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I Love A Good Surprise!

I love a good surprise, don't you?

I love a good rumor, don't you?

I especially love a good rumor about a good surprise.

Verbum Patris sums up.

Various blogs and news agencies have been reporting on ‘well informed sources’ who say that the Holy Father will unveil a ‘good surprise’ to the Catholic world during this years Holy Week celebrations.

Originally mentioned at Catholic Sector, suggestions on the likely surprise range from the return of the Sedia Gestatoria, to the end of Communion in the hand and even the beatification of Pope John Paul II. Me thinks some may be loosing the run of themselves. Other sources say that Easter Mass at the Vatican may be celebrated Ad Orientem, but all Mass at the Vatican are celebrated ‘towards the East’ as St Peter’s faces east.

The Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated by the Holy Father, possibly on Holy Thursday is the rumour that seems to have most weight behind it, but even this seems impossible at the present, but who knows?

Personally, as it is the Year for Priests and the announcement is to be made (supposedly) on Holy Thursday, I would imagine it has something to do with a document that the Vatican has been preparing on the formation of Priests and Religious. But I’m only guessing, I suppose we will just have to wait until Holy Week to find out, and pray until then that whatever the surprise is, it will be for benefit of the Church and give glory to God.
Over at Rorate, speculation runs rampant alternating between the plausible and fanciful. New Catholic speculates on whether the Pope may retract the indult allowing communion in the hand. I wish, but I don't think that is likely. In the combox, our old friend Mr. Perkins thinks it may be the restoration of faculties for the priests of the S.S.P.X. Also unlikely but more likely than retraction of the indult.

So forgive me if I play Catholic bookmaker and give odds on the current speculation.

Ending Communion in the hand. 50:1
Return of the Sedia Gestatoria 3:1
Pope to Celebrate using Extraordinary Form 6:1
Beatification of Pope John Paul II 10:1
Beatification of Pope Pius XII 20:1
Restoration of SSPX faculties 8:1
Release of new document on priests5:1
Consecration of Russia by name. 1000:1

My money, especially given the recent attack on the Pope, is on the Pope pimping his ride--the return of the Sedia Gestatoria.

What are your thoughts?


Well done and point made!

CFV 426 - Avatar/Pocahontas Mashup FINAL VERSION from Randy Szuch on Vimeo.

ht Hotair

A Prayer from the Living

This is truly life affirming beautiful writing by Doctor Zero at Hot Air. Check it out:

The body of actor Andrew Koenig was found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park yesterday. His father, Walter Koenig, said that his son “took his own life, and was in a lot of pain.” Like most of my generation, I grew up with Walter Koenig as Chekhov on Star Trek, and he played a superb villain much later, on Babylon 5. Until his press conference yesterday, I didn’t realize he was a man of such incredible strength and dignity. He asked for his family to be left in peace to mourn their loss. I hope he won’t mind if I take this sad occasion to address others who might be following the road that ended in Stanley Park for Andrew. No matter how far you have gone down that road, there is always a path that leads away. I could offer no greater tribute to Andrew and his family than trying to help you take it, or at least see it.

Check out Hot Air for the rest. It's truly beautiful.

Aww. The Church of Dawkins First Schism

The First Evangelical Church of the Atheistic Promulgation of Richard Dawkins is having its first schism. Awwww. Isn't that so cute. And guess what, poor widdle Dawkins doesn't like to be called names. Poor thing. The Times Online reports:

Richard Dawkins is accustomed to provoking the wrath of religious communities, but now a schism seems to have opened up within the atheist community who make up his fan-base.

The split occurred after he announced that a discussion section on his website, considered one of the busiest online atheist forums, would in future be tightly moderated and “irrelevant postings and frivolous gossip” would no longer be allowed.

The change was scheduled for next month but such was the torrent of abuse after the announcement that the forum had to be locked down, deepening the rift between Professor Dawkins and his 85,000 online fans.

Writing on RichardDawkins.net yesterday, in a posting entitled “Outrage”, he said that there was “something rotten” in internet culture and pledged to rid his website of its abusive element.

“Imagine seeing your face described by an anonymous poster, as ‘a slack-jawed turd-in-the-mouth mug’,” he wrote. “Surely there has to be something wrong with people who can resort to such over-the-top language, overreacting so spectacularly to something so trivial.

“Even some of those with more temperate language are responding to the proposed changes in a way that is little short of hysterical.”
Awww. Poor Dawkins. Some big bad bully atheist calling sweety-kins a mean name. Don't listen to them Richie. Hey, you know what it's kinda' like though. It's like when Dawkins hysterically called the Pope a stupid murderer. Remember Dawkins said:
"The Pope is either stupid, ignorant or dim. If people take his words seriously he will be responsible for the deaths of thousands, perhaps millions of people."
Kind of ironic that Dawkins doesn't like to be called names, huh?

The best part is that Dawkins' followers are shocked...shocked I tell you...to discover that Dawkins sometimes paints with a bit of a broad brush. Because the atheist forum has been closed, his minions and even some website moderators have taken to other forums to denounce Dawkins' tactics.
“A lot of people have lost respect for Dawkins after this, although I do still support the work that he does,” said Peter Harrison, a former moderator.

“Thousands of loyal, intelligent, rational forum members have been misrepresented as a bunch of foul-mouthed, vitriolic thugs by the man who so inspired them.”

Another former fan said: “It may sound ridiculous to those not involved with online communities, but I feel hurt and displaced. It was like coming home to find the locks have been changed. My respect for Richard’s work is still intact but my respect for him as a person is in tatters.”

So from now on, all those freethinkers shouldn't be so free anymore, I guess. He said, “The forum is going to be more tightly controlled and will be under more central control. So it won’t be available for anyone who wants to sound off freely."

Who is Dawkins to silence atheists? Who is he to put limits on people who voluntarily join his club? Next he'll be telling them they have to be celibate or something.

So, in short, an atheist is complaining there's no uniform standard of decency. Hey, chin up Richie and remember:
Sticks and stones may break your bones
But nothing really matters anyway.

Best Metaphors for Obamacare Summit

These are the best video metaphors I could find for the Obamacare Summit yesterday. Mad hat tip to Viral Footage which must work crazy hours traveling the interwebs to find so many funny and weird videos.

EMBED-Failed Frisbee Catch - Watch more free videos

Dumb Soldier Fails At Grenade Throwing - Watch more Funny Videos

I know we had this one up recently but it really is a perfect metaphor.
HT Break.com

Start watching around the one minute mark.

HT Viral Footage

Philly Abortionist Speaks

Dr. Kermit Baron Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist, whose clinic was shut down after a drug investigation discovered "deplorable" conditions including blood on the floor and over a dozen fetuses in jars, is speaking out and insisting he's a good person.

Cause, you know, that's what good people do. Damage women, kill babies, and keep trophies.

In the video, Gosnell says he hasn't heard of people dissatisfied with his work. What? The guy's had two women die because of his botched abortions. And there's been over 40 lawsuits against this guy, according to news reports.

I cringed when he says: "If you're not making mistakes you're not really attempting to do something." Yeah, that's a great mantra for a doctor. Gives great comfort.

Now, remind you he didn't answer questions about why he was keeping babies in jars around the clinic or why there was blood all over the floor. He just wanted to let you know he's a good person and he's really enjoying his time off due to his suspension.

For more on Dr. Gosnell's awful history check out this story.

The Truth and The Lie About Abortion

The Truth:

The Lie:

I just don't see how Nancy Pelosi could possibly continue lying about this when the funding of abortion is pretty much the entire reason this awful bill can't pass. How stupid do they think we are? Wait. Don't anwer that.

Doug Johnson of National Right to Life wrote:

Speaker Pelosi has her own idiosyncratic dictionary, one in which federal agencies can pay for abortion on demand without spending “public funds” or “taxpayer funds” for abortion. In ordinary English, however, this is deceptive claptrap.

