Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cardinal Martini & Euthanasia


This article from 'Chiesa' on Cardinal Martini, Archbishop of Milan on his support for euthanasia in certain circumstances.


Euthanasia – Martini writes – is “an act intended to cut life short, by directly causing death.” As such it is unacceptable.

But this is different from the case of aggressive therapies, or “the use of disproportionate medical procedures without any reasonable hope for a positive outcome.” By interrupting these – the cardinal writes, citing the Catechism – “one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted.”


And in deciding if a medical intervention should be interrupted – Martini continues – “the will of the sick person may not be overlooked, in that it is up to him – even from the legal point of view, with some very well-defined exceptions – to evaluate whether the treatment proposed to him, in such cases of exceptional gravity, is actually proportionate.”


Further on, Martini calls for the elaboration in this area of “a set of norms that on the one hand would permit the recognition of the possibility to refuse treatment – insofar as this is held by the patient to be disproportionate – and on the other would protect the doctor from eventual accusations like that of being an accessory to murder or providing help in suicide.”


This set of norms – the cardinal clarifies – need not imply “in any way the legalization of euthanasia.” The objective is “difficult, but not impossible: they tell me that, for example, the recent French law in this matter seems to have struck a balance that, if not perfect, is at least able to realize a sufficient consensus in a pluralistic society.”


This summarizes the position expressed by cardinal Martini in the January 21 article in “Il Sole 24 Ore.” But to understand this better, it is useful to look back at what he said on the same subject in the “Dialogue on life” that he published in “L’espresso” in April of 2006.

Is the Cardinal saying, if an individual decides that the medical treatment prescribed to save his life is disproportional, in his own thought process, that it is acceptable for that individual to deny the treatment?

Isn't that what Jehovah Witnesses do when they deny blood transfusions? Does that mean that I can stop taking the blood pressure medicine because it not only upsets my stomach but I think its 'disproportional'?

This could open up a can of worms. Could this lead to doctors eventually taking up that mantra and reserving that 'denial' decision for themselves on their patients?

And to think, this Cardinal was a leading candidate to take John Paul II place as the next Pope.

Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding the Church.

Blair Denies Catholic Church Request

There has been a battle in the UK to extend the option of adoption to same-sex couples, making it a requirement for all agencies, including Catholic run adoption agencies to allow this.

While Church leaders had asked for an exemption to this proposed law, because of Church teachings, Tony Blair has denied the request. Tony Blair's wife is a practicing Catholic.

This decision may force the hand of the Church to close all Catholic run adoption agencies in the UK. While I think this would be tragic, I believe the Church should stand by it's consistent commitment to up hold Catholic teaching.

Read the article: No Exemption For British Catholic Adoption agencies

Monday, January 29, 2007

ESCR: Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

I'm highly disappointed that the Congress, specifically the House chose in their first '100 hours' to attack the unborn. They voted and passed HR3 on January 11th which voted in the funding of more embryonic stem-cell research...

Shortly after the House of Representatives voted January 11 for passage of HR 3 — the bill that requires the federal government to fund embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR) — a number of the bill's Congressional supporters gathered for a press conference wherein they promised that when this bill becomes law, the new research will soon lead to the cure of a host of terrible maladies. Among the maladies not mentioned by the legislators were stupidity and hypocrisy.

After considerable investigation into this subject, I am convinced that the push for government funding of embryonic stem-cell research has nothing to do with curing sick people. If it did, the people who are lobbying for that research would switch their efforts to adult stem cells, the real next great leap in medical technology.


"If man Chooses to treat himself as raw material, raw material he will be" (C.S. Lewis)
This would make a great bumper sticker..

Stoning the Messenger...


I read this post at Catholic Exchange. Its where I usually go to get to the daily reads. The also have a mix of different articles, one of which I well worth passing on. It's entitled " Why Prophets Get Stoned


We've all heard the phrases, " Sitting on the fence", or "Taking the middle road", or maybe even, "Don't upset the apple cart". Terms which usually mean, "Don't say anything too controversial. Be excepting to all points of view. Stay in the 'Gray' zone.


I guess everyone likes to be liked and taking the safe path is a path that seems to get us there. I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older, but I seem to be more open to giving my point of view. Now I know what your thinking. I'm not one who gives their opinion on everything under the sun. I do have my views on Politics of which I'm more than willing to hear different viewpoints.


When it comes to the Churches teachings, that's where there is not middle ground. That's where you can't sit on the fence.


And that's where you may get stoned...



Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio has a great website: 'The Crossroads Initiative'

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Rapture: Will Catholics be Left Behind?

A rare posting for me on the weekend. I usually use the weekend for Sunday prayer, family time, my "Honey Do List", blog maintanace, and well just plain rest...usually in that order. But I did run across a book by Carl Olson (Insight Scoop) called 'Will Catholics be left behind'

Here's a review by Karl Keating:

This powerful and timely book, written by a former Fundamentalist, is a thorough critique of the popular Fundamentalist notion of the “Rapture”—the belief that Christians will be removed from earth prior to a time of Tribulation and the Second Coming. It examines the theological, historical, and Biblical basis for “premillennial dispensationalism”, the belief system based around the Rapture, and popularized in the best-selling Left Behind books and taught by “Bible prophecy” writers Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, and many others.

