Monday, June 29, 2009

Because ultrasounds are evil?

Connecticut Governor Rell Signs Bill Banning Ultrasounds Without Medical Reason

Music in Utero: The Smile of the Unborn

While we knew that mothers often sing to their unborn children, we weren’t sure that the unborn child could hear them.

We are now. A segment of The Music Instinct featured Sheila C. Woodward of the University of Southern California, who has studied fetal responses to music. A camera and a microphone designed for underwater use were inserted into the uterus of a pregnant woman. And then Woodward sang.

The hydrophone picked up two sounds: the “whooshing” of the uterine artery and the unmistakable sound of a woman singing a lullaby.

Then something extraordinary happened...

Read it. And if you saw the PBS documentary, tell us about it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wanda Clark, R.I.P.

I would so much appreciate your prayers for the repose of the soul of my mother-in-law, Wanda Clark who died suddenly and unexpectedly this morning.

Mom Clark is my late husband Bill's mom.

Please pray, too, for her children, children-in-law, grandchildren and great-grand children. Thank you so much.

I love you, Mom. Requiescat in pace.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why I'm not as euphoric at the demise of the Caritas-Centene deal as my fellow pro-lifers seem to be

In keeping with the ethical directives that bind Catholic hospitals, Caritas facilities will continue the practice of not providing abortion or sterilizations.
This, of course, is good. Hell, it's expected!
Caritas refers privately insured patients who seek such services to their insurance providers and will do the same with state-insured patients who seek treatment via Commonwealth Care.
This sucks. Always has. Always will.

Unless I'm misreading certain commentators, the logic seems to be thus:

If one doesn't receive earthly profit in an abortion, then all is honky-dory.

An analogy:

Judy calls me and asks me to help her procure an abortion. I contact a doctor for her, who performs the evil deed and gives me a percentage of Judy's fee. That's bad.


Judy calls me and asks me to help her procure an abortion. I tell her I cannot do this, since it is against my "policy," but give her the number of, let's say, Planned Parenthood.

Or, if I'm squeamish about this, I advise her to google abortion providers in her area.

Or, if I'm even squeamish about this, I simply tell her that, while I can't help her, I'm sure there are others who can.

Are any of the above alternatives supposed to be good?

Sorry. It's not only not good enough, it's not good at all. It's bad. What I'm supposed to do is (a) help Judy find an alternative to abortion or (b) refer her to one of the many people and/or organizations who are very good at doing just that.


One good thing, though.

Until this whole issue came up, I never realized that so-called Catholic hospitals in the Archdiocese of Boston did the old Pontius Pilate number with abortion/contraception seekers. Now I do.

Knowing this might be a good thing. But it ain't good.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Caritas ends venture, which is a start in the right direction

Might it be time for certain "Protectors of Marriage" to take a time out and THINK?

In my mailbox today came a (forwarded, naturally) message from some group Dedicated to the Protection of Marriage or some such slogan asking for my outrage (and my money, naturally) to fund a series of radio ads against a Terrible Danger.

Seems like some folks confused about their gender want the right to use any john they want.

Gasp! Horrors! The Bathroom Bill (I'm not making this up) must be stopped!!!!


I'm not at all confused about my gender but I've gotta admit it...many a time, say at Fenway, I've snuck into the Men's Room to avail myself of the facilities because (no offense, dames) the lines in the Lady's Room were way too long for my taste...or my bladder.

So a few folks who want to legitimize the transgender lifestyle are taking their argument to the toilet. For heaven's sake, let them! And quit telling me that by letting them, I am contributing to the Ruin of Civilization As We Know It because I ain't buying it.

And as for the so-called "protection of marriage"...

Look. I'm married. I've been married before. Both my marriages are sacramental, and yes, I believe in their sanctity—as sacraments, they are by definition, holy.

And, no, I don't believe in "same-sex marriage." I also don't believe in a round square or a rectangular circle. I don't believe in "same-sex marriage" not because it "threatens" my marriage or even the institution of marriage.

I don't believe in it because it's nonsense.

