China’s Catholic Moment

AUGSEP05 Cover w/barcode

For the most part, Chinese Christianity remains an unstable mixture of Christian and traditional elements. The ambiguity of Christian belief has its counterpart in instability on the ground. There have been reports recently, from provinces such as Hebei, of fights between villages in the name of religion. Neighboring villages who have joined different Christian or Buddhist sects have come to blows. Hebei is China’s heartland; it was the breeding ground for the Boxer Rebellion, an uprising by militant traditionalists who fought Western influences at the turn of the twentieth century. Keenly aware of the violent history of religion in China, Beijing wants to suppress the potential for clashes over religion.

That helps explain Beijing’s special interest in Catholicism as a potential unifying force. On the face of it, the loosely organized and geographically dispersed Protestant churches may seem less of a threat to party rule than does the international organization and unity of the Catholic Church. But the Catholic Church remains of far greater interest to the authorities than the amorphous and sometimes ephemeral denominations that comprise the “house churches.”

That is partly because China’s Catholics have shown no interest in politics, despite decades of repression: During the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, for example, Bishop Joseph Zen of Hong Kong ordered priests and congregants to keep out of the demonstrations. But the Communist party’s attitude has much to do as well with their worries about the unstable combination of traditional elements among the endlessly diverse Chinese Protestants.

Beijing views the Catholic Church as an unambiguously Western embodiment of Christianity, untainted by syncretic confusion and therefore indispensable to the Westernization of China. The Chinese government wants to deal with a Christian Church that preaches values compatible with modernization, preferably one that has a transparent and coherent organization. Although its public stance is positive toward Christianity in general, in practice the government’s efforts to develop relations with Christians have been concentrated on the Catholic Church. Chinese diplomacy has devoted a disproportionate amount of attention to the revival of relations between Beijing and the Vatican.

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All the Confusion Fit to Print

michael novak

There is no doubt that Barack Obama is the fruit of the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., come probably a generation before anyone believed it would happen — the Great Black Hope of the whole nation, called to redeem our nation’s primal sin, the enslavement of Africans. There is no doubt either that he is a politician of amazing talent, unparalleled in our history, since his main skill is with delivering words — to this point, only words. And he is a golden-tongued, a honey-tongued speaker, skillful as no one else in making everyone in his audience, even those on opposite sides of an issue, believe that he is siding with them. It takes unprecedented skills to decipher what Obama means to do. Slowly, we in America are learning.

What his actual record is based on — including the multitude of abortion proponents he has appointed to the most important and sensitive positions in national government — is an extreme reading of the abortion project. He says abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Yet he has never restricted, only expanded, the abortion license, at every single turn so far in his young life. You would think it might bother him that 37 percent of all those aborted in the U.S. since 1973 — some 13 million youngsters, perhaps some as talented as he — have been black. You might think that widening the circle of those Americans whose rights “to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are protected would be his No. 1 aim in the law. But you would not so far be able to produce a single bit of evidence that that is so, and an abundance of evidence, pressed down and running over, that it is not.

– Michael Novak

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The Catholic Church vs. Barack Obama the ABORTION President … which one holds an irrational position?


Barack Obama, the ABORTION President, recently stated that there could be no common ground between the Catholic Church and his administration on the issues of abortion and embryonic stem cell research; unless and/or until the Catholic Church recognizes that the majority of today’s Catholics … along with the Obama administration … are really on the correct side of things … and that the “institutional” Church is wrong.

The only way to correctly analyze the President’s statement is to do it step by step … “by the numbers”:


The Catholic Church explains that all life comes from God, that due to Christ’s humanity and Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, all human life is sacred, and subsequently, no one (especially government, which is supposed to be a servant and protector of the people, for the common good) has any right to take an innocent life.

This is nothing new, since the Catholic Church has been constantly preaching and teaching the identical message for some 2000 years … a message which … up until the last generation (40 years or so) … has been almost universally accepted … and has served the world extremely well … with the inalienable right to life as a foundational principle of modern Western civilization (not to mention the founding fathers of the United States of America, who thought it right and good to include the mundane term in the Declaration of Independence).

