Friday, November 30, 2007

"Well done, good and faithful servant" Congressman Henry Hyde, RIP


I have been in the pro-life movement since it's inception, and one name stood above all others, Henry Hyde.
He was our leader in the dark decades that followed Roe v Wade. Here's a tribute to him on Catholic Exchange. I hope his example may inspire other politicians to follow his good example. You have fought the good fight, and finished the race, Henry.
Thank you from the babies.
May the angels carry you to Paradise.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why do teachers get away with child abuse?

Is the topic of an article in the National Catholic Register, which refers to the unpublicized Shakeshaft report on child predators in public schools.
A congressionally mandated study by Hofstra University had already found school-based sexual abuse to be a big problem.
“It was one of our priorities for the year,” said John Affleck, editor of the AP’s national reporting team.
The result was a three-part series, available to editors throughout the country beginning Oct. 20, that revealed widespread and routine sexual assault of public school students throughout the country.
The first story summarized: “Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love.”
The series told of an entrenched resistance to stopping abusers on the part of teachers, administrators and the National Education Association, a teacher’s union.
So why apparently have only a handful of newspapers nationwide run the series — in stark contrast to the avalanche of press received by the Catholic Church since 2002?

read the entire article at the
National Catholic Register
I posted on the Shakeshaft Report this summer.
The short answer is: the mainstream media is in cohoots with the liberal establishment, which includes the all powerful NEA and teacher's unions. They come first, before the welfare of our children, despite all their insistence to the contrary.
If your children are in public schools, be wary and look for signs of abuse, you may never know the truth otherwise. My 5 year old daughter Christina who has Down syndrome, goes for 3 hours of therapy in my local elementary school, and I watch her like a hawk. When she was three, one of her teachers in the special ed preschool disappeared suddenly after 20 years in that school, and the parents were never informed why he left. Thankfully a female teacher's aide changed Christina's diapers, but I took her out of school entirely for a year . It shattered my trust in public schools.

Scholastic Books interviews Philip Pullman


Scholastic Books, well known for the school book fairs it sponsors nationwide, is the co-sponsor of "The Golden Compass". Here is their interview with "His Dark Materials"trilogy, of which "The Golden Compass" is the first book, author Philip Pullman.
Email Scholastic and tell them that your children won't be purchasing their books unless they repudiate the anti-Catholic author, Pullman. My daughter has a book fair December 3rd with Scholastic, and that's exactly what their rep is going to hear from this mother.

The differing reactions to the new stem cell breakthrough

Pro-life Groups
Lawmakers

National Review Editors
Fr Thomas Berg, LC
Focus on the Family
Genethique (Fondation Lejeune in Paris)
My personal reaction is one of prayerful gratitude; I have always felt that if you pursue research keeping within the parameters outlined by Holy Mother Church, that is, a respect for the dignity of man, that God will reward your efforts with success. It happened to Louis Pasteur, Dr. Jerome Lejeune, and Madame Curie.
May Cathoilc scientists continue to lead the world into greater discoveries which enhance, not demean, human life.
Update, here's the opinion of the Ethics and Public Policy Center on the stem cell discovery.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Long Island Catholic Summorum Pontificum Update


The Extraordinary Form is popping up all over one of the (formerly, I hope) most liberal dioceses in the nation,Rockville Centre, so there's hope for the rest of you!
My friend's son served today at that 8AM Low Mass today, at Our Lady of Lourdes, after which, Fr. Mason informed him and the other boy that they had, "made history".
Bravo, Fr. Mason, and young altar boys, we are so proud of what you are doing!

Pullman, author of "The Golden Compass" calls Donohue a "nitwit"

Philip Pullman is pulling out all the stops. He has called those of us who are on to him regarding his subterfuge with "The Golden Compass" and are boycotting his books, and the film, "nitwits". Bill Donohue must be SO hurt!
Pullman hit back with a furious counter-attack on his detractors, denying that his agenda was anything other than attracting readers and urging people to be allowed to make up their own mind.
"To regard it as this Donohue man has said - that I'm a militant
atheist, and my intention is to convert people - how the hell does he know
that?" he said, in an interview with Newsweek magazine.
"Why don't we trust
readers? Why don't we trust filmgoers? Oh, it causes me to shake my head with
sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world."
Read the UK Timesonline article here.
I've been called worse things by better people, Mr. Pullman. We're on to you, and you don't like it. Welcome to the democracy of the blogosphere.

"It's Perfectly Natural" is perfectly obscene!

Michael Hichborn of the American Life League has a video on the new sex manual which has ties to Planned Parenthood, entitled, "It's Perfectly Natural". Please be advised, that, although censored for content, the video is still rather explicit. It was rejected by a state prison because it met the criterion for pornography, yet, unless you and I raise a stink, it may be in the hands of your ten year old.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Birth of Christ: Catholic Christmas Cantata

Another artistic venture by a Catholic is coming on the scenes. This time, it's a beautiful cantata written to honor the Christmas story based on the Gospel of St. Luke. Liam Neeson narrates scriptural passages. This is really a classy production and will be aired locally. Here are the New York City airtimes:
WLIW
Sat 12/1/2007
7:30 AM

WLIW
Sat 12/22/2007
12:00 AM

Here's a video clip.

Please promote this by tell friends and family. You can find when and where in the U.S. other PBS stations will be airing the concert at this link:

http://www.thebirthofchrist.com/tv_schedule.htm

Productions like this (and Bella and The Passion of the Christ) are genuine improvements in the entertainment industry. The people involved are taking risks and they need to hear that this type of entertainment is wanted. So don't forget to call your local station to thank them for showing something of such great quality. Be sure to let them know you appreciate them showing something that pays wonderful tribute to the birth of Our Lord.

You can also listen to Raymond Arroyo interviewing the composer, Andrew T. Miller, (originally aired 11/23/07) by checking the archives of The World Over at http://www.ewtn.com/.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Take Action: New Jersey Legislature Seeks to Redefine Marriage for the Nation

from Focus on the Family Citzen Link
by Devon Williams, associate editor
Two bills aim to legalize "same-sex marriage."
Last December, the New Jersey Legislature created civil unions that offer same-sex couples all the protections and benefits of marriage.

The Legislature is using its lame-duck session to introduce multiple bills that would grant civil unions full "marriage" status.

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said there's a strong push for lawmakers to take on this controversial issue before the 2008 session, because the newly elected Legislature may be more inclined to defend the institution.

"A number of those that were elected, including Declan O'Scanlon in the 12th District, are people that will vote to protect marriage," he said. "So, we need to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn't come up now and that there is not a vote."

Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said it's vital that people get involved in this fight.

"There is a likelihood that the bill will pass, especially if there's no outcry from those people that do support marriage as being the union of one man and one woman only," he said. "As long as the voice of the people is heard by the legislators, I think that will help in hopefully stopping this legislation from moving forward."

Since New Jersey does not have any residency laws that would restrict the exportation of "same-sex marriage," the passage of any of the bills would have a devastating impact nationwide.

"Couples could come here from outside the state, get married, go back to their states and then challenge their state legislatures and their state laws on the same-sex marriage issue," Deo said. "Therefore people have the right to call in, whether they live in Oklahoma or Pennsylvania or any other state."

He's asking people across the nation to call New Jersey's lawmakers — especially those in leadership: Gov. Corzine, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Senate President Richard Codey.

Brown said the situation is not hopeless.

"We're nowhere near the point of no return on this," he said, "but it's going to require people standing up and making their voices heard."

TAKE ACTION
Please e-mail three key New Jersey leaders and ask them to oppose "same-sex marriage" and to support an amendment to protect the definition of marriage.

