Archive for the ‘Diocese’ Category

Another bishop from St. Louis speaks out

January 28, 2009

It seems that the (arch)bishops from St. Louis, Missouri tend to be strong voices for the Church’s teachings in the face of cultural declines. There was Archbishop Justin Rigali (now Cardinal and stationed in Philadelphia), then Archbishop Raymond Burke (most likely to become a Cardinal and already stationed in Rome), and now Bishop Robert J. Hermann who is archdiocesan administrator while awaiting appontment of a new archbishop.

Here are links to what Bishop Hermann has recently said about the direction of the new admininistration of the U.S.:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012708.html

MUST READ: Bishop Hermann of St. Louis – Strongest Ever Pro-Life Column

By Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator

January 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Editor’s note: The following are excerpts from the column of Bishop Hermann published in the St. Louis Review and republished by LifeSiteNews.com with permission. (To read the whole column, see: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012707.html)

In our Supreme Court and in our Congress, we have a plethora of so-called Catholics who are failing to live their Catholic identity. Over 50 percent of our electorate voted for a president who is one of the most pro-culture-of-death candidates from a major party to run for the highest office of the land.

Yes, we can thank one-half of our Catholics for bailing out on their faith!

After almost 50 years of having 50 percent of Catholics abandoning their Catholic identity, we cannot expect to turn this culture around by short-term political efforts.

In order to bring about a transformation from a culture of death to a culture of life, we have to restore our Catholic identity.

This means that all of us, as Catholics, have to undergo a profound transformation. It means that we have to take a good look at every facet of our Catholic life, including the serious study of life issues, the regular and devout use of our Sacramental system, especially the devout and weekly attendance at Mass, the regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the devout praying of the daily Rosary, and then the faithful, loving and firm witness to lax Catholics about our Catholic beliefs and practices.

We have to live our lives in such a way that we will be unafraid to witness to what we believe and live.

I may courageously say that I am willing to die to end abortion, but am I equally willing to say that I am ready to let my ego get ruffled daily for the same cause? Yet … that is where I need to arrive if I am to be a credible witness.

What a glorious opportunity we all have to make a difference in the pro-life cause. Until we are willing to be politically incorrect in order to be biblically correct, we will never convince anyone that our religion is worth living.

It does not take 100 percent of our Catholics to transform this country. If 75 percent of our Catholics were steeped in Catholic identity, the abortion issue would be over for our entire country.

For the whole column by Bishop Hermann see:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012707.html

This link goes to biographical information about Bishop Hermann:
http://www.archstl.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=85&Itemid=63

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Here is a collection of links about Archbishop Burke (who as far as I can tell has not yet been named a Cardinal):

http://www.archstl.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=87&Itemid=87

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2008/06/chief-justice-st-louis-cardinal.html

http://www.americanpapist.com/2008/06/flash-archbishop-raymond-burke-of-st.html

http://www.americanpapist.com/labels/archbishop%20burke.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012805.html

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You can read biographical and other information about Cardinal Rigali at
http://www.archphila.org/rigali/indexrigali.htm.

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And yes, as often happens with my blog posts, I haven’t read through everything that I’m referencing. So if now or at any time you find something that you think is incompatible with the intent of this blog, please let me know so that I can check into it!

Postcard campaign to fight FOCA

January 5, 2009

The time is nearing for the postcard campaign sponsored by the USCCB and NCHLA. The national dates are January 24-25, but some dioceses may use a different weekend. NCHLA’s site will guide you to the resources and the USCCB’s site includes letters (filed under “Testimony and Letters”) from Cardinal Rigali describing why the campaign is needed now:

www.nchla.org

http://usccb.org/prolife/issues/FOCA/postcard.shtml

The NCHLA page is a little bit confusing about where to click for the fullest information. Presently, there are three links labeled for FOCA.

  • The first two each mention the postcard campaign and go to the same page (to order materials). If you go to the order page, that seems to be all you can do there. Then click in the sidebar on the link to the Freedom of Choice Act. The resulting page will have many more options for you to learn about FOCA and what you can do to help stop it. 
  • Or, from the home page, you can click the third link referencing FOCA, and you will go directly to the page that has the most information indexed (including the order form link).

Also, since there seems to be no labeled link for “Home,” you can click the NCHLA log in the upper left corner to return to the site’s home page.

If you have not yet heard about this postcard campaign in your diocese, be sure to start asking about it! First, check with your parish priests and staff, and depending upon how much you learn there, check at the diocesan level.  Even if your parish can’t participate Jan. 24-25, there are later options so it is important to act quickly in order to not miss the window of opportunity to show solidarity across the country.

This isn’t restricted to Catholic churches! Please encourage family, friends, and anyone else you can talk with about this subject to implement the postcard campaign in their places of worship and in some cases maybe even places of employment. The postcards are worded to be non-denominational, even non-religious, so anyone who opposes FOCA would likely be satisfied with the message on them.

This campaign is especially important in states with Senators and/or Representatives who sponsored the most recent version of the bill. For a complete list of sponsors, go to
http://www.nchla.org/docdisplay.asp?ID=191. Some of the states with the largest number of sponsors include:

  • California,
  • Florida,
  • Illinois,
  • Maryland,
  • Massachusetts,
  • Montana,
  • New Jersey,
  • New York,
  • Washington.

(That list does not take into account the ratio of sponsors to total seats in the state’s two legislative houses. I made the list by looking at the number of sponsors as shown on the NCHLA site.) Of course, with the new Congressional membership and the expected re-introduction of the bill, the exact sponsorships will change, but the present list is definitely a starting place for the constituents of those Senators and Representatives. When the bills are re-introduced, you can go to the official governnment site to see the new list of sponsors as it develops: http://thomas.loc.gov.

You might even want to take your research and action further, by finding out which of the sponsors is Catholic and which diocese he or she considers as home. Then write to the person specifically from a Catholic standpoint! We must do all we can to make sure that soon-to-be President Obama, the Congress, and Planned Parenthood know we won’t sit still for the loss of the protections that have been so strongly fought for during the nearly four decades following the Roe v. Wade ruling.

One more thing to pay attention to: Prevention First Act.  I’m just beginning to learn about this and it sound like a bill that could go through much more easily than FOCA would. Here are some places to read about it:

http://www.nchla.org/legissectiondisplay.asp?ID=667

http://www.usccb.org/prolife/publicat/lifeissues/050406.shtml

Last but certainly not least: PRAY!

Another bishop teaches about voting responsibly

October 11, 2008

Not all bishops fulfill their responsibility to shepherd their flocks by teaching the principles of our faith. Here is an example of one bishop who does try to live up to his calling, even when a sensitive subject is involved:

“Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has published the second edition of his “Catholics in the Public Square,” a booklet available nationwide outlining the privilege and duty of Catholics to engage the social and political sphere in light of their Catholic faith. …

Parishes througout the diocese of Phoenix will receive over 100,000 copies of the booklet, including 7,500 Spanish copies. …

He warns that the infamous, “‘I am a Catholic but…’ syndrome” cannot interfere with the integrity of life lived according to faith. …

Bishop Olmsted also addresses the areas of political discussion that are non-negotiable for Catholics, and reminds the faithful of how cooperation with grave evils such as abortion can cause Catholics to be banned from Holy Communion. …

“If we let our faith impact on the way we practice a profession, engage the culture, or become involved in political struggles,” said Olmsted, “then we are accused of imposing our faith on others. … These contentions are often based on false understandings of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in fact protects the practice of religion from coercion by the state, rather than limiting the religious voice. …

The Phoenix bishop has earned a solid reputation since his appointment in 2004 for his leadership in advocating pro-life and pro-family values.

Bishop Olmsted’s booklet is currently available for purchase online.”

That article (“Phoenix Bishop Publishes “Catholics in the Public Square” in Time for the Election Season” by Kathleen Gilbert) is at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/oct/08100907.html.

See also these other articles about Bishop Olmsted:

You can see and hear Bishop Olmsted this week
on “EWTN Live” with Father Mitch Pacwa.
See http://www.ewtn.com/tv/prime_wednesday.asp for
the schedule of the live (October 15th) and encore episodes
.

FOCA – please pay attention!!!

October 1, 2008

This legislation is very dangerous. We need to pay attention to it and act accordingly. “FOCA” stands for the “Freedom of Choice Act” which many legislators, including Senator Obama, aim to pass soon. We must pray, become informed, inform others, and work hard to prevent its passage.

Here is a link to help you learn about it: http://nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=266

There is much more, but time constraints stop me here — for now. Please pray and work for this effort.

But before I go, I hope Cardinal Rigali won’t mind me including excerpts from this:

STATEMENT FOR RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-life Activities
September 30, 2008

“…FOCA establishes abortion as a ‘fundamental right’ throughout the nine months of pregnancy, and forbids any law or policy that could “interfere” with that right or “discriminate” against it in public funding and programs. If FOCA became law, hundreds of reasonable, widely supported, and constitutionally sound abortion regulations now in place would be invalidated. Gone would be laws providing for informed consent, and parental consent or notification in the case of minors. Laws protecting women from unsafe abortion clinics and from abortion practitioners who are not physicians would be overridden. Restrictions on partial-birth and other late-term abortions would be eliminated. FOCA would knock down laws protecting the conscience rights of nurses, doctors, and hospitals with moral objections to abortion, and force taxpayers to fund abortions throughout the United States.
           
We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot tolerate an even greater loss of innocent human lives. We cannot subject more women and men to the post-abortion grief and suffering that our counselors and priests encounter daily in Project Rachel programs across America. …”

His full statement is at http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-141.shtml.

Thanks to the Respect Life Office in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph (Missouri) for publishing such a helpful newsletter drawing attention to the cardinal’s statement! I don’t live in that diocese, but find their information worthwhile and am glad to receive their email newsletter. Treat yourself with a visit to their Web site for much more information: http://respectlife.diocese-kcsj.org/respectlife/. And please let me know of other diocesan Web sites that are good models of “Respect Life” activity. 🙂