Thursday, March 31, 2011

Death in Sprintime; how this mother relates to Mary Schindler

How did the mother of a daughter with Down syndrome react when Terri Schindler Schiavo was dehydrated to death five years ago? Read my article over at Catholic Lane and find out.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How one reporter sees America

From a Czech newspaper, an insightful comment into the problem with this nation..

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency.  It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America.  Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.  The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool.  It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president." 

We get the president we deserve, if we ignore his lack of morality, religious faith, and experience, we ignore his radicalism, and his anti-Americanism, and believe his empty promises without explanation, we are fools who sow the seeds of our own doom. We are desperately greedy, to overlook his pro-abortion views because of his promises to give us all money, and we end up with more dead babies than ever, and less money.  

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Ellen McCormack with Dr. Mildred Jefferson (1)

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Quote from Dr Jerome Lejeune

The Catholic Education Resource Center had this quote from Dr Jerome Lejeune on their weekly newsletter;

Quote of the Week:
"To dissociate the child from love is, for our species, a methodological error: contraception, which is to make love without making a child; artificial (in vitro) fertilization, which is to make a child without making love; abortion, which is to unmake the child; and pornography, which is to unmake love: all these, to varying degrees, are incompatible with natural law." - Jerome Lejeune

I am going to be quoting him this week as we approach his birthday on April 3. Thank you to CERC for recognizing the wisdom of this great man. 

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Aborted baby cells used to make Pepsi, Nestle, andKraft products tastier

Biotech company using aborted fetal cell lines to test food flavor enhancers

 Children of God for Life is calling for a public boycott of major food companies partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.

In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used.  But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as "collaborators" warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott.  Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and NestlĂ© are the primary targets of the boycott.

Senomyx website states: “The company's key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products....Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.” 

Their collaborators provide Senomyx research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.

“What they don’t tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors”, stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has monitored the use of aborted fetal material in medical and consumer products for years.

“They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors”, she added.

In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before NestlĂ© finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was “well established in scientific research".

Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup also responded.

Shockingly, Pepsico wrote: “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.” 

Campbell Soup was more sensitive in their response: “Every effort is made to use the finest ingredients and develop the greatest selection of products, all at a great value. With this in mind, it must be said that the trust we have cultivated and developed over the years with our consumers is not worth compromising to cut costs or increase profit margins."

While Campbell didn’t state they would change their methods, their response, gave Vinnedge hope.

“If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it may convince Senomyx to change their methods”, she noted. “Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola, Lipton soups and Hershey products!”


UPDATE!!! March 29, 2011 11:45AM
Within hours of our press release, Children of God for Life received notice from Campbell Soup that they have severed their ties with Senomyx.

Stated Juli Mandel Sloves, Senior Manager of Nutrition & Wellness Communications at Campbell Soup Company, "We are no longer in partnership with Senomyx. This fact was discussed during the Senomyx conference call with its investors earlier this month."

If you choose to write to Campbell Soup, please thank them for their decision.Here is the comment form. 
 Mmmm good!

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Abby Johnson Exposes Planned Parenthood

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Should Geraldine Ferraro be given a Catholic funeral?

My friend Dr Gerry Nadal has a thought provoking piece over at his blog Coming Home which may make me change my mind on whether Geraldine Ferraro deserves a Catholic funeral. Its about mercy, not covering up her public sin of being unabashedly pro-abortion.
Something is radically wrong here. If the people seem indifferent to abortion, might they be mirroring their bishops? The point of public censure of such politicians is at once medicinal for the politician, and catechetical for the laity. If the Kennedy’s and Ferraro’s of our time do not merit public censure and prohibition of Eucharistic reception in life, then it seems pointless and even cruel to suddenly get serious about their souls in death.
This funeral discussion has more to do with the cowardice of our bishops than we may like to admit. Catholic politicians use bishops to lend them support, maybe not verbally, but they rush to St Patrick's Day parades to file past St Patrick's Cathedral wearing shamrocks waving and smiling. What does that tell the Catholic faithful who are often too lazy to look at any programming other than ESPN and the parade? Images speak louder than words to a public which is only semi-engaged in their spiritual lives. They lead to this kind of thought,
"These guys are just one of us. They're OK to vote for. Why not, our bishops seem to support them? "