Kathleen McKinley at Right Wing News said:
Every version of the health-care bill has contained multiple pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for abortion, except for the version that was fixed by adoption of the Stupak-Pitts amendment. But Obama and Reid kept that provision out of the Senate bill. It had been used to get Stupak and other pro life Democrats (I love typing that..pro-life Democrats- music to my ears ) votes in the House, but then quickly dropped to satisfy abortion lobby. The final bill is the most pro-abortion piece of legislation since Roe v. Wade. It would result in direct federal funding of abortion through Community Health Centers, tax subsidies for private plans that cover abortion, and pro-abortion federal administrative mandates. When Obama said that no federal funds would be used to fund abortion, he was either flat out lying or he changed his mind. He should admit that now.

I think that the Democrats have had the media in their pocket for so long that they've believed that they can lie with impugnity and never get called on it. But it's our job as bloggers and new media types to continue getting the word out that the people are being lied to.

The Most Influential Theologians In The World

Matt speaking here:Marcel from Mary's Aggies will be guest posting here once a week for the next month. We're happy to have him here. It'll be nice to have someone smart to speak with at the CMR Editorial Meetings.

Before I get to my topic at hand, I want to apologize for ruining the quality of writing on CMR. Patrick and Matthew must either be really desperate to find someone to guest blog or they decided to have a hack like me make a contribution just to remind their readers how much you take their writing for granted. Suffice it to say, I am humbled by their offer to guest blog.

Now, back to work.

I have been thinking lately of which theologians have influenced me most through my years. So, here is my top 20 list:

20 – Fulton Sheen

19 – John of the Cross

18 – Ignatius of Antioch

17 – Peter Kreeft

16 – Louis Bouyer

15 – John Henry Cardinal Newman

14 – Romano Guardini

13 – Richard John Neuhaus

12 – Dom Hubert von Zeller

11 – Augustine

10 – Therese of Lisieux

9 – Thomas Aquinas

8 – My professors in Grad school (Pacwa, Bushman, Lowery, Twellman, Herrman, D’Ambrosio, Peters, etc.)

7 – Benedict XVI / Ratzinger

6 – John Paul II / Wojtyla

Now, for the top five. These are names you may not recognize, but they have taught me more about God than anybody else.

They are – Kyra, Dominic, Olivia, Anna, and Elise – in no particular order. They are, of course, my kids (yes, 4 of 5 are girls – blessed am I among women).

I can’t think of anyone else who has helped me learn more about God than these kids who range from 10 to 2 years in age. They are the most insightful little monkeys you ever met. I offer three examples.

Our culture today doesn’t live in reality. They teach us that you can create your own spirituality, define what constitutes human life for yourself, make your own truth, etc. But, we know that there are objective realities that we cannot change and that relativism is a false understanding of reality. My kids remind me of this constantly. For instance, just the other day my two year, Elise, declared “Daddy has no hair”. What sublime truth! I am truly bald.

Fear of God
Many people mistakenly believe that to fear God means we are afraid to go to hell. But, this is fear of God being vengeful and the Biblical understanding of fear of God as a virtue based in love. It is being afraid of disappointing our heavenly Father. My son, Dominic taught me just what this means. It still only takes one disappointed look from me to make him sad that he has messed up. Just to make sure you don’t think I walk around with a mean look on my face (that is the natural look I have), I usually quickly melt into a ball of goo after making him tear up.

God’s Mercy
I am sure every parent learns this from their children, but mine do it better – HAH! We all know God is a loving and merciful God (some Catholic talk about nothing else, as if there is no hell or judgment). But, nobody images and lives out mercy and forgiveness better than little kids. Take for example my 4 and 5 year olds. Both girls, they love Polly Pockets (warning – choking hazards are numerous). They love them so much they like to take them from each other frequently and then a screaming match ensues. This match leads, usually, to either my wife or myself having to jump into the octagon of doom and break it up. Yet, the difference lies in how quickly, completely, and truly forgive and then move on. This is just how God does it. We step into the confessional, receive absolution, and poof – we are free.

My kids – the best theologians I have run across. I can’t wait for them to write the next chapter of their masterpiece on God.

Watch This! I Am Serious!!

Rough and tumble politics, eh? You ain't seen nothing!!!

Highlights Or Lowlights of the Obama Summit

My opinion: Obama looked really really bad at the healthcare summit. It got so bad I was waiting for Obama to blurt out an agreed upon safety word to end it.

A lot went down but for a great roundup of the healthcare summit check out Hot Air's take which includes commentary and vids.

I could do that thing bloggers sometimes do and just steal it all and put some pithy comment under it as if that makes it my own. But instead I'll just say if you're interested in watching Obama make a fool of himself check it out at Hot Air.

Pics and Videos

HT Powerline

HT Moonbattery

HT New Advent

EMBED-Dumb Soldier Fails At Grenade Throwing - Watch more free videos

HT Viral Footage

If Planned Parenthood Were Toyota

Were it not for double standards, the gummint would have no standards at all.

As you probably have heard by now, President and CEO of Toyota Corp., Akio Toyoda was dragged before Congress this week to explain why his company did not do more to address critical safety issues with their vehicles that resulted in several deaths.

Vehicle safety is surely an important issue and we expect companies, when they become aware of these issues, to deal with them promptly and effectively. Lives depend on it.

It was in this context that Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) addressed Mr Toyoda saying...

“I am not satisfied with your testimony,” she said. “I do not feel it reflects sufficient remorse for those who have died, and I do not think you have accurately reflected the large number of complaints that have been filed for more than a decade.”

“Where is the remorse?”

Where is the remorse? It is a very good question. What may have been missed during the overwhelming media coverage of Toyota’s failing is the much greater health threat posed by the abortion industry.

Just this week...

Continue Reading @ National Catholic Register

Democrat Dictionary

Taxsperity - The uniquely moronic notion that prosperity can be achieved through increases in taxation.

Biparthenasia - The art of killing the opposition party by encouraging them to join your foolhardy efforts.

Stimuslush - Urgently passing a bill under the pretense of saving us from depression only to hold on to the money for eighteen months in order to spend it as close to an election as possible.

Filibluster - The blatantly false threat of removing the 60 vote cloture requirement in the US Senate. Even if they could, they never would because they know minority status is in their (near) future.

Reconcilicide - The suicidal results of continued threats to push through massively unpopular legislation to take over one sixth of the economy through the parliamentary trick of reconciliation. If actually accomplished, results in immediate death of the party.

Unemplosion - The incredibly rapid rise in the number of people who have nothing better to do than campaign and vote against you. Oh yeah, and watch curling. They have time to watch curling too.

aGoreaPhobia - The sudden and overwhelming fear of the media by a former vice president after his life work has been shown to be wholly based on a lie.

Obamastrich - A clean and articulate creature that sticks its head in the sand when all its promises turn to naught.

Punxatawney Pol - A famous rodent (aka politician) who, despite promises of the most transparent administration evah, only submits to a prime time press conference once a year. (220 days and counting...)

Socialistic Violence - A surge in spousal abuse, as predicted by Sen. Harry Reid, caused by rampant and continued unemployment as the result of socialistic policies. Upside - major growth in the wife-beater t-shirt industry.

Blue Dogs - A mythical creature that has been proven not to exist. Just to clarify, Chupacabra -real. Blue Dogs - myth.

Friendly Fired - The loss of employment by Democrat politicians as the tragic result of being caught in the crossfire between a deaf and blind Commander-in-chief and the American people.

Foreign Poli-Stones or Bidenerve - Claiming as your greatest achievement a policy which you vigorously opposed.

New Focus on the Family Ad Pulled

How dare Focus on the Family put up an ad so disgusting that it forced the NCAA to pull it?

How could they put up an ad featuring a father holding his son and the words, "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing." And if that wasn't bad enough, the ad included the slogan, "Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life." Yuck! That kind of hate speech has no place in our society. It needs to be shunned.

Believe it or not that's seriously the thinking that led to the NCAA pulling down an ad from Focus on the Family.

