Tag Archives: justice

Same-Sex Marriage: A Novel Notion of Justice

Gay. But happy?

SOURCE: I~ARI Same-Sex Marriage: A Novel Notion of Justice.

By ROBERT R. REILLY

The extent to which people will go to advance their rationalizations for sexual misbehavior grows ever more amusing and ambitious, with consequences, however, that are less jolly. The ultimate level of absurdity has now been reached by the claim that justice requires the legalization of same-sex marriage. Consider the following two protestations.

Celebrating the recent passage of such a law in New York, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote: “I am the brother of a woman in a longtime same-sex relationship… This is a cause whose justness has long been apparent to me. The opponents have no case other than ignorance and misconception and prejudice.”

And when Edwin O’Brien, the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, attempted to remonstrate with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Catholic, over his sponsorship of a same sex marriage bill, the Governor responded that: “When shortcomings in our laws bring about a result that is unjust, I have a public obligation to try to change that injustice.”

So now it is no longer tolerance, but the demands of justice that seem to require legally equating homosexual marriage with heterosexual marriage, something no other civilization in recorded history has done.

One does not get to make up what things are. If that were the case, then justice could be anything that one said it was.

But before justice can be enlisted on behalf of this cause, we should ask ourselves: what is justice? The classical answer to this question is that justice is giving to things what is their due according to what they are. In other words, to act justly, one must first know what things are. When one knows what something is, one then understands what it is for. The purpose of the thing then determines whether our actions toward it are a use or an abuse. This is where the matter of justice comes in.

One does not get to make up what things are. If that were the case, then justice could be anything that one said it was. That is what tyrants do. This would be arbitrary, and what is arbitrary is by definition tyrannical. It is based upon pure will, unguided by reason. Those who wish to base their freedom upon the supposed purposelessness of things should face the consequences of this view. What seems unmitigated freedom is, in fact, the foundation of tyranny.

Unfortunately, this solipsistic view of reality has reached high places. In the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey ruling, the Supreme Court opined that, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Well, actually not. The universe is already here. It has already been defined for us; otherwise, it would not be in existence. Our choice is not to make up the meaning of the universe, but to discern its meaning and then either conform ourselves to it, or revolt against it. The choice today is revolt. Igor Stravinsky once wrote, “The old original sin was one of knowledge, the new original sin is one of non-acknowledgment.” It is the refusal to acknowledge anything outside the operation of the human will — most especially “the good” toward which the soul is ordered. “The good” is what ultimately informs human justice.

The modern premise, so evident in the campaign for same-sex marriage, is that any pre-existing rational end constitutes a limitation on human freedom. Therefore, “freedom” requires the denial that rational ends inhere in things. Things are tabula rasa, blank slates upon which we can write anything we desire. Things, being purposeless themselves, only have the ends we give them by our will and choice. They serve whatever purpose we wish. This is a very dangerous teaching, especially as it affects the issue of justice.

As mentioned earlier, it is necessary to apprehend things as they are in order to act justly. A simple example suffices. If one does not know the difference between a man and a dog, one may end up treating a man as if he were a dog. This would be acting unjustly. Justice in no way pertains to how we feel about things but rather to what they are. In our anthropomorphic enthusiasm, we may feel that our pet dog is human. However, it would be absurd to pass legislation requiring the dog’s consent to its owner’s rule, because the dog is not human and is incapable of giving its consent. Dogs do not have free will. It is therefore just for men to rule over dogs.

Likewise, no feeling can justify the enslavement of another human being, because a human being has the inalienable right to consent in his or her rule. This, of course, was the problem with slavery. Only the understanding of what a human being is allows one to make this vital distinction between the human and the nonhuman. It is something one knows, or does not (or refuses to acknowledge), with huge consequences. It is precisely the loss of this distinction upon which the practice of abortion is based.

Once we know what something is, we can know what it is for. Its purpose is within it. How does this pertain to the issue of the justice of same-sex marriage? It has to do with the procreative and unitive powers of our sexual organs. What are they for? Today, we seem to know what every other part of our body is for, except our genitals. This is a case of selective epistemological amnesia.

Sex has a natural purpose

In using or treating any part of our body, the critical question is: what are the ends to which the nature of the thing directs it, and is the action outside of, or within those ends? For instance, our lungs are for breathing. Breathing oxygenates our blood through the alveoli. If anyone suggested that our lungs are for imbibing water, they would be set straight in short order and informed that water in the lungs would lead to drowning and death. If they nonetheless insisted that water is good for the lungs and applied this teaching to themselves, they would soon be asphyxiated.

No one has really been tempted to do this. However, people have found a great deal of pleasure in smoking cigarettes. This has been shown to be a misuse of the lungs, because the tars and nicotine from the tobacco smoke cause lung cancer. Therefore, we can say with some confidence that the end or purpose of the lungs is not pleasure from smoking. The purpose of a thing cannot be fulfilled in an action which leads to its destruction. On the basis of this, the government has taken vigorous steps to dissuade people from smoking. Laws have been passed prohibiting young people from buying cigarettes and requiring the labeling of cigarettes as injurious to health.

However, no one today can publicly suggest that our genitals are not made for sodomy or even, without becoming the objects of obloquy, point out the health consequences of this unclean practice. Well before HIV/AIDS arrived on the scene, the life expectancy of practicing homosexuals was substantially below that of the heterosexual male population because of the deleterious health effects of this behavior. What things are have a way of fighting back against those who deny what they are and who act in such a way as if they weren’t.

So what is sex for? The purpose of sex is to make “one flesh.” Two becoming “one flesh” encompasses both the generative and unitive nature of sex. By nature, only men and women are physically capable of becoming “one flesh.” (Otherwise, the pieces don’t fit.) The end of sex is not simply pleasure; otherwise, any kind of sex that produces pleasure would be “natural.” That something occurs, or can occur, does not make it “natural.” Cancer occurs, but one would not say, by that fact, that cancer is therefore natural to, say, the lungs. Why not? Because we know that lungs are for breathing, and that cancer impedes and eventually prevents breathing.

A great deal of human ingenuity has gone into finding other uses for sex that go directly against its unitive and generative nature. Those who misuse its powers perversely are saying, in effect: We will take the pleasure, but not the thing toward which the pleasure is directed: the imago Dei. As Fr. James Schall has written (CRISISSense & Nonsense, March 1995), “Whenever we seek pleasure without it being grounded in what is right in the action in which it exists, we isolate the pleasure, the act, from reality.” Every act of coition presupposes the unitive and the commitment within which it must take place. And when it is not there, it is felt as a betrayal, a lie. It is followed by emptiness. There is something inherently false about sexual acts outside of marriage.

Only marital love can tame erotic passion

However, sex is a very strong passion, and it is difficult for anyone to contain. The only thing that can tame Eros and direct it to an end that can satisfy the sexual passion is love, which leads Eros away from death and, quite literally, toward new life. When a specific person is the object of love, no substitute will do. Love demands exclusivity, and receives it in marriage. The desire for oneness in marital union is also a thirst for fecundity. The wild and complete abandon of the marital act is a joyful affirmation of the possibility of more — in children.