Why don't the bishops fight for their salvation before they die, by telling them  in plain language the true state of their souls and arguing with them about their sins? Its not condemnation, its an act of mercy. Its a spiritual act of mercy to admonish the sinner.
St Maria Gorretti cared more for Alessandro's soul than for her own life, when he was threatening to defile her, she didn't beg for her life, she told him, "No, no, no, its a sin, you'll go to hell!" Maria cared more for Alessandro's soul than he did. It should be the same for the bishops, They should be willing to become unpopular for the sake of Ted Kennedy's or Geraldine Ferraro's eternal destiny. This is hardly martyrdom.
They may be doing it privately, but if a sin is public, it requires a public denunciation for the sake of the scandal it causes, for the bad catechesis as Gerry Nadal says.

Remember Cardinal O'Connor? Here is a tribute to him on EWTN's website.
Cardinal O'Connor battled with prominent Catholic abortion rights supporters, most notably with former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee. Cardinal O'Connor refused to accept their position, writing in 1990 that Catholics who opposed the Church's teachings on abortion by "advocating legislation supporting abortion, or by making public funds available for abortion ... must be warned that they are at a risk of excommunication. If such actions persist, bishops may consider excommunication the only option." 
 He gave pro-abortion politicians a run for their money, just ask Mario Cuomo who  coined the phrase, "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I don't want to inflict my beliefs on others". The good Cardinal never let him or Geraldine Ferraro away with that kind of doublespeak, and they both treated him shamefully. They imposed excommunication on themselves by supporting abortion publicly and never publicly apologized. Cardinal O'Connor cared for their souls more than they did and did them the favor of pointing that out to them, despite their rude responses. That is why, at his funeral, President and Mrs Clinton were forced to stand for a ten minute ovation when his courageous stand on life issues was lauded. It was a wonderful teaching moment, I was never prouder to be a Catholic in New York than that moment.

Maybe we should support a Catholic funeral for Geraldine Ferraro because of how desperately she needs our prayers. I think the reason we balk at Catholic funerals is because they become canonizations, like Teddy Kennedy's in Boston. We know these politicians thumbed their noses at Catholic moral teaching and no one corrected them publicly from the chancery. Then, their friends, fellow crooked politicians, knowing the cameras are rolling, use the occasion to extol those virtues which happen to fall within Catholic teaching, like advocating for the poor, while ignoring their pro-death stand on abortion. All of this happens while the Cardinal is silent, within the Holy Mass. It's intolerable!
Wouldn't it be refreshing to pro-lifers and instructive to lukewarm Catholics who see Ferraro's funeral in the news to hear a bishop say, "we know that if she did not repent of voting for the death of millions of unborn children, then she is in hell, so let us pray for God's mercy on her immortal soul."
Now that's Catholicism, justice and mercy!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The National Institute of Health wants to know if you want Down syndrome research funding

The NIH has decided to gather info (Request for Information or RFI) regarding an interest in Ds research, data base and bio bank.  They want to receive responses by April 1, 2011, in order to decide if there is enough interest to move in that direction.  We feel this is clearly a move in the right direction and would love for you to send your email of support.  You can write your own or simply modify the wording in the first sentence....As a friend(uncle, relative, etc) of a child with Down syndrome who has five siblings, .....  

FYI, the majority of individuals with Ds start with Alzheimer-like symptoms in their 40s.  This will dramatically impact the entire family and there is currently a human clinical trial being conducted on just this topic.  Of course the majority of funding is through private donations, so to have the support of NIH in funding Ds research more fairly (currently Ds is the most common genetic chromosomal abnormality, yet it is funded by far the lowest) hopefully more breakthroughs will be found to improve cognition and delay the later loss.

 If you do write an email please send to: and cc:   with subject:  RESPONSE TO NIH DOWN SYNDROME RESEARCH DATABASE & BIOBANK RFI

Please pass along to anyone else who may be willing to send an email. 

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Fr Corapi targeted by disgruntled employee?

Yes, according to this statement by his company director who also was a victim of this angry woman.

