Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Week 01 in Catholic Media, 2014

January 6th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris


Catholics Can Only Blame Themselves

While the U.S. election of the most pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage President ever has been laid at the feet of the alleged Catholic populace, one country which was long thought to be a bastion of Catholicity is Malta, 94% Catholic, and no abortion is permitted.  Catholicism is even the state religion of Malta.  But just as other “Catholic Countries” like Ireland, Italy, Philippines have caved or are close to caving, now Malta is on the brink of being lost too.  A socialist President was elected in 2013 by promising “gay marriage,” and is poised to make his promises come true.  A Bishop of Malta brought the news to Pope Francis.  Isn’t it interesting how the Pope can be misinterpreted in his widely touted interview aboard an airplane, but ignored when what he says is not to the media’s liking?  So it has  been with his responses to a Maltese Bishop, as reported in Zenit on January 3, 2014:


Pope Reiterates View that Same-Sex Marriage is “Anthropological Regression”

Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles J. Scicluna has said Pope Francis is “saddened” by legislative proposals in Malta to extend equality legislation to homosexual couples and reiterated his view that same-sex marriage is an “anthropological regression.”   He expressed his concern to the Pope about the proposed law. “The Pope showed his sadness at this development, especially on the question of adoption.”  He added: “I told him that the promoters [of the bill] quote his words: ‘If a person is gay and seek the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge?’ but they don’t quote his words from 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope repeated the phrase of his letter of 2010: ‘It’s an anthropological regression.’”  In 2010, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called same-sex marriage an “anti-value and an anthropological regression.” In a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in the book “On Heaven and Earth”, he said same-sex marriage is a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.”

International Pro-Abortion Agenda Not Advanced for 20 Years, Says Pro-Life Leader Austin Ruse

On the “good news” side, Zenit reports comments by Austin Ruse who was a speaker at the 2012 Festival for Freedom, sponsored by St. Mary Parish Canandaigua.  Austin Ruse, the founding director of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), said  that pro-abortion forces have spent “hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours” over the past twenty years and yet they have “not advanced their agenda even a single syllable past what they got at the Cairo Conference in 1994.  The abortion movement is no nearer to gaining an international right to abortion than they were 20 years ago, and any slight gains they have made have faded. … The Cairo International Conference on Population and Development was used by some groups to try and introduce an international right to abortion. Their efforts failed thanks to an alliance of countries and the Holy See.”

“Let that sink if for a moment, because it is something that haunts the days and nights of the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation,” Ruse wrote on C-FAM’s website.  “They have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to establish an international right to abortion and all they have achieved is vague language on reproductive health and rights that most countries soundly reject as having anything to do with abortion.”  “They are no nearer to an international right to abortion than they were when they began,” he said.  “This is why the UN remains one of the most important battlegrounds in the global fight for life and for family,” he said. He added that it is “quite remarkable” that a small band of largely unknown pro-life groups and individuals continue to defeat “some of the most powerful forces in the world.”  (Aided by the same God who stood by David against Goliath!)





We have often commented here that LifeSiteNews does a spectacular job of following multiple stories, accurately, and are often the first to break the story.  In just the first few days of the new year, there are too many for us to detail, so we are just doing a list of what may be of most interest.  We don’t tend to report on a single event staged for publicity purposes, or a “calling for” certain action, but rather what can be documented or show emerging trends.  So here’s our pick for the “Good” vs. “Bad” list:

Good News:        

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor (Obama nominee) issues injunction against HHS Mandate for Catholic Nuns.  These sisters gave a great witness, just by using the words “mortal sin.”

Priests for Life wins injunction against HHS Mandate (from Appeals Court).  This case awaits the Supreme Court decisions in the Spring.

More Pro-life Laws passed in last 2 years than prior decade.  Even with some awakening of consciences, the exremists are becoming more extreme.

2013:  Clinics Close, Abortions Drop (Gosnell Convicted)  Horrible as this case was, perhaps it is only in perceiving the horror that some souls’ consciences can be moved.

