Digest of Today's Posts (31 January 2008)
(Digest of Yesterday's Posts (30 January 2008))
SPECIAL TO CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK:
How Catholic Education Has Helped to Light the Way for the Anderson Family
Labels: Digest of Posts
Labels: Digest of Posts
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- In an interview with LifeNews.com on Thursday, pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback said Republican presidential candidate John McCain is doing some re-examining of his position on embryonic stem cell research. In light of new advances in ethical forms of the science, McCain is grappling with the controversial topic.My Comments:
With victories in South Carolina and Florida and a lead in the polls as almost two dozen states head to Super Tuesday, more political observers say John McCain is the likely Republican nominee.
McCain opposes abortion, but pro-life advocates are concerned about his votes to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.
Brownback told LifeNews.com, "I've hit him up on that hard and hit his campaign up on that hard with the breakthrough of reprogramming skin cells."
"His language has changed although his position has not on this," Brownback said, implying that McCain has absorbed some of the latest news on ethical forms of stem cell research yielding embryonic-like stem cells.
Brownback said he has impressed upon McCain the point that new scientific advances make it less necessary to do embryonic stem cell research [ED.: "Necessary"? It's never necessary to commit evil so that some imagined good may result. Note that this is the reporter's word, not Sen. Brownback's.], "but he hasn't come to the point that he will uphold President Bush's stance."
"His language has changed on it, but we'll keep working on him," Brownback told LifeNews.com.
Columnist Robert Novak, writing at The Washington Post, backs up John Fund's story that John McCain referred to Samuel Alito as "too conservative":
As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative. In response, McCain said he recalled saying no such thing and added that Alito was a "magnificent" choice. In fact, multiple sources confirm that the senator made negative comments about Alito nine months ago.(emphasis added)
McCain, as the "straight talk" candidate, says things off the cuff that he sometimes cannot remember exactly later. Elements of the Republican Party's right wing, uncomfortable with McCain as their prospective presidential nominee, brought the Alito comments to the surface long after the fact for two contrasting reasons. One was a desperate effort to keep McCain from winning in Florida. The other was to get the party's potential nominee on record about key issues before he is nominated.
That was the background for conservative John Fund's Wall Street Journal online column the day before Florida voted. Fund wrote that McCain "has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito because 'he wore his conservatism on his sleeve.' " In a conference call with bloggers that day, McCain said, "I don't recall a conversation where I would have said that." He was "astonished" by the Alito quote, he said, and he repeatedly says at town meetings, "We're going to have justices like Roberts and Alito."
I found what McCain could not remember: a private, informal chat with conservative Republican lawyers shortly after he announced his candidacy in April 2007. I talked to two lawyers who were present whom I have known for years and who have never misled me. One is neutral in the presidential race, and the other recently endorsed Mitt Romney. Both said they were not Fund's source, and neither knew I was talking to the other. They gave me nearly identical accounts, as follows:
"Wouldn't it be great if you get a chance to name somebody like Roberts and Alito?" one lawyer commented. McCain replied, "Well, certainly Roberts." Jaws were described as dropping. My sources cannot remember exactly what McCain said next, but their recollection is that he described Alito as too conservative.
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
When Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed "maverick" Senator John McCain (R-AZ), many scratched their heads. But his endorsement, which bucked the conservative establishment trend toward Mitt Romney, has provided the winning edge for McCain.My Comments:
Brownback surprised people with his support of McCain after pulling out of the race, support he explained in his interview with me last week. Brownback's view is that McCain is the most electable pro-life Republican in a national race. His decision is being corroborated by the primary results, especially McCain's ability to attract Catholic voters.
All three of McCain's primary wins -- New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida -- have been fueled by a high turnout of Catholic voters who have given most of their votes to the Arizona senator. Brownback, as chair of Catholics for McCain, announced on December 27 that he is creating a coalition that is pro-life, fiscally conservative, tough on national security, and compassionate on immigration.
Senator Brownback's decision to endorse McCain may well have turned out to be the pivotal event in the revival of the McCain candidacy and his eventual nomination. Brownback's role in the McCain campaign may also help create a distinctive Catholic arm of the Religious Right.
Joseph Bottum writes at the First Things blog On the Square:
... As it happens, lots of conservatives don’t like McCain, for a variety of reasons, some reasonable and some unreasonable. But at least, unlike Giuliani, the man genuinely does oppose abortion, and in the end, that has made a difference.My Comments:
... Ever since 2002, most of those organizations have insisted that support for campaign-finance restrictions—particularly of the McCain-Feingold sort—is a black mark on a politician’s pro-life record (on the grounds that pro-life advertising would be unfairly limited during campaign seasons). But they have been mostly unable to persuade ordinary pro-lifers to go along.
McCain’s second blot, for the pro-life organizations, is his role in the Gang of 14’s settlement on judges. This is a more serious complaint: The battle over abortion is fundamentally a battle over the judiciary, at this point. George Bush found this out to his cost when he nominated Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, and McCain must make clear to voters that he wasn’t compromising the pro-life position when he joined the Gang of 14. Still, this wasn’t a failure to support the good candidates for the Supreme Court, which is of primary importance, and McCain has room to maneuver and explain.