In their souls, what people truly love is goodness. And when they love goodness, it is what they seek to serve. This is true with sex, also. Sex is directed to goodness by love. Love sublimates lust and restores the original innocence of sex. It is no longer self-seeking, self consuming, but self-giving and life-generating. It seeks the unity that is only available in “one flesh.” So it seems spousal love requires becoming “one flesh.”

This is not a matter of “who says,” but of how we are constituted by nature. Anything else is counterfeit. To make the counterfeit official, as in legal same-sex marriage, is to substitute the unreal for the real. If you cannot become “one flesh” with the person whom you love, that is nature’s way of telling you that the character of your love is not spousal, but something else.

Love has its proper expression according to its subject and object – sisterly love, parental love, conjugal love, the love of friendship are each distinct and are expressed accordingly. A child does not love its father with parental love, because the child is not the parent of its father. It may seem silly to state something so obvious, but this is what must be done when reality is being contested. It is just as necessary and obvious to say that two men, or two women, cannot become husband and wife because that relationship requires a person of the other gender. No matter how many times homosexual advocates say it, two flesh of the same kind is not, and cannot become, “one flesh.” Homosexual marriage is not, as some have suggested, “inclusive,” simply making room for another kind of marriage. Its legalization requires the denial of the true nature of marriage. Militant homosexuals are trying to conform reality to themselves, rather than conforming themselves to reality. They will say, no doubt, that their reality is that they are homosexuals. But that is no more persuasive than an alcoholic acknowledging the reality of his condition.

Abnormality and normality

Many who think that homosexuality is a genetic condition believe that this, in and of itself, justifies homosexual marriage. That is why a great deal has been invested in the argument over whether homosexuality is a genetic trait or learned behavior. This issue, however, is immaterial to the morality of homosexual acts. The same kind of argument could be made over alcoholism. There appears to be a missing chromosome – the Y chromosome – that predisposes certain people to alcoholism; others seem to acquire alcoholism through their behavior. In either case, drunkenness is no less evil because of an inherent predisposition to it. Likewise, sodomy.

Of course, it is very hard to live with such predispositions, and profound sympathy and assistance is due to those who suffer from them. The worst disservice that could be done in either case, however, would be to encourage or participate in the celebration of the afflictions, as in “Gay Pride Day.” Why is “Gay Pride Day” any less absurd than an “Alcoholic Pride Day” would be? Both conditions exist as aberrations, as abnormalities in the light of what is normal by nature. To substitute an abnormality for normality destroys the distinction between the two, and closes off the path to recovery.

In moral terms, this would be analogous to substituting a cancerous lung for a healthy lung on the basis that we cannot tell the difference between them. Such a claim would obviously subvert medical care and would represent a huge injustice to cancer patients. Sodomy is the cancer version of coition. Substituting it for spousal intercourse on the basis that there is no difference between them is an act of injustice that will subvert marriage and the soul of the society that accepts it.

This makes richly ironic Richard Cohen’s and Governor O’Malley’s invocation of justice to advance a cause based upon the denial of the nature of marriage. They are, in fact, complicit in perpetrating fraud. “Thinking against nature,” wrote Irenaeus in Against Heresies (180 AD), “you will become foolish. And if you persist you will fall into insanity.” No one can say we were not warned. The path ahead to the asylum is clear, but in this case the asylum will be the entire society.

This article originally appears in MercatorNet.

Wreck on the Highway: Praying for the Living and the Dead

The Most High, Our Father in Heaven himself, is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. And so, we ourselves must be merciful, just as Our Father is merciful…

I would first like to send my condolences and continued prayers to the family who suffered through a terrible car accident two days past on Rockydale Road, in Cave Junction. I was at the scene of the accident shortly after it happened and spent the entire time praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet on behalf of all the victims, and particularly for the children. It was not until yesterday morning after arriving at work that I was told the accident resulted in the death of one of the children, Larry. It was not easy for me to hear as a parent…

I will not speculate on the cause of the accident or any guilt that might be associated with the crash. I simply due not have the facts, it’s a small town prone to rumor, and only God is capable of reading the history of our hearts and souls in every circumstance of life we’ve each experienced. I mention this because as I made my way around town today I realized within conversations concerning the accident the (natural) tendency to try and explain the tragedy– even to the point of judging… But, for Christians we understand, (or should), that over 2000 years ago there was another day of infamy when a death occurred on a cross at around the 3 O’clock hour, the hour in which divine mercy triumphed over justice for the sake of all men and ages—including ourselves and this age, in this moment.

Historically, the spiritual works of mercy we Christians are called to carry-on within the world not only include correcting sinners and counseling those in doubt, but also–

consoling the sorrowful,

bearing wrongs patiently,

forgiving wrongs willingly,

along with Praying for the living & dead…

I don’t know if the family is spiritual or not, but nonetheless I will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this coming Sunday for all their corporal and spiritual needs at this time. I ask my readers to join me in the same with the sure knowledge that nothing is ever truly lost to God…, be they the living are the dead… As he is not the God of the dead, but of the living…

Blessed be his holy name.

jme

Was it a necessity that prisoner 14873 should die?

Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner died in a barrage of bullets early Friday as Utah carried out its first firing squad execution in 14 years.

 Here’s what the Catechism says, what do you say?

Capital Punishment

2266 The State’s effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.[67]

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
“If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
“Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’
[68]

MY EMPHASIS

END OF POST

Generations of Faith: An Analysis of the Catechetical Program

An Analysis of the Catechetical Program “Generations of Faith”

By Cate VanLone-Taylor

Saint Don Bosco, pray for Catechetical Truth

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17)

  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  (Matt 7:15-20)

Introduction

In the past three decades, a great change initiated by liberal Catholic educators and theologians has attempted to revolutionize the methodology of catechetical instruction.      The models used are drawn from the ‘whole community catechesis’/‘shared Christian praxis’ model originated by Thomas Groome and Bill Huebsch.

  This model seeks to involve the entire faith community, thus providing lifelong catechetical formation for parishioners of all ages.  A strong emphasis is placed on the sharing of “faith stories” a type of ‘lived’ theology, instead of textbooks, citing the General Catechetical Directory, #158 which states: “the community is proposed as the source, locus and means of catechesis.”  Detailed below are some of the dangers involved in such an approach.

Dangers

Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) Green Bay,WI : Attention has also been drawn to the program “Generations of Faith,” which is designed for “parish faith-formation,” but is distinguished by its lack of clear Catholic teaching.  The proposed “antidote” to programs such as this is the use of texts such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Faith and Life catechism series.

