Saturday, March 14, 2009

Perhaps it is not too late in Boston

It seems there is reason to hope that the Boston Archdiocese will not go forward with the insane idea of working with abortion providers and making referrals for abortions. The following was posted on Catholic World News:

While I appreciate the opportunity given to Caritas Christi to serve the poor through this agreement, I wish to reaffirm that this agreement can only be realized if the moral obligations for Catholic hospitals as articulated in the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are fulfilled at all times and in all cases. In order to assure me that this agreement will provide for the integrity of the Catholic identity and practices of Caritas Christi Health Care System, I have asked the National Catholic Bioethics Center to review the agreement and to assure me that it is faithful to Catholic principles.

I still take considerable issue and umbrage with the Archbishop's plan to have a separate entity make the review and decision for him. I can't tell you how much a look up to and admire bishops that take into their own hands their responsibility make decisions!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pell is worth reading!

Below is a link to the entire article. I have posted a few of my favored lines as well.

Australian cardinal calls for confrontation of religious intolerance

By Simon Caldwell
Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- Confronting religious intolerance regularly and publicly is among the "crucial tasks" of Christians in the 21st century, said an Australian cardinal.

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney said the Catholic Church's freedom in the Western world was under pressure from a new and dangerous trend of the use of anti-discrimination laws and human rights claims to attack the role of religion in public life and individuals' right of conscience.

"The secular and religious intolerance of our day needs to be confronted regularly and publicly," he said. "Believers need to call the bluff of what is, even in most parts of Europe, a small minority with disproportionate influence in the media. This is one of the crucial tasks for Christians in the 21st century."

As his primary example of mounting intolerance, Cardinal Pell cited the treatment of U.S. Christians and Mormons who supported Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that reversed California's gay marriage law in November.

He described how churches and temples were subjected to violence, vandalism and intimidation, and how some supporters of the amendment were forced from their jobs and blacklisted.

"We should note the strange way in which some of the most permissive groups and communities, for example, Californian liberals in the case of Proposition 8, easily become repressive, despite all their high rhetoric about diversity and tolerance," he said.

"There is the one-sidedness about discrimination and vilification," he said, because anti-Christian "blacklisting and intimidation is passed over in silence."

Cardinal Pell added that in a healthy democracy people should be free to discuss and criticize each other's beliefs.

Reciprocity, he said, was essential to this but "some secularists seem to like one-way streets," seeking to drive Christianity from the provision of education, health care and welfare services to the wider community.

The cardinal predicted a "major escalation in the culture wars" if President Barack Obama signed into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which would sweep away restrictions on abortion and deny medical practitioners and hospitals the right to conscientiously object to participating in abortions. As of March 10, the act had not been introduced in Congress.

He explained that the effect of the rising intolerance of modern liberalism was to "enforce conformity" and to strip Christianity of the power of its public witness.

"There is no need to drive the church out of services if the secularization of its agencies can achieve this end," he added.

The pressure against religion in public life, he said, stemmed mainly from a misplaced belief in "absolute sexual freedom."

He said that as sexual freedom became a driver of consumption, people could see the "re-emergence of slavery in Europe and Asia, the booming exploitation of pornography and prostitution, and the commercialization of surrogacy, egg donation, and the production and destruction of human embryos and human stem-cell lines."

Recent Headlines and Commentary

Connecticut lawmakers withdraw legislation governing Church parish affairs
Rep. Michael P. Lawlor and Sen. Andrew J. McDonald-- co-charimen of the Connecticut legislature’s judiciary committee-- announced on March 10 that they would withdraw controversial legislation that would have placed parish finances and outreach under the control of elected lay boards. . . .
I still cannot fathom how anyone thought it reasonable for a state government to direct how a church, in particular-one that has been around for 2000 years, can reach out to the people and use its monetary resources. Simply unfathomable! I read the constitution in 8th grade and knew back then the absurdity of this notion.
Brazilian president blasts archbishop over abortion excommunications
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has blasted Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife following the excommunications of those complicit in the abortion of the unborn twins of a 9-year-old girl who had reportedly been raped by her stepfather. “As a Christian and a Catholic, I find it deeply lamentable that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude,” the president said. “In this case, the medical profession was more right than the Church.” Media reports on the subject have typically failed to note that abortion carries an automatic excommunication under canon law. . . .
Why do so many expect the church to step back and change its canons to suit them? If x happens, then y is the result. There is no backpedaling on an action that constitutes an act of evil..oh, but I did evil for this reason, doesn't that make it ok???
Vatican criticism of Obama stem-cell decision
Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has criticized President Barack Obama’s executive order that lifted restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, calling it a “victory of politics over ethics.” The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romanoon March 10 reiterated the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the unborn. . . .
Why this needs to be debated any further is beyond me. Recent developments in multiple countries now have produced stem-cells without harming an unborn child. What is more, chord blood stem-cells are easy to gather and have no moral issue whatsoever. Lastly, only adult stem-cells have yielded results so far, from the last I've read. But the drive to use and research adult stem-cells is never mentioned, maybe not never, but I cannot recall the last time.
Cardinal, theologians back Boston health-care agency's bid for government contract
Amid controversy over a proposed arrangement that would lead the Archdiocese of Boston’s health-care network to become involved with insurance coverage for abortion, the Boston Globe found "leading theologians" from Creighton and Duquesne universities who supported the move, noting that the Church would be providing health care for the poor. (The Catholic network would administer a state government program offering subsidized coverage for low-income residents.) . . .
See the note about Brazil above, automatic excommunication is the result of any formal cooperation with an act of evil like abortion.
Pope notes that 'burning faith' of St. Boniface brought faith to Germany
At his regular weekly public audience on March 11, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the legacy of St. Boniface, "apostle of the Germans." After a first failed effort to bring the Gospel to the pagans of the region, St. Boniface consulted with the Pope, received his blessing for a new effort, and achieved tremendous success before he finally met martyrdom in June 754. The Pope remarked that two lessons can be drawn from the great saint's life: "the central importance of the Word of God," and the value of "faithful communion with the Apostolic See." The Holy Father contrasted the saint's "burning faith" with the approach taken by too many Catholics today: "often lukewarm and bureaucratized." . . .
I love the story of Boniface chopping down the pagans' idolized oak tree to prove that pagan gods would not harm him. I've never heard of the saints of old being mild-mannered in their efforts to convert pagans. Then again, I recall all the pagans of old persecuting the saints of old. Don't forget though, more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in any other century which preceded it. The persecution of old continues, do we still have the saints of old with the requisite mettle?

Madrid archdiocese’s building provoke Church-state controversy
The Archdiocese of Madrid’s plans to build a monastery, residence for retired priests, religious library, parking garage, and center for the homeless in a beloved park has provoked protests from Spain’s Socialist government, which has filed an appeal with the European Commission in Brussels following approval of the plan by Madrid’s city council. The park was portrayed in a 1788 painting by Francisco de Goya. . . .
Take the time to read my post on Spain's Socialist government removing all tributes to does a sovereign nation appeal to the European Commission, whatever that is, to stop the construction of a retirement home, library and homeless shelter? What kind of a government is in power in Spain? Be sure to read up on the atrocities committed by Franco's enemies!

Dalai Lama: object of Beijing's hostility, but key to peace in Tibet
Heavy Chinese military patrols in Tibet have effectively established martial law there as the occupied land marks the 50th anniversary of its failed rebellion. Father Bernardo Cervellera, the director of the Asia News service, argues that Beijing is making a strategic error by trying to eliminate the influence of the exiled Dalai Lama, because he is the only Tibetan leader who could provide for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Tibet. . . .
I still find the sham Olympics of 2008 such a mockery...