Add it all up, and McCain looks like a candidate whom social conservatives could support in reasonably good conscience. He’s not their favorite—but he ain’t Rudy Giuliani, either. The three-part coalition of the Republican party remains alive, and in John McCain it seems to have found the candidate that everyone can live with. That’s not enthusiasm, of course, but it’s a long way from the New York Times‘ vision of Rudy Giuliani doing a victory dance on the grave of social conservatism.
Labels: Digest of Posts
Sen. Sam Brownback writes at InsideCatholic:
As questions abound concerning the role of religious faith in the political process, it seems an apt time to reflect on the proper place of religion in our American culture. Few issues in recent years have been as controversial or have evoked as much heartfelt emotion on all sides of the question.
There are some assumptions in politics that seem to persist despite all the evidence against them. The notions that religious conservatives are trying to impose their faith on the country or that Christianity poses a threat to liberty are often accepted as facts without a great deal of questioning. This seems to me far from the truth of the matter, however.
In my experience, it simply isn't the case that people of faith are trying to impose their faith upon anyone. Rather, they -- like everyone involved with public life -- simply put forth a particular vision of how we ought to order our lives together. Far from threatening liberty, this can be an essential part of it.
Religious believers should not be excluded from the public debate. Rather, all people should be allowed to bring their vision to the table. Indeed, it is essential to include those who can ground their arguments not simply in terms of interest-group politics but in a vision of human dignity and its transcendent character.
For this reason, Christians should not be forced to leave their faith at the doorstep of public life. In fact, the contribution they can and should make to the political process demands that people of faith bring into the public realm their beliefs about the dignity of the human person, the importance of marriage for a virtuous society, and the need to work on behalf of the weak and vulnerable. An authentic faith will never persecute anyone, since at its core it respects the essential dignity and religious freedom of all human beings.
I want to go even further, however. I think the public square has to be a place that not only allows faith but encourages it. A society based solely on reason, without any reference to transcendent faith, has been tried -- and has utterly failed. The great threat of the second half of the 20th century -- atheistic communism -- has shown you cannot ground a society on human reason alone. It will close man in on himself instead of directing him outward in love.
[Read the whole thing]
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
Mark, regarding the likelihood of a McCain-Huckabee ticket, I think you are overlooking the great help that Sen. Sam Brownback has been to the McCain campaign. Brownback has been leading a very successful Catholic Outreach for McCain, one that led to winning the Catholic vote in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.(emphasis added)
This is not to say I am prediciting a McCain-Brownback ticket but only to point out if the goal is to attract more religious conservatives to McCain there are choices other than Huckabee, whose popularity is on the decline.
Brownback surprised people with his support of McCain after pulling out of the race, support he explained in his interview with me last week. Brownback's view that McCain is more electable in a national race is being corroborated by the primary results.
I don't think Mark is right about his argument that McCain can be greatly hurt by his support for federally-funded research on embryonic stem cells. As McCain explained in his interview with me, he thinks recent discoveries about turning skin tissue into stem cells will make the issue "academic."
Mark's argument in his article in the National Catholic Register about McCain on the pro-life issue is off the mark, in my opinion (and no pun intended). McCain has been very forthright on his support for unborn life and his intention to appoint judges who will defend the right to life.
But I predict the next few days will see wave upon wave of attacks on McCain for not being a "conservative" or even a "Republican." It is deeply ironic, in my opinion, that that Romney whose conservatism is only a few years old is being seen as the herald of the conservative cause in the GOP.
... at Catholics in the Public Square.
So long, Rudy.
Labels: Digest of Posts
Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
Exit polling from the Florida primary can be found at the CNN website. John McCain won the overall Catholic vote 40 percent to Romney's 27 percent and Huckabee's 2 percent. Among mass-attending Catholics, McCain won 35 percent of their vote compared to Romney's 30 percent. Romney did better among Protestants than McCain by 9 percentage points.My Comments:
It looks like McCain's immigration stance, given the number of Hispanic Catholic voters, will have a major impact on the final results in Florida.
"I am personally opposed to capital punishment. I take seriously the Church's teaching that we should protect life from conception until natural death.Think that would fly with those promoting the "pro-choice isn't the same as pro-abortion" meme? Nah, me either.
"Nevertheless, the majority of the citizens that I represent believe the death penalty is necessary in our criminal justice system to ensure public safety, a respect for the law, and a sense of justice - that there are certain crimes for which society demands offenders pay the ultimate price. My personal opposition to capital punishment, driven by my religious beliefs, cannot stand in the way of society's view of the common good. I will not impose my own personal religious beliefs on someone else.
"Therefore, not only will I not work to end the death penalty if elected, but I will work to ensure that it remains an option in law for our citizens to impose on our most violent offenders. In addition, I will work to expand the crimes for which the death penalty may be imposed."