Catholic Answers Forums: Generations of Faith: “Its only as good as your priest. If your priest takes the reins, and is a good teacher of the faith, and has some control of the people who teach the other “segments” (e.g catechists or teens) then it can be great. Its good because it actually revolves around the liturgical year which is something lost on Catholics in the U.S., and has the entire family coming, rather than using children’s religious education as a baby-sitting service. THAT SAID, if the priest is not the one in control, if it goes the way of much catechesis in many parishes, then it can be a disaster because more people are influenced.” 

Catholic Answers Forum: Our parish is instituting this Generations of Faith with is led by two laywomen who are rather liberal. Thier idea is to direct all “spirituality” to the lowest common denominator so they “get the love of Jesus in their hearts” Well it goes downhill from there and I’m on the “core team” who advises on content.  I’m only there to try to make it seem Catholic otherwise it would be CINO – same stuff you could get at any Baptist parish! (sigh)

Catholic Culture (written by noted Catholic author Donna Steichen): John Roberto founded the Center for Ministry Formation in 1978, and served as its director until 2000. While at CMF he founded the Generations of Faith Project, developed it with funding from the Lilly Endowment, and now, as its director and project coordinator, conducts training workshops across the US for staffs at the growing number of parishes that are initiating the Generations of Faith program. Seven hundred parishes in 60 dioceses are already using GOF; 21 parishes in the Raleigh diocese signed on last December.  Roberto consistently argues against textbooks, citing such varied authorities as the General Catechetical Directory, #158 (“the community is proposed as the source, locus and means of catechesis”), and Maria Harris (more on her below), has openly stated: “the church is the curriculum, content, and catechist.”

Faith formation is event-centered, developed around the events of our shared life as Church. Faith formation demands a unified, life-long catechesis. Through events, Generations of Faith has a 6-year curriculum: the Church year of feasts and seasons, sacraments and liturgy, rituals and prayers, spirituality, justice, and service. Beliefs and practices for living as a Catholic emerge from the life of the faith community. The content emerges out of the event. A text is not the curriculum; the curriculum is the life of the Church. An introductory video for Generations of Faith offers colorful footage of cheerful intergenerational groups, with adults mingling, eating (food is always part of the event), chatting, and praying in parish centers and churches, while happy children construct craft projects or paint primitive symbols, dramatize Bible stories, or sing in choirs. These parishes appear to offer the kind of warmly welcoming ambiance Protestant converts often say they keenly miss when they become Catholics.

In place of weekly catechism classes for children, these programs feature a single monthly assembly or “faith festival,” where parishioners of all ages gather for a meal, see a dramatic presentation of a Bible story, hear an address about a community problem, or celebrate the event of the month (cited as examples were Advent, Lent, Thanksgiving, and Kwanzaa). After a general prayer service, all break into peer clusters for discussion, singing, or art projects. The entire group joins together for closing prayer. On their way out, participants pick up take-home materials that will reinforce the evening’s theme, help prepare for the next event, or suggest some form of community service or political activism.

Illiteracy and Alienation

Because the problems of religious illiteracy and alienation are authentic and acute, the presentation was attractive even to skeptical listeners, daring to hope that it might mean the beginning of real change. Generations of Faith is endorsed by NCCL as an initiative to revitalize American Catholic life. In the right hands, with sound doctrinal instruction as its centerpiece, the social component of whole community catechesis certainly could enrich parish life. There is enormous hunger among the laity to hear and understand the eternal truths and moral teachings that neo-modernists in the catechetical movement long ago jettisoned.

The Generations of Faith film, like other “whole community catechesis” literature on display, skims over questions about specific doctrinal content. (“The parish is the content.”) Detailed examination of the GOF materials and their sources reveals alarming resemblances to the hollow Renew I and II and RCIA projects that engage the laity in uninstructed, heterodox “faith-sharing” without authentic “indoctrination” to let them know what the Church really teaches.  GOF credits the contributions of a feminist former nun Maria Harris, and such other “foundational thinkers,” as Anglican John Westerhoff; Sister Catherine Dooley, OP, of the religious education department at Catholic University of America; and progressive Francoise Darcy Berube, whose 1996 book, Religious Education at a Crossroads exhorts educators not to “turn back in fear” to the catechism model of the rigid “good old days.”

Listed beside the General Directory for Catechesis and various USCCB documents, among course texts and resources for a Certificate in Lifelong Faith Formation to be offered in January 2005 by the Center for Ministry Development, along with Bill Huebsch and Maria Harris , are the names of still other architects of the specious “catechetical renewal”: Sister Kathleen Hughes, RSJC, James D. Davidson, William D’Antonio, Jane Redmont, William Shannon, Loughlan Sofield, ST. These professionals are deeply implicated in the present decline in religious literacy, yet they still seem certain they’ve been heading in the right direction these forty years. Why haven’t they arrived at their destination, then?  There simply hasn’t been time yet, they explain.

Bernard Lee, SM, is director of the Institute for Ministry at Loyola University, New Orleans, and a member of the Call to Action Speakers Bureau. In his presentation on Small Christian Communities, he said that “reform” councils like Vatican II produce a backlash. He counseled: “Until the backlash is out of your system, you can’t really get on with the reforms.”

At the banquet where he accepted NCCL’s 2004 Catechetical Award, former Christian Brother Gabriel Moran (whom NCCL correctly credits with “reshaping the field of religious education”) said turmoil is to be expected after a council, and new building cannot begin until the resistance is cleared away. Moran is near the end of his career, and his wife Maria Harris is now too ill to travel; they do not expect to see the triumph of their lifework. But Moran still thinks triumph will come, despite general recognition by their peers that religious education has been devastated.

It seems odd that NCCL chose to present its award to a man who bears so much responsibility for the devastation. It is rather like elevating a horse to the college of cardinals.

*Donna Steichen is the author of Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism, and Prodigal Daughters: Catholic Women Come Home to the Church, (both from Ignatius Press).

Fashion Me a People Conference—This Conference was recently held in Orlando (January, 2008) sponsored by the Center for Ministry Development (CMD) in partnership with Harcourt Religion Publishers, the purveyors of textbooks to the schools of the Orlando Diocese. Their curriculum resources highlight “Generations of Faith Online”, a service of CMD, which has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, a Protestant Foundation seeking to undermine the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church in order to encourage ecumenism with other Christian religions based on the lowest common denominator of beliefs. They promote worship exploration teams to develop ideas for visual enhancement of the sanctuary and innovative “worship services.”

The speakers at this Conference included the curious theology of Thomas Groome, a dissident ex-priest and consultant to Harcourt Publishers, noted for his zeal in undermining the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to promote catholicity (note the small “c”) of ecumenism with other Protestant groups.

Research on Authors / Contributors of Generations of Faith:

Bishop Robert Morleno, Diocese of Madison:  (Regarding  dissenting theologians) “Associations with “anti-Catholic groups” such as Call to Action, Catholics for a Free Choice, Women’s Ordination Conference, FutureChurch, CORPUS, DignityUSA, and others which profess “serious departures and denials of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church could “certainly be grounds for removal” for a person who is responsible for teaching catechesis and “passing on the Church’s teaching.”

