Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pray to St. Michael

Dear Friends,

We should pray everyday to St. Michael the Archangel for protection as we journey through these truly evil times:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

And please pray for the staff of the Spiritual Children of Saint Rita as we look to expand our apostolate.

Thank you,

Banishing God from society

While various governments give recognition to same-sex "marriage," secular humanists continue to wage their war against God and His Commandments. Read about a college student who received an F for mentioning God:

BRAVE NEW SCHOOLSStudent gets F grade for mentioning God'He told me you might as well write about the Easter Bunny'
Posted: June 30, 20051:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005
Bethany Hauf of Apple Valley, Calif., examines her report 'In God We Trust' (photo: Victor Valley Daily Press)
A college in southern California is now investigating the case of a student who says she was given an F for mentioning "God" against the expressed wishes of her atheist instructor.
Bethany Hauf, a freshman at Victor Valley Community College near San Bernadino, wrote the G-word 41 times in a paper titled "In God We Trust," examining the role of religion in government.
She included "God" despite being told not to by adjunct English instructor Michael Shefchik.
"He said it would offend others in class," Hauf, 34, told the Daily Press. "I didn't realize God was taboo."
The mother of four from Apple Valley, Calif., is now demanding an apology from the school, as well as a regrading of her 10-page report.
"I don't lose my First Amendment rights when I walk into that college," she said.
"We are very serious about this situation," VVC spokesman Bill Greulich told WorldNetDaily. "You have two rights in conflict – the right to believe in what you believe in, and academic freedom. We're going to take steps that are appropriate. We don't have all the facts yet."
Greulich says Hauf began the process to challenge her grade by meeting with the department chair, but did not continue up the chain of command in her recourse. He says she could still do that, appealing to the vice president, superintendent and president of the school.
Meanwhile, Hauf has contacted the American Center for Law & Justice, which sent a letter to Patricia Spencer, president of VVC.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ACLJ recounted in the letter what Shefchik wrote to Bethany when she was getting approval for her subject matter:
"I have one limiting factor – no mention of big 'G' gods, i.e., one, true god argumentation," Shefchik stated.
"He told me you might as well write about the Easter Bunny," Hauf told the Daily Press. "He wanted to censor the word God."

Shefchik has not been reached for comment, but Judy Solis, chair of the English department, says Hauf was given three options: submit the report with God included, make revisions and edit out the G-word, or rewrite the entire report.
"She continued to write her paper," Solis told the Press. "She knew what the consequences were."
Sekulow says Hauf should have had no ban on her freedom of speech or religious views in the assignment.
"Bethany's paper discusses some of the evidences supporting a hypothesis that, while the Constitution prohibits an established church, religion was essential to the founding of the Nation and to its governance thereafter," he writes.
"Her paper was not one written 'about God' per se. Nor was her paper inherently and necessarily religious. And, in keeping with the requirements of the assignment, it was assiduously supported with citations to authority and written objectively. Consequently, even if, in a country in which academic and constitutional freedoms are so highly prized, it could be constitutional to impose a topical ban on papers about big 'G' gods, it was sophomoric error to read Mrs. Hauf's research paper as falling within the prohibited zone."
Despite the failing mark on the paper, Hauf passed the spring-semester course with a final grade of C.

Prayer Intentions

Should you have any prayer intentions, please send them to The Spiritual Children of Saint Rita by visiting: and writing an e-mail to our staff.

Anyone interested in purchasing St. Rita's holy oil (blessed by an Augustinian priest) may contact:

Thank you and God love you,
Paul Anthony Melanson

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in You.

Thought from Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"I make a holy hour each day in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All my sisters of the Missionaries of Charity make a daily holy hour, as well, because we find that through our daily holy hour our love for Jesus becomes more intimate, our love for each other more understanding, and our love for the poor more compasionate."


Romano Guardini on the Antichrist

There are many Catholics (even a majority today) who scoff at the idea of Antichrist. These unfortunate souls have succumbed to rationalism and have rejected a truly supernatural faith based upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The Fathers of the Church were unanimous in their acceptance of a personal Man of Sin who will reveal himself and demand that worship which belongs to God alone.

Romano Guardini, one of the greatest Catholic writers of his day and a man known and respected for his incredible intellect and profound spirituality, had this to say on the subject:

"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supportd by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower."

- The Lord, p. 513

United Nations excludes pro-life, pro-family groups

The way is being prepared for the Man of Sin to make his entrance onto the world stage. It was Dr. Henry Spaak, former Secretary General of NATO, who once said: "What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him."

The United Nations continue to prepare the way for this Man of Sin:

ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome
Code: ZE05062902
Date: 2005-06-29
Why Pro-life Groups Were Excluded From U.N. Meeting
Riccardo Cascioli, President of CESPAS, Explains
ROME, JUNE 29, 2005 ( Nongovernmental organizations favoring life and the family were excluded from the hearing held recently at the United Nations in New York, on the occasion of the five-yearly review of the Millennium Development Goals. The objectives summarize the strategies that resulted from the extraordinary meeting in 2000 to eradicate poverty. To learn the reasons for this exclusion, ZENIT interviewed Riccardo Cascioli, president of the European Center of Studies on Population, the Environment and Development (CESPAS). Q: Why were pro-life organizations excluded? Cascioli: Obviously there is a plan, promoted for many years, to exclude NGOs from the decision-making process in the different agencies and commissions of the U.N. The reason is simple: there are powerful anti-birth, pro-abortion, ecology and homosexual lobbies, which are trying to present reproductive rights -- abortion and contraception -- as fundamental human rights, and to destroy the family by equating homosexual unions with any other kind of union. The strategy consists in creating international documents that point in this direction so that they can become instruments of pressure in the different countries that have the opposite legislation. From this point of view, NGOs that favor life and the family are "enemies" that must be excluded, so as to avoid obstacles. It is what happened on this occasion. It is no accident that on several occasions during the U.N. hearing, talk was heard of the need to introduce reproductive rights explicitly among the strategies against poverty. There were attacks on religions, obviously above all against the Catholic, as they would discriminate against homosexuals. Q: But how can these exclusions take place without any government or personality complaining about the problem? Cascioli: Let's say that at the level of government there is culpable indifference about what happens in the agencies and different commissions of the U.N. given the extremely well-organized strategy of these lobbies, which among other things have imposed the rhetoric of "civil society," a highly generic concept that serves as a cover for political operations that have nothing to do with civil society. Q: Does it mean that the NGOs who hold this line are nothing but a cover? Cascioli: Not the NGOs; it depends on the use that is made of them. Let me explain. Some 13,000 NGOs are accredited with different status in the United Nations. Some 200 were represented in last week's hearing. What was the criterion for the selection? There were no transparent procedures. A commission was established, by decision of the president of the General Assembly, made up of representatives of some 10 lobbies, obviously among the most powerful, radical feminist movements and neo-Malthusians. They chose 200 organizations -- what a coincidence, they excluded the NGOs favorable to life and the family -- to speak in the name of "civil society." Thus delegates of governments worldwide were able to hear that, in the context of the struggle against poverty, "civil society" calls for reproductive rights and the legalization of homosexual unions. And it calls for a limitation of religious freedom -- all this amid other more general addresses, which can be shared, on the struggle against poverty. But there is an important part of "civil society" that also works to eradicate poverty and that doesn't recognize itself in this platform. Where was it? Who heard it? One must have the courage to say that these sorts of maneuvers are vulgar manipulations. The truth is that the one who pays, controls. Certain initiatives have a price, and the governments and agencies that pay also decide who participates. For example, last week's hearing was financed by Canada, Norway and Finland. Was it accidental that there were no NGOs present that opposed the development policies of these governments?

