Thursday, October 30, 2008
Part Two by Father Corapi
Part Three by Father Corapi
A Call for a Rosary Novena
Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.
Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.
No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.
I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.
May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.
God Bless You
Fr. John Corapi
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity."
#2358 "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."
#2359 "Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."
#2396 "Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices."
Friday, October 24, 2008
Liberator_Rev has left a new comment on your post "VOTE YES! On Question #1": "Because your Catholic Church was not held accountable for its huge role in the Jewish Holocaust - which I document fully at JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/RCscandal - and you have never repented of that monstrous sin, confessed it and sought forgiveness for it, you are still engaged in promoting contempt for homosexuals as you did when your Roman Catholic Hitler persecuted the Jews AND homosexuals just a generation or so ago.When are you going to get around to promoting Christ's agenda, rather than Catholicism????" -Reverend Ray Dubuque of the United Methodist Church.
My response: What does the Jewish Holocaust have to do with voting yes to question #1 on this years Connecticut voting ballot? I fail to see the connection and have come to the conclusion that sales must be slow and you are trying to self promote yourself with my blog. Well I am all for capitalism and not socialism, so I will include your anti-Catholic nonsense link and wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. But what I won't do or allow, is your blatant lies to go unchecked on my blog. Perhaps "blatant lies" is too strong a word for me to use for a Methodist minister, perhaps I should chalk your comments and views up to simple ignorance? Well, here's to dispelling your ignorance with some true knowledge to help you grow as a clergyman and not be a stumbling block to your flock by teaching errors to them.
1) Your link to "Jesus Would be Furious" is nothing more then anti-Catholic hate and lies. I wouldn't line my dogs crate with that garbage. But you know what they say about "one man's garbage is another man's treasure...".
2) What "huge role" did the Catholic Church play in the Jewish Holocaust? You mean saving lives and excommunicating ANY Catholic who was a Nazi or voted for anyone in the Nazi party? Well thanks! I think the Church did well with that too, although it cost many Catholics their very lives to do so, they still did what was morally right instead of going with the flow.
3) The fact is that the conference of German bishops excommunicated all Nazis in 1930, and in the 1932 elections forbade Catholics to vote for a Nazi. The Church did stand up to the evil that was the Nazi party and they did save many lives.
4) Some quotes:
-"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks...Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."- Albert Einstein- Time Magazine- December 23, 1940
-"The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas... he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all... the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism... he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace."-New York Times-December 25, 1941
-"I should like you to take this occasion to express to His Holiness my deeply-felt appreciation of the frequent action which the Holy See has taken on its own initiative in its generous and merciful efforts to render assistance to the victims of racial and religious persecutions." Franklin D. Roosevelt to Myron C. Taylor, August 3, 1944
-" . . I told him [the Pope] that my first duty was to thank him , and through him, the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public, for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews, to save children, and Jews in general." Moshe Sharett, Later First Israeli Foreign Minister (April 1945)
-"When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the pope was raised for its victims." Golda Meir, Israeli Foreign (October 1958)
-". . . the Catholic Church, under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII was instrumental in saving at least 700,000, but probably as many as 860,000, Jews from certain death at Nazi hands." Pinchas E. Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews (1967)
-"In his 1942 Christmas message, which The New York Times among others extolled, the pope became the first figure of international stature to condemn what was turning into the Holocaust." Kenneth Woodward, Newsweek (March 30, 1998)
-". . . Pius XII was, genuinely and profoundly, a righteous gentile." Rabbi David G. Dalin, The Weekly Standard, February 26, 2001
5) And from Zenit news:
"No one knows exactly how many Jews were hidden and saved by the Church, but according to "Three Popes and the Jews" by Jewish historian Emilio Pinchas Lapide, then consul general in Milan, "the Holy See, the nuncios, and the Catholic Church saved between 740,000 and 850,000 Jews from certain death." It is estimated that more than 80% of the Jews in Italy escaped the Nazi genocide. In Rome alone, the Jewish community has certified that the Church saved 4,447 Jews from the Holocaust." source: http://www.zenit.org/article-12040?l=english
6) Here is what Pope John Paul II had to say;
The words of the ancient Psalm, rise from our hearts: "I have become like a broken vessel. I hear the whispering of many -- terror on every side -- as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord: I say, 'you are my God."' (Psalms 31:13-15)
In this place of memories, the mind and heart and soul feel an extreme need for silence. Silence in which to remember. Silence in which to try to make some sense of the memories which come flooding back. Silence because there are no words strong enough to deplore the terrible tragedy of the Shoah.
My own personal memories are of all that happened when the Nazis occupied Poland during the war. I remember my Jewish friends and neighbors, some of whom perished, while others survived. I have come to Yad Vashem to pay homage to the millions of Jewish people who, stripped of everything, especially of human dignity, were murdered in the Holocaust. More than half a century has passed, but the memories remain.