Sister Kathleen Hughes: Sister Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, (Lay Presiding: The Art of Leading Prayer).  Sister Hughes, a feminist liturgist, was for many years a member of ICEL, a group that provided problematic English liturgical translations. (Helen Hull Hitchcock, Adoremus Bulletin)

  •      Catholic Culture Library: Sister Kathleen Hughes has for many years been a member of ICEL (the International Commission on English in the Liturgy) and a consultant to the NCCB Committee on the Liturgy. Five years ago, she says, she addressed the Congregation for Divine Worship, in Rome, on the subject of inclusive language. In a lecture last September at Maryville University in St Louis, she said she expects to see women ordained in her lifetime. She also announced that the Latin word deus is too often improperly translated as “Father,” adding, “We need more metaphors for God.”A former professor of liturgy at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union, Sister Hughes is the newly-elected Provincial of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the author of several books, including Silent Voices, Sacred Lives of which I feel impelled to remark that if these ladies only could be silenced, the whole Church would be better off.  http://www.docstoc.com/docs/23726149/The-Madeleva-Lectures-in-Spirituality”  Note:  other feminist theologians that signed this decree were Sr. Joan Chittister and Sr. Monica Hellwig.  Google them using “dissent” “heterodox” or “liberal” and you will come up with many hits.  Former Sr. Maria Harris (deceased) husband- former Brother Gabriel Moran
  •      Amazon Book Review:  “Women’s spirituality, suggests educator Harris, is a “dance of the Spirit” consisting of seven steps: “Awakening, Discovering, Creating, Dwelling, Nourishing, Traditioning, and Transforming.”  Very much an interfaith book (Harris draws on Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism), this is also quite feminist in a gentle way and should appeal to questing women with a New Age bent.The Madeleva Manifesto ”    http://www.cta-usa.org/reprint07-00/theologians.html”   http://www.docstoc.com/docs/23726149/The-Madeleva-Lectures-in-SpiritualityMs. Harris was a member of “Call to Action”  as is her husband.*Note:  other feminist theologians that signed this decree were Sr. Joan Chittister and Sr. Monica Hellwig.  Google them using “dissent” “heterodox” or “liberal”  or “feminist theology” and you will come up with several pages hits.

    Unitarian Universalists of America:     http://www.uua.org/documents/recc/reader_curriculum_guide.pdf

    Unitarian Universalists of America:      http://online.sksm.edu/Syllabi/IntroToLiberalRE.FinalSyllab011410.Spr10.pdf

    Read the entire article–       http://www.uuroanoke.org/sermon/050710Source2.htm

    Iimplicit theology and null theology        http://liberalfaith.blogspot.com/2005/12/implicit-and-explicit-theologies-part.html

    This article is excellent–names the promoters of the liberal religious education /whole community catechesis/shared praxis movement.  Note paragraph three: ” http://www.losangelesmission.com/ed/articles/2006/0606ds.htm

    From Amy Welborn’s Blog: (Zhou’s Comments)

    “Young Catholics languish in ignorance because no one ever taught them the content of the faith. Many of those who are old enough to have been catechized in pre-conciliar times are now uncertain whether the Church still holds as true the tenets they learned in their youth, because they have heard those beliefs mentioned so seldome–if ever–during the past 30 years. Hispanic Americans, unsatisfied by what they are taught in Catholic parishes, are streaming out to hear Jesus preached in evangelical churches. As measured by public behaviors and attitudes, Catholic sexual morality is no better than that of any other group, and worse than some.  Can this wasteland be restored? If reform is possible, the first step must be to understand our present predicament.

    The catechetical collapse of the past 35 years has not been an isolated phenomenon. One of the most prominent partisans in the campaign that produced the “new catechetics,” Father Berard Marthaler, cheerfully concedes that it “has had a symbiotic relationship with biblical scholarship, the liturgical movement, and the ‘new theology.'”

    The “new catechetics” movement, already established in Europe and taking root in the United States, seemed before the Second Vatican Council to be a generally benign attempt to teach the faith in a more vital way. What–or who–turned it into a catechetical revolution? Why did the Catholic religious and academics who embraced it first stop teaching Catholic doctrine, and then (with courageous exceptions) begin to ridicule the very notion of teaching it, and even to denigrate those who objected? Candidates for the title of chief culprit are abundant.

    Most of those involved in this movement seem to have been acquainted each other, often through encounters at academic centers, especially the Catholic University of America (CUA). Their influence seems to have been more a function of their positions and their efficient collaboration than of the intellectual force of their ideas, which tend to sound naive today.

    It may be impossible to name one person as most responsible for the current state of religious instruction in the United States. But no one has a stronger claim than Father Gerard Sloyan who, in 17 years in CUA’s Religious Education department–ten as chairman–reorganized the entire curriculum, and thus changed the religious attitudes of a key cohort of religion teachers. It was he who first hired dissenter Charles Curran, in 1964. His 1967 book, Speaking of Catholic Education–by its praise for Dutch Catechism, its clear distaste for the term “transubstantiation,” its displacement of personal sin by a “fundamental option” for or against God, and its call to defer First Confession until after First Communion–proves that the toxic ideas of the revolution were fully formed by the mid-1960s.

    Children, Father Sloyan declared, cannot learn doctrine; they can only experience religious emotions. Let them participate in the liturgy, treat them with respect and kindness, and their religious emotions will develop. He implied that rote memorization of theological propositions was the sum and substance of traditional catechesis, when in fact it was only one valuable element in a living culture that was also built on sacramental practice, liturgical and devotional prayer, stories of saints, Bible stories, and frequent reference to the social obligations imposed by membership in Christ’s Mystical Body.

    In 1967, Sloyan left CUA to teach at Temple University, remaining there for 25 years. Later he returned as a “distinguished lecturer,” but the move seems not to have sweetened his temper. “Is Agape Any Match for Fear and Loathing in the Religious Psyche?” Sloyan’s contribution to The Echo Within, a 1997 collection of essays published to honor Berard Marthaler on his academic retirement, is a fuming denunciation of orthodox Catholics. Characterizing them as ignorant, rigid, repressed, ideologically infected, infantile, censorious, malicious, and uncharitable, he says he offers these diagnoses, “in the friendliest possible spirit.”

    Given the views of his mentor, it seems small wonder that Sloyan’s protégé, former Christian Brother Gabriel Moran (Maria Harris’ husband) , strayed from orthodoxy. Many observers, admirers and critics alike, propose Moran as the most influential man in the catechetical revolution. Michael Warren, editor of Source Book for Modern Catechetics, says, “Few persons in the United States have made a contribution to the catechetical scene as complex and difficult to assess as Gabriel Moran.

    Moran’s work influenced many in the catechetical movement to reject divine revelation–the Church’s deposit of faith–in favor of “on-going revelation”–in effect, the interpretation of one’s own experiences as private revelation. This meant not simply that catechists should enliven the students’ understanding of the Gospel by connecting it to their life experiences, but that the students could find revelation only in their own experience. A student “would have to reject any document from the past pretending to divine revelation,” Moran wrote. As Msgr. Michael Wrenn has observed, that category includes the Gospel.

    Moran was not alone in his opinion. Piet Schoonenberg, SJ, a Dutch theologian linked to the Dutch Catechism, was making the same point In the same era. In 1970, Schoonenberg wrote:

    “From a mere approach to the message, experience has become the theme itself of catechesis. Catechesis has become the interpretation of experience. It has to clarify experience, that is, it has to articulate and enlighten the experience of those for whom the message is intended.”

    The most phenomenal thing about this thesis was its reception. To an astonishing extent, Catholic educators and publishers proved willing to jettison Christian belief and substitute a radically individualistic “noble savage” romanticism straight out of Jean Jacques Rousseau. According to a 1997 essay in The Echo Within, Moran was then unaware of its antecedents, but he has not changed his mind over the ensuing 30 years. “In adopting ‘revelation’ as central, Christianity prepared for its own undoing,” he writes.

    “Christian writers cannot get anywhere by assuming the existence of or investigating an object named ‘Christian revelation,'” Moran argues, declaring the theory of revelation to be “a modern invention and a disastrous one.” God continues to speak today, he says, but speaking does not mean revelation, a term that implies “assertions of truth.” Speaking, he explains, could mean compassion, care, love, or forgiveness. As to truth, he says “much contemporary thought” holds that “the first thing to ask of a statement is not whether it is true but whether it is interesting.” At most, “God’s speaking” can only provide human understanding with “a glimpse of the truth.”

    Finally, Moran tells us that Christians must stop equating “‘Jesus Christ’ with ‘God and man,'” because that “has the effect of creating the great middleman, who is then neither divine nor human. ‘Jesus Christ’ becomes the name of a storehouse of truths, the revelation of God.”

    After leaving the Christian Brothers, Moran became a professor of (non-denominational) religious education at New York University. His wife, Maria Harris, a former Sister of St Joseph of Brentwood, also represents herself as a religious educator, and has taught women’s studies at several institutions. Most notably, she combined those genres in a post-Christian guide to feminist self worship, Dance of the Spirit: The Seven Steps of Women’s Spirituality.

    I think that really the Catholic Church in the US experienced a “revolution” no less damaging that the Cultural Revolution in China or what went on in Cambodia. It is the job of those who come after to clean up the damage of the craziness of their elders.

    †Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam† website:

  •      From the book “Homosexuality and Christian Faith“, we quote Maria Harris directly:“At the end of the 20th century, individuals are probably no wiser than they ever have been about their sexual lives, but the human race undeniably has a different understanding of sexuality from what it had in the past. Studies subsequent to the two Kinsey Reports have confirmed the fact that the human race has an imaginative diversity of sexual expression. Sexual intimacy between consenting partners of the same sex seems to be nothing less and nothing more than part of that wonderful range of expression.What would (Saint) Paul make of today’s sexual scene? It really is not possible to lift people out of one place in history and situate them in another. Presumably they could learn the language of a new era if given time to adjust. ….A Christian today might even think that (Saint) Paul would see homosexuality as part of God’s creation, sanctified by the Incarnation. The world of our bodily senses is not a veil that obscures divinity. The material world, whatever its groans and travails, is the expression of divine goodness. The best impulses of that world – the genuine struggles for the fulfillment of bodily existence – cannot be dismissed…People’s sexual expressions have to be seen within that context.”James  D. Davidson

    Writes for “America”, “National Catholic Reporter”,”Commonweal” and “Ligourian”: all liberal Catholic publications.  Google for many articles to read.  It is worth noting that he does not write for more orthodox Catholic publications such as ‘First Things’.

    Jane Redmont (“ Acts of Hope “)