St. John of te Cleft Rock (14th century) : "It is said that twenty centuries after the Incarnation of the Word, the Beast in its turn shall become man. About the year 2000 A.D., Antichrist will reveal himself to the world."


"Catholic" Spain inviting the Spirit of Antichrist

Now Spain has "legalized" sodomite marriage:

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Parliament legalized gay marriage Thursday, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third country in the world to officially recognize same-sex unions. Gay rights activists cheered lawmakers and blew them kisses.
The measure passed the 350-seat Congress of Deputies by a vote of 187-147 with four abstentions. The bill, part of the ruling Socialists' aggressive agenda for social reform, also lets gay couples adopt children and inherit each others' property.
The bill is now law. The Senate, where conservatives hold the largest number of seats, rejected the bill last week, but the Senate is an advisory body and final say on legislation rested with the Congress of Deputies.
Gay couples will be allowed to marry as soon as the law is published in the official government registry, the Boletin Oficial del Estado. This could come as early as Friday or within two weeks at the latest, the parliament's press office said.
After the final tally was announced, activists watching from the spectator section of the ornate chamber cried, cheered, hugged, waved to lawmakers and blew them kisses.
Several members of the conservative opposition Popular Party, which vehemently opposed the bill, shouted: "This is a disgrace." Those in favor stood and clapped.
The Netherlands and Belgium are the only other two countries that recognize gay marriage nationwide. Canada's House of Commons passed legislation Tuesday that would legalize gay marriage by the end of July as long as the Senate also passes the bill, which it is expected to do.
"We were not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. After us will come many other countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality," Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told the chamber before the vote.
Zapatero said the reform of Spain's legal code simply adds one dry paragraph of legalese -- but means much, much more.
He called it "a small change in wording that means an immense change in the lives of thousands of citizens. We are not legislating, ladies and gentlemen, for remote unknown people. We are expanding opportunities for the happiness of our neighbors, our work colleagues, our friends, our relatives."
Zapatero lacks a majority in the chamber but got help from small regional-based parties that tend to be his allies.
Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy said after the vote that Zapatero has deeply divided Spain and should have sought a consensus in parliament that recognized same-sex unions but didn't call them marriages. Rajoy said that if the vast majority of countries in the world don't accept gay marriage, including some run by Socialists, there must be a reason.
"I think the prime minister has committed a grave act of irresponsibility," Rajoy told reporters.
The gay marriage bill was the boldest and most divisive initiative of the liberal social agenda Zapatero has embarked on since taking office in April 2004.
Parliament overhauled Spain's 25-year-old divorce law on Wednesday, also irking Spain's Roman Catholic Church, by letting couples end their marriage without a mandatory separation or having to state a reason for the split-up as required under the old law.
He has also pushed through legislation allowing stem-cell research and wants to loosen Spain's restrictive abortion law.
The Roman Catholic Church, which held much sway over the government just a generation ago when Gen. Francisco Franco was in power, had adamantly opposed gay marriage. In its first display of anti-government activism in 20 years, it endorsed a June 18 rally in which hundreds of thousands marched through Madrid in opposition to the bill. Some 20 bishops took part in the June 18 rally.
On Wednesday, a Catholic lay group called the Spanish Family Forum presented lawmakers with a petition bearing 600,000 signatures as a last-minute protest.
Late last year, a spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, Antonio Martinez Camino, said that allowing gay marriage was like "imposing a virus on society -- something false that will have negative consequences for social life."
However, polls suggest Spaniards supported gay marriage. A survey released in May by pollster Instituto Opina said 62 percent of Spaniards support the government's action on gay marriage, and 30 percent oppose it. The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
But surveys show Spaniards about evenly split over whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children.

"And they did not understand until the flood came and swept them all away." (Matthew 24:39).

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Radical Homosexual Agenda

Those who are promoting the homosexual agenda are using time-proven tactics which have been employed by secular humanists for some time now. In the words of Ralph Martin, "First, a plea is issued for a dominantly Christian society to 'tolerate' what appears to be a deviant behavior. Then pressure is applied to place the deviant behavior on an equal footing with traditional Christian values. Secular humanists argue that a pluralist society cannot do otherwise. They then try to make the deviant behavior seem normal and behavior governed by Christian values seem abnormal - a threat to a pluralist society. The last step is often to use the legal system to protect immorality and to undermine what Christians have always considered righteous behavior." (A Crisis of Truth, pp. 101-102).

Professor James Hitchcock, in his excellent work entitled "Catholicism and Modernity" (New York:Seabury Press, 1979, p. 86), explains the role of the media in this entire process:

"The media's alleged commitment to 'pluralism' is at base a kind of hoax. The banner of pluralism is raised in order to win toleration for new ideas as yet unacceptable to the majority. Once toleration has been achieved, public opinion is systematically manipulated first to enforce a status of equality between the old and the new, then to assert the superiority of the new over the old. A final stage is often the total discrediting, even sometimes the banning, of what had previously been orthodox."

Truthfully, isn't that what we're witnessing in Canada and even in the United States (albeit to a still lesser degree)? Already there has been much talk in Canada about passing legislation which would make it a "hate crime" for churches - or individual priests and ministers - to refer to homosexuality as being sinful. The Gospel itself would constitute "hate literature" under legislation which is proposed by homosexual militants who have many friends in the government it would appear.

The United States isn't far behind. Soon, Christians who hold firm to what Sacred Scripture has to say about sodomy will be labelled "dangerous" and in need of "re-education" or forced internment in a special "camp." Perhaps those of us who remain "obstinate" in accepting God's Word will be dealt with in another "final solution" offered by a society which has succumbed to the "Dictatorship of Relativism."

Some will accuse me of being a "prophet of doom and gloom." Recent events in Canada and in the United States would seem to contradict such an assessment.

Until next time,

The New Sodom

An excellent article on the New Sodom which is being prepared by the forces of Antichrist:

Canadian Bill C-38 Final Passage Eerily Coincides With Sodom and Gomorrah Readings at Catholic Masses
TORONTO, June 28, 2005 ( – The likely final passage this evening of Canada’s same-sex marriage bill C-38 was eerily highlighted by today’s daily Mass readings, encountered by Catholics who attended Mass across the nation. Today’s scripture readings, which are established years ahead according to an international liturgical calendar, contained passages that astonished many by their direct relevance to the disturbing culmination of the same-sex marriage legislation battle.
The first reading, from the book of Genesis Chapter 19, relates the infamous story of the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah as a result of its sexual and especially homosexual immorality. The second reading from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 8:23-27, in the New Testament, relates the story of the apostles’ terror while in a boat in the midst of a violent storm. When they ask Jesus to save them he responds “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” interviewed bishop emeritus (retired) Pearce Lacey of Toronto about today’s phenomenon.
The bishop responded, “I like the Gospel in today’s Mass where the apostles were with the Lord and were scared stiff. The terrible violent storm was swamping the boat and they were in it and they cried out—which is normal, for all of us to cry out—‘Lord save us, we seem to be perishing, we are perishing!’ Many people feel almost a loss of hope and are very depressed that things have gone the way they have. But, that’s not the discipleship that we follow”.
“As in today’s Gospel” said Lacey, “the Lord is simply saying ‘Don’t be afraid. Don’t be of little faith. I am with you.”
The bishop, who gave an impassioned speech at the recent defense of marriage rally at Toronto’s Queen’s Park, said he was “deeply saddened” by the latest developments on C-38 and emphasized, although many say “'I’ve given it my best shot and look what’s happened’, obviously we haven’t given our best shot. We still have our work cut out for us.” He suggested that God is telling Christians to “be more intense in our prayer life, to be more sacrificial, the need for more penance” and that the intense prayer undertaken so far “has in all likelihood restrained the punishing hand of God” at a time “perhaps worse than any other time”. Bishop Lacey added, “how patient He (God) must be, how loving He must be and this is the God we trust.”
The bishop again encouraged defenders of marriage, “The one thing we shouldn’t do is lose hope. I mean, time moves by very quickly. The Paul Martins of this world will die, and they will have to face the God who gave them life, the same as each one of us. And he’s had his time in the sun, and he certainly hasn’t done a very good job.”
Referring again to the Catholic Prime Minister, Lacey stated, “some day the Paul Martins of this world will have to face up to a judgment that will be far, far more damaging and far more vigorous”. He further added, “I pity Paul Martin. I don’t wish evil on anybody. But Paul Martin has got a great judgment ahead of him, a judgment that I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. Imagine, the leader of a country, who has the responsibility of really giving the kinds of strong direction and leadership to his people, and then to flunk, to literally fail is a very, very serious indictment on him.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Signs of the End Times

