Monday, December 31, 2007

FREE Epiphany greeting card, just for the asking!

If you'd like to give friends and family something lovely this Epiphany Sunday, just ask. Use the "email Kelly" button on the left (please don't change the subject line) and I'll send you a printable Epiphany card in printable .PDF format.

It's graced with the antiphon from Epiphany Vespers and designed by my good friend Alden Thatcher. All you need to do is open the file with Acrobat Reader, print as many copies as you like (it's full color), fold it twice and give it to your loved ones.

It's my gift to you...thank you for being so good to me!

P.S. For those of you who got last year's card, this one is a different one.

Vigil Mass for Mary Mother of God...what a difference a week makes!

Last week I was a tad peeved at what passed for Christmas Vigil music at my favorite chapel in Boston.

This evening I attended the same chapel for the Vigil for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Wow!

The Gloria, Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei were all chanted in Latin and everybody joined in. The songs were traditional carols without reference, for the most part, to hymnal numbers so nobody had to force themselves into wacky PC versions. What a difference!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holy Family Sunday Reading I didn't hear today...

I heard Colossians 3:12-17.

Which means I didn't hear Colossians 3:1-21...the scrapped verses of the Second Reading:

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands,
as is proper in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives,
and avoid any bitterness toward them.
Children, obey your parents in everything,
for this is pleasing to the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children,
so they may not become discouraged.

Why on earth this important message was left out—particularly on Holy Family Sunday—is beyond me.

In any case, know that I've offered a prayer for your family today!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Patriots win! Wow.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

PC Christmas Carols and an interesting Vigil Mass

Full disclaimer:

The Vigil Mass I attended at my favorite chapel in Boston was glorious. I'm glad I went and wouldn't have chosen otherwise. That said:

The music was...something else.

I really didn't think I needed a hymnal to join in the Christmas songs before Mass. Wrong! The lyrics seem to have changed.

From "O Little Town of Bethlehem:" we did not sing "...and praises sing to God our King and peace to men on earth."

But rather "and praises sing to God our King and peace to all on earth."

(A similar, if I recall correctly, sillyism was repeated in "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.")

As for "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"...well...

"Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel!"

"Pleased as one with one to dwell..." ("as one with one to dwell????)

And, during "Joy to the World" we did not proclaim "let men their song employ..." No, we sang something like "let all of us our songs employ" (which didn't do a whole lot for the rhythm of the song).

Still, this was just the prelude so I didn't really mind that much.

But what we did to the "Gloria"!

Someone got the notion of scoring the Gloria—which is a very cool part of the Mass of Christmas, not having heard or sung it for the last four Sundays for Pete's sake—to follow the melody of "Angels We Have Heard on High." The choir sang, for starters:

"Glory to-oo Go-ah-od, i-in the-uh highest"

Following which the congregation was expected to respond—and gamely enough, we did—

"Gloria in excelsis Deo" (a la the above-mentioned carol).

Well, this went on until the end. The problem was, the real "Gloria's" words didn't "fit" with the new score. Result? It abruptly ended with the words "You alone are the most high, Jesus Christ."

Feeling rather helpless but determined, I mumbled the words "with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen" for which I received a nod of thanks from my fellow pew sitters.

Again, the Mass was glorious. Because God was in charge! And He doesn't need, nor does He expect, perfection from us in our adoration.

But couldn't we at least try a little bit to remember that it is is our privilege to do our very best for Him, and not worry so much about glorifying ourselves?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Saint Stephen's final prayer: make it your own!

Today, after the joyous news of Our Savior's birth, we face the shocking martyrdom of one who believed in this same Savior.

As in other years, I've often wished the final prayer of Saint Stephen was included in today's First Reading (Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59).

Today we hear Stephen crying as he died: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"

Which is a great prayer, of course.

But what we don't, for some reason, hear is the saint's Christ-like petition, made just before he died:

"Lord, do not hold this sin against them!"

A prayer that surely led Jesus to convert Saint Paul.

Paul—then Saul—fiercely denied that Jesus was the Messiah. He participated in Stephen's assassination. Yet Stephen, at the point of death prayed for him, prayed for all of those who doubted, who denied Christ.

Make Stephen's prayer your own.

"Do not hold this sin against them" can be a prayer for your enemies, for those who have hurt you terribly, or for even the guy who cut you off at the intersection.

But even more, it can be—and I can't emphasize this enough—a prayer for doubters, deniers, for those who dislike Jesus' Church.

Pray daily for your enemies.

Pray even harder for the enemies of Christ.

It's a Christmas present that lasts all year long, after all!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Don't forget to kneel!!!

You may be going to a Vigil or Midnight Mass tomorrow. There is a chance that your priest may forget to do so, but don't you! During the Creed, please kneel at the words:

For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man.

God bless you!

P.S. If you're going to Mass on Christmas Day, the same applies!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ben Stein's movie: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" looks good!

I've been half in love with Ben Stein since his Visine commercials. ("Wow.")

But now I'm becoming a true admirer since seeing the trailer of his documentary scheduled to be released this February.

It doesn't, as so many (I think, frightened, for reasons I can't explain) trash the theory of evolution. It does, however, probe into the reasons why scientists and others are trashed because they trash—or even question—Darwinism.

Check out the movie, especially the long trailer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today's first reading (Jeremiah 23:5-8) and Gospel (Matthew 1: 18-25) both contain that incredible word "Behold!" The priest noted this in his homily today, for which I'm grateful.

"Behold" is different from words like "Look!" or "See!" or even "See here!" To behold something is to, as my dictionary puts it, "perceive through the use of the mental faculty."

I think of Pilate, who, in presenting the horribly scourged Jesus to the people, didn't merely say "Look at this man" but rather "Ecce homo!" Behold the man! Comprehend what he has already suffered!

I think of John the Baptist who, upon seeing Jesus, cried out "Ecce Angus Dei!" Behold the Lamb of God! Realize Who this Man is! Internalize the meaning of Whom you are witnessing!

