Archive for August, 2009
Posted on August 21st, 2009 by Paycheck in Site Admin
I will be taking a break from blogging for a while to re-energize my spiritual life.
Please remember me in your prayers.
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Students at Catholic universities across the nation are banding together with students at Belmont Abbey College (BAC) in a stand for religious liberty and conscience rights, after the college was warned by the Obama administration last month that its refusal to cover contraception amounted to gender discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ignited the First Amendment firestorm earlier this month when it ruled Belmont Abbey College was wrong not to include coverage for contraception in its employee health insurance plan, despite the Catholic Church’s prohibition on contraception as intrinsically evil. In addition to the Church’s teachings against contraception as such, it is known that hormonal contraceptives often function as abortifacients.
According to BAC president William Thierfelder, while the local EEOC initially threw out the complaint, the decision was reversed after the affair went to officials in Washington.
Students from the University of Dallas, Franciscan University of Steubenville, De Sales University and Catholic University of America are fighting back, saying the EEOC decision is a troubling indication of the Obama administration’s ideas on “reasonable” conscience protection.
“People need to wake up,” said Michael Barnett, American Life League’s director of leadership development and its LiveCampus college outreach program. “Under Obama, the federal government is forcing a religious institution to commit an act that violates its core values. This is religious persecution and a clear signal of what Obamacare would bring. This is the government imposing its will against the people’s will.”
In a letter to the Belmont, the EEOC claimed that the school discriminated against women by not covering contraceptives: “By denying prescription contraception drugs, [the college] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives. By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women.”
In a letter subsequently sent to EEOC chairman Stuart Ishimaru, Judie Brown, president of American Life League, pointed out, “The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is an evil and certainly not the sort of ‘treatment’ one would expect to find in a health insurance plan designed for staff at a Catholic facility. Your discriminatory actions against the college are unfounded and unconstitutional.”
William K. Thierfelder, Belmont’s president, affirmed that rather than provide contraceptive coverage, “We would close the college.”
“This debate is part of an ongoing political struggle between the faculty and the administration of the school, and it entirely excludes the students and the monks of the Abbey,” commented Ann Visintainer, a senior at Belmont. “We here at the Abbey pray the conflict may be resolved in a respectful and peaceful way, and in the meantime, we will continue to support and cherish human life in all its forms.”
Not only are Catholic schools across the country running to the aid of Belmont, many are gearing up for First Amendment fights of their own in light of the Obama health care “reform” plan.
“This is an incursion into private religious belief,” explained Larry Meo, president of De Sales University Students for Life. “The EEOC is attempting to impose a set of values on a certain group of colleges, and this is the very thing the president spoke against during his campaign.”
Katie Prejean, a Crusaders for Life member at another Catholic college, the University of Dallas, agrees: “True Catholic academies are no longer safe from the Obama administration’s desire to manipulate every citizen’s health care, regardless of religious freedom.”
Martha McAdams, a student at the University of Dallas and president of Texas Students for Life, the statewide student pro-life organization, summed up the issue at the core of the standoff between the Obama administration and Catholic institutions: “At the University of Dallas, as at most Catholic universities, abortion is purposely not included in the university- provided health insurance because it goes against a natural belief that all human life is precious.
Obama must be gunning for a one term presidency, for sure. If there was any doubt whatsoever about the thugish nature of his presidency, Obama’s jackboot against this Catholic University, to compel it by the force of the State to abandon its fundamental beliefs, dispels any last doubt. The man is a totalitarian with panache. But a totalitarian he still is.
The refreshing thing about this shakedown is that Belmont is not backing down. They have threatened to close. That might have a lot of liberals smiling, but some of them must be feeling somewhat uneasy about driving an academic institution underground. Not so much because of the moral and civil liberty issues involved (how many liberals after all have any sort of decency, really?), but simply because such a movement becomes immeasurable when it goes underground. Liberals are control freaks and they don’t like it when they can’t see their opposition.
Just the same, it is a testimony to this University for not backing down. In some ways, it won’t be the worst thing if Belmont closed – if only to show the Birth Control Pill Mamas at the University and the rest of the liberalist clique in our countries that we won’t play ball, and there’ll be consequences if you force us to.
The most likely solution to this fiasco, however, is that the University will simply get out of the employment benefits business and let the employees pay for it themselves if they want it. That’s another great feature of Obamacare, isn’t it?
It includes great benefits for liberals but none for conservatives. It’s the two tier approach to health care.
I bet those ladies who demanded coverage for their sex pills are going to be really popular at Belmont among the other faculty, eh?!
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Posted on August 20th, 2009 by Paycheck in Catholicism
It is four o’clock in the morning. With my sturdy tripod in one hand and my camera bag in the other, I set out to capture the profundity of divinity. Through human means, I will labour to capture an awesome and rapturous vision for others to see. The representation will be sufficient, I suppose. But in truth, capturing such absorbing beauty is like trying to pour the Pacific ocean into a thimble. Precariously negotiating the slippery rocks in the enveloping darkness, I meander my way through the labyrinth of punished rock. While fighting my cumbersome photography equipment, I situate myself for the best possible shot. The waves are crashing against the rocks with a humbling force and so many thoughts are going through my mind – not the least of which is my personal safety. Why am I doing this? What is the purpose of photography? The purpose of photography is to magnify God’s greatness. Sitting on a rock shelf gazing over the Pacific Ocean, I await my prey. It will be rising over the water at any moment. Just then, it appears. The rising sun – majestic and mighty – shoots out its brilliant rays to create a vision from heaven itself – a visual euphoria which arrests my eyes and pierces my soul. I began this journey as the hunter. I become the hunted.
The first sunrise after three weeks of rain (Coalcliff, NSW Australia)
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul testifies to man’s common and inherent understanding of creation and God’s place in it. It is so evident from right reason that faith is not necessary to acknowledge it. This is why St. Paul says that “men are without excuse”.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
St Bonaventure explains to us that God created all things: “not to increase His glory, but to show it forth and communicate it.” Therefore, God did not create to increase in His own perfection, but rather to manifest this perfection for our beatitude out of divine love for His children, who are His greatest and most cherished creation. But what is God’s glory communicating to us through creation? Ultimately, God’s glory is communicating truth to us. Before God revealed Himself through the Word of Truth, God revealed Himself through the work of Truth in creation:
“God’s truth is His wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the whole world.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 216; cf. Wis 13:1-9)
Harvest Time (Farmer, WA USA)
What can we conclude from this revelation of Truth through creation? We can conclude that we have always had the foundations of faith right in front of us from the beginning! But our grounding in this faith is so often lacking because we first do not know how to see – one who knows how to see, knows how to believe.
In photography, the lens is the eye of the camera system. The lens gathers light from the subject and bends the light rays to form an image on the film. Lens choice is crucial to the process of photography – it allows us to select how much of the setting we wish to include in the frame. It also allows us to emphasize and isolate certain aspects of the composition in order to create the perspective we want to give (this is done through the lens speed which alters the photograph’s depth of field). However, if we choose the wrong lens, our perspective is lost, and we fail to fulfill the true potential of the photograph.
Kelly’s Falls (Helensburgh, NSW Australia)
The same can be said with regards to our view of creation. We look too little at the living Genesis that is in front of us, this living foundation of faith. Even if we do look, we rarely see it because we are not using the right lens in order to see. The right lens is the soul. We need to look through the eyes of the soul with humility and love, and then we can see, and then we can know how to believe. Other lenses such as science, important as they are, can only bend the rays of light (Truth) to a certain point, but this lens is lacking in love and humility, so how can we possibly expect to see our Father, who is Love and humility?
We live in a confused world that has been deceived into believing that the counterfeit is the real thing – that all Truth is subjective and thereby God is irrelevant. In our relativistic haze, we have forgotten the immutable Truth of objective Truth. It’s time we began to look again at the objective beauty of God’s creation, so that we may know how to believe.
This brings me to our second question. In what ways can we communicate this Truth to others? The Catechism gives us one suggestion:
“Created ‘in the image of God’, man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works…to the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a certain likeness to God’s activity in what he has created” (CCC, 2501).
If it is inspired by truth and love of beings, photography can be a potent means for evangelization in this culture of death and destruction. By showcasing God’s beauty and magnificance in creation, photography can bear resemblance to God’s activity in what He has created.
The very word “photography” is evidence of this. The word photography is derived from the two Greek words photos (meaning “light”) and graphos (which means “write”). Therefore, photography means to “write with light”. This is analogous to our Father, who created all things through, with and in the “true light”, His only Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 1:1-3, 9; and Col 1:16-17).
The Spirit of God moving over the face of the waters. (Coalcliff, NSW Australia)
However, even when contemplating the concept of photography as a microcosm of God’s creation, it should leave us humbled when we think of the mastery of how God created. For example, the whole concept of exposure is just a simplified version of how God created the human eye. God created the average human eye to be able to cope with a latitude of 50,000. Latitude measures how well film can cope with brightness and darkness in the same exposure. This basically means that the darkest object we can see is 50,000 times dimmer than the brightest object we can see. However, the Fuji Velvia film that photographers use has a film latitude of 5! So even when we isolate and consider one minute piece of God’s creation, our efforts to replicate its workings are severely limited in comparison to the Creator’s faculties.
The isolation of the Stigma in this shot shows forth the intricateness and beauty of God’s creation.
And to think that we are created in God’s image and that we are His most splendid creation! What an honour to have been placed above all of God’s creation!
A glimpse of our Father’s creation at dusk (Coalcliff, NSW Australia).
After experiencing the wonders of God’s creation, the Psalmist’s words ring truer than ever before:
“Only the fool says there is no God.” – (Cf. Psalm 53:1)
Pictures by Daniel Hopper, a convert to the Catholic faith, is a lawyer and part-time photographer in Australia. Originally published on the Catholic-Legate.
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Posted on August 19th, 2009 by Paycheck in Catholicism, Secularism
I do not pray that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from evil. Even as you sent me into the world, so I send them into the world (John 17: 15-19)
As Pope John Paul II has taught (Christfideles Laici #14-17) echoing Vatican II, to live our vocation as lay people in the Church naturally means doing so with a lay mentality or secular outlook. The consecratio mundi rather than the contemptus mundi.
The role of the laity in the Church is to sanctify the temporal order from within. By their very vocation [lay Christians] seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all secular professions and occupations.. They are called there by God … to work for the sanctification of the world from within, like leaven by fulfilling their own duties (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 31).
So the mission of the laity in the Church is to sanctify secular structures, to act as salt, light and leaven, seeking to restore all things in Christ from within the very heart of civil society. By virtue of their Baptism, all Christians, including the laity, are called to participate in the Church’s mission to save all souls (cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 33). This evangelizing action of making Christ known to others is referred to as the apostolate.
What is particular to the layman is the secular character of his apostolate, which derives from his being an ordinary Christian immersed in professional, family and social occupations. This allows the Catholic layperson to do apostolate in places where the official apostolates of the Church cannot reach: the board room, the factory, the law firm, the business office, the university, the House of Commons, the stock exchange, the film studio, the media, the world of fashion, etc. If the Faith is going to permeate and influence the society, the culture and public policy it is crucial for the laity to assume their role. Furthermore, if they are truly going to be salt, light and leaven, they must live out their secular vocation as Christians with naturalness.
In an age of Faith, the Church has an impact on the culture through its ordained ministers. People go to Church and frequent the sacraments. They listen to the teaching of the priest and generally try to ensure that public morality respects the natural law. In such a society there are many Christian politicians who form a bulwark against attempts to undermine public morality. This was the situation that prevailed in the United States and Canada until the mid nineteen-sixties.
In a pluralistic society and secularized culture, however, it is all the more crucial for the laity to assume their role as leaven, salt and light in the heart of society; for in this kind of society and culture public morality has ceased to reflect the natural law and far fewer people listen to the Church’s teaching. This is the situation in which we now find ourselves. And it is precisely in this attempt to have a well formed laity assume their role that the battle for the Faith and for the Catholic Church is being fought and will be fought in the 21st Century. The arena or forum for that battle has shifted from the church building to the very heart of secular society. And it is the laity and those who can form the laity in this secular spirit and help them to live it with naturalness who will be at the forefront of the battle.
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Posted on August 17th, 2009 by Paycheck in Catholicism, Contraception
As many Socon or Bust readers know, I have been rather relentless in my criticisms of the episcopacy of the Catholic Church in Canada during the recent Development & Peace controversy. My criticisms, sometimes very sharp (justifiably so I should add), have extended beyond Development & Peace to the past 40 years of gross negligence regarding the near whole-scale abandonment of Humanae Vitae. To be fair, however, the de facto apostasy is not limited to Canada. It has infested almost every Western hierarchy, some more than others. But even where there is almost complete darkness, sometimes a piercing ray of light breaks through the suffocating darkness, illuminating the truth for all to see.
In the account that follows, you will read about a genuine hero-Cardinal of the Canadian Church, Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, who fought valiantly against the liberalizing elements within the Church in one of the most tumultuous times in Her history. Needless to say, Cardinal Gagnon was a firm and unyielding defender of Humanae Vitae throughout his entire life. He once wrote: “Humanae Vitae is one of the most important documents in the history of the Church. The opposition to Humanae Vitae came mostly from ‘theologians’ who advanced the pretext that it was difficult for couples to observe the rules of morality in the present circumstances. But it is no more difficult than it was. We were thirteen in my home. We were born in two or three small rooms. Most of our families had more difficulties than anyone has now. Parents had more children and they were happy with the children they had.” Cardinal Gagnon looked upon the Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian bishops as a true tragedy. He considered those bishops who upheld it to be in schism.
Indeed, the following account is the stuff of movies with high drama at the Vatican and two hero priests from Canada who went through it all. How blessed we are as Catholic Canadians to have had such important witnesses to the truth. It brings a sense of honour and pride to the Church in Canada even when we are surrounded by the limp-wristed, and perhaps provides us with that ray of hope needed to overcome the infamy of the Winnipeg Statement.
Click here to read the article.
Click here to learn the identity of the unnamed Canadian Monsignor referred to in Dr. Robert Moynihan`s compelling account above.
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Posted on August 14th, 2009 by Paycheck in Development & Peace
By John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac (with files from Patrick Craine)
TORONTO, August 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The fallout from the tactics used by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (D&P) to ward off criticism of their funding of groups involved in abortion advocacy has misled many laity, priests and even some bishops in Canada. Even though the LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) reports have been taken seriously by bishops in Ontario, BC and elsewhere, several prominent clergy, believing the misinformation put out by D&P, have continued to defame LSN. The most concerning assaults on LSN’s credibility have come from Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber, the current President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).
A prominent priest in the Archdiocese of Toronto has accused LifeSiteNews.com of making “slanderous accusations” against D&P. Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv., pastor of The Franciscan Church of St. Bonaventure in Toronto and lecturer in pastoral counselling at St. Augustine Seminary in the Toronto School of Theology, wrote in a post on his blog that D&P was “under attack,” describing LSN as “a right-wing internet website that presents itself as supporting life.”
While Fr. Riccioli did admit that the LifeSiteNews “concerns if true would have been shocking,” he accepted at face value the counter-claims of D&P and concluded
that: “The explanation by D&P is credible and once again shows how people jump to conclusions. It also show [sic] how some so-called Catholic groups don’t know how to be in dialogue with others. In fact they are anti-Catholic, trying to muzzle the Church’s ability to enter into dialogue, to influence and to lead.”
LifeSiteNews.com broke the story about D&P’s funding practices in March. The reports were confirmed when, on May 28, the Bishops of Peru – after conducting an independent investigation – wrote a letterto the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) asking them to “stop funding pro-abortion groups in our country.” LSN’s reports were further confirmed by Judie Brown of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who had hired an independent researcher to look into LSN’s evidence, and Priests for Life Canada, which after reviewing the evidence, urged the bishops to conduct an investigation independent of D&P.
The limited investigation by the CCCB, involving high-level staff members of D&P itself, resulted in a report on June 29 claiming that the “allegations by Lifesite News” were “not founded on the facts.”
In its detailed response to the CCCB report, LSN noted that the two bishops who authored the report were led in their investigations by three D&P officials, and never consulted with LSN. The resulting whitewash report, while not directly attacking LSN, has erroneously left the impression that LSN slandered the Church in Canada. Or, as one Archbishop who was convinced by D&P put it, LSN’s accusations were “a malicious attack on this important and sacred work that the Catholic people in Canada do for the poor in the world through Development and Peace.”
Despite the fact that the investigative report, released on June 29, was authored by two bishops, certainly not all of Canada’s bishops were ready to shoot the messenger and resume business as usual with D&P.
Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto, Canada’s largest diocese, issued his July 23rd response to the controversy indicating that he would, from now on, permit funds from the archdiocese to go only to groups approved by local bishops in the developing world. Moreover, Archbishop Collins noted that future funding for D&P will be contingent on “thorough review” and “profound renewal” of D&P.
Since then, several bishops have indicated publicly and privately their support for Archbishop Collins’ resolution to the situation.
Archbishop Weisgerber revealed the contents of the investigation report on Salt + Light Television on June 19, prior to releasing the report to the majority of Canadian Bishops on whose behalf he acts. He used the opportunity to take jibes at LSN, and other Internet services which had revealed evidence of funding of pro-abortion groups by D&P. In a subsequent interview with Michael Swan of the Catholic Register, he stated: ”These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone – I think first of all they’re not part of the church, they’re not Catholic in the sense that they have no mandate, they have no authority, they have no accountability. And they speak very, very definitively about what it means to be Catholic, and they’re followed by so many people.”
More recently, in a recorded television Interview (extensive comments about D&P begin at minute 12:35 into the half hour video) aired July 9 and hosted by Salt & Light CEO Fr. Tom Rosica, Archbishop Weisgerber again claimed that there is no evidence to support the allegation that D&P is funding partners who advocate for abortion.
Archbishop Weisgerber spoke of a vacuum in pro-life leadership in the country, being filled by “websites,” “which have a very specific way of looking at things, which I don’t think is really Catholic.”
In several interviews Archbishop Weisgerber has invoked the authority of the Catholic Church against those publishing the information about D&P and to legitimize a false denial of copious evidence already in the public domain. See an LSN produced video on some of the evidence.
See all the LSN evidence here and on the LifeSiteNews Feature Page on the 2009 funding scandal.
In the interview with Fr. Rosica, Weisgerber put it this way: “It seems that when things appear on websites, they have a truth, simply because they’re there, and I mean I don’t know these websites, or who owns them, or to whom they are accountable. In the tradition of the Catholic Church, it’s very clear that the teaching authority of the Church is the bishop. And I mean if the people do not trust the bishop or the bishops of a country, and prefer to trust some anonymous website, I mean we have a real crisis in understanding of what the Church is. Now I suppose those websites can play some role in tweaking consciences and in raising issues, but I don’t think we can give them the infallibility of truth.”
Even though smacking of clericalism, this line of argument (Catholic laity have defined rights in Church law regarding these situations) is having a serious effect. It is leaving people to assume either deliberate falsehood or profound ignorance on the part of the CCCB, or that perhaps LSN and various other agencies which have discovered and confirmed such evidence are somehow fabricating it all.
Last week, Archbishop Weisgerber presented many of his same arguments on the D&P controversy to the entire Canadian contingent of leading Knights of Columbus at the Knights annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
After being urged to at least consider the LSN evidence Fr. Ricciolli, in a comment on his blog, said: “I have checked the LifeSite response to the Bishops’ Reports … I can see that the reports from LifeSite, if accurate would be very problematic. I am left with a dilema [sic]. Do I believe the Catholic bishops of Canada or not? To me, there’s not much of an option. I’ll stick with the bishops.”
LSN is grateful for the actions of Archbishop Collins and other bishops who are following the lead of the Toronto bishop.
However, persistent denials coming from the President of the Conference of Bishops invoking the authority of the Church to back misinformation are creating a new scandal.
Regarding the highlighted section above, Archbishop Weisgerber is suggesting that TRUST IN THE BISHOP MUST BE ESSENTIALLY….BLIND.
Here’s what I say: in today’s Catholic Church, trust is not presumed, it’s earned.
That’s a sad statement, but I submit it’s where we are in the Church today. And the D&P fiasco is only one minor example in a string of scandals to rock the Church.
Stick with what the Church officially teaches on faith and morals. That’s the only thing that Jesus promised would stand. Everything else (including and especially money) and everyone else (priest or bishop) should get no free lunch in their pastoral directives or pronouncements. Pastoral issues are not the same as doctrinal ones. If the bishops don’t want to conform their practice and pastoral directives to what the Church teaches in its moral theology, then we are not bound IN GOOD CONSCIENCE to follow them.
Every time Archbishop Weisgerber or Fr. Tom Rosica opens their mouths to defend D&P, such occasions provide us all with additional stellar examples of their massive betrayal of trust in light of the overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence against Development & Peace.
If the evidence was hidden, I could understand their denials as a matter of tactic or strategy, however immoral it would still be.
But it’s all out there in the open for everyone to see! That’s why I sometimes I think we are officially living in Alice In D&P Wonderland.
Who are you going to believe? Some Canadian bishops who have a failed and largely immoral ”social justice” legacy spanning 40 years to protect on the one hand, or the Peruvian Bishops and your own eyes on the other hand? It’s as simple as that. Don’t drink the Koolaid, OK?
D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE
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Posted on August 12th, 2009 by Paycheck in Catholicism
“The look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths. …16 The daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet; …In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils. 24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench; and instead of a sash, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a binding of sackcloth; instead of beauty, shame. (Is 3:9-11, 16-23)”
The Day of the Lord cometh like a thief in the night. And when a thief comes, he cleans you out.
When the god of money and sex is gone, where will you turn?
Either to the God of the Ages or to death.
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Posted on August 12th, 2009 by Paycheck in Development & Peace
August 12, 2009
Feast of St. Anicetus, Martyr
His Excellency Archbishop Luigi Ventura
724 Manor Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 0E3
As you may be aware by now, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s official development and aid agency, Development & Peace, has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the past few months by various Catholic news sources. It has been discovered that Development & Peace has been funding over 40 pro-abortion, anti-family, anti-Catholic groups in the Global South, most notably in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The evidence – which comes from these groups’ own websites, from third party websites, from audio interviews with these groups’ representatives, from eye witness testimony and pictures at these groups’ facilities, from bishops’ conferences, and from pro-life groups in these countries - is nothing less than staggering in breadth and scope.
I have enclosed herewith two pieces of evidence for your review. The first is a letter sent by the Peruvian Bishops Conference’s Office of the Family to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops which requests that the CCCB stop funding pro-abortion groups in their country. The second enclosure, which was mailed to all of the bishops of Canada on April 17, is an eye-witness report, including incriminating pictures, from a young lady who visited one of Development & Peace’s pro-abortion partners in Managua, Nicaragua. In addition to the evidence enclosed with this letter, I encourage you to watch this video which summarizes the major events of this scandal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsBkAc8Shng. A complete inventory of all of the evidence and reports can be found at this location: http://www.socon.ca/?p=1567.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, both the management of Development & Peace and the current president of the CCCB, Msgr. James Weisgerber, have refused to concede, much less address, the substantial and incontrovertible evidence against the pro-abortion partners they have been funding. Furthermore, the news sources which have been uncovering this scandal have been met with hostility and slander by Development & Peace. In fact, Msgr. Weisgerber went so far as to deny the credibility and even Catholicity of “Catholic bloggers” who uncovered Development & Peace’s scandalous practices.
In light of the Holy Father’s recent encyclical, Caritas in veritate, which explicitly says that authentic human development cannot be “detached” from a respect for the unborn, the urgency of reform of this so-called “development and aid agency” is desperately required.
In addition to informing you of this grave scandal, I have two requests to make. In the event that the Canadian bishops do not act decisively to cut every and all ties to these groups and stop the blood money from flowing by the end of their plenary assembly in October of this year, I am asking you on behalf of the pro-life community in this country to take the following steps:
1) Stop the Jurisdictional Encroachment – As the Peruvian scandal has demonstrated, Development & Peace is not revealing the specific activities of the groups they are funding in the Global South to the bishops in those dioceses. There is a legitimate question of jurisdictional encroachment by the Canadian bishops and their agency against the bishops of these dioceses. It would be inappropriate for the Canadian Church to be conducting “social justice” work in these dioceses without, at the very least, notifying the bishops as a matter of deference and respect for their authority. It becomes an unconsciounable breach when this “social justice” work ends up funding groups whose primary mandate is to push for abortion, and which, as the Peruvian case aptly demonstrates, could have been avoided. I am therefore asking you to alert the Nuncios in these countries (who could in turn alert the bishops there) about the scandalous funding practices of Development & Peace. If the Peruvian bishops have objected to such conduct, it is certain that the bishops of these other countries would likewise object.
2) Plea for Direct Intervention by the Pope – Because of the seriousness and the heinous nature of these funding activities which has not only lead to the direct assault on the sanctity of unborn life but in some cases even attacks on the Church itself in these developing countries, I am asking that the Holy See directly intervene with the bishops of Canada to encourage the bishops to conduct a thorough and complete reform of its development and aid agency.
I want to express to you, your Excellency, in the strongest possible way, that the Canadian faithful will no longer tolerate this near whole-scale abdication of responsibility and gross negligence by the Canadian episcopacy in defending unborn life and Humanae Vitae during these past 40 years, even as they ostensibly work for “social justice” while turning a blind eye to the abortion juggernaut which is rolling across the Global South.
Any unity that is not based on the truth is a sham. Let us not put ourselves in a position of having to pay lip service to the truth and to the unborn at the service of a false unity which cannot be maintained indefinitely.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE
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Posted on August 11th, 2009 by Paycheck in Eco-Frauds
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Posted on August 10th, 2009 by Paycheck in Development & Peace
TORONTO, August 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Caregivers and close friends of Canada’s greatest defender of the Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae – 93-year-old Monsignor Vincent Foy, report that he is still recovering from grave health conditions resulting from a hip injury as the result of a fall in early July.
The report sent to LifeSiteNews states that “Msgr. remains fully cognizant and has been redeemed off life support for the second time.” He is said to be “ecstatic” to now be able to receive “a tiny drop of the Precious Blood” (Holy Communion) on a daily basis. Msgr. has begun speaking, and there is a possibility that his tracheotomy may be reversed.
The famous Canadian priest, canon lawyer and outspoken defender of the Church’s moral teachings has undergone multiple surgeries during the past month. He has been taken off the ventilator and last week had a tracheotomy and a stomach feeding tube insertion. It is said that if all goes well, he will learn to speak normally again in 4-8 weeks and will spend at least another month or two in hospital. A new major problem is the difficulty of finding a long term care facility able to take him in as a permanent resident.
Knowing his great dedication to the pro-life cause, “Archbishop Thomas Collins’ marvellous recent official public statement on Development and Peace, along with the Lifesite News supportive commentary on this statement, were read to Msgr. Foy,” said the caregivers’ report. They added, “Although he could not speak yet due to his tracheotomy, he was most edified on hearing these statements and wrote: “both statements” are “excellent and orthodox.” Msgr Foy has has been personally concerned about the direction of CCODP for many years.
Prayers are still being asked for his recovery with the hope that he will be able to celebrate his 94th birthday on August 14, as the oldest Toronto Archdiocesan priest.
This past June 3rd, Msgr. Foy gave a fascinating talk, without notes, about his years as a priest and expressed his gratitude for many named people associated with that life at the conclusion of a special mass celebrating the 70th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Frankly, there are not many Canadian bishops today or for the past 40 years who are deserving to untie the thongs of his sandals….
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Posted on August 10th, 2009 by Paycheck in Development & Peace
The Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes, José Antonio Eguren, has written a letter formally asking his Canadian counterparts to stop the funding, through the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace, D&P, to alleged pro-abortion groups in Peru.
According to Eguren, President of the Peruvian Conference of Bishops’ Commission on Family, Childhood and Life, “a staff of professionals” affiliated to the Commission recently led an in-depth investigation of the Canadian-supported groups in Peru and determined that three organizations – including Peru’s Economic Solidarity Network, or GRESP and the Coordinadora Nacional de Radio, or CNR – were “pro-abortion.”
Eguren, a member of the conservative Sodalitium Vitae order, was named Archbishop of Piura and Tumbes by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. The Peru-based order works closely with the conservative Opus Dei, of which Cardinal Luis Cirpiani, Archbishop of Lima, is a member.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, or CCCB, has yet to comment on Eguren’s letter, or the accusations voiced by LifeSiteNews.com – an online internet service funded by the Campaign Life Coalition, or CLC, a Canadian pro-life organization headquartered in Toronto. LifeSiteNews.com published Eguren’s letter – dated May 28, 2009 – on its website on June 10, 2009.
“The CCCB cannot comment on the letter a Peruvian Archbishop sent last month to CCCB president, Archbishop James Weisberger,” Gérald Baril, a CCCB spokesperson, told the Peruvian Times. “The CCCB and Peru’s Conference of Bishops are currently discussing the matter, to clarify the situation. Bishops from across Canada will convene and discuss the matter during the upcoming plenary session, in mid-October.”
Though some pro-life leaders, such as Carlos Polo – a member of the Peruvian Conference of Bishops’ Family Commission and the Latin American Director of the Population Research Institute – claim that investigations have left “no doubt” such funding has taken place, critics say the pro-abortion accusations “are irresponsible, slanderous, and part of an ongoing defamation campaign against groups that promote women’s sexual and reproductive rights.”
“Pro-life groups and the Church, for the past seven years, have been carrying out a forceful campaign to prevent any normative or legal advancement in terms of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Peru,” said Rocio Gutiérrez, the sexual and reproductive rights focus area coordinator of the Lima-based Peruvian nonprofit organization Manuela Ramos.
Though Manuela Ramos is not funded by D&P, said Gutiérrez, all human and women’s rights groups –many of which are in great need of foreign aid – could potentially be affected by Eguren’s letter and “irresponsible” accusations.
“These strong lobbies, with close and strong ties to the government, constantly misinform and defame civil society and human rights organizations struggling to stand up for women’s sexual and reproductive rights,” added Gutiérrez.
“They have put spokes in our wheels many times before, and this letter does not come as a surprise to me. No, it doesn’t really. These groups have done much more audacious things in the past,” she added, referring to a letter Peru’s Health Ministry sent in 2003 to then Secretary of the U.S. Congress, Thomas Thompson. The letter expressed the Ministry’s “preoccupation” about a “disinformation campaign” launched by the Manuela Ramos organization with funds provided by USAID.
On a television show called “Barra de Mujeres,” members of Manuela discussed women’s sexual and reproductive rights and, among other things, the “morning after pill,” or post-coital pill. Then Health minister, Dr. Fernando Carbonne, claimed the pill had “abortive properties” – setting off a scandal that ultimately led USAID to request that Manuela refund the money it had pledged to help finance the TV program….(Source)
It’s “audacious” to ask a Canadian Catholic Charity, under the auspices of the bishops of this country, to stop funding pro-abortion groups? Has this woman lost all coherency? Lady, pay attention: it is hardly audacious for me as a Catholic to demand that Catholic monies not be used to enable pro-abortion and feminist groups.
Or maybe….she’s right. Maybe things have gotten so bad and so corrupt in the Catholic Church that our enemies simply expect the Catholic gravy train to keep rolling for them. After all, it’s been happening for 40 years. Why stop now? What has happened to change the working arrangement?
To date, the Bishops of Canada have not released their official response to the Bishops of Peru. I hope no one out there is holding their breath, waiting to read their response, either. We’ll never see it. Too many big, fat egos in play here.
The bishops of Canada had enough information back in April to pull the plug on D&P. We’re into the fourth month where the blood money has continued to flow since then. And it will be many more months (perhaps years) before things are cleaned up in a satisfactory fashion. By then, however, much damage will have already been done to the Global South and its pro-life laws because of the inaction, intransigence, and pride of this country’s bishops who will one day have to render an account of why they delayed after D&P was exposed.
As I have said in the past, I encourage all Catholics to boycott D&P until the organization is gutted and completely cleaned out.
But, in the meantime, all faithful Canadian Catholics and LifeSiteNews can take great pride in knowing that we have really thrown a wrench in the abortion machine, or as the lady says above, “put spokes in our wheels“.
In due time, God willing, the wheels will be blown out and the abortion bike will have to be ditched.
D&P ABORTION SCANDAL VIDEO & INDEX PAGE
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Posted on August 10th, 2009 by Paycheck in Catholicism, Liberalism
As readers of Socon or Bust are aware, I have only taken a cursory notice of the manufactured Communion flap involving the Prime Minister. Until now, I have mostly laid the blame at the feet of the presiding church officials for their lax approach to the protocol concerning Communion for non-Catholics. Later, as all of the artificial “outrage” by pseudo-Catholic Liberals started to reach its crescendo, I started to entertain the idea that this “scandal” was a manufactured Liberal smear to recapture the Catholic vote the Liberal Party had lost during the last couple of elections . Given Fife’s report, it looks like my original suspicions were on the money. I also made some remarks on the admission that the MSM was responsible for pushing this bogus story with “no credible support”. All in all, then, I’ve been merely reporting on this story as a casual observer.
A couple of my colleagues have since poked me and set a bee in my ear to get more involved and do a little more digging. So that’s what I did. I looked around for a couple of hours on the internet to follow up on some of my suspicions and other leads of interest, but, for the most part, the effort was largely in vain. The longer you take to react to a story on the internet, the harder it is to get in the game when you’re already in the ninth inning.
Sometimes, however, it’s not necessary to do extensive research and prodding around, especially, as in this case, when the evidence is right before one’s eyes in the original story which started the whole ruckus in motion in the first place. I had never completely read the entire article, mostly relying on small citations from other blogs and news sources, but when I finally settled myself to read through it, a few things, which just didn’t fit right and whose timing was more than coincidental, jumped out at me.
Let’s start with a little bit of geography. The Funeral Mass was held in Memramcook, New Brunswick which is within the episcopal jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Moncton and whose ordinary is Most Reverend André Richard. Archbishop Richard was also the officiating priest at the Funeral of Roméo LeBlanc on July 3 at Saint Thomas parish in the Archdiocese of Moncton.
Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted on August 9th, 2009 by Paycheck in Religious Persecution
A play portraying Jesus as a transsexual is set to run in a Glasgow Theatre – funded by the same public body behind an exhibition inviting the public to deface the Bible.
Critics say the play, entitled ‘Jesus, Queen of Heaven’, is further proof of an agenda to use taxpayers’ money to fund assaults on Christian values.
The production is due to run in November at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre as part of Glasgay, an annual publicly-funded gay arts festival.
Supported by Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG), a quango set up by the City Council, the festival has already provoked worldwide outrage at an exhibition which encouraged the public to graffiti a Bible.
Many obscene and offensive messages were scrawled before public outcry resulted in the Bible’s enclosure in a secure transparent case.
Publicity material for the Jesus, Queen of Heaven play shows the writer and lead performer – transsexual actor Jo (formerly John) Clifford – posing as Christ with crucifixion wounds and a halo.
The theatre advert reads: “Jesus is a transsexual woman. And it is now she walks the earth.
“This is a play with music that presents her sayings, her miracles, and her testimony.”
CSG has confirmed it is part-funding the production but the sums involved have not been revealed.
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “If Glasgow’s council taxpayers were consulted, I doubt they would consider this was a good use of their money.
“What with this and the Bible defacing exhibit, you have to wonder what is the next outrage Glasgow City Council has planned.”
Gordon Macdonald of Christian group CARE for Scotland said: “Organisers of these events are trying to placate the gay rights lobby while riding roughshod over everyone else – at public expense.”
A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church said: “Coming in the wake of the outrageous Bible exhibition, which encouraged the defacing of the Bible in the name of gay rights, the funding of another production with the provocative title Jesus, Queen of Heaven will leave most citizens of Glasgow aghast.
“Serious questions must now be raised about the agenda being pursued by CSG.” (Source)
I guess they have to get their kicks in before the civilization completely collapses and anarchy or Islam takes over.
When that happens, all of this kind of insult and extortion is going to end very badly for the Rainbow Jackboot.
What do you think the chances of Muhammed being the next object of their scorn and blasphemy? Not very much, I should think — which kind of tells you the kind of cowards the Sex Lobby are, doesn’t it?
When Muhammed gets into power, these fools will be sorry they didn’t have 10,000 Jerry Falwells instead.
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Posted on August 8th, 2009 by Paycheck in Abortion
MONTREAL, Quebec, August 7, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Montreal’s Alternative abortuary has announced that it will be closing its doors on September 30th due to a new Quebec government bill that has required minimal safety standards for abortion centres. Effective September 30th, Bill 34 requires abortuaries to receive a permit, which would require that they perform abortions in a sterile surgery room. The director of Alternative, Micheline Dupuis, told Le Devoir that the safety requirements are “excessive” and “absolutely unnecessary.” Alternative conducts approximately 1,000 abortions per year, and so both the Quebec media and abortion agencies are warning of long wait times. Private abortion mills in Quebec are said to conduct 5,000 of the 27,000 abortions per year in Quebec. Other abortion mills have not yet stated that they will close, but they are complaining about the new requirements, and according to Le Devoir, none of the facilities they contacted had the necessary basic operating room equipment. Claude Potvin of Femina told them that the law “does not correspond to anything in either the public, or in the private [setting].” According to the Morgentaler abortuary’s Dr. Francine Léger, “even in the hospitals, it’s not like that, it’s a double standard.” While they do not meet the new standards, Le Devoir reports that all of the facilities conform to the established requirements of the Quebec College of Physicians and the National Abortion Federation, which apparently do not require the abortion surgeries to be performed in a sterile environment with basic surgical equipment. It is reported that the Quebec College of Physicians will be meeting with the Quebec Ministry of Health to discuss the matter.
I see the abortion providers and their variety of useful idiots have provided us with yet another stellar example of how they carry the interest of women’s safety in their hearts. Remember the jingo, “Legal, Safe & Rare”? Well, they got the first one, but the industry really doesn’t care about the other two. Abortions are hardly rare and they never will be, provided they are legal and lucrative. After all, the pressure to abort remains intense on women in today’s culture. And as for abortion being “safe”, that’s the biggest lie going. More women are dying today from LEGAL abortions than they ever did from the back-alley kind. Abortionists are only concerned about the money.
A basic, sterile environment still costs money.
That’s why they are against it. Otherwise, why would they be putting up such a stink about conforming to basic health and safety standards? And why are they not providing such an environment in the first place? It kind of tells you what abortionists think about women’s health. They even tell women where to go if they get emotional….
The “doctor” said “Toughen up, why are you here? If you can’t handle it get out!” She “toughened up” and stayed. (Source)
That’s quite the situation, is it not? Are they suggesting that the Quebec government – one of the most fiercely pro-abort governments in the Western world – is…uh…pro-life? Give me a break. Maybe our prayers are working. After all, why has this become such a problem “all of a sudden”? Abortion has always been a dirty job.
I doubt the pro-abort fanatics out there will take the blinders off long enough to see that, though. Far from caring about “women’s health”, the abortionists are just concerned about “women’s money”. “Reproductive rights” is simply the ruse they push in order to sell their product. Remember, today, if you want to make a crap load of money, just slap “human rights” on it, and you’ll be loaded in no time.
Wake the f-up.
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August 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An article in the August 3rd issue of Maclean’s magazine defends the choice of couples to remain intentionally childless, arguing that remaining childless helps the environment and that those who “breed” are guilty of extreme selfishness.
After touching on a growing list of writers who promote childlessness and examining the lives of a few upscale couples who decided against parenting, the article focuses on a book by French psychotherapist Corinne Maier. “No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children” caused an uproar when published in France last year, due in part to such words of wisdom about the difficulties encountered in raising children as, “If you really want to be host to a parasite, get a gigolo.”
Maier, though a mother of two, says that at times she regretted having her own children, now aged 14 and 11, and came to the defense of women who said they felt socially ostracized because they didn’t want children.
“To be childless is considered a defect,” Maier wrote. But she countered that “conscientious objectors to this fertility mythology” should be praised for their ecological concern and national patriotism. “To have a kid in a rich country is not the act of a citizen. The state should be helping those who decide not to have children: less unemployment, less congestion, fewer wars.”
Maier mocks the traditional family, calling it “an inward-looking prison focused on the child,” and states that parents, not “child-free” couples, should be stigmatized for their selfishness and the “carbon footprint of their offspring.”
“Every baby born in a developed country is an ecological disaster for the whole planet,” she writes.
The Maclean’s article does provide one refreshing counter-argument by American author Lionel Shriver, who, though she never wanted children, wrote in her book “Separation From Birth”, “There is something nihilistic about refusing to reproduce, selfish in the worst way.”
“Take individual fulfillment at the expense of parenthood to the limit, and one generation has a cracking good time, after which the entire human race, poof, vanishes from the planet.”
A group calling itself the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose motto is “May we live long and die out. Thank you for not breeding,” has this complete childlessness as its stated goal: “the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: homo sapiens … us.”
Though the group may be considered extreme fringe, public figures and scientists are increasingly calling for more childlessness despite the looming demographic collapse of most western countries.
In February this year, Jonathan Porritt, chairman of Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission, said that couples who have more than two children are “irresponsible” and called for more abortion and contraception to “save the environment.”
Speaking to the annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust, Porritt said that to make Britain “sustainable,” its 60 million-plus population must be reduced by half.
“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact,” Porritt stated.
US author Steven Kotler, writing in Psychology Today, explains the solution to world problems: “You don’t need to ask what you need to do for the world. You already know. Stop having children. It’s that easy.”
In direct counterpoint to the rejection of fertility promoted by Maclean’s, the documentary film “Demographic Winter,” which explores the effects of the worldwide decline in birthrates, paints a disturbing picture of the devastating social, political and economic effects of the continuing global population crisis. “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st century,” says demographer Philip Longman in the film.
“We are headed toward a demographic winter which threatens to have catastrophic social and economic consequences,” say the filmmakers. “The effects will be severe and long lasting and are already becoming manifest in much of Europe.”
Barry McLerran, producer of Demographic Winter, and its soon to be released sequel “Demographic Bomb: demography is destiny,” said that the documentaries show “what happens when countries comprising 80 percent of the world’s economy have plummeting numbers of workers, consumers and innovators – leading to falling consumer spending, and too few workers to support the elderly.”
Internationally syndicated conservative columnist Mark Steyn succinctly sums up the consequence of the growing trend to childlessness by western couples who quote “betterment of relationships,” “career motivations,” “dislike of children,” and “the desire to remain in their current lifestyle” as the reasons for their barrenness.
Writing in the UK magazine the New Criterion, Steyn observes, “Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetime.”
“Europe by the end of this century,” he writes, “will be a continent after the neutron bomb: The grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the races who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world.”
Pointing to the collapsing birth rate and high rates of abortion in Western countries, Steyn predicts that what is now being called the “post-Christian” west will be taken over by the more fecund, socially confident and fundamentally dissimilar Islamic culture that is currently encroaching upon it.
“And the hard data on babies around the Western world is that they’re running out a lot faster than the oil is … the global fertility leader, Somalia, is 6.91, Niger 6.83, Afghanistan 6.78, Yemen 6.75. Notice what those nations have in common?”
It’s amazing to watch a whole culture justify its own suicide and selfishness by appealing to the god of the environment.
It’s a good thing that their thinking will die out with them, of course. The bad news is that the whole Western culture as we have understood it is going with them, and so are our freedoms and way of life.
Our only hope is a resurgence of Christianity. That and that alone is what will save us from these blind fools.
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