Here, as at Auschwitz and many other places in Europe, we are overcome by the echo of the heart-rending laments of so many. Men, women and children, cry out to us from the depths of the horror that they knew. How can we fail to heed their cry? No one can forget or ignore what happened. No one can diminish its scale.
We wish to remember. But we wish to remember for a purpose, namely to ensure that never again will evil prevail, as it did for the millions of innocent victims of Nazism.
How could man have such utter contempt for man? Because he had reached the point of contempt for God. Only a godless ideology could plan and carry out the extermination of a whole people.
The honor given to the 'Just Gentiles' by the state of Israel at Yad Vashem for having acted heroically to save Jews, sometimes to the point of giving their own lives, is a recognition that not even in the darkest hour is every light extinguished. That is why the Psalms and the entire Bible, though well aware of the human capacity for evil, also proclaims that evil will not have the last word.
Out of the depths of pain and sorrow, the believer's heart cries out: "I trust in you, O Lord: 'I say, you are my God."' (Psalms 31:14)
Jews and Christians share an immense spiritual patrimony, flowing from God's self-revelation. Our religious teachings and our spiritual experience demand that we overcome evil with good. We remember, but not with any desire for vengeance or as an incentive to hatred. For us, to remember is to pray for peace and justice, and to commit ourselves to their cause. Only a world at peace, with justice for all, can avoid repeating the mistakes and terrible crimes of the past.
As bishop of Rome and successor of the Apostle Peter, I assure the Jewish people that the Catholic Church, motivated by the Gospel law of truth and love, and by no political considerations, is deeply saddened by the hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place.
The church rejects racism in any form as a denial of the image of the Creator inherent in every human being.
In this place of solemn remembrance, I fervently pray that our sorrow for the tragedy which the Jewish people suffered in the 20th century will lead to a new relationship between Christians and Jews. Let us build a new future in which there will be no more anti-Jewish feeling among Christians or anti-Christian feeling among Jews, but rather the mutual respect required of those who adore the one Creator and Lord, and look to Abraham as our common father in faith.
The world must heed the warning that comes to us from the victims of the Holocaust, and from the testimony of the survivors. Here at Yad Vashem the memory lives on, and burns itself onto our souls. It makes us cry out: "I hear the whispering of many -- terror on every side -- but I trust in you, O Lord: I say, 'You are my God."' (Psalms 31:13-15)
-Pope John Paul II - March 23, 2000-Yad Vashem, Israel's main Holocaust memorial-
The Catholic Church is promoting "Christ's agenda" in my opinion, but I have a feeling you Reverend see "Christ's agenda" as something else. To me "Christ's agenda" is the Gospel message. That is telling people that Jesus Christ is the Savior and putting into action the Great Commission (Matthew 28:8 "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,"). Let's see, hmmm... there are approximately over a BILLION Catholics worldwide and how many Methodists?
I do thank you for sharing your views with myself and my blog readers. It's always enlightening and eye opening to see how others view things. May God bless you.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
THE CONNECTICUT CATHOLIC CONFERENCE URGES YOU TO
VOTE YES! ON QUESTION #1
SUPPORT A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
ON ELECTION DAY!
The goal is to have a Constitutional Convention convened to change our state Constitution and to allow for the right of initiative and referendum. This will allow the citizens of Connecticut to vote on proposals that will improve our life in Connecticut. It will allow the voice of the people to be heard above partisan politics and special interests.
The legislature has failed to act on a variety of issues of concern to the people of Connecticut that effect our families, property and safety.
-Failed to define marriage in our Constitution leading to the imposition of same-sex marriage on the people of Connecticut through judicial activism.
-Failed to enact significant eminent domain reform to prevent the seizing of private property for use by private developers as occurred in New London
-Failed to enact a three strikes law for repeat felons
-Failed to enact property tax reform
-Failed to seriously consider term limits on public officials
-Failed to enact laws requiring parents to be notified when their teen daughter receives an abortion
Legislative leaders and representatives many times fail to act because they are greatly influenced by the special interest groups that don’t represent your interests or views. Review some of the groups that are opposed to increasing the voice of the people of Connecticut and opposed to a “Yes” vote on Question #1.
SOME OF THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS OPPOSED TO QUESTION #1.
