Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HotAir and Hate: Anti-Catholic Bigotry from the Right

A number of blogs are commenting about the burgeoning problem of anti-Catholicism in the comboxes at conservative news blog HotAir:

From Don McClarey at The American Catholic:
Hot Air Has A Problem

From Sydney Carton at Aggressive Conservative:
Hot Air Bigotry - second thread for the day!
More Hot Air Bigotry
Hot Air's Religion Problem: What I want...
More Hot Air Anti-Catholic Bigotry...
Hot Air has a Religion Problem...

From Cranky Conservative:
A bunch of Hot Air

Why would such bigotry be tolerated in the comboxes at that site? It could be that the problem starts at the top.

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Tancredo Trashes Pope [UPDATED]

Yesterday from the Left, Today Bishops Attacked from the Right

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Texas Blues Rockers: ZZ TOP

ZZ Top's classic hit "La Grange"
was written about the Chicken Ranch,
the infamous bordello located in La Grange, Texas,
which was also the subject of the musical
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

ZZ Top and Willie Nelson

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Texas Flood

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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

From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

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

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

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

Themes & Motives: Beginning of process of redemption

Commemorated March 25

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

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

The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
(full article at: http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/25.html )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.
Annunciation Window, North Transept,
St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer - Norwalk, Ohio
(Photo by Alex Fries)

See also Day Of The Unborn Child--Feast Of The Annunciation and Knights of Columbus Day of the Unborn Child.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Blogging Days are Probably Numbered

I'm really getting tired of this. I've always said that once blogging became more of chore than a joy, I was outa here. I'm fast approaching that point.

When I can respond to a criticism by saying ...
So be it. I'm not trying to impress anyone.
... and really mean it, it's probably time to hang it up.


Bishop D'Arcy Speaks on Notre Dame and Obama; Bishop Will Not Attend Boycott Ceremony

(Hat tip: American Catholic and Dale Price)

Bishop D'Arcy's statement:
Concerning President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame
graduation, receiving honorary law degree

March 24, 2009

On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.

This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith "in season and out of season," and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions.

My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.

I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions." Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.

I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach.

Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University,
Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth.

Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.
(emphasis added)

UPDATE (26 March)
American Papist: Bishop Olmsted tells Fr. Jenkins Obama invitation "public act of disobedience to US Bishops"

UPDATE (27 March)
American Papist: Bishop Aymond [of Austin] on ND award: "does not live up to its Catholic identity"

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
President Obama Invited to Give Commencement Address at Notre Dame; Catholics Respond to the Scandal [UPDATED]

Notre Dame's McBrien Blasts Pope, U.S. Bishops [UPDATED]

Notre Dame Alums Behind "10,000 Catholics for Obama" Website

Where Have All the "Personally Opposed, But" Pro-Abort Commencement Speakers Gone?

Notre Dame's Fr. Jenkins Twisting Pope's Words?

Bishop D'Arcy Responds to Notre Dame

Notre Dame President Approves Vagina Monologues [UPDATED]

Martin Sheen ... Pro-Life

Catholic Bishops Seminar Won’t Meet at Notre Dame Because of "Vagina Monologues"

No Monologues on Notre Dame Campus This Year

Backing Down at Notre Dame - Selling Our Kids' Souls for Job Security

Weigel: A Golden Dome Opportunity Missed

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED AGAIN]

Bishop D'Arcy Issues "Pastoral Response" to Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Rape Survivor (ND Graduate) "Shocked" and "Depressed" by Father Jenkins' "Closing Statement"

Bishop D'Arcy Denounces Notre Dame Policy

Some GOOD Things Happening at Notre Dame, Too

The "Scooby Doo" Ending to the Academic Freedom Debate at Notre Dame

An Open Letter to the Notre Dame Community Regarding Catholic Identity [UPDATED]

Father John Jenkins, Moral Coward

More of the Same at Our Lady's University?

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Scholar vs. Hack: Prof. George Schools Prof. Kmiec re: "Did Obama Allow Human Cloning?"

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

UPDATE (24 March)
(Hat tip: Regular Guy Paul)

MoralAccountability.com has the details of a similar debate last month between Prof. Hadley Arkes and Prof. Kmiec ... with similar scholar vs. hack results.

As the Regular Guy notes:
If I were a Catholic Obama supporter, I'd be embarrassed by Kmiec's performance, which seemed entirely based on emotion, misdirection, comparing unlike things, an unshakeable faith in the things Barack Obama tells him, and his own ego.

