Tiller called “Champion” of pro-death women’s groups


Abortion-rights groups such as the National Organization for Women said that “women across the country have lost a champion today. The cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller … is a stark reminder that women’s bodies are still a battleground, and health-care professionals are on the front lines.”

The late Mother Teresa of Calcutta saw things from a very different point of view:

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters”

And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” (Mother Teresa — “Notable and Quotable,” Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)


“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love – that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. “


“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!”


February 1997 – National Prayer Breakfast in Washington attended by the President and the First Lady. “What is taking place in America,” she said, “is a war against the child. And if we accept that the mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another.”


“Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.”


“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

George Tiller, “High Priest of Late Term Abortions” gunned down inside Kansas church


The man who is responsible for the gruesome abortion deaths of thousands of innocent babies, many of them extremely late term, was gunned down today by an unknown assailant, while attending services at his church.

Tiller enjoyed the unqualified support of pro-abortion Kansas Governor, now Obama administration HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. Tiller was also a major donor to Sebelius’ political campaigns.

Various pro-life groups have strongly condemned the killing, stating that the pro-life movement is non-violent, and based on preserving human life and upholding the law, with charity to all … especially mass killers like George Tiller.

The fact that Tiller is known to have summarily killed and dismembered thousands of innocent pre-born babies for profit, gives no one the right to kill him. 

Father Pavone of Priests for Life issued the following statement:

“I am saddened to hear of the killing of George Tiller this morning. At this point, we do not know the motives of this act, or who is behind it, whether an angry post-abortive man or woman, or a misguided activist, or an enemy within the abortion industry, or a political enemy frustrated with the way Tiller has escaped prosecution. We should not jump to conclusions or rush to judgment. 

“But whatever the motives, we at Priests for Life continue to insist on a culture in which violence is never seen as the solution to any problem. Every life has to be protected, without regard to their age or views or actions.”

Barack Obama, the ABORTION President, had this to say:

“I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.”

Randall Terry, a noted pro-life activist with a distinct penchant for “telling it like it is” said this:

“George Tiller was a mass murderer and we cannot stop saying that,” Terry said. “He was an evil man – his hands were covered with blood.”

Terry said he was now concerned that the Obama administration “will use Tiller’s killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions.”

Whatever the reasons behind all this, and without attempting to prematurely place blame on anyone … one thing’s for sure: The women of Wichita and their yet to be born sons and daughters, are much safer now than they were just a few short hours ago.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to George Tiller’s family and friends.

“Tiller the Killer” is dead. May God have mercy on his soul.

Note to President Obama: We completely agree that difficult issues such as abortion cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

Please take the necessary steps to put an immediate end to all abortions, which are indeed heinous acts of violence … while we “work to resolve our profound differences” about the issue.

Sotomayor reportedly only “minimally” Catholic


There are indications that Judge Sotomayor is more like the majority of American Catholics: those who were raised in the faith and shaped by its values, but who do not attend Mass regularly and are not particularly active in religious life. Like many Americans, Judge Sotomayor may be what religion scholars call a “cultural Catholic” — a category that could say something about her political and social attitudes.

Interviews with more than a dozen of Judge Sotomayor’s friends from high school, college, law school and professional life said they had never heard her talk about her faith, and had no recollection of her ever going to Mass or belonging to a parish.

Read the article

Obama planning to have it “both ways” with Sotomayor nomination


“Although historically, we have allowed Supreme Court Justices to serve as long as they breathe, have a beating heart, vibrant brain waves or voluntary muscle movement,” Obama said, “that doesn’t mean we’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. In any case, if during her hearings she starts to struggle and display pro-life tendencies, don’t expect me to jump in with any last-gasp attempts to rescue her.”
Read the article

Boys Town founder Fr. Flanagan warned Irish Church about abuse


1946: Fr. Flanagan slammed Ireland’s reform schools as ‘a disgrace to the nation’

When he arrived back in America Fr. Flanagan said: “What you need over there is to have someone shake you loose from your smugness and satisfaction and set an example by punishing those who are guilty of cruelty, ignorance and neglect of their duties in high places . . . I wonder what God’s judgment will be with reference to those who hold the deposit of faith and who fail in their God-given stewardship of little children.”

Read the article

“Ora et labora et lege.” Work and study, but first of all pray.


In the history and life of the Church, prayer has had and continues to have a prominent place, which becomes fully visible only to those who experience it personally, or directly study the historical documents about it.

This prayer is structured above all as liturgy, the public and communal prayer of the Church which, united with Jesus Christ, addresses God the Father in the Holy Spirit. Here emerges in all its poignancy the specifically Trinitarian character of Christian prayer, as participation and immersion in the relationship that Christ has with God the Father in the Holy Spirit’s bond of love. We are immersed, or raised up, in a life that is not ours as men, as creatures, but is the life of God, and the God to whom we turn in the liturgy is not a generic God, and not even properly the one and triune God, but God the Father of Jesus Christ, and in Christ, the Father of us all.

In Christian prayer, moreover, the public and communal dimension and the intimate personal dimension lead to one another and grow together: the “we” of the Church’s prayer accompanies a listening to that God who sees in secret, and whom we are called to encounter in the isolation of our room and in the secrecy of our heart (Mt. 6:5-6). Over the course of the centuries, this personal character of prayer has been expressed in many ways, often sublime, which remain a precious treasure, as the humble expressions of popular piety also remain precious.

