Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Attacking Pope Benedict: How low can the MSM go?

The mainstream media has really been pushing things to the limit lately, but have now reached rock bottom with this. What do you think? Should someone at NBC be fired for this? 

Via Catholic President Bill Donohue:

March 30, 2010

NBC apologized today for an article on MSNBC’s website entitled, “Pope Describes Touching Boys: I Went Too Far.” The article that readers accessed after clicking on it actually had nothing to do with the pope.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue accepted the apology today:


NBC says the attributed quote was erroneous and they have corrected the error. An apology was also extended. The apology is accepted. We hope that whoever was responsible for this outrageous post is questioned about it and that appropriate measures are taken. We look forward to hearing the outcome.

One Word on the Media Attacks on The Holy Father



PRAY


These vicious and false attacks only attest to the great holiness of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who is undergoing a white martyrdom for the faith.


Recommended Reading:

Jimmy Akin: Cardinal Ratzinger An Evil Monster? 

Thomas Peters: Game Over: Benedict -- 1.  MSM  -- 0.  (And how we can help the pope's numbers)

Satan behind media attacks on the Pope, asserts Italian exorcist

Reports blaming Pope for mishandled sex abuse case are inaccurate, Church judge reveals

Pope Benedict being 'scourged at the pillar,' says New York archbishop

U.S. bishops profoundly grateful for Pope's work in combating sexual abuse

The Anchoress: Praying for the Pope and for All

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: A Response to the New York Times 

George Weigel: Scoundrel Times

Fr. John Trujillio: An Inconvenient Truth

Rocco Palmo:  US Bench:  'We Stand with "B16"

LifeSite News: Michael O'Brien Slams the Media's Use of the Sexual Abuse Crisis to Attack Pope Benedict

Cristina Odone:  Pope Benedict XVI is part of the solution not the problem

Christine at A Catholic View: Bishops Defend the Pope against Bogus Allegations

Carl Olson:  Dour, unhinged, and factless, Maureen Dowd seeks papal whipping boy

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii: Catholic Blogosphere Defending Our Holy Father.

Leticia at Causa Nostrae Latitiae: In defense of our beloved shepherd, Pope Benedict

Blessed Joan of Toulouse

The saint of the day is Blessed Joan of Toulouse.

Blessed Joan of Toulouse lived in the town of Toulouse during the thirteenth century. A Carmelite monastery had been founded in the town in 1240 and this exposed Joan to the Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality. In 1265 when St. Simon Stock, a thirteenth century reformer of the Carmelites, was passing through Toulouse, Joan met him and requested to be affiliated with the Carmelites. Simon agreed and Blessed Joan became the first Third Order Carmelite.

Joan vowed herself to perpetual chastity. Joan applied herself completely to the Carmelite Rule. In addition to many daily holy practices and pennances, Joan reached out to the community and worked to help the sick and poor. One of Joan's primary missions was encouraging the boys of the town to help her serve the poor and help them discern whether or not they were called to be Carmelites.  Blessed Joan is considered to be a founder of the Carmelite tertiary order and is considered to be the first member of this order. Joan died near the end of the thirteenth century. Her cult was approved in 1895.

Wednesday of Holy Week: Spy Wednesday


Wednesday of Holy Week is traditionally known as "Spy Wednesday" because on this day Judas made a bargain with the high priest to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
~ Matthew 26

"I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard."

~ Isaiah 50

"For those who love Him and who, after each fault, come, throw themselves into His arms and ask pardon, Jesus thrills with joy."

~ St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Making the Best of Holy Week

Terry Polakovic, Executive Director of ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women), talks about how to make the best out of Holy Week by incorporating silence into your life. She is accompanied by participants in the program who share their personal experiences on the subject. 

 


Related Post:

12 ways to make Holy Week holy

St. John Climacus

The saint of the day is St. John Climacus.

Here are my favorite quotes from St. John Climacus.

It is sheer lunacy to imagine that one has deserved the gifts of God. You may be proud only of the achievements you had before the time of your birth. But anything after that, indeed the birth itself, is a gift from God. You may claim only those virtues in you that are there independently of your mind, for your mind was bestowed on you by God. And you may claim only those victories you achieved independently of the body, for the body too is not yours but a work of God.

A chaste man is someone who has driven out bodily love by means of divine love, who has used heavenly fire to quench the fires of the flesh.

A person is at the beginning of a prayer when he succeeds in removing distractions which at the beginning beset him. He is at the middle of the prayer when the mind concentrates only on what he is meditating and contemplating. He reaches the end when, with the Lord, the prayer enraptures him.

Humility has it signs: ...poverty, withdrawal from the world, the concealment of one's wisdom, simplicity of speech, the seeking of alms, the disguising of one's nobility, the exclusion of free and easy relationships, the banishment of idle talk.

If pride turned some of the angels into demons, then humility can doubtless make angels out of demons. So take heart, all you sinners.

Pride is utter poverty of soul disguised as riches, imaginary light where in fact there is darkness.

The fruit of arrogance is a fall; but a fall is often an occasion of humility for those willing to profit by it.

The lover of silence draws close to God. He talks to Him in secret and God enlightens him.

You will know that you have this holy gift (of humility) within you and not be led astray when you experience an abundance of unspeakable light together with an indescribable love of prayer.

Related Post:

Holy Father: Asceticism gives Christians a path to follow

Close to the Heart of Jesus

Holy Tuesday Meditation:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Judas Today!

 While Acts tells us that Judas 'went to his own place', his modern contemporaries are still hanging around the Church, collecting their silver pieces.

Juan de Palafoxi: Miracle for Beatification Approved

Extravagant Love



Holy Monday Meditation:

"Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus."

~ John 12:3

"I want only one thing; to do what pleases Him the most."
~ Blessed Charles of Jesus

St. Joseph of Arimathea

Patron Saint of: funeral directors, pall bearers, tin miners, undertakers

The saint of the day is St. Joseph of Arimathea.