Statement of Santa Cruz Media, Inc. Relative to Fr. Corapi’s Suspension

  Santa Cruz Media, Inc. is the owner of all of Fr. John Corapi’s intellectual property and the DVDs, CDs, and books that flow from it. We are a secular corporation and not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. As such, we are not under the jurisdiction of any bishop or other official in the Catholic Church, although we have the utmost respect for Church authority. 

We fully support Rev. John Corapi in this terrible trial, not surprisingly having begun on Ash Wednesday. Through the sacrifice and struggle of the desert and all of the dark moments that this entails, we are confident that the glory of the risen Lord will shine forth from the power of the Resurrection and Easter. 

We have consulted with a number of canon lawyers. They have assured us that the actions of the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas are, on several points of canon law, illicit. It is our fervent hope that The Dallas Charter will be changed because of false accusations like this. There is no evidence at this time that Fr. Corapi did anything wrong, only the unsubstantiated rant of a former employee, who, after losing her job with this office, physically assaulted me and another employee and promised to "destroy" Father Corapi. We all continue to pray for this person, and we ask you to do the same. 

We sincerely believe that the work Fr. Corapi has done is of greatest value to the Church, hence hated by the devil. We fully intend to make Fr. Corapi’s material available as a service to the Church and the world for as long as we possibly can. 

The Church provides no financial support to Fr. Corapi. He has to pay for his own legal representation, medical costs, food, housing, etc. We have never accepted donations or charitable contributions of any kind. We are supporting Father’s efforts to defend himself. Your purchase of products from Santa Cruz Media helps provide the funding for Father's continued work as well as the legal expenses he continues to incur as a result of these malicious allegations. 

Father Corapi and all of us here at Santa Cruz Media, Inc. greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and prayers. Please continue to pray for Father Corapi and his accuser, as well as all priests who find themselves in this unfortunate situation. 

 Sincerely yours in Christ, 

  Bobbi Ruffatto 
Vice President of Operations 
Santa Cruz Media, Inc. 
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First ever pro-active pro-life victory in CT!

I was saddened but not shocked to read yesterday, that CT has one of the five highest abortion rates in the nation. Such a tragic legacy for what was, a half century ago, considered a fortress of moral values due to the high density of our Catholic population. Legislators used to be afraid of passing immoral legislation up here, but obviously  with gay marriage and high abortion rates, they have won the battle.  But not the war.
 We are one of the few states with virtually no restrictions on abortion; no informed consent, no waiting period, and no parental notification, but that is about to be challenged, according to Peter Wolfgang a the Family Institute of CT: Instead of waiting for more abhorrent legislation to oppose, he is on the offensive, demanding parental notification. We have the evidence in a dozen Planned Parenthood sting operations from Lila Rose at Live Action, (see video here) that sexual slaves are being abused, then their babies are aborted by PP and the underage women are being sent back to the abusive man. The time for outrage, leading to action is NOW!

 FIC’s Biggest-Ever Pro-Active Victory!
The pro-life movement’s #1 legislative goal in Connecticut was accomplished earlier this month. And it happened because of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

The Program Review and Investigations Committee has agreed to a study about teen health. The scope of the study will include parental notification for minor girls seeking to obtain an abortion. There will be a public hearing on the study this summer.

In other words: We secured a public hearing on parental notification!
Our accomplishment is such a delicate matter at the state Capitol that it is only now, two weeks later, that we can even tell you about it. We cannot provide our usual behind-the-scenes report, but we do wish to acknowledge our gratitude toward those legislators who attended FIC’s February 3rd legislative breakfast.

Connecticut is one of only a handful of states that does not have a parental notification law. Though there was an informational hearing on it a few years ago, getting a public hearing on parental notification has been the #1 legislative goal of Connecticut pro-lifers.

Make no mistake: This hearing does not end the roughly 15,000 abortions a year occurring in Connecticut. Our ultimate goal is a state where every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life.

But even those who do not share that goal will agree with us that it is a travesty that a minor girl can obtain an abortion without notifying her parents. Correcting that travesty is a first step toward a more humane Connecticut. By taking this step, FIC has secured the first public hearing on abortion in Connecticut in over twenty years.
We are grateful to our allies on Program Review for what they have accomplished. We are also grateful to those legislators who do not yet share our pro-life convictions but voted for this study in good faith and with an open mind. We pledge to work with those on both sides of the abortion issue on our shared goal of protecting the health of Connecticut’s minor girls.   

