Saturday, March 31, 2007

God’s Numbers

The latest NEWSWEEK poll shows that 91 percent of American adults surveyed believe in God — and nearly half reject the theory of evolution:
March 30, 2007 - A belief in God and an identification with an organized religion are widespread throughout the country, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. Nine in 10 (91 percent) of American adults say they believe in God and almost as many (87 percent) say they identify with a specific religion. Christians far outnumber members of any other faith in the country, with 82 percent of the poll’s respondents identifying themselves as such. Another 5 percent say they follow a non-Christian faith, such as Judaism or Islam. Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.

... it is unlikely that a political candidate would serve him or herself well by declaring their
[sic] atheism. Six in ten (62 percent) registered voters say they would not vote for a candidate who is an atheist. Majorities of each major party — 78 percent of Repulicans and 60 percent of Democrats — rule out such an option. Just under half (45 percent) of registered independents would not vote for an atheist. Still more than a third (36 percent) of Americans think the influence of organized religion on American politics has increased in recent years. But the public is still split over whether religion has too much (32 percent) or too little (31 percent) influence on American politics. Democrats tend to fall in the "too much" camp (42 percent of them, as opposed to 29 percent who see too little influence) as Republicans take the opposite view (42 percent too little; 14 percent too much)...

(emphasis added)

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Rudy Giuliani - Fiscal Conservative?

Only if by "fiscal conservative" you mean someone who thinks taxes should be high enough to pay for all the government programs he supports.

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Terri Schiavo Passed Away 2 Years Ago Today

Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo was born into eternal life 2 years ago today, after being dehydrated to death by her husband and a Florida judge. My posts from that day are linked below.

Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo, Rest In Peace

What Has Our Country Done Unto "The Least of These"?

For full coverage of this tragic anniversary, be sure to read Blogs for Terri. Also, please visit the website for the Terri Schiavo Foundation. Finally, please remember that the Schindlers have written a book about Terri's life titled A Life That Matters : The Legacy of Terri Schiavo - A Lesson for Us All.

Please pray for the repose of Terri's soul and for the Schindler family on what must be a very difficult anniversary for them.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Digest of Today's Posts (30 March 2007)

  • Reminder: New Blog for Catholic Dads

  • Catholic League Says "Ohio State Newspaper Assaults Catholicism"

  • Jamestown Milestone

  • Prayers for a Friday of Lent

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


    Reminder: New Blog for Catholic Dads

    Thanks to RobK of Kyrie Eleison, there's a new blog alliance for Catholic dads called ... Catholic Dads:
    Welcome to Catholic Dads!

    This is a site to help build community among Catholic Dads. Catholic moms rock when it comes to building community. Us men...not so good. That is what Catholic Dads is all about. Here we can hang. Share stories. Debate the issues of the day. Give advice. Talk politics. Discuss sports. Share our faith. You know, guy stuff. So join the fun. Submit your blog and join in.

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    Catholic League Says "Ohio State Newspaper Assaults Catholicism"

    (Hat tip: Dave Hartline at Catholic Report)

    From the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights [WARNING - Sexual Content]:
    March 28, 2007


    On March 27, an anonymous female journalism student at Ohio State University wrote a column in The Lantern, a student newspaper on the campus, titled “Going Down with the Catholics.” She mentions that one of her friends, Megan, is a Catholic who hasn’t had vaginal sex with her boyfriend John. But “he won’t break up with Megan because he said it’s the best head he’s ever had in his life.”

    Penelope, the anonymous writer, wonders, “Catholics can’t do a lot of things: eat meat on Friday, listen to Marilyn Manson or vote Democrat, so pre-marital sex is just another item on the list. But when did God say it’s OK to give a blow job so long as that’s as far as you go?” She adds that “oral sex doesn’t get women pregnant, only penetration does. (Unless you’re Catholic, then Immaculate Conception does, too.)” She ends by saying, “Maybe God is looking down on the world smiling as He’s getting oral pleasure guilt free, no strings attached.”

    Here’s how Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded:

    “Though The Lantern does not receive any money from the university, it is afforded a place on the campus, and is therefore subsidized by the taxpayers of Ohio. We are contacting Dr. Karen Holbrook, president of Ohio State, asking her to treat this incident the way she addressed a comical, yet racist, matter last year. About a year ago, several students at a branch campus sent racist letters to some blacks on the Wooster campus. ‘If they were intended to be funny,’ said President Holbrook, ‘there was nothing funny about them.’ In another racist incident last year, the offending students were accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct, and were subject to dismissal.

    “It is important to note that The Lantern is guilty of rank hypocrisy. Two months ago it chided another school newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, for publishing a satirical piece on Asians in its annual joke issue. Looks like when it comes to Catholics, the same rule doesn’t apply.”

    Contact the president at

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    Jamestown Milestone

    Mona Charen writes of the Jamestown "commemorations" at National Review Online:
    The Far East has its Mecca, Palestine its Jerusalem, France its Lourdes, and Italy its Loreto, but America's only shrines are her altars of patriotism — the first and most potent being Jamestown; the sire of Virginia, and Virginia the mother of this great Republic
    ~ From a 1907 Virginia guidebook

    The quadricentennial of the Jamestown settlement will be noted this spring. Whether it will be celebrated is a freighted question. Virginia has gone to some expense and effort remembering the founding settlers of 1607. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is serving as honorary chair of what is being called “America's 400th Birthday.” There will be musical performances, lectures and seminars. The Queen of England will visit on May 4 and 5.

    But emblematic of our troubled understanding of our past and our present discomfort with our national identity, the powers that be in Virginia have decided not to refer to these and other observations as “celebrations.” Instead, they will be called commemorations. “You can't celebrate an invasion,” declared Mary Wade, a member of the Jamestown 2007 organizing committee. The native people were “pushed back off of their land, even killed. Whole tribes were annihilated. A lot of people carry that oral history with them, and that's why they use the word ‘invasion’ . . .”

    Virginia is expecting many visitors to the reconstructed Jamestown settlement — and it is worth the trip. We've taken the children a couple of times.
    But the timid, apologetic tone of some of the exhibitions detracts from the experience. As Edward Rothstein reported in The New York Times, “The Indians, we read, were ‘in harmony with the land that sustained them’ and formed an ‘advanced, complex society of families and tribes.’”

