In my mispent youth I wore Army green for a few years. My main contribution to the nation’s defense was when I was discharged, but I have always retained a fondness for the Army. Therefore I have very strong feelings about the attempt by the Obama administration to censor Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the Catholic Archbishop for the military services in the US.
On Thursday, January 26, Archbishop Broglio emailed a pastoral letter to Catholic military chaplains with instructions that it be read from the pulpit at Sunday Masses the following weekend in all military chapels. The letter calls on Catholics to resist the policy initiative, recently affirmed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, for federally mandated health insurance covering sterilization, abortifacients and contraception, because it represents a violation of the freedom of religion recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
The Army’s Office of the Chief of Chaplains subsequently sent an email to senior chaplains advising them that the Archbishop’s letter was not coordinated with that office and asked that it not be read from the pulpit. The Chief’s office directed that the letter was to be mentioned in the Mass announcements and distributed in printed form in the back of the chapel.
Archbishop Broglio and the Archdiocese stand firm in the belief, based on legal precedent, that such a directive from the Army constituted a violation of his Constitutionally-protected right of free speech and the free exercise of religion, as well as those same rights of all military chaplains and their congregants.
Following a discussion between Archbishop Broglio and the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable John McHugh, it was agreed that it was a mistake to stop the reading of the Archbishop’s letter. Additionally, the line: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law” was removed by Archbishop Broglio at the suggestion of Secretary McHugh over the concern that it could potentially be misunderstood as a call to civil disobedience.
The AMS did not receive any objections to the reading of Archbishop Broglio’s statement from the other branches of service. Continue reading
My Bishop, Daniel Jenky, in reaction to the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict Catholic religious freedom through its contraceptive regulations, has called for the addition of the Saint Michael Prayer in the intercessory petitions at Mass. The intention of the prayer is for Catholic freedom in America.
January 24, 2012
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In this history of the United States, Friday, January 20, 2012 will certainly stand out as a moment of enormous peril for religious liberty. On that day, the Obama administration announced regulations that would require Catholic institutions to offer insurance programs providing abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptive services. If these regulations are put into effect, the could close down every Catholic school, hospital, and the other public ministries of our Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention. What is perfectly clear is that this is a bigoted and blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of every Catholic believer. Under no circumstances, however, will our Church ever abandon our unshakable commitment to the Gospel of Life.
I therefore call upon all the faithful of the Diocese to vigorously oppose this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our Faith. Under the Constitution, no president has the authority to require our cooperation with what we consider to be intrinsic evil and mortal sin. We must therefore oppose by every means at our disposal this gross infringement on the rights of Catholic citizens to freely practice our religion. This country once fought a revolution to guarantee freedom, but the time has clearly arrived to strongly reassert our fundamental human rights. I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance. I hope and pray that all people of good will would support the faith based resistance of us their Catholic neighbors.
While it is primarily the laity who should take the leading role in political and legal action, as your Bishop, it is my clear responsibility to summon our local church into spiritual and temporal combat in defense of Catholic Christianity. Have faith! Have courage! Fight boldly for what you believe! I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us. Always remember that the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4).
Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer. It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly hosts, and it is the enemies of god who will ultimately be defeated. This prayer should be announced as: A Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America.
May God guide and protect his Holy Church.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC Bishop of Peoria Continue reading
The South Carolina victory speech of Newt Gingrich last night. Most such primary victory speeches are fairly forgettable efforts and the Gingrich speech was largely no exception except at one point in the speech. Go to 12: 30 on the video, and watch Gingrich lambaste many elites in our society for their anti-religious bigotry. Gingrich has raised the issue of anti-Catholic bigotry in particular, and anti-Christian bigotry in general, before in this campaign, go here to read his earlier comments, and he may have hit on the sleeper issue of the year in this campaign. With the words of Pope Benedict, go here to read them, warning last week about the lessening of religious freedom in this country, this is a message whose time is now upon us. Continue reading
I assume that only hard core political junkies like me watched the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate last night which is a shame. All of the candidates acquitted themselves well, including Ron Paul who came across as avuncular Uncle Ron, instead of crazy Uncle Ron. Go here for a first rate overview of the debate. It was a debate heavy on substance and each of the candidates dealt with the questions adequately. I think Rick Santorum, who had quite a bit more air time last night than he did in previous debates, did himself a lot of good. However, the standout moment of the debate came when Newt Gingrich dealt with a question about gay marriage. The question was phrased as one would expect by denizens of the mainstream press, asking the candidates how they would talk to a gay couple who wanted to get married. When Gingrich’s turn came, he was having none of it.
“Should the Catholic church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?” Mr. Gingrich asked.
