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Archive for March, 2013


Published on Mar 21, 2013

Fr. Pacwa, SJ w/ Fr. Mark Mary, Br. Tarcisius, Jeff Hahn, Mike Warsaw

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Newsmax

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 04:43 PM

By: Bill Donohue

In his March 19th blog post from Rome, Cardinal Timothy Dolan made it clear that although he could not be with his brother bishops in Albany to address key public policy issues, he wanted everyone to know of his support for laws that promote a culture of life.
Weighing heavily on him and the other bishops is the proposed abortion legislation by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
There was a time when it was the Republicans, not the Democrats, who were the champions of abortion rights. Until the late 1970s, it was the Rockefeller Republicans who were enthusiastic about the politics of population control.
Democrats, led by stalwarts such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sen. Ted Kennedy, were fierce opponents of abortion (the former dubbed it a form of genocide against blacks). By the time Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the parties had flipped: the conversion of Republican Southern Baptists to the pro-life cause, and the inroads made by radical feminists in the Democratic Party, accounted for most of the changes.
For the better part of the 20th century, the Democrats were top heavy with Catholics, but by the 1980s their influence had slipped badly. So did their loyalty to Church teachings; many Catholic Democrats shifted positions and became “pro-choice.”
Leading the way was New York Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1984, he delivered an impassioned speech at the University of Notre Dame explaining why it was legitimate for Catholics to support abortion rights. His address, which proved to be pivotal, was the beginning of the “I’m personally opposed but” argument that has become the staple position of pro-abortion Catholic Democrats.
If Mario Cuomo’s goal was to make the “choice” option respectable for Catholic Democrats, his son, Andrew, wants to make the absolutist position respectable for the entire Democratic Party. Indeed, his full-throated advocacy of abortion-without-limits is the most radical proposal ever entertained at the state level. It is also the most dangerous, especially for poor minority women.
Governor Cuomo has yet to unveil the details of his abortion bill, but from what we know there will be no restrictions on this life-ending procedure. Abortion would be removed from the penal code, and would instead be regulated through public health law. Practically speaking, this would mean that an unborn child would not be regarded as a victim in a crime where he is intentionally killed. Perhaps most ominous, at least for poor African-American and Hispanic women, it would mean that non-physicians could abort their babies.
In other words, Park Avenue white girls will have their abortions attended to by licensed physicians, while poor women of color will be serviced by non doctors. Guess who will be most at risk when complications arise? Yet it is the so-called champions of the poor and non whites, e.g., Planned Parenthood and The New York Times, who are the strongest proponents of this two-class, racially divisive, system.
Most states are reforming their abortion laws by making them more restrictive. In the last two years, state lawmakers enacted 135 abortion restrictions. Indeed, states like Pennsylvania, Kansas and Virginia have gone the opposite way of New York by mandating abortion clinics doing surgery to meet the same standards as other outpatient surgery centers.
Only California can match New York in ramping up abortion rights.
California also has a Catholic pro-abortion Democrat as governor, Jerry Brown. Even though his state has seen a 23 percent increase in abortion providers (in most parts of the nation it is getting harder and harder to find someone who will perform an abortion), he can’t get enough of them. That’s why California has a pilot program that allows non-physicians, midwives, nurses, et al., to do abortions. With good reason, the California Nurses Association is opposed to this initiative.
As always, no one suffers more from liberalized abortion laws than minorities. The California pilot program was targeted at them, the result being that 42 percent of black children were aborted. This is nothing new. In 2008, a chain of abortion clinics in Southern California had at least six doctors on staff with histories of medical malpractice, and most of their clients were low-income Latinas. In New York State the abortion rate is double the national average, and in New York City the rate for black women exceeds 60 percent. This phenomenon is not by accident—it is the result of public policy: in February 2013, it was reported that the “morning-after pill” in New York City was being distributed without parental consent, in schools that served mostly African Americans and Latinos.
If it were the Ku Klux Klan that was pushing to lower medical standards in abortion clinics with a high population of poor non-white women, it would make sense. But it’s not the Klan who is pushing this agenda — it’s mostly white, well-educated “friends of the poor.” While it may not be their intent, the outcome is one in which large numbers of women and children of color are being treated like guinea pigs. What is even more troubling is the failure on the part of the Cuomo administration to learn from the Pennsylvania experience: when abortion standards are relaxed, it opens the door to abuse.
