Deliverance – Help of Archangels

Via CRISIS magazine Telling the Truth about islam

Via CRISIS magazine Telling the Truth about Islam by Regis Martin

#Albuquerque & Beyond–Take It From a Real Doctor–#Vote4

VIA SUSAN B ANTHONY Contact Congress

Stop the Abortion Secrecy Clause: Tell your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act

Tell them to reverse the secrecy clause and co-sponsor Rep. Chris Smith’s legislation

.Featured alert image

Take Immediate Action: Tell your elected Representatives to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Tell them to end taxpayer funded abortions and protect conscience rights in any upcoming must-pass legislation

Featured alert image

Tell your Senator to End Late-Term Abortion

Tell them they must act to end gruesome late-term abortions by introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Featured alert image

Call your Senator: Stop the Gosnells, End Late-Term Abortion

Tell them they must act to end gruesome late-term abortions by introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Featured alert image

Call your Elected Officials: Enact Religious Liberty and Conscience Legislation Immediately

Tell them that conscience protections must be included in must-pass legislation

Featured alert image

Contact your Elected Officials: Enact Religious Liberty and Conscience Legislation Immediately

Tell them that comprehensive conscience protections must be included in must-pass legislation

Policy Tools

Albuquerque – Breaking Bad City Breaking for the Good – Vote

If you live in Albuquerque you know all the fuss over Breaking Bad with all its ramifications and reflection on the reputation of our beloved city.  Did you know our beloved Albuquerque has more than drugs besmirching its image, and the image isn’t actually an image but the truth. We are Albuquerque, NM- Late-Term Abortion Capital: New Mexico Is The Wild, Wild, West As Far As Abortion Is Concerned…No Regulations & Anything Goes!”

Albuquerque, NM- Late-Term Abortion Capital: New Mexico Is The Wild, Wild, West As Far As Abortion Is Concerned…No Regulations & Anything Goes!

Live in ABQ? Vote!

Know anyone who lives in ABQ, urge them to vote “Yes” in their special election. Your voice, email, facetime call, text message can be a witness for Life and save thousands of lives.

Time for a change? Time for a change!!! Vote “YES” now in the special election.

VIA SUSAN B ANTHONY Contact Congress

Stop the Abortion Secrecy Clause: Tell your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act

Tell them to reverse the secrecy clause and co-sponsor Rep. Chris Smith’s legislation

.Featured alert image

Take Immediate Action: Tell your elected Representatives to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Tell them to end taxpayer funded abortions and protect conscience rights in any upcoming must-pass legislation

Featured alert image

Tell your Senator to End Late-Term Abortion

Tell them they must act to end gruesome late-term abortions by introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Featured alert image

Call your Senator: Stop the Gosnells, End Late-Term Abortion

Tell them they must act to end gruesome late-term abortions by introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Featured alert image

Call your Elected Officials: Enact Religious Liberty and Conscience Legislation Immediately

Tell them that conscience protections must be included in must-pass legislation

Featured alert image

Contact your Elected Officials: Enact Religious Liberty and Conscience Legislation Immediately

Tell them that comprehensive conscience protections must be included in must-pass legislation

Policy Tools

“O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity”–St. Augustine

From the Confessions of Saint Augustine, bishop

O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity

Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No, it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things; and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as heaven is above the earth. This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light.

O Eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me.”

I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you.
But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever. He was calling me and saying: I am the way of truth, I am the life. He was offering the food which I lacked the strength to take, the food he had mingled with our flesh. For the Word became flesh, that your wisdom, by which you created all things, might provide milk for us children.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace

Religious Liberty–Archbishop Aquila

Support the archbishop in his efforts to uphold religious liberty.

“I think there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate the significance of the election for the Church’s activity in this country, and also the significance of this election for Catholics in this country,”  said J.D. Flynn, chancellor of the Denver archdiocese.

In his letter, Archbishop Aquila emphasized religious freedom as a foundational American value.

“Our founding fathers understood that without these freedoms, especially religious liberty, our democratic experiment would fail,” he wrote.

However, religious liberty faces “an unprecedented threat” from the Health and Human Services mandate, which “undermines the promise of the First Amendment,” Archbishop Aquila said.

The Obama administration’s contraception mandate requires employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their beliefs.

It has drawn nearly 40 lawsuits by more than 110 plaintiffs since its announcement earlier this year.

“No one should ever be forced to choose between integrity and charity, or to violate their conscience in business,” the archbishop said.

All Things Are Made New

From a discourse by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop

The old has passed away, all things are made new

The fulfillment of the law is Christ himself, who does not so much lead us away from the letter as lift us up to its spirit. For the law’s consummation was this, that the very lawgiver accomplished his work and changed letter into spirit, summing everything up in himself and, though subject to the law, living by grace. He subordinated the law, yet harmoniously united grace with it, not confusing the distinctive characteristics of the one with the other, but effecting the transition in a way most fitting for God. He changed whatever was burdensome, servile and oppressive into what is light and liberating, so that we should be enslaved no longer under the elemental spirits of the world, as the Apostle says, nor held fast as bondservants under the letter of the law.