"I'll have you know that I have a 100% rating from both NDPRAL (National Death Penalty Rights Advocacy League) and MACABRE (Mollycoddlers And Criminals Are Betraying our Republic's Essence) - the nation's top death penalty advocacy groups.
"Furthermore, I am doubly proud of my 0% rating from VOCAL (Victims of Crime Advocating for Life) - a group advocating for "life" for convicted murderers (both in the sense of sparing their lives from death and giving them life in prison instead of the death penalty)."
Mark Stricherz, author of Why the Democrats are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party, writes in the February 3-9 issue of National Catholic Register:
... McCain has talked about abortion while campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. But the impression he conveys is that of a man who prefers to talk about anything else.(emphasis added)
He doesn’t raise his voice or get animated; he doesn’t boast of being correct on a major issue; and he doesn’t talk about the subject at length or in detail.
McCain’s uneasiness with talking about abortion belies the conventional wisdom that he is a straight-talking pro-lifer.
Gerard Bradley of Notre Dame Law School has written that McCain’s record on abortion is “not merely exemplary — it is perfect.” Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has noted that McCain “has been pro-life for 24 years.”
In truth, John McCain is a weak pro-lifer. As recently as 2006, the National Right to Life Committee gave McCain a rating of 75%. He also has a history of flip-flopping and supporting research that destroys human embryos.
Instead of standing up for life, he sits down for it. Whether his passive support for life endures will likely depend on whether pro-lifers allow it to endure.
... his support for the pro-life cause has been passive. He has never sponsored pro-life legislation. Indeed, a former Republican colleague has announced that McCain sought frequently to delay putting pro-life bills up for a vote in Congress.
Worse, McCain continues to support federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. He has voted repeatedly to overturn President Bush’s ban on the funding. Earlier in his career, he supported federal funding of fetal tissue research.
It is tempting to dismiss McCain as an unreliable foe of abortion, but this would be a mistake.
Of all the Republican presidential candidates, he is the most electable. His showing among independent voters has been impressive. And if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, expect to see disgruntled conservatives vote for McCain.
So assume that McCain does receive the Republican nomination. What should pro-lifers do?
The best strategy is perhaps the most difficult: Lobby McCain about his culture-of-life positions.
The February 3-9 issue of National Catholic Register has a story on candidate endorsements by prominent pro-life Catholics:
WASHINGTON — The frontrunners in the Republican primary are also the two candidates with the most endorsements by Catholic pro-life leaders. Sen. John McCain of Arizona (see story, page 7) has been endorsed by a group of Catholic lawmakers. Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney has been endorsed by a University founder, a pro-life leader and a former ambassador to the Holy See.
Democratic candidates have not gained pro-life endorsements due to their adamant support for abortion and government funding for abortions. [ED.: But America's most prominent Catholic clan, the Kennedys, have come out in support of Sen. Moloch H. Obama, so that counts for something. Right?]
The endorsements are important heading into Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, when 24 states will hold contests and more race delegates will be chosen than on any other one day in the primary season.
One of the most notable Catholic endorsements was that of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who ended his own presidential campaign in October and endorsed that of fellow Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
“It was a tough call, and I spent quite a bit of time thinking and praying about it,” Brownback said in an interview with the Register. “It just came out to me that he is the full candidate, he has got strong credentials, and is ready to lead.”
Catholics for Romney
Several esteemed Catholic citizens have publicly stated their support of Mitt Romney. As Romney campaigned hard to win the support of Michigan voters, Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan endorsed his candidacy. Monaghan stated that he believed Romney to be “a man of principle.”
Before she was named as ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon served as co-chairwoman of Romney’s Advisory Committee on the Constitution and the Courts after working with Romney on in Massachusetts.
Former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez and federal Drug Czar under President George H.W. Bush endorsed Rudy Giuliani last August.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has attracted a lot of grassroots support from Catholics, due to his strong record on pro-life issues. His campaign however has not gained many significant Catholic endorsements.
When asked about Huckabee, Brownback admitted that “Huckabee is good on the [pro-life] topic,” but said that, “I don’t think that he can put together the Republican coalition based on his positions on other issues.”
Right to Life
Pro-life activists enter the Super Tuesday elections Feb. 5 without a candidate to rally around. Although National Right to Life endorsed Republican candidate Fred Thompson, he withdrew from the race after receiving little support in South Carolina.
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, noted that although his organization doesn’t endorse candidates, he has sensed dissatisfaction within the religious community with the current candidates.
“I guess all the candidates can point to some stellar people in religious conservative circles that have supported them, but what really jumps out at us is that there is not a single candidate that most religious conservatives are willing to rally around,” he said. “At least at this point.”
Labels: Digest of Posts
Sometimes B.S. is B.S., regardless of who's spouting it. Regardless of one's extensive resume, detailing all the different ways that one is a so-called "expert" in one's field. Regardless of one's flowery writing style using lots of pretty words and phrases that purport to evoke the "higher things". Regardless of one's superior knowledge of "practical Catholic ethics".
