Christ’s Apostles Speak: Has it been too little, too late?

October 25, 2008

Thank you for your help.

 

1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver

2. Bishop James Conley, auxiliary of Denver

3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.

4. Justin Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities

5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine

6. Edward Cardinal Egan of New York

7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo

8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh

9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs

10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio

11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, auxiliary of San Antonio

12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville

13. Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa

14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas

15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin

16. Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston

17. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando

18. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis

19. Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, President of the USCCB

20. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker

21. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse

22. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland

23. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City

24. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco

25. Bishop Glen Provost of Lake Charles, LA

26. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn

27. Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton

28. Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura

30. Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte

31. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh

32. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS

33. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO

34. Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WS
35. Bishop Ronald Gilmore of Dodge City, KS
36. Bishop Paul Coakley of Salina, KS
37. Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita
38. Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach
39. Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth

40. Bishop Rene H. Gracida, retired, of Corpus Christi

41. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Houston

42. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington

43. Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond

44. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center

45. Joint Statement by the bishops of New York State (22 bishops)

 


Dear Bishops, We Need You Now!

October 24, 2008

From Catholic Exchange:

I believe that the outcome of the coming election, a mere 12 days away, and every implication that it has for the pro-life movement in this country lies in the domain of the Catholic Bishops of the United States.

Democrats have installed the strongest abortion plank to date in their platform and their candidate Barack Obama has promised to make the signing of FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) a priority of his administration. When we pro-life Catholics read on the website of our bishops a description of FOCA here and here, our hearts quail. We have worked so hard for small pro-life gains that to see them all overturned would be very hard. 

Like sheep that crowd around their shepherd for protection from a rampaging predator, we must crowd round our bishops now and beg them to help us.

I believe they can. I believe that we have been brought to a situation where we need their voices more desperately than we ever have before. Where the unborn need their voices. Where our nation needs their voices. 

What specifically do we need? What is the message that has to get out? Who is the target audience? Where and how can that audience be reached?

The target audience has to be those millions of Catholics who are still of the “seamless garment” mentality. Who in “good,” but ill-formed, conscience still vote for pro-abortion politicians when there is another alternative.

That audience has to be reached immediately through every medium — at weekend homilies, through diocesan organs, by mass-mailing, by television and radio spots, newspaper pages, and Catholic websites.

The message has two components and both of them are perfectly legal, meaning that neither one of them violates the rules regarding the kind of communications allowed to tax-exempt organizations.

The first component of the message is a repudiation of the “seamless garment” policy as popularly understood, that is, as a “loophole” for voting for pro-abortion politicians. A perfect example of how to communicate this clearly and unequivocally was the Joint Statement by Bishops Vann and Farrell.

Among the bishops who have so encouraged us by being similarly outspoken on this are: Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton,  Bishops Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo of Arlington and Richmond, Virginia, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Rhode Island and oustandingly, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput. But we need all our shepherds now! We need clear and unequivocal statements — by every bishop to every parish.

The second component is voter education. Voter education is perfectly legal. It is not endorsement of one candidate or another. It is abundantly clear that the campaign of Barak Obama has been engaging in subterfuge regarding his position on abortion. Out of the millions of Catholic votes to be cast a week from Tuesday are many that will be made by voters knowing neither how extreme the views of Barak Obama are on the issue of abortion nor the danger the pro-life movement faces from FOCA.

FOCA is on the bishops’ radar and the information about it on the USCCB website is extensive, but so far that website is not connecting the dots for Catholic voters. A vote for Obama is a vote for FOCA. What FOCA is and Obama’s promise to sign it into law should be part of the voter education. Archbishop Chaput has been making it very clear and we need more such exposure of Obama’s extremism.

Triggered by Pelosi and Biden, a number of bishops spoke up this campaign to give abortion the unique priority it deserves in our discourse about national policy and to correct “pro-choice” Catholic politicians who misrepresented Catholic teaching. Among others, we have to thank Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, PA, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, CO and Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, WI, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, OK, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, CT, Bishop Fran Malooly of Wilmington, DL, Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, ND, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, MA. You have lifted our spirits by speaking the truth!

And with great directness the USCCB has responded both last week and this week to the argument that overturning Roe v. Wade is a “lost cause.” Thank God for the steadiness of Cardinal Justin Rigali, another shepherd who gives us heart.

We have just days left. Will we look back four years hence at the unraveling of every pro-life gain, at pro-abortion and anti-family judicial tyranny entrenched for another generation, and perhaps even at legal persecution of faithful Catholics and any other Christian who resists the culture of death? We pray not!

