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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Another Reason to Avoid Chicago

.- The Archbishop of Chicago has invited some U.S. bishops to a series of conferences on the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The seminars will be held at three Catholic colleges later this month.

According to a letter obtained by Catholic News Agency, the meetings, dubbed “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” are designed to offer a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral Formation and Pastoral Practice to how to provide formative pastoral programs.”
“The aim is to gather fifteen to twenty Bishops to have a conversation with the aid of theologians on the related topics,” the letter said.
The letter, written by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, explains that the conferences are modeled after a seminar of bishops and theologians discussing Amoris Laetitia held at Boston College (a Jesuit school) in October 2017.

Let's see who is presenting:

Several theologians and a canon lawyer will also present at the upcoming seminars.
Among the theologians is Dr. Kate Ward, a professor at Marquette University (a Jesuit school). From 2012-2015, Ward was a national board member of Call to Action, a group that has called for the ordination of women to the priesthood, expressed support for same-sex marriage, and said that the Church should re-evaluate its “position” on the use of artificial birth control.
From 2006-2009, Ward served as a national board member of Call to Action Next Generation, a youth affiliate of the organization. She chaired that board from 2008-2009.
In 2006, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, then-prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, wrote that Call to Action’s activities “are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint. Thus to be a Member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith.”
Also scheduled to present is Dr. Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a theologian at Manhattan College.
Imperatori-Lee was also a presenter at the October seminar at Boston College. At that seminar, she criticized the Church’s “infantilization of the laity,” saying that “lay people are infantilized by a logic...where pastors serve as gatekeepers, offering permission for sacraments, rather than as counselors who accompany laypersons on their sacramental journeys.”
In a 2015 interview with the podcast Daily Theology, Imperatori-Lee described the late theologian and University of Notre Dame (formerly a Catholic school)  professor Fr. Richard McBrien as a mentor. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “McBrien advocated the ordination of women priests, an end to mandatory celibacy for priests, moral approval of artificial birth control, and decentralization of power in the church.”

Or as a famous Jesuit once said, "Who am I To judge?"

During his Feb. 9 speech, Cardinal Cupich said that Pope Francis has introduced a set of “hermeneutical principles” – principles of theological interpretation – that “force a paradigm shift” in the Church’s work with families.
Among the aspects of such a paradigm shift, Cupich said, is “rejecting an authoritarian or paternalistic way of dealing with people that lays down the law, that pretends to have all the answers, or easy answers to complex problems, that suggests that general rules will seamlessly bring immediate clarity or that the teachings of our tradition can preemptively be applied to the particular challenges confronting couples and families.”

Or as a Famous Jesuit Once Said, "Who Am I To Judge?"

By agreeing to provide contraceptive coverage, the university has violated its Catholic mission and revealed the emptiness of its lawsuit. In the tradition of the Land O’Lakes Statement and the “Cuomo Doctrine,” the University of Notre Dame continues to lead the way in compromising the moral traditions of the Catholic Church in order to accommodate modern attitudes about truth and the human person.
 In 2015, Notre Dame lost its legal challenge to the Obama administration’s mandate that it provide contraception, sterilization, and abortificacient drugs through its health-care plans. When the current presidential administration offered relief from the mandate, many believed Notre Dame would claim the exemption it had fought so hard to win in court. However, after “prayerful attention to God’s guidance” through the process of discernment — and out of respect for the “religious traditions and the conscientious decisions” of all of the members of its diverse community — Notre Dame president Father John Jenkins, CSC, announced his compromise: The university will provide coverage through its own insurance plans for “simple contraceptives.” It will not cover abortion-inducing drugs or sterilization procedures done “for the purpose of preventing conception.” The university will fund natural family-planning options and will provide a statement of the Catholic teaching on contraceptives to all plan enrollees.
 In an interview with The Atlantic, Father Jenkins explained further his thoughts in crafting the compromise. Against the danger of diluting the university’s Catholic identity, he said, “There’s a danger of rigidity in adhering to certain tenets that make the institution more narrow.”