I’ve never much cared for Ann Coulter, but her column today shreds whatever remaining credibility she had. Her attacks on Santorum in particular reek of anti-Catholicism. Thankfully Jay Anderson has fisked her so that I don’t have to (Jay’s comments in red).
… Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative [ED: Apparently, being “more of a Catholic” – i.e. taking one’s faith seriously – is supposed to be a bad thing.], which means he’s good on 60 percent of the issues[ED.: Got that? Being Catholic automatically means being “wrong”on 40% of the issues in the mind of Coulter. At least she’s honest about her bigotry.], but bad on others, such as big government social programs. He’d be Ted Kennedy if he didn’t believe in God. [ED.: Yeah, that Santorum is JUST LIKE Ted Kennedy. Wait. What could the conservative Santorum POSSIBLY have in common with the uber-liberal late Ted Kennedy? Oh yeah. That whole Catholicism thingy – being beholden to the Pope, or something like that. Any doubts about how Coulter feels about Catholics now?]
Santorum may not be a big spender as far as professional politicians go [ED.: Or, for that matter, as far as your big-government, health-care mandating RINO boy, Dullard Flip Rino, goes.], but he is still a professional politician. In 2005, one of his former aides described him as “a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate.” [ED.: I, for one, think the Senate could use a few more such statesmen who are committed to renewing our culture, promoting virtue and traditional family values, and prizing service to others in the common good. Apparently, these things have no place in the selfishly individualistic, objectivist AynRandland that Coulter envisions for our society.]
The Catholic missionary was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop [ED.: Ah, there we go. What anti-Catholic screed would be complete without a few shots at the hierarchy in the form of Bishop-bashing?] in his support for No Child Left Behind, the Medicare drug entitlement program (now costing taxpayers more than $60 billion a year), and a highway bill with a Christmas tree of earmarks, including the famous “bridge to nowhere.” [ED.: I was unaware that the Bishops had taken a formal position in support of any of these measures. Not sure they’ve really taken much of an interest in Alaska road projects, for example. But why let that get in the way of slapping the Bishops around?]
More at the link.
If I may add, her attacks on Rick Perry are just as poorly thought out.
Rick Perry is not electable as president for three reasons: First, he seems too much like Bush;
Only to dimwitted individuals who can’t look past the fact that he’s from Texas and speaks with a midwest Texas twang.
second, he gave illegal immigrants in-state tuition;
Really? I mean really? This is supposed to be a disqualifying position? Also, he didn’t just give them in-state tuition discounts – the communist bastion known as the Texas legislature, by an overwhelming majority, did. Meanwhile, Coulter supports the guy who gave Barack Obama the model for his health care overhaul.
But yeah, Perry signing the in-state tuition discount for illegals is completely disqualifying.
and, third, uh, oops … I can’t remember the third reason.
Oh! Oh! Get it? It’s because Perry had that brain freeze at the debate. That’s a completely original joke from Ann Coulter that hasn’t been made a couple of hundred times already by people with far more wit.
Ten years ago National Review gave Coulter the boot for her post-9/11 column. With such slipshod reasoning as displayed here, I think they’d be ready to welcome her back with open arms.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski points out that pro-Obama Catholics were played as chumps by President Obama in an essay which appeared on December 2 in the Miami Herald. Here is his essay interspersed with my comments:
In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.
To say the least. That event demonstrated the de facto schism that exists in the Church between those who follow the teaching of the Church in regard to abortion and those who do not.
Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the president promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” stating that his administration would provide “sensible” protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include healthcare providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their healthcare plans for other people’s abortions.
It will come as little surprise to faithful readers of this blog, but the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as I affectionately refer to ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D. San Francisco), took the opportunity during an interview with the Washington Post to slam the Church she purportedly is a member of:
Pelosi recently was criticized for the way she characterized a bill to amend Republican-proposed conscience exemptions for health-care reform that allow providers to refuse to perform abortions. Pelosi called the measure, which passed last month with some help from Democrats, “savage,’’ and said, “When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”
In retrospect, does she think that assessment went too far? Not at all, she said: “They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’
Catholic health-care providers in particular have long said they’d have to go out of business without the conscience protections that Pelosi says amount to letting hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it .?.?. but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.
On one occasion, she said, laughing, one of her critics on the topic of abortion, speaking on the House floor, said, “Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. They think like this. And of course I do — I think the pope would agree — and I know more than you, too, mister.’’ Continue reading
As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality. And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.
George Washington, March 15, 1790
Catholics in this country have long enjoyed complete religious liberty. The experience of that freedom in this country was one one of the factors that caused Popes to embrace the concept of religious liberty as enshrined in the documents of Vatican II. Maryland, the Catholic colony, was the first colony to proclaim religious freedom in the New World.