But equally nonsensical is the notion that "same-sex marriage" or "same-sex bathrooms" are going to Destroy Civilization, Destroy the Family, and/or Destroy Marriage.

Newsflash: heterosexuals have done a damn good job of Destroying Marriage without any help from homosexual activism, thank you very much. All you have to do is look at the divorce stats for as long as I've been on this earth to figure that out.

So, can we please cut—you should excuse the expression—the crap?

If you're worried about your kid using a public john that might host somebody of the opposite sex, for heaven's sake go with him. Or her.

And if you're worried about the Sanctity of Marriage, may we at least quit trying remove the splinter from the eyes of confused homosexual activists...before giving a tug at the the log in our own?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Episcopal Priest: God Rejoices in Abortion

File this under "stuff you can't make up."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Where should the priest begin the Mass?"

I didn't know this! (This, by the way, is not an unusual statement on my part.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bishops' statement on their brother bishop D'Arcy? Lukewarm at best

I suppose they supposed they had to say something. And here it is:
The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D'Arcy. We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.
That's it. Anybody who didn't know what it was about would think it was a nice thing to say about the Bishop and the university in his diocese, in a general sort of way.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Squinting at the text" fix:

A reader writes:
Can you please ditch the gray in your quotes and make the type size bigger? Nice new look, aside from this feature, which is giving me a headache.
How about this?
Can you please ditch the gray in your quotes and make the type size bigger? Nice new look, aside from this feature, which is giving me a headache.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

US Bishops approve Mass for Life

The U.S. adaptation of the text to the missal was supported by 179 bishops, with one voting against and one abstaining.
I'm sure there was an excellent reason to either abstain or vote against this. Just because I can't think of one doesn't mean anything.
The Mass in Thanksgiving for Life was originally proposed in 1990 by Cardinal John O'Connor of New York, who founded the Sisters of Life and died in 2000.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shhhh: ZENIT's Father Edward McNamara answers my question

"Here in Boston I've often wondered why the Missal instruction to pray certain prayers 'inaudibly' is not only ignored, but the prayers themselves are changed, presumably to include the congregation. I refer specifically to two instances:

"The prayer during the washing of the hands is often audible and one hears: 'Lord, wash away our iniquities, cleanse us of our sins.' I'm assuming the celebrant is not using the 'royal we' here, and while I appreciate the sentiment, it's disconcerting, because precisely at this time I'm praying (silently) to the Lord to purify the priest!

"Prior to their reception of Communion, I often hear priests pray, loudly: "May the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring us ALL (that's not my emphasis ... that's the priests') to everlasting life." (To which the congregation invariably responds, understandably I suppose, with a hearty "Amen!") Again, I appreciate the sentiment, but it is while the priest communicates that I try to (silently) pray for his eternal glory. This sort of interrupts my prayer for him.

"I already know that these (and, alas, too many other) instances aren't in the missal. What I'm wondering is simply why do priests do this?"


Why indeed? I can think of many reasons, but in the end they will be merely speculative. I can only put it down to inadequate liturgical formation and a consequent lack of understanding of the inner dynamics of the celebration. Such acts betray a deficient grasp of how these personal prayers address the priest's specific need for purification in virtue of his unique role within the celebration.
The fact that the priest says these prayers quietly can also be a teaching moment in which he, through his devout attitude, teaches the faithful how to prepare for Communion. Saying this prayer aloud turns it into another vocal prayer, thus depriving it of its proper liturgical function.

This goes to show that fidelity to the missal, and not our personal ideas regarding community involvement, is actually the most integrally pastoral attitude we can have.

Thank you, Father—may you and your brothers enjoy a blessed Year of the Priest!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hey, Ripley is half my dog now!

In September of 2007, I drove to Maine with my then-best-friend Alden to pick up this little guy.

Now that my best friend is also my husband, I've got joint custody of Ripley!

American priest to oversee liturgy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Atonement Online: not just a great blog...a great parish

I've blogged about Our Lady of the Atonement Parish in San Antonio before, but sometimes you can never get enough of a really good thing.