UPDATE #2 (24 March)
American Papist: "Robby George challenges Doug Kmiec to Public Debate"

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President Obama Invited to Give Commencement Address at Notre Dame; Catholics Respond to the Scandal [UPDATED]

Courtesy of Zach Brisset at In Toon With the World

Chris Blosser has more on the Catholic reaction to the goings on at Our Lady's University at Catholics in the Public Square.


Creative Minority Report: "Jeer Jeer For Old Notre Shame"

National Review Online Symposium: "A Moral Exemplar?"

Amy Welborn: "What's the Argument for Obama at Notre Dame?"

UPDATE #3 (24 March)
I admit to having my own political biases, but to the extent my Faith conflicts with my political beliefs, I honestly try my best to conform said political views to my Faith. Not vice-versa. So, I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to be lectured on "consistency" by this hypocrite.

I've spent the last 4 years on this blog criticizing BOTH Republicans and Democrats for where they fall short of Catholic teaching, including decrying conservatives and Republicans for war, torture, the death penalty, anti-immigrant sentiments, bad judicial nominations, not fighting for good judicial nominations, tepid support for the pro-life agenda, inconsistency in opposing ALL abortions, support for ESCR, etc., etc. And just last year, I gave kudos to Notre Dame for honoring Martin Sheen with its 2008 Laetare Medal; despite my political differences with Mr. Sheen, I had no problem describing him as a "pro-lifer" worthy of such an honor.

Meanwhile, Morning's Minion hasn't met a single pro-life conservative for whom he's willing to express even some grudging appreciation, or a Democrat anti-life measure that he's not willing to excuse or deflect attention away from by changing the subject to something on which he finds his political opponents even more repugnant (as if there is anything more repugnant than the pro-abortion dogma of the left).

So, Tony A, when it comes to "consistency", you might want to start looking at yourself, as well as begin paying attention to what others are actually doing and saying rather than what you want to believe or imagine they're doing and saying. And for once, you hypocrite, offer a strong, unequivocal denunciation of the anti-life policies of your political allies that isn't couched in the oh-so-unimaginitive tu quoque schoolyard nonsense of deflecting attention to the shortcomings of your adversaries.

UPDATE #4 (26 March)
Dale Price offers his "Brief thoughts on Notre Dame's commencement speaker":
... What in [Obama's] background gives you the impression that he gives the slightest shit what pro-lifers think? The man thought giving medical care to infants born during botched abortions was a threat to the Constitution, for the love of God.

Since he entered office, his idea of dialogue on life issues has boiled down to "I won." He gave the brushoff to pro-life members of his own party and made sure that only pro-aborts are being consulted on health policy issues. His speech authorizing destructive embryonic stem cell research was larded with contempt for those in opposition. Call me crazy, but I don't think giving him free publicity and the chance to do the grip 'n' grin with a bunch of star-struck Domers eager to look past his record is going to move the ball in our direction.

He's not interested in dialogue--he's interested in cultivating the appearance of being interested in dialogue. Which ND's commencement will do wonders for, and which he will exploit for all it's worth, politically.

So, the University "hopes" for the basis of an engagement with the President, eh? Well, I suppose a hooker can hope for a cuddle after giving a blow job, too, President Jenkins. If you really think this can be the start of something meaningful, you are going to suffer the same disappointment as the working girl once the transaction is over.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Digest of Today's Posts (20 March 2009)

  • Texas Flood

  • Prayers for a Friday of Lent

  • President Disparages Disabled

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (19 March 2009))


    Texas Flood

    I'm going to be continuing my series on Texas musicians, at least on a periodic basis. The following musician needs no introduction or commentary from me:

    Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood (Long version!)

    Stevie Ray Vaughan - Don't Mess With Texas
    (the original "
    Don't Mess With Texas" ad)

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    Prayers for a Friday of Lent

    The following prayers appear in The Sadness of Christ, by St. Thomas More - the last book written by the martyred English saint while he awaited his execution in the Tower of London, and which is the book I have chosen, as I did a couple of years ago, for my Lenten reading:
    Psalm on Detachment

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

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

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

    A Devout Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PRO AMICIS [For Friends]

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

    PRO INIMICIS [For Enemies]

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

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

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

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

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    President Disparages Disabled

    During his appearance on The Tonight Show:
    Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.

    He bowled a 129, the president said.

    “That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.