Any violation of this inalienable right to life by anyone, especially against a particular class of persons, is nothing less than blatant discrimination, and a denial of fundamental civil rights, but in the case of abortion … it is unparalleled, government assisted genocide on a scale so massive that is boggles the mind (with over 50 million “surgical” abortions, plus 4 or 5 times as many “silent” abortions due to the use of various artificial contraceptive devices and pills, over a 40 year period.

The “silent” abortions include (among other things) the use of IUD’s which serve to destroy human embryos as they enter the uterus, and the abortifacient action of the birth control pill, which often permits a human embryo to be conceived, only to have it subsequently “starve” to death in a uterus whose lining has been virtually destroyed by the hormones that were used in formulating the contraceptive.

So … many of today’s couples often unknowingly sacrifice the lives of their children for the sake of convenience, while others, when the contraceptives fail, accomplish much the same thing, but at substantially greater personal and financial expense, at local, marginal,  (often government subsidized) abortion facilities.

It should also be noted that oral/patch/similar types of contraceptives as well as induced abortions pose serious health risks to women; blood clots (leading to a quick death) and hemorrhages, (a bit slower, but often just as deadly) respectively.

Furthermore, some 35 years of experience demonstrates that the level of care provided at abortion facilities varies widely, tending to favor the very lowest end of the quality scale, that abortion providers often play “fast and loose” with both medical ethics and the law, and that critical care for the victims of botched abortions is often far away, minimally available, and often too little and too late, since reputable hospitals usually refuse to perform abortions on their premises.

Based on all of this, as well as the basic fact that killing defenseless babies while still inside their own mothers, is a ghastly, monstrous, and wholly inhuman act … with few other parallels in human history … the Catholic Church proclaims that abortion is intrinsically evil in every case, and that absolutely no right to abortion exists … nor can any government legally grant such a right … since the government would then be committing a crime against humanity,  acting contrary to at least 1500 yeas of settled (international) law, and acting directly against the common good (as well as the natural law).

Barack Obama, the Supreme Court, and Abortion Advocates look at things somewhat differently.

In spite of the definitive medical science, which clearly documents that human life begins at conception (the moment the egg cell and the sperm cell unite) abortion advocates insist that it is possible to ignore the realities and redefine the facts, purely for political expediency.

They claim that which is the product of human procreation, which has its’ own unique human DNA, heart beat, brain waves, blood type, and body parts … and which is often able to survive and even thrive outside the womb … and which in every single case, since the beginning of time … has always emerged as human … is not a human being at all … but merely an “undifferentiated blob of cells”.

Barack Obama … the ABORTION President … is on record as claiming that defining  issues of this type are “above his pay grade”.

The U.S. Supreme Court also finds itself completely unable to deal with the question of when life begins, and whether the “fetus” (a Latin term meaning “little child”) is actually human.

One might think that after some 35 years, at least 5 of the 9 justices might have been able to get together and satisfactorily work this out, especially since any supposed “right to abortion” stems solely from the Supreme Court’s inability or unwillingness to define this most essential issue. To make things worse, Congress also seems to be incapable of agreement on the matter.

Most regular folks don’t seem to have that problem.

You probably know that for some time now, we’ve had little robotic machines scouring the planet Mars for signs of life.

I submit that if any evidence resembling a human embryo was discovered on the red planet, that newspaper headlines all around this planet would proclaim nothing less than “Human Life Discovered on Mars”.

It’s about time that our politicians and judges recognized and acknowledged the simple fact that babies in the womb are human, have always been human, and always will be human, and that basic human justice and charity obligates us to protect that innocent human life from all harm, to the best of our ability … NOT kill it.

Neither should we permit women to be routinely abused and traumatized at the hands of abortionists … or anyone else.

Now I ask you: Which position is irrational … that of the Catholic Church … or that of President Barack Obama and the Abortion Advocates?

Humor from Nancy


An Ukrainian immigrant goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license. He has to take an eye test. The clerk shows  him a card with the letters: 
C Z W I X N O S T A C Z 
“Can you read this?” the clerk asks.
“Read it?” the Ukrainian replies, “I know  the guy.”
Submitted by Nancy W.

