Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

Similar failures? Irish Bishops and the USCCB?

June 16th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The prelude needed to consider the title question is to seriously read the One Peter Five article “What do Irish Catholics do now?”   And then reread it with the USCCB in mind. You may have noted the prior Ticker (moving red letters on the Cleansing Fire masthead) which said:

“It is a stumbling block to conversion and to obedience when the hierarchy hijacks the prudential judgment rights of the laity. Examples: capital punishment, right of self-defense, immigration policy, border protection, environmental policy, alleged climate change.”

There is more to say, but the fundamental is reflected in the ticker quote and in the article about Irish Catholics and their voting to legalize abortion. So too, for every ounce of effort expended by the USCCB and its committees to criticize the President and programs and objectives for which well-meaning Catholics have voted and which they support, there are even more urgent spiritual matters and leadership being sorely neglected.   There is much to say on this issue, but just raising it first to determine Catholics’ interest in pursuing the subject.  What do you think?

A Moral Challenge

May 4th, 2016, Promulgated by Bernie

From LifeSite

by Philip Lawler

May 3, 2016 (CatholicCulture) — In 2009, when the University of Notre Dame invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address, dozens of American bishops lodged loud public protests. Yet this year, as Notre Dame prepares to confer an even greater honor on Vice President Joe Biden (together with former House Speaker John Boehner), the silence from the hierarchy is deafening.

Back in 2009, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston said that Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama was “very disappointing,”, while then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan termed it a…

Read more HERE

Doing God’s Will seems to be Invigorating

May 12th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Cardinal Burke looks about 10 years younger in some of his recent photos.  Leaving the Apostolic Signatura and taking charge of the Order of Malta seems not only to have created a world-wide presence and responsibility, but also an effective  pulpit from which the Cardinal’s faith is shown in both words and actions.  He has taken on a number of initiatives, with pro-life very deep in his heart, and is reported to be the only Cardinal who joined in the March for life this past weekend in Rome! Extraordinary!  And yet, it seems to be that very activity which is putting a special joy into his demeanor.

IMG_8886LifeSiteNews reported about the May 10 march:  “Many participants gathered in St. Peter’s Square prior to the march, to hear Pope Francis deliver the traditional Sunday recitation of the Regina Coeli at noon. After a meditation on the day’s gospel, the pope briefly greeted the participants in the march, saying that it is “important to collaborate together to defend and promote life.”  

“Participants then gathered just steps away from the Vatican, on Via della Conciliazione, where they heard testimonies from men and women whose lives had been affected by abortion, before marching through central Rome, finishing at the Piazzale of Bocca della Verità (the mouth of truth).”

In addition, the march drew attention to the very important subject of the risk to children as targets of gender ideology.

Cardinal Burke’s presence drew widespread attention and acclaim.  His activism is a model for all Catholics.  It is particularly striking how much more joyous he appears in recent pictures.  Read more.

See also FOTO Gallery at

Closer to home, revisit the Cleansing Fire coverage of Bishop Matano at the 2015 March for Life in Washington DC here.

Language Matters

March 13th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Language makes a big difference, especially when there is an overt agenda to shape public opinion, and when the objective of the agenda runs counter to truth and morals.  Let’s revisit a few examples of hijacked language, to shed some light on the current question “What in the world is the Vatican thinking?”


least of theseThe pro-abortion lobby of 40 years ago didn’t use the term “pro-baby-murder,” and they made those who did into social outcasts. Insisting on a term like “baby murder,” would have better framed the battle, and revealed the real intent of the pro-death contingent. But, almost without consciously thinking, pro-lifers took up the words “pro-choice” to write and talk about the other side, and inevitably played into the hands of the culture of death.  After all,  isn’t having a choice a good thing?  Who can argue with having the right to pick and choose?   Aaah!  But choose what? That is where the agenda and the language run silent. Thus, the pro-death lobby was able to put the emphasis on the woman rather than on the child, and shaped the politics for 40 years and into the future, entrenching themselves on ceded ground by controlling the language and shaping the public conversation.

The rightly-named “pro-lifers” aided and abetted the pro-death lobby by using their language, by using the term “pro-choice” themselves, strengthening the culture of death, laying the groundwork for the current efforts  to characterize pro-lifers as terrorists.  Language does matter.  Now the same “right to choose” permeates the nascent wave of euthanasia. Many Catholics report that during the 42 years of shame they can count on one hand the number of sermons they heard against abortion.  Some say they never heard any such sermon.  It can pretty well be said that while language was being hijacked, “the pulpits were silent.”


A similar misuse of language permeates the same-sex unions agenda. Allowing that lobby to seize the word “marriage” distorts the entire issue,  and the irrational becomes difficult to rationally debate.  Using the word “marriage” to describe what the Judeo-Christian ethic (and others) saw as immoral and sinful for thousands of years isn’t even debated on the grounds of injury to the moral structure and/or good order of a country.  Use of the word “marriage” prepared the way for arguments not about the intrinsic identity of marriage, not about the care of children, but about perceived elements of marriage: as a good, a social institution, a legal structure, a celebratory event, a sexual relationship.   The elements, or the denial thereof, framed the argument for “same-sex marriage” even though it can never meet the test of true marriage.   Hence, it was necessary for that lobby to strike down the legitimately passed Defense Of Marriage Act, either in social practice, in the courts, or both.  The procreation of  children,  as a vital aspect of marriage, is naturally unachievable in a same-sex union, yet it has not prevented vain attempts to create trophy progeny.  And the pro-abortion lobby, by devaluing life and children, cultivated the ground for treating children as an afterthought to the argument.  

As in the case for abortion, the government’s role in driving the social engineering experiment is highly visible, from the early closing of adoption centers which refused to place children with same sex couples, to opening the military to all sorts of questionable permissiveness, to the economic pressures on African countries to force them to permit same-sex unions.  On a simple citizen impact level, when a baker is fined $100,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for such a union, there can be no doubt that cruel and unusual punishment is part of the strategy.  

By ceding the use of the word “marriage,” significant ground was overrun, which likely cannot be reclaimed on human effort alone, especially since people of good heart, though uncertain understanding, easily bought the civil rights argument.  And, again, “the pulpits were silent.”  Or mostly silent.  This past weekend, at the English Synod, Cardinal Burke (of recent heroic action) was quoted in LifeSiteNews as saying to “brace for martyrdom over marriage.”


It appears to me that those who most embrace the political concept of Global Warming are those with the least knowledge of science, or those who are scientists getting paid for their work in “proving” that global warming exists (or will exist).  In a prior post on Cleansing Fire I gave my reasons against buying into this tenet of the Religion of the Environment (the one global religion to unite the masses.)   Usually when the agenda-shapers launch their efforts they grab language that will become the battle cry for an extended period.  It is my perception that “global warming” is more easily debunked than “climate change” — not because either is true, but it covers both directions.  It is hardly credible to stand on top of our winter whitestuff crying “global warming,” but the agenda shapers have switched to “climate change” and mumble about something happening somewhere else causing cold spots (or hot spots.)  (I remember when it was called “weather” and some humorist quipped “Weather!  Everybody talks about it.  Nobody does anything about it.”  Now we have people in elected office who misunderstood the humor and have decided to “do something about it.”)  Aaaahh!  The Lord must laugh at their choice of a battlefield. And we should remember, in this context, that we are awaiting an encyclical from Pope Francis on global warming / climate change which has the risk of making him the modern Pope Urban VIII.  For another view, see what you think of Newsmax yesterday “There is no Global Warming.”  

So “Climate Change” is all inclusive, because whatever happens weather-wise the agenda-shapers can say “SEE! We told you.”  The variation in natural swings are over long periods of time, and now will be ignored, and every hurricane, snow-storm or flood will be attributed to “Climate Change” — something we need to be taxed to prevent.  While we can’t predict any outcomes on plain foolishness (as we can on more glaringly moral issues), we can be sure increased taxes will be one result. How can we be so sure?  Because manipulating the language is easier to understand if we follow the money.  Same-sex unions create votes which translate to power and thence to money.  And the recipients of the abortion largesse (like Planned Parenthood) are grateful too.


Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican's UN Representative

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican’s UN Representative

All of the above would simply be a tirade on the use of language for abuse and manipulation were it not needed as a reminder on the latest mixed signals coming from “The Vatican,” reported in an excellent LifeSiteNews article (3/12/15) by Steve Jalsevac entitled: “Vatican use of Population Control Word ‘sustainable’ at UN worrisome.”   I encourage you to read the entire, short article.  Here are some highlights:

“Current Vatican representatives at the UN do not appear to understand the dangers of uncritically using key, population control invented phrases in official Vatican statements to the United Nations … that … are causing the Church to give huge international reinforcement to the deceits and manipulations of de-populationist agendas. The use of the phrases “sustainable environment,” “sustainability reports” and “sustainability-related impact and performance” in a March 9 statement by Archbishop Tomasi, the Vatican’s chief representative to the UN, is the latest example of this worrisome trend.”

March for Life – With Our Bishop!

January 26th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris


Week 23 in Catholic Media, 2014

June 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A Dozen Headlines not dreamed of even 5-10 years ago,  

which need little explanation; but here are the links … 

All this in less than a week.