This is the highest, all-embracing benefit that Christ has bestowed on us. This is the revelation of the mystery, this is the emptying out of the divine nature, the union of God and man, and the deification of the manhood that was assumed. This radiant and manifest coming of God to men most certainly needed a joyful prelude to introduce the great gift of salvation to us. The present festival, the birth of the Mother of God, is the prelude, while the final act is the fore-ordained union of the Word with flesh. Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages.

Justly, then, do we celebrate this mystery since it signifies for us a double grace. We are led toward the truth, and we are led away from our condition of slavery to the letter of the law. How can this be? Darkness yields before the coming of the light, and grace exchanges legalism for freedom. But midway between the two stands today’s mystery, at the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality, and the old is replaced by the new.

Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day. Let there be one common festival for saints in heaven and men on earth. Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.

Fortnight For Freedom

A call to prayer for our great nation by our bishops has gone forth.  Now it is for the people to pray.

H/T  USCCB

 

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

New Song

Love and praise hold hands.
Happy hearts rejoice.
Song rises from the multitude,
As lives lived in faith believing.

The Just sing with their being,
Resplendent and resounding love.
Praise embodied in saintly flesh.

New song, New Day,
New creation,
In harmony with Heaven
A symphony of faithful, forgiven witness.

Alleluia.

Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved

A Flower Rises from the Root of Jesse

From a treatise On the Hail Mary by Baldwin of Canterbury, bishop

A flower rises from the root of Jesse

Every day we devoutly greet the most Blessed Virgin Mary with the angel’s greeting and we usually add: Blessed is the fruit of your womb. After she was greeted by the Virgin, Elizabeth added this phrase as if she were echoing the salutation of the angel: Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. This is the fruit of which Isaiah spoke: On that day the shoot of the Lord shall be splendid and radiant–the sublime fruit of earth. What is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, the seed of Abraham, the shoot of the Lord, the flower arising from the root of Jesse, the fruit of life, whom we have shared?

Blessed surely in seed and blessed in the shoot, blessed in the flower, blessed in the gift, finally blessed in thanksgiving and praise, Christ, the seed of Abraham, was brought forth from the seed of David into the flesh.

He alone among men is found perfected in every good quality, for the Spirit was given to him without measure so that he alone could fulfill all justice. For his justice is sufficient for all nations, according to Scriptures. As the earth brings forth its buds, and as the garden germinates its own seed, so the Lord God shall bring forth justice and praise before all the nations. For this is the shoot of justice, which the flower of glory adorns with its blessings when it has grown. But how great is this glory? How can anyone think of anything more glorious, or rather, how can anyone conceive of this at all? For the flower rises from the root of Jesse. You ask: “How far?” Surely it rises even to the highest place, because Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. His magnificence is elevated above the heavens so that he, the issue of the Lord, is splendid and glorious, the sublime fruit of the earth.

But what is our benefit from this fruit? What other than the fruit of blessing from the blessed fruit? From this seed, this shoot, this flower, surely the fruit of blessing comes forth. It has come even to us; first as a seed it is planted through the grace of pardon, then germinated with the increase of perfection, and finally it flowers in the hope or the attainment of glory. For the fruit was blessed by God, and in God, so that God may be glorified through it. For us, too, the fruit was blessed, so that blessed by God we may be glorified in him through the promise spoken to Abraham. God made the fruit a blessing for all nations.

Copyright Joann Nelander 2011

All rights reserved

Beyond a ‘Tea and Cookies’ Dialogue With Islam by National Catholic Reporter

Beyond a ‘tea and cookies’ dialogue with Islam | National Catholic Reporter.

by John L Allen Jr

ROME — Given the setting of the Middle East, Christians are compelled to pursue dialogue with the vast Muslim majority; in fact, it would be virtually impossible to avoid.

Several participants at the Oct. 10-24 Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, however, seem eager to push that dialogue beyond a “tea and cookies” stage, where the point is merely being polite to one another, into blunt talk about religious freedom, democracy, and what one speaker described as “satanic plans by fundamental extremist groups” to extinguish Christianity in the region.

While it’s not clear what real impact either the local churches of the Middle East or Catholicism generally can have on those fronts, there appears to be a strong feeling in the synod that it’s time to lay things on the line.

One such call came from Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, a Greek-Melkite prelate in the United States.

“On one hand and in principle, the assertion of tolerance is clear in the Koran,” Bustros said. “On the other hand, and in fact, the laws of all the Arab countries, except for Lebanon where one is allowed to change religion, threaten death to all Muslims who convert to another religion.”

Mincing no words, Bustros added, “We ask here: where can tolerance be found?”

“The first principle of all societies is the equality of all citizens before the law,” Bustros said. “The respect for the conscience of each individual is the sign of the recognition of the dignity of the human being.”