Behold. It's a great word, especially when used to introduce Christ.

I'm grateful that, before Communion, the priest actually said while lifting up the Body of Christ:

"Behold the Lamb of God!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

John the Baptist: "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect another?"

Yesterday—Gaudete Sunday—we heard a Gospel passage that has haunted and fascinated me for a long time.

John is in prison, awaiting death. He sends his disciples to Jesus to ask the question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect another?” (Matthew 11: 2-3)

What motivated John's question?

A priest I know—a great friend—believes that John was suffering "the dark night of the soul" and in a way it makes sense. Here he is, in a dank and ugly prison, looking forward to nothing but death...and he wonders.

Other commentators' I've read suggest that John's question, sent via his disciples, was a clever and loving way to convince these disciples that Jesus was truly "the One Who is to come."

But Pope Saint Gregory the Great offers, I believe, a glorious explanation.

This question is quickly answered if we examine the time and order in which events took place. On the banks of the Jordan, John affirmed that Jesus was the Redeemer of the world; even so, after his imprisonment, he asked whether he was really the one who was to come. It was not that he doubted Jesus to be the Redeemer of the world, but he wanted to know whether he who had come in person into the world would also descend in person to the prison-house of the dwelling-place of the dead. Because he whom John had already announced to the world in his role as forerunner, he would also precede into the underworld by his death...It is as though he wanted to say clearly:

"Just as you have deigned to be born for man's sake, grant us to know whether you will also deign to die for him in such a way that, forerunner as I am of your birth so shall I also be of your death, and so that I may proclaim your coming to the dwelling places of the dead just as I have proclaimed your coming into the world."

I mean, I ask you: isn't this fantastically great???

John knew that Jesus was the Messiah. He foretold it! Now, nearing death himself, he wanted to make sure that this Redeemer was the same one who would die and free those already dead and waiting. And Jesus assured him that yes, he was that same Person...and to go ahead and joyfully announce to all those waiting that the time of their imprisonment was nearing an end.

What a party there must have been when John joined the hopeful and spread the great news...with the explicit permission of the Master Himself!

(Commentary courtesy of good folks at "The Daily Gospel" who, upon request, emails free the readings of the day.)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Little kids and the Blessed Sacrament

From the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy's letter, released December 8:

I also recommend that, in their catechetical training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence in the Eucharist"


"Specific places are to be reserved for continuous Eucharistic adoration. To that end, parish priests, rectors, and chaplains are encouraged to introduce the practice of Eucharistic adoration in their communities, both personally and communally, in a collective effort to enhance prayer life. Let everyone be involved, beginning with children preparing for First Holy Communion."

This got me thinking. (Ouch! My head!)

I've always been touched when seeing a priest bless a small child accompanying his or her parent to the Blessed Sacrament.

But I wonder...would it be possible for little kids to learn, before they're old enough to receive Holy Communion, to somehow express the understanding that this is Jesus they are approaching?

I'm thinking maybe that instead of receiving a priest's blessing at Communion time (after all, the kid could be blessed by a priest at any time) the child could be taught to genuflect or kneel before the Sacred Presence while his parents receive Jesus in the Sacrament.

First, of course, the child must understand that this really is Jesus he's approaching. But I don't think this is an impossibility, even for, say, a four or five year old.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Catholic Radio International... an interesting site with some good programing. I especially appreciated the latest "The Heart of the Matter" show.

Do me a favor. Go to the main site when you get a chance and give me your opinion on things like content, of course, but also navigation, set up, convenience, stuff like that.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Golden Compass" review withdrawn

I'm fairly certain that this post wasn't the cause of the USCCB withdrawal of its favorable "Golden Compass" review.

In any case, the review has been withdrawn.

If you read the report of the withdrawn review, you can almost sense the snit, as in:

Since CNS is a distributor of media reviews of the OFB, it must respect the office's withdrawal of its review. Effective December 10, the review of "The Golden Compass" will not be available on the CNS Web site. It will not be included in subsequent listings of the USCCB film reviews and classifications.

A few questions come to mind:

1.) Why didn't the USCCB change the Office of Film and Broadcasting review instead of merely "withdrawing" it?

2.) Why, come to think of it, is there a need for the Office of Film and Broadcasting within the USCCB anyway?

3.) Which begs the question: is there really a need for the USCCB in the first place? (A friend who used to work for the organization once explained to me why the USCCB was absolutely necessary but I've forgotten his reasons and he doesn't work there anymore.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Me, the gunman, and God": Jeanne Assam

"I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse," she said. "I said, 'Holy Spirit, please be with me.' I did not run away and I didn't think to run away. My hands weren't even shaking."

Jeanne Assam, former cop and current volunteer security guard at New Life Church in Colorado who killed a man who killed at least three to five people last Sunday...before he could kill anyone else.

Read the story.

Click on and hear the video on the lower left side of the page (it starts with a commercial).

Pray for the dead, including—especially—the gunman.

Friday, December 07, 2007

"I am the Immaculate Conception"

The December 8 Alleluia verse: "Ave Maria, gratia plena Dominus tecum! Benedicta tu in mulieribus..."

I love Mary. I struggle with the notion of anyone conceived without sin, but in looking at newborns I can sorta imagine it. But the notion of anyone living her entire life without sin is...well, it gives me pause.

And, thank God, it gives me hope!

Because this same woman, Mother of God and Mother of us all, prays for us whenever we ask (and probably when we don't ask). How good the Good God is to have given us such a mother!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ladies, PLEASE! You're not priests, so please don't act stupid!

Stories like this make me want to weep, and also make me wonder.

I wonder why it is, for example, that Catholic ladies who throw up their religion just to be able to play at being men are always so darn—well, not old, exactly, but definitely topping the scale of the boomer age.

(My aunt is in her mid-80s. These ladies are in their late sixties. My aunt possesses a reasonable amount of common sense. These ladies are acting plain silly.)