Connecticut Education Association National Education Association American Federation of Teachers Liberals Like Christ
American Civil Liberties Union of CT CT Transadvocacy Coalition
CT National Organization for Women NARAL Pro-Choice CT
CT Assoc. of Public School Superintendents Love Makes a Family
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Planned Parenthood of CT
Queers Without Borders Trial Lawyers Association
Coalition for Reproductive Choice of CT
“Therefore, we will be calling on the Catholic people of our state to vote “Yes” for a Constitutional Convention and the right of referendum on Election Day." -
Statement on Same-sex Marriage Court Decision by the Catholic Bishops of
Connecticut, October 10, 2008
“Any time you can have public participation in government, I think you are better served by it". - Gov. M. Jodi Rell, September 26, 2008.(Newsday)
Monday, October 20, 2008
God Bless You
Fr. John Corapi
We have heard the sarcastic quip before from others: “God has a sense of humor.” Of course he does! Why not? He created us, didn’t He? If that’s not worth a belly chuckle, I don’t know what is. God also created us in His image, so it stands to reason that if we have a sense of humor, He must as well, and if our perception is keen enough, we can see evidence of it from time to time, albeit subtly so for what are obviously God’s own reasons.
I work long hours on the road and I travel all over the state. I now know Stamford much better than I did 12 years ago, but 12 years ago, I can vividly remember getting lost on Washington Boulevard. If you are familiar with Stamford, Washington Boulevard is a major artery, several miles long, and a divided highway. If you are on the wrong side of it, you have quite a hike before you can turn around. I was running behind one day this week, made a wrong turn, not being able to find the street I was looking for, inadvertently turned onto what I now know is Washington Boulevard. At first, I went off like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July, cursing and swearing, furious and frustrated. Then it hit me: a flashback from 12 years ago. Then I started cracking up laughing! Alone in my car, I looked up in the sky and said aloud, “You do have a sense of humor, Father!” Then I composed myself, and after 3 days and 3 nights, finally found a place to turn around on Washington Boulevard and reversed my course before somebody released the bloodhounds to track me. It all worked out in the end.
For the months of September, October and November, my calendar has more ink on it than white paper. Most of that burden is my own doing. I have identified my three archenemies. They are me, myself, and I. To put it mildly, life has been hectic lately, partially for reasons beyond my control, and partially because of my three archenemies. I hadn’t been to Confession in about 8 weeks. That might not sound bad, but I generally try to go every week or two weeks, so I was behind, and I can tell when I need Confession. I can literally feel it. I know my soul as well as my body, and I was long overdue, so yesterday, I finally went to Confession. The Church forbids my pastor from revealing this information to anyone, but I know of no rule that says I can’t reveal what I confessed, and one sin was my nemesis-like impatience and temper. (Remember Washington Boulevard?) I made a good Confession, received my absolution, did my penance and was about to leave when I decided to first stop and light a candle and write a prayer in our parish intentions book for a colleague whom I thought very highly of and who was suddenly stricken and passed away this week. Now, mind you, I had just finished confessing my patience and temper. Our intentions book sits atop a table. On the lower shelf of the table is a pile of our bulletins. Several older folks were coming in early for Saturday afternoon Mass, and as I was writing this prayer for my deceased friend, one after another said, “excuse me,” as they reached ahead of me to grab a bulletin from underneath. One after another came in, I think about five people in total, and interrupted me and made me lean back so they could get a bulletin. I was on a slow burn. By time the 5th person within a span of about 30 seconds did it, I was about ready to blow! Couldn’t these rude, impatient people see I was writing a solemn prayer? Could the stupid bulletin wait a minute, or maybe they could grab one from the other shelf across the room, or maybe even get one after Mass? Uh-oh…here it comes…. I could feel the steam roiling from within. My hand tightened on the pen with a fist, my jaws clamped, my teeth clenched, my face scowled, my whole body tightened, and then, and then, and then…. Hey, whatcha think I was going to do? He was a little old man about five feet tall and about 90 years old! Give me a break, people! I’m not that much of an ogre! Actually, I really was about to say something to him, what, I don’t quite know, but I’m sure I would have thought of something in the area of 4 letters or so. But I didn’t. I took a deep breath, the elderly man took his bulletin and went on his way, and just then, as I finished writing my prayer, it hit me again! No, God wasn’t tempting me, but certainly Satan was, as I was fresh out of Confession. God does give us free choice after all, a gift of love in itself, and part of that requires that he give “the Devil his due,” so to speak, even if only on a short leash, just enough to see what we are going to do. Confession, after all, does require repentance. I chuckled again, and as I got into my car alone again, I said, “OK, Lord, I hear you!” I passed the test, at least that time.