Chaldean Archbishop Thomas Meram of Iran was equally candid.

“The Christian hears every day from loudspeakers, television, newspapers and magazines that he is an infidel, and he is treated as a second-class citizen,” Meram said.

Those words seemed to have a special resonance in light of a presentation to the synod by Ayatollah Sayed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, who claimed that “in most Islamic countries, notably Iran, as it has been stipulated also by law, Christians live side by side and in peace with their Muslim brothers.”

Despite the pressures he described, Meram said that Christians “stand firm and solid and … become more courageous and proud of their faith.”

Maronite Bishop Paul-Emile Saadé of Lebanon said that accelerating migration out of the Middle East is robbing the Christian community of its “brains and specialized personnel,” violating their right to build a future.

“Their homeland is the land of their ancestors,” Saadé said, adding a clinching sound-bite: “The homeland is not a hotel.”

In that light, Saadé, it’s critical for Christians to engage moderate Muslims and encourage them “to stand firmly against fanatical extremist religious movements.”

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, also delivered a blunt diagnosis.

“The churches and minority religions in the Middle East must not be subject to discrimination, violence, defamatory propaganda (anti-Christian), the denial of building permits for places of worship and the organization of public functions,” he said.

Turkson told NCR Friday morning that when he spoke about building permits, he was partly thinking of a situation in Egypt where a Coptic church is crumbling but local political authorities have so far refused to issue permits for repairs. Turkson said that it seems as if there’s a deliberate policy to allow the church, and eventually its faithful, to disappear.

Turkson also took on a resolution of the United Nations on “Defamation of Religions,” which decries words or actions perceived as attacks on a religion, and which has been backed by Islamic nations. Some Christian activists have criticized the resolution as a not-so-subtle way of criminalizing Christian missionary efforts and of defending the controversial “blasphemy laws” in some Islamic states.

“Promotion of the resolution against the Defamation of Religions in the framework of the United Nations should not limit itself to Islam, or ‘Islamophobia, in the Western world,” Turkson said. “It should include Christianity, or ‘Christianophobia,’in the Islamic world.”

“We can also promote the adoption, again within the UN framework, of a resolution on religious freedom as an alternative to the resolution on the defamation of religions,” Turkson said.

Fr. Raymond Moussalli, an official of the Chaldean patriarchate in Jordan, said that Christians in Iraq are under attack – and he describeditt in unstinting terms.

“There is a deliberate campaign to drive Christians out of the country,” Moussalli said. “There are satanic plans by fundamental extremist groups that are not only against Iraqi Christians in Iraq, but Christians throughout the Middle East.”

Moussalli pled for global outrage.

“We want to make the international community aware that it cannot remain silent in the face of the massacre of Christians in Iraq, the countries with the Catholic tradition, so that they might do something for Iraqi Christians, beginning with placing pressure on local government,” he said.

Perhaps the most emotional speech of the day came Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir, Turkey, who is also struggling to lead the small Catholic community in Anatolia after its own bishop, Italian Capuchin Luigi Padovese, was murdered in June by his longtime driver. Though the driver’s motives remain murky, many have speculated that he came under the influence of extremist groups.

Franceschini said the “organizers” of the killing are now spreading “intolerable slander,” likely a reference to claims initially voiced by police sources in Turkey that Padovese had subjected his driver to homosexual abuse. Those claims have been strongly denied by church personnel in Turkey.

“The survival of the Church of Anatoly is at risk,” Franceschini said, “and this is a situation in which I ask you, gravely and urgently, to participate.”

Franceschini openly described “a dark plot of complicity between ultra-nationalists and religious fanatics, experts in schemes of tension,” which is targeting the Christian presence.

Turkson said that the Catholic church may not be able to directly influence either the political realities in the Middle East or internal debates within Islam, but it can, and must, speak out, because the situation is too dire for diplomatic silence.

Certainly yesterday at the Synod of Bishops, that seemed to be the spirit of things.

Update: Cause for Joy – What's New

You are invited!

March 27th,2010 Vigil 10am  – Mass 12noon

That the Servant of God, Alphonse Gallegos,

an Augustinian Recollect and Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, California,

may ever remain close to his beloved flock,

and they can constantly ask his intercession,

his mortal remains will be transferred to a new tomb

at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe,

711 T Street, Sacramento, California,

on Saturday, March 27, 2010

after a solemn concelebrated Mass

to be presided by his Excellency Bishop Jaime Soto at 12 midday.

The vigil will start at 10:00 in the morning. The faithful are cordially invited to attend

this sacred occasion and to pray that the day may come

when this devoted son of Our Lady of Guadalupe

may be raised to the altars among the blessed and saints.

Life – Not An Abstraction!

Threat to Charitable Mission of the Church

It’s Friday in the first week of Lent, a time for prayer, fasting and alms-giving. It is also a time for reflection.