Speaker of the Assembly Joseph Roberts is reachable through the CitizenLink Action Center.

Senate President Richard Codey is also reachable through the Action Center.

Gov. Jon Corzine can only be contacted electronically through a form on his Web site. The first page will ask you to select a topic from a list, but, as of this writing, the governor does not think marriage is important enough to place in that list. Our best advice is to choose one that seems to fit — or choose one at random.

Overheard in an abortion mill . . .

My husband is a process server and his work takes him everywhere.
Last week he had to serve a subpoena for medical records on a Planned Parenthood clinic.
He could not help but overhear a girl asking for "Plan B" contraception.
She could not provide identification to prove she was 19 years of age. Her friend asked, "I'm 19. Can I buy it for her?" "Sure!" was the answer from the clerk.
We are so cautious and vigilant in preventing underage minors from purchasing beer and cigarettes, and warn others against purchasing it for them. Our legislators need to be warned of what is taking place in these clinics!
HT Elizabeth
What do you think my Congressman, Tim Bishop would respond? I'm afraid the only way to get the lawmaker's attention is through the courts. Legal action, like that ongoing suit against Killer Tiller for underage and illegal abortions is the only way to bring these criminals to justice. The abortion industry has millions invested in the Democrat Party, and they have largely sold their soult to them, and are blind to such injustices.

Pre-natal Screening

I doubt if my readers will be surprised by my opinions expressed here, but I am participating in a Genetics Politics discussion Wiki with doctoral students and other professionals at the University of Sheffield, UK. Here is my most recent contribution to the discussion. If you would like to contribute to this Wiki, please leave you email below, and the moderator will contact you.

Ostensibly, we have genetic screening to allow expectant mothers to know which potentially life-threatening diseases or genetic disorders their unborn child may have, in time to offer medical treatment. In reality, quite few of the disorders which can be detected by existent genetic testing can be cured. Therefore, genetic screening has devolved into a form of eugenics; cleansing the gene pool of undesirables, by pointing a medical finger of accusation at the unborn child who has either an incurable (Down syndrome) or chronic disease (cystic fibrosis) in time for the child to be killed. Thus, organizations like the March of Dimes, which were once dedicated to eradicating polio, now turn their considerable clout into perfecting 'search and destroy' methods of genetic screening. Thus they can claim to reduce birth defects by eliminating the defective. This is how the Nazis got into the killing business; they began with the disabled, convincing the families it was for the good of all that they be terminated.
As the mother of a child with Down syndrome who refused genetic screening, I have made a habit of questioning mothers of children with this disease whether they learned of their child's disability pre-natally. Many have, and have told me tales of judgemental doctors, nurses, technicians, and genetic counselors, who, once the diagnosis of Down syndrome is confirmed, attempt to bully the mother into abortion.
No one, in my experience, was ever offered a choice. It was assumed that they would 'terminate' their child, and, when they didn't sometimes, they were lectured (as I was after my daughter was born) scolded as a recalcitrant child, threatened, "this child will ruin your marriage", frightened, or otherwise treated disdainfully. One father, himself a doctor has coined a term, "genticide".
The "Pre-natally and Post-natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act"
can only improve the 90% abortion rate for children with detectable genetic disabilities. Once parents are offered up-to-date information about the positive as well as the negative aspects of their child's disease, as well as educational medical interventions to help them, they may feel less panicky at the prospect of raising their child. If they are offered an opportunity to meet with parents raising children with these disorders, they may see that life, indeed goes on, to a different tune, perhaps, but no less sweet.
If you are going to screen pre-natally, then be honest, and offer real choice to the parents. Let them also chose life, without fear of recrimination from the medical profession. My obstetrician, when he learned of Christina's Down syndrome, instantly reached for his pad, and asked for my phone number, so that if another patient was expecting a child with Down syndrome, she could talk with me. I had been offering this type of support for years to other medical professionals, without receiving a single call.
I am a mother with a teaching degree, not a nurse or a doctor, but I do know what raising a child with Down syndrome is like, at least up to age 5. That is why I began blogging last year, to finally have a voice. And we are joining voices, we parents of children with Down syndrome, telling the world, if you only knew what you would be losing by aborting that child with Down syndrome, you would never do it.
Sometimes pre-natal screening comes dangerously close to playing God.
And we lack the wisdom to do it.

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: Pope Benedict's new encyclical, "Saved by Hope" ready before Christmas#links#links#links

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: Pope Benedict's new encyclical, "Saved by Hope" ready before Christmas#links#links#links

Friday, November 23, 2007

Editorial Cartoon: "Abortion Macht Frei"

From the Author,
John Francis Borra:

To anyone familiar with the Third Reich, it's obvious what I've done here. This is a play on the iron gates surrounding Auschwitz concentration camp. The actual iron gates read Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes You Free). This was, of course, the big lie fed to inmates in order to keep them manageable as they were led from cattle cars to their deaths in the showers. Planned Parenthood's big lie to society is strikingly similar: Abortion Makes You Free. The parallel is dramatic and perfectly appropriate. As a matter of fact, it's not unlike any other cartoon I've done about the culture of death; the truth is so grotesque, so clear, so galling that little imagination- and no exaggeration at all- is required to spin good editorial material from it. In this case, even the security fence and smoke-belching crematorium are no exaggeration; George Tiller, for one, has these on his property. And, of course, the hands of all abortionists drip with blood- literally as well as figuratively.
HT Operation Rescue

Aren't you curious?

Didn't you ever wonder about the man whose wife is blogging here every day?
Didn't you ever want to congratulate him for his patience in putting up with me?
Here's a chance to see the man behind the blogging wife.

My husband Francisco has his own post over at my other blog, Cause of Our Joy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to save babies with Down syndrome

There is an article about Nathan's Bill at the "National Catholic Register". I have written about it here. It ensures that women with an unfavorable prenatal diagnosis receive up-to- date information on the conditions with which their child is diagnosed, and referral to other parents who can help.
Most women I have spoken with say that, when they received the devastating news that their unborn baby had a disability, the information put into their hands was "how to abort". No other possibility was offered to them. That's how we have a 90% abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.
What a tragedy, to miss having more beautiful faces like Christina's in this world.
But there's a lot we can do to support this bill. Senator Brownback " gives the bill a “50-50” chance of passing, “particularly if we can get more families with disabilities, and particularly Down syndrome families, to stand up to the media and say, ‘We just want to live. That’s all we’re asking for.’”
HT National Catholic Register

"For the Beauty of the Earth"

Here's the traditional version of the hymn with vocals, and here is just the organ. Click on the link which says "listen" to hear the hymn.
Happy feast of St. Cecelia, patroness of music.


For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies,

Refrain:Christ our God, to thee we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.

For the beauty of each hourof the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light,

Refrain

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and brain's delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight,

Refrain

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild,

Refrain

For each perfect gift of thine
to our race so freely given,
graces human and divine,
flowers of earth and buds of heaven,

Refrain

For thy Bride that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
this pure sacrifice of love,

Refrain

For the martyrs' crown of light,
for thy prophets' eagle eye,
for thy bold confessors' might,
for the lips of infancy,

Refrain

For thy virgins' robes of snow,
for thy maiden Mother mild,
for thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesus,Victim undefiled,

Refrain

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Scientific Breakthrough may eliminate need for killing embryos

I have been teaching all day, away from the internet, and this amazing development took my breath away when John Gibson announced it on his radio program tonight. He gave President Bush credit for steering money to Adult Stem Cell research, which ultimately led to this breakthrough. I give Pope John Paul II credit, as George Bush went to him for advice before his August 2001 decision not to allow federal funds for more embryo-destructive stem cell research. He wasn't completely in line with Catholic teaching in that he allowed existing stem cell lines to be funded, but he has taken a lot of heat for his stand against embryonic stem cell research, even from his own party, and deserves some credit. Here'a an article from the Family Research Council.

