Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feast of the Holy Innocents: The King Herods of Our Day

Feast of the Holy Innocents: Politicians Who Promote Abortion are the King Herod's of the Hour

CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis addressed an international gathering of Catholic Gynecologists several months ago. He told them

Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord.

On December 28 in the Octave of Christmas we commemorate the Feast of the Holy Innocents in the Liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. The readings for the Mass remind us that evil has no respect for life. There is an ongoing struggle between life and death, darkness and light, and those of us called to continue the redemptive mission of Jesus, the Light of the world, are engaged in the conflict.

The first reading for the Mass of the Feast of the Holy Innocents is taken from the 1st letter of the beloved disciple John,

This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, "We have fellowship with him," while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. (I John 5)

We are still celebrating the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas. Sometimes Christmas is referred to as the Feast of the Incarnation. In fact, the Incarnation is much broader in its implications. The Word became Incarnate immediately upon the response given by Mary to the invitation of the Lord delivered through the Angel.

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The moment He was conceived, the Incarnation began. Jesus Christ lived through every age and every stage of development. He is identified with every child from the moment of conception.

Medical science confirms what the Natural Law and our conscience long ago told all of us, the child in the womb is one of us. We all know it. We routinely operate on her when she needs our help and place her back in her first home of the womb until birth. We prosecute a criminal who, in committing a crime against his mother, kills him as well.

The abortion lie has been revealed in its wretched ugliness. Every procured abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent child. The child in the womb is the same as the child outside of the womb. We are always persons in development.

See the video and read the rest here.

Catholic Church Teaching on Contraception and Sexuality

Dr. Pia de Solenni (STD), Catholic theologian and ethicist, makes her presentation at the American Life LeagueThe Pill Kills” conference.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013: The State Of Catholicity In Our Nation

During my year as a hospital chaplain at a “Christian” hospital, I was reminded of something every day and every night. My fellow Protestant Chaplain Coworkers, and I, were not encouraged to talk about Jesus or God in our daily 20 to 40 room visits. If a woman was struggling over whether or not to have an abortion, we were told by our department NOT to tell them the Christian position, we were simply supposed to be there as an emotional support, NOT as a religious or spiritual messenger. If a family asked for the Christian teaching on removal of nutrition and hydration, why were we told not to give Christian teaching, but it was ok to give the hospice and palliative care teaching on not wasting unnecessary money on a person in their last few years of life.

I frequently asked the department heads: “What makes a chaplain different from an atheistic hostess whose job it is to give warm fuzzy feelings?” Never got a good answer. The 8 Protestant chaplains I worked with, and I, were told to NEVER push Christianity on anyone, this was called “inflicting ministry.” We were basically supposed to be embarrassed of Jesus and His gospel. If there was a Jew, or Jehova, or Muslim, or a Hari Krishna believer, we were encouraged to go into deep conversation with them about their spiritual and religious beliefs. It was cool to talk religion in the chaplain department when it was the religion of Mohammad or Hari Krishnas, but it was not cool to get deep into Jesus or His gospel. So it is ok to get deep and religious with Moslems, Jews, Jehovas and Hari Krishnas, but it is NOT ok to go deep into religion or God with Protestants and Catholics????

Why is it ok for Miley Cyrus to dress half naked and do sexually explicit things on international T.V., and she gets props for it, but when an outdoorsman talks about his Christian belief that homosexual marriage is wrong, he is guilty of a politically incorrect hate crime? There are heroic people who struggle with homosexuality, we are not referring to them, we are referring to those who push for legitimizing “alternative lifestyles.”

Why does the preferred political party of the majority of Protestants and Catholics in America embrace a pro abortion and pro alternative lifestyles platform, officially, because they believe it is wrong to violate a person’s free will, but then this same political party violates the free will of all American tax payers by FORCING them to pay for health insurance that pays for abortions and sex changes? Why is it holy for THEIR consciences not to be violated, but it is not holy for the rest of America’s consciences not to be violated?

If these hypocricies and stupidities are not made right in this life, they will be made right in the next life.

Only the Catholic Bishops can turn this around. They need our help.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Freedom Of Speech And Campus Freedom Under Attack At Canadian Universities

Michael Coren and John Carpay discuss the ongoing lack of free speech and campus freedom in Canada's universities. This troublesome trend applies in spades to pro-life advocacy and is but another symptom of the breakdown in Christian life and witness in Canada.

Do Graphic Abortion Pictures Destroy The Innocence Of Children?

Yesterday I exposed the true nature of abortion at two parishes in St. John’s, NL. Outside St. Teresa’s Church a young father approached me to share his angst about his children being forced to look at my graphic picture of a 10 week old aborted baby. He took a very respectful attitude when he approached me, stating that he believed I was a person of some moral conviction for making my statement. However, he was disturbed because he said that his 5 and 6 year old children did not need to see that picture. “You’re taking innocence away from my two little children.” He then stated that he agreed with what I was doing but completely disagreed with my picture. I asked him if he had talked with his children about abortion to which he replied: “My son is 5 my daughter is 6, they think the world is a pretty simple place right now…you’re not helping, you’re not helping.” I replied. “The children will be fine, sir.” Clearly annoyed, he retorted, “I know my children will be fine, but that’s (referring to the picture) not fine for my children (to see)…you’re not giving my children a choice.” At this point the man left frustrated.

In retrospect I think I did a very poor job of consoling this father. My scripted answer to the charge that the pictures hurt children is to say something like:

“I’m sorry, ma’am, that children end up being exposed to this picture. I’m sorry that I have to take the approach I do. It is not my intention to target children with this message. In fact, it is out of concern for children that I am here.”

Clearly I should have stuck to my script but I suppose the charge of destroying the innocence of children caught me a little off guard.

When occasion permits I also like to assure parents that my prayers are with them, specifically asking that God would give them wisdom in debriefing their children after such an encounter. Personally, I cannot imagine that God would lead me by His Spirit to expose the horrors of abortion as I do using graphic images without at the same time offering a means, by His grace, to help parents safely interpret such an engagement to theirchildren.

At a recent pro-life conference in St. John’s a local psychotherapist presented her thoughts on many aspects of abortion impact on women and many aspects of our society, including the effects of graphic abortion imagery on children. She summarized her own comments succinctly on the latter aspect by indicating that children are much more resilient to these types of images than we think, perhaps much more resilient than adults.

On a related point, perhaps the most frequent question arising from people’s lips immediately after the shock of viewing my sign is,

“Why are you here, outside a Catholic parish, on Sunday morning, with your signs? You are preaching to the choir.”

I’ve pondered the best short answer to that question. Really, it comes down to this response, “Because you (we) are the only ones who can put an end to the killing.” The target audience is everything in this battle.

Should I instead stand outside the abortuary with my signs and expect the mothers, the abortionist, the abortuary staff, and the general public passing by to rise up with me and put together a serious plan to end legalized abortion? Or should I—like so many good souls in the pro-life movement—go regularly to the abortuary and make a token protest to assuage my outrage in front of those who are more or less directly involved with the killing? How many who do so really expect changes to happen or for anyone to take serious action to end abortion as a result of their visit?

I truly believe that if any one group is ever to be responsible for smothering legal abortion it will be Catholics. They have the power and authority in their hands, by means of their Bishops, the Successors of the Apostles, the guardians of Truth and the Moral Law.

I have addressed the controversy surrounding the use of graphic abortion imagery (more recently called “abortion victim photography") in a fairly comprehensive posting on this blog. The links provided in that posting lead to some of the best insights currently available. A recent online article is also well done. More discussion is certainly demanded given the inflammatory nature of reactions in the public square. This posting hopes to make a contribution in that regard.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Truly Catholic Christmas Message—Assuming No Legal Abortion In Canada

I commend the Archbishop on his Christmas message this year. It is a no-nonsense call to action rooted in God’s plan to come among us, first as a Babe and then as Saviour, in order to save us from certain death and destruction. Its theme of hope, equality and justice for the poor and vulnerable among us is an outstanding, counter-cultural call and what better time to sound it than during the busy out-of-whack “holiday season”?

But, that said, according to the statistics, isn’t something else grossly out-of-whack? How is it possible to altogether ignore such an injustice?

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As we draw near to Christmas, we remember that Jesus was born in a time of political uncertainty, in a land occupied by a foreign power. A political act, a census, dictated that every man and his family register in their native town. Mary and Joseph thus found themselves far from home and loved ones, on the road, about to bring a child into the world without adequate shelter, money or support. They then became refugees when the king’s jealousy and rage endangered their child’s life. This same human drama is being played out on stages all over the world today. We entered into 2013 moved by the crisis in Syria, a human tragedy on a scale never before seen by humankind, with two million people displaced and rendered refugees. Newfoundlanders found themselves moved to respond. We ended the year with the worst natural disaster in history, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which rendered hundreds of thousands homeless. Once again, Newfoundlanders found it in their hearts to respond.

As refugees, Jesus, Mary and Joseph would have welcomed the aid provided by Newfoundlanders. Knowing what it is to be poor and vulnerable to the ravages of nature, we have consistently opened our hearts, hands and pocketbooks to help people in need. The generosity of Newfoundlanders in time of tremendous and immediate need has moved me greatly. I have been just as moved by the generosity of people who, day in and day out, take time to volunteer, donate to local charities, or bring food to people who are grieving or in need.

It is no coincidence that our God chose to take on human form in and through a poor refugee family. Our God does nothing by accident. God became human in these circumstances to call us to identify with, and give ourselves for, the poor. We cannot be satisfied with “poverty reduction” strategies; we must strive, as Pope Francis urges us, to see the world and people through God’s eyes. He calls us to envision and work for a future of hope and reconciliation, equality and justice. And how will we know that this Kingdom of God is being made real in our midst? The hungry will be fed, the naked will be clothed, the lame will walk, the blind will see, the imprisoned will be freed, and the poor will have Good News proclaimed to them.

In order to bring about this new world, it is important to do what Jesus would do. It is even more important to make Christ present in our world. We Christians do not just slavishly imitate our Master. We have been given His very heart, intelligence, skill and imagination. We must get out there, make a difference wherever we find ourselves, be creative, use our God-given talents and finely-developed skills to make the lives of our brothers and sisters better and our world a more just, more loving, more peaceful place. [emphasis mine]

I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! May you experience all the blessings of God. Together, let us give thanks for the blessings of this past year, and look forward in hope.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop of St. John’s

The “Disobedience Disconnect” Between The Bishops and The Holy See

I recently wrote about the need to defend life, in addition to “acknowledging” the pro-life position. A fellow Canadian pro-lifer from Ottawa area shares the same message:

The bishops are obligated to OBEY the directives of the Popes on abortion because what they are commanding is for the leaders of the Catholic Church to defend LIFE, lives of the unborn against abortion.

Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter,  ’The Gospel of Life’ is very clear on the ‘obedience’ of leaders in this regard. John Paul said: “It is precisely from obedience to God–to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty–that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes the endurance and faith of the saints. (Rev 13:10) (#73)

Read the rest of his worthy posting here.