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US News: Right to Life Isn't a Human Right

Bonne Erbe of US News and World Report was attempting to discredit Alveda King calling her tacky and other precious names for being pro-life. Classy, huh?

King compared abortion to racism and incurred the wrath of liberal columnists everywhere. But most lib media types try to dress up their views to make themselves seem at least a little mainstream. Not the filter-less Erbe though. But that's why we like her so much. Every thought that she has she writes down.

But check out Erbe's logic here:

Sorry, but abortion rights and racism simply are not comparable. Racism is unacceptable and violates a basic human right. Abortion is quite something else again. I support abortion rights but I'm not sure I would go so far as to call it a human rights issue. We way overuse the terms "human right" or "civil right" to the point where everyone claims something they want and don't have is a civil right. We are at the point where the terms are so overused, they have become meaningless. But to equate abortion with racism is so way out of whack with reality, it says more about the person using the terms interchangeably, than it does about either of those issues.
What?! No seriously, What?!

What, other than a human right, could abortion be about? We're saying the the unborn are humans and have a right to life. Even if you're against what we're saying we're clearly talking about a human right.

And now that I'm thinking about this I'm wondering what other kinds of rights are there other than human rights? Is there a difference between a right as delineated by the Constitution and "human rights?" How does Erbe make the distinction?

Pawlenty To Obamacare--Nope!

Sometimes good policy makes good politics.

Minnesota’s Governor Tim Pawlenty, via executive order, told state employees "We don't need no stinkin' Obamacare." From Star Tribune via Hotair:

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty Tuesday ordered all state agencies to not to submit applications to any health care funding from the federal government related to the health care overhaul.

Any applications must be either required by law or approved by the governor’s office. …

“Obamacare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable,” Pawlenty said in a news release.
If a state doesn't take the money, Obamacare is dead in the water. Once you take the money, they own you.

This is a tactic that more governors should and hopefully will use.

Some people have noted that this move is a broadside against Mitt "RomneyCare" Romney as much as it is against Obamacare. So be it. RomneyCare is a disaster and Romney should be saddled with it. No real conservative would ever do what Romney did. Can we get over it? Maybe. But this is where the debate should be.

That said, this is the right policy. Deny the Feds their leverage by not accepting the money. Governors, pay attention. Lawsuits are fine and they should be tried. But cut off the finding and you cut off Obamacare.

I have my issues with Pawlenty, but this is the right move.

Tuesdays With Fr. Barron: The Our Father

Bus Ads to Pope: Ordain Womyn!

Pope Benedict XVI is going to go to England, see the side of a bus and change the entire church because you know the best advice in life always comes from the side of a bus. That's what some womyn's group is hoping will happen when the Pope goes to England.

Reuters:

One group of women, Catholic Women's Ordination (CWO), will have its message plastered on the side of the buses as they travel along key routes, including past Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, where the pope is set to deliver a speech to Britain's civic society on September 17.

The group has paid 15,000 pounds ($23,130) for 15 buses to carry the message "Pope Benedict - Ordain Women Now!" for a month.

"We do not want to be disruptive, but I think the church has got to change or it will not survive," CWO spokeswoman Pat Brown told Reuters.
So they have the best interests of the Church at heart, right? Not their own interest?

These liberal groups keep thinking that the Church is like the government that if they keep pushing and yelling they'll eventually get their way. They think they just have to wait -kinda' like waiting for a bus that was scheduled to come in the 1960's but they're going to keep on waiting.

My advice - Keep waiting for that bus. It might be a while. Settle in. Grab a book. Why not make it the Catholic Catechism?

Talk of God Inappropriate in Sacred Space

There has been a lot of commentary on Glenn Beck's "restoring honor" rally in Washington this past weekend. President Obama ignored it. Newscasters spun it. And people argued over the size of it.

But hands down, the silliest thing anyone has said on this topic (and maybe any topic) comes from the politically liberal commentator Bill Press.

As the topic turned to the rally, it was noted that most of the rally focused on a return to God and patriotism.

Speaking on CNN, Press said that speaking about God in a 'sacred' space like the Lincoln Memorial is 'inappropriate.'...

Continue Reading >>>>

Poll: Churchgoers Don't Approve of Obama

Weasel Zippers has a story about a poll indicating that only 34% of "Churchgoers" approve of Obama. But to be fair even the non-churchgoers aren't crazy about him:

Support among Obama’s far-left Godless base beginning to erode?…

Even the unchurched are losing faith in Barack Obama’s handling of the presidency, according to the latest data from the Gallup poll.

When Obama was inaugurated last year, Americans who said they never or seldom go to church were more likely to approve of the job he was doing as president than Americans who said they attended church every week or Americans who said they attended church nearly weekly or monthly.
Check out Weasel Zippers for the rest of the story>>>

The Future of Seton Hall University

We don't typically do stuff like this but CMR friend Amy Giglio wrote in about her concerns with Seton Hall University. She seemed to know a lot about the university and its issues. While she asked CMR to write something up about it I thought readers would be better served by someone with her knowledge base. So I asked Amy to write up her concerns and she wrote back that she would. And this is what she wrote. In reading it I learned a lot about Seton Hall. But I think it has relevance beyond just one school. I believe right now that many Catholic schools are in danger of losing their Catholicism. So check out this story by Amy Giglio:

It seems there is a quiet battle going on behind the iron gates of Seton Hall University: a battle for the university’s soul.

The Division 1 men’s basketball program has endured a very dark off-the-court stretch, a new class is being offered by a member of the faculty who operates clearly and loudly at odds with Church teaching, and a year-long search for a new president has turned out fruitless. All of these things are circling in the air over these 58 acres of South Orange, NJ. Is Seton Hall’s soul dead, or merely on life support?

Seton Hall University is the oldest and largest diocesan university in the United States. Founded in 1856, just three years after the founding of the Diocese of Newark, NJ, Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, established Seton Hall University to fill the need for a Catholic university within the diocese. He named the university for his aunt, Elizabeth Ann Seton, a Catholic convert who established the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in Emmitsburg, MD to care for and educate poor children. Mother Seton would be the first American-born saint, canonized in 1975.

What’s been going on at The Hall lately?

1. Basketball madness: In April, 2006, Seton Hall Univeristy announced that Bobby Gonzalez, a coach known for his passion and explosive temper, would lead its Divison I, Big East men’s basketball program. In the four years he was there, Gonzalez did bring the better connections with local high school coaches that the university was looking for (National High School basketball powerhouses St. Anthony’s and St. Patrick’s are within 12 miles of campus.), but he alienated those same coaches and he also brought in some questionable transfer students who had run-ins with the law while enrolled at SHU. One was arrested for drunk driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway. Another punched a player on the opposing team below the belt during a game. A third, after having been kicked off the team, duct taped 8 people, some of whom were former teammates, and robbed them. On March 17, 2010, Gonzalez was fired by SHU President Robert Sheeran, six months after having been granted a contract extension through 2014. Sheeran cited Gonzalez’s conduct and that of his players as cause for termination. Gonzalez sued Seton Hall for wrongful termination shortly after he was fired, and Seton Hall countersued. The cases were settled out of court on August 25, 2010. No details of the settlement were released.

Seton Hall’s men’s basketball team has been the big team at the University. When any college’s or university’s basketball team does well in the NCAA tournament, its national profile is higher and it typically sees a sizable jump in admissions applications, which can translate into more qualified students and more money for the university. But at what cost? Bobby Gonzalez was a questionable choice for Seton Hall from the start. He’s intense, but was his brand of intensity a good fit for a Catholic university? Don’t Catholic colleges and universities have to hold themselves and their employees and students to a higher standard of behavior, modeling themselves on Jesus Christ?