No Embryos, No Cloning, No Eggs--No Problem!
Two prominent embryonic stem cell scientists today published results showing that they can produce cells with the qualities of embryonic stem cells directly from human skin cells, without the need for creating or destroying embryos, without cloning, and without the need for eggs used in cloning. The groundbreaking news by Dr. James Thomson, first to grow human embryonic stem cells, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Japan, was that they produced what are called "iPS" cells (induced Pluripotent Stem cells) using a simple recipe that involved adding four genetic factors to a human skin cell. When comparing these new cells with existing embryonic stem cells, Thomson noted that iPS cells "meet the defining criteria" for embryonic stem cells "with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not derived from embryos." Yamanaka and Thomson are to be congratulated for pushing forward the frontiers of science and demonstrating that good science can also satisfy ethical requirements. Coupled with the recent announcement by Dr. Ian Wilmut, cloner of Dolly the sheep, that he is shelving cloning as an unproductive technique in favor of this new ethical method, dubious experiments involving embryo cloning and embryo destruction are being rendered obsolete. Scientists can now work with "embryonic-like" stem cells without ethical concerns, while for patients the adult and cord blood stem cells continue to treat thousands of patients now. Congress should move swiftly to ban all human cloning by passing the Brownback-Weldon human cloning prohibition.

Bye bye, "Blowing in the Wind"

Did I ever tell you how to drive me absolutely over the edge? Sing "Blowing in the Wind" especially with Bob Dylan's nasal whine. It's not because I hate folk music. I love it, even the sixties stuff. I even attended a Peter, Paul and Mary concert.
But I can't extend this preference to "Blowing in the Wind" and I'll explain why it pushes my buttons.
I was born during Vatican II, into a gorgeous traditional church, dark and mysterious with inspiring images of St. Joseph teaching carpentry to the boy Jesus. My childhood memories of Mass are of stirring organ chords which shook the floor of the church and the scent of incense wafting through the air. I didn't see much other that the backs of the adults, and glimpses of that mural of St. Joseph, but I'll tell you that the unspoken message received by me as a preschooler was: you are on holy ground, the Lord Almighty is here, and you are looking into heaven. I loved it, and would often visit this beautiful church during the week with my mother to light a candle and visit Our Lord. We always brought our veils, or if, we forgot, a hanky would do, because no woman entered the church without a head covering.
This sense of other worldliness and mystery was promptly shattered, when at age 5, we moved to another parish, whose church was under construction and had Mass in a bland auditorium. A folk singer sang pop hits from the sixties, and Vietnam War protests took place during Mass. Our folk singers' favorite song was, you guessed it, "Blowing in the Wind".
I mourned the loss of the beauty of the Old Mass, the gorgeous music, and the sense of mystery it brought. I have been trying to replace it ever since. That's why I anxiously awaited Summorum Pontificum, and am involved in bringing back Gregorian Chant to the Traditional Latin Masses springing up on Long Island. I pray that we can get together some decent scholi (?) for the Holy Father's masses in New York.


Now, here's an encouraging article in the UK's Daily Telegraph to remind me that I have an important Ally in restoring ethereal music to the sacred liturgy.Damian Thompson, editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald writes:
We are moving into an era of liturgical revolution. Benedict detests the feeble "folk Masses" that have remained the staple fare of Catholic worship long after they went out of musical fashion.
He wants the Church to rediscover the treasure of its heritage - and that includes Gregorian chant as well as the pre-1970 Latin Mass that can now be celebrated without the permission of bishops.

Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate: National Catholic Register Asks: "Will Brownbackers Back Huckabee?"

Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate: National Catholic Register Asks: "Will Brownbackers Back Huckabee?"

Scientist who cloned Dolly has change of heart

Over at Adult Stem Cell Awareness there is a discussion about geneticist Ian Wilmut, who cloned Dolly the sheep. No, he hasn't converted to Catholicism, as far as I know. He simply recognizes the fact that Adult Stem Cells are far more promising and worth the effort of scientists.

Family Research Council reports below:
Here Goes 'Mutton': Dolly Creator Rejects Cloning
This past weekend, the movement to ban cloning got some help from an unlikely source--the scientist most famous for attempting it.


Professor Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the sheep, publicly announced his decision to abandon "therapeutic cloning" and turn his attention to pro-life alternatives such as those being perfected in Japan with adult stem cells. He believes the "socially acceptable" approach "represents the future for stem cell research," rather than the nuclear transfer method he and his team used 10 years ago in creating Dolly. Although Wilmut was given the go-ahead to pursue human cloning in 2005, the professor has since declined. His decision, on the heels of last week's news that scientists had successfully cloned primates, should put a serious damper on any enthusiasm for projects that require the creation and destruction of cloned embryos.
For all of the hype surrounding the monkey breakthrough, a couple of key details were lost on the media. For starters, the team leader of the Oregon primate program, Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, admitted that the "efficiency is low" for the research and it is "not yet a cost effective medical option." Also, some reports estimated that it took over 15,000 monkey eggs to yield just two lines of embryonic stem cells, only one of which is normal. Meanwhile, as scientists waste precious time and resources on a procedure that the majority of the world considers morally unacceptable, pro-life alternatives are effectively treating everything from juvenile diabetes to spinal cord injuries--without the ethical headache. We can only hope that Wilmut's conversion will pull the wool from the eyes of the public, which should result in Congress turning away from spending more taxpayer money on embryonic stem cell research that is both unethical and ineffective.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Be a hero: save a whale. Save a baby: go to jail

this is from an Operation Rescue email
Police Attack Pro-lifers In Shocking Display of Abuse
Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Three members of the
Survivors were arrested on Tuesday, November 13, 2007, on Chaffey College campus in Rancho Cucamonga, California, in one of the most egregious displays of police misconduct that we have heard about in years.
The three young men, Joey Cox, and brothers James and Jason Conrad, were on campus to obtain permits for a pro-life outreach at the college. They had learned through many experiences to record their dealings for their protection. At Chaffey, the young men had both video and audio recorders running.
In this instance, college police objected to the taping. Without warning, and without identifying themselves as officers, Joey was attacked, shoved to the ground, and his audio recorder forcibly removed from his pocket. Joey saw the officers attempting to erase the recording.
The officers verbally abused and mocked the young men for their pro-life beliefs. To his disgrace, an officer named Tran called Joey a "retard." Joey was escorted off campus without charges at that time, however, his recorder and other property were never returned to him. He was given no receipt.
Jason and James were placed under arrest, cuffed, then roughed up by the officers, who made efforts to hide their actions from other Survivor members who were attempting to document what was happening. Officers endangered them by transporting them without seat belts and with full heaters blasting on a warm day with the purpose of causing additional physical discomfort. They were held for two days on felony "eavesdropping" charges, even though the videotaping was being done in a public place. Later the charges were reduced to misdemeanor charges of obstructing a police officer and disturbing the peace. Joey was charged with trespassing and released.
The three Survivors were doing nothing but attempting to arrange for a pro-life outreach within their First Amendment rights. In return, they were battered, bruised, abused, and robbed, in what seems like a clear case of bigotry and abuse of power.
Click here to watch video of the arrests. You will see the rough treatment and efforts by police to prevent any documentation of their actions.
Operation Rescue has often worked with the Survivors and we know these young men. We were so shocked to hear of their appalling treatment that we asked the Survivors what we could do to help.
They asked us all to make phone calls to the Chaffey College Police Department. Joey's audio recorder is still missing. It is unknown if the recording is still intact. Please ask them to return the audio recorder to Charles Cox (Joey's legal name), and feel free to voice your opinion as well.
Chaffey College Police DepartmentPhone number: (909) 652-6632

