The Catholic Media Coalition praised the Catholic bishops of the United States today for their unanimous call to defend the First Amendment freedom of religion guaranteed to religious institutions and people of faith. The Obama administration’s mandate requiring religious institutions to provide contraception including abortifacients and requiring individuals to participate in health plans covering these moral evils is a direct assault on the First Amendment freedom of religion and the free exercise clause.
Mary Ann Kreitzer, President, CMC president, said, “We join with our bishops in opposing the administration’s unprecedented assault on religious rights and freedom of conscience. The HHS mandate does not just impact Catholics, but every religious institution and individual who acts from deeply-held faith-based beliefs. Many of our forefathers fled the old world because of religious persecution. They established a new world where the right to worship God was respected and protected as an unalienable right. The Founders of this nation would be appalled at the abject tyranny of the Obama administration. As faithful laity, we stand in solidarity with our bishops and demand an end to the HHS mandate. There is no compromise that can make it acceptable to Catholics.”
Among the statements of the bishops applauded were the many letters read in dioceses throughout the country calling on the Catholic faithful to oppose the mandate and particularly the letter to the U.S. Bishops from USCCB head, Cardinal Timothy Dolan:
This is not just about contraception, abortion-causing drugs, and sterilization—although all should recognize the injustices involved in making them part of a universal mandated health care program. It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all. If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded.
CMC joins Cardinal Dolan in affirming that the issue is not simply contraception or abortion, but “religious liberty for all.” We call on all Catholics to stand in solidarity with our spiritual shepherds to protect the rights of people of conscience.
Below is the text of the diocesan statement concerning a demonstration outside the Berkeley Roman Catholic parish, St. Joseph the Worker that was orchestrated to greet Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Diocese of Oakland when he came to officiate at a June 2011 Confirmation Mass.
A scheduled visitation by Bishop Cordileone to St. Joseph the Worker parish in Berkeley took place the weekend of June 18-19. Parish visitations provide the bishop and parish opportunities to worship and visit together. The bishop also meets with parish and school leadership and reviews important parochial matters. Some parishioners and others used this occasion to conduct demonstrations about concerns they have with the pastor, Fr. John Direen.
On Saturday June 18, the bishop and pastor met with the parish pastoral and finance councils, the catechists, and members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Legion of Mary. Fr. Direen also scheduled a special evening meeting with the bishop for representatives of those who have concerns about the parish.
Throughout the weekend concerns stated were with: (1) Fr. Direen’s decision to ask pastor emeritus Fr. George Crespin to move from the parish; (2) decisions made over time related to parish administration; (3) the direction and future of the parish; (4) controversy around meeting with protestors on Sunday.
Subsequent media coverage of the weekend and other commentary require the Diocese to state certain facts clearly, related to the above matters:
1. Fr. Direen became pastor in July 2009 and Fr. Crespin, pastor emeritus, continued living in the rectory. From the beginning, Fr. Direen experienced lack of cooperation from Fr. Crespin which caused many pastoral difficulties. Some of these difficulties include: failure to observe the necessary steps to insure the valid and licit celebration of the sacraments (especially marriage); refusal to discontinue certain irregularities in the celebration of the sacraments so as to conform to the liturgical standards set by the Church, such as not allowing penitents the option of confessing anonymously in the sacrament of Reconciliation and communicating the Eucharist to extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion in the manner of concelebrating priests; and refusal to follow parish procedures in the scheduling of sacraments and other special ceremonies (baptisms, weddings, quiceañera celebrations, etc.) and in the preparation of people for these sacraments.
After increasingly poor pastoral coordination, Fr. Direen spoke with Fr. Crespin in early June and told him that the living arrangement was not working out, and it would be best if he left the rectory by the end of summer, keeping the sacramental and ceremonial commitments he had made up to that point. At the Masses he celebrated shortly thereafter, Fr. Crespin criticized the pastoral leadership of Fr. Direen, telling the parishioners they deserved a better pastor than the one they currently have and suggesting that they may want to start looking for another parish. As a result, Fr. Direen sent Fr. Crespin a letter asking him to leave the rectory by June 30.
2. There was no parish pastoral council at St. Joseph the Worker parish until the pastor who immediately succeeded Fr. Crespin appointed one himself. The next pastor kept this council in place, and this is the council Fr. Direen inherited when he became pastor. Over time, some members left the council and were replaced by invitation of the council. This year other members were terming out and, by mutual agreement, the council termed out together in March.
Fr. Direen then appointed an interim parish council with a charge to decide the method and timing of determining new members of council for the future. The interim group met for the first time on May 9, and Bishop Cordileone met with them during his visitation.
There was no finance council when Fr. Direen arrived. He decided to wait for the scheduled parish financial audit before establishing this council. He recently appointed three members who met for the first time on May 16, and there are plans to expand the membership of this council. Bishop Cordileone met with this group during his visitation as well.
3. There are many challenges for the parish at this time, including a large debt incurred prior to Fr. Direen’s arrival, largely due to retrofitting expenses. However, Fr. Direen is strongly committed to improving the financial position of the parish. There have been recent staff reductions caused by the need to cut expenses. The parish now relies on dedicated volunteers for most administrative and ministry functions. Also, the income of the parish from the Sunday collections has not changed significantly over the past several years.
There has been no discussion or suggestion at any time, at any level, about closing the parish. Parish finances are detailed on the parish web site. It is also not true, as has been asserted, that Fr. Direen is responsible for the closing of two parishes in previous assignments. Prior to his assignment to St. Andrew-St. Joseph parish, the Diocese had already begun a process to consider merging that parish with the Cathedral parish; Fr. Direen was sent to St. Andrew-St. Joseph with the understanding that this was a likely possibility.