And speaking of silly, why do "reporters" get everything so darned wrong?

Two St. Louis area women who consider themselves Catholic priests celebrated their first Mass on Saturday...

No they didn't. This was no more of a "Mass" than this Mac I'm looking at is a hamster.

Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath were ordained Nov. 11 by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests group...

No they weren't. They were participating in a game that, as a child, I called "Let's Pretend."

Hudson and McGrath con-celebrated a late afternoon Mass on Saturday at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis.

No they didn't. They put on a play, perhaps.

McGrath said that the chapel holds 100 people but that 150 crammed inside.

Now, that's just plain idiocy. 50 extra people doesn't "cram" anything. And 150 people doesn't exactly constitute a throng.

“My guess is most were Catholics who felt alienated from their church,” McGrath said.

My guess is that most were Unitarians looking for still another path to consider on their own spiritual journeys...and most of all to "dialog" about it all, after the service. Over coffee. (Or green tea. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Green tea, I mean.)

The two women each gave a homily and offered communion to Catholics or anyone else in the church, said McGrath, 69.

They might've offered "communion" but it wasn't the Eucharist. Think "liturgical hors d'oeuvres" offered with an inclusive smile and you might be close.

Hudson, 67, said the women plan to hold a 4:30 p.m. Mass every Saturday at the church.

"Hold" a Mass? This is a giveaway. One "holds" a party. One doesn't "hold" a Mass.

“We were very well received,” Hudson said. “We feel good about it, and we plan to go on with it.”

Modesty as well as meekness. To say nothing of selflessness.

The killer quote:

“We don’t feel we have to defend ourselves,” Hudson said. “The archbishop has no authority over us because he did not ordain us.”

Neither, my ladies, did Christ. But then you already know that, don't you.

Please pray for these silly, silly women...and for those who encourage them in their folly.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena

Today begins a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast is celebrated on December 12. Thanks to John Mallon for Human Life International for providing this prayer.

Holy Mother Mary, Virgin of Guadalupe, during this novena we ask that you prepare our hearts for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. Make us docile to the workings of the Holy Spirit and faithful sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. As you transformed the pagan culture of Mexico nearly five centuries ago, so also transform our modern culture of death and make us witnesses to the culture of life. In this Advent season we promise our love, devotion and prayer for the victory of your Immaculate Heart.

Holy Mary of Guadalupe, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Amen.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

A blessed Advent and New Year to you!

Check out my cool Advent Wreath...courtesy of the generous and ever creative Curt Jester.

(Pssst: Bloggers: grab one for your own site!)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Personally I don't care if you see "The Golden Compass" or not but sheesh, didn't Harry Forbes and the the US bishops learn anything...

...from the "Brokeback Mountain" fiasco?

(They gave the "gay cowboy" movie a great review until about a zillion people gave the artistic boobs a big DUH!)

I didn't want to give any virtual ink to "The Golden Compass" because I figured ignoring the work of its anti-religion creator was the best way to elude what this guy Philip Pullman is really after, or at least is in my opinion: sales of his "Atheism Rules" books to unsuspecting parents who want something hip to give to their kids this Christmas.

Then the USCCB film gurus screwed it all up.

The thing is, Philip Pullman has every right to promulgate his atheism in any way he sees fit. But for Heaven's sakes, do the bishops--aided and abetted by Forbes--have to hold the door for him?

Here's the "review." It speaks for itself and its writers and not all that flatteringly so.

Spe Salvi and hope for the souls in Purgatory

As we near the end of the month traditionally dedicated to prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I was heartened by this section of the Holy Father's latest Encyclical, Spe Salvi:

Now a further question arises: if “Purgatory” is simply purification through fire in the encounter with the Lord, Judge and Saviour, how can a third person intervene, even if he or she is particularly close to the other? When we ask such a question, we should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better and for worse. So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death. In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other—my prayer for him—can play a small part in his purification. And for that there is no need to convert earthly time into God's time: in the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is superseded. It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain. In this way we further clarify an important element of the Christian concept of hope. Our hope is always essentially also hope for others; only thus is it truly hope for me too. As Christians we should never limit ourselves to asking: how can I save myself? We should also ask: what can I do in order that others may be saved and that for them too the star of hope may rise? Then I will have done my utmost for my own personal salvation as well.

Please remember those souls undergoing purification in your daily prayers. Thanks!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Henry Hyde. Requiescat in pace

The fine gentleman from Illinois died today at the age of 83, a few weeks after being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Just two years into his first House term, the obscure Illinois Republican became an instant household name in June 1976 when he offered an amendment to ban the use of Medicaid funds for abortions.

And if he didn't coin the term "cafeteria Catholics" he sure came close to doing so.

Henry Hyde. A gift from God and an inspiration for many. May his soul rest in peace.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Dear Mary and Joseph...about your Son" (Jesus gets expelled!)

The good folks at Unborn Word of the Day -- or actually, Michele Peate's mother-in-law -- cracked me up with a mock letter to Mary and Joseph about their trouble-causing Son. A snippet:

Dear Mary and Joseph,

We regret to have to inform you that your son has been expelled from school...Great concern has been expressed that songs sung about Him might promote the novel and somewhat quaint notion of peace on earth...

Go read the whole thing!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thomas Groome keynotes Boston Archdiocesan Catechetical Congress. Why?

Every day, following the Rosary which follows the Mass at Saint Francis Chapel in Boston, prayers are offered for the Holy Father and his intentions, as well as for the Archdiocese of Boston and our pastor, Sean Cardinal O'Malley.

When I read something like this, I'm doubly grateful for the latter prayers and think maybe they're bearing fruit. At least, that's what I really want to think.

Still, I've gotta ask:

Why would someone who has openly challenged Church teaching on everything from "women's ordination" to priestly celibacy to homosexuality be the star of the Catechetical show in Boston?