Another major characteristic of Christian prayer concerns its “mystical” dimension. I am not referring only to the great mystics in whom the Church is exceptionally rich, but more radically to the specific character of Christian mysticism, as we are able to identify it already in the writings of the apostles Paul and John.

It is directly connected to what we have mentioned about the prayer of Jesus and his relationship with God the Father. The Johannine formula of the reciprocal “remaining in,” according to which the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, as believers are called to remain in the Father and in the Son, while the Father and the Son remain in them (John 17:21), expresses in an unparalleled manner that union with God which is the heart of all authentic mysticism.

Here, however, union with God follows the gift of himself that Christ  accomplished in history on the cross, and demands the ethical concreteness of practical love of one’s brethren: “If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us . . . Whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:12,20).

It is not, therefore, a mysticism that is closed in on itself. On the contrary, it has descended upon history and demands conversion, the transformation of life.

Read the entire article, by Sandro Magister

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Roger L. Kaffer


Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Roger L. Kaffer:

The Cathedral of St. Raymond –

604 N Raynor Ave

Joliet, IL 60435-6099

Tuesday, June 2 – Visitation from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Holy Vespers Tuesday night at 7pm)

Wednesday, June 3 – Visitation from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 am



In your prayers, please remember Bishop Roger L. Kaffer who entered Eternal Life on Thursday, May 28, 2009.

Roger Louis Kaffer was born in Joliet on August 14, 1927, to Earl Louis Kaffer and Helen Ruth (McManus) Kaffer. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Raymond Parish and received his elementary education at the parish grade school. In 1945 he graduated from Joliet Township High School and then attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He studied at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein from which he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

Roger Kaffer was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1954 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet by Bishop Martin D. McNamara. His first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Joliet. He served as a Notary at the Chancery until 1956. From 1956 to 1958, Father Kaffer studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a Licentiate in Canon Law.

When he returned to the States in 1958, Father Kaffer was named Assistant Chancellor. After earning an M.Ed. from DePaul University in 1965, he was named founding rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville. From 1968 to 1974, he also served as a member of the Seminary Board.

Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox benefited from Father Kaffer’s educational leadership when he became its principal in 1970. It was his practice to visit every family who had a child enrolled in the school. His dedication to improving the school’s buildings and grounds was evidenced when he was seen driving a back hoe, laying bricks and doing general construction work. To this day, former students speak of his impact on their lives and his pastoral care for them and their families.

Father Kaffer served as weekend assistant at St. Bernard Parish in Joliet beginning in 1970 and at St. Joseph Parish in Joliet beginning in 1974. He obtained a Doctorate in Pastoral Ministry in 1984 from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.

In January of 1985, Father Kaffer was appointed temporary administrator of the Cathedral and in February was named rector of the Cathedral.

On April 20, 1985, Father Kaffer was named Auxiliary Bishop to Bishop Joseph L. Imesch and Titular Bishop of Dusa in Northern Africa. Bishop Kaffer was ordained to the episcopacy by Bishop Imesch on June 26, 1985 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet. He was appointed Vicar General and Vicar for Priests, positions he held until 2002. From 1986 to 1989, he served as Chair of the Second Synod of Joliet. In March of 2002, Bishop Kaffer was appointed Secretary for Education. In addition to his diocesan responsibilities, he was honored to be State Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus from 1993 to 2009.

Bishop Kaffer’s life was marked by dedication to prayer, an upbeat spirit, vibrancy, boundless energy, sincerity and an extraordinary willingness to serve. He gave life to what he said: “None of us is as smart as all of us,” and “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are probably right.”

Although retired in 2002, Bishop Kaffer lived out his Episcopal motto, Serve and Give, with great vigor. He often said that he wanted to devote his years in retirement to the sanctification of priests. Bishop Kaffer continued to give retreats to priests and bishops, to offer spiritual direction and to assist with Confirmations. He took great delight in the fact that with retirement he was no longer required to attend meetings.

Because of his belief that youth were not the future of the Church but the now of the Church, Bishop Kaffer participated in every celebration of World Youth Day, the last being in August of 2008, when with great difficulty he journeyed to Australia to be with the youth he so dearly loved.

On September 23, 2008, Bishop Kaffer moved to Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home in Joliet where in October he suffered a mild heart attack and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Bishop Kaffer remained at OLA until his death.

The body of Bishop Kaffer will lie in state at the Cathedral of St. Raymond, Joliet on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, June 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Solemn Vespers will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 2 at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 3 at 11:00 a.m.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the “Bishop Roger L. Kaffer Fund for the Education of Seminarians of the Diocese of Joliet”, 425 Summit Street, Joliet, IL 60435 – or – Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home, 1201 Wyoming Avenue, Joliet, IL 60435.


Reader recommendation: “Authenticity” by Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.


A couple of Amazon reviews of a book recently recommended by one of our readers:

4.0 out of 5 stars Fr. Dubay exposes the dangers of self-deception, November 12, 1999
By  Mark A. Osborne (Montgomery Village, MD USA) – See all my reviews

I was interested in this book because of the topic and the author. The topic, because of my 15 years in a charismatic community which professed to be able to discern the movements of the Holy Spirit and his counterfeits. The author because I respect him after reading Fire Within.

