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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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In “Song of the Sparrows” Father Murray Bodo, O.F.M. talks about his vows and the significance they make to him as a Franciscan Friar. While Father says that his vows should be a commitment to grow into a new in Christ I believe that as children of God we are all called to grow into new persons in Christ. While priests may be called to this commitment to manifest itself in a more profound way we are each called to transform ourselves to be like Christ. Vows or no vows it is every person’s fundamental call to grow in the Lord. God Bless.

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Here is a piece called Acting On Faith by Cardinal Donald Wuerl:

The Catholic Church is no stranger to criticism from those who disagree with its teachings, but the petition posted recently on the White House Web site to label the church a “hate group” is beyond the pale, even in an age when an aggressive secularism seeks to marginalize the influence of religious belief.

The church has long been criticized as “too dogmatic.” Demands are constantly made that it change its 2,000-year-old teachings on marriage, family, sexuality, morality and other matters related to the truth about human beings. But even if others do not agree, the church understands that what it proclaims is revealed truth — the Word of God. The church’s teachings are timeless. They cannot be changed, even though adherence may be upsetting to some. That the church is built on a rock with fixed beliefs is a positive feature, both because it can withstand the shifting winds of public opinion and because of the cherished content of our faith itself, which fosters love among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Although these precepts may be misunderstood by many today, the fundamental vocation of the Catholic Church is to provide the witness of love and truth to the world, including offering the voice of an informed conscience. Catholics are taught to respect the fundamental, inherent dignity of every person, each made in the image of God, and to work to establish a just society. The church teaches that it is our obligation to manifest love of neighbor, to provide charitable service to others, and to promote truth, genuine freedom and authentic humanism. We work for the poor, the oppressed and the suffering, because that is what our faith teaches we must do. There is thus a positive side to being dogmatic: The teachings and works of the church advance the common good throughout civil society. Just as our dogma is constant, so is the work it commands. CONTINUED 

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Did you watch VP debate last night? I did.  What did you think of it? I thought it was a pretty good debate, pretty fiery at that.  Towards the end of the debate Martha Raddatz, the moderator, asked Joe Biden and Paul Ryan this:

This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. 

Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that. And, please, this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country … please talk personally about this, if you could.

Paul Ryan answered:

I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life. 

Now, you want to ask basically why I’m pro-life? It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science. 

You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born, for our seven week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, “Bean.” Now I believe that life begins at conception. 

That’s why – those are the reasons why I’m pro-life. Now I understand this is a difficult issue, and I respect people who don’t agree with me on this, but the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortions with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they’re doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. 

Our Church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties. And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized and wouldn’t second guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme.

 

Joe Biden answered: 

My religion defines who I am, and I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. And has particularly informed my social doctrine. The Catholic social doctrine talks about taking care of those who – who can’t take care of themselves, people who need help. 

With regard to – with regard to abortion, I accept my Church’s position on abortion as a – what we call a de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception in the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. 

But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the – the congressman. I – I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view and the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that. 

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. 

That is a fact. Now with regard to the way in which the – we differ, my friend says that he – well I guess he accepts Governor Romney’s position now, because in the past he has argued that there was – there’s rape and forcible rape. He’s argued that in the case of rape or incest, it was still – it would be a crime to engage in having an abortion. I just fundamentally disagree with my friend.

 

Paul Ryan’s answer was beautiful and a great testament to both his Catholic Faith and his pro-life views.  Since there are problems with Joe Biden’s answer I am going to focus on his.

While Biden claims to follow the Church’s de fide doctrinal position on abortion he really doesn’t because if he did he would assent to the Church teaching which states that all life is precious and abortion is murder.  A law is unjust that doesn’t protect human life at all stages. Biden wouldn’t say that he doesn’t want to impose his personal beliefs on others if he truly had any respect for all human life, especially the most vulnerable.

From the Catechism: “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”56

Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: “Do not slay the innocent and the righteous.”61 The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72

 

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

 

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”82

2275 “One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”83

“It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.”84

“Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity”85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

What Biden calls a personal choice for women is not simply a personal preference like choosing between the type of shampoo, soap, hair style, or the make of vehicle one likes.  We are talking about a human being which exists or is alive from the moment of conception.  Biden doesn’t want to impose his beliefs so women don’t murder these innocent babies.  It is sick and sad that murder equals “women’s rights” and “equality” in pro-aborts minds.

 

Kristi Burton Brown from Live Action News made a great point.

Biden also contradicted his own admission that life begins at conception by stating that he does “not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor.” However, if he believes that life – presumably a new life – begins at conception, we are not just talking about a woman controlling her own body. We are talking about ending the life of a new, unique human being. Biden seems to personally realize this truth, but refused to publicly acknowledge it.

 

At 8 weeks….

 

 

 

Baby Samuel…

 

 

 

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