(Hat tip: Custos Fidei)
... I don't remember that the right to buy sex toys much preoccupied the fathers of the Constitutional Convention or that it was enumerated in the First Amendment, but I find it telling that Babeland views gay marriage, abortion on demand, and unrestricted porn as a single political package. If we (the folks Babeland calls "the right-wing public") ventured to make this connection ourselves, we'd be accused of using smear tactics -- regardless of the inability of our critics to pronounce an adverse moral judgment on gays, or on pro-aborts, or on vendors of porn. But in fact the unity is not contrived, for in each case the innovator has declared war -- not on a particular point of morality -- but on the idea that there exist exceptionless moral norms binding on all human beings, without reference to accidents of birth or station in life. Thus it is no an accident that the Catholic Church is singled out by NARAL (and the remoras attached to its underside) as the principal obstacle to the satisfaction of their singularly gruesome appetites.(emphasis added)
[Read the whole thing]
Labels: Culture of Death
John Fund writes at The Wall Street Journal:
John McCain has to decide just how comfortable he wants the conservative base of the Republican Party to be with his candidacy. Although he touts his conservative credentials on the campaign trail, it's no secret that Mr. McCain has often sought an arm's-length relationship with many conservatives. Should he lose the Florida primary on Tuesday, it will be in no small part because he didn't do more to seek an accommodation with conservatives.(emphasis added)
A good litmus test of how Mr. McCain's relationship with conservatives stands will come at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, which opens Feb. 7, just two days after the Super Tuesday primaries.
Last year's CPAC proved a disaster for Mr. McCain. He upset the organizers by first rejecting their invitation to speak and then trying to rent a room at the same hotel so he could host a reception for the conference's delegates. CPAC officials believed the McCain camp's motivation was to avoid having television cameras recording him "pandering" to the conservative activists while letting him schmooze them one-on-one behind closed doors. The ploy failed because the hotel didn't have a suitable room available for the senator.
Then there is the issue of judicial nominations, a top priority with conservatives. Nothing would improve Mr. McCain's standing with conservatives more than a forthright restatement of his previously stated view that "one of our greatest problems in America today is justices that legislate from the bench." Mr. McCain bruised his standing with conservatives on the issue when in 2005 he became a key player in the so-called gang of 14, which derailed an effort to end Democratic filibusters of Bush judicial nominees. More recently, Mr. McCain has told conservatives he would be happy to appoint the likes of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But he indicated he might draw the line on a Samuel Alito, because "he wore his conservatism on his sleeve."
Therein lies the problem that many conservatives have with John McCain. It is the nagging feeling that after all of his years of chummily bonding with liberal reporters and garnering favorable media coverage from them that the Arizona senator is embarrassed to be seen as too much of a conservative...
Senator McCain has said it maybe a thousand times in this campaign: "I will appoint judges and justices in teh mold of Roberts and Alito."Thanks for responding, Mr. Ruse.
This "quote" from Fund has been categorically denied by McCain. It is a slime job and should be ignored.
McCain is solid on judges and solid on justices. He will appoint Justices who will overturn Roe.
Washington, DC - January 22, 2008 marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade abortion decision. Although debating abortion today seems downright pedestrian when compared to the more “cutting edge” issue of embryo-destructive stem-cell research, the underlying issues are the same: “who is a person?”, “when does a new human life begin?”, and “can we impose morality?”(emphasis added)
First, let us be clear on what Roe actually allows: 1) completely unregulated abortion for the first three months of pregnancy (a “trimester”); 2) government regulation during the second trimester only as concerns maternal health; 3) the potential proscription of abortion during the third trimester (defined as following 26 weeks gestation) with mandatory exceptions for the mother’s health. However, the court’s definition of "health" was so broad as to negate any real possibility of outlawing late term abortions. In short, Roe allows abortion for any reason up until the day of birth.
Now, the most fundamental issue in Roe is whether the unborn are persons because the 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that no state can “deprive any person of life ... without due process of law....” Even the attorney for the appellant (Jane Roe) conceded during oral arguments that if the unborn were persons, they would be guaranteed the right to life under that Amendment.
But Roe’s central issue also is Roe’s central problem. Despite his admission that "The Constitution does not define ‘person’ in so many words," Justice Harry Blackmun, Roe’s chief author, concludes with little argument that the unborn are not persons, though he concedes that the Constitution does not rule out the possibility that the unborn are persons...
For those of you in the Diocese of Toledo, the Catholic Chronicle wants your input for an upcoming story:
Where do you pray in your home?
Sunday, 27 January 2008
For a story in an upcoming issue, the Catholic Chronicle would like to know about your favorite place to pray at home. Do you have a special room designated for prayer, and if so, how do you cultivate an atmosphere of prayer there? What does your “prayer room” look like?
Hello. My name is Jay Anderson. I have been asked to speak to you today about Catholic Education, and to share with you my own family’s experiences with respect to Norwalk Catholic School. As you may know, this coming week is Catholic Schools Week, the 2008 theme for which is “Catholic Schools Light the Way”. Please allow me to relate to you how the Catholic Schools here in Norwalk have helped to light the way for my family.REMINDER: Tomorrow - 28 January - is the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of Catholic schools. St. Thomas Aquinas, Ora Pro Nobis.
My family is new to Catholic education. In fact, my family is new to the Catholic Church. Sarah and I are both converts to Catholicism, having entered the Church in June of 2004. At the time of our conversion, we lived in Virginia, and the thought of someplace called Norwalk, Ohio, had never even entered our minds. We had two small children – our oldest, Jamie was only 2-years-old, and Aidan was a newborn. Sarah and I had come from different faith backgrounds – she grew up a Unitarian and I grew up Southern Baptist, but as recent converts to Catholicism, we both knew that we wanted our children to grow up with a solid Catholic foundation and a love for their Faith.
But how were Sarah and I – still ourselves learning about our newfound Faith – how were we going to provide our children with the foundation they needed? We believed we needed a “Catholic support structure” in place to help us in that endeavor. But, apart from our RCIA sponsors and a few Catholic friends, that was something we really didn’t have. No one in our families was Catholic. In fact, both our families were fairly indifferent – if not outright hostile – to our decision to enter the Church. Some of our family members do not share the same values that we want to impart to our children, and none of them share the Faith that we wanted our children to have ingrained within them. So, where were we to turn for such help?
We immediately thought of Catholic education. We wanted our children to attend Catholic schools where they could be provided a solid academic foundation while learning about the tenets of their Faith, learning about God and developing a relationship with Him. Even though Jamie was still a few years away from beginning school, we began investigating some of the Catholic schools in our part of Virginia, and soon discovered that we were not going to have an easy time of it. You see, Catholic education was apparently never made a priority in the Diocese of Richmond, in which we lived. Historically, parish schools were the exception rather than the norm. Instead, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Richmond tended to be fairly recent start-ups serving several parishes. We discovered that these schools were far beyond what we would be able to afford to pay. Without extensive parish support, almost the entire cost of education came from tuition, which made tuition quite expensive. An example: when we checked into enrolling Jamie in Kindergarten at the nearest Catholic school, the cost was going to be somewhere between $4000 and $5000. [ED.: Looks like I was a little low on that number - actual tuition is nearly $6000.] For Kindergarten. That obviously wasn’t going to work for us, especially with Sarah thinking about leaving her job and becoming a stay-at-home mom as our family grew. But we were committed to obtaining a good Catholic education for our children. So, we began to look elsewhere.
At Thanksgiving in 2004, we visited some of Sarah’s family who live in Milan. I had never been to Ohio before, but really liked what I saw of this area. Sarah and I began thinking maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad place to raise our family. We asked Sarah’s family about the availability of Catholic education in this part of Ohio, and they told us about the excellent reputation of the Catholic schools in Norwalk. When we returned to Virginia, we began investigating. Sarah contacted Sue Riley of FCEDO, and obtained an information packet from her. We were very impressed by what we read in that packet about the Catholic schools in Norwalk, especially the tuition costs, which were much lower than what we had seen at Catholic schools in Virginia.
In May of 2005, we made an appointment with Sue Riley for us to come to Norwalk to tour the Catholic schools. Sue was kind enough to spend the better part of a day with us visiting both parishes and all grade levels of both St. Mary’s School and St. Paul’s School. She also explained to us the changes that were just beginning to take place at that time, which would eventually culminate in the formation of a united Norwalk Catholic Schools. Sarah and I explained to Sue that what we were looking for was that “Catholic support structure” that I mentioned earlier, which would help us in bringing up our children as strong Catholics. While we realized that Catholic formation is primarily the responsibility of parents, we were looking for a school, a parish, and a community that would aid us in meeting that responsibility. For that reason, we wanted our kids to attend a Catholic school with a strong sense of Catholic identity – in other words, one that took its mission as a Catholic school seriously and was not “Catholic in name only”. We also wanted a school with strong support from the local Catholic parishes – where the parishes were actively involved in the schools, and the schools, in turn, were actively involved in the parishes. We found that here in Norwalk.
In December of 2005, we finally relocated to Norwalk from Virginia, and we began attending St. Mary’s parish. Since moving here, our family has grown with the addition of our two little girls, Mary Virginia and Grace Assumpta. Jamie is currently attending Kindergarten, and Aidan will begin preschool at the Early Childhood Center next school year. All of our children will be educated in the Norwalk Catholic Schools, and it is our hope that they will grow up to be strong Catholics and active contributing members to our parish, our schools, and our community. We have found the “Catholic support structure” that will help us to see to that. Our schools. Our community. Our parish. YOU are that support structure. YOU are helping us and others like us raise strong Catholic families. And this parish’s commitment throughout its history to providing Catholic education is only a part of that.
