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Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia said“Catholics have a duty to respect legitimate authority and pray for our political leaders, whether we personally care for them or not. The Church seeks to cooperate with public officials because we’re a community of citizens as well as believers. “But there are limits, and the more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes.” 

I would go a bit further than the Archbishop did.  I believe it is our duty to follow our faith.  When civil law or mandates conflict with our faith such as in the case of the HHS mandate we have a duty, a moral obligation, to follow our Faith.  The HHS mandate propagates evil.  As followers of God we are called to combat evil and never cooperate with or advocate evil.  Killing innocent vulnerable life is probably the worst evil (that I can think of).

President Obama talked about religious freedom at the prayer breakfast but yet has his administration go after and try to force The Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their religion, violate their faith.  Archbishop Chaput said, “I think President Obama’s recent prayer breakfast comments about religious freedom were interesting but also curious, because in practice, the people who staff his administration have been the most tone deaf to religious liberty issues in recent memory. There’s a very odd disconnect in praising religious freedom while the Justice Department goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“So yes, religious freedom is one of our core national ideals, and yes, it’s at risk from two sources: an unfriendly political class, and our own distracted attention and indifference.”

In my opinion the disconnect is alarming.  His actions and the actions of his administration do not comport with his words at the prayer breakfast.  Unless his words are an act and is deceiving people.  Kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.

Let us continue to pray for the conversion of souls.  God Bless.

 

 

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Priests who are contracted out to minister to the lay faithful may be arrested if they minister to Catholics in the military during the government shutdown.   Even if a priest volunteers he may be arrested. So if they practice their faith priests could be arrested.  Why the heck should a government shutdown determine whether a priest can say Mass, pray, do weddings and funerals, and hear confessions?  This is clearly a violation of the First Amendment. 

This was brought to my attention by Maggie’s Notebook yesterday.  This is from Maggie’s Notebook: 

Obama still has 129 staffers working directly for him during the shutdown. Biden has 12. Most don’t know how to do the lesser jobs that need doing – like send a news release! And that’s okay, but when it comes to the spiritual needs of our troops, contracted priests have been threatened with arrest if they voluntarily (unpaid) tend to the troop’s spiritual needs. Some Priests are “contracted” due to a “lack” of active-duty Catholic priests, so there is likely a shortage of Protestant pastors as well, although I can’t confirm it. Shutting down the Washington Mall Memorials and Monuments, which can cost nothing to keep open if done properly: post a few signs saying there is no security, you are responsible for your own safety, and ‘hey, please take your trash with you,’ could work. Just as Obama refused to divert funding to the Military during sequester, the goal seems to make those who give the most for their country, the least.

030419-M-9124R-015

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.” Read more at The Daily Caller

 

While it is not concrete that the priests will be arrested for practicing their faith the fact that it is a possibility really irks me.

From The Blaze: 

The arrest claim is a bold one — but is it true? Recently, Politico did report that furloughed federal workers could be fired for using their BlackBerry phones during the shutdown. One warning noted that there could be penalties for conducting any work outside of the office during this time.

“Due to legal requirements, working in any way during a period of furlough (even as a volunteer) is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,”read a recent letter from the House Administration Committee to nonessential employees. “To avoid violating this prohibition, we strongly recommend that you turn your BlackBerrys off for the duration of the furlough.”

Technically, this would translate over to faith leaders as well. As for events that might be scheduled on military bases — baptisms, weddings, etc. — unless a priest who is not contracted is found, Schlageter said that the event would potentially have to be canceled.

From CatholicVote: 

Our government is out of control.

First, it was the World War II veterans who had to break down barriers to see the open air, un-attended memorial erected in their honor.  A memorial which is on public land but is supported – including the National Park Service fee – with private funds. This week there was more security surrounding this memorial — just to keep elderly veterans out — than there was at our embassy in Benghazi the night it was attacked.

And for what? To inflict as much pain as possible through this government shutdown. It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome, and it’s pure political theater.

But now there’s a story just coming to light that takes things even further. According the Archdiocese for Military Services, GS and contract priests (who are paid by the federal government as independent contractors in places where there aren’t enough active-duty priests to meet the needs of Catholics in military service) are being forbidden from celebrating Mass, even on a volunteer basis.

If they violate this restriction, they face possible arrest. FOR CELEBRATING MASS. 

This shutdown impacts Catholics in the military worldwide. In the DC-metro area, it specifically impacts bases like Quantico. On the Facebook page for the Archdiocese, Catholic military members commenting on the story are not happy. Comments include:

“This is outrageous!!! Especially threatening them with arrest to voluntarily do their job.”

“Unbelievable! I was worried about this because our priest is contracted as well. It is bad enough to be furloughed but to not have a Mass to attend, is a real downer,”

“Just one example, a couple is getting married tomorrow at a large Air Force Base that is staffed by a Contract priest. That priest did all of their marriage prep, and has gotten to know the couple very well over the past few months. But with the shutdown, he cannot perform their wedding. Instead of the priest that the couple has come to know and love, an active duty priest has to be sent in to perform the wedding of two people who are strangers to him and he to them.”

” Is anyone up there going to start a protest?! A rosary ?!?!? A nice Catholic riot maybe?! PLEEEAAASSEEE?! SOMEONE?! ANYONE?! Any real Carholics out there?!!!!???!”

This is outrageous. It is a violation of the First Amendment. It is a prohibition of the free exercise of religion to order priests under penalty of arrest that they cannot volunteer their time to offer Mass to the faithful on base. This cannot be allowed to stand.

CatholicVote has a couple updates on this unconscionable situation.  Our government is indeed out of control. 

 

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Bishop Zubik’s friend who is a rabbi supports same-sex marriage on the basis of individual equality so he penned a great article in response to his friend, explaining the importance of marriage being between a man and woman, and how his friend is wrongly applying individual equality to marriage.  Here is the article:

 

Bishop David A. Zubik
Bishop of Pittsburgh

For a long time, three decades plus, I have been a fan of the ABC network morning TV show “Good Morning America.” Starting back in the early 1980s, from co-hosts Charlie Gibson and Joan Lunden, to current co-hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, the show has been the background voice to help me get ready for my day. In the 1990s, through the kindness of our local news anchor and friend, Mike Clark, I had the grand opportunity to be in the studio and on the set of “Good Morning America” in Times Square.

Of all the features I enjoyed about “Good Morning America,” my favorite was a duet interview every Friday morning back in the ’80s that was affectionately dubbed “The God Squad.” A rabbi and a priest each week would address some news item or contemporary issue. It was so interesting to hear Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman from the New York area bring religion to “Good Morning America.”

What prompts me to share this slant with you is that, over the past few years, a number of Pittsburghers have commented on our own “God Squad” in southwestern Pennsylvania: once again a rabbi and a priest — Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and yours truly. I must admit I blush at the comparison, but like it as well.

It’s no secret that Rabbi Bisno, his wife, Michelle, and I are friends — in fact, very good friends. We have traveled to Rome and the Holy Land together. Each year, Rabbi Bisno comes to the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Paul Cathedral. Each year, I go to Rodef Shalom to commemorate the Jewish high holy day, Yom Kippur. We have shared everything from good meals to even better conversation. We trust each other with our struggles and our joys.

We both realize that, while our friendship is personal, it also means more than that. Publicly representing the Jewish and Catholic communities, our friendship is within a much larger context. We have been able to use our friendship to further enhance Jewish and Catholic relations in Pittsburgh, while working together, we hope, for the good of the whole community of southwestern Pennsylvania.

More than two individuals

Which is my whole point in responding to Rabbi Bisno’s Forum commentary Sept. 8 in the Post-Gazette. My friend, Aaron, argues support for same-sex marriage based on the concept of individual rights. “Judaism teaches that all human beings are equal, unique and of infinite worth,” Rabbi Bisno wrote, and that by refusing to accept same-sex marriage, he argues, society fails to “honor every person’s divine likeness.”

No one, I hope and pray, would argue against the infinite worth of the individual. And central to Catholic understanding is that each of us is created in the image and likeness of God. Without exception!

But the inherent disagreement I have with my friend’s argument is that he defines marriage in the context of the individual. Marriage has never been understood in faith or society as based on an individual’s self-definition. Marriage has always been defined and understood as two becoming one to create life, to create family, to create society, to create goodness through the generations. CONTINUED 

 

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syria-apotheosis-of-barbarism

 

 

Is the U.S. going to war with Syria?  If we do war is very ugly.  Should we be going to war and bombing a country when there are no good guys fighting?  There are the rebels on one hand and Assad’s military on the other hand. The choice is between people who are very, very bad and people who are horrible.  Should we be getting mixed up in a Syrian civil war?  Is it really America’s business to get involved?

I don’t think we have any business going to war in Syria.  As much as I am concerned for the welfare of the innocents who aren’t fighting and simply want peace I don’t think the United States government has any standing to get involved in a Syrian civil war.  But Syria is the gateway for Iran attacking Israel.  So maybe limited strikes is the best of bad options in fighting Syria to aid Israel in her defense?  I do think the Catholic Church as well as other churches and Christian missions should get involved.  There has to be a variety of ways that churches and organizations can help Christians and others in Syria who are being persecuted, threatened, and harmed,

Now onto the one good item. Pope Francis has called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace on September 7.

“I appeal strongly for peace, an appeal which arises from the deep within me,” he said to the crowds in St. Peter’s Square on Sept. 1.

“There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming,” continued the Pope.

“For this reason, brothers and sisters, I have decided to call for a vigil for the whole Church,” he announced.

It will be “a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the Middle East, and throughout world.”

The vigil will take place on Sept. 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace. Those who can will gather in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. until midnight: other local Churches are requested to join in the fasting and prayer by gathering together.

Prayer is the answer.  God is the answer.  Let us all take time out of our busy schedules on September 7 to pray for peace in Syria and around the globe.  God Bless.
syria-the-hangman

 

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Michael Voris was on fire. Spot on! I hope the bishops and laity listen to him.

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