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PLEASE PRAY FREQUENTLY FOR THE SAFTEY OF OUR HOLY FATHER by Nic Haros, FBA, Administrator

Pope Frances ISISPLEASE PRAY FREQUENTLY FOR THE SAFTEY OF OUR HOLY FATHER

Just days before his scheduled visit to the Muslim-majority nation of Albania, Pope Francis is told he may be in the crosshairs of assassins from the Islamic State. Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican warns of “credible threats” against the life of the 77-year-old pontiff.

Sadly, His Holiness is as obvious a target of ISIS Ideology as much as the World Trade Center and Pentagon have been.

nic haros,
Admin, FacebookApostles.org

Informing Catholic Consciences: Compiled by the Diocese of Trenton

Informing Catholic Consciences

Bishop O'Connell October 21, 2013
Informing Catholic Consciences.pdf

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in the United States does not endorse any candidate for political office whatsoever and does not endorse any political party. In its 2007 statement “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) states that “we bish­ops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote” but, rather, “to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth (paragraph 7).” The bishops continue, “In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation (paragraph 13).” Neither the USCCB nor the Diocese of Trenton provide, present or endorse a “voters’ guide” or a “scorecard of issues” with directions on how to vote. In an effort to help Catholics form and inform their consciences, however, we do attempt to present Catholic teaching on moral and social issues to the faithful clearly and consistently in ac­cordance with the Gospel and the Church’s rich tradition regarding matters of faith and morals. Although by no means exhaustive, the following summary briefly attempts to do that.

Abortion, Euthanasia and Life Issues: RCC teaches unqualified and absolute support for all human life in all its stages from conception to natural death. RCC considers abortion and euthanasia grave moral evils (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraphs 2270 through 2283).

Death Penalty: RCC teaches that “at the heart of the Catholic teaching on the death penalty is the belief that ‘human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end (CCC, paragraph 2258).’” In paragraphs 2266 and 2267, CCC goes on to teach that

The State’s effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender (CCC, paragraph 2266).

The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor. “If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’”[John Paul II, encycli­cal Evangelium Vitae, paragraph 56.] (CCC, paragraph 2267). Continue reading

Be “Obsessive” in the Pro-Life Cause by Fr. George W. Rutler

St Michael's Church


October 13
, 2013
by Fr. George W. Rutler

There was a time — and perhaps with improvements in our schools that time will come again — when schoolboys memorized, among other famous classical lines, the expression: “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.” It was the exasperated call, in the second-century B.C. Senate of the Roman Republic, for the conquest of Carthage in what is now Tunisia. “Furthermore, I say that Carthage must be destroyed.” The senator Cato the Elder ended each of his speeches that way, so that it became an inside joke, and his fellow senators chanted it along with him as a kind of ritual.

Churchill said that a fanatic “is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” In David Copperfield, the gently simple-minded Mr. Dick was obsessed with writing about the head of King Charles, and “King Charles’ Head” has since become a cipher for all sorts of monomania. But Cato was not a futile fanatic, and his obsession was vindicated, albeit some three years after his death, when the heart of the North African empire was indeed destroyed, in flames for days.

Various studies of keys to success in assorted enterprises agree that constant devotion to one goal is crucial. Thomas Edison experimented repeatedly to find the right material for an incandescent light bulb and finally discovered the properties of a carbon filament only after trying hundreds of other materials, including human hair. Was he obsessive? He called it “stick-to-it-iveness” and said that genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. “Keep your eyes on the prize,” in the words of a folk song. On a loftier plane, the Savior said: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

InfantThere are those who would stifle the Pro-Life cause by calling it a single-issue obsession. Few would say that about the Abolition movement or the struggle against child labor, even though such worthy causes did attract a fair share of distempered monomaniacs. But slaves and children have to be born first, and so the protection of life from conception must rank first among all dedications of philanthropy.