    It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.

    When asked about the remark, the White House had no comment.
    My Comments:
    “Having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will surely ...” never try to sound witty or clever or "cool" at the expense of the disabled and the programs that benefit them such as the Special Olympics. Right?

    I'm wondering whether the Shrivers and Kennedys - who founded the Special Olympics - will offer any criticism. I kinda doubt it. But woe to George W. Bush had he committed this faux pas.

    But pay no attention to the leader of the free world who goes on national TV to comment about the "weight problems" of a young woman during a Super Bowl interview and pokes fun at the athletic ability of Special Olympians during a Tonight Show appearance. We have more important things to worry about, such as some person on the radio who used the words "plus-size" to describe the nobody-who-thinks-she's-somebody offspring of a failed presidential candidate.

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    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (19 March 2009)

  • Justice Scalia on Stare Decisis and Roe

  • Harvard AIDS Prevention Researcher: Pope is Right on Ineffectiveness of Condoms in Preventing HIV / AIDS

  • Today's Must-Read: "Palinphobes and the Audacity of Type"

  • (Digest of Today's Posts (18 March 2009))


    Justice Scalia on Stare Decisis and Roe

    Justice Antonin Scalia talks about Roe v. Wade — and other mistakes of the past 50 years:
    “By and large I am not urging that we rip out all of the mistakes made over the last fifty years….If [a decision] was plausible when [it was] announced, if it was generally accepted, and if I can work with it as a judge, which is to say as a lawyer…then I will accept it.

    “On the other hand, let us take Roe v. Wade. It is a bad opinion. It was controversial from the outset and remains so. But thirdly and most importantly, it does not permit me to function as a lawyer.”
    My Comments:
    As Feddie says, "Stare decisis is fo' suckas!"

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    Harvard AIDS Prevention Researcher: Pope is Right on Ineffectiveness of Condoms in Preventing HIV / AIDS

    Kathryn Jean Lopez reports at NRO:
    “We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

    So notes Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this week.

    Benedict XVI said, in response to a French reporter’s question asking him to defend the Church’s position on fighting the spread of AIDS, characterized by the reporter as “frequently considered unrealistic and ineffective”:
    I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome with advertising slogans. If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness — even through personal sacrifice — to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.
    “The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’”

    “There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

    Green added: “I also noticed that the pope said ‘monogamy’ was the best single answer to African AIDS, rather than ‘abstinence.’ The best and latest empirical evidence indeed shows that reduction in multiple and concurrent sexual partners is the most important single behavior change associated with reduction in HIV-infection rates (the other major factor is male circumcision).”

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

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    Today's Must-Read: "Palinphobes and the Audacity of Type"

    (Hat tip: HotAir)

    Yeah, what she said. Noemie Emery writes at The DC Examiner:
    ... What a good thing that Palin, whom Christopher Buckley called “an embarrassment, and a dangerous one,” wasn’t in office to cause such debacles, and that we have Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton instead.

    “This is not a leader, this is a follower,” wrote ex-Reagan muse Peggy Noonan. “She follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine...she doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.”

    Huh? While indulging in prose such as this, the Palinphobes didn’t seem to understand the implications of Palin’s record as governor, which they appear to never have looked at, while obsessing over her life in Alaska (too rural), her children (too many), and her exploits as a huntress (too much).

    This is the flip side of their refusal to be disturbed by the fact that Obama had no record to speak of, as long as he looked like a Gap or Vogue model, and could write and could talk up a storm. A Gap or Vogue model would never disgrace you, and besides, he was there.

    “You’re camping, and you wake up one morning and there is a mountain,” as David Brooks put it. “The next morning, there is a mountain...Obama is just the mountain. He is just there.” Braced by rationales such as this, the literati flocked to Obama, while denouncing Palin as appealing to the party’s least logical members and wing.

    Call the Palinphobes lacking in logic and they will have tantrums, but this time the sandal might fit. This is the Audacity of Type, a faith-based illusion if ever there was one, the belief that qualities shared by and appealing to pundits and writers - glibness, a worldly patina, and a superficial verbal facility - are those needed to run a great nation in a troubled and dangerous era.

    But which is more rational, to place limited trust in a proven reformer, who can learn certain facts she does not know already, or to breathe fictional traits into an unknown quantity, who has never run anything, or ever done much besides talk?

    “Having a first class temperament and first class intellect, President Obama will...surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit.” Buckley wrote last October. Surely he will...