Now that precious liberty that so many Americans have fought and died for down through the centuries is under siege by local and state governments and the Obama administration. The Bishops of Maryland have spoken out against this evil trend. Go here to read their 16 page statement. Continue reading
One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church. Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration. Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church. One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently. He is at it again over at First Things.
On Sunday I received a request from a Catholic blogger for my suggestions for readings in regard to the Spanish Civil War, a subject which I have always found fascinating. Here is my response:
The go to man on the Spanish Civil War is Stanley Payne. He has been writing on the conflict since the Fifties. He interviewed many of the leaders of the various factions in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. Originally a man of the Left, I think it would be fair now to call him a conservative, but what he is above all is a first class historian.
Hattip to Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal. Seymour Hersch, part time left wing loon and full time writer at the New Yorker, critiques US policy in the Middle East and blames us papists:
In a speech billed as a discussion of the Bush and Obama eras, New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh delivered a rambling, conspiracy-laden diatribe here Monday expressing his disappointment with President Barack Obama and his dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy.
“Just when we needed an angry black man,” he began, his arm perched jauntily on the podium, “we didn’t get one.”
It quickly went downhill from there.
Hersh, whose exposés of gross abuses by members of the U.S. military in Vietnam and Iraq have earned him worldwide fame and high journalistic honors, said he was writing a book on what he called the “Cheney-Bush years” and saw little difference between that period and the Obama administration.
He said that he was keeping a “checklist” of aggressive U.S. policies that remained in place, including torture and “rendition” of terrorist suspects to allied countries, which he alleged was ongoing.
He also charged that U.S. foreign policy had been hijacked by a cabal of neoconservative “crusaders” in the former vice president’s office and now in the special operations community.
“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” he said of his forthcoming book. “It’s not only that the neocons took it over but how easily they did it — how Congress disappeared, how the press became part of it, how the public acquiesced.”
Hersh then brought up the widespread looting that took place in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. “In the Cheney shop, the attitude was, ‘What’s this? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they’re all worried about some looting? … Don’t they get it? We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. And when we get all the oil, nobody’s gonna give a damn.'”
“That’s the attitude,” he continued. “We’re gonna change mosques into cathedrals. That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Joint Special Operations Command.”
He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.”
Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Roman Catholic organization commited to “defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering,” according to its website.
“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh continued. “They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”
“They have little insignias, these coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins,” he continued. “They have insignia that reflect the whole notion that this is a culture war. … Right now, there’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of anti-Muslim feeling in the military community.”” Continue reading
A week before the Presidential election in 1884, the Reverend Samuel D. Burchard, a Presbyterian minister, at a Republican gathering denounced the Democrats as the party of “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion”. James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate, denounced the anti-Catholic remarks three days later, but it was too late and Blaine lost the election. The memorable phrase helped cement most Catholics as Democrats for a century.
Now the Minnesota Democrat Farmer Labor Party (Minnesota Democrats) are doing their best to help drive Catholics into the arms of the Republican Party with this piece of tripe:
Back on July 9, here, I wrote about Dr. Kenneth Howell who was fired by the University of Illinois for setting forth Catholic doctrine on homosexuality in a class that he was teaching on Catholicism pursuant to a contract between the University of Illinois and the local Newman Center on campus. On July 14, I reported here that the firing was under review by a faculty committee of the University of Illinois. The committee hasn’t completed its review, but there have been a few developments that I thought our readers might find interesting.
1. An interesting story here by the News-Gazette, the local Champaign-Urbana paper, detailing how Dr. Howell went from a Presbyterian Minister to a lay Catholic.
2. The Alliance Defense Fund which is representing Dr. Howell, sent a letter to the University of Illinois on July 12, demanding his reinstatement. Read the letter here. The Alliance Defense Fund highlights the absurdity of this situation rather well with this statement: “A university cannot censor professors’ speech–including classroom speech related to the topic of the class–merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “To fire a professor for teaching the actual subject matter of his course is outrageous. It’s ridiculous that a school would fire a professor without even giving him a chance to defend himself when he simply taught Catholic beliefs in a class about Catholic beliefs.”
3. One thing I have learned while examining this controversy is just what a nice guy Dr. Howell is, and how open to argument and debate he is. These characteristics are both noted by atheist John Loftus at his website here. Dr. Howell is a model of what a university Professor should be: knowledgeable as to his subject and willing to discuss and debate with anyone in an atmosphere of mutual respect and open inquiry. That a man of his calibre has been subject to this type of politically correct firing is a total travesty. Continue reading