Thomas Dubay argues that the gift of discernment of spirits is real, but it is reserved for the mature, well-trained, obedient person. It is not a gift that should be claimed rashly for oneself. Fr. Dubay emphasizes the role of Church authority in determining the validity of private revelations. He mentions how St. John of the Cross warned readers to beware of private locutions, even legitimate ones. We are not to run after extraordinary phenomena for their own sake, but should be content with an ordinary life of prayer and sacrament. Even when St. John believed he had personally heard from God, he consulted a priest. If the priest disagreed with John’s revelation, John would always obey the confessor.

Thomas Dubay systematically discusses the pitfalls in discernment. For example, he discusses how even a valid “word” from God may be misinterpreted by even the sincere, mature Christian.

He uses the scriptures and the Spanish mystics to describe the qualities of a prophet. He describes the importance of conversion to Christ in being able to discern his will. Other elements are important too: obedience to authority in the larger Church. Unity of a community is an essential sign that it is being guided by the Holy Spirit. An appreciation for sound doctrine. The living of a moral life.

The author’s musings on the selectivity of our minds in rationalizing our positions, particularly in dissent against the magisterium, made me examine my conscience. There was a passage that jived perfectly with The Seven Storey Mountain, which I had just finished.


43 of 43 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Gourmet Chicken Soup for the Soul, April 14, 2002
By  Zachary Flummerfelt (Wichita, Kansas USA) – See all my reviews

Seldom is a work on prayer and discernment so clear, comforting, and intellectually stimulating. This work is excellent for Catholics looking for an orthodox, contemporary work on discernment. Fr. Dubay, a widely renowned spirtitual director and expert on Sts. Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross, dispels the myths surrounding authentic mysticism.Many are suprised when they hear that St. John of the Cross was extremely skeptical of all private revelations and illuminism. He submitted all of his discernment thoughts to the test of offical Church teachings and the opinion of his confessor. Sound reasoning and many Scriptural references demonstrate that authentic discerment derives from steady prayer, spiritual reading and obediance.

I also highly recommend this work to Protestants. Fr. Dubay has soaked this work with Scripture. He clarifies the often misunderstood Catholic concept of genuine mysticism which is often mistaken for gnosticism or superstition.

Sufficed to say Fr. Dubay’s clear yet gentle way of caring for souls is rare. Few are able to write such a practical work that is free from the campy, “how-to” shallowness of modern spiritual writing.

See it or buy it at Amazon

Book suggestion by:  lindsayraemyers

Fr. Oprah (Alberto Cutié) calls it quits and jumps ship. Bishop responds.


Archbishop John Favalora of Miami released the following statement on Alberto Cutié’s “separation from the church”:

“I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church.According to our canon law, with this very act Father Cutié is separating himself from the communion of the Roman Catholic Church (c. 1364, §1) by professing erroneous faith and morals, and refusing submission to the Holy Father (canon 751). He also is irregular for the exercise of sacred orders as a priest (canons 1041 and 1044, §1) and no longer has the faculties of the Archdiocese of Miami to celebrate the sacraments; nor may he preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals (cannon 1336, §1). His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state.

This means that Father Cutié is removing himself from full communion with the Catholic Church and thereby forfeiting his rights as a cleric. Roman Catholics should not request the sacraments from Father Cuité. Any sacramental actions he attempts to perform would be illicit. Any Mass he says would be valid but illicit, meaning it does not meet a Catholic’s obligation. Father Cutié cannot validly officiate at marriages of Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Miami or anywhere.

Father Cutié is still bound by his promise to live a celibate life, which he freely embraced at ordination. Only the Holy Father can release him from that obligation.

To the Catholic faithful of Saint Francis de Sales Parish, Radio Paz and the entire Archdiocese of Miami, I again say that Father Cutié’s actions cannot be justified, despite his good works as a priest (statement of May 5, 2009). This is all the more true in light of today’s announcement. Father Cutié may have abandoned the Catholic Church; he may have abandoned you. But I tell you that the Catholic Church will never abandon you; the Archdiocese of Miami is here for you.

Father Cutié’s actions have caused grave scandal within the Catholic Church, harmed the Archdiocese of Miami − especially our priests – and led to division within the ecumenical community and the community at large. Today’s announcement only deepens those wounds.

When Father Cutié met with me on May 5th, he requested and I granted a leave of absence from the exercise of the priesthood. Because of this, he could no longer be the administrator of St Francis de Sales Parish or the General Director of Radio Paz. For the good of the Church and to avoid the media frenzy, I chose not to impose publicly an ecclesiastical penalty, although his admitted actions clearly warranted it. Since that meeting, I have not heard from Father Cutié nor has he requested to meet with me. He has never told me that he was considering joining the Episcopal Church.

I must also express my sincere disappointment with how Bishop Leo Frade of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida has handled this situation. Bishop Frade has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. I have only heard from him through the local media. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us. The Archdiocese of Miami has never made a public display when for doctrinal reasons Episcopal priests have joined the Catholic Church and sought ordination. In fact, to do so would violate the principles of the Catholic Church governing ecumenical relations. I regret that Bishop Frade has not afforded me or the Catholic community the same courtesy and respect.

In my nearly 50 years as a priest, I have often preached on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son – which really should be called the parable of the Forgiving Father (Luke 15, 11-32). Perhaps the story told by the Lord so long ago is applicable to our discussions this afternoon.