    Rothstein continues: “English society — the society that gave us the King James Bible and Shakespeare . . . is described as offering ‘limited opportunity’ in which a ‘small elite’ were landowners.” England, they tell us, suffered from social dislocation, unemployment, difficult working conditions, and so forth. The exhibit goes on to suggest that Virginia's history evolved out of the “interaction” of three different cultures: British, Native American and African.

    This sort of hokum has become de rigueur at American museums. By all means, let's be honest about American history and admit that American Indians were often mistreated (broken treaties, displacement, murder). The Trail of Tears deserved its name. But the description of Powhatan culture as "advanced" is ridiculous. When the two cultures met, one was hundreds of years more advanced than the other. If the Powhatans had been further along, they would have prevailed. They certainly didn't lack the will.

    (emphasis added)

    Recommended Reading:
    The Virginia Adventure: Roanoke to James Towne : An Archaeological and Historical Odyssey (Virginia Bookshelf) by Ivor Noel Hume

    A Land As God Made It: Jamestown And The Birth Of America by James P. P. Horn

    Jamestown, the Buried Truth by William M. Kelso

    Captain John Smith: Writings with Other Narratives of Roanoke, Jamestown, and the First English Settlement of America by John Smith

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    Prayers for a Friday of Lent

    The following prayers appear in The Sadness of Christ, by St. Thomas More - the last book written by the martyred English saint while he awaited his execution in the Tower of London, and the book that I have chosen for my Lenten reading this year:

    Psalm on Detachment

    Give me thy grace, good Lord:
    To set the world at nought;
    To set my mind fast upon thee,
    And not to hang upon the blast of men’s mouths;
    To be content to be solitary,
    Not to long for worldly company;
    Little and little utterly to cast off the world,
    And rid my mind of all the business thereof;
    Not to long to hear of any worldly things,
    But that the hearing of worldly phantasies may be to me displeasant;
    Gladly to be thinking of God,
    Piteously to call for his help;
    To lean unto the comfort of God,
    Busily to labor to love him;
    To know mine own vility and wretchedness,
    To humble and meeken myself under the mighty hand of God;
    To bewail my sins passed,
    For the purging of them patiently to suffer adversity;
    Gladly to bear my purgatory here,
    To be joyful of tribulations;
    To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life,
    To bear the cross with Christ;
    To have the last thing in remembrance,
    To have ever afore mine eye my death that is ever at hand;
    To make death no stranger to me,
    To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of hell;
    To pray for pardon before the judge come,
    To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me;
    For his benefits uncessantly to give him thanks,
    To buy the time again that I before have lost;
    To abstain from vain confabulations,
    To eschew light foolish mirth and gladness;
    Recreations not necessary — to cut off;
    Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss
    at right nought for the winning of Christ;
    To think my most enemies my best friends,
    For the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good
    with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

    These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasure
    of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it
    gathered and laid together all upon one heap .

    ~ St. Thomas More, Written while imprisoned in the Tower of London, 1534

    A Devout Prayer

    O HOLY TRINITY, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three equal and coeternal Persons, and one Almighty God, have mercy on me, vile, abject, abominable, sinful wretch: meekly knowledging before thine High Majesty my long-continued sinful life, even from my very childhood hitherto.

    In my childhood, in this point and that point, etc. After my childhood in this point and that point, and so forth by every age, etc.

    Now, good gracious Lord, as thou givest me thy grace to knowledge them, so give me thy grace, not in only word but in heart also with very sorrowful contrition to repent them and utterly to forsake them. And forgive me those sins also, in which by mine own default, through evil affections and evil custom, my reason is with sensuality so blinded that I cannot discern them for sin. And illumine, good Lord, mine heart, and give me thy grace to know them, and forgive me my sins negligently forgotten, and bring them to my mind with grace to be purely confessed of them.

    Glorious God, give me from henceforth thy grace, with little respect unto the world, so to set and fix firmly mine heart upon thee, that I may say with thy blessed apostle St Paul: Mundus mihi crucifixus est et ego mundo. Mihi vivere Christus est, et mori lucrum. Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo. [The world is crucified to me and I to the world’ (Gal. 6, 14). ‘To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Phil. 1, 21 ). ‘I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ’ (ibid. 23).]

    Give me thy grace to amend my life, and to have an eye to mine end without grudge of death, which to them that die in thee, good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life.

    Almighty God, Doce me facere voluntatem tuam. Fac me currere in odore unguentorum tuorum. Apprehende manum meam dexteram, et deduc me in via recta propter inimicos meos. Trahe me post te. In chamo et freno maxillas meas constringe, quum non approximo ad te. [‘Teach me to do thy will’ (Ps. 143, 10). ‘Make me to run after thee to the odour of thy ointments’ (Cant. 1, 3). ‘Take thou my right hand and guide me in the straight path because of my enemies’ (Passages from the Psalms). ‘Draw me after thee’ (Cant. 1, 3 ). ‘With bit and bridle bind fast my jaws when I come not near unto thee’ (Ps. 31, 9).]

    O glorious God, all sinful fear, all sinful sorrow and pensiveness, all sinful hope, all sinful mirth, and gladness take from me. And on the other side concerning such fear, such sorrow, such heaviness, such comfort, consolation and gladness as shall be profitable for my soul: Fac mecum secundum magnam bonitatem tuam Domine. [Deal with me according to thy great goodness, O Lord’ (cf. Ps. 118, 124).]

    Good Lord, give me the grace, in all my fear and agony, to have recourse to that great fear and wonderful agony that thou, my sweet Saviour, hadst at the Mount of Olivet before thy most bitter passion, and in the meditation thereof, to conceive ghostly comfort and consolation profitable for my soul.

    Almighty God, take from me all vainglorious minds, all appetites of mine own praise, all envy, covetise, gluttony, sloth, and lechery, all wrathful affections, all appetite of revenging, all desire or delight of other folks’ harm, all pleasure in provoking any person to wrath and anger, all delight of exprobation or insultation against any person in their affliction and calamity.

    And give me, good Lord, an humble, lowly, quiet, peaceable, patient, charitable, kind, tender, and pitiful mind, with all my works, and all my words, and all my thoughts, to have a taste of thy holy, blessed Spirit.

    Give me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope, and a fervent charity, a love to the good Lord incomparable above the love to myself; and that I love nothing to thy displeasure, but everything in an order to thee.

    Give me, good Lord, a longing to be with thee, not for the avoiding of the calamities of this wretched world, nor so much for the avoiding of the pains of purgatory, nor of the pains of hell neither, nor so much for the attaining of the joys of heaven, in respect of mine own commodity, as even for a very love to thee.