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"The Golden Compass" has led to a boycott of Scholastic Books

As a teacher these past 20 years, I look forward to book fairs, are always feature Scholastic Books. I have bought as many as $100 worth of books, some for my girls and sending them to my nephews and nieces in El Salvador. Now, even though Christina's pre-school is planning a book fair, I regrettably, won't be able to participate. They publish "His Dark Materials, the book trilogy on which "The Golden Compass" is based. An article at Catholic Exchange explains why these books are so dangerous to our children.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote the following letter to Scholastic Corporation CEO Richard Robinson; copies of the letter were also sent to all the bishops and school superintendents in the Catholic community. Here is the body of Donohue's letter to Robinson:

As someone who spent 20 years in education, I am aware of Scholastic's stellar reputation. This is all the more reason why I am profoundly disturbed by Scholastic's role in co-producing "The Golden Compass."It is not the movie, per se, that is the problem, it is the book. and the other volumes that comprise "His Dark Materials"that is the issue.

The author of these books, Philip Pullman, does not disguise his hatred of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Why, then, would Scholastic be associated with such bigotry? As pointed out in our booklet on "The Golden Compass," producing such a movie would seem to violate Scholastic's own Credo, one part of which says, "To help build a society free of prejudice and hate, and dedicated to the highest quality of life in community and nation." Moreover, Scholastic professes a belief in "High moral and spiritual values," something which surely sounds odd given the Pullman connection.

Christians need to be convinced that Scholastic will never again work with militant atheists who have an animus against their religion. Catholics, in particular, want to be certain that purchasing Scholastic materials does not indirectly fund campaigns against them. To this end, we look for Scholastic to pledge that in the event a movie version of Pullman's other two books, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, is launched, it will have nothing to do with them. This would reassure Christians that "The Golden Compass" venture was an anomaly.

Contact Kyle Good, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Media Relations,
kgood@scholastic.com

"Bella" saves seven babies from abortion!

The following is an email from the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena
We have received wonderful messages from many devotees throughout the United States who saw "Bella", and all have been inspired to help promote "Bella" in their communities. Thank you also for responding to our important call to pray our beloved St. Philomena Novena for the success of the movie.
I'm writing today to share some amazing news about the impact the movie has had in just a short time and to let you know that it will premier in Canada this weekend and will continue to be introduced internationally.
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Bella Producer Leo Severino today.(seen in this photo praying at the incorrupt body of Saint Philomena with his finacee, now wife) He conveyed that in the past ten days, miraculously, seven mothers who were contemplating or scheduled an abortion chose life for their unborn child after seeing the movie. Leo shared, "One young mother who met the movie's leading actor Eduarado Verastegui was so moved by his performance and the film's message that she told Eduarado she was committed to keeping her child. And six others contacted us to tell us they had scheduled an abortion and chose to cancel their appointments and keep their child, after seeing our movie."As you can see, by the grace of God, this film is helping us accomplish His work to protect and support unborn children through prayer and action to finally end abortion.
I want to also take this time to strongly encourage each of you to join the Archconfraternity of Santa Philomena in praying the following Novena to Our Blessed Mother to end abortion. We need your help to win this critical battle over the evil in our society and save the lives of millions of children throughout the world who otherwise would never have the chance to live and prosper as children of God.

How to say the Novena for an end to abortion: -
Complete each day's meditation and prayer -
Say Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be -
Recite the Memorarae:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer them.
Amen
Day 1: For Children Sacrificed
Meditation: The greatest challenge a child faces today is surviving the first nine months of life. One in three children don't live until their "birth" day. In abortion, they die never knowing a mother's smile or her tender touch. Their cries, never heard on earth, resound throughout all of Heaven.
Prayer: O Mary, our sweet and loving Mother, you hear the cries of your children sacrificed in abortion. Accept our prayers for aborted children as a soothing balm for their wounds. Comfort them and comfort us who mourn their loss. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 2: For Childless Mothers
Meditation: Abortion takes more from a mother than the life of her child. More than the smiles, the first words, the first steps, the love, and the hugs are lost. Abortion is unnatural. The emptiness a mother feels after an abortion is also the loss of her 'humanness'. It is a loss which leaves mothers with a profound sense of loneliness and abandonment.
Prayer: O Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, through the power of the Holy Spirit, humanity and divinity were united in your womb. Accept our prayers for childless mothers and intercede with your Son to restore these mothers in His grace. In their loneliness, reveal yourself to them as their loving Heavenly Mother. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 3: For Our Children
Meditation: A battle is raging over the souls of our children. Being chaste and pure is presented to our children as only one of many equally viable options for living; an option often ridiculed by the media. Organizations actively obstruct parents' efforts to be involved in essential decisions in the lives of their children. Whether for cigarettes, birth control devices or abortions, our children are seen as 'market opportunities'.
Prayer: O Mary, Mother of the Son of God, you know well the love your Son had for little children. Accept our prayers and unite them with your own and use these prayers to crush the head of the serpent who is waiting to devour our children and separate them from your Son. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 4: For Girls and Women Meditation: Genesis declares that men and women were both created in God's image. To celebrate what is feminine and the unique role of girls and women in giving and sustaining life brings honor to both God and womankind. Abortion denies this reflection of God in girls and women. So does immodesty,and other activities which exploit girls and women.
Prayer: O Mary, Mother most pure, accept our prayers for girls and women. Help girls and women to see God's image more clearly in their femininity. Ask your Son for special graces for girls and women so that they may remain modest in dress and action. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 5: For Boys and Men
Meditation: Boys and men, too, were made in God's image and thus what is truly masculine is also a reflection of a wonderful God. However, there are boys and men who have a false masculinity which exalts lust and conquest, unfaithfulness and callousness, irresponsibility and deceit. The magnitude of the abortion tragedy is a direct result. No greater gains can be made in ending abortion than embracing true masculinity.
Prayer: O Mary, most chaste wife of St. Joseph, accept our prayers for boys and men. Help them to see in St. Joseph a model of true masculinity. Ask your Son for the grace to help boys and men lead pure and holy lives and to avoid temptations of the flesh. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 6: For Families
Meditation: In God's loving plan of salvation, families were entrusted with the special responsibility of bringing new life into the world. God's gift of human sexuality as well as a husband's and wife's love for each other become an invitation to be co-creators, with God, in new life. The use of artificial contraception is a rude rejection of this invitation. Using God's gift of human sexuality outside of marriage is a rejection of His plan of salvation. Both lead, inevitably, to the rejection of new life itself in abortion.
Prayer: O Mary, Queen of Families, it was through your intercession at the wedding feast at Cana that your Son's public ministry began. Accept our prayers for families. Intercede for us with your Son and ask for the graces we need to use our human sexuality only in ways which
bring honor and glory to God. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)
Day 7: For the Church
Meditation: With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the Catholic Church began. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, for nearly two thousand years, in season and out, the Church has steadfastly proclaimed the Good News of the Gospel of Life. In every age, the Church has raised up voices of priests, bishops, and popes in defense of life and in opposition to abortion. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: O Mary, Mother of the Church, you were there with the Apostles, when the Church was born. Accept our prayers for the Church. Fill the clergy and the faithful with a burning love for life, especially the unborn, and a craving to support the unborn through prayer and action. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)