One other thing happened after Confession, but before the bulletin incident. After leaving the confessional, I returned to the pew, kneeling and praying my penance. As I said before, I know my soul, as crazy as that may sound. I needed to go to Confession, and while praying, I suddenly felt a spiritual lightness about me, a very slight euphoria; a mild relief of some sort. I have experienced this feeling before to varying degrees. I knew the Holy Spirit was now rejoined with me via my now cleansed soul. Just then, the timer went off to turn on the lights for the afternoon mass. As the lights gradually came on in the darkened church, one particular light in the ceiling above my head shown down and brilliantly glossed directly in front of my face on the highly varnished pew ahead of me. Yes, light. Was it a miracle? No. The lights go on via timer at that same time every Saturday, but every Saturday, I don’t see a light dance in front of my eyes while I suddenly feel a pleasant spiritual feeling that I cannot even sufficiently articulate. The timer was man-made, but the timing was God’s way of saying, “Welcome back, my beloved son.” I love these secular so-called documentaries that try to dispute Biblical stories with the very science that God created. And likewise, God creates miracles from the resources He has already created. Science does not refute God: it compliments Him.
In a similar fashion, and in the course of my long travels, when I’m not talking to myself, to God, or mumbling and grumbling under my breath at the brainless maniac who just cut me off and almost took off my car’s fender during that last death-defying stunt he thought was a lane change with flair, sometimes I shut the radio off if I am distressed about something stressful in my life. Like everyone else, I have my share of travails, and my blue moods. Sometimes I just need the quiet to reflect and sort things out. On more than one occasion, I have suddenly seen a brilliant and colorful sunburst break through clouds, exposing a magnificently beautiful panoramic view of some hills or a vast meadow. On such occasions, I know, and often acknowledge that God has shown not only His presence, but His love for me as well, just a slight reminder, “Psst.., hey you…down there in the Chevy, I’m over here. See? I’m here. Now, don’t worry. I’m right here with you. It’s OK. Everything will be OK. Oh, by the way, slow down and try using that turn signal a little more often before that State Trooper I placed up the road apiece stops you when he’s done writing up that guy who just passed you! Yup, that’s right. I saw him, too. I don’t miss anybody, and he’s finding that out the hard way right about now!”
How many times have we heard this phrase: “It was meant to be.” Indeed. It often is. Sometimes in my life, even disappointing or unfortunate events have later shown me that they actually later averted greater catastrophes. It was meant to be. It was God’s plan. As the Bible teaches us, just as He protects a little bird flying in the sky, He cares even more about us, and knows every hair on each of our heads (or the hairs that used to be on some of your heads!). I believe in omens, sort of. I think the traditional interpretation of “omens” has more to do with phenomena. I don’t believe in the unknown. God knows all. He’s just choosy about what he tells us and when. But I do believe that an “omen,” for me, anyway, is when something strange or unpredictable happens because it was part of God’s plan to love and protect us. I have seen numerous such omens throughout my life, some big, some small. I just showed you some examples of some small ones. You might call them just coincidences. Now you’re catching on. Enter “faith.” Is God there? Oh, you betcha! And does He have a sense of humor? The older I get, the more I am convinced of it. People of Thomas’s mindset typically say that “Seeing is believing.” We even have a state (Missouri) that illustrates that mindset with its official motto: “Show me.” Hence, Missouri is often referred to as “The Show Me State.” But faith teaches us, if we are still, quiet, patient, and observant enough, that in fact, just the reverse of the common so-called logic is true. In other words, “Believing is seeing.”
I will leave you with this worthy poem for reflection. It’s one of my favorites, to the limited extent that I like poetry at all (YUK!). More often than not, it is commonly attributed to “anonymous,” but I recently came across a web site that claims (a claim that I can neither verify or refute) that the author is actually named Mary Stevenson. Every time I show it to people they tell me they have already seen it. You probably have too. Too bad. Do yourself a favor and read it again. During a very dark time in my life many years ago, I first discovered it and it lifted me, and I still look back on it from time to time. Maybe things in your life are hunky-dory right now, and if so, that’s great, but please just humor me and read it again anyway. For as they say, “Lest we ever forget….”
“Footprints In The Sand”
“One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”
No matter how you slice it, there is much to be said for the primary type of discipline: example. I have seen a change in Mass. It used to be just the younger people who dressed like bums or street urchins. Now the older folks indulge in what could be called “Casual Sunday” as well. Some of these folks will tell you, “Well, at least I go to Mass.” Indeed, they deserve partial credit, but they are still no less accountable for their irreverence than the guy who only drove the getaway car for the armed bank robber. Why is it that people dress “to the 9’s” to attend a wedding, but like beer-drinking Friday night softball-playing slobs to go to pay homage (hopefully) to God? How is it that bride and groom carries more weight than God?
It’s not just the dress. It’s the demeanor and decorum, or more specifically, lack thereof that grinds my gears. Today in mass, I observed what I recognized as several confirmation students yucking it up and acting out in Mass like they were at a pre-game pep rally. Worse than that, however, I also observed two adult catechists behaving in an even more raucous manner with each other throughout most of the Mass.
