Words from the Bishop

It is the custom of the Pope to offer Christmas greetings to his official family, the bishops and Cardinals who direct the various departments of the Roman Curia. But his words at this occasion are typically much more than mere pleasantries. They constitute, usually, a kind of review of the previous year from the perspective of the Bishop of Rome. The Christmas statement that Benedict XVI made just this morning to his official entourage was of particular gravity, precisely because it represents one of his most thorough and insightful assessments of the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Bishops and Gay Soldiers

A Great Light

Catholics to withhold their donations

As a member of the Reform CCHD Now coalition, Catholic Citizens of Illinois is urging all Catholics to withhold their donations to the collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development on the weekend of November 21, 2010.

In the past few weeks, I have been posting numerous articles about the CCHD from a wide range of Catholic organizations. It is clear that despite calls for review and renewal, very little has been done to change the course and correct the serious and longstanding problems of the CCHD. (Please read the recent articles accessible at our search line.

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Catholic Citizens

Over 150 years ago, a Belgian immigrant woman saw a vision and built a shrine. Believers have reported healings and answered prayers. A Catholic decree declares the site 'worthy of belief.'

Amid a patchwork of Wisconsin farmland half an hour's drive northeast of Green Bay is a modest shrine with a brick chapel, a school and a flow of pilgrims speaking of profound healing power.

The power is said to come from the Virgin Mary, who appeared to a Belgian immigrant 151 years ago where the shrine now stands. But all believers had to show for it were years of anecdotes - and the canes, wheelchairs and crutches left behind in the chapel's crypt by those who claimed they had been healed.

Catholic Citizens

One of just two or arguably three living seers in the world who have full Church approbation associated with a major site of apparitions has issued sobering warnings to do with the future of mankind.

The visionary is Anathalie Mukamazimpaka of Kibeho in the small, poor, central African nation of Rwanda. On November 29 she told a group visiting from the United States that during her apparitions -- which the local bishop, in conjunction with the Vatican, approved in 2001 -- the Blessed Virgin Mary had warned that the world is headed for an 'abyss' due to sins of impurity and materialism -- words that carry no little weight in that the Blessed Mother of Kibeho had used similar language in correctly, astonishingly foreseeing a genocidal civil war that later engulfed that country.

What is Good

True Wisdom

Malachi the Prophet

The last of the prophets of the Old Law, the minor prophet Malachi reproached the priests and people of Jerusalem for their unworthy sacrifices and foretold a new and perfect sacrifice that would be offered “from the rising, even to the setting, of the sun” (Mal. 1:11). His oracles were given just before the arrival in Jerusalem of Nehemiah, around 445 BC.



N.B. The Martyrologium Romanum (Vatican Press, 2004), the Church’s official list of holy men and women, lists the saints of the Old Law alongside those of the New.

Daily Thought

With those who are perfect and walk with simplicity, there is nothing small and contemptible, if it be a thing that pleases God; for the pleasure of God is the object at which alone they aim, and which is the reason, the measure, and the reward of all their occupations, actions, and plans; and so, in whatever they find this, it is for them a great and important thing. 

-- St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

Childlike Hearts

CATHOLICISM, revealed at USCCB

A new premier Catholic study program, CATHOLICISM, for parishes across the country and throughout the world is being introduced tonight at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.


Answering the call for New Evangelization, this multi-media educational program reveals the truth, beauty and richness of the Faith in an unprecedented way.

With creator and host Father Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Ministries, participants will learn what Catholics believe and why by exploring the art, architecture, literature, music, and all the riches of the Catholic tradition. Filmed in 50 locations throughout 15 countries, CATHOLICISM is on-location and in the streets, illustrating the splendor of the global Church-- all in original, high-definition cinematography.

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Tomb of St. John of the Cross

DREAM Act Progress In House

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has praised the passage of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives, and called on the U.S. Senate to also pass the immigration reform measure.

Archbishop Gomez, the chair of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. bishops' conference and co-adjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, commended the House for its 'courageous and historic vote.' He said the legislation would give undocumented young people 'a chance to reach their full, God-given potential.'

St. Juan Diego's Humility

EWTN.com - Mexican Cardinal Highlights St. Juan Diego's Humility: "he Archbishop of Mexico City recalled in a recent homily that St. Juan Diego witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe because of his 'humble heart.'

Cardinal Norberto Rivera addressed Catholics on Dec. 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, underscoring the simplicity and humility of the Mexican saint, canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

A Strong Hope

The Third Sunday of Advent

"Once again the central figure of the Advent Liturgy is St John the Baptist. After he had preached the Baptism of conversion and penance, he was arrested due to his public denunciation against the immorality of the time. He invites everyone to be patient and await the arrival of the Messiah who will come to establish a new kingdom. In fact, whilst he was in prison, he sent someone to ask Jesus if it is He ‘who is the one to come or shall we look for another?’(Mt 11: 3) Jesus responds by emphasizing the fruits of His mission which were manifested in His preaching and in the signs of healing and recovery: ‘the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.’

Was Joseph Really Suspicious of Mary's Pregnancy?

"“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; 19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. 20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; 21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins”

Our Lady of Guadalupe

EWTN Global Catholic Television Network: "Our Lady appeared to a Juan Diego, a poor farmer, in 1528, instructing him to have the Bishop build a “temple” in what would become Mexico City. As a test, the Bishop asked for a sign of “castilian roses,” and received not only roses but a miraculous image of the Lady appearing on the homespun tilma or cloak of Juan Diego.

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology: "Advent is a profound moment in the Church’s year. As we pray the Mass, as we hear the readings, as we ponder the mysteries, we’re really studying the grand panorama of salvation history. In these few short weeks, we relive the longing and expectation of God’s people as they awaited the Messiah.
It’s also a chance to review our personal history, and to appreciate how God continues to work in our lives. For even now “we wait in joyful hope” for the kingdom to come in its fullness, and God is bringing that moment about gradually, through lives like yours and mine.

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology

St. Paul Center For Biblical Theology: "John questions Jesus from prison in today’s Gospel - for his disciples’ sake and for ours.

He knows that Jesus is doing “the works of the Messiah,” foretold in today’s First Reading and Psalm. But John wants his disciples - and us - to know that the Judge is at the gate, that in Jesus our God has come to save us.

The Liturgy of Advent takes us out into the desert to see and hear the marvelous works and words of God - the lame leaping like a stag, the dead raised, the good news preached to the poor (see Isaiah 29:18-20; 61:1-2).

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Parents Outraged at Planned Parenthood Class Teaching Sexual Positions

Parents in Southwest Iowa have reacted in horror after learning that Planned Parenthood's co-ed sex education course not only used pornographic teaching materials but also taught children sexual positions.

Colleen Dostal told Fox News Radio, after discovering that her 14-year-old son had been taught sexual positions using stuffed animals meant to represent STDs, that the class was "horribly inappropriate."

Thousands Gather for Guadalupe Celebration

Amid mariachi players, Mexican dancers and more than 2,400 pilgrims and onlookers, a unique tilma relic associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe was carried reverently through the streets of New Haven in a Guadalupe Celebration sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

March for Life in Canada

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Deputy Supreme Knight Dennis A. Savoie joined tens of thousands of Canadians on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill May 13 to participate in the country’s national March for Life.

The annual demonstration brought together Knights, Catholics and other pro-lifers for a day of prayer and advocacy as well as mutual support and encouragement.

Connecticut Legislators Vote Religious Liberty Protection in Same-Sex Marriage Bill

After an intense two-week effort by the Knights of Columbus and other organizations, the Connecticut legislature adopted a religious liberty amendment to Bill 899, which implements last year’s state Supreme Court decision that imposes same-sex marriage in the state. The amended measure was then passed by both houses of the legislature on April 22.

Archbishop José Gomez Will be New Archbishop of Los Angeles

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, the Vatican announced that San Antonio Archbishop Archbishop José Gomez has been named coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles, and will succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony upon his retirement next February.

McDonald's Ad Promotes Teenage Homosexuality

A new McDonald's ad in France, part of their large "come as you are" ad campaign, features a homosexual teen speaking sweetly to his male paramour before he is forced to closet his emotions before a presumably insensitive father.

"We see McDonald's decision to backhand hundreds of millions of traditional family values people," Bill Johnson, President of the American Decency Association, told LifeSiteNews, "and align themselves with promoting the godless behavior of a few."