Vancouver School Board’s new ‘gender identity’ policy ignores parents: critics

105 Congressmen to Harry Reid: Allow a vote to ban abortion for babies who can feel pain

Christian baker must make ‘wedding’ cakes for gay couples, court rules

Taxpayers to fund sex change operations for seniors through Medicare: Obama administration

Judge orders hospital to reinstate abortionist’s admitting privileges one day after botched abortion

‘We will be whipping the vote:’ Trudeau says he will force Liberal MPs to vote pro-abortion

Lawsuit claims NY school took students to health clinic for birth control without telling parents

Catholic school board votes to back OECTA’s Worldwide Pride March

Parents outraged after teacher hands out sex toys to teens during drama awards ceremony

Quebec legislature votes 94-22 to enshrine euthanasia as ‘medical aid in dying’

Belgian Catholic deacon charged with ten counts of illegal euthanasia

Auckland city council subsidizes event on ‘queer polyamory’ relationships






We are indebted to LifeSiteNews for their timely and accurate coverage of the events that matter.

If this kind of truth matters to you, please consider financial support to LSN at

Week 22 in Catholic Media, 2014

May 30th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Chinese Red Guards

Chinese Red Guards

Cultural Revolution destroying antiques and religious artifacts, circa 1966

Cultural Revolution destroying antiques and religious artifacts, circa 1966


Invasion of the Conscience Snatchers…. (aka the Red Guard of the Thought Police)

enforcing a Culture-of-Death  Revolution    

1. Catholic physicians who want to follow their conscience must ‘emigrate….’

New Yorkers sat up and took notice when Governor Cuomo suggested that pro-lifers are akin to terrorists, and not welcome in NYS.  Now the country from which so many of our fore-parents fled in order to seek religious liberty is doing it again.  (Note: author’s comments are in red.)

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent for LifeSiteNews, reported on May 30, 2014 that a meeting of the Catholic Medical Association was told “Physicians who have strong moral objections to prescribing abortifacient drugs, including the morning after pill, should leave England … due to … a total conflict of culture….”

“On May 17, the CMA’s annual conference heard Charlie O’Donnell, a consultant in emergency and intensive care medicine, say that “orthodox” Catholics training in obstetrics and gynecology would have such huge obstacles they would have little choice but to “emigrate.” Physicians are routinely faced with requests for artificial contraceptives, artificial procreation treatments or Viagra for “gay couples,” and there is simply no room left in the profession for the Christian worldview in medicine in Britain…. To be a sound Catholic regarding sexual ethics it is not possible to train as a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist.”
“This year’s CMA conference addressed the question of conscience in the context of the physician’s work.  The conference brochure asked, “What is conscience? What does the Church say? What does the law state? How can we work in workplaces which are hostile to individuals’ consciences? What can a Catholic conscience bring to the places and services in which we work? ….”  Dr. O’Donnell, Tully said, “was being just very blunt and pragmatic about it. It’s gone beyond the point where conscientious objection is a practicable alternative for someone specializing in those fields.”  “Abortion is not the issue,” he added. “That’s morally equivalent to running old ladies down in the street. That’s not a moral dilemma.” The real matter is the total engulfing of the medical profession in the “culture of death,” he said. “Abortion is a consequence of that – a symptom, as it were.”
“Paul Tully added that at least a third to half of the practices now considered a normal part of obstetric medicine would be impossible for a conscientious Catholic…. Dr. O’Donnell [explained] it is not feasible to undertake training in the field because so many cases involve some major objectionable practice – non-therapeutic sterilization, IVF, gender reassignment and so on.” “It has gone beyond simply discriminating against individuals. The culture of death has ingrained itself so deeply in the National Health Service that everyday work in obstetrics and gynecology entails numerous instances of promoting evil. But he echoed Dr. Ward, saying, “The anti-life onslaught is international, and with the UK and its EU partners intensively seeking to destroy pro-life culture in every corner of the world there are few places left where this might be possible.”

Why should the result be any different under universal healthcare in the U.S.?

2. New Boy Scouts president: “Gay scout leaders acceptable”

by Dustin Siggins, May 27,2014, LifeSiteNews Parents who voted against, and pulled their sons out of Boy Scouts upon revision of the Scout Code to admit same-sex attracted youth to Boy Scouts, which was implemented earlier this year, predicted the inevitable would happen; i.e. that although the vote was predicated on promises that no scout leaders would be SSA, it took only 5 months to begin articulating a different opinion.  And look who can make it happen!  This is a “trial balloon” if ever there were one, notwithstanding the words of the new head of BSA.

IRVING, TX, May 27, 2014 ( – Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who led the military to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, says that he would have allowed homosexual leaders for Boy Scouts of America.  Gates, who was elected to head the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for a two-year term, last week said that he “would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, ‘I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.'”
BSA allowed openly homosexual scouts for the first time beginning  January 1, 2014.  “The policy [now] reads that ‘No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.’”  Due to last year’s vote, the organization Trail Life USA was created. The new group says it aims “to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.” Furthermore, the decision by BSA to allow gay scouts has led to criticism from people on both sides of the debate. Homosexual activists say the group did not go far enough, whereas many Christian parents and groups say BSA is bowing to public pressure from homosexual advocates to affect its membership, despite its Christian roots.  Trail Life said it had 500 groups join it as of December 2013.
“Corporate pressure [to allow gay scout leaders] has been especially aggressive” [from Walt Disney World, Merck & Co., Ernst & Young, Major League Baseball, and AT&T, e.g.]. Over 70 percent of BSA’s membership consists of faith-based organizations, and many of its Catholic, Mormon, and United Methodist-affiliated troops have expressed concern about the new policy. The Southern Baptist Convention, which has 4,000 troops affiliated with it, condemned last year’s change.  BSA says its policies will protect its members from abuse by Scout leaders, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Those policies include a mandate that at least two adults are present at all times, and leaders are not allowed to touch Scouts.

So, is your parish still hosting a Boy Scout troop?  If so, why?  Aren’t there enough risks to the children?

3. Toronto’s Cardinal Collins inundated with praise after confronting Trudeau

BY JOHN-HENRY WESTEN,  Mon May 26, 2014, LifeSiteNews
Clearly Canadian liberal leader Trudeau is acting as Thought Police to require all liberal politicians to embrace his political pro-abortive policies.  But the principal defense against such Thought Police is a good offense, of Truth.  In face of the recent, egregious actions of Trudeau, five Canadian bishops have stood up for and articulated the truth for life. Cardinal Collins et al are on our list this week for Heroic Hierarchy.  (See discussion below).

Cardinal Collins

Cardinal Collins

TORONTO, May 26, 2014 ( – The office of Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins has been inundated with positive reaction to the Cardinal’s letter confronting Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.  The recent remarks by the self-professed Catholic politician insisting that all new Liberal candidates support the “right to choose,” has thus far been met with public opposition from five Canadian bishops.

In a letter to Trudeau earlier this month, Cardinal Collins expressed his deep concern with his stand, noting that had Pope Francis chosen a different vocation he would himself be denied the opportunity to run as a Liberal.  The  communications director for the Archdiocese of Toronto, told the Catholic Register that the huge reaction was “overwhelmingly positive, from both within and outside of the Catholic community.”

Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, said that having pro-life and pro-family advocates congratulate both faith and political leaders when those leaders do the hard work of public confrontation has been an aim of Campaign Life Coalition for many years.  “I’m happy to hear people responded so positively,” said Hughes. “I wonder if the Cardinal knows how muc h support for him is out there in the (pro-life) community and I hope this will encourage him to speak out more often.” The reality of the need for the grassroots pro-life and pro-family community to communicate their thanks to leaders who stick their necks out in the public square is keenly felt in politics as well as religion.   AMEN!

The bishops that have thus far spoken out against Trudeau’s missive include: 1) Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto 2) Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast 3) Calgary Bishop Fred Henry 4) Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith 5) Ottawa Auxiliary Bishop Christian Riesbeck The communications by the bishops have had an impact even in the political sphere. According to MacCarthy, “… a number of people … contacted our office by phone or email and indicated that they will no longer be members of the Liberal party.”


Is it “heroic” to do one’s job as a bishop or cardinal?  Or does it become heroic when the onslaught of social pressure makes it difficult and painful?  Does the refusal of so many peers to take action make a single action “heroic?”  Or does it take much more to be “heroic”?  Join the discussion with a comment.


Luke 17:10:  “So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”

Hebrews 12:3-4:  “Consider Him Who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint-hearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

Week 19 in Catholic Media, 2014

May 4th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris





A Headline Worth Noting:  

“New York committee kills Gov. Cuomo’s radical abortion expansion bill”

ALBANY, NY, May 6, 2014 ( by Ben Johnson – A bill championed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that would have radically expanded abortion in the state has died in a Republican-controlled state Senate committee.   The Reproductive Health Act (S. 438), introduced by Democratic conference leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, failed a vote in the Senate Health Committee by a party-line vote of 9-7.

"Say NO to CuomO"

“Say NO to CuomO”

“The Governor’s proposal is … radical, and would expand abortion rights beyond current federal and state law,” said Edward Mechmann of the Archdiocese of New York. “It would remove any obstacles to late-term abortions, and would allow non-doctors to do surgical abortions, even late-term abortions up until the moment of birth.”