President Reagan’s economic policy included what he called “Trickle Down Economics.” In other words, contrary to the populist class divisive warfare against the rich, the fact remains that it is usually rich folks who provide us with jobs and a place to live, like it or not. So when they prosper, we do, too.
When he was Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani drastically cut crime and cleaned up Times Square by using what sociologists call the broken window theory. A broken window in an abandoned building isn’t a big priority, but left unattended, studies show that graffiti, loitering and various types of crimes soon grow like mold around it. Giuliani caught a lot of flak for supposedly bullying homeless people, squeegee men, illegal street vendors, prostitutes, panhandlers and various other personified nuisances that not only compromised quality of life, but actually provided a foundation for worse crimes and more urban decay. Ask any good street cop how often they take real bad guys off the street just from making simple traffic stops for minor traffic or equipment violations. Even the serial killer, David Berkowitz, AKA:” The Son of Sam” was eventually tracked down and caught by a parking ticket he received. The sage adage is true: big presents come in small packages. Ladies, when your husband proposed marriage to you, how big was the box that diamond ring was in, hmmm…?
So some things trickle down, but other things can trickle up. To a limited degree, kids have an excuse; their kids. Adults, who should know better, have no excuse. So “adults,” for lack of a better term, let’s try some exemplary “Trickle Up Reverence” in our Lord’s house. OK? Traits, be they good or bad, are like colds; their contagious.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin; it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-7)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The speaker, who I will not name to respect his privacy, was a prominent legal scholar and high-ranking director of the libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute. While I do have a slight libertarian side, I am by far an unabashed and passionate conservative. I wholly agree with the libertarian agenda on some issues while I bristle at others. Typically, people don’t associate a religious viewpoint with libertarians. God works in mysterious ways.
The speaker captured not only my attention, but some of my angst when he mildly rebuked the Congressional Republicans for interfering in the Terri Schiavo case. My angst was so roiled that I pursued an extension of that particular issue with the speaker privately after his talk.
I asked him how he could justify his rebuke of federal intervention in a euthanasia case, as life is not only a civil right, but the preeminent civil right, and civil rights are federal issues. To assert my claim, I cited the example of the rightful intervention of the federal government in the 1960’s to protect and uphold the rights and equality of southern blacks in areas of voting, education, public accommodations, etc…
The speaker replied that the problem lies not with the courts, but rather, with legislatures. He cited that the abuse of judicial power now commonly called “judicial activism” exists on both the right and the left. He elaborated that the Democrats accuse the Republicans of being wrong on Roe vs. Wade (which fabricated the so-called “right” to abortion), and the Republicans accuse the Democrats of being wrong on the Schiavo case. He said both accusations are well founded.
The speaker explained that federal intervention for civil rights, including for life, is warranted, but must be first legislatively sound. The problem, he told me, is that there is no current agreed upon and clear definition in law of the actual beginning of life, or its actual end. Thus an undefined right cannot be defended. That’s when the epiphany hit me. He was right, and I figured out right then and there what we need to do.
I believe it may have been this speaker, if not another one, who in his talk cited that conservatives tend to love the 10th Amendment to the Bill of Rights because it restricts the powers of the federal government and leaves any loose ends to the states, while liberals tend to embrace the 9th Amendment, which seems the equivalent of a blank check, to be filled in later by the feds, as rights are concerned.
If we are to effectively at least stop abortion, we need to stop solely relying on Roe vs. Wade. Even some liberals and pro-abortionists agree that this law is grossly flawed, and it may conceivably be overturned some day, but then the matter of abortion will only then be again decided in each of the 50 states as a state, and not a federal issue.
To satisfy requirements of both the 9th and 10th amendments, each state legislature, as well as the Congress, must specifically pass laws specifically defining the scientific beginning and end of life. Contrary to popular and skeptic secular belief, the Vatican is well advised on moral life issues by some of the top and most renowned scientists in the world. Their findings, which the Church accepts can and should be accepted by all levels of government.
Here in Connecticut, 2008 is a pivotal year for us, as on Election Day, we will have an opportunity to vote on this year’s ballot, and as our state Constitution calls for every 20 years, whether or not a Constitutional Convention should be convened. A majority of “yes” votes will then so convene a Constitutional convention at which citizens can become delegates to forward and support, or oppose issues. One key and controversial issue being debated is to amend our Constitution to allow initiative and referendum, as common in western states. This process will allow citizens, and not legislators, to vote on certain matters. One such matter should be the documented and specific legal definitions of the clinical beginning and ending of life. Only having conquered that obstacle, can we eventually ban abortion and euthanasia.