Please Shepherds, Fathers, help us!


October 23, 2008


The Unholy Triumvirate

October 23, 2008

From the American Spectator:

If Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid had to write the Declaration of Independence and Constitution from scratch, what would those documents say? Would they read like the current ones? No, they would read like the platform of the Democratic Party.

Barack Obama’s America started not in 1776 but around 2006. By letting slip the comment, “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” Michelle Obama said as much.

The only question that remains is: If Obama wins, will the Democrats have the courage of their convictions? Will they hold a sort of ongoing constitutional convention and transform America into the liberal country of their dreams — the America in their minds which they identify now as the source of true patriotism?

Politics and parasitism would appear to be the only obstacles that could stop them: fearing a backlash, they might temporize and moderate their plans, or like Bill Clinton they might not want to risk total chaos by devouring the conservative host whole. Liberalism, after all, has to feed off the lingering order of conservatism for it to exist at all. Were liberalism implemented fully and purely, the disorder unleashed, as even Clinton sensed, would make life increasingly impossible.

Then again, absolute power could corrupt absolutely and Clinton-era circumspection may now appear to the Democrats hopelessly passé. Debates in D.C. seem to shift ever leftward, with last year’s liberal positions becoming this year’s unacceptably reactionary ones — a trend that is bound to accelerate under a Democratic monopoly of all three branches of government.

The extent to which the 1960s counter-culture has become the culture and 1960s anti-Americanism become the new patriotism is amazing. That’s why Obama could launch his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist and pay almost no price for it. As Chris Matthews lectured Pat Buchanan on Hardball last Friday night, Ayers was a terrorist with a worthy motivation: he bombed the Pentagon because he wanted America out of Vietnam, a blameless goal indeed. Under the Left’s tortured understanding of the new patriotism, even Jeremiah Wright is pro-American: his fulminations had the purpose of drawing America into the light.

Patriotism is now measured not by respect for the conservatism contained in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution but by the level of one’s enthusiasm for the America to come.

To be a good American now means you nod vigorously as an Obama supporter at a cocktail party bashes the Boy Scouts as bigots while explaining to you why Obama’s association with the “distinguished” education professor (as Congressman Rahm Emanuel put it) Bill Ayers is no big deal. It means you chuckle along with Joe Biden as he tells Ellen DeGeneres that conservative Californians are deluded to oppose gay marriage.

Or it means listening in hushed awe as unimpeachable American hero Colin Powell calls the most liberal Republican presidential nominee ever “narrow” and insufficiently “inclusive,” and scolds unnamed Americans for objecting to the notion of a Muslim president. (I was half-expecting him to join Barney Frank in calling for the elimination of the Constitution’s prohibition on foreign-born presidents. Surely that’s not “inclusive” either.)

What was once considered the anti-American Left now has the power to define who is and who is not a good American. Seeing victory in sight, they grow more bold and unapologetic. Over the last few days, instead of denying charges thrown at Obama, they have readily conceded them and basically said: So what?

To them, Obama’s “spreading the wealth around” comment isn’t a cringe-inducing gaffe but an appaluse line and sound basis for policy. What’s wrong with the state redistributing wealth? more than a few of them have asked, including, by the way, Colin Powell after his Meet the Press appearance before reporters.

Here, too, we see the new Americanism at work: where the founding fathers saw King George III’s overtaxation as an occasion to start the country, an enlightened modern American is expected to join Joe Biden in welcoming new taxes as a “patriotic” duty.

Under the unholy triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, good Americans will be expected to entrust their economy to redistributionists, their defense to pacifists, and their culture to proponents of abortion and gay marriage. Expect a crisis within six months should Obama win, promises Joe Biden. Perhaps he is right, but the first one is more likely to be domestic than international.


HOORAY for one more brave bishop acting upon his role as teacher and shepherd!

October 22, 2008

From Standard Speaker:

Local and national Catholics reacted Tuesday to statements by Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino apparently discounting teachings of the national body of bishops during a political forum at a Honesdale Roman Catholic Church this weekend.

Martino arrived unannounced in the midst of a panel discussion on faith issues and the presidential campaign at St. John’s Catholic Church on Sunday. According to people who attended the event, the bishop chastised the group for holding the forum and particularly took issue with the discussion and distribution of excerpts from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position on voting issues. The document defines abortion and euthanasia, as well as racism, torture and genocide, as among the most important issues for Catholic voters to consider.

“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” he was quoted as saying in the Wayne County Independent, a Honesdale-based newspaper. “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.”