Day 8: For Abortion Providers
Meditation: Doctors, nurses, counselors, and others who work in the abortion industry are our brothers and sisters. So are pro-abortion politicians and others who work to keep abortion available. We are called to see the image of God in all of them. We are also called to love them. Most importantly, we are called to pray for them. We are called especially to pray for those filled with rage, those who are in most need of God's healing grace.
Prayer: O Mary, Mother of Mercy, accept the prayers we offer for those who provide or support abortions. Through your powerful intercession, touch abortion providers and supporters with the amazing grace which has the power to save and transform lives. Help them to see the truth of their actions, and having seen the horror of their deeds, help them to come to your Son for forgiveness and mercy. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


Day 9: For the End to Abortion
Meditation: As believers in the Risen Lord, we know already that the victory is ours. The sacrifice of children in abortion will end. The final victory won't be a legislative or legal victory; it will be a conversion of heart for those who seek, perform, and support abortion. In our times, it has pleased God that many conversions of heart have come through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother. That is why we confidently implore Mary, Our Blessed Mother, to grant our request. End abortion.
Prayer: Mary, Our Blessed Mother, hear our plea. Touch the hearts of those who seek, perform or support abortion. With your gentle hand, lead them to your Son. (Recite Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Memorarae above.)


With original Ecclesiastical Approval of:
Most Reverend John J. Myers, Bishop of Peoria,
April 22, 1997

To the Glory of God always,
Marie Burns Director General of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena
Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena83027 Mugnano del CardinaleAvellino, http://www.philomena.it/e-mail:SantaFilomena@philomena.us
In the United States, contact Richard Donley Fox,


Assistant Director General of the Universal Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena at:richard@philomena.com(602) 253-5020

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Modest Proposal at Ethics and Public Policy Center

Dawn Eden was one of the speakers at the EPPC's conference on chastity. Citizen Link Reports. How fortunate I am as a mother to three daughters in this pernicious culture of denigrated sexuality, to have women like Dawn who are fighting for the return of respect for women. It's going to be a long battle, but in the 1980's when I was single college student, we were on our own.
Thanks, Dawn, for your efforts to help society return to God's wonderful plan for our sexuality.
May He bless your efforts abundantly.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Youth can get free tickets to see "Bella"

A generous donor has given Bella's producers a large sum to make it possible for 10,000 Catholic youth to see this movie at no cost nationwide.

The tickets are free, but must be reserved through Bella in blocks of 100 or more. To do so:
* Check to see if and when Bella is coming to your town: bellathemovie.com/theater
* Click on your city in the left column for a listing of local theaters showing Bella.
* To identify the best local show time for your group, click on:
FOR SHOWTIMES AND TO PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL TICKETS FOR THIS THEATER CLICK HERE.
* Tip: get tickets for a Sunday p.m. show to give out at masses over the weekend.
* To reserve your free block of tickets
o call Joanna Styczenski at (228) 596-7912
o or e-mail Liz Saroki at liz@bellathemovie.com
* Bella staff will then provide a "toolkit" to assist you in this short-term promotion.

The free tickets can then be distributed however is easiest:
* in advance or on a first-come-first-served basis at the theater
* give them out at youth group meetings today & Saturday
* request permission to make announcements from the pulpit (Bella can provide a sample announcement)
* pass them out after weekend masses


You could even make it a fundraiser with no overhead!
* Reserve 200+ tickets to secure the theater for a private showing.
* Distribute tickets as above.
* Welcome moviegoers before the film.
* Take 5 minutes at the end to connect the message of the film with the needs of real women in your community.
* Conclude with an "ask" for donations to your local pregnancy help center, non-profit adoption service, maternity home, or outreach to at-risk youth.
* Place 2-3 volunteers at the exits to collect donations.

Bishops getting more specific on voting guidelines

Chicago Tribune article quotes Fr Thomas Reese of the Woodstock Theological Center of Georgetown University (never trust an institute called "Woodstock" with theology!)
" previous statements in his memory have not spelled out such specific consequences. The statement reflects the bishops' frustations with pro-choice Democratic politicians and Republican leaders who focus solely on ending abortion," he . So, according to Fr. Reese, they weren't decisive at all.
If you can't vote for pro-death liberals, and you shouldn't be a single issue voter about life issues, and you have to consider the plethora of other social issues, who is left to vote for? I felt that Sam Brownback was purely pro-life and compassionate on social issues like immigration, but many conservatives rejected him on that basis. Few Senators have done for human rights, both for the unborn and the born what Sam Brownback has done, and you see where that got him.
I am very frustrated with this upcoming election. That does not mean I'm giving up, I am keeping a low profile here, supporting Mike Huckabee, and watching with interest the goings on. Which way my state will go this election is a foregone conclusion, New York is as blue a state as they come.
I know two things for sure: I will NOT cede this election to Hillary. And I will pray. A LOT.

Help keep "Bella" in theatres!

From Eduardo Verastegui,
lead actor and Producer of film "Bella"
URGENT!!---- Bella is the #1 Top Rated Movie in the US but If the movie "Bella" does not have high box office scores this weekend
IT WILL BE TAKEN OUT OF THEATRES

Because of your help the distributor is doubling the number of theaters showing Bella
We can do it again and make it to the #1 busiest box office weekend of the year....Thanksgiving weekend.
It is "do or die" for this film to succeed.
We need to mobilize everyone we know to watch this film Fri-Sunday (Nov 16-18). Why?
THIS IS OUR CHANCE.
This is what we need from you to do today, in the next 48 hours.

How You Can Help Bella:
Email this to everyone you know!


Click on the link below to see all the ways you can helphttp://www.bellathemovie.com/emails/Bella_111507.phpTogether we can make a difference!-Eduardo Verastegui

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pope Benedict to visit Ground Zero, UN, White House

by RACHEL ZOLL, AP

Pope Benedict XVI will make his first visit to the United States as pontiff next year, and plans to visit the White House, ground zero and speak at the United Nations, Archbishop Pietro Sambi told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Monday.Benedict will travel to Washington and New York from April 15-20, speak at the United Nations on April 18 and visit ground zero on the final day of his trip.

The pope will visit the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York to show "solidarity with those who have died, with their families and with all those who wish an end of violence and in the search of peace," said Sambi, the Vatican's ambassador to the U.S.

The visit will take place on the third anniversary of Benedict's election to succeed Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005.

An official welcome reception for Benedict will be held at the White House on April 16, Sambi said. The pontiff will celebrate two public Masses, first at the new Nationals Park in Washington on April 17, and again at Yankee Stadium on April 20.

He will also hold meetings with priests, Catholic university presidents, diocesan educators and young people."The pope will not travel much, but he will address himself to the people of the United States and the whole Catholic Church," Sambi said.

I understand that the Holy Father will be celebrating his birthday at the White House, with a President who respects the papacy enough to have visited his predecessor twice during his lifetime. President Bush even asked Pope John Paul II for his advice on embryonic stem cells, and while he should have followed it more closely, I'm certain the Holy Father's opinion made a difference in the President's decision to only allow federal funding on existing embryonic cell lines. This position has earned him the scorn of both Republicans and Democrats.