Also contrary to recent commentary, no ministries or committees at St. Joseph the Worker have been disbanded, dismissed or displaced. A conference room in the public area of the rectory was converted into a gift shop, in the hope of raising revenue for the parish. To accommodate, Fr. Direen moved out of the pastor’s suite into a smaller resident’s room, and the suite was converted into a conference room for larger groups to meet. Because this is in the private area of the rectory, such groups are always accompanied by a resident of the rectory. There remains a smaller meeting room in the public area of the rectory. Fr. Direen is committed to building and strengthening all parish ministries.
4. The chronology of events surrounding the protest which took place on Sunday June 19 is as follows:
Certain community activists in Berkeley called for a protest in front of the church on Sunday, June 19. An estimated 150 people turned out to protest, including parishioners and non-parishioners, Catholics and non-Catholics. The protestors were peaceful and unobtrusive at first.
Bishop Cordileone presided at the Spanish language Mass at 11:00am. Afterwards, while greeting attendees after Mass and before preparing for the Ge’ez Rite liturgy with the Eritrean community, the bishop was confronted inside the church by a group of protestors.
This group insisted he stop what he was doing and come outside to speak to the crowd. Sensing a growing frenzy among the protestors, the bishop told them this was not the time or the place to do so. He told them he had met the night before with their representatives, and would be willing to do so again with others under the proper conditions.
Protestors continued to crowd into the church, effectively obstructing the entrance and speaking very loudly. The bishop asked them to leave the church so the Eritrean liturgy could begin, but they refused to do so.
When the bishop went up to the sanctuary to await the start of the liturgy, a significant number of the protestors, including some non-Catholics, entered the church carrying their placards with the stated intention of attending the liturgy themselves.
Fearing a disruption but not wanting to presume bad faith, the bishop suggested that the police be called and be informed that there may be a disruption of a worship service in the church. The pastor then called the police, who decided to send two officers to the site. Upon arrival the officers asked the pastor if he wanted them to arrest anyone; he told them no, and instead asked them to simply inform the people that he had the right to ask them to leave the church if he so chose because they were disrupting the start of the liturgy.
At the same time, the Eritrean community, seeing what was going on, did not want to enter the church. Instead, they assembled in the chapel off of the vestibule and their celebrant, Fr. Ghebriel, decided to celebrate the liturgy there.
In order to join the Eritreans, and to avoid possible obstruction by the protestors, the bishop had to leave the church from the sacristy and proceed to the back of the church from outside.
Given the tension of the situation and the uncertainty of maintaining peaceful order during or after the liturgy, the pastor consulted with the two police officers present, and it was decided that the safest action was to clear the church completely. The people inside then exited the church except for one, who insisted on attending the liturgy (as no arrests were made, the individual did remain and joined the congregation without disruption). After the people left the church, the Eritreans outside joined the others in the chapel for the liturgy already in progress.
The liturgy with the Eritrean community then continued peacefully, although the space in the chapel was not large enough to accommodate everyone in attendance.
(To read CalCatholic’s original story about the incident, Click Here.)
June 25, 2011 Members of the Catholic Media Coalition reacted with sorrow and anger over news of a demonstration outside the Berkeley Roman Catholic parish, St. Joseph the Worker that was orchestrated to greet Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Diocese of Oakland when he came to officiate at a June 2011 Confirmation Mass.
According to recent reports, this shameful action was, at least in some measure, organized to protest the pastor of St. Joseph the Worker, Reverend John Direen’s closing of a rectory conference room to the Berkeley Organizing Committee for Action (BOCA). BOCA is an affiliate of the Alinskyian organizing network PICO and, together with its sister organizations, is engaged in progressive, political activity.
For years, members of the Catholic Media Coalition have been researching and writing about Alinskyian organizing among religious institutions. The Alinskyian organizing networks have their roots in the dissenting Call to Action movement and foster liberation theology in their member congregations. The protesters in front of the parish have been trained in the tactics of protest and to claim as “rights” what have only been privileges.
We are grateful to the Bishop of Oakland and to the Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker for their stanch defense of the Faith.
Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving , many Catholic parishes take up a second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
Recognize that organization? If you don’t, you should. Here’s why:
Until 2008, CCHD had been funding ACORN for several years, giving over $7 million to the corrupt organization. The same organization that is being investigated for voter fraud, embezzlement, and other wrongdoing was recently caught in undercover videos in recent months helping a pimp and prostitute set up a business and traffic underage girls for prostitution.
It doesn’t end there. CCHD has funded groups that openly oppose the Church’s teachings, including:
· Young Workers United – supports abortion rights, legalized prostitution and gay marriage.
· The Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) – supports abortion rights and gay marriage, actively urging its members to vote against Prop 8 in California, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.
· People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) – currently campaigning for the a version of healthcare reform, which has government-funding of abortion and does not protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who decline to perform or refer for abortions.
Learn more from the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry’s exposition of CCHD-funded groups. For more information and for the CCHD’s response to these charges, click here.
The CCHD has not directly funded abortion, or any explicitly anti-Catholic project to our knowledge. It has also funded groups which legitimately serve and represent the poor and marginalized.
But it is hard to believe repeated assurances that the CCHD always carefully vets its grantees given both its history and its continued funding of groups which openly oppose the Catholic Church’s teachings on social justice, family and life issues. This must stop.
Do you want your money going to the CCHD on November 22nd?
It’s time that we sent the CCHD a message.
Will you join us?
This year, instead of cash or a check, download and print out this coupon and put it in the November 22nd annual CCHD special collection at your parish. The coupon explains that your financial support will resume once the CCHD demonstrates that it will work only directly support groups that are in agreement with Catholic teaching on social, family and life issues.
Sign up to receive updates on this campaign by clicking the REFORM CCHD ICON in the upper left corner of this page, get informed about the history of the CCHD scandal, find out about groups that are serving and representing the poor in an authentically Christian way, and spread the word to all faithful Catholics that we will no longer subsidize groups which do not support Catholic teaching on social justice, family and life issues.
