Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vienna's Cathedral Rector Says: The Tender Rosary Prayers Are Dying Out

Vienna [] A Commotion around the Vienna Cathedral Rector Toni Faber. In a recent interview with the "Courier" he answered questions put to him about reform in the Church: "We are really closely bound to Rome, but we must go our independent way. Some representatives of the Vatican live in a certain denial of reality. It is not enough to manage the apparent decline. The encouraging words of Caridnal Schönborn in the direction of the Church's transparency gives hope. The cuddly prayers of the rosary are dying out..."

St. André's heart brings Montrealers closer to God

Estimated 30,000 faithful flock to Big O for 'our brother, our friend'

By Anne Sutherland, Montreal Gazette

MONTREAL - For Bernard Blanchet, the most moving moment in the celebration of Brother André's canonization came when four members of the late cleric's family carried in a reliquary containing a sliver of the saint's heart.

"That was it for me, and when they brought in the crutches," said the Lachine city councillor, who was riding the métro after the ceremony.

He and his mother, Denise, were part of a crowd of 30,000 who flocked to the Olympic Stadium on Saturday afternoon to remember and celebrate one of our own, elevated to sainthood on Oct. 17 in Rome.

The Montreal celebrations were so that everyday folks who couldn't make the trip to St. Peter's Square could share in the pomp and ceremony.

Tickets were a mere $5 and 42,000 of them were sold as of Friday, but police said only 30,000 people actually showed up.

Approaching the cavernous stadium, it was almost as if St. Brother André was a rock star: vendors hawking $10 T-shirts with his image, porta-potties for the crowd and long lines in the souvenir shop where wooden crucifixes, key chains, statues of St. Joseph and candles were flying out the door, with special St. Joseph's Oratory carryalls to hold all the goods.

There were large groups of the faithful in wheelchairs and the crowd spanned all ages, from toddlers in strollers to seniors using walkers.

Organizers did their best to gussy up the stark decor of the stadium with some potted ferns and small trees, but the forlorn shapes of home plate and the bases bore testament that this used to be a baseball venue.

There were three risers of bleachers with singers of 3 Petits Chanteurs and they sang Benis le Seigneur ô mon âme as the procession moved toward the makeshift altar.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Jean Charest and Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay were in attendance.

Quebec singer Chantal Pary took the microphone for a rendition of Miracle de la Montagne by Lucie Bernier as 180 young adults from different cultural communities joined the procession, which also included 60 bishops and almost as many priests and other clergy.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte presided over the two-hour mass and spoke at length about the man born Alfred Bessette on Aug. 9, 1845, in St. Grégoire, south of Montreal.

"He often said: 'The world is silly if it thinks that Brother André is doing miracles. It is the good God who does the miracles. St. Joseph obtains them,'" Turcotte said of the newly minted saint.

Besides the reliquary containing a portion of Brother André's heart - the rest stayed at the Oratory - other representations of the man's life were brought forward in the ceremony: the suitcase he carried for his many visits, wooden crutches representing those cured by St. Joseph, St. Joseph oil and blue prints of the Oratory building.

The bell from the first chapel built on Mount Royal was even brought to the stadium to call the faithful to worship.

During the response portion of the service, when 30,000 voices sang out, it was hard not to be impressed, even with the horrible acoustics of the Big O.

"Thank God for this remarkable man. He was our brother and our friend," Turcotte said of the tiny unassuming doorkeeper at Collège Notre-Dame in Côte des Neiges.

"I believe in him," said Suzanne Deschênes, who came to the stadium from St. Hubert. "My parents taught me all about Brother André and he certainly deserved all this," she said after the ceremony ended.

Pope Benedict's Address to Science Academy
 Getty Images

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 28, 2010 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The theme of the assembly is: "The Scientific Legacy of the Twentieth Century."

* * *

Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to greet all of you here present as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences gathers for its Plenary Session to reflect on "The Scientific Legacy of the Twentieth Century." I greet in particular Cardinal Cottier and Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Academy. I also take this opportunity to recall with affection and gratitude Professor Nicola Cabibbo, your late president. With all of you, I prayerfully commend his noble soul to God the Father of mercies.

The history of science in the twentieth century is one of undoubted achievement and major advances. Unfortunately, the popular image of twentieth-century science is sometimes characterized otherwise, in two extreme ways. On the one hand, science is posited by some as a panacea, proven by its notable achievements in the last century. Its innumerable advances were in fact so encompassing and so rapid that they seemed to confirm the point of view that science might answer all the questions of man’s existence, and even of his highest aspirations. On the other hand, there are those who fear science and who distance themselves from it, because of sobering developments such as the construction and terrifying use of nuclear weapons.

Science, of course, is not defined by either of these extremes. Its task was and remains a patient yet passionate search for the truth about the cosmos, about nature and about the constitution of the human being. In this search, there have been many successes and failures, triumphs and setbacks. The developments of science have been both uplifting, as when the complexity of nature and its phenomena were discovered, exceeding our expectations, and humbling, as when some of the theories we thought might have explained those phenomena once and for all proved only partial. Nonetheless, even provisional results constitute a real contribution to unveiling the correspondence between the intellect and natural realities, on which later generations may build further.

The progress made in scientific knowledge in the twentieth century, in all its various disciplines, has led to a greatly improved awareness of the place that man and this planet occupy in the universe. In all sciences, the common denominator continues to be the notion of experimentation as an organized method for observing nature. In the last century, man certainly made more progress – if not always in his knowledge of himself and of God, then certainly in his knowledge of the macro- and microcosms – than in the entire previous history of humanity. Our meeting here today, dear friends, is a proof of the Church’s esteem for ongoing scientific research and of her gratitude for scientific endeavour, which she both encourages and benefits from. In our own day, scientists themselves appreciate more and more the need to be open to philosophy if they are to discover the logical and epistemological foundation for their methodology and their conclusions. For her part, the Church is convinced that scientific activity ultimately benefits from the recognition of man’s spiritual dimension and his quest for ultimate answers that allow for the acknowledgement of a world existing independently from us, which we do not fully understand and which we can only comprehend in so far as we grasp its inherent logic. Scientists do not create the world; they learn about it and attempt to imitate it, following the laws and intelligibility that nature manifests to us. The scientist’s experience as a human being is therefore that of perceiving a constant, a law, a logos that he has not created but that he has instead observed: in fact, it leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world. This is the meeting point between the natural sciences and religion. As a result, science becomes a place of dialogue, a meeting between man and nature and, potentially, even between man and his Creator.

