Young members of the Tradition Family and Property “caravan” do a street campaign in Pittsburg yesterday against socialist Obamacare and the HHS mandate.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
This saint and holy aristocrat was killed for harboring the famous “hunted” priest Father John Gerard
St. Anne Line -- English martyr, died 27 Feb., 1601.
She was the daughter of William Heigham of Dunmow, Essex, a gentleman of means and an ardent Calvinist, and when she and her brother announced their intention of becoming Catholics both were disowned and disinherited.
Anne married Roger Line, a convert like herself, and shortly after their marriage he was apprehended for attending Mass. After a brief confinement he was released and permitted to go into exile in Flanders, where he died in 1594.
When Father John Gerard established a house of refuge for priests in London, Mrs. Line was placed in charge. After Father Gerard’s escape from the Tower in 1597, as the authorities were beginning to suspect her assistance, she removed to another house, which she made a rallying point for neighboring Catholics.
On Candlemas Day, 1601, Father Francis Page, S.J. was about to celebrate Mass in her apartments, when priest-catchers broke into the rooms. Father Page quickly unvested, and mingled with the others, but the altar prepared for the ceremony was all the evidence needed for the arrest of Mrs. Line. She was tried at the Old Bailey 26 Feb., 1601, and indicted under the Act of 27 Eliz. for harboring a priest, though this could not be proved.
The next day she was led to the gallows, and bravely proclaiming her faith, achieved the martyrdom for which she had prayed. Her fate was shared by two priests, [Blessed] Mark Barkworth, O.S.B., and Roger Filcock, S.J., who were executed at the same time.
Bl. Fr. Roger Filcock, SJ
Roger Filcock had long been Mrs. Line’s friend and frequently her confessor. Entering the English College at Reims in 1588, he was sent with the others in 1590 to colonize the seminary of St. Albans at Valladolid, and, after completing his course there, was ordained and sent on the English mission. Father Garnett kept him on probation for two years to try his mettle before admitting him to the Society of Jesus, and finding him zealous and brave, finally allowed him to enter.
He was just about to cross to the Continent for his novitiate when he was arrested on suspicion of being a priest and executed after a travesty of a trial.
[Note: In 1970, Anne Line was canonized by Pope Paul VI among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whose joint feast day is kept on 25 October.]
MORRIS, Life of Fr. John Gerard; CHALLONER, Memoirs, I, 396; FOLEY, Records S.J. I, 405; VII, 254; Douay Diaries, p. 219, 280; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. Rutland Coll. Belvoir Castle, I, 370; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath.
STANLEY J. QUINN (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia)
February 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The tobacco industry does it. And even though ads targeting minors are outlawed, it hasn’t stopped. Tobacco products are still heavily marketed to kids in other ways, such as being placed at a child’s eye level in convenience stores. Why? Tobacco companies know if they can make smoking attractive to youngsters, they have a better chance of gaining customers for life.
Planned Parenthood understands this theory. While abortions aren’t addictive in the same way as tobacco, exposing a young impressionable child to the ease of terminating a pregnancy before her conscience is formed is a good way to achieve one of the most profitable types of sales—repeat business.
Pro-life leaders in California are attempting to place a parental notification initiative on the ballot again this year. It requires doctors to notify parents 48 hours before their minor child has an abortion. In 2008, it lost by a small margin (52 to 48 percent). The pro-abortion community, fueled by Planned Parenthood, stopped at nothing to defeat it. Regardless of the legislation proposed, the standard mantra is “reproductive rights” should not be limited to women in any way. More than likely, the underlying agenda is to retain a valuable asset to abortion’s customer base—young children with many years of fertility ahead.
The latest numbers released in 2011 by Planned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, show there were 1.21 million abortions in the U.S. in 2008. Out of this total, 6 percent, or 72,600, were performed on girls ages 15 to 17. In the general category of “under 14,” there was a 0.4 percent abortion rate. While this percentage may seem low, it represents 4,840 abortions performed annually on any girl old enough to become pregnant. An abortion for even one 10-year-old should cause an outcry, but almost 5,000 children—children—are violated this way each year.
I don’t know about your kids, but at that age, my own can’t make up their minds about what to have for breakfast much less whether or not to consent to intercourse and then destroy the life it creates. Planned Parenthood is notorious for not reporting suspected abuse and rape of these young girls.
A state parental notification requirement is one step toward protecting our youth from the PP mafia, which has its designs on these mega money-making customers. A study by the Guttmacher Institute states that “multiple abortions may indicate mainly prolonged exposure to the risk of unintended pregnancy.” The younger the child, the more years she has to become pregnant and have an abortion—over and over again. An appalling 22 percent of girls under 20 who undergo an abortion have had at least one before.
California abortion rates are higher than the national average, representing almost 18 percent of U.S. abortions, according to the latest numbers. When a young girl under the age of 18 is brought to a facility in California, her parents or guardians may never know she’s undergone a serious medical procedure, much less consented to it.
No doubt, after the abortion, the child is given birth control to “safely” continue the behavior that brought her to the clinic in the first place. Guttmacher’s own claims regarding the effectiveness of birth control are contradictory. On one hand, the institute states that “providing post-abortion contraceptive services is key to preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions.” But, on the other hand, it admits “the majority of women having their second or even their third abortion were using contraceptives during the time.”
The message by abortion providers is clear: engage in pleasurable risky behavior and take care of the consequences by having another abortion. A young victim is defenseless to a provider’s insistence on using birth control and returning for more “services.”
If you live in California, fight to join over 30 other states that have instituted parental consent or notification laws. Sign the petition to have the act placed on the ballot and vote for it in November. Let’s stop feeding our girls to the abortion monster to be victimized repeatedly then discarded like yesterday’s trash.
If our children must be protected against tobacco addictions that can kill their bodies, how much more important is it to save them from abortions that can kill their bodies and souls?
by Ben Johnson
BETHESDA, MARYLAND, February 28, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Young activists are planning on sharing “the pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-science message” at the American Atheists National Convention taking place March 25-26 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Secular Pro-Life, an organization of atheists and agnostics who defend the rights of the unborn, will set up a booth, distribute literature, and speak one-on-one with the convention’s attendees next month. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Richard Dawkins.
“The pro-choice view has become a default for atheists, because nobody is reaching out to them,” the group’s president, Kelsey Hazzard, told LifeSiteNews.com. “We allow the pro-life movement to be seen as a religious thing and [say], ‘Oh well, let the pro-abortion movement have the atheists. We can succeed without them.’”
Secular Pro-Life at the West Coast March for Life this year.
“I just don’t think that’s wise,” she said. “If we’re going to make abortion unthinkable, we have to make it unthinkable for everybody.”
She and Canadian pro-life activist Kristine Kruszelnicki will man the booth, displaying first-trimester fetal models for convention attendees to examine, and “secular literature debunking the argument that legalized abortion is necessary to save women’s lives.”
Hazzard, who is a senior at the University of Virginia School of Law, said the group is in its fourth year. Its FaceBook group now has more than 700 followers.
Since its founding, it has produced online publications exposing the myths of the pro-abortion movement and highlighting the importance of adoption, and created a booklet for sidewalk counselors entitled “Abortion is Forever. Get the Facts First.” Other titles, such as “Is Abortion a Religious Issue?”, a companion booklet “Who Are Pro-Lifers?”, and “Pro-Life for Everyone,” challenge the notion that all pro-lifers are motivated by religions.
Speaking with atheists or agnostics requires a different set of arguments and references than speaking to people of faith. “First of all, we talk about prenatal development, because that is an area where there is a lot of misinformation,” Hazzard told LifeSiteNews.com. “Then we talk about the secular ideas of human rights.”
“Historically, whenever we have decided as a society that a certain group of human beings are not persons, that’s never turned out well,” she said. “We really think that we have the power to decide whether or not someone’s life is worth living before they’ve taken their first breath. Isn’t that a bit presumptuous?”
