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Monday, January 30, 2012

90 Bishops and counting....

Thomas Peters has compiled a listing here of the now 82 Bishops who have spoken out publicly against the Obama/HHS Mandate.

Here's what Brian Burch of Catholic Vote so eloquently pleads:

Please pray for our Bishops.  


Because they need it, they need lots of it.

And they need it now.

Many American bishops have publicly spoken out against the Obama administration’s recent declaration of war against the Catholic Church. So far, the response from the episcopate has been widespread, clear, and strong. We should all be encouraged by the readiness on the part of these bishops to lead the American Church in this fight for freedom.

But we ought not take this leadership for granted. So often it seems, when something Church-related gets us upset, we are all too ready and willing to focus our outrage on the local bishop. Granted, the last ten years have certainly reminded us that bishops can make poor, even seriously harmful, decisions. And the accounting for those transgressions is still underway.

But too often the bishops suffer our wrath over the fact that the state of the Church (in our parish, our diocese, or our country) isn’t just the way we want it to be. Expecting faithful leadership from the bishop is one thing. Calling up the chancery (which you have on speed dial) because Father Bob failed to mention Hell in his homily is something else.

It gets lonely at the top, or so they say.

The same thought has been echoed by high-ranking military officers, or their biographers, who speak of the “loneliness of command.” When you’re the top dog, or the top brass, or the top guy in the diocese, you get to call the shots. But that means that you also bear the responsibility, alone, for the shots you call.

In the case of bishops, it means that every day they are asked to make decisions, issue statements, and take actions with one thing in mind – the salvation of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of souls. That’s a sobering dose of responsibility. And as a bonus, these shepherds carry out their vocation with the certain knowledge that no matter what they do, a good percentage of the souls they are charged with will be left disappointed, upset, or outraged. At them. That’s not a job anyone should envy. Certainly not one that we should take for granted.

A Chesterton quote, on St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast we just celebrated:
His experiences included well-attested cases of levitation in ecstasy; and the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, comforting him with the welcome news that he would never be a Bishop.

Welcome news indeed. And now things just got really fun if you have “Most Rev.” in front of your name. At the end of the day (and that day, if we want to be precise, is August 1, 2013), the HHS mandate doesn’t force most of us (unless we own a small business) to do anything. The bishops aren’t so lucky. Yes, the laity have a responsibility to engage this threat wherever and however they can. The ways for doing this are numerous and varied, and have been ably put forth on CatholicVote's site.

But in most cases, the actual responsibility for the decisions that will need to be made regarding the cold hard consequences of the mandate lies squarely on the shoulders of the bishops. Thus has it been, from St. Ignatius of Antioch to St. Thomas Becket. These successors of the Apostles, these shepherds of souls, these men clothed in black cloth and human weakness have been called through the ages to stand on the ramparts of the Church under siege and take the first blow from the enemy’s sword.


Thus has it been, and thus shall it be. The bishops will be the ones who will have to stand tall, just as St. Polycarp and St. John Fisher did before them, and say, with dire consequence, ”We cannot, and we will not.” And they will be the first to suffer. One American prelate, Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, made this stark and rather chilling observation of the current state of affairs:
I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.

Pray for them. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Support Respect for Rights of Conscience Act

3 Easy Steps:

1.  Follow this link:  Support Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
2.  Complete the really easy form and then select SEND
3.  Forward the link and directions to everyone you know.

Your conscience thanks you!

*Best Response Award* on the HHS Mandate. Hey Catholics...Go to hell.

It was a toss up between, my own beloved Bp. Thomas J. Olmsted, Cardinal Mahony (simply because it was unexpected) and this one which I post for you below.  Also, go read Judge Andrew Napolitano's Abortion article from Crisis Magazine here for where we may be headed.  If our conscientious objections to the things that could send us to hell count for nothing, what's the next step?  Perhaps Catholics will be deemed non-persons next and threatened with extermination.  It happened in Dred Scot, it happened in Nazi Germany.  It's happened to 50,000,000++ unborn children.  
Brave New World?
Decision unchanged on HHS exemptions

HHS Edict Will Force Catholics to Violate Conscience

‘To Hell With You’
By Bishop David A. Zubik
It is really hard to believe that it happened. It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.
In early August, the Department for Health and Human Services in the Obama administration released guidelines as part of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The guidelines mandated that by Summer 2012 all individual and group health insurance plans, including self-insured plans, cover all FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals that even result in abortion.
 A million things are wrong with this: equating pregnancy with disease;  mandating that every employer pay for contraception procedures including alleged contraceptives that are actually abortion-inducing drugs; forcing American citizens to chose between violating their consciences or providing health care services; mandating such coverage on every individual woman without allowing her to even choose not to have it; forcing every person to pay for that coverage no matter the dictates of their conscience.
Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself.  In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.
This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion.  At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to health care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.        
For our Church this mandate would apply in virtually every instance where the Catholic Church serves as an employer. The mandate would require the Catholic Church as an employer to violate its fundamental beliefs concerning human life and human dignity by forcing Catholic entities to provide contraceptive, sterilization coverage and even pharmaceuticals that result in abortion.
There was a so-called “religious exemption” to the mandate, but it was so narrowly drawn that, as critics charged, Jesus Christ and his Apostles would not fit the exemption. The so-called exemption would only apply to the vast array of Catholic institutions where the following applied:
  • Only Catholics are employed;
  • The primary purpose of the institution or service provided is the direct instruction in Catholic belief;
  • The only persons served by the institution are those that share Catholic religious tenets. (Try to fit this in with our local Catholic Charities that serve 80,000 every year without discrimination according to faith. It would be impossible!)
Practically speaking under the proposed mandate there would be no “religious exemption” for Catholic hospitals universities, colleges, nursing homes and numerous Catholic social service agencies such as Catholic Charities. It could easily be determined that the “religious exemption” would not apply as well to Catholic high schools, elementary schools and Catholic parishes since many employ non-Catholics and serve both students and, through social outreach, many who do not share Catholic religious beliefs. Such a narrow “religious exemption” is simply unprecedented in federal law.
Last September I asked you to protest those guidelines to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, and contact your political leadership in the federal government. I asked that you request that this flawed mandate be withdrawn because of its unprecedented interference in the religious liberty and freedom of conscience of the Catholic community, and our basic democratic process.
You did. And you were joined by Catholics throughout the country (and many others as well) who raised their voices against the mandate, raised their voices against a meaningless religious exemption.
On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration answered you and me. The response was very simple: “To Hell with You.”
Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.
Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.    
 Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.
  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.
We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded, “in effect, the president is saying that we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”
As I wrote to you last September, with this mandate the democratic process is being ignored while we are being ordered to ignore our religious beliefs. And we are being told not only to violate our beliefs, but to pay directly for that violation; to subsidize the imposition of a contraceptive and abortion culture on every person in the United States.
It is time to go back to work. They have given us a year to adapt to this rule.  We can’t! We simply cannot!
Write to the president.
Write to Secretary Sebelius.
Write to our Senators.
Write to those in Congress.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love Can Build a Bridge


Phoenix Silent No More takes it to the streets of San Francisco for this year's West Coast Walk for Life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why I am Silent No More

I was 21 years old when I made the worst decision of my life to take the life of another human being who was innocent, vulnerable and unsuspecting.  I was never held accountable for the life I took because of what a previous Supreme Court determined was legal and now praised as reproductive freedom.

I was a junior at Michigan State University in when I visited the “WomanCare” Planned Parenthood clinic in 1987.  The stunning confirmation of my crisis pregnancy was delivered to me while I stood in a hallway surrounded by strangers.  Life as I knew it, had just changed for the worse.  Through hot, angry tears, I sobbed that I could NOT be pregnant. I would have no part of a baby-limited future.  I was in a disconnected panic.  Confused, alone and unsupported I wondered aloud how I would deliver this news to my parents, family, friends, and floormates where I was a Resident Assistant. I believed that I was out of options and running out of time. I reached for the only conclusion that could deaden the pain.  Abortion was not the ideal, but it was a solution…an easy way out that could be kept secret.  A choice.

A very attractive clinic employee clad in business attire reassured me that I need not feel afraid or guilty for choosing abortion. She herself had multiple abortions and was grateful for having the power to be able to control the size and spacing of her family.  This was my final edification. Even though my boyfriend agreed to marry me, I would make the final, fatal decision for our baby. I chose my body, my plan and my convenience over his life.

Numbed by twilight sedation, my conscience in self-inflicted exile, I allowed my accomplices – the abortionist and his nurse-witness – to rip from my uterus, my tiny, 10 week old son. His small frame captured on ultrasound only a week earlier was now in pieces in a plastic container.  

They tell us that Abortion is good for women; that it is necessary.  That it prevents us from being punished with unwanted children.  Let me tell you that this is a bold-faced lie. The sights, sounds and smells of that day in January still haunt me.  The images are as fresh today as they were 25 years ago.   There was no one around me to advocate for the life of my son.  No one to speak for him; to break into his mother’s crisis of the moment.  The choice didn’t really feel like a choice at all.  I wasn’t choosing between Cheerios or Frosted Flakes.  I was in a desperate place and I did what many, young, unsupported, college women do when faced with a desperate situation—I made an irrational, illogical and fatal decision for my child and I regret everything about that decision today.

The years following my abortion included inexplicable depression, anxiety, alcoholism and addiction; and divorce from the baby’s father in 1990.  I am a living statistic. But thanks be to God and His grace working through people just like you, my story does not end there.

I found miraculous grace, healing and recovery from our Great Physician, Jesus Christ and the Sacraments of His church.  Telling my story, first in the confessional and later to others whom I trusted thrust my secret out of the dark cavity of numbness where I had placed it and into God’s marvelous light where I could find forgiveness and healing.  The dirty little secret of abortion must be exposed for what it is – it is a failure of Love. A failure with fatal consequences. 

We all deserve better than the lie that is abortion. Women are not in a position to make decisions about anything when they are isolated in a desperate crisis.  What we do need is support and love.   I stand before you today to offer my personal experience as a woman who still mourns the loss of her firstborn child. Out of my love for Michael, my child in heaven, and my obligation to you; the real truth must be told about abortion and its countless victims. Abortion is not a choice, it is a weapon that causes death and multiple casualties.  We are our brothers’ keepers.  We are all responsible for creating a just society where the most fundamental rights of our unborn brothers and sisters are protected.  Let us continue to work together to end the killing.  It is my hope that I can be a light and witness to others so that the horror of abortion will exist only as a sad and futile relic of a bygone era in our nation’s history.   And this is why I am Silent No More. 

Karen Williams 
SF Testimony                                                            
January 2012 March for Life

(If you or someone you know is suffering the wound of abortion please email me directly:  kwilliams@catholicedition.com.  Hope and healing are available to you.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

California Here We Come!

A dozen of us from Arizona representing Silent No More Awareness are 'go for launch' for the San Francisco March for Life West Coast this Saturday, January 21.  We walk in unity to commemorate and speak out against the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.  We have all lost children to abortion.  8 of us are from the Valley (Phoenix Silent No More) and 4 are driving from Flagstaff.  Add to that, a gaggle of youth from St. Joan of Arc, St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Mary's and you've got an impressive Copper State contingency!  Please keep all of us in your prayers for safety, perseverence and courage.  A number of us will be giving our abortion testimonies publicly during the Rally Fair around 11am Saturday before the Walk.  I'll keep you posted via the blog live from San Fran. I believe EWTN will also be broadcasting live.  Please pray for us, that our words and our actions may touch hearts and glorify God.

So grateful to God for his abundant blessings that have provided for this opportunity to speak the truth in love about LIFE.  As is our custom, we have placed some special saints in charge of our sojourn.  They are listed below.  

Our Lady of Guadalupe....ora pro nobis
St. Joseph
St. Rita
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Christopher
St. Joan of Arc
St. Mary Magdalene
St. Monica
St. John Chrysostum
St. Catherine of Sienna
St. Theresa of Avila
Bl. Dorothy Day
St. Padre Pio
St. Francis
St. Gianna
  
Special thanks to our Trip Sponsors:  Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, St Mary Magdalene Knights of Columbus, Mesa Knights of Columbus, Sharon & Bruce Wolff, Ken Maxwell, Lyn O'Neill Burton, Debbi Gambert, AZ East Valley Alliance, Genny Jones, & Carolyn Diercksmeier, & The Serrano Family.  
We love you all.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Debate over YouTube on Loving Jesus and Hating Religion

Check out the two postings.  I believe the man in the first vid is getting confused over Pharisaical Religious practices and some other post-modern beliefs about things that have been reduced by moral relativism versus a more truthful account of the Church. Trent, the man in the 2nd video, does a very good job of responding with love to the first vid.  I think it is a blessing that we can use technology in such a way to bring important subjects to the fore.  It is true that man has used religion for less than holy purposes.  However we need not be confused that God came "not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it".  His One, Holy and Apostolic Church is a gift to us and a means by which He lives among us still, in the sacraments. Let us pray for all that we may be enlightened by Truth and let us pray that those who are far away from the Church, may find their way back to her.

The Charge:  Loving Jesus & Hating Religion


The Response:  Loving Jesus and Loving His Church

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Crashing the Planned Parenthood "War on Women" Rally



Basically, a woman carrying a beautiful message ["Unplanned Pregnancy=Unplanned JOY"] about pro-life brought her children in a stroller to the center of the rally where she was starting to be surrounded by pro-death people.  We ended up gathering around her and praying together.  I am so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with such warriors for life.

Monday was the opening day of the Arizona State Legislature.  Though we were outnumbered 4:1 (approximately) you can see by the video where the powerful message was.  We sorta crashed the Planned Parenthood "War on Women" rally down at the Capitol Complex.  The demographic on the pro-choice side was mainly a bunch of 60ish women who are very angry.  They get right up in your face and call you nasty things and use vulgar language.  They ask ridiculous questions like "so are you going to pay for their health care, shoes, food, education?"  I guess the logic they are compelling us to consider is that children are too costly....so we should kill them.  Children require expensive education and health care... so we should kill them.  Children are impoverished and needy...so they are better off dead.  I wonder how they will feel in about 5-10 more years when someone decides that they are a burden.


 Me and Callie holding our signs under the flagpole
 Patti and I with our Silent No More witness
 How about those bodies inside of those wombs?  Who is carrying their sign?  
 Bravo Beautiful Women who vote (and will vote someday!) 
Somethin' tells me she ain't talkin about her cereal box
 There can be dialogue.  This lady asked me to pose with her.  She shook my hand and was pleasant.  She commented that she wanted to show people that we can be reasonable.  I was happy appear with her  even though we disagree. 
Wa? 
Pro-Life Warriors in front of the AZ Senate building.  
We love you!  Choose Life. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quotables

"Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently, He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself."
C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Are You Going to San Francisco?

If you're going to San Francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there. 
This song's been rattling around in my head; probably because of the upcoming March for Life West Coast being held in San Fran on January 21...and YES, we're goin!  We've got another dozen Silent No More friends traveling to the coast in less than 2 weeks.  Though we have been warned that the SF March for Life West Coast is not as friendly as the DC venue, we remain optimistic that we will be surrounded and supported by a multitude of 'friends for life' who are offering their prayers and sacrifices for our pilgrimmage.
   
Please pray for us, for those who are offering their testimonies, and for those who we intend to reach with our stories and our love.  


Love can build a bridge, you know. (Hey, do I sense a theme song?!)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let the Deception Begin...

From Deal Hudson and the Catholic Advocate.  You might as well just copy this off and post in up on a nearby wall.  It will be more accurate than the weather forecast in Arizona.

Ten Ways Catholic Voters Will Be Misled in 2012

1.  In spite of the new "Introduction" to "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," the bishops' document will be cherry-picked and repackaged into sound bites to justify voting for a candidate who supports abortion and same-sex marriage.

2.  Pro-life Catholics will be labeled as "single issue voters" who don't care about the larger social teaching of the Church, especially concern for the poor and vulnerable.

3.  The budget passed by the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-01), a Catholic, will be relentlessly attacked as not caring about the poor because it proposed cuts and spending freezes to reduce the growing U.S. deficit that is hurting the economy.

4.  "Progressive" Catholic groups will produce polling that supposedly shows Catholics disagree with Church teaching on the sanctity of life and marriage, implying those who agree are in the minority and "behind the times."

5.  Catholic politicians and leaders who support abortion and same-sex marriage will not be termed "dissenters" or "liberals" but "progressives" in order to make them sound more attractive to independent voters.

6.  Catholic voters will be told the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama-care) did not contain federal funding for abortion.

7.  Catholic voters will be told the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama-care) does not pose a threat to religious liberty, for example, the conscience of a Catholic health care worker.

8.  Anyone supporting state collective bargaining reforms with public-sector unions, such as Wisconsin, is ignoring the importance of worker's rights in Catholic social teaching.

9.  Those Catholics who opposed President Bush and Senator McCain over Operation Iraqi Freedom will not make the same argument against Obama who increased the U.S. military in Afghanistan and the use of drone aircraft to perform executions.

10.  The issue of immigration will be elevated to a level of importance equal to abortion and marriage with the only acceptable 'Catholic' position being support for specific pieces of legislation such as the 'DREAM Act' (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors).
_______________

So compare all of that to what is written in Demonic Abortion...
"In a diabolical possession, demons don't need full understanding or agreement to do their evil once they have entered; they just need an acquiescence of will. The same happens in a populace where a demon can gain increasing control of the culture and its institutions over time with the acquiescence of the people." (p. 54)

To site previous blog entry, this is done by reinventing a few words (fetus is a blob of tissue and not a human) and making unthinkable things thinkable such as:  "it is more humane that women not suffer, so we find it okay to kill the children that are making women suffer rather than make them suffer".

Further, "in modern American society, just a minority of abortion-possessed individuals controls the passive majority who support the demonic activity by acquiescence, if not by full agreement.   There is no such thing as neutrality on the abortion issue.  An apathetic society on the issue of abortion is a compliant society to the demonic will." (p. 55)

It is not okay to be neutral, brothers and sisters.  If this means that I will go to the gallows, so be it.   I don't think I'll be alone.