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    See also this piece by Byron York:
    ... Obama is pursuing a traditional liberal agenda. If he continues to walk that path, the question will become why anyone ever believed he would do otherwise.

    Well, for one, he was a great candidate, and McCain was not. Beyond that, though, Obama was what political strategists call an “aspirational candidate.” He represented something that voters aspired to be: Part of an America that was good enough, and far enough removed from its racial past, to elect a strong candidate who was also an African-American.

    The feeling touched liberals and conservatives alike. On the right, conservatives who opposed Obama still expressed happiness that he was a serious contender. A few went beyond that, giving rise to the much-discussed “Obamacon” phenomenon.

    “Having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will surely understand that traditional-left politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves,” wrote Christopher Buckley, son of conservative icon William F. Buckley, when he endorsed Obama in October.

    Just a few weeks of the Obama administration caused Buckley to wonder if he had judged Obama correctly. Another admirer, the New York Times columnist David Brooks, wrote this month of having been forced “to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was.”


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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (18 March 2009)

  • Matthew Archbold on Love, Suffering, and Grace

  • Regarding Mitt Romney, My Sentiments Exactly

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (17 March 2009))


    Matthew Archbold on Love, Suffering, and Grace

    (Hat tip: Patrick Archbold at Creative Minority Report)

    Matthew Archbold of Creative Minority Report is blogging this week at Faith & Family, and his offering today is a must-read - "What I Learned in the Waiting Room":
    Everything I needed to know about love I learned in a hospital waiting room...

    ... my mind often goes back to that day when that waiting room was illuminated with grace. Everything in this suffering world made a triumphant sort of sense. It was the reality of the Cross in our lives, the triumph of love over pain. Over death.

    That, I think, is why the broken form of our Savior in the arms of his Mother is one which explains the world to me better than any other image. It reminds me that suffering and love are inextricably tied; that we are called to love and the cost of love is suffering. Ironically, the only remedy to that pain consuming us is … yes … to make the decision to love even more yet again.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

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    Regarding Mitt Romney, My Sentiments Exactly

    Cranky Con links to this post at The Corner regarding the notion that Mitt Romney is the cure for what ills conservatives:

    ... if Mitt Romney is the political answer for conservatives, the question must be, "How might the conservative movement commit intellectual suicide in the quickest manner possible?" His ideas about health care are virtually indistinguishable from those offered by President Obama, save for the fact that Romney is more disingenuous than Obama regarding the reforms he has in mind. Regarding the auto industry, he is indecipherable, having taken both pro-bailout and anti-bailout positions (the former as a candidate, the latter as an ex-candidate in the New York Times, and yes, it's just another of the usual set of politically opportunistic Romney flip-flops). His alleged fiscal discipline was on vacation during his governorship in Massachusetts. And he is fond of making the case for protectionism and, as your post pointed out, tighter business regulation, asset valuation divorced from market realities, and industrial policy for any troubled sector with political support.

    To be fair, one can't necessarily say that what Romney believed yesterday represents what he believes today, or that what he believes today represents what he will believe tomorrow (witness his incredibly well-timed flip-flops on abortion, gay rights, gun control, and a whole host of social issues). Yet the fact that this unprincipled political chameleon is being offered as "the last, best hope for conservatism" (to steal a phrase) speaks volumes about the intellectual and political wreckage on the Right at the moment.
    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    A Theory [UPDATED]

    You Stay Classy, Mitt

    The Anchoress: "Convince Me of the Merits of Mitt"

    Romney's Free Ride On Abortion

    Romney and the Florida GOP Debate

    InsideCatholic: "Why Mitt Romney Is the Best Choice for Catholic Conservatives"

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    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (17 March 2009)

  • "Voinovich's View" on ESCR

  • Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (16 March 2009))


    "Voinovich's View" on ESCR

    Sen. George Voinovich writes on advancing medical research while at the same time protecting life:
    March 17, 2009

    As the debate over federal funding for stem cell research returned to the front pages this week, I am growing increasingly concerned that many Ohioans are unaware that the most promising advances in medical research and treatment today are not attributed to the embryonic stem cells. Rather, it is the non-controversial, non-life destroying use of adult and umbilical blood cord cells that have, to-date, been used to treat more than 70 diseases.

    I am concerned that President Obama is planting false hope with Americans and redirecting funding that could be allocated to already proven adult stem cell treatments. The president is also ignoring the recent reports from our nation’s scientists about the potential of obtaining embryonic-like stem cells without creating or ending human life.