Atheists and agnostics are more likely than any other group to favor abortion on demand. A 2010 Pew Research survey found 85 percent of atheists and agnostics believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Secular Pro-Life notes more than half (51 percent) of unplanned pregnancies that occur to an atheist or agnostic woman end in abortion – a higher rate than any other religious identification. “Atheists are at risk of abortion, actually slightly more than average,” Hazzard said.
Despite being a minority, Hazzard said the American Atheists’ convention’s organizers “have been very cordial and welcoming.” She noted similar presentations before campus atheists groups have been well-received.
“We look forward to a lively debate with pro-abortion convention attendees,” Hazzard told LifeSiteNews.com. “We also look forward to providing a support network for those atheists who are already pro-life, but who are uncomfortable with the religious tone taken by many major pro-life organizations.”
by Ben Johnson
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, February 28, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a marketing campaign that combines condom use with social media, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGNW) distributed 55,000 condoms at colleges across western Washington state - and asked their recipients to go to a website and described how and where they were used.
Each prophylactic has a QR code, a bar code which connects its owner to the website WhereDidYouWearIt.com. There the young man can register the location where his condom was put to use during intercourse.
The website, PPGNW states, “targets college students and millennials, already comfortable with social media to promote healthy sexuality and to be ‘proud to wear protection.’”
“In the past week the response has been incredible,” Planned Parenthood notes in a press release. “Check-ins have come in from 48 out of 50 states and from six continents!”
“Planned Parenthood has hit a new low,” James Bascom, a campus activist with TFP Student Action, which promotes traditional morality on campus, wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “Not content with promoting abortion and contraception behind closed doors, they seek to glorify, glamorize, and destigmatize sin in the public square.”
The interactive map at the WhereDidYouWearIt website logs each sexual encounter. One entry reads: “A 20 something guy and a girl whose relationship is just for fun and have already talked about safer sex and STDs used a condom in the bedroom to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. It was ah-maz-ing – rainbows exploded and mountains trembled.”
“Shame on them,” Bascom told LifeSiteNews.com. “Our college students need purity, not promiscuity.”
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
His Majesty King Siaosi Tupou V
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father Benedict XVI received His Majesty Siaosi Tupou V, King of Tonga on February 24, 2012. The King subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial discussions dwelt on various aspects of the country’s social and economic life, as well as on the positive contribution the Catholic Church makes in various sectors of society, and Her activities of human promotion. There followed an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with particular reference to the Pacific Island States.
Andy McCarthy’s post on a criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania that was dismissed based on an application of sharia law and a recognition of the special, privileged status of Islam is the most chilling thing I have read in quite a while. This is Andy’s account of the events that led to the prosecution:
by Ben Johnson
WACO, TEXAS, February 27, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A multi-year review of 176 Catholic hospitals in seven states found that 48 percent have performed direct female sterilizations. The author of the study, Sandra Hapenney, warns this could undermine Catholic health institutions’ ability to invoke conscience clause protections to opt out of performing sterilizations.
To earn a Ph.D. in Church-State Studies at Baylor University, Hapenney requested data from 1,734 hospitals in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington. Of these, 176 were Catholic hospitals that offered obstetric services.
By tracking medical codes in hospital records, she discovered nearly half of these institutions had performed female sterilizations.
That amounted to 20,073 sterilizations.
The “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2009, states, “Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution.” Only indirect sterilizations, which result in infertility while treating another medical condition, are permitted.
In 2008, Bishop Alvara Corrada, then in the diocese of Tyler, Texas, forced two Catholic hospitals to stop performing tubal ligations. Hapenney found his efforts successfully ended the practice at those institutions.
Fred Caesar of the CHA wrote, “We put no credence in the study” and told reporters that other health specialists said the report contains unspecified “gross errors.” Carl Middleton, vice president of theology and ethics for Catholic Health Initiatives, added that bill coding was subject to human error, although he did not point to any specific error.
Dr. Hapenney told LifeSiteNews.com her critics had not pointed out a single error in her dissertation.
Her critics charged “that the study contained ‘gross errors’ – without finding them or stating what these gross errors might be,” she said.
“There is no real doubt about the validity of the type of data used in this study since it is provided by the hospitals to the State in compliance with regulatory laws and is regularly used by researchers,” she wrote in a press release countering the objections.
“I’m asking for a retraction,” she told LifeSiteNews.com
When she first posted the data, Hapenney says she over-counted the number of sterilizations in Indiana by five. “I immediately rechecked my data and corrected it before publishing the dissertation,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I had Baylor recheck everything, [to] assure all the data was correct.” They found she had under-counted the number of sterilizations in California by 14.
Hapenney’s faculty adviser was Dr. Francis J. Beckwith. “She went through the data very carefully, discovering only one very minor mistake that was corrected before she submitted her final version to the graduate school dissertations holdings,” Dr. Beckwith said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com.
Hepenney tracked the number of patient records that used the medical code V25.2, a code that always indicates a voluntary sterilization. If it were an indirect procedure allowed by Catholic theology, another code to indicate the emergency would have been used, she said.
“Some Catholic health insurance policies identify the V25.2 code as something they will not pay for,” he told LifeSiteNews.com. “Med-Cal of California also saw it as an elective surgery.”
“My whole goal was to try to get the truth out,” Dr. Hapenney said.
The fact that some Catholic hospitals perform voluntary sterilizations may threaten the ability of Catholic hospitals to refuse to do so if forced, Hapenney writes. Her dissertation notes, “such diversity may pose judicial and political problems for providing protection under the conscience clauses.”
The issue has roared to life since the Obama administration’s health care reform mandates that all health insurance plan cover sterilization.
CHA President Sr. Carol Keehan had advance knowledge of the administration’s “accommodation” and offered her organization’s early support.
“I’m hoping that the bishops will now know what’s going on and will be able to come up with better or more enforceable ERDs [Ethical and Religious Directives]” so they “can look at what’s actually going on in the hospital and hold them to higher standards.”
Presently, there is no mechanism to compel anyone who sees an ethical violation in a Catholic hospital to report it. “I’m hoping that by demonstrating the magnitude of the problem, [the bishops] can develop mechanisms which will help them oversee the issues better and act on them.”
Her good intentions have not spared her heated, if imprecise, scrutiny.
“I don’t understand the harsh criticism of Dr. Hapenney’s work, since you would think that Catholic health care professionals would welcome her research as an opportunity to remedy whatever problems they may have inadvertently missed over the years,” Dr. Beckwith told LifeSiteNews.com.
“Each of us, no matter where we find ourselves in the church’s ministries, should welcome correction with humility and grace. For without that mutual oversight, we lose touch with what it means to be one body, one spirit in Christ.”
Legislation creates state-run government continuity task force; Wyoming lawmaker introduces doomsday bill
CHEYENNE — State Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has seen the national debt rise above $15 trillion and protest movements grow around the country. Wealthy Americans are fleeing the country, he says, and confidence in the dollar has taken a hit around the world. If America’s economic and social problems continue to escalate and spiral out of control, Miller said, Wyoming needs to be ready.
SCHOOLS will be forced to teach children as young as five the importance of homosexual “marriage.” Teachers who refuse because of their religious beliefs could face disciplinary action.
Please read more here:
Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than he is to the constitutionally protected religious liberty of Catholics in the United States of America.
Read more here:
Monday, February 27, 2012
Please Don’t Let Fatima Custodian Norman Fulkerson Run Out Of Gas!
Norman Fulkerson, Caravan Leader
We must not let Fatima Custodian Norman Fulkerson run out of gas!
If that happens – he can no longer continue to drive his van and lead his 10-man road “caravan” team as they carry out their urgent mission – distributing tens of thousands of fliers warning Americans about Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate.
Norman with his caravan team.
And so -- because of your deep love for Our Lady of Fatima, I urge you:
Sponsor a tank of gas for Fatima Custodian Norman Fulkerson!
And the cost to sponsor a tank of gas? $72. That’s good for 300 miles!
