Friday, November 28, 2008

Vatican Official Says Kmiec Will Not Become New Vatican Ambassador

(Hat tip: Christopher Blosser at Catholics in the Public Square)

From Catholic News Agency:
Vatican City, Nov 25, 2008 / 03:22 pm (CNA).- An official from the Vatican's Secretary of State department has reacted to the recent suggestion that Pepperdine professor Douglas Kmiec should become the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican by saying, "it will never happen."

On November 23, America Magazine published a blog entry from Michael Sean Winters describing Professor Douglas Kmiec, the former Republican pro-lifer who became Obama’s top Catholic apologist during the presidential campaign, as "the perfect candidate" to become U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

CNA presented Winters' arguments to an official of the Secretary of State, who offered his reaction on a strict condition of anonymity. His answer at Kmiec’s chances of becoming an Ambassador: "It will never happen."

The official noted that prominent American Catholics at the Vatican - such as Cardinal James Francis Stafford or Archbishop Raymond Burke - look at Kmiec as a "traitor," and "their opinion will certainly count heavily."

But most importantly, the official said, is that the Holy See will not risk alienating vital U.S. Catholic organizations like the Knights of Columbus or the American branch of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, "whose role in the life of the universal Church is decisive, and who have already expressed publicly their disappointment with Kmiec's role in the recent elections."

"If the office [the Vatican's Secretary of State] withholds the 'placet' –the official acceptance—from the appointees from Argentina and France, it could easily do the same [to Kmiec]" because "[we] would not risk alienating many U.S. Catholic organizations."

The Secretary of State official was referring to the recent Vatican decisions to deny the ‘placet’ to a French Ambassador to the Vatican because he was openly homosexual and to an Argentinean because he was divorced and remarried.

"Of course Mr. Kmiec is in neither of those situations, but for the Secretary of State it is far more important to maintain a good relationship with, say, Mr. Anderson (the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus,) who is an active member of several Vatican dicasteries, than to please Mr. Kmiec and his friends in the new administration."

"Those who the article refers so disrespectfully as 'extremists on the right,' or 'the far right political fringe,' are the serious, loyal Catholics [the Vatican] precisely takes into account, because they are the ones who are there when the Church needs them," the official also explained.

Finally, regarding Winters’ claim that "Kmiec could do for the Democratic administration what (Mary Ann) Glendon has done for its predecessor," the official told CNA: "to be charitable, I will just say that I seriously doubt it."
(emphasis added)

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Kmiec's Payoff? [UPDATED]

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Digest of Today's Posts (26 November 2008)

  • Bishops Serious About Closing Catholic Hospitals if FOCA Passes

  • A Tale of Two Parishioners: Differing Views on CCHD

  • The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp

  • Catholic Left Reveal Themselves Again: They Claim FOCA No Big Deal and Just "Bogeyman" of Certain "Right-Wing" Bishops and Ideologues

  • Last Things: Planning Your Own Funeral Arrangements
  • Labels:

    Bishops Serious About Closing Catholic Hospitals if FOCA Passes

    Feddie writes:
    Dear President-elect Obama (and other liberals), the bishops aren’t bluffing. The Church takes this abortion issue pretty seriously, in case you hadn’t noticed.
    My Comments:
    And if the Bishops do follow through on their principles and shut down Catholic hospitals so as to avoid being required to engage in practices antithetical to Catholic teaching, I guarantee you that those who will squeal the loudest will be those on the Catholic left who will cry that the Church's commitment to social action in the health care arena is being "held hostage" to abortion politics.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    A Tale of Two Parishioners: Differing Views on CCHD

    The Cranky Conservative writes about differences of opinion over the CCHD collection (and related goings-on) at his parish over the past weekend.

    Labels: , ,

    The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp

    Creative Minority Report has the scoop.

    Labels: ,

    Catholic Left Reveal Themselves Again: They Claim FOCA No Big Deal and Just "Bogeyman" of Certain "Right-Wing" Bishops and Ideologues

    So, not only do the Catholic left claim FOCA to be of no particular importance, in doing so, they seem more concerned about being tainted by association with those Bishops and conservative pro-lifers who are speaking out against FOCA and other anti-life policy priorities of Obama and the Democrats than they do about the anti-life policy priorities of Obama and the Democrats.

    Opinionated Catholic has the details here and here.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Last Things: Planning Your Own Funeral Arrangements

    Rich Leonardi has posted his desires for his funeral Mass (which will hopefully take place in the distant future many years from now):
    (1) There shall be no eulogy or remembrance of any kind, either during the time reserved for the homily or before the final commendation. If anyone wishes to toast (or roast) me, they can do so at a wake, reception, or pub.
    (2) There shall be frequent requests by the celebrating priest for prayers on behalf of my soul and those of the dead.
    (3) The homily shall address purgatory and refer to it by name.
    (4) The celebrating priest shall wear black vestments, preferably made from natural fibers.
    (5) As much of the Ordinary of the Mass as possible shall be chanted, in Latin and Greek.
    (6) The bereavement/funeral planning committee shall refer to Lucy E. Carroll's essay "Music for Catholic Funerals" for guidance on the selection of hymns.
    (7) If possible, the funeral Mass shall be a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. In that case, most of the above requests and safeguards won't be necessary. (That's worth thinking about, I think.)
    Which reminded me of similar plans I drew up last November when I was contemplating the Last Things. In addition to the things Rich mentions (in which I wholeheartedly concur), I have also specified the following details for my funeral Mass:

    Funeral Mass with its music components:

    · PreludeDies Irae, organ and cantor/soloist

    · Blessing at entranceRequiem Aeternam, chant

    · Processional – Hymn: The King of Love my Shepherd Is (Tune: St. Columba)

    The King of love my Shepherd is,
    Whose goodness faileth never,
    I nothing lack if I am His
    And He is mine forever.

    Where streams of living water flow
    My ransomed soul He leadeth,
    And where the verdant pastures grow,
    With food celestial feedeth.

    Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
    But yet in love He sought me,
    And on His shoulder gently laid,
    And home, rejoicing, brought me.

    In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
    With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
    Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
    Thy cross before to guide me.

    Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
    Thy unction grace bestoweth;
    And O what transport of delight
    From Thy pure chalice floweth!

    And so through all the length of days
    Thy goodness faileth never;
    Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
    Within Thy house forever.
    · Readings – read by family member
    Old Testament:
    Wisdom 3:1-9 (“…the souls of the just are in the hand of God …”)

    New Testament:
    Romans 8:31-35, 37-39 (“[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”)


    Philippians 3:8-14 ("...I run toward the prize to which God calls me...")

    · Responsorial Psalm – sung by cantor/organist; refrain sung by congregation
    Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
    R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
    beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.

    R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

    He guides me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    with your rod and your staffthat give me courage.

