Graphically View 5000 Years of European/Middle Eastern History in 90 Seconds

Visit the site

Catholic Health Association Backs Phony Casey Abortion Funding Compromise

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Health Association is backing the phony compromise on abortion funding in the Senate health care bill released by Sen. Bob Casey and rejected by Sen. Ben Nelson and pro-life groups. The group released a statement yesterday that is sure to raise the eyebrows of pro-life Catholics.

The compromise from Casey is an attempt to get Nelson on board with the pro-abortion health care bill that contains massive abortion funding.

Sr. Carol Keehan, the president of the CHA said that, although she hasn’t seen the text of the Casey proposal, “we are encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline Senator Casey is developing.”

Keehan claimed that “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table, we are increasingly confident that Senator Casey’s language can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”

“It is our understanding that the language now being written would prohibit federal funding of abortion,” Keehan said.

But that’s not at all the case, according to those who have seen the language and provided their analysis.

Nelson himself said yesterday that the language “isn’t sufficient” and “the basic question on funding for abortion hasn’t been answered yet.”

Also, National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said the language is “unacceptable” and called it a “far cry from the Stupak Amendment” because it “would break from the long-established principles of the Hyde Amendment by providing federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion on demand.”

Other pro-life groups including the Family Research Council and Nebraska Right to Life confirmed the Casey language did not “prohibit federal funding of abortion,” as Keehan maintained.

Also, in an interview on Wednesday, Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that the bishops appreciated the goals of some of Casey’s proposal, but that they did not actually stop taxpayer funding of abortion. As a result, the USCCB could not sign off on it with their support.

Read more

Pro-Life Activist Lila Rose Attacked by Planned Parenthood Abortion Center Escort

Rose tells LifeNews.com she was visiting the abortion center with a group of about 20 students and three adults to pray and provide information to women who might be open to abortion alternatives.

According to a police report filed at the scene and numerous witnesses, a uniformed Planned Parenthood escort engaged in a short exchange with Rose and eventually struck her on the hand, knocking her literature to the ground.

“Sir, are you familiar with the abortion procedure?” Rose asked the Planned Parenthood escort while standing on the public sidewalk.

The escort approached Rose from the Planned Parenthood parking lot and said, “You idiot. You’ve caused so much trouble. You piece of crap.”

Rose told LifeNews.com today: “The man appeared to recognize me though I had never met him. He knew who I was and I think that is part of the reason for his surprising anger and the attack.”

Rose offered to show the escort a picture of a baby victimized by abortion, saying, “Can I show you a picture of what it really does to a baby?”

At this point, the escort struck Rose’s hand knocking her pro-life pamphlets and Bible to the ground and Rose stepped further back on the public sidewalk.

The Planned Parenthood official moved closer to Rose and, visibly shaking, says, “It’s a woman’s choice!”

“What about the baby’s choice?” Rose responds.

The Planned Parenthood escort replied, “It’s not a baby!” and then turned around and walked away.

Read more

Father Z, St. Augustine, and the Mystery of the Incarnation

“He is the One through whom all things have been made and, on Christmas, Who has been made in the midst of all things. He is the Revealer of His Father and the Creator of His mother, the Son of God through His Father without a mother and the Son of Man through His mother without a father. He is great in the eternal day of the angels but small in the time-conditioned day of men. He is the Word of God before all time and the Word made Flesh in the fullness of time. Maker of the sun, He is made under the sun. Disposer of all ages in the bosom of His Father, He consecrates Christmas Day in the womb of His mother. In Him He remains while from her He goes forth. Creator of the heavens and the earth, He is born on earth under the heavens. Unspeakably wise, He is wisely speechless (Ineffabiliter sapiens, sapienter infans). Filling the universe, He lies in a manger. Ruler of the stars, He nurses at His mother’s bosom. He is both great in the nature of God and small in the form of a servant, but His greatness is not diminished by His smallness nor His smallness overwhelmed by His greatness.”

Read more

Some swine in Auckland, New Zealand have decided to grab some cheap publicity by desecrating the Mother of God and St. Joseph at Christmas time

To help set the record straight:

“No Heavenly gift is given to men which does not pass through her virginal hands. Such indeed is the will of God … Such are the views of the Church and the early Fathers.” – St. Louis de Montfort

What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ. – Catechism of the Catholic Church (487)

(Located in the Church of St Stanislaus Kostka in Chicago, the Iconic Monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy is thought to be the largest monstrance in the world. The entire Icon sits nine feet high. The host is 1-foot in diameter.)

View a short slide show of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy

Read more

Watch a beautiful, inspirational video

Pray:

Act of Reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God’s handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. O Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins.

Amen.

Thanks to Donald R. McClarey at American Catholic for his post on this.

