Category Archives: Human Life International

Abortion hurts everyone

Sharon Osbourne and Toni Braxton have both recently spoken out about their pain as post abortive women.

She recounted: “I had an abortion at 17 and it was the worst thing I ever did . . . I went alone. I was terrified. It was full of other young girls, and we were all terrified and looking at each other and nobody was saying a bloody word. I howled my way through it, and it was horrible. I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you. When I tried to have children, I lost three — I think it was because something had happened to my cervix during the abortion.</blockquote<

When Mary was going through the miscarriage, I was very stoic for days. She laid in her parents' bed through the process. Her (adult) brothers thought she was "just sick."

As the "tissue" started coming out, we collected the remains to seek some kind of burial (that's another story).

Shortly after the main body came out, I passed through their living room, where my brother-in-law was watching CNN and some pro-abort sicko was talking, and I just started howling. "What's wrong with John?" He asked.

I ran down the hall and picked up the container that held the remains, and I just screamed for I-don't-know-how-long.

The greatest pain is knowing that your baby died, a human life was created and ended-as all must do-and wondering what happened to that young soul (that's another discussion), not being able to really know him or her at all or know if you ever will.

The second greatest pain is knowing that society says "It's just a blob of tissue. You're grieving for a life that was cut short before most people realized there was one there, and while 1 in 6 pregnancies end by natural miscarriage, the grief is secret.

To protect the so-called "right to choose," we suppress parents' right to grieve. That fundamental principle was the original reason for the "Lewis Crusade," originally intended as an Apostolate, not simply a blog.

Personhood Now.

I still cry sometimes.

The Real Problem

One of the claims that gets floated around in the internecine disputes of the Catholic blogosphere is that So-and-so is attacking “good Catholics” or “good pro-lifers.” Supporters of the American Life League/Human Life International approach argue (as I do) that the incrementalist approach of the National Right to Life Committee is self-defeating, while the NRLC-supporters say that the ALL/HLI types are unrealistic. Those who question certain methodologies (e.g., the infamous example of lying to Planned Parenthood in the name of “exposing the truth” or the question of whether to show graphic images of aborted babies) are accused of “attacking pro-lifers” and serving the enemy. Michael Voris attacks Catholic Answers and EWTN people for “making money off of apologetics,” and they call him a demagogue (and both criticisms arguably have some merit). Both “sides” accuse each other of driving people away from the Church.
The fact remains that the vast majority of Catholics in America do not vote for Democrats because a handful of online Distributists argue against *both* Capitalism and Socialism but because their pastors and the mainstream media tell them the Church supports socialism.
They do not support legalized abortion because a handful of online pro-life Catholics have questioned the methods of certain “pro-life” groups but because their parents or grandparents taught them Catholicism was about “not pushing their morals on other people,” and their pastors constantly teach “Judge not.”
They do not oppose traditional liturgical practices and approaches to catechesis because of what some blogger or apologist has said: for most of them, everyone from EWTN and Catholic Answers to Michael Voris to the Society of St. Pius X are “traditionalists,” and “traditionalist” is defined by their pastors as “Old people who don’t like the changes of Vatican II, and we’re just waiting for them to die off.” For them, Vatican II, defined by their pastors, Nuns on the Bus and the Mainstream Media, is this vast “progressive” overhaul of the Church that rendered all previous teaching and praxis obsolete (the “hermeneutic of rupture”). So while “conservatives” fight among themselves, the majority of Catholics in our country waddle on in indifference and ignorance, welcoming people like John Dominic Crossan and Richard McBrien to speak at their parishes.

You’re an evil man, Sean Hannity

I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming:
Sean Hannity is using Fr. Thomas Euteneuer’s crisis to his own advantage, and making uncharitable insinuations about Fr. Euteneuer.

FOX News may be “conservtive,” but it is about as anti-Catholic as MTV or Comedy Central, though I doubt we’ll hear Bill Donohue saying anything about it. Let’s not forget Rod Dreher’s 2002 conversation with a FOX correspondent: Dreher had expected FOX to tell the truth about the priest scandal, yet the FOX correspondent told him they had it from the highest levels of NewsCorp not to say anything about the abusing priests being homosexual. Most recently, the broadcast FOX network gave a daytime talk show to “Fr.” Alberto Cutie.

Here’s my response:

Dear Mr. Hannity,
You are not just a bad Catholic and a heretic, you are a twisted little pervert. You promote contraception and fornication yet call yourself “pro-life.” You promote violence and yet call yourself “pro-life.” You call yourself a Catholic and a conservative yet work for a network that promotes anti-Catholcism left and right (just look at your anti-Catholic colleagues Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter, and FOX’s recent decision to give a talk show to “Father” Alberto Cutie).

How dare you use Fr. Euteneuer’s crisis to justify your own sick positions? Everyone with a brain should realize that contraception is the source of all our society’s problems, as both Popes John XXIII and Paul VI predicted it would be. Any Catholic who has read his Bible should know that contraception is an abomination unto God, and anyone who claims to be pro-life should realize that contraception and abortion are inextricably linked.

You should be ashamed of yourself. Fr. Euteneuer committed a sin. He repented of it, and he realized that his celebrity status was getting to his head, so he stepped down from his position at HLI and out of the public eye.

But rather than looking at his example of humility and repentance as one to follow, you’d rather gloat and celebrate your own heretical views.