    And bear me, good Lord, thy love and favour, which thing my love to theeward (were it never so great) could not but of thy great goodness deserve.

    And pardon me, good Lord, that I am so bold to ask so high petitions, being so vile a sin-ful wretch, and so unworthy to attain the lowest. But yet, good Lord, such they be, as I am bounden to wish and should be nearer the effectual desire of them, if my manifold sins were not the let. From which, O glorious Trinity, vouchsafe of thy goodness to wash me, with that blessed blood that issued out of thy tender body, O sweet Saviour Christ, in the divers torments of thy most bitter passion.

    Take from me, good Lord, this lukewarm fashion, or rather key-cold manner of meditation and this dullness in praying unto thee. And give me warmth, delight and quickness in thinking upon thee. And give me thy grace to long for thine holy sacraments, and specially to rejoice in the presence of thy very blessed body Sweet Saviour Christ, in the holy sacrament of the altar, and duly to thank thee for thy gracious visitation therewith, and at that high memorial, with tender compassion, to remember and consider thy most bitter passion.

    Make us all, good Lord, virtually participant of that holy sacrament this day, and every day make us all lively members, sweet Saviour Christ, of thine holy mystical body, thy Catholic Church.

    Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
    Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos quemadmodum speravimus in te.
    In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum.
    [‘Deign, O Lord, to keep us on that day without sin. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in thee. In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me not be confounded for ever’ ( From the Te Deum ).]

    V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
    R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
    [‘Pray for us, O holy mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.’]

    PRO AMICIS [For Friends]

    ALMIGHTY GOD, have mercy on N. and N. (with special meditation and consideration of every friend, as godly affection and occasion requireth)

    PRO INIMICIS [For Enemies]

    ALMIGHTY GOD, have mercy on N. and N., and on all that bear me evil will, and would me harm, and their faults and mine together, by such easy, tender, merciful means, as thine infinite wisdom best can devise, vouch-safe to amend and redress, and make us saved souls in heaven together where we may ever live and love together with thee and thy blessed saints. O glorious Trinity, for the bitter passion of our sweet Saviour Christ. Amen.

    Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything to conform my will to thine: that I may truly say: Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in coelo et in terra. [‘Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’]

    The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for. Amen.

    ~ St. Thomas More, "A Devout Prayer [before Dying]", July 1535

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    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 March 2007)

  • Pro-Abortion Org Files IRS Complaint Against Catholic Pro-Life Group

  • "Godwin's Law" for Sex Scandal Revisited

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 March 2007))


    Pro-Abortion Org Files IRS Complaint Against Catholic Pro-Life Group

    Washington, DC ( -- A leading pro-abortion group, Catholics for Free Choice, is attacking Priests for Life, a top pro-life organization, and claiming that it is violating its status as a nonprofit entity by posting videos of pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback on its web site.

    Brownback is a Republican presidential candidate and has been endorsed personally by PFL director Father Frank Pavone but not by the organization as a whole.

    The pro-abortion group, seen as heretical by faithful Catholics, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against Priests for Life over the videos. It alleges that the videos' appearance on the PFL web site constitutes an illegal campaign endorsement.

    The videos feature a montage of the 2007 March for Life in Washington and of Brownback making remarks both there and at another pro-life event that day.

    "The two videos clearly demonstrate PFL’s support for Brownback’s candidacy," CFFC said in a statement obtained.

    “The production, editing, and online hosting of these videos appears to represent a significant-and illegal-outlay of charitable funds," the group said in its letter to the IRS.

    Pavone calls the latest CFFC complaint, the third time the pro-abortion group has attacked Priests for Life, "silly" and says it's meant to intimidate his group.

    Pavone said the video "is not an endorsement from Priests for Life" for Brownback but is meant to encourage pro-life advocates to look into the pro-life candidates seeking the presidency.

    "We want people to understand you have to elect people who are going to protect life," Pavone told the Amarillo, Texas newspaper.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Fr. Pavone Says Brownback is His Choice in ‘08

    Priests for Life on "Mr. Brownback"

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    "Godwin's Law" for Sex Scandal Revisited

    (Hat tip: Thanks, Victor!)

    Last week, I wrote about a version of "Godwin's Law" that could apply to the Church's sex abuse scandal. Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons linked to my post, but beyond that, it didn't receive much attention in St. Blog's - not that I really expected it to.

    Now, a week later, the following item appears in John McCaslin's "Inside the Beltway" column in Thursday's edition of The Washington Times:
    A Catholic priest who regularly prays outside an abortion clinic wrote of his positions in a newspaper column, to which two letter-writers responded.They dismissed the church's teaching against abortion on the grounds of the recent sex scandals -- in which church officials covered up accusations of sexual abuse, mostly by homosexual priests against teenage boys.

    Catholic blogger Jay Anderson reacted by proposing a Catholic equivalent to the Internet rule known as Godwin's Law "for invocations of 'the Scandal' as a rhetorical device."

    "It would go something like this: 'As a debate involving the Catholic Church (either a discussion about the Church specifically, or a discussion in which the Church is taking a position) grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning the sex scandal approaches one.'

    "And then there's its corollary: 'Once such reference to the Scandal is made, whoever mentioned the Scandal has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress,' " writes Mr. Anderson, a former mayor of Columbia, Va.

    "Perhaps the Scandal is still too recent," he concludes. "But surely, at some point in time, such ad hominem argumentation against the Church and its teachings needs to be consigned to similar status as inappropriate Nazi comparisons."
    First, the National Catholic Register. And now, The Washington Times. I'm liable to get a big head if all the media attention continues. Sarah won't be able to live with me.


    Thanks to Rich Leonardi, Dale Price, Amy Welborn, Dom Bettinelli, Julie D., Publius, Leticia, KaleJ, and The Curt Jester for their links.

    UPDATE # 2 (2 April)
    Dave Hartline also covered the Washington Times mention yesterday at Catholic Report. Thanks, Dave!

    UPDATE # 3 (4 April)
    Mark Shea has given the story new life by covering it at his blog. Thanks, Mark!

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    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 March 2007)

  • Norwalk-Related Photos at Catholic Toledo

  • Remember Back in 2000 When Steve Forbes Tried to Pass Himself Off as a Social Conservative?

  • Pro-Life Democrats in Washington?