    I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the real progress scientists have made through the use of these non-embryonic stem cells. I hope you’ll take it into account when forming your own opinions on the issue.

    It is critical to understand that embryonic stems cells, as their name suggests, are derived from human embryos developed from eggs that have been fertilized in an in vitro fertilization clinic. Removing stem cells from these embryos ends their life, making their use very controversial and something I cannot morally support.

    Non-embryonic adult stem cells are unspecialized cells found among specialized cells in mature tissues or organs. These cells can be gathered by scientists without any harm to the individual. Also included in this ethical category of stem cells are those from umbilical cord blood derived from the placenta of a new born baby. Once considered medical waste and discarded after birth, cord blood has been scientifically proven to save thousands of lives. In fact, I have given the gift of saving cord blood to my grandchildren, just in case they need it one day.

    Like getting an organ replaced, there is always the chance of bodily rejection during treatment. But, if a patient donates their own stem cells for treatment, the risk of rejection is basically eliminated. The goal is, after all, to successfully incorporate treatment cells into the patient’s body, ultimately becoming the patient’s cells.

    There is much to be excited about when it comes to the promise of adult and umbilical blood cord cells. Researchers at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts have converted skin cells from Parkinson’s patients into the general type of neuron that the disease destroys. With further research, this approach could allow the brain cells that are lost in Parkinson’s disease to be replaced with cells that carry no risk of immune rejection.

    In addition, after demonstrating they could turn skin cells back into stem cells, scientists in Wisconsin have been able to grow working heart-muscle cells from the induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells. And, British scientists have been able to transplant stem cells from Multiple Sclerosis patients’ own bone marrow and reverse multiple sclerosis symptoms if done early enough.

    In Ohio, a great deal of promising research on adult and umbilical cord stem cells is happening at Cleveland’s National Center for Regenerative Medicine. A partnership between Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Center was established in 2003 to develop new adult stem cell therapies for patients suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases.

    Currently, the Center has 20 on-going or planned clinic trials to further explore the use of stem cell therapies to reduce the risk of chemotherapy, treat certain heart conditions and improve umbilical stem cell treatment for Leukemia.

    I am gravely concerned about the possible implications of spending taxpayer dollars on an issue like embryonic stem cell research that divides Americans on moral and ethical grounds and believe it is my moral responsibility to direct the federal government’s dollars toward the areas of research that have the greatest near-term potential to help the largest number of Americans. That is why I have a long history in the Senate of voting to advance research into adult and umbilical cord stem cells and against redirecting money away from life-saving treatments and research.

    In the current budget environment in which limited resources are available for federal medical research, increasing funding for embryonic stem cell research will take away opportunities for research in areas like adult and umbilical research – or even for specific diseases like cancer, juvenile diabetes or Parkinson’s disease – that have proven their usefulness.

    I have the greatest sympathy for patients and their families who continue to struggle with a wide range of painful and, sometimes, life-ending diseases. Yet, I fear that proponents of embryonic stem cell research too often provide those suffering and their loved ones with false or unproven promises of hope in terms of embryonic stem cells while ignoring the real and substantial progress that has been made with adult and blood cord treatments.
    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    I certainly have my issues with Sen. Voinovich. His pro-life creds, however, are not among them. Kudos to the senator for this strong statement in favor of life.

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    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March

    [NOTE: This is my annual St. Patrick's Day post, originally posted on St. Patrick's Day 2005]

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!
    (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

    As a Roman Catholic of Irish descent, I am, quite predictably, a big fan of St. Patrick. Long before I became Catholic, St. Patrick - with his bishop's mitre and crozier - stood there beckoning me home to the Church of my forebears. Indeed, the first rosary I ever purchased (again, before I ever became Catholic) had a St. Patrick junction and a Celtic Cross Crucifix. St. Patrick's feast day, therefore, is a cause for great celebration in our household.

    But just what is it about this British-born saint - who (1) was kidnapped as a boy from his home in Britain by Irish pirates, (2) was sold into slavery in Ireland, (3) escaped from his Irish oppressors, and (4) returned to Ireland to evangelize his former captors (the same Irish who would, a century later, with saints like Columba and Aidan, re-evangelize Britain after the Anglo-Saxon invasions) - that makes his feast day celebrated to a greater extent around the world than most other saints?