NYT reports:

The N.C.A.A. removed an ad placed by the evangelical group Focus on the Family from one of its Web sites this week after some members — including faculty and athletic directors — expressed concern that the evangelical group’s stance against gay and lesbian relationships conflicted with the N.C.A.A.’s policy of inclusion regardless of sexual orientation, said Bob Williams, an association spokesman.
So essentially what they're saying is that Christian groups can't advertise there. Now, what's not discriminatory about that?

But I think that whoever is doing the public relations work for Focus on the Family is brilliant because the people opposing them are looking increasingly like radical imbeciles for opposing such light fare.

Mary Katherine Ham
The NCAA took the ad down despite the fact that its policy allows ads from "cause-related organizations...unless the cause endorses a controversial or unacceptable viewpoint." They would have done well to keep the ad. Focus on the Family is not a group renowned for its subtlety, first and foremost, but its recent embrace of the light touch is succeeding in making its critics look foolish, indeed.
Exit question: When did Christianity become a "controversial or unacceptable viewpoint?" Or maybe it always was.

This Just Struck Me Funny

Pictures like this are why the internet was invented. Rumor has it that negotiations went very well between Obama and this King of Burgers. Obama gave up two satellites, missiles in Eastern Europe, and promised $1 billion dollars in aid and he got a paper crown in return. HT Moonbattery

Axelrod Would Prefer Dictatorship

File this as worrisome Statement # 7,853 from White House. The New York Times reports this disturbing quote from David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior adviser. Turns out, that Axelrod might be a lot more comfortable living in a dictatorship. Huh. Who'd a thunk it? Axelrod said:

I would love to live in a world where the president could snap his fingers or even twist arms and make change happen, but in this great democracy of ours, that’s not the way it is.”
Reading that Axelrod would "love to live in a world" where Obama twists arms you'd have to imagine that Axelrod is pretty frustrated with Obama about now. Check out this telling part of an article in today's New York Times that said that the reason President Obama stinks as President is that he's just...way too nice.
As the clock neared 1 a.m., the two sides were at an impasse. Mr. Obama stood up.

“‘See what you guys can figure out,’ ” one participant remembers him saying, adding that the failed effort left the president mad.
That's not called being nice. That's called voting present, right? You gotta' love Obama. When the going gets tough, just punt so you can blame everyone else later.

It's funny. I'm starting to think the biggest ally we've had in preventing Obamacare from being passed might just be Obama.

The Party Of No

Every time, every time I hear the Republican party described as the "Party of NO" I have only one thought. I wish.

If there really was a "party of no" I would join it.

Ask any parent, ask any grandparent, they will tell you. The problem with kids today is that no one tells them NO! I say the same about government.

When you have a child who is used to getting his own way, a parent will have great difficulty when they first start to to say no to the little brat. He will ignore you, call you names, even tell you he hates you, all in an effort to get his way.

This is exactly what is happening with government today. The brats have rarely if ever been told no before and they don't know what to do. At first they tried to ignore us, then they tried calling us names, then we got the silent treatment. Now they, like every pre-teen that has ever come before them, say that they can do whatever they want and we can't stop them. Its all so embarrassing.

But we, as the grownups, have to assess each of our children separately. One child, while they have in the past often disappointed us and even lied to us, has generally behaved well this year. He is showing signs of maturity. The trust is not completely there yet, but we have hopes. Lets call this child (R).

(D) on the other hand, (D) is the problem child. (D) does not listen to a thing we say. He acts up, spends money like there is no tomorrow, and blames every one else for his own mistakes. He even crashed the car after staying out all night on a binge.

So we sit down with him and explain to him. This is my house and while you live in my house you need to live by my rules. Let's call it our Constitution. If you cannot live within the rules we have established, you can't live here anymore.

Maybe, just maybe, he will learn some lessons out there in the real world.

Then, we gently remind (R) that no means no. Do you understand?


I hope so.

Obama Is Going to Tax Your Tan

The New York Post reports that in order to pay for his healthcare plan President Obama intends to slap a tax on tanning beds. Oddly, Obama dropped plans for a "Botax" on cosmetic procedures.

So let me see. I'm trying to wonder if there's somebody who's close to the President who would have a vested interest in ensuring that botox wasn't taxed. Hmmmm...

And let's face it. You really think Harry Reid is going to be angry about tanning beds being taxed. Seriously, he looks like he's seen less sunlight than a Penn Station roach.

I just despise the whole Obamacare plan. But one thing I really despise is that Obama knows that nobody in their right mind is going to stand up and give an impassioned plea on the right to bake yourself into attractiveness. Maybe Mitt Romney could make that a platform. Say what you want, the dude's got a killer tan.

But the thing I loved most about the article is a guy quoted in the article in the Post. Jan Meshon, 53, owner of City Sun Tanning in Manhattan, knows that in America today you can't just argue for freedom. You've got to prostrate yourself at the altar of the common good. Meshon pleads, according to the Post, "that the tax would hurt his business and send an anti-UV-light message at a time when nearly three-quarters of Americans suffer from vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to sunlight...It is an awful tax on small businesses during tough economic times. It's not good for anybody . . . There wouldn't be any life on the planet if it wasn't for sunlight."

Wow. He's doing it all for us, don't you know. He's kinda' saying that if you tax his business, life on this planet will become pale and eventually die (like Harry Reid did ten years ago.)

But here's the real reason I'm against it. If we tax tanning beds people will stop going to tanning beds and they'll just use that spray on tan. And let's face it, there's only one thing cheesier than tans in winter and that's fake tans in winter.

New Lila Rose Video

You know, I'm starting to think that Planned Parenthood doesn't believe they have to follow the law.

Cassy Fiano wonders how many times Lila Rose has to catch Planned Parenthood before they get cut off from public funding.

Check out Cassy's blog for commentary.

Our Battle Of The Bulge

Ten months ago, the Democrats began their campaign for perpetual political dominance through the bureaucratic machine. Health care became their battle of choice. A theoretical filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a huge numerical advantage in the House gave the Democrats a lot of firepower and they certainly had the will to use it. They made the decision that they would dominate the continent and usher in a political dynasty. One of the first tasks of the newly-established dynasty would be to use the machinery of state to systematically exterminate a class of people—the unborn. A horrible vision of the future emerged, yet it seemed...

Continue Reading @ National Catholic Register

History of An Abortionist

Dr. Kermit Baron Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist, whose clinic was shut down last night after an investigation discovered "deplorable" conditions including blood on the floor and over a dozen fetuses in jars may have a long history of risky and illegal practices when it comes to abortion.

Dr. Gosnell may have been involved in one of the most infamous and risky cases of illegal abortions in the country's history.

Dr Tanfer Emin Tunc of Haceteppe University in Turkey wrote a piece which appeared in scholarly journals called "Harvey Karman and the super coil fiasco: A forgotten episode in the history of American abortion technology." The piece mentioned a Dr Baron Gosnell. I couldn't find the piece online so I emailed her last night asking her for more information concerning the "fiasco."

She responded:

Gosnell was the local Philadelphia ob/gyn who assisted Karman with his super coil abortions. Gosnell allowed Karman to use his clinic in
order to perform super coil abortions on a group of women from Chicago
(which resulted in the fiasco to which I refer). It sounds like the
same individual to me.

In 1955 Harvey Karman was a struggling PhD student in California. He wasn't licensed to practice medicine but that didn't stop him. Karman was imprisoned for botching an abortion with a nutcracker where the mother died. California Governor Jerry Brown eventually pardoned Karman who, by then, was a pro-abortion celebrity.

Karman invented a PhD for himself from some made up European University and became a shining light in the abortion movement of the late 60's and early 70's.

Harvey was so into abortion that he invented new ways of performing them including the "Super Coil" abortion. He was so excited about this that he thought it could be the dawn of a "do-it yourself abortion kit."

NCBI reports that :
This method utilizes a plastic strip 40 cm long and 4.6 mm wide, wound into a spiral 2 cm in diameter. The coil is straightened and put in an inserter through which it is introduced via the cervical os into the uterus. The method calls for insertion of several coils, and balsa tents may also be placed in the cervical canal. The coils are removed 12-24 hours after insertion, and if the uterine contents are not totally expelled spontaneously, ovum forceps are used to remove them.