Why I Don’t Contribute to Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Thursday, October 22, 2009
In violation of the strict rule that any discussion using “Nazi” as a simile for anything is immediately ceded, let me ask what Nazism, American slavery, and abortion have in common.
The answer is that they all deny(ied) the personhood of one group of human beings with the consequence that the “right to life” of the depersonalized group lies (or lay) in the power of those with legal status.
Which is why I won’t be contributing to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development – not this year or any year that one penny goes toward the support of any Alinskyian organizing network, such as the Industrial Areas Foundation, PICO, Gamaliel, DART, and the now disgraced and defunded ACORN… not to mention smaller networks and the hundreds of affiliate groups they spawn.
The links between the Alinskyian organizing networks and abortion are indirect but serious. It isn’t that the local Alinskyian organization will say “we’re supporting abortion rights” but that they are promoting (for example) Obama’s universal, government health care, despite its abortion-supportive components or that they’ll support a pro-abortion politician because he supports a pet program. The politically progressive Alinskyian organizing networks don’t have to include abortion “rights” in their platform to be supportive them.
And there’s an additional Culture of Death problem in all this, namely the indeterminate political “relationship” created by this particular ecumenical fellowship. To take an example, consider the institutional members of the Alinskyian organization, VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). VOICE is an Arlington, Virginia affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation network and has about 39 institutional members – only institutions can join, not individual people – as well as another 7 who are in an “exploratory commitment” with the group. All are religious bodies.
Of those religious bodies, 11 are Catholic and presumably adhere to Catholic teaching about the intrinsic evil of abortion. The rest are predominantly from denominational scions – progressive break-aways from mainline religious “traditions”– that support abortion.
For instance, since 1971, the United Church of Christ has affirmed a woman’s right to access to safe and legal abortion. There are three United Church of Christ congregations in VOICE.
In 1978, Unitarian Universalists declared a “right” to contracept and abort. There are 5 Unitarian Universalists congregations involved with VOICE.
The conservative and reform branches of Judaism support a woman’s “choice” to abort and have 3 congregations in VOICE. The 5 Presbyterian members of VOICE are Presbyterian Church USA congregations. The Presbyterian Church USA also affirms a woman’s “choice.” United Methodists support the legal option of abortion…and there are 5 United Methodist congregations in VOICE.
Baptists have no centralized institutional authority, meaning there’s a good bit of variation from congregation to congregation. Their larger groupings, called conventions, do tend to group themselves into “progressive” or “traditional” camps. One “progressive” camp, for example, would be the New Baptist Convention founded by Jimmy Carter in 2008, about which The Washington Post writes gives “moderate Baptists a stronger collective voice and could provide Democrats a greater entrance into the Baptist community.” [Alan Coopeman, “Carter, Clinton Seek to Bring Together Moderate Baptists,” Washington Post, 1-21-07] Of the 8 Baptist congregations of VOICE, most seem to belong to the National Baptist Convention, which is divided on the abortion issue.
The Episcopal Church USA Executive Council formally made the Episcopal Church a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in 1986. There are 2 Episcopalian congregations in VOICE.
The one African Methodist Episcopal congregation in VOICE, if it is consistent with other AME thought, laments abortion but argues it must be legally available for cases of rape, incest, and the “freedom to make reproductive choices.”
As for the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, VOICE’s single Muslim member, it may or may not be anti-abortion but its pro-life credentials are questionable. Paul Sperry, in his book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington, writes: “Heading deeper into falls Church on Leesburg Pike for about another mile takes you to the next place of interest on the Wahhabi corridor: Dar Al Hijrah, the hard-line Wahhabi mosque where Hazmi and other hijackers from the Pentagon cell worshipped and received aid and comfort. He and other hijackers were ministered to there by an iman who encourages violent jihad and martyrdom.”
So the question is, why is the pro-life Catholic Church in a political coalition with pro-death denominations rather than other pro-life denominations? Before you answer too quickly, imagine that rather than openly supporting “woman’s right to choose,” they supported a white man’s “right” to lynch?
I suggest that if the latter situation seems clear-cut, that if pro-life churches would never consider entering into any open-ended coalition with pro-slavery organizations, they have no business in a coalition with pro-aborts either. Groups that, as a matter of institutional policy, depersonalize other human beings so that the literal life is at stake, are dangerous.
Which is why, I suspect, that one reads of Catholics around the United States organizing boycotts of the CCHD. Mary Ann Kreitzer, president of Les Femmes in Diocese of Arlington, where VOICE is active, writes, “The pretense that ending [CCHD] funding to ACORN has eliminated the scandal is ridiculous when you consider that many of the other community organizing groups receiving money operate exactly like ACORN does and are engaging in the same type of liberal lobbying. …Why are millions being funneled to secular groups that often have an agenda diametrically opposed to the Church?”
For our good, and the good of all His Church: Our family joins with Mary Ann Kreitzer, President of the Catholic Media Coalition, in pleading with Archbishop Nienstedt and Fr. Tegeder to disallow the July 15th meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform at St. Edwards Catholic Church, in Bloomington, Minnesota.
[Ed. Note:Click Here for background on these dissident group(s), its danger to Church unity, and information on how you can help defend your family’s faith.]
Her letters to the Archbishop and Pastor at St. Edward’s follow:
You no doubt have had many concerned Catholics contacting you about the meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) scheduled at St. Edward’s in Bloomington tomorrow evening, July 15th, from 7-9 PM. I recently read your excellent statement warning Catholics about this group and I want to thank you for your concern and express my great hope that you will not allow this.
I just sent an email to Fr. Tedeger, but there hasn’t been time for him to respond. I hope he will do the right thing and cancel the meeting of his own volition, but if he does not, Your Excellency, I beg you to take action to prevent this scandal from taking place.
I’m a mother of five and grandmother of 18. I have watched since my marriage in 1970 the devastation to the faith caused by the disobedience of priests and religious abusing their authority and fostering dissent. As a parent I saw my children damaged by the example of teachers who disdained certain aspects of the faith. My husband and I fought these things when they occurred to minimize the scandal, but what a source of pain and suffering. It made our job exponentially more difficult, especially when the dissent came from authorities in our own parish.
Your Excellency, the faithful are so in need of shepherds who will protect us from heresy and error. Please don’t allow this meeting to take place.
“The first law of history is not to dare to utter falsehood; the second, not to fear to speak the truth.”
Pope Leo XIII
Dear Fr. Tegeder:
I just became aware of the meeting of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) scheduled for your parish tomorrow, July 15th. You must not be aware of this meeting, Father or you certainly would stop it, so I thought it was imperative to let you know.
CCCR is affiliated with a large group of dissent organizations that are working to promote an American Catholic Council at Pentecost in 2011( or sooner). Among them are Catholics for Choice (formerly Catholic for a Free Choice, a radically pro-abortion group) and homosexual activist groups like Dignity and New Ways Ministries. Many of these organizations are listed as member groups on the CCCR website and also on the site for the American Catholic Conference. Their agenda is clearly opposed to the Church on many levels.
You are no doubt aware of Archbishop Nienstedt’s statement about the group:
The “Catholic Coalition for Church Reform” is a self appointed group that is advocating changes that are in direct conflict with the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. This group has no affiliation with the Archdiocese or its parishes.
I hope you are as concerned as I (and many others) are about this potential scandal in your parish. Please do not allow this meeting to go on tomorrow night.
OPEN LETTER TO THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES:
REFORM THE CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
On November 5 the American people elected the most liberal candidate in the history of our country who has promised to advance abortion and same‐sex “marriage.” Sadly, his accomplishment could only be achieved with the active cooperation of millions of Catholic voters. What is particularly appalling, however, is that millions of Catholic dollars were funneled directly into liberal coffers through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). The fraud and financial mismanagement of ACORN was exposed recently and we applaud the CCHD suspension of grants for that organization. However, ACORN’s behavior was longstanding and every bishop in the country received detailed information ten years ago about their problematic agenda. Yet the vetting process at CCHD was apparently so lax that this agency received millions of dollars while they were engaging in immoral actions that directly conflict with Catholic teaching. Many other grant recipients follow the same model as ACORN. The Industrial Areas Foundation, Gamaliel, PICA, and others embrace the identical immoral philosophy that fueled the ACORN scandal. Alinskyite community organizations share 30‐50% of the CCHD pie. The faithful in the pew who believe they are helping the poor actually assist groups that network with enemies of the Church using immoral tactics to force government and private organizations to embrace their questionable goals. Those goals often directly attack the family, especially its weakest members, which has a devastating impact on the poor.
We respectfully call on the Conference of Bishops to reform the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) so that it truly aids the poor instead of channeling money into liberal groups that work with those advancing abortion, same‐sex marriage, and other moral evils. It is a serious wrong that Catholics in the pew who believe their donations help the poor are unknowingly funding a leftwing liberal agenda that opposes the dignity of the human person. We respectfully suggest the following actions with regard to CCHD:
That the CCHD grant process be frozen and 2008 grants be suspended until a complete review and overhaul of the campaign can be conducted
That all donations be placed in safe interest‐bearing accounts during the process
That the grant application process be thoroughly studied and new policies developed that ensure only organizations that follow Catholic moral principles, i.e., pro‐life, profamily, pro‐marriage, and pro‐biblical morality be eligible for grants
That the principle of subsidiarity be honored in the grant process
That ACORN, the Industrial Areas Foundation and other Alinsky‐style community organizations that follow immoral principles of action be permanently banned from receiving grants
That groups networking and interfacing with groups that advance pro‐abortion, prohomosexual policies be permanently banned from funding
That whenever possible Catholic organizations be given preference over secular groups
The Catholic Media Coalition has developed a DVD and brochure which may be downloaded from our website, http://www.catholicmediacoalition.org. Be assured of our prayers as you carry out the difficult duties of shepherding the flock.
The political stakes in the upcoming Presidential election are enormous for our country. For all Christians, the most significant moral clash is between the platforms of the REPUBLICANS and the DEMOCRATS on the issue of abortion:
REPUBLICANS are staunchly pro-life. John McCain, the Republican Presidential candidate, has unequivocally announced that “human life begins at conception” and must be protected. His running mate, Sarah Palin, has forcefully demonstrated this same belief in raising her family of five children, most recently including her infant son born this past April with Down’s Syndrome. Despite her advance knowledge of his medical problem and the medical profession’s recommendation to abort the baby, she adamantly chose to bring him to term.
DEMOCRATS support abortion as a woman’s “right to choose” to murder her unborn child. Barack Obama, the Democrats’ Presidential candidate, is militantly “pro-choice,” to the extent of having once voted against a law requiring a doctor to save the life of a child that survived the abortion he had just performed, a living breathing child on the operating table in front of him. Consider the implications of that vote in the infanticide as carried out this past April in an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. There the attending Licensed Practical Nurse, Tina Davis, gave this testimony about a botched procedure performed by circuit-rider Abortionist Shelley Sella:
“Ms. Davis gave us a very specific eye-witness account about the incident,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We were told that the baby was 35 weeks gestation at the time of the abortion. The baby came out and was moving. Sella looked up at Ms. Davis, then picked up a utensil and stabbed the baby in the left ribcage, twisting the utensil until the baby quit moving. At 35 weeks (over 8 months), there is no doubt about viability. This is murder in anybody’s book.”
The problem of abortion is overwhelming. Since the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 making legal this moral evil, more than 50,000,000 (50 million) abortions have been performed in the United States alone. Consider the magnitude of that number. It is more than 16,000 times the 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. It is more than 8 times the 6,000,000 Jews killed by Adolf Hitler in the Holocaust of the 1940’s during the Second World War.