It seems that Seton Hall has learned a lesson from the Gonzalez experience. On March 28, 2010, Seton Hall hired Kevin Willard, a family man who turned around the basketball program at Iona College and who served as Rick Pitino’s assistant with the Boston Celtics and at the University of Louisville. In an interview published on August 24, Willard told ESPN’s Dana O’Neil “When I met with Seton Hall, we talked a lot about behavior, but we also talked about winning and losing. I think you can have both. You can have a program you can be proud of and also have success. That’s what our goal is.”

Is it possible for a Catholic college or university today to have it both ways: to be a national sports powerhouse that is also fully committed to its Catholic identity? Of the colleges and universities who answered the National Catholic Register/Faith and Family Magazine’s 2009 College survey (only 26 schools completed the survey out of about 240 Catholic colleges and universities across the country), none of them have Division I athletic programs.

To look at Division I powerhouse Notre Dame’s decisions over the last 15 years or so, one might be left to wonder if Catholic colleges have their sports and be faithful, too. Certainly there are some members of the theology faculty who are solidly committed to the teaching authority of the Church, but there are others who are not. Notre Dame hosted the play The Vagina Monologues in 2008. And the fact that Notre Dame gave an honorary degree to President Obama in 2009, one of the most vocal proponents of abortion in our nation, and still refuses to drop charges against peaceful protesters might leave some to wonder if a Catholic college can really “have it all.” And if it’s worth having in the first place.

2. Questionable Course Offered: On April 15, 2010, The Setonian, the Seton Hall University student newspaper, published a story about a new course to be offered in fall 2010 on the topic of gay marriage. The course will be taught by Dr. W. King Mott, an openly gay professor in the Women and Gender Studies Department. Mott told the Setonian that this course was not about advocacy, but would take an academic approach to the issue. “I hope my students gain an appreciation and respect for disinterested analysis that can be used to formulate an informed opinion,” Mott told The Setonian.

Upon learning about the course offering, Archbishop Myers asked the University’s Board of Trustees (of which Myers is Chair) and the Board of Regents (of which Myers is president), to review the course. At this time, no official decision has been made on whether or not the course will go forward. The Mission and Identity Committee was supposed to discuss it in June. However, in an article that appeared in the Star-Ledger on August 25, Mott has said that as far as he has been told, the course is still slated to begin in the first week of class and it has about 24 students registered. The University had no official comment to the Star Ledger.

This is not the first time Mott has clashed with the administration of the University. In October 2005, The Star Ledger printed a letter by Mott that criticized the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Mott signed the letter as the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Seton Hall University. As a result, Mott was removed from his duties as Associate Dean, but was retained as a tenured member of the faculty.

What's interesting about Mott is that his entire professional academic career has been at Catholic Universities. I wonder why that is, especially since he thinks the Church is homophobic:
"The bottom line is, you're talking about a homophobic institution," he said last night. "The Roman Catholic Church is prima facie homophobic. The Roman Catholic Church considers me to be inherently disordered. I don't know how much more homophobic one can be" (Star Ledger October 28, 2005). In this 2005 article, Mott had indicated that he would seek a faculty position elsewhere. Clearly, he is still teaching at Seton Hall.

When I worked at Seton Hall as an admissions counselor 10 years ago, the nursing students were put on rotations in which they would observe abortion procedures. The nursing school made it clear to us at the time that students could opt out of those rotations without penalty, but the question is: why was this part of the nursing curriculum at a Catholic University in the first place?

Catholic Colleges have a right and a grave responsibility to be CATHOLIC. Many parents send their children to, and pay good money for, Catholic universities for a Catholic education. And knowing that, there are many secular colleges and universities which would gladly hire well-qualified professors, like Mott, without caring about what they think about Church teaching.

Seton Hall is a diocesan university, meaning that it is not founded or tied to a particular religious order, but it was founded by the Bishop of Newark and is tied to the diocese in its bylaws. Immaculate Conception Seminary, the diocesan seminary, is located on the campus at SHU. The Archbishop of Newark, Most Rev. John J. Myers, is the chair of the Board of Trustees and is also the Chair of the Board of Regents. Other permanent seats on the Board of Regents are the bishops of the four other dioceses in New Jersey, and other clergy.

One subcommittee of the Board of Regents is the Mission and Identity Committee. “The Mission and Identity Committee shall consider matters referred to the Board of Regents by the Board of Trustees arising from the University’s Catholic mission and identity, giving due consideration to the identity of Catholic institutions of higher education that is described in Ex Corde Ecclesiae (1990). The Committee shall report its recommendations to the Board of Regents” (Seton Hall Univeristy By-laws, Section 2, e, 3).

Why did the Mission and Identity Committee fail to issue a judgment or recommendation on this course? A Catholic University ought to be an oasis for Catholic thought and ideas. Parents should not have to be worried about whether or not a particular Catholic university is really Catholic. Parents should expect that their children will not be put off their faith by the actions of the university. People who are not Catholic should be attracted to a true Catholic University that by its nature would exude Christian love and freedom .

3. Failed presidential search: In June 2009, Msgr. Robert Sheeran announced his intention to resign as the President of Seton Hall University, kicking off a year-long search for a replacement. By the spring of 2010, the committee had chosen two priests as finalists, Msgr. Stuart Swetland and Rev. Kevin Mackin, OFM. Fr. Mackin, currently the president of Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh, NY, withdrew from consideration shortly after his name was announced, saying that he had decided to stay at Mt. St. Mary’s.

Msgr. Swetland, who was ordained for the diocese of Peoria IL in 1991 by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers (bishop of Peoria Diocese from 1990-2001), came to campus for a series of interviews in May 2010. Swetland is the host of EWTN’s Catholicism on Campus and a professor at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. Some at the university objected to Swetland’s candidacy, citing his lack of administrative experience. They also contended that he was being seriously considered a finalist only because of his friendship with Archbishop Myers.

Swetland was offered the job of president of Seton Hall. During the course of confidential contract negotiations, some university officials leaked specific details about the contract discussion, including a reported $300,000 annual salary. Sheeran earned about $31,000 per year. At the same time, the faculty senate, which represents each of the university’s colleges, circulated a statement urging the Board of Regents to reopen the search to seek candidates with more administrative experience and to laypeople. Citing his discernment that the Lord was calling him to stay at Mt. St. Mary’s (MD) and expressing his disappointment that the confidential contract discussion had been compromised, Swetland withdrew his candidacy.

While other New Jersey Catholic colleges in the area have gone from having priests and religious serving as president to laypeople, Seton Hall has not. The Board of Regents had limited its search to clergy for two reasons: the by-laws of the university require that the president is a priest and the Board’s feeling that a priest-president best serves the university’s mission.

4. Mission Control? At the beginning of this series, I said that there seems to be a battle going on for the university’s soul: a battle between Catholic thought and values and those of the secular world. It’s human nature to want to draw clear lines and assign parts in this drama: “liberal” faculty forces vs. a “conservative” archbishop, or the money a Division 1 sports program can bring in vs. goodness and integrity. I’m not so sure that accurately depicts what’s going on here.

The university has a lot going for it in terms of “orthodoxy cred.” The Office of Mission and Ministry at the University seems to be trying to do a lot of good things, overseeing: The Catholic Center for Family Life and Spirituality, The G.K. Chesteron Institute for Faith and Culture, the Institute for Christian Spirituality, and others.