Before Karman could popularize his technique he had to show it worked. And he found some willing takers. Real Choice reports:
The government of Bangladesh, along with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, imported Harvey to teach untrained local women in his ME and "super coil" abortions for use on women raped by soldiers. Harvey himself tried a variation of the "super coil" abortion by augmenting the plastic springs with pieces of balsa wood. His complication rate was spectacular, resulting in infections and perforations and nearly killing a large number of his patients. Harvey scuttled back to the United States and looked for more guinea pigs.

When Harvey returned to the states he fell in with the Jane Collective, a criminal abortion business at the time in Chiacgo. When JANE was raided and many members arrested, the group still had to find someone and someplace to perform abortions so they loaded up a group of women in their second trimester and took a bus to Philadelphia.

Enter Dr. Baron Gosnell who had agreed to help perform the second trimester abortions using this incredibly risky and experimental abortion technique - one he'd never even attempted previously. To make matters worse, Karman had called the press for publicity to incite a standoff that would go to court so he could fight to make abortion legal.

But Philadelphia's District Attorney Arlen Specter who stood by while openly publicized experimental abortions took place. Ironically, pro-choice feminist protesters gathered outside of Gosnell's illegal abortion clinic and let the air out of the tires of the bus, irate about the experimental abortions taking place.
Meanwhile, Harvey and his associates started packing the women with "super coils." Outside, the protesters were letting the air out of the bus tires. Keeping sloppy records, working well into the night, the abortion team managed to pack the 15 patients selected for "super coil" abortions by the early morning hours. One woman ended up hospitalized in Pennsylvania due to lacerations. Others needed to be hospitalized upon return to Chicago. Local health authorities contacted the Centers for Disease Control, which investigated and found that two of the patients had been lost to follow-up, one required a hysterectomy, one was hospitalized for twenty days with infection, and one continued to bleed until she became anemic. In total, nine of the 13 patients who could be tracked down had suffered complications."
Shortly after that illegal abortion debacle abortion laws were liberalized throughout the country. But that didn't end Gosnell's problems with the law.

In 1996, Gosnell was charged with "professional misconduct" as well as "censured and reprimanded" by the New York State Department of Health because he "employed a physician assistant who was not certified."

On November 20th of last year, a woman died from a botched abortion at Gosnell's clinic. It was not so much the woman's death but the presence of certain painkillers in her body that seemingly initiated the investigation. Last week, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched Gosnell's clinic in relation to an investigation into illegal distribution of prescription painkillers.

There's no word yet on what they discovered in relation to the drug investigation but what they saw in the clinic prompted a call to the state which came in and discovered the horror show inside including "blood on the floor, and parts of aborted fetuses were displayed in jars."

The order to suspend Gosnell's medical license called "Gosnell's continued practice of medicine 'an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety,'" reports the Inquirer.

John Stanton said the Pro-Life Union of SouthEastern Pennsylvania thanked God that the investigation prompted Gosnell's suspension. "We're there every second Saturday," said Stanton. "We protest outside saying the rosary."

Recent numbers, according to the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania, show that Gosnell's clinic had performed thousands of abortion in recent years.

2004 -1023 abortions.
2005 - 1033 abortions.
2006 - 1365 abortions.
2007- 1292 abortions.
2008- 1041 abortions.

Stanton said he would pray that the state would continue their investigation and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

Abortion Office: Fetuses Displayed In Jars!!!

We throw the word "shocking" around for things that aren't quite so.

This story is SHOCKING!!!!

State authorities last night suspended the medical license of a West Philadelphia doctor whose practice was raided last week by federal drug agents.

The suspension came after a hours-long search of Kermit B. Gosnell's practice, Women's Medical Society, at 3801 Lancaster Ave. in Powelton Village.

The suspension order says the conditions of the clinic were "deplorable and unsanitary."

It states: "There was blood on the floor, and parts of aborted fetuses were displayed in jars."
The fetuses were discovered after authorities raid the office after a woman died after being treated at the clinic by an unlicensed employee.

Absolutely sickening.

Update: The suspension order also alleges that on or about Nov. 20, a patient died after being treated at the clinic by an unlicensed employee, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

This would not be the first time Gosnell has employed unlicensed employees. In fact, in 1996, he was charged with "professional misconduct" as well as "censured and reprimanded" by the New York State Department of Health because he "employed a physician assistant who was not certified."

Update II: Read the unbelievable and reckless history of this Philadelphia abortionist here.

Climate Change Double Whammy

Now is the winter of their discontent. Record snowfalls across the United States are harming the global warming nuts in more ways than we know. While the snow is obviously making Americans scoff at global warming, its also causing another problem for them with far more severe consequences.

WBAL reports:

As the storms gripped the city, crime plummeted. Comparing last week to the same week in 2009, the most serious crimes were down 71 percent, according to city statistics.

The fatal shooting early Tuesday morning of a man in the Park Heights neighborhood ended a nine-day stretch in Baltimore that was free of killing. That stretch put the yearly homicide total at 18 -- significantly less than the 32 homicides recorded year-to-date in 2009.
A lower murder rate because of snow? That means more people are alive due to the snow. That means more pollution. Aaaaahhh.

So as if it wasn't bad enough that people are giggling about anti-human global warming alarmists but now there's more people to do it. Poor things. The climate has sure turned against them.

Putting Words to Intuition in the Liturgy

I recently re-read a very instructive chapter in Monsignor Francis Mannion's excellent book Masterworks of God: Essays in Liturgical Theory and Practice in which he provided a framework for understanding things done in the sacred liturgy. This has been helpful for my students over the years, and I thought I'd bring it to the readers of CMR.
We've all heard complaints over the years that "Father did such and such" or "the music director did so and so." Usually we have a sense that something was wrong, but don't often know what. Usually these things aren't so much matters of overt heresy as they are of imbalance. Lay people try to do things that are reserved for the ordained, the priest tries to appear approachable to the congregation and departs from the rite, the musicians want "high music" at the expense of participation, or they want "low" music at the expense of the rite itself. Monsignor Mannion's helpful triangle, of which I made a diagram above, can come in handy in determining the nature of the problem.
His basic argument is that in the earthly dimension of liturgy, there are three different irreducible parts: the rite (texts, vestments, art, music, architecture, etc.), the ordained minster (priest or deacon) and the congregation (everyone else). These are intended to be in proper balance, and if they get out of balance, some other aspect of the liturgy tends to suffer.
If the rite so dominates the priest and the people -- turning the Mass into a fashion show of vestments and incense or a concert of sacred music -- we see the appearance of ritualism. If the people become the center of the worship to such a degree that they disregard the proper role of the priest, the texts of the Mass, or liturgical art, we see congregationalism at work. If the priest decides that the ritual book is his alone (either by denying the people their proper role or by making unauthorized changes) one gets clericalism.
Before the Council, people claimed that we saw too much emphasis on the rite and the priest, and not enough on the congregation. In an exaggerated response in the 1970s, we saw quite often an extreme congregationalism. Today, most serious Catholics are trying to find a balance. The priest has his proper role, the people have their proper role, and the rite binds them all together. They enrich and mutually reinforce each other when properly balanced.

Hopefully this will be a handy reference point for determining what's going on in your own parish or for testing your own liturgical preferences against a theological standard.

Pol: Disabled Children Are God's Punishment?

The News Leader is reporting that a Virginia State Delegate said that some disabled children are punishments from God.

As you can imagine, his comments which were originally reported by The Gainesville Times are making the rounds quickly and setting off a firestorm. The News Leader reported:

State Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas says disabled children are God's punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

He made that statement Thursday at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.

"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," said Marshall, a Republican.

"In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."
But Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall is denying he made those comments.

I called Delegate Marshall earlier and he said "There's no way I'd make that statement," said Marshall. "I even asked the Washington Post reporter, "Did I say this?" and he said 'no.'"

Marshall said "Nobody checks the facts and everyone's taking the word of a reporter."
He suggested that the reporter might even be an abortion activist.

The News Leader does however have an audio clip but it's impossible to know if the two sentences were connected.