Obama is the most pro-abortion member of the Senate, with his straight A+ report card from the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood. He supports the late-term procedure known as partial-birth abortion to end the life of the baby even as it is exiting the birth canal. Michelle Obama signed fundraising letters pledging that, if elected, her husband would be “tireless” in keeping legal this “legitimate medical procedure.” Barack did not let his militants down. When the Supreme Court upheld the Congressional ban on this barbaric procedure, Barack denounced the court for denying “equal rights for women.”
Obama has stated in his book, Audacity of Hope, that he would erase the Judeo-Christian backdrop from America’s history in order to meld all religions as one, just as his atheist mother believed. Obama admitted in his recent interview with Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren that he did not agree with the Christian understanding that life begins at conception, because “it was above his pay grade.” His selection of Joseph Biden as his running mate compounded the problem. Biden, a self-described Catholic, is at odds with the highest levels of his Catholic Faith because he has supported Roe vs. Wade for many years.
Pope Benedict, during his April visit to Washington, D.C. spoke of the need to practice faith in public life: “Christians are easily tempted to conform themselves to the spirit of the age. We have seen this emerge in an acute way in the scandal given by Catholics who promote an alleged right to abortion.” And just this August, Archbishop Raymond Burke-the equivalent of Chief Justice of the Vatican’s Supreme Court-said Holy Communion should be refused to “a public official who knowingly and willingly supports actions which publicly promote procured abortion, which is the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life.”
Biden falsely claims that that the doctrine of the Catholic Church is broad enough to include those, like himself, who support abortion. Biden claims a personal opposition to abortion that he is unwilling to follow in his public life and thus falls into this category. He now faces the possibility not only of alienating Catholics, but also of being refused Communion on the campaign trail. As Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, the preeminent Catholic laymen’s fraternal organization, has stated, “The problem-for Catholics and evangelicals alike-is that a ticket whose politics appear to trump moral reasoning is not a compelling ticket. Catholics and evangelicals are looking for candidates who share their core values, not just pews or holy water.” In addition, Catholics, indeed, all people, need to understand that union with God means opposition to evil.
BISHOP WENSKI’S SUPPORT OF THE PRO-LIFE CAUSE
The Editors of The Orlando Truth wish to compliment Bishop Wenski and recognize his courage in coming to the defense of human life at all stages beginning from conception. Bishop Wenski issued the following Pastoral Letter which truly educates his flock in the eternal truths of the authentic Catholic Faith. Moreover, he was willing to back up his words with his action of personally attending the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 3 to give the PRAYER INVOCATION for the evening and to provide his moral support for the pro-life cause. Keep up the good work, Bishop!
The highlights of his Pastoral Letter are presented below:
Faithful Citizenship: Abortion – September 2008
In late August, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, appeared on Meet the Press. In order to justify her support of abortion as a Catholic, she misrepresentedthe history and the nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion. On behalf of all the bishops, Cardinal Rigali, chair of our committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop Lori, chair of our committee on Doctrine, issued a statement refuting Ms. Pelosi’s attempt to justify the unjustifiable. No one can legitimately argue that support for abortion can be reconciled with the moral teachings of the Church. In their statement, the bishops quote succinctly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “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.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2271)
Last month, I too had to issue a clarification by means of a letter to the editor that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel on August 16th concerning an article in that same newspaper on August 13th that suggested that “Catholic leaders” viewed the Democratic Party Platform’s “abortion plank” in a positive light. In fact, many would argue that the plank this year was more extreme than the party’s previous endorsements of “reproductive rights.”
I wrote: “…(The bishops) are the ones who speak as the leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States-and not political operatives for one party or another who happen to be Catholic. In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops wrote that ‘opposing intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions…’ As we bishops wrote: ‘The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.’ ”
Catholics in public life…must act seriously and responsibly on many important moral issues. Our faith has an integral unity that calls Catholics to defend human life and human dignity whenever they are threatened…Abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right-the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess.
As Pope John Paul II wrote in Christifideles Laici, “…(T)he common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture-is false and illusory if the right to life…is not defended with maximum determination…The human being is entitled to such rights, in every phase of development from conception until natural death; and in every condition, whether healthy or sick, whole or handicapped, rich or poor.” (#38)
Bishops do not endorse candidates or parties. We do not tell people for whom they should vote. We say that Catholics should vote their consciences-and public officials who are Catholic should always act in accord with their own consciences. But, we insist that one’s conscience must be consistent with fundamental moral principles. As members of the Church, all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the Church. That so many Catholics in public life hold positions on human life-like Representative Pelosi and Senator Biden-not coherent with their Catholic faith and yet, at the same time, declare themselves to be “good Catholics,” is a scandal.
But the Democratic standard bearers-in reaction to the Sarah Palin nomination-are seemingly intent on making this election a referendum on defending abortion “rights.” If they do, a Catholic with a well formed conscience would be hard pressed to find any “serious” and “grave” reasons to justify voting for them.
The above Pastoral Letter from Bishop Wenski is totally consistent with the teaching of our Church’s Magisterium; namely, the requirement that our bishops teach doctrine in union with the Pope, as can be noted from the 2004 statement of Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops shown below:
“Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion or euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be alegitimate diversityof opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, butnot however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
“As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has stated regarding the participation of Catholics in political life: The lay Catholic’s duty to be morally coherent is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives: on the one hand, the so-called ‘spiritual life’ with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called ‘secular life,’ that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.”
Respect Life is the Most Fundamental Issue
The Catholic Church does not endorse particular candidates or political parties. However, it has a responsibility to help people form their consciences properly, particularly with regard to fundamental moral issues. The Pro-Life cause is not merely a single issue among competing issues of equal value, such as health care, the economy, foreign policy and immigration. The Pro-Life issue is the dominant issue above all others, because without the right to life, all other issues are meaningless. The following quotations should help to underscore that essential fact:
ABORTION-NOT A GLOBAL ETHICAL HERITAGE
“Some Catholic elected officials have adopted the argument that, while they personally oppose evils like abortion, they cannot force their religious views onto the wider society. This is seriously mistaken on several key counts. First, regarding abortion, the point when human life begins is not a religious belief but a scientific fact-a fact on which there is clear agreement even among leading abortion advocates. Second, the sanctity of human life is not merely Catholic doctrine but part of humanity’s global ethical heritage, and our nation’s founding principle. Finally, democracy is not served by silence. Most Americans would recognize the contradiction in the statement, ‘While I am personally opposed to slavery or racism or sexism I cannot force my personal view on the rest of society.’ Real pluralism depends on people of conviction struggling vigorously to advance their beliefs by every ethical and legal means at their disposal.” US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, 1998, n. 24
THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE
“It is impossible to advance human dignity by being ‘right’ on issues like poverty and immigration, but being wrong about the most fundamental issue of all-the right to life.” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN LIFE
“We, the four Bishops of Massachusetts…wish to underscore the absolute centrality of the first issue, the protection of human life. Support and promotion of abortion by any candidate is always wrong and can never be justified. We will never cease to denounce abortion and euthanasia and teach all Catholics that to support those positions is to support death over life.” His Eminence, Bernard Cardinal Law, Most Reverend Thomas Dupre, Most Reverend Sean O’Malley, Most Reverend Daniel Reilly
ABORTION-A DECISIVE ISSUE
“Abortion is a decisive issue tied to the United States upcoming elections…Poverty can be dealt with progressively, but the death of a child is immediate.” Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, October 2000
ABORTION MUST TAKE PRECEDENCE
“Abortion is the issue this year and every year in every campaign…The taking of human life is so heinous, so horribly evil, and so absolutely opposite to the law of Almighty God that abortion must take precedence over every other issue. I repeat: It is the single most important issue confronting not only Catholics, but also the entire electorate.” Most Reverend James C. Timlin, D.D., Bishop of Scranton, 2000
ABORTION-AN INTRINSIC EVIL
“As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on aissue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.” US Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, 2007
A WELL-FORMED CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE
“It must be noted also that a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine.” Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
NOT JUST ANOTHER ISSUE
“The direct intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.” US Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, 2007
NOT A MATTER OF INDIVIDUAL CHOICE
“There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. Such actions are so deeply flawed that they are always opposed to the authentic dignity of persons. These are called ‘intrinsically evil’ actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion and euthanasia…It is a mistake with grave moral consequence to treat the destruction of human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed.” US Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility, 2007
ABORTION-A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE
“Senator Obama’s answer to the ills of society, including continued tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, is diametrically opposed to everything that African Americans truly believe and is anathema to the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We can talk about poverty; we can talk about incarceration. However, if we are not allowed to live, we will never encounter those issues. Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.” Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
PRO-ABORTION-IS THIS WHAT OBAMA MEANS?
“When we do a suction curettage abortion, you know, roughly one of three things is going to happen during the abortion. One would be that the catheter, as it approaches the fetus, you know, tears it and kills it at that instant inside the uterus. The second would be that the fetus is small enough and the catheter is large enough that the fetus passes through the catheter and either dies in transit as it’s passing through the catheter or dies in the suction bottle after it’s actually all the way out.
“When you’re doing a dismemberment D&E, usually the last part to be removed is the skull itself and it’s floating free inside the uterine cavity…So it’s rather like a ping-pong ball floating around and the surgeon is using his forcep to reach up to try to grasp something that’s freely floating around and is quite large relative to the forcep we’re using. So typically there’re several misdirections, misattempts to grasp. Finally at some point either the instruments are managed to be placed around the skull or a nip is made out of some area of the skull that allows it to start to decompress. And then once that happens typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece…” Sworn testimony given in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S), by Dr. Martin Haskell, an abortionist. He describes legal activity.
“PRO-CHOICE”-IS THIS WHAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEANS?
“He turned the baby around [in the womb] and brought it out feet first. That’s one of the worse things for the mother that you can do. I was helping the doctor hold the baby [to keep it in the birth canal]. The other nurse got the instrument [a large syringe with a large needle], handed it to the doctor, and he inserted it into the base of the skull. Then he pulled the baby out. Its little hands were grasping. When the baby quit grasping, then he delivered it. He used the syringe to suction out the brains. That’s more traumatic on the mother than if she had given a normal birth.” Witness testimony, March, 2002, Priests for Life website http://www.priestsforlife.org
SAME SEX MARRIAGE
Barack Obama continually indicates his agreement with Hillary Clinton’s scheme to revamp the family in line with the Democratic party’s unrelenting assault on the family and traditional marriage. Hillary Clinton’s life has long made a mockery of traditional family values. Her vision for families is, we might say, unconventional. Back when she was a student at Yale Law School, Hillary wrote in the Harvard Educational Review that “marriage, slavery, and the Indian reservation system” constitute dependency arrangements that must be abolished. Two decades later she wrote It Takes a Village, the socialist manifesto that justifies government intrusion into the most intimate aspects of our family life. Her later book Living History leans over backward to revamp any meaningful role for fathers, consistent with the principles of Wyndam Lewis, the European social philosopher, who once noted: “The male, the father, is in all these revolutions, the enemy. It is he who has been cast to represent authority. Therefore the break-up of the family must begin and end with the eclipse of the father principle.”
Amazingly, Obama claimed, in his March 3 speech at Hocking College, that Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel justifies his support for legal recognition of same-sex unions. Furthermore he derided St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans (1:27), which clearly denounces homosexual sex as merely the opinion of an “obscure” disciple. Those comments perplexed Christians in his audience who could not see any logic to his statements, nor did Obama offer any. It is no surprise then that Obama, like Hillary, opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment that would define marriage as the monogamous union between a man and a woman, and advocates civil unions for same-sex partners that mirror true marriage in every essential respect.
On the other hand, John McCain and Sarah Palin are much more committed to the defense of traditional marriage in the cultural arena.