Statement from Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Back in August, a couple months after the publication of his book on exorcism, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer abruptly resigned from his position as president of Human Life International. He offered no explanation other than obedience to the bishop of his home diocese. At the time, and since, I took the whole thing as “nothing to see here.” I have given the benefit of the doubt to both Fr. Euteneuer and his bishop, presuming that, as Fr. Euteneuer has increasingly turned to spiritual warfare, he probably felt he was not properly serving the mission of HLI, and he probably wanted to turn to full time exorcism ministry.

Others have engaged in rampant speculation in one direction or the other. Many have suggested that his bishop was trying to “shut him up.” I have responded that, in situations like that (i.e., Fr. Pavone and Cardinal Egan; Fr. Fessio and the Jesuits), the official statement usually gives some indication of that. Others have suggested some ghastly scandal.

A couple weeks ago, a column suggested the “mysterious circumstances” of his disappearance from the public eye and discussed how his book, now out of print, is selling for hundreds of dollars online. This has led to a firestorm of discussion on the Internet, mostly unwholesome speculation of the kind I mentioned above.

Well, today, Fr. Euteneuer has offered an official statement explaining what really happened.

Sadly, the truth is not as pristine as I had hoped, but it is not as horribly scandalous as some have speculated. Fr. Euteneuer admits to having engaged in a sin against chastity with a woman whom he was counseling. This sounds very much like the situation that was used to defame Fr. Haley. He says there was no sex act involved, but there was a violation of chastity. He says that he normally does spiritual counseling and exorcism with a third party helper, but occasionally made exceptions in what he believed were emergency situations. This one incident started to cross a line, and he attributes it to his own arrogance.

Sadly, the speculators are calumniating not only Fr. Euteneuer in some cases, but members of his family, his bishop, HLI and other church officials. It is to protect these people’s reputations that Father has bravely made this public statement. We should all pray for him.

I hate it when I lose thoughts

There was some big story earlier this week that I wanted to comment on, and didn’t, and of course forgot which story and what I was going to say. Hate it when that happens.

And there have been a lot of big stories, so I thought I’d just give a run down of opinions:

1. The Arizona shooting:
a. the whole thing is a huge win for Obama.
b. If Giffords was so concerned about safety, why didn’t she use better security? She didn’t use basic security protocols at these events, and she put people’s lives in danger.
c. Everyone keeps trying to claim the shooter for the other side, but he really just exemplifies what I’ve been warning about since 2006: a generation of people who’ve been raised on MTV and Comedy Central, Michael Moore and Glenn Beck, who don’t necessarily have a coherent political philosophy other than anger at “the establishment.”
d. Sarah Palin is evil because she used a “targeting” metaphor (and I agree the way she did it was in bad taste, especially for a pro-lifer, and especially someone who has been a victim of some equally vicious rhetoric). But let’s not forget 8 years of “kill Bush”, Alec Baldwin’s tirade about Henry Hyde, and all the hateful things that the liberals have said and are saying about Palin. They are such hypocrites.

2. The arrest of Abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania. Yet another example of the kind of depraved monsters who engage in this “medical practice.”

3. Rick Santorum says it’s hypocritical for Barack Obama, an African American, to suggest we can define who is and isn’t human, and the liberals say that Santorum should apologize for making such an “offensive” comment. HUH?

4. EWTN is acquiring the National Catholic Register. Good to get the Register out of the hands of the Legion of Christ, but is it a wise move for EWTN, which is in perpetual financial trouble, to buy a newspaper, when print news is a rapidly dying medium? And, as one of my Facebook friends pointed out, they should have bought the National Catholic Reporter and then fired everyone who works for it.

5. John Paul II’s speedy canonization will proceed with a beatification on May 1. So much for the photos showing JPII standing with Maciel and Maciel’s illegitimate family. So much for concerns that too many of JPII’s “friends” were speaking out of turn. They won’t beatify Pius XII because of calumnies that are spread against him which have no basis in fact and scandalize non-believers, yet John Paul II, who did so much to scandalize faithful Catholics, is getting fast-tracked. I don’t even necessarily question his sainthood, but I get tired of the attitude that we are supposed to just ignore the Koran Kissing, the pagan sacrifices at the Assisi Conference, his association with Maciel, and other damaging facts. These need to be *explained*. The explanations are there. I often use some them myself. Some things I’m still waiting for better clarity on. But if they’re going to beatify him, and they’re *not* going to beatify Pius XII, then they need to do some explaining.

6. Monday our country honored the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who said we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. King was himself an adulterer, and one of his closest associates, Bayard Rustin, was a Communist and a homosexual. Forty years after his death, Americans elected Barack Obama, a man of no discernible character, due to the color of his skin.

7. A secular news story has tried to make a stink about the disappearance of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer from public eye. Most notably, Euteneuer’s book on exorcism which came out last summer is out of print and is selling for hundreds of dollars online. HLI says that the book merely sold out, and they opted not to reprint it, since Fr. Euteneuer left HLI.

When Fr. Euteneuer announced his resignation from HLI, I said at the time I didn’t think this was any conspiracy or “smack down.” There are ways things are phrased. When the Jesuits tried to use obedience to silence Fr. Fessio a while back, his public statements honored obedience while making it clear he didn’t agree with their decision. When Cardinal Egan recalled Fr. Pavone from Priests for Life, Fr. Pavone said he was complying but looking for options (and did).

Fr. Euteneuer’s statement expressed full compliance. I think he requested to be recalled by his bishop. Exorcists are supposed to be generally out of the spotlight, for a variety of reasons (avoiding sensationalism, maintaining personal humility, etc.) I think that he has chosen this change in direction of his life, and we should honor that.