I'm so thrilled Pope Benedict is coming to New York! I hope they listen to him at the UN; our influence there is a hard-won outpost in hostile territory.
At the SCSS Conference, I was able to personally thank Susan Yoshihara and Austin Ruse for their stellar work at the Catholic organization at the UN, C-FAM. I was also privileged to meet Antonia Emma R. Roxas, accompanied by Jose David Lapuz in this photo. Jose is the only representative from the Philippines at UNESCO. To have such stellar Catholic intellectuals in place in the UN, and to hear that the General Assembly will be addressed by Pope Benedict, is a hopeful sign. Now we need to pray that the American public, particularly Catholics, are open to hear the message he comes to speak to us.

I only have one question: who's going to meet me at Yankee Stadium?

An amazing Reversion Story hits the blogosphere

It's hard to over-hype the impact of Barbara Curtis' reversion to her childhood faith. I expect to see her story on "The Journey Home" someday. She is the uber blogger of all Mom blogs, has written hundreds of articles, and dozens of books, speaks around the country and is looked up to by thousands. She is the mother of twelve children, three of whom have Down syndrome (now you know why I love her; she adopted two of her sons with Down syndrome) and has made an amazing journey from cultural Catholicism through radical leftism to Evangelicalism all the way home to Rome.
Go over to Mommy Life and welcome her home!

Huckabee surging in Iowa polls

Watch your back flip-flopping 'frontrunner'! The straight-talking Southern Baptist preacher from Arkansas with the toothy grin is nearing the margin of error in Iowa!
Romney is at 27%, Huckabee is at 21%.
HT CBS news
Another poll shows that early primary states Iowa and New Hampshire know that Guilaini is pro-abortion and won't support him.

Loophole in Roe v Wade employed by Colorado pro-lifers

If the fetus could legally be described as a "person", then, state and local laws protecting any individual life would be applied to the unborn. It targets a loophole U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun created when he wrote the original abortion opinion.
He concluded:
"(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."
Several states, Colorado and Georgia among them have taken the direct approach to ending abortion, frustrated with fighting for smaller victories, like parental consent. Once the personhood of the unborn baby is legal, a direct challenge to Roe v Wade may be made, and the fight is over. Not to say this will be easy, considering the money behind the abortion industry, but it may be a better use of our time and effort. Abortion was legalized by judicial fiat, and may be stopped the same manner.

This position has been held for years by activists, and I believe, emboldened by the strides made in 40 Days for Life, they are pushing forward to "the beginning of the end of abortion". David Bereit said to my daughters as we stood outside Planned Parenthood, "you are rebels, rejecting the culture of death, you will tell your grandchildren about this day, when you stood here with your mother and began the movement which brought about the end to abortion". It sent chills down my spine. So does this movement to define personhood. It's just bold enough to work. We have to stop apologizing for our position in favor of the helpless. We didn't apologize to Hitler when we rescued the prisoners in Auschwitz. The abolitionists didn't apologize to slave owners, when they helped their slaves to freedom, and the civil rights marchers didn't feel badly about hurting the business of segregated lunch counters at Woolworth's.
Make the pro-abortion side explain how an unborn baby isn't a person. What kind of convoluted reasoning must they invent to defend that irrational position?

Read the entire article in World Net Daily Get jazzed, everyone, the other side is starting to panic.

USCCB: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citzenship

If you go WAY down to item 37 and 38, you will see a discussion about voting for a candidate who supports "instrinsic moral evil". This is code for abortion and euthanasia, the only two issues which have absolutely NO possible licit purpose. War, the death penalty, liberals' favorite no-nos, DO have legitimate uses, ie self-defense, and the protection of society.
I have one question for our shepherds: why not just come out and say "a candidate who supports abortion is never acceptable"? If you don't you are leaving liberals a loophole, so large, that someone like Guiliani gets called a "dedicated Catholic" by Pat Robertson. I saw him and Sean Hannity discussing Guiliani the other night, and had to turn off the TV. That's like saying Osama Bin Laden is good to the poor; as Fr. Pavone says, a candidate that supports murder of innocents of any kind, abortion, terrorism, embryonic research, or euthanasia has no character, and on this basis alone, has eliminated himself from consideration by serious Catholics.
Would you support Adolf Hitler for his health care plan?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mr Blue Sky at number 4 in the country!

Do you realize what this means?
I have been promoting two independant, family-friendly films, "Bella" and "Mr. Blue Sky", for the past year. In the first two weekends in theatres, "Bella" was number 3 at box office receipts per theatre, and "Mr. Blue Sky" was number 4.
In the nation!
Do I know how to promote a movie or what?!

Here's a word from Tom Lee, the Producer and screenwriter of "Mr Blue Sky".
Due to popular success Mr. Blue Sky is extended at Babylon Clearview Cinemas through Thanksgiving at least. Randy Slaughter at Rocky Mountain Pictures is working on getting the film expanded distribution, so hopefully it will reach out to further theatres in NY and L.A. and other cities very shortly.
Also by way of the Wallstreet Journal,Mr. Blue Sky was the 4th best grossing film per theatre for the past weekend behind
1)Bee Movie
2)American Gangster
3)Fred Clause
...Ahead of such films as "Lions for Lambs" and "Dan In Real Life" and we crushed the competition at Babylon Clearview.
Thanks again,
Tom Lee

Here's a review from Newsday.

Fr Frank Pavone keynote speaker at Life Center Event

The annual Life Center Dinner Dance was held on Thursday, October 11, when hundreds of supporters gathered at the Woodbury Country Club, despite road closings, flooding and a reported tornado. Sprits were high as the crowd anticipated the arrival of keynote speaker, Fr. Frank Pavone. Deacon Frank Gariboldi, husband of Lorraine Gariboldi, the Director, kept the crowd informed of Fr. Franks’ slow progress through the snarled traffic around New York City. The trip from the airport took five hours.
In her talk, Lorraine share recently on a trip to Washington, DC, the Federal Government singled out Life Center among dozens of participants in a focus group for their outstanding work, and asked them to apply for more grants to promote chastity education on Long Island. Life Center has already received a $3 million grant to give abstinence education in school districts. They have been invited into 7 districts where their influence has given hope to thousands of Long Island teenagers. Life Center has just purchased an RV which will be equipped with a sonogram machine to travel to all the abortion clinics on Long Island, offering women a look at their unborn children. More that 88% of women who see their unborn child in a sonogram, change their decision to end their child’s life.
Life Center volunteer, Dr. Robert Scanlon, an obstetrician from Huntington, sees five women a week from the Life Center, all of whom decide to keep their babies. His gentle manner and prayers to the Holy Spirit for inspiration are the secrets of his success in saving lives. He shared about a time in his life when he doubted his faith, while on a trip to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. “I stood where St. Peter gave up his life for the faith, and then the guide showed us the tomb of another pope, who lived two weeks, and was killed, the next who lived three months. . .and I said to myself, ‘these men died so that the faith would come to me, and I’m doubting it?” Dr. Scanlon in addition to the women he sees from Life Center spends two weeks in Nigeria delivering the babies of poor women who have little access to medical care. His dedication to the sanctity of human life is a testament to his vibrant faith.
The crowd was thrilled when Fr Pavone arrived late, but undimmed in his enthusiasm. This is a man who has faced the media and the pro-choice movement without flinching, so he was not inclined to let a mere tornado dissuade him from speaking on behalf of Life Center. Fr Frank Pavone founded Priests for Life in 1993 with the permission of Cardinal John O’Connor, and after some time in Staten Island, Priests for Life has founded a new order of priests based out of Amarillo, Texas.
“I don’t know if you will believe this, but I average four states a week and I can tell you from what I see that the days of legal abortion are numbered”. He assured us, “One day, we will attend banquets like this one to celebrate this victory”. Why does Fr. Frank have this assurance? He continued, “What we in the pro-life movement are about is; solidarity with women who have been wounded by abortion, and their voices are being heard through such campaigns as ‘Silent No More’. There is nothing the pro-choice movement can do about this; they were the ones who told us to listen to women, and they can’t take it back now that more and more of them are saying that they regret their abortions. They try to counter us by having women say they don’t regret their abortions, but they can’t say that this abortion is a positive thing. We know the pain of women who have had abortions from running the nation’s biggest post-abortion ministry, ‘Rachel’s Vineyard’. Can the other side have a counter rally of women who say, ‘I regret my child’? No way!”
On pro-abortion politicians, Fr. Frank was clear,” Imagine if a candidate were to say, ‘I don’t believe in terrorism, but I don’t want to interfere with your right to support it.’ Would you ask him what his tax policy was? NO! You would consider him unfit for public office! It’s the same with pro-abortion politicians, if you believe that some members of our society are to be killed, you are not fit to hold public office.”
Fr. Pavone said that many of the Dinner attendees were veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. He continued, “One March for Life, I was walking with Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, and co-director of the “Silent No More” awareness campaign, and asked her whether this movement was a continuation of the Civil Rights movement. She answered, ‘This IS the Civil Rights Movement, and my uncle believed in equality for all men and opposed all violence’.”