  • "Brownback the Baptist in Catholic Clothing"

  • "Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice"

  • The Angry Pope

  • Supporters of Party of Death Show True Colors

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 March 2007))


    Norwalk-Related Photos at Catholic Toledo

    The Roving Medievalist, Jeffrey Smith, has posted some nice photos at his Catholic Toledo blog of my parish, St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer in Norwalk, Ohio, and of St. Alphonsus Liguori (the first parish in the Toledo Diocese) in nearby Peru, Ohio.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Annunciation Window - St. Mary, Norwalk

    St. Mary, Norwalk - Part II

    St. Mary, Norwalk

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    Remember Back in 2000 When Steve Forbes Tried to Pass Himself Off as a Social Conservative?

    No one was buying it then. And now we have proof that it was all just an act.

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    Pro-Life Democrats in Washington?

    Fidelis Podcast with Democrats for Life:
    Fidelis is pleased to announce its latest podcast interview featuring Kristen Day, Executive Director of Democrats for Life. The podcast program, available on the Fidelis website, discusses the difficulties of fighting for pro-life policies within a political party hostile to life. Day is optimistic however, believing that the Democratic Party is now listening to its pro-life members, and is hopeful that the party plank defending abortion may soon change.

    The podcast includes commentary on soon to be introduced legislation titled the “Pregnant Women Support Act.” The bill is expected to include multiple provisions aimed at encouraging women to carry their child to term.

    Day also spoke of her admiration for newly elected Senator Robert Casey (PA). She fully expects Senator Casey to follow through on his campaign promise to oppose federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, a debate expected to return to the Senate in mid April.

    Listen to the podcast by clicking

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Pro-Life Dems Face Tough Ride on Embryonic Research

    Robert Novak on "Pro-Life Democrats?"

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    "Brownback the Baptist in Catholic Clothing"

    Someone just found my blog via a Google search of the above phrase.

    I suppose should one want to question the authenticity of my conversion that the sentiment could be applicable to me, as well, since I am formerly a Southern Baptist who entered the Catholic Church almost 3 years ago.

    Of course, I'm not running for President, so someone is unlikely to do a Google search on "Jay Anderson the Baptist in Catholic Clothing".

    You might recall that a while back I predicted that one line of attack by liberal Catholics against Brownback would be to call into question the authenticity of his conversion.

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    "Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice"

    (Hat tip: Diogenes, via The Cafeteria is Closed)

    "Catholics for a Free Choice" has some company: the "Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice".

    According to Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed, Frances Kissling, former head of "Catholics for a Free Choice", is listed as the "Catholic" representative in the Coalition.

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    The Angry Pope

    (Hat tip: The Curt Jester)

    Carl Olson notes the media coverage of the Pope's mention of Hell in a recent homily. What was apparently a passing reference to eternal damnation elicited this response from The Scotsman:
    POPE BENEDICT XVI has reiterated the existence of Hell and condemned society for not talking about eternal damnation enough.

    A furious Pope Benedict unleashed a bitter attack during a sermon while on a visit to a parish church and said: "Hell exists and there is eternal punishment for those who sin and do not repent."

    Sounding "more of a parish priest than a Pope" the leader of the world's one billion Roman Catholics added: "The problem today is society does not talk about Hell. It's as if it did not exist, but it does."

    Pope Benedict unleashed his fury during a visit to the tiny parish church of St Felicity and the Martyr Children at Fidene on the outskirts of Rome, in his capacity as bishop of the Italian capital.

    One churchgoer said: "The Holy Father was really having a go. It was a typical fire-and-brimstone sermon that you would have expected from a parish priest years ago."

    (emphasis added)

    LOL! As The Curt Jester points out, "They forgot to say that 'smoke was coming out of his ears' as he said this and that he was shaking his fist for emphasis."

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    Supporters of Party of Death Show True Colors

    Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed reports the "Liberal Schadenfreude" over the news that White House Press Secretery Tony Snow's cancer has returned.

    Contrast this with the almost unanimous comments of support and prayers from conservative sites when Elizabeth Edwards announced that her cancer had returned last week.

    Conservatives are often accused of being mean-spirited, angry, heartless, and hate-filled. But take a look at the most prominent political websites on the right and compare them with most prominent political websites on the left. On which is the poltical discourse in the gutter? On which are you more likely to see angry, hate-filled, vulgarity-laden diatribes aimed at one's opponents?

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    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 March 2007)

  • Our Sacred Spaces

  • National Catholic Register on "The Church’s Top Priority"

  • National Catholic Register Interviews Cardinal Pell

  • Lefty Catholics Protest ROTC at Notre Dame

  • Sacramentum Caritatis on "Eucharistic Consistency"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (26 March 2007))


    Our Sacred Spaces

    Carolina Cannonball has posted a tour of her home altars, and invites others to follow her example by posting photos of the sacred spots in their homes.

    Now, I've always thought that one of the coolest aspects of being Catholic is all the "stuff". What some of my protestant relatives might consider "idolatry" is really a manifestation of the Incarnational aspect of our Faith. Christ redeemed creation, and that means "stuff" can be imbued with sacramental character. The "stuff" is also great for passing the Faith along to our children.

    So, that being said, here are some photos of the Anderson family sacred spaces (with the exception of our Mary Garden, pictures of which - from May 2006 - you can find here):

    Marian altar on top of the radiator in our library,
    including a framed icon of Our Lady of Walsingham (top),
    and (bottom L to R) statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, Immaculate
    Heart of Mary devotional candle, and Russian icon "Virgin the Deliverer"

    Marian Shrine in the entryway hall,
    including statue of Virgin and Christ-child (which will be placed
    in the Mary Garden the 1st Saturday of May and come back inside on 8 September),
    framed artwork "The Virgin Enthroned", and another statue of Our Lady of Walsingham (top)

    Detail of Marian Shrine:
    Our Lady of Walsingham in shrine box
    and Rosary from the Shrine of Our Lady
    of Walsingham in England

    In the library, various icons and depictions of the Virgin Mary,
    St. Helena (Sarah's patroness and Confirmation saint),
    and St. Columba (my patron and Confirmation saint)

    Entryway hall: The Virgin intercedes with her Son (top),
    Official portrait and prayer card of Pope John Paul II (bottom)

    Entryway hall: a collection of Crosses

    Entryway hall: Crucifix

    Crucifix in our kitchen

    The Holy Family watches over our kitchen table

    Crucifix in the master bedroom

    Crucifix above the door in the boys' bedroom

    St. George over Jamie's bed
    (Jamie was born on the Feast of St. George, 23 April)

    Christ the Good Shepherd keeps watch over the boys' bedroom
    (this belonged to my father, and I've had it ever since I was a little boy)

    Glow-in-the-dark Crucifix in the nursery

    St. Anthony and the Child Jesus in the nursery

    Sacred Heart of Jesus in the nursery
    (we need to find a more prominent place in the house for this)

    Bloggers, if you have altars, shrines, or other sacred spaces in your home or in your yard or garden, why not share photos of these on your own blog?


