Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Digest of Today's Posts (31 January 2007)

  • Baby's First Photos: Our First Glimpse of Little Grace Assumpta

  • Could You Imagine a Prominent Republican Senator Saying This About Gen. Colin Powell?

  • Hear, O Man, What is Required of Thee ...

  • A Catholic Londoner on "The Last Acceptable Prejudice"

  • Terry McAuliffe, Defender of the Catholic Faith

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (30 January 2007))


    Baby's First Photos: Our First Glimpse of Little Grace Assumpta

    Today we found out that the little life growing inside Sarah's belly is another baby girl. Good thing, because we already had a girl's name picked out, but were struggling in coming up with a mutually acceptable name for a boy*.

    Introducing Grace Assumpta Anderson:

    After "Mary Virginia" and now "Grace Assumpta", you're probably noticing a theme with respect to the names we've chosen for our girls.

    * I liked boy's names expressive of our Scottish, Irish, and Anglo-Saxon heritage like "Charles Edward Stuart Anderson" or "Finnan Colmcille Anderson" or "Edmund Bede Anderson" or (here's a good one) "Hrothgar Beowulf Anderson". For whatever reason, Sarah vetoed all of these.

    And I don't care what anyone says. The esoteric appeal of such names would be worth the beatings.

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    Could You Imagine a Prominent Republican Senator Saying This About Gen. Colin Powell?

    Good grief! Here's Sen. Joe Biden (one of those "social justice" Catholic Democrats) on his colleague, Sen. Barrack Obama:
    Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
    Good going, Holy Joe.

    I don't even think former segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond in his dotage would have been so out of his mind as to have expressed such a sentiment.

    Next up: Sen. Robert "KKK" Byrd refers to Obama as "a good boy".


    Hear, O Man, What is Required of Thee ...

    Michael and Katerina at Evangelical Catholicism have begun an interesting discussion on having a systematic and integrated approach to Catholic teaching that encompasses both "faith and morals" and "social justice" aspects (in actualitly, which sees these aspects as indistinguishible - i.e. how does one separate faith from charity?). See "Three Main Weaknesses of Today's Catholics".

    Christopher Blosser has picked up the discussion at Against the Grain with "Necessary Distinctions - Prudential Judgement & Catholic Social Doctrine".

    Gerald Augustinus of The Cafeteria is Closed also offers his take on the issue with "Social Justice".

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Continue to Raise Our Voices on Issue of Voting

    In January's Catholic Chronicle - "Vote Your Values" Revisited

    Vote Your Values

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    A Catholic Londoner on "The Last Acceptable Prejudice"

    From A Catholic Londoner:
    ... It has been said that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in the US. The same applies to the UK I believe, where it has now been confirmed that anti-Catholicism is the new anti-semitism..

    As I said in my previous post on this issue, there is no doubt that the gay lobby is going to continue it's agenda against the Catholic Church and religion in general, having won a victory as symbolic as the forced closure of Catholic adoption agencies. The above article in particular proves this point: that it will become increasingly difficult to openly exercise a Catholic conscience.

    So I wonder, how difficult are things going to get over the next few years? I'm not qualified to answer that. However I do know that the Cardinal is correct - this is not the end of the road for the anti-Catholic agenda, which will undoubtedly continue.

    The gay lobby is going to roll out it's big guns again on the next big issue of equality, whenever and wherever it may happen.

    I propose we as Catholics wheel out our big guns too - namely the Sacrifice of Holy Mass; the Rosary; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; pilgrimages; mortification and penance; a healthy prayer life complimented with frequent Confession.

    These, I promise you, are more powerful than any hateful words the gay lobby can throw at us.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament

    "A Charter for Suing Christians"

    British Bishops: U.K. Sex Equality Law "Threatens Catholic Adoption Agencies"

    UK: Churches "Could be Forced to Bless Gay Weddings"

    The Coming Persecution of Churches Over "Gay Marriage"

    The Coming Conflict Between Same-Sex "Marriage" and Religious Liberty

    Let Catholic Charities Be Catholic

    Decision of Catholic Charities to Pull Out of Adoptions Reverberates

    Catholic League Says Gay Adoption Issue Spurring Anti-Catholic Bigotry

    Boston Archdiocese Drops Adoption Services

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    Terry McAuliffe, Defender of the Catholic Faith

    "The Order of Malta is a lay, religious order of the Catholic Church. It is a Hospitaller order, founded in Jerusalem during the eleventh century. Members of the Order seek to glorify God through his or her work with the sick and the poor and witness of the Catholic faith."

    Dale Price writes:
    Terry McAuliffe, unapologetic defender of partial birth abortion, is about to be honored for his selfless devotion to and efforts on behalf of the Catholic Faith by being admitted to the Knights of Malta.

    Once again, those laboring in the trenches to uphold the Gospel are about to take a shiv between the shoulderblades. Once again, the unfaithful get front row seats while the laborers in the vineyard are told to shut up. This is of a piece with the detonation over the Buffalo Deacon's homily (poor, poor "Brian," whose remarkably base political whoredom is noted here) and the Archbishop of Washington's studied refusal to directly address life issues with any Catholics in public life. Yes, the Church's leaders preach one thing while coddling the opponents within her ranks.

    So try it this way: Generally speaking, our leaders preach the right thing, but almost never act on it. For whatever reason, they are cowed by the enemy.

    Reminds me of something I wrote here:
    ... we see members of the hierarchy who are unwilling to publicly criticize pro-abort Catholic politicians for their very public votes that directly contradict Church teaching. And ... we see the very same members of the hierarchy who have no such qualms about publicly upbraiding and humiliating individuals who have taken a pro-life stand.

    What then, are we pro-lifers to believe about where our Bishops place their priorities? Are our efforts on behalf of the sanctity of life worth the back of the hand that some of our prelates show to us whenever we make things "uncomfortable"?
    If you'd like to do something to make things "uncomfortable" (and I'm not advocating anything, mind you), here is a link to the Knights of Malta U.S. website.
    Contact info:

    1730 M. Street, NW, Suite 403
    Washington, DC 20036
    202-331-2494 - Phone
    202-331-1149 - Fax

    or use the contact form at their website.
    (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Do I Detect a Theme in the Previous 2 Posts?


    Tuesday, January 30, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (30 January 2007)

  • "House, M.D." Blows

  • Sen. Brownback Wants to Stop Litigants in Establishment Clause Cases from Collecting Fees

  • Peace Plan for Craggy Island Row

  • "Friend" of Rudy and Hillary! to Retire in April - Speculation on Replacement

  • Ohio Mass-Goers Get Medieval on Would-Be Armed Robber

  • Catholicism, Pelosi style

  • A Regular Bible Scholar

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (29 January 2007))


    "House, M.D." Blows

    Nihilistic culture-of-death crap!

    Sen. Brownback Wants to Stop Litigants in Establishment Clause Cases from Collecting Fees

    Sam Brownback ... sticking it to the ACLU:
    Washington DC, Jan 30, 2007 / 11:46 am (CNA).- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback reintroduced the Public Expressions of Religion Act on Jan. 29. The bill would prevent activist groups from using a 1976 civil rights law to recover attorney’s fees when they sue local cities and towns in cases related to public displays of religion and faith.

