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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

Two Parents, Multiple Parents, Human Clones, Scientific Deceptions, and Nightmares!
February 20, 2015

 

Something absurd has been happening in Great Britain for the past five years or so. Researchers have been playing with human genes and cells to an extent that was known and understandable only to those familiar with professional research papers. But now the facts about the so-called “3-parent embryo” are out. And we should be concerned.

Scientists, in concert with media and bioethicists, have conveniently and simplistically labeled the strangeness I am going to tell you about as the creation of a 3-parent-embryo. But such simplicity borders on the bizarre and is, for all intents and purposes, an insult to one’s intelligence. Why? Because, depending on which technique is used, there could be even more than three parents for these poor human embryos! 

And such parental confusion wouldn’t stop there. You see, if one of these human embryonic children happened to survive, the genetic confusion1 created in the laboratory and contained in this single human being would pass down from him to future generations. This is so because scientists involved in this process manipulate the “science.” Sadly, the Brits at the bottom of this problem just carry on, most recently passing a bill in their House of Commons to allow this highly controversial research. If this bill is passed by the House of Lords, Great Britain would become the only country in the world to explicitly allow this inheritable genetic modification of humans. And the nightmare would commence on a fast track. 

But this controversial research is not news; in fact, more than 40 countries have already adopted laws to prohibit this research (as well as the human reproductive cloning that would be required), citing the lack of credible “science,” deep and enduring concerns about the health and safety of the women and children involved, violations of human dignity, and the horrific societal consequences that would follow. Further, the research violates so many international treaties2 that one wonders who is minding the intellectual integrity in these latest scientific exploits. 

The universal rejections of this research are for good reasons. The language being used—phrases like 3-parent embryo—is solely to sell this grossly unethical and scientifically incoherent research to the vulnerable public. Such language is just a euphemism for what is actually a collection of various kinds of genetic engineering used for purposes of human reproductive cloning3—practices rejected long ago as bogus. 

In other words, if the stupid public is disgusted with and rejects such forms of “cloning,” well, just call it something else—whatever works. In fact, all of these techniques fall under the definition of human “asexual reproduction,” vastly different from human “sexual reproduction” (fertilization/conception). 

American Life League is but one of a very few organizations attempting to make the facts known. Our concerns are very real and grave because we see the handwriting on the wall. We understand the end game. 

All of these machinations amount to biological4 eugenics—or at least sloppy incompetent efforts at it. For those unfamiliar with the word, eugenics is the effort to cleanse the human race of its imperfections. In this case, the process that would be used is replacement5 of a fully human being with a clone—a prototype of a human being without flaws. 

So much for Mother Nature.

It’s about time we asked the pivotal question: Perfection at what price? 

And it's long past time to stop the insanity in the laboratory and return to the natural design provided by God. God never makes a mistake; man can and is creating nightmares. 

Notes:

1. David King, Council for Responsible Genetics, “Manipulating Embryos, Manipulating Truth,” at http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=543; also, Stuart Newman, Council for Responsible Genetics, “Deceptive Labeling of Radical Embryo Construction Methods,” at http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/genewatch/GeneWatchPage.aspx?pageId=539 

2. The 2001 European Union Directive on clinical trials http://ec.europa.eu/health/files/eudralex/vol-1/dir_2001_20/dir_2001_20_en.pdf, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/HumanGenomeAndHumanRights.aspx, and the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/164.htm. It has even been rejected by our USFDA: “Litany of Unknowns Surface at FDA Meeting on Germline Mitochondrial Techniques,” at http://www.biopoliticaltimes.org/article.php?id=7573

3. E.g., nuclear transfer (both somatic cell and germ line cell), pronuclei transfer, spindle transfer, mitochondrial transfer, etc. 

4. As referenced above (see also extensive resources at http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=6527), what should be crystal clear to the public by now is that the “science” involved is abysmal and rejected by scientists, countries, and international organizations around the world. Such legislation requires no regulations or any follow up of the health and well-being of the women used or of the children born. Yet it is already well documented that such clones tend to die prematurely, exhibit enlarged organs and metabolic abnormalities, have chromosomal duplications, and that supposed “healthy” mitochondria that are damaged during the procedure affect the clone’s hearing, vision, pancreatic function, neuromuscular activity, etc. Further, to allow such research as “infertility treatments” is in fact allowing what is in reality purely experimental research to masquerade as “standard medical care” in IVF and ART facilities. Note also that all foreign genes used (including the “desired” genes, as well as any damaged natural genes, and those foreign genes from the bacterial or viral “vectors” used) will be passed down through the newly cloned human embryo’s future generations (called inheritable genetic modification of humans) and is irreversible.  