Secularism is naturally coercive

…coercive secularism is flexing its muscles in the United States. America’s churches have generally responded in two different ways: surrender (mainstream Protestantism) and resistance (evangelicals and other conservative groups). American Catholicism, internally divided during the last several decades, has waffled.

Four stages have marked the progress of the secular assault on Catholicism in this time. In the first two, Catholics themselves were the active parties in the undermining of their Church’s public posture; in the second two, aggressive secularism has directly taken advantage of self-inflicted Catholic weakness.

Read more

Matt C. Abbott’s column: ‘The effects of divorce on children’ by Barbara Meng

A little boy who had become very troublesome finally admitted to his teacher that his parents were divorcing and told her it was his fault. He then added, “I asked my mother if she still loved dad. She said she did. I asked my dad, and he said he still loved her, so I knew it had to be my fault.” This is not uncommon.

Until 1969 the permanence of marriage was supported not only by the Church, which has consistently forbidden divorce and remarriage, but also by legal and cultural mores. It was only after 1969, when so-called “no-fault divorce” was legalized in California (and spread rapidly to other states) that a seismic revolution was unleashed.

The no-fault divorce laws, written and backed by feminists and other supporters of the feminist revolution, were touted as a way to finally free women from having to stay in unhappy marriages. Prior to this they could divorce only upon proof of adultery, cruelty, or incompatibility. Men, too, rejoiced in the hope of easy divorce without lawyers’ fees.

A number of assumptions were made: 1) If parents are happier, then the children will be happier; 2) it would be much better for children to grow up in an environment free from bickering, etc.; 3) even if children are distressed by the divorce, they’re resilient and will soon recover.

In 1971, Judith Wallerstein began a longitudinal study on the effects of divorce on children. It’s the only study in the world that follows from childhood into full adulthood the lives of numerous individuals whose parents divorced. Her first book looked at people’s lives ten years after their parents’ divorces. She published additional findings every five years thereafter for twenty-five years after the divorces. Her findings were startling. She stated that our society has made “unwarranted assumptions” about how children cope with their parents’ divorce. They have done this, she suggests, because of their own desires. And these false notions underlie our policies on divorce today (Wallerstein, Lewis & Blakeslee, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, Hyperion, 2000. Henceforth WLB).

Read more

“Maybe it is not brutal. But in all other respects, what it (the Copenhagen conference) proposes is far too close to Communism for comfort.”

Today the gloves came off and the true purpose of the “global warming” scare became nakedly visible. Ugo Chavez, the Socialist president of Venezuela, blamed “global warming” on capitalism – and received a standing ovation from very nearly all of the delegates, lamentably including those from those of the capitalist nations of the West that are on the far Left – and that means too many of them.

Previously Robert Mugabe, dictator of Rhodesia, who had refused to leave office when he had been soundly defeated in a recent election, had also won plaudits at the conference for saying that the West ought to pay him plenty of money in reparation of our supposed “climate debt”.

Inside the conference center, “world leader” after “world leader” got up and postured about the need to Save The Planet, the imperative to do a deal, the necessity to save the small island nations from drowning, etc., etc., etc.

Outside, in the real world, it was snowing, and a foretaste of the Brave New World being cooked up by “world leaders” in their fantasy-land was already evident. Some 20,000 observers from non-governmental organizations – nearly all of them true-believing Green groups funded by taxpayers – had been accredited to the conference.

However, without warning the UN had capriciously decided that all but 300 of them were to be excluded from the conference today, and all but 90 would be excluded on the final day.

Read the article

Mixed signals on health care reform from Catholic hospitals/lobbyists

The following comes from an article sent out on December 15 on CatholicWorld Report.com by Anne Hendershott, formerly sociology professor at the Universtiy of San Diego.

The battle over health care reform promises to be the most expensive one ever waged in Congress, as armies of lobbyists advance on Washington to demand that new legislation reflect their interests. Recognizing the high stakes involved, hospitals, drug companies, unions, and a host of health care providers ranging from medical device makers to Planned Parenthood have spent nearly $400 million on lobbying. All have a vested interest in “fixing” health care to their advantage.

One of the most visible activists involved in shaping health care reform is Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), an advocacy organization that represents the interests of Catholic hospitals and large Catholic health care organizations throughout the country. Catholic hospitals and health care facilities pay dues to the CHA, whose stated mission is “to promote the Catholic Church’s ministry in health care and to respond to the members’ need to practice quality health care in the communities where they serve.”

In an attempt to fulfill this mission, Sr. Keehan has been out on the front lines advocating for health care reform from the earliest days of the Obama administration. On what side of the debate Sr. Keehan’s CHA falls, however, has been unclear and a source of concern given that all reform proposals before November permitted an expansion of abortion rights.