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Safe Legal and Rare

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue shows how to reduce abortions; help women make better choices.
We know abortion is the choice of a desperate woman, who is acting by emotion without thought.
IF the so-called pro-choice side cared about women, they would support initiatives like the 3 day waiting period just signed into law in South Dakota. But they put profit over people.
When women know they really have choices other than abortion, when they see what their baby looks like and how they will be affected by abortion, THEY CHOOSE LIFE!

For the past few years, the pro-abortion community has inexplicably said they support "abortion reduction" efforts (it is not clear why they would want to reduce the rates of a procedure they say is non-lethal). In any event, they should now be supporting what is going on in South Dakota (somehow, we believe they will side with Planned Parenthood, which is filing suit against the state).
Yesterday, the governor signed a law in South Dakota to require women who want an abortion to first learn what assistance is available to them in the event they decide to keep their babies; a waiting period of three days after the initial visit with an abortionist was also approved. In a New York Times article today, it notes that this is happening in a state "despite an abortion rate that is among the lowest in the nation." Which made me wonder: Which states have the highest, and the lowest, rates of abortion? Also, what accounts for the disparity? That is why I repaired to the data on these subjects collected by the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood.
The states with the five highest rates of abortion (1-5) are: New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Connecticut. Those with the five lowest rates (46-50) are: North Dakota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Utah and South Dakota. None of the five with the highest rates has a waiting period, and none offer written material on the procedure, including fetal development throughout pregnancy. All of those with the five lowest rates require a 24-hour waiting period (now 72 in South Dakota), and all offer written material, including information on fetal development through term. Moreover, Utah and South Dakota also offer information on the ability of the baby to experience pain when he or she is being killed.
If the high abortion states are to mimic success, they will have to abandon their policy of keeping women ignorant. If these liberal states are to be truly pro-choice, they will have to start allowing women to make real choices. Their resistance to informed consent must end.

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Defund Planned Parenthood

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today is World Down Syndrome Day

And to honor those who are born with Trisomy 21 around the world, and share the joy we have had in my daughter Christina, my daughter Gabriela is releasing her documentary entitled, "An Extra Special Missionary", which is in the Voters's Choice Phase of the Goodness Reigns Film Competition.
Please watch the 7 minute film and if you like it, vote for it at the link below;

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Swimming in swift waters; take the plunge

I was watching "The Journey Home" episode for the second time with John Peterson of "Catholics Come Home". I am fascinated with his wonderful commercials and his joyfully articulated faith, which is so contagious, EWTN seems to be passing him from show to show, and he never seems to lose the glow in his eyes when he discusses his reversion to the Faith or the joy he finds in his apostolate of bringing thousands of other Catholics home. . His commercials have brought over 200,000 Catholics back to the Faith, though they are aired in only 30 dioceses! One parish priest alone had 16 confessions from fallen away Catholics in one week. Imagine if ALL the dioceses in the US had those beautiful spots! See them here. Spread them around , they are marvelous. Why did I feel so inspired to write about at midnight when were are losing an hour? Saving souls of youth, who are literally drowning in the pop culture is a cause which is never far from my heart since I am a youth minister turned teacher.
I reflected on my youth and how I was a bit adrift after my Confirmation. I was all excited, fasted, and prayed during Lent before my Confirmation, but was crushed by how no one in my family was as excited about my newfound dedication to God as I wanted them to be. I cried that next day, to my mother's mystification, because the party we had was beautiful.I had trouble telling her what it was that I was looking for, I only knew I hadn't found it.  I can still see the statue of Our Lady in the middle of our living room, surrounded with flowers both from our yard and the florist, and I laid my heartbreak at her feet. I never left the Church, but felt like now that CCD was over, and this is before any type of youth movements were born, I wondered "Where does a 13 who deeply loves God belong in our Church?".
Teens and single twenty-somethings seem to be missing in action in most parishes. There are mostly adults and children in the pews,  and in the activities, and at that vulnerable time of life, we want to have a flag to carry in the parade, a bumper sticker on our car, a button for our lapels saying,, "here I am and here's my job in the Church". There is a place, but they are not finding it. We have to help them.
We know that Our Lord never told teens they weren't welcome, in fact,  scholars say Our Lady was a young teen at the Annunciation. But its the prevailing culture which tells teens they are to be catty, vain, selfish, materialistic hedonists, whose only sacrifice is for causes like the environment. Notice how readily a teen who balks at Lenten practices will suddenly, with great conviction, declare himself a vegan. A lifelong sacrifice. We should be asking more of our teens! We as adults need to recognize that though Jesus and Mary are calling our teens to sacrificial holiness of life and outspoken defense of the Faith and its tenets, there are floodwaters of culture which seem to be washing away the grace of Baptism in their souls.
Today I took Molly my Golden Retriever to the river for our first walk in the spring. With all the pent up enthusiasm of a long cold winter spent without walks, she nearly threw herself into the rushing river, which was overflowing its banks. Wisely, for an impulsive young dog, she only dipped her nose into the water, felt the force and the freezing temperature, and backed out.
Too many of our teens have already thrown themselves into that cold, dirty, rushing water which is popular culture, and are being tossed about by the current, hitting the rocks of temptations, and life-altering choices and getting bloodied and dying spiritually. We can't merely stand at the shoreline, calling out to them, the noisy water drowns us out, we have to plunge in, adding the waters of grace to the dirty waters of popular culture in order to attract those young souls away from the dangerous current to the safety of the shore. To their role in the Body of Christ which will help use their ability to give, their talents, their enthusiasm, and their love for the building up of the Kingdom of God.

