Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bravo Fordham! Bravo, Bravissimo!

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President
Bob Howe, Director of Communications
Fordham University
441 E. Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458

Dear Father McShane & Mr. Howe,


Especially in light of the Obama Administration's efforts to coerce Catholic institutions to violate Catholic teaching, I was delighted to read of Fordham's adherence to the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services! In Fordham Students Protest Hidden Anti-Birth-Control Policy [Updated], Bob Howe is quoted as saying: "We are a Catholic university and do follow church teachings on birth control, among other issues." Permit me to digress, just slightly....

In 1929, German philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand published Marriage, which has been described on EWTN's web site as the "the earliest orthodox presentation of the personalistic approach to matrimony which would find its way into Vatican II's Guadium et Spes, Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae and best represented in the writings of Pope John Paul II. For this and his other writings, Pope Pius XII called von Hildebrand 'the 20th century Doctor of the Church.'" A biography of von Hildebrand even featured a forward by a Vatican cardinal, who went on to a bigger job!:



  • "Dietrich von Hildebrand was exceptional in many ways. His extensive writings on Christian philosophy, spiritual theology, and in defense of the Church's teaching, place him among the great thinkers of the twentieth century. His steadfast and determined opposition to totalitarianism, whether in the form of National Socialism or Marxist Leninism, a conviction that would cost him greatly during his life, illustrates the profound clarity of his moral vision and his willingness to suffer for what he knew was true."

After being targeted for assassination by Hitler, Von Hildebrand was hunted throughout Europe, before arriving in NYC in 1940 and teaching at a certain Jesuit school until 1960. In 1966, Von Hildebrand published Man and Woman: Love and the Meaning of Intimacy (My quote is from Sophia Institute's 1992 edition.):



  • "Every active intervention on the part of the spouses, which eliminates the possibility of conception through the conjugal act, is incompatible with the holy mystery of the superabundant relation in the incredible gift offered by God....To make use of natural family planning is not to imply the slightest irreverence or rebellion against God's institution and the wonderful link between the love union and procreation" (pp. 68 - 69).

Largely through his protegee, Dr. William Marra, von Hildebrand maintained ties with Fordham till his death in 1977 - the Spring semester of my own freshman year. Though he often seems forgotten by Fordham, I am confident that your current forthrightness has left good old Dietrich smiling!


Sincerely,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

re: "How the Pope corrects wayward bishops covertly yet publicly on moral issues - Analysis"

As per "How the Pope corrects wayward bishops covertly yet publicly on moral issues - Analysis,"



  • "if you’re not watching closely you may miss the interventions, even though they are public....

    "covert communication with faithful Catholics aware of the inside story is something seen prior to Pope Benedict’s elevation to the pontificate.

    "In 2004, during the US Bishops’ deliberation on the subject of communion for pro-abortion politicians, Cardinal Ratzinger, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, intervened into the debate with a document called Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion - General Principles.

    "The letter pointed out that obstinately pro-abortion Catholic politicians, after being duly instructed and warned, 'must' be denied Communion.

    "Of note however, the head of the US Bishops’ committee looking into the matter, then-Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick did not share Ratzinger’s intervention with his brother bishops on the committee. In fact, when McCarrick did make mention of the Vatican position on the matter, he mischaracterized it....

    "A couple of weeks after Cardinal McCarrick’s speech, the letter from Cardinal Ratzinger was leaked to well-known Vatican reporter Sandro Magister, who published the document in full. And then came a very surprising and tell-tale move. Cardinal Ratzinger’s office publicly confirmed the leaked document as authentic....

    "Despite the efforts of certain prelates to keep from the faithful the truth, this Pope has found a means of communications which, while it preserves the innocence of those who are peacefully unaware of the scandal, lets those affected see that he indeed knows the score and is taking steps to rectify matters" (John Henry Westin, 11/30/11).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

While acknowledging HHS mandates (i.e., those forcing employers to cover contraceptives and abortifacient "contraceptives"), the New York Times tells us that the White House is SUPPOSEDLY considering an expansion of the religious exemption. As per Russell Shaw, a contemporary persecution of Christians has begun, but it is unlikely "to become a bloody one....It will be a tight-lipped campaign of secularist inspiration in which the coercive power of the state is brought to bear on church-related institutions to act against conscience or go out of business."

All Catholics need to take a serious look at our "Catholic" health care systems. As per health care law expert, Professor Leonard J. Nelson, III, "compliance with the ERDs [The USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services] has been uneven when it comes to contraception and sterilization. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (p. 53). Professor Nelson goes on to discuss how some Catholic health "systems have entered into arrangements to provide services such as direct sterilizations and abortion referrals....The existence of such arrangements increases the risk of scandal and could embolden those who favor a mandate requiring all hospitals...to provide a full range of [so-called] reproductive services" (p. 102).


There are six Catholic hospitals operating within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:


Of physicians listed in the Philadelphia Catholic hospitals' online directories, I am only able to find one gynecologist or ob/gyn specialist who is also to be found among NFP-only medical professionals in Pennsylvania (Note: I would be delighted to learn that I overlooked someone.). Of physicians listed in the Philadelphia Catholic hospitals' online directories, I am able to find at least one abortionist!

As per Professor Nelson, "any argument in favor of exemption from laws requiring a hospital to provide these services may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already, in some fashion, involved in either providing those services...or involved in partnerships with entities providing such services" (pp. 132, 137).

With regard to Our Savior and our need to speak uncomfortable truths, Elizabeth Scalia recently reminded us: "Being himself All Truth, dishonesty in the guise of niceness could not serve Him."

Friday, November 18, 2011



This past Wednesday marked the 33rd anniversary of the U.S. Bishops Pastoral Statement on People with Disabilities:




  • 1. The same Jesus who heard the cry for recognition from the people with disabilities of Judea and Samaria 2,000 years ago calls us, His followers, to embrace our responsibility to our own disabled brothers and sisters in the United States....

    4. Concern for people with disabilities was one of the prominent notes of Jesus’ earthly ministry. When asked by John’s disciples, 'Are you He who is to come or do we look for another?' Jesus responded with words recalling the prophecies of Isaiah 'Go back and report to John what you hear and see; the blind recover their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.' (Mt. 11:3-5)....

    8....We see defense of the right to life of persons with disabilities as a matter of particular urgency, ...because the presence of handicapping conditions is not infrequently used as a rationale for abortion. Moreover, those babies with severe disabilities who are permitted to be born are sometimes denied ordinary and usual medical procedures.

    9. All too often, abortion and postnatal neglect are promoted by arguing that the infant will survive only to suffer a life of pain and deprivation. We find this reasoning appalling....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jeanne d'Arc

As per l'Enyclopedia Catholique,
  • "Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431....Jacques d'Arc, Joan's father [No wiseguys, her father was NOT Noah d'Arc!], was a small peasant farmer....It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation...which she afterwards came to call her 'voices' or her 'counsel'....by May, 1428, she no longer doubted that she was bidden to go to the help of the king, and the voices became insistent....From the beginning a strong party at the court...opposed her as a crazy visionary, but a secret sign, communicated to her by her voices, which she made known to Charles, led the king, somewhat half-heartedly, to believe in her mission....it is now most commonly believed that this 'secret of the king' was a doubt Charles had conceived of the legitimacy of his birth, and which Joan had been supernaturally authorized to set at rest....

    "before Joan could be employed in military operations she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a numerous committee of learned bishops and doctors. The examination was of the most searching and formal character....All that we know is that her ardent faith, simplicity, and honesty made a favourable impression. The theologians found nothing heretical in her claims to supernatural guidance, and, without pronouncing upon the reality of her mission, they thought that she might be safely employed and further tested.

    "perhaps the most interesting fact connected with this early stage of her mission is a letter of one Sire de Rotslaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429, which was delivered at Brussels and duly registered, as the manuscript to this day attests, before any of the events referred to received their fulfilment. The Maid, he reports, said 'that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret.'

    "Before entering upon her campaign, Joan summoned the King of England to withdraw his troops from French soil. The English commanders were furious at the audacity of the demand, but Joan by a rapid movement entered Orléans on 30 April. Her presence there at once worked wonders....on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard....

    "[Moving ahead, Joan was to later be taken prisoner.]. No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate....There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic....

    "On 29 May a court of thirty-seven judges decided unanimously that the Maid must be treated as a relapsed heretic, and this sentence was actually carried out the next day (30 May, 1431)....Her demeanour at the stake was such as to move even her bitter enemies to tears. She asked for a cross, which, after she had embraced it, was held up before her while she called continuously upon the name of Jesus. 'Until the last,' said Manchon, the recorder at the trial, 'she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her'....

    "Twenty-four years later a revision of her trial, the procès de réhabilitation, was opened at Paris with the consent of the Holy See....an appellate court constituted by the pope, after long inquiry and examination of witnesses, reversed and annulled the sentence pronounced by a local tribunal under Cauchon's presidency. The illegality of the former proceedings was made clear, and it speaks well for the sincerity of this new inquiry that it could not be made without inflicting some degree of reproach upon both the King of France and the Church at large, seeing that so great an injustice had been done and had so long been suffered to continue unredressed.... St. Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV."


With regard to the 1999 film, Joan of Arc, the USCCB says that it gives "a muddled account....depicting Joan as a national rather than religious heroine whose faith in her saintly voices registers little dramatic conviction." By contrast, the 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, has been very favorably cited by the Vatican!

Jeanne d'Arc

As per l'Enyclopedia Catholique,



  • "Born at Domremy in Champagne, probably on 6 January, 1412; died at Rouen, 30 May, 1431....Jacques d'Arc, Joan's father [No wiseguys, her father was NOT Noah d'Arc!], was a small peasant farmer....It was at the age of thirteen and a half, in the summer of 1425, that Joan first became conscious of that manifestation...which she afterwards came to call her 'voices' or her 'counsel'....by May, 1428, she no longer doubted that she was bidden to go to the help of the king, and the voices became insistent....From the beginning a strong party at the court...opposed her as a crazy visionary, but a secret sign, communicated to her by her voices, which she made known to Charles, led the king, somewhat half-heartedly, to believe in her mission....it is now most commonly believed that this 'secret of the king' was a doubt Charles had conceived of the legitimacy of his birth, and which Joan had been supernaturally authorized to set at rest....

    "before Joan could be employed in military operations she was sent to Poitiers to be examined by a numerous committee of learned bishops and doctors. The examination was of the most searching and formal character....All that we know is that her ardent faith, simplicity, and honesty made a favourable impression. The theologians found nothing heretical in her claims to supernatural guidance, and, without pronouncing upon the reality of her mission, they thought that she might be safely employed and further tested.

    "perhaps the most interesting fact connected with this early stage of her mission is a letter of one Sire de Rotslaer written from Lyons on 22 April, 1429, which was delivered at Brussels and duly registered, as the manuscript to this day attests, before any of the events referred to received their fulfilment. The Maid, he reports, said 'that she would save Orléans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orléans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret.'

    "Before entering upon her campaign, Joan summoned the King of England to withdraw his troops from French soil. The English commanders were furious at the audacity of the demand, but Joan by a rapid movement entered Orléans on 30 April. Her presence there at once worked wonders....on Sunday, 17 July, 1429, Charles VII was solemnly crowned, the Maid standing by with her standard....

    "[Moving ahead, Joan was to later be taken prisoner.]. No words can adequately describe the disgraceful ingratitude and apathy of Charles and his advisers in leaving the Maid to her fate....There can be no doubt that the English, partly because they feared their prisoner with a superstitious terror, partly because they were ashamed of the dread which she inspired, were determined at all costs to take her life. They could not put her to death for having beaten them, but they could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic....

    "On 29 May a court of thirty-seven judges decided unanimously that the Maid must be treated as a relapsed heretic, and this sentence was actually carried out the next day (30 May, 1431)....Her demeanour at the stake was such as to move even her bitter enemies to tears. She asked for a cross, which, after she had embraced it, was held up before her while she called continuously upon the name of Jesus. 'Until the last,' said Manchon, the recorder at the trial, 'she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her'....

    "Twenty-four years later a revision of her trial, the procès de réhabilitation, was opened at Paris with the consent of the Holy See....an appellate court constituted by the pope, after long inquiry and examination of witnesses, reversed and annulled the sentence pronounced by a local tribunal under Cauchon's presidency. The illegality of the former proceedings was made clear, and it speaks well for the sincerity of this new inquiry that it could not be made without inflicting some degree of reproach upon both the King of France and the Church at large, seeing that so great an injustice had been done and had so long been suffered to continue unredressed.... St. Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV."
With regard to the 1999 film, Joan of Arc, the USCCB says that it gives "a muddled account....depicting Joan as a national rather than religious heroine whose faith in her saintly voices registers little dramatic conviction." By contrast, the 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, has been very favorably cited by the Vatican!







Saturday, October 22, 2011

The End of Marriage & Parenting? (BC Courier Times, 11/25/11)



Among 10 obituaries in the October 19th Courier Times, 5 particularly struck me:





  • a 78 year old gentleman, who was "survived by his beloved wife of 55 years," as well as their 4 kids, 15 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren;


  • a beloved 91 year old lady, who was "survived by her husband of 65 years," as well as their 2 children and 6 grandchildren;


  • a 95 year old beloved gentleman, who was preceded in death by his wife of "52 years" and survived by their 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren;


  • yet another beloved gentleman, who was preceded in death by his wife of "65 years" and survived by their 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren;


  • still another beloved gentleman of 84 years, who was survived by his wife of "60 years," their 2 children, and 8 grandchildren.


The Bible tells us that it is a great blessing to "live to see your children’s children" (Psalm 128: 6). These good people were blessed to see their children's children's children! I am awed by these testimonies to fidelity, to "till death do us part"ness, and to fruitfulness. Yet, I am left to wonder whether our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be able to read of similar heroes of marriage and parenting in their times. Recently, several magazine articles seemed to sound a death knell for marriage and parenting, as we have long known them:





  • In the future, according to Pamela Haag, "More marriages will have a conversation about monogamy, rather than just assuming it is the default....I like to entertain the idea of a revival of the mistress and lover roles in society....It's challenging to have a non-monogamous, committed relationship; it's challenging to have a monogamous, committed relationship. Forever is a long time. It pays to be flexible" (The Role Non-Monogamy Will Play in the Future of Marriage, The Atlantic, October 2011).


  • Kate Bolick spoke of how "we keep putting marriage off....According to the Pew Research Center, a full 44 percent of Millennials and 43 percent of Gen Xers think that marriage is becoming obsolete. Even more momentously, we no longer need husbands to have children, nor do we have to have children if we don’t want to....News stories about polyamory, 'ethical nonmonogamy,' and the like pop up with increasing frequency" (All the Single Ladies, The Atlantic, November 2011).


  • While acknowledging that "in September, The New York Times reported on sperm banks’ creating 100-kid clusters around a single donor, raising questions about not only disease, but accidental incest" and noting a "first generation of donor-kids....airing unhappiness at feeling 'half-adopted' and aching at the thought that their fathers could be anyone," Tony Dokoupil seemed somewhat admiring of so-called sperm donation (You Got Your Sperm Where?, Newsweek, October 2, 2011).


These three articles were certainly correct, in that we have indeed seen monumental shifts in marriage and parenting:





  • It is no secret that Americans have become less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. In 1961, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a marriage rate of 8.5 per 1000 people and a divorce rate of 2.3 per 1000 people. Currently, the CDC reports a marriage rate of 6.8 per 1000 people and a divorce rate of 3.4 per 1000 people.


  • As per the CDC, 391,282 cases of STDs were reported by state health departments in 1961. A half century later, the CDC "estimates that 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24." The CDC now estimates 48.5 more times NEW STD cases each year, than TOTAL STD cases a half century ago.


With the passing of the 78 year old gentleman "survived by his beloved wife of 55 years," the 91 year old lady "survived by her husband of 65 years," the 95 year old beloved gentleman preceded in death by his wife of "52 years," the gentleman preceded in death by his bride of "65 years," and the 84 year old gentleman survived by his wife of "60 years," we have indeed lost much. we have indeed lost much. We can join their 13 children, 39 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren in recognizing their powerful testimonies to fidelity, to "till death do us part"ness, and to fruitfulness.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Man for All Seasons - Especially this One!

How about some films on the patron saints of attorneys, civil servants, politicians, & statesmen? Hey wait a second! We are talking about ONE person - the beheaded lord chancellor of England under Henry VIII!

As per the Catholic Encyclopedia, it was only after deeply serious contemplation that Thomas More "chose...to be a chaste husband rather than an impure priest....The question of religious vocation being disposed of, More threw himself into his work at the Bar and scored immediate success....In October, 1529, More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England, a post never before held by a layman....As chancellor it was his duty to enforce the laws against heretics....it was the vices of heretics that he hated, not their persons....

[In 1530] "came the royal proclamation ordering the clergy to acknowledge Henry as 'Supreme Head' of the Church....[More's] firm opposition to Henry's designs in regard to the divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against heretics, speedily lost him the royal favour, and in May, 1532, he resigned his post of Lord Chancellor after holding it less than three years....For the next eighteen months More lived in seclusion and gave much time to controversial writing. Anxious to avoid a public rupture with Henry he stayed away from Anne Boleyn's coronation....Neutrality, however, did not suit Henry....

"In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed which required all who should be called upon to take an oath acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, and to this was added a clause repudiating 'any foreign authority, prince or potentate'. On 14 April, More was summoned to Lambeth to take the oath and, on his refusal, was committed to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster. Four days later he was removed to the Tower....In June, Rich, the solicitor-general, held a conversation with More and, in reporting it, declared that More had denied Parliament's power to confer ecclesiastical supremacy on Henry....On 1 July, More was indicted for high treason....More denied the chief charges of the indictment, which was enormously long, and denounced [Richard] Rich, the solicitor-general and chief witness against him as a perjuror....The story of his last days on earth...is of the tenderest beauty and should be read in full; certainly no martyr ever surpassed him in fortitude"

The great play, A Man for All Seasons, went on to become a classic film, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1966 (Yup, the very same academy that has given that very same award to such other illustrious "classics" as Midnight Cowboy (1969), American Beauty (1999), and No Country for Old Men (2007)). As per Alison Weir, "More had a talent for friendship and was essentially charming and courteous, yet he could be scathing when aroused, and he was overfound of using scatalogical terms when reviling heretics and others of whom he disapproved." Some great lines from A Man for All Seasons include:



  • (In response to objection over his use of the word, "heretic":) "It's not a likeable word. It's not a likeable thing!"

  • "The nobility of England, my lord, would have snored through the Sermon on the Mount."

  • (To his betrayer, Richard Rich:) "Why, Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world...But for Wales!"

But most powerfully,



  • (Pointing to himself:) "this is not the stuff of which martyrs are made." WRONG!

  • "I Die His Majesty's Good Servant, but God's First"




As noted by one blogger, it is rather amazing that "When called on to choose his favorite film, the potty-mouthed director of rude little movies like CLERKS and DOGMA chooses the story of Saint Thomas More." Click here for an amazing 2001 New York Times interview with Kevin Smith.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"The Healing Presence of Christ in the Practice of Medicine" (an audio link)

Dr. John Bruchalski is founder and head of the Tepeyac Family Center in Northern Virginia. I first heard of Dr. Bruchalski, after he founded Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy - one of the nation's only pharmacies refusing to do ANY business in contraceptives. As reported by CBS News on February 2, 2009,



  • "Whether Catholics will be drawn to the pharmacy is uncertain. According to a Gallup poll published last year for an extensive study of U.S. Catholicism called American Catholics Today, 75 percent of U.S. Catholics said you can still be a good Catholic even if you don't obey church teachings on birth control."
Shame on all of us that our brothers and sisters are so abysmally informed about the Truth which would set them free! I believe that this situation is directly related to the apparently poor response of Catholics to heed Cardinal DiNardo's call to object to HHS mandates, which would effectively snuff out conscience protections and assault religious liberty. My personal opinion is that ads for pharmacies which stock abortifacient & contraceptives - which appear in so many parish bulletins - perpetuate the egregious error that this all of this is simply no big deal! In his 10/25/07 address to the International Congress of Catholic Pharmacists, the Holy Father instead reminded us that


  • pharmacists are called to be "intermediaries between doctor and patient; they have an educational role with patients to teach them the proper dosage of their medication and especially to acquaint them with the ethical implications of the use of certain drugs. In this context, it is not possible to anaesthetize consciences, for example, concerning the effects of particles whose purpose is to prevent an embryo's implantation or to shorten a person's life. The pharmacist must invite each person to advance humanity, so that every being may be protected from the moment of conception until natural death, and that medicines may fulfil properly their therapeutic role....


  • "In the moral domain, your Federation is invited to address the issue of 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....


  • "It is also your duty to help young people who enter the different pharmaceutical professions to reflect on the increasingly delicate ethical implications of their activities and decisions. To this end, it is important that all Catholic health-care professionals and people of good will join forces to deepen their formation, not only at a technical level but also with regard to bioethical issues, as well as to propose this formation to the profession as a whole."
In a speech given at Christendom College, Dr. Bruchalski provides a disturbing and provocative overview of the state of Catholic health care (The Healing Presence of Christ in the Practice of Medicine, July 2008). How is it possible that absolutely prohibited procedures have ever been performed on Catholic hospital grounds? When there are so many Catholic physicians, how is it possible that there are only "69 obstetricians & NFP only doctors out of 80,000 in the United States"? Insightfully, Dr. Bruchalski discusses the "crisis of the laity in medicine,"referring to confusions between the ministry of the ordained and the apostolate of the laity.

Dr. Bruchalski does not stop at diagnosing the problems. He provides an awe-inspiring prescriptive call to return to the Truth!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

excerpts from "Stoic Link to Baseball History Stands Guard" (NY Times, 2/10/07)

While the Dodgers abandoned Brooklyn two years befoe I was born, they continue to hold a fascination for Brooklynites about which the Yankees & Mets (& minor league Brooklyn Cyclones) can only envy. It's probably easier to get Dodgers' apparel in Brooklyn sporting goods stores than it was in their lone world championship season of 1955 (which, by the way, is the very year that Morrisville won the Little League World Championship). Yet, as per "Stoic Link to Baseball History Stands Guard" (NY Times, 2/10/07), a big piece of their history goes overlooked:

  • "Once upon a time in Brooklyn, they used to play baseball here.

    "Tucked away among ancient factories and garages is a massive relic of the Dodgers' old ballpark. Not Ebbets Field, but Washington Park, where Brooklyn played before moving to Flatbush. It is believed to be the oldest standing piece of a major league ballpark in the country. And almost nobody knows it is there [emphasis added].

    "At the foot of Park Slope, a block from the Gowanus Canal, is a Con Edison truck depot and storage facility bounded by First and Third Streets and Third and Fourth Avenues. Running the length of Third Avenue is a 20-foot-high stone wall that makes up part of a loading dock. The high, small windows of the wall have been bricked up.

    "From 1898 to 1912, Washington Park was the home of the team alternately nicknamed the Bridegrooms, Superbas and Trolley Dodgers....

    "Con Ed has made unofficial proposals for the site's preservation since 2002...but all have included moving the wall or only retaining the cornerstone....

    "Preservationists have officially asked the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to investigate the site as a potential landmark. Simply having a file open at the commission could be enough to gain an injunction on future Con Ed construction projects....

    "Recent preservation efforts have focused on publicizing the site's links to history. A 2005 Brooklyn Cyclones promotion celebrated Archibald Moonlight Graham, whose single major league appearance was made famous in W. P. Kinsella's novel 'Shoeless Joe' and the film version, 'Field of Dreams.' Graham played the field for two innings in a 1905 game at Washington Park....

    "Considering the fondness with which longtime Brooklynites recall Ebbets Field, it is surprising that the remnants of Washington Park are not acknowledged. Because there were few photographs and baseball had not yet become part of the popular culture, Gilbert said, the game's history for many people begins around 1920....

    "[Casey] Stengel played his first game here and Cy Young his last" [soon to be 100 years ago: 10/6/11]

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Catherine of Aragon - a Patron Saint for Victims of Spousal Abandonment?

I've never been able to understand why pastors believe that it's "pastoral" to publicize annulment information evenings. If that's such a "pastoral" idea, why aren't comparable information sessions publicized about laicization for priests and/or dispensation from religious vows? Is there not a subtle disrespect for the Sacrament of Marriage at play? Are we not overlooking the very real plague of spousal abandonment?





  • "There is abundant research to affirm the dire consequences of divorce for children....As Catholics who believe in the sanctity and permanence of the marriage vow, we can understand why things go drastically wrong when that vow is breached....What we may not know is that most divorces are situations in which one person wants to end the marriage while the other is fighting to save it....

    "We must fight our tendency to look the other way in the name of discretion or a false sense of charity....As Catholics, we have moral obligations when we know someone who has abandoned his or her family in order to seek a divorce. We have a duty to stand in solidarity with the spouse who has been left behind, and with any children who might be involved....

    "The message to the abandoner must be this: 'What you have done is contrary to God's plan for you and your family. We are praying you will return home and seek the counseling needed to heal your marriage. Once you decide to return to your family, you will have our full support. Until then, please do not expect us to condone your action by pretending it hasn't happened'....

    "We need a renewed effort on the part of bishops and priests to recognize that spousal abandonment is a crisis in our Church. Church leaders need to acknowledge this -- and they need to encourage new, more effective responses in our parishes and chanceries....In a world that would have us believe that divorce is just an opportunity for a new start, the Church's message must be loud and clear: We will hold fast to our ancient teachings on marriage - for the sake of our souls, our families, and our civilization" (Hillary Towers, PhD, It is time for the Church to face up to the crisis of spousal abandonment, 3/4/01).






When Catholic lay people express concerns about the operation of marriage tribunals - particularly tribunals in the United States - they are invariably reassured that there is no reason for concern. Yet in Pope John Paul II's annual addresses to the Roman Rota, there is a discernable pattern of growing concern about the operation of tribunals, which led to 2005's Dignitas Connubii (The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Instruction to Be Observed by Diocesan & Interdiocesan Tribunals in Handling Causes of the Nullity of Marriage). This pattern continues to be evidenced in the annual addresses of Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Rota (i.e., 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).



While the Catholic Press seemed to largely present the Holy Father's most recent address as a simple declaration of support for marriage preparation programs, his pointed critiques went largely unreported:





  • "....The post-conciliar discussion on canon law was centred on the relationship between law and pastoral care. The well-known assertion of the Venerable Servant of God, John Paul II, whose opinion was that 'it is not true that, to be more pastoral, the law should be less juridical' (cf. Address to the Roman Rota, 18 January 1990, n. 4), expresses the radical surmounting of an apparent antithesis....

    "It is necessary to make every effort to interrupt, as far as possible, the vicious circle that often exists between a predictable admission to marriage, without an adequate preparation and a serious examination of the prerequisites for its celebration, and a legal declaration sometimes equally facile but of a contrary nature, in which the marriage itself is considered null solely on the basis of the observation of its failure [emphases added]....

    "all this requires that the work of ecclesiastical tribunals transmit a univocal message on what is essential in marriage, in harmony with the Magisterium and with canon law and speaking unanimously. Given the need for the unity of jurisprudence, entrusted to the care of this Tribunal, the other ecclesiastical tribunals must conform to the rotal jurisprudence (cf. John Paul II, Address to the Roman Rota, 17 January 1998, n. 4). I recently insisted on the need to judge correctly causes relative to consensual incapacity (cf. Address to the Roman Rota, 29 January 2009) [My own translation - All you dioceses out there need to look to Rome & get with the program! Bravo Holy Father!]....

    "Unfortunately incorrect positions still endure, such as that of identifying the discretion of judgement required for the marriage (cf. CIC, can. 1095, n. 2) with the hoped for prudence in the decision to get married, thus confusing an issue of capacity with another which does not undermine the validity since it concerns the level of practical wisdom with which a decision is taken which is, in any case, truly matrimonial. The misunderstanding would be yet more serious were there a wish to assign an invalidating effect to rash decisions made in married life [Emphases added - Wow!]....

    "It is necessary to resist the temptation to transform the simple shortcomings of the spouses in their conjugal existence into defects of consent [Wow, again!]....

    "Real exclusion can occur in fact only when the ordination toward the good of the spouses is harmed (cf. ibid. can. 1055 § 1), excluded by a positive act of will. Cases in which there is failure to recognize the other as spouse or in which the essential ordering of the community of conjugal life to the good of the other is excluded are quite exceptional. The clarification of these hypotheses of exclusion of the bonum coniugum must be attentively assessed by the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota [Emphasis added. Bravo Holy Father!].... " (January 22, 2011)




Over the past few days, Lower Bucks County experienced a cultural event of profoundly greater significance than the visit of a former Monkee to Bensalem! The Neshaminy Theater had a showing of the Globe Theater Presents [Shakespeare's] Henry VII. Fascinatingly, author Joseph Pearce maintains that William Shakespeare was a clandestine Catholic, who used his writings to subtly proclaim the Truth. Without question, Shakespeare's play shows King Henry VIII to have been enslaved by his selfishness and lusts, while Queen Catherine of Aragon became history's most famous victim of spousal abandonment. The world and the Church were torn apart (and remain so) when Henry tried to coerce the Church into giving him an invalid annulment. On "K[C]atherine of Aragon: the Official Website for Her Cause," there is a position paper on



  • "the central figure of the English Reformation....[who] - for her nearly 36 years in England - embraced the power and comfort of prayer....After nearly twenty years of wedlock, Katharine sat there - stunned - listening to this man whom she adored tell her their marriage was sinful, asking her to go away while the matter was sorted out....She was fearless before men who easily could have done her harm....On 7 January 1536 at age 50 Katharine of Aragon - Queen of England - died. That same day she wrote her final letter to the man who had betrayed her, but whom she still loved. Even with its mild rebukes, it is a letter of love and forgiveness....

    "easily could she have accepted the title of Dowager Princess of Wales and lived a rich, royal life or retired to a convent. Yet she refused these things because had she not, she would have been untrue to herself, her child, her country, her heritage, her faith, and her God. She was the rightful queen....By taking this course, she trusted to the will of God whatever that course was or where it would take her....It is her cause and her faith that inspired every person who died at the hands of both Henry and later, Elizabeth, to go to their deaths bravely....

    "Katharine's defense of the sacrament of marriage is perhaps her tie and relevance to the modern world. In an age where the sanctity of marriage is all but disregarded, she stands - 475 years later - as the model defender of the sacrament of marriage....in the last moments of her life she held fast to her faith - forgiving the one person who had betrayed her above all others - yet whom she loved still. This is the essence of holiness - the essence of Jesus's message in the Gospels; the message of love and forgiveness."

The web site offers the opportunity to sign a petition in support of an initiation of Catherine's cause.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Your argument that Dignitas Personae leaves "embryo adoption" as an open question is imprudent, AT BEST.

Dr. Nadal,

We chatted BRIEFLY at last December's Human Life International conference in D.C. I recall being delighted to find a fellow native Brooklynite! As you are another Brooklyn guy, I'll get right to the point....

I believe that you and LifeNews.com are doing a disservice with your Exploring the Pro-Life Catholic View on Embryo Adoption series. While I am NOT saying that the situations are exactly analagous, insistence that Dignitas Personae leaves "embryo adoption" as an open question reminds me of all those tired old arguments about Humanae Vitae NOT being infallible. For many, to say that Humanae Vitae was NOT infallible seemed akin to saying that it was NOT authoritative and NOT applicable. What Dignitas Personae actually says with regard to embryo adoption seems like a diplomatic but clear "No":
I'd like to reiterate that, just before its powerful quote from Evangelium Vitae, Dignitas Personae reminds us that we are facing "a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved":

Allow me to go back to that Humanae Vitae analogy. In "Contraception & the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium", John Ford, SJ & Germain Grisez discussed how Humanae Vitae had been dismissively said to be NOT infallible - simply ignoring such issues as how Humane Vitae reiterated Casti Connubii and other Church teachings:

(All of the below images are links....)



It is ironic that others suggesting that Dignitas Personae does NOT speak clearly (or at least NOT definitively) on embryo adoption cite dated writings of Germain Grisez, as well as esteemed moral theologian William May....



In a more recent article by William May , I acknowledge that he MIGHT still be supporting your position (Even so, he is clearly not blessed with the charism of infallibility!).


Dr. Nadal, I fail to understand the purpose of your series, other than to suggest that what seemed like a "No" might be a "Yes." That strikes me as imprudent, at best.


I will be praying that you will consider discontinuing you series.


Sincerely,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium, Dignitas Personae, & "Snowflake" Adoptions

There seems to be tremendous confusion regarding the term, "infallibility." In my opinion, little (if anything) is served by saying that a particular document is NOT infallible. Oftentimes, far, far more harm than good can be done by such statements. To many, to say that something is NOT infallible appears akin to saying that it is NOT authoritative or NOT applicable. In addition to being authoritative and applicable, I believe that much of Dignitas Personae certainly reiterates positions, which have already been infallibly proposed.

In "Contraception & the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium", John Ford, SJ & Germain Grisez discussed how Humanae Vitae was dismissively said to be NOT infallible - simply ignoring such issues as how Humane Vitae reiterated Casti Connubii and other Church teachings:

(All of the below images are links....)


Some suggest that Dignitas Personae does NOT speak clearly (or at least NOT definitively) on the matter of so-called "snowflake adoption", ironically citing the writings of Germain Grisez, William May, and others...

It should NOT be overlooked that the above writings came before these statements in Dignitas Personae:


A more recent article by William May seems more pertinent:



What Dignitas Personae actually says with regard to embryo adoption seems like a diplomatic but clear "No," to me:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Patron Saint for Victims of Spousal Abandonment?

As per Dr. Hilary Towers,
  • "There is abundant research to affirm the dire consequences of divorce for children: much higher likelihoods of poverty, teen motherhood, school expulsion, conduct disorders, physical abuse, incarceration, cohabitation, divorce, and even suicide....As Catholics who believe in the sanctity and permanence of the marriage vow, we can understand why things go drastically wrong when that vow is breached. As rational human beings we recognize that when marriage – the foundation of civilized, lawful society – is undervalued on a wide scale, the long-term repercussions will be catastrophic. What we may not know is that most divorces are situations in which one person wants to end the marriage while the other is fighting to save it....

  • "what is our obligation as Catholics who uphold the sanctity of lifelong marriage? We must fight our tendency to look the other way in the name of discretion or a false sense of charity....As Catholics, we have moral obligations when we know someone who has abandoned his or her family in order to seek a divorce. We have a duty to stand in solidarity with the spouse who has been left behind, and with any children who might be involved....

  • "The Church teaches that marriages are comprised of two flawed individuals whose job is to love one another unconditionally: 'Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.' (I Cor. 13: 5-7)....

  • "The message to the abandoner must be this: 'What you have done is contrary to God’s plan for you and your family. We are praying you will return home and seek the counseling needed to heal your marriage. Once you decide to return to your family, you will have our full support. Until then, please do not expect us to condone your action by pretending it hasn’t happened'....

  • "We need a renewed effort on the part of bishops and priests to recognize that spousal abandonment is a crisis in our Church. Church leaders need to acknowledge this — and they need to encourage new, more effective responses in our parishes and chanceries....In a world that would have us believe that divorce is just an opportunity for a new start, the Church’s message must be loud and clear: We will hold fast to our ancient teachings on marriage – for the sake of our souls, our families, and our civilization."

Perhaps the most famous spousal abandonment took place nearly 500 years ago. The world was torn apart by the selfishishness of an unchaste king, who tried to coerce the Church into granting him an invalid annulment. The king's sin changed the course of history, as he outrageously tried to set himself up as head of the church. In that place and time, Bishop John Fisher and Sir Thomas More courageously defended Truth and are now recognized as saints. As per an article in Our Sunday Visitor ("Catherine's Cause: Steps to Canonizing a Saint," 7/24/11), less has been said about the courageous, virtuous woman, who was the original victimized by that spousal abandonment.

As per Gregory Nassif St. John,


  • "Katharine’s defense of the sacrament of marriage is perhaps her tie and relevance to the modern world. In an age where the sanctity of marriage is all but disregarded, she stands – 475 years later – as the model defender of the sacrament of marriage. She died in her defense of it....her faith , her belief in God, His Church and the Sacrament of Marriage were what truly defined her life....From everything history tells us we know that Katharine of Aragon lived a model life of piety, patience and faith. She proved herself a worthy daughter of the Church. Her example of faith and perseverance should no longer be forgotten.... surely she has earned recognition by the Church – some title that would honor her faith and her defense of the sacrament of marriage."

Gregory Nassif St. John is inviting people to add their names to a petition: "I do believe that if a significant number of people sign this petition, the Bishop of East Anglia will be compelled to take some form of action towards the process. Many causes are a result of a groundswell of support based on faith in a holy person’s life. I hope you will join me in helping place Queen Katharine of Aragon – Good Queen Katharine – among the Blessed."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It concerns me that the American Life League (whose founder & president is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life) is unable to say whether Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Gregory, Archbishop Kurtz, or Bishop Lori are following Canon 915 in their present (arch)dioceses.

When Cardinal Rigali came to Philadelphia, many anticipated strong pro life leadership. The same is certainly true wth today's anticipated announcement that Archbishop Chaput will be our next archbishop. While it's also true that Archbishop Chaput's Render Unto Casesar was packed with history and theology, as well as very readable, I found its discussion of the situation of pro-abortion politicians who present themselves for Holy Communion to be very disappointing.

I believe Bishop Lori was with the other Connecticutt bishops in a 9/07 statement which unwittingly did a grave disservice to the cause of life:



  • "to administer Plan B pills in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape a pregnancy test to determine that the woman has not conceived is sufficient. An ovulation test will not be required. The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act.

  • "Since the teaching authority of the Church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape. A pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration suffices. If it becomes clear that Plan B pills would lead to an early chemical abortion in some instances, this matter would have to be reopened."

The Connecticutt bishops statement certainly seemed to disregard the fact that



  • "The Catholic Medical Association, the largest professional organization of Catholic physicians in the U.S. is resolutely opposed to the use of the abortifacient morning after pill (also known as ‘emergency contraception’ or its generic name Plan B) in Catholic Hospitals because of its potential to cause abortions....A study by [Pennsylvania's own] Dr. Chris Kahlenborn in 2003 found that the pill only works to halt ovulation half the time. Thus fertilization may occur even after the pill is administered, and an abortion would result since in addition to stopping ovulation the pills act to weaken the lining of the uterus making implantation unsustainable. See Dr. Kahlenborn’s study here: http://www.polycarp.org/postfertilization_polycarp_1.htm....

  • [As per] "Dr. Kathleen Raviele, the President-Elect of the Catholic Medical Association,.... 'In everything we err on the side of life,'...and thus the administration of the morning after pill in Catholic hospitals is 'not justified.'

  • "At its Annual Meeting in 2003, the Catholic Medical Association passed a resolution correcting theologians who have erroneously suggested that it would be legitimate for Catholic hospitals to provide 'emergency contraception' to rape victims."

At the time of the Connecticutt bishops' statement, I believe the Vatican had already spoken clearly on the matter of Plan B (aka, the Morning After Pill). Did the Connecticutt bishops retract or correct their statement after the Vatican's subsequent release of Dignitas Persona (See Section 23)?

I realize that this is just a daydream, but it would be wonderful if Bishop Joseph Martino could come out of retirement and return to his home archdiocese!



  • "As Catholics, we should not be surprised by these developments. Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI predicted that widespread use of artificial contraceptives would lead to increased marital infidelity, lessened regard for women, and a general lowering of moral standards especially among the young. Forty years later, social scientists, not necessarily Catholics, attest to the accuracy of his predictions....

  • "It is a tragic irony that 'pro-choice' candidates have come to support homicide -- the gravest injustice a society can tolerate -- in the name of 'social justice'....

  • "While the Church assists the State in the promotion of a just society, its primary concern is to assist men and women in achieving salvation. For this reason, it is incumbent upon bishops to correct Catholics who are in error regarding these matters. Furthermore, public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.

  • "It is the Church’s role now to be a prophet in our own country, reminding all citizens of what our founders meant when they said that 'all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.' The Church’s teaching that all life from conception to natural death should be protected by law is founded on religious belief to be sure, but it is also a profoundly American principle founded on reason. Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles – as well as their moral consciences – citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse.

  • "In 1941, Bishop Gustave von Galen gave a homily condemning Nazi officials for murdering mentally ill people in his diocese of Muenster, Germany. The bishop said:

  • “'"Thou shalt not kill!" God wrote this commandment in the conscience of man long before any penal code laid down the penalty for murder, long before there was any prosecutor or any court to investigate and avenge a murder. Cain, who killed his brother Abel, was a murderer long before there were any states or any courts or law. And he confessed his deed, driven by his accusing conscience: 'My punishment is greater than I can bear. . . and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me the murderer shall slay me' (Genesis 4:13-14).”

  • "Should he have opposed the war and remained silent about the murder of the mentally ill? No person of conscience can fail to understand why Bishop von Galen spoke as he did.

  • "My dear friends, I beg you not to be misled by confusion and lies. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, does not ask us to follow him to Calvary only for us to be afraid of contradicting a few bystanders along the way. He does not ask us to take up his Cross only to have us leave it at the voting booth door....

  • "Let us pray the Rosary for the strength and fortitude to uphold the truths of our faith and the requirements of our law to all who deny them. And, let us ask Our Lady to bless our nation and the weakest among us" (Respect Life Sunday, 10/3/08)



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

NFP Awareness Week & Dignitas Personae

Mary Stadnyk
News Editor
701 Lawrenceville Rd.
P.O. Box 5147
Trenton, NJ 08638-0147

Elena Perri & Sabrina Vourvoulias
Managing Editors
The Catholic Standard & Times
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103


Dear Ms. Stadnyk, Ms. Perri, & Ms. Vourvoulias,

What Does the Church Proclaim Regarding Fertility?

2011 marks the third anniversary of the Vatican’s “Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions.”

Recent years have seen a vast increase in reports of infertility and interest in reproductive technology. When employed by a husband and wife, Dignitas Personae says assistance to AID the “marital act” toward procreation can be moral. Even when used by a husband and wife, Dignitas Personae says that methods REPLACING the marital act are immoral.



  • What efforts AID the “marital act”?

  • What efforts REPLACE the “marital act”?

Dignitas Personae beautifully declares, “Behind every ‘no’ in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great ‘yes’ to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence” [# 37].



  • What sort of discoveries & developments, attest to God’s “Great ‘Yes’” for all of us?

On Saturday, July 23rd (9:30 am) in Holy Trinity Hall, Holy Trinity of Morrisville is honored to host Lester Ruppersberger, D.O. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Ruppersberger is



Thank you,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh Canada!

Quebec Province is incredibly beautiful, as well as incredibly sad. While Catholic influence is apparent in the name of virtually every Quebec locale and street, what's been happening with respect to abortion, marriage/family, and prostitution suggests the Catholic influence to be part of a bygone era:


  • "Demographics tell the story of the decline of the Quebec’s Roman Church [sic]. The province-wide rate of church attendance, which, prior to the 1960s ranged between 80 to 90 percent, has now plunged to below eight percent....The decline of church authority is also reflected in the province’s record-low birth rate, increased abortion rate, single parent homes, divorce rates, and reluctance to marry. As early as 2006, Quebec’s population will start to decline because of the low birth rates" (Robert J. Galbratith).

  • "Canada is in fact a 'land without restrictions' with respect to abortion. In Canada abortion is completely legal, at any stage of pregnancy for any reason. Minors do not need parental consent and most parents don’t know this" (Daniel Caza).

  • "Statistics show roughly 90 per cent of young people say they'd like to marry, but that fewer Canadians actually are. The fastest growing relationship form in Canada is cohabitation" (Andrew Mrozek).

  • "The federal and Ontario governments are appealing an Ontario judge's decision that struck down some sections of Canada’s prostitution laws as being unconstitutional....University of British Columbia law professor Janine Benedet made an impassioned plea to protect women who are vulnerable to exploitation. In particular, she noted how aboriginal women make up a disproportionate number of women working in prostitution....she highlighted several international treaties against women's exploitation, including UN treaties against human trafficking....the Canadian Civil Liberities Association argued that the current anti-prostitution laws are putting women's lives at risk....Lawyer Cynthia Petersen...objected to earlier arguments that prostitution is 'inherently degrading' and 'male-dominated'" (Sheila Dabu Nonato).

Clearly, Canada needs our prayers. On this side of the border, better appreciation is needed of Quebec's historic role as the "capitol" of North American Catholicisim.


Montreal....


Mary Queen of the World Cathedral
A fascinating aside: As per Mystery still surrounds Mary Surratt, the Catholic Widow Implicated in Lincoln's Assassination, "'The Conspirator,' a film directed by Robert Redford that examines Mrs. Surratt's role in the Lincoln drama...has fueled even greater public interest in Mrs. Surratt and the extent of her involvement in the Lincoln assassination.... Mrs. Surratt protested her innocence until her last breath on the gallows. 'I am a Southerner, a Catholic, a devoted mother, but no assassin,' she is reported to have said." While Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer doesn't get much into the "Catholic Conspiracy" angle, it indicates that Mary's son John was on the lam in Montreal and wound up with the Papal Zouaves (They seem to have been that era's equivalent of the Swiss Guard.). Anyway, fast forward to the present day: the Papal Zouaves are celebrated in Montreal's Cathedral.
Notre Dame Bascilica

Notre Dame de BonSecours Chapelle

St Patrick's Bascilica, from the bus

St Joe's Oratory




Quebec - a beautiful city!

Notre Dame des Victoires - the oldest church in North America


St Zéphirin’s Church, now & in "I Confess"

St. Anne de Beaupre

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

 

Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

Blog Archive

About Me

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.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010

CatholicsComeHome.org