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Challenging Children to Chastity
March 17, 2015

A Child Is Never a Burden
March 13, 2015

The stories of heroic mothers rarely appear on the nightly news, even when they include prominent figures like Genevieve Shaw Brown, Travel and Lifestyle Editor for ABC News.

Genevieve recently wrote about her infant son, William Michael Brown, who has Down syndrome. The Browns knew prior to his birth that he would be born with Down syndrome, and of those months leading up to his birth she writes, 

Still, the months that passed were anything but easy. I broke down in the bathroom at work. I had panic attacks in the night. I had accepted that my child would have Down syndrome, decided there was nothing in the world that could change my love for him. I had loved him from the moment I knew I was pregnant with him. Did I love him unconditionally? I did. But still. The pain was there.

William is now six months old, and Genevieve’s inspiring article about his presence in their lives is worth reading from beginning to end. Her closing words touched my heart in a very special way. She writes,

Yes, I think about Down syndrome often. Right now though, it doesn’t mean a lot. I take Will to see specialists to make sure he stays as healthy as he is today. He sees therapists weekly to be sure he meets each milestone. Of course I would take those extras away if I could, if only to have more time to relax. But being his advocate, being his caretaker, and being his appointment-maker is an honor.

As is being his mother.

And one day, when William reads this, he will know that there was a time I was very scared to be his mom. For that I will always be sorry. But he’ll also know that even though I was scared, my love for him was stronger than the fear. And that he has brought me nothing but pride and joy. And that I can’t wait to spend our life together, the four of us.

The message derived from heartfelt stories like this one is that providing unselfish love for another requires an awareness deep inside your heart that children are gifts, not problems. It reminds us that love that runs so deep and is so noble is the antithesis of what society would have us think. 

Through Genevieve’s agony and her joy we see once again that love does conquer all.

Yet her story is not unique. Laura Peredo, a writer for Live Action News, recalled the death of her brother Robert who had Down syndrome:  

Our society often shuns people like my brother Robert who don’t fit the cookie-cutter version of perfect. But it’s the unique qualities of each person that make our society thrive. These different qualities never make us worthy or unworthy of life. It’s just who we are. People who have Down syndrome are different from what our society views as “normal,” but inside, they’re just like you and me.

And then there’s Kurt Kondrich, a man who has devoted himself tirelessly to sharing stories of his beloved, adorable daughter Chloe, who has Down syndrome. He created a blog to tell her story and he writes commentaries for numerous publications and websites. His message to the world is simply that Down syndrome is not a curse, but a blessing.

In 2008, Kondrich started SADSIN (Stop Aborting Down Syndrome Individuals Now)—a ministry with a mission. Kurt explains: “When I became aware of the [more than] 90 percent abortion rate for children diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb, I literally could not sleep at night. . . . I have since embarked on a mission to make sure people are aware of this genocide. I want people to see the beautiful faces of our kids and realize the priceless blessings and gifts they are to a society that has lost focus.”

People like Genevieve, Laura, and Kurt help remind us that each individual from creation onward “is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of His presence, a trace of His glory.” Let them be shining examples to us all.

A child is never a burden!

The Vatican's Own Colonel Mustard
March 3, 2015

 

If you remember the game Clue, you will recall the twists and turns involved in solving the crime. Today we have a mystery equally as captivating and every bit as perplexing. But in the current case, we ask, “Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or was it Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary for the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican with sticky fingers?” We believe it was the latter, and here’s the case that led to the suspect being named.

Clue CardsSome months ago, Cardinal Raymond Burke, along with eight other distinguished Church leaders and theologians, authored a book that sets the record straight on the question of what the Church teaches regarding divorced and remarried Catholics and the reception of Holy Eucharist. The publication, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, was generally well received by those who were opposed to what a certain German cardinal, Walter Kasper, had proposed. Namely, the cardinal suggested “a change in the ‘pastoral practice’ about who can receive Communion.” Kasper opines, “To say we will not admit divorced and remarried people to Holy Communion? That’s not a dogma. That’s an application of a dogma in a concrete pastoral practice. This can be changed.” To further his argument, Kasper explained to the press that he and the Holy Father, Pope Francis, are on the same page and that ordinary folks agree with his preposterous proposition. He told the National Catholic Reporter: “If what people are doing and what the church is teaching, if there is an abyss, that doesn’t help the credibility of the church. . . . One has to change.”