When I was 13, in the mid seventies, popular culture was certainly a muddy stream, but it was shallower.  I only waded ankle deep. I had the radio in my room, a few  records and cassettes, and one TV in the house, which my parents dominated. It was quiet enough in my home that I was able to find "A Story of A Soul" on my parents' bookshelf when I had trouble sleeping at night and find a lifeline in St Therese. I stayed up all night reading  her life story.
 The Church was finding her balance after Vatican II, and John Paul II had not yet stepped unto St Peter's balcony, but in that quiet environment, God's voice was still audible to a teen with a searching heart. Walking to daily Mass in the summer, my faith grew in the quiet of our Church, and when offered the chance to assist at CCD, sing in the choir, join in the March for Life, and serve as a sacristan at my Catholic school, I found outlets for my growing need to share my faith. I had a flag to carry. A role to play. God needed me to add my gifts to help complete what was lacking in the cross of Christ. God needed me; how honored I felt!
The teens who swim in today's overwhelming current of endless texts, tweets, Iphone movies which you can take everywhere fall victim to the prejudice of society's low expectations of them. They are "Pretty Little Liars", "Bridezillas-to-be", and have Secret Lives from their families which they would confess on Facebook but not to a priest.
We who are secure in our faith are called to jump into the swift waters of popular culture, despite the risk of bruises, knowing that our experience in the Faith can be a lifeline to teens drowning in the murky waters of sin and impurity. We need to text. Tweet, Facebook, blog, podcast, YouTube along with Lady Gaga, if only to highlight the utter depravity of her spiritual downfall from the indulged student in an exclusive Catholic high school in NYC to the self-abusing wretch she is today. We can help Our Lord's voice reach over the rushing current to them, helping them gain a foothold on the shore, and find a place in our Church.
As my 17 year old daughter Gabbi said on a pro-life TV show, "The Face of Pro-life". 'Its MY friends who will be facing the temptations of abortion, I need to tell them there is a better way'. Who can do that better than a peer? We need teens to be salt and light to other teens, to be 'signs of contradiction' like Our Lord was. But they have to hear the call and they are surrounded by the other side, tickling their ears with temptations. Our voices must reach them.
Pray, fast for them this Lent. Make sacrifices of time for them; volunteer in youth ministry, get involved in Social Media to be a light in the darkness. Fr Pavone once suggested that pro-lifers should dive into chat rooms, to evangelize. I must say jumping into that muck with the provocative phrase "I love Jesus and Mary don't you?" is not for the faint hearted, but the two people who attacked me the most for that phrase were a priest who was laicized and a post-abortive Catholic woman. I found myself talking to them instead of shouting slogans, and God willing, being a voice in the wilderness of that chatroom.