BISHOP WENSKI’S DEFENSE OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
Here again Bishop Wenski has exhibited the courage to defend traditional marriage against the political onslaughts to eradicate it in favor of gender-neutral unions. The highlights of his July Pastoral Letter are presented below:
CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE – JULY 2008
To defend marriage as a monogamous union between one man and one woman is not bigotry.
The imposition by judicial fiat of same-sex marriage on the citizens of California has reminded us that society’s culture wars are far from over. This example of raw judicial activism should reinvigorate efforts to enshrine in state and federal constitutions the traditional legal understanding of marriage…Those who see “same-sex marriage” as progress towards a more “tolerant” society will-with characteristic intolerance-label their opponents as “intolerant,” “bigoted,” “homophobic” and so on. However, to defend marriage as a monogamous union between one man and one woman is not bigotry. Nor are the efforts of those who seek to enshrine in state or federal constitutions the “traditional” understanding of marriage intolerant.
…(I)n redefining the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex unions, the proponents of “gay marriage” are in effect imposing their views and lifestyle on the larger populace, and, once legal, the state’s coercive power will punish those who refuse to embrace gay marriages. For example, public officials-regardless of their views on the rightness or wrongness of homosexual acts-will be obliged to officiate at same-sex “weddings”; public schools will be required to teach their acceptability to children whether parents concur or not. Even First Amendment freedoms will not be protected from assault…
In the culture wars…two sides are fighting about the understanding of man and his relationship to truth and reality. One side-and today “gay marriage” is its poster child-holds that anyone can essentially create his or her own reality. This side holds for a radical autonomy by which truth is determined not by the nature of things, but by one’s own individual will. The other side holds men and women are not self-creators but creatures. Truth is not constructed, but received and thus must reflect the reality of things. Or, as the Book of Genesis says: “Male and female, He (God) created them.” (Gn 1:27).
The former’s position, like that of the secular Utopias of the 20th century, is a recipe for tyranny; the latter’s position promises a freedom that is only achievable through adherence to objective truth which we do not, and could never, invent. As I said, the stakes are high. Same-sex “marriage”-if allowed to prevail in law-will result in the devaluation of all marriages with terrible consequences to society. The common good demands that the understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman not be lost. We need a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage.
EVOLUTION OF OUR CULTURAL CRISIS
The roots of our current cultural crisis in this 21st century can be traced back to the French Revolution of 1789. That revolt was against the authority of the King and of the Catholic Church. Impassioned by the slogans of “LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY,” the French peasants protested against the doctrines of the Church. They became enamored of a universal spirituality or Deism (a vague God not involved in the affairs of the world similar to that found in Oprah Winfrey’s promotion of spiritual, new age, how-to books), devoid of a moral code and closely resembling the Paganism of the pre-Christian era. This amorphous spirituality gradually developed into the idea that all religions are the same, if in fact, there is any God at all. (In this connection, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, recently released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, reported that 79% of Catholics fail to understand the unique importance of their Faith and agree that “many religions can lead to eternal life.”) The guiding thinking behind this Enlightenment Philosophy (more accurately titled the Dying of the Light) was the progressive emphasis on secular, human, material values to the exclusion of religion, morality and, in particular, the Catholic Faith.
In the more modern era, our cultural crisis was impacted by the following major developments:
The revolt of the Hippies of the Beat Generation on college campuses in the 1960’s against parental and cultural authority, initiating the sexual revolution.
The Second Vatican Council held from 1962 to 1965. A liberal spirit permeated this Council, revolting against the orthodox doctrines of the authentic Catholic Faith, misleading many uninformed Catholics to believe that the Church had jettisoned its traditional moral teachings and was now coming of age in a secular world. The ill fruit of this Council is well documented in Philip Lawler’s recent book, The Faithful Departed, The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture. (Encounter Books, 2008)
Liberal political changes in the governmental arena, championing major changes in the culture to be enacted into law. In claiming to serve the people, these radicals sought to grab authority for themselves like Josef Stalin in Communist Russia. This included the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973, as well as a constant movement to endorse permissive abortion as the woman’s “right to choose.” Additionally, several states enacted non-discrimination laws to legally protect gay/lesbian homosexual sex. More recently, both Massachusetts and California legally enacted homosexual marriage, as a total affront to our Christian heritage. The Democratic Party became the prime political party lobbying for such revolutionary changes in the Christian culture of this nation, forcing many Christian members of that party to abandon it in favor of the Republican Party in order to protect this country’s moral heritage. From the 1960’s on, the national leaders of the Democratic Party abandoned their blue-collar, pro-life, and religious constituencies and took up with the liberal dogmas of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Hollywood, and the abortion lobby. So complete has been this transformation that we no longer speak of a natural alliance between Catholics and the Democratic Party. Indeed the central question today is whether it is even possible to be both a faithful Catholic and a Democratic true believer. The Democratic Party evolved from its Catholic roots on issues of human life, sex, faith, and morality to become the opponent of all traditional religions. This battle about trying to personally reconcile his own political conscience with his religion is usefully described in David Carlin’s book; Can a Catholic be a Democrat? How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of My Religion. (Sophia Institute Press, 2006)
The major architect for accomplishing this drastic cultural transformation was community organizer Saul Alinsky who founded Chicago’s Industrial Areas Foundation. His methods were detailed in his last book written before his death in 1972, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. It was Alinsky’s attempt to impart his theory and methods of organizing to the current generation of young activists, largely drawing on his own experiences.As he wrote in the book’s prologue, “It is for those young radicals who are committed to the fight.” Alinsky’s son has stated that Barack Obama has absorbed them well. Interestingly, Hillary Clinton’s graduate thesis at Wellesley College was also a study and analysis of the Alinsky methods.
The liberal ideas underlying the Radicals’ world-view include:
The family is no longer the basic unit of society. People are depersonalized in favor of the state. The state does not exist for people; people exist for the interests of the state.