Blessed John Paul II once submitted to an interview with the respected journalist Vittorio Messori, who asked him if he was perhaps “obsessive” in his preaching against abortion. The Holy Father replied: “The legalization of the termination of pregnancy is none other than the authorization given to an adult, with the approval of an established law, to take the lives of children yet unborn and thus incapable of defending themselves. It is difficult to imagine a more unjust situation, and it is very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience — the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.”

Our New Albigensian Age by Stephen M. Krason

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

Our New Albigensian Age

by Stephen M. Krason

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Ruins of Holyrood Chapel (1824) by Louis Daguerre

***

In an old (1950) monograph entitled The Truth about the Inquisition, Dr. John A. O’Brien, a Notre Dame history professor of the time, provides a brief but interesting exposé of the Albigensian heresy. Few people recall that that almost maniacal rebellion against Catholic teaching and, for that matter, commonsensical and civilized living was the trigger for the much-misunderstood Inquisition. O’Brien’s discussion makes one think of many aspects of our current civilizational crisis, even though the comparison could not have been so evident in 1950.

The Albigensians, or Catharists, were neo-Manicheans, regarding material creation as an evil and viewing all of existence as a conflict between evil matter and good spirit—but O’Brien says it was much more. Like all Gnostics, of which Manicheanism was a branch, they believed themselves to be the only “pure” ones and the only ones to have the truth. They were certainly a forerunner of Protestantism and even more specifically of the most ardent of contemporary fundamentalists, with their complete rejection of the Real Presence, transubstantiation, the Eucharist, and the Mass, and their belief that the pope was the Antichrist. Their teaching and practice, however, had enormous implications for marriage, sexual morality, and social and political life.

The parallels to the present are almost uncanny. While hatred for the Church is nothing new, the visceral character of the Albigensians’ hatred bears a resemblance to the ugliest side of the Reformation and today’s assaults on religion. For example, O’Brien tells us how the Albigensians were known for indiscriminately chopping down crosses and stamping on them. In America today, we see the relentless efforts by rabid, uncompromising church-state separationist groups to remove all religious symbols from public places and the heightened vandalism of crosses and other Christian monuments.

The sexual libertinism, views about marriage, and feminism of our time resemble the Albigensian heresy. While the Albigensians considered sex an “inherent evil,” it seems as if it was not so much sex per se that they rejected but the proper context for it. They utterly rejected marriage, mostly because it meant bringing children into the world. Pregnancy for them was diabolical. Their confusion about sexual matters made them believe that marriage was worse than fornication and adultery. In our time, people don’t quite make this claim, but marriage has become irrelevant as the condition for engaging in sexual activity and no judgment is made about the morality of almost any sexual practices. For many, particularly in lower socioeconomic status groups, marriage almost seems obsolete; children are routinely born out-of-wedlock. Others, particularly among the affluent, enter marriage—or what is called that—but have no intention of bearing children. While people may not proclaim pregnancy as evil, they act is if it is in our contracepting age. As O’Brien says, for the Albigensians even perversion was preferable to marriage. In our time, we witness the celebration of sexual perversion as a good thing—as “LGBT pride.” While the Albigensians wanted to abolish marriage, we have transformed it into something that they would have lauded: an association devoid of procreative intent or even, in the case of same-sex “marriage,” capability. As far as traditional, true marriage is concerned, we increasingly give it no special support or even recognition as uniquely important for society. We say that people are free to choose what “version” of it they prefer—and be officially “affirmed” in their choice.

So the Albigensians, who so rejected sex as part of their disdain for the material world and supposedly in the interest of spiritual purity, actually opened the door to sexual debauchery and the corruption of both body and soul. This was typical of Manicheans historically. Some would become extreme ascetics, and others utter hedonists.