Robert “Bob” Casey, Sr. was the Governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995. A Democrat of the “old school,” he was liberal on public policy issues like a safety net for the poor, education and healthcare. But he was also a practicing Catholic and a strong pro-life activist. During his tenure, abortion clinics were held to rigid standards, but once he left office a more “abortion-friendly” milieu took root. In fact, authorities have admitted that inspections of abortion clinics stopped completely in some locales. Enter Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
On March 18, Gosnell was put on trial for killing one woman and seven babies born alive. His clinic is now known as “a house of horrors,” a place where his untrained staff helped deliver babies who were then killed with scissors. Gosnell would plunge scissors into their necks, cutting their spinal cords. He did this at least 16,000 times, with the assistance of his rookie staff. His clients were all poor women who lived in the inner-city neighborhoods that comprise West Philadelphia. He himself never received obstetrics or gynecology certification.
Importantly, Gosnell was not apprehended by state abortion inspectors. No, his “house of horrors” was discovered accidentally in 2010 by FBI agents looking for drugs. What they found were fetal remains stored in jars and freezers, and dirty medical equipment. After speaking with the authorities, Gosnell reportedly ate dinner, never removing his bloody latex gloves.
To make matters even more sickening, Gosnell’s lawyer told the court that his client is a victim of “an elitist, racist prosecution.” He even went so far as to accuse Philadelphia officials of conducting a “prosecutorial lynching.” He added that “This black man is being taken because of who he is and where he works.” That Gosnell intentionally chose to murder poor non whites, many of whom were immigrants, means nothing to his lawyer, Jack J. McMahon.
Once Pennsylvania lawmakers learned of Gosnell’s monstrous acts, they moved to stop these abuses. In 2011, a bill was passed that outlined new criteria for facilities that perform surgical abortions: Class A facilities perform surgeries that require local anesthesia only and must be accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation agency; Class B facilities perform surgeries that require anesthesia where the patient is not fully conscious, and must be licensed and able to meet ambulatory surgical requirements.
In 2012, 92 abortion restrictions were passed. The results are in the numbers. To wit: There are only 17 abortion providers left in Pennsylvania, down from 22 a year ago; in 2011, abortions declined by 44.8 percent (it was the third year in a row that abortions declined). Though there is still work to be done — there has been a spike in abortion complications — medical standards have increased, and poorly trained staff have been eliminated.
Sadly, instead of raising the qualifications for those in the abortion industry, Governor Cuomo wants to dumb them down. To be sure, how Gosnell and his staff operated would not be legal under Cuomo’s plan, but it cannot be denied that by lowering standards we are likely to learn of more horror stories, not less. Moreover, it is not just a change in credentials that is at stake; when expectations decline (as happened in Pennsylvania once Casey left office), it sends a message that is picked up by everyone.
That the message is not one that will result in safer conditions for black and Hispanic women is beyond debate.
When Cuomo announced his proposal in January, he did so to great fanfare, screaming, “it is her body, it is her choice.” It does not exaggerate to say he sounded delirious: he kept bellowing to his supporters, “Because it’s her body, it’s her choice. Because it’s her body, it’s her choice.”
The fact is no one is denying any woman from aborting her baby in New York, and Cuomo knows it. What he is selling — in the name of women’s rights — is a policy that would lower standards in abortion clinics, at least for the most vulnerable.
Planned Parenthood is predictably singing Cuomo’s praises. Why not? It loved the California legislation that was designed to allow non-physicians to perform abortions, so what’s not to like about Cuomo’s initiative? If minority women bear the brunt of this women’s “right,” so be it. After all, it’s not a secret that eight in 10 Planned Parenthood clinics operate in non-white communities. This outcome, it needs to be said, was divined by its founder, Margaret Sanger.
Sanger laid the groundwork when she announced how she would weed out “undesirables,” meaning African Americans. “Many of the colored citizens are fine specimens of humanity,” she boasted in 1932. “A good share of them, however, constitute a large percentage of Kalamazoos’s human scrap pile.”
Currently, New York State law says only a “duly licensed physician” may perform abortion, but Cuomo wants to change that so any “licensed healthcare practitioner” can do the job. Even honest champions of abortion know how irresponsible this idea is. Minnesota abortionist Jane Hodgson is the recipient of Planned Parenthood’s coveted Margaret Sanger award. In 1990, she told the truth about the level of training her work takes.