Then, thanks to your help – Norman can go on criss-crossing America, opposing the philosophy of and implementation of socialized medicine – and most especially, the anti-God Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate.
You see, all 181 US Catholic bishops have spoken against Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate. And we are joining the fray, reaching out to all Americans of goodwill with our peaceful and legal travelling “caravans”.
I can report to you that, already confident of the help of Our Lady and you, we have sent out two “caravans” of 10 young men each. Splitting up, one caravan will be heading out to Michigan and Ohio, another to New York. How far they will go from there can’t be known, because we need your help.
We need you to sponsor a tank of gas!
And when you sponsor a tank of gas, you will also become the long-distance traveling partner of Norman, participating in his apostolate and sharing in the merits of his work and prayers.
I hope you can meet Norman some day! He has consecrated his whole life to Our Lady, as Her slave - - - according to the consecration of St. Louis de Montfort.
Believe me, he has a tremendous level of dedication – Because he is a full-time volunteer -- and does NOT receive a salary!
Instead, he depends entirely on support from you, and other good people like you. And he has told me:
“I do this for Our Lady – because I believe that Socialism is Godless, and so is the Obama healthcare mandate – trying to force Catholics to choose obedience to their government over obedience to God.”
Right on, isn’t he! And his beliefs are so strong that he has given up the comforts of home – and at times, out on these road caravan campaigns, if a friendly place to lay his head is not nearby, he has slept outside under a tent in a simple camp ground.
And if a nearby Rosary Rally captain isn’t around to invite him in for a meal, then he spends a few of his own dollars to buy a sandwich.
Totally dedicated. That’s Norman. Willing to take to the road and warn Americans about Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate.
But he urgently needs a special friend like you so that he can stay on the road.
So if you will sponsor a tank of gas – you will be right there with him, day and night...
Because without your support, Norman and his road team might not be able to get out to more cities. During these “street campaigns”, tens of thousands of fliers will be passed out supporting our bishops’ fight against this direct religious persecution: Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate.
Robert, please believe me when I tell you that you and Norman, and the other 9 men of his caravan make a great team for Our Lady! But they need your help!
Just $72. That’s what it takes to sponsor a tank of gas for Norman.
And finally -- please pray for our success with this appeal! And remember that when you donate a tank of gas – you’ll be fighting Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacients mandate.
Lent, that time of the liturgical year when Holy Mother Church calls on Catholics to fast and abstain from meat in the spirit of penance and self-denial, also encourages the faithful to meditate on the dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this penitential exercise, Our Lord Jesus Christ serves as our supreme model- He led the way of mortification by denying Himself sustenance for forty days and forty nights in preparation for the commencement of His public ministry. He, who has most tender compassion for humble and repentant sinners, assures us, “I came not to call the just, but sinners to penance.” Luke 5:32. And in a supreme act of immolation, Our Lord offered Himself in sacrifice for our salvation and accepted His suffering humanity for the redemption of the world.
In light of the above, how are we to model our Lenten practices in the spirit of the Fatima message?
1. During Lent, Fatima’s constant theme of prayer, penance and amendment of life becomes ever more relevant in our daily lives.
Nowadays, many are accustomed to the conveniences that technological progress provides. Fast food, TV dinners, cell phones, ATM’s, express delivery, Internet, email, on-line shopping, etc – modern inventions that fuel that frenetic desire to get things done quickly and easily. Everything comes at one’s fingertips at one’s beckoning. And voila! The recurring mantra jumps out, “I want it and I want it NOW.” In short, no fuss, no delay; period!
• The appeal of the Seven Capital Sins
In a fast paced world as such, instant gratification is the rule. Sadly, it also opens the door wide to sin and vice. The myriad of ads that one watches or reads these days appeal in more ways than one to the seven capital sins. A new facial anti-wrinkle cream flatters a 50-year-old’s vanity; a luscious and tantalizing food product feeds one’s gluttonous tendencies; the Jones’ new car spur’s one envy; an exotic perfume wakes up ones passion and lust; a sales pitch for faster delivery service mitigates one’s anger over a previously botched job; and so it goes down the line.
• Our Ruling Passions
From another vantage view, each individual suffers from a ruling passion or vice that dominates all others and, frequently causes one to fall from grace. Be it pride or sensuality, intemperance, a loose tongue or what not, we know, more or less, our own weaknesses. Thankfully by the grace of God, Lent offers the opportunity for one to tackle this or that defect through serious reflection, prayer and the practice of mortification.
Would it burden us much if we cease to be creatures of comfort starting this Lenten season and mortify our senses for the good of our souls? Let us turn to the children of Fatima for inspiration and courage.
2. Exemplary models of penance and sacrifice
The Angel of Portugal taught the children the virtue of asking pardon for evildoers through prayer and offering sacrifices. He impressed upon them the compelling need to make reparation for the insults, sacrileges and indifference committed against the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Our Lady of Fatima consistently asked the children for prayers of reparation and sacrifice for poor sinners which culminated in the vision of hell that had a profound and lasting effect on them. Having seen the horrors and torments of everlasting infernal fire, the seers were transformed into heroes of mortification and penance.
• A belt of rope as self torment
The children devised innovative ways as they see them fit to observe mortified lives. Lucia found a rope one day and suggested it to be cut into three pieces so each of the seers could wear them continuously around their waists. This they practiced with such zeal that it bothered them in their sleep. Pleasing at it was to God, Our Lady had to intervene later and asked them to remove them at night.
• Suffering Hunger
Francisco thought it a good sacrifice to give their lunches to the sheep and in later days to poor children they met along the way. Thus they fasted much like in the spirit of austere monks. They thrived admirably on acorns from holm oak and oak trees, pine nuts, roots, berries, mushrooms and other things harvested from the roots of pine trees.
• Suffering Thirst
On one occasion, Lucia and the other two children, while suffering from severe thirst, decided to forego drinking from a jar of water that Lucia fetched from a nearby house and poured it instead into a hollow in a stone for the sheep to drink.
• Self-Inflicted pain
On other occasions, they would hit their own legs with nettles, "so as to offer to God yet another sacrifice."
Such were the edifying examples of mortification the child seers practiced because of their deep understanding of the urgent necessity of acts of reparation and sacrifices to appease Divine Justice and to mitigate the injuries perpetrated against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Let us take all these to heart and apply them to our own situation keeping in mind the widespread decadence corroding the moral well-being of our contemporary times. It is undeniable that much penance and prayers are needed to atone for all these transgressions. One needs just to open the newspaper or watch the nightly news to find proofs.
3. Adopting realistic resolutions appropriate for our condition and times
The messages revealed in the apparitions to the three Portuguese children by the Angel of Portugal and the Queen of Heaven and Earth all speak of the gravity of the sins and crimes of mankind - a tragedy that begs for serious and resolute atonement and conversion to appease the wrath of God. To avert a terrible chastisement, Our Lady asks men to pray ardently for the conversion of sinners and to offer many expiatory sacrifices.
• A sense of urgency and a call to action
We must take this warning with utmost seriousness and immediacy. It is a standing message for our times directed to all men.
The seers of Fatima responded to this call by making heroic acts of penance and reparation for they fully grasped the meaning of appeasing Divine wrath. Let us follow their lead and reconcile the Fatima message with the real moral crisis staring at us blankly.
• No easy way out
What has been written here so far would be put to waste if our intellect fails to change our mentality and move our will to make steadfast resolutions. If the service of God consisted only in fulfilling certain obligations, devotional practices and prescribed prayers compatible to a life of ease and comfort, then the Church would be flooded with new-found saints.
But such is not the case. Sadly, it is our human nature to shun sufferings, to avoid pain and to be self-satisfied with whatever little progress we gain in the spiritual life. Let us shed our false optimism. Let us cast our tepidity and lukewarm spirit. With a changed mentality, let us replace our misconceptions with a sincere abiding sorrow for our sins.