Jahi McMath, “Dead” on Life Support, released to family (This is clearly a controversial case and some would call it bad news, not respecting a body after life has passed.)  I see it as a wonderful opportunity for God to do what God often does: a miracle, and a demonstration of life in a culture of death.  As people give odds, unlikely.  But still, I believe, worth praying about.  And if God wills death, then may it be with a dignity that wasn’t occuring in the hands of plug-pullers.  IMO)

Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages in Utah:   Even thought it is just a “stay” it reverses the trend of judicial activism which leaves same-sex “marriage” in place UNTIL the Supreme Court hears the case, creating a momentum hard to then overcome among voters.  In this case, perhaps the Mormons of Utah will hold together better than the Catholics of Malta.

Komen sees 22% decline in donations following Planned Parenthood funding controversy.  It is encouraging to see that the public, part at least, has a memory.  JC Penney can’t reverse the gay image it created for itself and may go out of business.  Komen did the right thing a year or two ago and stopped funding PP for alleged mammograms which some say never happened.  PP brought out the big guns, a Komen officer got fired, and Komen went right back to funding PP.  How else to explain a 22% drop in Komen funding?  Once trust is eroded in an organization, it is very hard to restore.

Bad News:

Court denies Notre Dame HHS Mandate ReliefNotre Dame will comply.  Well, it isn’t as if this is the first time that Notre Dame willingly violated its Catholic principles.  Here is the irony, which desperately needs a comment.  What university first broke ranks to honor Obama, and have its own student protesters arrested?  And which university was lied to by its graduation speaker’s words:  “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”  And which institution of alleged higher learning now appears to be a citadel of gullibility?  Same answer to all 3 questions:  Notre Dame.  This is one appellant it is difficult to feel sorry for.ScreenShot390


More Bad News:

The afa and Fox News reported on the Veterans’ Administration “Censoring Christmas.”  According to FoxNews’ Todd Starnes, an alarming trend of anti-Christian attacks took place just before Christmas.

  • The Veterans Administration censored a high school choir who came to sing at the VA hospital in Augusta, Georgia because their Christmas songs included the words “Christmas” and “Jesus.”
  • In Iowa City, Iowa, American Legion volunteers were told they could not hand out gifts to veterans if the wrapping paper included the words “Merry Christmas.”
  • In Montgomery, Alabama, a young woman delivering gifts to veterans was turned away because the wrapping included the words “Merry Christmas.”
  • And the Dallas VA medical center rejected handwritten Christmas cards from local school children because the cards contained phrases like “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”

And this to Veterans who risked their lives and health to protect our Freedoms.  God help America.

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33 Responses to “Week 01 in Catholic Media, 2014”

  1. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Diane, as I read through this Week 01 in Catholic Media, 2014 Post, I thought about a portion of the sermon on the Mount. In the Gospel According to Matthew 5:13-16 we read:

    “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

    Thank you very much for keeping the family of God in our Diocese of Rochester well informed of the diligent work Catholic Media is doing in being salt and light. Knowing empowers us to pray and work and be salt and light.

  2. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Hi Dominick,
    Thank you for your “salt of the earth” comment. Yes, I agree. And Catholics who don’t stand up for their faith are missing a great opportunity to be salt and light. Before we “season and shine”, so to speak, there is often fear: “What will he/she think of me?” “Will I be seen as a crazy zealot?” Will I be hurt? avoided? ridiculed? Until we “enter in” it is impossible to know the delight of knowing, loving and serving God. Today’s readings capture it well — where there is fear, love is imperfect. Perfect love casts out fear. So the measure of fear becomes a sign of our love, or not, doesn’t it?

    Now I am particularly intrigued by the concept of salt losing its flavor. Salt is salt, isn’t it? So how does it “lose its flavor?” In one bible study I was told that the people of Christ’s time didn’t just go to the marketplace for a box of Morton’s. Rather, stones were carted from the Dead Sea and sold as salt. The family cook would put the stone itself into the soup while it cooked to flavor the soup. That is why, when no further salt comes out, it is good for nothing but to be cast underfoot, as paving material. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about using up all our salt, as God replenishes us. We have to worry about NOT using up any of our salt, leaving it buried in the ground, good for nothing. I’m just sharing a few thoughts which your post triggered for me. Thank you for posting. God bless!

  3. avatar flowerchild says:

    RE: the refusal of gifts to Veterans because the wrapping said ‘Merry Christmas’…

    This is just another example of Political Correctness run amok.
    In the guise of trying to offend no one, everyone is offended.
    I made it a point to wish everyone I came in contact with “Merry Christmas” and not one person took offense. In fact the usual reply was “Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too!”