We learn about Joseph of Arimathea in Sacred Scripture. Arimathea was his place of birth, which was most likely the same city also known as Ramatha, birthplace of the prophet Samuel.

All the authentic information that we have about Joseph is from Sacred Scripture in the New Testament. These are some of the facts about Joseph: He was a member of the Sandhedrin, a council of 71 members that had supreme executive, legislative, and judicial power over the Jewish faith. He apparently was a wealthy man and also a good and just man, according to Luke’s gospel (Luke 23:50). He was a disciple of Jesus, but this was concealed for fear of the Jews or members of the Sandhedrin who were against Jesus. It is unlikely that Joseph attended the meeting of the council that sentenced Jesus to death, as he did not agree with the others in their condemnation of Him.

After the crucifixion, Joseph was bolder in his support of Jesus. This is evinced by the fact that he went to Pilate and asked to have the body of Jesus released to him. He then not only provided his own new tomb for the burial of Jesus but, along with Nicodemus (another secret disciple), he provided the spices and burial cloth, which was a very fine white linen shroud. He and the others placed the body of Jesus in Joseph’s new, unused tomb, which was hewn out of rock in a nearby garden. After rolling a great stone in front of the opening, they left the garden. This is the last mention in Scripture about Joseph of Arimathea.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

12 ways to make Holy Week holy


1. PRAY  Incorporate prayer breaks into your daily schedule. Pray short ejaculations throughout the day.

2. FAST  Eat smaller portions of food for meals or eat food without salt or pepper this week.

3. REPENT  Go to Confession.

4. ADORE  Spend time with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration this week, even if you only have 15 minutes.

5. PRAY the rosary slowly, contemplatively, meditating on the sorrowful mysteries.

6. ATTEND all of the Triduum liturgies.

7. PRAY the Stations of the Cross.

8. MEDITATE on Christ's Passion daily as you read the various accounts of the Passion in the Gospels.

9. SACRIFICE Offer up any pain or difficulties you are experiencing and unite them with Christ's sufferings.

10. INVITE  family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers to come to Church with you, especially those who have been away from the faith for some time.

11. GIVE of yourself -- your time, talent, and treasure-- to assist your parish in a special way this Easter.

12. REACH OUT to someone who is hurting or suffering. Pray with them, listen to them, and console them.

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Today we commemorate Christ's entry into Jerusalem for the completion of the Paschal Mystery. On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we commemorate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him.

Palm Sunday is also called Fig Sunday, because figs were traditionally eaten that day, memorializing the fig tree cursed by Christ after his entry into Jerusalem. In England, Palm Sunday was called Olive or Branch Sunday, Sallow or Willow, Yew or Blossom Sunday, or Sunday of the Willow Boughs, named for the local replacements for the traditional palm branches.

Various customs have developed to celebrate Palm Sunday. In the Slavic countries, the faithful walked through their buildings and fields with the blessed palms, praying and singing ancient hymns. They then laid palm pieces on each plot of ground, in every barn, building, and stable, as a petition was made for protection from weather and disease, and for a blessing upon the produce and property.

For complete information and reflections on today's liturgy, see Fr. Tom Hoisington's Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy for Palm Sunday. 


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pope Benedict: Holy Week and Easter

Saint Rupert of Salzburg



The saint of the day is St. Rupert of Salzburg, a bishop and missionary who lived in the eighth century during the time of Childebert III, King of the Franks.

St. Rupert was a member of a noble Frankish family. Rupert was a lover of the truth who was well-known for his simplicity and common sense. He was pious, charitable, and pure. As bishop of Worms, Germany, he was dedicated to spreading the faith among the Germans and suceeded in converting whole regions. He took over the deserted town of Luvavum about 697, which was renamed Salzburg, Austria. Rupert founded St. Peter's Church and Abbey and the Nonnburg convent, where his sister served as the first abbess. He died on March 27, 718 at Salzburg and is venerated as the first archbishop of this major diocese in the West. Rupert is revered as the Apostle of Bavaria and Austria.

In Christian art, St. Rupert is depicted with a vessel of salt in his hand, symbolizing the universal tradition according to which Rupert inaugurated salt-mining at Salzburg. He is the Patron saint of salt miners and the Diocese of Salzburg.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pope: Sacrifices are possible if they have meaning



Young person: "Jesus invited the rich young man to leave everything and follow Him, but he went away sad. I like him also find it hard to follow, because I'm afraid to leave my things and sometimes the Church asks difficult sacrifices of me. Holy Father, how can I find the strength to make courageous decisions and who can help me?"

Pope Benedict XVI: "Let us begin with perhaps what is a difficult word for us: sacrifice. Sacrifices are possible and even become beautiful at the end if they have a reason, and if this reason justifies even the difficulty of the sacrifice."

Related Information:  

Vatican Website: POPE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU

The Angelus

 The Angelus (Latin for angel) is a short practice of devotion in honor of the Incarnation repeated three times each day, morning, noon, and evening. Fr. explains and encourages the recitation of this beautiful devotion in the video clip.



St. Margaret Clitherow, patron of businesswomen, converts, and martyrs


Today is the feast of St. Margaret Clitherow, patron of businesswomen, converts, and martyrs.

Margaret was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, of protestant parents. An attractive woman full of wit and cheer, she had a charming personality.

In 1571, she married John Clitherow, a well-to-do butcher (to whom she bore two children). She was a good housewife, capable in business, dearly loved by her husband, whose only regret was that she would not attend church. A few years later, she entered the Catholic Church. Her zeal led her to harbor fugitive priests, for which she was arrested and imprisoned by hostile authorities. They tried every means to make her deny her Faith, but the holy woman stood firm. Finally, she was condemned to be pressed to death on March 25, 1586. She was stretched out on the ground with a sharp rock on her back and crushed under a door loaded down with unbearable weights. Her bones were broken and she died within fifteen minutes.