    “It is not fair for taxpayers to pay the legal bills for groups like the ACLU,” said Brownback. “Currently many small towns comply with the demands of the ACLU rather than risk going to trial and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to the ACLU if they lose the case.”

    Currently, legal activist groups recover hundreds of thousands of dollars from state and local governments based on a provision of the 1976 Civil Rights Attorney Fees Awards Act, which was intended to assist underprivileged plaintiffs in obtaining legal representation in civil rights cases.

    For example, when several groups won a case in Alabama to remove a Ten Commandments display from the Alabama Supreme Court building, taxpayers were forced to pay the groups’ attorneys nearly $550,000.

    Brownback said the legislation would still allow “plaintiffs with legitimate claims to have their day in court. However, it would prevent local cities and towns from being coerced into settling claims out of a fear of huge monetary losses.”

    This new measure would require parties in Establishment Clause cases to pay their own attorney fees.

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    Peace Plan for Craggy Island Row

    (Hat tip: Jules, commenting at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping)

    For fans of "Father Ted":
    The organisers of a Father Ted festival [ED.: The festival is being held nine years since Dermot Morgan's (who played the role of "Father Ted") death] have come up with what they say is an ingenious solution to decide who is the real Craggy Island - a five-a-side football tournament.

    Inis Mor, the largest of the three remote Aran Islands off County Galway, is planning a three-day "Friends of Ted" event.

    However, residents of Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands, were up in arms as they believed they had a bigger connection to the Channel 4 comedy.

    One of the organisers, Peter Phillips, said they got a flash of inspiration from an episode featuring the All-Priests Five-a-Side Over-75s Indoor Challenge Football Match.

    And unlike in the show, the losers won't have to kick any fearsome bent-over bishops.

    "We thought they could play each other and the winner could be Craggy Island for 12 months while the runner-up could be Rugged Island, and they could play again next year on a home and away basis," he says.

    Fr. Jack says: "Drink! Feck! Girls!", not to mention "Arse!"

    And please check out the Shrine of the Holy Whapping's "Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN) Schedule".

    See also "Father Ted - The Holy Trilogy". Hilarious.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Balcony of Europe

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    "Friend" of Rudy and Hillary! to Retire in April - Speculation on Replacement

    (Hat tip: David Hartline at Catholic Report)

    New York Magazine speculates on who might replace Cardinal Egan as Archbishop of New York:
    1. Edwin O’Brien, 67
    Archbishop of the Military Services of the United States
    O’Brien was passed over in 2000 in favor of Egan, but his name frequently surfaces as a possible successor. A native New Yorker, he is now head of the military vicariate, the nonterritorial archdiocese that serves the spiritual needs of Catholic U.S. service personnel stationed around the world. While not an over-the-top presence, O’Brien has extensive seminary experience and powerful connections in Rome.

    2. Timothy Dolan, 56
    Archbishop of Milwaukee
    Dolan is a mediagenic defender of orthodoxy who tows the Vatican line but doesn’t come off as stern. He’s long been considered a favorite for New York, owing to his Irish heritage and his experience as head of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. With connections to powerful prelates from the Tiber to the Hudson, Dolan is a something of an Establishment candidate.

    3. Gerald Walsh, 64, and Dennis Sullivan, 61
    New York auxiliary bishops
    The clubhouse favorites among local priests. Both are New Yorkers from Irish working-class stock and have done their time in the vineyard of parish work rather than the libraries of Rome. Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, served for many years in the same Washington Heights parish where he grew up. Sullivan, the Bronx-born son of a cabdriver, toiled in the Bronx and Lower East Side. He knows how to lead a flock and manage a big operation; he oversaw the parish-reorganization effort for Egan. Both are considered long shots—auxiliary bishops are rarely promoted to cardinals in the same city.

    4. Henry Mansell, 69
    Archbishop of Hartford
    The former auxiliary to O’Connor was reportedly on the terna last time around, while he was bishop of Buffalo, but instead was sent to Hartford in 2003. A New Yorker by birth, Mansell is popular with the clergy and is seen as a safe choice.

    5. Roberto Octavio González Nieves, 56
    Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico
    While the Catholic hierarchy is sorely in need of Latinos to minister to a flock that’s becoming steadily more Spanish-speaking, González—a New Jersey native—may also be tapped for the Southwest, where the need is greater. What’s more, Catholic power and money in New York still derive from the Church’s Irish roots; in 200 years, New York Catholics have had only one leader who was not of Irish stock, an ill-fated Frenchman in the early nineteenth century.


    Ohio Mass-Goers Get Medieval on Would-Be Armed Robber

    (Hat tip: David Hartline at Catholic Report)

    From The Columbus Dispatch:
    Five men old enough to qualify for senior-citizen discounts foiled an armed robber and his accomplice yesterday during the 8 a.m. Mass at Christ the King Church on E. Livingston Avenue.

    One churchgoer ended up at Grant Medical Center after being pistolwhipped in the back of the church while services for about 150 went on uninterrupted on the altar.

    "Our parishioners are not about to let anyone defile their church," said the Rev. Michael Lumpe, Christ the King pastor. "Kudos to those who didn’t just sit and let it happen."

    With parishioners’ help, Columbus police arrested Wendell K. Hollingsworth, 43, of Hilliard, and Celeste M. Smith, 51, of the South Side, before 9 a.m. and charged them with aggravated robbery.

    Bob, 67, of the East Side, was sitting with his wife, Carol, in the fifth row of the Catholic church when he heard an ex-nun behind them scream that a woman was trying to steal her coat. (The Dispatch is not printing the couple’s last name because the family is concerned about reprisals.)

    Bob said he turned and saw Smith in a church pew, grabbing purses from the seats in front of her and stuffing them into a plastic bag.

    He ran to the back of the church, grabbed Smith by the shoulders and began leading her to the foyer. Hollingsworth, who also had been in the church, waved a gun in the air above his head and announced, "This is a robbery," according to Columbus police.

    Hollingsworth demanded that Bob release Smith. When Bob refused, Hollingsworth struck him several times in the head until he released the woman.

    Hollingsworth waved the gun in the air a second time, demanding money. When Hollingsworth pointed the loaded, Russian handgun at his chest, Bob raised his hands in the air. "I said, ‘I give up,’ " Bob said.

    Moments later, four other parishioners "came through the doors like football players," Carol said.

    They tackled Hollingsworth and piled on top of him as he squirmed to get free. The four, who were between their late 50s and early 70s, stayed atop Hollingsworth until police arrived moments later.

    "One guy, I betcha in his 70s, was laying into the bad guy with no fear at all," Bob said.

    My Comments:
    Maybe these old guys could teach the Ohio State defense - who had a tough time tackling the Florida Gators - a thing or two.