Alexis de Tocqueville:

“I do not know whether all [American citizens] have faith in their religions—for who can read the bottom of men’s hearts? But I am certain that they believe religion to be necessary for the preservation of republican institutions. This is not the opinion of one class of citizens or one party but of the nation as a whole. One encounters it among people of every rank.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput writing in First Things , “A Charitable Endeavor” shares some new and disturbing experiences and observations of “a new and belligerent kind of secularism” which flies in the face of American cultural tradition.

Historically, Americans have been—and remain—a religious people. They have found it quite normal for religious charities, including Catholic ones, to make use of public monies in serving the poor, the homeless, and other needy populations. This arrangement has worked well for everybody. Government gets skilled, cost-effective, and compassionate help in meeting social needs. The Church gets funds for her works of love demanded by faith in Jesus Christ.

But Americans have always known that the Church’s charitable purposes are religiously inspired, not merely humanitarian. They’ve also understood that the Church is an independent partner in helping the government to meet its charitable goals. She is not an arm of the government. She is not a private contractor on the state payroll. The tax exemptions offered by the state to religious charities to help their work are not a gift or a display of kindness by civil authority. They are nakedly practical. Religious charities typically do better social-service work than government agencies and at lower cost.

Chaput notes in an interview with Dr.R.R.Reno of Spirit Catholic Radio out of Omaha Nebraska, that in the tradition of our country the has been a friendly cooperation between Church and State in matters of charitable works and giving. This “new hostility toward religious identity is a symptom of bigotry on the part of secularists (who) want to keep us from being who we are, if were going to share the work of the State.”

The United States is an historical oddity. Unlike the nations of modern Europe, America was not founded on the basis of territorial, cultural, ethnic, or confessional concerns. America is what the Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray called “a proposition country,” built on a set of moral claims about God, the human person, the meaning of life, and the purpose of society. These propositions, in turn, emerged from the Judeo–Christian values and vocabulary of America’s first settlers and founders.

America’s founding documents are thus a mix of commonsense realism and transcendent idealism. God is named as “Creator” and “Supreme Judge” over individuals and governments. The human person is said to be endowed with God-given, and therefore inalienable, rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The purpose of government is clearly defined and sharply limited: to help secure and defend these basic rights for its citizens.

The American proposition envisions the self-rule of a free people living under a limited government. Civil authority governs with the people’s consent and in accord with the natural law and natural rights established by “Nature’s God.” The people’s freedom is not a moral license. Rather, it is the liberty and duty to pursue the good. The American ideal resembles Lord Acton’s famous definition of freedom: “not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

Chaput describes the intrusions he experiences in his ministry as Archbishop of Denver, CO. State law-makers have given difficulty to the Church in such areas as adoption, on the issue of the meaning of marriage and legislatures have tried to tailor legislation to dictate the hiring protocol of leaders to such organizations as Catholic Charities and other like organizations.

Consider two recent cases. The first comes from direct pastoral experience. Recently, the Colorado state assembly proposed a bill that would have forced every charitable group receiving state money to comply with a set of “antidiscrimination” laws. That may sound harmless. It may even seem reasonable. But in practice the law would have stripped the Church of any control over the people she hires. Because the proposed law banned “discrimination” on the basis of religion, the Church could easily have been forced to hire non-Catholics or people who publicly reject Catholic teaching—even for key leadership positions.

The implications for Catholics were obvious. The right to define our mission as a Church and to select the people who can best transmit Catholic beliefs and values is at the heart of our religious freedom. No Catholic ministry can ensure its identity if its leaders and staffers cannot be required to be Catholic. Colorado Catholics argued this case forcefully in the state legislature, and the bill was tabled. It never came to a vote. But the issue is by no means dead. And this bad legislation reflected a trend we now see elsewhere. Public officials increasingly push social agendas hostile to religious faith, even at the cost of denying rights historically guaranteed to religious groups.

Here’s a second case. In Boston, the local archdiocese ran one of the nation’s oldest, most respected adoption agencies. Nonetheless, the Church was forced to shut down her adoption ministry. Why? Because the state demanded that the Church begin placing orphans for adoption with homosexual couples—a demand that violates Catholic moral beliefs that children have the right to grow up in a stable family with a married mother and father. Boston’s archbishop, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, sought a conscience clause to exempt the Church from the requirement. State lawmakers refused. The result was the end of more than a century of excellent child-adoption services to the general public.

This case embodied the “grave inconsistency” that Benedict XVI writes about in his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. A small social subgroup—for example, active homosexuals and supporters of homosexual-related issues—demands that the government defend their right to a controversial lifestyle, a right that is “alleged, . . . arbitrary, and nonessential in nature,” as Benedict puts it. To meet this demand and promote this ambiguous right, public officials attack the “elementary and basic rights” of defenseless children without parents.

Archbishop Chaput poignantly points out

“Government cannot love. It has no soul and no heart. The greatest danger of the modern secularist state is this: In the name of humanity, under the banner of serving human needs and easing human suffering, it ultimately, ironically—and too often tragically— lacks humanity. As Benedict foresees in his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est:”

The state which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a state that regulates and controls everything, but a state that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: She is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something that often is even more necessary than material support.”

Finally Chaput states that it really is a small group of people relentlessly pursuing these changes and the Archbishop laments that we in the Church have allowed the marketplace to be taken by these forces. We need to harness the same energy for doing good and building society in response to Christ as they for a God-free society.

In the face of modern critics who would crowd out the Church’s ministry of love, American Catholics must reclaim the vision Benedict speaks of here. We need to insist on the guarantees promised by the founders at the beginning of the American proposition: autonomy and noninterference from civil authorities.

But a more important task also remains. Catholics must come to a new zeal for that proposition, a new faithfulness to their own Catholic identity as they live their citizenship, and a new dedication to renewing the great public philosophy implicit in America’s founding documents.

Patrick Kennedy Called to Order

As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops continues to lobby forcefully against including federal financing for abortion in the health care legislation, Bishop Tobin, takes the fight of the City of God to the world of the day-to-day and the politics that mask secular world views with phony compassion and outright attempts to blind the faithful with fancy verbal confusion and misrepresentation. We have all seen it and know it well.  Finally, a clarion call to fidelity and truth!

Bishop Thomas Tobin’s public rebuke of Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy continues to speak with Church authority and honest discretion, no mealy-mouthed kowtowing here:

Abby Goodnough of the New York Times writes:

Bishop Tobin stepped up his public rebuke of Mr. Kennedy, accusing him Wednesday of “false advertising” for describing himself as a Catholic and saying he should not receive holy communion because he supports using taxpayer money for abortions.

“If you freely choose to be a Catholic, it means you believe certain things, you do certain things,” Bishop Tobin said on WPRO, a Providence radio station. “If you cannot do all that in conscience, then you should perhaps feel free to go somewhere else.”

Notre Dame- "Intellectual Vanity"- Archbishop Chaput

Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame – “Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church.”


“I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.”
~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability. This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good — insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action. It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics. Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it.

These are hard words, but they’re deserved precisely because of Father Jenkins’ own remarks on May 17: Until now, American Catholics have indeed had “a special expectation, a special hope for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.” For many faithful Catholics – and not just a “small but vocal group” described with such inexcusable disdain and ignorance in journals like Time magazine — that changed Sunday.

The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though. Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the “Catholic” case for “pro-choice” public service. At the time, Cuomo’s speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning. In retrospect, it’s clearly adroit. It’s also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses. Father Jenkins’ explanations, and President Obama’s honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education. Together, they’ve given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be “Catholic” in the public square.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has suggested that Notre Dame “didn’t understand” what it means to be Catholic before these events began. He’s correct, and Notre Dame is hardly alone in its institutional confusion. That’s the heart of the matter. Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church, and now seeks to ride out the criticism by treating it as an expression of fringe anger. But the damage remains, and Notre Dame’s critics are right. The most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institutions claiming to be “Catholic” actually live the faith with courage and consistency. If that happens, Notre Dame’s failure may yet do some unintended good.

Read Catholic Online for Deacon Keith Fournier’s  take on Archbishop Chaput: ‘Notre Dame, the Issues that Remain’

St. Athanasius – Bishop of Alexandria – Church Father

St. Athanasius is a favorite “all time tough guy” of Fr. Jeff Wharton.  Fr. Jeff comments that Athanasius lived in a time of errant teaching among priest and bishops and didn’t flinch in defending the Son as “homo-ousios” (meaning “of the same substance, or nature, or essence”) with the Father.  The term, itself, is one that grew out of the Council of Nicea to clarify the Church’s understanding of the Nature of Son as one with the Father. St Athanasius was to spend his life defending the full deity of Christ against emperors, magistrates, bishops, and theologians; James Kiefer explains that for this, he was regarded as a trouble-maker and banished from Alexandria a total of five times by various emperors. Hence the expression “Athanasius contra mundum,” or, “Athanasius against the world.”

James E. Kiefer writes of St. Athanasius:

Outside the pages of the New Testament itself, Athanasius is probably the man to whom we chiefly owe the preservation of the Christian faith. He was born around AD 298, and lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the chief center of learning of the Roman Empire.

In 313 the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which changed Christianity from a persecuted to an officially favored religion. About six years later, a presbyter (elder, priest) Arius of Alexandria began to teach concerning the Word of God (John 1:1) that “God begat him, and before he was begotten, he did not exist.” Athanasius was at that time a newly ordained deacon, secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and a member of his household. His reply to Arius was that the begetting, or uttering, of the Word by the Father is an eternal relation between Them, and not a temporal event. Arius was condemned by the bishops of Egypt (with the exceptions of Secundus of Ptolemais and Theonas of Marmorica), and went to Nicomedia, from which he wrote letters to bishops throughout the world, stating his position.

The Emperor Constantine undertook to resolve the dispute by calling a council of bishops from all over the Christian world. This council met in Nicea, just across the straits from what is now Istanbul, in the year 325, and consisted of 317 bishops. Athanasius accompanied his bishop to the council, and became recognized as a chief spokesman for the view that the Son was fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

Those were tumultuous times, the bishops gathered by Constantine were men who lived through the persecutions of the time and bore the scars of living martyrdom in testimony to their faith. Can you imagine their meeting one another in one great hall after their years of torture, lonely exile and torment suffered for the defense of  the Faith?

Athanasius is the perfect model for our day.  As best I can remember, Fr. Wharton said, “So much is not right in this world.  Let it lead us to a zeal for the work and Word of God.”  We, too, can bring Truth to the fore with love, leaving off anger that distresses our balance and prayer, that the Holy Spirit may use us mightily, doing great things even in little ways.

American Catholics Need to Get Real

Sorry, if this is too much Chaput for you, but the man/bishop has a message America and American Catholics need to hear.  I intend to follow his lead and spread the message.

“Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”

Offering a sober evaluation of the state of American Catholicism, he added:

“We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to ‘personally oppose’ some homicidal evil — but then allowing it to be legal at the same time.”

Commenting on society’s attitude towards Catholic beliefs, Archbishop Chaput said, “we have to make ourselves stupid to believe some of the things American Catholics are now expected to accept.”

“There’s nothing more empty-headed in a pluralist democracy than telling citizens to keep quiet about their beliefs. A healthy democracy requires exactly the opposite.”

Chaput Moving Catholics To Action

What’s in a word?  Archbishop Chaput will tell you:

Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput delivered a speech on Saturday reflecting on the significance of the November 2008 election. Warning that media “narratives” should not obscure truth, he blamed the indifference and complacency of many U.S. Catholics for the country’s failures on abortion, poverty and immigration issues.

He also advised Catholics to “master the language of popular culture” and to refuse to be afraid, saying “fear is the disease of our age.”

What Separation of Church and State" Does Not Mean

Archbishop Charles J, Chaput, speaking in Toronto -excerpt:

The “separation of Church and state” does not mean — and it can never mean — separating our Catholic faith from our public witness, our political choices and our political actions. That kind of separation would require Christians to deny who we are; to repudiate Jesus when he commands us to be “leaven in the world” and to “make disciples of all nations.” That kind of radical separation steals the moral content of a society. It’s the equivalent of telling a married man that he can’t act married in public. Of course, he can certainly do that, but he won’t stay married.


Even more recent Chaput from the Anchoress

America Historically Is Not A Secular State

More Archbishop Charles J. Chaput from his speech in Toronto.  He is speaking as an American, a Catholic and a bishop about “Rending Unto Casaer”

Excerpt from speech:

Here’s the second point, and it’s a place where the Canadian and American experiences may diverge. America is not a secular state. As historian Paul Johnson once said, America was “born Protestant.” It has uniquely and deeply religious roots. Obviously it has no established Church, and it has non-sectarian public institutions. It also has plenty of room for both believers and non-believers. But the United States was never intended to be a “secular” country in the radical modern sense. Nearly all the Founders were either Christian or at least religion-friendly. And all of our public institutions and all of our ideas about the human person are based in a religiously shaped vocabulary. So if we cut God out of our public life, we also cut the foundation out from under our national ideals.

Here’s the third point. We need to be very forceful in clarifying what the words in our political vocabulary really mean. Words are important because they shape our thinking, and our thinking drives our actions. When we subvert the meaning of words like “the common good” or “conscience” or “community” or “family,” we undermine the language that sustains our thinking about the law. Dishonest language leads to dishonest debate and bad laws.

Here’s an example. We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square — peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation.

Here’s the fourth point. When Jesus tells the Pharisees and Herodians in the Gospel of Matthew (22:21) to “render unto the Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s,” he sets the framework for how we should think about religion and the state even today. Caesar does have rights. We owe civil authority our respect and appropriate obedience. But that obedience is limited by what belongs to God. Caesar is not God. Only God is God, and the state is subordinate and accountable to God for its treatment of human persons, all of whom were created by God. Our job as believers is to figure out what things belong to Caesar, and what things belong to God — and then put those things in right order in our own lives, and in our relations with others.

So having said all this, what does a book like “Render Unto Caesar” mean, in practice, for each of us as individual Catholics? It means that we each have a duty to study and grow in our faith, guided by the teaching of the Church. It also means that we have a duty to be politically engaged. Why? Because politics is the exercise of power, and the use of power always has moral content and human consequences.

Even more recent Chaput from the Anchoress



American Consumer Culture – A Powerful Narcotic

I’m hoping that our present crisis will encourage  thinking.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput speaking in Toronto:

Obviously, I’ll be speaking tonight as an American, a Catholic and a bishop — though not necessarily in that order. Some of what I say may not be useful to a Canadian audience, especially those who aren’t Catholic. But I do believe that the heart of the Catholic political vocation remains the same for every believer in every country. The details of our political life change from nation to nation. But the mission of public Christian discipleship remains the same, because we all share the same baptism.