    R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

    You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

    R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

    Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.

    R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
    · Acclamation – Latin Chant Alleluia

    · Gospel and Sermon – Priest
    Gospel: St. John 6:51-58 (The “Bread of Life”)


    St. John 14:1-6 (“There are many rooms in my Father's house... I am the way and the truth and the life.”)

    · PreparationPie Jesu (Lloyd Webber), organ and cantor/soloist

    · Sanctus / Acclamation / Amen (People’s Mass); Agnus Dei (Latin Chant Mass) – Sung by congregation, cantor/organist

    · Communion – Hymn: Soul of My Savior (Tune: Anima Christi)
    Soul of my Savior sanctify my breast,
    Body of Christ, be thou my saving guest,
    Blood of my Savior, bathe me in thy tide,
    wash me with waters gushing from thy side.

    Strength and protection may thy passion be,
    O blessèd Jesus, hear and answer me;
    deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me,
    so shall I never, never part from thee.

    Guard and defend me from the foe malign,
    in death's dread moments make me only thine;
    call me and bid me come to thee on high
    where I may praise thee with thy saints for aye.
    · Post-Communion MeditationAve Maria (Bach), organ and cantor/soloist

    · Final commendationIn Paradisum, organ and cantor/soloist

    · Recessional –Hymn: I Know That My Redeemer Lives (Tune: Duke Street)

    I know that my Redeemer lives;
    What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
    He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
    He lives, my ever living Head.

    He lives to bless me with His love,
    He lives to plead for me above.
    He lives my hungry soul to feed,
    He lives to help in time of need.

    He lives triumphant from the grave,
    He lives eternally to save,
    He lives all glorious in the sky,
    He lives exalted there on high.

    He lives and grants me daily breath;
    He lives, and I shall conquer death:
    He lives my mansion to prepare;
    He lives to bring me safely there.

    By the way, for my wake, I am requesting that the following songs, as recorded by Van Morrison, be played:

    · “Carrickfergus”
    · “Into the Mystic”
    · “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”
    · “Be Thou My Vision”

    You will notice that Rich requires that the "funeral planning committee shall refer to Lucy E. Carroll's essay 'Music for Catholic Funerals' for guidance on the selection of hymns". If you follow the link, you might also notice that I consulted that very document last November when compiling my own list of music to be used at my funeral.

    Great minds, and all that. Like Rich, I highly recommend Carroll's piece for those who would like to plan the music for their own funeral Mass, as well as for those responsible for funeral planning at their parish.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Member of Knights of Columbus Seeks GOP Chairmanship

    Opinionated Catholic has a post about a Catholic who is also a member of the Knights of Columbus (and who once considered the priesthood as a vocation) who is seeking the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.

    Labels: ,

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 November 2008)

  • The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving

  • Deal Hudson: "A Warning to the GOP"

  • What Makes Music "American"?

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (21 November 2008))


    The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving

    Read about it here.

    (Hat tip: Margaret Cabaniss at InsideCatholic)

    Labels: , , , ,

    Deal Hudson: "A Warning to the GOP"

    Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
    In an op-ed published after the election, former Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman wrote, "Unless the Republican Party ends its self-imposed captivity to social fundamentalists, it will spend a long time in the political wilderness."

    And who are these "social fundamentalists?" In Whitman's political lexicon, they are "the people who base their votes on such social issues as abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research."

    When I read Whitman's column I had three thoughts:

    1. Why is she putting the label "fundamentalist" on fellow Republican voters?

    2. Does she know she's also talking about Catholic voters who consider non-negotiable issues before casting their ballot?

    3. Is she asking Catholic and Evangelical voters who care deeply about these issues to leave the party and declare themselves independent?

    It's remarkable that someone who considers herself a leader in the GOP would go out of her way to antagonize millions of voters who have been dependable Republicans for over three decades.

    Whitman and the other GOP leaders who have made post-election stabs at social and religious conservatives had better start minding their manners. Whatever happened to the "Big Tent"? The Republican Party may find itself hemorrhaging its most zealous constituency.


    Labels: , , , , ,

    What Makes Music "American"?

    Darwin has an excellent post over at American Catholic on the qualities that make certain music quinticentially "American".

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Music Recommendations: Some Alternative (Revolutionary?) Sounds for the 4th of July

    Labels: ,

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (21 November 2008)

  • "Seamless Garment Has Lost a Thread"

  • Conversion Rumors?

  • America Magazine Blogger Praises Daschle Appointment; American Papist Responds

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (20 November 2008))


    "Seamless Garment Has Lost a Thread"

    Austin Ruse writes about "Catholic Bullies and the Unraveling of the Seamless Garment" at The Catholic Thing:

    ... Mr. Kozens is part of a good cop/bad cop routine with a lovely woman named Alexia Kelley who runs another liberal-leaning group called Catholics in Alliance. Kelley used to work at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and toward the end of the 2004 election ran the religious outreach of the Democratic National Committee. Kelley, who I know personally and like, plays the conciliator to Mr. Kozen’s bomb-thrower. They wrote a book together in which they insist they care deeply about the abortion issue, but then went on to explain that it is only one issue among many and that, anyway, the Democrats are better at reducing abortions than the Republicans.

    Mr. Kozens and Ms. Kelley were part of what became a very effective effort by the pro-abortion Obama campaign to wean some Catholics away from the Republican Party, though it should be noted that active Catholics still voted for McCain, if in lower numbers than for Bush in 2004. Their arguments are well known: that Obama will reduce abortions through expansion of social services. It should be noted that Obama does not call for reductions in abortions but for the reduction of the need to resort to abortion. There is a difference.

    How serious is this pro-life commitment of Mr. Kozens and Ms. Kelley? A few days after the election – and a few days after Mr. Kozens’ call for confrontations in church parking lots – Ms. Kelley’s group sent out its own email asking her supporters to vote on the issues they think are the most pressing for the new administration. They were asked to pick three out of a list of six. The list included climate change, immigration reform, health care, living wages, poverty reduction, and ending the war in Iraq. Wait a second, you might ask. Where is the reduction of abortion in all this? Many liberal Catholic s insist that abortion is a part of a seamless garment-approach to social issues. But it looks like their seamless garment has lost a thread.
    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    No surprise, really, that the Catholic left's "seamless garment" is missing quite a number of threads pertaining to abortion and other life issues. The fact that something was missing was first pointed out over 2 years ago, and then again this past year during the so-called Convention for the Common Good.

    As my friend Dale once put it so eloquently, the folks at Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good "don't give a s--t about the unborn or marriage".

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Catholics in Alliance Voter Survey of "Little Value," Archdiocese of Denver Says

    Archbishop Chaput: Kmiec Doing a "Disservice to the Church"

    Mainstream Media Compliant in Obama's "Faith Outreach" Pitch

    Bishop Blair Responds to Gaillardetz Opinion Regarding Roe v. Wade [UPDATED]

    Debate Over at Amy's: Should Catholics Work for Legal Restrictions on Abortion?

    "Separate But Equal" Redux - Pro-Life Edition

    Mark Stricherz: "Why the Democratic Abortion Strategy is Worse"

    What is the "Pro-Life Position" Regarding Abortion?

    "Nonpartisan" Catholics United Attacks the Knights of Columbus

    "Nonpartisan" Catholics United Hits McCain with Ad Questioning His Pro-Life Credentials

    "Non-Partisan" Group of Catholic Obama Supporters Calling Itself "Catholics United" Gets Divisive

    The Catholic Left Meets in Philadelphia

    Convention for the "Common Good"

    Bill Donohue: "How the Catholic Left Is Boxed in by Abortion"

    I Missed the Seminar [UPDATED]

    Deal Hudson: "Catholics Organize to Elect Barack Obama"

    The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

    Democrat Front Group Posing as Catholic Org Calls for End to "Christmas Culture War"

    Fidelis Dismisses Religious Left Media "Report"

    Democrats Set Their Sights on Winning Back Catholics

    Mark Shea in National Catholic Register: "Richard Rich Lives"

    Edwards Blogger Flap Discomforts Religious Left

    Mark Shea: "Whores for Edwards Swings into Action"

    Catholics in Alliance Respond With Letter to Editor

    Continue to Raise Our Voices on Issue of Voting

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

    Vote Your Values

    "NOT An Approved Catholic Voter Guide"

    What's Missing?

    Toledo Blade: "Catholic Voting Guide Gives Church Perspective"

    Catholics Find Voting Guides a Test of Allegiance

    Weigel: "An Electoral Battle of the Booklets?

    More From Amy Welborn on the "Dueling Catholic Voter Guides"

    Columnist: "Christian Right Driving Wedge Into U.S."

    More on Catholic Voter Guides

    Dueling Catholic Voter Guides

    Labels: , , , ,

    Conversion Rumors?

    Another link to American Papist, this one regarding rumors of prominent politicians who are considering entering the Church.

    The conversion rumor that sounds most likely involves former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Coincidentally, just yesterday, one of St. Blog's most prominent Catholic bloggers declared Speaker Gingrich to be "disgusting" (in, ironically, a post admonishing conservative Catholics not to demonize those with whom we disagree politically).

    Good thing for Speaker Gingrich that Jesus seems to be somewhat more accomodating to "disgusting" sinners.


    America Magazine Blogger Praises Daschle Appointment; American Papist Responds

    Thomas Peters takes down another Catholic apologist for the culture of death:
    ... From the outset, Winters misses the point:
    The Church in America today is burdened by a group of conservative prelates and laity all of whom seem to be taking their marching orders from the Republican National Committee
    I've said it dozens of times: when Catholic bishops speak out on behalf of the unborn they are doing so because abortion is a human rights issue, not a partisan talking-point. Catholic bishops would rejoice to see the pro-life cause energetically embraced by democrats and republicans alike. Winters continues:
    The Catholic press and blogosphere are the only outlets that view the Daschle selection through the prism of where he stands on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).
    Well no kidding, that's because the Catholic press and blogosphere actually believe abortion is wrong, and actually believe that Obama might very well try to fulfil one of the promises he made. Catholic press and blogs would be abandoning their commitment to a Catholic perspective on modern social issues if they mirrored the liberal orthodoxy of the age which says abortion is here to stay.

    Winters winds down his post with claiming to have originated, or at least pre-dated, the current democrat line which says "Roe v. Wade is here to stay, so the only way to reduce abortions is to make women not want them." Ironically, Winters resumes "Call me an optimist..."

    I'm sorry, but what Winters just said sounds incredibly pessimistic. And it's a very sad day indeed when Catholics feel encouraged by the appointment of pro-abortion Catholic politicians to the highest healthcare office in the country, and somehow claim that the rest of us are impeding progress when we voice concern.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    A Pro-Life Nightmare: Daschle Appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

    Labels: , , , ,

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (20 November 2008)

  • A Pro-Life Nightmare: Daschle Appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

  • St. Edmund of East Anglia, King and Martyr - 20 November

  • Catholics Who Vote for Freedom of Choice Act Could Face Automatic Excommunication

  • Jesuits Produce a Great Political Candidate

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (19 November 2008))


    A Pro-Life Nightmare: Daschle Appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services

    From Catholic Online:
    WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - President-elect Obama has made his choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services – former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle. He had been a close advisor to President - Elect Obama during the presidential campaign and had recently written a book on his proposals to improve health care in America called "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis."

    “Of all the proposals that Obama wants to enact, health care requires the most input and tough negotiations,” one of the Democratic officials told “No one knows the House and Senate like Tom Daschle.”

    The Department of Health and Human Services, Daschle’s new assignment, is the agency responsible for abortion policy. Should the Freedom of Choice Act be ratified, this is the department through which it would be administered. With Dascle's appointment it will be headed by a strong pro-choice supporter who also describes himself as a Catholic.

    It wasn’t that many years ago that Tom Daschle was the pro-life movement’s worst congressional nightmare. Over the years, as a Senator and Senate Minority Leader, he constantly supported pro-choice legislation and initiatives.

    In 1997, for example, Daschle proposed what he called a "compromise" regarding partial-birth abortion, banning the procedure while allowing exemptions for any woman who claimed mental or physical health reasons for having such a late-term procedure. Most saw this tactic as a smokescreen to guarantee the option to abort children by this grisly procedure akin to infanticide.

    Describing himself as a Catholic, in 2003 the 61 year-old senator from South Dakota received a letter from Bishop Robert Carlson, the bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, instructing the legislator to stop referring to himself in that manner.

    Carlson later told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that he was bewildered by Daschle's position on abortion. "NARAL claims him as one of their number-one supporters. I don't understand how he can be in touch with South Dakotans as much as he is, and yet consistently have a pro-abortion record."

    Daschle left the senate involuntarily in 2005, losing re-election to Republican John Thune by a narrow margin of 49 to 51 percent. Thune represented South Dakota as a senator who was strongly in favor of the Family Marriage Amendment and pro-life.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    St. Edmund of East Anglia, King and Martyr - 20 November

    (Originally posted in November 2005)

    "I have vowed to live under Christ, to live under Christ alone, to reign under Christ alone". - St Edmund, King and Martyr

    Today, 20 November, is the feast day of the martyr St. Edmund, King of East Anglia. Many assume St. George is the patron saint of England. However, St. George is actually "Protector of the Realm of England" and patron saint of the English Crown. St. Edmund is the "real" patron saint of England. See also Joanna Bogle's excellent A Book of Feasts and Seasons where I first learned this particular piece of trivia.

    On our trip to England a few years ago, during which my family spent a week in East Anglia - where Sarah's Granny was born, we learned quite a bit about St. Edmund. He has become one of my favorite saints. Unfortunately, a planned trip to the saint's final resting place in the town of Bury St. Edmunds and St. Edmundsbury Cathedral did not happen due to the demands of travelling with 2 toddlers. Oh well, hopefully, we can get there on another visit to the U.K.

    The following details about the life of St. Edmund come from the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    St. Edmund of East Anglia
    Also known as Edmund the Martyr

    Martyred by being beaten, whipped, shot with arrows and beheaded at Hoxne, Suffolk, England 20 November 870; buried at Hoxne; relics moved to Beodricsworth (modern Saint Edmundsbury) in the 10th century

    Commemorated November 20

    Patronage: kings, plague epidemics, torture victims, wolves

    In art, he is shown with an arrow; king tied to a tree and shot with arrows; wolf; bearded king with a sword and arrow; man with his severed head between the paws of a wolf; sword

    "The tree at which tradition declared Eadmund to have been slain stood in the park at Hoxne until 1849, when it fell. In the course of its breaking up an arrow-head was found embedded in the trunk. A clergyman who had a church which was dedicated to St. Eadmund begged a piece of the tree, and it now forms part of his communion-table. Another portion is in the possession of Lady Bateman of Oakley Hall" - Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, 1908-1909

    Edmund the Martyr, King (RM)

    Born 841; died at Hoxne, Suffolk, England, in 869 or 870. Feast day formerly November 2.

    On Christmas Day 855, 14-year-old Edmund was acclaimed king of Norfolk by the ruling men and clergy of that county. The following year the leaders of Suffolk also made him their king.

    For 15 years Edmund ruled over the East Angles with what all acknowledged as Christian dignity and justice. He himself seems to have modelled his piety on that of King David in the Old Testament, becoming especially proficient in reciting the Psalms in public worship.

    From the year 866 his kingdom was increasingly threatened by Danish invasions. For four years the East Angles managed to keep a shaky, often broken peace with them. Then the invaders burned Thetford. King Edmund's army attacked the Danes but could not defeat the marauders. Edmund was taken prisoner and became the target for Danish bowmen.

    In a later account in the The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, reputedly derived second-hand from an eyewitness, Abbo compared Saint Edmund to Saint Sebastien, and so he also became a saint invoked against the plague. The story goes that Edmund was captured at Hoxne. He refused to share his Christian kingdom with the heathen invaders, whereupon he was tied to a tree and shot with arrows, till his body was 'like a thistle covered with prickles'; then his head was struck off. He died with the name of Jesus on his lips.

    The record continues that the Danes "killed the king and overcame all the land . . . they destroyed all the churches that they came to, and at the same time reaching Peterborough, killed the abbot and monks and burned and broke everything they found there."

    Saint Edmund thus remains the only English sovereign until the time of King Charles I to die for religious beliefs as well as the defense of his throne. Edmund was quickly revered as a martyr and his cultus spread widely during the middle ages (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Hervey, Roeder).

    King Saint Edmund is generally depicted as a bearded king holding his emblem--an arrow. Sometimes he is shown suspended from a tree and shot, or his head between the paws of a wolf. He is sometimes confused with Saint Sebastien, who is never portrayed as a king (Roeder).

    He is venerated at Bury Saint Edmunds (Saint Edmund's borough), where his body is enshrined and a great abbey arose in 1020. Richard II invoked him as patron as to those threatened by the plague (Roeder).


    More on St. Edmund of East Anglia at:
    The Edmund Prayer
    Christ Jesus,
    with the life and martyrdom of St Edmund,
    King of East Anglia,
    you inspired generations of pilgrims
    in the way of love and hope.
    Enfold your Church in the mystery of your life,
    that we, in our own pilgrimage,
    may be apostles of your wounded and risen glory,
    who with the Father and the Spirit,
    are present eternally. Amen.

    Labels: , , ,

    Catholics Who Vote for Freedom of Choice Act Could Face Automatic Excommunication

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - Catholic members of Congress who vote for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) could face “automatic excommunication” if the act is determined to be “formal cooperation” in the evil of abortion.

    When asked last week whether a Catholic politician voting for the FOCA – which would impose nationwide abortion on demand and government funding of abortion – would incur automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said the question would need to be discussed once the actual language of the bill was known.

    My Comments:
    This is actually something I called for a few weeks back.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Jesuits Produce a Great Political Candidate

    (Hat tip: Opinionated Catholic and Amy Welborn)

    Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
    Joseph Cao is a Catholic lawyer and former Jesuit scholastic from New Orleans. He is running as a Republican for the Congressional 2nd district seat in Louisiana presently held by Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA), who is best known for the $90,000 found in his freezer. The election will be held December 6.

    Few candidates for public office are as forthright as Cao when asked about their position on abortion. “I am very anti-abortion,” he told me without hesitation. Cao would like to overturn Roe, but in the meantime, “We have to find a way to defeat Roe without having to overturn it.”

    His solid pro-life credentials are attested to by the
    endorsement of the FRC Action PAC, among others.

    At age 41, Cao has been married for seven years to Hieu, also called “Kate,” and has two children, Sophia 5 and Betsy 4. Kate is a pharmacist who works to “pay the bills while I play politician,” Joseph told me. They met at a Marian festival at Our Lady
    La Vang Parish, a Vietnamese Catholic congregation in New Orleans.

    Cao was born in Vietnam but immigrated to the United States at age 8 with his older sister and younger brother. The Communists had jailed his father after the fall of Saigon in 1975, and Joseph was raised by an uncle in Houston where he attended middle and high school and was eventually reunited with his parents. Joseph attended Baylor University in pre-med, where he met a Catholic chaplain who introduced him to the Society of Jesus.

    He entered the Jesuits in 1990, spending two years in the novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. While working as a Jesuit in Mexico he had an experience that led him out of the Order and into the world of politics.

    “I went all over the world to work with the poor and experienced a crisis of faith in Mexico over human suffering and God. I asked my spiritual director, ‘What is God doing about all this suffering?’ He told me that ‘God sends people to help.’ That was when I began to realize my calling was politics.”

    Cao earned his M.A., in philosophy at Fordham University and spent a year teaching ethics at Loyola University, but left the Jesuits in May 1996. He earned a law degree and continued teaching at Loyola before he began his legal career as an associate at the Waltzer Law Firm. Cao left Waltzer to become in-house counsel for
    Boat People SOS.

    Cao lost his bid in 2007 to become a state representative in his home state, but he wasn’t discouraged. “I have a deep faith, and I believe that I am called to public service.”


    Labels: , , , , ,

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (19 November 2008)

  • Elitist Kathleen Parker Disses Not Only Social Conservatives, But G-O-D Himself

  • CBN Reporter David Brody Attempts to Rehabilitate Michael Steele's Pro-Life Credentials

  • George W. Bush - Friend of the Unborn and Defender of Religious Freedom

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (18 November 2008))


    Elitist Kathleen Parker Disses Not Only Social Conservatives, But G-O-D Himself

    Creative Minority Report has the story:
    ... See, the reason I am wondering about this is that I foolishly read Republican turncoat Kathleen Parker. If it wasn't bad enough how she savaged Sarah Palin simply to get booked more often on CNN and MSNBC, now she is savaging you and me. Well, to be specific, she is savaging any of you "low brow", "oogedy boogedy", G-O-D fearin' types.
    As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

    Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

    I'm bathing in holy water as I type.

    To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

    Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows.
    And Johan Goldberg has this priceless retort to Parker's nonsense:
    I don't know what's more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren't special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren't a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You're just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page. Perhaps the typical Washington Post reader (or editor) doesn't understand that. But you should, and most conservatives familiar with these issues can see through what you're doing.
    Kathryn Lopez adds this:
    Yes, there is rot on both sides. But social conservatives are not rotten and it's rotten to suggest they (we, in my case) are.

    And, dear God, it's not God who is the problem.
    The Parker woman is a BIGOT, pure and simple. She's also another 5-letter word that begins with a "B" followed by an "I".

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    CBN Reporter David Brody Attempts to Rehabilitate Michael Steele's Pro-Life Credentials

    Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele
    (Matt Houston/AP)

    Up until last week, I was a huge fan of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. In fact, he was my choice 2 years ago to be RNC Chairman and among my top choices, along with Sen. Brownback and Govs. Palin and Jindal, to be Sen. McCain's running mate. So, I was very much on board with the notion of his becoming RNC Chairman this time around.

    That was until this news regarding Steele's less-than-stellar defense of the pro-life cause on Meet the Press came out.

    And now, David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Newtwork gets in on the act of trying to rehabilitate Steele's pro-life credentials. Unfortunately for him, he drops additional hints regarding Steele's unworthiness for the RNC job:

    Michael Steele wants to become Republican National Committee Chairman. Yet some anonymous emails are circulating within Republican circles suggesting he’s not pro-life enough to be chairman. Colleen Parro of the Republican National Coalition for Life has publicly voiced concerns because Steele was a co-founder of the socially moderate Republican Leadership Committee. (more on that here.)

    The RLC explains their mission this way:

    Inspired by a drive to get back to the fundamentals of the Republican Party, Senator John Danforth, Lt. Governor Michael Steele, and Governor Christine Todd Whitman created the political organization the Republican Leadership Council, which advocates for the historic Republican principles of liberty, individual responsibility, and personal freedom...
    The fact, alone, that Steele founded the Republican Leadership Council along with Danforth and Whitman is enough to disqualify him from the RNC job, in my mind, on the basis of poor judgment and questionable political alliances. Both Danforth and Whitman have stated on numerous occasions their desire to see the GOP scuttle those "divisive wedge issues" like abortion and marriage.

    With Whitman and Danforth both clamoring for the GOP to ditch social conservatives, to then place one of their close political associates, with whom they co-founded the Republican Leadership Council, at the head of the RNC is not a good political bet for those of us who are concerned with cultural issues.

    Brody, however, apparently disagrees with this assessment:
    Look, here’s the reality. Steele’s critics have a huge task ahead of them if they’re going to make the case that the guy is not pro-life enough. He’s got the solid track record on the life issue. It’s hard to argue against it.

    If anything, the ties to the RLC could be seen as a plus in his corner. After all, the Republican Party will not win presidential contests if their candidate is seen as an ideologue. The challenges for the incoming chairman will be numerous including how to brand the GOP a certain way without sacrificing conservative principles.

    Steele has quite a few advantages in the race. He’s well liked within the party, he’s an effective communicator, he seems to have the social value and fiscal discipline package and because he’s African-American it also may send a greater signal to the country that the GOP is not the same old “bunch of white guys” party. The GOP needs to start a new conversation with Americans. Steele could be the bridge to that next step.
    Maybe. Maybe not. I have to admit that what Brody describes in that last paragraph are some of the attributes that caused me to gravitate toward Steele 2 years ago in the race for the RNC chair. It's what caused me to consider him a prime prospect for McCain's running mate this past year. And it's what had me in his corner up until last week when I found out the disturbing facts that I mention above.

    If Steele wants to get me back in his corner, then he must explain to my satisfaction (1) his troubling comments to the late Tim Russert on Meet the Press regarding his reluctance to see Roe v. Wade overturned; (2) his close association in formting the Republican Leadership Council with those who seek to de-emphasize the GOP's opposition to abortion and same-sex "marriage" and other aspects of the social conservative agenda; and (3) his vision for moving the social conservative agenda forward as a key part of the overall agenda of the Republican National Committee.

    Until Steele can satisfactorily address my concerns, I'm afraid I'm going to have to voice my opposition to his elevation to the RNC chairmanship.

    Regular Guy Paul has added a couple of comments (here and here) that provide some additional illumination on the subject of Steele's pro-life bona fides. Paul links to this piece at RedState:
    We are in the process of putting some questions out that we hope each of the candidates for RNC Chair will answer. I've already raised some questions about Michael Steele, particularly regarding his time with the Republican Leadership Council and his stance on abortion.

    I've had a lot of people call me since that posting — mostly people who like Michael Steele and a few people who don't. There is one thing they all have in common. They do not question his commitment to life issues. Whether they like him or not, they say there is no room to question Steele on the life issue.

    That's great news.

    Also, on the issue of the Republican Leadership Council, I'm reliably told Steele left the RLC after the group began challenging Republicans in primaries. He touches on that in an interview today with the Washington Times.
    But he said he would like to see the Supreme Court overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationally. Almost all religious conservatives regard the federal constitutional protection of the unborn as a moral obligation...

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Creative Minority Report Asks: "Is Michael Steele Pro-Life?"

    Racial Politics: Obama vs. Steele

    Is Michael Steele on McCain's "Short List" for VP?

    The Story Behind Steele: No One Offered RNC Chair to Marylander

    Incredibly Stupid Move

    Michael Steele to Head GOP?

    Steele Gaining

    Black Democrats Pledge Backing to GOP's Steele

    One of the Best Preemptive Political Ads That I've Ever Seen

    Maryland Lt. Gov. (and U.S. Senate Candidate) Michael Steele Reaffirms Catholic Values

    Labels: , , , , ,

    George W. Bush - Friend of the Unborn and Defender of Religious Freedom

    I voted for George W. Bush 3 times: once to be Governor of Texas in 1994, and twice to be President of the United States in 2000 and 2004.

    Despite some serious shortcomings on President Bush's part, as well as my serious public policy differences with him regarding his execution of the War in Iraq, his administration's use of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques", and the fiscal unsoundness of his domestic policy agenda, I am nevertheless fairly pleased overall with my decisions to vote for him on those multiple occasions.

    Donald McClarey (writing at American Catholic) and Hierothee (writing at Liturgy - Cosmos - Sex) point to a primary example of why I'm proud of those votes:

    A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job-discrimination laws.

    The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

    It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Obama has said the proposal will raise new hurdles to women seeking reproductive health services, like abortion and some contraceptives. Michael Leavitt, the health and human services secretary, said that was not the purpose.

    Officials at the Health and Human Services Department said they intended to issue a final version of the rule within days. Aides and advisers to Obama said he would try to rescind it, a process that could take three to six months.

    The proposal is supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association, which represents Catholic hospitals.

    Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, said that in recent years, “we have seen a variety of efforts to force Catholic and other health care providers to perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations.”
    (emphasis added)

    Those who assert that the Republicans in general and George W. Bush in particular have done nothing for the pro-life cause are, quite honestly, liars.

    Maybe Bush and the GOP haven't done enough, or maybe they've put pro-life efforts on the backburner when they mistakenly believed other matters took precedent, but they've actually done quite a lot to advance the cause of the unborn.

    Others have done yeoman's work in pointing out those pro-life achievements. And this is just one example among many in which President Bush has proven himself to be a friend of the unborn and a defender of religious freedom.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (18 November 2008)

  • Lefty Catholic Commentators Missed Their Chance to Dissuade Bishops on Abortion Stance

  • Bishop Blair: ‘‘Your Word Is a Light to My Path’’

  • Bishop Blair Calls for Statement on Economic Crisis

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (17 November 2008))


    Lefty Catholic Commentators Missed Their Chance to Dissuade Bishops on Abortion Stance

    From Catholic News Agency:
    Baltimore, Nov 17, 2008 / 11:03 pm (CNA).- As the U.S. bishops prepare to strongly oppose the expected pro-abortion policies of an Obama administration, two Catholic Democratic commentators have published an editorial calling on the bishops to focus on other issues besides abortion. That call, however, appears to be too little, too late.

    Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, made their case in a Sunday editorial in the Baltimore Sun. Claiming that Catholic voters’ majority preference for Obama shows they care about other issues...

    They also advocated social programs instead of legal protections for the unborn as more effective means to reduce the numbers of abortions.

    Citing episcopal statements deeming pro-life issues central to responsible voting considerations, the two writers said “all this talk about abortion,” which they characterized as defending “the need to vote Republican,” showed some bishops wanted a Republican victory.

    Whelan and Townsend’s editorial followed action at the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting last week in which American prelates pledged to work with the Obama presidency “for the common good of all” on issues such as immigration, education, health care, and religious freedom.

    ... Whelan previously had warned the bishops not to make any strong statements on abortion, which he claimed would be counterproductive and “only alienate Catholics” ...

    At their annual meeting, the bishops insisted that life itself is a “fundamental good,” lamenting the removal of legal protection for the unborn mandated by the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. They also attacked the proposed Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as “legislation that is more radical” than Roe v. Wade.

    The bishops also defended their focus on pro-life issues.

    “The bishops are single-minded because they are, first of all, single-hearted,” the bishops’ statement said.

    The statement was written under an unusual process, with USCCB President Cardinal Francis George being asked to write the letter with the bishops’ approval. In normal circumstances, such a statement would have needed to pass through an administrative committee.
    (emphasis added)

    Labels: , , , ,

    Bishop Blair: ‘‘Your Word Is a Light to My Path’’

    The previous post about my Bishop reminded me that I had neglected to post anything from Bishop Blair's monthly column in The Catholic Chronicle, per my usual practice.

    Toledo Bishop Leonard P. Blair writes in the November issue of The Catholic Chronicle:
    ‘‘Your word is a light to my path’’

    Written by Leonard P. Blair, Bishop of Toledo
    Friday, 07 November 2008

    ... So when it comes to handing on the Word of God, two closely interrelated "modes of transmission" are at work: Sacred Scripture and Tradition (not any and all traditions, but what pertains to the so-called "deposit of faith" from the Apostles).

    The U.S. Adult Catechism states: "Both the living Tradition and the written Scriptures have their common source in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. This is particularly important to understand and believe when one is faced with the postmodern attitude that Tradition cannot be trusted, and that what the Church teaches as Tradition is really just a reflection of particular judgments and biases. Knowing that what Tradition teaches has its ultimate foundation in Jesus Christ helps a person of faith to respond with trust" (page 25f).

    Consider the following examples of contemporary prejudice against Tradition.

    Many of today’s media stories on the Bible treat it as an object separated from the Tradition exercised by the authority of the apostles and their successors, the bishops. For example, when ancient heretical texts are "rediscovered," they are often reported as authentic voices of ancient Christianity that were suppressed by church authorities for self-serving motives.

    However, one can readily see what the New Testament says about false teaching, and the need to discern and reject it. The authority of Tradition has been exercised in these matters from the beginning. That is why not everything in circulation in New Testament times made its way into the Bible.

    Also, when I was a seminarian, a weekly Bible Vigil service was introduced in order to celebrate the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewed appreciation of Sacred Scripture in Catholic life. As the Word of God, the Bible was enthroned, revered and incensed in the chapel.

    Now almost a half century later, it is not uncommon to find Bibles marked with hand-written "corrections" by people who think they know what God really meant to say, or would have said had He lived to see enlightened times like ours! God’s Word certainly admits of interpretation, cultural context and the insights of scientific biblical scholarship, but there is often something else at work in modern "Bible wars."

    The eminent American theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, writing about the reservation of priestly ordination to men, says this: "Radical theology adopts a sharply critical attitude toward all the supposedly sacred sources. It criticizes popes and bishops in the light of tradition, but then criticizes tradition in the light of Scripture, and Scripture in the light of the ‘historical’ Jesus. If the historical reconstruction of Jesus does not yield the desired result, Jesus Himself is criticized in the light of whatever seems good and proper to the contemporary critic."


    © Copyright 2002 - 2008 Catholic Chronicle
    The Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo

    Labels: , , ,

    Bishop Blair Calls for Statement on Economic Crisis

    Here's a story from last week's USCCB meeting that somehow slipped under my radar screen concerning the current economic crisis facing our nation and a statement on the crisis proposed by my own Bishop:
    "We are our brothers' keepers," remind bishops in economic statement

    At a time of economic crisis, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a statement Nov. 11 reminding people that "we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. We are all in this together."

    The brief statement issued by Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, the bishops' president, noted that "hard times can isolate us or they can bring us together."

    It was drafted during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore and approved by the body of bishops in a voice vote Nov. 11 as a statement from Cardinal George on their behalf.

    "As pastors and bishops, we see the many human and moral consequences of this crisis," the statement said. Though the impact of the crisis is greater in some regions of the country, families all across the nation are losing their homes, workers are losing their jobs and health care coverage, retirement savings are threatened and people are losing the sense of hope and security, it continued.

    But the church will continue to "reach out to those in need, stand with those who are hurt, and work for policies that bring greater compassion, accountability and justice to economic life," the statement said.

    Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, who suggested the statement, said at a press conference following its approval that the impetus for it came out of "the very basic concern we have as pastors" that the economic situation be met with understanding, compassion and a sense of solidarity with one's neighbors.

    A day earlier in his home state, he noted, another major employer announced dramatic job cuts. DHL, the international shipping company, announced it was eliminating 9,500 jobs, about 7,000 of them located in Wilmington, Ohio.

    "Our people are hurting and the bishops want to be with people as they're hurting," Bishop Blair said.

    Bishop Blair said Toledo has a long tradition of people helping people, particularly at the parish level, and he doesn't see that being particularly affected by diocesan financial situations.

    To see a video of the press conference with Bishop Blair, click here.

    Labels: , ,

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (17 November 2008)

  • Who Said It? (Hypocritical Diocesan Hack Edition)

  • Credit Where It Is Due: "An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama"

  • Catholics in Alliance Voter Survey of "Little Value," Archdiocese of Denver Says

  • Former Student of Prof. Kmiec Calls Him Out on "Revealing His True Colors"

  • Cardinal Stafford: “Aggressive, Disruptive and Apocalyptic” Obama Ran On “Extremist Anti-Life Platform”
  • Labels:

    Who Said It? (Hypocritical Diocesan Hack Edition)

    "Thank you for your statement. I wish the bishops would have been as forthright. Why did they not speak before the election?"

    ~ Msgr. Martin Laughlin, Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, SC, to Fr. Jay Scott Newman on 12 November 2008, in response to Fr. Newman's instructing his parishioners that they should make a good Confession before receiving Communion if they had voted for a pro-abortion candidate.

    "This past week, the Catholic Church’s clear, moral teaching on the evil of abortion has been pulled into the partisan political arena. The recent comments of Father Jay Scott Newman, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C., have diverted the focus from the Church’s clear position against abortion. As Administrator of the Diocese of Charleston, let me state with clarity that Father Newman's statements do not adequately reflect the Catholic Church's teachings. Any comments or statements to the contrary are repudiated."

    ~ Msgr. Martin Laughlin, two days later on 14 November 2008.

    (Hat tip: Diogenes)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Fr. Jay Scott Newman Advises Penance for Obama Vote [UPDATED]

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Credit Where It Is Due: "An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama"

    Kudos to Henry Karlson of Vox Nova for writing and posting this:
    An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama

    November 14, 2008

    President-elect Barack Obama,

    As American Catholics, we, the undersigned, would like to reiterate the congratulations given to you by Pope Benedict XVI. We will be praying for you as you undertake the office of President of the United States.

    Wishing you much good will, we hope we will be able to work with you, your administration, and our fellow citizens to move beyond the gridlock which has often harmed our great nation in recent years. Too often, partisan politics has hampered our response to disaster and misfortune. As a result of this, many Americans have become resentful, blaming others for what happens instead of realizing our own responsibilities. We face serious problems as a people, and if we hope to overcome the crises we face in today’s world, we should make a serious effort to set aside the bitterness in our hearts, to listen to one another, and to work with one another.

    One of the praiseworthy elements of your campaign has been the call to end such partisanship. You have stated a desire to engage others in dialogue. With you, we believe that real achievement comes not through the defamation of one’s opponents, nor by amassing power and using it merely as a tool for one’s own individual will. We also believe dialogue is essential. We too wish to appeal to the better nature of the nation. We want to encourage people to work together for the common good. Such action can and will engender trust. It may change the hearts of many, and it might alter the path of our nation, shifting to a road leading to a better America. We hope this theme of your campaign is realized in the years ahead.

    One of the critical issues which currently divides our nation is abortion. As you have said, no one is for abortion, and you would agree to limit late-term abortions as long as any bill which comes your way allows for exceptions to those limits, such as when the health of the mother is in jeopardy. You have also said you would like to work on those social issues which cause women to feel as if they have a need for an abortion, so as to reduce the actual number of abortions being performed in the United States.

    Indeed, you said in your third presidential debate, “But there surely is some common ground when both those who believe in choice and those who are opposed to abortion can come together and say, ‘We should try to prevent unintended pregnancies by providing appropriate education to our youth, communicating that sexuality is sacred and that they should not be engaged in cavalier activity, and providing options for adoption, and helping single mothers if they want to choose to keep the baby.’”

    As men and women who oppose abortion and embrace a pro-life ethic, we want to commend your willingness to engage us in dialogue, and we ask that you live up to your promise, and engage us on this issue.

    There is much we can do together. There is much that we can do to help women who find themselves in difficult situations so they will not see abortion as their only option. There is much which we can do to help eliminate those unwanted pregnancies which lead to abortion.

    One of your campaign promises is of grave concern to many pro-life citizens. On January 22, 2008, the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when speaking of the current right of women in America to have abortions, you said, “And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.”

    The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) might well undermine your engagement of pro-life Americans on the question of abortion. It might hamper any effort on your part to work with us to limit late-term abortions. We believe FOCA does more than allow for choice. It may force the choice of a woman upon others, and make them morally complicit in such choice. One concern is that it would force doctors and hospitals which would otherwise choose not to perform abortions to do so, even if it went against their sacred beliefs. Such a law would undermine choice, and might begin the process by which abortion is enforced as a preferred option, instead of being one possible choice for a doctor to practice.

    It is because of such concern we write. We urge you to engage us, and to dialogue with us, and to do so before you consider signing this legislation. Let us reason together and search out the implications of FOCA. Let us carefully review it and search for contradictions of those positions which we hold in common.

    If FOCA can be postponed for the present, and serious dialogue begun with us, as well as with those who disagree with us, you will demonstrate that your administration will indeed be one that rises above partisanship, and will be one of change. This might well be the first step toward resolving an issue which tears at the fabric of our churches, our political process, our families, our very society, and that causes so much hardship and heartache in pregnant women.

    Likewise, you have also recently stated you might over-ride some of President G.W. Bush’s executive orders. This is also a concern to us. We believe doing so without having a dialogue with the American people would undermine the political environment you would like to establish. Among those issues which concern us are those which would use taxpayer money to support actions we find to be morally questionable, such as embryonic stem cell research, or to fund international organizations that would counsel women to have an abortion (this would make abortion to be more than a mere choice, but an encouraged activity).

    Consider, sir, your general promise to the American people and set aside particular promises to a part of your constituency. This would indicate that you plan to reject politics as usual. This would indeed be a change we need.

    Deal W. Hudson
    Christopher Blosser
    Marjorie Campbell
    Mark J. Coughlan
    Rev. James A. Nowack
    Craig D. Baker
    Susan DeBoisblanc
    Megan Stout
    Joshua D. Brumfield
    Ashley M. Brumfield
    Michael J. Iafrate
    Natalie Navarro
    Matthew Talbot
    Paul Mitchell
    Todd Flowerday
    Henry C Karlson III
    Adam P Verslype
    Josiah Neeley
    Michael J. Deem
    Katerina M. Deem
    Natalie Mixa
    Henry Newman
    Anthony M. Annett
    Mickey Jackson
    Veronica Greenwell
    Thomas Greenwell PhD
    Robert C. Koerpel
    Nate Wildermuth
    While there may be aspects of this letter with which one might take issue (e.g., as one of my email correspondents has pointed out, the term "morally questionable" to describe ESCR and the funding of overseas abortions is not nearly strong enough, and stronger language that recognized the intrinsic wrongfulness of those actions could still have been utilized without jeopardizing the tone of the letter), I encourage you to read and accept it in the spirit in which it was written. And pay close attention to the signatories: many of them did not vote for President-elect Obama and, in fact, vigorously opposed him. Yet they have found this conciliatory request for dialogue to be something to which they can add their names.

    The idea is to engage President-elect Obama, not to denounce him. The idea is to find aspects of his own agenda and his own words that could be fertile areas of common ground. I admit that I am not optimistic about the success of the effort, but I certainly pray for its success. I hope you will, too.

    Labels: , , ,

    Catholics in Alliance Voter Survey of "Little Value," Archdiocese of Denver Says

    (Hat tip: Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic)

    From Catholic News Agency:
    Denver, Nov 14, 2008 / 09:40 pm (CNA).- A consortium of left-wing Christian organizations has released a report on the reasons voters gave for how they cast their ballots in the recent election. Although the poll finds that Americans have rejected a “narrow agenda,” the Archdiocese of Denver says the report has “little value” because it is skewed by the preconceptions of the groups that commissioned the survey.

    The newly released survey, which questioned 1,277 voters, was conducted November 5-7 by Public Religion Research for the groups Faith in Public Life, Sojourners and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

    While noting that only 21 percent of white evangelicals voted for Barack Obama, the consortium pointed to their finding that “nearly double” (39%) say he is friendly to religion and shares their values.

    Dr. Robert P. Jones, President of Public Religion Research interpreted the results of his organization’s survey as showing that Americans desire to reclaim a “broader agenda,” a description that closely echoes the post-election theme of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and its political allies.

    This result, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and their partners say, should be interpreted to mean that pro-lifers should focus their efforts on economic and social measures to reduce abortion. Other thinkers who agree with this reasoning, such as Douglas Kmiec and Nicolas Cafardi, assert that the pro-life movement has failed in the legal arena, and that it should redirect its energies.

    However, this past Wednesday the U.S. Catholic bishops rejected the notion that the pro-life movement has failed by assailing Roe v. Wade in their joint statement. “A good state protects the lives of all. Legal protection for those members of the human family waiting to be born in this country was removed when the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in 1973. This was bad law.”

    Jeanette DeMelo, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Denver, dismissed the Catholics in Alliance survey and the groups’ conclusions in a statement to CNA on Friday. “This survey has little value, if any, because it is skewed by the preconceptions of the partisan, activist groups that commissioned the survey,” she said.

    DeMelo also pointed out that “Archbishop Chaput has already said that groups like ‘Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn’.”

    Archbishop Chaput has taken particular issue with Catholics in Alliance’s attempts to give equal moral weight to the issue of abortion in its voter education materials.

    In a mid-October speech, Archbishop Chaput described their agenda, saying, “All of them seek to ‘get beyond’ abortion, or economically reduce the number of abortions, or create a better society where abortion won’t be necessary. All of them involve a misuse of the seamless garment imagery in Catholic social teaching. And all of them, in practice, seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues.”
    (emphasis added)

    Labels: ,

    Former Student of Prof. Kmiec Calls Him Out on "Revealing His True Colors"

    Gunnar Gundersen, a former student of Prof. Doug Kmiec, sent me a link to his recent piece at Catholic Online:
    On this website Professor Kmiec has expressed a desire to comply with Church teaching. In fact, he made various arguments on this site regarding why his approach of voting for a candidate who wanted to enshrine abortion as a fundamental right, pay for abortions, force insurance companies to pay for abortions and fund the creation and killing of millions of babies with embryonic stem cell research was in keeping with Catholic teaching. An effort that unfortunately was proven to be successful.

    However, recently on, when speaking to a general audience, he revealed his true colors. When discussing his proposal of supporting a constitutional amendment that would recognize that human life begins at conception, but requiring that no government could pass legislation based on this fact without a super-majority he stated: "This is not the ideal Catholic position, but it's closer, and the Catholic Church has less standing to complain about a grant of freedom that could then be fairly influenced by the moral instruction associated with a woman's religious choice." (emphasis added).

    With all due respect to Professor Kmiec, Holy Mother Church does not complain nor is Her teaching on the necessity for the legal protection of life a complaint. She teaches us how to live according to the will of Christ, our Lord. When her pastors tell us that “[t]he common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice” or that “[a] person who supports permissive abortion laws, however, rejects the truth that innocent human life may never be destroyed. This profound moral failure runs deeper and is more corrupting of the individual, and of the society, than any error in applying just war criteria to particular cases,” end of story.

    Should there be any doubt, Pope Pius XII, Defender of Civilization, the visible head of God’s Church on earth could not have been any clearer: “[a] social teaching or a social reconstruction program which denies or prescinds from [the] internal essential relation to God of everything that regards men, is on a false course; and while it builds up with one hand, it prepares with the other the materials which sooner or later will undermine and destroy the whole fabric [of society].”

    The 2008 Democratic Party platform states that “[t]he Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion [to murder her child], regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken and undermine that right.”

    In 2007 Obama stated: "On this fundamental issue [continuing to allow the murder of innocent babies], I will not yield and Planned Parenthood will not yield." Now, this past week, Obama’s transition team is already planning on rescinding the executive orders put in place by Bush to prevent American taxpayer funding of abortions worldwide and the domestic creation and destruction of millions of embryos specifically for the purpose of embryonic stem cell research.

    The social teaching of the Democratic Party and President Elect Obama which allows, protects and pays for the right to kill an unwanted innocent person by definition “prescinds from [the] internal essential relation to God of everything that regards men.” Their social teaching and program cannot be considered a good under any legitimate interpretation of Catholic teaching.


    Labels: , , , , ,

    hit counter for blogger