Has he changed his mind? Recanted his previous teachings and opinions?

I hope so. Because although I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so to speak, it seems a bit odd to me to ask someone who has publicly dissented from Church teachings to teach the teachers of Church teaching.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving and the folly of "self-sufficiency"

When we were children, our parents taught us to say Thank You as a way to educate us in good manners. As we progressed in age, we also learned from experience and from our faith tradition that life is an ongoing gift for which we need to remain forever grateful. There is always a danger of changing the gift into a given, thus ending the spirit of gratitude that should constantly inspire us. Thanksgiving Day helps us correct any false impressions about our self-sufficiency.

Father Raymond Lebrun, OMI, Spiritual Director, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Thank you to my friend Lisa for passing this on.

Marinated mushrooms redux!

Okay, guys, here we go. For those of you looking for that masterful touch to add to your Thanksgiving repast, I now redirect you to one of my most cherished of secret recipes.

Bon apetit!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Taking back Advent

It's not easy to take advantage of the Advent Season when "Christmas" decorations and holiday shills start working on you as soon as Halloween is over, sheesh.

However, Unborn Word of the Day promises something very hopeful.

...we will be offering prayerful short Advent meditations starting on December 2 till Christmas. Beginning with the waiting of the chosen people for the Messiah, we will then follow the Unborn Christ Child’s time of waiting from conception to birth. This will be our small contribution to help put Advent back in Christmas.

You can get these and other great quotes directly in your mailbox every day. Check it out and subscribe!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"No comment" to O'Malley's remarks by the Dems

From today's Boston Globe:

Last week, after Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said the support of church members for Democrats "borders on scandal" because of the party's support for keeping abortion legal, most of the state's leading Catholic Democrats responded with silence.

John Walsh, chairman of the Democratic Party, declined to comment, as did Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and nearly all of the state's Democratic Catholic congressmen, on both sides of the abortion issue.

Ah, but the exceptions:
  • [House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi] said he makes decisions based on what he thinks would be best for the Commonwealth, not "just following what my religious leader tells me to do."
  • City Councilor-at-large Michael Flaherty, in an interview, quoted the prophet Micah: "We are called to act with justice, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God," he said. "Instead of hearing about the church plans to exclude groups of people from God's table, I would rather hear how the church could be a place where we are all truly welcome."
  • John Tobin, another city councilor, said, "I don't fault the cardinal. . . . I'm sure he feels a lot of frustration. But there are Catholics and Catholic politicians who feel frustrated with the church sometimes."
  • "I don't recall in my lifetime any leader of the Catholic church making such a bold partisan statement," said Philip Johnston, a former state Democratic Party chairman who is also Catholic. "I think it's very regrettable."

I think the above quotes are pretty regrettable.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Response to O'Malley by College of the Holy Cross prof

Within hours of Cardinal O'Malley's remarks regarding pro-abortion leaders and Catholics who vote for them, "Catholic Studies" teacher David O'Brien hits back, in a column hosted by—who else—the Boston Globe.

The gist of the teacher's point seems to be a call for support of HR 6067: "a package of programs with broad support designed to prevent unwanted pregnancies and support parents and families."

Alas, mourns O'Brien, the Church won't support this legislation: "because the bill includes support for education about contraception."


Hey, teach? While realizing you're billed as a "professor of Catholic studies" at good o' Holy Cross, here's a newsflash for you (make sure you take notes here):

Artificial contraception, which is what you're talking about, interferes with human life—which, by the way, the Church considers sacred. Like your life, for example, and my life. The Church considers both sacred. Ditto the lives of the students you teach. Sacred. Got that? Good. Try and squeeze that in to your next course on "Catholic Studies," will ya? Thanks.

(By the way, does the bill you're shilling include anything on natural family planning?)

O'Brien concedes that:

"In practice the Catholic community reaches out to support women with unwanted pregnancies..."

Not just "in practice" but in fact. Small point but worth making. But evidently that's not enough because the rest of the sentence reads:

"...but when women with reservations about the church's position on abortion prevention attempted to address the hierarchy, they were firmly rejected."


Professor O'Brien. If I came to you with "reservations" about your right to teach, your right to tenure, your right to ride the bleepin' subway, for crying out loud, would you welcome me with open arms? I suspect I would be "firmly rejected."

Can anybody read the column and tell me what this guy is talking about? And explain to me what a professor in a supposedly Catholic college means by "common ground on abortion?"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

O'Malley: Catholics backing pro-abortion candidates "borders on scandal"

From today's Boston Globe:

In his sharpest comments about the political landscape since he was installed as archbishop of Boston four years ago, O'Malley made clear that, despite his differences with the Republican Party over immigration policy, capital punishment, economic issues, and the war in Iraq, he views abortion as the most important moral issue facing policymakers.

"I think the Democratic Party, which has been in many parts of the country traditionally the party which Catholics have supported, has been extremely insensitive to the church's position, on the gospel of life in particular, and on other moral issues," O'Malley said.

More here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Safety of unborn children undermined more by Massachusetts legislature and governor

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts enacted the toughest restrictions in the United States on protesters at abortion clinics on Tuesday with a law that forces them to stay 35 feet away.

The law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick takes immediate effect and expands on legislation from 2000 that sought to keep protesters 6 feet from a patient within an 18-foot (5.4-metre) zone outside the state's 10 clinics that perform abortions.

The state government said in a statement that the old law, especially the 6-foot rule, had proven difficult to enforce.

"By widening the buffer zone around reproductive clinics, we will protect patients from the harassment that so many have encountered as they seek care," said Patrick, a Democrat.

Governor Patrick? Legislature folk? You are lying. Period.

Unless you consider hearing Rosaries prayed or receiving information providing alternatives to what anybody with any sense at all would consider a drastic and dangerous measure "harassment," you're flat out lying.

(On the other hand, the babies who are killed may rightly claim "harassment.")