Well, not so fast say Cardinal Raymond Burke and a host of other prelates who perceive the Kasper proposal as anything but just—not to mention not in accord with Catholic doctrine and tradition. In an interview, Burke commented on Kasper’s proposal to the synod fathers, saying, “It is profoundly sad and scandalous that such remarks were made by a cardinal of the Church. They are a further indication of the determination to manipulate the process of the synod to advance Cardinal Kasper’s false positions, even by means of racist remarks about a significant and highly respected part of the synod membership. That this incident has taken place, especially in the context of such an important event in the life of the Church, has deeply saddened me.”

Remaining in the Truth of Christ was published by Ignatius Press and subsequently distributed to, among others, the synod fathers. 

Or was it? 

According to Catholic Culture.org, “Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the editor of Ignatius Press, which published the American edition of the book, confirms that dozens of books were received by the Vatican City governorate, but never reached the prelates to whom they were addressed.” This story broke when Edward Pentin penned a news article exposing the case of the disappearing books in a NewsMax column last week. Two days later the Vatican issued a statement saying that the copies were indeed delivered.

Associated Press reporter Nicole Winfield offers her description of the whodunit: “The mystery underscores the divisiveness of the debate and the conspiracy theories that ran rampant during the synod, with accusations that meeting organizers were angling to favor a more progressive outcome. Such tensions will likely only rise before the second round of discussions starting in October.” 

So we are left wondering about the true facts in this matter. If we must compare the veracity of statements made by publisher Father Joseph Fessio with those of a Vatican press office that is so frequently inaccurate, well, whom would you believe?

The clues lead in one direction, and my suspicion is that the malefactor in this case is none other than Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who did it in the Vatican with sticky fingers. 

 

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Are You There?
February 27, 2015

 

Sometimes the news that surrounds us becomes so overwhelming that you just want to run away and go sit on a lush green hillside in County Mayo, Ireland. Everything is so peaceful there. The scenery is lovely to look at and free of the stench that is created by man as he looks for ways to insult God and His laws.

That stink is extremely prevalent in New York City these days, as the city is fast approaching its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade—an event once fit for the 100 percent Irish men and women like that city’s chief Catholic leader, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. But there is a fly in the ointment this year. It seems that the parade has been quite literally taken over by the activist homosexual rights community

You see, there used to be a ban on openly “gay” groups marching in that parade, but last September the ban was lifted. The New York Times reported, “The decision is a striking reflection of the evolution of gay rights in the city and in American society, and is a measure of changing attitudes in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.”

It’s that reference to the measure of changing attitudes among the hierarchy that got me right in the cranium as I had to ask myself: What? How could this be? Who in the hierarchy honestly thinks that the fundamental teaching of the Church on the practice of homosexual behavior has changed? Or could it be that the news report is wrong and the hierarchy is as strong as always on this fundamental moral teaching?

I always thought that the reason the gays were banned was specifically because they were blatant in their advocacy of a lifestyle the Church does not approve of—and never has and never will. So what’s up?

Well, apparently Cardinal Dolan, the Grand Marshall of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, has taken it upon himself to explain that the Church can be opposed to same-sex marriage and still embrace the individual homosexual person. Well, of course, the Church has always embraced such people, but never their practices, lifestyles, or public advocacy of what is clearly sinful.

And in this particular case, we are not talking about homosexual individuals quietly joining the ranks to march down the street, singing Irish ditties. We are talking about groups of gay rights activists including OUT@NBCUniversal. According to The New York Times, “The first group to march in next year’s parade under a gay banner will be OUT@NBCUniversal—a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employee resource group.” In other words OUT@NBCUniversal represents individuals who have joined together to advocate publicly as an organized force in support of homosexual lifestyles.

Cardinal Dolan, are you listening?

And that is not all. Other homosexual organizations will march under the Irish blessing in 2016 according to a report by Matthew Hennessey

Other gay groups will be “free to apply” to march in the parade under banners proclaiming their predilections.

The parade committee called its decision “a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics.” But the gay groups were not satisfied. The executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda called the announcement “disappointing and self-serving,” since the application and selection processes were not open to the public. Irish Queers has said, “There is no change. This is not progress. This is a farce.” The group continues to call on New York City mayor Bill de Blasio to forbid NYPD and FDNY officers to wear their uniforms while marching in what Irish Queers calls an “explicitly anti-gay parade.”