What I think we have at Seton Hall is a split-personality disorder. There seems to be a culture there that doesn’t recognize that to be intellectually honest and rigorous and truly Catholic are not mutually exclusive things. The Seminary and the Mission and Identity haven’t been successful in permeating the entire culture at Seton Hall.

What Seton Hall needs to do, and it is not too far gone to do, is to examine itself through the lens of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education (In its press packet, the Cardinal Newman Society has a good breakdown of the guidelines and analysis of what has happened at Catholic colleges in the United States in the 20 years since Ex Corde was published.). Seton Hall doesn’t seem to have truly embraced the following:

“A Catholic university, as Catholic, informs and carries out its research, teaching, and all other activities with Catholic ideals, principles and attitudes. …Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities, while the freedom of conscience of each person is to be fully respected. Any official action or commitment of the university is to be in accord with its Catholic identity.”

Catholic ideals, principles, and attitudes are not being reflected across the board at Seton Hall. Catholic attitudes and principles were not on display during the coaching tenure of Bobby Gonzalez. Having a priest sit on your bench during games (like the team chaplain, Msgr. Liddy does) doesn’t mean that your coach and his or her players are living Catholic attitudes and principles, and it doesn’t make up for distinctly un-Christian behavior.

Can a course on gay marriage be offered at a Catholic university that is living up to Catholic ideals, principles, and actions? Can such a course be offered in a completely balanced way, showing how the Church teaches that people who self-identify as gay must be treated with dignity and respect and are called, just like every other human being, to live a chaste life within God’s ordered creation and that the Church teaches that gay marriage goes against the natural law? It’s hard to imagine that an openly gay professor who has advocated for the gay lifestyle would be able to accomplish this.

This struggle between the secular forces and Catholic mission forces is very evident in the failed search for a replacement for Msgr. Robert Sheeran this past year. Based on Msgr. Swetland’s background and his involvement with EWTN’s “Catholicism on Campus,” one might conclude that Msgr. Swetland might try to guide Seton Hall into a place where it resides more firmly within Ex Corde’s guidelines. Some have seen in Swetland’s candidacy the hand of Archbishop Myers trying to bring Seton Hall closer to Ex Corde.

What can the Archbishop do about Seton Hall University? The truth is, Archbishop Myers can do very little in an overt way, so there is no smackdown on the way. The Archdiocese does not own Seton Hall, even though it is a diocesan university. Archbishop Myers does sit on two very important boards, but he doesn’t have absolute control over them. He can advocate and he can preach, but he does not have direct control over the daily happenings at the University. That is the job of the President.

What can we, Jane and Joe Catholic sitting in the pews, do to save not just this Catholic university, but all Catholic colleges and universities in danger of losing their souls? First, we must pray. We must ask the intercession of the saints in whose names these schools were founded for the conversion of the campuses. We must pray for the clergy and religious who are running these schools. We must pray for those who are trying to effect positive change at these schools. We must pray for lukewarm souls to be set on fire for Christ once again.

If we are alumni of these Catholic colleges in trouble, we must make our feelings known and vote with our wallets. We need to show the people on the boards and the presidents of these colleges that following the guidelines of Ex Corde means something to us and that we will either give or withhold giving based on how well they do that.

We also need to understand what following the guidelines established by Ex Corde means. People tend to focus on the mandatum oath, whose theology professors have taken it and whose haven’t (From Ex Corde: Catholic theologians “are to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church as the authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.” Every professor of Catholic theology must have a “mandate” (mandatum) from the local bishop, as required in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.”). While the mandatum is crucial, it’s only one part of the guidelines and isn’t a guarantee of a holistically Catholic college. The National Catholic Register/Faith and Family Magazine College survey is an excellent resource which asks the colleges to self- report on all of the guidelines established by Ex Corde Ecclesiae. The Newman Guide is indispensable in helping Catholic families choose a Catholic College.

Finally, we need to support the bishops who are working to clean these colleges up. We need to encourage them with cards, letters and emails, and we especially need to pray for them. Our bishops need to know that we think that Catholic colleges and universities are important to all the faithful, to our country, and to the world. Our bishops need to know that we believe that the colleges and universities who would call themselves Catholic need to project a strong Catholic identity for the world to see.

President Remote Control

During the 2008 campaign season, I marveled about the ability of the candidate and the campaign to stay 'on message.' For sure, the messages which candidate Obama offered were the zealously vague platitudes of hope and change, but it served as the perfect counterpoint to the frustrations most of had with the Bush administration. For many, John McCain embodied all the things we disliked about the Bush administration with fewer of its virtues. Hope and change were the right messages and they were delivered with monotonous effectiveness. With Obama, the candidate and the campaign got it and they stuck to it. And they won.

Baseball fans are all familiar with the tale of the rookie season and the sophomore jinx. A rookie pitcher breaks into the major league and he seems, during his first time through the league, to be virtually un-hitable. But then, as the seasoned professionals have seen him a few times, he is suddenly hitable. He loses the mystique and he struggles. Sometimes they fade away to obscurity unable to adapt and sometimes they expand and grow and find new ways to fool their opponents and stay on top of their game.

President Obama shows all the signs of the sophomore jinx and, for now, few signs of the adaptation and growth necessary for a long and successful career in the major leagues.

I watched this weekend as the President took some time from his umpteenth vacation to sit down with the usual suscepts to deal with message. (No, I didn't spell that wrong)

First President Obama was asked about a poll which showed that one in five Americans questions whether he is a Christian. His answer reveals. “I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.”

The question was about his faith, his answer about his birthplace and citizenship. Regardless of what that tells you, it tells me something bad about this President. This type of remark has become all too commonplace in the last 18 months. A diversion. And a bad one.

So much of what made Obama seem un-hitable just 20 months ago now makes him seem aloof and unconcerned. His ballyhooed coolness, an attribute which wowed wispy conservatives, has now made just about everyone post-oil-spill (even James Carville), either baffled or bitter. Coolness in the face of your hardship is virtue, coolness in the face of others' hardship--vice.

Even the President's storied speechifying now grates. In speech after speech, his robotic tones reveal nothing. Let me be clear--they are, like his teleprompter, utterly predictable. During the critical healthcare debate, Obama grudgingly deigned to discourse on the topic and when he did his dictatorial tone revealed his impatience with having to tell us stupid children the same thing over and over when what he really wants to say is "Because I said so.." The problem was never their plan, it was always our collective inability to perceive its greatness. "The election is over, John."

In fact the only time that we see any truth, any realness in Obama is when he is being thin skinned.

This brings me to another comment of the President this weekend. Asked about the "Restoring Honor" rally, Obama dismissed it saying "It’s not surprising that someone like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of [the American people.]" Regardless of what you think of Mr. Beck, hundreds of thousands of people on the mall praying for the restoration of this country is a big deal. Why not say that you share some of their concerns? Is that too much to ask? Aloof does not even begin to describe it. The president only served to solidify the opinion that many Americans share. He doesn't care.

This president will do what he wants and will ask our opinion only when he wants it. Apparently, this is government of the people and bye people. His is the imperial presidency that many have feared. Controlling of the people while remaining steadfastly remote from them. President Remote Control.

Absent from any of Obama's action or rhetoric is the ability to adapt to new realities. Without such adaption in approach or rhetoric, the American people will see each pitch for its rookie season sameness. President Remote Control will reveal himself as a flash in the pan and John and Jane Q. will reluctantly conclude that it is time to cut our losses.