Since this was framed as "emergency" legislation, the bill went into effect today. (Off topic, perhaps, but one wonders why the legislature couldn't act maybe a decade or so faster to, for example, finish the bleeping "big dig.")

What this means is that women and men contemplating abortion will have less or perhaps no access to alternative choices.

And that more babies will be legislated to death.

Not incidentally, I have heard nary a protest of this legislation from the Archdiocese of Boston.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pope plans U.S. visit April 15-20, 2008


His Holiness plans to visit these shores this spring, specifically, Washington, D.C. and NYC.

This is rather cool, since the visit coincides with both the Pope's 81st birthday and the third anniversary of his election as Vicar of Christ.

Boston, alas, isn't on the itinerary.

Among those saddened by Boston's loss of the papal visit are:

Me. I'd offered a spare room close to Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, sheesh. FREE, even! 'Course, this renders a cleaning chore unnecessary, so that's alright.

Anne Barrett Doyle (google her...I'm not giving her any easy ink) who's p.o.'d at the missed opportunity to insult the Pontiff. The woman actually believes the Pope is "afraid" of her idiotic protests.

David Clohessy (ditto on the googling thing) who once upon a time sounded like a sensible fellow but now, like Doyle, acts like a professional whiner.


One reason the Pope may not have Boston in his travel plans has to do with timing...his visit coincides with the eve of the running of the Boston Marathon.

Or, he just might not have the time.

Or, he might not have ever considered it. Hard as it is for Bostonians to believe, New York and D.C. are sorta major cities when compared to us.

In any case, this country should feel honored to host such a prince of the Church.

Long live the Pope!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day, Martin of Tours, and November

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. It is also the memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, who is the patron saint of...soldiers!

And, it's November, the month we devote especially to praying for the souls of the dead.

To top it all off, today's readings focus on our resurrection.

All in all, a great day.

Thank you, vets...and may God bless you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A martyr's last letter to his earthly love

This one is wonderful. The day before he was executed during the religious persecution of Spain in the 1930s, Bartolomé Blanco Márquez wrote a beautiful letter to his girlfriend Maruja. Thanks to Zenit for the translation. Please do read it.

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ambassador Glendon and the Boston Globe: what "mixed" views?

Gotta love the cutting edge reporting of The Boston Globe, especially in the story headlined "Views mixed on Bush pick for envoy to Vatican."

If you read the article, the only one (besides Father Richard McBrien who really doesn't offer a personal opinion on Glendon herself) who had anything negative to say about the appointee is — get ready! — the president of "Catholics" for a Free Choice, who called her a "reactionary."

Be prepared for equally incredible revelations, including:

Boiling water is hot!

Ice is cold!

French fries aren't really French!

Meanwhile, prayers for Mary Ann Glendon are appreciated.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Giving birth control to children redux

( - A conservative legal group demanded on Monday that a school district in Maine abandon its policy of distributing prescription contraceptives to students as young as 11 years old without parental consent or become the target of a lawsuit to have the policy struck down.

(I blogged about this school here.)

You don't have to be a "conservative" to recognize that giving children birth control devices without parental consent is just plain wrong. Even Hillary Clinton thinks that —at least!—parents should be involved. (Ah, what feasts we make of crumbs.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Presidential Medal of Freedom winners: reason #2,0983 for being glad I voted for Bush

Among the winners:

Henry Hyde. The Illinois Republican served for 32 years in the House, where he was known for his battles against abortion rights and his leading role in the impeachment of President Clinton. He was honored as a "powerful defender of life" and an advocate for strong national defense...

Oscar Elias Biscet. A human rights advocate and champion of freedoms in Cuba, Biscet is a political prisoner in Cuba who is being recognized for his fight against tyranny and oppression.

(Which includes abortion, although you've got to google a bit to read this mentioned. To save time, go here. H/T to Cardinal O'Malley, among others.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Archbishop Chaput talks about a certain society...

In his October 26 address at Saint John's University School of Law in New York, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver sketches "an anonymous society:"

This society is advanced in the sciences and the arts. It has a complex economy and a strong military. It includes many different religions, although religion tends to be a private affair or a matter of civic ceremony.

This particular society also has big problems. Among them is that fertility rates remain below replacement levels. There aren't enough children being born to replenish the current adult population and to do the work needed to keep society going. The government offers incentives to encourage people to have more babies. But nothing seems to work.

Promiscuity is common and accepted. So are bisexuality and homosexuality. So is prostitution. Birth control and abortion are legal, widely practiced, and justified by society's leading intellectuals.

Every now and then, a lawmaker introduces a measure to promote marriage, arguing that the health and future of society depend on stable families. These measures typically go nowhere.

Ok. What society am I talking about? Our own country, of course, would broadly fit this description. But I'm not talking about us.

I've just outlined the conditions of the Mediterranean world at the time of Christ...

Read the whole thing here.

A timely public service message from the lady in the pew:



My name is Kelly Clark...and I approve of this message.

Friday, November 02, 2007

"Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed..." (Wisdom 3)

I therefore encourage Catholics to pray fervently for the dead, for their family members and for all our brothers and sisters who have died, that they may obtain the remission of the punishments due to their sins and may hear the Lord’s call: “Come, O my dear soul, to eternal repose in the arms of my goodness, which has prepared eternal delights for you” (Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, 17, 4).

From the Vatican, 2 June 1998, Ionnes Paulus PP. II

Eternal rest grant on to them o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another example of God's kindness

We were talking after Mass today (All Saints Day) about the miracle requirements for canonization and how strict they are.

Afterward, though, I reflected on how kind God is to allow these miracles to occur in the first place. After all, He could easily and quite justifiably demand unconditional faith in Him and in His promise of everlasting life.

Yet, as still another demonstration of His overwhelming love for us, He allows miracles to happen, thereby helping to boost our hope...and our faith.

Indeed, we are blessed by the Good God!

Thank you, Frank T. Wells of Center Harbor, NH...your timing is perfect!