A father had two sons. One of them took his inheritance early and left home, spending his money wantonly. The father waited patiently for the return of his prodigal son, who after he had seen the error of his ways, repented and returned home. Upon his return, the father lovingly embraced him and called him his son. I pray that Father Cutié will “come to his senses” (Luke 15, 17) and return home. The Catholic Church seeks the conversion and salvation of sinners, not their condemnation. The same is my attitude toward Father Cutié.

We must not forget, however, that there were two sons in the Lord’s story. The other son, who never left home, was angry that his erring brother was welcomed home by the father. To all faithful Catholics, I say what the father said to this second son: “You are with me always and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice. This brother of yours was dead and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found” (Luke 15, 31-32).

In this beautiful parable Jesus teaches us that God is a loving and forgiving Father. Each of us has experienced that love, each of us needs that forgiveness; for we are all sinners. If our brother comes home, let us celebrate with the Father.

In conclusion, I commend and salute the priests of the Archdiocese of Miami and all priests who faithfully live and fulfill their promise of celibacy. By their fidelity to their promise they reflect more clearly to the world the Christ whose total gift of himself to the Father was pure and chaste love for his brothers and sisters. In our times so pre-occupied with sex, the gift of celibacy is all the more a sign of the Kingdom of Heaven where, as scripture says, there will be “no marrying or giving in marriage” (Matthew 22, 30). I encourage all Catholics to pray for and support our dedicated priests.”

Bishop Roger Kaffer Died Today


May 28, 2009

With faith and hope in Eternal Life  and with gratitude for a beautiful Christian life, I wish to inform you  that Bishop Roger Kaffer died this afternoon at approximately 3:45 p.m. 

His brother, Bob, and I had the privilege of being with him, and we gratefully commended him into the arms of the Lord he loved so much.

Since his death occurred just a short while ago, no arrangements have been made as of yet. However, as soon as we know more, we will let everyone know.   In the meantime, please keep Bob and Liz, and the entire Kaffer family in your prayers as their grieve the loss of their beloved brother.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

-Bishop Peter Sartain

(Editor’s note: Bishop Kaffer was a wonderful man, a great priest and bishop, and a tireless worker for the Church. His accomplishments are too numerous to list. I’ m sure that everyone who knew him, loved him. He will be sorely missed.)  

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Submitted by Doria2

Another true Rosary story … and more


Last week a much-loved priest, Mgr William Kerr, collapsed with a stroke while delivering a sermon in Tallahassee, Florida; he died in hospital. Matthew at the Holy Whapping, who was baptised by him, carries a transcription of his unfinished address (see below). It would have been deeply moving even if it had not been cut short in such sad circumstances.

Mgr Kerr had been speaking about his very first hospital assignment, ministering to a young burn victim dying from his injuries. Later, he was called on to perform an even more ghastly duty: in 1978, he was called out to the sorority house in Tallahassee where the young female victims of the serial killer Ted Bundy were lying dead or dying. Bettnet has the details:

Kerr got the call from the police in the middle of the night to rush out to the sorority house. When he arrived he was told that all but one of the girls in the house were dead or near death, killed by a serial killer who was later to be known to the world as Ted Bundy. After giving those last rites to the dying college girl, then-Fr Kerr was asked by the police on the scene to talk to the girl who survived unscathed. They wanted to know how she survived the brutal attacks, because Bundy had stopped right inside the door to her room, dropped his weapon, and left without touching her. But the girl would talk to no one but a priest.

When Fr Kerr approached the near-catatonic girl, she told him that her mother had made her promise before going off to college for the first time that she would pray the Rosary every night before bed for protection; even if she fell asleep praying the Rosary, which she had that night so that when Bundy came into her room with murder on his mind, the beads were still clutched in her hands.

Later, Bundy would tell Monsignor that when he entered the girl’s room, he just couldn’t go on, he dropped his weapon, and he fled. Such is the power of our Mother’s protective mantle.

Read the entire article

Submitted by Doria2, with thanks to Marie in Oklahoma


Click for more about the Rosary

California Reflections on a Boston Book

faithful departed

What Ought the Bishops Do?

(Editor: the following email arrived on May 26 from California woman who has followed and interacted with the California bishops regularly.)

Forgive the length of this e-mail, but I just got through reading The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture by Philip Lawler, and I have to unload on someone.

The book is very insightful. Although the exact subject matter (e.g. Boston’s loss of Catholicity, the sex abuse scandal) is now water under the bridge, nonetheless, IMHO, it contains considerable food for thought for bishops. In fact, I started making notes as I was reading it of the areas where the same problems and patterns of episcopal behavior keep cropping up.

1) Protecting church institutions, not church faithful. Lawler gives the example in his book of the American bishops responding to the push for taxpayer-funded birth control programs simply by seeking exemptions for hospitals and doctors operating under the auspices of the Church. This had several bad results. Most importantly, by so limiting their arguments, they confirmed the popular idea that the Church’s opposition to contraception is just a narrow sectarian doctrine, rather than a universal moral principle. Secondly, they left the Catholic laity hanging out to dry. We saw the same thing here in California with regard to the Women’s Contraceptive Equity Act, in which, rather than presenting a principled opposition to requiring employers to fund contraceptives in their health coverage, the Church just whined about getting (and failed to get) an exemption for church-run organizations.