Thomas Shepstone, a local businessman and Catholic who spoke about his opposition to abortion rights during the event, recalled Tuesday that Martino also told the audience that he voted against the U.S. Bishops’ statement and described it as a consensus document “written to mean all things to all people.”

According to participants, Martino expressed dismay that the panelists did not discuss the pastoral letter he directed all priests in the Diocese to read in place of their homilies on Oct. 4 and 5. In that letter, he called on Catholic voters to consider abortion above all other issues, except those he defined as having equal moral weight, like euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research.

“The only relevant document … is my letter,” he said at the forum, according to the Independent. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”

According to the Independent, the bishop also said he no longer supports the Democratic Party.

A diocesan spokesman on Tuesday confirmed the bishop’s comments as reported in the Independent.

The spokesman, William Genello, also released a statement that noted the bishop attended the event because he “was concerned because of the confusion and public misrepresentations about Catholic teaching on the life issues.

“Certain groups and individuals have used their own erroneous interpretations of Church documents, particularly the U.S. Bishops’ statement on Faithful Citizenship, to justify their political positions and to contradict the Church’s actual teaching on the centrality of abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research,” the statement said.

“When Bishop Martino heard how some of these issues were being presented at the forum, he determined that he must address the forum to fulfill his obligation as the authentic teacher of the Catholic faith in his diocese.”

Professor Douglas Kmiec, a Catholic constitutional legal scholar who advises Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama, said Tuesday he respects Martino’s passionate speech about life and doubts the bishop intended to separate himself from the larger church.

“That said, we have to be faithful to the church as the church universal exists,” he said. “And the church universal exists in places other than Scranton. It’s everywhere. Its teaching is timeless.”

Participants at the event described a spirited exchange of ideas that was either interrupted or invigorated by the bishop’s arrival.

Gene Tagle, the moderator of the event, said the bishop “torpedoed” the forum, even though he had been told about the event as early as May 27 this year.

“If the bishop disapproved, it seems all he had to do was have his secretary pick up the phone, call our parish pastor and tell him not to go ahead with the forum,” he said. “Instead he came in at the midpoint of the meeting and totally surprised everyone.”

Tagle said the bishop criticized the resident pastor, Rev. Martin Boylan, for holding the forum and “seemed to justify his presence there by stating that he owned the building.”

He also described the bishop’s tone as “angry and admonishing” and said his words created a surprising level of emotion in the audience.

“When he left it was chaotic,” Tagle said. “He incited his supporters to wild applause and shouting. And some individuals were castigating others for supporting pro-choice candidates. It was pretty wild there for a while.”

The bishop left shortly after his remarks and many audience members — some put the number at two-thirds of the group, others say a quarter — left after him.

Shepstone, the panelist, was one who left.

“I left because it was singularly inappropriate to continue the meeting after the bishop had spoken,” he said Tuesday, explaining that the bishop had made it clear he wanted the meeting to stop.

“He spoke eloquently and he spoke forcefully and there was nothing else to be said.”

Wendell Kay, another panelist and a Wayne County commissioner, stayed for the scheduled question-and-answer session after the bishop left, despite being startled by the interruption.

“He’s my bishop and I accept what he says, but I was a little bit surprised at the turn of events,” he said, “and thought if there had been an objection from the diocese in advance we probably would not have held the forum.”


Pillow-less through the Election

October 22, 2008

From Dust of the Time:

Do you like to sleep with your pillow? I certainly do. But I’ve decided to be pillow-less through election day on Tuesday, November 4. The kids at St. John’s Middle School in Beloit, KS have initiated a Crucial Pillow Fight:

Sleep without your pillow till the election! Redemptive suffering (Col. 1:24) is worth every toss and every turn during the night. Email us at pillowfight4life@yahoo.com to notify us of your commitment to the cause! We currently have over 450 pillow-less warriors…we need the pillow off your bed!

My mother was able to keep a straight back through her nineties by always sleeping on her back without a pillow. Even though I’ve tried to imitate her, I’ve always regressed. This time I will pursue the sacrifice with a much more rigorous attitude because of the exceedingly grave consequences of the coming election.

I’ve discovered that St. John’s Catholic school system is unique among Catholic schools in the country. Most large cities have shut down their Catholic schools, but Beloit with only 4,000 population supports Catholic education from kindergarten through high school. Here’s the website of their parish.

Another aside: Did you know that nuns in cloistered convents sleep only on their backs without pillows? At least that’s what one Carmelite community told me.


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