    Perhaps it is because of the extent of the Irish Diaspora, which stretches from Continental Europe to North America to South America to Australia, and numbers in the tens of millions - making St. Patrick not only the patron saint of Ireland, but of all Irish all over the world. Possibly, it could be St. Patrick's contribution to Celtic Christianity, an influence that can be seen in the Lorica of St. Patrick, which has been attributed to him.

    For more on the story behind why St. Patrick is such a significant personage within the Church, especially where the Irish are concerned,
    go here: Patron Saints Index - Patrick,

    and here: The History of St. Patrick's Day,

    and here: Saint Patrick's Day: An Irish Celebration,

    and here: The Ultimate St. Patrick.
    But unfortunately, I think the real reason this particular feast day has such resonance with so many people has nothing whatsoever to do with its religious significance. St. Patrick's Day, like Christmas, is a religious feast day that has lost much of its meaning due to over-secularization. Rather than a day to celebrate the life of this great British saint who evangelized the Irish, St. Patrick's Day has become just another excuse to get drunk and tell stupid Irish jokes.

    Personally, one of the biggest problems I have with the secular celebrations of St. Patrick's Day is the ubiquitous presence of the leprechaun. On and around St. Patrick's Day, this little fairy creature can be seen on the front pages of major newspapers, on greeting cards, and on televisions selling used cars, credit cards, and beer in a cheesy Irish brogue accent.

    Given the artistic legacy of beautiful music, poetry, literature, and liturgical art bequeathed to us by the Irish; given the indispensable contributions the Irish have made to Christianity and Western Civilization as documented by Thomas Cahill in his best-selling book How the Irish Saved Civilization; and given the steadfastness of the Irish in overcoming historical persecution - racial, cultural, economic, and religious; I find the use of the leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day as a symbol of the Irish people and their cultural contributions about as appropriate as a lawn jockey on Martin Luther King Day.

    Some will think that is not an apt comparison. Sorry, but I think it quite apt. The leprechaun as a symbol of this holy feast day is just plain offensive, and should go the way of the kerchief-headed version of Aunt Jemima.

    The Irish - that mystical race of warriors and poets, saints and scholars, who brought us great works of literature like Ulysses and Gulliver's Travels, early medieval illuminated manuscripts like the Books of Kells and Durrow, musicians like Turlough O'Carolan, U2 and Van Morrison, wordsmiths like W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney, kings like Brian Boru and ... (well, Brian's about it as far as great Irish kings go), political heroes like Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins, and saints like Columcille (a.k.a. Columba), Brendan, Aidan, and Columbanus - deserve better on the feast day of their patron saint than to be represented by a short, ruddy (and might I add, pagan) fairy dressed in a green suit.

    The University of Notre Dame is also guilty of this blood libel against the children of Erin. The University does quite a disservice to the true spirit of the "Fighting Irish" by representing that spirit in the form of a leprechaun (of course, some would argue that Notre Dame also does a disservice to Ex Corde Ecclesiae by calling itself "Catholic" while allowing such nonsense as The Vagina Monologues and Fr. Richard McBrien on campus). Bring back the Irish Terrier to represent the Fighting Irish, as it did in the days of Knute Rockne. Just get rid of that damned leprechaun!!! (Oops! Sorry about that. That should be "damned leprechaun".)

    Okay. Rant over.

    Hopefully, we can try to keep in mind today (1) the spiritual legacy of Ireland's patron saint, and (2) the many cultural contributions of the people he loved so dearly as to bring them the Light of Christ - which are, after all, the primary reasons we celebrate the feast of St. Patrick. Even if the rest of the world is too deep in a drunken stupor to notice.

    And so I end with the following blessing:

    Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!
    (St. Patrick's Day Blessing On You!)

    Recommended Reading:
    Patrick: The Pilgrim Apostle of Ireland by Maire B. de Paor
    The Confession of St. Patrick by John Skinner
    How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
    Wisdom of the Celtic Saints by Edward C. Sellner
    Sun Dancing by Geoffrey Moorhouse

    UPDATE (19 March)
    Speaking of the over-secularization of St. Patrick's Day: "Shamrock Day"? You've GOT to be kidding me! (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2008)

    What I'm Listening to in Honor of St. Patrick's Day

    Don't Drink Green Beer!

    St. Pat's Spat Pits Church vs. Cities

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2007)

    "... The Slur of the Fighting Irish"

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2006)

    Search Terms: St. Patrick's Day, Lent, Abstinence, Meat - Corned Beef, Dispensation, Indult, Catholic

    Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick - 17 March (2005)

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    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (16 March 2009)

  • Reminder for Tomorrow: Don't Drink Green Beer!

  • Creative Minority Report's "March to Madness"

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (13 March 2009))


    Reminder for Tomorrow: Don't Drink Green Beer!

    If you want a real Irish beer to imbibe in honor of the Feast of St. Patrick, then Smithwick's Irish Ale is the one I recommend.

    Smithwick's (pronounced "Smithick's" or "Smiddick's") is brewed in the 12th Century St. Francis Abbey in Kilkenny, Ireland (I've been there and tasted my first pint of Smithwick's in a nearby pub), and is touted as "Ireland's Oldest Ale", dating from 1710.


  • Smithwick's Wikipedia entry

  • Brewery with its own abbey - it must be Ireland

  • Here comes Smithwick's

  • Smithwick's: The new Irish option

  • Green beer? Blarney. Real Irish ale rules

  • Irish Ales - Wexford Irish Cream Ale and Smithwick's (Beervana blog)

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Don't Drink Green Beer!

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    Creative Minority Report's "March to Madness"

    Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report gives us some bracketology that really matters by identifying the Top 64 People Destroying Our Culture.

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    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (13 March 2009)

  • Moral Arrogance

  • Meet the New Boss ...
  • Labels:

    Moral Arrogance

    ESCR proponent Charles Krauthammer explains why he is glad he declined President Obama's invitation to attend the signing ceremony for the Executive Order lifting President Bush's ban on federal funding of ESCR:
    ... the ostentatious issuance of a memorandum on "restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making" -- would have made me walk out.

    Restoring? The implication, of course, is that while Obama is guided solely by science, Bush was driven by dogma, ideology and politics.

    What an outrage. Bush's nationally televised stem cell speech was the most morally serious address on medical ethics ever given by an American president. It was so scrupulous in presenting the best case for both his view and the contrary view that until the last few minutes, the listener had no idea where Bush would come out.

    Obama's address was morally unserious in the extreme. It was populated, as his didactic discourses always are, with a forest of straw men. Such as his admonition that we must resist the "false choice between sound science and moral values." Yet, exactly 2 minutes and 12 seconds later he went on to declare that he would never open the door to the "use of cloning for human reproduction."

    Does he not think that a cloned human would be of extraordinary scientific interest? And yet he banned it.

    Is he so obtuse as not to see that he had just made a choice of ethics over science? Yet, unlike Bush, who painstakingly explained the balance of ethical and scientific goods he was trying to achieve, Obama did not even pretend to make the case why some practices are morally permissible and others not.

    This is not just intellectual laziness. It is the moral arrogance of a man who continuously dismisses his critics as ideological while he is guided exclusively by pragmatism (in economics, social policy, foreign policy) and science in medical ethics...


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Obama Culture of Death Update™: President Lifts Ban on Federal ESCR Funding

    President Bush to Veto Stem Cell Bill

    Never Mind Church Teaching, Catholic Nancy Pelosi Says ESCR "a Gift of God"

    Bush Vows to Veto Stem Cell Bill Passed in Democrat-Controlled Senate

    Senate Approves Stem Cell Bill - Congress Still Short Votes Needed to Override President's Promised Veto

    "These Boys and Girls Are NOT Spare Parts"

    “Mr. President: Veto This Bill”

    What a Bush Veto Would Mean for Stem Cells

    Rove: Bush Will Veto Embryonic Stem Cell Bill

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    Meet the New Boss ...

    ... same as the old boss (except for the fact that the new boss has the additional attribute of being an unapologetic crusader for the culture of death).

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    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Michael Steele Must Go ... Admits to Being "Pro Choice"

    Matthew Archbold reports at Creative Minority Report. Steele's role in founding the Republican Leadership Council should've been a dead giveaway. It certainly raised doubts in my mind:
    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.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Deal Hudson: Give Michael Steele the Benefit of the Doubt

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

    Creative Minority Report Asks: "Is Michael Steele Pro-Life?"

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    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Some Recent Family Photos

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    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Digest of Today's Posts (10 March 2009)

  • Songs of the Texians

  • What's the Difference?

  • Why Archbishop Wuerl Can No Longer Punt on Pro-Abort Politicos

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (9 March 2009))


    Songs of the Texians

    This one goes out to a certain person of Flemish extraction:

    The Eagle & The Snake: Songs of the Texians by Brian Burns

    1810: Man Walks Among Us
    1825: El Llano Estacado
    1836 Revolution:Travis' Letter
    1836 Revolution: Deguello
    1836 Revolution: Ballad of the Alamo
    1836 Revolution: Goliad
    1852: Evangelina
    1881: Gallo Del Cielo
    1896: The Crash at Crush
    1930: I've Been Everywhere (In Texas)
    1965: Well of the Blues
    1979: Walker Behind the Wheel
    1986: A Cowboy's Prayer
    1999: Third Coast
    2144: The Last Living Cowboy

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Asleep at the Wheel Remembers the Alamo

    The Ballad of the Alamo

    Remember the Alamo

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    What's the Difference?

    The inimitable Dale Price has a way - with just a few words - of distilling an issue down to its essence:
    Q: What's the difference between a pro-life Catholic Obama supporter and a pro-abortion Catholic Obama supporter?

    A: No idea.

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    Why Archbishop Wuerl Can No Longer Punt on Pro-Abort Politicos

    (Hat tip: Creative Minority Report)

    Rick at Divine Ripples writes that Archbishop Wuerl of D.C. "needs to discipline pro-abortion lawmakers":
    ... That may sound like common sense, but not when one considers the position of the Archbishop of the nation’s capital. In a statement, he says that the spiritual direction for Catholic politicians who publicly support abortion, “can best be made by the bishop in the person's home diocese with whom he or she presumably is in conversation.” It is like the politician from CA who works in DC for a year is suppose to be guided by her bishop in CA even if she commits scandal in DC - like supporting abortion despite the explicit prohibition of the Pope himself.

    The problem with the right to life issues is that only one party is considered and others are overlooked e.g. the mother but not the child and in this case the visiting politician but not the resident parishioners.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but what some bishops don’t get or refuse to understand is the impact of the politician’s reception of the Eucharist to the faith community. The politician who defies the bishops’ and pope’s teaching, guidance and orders about defending life goes and receives the Communion as though she did nothing wrong or was unaware of any wrongdoing scandalizes the community.

    There is a pastoral approach to help the politician by tolerating that until she sees the light. But what about the pastoral approach to the faithful who are confused and scandalized into wrongdoing. They would think, “The bishop allows her to receive communion even if she supports abortion, so abortion might not be that bad. Then, they go and procure it themselves or advise others of the moral relativity based on that praxis. And all this from the perception that the local bishop gave when he relegated the duty of spiritual guidance to another bishop and worse when he neglected his pastoral responsibility to control scandal in his local faith community.

    My Comments:
    As others have pointed out, Archbishop Wuerl is in a bit of a predicament where HHS Secretary-designate Sebelius is concerned. Her bishop, Archbishop Naumann, has already taken corrective action in regard to her pro-abort policy making. Archbishop Wuerl is now faced with implementing Archbishop Naumann's directives in regard to Sebelius or ignoring them.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Response of Archdiocese of Washington to Pro-Abort Senators Receiving Communion

    Deal Hudson Asks: "Will Archbishop Wuerl Follow Cardinal Egan?"

    CBS: Cardinal Egan "Rips" Giuliani For Taking Communion [UPDATED]

    Novak Criticizes Cardinals for "Disobedience" in Giving Pro-Abort Catholics "a Pass" During Papal Visit

    "Wafer Wars, Wedge Issues and the Pope’s Visit" [UPDATED]

    Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]

    Archbishop Burke Preaches Tough Communion Rule

    More on Archbishop Burke's Article on Canon 915 (Regarding Communion and Pro-Abort Politicos)

    Archbishop Burke on Bad Catholics in Political Life

    Archbishop Wuerl's Stand on Lawmakers Who Back Abortion Angers Some Conservative Catholics

    Abortion and the New Archbishop - A Shot Across the Bow

    Wuerl to be Installed Today - Mass in Washington, D.C., Will Mark His Debut as Archbishop

    McCarrick's Successor Seen as Loyal, Diplomatic, "a Vote for Continuity"; Not Denying Communion has "Served Us Well" (15 links)

    Pope Names Wuerl New Archbishop of Washington, DC

    Bishop Wuerl's Name Surfaces for D.C.

    The Final Word on Pro-Abort Pols and Communion?

    Bishop Wuerl: Bishops Should Consult One Another Before Speaking On National Issues Like Kerry And Communion

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