Many take the youthfulness of the March for Life participants (half of whom are under 30) as a sign of hope for the pro-life movement. Fr. Pavone does as well, and understands that their motivation for becoming involved in the pro-life movement is different than their parents’. Fr. Pavone said, “Anyone who is under 35 has to think, “It could have been me” who was aborted. USA Today had an article on ‘Survivors Syndrome’ where the Iraq War veterans come home feeling guilty about their buddies who were killed over there, wondering whether they could have done more to save them. It’s the same thing for youth, they realize they could have been aborted, and it will take a long time to understand the ramifications of their suffering. Their motivation is another fact that can’t be counteracted by pro-aborts”.
Fr Pavone closed his stirring speech saying, “We know we come from the victory of Christ on the cross, so even though the abortion industry makes a half a billion dollars a year and spends millions in public relations efforts to support abortion, but in the end, as GK Chesterton once said, ‘truth, pressed to the earth will rise again’”.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Keynote address of Archbishop Charles Chaput, Capuchin at SCSS Dinner

The title of his address, "The Church and the State Today; Giving to Cesar what is Cesar's", made one expect a typical discussion of politicians who should be adhering to Church doctrine by their votes, allowing the faithful Catholics in the room a measure of complacency, but the soft-spoken bishop had no such plans.

Rather, he described a culture, advanced in technology, with diversity of religious belief which were largely practiced in private, and a widespread infertility problem, fueled by rampant homosexuality, abortion, promiscuity, and contraception. Lawmakers try to help save families, but their efforts get nowhere, till the entire society sinks into oblivion. This nation, though it sounds eerily familiar to us, was Ancient Rome in it's decline, at the time Christ lived on earth.

Agnostic Rodney Stark in his book, "The Rise of Christianity" studied the causes of Christianity's successful takeover of the greatest empire of the Ancient World, in a matter of 400 years. Here, says Stark, were the strengths of the Christians' approach:
1. Doctrine; the Gospel of Jesus
2. Strong Adherence to that doctrine, those who believed in Jesus rejected the immorality of the surrounding culture, and lived pure lives, in contrast to the debauchery around them. Athenogoras said, "we regard that the fetus as a created being and object of God's care", clearly rejecting abortion. The Early Christians recognized the Culture of Death that was the Roman Empire. Venutus Felix said that birth control was an abortifacient,which "stills the beginnings of the person to be".

It was the courage of the first Christians to challenge the culture, trusting in God first, obeying and loving the Church as their Mother that helped to bring about a conversion of an entire society. They recognized that they were citizens first of Heaven, and were willing to stake their lives on that conviction.

Archbishop Chaput enjoined the 400 prominent Social Scientists at the Conference to first live their Catholic faith fervently, or they would have nothing worthwhile to bring to the debate. They should trust in the Lord's promise that, "the Truth will set us free", and remember if powerful Pagan Rome could be won for Jesus, so can this neo-pagan culture, we simply need to live our faith!

NY Times on the Latin Mass revival

Read about reactions to Summorum Pontificum here. I am optimistic that the more my generation and younger is exposed to the solemn, prayerful beauty of the ancient form of the Mass, the more will flock to it. Just listen to the beautiful rendition of "Panis Angelicus" in this video and compare it to the insipid songs sung at your Sunday Mass. No comparison!
My daughter Gabbi, age 14, is training to be part of a Latin Mass Schola. This week they are learning the operatic "Veni Jesu, Amor Mi" by Cherubini. With that ethereal music, you can't help having your heart and soul lifted up to God!

American Papist on Fr Francis Mary Stone

American Papist seems to have a bit more information on Fr Francis Mary Stone than I do, and he keeps a charitable, balanced perspecitve on what is developing into a major issue among Catholics, according to the level of interest on the blogs.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Washington State Judge allows conscience clause for pharmacists


As more and more states threaten to remove conscience protections for pharmacists, yesterday's victory for individual rights in Washington couldn't have come at a better time. After the state passed a rule in July mandating that pharmacists fill prescriptions they find morally objectionable, a pharmacist owner and two employees filed suit. Federal Judge Ronald Leighton ruled on the plantiffs' behalf, indefinitely suspending the regulation and jeopardizing any hopes that it will be implemented in the near future.
In his opinion, Leighton points to the obvious shortcomings of the law. "[The current rules] appear designed to impose a Hobson's choice for the majority of pharmacists who object to Plan B: dispense a drug that ends a life as defined by their religious teachings, or leave their present positions in the state of Washington." Rather than force people to choose between their religious convictions and their jobs, Leighton allows pharmacists to refuse the prescription order so long as they refer patients to the "nearest source for the drug." The debate needed a shot in the arm after New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) signed a bill into law last week that criminalizes pharmacists who refuse to set aside their personal beliefs and dispense drugs like Plan B or birth control.
We applaud Judge Leighton for rebuffing the current trend of bulldozing pharmacists' rights in favor of customers'.
Family Research Council
I agree that this is a crucial time to fight for freedom of conscience for those who adhere to the Culture of Life. I see our rights seriously threatened by my own state governor, Eliot Spitzer. Catholic hospitals are approaching a showdown with this issue, and I pray that New York bishops have more fortitude than Connecticut bishops who have allowed Plan B to be used in their hospitals for rape victims.

Eduardo Verastegui interviewed by Neil Cavuto

Neil was very impressed with the buzz Bella is creating. He mentions the word "Oscar" several times. Watch the inteview here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Here's one you haven't heard before: Hillary is Pro-life

Really, no kidding! Just ask TIME magazine editor, Amy Sullivan who says,
"It seems that on social issues, by which I mean kind of welfare and economic issues, she's fairly liberal. But she's a moral conservative," Sullivan explained, according to a Media Research Center report.
"Which is to say that she also gets behind, you know, things like values issues. She's endorsed a plan to lower abortion rates that actually just passed through the House and Senate conference committee this week," Sullivan added.

What section of TIME does Sullivan edit? Fiction, you say?

"Amazing Grace" DVDto be released November 13

The long anticipated DVD release of Michael Apted's film, "Amazing Grace: The Story of William Wilberforce," is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, 2007. I have reviewed this important family film here.
The DVD includes a number of special features making it a valuable resource for small group discussion and classroom use. Due to its limited theatrical release, strong DVD sales are expected by the many who were unable to see the film last spring. We are working to set new records in DVD sales! This film is a keeper, a classic to have in one's film library.
Click here for an overview of the DVD.