This week, you will be receiving the Friends for the Future brochure in the mail. Please take time to read about this 15th annual campaign. The money raised from this campaign is used to assist Norwalk Catholic Schools with current operating needs, tuition assistance, and the endowment fund. As you prayerfully consider a gift, remember that all gifts regardless of the size make a difference in the lives of children at Norwalk Catholic School, and in the lives of families like ours.
The fact that the Anderson family are parishioners at St. Mary’s – that we are residents of Norwalk – is a testament to the commitment that this parish and this community have made to Catholic education throughout the years. My family would not be here today were it not for those who, through their time, talent, and treasure, helped to build the strong foundation of Catholic education in Norwalk, Ohio.
Thank you and God bless you.
Archbishop Charles Chaput writes in The Denver Catholic Register:
... House Bill 1080 would greatly hinder any Catholic entity which receives state money from hiring or firing employees based on the religious beliefs of the Catholic Church. Many non-Catholics already work at Catholic Charities. But the key leadership positions in Catholic Charities obviously do require a practicing and faithful Catholic, and for very good reasons. Catholic Charities is exactly what the name implies: a service to the public offered by the Catholic community as part of the religious mission of the Catholic Church.(emphasis added)
Catholic Charities has a long track record of helping people in need from any religious background or none at all. Catholic Charities does not proselytize its clients. That isn’t its purpose. But Catholic Charities has no interest at all in generic do-goodism; on the contrary, it’s an arm of Catholic social ministry. When it can no longer have the freedom it needs to be “Catholic,” it will end its services. This is not idle talk. I am very serious...
Labels: Digest of Posts
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
CNA STAFF, Jan 23, 2008 / 08:16 pm (CNA).- John McCain has set his sights on Florida as the state’s primary draws closer. In a conversation with Catholics in Florida and CNA this afternoon, McCain maintained his support for embryonic stem cell research [ED.: Which makes you a non-starter, at least in the primaries, as long as there are more pro-life candidates out there.] while emphasizing his hope that it will become an academic issue given the latest scientific advances.(emphasis and editorial commentary added)
When he was asked how he reconciled his otherwise solid pro-life voting record with his support for experimentation on “surplus” embryos, Sen. McCain called his decision to back the research “a very agonizing and tough decision”. [ED.: Whatever.] He continued, saying, “All I can say to you is that I went back and forth, back and forth on it and I came in on one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had, in favor of that research. And one reason being very frankly is those embryos will be either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status.” The senator, while standing firm on his decision added, “I understand how divisive this is among the pro-life community.” [ED.: No. Those who are truly "pro-life" are not divided on this issue at all.]
Referring to the recent break through in stem cell research which allows scientists to use skin cells to create stem cells, McCain said that, “I believe that skin stem cell research has every potential very soon of making that discussion academic…. Sam Brownback and others are very encouraged at this latest advance….” [ED.: Notice the name dropping. We're supposed to be impressed by the mention of Sen. Brownback. And notice that it is "Sam Brownback and others" who are encouraged by the latest advance. McCain can't be bothered by such stuff since he's already made up his mind to embrace Frankenstein science.]
On the issue of appointments to the Supreme Court, McCain mentioned that Sam Brownback would play an advisory role in helping decide who he should nominate for the Supreme Court. [ED.: Again with the name dropping. Like Rudy before him, McCain acknowledges that he can't be trusted with making Supreme Court picks on his own, and therefore drops the names of those who are trusted in the pro-life community and offers them up as "key advisors" on judicial nominations.] As models of who he would select, John McCain pointed to Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. [ED.: Okay. But I'd feel better if he had thrown Justice Thomas' name in the mix. However, McCain's not about to do something like that to tarnish his reputation with the media.] Pro-life advocates see the choice of Supreme Court Justices as key to overturning the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion.
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Democratic presidential candidate [Moloch H.] Obama celebrated Roe v. Wade on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates came to the nation's capital to condemn it. Obama said he's worried the Supreme Court is just one vote away from overturning the infamous ruling that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.
"Thirty-five years after the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it's never been more important to protect," legalized abortions.
Obama said the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last April in upholding the national ban on partial-birth abortions could be a harbinger of things to come.
"With one more vacancy on the Supreme Court, we could be looking at a majority hostile to a women's fundamental right to choose for the first time since Roe v. Wade," Obama said.
"The next president may be asked to nominate that Supreme Court justice. That is what is at stake in this election," he added.
Obama, an Illinois senator and former member of the state's legislature, said he has a consistent 100% pro-abortion voting record with NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
"Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of [abortion]," he said.
Trying to contrast his pro-abortion views with those of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, Obama said he was the only Democratic candidate to speak out against an abortion ban in South Dakota and against those trying to close a new Planned Parenthood abortion business in Aurora, Illinois.
Obama said that "Roe v. Wade is about more than a woman's right to choose; it's about equality."
"And so to truly honor that decision, we need to update the social contract so that women can free themselves, and their children, from violent relationship," Obama said ironically.
The Cranky Conservative asks: "Would John McCain or Rudy Giuliani be more likely to appoint the sort of Justice(s) who would overturn Roe v. Wade?"
From The St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Surprised by the reaction to his pro-choice, pro-embryonic stem cell research comments made Saturday night at a Hillary Clinton political rally, St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus spent part of Wednesday morning on the phone, trying to calm his elderly mother. [ED.: Nice emotional tug by bringing his "elderly mother" into it. How dare Archbishop Burke upset this nice little old lady?](emphasis and editorial commentary added)
"She was upset, thinking I was going to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and that I would be denied Communion during Mass," [ED.: Well, wouldn't Archbishop Burke be completely justified in taking such action?] Majerus said Wednesday night, in his first public comments over a controversy that included a strong rebuke from St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke. "But she told me to keep doing what I thought was right, just as my parents taught me." [ED.: Hmmmm. Perhaps the "nice little old lady" is as much a dissident as her son.]
This week, Burke said St. Louis University should discipline Majerus for comments he made at the rally. Burke also said he'd deny Majerus holy Communion if the coach did not change his positions on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.
But if Burke is expecting an apology or silence from Majerus, it won't happen. If Burke hopes Majerus will fall in line with the Roman Catholic church's official positions on these two issues, it won't happen.
During an exclusive 90-minute conversation Wednesday, Majerus was civil and respectful in his comments made about Burke. But make no mistake: Majerus is unyielding, and defiant. [ED.: Non serviam!]
"I'm very respectful to the archbishop," Majerus said. "But I rely on my value judgments [ED.: The Church of I and Me], thanks to my education at Marquette, which is a Jesuit institution, just like St. Louis. [ED.: Another ringing endorsement of Jesuit education.] And that Jesuit education led me to believe that I can make a value judgment. And my value judgment happens to differ from the archbishop's.
"I do not speak for the university or the Catholic Church. These are my personal views. And I'm not letting him change my mind. I think religion should be inclusive. I would hope that all people would feel welcome inside a church, and that the church would serve to bring people together, even if they happen to disagree on certain things." [ED.: Oh, what a lovely sentiment. Too bad that mean old Archbishop is set on being so divisive over such a trivial matter as the death of innocents. Can't we all just get along?]
Majerus, in his first season at SLU, has never shied away from political activism. A lifelong Democrat, Majerus said he marched with his late father, a union leader in Milwaukee, at civil rights rallies during the 1960s. Majerus campaigned outside factory gates with Jimmy Carter in 1976. He campaigned for John Kerry in 2004. He's participated in death penalty protests outside prisons. [ED.: Let's see. Supports death for innocent babies, yet opposes it for convicted murderers. Interesting set of priorities Mr. Majerus has. Or perhaps he's just your typical leftist Catholic.]
Labels: Digest of Posts
(Hat tip: Custos Fidei)
WASHINGTON, DC, January 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Working your way from the front to the back of the packed Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was a near impossibility Monday night, and even if you could make the journey it required an extensive amount of time and effort. The frigid temperatures outside were no match for the heat generated by the overflow crowd which caused many to fan themselves with brochures during the Prayer Vigil for Life Opening Mass.(emphasis added)
Yet despite the throng there was a sense of the sacred and the awesomeness of life at the Mass offered on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. As the incense wafted up and the opening hymns were sung, a procession of hundreds of seminarians, over 60 deacons, over 400 priests, 34 bishops and archbishops, and 6 cardinals made their way to the marble sanctuary.
BISHOP BLAIR’S SCHEDULE
Jan. 21 Concelebrates opening Mass for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, Washington, D.C., Basilica and National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 7 p.m.
Jan. 22 Concelebrates Rally for Life and Youth Mass and participates in March for Life, Washington, D.C.
If you haven't already, you simply must see the post on "Liturgical Dancing with the Stars" over at The Curt Jester.
San Antonio Archbishop José Gomez writes at InsideCatholic:
... Reason is a great gift from God, but reason alone can't give meaning to our lives. Reason itself can't provide the justification to defend the weak, the unborn, or the human embryo; reason alone can find no value in a person born with disabilities; reason alone can find no purpose, no dignity in human suffering. That's why it's so dangerous to divorce reason from faith.
It was academic philosophers and medical school graduates, backed up by the highly educated members of the U.S. Supreme Court, who justified and carried out the sterilization of mentally handicapped persons at the beginning of the 20th century. It is academic philosophers and medical school graduates, again backed by the Supreme Court, who justify and carry out abortions and stem cell research today. These same persons are pushing us down a slippery slope toward euthanasia for the elderly and infanticide for babies born with severe handicaps.
That's why the mission of the Catholic university is so crucial. The Catholic university today must be a vanguard for the reconciliation of faith and reason. It must be the leader in exploring and defending the beauty, the mystery, and the truth of the human person.
There is more to this world than just what we can discover through reason and science -- we know this in our hearts. We profess in the Creed that we believe that God is the maker of things "seen and unseen." In the Catholic university especially, our academic research and teaching should reflect this...
Thomas Peters of American Papist has penned today's cover story on the March for Life at InsideCatholic:
... This year a new note -- and a strong one -- was repeated throughout the day: The end of the abortion struggle is near. Conversation buzzed around recent studies that show the number of abortions performed in America is at a 30-year low, due in part to small victories in limiting abortion access and practice. Advocates who have been involved in the pro-life movement from its beginning echoed this optimism in their presentations.
One observer claimed that over 80 percent of marchers this year were under the age of 25, and my observations would corroborate that. Everywhere I looked, I saw young faces. While waiting for the March to begin, they prayed rosaries, listened attentively to the speakers, and sang hymns. The young seminarians and religious sisters were especially notable for their enthusiasm; and several groups of youth had composed their own chants for the walk.
I tried my best to locate a counter-demonstration or pro-choice rally, but could not...
From the January 27, 2008 issue of National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign continues to win a portion of the Republican vote in early primary states, signified by his second-place finish in Nevada Jan. 19.(emphasis and editorial commentary added)
Although many consider his campaign a long shot, Ron Paul has built up a significant amount of enthusiastic supporters and raised substantial funds.
He beat frontrunner Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Nevada and Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson in Michigan.
Numerous Catholics in America are among those that remain unsatisfied with the mainstream political candidates for president, and many have joined the vocal supporters of a campaign that is significantly different than his Republican rivals’.
Like many Republican presidential candidates, Paul is pro-life and has a congressional record to prove it. Supporters like to point out that he is an obstetrician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies and shares a personal conviction of pro-life issues.
“I, of course, never saw one time when a medically necessary abortion had to be done.” Paul stated during the CNN/YouTube debate last November.
Paul’s opposition to Roe vs. Wade stems from his strict interpretation of the Constitution. He believes the federal government should have no role in determining abortion rights. [ED.: So, does this mean he basically takes the same position Stephen Douglas did with regard to slavery? I need to know where Paul stands on the Human Life Amendment - I've seen conflicting reports, some saying he supports it while others say he does not.]
Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, noted that as a Congressman, Paul took pro-life issues seriously, but noted that his approach was different.
“Ron Paul thinks that the federal government doesn’t belong in the abortion issue, so occasionally there is a vote that might appear anti life,” she said, “but it stems from his belief that it’s a states-rights issue [ED: Like slavery and segregation? Look, I've always been a big fan of federalism, but invoking "state's rights" when it comes to abortion makes no more sense than it did when it came to enslavement and oppression of blacks. To say that the unborn are children in one state but mere "globs of tissue" in the state next door is untenable.] rather than a federal government issue.”
Paul’s strategy to ban abortion is best revealed in a bill that he sponsored that would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion. [ED.: Such a law would have absolutely no chance of surviving a Supreme Court challenge.]
“By denying the federal courts’ jurisdiction, state laws banning abortion would stand and there would not be any Roe vs. Wade,” said Thomas Woods, Jr., a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Woods wrote a letter to fellow Catholics supporting Ron Paul and making a case for his candidacy.
Paul stands alone among the Republican presidential candidates as one who voted against the Iraq war, stating that it was unconstitutional, since it never received a congressional declaration of war. If elected president, Paul promises to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Paul mentioned the Vatican’s comments regarding the Iraq War when paying tribute to John Paul II’s legacy. “The Pope’s commitment to human dignity, grounded in the teachings of Christ, led him to become one of the most eloquent spokesmen for the consistent ethic of life, exemplified by his struggles against abortion, war, euthanasia and the death penalty,” he said on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 6, 2005, four days after the Pope’s death.
Although initially a supporter of the death penalty, Paul changed his position after studying the issue throughout his political career.
Some religious voters remain skeptical about a vote for Paul, as his strict interpretation for the Constitution pits him against federal legislation to ban prostitution, drugs and homosexual “marriage.” [ED.: Count me as one of the skeptical ones. When I was in college and law school, libertarian arguments held some appeal for me. Now that I'm all "grown up", living in the real world, and have a family of my own, I recognize the shortcomings of libertarianism. I've stated before that Rep. Paul does hold some appeal for me, and I'd vote for him in the extremely unlikely scenario in which he became the GOP nominee, but I need some serious convincing before I could consider voting for him in the Ohio primary.]
... Ron Paul is right on the abortion issue. He's the ultimate small-government guy. He has the record to prove that he's not just a crackpot after his career in Congress. Unlike Hunter, he's put together a real national campaign. In a season in which so many people say they want change, no one offers as much change as does Ron Paul. So why didn't I like him before? He wants to pull out of Iraq. Which leads to the question, can we do that? Can we do it well?I remain undecided at this point (except for the fact that I've pretty much decided that the entire GOP field leaves much to be desired).
I've concluded that, as I've often been told, I cannot have a perfect candidate. I'd rather trust President Paul to pull out of Iraq well than trust President McCain to defend the traditional family and the rights of the unborn. I'd rather trust a man who won't go to war without a declaration of war from Congress than trust whomever a President Romney would "consult".
I'd rather trust Ron Paul with the presidency than anyone else...