From today's Gospel on the Feast of All Saints:

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven.

Matthew 5:11-12

From today's Boston Globe letters section:

So, the good reverend at St. Joseph's School in Wakefield has banned Harry Potter books because the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school (City & Region, Oct. 25). Really? How about transubstantiation, immaculate conception, virgin birth, walking on water, resurrection? Sounds a little Dumbledorish to me.

Frank T. Wells
Center Harbor, N.H.

Pray for Mister Wells. (And rejoice and be glad!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saints: my very good friends

I realized today that — outside of daily Mass — I probably spend more time asking saints to pray for us than I spend praising God for allowing them to do so!

For instance, let's saying I'm praying for you. I'll pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be...and then I'll ask anywhere from one to five saints to pray for you (and me) as well. Moreover, the saints I ask for intercession will have something to do with you.

If you're sick, for example, I'll not only ask Our Lady, Health of the Sick, to pray for you...I'll ask, if I know him or her, the patron of your particularly illness to do the same. If you're a musician, say, I might ask Saint Cecilia to pray for you. In health care? Saints Luke, Cosmas, and Damian will be asked for prayers. You know what I mean.

Do you pray "litanies" like this? Am I overdoing it?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Whatever happened to "white martyrdom?"

Every day -- and I'm not exaggerating -- I get a letter from a Christian or Catholic organization to protest. Something. Sometimes the causes indeed deserve some protest...but more often, it seems to me, the call to protest is an invitation to waste time in protesting instead of using it more wisely in prayer.

Not to pick on the American Family Association, but gee...

Today's subject line -- "Federal Government Strips 'God' From the Washington Monument" introduces a plea to write the President protesting the fact that the words Laus Deo (Praise be to God) have been removed from a plaque on the Washington Monument.

Wait. If I'm reading this right, the actual words haven't been removed from the monument itself, but rather from a plaque of a replica of the monument. (Somebody please tell me if I'm wrong on this...I don't think I am, but just in case.)

Here's the thing:

It's a good thing to defend the Faith. I'm not arguing that at all. My point is, though, that Christianity is and always has been, in one way or another, attacked. God, since He created the universe, has subjected Himself to attack by His creatures.

Wake up and rejoice, for Heaven's sake!

Yeah, it's a good thing to defend the Faith but I put it to you that it's a silly thing to waste all of the time -- or a good deal of it -- writing angry letters and sending angry faxes when we could all be praying and praising God and, well, acting like saved people!

Not too many of us will ever have the opportunity to die for Christ. But I think we all could put up with a bit of grief for the honor and glory of the Lord.

Do you know what I mean?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


You know, you've gotta love those Rockies. No quitters, they.

Congrats, BoSox. And congrats to a class team, the Rockies. You and your fans are great.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Roman Cathlic bishop consecrated in Russia: for the first time since 1917

Today in Moscow, for the first time since the Communist Revolution in 1917, a Catholic bishop was consecrated on Russian soil.

The ceremony, held in a packed Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in central Moscow, marked the end of one era and the beginning of another for the Catholic Church in Russia, as the new bishop, Paolo Pezzi, a 47-year-old Italian theologian, took over the leadership of the Catholic Church in Russia's capital from the Belorussian Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, 57, who will move to a difficult assignment in Minsk, the capital of Belorussia.

More, thanks to Spero News and Inside the Vatican's Robert Moynihan.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Bella"...are you anxious to see it, or have you?

Every pro-life office in the world (okay I'm exaggerating, but not by much) has urged me to see the "Pro Life Movie Bella" which opens I this weekend. This includes Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S bishops' conference committee on pro-life activities.

I haven't gone to any of the numerous private screenings, and, for some odd reason (and this could be just a silly aversion to the leading guy's persistent description as a "heartthrob") I'm not all that anxious to see it on the big screen. And I feel bad about that.

I gather from the hype that the movie is about a pregnant waitress who gets fired from her job, and doesn't get an abortion. Call my cynical, but isn't this the way it's supposed to be?

I realize that it isn't. But what is it about this movie that turns the culture of death around? I've read a couple of mainstream reviews...the consensus is that it's "sweet."

Again, I haven't seen the movie. If anybody wants to tell me why I should, feel free! Also, your reviews are welcome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Rosary around the neck

While waiting for the cashier guy to ring up the few things I'd bought at my local Walgreens tonight, I noticed he was wearing a Rosary around his neck. Since the computer thing-a-ma-bob was taking its own sweet time, and since their weren't any customers behind me, I struck up a conversation, which sorta went like this:

ME: Nice Rosary.
HE: Huh?
ME: Your Rosary. It's nice.
HE: Yeah? What.
ME: Around your neck. You pray the Rosary?
HE: Oh, this? Nah. I don't believe in that stuff.
ME: No?
HE: I don't believe in anything.
ME: But...
HE: Sign here.

(The computer thing-a-ma-bob had come alive.)

ME: Well, gee, what you're wearing is a Rosary.
HE: So?
ME: Well, it means something to me...and to many people. It's...
HE: So?

I have a feeling I didn't handle this all that well. Especially when a lady cashier popped up from nowhere and said:

"Hey. You're wearing a bleeping ROSARY, for God's sake." (I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I'm not sure she meant "you are wearing a Rosary for the sake of the Good Lord" if you know what I mean.)

The lady continued:

"I'm a bleeping CATHOLIC and what you're doing is WRONG, bleep it!"

I signed the credit card slip and left.

Glitterati aside, I really don't have much of a problem with people wearing their Rosaries. But it did bother me that this guy "didn't believe in anything"...or so he said.

I ended up solving the whole thing in my mind by saying a quick prayer for the guy.

Still, the incident made me a bit uneasy.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Holy Cross College sends students to Planned Parenthood

Okay. If a student or anybody suspects contacting a sexually transmitted disease, it is imperative that he or she get tested. And treated, if possible. Nobody's arguing that.