8. As if Ellen Degenerate wasn’t bad enough, that strange looking creature they hired to replace Simon on American Idol is just too disturbing to look at, even on advertisements.
That brings up the point that one of the effects of my dissection is that I’ve narrowed down a lot of my viewing even more. I’m trying to avoid anything that will unnecessarily raise my blood pressure, and trying to avoid anything that might possibly be an occasion of sin.

Still feel like there’s another big news story of the week I wanted to comment on, but that covers most of ’em.

The Problem with “Movements”

Since 2004, there has been a discussion of so called “non-negotiables” in Catholic public life, often tied with the term “intrinsic evils.” I have problems with the usage of both terms as they have their ambiguous elements.

However, they have been introduced into Catholic political discourse to emphasize that the Church is unequivocal on some issues.

Almost all teachings of the Church regarding public life have some level of nuance to them. Usually, the Church teaches a totally different way of looking at politics or economics (notably subsidiarity and distributism) that, despite more than a century and a quarter since _Rerum Novarum_, still don’t quite fit into established secular political movements. Part of this is due to the fact that people have listened to the social encyclicals only reflexively by rejection (“Mater si, Magistra No”) or by intentionally misinterpreting (“If you’d only read the social encyclicals, you’d vote Democrat”).

With almost every issue, there’s some nuance. The Church almost always advises more on which principles to consider in regard to an issue rather than prescribing a particular course of action.

War: Just War Doctrine
Death Penalty: Equivalent strict standards of application
Economics: distributism; right to property, but the right to property is not absolute, etc.
Environment: Care for God’s resources; be good stewards; don’t blindly destroy nature; yet don’t put nature above humanity
Immigration: Have generous immigration laws; respect human dignity; keep families together; secure borders; don’t allow illegal immigration.
Even with the War in Iraq, there is some level of nuance in the Church’s teachings. Indeed, the War in Iraq was going on in 2004 when then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote his now infamous letter to Cardinal McCarrick saying specifically that war does not carry the same weight as abortion, since the Church teaches that some wars are just, and we can’t always be 100% sure of the justice or injustice of a cause. Yet Popes Benedict and John Paul have made comments against the Iraq War. Yet again, before the war, John Paul appealed not to the US but to Saddam Hussein to do what was right, since he was the one being uncooperative with the UN. And yet again, when B16 came here in April 2007, he praised our troops for fighting for the cause of freedom.

There’s always *something*. There’s always a level of room for adaptation of the general principles to one’s own perspective and situation, and the Popes acknowledge this.

However, there are issues for which there is no nuance. Abortion is wrong, period. The Church has always taught that and makes no exceptions.

Two equal and opposite problems arise from this.

The first problem involves voting. Since parties are coalitions, voting involves some kind of compromise. In theory, people “tally” votes, where, in reality, they vote on their pet issues. I’ve often heard it said, “The Democrats are in line with Catholic teaching on more issues than the Republicans,” though I’ve never been able to figure out which ones. Another justification Catholics will use for voting Democrat is trying to apply to abortion the level of nuance that other issues have, making up arguments about ensoulment and so forth, or else just saying that the Church is “hypocritical.”

And that, right there, gets to the problem of “movements.” I will grant that politics is one thing, and sometimes holding one’s nose and voting for the least evil of the candidates is what one must do.

However, most “movements” become so focused on their issue that they lose sight of the Church. It’s one thing when this happens in terms of political alliances. It’s quite another when the movement turns to criticizing the Church.

So, for example, with the “Peace Movement.” Peace is a good thing. However, I have a hard time maintaining dialogue with peace activists, with whom I largely agree, because they are so adamant about pacifism as such. I may not approve of the war, but I approve of the existence of the military, and I believe in the possibility of a Just war that is defensive or one that liberates one country from another’s attack.

However, that mere distinction is too much for many peace activists. Indeed, they’ll say that “Just War” theory itself is wrong and “goes against the teachings of Jesus.” To show how it goes against the teachings of Jesus, they’ll quote Dorothy Day, or Eileen Egan, or the Berrigans, Sr. Joan Chittister, or one of several dubious bishops. Challenge them with actual writings of Popes and Saints, and they’ll shut you out.

I have no problem with conscientious objection. Indeed, I support it. I have no problem with criticizing a war if one sincerely believes it is wrong. I have no objection to a person living a pacifist life, save for the question of protecting a loved one from assault. However, I *do* have a problem when someone’s zeal for peace takes the form of criticizing the Church and saying that Just War Doctrine itself is wrong.

Similarly, the Holy Father recently gave a speech about environmental concerns, which has spurred the usual debates on that topic. Again, the Church teaches that the environment must be honored and safeguarded, but the needs of humanity must come first. Radical Environmentalists conveniently ignore the latter qualification and use the Church to promote their agenda. Their opponents will ignore the first part and focus on the latter.

Again, it’s one thing to make an unhappy allegiance for voting purposes; it is quite another to call the Church’s teaching on a subject “wrong,” whether that subject is “peace” or divorce or economics or contraception.

So as much as I sympathize with their causes, I can’t get behind the “Peace” Movement or the “Environmental” Movement because they involve too much criticism of the Church and too many sketchy interpretations of Church teaching. The pro-life movement may compromise itself sometimes in its political allegiances, but the movement itself does not go around saying the Church is wrong on matters of dogma.

Cool Website

Free  Pro-Life Images

“We’d like to thank you George W. Bush”

For all you’ve done for the Pro-Life Movement . . . .