2) Opting for face-saving compromises that embolden the opposition. Lawler gives several examples in his book, reminding me of similar cases here in California. For example, there was Abp. Levada and the domestic partners debacle, where he got around explicitly providing health coverage for domestic partners of employees by saying that every employee could designate some other person who would get coverage. And again, the contraceptive equity act. I asked Ned Dolesji what happened after they lost the challenge to that law, and he indicated that Catholic Charities had managed some work-around. Probably many Catholic entities have just given up and are complying, but even if they have come up with some work-around which allows them to ostensibly comply with the law while somehow not really doing so, they have in fact emboldened the Legislature to move on to the next steps. If they stood up and said, “Sorry, then we won’t provide prescription drug coverage,” they would have shown that there were lines they were not going to cross.

3) The perennial problem of pro-abort politicians. The lesson from Lawler’s book is not to wait till election time to take them on. But they must be taken on. Issuing periodic general statements condemning abortion is meaningless if at the same time, those responsible for protecting and promoting it – indeed, those actually providing abortions – incur no penalties, or even disapprobation, from church leaders. (Ever since I heard of Ted Kennedy’s terminal condition, I have been thinking about this. Presuming that he does not repent, if he were to be denied a Catholic funeral and burial, or at least a public one, it would be the single most pro-life action the relevant bishops could take in this decade. Contrariwise, if he is sent out with full Catholic honors, these same bishops might as well not even bother saying anything about abortion ever again.)

4) Shooting the messenger. Yes, there are cranks and malcontents in every diocese, but that is not an excuse for circling the wagons and shooting at anyone who comes forward with relevant information concerning the questionable behavior (or orthodoxy) of a priest.

5) Lying. I find it so disturbing that spokesmen for church officials seem to have adopted, and are only held to, the very lax standards of honesty that apply to politicians and their spokesmen. Thus, as long as one is not absolutely covering up scandalous or criminal activity, it is acceptable to tell a better story rather than the true one. If it happens to come out later that Mr. Smith was actually golfing rather than attending a briefing when he got the news about such-and-such, that is accepted merely as a “clarification.” Two examples: 1) there was a Catholic World Report article about JPII, ca. 2003, in which it said that everyone knew that the Pope had Parkinson’s, though of course Joaquin Navarro-Valls denied it. It was simply taken for granted the Navarro-Valls would lie about it. (That prompted me to write a letter to CWR, in which I pointed out that we used to call that “lying.”) 2) Around the time of the bishops’ meeting in Dallas in 2002, the head of the USCCB flew off to Rome to consult about some matters, and then flew back. While he was gone, reporters were asking if he had gone to Rome, and his press people denied it. When he got back, they said, yes, he had been in Rome. Nobody made a big deal about the lying, but all I could think is that the new era of honesty and accountability was not getting off to a good start. (I have to confess that my recollection of the details of this second example are sketchy. What sticks in my mind is the apparent unconcern with which the bishop’s representatives told a lie of convenience – and no one called them on it. It was simply to be expected that spokespeople say whatever is helpful. Truth is a secondary consideration.)

6) The rush to forgiveness. Lawler’s book is replete with examples of bishops giving wonderful send-offs to despicable people, thanking them for their years of devoted service, the gifts they brought to their ministry, etc. I can think of similar cases here in California, for example, Bishop Ziemann in Santa Rosa. Again, my recollection of the exact details is a little sketchy, but I recall an article in Catholic San Francisco in which we were basically called on to admire Ziemann because he drew the line at paying millions of dollars in hush money for his peccadilloes. A few hundred thou were doable, but he decided eight million was too much (from the diocese he had spent into a $16 million deficit). What a guy! Then there was the priest who was arrested for possession of child pornography after his rooms at the seminary were raided. (Was he the rector, or just the dean? I forget.) As quick as the next issue of Catholic SF could get out, as he was being held without bail after entering a not guilty plea, we were being reminded about the need to forgive, we’re all human, years of service, etc. My reaction was, “Hey, he’s pled not guilty. Can we at least wait till he pleads guilty before we forgive him?” Is it really necessary to give everyone, no matter what they have done, a glowing commendation? Aren’t there times where at least silence would be more appropriate?

Again, sorry for the length of this, but I feel better having put this all down. Believe it or not, I also have some positive thoughts about bishops, but I won’t try your patience any further.

Article courtesy of the California Catholic Daily

Pope Leo XIII explains how and why things have gotten so messed up in the world



… the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are – the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality. The sect of the Freemasons, by a similar course of error, is exposed to these same dangers; for, although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction. Neither do they conceal that this question about God is the greatest source and cause of discords among them; in fact, it is certain that a considerable contention about this same subject has existed among them very lately. But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none; and those who obstinately contend that there is no God are as easily initiated as those who contend that God exists, though, like the pantheists, they have false notions concerning Him: all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature.

Read the entire document

The four words that are saving babies from abortion


Not long ago a woman approached an abortion clinic in California. She was pregnant but didn’t think she could properly care for the child growing inside her womb. Like so many other women, she felt trapped … with no way out. Reluctantly, she sought the “solution” of abortion. But before she could follow through with her decision, something wonderful happened.

As she pulled in to the abortion clinic parking lot, she noticed two women standing on the sidewalk across the street. They were holding up identical signs and praying. The words on those signs were so powerful that it made the woman pause.