The humanity and holiness of this servant of God can be readily evidenced in her words to a friend when she learned of her condemnation: "The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise."

Margaret died on Good Friday, March 25, 1586, her last words being, "Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy on me!" She was only thirty years old and was canonized in 1970 as one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.

To learn more, go here and here.

A trailer from a new film on St. Margaret Clitherow:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Join the Priesthood, Be a Hero




H/T: Esther

A Sweet Surrender on the Feast of The Annunciation of the Lord


"It is in Our Lady that God fell in love with humanity. It is upon her that the Dove descended, and the love of God for Humanity culminated in the conception of Christ in the human race. Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives. We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, our humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life. The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be like Our Lady's surrender, without condition and without reservation."

~ Caryl Houselander, The Reed of God, (Christian Classics)


H/T: Deacon John

Pope Benedict: Defend the family, the rights of the weakest

Defend the family, defend the rights of the weakest and of children, and oppose anti-life choices by state legislation. Pope Benedict XVI asked this of the bishops of Scandinavia, in his address at the end of their Ad Limina visit. The Pope noted that the family is the center of social cohesion and children have a right to be conceived and grow within a marriage between a man and a woman, so as to receive appropriate models for human development. Among other topics, the Pope asked the bishops to be especially concerned for couples where only one member is Catholic and to take care of immigrants- many of whom are from the Middle East and belong to the Eastern Churches. 

Pilgrims to Shroud of Turin will see 'mirror of the Gospel'


Vatican City, Mar 25, 2010 / 12:14 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Cardinal Severino Poletto, custodian of the Holy Shroud and Archbishop of Turin, was in Rome on Thursday morning to officially present plans and progress at a press conference for the Shroud's exposition this spring. He emphasized the "spiritual" benefits that will be provided to pilgrims through their contemplation of the image. 

ALL's Katie Walker on CBN: Obama's executive order "meaningless"

The articulate Katie Walker, Communications Director for American Life League, appears on CBN Newswatch to explain why President Obama's executive order banning federal funding is meaningless. She reminds us that Bart Stupak originally said that it was "OK" to murder some human beings in The Stupak Amendment.

Pro-Life Office Inundated With Hateful Calls In Wake Of Health Care Vote

 I know Troy Newman, the Director of Operation Rescue, personally.  He is one of the nicest, most caring and considerate people you would ever want to know. He is very professional and extremely dedicated to the plight of the innocent unborn. It just breaks my heart that someone would be sending him and his staff these horrible messages, threatening their lives. Please join me in praying for their protection and also that the perpetrators of these crimes be caught and convicted.
 
Wichita, KS - Telephones at Operation Rescue's national headquarters were inundated with hateful messages in the wake of the weekend vote on health care in the House of Representatives. Operation Rescue has been outspoken in its opposition to the Obama health care takeover plan, especially provisions that would provide taxpayer funding for abortions.
 
The calls filled the mailboxes of several extensions and ranged from nonsensical messages, to sexually explicit "dirty phone calls," to anti-Christian, hate-filled tirades. In weeks preceding the vote Operation Rescue staff members received death threats.
 
"Normally we don't give the threats and hateful calls we receive much thought. But lately there has been much made about threats to Democrats that supported the health care takeover, and we thought that people needed to know that the hate calls are flowing both ways," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.
 
"This kind of harassment and intimidation will never deter us from our mission to save the lives of innocent babies and stop abortion in our nation," said Newman. "However, we do take security precautions and are working with the FBI, which continues to investigate death threats against me and my staff."
 
Listen to sampling of the calls (Warning: Strong, offensive language; hateful messages)

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

The Annunciation by Philippe de Champaigne
 
The Annunciation heralds the beginning of our salvation. By Mary's obedient "Fiat" the earth has become heaven. "In Jesus, God has placed in the midst of barren, despairing mankind, a new beginning which is not a product of human history but a gift from above" (Pope Benedict XVI). All that our heart cries out for became flesh in Mary's wound. When we repeat the words of the angel by praying the Hail Mary, the word of God germinates in our soul. Christianity is this never-ending event of encounter with God made present in the maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Planned Parenthood tells teen abortion is free if she hides it



Read the story: Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion.

Lenten Quote from St. Therese of Lisieux


"You ask me a method of attaining perfection. I know of love - and only love. Love can do all things."

~ St. Therese of Lisieux

Science and faith are not opposed, Pope Benedict teaches

Vatican City, Mar 24, 2010 / 10:35 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A “friendship” exists between science and faith, said the Holy Father during his catechesis on Wednesday morning in which he spoke of St. Albert the Great, “one of the greatest teachers of scholastic theology” and the patron of those who study natural sciences. He used the saint’s example to urge young people to seek God’s guidance for their “life project.”

Full story here.

Women of Grace LIVE

WOMEN OF GRACE - LIVE

The Abundant Life presents a special LIVE episode of Women of Grace. Johnette Benkovic and Fr. Ed Sylvia will take your calls as they discuss the issues important to women and how they can best live out their faith in today's world. 


Fri 3/26/10 1:00 PM ET / 10 AM PT

Mother furious after in-school clinic sets up teen's abortion

Seattle - The mother of a Ballard High School student is fuming after the health center on campus helped facilitate her daughter's abortion during school hours....

When she signed a consent form, her mother Jill figured it meant her 15 year old could go to the Ballard Teen Health Center located inside the high school for an earache, a sports physical, even birth control, but not for help terminating a pregnancy.

"She took a pregnancy test at school at the teen health center," she said. "Nowhere in this paperwork does it mention abortion or facilitating abortion."

Jill says her daughter, a pro-life advocate, was given a pass, put in a taxi and sent off to have an abortion during school hours all without her family knowing.