    RE: Notre Dame…
    too little too late!

  4. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Looks like President Obama ‘played ND like a fiddle’.

    Where is the ‘fight’ in the Fighting Irish?

    In the Sycamore Trust made up of alumni, family and friends of Our Lady’s University which is helping fully restore Notre Dame to her Catholic identity and mission. See to read the Trust’s report and to learn more of its founding and activities.

    Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners….

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    Diane – I enjoyed and found thought-provoking your post on salt. Thanks.

    A couple of other thoughts –

    I think it is a bit unfair to single out and criticize Notre Dame at this point – they have made efforts to fight the unjust Obamacare mandate, unlike literally hundreds of other American Catholic universities and colleges. They have appealed and lost on appeal – there is the “fight” you’re asking about Dominick. Pray tell what are they to do at this juncture except continue to advocate against this mandate and await the Supreme Court decision, but in the meantime how can they not comply? There is no question that their bestowing honors and the graduation dais to our pro-abortion president was misguided, unfortunate, and unjust, but has not the University since led the fight (among Catholic institutions) against the mandate? Are not hundreds of other colleges complying, albeit without publicity? Where is the outrage against Georgetown, Boston College, Marquette et al?

    With respect to the Jahi case, I believe that (under Catholic teaching) any attempts to prolong her life via artificial means at this point would be extraordinary and are not morally obligatory. Of course, if the hospital intends to withhold food and water (unless she is simply unable to ingest food and water), that would be a different matter.

  6. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    annonymouse, my comment answered the question “where is the fight?” The fight is found in the Sycamore Trust which is ‘fighting’ on all fronts for the University’s Catholic identity.

    In The National Catholic Register, Joan Frawley Desmond does an adequate job of reporting and commenting on the chronology in the Notre Dame HHS Mandate ‘fight’. Please note the reported timing and the judge’s assessment of the University’s delay.

    ” Are not hundreds of other colleges complying, albeit without publicity?”
    While I have no idea about which other ‘Catholic’ colleges are complying or not complying, I think there is another pertinent question to be asked. Of those Colleges and Universities that are Catholic in name, how many have a majority of professors and other faculty that are Catholic who wholeheartedly accept and adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae ( Pope John Paul Ii’s Apostolic Constitution On Catholic Universities)?

    Where is the outrage against Georgetown, Boston College, Marquette et al? Again I do not know. But one can look to the Sycamore Trust for appropriate responses to any and all outrageous denigrations of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.

  7. avatar militia says:

    Just because “I believe that (under Catholic teaching) any attempts to prolong her life via artificial means at this point would be extraordinary and are not morally obligatory” it does not mean the parents should NOT be allowed to take extraordinary measures to prolong and attempt to save the life of their child. Yes, they could be off the hook. But they choose not to be.

  8. avatar annonymouse says:

    I agree with you, Militia, and that should be the parents’ right, presuming that they are paying for her continued treatment.

    But cold and heartless as it may sound, as long as others are obliged to pay for her treatment, then oughtn’t there be allowed some input from those others as to whether there is ANY potential benefit from prolonging her life through extraordinary means? I am very aware that government control of healthcare may (will) lead to rationing of services and that we as a nation would be in dangerous territory there, but it also cannot be denied that funds available for healthcare services are not unlimited.

    Dominic – thanks for the link to the Sycamore organization – I visited their website and am encouraged by their efforts to advocate for a more authentically Catholic Notre Dame University. My point is simply that had ND originally chosen to comply with the mandate rather than publicly fight it in court (as, it appears, have scores of other Catholic colleges whose names we aren’t reading about in the papers), we wouldn’t be calling ND to the carpet right now, would we? So oughtn’t we be praising ND for having at least fought and lost rather than to have chosen not to fight at all?

  9. avatar snowshoes says:

    Diane, Thank you for your diligent work on our behalf. On the Jahi issue, I’m sure we are all praying for her and her family. Regarding “who pays”, I certainly hope the family will be receiving a settlement for the death of their daughter. The family should have enough to care for their daughter for a few days to ascertain if she has died.

