It is strange indeed to see conservative Catholics unwittingly aiding and abetting the agenda of the pro-abortion organizations they oppose. And stranger still that conservatives who spent the last election cycle saying that no political issue mattered as much as abortion are suddenly putting their idolatry of the market before adopting a sound strategy for keeping abortion coverage out of the health care reform effort. They have provided ample reason for the administration and Congress to ignore their pleas on abortion. The may see themselves as the “loyal opposition” but they are not being loyal to the pro-life cause they espouse. They are undermining it.
Jim Pouillon was a pro-lifer advocate that would stand outside of abortion mills hoping in turning away women from killing their unborn children. He wore leg braces, was dependent on an oxygen tank, and was a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.” as described by close friend Cal Zastrow.
Jim Pouillon was also a Catholic and was remembered by his parish priest, Father John Fain of Saint Paul Church in Owosso, Michigan as “a good Christian and a faithful Catholic.
For self-disclosure I am very active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the pro-life movement. One of the many activities that I participate in is peaceful prayer in front of Planned Parenthood. So when I heard of the shooting I was deeply shocked at the news.
Even more shocking was the reaction in the secular world, particularly from the political extreme left as this example displays from the notorious Huffington Post:
“…with the way the fake news pundits will run with this one, we might as well get a good laugh out of it now.”
Though what was most disturbing at all was what emanated from various dissident Catholics and blogs when they began smearing the pro-life movement immediately after the attack by claiming that many pro-lifers are violent.
What can we do?
Pray for them.
Follow Jim Pouillon’s example of peaceful protest and prayer. As our Lord and Savior told us, close the door behind us and pray in private.
I have had my eyes on the tea party movement protesting government spending since the beginning of the movement. On Saturday a huge national tea party protest was held in Washington. Estimates of crowd size range from 500,000 to 2.3 million. Some organs of the mainstream media are attempting to downplay the significance of this event. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are not so gullible. They realize that a political storm is brewing. Perhaps even more significant than this show of strength by the forces opposed to the drunken sailor spending of the Obama administration are the state tea parties taking place each week. For example in the completely blue state of Illinois, my home state, there was a tea party at New Lennox near Joliet last week that drew 10,000 people. This weekend a tea party at Quincy, Illinois drew 12000 people. Receiving scant coverage from the national media, these parties are are becoming a real factor in the 2010 elections.
Charlie Cook is one of the best political prognosticators in the business. Here is what he is seeing:
“Even in the best of times, Congress is unpopular. And now voters see Obama as having sent suggestions rather than proposals to the Hill, staking his future and reputation on a body that they hold in low regard. (On foreign-policy matters, where Congress plays a small role, Obama’s job-approval ratings remain quite good. It’s on the domestic side that his numbers are dismal.)
With 14 months to go before the 2010 midterm election, something could happen to improve the outlook for Democrats. However, wave elections, more often than not, start just like this: The president’s ratings plummet; his party loses its advantage on the generic congressional ballot test; the intensity of opposition-party voters skyrockets; his own party’s voters become complacent or even depressed; and independent voters move lopsidedly away. These were the early-warning signs of past wave elections. Seeing them now should terrify Democrats.”
Some people just make you proud to be a human being, and the incredibly heroic Irena Sendler is in that category. When asked why she saved 2500-3000 Jewish kids she said simply: “I was taught that if you see a person drowning, you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not.” The acclaim she received late in life bothered her somewhat: “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.”
When any of us confront evil and think, “What can I do?”, may the example of Irena Sendler cause us to do the very most that we can. Irena Sendler did not think of herself as a heroine. She said that she could have done much more. I find that hard to believe, but with such a conscience to guide her I can understand how she accomplished the near miraculous.