"We had no idea this was being facilitated on campus," said Jill. "They just told her that if she concealed it from her family, that it would be free of charge and no financial responsibility."

Read the entire story.

Join in the National Outcry Over FOX's 'Family Guy' Attack on Terri Schiavo

 Jill Stanek reported on this story earlier this week.

FOX TV show Family Guy opened with a truly shocking scene: a preschool school play entitled, "Terri Schiavo, The Musical." which was extremely offensive and vulgar, so much so that I refuse to post the video here. I watched it for just a few seconds and felt ill afterward.

The following is a press release from Terri's Foundation:

Since the Sunday prime time airing of FOX's, 'Family Guy', and their mocking of Terri Schiavo and other disabled people in the opening scene of the program, Terri's Foundation has been inundated with emotionally charged emails and phone calls.

These supportive communications have been two-fold: sympathetic to the deep wounds that have been opened by this vulgar episode; and to express their anger and outrage at FOX Network for allowing this program to openly display prejudice towards people with cognitive disabilities. The intent of the people contacting us now is to cease their patronage of advertisers who support 'Family Guy'.

We are asking other disability rights groups and pro-family organizations to consider joining us in sending a message to Fox that programs which promote prejudice against disabled human beings will be boycotted along with their advertisers.

Here is just a couple of the communications that demonstrates the outrage around the country:

"I am angry and grieved at the cruel manner in which your sister was recently ridiculed on 'Family Guy'. I am going to send them a piece of my mind!" Dallas, TX

"It is shameful that Terry Schiavo's suffering would be made into a joke on 'Family Guy'... whoever is responsible for this should be fired." Sarasota, FL

Here is the link to The Family Guy episode (The reference to Terri is in the opening few minutes):
www.hulu.com/watch/133209/family-guy-peter-assment
 
Previous press release issued by Terri's Foundation: 
www.christiannewswire.com/news/3538013418.html
If you would like to contact FOX here is their information:
Ms. Gail Berman, President
FOX Broadcasting Company
P.O. Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213
(310) 369-1000
E-Mail: askfox@foxinc.com

Gaude Lydia Paez, Vice President Communications
FOX Broadcasting Company
Phone: (310) 369-3276
Fax: (310) 369-1283
E-Mail: gaude.paez@fox.com
FOX Broadcasting Company
10201 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-3553
Web: www.fox.com

Dr. Alveda King: Health Care Reform Raises a 'Clarion Call to Conscience'

 The following statement is released by Dr. Alveda King:

Every US president dreams of making a landmark contribution during his (or one day her) term of office. For President Obama, this contribution is "Health Care Reform." When the air clears, hopefully people will consider the ramifications of this decision.

The Christian viewpoint: Queen Esther had her King Xerxes, Daniel faced King Nebuchadnezzar, Joseph faced Pharaoh, Moses faced another Pharaoh and Paul faced King Agrippa. Sometimes these kings feared God. Regardless, each Bible hero or heroine had a defining moment where the choice was to allow God to use them for His glory, or to judge the ungodly behavior of their respective rulers, and turn away from them in disgust. In most cases, these Bible legends were able to influence their rulers for the good of the people.

Today the Prolife Movement faces President Obama. Do we allow offense to prevent us from praying for him and for America, or do we press on in the battle to uncover the evils of abortion, eugenics and genocide regardless of the stand of our nation's leaders?

Our battle is not about which humans are right and which humans are wrong. The battle isn't about Democrats and Republicans. God is not a Democrat or a Republican!

As Christians, we must continue to shine the light of love and truth, to pray for those in authority, and to resist evil practices. The health care reform is primarily an extension of Medicare, with all of the political hype being about distracting the public while the dirty deals are being cut behind the scene (on both sides of the isle mind you).

Appropriate legislation could have been passed to serve the 32 million needing health care with a lot less pain, fanfare and money. Instead of being expedient, some of our political "leaders" have been greedy.
That being said, we must still remain encouraged. We must press on for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone from conception to natural death. Procreative reproductive health should be a mantra for any health care packaging. Abortion must be excluded from every law and tax budget on every level of government.

Finally, we must elect political leaders who will listen to the voice of the people. Americans choose life! This is our defining moment, our Clarion Call to Conscience. We must stay focused and press on towards the mark!

Sister Keehan sells her soul for a presidential pen

Sister Carol Keehan, President of the Catholic Health Association, was given one of the 21 pens used by  Barack Obama on Tuesday to sign the health care bill, which includes taxpayer funding of abortions. She defied the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church in pushing this "profoundly flawed" (words of the U.S. Bishops) legislation through congress.

In essence, she exchanged the lives of millions of unborn human beings and her immortal soul for a presidential pen. Just as Judas was awarded 30 pieces of silver, Sister was awarded the presidential pen that signed this immoral law. Nice going, Sister!

St. Catherine of Sweden: Patron Saint Against Abortions and Miscarriages

The saint of the day is St. Catherine of Sweden is the patron saint against abortion and miscarriages.

She was born in 1331, the fourth of eight children, to Saint Bridget of Sweden and Ulf Gudmarsson.

At the age of seven, Catherine was sent to Risberg Convent to be educated. She desired to remain in the convent to pursue a religious vocation, but she was promised in marriage to the virtuous and pious German noble Eggard Lydersson von Kürnen, a lifelong invalid. At age 13, the two were united in the sacrament of matrimony. Although Catherine was very beautiful, she and Eggard took a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. They devoted themselves to a life of Christian perfection and active charity.

In 1348, Catherine's father died. With Eggard’s permission, Catherine joined her mother on various pilgrimages. During these pilgrimages, they visited the tombs of the martyrs the churches, and together practiced works of piety, caring for the poor and the sick. In 1349, Catherine traveled with her mother to Rome for the Jubilee; it was at this time that Eggard died. Following his death, Catherine turned down numerous marriage proposals.

When her mother died in 1373, she returned to Sweden, taking the mortal remains of Saint Bridget with her for burial. Catherine entered a monastery at Vatzan, where she lived a very austere life. For the last twenty-five years of her life, Catherine participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily to purify her soul. She died on March 24, 1381. At the time of her death, Catherine was the superior of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother; hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called. She was canonized in 1484 by Pope Innocent VIII.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

US Bishops call health care law "profoundly flawed"

Moments after President Obama signed the Senate version of the health care reform legislation into law this afternoon, Cardinal Francis George spoke on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as he expressed their continued concern over the lack of conscience protections in the law and the limited ability of the president’s executive order to prevent federal funding of abortion.
The statement was approved by the 32-member Administrative Committee of the USCCB, which was holding its March meeting.

Read the entire story here.

Fixing my gaze upon the cross...receiving power and strength

"In difficult moments I will fix my gaze upon the silent heart of Jesus, stretched upon the cross, and from the exploding flames of His merciful heart, will flow down upon me power and strength to keep fighting."

~ St. Faustina Kowalska, (from her Diary, 960)

'Man with the golden arm' saves 2 million babies...

James Harrison
Life-saver: James Harrison has donated his rare blood nearly 1,000 times

An Australian man who has been donating his extremely rare kind of blood for 56 years has saved the lives of more than two million babies.
James Harrison, 74, has an antibody in his plasma that stops babies dying from Rhesus disease, a form of severe anaemia.
He has enabled countless mothers to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracey, who had a healthy son thanks to her father's blood.
Mr Harrison has been giving blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old and has now racked up a total of 984 donations.
When he started donating, his blood was deemed so special his life was insured for one million Australian dollars.
He was also nicknamed the 'man with the golden arm' or the 'man in two million'.
His blood has since led to the development of a vaccine called Anti-D.

Read the story here.

John Paul II's former barber says he was cured miraculously

Gianni has been a barber for more than 50 years. His hands have touched the heads of many clients, including one who is on the way to sainthood.

Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo, Bishop

The saint of the day is Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo  also known as St. Toribio de Mogrovejo.

Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius of Mongrovejo or is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years.

Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was not sharp enough a lawyer to prevent a surprising sequence of events.

In 1580 the archbishopric of Lima, capital of Spain's colony in Peru, became vacant. He was the one person with the strength of character and holiness of spirit to heal those who had infected that area. He protested the assignment, but was overruled. He was ordained priest and bishop and sent to Peru, where he found colonialism at its worst. The Spanish conquerors were guilty of every sort of oppression of the native population. Abuses among the clergy were flagrant, and he devoted his energies (and suffering) to this area first.

He began the long and arduous visitation of an immense archdiocese, studying the language, staying two or three days in each place, often with neither sleep nor food. He confessed every morning to his chaplain, and celebrated Mass with intense fervor.

His people, though very poor, were sensitive, dreading to accept public charity from others. Turibius solved the problem by helping them anonymously. After serving as Bishop of Lima for 26 years, he died in 1606. He was canonized in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.

St. Turibius is the patron saint of: Native rights, Latin American bishops, and Peru.

Abp. Chaput: A bad bill and how we got it


The following column by Archbishop Chaput is scheduled for print publication in the March 24, 2010 issue of the Denver Catholic Register.

As current federal health-care legislation moves forward toward law, we need to draw several lessons from events of the last weeks and months:
First, the bill passed by the House on March 21 is a failure of decent lawmaking.  It has not been “fixed.”  It remains unethical and defective on all of the issues pressed by the U.S. bishops and prolife groups for the past seven months.

Second, the Executive Order promised by the White House to ban the use of federal funds for abortion does not solve the many problems with the bill, which is why the bishops did not -- and still do not – see it as a real solution.  Executive Orders can be rescinded or reinterpreted at any time.  Some current congressional leaders have already shown a pattern of evasion, ill will and obstinacy on the moral issues involved in this legislation, and the track record of the White House in keeping its promises regarding abortion-related issues does not inspire confidence.  The fact that congressional leaders granted this one modest and inadequate concession only at the last moment, and only to force the passage of this deeply flawed bill, should give no one comfort.

Third, the combination of pressure and disinformation used to break the prolife witness on this bill among Democratic members of Congress – despite the strong resistance to this legislation that continues among American voters – should put an end to any talk by Washington leaders about serving the common good or seeking common ground.  Words need actions to give them flesh.  At many points over the past seven months, congressional leaders could have resolved the serious moral issues inherent in this legislation.  They did not.  No shower of reassuring words now can wash away that fact.

Fourth, self-described “Catholic” groups have done a serious disservice to justice, to the Church, and to the ethical needs of the American people by undercutting the leadership and witness of their own bishops.  For groups like Catholics United, this is unsurprising.  In their effect, if not in formal intent, such groups exist to advance the interests of a particular political spectrum.  Nor is it newsworthy from an organization like Network, which – whatever the nature of its good work -- has rarely shown much enthusiasm for a definition of “social justice” that includes the rights of the unborn child.

But the actions of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in providing a deliberate public counter-message to the bishops were both surprising and profoundly disappointing; and also genuinely damaging.  In the crucial final days of debate on health-care legislation, CHA lobbyists worked directly against the efforts of the American bishops in their approach to members of Congress.  The bad law we now likely face, we owe in part to the efforts of the Catholic Health Association and similar “Catholic” organizations.

Read the entire column here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Thoughts on the Passage of Obamacare

CNA has the story of Stupak's caving in here and the bill passing by 219-212 margin on Sunday evening.

I have to admit now that I was a little concerned about whether Stupak would stand strong in the midst of the adversity, but he obviously caved into the pressures of the Obama administration. Some are calling him Judas, which seems to be a very accurate description.

I am not as concerned about Obamacare passing as I thought I would be because I know that in the end, God is victorious. I was disappointed that this bill passed, but not outraged.  God always has a plan and will provide a way out when we are faced with dilemmas or trials that seem overwhelming.

I believe that this bill will eventually die on the vine. The Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents who are elected into office in November will repeal this. If they are unable to repeal the whole thing, they'll try to reverse much of it via amendments to other legislation they'll be considering. Already, 37 states are in the process of filing lawsuits, claiming that it is unconstitutional. Where will the money come from to pay for this? California and New York are already bankrupt! Practically every state is cutting funds for necessities such as education, mental health, etc. as it is. In the next presidential election, I can see everything Obama has done being reversed. The people of this country will be so sick of him by them that his Republican/Independent opponent will win by a landslide!

We have been persistent in prayer and will continue to pray and act to see that the ridiculous bill is reversed and God will act -- in His time -- not ours.

ALL Salutes Fr. Paul Marx, 'Apostle of Life' (1920-2010)

The following is an excerpt from a tribute by American Life League President Judie Brown on the passing of Fr. Paul Marx, OSB - founder of Human Life International.

“Father Paul Marx, OSB, left an indelible imprint on so many lives, and Paul and Judie Brown are but two of them.  So it is safe to say that as we mourn the loss of this greater than life Catholic priest par excellence, we can also praise God that Fr. Marx had such a positive effect on so many of us.  He left a legacy that time, confusion and dissent from truth can never erase.  And as he said to Judie in one of his precious hand written notes to her of several weeks ago, 'You are doing great work.  Never give in to compromise!'

"We promise you, Fr. Marx, we never will!  Thanks to your example, how could we!

"All of us at American Life League owe Fr. Marx so much, and so in the midst of our mourning we are joyful in Christ for having known him, been educated by him and fought the good fight with him.  Father Paul Marx, OSB … May you rest in the peace of Christ as millions of angels sing your praises with songs of praise and adulation.

"We will miss you and we love you, Fr. Marx.”

For the text in its entirety go here.

Today's Lenten Reflection: Whoever Follows Me

Saint of the Day: St. Lea of Rome



The saint of the day is St. Lea of Rome.

St. Lea was a widow who lived in fourth century Rome and died around the year 384. After the death of her husband, she retired from the world to a monastery and eventually became superior of the community there. Much of the information available concerning the life of St. Lea, who has long been honored in the Roman Martyrology, comes from a letter from St. Jerome to Marcella which compares Lea's life to that of the Counsul Praetextaus. An excerpt of this letter, the twentieth epistle of St. Jerome is found below.

"Who will praise the blessed Lea as she deserves? She renounced painting her face and adorning her head with shining pearls. She exchanged her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased to command others in order to obey all. She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of furniture; she spent her nights in prayer, and instructed her companions through her example rather than through protests and speeches. And she looked forward to her arrival in heaven in order to receive her recompense for the virtues which she practiced on earth."

"So it is that thence forth she enjoyed perfect happiness. From Abraham's bosom, where she resides with Lazarus, she sees our consul who was once decked out in purple, now vested in a shameful robe, vainly begging for a drop of water to quench his thirst. Although he went up to the capital to the plaudits of the people, and his death occasioned widespread grief, it is futile for the wife to assert that he has gone to heaven and possesses a great mansion there. The fact is that he is plunged into the darkness outside, whereas Lea who was willing to be considered a fool on earth, has been received into the house of the Father, at the wedding feast of the Lamb."

"Hence, I tearfully beg you to refrain from seeking the favors of the world and to renounce all that is carnal. It is impossible to follow both the world and Jesus. Let us live a life of renunciation, for our bodies will soon be dust and nothing else will last any longer."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's Lenten Reflection: Sin No More

About Those Fake Catholic Obamacare Endorsers...

 Some fascinating and useful information noted by The Catholic Key Blog:

1. Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives, the hospital conglomerate that chairs Catholic Health Association is a regular contributor to Rep. Diana Degette, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus. (He praises Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen (late-term abortionist"Tiller" buddy) Sebelius in this video.)

2. Catholic Health Association's chief public policy advocate, Michael Rodgers, repeatedly gives campaign money to pro-abort extremist Rep. Judy Feder.

3. Catholic Health Association has advocated aborting children with anencephaly.

4. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has never taken a position on legalized abortion and has never supported pro-life efforts. The only abortion reference on their website, which takes positions on numerous issues, is to support a sister who signed a pro-abortion newspaper ad.

5. NETWORK Lobby has never taken a position on legalized abortion and has never supported pro-life efforts. After a career of studiously ignoring the slaughter of 40+ million innocents, NETWORK head Sister Simone Campbell claims to be more knowledgeable and committed on the subject than the U.S. Bishops and their pro-life support staff.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, Religious


Today's saint of the day is St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"Do not believe that caring for the sick consists only in giving them medicine and food; there is another kind of care which you should never forget, that of the heart which seeks to adapt to the suffering person, going to meet his needs.” These are the words of one whose mind and heart were fully seized of a mission, Saint Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus. The mission: to be a “neighbor” to the sick and the suffering in the world.

Canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1 in the Jubilee Year 2000, St Maria Josefa was the Foundress of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus of Charity. Conceived in the year 1871 in Bilbao, Spain, this Institute, totally decided to nursing the sick with a contemplative approach, has a presence of more than 1000 members in some 43 houses spread across the globe.

Maria Josefa was the eldest daughter of Bernabe Sancho and Petra de Guerra. Born on 7 September 1842 in Vitoria, Spain, she lost her father when she was barely 15. Very early in life, she nurtured a strong devotion to the Eucharist, the Sacred Heart and our Blessed Mother. She was deeply inclined towards solitude; however, a severe bout of typhus put an end to her plans to join the contemplative Conceptionists of Aranjuez in 1860. Feeling called, then, to an active religious life, she joined the Servants of Mary, an Institute newly founded in Madrid by St Soledad Torres Acosta. Realizing now that her vocation lay in exclusively caring for the sick and the suffering in hospital and at home she left the Institute together with three other sisters who shared her vision and embarked on her hew venture.

As superior for the next 41 years, Maria Josefa undertook long, grueling visits to the growing number of communities until a protracted illness, obliging her to stay in bed or remain seated, confined her to the house at Bilbao, from where she maintained her contacts wholly via correspondence. Ardent adorers of the Mystery of the Redemption, her ideas are well expressed in her theses, Directorio de Asistencias. Sharing intimately in the suffering of the crucified Lord, she passed away on 20 March 1912. As in life, so in death, her holiness had such an impact on Bilbao and beyond as to have led her mortal remains, laid to rest in the municipal cemetery at Bilbao, to be transferred to the chapel of the motherhouse of her institute, where they are now preserved.

Source

More information about St. Maria Josefa of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is available at the Vatican site and  here.

New energy behind Msgr. Oscar Romero's beatification

Prayer to stop the 'healthcare' legislation


Father, In Jesus' Most Holy and Precious Name, we humbly ask that You step in and intervene at this most critical juncture in our nation's history.

Father, it was YOU who gave our Founding Fathers the wisdom and guidance to assert that our nation would be one nation under GOD, with liberty and justice for all. Our nation's founding documents state that it is from YOU that we receive the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness NOT our federal government.

Father, please stop this 'healthcare' legislation dead in its tracks.
Please frustrate the plotting of the shrewd who seek to alter our
nation into a socialist democracy so that their hands cannot perform
their enterprise or attain success. (Job 5:12-13).

Expose to the light of day the plans of the crafty.
Allow confusion and chaos to reign in their meetings this weekend
and into next week so that no path to reconciliation may be achieved.
Please allow division and rivalry to thwart the plans of those who seek
to override the will of the citizens of the United States so that this entire endeavor fails in utter futility.

Please awaken our citizenry to what is at stake.
Father, we also humbly ask that you will bring good out of this
terrible situation. Please graciously use this whole experience to
draw people to Yourself. In Jesus' name we pray for revival to spread
across our land and to heal our nation so that we once again seek our
liberty from You and not from a government of men.

Thank you for graciously hearing our prayers on behalf of our nation
and our fellow citizens.

In Jesus' Most Holy and Powerful Name We Pray. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Friday, March 19, 2010

'Pope' Pelosi flubs up again as she calls on St. Joseph to pass Obamacare

My commentary follows the video below.

Via LifeNews.Com today:


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on a Catholic saint today to help her and her pro-abortion colleague pass a Senate health care bill that contains massive abortion funding. Not only did Pelosi upset pro-life Catholics in so doing, but she got the date wrong concerning the saint she mentioned.

"Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, particularly important to Italian-Americans," Pelosi said.

"It’s a day where we remember and pray to St. Joseph to benefit the workers of America, and that’s exactly what our health-care bill will do," she added.



Will Pelosi ever just learn to keep her mouth closed?!!!  Every time she opens it she demonstrates her ignorance of the Catholic faith. First of all, today is NOT the feast of St. Joseph the Worker -- that is celebrated on May 1st. Today is the feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. If she attended Mass or opened a Catholic book occasionally, she would know that. Six-year-olds know that!

Second, if she prays to St. Joseph to pass Obamacare, which promotes the slaughter of innocent babies, he will see to it that it is definitely NOT passed. So, I hope she does indeed pray to him. Many of us have been praying for her purification and conversion for some time now. Perhaps her prayers to St. Joseph will help in this endeavor! St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor!

This woman is so deep in deception -- not only does she live out Satan's lies in her life, but she spreads them to others. She's no more Catholic than the man in the moon, and excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church long ago by her strong abortion stance and public scandal.

Third, she is a bold faced liar when she calls this bill "life affirming." Who is she trying to fool? Anyone who has an IQ over 70 can see through her lies.

Here's part of what Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has to say about her actions:


"Then Pelosi lied. She said she is grateful for the support of 60 orders of nuns, not mentioning that the letter she received had a whopping total of 55 signatories. Worse, she had the gall to say that this represents "every order you can think of." Wrong. In fact, there are 793 religious communities, which means she heard from seven-and-a-half percent of them. Moreover, since there are approximately 65,000 nuns in the U.S., that means she was contacted by .0008 percent of them. 

In other words, not only are the bishops formally opposed to the bill she champions, it's a lie to maintain that the nuns are on her side. Shameless is too kind a word to use to describe what Pelosi did today."

C'mon, Nancy, stop making a fool of yourself! Go to Confession... go get exorcised, if you need to... you're long overdue!

Angelina sings 'Prayer of St. Joseph'

Angelina briefly discusses family history/ traditions for the feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church on March 19, then sings this beautiful prayer.

Feast of St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church

Joseph, the husband of our Lady, foster-father of our Lord, guardian of the Holy Family, is honored liturgically on March 19 as patron of the universal Church. The memorial of St. Joseph the Worker is on May 1. This quiet, just, humble man, protector of families and patron of fathers, is also invoked for a happy death.

Most of our reliable information on St. Joseph is contained in the first two chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Here we discover that Joseph was of royal descent from David, that the family was from Bethlehem in Judea and that Joseph, who was a builder, had moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth in Galilee.

Joseph was engaged to Mary and upon learning that she was pregnant; he had plans to divorce her. Described in Matthew as a righteous man, he intended to dismiss her quietly. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream to tell him, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins" (MT 1:20-21). "When Joseph woke from sleep he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him." (MT 1: 24).

What a strong man of faith Joseph was! How he must have suffered, not knowing the secret of Mary's incarnation. Of course, she could not tell him - he would not have understood. "It was a mystery beyond the capacity of the human intellect and the possibilities of human language." (Pope John Paul II, The Holy Father's homily during the celebration of Mass on the Feast of St. Joseph, at the L. Liberati Stadium. Vatican, March 1981.)

Joseph reveals to us the dignity of human fatherhood. As Pope John Paul II has said “The family rests on the dignity of human fatherhood -- on the responsibility of the man, husband and father, as also on his work. Joseph of Nazareth bears witness to this for us."

“The unity of the family, its stability, is one of the fundamental blessings of man and of society. At the basis of family unity there is the indissolubility of marriage -- if man, if society seek the ways that deprive marriage of its indissolubility and the family of its unity and stability, then they cut off, as it were, the very root of its health, and deprive themselves of one of the fundamental goods on which human life is built.” (Pope John Paul II, March 1981)

In his address delivered in Cameroon yesterday, Pope Benedict pointed out that "St. Joseph teaches us that it is possible to love without possessing. "

"In contemplating Joseph, all men and women can, by God's grace, come to experience healing from their emotional wounds, if only they embrace the plan that God has begun to bring about in those close to him, just as Joseph entered into the work of redemption through Mary and as a result of what God had already done in her."

"Joseph was caught up at every moment by the mystery of the Incarnation. Not only physically, but in his heart as well, Joseph reveals to us the secret of a humanity which dwells in the presence of mystery and is open to that mystery at every moment of everyday life."

"In Joseph, faith is not separated from action. His faith had a decisive effect on his actions. Paradoxically, it was by acting, by carrying out his responsibilities, that he stepped aside and left God free to act, placing no obstacles in his way. Joseph is a 'just man because his existence is 'ad-justed' to the word of God."

"The life of Saint Joseph, lived in obedience to God’s word, is an eloquent sign for all the disciples of Jesus who seek the unity of the Church."

"His example helps us to understand that it is only by complete submission to the will of God that we become effective workers in the service of his plan to gather together all mankind into one family, one assembly, one 'ecclesia.'"
 
 Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Vietnam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Socializing With Socialism

 How did we get where we are today, with socialism running rampant?  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Joke of the Day: Obama Stamp Malfunction

The Postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama on it. The Postal Service noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation.

After a month of testing and $1.73 million in congressional spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings:

1. The stamp is in perfect order.
2. There is nothing wrong with the glue.
3. People are spitting on the wrong side.
H/T: Joan

Catholic Bishops Launch Newspaper Ads Attacking Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

The nation's Catholic bishops have launched a slew of newspaper ads criticizing the pro-abortion Senate health care bill. Their renewed effort to defeat the legislation and its abortion funding and promotion comes as dissident Catholic groups are confusing House members into supporting the bill.

"Health care reform is about saving lives, not destroying them," the ad featuring a doctor and pregnant woman says.

Deirdre McQuade of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tells LifeNews.com the ads are appearing today in the Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, CQ and Congress Daily AM -- all read by members of Congress.

"For over 30 years, the Hyde Amendment and other longstanding and widely supported laws have prevented federal funding of elective abortions," the ad says. "Yet the Senate health care reform bill violates this policy — and fails to protect the life, dignity and conscience of all."

"It will appropriate billions of dollars in new funds not covered by the Hyde Amendment, and subsidize health plans that make their enrollees pay for elective abortions," the ad continues. "Americans would be forced to subsidize other people’s abortions through their taxes and health insurance premiums."

"We need genuine health care reform — reform that helps save lives, not destroy them," the bishops say in the ad. "The U.S. bishops strongly oppose abortion funding and threats to conscience, and call for critical improvements in affordability for the poor and access to health care for immigrants."

Read the rest here.

The Catholic Church Strongly Opposes the US Senate Health Care Bill

Regardless of attempts by some to cloud the issue, the Catholic Church clearly and unequivocally opposes the health care reform legislation currently pending before Congress. While the Church has long supported the goal of expanding access to health care, it cannot support, and must oppose, any expansion of access to abortion and in particular federal subsidization of it.

For almost a year, the Catholic bishops have worked tirelessly to ensure that the health care reform proposal would not include federal funding of abortion. Indeed, the only reason the House version of health care legislation even passed the House of Representatives in the fall was because it included the Stupak amendment, which applies existing protections against federal funding of abortion to the bill. The votes simply were not there to pass an abortion-friendly bill.

Yet the President and congressional leaders have decided to push ahead with the Senate version of the bill, which lacks the Stupak protections. By doing so, they are jeopardizing passage of their own health care reform bill….all for the sake of expanding access to abortion.

Every Pro-Life group in the country opposes the Senate bill and agrees with the following:

· Federal funds in the Senate bill can be used for elective abortions. The bill appropriates $7 billion for services at Community Health Centers which can be used directly for elective abortions.


· The Senate bill uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions. Under the bill, a federal tax credit can be used to pay premiums for health plans covering elective abortions. This violates current and longstanding federal policy on abortion funding which forbids the use of federal funds for any part of a health benefits package that covers elective abortions.

· The Senate bill uses federal power to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions even if they are morally opposed. The bill mandates that insurance companies deciding to cover elective abortions in a health plan “shall… collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status) a separate payment” for such abortions. Everyone purchasing such a plan will be required by federal law to make separate payments solely and specifically for other people’s abortions -- no accommodation is permitted for people morally opposed to abortion.

As one might expect, many deeply misleading statements have been issued in recent days on this subject, some by organizations purporting to represent Catholics or Catholic institutions. Make no mistake: the Catholic Church determinedly opposes the Senate bill.

At a minimum, Congress must fix the Senate bill so that it no longer funds abortion and that missing conscience protections for health care professionals and institutions are provided. Please contact your representative and your senators and give them this message.