The USCCB Misses Another Opportunity to Shut Up

On February 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the much-watched case of Janus v. AFSCME. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted an amicus brief in Janus. Both as a Catholic and as a lawyer, I find the USCCB’s brief badly misguided in important ways.
 The legal issue in Janus is whether, consistent with the First Amendment, government employees who refuse to join the public-sector union that has been recognized as their representative for purposes of collective bargaining may nonetheless be compelled to pay the union a fee (a so-called “agency fee”) to cover their share of the union’s collective-bargaining expenditures, even when those employees object to the union’s political advocacy and lobbying. 
 To illustrate the issue more concretely: In 2014, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) donated $400,000 to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which in turn funded political candidates who support Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda. May a government employee who is a faithful Catholic, as a condition of continued employment, be required to pay AFSCME a monthly agency fee? The USCCB amicus brief would have you believe that the “widely held” position of American bishops is to answer “yes” to the question whether agency fees may be imposed on government employees.
 The conclusion:
To be sure, the attentive reader will discern that the brief implicitly recognizes that how best to defend the legitimate rights of workers is, unlike the matters of abortion and marriage, a matter of prudential judgment on which Catholics can in good faith disagree. But it’s no surprise—indeed, it’s entirely predictable—that those not well versed in Catholic teaching will imagine that the American bishops, through the USCCB brief, are now putting all three matters on the same moral plane. Why would the USCCB sow such confusion?

Prepare to be Saddened

Crises and scandals have gathered at the Vatican in the past month. This pontificate is spreading chaos and confusion. 
We are all familiar with parody Twitter accounts; someone called Donald J. Trump has a really rather good one going at the moment. When I read the words of a senior Vatican official recently, on the Twitter feed of the Catholic Herald, it seemed just so obvious. A Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorando, according to the report, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences — it sounds like a job of soul-destroying tedium but is in fact a rather significant position — had described the one country in the world that, in the bishop’s words, was “best implementing the social doctrine of the Church.” That would be the People’s Republic of China. 
 China is the country that had a remarkably successful try at enforcing a one-child policy, promoting massive abortion (a figure of more than 300 million has been suggested) — sex-selective, with boys highly favored for birth, girls for elimination — enforced sterilization, and execution of criminals. And, of course, the one-party state persecutes the Church and imprisons human-rights advocates. Bishop Sánchez, who said he had been to China and seen all this good work in person, so it must be true, probably wouldn’t agree with Cardinal Joseph Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, who recently protested the imminent decision of the Vatican to recognize the government-sponsored, quisling “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.” That move would be at the expense of the members of the “underground” Catholic Church, which has stayed loyal to the Vatican and suffered persecution for decades. Zen said that the Vatican, and by that he means Pope Francis, was “ready to surrender to the Chinese Communist Party” — again, perfectly fine if it excelled at implementing the social doctrine of the Church.
Read the whole thing. Here's the final paragraph:

You can hide the rubbish in the streets only for so long. Eventually it overflows, out into the open. When the Church should be speaking with a clear and direct voice, it is instead spreading confusion, misunderstanding, and scandal. Francis famously called for the people to make a “mess” in the Church. To youth in Rio de Janeiro, he said in January 2013, “I want a mess. . . . I want trouble in the dioceses.” It seems, for now, he has got his wish.

The Governor Finally Expands Business in Illinois

It begins like any other recruitment ad for a leadership position at an influential organization. Planned Parenthood of Illinois recently engaged an exclusive recruiting firm to help it find a new president and CEO, one who has the “ability to lead and execute strategic plans.” 
Shortly into the job description, one finds an interesting requirement. The president and CEO will need to to launch a capital campaign that “will result in four new” Planned Parenthood “health centers.” Planned Parenthood already operates 17 clinics in Illinois, including a mega-clinic in Aurora, strategically located within an hour’s drive of both the Indiana and the Wisconsin borders. (Illinois law does not require a minor to be a state resident to get a judicial waiver to have an abortion.) And just last month, Planned Parenthood opened a clinic in Flossmoor, a suburban village that, while affluent and racially diverse, is almost entirely surrounded by economically challenged communities, largely populated by people of color. The new Flossmoor clinic offers medical (i.e., the abortion pill) and elective surgical abortions up to the 20th week of pregnancy. Why the sudden expansion? Four new centers, in addition to Flossmoor? 
Why would the nation’s largest provider of abortions open additional clinics when even its former research affiliate, the Guttmacher Institute, has noted that nationally the number of women choosing to end their pregnancies is declining? The job description may provide a clue: The new president and CEO will “capitalize on the ongoing changes” in local and national health care to enhance the “organization’s financial success.” Couple that with the requirement, or “must,” that the new officer “actively cultivate relationships at the top levels” of the state’s “legislative and administrative leadership” and you have your answer. 

 Last year, Republican governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 40, which provides all Illinois Medicaid recipients and employees of the state of Illinois with abortion services at taxpayer expense. This new abortion benefit is limited with respect neither to the number of procedures a woman chooses to have nor to the stage in her pregnancy at which she chooses to have them.

After he had publicly promised that he would veto HB40, Rauner signed it, over the objection of most of those who put him into office. Not one of the 73 Illinois House and Senate Republicans voted for it. While no one knows for sure what goes on in backroom politics, it’s fairly obvious that Rauner’s decision has allowed Planned Parenthood to “capitalize on the ongoing changes” in Illinois as it seeks to expand its reach. At taxpayer expense — and at the expense of the developmentally disabled, who continue to see a reduction in the services they need because of Illinois’s ongoing fiscal crisis and failure to reimburse private social-service agencies.


Thursday, February 08, 2018

"Open the Borders", Demands the USCCB

CNA).- The Archdiocese of Acapulco, Mexico, reported that two priests were murdered early Monday morning, Feb 5.
Fr. Iván Añorve Jaimes, pastor of Holy Family Parish in the town of Las Vigas, and Fr.  Germain Muñiz Garcia, the pastor of Mezcala; were killed in an attack by unidentified individuals in Taxco township.
According to a press release from the Guerrero State Attorney General's Office, the victims were traveling on the Iguala-Taxco highway when they were suddenly cut off by another vehicle, from which shots were fired. The assailants fled the scene.

Father ván Añorve Jaimes and Father Germain Muñiz García.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

George Weigel Takes the Vatican To The Woodshed (it's about China)

Negotiating with the Devil has never been the long suit of Vatican diplomacy. The “examination of conscience” is an important part of Catholic spirituality, which always precedes confession but is ideally practiced at the end of each day: a review of what one got wrong, and what right, as preparation for an act of contrition and a prayer of thanksgiving for graces received. And while there are obvious and important differences between individual Catholics examining their conscience and Vatican diplomats reviewing the Church’s successes and failures in the thorny, dense thickets of world politics, one might have thought that this spiritual discipline would have some bearing on the diplomacy of the Holy See, if only as a reality check.
But if you thought that, you’d be hard pressed to find evidence for it in the history of Vatican diplomacy’s dealing with totalitarian regimes.
Read more at the link about the 1929 Lateran Accord with Italy, the 1933 Reich Concordiat, and...

Then came the Ostpolitik of the late 1960s and 1970s. Faced with what he once described as the “frozen swamp” of Communist repression behind the iron curtain, Pope Paul VI’s chief diplomatic agent, Archbishop Agostino Casaroli, began to negotiate a series of agreements with Communist governments. Those agreements were intended to provide for the sacramental life of the Church by facilitating the appointment of bishops, who could ordain priests, who could celebrate Mass and hear confessions, thereby preserving some minimal form of Catholic survival until Communism “changed.” And another disaster ensue.

Is This True???

 From Eye of the Tiber (so I guess, no):

The world’s most famous pope foresees no early end to his papacy.

The Pope’s handlers announced Friday that Pope Francis had seen his own shadow earlier that day.

Legend has it that if the furry Pope casts a shadow on the feast of St. Agatha, the people of the world are to expect no less that six more decades of the Francis papacy, or at least Francis-like papacy.

“It’s really a cool thing to see,” said Alice Moya, just one of the hundreds of spectators that gathered at the Vatican Friday. “It’s one of those things that you hope to one day scratch off your bucket list.

Bundled up and dancing to music in the freezing cold, another visitor, Tabatha O’Neill, told EOTT that the event was all that she had imagined.

“The event was really fun. One of the Pope’s handlers took him out of his cage, a humble looking cage, of course, and pulled him up by the scruff of his neck. Then he pretended to listen to something Francis was saying before finally announcing that the Pope had announced 60 more years of his papacy. That’s when I threw up. A lot of people booed while others cheered. Then, as is custom, everyone went on to their blogs or other website comboxes and started going apeshit at each other. It was fun.”

Don't Drive Angry

Redifining "Bipartisan".

.- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced a bipartisan immigration plan on Monday that would provide a path to citizenship for “dreamers” who have been in the country since 2013, and increase border security. The bill would not immediately provide the funds for a wall or enact any new measures on “chain migration” or the diversity lottery.
President Donald Trump’s past proposals would put an end to the visa lottery and limit “chain migration,” the policy which allows immigrants to the US to sponsor the immigration petitions of family members, and would have provided funding towards the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.
A representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told CNA Monday that the conference is in favor of bipartisan collaboration to solve this issue, and that they hope that a solution can be found quickly.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Canon Law 915

" Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

Yesterday was a day of shame and horror for Catholics in America

Fourteen of our senators who identify publicly as Catholics voted against a bill that would outlaw late term abortion.

 Remember the baby feels pain at this stage as he is dismembered.

The senators who vote to allow this to continue in America are:

  • Maria Cantwell – Washington
  • Susan Collins -Maine
  • Dick Durbin – Illinois
  • Kirsten Gillibrand – New York
  • Heidi Heitkamp – North Dakota
  • Tim Kaine – Virginia
  • Patrick Leahy – Vermont
  • Ed Markey – Massachussetts
  • Catherine Cortez Masto – Nevada
  • Claire McCaskill – Missouri
  • Bob Menendez – New Jersey
  • Lisa Murkowski – Alaska
  • Patty Murray – Washington
  • Jack Reed – Rhode Island
  • Eead more at

    The Unitarian Minister Must Have Been Busy

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a priest, a rabbi, and a pastor walk into an abortion clinic.
    Whoops, a priest wasn’t in this story. But some ministers and a rabbi were at an abortion clinic. And this is not a joke, because sadly, it’s true.

    Yes, clergy were on hand at the opening of an abortion facility in Bethesda, MD, run by the notorious late-term abortionist Dr. LeRoy Carhart. They went there to bless and sanctify the clinic.

     “God of grace and God of glory, in whom we move and live. Keep them safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory.”

    Are you as appalled as me? “All that they do is for Thy Glory? So butchering an unborn baby is for God’s glory? The same God of whom the Psalmist lovingly wrote, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)?

    What kind of macabre theology is that?

    But these clergy weren’t finished by just uttering their prayers. In addition, they went from room to room in the clinic, sprinkling water to “sanctify” the areas. They even sprinkled water in the parking lot because this was a “space of tremendous decision-making,” according to Rev. Cari Jackson of the United Church of Christ. Is that because women just might have pangs of conscience about having their unborn babies killed? No, it’s because of protestors they might encounter outside the clinic. Can’t have these women change their minds, you know.

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018

    The Bosco Chocolate Drink Mix Feast of St. John Bosco

     The Patron Saint of Magicians!

    Catholic School Week, January 28 -- February 3

    I thank you!

    St, Thomas the Apostle School, Old Bridge, NJ  1960-1963

    Our Lady of Sorrows School, Vestal, NY 1964-1969

     Seton Catholic High School, Endicott, NY 1969-1973
    Now All Saints Catholic School (grade school)

    University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan 1973-1975
    OK, it's Jesuit, but I'm still counting it

    Captain Obvious

    CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis spoke about the importance of the Liturgy of the Word, and therefore, also the importance of having lectors who can proclaim the readings and the Responsorial Psalm well.

    “We must look for good readers!” he said Jan. 31, in off-the-cuff comments during the general audience.

    I, John, your brother...

    Good readers and psalmists understand what they are reading and can convey it well, he continued, explaining that they need to be prepared by reading over the text before Mass.
    When someone reads well, not “distorting the words,” this helps to create “a climate of receptive silence,” he said, which is important, because “it is not enough to hear with the ears, without receiving in the heart the seed of the divine Word, allowing it to bear fruit.”

    On this note, Francis emphasized that it is also important that we are staying focused and listening to the readings with an open heart, not looking around at different things or making chit-chat.
    “When they read the words of the Bible – the first reading, the second, the responsorial psalm, the Gospel – we must listen and open our heart,” he said. “Because it is God himself who speaks to us. Do not think about other things or talk about other things.”

    Tuesday, January 30, 2018

    Tide Pod Colored Hosts

    (AoftheANews) – CINCINNATI – In an effort to increase attendance at their monthly LifeTeen Mass, Sts Proctor & Gamble in suburban Cincinnati will feature Tide Pod colored hosts, featuring the dark blue and orange swirl.
    Director of Youth Outreach Dee Terjent explained the decision to AoftheA News. “We know it’s going to be controversial, but we want to juxtapose how ingesting actual Tide Pods is dangerous, while ingesting the Body of Christ brings you life. And cleans you up at the same time.”
    Late in 2017, the “Tide Pod challenge” became the latest fad among teenagers, where they’re dared to bite into and even swallow the miniature laundry soap packets. Tide has worked diligently to increase awareness on the inherent dangers, while YouTube has been systematically removing videos from its service.
    “We are in no way encouraging kids to partake of the challenge,” Terjent said. “Our goal is to tell them to think about the consequences, and don’t go along with the crowd. Kids are always going to do dumb things, but if the dumbest thing they ever do is attend a LifeTeen Mass, then I feel we’ve done our job.”
    Fr. Ken Moore, pastor of Sts P&G, approved the idea. “I know I’ll get some blowback for this, but at the end of the day, I will have gotten kids to come to Church and hear a positive message. And frankly, I’m of the opinion that if more parents washed out their kids’ mouths with soap, they wouldn’t be daring one another to eat it.”

    Jeanne Ives Has My Vote

    January 22, 2018 – At the 45th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., House Speaker Paul Ryan began his remarks by asking the crowd, “Can we just thank God for giving us a pro-life president back in the White House?”

    Illinois State Representative Jeanne Ives, a conservative reform Republican for Governor, said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pro-life Governor in Springfield? Or, at the very least not a radical pro-abortion Governor who lied to everyone – including the GOP Caucuses in the House and the Senate, and Cardinal Cupich – about his social agenda?

    “While Congressional Republicans are working to protect life, our Republican Governor – the guy who promised ‘no social agenda’ – signed the most radical pro-abortion bill in the nation. While President Trump and Congressional Republicans show respect and support for the life agenda. In Illinois, our Republican Governor is forcing taxpayers to fund abortion on demand.

    “Even liberal Governor Pat Quinn, with Democrat super-majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, didn’t force taxpayer funding of abortion.

    “We do have an extremist – a fringe candidate – in the GOP Primary. He is my opponent.

    Check out a debate between Governor Rauner and State Representative Ives.

    In one of the most devastative exchange of the interview, Ives discussed his betrayal on HB 40, which forced taxpayer-funding of abortion. Rauner struggled to respond when members of the editorial board questioned him about lying to the GOP caucus and Cardinal Cupich. Following the signing of HB 40, Cupich told reporters, “He did break his word…”

    Speaking of a Super Blue Moon Eclipse...

    If you are on the moon, in which Diocese are you?

    The Diocese of Orlando, of course!

    The idea is that, back in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, the Diocese of Orlando included Cape Canaveral.  Because the journey to the Moon began from the Diocese of Orlando, Orlando had jurisdiction.
    There is an anecdote about this.  The late Archbishop Borders, at the time Bishop of Orlando, during an ad limina visit in Rome told Paul VI that he was the bishop of the Moon.
    I would have given anything to have been there with a camera to record for history Paul VI’s expression as he considered this statement.
    That said, we also must consider that the 1917 Code was in force at the time of the Moon landing.  In the 1917CIC, can. 252 said that the competence of the Congregation for the Propogation of the Faith extends to “those regions which, since the sacred hierarchy has not been constituted, retain the status of a mission.” (Eius iurisdictio iis est circumscripta regionibus, ubi, sacra hierarchia nondum constituta, status missionis perseverat.)
    This is a strong argument in favor of Propaganda having jurisdiction (hence, “Rome”).  However, if Orlando, having a competing view, wanted to press its claim, the diocese could bring a case before the Apostolic Signatura to assert its claim to jurisdiction.
    I suspect that the Archdiocese for the Military Services is, right now, stretched a bit thin and won’t immediately want to make any claims.  I could be wrong.  I’ll ask around.

    What Horrible Peoople Govern Us

    CNA).- A procedural vote on a Senate bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks failed on the evening of Jan. 29, after more than three hours of debate. The cloture motion, which would have prevented a filibuster on the bill, required 60 votes to pass, and failed by a vote of 51-46.

    The bill could continue to be considered in the Senate, even with the prospect of a filibuster, though this is not widely expected. The bill is likely to be a topic of debate in 2018 Senate elections.
    The  U.S. is one of seven countries in the world that allow abortions after 5 months of pregnancy.
    The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act proposes that abortion be made illegal after 20 weeks of gestation, on the basis that fetal neural development enables the unborn to experience pain at that point. The bill includes exceptions for an abortion in the case of rape or incest, as well in the circumstances in which the pregnancy threatened the life or the mother.

    “After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human, for example, by recoiling,” according to the text of the Pain-Capable Act.
    Because of an unborn child’s sensitivity to pain at this stage, anesthesia is regularly administered during in-utero surgery after 20 weeks. An ultrasound can reveal the gender of an unborn child, who can be viewed sucking their thumb, yawning, or stretching by 20 weeks of pregnancy. The nervous system begins functioning in the fourth month of pregnancy.
    The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives in Oct. 2017, is opposed by most Senate Democrats. To prevent a filibuster, Republicans needed Democratic support, in addition to the votes of the 51 Republican Senators.
    Democratic Senators Bob Casey (Catholic), Joe Manchin (Catholic), and Joe Donnelly  (Catholic) supported the motion. Republican Senators Susan Collins (Catholic) and Lisa Murkowski (Catholic)voted against it.

    And of course, Noted Illinois Catholic Dick Durbin voted NO.

    The Babylon Bee reports:
    WASHINGTON, DC—Voting down a measure that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks gestation, Senate Democrats on Monday refused to grant legal status to millions of unborn children dreaming of one day being born.
    House Republicans passed a bill last week that would guarantee citizens’ rights for U.S. children over 20 weeks gestation, the age at which all unborn babies have been scientifically proven to hear voices and feel pain. Senate Democrats killed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Monday, keeping the United States one of only seven nations on earth that allows unrestricted abortion at any time during pregnancy.
    “Frankly, I’m tired of the Republicans’ sob stories about these so-called ‘dreamers’ who are deliberately hiding inside a womb, hoping for government protection without going through the proper channels,” a DNC spokesperson told reporters. “Maybe it’s not their fault their parents brought them into this world, but that does not give them the same Constitutional right to life that hardworking, natural-born Americans have earned.”
    Sources confirm Democrats may consider an abortion ban after 24 weeks, since the unborn child would be three-fifths of the way through a typical 40-week pregnancy by that point. “I really admire the idea of a 3/5 compromise,” said one Democrat senator. “America has used the 3/5 compromise before, when we were forced to admit that people who are property are still partially human. It worked really well.”

    Monday, January 29, 2018

    Notre Dame University Develops a Spine

     This is surprising, coming from the formerly Catholic University....

    The Fighting Irish have a bone to pick with Christopher Columbus.

    Notre Dame students are calling for the removal of 12 iconic murals, which honor the famous explorer and have been on campus since 1884.

    The students have reportedly teamed up with alumni, faculty and staff in an effort to get rid of the 19th Century paintings.

    “In this era of political divisiveness and a renewed rise of dangerous nationalism, it is time for Notre Dame to remove its own version of a Confederate monument,” the group wrote in an open letter last week that was published in the school newspaper, the Observer.
    “It is time for the murals to go.”

    The letter was sent to university president John Jenkins and accompanied by more than 340 signatures. Many of those who signed it were Native American and chose to list their tribe.
    “The 12 Luigi Gregori murals have adorned the main hall of Main Building for over 130 years, greeting millions of campus residents and visitors with a highly problematic vision of Western triumphalism, Catholic militarism and an overly romantic notion of American expansion,” the letter said, referencing the Italian artist and Notre Dame professor who painted the murals…

    Despite the outrage, Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown insists that the murals aren’t going anywhere.

    “No plans to remove them,” he told the IndyStar. “To try to remove them would in all likelihood destroy them.”

    But the protestors seemed so REASONABLE!

    Cardinal Cupich Must Be Out of Town

    CNA/EWTN News).- Occasionally, the liturgical calendar has a curious intersection with secular holidays.
    This year, Ash Wednesday—which begins the penitential season of Lent with a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer—falls on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.
    Valentine’s Day celebrates a third-century Christian martyr, but it has also become a celebration of romantic love, replete with with chocolates, fancy prix fixe menus, roses, and an overload of candy hearts.
    The Archdiocese of Chicago has clarified that Lent is more important than candy hearts, and suggested that Catholics pick some other day for paper hearts and Cupid’s arrows.
     statement released by the Archdiocese explained that Catholics will not be dispensed from the laws of fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday, and suggested that Catholics planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day could do so on Feb. 13th, which is also Mardi Gras.
    “The obligation of fast and abstinence must naturally be the priority in the Catholic community,” said the statement.
    “Valentine’s Day can appropriately be celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which also happens to be Mardi Gras, a traditionally festive time before beginning our Lenten observance.”

    INTENTIONALLY Funny Line of the Day

    From Father Z:
    As an avid reader of your blog please first be assured of my prayers. I recently attended an Engaged Encounter weekend in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the priest who said Mass had the couples surround him at the altar during the entirety of the Eucharistic Prayer. 
     In weakness my fiance and I did so during the first Mass but we remained kneeling in our pews during the second, I had hoped it was a one off thing.
    I approached the priest about it, after we had received our certificate of completion, and he gave me some unfortunate explanations including: historical accuracy, and it not being ruled out in the GIRM.

    I contacted the Archdiocese and received an unsatisfactory response. Namely a paragraph from the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum which says nothing about the issue at hand. I would be happy to provide you with the full email if you wish. I am looking for something to reply back with but all I can find is a dubium from the 1980’s that has a dubious web address, seemingly unofficial. Do you have anything I could respond with? I am frustrated and saddened.

    The response is from Father Tim Ferguson:

    The General Institution of the Roman Missal does not explicitly ban the faithful from gathering in the sanctuary during the Canon.
    Nor does it forbid the faithful from being fitted with wires and hovering above the altar, or laying on the floor underneath the table-altar, or standing amongst the statuary in the reredos. The rubric do not cover every absurdity.
    A presumption (perhaps a naïve one) is that the Church’s liturgy will be carried out by reasonable men.

    Read the whole thing.

    Pope Francis, Chairman Mao, and a Meme Walk Into a Bar

    If you don't get it, read this.

    Here's the original meme


    (Unintentional) Joke of the Day!

    .- On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced a proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people brought to the United States as children in exchange for increased funding for border security and for an end to “chain-migration” and diversity visa lottery policies.
    The plan is controversial, from both the left and the right. The right is concerned that Trump is backing away from his campaign promises and that this new pathway to citizenship effectively amounts to amnesty, whereas the left thinks the proposals are too “hard-line” and that the “Dreamers” are being used as pawns to advance an agenda.

    The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has a more nuanced take on the issue.

    No, seriously.

    So what is their nuanced position?

    In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Bill Canny, executive director of the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services Offices, said that while the bishops agree that border security is important, this proposal is only going to create animosity between Republicans and Democrats and will not improve the current situation for the “Dreamers.”

    “The bishops believe that it’s important the citizenry is protected, that our borders are secure, and that we don’t live in any fear,” said Canny.

    However, he was concerned that a “high amount” of money was being put into various enforcement measures that he doesn’t think would lead to any sort of progress or agreement.
    “The debate will not be fruitful” if the current proposal stands, he said. 

    Further, Canny said that he did not think it was right that the “plight of the Dreamers” was being used to push different restrictions on immigration.

    “We don’t believe it’s the right time to take up all of these issues. Stay focused on the Dreamers – we know border security is an issue.”

    As for the proposed restrictions on what’s being referred to as “chain migration” or “family reunification,” Canny believes that the updated definition of “family” – which prevents immigrants from sponsoring visas for their parents, siblings, or adult children – is “very troubling.”