Something for the weekend. God Save The Tsar, the national anthem of pre-Revolutionary Russia. As a whole the members of the Romanov dynasty who ruled Russia for three centuries prior to 1917 were a rather bad group of rulers, with the exceptions of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Alexander II, the Tsar Liberator who freed the serfs, and seemed to specialize in inept mediocrities, especially poor doomed Nicholas II, the last Tsar, who lacked the ability to run a town let alone a vast empire. However, they were fortunate in their successors. They shine when compared to monsters like Lenin and Stalin. Perhaps the Obama administration could revive the song and have it played when some of their “tsars” consult with the President?
It seems to me that there can be no such thing as a “monarchist”. An -ist indicates some sort of intentional form of government which one may support establishing or working towards. Yet looking at the various attempts to bring back the ancein regime or something like it, it strikes me that monarchy is not something which can be intentionally established, except as a cultural and political figurehead of sorts. Monarchy must necessarily be an unintentional form of government, and so while one may admire it where one finds it in history, it doesn’t seem like something one can be a supporter of establishing. An intentionally established monarchy would not be a monarchy in any sense worth valuing.
Owosso police chief Michael Compeau said Jim Pouillon, 63, was outside the school Friday morning with a sign when a man drove by and shot him. No one else was injured.
Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody, the Flint Journal reported.
The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were hurt or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.
When authorities were responding to the first shooting, officials received a report that another man had been shot and killed at a gravel pit business in Owosso. Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood said Mike Fuoss was found dead in his office.
Perhaps I’m cynical, but I doubt that there will be nationwide hand-wringing over whether pro-choice rhetoric has been too violent, and is thus at fault for the killing. Satisfying as that might be for those of us who are frustrated at being accused of being violent simply for opposing the idea that killing the unborn is a constitutional and moral right, it is probably as it should be since, as I’ve said when the shoe is on the other foot, broad political movements cannot be held responsible for the actions of lone crazies who happen to do something vaguely related to their aims.
some of what I had written about the scandal of the Ted Kennedy funeral was reproduced and posted on that Blog.
One person, Drew Black, sent in a comment to that Blog:
Thank-you, Excellency for the courage to speak out, to put the truth into print. May I ask why it is the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston? It would seem that the most efficacious means of correction would come from the top. Authority in the church lies with its leaders. You must stand up publicly to one another. Please. We pray for you in this year of the priest.?Mary help you.
Thinking that others might be asking themselves the similar question “why did Bishop Gracida consider it the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston?” I decided to send an answer to Drew Black on that same Blog. Here was my answer:
September 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm
You ask “why is it the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston?”?In response I would refer you to the Historical Tracts written by the Servant of God, John Henry Cardinal Newman, in which he describes the situation in the Fourth Century when, he says, practically all of the Church’s bishops were tainted either with Arianism or Semi-Arianism, all except for the Pope and Saint Athanasius. The “sensus fidelium” of the laity saved the Church because they would not follow the lead of their bishops. The Pope and Saint Athanasius, relying on that “sensus fidelium” were able to carry the day at the Council of Nicea. Sometimes, history does repeat itself.
My point in referring to what Cardinal Newman wrote was that there are times in the life of the Church when the laity needs to make known to the Church’s hierarchy exactly what the sensus fidelium is with regard to whatever burning issue is affecting the unity of the Church at that moment.”
Bravo Bishop! It is all too easy for we laity to sit back and leave protecting the teaching of the Church to the clergy. Rubbish! The teachings of Christ apply to the laity and the clergy both, and the laity cannot shirk the duty to point out when events are taking place within the Church that are in flat contradiction to that teaching. The Church, the Bride of Christ, is no less precious to the laity, and when the clergy neglect their duty, that is no excuse for faithful members of the laity to forget theirs.
Blackadder pointed out elsewhere that for all of the insistence that people cannot wait and absolutely need reform right now in order to alleviate the suffering of the uninsured, the health care bills currently under consideration are designed not to begin to go into effect until 2013, conveniently after the next presidential election. It is, I’m sure, a matter of opinion whether this is a cynical political attempt to avoid the consequences of people actually experiencing one’s health care reforms, or if its the necessary time to enact all 1100+ pages of regulations in the current plan. Either way, perhaps there’s a better way if people are really serious about helping people quickly and avoiding partisanship.