“When I first started doing abortions, I took my boards in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and therefore I knew I was competent to do it. After I had done my first hundred I realized how silly I had been. At this point, having done somewhere around 12,000 procedures, I’m beginning to think I am reasonably competent.”

At one time, even the ACLU admitted that allowing non-physicians to do abortions put women’s lives in jeopardy. In 1994, the Pennsylvania affiliate bemoaned the shortage of physicians trained and willing to do abortions, but it nonetheless cautioned against lowering standards.

“Although changes have been proposed, the current objectives on abortion required by the Council on Residency Education and Obstetrics and Gynecology do not require that physicians be able to carry out the procedure as long as they can ‘arrange contact with a facility or personnel’ who can do so, perpetuating the idea that individual competency in abortion procedures is not important for doctors concerned with women’s reproductive health. This endangers the lives of women who may need abortions in emergency settings, and limits access to therapeutic abortion.”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pauses after delivering his State of the State and budget proposals at The City College of New York. (Getty Images)

Governor Cuomo’s intention is not to punish poor black and Hispanic women, but his proposal would do just that. It would allow abortionists who are not trained as physicians to attend to these women, putting them at greater risk than their more affluent white cohorts. This consideration alone should be enough to convince him not to go down this road. But don’t bet on it: Andrew is Mario’s son, and when it comes to defending abortion and defying the Catholic Church, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Dr. William Donohue is the president of and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. The publisher of the Catholic League journal, Catalyst, Bill is a former Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and served for two decades on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. The author of five books, two on the ACLU, and the winner of several teaching awards and many awards from the Catholic community, Donohue has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows speaking on civil liberties and social issues.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Bloggers Note See article here:  http://www.newsmax.com/BillDonohue/Cuomo-Minority-Women-Abortion/2013/03/20/id/495581

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On 03.15.13, In Pope Francis, by

Alejandro Bermudez

Leon bloy

Léon Bloy

Very few Catholics today are familiar with the writings of French convert Léon Bloy. Among other things, it is very likely that the term “politically incorrect” was coined in reference to him.

During his first homily, Pope Francis quoted Bloy: “When one does not confess Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the expression of Léon Bloy: ‘He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.’ When one does not confess Jesus Christ, one confesses the worldliness of the devil.”

Bloy was the son of a Voltairean anti-Catholic, but converted to Catholicism in 1868 and decided to live a life of radical poverty, depending completely upon charity, even asking for money from the rationalist luminaries he ferociously criticized, thus becoming known as “the ungrateful beggar.”

His numerous books are filled with quotes such as: •    “Priests are latrines. They are there for humanity to pour out our filth.” •    “The worst evil is not the crime committed, but the failure to do the good one might have done.” •    “Any Christian who is not a hero is a pig.”

Because of his “intolerance,” Bloy was hated by big names of his time such as Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant, Ernest Renan and Anatole France…But his radical Catholicism also inspired a wave of conversions in France during the early 20th century that included personalities such as Georges Rouault, Maxence Van der Meersch and the philosophers Jacques and Raisa Maritain.

Bloy may have been smiling when Pope Francis also said in his first homily: “When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.”

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See:  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cw/post.php?id=698

March 17, 2013

Mary Rice Hasson, the mother of seven, is a Visiting Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center , Washington, D.C. She blogs at wordsfromcana. View all articles by Mary Hasson

Restroom Sign by Maliz Ong (CC0 1.0)

The Massachusetts Board of Education recently issued formal “guidance” to the state’s public schools, telling them how to implement new laws protecting against gender identity discrimination. The Board of Education insists that schools must not only provide equal access to educational activities programs but also proactively “create a culture” that would make gender-nonconforming and transgender kids “feel safe, supported, and fully included.”

The result? Transgender children must be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex, if they so choose. Teachers will “work with” other students who object to the invasion of privacy, helping them over come their “discomfort” and embrace the agenda of tolerance. In addition, schools must “eliminate” gendered policies such as dress codes (e.g., rules requiring girls, but not boys, to wear dresses to prom, or traditions that dress boys in blue graduation robes while girls wear white) and classroom management strategies that divide children by gender (e.g., a boys’ line and a girls’ line for the water fountain). Transgender children will have the right to insist on being called by any name or pronoun they choose, regardless of its biological mismatch. And other students must go along with it or face “discipline.”

In its rush to support the “progressive” agenda for transgender rights, the Board of Education has thrown privacy and safety – for the other students – right out the window. That’s bad enough. The full impact of its decision, however, is even worse.

It’s an insidious strategy that promotes a view of the human person utterly incompatible with Christianity.

The Massachusetts policy systematically foists a perverse orthodoxy on every teacher and child within the system. It promotes the core belief – the big lie – that there is no such thing as human nature or natural distinctions of male and female. Instead, the Board of Education embraces the idea that each person is a god unto him or herself, creating a gender identity and sexual expression based on feelings, or one’s “internalized sense” of self, regardless of biology.

The indoctrination (“education and training”) will be part of every Massachusetts school’s “anti-bullying curriculum, student leadership trainings, and staff professional development.” And the Massachusetts Board of Education clearly expects all students and teachers to get with the program. The entire school community must help create a “safe and supportive” culture for transgender and gender non-conforming students.

Catholic parents who send their children to public school in Massachusetts now have to worry not only about the system’s hostility to religious belief but also about its hostility to basic truths about the human person.

Parents in other states have reason to worry as well. Laws in sixteen states, plus the District of Columbia, prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.  Some states are moving to promote transgender privileges in schools – including access to opposite-gender restroom and locker room facilities. In other places, families with transgendered children are suing to insist on unfettered access to restrooms and locker rooms.