Marriage is no longer universally seen as the union of man and woman. The “family” can be any combination of persons.
Anything goes in sexual relationships. Sex is seen mainly in terms of pleasure, not in terms of lifetime personal commitment.
Humans are not distinguished from animals from which they have evolved. What occurs in the animal world can or should be normative for people. If animals are sexually promiscuous, why not men with men, or women with women?
God is not in the equation. God is squeezed out of the public square. What happened to being made “in the image and likeness of God.”?
Life has minimum value as it is seen only in materialistic terms. Inconvenient pregnancies justify abortions. The lives of the sick and handicapped can be “terminated” at the will of others.
Capitalism is the arch-enemy. “America’s corporations are a spiritual slum,” wrote Alinsky, “and their arrogance is the major threat to our future as a free society.” Socialism and Communism are in.
Barack Obama’s “Change We Can Believe In” is simply socialism/communism-imposed by stratagem because Americans have never believed in Marxist economics. Saul Alinsky understood this, and his ghost is alive and well-and threatening to haunt the White House.
In this November election, let your conscience be your guide!
Editors Note: Fratres would like to thank Archbishop Burke for his faithful service in St. Louis and steadfast commitment to Catholic faith and morals as shepherd. I join my voice to those below… James Mary Evans
Members of a Catholic lay organization applauded the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke to a high Vatican post — full text of letter
In a letter to Archbishop Raymond Burke, members of the Catholic Media Coalition expressed their deep gratitude and best wishes to a cleric they called, “A bishop after God’s own heart.”
The long-rumored appointment of Archbishop Burke as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest ecclesial court, came on June 27th, the feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria.
Mary Ann Kreitzer, CMC president, commented that, “It was a particularly appropriate day to announce Archbishop Burke’s appointment. St. Cyril battled the Nestorian heresy that denied the divinity of Christ.
“That heresy thrives in our modern culture,” Kreitzer said. “Many Catholics no longer believe in the divinity of Christ because of the bishops’ failure to teach and anti-Catholic works like the DaVinci Code. Against that sad background, Archbishop Burke stands out as a champion of Catholic doctrine, a clear and articulate defender of the faith.”
CMC expressed particular appreciation to Archbishop Burke for his great courage and witness for:
Publicly defending the Holy Eucharist: In 2004 Archbishop Burke said he would deny Holy Communion to Senator John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who support abortion. He also admonished pro-abortion Catholics in the pew to refrain from receiving Communion.
Resigning as Chairman of the board of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Foundation when they refused to disinvite radical pro-abortion singer Sheryl Crow to head up a benefit concert.
Confronting the scandal of Coach Rick Majerus publicly supporting abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
For excommunicating Rose Hudson, Elsie McGrath, and fake bishop Patricia Fresen for an act of schism in attempting the ordination of the two women.
Advancing the Institute of Christ the King to restore the Traditional Latin Mass and promoting solid vocations to the priesthood.
Fostering the Marian Catechist Movement founded by Fr. John Hardon to teach the authentic Catholic faith based on fidelity to the pope and the doctrine of the Church.
“We are grateful, ” Kreitzer said, “for having such a faithful apostle in the United States. Not only has Archbishop Burke given us hope, he has given us an example of how to speak the truth in love. We are confident that in his new role we will see greater justice especially to priests punished and silenced for their orthodoxy. Arrivederci, Archbishop Burke, we love you.”
CMC is an organization of Catholic writers, webmasters, editors, and others engaged in producing media for and about the Catholic Church.
CMC’s letter to Archbishop Raymond Burke is as follows:
July 1, 2008
Archbishop Raymond Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis
The members of the Catholic Media Coalition wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for your faithful service to the Church in the United States. There are many troubling situations that have injured the faith and trust of Catholics in this country. We particularly regret the failure of so many bishops to vigorously defend the teachings of the Church which contributed to the sex abuse scandals and to other major and ongoing problems.
We wish to especially acknowledge your courage in publicly defending the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege, for resigning as Chairman of the Board of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Foundation, for excommunicating the women who invalidly attempted female ordination, and for confronting the public scandal of Coach Rick Majerus’ outrageous statements. But even more than these, we thank you for advancing the Institute of Christ the King, developing vocations, and fostering the authentic Catholic faith through the Marian Catechist Movement.
Be assured of our continued prayers as you begin your new work as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. Arrivederci, Archbishop Burke.
Sincerely in Christ,
Catholic Media Coalition members endorsing the letter as co-signers are:
Jack Ames, Defend Life, Baltimore, MD,
Janet Baker, Faithful Catholics of MD/DC,
Stephanie Block, Catholic Author, Albuquerque, NM,
Jean Charles, Defender of the Magisterium Vermont,
Kenneth Fisher, Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Anaheim, CA
James Fritz, Defenders of the Faith, Inc., Berkeley Springs, WV
Camille Giglio, California Right to Life Advocates,
Alice Grayson, Veil of Innocence, West Falmouth, MA,
Nancy Kokstis SFO, the Shepherds Warrior, Prentice, WI,
Mary Ann Kreitzer, Les Femmes, Woodstock, VA,
Valerie Lubitz, President, Los Pequeños de Cristo, Albuquerque, NM,
Donna Marek, Catholic activist, Ogdensburg, NY,
Karl Maurer, Director, Catholic Citizens of Illinois,
Patricia McKeever, Catholic Truth Scotland,
Kathy Parker, Brothers and Sisters at the Cross, Birmingham, Alabama
Sheila Parkhill, The Holy Family Society of Tucson, AZ,
Vivian Ripton, Call to Holiness, St. Michael the Archangel Chapel,
Allyson Smith, Catholic Author, San Diego, CA,
Georgene M. Sorenson, Romans in the Desert,
Donna Steichen, Catholic Author, Ojai, CA
Carolyn Wendell, VOCAL (Voices of Catholics Advocating Life)