  •      There are sixty gazillion contemporary books on Benedictine spirituality, including the very popular  ” http://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Distilled-Daily-Living-Benedict/dp/B000GG4GVC/ref=pd_sim_b_5/105-9952589-5561209  by Joan Chittister (feminist Catholic Benedictine sister, author, worker for peace: National Catholic Reporter columnist, member of Call To Action speakers bureau).  http://www.natcath.org/%3Cspan%20style= Most people loved the Chittister book, and while I like a lot of her other work, this one didn’t float my boat, at least in the past year.”  
  •      WCCO TV:  August 9, 1999  Reverend Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., author of Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin and dean of the Chapel for Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Jane Redmont, feminist Catholic theologian from Berkeley, California. 
  •      October 10 National Catholic Reporter ran a front-page article about the “Critical Mass,” a feminist “liturgy” held in Oakland’s Bishop Begin Plaza [see November Faith], describing the pseudo-ritual, which included divesting a mock male priest, as an authentic Catholic Mass: “I understand the body of Christ in a way I had not before…” wrote contributor Jane Redmont, who also participated in the event as a member of its planning committee. “This is my body, I say, touching a woman’s arm and shoulder. This is my blood, I say, touching another woman, of a different age and race from my own. You are my flesh and blood, we are saying, and Christ’s flesh and blood. We know this in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the cup; we know this in touching each other’s bodies.”Redmont continued, “We have disagreed over terminology and theology, we have varying relationships to Jesus and to the local church. Some of us are more attached than others to biblical and historical sources and authorities….Some choose to stay but not to have their names listed anywhere: fear of losing church-related or Catholic academic jobs.”A week after Redmond’s story, the National Catholic Reporter editorialized that the Oakland event is “too critical to shrug off” because “women are not going to disappear.” “One doesn’t have to endorse the liturgy–and certainly there are liturgists and Catholic feminists who would take issue with the event in Oakland–to recognize the importance of taking it seriously,” read the editorial.
  •      Read 2nd paragraph at bottom (p. 171)–then, read 3rd paragraph (which also elaborates on heterodox views of Kathleen Hughes):” http://books.google.com/books?id=mwvqvYv7N5kC&lpg=PA171&ots=Xq-fs9Sl8d&dq=%22Jane%20Redmont” ( In ‘contents” read: Engine of Lay Ministry which details the powerful role of Call To Action in the promotion of clericalizing the laity.)
  •      Amazon Book ReviewEditor Mary Jo Weaver has gathered a great group of prominent theologians, academicians and scholars to write about “hot button” issues facing liberal/progressive American Catholics. What she has produced is an outstanding collection of essays that give voice to that group. Each essay examines a different issue, such as birth control/abortion, the role of women in the church, the liturgy and many more. The essays are academic in nature yet accessible to all readers in its style and tone. If you’re a liberal/progressive Catholic and want need some support for when people attack your views, this book is a must.  Msgr. William  Shannon
  •      http://credo.stormloader.com/Doctrine/rocheres.htm.
  •      While many theologians such as McBrien, Father Francis Sullivan at Boston College and Monsignor William Shannon in Rochester, NY, berated the Vatican and accused  it of forcing good people out of the Church, Dr. Joyce Little, a theologian at St. Thomas university in Houston, said that those who encouraged women to believe they could be ordained if only enough pressure were put on the Vatican have a lot to answer for.   http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/VATBAN.TXT
  •      Catholic Education Resource Center:    www.catholiceducation.org)  Chesteron once remarked that he loved the Catholic Church because it had prevented him from becoming a child of his age. William Shannon, sadly, is very much a child of his age, as are his Catholic compatriots in the media. I daresay that in a hundred years, his introduction to Merton’s masterpiece will seem far more dated than the text it introduces. Indeed, it is Merton who gets the last word on Shannon. It occurs when Merton realizes the error of his old life: “I saw clearly enough that I was the product of my times, my society, and my class. I was something that had been spawned by the selfishness and irresponsibility of the materialistic century in which I lived. However, what I did not see was that my own age and class only had an accidental part to play in this. They gave my egoism and pride and my other sins a peculiar character of weak and supercilious flippancy proper to this particular century: but that was only on the surface. Underneath, it was the same old story of greed and lust and self-love, of the three concupiscences bred in the rich, rotted undergrowth of what is technically called “the world,” in every age, in every class. 
  •      Mark Gauvreau Judge. “Strangers in the House: When Catholics in the Media Turned Against the Church.” Crisis (November, 2003): 41-45.” 
  •      “Ten Reason’s” Blog:    http://richleonardi.blogspot.com/2005_10_09_archive.html The parish bulletin indicates that one “Fr. William H. Shannon” will be sharing a “Catholic perspective on death and dying” at a nearby chapel. Given that Shannon’s      http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0400.aspheterodox ruminations on the “Resurrection of Faith” are largely what inspired my recent     ” http://www.catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?art_id=29722critique of the Catholic Update publications, I can only imagine how he’ll set forth about, say, Terri Schiavo.
  •      Catholic Answers Forums:   ” http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=4042142” 
  •      Catholic Answers Forums:  Vatican II: The Vision Lives On (p. 2)…. “web sites that are presenting dangerous or heterodox theology or spirituality? (Fidelity); Books by Richard Rohr, William H. Shannon 
  •      “Using a document named Always Our Children priests of Chicago, Rochester, and their GLBT [gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgende red] allies throughout the nation, have attempted to demonize two thousand years….(see very bottom of article)   http://www.catholiccitizens.org/press/contentreview.asp?c=11468
  •      Catholic Exchange website- August 18, 2005.  Author: Rich LeonardiConsider Fr. William H. Shannon’s “The Resurrection: How We Know It’s True.” Here is an excerpt from the section called “The Resurrection: An experience of faith”:The point which I am trying to lead up to is the realization that seeing the risen Jesus was not an experience of empirical data; it was an experience of faith. For the very best that empirical experience might have achieved was an experience of resuscitation, not resurrection. Think of Lazarus in John’s Gospel (Jn 11:1-45). He was mortal and he died. He was resuscitated and therefore was living again, but even after his resuscitation he was still mortal. Hence people could see him before and after because in both cases he was mortal. Lazarus was as much a subject of empirical data after his resuscitation as before his death.  The mortal Jesus — the Jesus before His death — could, like the mortal Lazarus, have been experienced as a fact of empirical data; the risen Jesus, however, could only be experienced by faith. For resurrection is not returning from the dead. It is a leap beyond death to an entirely different kind of existence. Such a leap cannot be empirically verified. Father Shannon’s speculations run counter to Pope John Paul II’s orthodox description of the Resurrection: Christ’s Resurrection is the strength, the secret of Christianity. It is not a question of mythology or of mere symbolism, but of a concrete event. It is confirmed by sure and convincing proofs. The acceptance of this truth, although the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s grace, rests at the same time on a solid historical base. (From remarks given before praying the Regina Caeli on Sunday, April 21, 1996) Thus, it simply isn’t consistent with Catholic teaching for Father Shannon to state that the Resurrection “was not an experience of empirical data” and that the risen Jesus “could only be experienced by faith.” Instead, in the pope’s words, it was a public, “concrete event” backed by “convincing proofs” and resting on “a solid historical base.” No later than 15 years after Christ’s earthly ministry, St. Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians that 500 “brethren” saw the risen Jesus “at one time.” He did not write, as Shannon would have it, that they just sensed Him spiritually. As the Vatican wrote just last winter, “the appearances of the Risen Lord and the empty tomb are the foundation of the faith of the disciples in the Resurrection of Christ, and not vice versa.”Am I making too much of a fuss about this? I don’t think so. Let’s remember who reads these Catholic Updates — RCIA candidates, participants in adult faith formation groups, perhaps someone shaky in his faith who wants to be certain of what the Church teaches. That they should be handed something like Father Shannon’s wrong musings on the Resurrection is a shame. That his musings bear the imprimatur of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is, well, something worse.Gabriel Moran  (there are 10 pages of ‘hits’ when I googled the word dissent)
  •      Catholic Culture:  Can Reform Come?  http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=20884Christian Brother Gabriel Moran: many observers, admirers and critics alike, propose Moran as the most influential man in the catechetical revolution. Michael Warren, editor of Source Book for Modern Catechetics, says, “Few persons in the United States have made a contribution to the catechetical scene as complex and difficult to assess as Gabriel Moran.”Moran’s work influenced many in the catechetical movement to reject divine revelation–the Church’s deposit of faith–in favor of “on-going revelation”–in effect, the interpretation of one’s own experiences as private revelation. This meant not simply that catechists should enliven the students’ understanding of the Gospel by connecting it to their life experiences, but that the students could find revelation only in their own experience. A student “would have to reject any document from the past pretending to divine revelation,” Moran wrote. As Msgr. Michael Wrenn has observed, that category includes the Gospel.
  •      The Rosary Light & Life – Vol 43, No 2, March-April 1990: Brother Gabriel Moran, for whom the basis of theology is not supernatural revelation but experience, wrote in his book “Catechesis of Revelation” :”Revelation consists only in present conscious experience of people. (p. 13) . . . There is no revelation except in God revealing Himself in personal experience . . . One must choose to structure it (the curriculum) according to the people precisely because that is where revelation is. (p. 144) . . . People who demand that there be a higher norm of truth than human experience are asking for an idol.” (p. 45) 
  •      AD 2000 Book Reveiw: A Generation Betrayed should be read by bishops, priests, teachers, parents – indeed, by everyone interested in religious education. It not only throws a flood of light on what is wrong in modern catechetics, but shows with admirable clarity what the Church really teaches on the vital issues being so tragically contested today.  Such muddled thinking is hardly surprising given the prevalence of the lightweight new catechetics – spearheaded by such experts as Thomas Groome and Gabriel Moran – over the past 30 years or so in most Australian dioceses.William D. Antonio
  •      Marys Advocates   www.marysadvocates.org/clsawho.html)   At the Canon Law Society of America’s 1992 annual convention, William D’Antonio explained how laity who reject the Pope’s traditional teachings, and the autocratic rule that undergirds them, are affirming the liberating principles of Vatican II, especially those enunciated in the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. (1) D’Antonio supported those who engage in pre- or non-marital sex, use contraceptives, support friends who divorce and remarry, and vote for pro-choice candidates 
  •      Common Dreams. org:     http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0504-04.htm. “Is The Pope Catholic?”“…Karol Wojtyla has shaped a hierarchy that is intolerant of dissent, unaccountable to its members, secretive in the extreme and willfully clueless about how people live.  Probably no institution run by a fraternity of aging celibates was going to reconcile easily with a movement that embraced the equality of women, abortion on demand and gay rights. It is possible, though, to imagine a leadership that would have given it a try. In fact, Pope Paul VI indicated some interest in adopting a more lenient view of birth control, and he handpicked a committee of prominent Catholics who endorsed the idea almost by acclamation. The pope agonized, and then astonished Catholics by reaffirming the old ban. “If you want to look for where credibility on human sexuality got lost, it got lost there,” said the Catholic University sociologist William D’Antonio.”
  •      Amazon Book Review:  Voices of the Faithful: American Catholics Striving For Change (2007):  Dr. William D’Antonio and Rev. Anthony Pogorlec at the Catholic University of America, in this important Church in the 21st Century book, leaves the reader with little doubt that those who have membership in VOTF are indeed “Loyal Catholics Striving for Change.  Thomas Groome
  •      Catholic Culture Website:  Compilation on Thomas Groome      This is a very large file which extensively documents the the “shared Christian praxis” approach which is foundational to programs such as Generations of Faith.  Groome also dissents against the Church’s doctrine on the male-only ministerial priesthood. In his book Sharing Faith (1991), he asserts that “the exclusion of women from ordained ministry is the result of a patriarchal mind-set and culture and is not of Christian faith.” http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=6516Bill Huebsch
  •      Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission; June 2006:  Los Angeles Religious Education Congress: A large proportion of speakers have addressed both the congress and Call to Action gatherings. Among more than a dozen Call to Action speakers appearing at the 2006 Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles were: Capuchin Father Michael Crosby, who spoke on injustice in the Church; Father Donald Cozzens, of Cleveland’s John Carroll University, who has famously written that the priesthood is becoming a gay profession; Edwina Gateley, an eccentric feminist whose performances resemble English music hall comedy more than religious presentations; Bill Huebsch, current head of Twenty Third Publications, who talked about parish adult education. 
  •      Catholic Answers Forum -Feb. 14, 2007- Re: Whole Community Catechesis:  “I am a DRE for a cluster of 4 parishes and I have to concur that the state of knowledge among most Catholics is pretty bad across the board. The problem with doing “whole community catechesis” is that many of the parents generation do not attend Mass and do not seem to care to learn about the Faith. My parish did Generations of Faith and it failed gradually and miserably… fewer and fewer attending. Many parents just drop their kids off at religious education as baby-sitting some time. I don’t mean to be cynical, but it is frustrating.” 
  •      AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM (Fall, 2004) Report on Los Angeles Religious Education Congress:“When God came, He didn’t come as a catechism. God did not come as a moral code or a doctrinal system or theology school. He came as a person. God is love….This love is messy – not an easy love. Following the law – law has boundaries that are very clear. Who’s in, who’s out? Who’s allowed to come to communion, who’s not? Who’s a practicing Catholic, who’s not? Love is not….When you love someone, you don’t ask, ‘are you a good Catholic?’ Love transcends that. Theology is precise, love is is not. Love is ragged around the edges. Doctrine can be collected in a book, love cannot. Love is beyond the boundaries of that. Love transcends it all. When we give a dinner party at our home, we don’t ask, ‘are you in a valid marriage?’” – Catechist Bill HuebschConclusionsBased on the research done on the Generations of Faith catechetical approach, and its contributors who demonstrate their dissent from authentic Catholic teaching (demonstrated by the articles and links I have attached), I fear that not only our youth, but also poorly catechized parishioners could be harmed by heterodox teachings imbedded in the materials provided by The Center for Ministry Development, which publishes and promotes GOF.  Those of us who have been given the grace to seek out and learn all we can about our faith, must do our part in protecting God’s faithful from error.
  • One Nation ‘Under God’ — In case you’ve forgotten…

    The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag:

    “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

    STORY/SOURCE

    END OF POST/ENDURING FREEDOM

    “A Catholic Response to the ‘Call for Civility'”

    Full text and signatories of: “A Catholic Response to the ‘Call for Civility'”:

    1. All men and women of good will value civility, but civility is not the highest — or the only — civic virtue. Rather, justice is. As Pope Benedict XVI reminds us in Deus Caritas Est, “Justice is both the aim and the intrinsic criterion of all politics.”

    2. If Catholic politicians advocated segregation or — even worse — slavery, would there be a call for civility towards them?

    3. If Catholic politicians said they did not believe in just war principles but rather in aggressive wars of conquest, would there be a call to be civil toward them?

    4. If Catholic politicians said the poor are poor because of their bad behavior and we are not obliged to help them in any way, wouldn’t we say they are heartless and even un-Christian?

    5. We know the answer to these questions. There would be a justified public and not very civil call for their removal from public life. Moreover, there would be a public and justified call for the Catholic hierarchy to do something about them. And leading the public cry would be many who have signed the “Call for Civility.”

    6. Some ask for civility now for one reason, abortion. John Paul the Great called abortion the greatest civil rights issue of our time and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops recently called it the number one political issue of our time. Embryo-destructive research, and homosexual marriage follow right behind, though numerous Catholic politicians also oppose the fundamental teachings of the Church on these issues.

    7. The lack of public civility comes not from pro-lifers but from those Catholic politicians who support the right to kill innocent life in the womb and those who support defining man-woman marriage out of existence. But, some want to treat these politicians differently because they agree with them on important but purely prudential questions like health care, and the minimum wage.

    8. These are old and tired arguments that have been criticized by successive Popes and by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for putting unequal problems on the same moral plane. Though not all of its signers intend it, we believe the effect of the “Call for Civility” would be to silence the pro-life and pro-family movements. We oppose this effort root and branch.

    9. One of the greatest moral leaders in modern history led the fight in Britain to end the slave trade. William Wilberforce also campaigned for prison reform, the end of child labor and many other worthy social reforms. But Wilberforce knew that all these questions would never be answered until the great poison of the slave trade was ended. The slave trade coarsened the British people, the British ruling class, and British public life. In precisely the same way, abortion and other issues have coarsened our public life, and have poisoned American political discourse and our politics. Progress will not be made on other important but prudential issues about which well-intentioned people may disagree civilly unless and until the Culture of Death is as much a part of history as the slave trade.

    10. In short, we will feel free even strongly to condemn the public policy positions of Catholic politicians who support abortion, embryo-destructive research, and homosexual marriage. They stand against the teachings of the Church and in favor of morally repugnant practices that are counter to the common good and that should be unwelcome in a just or even polite society. And we support bishops who move strongly to eliminate their grave public scandal. We say this not as Democrats or Republicans but as faithful Catholics.