• Carrying the Cross
Take heart in the Divine counsel, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
The cross is the embodiment of the Gospel and the glorious standard of a true Christian. And by carrying our cross, we must humble ourselves and look at ourselves as our greatest enemy; with whom we ought to wage a continual war for the rest of our lives.
The current situation and the message of Fatima place the above reflections in a different perspective. Whatever self denial or sacrifice we choose to practice, we must perform with humility and prudence. Lent or otherwise, we must imbue ourselves with a lasting penitential spirit in face of the unabated moral chaos besetting mankind for, indeed, we are in extraordinary times!
And lastly, let us turn Our Lady for inspiration, strength and fortitude, always hoping in Her promise at Fatima, “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
Marie Antoinette rose to her feet, pale and trembling….
As they advanced to seize him the Dauphin awoke, and, realizing what was happening, threw himself screaming into his mother’s arms, sobbing:
“Maman, Maman, do not leave me!”
But it was all in vain. After a whole hour had passed in entreaties on one side, in threats and insults on the other, the Queen, weeping bitterly, was obliged to dress him, covering each little garment with tears and kisses as, for the last time, her gentle hands fastened them around him. Then, with a superhuman effort she dried her eyes and, holding him by the shoulders, said solemnly:
“My child, we have got to part. Remember your duty when I shall be no longer with you. Do not forget the good God or your mother who loves you. Be good, patient and upright and your father will bless you from Heaven above.”
Then kissing him once again she handed him over to his jailers. The little boy clung to her dress, but his mother told him to obey their orders and he allowed himself to be dragged away.
Then Marie Antoinette, seeing the door close behind him, threw herself on to his empty bed in an agony of weeping.
Never again were they to meet on earth.
Nesta H. Webster, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette During the Revolution (New York: Gordon Press, 1976), pp. 324-325.
Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 155
Saint Hedwig, Queen of Poland
Portrait of Queen Jadwiga of Poland, painted by Jan Matejko
Born, 1371. Died, 17 July 1399 during child birth. Hedwig was the youngest daughter of King Louis I of Hungary. Because she was great-niece to King Casimir III of Poland, she became Queen of Poland in 1382 upon her father‘s death. She was engaged to William, Duke of Austria, whom she loved, but broke off the relationship in order to marry Jagiello, non-Christian Prince of Lithuania, for political reasons.
In 1384, upon the death of Louis I of Hungary and Poland, the Polish nobles, having crowned his daughter Hedwig, decided that as the new queen was but fifteen years old, she must be provided with a consort capable of protecting her dominions. Their choice fell upon Jagiello, or Jagello, the Prince of Lithuania, whose hostility to the Teutonic Order made him their natural ally.
Queen Jadwiga by Bacciarelli
Moreover, the Catholic Church in Poland saw in this union the promise of glorious missionary activity in a land still for the most part pagan. The Franciscan provincial, Kmita, who enjoyed Jagello’s confidence, was one of the foremost advocates of union between the kingdoms. Jagello, after formally suing for the queen’s hand, promised to embrace the Catholic Faith, with his brothers and all his subjects, to unite his Lithuanian and Russian lands forever with the Polish Crown, to recover at his own expense the territory taken from Poland, and to pay Duke William of Austria, who had been promised Hedwig’s hand, and indemnity of 200,000 gulden. Hedwig at length consented to the match. Jagello was baptized on 15 Feb., 1386, taking the name Wladislaw, and on 4 March he was married to Hedwig and crowned King Consort and Regent of Poland.
Queen Jadwiga Jaroszewsha
As the result of this union between Lithuania and Poland, a mighty Christian kingdom arose in Eastern Europe. Lithuania itself, three times as large as Poland, but far below it in culture, ceased to be independent, but it was now for the first time brought into immediate contact with Western civilization. In 1387 Jagello returned to his home, accompanied by missionaries. He won the good will of the nobles (boyars) for Christianity by granting them, on 20 February, the same liberties as were then enjoyed by the Catholic nobles in Poland. A see was established at Wilna, and Vasylo, a Polish Franciscan, appointed its first bishop. The Russian portions of Lithuania (Kiev, Tchernigoff, etc.) remained Greek Orthodox, but the Samoghitians continued for some time longer to be pagans. To strengthen the internal union between the peoples, Polish law was conceded only to the Catholic Lithuanians in the Constitution of 1387, and marriage with the Green Orthodox was forbidden.
Queen Jadwiga and Jagiełło Monument in Kraków, Poland
At first the relation between Lithuania and Poland was simply a personal union. Jagello retained for himself the princely dignity, but appointed a governor for Lithuania – first his brother Skirgjello and then, from 1392 to 1430, his cousin Witold. His endeavour to maintain this relation of independence towards the Polish Crown was rendered abortive by his defeat at the hands of the Tatars in 1399, which compelled him to enter into closer relations with the Poles. In 1401 the political union of the kingdoms took place; Lithuania was to be independent as long as Witold lived, but was then to be annexed to the Crown of Poland; Witold and the boyars took the oath of allegiance, and the Polish nobility promised to support the Lithuanians, and, after Jagello’s death, to elect no king without first consulting them.
Tomb monument of Queen Jadwiga of Anjou in the Wawel Cathedral
[Ed. note: Saint Hedwig was canonized in 1979.]
cfr. 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
by The Editors
February 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The great English writer G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.”
But if what Chesterton says is true, then Canada fails the test, because the Canadian family is no longer free.
In the past week we have witnessed the Supreme Court of Canada dismiss the appeal of a Quebec family for permission to exempt their child from that province’s controversial ethics and religious culture course, which critics say is “relativistic,” and teaches that all religious are equally valid. And we have heard a spokesperson for the Alberta education minister state that under the province’s new Education Act even homeschooling parents will no longer be allowed to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics.
Without the right to educate our children as we choose according to the values we choose, what do we have left? State-imposed orthodoxy. Totalitarianism.
These two developments come amidst the ongoing efforts of the Ontario government to impose their “equity” program, “diversity” curriculum, and transparently ideological “anti-bullying” bill on all schools – whether Catholic or public. Already the largest school board in the province has said that parents will not be permitted to exempt their children from parts of the curriculum they deem unacceptable.
It is perhaps ironic that this has happened at the same time that the Canadian Parliament voted a second time to repeal the country’s much-ballyhooed Section 13 “Hate Crimes” provision, which has been used to drag conservatives and Christians through lengthy and expensive “human rights” proceedings for nothing more than publicly speaking opinions that someone else deemed “offensive.”
But while the Canadian Human Rights Commission may soon no longer be able to use Section 13 as the club to beat politically incorrect Christians into submission, or at the very least into silence, the Canadian provinces are doing their very best simply to make sure there won’t be any more such Christians in the first place. Mandatory “diversity” education imposed on all schools, including home schools, without parental right to opt out is the chosen method to achieve this goal.
But those who care about freedom and democracy must call out and oppose this effort for what it is – tyranny.
While even conservative commentators are urging caution in the interpretation of last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which was narrow in scope and not the final word on the Quebec course, what is certain is that the decision, whether intentionally or not, has already sent a booming message across Canada: namely, that the authority to educate children comes from the state, and not from parents. The decision leaves the distinct impression that the state is no longer in loco (in the place of) parentis, but is the parent, and holds the final say in matters of education.
While the justices demurred from deciding with finality whether the Quebec course violates the parents’ ability to transmit their faith to their child, because there was insufficient information about the course and its content entered into evidence to make that decision, this reasoning ignores the central point: namely, that it doesn’t matter whether the court thinks the course really harms the parents’ ability to raise their child in the faith. The important thing is that the parents think it does.
In saying that it needs more proof that the course harms the parents’ rights in this way, the court is implicitly saying that it doesn’t believe the parents, and might very well know better than them. But it should be obvious that the parents, and not the court, are in a far better position to say whether the course is hampering their ability to educate their child according to their values: because it is their child, and their values.
Given that Quebec has also imposed the course on private and home schools - thereby leaving the parents without even the option of escaping the course by withdrawing their child from the public system - it is difficult to see how the Supreme Court arrived at any other conclusion than that the course obviously violates the parents’ rights, regardless of its content.