In addition to allowing abortions to be performed by any “qualified, licensed healthcare practitioner” such as a nurse practitioner or midwife, the RHA sought to expand abortions after 24 weeks for the mother’s “health,” a nebulous term that in practice allows abortion under any circumstances.  It would have also forced all hospitals to refer patients for abortion or lose state funding, according to the New York State Right to Life Committee.

[After defeat of the bill last June] Cuomo later lashed out that people who support the “right to life…have no place in the State of New York.”


Two pieces of good news in the same day?  YES!

“U.S. nuns must give up New Age ideas or lose Vatican recognition: CDF head to LCWR nuns”

ROME, May 6, 2014 ( by Hilary White – The American Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which was placed under a mandate of reform by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last year, must drop its New Age ideas and return to the central teachings of the Catholic religion on Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the nature of the Church, or risk being expelled as a recognized Catholic institution.

Archbishop Peter Sartain

Archbishop Peter Sartain

In an address to LCWR officials in Rome , …Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, said that the Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church.”  “The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” they said.  Müller warned LCWR that the concepts introduced by a New Age speaker two years ago, and increasingly adopted by LCWR members, constitute a radical break with the most foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

This movement has been described as “Conscious Evolution” by its supporters, but the CDF said in reality it constitutes nothing less than “a movement away from the ecclesial center of faith in Christ Jesus the Lord.”  The … (LCWR) that has openly defied a mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church and sexual morality. One of the first public statements of Pope Francis’ pontificate was an affirmation that the investigation and reform of LCWR must continue.

Müller expressed his “concern” that “such an intense focus on new ideas” may have “robbed religious of the ability truly to ‘sentire cum   Ecclesia’ [think with the Church],” and that the divergence from basic Catholic doctrine had already occurred among the religious of LCWR. … The concepts proposed by Conscious Evolution, he added, “are not actually new. The Gnostic tradition is filled with similar affirmations and we have seen again and again in the history of the Church the tragic results of partaking of this bitter fruit.”   Full article is HERE.

And in a Trifecta of Good News,

“52 pro-life leaders worldwide call on bishops to deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians”

VATICAN CITY, May 3, 2014 ( by John-Henry Westen – At the first annual Rome Life Forum in Vatican City, fifty-two pro-life leaders from sixteen nations called on the bishops of the Catholic Church to deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians in a spirit of love and mercy.  The leaders signed a declaration noting that it is out of concern, and indeed love, for those same politicians that the pro-life leaders ask for this wake-up call to invite pro-abortion politicians back to authentic faith.  [They] called on the world’s bishops to honor Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law. The canon states that those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.  Cardinal Ratzinger [had written] that a Catholic politician who votes for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws “must” be denied Communion after being duly instructed and warned.

Speaking at the public portion of the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, reflected on “the grave scandal caused by legislators, judges, and political leaders who profess to be Catholic and who present themselves to receive Holy Communion…  he said  “It prevents them from committing sacrilege by violating the incomparable sanctity of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, and safeguards the Christian community and the community at large from scandal….”

But even three silver linings have clouds, and from the people who split the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, and whose personal pleasure trumped the needs of the souls affected, making a mockery of God’s Word, we bring the following “news announcement of the week”:  

NEW HAMPSHIRE, May 5, 2014 ( – The first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, whose election in 2003 helped split the squabbling denomination in two, has announced that he and his homosexual partner of more than a quarter-century are divorcing. They were “married” in 2010 after participating in the state’s civil union laws in 2008.”

Week 16 in Catholic Media, 2014

April 14th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

This week we begin a new format, by which during the week we will be adding / archiving the week’s news stories.  

Check from time-to-time during the week to see if new stories have been added.  

Catholic Relief Services pro-abortion grantee wins UN Population Fund Award

BALTIMORE, MD, April 17, 2014 ( by Kirsten Andersen – A pro-abortion grantee of Catholic Relief Services has been announced as the winner of the 2014 United Nations Population Award.  The award is given to organizations that demonstrate outstanding effectiveness in population control efforts, including contraception, sterilization and abortion.  The grantee, Jhpiego, is a non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. According to CRS’ 990s for 2012, the U.S. bishops’ organization gave Jhpiego a grant of $282,356 that year for “health.” As part of their work, the group has spearheaded national campaigns in the developing world to promote the abortifacient morning-after pill….Catholic Relief Services has often been criticized for their partnerships with groups that violate Church teaching on grave spiritual matters, but the organization says on its website that it is willing to overlook the sinful actions of certain grant recipients in order to fund the good work that they do. For example, grants given to the pro-abortion group CARE International were earmarked for agriculture, emergencies and general welfare, and were not supposed to be used for family planning.

A report released by American Life League in September 2013 revealed that 86 percent of CRS’ grants to domestic groups in 2012 went to groups that promote contraceptives, in addition to, in some cases, other evils such as abortion, the abortifacient “morning-after pill,” and homosexuality.  In 2013, the Catholic aid organization gave a $2.7 million grant to Population Services International, which markets a “Safe Abort Kit” in developing countries.






The Resignation of Mozilla’s CEO:  Catholics Should Be Worried

“Now is the time for Catholics to express the truth about marriage boldly. Our jobs and our legitimate standing in the public sphere may soon depend on it.”   Rome,     Stephanie Pacheco, writer, blogger, speaker. 

Zenit ran up the storm-warning flag on the happenings at Mozilla.  The full story is here.   Highlight:  “The media storm swirls around Brendan Eich’s April 3 resignation as CEO from Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser. Eich is a talented programmer who invented the JavaScript programming language for the internet and who co-founded the Mozilla company. After fewer than two weeks as the company’s head, he was forced to resign over Silicon Valley furor regarding a $1,000 donation he made back in 2008 to California’s Proposition 8 law, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. To repeat, he was fired for holding unpopular— now socially forbidden—views. … Catholics should be up in arms, for at stake here is the freedom to work in a public capacity and hold orthodox views at the same time.

Pope to Seminarians: We Have Too Many ‘Half Priests’ Who Fail to Imitate Jesus

Vatican City,  

Pope Francis to Seminarians:  from regions around Rome, warn[ed] them that the Church has “many half priests” who fail to reach their potential because they are not “pastors in the image of Jesus.”  The seminarians are members of the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, a regional seminary for several of the dioceses around the city of Rome.  “We have so many, so many half way priests,” the Pope told the young men. “It is a sorrow, that they do not succeed in reaching the fullness.  “They have something about them of employees, a bureaucratic dimension and this does no good to the Church.  I advise you, be careful that you do not fall into this!”  He continued, “You are becoming pastors in the image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to be like Him and in His person in the midst of his flock, to feed his sheep.”







Belgian intensive care doctors back involuntary euthanasia

April 14, 2014 by Michael Cook       Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Although voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanize patients who do not appear to have long to live.  “Shortening the dying process” is a euphemism for administering a lethal injection.  Effectively the Society has declared itself to be above the law.   The Society also says that intensive care doctors should inform relatives of a decision to euthanize a patient, but it does not instruct them to ask for the relatives’ permission. The policy applies to both adults and children. The statement concludes by reassuring intensive care doctors that what they are doing is “not be interpreted as killing ….”


Week 14 in Catholic Media, 2014

April 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Starting next week, I will experiment with daily adds, i.e. more of a real-time post to the week’s news, updating the POST as the week progresses, which means more of a chronology as it occurs.  It will be an experiment to see if more people engage with the subjects, and which kind of posts create more interest.  COMMENTS are always welcome.

Kenyan bishops call on Catholics to stop funding the contraception-providing ‘Free the Children’ clinic 

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31, 2014 ( by Peter Baklinski – Kenya’s bishops have called on Catholics in Canada and the USA to cease funding a clinic in their country run by secular charity Free the Children, which frequently partners with Catholic schools, because the clinic provides contraceptives…. “Considering the evil caused to families and society in Kenya by the use of contraception, Catholic Bishops in Kenya through Catholic Health Commission of KCCB request that donors in Canada and the United States direct their generosity to Catholic health facilities and not to contraception-distributing institutions and programmes such as Free the Children’s Baraka Medical Centre,” the bishops state in a March 26 letter addressed to one Ottawa resident and other “Christians of good will.”   Also see article  Kenyan bishops fear tetanus vaccine campaign is aimed to sterilize women

Catholic hospital that hosts abortion-referring center proposes removing pro-life Catholic trustees

LONDON, March 31, 2014 ( by John-Henry Westen – The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, which calls itself “the UK’s premier CatholicHospital,” is attempting to remove from it’s Trustee Company several orthodox Catholics. The hospital, despite

Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London

Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London

 taking “great pride” in its “Catholic ethos,” hosts a National Health Service clinic that refers women for abortions.  The Board of Trustees Company is expected to … end the hospital’s one hundred and fifty year relationship with the Order of Malta, … that the Board of Trustees Company will be reduced from 22 to 15 members, with all five representatives of the Order of Malta … losing their places on the board.  …. The matter was referred to the Holy See and an investigation was opened …. The hospital was known to be regularly performing “gender reassignment” surgery and concerns had been raised that the hospital was also providing referrals for abortion and providing a range of contraceptives, including those with a potential abortifacient effect, such as the “morning after pill.” ….  Lord Bridgeman suggested that the crisis could be resolved through the “secularisation of the Hospital’s constitution by removal of the Cardinal’s ‘ethics clause.’” The hospital would then become a secular institution “in the Catholic tradition,” which would mean that it was under no obligation to refrain from prescribing contraceptives, performing abortions, or carrying out “gender reassignments.”  Despite hosting an NHS clinic that prescribes contraceptives and refers for abortions, the hospital of SS John and Elizabeth still retains its official status as a Catholic institution. Campaigners have long called for the Archdiocese of Westminster to take action to ensure that the hospital retains an authentic Catholic ethos, which is inseparable from full adhesion [sic] to the moral law.