    Catholicism, Pelosi style

    (Hat tip: Domestic Vocation)

    Carl Olson writes at Ignatius Insight:
    ... If Nancy Pelosi is a devout Catholic, then, well, I'm a devout left-handed, neo-Marxist, lesbian Buddhist who loves pro wrestling and walks on the beach. I only say that based on her abortion-loving public record. For all I know, she might privately be very devout, and only pursues public policies in direct violation of Church teaching just to show others how private her beliefs really are. Anyhow, the California Catholic Daily provides a further glimpse into the sixteen years [Pelosi's daughter] Alexandra spent losing her faith while being educated in Catholic doctrine, practice, and culture:
    “In my family, we have a hundred years of Catholic school experience, and none of us ever heard that homosexuality was a sin. At my school, the nuns taught us about evolution.” So Alexandra Pelosi, 36, told the Jan. 21 Washington Post. Pelosi is the fifth child of Nancy Pelosi, the pro-abortion San Francisco congresswoman recently elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. ...

    Pelosi, a graduate of San Francisco’s upscale Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said what she was taught in these Catholic schools differed dramatically from what she learned from the Evangelicals. “We were taught just to accept people, that was just a given,” she told the Jan. 17 San Francisco Chronicle. “I don't ever remember being told at Convent of the Sacred Heart that gay was wrong. They never even told us there was anything wrong with abortion. They were just choices. That’s why it was weird when I’d go to these [Evangelical] places and... people would say, ‘It’s in the Bible.’ And they fall back on the Bible for everything.”
    And then, returning to her famous mother, the quote of the day:
    Of Madam Speaker, who supports a woman’s “right to choose,” the younger Pelosi said, “My mother, throughout her entire life, has been faithful to the Church, even though the Church has not been that faithful to her because of her politics. And I think that takes a lot of perseverance. And still, people protest her right to go to her own church.”
    Not only did Alexandra not learn what the Church teaches, she apparently didn't learn a bit of formal logic or common sense. I hate to break it to the Pelosis, since they seem quite comfortable in their alternative reality, but neither the world nor the Church revolves around them. But maybe Ma Pelosi could work with Congress to try to change that.

    Mike Liccione of Sacramentum Vitae offers some good commentary:
    Alexandra Pelosi affords the perfect living synecdoche of AmChurch. If you didn't grow up Catholic during the last half of the twentieth century, all you have to do to know the nature, and the fruits, of "progressive Catholicism" is listen to her and her story. Are you evangelized by such an example? Of course you're not. If you're impressed all the same, is that because you care passionately about the truth?

    This is not a religion anybody would die for. It is a religion destined to die. Its dilution of truth in a soup of relativism and individualism proceeds apace by the generation.
    (emphasis added)

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    A Regular Bible Scholar

    You know the Bible 100%!

    Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

    Ultimate Bible Quiz
    Create MySpace Quizzes

    (Hat tip: The Roving Medievalist)

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    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 January 2007)

  • Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament

  • Brownback: President Should Have Addressed Conservative Social Agenda in State of the Union

  • One More Supreme Court Appointment for President Bush?

  • Rich Leonardi ... Excommunicant

  • Resources Rolling In for Pro-Abort, Pro-Gay, Anti-Gun Presidential Candidate (and He's "Catholic" to Boot)

  • Jeb Bush Calls for Reforms, Return to Civility

  • Fr. Robert J. Drinan, S.J. - Rest in Peace

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (28 January 2007))


    Official Anti-Catholic Bigotry Returns to British Parliament

    LONDON, January 29, 2007 ( – British Catholics heard a flurry of naked anti-Catholic sentiments expressed last week by some government Members and Cabinet Ministers in the “row” over the government’s decision to force Churches to adopt children to homosexuals.

    Anti-Catholic, anti-clerical and anti-papal slurs had been, until as recently as fifty years ago, standard fare in Britain’s political discourse where the established state Protestant religion is officially anti-Catholic, but most British people, both Catholics and Anglicans, were grateful to assign them to history’s waste bin.

    I’m not going to have some bloody reactionary German Pope dictate the law of our land,” said one minister quoted by Mary Ann Sieghart.

    Sieghart writes in an Op-Ed in the Times, that another admitted, “only half-jokingly,” that his mother had always told him, “Never trust a Catholic.” A third asked, “Where’s all the child abuse and paedophilia? In the Catholic Church. They should get their own bloody house in order and sort out the way paedophilia lies hidden.

    The anti-Catholic sentiment of Labour’s hard-left elite, however, is not shared by everyone on the government side of the House. Of the 40 Catholic MP’s of Blair’s Labour party, a majority wanted the exemption.

    The Telegraph quotes Peter Kilfoyle, MP for Liverpool Walton, a working class region, “This is just one more reason not to vote for us...”

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, U.S. Congressman from Buffalo, NY, Brian Higgins - a Catholic, had this to say about Holy Mother Church, her teachings, and her clergy:
    "The lesson here is that the Catholic Church has enough problems and should take greater care before allowing nonpriests to use the church as a forum to advance what clearly was a political agenda."

    UPDATE (30 January)
    The Catholic Knight has this to say:
    I've got some cold, hard and naked truth for my fellow Catholics out there. This kind of bigotry exists in the United States government too, as well as the American media. Except these days, the elitists running things know well enough to keep it under wraps. Occasionally it slips out though. Anti-Catholicism is on the decline among Protestant Fundamentalists, but among Secular Liberals (protestant or otherwise) its exploding! Shocking as it may sound, for every Anti-Catholic Fundamentalist who gives up his prejudice, there are two Secular Liberals ready to replace him.

    Catholic Americans would do well to resolve themselves to the following realities...

    1. The US and UK are Protestant nations, and they will always be anti-Catholic in nature regardless of secularizing trends. If anything, secularization will make them more anti-Catholic and not less.

    2. Anti-Catholic bigots will always be able to obtain positions of high authority and influence in the US and UK specifically because of their anti-Catholicism, just as anti-Semites will always be able to obtain positions of high authority and influence in Arab nations specifically because of their anti-Semitism.

    3. No amount of compromise and pandering will ever satisfy the anti-Catholic elites running the US and UK. To them, the only good Catholic is a bad Catholic -- i.e. "one who doesn't follow the faith."

    4. No matter how many Catholics there are in the US and UK, there will always be anti-Catholic bigots (veiled or open) running things. They cannot be beaten. They can only be frustrated.

    5. The best way to frustrate a bigot is to continue to be exactly what he hates. Catholics need to start listening to the pope, attending mass regularly, and reading the Scriptures as well as the Catechism. Nothing will drive them more crazy than that. When you drive them crazy, their hidden prejudice will start to show, and then we can at least identify them.
    Can't say that I disagree with him in the least.

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    Brownback: President Should Have Addressed Conservative Social Agenda in State of the Union

    From Associated Press (via WISTV, Columbia, SC):
    (AP) January 28, 2007 - Kansas Senator and presidential hopeful Sam Brownback says President Bush should have addressed a conservative social agenda in his State of the Union address.

    But Brownback, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," says it will be hard for Republicans to gain ground on life, marriage and family issues with a Democratic Congress and that's probably "why he stayed away from it."