But of all places for Holy Cross College to send its students, why Planned Parenthood?

It's not like there aren't other alternatives in the area. Even if there were not—even if the student had to travel a few miles—does this excuse this supposedly "Catholic" college from sending students to a place such as this?

No, it does not.

In case you don't get it, the number to contact for "Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing"—508-854-3300—is none other than "Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, your trusted reproductive health care center."

(Thanks to Operation Rescue, Boston, for this information.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Women Deliver" evidently don't and don't want other women to deliver either.

LONDON, OCT. 22, 2007 ( The global conference Women Deliver failed in its objective of finding ways to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, reported various participating humanitarian organizations dedicated to the woman, family and the protection of life.

And a bunch of groups sent a letter to the conference organizers protesting the conference's emphasis on abortion as the way to prevent maternal death.

While I certainly agree with the signatories, my question is:

What did you expect???

Take a look at the "Women Deliver" website and tell there any reason to have believed that this conference would've turned out otherwise?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Malvern Clark, R.I.P.

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Malvern Clark who died early Friday morning.

Malvern and his wife cooperated with God to give life to four children, six grandchildren, and four great grand children, all still living in this world, save one son.

He is my father-in-law. I love him very much.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dawn Eden's alternative to the Holy Cross College fiasco

From The Dawn Patrol:

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., is planning to host an October 24 conference on preventing teen pregnancy that will feature Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. In doing so, the college is expressly defying Diocese of Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus, who issued a strongly worded statement urging the college to uphold its Catholic identity.

My employer, the Cardinal Newman Society — whose mission is to renew and strengthen Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic colleges and universities — is presenting an event at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester on the night before the teen-pregnancy conference. A Holy Cross alumnus and a current student will speak briefly, followed by a talk from me on chastity. The purpose is to support Bishop McManus and to call attention to the message that Holy Cross and all Catholic colleges should be giving with regard to human sexuality and the culture of life. Here is the official press release — please tell your friends

Please Join Us for an Important Talk on:

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: The Catholic Approach

What Holy Cross Could Have Done to Address This Critical Problem

Featuring CNS Love & Responsibility Program Director Dawn Eden

Tuesday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Cathedral, Worcester, Mass.

Please join The Cardinal Newman Society, in cooperation with St. Paul's Cathedral and the Worcester Diocese's Respect Life Office, on the eve before the College of the Holy Cross hosts a conference on teen pregnancy that includes representatives from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

Despite a strong and courageous statement from Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus condemning the conference and asking Holy Cross to cancel the event, the college's President has steadfastly supported it and says he will let it take place.

In her talk, Miss Eden will detail how Church teachings on chastity offer a solution to not only the problem of teen pregnancy but also the wider problems of family breakdown — while abortion, contraception, and other "solutions" offered by Planned Parenthood and their allies exacerbate those problems. She will also place the issue, in accordance with Church teachings, into the context of what steps Catholic colleges can and should take to promote Catholic values on life, love and sexuality.

This event is open to the public and The Cardinal Newman Society encourages a strong showing of support for Bishop McManus's principled stand.

Portland Maine school committee invites 11-year-olds to have sex

This is not a sensational headline. It's simply the truth.

The Portland, Maine School Committee yesterday okayed a plan allowing King Middle School (for my friends in the mid-west, read "grade school") to give birth control pills and patches to sixth graders. Not only is parental consent not needed—it's bleeping outlawed.

The school, by the way, has been giving condoms to kids as young as eleven since 2002.

Are parents outraged? Some are. Some are acting stupid.

Richard Verrier is a parent in the Portland School district. "If my daughter were not able to talk with me about something, if she couldn't reach me for whatever reason, to keep her safe and healthy, I would want to make sure she had access to those resources from trusted adults."

Father Jonathan Morris of FOX responds:

Mr. Verrier’s idea of a trusted adult is abnormal. In the real world, a trusted adult does not give an eleven-year-old girl a birth control pill when the little girl comes to his office saying she is about to have sex and can’t reach her daddy. In this case, a trusted adult either makes contact with the parents or calls Child Services. If he can’t reach Child Services, he calls 9-1-1.

Read more, if you can stomach it, here, or just google the words "children birth control maine."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

John Edwards on parenting. Sheesh!

The moderator at Dartmouth College's recent debate asked the Dems if they'd be comfortable in having the "gay fairy tale" (I'm not making this up) called "King & King" read to their children in school.

John Edwards replied, "yes, absolutely!"

“I don’t want to make that decision on behalf of my children,” he said. “I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information, even in — did you say second grade? Second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade to be exposed to all those possibilities, because I don’t want to impose my view. Nobody made me God.”

Nobody made Edwards God, of course, but God made him a parent. Parents are supposed to impose their views, aren't they?

See this story and also Jeff Jacoby's column in today's Boston Globe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gerard...the mother's saint

Oh, I know that at least three saints are honored today, October 16...but I have a special affection for Saint Gerard Majella.

Every time I pass an expectant mom, I ask for his prayers!

Monday, October 15, 2007

From Saint Terese of Avila

Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
All things pass;
God does not change.
Patience wins
all it seeks.
Whoever has God
lacks nothing:
God alone is enough.

Saint Terese of Jesus, pray for us.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why on earth would Father Leo Tibesar enlist my cooperation?

In the mailbag yesterday:

Father Leo Tibesar cordially requests that you announce this wonderful loving GLBT lecture on your boards, in homilies and in your bulletins and other communication means.

God Bless Always.

CPCSM, Catholic Rainbow Parents, and
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church Invite
CPCSM's Members and Friends to the
Second Annual Bill Kummer Forum

Featuring . . .
Carol and Robert Curoe, Co-authors of
Are There Closets in Heaven?
A Catholic Father and Lesbian Daughter Share Their Story

7:00 p.m., Monday, October 22, 2007
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
1500 Franklin Ave. SE, Minneapolis

After this "invitation," the alleged writer, calling himself "Peter Canisius" (c'mon!) waxes enthusiastic about the author, the book, the joys of "tolerance," yada yada yada.