Back in 2008, Obama and his campaign understood that message matters. What he fails to understand is that in 2010, it still does.

Compassionate Cannibalism

Various media reported on an online campaign calling on people to “donate any part of their body” to a new cannibal restaurant. They also advertised for an “open-minded surgeon.”

Oooooookay?!

This is assuredly an online p.r. stunt for something or other but it got me thinking, “Why not cannibalism?” Seriously. Many of the same arguments made in the defense of things like abortion, the legalization of drugs, and homosexual marriage could be used to legalize cannibalism.

If the sole arbiter of legality is the consent of adults, why not cannibalism?

Couldn’t you imagine the libertarian argument that if a restaurant is willing to pay for body parts or is simply asking for donated body parts, what’s the legal problem? Nobody would be forced to sell or donate body parts so it would simply be a free market.

If people have an absolute right to do with their bodies whatever they want as is often argued, don’t they have a right to decide what they want to do with their limbs and body parts? If people have the right to kill themselves why shouldn’t they also have the right to donate a few measly toes or limbs.

The right to privacy which has been extended to the slaughter of millions of unborn human beings in America alone should certainly allow for the donation of a little arm, leg, or fingers. Shouldn’t such a decision be left between a person and their chef?

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register>>>

Fr. Michael Rodriguez On Homosexualty

In his own words on local news in El Paso.

Presidents Then and Now

Then:

Now:

Fr. Euteneuer To Leave HLI--Return To Diocese

Hmmmm.

FRONT ROYAL, VA – The board of directors of Human Life International (HLI) has announced that after nearly 10 years of meritorious service to HLI as president, Reverend Thomas J Euteneuer has stepped down from his position after being asked by his Bishop to return to his Diocese in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The board thanks Fr. Euteneuer for his leadership, hard work and dedication in carrying on the legacy of Fr. Paul Marx. During his tenure Fr. Euteneuer traveled more than one million miles as a pro-life missionary to the world.

While Fr. Euteneuer’s leadership at HLI and his influence on the pro-life movement around the world will be greatly missed, we are blessed to have gifted staff who will continue to carry out our mission while a search for a new president is undertaken.

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Car├ímbula, Executive Director of HLI’s office in Rome, will assume Fr. Euteneuer’s responsibilities until such time as a permanent replacement is named.
Fr. Euteneuer has done great work at HLI and will be missed. I am curious about the "why" in all this, bit I suppose we should be grateful for the time he was given by his Bishop.

Bill Protects Clergy Opposed to Gay Marriage? No.

This is absolutely hilarious that they think this will work. Not only would we have to drink the Kool-Aid to accept this, the Kool-Aid would have to be spiked with lots and lots of grain alcohol. The California legislature just passed a bill that supposedly protects clergy and churches that refuse to perform same sex marriages from losing their tax exempt status.

This is a sham, a p.r. ploy designed to cut off debate. Passing a new law protecting churches is all well and good but wasn't there a federal law stating that marriage was between a man an a woman? Wasn't there a statewide referendum declaring marriage between a man and a woman? Those laws were simply overturned by judges who are the real law of the land. This "law" should be an offense to environmentalists because all the paper used for that bill was completely wasted because a judge will simply overturn it.

This "law" is simply a way to shut up those upholding traditional marriage. When proponents of traditional marriage (can you believe marriage needs an adjective now?) say that gay marriage leads to the recognition of polyamorous marriages, they're scoffed at. They're scoffed at because proponents of gay marriage have no other answer than to scoff and mock. But the gay marriage ruling isn't really a ruling about gay marriage. It's a legal redactor. It really erases the definition of marriage and says that anyone and everyone can have their own definition of marriage. Or to look at it the other way it makes marriage meaningless. Anarchi-marriage.

The judge says it's about the rights of the individual to decide what marriage is. But if it's a right how can a priest or clergy deny an individual their rights? So this law passed by the California legislature will be law until it's not. It will have served its purpose which is to cut off argument that churches will be punished for not performing gay marriages...until it's time to punish churches that don't perform gay marriage.

Don't drink the Kool-Aid on this one. It tastes kind of funny and it's got a really bad after taste.

Gov't Has Legal Right To Track You Via GPS

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. " ---Fourth Amendment to the Constitution

"Fourth Amendment? Never heard of it."--The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Circus has ruled that the gov't has a right to track you anywhere you go with GPS (planted by them) without a warrant. I am not making this up.

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision - one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.
No reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements? Are we that far gone?

In Maryland they are trying to put a man in jail for videotaping a policeman while he was being arrested. Cops have a reasonable expectation of privacy while performing their public duty but you have none no matter where you go and what you do? This is crazy.

Every week I ask my brother Matthew "Is it time to get the guns and ammo yet?" And every week he says no. At this rate, how much longer will he be able to say that?

If Only Paula Abdul Were Canadian...

If you can believe it, this untalented Muslim dude who sings a faux punk chick rock song and monndances on the Canadian version of American Idol has been arrested on charges of terrorist conspiracies. I can only wonder if Paula Abdul were Canadian and a judge on the show maybe she would've voted for him to continue on the show and all of this could've been avoided. Just maybe extending his ridiculous dreams of a life in show business would've prevented him from considering killing large swaths of the Canadian population.

(Oddly, this isn't the first time I wished that Paula lived in another country. And let's face it, it probably won't be the last.)

Hard to believe this guy wanted to moondance on our graves. Allegedly. (I say "allegedly" because the last thing I need is some crazy moondancing Muslim Avril Lavigne fan after me.) You gotta check out the vid:



I absolutely stole this video from Weasel Zippers who has the details on the actual charges.

Mindless Drones vs. Chris Christie



You're not going to hear a better argument against behemoth bureaucracy than this one from Chris Christie.

NRO wonders if The Obama administration might be being vengeful against the conservative Christie:

I’m not usually the conspiratorial type, but watch Gov. Chris Christie explain how the Obama administration disqualified the state of New Jersey from hundreds of millions in education funds because some clerk in Trenton turned in the wrong excel spreadsheet.

Democrats in Washington have already shown a willingness to withhold federal education dollars from states that don’t follow their preferred tactic for navigating the recession: giving teachers raises like it’s the Gay ’90s. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is more punishment for a state that committed the crime of balancing its budget.

Right Wing Militia Says Burning Quran Is Bad

Truth be told, I do not give much consideration to the sensitivities of others. While I accept that sometimes you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, I also think its a good thing when the jars of honey and vinegar are labeled correctly.

I prefer sharp lines and clear distinctions. That is my nature. As anyone who knows me or anyone who regular reads me can tell you, I don't much mind confrontation either. And feelings get hurt sometimes, after all that is what they are there for.

All this preamble is intended to convince you of my bona fides when it comes to tactics of a more aggressive nature when trying to make a point. Why? Because these people are off their rocker.

Continue Reading >>>>

Ask Your Doctor if They Believe in God

Forget examining the medical degree on the wall of your doctor's office. Don't ask where they did their residency. Don't wonder what prestigious scientific journals published their work. Ask your doctor about their belief in God. If you don't it could cost you your life.

The Guardian is reporting on a study:

Doctors who are atheist or agnostic are twice as likely to take decisions that might shorten the life of somebody who is terminally ill as doctors who are deeply religious – and doctors with strong religious convictions are less likely even to discuss such decisions with the patient, according to Professor Clive Seale, from the centre for health sciences at Barts and the London school of medicine and dentistry.