    National Catholic Register on "The Church’s Top Priority"

    From the editors of National Catholic Register (April 1-7 edition):
    Two Popes and the major bodies of the Vatican have unmistakably set the church’s top priority for the Church in our time. It’s the Eucharist.

    That includes the proper preparation for Mass (especially confession), the proper celebration of Mass (including the translations for Mass) and the proper attitude toward the Eucharist outside of Mass (including adoration and the placement of our tabernacles).

    Each year since the Jubilee Year 2000 (which Pope John Paul II called “profoundly Eucharistic”) has seen a major document come from the Vatican on the Eucharist. In fact, the Eucharistic documents have been the only significant ones of the new millennium.

    • 2001 Pope John Paul II’s Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium) called promoting Sunday Mass the Church’s top priority. Liturgiam Authenticam (Authentic Liturgy) by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments sought to correct “errors and omissions” in the Mass.

    • 2002 Bishops around the world promulgated the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

    • 2003 Pope John Paul II gave the Church his final encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, which is best translated On the Eucharist and Its Relationship to the Church.

    • 2004 Pope John Paul II kicked off a Year of the Eucharist with the apostolic letter Mane Nobiscum Domine (Stay With Us Lord). The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ Redemptionis Sacramentum (The Sacrament of Redemption) was subtitled “On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist.”

    • 2005 The General Assembly of the Bishops kicked off the Synod on the Eucharist with an Instrumentum Laboris on the Eucharist. Pope Benedict canonized five new saints known for promoting the Eucharist.

    • 2006 Pope Benedict spent the year completing the work of the Synod. Meanwhile, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent a directive liturgical translation officials regarding the consecration prayer of Mass. U.S. bishops received a letter from liturgy point-man Cardinal Francis Arinze on the translation of the missal.

    • 2007 The most significant of all this teaching regarding the Eucharist: Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity), Pope Benedict’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation.

    Why such an emphasis on the Eucharist?

    [More - You can read this one WITHOUT a subscription]

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    National Catholic Register Interviews Cardinal Pell

    A few snippets of Cardinal George Pell on translating the Mass, climate change, and World Youth Day from the April 1-7 edition of National Catholic Register:
    ... The papal document Sacramentum Caritatis was published recently, raising hopes there will be more reverence in the liturgy. But a lot of people worry that it’s just another document. What do you think needs to be done to increase reverence in church and for the Eucharist in particular?

    You’ve got to get people into church first of all. Undoubtedly, a richer and more accurate translation of the Latin will help people. Now this document was never designed as a disciplinary document, it’s a fruit of the reflections of the bishops: the Pope reflecting on our bishops, our discussion. It’s only been out a few days and I must confess that I haven’t read it thoroughly. I’ve dipped into it. I think it’s solid, acceptable, and the English translation is good and it contributes to a better understanding of what we are about when we worship.

    What are your more general views of the ecology movement that, rightly or wrongly, has been termed a new religion, but whose science is sometimes regarded as poor?

    Like Christians and Muslims, there are ecologists, ecologists and ecologists. There are some forms of deep-green ecology that are deeply pagan and deeply hostile to the special and central place of human beings and especially to Christianity. But as Christians, we must have a reference for nature.

    As a generation, we have no right to gobble up the resources of nature disproportionately so there are none left for future generations. There are wonderful Christian ecologists with a genuine respect for God’s creation and also a deep Christian faith, but there are some who are sympathetic to every form of life except human life. They will be very enthusiastic to protect whales and endangered species and be stridently in favor of the abortion of human babies. I mean it’s grotesque.

    But on the whole, do you agree with the science behind climate change?

    Once again, I think there’s an enormous mixture there, and there’s no unanimity amongst scientists about what is happening. A classic example I give is the Antarctic, whatever one says about the Arctic. Large chunks of ice have broken away, but about 70% of the Antarctic has been surveyed systematically, and it’s getting colder. The ice there is increasing rather than decreasing, and many of what is described in the press sometimes as unprecedented, never seen before, sometimes they’ll say “unprecedented in the last 10 years.” So before we jump to the conclusion that something is radically new, we need to have a good look at the historical record to see just what happened.

    You see, people without religion are often looking for something to fear. I can remember high school students 20 years ago being frightened of being destroyed by atomic warfare. And the press, over the last 100 years, you can document their programs, activities, and it’s alternated. They’ve been warning us of global warming, and that’s alternated with warnings of a coming ice-age. There have been gigantic climatic changes in the past and I think almost entirely they’re beyond human control. I don’t think there’s anything like the evidence necessary to say that human pollution is provoking a catastrophic climate change. It’s quite different to say that in different areas we’re influencing the climate for ill. That’s certainly true. One of the best guarantees against too much pollution is a free press, so that the free press can point out just what is happening.

    It has been said in the past that although many young people go to these World Youth Days, it’s not clear how much they listen to what is preached, that they will continue to use contraception, for instance. How effective do you think these events are in communicating the Church’s teaching?

    Well, young people are imperfect. They’re like their parents and their grandparents, like my generation who has gone before them. But I know from my own personal experience how deeply moved and changed young people have been by the World Youth Day experience. Like many, sometimes in their later life they don’t live up to the high ideals that they embrace. But there’ve been many good marriages, many lives that have been changed so that people devote themselves consistently to supporting the work of Christ and the Church, and there have been significant vocations.

    World Youth Days change things in many ways. They make the discussion and the living of Christianity and Catholicism publicly acceptable, and they cause people far outside the Church to come and see. First of all, it’s aimed at Catholics, but especially to young Catholics who don’t have any clear sense of religion or purpose and so this is what we have to offer — come along and see...

    [More - Subscription required]

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Cardinal Pell on Global Warming Alarmists: "Scaremongers" and "Zealots"

    Cardinal Pell: "A Little Religious Reciprocity"

    Cardinal Pell: Pope Protests "Show Violence" in Islam

    Cardinal Pell "Keen to Provoke Islam Debate"

    Cardinal Pell Sparks Outrage Over Islam Comments


    Lefty Catholics Protest ROTC at Notre Dame

    Read the details and some excellent commentary in response to the protests posted by Advocatus Militaris over at Fumare.