And, oh, yes, I'm treated to an interview with the authors in which I'm assured, among other things, that Bishop Gumbleton is A Great Guy.

Note to Archbishop Harry Flynn:

With all due respect, Excellency, please try to keep your "pastors" (i.e. Father Leo Tibesar) and your parishes (e.g. Saint Frances Cabrini) in tow...

Failing the ability to that, please at least keep them out of my bleeping mailbox, thank you very much and may God bless you.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hope. It's a gift. Here's a splendid one for you.

No doubt about it. Being pro-life, trying to articulate the pro-life message, can be a task that leads either to anger or weariness or frustration...or all three.

One antidote, the most important one, of course, is prayer. It really works.

And one answer to that prayer is the assurance that you are not alone. Not by a long shot.

From our good friends at Unborn Word of the Day, we receive an overwhelmingly hopeful source of pro-life groups from all walks of life. I visited today and had to practically force myself out of my chair. It was so wonderful to explore these sources I could've spent hours doing so! (Okay, so you've been warned...this link can be addictive!)

With thanks to God, to Michael Roderick, to Kanawha County Right to Life (and of course to George and Michele Peate) allow me to present:

May this work of love bring you peace...and hope.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Holy Cross College defies Bishop

Following up on the post just below this one, Holy Cross College president Reverend Michael C. McFarland, S.J., has decided to turn down the request of Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus to cancel the college's plans to allow representatives of Planned Parenthood and NARAL to use its space.

(I don't know how long the whole story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette will be available...I think it might be a subscription-only site.)

Here's the thing. Even though it would leave a horrible taste in my mouth, I could at least attempt to understand a response something like:

"Gee, Excellency, you're absolutely right, we goofed up big time, yes sirree, but jeepers, if we cancel now, at this late date, these jokers are going to sue us for a zillion bucks so let's say we make a statement that we definitely don't approve of these guys but we're backed up against the wall and so we're forced to let 'em use the space but they'll never get to use it again and what's more we're going to give the rental money to the diocesan pro-life apostolate, what d'ye say?"

But the college seems actually proud of what they're doing!

Though he said that he appreciated the duty of Bishop McManus to uphold church teachings, Rev. McFarland said the school would honor its arrangement with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. He said the alliance is an organization of 50 schools, social service agencies and health care groups dedicated to providing services for pregnant and parenting teens.

“Beyond the contractual obligation, it is important to emphasize that the college believes a meeting of adult professionals pooling resources, engaging in a dialogue and exchanging information is a beneficial way of grappling with pressing issues related to the health and well-being of Massachusetts teenagers and children,” said Rev. McFarland. “As an institution of higher learning, we are dedicated to the open exchange of ideas. As a Jesuit college, Holy Cross is committed to its mission of engaging with the larger culture on even the most problematic and divisive of moral and spiritual issues.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Worcester bishop...acts like one

As blogged earlier, Jesuit-run Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts planned on hosting a conference featuring Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion speakers. In response to the uproar, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus has issued a statement today. It reads, in part:

I have received numerous complaints from people who are shocked and outraged that a Catholic institution like Holy Cross would have anything to do with such groups. They have appealed to me to ask Father Michael McFarland, president of the College of the Holy Cross, to revoke the College’s agreement to rent space to the Massachusetts Teen Alliance. I have done so.


Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice are notorious for their policies and practices that directly reject the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception and abortion. The College of the Holy Cross should recognize that any association with these groups can create the situation of offering scandal understood in its proper theological sense, i.e., an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. Certainly it is understandable how people of good will could interpret the college’s allowing presentations to be made by such groups as truly scandalous.

Amen. One nit, and perhaps I'm being too picky, but...

It is my fervent wish that the administration of the College of the Holy Cross will unequivocally disassociate itself from the upcoming conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy so that the college can continue to be recognized as a Catholic institution committed to promoting the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic church.

"Fervent wish?" Can't he force the college to do what he wants?

Anyway, good for Bishop McManus for his statement, and good for all the folks who contacted the diocese to express their outrage.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

i broke my middle finger...

...and am typing with one hand. your understanding is much appreciated!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

In vitro fertilization kills kids too

Dom wonders if pro-lifers picket or pray at IVF clinics.

After all, there are many babies who are aborted in the process of in vitro fertilization. For every baby born, there are several more who die in the fertilization process or by “selective reduction”.

To tell you the truth, I'd never thought about it. But he's got a good point. Here, for example, is some of what happens at Boston IVF:

The retrieved eggs are placed in a petri dish with a special solution for 2 to 3 hours. During this time, the male partner provides a semen sample. The sample is delivered to the lab where it undergoes a clarifying process referred to as “washing.” The washed sperm are incubated and placed in the petri dish with the eggs. After 18 hours, the eggs are examined. If fertilization occurs, then two to four of the resulting embryos are selected for transfer back to the woman. [my emphasis]

Guess what happens to the remaining "embryos?"
Embryo freezing permits high quality embryos that are not immediately used for IVF to be frozen for the couple’s later use. Approximately half of all frozen embryos remain viable after thawing and can be successfully used in IVF treatment. If the frozen embryos are no longer needed, they can be sometimes donated to research, donated to other infertile women or discarded. [Again, my emphasis, but you get the point.]

This is not in any way a criticism of pro-life activists who do far more than I do to save babies. But I do wonder why we're not at least maybe half as outspoken against this practice as we are against abortion. Is not an embryo in petri dish as human as one in the womb?

The irony cannot be escaped. In the same world where so many parents do not want their children and therefore dispose of them before they are born, so many people do want children and for any number of reasons cannot conceive (double-irony: one reason for infertility is a past abortion). And so they choose to cooperate with what we call "science:" abetting in the destruction of many children in order to obtain their desire.