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser left us these words on the end times. Reading them, one cannot help but see that he is describing our own day with astonishing detail:

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (17th century, Germany)
"During this period, many men will abuse the freedom of conscience conceded to them. It is of such men that Jude, the Apostle, spoke when he said: 'These men blaspheme- whatever they do not understand; and they corrupt whatever they know naturally as irrational animals do. . . They feast together without restraint, feeding themselves, grumbling murmurers, walking according to their lusts; their mouth speaketh proud things, they admire people for the sake of gain; they bring about division, sensual men, having not the spirit.'"
"During this unhappy period, there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded, and the Clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. Everyone will be carried away and led to believe and to do what he fancies, according to the manner of the flesh."
"They will ridicule Christian simplicity; they will call it folly and nonsense, but they will have the highest regard for advanced knowledge, and for the skill by which the axioms of the law, the precepts of morality, the Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. As a result, no principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modification and delimitation by man."
These are evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates, and priests say that they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant, and that they live as befits their state in life. In like manner, therefore, they all seek excuses. But God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates, and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the churches and destroy everything."(Yves Dupont, Catholic Prophecy,Tan Books and Publishers, 1973).

Canada: Poised for Sodom

Dr. Abram Kardiner, a distinguished physician, psychologist and anthropologist, once said that homosexuality reaches plague and pestilential proportions in morally rotting societies on the verge of total collapse. With that in mind, read this:

Canada May Be 3rd Nation to OK Gay Unions
By BETH DUFF-BROWNAssociated Press WriterJune 28, 2005, 2:51 PM EDTTORONTO -- Canada is set to become the third country to legalize gay marriage, with Parliament likely to pass landmark legislation Tuesday despite strong opposition from Conservatives and religious leaders. Although gay marriage already is legal in seven provinces, the bill would grant all same-sex couples in Canada the same legal rights as those in traditional heterosexual unions. The Netherlands and Belgium already allow gay marriage. The legislation, drafted by Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government, needs at least 155 members of the House of Commons to gain a majority of the 308-seat House. While some of his Liberal lawmakers have said they will not back the legislation, enough allies in other parties have indicated they would support the bill when it comes to a vote. There are an estimated 34,000 gay and lesbian couples in Canada, according to government statistics. "I think this is going to be a proud and exciting day to be a Canadian because we are, once again, affirming to the world that we are a country that is open, inclusive and welcoming," said Alex Munter, national coordinator of Canadians for Equal Marriage, a group that has led the debate for the legislation. "This is a victory for Canadian values." Martin, a Roman Catholic, has said that despite anyone's personal beliefs, all Canadians should be granted the same rights to marriage. "I rise in support of a Canada in which liberties are safeguarded, rights are protected and the people of this land are treated as equals under the law," Martin told the House of Commons. Churches have expressed concern that their clergy would be compelled by law to perform same-sex ceremonies, with couples taking them to court or human rights tribunals if refused. The legislation, however, states that the bill only covers civil unions, not religious ones, and no clergy would be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies unless they choose to do so. "The facts are plain: Religious leaders who preside over marriage ceremonies must and will be guided by what they believe," Martin said. "If they do not wish to celebrate marriages for same-sex couples, that is their right." The Roman Catholic Church, the predominant Christian denomination in Canada, has vigorously opposed the legislation. "The most overlooked and disenfranchised group in the current debate about marriage is that of children," Calgary Bishop Frederick Henry said in a recent statement. "The issue is not whether traditional marriage, as it stands, is a perfect institution, but whether society and especially children are better off with it than without. Families with both mothers and fathers are generally better for children than those with only mothers or only fathers. Biological parents usually protect and provide for their children more effectively than non-biological ones." The debate in Canada began in December, when the Supreme Court ruled that passage of same-sex legislation would not violate the constitution. A roster of right-wing groups under the banner Defend Marriage Canada headed to Parliament Hill on Tuesday to lobby legislators against the bill. "I fear radical social change thrust upon a nation that is not asking for it," Charles McVety, a spokesman for Defend Marriage Canada and president of Canada Christian College, told Canadian Press. According to most polls, a majority of Canadians supports the right for gays and lesbians to marry. In the United States, gay marriage is opposed by a majority of Americans, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in November, shortly after constitutional amendments in 11 states to ban same-sex marriage were approved. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay marriages, although Vermont and Connecticut have approved same-sex civil unions. * __ On the Net: Canadians for Equal marriage: Defend Marriage Canada:
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.

Then read and meditate on Romans, Chaper 1.


Monday, June 27, 2005

The Religious Habit as a sign

This article, along with so many other very important articles, may be found at:

Religious garb opens so many opportunities to witness
THE ATTRACTION OF A HABIT Sr. Joseph Mary Maximilian, FTI
Sisters without a habit miss so many opportunities to speak about God to souls hungry to hear of Him.

June 20, 2005
Feast of St. Anthony

This past weekend an invitation was received to participate in a åThird Order Awareness Weekendπ. So there, with the Benedictine Oblates, the Secular Carmelites, and the Secular Franciscans, I set up my little table and wore the habit of a Tertiary of my particular branch of the Franciscan Order.

On the table were Miraculous Medals, Rosaries, and printed pamphlets with information on them. Books that the Order publishes were on display and there was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and Sts. Francis, Maximilian, Pio and Anthony. A framed picture of St. Francis was a focal point as well.

Printed information on the Franciscan Tertiaries from the web site was available for the taking. Then a most enjoyable experience commenced!

It was wonderful to be able to speak about things of the faith to those who were truly interested. I taught a woman how to pray the rosary, gave many away, was able to explain the Miraculous Medal to others and spoke about all sorts of faith topics.

It was such a pleasure to talk with a couple coming in from the Episcopal Church, excited about beginning RCIA this fall. Moreover, their excitement was contagious! They wanted to know more about Our Lady, to share their great joy in the new things they were discovering in the faith.

Young people had many questions. Many did not know about the Miraculous Medal. Both medals and information were given to them. One mother said that she wished I could teach her childrenπs religion class. All Mom had as evidence was the habit being worn and the religious articles being distributed.

Now, it must be admitted that the majority of people walked by with a gaze straight ahead and did not want to even make eye contact but it was fun to greet those who did.

