Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Would Our Lady of Guadalupe Do? Please remove ads for providers of the notorious abortifacient Plan B from your parish bulletins.

As so beautifully explained last year by Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington,
  • "In God’s loving care, in His Divine Providence, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the cause of life are intertwined....in the image on Juan Diego’s cloak, the Blessed Virgin is depicted as a pregnant woman. The black belt which she is wearing is the symbol in the Aztec culture of a woman with child. And Christ is neither a young boy nor an adult, but rather a helpless, defenseless child in the womb of His mother Mary. So, the apparition of Our Blessed Lady on Tepeyac Hill proclaims that life is present within the mother’s womb: human life, a human being! The horror of abortion is that a pre-born, innocent and defenseless human being has his or her life unjustly taken away....

  • "A second reason for asserting that Our Lady of Guadalupe and the cause of life are intertwined is rooted in the fact that Mary 'appeared on Tepeyac Hill at a time when human sacrifice was part of the native Aztec culture. It has been estimated that one out of every five children was sacrificed to the Aztecs’ gods' (The Word Among Us, Advent 2009, p. 32). The apparition of Mary, depicted on Juan Diego’s cloak, conveyed an important message to the Aztecs: this woman, revealed as one belonging to the God whom the Spanish missionaries were proclaiming as the one true God, was pregnant with the Son of God, the author of all life....

  • "Just as Mary brought to Elizabeth, Zechariah and their son, John the Baptist, the Child hidden in her womb, Who is the author of life and the one Savior of the world, so at Tepeyac Hill, she brought the same Lord Jesus to the Aztecs and peoples everywhere."

We often hear that there have been 50 million abortions in the United States, since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Truth be told, that number is a gross underestimate. When you add chemical and mechanical methods, Pharmacists for Life International (PFLI) estimates that there have been 276,675,000 abortions, in the U.S. alone. That means that more than five times as many abortions can be accounted for through pharmaceutical chemicals and devices, than through surgical abortions (Some items that are promoted as "contraceptives" are actually abortifacients or potentially abortifacients.).

The Holy Father has called pharmacists to "conscientious objection, which is a right your profession must recognize, permitting you not to collaborate either directly or indirectly by supplying products for the purpose of decisions that are clearly immoral such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia." I believe that the Catholic community in the U.S. has been doing a heinously poor job of supporting pharmacists of conscience

  • In the Diocese of Arlington, Divine Mercy Pharmacy was associated with the Tepeyac Family Center. Divine Mercy Pharmacy refused to deal in abortifacients or contraceptives. Tragically, it had to quickly close for lack of business.

  • PFLI maintains a listing of pharmacists who have vowed to "not dispense any abortifacient drugs or devices, nor do they refer for the same" (Note: While that list contains less than two handfuls of such pharmacists, arrangements can apparently be made with some for mail order of prescriptions.). Yet, parishes routinely carry advertisements for pharmacies which have not made such commitments.

Your own parish bulletin includes an advertisement for a provider of the notorious abortifacient Plan B (as confirmed by the manufacturer's web site):

  1. Annunciation BVM, Philadelphia (Zevin's Drug Store)
  2. Assumption BVM, Feasterville (Gary's Rx Shoppe)
  3. Epiphany, Philadelphia (Zevin's Drug Store)
  4. Holy Family, Philadelphia (Morrison Pharmacy)
  5. Holy Martyrs, Oreland (Genuardi)
  6. Holy Savior, Norristown (Genuardi)
  7. Maternity BVM, Philadelphia (Shop Rite)
  8. Mother of Divine Grace, Philadelphia (Port Richmond Pharmacy)
  9. Our Lady of Consolation, Parkesburg (Longneker Pharmacy)
  10. Our Lady of Grace, Penndel (Genuardi)
  11. Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Bridgeport (Genuardi)
  12. St Anastasia, Newtown Square (Mackey's Pharmacy)
  13. St Anselm, Philadelphia (Shop Rite)
  14. St Augustine, Bridgeport (Genuardi)
  15. St Basil the Great, Kimberton (Gateway Pharmacy and Genuardi)
  16. St Bridget, Philadelphia (Falls Pharmacy)
  17. St Cecelia, Philadelphia (Verree Pharmacy)
  18. St Helena, Blue Bell (The Medicine Shoppe)
  19. St John the Baptist, Philadelphia (Morrison Pharmacy)
  20. St Josaphat, Philadelphia (Morrison Pharmacy)
  21. St Joseph, Collingdale (Public Drug of Darby)
  22. St Jude, Chalfont (Genuardi)
  23. St Leo, Philadelphia (Rubino's Pharmacy and Shop Rite)
  24. St Mary of the Assumption, Manayunk (Morrison Pharmacy)
  25. St Paul, East Norriton (Genuardi)
  26. St Peter, West Brandywine (Brandywine Pharmacy - Note: The pharmacist even identifies self as a parishioner.)
  27. St Thomas Aquinas, Croydon (Mat's Pharmacy)
  28. St Titus, East Norriton (Genuardi)

Pharmacies carrying Plan B are just one example of advertisers that have no business being in parish bulletins. Catholic parishes and institutions should not advertise any of those who prescribe/ dispense/ market abortifacients and/or contraceptives - be they convenience stores, pharmacies (including those in department stores and supermarkets), or physicians. These advertisers are profiting from the most heinous abuse against children.

As we await the birth of our infant savior, I prayerfully and respectfully request that you remove the offending ad from your bulletin.


Sincerely,



10 More Parishes Advertising a Plan B Provider

The Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald
The Most Reverend John J. McIntyre
The Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior
The Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas
Auxiliaries to the Archbishop of Philadelphia
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Your Excellencies:

As you are aware, I believe that Catholic parishes and institutions need to disassociate themselves from those who prescribe/ dispense/ market abortifacients and contraceptives. Yet, numerous parishes are even carrying ads in their bulletins for providers of the notorious abortifacient Plan B. At the bottom of this email, you will find 10 such advertisments. This will bring to 34, the number of inappropriate ads which I have cited in recent correspondences (I have highlighted those parishes being cited for the first time in this email.):

  1. Annunciation BVM, Philadelphia
  2. Assumption BVM, Feasterville
  3. Epiphany, Philadelphia
  4. Holy Family, Philadelphia
  5. Holy Martyrs, Oreland
  6. Holy Savior, Norristown
  7. Maternity BVM,Philadelphia
  8. Mother of Divine Grace, Philadelphia
  9. Our Lady of Consolation, Parkesburg
  10. Our Lady of Grace, Penndel
  11. Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Bridgeport
  12. Our Mother of Consolation, Philadelphia
  13. Sacred Heart, Royersford
  14. St Anastasia, Newtown Square
  15. St Ann, Phoenixville
  16. St Anselm, Philadelphia
  17. St Augustine, Bridgeport
  18. St Basil the Great, Kimberton
  19. St Bridget, Philadelphia
  20. St Cecelia, Philadelphia
  21. St Helena, Blue Bell
  22. St Helena, Philadelphia
  23. St John the Baptist, Philadelphia
  24. St Josaphat, Philadelphia
  25. St Joseph, Collingdale
  26. St Joseph, Spring City
  27. St Jude, Chalfont
  28. St Leo, Philadelphia
  29. St Mary of the Assumption, Manayunk
  30. St Paul, East Norriton
  31. St Peter's, West Brandywine
  32. St Thomas Aquinas, Croydon
  33. St Titus, East Norriton

While I do not believe that this scandalous situation is the exclusive domain of any one publishing company, bulletins for each of the above parishes is handled by John Patrick Publishing. I prayerfully and respectfully request that the Archdiocese adopt a policy for all parishes of refusing ads from any promoter (be it a convenience store, a physician, a pharmacy, a department store pharmacy, or a supermarket pharmacy) of abortifacients and contraceptives. I also respectfully request an acknowledgement that you have received these communications.

Sincerely,




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five more providers of Plan B advertising in parish bulletins

The Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald
The Most Reverend John J. McIntyre
The Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior
The Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas
Auxiliaries to the Archbishop of Philadelphia
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

Your Excellencies:

I would like to bring five more inappropriate parish bulletin ads to your attention. In each case, the ad is for a provider of the notorious abortifacient Plan B:

This bring to 23, the number of inappropriate ads which I have cited in recent correspondences:

  1. Assumption BVM, Feasterville
  2. Epiphany, Philadelphia
  3. Holy Martyrs, Oreland
  4. Maternity BVM,Philadelphia
  5. Mother of Divine Grace, Philadelphia
  6. Our Lady of Consolation, Parkesburg
  7. Our Lady of Grace, Penndel
  8. Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Bridgeport
  9. Our Mother of Consolation, Philadelphia
  10. Sacred Heart, Royersford
  11. St Ann, Phoenixville
  12. St Anselm, Philadelphia
  13. St Augustine, Bridgeport
  14. St Basil the Great, Kimberton
  15. St Helena, Blue Bell
  16. St Helena, Philadelphia
  17. St John the Baptist, Philadelphia
  18. St Joseph, Collingdale
  19. St Joseph, Spring City
  20. St Jude, Chalfont
  21. St Mary of the Assumption, Manayunk
  22. St Peter's, West Brandywine
  23. St Thomas Aquinas, Croydon

I prayerfully and respectfully request that the Archdiocese adopt a policy for all parishes of refusing ads from any promoter (be it a convenience store, a physician, a pharmacy, a department store pharmacy, or a supermarket pharmacy) of abortifacients and contraceptives.

re: "Expelling the '"Heretics'" (B.C. Courier Times, 12/7/10)

In his December 7th guest opinion, Peter R. Waitze talks of "litmus tests...imposed on others to determine who is an acceptable member of the in-crowd." While indicating that he is not himself a Catholic, Waitze takes exception to those Catholics who are critical of politicians who profess to be Catholic yet who advocate pro-abortion positions. He also takes exception to Catholics who remind other Catholics of basic requirements for the reception of Holy Communion.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of the Catechism, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, and the Code of Canon Law (i.e., Canon # 915) are readily available on the Vatican's web site, Catholics and non Catholics of the 21st century can readily ascertain and/or verify what the Church teaches. There is absolutely no need to create "litmus tests," other than what is already clearly proclaimed for all to see - even for those who choose to avert their eyes.

Shortly before before bumped upstairs, a Vatican Cardinal of German descent wrote about "Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion":

  1. "....The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected....
  2. "The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin....
  3. "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia....There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
  4. "Apart from an individual's judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).
  5. "Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
  6. "When 'these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,' and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, 'the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it'....This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin."
As to why so few Catholics are aware of this clear guidance from the man who is now our Holy Father, I cannot say. As to why we have heard so little about it from our clergy, I cannot say either. The answer to those questions is "beyond my pay grade" (smile).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Deeply offensive advertising in Trenton parish bulletins

The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell., C.M.
Bishop of Trenton
701 Lawrenceville Road
Lawrence, New Jersey

Your Excellency:

Congratulations and best wishes to you.

My family and I are not members of any parish in the Trenton Diocese. As a Bucks County native yourself, you certainly know that Bucks County Catholics are geographically very close to the parishes of Greater Trenton. In fact, my family and I live within walking distance of your beautiful Cathedral.

Your Excellency, I firmly believe that Catholic parishes and institutions need to disassociate themselves from those who prescribe/ dispense/ market abortifacients and contraceptives. Otherwise, our Church's proclamation of the sanctity of human life and marriage/family gets blurred. Unfortunately, there are even ads in Greater Trenton parish bulletins for providers of the notorious abortifacient Plan B. In some cases, those very pharmacists are proclaiming their Catholicism in the ads. I came across the following ads, this morning:






Please note that these particular ads are from parishes which are pastored by your current diocesan respect life director and a past diocesan respect life director, as well as from a parish where your diocesan chancelor is in residence. Under your predecessor, I tried to raise these concerns, but few seemed to agree with me on the inappropriateness of these ads.

I prayerfully and respectfully request that you consider adopting a policy for all parishes of refusing ads from any promoter (be it a convenience store, a physician, a pharmacy, a department store pharmacy, or a supermarket pharmacy) of abortifacients and contraceptives. With the coming week featuring the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, what a beautiful time it would be to adopt such a policy.

I will follow-up this email with a hard copy of my letter.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Moral & Civil Liability

George Gerlach
John Patrick Publishing
1707 Fourth Street
Trenton , New Jersey 08638

Dear Mr. Gerlach,

As you are aware, I believe that Catholic parishes and institutions need to disassociate themselves from those who prescribe/ dispense/ market abortifacients and contraceptives. Yet, ads even remain in parish bulletins handled by your company, for providers of the notorious abortifacient Plan B.

As per your own notice to potential advertisers, parish bulletins are the "primary information tool used by parishes to communicate weekly messages and announcements." You remind those advertisers that the bulletins are "familiar and trusted," and that "Readers save and refer to their bulletins throughout the week." Further, you tell those potential advertisers that "Parishioners are grateful for your support of their bulletin and become loyal 'repeat' customers." Citing a University of Missouri survey, you report that
  • "70% Consciously look at the advertising section of the bulletin"
  • "68% Patronize a bulletin advertiser over a non-bulletin advertiser"
For better or worse, inclusion of an ad in a parish bulletin apparently strikes most individuals as a "Good Housekeeping seal of approval." I would dare say that inclusion in the bulletin even leaves some parishioners with the mistaken notion that the advertiser has received some sort of "Nihil Obstat." Doesn't this place a tremendous moral responsibility on the pastor and the publisher, to ensure that they are not advertising businesses which promote offenses to the sanctity of human life?

I am curious as to whether indiscriminate advertisements also present issues of civil liability for the pastor and the publisher. This past Friday, I had the good fortune to be in Washington, DC, for a Human Life International America conference. As reported by LifeNews.com, HLIAmerica released a survey, in conjunction with that conference, indicating that widespread usage of the oral contraceptive pill, "despite women not knowing much about potential harmful effects." As per Central New Jersey's Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, "The most egregious omission affecting a young woman’s life is the fact that in 2005, the International Agency on Research of Cancer listed oral contraceptives as Group I carcinogens for breast, cervical and liver cancer....You’ll find cigarettes and asbestos in the same group as risks for lung cancer.”

I have taken the liberty of copying the Archdioceses of New York and Philadelphia, as well as the Dioceses of Allentown, Brooklyn, Camden, and Trenton on this communication. As these dioceses appear to be where you do most of your business, I believe that they have the right and duty to be included in this conversation.

Sincerely,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

St Jane Frances de Chantal, Easton, has a bulletin ad for an apparent provider of the Plan B abortfacient

Dear Father Radocha,

The below image is a copy of an ad in your weekly bulletin for the Bell Apothecary. In the ad, John Isaac, R-Ph & Kathy Kelly, R-Ph identify themselves as your parishioners:
According to its manufacturer's web site, Bell Apothecary is a provider of the notorious abortifacient Plan B:

I am curious with regard to the OB/GYN practice which also advertises in your bulletin:
Has it been verified that "Caring for Women" is an NFP-only practice?

St Peter's, West Brandywine, has a bulletin ad for an apparent provider of the Plan B abortfacient

Dear Father Fitzpatrick,

The below image is a copy of an ad in your weekly bulletin for the Brandywine Pharmacy. In the ad, Esther Grandizio-Sward, R-Ph identifies herself as a parishioner:

According to its manufacturer's web site, Brandywine Pharmacy is a provider of the notorious abortifacient Plan B:



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I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

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