Archive for the ‘*Bishops vs. Politicians’ Category

My personal preface:
It is honor for me to have been denigrated before a gathering of the priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco by Bishop McElroy for my effort to expose the truth about the Millennium Development Goals in an article published in the archdiocese’s newspaper, Catholic San Francisco. I guess he saw my article as an attempt to disrupt his and the UN’s agenda. Sadly, now that the MDGs have been replaced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have Pope Francis in full support of the UN’s agenda.

The following column first appeared on the website The Catholic Thing (www.thecatholicthing.org). Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. (Source)

The Disruptive Church Now Has a Spokesman

By

March 7, 2017

In 1970, I took part in an early anti-abortion protest in Washington D.C. at George Washington University Hospital. It was intended to be a sit-in at the offices where hospital employees interviewed women seeking abortions. The hospital was violating the laws of the District of Columbia, which back then still prohibited abortion. But abortions were being performed at the hospital nonetheless.

Our purpose was simply to demand that the hospital comply with the laws of the District of Columbia. Protesters never got beyond the entrance to the office building and were hit with pepper spray to force them from the entrance. Several of us were arrested (I was not) for trying to prevent ourselves from being sprayed, another example of the victims being arrested while the perpetrators went free. The case against the protesters was extremely weak and eventually was dropped.

What was notable about this incident was the way the Catholic bishops responded at the time. Most took no notice at all, but the bishops who did respond were obviously embarrassed that Catholics would be involved in such disruptive behavior. It was one thing to resist abortion by words, but quite another to actually engage in actions that disrupted public order.

Since this was a peaceful protest, they were not criticizing violent attacks, but nonviolent actions that would shut down a public institution, even if that institution was engaging in taking the lives of the unborn. Not only did we get no financial help with fines and legal fees resulting from the arrests, but we were clearly designated the black sheep of the Catholic Church.

How things have changed. Now we have San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy advocating “disruptive” actions to accomplish his favored political goals. So far as I know, he has never suggested we should take disruptive action to end the slaughter of the unborn in places like Planned Parenthood, nor to check a government that supports this mass murder. But in his address to the U.S. regional gathering for the World Meeting of Popular Movements in California, this activist bishop said that with the election of President Trump, “Well now, we must all become disruptors.”

He then went on to give a series of misleading accusations against the new administration, which included the following, “We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. . . .who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need. . . .who train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. . . .who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor, who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”

These are the kinds of “fake” accusations that we have seen from leftist activists and their media supporters who quite literally want to overthrow a validly elected government.

Words often take their meanings from context, and the word “disrupt” in today’s political context means “bring down’ and “overthrow.” It’s a buzzword widely used by people like Michael Moore and other left-wing revolutionaries, Saul Alinsky types who want to see the present government overthrown. Bishop McElroy may argue that this is not his intention. But when he adopts the language of revolution, he cannot avoid the implication that he approves of such aims.

If we had used such language back in 1970, it would have been clear that we were implicit revolutionaries. And it would’ve been quite appropriate for the bishops to call us out and warn Catholics that overthrowing the government was not the position of the Church. I’m waiting for some such rebuff to Bishop McElroy, but I won’t hold my breath.

The Modesto meeting was co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development and the U.S. Bishops’ Conference. Indeed, the annual World Meeting of Popular Movements is the result of an initiative of Pope Francis himself according to their web site. But such movements, though well-intentioned and professing noble goals, have sometimes been turned into a movement that co-opts the Church.

For instance, Don Luigi Giussani, who had worked closely with the Italian movement Gioventù Studentesca for years, was faced with a problem in 1968. The majority of this student organization had taken what the Italians call a “volta alla sinistra” (“turn to the left”), and joined the Italian Student Movement, a Marxist group in Italian universities and schools. His solution was to lead the minority in a new undertaking, Communion and Liberation, which would be faithful to the Christian ideals and practices that he had set forth in his writings over his years.

The problem we face today is that we cannot replace the Church with a new movement. If Church leaders embrace this kind of politically driven radicalism, distorting the truth while calling for disrupting a legitimate government, we are in deep trouble.