It was joyful to speak of the faith, about adoration and the Sacraments, about Our Lady, the Franciscan life, our Lord and to be encouraging to others. It was such a good time; the kind that is difficult to explain because it is a spiritual joy.

One of the Seculars came over and said, "I don't get it, why have you had so many people at your table and talking to you?"

I thought about it and found the answer. It is the habit!

It is that outward sign that has been abandoned by so many. That is what drew people to come over to my table, to ask questions. It certainly was not åme!π

Pondering this thought, I recall a dear religious brother who enjoys wearing the habit because it draws people to him, people asking religious questions. Since talking about things of God is my friend's favorite subject, it has been his great joy to wear that external sign of the consecrated religious life.

The religious garb opens so many opportunities to witness for God and to plant seeds of faith and encouragement in others.

What a pity for those who gave up their habit, especially for those who were forced. The religious habit attracts souls! For example, my own sons have never seen a Sister in a habit. We do have some religious Sisters in our area, but one would be hard pressed to pick them out, sorry to say. Sisters without a habit miss so many opportunities to speak about God to souls hungry to hear of Him.

There was sadness at hearing of the time when a Sister in our parish burned her veil in the trashcan in her back yard. If blending in was the goal, it has been achieved because most of our parishioners have no idea who the Sister listed in the bulletin might be. Her clothing cannot recognize her vocation.

More shamefully disappointing is when priests do not wear their clerics in public. Most likely, there are times when it is uncomfortable or a burden to be obviously seen as a priest. Living a life of Christ is not easy.

I have so admired those who are first, foremost and always a discernable priest, wearing the distinctive garb of their vocation.

One particular spiritual director who always wears his clerics in public says wearing his clerics invites people to approach him. He has heard confessions in mall parking lots and other interesting places. Father rejoiced that Our Lord brought souls to him for reconciliation.

Another priest, a cousin, is never seen out of his religious garb. Even family outings, such as going to the ice cream store, brought him the opportunity to give a Miraculous Medal to the sales girl at the counter and to answer questions about the Catholic faith. Opportunities are everywhere for those willing to witness by wearing that sign of consecration in the world ≠ the religious garb.

Itπs well documented that those religious Orders whose Sisters are wearing their habits are growing, some phenomenally.

There is attraction to the habit and not just because it is special clothing, but also because it is a witness to the way of life behind the habit and to the person clothed in it. Here we find someone dedicated to God! Wearing their habit is saying, ≥May I be of service!≤

Maybe a question that has been on the heart for a long time can be asked. Perhaps good advice can be sought. Oh, how we need these souls of consecrated life in the world.

This is only a small taste of what it must be like to wear the habit. In ordinary life, I am a wife and mother. I do dress differently in some respects, modestly, as well as wearing the Miraculous Medal of the Order.

As a Franciscan Tertiary, care must be taken to be reverent and to set a quiet example, for like the Seraphic Father, St. Francis, we must always spread the Gospel by our actions first, using words only when necessary.

Outside the Franciscan setting, the habit is worn only at chapter meetings and on very special occasions, therefore rarely seen in public. But, there is no denying how much I enjoyed that little taste of what it must be like to attract souls by the wearing of the religious habit.

Ave Maria!
Sr. Joseph Mary Maximilian, FTI

Sr. Joseph Mary Maximilian of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the religious name of a member of the Franciscan Tertiaries of the Immaculate (FTI). She is a wife and mother, a professional person in a medical field and active in her home parish.

The Coming Persecution

Catholics and other Christians who accept scriptural teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts are rightly concerned over what is transpiring in Canada. Read this very disturbing article:

Sun, June 26, 2005
Argument for voting no to marriage bill
By Ted Byfield
Gay marriage will become a legal right in Canada before Parliament prorogues for the summer, Canadians were told last week, because the Liberal government will prolong the session to make sure the bill enacting it gets approval.
Those few Tory MPs favouring the bill, one of them Jim Prentice of Calgary, assure Christians that they need fear no unforeseen consequences from it.
Nothing in it will interfere with freedom of speech, they say, or with the rights of churches to refuse to marry gays, or the rights of Christian schools to teach the biblical injunctions against the practice of homosexuality, or the right of churches to read passages from Scripture condemning homosexual activity.
All these alarming possibilities, say the bill's supporters, are being raised by "the bigots" who oppose the bill.
There is no basis for them, they insist.
Which would be very reassuring were it not for the fact that no Member of Parliament or the cabinet will have any voice whatever on what the bill's consequences will in fact become. That will be left to the Supreme Court, a body that has been diligently stacked to produce whatever the gay and feminist lobbies call upon it to produce.
In other words, it is no longer a court at all. It is now an unelected legislature, its members specifically chosen to create laws fulfilling an ideological agenda that could not possibly gain the approval of an elected Parliament.
And the content of those laws is already becoming clear.
Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary has been twice cited in complaints registered with the Alberta Human Rights Commission for daring to inform the faithful of the church's position on homosexual practices. If the case proceeds, it will undoubtedly wind up in the Supreme Court where the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
Churches that allow the reading of Levitican or Pauline injunctions against sodomy will be carefully watched, and when sufficient evidence is gathered by gay groups, a prosecution under the "hate" laws will be launched and the court will be asked to decide which is to prevail: Sodomist rights or religious rights?
Again, the outcome has already been decided.
Christian schools and colleges that refuse to hire teachers who practice and preach homosexuality will face similar prosecution -- remember the Vriend case -- and again the outcome is known now.
Soon any church caught teaching Christian sexual morality, or urging its members to oppose sodomy-endorsing politicians, will be accused of getting into politics and its tax exemption status will be challenged. This too will wind up before the Supreme Court with the outcome known in advance.
The effect will be to silence the voice of the church, except of course those churches that put biblical principle first.
Meanwhile, lesbian couples will have been allowed to adopt children. Would it not be vicious discrimination to deny them such a right? It certainly would, the court will rule.
And since gay women have that right, surely gay men should be allowed to adopt little boys. How can the court say no?
The final step will take the cause into the home itself. Some unfortunate Christian parent, caught teaching his child the Christian rules in contradiction of the rules he learned in school, will be hailed before the court for "child abuse."
Again the outcome has already been determined. The court is highly aware of gay rights. The term parental rights does not appear in its legal vocabulary.
These are some of the eventualities that MLA Ted Morton portrayed before a meeting held in Edmonton last week in connection with his upcoming bid for the leadership of the provincial Tory party.
It is not a pleasant picture, he said, but we should be acutely aware of the implications of the gay-marriage bill.
Morton is a reputable professor of constitutional law. His dire warnings cannot be lightly dismissed.
No doubt when Jim Prentice and the little circle of gay-rights Tory advocates vote "yea" on this bill, let's hope they're aware of what they're letting us in for.
When it happens, they will of course deny they had any idea such travesties would occur.
But if perchance they entertain in their minds even the smallest lingering doubt, then surely this argues for voting "No," not "Yes."

"Supreme Court" rules against Ten Commandments

The Associated Press
Updated: 11:06 a.m. ET June 27, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday struck down certain Ten Commandments displays inside courthouses but gave more leeway when such exhibits are on the grounds of public property.
The justices found that a six-foot granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol does not cross the line between church and state.
In an earlier ruling, however, the justices held that two courthouse exhibits in Kentucky crossed the line between separation of church and state because they promoted a religious message.