5. The supposed bottom line in and “justification” for this sort of research and experimentation offered to the public is that the germ line of the human individual’s cell structure is manipulated in a way that contributes to a cloned embryo who is disease free instead of a natural two-parent embryo that might have a genetic problem that requires special attention as the baby grows prior to as well as after birth http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/03/three_parent_embryos_mitochondrial_transfer_ivf_is_worth_pursuing.html. So in essence, they claim, the clone is the answer, or at least one answer, to the cry of some parents who want some assurance that their baby, if born alive, will be perfect, just as they have requested it to be.

Dr. Dianne Irving is a graduate of Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross with a degree in biochemistry and minors in philosophy and theology. She is a former career-appointed bench research biochemist and biologist at the National Institutes of Health (NCI), has done extensive graduate work in biology in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), and received her master’s and doctorate degrees in philosophy from the Department of Philosophy at Georgetown University—concentrating in both the history of philosophy and in bioethics (Kennedy Institute of Ethics). Her doctoral dissertation on human embryo research was entitled “A Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of the Nature of the Early Human Embryo.” Dr. Irving has published, lectured, and debated widely in academia, in the media, in pro-life, and in parishes on the topics of abortion, human embryo research, human cloning, stem cell research, genetic engineering, ethics in research using human subjects, and medical ethics—including issues concerning research with the mentally ill, and served as a consultant on these issues for many professional organizations.

 

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A Cold, Cold Heart
February 13, 2015

 

There ring in my childhood memory the songs of Hank Williams—songs my dad loved to listen to as he strummed his guitar. One in particular was a classic called “Cold, Cold Heart.” As I sit and think about it, I realize that those three words truly define the cultural attitudes of our day toward those in our midst who require care, unselfish love, and time.

One of the lines in Williams’ song asks: “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?” This line summarizes how I feel about the growing mentality among many who advocate for quick fixes to the overwhelming challenge of dealing with confronting the end of life.

Ice HeartMany cases come to our attention on a daily basis, including the story of California resident Victorino Noval—a 78-year-old man hospitalized with pneumonia. In spite of the fact that he was recovering, three of his four children “ordered hospital staff to terminate decedent’s treatment and administer fatal doses of morphine on May 7, 2010, causing his death that day.” 

We wonder if Noval’s $60 million in assets played a role in this decision.

Regardless, Noval had signed a durable power of attorney requiring the consent for treatment from all four of his children—not just the three who ordered his death. This case is now in the hands of the court system.

The tune plays on: “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?” 

Another case in California illustrates this coldness perfectly. A cancer patient and five physicians have filed a lawsuit protesting the ban on physician-assisted suicide in California. They argue that a person should have the right to end his own life. The impetus behind this case is the same situation faced by Brittany Maynard, who was a terminally ill California resident intent on taking her own life with a doctor’s helping hand. Because of the ban in California, Maynard moved to Oregon where physician-assisted suicide is legal, and where she did eventually enlist a physician to assist her in taking her own life. 

In the current case, the 53-year-old cancer patient, Christie White, states, “I do not want to have to leave my husband, my family, and my friends and move to Oregon.” A Washington Times article further explains that, “if her leukemia returns, she will have limited medical options and wants the choice of being able to die peacefully in her home state of California.”

The lawsuit claims that California’s ban on physician-assisted suicide violates the state constitution’s guarantee of privacy, equal protection, due process, and freedom of speech.

Such a disturbing argument is the same as saying that helping someone take his own life—an act of suicide—is merely an affirmation of the constitutional rights of the person seeking help in committing suicide.

Nonsense? Of course! Because killing one’s self, or helping another person do it, is a wrong, not a right! 

The lyrics grow louder in my mind: “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?” 

In Canada, where the nation’s Supreme Court has recently ruled that physician-assisted suicide is legal, Cardinal Thomas Collins, archbishop of Toronto, has spoken out against the ruling saying that the decision takes physicians out of their role as “servants of healing” and makes them instead “agents of death.” What has happened to “First, do no harm”?

