us this clearly with a sign: he washes our feet so we can come back to the table. The table from which he wishes no one to be excluded. The table which is spread for all and to which all of us are invited.

"This time in your life can only have one purpose: to give you a hand in getting back on the right road, to give you a hand to help you rejoin society. All of us are part of that effort, all of us are invited to encourage, help and enable your rehabilitation. A rehabilitation which everyone seeks and desires: inmates and their families, correctional authorities, social and educational programs. A rehabilitation which benefits and elevates the morale of the entire community and society....

"All of us have something we need to be cleansed of, or purified from. May the knowledge of that fact inspire us to live in solidarity, to support one another and seek the best for others.

"Let us look to Jesus, who washes our feet. He is 'the way, and the truth, and the life'. He comes to save us from the lie that says no one can change, from the lie that says no one can change. He helps us to journey along the paths of life and fulfillment. May the power of his love and his resurrection always be a path leading you to new life.

"Seated now in silence, we ask the Lord to bless us.

"May God bless you and protect, may His face shine upon you, and may He grant you peace.
 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-inmates-of-curran-fromhold-correctional-facility

Pope Francis' 9/26/15 Address to the Festival of Families

"....And there God created the world. There God made this marvel in which we live and, since we’re a little mixed up, we are destroying it. But the most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family. He created man and woman, and He gave them everything. He gave them the world! Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it produce, make it grow. He presented to a family all of the love that He made in this marvelous creation.

"Let’s go back a bit. All of the love that God has in Himself, all of the beauty that God has in Himself, all of the truth that God has in Himself, He gives to the family. And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love....

"When the man and his wife made the mistake and distanced themselves from God, God did not leave them alone. There was so much love, so much love that He began to walk with humanity. He began to walk with His people, until the fullness of time arrived, and He gave the greatest sign of His love, His Son.

"And His Son, where did He send Him? To a palace? To a city, to start a business? He sent Him to a family! God came into the world in a family.

"And He was able to do this because this family was a family that had its heart open to love, that had the doors open to love. Let’s think of Mary, this young woman. She couldn’t believe it. 'How can this be?' And when it was explained to her, she obeyed. Let’s think of Joseph, full of dreams to form a household. He finds himself with this surprise that he doesn’t understand. He accepts. He obeys. And in the obedience of love of this woman, Mary, and of this man, Joseph, a family is created into which comes God.

"God always knocks at the door of hearts. He likes to do this. It comes from His heart. But, do you know what He likes best? To knock on the doors of families and find families that are united, to find families that love each other, to find the families that bring up their children and educate them and help them to keep going forward and that create a society of goodness, of truth, and of beauty.

"We are in the Festival of Families. The family has a divine passport, is that clear? The passport that a family has is issued it by God, so that within its heart, truth, love, and beauty would grow more and more....

"in families, there is always, always, the cross. Always. Because the love of God, of the Son of God, also opened for us this path. But, in families as well, after the cross, there is the resurrection. Because the Son of God opened for us this path. Because of this, the family is — forgive the term I’ll use — it is a factory of hope, of hope of life and of resurrection. God was the one who opened this path.

"And the children. The children make us work. We, too, as sons and daughters also created work.

"Sometimes, at home, I see some of my collaborators who come into work with dark circles under their eyes. They have a baby who is a month old, or two moths old, and I ask them, 'You didn’t sleep?' 'Oh no, he cried all night long.' In families, there are difficulties, but these difficulties are overcome with love. Hate doesn’t overcome any difficulty. Division of hearts doesn’t overcome any difficulty. Only love is capable of overcoming difficulties. Love is a festival. Love is joy. Love is to keep moving forward....

"I would like to stress two points regarding the family which I would like you to pay special attention to. Not only would I like you to do this, but we must pay special attention to this: the children and the grandparents. Children and young people are the future, they are the strength, those who take us forward. They are the ones in which we place our hope. Grandparents are the memory of a family, they are the ones who gave us the faith, transmitted to us the faith.

"To take care of the grandparents and to take care of the children is the sign of love — I don’t know if it’s the greatest but I would say the most promising [sign of love] of the family, because it promises the future. A people that does not know how to care for the children and a people that does not know how to care for the grandparents is a people without a future, because it doesn’t have strength and it doesn’t have the memory that will carry it forward.

"And well, the family is beautiful, but it is costly. It brings problems. In the family, sometimes there is enmity. The husband fights with the wife or they give each other dirty looks, or the children with the parents … I advise one thing: Never end the day without making peace in the family. In a family, a day cannot end at war.

"May God bless you. May God give you strength. May God strengthen you to keep moving forward. Let us care for the family. Let us defend the family, because there, there, our future is in play. Thank you, may God bless you and pray for me, please."
https://youtu.be/ZwSc0KThwZQ

"Tracing the demise of the traditional family in Lower Bucks County"

"Growing up in Fairless Hills in the 1960s and ’70s, Tony Amato recalled only one family arrangement.  'Your father worked. Your mother stayed home and took care of the kids. Men supported their families'....'I believe in the family.  The strength of a man and a woman working to raise children,' he said.  He spoke, as we were swept along....Scott Hahn, Catholic convert and theologian, spoke about the Scriptural definition of family: man, woman in a sacramental union with God, that produces a child - a 'tridentine' family in the 'image of God'....Scott Hahn said that if Catholics would simply live out the grace of the sacrament of marriage, in 40 years, America would be a Christian culture again" (J.D. Mullane, Tracing the demise of the traditional family in Lower Bucks County, Courier Times, 9/25/15).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pope Francis' 9/24/15 Address to Homeless, Poor of DC

"....I can imagine Joseph, with his wife about to have a child, with no shelter, no home, no place to stay. The Son of God came into this world as a homeless person. [The Son of God came into this world as a 'homeless.'] The Son of God knew what it was to start life without a roof over his head....