"If I were a patient facing end of life care, I would want to know what my doctor's views were on religious matters – whether they are non-religious or religious and whether the doctor felt that would influence them in the kinds of decisions they were looking at," said Seale.

A patient who wanted their life prolonged at all costs in the event of a terminal illness, or did not want it prolonged, should make sure they had a doctor who was in sympathy with this.

Doctors are influenced by their beliefs, just as other people are, said Seale.

"It is easy for clinicians to present themselves as neutral appliers of science, but values do come into it," he said.
Anyone who's had a loved one in a hospital knows that you sometimes have to fight for their lives. A Catholic hospital tried to overdose my father to death and a secular hospital attempted to starve my brother.

This is one of the reasons the battle for integrity of Catholic hospitals matters so much. This is why the culture of life is about a heck of a lot more than abortion.

So ask your doctor about their belief in God. They'll probably freak but hey, at least you can share the story with us over here. But really, why would you put your life in the hands of someone who doesn't believe that life is sacred at every moment of the spectrum?

Harvard Valedictorian Joins Convent

Here is your awesome story of the day!

The 2010 Harvard Valedictorian, Mary Anne Marks, who delivered her valedictory speech in Latin is joining the awesome Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor. Boy I love those nuns!

Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Miss Marks in "God and Woman at Harvard "

Perhaps this is becoming a trend:

LOPEZ: I don’t know Harvard to be a great incubator or beacon of religious vocations. Am I wrong?

MARKS: Yes, Deo gratias! A couple of years ago, a young man who finished Harvard in three years entered the seminary in St. Louis. A little further back, a young woman who attended Harvard and lived in the same women’s residence that I did joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. One of my friends, whom I met while she was pursuing a degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy two years ago. This July 25, two young men from Harvard joined the Eastern Province of the Dominicans.

This is wonderful news!

Go read the full interview here!




And Just for fun, here is her valedictory speech.

Mamma Yoda's Pregnancy and Birthing Tips

Sherry at Chocolate for Your Brain writes on something she knows a lot about -pregnancy and birthing them babies. She's guest posting here but remember to check her out at her place. Here's Sherry:

When you sit in an OBGYN office as often as I have, you run into rookies who have understandably romantic notions of pregnancy and birth, you've also heard every crazy birthing idea ever conceived. As a Jedi Master of Gestation, I offer these some tidbits of wisdom garnered from 10 years worth of time in the waiting room of Dagobah.

10) Gentlemen, husbands please, unless you are volunteering to go through a root canal minus the Novocaine, do not presume to tell your pregnant wife that she really ought to try for a purely natural birth if she does not herself actually want it. Women, you were born in a world of technologies and wonderful medicines, take advantage of your blessings. Like I told Padme, they don't give out extra prizes for biting the bullet, only the actual babies delivered.

9) Yoda Mom says, "Fine Breathing is, epidural better."

8) La Leche women will leave your room much sooner if you just nod your head and bleat after them, "Breast is best." or have your husband do his best wookie imitation, it Will scare them off.

7) "Glu"cola is aptly named. But it still taste better than most food served in any of the films.

6) No matter what the fashion magazines for expecting women say, Yellow is never a good color after the fourth month. The styling young Jedi wears clothes that will not recall the form of big bird.

5) Something at some point, will not go as planned. You will feel like a rookie quarterback after the first sack in the first game of the National Football League season; this will be your wake up call to the roles of Mother and Father. You will never forget this first hit, though more will most assuredly come. Welcome to the NFL.

Sorry, broke the form for a moment, what I meant to say is, "You have taken your first step into a much larger world."

4) After birth, on the third day, male or female, you will feel crummy. Quoting Han Solo, "I feel terrible."

3) As much as you may cry the first time you catch yourself in a maternity swim suit, I promise you it feels beyond fabulous to get in the water. My own inner critic still tells me, "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."

2) For me, as reliable as an Ultrasound was my emotion-meter. If I had energy and could handle anything, it was a boy. If I cried at the schmaltz of a McDonald's or Maxwell House coffee commercial, I knew for certain, it was a girl. "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."

1) I don't care how ethically pure it may be, the idea of eating the placenta is beyond gross. I mean, and what would you serve it with anyway? Even the mitochondrians draw the line somewhere and I concur with their wisdom. There are many fine things to eat in this world. The temporary liver type organ used to sustain your baby for 9 months, is not one of them.

Mother Yoda's Ten lessons garnered from 17 years of Potty Training will be revealed at some point when I discover actually how to encourage a bull headed two or three year old to consent to such indelicate matters without offering a dog, pony, SUV and a year's worth of M& M's and swimming lessons. Then we'll move onto discussing surviving adolescence and eventually, paying for college. Say you're not scared? "You will be. You Will be."

Hasselbeck is Now Pro-Choice and Gay Marriage


The most liberal show on television just got more liberal. The "conservative" co-host said in an interview that sure she thinks abortion is killing a human but that doesn't mean it should be illegal. Yahoo reports:

Hasselbeck, who campaigned with Sarah Palin in '08, insists that she's been misunderstood, saying in a recent interview that she regards President Barack Obama as an "incredibly cool guy" and parts company with conservative culture warriors on the charged issues of gay marriage and abortion rights. On the latter front, she says she's "torn"; she offers fairly unequivocal support on the controversial question of same-sex unions.

In an interview with Fancast's Adam Buckman, Hasselbeck insists she's not "ultra-ultra-conservative on every issue." "I actually support gay marriage," she says, an admission that puts her to the left of Obama.

As for abortion, Hasselbeck confirms she believes that life begins at conception but also says she doesn't think the government should tell women what to do with their bodies. "I'm torn there in terms of supporting laws" for or against abortion, she says. "I always say I would rather a change in heart than a law."
The want (even need) to be liked is a dangerous thing.

I can't stand when people say that when it comes to abortion they'd rather change a heart than the law. I always wonder, can't we do both?

Tuesdays With Barron - Inception

Your Intolerance Will Not Be Tolerated



via Patrick Madrid

How To Tell If Your Bishop Is A Progressive

There is a scene in one of the Die Hard movies where Bruce Willis is getting into an elevator with a bunch of Eurobaddies pretending to Americans. The Eurobaddies are intent on putting an end to the movie series by killing Bruce. Ah, but Bruce picks up on few little things that give him the advantage.

One of them calls the elevator a lift instead of, well, an elevator and another handles his cigarettes funny. Based on this evidence alone, Bruce quickly comes to the conclusion that these security guards are likely not American after all. So if they are not American, he surmises, well they must be Eurobaddies and he promptly dispatches them all to the great beyond.

What saved Bruce from an untimely demise? The dead giveaway. Keep this in mind.

Perhaps you have heard the story already about an El Paso priest who wrote an op-ed to the local newspaper. In his article, Fr. Michael Rodriquez said things that from a Catholic point of view that are undeniably true.

Remember: Every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions.

Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
There is more and you should read it. For his defense of Catholic teaching in the matter the good priest was publicly rebuked by his Bishop in the same paper. His Excellency Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of El Paso wails and apologizes about the incivility of the neanderthal Fr. Rodriguez. Check out Father Z for a line by line dissection of the original letter and the Bishop's response.

However, as a result of this I fear there may be many priests out there who would like to defend the Church but now fear similar rebukes to the one suffered by Fr. Rodgriguez. So how can a priest in good standing know if his Bishop is really a Eurobaddy just pretending to be Catholic while he takes you down the elevator of death? Well just like Bruce, you need to look for the dead give-away. And fortunately there is one.