I’ve learned from experience, though, that Henry Ford was right when he said that “Two percent of the people think; three percent think they think, and 95 percent would rather die than think.

Ford had a pretty dark view of humanity, which I don’t share. Most of the people I meet as a pastor have the brains and the talent to live very fulfilling lives. But Ford was right in one unintended way: American consumer culture is a very powerful narcotic. Moral reasoning can be hard, and TV is a great painkiller. This has political implications. Real freedom demands an ability to think, and a great deal of modern life — not just in the United States, but all over the developed world — seems deliberately designed to discourage that. So talking about God and Caesar, even if it wakes up just one Christian mind in an audience, is always worth the effort.

I think the message of “Render Unto Caesar” can be condensed into a few basic points.Here’s the first point. For many years, studies have shown that Americans have a very poor sense of history. That’s very dangerous, because as Thucydides and Machiavelli and Thomas Jefferson have all said, history matters. It matters because the past shapes the present, and the present shapes the future. If Catholics don’t know history, and especially their own history as Catholics, then somebody else — and usually somebody not very friendly — will create their history for them.

Let me put it another way. A man with amnesia has no future and no present because he can’t remember his past. The past is a man’s anchor in experience and reality. Without it, he may as well be floating in space. In like manner, if we Catholics don’t remember and defend our religious history as a believing people, nobody else will, and then we won’t have a future because we won’t have a past. If we don’t know how the Church worked with or struggled against political rulers in the past, then we can’t think clearly about the relations between Church and state today.

Even more recent Chaput from the Anchoress

The Family of a Saint-To-Be Celebrates St. Joseph's Day

March 19th is the Solemnity of St. Joseph.  It is the Saint that will once again be the center of attention for the Gallegos Family.  According to Senaida Kane, the sister of  Bishop Alphonse Gallego, this year’s celebration marks the 75th year that  the family will gather in his honor.  This tradition was established by Joseph and Caciana Gallegos as they called their family together  to pray the Rosary in veneration of the great St. Joseph.

One member of the family will be looking on from the heavenly heights, no doubt. He is Bishop Alphonse Gallegos Member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, California, whose cause for beatification and canonization was introduced to the Vatican in Rome in November, 2006.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Bishops Speak Loudly for Christ -Clearly for the Church

Some thoughts apart from the daily news:

Bishops of the Church: focusing on their duty to lead the People of God.

A bishop is not just one voice among many, or even one important voice among others.  In his diocese, he is the unique leader of the Faithful.  For Christians, the bishop’s voice speaks with clarity for Christ. It is important to note that even a body of bishops serving the church such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) do not speak with the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese.

These are days of darkness and times of confusion. In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to more voices than we can stand. Exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle. For this reason,  we need the Church more than ever.  We need the Church to speak over and above the world. This is a time of vigilance and a time to choose sides.  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for self-serving arrogance or pettiness.  We need our bishops and we need our bishops to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers of the Church write:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

These days are so troubling and leadership so wanting that I make so bold as to suggest that those of other Christian persuasions would do well in days yet to come to give Peter, the Bishop of Rome, an ear.  Beyond our failures, beyond our broken unity, beyond prejudice is Christ breathing His Spirit upon His Apostles, upon His Church, upon His Body.

Bishops, Unity, Church, and Vigilance

Who wants to separate us from our bishops?

Reading the Church Fathers for Lent has been eye opening in the light of present day attacks on the Church, such as the State of Connecticut attempt hitting the wires here and here.

The battle plan against the Church is evermore visible above the horizon, although it has been on the rise for a long time out of sight and mind of many.  Divide and conquer! No big surprise.  I think we feel all too safe having our Constitution to protect us.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Archbishop Chaput writes in response to the Connecticut attack:

“But prejudice against the Catholic Church has a long pedigree in the United States. And rarely has belligerence toward the Church been so perfectly and nakedly captured as in Connecticut’s pending Senate Bill 1098, which, in the words of Hartford’s Archbishop Henry Mansell, ‘directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.’”

“In effect, SB 1098 would give the state of Connecticut the power to forcibly reorganize the internal civil life of the Catholic community. This is bad public policy in every sense: imprudent; unjust; dismissive of First Amendment concerns, and contemptuous of the right of the Catholic Church to be who she is as a public entity,” the archbishop criticized.