    These anti-military (NOT anti-war - these folks are protesting against the presence of ROTC on campus) demonstrators aren't worthy to polish the boots of the men and women who serve in order to protect the right of pony-tail-and-flannel-shirt-wearing hippy priests to protest.

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    Sacramentum Caritatis on "Eucharistic Consistency"

    Hat tip to Joanna Bogle for highlighting this excerpt from the Holy Father's Eucharistic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis:
    "Worship pleasing to God can never be a purely private matter, without consequences for our relationships with others: it demands a public witness to our faith. Evidently, this is true for all the baptised, yet it is especially incumbent upon those who, by virtue of their social or political position, must make decisions regarding fundamental values, such as respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built upon marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one's children, and the promotion of the common good in all its forms. These values are not negotiable. Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce and support laws grounded in human nature. There is an objective connection here with the Eucharist (1.Cor 11:27-29). Bishops are bound to reaffirm constantly these values as part of their responsibility to the flock entrusted to them."
    On the subject of politicians and bishops who put their faith into action, Mrs. Bogle has another post about the Martyrs' Walk on June 23 to commemorate Saints John Fisher and Thomas More:
    Meeting in London to plan the Martyrs' Walk, organised by members of Miles Jesu. The date is June 23rd, and everyone will meet at 11 am at Tower Hill, where Saints John Fisher and Thomas More gave their lives for the Faith. We'll be walking to Tyburn, via stops at Greyfriars and at St Patrick's Church, Soho Square, where there will be talks, and Benediction....

    The week before, on Friday June 15th, I'll be giving a talk at Westminster Cathedral (the Hinsley Room, just alongside the Cathedral) about the history of the Church in England, from Augistine's landing in Kent through the centuries to the present day and its opportunities.

    For more information on all of this, contact Miles Jesu at 0208 764 0341.
    More on the Martyrs' Walk in London can be found here and here.

    I just realized that Rich Leonardi also writes about "Eucharistic Consistency" (and quotes the same excerpt from Sacramentum Caritatis) today at his blog, Ten Reasons.

    Rich and I are obviously reading the same blogs.


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    Monday, March 26, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 March 2007)

  • Catholic Dads

  • "Indoctrinate U" Film Alleges Repressive Climate on Campuses

  • Washington Post Weighs in on Misguided Magnate of Mozzarella

  • Annunciation Window - St. Mary, Norwalk

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (25 March 2007))


    Catholic Dads

    Thanks to RobK of Kyrie Eleison, there's a new blog alliance for Catholic dads called ... Catholic Dads:
    Welcome to Catholic Dads!

    This is a site to help build community among Catholic Dads. Catholic moms rock when it comes to building community. Us men...not so good. That is what Catholic Dads is all about. Here we can hang. Share stories. Debate the issues of the day. Give advice. Talk politics. Discuss sports. Share our faith. You know, guy stuff. So join the fun. Submit your blog and join in.

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    "Indoctrinate U" Film Alleges Repressive Climate on Campuses

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Watch out, Michael Moore and Al Gore. A young filmmaker is preparing to release a full-length documentary that will "tell the story of how, in the name of education, schools from coast to coast ruthlessly compel conformity of thought."

    "When we think of college, we think of intellectual freedom. We imagine four years of exploring ideas through vigorous debate and critical thinking," filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney told Cybercast News Service Friday regarding his upcoming movie, "Indoctrinate U."

    "But the reality is very far from the ideal," he said. "What most of us don't know is that American college students surrender their rights to free thought and free speech the minute they set foot on campus."

    Maloney spent two and a half years investigating what he called "jaw-dropping incidents of political persecution" directed at students and professors at more than 20 schools across the country, ranging from elite Ivy League campuses to the largest state universities and the smallest community colleges.

    The filmmaker's interest in the subject began when he was an undergraduate student at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. "What I noticed was that basically, from the first day you set foot on campus, the notions of tolerance and diversity were drilled into your head," he said. "But there wasn't a lot of tolerance for diverse points of view."

    At the time, Maloney thought the political imbalance was unique to his campus. "But instead, this assault on free thought is taking place all over America -- right now -- on our nation's campuses," he noted.

    To promote the documentary, production company On the Fence Films has posted a three-minute trailer at the
    "Indoctrinate U" website showing clips from the documentary and stating: "Welcome to the new American university. Keep your opinions to yourself."

    My Comments:
    Of course, this documentary will be completely ignored by Hollywood and the MSM, whose own version of closed-minded leftist political orthodoxy closely mirrors that on college campuses.

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    Washington Post Weighs in on Misguided Magnate of Mozzarella

    ...The sudden dismissal of the Rev. Joseph Fessio as provost of Ave Maria University sent shock waves through conservative Catholic circles, where he is revered as a defender of orthodoxy. It set off the first-ever student protests at a school that is supposed to be a paragon of obedience to authority.

    And it caused backers as well as critics of Monaghan's project to question whether his decision-making style, honed in the business world, is compatible with his self-appointed role as university chancellor.

    "Institutional suicide" was the immediate response of Philip F. Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, a conservative online news service, when he learned Wednesday that Monaghan had summoned Fessio to a meeting that morning and told the priest to clean out his office and leave the campus by the end of the day.

    Monaghan could use his millions to try to attract a top-flight replacement, Lawler acknowledged. "But," he said, "if you're a tenured professor at another Catholic university and you see this happening, you say to yourself, 'If it could happen to Father Fessio, it could happen to anyone -- so what's my incentive for going to work at Ave Maria?' " ...


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Ave Maria to Keep Ex-Provost After Outcry (3 articles)

    Understatement of the Day

    Moneyman Monaghan's Megalomaniacal Meltdown


    Annunciation Window - St. Mary, Norwalk

    Annunciation Window, North Transept,
    St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer - Norwalk, Ohio

    Stained-glass windows are great tools for explaining feast days to children.