In each of these cases the common thread is the same—a clear disdain for those whose lives are perceived as difficult, burdensome, or otherwise problematic. 

The lyrics build to a crescendo: “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart?” 

Melting an icy heart requires recognition that the dignity of every human being is paramount. It requires an understanding that there is no limit to the sacrifices others will make out of love for the one who is ill, who fears dying, or who is simply lonely and afraid. 

So we ask ourselves: How can we more effectively touch the stone-cold hearts of those who choose not to see because they are blinded by the world’s whims and cruelty? What can we do in our daily lives to relieve the suffering of others?

The solution to the problem resides in our ability to respond to a “doubtful mind” by being living witnesses to the truth that the love of Christ is a guaranteed way to melt those cold cold hearts. 

 

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Bringing Abortion out of the Closet?
February 10, 2015

 

Planned Parenthood executives never cease to amaze me with their rhetoric, their lies, and their unashamed enthusiasm for aborting babies. Just recently I was once again astounded after reading Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson’s guest commentary in a local newspaper.

Johnson is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. Her message to newspaper readers is one of celebratory recognition of the 42nd anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decisions on abortion and her new goal of “bringing abortion out of the closet.”

What set me on my ear, though, were the bold-faced deceptions that she used to make the case that women need to man up and start talking about their abortions with pride and without apology because, she claims, “one in three women in America will have an abortion before she is 40 years old.”

Apparently sharing stories about their abortions is something more and more mothers of aborted children have been doing over the past year. Johnson mentions, among others, the 1 in 3 campaign, which defines itself as a project of Advocates for Youth with the mission of ending “the stigma and shame women are made to feel about abortion. As we share our stories we begin to build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic health care.”

And that, my friend, is where I finally blew a gasket and knew something had to be said that definitively exposes the tragedy of such utter insanity.

Let’s start with this. Abortion is not “basic health care,” no matter how many times its advocates may repeat that claim. As a matter of fact, the act of abortion takes the life of someone who will never know what it’s like to even attempt to acquire health care online from a muddled Obamacare website or otherwise. This is so because that someone will be dead.

Yes, that’s right. Abortion kills a human being—an individual whose singular identity as a member of the human family is discernable in his very own DNA when he is but a single cell in size.

The act of abortion is marketed in America by organizations like Planned Parenthood because motherhood is summarily degraded and denied in deference to the so-called right to choose abortion. 

Let’s tell a story about that one.

Johnson tells readers that when these women who have had abortions tell their stories, they are giving others a gift by “allowing them to see that conflicting emotion—and lack thereof—are both common experiences.” 

Of course such stories are not from those who have ached in their very souls upon realizing that the abortion they obtained took the life of their own child. God forbid!

The Planned Parenthood version of compassion and empathy gives no quarter to such pain and anguish. Admitting the truth is, after all, bad for business.

Johnson says that, for Planned Parenthood, “abortion is a small but important part of our practice.” But again the truth is that Planned Parenthood makes huge amounts of money on abortions, as well as smaller amounts on various forms of contraception that also can and do abort children. 

According to a July 2014 report by the Guttmacher Institute, the median price paid for a 10-week surgical abortion was $495 and the cost of a medical abortion (abortion pill) was $500. Yet, Planned Parenthood states on its website that it charges as much as $800 for the abortion pill and a whopping $1,500 for a first trimester abortion

Since Planned Parenthood admits to doing 327,653 abortions in 2013, this means it took in excess of $200 million from its abortion business—hardly the “small part” of its practice that it would like the public to believe.

Perhaps the real reason Planned Parenthood wants to take the stigma away from abortion is because its abortion business has declined by 1.8 percent since 2011. That small change resulted in a $4 million loss of income. 

Johnson closes her piece with a comment about how the telling of abortion stories is helping to put abortion in “clear focus.” But she refuses to acknowledge the fact that there are three people involved in a pregnancy: a mother, a father who is helpless to exercise his rights, and their child. 

Her rhetoric makes it easier to avoid the fact that what she is really telling readers is that expectant mothers who choose to abort their babies need affirmation that it’s okay to be the mother of a dead child instead of a living child who would be born nine months after his life began.

Ms. Johnson, could it be that some of us have gone so far into the depths of brutal acts toward the most vulnerable in our midst that we refuse to see the truth?

It is now time to bring love out of the closet. 

 

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