I should qualify however, that there is actually a previous and even more arduous obstacle to that one. We live in an extremely liberal/secular state. Most Democrats are radically liberal, and most Republicans are also ironically quite liberal, in defiance of the national GOP platform, and are only fiscally conservative at best, while typically abandoning social issues and social conservatism completely. The October edition of the Hartford Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Transcript, listed the roster of shame. The vast majority of our current state and federal candidates and elected representatives never even bothered to fill out a candidate questionnaire given to them by the non-partisan Connecticut Catholic Conference. To the extent that third parties exist in our state, they are a nifty conversation piece at best and no contenders by any means in the political arena. Ditto with most independent candidates. This sordid state is immersed and entrenched in the culture of death. That is simply a fact. Life has been dealt a bad hand by our nefarious political environment, and we, the citizenry are first to blame. Bad politicians come from bad, or at least, pathetic citizens. We are as accountable for our passive non-actions and lazy tolerance of the status quo as we are our active immoral actions. Edmund Burke succinctly said. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
TV and radio pundit, Glenn Beck, a devout Mormon, rails about our lack of leadership and our fostering of that void. Father John Corapi of EWTN once asked Mother Theresa why the United States is so bereft of political leadership. Without missing a beat, Mother promptly retorted, “Abortion.” Or as my own sage mother often chided me when I was a kid, “You make your bed; you sleep in it.” Either passively or actively, we caused this current mess, and it didn’t happen over night. Only we can end it, and sadly, that will also take time.
In the mean time, we must change hearts and minds. We must educate, first ourselves, and then others, politely, but passionately. We must be patient, but persevere. Be diligent. Be active. Repent. Sacrifice. Pray. And then pray the Rosary to our Blessed Mother for direct intervention to her Son, and our Savior. What good son can turn down his mother? Praying the Rosary is easy. If you don’t know it, learn it. If you’re too embarrassed to ask somebody, there are about a million sites on the Internet that will walk you through it. No time? Who are you kidding? You’ve spent 15-20 minutes of a day on matters far less significant. I prayed the Rosary on and off, but finally became committed to saying it daily when Father Corapi once said that the Pope says the Rosary every day. He then challenged, “Do you think you are actually busier than the Pope?” It’s all about priorities, folks. And committing to that one substantially improved my life.
Last but not least, on November 4th, vote, and make sure your vote is both informed and moral.
Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation in which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the “culture of death” and lead us into a Millennium of Life. Trusting in your most powerful intercession, we pray: Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of our virgins, our Mother, to thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen.
(Submitted to Catalyst Magazine, October, 2008 issue, by Tom and Phyllis Cote’ of New Jersey, who saw this prayer in a Florida Catholic newspaper in 2000.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Connecticut Catholic Conference, on behalf of the Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity of the State of Connecticut, condemns today’s Connecticut Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage”; calls for a “Yes” vote on a Constitutional Convention
HARTFORD, Friday, October 10, 2008, 3:30 p.m. – Reacting to today’s decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court on same-sex “marriage,” the Connecticut Catholic Conference, representing the Catholic bishops, clergy, religious, and laity of the State of Connecticut (more than 1.3 million people), issued the following statement:
The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut and the Connecticut Catholic Conference are extremely disappointed in this close 4-3 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court which imposes the recognition of same-sex marriage upon the people of Connecticut. This decision is in direct conflict with the position of our state legislature and courts of other states and is a terribly regrettable exercise in judicial activism. Four people have not just extended a supposed civil right to a particular class of individuals, but have chosen to redefine the institution of marriage. The Connecticut Supreme Court has taken upon itself to make a determination that other courts throughout our nation have felt should be made through the political process. Courts in other states, with the exception of Massachusetts and California, have ruled that marriage is a special institution in our society, not a civil right, and chose not to redefine it. Those courts felt that altering this historical and special institution was a legislative matter, and should be left to elected officials and the people they represent. It appears our State Supreme Court has forgotten that courts should interpret laws and legislatures should make laws. In its decision today, the Connecticut Supreme Court stated again their philosophy that “as we engage over time in the interpretation of our State Constitution, we must consider the changing needs and expectations of the citizens of our State.” Determining the “contemporary” views of the public is the responsibility of the legislature, not the judiciary.In his dissent, Justice Peter Zarella makes the important and obvious point that “the majority fails, during the entire course of …. (this) … opinion, even to identify, much less to discuss, the actual purpose of the marriage laws, even though this is the first, critical step in any equal protection analysis.” The majority utterly failed to consider the relationship between the laws of marriage and family. As Justice Zarella maintains, “The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry.”The Supreme Court of Connecticut has chosen to ignore the wisdom of our elected officials, the will of the people, and historical social and religious traditions spanning thousands of years by imposing a social experiment upon the people of our state. In 2005, the Connecticut General Assembly, while enacting civil union legislation to expand certain rights to same-sex couples, recognized the social importance and uniqueness of traditional marriage through their action of specifically defining marriage in statute as a relationship between one man and one woman. Our elected officials recognized that the people of Connecticut did not want the institution of marriage redefined in our state. This position is also reflected in federal law, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. This decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court also raises a very real concern about the infringement on religious liberty and freedom of speech with the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage. The real battle in this court case was not about rights, since civil unions provide a vast number of legal rights to same-sex couples, but about conferring and enforcing social acceptance of a particular lifestyle; a lifestyle many people of faith and advocates of the natural law refuse to accept. This ruling creates an inevitable conflict between people of faith, the natural law and the authority of the State.Therefore, we will be calling on the Catholic people of our state to vote “Yes” for a Constitutional Convention and the right of referendum on Election Day.