By the time she got to the abortion clinic’s front door, instead of going inside, she walked around the building, crossed the street and approached the two women. After talking with them for a few minutes, the woman agreed to go to a pro-life pregnancy center …

… and ultimately decided to let her baby live!

That child is alive today because of the courage of the two women standing outside that California abortion clinic … and the four words on their signs.

What were those four words? Simply these:

I Regret My Abortion

You see, when the woman who was about to keep that deadly appointment with the abortionists saw those signs and the women holding them, she began to have second thoughts. She later told the two ladies who’d been praying outside that abortion clinic:

“I looked over and saw you two and thought to myself, ‘Oh, no. That could be me in a couple years.’ So I came over to hear your stories. And I’m so happy that I did.”

I am writing to you today because I need you to click here right now and make a contribution to Priests for Life so that we can print up thousands of “I Regret My Abortion” signs! Each one will allow a woman ravaged by abortion to proclaim:

Abortion does untold damage to those it victimizes. I know. I had one. Talk to me before you do something you’ll regret the rest of your life!

This project is a key component of Priests for Life’s rapidly growing Silent No More Awareness Campaign … a campaign comprised of those who have felt the deadly sting of abortion in their own lives and are willing to go public with their deeply personal stories in the hope that their testimony will help bring to an end America’s abortion holocaust.

For far too long the emotional and physical pain of abortion was shrouded in secrecy and its victims too emotionally scarred to speak out.

But thanks to the grace of God and the work of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, women are now being freed from the bondage of abortion and going public with their stories. And like those two women in California …

… they are having a tremendous impact on abortion-vulnerable women and saving the lives of countless numbers of babies.

That’s because no one has more credibility when speaking out against the horror of abortion than a woman who has suffered through one herself.

In fact, you may recall that in The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II wrote directly to those who have had abortions, invited them to healing, and then said,

“With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life” (EV, 99).

That’s at the basis of this campaign!

These real-life testimonies are both compelling and convincing … as the incident of that woman in California who was about to kill her baby proves. One short conversation with the two women holding their “I Regret My Abortion” signs changed her mind … and saved her baby.

That’s the power of personal testimony.

To understand this I invite to click here and read the heart-wrenching testimony of Ann Marie Cosgrove. I know Ann. She is a pro-life dynamo and directs the Silent No More Awareness Campaign in Minnesota.

After you read her story, I want you to answer this question:

Do you think that a woman who is open to life but feels herself trapped and sees abortion as her only way out would be influenced by Ann Marie’s testimony?

I know she would.

Like all the women involved with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Ann’s personal story is so compelling that it not only saves women and babies, but it brings passionate recruits into our pro-life family.

And thanks be to God, more and more women like Ann are coming forward to speak out!

That’s why I am counting on you to click here and be as generous as you possibly can so that Priests for Life can print up thousands more “I Regret My Abortion” signs.

For just as the Gospel spreads as people bear witness to its saving power in their own lives, so, too, the truth about abortion’s terrible horror – to mothers, fathers, babies and families – spreads as people bear witness in their own lives of just how much damage abortion has done to them.

And as I just said …

… no one is able to give a more believable testimony on the horror of abortion than a woman who has undergone its devastation herself.

Today I’m counting on you and the rest of our Priests for Life family to help them. Here’s how:

We need money – around $60,000 to be precise – so we can print up thousands of signs for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign to distribute around the country. These signs will be either:

1. The “I Regret My Abortion” signs that I already told you about (and a version for fathers of aborted children, that reads “I Regret Lost Fatherhood.”) Or …

2. Large signs with a simple two-sided message:

On one side it reads: Women Do Regret Abortion

On the other side it reads: Men Regret Lost Fatherhood

The “I Regret My Abortion” and “I Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs will be given out ONLY to women and men who have lost children to abortion … and only after we meet with them and make sure they are ready, willing, and able to talk with people about their abortion.

The key thing about these signs, as I told you at the very beginning of this letter, is that …

… they have the power to save lives and end abortion! And I mean that literally.

Knowing that (and based on the growing number of women logging on to the Silent No More website – http://www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org – and writing out their personal testimony in the “Do You Regret Your Abortion” register), we want to print and distribute 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs.

At a cost of $1.75 per sign … we need $8,750 to print all 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs!

As for the “Women Do Regret Abortion” and “Men Regret Lost Fatherhood” signs, members of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will hand these out at the two largest pro-life gatherings: the “March For Life” in Washington, D.C. and the “Walk for Life” in San Francisco.

Anyone can carry these signs as they march. And after the march, they can take them home and use them as they pray outside abortion clinics.

Our goal is to hand out 20,000 of these double-sided signs: 10,000 for the DC March for Life and another 10,000 for San Francisco.

At a cost of $2.50 per sign we will need $50,000 to print those signs!

For all 25,000 signs – 5,000 “I Regret My Abortion” signs and 20,000 of the larger double-sided signs – Priests for Life will need to spend a total of $58,750 … a lot of money to be sure. But certainly not a huge expenditure when you consider the great good the signs will produce.

So please click here and be as generous as you possibly can today to help Priests for Life print up these life-saving, mind-changing, eye-opening signs!

The sooner we can print them up – especially the “I Regret My Abortion” signs – the sooner we can get them into the hands of those women whom God has called to share their testimony publicly.

We already have the distribution network in place to do that.