Our beloved Holy Father Benedict has begged us to get involved with social media, he has had a conference on it, and has a Facebook presence: Pope2you, he has established an office in the Vatican dedicated to it, so we must follow his lead, plunge into the swift waters armed with a strong life in grace, and see whom we can rescue.
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Monday, March 07, 2011

My interview with Dr Jerome Lejeune's daughter

It was one of the greatest honors of my life to meet Clara Lejeune Gaymard, daughter and biographer of my great hero, Servant of God Dr Jerome Lejeune. I met with her at the New York Encounter last month.
She is an international businesswoman, travelling the world for GE while raising nine children. Her wonderful book "Life is a Blessing" is now availalble from the National Catholic Bioethics Center e-store.
Here is the interview at the National Catholic Register.

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Pray for abortionists

I am reading the absolutely riveting story "Unplanned" about Abby Johnson's conversion from a Planned Parenthood Clinic director to a pro-life Catholic activist, and thinking of Dr Bruchalski.
Read about how Our Lady brought him from an abortionist to the head of a completely pro-life medical center which serves poor women in crisis pregnancies. It is named after where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, the hill of Tepeyac, the Tepeyac Family Center.
Read the entire story at Life Site News. 
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Friday, March 04, 2011

Fallen Heroes of the Pro-life Movement

We have lost many of the original pro-life heroes in the past couple of years. The movement, thanks to their perseverance is now stronger than ever, but I thought I'd let you read Rev Gerald E. Murray's homily for the fonder of legalized abortion who became an ardent pro-lifer and was baptized a Catholic by John Cardinal O'Connor. I strongly recommend his book, "The Hand of God". It galvanized my commitment to the pro-life movement. Since then, the tide has turned and there are millions upon millions of young people who are committed to the cause of preserving human life from its conception to natural death. Like all great movements for human rights, they should realize upon whose broad shoulders they are standing.
Great men like Dr Nathanson were pro-life when it might cost you everything, reputation, occupation. and he even feared for his life at the first time he gave public witness to his conversion from helping Betty Friedan make up the lie of 5,000 back-alley abortions in order to get it legalized, to the blinding moment of truth which seared his soul with the truth that he had participated in 85, 000 murders of unborn children. Many of you know Dr Nathanson from the sober-faced doctor from the film "The Silent Scream". He suffered from the weigh of his grave sins all his life. He wanted to suffer, he knew he deserved it. May his Purgatory be light and may the souls of the babies he fought to save pray for him soon to meet Jesus whom he loved so dearly.
May his intercession bring the other abortionists and cooperators in this central evil of our times, into the light of truth. .

Homily at the Funeral of Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
February 28, 2011
The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D.

Your Excellency, Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, how pleasing it is to us all that you are offering this requiem Mass for the soul of Dr. Bernard Nathanson in the Cathedral where he was baptized, confirmed and received his First Holy Communion in December of 1996. Your telephone call from Rome to Dr. Nathanson just weeks before his death was a source of strength and encouragement to him in his final suffering.

Reverend Fathers, especially Fr. C. John McCloskey, who prepared Dr. Nathanson for baptism and was his spiritual mentor; Dear Religious Sisters, in particular the Sisters of Life, who loved Dr. Nathanson so much; both you and Dr. Nathanson are the children in Christ of that stalwart defender of life who is your common spiritual father, John Cardinal O’Connor.

Dear Christine, Dr. Nathanson’s devoted wife; Dear Joseph his son, and all the members of Dr. Nathanson’s family, and all those who assisted him in his illness.

We are joined today at this funeral Mass by a great cloud of witnesses to commend to God’s mercy this faithful and courageous servant of the Lord, Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Our congregation this morning is made up of so many who knew and admired the man we entrust today to our loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here also present are those who knew him from afar by virtue of his untiring efforts to promote respect for life through his writings, his speeches and especially through his two powerful films, The Silent Scream and The Eclipse of Reason.

Here present in spirit are also those two priests, great friends of Dr. Nathanson, to whom he dedicated his book, The Hand of God: Fr. Paul Marx, O.S.B. and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, true heroes of the movement to end legalized abortion in our country and throughout the world.