Father Christopher Phillips is the founding pastor of this church, the first Anglican Use parish, established in 1983.

Check out his blog, but also the parish. (And remember...envy is a sin! :-))

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caritas Christi: simple--and Christian! -- alternatives to abortion referral

The president of Caritas Christi, Dr. Ralph de la Torre, issued a statement yesterday saying that individuals covered under the new venture will be told to talk to their insurance company if they seek abortions or other services prohibited by Catholic teaching.

"When a patient seeks such a procedure, Caritas healthcare professionals will be clear that (a) the hospital does not perform them and (b) the patient must turn to his or her insurer for further guidance," de la Torre said. "This, in fact, is the practice currently in place in the Caritas system as we work with other insurance companies under state laws that mandate access to procedures not provided within the Caritas system."

Source: The Boston Globe

The "current practice" is not a Catholic practice.

Why should this matter? Because after wading through all the talk of joint ventures, insurance requirements, state requirements, helping the poor, and what exactly the relationship is between Caritas Christi and the Archdiocese of Boston, one point is crystal clear:

The facilities in the Caritas Christi health care network are Catholic facilities.

Catholic facilities must not, be complicit in any way with the procurement of abortions and/or artificial contraception. Period.

"Yes, but how should a Catholic hospital respond to someone seeking, say, an abortion?"

Should this question even be asked? The answer is so simple!

A veritable army of people throughout this region stand ready and eager to help women in crisis pregnancies. These include, but are not limited to:

Pregnancy Help

Friends of the Unborn

A Woman's Concern

Birthright International


Pregnancy Care Center of the Northeast

Life Saver Ministries

These are just for openers. If you tell me that the good folk running Caritas Christi hospitals don't know about these and other resources I would be stunned and disbelieving.

Why are we even having this discussion?

The Globe article referenced about notes that:

The cardinal is eager to find a way to make the venture work, because it will serve the poor, which is a priority of the church, and because it will help the Caritas chain, which has had financial problems. But the archdiocese said that the cardinal cannot compromise on the church's ethical directives for Catholic hospitals and that if the final deal does not comply with his understanding of those directives, he will be obligated to block the venture.

What's to "understand?"

The Caritas Christi president has already told us that, even without the "final deal," the hospitals in the network are already compromising "the Church's ethical directives."

As a plethora of dedicated people, many—maybe most of them, volunteers—can tell you, the whole idea is to prevent abortion...not to shunt the responsibility off to other entities such as insurance companies, thereby keeping one's own hands clean.

"Serving the poor" is, indeed, a priority of the Church. Saving lives, born and unborn, is also a priority.

Saving souls is the ultimate priority, however, trumping all others.

If Catholic Boston cannot operate its hospital network without compromising this priority, then Catholic Boston ought to get out of the hospital business entirely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena starts today

Here is EWTN's reproduction of Saint Margaret Mary Alaoque's prayer.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Caritas Christi in partnership with old Scratch?

I guess the notion of getting out of the "healthcare" business entirely didn't occur to anybody? Sheesh.

Why embryonic research? It's the patents (and money), dummy!

Adult stem cell research has produced cures. Embryonic stem cells have produced zilch. Then why the passion to use fertilized embryos (for my pro-choice friends, these are what you call "babies" when in the womb of women who want to bear children) for research?

In Part 1 of a ZENIT interview, Father Cioffi, research ethicist for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, offers a three-part explanation. First:
Sadly, because of the money involved. It's all about the patents. It turns out that, since there have been so many successes in adult stem cell research, practically all of the patents are already taken up by biotechs and pharmaceuticals. However, due to the lack of results with embryonic stem cells, the slightest success in a particular biochemical pathway breakthrough is patentable, and the patent field here is wide open. Certainly, this is highly speculative research (using embryonic stem cells), which is what tends to give better returns when there is the tiniest hint of possible success. At a time when the economy is struggling, these speculative investments are a big temptation to provide the “quick fix” that everyone is desiring, so promises sell big during these times. To witness: In 2004, pro-embryonic stem cell ideologues convinced the people of California to devote $3 billion of their state taxes to this research, sold as the “cure-all” for the state’s financial bankruptcy.