**This comes entirely from an email from the Connecticut Catholic Conference.
(emphasis by Connecticut Catholic Corner)
My posts on gay marriage:
Connecticut Catholic Corner: Christians And Same Sex Marriage
Connecticut Catholic Corner: Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage
Connecticut Catholic Corner: Same Sex Couples And the Catholic Church
More on the story:
Connecticut OKs Same-Sex Marriage, State Supreme Court Rules Gays Have Right To Marry, Becoming 3rd State To Legalize Such Un..
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In response to my post "Same Sex Couples And the Catholic Church",
Anonymous writes: "Is that why priests molest and have sex with little boys? Same sex. Hmmmmm. I know not all priest do and have done it but, given the number of priest that have and a so call secret brotherly club. Perhaps a lot of gay men out there are that way from their childhood going to a cathalic church.I think that priest should be allowed to get marry and have a family and teach their faith like normal religions do."
My response: First of all, thanks for your comments. Secondly, I have to wonder particularly at your last comment (and I quote) "I think that priest should be allowed to get marry and have a family and teach their faith like normal religions do." Is it your opinion that sexual abuse only happens in the Roman Catholic Church? Is it your opinion that ANYONE abuses a child because they are not married and can't control the desire for sex so they have to attack a child? If so, you are clueless about sexual abuse and need to get the facts. Now what do you mean "normal religions"? The Catholic Church is the oldest Christian church on the earth and there is nothing "abnormal" about it. It is within the Latin Rite of the Catholic faith (other Catholic rites allow priests to marry) that priests take vows of celibacy and we get that from Jesus Christ himself! Are you trying to tell me and others that Jesus Christ was wrong and made an error in judgement? If so, you've got more problems than understanding sexual abuse! Here is what Jesus Christ said about the priesthood and celibacy, and since I assume from your comments that you are not Catholic, I will quote a "Protestant" translation of the bible for you.
Matthew 19:11-12 "Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it was given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." (NIV)
THAT is Jesus Christ talking about celibacy in the priesthood. Later in the New Testament Saint Paul reaffirms this teaching suggesting it is better to remain celibate if you can, but if you can not than get married (1 Cor.7:8-9).
Now back to the Catholic priest abuse issue. ALL abuse by anyone is wrong and there is no excuse for it. What happened in the Catholic Church was a vile disgrace, but don't fool yourself into think it's not happening in Protestant churches and by married Protestant ministers so that blows your celibacy theory out of the water.
The following is from Insurance companies ONLY in cases paid out. This does NOT include cases churches have not reported to their insurance companies. These reports related to complaints of child sex abuse by Protestant clergy in the United States were released by the insurance companies to The Associated Press (2007 report).
* Protestant clients: 96,000
* Top churches insured: United Methodist -- 10,000 churches; Southern Baptist -- 9,600; Assemblies of God -- 4,000; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- 3,300
* Complaints: average of 100 each year for the past decade
* Claims paid: declined to release because company deems figure proprietary information
* Protestant clients: 45,000
* Top churches insured: Baptist -- 10,922 churches;
Presbyterian --2,812; Lutheran -- 2,665; United Methodist -- 1,742
* Complaints: average of 160 each year for the past two decades
* Claims paid: about $4 million each year for the past five years for child sex abuse and sexual misconduct settlements, excluding attorney fees
* Protestant clients: 30,000
* Top churches insured: Southern Baptists -- 4,000 churches; Assemblies of God -- 2,300; United Methodist and Baptist -- 2,000 each
* Complaints: average of 73 of both child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct each year for the past 15 years
* Claims paid: about $7.8 million for sexual misconduct and child sex abuse in the past 15 years.
Now lets look at statistics comparing the abuse problem between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. The reports show that LESS than 1.7 Catholic priests are pedophiles while 2 to 3 percent of Protestant (and often married) ministers are pedophiles.
"Penn State professor Philip Jenkens reported that between 2 to 3 percent of Protestant clergy are pedophiles. His same study reported that less than 1.7 percent of Catholic priests are pedophiles. There is simply no reason to think that clergy child molesters are solely a Catholic problem." - source-Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 50 and 81.
So now you have the cold sad facts of clergy abuse, please don't assume this cancer is a Catholic only problem when its a bigger problem within Protestant churches. All need to work to prevent such abuse, none are immune to such evil in today's world.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
This first is "Why Am I Catholic?" and I love everything about this video:
Here is "You are Holy" (Prince of Peace)
For the Ebay addicts out there: Here's The Ebay Song!
Here's one of a news report gone hilariously wrong:
(does contain the phrase "God dang!" twice)
Here's one I found on Julie D's Happy Catholic blog (thanks Julie D.):
And I know its too early, but my favorite humorous Christmas Youtube video:
(I barely have time to decorate the tree!)
I got my copy of this book from: http://www.catholiccompany.com/
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this young adult book a 9. And I look forward to reading other books in this series and handing it on to my teenage daughter to read.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic, Reluctantly.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I know all are assumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, but lets face it, when a grown man, a "man of the cloth" clergy runs and hides instead of facing his responsibilities and honestly answering questions and accusations put to him, what are we to believe?
Charge after charge is being placed on Foley and he's hiding from them like a coward. Nearly as bad is that the archdiocese of Hartford is helping! How are they helping? They are still paying him $1,000 a month stipend and his health insurance (he's being treated for skin cancer) and he is STILL A PRIEST, though he's been ordered not to perform any priestly duties for the time being.
When the archdiocese of Hartford was asked about Foley, here is what they had to say:
"He is not a slave. The archdiocese doesn't own him. The legal system has more control over him," Church spokesman John Gatzak said. "If the legal system can't get him to do what he is supposed to do, you can't expect the archdiocese to do it."
What was that again Mr. Gatzak? We "can't expect the archdiocese to do it"? Why the heck not? How about cutting off his money and health care? How about stripping the coward of his holy orders? How about telling the police where he can be found?
The archdiocese of Hartford has ALREADY settled at least 12 sexual abuse cases against Foley involving 43 people! And now we hear "you can't expect the archdiocese to do it"? This is sickening and wrong. The archdiocese of Hartford is wrong and they need to admit it and work with the police to bring Foley in. And WHY is this man still a priest? More than 40 people in settled abuse cases have come forward against Foley and his sexual abuse yet this man is STILL a Roman Catholic priest. That is disgusting and vile in this Roman Catholic bloggers opinion. I am very disappointed in the archdiocese of Hartford at the moment and I truly hope they get their act together and do the right thing with Foley, because what they are doing now is wrong. It's simply wrong.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Weigh the issues- we've sure got enough of them to consider! There's the war, the economy, abortion, illegal immigration, taxes, health insurance or the lack of, the national debt, global warming/ the environment, jobs going overseas, stem cell research, terrorism, high food & gas prices and more. Look at them all and weigh them against the candidates looking not at just what they say they "hope" for the future (after all we've all got hopes and many times they just don't come true). Look at the candidates past. Where did they stand on these issues years ago? Are they standing on the issues important to you? What have they done or said prior to running for office about this stuff?
Look at the whole package and make an informed decision then you can cast your vote with a clear conscience and know you've done your best in voting for America's future. There are a lot of "undecided" people out there right now who can honestly see the good and bad in either candidates winning the White House. So this post is mostly to the undecideds out there (and there are many of you- that I've talked to anyway).
For Catholics a big issue is abortion and the death of a human life it causes. I hear many Pro-life Catholics saying "Yeah but the war is killing people too." Very true, I completely agree. War and abortion both kill, no doubt about it. So does embryonic stem cell research. These things must be considered. But so must other issues, like the economy. What happens in a poor economy where people are losing jobs and homes? Abortion rates climb because people who under better circumstances wouldn't even consider an abortion suddenly panic because of finances and get an abortion. Also crime goes up. Human life is the most important thing, or it should be to all of us. Human life is precious and must be protected in all ways in all areas. From abortion, from embryonic stem cell research, from war, from starvation, from no medical help and from terrorism and other threats. These are all real issues that need to be considered before casting our votes. There are tons of things on the web about this candidate or that one, some truthful some not, some good some bad. One source is YouTube. Today I received an email from someone sharing a Youtube video on the issue of our economy and the "bail out" mess (though this video is not a fan of the Dem. party). I want to say first that I personally do not lay the blame of our economy on any one person or party. I think the blame is spread around to a great many who are guilty on all sides. But for those interested, I am going to share the Youtube video I received. Take from it what you will or ignore it completely. I truly believe both McCain and Obama have a true desire to help our country through this difficult time, they just have very different ideas about how to do that. May God bless you all and guide you in voting!