in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"pray that Jesus’ message, spoken through the vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, is delivered safely and that his words put into motion a desire to end senseless violence across the Middle East."

"Many of the places Jesus walked with His disciples, gave sermons to crowds and prayed to his Father are sites revered and revisited by pilgrims every day....Today, however, Christians in the Holy Land — and in other nearby countries in the Middle East — must live in fear for their own lives....Religious persecution in the Middle East, particularly the Holy Land, is threatening to wipe out the Christian population....This weekend pray that Jesus’ message, spoken through the vicar of Christ, Pope Francis, is delivered safely and that his words put into motion a desire to end senseless violence across the Middle East." (The Compass, 4/12/17)

Actions Needed

  • Click here to review the federal positions backed by our bishops.  On the right side of the home page are  links to send a combined email to the offices of Pa's congressional delegation and the White House, regarding those positions.
    • ALSO: As per the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment/Human Life Action (an affiliate agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), "the Senate passed the resolution of disapproval to override a rule change made late in the Obama Administration that prevented states from redirecting Title X family planning funding away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care. The House passed it in mid-February. That means the next stop is the President's desk for signaturePlease take a moment to follow up with your legislators and encourage others to do so as well. We know it is important to say, 'thank you' when a member votes for life as they often only hear criticism after a courageous vote. It is equally important that those who did not vote with us be aware that we are paying attention and that we expect better in the future" (
    • The president has NOT yet signed  the above.
  • Click here to review state positions backed by the Pa Catholic Conference, the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania and/or the Pa Pro Life Federation.  On the right side of the home page is a link to send a combined email to Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg (While the Pa Catholic Conference is supporting SB 554, the  fact that Senator Daylin Leach is one of its prime sponsors suggests that there should be careful assessment of  whether this legislation and its implications are truly consistent with Catholic teaching.).

Medical Ethics and Our Need to be Authentic Witnesses to the Sanctity of Human Life

  • On the right side of the home page is a link to email USCCB President Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB Pro Life Chair Cardinal Dolan, USCCB Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth Chair Archbishop Chaput, and National Catholic Bioethics Center President John Haas, PhD, STL. 
  • "the sciences and technologies are made for man and for the world, not the man and the world for science and technology. They are at the service of a dignified and healthy life for all, now and in the future, and make our common home more liveable and supportive, more careful and guarded" (Pope Francis, 4/10/17)


  • Inclusion Act Receives Continued Strong Support from USCCB Chairmen (USCCB, 4/10/17)
  • Dolce and Gabbana aren’t backing down from pro-family stand (Crux, 4/8/17)
  • "[I] am pleased to confirm that [the Ninth World Meeting of Families]...will be held from 21 to 26 August 2018, on the theme 'The Gospel of the Family: joy for the world'" (Pope Francis, 3/25/17
  • "The confessor does not do his own will and he does not teach his own doctrine. He is called to do always and only the will of God, in full communion with the Church, of which he is minister, that is, servant....the Confessional is place of evangelization and, therefore, of formation....To hear confessions is a pastoral priority" (Pope Francis, 3/17/17).

Social Teaching/International Issues

  • Christian leaders question Pakistan-Afghanistan border wall (CWN, 4/5/17
  • "But others said, 'The Christ will not come from Galilee, will He? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?'" (4/1/17)

  • "For the Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons to gather for a 17th Conference in Vienna is a welcome sign of the OSCE’s determination to eradicate what must be among the most shameful dynamics to scar the face of modern humanity.  Most believers of any faith and people of all persuasions are shocked, indeed scandalized, when they discover that trafficking occurs in every country and that it represents a most prosperous business on the planet. It is a form of slavery, a crime against humanity, a grave violation of human rights, an atrocious scourge, and it is all the more to be condemned when it takes place against children" (Pope Francis, 4/3/17)
  • "I thank you for your presence here tonight, on the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaties instituting the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community....As Saint John Paul II affirmed: 'Today too, the soul of Europe remains united, because, in addition to its common origins, those same Christian and human values are still alive. Respect for the dignity of the human person, a profound sense of justice, freedom, industriousness, the spirit of initiative, love of family, respect for life, tolerance, the desire for cooperation and peace: all these are its distinctive marks'.[13]....Ours is a time of discernment, one that invites us to determine what is essential and to build on it. It is a time of challenge and opportunity" (Pope Francis, 3/24/17).
  • "This Conference intends to negotiate a Treaty inspired by ethical and moral arguments. It is an exercise in hope and it is my wish that it may also constitute a decisive step along the road towards a world without nuclear weapons. Although this is a significantly complex and long-term goal, it is not beyond our reach" (Pope Francis, 3/23/17).
  • "I also offer a special welcome to the participants in the 'Watershed' Conference on replenishing water values for a thirsty world'....Today is World Water Day, instituted twenty-five years ago by the United Nations....I am happy that this meeting is taking place, for it represents yet another stage in the joint commitment of various institutions to raising consciousness about the need to protect water as a treasure belonging to everyone, mindful too of its cultural and religious significance" (Pope Francis, 3/22/17).
  • "another hero of conscience will be beatified in Bolzano by the Catholic Church, Josef Mayr-Nusser [He] Italian citizen from the South Tyrol, a German-speaking enclave in northern Italy....In 1943 Italy switched sides and German troops occupied northern Italy. German-speakers were forced to join the Wehrmacht....On October 4, his unit was to take the oath of loyalty to Adolph Hitler. But he refused. 'I cannot take an oath to Hitler in the name of God,' he declared. 'I cannot do it because my faith and conscience do not allow it.'  He was adamant, even though his comrades tried to persuade him to take the 'meaningless' oath. 'If no one ever finds the courage to tell them that they don’t agree with their Nazi ideology nothing will ever change,' he told them.  He was arrested, imprisoned and transferred to Danzig for trial. Condemned in January 1945 for undermining military morale, he was sentenced to death. On the way to Dachau in a cattle car, weakened by starvation and feverish with dysentery, he died at Erlangen on February 24.  The explanation for his courageous act of resistance can be found in an observation he had once made about the Fascist cult of leadership: 'To give witness today is our only and our most effective weapon'” (MercatorNet, 3/17/17).
  • "2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution. At that time, Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, made the statement 'We have sent religion to the history museum.' 50 years later, instead of reflecting on the devastating effects of that period, the current Communist regime adopted laws and policies that inverted progress and plunged mainland China into another era of despair.  As the government’s core religious policy shifted from the mutual adaptation of socialism and religion to religion adhering to Sinicization, its rhetoric changed from 'socialism' to 'Sinicization dominated by the CCP.'   Religious communities in China suffered the greatest impact from these alterations, especially Christians.  Although Christians endured various forms of harassment in 2016, the fundamental revisions to religious policy foreshadow more intense persecution. A harrowing winter has arrived; however, as the chilling seasons always yield to warmer climates, spring will someday spread across China. China Aid believes that God will protect and preserve Christians and churches because we believe that 'The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever' (Psalm 29:10)"(2016 Annual Report: Chinese Government Persecution of Churches and Christians in Mainland China (China Aid, 2/1/17)).

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