Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just tell the truth and own up to your bias...

You have to admire Archbishop Dolan for his forthrightness and willingness to speak the truth even when that involves stepping on toes.
Witness this post on his blog.

Putting the record straight

It seems the presiding judge for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the trial of the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy is dismayed at the lack of competence and professionalism exhibited by reporters of the New York Times in reporting on this matter and their apparent haste to find a means to implicate Pope Benedict in the (mis)handling of this case.
Had the NYT been interested in accurate reporting it seems to me that someone would have tried to contact those intimately involved in the case -- especially when they are quoting those persons.
Fr. Thomas Brundage's article in the Catholic Anchor is quite illuminating.

h/t The Deacon's Bench

Friday, March 26, 2010

Who caused the delay?

It seems that the retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland, former head of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in an interview with the BBC stated that he thought it took the Vatican took too long to address the child sexual abuse case of the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy who was accused of abusing many of his charges during his time running a school for the deaf in Milwaukee in the 1950's, '60's and '70's. (story here)
This is in regards to the 2-year span between the time that Archbishop Weakland sent a letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1996 and the recommendation in 1998 by the Congregation to not pursue canonical proceedings against Murphy who was not in public ministry, had no allegations of misbehavior in the intervening 25 years, and was in poor health. Indeed, Murphy died a few months later.
Isn't it disingenuous of the former Archbishop to make a claim of an unwarranted delay on the part of the Vatican in responding to his letter, when he had been Archbishop of Milwaukee since 1977, or about 19 years before he got around to sending the letter in the first place?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Divide and conquer

It seems that the White House was instrumental in orchestrating a public statement by a group of 55 religious women in support of the administration's proposed health care bill in a break with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. (story here)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs disclosed that President Barack Obama actively promoted the Catholic Health Association's public break with the American Catholic bishops to support his health care legislation.
This group purported to represent 59,000 religious women in the US. However Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, president of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious which represents over 100 congregations of women religious was quick to step up to affirm their opposition to the legislation as currently proposed and support for the USCCB in their stance. (story here)
It is amazing how elusive and malleable truth can be in the hands of experts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Someone you should know...

The Archdiocese of Chicago made this announcement yesterday:
"Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, has announced that Fr. Augustus Tolton’s cause for sainthood is being introduced in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Cardinal has appointed Most Rev. Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, as the Postulator for the cause of Fr. Tolton. Bishop Perry will be responsible for making Fr. Tolton better known and encouraging prayer to him."
The introduction of Fr. Tolton's cause for sainthood will allow many who had never heard of him to come to an appreciation of this pioneer of the American church who died entirely too young.
A bit of his story can be found here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"How'd ya like to try my s'mores...."

OK, so maybe I'm just an old frustrated prude, but the following piece I found disturbing. It seems that the objectification of women is now encouraged to begin at least by age 10, and that the satisfaction of one's own animal desires trumps any sense of personal responsibility. Unnerving at the very least.

Planned Parenthood tells Girl Scouts to “talk dirty”

The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a panel this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to hand out a brochure encouraging girls to “talk dirty” to their sex partners, to engage in aberrant sex, and claiming there is no right or wrong way to have sex. The no-parents-invited Girl Scout panel was a part of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

The brochure, published by International Planned Parenthood Association and entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot,” says that young people living with HIV have the “right to sexual pleasure” and “have the right to decide if, when and how to disclose their HIV status.” It goes on to say that laws requiring young people to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners “violate the rights of people living with HIV by forcing them to disclose or face the possibility of criminal charges,” and tells them to complain about any agency that tells them they should not have sex, and to shop around for a place where they feel more respected.

According to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute:

The Girl Scouts…have been co-moderating a young women’s caucus that included an “Intergenerational Conversation” side event on “universal access” and “reproductive health.” One recent Girl Scout project “aims at securing the right of women, men and adolescents aged between ten and twenty-five, to better reproductive and sexual health.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A case of impaired vision

As if the United States wasn't crazy enough, Zenit reports this case out of Poland. The lady claimed her pregnancy affected her eyesight, perhaps as in blinding her to the humanity of her child.
Polish Catholic Paper Punished for Abortion View
Loses Appeal in What's Seen as Freedom of Speech Battle
ROME, MARCH 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic weekly published by the Archdiocese of Katovice has lost an appeal and is being obliged to pay compensation and apologize to a woman who has become a symbolic figure for the pro-abortion campaign in Poland.

A statement from the "Gosc Niedzielny" reacted to the Friday decision confirming that "we consider this sentence unjust and limiting of the freedom of speech. Once again 'Gosc Niedzielny' must ask for pardon for words it has never written."

The newspaper said the appeals court decision is a "dangerous precedent" by which courts can interpret the context and general message of newspaper articles.

"This implies not only a serious limitation of the freedom of speech, but also a serious limitation of the right of Catholics to take part in the public debate," it added.

The case regards the situation of Alicja Tysiac, a mother of three who sought to abort her third child on the grounds that the pregnancy affected her eyesight.

In Poland, abortion is illegal except for cases in which the mother's life is in danger, the baby is seriously malformed, or the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Tysiac was unable to get approval to abort her child (who was born in 2000) and took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The court found in her favor in 2007, obliging the Polish government to pay €25,000 (now about $34,000) in damages.

This led the "Gosc Niedzielny" to lament that "we are living in a world where a mother is granted an award for the fact that she very much wanted to kill her child, but was forbidden to do so."

The editorial also compares abortion to the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Monsignor Jozef Kloch, spokesman of the Polish episcopate, commented on the appeals court ruling, saying: "This verdict makes us see how the pro-abortion lobby intends to stealthily introduce in Poland abortion by request."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Does this make sense to you?

Consider this, Illinois is facing an almost $13 billion budget shortfall next year. The total budget is about $56 billion, but half of that is earmarked for federal programs, dedicated road funds and other things that can't be touched. The state's regular working budget is about $26 billion — which means that, without major new revenue, about half of it would have to be cut to get it in balance.

Against that backdrop Illinois legislators who are part of the pro-abortion lobby are resurrecting the "Reproductive Health and Access Act" (HB6205), which is essentially the same FOCA bill rejected a year ago, in an effort to make sure the state makes funds available to kill the unborn. (OK, so my choice of language may be a bit polemical, but I grow angry at those who sit back and, under the innocent sounding description "choice" try to ingrain the right of one person to choose that another person should die.) At a time when the state's working budget exceeds revenue to fund it by 100%, this bill's sponsors want to not only fund abortions but also in vitro fertilization for those who are on Medicaid.

Even if I were not revolted by the thought that some people are so quick to designate some lives as undeserving of life, when I can't meet half of my existing bills, I would not be in a rush to pay for services that go to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood which profit from the business of death especially while targeting specific racial and economic groups. But then, that's just me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Social Justice = Communism??!!

Glen Beck is definitely the guy I turn to for reasoned insight and compassion. Look at the America Magazine take on his pronouncement to "...look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes." (story here)
Whatta guy!

Turning the other cheek is tough...

A lot of people think I'm either too sensitive or paranoid re: attacks on the church today. But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me.
In the news today, more than 500 Christians were murdered by the Muslim Fulani ethnic group in Nigeria where the Catholic Church has been under persecution for years. (story here) A few months back I had the opportunity to share some time with a young priest from Nigeria who related several stories that I found hard to understand in this day and age. Persecution is alive and well.
In another story on Saturday I read of the Muslim journalists who apologized after having boasted that they had desecrated the by receiving and spitting out a communion wafer in Malaysia. The apology claims that any insult was unintentional and resulting from ignorance. (story here)
I'm sure the Christian response will be a bit more moderate that might be expected of the Muslim community had the tables been turned.
At least in the United States persecution of the Church tends to be more limited to attempts on the part of politicians and secular society to marginalize Christians or to deny Catholic bishops the right to weigh in on moral issues in the public sphere.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Have you had your "Death Cookie" today?

The Deacon's Bench carries the story of the Baptist church in Tennessee publishing a pamphlet which in addition to describing the pope as the anti-christ, refers to the eucharist as a "death cookie." (link here)
I often wonder how these "Bible Believing" groups manage to skip over so much of the Bible and contort themselves to creatively interpret John 6.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Time sure flies...

Apparently the magnitude 8.8 quake that rocked Chile last week shifted Earth's axis re-distributing the planet's mass and shortening the day by 1.26 microseconds. (story here) Here I thought the days seemed shorter just because I'm older.