Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category

Notre Dame Shame

March 27, 2009

Notre Dame Student Groups
Lead Graduation Protest

Campus Divided Over Catholic Character Question

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, MARCH 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A coalition of student organizations at the University of Notre Dame are joining forces to protest President Barack Obama’s invitation to speak at their graduation ceremony.

A statement released today by the coalition reported the “deepest opposition” of the students to the announcement made Friday by Notre Dame’s president that the U.S. president will give this year’s commencement speech and will receive an honorary law degree at the university’s graduation.

Senior Emily Toates of Notre Dame Right to Life affirmed: “This is not a partisan issue; rather, it’s an issue of respect for human life, and our Catholic character.

“We want to emphasize that we are not attacking the office of the president, but taking issue with his moral stances. I think the statement makes it clear that the student body of Notre Dame is not unequivocally in favor of this decision.”

. . .

Citing the U.S. bishops’ conference, they noted that Catholic institutions should not give “awards, honors or platforms” to those “who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

. . .

“To award a Notre Dame law degree to a lawyer and politician who has used the law to deny equality to the unborn diminishes the value of the degree itself.”

Moral dilemna

The students asserted that the university’s president, Father John Jenkins, “has placed some of his students in a moral dilemma as to whether they should attend their own graduation.”

To read more of that article, see:
http://www.zenit.org/article-25478?l=english.

Read what you can do about this (in addition to prayer, of course!):
http://www.notredamescandal.com/.

See also: http://www.ndresponse.com/events033109-red.html.

And please pray for conversion! It’s not too late for there to be a change in the plans.

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Shoulder to shoulder

January 28, 2009

Article about our Jewish brothers and sisters who stand with us in the protection of the unborn:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012706.html.

American Jewish Rabbis Show Solidarity with Vatican against Obama’s Anti-Life Measures

Rabbis say: “We stand shoulder to shoulder” with the Vatican in Defending Life and Family

By John-Henry Westen

NEW YORK, January 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for Rabbinical Alliance of America, will be in Rome Thursday meeting with high ranking Vatican officials. While there he will express solidarity regarding the recent Vatican criticisms of US President Barack Obama and his executive order which has permitted US taxpayer funds to be given to organizations performing and lobbying for abortion internationally.

Levin will be representing over 800 Orthodox Jewish Rabbis who form the Rabbinical Alliance of America. His visit is being coordinated by the Rome office of Human Life International.

Following Obama’s overturning of the Mexico City Policy Friday, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that “if this is one of President Obama’s first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we’re heading quickly toward disappointment.” He added, “It is essential to know how to listen to all of the requests of the country without shutting one’s self up in an ideological vision with the arrogance of thinking that having power means the power over life and death.”

Levin told LifeSiteNews.com of the reason for the journey saying, “I was spiritually envious of Archbishop Fisichella for jumping to the forefront in identifying the serious concerns that religious family people in America and the world over have with Obama’s first week in the presidency.” He added: “This has motivated the Rabbis to send me on this special trip to the Vatican to show physically for the world to see that we stand shoulder to shoulder, and we appreciate and encourage the continued outspokenness and leadership which the Vatican and her various personalities are taking in defending life and family values.”

What is the Mexico City Policy?

January 26, 2009

I’ve just spent several days in the midst of our parish’s FOCA Postcard Campaign. Last week was rough, finishing the preparations. There is still some followup to do, but the most exhausting parts are past. My last post was one that I prepared for a delayed posting, so I’m not really sure when was the last day that I was actually here!

This new post  is something I put together in a hurry. Hope it is helpful to you!

Perhaps you are confused by news reports about the MCP. The Catholic Church supports the policy and opposes the recent overturning of it. Here are some details to help you understand the situation.

From www.nchla.org (with additional links there):

At an international population conference in Mexico City in 1984, the Reagan Administration announced that the United States would no longer contribute to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) “which perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” This policy became known as the Mexico City Policy. The policy was upheld in court as constitutional. It remained in place until overturned by President Clinton on January 22, 1993. Congress engaged in extensive debates thereafter as pro-life Members sought to restore the policy through legislation. For one year only – Fiscal Year 2000 – a compromise version became law.

On January 22, 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive memorandum directing the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to reinstate the Mexico City Policy in full. A February 15, 2001 USAID implementation rule was subject to a challenge under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Since executive memoranda are not subject to challenge under the CRA, the president on March 28, 2001 issued a second executive memorandum that included the content of the February USAID rule.

According to the USAID rule, abortion as a method of family planning excludes abortions to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest. It also excludes the treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by legal or illegal abortions. Promoting abortion includes abortion counseling, lobbying a foreign government to change its laws, and conducting public information campaigns.

On August 29, 2003, President Bush extended the Mexico City Policy to all population planning funds, whether furnished by USAID or by other components of the State Department.

From www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-022.shtml statement released Jan. 23, 2009:

The decision by President Barack Obama to reverse the Mexico City Policy is “very disappointing,” said Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

He made the statement January 23, after President Obama issued the executive order restoring U.S. funding to organizations that perform and promote abortion in developing nations. Cardinal Rigali’s statement follows.

“It is very disappointing that President Obama has reversed the Mexico City Policy, which prevents U.S. funding of organizations that perform and promote abortion as a family planning method in developing nations. An Administration that wants to reduce abortions should not divert U.S. funds to groups that promote abortions.

“Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President-elect Obama last week urging him to retain this policy. As Cardinal George said in his letter:

“‘The Mexico City Policy, first established in 1984, has wrongly been attacked as a restriction on foreign aid for family planning. In fact, it has not reduced such aid at all, but has ensured that family planning funds are not diverted to organizations dedicated to performing and promoting abortions instead of reducing them. Once the clear line between family planning and abortion is erased, the idea of using family planning to reduce abortions becomes meaningless, and abortion tends to replace contraception as the means for reducing family size. A shift toward promoting abortion in developing nations would also increase distrust of the United States in these nations, whose values and culture often reject abortion, at a time when we need their trust and respect.'”

There are other sources that could be cited, but this is probably enough for now!

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord …

January 20, 2009

… who made Heaven and Earth! ( Psalm 124:8 )

Remembering that is what will get us through this day of mourning. Mourning not for the loss of an election, but mourning for the lives of the babies who are now at much greater risk than ever before. Mourning for the women (and girls) who will be misled by the rhetoric of “choice” rather than be properly advised about the truths of what abortion is and will do in their lives. Mourning for the families and friends of those women and girls, who won’t always know how to help. Mourning for the country of my birth, that is now being led by people who don’t value the sanctity of human life and who won’t uphold marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman. May God have mercy on us all!

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  ( Philippians 2:9-11 )

The following article ( “Alien Nation” by Doreen Truesdell ) has some good points, as do some of the comments made at the source site: http://catholicexchange.com/2009/01/20/115155/

The universal struggle between good and evil, between Christ and His enemies has now taken center stage in this nation. For decades most American Catholics have lived relatively comfortably by accepting shades of gray. Little by little the grays became darker as more of the Church’s moral teachings were questioned, ignored and rejected. Now, the gray areas have turned to blackness. It is no longer possible for lukewarm Catholics to remain faithful. The gray areas are gone. American Catholics will either embrace the white light of Truth or accept the darkness.

So where does this leave aliens like me? Totally reliant upon God, and for many of us it will be the first time in our lives. I used to define myself as an American Catholic, but now I realize I am a Catholic in America. The nation I used to depend upon to accept my spiritual composition is gone. No longer does our citizenship agree that our laws are, and should be, based on Judeo-Christian concepts. No longer can a Christian assume his moral beliefs will be given fair representation or even toleration in the public forum.

As aliens, we have an important role to play as keepers of the faith on hostile soil. Here’s our opportunity to get off the fence on every controversial issue that offends God and start pulling our weight as Catholics in America. Many Catholics already are very publicly defending Christ and His Gospel truths. Most aren’t. Are you defending Christ in America? Am I?

This era, just beginning, represents our time in the long history of the Catholic Church to accept suffering, offer prayers and penance, and do battle in the public forum so that the voice of Christ can be heard. It is our turn to live as Catholics who look only to the magisterium of the Church for instruction on true human dignity and authentic social justice.

We will join Catholics from around the world who “lost” their countries long ago — Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Chinese, Russians and others who have already inured themselves to the agonies of living in an atheistic nation, one that they used to love with patriotic fervor but now are estranged from. We will lean on the rich Catholic tradition of the Church Militant and go on living in an alien nation while fortifying ourselves with the Word Made Flesh, He who makes His dwelling among aliens the world over.

Are you up to this challenge? As Americans, we’ve grown undisciplined, flabby and unused to suffering. We can’t bear the pain of unpopularity; how will we bear persecution? And it is coming. With this new administration we have the makings of unprecedented Christian persecutions in our nation that will make martyrs and saints of many who stand up for Truth. You won’t have to be a political activist to have it thrust upon you: parents, clergy, health care providers, teachers, workers of all kinds will find themselves facing moral issues that assault the foundations of the Catholic faith. Which issue will be the one that forces Catholics like you and me to confront how shallow our relationship with Christ has been? Which issue will finally inspire us to make the commitment to “put out into the deep,” whatever the cost?

Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, after visiting our great nation years ago, said she pitied us our “poverty.” She understood the seriousness of the spiritual poverty that the U.S. suffered. We may be on the brink of changing that poverty, one Catholic, one Christian at a time.

The history of the Church is one of suffering and triumph. From that perspective, the Obama presidency could be the beginning of a great renewal of Christianity in America, if each of us lives the faith the way Christ calls us to. So in an important way, this article is not about losing a nation, so much as gaining a deeper relationship with Jesus, the King of all nations. We, who have always assumed that our nation would validate our faith, now find it must be validated only by God.

“[T]he new age has begun; and…much must now pass away,” Gandalf says in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Let it pass. With prayerful renewal and faithful responses, we can find that God alone will suffice. Then maybe, in small ways that have great power, we can work to bring our beloved nation back to God.

It seems fitting to insert here the prayer often referred to as St. Teresa of Avila’s “Bookmark” prayer:

This thought was found after St. Teresa’s death on a prayer card in her breviary.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.

(I didn’t find a definitive version of that prayer. Nearly every site I checked has different wording. The one I’m including is found at
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=874.)

Exercising religious freedom

January 16, 2009

I spent a significant portion of this “Religious Freedom Day” (and other days, too) preparing for our parish’s participation in the “FOCA Postcard Campaign”. God-willing, we will have a good response from the people. Even though that is very important, I feel far behind in blogging. But other tasks do have their place so working on this blog has to wait more than I would like it to do.

Anyway, here are links to a variety of articles about different subjects. I’m not even taking time to sort them into separate posts and/or provide excerpts for you, since the WordPress site is running slowly and I can’t wait for it very much. This post is being composed (“compiled” is probably more accurate!) offline to be published whenever I can get back into the site. Whenever I can get this published, I hope that the links will be interesting for you!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2009/01/20090115-1.html

“National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2009” – A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America (See full text of proclamation at the link provided above.)

Some parting words from the man who hasn’t been afraid to live his pro-life convictions while being in charge of the highest office in our land!

See also at http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=31638. The sidebar there led me to
http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=31326. That site has more that I’d like to read, but can’t do so now.

Not sure what series of links led me to the following past articles which serve as predictions of what we may be seeing beginning next Tuesday upon the inauguration of a clearly non-pro-life President:

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=92094

http://www.ncregister.com/daily/heres_what_catholics_can_expect

These are regarding the nay-sayers of FOCA:

http://www.ncregister.com/daily/the_dont_worry_catholics

http://www.osvdailytake.com/2008/12/why-are-some-catholics-downplaying-foca.html

One more thing that I almost forgot to mention: found out yesterday that the “Prevention First Act” has been introduced in the Senate — on the opening day of Congress! And guess who by: Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader.  Go to http://thomas.loc.gov
 and enter “S.21” to do a search by bill number. Keep your eyes on that bill. It is somewhat like a subset of FOCA (in terms of taxpayer funding and conscience rights) but because it covers fewer issues than FOCA I predict it can and will go through the Congress much more easily and quickly than FOCA. And I have absolutely no doubt that the President at that time will sign 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!

Health care meetings near you

January 5, 2009

Hm, never thought I’d advocate going to an Obama meeting, but this article has given me reason to do precisely that!

http://www.lifenews.com/nat4695.html

Pro-Life Advocate Urges Going to
Obama Health Care Mtgs to Oppose Abortion

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor
January 2, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Planned Parenthood watchdog is urging pro-life advocates to attend meetings that the Barack Obama transition team is sponsoring about health care. Jim Sedlak of Stopp International says the meetings are a good opportunity to urge Obama to oppose promoting abortion in his health care plan.

The Obama team is holding small meetings all across the country to get input from ordinary citizens on health care concerns.

Sedlak tells LifeNews.com this is an excellent opportunity to oppose both pro-abortion health care as well as the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that would make unlimited abortions a national law and overturn pro-life laws nationwide.

“As part of the efforts to defeat Planned Parenthood, we are encouraging as many of you as possible to attend one of these meetings in your area and voice your opposition to FOCA, the Prevention First Act and all of the Planned Parenthood agenda,” he said.

Sedlak says the Obama transition team web site has a list of local meetings across the country and that the events go by different names such as “health care discussion group,” or “health issues round table.” All of the meetings should be open to the public.

He also says this is not a request for protests, but for involvement — for pro-life advocates to raise their voice about the impending Obama pro-abortion agenda.

“Many of these meetings are being held in private homes. These meetings are not the time for demonstrations,” he said.

They represent an opportunity for local pro-lifers, especially community leaders and medical professionals to have civilized discussions and influence what is fed back to the Obama team,” he added.

The concern about Obama’s national health care plan covering abortions is a real one for pro-life groups.

As LifeNews.com reported in October, Obama’s campaign answered a survey from a pro-abortion web site that makes it clear abortion will be included the taxpayer-funded plan.

“Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care,” the campaign said, using the phrase that abortion advocates employ to refer to abortion.

“His health care plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services. Reproductive health care is an essential service,” the Obama campaign added.

The Obama camp also made it clear that any private insurance companies wanting to participate would also be required to provide abortion coverage.

“And private insurers that want to participate will have to treat reproductive care in the same way,” the Obama campaign responded.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says the answers make it clear to him that Obama would fund abortions with federal taxpayer dollars and make people in private insurance plans pay for abortions because insurance companies would pass on the additional costs to customers.

Please go to the Obama transition team Web site

http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/search_simple?source=sidenav

and find out if there are any of these health care meetings near you. Then go to the meeting and be a voice for the unborn, as well as for the women and girls who will suffer serious consequences if the new administration’s proposed policies take effect. And be sure to encourage your pro-life family and friends around the country to do the same.

Conversion miracles do happen!

November 26, 2008

Many across the country are praying that our soon-to-be President and other officials with views like his will convert to the pro-life viewpoint. Yes, sometimes it is hard to believe that such a conversion could happen, yet our faith teaches that “…nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Here’s a link to (and the opening paragraph of) an article about Dr. Stojan Adasevic and his real-life example of such a dramatic conversion (courtesy of St. Thomas Aquinas!):

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=14322 
(has text and video)

“Another ‘champion of abortion’ becomes defender of life:
the story of Stojan Adasevic”

The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.

Taking actions such as those mentioned in previous posts, along with sharing stories such as this conversion of Dr. Adasevic, all combined with dedicated prayer will lead to conversions of many other people. We must persevere, as St. Monica did for her son who became the great St. Augustine. While it may yet be hard for us to imagine, our future President may be among those who eventually will be united with Dr. Adasevic as powerful pro-life voices! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!!!

Prayer followed by action

November 11, 2008

We certainly need to pray, but also need to act to defeat the onslaught of changes that loom before us. Here is one place you can go to take a step toward defeating FOCA (the so-called “Freedom” of “Choice” Act).

http://www.fightfoca.com/

Also learn more at http://www.nchla.org/

I anticipate posting much more about this proposed legislation, but those links will get you started.

Inauguration Day Rosary Novena

November 11, 2008

Thanks to Jean at “Catholic Fire” for spreading the word about a just-begun novena for the intention of the conversion of Obama and other people opposed to pro-life views.

Here is her link and the one she references:

Here is a quick description of the Rosary Novena for Life:

Our First Battle

“The first initiative of Rosaries for Life is going to be the Inauguration Day Rosary Novena. This Novena is going to last for 72 days – it consists of 4 sets of mysteries 9 times for the intentions, followed by 4 sets of mysteries 9 times in thanksgiving = 72 days of praying 5 decades). The novena will begin on November 10th, the feast of St. Leo the Great (as well as the first day of the USCCB meeting) and end on January 20th, Inauguration Day. If you missed the beginning of the novena, please join us anyway, and pledge either “a partial novena” until January 20th or a full 72-day novena to end sometime after Inauguration Day.”

Please go to the novena site for more details. And don’t forget to include the intentions in your daily rosary! (If you don’t already pray the rosary daily, this would be a wonderful time to begin!!!!)

Here is today’s “Prayer of the Day” in conjunction with the novena:

“Day 2 of the Novena: Luminous Mysteries            Rosaries Pledged: 15002

Prayer of The Day:

St. Martin, you traded in the implements of earthly warfare for a life of spiritual warfare.  Intercede for us, that we may change our society into a culture of peace and life.  Help us to realize that our enemies are not flesh and blood, but the spiritual hosts of wickedness.

On this Veterans’ Day, we also ask the intercession of all of the fallen soldiers of the United States.  We thank you for your sacrifice, and beg your intercession for our country, that it may again attain to its former greatness, and be fully worthy of the sacrifices you made.  Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Our Lady, we pray for all of our soldiers who are still being purified.  Bring them, and all souls, to Heaven!”

Finally, here is a note about how to join at anytime after the start day of Nov 10th:

“For all those joining us late, we encourage you to sign up and either pray the remaining 71 days, catch up with multiple rosaries per day, or start an alternate novena, which would begin on November 15, and end on January 25th, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.”

Again, the Web site is http://rosariesforlife.com/. “Dave” states that “Kat” has helped him put it together in a very short time, so check back frequently for updates as they improve and expand the site.