Rush Limbagh reviews "Bella"

This is a movie that you don't see come out of Hollywood much because it reinforces the sanctity and the importance of the life issue. It's not preachy and it's built right into the plot, and the dialogue is not controversial in any way. These kinds of movies used to get made a long time ago, but not anymore. These are the kind of movies that the public would love to see.

This review should boost sales tremendously, thanks, Rush!

Archbishop Chaput on Planned Parenthood

The public deserves to know the facts about Planned Parenthood. The national organization is among the leading abortion providers, performing across the nation 264,943 abortion procedures in 2005 alone, a 29% increase since 2000. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has stated that it served 125,000 patients in five states, including Colorado, last year and of those 8,800 received abortions.
Teens and young people are the primary customers for their services and information, which include the distribution of contraception, emergency contraception and chemical and surgical abortions. Nationally 70 % of Planned Parenthoods customers are under age 25 and 27% are under age 19. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood is a supplier of graphic and explicit sex educational materials. These materials are being used in some Colorado's public schools.
Planned Parenthood calls itself pro-child, pro-woman, and pro-family. Yet it is an organization based on falsehoods about the human person, the family and community life.
When a minor comes to Planned Parenthood, she is provided information on contraception, sex education and treatment of STDs without parental notification.
How can Planned Parenthood justify calling itself pro-family or pro-child when it intrudes itself between a child and parent?
read the rest of his article at Catholic Exchange

Friday, November 09, 2007

Senators Brownback and Vittier call for end to federal funds for abortions

BROWNBACK CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ABORTIONS WASHINGTON :
U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and David Vitter(R-LA) today sent a letter to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human ServicesAppropriations, and Representative David Obey, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, calling for the suspension of federal funding of abortion.
In addition to Brownback and Vitter, the following senators signedthe letter: Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY), John Barrasso (R-WY),Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), JamesInhofe (R-OK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Trent Lott (R-MS), Mel Martinez(R-FL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and John Thune (R-SD). Following is full text of the letter. "We write to urge you to suspend funding in all future Labor, Healthand Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriationsbills for organizations that promote abortion. While an amendment tothis effect was not adopted in the U.S. Senate last month, we believerecent findings warrant such a suspension pending furtherinvestigation."
One recipient of such funding is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America which receives more than $300 million in taxpayer fundingeach year. According to a 107-count complaint filed in Kansas' Johnson County District Court two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood isaccused of performing illegal late-term abortions in violation ofstate law. It is also accused of falsifying documents and failing tocomply with medical reporting requirements."Unfortunately this is just one example of a troubling trend. Too often we hear about negligent medical practice or inadequate reporting from abortion clinics that lack sufficient oversight. One of the many reasons to withhold federal funding from groups thatpromote abortion are these troubling accusations of negligent medical practice. Most recently, amendment S.A.3330 to H.R.3043, the Labor,Health and Human Services Appropriations bill would have correctedthis problem by denying federal funding to groups that promoteabortion.
"While amendment S.A.3330 was not adopted by the Senate, we believe an amendment to that effect should be reconsidered in the futuregiven this troubling evidence of wrongdoing and neglectful medicalpractice. While we continue to have a rigorous debate in this countryabout abortion, we should be able to come to some fundamental agreements. We should not use tax dollars to subsidize abortion clinics " particularly when there are serious concerns regarding their compliance with state law and medical standards.
Brownback is a member of the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.
Sam Brownback United States Senator -
Kansas 303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-6521

Modesty Conference at EPPC

I have posted on the trend in modest fashion shows, but this is the first ever conference on modesty at a Washington DC think tank; the Ethics and Public Policy Center is hosting, among others, Dawn Eden to discuss a return to modesty on college campuses. The only time I have seen this subject broached on college campuses themselves, is when I was a freshman at St. Anselm, and the counseling center had a discussion on "losing your reputation". I had spent the entire first month of college fending off suggestive remarks from seniors who apparently saw me as, 'fresh meat'. I accepted a date with a the gorgeous captain of the baseball team, Dave, only to discover that I was to have been part of a competition to score as many Freshman as possible. He struck out with me, folks!
I did have my revenge, however, for his repeating some things I had told him during our chaste date to fellow frat guys. I collected a number of the girls he left behind in the lounge of my all-girl's dormitory, and as Dave came for the next conquest and waited while she was paged (we asked her to take her time) he had to face all the girls he had lied to. It was priceless!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

No angels on that Christmas Tree, Grandma!

The Plant City Living Center has told Mrs. Arnold, an 85-year-old grandmother in Florida, that federal law prohibits her from displaying any religious words or items associated with Christmas in the common area of her apartment building.Read the rest of this story on my Christmas blog here.

Homosexuals push for radical rights here and abroad.

Several House Republicans voted with Democrats to pass theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, a dangerous homosexual rights bill which may force employers to hire homosexuals or face discrimination lawsuits. Homosexual activists have been active abroad, as well, as you can see from this email from C-FAM. If this type of legislation is successful, even this blog post could get this mother of three imprisoned. I want to go on record saying that Our Lord and I love homosexuals as people, and want to set them free from their dangerous obsession. But I am not about to let them dictate their immorality to my country. Or my church. I love them too much. If their unhealthy lifestyle is accepted by force, then there goes their only help of healing and reconciliation with Christ.

We report today on yet another racial social initiative launched this week at UN headquarters. A number of governments and UN officials endorsed a radical homosexual document they hope to foist on the General Assembly and the Member States of the UN.
Spread the word, Austin Ruse President

Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay Launch Radical Homosexual Rights Document
By Samantha Singson (NEW YORK C-FAM)

At a meeting at UN headquarters this week, a coalition of NGOs and the governments of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay hosted the New York launch of a document which seeks to advance homosexual rights at the national and international levels. Boris Dittrich, advocacy director for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender program at Human Rights Watch and moderator of the event stated that this document was the "Magna Carta for human rights in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity."
Called the Yogyakarta Principles , the document lists human rights that already exist in binding international law such as the right to life and freedom from torture, and reinterprets each one to include homosexual rights. Based on the tenet of non-discrimination, the Principles assert that nations are legally bound to change their constitutions and penal codes to incorporate homosexual rights, including rights to same-sex unions and gay adoption.
According to the Principles, "Sexual orientation is understood to refer to each person's capacity for profound emotional, affectional [sic] and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender." The document states that "gender identity is understood to refer to each person's deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth."
Panelist Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and signatory to the Yogyakarta Principles, praised the document for addressing a "deficit in the human rights system" that does not adequately address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which she argues are "core human rights issues." Though she was not present at the meeting, a letter from current UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour was distributed at the meeting in support of the Yogyakarta Principles. Arbour reiterates her office's commitment to promoting and protecting sexual orientation and gender identity and states that "Excluding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from equal protection violates international human rights law as well as the common standards of humanity that define us all."
Pro-family UN experts note that not a single UN human rights treaty mentions sexual orientation and furthermore, UN member states have repeatedly rejected attempts by Brazil and the EU to pass resolutions promoting broad homosexual rights.
The panelists strongly encouraged government delegations to use the Yogyakarta Principles throughout the UN system and as a guide for all future programs and work. Dittrich praised the government of the Netherlands for already using the Principles to help determine development aid. To help more countries follow the Netherlands example, the organizers announced that an activist guide on the Yogyakarta Principles would be published in the upcoming weeks. The event was organized by several prominent homosexual rights groups such as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and Human Rights Watch.
For more news visit us at
www.c-fam.org
Copyright 2007 Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.