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    Sunday, March 25, 2007

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (25 March 2007)

    Sunday, 25 March
  • Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • Saturday, 24 March
  • "The Tudors"

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (23 March 2007))


    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 25 March (Commemorated in 2007 on 26 March)

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25

    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates the conception in human form of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ; Also known as Feast fo the Incarnation; The Conception of Christ and beginning of Redemption; Annunciation of the Lord; Solemnity of the Theotokos (Greek); Lady Day or Our Lady's Day

    Instituted: c. 431, shortly before or after the council of Ephesus

    Themes & Motives: Beginning of process of redemption

    Commemorated March 25

    Known as Lady Day, this is one of the Medieval Quarter Days which fall around the Equinoxes or Solstices and mark the beginnings of new natural seasons and were used in medieval times to mark "quarters" for legal purposes, such as settling debts.

    In art: the Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, and Del Sarto.

    The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
    (full article at: )

    In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said." It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.

    For many centuries most European countries took 25 March, not 1 January, as the day when the number of the year changed, so that 24 March 1201 was followed by 25 March 1202. If you had asked a Christian of that time why the calendar year changed so awkwardly partway through a month, he would have answered: "Today we begin a new year of the Christian era, the era which began X years ago today when God was made man, when He took upon Himself a fleshly body and human nature in the womb of the Virgin."

    Pray the Angelus today in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
    V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae;
    R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

    V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;
    R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

    V. Ecce ancilla Domini.
    R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

    V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
    R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
    Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

    V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
    R. Et habitavit in nobis.

    V. And the Word was made flesh:
    R. And dwelt among us.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
    Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

    V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
    R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
    R. Amen.

    Let us pray:
    Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.

    UPDATE (26 March)
    See also G. Thomas Fitzpatrick's "Lady Day" post at Recta Ratio.

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    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    "The Tudors"

    Cable movie channel Showtime has a new original series called "The Tudors". I don't get Showtime, but I do have DIRECTV, which is previewing the first 2 episodes of the series on Channel 101. I'm watching Episode 1 right now.

    Interesting, but looks like the usual historical inaccuracies and T & A fare (including rather graphic depictions of Henry's sexcapades) that you see on "historical" drama series on premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime (see, e.g., "Rome").

    A fairly solid cast, including Jeremy Northam as Sir Thomas More, Sam Neill as Cardinal Wolsey, and a rather youngish-looking Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII.

    Based on what I've seen in the first 40 minutes, I'm guessing the hero of the series turns out in the end to be a martyred saint of the Church.

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    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (23 March 2007)

  • Bishops Put Smackdown on Heterodox Professor at Marquette University

  • Ohio Governor Strickland Axes Abstinence Program

  • Peter Pan vs. Uncle Remus

  • Interview With Former Director of Faith-Based Initiatives, Jim Towey

  • Ave Maria to Keep Ex-Provost After Outcry (3 articles)

  • Understatement of the Day

  • Prayers for a Friday of Lent

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (22 March 2007))


    Bishops Put Smackdown on Heterodox Professor at Marquette University

    (Hat tip: Amy Welborn)

    How long will it take National Catholic Reporter to decry this "blatant attack on academic freedom and heavy-handed approach by the hierarchy in squelching legitimate efforts at dialogue on issues upon which Catholics of good faith can disagree"?
    The document Statement Concerning Two Pamphlets Published by Professor Daniel Maguire was developed by the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved by the Administrative Committee of the USCCB at its March 2007 meeting as a statement of the Committee and has been authorized for publication by the undersigned.

    On June 19, 2006, Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University sent two pamphlets to all of the Catholic Bishops in the United States, one entitled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and the other A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage. These pamphlets do not present Catholic teaching. His views about contraception, abortion, same sex "marriage", as well as the very nature of Church teaching and its authoritative character, cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching. Such mistaken views should not be confused with the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Since it is apparent that considerable efforts have been made to give these views the widest possible distribution as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers it important to offer a public correction of the erroneous views proposed in these pamphlets. At the same time, the Committee on Doctrine calls attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where correct and authentic teaching can be found. This readily available source of the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church clearly demonstrates the mistaken character of the positions found in the two pamphlets and their unreliability as a guide for Catholics seeking to know and live their Catholic faith.

    The fundamental error in these pamphlets concerns the nature of Church teaching. In the first pamphlet Professor Maguire argues that there is "no one position on contraception and abortion" that can be called "Catholic," and thus that there is no authentic Church teaching that is binding on all the members of the Catholic Church.[1] He argues that there is the "extremely conservative view," held by conservative theologians and by the Pope and the bishops, a position that opposes contraception and abortion, as well as the "moderate and sensible view," held by other theologians, which endorses contraception and abortion, at least under certain circumstances.[2] He concludes that "the Roman Catholic position on abortion is pluralistic. It has a strong 'pro-choice' tradition and a conservative anti-choice tradition. Neither is official, and neither is more Catholic than the other."[3]

    In the second pamphlet Professor Maguire argues that there is no one position that can be called "Catholic" concerning the morality of homosexual acts and same-sex "marriages." "In Catholicism" he writes, "there are three sources of truth, (or three 'magisteria'): the hierarchy, the theologians, and the wisdom and experience of the laity (called in Latin sensus fidelium)."[4] Because there is, according to Professor Maguire, no consensus at this time among these "three sources of truth," he concludes that "Catholic teaching is in transition on this subject and Catholics are free to let their consciences decide either for or against same sex marriages. Both views — for or against homosexual marriage — are at home in the Catholic world and neither one of them can be called more orthodox or more official or more Catholic than the other."[5]

    The Archbishop of Milwaukee, exercising his pastoral responsibilities as teacher and shepherd, has made public statements affirming that the views expressed by Professor Maguire in his two pamphlets are erroneous and incompatible with the Church's teaching.[24] We the Committee on Doctrine of the USCCB concur that, despite his claims to authority as a Catholic theologian, the views of Professor Maguire on contraception, abortion, and same-sex "marriage" are not those of the Catholic Church and indeed are contrary to the Church's faith. We deplore as irresponsible his public advocacy of his views as authentic Catholic teaching. Lastly, we trust that this statement will clarify the Church's faith and teaching for all of the Catholic faithful throughout the United States.

    Most Rev. William E. Lori, Chairman
    Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair
    Most Rev. Edward W. Clark
    Most Rev. José H. Gomez
    Most Rev. Robert J. McManus
    Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli
    Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
    Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl
    His Eminence Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, Consultant
    His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Consultant
    My Comments:
    I can't put it any better than did "Colleen" commenting at Amy Welborn's blog:

    "Good thing this Maguire guy isn't teaching moral theology at a Catholic University or anything..."

    Sarcasm duly note.

    I do want to point out, however, that my excellent Bishop, Leonard Blair, was among the bishops doing the smacking on Prof. Maguire. Outstanding!

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    Ohio Governor Strickland Axes Abstinence Program

    (Hat tip: Rich Leonardi)

    Recall this story from the other day wherein Planned Parenthood sought to have the state of Ohio's abstinence education funding "redirected to other health needs". Looks like the world's largest provider of abortions got it's wish:
    COLUMBUS - Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed $53 billion budget eliminates an abstinence-only sex-education program.

    Removal of $1 million in state aid over two years marks a shift in Ohio support for abstinence-only programs, which advocates call a national model.

    The federally subsidized program encourages schoolchildren to abstain from sex until they're married.

    Strickland said he thinks abstinence programs don't work well in the long run and does not plan to apply for federal money after current funding ends Sept. 30.

    "The governor believes that, considering the very challenging budget environment we find ourselves in, that this is an unwise use of tax dollars because there is no conclusive evidence that suggests the program works," Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said.

    The governor could be headed toward a legislative showdown during budget hearings, state Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, said.

    "If you eliminate abstinence-only, what does he propose to replace it with?" Seitz asked.

    "I think it would be rough sledding to substitute an abstinence-only program that is working to some degree with a free-condoms-for-everybody program that would be quite controversial."

    Carole Adlard, director of Cincinnati-based Healthy Visions, said, "It's very easy to say it doesn't work when (Strickland) doesn't have anything to support it."

    Adlard said births to teenage girls in Cincinnati fell by 51 percent from 1993's 391 to 2005, when there were 193.

    "When you've got independent people coming back and saying this is the impact it's had ... that's not feelings, it's statistics," Adlard said.

    "You can't argue with numbers."

    My Comments:
    These "new-and-improved-faith-based" Democrats sure do smell an awful lot like the old-fashioned-hostile-to-religion-and-traditional-values" Democrats.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Because, You Know, When it Comes to the Pro-Life Issue at the State Level, It Doesn't Really Matter Which Party Gets Elected

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    Peter Pan vs. Uncle Remus

    My kids just received Disney's new edition DVD of "Peter Pan" as a gift from their grandmother. It's a good movie, but it has its problems, not the least of which is its depiction of American Indians.

    Now, anyone who reads this blog knows I don't go in for political correctness.
    But I do find it ironic that Disney has banned what may be the best movie it ever produced - "Song of the South" - despite its sympathetic (if somewhat dated) portrayal of African-Americans, yet issues a new edition of a good-but-not-great "Peter Pan" despite it's racist portrayal of American Indians, including its use of the offensive terms "red man" and "Squaw".

    Luckily, "Song of the South" is available from unofficial sources.

    Apparently, Disney is reconsidering releasing "Song of the South". If they do, it will be the best decision (at least as far as sales) Disney has ever made. Stores won't be able to keep the movie in stock. Mark my words.

    That is, assuming they release the original 1946 version unedited.

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    Interview With Former Director of Faith-Based Initiatives, Jim Towey

    (Hat tip: Catholic World News)

    From the Milwaukee Catholic Herald:
    ... Appointed head of faith-based initiatives

    Towey got the job and for nearly four and a half years advanced the cause of faith-based initiatives and also advised the president on church-state and compassion issues.

    Although he described himself as a pro-life Democrat, Towey said, “I liked President Bush instantly and I liked this initiative. That does not mean I agree with him on other issues necessarily, but on this one, he was dead-on right. President Bush put it best, ‘Government can’t love,’” he said, describing why he believes the initiative has been successful. “Government can’t put hope in a person’s heart or a purpose in their lives. I watched Mother Teresa and what she was able to do was love and affirm human dignity and invite individuals to change. I saw the limitations of what government could and couldn’t do. The reality is if we are going to improve the plight of our poor, government is not going to be our savior.”

    Initiative is here to stay

    Towey believes the faith-based initiative is permanent.

    “I do think it’s taken root in the heartland. There are over 30 governors with faith-based offices, hundreds of mayors. The reality is people who are closest to the action on the streets realize faith-based organizations play a very important role in addressing the needs of the poor,” he said.

    Towey said the president’s executive order creating this initiative has led to the equal treatment of faith-based groups and “I’d be shocked if a successor president would come in and say, ‘Let’s turn the clock back and discriminate against religious charities again.’”

    President Bush’s legacy will include the success of the faith-based initiative, he predicted.

    That doesn’t mean, however, that the initiative will not continue to be the target for groups that advocate strict church-state separation.

    Court case challenges work

    In fact, last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Hein vs. the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a case originally filed in 2004 (then called Towey vs. the Freedom From Religion Foundation) where the Wisconsin-based foundation sued to challenge the initiative on First Amendment grounds. The foundation argued that White House officials were using public money to help church-based groups win grants and contracts.

    While admitting if the court sides with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, “it will grind the work of the faith-based organizations to a premature halt, because the offices would then be complying with sweeping document requests that will tie up all the employees,” Towey said he believes the court will side with the Bush administration and will overrule the court of appeals.

    “I’m confident that the court heard the arguments last week and it will be a dreadful precedent to allow this kind of litigation which is meant to harass and intimidate government officials and designed to thwart the public policy of a duly-elected president. I would be astonished if the court would allow that kind of precedent,” he said...

    My Comments:
    Jim Towey appears to be a very decent man who is nevertheless somewhat naive to the way Washingon works. Towey's naivete is betrayed by comments such as:

    “I’d be shocked if a successor president would come in and say, ‘Let’s turn the clock back and discriminate against religious charities again.’ ”


    “I’m confident that the court heard the arguments last week and it will be a dreadful precedent to allow this kind of litigation which is meant to harass and intimidate government officials and designed to thwart the public policy of a duly-elected president. I would be astonished if the court would allow that kind of precedent.”

    I'll make no comments as to his self-identification as a "pro-life Democrat".

    Please read the whole thing. Despite being a Democrat, Towey has some kind words for the President and dismisses the caricatures of him as "nonsense". He also talks about the "fair amount of hate mail" he receives from fellow Democrats because of his relationship with the Bush Administration.


    Ave Maria to Keep Ex-Provost After Outcry (3 articles)

    From Catholic World News:
    Mar. 23, 2007 -
  • Fired Ave Maria provost back on the job (Naples Daily News)

  • Ave Maria to keep ex-provost after outcry (Fort Myers News-Press)

  • Editorial: Private school still should let public in on departure (Naples Daily News)

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Understatement of the Day

    Moneyman Monaghan's Megalomaniacal Meltdown


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