In Pennsylvania's

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cardinal Wuerl's letter urging solidarity with persecuted Christians (10/17/17)

http://www.cathstan.org/Content/News/News/Article/Text-of-Cardinal-Wuerl-s-letter-urging-solidarity-with-persecuted-Christians/2/2/8163

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

"....I am the Lord and there is no other...."

  • Come Walk with Us! Procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Dec 2 (Diocese of Trenton)
http://faithfulinthe8th.blogspot.com/2017/10/102217-29th-sunday-in-ordinary-time.html
    • So called egg "donation" and the Vatican's New Charter for Health Care Workers (10/21/17)
      •  Feast of St. Luke the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers (10/17/17)
    • "The Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment 'would appear to have long since made up its mind' on repealing the constitutional ban on abortion, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran has said....Earlier Bishop Doran told the conference that the manner in which conscientious objection was being interpreted 'in the so-called Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act gives rise to real concern'.  Doctors and nurses 'are allowed under the Act to opt out of providing or participating in abortion, provided they refer the patient to someone else who will perform the procedure', he said. 'In other words, they are still required to participate in what they believe to be fundamentally immoral. Healthcare administrators have no recourse to conscientious objection.'.... (The Irish Times, 10/20/17)
      • Our Lady of Knock and Marriage/Family (3/5/16)
    • USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Release Report Recommending Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador and Honduras (USCCB, 10/17/17)
    • "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right....The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential" (C-Fam, 10/13/17

    On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/17/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/17/17 update).

    http://www.usccb.org/pray

    So called egg "donation" and the Vatican's New Charter for Health Care Workers

    Some reminders from the Vatican's New Charter for Health Care Workers:

    http://www.eggsploitation.com/

    Friday, October 20, 2017

    Dáil committee not open-minded on Eighth Amendment, says bishop (The Irish Times, 10/20/17)

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/d%C3%A1il-committee-not-open-minded-on-eighth-amendment-says-bishop-1.3263547

    App developed by Phila. nun teaches how to pray in sign language (CatholicPhilly.com, 10/20/17)

    http://catholicphilly.com/2017/10/news/world-news/app-developed-by-phila-nun-teaches-how-to-pray-in-sign-language/

    Thursday, October 19, 2017

    "Help them get the joy missing from their lives" (?????).

    • The above ad was spotted this morning on the northbound platform of the Metro Park, NJ train station.  In 2008, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provided us with Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions, which certainly made clear the absolute moral wrongness of IVF procedures.  Compounding this wrongness is when sperm or eggs of non-spouses are "donated"!  Why is no one talking about the IVF industry's shameful exploitation of young women? (cf, https://www.eggsploitation.com/story-cb.htm )
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/come-walk-with-us-guadalupe-procession-dec-2-free-registration-tickets-38670037122?aff=es2 
    (Click image for additional information.)
      • Feast of St. Luke the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers (10/17/17
      •  USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Release Report Recommending Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador and Honduras (USCCB, 10/17/17)
      •  "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right....The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential" (C-Fam, 10/13/17

      On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/17/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/17/17 update).

      http://www.usccb.org/pray

      Wednesday, October 18, 2017

      Pope Appeals for Somalia (Zenit, 10/18/17)

      Feast of St. Luke [10/18/17] the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers

      • Feast of St. Luke [10/18/17] the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers (10/17/17) - This is BIG!
      http://faithfulinthe8th.blogspot.com/2017/10/102217-29th-sunday-in-ordinary-time.html
      • Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (10/19/17)
        • Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, Auriesville, NY (9/9/16
          • USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Release Report Recommending Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador and Honduras (USCCB, 10/17/17)
          • Pope Marks 800 Years Franciscans in Holy Land (ZENIT, 10/17/17)
          • "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right....The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential" (C-Fam, 10/13/17

          On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/17/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/17/17 update).

          https://www.eventbrite.com/e/come-walk-with-us-guadalupe-procession-dec-2-free-registration-tickets-38670037122?aff=es2 
          (Click image for additional information.)

          Pope Marks 800 Years Franciscans in Holy Land (ZENIT, 10/17/17)

          https://zenit.org/articles/pope-marks-800-years-franciscans-in-holy-land/

          Tuesday, October 17, 2017

          "giving you a title, though you knew Me not" (10/22/17)

          http://faithfulinthe8th.blogspot.com/2017/10/102217-29th-sunday-in-ordinary-time.html
          • Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs (10/19/17)
            • Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, Auriesville, NY (9/9/16
            • Feast of St. Luke [10/18/17] the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers (10/17/17)
              • Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr (10/17/17)
              • USCCB Migration and Refugee Services Release Report Recommending Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador and Honduras (USCCB, 10/17/17)
              • "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right....The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential" (C-Fam, 10/13/17

              On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/17/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/17/17 update).

              https://www.eventbrite.com/e/come-walk-with-us-guadalupe-procession-dec-2-free-registration-tickets-38670037122?aff=es2 
              (Click image for additional information.)

              State Issues, 10/17/17 update

              Pa Catholic Conference

              • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Religious Liberty
                "Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs....proposals like these expose even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination based solely on their religious beliefs. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
              • Support a Better Life for Human Trafficking Victims 
                [While the Pa Catholic Conference is supporting SB 554, doesn't the  fact that Senator Daylin Leach is one of its prime sponsors suggest that there should be careful assessment of  whether this legislation and its implications are truly consistent with Catholic teaching?]

              Pa Pro Life Federation 

              As per the 9/29/17 PA Pro-Life Legislative Alert,
                "Please call and email your state Senators and urge them to support House Bill 1139, which strengthens our Newborn Protection Act."
              As per the 9/7/17 PA Pro-Life Legislative Alert,
              • Support Senator Scott Martin's resolution to condemn the abortion of babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
              • Support Senate Bill 3.
              • Oppose House Bill 111.
              • Oppose Senate Bill 238.

              Pa Family.org Citizen Action Center

              Federal Issues, 10/17/17 update

              USCCB's Action Center

              USCCB's and CRS' Catholics Confront Global Poverty / Action Center 

              USCCB's Justice for Immigrants' Action Alerts 

              USCCB's Marriage Unique for a Reason

              • "The USCCB continues to support the First Amendment Defense Act and the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act in Congress....In September, Archbishop Chaput, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, sent a letter of support to Representative Randy Hultgren for the Healthy Relationships Act of 2017. The act would authorize the federal government to award grants on a competitive basis to public and private entities providing education in sexual risk avoidance (voluntarily refraining from nonmarital sexual activity)" (USCCB, 10/2/17).

              Pa Catholic Conference's Current Alerts
              (two federal)

              National Center on Sexual Exploitation

              • On EWTN News Nightly (9/20/17), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's Haley Halverson explained why Congress must amend Communications Decency Act, Section 230.
                https://www.youtube.com/embed/0BiKPAszOok?autoplay=1
                Kudos to Brian Fitzpatrick is joined by fellow U.S. Representatives from Pennsylvania Brady, Evans, Kelly, Rothus, Shuster, and Smucker as co-sponsors of HR 1865 (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017), while Senator Casey (but NOT Senator Toomey) is a co-sponsor of S 1693 (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act)
                • "'Expeditious passage of H.R. 1865 Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) and S. 1693 Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) will move the country closer to striking a blow against the online havens that facilitate sex trafficking'" (National Center on Sexual Exploitation, 9/7/17). 

              Human Life Action Action Alerts

                Current Action Alerts

              • Assisted Suicide is Not Healthcare
              • Urge Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2017!
                [As per a 9/20/17 email from Human Life Action: "This is 'appropriations season' on the Hill. That means Congress must pass funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2018.... Last Thursday, the House of Representatives approved HR 3354, Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018. It includes the full text of the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) of 2017! It also includes other provisions which we have taken action on such as the nullification of the DC law that legalized assisted suicide and the DC Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), a DC law....There are many other pro-life provisions (both longstanding and new) in the funding bill as well, such as a prohibition on funding elective abortions for detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and against funding for research involving human fetal tissue from abortions....Of the new provisions, our top priority is to ensure that the CPA is included.... rather than finalizing the FY 2018 appropriations legislation by the end of the fiscal year (September 30), both the House and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government at its current levels with current policies until December 8, 2017....continue contacting your members of Congress...."]

                Previous Action Alerts

              Feast of St. Luke the Physician and the updated Charter for Health Care Workers


              Apparently just in time for the Feast of Saint Luke (10/18/17), an English translation of the updated Charter for Health Care Workers is now available.  In its original and beautiful Charter for Health Care Workers, the Vatican had made clear that
                this noble calling applies to "doctors, nurses, hospital chaplains, men and women religious, administrators, voluntary care givers for those who suffer, those involved in the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of human health....

                "To serve life is to serve God in the person: it is to become 'a collaborator with God in restoring health to the sick body'[16] and to give praise and glory to God in the loving welcome to life, especially if it be weak and ill.[17]....

                "the
                therapeutic ministry of health care workers is a sharing in the pastoral[21] and evangelizing[22] work of the Church....

                "In fidelity to the moral law, the health care worker actuates his fidelity to the human person whose worth is guaranteed by the law, and to God, Whose wisdom is expressed by the law....
                "The present charter wants to guarantee the ethical fidelity of the health care worker: the choices and behavior enfleshing service to life."
              In reporting on the update earlier this year, Vatican Radio (2/6/17) noted that "The new references of the Magisterium, after 1994, that appear in the Charter are:



            • The Charter for Health Care Workers and Conscience Protection (9/24/17)
            • What's happening with the English translation of the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers? (8/13/17
            • The Revision and Updating of the Charter for Healthcare Workers (Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, 5/6/15)
            • Vatican: Revised charter for health care workers to be out next year (CNS, 11/13/12)
            • Monday, October 16, 2017

              "I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not.

              https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HyW_r4AdtcM/WePbKDMm1gI/AAAAAAAAUWg/vUqW62t4OksR4CzIxpDpCE3fVdm9BuN4gCLcBGAs/s1600/pro%2Blife%2Bmarch%252C%2Bdec%2B2.jpg
              • "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right.

                "A bicameral and bipartisan coalition of 51 members of the U.S. Congress, led by Chris Smith of New Jersey, also wrote to the committee, 'As lawmakers, we believe we have a duty to protect the weak, disenfranchised, unwanted and vulnerable from violence and abuse. Therefore we write to affirm that the most elemental human right of all—the right to life—includes unborn children'....

                "The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential.

                "While the official statement of the U.S. did not address euthanasia, and did not rule out the possibility of a human right to abortion under other UN treaties that had not been ratified by the United States, it wrote that 'any issues concerning access to abortion […] are outside the scope of Article 6.' The U.S. described the draft commentary as 'expansive' and 'inconsistent with a proper interpretive analysis'...." (C-Fam, 10/13/17

              On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/11/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/11/17 update).

              Sunday, October 15, 2017

              10/22/17, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

              "I have called you by your name,
              giving you a title, though you knew Me not.
              I am the LORD and there is no other,
              there is no God besides Me.
              It is I who arm you, though you know Me not,
              so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun
              people may know that there is none besides Me.
              I am the LORD, there is no other."

              http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102217.cfm

              http://ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/17_10_22.mp3


              https://www.youtube.com/embed/AEGgEpGzW78

              Saturday, October 14, 2017

              Many are invited, but few are chosen.

              • "The United States, Poland, and more than one hundred other governments and non-governmental organizations barraged the UN Human Rights Committee with briefs, pleading them not to declare abortion a human right.

                "A bicameral and bipartisan coalition of 51 members of the U.S. Congress, led by Chris Smith of New Jersey, also wrote to the committee, 'As lawmakers, we believe we have a duty to protect the weak, disenfranchised, unwanted and vulnerable from violence and abuse. Therefore we write to affirm that the most elemental human right of all—the right to life—includes unborn children'....

                "The UN committee is finalizing a legal commentary that excludes unborn children and the terminally ill from the right to life in article 6 of the UN treaty on civil and political rights, one of the earliest and most widely ratified UN treaties. The commentary will not be binding but could be influential.

                "While the official statement of the U.S. did not address euthanasia, and did not rule out the possibility of a human right to abortion under other UN treaties that had not been ratified by the United States, it wrote that 'any issues concerning access to abortion […] are outside the scope of Article 6.' The U.S. described the draft commentary as 'expansive' and 'inconsistent with a proper interpretive analysis'...." (C-Fam, 10/13/17
              • "Exactly 100 years ago, the sun danced....

                "the historical record is clear. The sun danced. And up to 70,000 people saw it. Secular newspapers reported it. Skeptical journalists and scientists who were present affirmed what they deemed to be impossible: the sun danced....

                "At Fatima, Our Lady had a message for the world that was so urgent that she resorted to extraordinary means to grab our attention....

                "Amend our lives, and ask pardon for our sins!....

                "I have written before about visionary Sr. Lucia’s warning to Cardinal Caffarra that the 'final battle' between God and Satan would be the battle over marriage, and her assurance that 'Our Lady has already crushed its head.' What I have not so far mentioned are the messages later given privately to some of the visionaries, which show that Our Lady was deeply concerned with the attack against morality, the consequences of which touch directly on the family....

                "The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about modesty:

                "Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet. – CCC, ¶ 2522....

                "100 years ago, the sun danced. And the promise that Our Lady made that summer to Lucia and the children is the same promise she makes to us: 'I will be with you always, and my Immaculate Heart will be your comfort and the way which will lead you to God.'

                "It is only up to us to heed Our Lady’s message at Fatima, and to put it into effect in our lives....

                "Our Lady of Fatima: Pray for us" (Rev. Shenan Boquet, Human Life International, 10/13/17).
              • "....My Delegation would like to underline in particular...that poverty is one of the tragic outcomes of social, economic and political exclusion. These are artificial barriers that block the participation necessary for integral human development and concentrate the opportunities and benefits in the hands of a privileged few. Pope Francis has emphasized that 'a way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table.'[2] [link added]....

                "The obvious antidote to exclusion is a concerted, strategic developmental focus on inclusion, replacing barriers with pathways to participation; foremost among them is investing in early child development and in health and education....

                "Another inclusive pathway out of poverty is the implementation and expansion of social protection policies, like pensions for seniors, child benefits and cash transfers to indigent families....

                "Programs of inclusion must have a preferential focus on women and girls, since they are disproportionately among the poorest....To achieve parity and equity in the labor force, there must be recognition of women’s informal work and the expansion of social protections for them....Economic inclusion is crucial also to combat human rights abuses like trafficking in persons for labor or sexual exploitation, and widespread exploitation of female domestic and migrant workers.

                "The Holy See would like to encourage the United Nations to mainstream the eradication of poverty, and the social, political and economic inclusion necessary for it to occur, into all aspects of its mission. Without ending poverty, all the other development goals become unattainable...." (Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, 10/12/17)
              • "The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week, November 5-11, 2017. This annual event is a special time for parishes in the United States to actively foster and pray for a culture of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life" (USCCB, 10/11/17)
                • "[Clericalism] does much to explain the apparent shortage of new vocations to the priesthood and religious life and the persistent failure of carefully planned programs to recruit them....Like others before him (St. Francis de Sales and John Henry Newman, for instance), Pope John Paul II gave a compelling account of personal vocation. In fact, it was one of his central themes. 'God calls… each one individually by name," he wrote. "In this sense the Lord's words, 'You go into my vineyard too,' directed to the Church as a whole, are specially addressed to each member individually' (Christifideles Laici, 28)....In the context of American Catholicism today, it's a bit of a shock to realize that Vatican II, while strongly encouraging lay apostolate, had next to nothing to say about 'lay ministries'" (Russell Shaw, 5/6/08).

              On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/11/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/11/17 update).

              http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/call-to-prayer/index.cfm

              Friday, October 13, 2017

              "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy".

              "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Your Mercy".



              On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/11/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/11/17 update).

              • Understanding Father James Martin, S.J. (10/9/17)
              • "The memory is clearly etched in my mind of driving over the Goethals Bridge in late November 1988....At the end of September, I drove over the new Goethals Bridge, in the opposite direction, after almost 30 years of living on Staten Island, to relocate to Titusville, Fla., where the ministry I lead, Priests for Life, has purchased an expanded headquarters.  I wanted, therefore, to take this opportunity to say a simple but profound 'Thank you' to the people of Staten Island...." (Father Frank Pavone, 10/8/17)
                 
              • Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary (10/7/17)
              • U.S. Bishops Chairman Calls on U.S. Government to work with Burma, Bangladesh, and the International Community to Address Burma Refugee Crisis for Religious Minority (USCCB, 10/6/17)
              • "....The recently-advanced hypothesis of reopening the way for the dignity of the person by radically neutralising sexual difference and, therefore, the understanding between man and woman, is not right...." (Pope Francis, 10/5/17).

              Wednesday, October 11, 2017

              “beside restful waters He leads me; He refreshes my soul.”

              http://faithfulinthe8th.blogspot.com/2017/10/101517-28th-sunday-in-ordinary-time_8.html
              • ‘Pure devastation’: At least 17 dead, with hundreds missing, as California wildfires spread (Washington Post, 10/11/17)
              • UPDATE 3-Trump asks Congress for $4.9-billion loan to Puerto Rico (Reuters, 10/11/17)

              On the right side of the home page is a link to email the White House and the Pa Delegation on federal matters (10/11/17 update), as well as a link to email Bucks County's Delegation in Harrisburg on state matters (10/11/17 update).

              • Understanding Father James Martin, S.J. (10/9/17)
              • "The memory is clearly etched in my mind of driving over the Goethals Bridge in late November 1988....At the end of September, I drove over the new Goethals Bridge, in the opposite direction, after almost 30 years of living on Staten Island, to relocate to Titusville, Fla., where the ministry I lead, Priests for Life, has purchased an expanded headquarters.  I wanted, therefore, to take this opportunity to say a simple but profound 'Thank you' to the people of Staten Island...." (Father Frank Pavone, 10/8/17)
                 
              • Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary Links (10/7/17)
              • U.S. Bishops Chairman Calls on U.S. Government to work with Burma, Bangladesh, and the International Community to Address Burma Refugee Crisis for Religious Minority (USCCB, 10/6/17)
              • "....The recently-advanced hypothesis of reopening the way for the dignity of the person by radically neutralising sexual difference and, therefore, the understanding between man and woman, is not right...." (Pope Francis, 10/5/17).

              State Issues (10/11/17 update)

              Pa Catholic Conference

              • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Religious Liberty
                "Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach if they continue to adhere to their religious beliefs....proposals like these expose even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination based solely on their religious beliefs. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
              • Support a Better Life for Human Trafficking Victims 
                [While the Pa Catholic Conference is supporting SB 554, doesn't the  fact that Senator Daylin Leach is one of its prime sponsors suggest that there should be careful assessment of  whether this legislation and its implications are truly consistent with Catholic teaching?]

              Pa Pro Life Federation 

              As per the 9/29/17 PA Pro-Life Legislative Alert,
                "Please call and email your state Senators and urge them to support House Bill 1139, which strengthens our Newborn Protection Act."
              As per the 9/7/17 PA Pro-Life Legislative Alert,
              • Support Senator Scott Martin's resolution to condemn the abortion of babies who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
              • Support Senate Bill 3.
              • Oppose House Bill 111.
              • Oppose Senate Bill 238.

              Pa Family.org Citizen Action Center

              Federal Issues (10/11/17 update)

              USCCB's Action Center

              USCCB's and CRS' Catholics Confront Global Poverty / Action Center 


                [We can ensure safety for refugees, as well as their host communities.  As our noble efforts at assistance must not be hijacked, this blogger believes that our communications MUST specifically state that contraceptives/abortifacients MUST be excluded from "assistance."]

                USCCB's Justice for Immigrants' Action Alerts 

                USCCB's Marriage Unique for a Reason

                • "The USCCB continues to support the First Amendment Defense Act and the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act in Congress....In September, Archbishop Chaput, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, sent a letter of support to Representative Randy Hultgren for the Healthy Relationships Act of 2017. The act would authorize the federal government to award grants on a competitive basis to public and private entities providing education in sexual risk avoidance (voluntarily refraining from nonmarital sexual activity)" (USCCB, 10/2/17).

                Pa Catholic Conference's Current Alerts
                (one federal)

                National Center on Sexual Exploitation

                • On EWTN News Nightly (9/20/17), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation's Haley Halverson explained why Congress must amend Communications Decency Act, Section 230.
                  https://www.youtube.com/embed/0BiKPAszOok?autoplay=1
                  Kudos to Brian Fitzpatrick is joined by fellow U.S. Representatives from Pennsylvania Brady, Evans, Kelly, Rothus, Shuster, and Smucker as co-sponsors of HR 1865 (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017), while Senator Casey (but NOT Senator Toomey) is a co-sponsor of S 1693 (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act)
                  • "'Expeditious passage of H.R. 1865 Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) and S. 1693 Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) will move the country closer to striking a blow against the online havens that facilitate sex trafficking'" (National Center on Sexual Exploitation, 9/7/17). 

                Human Life Action Action Alerts

                  Current Action Alerts

                  Previous Action Alerts

                As per Robert George, "we need to hold off cheering until we see how the guidance is actually interpreted and applied by public officials"


                Two sets of announcements by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services issued Friday both promise to broaden religious freedom protections in the United States....

                "Robert George, a professor of constitutional law at Princeton University and visiting professor at Harvard University, explained the implications of these two announcements....
                  '....I see much greater value in the guidance that has been issued today than in the executive order on religious freedom from a few months ago....

                  'The administration goes clearly on the record and instructs all relevant agencies of the government that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies even where a religious entity seeks an exemption from a requirement that the entity confer benefits on third parties. This is a big point in dispute between the two sides in the debate over religious freedom. The administration comes down squarely in favor of what I believe is the correct view.
                  ---
                  'Another key point the guidance makes clear is that religious employers are entitled to employ only persons whose beliefs and conduct are consistent with the employer's religious precepts.

                  'I interpret that to mean that an employer may, if the religious employer chooses for religious reasons, choose to employ only members of its own faith. But it also means that the employer, if it chooses on the basis of its religious faith, can choose to hire people who are not of the same faith, but limit those employment opportunities to prospective employees whose conduct is in line with the moral teachings of the faith....

                  'It means, for example, that a Catholic school could say, “We don't insist on hiring only Catholics to be teachers in the school. Perhaps we insist on Catholics as teachers of religion, since it's a Catholic school, but we are happy to hire a math teacher, a social studies teacher, or a literature teacher who is Hindu or Protestant or Jewish or Mormon or Muslim.”

                  'But, even if they choose to do that, [a Catholic employer] can choose to employ only people from their own faith or other faiths who live their lives in line with Catholic moral teaching....

                  ---
                  'I do have a question about point 20 [of the memo’s 20 points for consideration]. It has to do with the first word – "generally." The point says, "generally, the federal government may not condition federal grants or contracts on the religious organization altering its religious character beliefs or activities."

                  'I don't know what the exceptions are. I assume "generally" is meant to state a rule, but also to contemplate that there are exceptions to the rule. I think we need clearer guidance from the administration and from the Justice Department about the conditions under which the federal government may legitimately condition federal grants or contracts on a religious organization altering its religious character, beliefs, or activities.

                  'Since it's presented as a conditional norm, not as an absolute norm, we really need some clarity about what the conditions are, or what the exceptions are. And I cannot find that clarity in in the material....


                  'the preparatory material for the guidance says that this guidance does not resolve any specific cases. It offers guidance on existing protections in religious liberty and federal law. Of course there are cases that are pending. So the proof will be in the pudding.

                  'We need to know whether government officials will interpret these guidance points in ways that will cause them to relent in attempting to limit religious freedom....

                  'This guidance makes very clear that this administration's position is that freedom of religion extends to religious organizations and not just individuals, so that's good. It's not new, but it's good....

                  [With regard to the HHS mandate] 'I would defer to what the lawyers [at the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom] have said, because it's their case and they have been completely on top of this. They're excellent lawyers. I'm a member of the board of the Becket Fund and know them well....

                  'I will say this though: I believe an authentic, faithful, honest interpretation of these guidelines by the government officials who have responsibility for that litigation would cause them to basically concede to the Little Sisters; to acknowledge that to the extent that the regulations purport to impose upon religious organizations a requirement that they provide, or in any way implicate themselves in providing, contraceptives or abortifacient drugs in violation of religious teaching, that the government has no right to do that.

                  'The regulations cannot be enforced against those religious entities. But again, the proof will be in the pudding.

                  'We'll see whether the public officials to whom this guidance is addressed apply the guidance in that way.


                  ---
                  '....Many people do not derive their moral convictions from a religion, and many religious people believe that there are moral truths that can be known by the disciplined application of reason, even apart from what might, in addition, be known by revelation or the teachings of a church or other religious body.

                  'In other words, many people believe in what has traditionally been called “natural law.”

                  'It appears that in this guidance, it's acknowledged that non-religiously based, or not necessarily religiously based, moral reflection deserves conscience protection in the same way that religiously based moral convictions deserve conscience protection....

                  'Probably the most important thing to remind people is that the guidance or principles are designed to guide public officials, but they don't dictate results. The same is true of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, by the way....

                  'So while I welcome, and I think all friends of religious liberty and of conscience should welcome, this guidance, we need to hold off cheering until we see how the guidance is actually interpreted and applied by public officials. Until we see the guidance actually applied to concrete disputes we won't know whether to cheer....

                  'But I do believe in the principles that have been endorsed in the guidance documents, and I think that if they are faithfully and authentically interpreted, it will mean a very desirable set of protections for religious freedom – protections that are now many years overdue due to the assaults on religious freedom during the Obama administration."

                The 10 Commandments

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                Christifideles Laici

                Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

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