As of my writing to you today there are 81 Silent No More Regional Coordinators working in all fifty states! Having met many of them, I can tell you that these people are tireless workers for life. They know the horror of abortion first-hand … and they are on fire to share their personal testimonies with as many of our fellow Americans as they can.

What’s more, we know the impact these signs make. They challenge a primary message of the pro-abortion movement, namely, that abortion helps women.

In fact, these signs helped former U.S. Senator Zel Miller. He once supported abortion. But because of the four words on these signs, he came to change his mind and is now ardently pro-life!

Even the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged the women who come to regret their abortion. It did so in its 2007 abortion decision.

This should come as no surprise to any of us. After all, Christianity itself has advanced through the power of personal testimony! Think of St. Paul, for instance … and St. Augustine (the “Confessions”) … and so many others who witness to God’s power changing their lives.

That’s what the women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign are doing!

For the sake of the youngest members of our human family, let’s help them!

So please click here and be as generous as you possibly can.

Send Priests for Life the largest gift you can so that we can print and distribute thousands of signs … signs that have the power to save the lives of innocent boys and girls.

In this way we will advance our goal of ending abortion because we will make abortion so unthinkable that no woman will be deceived into thinking it is a “solution” to a “crisis” pregnancy!

As Janet Morana – the Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Executive Director of Priests for Life – constantly reminds everyone, there is no such thing as an unplanned or “crisis” pregnancy. But there are many, many unexpected blessings!

Life is always a blessing. So even though the circumstances which brought about the pregnancy may not be the best or the most ideal, still, the new life created is a blessing. Once we get our fellow Americans to embrace that reality, we will end abortion.

And with your help today, we will empower those who are the most qualified to preach that truth – namely, those who have been victimized by abortion – to bring about that change of thinking.

Please click here and be as generous as you possibly can.

Just a few dollars from you today will help Priests for Life get four words printed onto thousands of pieces of black cardboard. But those four words – “I Regret My Abortion” – have the power to save lives and end abortion!

Thank you for your much-needed help today. And know that in appreciation for the sacrifices you make to support Priests for Life, I will continue to remember you at each Mass I offer; and so will all our priests.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries

NOTE: If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to Priests for Life and send it to us at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314. If you have any questions, call us toll-free at 888-735-3448.

How Well Do You Know the Holy Spirit Spirit – the Spirit of Truth?


The Holy Spirit is one of three distinct Persons that make up the one eternal God. Each person of the three is God, yet they exist together in a form we describe as the Holy Trinity. (CCC 685 i.e. Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Regardless of which divine person (or persons) may appear to be working at any given time or during any given event, the three persons of the Trinity always act together, eternally united in a mysterious and very special way. (CCC 266)

It may help to think of God the Father as the sovereign architect of all that is seen and unseen; of God the Son as the literal and personal, eternally begotten expression of God’s infinite love and justice. You might think of God the Holy Spirit as the expression of the infinite love which the Father has for the Son, and the Son for the Father … full of divine power, wisdom and glory.

There’s a great mystery here and much we can’t understand. Study the Bible and Catechism for the next 50 years or so and you might begin to appreciate the awesome nature and workings of the Holy Trinity. For now, I suggest you accept it on faith.

Saint Thomas Aquinas explained that each person of the Trinity is of one and the same eternal, uncreated, godly “essence” … so each is indeed the one, true God. If you’re comfortable with third grade mathematics, the Holy Trinity can also be handily described by the following equation: 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

More of What We Know About The Spirit of Truth

We know the Holy Spirit as the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (CCC 246)

He is the “Mighty Wind” who swept across the waters of the young earth and the “Breath of Life” who introduced Adam to his soul. (Genesis 1:2 and Genesis 2:7)

He guided pairs of every creature into Noah’s Ark and later, He personally opened the fountains of the great deep and the loosed the floodgates of heaven. (Genesis 7: 9 – 11)

He is the fiery Destroyer of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:24)

He is the One who quickened the infertile womb of Sarah, granting faithful Abraham a beloved son. (Genesis 18:14)

It is the Holy Spirit who hardened the heart of Pharaoh and who led the Israelites out of Egypt. He is the “Pillar of Cloud” and “Pillar of Fire” who protected His people in the desert and showed them the way. (Exodus 10:1 and Exodus 13:22)

The Holy Spirit is the strong “Burning Wind” who parted the Red Sea. (Exodus 14:21) He is the “Finger of God” who rendered the Ten Commandments in stone. (Exodus 31:18)

It was He who stopped up the River Jordan so His people could pass over on dry ground (Joshua 3:17) and it was He who caused the walls of Jericho to crumble. (Joshua 6:20)

The Holy Spirit guided the smooth, solitary stone that was launched by David’s sling, defeating Goliath, the hulking beast and mortal enemy of Israel. (1st Samuel 17:49)

He has spoken through the Prophets (and inspired all the writers of the Bible). The Holy Spirit is also the source of all authentic Old Covenant and New Covenant sacred Tradition.