More “Fallout” from Christopher West’s ABC TV Interview


by David L. Schindler
Provost/Dean and Gagnon Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family

Regarding his interview on Nightline, Christopher West says that his remarks were taken out of context. In some sense, this is surely true. However, the comments as aired are the latest in a long list of statements and actions not inconsistent with the context set by the Nightline editors.

Though occasioned by West’s Nightline appearance, the present statement addresses his theology as a whole.

Let me stress that I agree with those who vigorously defend West’s intention of fidelity to the Church. Certainly he has had positive results in drawing many Catholics into a deeper understanding of their faith. As for myself, I do not initiate anything about West in my classes, but only respond when asked a question. Then I begin by emphasizing West’s intention of orthodoxy. As I have often put it, “he would throw himself in front of a bus for the Church.” It is important to understand, however, that good will is not synonymous with sound thought; and I must say, not without reluctance, that West’s work seems to me to misrepresent in significant ways the thought of John Paul II.

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Newt Gingrich Opens Up on Catholic Conversion


Dan Gilgoff, God & Country, U.S. News & World Report

Former House speaker and Republican überstrategist Newt Gingrich is off to Europe next week to shoot a documentary on Pope John Paul II’s 1979 trip to Poland and how it helped to lay the groundwork for bringing down the Soviet Union. The film, Nine Days That Changed the World, is slated for release this fall.

The trip will take Gingrich and his wife, Callista, to Poland and to Rome for the first time since he converted to Roman Catholicism in March.

I caught up with Gingrich this morning and asked if he expected this trip to be different from previous visits to Rome. He gave a long answer that had him opening up about the reasons for his conversion to an extent he hasn’t done publicly before: 

I don’t know that it’s much different. That’s part of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and Callista] went to St. Peter’s together. It’s St. Peter’s. I mean, you stand there and you think, this is where St. Peter was crucified. This is where Paul preached. You think to yourself, two thousand years ago the apostles set out to create a worldwide movement by witnessing to the historic truth they had experienced. And there it is. The last time we were there we were allowed to walk in the papal gardens and you get this sense that is almost mystical.

The moment that finally convinced me [to convert] was when Benedict XVI came here [to the United States] and Callista in the church choir sang for him at the vespers service and all the bishops in the country were there. As a spouse, I got to sit in the upper church and I very briefly saw [Benedict] and I was just struck with how happy he was and how fundamentally different he was from the news media’s portrait of him. This guy’s not a Rottweiler. He’s a very loving, engaged, happy person.  I’d first seen Pope John Paul II when he came to the U.S. when Carter was president and I was a freshman congressman. And I [later]   met   him as Speaker.

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Why does the Catholic Church teach that only men may be admitted to Priestly Ordination?


Q: Why does the Church teach that only men may be admitted to Priestly Ordination?

A: Jesus Christ asked his detractors, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”(Mt. 9:15). With this subtlety, Our Lord indicates to his first century Jewish listeners his own identity as God, the Old Testament divine Bridegroom of Israel.

He is the Bridegroom who remains faithful, even when the Bride betrays his love (cf. Hos 1-3; Jer 2). This Old Testament prefigurement is fulfilled in the New Covenant where the Son of God takes on human flesh and draws to himself His Bride, the Church (Jn 3:29), purifying her that she may be without blemish (Eph 5: 25-27) through the water (of baptism) and the blood (of the Eucharist) flowing from his pierced side. As Eve was born from the side of Adam, so too is the Church, the Bride of Christ, born from the side of Jesus, the “new Adam” (cf. 1Co 15: 22, 45; Ro 5:14).1

With such symbolism throughout divine revelation, the Holy Spirit reveals the unfathomable mystery of God’s active and complete (nuptial) love for humanity.

Unlike most other societal roles, by the design of God, symbol is more important than function in the sacred liturgy. It thus makes sense that Jesus Christ would choose only men to be his apostles to symbolically (that is, sacramentally) re-present Him “in persona Christi,” the divine Bridegroom of His Bride the Church in sacred liturgy, and the apostles would, in turn, choose only men to be their successors, the bishops.