You see, even when the camel gets his nose under the tent he is not satisfied. Such creatures always want more and more.

Cardinal Dolan, are you listening?

We urge you, Cardinal Dolan, to immediately step down as Grand Marshall of this once genuinely Irish Catholic event, making it clear that the decision of the committee was indeed political and hurtful to those who uphold Catholic teaching and have been the mainstay of this parade for many years.

There is nothing less that the cardinal can do now. Well, yes there is. The cardinal can spend the day, March 17, 2015, sitting on a hill in County Mayo, Ireland. I will look for him there.

ACTION ITEM: 

Please sign the petition asking Cardinal Dolan to step down as Grand Marshall. 

Please pray for Cardinal Timothy Dolan and for our country. 

 

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Archbishop Cordileone and the Lost Sheep
February 24, 2015

 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has stepped out in faith and justice and in defense of Catholic high school students’ rights to be educated according to Catholic doctrine. His goal was perfectly enunciated to a recent gathering of Catholic high school teachers:  

In the end, our Catholic schools exist to help young people attain holiness in their lives, that is, to become saints. An outstanding career is not a sign of having reached or even drawn near to the goal. Holiness is extraordinary, but it is usually achieved in ordinary circumstances. The first place in which that happens is in the context of one’s vocation. Fidelity and perseverance in one’s vocation is a sign of growth in holiness.

CordileoneJust prior to giving this talk, Cordileone had revamped the faculty handbook for his archdiocesan teachers. Fox News reported: “The document states all administrators, faculty and staff, including non-Catholics, will be required to refrain from saying or doing anything publicly that contradicts Church doctrine.” That is a pretty consistent message. Once a prelate of the Catholic Church sets forth guidance with such clarity and love for truth it should follow that parents and students, not to mention teachers, should be elated and grateful that their shepherd is actually guiding them toward Christ and His will for them in their lives.

But not so fast!

On February 6, just days after the archbishop revamped the faculty handbook, a protest consisting of about 100 people was held outside the cathedral in San Francisco. Their point was to publicly voice disagreement with Archbishop Cordileone’s “move to require teachers at four Catholic high schools to lead their public lives inside the classroom and out in accordance with Church teachings on homosexuality, birth control and other hot-button issues.”

On Friday, February 13, the archbishop met with “hundreds of teachers” to answer their questions and to set the record straight. No media were allowed into this meeting, but someone who was in attendance recorded the whole thing. As a result, it is reported that Cordileone said, “A teacher could face punishment or dismissal for ‘escorting a woman into an abortion clinic, handing out contraception to students, or for being a member of a white supremacist group.’” 

Just four days later, certainly by no coincidence, eight of California’s legislators wrote a letter to Cordileone expressing their hope that the archbishop would withdraw the new guidelines for teachers. The Los Angeles Times reported, “The letter to Cordileone from five members of the Assembly and three state senators said the new conditions for employment at four high schools run by the archdiocese ‘conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve.’” In other words, the lawmakers were poking their collective finger in the archbishop’s eye suggesting that he had no authority to set standards for educators employed by the archdiocese to teach in accord with the guidelines established by their employer. The archbishop responded to the eight in a brilliant letter, closing with these words: “I respect your right to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you.” 

It is crystal clear that the archbishop intends to consistently defend Catholic teaching in matters of morality and otherwise regardless of the public outcry, including pressure from teachers’ unions and politicians. We praise God for that and we encourage you to do the same. Please communicate your gratitude to this brave shepherd, applauding his efforts to bring the lost sheep home to Christ.

Pray for Archbishop Cordileone

Communicate your gratitude to him directly:
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, CA 94109
Telephone: (415) 614-5500
E-mail: info@sfarchdiocese.org

Become familiar with his message on education that is commensurate with Catholic doctrine and pass it on.

BRAVO Archbishop Cordileone! We love you! We commend you and your fellow bishops who have over the past year acted likewise. These men include: 

Bishop Michael Barber, Diocese of Oakland, California

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio

Bishop Frederick Campbell, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio

Bishop Larry Silva, Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii 

Bishop Robert Vasa, Diocese of Santa Rosa, California