    While indeed there is no obligation to use extraordinary means, the tragic nature of this case calls for patience and vigil. We pray also for all the truly atrocious cases in which just care is denied the sick and injured, resulting in unnecessary suffering and death.
    See y’all at the March for Life in DC.

  10. avatar militia says:

    Annonymouse: NO! 1000x NO!

    It is not the parents’ responsibility to make their decision “presuming they are paying.” Money does not give anyone any rights over another. It may enable them to do more than they otherwise would be able to do, but as soon as you say “presuming they are paying” it creates a “right” which necessarily implies “no right” for those who have not the resources. Insurance covers what insurance covers. Parents do not have to spare the insurance companies, or the government.

    From a practical point of view, no care center is going to accept Jahi unless her care is being paid. So either they expect there to be funds, including from a voluntary contributions campaign, or from a lawsuit after the fact, or from sale of the family home, or from insurance, or from a good samaritan’s pledge. As soon as we begin coupling life to money we are way down the slippery slope, and interfering in the rights of those parents to make their decision. Input from others? Sure. But I doubt this Care Center to which she is transferred would have accepted her if there were not some hope. It scares me to think where you would have stood on the Terry Schaivo case? On terminating pregnancies where there is no hope of the baby living for any period of time after birth? On the pre-death harvesting of organs (not uncommon.) First comes LIFE.

    But I will also reiterate, that the parents are not obligated (under pain of sin) to continue life support either.

  11. avatar annonymouse says:

    Militia – Terry Schiavo was killed by removing her feeding tube, resulting in her not being fed or given water. She was breathing on her own and had been for years. What her husband fought so hard to effect was quite evil, especially since her parents so desperately wanted to care for her and continue to feed her.

    On the other hand, Jahi McMath has been declared brain-dead and medical experts believe that she has no breathing function absent the ventilator her parents fought to not remove. The ventilator is, without question, extraordinary means. I hope you can see how the two cases are entirely different.

  12. avatar militia says:

    Wait a minute, Annonymouse. What does anything you just wrote have to do with your words: “presuming that they are paying for her continued treatment”? Those words are what I am criticizing. Maybe there is no exact equivalent example to Jali’s situation, but you are the one who chose us use money as a differentiating principle.

    Clearly a fortune was spent on Terry Schaivo. Praise God that it was possible to do so. And, in the end, wasn’t it the evil desire for money that did her in? As medical care gets more and more rationed for money purposes, we will see what is extraordinary, and what is not. Let’s not give an inch in decisions of life and death to financial considerations. Then we can make the “right” decision, even if it is not always possible to implement it. I am arguing for pureness of motive, naive as that may seem to some. I am arguing for giving God room to do miracles.

  13. avatar Eliza10 says:

    Thanks for these reports Diane. I am in the local schools a lot, as a sub, and it greatly saddens me how thoroughly the words “Christmas” have been censored from the, and of course, the school “holiday” concerts haveno Christmas carols. And we all have off for Christmas but we cannot call it Christmas! No Christmas decorations, no Christmas art projects. Its so sad. Even the stores are not decorated for Christmas, only very few and very little. A few exceptions, Wegmans being one.

  14. avatar annonymouse says:

    Militia – actually a fortune was NOT being spent on Terry Schiavo. Her parents were happy to take care of her – she was breathing on her own and ate and drank through a feeding tube. Her husband wished to see her dead, and successfully pursued that end in Court.

    If a patient has been declared brain-dead by two separate physicians, and is only being kept breathing by a machine, ought the patient’s proxy (in the case the parents) have carte blanche to keep that machine going ad infinitum? I think not. Like it or not, medical care is a good of which we do not have an unlimited supply.

  15. avatar annonymouse says:

    A couple more points, Militia –

    1. I mentioned Terry Schiavo because you mentioned her and were “scared” to think of how I might stand on that case. I think I’ve adequately pointed out how very different the two cases are. In case I haven’t, here are some more items –

    2. Terry Schiavo was killed by removing nutrition/hydration, not by removing her from a breathing machine. That had been done years before and SHE DID NOT DIE!

    3. It is the opinion of the medical experts that, if removed from her breathing device, Jahi will cease breathing immediately.