Written for both the lay person and the serious student, this book combines an engaging, popular approach with detailed footnotes and exhaustive research. Beginning with the big picture, it focuses first on key concepts such as eschatology, the Parousia, and the relationship between the Kingdom and the various Christians over the centuries. Olson then shows howChurch. It then examines the Book of Revelation, providing insights into the nature and purpose of that difficult, final book of the Bible. Another chapter looks at the concept of the “millennium” and how it has been understood by Left Behind creator LaHaye’s many works on “Bible prophecy” are filled with attacks on Catholicism, and often rely on sensationalism, shaky scholarship, and subjective interpretations of Scripture

Olson, a former dispensationalist who now edits Envoy magazine, also presents a history of apocalyptic belief and theology, beginning with the Early Church Fathers and including the Montanists, St. Augustine, Joachim of Fiore, the Protestant Reformers, and the American Puritans. He shows how John Nelson Darby, an ex-Anglican priest, developed the premillennial dispensationalist system, which hinges on the Rapture, in the 1830s and how Darby relied upon faulty assumptions about Jesus Christ, the Church, and the Bible.

The second part of the book, “A Catholic Critique of Dispensationalism,” focuses on three important topics: the relationship between Israel, the Church, and the Kingdom; the interpretation of Scripture; and the nature of the Rapture event. Filled with a wealth of information drawn from both Protestant and Catholic sources, this section provides a complete rebuttal to the premillennial dispensationalist system and the “left behind” theology. The book concludes with a reflection on the Catholic understanding of the end times, salvation history, and the final judgement. Glossaries of key persons and terms are also included.

A strong, but fair, critique of a dangerous and popular belief, Will Catholics Be “Left Behind”? provides Catholics and Protestants, lay people and clergy, and students and scholars with important answers and information about the roots and meaning of the “Rapture”.

“Millions of Americans believe the Lord will snatch them up any day now, leaving the rest of us to the horrors of a seven-year tribulation. The hitch is that the ‘Rapture’ has no pedigree. As Carl Olson shows, no Catholic or Protestant believed in it prior to the nineteenth century. It is an authentic Fundamentalist ‘invention’.”

—Karl Keating, Author, Catholicism and Fundamentalism

Friday, January 26, 2007

Walk for Life West Coast


I don't remember seeing too much coverage of the 'Walk For Life' in San Francisco or D.C. on the main channel news. Throughout the week either.

20,000+ showed up to voice their support for life....

.... Police reported no arrests ofr incidents in connection with the two events.


Here are a couple of articles that recap what happened.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Minimum Wage & Cafeteria Catholicism

This was a pretty interesting post over at TCS Daily . This is just a Part I, you might say, but it covers some good points to understanding how a Catholic is suppose to take the various comments from the prominent and not so prominent Catholic hierarchy.

Is the opinion to be taken as a teaching... a suggestion? Can we as lay Catholics disagree with the various Bishop and Cardinal views?

When liberal Catholic politicians support abortion rights, conservatives are quick to accuse them of being cafeteria Catholics. When conservative Catholic politicians oppose increasing the minimum wage, liberals are quick to hurl the same accusation.

The metaphor is an apt one. Many Catholics stroll past the array of teachings offered by the Church, choosing to obey those that appeal to them personally and rejecting those that do not. Unfortunately for cafeteria Catholics, however, the Church makes clear that the cafeteria approach is not an authentic form of Catholicism. To the contrary, the faithful "have the duty of observing the constitutions and decrees conveyed by the legitimate authority of the Church." (Catechism ¶ 2037.)

At the same time, however, the Church encourages lay initiative "especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life." (Catechism ¶ 2037.) Clearly, there areas that the Church leaves to the prudential judgment of the faithful.

How do we distinguish between those areas in which faithful Catholics may properly disagree with pronouncements by the Pope or a bishop and those as to which faithful Catholics must give their assent even if their personal judgment is to the contrary? (Read more...)

B16,"Educate Children in Beauty"...

The Theme of this years World Communication Day 2007 (May 20, '07), is "Children and the Media: a Challenge for Education"

What a great theme. For those of you that have children, nephews, nieces, grandchildren, you are aware of the growing trend of the media, be it TV, Music, fashion trends, Video Games, Movie Theater Showings, to be emphasising sex, violence and non-morality more and more.

"Hey, this stuff sells" is the mantra. But at what cost?

The Pope explains: "The relationship of children, media, and education can be considered from two perspectives: the formation of children by the media; and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media.

"A kind of reciprocity emerges which points to the responsibilities of the media as an industry and to the need for active and critical participation of readers, viewers and listeners."

The Pontiff adds: "Within this framework, training in the proper use of the media is essential for the cultural, moral and spiritual development of children.

"Educating children to be discriminating in their use of the media is a responsibility of parents, Church, and school.

"Media education should be positive. Children exposed to what is aesthetically and morally excellent are helped to develop appreciation, prudence and the skills of discernment."

I like the way B16 brings about the point that it's not just the children we need to educate, but the media as well.

The Holy Father appeals in his message "to the leaders of the media industry to educate and encourage producers to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family."
Reprinted with permission from the National Post, Canada. All rights reserved.

L.A. Photo Tour....Only in L.A.
















A quick look at Los Angeles, California via photo tour. Thanks to the L.A. Times - Your Scene.

What I love about L.A. is it's diversity. The mix of culture is second to none. Peruse the photos... the weather is great today at 7:33am (time of this post) the temp is 50 F and sunny. Looks like another West Coast Day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

JPII Secret Outings....




This is kind of a cool story about the late Pontiff. According to this article




"Pope John Paul II made more than 100 clandestine trips to ski or hike in the Italian mountains and was rarely recognized by others on the slopes, his former secretary said."

...and no one recognized him. Except for one little boy.

One of the first people to recognize the pope was a young cross-country skier, a boy no more than 10 years old, who was lagging behind the rest of his family when he came upon the papal party. He asked them if they had seen his family go by, and one of the priests pointed to the trail.

At that moment, the pope arrived at the bottom of the slope.

The boy looked astonished, pointed to the pontiff and began yelling, "The pope! The pope!"

One of the pope's aides intervened quickly: "What are you saying, silly! You'd better think instead about hurrying up, you're going to lose your group."

The boy skied away, and the pope and his friends quickly returned to their car and headed for Rome before the word got out.

Carl Olson of Insight Scoop has thoughts (More Popish Trickery Revealed)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Today's News Headlines



I don't know why, but today' news stories seem to have hit an all time low. I'm not talking just about the war in Iraq or on terrorism overall, but more disturbing in a way is status of today's society.

(photo courtesy of CNN)

Case in point, so far I've read about an unfortunate cargo ship mishap. Cargo containers washed up on shore and is the story about oil-slick birds and their rescue? Nope, it's about hundreds of individuals storming the beaches to take what they can scavenge. Hey it's washed up on shore, then it's mine! (Read this...)


(photo Courtesy of CNN)
Then there's the infamous Sundance film festival, meant to show off the creativity of today's film directors and film makers. Some of you have already heard of Dakota Fanning's rape scene (read this). Well on further review of the Sundance festival, certain film critics are giving a thumbs up to a Bestiality movie entitled 'Zoo'. I'm not even going to provide a link to that.

Another story from the entertainment industry, meant to stimulate the outer reaches of artistic creativity, is the new Broadway fare "Spring Awakening".



Not a particularly tasteful news day to say the least. Not a very encouraging one as well. All these stories put in the light that, 'hey, this is what freedom is all about!'
Seems we're not the advance society we would like to consider ourselves to be.

Catholics in China


B16's message of Christian unity has been in the foreground of late.

On Sunday Pope Benedict XVI commented on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is taking place Janurary 18-25. The Holy Father told the pilgrims gathered below his window that, by way of their prayers, all Christians can take part in the task of ecumenism.

The Pope recalled that the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer - "He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak" - is "taken from the Gospel of St. Mark and refers to the people's amazement at Jesus' healing of the deaf man." (CNA - Catholic News Agency)

Christian Unity not only refers to the Eastern Church or our fellow non-Catholic Christians, but also to the growing Catholic Church in China.

This past week the Vatican has held meetings to address the faithful in China: Vatican City, Jan 20, 2007 / 01:36 pm (CNA).- The Press Office of the Holy See has made public a communication which honors the many bishops, priests, and faithful of China, who have, “without compromise,” maintained full communion with the Pope, “even in times when the cost is grave suffering.” The communiqué also states that Pope Benedict XVI will soon write a letter to Catholics in China.

The Vatican message follows a meeting, conducted over the 19th and 20th of January, in which several Vatican officials and Chinese bishops examined “the most grave and urgent” problems for the Church in China and offered their best solutions in light of “the fundamental principles of the Divine Constitution of the Church and of religious liberty.”

The Holy Father also wishes to write a letter to the faithful Catholics of China, both those of the CCPA (Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association) or the "Open Church", and to those of the underground Catholic Church. It appears from the articles that the Vatican is no longer referring to two distinct churches in China, but a greater emphasise is being placed on unity. Both communities in China are being persecuted.

This article (Two Chinese Churches? Or One?) at Ingatius Insight gives some great insight in Chinese faithful with a visit to this community:

On a typically hot and humid summer afternoon I walked through the crowded streets of Taipei to a small Catholic chapel under the care of an Order of missionaries not known by most Americans. I was welcomed at the front door by the Italian pastor, Fr. Consonni Paulo, and directed to the fourth floor where the four priests in residence live in humble rooms. Once there, Fr. Daniel Cerezo, from Spain, offered me a cup of coffee and a biscuit, then showed me to his office. A poster of the saints of China hung behind him and an article about a recently deceased bishop in Mainland China was on his desk. The bishop, one in the "open Church," was his friend. The four missionary priests were invited by the bishop in Taipei several years ago to run a small church in the Jen Ai area of Taipei. They are Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, an Order founded by Saint Daniel Comboni, a holy laborer in the Lord’s vineyard in Africa. Asia is a long way from Africa, but the sons of St. Comboni are now among the few Orders that still bring the Catholic faith into China.

Fr. Cerezo is in an uncommon position; he associates with Catholic bishops, clergy, and faithful in both state-registered and unregistered communities and he is well acquainted with the situation of the Church in China. He speaks warmly of their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady, and St. Joseph. I was honored that he was agreeable to chatting with me about his impressions of what is happening among the Catholic community in Mainland China, persecuted as it is under what is still an ideologically.

China, and it's growth both in terms of economical as well as military might has been in the news quite frequently. Just last week I read an article about the Chinese military performing it's first anti-satellite test success with the destruction of an aging weather satellite. The Governments suppression of human rights (one child per family), religious rights (arrest of church leaders) reminds me of the old Soviet Union of late (..actually I believe this old regime hasn't really gone away completely).

I firmly believe that the Christian faithful, most specifically Pope John II and the Catholic Church was very instrumental in bringing about the demise of this wicked, totalitarian government (the power of prayer). Papers found in Russia have unveiled that the Soviet's had a hand in the attempted assassination of JPII, showing their fear of the Church. (Read Here) & (Here)

Even today, the Catholic Church in Poland as uncovered priest who were spying for the old Polish Secret Service against the Catholics there in that country. (Read Here)

The perceived new threat of the growth of the Chinese military and it's influence sends shivers down my spine. However, I also know the power of prayer of the faithful. It succeeded in bringing down the old Soviet regime without firing a shot. It will work on the communist regime of China.

We must pray for the Church in China.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Jungle-girl found in Cambodia


Woow, found in the jungles of Cambodia after being gone for 19 years! Living in the wild and could not speak any intelligible language when found.
Amazing...

Black & Catholic in America



If you haven't read this interview with the good Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, MTS, you've got to fit it into your reading schedule.



He is also the author of the new foreword to From Slave to Priest, Sister Caroline Hemesath's 1973 biography of Father Augustine Tolton (1854-1897), the first black priest in America. Carl E. Olson, editor of IgnatiusInsight.com, recently interviewed his former classmate and spoke with him about Father Tolton, the history of black Catholics in America, and the unique challenges faced by black Catholics today.


The book outlines the hardships of life for a Black man in the mid 1800's with a calling for the Priesthood. The bigotry and racism of those outside the church as well as inside the church. Still Augustine Tolton didn't leave the Catholic Church but saw the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith and followed his calling into the Priesthood.



What an amazing story (I've got to buy this book) and what an amazing person is Deacon Harold.

Go here for the complete interview.

Short reads...

Here' are some good short reads for today...

Over at Catholic Exchange:
Oprah and Her American Faith
Minimum Wage and Common Sense
Abortion or a Son

Over at Insight Scoop
A Black and White Issue
A Short Guide To Ancient Heresies
The Fathers and America
many more...

California Spanking Ban


Have you ever been in a store or restaurant, any public place really, and seen a child just go into a major tantrum. Maybe it's not a tantrum, maybe it just where the child is just being destructive or even dangerous and just seems to ignore their parents requests to settle down.

I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older but my tolerance for such behavior is mighty thin. I just want to shake that parent and say,

"Hey, wake up, don't be afraid to be a parent. Discipline your child! Or maybe, " Your child is about to get hurt, quit pleading with the child and take some action."


Now a days it's, more times than not all one hears is "Now johnny, please don't play with the store merchandise."

"Now Tommy, please don't' hit that nice man."

"Now Melissa, we mustn't scream at the top of our lungs because I will not buy you what you want."

There are many ways to parenting ones child and I don't profess to be a perfect parent. I've made plenty of mistakes. I thank God that my children somehow made it through perfectly fine regardless of my bone-headedness.

Spanking has been a part of that parenting tool I used, though rather infrequent.

Now I love kids and if it were in God's will for me to have more I would surely jump at the chance.

But is it just me, or does anyone else notice a change in manners among the teens and young adults.

There seems to be a level of rudeness and "me first" mentality that's prevalent in the youth of today. I don't see common courtesy and what's more I don't see it being taught (at least out in public) to the children of the young adult moms and dads. It's like they don't want to upset their children by disciplining them.

To be fair, I do know families with many children ( I mean 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...large families) where it's amazing to see how well their children are behaved. The kids take care of each other and the older ones make sure the younger ones are in-line whether it be in stores, at community gatherings, church or wherever.

Anyway, what sparked this post was an article I read this morning on a proposed ban on spanking.


CBS 5 / KCBS) SAN FRANCISCO Do parents have the right to spank their children? It is a controversial issue, and while a Bay Area lawmaker wants it addressed in Sacramento -- a majority of those surveyed for a new CBS 5 poll
expressed opposition to a spanking ban.

I thought I'd include a great resource for parenting. Doctor Ray Guarendi is a Catholic Child Physiologist. He has a radio show as well as some books and tapes that are available.

Here's one of his books: "Discipline That Last a LIfetime"

My prayers are with today's parents. It's getting tougher and tougher in today's society.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Frozen Orange Juice


Californians are know for their high tech ways. We've figured out how to grow frozen orange juice...on the tree.

Ya right.
So it snowed in Malibu, California. You know, that place by the beach. Go figure. It has been usually cold here. This morning registered 29 degree's at my house which is not in the mountains.
Where else do you send your kids off to school in the snow...wearing shorts and a jacket?

...only in California.

Comparing our Church Leaders


I read these two articles about two different Catholic Church leaders.

Read this one First:
Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro, Venezuela (Hugo Chavez country) and vice president of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference expressed his concern this week over the growing sense of fear that has gripped the country due to the actions of President Hugo Chavez’s government.In statements to Union Radio, the archbishop defended the right of bishops to express their opinions when they feel it is necessary. “This government’s plan is to instill fear in the people, and that is what they are doing; through power they are instilling fear in the Venezuelan people. The spouses of political prisoners are trying to get signatures for an amnesty law and they are telling us that nobody wants to sign because they are afraid, that if they sign they will lose their jobs, and that is part of the plan. Just as Fidel imposed his rule through an iron fist, here too we are being cowed with terror and fear,” he said.Archbishop Luckert called on the opposition to bring this subject out into the open with the people. “It seems that they want to corner us, just as they cornered the media, university professors, unions, businessmen. The idea is to shut us up and instill fear in us, and that would make us be quiet and would be the most disturbing and shameful thing that could happen in the country, that out of silence and cowardice we shut up,” he added.The archbishop also explained that the Church defends freedom of expression and that the bishops have the obligation to “denounce what is coming to this country. What they want to do is make us a carbon copy of way things are done in Cuba.”

Now read this article:

Not his style:

Archbishop Donald Wuerl goes on record: he will take no action to prevent Nancy Pelosi from receiving Communion despite her obstinate support of abortion and same-sex marriage

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., who has come under fire for failing to speak out against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s attendance Jan. 3 at a Mass at her alma mater, Trinity University, came to San Diego’s Kona Kai Resort the weekend of January 13-14 to speak at an international Communion and Liberation conference.

While in San Diego, Wuerl told California Catholic Daily reporter Allyson Smith that he has no plans to discipline the newly elected Democratic Speaker, who is now the most powerful Catholic in Congress -- and an ardent supporter of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and pro-homosexual legislation.

Smith: “Did you make any statement last week about Nancy Pelosi going to Mass at Trinity University?”

Wuerl: “That was a matter between the university and Nancy. They were offering their location, and the Mass was celebrated by a priest with faculties, and there was no reason to make any comment.”

Smith: “Do you intend to discipline her at all for being persistent and obstinate about her support for abortion and same-sex marriage?”

Wuerl: “I will not be using the faculty in the manner you have described.”

Smith: “Will you make a statement to your priests and deacons to warn her not to allow her to receive if she presents herself for Communion?”

Wuerl: “You’re talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No.” Smith: “No? Thank you.”


more..

Okay, is it just me or do you see a distinct difference. Archbishop Roberto is in a country where speaking out as a Catholic Leader against the ills of the community, society, state, nation, can indeed get you killed. But that didn't stop this good leader from speaking out.


Now with Archbishop Wuerl, I just get the feeling that he doesn't want to offend anyone.

I recognize the good Bishops for their Holiness and as leaders of the Church of Christ. Both should be obeyed.

But I ask you, which Bishop would you like leading your diocese?

If the flock is headed for a cliff or if there's a wolf amongst the sheep, which Shepard would you like watch you them?

Another Pelosi...


Alexandra Pelosi, the daughter of Nancy Pelosi, is promoting her new documentary film: "A Friend of God - A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi.

Sounds like she's riding the coat tails of her mother's political ambitions. She admits to being a 'lapsed Catholic' but blames it on her Catholic Schooling.


She my be correct if indeed that's what they taught. Personally, I have a feeling she gained most of her thought processes from her mom.

Her documentary is suppose to be an adventure of a 'Home-grown blue state girl visiting red states' ( ...this terminology is her own, not mine).

This caught me eye as I read the article: "[Alexandra] Pelosi was already in an introspective mood, re-examining her own spirituality as she approached parenthood. When she completed the documentary less than two weeks before giving birth, Pelosi says she had a "personal revelation: I have to take my son to church." A baptism is planned.

"Because if I don't, he will be called 'unchurched' and (those are the people) most susceptible to some of the more extreme religions later in the life," Pelosi says.

"You have to give your children something that they can reject if they want to."

What? Is this confusion or what? What about raising your child in the faith instead of reading the Polls?

[Well, the polls say, if I appear to be churched, that will make me more acceptable...or in her mothers case... more electable.]

Anyways, read the article there's so much more there that sheds light on what we can expect from the new Speaker of the House. The confusion she taught her kids is what she's trying to spoon feed the nation.

Thanks to LA Catholic, where I originally read the post. Go over and visit his site: He's here on the California front-lines with yours trully... WCC +<><

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Christian Unity - B16

The Week of Christian Unity begins on Thrusday. B16' focused his talk today on the difficult road to unity.

"Unity," said the Pope, "is a gift from God and the fruit of the action of His Spirit. For this reason it is important to pray. The closer we draw to Christ, converting ourselves to His love, the closer we also draw to one another."

"The road to unity remains long and difficult, but we must not be discouraged, and continue our journey, relying on the sure support of Christ" said the Pope. He also noted how he’s had the opportunity to see firsthand, over years of meetings with representatives from other Churches and ecclesial communities, "and in a particularly moving way, during my recent visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul, how deeply felt the desire for unity is.

“That experience and others like it, have brought hope to my heart," the Pope said of his recent meeting with the head of the Eastern Orthodox Communion.

Anti-speech bill - Senate bill S1

The Senate is poised to pass the Senate Bill S1.

The United States Senate will soon vote on Senate bill S1 that may prohibit advocacy groups including pro-life groups from sending e-mails informing voters about certain bills and urging them to contact their elected officials.

There's so much talk about free speech, but the actions of some in power can define that term to their own agenda.

Senate bill S1 is intended to reform lobbying in Washington and includes a provision in the disclosure of paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying. This provision would in effect create complicated and expensive reporting requirements on advocacy groups. Organizations such as National Right to Life, Family Research Council, American Family Association, and the Population Research Institute, along with many others are concerned.

Advocacy groups could be fined up to $100,000 for urging Americans to contact their elected officials if they do not meet quarterly reporting requirements, if passed in its current form. Advocacy groups would be required to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Does that mean no more Catholic Answers Voter's guide?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Coke instead of Coffee


I noticed this trend as well. At my office I can hear the pop sound of another can of coke or heaven help us Mountain Dew in the morning (...and throughout the day).


Now I like coke but whatever happened to moderation. I guess it went out with Will-Power, fasting, and abstinence.


51% of Women are now living Without Spouse...


That's the New York Times article that was posted today.




There is no doubt that married couples are in the minority now.


“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”


And this is a good thing? Along with this trend and the fact that birth rates are down, this is not a good thing for our society. I've already pointed out in privious posts how Europe is in decline with more of their people dieing than being born. We can't let this happen here.


William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, a research group in Washington, described the shift as “a clear tipping point, reflecting the culmination of post-1960 trends associated with greater independence and more flexible lifestyles for women.”
“For better or worse, women are less dependent on men or the institution of marriage,” Dr. Frey said. “Younger women understand this better, and are preparing to live longer parts of their lives alone or with nonmarried partners. For many older boomer and senior women, the institution of marriage did not hold the promise they might have hoped for, growing up in an ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ era.”


Another so called expert toots the horn of "independence" "Choice".


“Although we can help people ‘do’ marriage better, it is simply delusional to construct social policy or make personal life decisions on the basis that you can count on people spending most of their adult lives in marriage,” said Professor Coontz, the author of “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.”


Speaking of delusional...


Missouri Boy's Captivity...




I've been hearing/reading the new of the re-uniting of Shawn Hornbeck as well as Ben with their parents.


While I believe this is wonderful news; parents who never gave up hope after 4 year, in the case of Shawn, having their son back in their arms.

What I don't like and find quite disturbing in the news, is the speculation around why Shawn didn't run away from his captures? The speculation seems to be bending toward showing Shawn in an unfavorable light. That disturbs me.

Shawn must have gone thru a horrible time, for an 11 year held captive by Michael Devlin.
People, wake up! He was a child when abducted.
Father Jonathan Morris has some thoughts on the subject...

Interesting Short Reads...

Carl Olson over at Insight Scoop has some interesting short read for the day...

L.A. on Ice


Okay,

The thermometer in my back yard read 29 degrees this morning. We Californians put on jackets when the temps circle around the low 60's. I have (had) some nice Hibiscus plants in the backyard that have this black color to them now. These are tropical plants...not east coast weather plants.




My dog Indy (my kids named him after Indiana Jones) had a hard time drinking water from that block of ice sitting in his water bowl. He spent the night in the garage...even with all that fur.

Still, the air here in L.A. has been spectacular...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pro-Life statistics

Well, I have been corresponding via email with an individual on the subject of abortion. It started with an email someone sent me asking for an opinion on the possible Presidental Candidate of '08, Barack Obama.

The email had a wide distribution to fellow parishioners and friends as well as many names I didn't recognize.

The original email outlined some allegations about Mr. Obama regarding his Muslim faith ties, (he claims presently to be Christian) as well his well documented stance on pro-abortion, gay marriage and pro-embryonic stem cell research.

This was my original response:

I for one, don't know if these allegations of his Muslim ties are true or not. Also, the titles of Democrat or Republican are not at the top of my reasoning of being for or against politicians.

What I am is Catholic and that is foremost to all. Mr. Obamas' opinions on the issues of pro-abortion, pro-gay marriages, and pro-embryonic stem cell research however, are true and that's all I need, as a Catholic to deny my vote or political support for Mr. Obama...at all.


"YOU CAN'T BE CATHOLIC AND PRO-ABORTION." Pope Benedict XVI


Someone on that distribution list (I will not name the individual) decided to respond to my email directly to me, as opposed to a general response to all on the distribution list. This would have allowed others to add their thoughts.

Well for the past few days, we've been going back and forth. This individual is pro-abortion and a teacher. It's been a courteous exchange, and the center of the friendly exchange has been around the number of abortions performed daily. I've heard the number 3,000 per day given (which is like a 911 event every day) in various articles and homilies, and by many intelligent people who have dedicated their carreers and lives to this cause.

So I'd like to ask for your prayers as I continue to provide the arguments for pro-life to this individual. For Jesus' Glory, not mine.

Here are some links and statistics which I've used in my email exchange:

This statistic is reported at the National Right to Life website ( www.nrlc.org/abortion/aboramt.html )
Year Annual Number of Abortions

1973 744,600
1974 898,600
1975 1,034,200
1976 1,179,300
1977 1,316,700
1978 1,409,600
1979 1,497,700
1980 1,553,900
1981 1,577,300
1982 1,573,900
1983 1,575,000
1984 1,577,200
1985 1,588,600
1986 1,574,000
1987 1,559,100
1988 1,590,800
1989 1,566,900
1990 1,608,600
1991 1,556,500
1992 1,528,900
1993 1,500,000
1994 1,431,0000
1995 1,363,690
1996 1,365,730
1997 1,328,000
1998 1,328,000 Estimate
1999 1,328,000 Estimate
2000 1,328,000 Estimate
2001 1,328,000 Estimate

Total abortions from1973 to 1998 -- 38,010,378

(Based on numbers and estimates reported by the Alan Guttmacher Institute 1973-1996,with NRLCestimates of 1,365,730 for 1997 and 1998. AGI estimates a possible 3% underreporting rate,which is factored into the total.)

Source for statistics for 1973 through 1992: Stanley K. Henshaw, et al.,"Abortions Services in the United States, 1991 and 1992," Family Planning Perspectives, vol.26, no.3 (May/June 1994), p.101.


That last number for the year 2001 breaks down to around 3600 a day.

That's not counting the 3-6% not reported (which I believe is higher). Present day numbers usually lag behind a few years. Various reasons: Planned Parent Hood doesn't report very accurate answers. I've heard recordings of a person posing as an under age girl coming to the clinic for an abortion. The receptionist advises her to place false information on the paper work she is filling out to document the visit. I'll try and find that recording for you.

More verifiable info at this site:
http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html

2003-05 estimates listed at above link: 1,293,000 abortions.
Here's another website you can visit to verify the statistics:
www.ncbcenter.org
Total abortions since 1973: 47,282,923 approx.

These figures are also reflected in various articles about the decline of European birth rate (
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4793997.stm ) The decline is attributed to abortion and contraceptives. (http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/03/news/birth.php ). Europe is slowly killing it's self. The only increase in births is coming from the Muslim population.

This site offers some insight into this fact: ( http://www.cfr.org/publication/8252/europe.html ).
I can give you ton's more references if you like.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

H.R. 3

Grandma Pelosi shows her true colors. Jimmy Akin outlines a bill that Nanci Pelosi says she'll pursue in her "first hundred hours" agenda.

She will work to pass the bill H.R. 3, that will order the killing of tens to hundreds of thousands of children so that they can be experimented upon medically.
Outrageous!

The NCBC (National Catholic Bioethics Center) have issued a letter to the Members of the House of Representatives.

Contact information for your Congressperson: HERE (Urgent Before January 11th)

Summary: More Embryonic Stem Cell Research

"When did Jesus Come Into Being?"

Carl Olson from Insight Scoop blog has an article that he's written for the National Catholic Register entitle: "Quick! When Did Jesus Come Into Being".

The ansnwer?

Read the article.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Archbishop Spy


"The newly appointed archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, abruptly resigned Sunday at a Mass meant to celebrate his new position after admitting two days earlier that he had worked with Poland's Communist-era secret police."

At first glance I thought this was just a re-hash of the priest who acknowledged his spy activities against then Pope John Paul II. Apparently this is a new instance of a spy who came in from the cold. This accusation was confirmed by an investigatory commission established by the Catholic hierarchy in Poland (read this)

Wielgus as resigned and the Vatican has excepted his resignation.

More reports here:


Friday, January 05, 2007

Girl Frozen in Time


I saw this yesterday, but didn't get a chance to read it until this morning.


It's about a little 9 year old girl named Ashley. Ashley has been disabled from the time of birth and she can not sit up, walk or talk. She is also fed by a tube and has a mental awareness of an infant.

My first reaction was one of sadness because of the situation. Sometimes we just take for granted the healthiness of our children, and yet I am greatfull that the parents have cared for her and given her the love she deserves.

However, as I read on I became a disturbed at the planned medical proceedures that await this little girl. Read the article. There is so much here I hate to paraphrase the story.
As a father of three, it really tugs at my heart. Little girls are the apple of dad's eye. Even when they are grown-up, I always think of them as my little girls.
The parents have a web site "Ashley Treatment" , and they attempt to offer up an explaination of their decisions. They appear to be very loving parents, but I somehow believe that their planned path for Ashely is in the wrong direction.
I will keep Ashley and her parents in my daily prayers...I will also fast for them today.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jesus and the End Times Conference


The 4th Annual Biblical Studies Conference will be held in a few weeks at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside California. Visit the Catholic Resource Center website for more details and a down loadable pamphlet.

This year's conference will focus on the End Times. The speakers will be Jesse Romero, Dr. Brant Pitre and Michael Barber.

Michael is a professor at the new Pope Paul the Great University in San Diego, California. He's got a terrific website, Singing in the Reign

It's on January 13-14th. Scott Hahn won't be there this year, however it should be a great conference.

Wolf in Sheep's clothing...



I just heard Ms. Pelosi's speech. As expected she listed her "deep Catholic" up bringing, and at one point quoted St. Francis of Assisi.

L.A. Catholic pointed out this post from the 'American Life League' Which in turn points to an ad in today's Washington Times.

The ad Calls on Cardinal Keeler of the Diocese of Baltimore, Archbishop Wuerl of the Diocese of Washington D.C. and Archbishop Niederauer of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to take action regarding pro-choice catholic politicians receiving Holy Communion.

The add sites Canon 915:
"Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or the declaration of a penalty as well as others who obstinately persist in manifesting grave sin are not to be admitted to communion."
It ends with "Proclaim the Truth in the house of God: You can't be Catholic and Pro-Abortion."
One of my New Year resolutions is to speak out more clearly ( no silent majority ) and to pray more deeply to end abortion.

Catholics in the 110th Congress

I read this NewsMax post this morning. "Catholicism Top Faith in U.S. Congress" and a few thoughts entered my mind.

(tid-bit of article)
Roman Catholics are the largest single U.S. religious denomination among members of the new U.S. Congress which also includes two Buddhists and a Muslim.

1. Does this mean that these are practicing Catholics? If so does that mean that abortion and other such issues will be expunged from our society?

The breakdown for the 535 members of the 110th Congress being sworn in Thursday:

Catholic 155; Baptist 67; Methodist 61; Presbyterian 44; Jewish 43; Episcopal 37; Protestant nondenominational 26; Christian nondenominational 18; Lutheran 17; Mormon 15; United Church of Christ 7.

Eastern Orthodox 5; Christian Science 5; Assemblies of God 4; Unitarian Universalist 2; African Methodist Episcopal 2; Buddhists 2; Evangelical 2; Seventh Day Adventists 2; Christian Reformed 2; Disciples of Christ 2; Church of Christ 2; Congregational Baptist 1; Anglican 1.


2. With so many Christians in Congress will that mean new laws promoting the family are on the way? Things like NO abortion, NO euthanasia, More parental notification, marriage laws promoting one man and one woman?

Let us pray for our new Congress, may they seek God's guidance in all the do and say.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

1st Weird News Item of 2007


Selling Colorado Snow on eBay!


Now I live in the State ( as opposed to 'in a state...') where weirdness is an everyday occurrence, so when I saw this article I had to check twice to see where this was located.




It looks like these folks are just having some fun...


Cool.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Getty


The Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a set of magnificent architecture structures that house some of the worlds greatest collections of art.

A few days ago my wife and I joyed viewing the 'Icons of the Sinai' exhibition at the Getty.

These treasures from the Monastery of Catherine located in the Sinai Peninsula at the foot of Mount Sinai, are some of the most wonderful pieces of ancient art I've seen. Preserved through the crisis of the Iconoclasm of the Byzantine Empire in the 700's and 800's.

The exhibit showed a number of icon's and manuscripts that were simply amazing. Pictures where not allowed of course, but take this little video excursion at this link..

If you're in town you can't miss this.

Besides the Museum grounds are beautiful. You can see the ocean from the hills and the sunsets are spectacular. View slide show

Inspirational Story


I had a week off from work and I used this time spending it with my family. I've been spending as much time with them as I can before I get back to our busy schedule of work and school.

During this time I took my family to the Getty Museum to view the "Icons from the Sinai". These are treasures from the Monastery of Catherine in the Sinai desert. I'll post on this later.

We also managed to see a few more movies then we usually see. One was a movie entitled "Pursuit of Happyness". This movie stars Will Smith, Thandia Newton, and Jadon Christopher Syre Smith. It's a very inspirational movie about Christopher Gardner a struggling father in San Fransisco who loses his wife and has a young son to take care of. He becomes homeless and is without a job when he pursue a career with a brokerage firm. It gives another instance of endurance and persistence (as the Rocky movie) in the face of adversity.

Check it out when you get a chance.

Gerald Ford


I spent an extra day of vacation of the Christmas Holiday watching the funeral of Gerald Ford. A solumn affair.

May the good soul of Gerald Ford rest in peace.