Sunday, August 31, 2008


I am not sure how the Sarah Palin choice as McCain's running mate will work out but I am happy with the choice. At first blush she seems intelligent and good on the podium. I am glad he selected someone so strongly pro-life. I think anything less than a pro-life choice for McCain would have been problematic. My preferred choice would have been the governor of Louisiana. Maybe that is my Catholic prejudice. Regardless this choice may bring the abortion question more to the forefront as the campaigns continue. It certainly is a contrast to the Biden selection. While he portrays himself as a Catholic, questions dog him regarding his pro-abortion reasoning. With Sarah Palin we have someone that has walked the talk when it comes to her faith and her pro-life stance. I pray for the success of the McCain/Palin ticket.


I just finished reading Steve Ray's book "Crossing the Tiber." Great book. Many protestants will not agree with him but he presents many rational reasons for his conversion to Catholicism. The book gives his reasoned response to questions many protestants have regarding the faith. He does so with the use of scripture, history, and the official teachings of the Church. Even if one does not agree with Mr. Ray, one can not argue that his conversion is not rational. The book underscores Fulton Sheen's belief that protestants do no hate the Catholic Church, they hate what they wrongly perceive and wrongly understand as Catholic teaching. I highly recommend this book as a starting point for someone investigating the Church.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Some in in congress get it right. They even said, "John Paul the Great."

Catholic House Republicans to Pelosi: Correct the Record
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Nineteen Catholic House Republicans led by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) signed a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to correct comments she made on NBC’s Meet the Press regarding the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion. In the letter, the Catholic representatives said Pelosi misrepresented Church doctrine and quote from Pelosi’s exchange with Tom Brokaw on the issue. The letter asks for Pelosi to apologize and correct the public record.The text of the letter is below.

August 26, 2008The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House of RepresentativesH-232,
The Capitol Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

On the Sunday, August 24th, broadcast of NBC’s Meet the Press, you stated “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, [abortion] is an issue that I have studied for a long time.” As fellow Catholics and legislators, we wish you would have made a more honest effort to lay out the authentic position of the Church on this core moral issue before attempting to address it with authority.Your subsequent remarks mangle Catholic Church doctrine regarding the inherent sanctity and dignity of human life; therefore, we are compelled to refute your error.In the interview, Tom Brokaw reminded you that the Church professes the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. As stated in the *Catechism of the Catholic Church*: “Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being” (2274).To this, you responded, “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the Church, this is an issue of controversy.” Unfortunately, your statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of Catholic teaching and belief regarding abortion.From the Apostles of the first century to Pope John Paul the Great “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 *2271).Thus, your erroneous claim about the history of the Church’s opposition to abortion is false and denigrates our common Faith. For example, during the reign of Pope Innocent XI in 1679, the Church unequivocally stated it is an error for Catholics to believe a fetus does not have a soul; and confirmed the teaching that abortion constitutes an unjustified taking of innocent human life.To reduce the scandal and consternation caused amongst the faithful by your remarks, we necessarily write you to correct the public record and affirm the Church’s actual and historical teaching that defends the sanctity of human life. We hope that you will rectify your errant claims and apologize for misrepresenting the Church’s doctrine and misleading fellow Catholics.

Thaddeus McCotter
Steve Chabot
Virginia Foxx
Phil Gingrey
Peter King (NY)
Steve King (IA)
Dan Lungren
Devin Nunes
John Sullivan
Pat Tiberi
John Boehner
Phil English
Jean Schmidt
Jim Walsh
Jeff Fortenberry
Michael McCaul
Paul Ryan
Walter Jones
Mike Ferguson


Good for you Cardinal Egan. The statement below is what Catholics needed to hear from their bishops. I hope more will speak out as forcefully.

August 26, 2008
Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.
We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York
August 26, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Good stuff

US Bishops: Pelosi Got Church Teaching WrongHouse Speaker Misrepresents Catholic Understanding of LifeWASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 26, 2008 ( The chairmen of the U.S. bishops' Committees on Pro-Life Activities and Doctrine affirmed that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi misrepresented Church teaching on abortion during an interview on national TV.Pelosi was asked on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" on Sunday to comment on when life begins. She responded saying that as a Catholic, she had studied the issue for "a long time" and that "the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition."Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U. Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, said her answer "misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion."They noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "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."And the prelates explained: "In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church's moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development."These mistaken biological theories became obsolete over 150 years ago when scientists discovered that a new human individual comes into being from the union of sperm and egg at fertilization. In keeping with this modern understanding, the Church teaches that from the time of conception -- fertilization -- each member of the human species must be given the full respect due to a human person, beginning with respect for the fundamental right to life."For the recordOther bishops also released statements clarifying Church teaching. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., noted that bishops are entrusted with the responsibility to interpret and teach Catholic doctrine."We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops," he said in a statement. "Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record. […]"From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death."And from Denver, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley addressed an online letter to their faithful, titled "On the Separation of Sense and State: a Clarification for the People of the Church in Northern Colorado."The letter affirms: "Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or 'ensouled.'"But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong."Cardinal Edward Egan released a statement this morning saying he was "shocked to learn" of Pelosi's remarks. He said her statements were "misinformed."The cardinal affirmed that the unborn have "an inalienable right to live, a right that the speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons.""Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being 'chooses' to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason," he added, "should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name."--- --- ---


There is often confusion when non-catholics hear us speak of the tradition of the Church. Sometimes when we speak of tradition we are speaking of practices that do not relate to belief per se but to practices. An example is the choice of vestments the priest is to wear at specific times of the year. We also understand a different use of the term tradition. It often referred to as tradition with a capital T. We can almost always substitute "history" in place of tradition in that case. An example is the Trinity. Though the word trinity does not appear in the Bible, it is the traditional understanding of the Church that God is the Blessed Trinity. In other words the history of the Church teaches that fact. It is reliable not because it is tradition, small t, but because it is part of the tradition, capital T. It helps if one realizes that the Church is the pillar of truth and that Christ will be with it always.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Catholicism and Objections

I often realize some of the things I like about Catholicism are the things that many non-Catholics find objectionable. I love the communion of saints and asking the saints to pray for me and for others, much as I would ask friends here on earth to do the same. The sacrament of confession is another. There is such a feeling of renewal after making a good confession. The papacy is another thing that I love. In spite of some truly sinful popes throughout the Church's history the truth of the faith continues. We are fortunate today that we are blessed with such a fine pontiff in Benedict XVI. There is a beauty and wisdom in the Church. When one reads the early Fathers the truth of the Church becomes much more reasonable. To paraphrase John Henry Newman, when one knows history, he ceases to be protestant. Easier said than done.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I was watching the 3ABN channel on cable and it is sad that so much anti-catholic nonsense is on the air. 3ABN is a Seventh Day Adventist cable network. The shows almost always are concerned with the endtimes and distorting history and Catholic teaching. This is nothing new for Seventh Day Adventists. Their earliest history in the nineteenth century is full of the same nonsense. The problem with the Adventists is same as the problem with so many protestant denominations. They lack the authority to proclaim the truth. Truth is defined by their particular interpretation scripture. Truth in many denominations is arrived at by the consensus of their leadership, often by vote. What so many seem to forget is that before there was a new testament, there was the Church. It was the Church that gave us the new testament. The Church had and has the authority that is apostolic which preserves and presents the true faith established by Christ.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Abortion and Joe Biden

Finally the guessing is over. Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate. Senator Biden is a pro-choice Catholic. Just what the Church needs, another Catholic politician that brings scandal to the faithful. I actually find Biden intelligent and likable. If only he would not present himself at the altar to receive the Eucharist, I would respect him even more. Certainly he knows that his pro-abortion position puts him at odds with his professed faith. He must know that his public support of abortion requires that he not receive the Eucharist and yet he does and does so publicly. The Church teaching on the matter has never been clearer than it has been in recent years. So why does he continue the receive the Eucharist? Has he found some loophole that allows him to support the destruction of innocent human life which would allow him to receive. No such loophole exists. Perhaps his reason is the true hunger that a believing Catholic has to receive the Body of Christ. Perhaps his motivation is political. Whatever the reason, I am sure he knows that without a change in his support of abortion, he should not receive. If the democratic party had a strong pro-life candidate, they would be unstoppable. I pray that the day comes when the party finds that candidate.