Let's return to the the rebuke written by Bishop Ochoa. While most of the piece is obvious there is one subtle giveaway that if it had been detected in his writing prior to this incident may have saved the good priest some grief. Let's look at it.

"As Church we want to journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives."

Seems innocuous enough, right? But the devil is in the detail. As Church we want to journey says the Bishop. As what? Church. Not THE Church? No just Church. But where is the definite article? Aha, now you are on to something.

For reasons I cannot fully explain, progressive Eurobaddies abhor the definite article when referring to THE Church. Saying THE Church conveys history, truth, and authority--all things antithetical to the progressively pastoral. By removing the definite article, progressives hope to remove any sense of such unpastoral authority. They prefer that you think of the Church as an autonomous collective, a sort of anarcho-syndicalist commune in which we take turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.

But there you have it. This is the easiest way for you to discover if your Bishop is really just a progressive Eurobaddy in disguise ready to pounce on you when you least expect it.

So what then? What do you do if, while scouring the writings of your Bishop, you discover reference to the indefinite Church? I can't answer that for you but the Bishops should be glad the Bruce is not a priest.

Is The Politico Anti-Semitic?

The Politico reports that Republican Eric Cantor, like 70% of Americans, is against the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque. But notice what The Politico goes out of their way to report:

Rep. Eric Cantor, one of the highest-ranking Jewish lawmakers, says Muslims building a community center in lower Manhattan are “insensitive” and “not interested in healing or bringing people together.”

And then in case you didn't get it, they point it out once more, you know in case you didn't understand that he is...you know...a Joooooooooo!
Cantor, who is the only Jewish Republican in the House, added President Barack Obama's comments about the mosque didn’t help and "continued to grow the frustration of the American people."

Will other congressman also have their religious affiliation pointed out in news stories about the mosque, like Harry Reid's Mormonism? Don't think so.

In case, The Politico has forgotten here's a good way to remember if they're being prejudiced.



Scene:
The Politico is in a boat with an old time editor.

Politico: Sir, the Creative Minority Report says I'm prejudiced.
Editor: Well, who is Eric Cantor?
Politico: He's that Jewish congressman.
Editor: Then you are prejudiced.

Fin.

Let's Hope the Pope Doesn't Act All Catholicy

We knew that some English government officials were a wee bit peeved about the Pope coming to England. They’ve shown that with their emails suggesting that the Pope visit an abortion clinic or suggesting a new brand of Pope Benedict condom. We know that many Muslims aren’t happy about the visit because a Muslim publication has called for Muslims to “tell the Pope in no uncertain terms what Muslims think of his evil slanders against the last Prophet of God and his message.” What we didn’t know was that some Catholic officials in England aren’t so crazy about the Pope’s visit either. In fact, some Catholic officials are hoping that the Pope doesn’t act too Catholic-y when he visits England.

Continue reading at the National Catholic Register>>>

That Would Be as Stupid As...

Putting a mosque at Ground Zero would be as crazy as...say, erecting an memorial at Shanksville, Pennsylvania for the victims of Flight 93 in the shape of an Islamic crescent.

Oh wait.


Never mind. This is the "Crescent of Embrace" memorial in Shanksville.

Hope is lost.

Obamanomics: The Laugher Curve

13 Reasons Not to Attend Obama Elementary

News reports say that the first school in the D.C. area named after President Barack Obama opened today as the school year began.

Barack Obama Elementary School opened its doors in Upper Marlboro, Md. This school will have several unique issues:

1) Geography students will be taught there are 57 states.

2) Math students will learn that if you subtract enough you get a plus.

3) No child is allowed to attend any other school, especially private religious schools.

4) No child will put their hand on their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.

5) The Pledge will actually not be said.

6) Abortions will be available free of charge in the "Don't wanna be punished with a baby" clinic and performed by the school nurse without parental consent.

7) No official transcripts will be kept on students or ever released.

8) Teachers must say, "Let me be perfectly clear..." before saying something completely confusing.

9) All teachers will use teleprompters.

10) The student chorus will sing "Barack Hussein Obama MMM-mmm-MMM at every event.

11) Jews are only allowed in if they promise not to expand their homes.

12) The cafeteria food stinks because Michelle Obama is in charge of the "Battle Obesity" menu.

13) Children play golf instead of doing their classwork a few days a week.

Bonus: There will be no multiplication table drills because Obama doesn't believe in drilling.

If you'd like to add any please feel free in the combox. Usually the ones you guys put in the combox are better than mine.

Rabbi: Who's Against The Mosque? Nazis!!!

Just hours before Iran flipped the switch and transformed themselves from a anti-semitic madhouse into a nuclear anti-semitic madhouse, one Rabbi is saying it's beginning to feel a lot like the 1930's - except he's talking about how people who don't want to see the Ground Zero Mosque built are kinda' like Nazis. Because you must remember we're the bad guys here.

Something like thirty religious leaders from California all signed a letter in support of the mosque. There seems to be some confusion between legality and morality on this point from liberals. I find this funny from the people who always talk about how they see ending the life of an unborn human as morally wrong but still defend its legality. You know the whole safe, legal and rare thing.

But anyway, back to the rabbi.

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak said he worried that the dialogue surrounding the New York mosque and opposition to other mosque projects, including one in Temecula, Calif., echoed the growing anti-Semitic sentiment in the 1930s.

"The loneliness and isolation that Jews felt in the 1930s is palpable, but now it's directed to the Muslims," he said.

"To anyone who knows their history, history is not only the past, it's a prologue," he said. "Muslims around the world are watching."
Do these people live in the same country as us? The same world? 70% of Americans are like Nazis? Seriously?

If you ask me, Americans have been extraordinarily wonderful since 9-11. Americans don't burn down mosques or often go around beating up families of Muslims for the crime of being Muslim. We've bent over backwards to be sensitive, haven't we?

It ticks me off everytime some radical Muslim kills someone or blows something up Americans get lectured about not hating all Muslims and how we must understand it's a religion of peace. We're all supposed to be inclusive but I guess inclusiveness doesn't extend to the families of the victims of 9-11 who are against the mosque being built there. I guess they're Nazis too.

It seems to me that about now Iran (you know the country with the government constantly calling for the eradication of Jews from the Middle East) would be a bit more worrisome than Americans who don't think a mosque near the World Trade Center is a good idea.

I'm not crazy about calling people Nazis but if you're going to do it, please save it for the guys who are lurching towards becoming a nuclear power and vowing to eradicate the Jooooooooos rather than the people who believe it's insensitive to build a mosque right next to the site where radical Muslisms kills thousands of Americans.

The Morality Of Legality And Other Hobgoblins

The poet Rtalph Waldo Emerson famously said “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

May I humbly suggest that as far as the hobgoblins of little statesmen go, inconsistency trumps.

The story of the day that won’t go away is the building of a mosque/Islamic Center just a few blocks away from ground zero. This story was given additional legs, as if it needed it, by the politically-inept comments of the President in support of its construction some ten days ago. These comments were followed the next day by supposedly clarifying but conspicuously contradictory comments. So accustomed are we to such backflips that most of the country could easily grab forty-winks during the finale of Cirque du Soleil.

Yet, let us take a moment to examine the themes of two conflicting statements and try to move beyond the blatant. In his original comments on the matter, the President championed the obvious and stood up for the largely uncontested position that Muslims have a legal right to build mosques. Of course, the real issue was not the legality, but the wisdom and morality of such a project. In the President’s view, it seems, if it is legal therefore it is moral.

As it turns out,...