"I want to be very clear: there is no possible] social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever, for lack of housing. There are many unjust situations, but we know that God is suffering with us, experiencing them at our side. He does not abandon us...."

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-homeless-poor-of-dc

Pope Francis' 9/24/15 Address to People Gathered at the National Mall

"Good morning everyone. I thank you all for your welcome and your presence. I thank the most important people who are here: the children. I want to ask God to bless you. Lord, Father of all, bless this people, bless each one of them, bless their families, give them what they need. I ask all of you to please pray for me. And if there is someone among you who does not believe or cannot pray, I ask you to wish me well. Thank you very much. God Bless America"

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-people-gathered-at-the-national-mall

Pope Francis Highlights and the Apostolate to Defend Human Life and Marriage/Family

Pope Francis Highlights.... 



NOT ONE DIME FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD!

Passing pro life bills is absolutely a vital witness.  Yet with our avowedly pro-abortion governor and our avowedly pro-abortion president, pro life bills will more than likely be vetoed.  The key to stopping Planned Parenthood at this moment in time is in budgeting processes.  NOT ONE DIME FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD!
  • Thirty-one members of the U.S. House have pledged ''that we cannot and will not support any funding resolution — an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise — that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.''  Some "pro life" representatives and senators have been fearful of being blamed for a government "shutdown."   Email Representative Fitzpatrick, Senator Casey, and Senator Toomey, to urge them to get on board with a moratorium.  Please also ask pro life Representatives Joe Pitts ((202) 225-2411), Pat Meehan ((202) 225-2011), and Ryan Costello ((202) 225-4315) to back a moratorium.
  • On the state level, the Pennsylvania Family Institute tells us that "the Administration, following what can only be described as a cursory review of Planned Parenthood abortion sites in Pennsylvania, stated that the organization’s hands are clean in the burgeoning nationwide scandal involving the gruesome procurement and trafficking in the remains of unborn children aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics....the taxpayers of Pennsylvania can have no confidence that Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration can or did conduct a fair and thorough probe, given his close ties with Planned Parenthood before, during and after his campaign for Pennsylvania Governor." Email all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg, to urge a state moratorium on monies for Planned Parenthood.

 

HB 1510/SB 974, the so-called "Fairness Act"

  • The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference warns that Pennsylvania HB 1510/SB 974, the so-called "Fairness Act" would "jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs.  In other states, this law has closed Catholic adoption agencies and violated religious liberty. These bills could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs....Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith."
  • HB 1510/SB 974 is receiving a surprising amount of support among state legislators who identify as Catholic or who have received Catholic schooling. From Bucks County, Representatives Steve Santarsiero (D), Tina Davis (D) John Galloway (D), Scott Petri (R) Marguerite Quinn (R), and Kathy Watson (R) are among the 84 co-sponsors of HB 1510.  While Galloway identifies as Catholic, the others have studied at Catholic schools (i.e., Santarsiero, MEd, Holy Family; Davis, Bachelors, LaSalle; Petri, JD, Villanova; Quinn, BA, St Joseph's, and Watson (studied at Villanova).).  Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R), who identifies as Catholic, is among the 26 co-sponsors of SB 974.
  • "Stand for true tolerance: oppose Senate Bill 974 and House Bill 1510" (Pa Family Council).

 

Religious Liberty

  • As per the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "The First Amendment Defense Act (H.R. 2802, S. 1598) would bar the federal government from discriminating against individuals and organizations based upon their religious beliefs or moral convictions that marriage is the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage. The Act provides broad protections against adverse federal actions directed toward individuals and organizations that act on such beliefs."  Representative Fitzpatrick is NOT among the 148 co-sponsors of HR2802; NEITHER Senator Casey NOR Senator Toomey are among the 37 co-sponsors of S1598.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has an alert for contacts to Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, re: the First Amendment Defense Act (HR2802 / S1598): http://cqrcengage.com/catholicbishops/app/make-a-call?0&engagementId=113753

Alerts, Alerts Central, NCHLA, and Justice for Immigrants

  • To aid us in applying the commandments to our modern world, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference offers "alerts" and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers "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" (NCHLA), and that "Action alerts for issues related to immigration reform can be found through the USCCB-led Catholic coalition, "Justice for Immigrants." 

The apostolate of the laity involves engaging the culture, which includes the struggle to defend all human life, marriage/family, religious liberty and conscience protections.  So, what are we to think of "Catholic" hospitals in our own archdiocese?

  1. Among OBGYNs with privileges, there is a paucity of NFP-only physicians!
  2. There are privileges for IVF specialists!
  3. There are privileges for associates of a practice involved with so-called fetal reduction!
  4. Holy Redeemer's Making Your Own Health Care Decisions (http://www.holyredeemer.com/Main/AdvanceDirective.aspx) fails to specify Catholic teaching with regard to nutrition and hydration, and that health care services cannot honor advance directives (e.g., non-specific directives to forego nutrition and hydration) opposed to Catholic teaching.

Since all but a handful of pharmacies - across the country - sell abortifacients and contraceptives....

Email local parishes with bulletin advertisements for providers of contraceptives and abortifacients.

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