Contemporary feminism has a ring of the Albigensian. Instead of equality in marriage, it effectively placed women in a dominant position. As O’Brien explains, since pregnancy was despised married women who were converted to Albigensianism unilaterally abrogated their husbands’ marital rights and consigned them to “an enforced celibacy.” It was considered “sinful and degrading” to even touch a woman (even if innocently and in a pure way). This almost rings of the extremes to which sexual harassment has gone in our day. It makes one think of the anti-male ethos in the statements of some of today’s feminists. The female dominance was further seen in that a religious punishment of fasting for inter-gender touching could only be imposed on a man, even if the woman did the touching.

Today, abortion seems to have become a positive good for ardent feminists and their fellow-travelers. It’s much like the Albigensians, for whom O’Brien says “abortion was highly to be commended.”

The Albigensians anticipated today’s assault on human life in other areas, as well. Believing that the seriously ill would gain eternal bliss if they did not recover their health, they encouraged them to commit suicide. In fact, they practiced assisted suicide. The assisted suicide advocates of today are different only in that their methods are (usually) more technologically sophisticated. The Albigensians either suffocated or starved the person. Today’s practice in medical facilities of hastening death by withholding nutrition and hydration was what they did—except it took place in the person’s home. Like today, the person was supposedly given a choice: they gave him a choice of these two methods of death, today people sign living wills. Either way, the supposed choice is no real choice. In both eras, there is a coercive backstop. The Albigensian leaders forbade the sick person’s family from feeding him, or would forcibly remove him from his home if they weren’t “reliable.” In our day, family members may make a choice for death even if the patient didn’t want it or, increasingly, the medical authorities do it even when it’s against the patient’s or the family’s wishes.

The present era, prodded along by the likes of Peter Singer, pushes more and more toward post-partum infanticide. Even on this, the Albigensians were a precursor. They insisted upon—even enforced—among their followers the starvation of very sick children. To make sure their parents didn’t lose their nerve, the sect leaders frequently visited their homes to monitor them. So, the Albigensians also anticipated our era’s undermining of parental rights. Continue reading

Justice Jennine Blasts Obama’s Handling of the Middle East

http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/2013/09/08/judge-jeanine-pirro-explodes-on-obama-over-syria/

Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Share Martin Luther King’s Dream, It Follows Sanger’s

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Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Share Martin Luther King’s Dream, It Follows Sanger’s

by Jimmie Hollis | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/27/13 10:43 AM

 

Parenthood participation or support in any celebration, march or rally honoring Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. is not only insulting, but a slap in the face of this great man, a smear on his dream that all life is precious, and worse of all, Planned Parenthood has the blood of millions of murdered babies, mostly black, on their hands and foreheads.

Lets look at Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Louise (Higgins) Sanger. She is considered the “mother” of the birth control movement in America by establishing various health clinics. Her efforts would eventually lead to today’s Planned Parenthood. All of her work in the area of birth control was during a very contentious and racially charged time in America, dating from the Reconstruction Era well into the ‘50s. Some of her thoughts and beliefs reflected the attitudes of the time concerning Negroes, and she made decisions and assertions that many have construed as racists.


I have studied the life and history of the Planned Parenthood founder for many years reading accounts and reports by those who admire and support her as someone who did not have a racist bone in her body. Other reports and studies reflect just the opposite citing her endeavors as purposely racist as demonstrated by her work on her “Negro Project” and from quotes in her letters that she penned on the subject of birth control and the Negro.

For myself, I am in the latter camp of thinking, but arguments can be made about the following:

1. Sanger said her concern for controlling births of Negroes was more about the economic consequences that their uncontrolled and prolific births presented to the nation’s economy especially in the South as they (Negroes) were the poorest and less educated. They were also the least desirable, like human weeds, having negative effect on the South’s economy as they multiplied. (Smith College, The Margaret Sanger Papers)

2.  Others say that the purpose of her Negro Project was to infiltrate the black community by presenting birth control as a “health option” for women to kill off black babies to reduce black population. In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble, Mrs. Sanger stated, “We should hire three or four colored ministers to sell the Negro Project because they would be well received by the black population. We do not want the word to get out to blacks that we want to exterminate them. The Negro ministers could stop those kind of thoughts by any of their more rebellious members.” (The National Black Prolife Union)

3. Sanger wrote that she was helping Negroes to control their birth rate, reduce their high infant and maternal death rate, and to maintain better health standards. In other words giving Negroes the opportunity to help themselves. (Black Americans for Life)

4. Yet the patriarchal racism of the times guided many of the social policies regarding the fear of an exploding black underclass rather than promoting the health and sexual liberation of black women. Sanger and many of her friends and partners exhibited strong racist sentiments, some of them arguing for and even carrying out compulsory sterilization only on black women because they were considered to be low intelligence, behaviorally deviant and therefore not capable of choosing not to control their fertility. (Margaret Sanger Papers)

There is strong argument on the side of those who think of Sanger as a racist who had dubious intentions toward Negroes given the times in which she lived. The Reconstruction period after the Civil War increased hatred and racial division. Most whites were not sympathetic to blacks and looked upon them in an unfavorable light. Not even white women in the South at that time were given concerted health attention from local and state clinics. Given that, it is hard to believe that Sanger and her people would focus on the best interest of black women fresh out of slavery.

Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety. How can the ‘dream’ survive if we murder the children? Every baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother and she should decide his or her fate.” (Alveda King Papers).

LifeNews Note: Jimmie Hollis is a resident of Millville, New Jersey.

 

Women Who Lose Unborn Children in Miscarriage Need Love, Support

 Who Lose Unborn Children in Miscarriage Need Love, Support

by Fr. Frank Pavone | New York, NY | LifeNews.com | 6/10/11 7:06 PM

Miscarriage is a tragedy that so many people misunderstand. They are not quite sure how to console a friend or relative who has suffered this loss.  The wound comes from well-meaning people. “Well, it wasn’t that far along.” “You can always have another child.” “Lots of people go through this.”  Miscarriage is a tragedy that so many people misunderstand. They are not quite sure how to console a friend or relative who has suffered this loss.

While there are no magic formulas, there is one fundamental truth that needs to stay front and center: a miscarriage is the loss of a child who is just as real and has just as much value as any other child of any age. A woman who has a miscarriage is a parent who has lost a child, as is the father of the child as well.

In a society which continues to have a legal and cultural blind spot for the unborn, many suffer from the illusion that miscarriage doesn’t grieve a parent as much as the loss of, well, a “real child.” And that is precisely what hurts so much. We can never console someone in grief if we imply, even remotely, that the person they lost wasn’t real.

Dr. Byron Calhoun, President of the American Association of Pro-life Ob-Gyns, has observed that prior to 1970, the loss of a child before or during birth was often treated in medical literature as a “non-event,” but that now there is a growing awareness of the grief associated with such loss. In fact, Dr. Calhoun has developed a hospice program for unborn children.

As the medical community advances in sensitivity and understanding of these points, so must we all. Our love, our compassion, our sharing in the grief of such losses, can bring healing to the parents who have suffered miscarriage. The naming of these children who have died is one significant way of acknowledging their reality. The counting of these children matters too, so that if a parent is asked how many children he/she has, the child who died before birth is counted as one of them.

I recall the first pro-life billboard that we set up in 1990 here in our community of Staten Island, New York. It depicted a developing unborn child. One of the first phone calls I received about it was from a woman who had lost a child by miscarriage. “I can’t tell you how consoling your billboard is to me. Thank you.” That was all she said.

Perhaps the reason it was consoling was that someone was saying publicly what she knew privately: that was a real child. The life of that child matters, no matter how short it was. The death of that child matters, no matter how many may not cry. And the love I have for that child matters, even if nobody else knows.

Lord, comfort all parents who grieve the loss of their children of any age. Take them into Your loving arms, and give us strength until the day You give them back to us in heaven. Amen.

LifeNews.com Note: Father Frank Pavone is the national director of Priests for Life.

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