To save His prophet Daniel, he sent an angel to shut the mouths of hungry lions. (Daniel 6:22)

With the consent of the Virgin Mary, He conceived the baby Jesus in her womb. (Luke 1:26)

He is the power behind every miracle. (Exodus 9:16, 2nd Kings 17:36, Psalms 77:14, Psalms 105:27, Isaiah 22:21, Jeremiah 16:21, Daniel 4:3, Matthew 9:2, Mark 1:27, Luke 1:35, Luke 4:14, Luke 4:36, Luke 5:17, Luke 9:44, Luke 10:19, Luke 24:49, John 1:12, John 17:2, Acts 1:8, Acts 4:33, Acts 10:38, Romans 1:3, Romans 9:17, Romans 13:1, Romans 15:13, Romans 15:19, 1st Corinthians 6:14, 2nd Corinthians 3:14, 1st Thessalonians 1:5, 1st Peter 4:14, 2nd Peter 1:3)

He dwelled within the Tabernacle in the desert (Exodus 33:9) and in the Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (1st Kings 8:10) Today, He sanctifies our Church (John 14:16) and dwells within every baptized, faithful and repentant Christian. (2nd Corinthians 6:16)

The Holy Spirit descended like a dove on the baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:16) and it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus, fully man and fully God, perfectly accomplished His divine mission.

Acts 10:38 Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

It is the Holy Spirit who darkened the sky and shook the earth on Good Friday (Matthew 27:45-51) rending the veil in the Temple from top to bottom, leaving it desolate, and 3 days hence, along with the Father and the Son, restored and glorified Jesus’ broken and crucified mortal body, raising him up, never to die again. (Romans 8:11)

On Pentecost, visible as tongues of fire and audible as wind and thunder, He anointed Mary and the Apostles (and on all those gathered together with them), and presided at the birth of the Holy Catholic Church. (Acts 2:1)

He remains the Paraclete (advocate) and Spirit of Truth who guides the Church throughout history, protecting it from doctrinal error. (John 14:16)

At Baptism, the Holy Spirit sweeps sin from our soul and takes up residence there, indelibly marking us as adopted children of God, members of the Church, citizens of Heaven, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:30, Galatians 4:7)

At Mass, it is the Holy Spirit who transforms ordinary bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. (CCC 1375)

Through the other Sacraments, particularly Confirmation and Holy Orders, that same Spirit scribes additional marks, imparts special graces, and bestows unique spiritual gifts. (CCC 1317, CCC 1121, CCC 800)

Just before our Savior returns, the Holy Spirit will speak through God’s elect, revealing the “Man of Sin” (Antichrist, false-christ, the Beast) to all those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”. (2nd Thessalonians 2:3)

It is the Holy Spirit, who will, at the end of the age, transform our mortal bodies into glory and renovate the earth with holy fire, making all things new again. (2nd Peter 3:7 -12, Revelation 21:1)

We know all this and more about the Holy Spirit because it was revealed; first, by Jesus Christ, and later by the Spirit himself, working through the Apostles and their ordained successors; the Bishops of the Holy Catholic Church.

Read more …

Pentecost is the day the Catholic Church officially replaced the old Law in the “economy” of salvation


Our understanding of the Holy Spirit is limited by our finite human minds and by the revelation of God, but our faith teaches clearly that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity, that He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and that He accomplishes His (God’s) will anywhere and at any time, with power and authority that is so awesome, no one and no thing can withstand it.

The early Hebrews understood that God “spoke” all things into existence, as if the Holy Spirit proceeded from the “mouth” of God, accomplishing whatever His supernatural intellect would conceive.  It should be no surprise then, that our first earthly biblical encounter with the Spirit’s power speaks of a mighty wind, “The Breath of God” which formed the young Earth and, among other things, gave life to Adam’s human form.

In the Old Testament Book of Exodus we are treated to a magnificent display of God’s power in the form of a “Pillar of Cloud” by day and a “Pillar of Fire” by night, which was said to “never fail” leading the Israelites out of Egypt, protecting and nurturing the Holy Nation all the way to the Promised Land.

While this “Glory Cloud” figures most prominently and is most clearly and explicitly described during the forty-year period the Israelites spent “Moseying around” (my characterization) in the desert, it is by no means the only time God made use of this extraordinary, supernatural phenomenon to manifest His power and glory in our temporal existence.

Read the whole article (PDF file)

Chris Wallace Fox News video interview: Fr. Pavone vs Fr. McBrien at Notre Dame


Click here to watch the video

New Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Catholic, Hispanic, Female


Barack Obama, the ABORTION President appears to have deliberately chosen someone for the post who has precious little on file in terms of statements of personal position on key matters.

Let’s watch and see see what comes up!

Read the article

What about so-called “gay marriage”? Why is that wrong?


Q: What about so-called “gay marriage”? Why is that wrong?

A: First, with regards to individuals who have an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction to persons of the same sex, they, as with each and every human person, share the dignity of an individual for whom Jesus Christ the Son of God willingly laid down his life and died on the Cross.

Such individuals, our brothers and sisters who have a same sex attraction, “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter.”6

As with every other human person, people who have a same sex attraction are called to be saints and to share in the eternal beatitude with the Holy Trinity through the practice of virtue (necessarily including chastity) and a sacramental life of following Jesus Christ in and through His Church.

As with any temptation, the inclination to homosexual acts is not sinful. However, the Church has always declared homosexual acts themselves to be “‘intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”7 Thus, homosexual acts, are “sins gravely contrary to chastity,”8 and therefore, “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”9

In summary, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

This Catholic Q&A was furnished by Bishop Robert Morlino of the Madison, Wisconsin diocese.