Let’s be perfectly clear: parents are the first and primary educators of their children, not the state. Period. This principle is the basis of a free and democratic society. Wrest this authority from parents for any reason less grave than serious abuse or neglect, and you have not simply paved the way for tyranny, but you already have a tyranny. For without the right to educate our children as we choose according to the values we choose, what do we have left? State-imposed orthodoxy. Totalitarianism.
The only difference between the totalitarianism of other regimes and the totalitarianism being imposed by the Canadian provinces is that the Canadian breed of totalitarianism is couched in the Orwellian doublespeak of “tolerance,” “multiculturalism,” and “diversity.” But simply because the language is new and more soothing does not make the reality any less frightening.
We who have witnessed the slow but steady drumbeat of Canada’s soft tyranny know by now that “tolerance” increasingly applies only to those who hold to the official state-sanctioned opinions, or who remain silent; “multiculturalism” is only deemed a virtue insofar as the cultures in question jettison any part of their heritage that might be deemed “offensive”; while “diversity” is mainly a celebration of superficial differences whilst demanding a deeper ideological similitude.
If, as Chesterton says, the family is the ultimate test of freedom, then homeschooling is the ultimate expression of that freedom. For homeschooling is founded on the radical notion that when it comes to the most important things in life – most especially the raising and educating of children – it is the common man who is to be trusted, and not the “expert” or the state. It is not coincidental that this is the same principle that stands at the very root of democracy.
By explicitly targeting homeschoolers, and/or by explicitly forbidding the right of parental opt-out, the Quebec, Ontario and Alberta governments have played their hand. They have made it clear that they will tolerate no dissent, and that, as the source and symbol of freedom, they fear the family. Perhaps this all sounds eerily familiar. It should, if you have studied any history. Every attempt to create a totalitarian regime begins with this attempt to eradicate, or at the very least mitigate the influence of the family: to tear the roof off the family home and to reach the fingers of the state inside.
Don’t let them do it.
by Ben Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 23, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A black pro-life leader is fighting back against comments from the black outreach director of Planned Parenthood that advocates for the unborn “could care less” about children once they are born.
Ludwig Gaines, the African American leadership and engagement director for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told a reporter from CNSNews.com that those who supported an abortion ban under consideration in Congress were guilty of “hypocrisy” that “needs to be exposed.”
“Quite frankly, if you look at the records of the proponents of this bill and others who would support it, they are the very same people who will not support after-school care, or food stamps, or other programs meant to elevate communities of color,” Gaines said.
“Suddenly, they’re concerned about black children quite frankly prior to birth, but could care less once they arrive.”
Gaines’ comments were made in opposition to a bill introduced by Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, that would not allow abortionists inside Washington, D.C., city limits to abort children at 20 weeks of gestation or older. Under the Constitution, Congress exercises control over the District of Columbia.
Day Gardener, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union, told LifeSiteNews.com that Planned Parenthood has been marketing abortion to the black community since its founding. “The whole Negro Project back in [the 1930s] was to do exactly that,” she said.
Margaret Sanger, a supporter of racial eugenics who once addressed the Ku Klux Klan, “hired – and I think that’s a key word there – charismatic leaders and ministers and community leaders, those people who they knew could get the message of death across to their congregations, communities, and neighborhoods.”
Even today, “people for money…will continue to perpetrate this horrible lie that we need to kill our children to have a better life,” Gardener told LifeSiteNews.
“We don’t have to kill our children to be successful or educated,” she said. “As a matter of fact, our children will make us better.”
She said that Gaines’ words were disingenuous and misleading. “If you do not allow [babies] to be born they have no life at all,” she said.
Pro-life advocates have long noted the disproportionate rate of abortion in the black community. Rev. Walter B. Hoye II, president and founder of the Issues4Life Foundation, told this year’s March for Life, “Even though we are only 12 percent of the population, we account for over 30 percent of all abortion in this country.” Sixty percent of black babies in New York City are aborted. Pastor Luke Robinson told marchers abortion was “genocidal” and “the destruction of a people.”
“Where is the voice of President Obama? Where is the voice of Jesse Jackson? Where is the voice of Al Sharpton? Where is the voice of the Black Congressional Caucus?” he asked.
Gardener said pro-lifers love children, and their mothers, before and after pregnancy by providing medical care, vitamins, and housing to some prospective mothers. “Then they provide what the mother needs afterwards – like formula, diapers, car seats, and cribs,” she said.
“I think the sad thing is that we are taught to believe this lie that we need all these subsidized programs from the government,” Gardener told LifeSiteNews. “I believe that we should do as God intended, that we reach out a hand and help each other.”
The high abortion rate among blacks has had unforeseen and negative consequences on their political power, as well, Gardner said.
In the 1960s, “everybody wanted to reach out to us and get our vote, especially the Democrats,” she said. “We were a voting bloc.”
“Now they are courting the Hispanics, because we are no longer the largest minority in the United States.”
“They feel, ‘OK, we have the blacks in our pocket, so let’s go and court the Hispanic vote.’ That’s what everyone seems to be doing, especially the more liberal people who are running for office.”
“They’re saying we’re not as important, because we’re not that big voting bloc anymore,” she said.
Advances such as 3-D ultrasounds have changed the minds of many members of the younger generation. “I’m excited about the fact that a lot of young blacks get it,” Gardener said. “We are seeing a turn in the black community that is exciting.”
“Now we’re at a place where we really have to work together, all of us unite again to save the lives of all children.”
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Born in Devonshire, about 710; died at Heidenheim, 25 Feb., 777. She is the patroness of Eichstadt, Oudenarde, Furnes, Antwerp, Gronigen, Weilburg, and Zutphen, and is invoked as special patroness against hydrophobia, and in storms, and also by sailors. She was the daughter of St. Richard, one of the under-kings of the West Saxons, and of Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle of Germany, and had two brothers, St. Willibald and St. Winibald.
St. Richard, when starting with his two sons on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, entrusted Walburga, then eleven years old, to the abbess of Wimborne. In the claustral school and as a member of the community, she spent twenty-six years preparing for the great work she was to accomplish in Germany. The monastery was famous for holiness and austere discipline. There was a high standard at Wimborne, and the child was trained in solid learning, and in accomplishments suitable to her rank. Thanks to this she was later able to write St. Winibald’s Life and an account in Latin of St. Willibald’s travels in Palestine. She is thus looked upon by many as the first female author of England and Germany. Scarcely a year after her arrival, Walburga received tidings of her father’s death at Lucca.
During this period St. Boniface was laying the foundations of the Church in Germany. He saw that for the most part scattered efforts would be futile, or would exert but a passing influence. He, therefore, determined to bring the whole country under an organized system. As he advanced in his spiritual conquests he established monasteries which, like fortresses, should hold the conquered regions, and from whose watch-towers the light of faith and learning should radiate far and near.
Statue of Saint Walpurga in the church of Contern, Luxembourg.
Boniface was the first missionary to call women to his aid. In 748, in response to his appeal, Abbess Tetta sent over to Germany St. Lioba and St. Walburga, with many other nuns. They sailed with fair weather, but before long a terrible storm arose. Hereupon Walburga prayed, kneeling on the deck, and at once the sea became calm. On landing, the sailors proclaimed the miracle they had witnessed, so that Walburga was everywhere received with joy and veneration. There is a tradition in the Church of Antwerp that, on her way to Germany, Walburga made some stay there; and in that city’s most ancient church, which now bears the title of St. Walburga, there is pointed out a grotto in which she was wont to pray. This same church, before adopting the Roman Office, was accustomed to celebrate the feast of St. Walburga four times a year. At Mainz she was welcomed by her uncle, St. Boniface, and by her brother, St. Willibald.