Dean Nelson of the Network of Politically Active Christians said he didn't recall Bob Marshall making that statement. "There were over 50 people in that room including reporters from the AP, NBC as well as a lot of beat reporters and it seems to me that if Bob had said what this one reporter is saying then someone else would've noticed."

Marshall said that the point he was trying to make was, "I specifically cited a study which shows that there are enormous complications from abortion and you can learn it from the Old Testament or check out the science."

Marshall is a Catholic who wrote a book on abortion published by Ignatius Press in 1991 called "Blessed Are the Barren: The Social Policy of Planned Parenthood."

Update: I emailed the reporter of the original article and asked for full audio. We'll see if we get a response.

Update2: Bob Marshall released a statement concerning this issue:
A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion. I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents. Nevertheless, I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.

Who Wants Elton's Jesus?

Elton John recently said that Jesus was a gay genius.

Now, Elton’s theological ramblings aren’t to be taken too seriously but I think that there’s a lot of Elton Johns out there. By that I don’t mean there’s millions of flamboyant rockers with funny sunglasses. But I do think it’s rather telling that Elton sees Jesus as a homosexual and a genius as Elton himself is a homosexual and could easily be called a musical genius. Weird, huh?

I don’t think Elton is alone in this kind of thinking. I think people often see Jesus in a narrow way, as a reflection of themselves.

While we’re supposed to see God in others, I think that too often we look for God in ourselves, for reaffirmation of our already held beliefs...
Read the rest at the National Catholic Register.

Abortion Doctor Mocks Pro-Lifers

If you have ever wondered what Satan sounds like when he laughs, wonder no more. When Dr. William Harrison of Fayetville Arkansas laughs and mocks pro-lifers, his laugh must be very similar.

See the sickening video here.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that a guy who kills babies for a living is also a jerk. But this jerk takes jerkiness to a new level.

Dr. William Harrison of Fayetville Arkansas mocks the Christians and Pro-lifers who pray across the street for an end to abortion saying that he welcomes them because they are good advertising.

“I think it's silly. Standing across the street and praying to end abortion, that doesn't work,” said Dr. William Harrison.

Harrison wrote an email to the organizers of the protest, saying they're more than welcome to demonstrate because it'll show their children and newcomers where to get an abortion.

“You know, we have a lot of new people in the area. And since we don't do any advertising, a lot of people don't know the services that we offer. So I am glad they're over there,” said Harrison.

And he admits he even joked around in the e-mail, telling them to look serious and to bring priests along, or else it'll deliver the wrong message.

“Well, I meant exactly what I said,” said Harrison. “You know, if they're going to be praying and fasting, they ought to take this job seriously.“
They do take their jobs seriously and people just like them have been having a profound impact all over the country. You keep mocking, we'll keep praying.

Now Pictures of Babies are Offensive Too?

ABC in Australia is reporting on a political race where one candidate is making abortion a key part of his Independent candidacy. That, of course, has rankled his opponents.

The Democrats candidate Jeanie Walker, according to ABC:

"says anti-abortion posters put up around Adelaide by an independent candidate are offensive.

She says they increase the stigma on women who need help and on doctors who perform abortions. "Women don't just lightly go in and decide to terminate a pregnancy," she said.

"There's a multitude of reasons why they may do that so we need to sort of keep this out of the political arena.

"They shouldn't be on poles everywhere for people to see. So if he wants to debate this, it needs to be done sensitively."
Here's a shot of the "offensive" poster.

Doesn't seem too offensive, does it? But wait. Here's the best part. Ready for the best line ever in a news article. A different ABC article by the same network says (and I'm not making this up):
The anti-abortion campaign posters feature photos of babies, which many female voters have found offensive.
Yes those darn babies are sooooo offensive!!!!!

I know pro-choicers didn't like real babies. I had no idea they didn't even like pictures of babies.

This is just another example of pro-choicers wanting to make even the pro-life argument "controversial" and "offensive" in order to silence us. Because they know that the more people know about abortion the more pro-life they'll become.

The Worst Good News I've Ever Heard

This is the worst good news I've heard in a loooong time. The headline reads: "Gene-based diseases decline."

Woot. Woot. Good news, right? Well....

Chicago Sun Times reports:

Some of mankind's most devastating inherited diseases appear to be declining, and a few have nearly disappeared, because more people are using genetic testing to decide whether to have children.

Births of babies with cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs and other less-familiar disorders have dropped since testing came into wider use, the Associated Press found from a review of studies and interviews with many geneticists and other experts.

One study in California found that prenatal screening reduced by half the number of babies born with the severest form of cystic fibrosis because many parents chose abortion.
So the good news is that kids being born with genetic defects is way down but infanticide of babies with genetic defects is way up.

Notice what makes the lede and what makes the bottom of the third paragraph.

The Crazies Are Running The Asylum

The crazies are running the asylum.

Ron Paul has ended Mitt Romney's three-year run as conservatives' favorite for president, taking 31 percent of the vote in the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual straw poll.

Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas known for his libertarian views, ran for president in 2008 but was never a serious contender for the GOP nomination.
As always, the greatest threat to a Republican comeback continues to be Republicans. Oy.

Oh, and by the way. Glenn Beck gave the keynote. Double OY. I agree with Jim Hoft when he says...
Beck: It’s a disease. It’s not just taxing. It’s not just spending. It’s progressivism.

I appreciate several of the things Beck says but personally I hate it when he constantly beats up on the GOP.
I do wish he would recognize that not one single House Republican voted for the gigantic Stimulus Bill, the record Omnibus Bill, and the Son of Stimulus Bill in 2009. And, only 5 voted for the democrat’s business-busting cap-and-tax bill and only one voted for Obamacare.
There is hope. There is change. Then there is the GOP.

Now That's a Twist Ending

From The BlogProf comes an amazing story:

Here's a story that has received a total unwavering media blackout. A woman was going in to have an abortion at a local butcher shop in Duluth, and was confronted by two pro-life protesters that urged her not to kill her baby. The woman was so angry that she brandished a knife and held it to one of the pro-life protester's throat. She was of course arrested for aggravated assault. That much the MSM may tell you, but it is the epilogue that caused an raised eyebrow. In court, the woman plead guilty to assault, but also, with tears streaming down her face, thanks the pro-life protester for saving her baby's life!
I thought about just putting this up on The Reader but this story is pretty great. And besides we don't have anything but skiers shooting other skiers and Fred Flintstone smoking on the main blog today.

So click on over to TheBlogProf for the rest of the story. It's definitely worth it.

HT Pundette

Like The Olympics - Only Cooler & Deadlier

via Viral Footage

Now That's An Edgy Cartoon

Family Guy has featured abortion. The Simpsons regularly features child abuse. But liberals are pretty cool with those shows. But could you imagine a liberal seeing this on a cartoon nowadays. There would be screaming, howling and gnashing of teeth. You'd have to pull a Clockwork Orange thing with the toothpicks just to get them to sit through it. The FCC would be sued, Bam-Bam and Pebbles would be taken away by Child Services, Betty and Wilma would be crying on Oprah, Joe Camel would be murdered in the street, and cigarette factories would be burned to the ground.

Big Brother School District Spies on Kids

Holy Big Brother! A school district just outside of Philadelphia is being accused in a lawsuit of spying on students at home with a webcam embedded in school-issued laptops. Oh boy! The lawsuit was filed by parents of a 15 year old student.

Lower Merion school district is saying they did nothing wrong. But they've promised to stop immediately.

According to The Lede:

The suit states that on Nov. 11, 2009, Lindy Matsko, an assistant principal at Harriton High School, informed Blake that he “was engaged in improper behavior in his home, and cited as evidence a photograph from the Webcam embedded in [his] personal laptop issued by the School District.” (The complete text of the suit was posted online by The Philadelphia Inquirer.)