1. Approving federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (so long as the babies are already dead).
2. Somehow deceiving millions into thinking you were pro-life, despite your repeated promises not to overturn Roe v. Wade.
3. Wasting further time and money on the “partial birth abortion ban” smoke and mirror, causing pro-lifers to think they’d done something other than ban one specific kind of rare late-term procedure (only because there are other procedures available that can do the same thing)..
4. Getting yourself praise for reinstating Mexico City Policy after Clinton while not reversing Clinton’s other two executive orders regarding federal funding of abortions, including permitting abortions on military bases (see below).
5. Completely ignoring Human Life International’s appeal that you repudiate and revoke the eugenicist agenda of NSSM-200 on its thirtieth anniversary in 2003, instead confirming your party’s true agenda, as that was the very year you got us into the kind of war predicted by said document’s long term plans.
6. Wasting the greatest approval ratings in recent history and a majority in both houses to push an immoral war, thus “postponing” and breaking most of your pro-family, pro-life campaign promises in *both* elections.
7. Attempting the Harriet Myers nomination–which should have been enough for pro-lifers to call your bluff–but then turning around and appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito while deceiving the pro-life movement into believing these men were themselves pro-life.
8. Introducing an agenda of torture into US policy (and your supporters may question whether waterboarding constitutes “torture,” or claim that there are a “limited number of cases,” but there are plenty of documented offenses by the CIA, Blackwater and the Military that clearly fall under the category of “torture”). One day, Bush’s supporters will be looked on as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers in terms of their desire to simply ignore data to push an agenda. You’ve now caused a good deal of the pro-life leadership to compromise themselves by apologizing for torture and trying to minimize it, using some of the same strategies pro-choice Catholics use to justify legalized abortion. Oh, and it’s totally unnecessary, since all authentically pro-life candidates in 2008 opposed waterboarding, etc.
9. Turning many pro-life “Christians” into bloodthirsty revenge-seekers over 9/11
10. Appointing pro-abortionsts like Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Ridge to your cabinet, including making Ridge the first Director of “Homeland Security.”
11. Coming after an administration that declared Pro-Lifers the #1 terrorist threat and spent its time tailing the Catholic bishops instead of Al-Qaeda, you a) vowed to wipe out “all terrorism,” b) set up a precedent for denying due process and torturing suspects, c) set up policies for violating US citizens’ Constitutional rights to root out suspected “terrorists” (even though that’s just the kind of thing the Constitution was written for, and d) stacked the Supreme Court with like-minded people.

12. Fulfilling the master plan of the real powers behind our country, hinted at in documents like NSSM-200, you alienated the country so much to lose your party’s hold over Congress and the White House, and paved the way for Barack Obama, who has set about carrying all those policies to the next level.

Yes, thank you President Bush. You did a great job of trying to build a Culture of Life.

Case in point: abortions on military bases. Clinton approved funding of them. Bush encouraged lots of women to sign up for the military to fight his wars. Now, pregnancy among women troops (wasn’t that one of the reasons for women not serving in the military??) is a growing “problem,” so Komrade Obama has ordered all US military bases and hospitals to stock the aborifacient “Morning After” pill.

Scott Brown: How the Pro-Life Movement has Fallen

At first, I was excited over Scott Brown. Then I found out his real positions on abortion. I have been genuinely torn about whether to be excited about this or not. It’s certainly a good thing in the short run, but not a good thing in the long run. Every time a pro-choice Republican wins is more reason for the Republicans to abandon the pro-life cause.

Anyway, Mark Shea has nicely delineated the slippery slope the Pro-Life Movement has made since selling its soul to Dubya ten years ago.

First, it was Bush over McCain because Bush was anti-embryonic stem cell research. Bush overturned 1 of Clinton’s *3* executive orders about abortion, permitting funding of abortions on military bases. Then Bush supported ESCR, and it was “I’m disappointed, but.” Bush tried to appoint pro-abortionists like Harriet Myers but got opposed and forced to appoint guys like Roberts and Alito who have yet to document any positions other than that they see _Roe v. Wade_ as settled law, and that abortions are OK so long as they’re not “gruesome”. Otherwise, in 8 years, he did zilch. When pro-lifers expressed outrage, Bush’s spokespeople said, “The president has always made clear that he supports _Roe v. Wade_.”

Which he did. Pro-lifers with Bush were like pacifists with Obama: they made him what they wanted him to be and ignored what he actually said. And they still do.

I posited at the time of Harriet Myers that maybe the pro-life movement was waking up to Bush like Sue Ellen finally dumping J.R., but that didn’t last long. Then people who used to speak of the dignity of the human person started agreeing with their President on human dignity not applying to “evil terrorists.”

Then, in 2008, McCain suddenly wasn’t that bad. Romney, who only became pro-life when he decided to run for president, was an avowed pro-lifer with a history of pro-life credentials.

We’re told that the end all and be all of pro-life activism is stopping partial birth abortion–one specific kind late term abortion that has been illegal for years now, even though the Supreme Court says it’s illegal because there are other ways to abort third trimester babies!!

Now, Scott Brown is the savior because he opposes federal funding of abortion and sort of supports conscientious objection.

Meanwhile, in early 2008, we had a candidate who
a. Said that presidents could be doing far more to fight abortion than they’d been doing
b. Supported measures to fight no-fault divorce
c. Supported homeschooling
d. Openly promoted Natural Law

and he didnt’ get support because
a) Catholics said they didn’t want to vote for a Baptist minister.
b) conservatives didn’t like the work he’d done for social justice as governor of Arkansas.

If Barack Obama had an “R” after his name instead of “D”, NRLC would find reason to declare him the greatest friend to the pro-life movement since Reagan. Oh, wait, Reagan appointed Kennedy and O’Connor.

When was the last time you heard a Bishop speak against contraception?

Fr. Tom Bartolomeo had the nerve to preach against artificial contraception, a topic which, before Vatican II, priests were required to preach on at least once per year, and he was removed from his parish for it.

Bishop Joseph Martino resigns shortly after Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe says some bishops are too outspoken on “abortion and the other stuff.”

The USCCB’s “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document, supposedly a summary of Catholic social teaching, never even mentions “birth control” or “contraception,” even though Mater et Magistra says that

189.  Besides, the resources which God in His goodness and wisdom has implanted in Nature are well-nigh inexhaustible, and He has at the same time given man the intelligence to discover ways and means of exploiting these resources for his own advantage and his own livelihood. Hence, the real solution of the problem is not to be found in expedients which offend against the divinely established moral order and which attack human life at its very source, but in a renewed scientific and technical effort on man’s part to deepen and extend his dominion over Nature. The progress of science and technology that has already been achieved opens up almost limitless horizons in this held.

194. Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members.

199. A provident God grants sufficient means to the human race to find a dignified solution to the problems attendant upon the transmission of human life. But these problems can become difficult of solution, or even insoluble, if man, led astray in mind and perverted in will, turns to such means as are opposed to right reason, and seeks ends that are contrary to his social nature and the intentions of Providence. 

Liberals continue to insist that Archbishop Charles Chaput (who supports the Neocatechumenate Way, Charismatic Renewal, and other heterodox lay movements) is a “far right conservative” just because he’s outspoken on abortion.

We hear from Cardinals Rigali, O’Malley and others say they will not support a health care bill that pays for abortions, which implies that they will support a health care bill that pays for contraceptives.

When was the last time the USCCB issued an official statement

We’re told of people like Fr. Bartolomeo and Fr. Christopher Buckner and Bishop Martino that it is their “pastoral style,” not their “orthodoxy,” that gets them in trouble.  Yet many saints have had a similar “pastoral style.”

We’re told that the “pastoral styles” of O’Malley and Chaput and Dolan are more effective.

Effective at doing what? 
Not actually teaching what the Church does?

Shouldn’t a pastor be making sure his sheep get through the gate?

One poll says 61% of Catholics think contraception should be up to laity and 75% say it’s possible to be a good Catholic and disobey the Natural Law on this matter

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Study found that 97% of Catholic women over 18 have used some form of artificial birth control in their lives, and a 2005 Harris Poll found that 90% of Catholics supported birth control.

These polls indicate the range of numbers I’ve heard on how many Catholics in the US support and/or use artificial birth control.

Attention, USCCB: the majority of your flock are headed straight to Hell, and you aren’t saying anything about it!!!

How are they supposed to repent if you don’t tell them to????

Instead, the few voices who actually speak on it are called “right wing extremists” or “judgemental” just for being willing to say what the Church teaches.

Has the USCCB ever issued a statement condemning birth control?

Has the USCCB ever issued a statement condemning the “overpopulation” movement or NSSM-200?

Until that happens, I’ll take Judie Brown or Fr. Tom Euteneuer over the fraudulent “shepherds” at the USCCB.

What Went Wrong with the Pro-Life Movement

Ever since the victory of the Enlightened One, the “President of the World,” people have been doing post mortems on the pro-life movement.  Obama’s “abortion prevention” is a slightly more effective reworking of the “safe, legal and rare” motto of the Clinton Administration (even though the abortion lobby was the one interest group Clinton *didn’t* betray in his 8 years).

Now, even European politicians are getting into the act.  John Allen reports how some Italian politician, allegedly “John Paul’s favorite,” has said the pro-life movement went wrong by pitting mothers against children.  Here’s what he said:

“God entrusts a child to its mother in such a special way, that to defend the child against the mother is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the mother, making her more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free she is, the more difficult it will be for her to renounce the child.”


I wonder how people would react to a politician who said,

“God entrusts women to men in such a special way, that to defend the woman against the man is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the man, making him more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free he is, the more difficult it will be for him to engage in rape or abuse.”

How, exactly, does *increased* freedom bring an end to sin?

As for the rest, in the US, at least, the “failure” of the pro-life movement is due to two factors:

1. Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” nonsense: if you want to talk about “consistent life ethic,” I’m with you, but not all issues are equal, especially when most seamless garment types won’t include contraception in their “garment.”
2. The National Right to Life Committee’s “30 year strategy.”

Again, Obama’s supposedly “pro-life” devotees have been blaming the approach of ALL and HLI, or the approach of Operation Rescue, when, in fact, they should be blaming the approach of NRLC. They’ve been saying that we need to abandon an “all out” approach, but the official political strategy of the pro-life movement, run by the GOP and NRLC, has never been an all-out ban. It’s been to spend years and billions of dollars to outlaw one specific form of late-term abortion as an “incremental” step.

Very few have ever tried to completely outlaw abortion, and their efforts have been shot down: by others in the pro-life movement, including Catholic bishops.

The real problem with the pro-life movement, if we are to say the movement has failed (which it has), is that it fails to see where the underlying enemy is.

The Left wants to say it’s economic conditions that allegedly lead to abortion, except for two problems:
1) that is based upon the statistics that come from abortuaries; the exact number of abortions by middle class and rich women–who get abortions at regular hospitals or OB/Gyn offices–are unknown, and likely the vast majority of abortions.
2) those women aren’t driven to abortion by poverty; they’re driven by pressure from their families and from the Planned Parenthood clinic.

No, the underlying problem of the pro-life movement is that the leadership is the enemy. The pro-life movement needs to ditch the NRLC (which stays in business as long as abortion is legal) and the GOP, both of which are benefitting from a double effect. As long as abortion is legal, the GOP and the NRLC can get lots of money and votes out of pro-lifers, while still reaping the benefits that legalized abortion has for those in power.