By most counts, there are actually around 12-15 million Americans who are uninsured for more than a few months, do not have the financial ability to buy their own insurance (make less than 75k), are legal residents, etc. This 12-15 million includes some people who are simply poor and can’t afford insurance (perhaps it’s not provided by their employers, or perhaps they’re unemployed) and others who are middle class (but without employer coverage) and have medical conditions which make it impossible to get individual health care insurance.
Let’s assume it’s 15 million. If we also assume that they’re fairly expensive to insure ($5000/person/year) the cost of simply paying to buy them all private insurance would be $75 billion per year, or $750B over ten years — actually less than the estimated cost of the current health care reform bill. (Heck, you could pay for the first 4-5 years by canceling all stimulus spending which is not scheduled to happen until after 1-1-2010.)
The deepest downturn in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression may finally shrink the gap between the very best-off Americans and everyone else.
If so, it won’t be by lifting up the bottom. It will be by pulling down the top.
Over the past 30 years, chief executives, Wall Street bankers and traders, law-firm partners and such amassed ever-greater incomes, while the incomes of factory workers, teachers, office managers and others in the middle grew much more slowly. In 2007, the top 1% of U.S. families accounted for 23.5% of all personal income in the U.S., according to economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics. That was a level not seen since the Roaring Twenties.
The top 1%’s share appears to be falling fast. Mr. Saez and other economists expect income going to the top 1% of taxpayers — currently, those with about $400,000 a year — will drop to somewhere between 15% and 19% of all income by 2010. That still would leave income distribution more top-heavy in the U.S. than in many other countries.
Bishop Rene Gracida is the retired bishop of Corpus Christi. He has a blog called Abyssus Abyssum Invocat. During World War II he was a tail gunner with the 303rd Hell’s Angels B-17 bomb group. Why does that come as absolutely no surprise to me? When it comes to speaking out in regard to the Kennedy funeral, I suppose it requires little courage for a Bishop who faced the skies of WW2 Europe. The Bishop minces no words:
“WHERE DO I BEGIN
There was so much wrong with the funeral liturgy celebrated in Boston last Saturday for Senator Edward Moore Kennedy that I hardly know where to begin. Aside from the impropriety of such a grandiose celebration for one of the country’s most notorious dissident Catholics, the ‘celebration’ was filled with liturgical errors and transgressions against the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which governs every celebration of the Church’s liturgy. I am afraid that if I, a bishop, were to go into the details of the scandal it would only add to the scandal and so I will let the laity speak to it.”
The Bishop then places on his blog critical articles about the funeral from many sources. Go here to read the articles at his blog and then place the Bishop’s blog under your “Favorites” list. It is definitely a blog to check in at on a regular basis.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 1:08pm CDT on AD 9-10-2009]
Michael Voris, S.T.B., breaks down Bishop Morlino’s chastizement of those Catholics that were scandalized by Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass.
LifeSiteNews.com has the following commentary by Patrick B. Craine and John-Henry Westen concerning the very same issue of Bishop Morlino chastizing Catholics critical of the pomp and ceremony bestowed upon the abortion advocate Ted Kennedy during the funeral Mass.
Bishop of Madison, Robert C. Morlino, expressed his support for the Kennedy funeral in a column last Thursday, basing his approval on the claim that the funeral was celebrated “in a subdued fashion,” and that this “low key” approach was appropriate due to the Senator’s support for abortion and other issues.
. . .
“All of this is leading me up to the expression of my contentment with how our Church, in a subdued fashion, celebrated the Rites of Christian Burial for Senator Kennedy,” he said. “The proclamation of God’s Mercy was powerful, the prayer for forgiveness of his past sins was clearly offered, and all of this in a subdued way because of his long-standing and public holding of pro-abortion and other stances which have been a scandal in the literal sense.”