The suit adds that Ms. Matsko subsequently confirmed to the boy’s father that the district “in fact has the ability to remotely activate the Webcam… at any time it chose and to view and capture whatever images were in front of the Webcam.”
In a letter to parents posted on the school district’s Web site late on Thursday night, Christopher W. McGinley Lower Merion’s schools superintendent, admitted that a security feature allowed the Webcams to be activated without the knowledge of the laptops’ users, but claimed that it was only used to track lost or stolen computers and had been disabled on Thursday.
Yeah. What could go wrong with this kind of power in the hands of the school district? This couldn't be abused or anything, could it?

America's Next Top (Role) Model

Leah Darrow, once a contestant on the reality show America's Next Top Model, is now pursuing a life as a role model.

“For years my faith took a back seat until it all came to a soulful boiling point during a high power photo shoot, where I turned back to God and my faith,” confesses nationally known Catholic speaker Leah Darrow.

“Ever heard that prodigal son story? I’m his sister,” she said.
Darrow has left the world of high fashion to join the cause of Pure Fashion. "Pure Fashion is an international faith based program designed for girls 14-18 to help young women re-discover and re-affirm their innate value and authentic femininity."

Darrow, who now travels around promoting her new cause continues to model, but with a different approach. “I bring each modeling opportunity to Our Blessed Mother; if I feel that I can participate in it with her by my side, then I know Jesus will be happy with it,” she said.

Leah also has a new blog called Exposed and on it she writes:
If it is my Constitutional right and freedom to kill my child through abortion, then I’d rather be a slave to my Catholic Faith. If it is my right and freedom to dress and act provocative, then I’d rather be considered a prude. If it is my right and freedom to sterilize myself through contraception, then I’d rather be fruitful. If it is my right and freedom to become some “thing”, a sexual object, then I’d rather become some “one”, deserving of dignity.
It is so nice to have her on the team. It is really tough for Matt & me being the only really good-looking people in the Catholic blogosphere!! This takes some of the pressure off us ;-P

Go say hello.

Women Suing Top Contraceptive Firm

After watching that you've got to think Yaz is awesome. It practically heals women of...like...everything. Goodbye to irritability, moodiness, headaches, bloating, muscle aches, increased appetite, and acne.

My goodness, they've invented the greatest girl in the world with no irritability, no headaches, small appetite, good skin, no bloating. No wonder they need birth control.

Unfortunately, it might also be killing women. But don't tell anyone women are dying due to a contraceptive. Nobody needs to know that a young college student collapsed in the shower and died of a pulmonary embolism that some believe was caused by a blood clot as a side effect of Yaz. Nobody needs to know of the hundreds of women reporting serious and life threatening side effects.

Don't mention this to anyone but hundreds of women are suing the makers of the birth control pill Yaz claiming that the drugs cause heart attacks and strokes as well as a host of other issues.

Last year, makers of Yaz got into hot water with the FDA for claiming that their pills besides preventing pregnancy, also cured pimples and PMS. The FDA said the ads overstated the pills' abilities. That's lying to me and you. A spokesperson for Yaz said: "You may have seen some YAZ commercials that were not clear. The FDA wants us to correct a few points in those ads," said a spokeswoman in a YAZ commercial.

WREG reported:

One lawsuit claims "the FDA received reports of more than 50 deaths" where those who died were users of YAZ. It said Bayer "ignored the increased risks of the drug."
Look. We all know lawyers will say just about anything to get a cash judgement but this all looks pretty bad. If you poke around you'll see that lawsuits against Yaz is essentially its own industry at this point.

Yaz reportedly made $600 million a year. The Yaz folks are claiming that all the possible side effects were warned about but that doesn't point to how much of a risk the pill is.

Here's some women discussing Yaz. Why don't they run this as a commercial.
Look. I don't know if Yaz is better or worse than any other birth control pill but I think it's pretty amazing how many lawsuits are being filed while there's been almost complete silence in the media about this other than a few local news stories like the one above.

Man, if only Toyota sold birth control they probably could've avoided their whole p.r. disaster.

Think about this. When a number of soldiers all returning from the Middle East reported certain symptoms the media ran with that story non-stop. But hundreds of women reporting dangerous side effects from birth control? Yawn. This is once again showing the triumph of ideology.

What's That on Biden's Forehead?!?!?!?!?

Got to love the mainstream media for not knowing what that strange black mark on Joe Biden's forehead was. I don't know what's worse, the fact that the newswoman who's so confused by the ashes is actually Catholic or the fact that she makes a luge joke just days after a man died.

Equality vs. Christianity

Everyone talks about equality. But equality only exists in the eyes of God and is, after all, a rather Christian concept. We are all loved by God and in that is our worth. Ironically, many politicians are marginalizing religion from the public sphere in the name of equality. And many see the major obstacle to this enforced equality as Christianity.

Right now, homosexual advocates are marching under the banner of equality. And advancing quite well thank you very much. In fact, just this week the Archdiocese of Washington fell victim to the cause of enforced equality.

The Archdiocese just posted on its website that it’s dropping its foster care program as well as adoption program due to...

Continue Reading @ National Catholic Register

Keeping Catholic Hospitals Catholic

We hope that you have been following the Baby Gianna Story (see Part I, Part II, and Part III) this week. Among the many things that we take away from this heartbreaking yet life affirming story is the critical need to keep Catholic hospitals Catholic.

It would be very easy to try and lay all the blame for the non-Catholic practices that occurred to Jessica and Rebecca at the feet of the St. Mary's Medical Center administration. That might make us feel better but it would likely accomplish little.

For sure, St. Mary's Medical is responsible for what occurs under their roof. The recommendation of a physician at a Catholic hospital to abort a child should never happen. Period. Further, whether or not under current law Catholic hospitals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere can prohibit doctors in good standing with the state from practicing within the hospital is one thing, what they say and do while there is entirely another. Catholic hospitals have a moral obligation to monitor and prevent any such recommendation from occurring.

The remedy to this unacceptable situation is not simple. This is a battle that must be fought on several fronts.

Visibility. There needs to be a system in place to provide the necessary visibility to Bishops and to those who desire truly "Catholic" health services. For every story about an abortion recommendation that becomes known, like in this case, there are likely myriad that never become known. We also know—and Matthew and I know first hand—that the practice of de-facto euthanasia, as well as several other un-Catholic practices, are widespread in Catholic hospitals. In all too many cases, these practices are known and accepted.

What is needed is a comprehensive and standardized monitoring system for Catholic hospitals. There is an obligation that comes with the "Catholic" banner. This process should not be left up to the individual hospital. A comprehensive and standardized methodology for monitoring needs to be put in place to provide the necessary visibility. Only with visibility can you have...

Accountability. Bishops, corporately and individually, need to make sure that these monitoring procedures are in place. With this visibility, Bishops must hold these hospitals accountable. Practices such as offering off-site abortions and other such efforts that seek to skirt the letter of the law while directly contradicting its spirit must be stopped at all costs. There is still a caché associated with the Catholic banner and Bishops must understand this leverage and not be afraid to use it. It is their only true weapon.

Just this week, Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Baker revoked the "Catholic" title from St. Charles Medical Center over their continued performing of sterilizations. It was regrettable, but necessary.

Bishops, in particular, need to be conscious and wary of the impacts of hospital mergers with secular institutions. When this happens, these hospitals desire to keep the Catholic name while acting as a secular institution. To get around such Catholic restrictions, hospitals will engage in disingenuous behavior.

"When non catholic hospital and catholic hospitals merge they've carved out a room and say that’s not part of the Catholic hospital even though its in the same physical structure," says Lester A. Ruppersberger, D.O., a pro-life gynecologist on staff at St. Mary’s.

Bishops need to be alert to such things and ensure that they don't continue. They should work closely with the hospital administration to ensure that such practices do not start and certainly do not continue, and hold the hospital accountable. It is tough to say, but any Bishop who does not hold them accountable and chooses to look the other way puts his soul in jeopardy. They should all follow Bishop Vasa's example.

The Legal Battle. One of the things that came to light in the Baby Gianna story is that hospitals in Pennsylvania (and I am sure elsewhere) have no legal ability to prevent doctors who provide abortion services from practicing at their facilities. This is an unacceptable situation. Freedom of religion must allow for Catholic hospitals to only associate themselves with doctors who share their moral principles. Without this ability, Catholic hospitals will not remain Catholic.