Who was one of the only politicians to take direct action to overturn Roe v. Wade (and that was just to overturn it, not outlaw abortion)? Ron Paul.

“Population Control” is integrally tied to “globalization.” The Constitution Party says not to vote for anyone who’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which severely narrows the number of eligible candidates, but is really worth looking into.

NSSM-200 was a Republican policy originally, and remains so.

"Not one baby will be saved . . . "

A common response to pro-life activism, particularly from the Catholic Left and self-proclaimed “center” is “Not one baby will be saved by what you’re doing.”
“Not one baby will be saved by protesting Obama at Notre Dame.”
“Not one baby will be saved by campaigning against that bill.”
“Not one baby will be saved by denying that politician Communion.”

And, sometimes, one is tempted to buy into that argument, as, often, abortion is a secondary issues. In the case of Notre Dame, it’s secondary to enforcement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and, in the case of politicians receiving Communion, it’s secondary to protection of the Blessed Sacrament against sacrilege.

However, who knows how many babies will be saved?

I’ve even seen snide comments made against 40 Days for Life, like, “What’s next? 52 days for life?” Those who are liberal, yet claim to be “just Catholic,” constantly expose their own deception by their animosity to the pro-life movement. They seek out any issue they can get to discredit pro-lifers. Sometimes, with issues like war and the death penalty, they grasp at straws. Other times, with issues like torture, pro-lifers unfortunately hand their enemies a noose.

There is this running theme among the Catholic Left, particulary given their triumphalism after this past election, and using the rhetoric passed down by Chris Korzen and Doug Kmiec, that the pro-life movement is, by and large, a failure.

They claim that our efforts to “lobby” the bishops to deny communion to politicians (in order to “pressure” said politicians) have failed (even though this *has* become a national issue, and many bishops *have* done their job, and even though both Pope Benedict and Cardinal Arinze have said such politicians *should* refrain from communion and should be excommunicated if they persist).

They’ve called Archbishop Burke all sorts of names, and they’ve tried to call his promotion a “silencing.” Then, as more and more bishops have spoken out more vocally on the previous election, and on the Obama administration, they’ve insisted those bishops are a “right wing fringe,” even though close to 1/3 of US bishops have now condemned Notre Dame’s award to Obama, including Roberty Lynch, one of the most liberal bishops in the country.

They claim to be “against abortion, but there are other issues.” They claim to “want to reduce abortions.” They claim to dislike the pro-life movement only because it’s so tied to the GOP, yet they a) oppose *every* form of pro-life activism that doesn’t involve socialism, b) oppose *every* effort to actually reduce abortions and c) call every pro-life organization, including ALL, HLI and EWTN, a GOP front operation. (It doesn’t help, of course ,that Raymond Arroyo has been allowed to turn The World Over into a very political broadcast).

To them, Mother Angelica–who often joked that she just wrote in Jesus’ Name for every election–is nothing more than the Evil-Lyn to Karl Rove’s Skeletor.

Speaking of Mother Angelica, one of my favorite Mother Angelica stories is the one about meeting an NBC executive. “What are your ratings like?” he asked.

“I dunno,” said Mother.
“You don’t know your own ratings?” gasped the executive. “In this business, that’s our gospel!”
“No,” said Mother. “That’s your problem. If just a single soul is saved by my network, it’s worth it.”

Will any children’s lives be saved by the Notre Dame protesting? Very likely so.

Even I was a bit wary of the “ND Abortion Plane” as a waste of time and resources, but what if some girl at Notre Dame right now is scared and considering abortion? Maybe even some girl in South Bend who doesn’t go to the college. What if some girl is praying for a sign from God, and she looks out her window and sees that plane?

I’ve graded a few papers by students who wrote about their abortion experiences, and they all said it would’ve taken one voice to discourage them, especially if that one person had offered some hope.

Bill Clinton said he was taught to be pro-choice at Georgetown. Five years ago, an Internet friend asked me for help on a political message board she was frequenting. There was a liberal Catholic woman on that board who was pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and proud of it. There were non-Catholic pro-lifers on the site who genuinely believed the Catholic Church was pro-abortion because they knew so many Catholics who were “pro-choice.”

They didn’t undersetand, if the Church was pro-life, why the Church allowed pro-choice politicians to call themselves Catholic.

Do you realize what a witness it is to non-Catholics that Catholics are standing up for our faith ? Do you realize that the main thing keeping many evangelical Protestants away from the Church is the perception of Catholics as being hypocrites who don’t follow what the Church teaches?

We’re often accused of being Pharisees if we stand up for the faith, but it’s just the opposite. We’re Pharisees if we sit back and legalistically say, “That doesn’t apply to me.”

So, yes, maybe a single baby *will* be saved by any given pro-life act. Maybe only one baby will be saved. Maybe a baby won’t be saved, but maybe one person’s mind will be changed. Maybe one persno will be led a step closer to conversion to Catholicism.

We will not know till the End what effect any given action ultimately has for the good of another’s soul.

But if we have a chance to stand up for the Good, we have to do it. And, if we are able to help bring just one person closer to God at the same time, it’s all worth it.

Rome’s HLI chief says the Vatican is treating Obama the way it treats Communists

Last week, pro-life Catholic scratched our heads as the Vatican proclaimed that Obama’s first 100 days were not as earth-shattering as we’d feared. Now, I would tend to agree with that assessment, and most of what he’s done basically puts us back to where we were uner Clinton.

But Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro, the Rome bureau chief of Human Life International, sees parallels between how the Vaticcan is dealing with Obama and how it dealt with the former Soviet Union.

A former diplomat himself, Monsignor Barreiro explained the tactic being used by the Vatican newspaper. “It is a diplomatic move similar to the one used several years ago towards the Soviet Union,” he said.
“So here we have a replay of the Ostpolitik that was inspired by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. This policy is inspired by the perceived need to reach a working accommodation with the many governments in Europe and in America that are dominated by liberal and socialist ideologies.”
Barreiro added however: “In the same way that the Ostpolitik did not work and only weakened the Church, this current approach to the Democratic Administration will fail and would lead to a further weakening of the Church in the U.S. and probably worldwide.”

In somewhat related news, the Vatican has been flooded with letters from pro-life leaders around the world, criticizing the piece in L’Osservatore Romano by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, current president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV/PAL), who opposed the now infamous excommunication by Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife in Brazil.
According to LifeSite News, pepole are concerned that the move indicates a change in tone at the Vatican, especially as L’Osservatore Romano is “carefully vetted” by the Vatican Secretary of State and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

In an open letter published by today, highly respected philosopher Professor Joseph Seifert, a lifetime member of the ontifical Academy for Life, said that the article has led to a “deep crisis” in the PAV, and “more importantly, of the public perception of Church teaching on abortion.” (See letter:
Professor Seifert, rector and professor of philosophy at the International Academy of
Philosophy of Liechtenstein, writes that because of this article, and its support by the pope’s official media spokesman, Fr. Frederico Lombardi SJ, “countless persons” throughout the world now attribute to the PAV and by extension to the Pope himself, “a propagation of a new moral doctrine diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Church”.

Sign a Petition in Support of Pope Benedict!

American Papist has posted a link to a petition by Human Life International supporting the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in his time of trial, with the many assaults against him in the media. So far, it’s only had a measley 45,000 signatures–not much compared to the PewSitter Notre Dame petition. Not much for a religion with over 1 billion adherents. Let’s get those numbers up!

A New Beginning

I’m back-if I still have any of my former, humble readership.

Last summer, I was kind of crushed by the whole ALL/NRLC/USCCB debacle. Long story short: the “incrementalism” debate, the main division in the pro-life movement, has finally split the movement down the middle, thanks to the Partial Birth Abortion law and _Carhart II_. Judie Brown at American Life League, Fr. Eutenauer at Human Life International and others who take an absolutist stance on abortion have criticized _Gonzalez v. Carhart_ for basically being a blueprint as to how to ignore the partial birth abortion ban. As I will discuss in a separate post, they have been proven right. Also, the verdict explicitly approves of _Roe v. Wade_ and says that abortion otherwise is OK, which goes against the Natural Law and against Catholic social teaching.

However, the NRLC and the USCCB, pushing the “incrementalist” strategy, support the decision. NRLC excommunicated Colorado Right to Life (the only state branch to support the Campaign for Ethical Vaccines) after CRTL, with Brown, Eutenauer, Charles Rice and others as signatories, called on James Dobson of Focus on the Family (not one of my favorite people, anyway), along with NRLC, USCCB & Priests for Life, to change their positions.

Now, I don’t fault Fr. Pavone and PFL, since they support *everything* (although I fault him for endorsing McCain).

Anyway, I thoroughly argued and researched the matter, confirming the rectitude of ALL’s position. There were some other issues messed up in it, and I made a few mistakes for which I am greatly sorry, but it pretty much crushed my spirit for a while.

Meanwhile, I had a very busy semester, anyway, and barely had time to do much else besides work.

But now, I’m back, and hoping to find a way to make this blog more permanent and reliable, and useful.

One of my ideas in August was to revamp it to focus more on spiritual warfare, and I am going to try again, since we’re starting Lent.

Pontifical Academy for Life on Incrementalism

If you go through the staff and membership of the Pontifical Academy for Life, you will see many names from the USA. Many are people I’ve never heard of. One is John Haas of National Catholic Bioethics Center. One is Dr. Thomas Hilgers of the Paul VI Institute (Creighton Method and NaPro Technology). Down at the bottom, under “Correspondents,” you will see the name of Judie Brown, the executive director of American Life League, who is currently serving a second term in the PAL.

Now, one might respond that the she was on the PAL before the current situation (here’s her EWTN Q&A on the controversial “open letter”), but there are two problems with such a judgement. First, this is not the first time Judie has taken the USCCB or individual bishops to task. Secondly, this particular case is not nearly as direct as those past cases were. The worst they accuse the USCCB or Priests for Life of is being “misled” or “misinformed.”

Anyway, if you look on the PAL membership, you won’t see anyone from NRLC.

Continuing on the series about _Evangelium Vitae_, then (I tried to include this quote in the last post, but the formatting got messed up), let’s hear from the PAL’s document on the fifth anniversary of the encyclical (my emphasis bold):

“We accept the urgency and difficulty of this task, knowing well that Christians are called to be active in the real world of today: uncertain and changing, tempted to sacrifice transcendence to immanence and the supreme values to prosperity, they are also prompted to take refuge in pragmatic and utilitarian conventionalism, rather than to ally themselves with truth and reason. However, our hope is based not only on help from the Lord of life but also on the conviction that the sacred value of human life can be recognized in the natural law alone, written in the human heart, disregard for which is at the root “of a tragic obscuring of the collective conscience’ (Evangelium vitae, n. 70).”