The prophet Isaiah proclaims this hope filled message in our first reading today: “Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee” (Is 35:10)

The everlasting joy of Heaven is our hope. We long for the joy and gladness promised to those whom the Lord has ransomed. Dr. Nathanson for years longed for that joy and gladness. He found it in Christ.
In his book, Dr. Nathanson wrote of his medical school professor and fellow Jewish convert to Catholicism, Karl Stern: “…he possessed a secret I had been searching for all my life – the secret of the peace of Christ” (p. 46) After years of deep involvement in what he called “the satanic world of abortion” (p. 58), Dr. Nathanson came to believe in Christ. He lived with Christ crucified and resurrected for the last 14 years of his life on earth. He experienced great peace upon becoming a Christian.

St. Paul exhorts us today in our second reading: “[L]et the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.” (Col 3:15) Dr. Nathanson heard and answered that call. He knew great peace in the Catholic Church after years of much trouble and despair. We pray today that he enter into the fullness of that peace in the land of the living.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Dr. Bernard Nathanson is a towering figure in the history of the United States because he was an unflinching witness on behalf of those millions who have been killed, or are threatened to be killed, by abortion. He was a witness who spoke out against what he himself had helped to bring about, namely the legalization of abortion in our country, along with his fellow founders of NARAL, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.

He broke with this evil movement, and repented of his sins. His epiphany came when he saw ultrasound images of the developing human being in the womb. He wrote: “Ultrasound opened up a new world. For the first time we could really see the human fetus, measure it, observe it, watch it, and indeed bond with it and love it. I began to do that.” (p. 125) He continued “Having looked at the ultrasound, I could no longer go on as before” (p. 128)

Dr. Nathanson followed the truth where it led him. He wrote: “After my exposure to ultrasound, I began to rethink the prenatal phase of life. … When I began to study fetology, it dawned on me, finally, that the prenatal nine months are just another band in the spectrum of life. … To disrupt or abort a life at this point is intolerable – it is a crime. I don’t make any bones about using that word: Abortion is a crime.” (p. 130)

Msgr. William Smith is another great hero of the pro-life movement whose passing we still mourn. He never tired of repeating this axiom: “Social engineering is always preceded by verbal engineering.” Dr. Nathanson and Msgr. Smith were champions in the never-ending struggle here below to prevent the ideological corruption of language. That is a Godly struggle. May we take up where they have left off.

Dr. Nathanson reminds me of another great witness against evil and in favor of the truth in the twentieth century, Whittaker Chambers. I read somewhere that Betty Friedan thought the same thing, but I am sure for different reasons.

Chambers renounced his membership in the Communist party and spoke out against those who were part of a conspiracy to harm our nation through espionage for the Soviet Union. He confessed to being a Soviet spy. He was vilified.  He suffered. He stood firm. He spoke the truth.

The introduction to his book Witness is a “Foreword in the Form of a Letter to My Children.” This quotation from the foreword captures Dr. Nathanson’s courageous witness on behalf of innocent human beings menaced by abortion: “A man is not primarily a witness against something. That is only incidental to the fact that he is a witness for something. A witness, in the sense that I am using the word, is a man whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify for his faith, he does so, disregarding all risks, accepting all consequences.” (p. 5)

Dr. Bernard Nathanson was a fearless advocate of the self-evident truth that it is a grave injustice to kill people before they are born. The unjust decisions of the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton mandating legalized abortion in our country cry out for the counter-witness of those who will not abide this injustice. Heroism is called for. True heroism is never easy and is only possible through God’s grace. We acknowledge today our gratitude to a true hero who would not abide such grave injustice in our land. In doing so, we too recognize the Hand of God in the life of Dr. Nathanson.

Chambers wrote of himself in that foreword to his book: “But a man may also be an involuntary witness. I do not know any way to explain why God’s grace touches a man who seems unworthy of it. But neither do I know any other way to explain how a man like myself – tarnished by life, unprepossessing, not brave – could prevail so far against the powers of the world arrayed almost solidly against him, to destroy him and defeat his truth. In this sense, I am an involuntary witness to God’s grace and to the fortifying power of faith.” (p. 6)

Only God knows whether Dr. Nathanson was a voluntary or involuntary witness against abortion and for life. But it is clear that he was truly courageous. He rejected what he knew to be evil, and then spoke out. In his humility he, like Chambers, recognized that God’s grace is made ever more manifest when He chooses unexpected apostles.

Chambers tells a haunting story in his book which gives us, I think, an insight into Dr. Nathanson’s rejection of abortion. He writes: “The daughter of a former German diplomat in Moscow was trying to explain to me why her father, who, as an enlightened modern man had been extremely pro-Communist, had become an implacable anti-Communist. But she loved her father and the irrationality of his defection embarrassed her. ‘He was immensely pro-Soviet,’ she said, ‘and then –you will laugh at me – but you must not laugh at my father – and then- one night – in Moscow he heard screams. That’s all. Simply one night he heard screams.’
“A child of Reason and the 20th century, she knew that there is a logic of the mind. She did not know that the soul has a logic that may be more compelling than the mind’s. She did not know at all that she had swept away the logic of the mind, the logic of history, the logic of politics, the myth of the 20th century, with five annihilating words: one night he heard screams.”(pp. 13-14)

The scream Dr. Nathanson heard was a silent scream. A silent scream uttered by an unseen victim; that is, until the ultrasound machine brought the truth of abortion into plain view for this medical doctor who had expended great effort to make this horror legal and widespread in America. That doctor thereafter boldly decided to make the reality of human life in the womb visible for the whole world to see. Dr. Nathanson wrote in his book: “By 1984, however, I had begun to ask myself more questions about abortion: What actually goes on in an abortion? … so in 1984 I said to a friend of mine, who was doing fifteen or maybe twenty abortions a day, ‘Look, do me a favor, Jay. Next Saturday, when you are doing all these    abortions, put an ultrasound device on the mother and tape it for me.’ He did, and when he looked at the tapes with me in an editing studio, he was so affected that he never did another abortion. I, though I had not done an abortion in five years, was shaken to the very roots of my soul by what I saw.” (pp. 140-141)

Anyone who has seen The Silent Scream is shaken. Seeing the truth about abortion overthrows the lies and deceptions of the abortion lobby. An important way that we can honor the memory of Dr. Bernard Nathanson is to continue his work of making the truth known to anyone who is willing to listen to our message, and then to discover what pregnancy really is by looking at ultrasound images of a pre-born human being.

The psalmist tells us: “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.” (Ps 55:22) For the past two years it was my privilege to bring the consolation of the sacraments to Dr. Nathanson at his home. His devout reception of the Holy Eucharist revealed to me a man truly in love with Jesus Christ. The Lord indeed was sustaining his son who had cast his heavy burden of past evils on the Lord. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:15-16) says the Lord in today’s Gospel. The rest, the peace of soul that Christ gives begins in this life and passes through the Cross and then into eternity. All the while God guides and strengthens us, if only we let him.

Whittaker Chambers ended his Letter to My Children in this way: “My children, when you were little, we used sometimes to go for walks in our pine woods. In the open fields, you would run along by yourselves. But you used instinctively to give me your hands as we entered those woods, where it was darker, lonelier, and in the stillness our voices sounded loud and frightening. In this book I am again giving you my hands. I am leading you, not through cool pine woods, but up and up a narrow defile between bare and steep rocks from which in shadow things uncoil and slither away. It will be dark. But, in the end, if I have led you aright, you will make out three crosses, from two of which hang thieves. I will have brought you to Golgotha – the place of skulls. This is the meaning of the journey. Before you understand, I may not be there, my hands may have slipped away from yours. It will not matter. For when you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman and child on earth, you will be wise. Your Father.”

Our life indeed is meant to be lived in intimate union with the crucified Lord. Golgotha, Calvary is indeed the place where we learn to be wise. The pain we experience, if united to Christ’s pain, is then understood to be a blessing that opens our hearts to the only Love that can take away that pain. That Love is Christ, and the gift of eternal life wipes away all pain and suffering. To live and to die in hopeful expectation of that redemption is God’s great gift to us fallen creatures here below. That gift was joyfully received by Dr. Nathanson in this very Cathedral 14 years ago.

Today we pray that the fullness of joy, which is the blessed vision of God seen face to face, be given to his son and our brother, Bernard Nathanson.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat ei. Amen.

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