ZENIT interview
National Catholic Bioethics Center
Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

It seems to me that if we accept the fact that God is Love (and we do accept this fact, as it was revealed to us by God), then it is nearly impossible not to conclude that God is a triune Being.

No, I'm not attempting to explain the Trinity, nor do I have any real desire to understand the mystery—not in this life, anyway. But it's wonderful to contemplate it, because by doing so I believe I can become closer to knowing, and therefore loving, God even more.

Love doesn't exist in a vacuum, does it? Reason tells us that Love requires an Object. Sure, God loves us but the God = Love fact existed long before our creation; in fact, it exists from all eternity.

Who, then, is the Object of the Supreme Love? If we accept the fact that Jesus is both the Son of God and God Himself (and we do accept this fact, as Jesus revealed it to us) then it isn't much of a stretch to conclude that Love continuously and eternally flows between the Father and the Son, and if we do conclude that, then, again, isn't it reasonable to see this Love as a distinct entity—or Person—and why wouldn't this Person be the Holy Spirit?

Please don't share this reflection with your Sunday School Class!

Because of course I'm no theologian. But, accepting as I do, on faith, the dogma of the Holy Trinity, and knowing through Divine Revelation that God is Love, it gives me great joy to contemplate that unity, that Love, that flows through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And, of course, much solace in knowing that you and I are created to be beneficiaries of this incomparable Love.

A blessed Trinity Sunday to you!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Tobit and me...

Are you like me? (Don't panic...there's a qualifier to this question!)

Do you love Tobit? I've been enjoying the readings these past few days...hope you have, too. It's quite a book!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New look! (still needs work)

Okay, I've updated the blog. Thankfully, I was able to save the comments, but the links are either missing or outdated. If I've linked you in the past and you don't see it, holler!

Saint Charles Lwanga and yesterday's proclamation

Father Dwight Longenecker of Standing on My Head posts an excellent reflection on today's memorial here.

(H/T to commenter "anonymous")

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pride goeth...

Because, ya know, there's nothing like taking pride in how you have sex.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Now more than ever, be EXTREME in your pro life views

U.S. News' Bonnie Erbe defines "terrorism":

"All pro-life extremists are to blame...people who refer to abortion as `baby-killing' and other inflammatory rhetoric."

In the court of Bonnie Erbe and others too many to stomach -- I mean, identify -- I'm guilty as charged.

Get this and get this straight:

Abortion is baby killing.

And I refuse to be cowed by any mouthpiece whose sensibilities are offended by hearing, or reading, this undeniable fact. Not rhetoric, Ms. Bonnie. Fact.

I am pro life. Extremely so.

Deal with it.

Reverend Walter Hoye: African American Hero

Photo courtesy The Catholic Voice

He was arrested and jailed in Oakland, California for one thing: preaching the Gospel of Life, particularly to black men and women.
African Americans, he pointed out, are the “number one customers” of abortion clinics today. Although blacks account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 37 percent of all abortions in this country are performed on black women. With a live-birth rate lower than the mortality rate, Hoye said, there will be no black Americans left by the year 2100. “Between 1882 and 1968, the Klan lynched 3,446 black folk. Abortion kills more than that in the African-American community in just three days,” he stated.
A moral issue; not a political issue
Unlike most black Americans, Hoye said he was “horribly disappointed” and “heartbroken” about the election last November of Barack Obama, who openly supports pro-choice positions and legislation, as the nation’s first African-American president. Most blacks “put their Bible down when it came to that election” and voted on the basis of the color of his skin, Hoye said.

Nevertheless, he places responsibility for the abortion issue squarely on the shoulders of Christians.

“This is a moral issue; it’s not a political issue. It’s not in the White House; it’s in the church house,” said Hoye. “Until we stand up as Christians and look at it as a moral issue, we’re not going to be effective in taking a stand against abortion.”
Read more about this courageous pastor here.