John Paul II on "incrementalism"

The usual defense of incrementalism is based upon a passage from John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical _Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life)_. In it, he states that a politician, who is known to have “absolute personal opposition to procured abortion” may in good conscience vote for measures which will restrict or limit abortions when there is no other alternative (paragraph 73.3). That does not say that Catholic politicians *should* pursue an overall “incrementalist” agenda, but merely that they can vote for incrementalist laws while actively working for a more immediate end to legalized abortion and contraception. It certainly does not mean that a Catholic can actively support an agenda or organization which leaves exceptions in its ultimate goals (e.g., “outlaw abortions except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother” or “I favor outlawing abortion, but not contraception”).

Earlier in the document, he writes that, in response to the popular acceptance of legalized abortion,

“we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception” (paragraph 58.2; my emphasis bold).

He later says,

“In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2)” (82.3; my emphasis).

In February, 2000,Pope John Paul II gave an address to commemorate the fifth
anniversary of _Evangelium Vitae_, in which he says (my emphasis bold),

“there is no reason for that type of defeatist mentality which claims that laws opposed to the right to life – those which legalize abortion, euthanasia, sterilization and methods of family planning opposed to life and the dignity of marriage – are inevitable and now almost a social necessity. On the contrary, they are a seed of corruption for society and its foundations. The civil and moral conscience cannot accept this false inevitability, any more than the idea that war or interethnic extermination is inevitable” (Address at the
Commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the Encyclical “Evangelium
vitae”, 14 February, n. 4; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 23
February 2000, p. 4

ALL, HLI, Alan Keyes vs. Focus on the Family, NRLC and USCCB

Apparently, the long-standing rift between “incrementalists” and pro-life absolutists like yours truly has hit a head.

My own respones to the recent Gonzales v. Carhart decision were mixed. I agree with Judie Brown and Fr. Euteneuer, as I do on most issues, that there are dangerous flaws in this decision, in some sense throwing a bone to pro-lifers. The president has said, many times that he has no intention of overturning _Roe v. Wade_, and Alito and Roberts have made similar assurances. I also agree that it is unwise to *applaud* a decision that basically says to the pro-abortionists, “You went about your case the wrong way; here’s the way to fix it.”
On the other hand, the case *does* establish certain precedents that could undermine _Roe_. But the problem is that it still vociferously affirms _Roe_, and the lack of rights of the fetus. So to applaud that decision, as various pro-life groups have done, is scandalous to the cause.

So, Colorado Right to Life wrote an open letter to Focus on the Family, criticizing Dr. Dobson for his position on Carhart (2007). I’m no fan of Dr. Dobson. I *am* a big fan of CRTL, which was, until recently, the only state branch of NRLC that actively supports the campaign for ethical vaccines.

I say “until recently,” because NRLC has ousted CRTL for writing this letter.

Now, I am informed that Michael Moses, a lawyer for the USCCB, an organization known for following its lawyers, accountants and PR hacks above the Gospel, has issued orders to Diocesan leaders to ostracise ALL and HLI for their participation in this Open Letter. They’ve accused Judie Brown and Fr. Eutenauer of “causing scandal.”

So, it’s not scandalous, according to the USCCB for politicians to *support* abortion on demand, but it *is* scandalous for orthodox Catholics to call their bishops on the carpet for comprosing with evil? If Jesus were walking around today, the USCCB would accuse Him of causing scandal. Oh, wait! That’s just what the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate accused Jesus of!

And let’s not forget that the USCCB, through its liturgical spokesman Donald Trautman, accuses the Vatican of causing scandal by requiring the use of some Latin at every Mass and requiring that translations of the Mass be taken literally from Latin, using the official theological terminology.

PFL’s Fr. Pavone, HLI’s Fr. Euteneuer and ALL’s Judie Brown to "Gang of 18": Stop calling yourselves Catholics

LifeSite quotes Frs. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) and Thomas Eutenauer (Human Life International) telling the “Gang of 18” (Rosa DeLauro & co) to leave the Church.

Meanwhile, Judie Brown (American Life League) has started a new petition drive asking the bishops to excommunicate these killers

Canadian Physicans for Life Joins the Crusade against Unethical Vaccines

So while that self-appointed Bioethics “Magisterium” in Philadelphia drags its feet (acknowledging the right of conscientious objection is a great step, but the NCBC still hasn’t taken an active stance, and it has not joined HLI and COG in the FDA push), yet another professional medical group joins the fight against unethical vaccines. Canadian Physicians for Life has now followed the precedent set by the Catholic Medical Association and, of course, the Pontifical Academy for Life.

For those who think vaccine protesting is a fringe of the pro-life movement, or not even a “pro-life issue” (as Kevin Miller has characterized it), here are some highlights of Children of God for
Life’s list of supporters, among numerous smaller organizations, local parishes, local pro-life groups and other religious organizations:

American Association of Pro-Life Pediatricians
American Life League (obviously)
Archdioceses of Chicago and San Antonio (TX)
Arizona Right to Life
Bishops Edward O’Donnell, Robert Vasa (one of my newest heroes), and Thomas
Blue Army of Nigeria
Catholic Health Association
CMA (above)
Catholic Physicians Guild of the Philippines
Center for Rights of the Terminally Ill
Center for Pro-Life Studies
Colorado Right to Life
Dioceses of Cheyenne, Lubbock, Peoria, Wichita and Jacksonville
Dr. Janet E. Smith
Florida Catholic Conference
Human Life International
Marist Fathers, Boston Province
Maine Right to Life
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Japan
Missouri Catholic Conference
National association of Catholic Nurses
Passionist Nuns
Pharmacists for Life
Priests for Life
Pro-Life Wisconsin
Pro-Life of South Africa
The Mary Foundation