In New York, transgender activists argue that unlawful harassment of a transgendered student occurs if others make “repeated, deliberate use of pronouns and names that are inconsistent with a student’s gender identity … (or ask) … inappropriate, unnecessary questions about their gender identity, anatomy, and/or any medical treatment that is related to their gender identity.” A child who sees a boy in a dress, for example, and calls him “he,” will be guilty of harassment.

In Chicago, the Board of Education is considering new health education standards that teach a non-judgmental attitude towards gender identity, including transgender identity. Chicago’s new policies “align with the new national standards.”  (Although it’s a topic for another day, I wonder how many parents even know that the left has created and is pushing “National Sexuality Education Standards” in every public school district in the country. “Public schools were specifically chosen” to promote a flawed anthropology and an immoral approach to sexuality.)

Is the growing pushing for transgender rights in schools really a problem for Catholics?  Can’t we all just be nice and get along? Why does it matter how schools approach gender identity?

Pope Benedict answered those questions in December 2012. He said that when “sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of,” but instead is viewed as “a social role that we choose for ourselves,” human beings lose sight of “an essential aspect of what being human is all about.”

When “people dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” then they deny the truth that “male and female He created them.”

The implication, according to Benedict, is that man rejects God as Creator and loses the sense of his own dignity and value. “When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.” When human beings deny the truth about themselves, they deny the truth about God.

It’s bad enough that children in public school must learn in an environment that no longer recognizes God. But it’s even worse when that educational environment no longer recognizes basic truths about the human person. Catholics in the past have been able to opt-out of public school sexuality education classes; it’s impossible to opt-out from a pervasive culture based on a flawed anthropology.

So the question is: What will we, as a Church, do in response?

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See: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/youtube-video-celebrates-pope-francis/

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By Hillary Senour

St. Peter’s Square. Credit: Camille King (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Orlando, Fla., Mar 15, 2013 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News)
The unprecedented level of media devoted to the election of Pope Francis is a clear indicator of the importance of the Church today, a Catholic author and blogger reflected.

“The main thing that struck me is what I’d call the paradox of irrelevancy,” Brandon Vogt told CNA March 14, “which is the world saying the Church is irrelevant but then turning its attention to the Church.”

In the weeks leading up to Pope Francis’ election, Vogt noted that much of the commentary from the secular press focused on how “outdated” and “unimportant” the Church is, yet when it came time for the conclave “all heads turn towards Rome.”

“Before the conclave you have this great accusation of irrelevance,” he explained, “but, paradoxically, at the conclave you have the most relevant event to the entire world.”

“I think what it shows is that deep down,” Vogt said, “the secular world knows that the Church is relevant.”

The 26-year-old blogger is author of the acclaimed 2011 book, “The Church in the New Media,” whose work has been featured in NPR, FoxNews, EWTN, Our Sunday Visitor and National Review.

As news of the white smoke indicating the election of a new Pontiff broke, Vogt said he shocked by the reaction he saw not only from the secular media, but also from non-Catholic friends in social media.

Vogt, who converted to Catholicism five years ago, said he was surprised to see that even his Protestant friends shared in the “exhilaration and excitement” of the Catholic Church.

Even people in circles who would say that the Holy Father is “not important” or even “a spiritually dangerous figure” watched the results with the “same enthusiasm” as Catholics, Vogt said.

“I think that all people, Catholics and non-Catholics, ultimately sense the transcendence of this event,” he said. “They all know that something is going on that is bigger than us, that is bigger than America, that’s bigger than the secular media (and is) something beyond our control and understanding.”

Although the selection process of a new pontiff is “shut off from the world,” the “universality” of the Church was apparent in how the process brought “the world together as a community.”

In the past, people may have gathered to watch the announcement on television, but most likely one would have learned of the news via radio or newspaper and then discussed it days later with friends or family.

Click to deleteThis time, however, as soon as Pope Francis “stepped down to the balcony,” Vogt said, “friends and I were automatically exchanging pictures and articles and commentary.”

That kind of communication and interaction “has never happened before.”

Vogt said social media helped “echo” the universality of the Church as reaction to the first non-European Pope of the modern era flooded the internet.

Within the first hour of the Argentine’s pontificate, Vogt said he was able to witness celebrations all over Latin America, read commentary from authors throughout Europe and view pictures from Africa.

Taking the example of the conclave and election of Pope Francis, Vogt said that even if the public and the media does not, “understand that it’s God behind it” the attention is received shows that “they sense the majesty, the beauty, the brilliance (and) the tradition of something great.”

Bloggers Note: Habemus Papem, we have a new Pope. May our Lord have mercy on us and pray for the Chair of Peter.

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