I want to focus on the role of the bishop in the Church.  He is not just one voice among many.  For Christians, he is the voice speaking with clarity for Christ.  In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to the voice speaking loudest in our heads, and exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle.  Time to refocus!  Time to be vigilant!  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for pettiness or self-serving arrogance.  We need our bishops and our bishops need to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers say:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

Note for our Christian brothers and sisters outside the Roman Church:

Responding to the Connecticut Bill, Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut writes:

“We need as big a turnout as possible for the public hearing on Wednesday, especially from non-Catholics. As Ben Franklin told the Founders while they were signing the Declaration of Independence, “either we hang together or we will all hang separately.” Legislators need to understand that this bill is an attack on everyone’s religious liberty.”

If the legislature can replace a bishop with a board of laymen in the Catholic Church, they can just as easily replace the governing lay structure of Congregationalist or Baptist churches with someone set up as a bishop. In fact, it was resistance to such government interference in the internal life of the church that gave birth to several of our most historic denominations. Thanks to this awful bill, our generation must now rise up to defend those hard-fought victories for religious liberty that were won for us by our ancestors.

The Anchoress waiting on the Remnant writes:

The Remnant is much deeper than any movement, and it will surface on its own – full of surprising and surprised people – in due time, when it must, and that may be soon, but neither you nor I know the day or hour. The thing about remnants is that they identify themselves after a carpet has been laid or a robe has been cut, not before.

Remnants do not stop a construct from happening…they survive it.

Exhaustive list of Catholic bishops condemning voting for pro-aborts here.

From the Anchoress UPDATE: “Well, a reprieve of sorts. Seems
“The bill is dead for the rest of the legislative session. As soon as word spread about the bill, the Legislative Office Building was flooded with telephone calls and e-mails on Monday. The bill, virtually overnight, became the hottest issue at the state Capitol.”
. (H/T Ace) That’s good. But it’s still on the way – next year, year after that, because as Ed Morrissey writes: They’re embarrassed, but they still haven’t learned why.”

“This battle is going to happen. Bank on it.”

Marana, tha

Maran atha


Unity,Hope,Change – Truth & Conscience

It been two weeks since Archbishop Chaput’s addressed over 700 participants on the campus of the University of Toronto at St. Basil’s Church.  The Archbishop urged Catholics to live out their faith in the public square.  He sounded a warning saying that in the United States Catholics “needed be on guard against “a spirit of adulation bordering on servility” that exists towards the Obama administration.  Of President Obama, he said, “There’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change”

“I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth — which means candor.”

That Catholics voted for Obama despite his stand on life issues proved  Chaput’s point that  the “Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years.” In his book, “Rend Unto Caesar” Archbishop Chaput traces the Catholic struggle to be accepted in the United States, which was formed mainly by Protestants.  President John F. Kennedy ushered in a coming of age of Catholic respectability.  What will that acceptance cost us, if, for it’s sake, we lose our sense of duty, our will, and our nerve to be outspokenly Catholic?

I have a friend who said her father taught her that she needed three things to be happy: “a wish bone, a funny bone and a back bone.”  I think our catholic back bone is being tried, but if we are found wanting, there will be no happily ever after in America.

Cause for Joy

Bishop Alphonse Gallegos Member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento, California, whose cause for beatification and canonization was introduced to the Vatican in Rome in November, 2006.

Prayer

God our Father in Bishop Alphonse, you gave a light to your faithful people.  You made him a pastor of the Church to feed your sheep with his word and to teach them by his example.  We pray that his life of holiness and service to the People of God be acknowledged and that this loyal son of Our Lady of Guadalupe be counted among the saints of your Kingdom.  We ask this blessing through Christ our Lord.  Amen

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Update on Cause

To communicate favors received at the intercession of Bishop Gallegos and contribute to his Cause of Canonization please contact:

Augustinian Recollects

Provincial Residence

29 Ridgeway Avenue

West Orange, NJ 07052

augustinianrecollects.org

Obama Silencing the Voice of Conscience

Obama silencing the voice of conscience? Not!

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Matt 22L 21, Mark 12: 17, Luke 20: 25

When something is repeated in the Gospel as this is by three Evangelists, it means this is supremely important.  Of course, when you don’t like what the Gospel says, you simply leave the Church or come up with a version of church that makes you the Magisterium.  In other words, you become the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Convenience, but not conscience!

Repealing this rule is, of course, one more issue of conscience vs. having none.

Here’s the NY Times report:

The rule prohibits recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or assist in abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Its supporters included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association, which represents Catholic hospitals.

Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican minority leader in the House, said, “This is the third action taken by Washington Democrats in the past 38 days to weaken American rules that are meant to safeguard the sanctity of human life.”

“The “separation of Church and state” does not mean – and it can never mean – separating our Catholic faith from our public witness, our political choices and our political actions.  That kind of separation would require Christians to deny who we are; to repudiate Jesus when he commands us to be “leaven in the world” and to “make disciples of all nations.”  That kind of radical separation steals the moral content of a society.  It’s the equivalent of telling a married man that he can’t act married in public.  Of course, he can certainly do that, but he won’t stay married for long.”

Ordination Ceremony – Prostration & Litany of the Saints

Kiss of Peace

From the Ordination of Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neill Steenson