Fed Court Vindicates Student Suspended for Wearing Rosary

A federal court judge has ordered a New York school district to readmit a seventh-grade student suspended indefinitely for wearing a rosary to school after officials said the Catholic prayer beads violated the school's dress code.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday ordering Schenectady City School District to permit 13-year-old Raymond Hosier to return to classes at Oneida Middle School wearing his rosary.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: School Bus Driver Brings Girl to Tears for Opposing Gay 'Marriage'

An Indiana family has filed a civil lawsuit against a local school bus driver caught on tape harassing their daughter to the point of tears and calling her a "stupid little bigot" based on her pro-family views.

Several news stations reported the story with video from a school bus camera capturing Carmel School Bus Driver Betty Campbell's tirades, sparked after the girl said she would not have voted for President Obama based on his pro-abortion and pro-same-sex "marriage" agenda. The exchange took place in November 2008, one day after Obama was elected to the presidency.

Colorado Abortionist works at Catholic Hospital

Dr. Richard Grossman earns his living delivering babies at the Catholic hospital Mercy Regional Medical Center (MRMC). But one day a week, he is paid to kill them at the Durango Planned Parenthood.

The abortionist's work at a Catholic hospital has elicited outrage from local pro-lifers since at least 2007.

Michaela Dasteel, past director of the local pro-life organization LifeGuard, has written that a "Church that tolerates abortionists on staff in its hospitals is not a prophetic Church. It is a Church checkmated by the culture of death."

35,000 Forced Abortions Committed Daily in China: Rep Smith

About 35,000 abortions are committed daily on women who are victimized by the country's coercive one-child policy, said Congressman Chris Smith Tuesday.

Smith spoke at a lunch discussion entitled “No Choice Allowed: China’s Hollow Celebration of International Children’s Day” on June 1.

The leading pro-life congressman was joined by four other panelists, including T. Kumar, Asia Director for Amnesty International, in a lunch-hour meeting that addressed the grave systemic consequences of China’s one-child policy and the efforts various organizations are initiating to speak out for women and children’s rights in China.

Over 800 Iowa Church Leaders Support the Traditional Family

A letter and a petition in support of traditional marriage, signed by a total of 834 Iowa pastors and church leaders, are being circulated throughout Iowa in anticipation of the November election.

"We, the undersigned, affirm our strong belief that the traditional definition of marriage is fundamentally important and necessary for a stable society," states one petition. "More than five thousand years of world history, more than two centuries of American history, and more than one hundred fifty years of Iowa history has shown this to be true."

Michigan Abortionist Admits to Forcing Client into Abortion

Michigan abortionist Abraham Alberto Hodari has admitted to having an assistant forcibly restrain a woman who changed her mind about having an abortion, claiming he had already begun the procedure and wanted to guarantee a "safe abortion."

Local station NBC 25, which has determinedly pursued this story of forced abortion at Hodari's Flint's Feminine Health Care Clinic, reports that 20-year-old Caitlin Bruce wanted to keep her child after seeing its ultrasound image.

Pelosi - Latest Poster Child for Need to Deny Communion

It may come as a shock to some that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed a group of Catholics last month telling them that public policy should be "in keeping with the values of the Word," referring to Christ. Pelosi, who describes herself as "an ardent practicing Catholic," is a leading political advocate for abortion and homosexuality. Already in 2008, her bishop, San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer, said publicly that he was considering denying her Communion. Perhaps this latest scandal will tip the scales.

Pelosi, who took over the mantle of leadership for dissident Catholics in Congress after the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, addressed the Catholic Community Conference on Capitol Hill May 6, telling them that her "favorite word" was "the Word, and that is everything."

Irish Abortionist Group Demands Legal Abortion

The abortionist group, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has demanded that the Irish government legalize abortion, and blasted it for refusing to liberalize the country’s abortion laws, calling it “political cowardice.”

The occasion for the attack was the publication of statistics this week by the UK department of health showing that 4,422 women traveled from Ireland to England and Wales in 2009 to abort their children.

IFPA Chief executive Niall Behan told the Herald, “These figures are compelling evidence of the need for domestic-based abortion services in Ireland. The criminalisation of abortion has little impact on abortion rates, it merely adds to the burden and stress suffered by women experiencing crisis pregnancies.”

Ozzy Osbourne Finds Musical Muse in Canada ‘Mercy-Killing’

British heavy-metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne’s musical muse has derived new inspiration from Robert Latimer, a Canadian found guilty of the murder of his disabled daughter, which will feature prominently in a new album entitled “Scream.”

The song, “Latimer’s Mercy,” will feature alongside such death-delighting tracks as “Let it Die” and “Let Me Hear You Scream and Crucify.”

According to CanWest News Service, Osbourne wanted to describe what he thought must have gone through Latimer’s mind in 1993 as Latimer poisoned to death his daughter, 13-year-old Tracy, who had cerebral palsy, in a garage filled with carbon monoxide from a running car engine. Latimer was convicted of murder in 1994 and again in 1997, but only served seven years of a ten year sentence.

Veto Stands on Oklahoma Abortion Coverage Ban as Reps Run out of Time

Pro-abortion Gov. Brad Henry will see his fourth veto of pro-life Oklahoma legislation stand after the Oklahoma legislature, which overrode the last three, ran out of time Friday to mount a veto override on an abortion coverage ban.

The governor vetoed the measure late Wednesday evening, giving the legislature little time to react before this year’s legislative session ended by law at 5 p.m. today.

The sponsor of HR 3290, Rep. Skye McNiel (R-Bristow), told the Tulsa World that she would not seek to override the governor’s veto and that the legislature will probably revisit the measure in next year’s session.

Woman Sentenced to 10 Years in Jail for Murdering Baby One Day after Birth

A federal appeals court has ruled that a US district judge was justified in sentencing a woman to over ten years in prison for the murder of her baby just a day after his birth.

The court agreed that reducing the sentence further than the clemency already extended would undermine justice and the recognition that “an innocent life that was lost.”

The three-judge panel for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to sustain the ruling of a district judge who had already exercised a modicum of leniency in his sentencing of Dana Deegan to 121 months in prison.

communion

Horror in China: Aborted but Still Living Baby Sent for Cremation

An aborted baby boy, who had been declared dead by doctors in Foshan City, China, suddenly cried out as he was about to be cremated, but died later after doctors refused to treat him.

A mortuary worker at the Nanhai Funeral Home reportedly was startled by a cry from a box, labeled "medical waste," that he was about to put into the incinerator. He opened the carton and found the baby moving, but choking on some cotton wool in his mouth, the locally based Information Times reported.

Mystery of California Abortion Funding Revealed | Catholics For The Common Good

The California Catholic Conference has untangled the complexities of abortion funding in the California State Budget.

Annually, the California Catholic Conference asks the Legislators to examine their priorities when making funding decisions in the state budget. The Governor proposed elimination of the CalWORKs, a reduction in state funding for SSI/SSP-programs for the elderly, the blind and disabled-while retaining the funding for Family PACT which goes to family planning institutions, like Planned Parenthood. Although that money doesn't actually pay for abortions-abortions are funded through Medi-Cal-it does keep those organizations financially sound.

President of Portugal Signs Gay ‘Marriage’ Law | Catholic Exchange

Portugal’s president, who was elected as a conservative, has signed a law passed by the Assembly of the Republic last year creating the institution of homosexual “marriage.”

Although he had the power to veto the bill, and claims to oppose it, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva says that he signed the law to avoid slowing down the legislative process during the global economic crisis.

According to the Constitution, the Assembly can override the veto of the president with a two-thirds majority, and Silva says that the votes are there to do it. According to Silva, a veto would further tie up the Assembly while other urgent matters are neglected.

Portugal Legalizes Homosexual Marriage, Visiting Pope Condemns It » Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

This week, the president of Portugal announced his decision to ratify a law allowing gay marriage in the small European country. The same-sex marriage bill first passed in the Portuguese parliament in January, but was subject to a presidential veto. The president's decision to sign the bill into law makes Portugal the sixth European country allowing same-sex couples to wed.



Laura Bush: It's Good that Gay Marriage is Coming

In an interview on Larry King Live this Tuesday, former first lady Laura Bush said that she disagreed with her husband regarding the legality of both gay "marriage" and abortion.

Mrs. Bush, known for her previous reticence on controversial issues, has been promoting her memoir "Spoken from the Heart" in recent weeks.

Larry King pointed out that, in her memoir, she admits asking her husband during the 2004 presidential campaign not to make gay "marriage" a significant issue.

"Do you think we should have it?" King asked.

"Well, I think that we ought to definitely look at it," Mrs. Bush responded. "When couples are are committed to each other and love each other--they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has."

Abortion, Gay ‘Marriage’ among the Most ‘Insidious and Dangerous’ Challenges: Pope

In an address to assembled social and pastoral care workers in Fatima, Portugal yesterday, Pope Benedict identified abortion and the pressure for gay “marriage” as among the most “insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good,” and expressed his “deep appreciation” for those who fight for the rights of the unborn.

Benedict hailed “all those social and pastoral initiatives” that combat the “socio-economic and cultural mechanisms which lead to abortion, and are openly concerned to defend life and to promote the reconciliation and healing of those harmed by the tragedy of abortion.”

TLC Singer Chilli Describes Abortion Grief: 'I Cried Almost Every Day for 9 Years'

Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas, better known as a member of the successful 1990s hip-hop trio TLC, has joined a growing number of women and men who have come forward with horrendous stories of post-abortion grief. In a recent interview, the singer revealed that an abortion that she got when she was 20 years old “broke my spirit,” and robbed her of her "strong self."

The singer discussed her abortion on the May 9 episode of the VH1 reality TV series "What Chilli Wants," which follows the singer as she seeks help to establish a long-lasting relationship. Prompted to discuss her first relationship, with producer Dallas Austin, Thomas recounted her emotions upon realizing that she was pregnant for the first time at 20 years old.

March for Life Video

Why Abortion Breaks All the Commandments: Part 3 | Catholic Exchange

God does not simply give us “rules and regulations.” He gives us himself. All his teachings and commandments reflect who he is, and for the same reason, they all hold together in an organic unity – like the body itself – and every commandment in some way includes every other commandment. In this column, we conclude our reflections on how abortion violates every commandment, and how the commandments strengthen us to be pro-life.

The Seventh Commandment declares, “You shall not steal.” Whenever we violate the right to life, we steal. We rob the person of what is his – the recognition of his rights, the protection of his life.

Belgian Doctors Euthanized Disabled Patient and Harvested Her Organs » Secondhand Smoke | A First Things Blog

I found the article about the Belgian euthanasia coupled with organ harvesting referenced in my critique yesterday of a bioethics journal article urging that very approach. The woman in question was not terminally ill, but in a “locked-in” state, that is, fully conscious and completely paralyzed. She wanted to die–a desire accommodated by her doctors. Just prior to being killed, she decided to donate her organs. From, “Organ donation after physician-assisted death,” (Letter to the Editor) published in the journal Transplantation (21 (2008) 915–no link):

The Sacred Page: Top Vatican Official Praises Scott Hahn

Scott Hahn was recently praised in an address given by Cardinal William Levada, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. For those who don't know, the man who formerly held that position was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.

Experts Rebuke Pro-Abort Prof. Claim that “a Fetus is Not a Person”

A philosophy professor at Saint Mary's University (SMU) in Halifax is drawing rebuke from experts in bioethics, medicine, and philosophy for a Monday column in which he advocates abortion based on the notion that “a fetus is not a person.”

If pro-abortion advocates can show that the unborn child is not a person, argues Dr. Mark Mercer in an op-ed for the Ottawa Citizen, then a woman's reason for aborting him or her “cannot be outweighed by the fetus's right to life, for, not being a person, the fetus has no such right.”

Obama to Pick Pro-Abort Elena Kagan for Supreme Court: Report

Top White House aides expect President Obama to select Solicitor General Elena Kagan on Monday as the Supreme Court justice to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, reports Mike Allen of Politico Friday.

"Kagan's relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions," reports Allen.

Radical Pro-Abort Diane Wood Headed to Supreme Court?

Diane Wood, a Chicago federal judge known for her extreme hostility to even minimal legal protections for the unborn, may be topping President Obama's short list of replacements for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, according to various news reports in recent days.

Obama has long entertained a Supreme Court possibility for Wood, who met face-to-face with the president and Vice President Biden Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Obama had also considered Wood following the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter last year, before choosing Justice Sonia Sotomayor, another supporter of legalized abortion.

Florida School District Faces Lawsuit Over Ban on Religious Expression

The Santa Rosa County School District faces a lawsuit from a Christian legal advocacy group for allegedly violating First Amendment rights of teachers, students, and other individuals by muzzling their ability to exercise their religious beliefs in public.

Liberty Counsel (LC) has filed a comprehensive lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County School District and its Superintendent, Timothy S. Wyrosdick, accusing them of persistent and widespread violations of First Amendment rights.

InsideCatholic.com - In Arizona, Immigration Law Fallout Continues

The weather isn't the only thing that's heating up down here on the border. As temperatures this week inch closer to the triple-digits, the repercussions of SB 1070 – Arizona's tough new immigration law – continue to remain center stage. (If you haven't read the law itself, the link above takes you there. Many people commenting on it haven't even looked at the language.)

Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer received an envelope in the mail that contained a “powdery white substance” of an as-yet unconfirmed nature. The possible toxin is being lab tested as of this writing.

New York High Court Grants Parental Rights to Ex-Lesbian Partner

New York’s high court, the Court of Appeals, ruled Tuesday to give visitation rights over a child born into a Vermont civil union to the mother’s former lesbian partner. The court based its decision on the fact that Vermont courts have interpreted civil unions to confer legal parenthood on the partners.

At the same time, the Court resisted efforts to overturn a 19-year-old precedent that holds only a biological connection or legal adoption establishes parental rights under New York State law - meaning that in all other cases where recognizing the laws of other states is not an issue, the New York policy for determining parenthood stands.

A Balanced Approach to the Immigration Debate | Catholic Exchange

Arizona’s recently enacted state immigration law has added fuel to an already volatile national debate. From television to radio, newspapers to magazines, chat rooms to churches, no matter where one turns these days the firestorm of reaction is practically unavoidable.

In the process of weighing the various opinions that have been flying around on the matter, three things stand out. One, a great many commentators — both ecclesial and secular, leftwing and right — trumpet a one-sided view that all but ignores critical details in this multi-faceted issue. Secondly, firmly in place is the ever-present double standard on the part of the media and others; something we’ve come to expect in our political discourse of late, but noteworthy just the same. Lastly and most importantly, Catholic doctrine properly understood and fully acknowledged, along with “the rest of the story,” can lend some much needed balance to the discussion.

Tennessee Abortion Opt-Out Becomes Law without Gov.’s Signature | Catholic Exchange

A Tennessee law opting the state out of the new national health care reform’s abortion mandate went into effect Wednesday, after Democratic governor Phil Bredesen refused to either sign or veto legislation passed by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of Tennessee’s state house.

The law forbids insurance companies receiving public subsidies in the state-run health exchange from offering or requiring abortion coverage when the exchanges come online in 2014.

Ontario Catholic School Board Proud to Promote Prominent Gay Alumni

A poster of “distinguished alumni” developed by the York Catholic District School Board highlights renowned twin fashion designers and prominent homosexuals Dean and Dan Caten. The pair, much of whose work falls on the extreme end of the sexually provocative (one of their runway shows in 2005 ended with a scantily-clad Christina Aguilera stripping off the pants of male models), are among seven alumni featured on the poster developed for Catholic Education Week, May 2-7, 10,000 copies of which have been distributed in parishes and schools.

“Every person on the poster this year and every single year was selected because they are making a contribution to their respective careers,” said Chris Cable, communications manager for the school board. “In the Catholic Church we do treat everyone as equals and we are inclusive.”

YouTube - The Annunciation

Arizona, the Rest of Us, and the Futility of Hiding from Immigration | Catholic Exchange

One can deplore or applaud Arizona’s new get-tough law cracking down on illegal immigrants, but rational debate is not served by Cardinal Mahony’s characterization of the new law as the kind of tactic used by Communists and Nazis. Nor is rational debate served by the Federal government’s head-in-the-sand approach to the problem of illegal immigration. Readers may recall how quickly the question of immigration faded from view during our last presidential campaign. Frankly, nobody knew what to say about it. Or at least nobody knew how to say anything effective that would also be popular.

Kansas House Overrides Veto of Late-Term Abortion Restriction Law

Kansas House of Representatives this morning overturned Governor Mark Parkinson's veto of legislation requiring late-term abortionists to report the medical justification for performing the procedure.

The 86-35 overturn came Monday, after an initial attempt on Friday fell short of the 84-vote minimum by two votes. Parkinson had vetoed the legislation April 16.

The measure was crafted in response to the vague reporting methods that investigators say supported the decades-long business of slain late-term abortionist George Tiller. Nebraska late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart had vowed to continue Tiller's late-term abortion spree where he left off at his Wichita clinic when Tiller was fatally shot last May.

Human Services Dept. Allegedly Pressured Teen to Get Abortion | Catholic Exchange

A caseworker with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) allegedly pressured a pregnant teenager in foster care into a late-term abortion by threatening to take away her toddler or her yet-unborn baby. Additionally, Marisol Rivera, the girl’s social worker, said that she was fired for refusing to take the teen to a late-term abortion clinic.

“They hired me to work in child protection, not to kill children,” Rivera told the Philadelphia Daily News.

According to the newspaper, the girl’s foster mother said that the 16-year old was excited about having the baby and had already told her 1-year-old child that she would have a little brother. The teenager’s birth mother, identified only as Deborah M., also said the girl was excited.

Vancouver Hospital Opens 'Angel’s Cradle' Anonymous Baby Drop-Off

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver today launched a newborn drop-off facility called Angel’s Cradle that will provide a place for mothers to abandon their babies anonymously and safely.

The door to the Angel's Cradle, set in a private alcove near the hospital's emergency entrance, is set up to automatically trigger an alarm 30 seconds after a baby is placed inside.

After the alarm has alerted nurses to the presence of the child, doctors at the hospital will assess the baby's health and provide any necessary medical treatment, then put the child in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Pope Benedict’s One Day Visit to Turin |

Pope Benedict traveled to Turin on Sunday to celebrate Mass, meet with young people and the sick, and venerate the Holy Shroud.

POPE-SHROUDHe arrived in St. Charles Square in the Pope Mobile and was received by thousands of pilgrims gathered for the Mass. Before celebrating Mass, the Holy Father was greeted with opening speeches from the Mayor of Turin and Msgr. Severino Poletto, the Archbishop of Turin.

Three Anglican Bishops Discuss Reunion with Rome

Three traditionally-inclined Church of England bishops recently travelled to Rome for exploratory talks regarding Benedict XVI's Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which allows Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while retaining some of their distinctive religious practices.

Bishop John Broadhurst of Fulham, Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough, and Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet met with officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Each of the three Bishops are well-known for opposing the increasingly liberal path that the Church of England has taken, including the issue of the ordination of open homosexuals, and the ordination of women. The Bishop of Fulham is head of Forward in Faith, which calls itself a "worldwide association of Anglicans who are unable in conscience to accept the ordination of women as priests or as bishops."

Archbishop Myers Statement on a Proposed Course on Same-Sex Marriage

As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Newark, I am responsible for maintaining the Catholic identity of all Church institutions and organizations within the Archdiocese, and for ensuring authentic and orthodox Catholic teaching in all educational institutions and parishes. That responsibility extends to our Catholic elementary and high schools, to our parish religious education programs for both adults and children, and to the Catholic colleges and university operating within my jurisdiction.

Praise God!

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;

for His steadfast love endures for ever!


One of the things the Catholic tradition encourages again and again is praise of God.  “It is right to give Him thanks and praise,” we cry in the Mass.  And indeed, thanks and praise are frequently linked in both the Scripture and prayer of the Church.  Thanks generally tend to be directed to what God has done and given us.  We give thanks to God for doing this, accomplishing that, and giving the other.  And this is as it should be.  It is indeed right to give Him thanks.  But the Faith also insists on praise as a great good.  Why?  Well, not because God needs it.  God is completely and ecstatically happy within Himself from eternity to eternity.  Our praise adds nothing to His glory and beatitude.  But it does add to ours.  For in praising we direct our attention not merely to what God does or gives, but to Whom He is.  In praising, we fill our eyes with the light of His goodness, not merely because He’s been good to us, but because He would still be supremely good even if He did nothing for us.  Today, offer not just thanks to God but praise especially.  He is holy indeed and good beyond all bounds of human language to describe.




"

BC Hospitals Refuse to Release Abortion Data

Two BC hospitals have refused to divulge information about abortions conducted at their facilities, following a freedom of information request from a major pro-life group.

“If abortion statistics are going to be hidden in British Columbia, they will be hidden everywhere,” said John Hof, head of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) BC, which requested abortion information from Vancouver General Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital over a year ago. “What better way to win an argument – 'Oh, how can you prove that? There's no counting of those numbers'.”

CLC has fought for years to gain access to abortion statistics in British Columbia, following the enactment of Bill 21 in 2001, which amended the province's Freedom of Information Act to specifically exclude access to information about abortion.

NY Nurse Forced to Help with Abortion Files Another Suit against Hospital

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Friday against Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York state court, on behalf of a nurse forced to participate in a late-term abortion procedure under threat of disciplinary action, including possible termination and loss of her license.

The state suit was filed in addition to pro-life nurse Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo’s federal lawsuit, which is on appeal, because her rights of conscience are also protected by New York law.

“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “It is illegal, unethical, and a violation of Cathy’s rights of conscience as a devout Catholic to require her to participate in terminating the life of a 22-week pre-born child.

New Biblically Oriented English Translation of the Mass Approved!

New Biblically Oriented English Translation of the Mass Approved!: "Huge news for Catholics! The English translation of the Mass that you've known for the past forty years is now officially going to change! The translation approved by the primary English speaking national conferences of Catholic Bishops around the world has finally received the green light from Rome. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops was the last body to cast their ballot, voting in favor of the changes last year.

This is exciting news. The Washington Times reports:
The Vatican has approved and is ready to release a new English translation of the Mass and its associated prayers and texts.

Pope Benedict XVI spoke Wednesday at the Vatican to Vox Clara, a special committee of Catholic bishops and consultants from English-speaking countries convened to assist with the translation.

'I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication, so that the texts you have worked so hard to prepare may be proclaimed in the liturgy that is celebrated across the anglophone world. Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of his people,' Benedict told the assembly.

The Roman Missal is the official Latin texts for the Mass promulgated after the Second Vatican Council, commonly known as the Norvus Ordo or Paul VI Mass. The latest update was approved by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL), consisting of bishops from all over the English-speaking world, has been working on the translation since.

The ICEL's work needs formal and final approval by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which Vox Clara has been aiding.

Italian Baby Aborted at 22 Weeks for Cleft Palate–Born Alive, Left to Die

Italian Baby Aborted at 22 Weeks for Cleft Palate–Born Alive, Left to Die: "

This is what Western Civilization is becoming. From the story:


A baby found alive nearly a day after a failed abortion in Italy had been rejected by his mother because he had a cleft lip and palate, according to reports. The 22-week infant was found breathing a day after the operation. He died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother’s home town of Rossano, in southern Italy. The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans revealed that the foetus had a cleft lip and palate, according to reports in the Italian media. The condition is treatable with surgery. The baby – weighing just 11oz – survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, but was left by doctors to die.


Culture of death, Wesley?  What culture of death?

"

Divided Supreme Court Sends “Mojave Desert” Cross Case Back to Lower Court

Divided Supreme Court Sends “Mojave Desert” Cross Case Back to Lower Court: "

Today, in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in Salazar v. Buono that would have required the government to remove a World War I memorial cross that has stood in the Mojave National Preserve for over 70 years, remanding the case to the district court to apply the correct constitutional standard.


The decision was so badly split that there was no one opinion on behalf of the Court. However, Justice Kennedy’s controlling plurality opinion rejected the argument that the cross is an unconstitutional government “endorsement” of religion, stating that “the Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgement of religion’s role in society.” Justice Kennedy also stated that the district court was wrong to strike down the federal statute transferring the land the cross stands on to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His opinion was joined in full by Chief Justice Roberts, and in part by Justice Alito, who would not have remanded the case. Justices Scalia and Thomas would not have reached the merits at all, because they disagree that the plaintiff had standing to sue, though they would likely have reached a similar result on the merits. The dissenting Justices all agreed that the plaintiff had standing and would have upheld the lower court’s decision. On remand, the district court must reconcile these opinions and decide whether there is any reason for continuing the injunction it issued in 2002.


The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a law firm specializing in church-state issues, filed a brief before the Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of the Cross. The Becket Fund’s brief argued that a lone cross standing on private land in the desert sends different messages to different people and thus should not be interpreted as government approval of a particular religion.




"

U.S. Bill Would Amend Health Care to Exclude Abortion Funding

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) has introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to apply the Hyde amendment to the recently passed health care law.

Rep. Pitts' bill would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to prevent federal funding for abortion or abortion coverage through government exchanges, community health centers, or any other program funded or created by PPACA. Additionally, the bill protects the right of conscience for health care professionals and ensures that private insurance companies are not forced to cover abortion.

Baby Boy Survives for Two Days after Abortion

Baby Boy Survives for Two Days after Abortion: "
This is a horrific story. I hope that the Catholic priest baptized the poor infant. May the child pray for us and for this depraved world.

From the Telegraph:
The 22-week infant died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy.

The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled.

However, the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body.

He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing.

The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neo-natal unit at the neighbouring Cosenza hospital, where he died on Monday morning.

Italian police are investigating the case for 'homicide' because infanticide is illegal in Italy.

The law means that doctors have had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion.

The Italian government is also considering an inquiry into the conduct of the hospital staff.
Story by Simon Caldwell @ Telegraph.

HT: Dr. Bill Tighe

"

Remembering Pope John Paul II

I loved Pope John Paul II. In fact, I'm not sure I'd be Catholic today without his writing, example, and leadership. No matter how his papacy is measured in the long run, to me he reigns supreme as a man who combined personal holiness with brilliance.

While his administrative failures related to the sex abuse scandals are being debated inside and outside the Church, I was touched by the inaugural speech of Franciscan University of Steubenville's "John Paul The Great" Fine Arts Lecture Series, given in March by Dr. Kazimierz Braun.

Why Abortion Does Not Solve Child Rape

Why Abortion Does Not Solve Child Rape: "

There is no tragedy that the abortion movement does not seek to turn to its own advantage.


Consider the case of a young girl in Quintana Roo, Mexico, who was raped by her supposed stepfather and impregnated at the tender age of 10. After the girl’s mother belatedly notified the authorities, she is now, at nearly 18 weeks of pregnancy, receiving proper medical care. The offending rapist has since been arrested.


We should all decry the horrific sexual abuse that led to this pregnancy. But the abortion movement, led by radical feminists, wants to go further. They claim that the girl should be given an abortion, even though the Mexican state in which she lives, Quintana Roo, forbids all abortions after 90 days gestation. The underlying problem here, they insist, is that Mexican girls are not properly informed of their “right” to an abortion in case of rape before 90 days gestation, and that they are not allowed to receive one after that point. According to them, Mexico’s abortion laws must be relaxed.


According to CNN, which in its story on this child rape only interviewed abortion advocates (See CNN s coverage of the story):


“This girl is much more than an isolated case,” said Adriana Ortiz-Ortega, a researcher at Mexico’s National Autonomous University who has written two books on abortion in Mexico, “and there is much more influence now from conservative groups that are trying to prevent the legalization of abortion.”…





"

Woman Impregnated by Rape at Age 12 Encourages Others to Choose Life

Woman Impregnated by Rape at Age 12 Encourages Others to Choose Life: "

“Don’t worry, you’re not going to have the baby…your womb is very young….you are very weak…it’s going to be a high risk pregnancy…your life is in danger….you should consider it…”


At the age of 12 years, after having been raped by a gang in her neighborhood, Lianna Rebolledo was told she was pregnant — and the doctors wanted her to have an abortion.


But Rebolledo, who is now 33 years old and works at a radio station in Los Angeles, says she never even considered the possibility, and she wants others in Mexico to know that she is very happy that she chose life for her child.


After she was raped, says Rebolledo, she wanted to die, and tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills.  She was rushed to the hospital, where doctors pumped out her stomach and saved her life. They then informed her that she was pregnant.


She says that she never saw an ultrasound of her child, but that she was allowed to listen to the beating of her baby’s heart through a stethoscope. “When I heard the word ‘heart,’ believe me I immediately felt that I have something with me that is mine, that belongs to me, no one is going to be able to take it away from me, and I am no longer going to be alone,” she told the Mexican newspaper La Prensa in a recent interview.


“After I heard her heart, I knew that I had to advance so that baby would have everything she needed, so I worked and studied for a degree in communication, to give the best to my child, who was always telling me ‘thank you for not having given me (in adoption) mommy,’” she said in an interview with the newspaper Ovaciones.


“I continued to study.  It has been difficult but tell me: what is easy in life, right? And believe me that at the end of the day and after all these years, I see that it has been worth it.”


Rebolledo says that she would like to meet a ten year old girl from the state of Quintana Roo who is currently pregnant after being raped by her stepfather, to tell her her story.  Pro-abortion organizations in Mexico have sought to exploit the case to promote the legalization of abortion, and have tried to persuade the girl’s mother to consent to the procedure, despite the fact that doctors say an abortion would endanger her health at this stage in the pregnancy.


“At 12 years, I was raped, I became pregnant,” says Rebolledo. “I have a child who is almost 20 years old and the life of this little person has given me so much, because at the end of the day she ended up giving life to me, not I to her.”





"

Parents Must Stand against Explicit Sex Ed in Ontario Catholic Schools: Pro-Family Group

A prominent Catholic pro-life and pro-family organization is calling on parents and other concerned individuals to take action in the wake of an attempt by the Ontario Ministry of Education to force a new controversial elementary sex-ed curriculum on Catholic schools.

Campaign Life Catholic (CLC), which has been lobbying against the curriculum behind-the-scenes since the fall, says that parents cannot let up on the pressure against the curriculum despite the government's decision last week to shelve it for further consultation.

Book Shows Why Abortion for Young Rape Victim Is Likely to Harm, Not Help

Book Shows Why Abortion for Young Rape Victim Is Likely to Harm, Not Help: "Springfield, IL, April 28, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The news that an 11-year-old girl in Mexico who became pregnant through rape, allegedly by her stepfather, has decided to continue her pregnancy has caused a lot of controversy in recent days.

Some abortion advocates have argued that the girl in Mexico is too young to continue the pregnancy and should have an abortion, with some even suggesting that it be done despite her expressed wish to have the baby.

Such issues are also a focus during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness month.

But a book about women who became pregnant through rape or incest - including young girls in situations similar to this - suggests that, rather than helping the girl recover, abortion is more likely to cause her further psychological harm
 
Some abortion advocates have argued that..."

Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion

Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion: "

The Italian government has announced that it will launch an investigation of a hospital where a premature baby born alive following an attempted abortion was left to die for hours, before receiving medical attention thanks to the intervention of a priest.


“If the reports are correct we are talking about a grave case of therapeutic abandonment of a very premature newborn, probably also with some form of disability: an act against the sense of human pity but also against all ethics of medical practice,” said Eugenia Roccella, the Italian Subsecretary of Health.


“The Ministry of Health will send its inspectors to Rossano Calabro hospital to see that the case is effectively addressed, and to verify that respect has been shown for law 194, which prohibits abortion when there is the possibility of an autonomous life for the fetus, and allows it only if the continuation of the pregnancy is dangerous to the life of the woman,” Roccella added.


The baby, who was at 22 weeks gestation, was aborted in a hospital in Rossano reportedly because he suffered from a deformity, although the mother has also claimed that the pregnancy posed a medical risk. After surviving the doctor’s attempt to kill him, the infant was given no medical treatment and was left to die.


According to reports in the Italian media, the situation was discovered by a priest, who had heard of the abortion and had come to pray for the soul of the infant.


However, he was shocked to find that the child was moving and breathing, wrapped in a sheet and lying unattended with his umbilical cord still attached.  He reported the situation to the doctors, who then placed the child in intensive care in a neighboring hospital.  However, he died only a few hours later.


In addition to the investigation by the national health ministry, local officials in Rossano are also reportedly investigating the case to determine if there was negligence on the part of doctors.


Many similar cases of children left to die after surviving abortions have been documented in the American media as well, prompting the passage of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2002. Barack Obama, the current U.S. president, had infamously opposed a state version of the bill while serving as a senator in Illinois.


Related LifeSiteNews coverage:


How Babies Were Left to Die: Nurse Recounts Horrors of Infanticide Practice Barack Obama Protected

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08081209.html


66 British Babies Survived Abortion – All Were Left to Die Without Medical Aid

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/feb/08020408.html




"

Two More Bishops Cut CCHD Collection

Two More Bishops Cut CCHD Collection: "By Patrick B. CraineWASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Two more U.S. bishops have discontinued their diocesan collection for the national fund of the U.S. Bishops' domestic anti-poverty arm, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), LifeSiteNews (LSN) has..."

Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion

Italian Government Investigates Baby Left to Die after Failed Abortion: "By Matthew Cullinan HoffmanROSSANO, Italy, April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Italian government has announced that it will launch an investigation of a hospital where a premature baby born alive following an attempted abortion was left to die for hours, before receiving medical attention..."

Law Firm Says Government Funded Abortion is a Human Right

Top Abortion Law Firm Says Government Funded Abortion is a Human Right: "

(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  A top abortion-rights law firm recently released its conclusion that the last decade of international legal trends indicate that abortion is not only an international human right, but that government funding is part of that right. They claim that the “vicious” health care debate in the United States over abortion funding shows that the U.S. is flouting international law.

In “Reproductive Rights at the Start of the 21st Century: Global Progress, Yet Backpedaling on Gains in U.S.,” the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) argues that “funding for abortion services has increasingly been recognized as a necessary tool for ensuring access to a fundamental human right.” 

"

Canon Law and Altar Girls

Canon Law and Altar Girls: "

Q: What does canon law say about altar girls?  How did we end up with altar girls after so many centuries without them? –Ginnie


A: The whole issue of permitting girls to serve at the altar has become so ideologically contentious, on both sides of the issue, that it may be difficult to imagine that the whole controversy actually began as simply a question of Latin grammar. While approved translations of the code exist in all the major modern languages, only the Latin text is regarded as the official one.


Canon 230, which ultimately gave us altar girls, is contained in the section of the code dealing with the obligations and duties of the lay faithful, and has three paragraphs. Each contains the Latin word laici, meaning “lay people.” In order to get a complete picture, let’s take a look at each paragraph in turn.


The first paragraph (c. 230.1) states that lay men whose age and talents meet the requirements prescribed by the Bishops’ Conference, can be given the stable ministry of lector and of acolyte (altar server), through the prescribed liturgical rite. Many Catholics in the US may not be familiar with this practice at all, so it merits some discussion.


We all know that lay people can be lectors, who read the readings and psalms at Mass. In many places, this task is performed simply by volunteers. Sometimes the priest who is about to celebrate a scheduled Mass may walk to the microphone a minute or two in advance, and ask if anyone is willing to read.


Similarly, we all are familiar with the notion of altar boys (who sometimes are adult men), who assist the priest during Mass, particularly at the offertory. After some training, and with some routine practice, boys as young as 8 or 10 years old serve in this capacity. Often a parish will put together a monthly schedule, listing which boys are expected to serve at each scheduled Mass.


But canon 230.1 does not pertain to either of these situations! What is it for, then?


This paragraph actually refers exclusively to the practice, which is not seen at all in many places, of officially conferring the ministry of lectors and altar servers on qualified men. Conferral of this ministry is historically tied to the “minor orders” which traditionally formed part of a seminarian’s training to become a priest. “Acolyte” and “lector” were actually orders, which preceded (among others) the orders of “sub-deacon,” “deacon,” and finally “priest.”





"

Bishops Fight Back as Gay 'Marriage' Advances in Argentina

Catholic Bishops Fight Back as Gay 'Marriage' Advances in Argentina: "By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America CorrespondentPILAR, Argentina, April 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic bishops of Argentina have issued a clear denunciation of homosexual unions as legislation advances in the national congress to institute gay "marriage."Meeting in the..."

Citizenship Proof of President

Arizona House Passes Amendment Requiring Citizenship Proof of President: "By Peter J. SmithPHOENIX, Arizona, April 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Arizona House of Representatives has given preliminary approval to a measure that would require any presidential candidate to prove to the secretary of state that he is a 'natural born citizen.' The legislation is aimed at..."

Another Undercover Video Shows Kentucky Abortuary Failing to Report Child Sex Abuse

Another Undercover Video Shows Kentucky Abortuary Failing to Report Child Sex Abuse: "LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, April  21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As part of the latest installation in a long stream of evidence against abortion centers nationwide, the student-led pro-life group Live Action released footage Wednesday of Kentucky's only abortion provider, EMW Women's Surgical..."

Tom Cruise’s Religion

The Church of Scientology, popularly known as the church to which Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise belongs, is facing increased scrutiny in Australia and elsewhere over allegations that the organization has abused members and even coerced women psychologically into having abortions.

Australia’s Senate plans to vote soon on whether to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of the church’s abuse of Australians, and especially of members of the Sea Organization, Scientology’s elite religious group, whose members sign a billion-year contract to serve Scientology for millions of lifetimes.

Senator Nick Xenophon fired the first salvo in this latest battle with Scientology in November 2009, after receiving a letter from former church members relating their experiences of the church sanctioning forced abortions, assault, imprisonment, concealing sexual abuse, embezzling funds and performing blackmail.
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padre pio

There's no Abortion Funding

In a press conference Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to dispel the notion that the Democrats' health care bill contains government abortion funding by appealing to the Hyde amendment – the amendment which has traditionally put up a wall against federal abortion funding.

"I talked to the Catholic bishops about this, and people on all sides of the choice issue," Pelosi told reporters when asked about abortion funding. "Federal law prevents federal funding of abortion, there is no federal funding of abortion in this bill.

"There'll be no expansion or diminution of a woman's right to choose, and that does not happen in this bill. And we're determined that we're going to pass health care reform. This bill that passed the Senate does not have federal funding of abortion."

However, the argument that the Hyde amendment would prevent government funding of abortion in health care, advanced by the White House earlier last year, has been blasted by commentators and fact-checkers, including the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), as patently false.
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For this Lenten Season

Catholics Option of Refusing Donations to D&P

A third Canadian bishop has announced restrictions on funding to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P).

Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis has announced that in addition to withholding a nominal amount (10%) from the 2009 Lenten collection from D&P, he has instituted an option on the 2010 collection allowing Catholics to decide against funding D&P.

The Bishop has instructed parishes in the diocese to use Lenten collection envelopes which give parishioners the option to select that their funds go to either “Development & Peace” or “Other Charities.”

Previously the collection was taken up specifically for D&P.

Like Toronto’s Archbishop Collins and Pembroke’s Bishop Mulhall, Bishop De Angelis has undertaken the funding restriction in response to LifeSiteNews’ (LSN) investigative reports which found D&P to be funding pro-abortion groups.
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CCHD-Backed Network Not Worthy of Catholic Involvement

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay has issued a letter to two interfaith groups affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation, warning them that if they do not sever their relationship with Gamaliel they will lose the diocese's support.

The bishop's letter is particularly significant in light of the continuing controversy over the U.S. Bishops' domestic social justice arm, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which has a history of funding Gamaliel affiliates.

The bishop emphasized that he values the work of these organizations, called JOSHUA and ESTHER, but made it clear that their affiliation with Gamaliel, a national Chicago-based network of community organizing groups, through the state umbrella group, WISDOM, was problematic because Gamaliel espouses principles contrary to Catholic teaching.
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Philippine Bishops Endorse Pro-Life Presidential Candidate

Two Catholic bishops in the Philippines have broken with standing Church policy and endorsed dark horse candidate Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes in the presidential race.

The normal policy of the Catholic bishops of the Philippines is to hold a non-partisan stand, but Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra have backed the Ang Kapatiran party candidate, calling it a matter of conscience. Navarra said his endorsement did not necessarily mean he would talk about De los Reyes inside a church or during Mass.

Former Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Oscar Cruz said, “there is no canonical violation strictly, but it could be pastorally imprudent, as of the moment.” The two bishops have resigned from the poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) because of their support for de los Reyes.
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Wisc. Planned Parenthood's Excuse on Failure to Report Sex Abuse Proven False

After an undercover video released Tuesday showed staff at their Milwaukee abortion clinic agreeing to cover up the sexual abuse of a purportedly 14-year-old girl by her 31-year- old "boyfriend," Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says they "were unable to make any report" of the suspected abuse because the girl would not give the clinic any identifying information.

Live Action, the group responsible for the video, has released extended footage proving Planned Parenthood's claim false.

In the extended footage, a Planned Parenthood counselor, "Sonia," coaches the 14-year-old to obtain a judicial bypass waiver for her abortion so her parents will not find out about her sexual relationship with the older man.

She then asks the girl, "What is your name? So I can call them and tell them you're coming." Lila Rose, the president of Live Action who is posing as the 14-year-old, says her name is "Janelle Marion", spelling out the last name for her, and tells the counselor she was born on July 27.
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Beauty Queen Quotes Bible

In a flashback to last year's Miss California controversy, another California beauty queen has sparked protests for quoting a Biblical injunction against homosexuality to explain her view against gay "marriage."

The furor erupted when Lauren Ashley - the "Miss Beverly Hills" contestant seeking the title of Miss California USA - told the FOXnews.com blog Pop Tarts this week that she based her stance against same-sex "marriage" in the words of the Bible.

"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman," said Ashley. "In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white."

"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone," she continued, "and he has the best for everyone ... If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."
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Abortionist Investigated for Abortion Death

The pro-life group that filed a complaint against New York abortionist Salomon Epstein after the abortion death of Alexandra Nunez, a single mother of four, has been notified that the abortionist is now under investigation.

The investigation, which is being conducted by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, is the result of a complaint filed by Operation Rescue staff person Tara Shaver.

Nunez died on January 25, 2010, after an abortionist severed an artery during her abortion. The injury led to massive bleeding and eventually cardiac arrest. Nunez was rushed to a nearby hospital where she died. The abortion clinic, A-1 Women's Center, is located in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood in a run-down building that doubles as a plastic surgery center.
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Refused Communion to Gay Carnival “Prince”

The Dutch Catholic priest who withheld Communion last week from his town's openly homosexual Carnival “prince” was faced at Mass this Sunday with a protest from homosexual activists. Saying that he feared “sins” and “sacrilege,” the priest chose not to distribute Communion at all.

“Communion is a moment of respect and reverence, not an object of protest,” stated Fr. Luc Buyens.

Protesters, led by town council member Dick Boonman and Gay Krant editor Henk Krol, distributed pink triangles with the word “Homo,” to be worn on the chest at Mass. The protest was held at the parish after Fr. Buyens chose to deny Communion to homosexual Gijs Vermeulen, 24, on February 13th.

Vermeulen was the “prince” of the town's annual Carnival, a traditional pre-Lenten celebration. At the customary Carnival Mass, the prince addresses the congregation and then leads them forward in receiving Communion.
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Homosexualist "Kiss-In" Away from Notre Dame

French homosexualist demonstrators had planned to have a "kiss in" in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris this Valentine's day. But in response to the protests of a group of young French Catholics and patriots, it was moved away from the church of Our Lady.

The kiss-in was ostensibly meant to combat “homophobia.” The organizer of the kiss-in, Arthur Vauthier, had nevertheless said that it was a "way to challenge the Church, to question the Church on the question of love and marriage between gays and between lesbians." He had furthermore boasted that he was "not afraid of a backlash."

A number of Catholic and nationalist websites and blogs called on Catholics to "respond with courtesy and firmness to the provocation." French Action called on people to help resist the demonstration, stating that "France is not a nightclub."
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“Wives Submit to Your Husbands”

Two ministers in the Church of England are refusing to backpedal from their reiteration of the biblical teaching that wives should “submit” to their husbands. The Rev. Angus MacLeay, and his assistant priest, Mark Oden, have come under fire in the media after they recently issued a pamphlet and sermon, respectively, that quoted St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (5:22-33) and said that old fashioned values would save marriage.

The quote from Ephesians is regarded in some Christian circles, especially where feminist thought predominates, as deeply controversial. St. Paul said, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
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40 Days for Life

The 40 Days for Life campaign will be launched Feb. 17 and run through March 28 in more than 160 cities in Canada, Australia and the United States.

Canadian locations will include Montreal, Toronto, Guelph, Edmonton, Red Deer and Kelowna. There will also be regular pro-life witnessing outside the Morgentaler abortion mill in Ottawa and Cabbagetown abortuary in downtown Toronto, although these are not 40 Days events per se.

Nicole Campbell, Campaign Life Coalition’s 40 Days for Life director, says that “our community will be uniting with dozens of other cities across North America for the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history.”

The campaign, which has three key components – prayer and fasting, a peaceful vigil, and community outreach – has resulted in at least 2,168 saved babies, 26 abortion workers leaving their profession, and the closing of five abortion sites – and reduced hours in many more.
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CCHD Petition

I've been asked why I support the Reform CCHD Now petition requesting that the bishops suspend all Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants until a thorough review of the program has been completed. A series of reports by Reform CCHD have revealed clear evidence that grants are being given to organizations supporting abortion and same-sex marriage.

Thus far, only two groups have been defunded by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), though another offending organization, the Center for Community Change (CCC), was scrubbed from their Web site (the section removed described it as being worthy of Catholic support).
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Patrick Kennedy

Pro-abortion U.S. Rep Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island has announced that he will not seek reelection following his eighth term in Congress.

“I will not be a candidate for reelection this year,” says the 42-year-old representative in an advertisement released Thursday and airing Sunday night.

Sean Richardson, the congressman's former chief of staff, told the Providence Journal that Kennedy's decision "absolutely, unequivocally has nothing to do with" his struggling poll numbers, or the surprise victory of Republican Scott Brown, who overtook Kennedy's father's senate seat last month. “He was talking about this decision long before any of these storms were on the radar,” he said.
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Abortion Documentary

Honestly, the last place I ever imagined seeing my face was on the big screen at the Sundance Film Festival. But I actually appeared in a documentary film last week called "12th and Delaware," which attempts to show the struggle between life and death in the real-life scenarios of abortion-minded women.

The name of the film derives from the street names on an ordinary corner in Ft. Pierce, FL where extraordinary things happen every day. On one side of the street is a death camp (i.e., an abortion mill) and on the other side is a center of life, the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC), which I helped found in 1999. I still serve on the Board of the PCC, and my greatest privilege is listening to the first-hand accounts of the miracles that happen there everyday. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies have been spared from a violent death at that abortion mill - and their mothers spared the agony of suffering from an abortion because of the work of Pregnancy Care Center.
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Petition Asking Bishops to End Grants to Pro-Abort Groups

A petition was launched on Wednesday, which asks the U.S. bishops to suspend Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grants. The petition is sponsored by American Life League, Human Life International, Catholic Advocate, Bellarmine Veritas Ministry and Real Catholic TV, members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN).

The effort comes after repeated calls over the past three months for explanations from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in response to the discovery that CCHD money is being used to support organizations that promote abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

American Catholics are asked to sign the following at http://www.reformcchdnow.com/:

To ensure no more Catholic dollars are spent to support organizations advocating abortion or same-sex marriage, I respectfully request the bishops suspend all national CCHD grants until the grants process has been reformed.
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USCCB Membership in Pro-Abortion Coalition

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon has cautiously expressed concern after reports this week that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is listed as a member of a coalition that promotes homosexual “rights” and access to abortion.

In a Monday article, Deal Hudson of Inside Catholic pointed out the USCCB's membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), a coalition of nearly 200 national 'civil and human rights' organizations, founded in 1950, that coordinates national lobbying efforts for its members. The minimum annual dues to join LCCR is $1,000, though that grows with the size of the organization.

One of the coalition's focus issues is “LGBT rights”, and, as Hudson reveals, their website provides evidence of the organization's deliberate thwarting of pro-life efforts and their support for organizations and legislation that facilitate abortion.
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Love and Life in the Divine Plan

This Pastoral Letter of November, 2009, presents Church teaching on marriage and family life in light of the documents of Vatican Council II, the encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, and other writings of Pope John Paul II, in particular in his celebrated Wednesday “catecheses” on the “theology of the body,” and the writings of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pastoral has two major parts. Part One, Marriage in the Order of Creation: The Natural Institution of Marriage considers the nature of marriage, male-female complementarity as essential to marriage, the ends or purposes of marriage and their interrelationship, and fundamental challenges to marriage today.
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Ohio Speaker Reverses Decision

Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) has reversed a decision to disallow the presentation on the House floor of a routine legislative honor to a local pro-life teen, and will make room in the Ohio General Assembly's schedule for the honor, according to the speaker's office.

Ohio teen Elizabeth Trisler had been set to be presented on February 3 with an honorary legislative resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams, which recognized her accomplishment as the winner of the 2009 National Right to Life Oratory Contest. However, as LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) reported yesterday, the planned presentation was scuttled by Speaker Budish, apparently because Budish disagreed with Trisler's pro-life values.

But Keary McCarthy, communications director for Speaker Budish, contacted LSN today to say that "the Speaker has reconsidered the request and will allow for the resolution presentation to occur at the next general assembly session or whenever they can schedule it."
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Oprah Show featured the Dominican Sisters of Mary

Today’s Oprah Show featured the Dominican Sisters of Mary alongside a trained Caucasian Geisha living in Tokyo. The idea behind today’s program was to give the world a glimpse of the lives of women living in “secret” communities.

Journalist, Lisa Ling, interviewed both the Geisha and the Sisters of Mary.

Sayuki (her Japanese name), born in Australia and Oxford educated, takes her role as a trained Geisha very seriously. She wanted to make a point, which she did several times, that sex is not now and never was a part of this tradition. In an odd way, her interview made a good introduction to the Dominican Sisters of Mary whose vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience require complete dedication and a desire to serve others.

Residing outside of Ann Arbor, MI, the Dominican Sisters of Mary have become widely known in Catholic circles due to their overwhelming success in attracting young women to religious service. Currently, there are 100 nuns whose average age is 26, though the youngest apostolate is 18. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist began in 1997 with 4 sisters.

Dominican Sisters of Mary

Brenda Steele watched the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist on The Oprah Show today.

Her comments published at Catholic Advocate, I am sure, echo what all of us who were able to watch the show were thinking.

Here Brenda hits the nail right on the head:

It would have been impossible for both the studio audience and the TV not to notice the happiness that exuded from the faces of the Sisters of Mary postulates, novitiates, and consecrated nuns as they lived their day.

Sister Frances Mary, 22, when asked by Oprah, “How did you know you wanted to become a nun?” responded by saying, “It wasn’t something audible; it was just something that came from here”(as she clutched her hands to her heart, beaming all the while.)
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Pro-Life Teen Barred from Receiving Honor

In what critics are calling an unprecedented act of bias, pro-abortion Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) has denied Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler a routine legislative honor, evidently because he objects to Trisler's pro-life values. Budish is refusing to allow Trisler on the House floor to accept a legislative resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney), which honors Trisler's accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner.

Alongside local pro-life leaders, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio has criticized the move, indicating the refusal amounted to "teaching young people that the answer is to silence those who disagree with us."

Honorary resolutions such as the one given to Trisler are routinely presented at the start of Ohio House legislative sessions to constituents, including those who win athletic championships or academic contests. In this case, however, Trisler will receive the resolution in the mail, according to Ohio Right to Life.

"Franciscans of the Immaculate."

USCCB's Membership In a Pro-Abortion

Matt Smith has published more information on the USCCB's problematic membership in the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Calling it LCCHR's "Greatest Hits," Smith juxtaposes the civil rights organization's opposition to the Federal Marriage Marriage and support for CEDAW with the Catholic positions advocated by the USCCB.

Why would the bishop's conference be a member of an organization that lobbies for abortion and same-sex marriage? As Matt Smith comments:

Even if the USCCB claims they do not sign onto every coalition letter led by LCCHR, the organization does not delineate with their press releases or other materials which group has joined their voice on a particular issue. The Bishops’ Conference claims “non-partisanship,” however, when you read through the legislative priorities and past actions by the LCCHR it lines up with the Democrat National Committee platform. The Bishops’ Conference paying dues and being listed as a “coalition member” raises serious concerns about the type of representation being made of Catholic teachings to the Congress and Executive branch. Further participation with such groups will continue to highlight questions of neutrality and effectiveness in articulating the teachings of the Church in Washington.
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Religious Life -- on Oprah

News has been spreading through the blogosphere that the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, will be appearing on Oprah tomorrow afternoon. The sisters explained how it all came to be in an e-mail update:

Oprah was interested in doing a show on religious life as a hidden way of life which many people never experience, and so her producers asked us if we would be willing to welcome them. We accepted this invitation as an opportunity to share our life, and by extension, the Gospel, with an audience that we might not ever reach otherwise.

A camera crew came to the Motherhouse in Ann Arbor at the beginning of [last] week, and then on Thursday, Sr. Mary Samuel, Sr. John Dominic, Sr. Mary Judith, and Sr. Francis Mary were flown to Chicago for the taping. Some of our Novices and Postulants also participated in the taping from the Motherhouse via “Skype.”

. . . please join us in praying that Our Lord will use this television show to touch the hearts of many, so that they may come to know Him and His boundless love and mercy.
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The Saints Went Marching In

I'm not much of a football fan, but I usually find myself watching the Superbowl every year. It provides an excuse for a party, after all, and that means snacks. This year I was rooting for the Saints, mainly because they were the underdogs and have never taken home the Lombardi trophy. (Plus, I like saints more than horses.)
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Commentary on Feb. 5 News

The names of the 21,581 petitioners supporting the CBS decision to air the Tim Tebow ad have been sent by both mail and email to CBS. The first 15,000 names were sent earlier this week and the rest were sent today. Additional names received over the weekend will also be forwarded to CBS to confirm their right decision on this matter. Congratulations to all who responded! This has undoubtedly had an impact upon CBS.

President Obama is encountering yet another major setback with fading hopes for confirmation of his very radical nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel.

Planned Parenthood's counter commercial to the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad is glaringly missing mention of one crucial person. The unborn child does not exist for "pro-choicers", nor do the large numbers of women hurt from making this often coerced or and seriously uninformed and deadly "choice".

It is disturbing for us to report the offensive tactics being used in response to Reform CCHD Now's well researched and respectfully presented facts about CCHD funding of some pro-abortion and otherwise unworthy groups. It should be very concerning to all that some Church leaders seem compelled to unjustly malign the credibility and motivation of the whistle blowers and to misrepresent the concerns presented, rather than respond directly to the evidence of scandal. The similarity of these responses to the Canadian Development and Peace scandal revelations continue to amaze us.
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CCHD Scandal Picks Up Steam as Bishops React

Various offices of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB) have reacted to the two new reports issued by the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN) this week, but the reactions, claims RCN, have not addressed the core message of their reports.

While RCN has offered evidence that 31 CCHD grantees are partnered with a pro-abortion and homosexualist group, the Center for Community (CCC), and that two USCCB officials have served on the same group's board, the reactions have focused primarily on defending the pro-life beliefs of one of those officials - John Carr, who, as executive director of the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

The report on Carr’s involvement in CCC was received by some as questioning Carr’s personal pro-life convictions. However, RCN says that the reports in question – one from American Life League (ALL) and another from the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM) – specified that they were not questioning Carr or any USCCB staffer's personal stance on pro-life.

Immediately after the issuing of the reports Monday, a line supporting CCC was quietly removed from the CCHD website. Not so quiet however was the backlash against the perceived attack on Carr.
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Americans Wants U.S. Supreme Court to Reject Same-Sex “Marriage”

A new poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion shows that a majority of Americans believe the US Supreme Court would defend marriage as between a man and a woman against opponents of California's Proposition 8, with an even greater majority expressing approval of such a ruling.

Both sides of the marriage debate expect that the federal trial of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex “marriage,” will reach the US Supreme Court. Perry v. Schwarzenegger currently awaits a decision in U.S. District Court - and many speculate the case could end up meaning for the marriage debate what Roe v. Wade meant for the abortion issue.

52 percent of 1,000 adult respondents told Angus Reid pollsters that they believed the U.S. Supreme Court would reject the constitutional arguments made by opponents of Prop. 8, and rule that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

58 percent said they would prefer such a ruling, while 34 percent wanted a ruling legalizing same-sex “marriage.” The same percentage split defined a majority saying they would vote to keep the natural definition of marriage in their home state if the question came up via a referendum.
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U.S. Bishops' Exec Responds to Charges of Cooperation with Pro-Abortion

John Carr, the U.S. Bishops' (USCCB) chief advisor on social justice for the last two decades, and who oversees the controversial Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), has responded to two reports filed yesterday by members of the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN).

These reports revealed the homosexualism and abortion activism of the Center for Community Change (CCC), and the fact that Carr has been long associated with them, even serving as chair of the board while working for the USCCB.

CCC says it “strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups to enhance their leadership, voice and power.” In a previous November report, Michael Hichborn of American Life League (ALL), an RCN member, published evidence that 31 CCHD grantees are among these “grassroots groups.”

Rob Gasper of the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM), another RCN member, issued a follow-up report yesterday, explaining that further investigation of CCC was necessary because “CCHD has not responded publicly or privately to the [initial] allegations.”
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