    My Comments:
    The State of the Union? Why limit his criticism to that?

    Apart from a couple of solid Supreme Court picks and the ESCR veto (for which the President is to be commended), "should have addressed a conservative social agenda" pretty much sums up the entire Bush presidency.

    Says Sen. Brownback: "... it will be hard for Republicans to gain ground on life, marriage and family issues with a Democratic Congress and that's probably 'why he stayed away from it.' "

    What's his excuse for the previous 6 years?

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    First Things on "The State of Social Conservatism"

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    One More Supreme Court Appointment for President Bush?

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Conservatives stand a strong chance of securing at least one more seat on the U.S. Supreme Court before President Bush leaves office, according to one conservative court-watcher.

    Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, didn't say who might be the next justice to leave, but speculation has recently swirled around Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, a Gerald Ford appointee, who will turn 87 in April.

    Whelan told a gathering of conservatives on Saturday that it is important to nominate a compelling presidential candidate in the 2008 presidential campaign because the next president may have the opportunity to appoint up to six new Supreme Court justices.

    In addition to Stevens, Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and David Souter are among the most likely to step down between now and 2016, Whelan said.

    My Comments:
    If another opportunity for a Bush appointment does present itself, I hope the President's first inclination isn't to "reach out" to the Democrat majority by nominating someone "confirmable" (read: liberal).

    Instead, I hope President Bush nominates someone who reflects his judicial philosophy, and if that person isn't confirmed, that he nominates someone else who reflects his judicial philosophy, and if that person isn't confirmed, that he nominates yet someone else who reflects his judicial philosophy, etc.

    Place the onus on the Democrats in the Senate. Make them pay the political price for rejecting qualified nominees to the Supreme Court. Make them defend their votes. Make Senators like Bob Casey, Jr. earn their pro-life credentials by standing up to the Senate leadership and all the pro-abort interest groups who will stop at nothing to see only pro-Roe nominees confirmed.


    Rich Leonardi ... Excommunicant

    Rich Leonardi has, apparently, been excommunicated (at least according to one of his cyber-stalkers) for paying insufficient fealty to the late Cardinal Bernardin and to the late labor activist Cesar Chavez.

    And, according to "Anonymous", Rich is routinely ignored by "folks in St. Blogs (and elsewhere)" because of his "dissident" commentary. I'm still trying to square how "Anonymous's" lurking and posting on Rich's blog counts as "ignoring" him.


    Resources Rolling In for Pro-Abort, Pro-Gay, Anti-Gun Presidential Candidate (and He's "Catholic" to Boot)

    From the Houston Chronicle:
    Never mind that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is biding his time on "officially" joining the 2008 presidential throng, a number of prominent Houstonians are moving ahead with fundraising efforts on his behalf.

    The unannounced Republican candidate, a partner in Houston's Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, steps out at a $2,100 per person cocktail reception at the Houstonian Thursday night. And for those who reach very deep into their pockets — $30,000 deep — a private dinner with Giuliani will follow. This will be the first major dining for dollars event for Giuliani outside of New York.

    Among those already committing in a big way to Giuliani are Bracewell & Giuliani managing partner Pat Oxford, national chairman of Giuliani's presidential exploratory committee, and private investor Jim Lee, who serves as Texas finance vice chair.

    Expected among the crowd of more than 200 supporters are Debra and Mark Grierson, Titus Harris III, Diane and John Connally III and Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace.

    High-profile Texans taking on major roles with the Giuliani campaign include oilman Boone Pickens, who serves as finance chair for the Southwest, and Texas Rangers baseball team owner Tom Hicks, state finance chair.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Pro-Giuliani Crowd Tries to Rehabilitate the Mayor's Image Among Pro-Lifers

    Brownback: I Could Support Rudy

    For the Second Day in a Row, I Find Myself in the Uncomfortable Position of Agreeing With the DNC

    Meet the Next President: Giuliani Tops in Early GOP Polls

    Presidential Election Still 2 Years Away, But GOP Seems Intent on Self-Immolation

    The Conservative Case Against Rudy Giuliani In 2008

    Southern Appeal Takes on The Anchoress' Support for Rudy Giuliani's Presidential Aspirations

    Pro-Abort, Pro-Gay, Anti-Gun Republican Tops Pro-Abort, Pro-Gay, Anti-Gun Democrat in Recent Poll

    Four in 10 Republicans Would Not Find McCain an "Acceptable" Nominee

    Pro-Abort/Pro-Gay Republican Tops Pro-Abort/Pro-Gay Democrat In Presidential Poll - Who Cares?

    Pat Robertson Says Giuliani Would Be "Good President"


    Jeb Bush Calls for Reforms, Return to Civility

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Saturday called on Republicans to stick to conservative principles, and he urged lawmakers across the country to institute conservative reforms.

    "I hope that Republicans here in Washington and across the country don't do what is typical when there's a loss like occurred in November and that's to abandon conservative principles and redefine what it means to be a conservative, to be a little less like Democrats," said Bush. "That never works."

    Speaking at the National Review Institute's Conservative Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Bush encouraged conservative lawmakers to remain focused on limiting government.

    "I would hope that the one common denominator that we all have is a bedrock belief in limited government, that there's an inverse relationship, if you will, between the size and scope of government and our individual freedom, and that individual freedom and liberty is where this country will grow and prosper," he said.

    "Learning how to say, 'No' in Washington, D.C., is probably the first step to recovery," Bush said, calling for reforms to entitlement programs and earmark spending.

    "It is important for us to fund the basic programs to take care of the needy, the disabled, those that truly need the help of government, but we don't need to be the end all and be all for every special interest group, for every constituent that you like, for every person that's given a fundraising check to your campaign, for everything that is just wrong about public policy and politics," he said.

    Bush also called on Congress to cut taxes "whenever you can," a message he practiced as governor by signing tax-cutting budgets during each of his eight years in office. "That is one way that you can finally create a climate where government won't grow as fast as people's ability to pay for it."

    Bush has denied that he is considering a run for president in 2008, but when questioned did not rule out running as a vice presidential candidate.

    Publius has a very sensible post on why Jeb Bush, although probably the most deserving of all the Bush clan, will NOT be elected President.

    Fr. Robert J. Drinan, S.J. - Rest in Peace

    The Cafeteria is Closed notes the passing of the man whose last public act was to celebrate Mass for Nancy Pelosi.

    Regular Guy Paul minces no words about what he believes to be the eternal destination of Fr. Drinan's soul.

    As I am in no position to make such a call, I will hope that Fr. Drinan had a conversion of heart at the end, and will pray for his soul.

    UPDATE # 2
    From Catholic World News:
    Father Drinan, lawmaker who defied Rome, dead at 86

    Washington, DC, Jan. 29, 2007 ( -
    Father Robert Drinan, a Jesuit priest and lawyer who defied directives from Rome to serve for a decade in the US Congress, died on Sunday, January 28, at the age of 86.

    The combative Jesuit had been a lightning-rod for controversy throughout his political career. He came to Washington as an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam; later he became one of the most reliable votes in Congress in favor of unrestricted legal abortion.

    His advocacy of legal abortion continued long after his tenure in Congress. In 1996 the priest-politician shocked many Catholics by praising President Bill Clinton for his veto of legislation banning partial-birth abortion.

    A partisan Democratic legislator, Father Drinan filed the bill to impeach President Richard Nixon in 1973. Years later he would argue strenuously against the impeachment of President Clinton. After leaving Congress he became the president of the liberal political bloc, Americans for Democratic Action.

    Father Drinan, who served as a Congressman from Massachusetts from 1971 to 1980, died of congestive heart failure at Sibley Hospital in Washington. He had lived in Washington, teaching at Georgetown and continuing his active involvement in liberal political causes, after relinquishing his seat in Congress.

    In 1970 Father Drinan made his first run for Congress despite the explicit disapproval of Father Pedro Arrupe, then the head of the Jesuit order. With the help of local Jesuit leadership in Massachusetts he was able to forestall public reprimands from his superiors in Rome, or from the bishops in the Massachusetts dioceses covered by his Congressional district, until finally bowing to a papal directive in 1978 that barred priests from serving in elected public posts.
    (emphasis added)

    See also "The Strange Political Career of Father Drinan"

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    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (28 January 2007)

    Sunday, 28 January
  • Catholic Schools Week

  • Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas - 28 January

  • Saturday, 27 January
  • Hospice Run by Nun Helped Dying Man Lose His Virginity

  • Fr. Finigan Pays Tribute to St. John Fisher

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (26 January 2007))


    Catholic Schools Week

    Today marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. Please pray for the future of Catholic education:
    As parochial schools face decreasing enrollment and increasing costs, administrators are looking for ways to build on the past while preparing for the future.

    Representatives from area Catholic schools are working together to ensure Catholic education continues to be an option for families.

    “This project, this formation, this unification was a risk in faith,” said Sister Mary Jon Wagner, superintendent of Sandusky Central Catholic School.

    Addressing issues

    Jack Altenburger, superintendent of schools for the Toledo Diocese, said all schools — parochial and public — are facing changing demographics and increasing costs.

    During the 1996-97 school year, 23,018 pupils took classes at about 85 elementary schools in the Toledo Diocese, and the diocese’s 14 high schools housed 6,967 students, according to figures Altenburger provided.

    This year, the diocese has 75 elementary schools and 16,437 pupils. It has maintained the same number of high schools, but enrollment has dropped to 6,053.

    Altenburger said enrollment decreases are a reflection of demographic changes — not the quality of Catholic education.

    Walt Klimaski, president of Norwalk Catholic School, said Jan. 17 that Norwalk St. Paul High School had 235 students, and total district enrollment was 824 students.

    It’s amazing, he said, the school has experienced an increase of two students.

    “Whenever you do some kind of merger, you tend to lose students,” he said. “The parents have hung pretty … well with the new school.”

    What’s working at Norwalk

    Klimaski said Norwalk Catholic School board members looked to Sandusky Central Catholic School administrators for advice to find out what needed to be fixed and what worked.

    Although discussions in Norwalk had been going on for about 10 years, school officials heavily pursued the idea of reconfiguration in the past 12-18 months; the pastors initiated the process, Klimaski said.

    “The feeling was out there that something had to be done,” he said. “The pastors began their work. … People started talking.”

    Klimaski said Bishop Leonard Blair approved the plan to move forward in January 2006, and July 1 marked the official date of change through the diocese to form Norwalk Catholic School.

    Throughout those six months, the board hired its support staff and teachers as it prepared for the change. Also, the board selected Klimaski as the district’s president, and he started working part-time in April 2006.

    Norwalk has had three major capital campaigns. One about 12 years ago funded construction of an auditorium, convocation center and gymnasium. Another, about eight years ago, helped finance salaries.

    The most recent capital campaign assisted in funding the district’s formation.

    Prior to this school year, seventh- and eighth-grade pupils took classes at St. Mary and St. Paul elementary schools. The high school students already were together in the current building and remain in the old wing.

    A capital campaign funded construction of a parish center adjacent to the high school and an addition to bring all junior high pupils together in the basement of the high school building.

    Now, junior high pupils can take accelerated programs because of their proximity to the high school teachers, Klimaski said.

    “Getting the two schools together would maximize your resources,” he said.

    The capital campaign also allowed officials to add a chapel, a computer laboratory, four science laboratories and a library in the new wing.

    Now, the St. Mary campus houses the early childhood center for preschool children and kindergarteners, and grades one through six are at the St. Paul building.

    The board named the new system Norwalk Catholic School but maintained the name of St. Paul High School.

    “St. Paul High School’s been around for 80-plus years and has an alumni of supporters, and you don’t want to disenfranchise your alumni,” Klimaski said.

    Klimaski said the district is in its infancy with many issues board members must tackle. He projected it will take them two to three years to accomplish the tasks.

    “I think that, overall, this merger has been received … very well by the community,” he said.


    St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic schools, pray for us!

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    Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas - 28 January

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo group:
    St. Thomas Aquinas, priest, confessor, Doctor of the Church
    Also known as Doctor Angelicus; Doctor Communis; Great Synthesizer; The "Dumb Ox"; The Universal Teacher

    Died 1274 at Fossanuova near Terracina of apparent natural causes; relics at Saint-Servin, Toulouse, France

    Canonized in 1323 by Pope John XXII and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V in 1567

    Commemorated January 28

    Patronage: academics, against storms, against lightning, apologists, book sellers, Catholic academies, Catholic schools, Catholic universities, chastity, colleges, learning, lightning, pencil makers, philosophers, publishers, scholars, schools, storms, students, theologians, universities, University of Vigo

    In art, he is shown as a portly Dominican friar, carrying a book; or with a star on his breast and rays of light coming from his book; or holding a monstrance with Saint Norbert. At times he may be shown: (1) with the sun on his breast; (2) enthroned with pagan and heretic philosophers under his feet; (3) at a teacher's pulpit or desk, with rays coming from him; (4) with a chalice and host; (5) listening to a voice speaking to him from the Crucifix; (6) as angels bring him a girdle; or (7) in a library with Saint Bonaventure who points to the crucifix

    St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, Patron of Catholic Schools

    Thomas the Apostle challenged the story that the Lord was risen, and his unbelief brought froth a glowing testimony of the reality of the Resurrection. Twelve centuries later, his namesake, Thomas of Aquino, questioned; without doubting; the great truths of faith, and demonstrated for all time the relationship of faith and reason.

    As the first Thomas found by experiment: "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hands into His side"; that the Man who stood in the midst of them was none other than Jesus Christ, so Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, proved for all time that there is no quarrel between reason and revelation.

    Thomas, son of the count of Aquino, (b. 1225-d. 1274) was first trained at the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino, and here, even in childhood, his great mind was wrestling with theological questions, "Master, tell me--what is God?" In order to better to train the boy's mind, his father sent him at an early age to the University of Naples. There he studied under Peter of Ireland and, undisturbed by the noise and wickedness of the great university city, proceeded rapidly on his quest for God.

    Meeting the Dominicans, he was strongly attracted by their apostolic life and petitioned to be received as one of them. While recognizing the gifts of the young student, the friars refused him admittance to the Order until he was eighteen. Acting deliberately, without a backward glance at the power and wealth he was leaving, Thomas, at eighteen, joyfully put on the habit of the new Order.

    Like many gifted young men, Thomas was bitterly opposed by his family when he attempted to become a religious. When both threats and persuasion failed, he was kidnaped by his brothers and locked in a tower for more than a year. His sisters were sent to influence him, and he proceeded to convert them to his own way of thinking. A woman was sent to tempt him; but he drove her from the room with a burning brand from the fire; afterwards, angels came to gird him with the cincture of perpetual chastity. When captivity failed to break his determination, his brothers relaxed their guard, and Thomas, with the help of his sisters, escaped from the tower and hurried back to his convent.

    Thomas was given the finest education available in his day. He studied first at Cologne and later at Paris, under the Master, Albert the Great. This outstanding Dominican teacher and saint became his lifelong friend and loyal defender. They taught at Cologne and became a mutual influence for good in one of the most beautiful friendships in Dominican history.

    For the rest of his life, Thomas was to teach and preach with scarcely a day of rest. What makes the amount of writing he did remarkable, was the great deal of traveling that he undertook. Death found him in a familiar place, on the road, where he was bound for the Council of Lyons in obedience to the pope's command. He died at the Cistercian Abbey of Fossanova, in a borrowed bed, obscurity hardly fitting the
    intellectual light of the Order, but perfectly suited to the humble friar that Thomas had always been.

    Overheard in a colloquy with the Master he served so well with heart and mind and pen, Thomas was heard to ask as his reward from the Lord, "Thyself, 0 Lord, none but thyself!" St. Thomas Aquinas is a Doctor of the Church and is honored as the patron of Catholic Schools. He is celebrated in the Church Calendar on January 28th.


    Saint Thomas experienced visions, ecstasies, and revelations. He stopped writing the Summa theologiae because of a revelation he experienced while saying Mass on the feast of Saint Nicholas 1273. He confronted the consternation of his brethren saying, "The end of my labors is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been, revealed to me." Nevertheless, the work became the basis of modern Catholic theology. (full article at )


    More on St. Thomas Aquinas at:

    My Comments:
    St. Thomas Aquinas is of special significance to me, as Sarah and I were received into the Church at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Charlottesville, VA.

    The Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas by Francisco Zurbarán

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    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    Hospice Run by Nun Helped Dying Man Lose His Virginity

    From The Telegraph (U.K.):
    A young disabled man who receives care for his life-limiting illness at a hospice run by a nun spoke yesterday of his decision to use a prostitute to experience sex before he dies.

    Sister Frances Dominica gave her support to 22-year-old Nick Wallis, who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sufferers usually die by their thirties.

    Mr Wallis told staff at the Douglas House hospice in Oxford that he wanted to experience sexual intercourse. He explained that he had hoped to form an intimate and loving relationship with a woman, but his disability had acted as a barrier.

    He said he did not discuss his decision directly with Sister Frances, who founded the two hospices. "But I know she gave me her support."

    Sister Frances described Mr Wallis as "delightful, intelligent and aware young man".

    "I know that some people will say 'You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?'. But we are here for all faiths and none," she said.

    "It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."


    UPDATE (29 January)
    Jeff Miller of The Curt Jester assures me that this is an Anglican nun. I suppose that provides some consolation that at least she isn't Catholic.


    Fr. Finigan Pays Tribute to St. John Fisher

    Please take a moment to read Fr. Finigan's "Hymn to St. John Fisher" at The Hermeneutic of Continuity.

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    Friday, January 26, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 January 2007)

  • Well Met

  • Interview with U.S. Presidential Candidate Sam Brownback: Unequivocally Pro-Life, Passionately Pro-Family

  • BBC Attacks Opus Dei

  • Friends in Need of Our Prayers

  • Continue to Raise Our Voices on Issue of Voting

  • From Someone Who Was There

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (25 January 2007))

    Well Met

    Mrs. Darwin has (sorta) tagged me with a meme that I'm not about to touch. Instead, I'll take the politically correct way out:
    Who are the five Catholic (or Christian) bloggers whom you would most like to meet in person, but have not (yet)?
    I'm not going to name a top 5 of bloggers I'd like to meet, because I would like to meet ALL of the bloggers on my blogroll*.

    There. Was that politically correct enough?

    Hey, here's an idea for a meme:
    Name the Catholic (or Christian) bloggers that you have personally met.
    I've named the ones I've met below. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged.

    * I've already met Rich Leonardi, Joanna Bogle, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Boethius, and Fr. David Nuss, which isn't to say that I wouldn't want to see them all again.

    And I'm not sure, but I think I spoke with
    Fr. Tim Finigan during my pilgrimage to Walsingham in September 2005. A priest commented favorably on my Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club t-shirt that I was wearing, and said he had a pro-Ratzinger bumper sticker on his car. I could swear he looked like Fr. Finigan. Just in case that wasn't him, I'll leave him in the list of the bloggers I'd still most like to meet.

    UPDATE (27 January)
    Fr. Finigan has written in to confirm that it WAS he that I met that day in Walsingham. Cool.

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    Interview with U.S. Presidential Candidate Sam Brownback: Unequivocally Pro-Life, Passionately Pro-Family

    John-Henry Westen interviews Sen. Sam Brownback for LifeSiteNews:
    WASHINGTON, DC, January 26, 2007 ( - He is seen by supporters as a man of wisdom and intelligence, not too old and not too young, with stamina and good looks and the determination it takes to become the President of the United States of America. Sam Brownback and his team of youthful volunteers were all over the March for Life in Washington DC this week.

    Brownback was definitely not shy about testifying to his pro-life and pro-family beliefs at the March for Life. Campaign material handed out by the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands emphasized that the senior Senator from Kansas is "proudly" and "unequivocally pro-life". He refers to Roe v Wade as a "tragedy" that must be "overturned."

    Speaking of the March he told "This is a big cause and it's a big moment for the cause because we are just now getting across to people, the majority of people, about the pro-life message and the country is moving pro-life so we just really have to move that forward."



    BBC Attacks Opus Dei

    Fr. Tim Finigan reports at The Hermeneutic of Continuity:
    ... Apparently, in the programme "Waking the Dead", a member of Opus Dei shoots dead a man and a woman while they are having sex.

    The portrayal of Opus Dei is obviously derived from the Da Vinci Code...



    Friends in Need of Our Prayers

    Please keep Dale and Heather Price in your prayers at this very difficult time.

    Also remember the Catholic Caveman, who had a close brush with death on the operating table, in your prayers.

    Continue to Raise Our Voices on Issue of Voting

    Fr. Adam Hertzfeld - all the way from the Pontifical College in Rome - has added his comments to my Vote Your Values post from earlier this month, which highlighted a letter to the editor of the Catholic Chronicle authored by Fr. Hertzfeld:
    We must continue to raise our voices on the issue of voting. Those who would make all issues equal clearly have cloaked their real motives. It seems clear to me that such people believe that abortion is an acceptable fact of life, a necessary part of the so-called "liberation of women"--either that, or they are morally blind to the great value of human life. We cannot assume that such blindness has come about in an inculpable way. Therefore, our prayers for those who would deny the right to life its proper place in the heirarchy of values must be all the more fervent, and our actions as well.
    (emphasis added)

    Thank you for your comments, Fr. Hertzfeld.


    From Someone Who Was There

    A commenter at Amy Welborn's blog named "Kevin" says he was at the Mass in which a deacon allegedly "berated" an anti-life Catholic Congressman who was in attendance. He says the media reports, of course, have spun the events in favor of the Democrat Congressman:

    My mother attended the mass on Sat, not Sunday, where Deacon McDonnell gave the same homily. What has not been mentioned is that (1)a good number of people clapped after the remarks were made and (2)Fr Smith, the pastor, stated that he supported the Deacon on this issue and also urged for Catholics to "be aware of a canidates record on certain issues before you vote for them." Unless my 79 year old mother is not telling the truth, this is what was said. On Sunday, the Deacon gave the same homily as he did the night before. He said on RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY...that elected officials should be made aware of our (Catholic)confictions concerning Pro-Life issues. Higgins is no longer a member of this parish..but he is a member of another Catholic church close by. To me, it appeared that the Deacon realized Higgins was in mass while he was giving the homily. He stated that the Church has an open door policy and he would assume "our guess Congressman has one as well." It was then he suggested that we, Catholics and members of Higgins district, ask him to more closely vote in favor of his (Higgins) Catholic up bringing. Higgins and family then stood up and walked out.

    The media is spinning this out of site. The Deacon did not "berate" him in any way. I am more upset that the Bishop and the pastor are being political and not standing up for him. They are trying to play both sides of the fense...
    On the basis of this eyewitness account, assuming it is an accurate representaion, I will now revise and extend my previous remarks on this subject.

    I now believe that the deacon was neither imprudent nor tactless. He was just preaching the Truth of the Church's views on the sanctity of life - on Respect Life Sunday. His pastor had commended his homily the night before at the Vigil Mass (but now plays suck-up to the offended Congressman). I won't write publicly what I think of the bishop's sycophantic actions out of respect for his episcopal office.

    As for what I think of this Congressman, after reading his subsequent comments in which he attacks the Church, her teachings, and her clergy, it is blatantly obvious that the Congressman is so obstinate in his public sin that something more is required than sycophantic posturing from his bishop. Does that mean a pro-life homily in which he is mentioned by name? This Congressman, as evidenced by his latest remarks, almost seems to have had it coming.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    And the True Villain Reveals Himself

    Who's the Villain in this Story?


    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 January 2007)

  • Do I Detect a Theme in the Previous 2 Posts?

  • Did Archbishop Wuerl Act Like a "Bully"?

  • And the True Villain Reveals Himself

  • Sam Brownback Says Mitt Romney Needs to Address Abortion Change

  • Scottish Poet Robert Burns - Born 25 January 1759

  • Digest of Yesterday's Posts (24 January 2007)

    Do I Detect a Theme in the Previous 2 Posts?

    In both the story of the deacon who called out the pro-abort politico and the story about the woman who asked Archbishop Wuerl what he planned to do about pro-abort politicos, I note some striking parallels.

    In both stories, we see members of the hierarchy who are unwilling to publicly criticize pro-abort Catholic politicians for their very public votes that directly contradict Church teaching. And in both stories we see the very same members of the hierarchy who have no such qualms about publicly upbraiding and humiliating individuals who have taken a pro-life stand.

    What then, are we pro-lifers to believe about where our Bishops place their priorities? Are our efforts on behalf of the sanctity of life worth the back of the hand that some of our prelates show to us whenever we make things "uncomfortable"?


    Did Archbishop Wuerl Act Like a "Bully"?

    David L. Alexander, blogging at Man With Black Hat, thinks Archbishop Wuerl acted like a bully in the following exchange:
    When he took questions, a woman asked how be would respond to Catholic politicians who support legal abortion.

    His response was "teach."

    "That is what Jesus did," he said. "Did everyone accept that teaching? No.... But he didn't stop teaching. We are in this for the long haul."

    He noted that he sometimes gets letters from Catholics demanding to know what he will do about such situations.

    His temptation, he said, was to reply with, "What are YOU doing about it? How is your voice heard?"

    There was a smattering of applause from his listeners.
    Hard to argue with David's assessment. "What are YOU doing about it?" Please. Was that really necessary?

    David continues:
    Okay. Here's my question to His Immenseness: What if the questioner had an answer for you?

    Our posturing prelate will never know, having been saved by the adoration of sycophants, of which he will never be found wanting for the rest of his life...

    So, this week's Tip of the Black Hat goes to the questioner who had to endure the humiliation in Christ's name, at the behest of one who has to wear a title like a sign around his neck to do the same...

    My Comments:
    Ever since I first read and blogged about this story appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, I kept wondering why I was so troubled by Archbishop Wuerl's response to this woman (beyond his refusal to actually DO anything about pro-abort politicians in his archdiocese). David has identified exactly what it was that bothered me.

    Wuerl's response was, as David noted in a comment to his post, "bullying, and cowardly, and played to a room full of cowards", not to mention humiliating to the woman to whom he was speaking.

    That's something Archbishop Wuerl would NEVER dream of doing to "Nancy".

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

    Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

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    And the True Villain Reveals Himself

    Amy Welborn has posted a follow-up on yesterday's story about the deacon who called out the pro-abort politician during Mass. Check out what the pro-abort Catholic politico has to say about his Church:
    "The lesson here is that the Catholic Church has enough problems and should take greater care before allowing nonpriests to use the church as a forum to advance what clearly was a political agenda," Higgins said.
    Do I detect the hint of a threat in that statement? At the very least, this dirtbag seems to be saying that the Church is so compromised by "enough problems" [read: clergy scandal] that it should just keep quiet about it's teachings on the sanctity of life, which, according to said politico amounts to "advanc[ing] ... a political agenda".

    As for the jerk's comments about a "nonpriest" being "allowed" to "use" the Church, please realize that he is talking about an ordained deacon - a member of the clergy who has as much authority to preach and teach as the bishop himself. Unfortunately, the bishop and pastor have chosen to forego that opportunity to guide their flock in order to play suck-up to the pro-abort.

    Finally, Amy also points out the rather dramatic shift in the voting record on life issues of this steaming pile as he went from the state level to the national level.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Who's the Villain in this Story?


    Sam Brownback Says Mitt Romney Needs to Address Abortion Change

    From LifeNews:
    Washington, DC ( -- Until Wednesday, discussion about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's position change on abortion and pro-life issues hasn't involved other potential Republican presidential candidates. That changed when pro-life Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback implied he's the better candidate for pro-life voters.

    "I think you have to look at where he stood on the issues and what he said publicly," Brownback said of Romney in an interview with CBN on Wednesday.

    "At times he's said different things on these issues. I think that's all going to come out during a long campaign," Brownback added.

    "I do think when we get out on the campaign trail and when the campaign really gets fully engaged, there's going to be a lot of discussion about where do people actually stand on the issues and where have they been and where are they now and how reliable are they to stay that way," he explained.

    Romney has run for office previously as a candidate who favors some limits on abortion but supported keeping it legal. As recently as 2002, he told Massachusetts residents he would not press for a change in the state's abortion laws.

    However, Romney said he experienced an epiphany on pro-life issues when he was first confronted with the issue of embryonic stem cell research in 2005
    [ED.: Should read: "... Romney said he experienced an epiphany on pro-life issues when he decided to seek the Republican nomination for President"]. He said he had a change of heart and now believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned so states can again prohibit abortions.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Massachusetts Conservatives Back Brownback Over Romney


    Scottish Poet Robert Burns - Born 25 January 1759

    In honour of the 248th anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns, I'm reposting this story from last January:

    Next they'll be outlawin' the wearin' o' the tartan and the playin' o' the pipes:
    Haggis Targeted in Anti-Obesity Drive

    Scotland's national dish, haggis, has become the latest foodstuff to be targeted as part of a drive to combat growing levels of obesity among British children, prompting outrage among producers.

    According to health officials in Scotland, the delicacy -- a sheep's stomach lining stuffed with offal, oatmeal, onions and seasoning -- contains too much fat and salt and should only be given to youngsters once a week.

    But the guidance has angered makers of the "love it or hate it" foodstuff, which is traditionally eaten with a tot of whisky on Burn's Night, the annual celebration on January 25 of the life of the legendary Scots poet Robert Burns.

    "With good neeps and tatties [turnips and potatoes], there's nothing more nutritious than haggis," said Alan Pirie, of butchers James Pirie and Son, the current holders of the sought-after title "Scottish Haggis Master".

    "It's made of all natural ingredients -- there's no rubbish in it at all. To compare it with processed meat like chicken nuggets or hot dogs is just ridiculous. It's a big knock for us for it to be compared to those."

    Haggis was placed on a "restricted" list of foods issued to nurseries, playgroups and childminders as part of a drive by the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh to improve the health of pre-school children under five.

    (emphasis added)
    My Comments:
    Outlawed lungs in outlawed tripes.

    What is the world coming to when a Scotsman can't enjoy a little organ meat with his whiskey and porridge? I mean, what harm can be done by a little lung, heart, liver, blood, and oats stuffed inside a sheep's stomach?

    Perhaps Robert Burns best summed up the Scotsman's love affair with this fair delicacy in the following poem:
    Address To A Haggis

    Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
    Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
    As lang's my arm.

    The groaning trencher there ye fill,
    Your hurdies like a distant hill,
    Your pin was help to mend a mill
    In time o'need,
    While thro' your pores the dews distil
    Like amber bead.

    His knife see rustic Labour dight,
    An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
    Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
    Like ony ditch;
    And then, O what a glorious sight,
    Warm-reekin', rich!

    Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
    Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
    Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
    Are bent like drums;
    Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
    Bethankit! hums.

    Is there that owre his French ragout
    Or olio that wad staw a sow,
    Or fricassee wad make her spew
    Wi' perfect sconner,
    Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
    On sic a dinner?

    Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
    As feckles as wither'd rash,
    His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
    His nieve a nit;
    Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
    O how unfit!

    But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
    The trembling earth resounds his tread.
    Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
    He'll mak it whissle;
    An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
    Like taps o' trissle.

    Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
    And dish them out their bill o' fare,
    Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
    That jaups in luggies;
    But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
    Gie her a haggis!

    That's me about 3 days before my first encounter with a haggis, which took place during Sarah's and my honeymoon in Scotland.

    Happy birthday, Rabbie. I'll drink a wee dram of the single malt to your memory this Burns Night.

    Further Reading:

    Burns National Heritage Park

    BBC - Burns Night - Homepage

    The Scottish Haggis Website

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    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 January 2007)

  • Who's the Villain in this Story?

  • First Things on "The State of Social Conservatism"

  • "When the REAL Freaks Took Over"

  • Digest of Yesterday's Posts (23 January 2007)

    Who's the Villain in this Story?

    (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

    Deacon uses homily to criticize the pro-ESCR vote of a politico in attendance:
    A deacon upbraided Rep. Brian Higgins during Sunday morning Mass in St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church for voting in favor of embryonic stem cell research, prompting the congressman and his family to walk out during the sermon.

    The Rev. Art Smith, pastor of the South Buffalo church, said he felt "horrible" about the Higgins family's departure on "Respect Life Sunday" and offered an apology from the pulpit after the congressman had left.

    Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo later issued a statement also criticizing Deacon Tom McDonnell's action.

    "I can't tell you how terrible I felt," Smith said Tuesday. "While we have to always uphold the church's teachings regarding life, I don't think it's ever fair to publicly criticize someone who serves our community and our parish so well."

    My Comments:
    Question: Okay, so who is the villain in this story? The deacon who, while speaking Truth, probably violated decorum and inappropriately used his homily to single out a politician in attendance? Or is it the politician who voted to kill embryonic human lives and harvest their "spare parts" (and who has a 100% NARAL rating, having voted the anti-life position in all 9 "life-related" votes during the last Congress)?

    Answer: The pastor and the bishop who would rather curry favor with politicians like "Brian" and "Nancy" than challenge them on their anti-life votes that so clearly violate Church teaching.


    First Things on "The State of Social Conservatism"

    Joseph Bottum writes at First Things on what President Bush's State of the Union speech signals for social conservatism:
    ... Last night’s State of the Union address didn’t mention faith-based initatives, which President Bush once claimed would be his great legacy. Of course, it didn’t mention abortion or stem cells, either—in part because such speeches are designed to avoid controversy, and in part because the social-conservative domestic agenda seems dead in the last years of this administration. The White House may hold the line on whatever gains it feels it has already made, but it also signaled last night that it won’t be pushing hard for anything. School choice and judges each got a sentence, the only elements of social conservatism to surface in the speech...

    From Cybercast News Service:
    'Family Values' Conservatives Unimpressed by State of the Union Address

    ( -
    Conservative groups that advocate "family values" issues such as bans on abortion and homosexual "marriage" were left unimpressed after President Bush's seventh State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Full Story


    "When the REAL Freaks Took Over"

    Regular Guy Paul has been quite chivalrous in his tireless defense of the Duggar family (the family with 16 kids profiled by The Learning Channel) against those who are contemptuous of the Duggars and, apparently, all large families (or at least those parents who intend to pass on their Christian values to their multiple children).

    Yesterday, Paul quoted from another blog's outstanding defense of the Duggar family in particular and large families in general:
    When did being a decent, large, godfearing family, become the equivalent of being freaks?

    I can only come to one conclusion, sadly.

    I suppose it occured when the real freaks took over.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    What Evil Reads Like

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