Furor at Catholic high school after nun presents Church teaching on homosexuality

CHARLOTTE, NC, April 2, 2014 ( by Kirsten Andersen– “A North Carolina Roman Catholic [high] school [met] to address the concerns of parents and students who say they are outraged about remarks a visiting nun made criticizing homosexuality, divorce, and sex outside of marriage during a recent speech.  Dominican Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, who often speaks to high school and college-age students on matters of sexuality, gave an hour-long presentation to students at Charlotte Catholic High School on March 21 called ‘Masculinity and Femininity: Difference and Gift.’   She [reportedly] spent about half her allotted time discussing homosexuality, blaming its rising influence in part on fatherless homes created by divorce and extramarital sex.  Sister Laurel is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, often called the Nashville Dominicans, which is an order known for its fidelity to the Magisterium.”

charlotte_catholic-240x180“… students …  reacted to her remarks with shock and anger, launching both an online petition and a letter-writing campaign calling the sister’s words ‘offensive and unnecessarily derogatory.'”  Visit the above link to read the insipid, uncatechized comments, and more blaming of Pope Francis’s compassionate remarks as approving sin.   “Parents have supplemented the students’ petition with an e-mail campaign targeting the Diocese of Charlotte, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Vatican with complaints about Sr. Jane’s speech.  Parents, alumni and students involved in the petition and letter writing campaigns are demanding that the school and Church apologize.”

“But not all students were upset by the nun’s presentation.  A group of students who adhere to Catholic teaching on sexuality have launched a counter-petition condemning the protesters’ actions.  ‘We are outraged that the topics talked about are being debated within a community where the shared faith teaches us what truly is holy and that anyone would stand up against a nun, who has given her life for the Lord, and blantly [sic] deny God’s teachings,’ the petition reads.”

“Reaction from local Church officials has been largely supportive of Sister Jane.

  • “Fr. Tim Reid, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church, sent out a mass email which said in part, ‘She represented well the Catholic positions on marriage, sex, same-sex attraction and proper gender roles. … The Church has already lost too many generations of Catholic schools students to … a very muddled and watered-down faith.'”
  • “Fr. Roger Arnsparger, diocesan vicar for education, stated, ‘Our students are bombarded with confusing messages about sexuality. Our task in religious formation is always to help people understand the meaning of love and relationships.'”

It would be incomplete to run this story without reporting results from the April 2nd meeting:

Charlotte diocese backs nun who gave school talk promoting Church teaching on homosexuality

CHARLOTTE, NC, April 7, 2014 ( by Kirsten Andersen – “The bishop of Charlotte is backing a Dominican nun who has been at the center of a fiery controversy since last month when she gave a speech promoting Catholic teaching on sexuality to students at Charlotte Catholic High School.

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel

Sister Jane Dominic Laurel

After a public meeting with diocesan and school officials turned ugly, with parents and students alike shouting at administrators over what they perceived as ‘hateful’ remarks criticizing homosexual behavior, divorce and extra-marital sex, a spokesman for the diocese told LifeSiteNews that the nun in question, Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel, did nothing wrong and will be welcome to speak on the issue again if she chooses.”

“’Nothing in Sister’s talk opposed Church teaching,’ Diocese of Charlotte Communications Director David Hains told LifeSiteNews in an email. ‘Sister would be welcomed to speak in the diocese in the future.’”

“Hains said Bishop Peter Jugis is expected to make further public comment on the situation soon.   Sr. Laurel’s critics have complained about a section of her talk in which she discussed scientific findings related to the causes of homosexuality. “

“’I was in attendance at the same presentation when given on Long Island, NY a few months ago,’ Dr. Gerard Nadal told LifeSiteNews.  ‘In that meeting, Sister Jane gave medical and scientific data that came from reputable sources and were presented as examples of the consequences for human behavior that contravenes the moral magisterium of the Church. As a Ph.D. in medical science, and as a Catholic schooled extensively in my faith, I saw no contradictions, but rather a seamless presentation.’”

“The Diocese of Charlotte’s newspaper, the Catholic News-Herald, reported that the meeting was acrimonious, with those who dared to speak out in support of Sr. Laurel or the Church being shouted down by an angry mob.  The paper’s sources called the atmosphere ‘disrespectful’ and ‘hate-filled.’  Fr. Kauth said he brought Sr. Laurel to the school because he felt students at Charlotte Catholic had been poorly catechized and were suffering from spiritual darkness, particularly around the issue of sexuality.   To read Fr. Kauth’s full statement regarding Sr. Laurel’s presentation click here .”

And let us pray for courageous people like Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, and the clergy who backed her up, for their Christ-like witness.

Week 11 in Catholic Media, 2014

March 19th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The following highlights and links are all from LifeSiteNews, an organization truly worthy of our financial support: and here is the link for contributions:    At this point in their fundraising campaign they have raised only $24,000 of the needed $150,000.  It would be a shame to lose such accurate and timely reporting, when there is virtually no source of current events reporting (let alone Catholic!) that does anything near the breadth and depth of what LfeSiteNews does, and all minus the fluff.  Just the prompt FACTS.  And they have faced enormous risks in the courtroom, corporately and personally, to continue such daily reporting.  Please think about it.





And the world became still a little bit more dangerous for babes in the womb last week:

ROME, March 10, 2014:  “The International Planned Parenthood Federation has scored a major victory against conscientious objection laws in Italy at the Council of Europe. The council’s European Committee of Social Rights voted …  to uphold IPPF’s complaint against Italy that too many doctors are allowed to refuse to participate in abortion.”

LONDON, March 10, 2014:– “Amnesty International, an organization founded to defend those imprisoned for political crimes and to fight human rights abuses, launched a new campaign last week dedicated to promoting unrestricted access to abortion.  The global campaign … was launched … in response to what the increasingly pro-abortion and homosexualist lobby group says is the failure of governments around the world to defend sexual and reproductive rights.”

NEW YORK CITY, March 13, 2014:– “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believes it is a ‘bedrock truth’ that abortion restrictions hamper human progress, and any efforts to improve women’s rights must begin with increased access to contraception and abortion.  Addressing the United Nations for International Women’s Day, Clinton told her audience, ‘There is one lesson from the past, in particular, that we cannot afford to ignore: You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights.  That is a bedrock truth.’  … Clinton said that even the United States, which has some of the most lenient abortion laws of any developed Western nation, falls short when it comes to giving women free access to abortion-on-demand.  ‘This remains the great unfinished business of the 21st century,’ Clinton said. ‘No country in the world, including my own, has achieved full participation.'”

International Bullying of African Countries prohibiting same-sex “marriage” / National Sovereignty Threatened

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 14, 2014: – “European Parliament voted to recommend heavy economic sanctions, the denial of travel visas, the withdrawing of foreign aid, as well as force the isolation from the international community of African nations that refuse to heel to the EU’s homosexual agenda.  During the debate at the European Parliament, French socialists … laid blame for the pro-family laws in Nigeria and Uganda on ‘evangelists from the United States.’   Addressing the UN delegation in Nigeria, the attorney general of the Nigerian federal government, Mohammed Adoke, emphasized that Nigeria’s laws ‘do not criminalize individual sexual orientation,’ but explained that the focus of the law is ‘the discouragement of same-sex marriage which is a reflection of the overwhelming beliefs and cultural values of the Nigerian people.'”

In a 2013 national opinion poll, 92 percent of Nigerians polled rejected same-sex “marriage.”  The Nigerian Catholic bishops and the Muslim community in Nigeria also publicly supported the law as a reflection of their cultural beliefs and as an integral part of the defense of Nigeria’s moral health.  The bill, called the “Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act” was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan in January.  Since then, the EU, a vast array of international organizations and the United Nations have attempted to force the international community to take drastic measures in order to impose the homosexual agenda upon Nigeria and other African nations that have resisted the push to normalize homosexual conduct.  The Nigerian law prohibits homosexual marriages or unions, adoption by homosexuals, and the dissemination of homosexual propaganda.

Mr. Mohammed emphasized that far from being something that Nigerians desire, the promotion and normalization of homosexuality could ‘bring down any government should the government toy with the opinion of the vast majority of the people.’  The UN High Commissioner stated that the Nigerian law ‘may deter LGBT persons from taking up HIV education, prevention treatment and care services as well as civil society and religious groups from implementing such services.’  Yet [the article states] scientific findings show that ‘no other group of comparable size in society experiences such intense and widespread pathology’ as homosexuals.”

“On a day when the European Parliament still could not come to any consensus on the imposition of any real sanctions on Russia for the geopolitical crisis in Crimea, it appeared clear that the European Union would continue to attempt to force African nations to adopt its homosexual agenda with every tool at its disposal, including harsh economic sanctions.”

Catholics Causing Scandal

TORONTO, March 11, 2014 – “The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association took another step in its promotion of the homosexual agenda Monday as it announced it would march in Toronto’s WorldPride parade on June 29.  The association, which represents the province’s 45,000 teachers and plays a large role in their professional and spiritual formation, passed a motion this weekend to organize a delegation for the homosexual activist event.”

OTTAWA, March 11, 2014 – “As the Ottawa Catholic School Board defends their partnership with Free the Children and refuses to answer parents’ questions about whether the secular charity distributes contraceptives in the developing world, LifeSiteNews obtained a letter Free the Children sent to the school board in October admitting one of its clinics does in fact ‘stock and provide contraceptives to patients.’  Critics are calling it a ‘cover up’ and a “major Catholic scandal,’ and accuse the school board of knowingly ‘cooperating with evil.'”

Access to School Information

March 12, 2014 (STOPP) – LifeSiteNews reported that it hears “almost weekly from anxious parents who want to know whether Planned Parenthood is in their children’s school. Some have already started making phone calls and sending letters to the school district … Others are at a loss where to start.  Here is their resource to help you find quick answers about the prevalence, source, and format of sex education in your geographical area.

Courageous Catholic Hierarchy

Bishop Philip Egan

Bishop Philip Egan

PORTSMOUTH, England, March 13, 2014 – “When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church  on such a central thing as the value of life of the unborn child and also in terms of the teachings of the church on marriage and family life –they are voting in favor of same-sex marriage – then they shouldn’t be receiving Holy Communion,” said Portsmouth Bishop Philip Egan in a wide-ranging on-camera interview….  Bishop Egan explained that rather than a punitive measure, the denial of Holy Communion is ‘always an act of mercy.’  It is done, he said, ‘with the hope and prayer that that person can be wooed back into full communion with the Church ….  Nobody is forced to be Catholic. We’re called by Christ and He’s chosen us, it’s a free choice. We live under the word of God. It’s not my truth, its God’s truth,’ he said. … One would hope that in that case it would encourage someone to come back to seek communion with the Lord with the truth and say I’m sorry I got lost.””

Bishop Robert Vasa

Bishop Robert Vasa

SANTA ROSA, CA, March 13, 2014  – “Courage,” an official apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, often faces criticism from Catholics and non-Catholics who believe it is a harmful part of the Church’s doctrine on marriage. In Santa Rosa, California, however, Bishop Robert Vasa is ignoring these criticisms in their entirety.  Last week, Vasa sponsored a program that included a presentation by former homosexual porn actor Joseph Sciambra to the local arm of Courage.  Sciambra, who has a book on his experiences and how they led him to embrace the Church, believes that homosexual relationships are devastatingly harmful to the bodies and souls of men who engage in sex with other men.

Critics of Bishop Vasa and Sciambra have abounded. However, the bishop has been a source of relief to serious Catholics. While critics say that having an abstinent man with same-sex attractions present to Courage harms acceptance of homosexuals in the Church, orthodox Catholics find the push against the permissive American culture a welcome change.   Bishop Vasa’s prioritization of Church teachings over public opinion is nothing new. For years, he has emphasized Church teachings about sexual morality and life, and has long been a leader among orthodox Catholics for his adherence to Church doctrine.

Bishop Dorick Wright

Bishop Dorick Wright

BELIZE CITY, March 14, 2014 – “Belize’s Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright issued a directive to the country’s Catholic schools stating that ‘organizations whose activities and positions are actively opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and which endanger the souls of the People of God, cannot be welcomed under any circumstances in our schools.’  The bishop’s letter specifically named the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the National AIDS Commission and the Red Cross program called ‘Together We Can,’ according to Amandala News.  Bishop Wright charged these groups with promoting ‘the First World’s errors and problems’ among ‘unsuspecting people,’ such as the notion of ‘sexual rights’ among children, as well as abortion and homosexuality, and warned that they ‘foster programs that ultimately undermine our Catholic values.’”

“These organizations often present themselves as champions of some apparent good, whether it be to educate on sexuality and reproductive rights, AIDS, or to administer certain medical treatments or shots to our children, but despite some apparent good, you must, nevertheless, respectfully decline any and all invitation or association with any such organizations. I make this directive to all local managers of Catholic Schools, assistant local managers, all administrators, principals and teachers,” Bishop Wright said.

“Stressing that Planned Parenthood is an international billion-dollar business that profits from the killing of babies through abortion, Bishop Wright said, ‘BFLA, the operational arm in Belize of International Planned Parenthood, is an instrument of the most serious crimes against life and our Christian morality.’  He also warned school officials that, ‘BFLA’s entreaties are sometimes made in such a way to confuse us, fooling some to believe that their work is endorsed by the Church…. Besides whatever good they might do,’ the bishop stated, ‘they nevertheless promote ‘sexual rights’ for children as young as 10 years of age, including a supposed ‘right to privacy’ from even their own parents and guardians, and in particular, their right to abortion without parental notification…. This agenda of sodomy, abortion, and sexual gender redefinition is seeking to radically change Belize’s Christian character.  I call on all of you to be vigilant with me against this threat to Belize’s moral foundations and family values.’”


Week 06 in Catholic Media, 2014

February 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris





At the UN — collegial communications or a pseudo-tribunal?

In Week 03,  I skipped over a story in  Zenit and in the National Catholic Register about a presentation on January 16th in Geneva, Switzerland, to the UN by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer to the United Nations.  The main reason the story did not ‘make the cut’ that week was because it appeared to just be  a report, a speech, on a weighty subject but seemingly not being any more than a “communication.”  It seemed not to change anything in current practice, and most of the news stories covered here are about substantive changes or early warning alerts.  This one originally seemed to  be not much more than a gracious, international accommodation on a subject of mutual interest, and discussed between the parties, ‘from time to time.’  But this week the matter ‘exploded’ into front page headlines,  revealing an importance far greater than originally thought.  So, this week, the entire update is dedicated to the severe dictatorial UN report coming out of what seemed to be an innocuous ‘good faith’ presentation.  The last two articles are especially worth reading, to better understand the worldwide basis of attack on Catholic Moral Teaching.

Background:  On January 16, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi,  gave an address to the “UN Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocols.”  Click on the link to read the content of that address.  The reader will likely not find any surprises in the address, but rather pastoral concern, and a statement of commitment to obligations, as well as acknowledgement that the Catholic Church is among many organizations dealing with the problem of child abuse, made worse when it is propagated by those most trusted.  The Zenit story also noted:  “Aside from the Holy See, the reports of several countries were presented to the committee, including Russia, Germany, Portugal, Congo and Yemen.”

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

Abp. Silvano Tomasi

In part, Abp. Tomasi noted in his address:  “Today’s session, is an important occasion to reaffirm the value and the procedures of the convention and to accept any good advice that is given that can be helpful in the protection of children.”  There was also a timeliness, related to Pope Francis’ recent  approval of the establishment of a Commission for the protection of children and the pastoral care of abuse victims.  Abp. Tomasi expressed his assurance that the Holy See will fulfill its international obligations as well as to take the observations and comments of the committee “into due account.”  He said that the commission established by Pope Francis “will study the input and observations given by the committee.”   Now it sounds like the “input and observations” given, this week, went way beyond anything the Vatican could have anticipated.  Moreover, there are accusations that the feedback given, if it can be called feedback, substantially ignores everything  that was presented by Abp. Tomasi, even to the extent of rendering a report allegedly prepared even before his  presentation, with an agenda outside the expected, aka “with an axe to grind.”

Fr. Federico Lombardi

Fr. Federico Lombardi

On that same day, Vatican Spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi put out a statement on the reasons for the address to the U.N. committee.  The Zenit article is entitled:  “Vatican Spokesman Explains Background to U.N. Child Abuse Hearing.”  It goes on: “The Holy See is deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse of minors, which harms millions of children throughout the world,” acknowledging that “sadly, certain members of the clergy have been involved in such abuse.”  Written in Italian, the note offers a history of the Holy See’s adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as its response to questions posed by the committee.  The statement, unfortunately, comes across as somewhat defensive.  Zenit states:  “Fr. Lombardi explains that the enforcement of laws pertaining to the protection of minors lies with the civil authorities in countries that are party to the Convention, and are responsible for its implementation.”  He highlights the “Holy See’s position as a sovereign subject of international law, and the limits of the Holy See’s rights and responsibilities regarding the conduct of priests and religious worldwide.”  Fr. Lombardi says “it is not rare to find that the questions posed [by the committee] – above all where they refer to the sexual abuse of minors – seem to presuppose that bishops or religious superiors act as representatives or delegates of the Pope – [though this is] utterly without foundation.”   It was also mentioned that there had been reportedly anger that the Holy See would  not share the results of its own internal inquiry into sex abuse. The Vatican responded by saying it is “not the practice of the Holy See to disclose information on the religious discipline of members of the clergy or religious, according to canon law,” in order to “protect the witnesses, the accused and the integrity of the Church process.”

Slap-down by UN Committee ReplyWhether there was something in the Archbishop’s address to the committee, or something in the statement of Fr. Lombardi, that provoked a heavy-handed response from the UN, or not, remains a point of potential argument, but readers of the sharp UN reply observe that nothing in that reply evidences that they read or heard the address by Abp. Tomasi.  That observation almost implies a response was prepared in advance.  In any event, the original news stories that there was such a presentation in Geneva, and that the reasons were explained by Fr. Lombardi, are eclipsed by the follow-on words of the UN reply.  As the popular press would have it, the UN made nothing less than a call for the Church to change doctrine and Canon Law; i.e. to accept the immoral practice of the world, instead of the word of God.  It would seem to be one more evidence that “conscience rights” will increasingly be unrecognized and disrespected.

Reading even the highlights of the UN report, one can sense what appears to be a deliberate escalation of  hostility, especially of the UN toward the Vatican, and one has to wonder, “For what purpose?”  And THAT is the reason it is important to follow what is happening very closely.  In the best case, it is just a petulant backlash between figureheads of two organizations.  At its worst, it is a severe escalation of religious persecution of the Catholic Church.  Several writers clearly put forth the observation that it is the more onerous interpretation.  It is also an illustration of what happens when an organization loses the moral high ground, being no longer able to lead but instead becoming even more vulnerable to attack.  Unfair as the attack may be, there is one level at which Church leadership has only itself to blame.  Or, said another way, when the shepherds are struck, the sheep are scattered.  But in the heat of battle, we are probably 20-50 years too early for the analysis.  So, back to the unfolding story:

Fr. Lombardi: UN Report Shows “Serious” Lack of Understanding of Holy See

Vatican Spokesman Responds to UN Committee Recommendations on Sexual Abuse, Vatican City, Feb. 7, 2014

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, … made several clarifications regarding the reaction of the UN committee on the Rights of the Child report.  The following are excerpts from the statement published on Vatican Radio.

  • “The UN committee strongly reproached the Vatican for its handling of abuse cases, while not taking many of the implementations to the Convention that the Holy See observed into consideration. It also recommended that the Church change its stance on homosexuality and abortion.”
  • The committee’s recent report, he said, “has aroused extensive reaction and response” [and] appears “to present grave limitations.”
  • The recommendations “have not taken adequate account of the responses, both written and oral, given by the representatives of the Holy See,” … “Those who have read and heard these answers do not find proportionate reflections of them in the document of the committee, so as to suggest that it was practically already written, or at least already in large part blocked out before the hearing.”
  • Fr. Lombardi also called the UN committee’s lack of understanding of the nature of the Holy See, a “serious” matter.  “[Are we dealing with] an inability to understand, or an unwillingness to understand? In either case, one is entitled to amazement,” Fr. Lombardi wrote.
  • He said a more serious matter was the committee’s interference in moral and doctrinal positions of the Church regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality.  Those interferences, he said, were made in light of “the committee’s own ideological vision of sexuality itself.”

Fr. Lombardi concluded his statement, saying the UN “carries the brunt of the negative consequences in public opinion, for the actions of a committee that calls itself [by the UN name].”  Over the next few days opinion within the Church seemed to swing more toward indignation and backlash against the UN reply.  An “early responder” to the matter was Fr. Boquet, whose reply was covered by LifeSiteNews and published by Human Life International.  While usually giving links, the content is so important in framing out where this confrontation seems to be headed, that we cover most of the article below.  See also, received today, Feb. 9th, Brian Fraga’s contribution:  “UN Committee to Vatican “Change Church Teaching.”   That NC Register link is  and also see the NC Register link for an article by the founder of the Faith and Reason Institute, Robert Royal, on “The New Rights at the UN are Dead Wrong”



“UN Committee Statement Requesting Changes in Catholic Moral Teaching is an Egregious Attack on Religious Freedom”

Fr. Boquet

Fr. Boquet

 FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, Feb. 6, 2014 –The “Concluding Observations” on the report of the Holy See released Wednesday by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child are a flagrant and egregious attack on the religious freedom of the Catholic Church, her right and obligation to uphold the dignity of the human person and her estimated 1.2 billion members around the world….  “The audacity of the people who wrote this report is simply amazing in dictating to the Catholic Church what her moral teachings should be in order to advance false and dangerous notions of ‘tolerance’ and ‘rights’ so often pushed by those with an anti-life, anti-family agenda,” said Fr. Boquet. “While these are only the thoughts of a few members of one UN committee, we should take seriously any document coming from the United Nations telling a billion people worldwide that their deeply held moral beliefs are inappropriate and need to change.  They are using the priest abuse issue to delegitimize the moral teachings of the Church and attack her freedom and right to exercise those beliefs around the world,” he said.

The UN committee’s comments make several requests of the Holy See to amend Canon Law, the law of the Catholic Church, including Canon 1398 calling for latae sententiae excommunication for those who procure an abortion. The report also criticizes the Church’s moral teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.  The UN committee also requests that the Holy See identify in Canon Law “circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted,” an impossible task considering the Church’s teaching on the dignity and sacredness of human life from conception until natural death.

“In addition to their attack on the Church’s religious freedom, it’s quite alarming that a UN committee that exists to protect ‘the rights of the child’ would make a statement so supportive of killing children through abortion, really a criminal act against humanity, that it actually asks one of the world’s major religions to change its moral teaching in order to make it happen,” Fr. Boquet said.

“The report also makes an unjust and unsubstantiated charge that the Church’s teachings on homosexual behavior “contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescents and children raised by same sex couples.  This is a very serious charge, made very casually and without evidence,” said Fr. Boquet. “It is the type of calumny usually only seen in the most extreme ideological attacks directed at the Catholic Church, which is why it is so disappointing for an official agency of the United Nations to legitimize this slander by including it in an official document. Indeed, could one not also accuse the United Nations of encouraging violence against Catholics on exactly the same grounds, especially since the accuser does not need to provide evidence of actual incitement to violence in making the charge?”

“The Catholic Church and Catholics around the world deserve a correction of the deeply and thoroughly flawed Concluding Observations document which attacks the freedom of Catholics to express our faith without persecution,” said Fr. Boquet. “This type of language inciting hatred and violence towards Catholics cannot be allowed to stand.”

This issue is so serious, that we are only concentrating on a single issue this week. 

Next week, we’ll catch up on ‘the rest of the story.’

The Virtue of Tossing Your Cookies

February 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

It has been rumored for years that the Girl Scouts of America are in a supportive, even symbiotic, relationship to Planned Parenthood.  Now, more detail is available.  The well-respected long-time pro-life advocate, Judie Brown, has distributed the information as President of the American Life League

At that website, scroll down to find a January 30th article “‘Radicalized’ Girls Scouts of America triggers national cookie boycott” by Paul E. Rondeau, on Thursday, Jan. 30th, and a companion article on the cookie boycott.  Here are some highlights in the email from Judie Brown:


“Is your daughter, granddaughter or a neighbor’s child asking you to buy Girl Scout cookies? Please think twice…. the Girl Scouts was once a trusted organization dedicated to character building in young girls and women. Now, GSUSA is abusing that trust.  Most parents and grandparents remain painfully unaware that GSUSA has introduced so-called ‘family planning’ ideology in its curriculum and promotes groups like Planned Parenthood to our daughters and granddaughters.

GSUSA is the largest member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a group that advocates for “affordable, accessible, safe abortion.” GSUSA participated in a “girls only” United Nations workshop in 2010 with Planned Parenthood where a sex education pamphlet titled “Happy, Healthy, and Hot” instructed young girls not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” It continued, “There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore, and be yourself!”

The GSUSA curriculum now promotes Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, Betty Friedan, founder of NARAL Prochoice, and other pro-abortion women as icons for our children to emulate. GSUSA even directs girls to explore organizations like Population Center.”

Judie Brown goes on to say: “ALL hopes that the cookie boycott will raise awareness with parents and grandparents that Girl Scouts is no longer the organization they grew up with and once trusted. When that Girl Scout comes to your door or you see her in front of the local grocery store or in the mall, check to see if there is an adult present.  If there is, you may want to give the adult this flyer that explains why you cannot buy the cookies.” 

The flier also describes the huge financial aspect of the GSA cookie-selling, and where the money goes.  It is well worth a close look. 
We are who we support.  Nearly two years ago I posted a boycott article here; it is out of date of course, but the concepts are relevant.  This past summer a friend asked if I would sponsor her in the  Susan Komen run, and I refused.  Komen had supported Planned Parenthood for years, and then stopped because of the abortion link.  PP put so much pressure on Komen, that they reversed the decision and once again are large supporters of PP, and now with less trust or credibility.  The weak-willed flip-flop lost Komen much support.  One story said they were 30% below what they’d raised this year, compared to prior years.
So a few boxes of cookies per household can really make a difference!  And when you find satisfying substitutes for various GSA cookies, share the information in a comment here.  (I like Wegmans’ Shortbread from their bakery.)  What are your recommendations for those determined to “Toss their (GSA) Cookies” for the sake of virtue?

Update:  Feb. 16, 2014:  New “Respect Life Badge”

ScreenShot002For those not aware of the American Heritage Girls as an alternative to GSA, you can find them here at and there is a link to contacts in various areas of the country, including to the National Catholic Committee. 

There are troops in Bloomfield and Leroy, e.g. and plenty of opportunity to start a new troop in your area.  A new “Respect Life Badge” has been introduced for those marching for life, serving at pregnancy centers or nursing homes, or other life-supportive service. 


If you are involved with the American Heritage Girls, please add comments or supply more information.   Here is a local contact from their website:

Week 04 in Catholic Media, 2014

January 27th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Priests at the Barricades

You’ve heard the expression “you can’t tell the players without a scorecard?”  Well, that feels a bit like the situation being reported out of the Ukraine this week.  And it wasn’t Catholic Media which first reported it  (so I stay skeptical!) but it is about startling “Catholic News”  in the mainstream media.   I have had a little bit of help from a good friend just trying to understand who is on what side of which issue, and this is the best I can do at this point.  While I usually like to understand the issue in more depth before writing anything, the news itself is worth sharing and putting it up for comment and insight.

Complex Background

It is a gross understatement to say that relationships (over 1000 years) are complex between the Orthodox Churches (Ukrainian, Greek, Russian) and the Catholic Churches under Papal Authority.  We’ve seen Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict make real efforts at healing the breach, and it is a good sign that at least the two “lungs” of the Church, while not breathing together, at least have un-excommunicated each other.  And the Russian Orthodox prelate is expected to come to World Youth Day in Krakow!  But there is a long way to go.  Add yet another layer of complexity, due to the long term hostile relationship of the Ukraine to the Soviet control under which the Church in particular suffered so much, stir together with the dynamics of decline in the Catholic Church throughout Europe,  the pan Euro- issues of abortion “rights”, gay “marriage,” proposed legalized killing of children up to 2 years old and euthanasia flooding civil society, to a flashpoint.  Then mix in closing of churches in the West, sexual abuse scandals and deep rifts over lack of obedience (from politicians to theologians) with the incredible news of Putin’s holding the line against gay proselytization and abortion activism, before looking at the pictures below, and more pictures at this link.  Is it any wonder that even the issues defy articulation?  But when Catholic priests take to the barricades, in leadership positions, much begs to be understood.








Patriarch Shevchuk: “Stop the Bloodshed!”
Head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Appeals for End to Violence After Latest Clashes in Kiev

ROME, January 21, 2014 ( – Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has decried continued violence in the country’s capital city and called for an end to the bloodshed.  His comments came in response to violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in the capital Kiev.   Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the protests were “getting out of control”.

“In the name of God, stop the bloodshed!,” Patriarch Shevchuk said in a statement published Jan. 21. “Violence was never the way to build a free and independent state! Bloodshed will never reconcile hearts or bring a positive outcome.”  He said he and others are looking on recent events in Kiev with “great dismay and sadness” and he appealed “to all the faithful of the church, the Ukrainian people, and to all people of good will” to stop the violence.  He called on the Ukrainian authorities to listen to the people and not use violence or repression, and he urged political leaders to realize their responsibility for the future of their people.

Ukrainian Bishop Says Country in a “Battle for Dignity”

PARIS, January 24, 2014 ( – The “brutal” crackdown on demonstrators in Ukraine is acting as a recruiting sergeant for the protest movement, according to a senior bishop, who described the country as engaged “in a battle for dignity”.      Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Paris defended protestors on the streets coming under fire from government forces, but repeated calls of that they do not take up arms.  In an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic charity which for decades has supported the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Bishop Gudziak spoke out against the security response to the demonstrations, describing many protestors as prayerful and non-violent.

Medjugorje Study Completed

VATICAN CITY, January 20, 2014  – The Vatican has confirmed that the international Vatican commission investigating the events at Medjugorje is ready to submit its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  …Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the 4-year old commission “held its last meeting on 17 January.”


Gov. Cuomo says pro-lifers, conservatives ‘have no place in New York’  (Albany, NY  Jan. 21, 2014)

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has been taken to task for  an interview with WCNY Radio in which he  defined “extreme conservatives” as “right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay,” and said such people “have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”  It isn’t the biggest shock that the NY Governor would say something so politically foolish, but rather that his very criticism of pro-lifers is directly against Catholic teaching which he claims to hold.  Further, calling pro-marriage people “anti-gay” is a gross distortion also of Catholic Teaching, which he should perfectly understand is not “anti-gay” but pro-marraige.  How much more proof does the Catholic Church need to act on separating Cuomo’s opinions from Catholic Teaching and to contain his scandal?

LifeSiteNews Excerpts:  “The Governor might as well have hung a 54,000 square-mile ‘Keep Out!’ sign across the state border to anyone with mainstream views on marriage, life, and the Second Amendment,” Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said in an e-mail to supporters.  “Who’s really extreme? The Americans who believe that killing children in the womb is wrong? The people trying to operate businesses according to their faith? Or the men and women who want to defend their families?”  Added Perkins, “No, the extreme ones are the liberals like Governor Cuomo, who are so threatened by the diversity they say they support that they can’t even coexist with people who disagree!…“Cuomo is so anti-life that he doesn’t even think people who love life should be able to exist in his state,” Rebecca Kiessling of Save the 1 told LifeSiteNews (LSN).

“Cuomo Excommunicates Catholics,” proclaimed Pat Archbold of the National Catholic Register.  He accused Cuomo of double hypocrisy because … the governor has continued to present himself as Catholic while publicly rejecting the Church’s teachings against abortion and homosexual behaviors…. “While the Catholic Church wrings its hands and furrows its collective brow over the unpastoral calls to excommunicate Catholic politicians who advocate grave sin as policy, these unholy pols have no such qualms,” wrote Archbold.   Even Cardinal Timothy Dolan struck out at Cuomo Tuesday, in an op-ed celebrating Respect Life Sunday (Jan. 19).  After recalling a day filled with Catholics engaging in such pro-life activities as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, assisting the poor, working to end gun violence – and, yes, protecting babies from abortion, Dolan declared it, “A good Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral” and added rhetorically, “does any of this seem ‘extremist’ to you?”

New poll: 62% Americans see abortion as ‘morally wrong’, 84% support restrictions

by Peter Baklinski  Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:09 EST

New Haven, CT, January 22, 2014 ( – “… a new survey has found that a massive percentage of Americans support significant abortion restrictions.  The new Marist Poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus reveals more than ever that an overwhelming majority of Americans are not satisfied with the current status quo on abortion.   A staggering 84 percent believe abortion should be restricted. In this group belongs those who would restrict abortion to the first three months of pregnancy (28%), the cases of rape, incest (33%), or to save the life of the mother (12%), and those who would never permit abortion under any circumstance (11%).  The survey surprisingly found that 58 percent of strongly pro-choice Americans would support such limits.  Regardless of whether Americans think access to abortion should be legal or not, 62 percent said that abortion was “morally wrong”.  Only 9 percent believe that abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy, the survey found.

Remembering…. on January 22nd

January 19th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull


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.

Week 50 in Catholic Media, 2013

December 15th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris






Vatican Cardinal Burke interviewed on Pope Francis: says ‘we can never talk enough’ about abortion

by John-Henry Westen, December 13, 2013 

Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke has spoken publicly about remarks by Pope Francis that have been interpreted in the media to mean that the Church should focus on “essentials” rather than abortion or homosexual “marriage.”  “What could be more essential than the natural moral law?” said Burke in an interview which aired … on EWTN’s ‘World Over Live.’   “We can never talk enough about that as long as in our society innocent and defenceless human life is being attacked in the most savage way,” … “I mean it’s literally a massacre of the unborn.”  


Merry Christmas? This year Belgian children get euthanasia in their stockings

by Michael Cook, December 13, 2013

The outcome was expected, but observers overseas were astonished at the margin of victory. By a vote of 50 to 17 yesterday, the Belgian Senate approved euthanasia for children. When the bill finally passes – which now seems quite certain – there will be no age limit for choosing to die at the hands of a Belgian doctor.”  Note that Montreal is also trying to pass a similar euthanasia bill.


Australian High Court unanimously overturns gay ‘marriage’ law

by Thaddeus Balinski, December 12, 2013

“In a unanimous ruling …  the Australian High (Supreme) Court stuck down the same-sex “marriage” law passed less than a month ago  by the parliament of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), … a statutory territory created to house the federal seat of government….The Court ruled that the Australian Capital Territory’s Marriage Eaquality (Same Sex) Act 2013 was inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and was therefore unconstitutional.”  Yes, unanimously! 


A moral revolution at warp speed—now, it’s wedding cakes

by Albert Mohler, December 11, 2013

Six months. That’s how long it took to get from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act to the decision of a Colorado judge ordering a Christian baker to make a cake for a same-sex ceremony. Just six months….  The momentum of this revolution is breathtaking, and its threat to religious liberty is plain for all to see.”  The baker has announced he’d rather go to jail and go out of business than, as a Christian, bake a cake for a gay wedding reception.