Continue Reading >>>>

Philly Requires $300 Blogging License

Your free speech rights are secondary when some potential tax revenue is on the line, at least in Philadelphia.

Check out this outrageous story.

For the past three years, Marilyn Bess has operated MS Philly Organic, a small, low-traffic blog that features occasional posts about green living, out of her Manayunk home. Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she's made about $50. To Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

"The real kick in the pants is that I don't even have a full-time job, so for the city to tell me to pony up $300 for a business privilege license, pay wage tax, business privilege tax, net profits tax on a handful of money is outrageous," Bess says.
So you now need a business license to have an online diary. This is outrageous! Do these people even understand what it takes in revenue to even break even on a blog?

Is it improper for a government to require business licenses for actual businesses, even if they are blogs? No. But this is the typical heavy handed approach of those in government more concerned with getting your money than protecting your speech rights.

There out to be reasonable thresholds for this sort of thing otherwise you will prevent those who can least afford it from expressing themselves.

And trust me, if Philly gets away with it, this ridiculousness will be coming to city near you--soon!

Go! Confront the problem. Fight! Win!

ht Gateway Pundit.

Father Breen Retracts Statements -- Saves Job

The Case of the Heretical Priest from Nashville is closing, we hope. Fr. Joeseph Breen posted a video on his website and committed multiple counts of video heresy. CMR picked up the video and the story went national.

Fr. Breen was given a choice by Bishop Choby of Nashville. Retract your terrible statements made in the video and abide by your promises not to do it again or you are gone. Father Breen chose to retract his statements.

Here is the official statement by the Diocese of Nashville.

Father Breen retracts statements, apologizes

In letters to Pope Benedict XVI and to St. Edward Parish, Father Joe Pat Breen has retracted and apologized for statements made in an internet video and subsequent media interviews that Catholics are not obligated to follow teachings of the Catholic Church as defined by the pope and bishops. In addition, he has agreed to no longer voice his private concerns publically or in the media as required by a document presented to him by Bishop Edward Kmiec in 1993.

The letter to the parish also indicated that he expects to continue as pastor of St. Edward Parish until Dec. 31, 2011.

Father Breen has shared the content of those letters with Bishop David Choby and the letter to the parish will be distributed in the next few days.

Bishop Choby offered Father Breen the choice of retracting and apologizing for his statements or face the process set forth for the removal of a pastor under canon law when a ministry becomes harmful or ineffective.

The offer came during a meeting on Aug. 19, a little more than two weeks after a video interview with Father Breen posted on the St. Edward Parish website received worldwide attention. It was the bishop’s second meeting with Father Breen about his statements contradicting Church teaching. Bishop Choby asked Father Breen to remove the video from the parish site on Aug. 6. The video was removed but copies remain available on the internet and have been viewed more than 14,000 times.

In the letter to the parish, Father Breen said “the meeting was cordial and fruitful.”

The terms of the 1993 ban put in place by Bishop Edward Kmiec prohibit him from making statements that disagree with the authentic magisterium of the Church.

Although the process to remove a pastor has not been used in recent memory in the Diocese of Nashville, it is used with some regularity in the worldwide Church.

“The role of pastor is particularly important as the leader and teacher of a parish,” Bishop Choby said. “The office is a direct link to the authority of the Church as instituted by Christ in the apostles and handed down through the popes and bishops. A pastor holds a public office charged with administering, teaching, and sanctifying the local community of the faithful. The Church expects him to work in unity with its authentic teaching as handed down through the pope and the bishops. It is simply wrong to state, as Father Breen has repeatedly, that one’s conscience frees an individual from the truth revealed and instilled in Church teaching. A deep understanding of Church teaching is, in fact essential to a fully formed conscience, and helps guide an individual in making the distinction between one’s opinions and a decision based soundly on the foundation of a rightly formed conscience. One who chooses to act contrary to Church teaching acts outside of the revealed truth of God’s will.”

“In recognition of his many years of good work among the people of his parish, I want to give Father Breen every opportunity to correct the errors in his teaching, and gracefully enter retirement,” Bishop Choby said, “but in any case, his recent public remarks could not stand.”
While I did call for Fr. Breen's ouster, I totally respect the Bishop's judgment in this case. Father Breen will be retiring in a year and the Bishop clearly wanted to give him an exit strategy that allowed him a graceful exit. If Father Breen abides his promises this time, I think the Bishop did the right thing.

May God Bless Bishop Choby and I pray that Father Breen really understands what he did wrong. What do you think?

Fast, Pray, Serve

This is the second post from Sherry Antonetti. We're so happy to have her here but she sometimes puts her feet up on the furniture. So read this and check her blog out over at Chocolate for Your Brain:

When I first picked up "Eat Pray Love"for summer reading, the catty part of me sat there thinking, "What does this woman have to be miserable about?" Her husband loves her, she has a career that allows her to fly to exotic locals and will pay for her to spend a year navel gazing. Nice work if you can get it. She just didn't want to be tied down anymore at 34, but this is a real life and real lives are often very messy. I kept plodding forward. However, after reading the whole thing, I exercise my option not to see the movie.

Rather like the first leg of her journey in Italy, the nutritional content of this book is the equivalent of a large fragrant excellent Naples' pizza. It's tasty. It goes down sooooooo easy, but a steady diet is not good for you. To make sure I was being fair, I did a little substitute test. How would I feel about the spiritual advice or musings of a male author who decided after ten years of marriage, "No dear, I don't want to be married anymore, it's too much for me. Now I'm off to eat fried chicken and drink beer for four months, followed by sleeping and reading philosophical junk until I find myself, at which point, I'll finish finding ballance in my life swimming in the Carribean and taking up with some hottie there who thinks the sun rises and sets on me." Momentarily, I toyed with penning a satire, "Drink, Sleep, Sex," the story of a man's creating himself as an island on an island. Bleah.

But the book and the movie are the current stuff of feminine culture; a chick flick which explores the world of a woman exploring herself through the world. Because this is a story based on real life, it remains problematic both to dismiss as mere Hollywood whimsy (because it isn't just that), or to attack it for it's flaws as a theological journey. It's one soul's journey that from a Catholic perspective, went awol; a pilgrim's distress, lacking GPS, thinking it is making progress. The main character crafts over the course of a year, a god that demands nothing but that she smile with her liver or smile at her lover, depending upon the day. Such counsel is a far cry from "Take up your cross and follow me," but it was never intended as Catholic theology, and thus should not be treated with such high comparisons. Thinking and embracing the concept of "God is in me AS ME." is not the same thing as accepting the reality that "We are created in God's image." I don't doubt that there are women who will find this idea of a god that demands nothing of the soul, attractive --they may not have the resources to engage in a 12 month hiatus from reality, but I can see the spiritual danger of exchanging a God who requires we sublimate and sacrifice and love first, for one that demands nothing but that we be satisfied in our belly today.
The idea of finding God via appetite, via your wants is an inverse of what Catholicism demands; that we learn to see Christ in disguise, in others and then, to wash their feet, to feed the hungry, to offer one's self up.

I felt sad at the end, for Liz, her ex-husband and for those who view her exerpience as emancipating rather than simply well written transcontinental indulgence. The desire to be closer to God is at the core of any sincere faith. The struggle not to be distracted or discouraged or mislead is the story of every saint. For those us still on this journey, the how of becoming intimately in love with God, I commend the tried and true method of fasting, prayer, service.