    Signed,

    (Organizations listed for identification purposes only)

    Carol Nevin Sue Abromaitis
    Professor of English, Loyola College

    Daniel Allott
    Senior Writer/Policy Analyst, American Values

    John Baker
    Professor of Law, Louisiana State University

    Miquel Bedolla, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Jeffrey Bell
    Former aide to Ronald Reagan
    Principal, Capital City Partners

    Brian Benestad
    Professor of Theology, University of Scranton

    Judge Robert Bork

    John T. Bruchalski, M.D.
    Founder, Tepeyec Family Center

    Christian Brugger
    Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy,
    Institute for Psychological Sciences

    Brian Burch
    President, Fidelis

    Cristina Burrelli
    Executive Director, Alliance for the Family

    William D. Byrne, M.D.

    Rear Admiral William M. Callaghan

    Frank Cannon
    Principal, Capital City Partners

    Joseph Capizzi
    Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America

    Katherine H. Carroll, R.N.

    Samuel B. Casey, J.D.

    Larry Cirignano
    Former President, Catholic Citizenship

    Richard Clair Esq.
    Board of Directors, Human Life International

    Margaret Colliton, R.N.

    William Colliton, M.D.
    Board of Directors, Human Life International

    James Costantino, Ph.D.

    Julie A. Curtis, M.D.

    Richard P. Delaney, M.D.

    Bernard Dobranski
    Dean, Ave Maria School of Law

    Charles Donovan
    Executive Vice President, Family Research Council

    Dawn Eden
    Author, “The Thrill of the Chaste”

    Carmen H. Egge

    George V. Egge Jr., Esq.

    Father Tom Euteneuer
    President, Human Life International

    Patrick Fagan
    Senior Fellow, Family Research Council

    Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons
    Author, Psychiatrist

    Gerry Giblin
    Board of Directors, Cardinal Newman Society

    Thomas Giblin, M.D.

    Kenneth L. Grasso
    Vice President, Society of Catholic Social Scientists

    James Hitchcock
    Professor of History, Saint Louis University

    Jim Holman
    Publisher, California Catholic Daily

    Jerry Horn
    Director of Communications, Priests for Life

    Larry Jenkins Jr., M.D.

    Colonel William T. Keegan, USA Ret.

    Father Joseph Koterski SJ
    Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

    Peter Kreeft
    Author, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

    V. Bradley Lewis
    Associate Professor, School of Philosophy
    Catholic University of America

    Lorenzo Marcolin, M.D.

    George Marlin
    General Editor, Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton
    Author, “The American Catholic Voter”

    Connie Marshner
    Raphael Services

    William E. May
    Michael J. McGivney Professor of Moral Theology
    Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
    Catholic University of America

    J. Laurence McCarty
    Board of Directors, Cardinal Newman Society

    Tom McClusky
    Vice President for Government Affairs, Family Research Council

    Kelly McGinn
    Board of Directors, Human Life International

    Francis Xavier McLaughlin, Esq.

    David Mills
    Editor, Touchstone Magazine

    Gerald Mitchell
    Attorney at Law

    Charles Molineaux, Esq.

    Steve Mosher
    President, Population Research Institute

    Honorable Tim Murphy

    George Neumayr
    Editor, The Catholic World Report

    James Nolan
    Attorney at Law
    President, Crossroads Pro-Life

    Stuart W. Nolan, Jr., Esq.

    Michael Novak
    George Frederick Jewett Chair in Religion and Public Policy
    American Enterprise Institute
    Winner — Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion

    J.M. Brian O’Connell, M.D.

    Father Frank Pavone MEV
    National Director, Priests for Life

    Father Marcel Quarnizo
    President, Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe

    Patrick Reilly
    President, Cardinal Newman Society

    Daniel Robinson
    Professor, Philosophy Faculty, Oxford University

    Robert Royal
    President, Faith and Reason Institute

    Ray Ruddy
    President, Gerard Health Foundation

    Austin Ruse
    President, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

    Cathy Ruse
    Former chief pro-life spokesperson, US Conference of Catholic Bishops

    Carol Saeman
    Philanthropist

    John Saeman
    Philanthropist

    William L. Saunders
    Senior Fellow
    Director of the Center for Human Life and Bioethics
    Family Research Council

    Brian Scarnecchia
    Professor of Humanities and Catholic Culture, Franciscan University of Steubenville

    Robert Shalhoub, M.D.

    Russell Shaw
    Author, “Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion and the Crisis of Faith”

    Father Robert Sirico
    President, Acton Institute

    Edward D. Soma, M.D.
    Founding Chairman, Department of Radiology and
    Nuclear Medicine, Holy Cross Hospital

    Joseph J. Soma, M.D.

    Damian von Stauffenberg
    Chairman, Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe

    Donna Steichen
    Author, “Prodigal Daughters: Catholic Women Come Home to the Church”

    Richard Stith
    Professor of Law, Valparaiso University

    Emily Sullivan

    Mary Alice Swengros

    Mike Tarone
    Attorney at Law

    Pat Trueman
    Former Executive Director/General Counsel
    Americans United for Life

    John Vanchiere, M.D., Ph.D.

    Deborah Vanlandingham, R.N., M.S.N.

    Joseph A. Varacalli, Ph.D.
    Author, “The Catholic Experience in America”

    Dr. Paul Vitz
    Professor of Psychology, Institute for Psychological Sciences

    Bridgett Wagner
    Policy Expert

    Steve Wagner
    President, QEV Analytics

    Jack Whelan
    Chairman, Culture of Life Foundation

    Kenneth Whitehead
    Former Assistant Secretary of Education

    Jack Willke, M.D.
    Former President, Nation Right to Life Committee
    Former President, International Right to Life

    Christopher Wolfe
    President, American Public Philosophy Institute

    Thomas Woods
    Author, “How the Catholic Church Invented Western Civilization”

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

    VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2008 (VIS) – The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally celebrated every year from January 18 to 25, begins on Friday. The theme chosen for this year’s initiative, taken from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, is: “Pray without ceasing”. The texts for reflection and prayer have been prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.tree.jpg

    Each day of the Week will have a different theme:

    18 January: Pray always. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5, 17).

    19 January: Pray always, trusting God alone. “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5, 18).

    20 January: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts. “Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted” (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

    21 January: Pray always for justice. “See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all” (1 Thessalonians 5, 15).

    22 January: Pray constantly with a patient heart. “Be patient with all of them” (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

    23 January: Pray always for grace to work with God. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5, 16).

    24 January: Pray for what we need. “. help the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

    25 January: Pray always that they all may be one. “Be at peace” (1 Thessalonians 5, 13b)

    Although the traditional period for celebrating this week of prayer is in the month of January, in the southern hemisphere Churches sometimes seek other periods such as, for example, around the time of Pentecost, which is also a symbolically significant date for the unity of the Church, and was suggested by the Faith and Order movement in 1926.

    In the basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers to mark the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.