Truth makes strict demands, and distorting the truth by distorting the facts is equivalent to lying. Politicians and the press do it all the time, but it cannot be tolerated in the Church, especially not among Church leaders. Trump may not be your ideal president, but it’s simply calumny to suggest that he is in favor of, or has a plan to “send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. . . .portray refugees as enemies. . . .train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. . . .rob our medical care, especially from the poor. . . .take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”

This is raw, dishonest, political rhetoric – the most dangerous disruption of all, the suppression of truth for political ends, which can easily lead to violence, regardless of the intentions of those who use such language.

Read Full Post »

Dear Friends,

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that it does not focus on politics. However, some of the issues it does focus on are not divorced from politics, especially in my country (America).

Holy Father Pope Francis just departed the USA after a six-day visit during which he gave many speeches and homilies. Many Americans, and perhaps our brothers and sisters of the worldwide community, are wondering if the practical and spiritual direction he bestowed upon us citizens and our respective legislative representatives as well as all those present at the 70th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, will bear holy fruit.

In light of Pope Francis’ multiple invocations and admonitions regarding an “absolute respect for human life in all its stages and dimensions” and considering the deplorable support of abortion by the Democratic Party, I question how any citizen of America or of the worldwide community (especially any member of the universal Catholic clergy), who considers themselves to be authentically prolife, could possibly desire the next U.S. president be a member of the Democratic Party.

Cardinal Robert Sarah:

There is now no mistake when one realizes that there exists a form of rejection of the dogmas of the Church, or a growing distance among men, the faithful and dogmas. On the question of marriage, there is a chasm between a certain world and the Church. The question is ultimately very simple: is it the world that must change its attitude, or the Church its fidelity to God? Because if the faithful still love the Church and the pope, but do not apply its doctrine, not changing anything in their lives, not even after coming to listen to the successor of Peter in Rome, what kind of future should we expect?

Many faithful rejoice to hear about the divine mercy, and they hope that the radical nature of the Gospel could also mitigate in favor of those who have made the decision to live in rupture with the crucified love of Jesus. They think that because of the Lord’s infinite goodness everything is possible, even while deciding not to change anything about their lives. For many, it is normal that God should pour his mercy upon them while they dwell in sin. They do not understand that light and darkness cannot coexist, in spite of the many appeals of St. Paul: “What should we say then? That we should remain in sin so that grace may abound? Of course not!” […]

This confusion demands rapid responses. The Church cannot go forward as if reality did not exist: it can no longer content itself with ephemeral enthusiasms, which last for the duration of great gatherings or liturgical assemblies, as beautiful and rich as they may be. It can no longer hold back from a practical reflection on subjectivism as the root of most of the current errors. What use is it that the pope’s Twitter account is followed by hundreds of thousands of persons if men do not concretely change their lives? What use is it to tally up the figures of the crowds that throng before the popes if we are not sure that the conversions are real and profound? […]

Read Full Post »

Today, America is on the brink of the U.S. Supreme Court making a decision on whether or not the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. Regardless of what the court’s marority rules, I believe we Americans should take gravely serious the following excerpts taken from a reflection written by a dear and holy friend after the presidential election of 2012.

Much gloating revelry could be heard around the country after election day, as the wheels of the machinery of the culture of death were greased in a major way.  You know the news: our country’s most anti-life, anti-family, anti-Christian president in history was re-elected by millions of media-brainwashed people, who are heading like mindless lemmings to the precipice of catastrophe, that of their own souls and American society as such.

I don’t think Romney was a particularly good candidate (he had no intention of reversing Roe v. Wade), but at least he would have put the brakes on some other evils into which Obama is hell-bent on thrusting us headlong. The Lord gave us the choice between life and death, blessing and curse (see Deut. 30:15-20).  America has chosen death and the curse. You will see how this will play out in the next four years.

After “gay-marriage” bills had been defeated in individual states the first 32 times they were introduced, the voters of three states (Maine, Maryland, and Washington) finally ushered it in. This sets a dangerous precedent, and we’ll be sure to see this on the ballots of other states soon. If Americans don’t wake up in a hurry, the other states will fall like dominoes [as of today, April 28, 2015, there are 37 states with legalized same-sex marriage]. Other pro-gay and pro-abortion measures passed elsewhere.

“You will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice,” said the Lord concerning his faithful ones (Jn. 16:20), though He also predicted an ultimate reversal in fortunes. Evildoers who reject God’s law will win temporary victories and will make the good suffer, but they cannot overturn the will of God in the long run. Blessed John Paul II concurs: “Human progress planned as alternatives (to God’s plan) introduce injustice, evil and violence rising against the divine plan of justice and salvation. And despite transitory and apparent successes, they are reduced to simple machinations destined to dissolution and failure.” At present, the true servants of the Lord have been defeated and humiliated by the servants of the arrogant demons, who are now rolling in the aisles laughing over how easy it was, over how unthinking, unperceiving, and easily-manipulated the majority of Americans have proven themselves to be.  Yet many Christians were fervently praying that the Lord would give our country one more chance, before the evils that have been introduced in recent years would become so entrenched in law and civil life as to be unassailable by any Christian voices crying in the wilderness.  How are we to understand what happened?

It may very well be that a “sufficient number” was lacking, or simply that the accumulated sins of an self-absorbed and unrepentant nation have merited a divine decree of chastisement.  Perhaps it is largely the fault of the Catholic Church, or of members of this Church who are really pagans in Christian clothing.  If all Catholics would have voted according to the principles and explicit injunctions of Catholic moral teaching (which is the teaching of Christ’s Gospel), Obama would be retreating in shame by now.  So even if there are many great sinners who couldn’t care less about God and eternal life, it is the Church and her faithful that will suffer the most, because Catholics should have known better and could have made the decisive difference. America is selling her soul to the devil, and many Catholics evidently approve the deal. But there will be Hell to pay, literally.  God help us all.

America is just following the trends set over the past few decades in decaying Western Europe. One would think that Catholics would only look across the Atlantic to see that the Church is rapidly crumbling to pieces there, because her sacred traditions have been abandoned for the sake of gross immorality, political correctness, and the entire agenda of those who are shaping public opinion to embrace a Godless new world.  While the gays are trying to redefine marriage, politicians (and other influential people) are trying to redefine Catholicism, diluting it to the tastes of those who do not wish to “turn back the clock” to the time when the Gospel and the doctrines of the Church were upheld in an uncompromising fashion. Now we have “Catholics” like Biden, Pelosi, and Sabelius lecturing the bishops (with impunity!) on what Catholicism really means, identifying it with a vague notion of tolerance and compassion, studiously ignoring the Church’s explicit teachings.

Well, I needn’t go on and on.  It has been a big election for big government, big business, the culture of death, and the agenda of perversion and anti-Catholicism.  They are all throwing their parties now, and Hell is toasting its victories as well.  But there is Someone who is going to have the last word, and his righteousness will ultimately be vindicated.  We don’t know how long the faithful will have to suffer before that happens.  All we can do now is pray, fast, trust in the Lord, invoke the intercession of the Mother of God and the Saints and the protection of the mighty Angels, and “stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught” (2Thess. 2:15) by Christ and the Apostles, by the Popes and those bishops, priests and teachers who are in faithful union with them.

Everyone has a choice.  Americans have chosen as their leader someone with an evil agenda, someone whom power has made arrogant enough to confront and try to dismantle the Gospel, the Church, the natural law, the longest-held moral traditions and common decency itself.  What is your choice?  Do you want to fall in lockstep with this hell-bound march? Or will you do whatever it takes to stand with the truth, with our Lord Jesus Christ? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Read Full Post »

Auxiliary Bishop Christian Bishop Riesbeck’s comments during Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in conjunction with the National March for Life in Ottawa.

The B.C. Catholic
By Deborah Gyapong

When Ottawa’s new auxiliary bishop, Christian Riesbeck, became the pastor of a parish in Houston, Tex., he soon faced a difficult pastoral challenge: the pregnancy of a young lady.

The mother and aunt of the girl, who was barely 13 years old, approached him and “asked if an exception could be made in her case because of her age. They wanted to abort the child,” he said in a homily at the Prolife Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral May 8, in conjunction with the National March for Life.

“I wanted to cry,” Bishop Riesbeck said. “I tried to be as compassionate as I could, helping her acknowledge the child in her womb and encouraging her to love that child and allow the child to see the light of day. I promised her the help she needed in her situation.”

Since Bishop Riesbeck was new to the Houston diocese, the Companions of the Cross priest “had to scramble to find out what was available so I could direct her to the right place for help.”

Bishop Riesbeck said this experience made him realize the parish needed to do more to help young women. He and his parishioners decided to start a Project Gabriel [The Gabriel Project] outreach for women and families facing crisis pregnancies. They installed two big signs on the property in English and in Spanish with a contact number.

“Thanks be to God we received a lot of ‘business,'” said the bishop, “and the whole parish got on board. We had many drives for baby food, diapers, cribs. There was always a generous response from the parishioners, and we were doing our part to help pregnant women in need.”

Bishop Riesbeck challenged the view put forward by abortion supporters that respect for women meant giving them a “choice” to “kill their babies and subject themselves to harmful physical and psychological effects.”

“This does not respect women,” he said. “If we really respect them, we will come to their assistance if they are in a difficult situation, and see to it that they have what they need to give life to their child.”

“If a woman is in a crisis pregnancy, let’s help her by eliminating the crisis, not by eliminating the pregnancy,” he said. “Most women who procure abortions do not do so because of ‘freedom of choice,’ but rather because they feel they have no freedom and no choice.”

“They feel trapped, abandoned, desperate, afraid, and pressured, and sadly, they feel that there is no one they can turn to except the abortionist,” the bishop said.

He expressed gratitude to the various individuals and groups in the prolife movement who provide services, who lobby and run educational organizations.

“We also need to affirm the women of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, who stand with their ‘I regret my abortion’ signs, and the Feminists for Life and those who make the compelling argument that women deserve better than abortion,” Bishop Riesbeck said. “These are the people that the pro-choice or pro-abortion advocates fear most in their own attempts to present the image of abortion as positive and pro-woman.”

“As the Church, we need to be compassionate with those who are contemplating an abortion and reach out to those who have had abortions,” he said. “To them we say, ‘The doors of the Church are open.'”

“We will never reject or condemn or cast them out,” he said. “We welcome them back to the peace, the mercy, the forgiveness of Christ. To be pro-life means to be pro-woman.”

“It doesn’t mean that we love the babies and we forget about the mothers,” he said. “We love them both. We protect them both. We welcome and care for them both.”

“But we also need to proclaim the truth in love. Abortion kills a child. It harms women and it wounds families,” he said. “This is why we are not afraid to boldly defend the dignity and life of every human person at every stage of development, especially the unborn.”

“We should never get discouraged. Every child saved is a victory worthy of gratitude,” he said. “We don’t always see the fruits of our efforts, but if we are following God’s will and the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we are making a difference and allowing God to use us as His instruments.”

Personal Message from the host of this site:

How could anyone be more important than a child, even while still within his or her mother’s womb? How can we not assist a child-bearing mother in need?

The Gabriel Project is a national parish-based pregnancy assistance resource. Our concerns go beyond being assured that a child’s life has been spared or that a mom has been provided with initial baby items. A Gabriel Project parish’s concerns go beyond serving its own parishioners and its parish’s boundaries. We seek to serve all pregnant mothers in need regardless of their personal situation, the size of their family, their age or their baby’s gestational stage.

I have attempted to express my sentiments in these regards with the following writings:

I could never tire of expounding on the magnificence of service this ministry offers to pregnant mothers in need – in the Name of Christ Jesus, through Whom all life is created.

I have been so blessed to be able to participate in this special ministry, thanks be to God.

Fredi D’Alessio (initial coordinator for The Gabriel Project of the Archdiocese of San Francisco)

In the video below, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone presents The Gabriel Project in his Annual Appeal. The Gabriel Project segment begins at 1:24 and ends at 4:56 minutes.

VIDEO: CLICK HERE

Read Full Post »

 

Read Full Post »

Deeper Into the Culture of Death

By Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

23 January 2013.

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This Executive Order freed the slaves in the 10 states that were in rebellion. It was not until 1865, with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, that slavery was abolished in the United States.

How far we have come as a Nation that 160 years later we will celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

Yet, we also commemorate the 40th anniversary of our national shame: the lamentable Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy.

The so-called “pro-choice” movement has its roots in the ideology of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who understood her call to be one who would “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Of course, a young Barack Obama was precisely the sort of unfit child that Sanger and her allies would want to eliminate.

Tragically, the President has not been an advocate for those young children faced with similarly difficult circumstances. He has chosen to use the bully pulpit not to call upon us all to be nobler and to embrace each child, regardless of origins and circumstances; rather, he has been a proponent of an expediency that is shameful and criminal in the eyes of Almighty God.

The forces of death press on from every side in contemporary American culture. It is clear there is an assault on the people of faith in our country. For instance, there are the current health insurance reforms that were imposed on our Nation obligating Catholic institutions to provide employees with medical procedures and services we believe to be in defiance of the will of God.

Adding insult to injury, the Obama Administration also presumes to dictate what are legitimate church corporations that are exempt from such directs and those that are not. Thus, if all employees are Catholic and you serve a Catholic constituency, the corporation is exempt. However, if you are the Little Sisters of the Poor and hire non-Catholic nurses and welcome non-Catholics into your home, you are not exempt.

We know that today an Administration that is hostile requires contraception and sterilization. However, as Government involves itself in our internal affairs, there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the Government would seek to compel religious institutions to provide abortion services in the future.

The President and his supporters sought to make this election, at least in part, about women’s rights. Much has been written about how the targeting of key constituencies was intended to stimulate specific votes.

In my view, those who voted for President Obama bear the responsibility for a step deeper in the culture of death. Under the cover of women’s issues, we now see an assault on religious freedom and personal conscience.

In our own state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed the largest expansion of abortion rights in New York State history. The irony is that our leadership is proposing this at a time when increasingly more Americans oppose abortion and support greater restrictions upon abortions. New York State, which already holds the record for the most abortions in our country, is now expanding this culture of death. We may lose, but we will stand up for what we believe.

Some may think my tone a bit strident and even un-nuanced. Maybe the time has come for more direct conversation on these matters, if we hope to preserve what is left of our God-given and Constitutionally-protected rights.

Abraham Lincoln was a man who understood the intersection between politics and nobility. He never would have been able to pass the Thirteenth Amendment in 1863. But he started by freeing “slaves” in the Confederate States with his Emancipation Proclamation.

I would have hoped that the first African-American president of the United States would have stood on the side of freedom for all. Instead, he stands on the side of political expediency. Mr. Lincoln, with great difficulty, put out into the deep and paid with his life. Would that our political leaders today would have some of the same courage.

Read Full Post »

So too is the praise given by so many admirers (including clergy of the Catholic Church). Unlike Bishop Tobin, they don’t seem to take abortion very seriously. 

Statement of Bishop Tobin on the Death of Nelson Mandela

12/08/13 – The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop

Mandela’s Support of Abortion “Shameful”

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, today offered the following statement regarding the death of Nelson Mandela.

“Many people around the world and in our own nation are mourning the loss of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Indeed there is much to admire in Mandela’s long life and public service, particularly his personal courage and his stalwart defense of human rights.

There is part of President Mandela’s legacy, however, that is not at all praiseworthy, namely his shameful promotion of abortion in South Africa. In 1996 Mandela promoted and signed into law the “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Bill” that, according to the New York Times, “replaced one of the world’s toughest abortion laws with one of the most liberal.”

While we pray for the peaceful repose of President Mandela’s immortal soul and the forgiveness of his sins, we can only regret that his noble defense of human dignity did not include the youngest members of our human family, unborn children.”

Related:

Tears from South Africa

Do they really take abortion seriously?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »