Mary Ann Glendon - a Catholic with class and honor
By now everyone should know that Mary Ann Glendon, former Vatican ambassador, professor of law at Harvard and well known pro-life advocate has decided to decline the Laetare Medal being awarded to her by Notre Dame. In her letter
she explains that while she was very honored , she could not accept it given the controversy over the institution's decision to invite President Obama. She was clearly no happy being used as a "talking point" in ND press releases.
Glendon shows us all what a person of honor will do when confronted by such a situation. She chose the truth. She did not compromise with evil. She chose the good. She made clear the need to recognize the USCCB statement. She chose the beautiful. Since she considers the teachings of the Catholic Church to be the Good News announcing salvation, promoting life, and acknowledging Christ, she could not participate in an event that so mocked the sanctity of life, the meaning of the Good News or the one who died that all may be saved.
A noble woman.
post script: the Obama spokesperson came out with a rather lame statement.
As I have postulated, this episode is part of a serious long term effort by the Left to undermine the credibility and teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
We in Arizona knew she would be a disaster. We did not think it would happen so quickly. But then perhaps we gave her too much credit. The litany is impressive. She managed to insult Catholics, Christians and Evangelicals and unite us as we all call for her resignation.
Everyone pointed out the Obama Administration mistakes of protocol when addressing the queen of England, in giving tacky gifts to the British prime minister or the queen, of bowing before the sheik of Saudi Arabia, or any of the hundred other miscues of the young administration.
But when it came to covering up a reference to Christ Jesus on the wall at Georgetown University, the advance team was all over it. They asked Georgetown to cover up the initials "IHS" a Latin shorthand for "Jesus" so that it would not be seen when Obama spoke. And to the school's everlasting shame, it complied.
Now put aside for the moment why Georgetown should have the most pro-abortion president in American history to give an address at a Catholic university. Since when does a school dedicated to the proposition that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bend and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, willingly deny Him by covering a 2000 year symbol of His Name.
The school's disregard of the USCCB directive concerning the allowance and the honoring of pro-abortion politicians and celebrities could not be more obvious. and the failure of the local ordinary to act points out a serious problem that has faced the Catholic church for years.
But that is not the purpose of this post. Obama will bow to foreign kings but will not honor the King of Kings. Obama will acknowledge foreign dictators and potentate but will not acknowledge that this nation and its people have a heritage of acknowledging the Creator of the universe and is Christian at its roots.
Thus we see the priorities that the new president has set - decidedly secular anti-religious sentiment that finds its sympathies with its staff and his advance people who will ask this Catholic school cover up the name of Jesus.
But what can you expect from someone who thinks Abortion is acceptable even for his daughters?
500+ pray on Good Friday
Over 500 people prayed in front of Planned Parenthood in Phoenix on Good Friday in the annual Children of the Rosary Good Friday Rosary. Led by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, pro-lifers gathered from 12 noon to 3 pm to remember those who have been killed by the nation's number one killing organization. Planned parenthood was closed on Friday.
Activists tell me that the mill is now open on Sundays.
40 Days for Life covered this mill during its recent activities. with the recent effort concluded activists hope there will be a continued presence to offer help and hope for abortion minded women.
If you are interested in being a voice of hope, contact the Arizona Right to Life office for more details.
Reflections - Easter 2009
For those of us involved in the pro-life movement, whether actively through pro-life organizations or through our prayer efforts, or perhaps through occasional financial contributions, what ultimately motivates us is our concern for the other person. We may feel guilty; we may feel called; we may feel duty bound; but it is not about us. It is about the other. That other person may be seen in the unwed mother, the unborn baby, even the father of that baby, is but one factor. We may hope for those who wish to be parents but cannot. We may worry about the future of those touched by these events and how it impacts on family. We may even be looking at the effect the whole issue has on society, on culture on the nation. Finally our involvement may be a means of seeking our own forgiveness for acts that run contrary to our true nature.
But whatever motivates us, our love for life and our willingness to stand up for life takes a special meaning to those who believe in the Christ. for belief in the Resurrection gives us a powerful means of identifying the real struggle in the whole abortion issue. We realize that it is not just about politics, not just about changing the laws or even changing hearts, it is about who is honored and as the true source of all we have.
Acknowledging our dependence on Almighty God and recognizing the lordship of His Son Jesus Christ, odes not lessen our duty to involve ourselves in the public square. If anything it should compel us toward action and away from apathy. If anything it would give us strength when the forces of evil seem to have the upper hand. If anything it should give us a boldness to teach a message of love and life to a world that is struggling to appreciate its own reason for existence.
The world will not debate the issue on its merits. Those who oppose the right to life have long since resulted to lies and deceptions to gain their success. The strength of the opposition has always been in the apathy of those who claim to believe in Christ. Evil knows it can only triumph if those who are good do nothing. That has been the history of the whole human race.
So what does this mean for us on this Easter day in April 2009?
It means we must look inside ourselves and renew our personal commitment to life.
It means we must act out our pro-life commitment in our daily lives.
It means we must sacrifice for the greater good and support Arizona Right to Life with our time, our talent and our treasure.
It means we must connect with those who think that we can make a difference and then act to do so.
As believers it means we must be the hands of Christ, the feet of Christ, the arms of Christ and reach out to a suffering world, bringing the truth which will set captives free.
It means being a hero and saving lives.
Good Friday Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood - Noon
Each year on Good Friday Children of the Rosary invite Bishop Thomas Olmsted to lead those in attendance in prayer in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill at 4417 N 7th Ave (just north of Campbell Ave). All are invited to join in prayer as we pray for life in memory of the Our Lord's Passion and Crucifixion. The Rosary will begin at 12:00 noon.
Does Notre Dame's president think we are really that stupid?
I just read Fr. John Jenkins commentary
on the Bishop's 2004 statement declaring that Catholic institutions should not honor those who stand against the Church's teachings on the sanctity of human life. He claims that the document only refers to honoring or recognizing Catholics and that therefore it does not apply to Obama. He then makes the incredible statement that claims that just because the university is giving Obama a platform does not signal any support for the man's policies.
Here is the operative line that leaves one without words (or perhaps brings to minds words that are better left unsaid).
In addition, regardless of how one interprets the first sentence, the second is also important. It reads: "They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions. [My italics]" In every statement I have made about the invitation of President Obama and in every statement I will make, I express our disagreement with him on issues surrounding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research. If we repeatedly and clearly state that we do not support the President on these issues, we cannot be understood to "suggest support".Providing the commencement address at a prestigious university is an honor.
Bestowing an honorary degree of laws is by its very nature an honor. And does anyone find it interesting that Arizona State University is NOT conferring an honorary degree on Obama when he speaks at ASU this May?
Inviting a person to speak at commencement declares the appreciation and respect the university has for the person. It provides a "teaching" moment at an institution that is by its nature designed to teach. There is not "dialogue or conversation" with this person who thinks it is permissible in a civilized society to kill pre-born children. His goal is to continue to divide Catholics and other people of good will be talking out of both sides of his mouth on the single most important issue of the last 100 years.
Does Fr. Jenkins really believe that we do not see through his patronizing dribble? One would think that this fellow is smarter than that. Does he really think that hunkering down and attempting to ride this out is good for the Catholic Church, the nation, the university, the pro-life movement, his soul?
In a follow up blog, I will give Fr, Jenkins an exit strategy out of the mess he has manufactured. If he truly wants this day to be a "joyful" day for the graduates, then he had better figure out how to deal with the thousands of protesters who are guaranteed to show up on May 17.
In the meantime, continue to call the university switchboard every day and leave a message. Today Good Friday would be an especially appropriate time. After all we read about the betrayal of Christ, the suffering of Christ for the sake of sinful man, and the consequences of how sin can lead us away from the Gospel.
Nation's oldest abortion mill closes down
Perhaps there is a poetry in Rev. Walter Hoye being released from jail in Oakland yesterday and the announcement
that the nation's oldest abortion mill has closed its doors after 36 years.
Hoye was convicted and jailed for holding a sign outside an abortion mill in Oakland. The sign offered to help the mother and baby.
He is resting after being released. During his incarceration, he went on a water only fast.
As the Good Book says, some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.
Shelby Steele challenges status quo attitudes
In his March 16, 2009 article
in the Wall Street Journal, Shelby Steele, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, asks some very serious questions concerning the failure of the conservative movement and in particular the Republican Party to gain inroads in support from the minority community. Explaining that the common ground of conservative thinking did not provide the needed nexus, Steele takes us back to the era when identity politics began and explores how ingrained into the minority culture this identification had become.
"If you could at least seem to redeem America of its past sins, you could win enough moral authority to claim real political power.' He explained. It did not matter if you succeeded. It only mattered if you were perceived as "trying." Thus Steele gives us the underlying reason why for many minority voters, it does not matter that the ghettos are still filled with violence 50 years after the civil rights act. There is no demand to require accountability because the individual voter still completely identifies himself with the group. The Left has been able to avoid producing anything by fanning the flames of class warfare and identity politics thus always hearkening back to the past when minorities were being persecuted or segregated.
Steele then explains what drew him to conservatism.
What drew me to conservatism years ago was the fact that it gave discipline a slightly higher status than virtue. This meant it could not be subverted by passing notions of the good. It could be above moral vanity. And so it made no special promises to me as a minority. It neglected me in every way except as a human being who wanted freedom. Until my encounter with conservatism I had only known the racial determinism of segregation on the one hand and of white liberalism on the other -- two varieties of white supremacy in which I could only be dependent and inferior.
The appeal of conservatism is the mutuality it asserts between individual and political freedom, its beautiful idea of a free man in a free society. And it offers minorities the one thing they can never get from liberalism: human rather than racial dignity.
Human dignity. discipline. Hard work. Respect for the rights of the individual independent of class, race, sex, or political affiliation. Beginning from the moment one is conceived in liberty. This goal is only achieved when one starts with respect for the "right to life." Thus the ultimate survival of the race will only be achieved once it severs its embrace of identity politics. 35 per cent of the Black population is being decimated by abortion. Combine that statistic with the destruction of the family and the intact Black family is an anomaly. Black church leaders are probably the only ones practically identified and able to address the problem. In calling for a moral revival, and renewal of the Black America's historic appreciation for the integrity of the family and its relationship with the Gospel message, Black America can halt this erosion of its very being. Returning to its Christian heritage and bringing that back to the neighborhoods is the fist step to weaning itself off the government dependence and political prostitution. Those who live in the nation's inner cities must demand real education through private, charter and voucher designed program which will give real choices to the parents of minority children for the first time ever.
As for Hispanic communities they must not fall to the siren call of identity politics. The successful efforts by the Left to isolate and divide the Latino communities from their natural roots to faith and family are seen in the voting patterns of Latino legislators both in congress and among the state houses. While Latinos as whole are more philosophically and culturally conservative than their Anglo counterparts, their elected officials are much more liberal than their constituencies. Pro-life and pro-family organizations must go into these districts and find leaders who reflect the people's natural respect and love for life and family as well as the value of a free market system for those who have a strong work ethic.
The challenge is not just to the conservative movement. It is also to those who come from these communities. Steele discussed the Left's attempt to find the "lost innocence" in history, sort of a way to expunge of the past of its demons. But he more effective approach may be the Christian maxim that requires us to "forgive" our brother and make peace with those who did us harm. it would be far more effective in solving historic racial questions for this nation to recognize the fallen nature of man, his need for a Savior to "free us " from the chains of "sin," and thus allow the current generation to truly embrace the notion that each one of us has a dignity that can shout "Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
For it is only in the self understood pride of being a 'child' of God living in a free society, that we can look at the person next to us as our 'brother or sister,' embrace him or her as family, and begin the hard work of rebuilding the nation's walls.
Then we can thank our Father in Heaven for the blessings of liberty when we sing "God Bless America."
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with an abortionist. I will not go into details on the reasons why the conversation took place in order to protect confidences, but I ask you to pray for him and his family that he will come to appreciate the truth that we all hold about the value and importance of human life. As one might suspect, he thinks he is "helping" women. He wanted to understand why we in the pro-life movement hold to certain positions. He had some misunderstandings and prejudices not uncommon to those of a liberal political persuasion. But the conversation was cordial and I hope we can meet again to continue to this real dialogue. For the purpose of dialogue is to seek truth in matters of importance. That he would meet with me and have a cup of coffee with me may or may not be significant. He had no compelling reason to do so. Yet he did. I will not analyze for you the details of our conversation, but I will ask you to pray for him. Those of you who know me can be certain that I was my typical 'straight to the point' self and I suggested that he find another line of work. He seemed to enjoy the banter and was not put off by my assertions of the correctness of the pro-life argument.
So now you and I have to pray for him. Since his appreciation for the presence of the Divine in his life is not readily apparent, we must also ask the Good Lord to make himself a little more obvious in the man's life. In short, he is a classic post modern relativist. yet I think he is searching for something. Perhaps with out prayers, he will discover the beauty of truth - in life, in nature, in God.
In the mean time, pro-lifers should continue to make their peaceful prayerful presence known in front of all abortion clinics as we continue to offer the real hope and change these abortion minded women really want and desperately need.
Noted ND Law professor calls for Jenkins to step down over Obama mess
Professor Charles Rice, an icon of the Notre Dame Law school community, is quoted as suggesting that given the current crisis at Notre Dame concerning its invitation to have President Barack Obama speak at its commencement in May, this is a time for prayer. He also suggested that Fr. Jenkins should step down from hiss post as president of the university.
Given the reaction Jenkins has had to his decision to invite the most pro-abortion anti-Catholic
president in our nation's history, there is much wisdom in Professor Rice's remarks. It is clear that the decision to invite Obama was made without any real consideration to the pro-life question. It simply was not important.
Fr. Hugh Cleary, Jenkins Holy Cross superior in Rome, weighed in with his comments in a published letter earlier in the week. His statement from Rome was to put it mildly "pretty dumb."
He makes some syrupy statements about wanting to support Obama but not being able to do so because of Obama's position on abortion. Then he practically begs Obama to make this a "teachable" moment. He should be making this a "teachable" moment by teaching Obama that one does not honor a person who thinks so little of protecting innocent human life. Obama is not dumb. He knows the unborn child is a baby. He does not want laws to protect the unborn child.
I do not understand how these supposedly intelligent men cannot see the harm they are doing to the church, to the school and to the pro-life position. Oh and by the way Father Cleary, it isn't "a Catholic faith conviction that human life begins at conception." It is a position of the Catholic Church that she recognizes scientific facts and evidence and applies moral teachings to those facts. I am so tired of reading that the Catholic Church "believes" that human life begins at conception. "Belief" has nothing to do with acknowledging medical facts.
The president and his aides have an agenda inimical to Catholic principles and beliefs. I am tired of reading people "praising" the president for his "monumental" achievement in becoming the first Black president. After all I thought we were all past this "race" thing. Let's look at the "content of his character," to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. Lets start with his attitude toward innocent human beings in the womb. This guy (Obama) thinks it is permissible for an industry (abortion) that helped fund his campaign to kill these people (unborn babies). And we are all suppose to be polite about this.
It is a little embarrassing that to date just fifteen bishops had had the testicular fortitude to address this matter (But then the USCCB fumbled the ball last year prior to the election regarding the document "Faithful Citizenship" (or allowed the fix), completely dropped the ball on the priest homosexual scandal that has scarred the Church and her people, and otherwise acted with a certain timidity as to crucial issues). Of course the Catholic laity has not been acting any better. A sizable portion of Catholics ignore Church teachings on the fundamentals; Many approach our walk with Christ with a "what's in it for me" attitude; many are unwilling to sacrifice or even attempt discipline in order to advance the Gospel; and many certainly do not want to tell anyone what they can or cannot do - even if the action is destructive to all involved. Archbishop Chaput commented upon the lack of concern and the consequences of such apathy.
This is not unique to the catholic Church. Many Christian communities are unwilling to address the serious issues of the day out of fear of what it would do to the collection plate or the size off its congregation.
But the symbolism her with the Notre Dame situation is unique. Just as the speech by Mario Cuomo in 1984
gave cover to pro-abortion Catholics, just as the pro-abortion votes of Robert Drinan helped cause the demise of pro-life Democrats, just as the flipping of Jesse Jackson buried efforts in the 1980s to build a civil rights component among pro-lifers wit the Black community. so this effort by Obama to speak at the most prestigious catholic university in America is an effort to forever divide the member so f the Catholic community on abortion. Fortunately over 240,000 people have signed the online petition objecting to the invitation. fortunately there will be a massive demonstration at the university if Jenkins does not rescind the invitation or Obama does not see that his operatives have overplayed their hand. Already there has been a drop in the popular support for the president.among those Catholics who voted for Obama thinking that he was "moderate" in his views on abortion.
Jenkins exercised poor judgment. Not just in his invitation to have this pro-abortion extremist speak on the campus of a Catholic university, but in failing to appreciate the impact of such an invitation. Many have suggested that it would be the equivalent of inviting George Wallace to speak during the 1960s when blacks were seeking passage of the Civil Rights Amendment or after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Can one imagine the outcry if Fr. Jenkins equivalent had in May of 1969, following the death of King, invited a known racist to address the commencement accept an honorary degree. Barack Obama is to abortion what George Wallace was to racism.
Professor Charles Rice is correct. Jenkins should step down. And the school should do 40 days of penance in reparation for its historic complicity in the sin of abortion.