After living some time under the rule of St. Lioba at Bischofsheim, she was appointed abbess of Heidenheim, and was thus placed near her favourite brother, St. Winibald, who governed an abbey there. After his death she ruled over the monks’ monastery as well as her own. Her virtue, sweetness, and prudence, added to the gifts of grace and nature with which she was endowed, as well as the many miracles she wrought, endeared her to all. It was of these nuns that Ozanam wrote: “Silence and humility have veiled the labours of the nuns from the eyes of the world, but history has assigned them their place at the very beginning of German civilization: Providence has placed women at ever cradleside.” On 23 Sept., 776, she assisted at the translation of her brother St. Winibald’s body by St. Willibald, when it was found that time had left no trace upon the sacred remains. Shortly after this she fell ill, and, having been assisted in her last moments by St. Willibald, she expired.
St. Willibald laid her to rest beside St. Winibald, and many wonders were wrought at both tombs. St. Willibald survived till 786, and after his death devotion to St. Walburga gradually declined, and her tomb was neglected. About 870, Otkar, then Bishop of Eichstadt, determined to restore the church and monastery of Heidenheim, which were falling to ruin. The workmen having desecrated St. Walburga’s grave, she one night appeared to the bishop, reproaching and threatening him. This led to the solemn translation of the remains to Eichstadt on 21 Sept. of the same year. They were placed in the Church of Holy Cross, now called St. Walburga’s. In 893 Bishop Erchanbold, Otkar’s successor, opened the shrine to take out a portion of the relics for Liubula, Abbess of Monheim, and it was then that the body was first discovered to be immersed in a precious oil or dew, which from that day to this (save during a period when Eichstadt was laid under interdict, and when blood was shed in the church by robbers who seriously wounded the bell-ringer) has continued to flow from the sacred remains, especially the breast. This fact has caused St. Walburga to be reckoned among the Elaephori, or oil-yielding saints. Portions of St. Walburga’s relics have been taken to Cologne, Antwerp, Furnes, and elsewhere, whilst her oil has been carried to all quarters of the globe.
The various translations of St. Walburga’s relics have led to a diversity of feasts in her honour. In the Roman Martyrology she is commemorated on 1 May, her name being linked with St. Asaph’s, on which day her chief festival is celebrated in Belgium and Bavaria. In the Benedictine Breviary her feast is assigned to 25 (in leap year 26) Feb. She is represented in the Benedictine habit with a little phial or bottle; as an abbess with a crozier, a crown at her feet, denoting her royal birth; sometimes she is represented in a group with St. Philip and St. James the Less, and St. Sigismund, King of Burgundy, because she is said to have been canonized by Pope Adrian II on 1 May, the festival of these saints. If, however, as some maintain, she was canonized during the episcopate of Erchanbold, not in Otkar’s, then it could not have been during the pontificate of Adrian II. The Benedictine community of Eichstadt is flourishing, and the nuns have care of the saint’s shrine; that of Heidenheim was ruthlessly expelled in 1538, but the church is now in Catholic hands.
GERTRUDE CASANOVA (1913 Catholic Encyclopedia)
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/23/12 2:29 PM
USCCB President Timothy Cardinal Dolan has issued a new letter to his fellow Catholic bishops that is one of the strongest condemnations yet of the revised Obama mandate that pro-life advocates have blasted for trampling on religious freedoms.
I won’t ask if you are doing well, because I read the news every day and I already know. But I hope you will be well enough to help me clarify a few things that have appeared in the news in the last day or so that have confused me.
Yesterday, it seems everyone flew into a tizzy because the Daily Telegraph reported that abortion facilities are allowing women to abort their children if the child is the “wrong” sex. The papers and politicians are saying that “sex-selective abortion” is illegal and “morally wrong.” In fact, the whole business has upset everyone so much that Scotland Yard is now involved.
But I’m afraid I just don’t understand, England. Hadn’t you accepted the abortionist movement’s assertion that abortion is always a “woman’s choice”? Isn’t it supposed to be entirely a “private decision between the woman and her doctor”? I had understood that you believe it is the woman’s choice alone that makes the act “moral.”
Yet here we have one of your elected officials, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, saying yesterday, “sex-selective abortion is morally wrong” because it isn’t on the list of accepted reasons. Today he wrote in The Telegraph: “Carrying out an abortion on the grounds of gender alone is in my view morally repugnant.”
Do I understand this correctly? It is morally wrong to kill someone specifically because she is a girl (and I am going to assume specifically because he is a boy, though this seems never to be mentioned out loud), but you can certainly kill a girl because you just don’t really feel like having a child at all, of either sex.
Or, as the law currently permits, if the girl is suspected of being “severely handicapped”? To clarify: it is morally wrong to kill a child specifically because she is female, but not morally wrong to kill a child who has Down’s syndrome, but just happens to be female at the same time? Or, to look at it another way, is it “morally repugnant,” as Mr. Lansley says, to kill a female child who, let us say, has a cleft palate or a club foot and who also happens to be female if your reason is not a loathing of these malformations but a loathing of female children? This seems odd because the end result is precisely the same.
Quite honestly, I’m surprised you are bothered. It seemed that after a few troubled nights, the whole issue of killing children for their disabilities really just didn’t seem to worry you too much at all.
I would like to ask you, and Mr. Lansley, according to what criteria is an act “morally wrong”? What possible difference does it make to anyone what reason is given on the forms? Isn’t the whole point of legalized abortion to allow women to kill their children? If we have established that it is ever morally permissible to do this, does it matter so very much why they want to?
England, you say that the woman has to have, or, more to the point, has to say she has the correct, socially approved reasons. But if you have accepted that a woman can kill her child, that in some cases doing so is even a meritorious act, how does this killing ever become “morally repugnant” if it is carried out for some reason that does not make the current list of socially approved reasons?
Also, could I ask, England, who makes this list? Where does it come from? How are the criteria for “morally repugnant” and illegal and the criteria for legal and meritorious decided?
It certainly doesn’t come from your ancient Christian heritage, that says deliberate killing of an innocent is morally wrong all by itself, whatever the reason given. Nor does it come from your 1000 years of jurisprudence that established civil liberties based on the person’s inherent rights as a human being. It also doesn’t come from traditional medical ethics, the ancient cornerstone of which is “Do no harm” to anyone, mother or child, and which specifies that no doctor can give a woman a “pessary to cause an abortion”.
At the risk of sounding impertinent, where did you get the idea that abortion is acceptable under any circumstances? Who exactly told you that? And why did you suddenly decide to believe it?
If the list of morally acceptable reasons for abortion is derived from the general social opinion, what happens if and when that changes? What if you, England, become a society dominated by a culture that thinks it is not the least bit “morally repugnant” to kill girls before or after birth? Will this mean that it is still, objectively, immoral? Will you change the law?
Once you have established that a woman can kill her unborn child, what is the point of maintaining any sort of pretense of moral outrage if the reason for killing is not to your personal liking or the personal liking of your politicians? Why retain these oddly archaic, traditional moral restrictions at all? Does this not seem somewhat contradictory?
The Telegraph’s video clip of a Dr. Raj approving an abortion more or less sums up the whole problem. The pregnant woman tells Dr. Raj, “I want to kill this child because she’s a girl…” What happens next?
“Is that the reason?” Dr Raj asks. “That’s not fair. It’s like female infanticide isn’t it?”
The solution becomes clear in an instant: simply put down some other reason. Dr. Raj says, “I’ll put too young for pregnancy, yeah?” Because everyone in that room, including Dr. Raj and the Telegraph reporter, knows that these regulations are a farce.
Clearly the difficulty you are having, England, is that while abortion comes with a moral framework that admits of no exceptions, politicians know that that framework is not accepted by the general public, which views it as “morally repugnant.” The trick so far to keeping everything going has been to never talk about it. Never let anyone ask the kind of questions I have asked above.
The Telegraph tells us, “The disclosures are likely to lead to growing pressure for pregnant women considering an abortion to be offered independent counseling”. And Mr. Lansley has said that there will be a “public consultation” on the issue. So it seems we are, at last, going to talk about it.
This seems like a good idea, but I wonder if we are clear about what, exactly, the consultation will ask the public? Mr. Lansley seems to think it is only a matter of women receiving “independent counseling”. “All women seeking an abortion should have the opportunity, if they so choose, to discuss at length and in detail with a professional their decision and the impact it may have,” he says.
But who is going to do this counseling? The staff and operators of these abortion “charities” whose six-figure salaries depend upon abortion? Or independent psychologists who start with the premise that there is nothing morally wrong with killing an unborn child?
Is this what you consider objective and impartial, England? Because it seems that anyone expressing any sort of opposition to the sexual revolution’s values, is likely to automatically be disqualified.
But I wonder, England, are you really ready to face the results of such a public discussion? You are clearly ill at ease with things as they are now. You seem to want to keep the new mores of the sexual revolution operating, while being at the same time deeply conflicted about the direction that ideology is taking you.
Either way, it seems that we are getting close to the time when you will have to decide which way you want to go. These contradictions can no longer be hidden, even from those most determined to ignore rampaging elephants.
Dearest England, if there is to be a consultation, I do hope that you will not hesitate to ask the questions I have asked above. Should you ever feel the need to revert back to your previous moral convictions – that something that is “morally wrong” is so because of the nature of the act itself, and not because it contravenes the strictures of some ephemeral social trend – please be assured of my whole-hearted support, and that of many more who love you tenderly.
I remain your devoted friend,
by Ben Johnson
LANSING, MICHIGAN, February 23, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Seven states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration today seeking to overturn the mandate that religious employers provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients to their employees as part of their health care plans.
The state attorneys general of Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas filed suit today in U.S. District Court, arguing that the mandate violates both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. All seven plaintiffs are Republicans.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
“Religious liberty is America’s first freedom,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “Constitutional rights cannot be finessed. Religious liberty cannot be compromised. Any rule, regulation or law that forces faith-based institutions to provide for services that violate their free exercise of religion, or that penalizes them for failing to kneel at the altar of government, is a flat-out violation of the First Amendment.”
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the requirement that religious employers subsidize products that violate their deeply held beliefs – with zero co-pay – “is a threat to every American, regardless of religious faith.”
“We will not stand idly by while our constitutionally guaranteed liberties are are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them,” Bruning, who is a candidate for U.S. Senate in Nebraska, said.
The regulation extends the role of the state at the expense of the church, the plaintiffs say. “Government has no business forcing religious institutions and individuals to violate their sincerely held beliefs,” stated Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
By forcing all employers to do something that contradicts the tenets of their faith and granting an exceptionally narrow religious exemption, the mandate would “leave countless additional religious freedoms vulnerable to government intrusion and negation by coercion,” the legal complaint states.
First Amendment concerns have not been allayed by the minor shift in policy President Obama announced on February 10. “The president’s so-called ‘accommodation’ was nothing but a shell game,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. “The mandate still requires religious organizations to subsidize and authorize conduct that conflicts with their religious principles.”
Their legal complaint adds another objection: After faithful religious employers drop their insurance coverage, state Medicaid rolls will swell – something President Obama promised would not happen when he first proposed his health care legislation.
The rule “will place further stress on Plaintiff States’ Medicaid programs as they inevitably increase reliance on public resources for support.” Growing government dependence will further “threaten budget stability,” the lawsuit holds.
“The unfortunate reality is that many religious organizations will cease to offer health insurance and charities will stop offering services to the less fortunate because of this mandate,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “This is another example of why ObamaCare is bad policy, and it is another reason why I have joined attorneys general across this county to protect American families from its illegal overreach.”
The seven states are joined by the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, Catholic Social Services, Pius X Catholic High School of Lincoln, Nebraska, and two private citizens, one of whom is a nun.
Sister Mary Catherine, CK, is a sister with the School Sisters of Christ the King in Lincoln, Nebraska. Stacy Molai is a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). Although Molai suffers “an incurable chronic illness,” she says she will drop her insurance coverage if it provides contraceptives and abortifacients.
Less than two weeks ago, Bruning told LifeSiteNews.com a coalition of state attorneys general would file a lawsuit within “weeks, not months.” Some 13 state AGs had just signed a letter to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor, stating their opposition to the mandate and noting they stood “prepared to vigorously oppose it in court.”
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has also filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit filed by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian College, and the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) against the new health care rule.
February 24, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday the Virginia Senate voted to send personhood legislation back to committee in a 24-14 vote, effectively killing the bill until 2013.
Earlier this month the Republican-led House of Delegates had passed the bill by a vote of 66 to 32.
The legislation states that unborn children “at every stage of development” are considered persons. It would not have affected abortion access in the state but would have simply affirmed the scientific fact of when a human life begins.
Mathew Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action, lamented the demise of the legislation saying, “Every legislator should understand one simple and basic truth – that human life begins at conception. If government leaders cannot understand this essential fact, they have no business serving in public office.”
Rush: Obama’s infanticide vote ‘most shocking, underreported, significant story I can ever remember’
by Ben Johnson
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, February 24, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The nation’s number one talk show host drew attention to Barack Obama’s history of supporting infanticide on Friday’s show.
Discussing this week’s CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona, Rush Limbaugh told his listeners said the president’s vote against the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001, 2002, and 2003 amounted to “the most shocking and underreported significant story I can ever remember.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich raised the issue of Obama’s support for infanticide after CNN debate moderator John King asked the presidential hopefuls a question about birth control.
The question met with loud audience disapproval, as it was widely interpreted as intended to embarrass Rick Santorum.
Gingrich, who replied first, objected that in 2008, “not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.”
“If we’re going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama who, as a state senator, voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion,” Gingrich said. “It is not the Republicans.”
As a state senator, Barack Obama voted against a bill that would require abortionists to provide care to an infant who is born alive during the course of a failed abortion. The legislation was brought forward after Jill Stanek, a nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, exposed abortionists’ practice of abandoning babies born alive after failed abortions, leaving them to die in a hospital utility room.
President George W. Bush signed the federal version of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2002. The federal bill passed the U.S. House in an overwhelming 380-15 vote, with a majority of outspokenly pro-abortion representatives supporting the legislation. Even after NARAL withdrew its opposition to the federal version of the bill, Obama had continued to oppose the state version.
“We talked about it during the 2008 campaign,” Limbaugh told an audience of millions. “Nobody wanted to hear it. The hopey-change thing was just too big of a theme.”
Newt “had the courage to use the word ‘infanticide,’” he said. “It’s exactly what was being defended. And unbelievable as this may sound to those of you who never heard about this, every word of it is true.”
All four Republican candidates voiced their opposition to the HHS mandate, as well.
Friday, February 24, 2012
by Ben Johnson
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, February 22, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com)—A 14-year-old homeschooler who testified before the Maryland state senate against a bill redefining marriage has been the subject of cyberbullying, vicious name-calling, and death threats.
Maryland State Senate
Sarah Crank, 14, told the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last month she believes children need a mother and a father. “ I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender,” she told the senators. “Even though some kids think it’s fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on.”
She continued, “People say that they were born that way, but I’ve met really nice adults who did change.”
“Today’s my 14th birthday, and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote ‘no’ on gay marriage,” she said.
Click “like” if you want to defend true marriage.
After audio of her uncharacteristically mature testimony was posted on YouTube, the story went viral on homosexual activist websites—and death threats quickly followed.
TFP Student Action, a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to traditional morality, recorded several of the most offensive threats in a press release. A commenter on the YouTube video wrote, “If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That’s a promise.”
Other YouTube comments ranged from, “Her parents should be exterminated,” to, “Kill this child and his [sic] parent, for my 11 birthday would be a wonderful gift, thanks.”
A comment posted on LGBTNation.com said, ““And now everyone knows her name, so hopefully she will feel what its like to be harassed and bullied…”
Since TFP issued its press release, the comments have not moderated. Supporters of same-sex “marriage” continue to wish violence, sexual assault, or censorship upon the girl. (Warning, profanity):
- I hope you get raped by your married parents.—madisonen;
- Stupid bi**h - I hope you die on your Bday!!!!!—geminiboi007;
- A dumb way for a dumb bi**h to do dumb things. Stop talking nonsense that your Christian, Anti-Gay parents are force-feeding you through a thin straw, and learn to accept other people. Now shut up bi**h, before I smack you.—123adbnvcs;
“I really applaud and admire Sarah’s remarkable courage,” John Ritchie, director of TFP Student Action, told LifeSiteNews.com. “Her testimony against counterfeit same-sex marriage in Maryland was truthful and articulate. She spoke for the overwhelming majority of Americans – including many teenagers – who want to protect true marriage from being dishonored, redefined, and distorted.”
According to its website, TFP Student Action “networks with college students on more than 719 campuses,” promoting chivalry and a Christian ethical conduct.
“The homosexual movement only talks about ‘tolerance,’ but never really practices any,” Ritchie told LifeSiteNews.com. “Sin produces anger and disorder within souls,” he said. “Vice clouds reason.”
Ritchie had a different message for the Crank family. “I’m praying for you and your family, Sarah,” he said. “Stand strong. God will win. And Saint Michael will help you and help America.”
The full text of Sarah’s testimony follows:
Hi, I’m Sarah Crank. Today’s my 14th birthday, and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote “no” on gay marriage. I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender. Even though some kids think it’s fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on. I don’t want more kids to get confused about what’s right and okay. I really don’t want to grow up in a world where marriage isn’t such a special thing anymore.
It’s rather scary to think that when I grow up the legislature or the court can change the definition of any word they want. If they could change the definition of marriage then they could change the definition of any word. People have the choice to be gay, but I don’t want to be affected by their choice. People say that they were born that way, but I’ve met really nice adults who did change. So please vote “no” on gay marriage. Thank you.
The seventh of eight children, he was born on 1 December 1831 in Pagani, Salerno, in the Diocese of Nocera-Sarno, Italy, to Dr. Antonio, a pharmacist, and Stella Giordano, of noble descent. They were known for their upright moral and religious conduct, and taught their son Christian piety and charity to the poor.
He was baptized on the day he was born in the parish of S. Felice e Corpo di Cristo. In 1837, when he was only six years old, his mother died of cholera and a few years later, in 1841, he also lost his father. Fr. Giuseppe, an uncle on his father’s side and a primary school teacher, then took charge of his education.
Since 1839, the year of the canonization of St. Alphonsus Mary de’ Liguori, little Tommaso had dreamed of church and the altar; in 1847 he was at last able to enter the same diocesan seminary of Nocera which his brother Raffaele would leave after being ordained a priest in 1849.
In those years, sorrowful because of the loss of his loved ones, including his uncle (1847) as well as his young brother, Raffaele (1852), the devotion to the Patient Christ and to his Blessed Sorrowful Mother, already dear to the entire Fusco family, took root in Tommaso Maria, as in fact his biographers recall: “He had a deep devotion to the crucified Christ which he cherished throughout his life”.
Right from the start he saw to the formation of boys for whom he opened a morning school in his own home, while for young people and adults, bent on increasing their human and Christian formation, he organized evening prayers at the parish church of S. Felice e Corpo di Cristo. This was a true place of conversion and prayer, just as it had been for St. Alphonsus, revered and honored in Pagani for his apostolate.
In 1857, he was admitted to the Congregation of the Missionaries of Nocera under the title of St Vincent de Paul and became an itinerant missionary, especially in the regions of Southern Italy.
In 1860 he was appointed chaplain at the Shrine of our Lady of Carmel (known as “Our Lady of the Hens”) in Pagani, where he built up the men’s and women’s Catholic associations and set up the altar of the Crucified Christ and the Pious Union for the Adoration of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus.
In 1862 he opened a school of moral theology in his own home to train priests for the ministry of confession, kindling enthusiasm for the love of Christ’s Blood; that same year, he founded the “(Priestly) Society of the Catholic Apostolate” for missions among the common people; in 1874 he received the approval of Pope Pius IX, now blessed.
S. Felice e Corpo di Cristo Church
Deeply moved by the sorry plight of an orphan girl, a victim of the street, after careful preparation in prayer for discernment, Fr. Tommaso Maria founded the Congregation of the “Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood” on 6 January, the Solemnity of Epiphany in 1873. This institute was inaugurated at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the presence of Bishop Raffaele Ammirante, who, with the clothing of the first three sisters with the religious habit, blessed the first orphanage for seven poor little orphan girls of the area. It was not long before the newborn religious family and the orphanage also received the Pope’s blessing, in response to their request.
Fr. Tommaso Maria continued to dedicate himself to the priestly ministry, preaching spiritual retreats and popular missions; and from his apostolic travels sprang the many foundations of houses and orphanages that were a monument to his heroic charity, which was even more ardent in the last 20 years of his life (1870-1891).
In addition to his commitments as founder and apostolic missionary, he was parish priest (1874-1887) at the principal church of S. Felice e Corpo di Cristo in Pagani, extraordinary confessor to the cloistered nuns in Pagani and Nocera and, in the last years of his life, spiritual father of the lay congregation at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
It was not long before Fr. Tommaso Maria, envied for the good he achieved in his ministry and for his life as an exemplary priest, was faced with humiliation and persecution and, in 1880, even a brother priest’s slanderous calumny. However, sustained by the Lord, he lovingly carried that cross which own Pastor, Bishop Ammirante had foretold at the time of his institute’s foundation: “Have you chosen the title of the Most Precious Blood? Well, may you be prepared to drink the bitter cup”.
During the harshest of trials, which he bore in silence, he would repeat: “May work and suffering for God always be your glory and in your work and suffering, may God be your consolation on this earth, and your recompense in heaven. Patience is the safeguard and pillar of all the virtues”.
Wasting away with a liver-disease, Fr. Tommaso Maria died a devout death on 24 February 1891, praying with the elderly Simeon: Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word” (Lk 2, 29).
He was only 59 years old! In the notice issued by the town council of Pagani on 25 February 1891 the Gospel witness of his life, known to one and all, was summarized in these words: “Tommaso Maria Fusco, Apostolic Missionary, Founder of the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood, an exemplary priest of indomitable faith and ardent charity, worked tirelessly in the name of the Redeeming Blood for the salvation of souls: in life he loved the poor and in death forgave his enemies”.
His life was directed to the highest devotion of Christian virtues by the priestly life, lived intensely in constant meditation on the mystery of the Father’s love, contemplated in the crucified Son whose Blood is “the expression, measure and pledge” of divine Charity and heroic charity to the poor and needy, in whom Fr. Tommaso Maria saw the bleeding Face of Jesus.
His writings, preaching and popular missions marked his vast experience of faith and the light of Christian hope that shone from his vocation and actions. He had a vital, burning love for God; it inflamed his words and his apostolate, made fruitful by love for God and neighbor, by union with the crucified Jesus, by trust in Mary, Immaculate and Sorrowful, and above all by the Eucharist.
Bl. Thomas Mary Fusco
Fr. Tommaso Maria Fusco was an Apostle of Charity of the Most Precious Blood, a friend of boys and girls and young people and attentive to every kind of poverty and human and spiritual misery.
For all these reasons he enjoyed the fame of holiness among the diocesan priests, among the people and among his spiritual daughters who received his charism, and witness to it today in the various parts of the world where they carry out their apostolate in communion with the Church.
The cause for the beatification of Fr. Tommaso Maria Fusco was initiated in 1955 and the decree of his heroic Christian virtues was published on 24 April 2001. The miraculous healing of Mrs. Maria Battaglia on 20 August 1964 in Sciacca, Agrigento, Sicily, through the intercession of Fr. Tommaso Maria Fusco was recognized on 7 July 2001.
With his beatification, Pope John Paul II presents Fr. Tommaso Maria Fusco as an example and a guide to holiness for priests, for the people of God and for his spiritual daughters, the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood.