Archives for 2016

Elsewhere: voting for abortion


I have stayed out of commenting on particular political candidates this round. That is not changing. Our choices are truly horrid. They are not much better in congressional and other races. Horrid.

Yet, at the end of the “process,” the presidency and every one of these offices will be filled by people acting in our name. Their occupants will, for better or worse, make decisions which are binding on all citizens in both the near and long term. We should all be able to agree with this statement of fact.

What if I told you that some candidates support parental “rights” to terminate their newborns up until the age of 1. It would be a deeply personal, difficult choice, but would allow them not to be punished with a child they recognize as a mistake. Perhaps a woman might be abandoned by the child’s father. Perhaps the child was less than perfect. 100,000 would be erased per year in this way, with a societal benefit of lowering health care and education costs.

Do you support that? Would you reluctantly ignore that position of a candidate if you felt there were counter-balancing economic and structural positions? Could you tolerate it if the candidate supporting it was far less detestable to you than the alternative?

While this evolution is not yet on the table, abortion is and it is more than 10 times worse. People – Catholics – are struggling with this moral dilemma. That is so, so sad. This should not be a struggle at all for faithful Catholics. Choosing against innocent life is moral depravity. At this magnitude it is history’s greatest holocaust. Abortion is always an intrinsic evil (never justified) of the greatest gravity (life itself). Weighing this against prudential choices of economic policy or candidate likability is possible only by putting politics ahead of God.

Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, spoke on this exact issue recently at the annual international gathering of Knights held in Canada.

“We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates,” he said. “It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.”

“Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale,” he added.

Anderson said politics does not mean partisanship, but a stand for the common good and for moral and religious values that make free, democratic institutions possible.

Foremost among these values, he said, is “the equal dignity of every human life and the right of every person to freely practice their religion.”

“We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death.”

He reflected on the political question of whether one should support a candidate attractive for many reasons but who supports abortion.

“Some partisan advocates have sought to excuse support for pro-abortion candidates through a complex balancing act. They claim other issues are important enough to offset a candidate’s support for abortion,” he said.

“But the right to abortion is not just another political issue,” Anderson said. “It is, in reality, a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.”

He noted that 40 million is a figure greater than the entire population of Canada.

“What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation?” he asked. “The answer, of course, is that there is none.”

Anderson’s comments are reported in the National Catholic Register: Carl Anderson to Voters: ‘Stop Creating Excuses for Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians’.

Please, please reconsider your support of anyone you know is going to continue the tragedy of abortion (even if they disingenuously claim to be “personally against it”).

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #203)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. Grassroots Films is releasing a wonderful new film on the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. One 90 year old man has been single-handedly building a cathedral for the last 53 years. Lutheran Satire pokes fun at the absurdity of radical feminism. Video snap-shots from World Youth Day. Why does God let bad things happen? Which causes more selfishness: socialism or capitalism?

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #44, August 2016, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from July. Contributing authors this month include: Matthew Coffin, Chris Capolino, Nancy Ward, Birgit Jones, Tracy Smith, Matthew Plese, Joseph Shaw, Denise Hunnell, Stephen Korsman, Dave Wanat, Kathleen Laplante, Roxane Salonen, Tony Agnesi, Nancy Shuman, Carissa Douglas, Larry T, Rick Becker, Blythe Kaufman, Michael Seagriff, Vijaya Bodach, Frank Rega, Bartimaeus Timeo, Elizabeth Reardon, Larry Peterson, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Allen Hebert, Barbara Hosbach, Mike Landry, Rich Maffeo, Fr. Stephen Morris, Mary Keane, Kirby Hoberg, Alicia, Leslie Klinger, John Schroeder, Carolyn Astfalk, David Wong, Ellen Kolb, Thomas and Deborah Richard, Fr. Adrian Danker, Christina Nagy, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Robert Collins, Claire McGarry, James Milliken, Jenn Tatum, Fr. Richard DeLillio, David Cooney, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Pat and Nicole Padley, Jeff Walker, Catherine Prady, Tom Perna, Bonnie Way, Tom Zampino, Rick Rice, Katie O’Keefe, John Russell, Virginia Lieto, Amy Wiggin, Jennifer Elia, Justin Soutar, Margaret Felice, Susan Stabile and Ebeth Weidner.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at

Read Now

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Grassroots Films will release a new documentary film next month: Outcasts. It follows the ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, taking 10 years to produce. Here is the trailer:

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The movie Field of Dreams popularized following a crazy dream, promising “if you build it, he will come”. That could also be the motto of Don Justo (Justo Gallego Martínez) who has been building Nuestra Señora del Pilar, a cathedral outside of Madrid — by himself — for 53 years.

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The wacky folks at Lutheran Satire have produced another wonderful video! This one is entitled A Christian and a Feminist Almost Agree on Stuff:

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Ascension Presents has about two dozen on-the-ground videos covering World Youth Day. Here is a sample:

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Does God really make bad things happen, even in order to bring a greater good? Fr. Mike Schmitz looks at this common misunderstanding:

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Dennis Prager looks at selfishness, comparing socialism and capitalism.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

New Evangelists Monthly – August 2016, Issue #44

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #202)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Planned Parenthood continues to misuse the judicial system to ruin opponents who expose their business. Chris Stefanick reminds us to “be present” to our families. Perverts now enjoying Target’s new pervert-friendly policy. Fr. Mike Schmitz reviews the absolute minimum to actually be Catholic (so called “practicing Catholic”). Bishop Barron looks at a C.S. Lewis classic. FBI Director Comey, despite lack of indictment for extremely serious crimes, actually proves the numerous lies and the actual crimes (even though people apparently don’t care). Is it really a fact that 97% of climate scientists are in agreement?

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Planned Parenthood is on a vengeful mission to crush David Deleiden any way they can. You may recall that he is head of the Center for Medical Progress which exposed their baby parts business. Having failed at criminal charges (which was 100% ludicrous), they are now working a civil suit angle. If he were not David and they an uber-evil Goliath, there would be no point since they utterly have no case. But with their resources (including your tax money), the hope is to keep him in court for years and destroy him in legal fees.

Undeterred, here is CMR’s latest video:

If you can help David, please contribute to his legal defense fund as I did.

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We are all so busy. When we get home tired and with a lot on our mind, are we actually there for our family other than physically? Christopher Stefanick reminds us to Be Present:

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Target Restroom

Strengthen your resolve to boycott Target. They should be a pariah until they apologize and reverse their pervert-friendly bathroom policy. Brave hero’s are they for the extreme liberal crowd, this very family-hostile policy has already born fruit. Read how a “transgender woman” videotaped a young woman in Target’s fitting room. The story is here.

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What is the very minimum to be a Practicing Catholic? Fr. Mike presents the 5 precepts of the Church (Catechism 2041 to 2043).

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Bishop Barron discusses the theological insight genius of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce:

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It’s odd. FBI Director James Comey’s explanation of how no crimes were committed seems to actually detail facts which are prima facie proof. Regardless of that, we have the candidate’s emphatic explanations. Let’s see how that squares:

At this point I suspect very few people believe her. The problem is that so many just don’t care.

Back to my point of her criminal guilt:

Again, if this were you – for far less – you would surely be sent to prison for a very long time. In this case however, so many people simply don’t care.

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It is a well known fact that 97% of reputable climate scientists agree that climate change is real. This issue is settled. Let’s pass sweeping laws to address it! Or maybe, we should give that oft-repeated claim just a teeny bit of scrutiny.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

Elsewhere: growing Amoris Laetitia pushback


For all the good, beautiful and true prose in Amoris Laetitia, there are serious problems. As I noted in my review written 11 days after its publication (Amoris Laetitia conclusions), the “problems overshadow the rest of the document”.

I am not usually good at predictions, but these were easy:

  • Amoris Laetitia will fail in its goals, but will be seriously divisive for the Church.
  • Those who are “divorced and remarried” will increasingly receive communion (and thereby, as St. Paul warned, “eats and drinks judgment on himself”) — with and without pastoral guidance.
  • In areas where bishops tolerate (or worse, promote) this abuse, actual applications for annulments will decline in preference to this express approach.
  • Young people contemplating marriage, will have ever more reason to doubt the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. What they see in actions will speak much louder to them than the words to the contrary.
  • Likewise, struggling marriages will be weakened as a new acceptance for “remarriage” may appear to be normalized.
  • A future “pope of clarity” will have to unambiguously correct this and other official ambiguities which have appeared in recent years.

All but the last one have already proven to be true. I hope that I am wrong on the last prediction, but I continue to doubt that Pope Francis will satisfactorily address this. It will therefore continue to fester, to lead people astray and to increase division.

This week we learn that 45 Catholic academics urge cardinals to ask Pope Francis to fix exhortation’s errors. This was reported in LifeSite News:

Forty-five Catholic prelates, academics, and clergy have submitted an appeal to the Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome requesting that the cardinals and Eastern Catholic Patriarchs petition Pope Francis to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.

The appeal will be sent in various languages to the 218 living Catholic Cardinals and Patriarchs over the coming weeks.

The unnamed signatories contend that the exhortation contains “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals.” According to the group’s press release, the signatories submitted along with their appeal a documented list of applicable theological censures specifying “the nature and degree of the errors that could be attributed to Amoris laetitia.”

The group’s appeal asks the cardinals, in their capacities as the Pope’s official advisers, to approach Pope Francis with a request that he reject “the errors listed in the document in a definitive and final manner, and to authoritatively state that Amoris laetitia does not require any of them to be believed or considered as possibly true.”

“We are not accusing the pope of heresy,” said Dr. Joseph Shaw, a signatory and a spokesman for the group of scholars and pastors, “but we consider that numerous propositions in Amoris laetitia can be construed as heretical upon a natural reading of the text. Additional statements would fall under other established theological censures, such as scandalous, erroneous in faith, and ambiguous, among others.”

“It is our hope that by seeking from our Holy Father a definitive repudiation of these errors we can help to allay the confusion already brought about by Amoris laetitia among pastors and the lay faithful,” continued Shaw. “For that confusion can be dispelled effectively only by an unambiguous affirmation of authentic Catholic teaching by the Successor of Peter.”

The group takes issue with nineteen passages in Amoris Laetitia that seem to contradict Catholic doctrine and maintains that the exhortation undermines the Church’s teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who are not living abstinently may not receive the Sacraments.

The article goes on to provide more detail and examples. Read the whole piece at 45 Catholic academics urge cardinals to ask Pope Francis to fix exhortation’s errors.

There is still more…

That was not the only high-profile appeal this week. Sixteen pro-life leaders from around the world have made a similar, passionate request directly to the Holy Father. Read their comments at Plea to the pope: Life and family leaders call on pope to ‘end the confusion’.

Each speaks personally, directly to Pope Francis in this 30 minute video . Excerpts are also available for the public in the following short (under 4 minutes) version:

This problem can not and will not go away.