  16. avatar militia says:

    Annonymouse, you still have not defended your point that “that should be the parents’ right, presuming that they are paying for her continued treatment.” I have said that parents’ rights are not monetary privileges and you have failed to defend what you said. Also, I don’t think you have even read today’s link to the NCRegister, where the right to use extraordinary means is also mentioned. I am not going to argue with you about costs per day to keep people in a health care facility regardless of whether or not they are receiving food, hydration, or air. And I am not going to argue with you that the cases are exactly comparable. No two cases are. But I am saying the rights of the parents do not rest on their financial means. And unless you are willing to defend what you said or admit it was wrong, I see no point in just generating more words with you.

  17. avatar annonymouse says:

    Militia – like it or not, health services are not in unlimited supply, and such services are anything but free. If you are paying for your own and your loved ones’ health services, you should have unlimited discretion over those expenditures, regardless of whether such expenditures are spent in an exercise in futility. If, on the other hand, I am legally bound to pay for your health treatment, it is reasonable that I would have some input in whether or not you spend those dollars wisely, in whether or not you spend monies in a futile fashion.

    In the Jahi case, FIVE medical doctors have declared (obviously, quite sadly) that the girl is dead. There is no blood flow to her brain. Those whose responsibility it is to fund the ongoing services ought to have some say in whether the parents are allowed to continue to use resources not their own in pursuit of an exercise in futility.

  18. avatar militia says:

    Anonymouse, I was getting ready to end this subject with you because I can’t see anything to be accomplished by debating with someone who seems so blind to the real life issue, and centers such a key decision on money! But then someone sent me the following letter from Bishop Finn, and I am putting it here in its entirely (hope it’s okay to put a whole article here.) I’ve read it thoroughly and can’t find anything that pulling the plug should be a monetary decision based on ability to pay, so perhaps this will open your eyes. Sadly, it is far too easy for people thousands of miles away to make a financial decision to give up on someone else’s child. I expect this to be exactly the mindset of the anticipated death panels.

    Kansas City bishop pens passionate defense of life in response to Jahi McMath case
    by Kirsten Andersen

    Wed Jan 15, 2014 17:50 EST

    Tags: brain dead, jahi mcmath KANSAS CITY, January 15, 2014 ( –

    “Sometimes things are not as they seem.” That was the title given to a recent opinion piece by Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, who urged readers of The Catholic Key diocesan newspaper to “work hard and speak out clearly for the protection of human life at all its moments.” The bishop was writing in response to the story of Jahi McMath, a 13-year-old Oakland, California girl who was declared “legally dead” by hospital and government officials even as she remained on a respirator with her heart beating on its own.

    Oakland Children’s Hospital and the Alameda County Coroner declared that McMath was “brain dead” on Dec. 12 after she suffered unexpected complications from a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy which led to cardiac arrest. Afterward, her family fought a nearly month-long legal battle with the hospital to keep her on life support, ultimately settling with the hospital to secure her release to a Catholic care facility where she is now receiving treatment.

    “Pray for Jahi and for this family,” Bishop Finn urged the Catholic faithful.

    “[S]ometimes things are not as they seem, and Dr. [Paul] Byrne, who went to Oakland a few days after Christmas, doesn’t believe Jahi is dead,” wrote Bishop Finn. “What moved me most was something I had not yet read in any media accounts: He told me that Jahi was not totally unresponsive – but rather, when touched or talked to by family members, she moves her arms and/or legs. I must say that this is not what I imagined in the case of someone who is dead.”

    McMath’s heartbreaking case, as well as the case of Marlise Munoz, a pregnant woman who is being kept on life support over her husbands wishes, have spurred national debate over how death is defined in the United States, and whether family members or doctors should be the ultimate arbiters of when it is time to “let go” of a neurologically devastated patient. Munoz is being kept on life support due to a Texas state law that prohibits hospitals from removing life support from a woman who is pregnant before her baby is viable for delivery.

    While all 50 states have passed laws defining “brain death” as the legal endpoint of life, the criteria for declaring a patient brain dead vary from state to state. What passes for brain death in California may not qualify as death in another state, a discrepancy that has led critics of the “brain death” movement to accuse doctors of playing God – declaring living patients “legally dead” so that their healthy organs can be harvested, or worse yet, in order to limit hospital liability in cases like Jahi’s, where a routine procedure goes horribly wrong.

    In his opinion piece on the subject, Bishop Finn said that while the Catholic Church allows families to withhold “extraordinary means” of care, such as a ventilator, from dying loved ones, “Catholic moral teaching would also support the extraordinary efforts required to keep the child alive, if that was the chosen path,” and noted that “no one entrusted with her guardianship is opposed to continuing Jahi’s life.”

    Citing the work of Dr. Byrne, a pediatrician and medical school professor who has done extensive research on brain death, especially as it relates to children, the bishop argued that Jahi’s family is well within their rights to give the girl as much time as they feel is needed to offer her a chance at recovery.

    “’Brain death’ is established by a measure of brain activity (or loss of it),” Bishop Finn wrote. “Dr. Byrne would point out that brain waves are a measure of such activity in three parts of the brain: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. He would hold, and has written in many talks and articles, that measuring activity within the deeper recesses of the brain is not yet possible, and therefore may still exist in a subject. He also believes that children have a higher rate of recoverability from brain injuries. Their brains are more ‘pliable’ and can heal in ways that often surprise the experts.”

    Added Finn, “The observation of reactions (movement of arms or legs) like those reported to be seen in Jahi, lends credence to the possibility that, though there are no measurable brain waves, brain activity may still exist and life may still be present. Thus seems to be the conviction of the family of Jahi McMath.”

    “Pray for Jahi and for this family,” the bishop urged the Catholic faithful. “Pray also that authentic moral principles will be upheld in the midst of a scientific endeavor which is always complicated, but which requires many, many prudential decisions. We must work hard and speak out clearly for the protection of human life at all its moments.”

    A call to Bishop Finn’s office seeking further comment for this article was not returned by press time. Jahi McMath remains at an unnamed Catholic care facility, where her attorney said last week she is “doing very well.”

  19. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    More from The Sycamore Trust…..

  20. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    ” Faculty secularization was well advanced.

    Dr. Walter Nicgorski described the truly alarming consequences at a recent Sycamore Trust meeting.

    “It is increasingly the case,” he said, that a student at Notre Dame “might not encounter a practicing Catholic informed and engaged by the Catholic intellectual tradition” and that curricular and counseling decisions “will not be notably impacted by a Catholic perspective.”

    “One might say,” he concluded, “that beneath the large symbols of the University as a Catholic institution, there is reason for concern that the day-to-day struggles for learning and intellectual and professional development are not notably impacted by the Catholic tradition.”

  21. avatar annonymouse says:

    DAZ –

    After reading some more from Sycamore, I must agree that Notre Dame University is betraying its own words by submitting to the HHS Mandate rather than respectfully practicing civil disobedience. Its either a betrayal of Catholic values to comply or it’s not – one can’t argue it’s a impermissible under Catholic morals to comply and then turn around after losing in court and submit to the regulation. Protecting its gigantic endowment seems to be its first priority above any trifling Catholic morals.

    Shame, shame on Old Notre Dame. Not exactly a surprise for a University that disregarded clear bishops’ teaching and the specific counsel of 100 or so U.S. bishops and gave our most pro-abortion president in history an honorary degree.

  22. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Thanks, annonymouse, for reading more of what the Sycamore Trust has written.

    We can be very grateful that the Sycamore Trust has been calling ND to account. One could only imagine how much more damage that a secularized faculty would try to get away with unobserved and not reported.

    So let’s pray scholars who are committed Catholics who value both faith and reason fill the faculty of Our Lady’s University.

    Speaking of shame…. The judge called into question ND’s sincerity because the University waited six months to appeal the unfavorable June court decision. The last minute appeal filing did not impress nor convince the judge of the University’s objections based on moral convictions.

  23. avatar annonymouse says:

    More on the Notre Dame front – the Holy Father today admonished the Notre Dame Board of Trustees to uphold Catholic moral teaching and maintain its Catholic identity even in the fact of those who would dilute it. It should be noted that Popes don’t go out of their way to say “attaboy” – for Francis to single out Notre Dame means that he perceives a problem there that needs to be addressed, and is calling on the Board of Trustees to address it.

    And in further Notre Dame news, even though the University doesn’t have the funds to fight the HHS Mandate, they apparently can scrape together $450 million for stadium expansion, announced yesterday.

  24. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Thanks very much, annonymouse, for your comment and the link to the Vatican Insider.

    I liked that article so much I posted the same link on my Facebook page.

    Peace and Joy

  25. avatar militia says:

    The Pope spoke in Spanish. Does anyone following this story know if he included the word “continue” in Spanish? The sentence is: “It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.” Some people think using “continue” means ND should continue to do just what it has been doing. But is the word there in the Spanish text? Just wondering.

  26. avatar Hopefull says:

    I also saw an article that the Pope spoke in Spanish. But now most of the articles don’t mention the language. However, on the Vatican Website only English and Italian is shown. And the word ‘continue’ is also in the Italian. (Capitalized to help find it, below.)

    Auspico che l’Università Notre Dame CONTINUI ad offrire la sua indispensabile ed inequivocabile testimonianza a questo aspetto della sua fondamentale identità cattolica, specialmente di fronte ai tentativi, da qualsiasi parte essi provengano, di diluirla.

    It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will CONTINUE to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.

    On a lighter note:

    “University officials say Pope Francis showed his sense of humor during the meeting. When Jenkins mistakenly went to sit for a photo in a chair meant for a cardinal, the pope joked, “Oh, you’re very ambitious.”

  27. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    militia, my research on the Vatican website shows that the Pope’s address to Notre Dame’s delegation in Rome on the 30th of January was delivered in Italian. While there is the English translation on the site, there is no Spanish text; just the original Italian one.

    It reads: ” Auspico che l’Università Notre Dame continui ad offrire la sua indispensabile ed inequivocabile testimonianza a questo aspetto della sua fondamentale identità cattolica, specialmente di fronte ai tentativi, da qualsiasi parte essi provengano, di diluirla. E questo è importante: l’identità propria, come è stata voluta dall’inizio. Difenderla, conservarla, farla andare avanti!”

    Note the word “continui”.

    There is no question that “will continue” in Italian is continuera not continui. I am of the opinion that continui is the subjunctive may continue which infers not being done yet but hoping that will begin to do. See
    “The subjunctive is a grammatical mood found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or action that has not yet occurred – the precise situations in which they are used vary from language to language. The subjunctive is an irrealis mood (one that does not refer directly to what is necessarily real) – it is often contrasted with the indicative, which is a realis mood.”

    Moreover, the various meanings of “auspico” are interesting. I hope that; I hope for; I wish; I predict.

    In any event, I am satisfied that the English translation is flawed. Continui is not will continue.

  28. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    FYI, I am awaiting to hear back from my niece in Foggia, Italia. She is a linguist fluent in Italian and English who certainly will be able to tell me if my suspicions are correct.

    I read the Pope’s Italian address to the Notre Dame Delegation as a soft reprimand and a very strong exhortation.

    Stand by for my niece’s reply to my questions.

  29. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    I have heard from Italy.

    The sum of our discussion: strictly in terms of Italian grammar, no negative inference can be drawn.

    The use of the verb continui is dependent upon the verb hope (auspico… I hope). The reason why the Pope uses a “doubtful/dubitative” verb (hope) is because he can’t know what will be in the future. The use of continui is for doubts about the future. Auspico expresses more of a hope than a doubt per se. But it can be defined as dubitative as well. The use of subjunctive continui depends upon the principal verb of the sentence. There are probabilities that what is hoped will happen. This degree of ‘certainty’ is expressed in English with the simple future “will continue”.

    Apparently, Italian grammar does not allow an understanding that the University has not been offering unambiguous testimony to its foundational Catholic identity. Given ND’s recent history, however, the grammar explanation does not clarify for me why beloved Pope Francis said he hopes the University will continue…

    Many can testify to the University’s less than strong, emphatic witness to Catholic identity, faith, morality and mission.

    So what hope do I derive from Pope Francis’ address to the Notre Dame delegation? That all of us hear and take to heart our Holy Father’s clear and bold exhortations: “commitment to missionary discipleship ought to be reflected in a special way in Catholic universities…..demonstrating the harmony of Faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life……uncompromising witness…to the Church’s moral teaching… authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors…defend, preserve, advance ( the University’s identity as it was intended from the beginning).

    Notre Dame, the world is watching!

    Deo Gratias

  30. avatar Hopefull says:

    Excellent exposition, Dominick.

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