As we look to the twenty-first century, I would like to propose two thoughts for further reflection. First, as increasing accomplishments of the sciences deepen our wonder of the complexity of nature, the need for an interdisciplinary approach tied with philosophical reflection leading to a synthesis is more and more perceived. Secondly, scientific achievement in this new century should always be informed by the imperatives of fraternity and peace, helping to solve the great problems of humanity, and directing everyone’s efforts towards the true good of man and the integral development of the peoples of the world. The positive outcome of twenty-first century science will surely depend in large measure on the scientist’s ability to search for truth and apply discoveries in a way that goes hand in hand with the search for what is just and good. With these sentiments, I invite you to direct your gaze toward Christ, the uncreated Wisdom, and to recognize in His face, the Logos of the Creator of all things. Renewing my good wishes for your work, I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Hallows' Eve

From Fish Eaters:


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


31 October and 1 and 2 November are called, colloquially (not officially), "Hallowtide" or the "Days of the Dead" because on these days we pray for or remember those who've left this world.

The days of the dead center around All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows') on November 1, when we celebrate all the Saints in Heaven. On the day after All Hallows', we remember the saved souls who are in Purgatory being cleansed of the temporal effects of their sins before they can enter Heaven. The day that comes before All Hallows', though, is one on which we unofficially remember the damned and the reality of Hell. The schema, then, for the Days of the Dead looks like this:


31 October:
Hallowe'en: unofficially recalls the souls of the damned. Practices center around the reality of Hell and how to avoid it.
1 November:
All Saints': set aside to officially honor the Church Triumphant. Practices center around recalling our great Saints, including those whose names are unknown to us and, so, are not canonized
2 November:
All Souls': set aside officially to pray for the Church Suffering (the souls in Purgatory). Practices center around praying for the souls in Purgatory, especially our loved ones
The earliest form of All Saints' (or "All Hallows'") was first celebrated in the 300s, but originally took place on 13 May, as it still does in some Eastern Churches. The Feast first commemorated only the martyrs, but came to include all of the Saints by 741. It was transferred to 1 November in 844 when Pope Gregory III consecrated a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica to All Saints (so much for the theory that the day was fixed on 1 November because of a bunch of Irish pagans had harvest festivals at that time).

All Souls' has its origins in A.D. 1048 when the Bishop of Cluny decreed that the Benedictines of Cluny pray for the souls in Purgatory on this day. The practice spread until Pope Sylvester II recommended it for the entire Latin Church.

The Vigil of, or evening before, All Hallows' ("Hallows' Eve," or "Hallowe'en") came, in Irish popular piety, to be a day of remembering the dead who are neither in Purgatory or Heaven, but are damned, and these customs spread to many parts of the world. Thus we have the popular focus of Hallowe'en as the reality of Hell, hence its scary character and focus on evil and how to avoid it, the sad fate of the souls of the damned, etc. 1

How, or even whether, to celebrate Hallowe'en is a controversial topic in traditional circles. One hears too often that "Hallowe'en is a pagan holiday" -- an impossibility because "Hallowe'en," as said, means "All Hallows' Evening" which is as Catholic a holiday as one can get. Some say that the holiday actually stems from Samhain, a pagan Celtic celebration, or is Satanic, but this isn't true, either, any more than Christmas "stems from" the Druids' Yule, though popular customs that predated the Church may be involved in our celebrations (it is rather amusing that October 31 is also "Reformation Day" in Protestant circles -- the day to recall Luther's having nailed his 95 Theses to Wittenberg's cathedral door -- but Protestants who reject "Hallowe'en" because pagans used to do things on October 31 don't object to commemorating that event on this day).

Some traditional Catholics, objecting to the definite secularization of the holiday and to the myth that the entire thing is "pagan" to begin with, refuse to celebrate it in any way at all, etc. Other traditional Catholics celebrate it without qualm, though keeping it Catholic and staying far away from some of the ugliness that surrounds the day in the secular world. However one decides to spend the day, it is hoped that the facts are kept straight, and that Catholics refrain from judging other Catholics who decide to celebrate differently.

For those who do want to celebrate Hallowe'en, customs of this day are a mixture of Catholic popular devotions, and French, Irish, and English customs all mixed together. From the French we get the custom of dressing up, which originated during the time of the Black Death when artistic renderings of the dead known as the "Danse Macabre," were popular. These "Dances of Death" were also acted out by people who dressed as the dead. Later, these practices were moved to Hallowe'en when the Irish and French began to intermarry in America.

From the Irish come the carved Jack-o-lanterns, which were originally carved turnips. The legend surrounding the Jack-o-Lantern is this:

There once was an old drunken trickster named Jack, a man known so much for his miserly ways that he was known as "Stingy Jack," He loved making mischief on everyone -- even his own family, even the Devil himself! One day, he tricked Satan into climbing up an apple tree -- but then carved Crosses on the trunk so the Devil couldn't get back down. He bargained with the Evil One, saying he would remove the Crosses only if the Devil would promise not to take his soul to Hell; to this, the Devil agreed.

After Jack died, after many years filled with vice, he went up to the Pearly Gates -- but was told by St. Peter that he was too miserable a creature to see the Face of Almighty God. But when he went to the Gates of Hell, he was reminded that he couldn't enter there, either! So, he was doomed to spend his eternity roaming the earth. The only good thing that happened to him was that the Devil threw him an ember from the burning pits to light his way, an ember he carried inside a hollowed-out, carved turnip.
And when you carve up your pumpkin, keep the seeds to roast! Here's a recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds (approx.)
2 TSP melted butter or oil  (approx.)
Salt to taste
Optional: garlic powder; cayenne pepper; seasoned salt; Worcestershire Sauce; Cajun seasoning; or Hot Spice Mix (1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. chili powder)

Preheat oven to 300° F. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and any optional ingredients of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. Store airtight.

Option: If you roast them without any of the above optional flavorings, you can now flavor them Spicy-Sweet by doing this:

Heat a TBSP of peanut oil in a skillet, add 2 TBSP sugar, and the seeds. Cook the pumpkin seeds over medium high heat for about 1 minute or until the sugar melts and starts to caramelize. Place pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and sprinkle with this mixture: 3 TBSP sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
From the English Catholics we get begging from door to door, the earlier and more pure form of "trick-or-treating." Children would go about begging their neighbors for a "Soul Cake," for which they would say a prayer for those neighbors' dead. Instead of knocking on a door and saying the threatening, "Trick-or-treat" (or the ugly "Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat"), children would say either:
A Soul Cake, a Soul Cake,
have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake!
Soul, soul, an apple or two,
If you haven't an apple, a pear will do,
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for the Man Who made us all.
While Soul Cakes were originally a type of shortbread, it is said that a clever medieval cook wanted to make Soul Cakes designed to remind people of eternity, so she cut a hole in the middle of round cakes before frying them, thereby inventing donuts! Fresh plain cake donuts would be a nice food to eat on this day.
Cake Doughnuts (makes 20)

2 quarts canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 packet active dry yeast or 0.6 ounces cake yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
1 extra-large whole egg
2 extra-large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups nonmelting or confectioners' sugar

1. Heat oil in a low-sided six-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375°. Lightly dust a baking pan with all-purpose flour, and line a second one with paper towels; set both aside.

2. Meanwhile, place sour cream in a heat-proof bowl or top of a double boiler; set over a pan of simmering water. Heat until warm to the touch. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Make a large well; place yeast in center. Pour warm sour cream over yeast, and let sit 1 minute.

4. Place buttermilk, whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over sour cream. Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring until smooth before drawing in more flour. Continue until all flour mixture has been incorporated; dough will be very sticky.

5. Sift a heavy coat of flour onto a clean work surface. Turn out dough. Sift another heavy layer of flour over dough. Using your hands, pat dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 3/4-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnuts as close together as possible, dipping the cutter in flour before each cut. Transfer doughnuts to floured pan, and let rest 10 minutes, but not more.

6. Carefully transfer four doughnuts to hot oil. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn over; continue cooking until evenly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to lined pan. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

7. Gather remaining dough scraps into a ball. Let rest 10 minutes; pat into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut, let rest 10 minutes, and cook.

8. When cool enough to handle, sift nonmelting sugar over tops; serve immediately. (Recipe from Martha Stewart).
Other customary foods for All Hallows' Eve include cider, nuts, popcorn, and apples -- best eaten around a bonfire or fireplace!

Another Hallowe'en custom is the old Celtic "bobbing for apples." To do this, fill a large tub two thirds full with water and float apples in it. Children take turns trying to pick up one of the floating apples using only their mouths (hands are not allowed and must be held or tied behind the back!) -- very tricky to do! The first to do so wins a prize (some say he will be the first one to marry someday). You can make the game more fun by carving an initial into the bottom of each apple, letting that initial indicate the name of the person each apple-bobber will marry, and/or using different colored apples with different assigned meanings or prizes. (You can play a dry version of this game by tying the stems of the apples to strings and suspending them. If you do this, carve any initials at the tops of the apples. Of course, all of this sort of thing is a parlor game and should never be taken seriously or cross the line into divination!).

...and tell scary stories! If you want the perfect poems to relate to your children on this day, see Little Orphant Annie, The Raven, The Stolen Child, and the Wreck of the Hesperus. And here are those poems and some stories for you to download in Microsoft Word .doc format:
Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley (2 pages)
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (3 pages)
The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats (2 pages)
The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow (3 pages)
The Monkey's Paw, by W. W. Jacobs (11 pages)
The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson (5 pages)
The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe (4 pages)
The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe (7 pages)
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe (5 pages)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving (22 pages)
After teaching your children about the frightening realities of Hell and the fate of the damned, reassure them by telling them that the Evil One has already been conquered! Satan has no real power over those who are in Christ, and mocking him and his minions is a way of demonstrating this; teach your children how to call on the power of Christ and His Church to protect themselves from their snares. Warn them that magic (the art of performing actions beyond the power of man with the aid of powers other than the Divine) is real, that there is no such thing as "white magic," that playing with the occult -- whether by divination, necromancy, the casting of spells, playing with Ouija boards, etc. -- is an invitation to demons to respond, and that it is from demons that magic gets any power it has. Remember St. Michael to them, teach them about the power of sacramentals and prayers that ward off evil when piously used (the Sign of the Cross, Holy Water, blessed salt, the Crucifix, the St. Benedict Medal, St. Anthony's Brief, etc.), teach them to call on the Holy Name of Jesus when they are afraid, etc.

And please pray to all the Saints that they might intercede and bring pagans and witches to Christ so they might know the peace that comes from knowing that God loves them so much that He allowed Himself to take on a human nature, to suffer, and to die for them...

1 The Vigil used to be a day of fasting in the Church so some Catholics -- especially those attached to the disciplines in place related to earlier Missals than the 1962 -- treat the day as penitential and avoid any feasting. But All Hallows' Eve was not considered a day of fasting according to the laws in place when the 1962 Missal was published, and it is this Missal that is used by most traditional Catholic priests and laity.

Monster Mash - Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers

More Cowbell

Archbishop Lucas' Letter re: Nadine Brown & The Intercessors of the Lamb

October 29, 2010 Friends,

As you know from the events of the past several weeks the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb have been suppressed as a public association of the faithful in the Catholic Church. As former lay companions of the Intercessors I know that most of you are aware of the circumstances which led to this suppression. They have been documented in public statements that I have made and have also received attention in the news media. The attached letter from the former Intercessors gives an overview of these circumstances and I invite you to read that letter which I have approved. For those who seek more detailed information I invite you to go to

The purpose of my letter is not to revisit the circumstances which led to the suppression but to look toward the future. In this spirit I ask for your continued prayerful support for the 53 former members of the Intercessors who have decided to spend time in community discernment over the next 12 months. During this time they will pray and study and seek advice and counsel relating to developing a deeper and more profound appreciation of the charism of intercessory prayer. They will also pray and discern how such a charism could be of service to the local Church of Omaha as well as to the Universal Church in the context of community life sanctioned by the Church in distinct communities of women and men.

Many of you have had questions over the past few days on the use of books written by Nadine Brown and on the use of other media that contain her teachings. Prior to the suppression of the Intercessors I appointed a trustee to govern the community and help them work on a variety of issues and concerns that had been raised as the result of an official visitation I conducted of the community. One of the tasks I gave to the trustee was to review these teachings for theological accuracy and conformity to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a result of the suppression this review has not taken place. It is therefore not possible to state that the teachings of Nadine Brown are free of doctrinal error.

As we move forward I am asking that former companions and all Catholics refrain from using any materials and websites associated with Nadine Brown and all other material provided by the former Intercessor community. I also ask that you cease “group discernments”. However, if you decide to continue to meet with your prayer group, I encourage you to offer prayers of intercession for the needs of priests, for the former Intercessors in community discernment, and for our Holy Father’s intentions. I also encourage you to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church with special attention given to Part IV: Christian Prayer. If you continue to meet in your prayer groups I ask that you do so under the guidance of your Bishop or local pastor.

With best wishes and prayers I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend George J. LucasArchbishop of Omaha

Don't Fear The Reaper

Friday, October 29, 2010

In new book, George W. Bush describes an emotional meeting with the Pope

From the Drudge Report:

"The president reveals he gave the order to shoot down planes on September 11 -- and at first thought the plane in PA had been shot down.


In the chapter "Stem Cells", Bush describes receiving a letter from Nancy Reagan detailing a "wrenching family journey".

But ultimately, Bush writes: "I did feel a responsibility to voice my pro-life convictions and lead the country toward what Pope John Paul II called a culture of life."

In the book, Bush describes an emotional July 2001 meeting with the Pope at the pontiff's summer residence.

Savaged by Parkinson's, the Pope saw the promise of science, but implored Bush to support life in all its forms.

Later, at the Pope's funeral -- and after a prodding from his wife that it's a time to "pray for miracles" -- Bush found himself saying a prayer for the cancer-stricken ABCNEWS anchor Peter Jennings..."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

1928 Cell Phone?

Court Allows San Fran City Resolution Condemning Catholicism as 'Insulting,' 'Hateful'

By Kathleen Gilbert

SAN FRANCISCO, October 26, 2010 ( - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has shakily allowed to stand a resolution by the city government of San Francisco that lambasted the Vatican as "meddl[ing]" and "insult[ing]" for reaffirming its teaching against homosexual adoption, and which urged Church officials to disobey the Magisterium.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2006 had issued a statement clarifying that Catholic Church agencies, in line with the Church's moral teaching on sexuality, should not hand over children to homosexual couples seeking to adopt. The statement was prompted by Catholic Charities branches in Boston and San Francisco choosing to cooperate with homosexual couples seeking adoption.

As a result, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later that year issued a nonbinding resolution that personally attacked Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and former archbishop of San Francisco, and his directive as "discriminatory and defamatory."

The board urged San Francisco archbishop George Niederauer and the local Catholic Charities "to defy all discriminatory directives of Cardinal Levada," whom they dubbed "a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city." The resolution also lashed out at the Vatican's teaching role in the Catholic faith as an instance of "meddling" by a foreign country.

"It is an insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great city's existing and established customs and traditions, such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need," wrote the supervisors.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and two San Francisco Catholic citizens, represented by Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, filed suit against the city, claiming that the resolution violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A federal judge in December 2006 dismissed the case, stating that the Vatican had "provoked this debate" by issuing the statement.

The decision was upheld by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit before it was decided that an 11-judge panel should hear the case.

On Friday, the Ninth Circuit court was split on the case both in terms of its merits and the standing of the plaintiffs to bring the case forward. Only six judges examined the merits of the case, and were split 3-3; however, the court ultimately rejected the suit 8-3.

In an opinion joined by Judges Barry Silverman, Sidney Thomas and Richard Clifton, it was decided that the Supervisors "have the right to speak out in their official capacities on matters of secular concern to their constituents, even if their statements might offend the religious feelings of some of their other constituents," according to the Courthouse News Service.

However, in the minority opinioin, Justices Andrew Kleinfeld, Sandra Ikuta and Jay Bybee said that, "For the government to resolve officially that 'Catholic doctrine is wrong,' is as plainly violative of the Establishment Clause as for the government to resolve that 'Catholic doctrine is right."

The Thomas More Law Center has vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Banana Split for My Baby - Louis Prima

Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters


Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough.

Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church.

_ In the Archdiocese of Boston, parishioners are dissecting the work of a top adviser to the cardinal for any hint of Marxist influence.

_ Bloggers are combing through campaign finance records to expose staff of Catholic agencies who donate to politicians who support abortion rights.

_, working from studios in suburban Detroit, is hunting for "traitorous" nuns, priests or bishops throughout the American church."We're no more engaged in a witch hunt than a doctor excising a cancer is engaged in a witch hunt," said Michael Voris of and St. Michael's Media. "We're just shining a spotlight on people who are Catholics who do not live the faith."

John Allen, Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, has dubbed this trend "Taliban Catholicism." But he says it's not a strictly conservative phenomenon _ liberals can fit the mindset, too, Allen says. Some left-leaning Catholics are outraged by any exercise of church authority.

Yet on the Internet and in the church, conservatives are having the bigger impact.

Among Voris' many media ventures is the CIA _ the Catholic Investigative Agency _ a program from RealCatholicTV to "bring to light the dark deeds of evil Catholics-in-name-only, who are hijacking the Church for their own ends, not the ends of Christ."

In an episode called "Catholic Tea Party," Voris said: "Catholics need to be aware and studied and knowledgeable enough about the faith to recognize a heretical nun or a traitorous priest or bishop when they see one _ not so they can vote them out of office, but so they can pray for them, one, and alert as many other Catholics as possible to their treachery, two."

The blog "Bryan Hehir Exposed" is aimed at a top adviser to Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, who is the former head of national Catholic Charities and a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Among the bloggers' claims is that Hehir is a Marxist sympathizer who undermines Catholic teaching on abortion and marriage.

Hehir, who has advised church leaders for four decades, hasn't responded to any accusations and neither has O'Malley, a Capuchin Franciscan friar known for his humility. However, O'Malley said in April on his own blog that Hehir "inspires us with his compassion, vision and fidelity to the work of the Church." In August, O'Malley blocked access from archdiocesan headquarters to one of the critical blogs, the anonymously penned Boston Catholic Insider.

"The lack of civility is very disturbing," said Terrence C. Donilon, the archdiocesan spokesman.

The work of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is another frequent target.

Activists and bloggers, including Bellarmine Veritas Ministry of Texas, have been investigating the bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a national grantmaking program created in the 1970s to support community organizing and economic development.

The activists concluded that some of the grantees back same-sex marriage, artificial contraception or abortion rights. As part of the push, activists accused the director of the bishops' national social justice office of serving on the board of a nonprofit while it advocated for gay marriage and abortion. The claims against him were shown to be unfounded.

Still, the bloggers had an impact.

The bishop who oversees the anti-poverty grants said that a few, but not all, of the accused grantees had indeed taken positions contrary to church teaching and had been defunded. Since the controversy erupted, 10 of the 195 U.S. dioceses have suspended or dropped annual parish collections for the program, and the bishops are reviewing their grant policies.

Thomas Peters, who runs the popular "AmericanPapist" blog, said fellow orthodox Catholics have embraced the Web because they feel they finally have a platform that can compete with well-established liberal Catholic publications, such as the National Catholic Reporter. (Some conservative bloggers call the paper "the National Catholic Destroyer.")

Peters, 25, considers himself on the more positive side of the orthodox Catholic blogosphere, although some targets of his commentary disagree.

He condemns the vitriol he sees online, and promotes a blog feature called "bishops with backbone," in praise of church leaders who rein in dissenters. He also added an online function to send thank you notes when leaders take tough stands, recently generating 500 letters in one day for Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis who refused Holy Communion to gay rights protesters at a recent Mass.

"All of these things that we say in public are meant for the best good of the church," said Peters. He began his blog several years ago and now works for the American Principles Project, a conservative advocacy group founded by Princeton University scholar Robert George.

The rise in lay conservative fervor comes at a time when the need for activism would seem less urgent. The U.S. hierarchy has seen a wave of retirements in recent years that has swept out leading liberals. The men taking their place are generally more traditional and willing to take a harder line against disobedient Catholics, from politicians to parishioners.

But even with these changes, bloggers say too few prelates speak out. The activists also say that since the 1970s, after the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, liberals have filled the bureaucracy of the church, hiding dissent from the bishops they serve.

"There's an old saying: Once you become a bishop you never get bad news or a bad meal," said Carol McKinley, 53, a Boston-area blogger who named her site "The Tenth Crusade." "Not a single bishop will look at the whole. They enjoy their ignorance."

Critics of the bloggers contend the activists are motivated mostly by politics, not theology. The blogs feature nearly as many attacks on President Barack Obama as church leaders. McKinley's site, until recently, was called "Throwthebumsoutin2010," in anticipation of the midterm elections.

The late Saul Alinsky, the father of modern community organizing, is also a common topic on the conservative Catholic blogs. Activists complain that many groups that receive grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development use the tactics of Alinsky, a hero of the political left and a preoccupation of the political right since the 2008 election. When Obama was a community organizer in Chicago, he worked with people trained by Alinsky.

However, the conservative Catholic activists insist their faith, especially church teaching on abortion, inspires all their work.

Catholic officials are struggling to come to terms with the bloggers and have organized several recent media conferences on the topic, the latest at the Vatican this month. The U.S. bishops' conference issued social media guidelines in July calling for Christian charity online.

Still, no one expects the Catholic blogosphere to change tone anytime soon. Many of the conservatives most active online had spent years raising the alarm about dissent on their own in their local dioceses without much effect. Now, they feel they are finally being heard online.

"There's a general sense among many faithful Catholics that no matter how much they write their bishops, no matter how much they go to the pastors, all of these unfaithful things keep getting taught," Voris said. "I think enough Catholics are saying, 'That's it. I've had it.'"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A woman reacts...

A woman reacts as she meets  U.S. President Barack ... 
A woman reacts as she meets U.S. President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota October 23, 2010. Obama is on a four-day, five-state swing to support Democrats in the upcoming election. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

B.C. bishop severely beaten

'We pray for the bishop and for the conversion of the guy who hurt the bishop'

One person is in custody after the Roman Catholic bishop of Kamloops, B.C., was severely beaten at the city's cathedral.

RCMP were called to the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the B.C. Interior city on Friday night, and found Bishop David Monroe bleeding on the floor of the church rectory. Police believe he had been beaten with a blunt object.

Monroe, 69, was rushed to hospital, along with another priest who dislocated a shoulder trying to fend off the attacker.

"We pray for the bishop and for the conversion of the guy who hurt the bishop," said Rev. Derrick Cameron. "Certainly, he [Monroe] could have died if we weren't there. Timing-wise, he would have bled to death..."

How the Vatican intervened to make Westminster Cathedral 'the ideal celebration of the modern Roman Rite'

By Damian Thompson

The Westminster Cathedral altar as arranged by Mgr Marini

If you’re not interested in liturgical politics, look away now. If you are, here are two snippets of information relating to the Pope’s visit, confirmed by numerous sources. First, Benedict XVI was delighted by the Mass at Westminster cathedral, apparently regarding it as an ideal celebration of the modern Roman Rite – “the best he’s presided over in any foreign country,” I’m told. Second, the Vatican intervened at the last moment to make sure that the altar was decorated (as you can see in the picture above) by a free-standing antique crucifix...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Randy Quaid, wife seek refugee status in Canada

Actor Randy Quaid told Canada's immigration board Friday that he and his wife are seeking asylum from "the murderers of Hollywood" and will therefore apply for refugee status in Canada, after they were arrested on U.S. warrants related to vandalism charges...

The couple told the immigration adjudicator they are being persecuted in the United States...

"We feel our lives are in danger," she said. "Randy has known eight close friends murdered in odd, strange manners ... We feel that we're next."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI Photos
Getty Images
Getty Images
Reuters Pictures
Reuters Pictures
AP Photo
AP Photo

Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, smiles during a short press statement after learning that Pope Benedict XVI named him as one of 24 new cardinals in Munich, southern Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010.

Patrick Madrid on Medjugorje

"I simply don't see how the strange and disquieting circus atmosphere surrounding the alleged Medjugorje apparitions and the alleged seers, who jet-set around the world collecting handsome speaking fees for their appearances, in any way resembles the quiet, humble, mortified piety which has been so evident in the authentic apparitions (and seers) of Our Lady at places such as Fatima, Lourdes, Akita, Guadalupe, and Rue de Bac" - Patrick Madrid

From combox, Memo to a certain Medjugorje adherent who is attacking skeptics (again)

Intercessors of the Lamb gave haven to fugitive

By Christopher Burbach


A Pennsylvania woman wanted on an FBI warrant for allegedly fleeing parental kidnapping charges lived for as long as two years with her daughter, under assumed names, with the Intercessors of the Lamb religious group in Omaha.

And after a friend of the Intercessors spotted a wanted poster at a Walmart store, the then-director of the group, Mother Nadine Brown, allegedly directed someone to drive the woman, Carolyn Casey-Keyvani, and her child to California, an Omaha archdiocese official and a former Intercessor said.

The incident was one of the alarming issues that came to light when a canon lawyer visited the Intercessors of the Lamb this summer, said the Rev. Joseph Taphorn, moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Omaha.

That visitation, by the Rev. James Conn of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, led to Brown's resignation at Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas' request. Two weeks later, Lucas shut down the Intercessors as a Catholic organization, saying that the Intercessors of the Lamb Inc. board had impeded his efforts to reform the group.

An attorney for the board members has said they disagree with the archdiocese and many of its findings.
Brown could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The board's attorney, David Levy, said he does not represent Brown and that the board had no comment on the allegations about the fugitive...

Intercessors of the Lamb

By Deacon Keith Fournier

"The three members said the situation deteriorated in the community following the Bishops review and request that the founder, Nadine Brown, step aside from leadership. Apparently two factions developed. Linda Marie Neuhoff said "(O)n the morning of Sunday, Oct. 3 - two days after Brown's resignation was announced - people close to her began taking steps signaling that they would not comply with the archbishop, the three former Intercessors said. A board member and a man she identified as her lawyer walked into a house the Intercessors owned on a neighboring street and announced that they were there for the association's assets"

The article continues, "She said they took computers and files with financial and personal records from the house. Then people began carrying boxes out of the main house on the Intercessors campus, including in the middle of the night. That was confusing and frightening, the three said. The three called police and archdiocesan officials. They were told that the civil corporation had the legal right to move its property. The corporation changed the locks on the Intercessors' homes and asked for their car keys, Nolte said. It was becoming obvious, he said, that the faction close to Brown would not budge. He said the situation became more tense in the two weeks that followed, culminating with Friday's suppression and the archbishop's offer of sanctuary at the retreat.
"We were all very happy to get on that bus," Nolte said. "This was not done with any malice or evil intent toward Mother Nadine. It was necessary for us to disassociate ourselves from her because of her lack of obedience to the church."

We will be closely following this unfolding story..."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Medjugorje Coverup?

By Louis Bélanger end of the “apparitions” announced by the Lady of Medjugorje has raised one of the most, if not the most important objection that has hindered the recognition of their supernatural character.

Today, we’re put to a most disagreeable but necessary task: that of showing that crucial information has been concealed in a major work by an admiral of the medjugorjean armada, historian-exegete-theologian-mariologist-journalist René Laurentin.

Our last editorial reproduced the tape recorded declarations made by the Medjugorje visionaries according to which the Gospa announced, on June 30, 1981, that she would appear to them three more times. We have shown:
• the authenticity of our sources and reliability of the transcripts;
• that most explicitly and without the least ambiguity the visionaries transmit, precisely and by mutual agreement, the announcement of the end of the “apparitions” by the Lady of Medjugorje.
One would expect that such a major announcement would have been communicated with all of its veridical content by the Medjugorje eminent protagonist who knew about it right from the start. But nothing of this ever transpired.

"As the so-called apparitions have been prolonged beyond the announced date, somebody must have been in error, either the presumed Gospa or the five “seers” who were present in the rectory while the parish priest conducted the interview." - Louis Bélanger
The cover-up remained until the publication of The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, and even later on, since the majority of fervent pilgrims and devotees intolerant to critique is ignoring that announcement.

Hereafter, we will first expose the “omission” of the words which, according to the visionaries, were pronounced by the Lady of Medjugorje, and compare them to the written reproductions made by historian René Laurentin and to the valid transcripts of the authentic audiotaped historical sources.

Then we will ask ourselves if those tamperings have been made with full knowledge of the facts and therefore relate to concealment and even duplicity.


From omission to concealment to duplicity in one major writing from René Laurentin

Such heading bears an obvious gravity the wording of which I deem important to set in its proper context.
It must be clearly established that writings or their omissions — not the person of René Laurentin — are the target of the critical considerations that follow.

I have been particularly attentive to the graphical presentation of the found omissions.

The left column features the authentic source conformed to the criteria already clarified. On the French site, it was possible to reproduce alternately the primary fervent source (Klanac) and the primary critical source (Sivric), thus favoring impartiality. As far as I know, Darija Klanac’s book has not been translated into English. Thus for now, in the left column, will appear as reference the only English primary critical source. In the same left column, all the reproduced words in each of the numbered frames from 1 to 5 are mentioned without interruption. The bullets are there only to facilitate the parallel make up with the right column. Major omissions are in bold.

The right column quotes the words deemed worthy of being reproduced by mariologist René Laurentin in his writings.

Here is the reproduction of page 153 of the Chronological Corpus of the Messages


which contains the words pronounced by the Lady of Medjugorje as revealed by the visionaries in the evening of June 30, 1981, and retained by historian Laurentin for that date.

To facilitate the reading and the understanding of the demonstration, I have identified the omission by an “O” inserted in a frame.

I will tell you, below, why I have chosen to include some words pronounced the day before (June 29, 1981).
Have a nice attentive reading!

IVANKA: The second question was how long she was going to remain with us.
Father ZOVKO: And?
IVANKA: As long as we wish, as long as we want.
[Hidden Side… p. 319 – Aux sources… p. 135]

“How long will you stay with us?”
As long as you will want me to, my angels. [p. 152]
Transcription: June 30, 1981 – Hidden Side…
- 1 -
Father ZOVKO: Please tell me in detail, what did you talk about with the Gospa?
¶ MIRJANA: I asked her how many [more] days she is going to stay with us, exactly how many [more] days she is going to stay with us. She said: “Three [more] days.”
¶ Father ZOVKO: More…
¶ MIRJANA: Three more days, which means until Friday.
Then, we asked her if she was angry because we left the hillside [Podbrdo] and because we came here to the other place. She said that she was not angry.
[Hidden Side… Appendix 16, p. 346 – Aux sources… p. 159-160]
- 1 -
MIRJANA: “Are you angry that we were not on the hill?”
That doesn’t matter.

Archbishop Raymond Burke Becomes Cardinal

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals Wednesday, putting his mark on the body that will elect his successor and giving a boost to Italian hopes to regain the papacy.

Among the new cardinals are two Americans and prelates from key posts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Benedict said the new "princes of the church" will be formally elevated at a ceremony in Rome on Nov. 20, making the announcement "with joy" at the end of his weekly public audience.

The new cardinals include Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former La Crosse, Wis., bishop who now leads the Vatican's supreme court. Burke has been sharply critical of the U.S. Democratic Party for its support of abortion rights...

THE speech! ( Archbishop Raymond Burke )

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Beaver 'Saddened' by Death of Barbara Billingsley

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and lifetime mentor Barbara Billingsley. She will live in the hearts of her fans as a wonderful actress and be remembered by her friends as a gracious lady. Barbara was a patient advisor and teacher. She helped me along this challenging journey through life by showing me the importance of manners, and respect for others. She will be deeply missed by all of her family, friends, fans and most especially by me."

Intercessors of the Lamb closed

By Christopher Burbach

There was a stillness in the hills of the Intercessors of the Lamb's Omaha campus Friday, the day the archbishop of Omaha shut them down as a Roman Catholic religious group.

The people in teal and white robes who normally walk about the Ponca Hills property were gone.

The Omaha Archdiocese had bused 32 women and 16 men, members of the organization, to a Catholic retreat center in Schuyler, Neb., with plans to care for them while they discern a new future for themselves...

Board members refused three times to meet with Lucas to discuss the organization's finances, why he had Brown step down and what the group's future would be, said Deacon Timothy F. McNeil, chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese.

McNeil said the Intercessors' hermits and priests were bused voluntarily to Schuyler for their well-being. He said there were concerns about whether they would have food and other means for living...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't mess with the monkeys
A new security barrier going up in Jerusalem will protect Israeli families from a new kind of Intifada: rock-throwing chimpanzees.

The chimps at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo begin throwing rocks whenever they became agitated. And their rock-throwing antics usually generate large crowds, agitating them even more.

The new, reinforced glass barrier, which is not called a security fence, coupled with filling in the moat in the chimpanzee exhibit, will allow the chimps to come right to the glass and get a close-up view of their human audience -- which will probably do sillier things than the chimps will. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bishops’ Halloween advice: dress children up as saints, not witches

Simon Caldwell 

Catholic parents are being advised to celebrate Halloween by dressing up their children as popular saints instead of witches and devils.

They should kit out their youngsters to look like St George, St Lucy, St Francis of Assisi or St Mary Magdalene rather than let them wear costumes that celebrate evil or occult figures, according to a campaign endorsed by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Nor should pumpkins have menacing or scary faces carved into them, according to a website link provided by the bishops’ conference, but must wear smiley expressions and have crosses cut into the foreheads.

Party games during the October 31 revelries should also have a distinctively Christian theme, parents are told, with musical statues, or chairs, danced to music by “contemporary Christian artists”.

Trick or treat pranks are definitely discouraged, with Catholics advised to light bonfires instead in an attempt to re-brand Halloween as a celebration of the triumph of the forces of light over the forces of darkness.

The suggestions for a Christian-style Halloween end with the idea that children each take a wrapped present from a box plastered with such slogans as “Jesus is our light”, “Jesus is our king”, “Jesus loves me” and “Jesus is the biz!”.

Adults are also being encouraged to place lights in their window “as a sign to passers-by that yours is a Christian household and Christ is your light”.

They are also being asked to wear a white garment as a symbol of their “allegiance to Christ, our light”.

The bishops are launching the campaign in an attempt to reclaim the Christian festival of “All Hallows Eve” that, in their opinion, has become dangerously paganised and heavily commercialised.

They want Christians to understand that Halloween was once the vigil feast of All Saints’ Day, which is celebrated on November 1 and which remains a Holy Day of Obligation.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: “Halloween is now the biggest commercial festival after Christmas and Easter, and it is time we reminded Christians of what it really is. The celebration of feast days is an important part of our Catholic culture.

“On the evening of October 31 why not do something to make your faith respectfully seen and heard?” he said. “Light a candle or display publicly another kind of light, for example, perhaps alongside an image of Christ.

“This could be a powerful way in which we can show people that we have hope in someone other than ourselves. The light will provoke questions and is a way that people can be signposted to goodness. I encourage everyone to participate.”

It is the first time the bishops have ever endorsed “the Night of Light”, an international campaign to reclaim Halloween that was started in 2001 by Damian Stayne, the founder of Cor et Lumen Christi, a Catholic community.

The initiative has been gaining ground among Christians left uneasy by the emphasis on horror themes in modern Halloween celebrations.

This year it will run in partnership with the bishops’ Home Mission Desk as a way of following up the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain last month.

Among the supporters of the “Night of Light” is Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.

As Archbishop of Birmingham he complained about the “increasing tendency for the popular mind to make the association between Halloween and secular if not pagan imagery”.

He asked every parish to “think about what it could provide in the late afternoon and evening of Halloween in order to express the life of the Church and indeed in families that this is the beginning of a feast in which we rejoice in the work of God seen in his saints and cause of great inspiration and joy to the world”

Father Frank Pavone: No truce on abortion

Agreeing to disagree is notan option when lives are at stake

It is dismaying to hear some pro-life politicians calling for a "truce" on social issues like abortion - possible White House contenders Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour among them. Their suggestion is that it's more important to do whatever is necessary to get elected than to worry about issues that appear to be intractable.

This tactic is akin to the pro-life and pro-abortion movements agreeing to disagree, an option often considered a reasonable one. It does not require that either side change its views, but simply agrees to allow the different views, and the practices that flow from them.

Sorry, but this is a proposal we in the pro-life movement can't accept. There can be no truce.

First of all, to ask us to "agree to disagree" about abortion is to ask us to change our position on it. Why do we disagree in the first place? When we oppose abortion, we disagree with the notion that it is even negotiable. We do not only claim that we cannot practice abortion, but that nobody can practice it, precisely because it violates the most fundamental human right, the right to life. To "agree to disagree" means that we no longer see abortion for what it is - a violation of a right so fundamental that disagreement cannot be allowed to tamper with it.

To "agree to disagree" is to foster the notion that the baby is a baby only if the mother thinks it is, that the child has value only if the mother says it does and that we have responsibility only for those we choose to have responsibility for.

Certainly, there are many disputes in our nation about which we can "agree to disagree." Various proposals, programs and strategies can be debated as we try to figure out how best to secure people's rights. But these legitimate areas of disagreement relate to how to secure people's rights, whereas the abortion controversy is about whether to secure or even recognize those rights at all. We can agree to disagree whether certain government programs should be allowed, but not whether acts of violence should be allowed. "Agree to disagree" seems like a neutral posture to assume, but it neutralizes what can never be neutral; namely, the right to life.

Furthermore, the abortion dispute is not merely about conceptual disagreement - it's about justice. It's about violence, bloodshed and victims who need to be defended. In the midst of a policy permitting thousands of babies a day to be killed, to "agree to disagree" means to cease to defend the absolute rights of these victims.
We don't fight oppression by "agreeing to disagree" with the oppressor. It is precisely when the oppressor disagrees that we have to intervene to stop the violence. The fact that the oppressor does not recognize the victim as a person does not remove our obligation to the victim. In the face of injustice, we are not simply called to disagree with it, but to stop it.

Worse even than the notion of agreeing to disagree is the suggestion that abortion is irrelevant as an issue in the 2010 elections because it is "settled law." No issue is less settled than abortion. More importantly, America's courts and legislatures have a history of changing "settled law."

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856) is the most commonly cited instance. The slaveholder's right to property eclipsed and subsumed the slave's right to freedom. But the Constitution eventually was amended to correct the error.

Decisions like Lochner v. New York (1905) show us another error: Employers' right to contract eclipsed and subsumed the workers' rights to humane conditions and hours. These abuses were corrected by subsequent Supreme Court decisions like Muller v. Oregon and Bunting v. Oregon.

The "separate but equal" doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) sanctioning segregation was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education some 58 years later.

Erroneous decisions like Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918) institutionalized child labor. But this was overturned 23 years later by United States v. Darby. A new development - a "pedagogical moment" - occurred here in constitutional law. The question was whether constitutional rights applied to children, too. The answer was yes.

Many reversals of Supreme Court cases came about when new evidence made it clear that someone's rights, not previously recognized, were being violated. Thus, Louis Brandeis brought forward the facts about how workers were being harmed.

We are now witnessing the same trend regarding children in the womb. Evidence that has been around for quite some time demonstrating their humanity, and their inalienable right to life, is finding its way into legislatures and courts.

With hundreds of embryological studies, and massive evidence of the harm abortion does to women, such evidence, combined with new legal concepts, can challenge Roe v. Wade in the same way its erroneous ancestral decisions were challenged.

The day after Roe v. Wade was decided, the New York Times headline read, "Supreme Court settles abortion." It has remained the most unsettled issue on our national landscape.

Father Frank Pavone has been national director of Priests for Life in New York City since 1993. He also is president of the National Pro-Life Religious Council.


Lightning Strike

This is the moment a lightning bolt appears to strike the Statue of Liberty in New York. New York photographer Jay Fine had spent the night braving the storm in Battery Park City, Manhattan, in a bid to get the perfect picture. Jay spent nearly two hours poised with his camera and took more than 80 shots before striking lucky with this particular bolt of lightning at 8.45pm on 22 September. He said he had been waiting 40 years to get the picture.

To capture the shots Jay used a Nikon D300s with 60mm f/2.8 lens on the following settings: Aperture: F/10, Shutterspeed: 5 seconds, ISO: 200.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Fought the Law - Bobby Fuller

Bobby Fuller I fought the law

Everyday - Buddy Holly

Ave Maria - Perry Como

Everybody Hurts - REM

R.E.M - What's the frequency Kenneth"The title of the song is not original to the band, which guitarist Peter Buck explains in the liner notes to In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003. It refers to an incident in New York City in 1986, where news anchor Dan Rather was the victim of an unprovoked attack by one or two assailants who, between beatings, would ask, "what's the frequency, Kenneth?"[5] (although the phrase Dan Rather says he actually heard was, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"). One of the assailants has been since identified as William Tager, who attacked Rather because he thought the media had taken control of him." - Wikipedia