Mystic Monks Prepare to Build

Perhaps you've seen the rotating ads on CMR promoting the Mystic Monk coffee. Well, they do more than roast beans. They are a newly-founded energetic community of contemplative Carmelites known as the Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel who are serious about what they do: "strict monastic enclosure, two hours of contemplative prayer daily, study and spiritual reading, and manual labor." While the community is currently still small (under 20) they are being inundated with vocation inquiries and are planning to build a new monastery on a striking site in Wyoming to be known as the New Mount Carmel of America.
Their architect, James McCrery, has been working furiously to prepare initial drawings for their building complex (a once-in-a-lifetime dream commission), which has now been brought to the end of schematic design. (Schematic design means that it is only the initial, approved conception of the building. It will then go through design development to receive its final details. For that reason, many of the images shown are not highly detailed or use what are called "place holders" meant to give a general idea. In other words, if you are an architectural nit picker like I am, hold your nits for a few months.)
The Carmelites asked for a decidedly French Gothic design centered around a large chapel. Small hermitages are located to the east of the chapel since the monks live much of their day as hermits. The plan also provides for other needs: refectory, chapter house, infirmary, novitiate, offices, etc.
Here are more images sent by our friend Mr. McCrery. Enjoy! (click to enlarge).










Move Over Mary Poppins!

I've been up all week in the Poconos with the family so that's why posting has been light. (And Patrick is the laziest bones ever.) We've been doing all sorts of outdoorsy things but today is the day the kids have been talking about. NANNY MCPHEEE COMES OUT TODAY!!!!!

That was the first thing my five year old said when he came down the stairs this morning. So we're going to see Nanny McPhee and then we're going swimming in a lake even if the three year old thinks throwing seaweed at me is the height of comedy.

I figured we'd see the movie but was pleased as punch to read the glowing review. Check it out:

The second time is the charm with Nanny McPhee Returns, a sequel that improves on the original 2005 Nanny McPhee by more than a nose — even if it’s the bulbous nose of Nanny McPhee herself.

Based on Christianna Brand’s Nurse Matilda books and brought to the screen by writer and star Emma Thompson, the Nanny McPhee films relate the exploits of a magical but alarming-looking nanny — sort of Mary Poppins by way of Roald Dahl — who methodically teaches out-of-control children five significant lessons, such as saying thank you and doing what they’re told.

Continue reading Greydanus' review at the National Catholic Register>>>

Colbert: Catholics Don't Do Hip

Stephen Colbert has a little fun with CatholicTV.com. When Catholics try to be hip, people may get hurt. ht to Papist


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The Many Faces (Read Lies) Of Barney Frank

This speaks for itself.

New Pro-Life App for Priests

Who would have thought that us medieval religious types would embrace technology so much. I love how the pro-life movement is embracing technology and new media. I love the work of LifeNews.com and LifeSiteNews.com who do incredible work on the internet. I love the thousands and thousands of pro-life blogs. I actually know a few people who downloaded that App that shows the size of their baby in ultrasound and they're not like hardcore culture warriors,just regular people (without blogs if you can believe there are people without blogs anymore.)

And now there's a new pro-life App from Priests for Life:

Priests for Life has announced a new app for iPhone and iPad, giving priests easy access to three sets of resources to help them preach, teach, and pray about the pro-life message with their congregations.

The first resource is a set of General Intercessions, or "Prayers of the Faithful," for the Mass, composed according to the guidelines set by the Catholic Church and including a petition for the growth of the culture of life.

The second is a short snippet of text, drawn from Church documents, statements by bishops, or statements by popes, that can be included in a parish bulletin to educate the congregation about pro-life issues and to exhort them to take part in pro-life activities.

Finally, the app also provides pro-life homily hints based on the readings for that particular Sunday. They are meant to help priests connect the Biblical themes of love, justice, and mercy to the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and other threats to human life and dignity. The app provides information for each Sunday of the year during all three liturgical cycles.

The resources were written by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, based on his experience of preaching about abortion and euthanasia.

The app may be found by looking up "pro-life" or "Priests for Life" on the iTunes store. It costs $1.99.
Fr. Pavone is making it very easy for priests to preach about abortion and that's good news.

Thank Heaven For Little Brothers

Well, for being made of frogs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails, they sure do come in handy. In a study that underscores the value of family, researchers found that girls with big brothers go through puberty later and those with little brothers wait longer before having a sexual relationship.

It should be noted that the study did not examine the effects that protective fathers with shotguns had on the same variables. Maybe next time.

And while the explanations for why this is so seem far fetched, the impact of brothers seems logical to me.

The researchers try unconvincingly to explain this in terms of drains on the mother's resources. I think that other explanations may better suffice. We are social creatures. Not social in some sort of abstract sociological way, but social in the way God created us. He created to be part of a family and being part of a family, especially a larger family, teaches you something about how to be a good person. How to share. How to wait. How to fight. How not to fight. How to care and how to love and I think this makes all the difference.

No, I can't back up my explanations any better than these researchers can, but I suspect I am right. Children develop better in larger families and brothers, when not fighting with them, love their sisters and protect their sisters.**

**If my sister is reading this, please note that none of this applies to you. You never shared and still Mom always liked you best. And you smell.

The Secularized Cross

I’m agreeing with a group of litigious atheists when I say the cross is a religious symbol. Yesterday, a number of crosses honoring fallen police officers in Utah were deemed illegal by a federal judge, saying they violated the Establishment clause.

While I disagree with the ruling I find myself agreeing with one major aspect of the argument by the atheists who sued to have the crosses removed. The judge overturned a previous decision by a lower judge that allowed the crosses because the crosses could conceivably be seen as generic symbols honoring the lives of the fallen officers.

Deseret News reports:

The white, roadside crosses that currently memorialize the deaths of 14 Utah Highway Patrol troopers are unconstitutional, government endorsements of religion on public lands, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

“We hold that these memorials have the impermissible effect of conveying to the reasonable observer the message that the state prefers or otherwise endorses a certain religion,” the court wrote in siding with the Texas-based American Atheists, Inc…

“The cross is such a poignant religious symbol that calling it a memorial and putting the troopers’ names on it doesn’t change the significant poignant nature of the cross,” said Brian Barnard, an attorney for American Atheists.

Outrageous as removing the crosses is, I think Christians should have been more outraged in some ways by the lower court ruling that the cross is a generic and secular symbol. It’s not.

Awesome Skateboarding Priest

The pastor of my church is constantly yelling at kids to stop skateboarding on church grounds. I guess he'd have to yell at this priest too. Check it out. The priest has mad skills.


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HT Viral Footage

Pelosi Wants To Investigate Mosque Opposition!

I wish to be clear up front. This is NOT a CMR parody piece. This is real. Nancy Pelosi wants to investigate those opposed to building a mosque at ground zero.

Speaking on San Francisco's KCBS radio, Pelosi said:

"There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded," she said. "How is this being ginned up that here we are talking about Treasure Island, something we've been working on for decades, something of great interest to our community as we go forward to an election about the future of our country and two of the first three questions are about a zoning issue in New York City."
Apparently the 70% of the American people who oppose the mosque are guilty of forcing Nancy off message. For that crime, they must be investigated.

May I also suggest, Madame Speaker, that one of the primary reasons that two of the first three questions in your interview were about "a zoning issue in New York City" is becuase the President of the United States and the leader of your party decided to comment on "a zoning issue in New York City." And by making these comments in opposition to a large majority of Americans, people care about it.

So if you wish to investigate anyone, Madame Speaker, why not start at the top?

This particular issue has turned out to be one of those giant blue bug lights. Democrats just can't stay away and are burning themselves in the process.