Massive Facebook, Twitter campaign helps defeat EU proposal to declare abortion a ‘human right’

by Hilary White, Dec. 10, 2013

BRUSSELS BELGIUM  “A report that sought to declare abortion a “human right” and make explicit sex education mandatory for three year-old children, was narrowly defeated in a vote of with 334 votes to 327 at the European Parliament today.  One leading Brussels-based pro-life and family group called it a “historic setback for the abortion lobby and all their related stakeholders.”  [T]he effectiveness of the public campaign [is] a rarity in European Union politics that is regularly accused of shutting the public out of debates. It was mainly conducted through social media that saw 4,500 people joining the Facebook page [and] MEPs had received 80,000 emails asking them to defeat the proposal ….  The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has been a prominent adversary of the report since it was introduced. John Smeaton, SPUC’s chief executive, called the report “one of the most concerted recent attempts to get the European Parliament to exceed its competence and try to impose abortion on European Union member-states.” This is the second effort and is bound to come up again and again.  The classic problem is that such repeat introduction of a bill, often eventually passes, and then there is no legislative effort to repeal.  Perhaps there ought to be limits on how soon after a defeat and how often a bill can be introduced for revoting?   Since this is the country that just passed euthanasia for children, and which Bishops Pope Francis addressed strongly in their ad limina visit, it certainly has become a wild fringe in the moral wars.








ESPN reverses decision to ban Catholic hospital’s Christmas ad

(Fox News; December 13, 2013) “ESPN has reversed its decision banning a Christmas commercial  from a Catholic children’s hospital because of its religious content — a stunning reversal in the face of widespread outrage from Christians.”


ScreenShot363Is it NEWS? 

Pope Francis, as is well known, was named by Time Magazine as Person of the Year this week. 

If one could really believe that TIME Magazine and those who influence the selection

understood who Pope Francis really is, and what he stands for,

it would indeed be News.  

But with the promise of the Holy Spirit’s protection, one just has to assume that the “world” has no idea. 

And THAT may itself be the News!



Nelson Mandela and Catholic Schizophrenia?

December 10th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Pope Francis’ Condolences (source Zenit)

th To His Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma

President of the Republic of South Africa


It was with sadness that I learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela, and I send prayerful condolences to all the Mandela family, to the members of the government and to all the people of South Africa. In commending the soul of the deceased to the infinite mercy of Almighty God, I ask the Lord to console and strengthen all who mourn his loss. Paying tribute to the steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa, built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth, I pray that the late President’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations. With these sentiments, I invoke upon all the people of South Africa divine gifts of peace and prosperity.


From Cardinal Dolan’s Blog

DolanStatement of Cardinal Dolan on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela was a hero to the world. His bravery in defending human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, as well as an inspiration to people everywhere. As Blessed Pope John Paul II noted during his visit to South Africa in 1995, Nelson Mandela was for many years, “a silent and suffering ‘witness’ of your people’s yearning for true liberation,” who, as President of South Africa, had to then “shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction.” In succeeding in these crucial and difficult tasks, Nelson Mandela truly made the world a better place.

May he rest in peace.


U.S. Catholic bishop calls Mandela’s support of abortion ‘shameful’, black leaders concur

by John-Henry Westen in LifeSiteNews article (excerpted)

Bishop_Tobin-240x191While much of the world, including many religious leaders, are praising the late Nelson Mandela without reserve, at least one U.S. bishop has tempered his praise by calling to mind the former South African leader’s record on abortion.

“There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa,” said Providence, RI Bishop Thomas Tobin ….

Tobin observes that “there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights.” However, the Rhode Island bishop notes that, “In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the ‘Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill’ that, according to the New York Times, ‘replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.’”

“While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children,” said Tobin.

Tobin’s remarks come in the wake of statements offering unqualified praise for Mandela in statements from Pope Francis and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan…. pro-life leaders urged Christian leaders to take caution in issuing blanket praise for the South African President due to his promotion of abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and communism.

Dr. Day Gardner, President of the National Black Pro-Life Union concurred with Bishop Tobin’s sentiments.  “It is really very sad,” Gardner told, “that Nelson Mandela was blind to the suffering of the smallest of his own people.”  She added, “He had such a triumphant life fighting for civil rights, yet he failed to see unborn children as significant.”  Gardner and other leaders at the National Black Pro-life Union have worked tirelessly to have black civil rights leaders recognize the plight of unborn black children who are targeted by the abortion industry far more than children of other races.

According to official statistics, nearly a million unborn children have been killed in South Africa since President Mandela signed legislation in 1996 permitting abortion on demand two years after taking office. Same-sex ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2006, with Mandela having supported it long before its passage.  Another African-American pro-life leader Ryan Bomberger told that he has seen time and again “how people move from being oppressed to becoming the oppressor.”  He asked, “How can you condemn the evil of apartheid and turn around and deem another group to be less than human?”….


Is Cardinal Dolan Causing Scandal?

May 18th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The questions to consider:  “Is Cardinal Dolan Causing Scandal?”  “Will Pope Francis do something about it?”

Tonight’s LifeSite News Article is entitled: 

“Card. Dolan ‘would not suggest’ pro-abort Gov. Cuomo not a Catholic ‘in good standing’: archdiocese”

That’s quite a mouthful of double talk.  Is the Cardinal trying to serve two masters?  When does a persistent “difference of opinion” on a matter of church teaching regarding intrinsic evil become scandalous?  When does a Cardinal become an enabler of evil by failing to address it, and become the proximate cause of the loss of a politician’s soul?  How many times must the Faithful, who are fighting valiantly for the cause of LIFE, be deserted by shepherds unwilling to stand with them?   Does anyone actually think that Cardinal Dolan believes his own words:  “Gov. Cuomo wants to work very closely with the pro-life movement” ?  That is certainly NOT the fruit of the Governor’s action so far.

untitledAnd while the Cardinal decries being surprised by Cuomo’s passing of gay marriage legislation, he seems to have made zero effort to call for its repeal.   In reading the linked article, it is difficult to find any redeeming moral value in refusing to carry out Canon Law precepts against a notorious underminer of  Catholicism.  The limp excuse that the Cardinal “has enjoyed working with Cuomo on issues like gun control and immigration”  is the essence of failure — it  papers over intrinsic evil with prudential judgment issues.  There is just no relevance between the grave issue of abortion, and Cardinal Dolan’s personal opinions which divide rather than unite the laity, and detract from what is most vital. 

I am reminded of Peter’s words in Acts 1:20   “His office let another take.”    I do wish Pope Francis would personally intervene to mitigate the damage being caused by the Cardinal of NYC.

LSN re: Infanticide Supporter on Catholic Charities Board

April 10th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Sometimes a story seems so unbelievable, that I  almost hesitate to pass it on, in case it could possibly not be true.  But LifeSiteNews has a good track record and, in essence, we can’t afford to NOT pay attention to the lessons begging to be learned  in this story.  I also found two other sources which support the LSN story:


The Big Question:

38cd2251e233cc1d1e0f6a706700cd9aHow does a Planned Parenthood Infanticide Supporter get on a Catholic Charities Board in the first place?  (She has just resigned, in January 2013).  If she’s prominent enough to be testifying before the Florida State Legislature, how could the diocesan power figures NOT know the kind of people on the CC board?  Are there no whistle-blowers in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee?  No Cleansing Fire?  To me, this story is a perfect example of why the need for the laity to be ever-vigilant endures.


Here are a few highlights from the LifeSiteNews article:

“Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow …  told Florida state representatives that, if a baby is born alive during a botched abortion, the decision about whether to save its life ‘should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.’  She was testifying on behalf of her employer, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, which opposes a pending infants born-alive abortion bill.”

“Matthew Archbold of Creative Minority Report noticed that the biography posted on the website of Snow’s business, Snow Strategies, states that she ‘serves on the board of Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida-Tallahassee.’ … ‘I called the Catholic Charities office, and [a woman] told me that Lapolt-Snow did indeed serve on the board until leaving in January,’ stated Archbold….How horrifying is that? …  A lobbyist for Planned Parenthood was a board member for a Catholic Charities office.  I can’t believe that it’s not clear to everyone that you cannot advocate for the killing of babies and be a Catholic. Just can’t.”

“Catholic charitable organization across the United States and abroad have increasingly been subject to calls for reform in the wake of a series of revelations about questionable funding and hiring practices.”

“Catholic Charities in general have been the most progressive wing of the church other than the nuns,” explained Sister Jeannine Gramick, one of the founders of New Ways Ministry …”  “Pope Benedict XVI [stated] ‘The Church’s charitable activity at all levels’ must be ‘managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful.’   If they do not comply, charities may no longer call themselves ‘Catholic.’”

The prior bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee retired for health reasons in March 2011, and an apostolic administrator was in: place for a year before Bishop Parkes took over in March 2012.  (Obviously sede-vacante is a vulnerable time for adverse forces to intrude in a diocese’s spiritual life).

It  isn’t as if Catholic Charities has never had questionable activities, some dead spots in conscience, and various areas which bear watching.  Here are some links:

New York archdiocese official defends Obama appearance at Catholic Charities fundraiser

Catholic Charities hired firm founded by gay activist, accused of support for homosexual group

San Fran Catholic Charities ‘honorary committee’ stacked with pro-abort politicians

Catholic Charities Refuses to Oppose Obama Health Care Bill
This case is a reminder to keep an eye on who is on our own diocesan boards and committees, including Catholic Charities, and to question where the money goes and how it is used, but especially to note and object to the presence of people who exempt themselves from Catholic teaching or, even worse, are moles, infil-traitors or double agents  for undermining the Catholic institution. 
View the legislative hearing debacle here.  I have not yet found a statement by the Pensacola – Tallahassee Diocese regarding these events.  The last NEWS NOTES on the diocesan website are dated March 18, even though the April 1 NEWS NOTES are way overdue.