However, it is too much to expect that individual hospitals can take on this battle alone. This needs to be a corporate effort led by the Bishops to pick and win this fight. It is no longer acceptable that the religious prerogatives of Catholics continue to be eroded day-by-day. A concerted effort to make the case and win the legal battle needs to be initiated soon, before it's too late.

We have watched over the last decades as the right to distinctive Catholic health-care has been destroyed, step-by-step. The fight must be engaged now while there is still Catholic healthcare to fight for.

A Neanderthal in Every Basement

In today's culture there seems to be little difference between "science can" and "science does." So news that scientists are close to completing a DNA sequence of a Neanderthal man should leave us unsettled.

Fox News reports:

As scientists come closer to completing a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome, creating a living person from an ancient DNA sequence is becoming a real possibility, according to Archaeology Magazine.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have pieced together most of the DNA of a man who lived in Greenland about 4,000 years ago, a pioneering feat that revealed hints about his appearance and even an increased risk of baldness.

It's the first genome from an ancient human, showing the potential for what one expert called a time machine for learning about the biology of ancient people.
So we're looking at a real possibility of cloning a Neanderthal sometime in the future.

Firstly, we're not even sure why neanderthals disappeared. We might have just mated with them right out of existence. Or we may have just killed them off.

Either way it's not good. If they want to resume with the mating, I'm not sure how keen how many of us would be with that. And abstinence-only education for neanderthals? Well, I'm not putting much hope in that. On the other hand, if we killed them off all those years ago they might get a little ticked when they find out. So we should all definitely agree to not tell them. And let's remember if we killed them off all those years ago it's possible we had a darn good reason.

But seriously, this would be a rather dangerous position. Would Neanderthals be seen as "human?" We know that us humans can be pretty stingy with that moniker. Maybe they'd just be "potential humans" so we could do with them what we want.

Soon politicians could be promising "A Neanderthal in every basement" to handle menial chores around the house or some lawn responsibilities.

Could we "terminate" them if we grow dissatisfied with them or they simply become too expensive to keep around? Could they possibly be a middle step in scientific research. First you test things on mice and chimps. But before you go to human trials why not try it on a Neanderthal. See what happens. Why not?

You might think all this is just goofy fun but how long do you actually think it'll be between the day that science is able to clone a neanderthal and the day that it does?

Now That's A Pro-Life Video!

HT Catholic Key

A Sign of Peace Mishap

Patrick just wrote a post about the "Sign of Peace" at the National Catholic Register. Go check it out and then come back.

It just reminded me of the worst sign of peace moment I've had. I was at Mass with my family and my mother was there but in between us was like 4 or 5 children. (I can't remember if the two year old was born then or not)

So I lean over a few children to kiss my mother for the sign of peace but she doesn't see me and she's shaking my children's hands who at that age saw the sign of peace as something akin to the 7th Inning Stretch. (Dude, they were two or three years old!)

But the point is that I had kiss on my mind when my Mom dissed me. Then, I turned my head and there was a woman in the pew in front of me leaning over to shake my hand. And I...kissed her.

Well, her eyes bugged. I realized what I'd done as I was pulling away and just stared at her. My mom looked at me rather oddly.

The rest of the Mass was kind of awkward as you might imagine.

I still see that woman at Mass quite often. She doesn't sit anywhere near us.

So go check out Pat's piece at the Register. Share your own sign of peace horror stories in the combox over there.

The Baby Gianna Story Part III

This is the third in a series. (Read The Baby Gianna Story Part I, The Baby Gianna Story Part II)

Jessica Chominski delivered this eulogy for Baby "Miracle Gianna:"

On January 9, the world changed forever because of a baby girl. I know that many of you do not know the whole story of Miracle Gianna. Many of you have been praying for her fervently- praying for her to heal, praying for her to be OK, praying for her to live.

We have all had a piece of this story, which on the outside, looks like a tragic, sad, devastating defeat. But this is not a story of defeat. This is a story of triumph- the triumph of Baptism.

When she was born, the doctors handed her to me to hold, and I have never felt more humbled and fearful in my life. I was not afraid because her precious, beautiful body was so fragile and delicate, but because I knew that I was standing in the presence of a little girl, who would soon be in Heaven with Our Lord. I didn’t know how long we would get to be with her, but I knew that she was going from my arms, and the arms of her loving, brave mother, to the arms of Our Lady, who would take her home to Her Son. I knew that in a few hours, or a few moments, while we sat weeping, the angels would be singing her lullabies as she rested in the comfort of her Creator. This was because of an act of heroic motherhood.

Rebecca spent the last 4 months hoping and praying that her baby girl would live. Up until the moment we went into the delivery room, she did not abandon this hope, despite the definitive prognosis. As she realized that God had greater plans for her baby, in a moment of what appeared to be defeat, she did not buckle. She insisted that Miracle be given eternity- she insisted that she was Baptized.

It was in this moment that we witnessed the triumph of the Resurrection. Just as Our Lady held the broken body of her Son, her Savior as he was taken from the cross, trusting that He would rise in 3 days as He had promised, so too did Rebecca hold her baby, trusting in the promise of Our Lord to His Church. She lives in eternity now because her mother did what parents are supposed to do- she got her child to Heaven.

It was no coincidence that this long, difficult story came to its conclusion on the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. As I drove home from the hospital, that night, well, that morning, I was listening to music on my IPOD trying to be a good driver as I was holding back sobs. On came How Great Thou Art, one of my favorite songs, but one that almost seemed ironically inappropriate at a time like this. But as I listened to the words “When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made” I realized that the same Creator that fashioned the Heavens, the Earth, the vastness of the universe, also fashioned this little girl’s tiny hands, feet, adorable button nose, and perfectly coiffed hair. He had breathed His life into her, then she rose to new life with Him, and it was for this reason that her life was worth so much- so that we could look at her and exclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

Miracle Gianna, pray for us.

Next Up: The Future of Catholic Hospitals.

Note: This is the third part in a week-long series telling this incredible and gut-wrenching true story about life, death, abortion, and betrayal. We ask all of our readers and blogging friends to help us in any way they can to share this story. Please stay with us this entire week.

The Baby Gianna Story Part II

Part II In A Series --(Click Here for The Baby Gianna Story Part I)

Rebecca had been on the fence for months over whether to abort her child as her boyfriend wanted her to. But through Jessica Chominski’s efforts and prayers, along with volunteers at the crisis pregnancy center, Rebecca made the brave decision to keep her baby. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s boyfriend upon learning that she’d chosen to keep the baby kicked her savagely and repeatedly in the stomach.

While treating her, doctors discovered fetal abnormalities in the 18-week-old fetus, including diseased kidneys and underdeveloped lungs resulting from a dearth of amniotic fluid. Despite being in a Catholic hospital, the doctor stunned them by saying that since the baby had no chance of living he recommended an abortion.

Jessica was stunned but managed to remind him that they were in a Catholic hospital but the doctor, according to Jessica, merely said that while he couldn’t do it there, Rebecca could come to his office in Abington where he could arrange it.

“'Utter frustration', 'Disappointing', 'Infuriating'” are still some of the only words Jessica can use to describe her feelings regarding the doctor's suggestion in a Catholic hospital.

After months of working with the baby's mother to help her choose life, the doctor at the Catholic hospital "kicked back all the work we’d done."

"We were backtracked to where we’d been in June. I was devastated,” she said. “It just seemed that there was no safe harbor for this child. This poor little sheep had no shepherd.”

Jessica knew that if she hadn't been sitting right there next to Rebecca, the pregnancy likely would've ended in an abortion. She said so many people seek out Catholic hospitals because “they believe that they’ll respect the dignity of the person. And when recommendations such as abortion come from a Catholic institution people accept it. There’s so much authority there.”

The hospital, according to news reports, insists that it follows the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The USCCB guidelines state that “First, Catholic health care ministry is rooted in a commitment to promote and defend human dignity; this is the foundation of its concern to respect the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until death.”