Read more

Friends, we may all be in big, big trouble!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

THOUSANDS GATHER IN FRENZIED CROWDS AS MARY SAID TO APPEAR AGAIN IN CAIRO, EGYPT

Videos on YouTube indicate that unusual lights are again appearing on a Coptic Orthodox church in the Cairo metropolitan area, this time in a neighborhood known as Warraq.

There are no details as yet as to when the phenomena began, but according to blog reports crowds began forming on December 9 -- a day after the Immaculate Conception feast -- and thousands are now gathering each night, chanting, singing Arabic-style Christian songs, and loudly exclaiming as forms or flashes of light materialize.

The forms of light are vague as taken with what appear to be cell phones and presented on internet videos but like apparitions that occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s at other Orthodox churches in Cairo seem to show a bright light in the form of Mary moving amid the domes or over an entrance near an illuminated Cross as a frenzied crowd and beeping taxi horns form an audio backdrop.

One video is available here (or in a longer version here).

Read more

And more

Submitted by Bob Stanley

“You have more than enough to do to correct the propensity of man to sin without getting into the fringes of economic policy.”

It is revelatory that very little is generated by the mitered ones on something they have great responsibility for: the safeguarding of morals in the priesthood and the training of young people in Catholic schools on the articles of the faith.

Read more at TomRoeser.com

The Catholic Church does not participate in a congregational ecclesiology

A theological concept officially explained by Pope Benedict XVI in the recently released Motu Proprio “Omnium in Mentem“:

The Catholic Church does not participate in a congregational ecclesiology.

We are Catholic by virtue of our participation in the Sacraments … particularly  Baptism … and not due to our acceptance or rejection of any dogma or doctrine. (As baptized Catholics, we are “bound” by the laws of the Church, and required to accept and believe all that the Catholic Church authoritatively teaches … whether we like it, or not.)

Editor’s note: This Pope is one of the greatest catechists of all time!

Pope Benedict XVI on the distinction between priests and deacons, more…

“The Motu Proprio clarifies that priests and bishops participate in the headship of Christ ‘in persona Christi,’ whereas deacons serve the Church, the people of God, through the ministry, services, or ‘diaconias’ of liturgy, word, and charity.” Thus, Flynn said, the document emphasizes that there is a “clear distinction between the diaconate and the presbyterate.”

“The distinction is between the deacon who acts “in imago Dei” and the priest who acts ‘in persona Christi,’” Flynn explained.

What this means in layman’s terms is that “we see the diaconate as a unique ministry unto itself and not simply a step along the way to the priesthood,” he added.

Read the article

The Secret of the Poor Souls in Purgatory


Maria Simma claimed to possess a remarkable charism … the ability to communicate with the poor souls in Purgatory.

Today, very little is taught in regular catechism classes about Purgatory, about the suffering that the Poor Souls experience in order to be completely purified to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet Purgatory does exist, and the sufferings that the Poor Souls experience there are very real.

Since 1940 (she was then aged 25), a privileged soul, named Maria Simma, has had regular visits from the souls in Purgatory to explain their sufferings and to ask for prayers and Masses to be released from Purgatory. Her local Bishop and parish priest told her she could make known these visitations as long as there were no theological errors.

One day, Sister Emmanuel Maillard, a French nun known for her apostolate in favor of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje, came across Maria Simma’s book, called The Souls in Purgatory told Me… and read it with great interest: “This book struck me so much because it related very recent testimonies, and also explained very well the Church’s doctrine on the subject… Straight away, I wrote to the editor who told me that Maria Simma is still alive. Quickly, I contacted her, and she agreed to meet me to answer my questions, which were many!”

This interview took place in 1997 at Maria’s house in Sonntag, a very lovely village in the Vorarlberg Mountains in Austria. The following are excerpts from this interview of Sister Emmanuel of Medjugorje with Maria Simma, taken from a booklet entitled: The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory, published by Queenship Publishing Co.

See the interview

 

Name Two Things Dominos Pizza and the Catholic Church Have in Common

1) Tom Monahan (a leading U.S. Catholic … of Dominos and Ave Maria fame).

2) A risky strategy of drastically altering a hugely successful offering (Dominos totally new pizza recipe … and the 2nd Vatican Council).

Domino’s Pizza announced today that it is changing its pizza recipe in just about every possible way. “We’re basically relaunching Domino’s Pizza,” said Russell Weiner, the head of marketing for Domino’s. The move by Domino’s comes on the heels of similar announcements made by General Mills and Campbell, saying that they’ll be altering some of their iconic products. Why are these companies tinkering with what’s proven to be successful for them?

Read the article

Joliet Diocese Women’s Cursillo Coming Up: February 4-7

Catholic Ladies,

Consider this your personal invitation to experience the next Women’s Cursillo Weekend (February 4-7 at the St. Charles  Borromeo Pastoral Center, Romeoville, IL).

Cursillo is a one-time event in the life of every Catholic … male or female … lay person, priest, or bishop.

All have “made” their own personal Cursillo in the very same way, so you’ll be in very good company.

Cursillo brings forth the joy of God’s inestimable love in a beautiful way that you may have never before experienced.

The Cursillo begins on Thursday evening and extends through early Sunday evening. 3 Days and nights of extraordinary grace, food, fellowship and fun, followed by a lifetime (the 4th Day) as an essential participant in one of the most significant Catholic “movements” of our time. You can also bring your friends.

Bishop Sartain is an active “Cursillista” and many of your fellow parishioners are too. You would probably be amazed at how many Catholics, all around the world, have already “made” their Cursillo … and having done so, changed their lives, forever.

No kidding. This is absolutely true. Ask around.

Like most people, you are probably thinking that Thursday through Sunday constitutes some pretty “heavy” spiritual “lifting” … and that you may not be cut out for that sort of thing.

I can tell you from experience that you would be quite right on the first count … and very wrong on the second.

You may also think that it would be impossible to get away for three days and nights, or that the $225 cost is not affordable … but neither of these constitutes a real obstacle, since lack of funds has never prevented anyone from attending a Cursillo … and since God has a particular “way” of exquisitely working out matters of timing.

All of the details will be handled for you. There is very little that you need to do, other than making yourself available. Even your transportation to and from the Cursillo site will be arranged.

Read much more about Cursillo here

And here

God loves you. God will provide. It’s time to relax and rejoice in Jesus Christ … through your own personal Cursillo experience.

This is for you

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. (Men … please forward this to your wives and daughters.)

Merry Christmas to all,

Doug Lawrence
Men’s 105th Cursillo, Spring 2004

The abortion holocaust in words and photos, courtesy of the New York Times

The photographs are graphic and detailed, showing the fingers or toes of aborted fetuses whose entire frames are no bigger than a cellphone. Since the mid-1990s, they have appeared all over the country — carried as posters by protesters, handed out with pamphlets or, in some cases, mounted like billboards on the sides of trucks.

Like many others, I often wondered about the source of these images. Who took the pictures? Where did the fetuses come from?

I had a chance to find some answers while reporting in late September on the death of James Pouillon, the anti-abortion protester who was shot and killed in Owosso, Mich. [See Saturday’s presentation on the subject in The New York Times.]

Read the article. See the pictures.

Pope Benedict XVI Speaks Out Against Abortion, Euthanasia, Genetic Testing

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — In a Wednesday address, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against abortion, euthanasia, and casual genetic testing that could lead to abortion decisions. The pontiff said more legislation is needed to protect human life from these very real threats and that laws are only just when they protect the vulnerable.

The only just laws “are those laws that safeguard the sacredness of human life and reject the acceptance of abortion, euthanasia and unrestrained genetic experiments,” Benedict said.

Failure to recognize a respect for human life in the law leads to a “dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything definitive and leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self and one’s own desires,” he said.

He added a “an objective, unchanging truth accessible to human reason and that concerns practical action” exists — something that guides pro-life people.

“In our time especially in some countries, there is a worrying disconnect between reason, which has the task of discovering the ethical values of human dignity, and freedom, which has the responsibility to welcome them and promote them,” Benedict said.

Head of Christian Doctors Group Quits AMA Over Pro-Abortion Advocacy

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The doctor who is the chairman of a national organization for Christian physicians and medical workers has resigned from the American Medical Association. Dr. David Stevens, the head of the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association, says the AMA has become a pro-abortion advocacy group.

Stevens told LifeNews.com on Tuesday that he is canceling his membership in the American Medical Association as a way of publicly protesting what he says is the AMA’s control by special interests that do not represent most physicians.

The AMA has come under fire for endorsing healthcare overhaul legislation after closed-door negotiations with legislators even though it contains the largest expansion of abortion funding since Roe v. Wade.

“I can no longer associate with or support an organization that is unscientific, unprofessional and controlled by special interests,” Dr. Stevens asserted in a letter sent earlier this week to the AMA.

Stevens is also advising the organization’s 17,000 members to “carefully consider if they should continue their memberships in the AMA.”

In his letter to the doctors’ group, Stevens says the “AMA has even violated its own ethical statements in political advocacy at the behest of a vocal pro-abortion faction within AMA.”

The abortion advocacy Dr. Stevens condemns extends to the AMA position on the conscience rights of physicians.

“Your resolution on right of conscience states that the ‘AMA reaffirms that neither physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to perform any act violative of personally held moral principles.’ Yet you have worked vigorously at the federal level to overturn the only federal regulation that protects your members from this type of discrimination,” he explained.

Read the article