This in no way undermines the absolute equal personal dignity of men and women (Gaudium et spes, 29), for diversity of mission in no way compromises equal personal dignity (1 Cor 12-13).

Due to these reasons, and more, the Church recognizes herself bound by the action of the Lord Himself in calling only men to the college of Apostles. This practice was also continued by the Apostles in choosing their successors, the bishops, and continues to this day (CCC, 1577).

1 Also see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 796.

2 For a thorough analysis of this question, see: Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Inter Insigniores, 1976; and John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994.

With this understanding very clearly in mind, Pope John Paul II concludes his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis with the following: “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed … I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

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

Ascension Thursday is significant for everyone … Christian or not!


On Ascension Thursday, God once and for all time elevated humanity to heavenly status in the person of the already glorified and resurrected Jesus Christ.

Jesus quite rightly took his (by now, well used) human body with him to Heaven, since at his conception in the blessed womb of the Virgin Mary, it had become a permanent  and eternal part of his divine person-hood … along with his godly spirit and his human soul.

And lest we forget, that same Christ remains truly present in the Holy Eucharist in a corporal (substantial) way … so when we receive Holy Communion, we become one with he who is already eternally exaulted at the right hand of his heavenly Father … and we also receive a renewal of  Christ’s promise that we too might share a similar destiny, should we choose to remain faithful to Jesus, our Savior … who is the only one with the power that’s necessary for us to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Also of some comfort is the fact that the one who will judge each of us on the Last Day … will also be one of us … in every good way.

It’s worth noting that while Jesus took his human body up to Heaven with him, he deliberately left his Catholic Church behind on the Earth, for the purpose of our salvation … to baptize in the the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit … to preach and teach the authentic Gospel to all the world … and to be the universal sacrament of salvation for all … until he comes again.

Until that great day, when our human bodies will be fully restored and finally transformed into glory … just like Jesus’ … let’s remember that all human life is sacred … because Jesus personally made it so … when he took on human flesh, suffered, and then died, in order to redeem us.

For that particular reason (and many more) we ALL belong to Jesus … whether we happen to be Christian … or not!

Acts 1:4-12 And eating together with them, he commanded them, that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard (saith he) by my mouth. For John indeed baptized with water: but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence. They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? But he said to them: It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nigh Jerusalem, within a sabbath day’s journey.

The ABORTION President’s speech proves that life issues are still above his pay grade. Honorary degree should be revoked.


“If my daughters make a mistake,
I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

Barack Obama – the ABORTION President

Two Men Still in Jail from Notre Dame ‘Pray-Ins’. “Jane Roe” also arrested.


Pro-lifers called upon to write these heroes, and to contact Fr. Jenkins, asking for their release.

Contact: Kathy Veritas, 904-687-9804; 

SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 19 /Christian Newswire/ — While Obama addressed Notre Dame’s commencement, urging pro-lifers to surrender the rhetoric and actions of political and cultural conflict, over 40 brave souls were in jail or police custody for walking on campus and praying. Thos arrested were holding an image of Mary, or an image of an unborn child.

Two of those arrested are still in jail; Arnold Matheson, age 82, of  Poughkeepsie  NY; and Robert Buchta, age 56  of Center Reach, Long Island. (Jail addresses below.)

Among those arrested was Miss Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, and Fr. Norman Weslin, the Founder of Lambs of Christ.

Miss McCorvey stated:

“I have never been arrested at a pro-life event, but I knew in my heart that God wanted me to bear witness against what was happening at Notre Dame. My request to Mr. Obama is this: stop the killing; overturn Roe vs. Wade.”

The irony of Ms. McCorvey’s and the other pro-lifers arrests will be a part of the discussion for years to come; Catholics and Evangelicals were behind bars for defending Life and Justice; while President Obama was honored even though he betrays justice and slays the innocent through his national and international policies.

As of 5:00 PM, May 19, everyone has been bailed out except for two courageous prisoners of conscience. As stated, they are: Arnold Matheson, age 82, of  Poughkeepsie  NY; and Robert Buchta, age 56  of Center Reach, Long Island.

Mr. Matheson and Mr. Buchta, have decided to stay in jail rather than post bail as a further witness for the innocent, and a witness against Notre Dame’s betrayal of Church teaching and the innocent babies they are charged to defend.

They will remain in custody at least until their hearing on June 8th…nearly three weeks from now.

Christians are asked for three things:

1) Please pray for Mr. Matheson and Mr. Buchta. Pray for their safety, and that their witness would reach Pope Benedict, and millions of the faithful around the world.

2) Please call Fr. Jenkins’ office, and politely ask that the charges against these brave men be dismissed. It is an OUTRAGE and a SCANDAL that these men are behind bars at the behest of Notre Dame.

The Main switchboard is: 574-631-5000

Fr. Jenkins office phone number is: 574-631-3903

3) Please write these brave men a note of encouragement. Let them know that they are heroes, that you are praying for them, and that you have called Fr. Jenkins to ask that the charges against them be dropped.

Write to:

Arnold Matheson

C/o St. Joseph County Jail

401 W. Sample St.
South Bend, IN 46601

Robert Buchta

C/o St. Joseph County Jail

401 W. Sample St.
South Bend, IN 46601

Go to to be kept updated on the status of these two prisoners of conscience, and the next steps for action in this battle.

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One family’s account of last weekend’s Notre Dame protest


Click here for the whole story on the Dixi Pro Life Blog

How to explain the picture of aborted fetuses on the side of the vans to my 3 and 5 year olds?


Q: How to explain the picture of aborted fetuses on the side of the vans to my 3 and 5 year olds?

A: Tell the children that Barack Obama – the ABORTION President – says it’s perfectly OK to kill little babies … before they’ve been born … and afterwards, too.

Even a little child instinctively knows and understands intrinsic evil, when he sees it!

Obama’s Notre Dame speech tried to redefine U.S. Catholicism, George Weigel charges


Weigel, writing in a Monday essay for National Review Online, said it was “surprising” and “disturbing” that President Obama decided to “insert himself” into “the ongoing Catholic debate over the boundaries of Catholic identity and the applicability of settled Catholic convention in the public square.” He said President Obama tried to settle “the decades-long intra-Catholic culture war” in favor of one faction: “the faction that had supported his candidacy and that had spent the first months of his administration defending his policies.”

In an exclusive comment to CNA, Weigel compared the effort to the historical phenomenon of “Gallicanism,” the French bishops’ past efforts to establish a church generally independent of papal authority.

“This is a very serious business, with the president of the United States putting himself in charge of the Gallican wing of the Catholic Church in the United States — the difference being that this new Gallicanism isn’t local bishops vs. Rome but intellectuals and their institutions and magazines vs. local bishops and Rome,” Weigel told CNA.

Weigel said that the “politically savvy” White House and its allies among Catholic progressive intellectuals may have intended to secure Obama’s political advantage among Catholic voters with his appearance at Notre Dame.

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Dan Brown’s America

Op-Ed Columnist

Dan Brown’s America


Published: May 18, 2009
The movie treatment of his novel, “Angels and Demons,” is cleaning up at the box office this week. The sequel to “The DaVinci Code,” due out in November, might buoy the publishing industry through the recession. And if you want to understand the state of American religion, you need to understand why so many people love Dan Brown.
 It isn’t just that he knows how to keep the pages turning. That’s what it takes to sell a million novels. But if you want to sell a 100 million, you need to preach as well as entertain — to present a fiction that can be read as fact, and that promises to unlock the secrets of history, the universe and God along the way.

Brown is explicit about this mission. He isn’t a serious novelist, but he’s a deadly serious writer: His thrilling plots, he’s said, are there to make the books’ didacticism go down easy, so that readers don’t realize till the end “how much they are learning along the way.” He’s working in the same genre as Harlan Coben and James Patterson, but his real competitors are ideologues like Ayn Rand, and spiritual gurus like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. He’s writing thrillers, but he’s selling a theology.

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Americans for Life to hold downtown Chicago rally and March for Life, May 22


 Please join us at the May 22, 2009 March for Life

11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in downtown Chicago

Sponsored by WYLL Radio AM1160 and WIND AM560

Notre Dame was just a warm up! Join Chicago’s Pro-Life community in demonstating on behalf of the unborn. Your participation makes a statement to the entire world that the abortions and child killing have to stop! It was President Obama himself who led the fight against the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act in the Illinois Senate, a bill that simply would have given medical treatment to babies born ALIVE after failed abortions! Your voice was heard in Notre Dame. Let it be heard on the streets of Chicago on Friday, May 22.

For more information about participation, please contact Dick Walsh at 630-312-0081.

For information on co-sponsorship opportunities, please contact Bea Sutkus at WYLL at 708 256 2851 or by email at




(Driver directions will be provided at drop off)


11:30 am to 12:15 pm Rally at the State of Illinois Building 100 West Randolph Street

(between LaSalle and Clark Sts.)

Speakers: Dick Walsh, Chairman, Americans For Life

Sandy Rios, Radio Host from WYLL

Mary Anne Hackett, Illinois Right to Life Committee

Dave Smith, Illinois Family Institute

Jim Finnegan, License Plates For Life

12:15 p.m. to 1:00 pm March For Life from the State of Illinois Building to the Federal Building Plaza

1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Rally in the Plaza north of the Federal Building at 50 West Adams


Opening Prayer: Joe Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League

Jill Stanek, Born Alive Infant Protection Act

… and religious leaders for pro-life causes

Click here for more info and flyer

Denver Archbishop has stern words for Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins

.- In a strong statement released today, the Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, blamed Fr. John Jenkins C.S.C and the University of Notre Dame for betraying the true, original goal of Catholic higher education, not only by conferring a degree on President Barack Obama despite his anti-life record, but for attempting a disingenuous justification for the invitation during his commencement speech on Sunday.

Quoting Fr. Jenkins when he said that “I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world;” Archbishop Chaput says that “most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time.”

“Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability. This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.”

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Pro Life Action League’s Message at Notre Dame: “Obama = Abortion”


League’s Message at Notre Dame: “Obama = Abortion”

The Pro-Life Action League rallied hundreds of faithful pro-lifers from the Chicago area to join in a massive protest of President Barack Obama’s commencement address at the University of Notre Dame on May 17. Four full bus-loads—well over 200 volunteers—were joined by hundreds of others who drove on their own, as well as three busses of volunteers from Citizens for a Pro-Life Society in Michigan.

Together, these hundreds of pro-lifers sent a clear message to both the University of Notre Dame and President Obama (the ABORTION President) that abortion is an abominable betrayal of both the Catholic principle of the sanctity of life and the American principle of an inalienable right to life.

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My Day at Notre Dame – by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life


May 18, 2009

Dear Friends,

Sunday was a great day for Priests for Life at Notre Dame. At the same time that the President spoke and was honored by the University, I was speaking to and honoring the seniors who refused to attend their commencement ceremony, and instead invited me to lead them in the “Class of 2009 Vigil for Life.”

My reflections on the day are below, and we are preparing audio and video clips to post on our website.

The students are asking that you continue praying rosaries of reparation. You can show solidarity with these students by signing up for your prayer pledge at

Also, did you hear about the Gallup poll showing more Americans than ever (and more than half) saying they are pro-life? See more details at The ongoing daily prayer campaign that many of you carry out with us is part of the reason for this. Prayer really does work! Please keep it up, and thanks for all your support of Priests for Life.

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

My Day at Notre Dame

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

There was an eerie stillness and silence across the Notre Dame campus as my colleagues, a few of the seniors and I walked across the campus very early on the morning of Commencement Day. It was the calm before the storm of what we knew was an historic day.

I started with a national Foxnews interview along with Fr. Richard McBrien. We were asked our views of the Commencement. My message was: Everyone can imagine people they would protest speaking at a commencement: an avowed racist, anti-Semite, or advocate of terrorism. So the failure to object to one who is unwilling to call for an end to abortion is the failure to see that abortion is as bad or worse than those other evils. We have to stop trivializing abortion.

Moreover, the university gave the President an honorary law degree. Law exists to protect human rights; but this president has admitted that he doesn’t know when a child receives human rights. How can he defend human rights when he doesn’t know who has them?

After speaking to various media, I greeted people on campus who were coming from all over the country to stand with the courageous students who boycotted their own commencement and invited me to lead them in an alternate ceremony.

After I greeted and blessed the demonstrators who were at the campus entrance, and concelebrated a special Mass for Life, I led the Class of 2009 Vigil for Life. We meditated on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, on the victory of life over death, and on the fact that Jesus is King over every nation, over the courts, the Congress, and the White House. As I gave the students and their families reflections on these truths, the current occupant of the White House was calling the graduates to have “open minds, open hearts” and a spirit of dialogue.

Now dialogue with our opponents on this issue is something we at Priests for Life specialize in. I maintain friendships with abortion advocates and practicing abortionists. The clarity of our own convictions never means we despise, demonize, or shut out other people. And yes, we are willing to collaborate with others in morally legitimate ways to reduce the numbers of abortions.

But the President’s remarks had a glaring omission. While willing to dialogue and to promote adoption, he gave no indication of any willingness to protect the children in the womb. And that’s the crux of the issue. In his remarks, he referred to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation. Certainly, his call for open minds does not include openness to reconsider the segregation issue. There’s a right answer to it, period.

So it is with the protection of the unborn. And as quiet again descended on campus at the end of the day, I reflected… Open minds, yes, but for the purpose of eventually firmly closing upon the truth! And isn’t that supposed to be the purpose of Catholic universities? 

Fr. Frank’s columns are podcast, see

“Shame On Notre Dame” protester singled out for arrest as pro Notre Dame demonstrators get a free pass


Approximately 100 people ended up milling around in the same area as my friends, some much closer to the street within the forbidden 50 foot zone. But the only individual singled out for arrest FOR TRESPASSING was a woman holding a sign that said, “Shame on Notre Dame!” Those bearing signs of approval were unmolested. If this isn’t a first amendment violation and a case of false arrest I don’t know what is.

The Department of Homeland Security may have pulled their “right-wing extremist” report, but it’s clear that pro-lifers are in the sites of law enforcement who will use any pretext to shut them up and make sure the abortion president won’t be embarrassed by their signs. The deputies in this case acted like little brownshirts I’m sad to say. (My brother is a retired police officer and one of my heroes. It pains me when I have to criticize law enforcement officers who abuse their authority.)

I hope when you read this you’re as angry as I am and will call the jail and protest the false arrest of my friend Karen Torres. The number at the South Bend jail is 574-245-6518. Ask them why they didn’t arrest any of the other 50-100 people in the same area who were obviously trespassing as well if my friend was. If you call, please be polite, but express your concern that Karen’s was singled out, a clear violation of her right to free speech.

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Transcript: Fathers McBrien and Pavone on Fox News Sunday

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The following is a rush transcript of the May 17, 2009, edition of “FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace.” This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: Joining us now, two members of the church with sharply different views. Father Richard McBrien, a professor of theology at Notre Dame, supports the decision to honor the president. Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, has been leading protests against Mr. Obama.

Gentlemen, as we said, Notre Dame has a long history of inviting presidents to speak there. Back in 2001, George W. Bush, the new president, spoke. And of course, as governor of Texas, that state had conducted 152 executions, which the church condemns.

Father Pavone, can’t Notre Dame invite a president of the United States to speak without signing on to all of his policies?

FATHER FRANK PAVONE: We’re not here disagreeing with the president because he contradicts Catholic teaching or what it means to be Catholic. The problem is he contradicts what it means to be president.

This is about abortion. And in 2008 there were 37 executions. Just today there will be 37 babies at 21 weeks of gestation or more — the size of a large banana — dismembered, crushed, thrown in the garbage. And the president is not raising his voice, recognizing their right to be protected. That’s the problem.

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