Further along it states that “employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution.” That, of course, would preclude abortion but here's how those rules seem to be gotten around.

Lester A. Ruppersberger, D.O., a pro-life gynecologist on staff at St. Mary’s, said a doctor at a Catholic hospital recommending abortion is hardly an anomaly. He said that Catholic hospitals cannot turn away doctors from renting space in their medical offices. He said that while doctors may not perform procedures like abortion in the hospital, administrators “draw a line” between where the hospital ends and the medical office building begins.

“They’ll say they can’t control the philosophy of the people who are renting from their medical office building, they can’t tell them what to do in their private practice,” he said. “You can have the world's number one abortionist at a Catholic hospital. They can’t legally keep him off staff.”

So doctors affiliated with St. Mary’s actually dispense contraception and can have abortions performed in another building.

John Stanton of the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania said, “The people who run the hospital make a point of saying that he’s not going to do it at the hospital. So somehow it becomes not an objective evil because it’s not done there? It’s wrong to kill a baby here but somewhere else it’s OK?”

Jessica brought Rebecca to a Catholic hospital because she believed that Catholic meant Catholic. “Sadly, we had to be the ones to respect the baby because they wouldn’t,” said Jessica. “This baby needed someone to fight for her. I wonder about all the countless other babies that we’re not there for.”

Jessica had worried that after what happened at St. Mary’s Hospital, Rebecca only needed the slightest push in order to abort so she accompanied Rebecca to almost all of her prenatal visits. She says they were all the same, even those at the Catholic hospital. “She’d leave these prenatal visits crying because these doctors would make her feel so guilty that she wasn’t going to kill her baby. I had to yell at some doctors. I feel really bad about it, but I had to.”

Rebecca went to four hospitals and all of them didn’t just recommend abortion. “They shoved it down her throat,” said Jessica.

It got so bad that Rebecca was often too frightened to ask questions herself for fear she’d be berated for not aborting her child. So Rebecca would give Jessica questions in the car for her to ask. Rebecca was hardly able to look up at the doctors.

When Rebecca was twenty weeks along she went to a secular hospital in Philadelphia. Jessica couldn’t make that visit, but Rebecca assured her it would be alright.

But it wasn’t. From the hospital, Rebecca called to tell Jessica the hospital was sending her to have labor induced. Rebecca had specifically told the medical staff that she didn’t want an abortion but they told her that she could deliver the baby then and would be allowed to hold her baby, giving what they called “comfort care,” and say goodbye.

“That’s an abortion,” said Jessica.

“No,” said Rebecca. “The doctors said it wasn’t.”

“Your baby will not have a fighting chance,” explained Jessica. “Your baby couldn’t possibly survive right now.”

When Jessica hung up the phone she had no idea what would happen. Rebecca, still unsure, had her mind made up when the hospital asked her to sign autopsy papers for research purposes. “She was horrified,” said Jessica. “Autopsy papers?!”

Rebecca finally told the doctors that she wanted God to decide when this baby would be taken. Not her. Not the doctors. Nobody but God.

“I was so proud of her for that,” said Jessica. “That was such a beautiful moment.”

Just when it seemed that nobody could quite see a reason the baby should be born, Rebecca had found the strength to stand up for her baby. Rebecca was affirmed in her faith by a surprising source. She read a piece online by Father John Zuhlsdorf concerning the second miracle attributed to St. Gianna, about a mother with no amniotic fluid giving birth to a beautiful baby girl after doctors had recommended an abortion.

Rebecca became fascinated by St. Gianna and her amazing example of motherhood. At one point, Rebecca was even visited by members of the Society of St. Gianna who laid the glove of St. Gianna on Rebecca’s womb. “She was so touched by these people who didn’t even know her, affirming her, how they were praying for her, and their empathy,” said Jessica.

Rebecca began attending Mass again with her Mother, the experience moving her in her faith.

And shortly after, Rebecca even asked doctors for a “super-hydration” injection she’d read about in Fr. Z’s article to help the baby’s lungs. This woman who’d been too afraid to open her mouth in doctor’s offices weeks before was now demanding that everything be done to save her baby. Medical staff were surprised and wondered aloud how she even knew about the injection. They attempted to dissuade her but she insisted.

Rebecca was fighting for her baby.

Jessica got the call on January 9th that the baby was coming and she rushed to Abington hospital. Rebecca had asked Jessica to stay in the delivery room with her. Moments before the baby was born, Jessica pulled the doctor aside and told him ,“You promise her that you’re going to treat her baby like you’re treating your own daughter?”

The doctor promised.

When the baby was born, there were no cries from the baby. The child never even opened her eyes. Her little lungs struggled for each gasping breath. It was apparent to all that the baby wouldn’t live long.

The nurses handed the baby to Jessica. She looked at the beautiful baby in her arms and for a few moments she couldn't be sad, not faced with the chubby cheeked miracle of life. She held the precious little life in her arms. “I took her over and she met her Mom and it was absolutely beautiful,” said Jessica. “The anesthesiologist was crying. Everyone was totally blown away. She lived for about an hour and a half.”

There wasn’t time to figure out if she had her mother’s hair or her grandmother's nose. She had a soul that belonged to God that it seems just couldn’t stand being away from God for more than nine months and ninety minutes.

Rebecca, still on the surgical table and groggy from the pain medication, gaves Jessica a job. Make sure the baby is baptized. “That was my one mission,” said Jessica. “And it’s really the best mission.”

Jessica said, "I was like a pitbull in that delivery room. I told them they had to find a priest to come in there and they were so confused. When I said "priest", the nurses must have heard "non-denominational clergy-person who believes in God" because in came this guy who thought he was baptizing the mother, and was extremely confused when I explained exactly how he needed to perform an infant baptism. I had called my friend, Fr. Kevin McGoldrick, on the way to the hospital and he had given me the correct formula for the baptism."

The minister seemed confused but was willing to do what the Catholic Church called for.

Just as the baptism was to take place, a nurse ran out of the room and came back with a little white dress, booties, and a hat for the little baby's baptism. “There wasn’t a dry eye there,” said Jessica.

The baby was baptized “Miracle Gianna.”

“It was an honor to be there. A witness of God’s mercy. And they all treated this baby like a person,” said Jessica. “And she died with Christ and as tragic as it was it, was the most beautiful thing we could’ve asked for. Now the baby’s in heaven.”

The nurse pulled Jessica aside and told her that she'd go to Church on Sunday and pray for little baby Gianna. Jessica told her that baby Gianna would be praying for her as well.

Baby Gianna had finally found her safe harbor. For so long Jessica had worried that this little lost sheep was without a shepherd, but that day little baby Gianna found her eternal home in the arms of Christ the Shepherd.

Baby Gianna had a mother who fought for her and a God who loved her. “As a parent it’s your job to get your child to heaven," said Jessica. "That is what parenthood is supposed to be. And she did it.”

After the funeral, Jessica asked Rebecca if it was all worth it. Rebecca looked her friend in the eye and told her, “I know I did the right thing. I would do it all over again.”

Nine months and ninety minutes changed everything for so many. Jessica said, “This baby moved mountains. Brought me closer to God. Brought her mother closer to God.”

And little Gianna’s life may have had more of an impact than anyone in that room that day could’ve realized.

Because of what occurred in the Catholic hospital, many pro-life organizations are focusing on Catholic hospitals upholding Catholic principles.

The Philadelphia Bulletin ran a story concerning Doctor Stephen Smith's recommendation of an abortion at St. Mary's, a Catholic hospital. That article has begun a firestorm of criticism.

John Stanton, Public Affairs of the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania said, “This one burned. This isn’t going away,” he said. “This baby’s creation and death is not going to go away. Some good will come of this. I can tell you that.”

(Calls and emails to St. Mary’s Medical Center went unreturned.)

Read The Baby Gianna Story Part III

Note: This is the second part in a week-long series telling this incredible and gut-wrenching true story about life, death, abortion, and betrayal. We ask all of our readers and blogging friends to help us in any way they can to share this story. Please stay with us this entire week.