In that 5-4 decision, the court declined to prohibit all displays in court buildings or on government property. Justices left legal wiggle room, saying that some displays — like their own courtroom frieze — would be permissible if they’re portrayed neutrally in order to honor the nation’s legal history.
But framed copies in two Kentucky courthouses went too far in endorsing religion, the court held.
“The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,” Justice David Souter wrote for the majority.
“When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates the central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality,” he said.
Souter was joined in his opinion by other members of the liberal bloc — Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, as well as Reagan appointee Sandra Day O’Connor, who provided the swing vote.
Scalia writes dissentIn a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Ten Commandments displays are a legitimate tribute to the nation’s religious and legal history.
Government officials may have had a religious purpose when they originally posted the Ten Commandments display by itself in 1999. But their efforts to dilute the religious message since then by hanging other historical documents in the courthouses made it constitutionally adequate, Scalia said.
He was joined in his opinion by Chief William Rehnquist, as well as Justice Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.
“In the court’s view, the impermissible motive was apparent from the initial displays of the Ten Commandments all by themselves: When that occurs: the Court says, a religious object is unmistakable,” he wrote. “Surely that cannot be.”
“The Commandments have a proper place in our civil history,” Scalia added.
Earlier oral argumentsThe justices heard oral arguments in the Kentucky and Texas cases last March.
The Bush administration, via acting Solicitor General Paul Clement, argued against a strict First Amendment wall between church and state.

Key 2004-2005 Supreme Court casesTen Commandments displays should be allowed on government property because they pay tribute to America’s religious and legal history, he argued in court. “The idea of having a fence around the Ten Commandments to make clear the state has nothing to do with it, I think that is bending it too far,” said
David Friedman, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who is challenging courthouse displays in Kentucky, countered: “An assertion that the Ten Commandments is THE source, THE foundation of our legal system ... that is simply wrapping the Ten Commandments in the flag, and that’s endorsement.”
In their comments and questions from the bench, justices were reluctant to adopt a blanket ban on such displays. They struggled to formulate a clear constitutional rule that could determine the fate of thousands of religious symbols on public property around the country, including one in their own courtroom featuring Moses holding the sacred tablets.
Justice Antonin Scalia noted that legislative proclamations and prayer invoking God’s name are permissible. “I don’t see why the one is good and the other is bad,” he said.
Texas case backgroundDuring oral arguments in the Texas case, Erwin Chemerinsky, a lawyer representing a man who sought the removal of the tablet, told the justices the display is a “religious symbol.” The prominence of the display on the capitol grounds and the fact that so many of the commandments deal with God “does promote religion,” he maintained.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, in his court filing, wrote that “countless monuments, medallions, plaques, sculptures, seals, frescoes, and friezes — including, of course, the Supreme Court’s own courtroom frieze — commemorate the Decalogue. Nothing in the Constitution requires these historic artifacts to be chiseled away or erased.”
Chemerinsky countered that “the government’s symbolic endorsement of religion is most obvious from the content of the monument itself. In large letters, the monument proclaims ’I AM the LORD thy God.”’
Ten Commandments monuments are common in town squares, courthouses and other government-owned land around the country. At issue was whether they violate the First Amendment ban on any law “respecting an establishment of religion,” or simply represent a secular tribute to America’s legal heritage.
The question has sparked dozens of heated legal battles, including one in Alabama by Roy Moore. He lost his job as chief justice a year ago after defying a federal order to remove a 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument he had installed in the state courthouse.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Powerful exorcism prayer

Spirit of our God, Father, Son , and Holy Spirit, Most Holy Trinity, Immaculate Virgin Mary, angels, archangels, and saints of Heaven, descend upon me. Please purify me, Lord, mold me, fill me with Yourself, use me. Banish all the forces of evil from me, destroy them, vanquish them, so that I can be healthy and do good deeds. Banish from me all spells, witchcraft, black magic, malefice, ties, maledictions, and the evil eye; diabolic infestations, oppressions, possessions; all that is evil and sinful, jealousy, perfidy, envy; physical, psychological, moral, spiritual, diabolical ailments. Burn all these evils in hell, that they may never again touch me or any other creature in the entire world. I command and bid all the powers who molest me -- by the power of God all powerful, in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary -- to leave me forever, and to be consigned into the everlasting hell, where they will be bound by Saint Michael the archangel, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, our guardian angels, and where they will be crushed under the heel of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.

Prophecy of St. Nilus regarding our troubled time

This prophecy of St. Nilus is so powerful that I had to share it with all of you. I have always marvelled at these words, given some 1,600 years ago:

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be; even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D
The Prophecy of St. Nilus
St. Nilus was one of the many disciples of St. John Chrysostom (347-407). He was an officer at the Court of Constantinople, married, with two sons, and later becamne a priest. His works, including a multitude of letters, consist of denunciations of heresy, paganism, abuses of discipline and crimes, of rules and principles of asceticism. St. Nilus died around the year 430 A.D.; his feast day is 12 November.
The Prophecy
After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society. At that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse. The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians remaining in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all. Then they will separate themselves out of the world in holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints. And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become the ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other. At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist. And, the impious one! -- he will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases. Then the All-good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible... then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants.
Back to Apocalypse: The Whore of Babylon, The Beast, & the Rapture Common Objections Index

The fruit of apostasy...

This article, from Crisis Magazine, is profoundly disturbing. When "Catholic" universities begin to promote what Pope John Paul II rightly labelled the "culture of death," you know things are only getting worse within the Church here in the United States.

For this very reason, faithful Catholics will rise up and actively oppose what our new beloved Pontiff has referred to as the "Dictatorship of Relativism" and will make their voice heard on life issues.

June 14, 2005

Teaching EuthanasiaBy Patrick J. Reilly
The intense battle to prevent Terri Schiavo’s husband from removing her feeding tube was horrible enough. To think that some American Catholic universities—and their ethics, theology, law, and medical professors—bear some responsibility for Schiavo’s slow death is almost too much to imagine.
Yet prior to Schiavo’s death, professors from top Catholic universities helped convince the courts and the public that removing her feeding tube was acceptable and consistent with Catholic teaching—even while the Vatican said it was euthanasia. Several professors sought to publicly undermine Pope John Paul II’s clear statements on the moral obligation to feed and hydrate even the most severely injured patients.
It’s well-known that the culture of death has made inroads into Catholic higher education in the form of abortion advocacy, but little attention is given to end-of-life issues—or so it seemed before the Schiavo debacle. When six Catholic university professors signed an amicus brief in favor of removing Schiavo’s feeding tube, the Cardinal Newman Society launched an investigation that revealed the dark side of some Catholic university faculties, which include leading advocates of assisted suicide, vocal dissenters from Vatican teaching on euthanasia, and even top officials of national pro-death advocacy organizations.
The danger is obvious: If the Church is going to face up to a growing movement for euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States, Catholic universities must help in that important battle. Harboring the enemy and training new spokesmen for the culture of death is not the way to do it.
Killing Terri
The brief filed last August by 55 bioethicists urged the Florida Supreme Court to overturn “Terri’s Law,” the measure passed by the state legislature to empower Gov. Jeb Bush to protect Schiavo’s life.
Among the ethicists signing the brief were six Catholic university professors: Charles Baron, professor at Boston College Law School; Carol Bayley, adjunct professor of nursing at the University of San Francisco; Milton Heifetz, adjunct professor at Boston College Law School; Lawrence Nelson, adjunct associate professor of philosophy and of women and gender studies at Santa Clara University; Rev. John Paris, S.J., professor of bioethics in the theology department at Boston College; and James Walter, professor of bioethics and chairman of the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University.
The ethicists argued that “no legal right is more important in American society than the right of personal autonomy”—without explaining exactly how this supercedes the more fundamental right to life. But what was most striking and unusual about the brief was its direct challenge to Pope John Paul II’s teaching on the obligatory use of feeding tubes for seriously ill patients in a “persistent vegetative state.” During a Vatican-sponsored conference of physicians and ethicists last year, the late Holy Father said that in cases in which a person’s ability to function is minimal, but death is not imminent, food and water should be considered “morally obligatory, insofar as and until it is seen to have attained its proper finality, which in the present case consists in providing nourishment to the patient and alleviation of his suffering.... Death by starvation or dehydration is, in fact, the only possible outcome as a result of their withdrawal. In this sense it ends up becoming, if done knowingly and willingly, true and proper euthanasia by omission.”
The ethicists argued that “the Pope’s speech has not changed anything concerning the centuries-old teachings of the Catholic Church on the care due to patients,” which does not require “extraordinary” medical treatment for terminally ill persons. They got that right. What did change, after decades of theological debate about whether a feeding tube could be considered “extraordinary” medical treatment, is that one of the late pope’s last contributions to Catholic teaching was to declare that food and water are ordinary care to be provided in almost all circumstances by any suitable means. It is true that even the most ardently pro-life theologians, like Janet Smith of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, acknowledge that the question does not appear to be closed—at least not without the formality of a papal encyclical—but that the Vatican’s teaching deserves “great weight” and prayerful reflection.
The following is not what Smith prescribes: arguing with certainty before a court that a woman must die because—in direct contradiction to what the pope and Vatican officials have clearly taught—Catholic teaching is interpreted to permit starvation and dehydration when a patient’s recovery is unlikely. Even in the modern culture of dissent, one might expect more tact—especially from Catholic university professors.
Boston Legal
The Schiavo brief was just a hint of some of the signers’ activities in support of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Charles Baron has intervened in such cases before. He filed a brief for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in the 1980s with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in support of removing the feeding tube of Paul Brophy. Like Schiavo, Brophy had suffered brain damage and was diagnosed as living in a “persistent vegetative state” for three years, but he was not terminally ill or facing imminent death. Although Brophy had never expressed his wishes in writing, the court accepted the “substitute judgment” of his wife, and the 48-year-old man was starved to death.
Last year Baron joined 41 bioethicists who filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defending Oregon’s Death With Dignity law, which allows physician-assisted suicide. The case, Oregon v. Ashcroft, in which Oregon officials complain that former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft improperly banned doctors from using federally controlled drugs to kill their patients, is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Well-regarded as an expert on end-of-life issues, Baron has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and Britain’s House of Lords on legalizing physician-assisted suicide. He was the spokesman for a group of academics that published a model state law to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1996. The model, which has been advocated in Massachusetts since 1997, is posted online among Boston College Law School’s faculty papers. Baron now serves on the board of directors of the Death With Dignity National Center, which is the organization most responsible for Oregon’s Death With Dignity law and has promoted similar laws in Maine, Hawaii, and Vermont.
How do these activities affect Boston College students? In addition to teaching courses on constitutional law, Baron teaches “Law and Bioethics”—including discussion of assisted suicide and “artificial prolongation of human life”—and “Health Law and Policy,” which includes discussions of “life and death decision-making.”
It gets worse. Baron has taught both courses with adjunct law professor Milton Heifetz, also a signatory to the bioethicists’ brief supporting Schiavo’s death by starvation and co-author of The Right to Die: A Neurosurgeon Speaks of Death With Candor (Putnam, 1975). The book advocates legalizing assisted suicide and even entertains the possibility of euthanasia for severely retarded people and newborns with severe medical problems.
“Is life at birth more significant than at the second, fourth, or sixth month of pregnancy?” Heifetz and co-author Charles Mangel ask. “It is not. True, it is closer to gaining the attributes of man, but, as yet, it has only the potential for those qualities. If this difference is true for the normal newborn, how much less significant is it for the newborn who doesn’t even have this potential?”
Bioethics professors Rev. John Paris, S.J., of Boston College and James Walter of Loyola Marymount University were outspoken in the Schiavo case. Catholics ought to be impressed by their credentials: Walter taught at the Catholic University of America, Georgetown University, Loyola University of Chicago, and Marygrove College before chairing the Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount. He is also the founding chairman of the International Forum for Catholic Bioethicists. Father Paris has published more than 100 articles on law, medicine, and ethics and has consulted for the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging.
So why the lapse in professionalism when commenting on the Schiavo case? Without having evaluated Schiavo personally, Walter confidently told the National Catholic Reporter last October that “any chance of self-awareness is not going to happen.” Walter sought to dispel concerns about Schiavo’s suffering when her feeding tube is removed: “All centers of her brain are so severely compromised she can’t feel pain or hunger, and if there is any indication of it, she would be sedated during her dying.” Walter’s confidence gives no hint of the significant disagreements over Schiavo’s medical condition and her awareness of pain and her surroundings.
In March, Father Paris admitted that Schiavo “is quite alive,” but still “she has no obligation to medical interventions if they prove disproportionately burdensome.” Food and water, Father Paris argued, are burdensome interventions. In a interview, Father Paris said the Schiavo case was really about “the power of the Christian right. This case has nothing to do with the legal issues involving a feeding tube.” He complained: “[T]he family has the radical, antiabortion, right-to-life Christian right, with its apparently unlimited resources and political muscle, behind them.” Not exactly the careful analysis one would expect from a respected ethicist.
Credibility is also a problem for Carol Bayley, who teaches nursing at the University of San Francisco but wields greater influence as vice president for ethics and justice education at Catholic Healthcare West, a large hospital system in the western United States. Last April, Bayley represented her employer with a cautious but faithful response to the Vatican teaching on feeding tubes: “We’re going to take the Pope’s statements very seriously. We’re going to look at what effect this could have on our practice.” Just three months later, Bayley signed on to the Schiavo brief, pointedly rejecting the pope’s teaching with no apparent consequence for her employment.
An Attorney’s Legacy
At 82 years old, Florence Wendland cannot forget her six-year battle to prevent her son’s death by starvation and dehydration. And she has some idea of what Terri Schiavo’s parents have gone through.
“I just pray to the Lord to help them,” she told the Mercury News.
Wendland also knows something about the problem of euthanasia activists teaching at Catholic universities. Lawrence Nelson, the attorney who urged the California Supreme Court to sanction the removal of her son’s feeding tube, is a medical and legal ethics professor at the Jesuits’ Santa Clara University.
Robert Wendland was in a car accident in 1993 and was severely disabled—unable to speak or walk on his own, but occasionally able to make limited movements like writing the letter “R.” Unlike Schiavo, it was apparent that Robert was not in a persistent vegetative state. His wife, Rose, nevertheless sought to remove his feeding tube, and Robert’s mother Florence and sister Rebekah sued to prevent it. Nelson testified at the trial level in support of starving Robert, then later took over the case as the attorney for Robert’s wife.
Despite losing to Robert’s family at the California Supreme Court—which ruled that a feeding tube could be removed only in instances of a coma or imminent death, or with the patient’s explicit instructions in writing—Nelson has continued to plead his case to the public under the auspices of Santa Clara University. Nelson has admitted that Rose Wendland knew her husband was alive but believed “that this was no life for Robert, no life he would ever want. The only experiences he seemed to have were negative. She thought it was wrong and even cruel in a way.” It was a textbook case of “mercy killing.”
Despite his views supporting such an atrocity, Nelson has been designated a scholar at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and is identified on the university’s Web site as a media source on “death and dying.” Through the Markkula Center, Nelson has written and made presentations on assisted suicide and the Wendland case. Nelson argues that even in circumstances where a patient’s wishes are not known for certain, “close family members should presumptively be the ones who decide when it is right to forgo treatment of their incompetent relative,” including removal of a feeding tube.
Also published by the Markkula Center is “A Brief Case for the Moral Permissibility of Stem Cell Research,” in which Nelson argues that “scientists must destroy embryos in order to obtain primordial stem cells. This destruction is ethically defensible because embryos have only a modest moral status and can be destroyed for substantial reasons.”
Florence Wendland’s attorney, Janie Hickok Siess, says that one of the most disturbing things about Nelson is his collaboration with Ronald Cranford, a faculty member at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics. Cranford has a history of court testimony in support of euthanasia. He was the expert witness who declared Schiavo to be in a persistent vegetative state despite the lack of certain medical tests that some doctors said might have revealed significant brain activity. Cranford testified that Robert Wendland’s movements—which included operating a motorized wheelchair and using a television remote control—were comparable to those of a trained animal.
In 1999, Nelson and Cranford published their arguments for removing Wendland’s feeding tube in the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, which is sponsored by the Catholic University of America law school. They describe Wendland as “minimally conscious”—since they could not reasonably label him vegetative—and argue that for such individuals who cannot communicate, “Their biographical and personal life is over.”
Siess, who is a Lutheran, wonders why Nelson is teaching ethics at a Catholic university: “I don’t believe that his views, as I understand them, are consistent with the Gospels and the teaching of Jesus.” One of her children attends a Christian college, and she expects something different from a faith-based education: “If you’re sending your kid to a church-affiliated school, you would want the school to be consistent with the teaching of that church.”
Santa Clara University officials see it differently. In 2003, the Markkula Center awarded Nelson a grant to develop “a theory of constitutional personhood,” considering the moral status of human embryos outside the womb, “moral respect for the disabled,” and “forgoing treatment of conscious, independent persons.” The same year, Santa Clara’s Bannan Center for Jesuit Education gave Nelson a grant “to explore the place of philosophical ethics in Jesuit higher education and mission.”
Rogues Gallery
Nelson and the other five Catholic university professors who signed the Schiavo brief are not the only employees of Catholic universities who have contributed recently to a culture of death:
· Tom Beauchamp, philosophy professor at Georgetown University and a senior research scholar at the university’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, has served on the board of directors of the Compassion in Dying Federation since 1999. This national organization advocated Oregon’s assisted dying law and challenged laws prohibiting assisted suicide in Washington and New York, taking its fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. Beauchamp organized the amicus brief signed by Baron, Beauchamp, and 40 other bioethicists in Oregon v. Ashcroft, arguing for Oregon’s Death With Dignity law. Beauchamp co-authored Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Oxford, 1979), which is often cited in arguments for euthanasia and assisted suicide.
· Maxwell Gregg Bloche, professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and co-director of the joint program in law and public health with Johns Hopkins University, also signed an amicus brief in Oregon v. Ashcroft arguing that doctors’ actions protected by the Oregon assisted-suicide law constitute “sound and ethical medical practices.”
· As touted on Seattle University’s Web site, adjunct law professor Robert Free has served as an advisory board member for Compassion in Dying of Washington, which advocates assisted suicide. Free helped the organization prepare amicus briefs challenging the Washington state law criminalizing physician-assisted suicide and defending Oregon’s Death With Dignity law.
· Howard Freed, clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, signed an amicus brief in Oregon v. Ashcroft complaining that the former attorney general interfered with “physicians’ ability to care for terminally ill patients nationwide” and warning that “many health professionals will retreat from their obligations to their terminally ill patients.”
· The Georgetown University Law Center’s Web site describes Lawrence Gostin as an expert on constitutional law, health law, and bioethics, but it negelects to mention that Gostin has twice joined amicus briefs in Oregon v. Ashcroft defending Oregon’s assisted-suicide law. Gostin holds several positions at Georgetown including law professor, faculty affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, and director of the Center for Law and the Public’s Health (a joint program with Johns Hopkins University). Gostin is the health law and ethics editor of the influential Journal of the American Medical Association and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Bioethics and the executive committee of the ACLU board of directors.
· Former Jesuit priest Daniel Maguire, theology professor at Marquette University, not only supported removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, but he told FOX News that “this woman should have been allowed to complete her dying 15 years ago when they realized that she had terrible damage to her brain and was no longer capable of personal consciousness.” Maguire accused Pope John Paul II and Vatican officials of a “fetishism of life signs,” using any sign of life as a justification for delaying death.
· Rev. Richard McBrien, theology professor at the University of Notre Dame, argued in support of removing Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube. “This is not a question of euthanasia,” he told Bill O’Reilly on FOX News, directly contradicting the Vatican. “[T]his is the removal of an extraordinary means of sustaining life, which is an indirect killing because eventually she will die, but it is not with the intention of killing her, of bringing about her death.”
· Fairfield University identifies associate philosophy professor Curtis Naser as an expert in biomedical ethics and “end of life decisions.” Naser joined Beauchamp, Nelson, and 39 other bioethicists in an amicus brief filed in the 1997 U.S. Supreme Court cases Vacco v. Quill and State of Washington v. Glucksberg, arguing against New York and Washington state bans on physician-assisted suicide. They argued that “medical ethics and trust in physicians are better served by physician-assisted suicide where the patient can have the care, comfort and treatment of his or her doctor at the time the patient acts to hasten death.”
· Rev. Kevin O’Rourke, O.P., ethics professor at the Loyola University of Chicago Medical School, told the Miami Herald that preserving Schiavo’s life was “blasphemy”: “I can attest from a theological point of view that what the [Florida] governor and others are doing to Terri is not doing any good for her.... For Christians, it is a blasphemy to keep people alive as if you were doing them a favor.”
Ignoring the Pope
O’Rourke drafted a statement that was circulated at a meeting of Catholic Health Association ethicists in March. The statement scolds Bishop Elio Sgreccia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, for arguing that withholding nutrition and hydration is euthanasia—the same argument made by Pope John Paul II. O’Rourke complains that the Vatican position is “irresponsible” and “simply an insult,” because it contradicts prior statements by theologians and bishops and infers that they support euthanasia.
There is no question that by declaring the provision of food and water through an artificial feeding tube to be normal care, Pope John Paul II embarrassed many American theologians and bishops who for decades had been advising families differently. Some grumbling about the Vatican’s position was expected, but the opposition has become disrespectful and rebellious. By their quick and total dismissal of Vatican teaching and their aggressive advocacy of what the Vatican calls euthanasia, critics like O’Rourke have resorted to public dissent.
One well-used strategy is to portray the Vatican teaching as ambiguous or allowing broad discretion for the families of severely injured patients. Pope John Paul II was quite clear that the intentional removal of a feeding tube—even from patients in a persistent vegetative state—is “true and proper euthanasia by omission.” Bishop Sgreccia said regarding Schiavo: “The removal of the gastric feeding tube from this person, in these conditions, may be considered direct euthanasia.... The gastric feeding tube cannot be regarded as an ‘extraordinary’ or as a therapeutic ‘means.’ It is an integral part of the modality in which Schiavo can be fed and hydrated.”
Nevertheless, John Collins Harvey, senior research scholar at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics and chairman of the bioethics committee at Georgetown University Hospital, tried to muddy the waters.
“[I]t’s important to understand that the words of the Holy Father were interpreted in many different ways, so that it’s hard to really come to the conclusion of what exactly he said to everyone,” Harvey said on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. “He talked very carefully and said ‘in principle,’ food and water is ordinary treatment. It’s not a medical treatment, and therefore it’s part of comfort care and must always be used. But ‘in principle,’ which means there are conditions and times when it can be omitted.”
Father McBrien has claimed that the pope did not speak authoritatively on the matter of feeding tubes. In Schiavo’s case, “Catholic moral theologians would say this is an exception.” Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, he characterized an editorial in L’Osservatore Romano—which echoed the Vatican position—as “theologically erroneous and irresponsibly so, given the highly public nature of this controversy.”
Critics have also complained that the late pope took them by surprise at a 2004 conference in Rome by attempting to impose new moral guidelines at the behest of pro-life activists. But contrary to media reports, Pope John Paul II addressed the topic as early as 1998 in his ad limina address to the bishops from California, Nevada, and Hawaii. He drew a sharp distinction between what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “the refusal of ‘over-zealous’ treatment” and taking away the ordinary means of preserving life, such as feeding, hydration, and normal medical care.
Walter at Loyola Marymount University plays the sympathy card, arguing the Vatican’s position “might even drive people toward euthanasia, by making them feel that they have lost a traditional and sympathetic ally in their final journey.”
Among the Vatican’s critics, Boston College’s Father Paris is perhaps the most confrontational. He dismissed the late Holy Father’s statements as pandering to “radical right-to-lifers.”
“The right-to-life types want to renounce brain death and keep everyone going forever,” Father Paris told Newsweek. “It seems that Lenin’s mausoleum will be the model for the future. The entire enterprise is mischief-making at the Vatican.” Regarding the pope’s 2004 address, Father Paris told the St. Petersburg Times: “I think the best thing to do is ignore it, and it will go away. It’s not an authoritative teaching statement.... The problem here is that non-Catholics think when the Pope says ‘Jump,’ we all say, ‘How high?’”
In Honor of Terri
Following a Florida court’s ruling in favor of removing Schiavo’s feeding tube, Bishop Sgreccia warned: “If such a decision was confirmed and leads to Terri Schiavo’s death, it would create a juridical precedent and would present euthanasia in reality as a right before the courts of the United States, with the serious consequences that can be easily imagined for the lives of many other more or less autonomous persons, in this country and elsewhere.”
That may well be the road paved by Catholic ethicists who advance the culture of death. These are the consequences of a Church leadership and laity reluctant to hold Catholic universities accountable for scandal—understandable because lay-directed universities are autonomous and responsible for their own actions and policies, but negligent because we too often forget that “Catholic identity” is not the universities’ to define or distort.
Catholic universities must be committed to the difficult task of rooting out the culture of death from their halls. They also must advance a culture of life, educating their students about the Church’s authentic teaching on end-of-life issues as well as college-age concerns about sexuality. Such would be a fitting tribute to Terri Schiavo.
Patrick J. Reilly is president of the Cardinal Newman Society (, a national organization that seeks the renewal of Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.

Copyright Crisis Magazine © 2001 Washington DC, USA

Saturday, June 25, 2005

More symptoms of a society in crisis

Louisiana minister, followers indicted
7 charged with rape in sexual abuse of children, animals
08:12 PM CDT on Friday, June 24, 2005
Associated Press
AMITE, La. – A minister and six of his followers, including a former sheriff's deputy, were charged Thursday with aggravated rape in a case that has included accusations that children and animals were sexually abused.
A grand jury indicted Louis Lamonica, 45, who was the pastor of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, on six counts of rape.
Four counts each were brought against former Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's deputy Christopher Blair Labat, 24; Allen R. Pierson, 46, who lived in an apartment on the church complex; church member Paul Fontenot; and Austin Bernard, 36, whose wife, Nicole, first exposed the allegations.
Mr. Pierson's wife, Patricia, 54, and Mr. Lamonica's wife, Robbin, were charged on two counts each.
Authorities have said witnesses described the use of robes, pentagrams on the church floor, sex with a dog and the sacrifice of cats. The alleged victims, suspected to number up to two dozen, range from infants to young teens.
Investigators believe the abuse began in 1999 and continued until the church closed in 2003. But it was not until Mrs. Bernard called in April, saying she had fled to Ohio to protect her child, that police had any idea of what was happening, officials say.
About the same time, Mr. Lamonica walked into the sheriff's office in neighboring Livingston Parish and gave detailed descriptions of church activities, officials say.

Our Lady of La Salette: Pray for us.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Houston Attorney Daniel Shea...more troubling background

Not only has attorney Daniel Shea been involved to some extent in the Transgender Movement, but some four years before the Church sex abuse crisis grabbed front page headlines, this attorney was already waging his own private war against God and His Commandments. Read the following:

Brister confirmed as justice without single vote to spare
By Janet ElliottMay 12, 2004, 6:28AM
Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN -- Former Houston judge Scott Brister barely received the number of votes he needed Tuesday to be confirmed as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Brister, who once posted the Ten Commandments in his Houston courtroom, got 19 votes, exactly the two-thirds majority necessary to be confirmed. Nine Democratic senators voted against him, including Houston Sens. Rodney Ellis, Mario Gallegos and John Whitmire. Three senators were absent during voting.

Brister was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry last November to a vacancy on the high court. Perry elevated Brister from Houston's 14th Court of Appeals, where he served as chief justice. Brister also served on Houston's other intermediate appellate court, the 1st Court of Appeals, and was a judge for the 234th District Court in Harris County for 11 years.

Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, criticized Brister for failing to answer questions during his recent confirmation hearing about the separation of church and state, judicial selection, attorney-client privilege and private school vouchers. "Never in my entire time in the Senate have I faced the kind of answers that were given by this nominee," said Barrientos.
Barrientos and Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, clashed with Brister last week when the justice appeared before the Senate Nominations Committee. "Do you believe in separation of church and state?" Hinojosa asked Brister. "It depends on the circumstances," replied Brister.

Brister said he never noticed attorneys or juries being influenced by his display of the Ten Commandments.
But in 1998, Houston lawyer Daniel Shea sued to force Brister to remove the Ten Commandments from the wall. A federal judge ruled that Shea did not have a legal interest, or "standing," to challenge Brister's display.

Before becoming a judge, Brister provided free legal representation to abortion opponents. In January 1987, he represented Right to Life Advocacy Inc., which wanted to distribute anti-abortion pamphlets at middle and high schools. At the time of his nomination, Brister said he would not recuse himself from any cases involving abortion rights.


Still more on attorney Daniel Shea...

Attorney Daniel Shea has written a legal article entitled, "Civic Virtue: When in Doubt, Disclose" which is referenced at this link:

This link takes you to the website of the "Transgender Law Conference."


Attorney Daniel Shea article

Attorney Daniel Shea has written a legal article for a magazine called "Transgender Tapestry Journal." The article is referenced at this link:

Again the question: Does this man embrace the philosophy of the transgender movement? And, if so, might this not explain his hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church? To what extent is Mr. Shea involved in this movement? He has written one article (that I know of) for one of their publications and has even served as a guest speaker at one of their conferences.

Interesting is it not?


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Attorney Daniel Shea and Co: Liberal Agenda to discredit Pope Benedict XVI? Part II

In his letter to Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, attorney Daniel Shea refers to canonical trials as "secret canonical trials" and goes on to suggest that "These so-called church trials are a sham." However, according to canonists, the fact that Crimen Sollicitationis was not designed to "cover up" sex abuse is made clear by a careful reading of paragraph 15, which obligates anyone with knowledge of a priest abusing the confessional for that purpose to come forward, under pain of excommunication for failing to do so. This penalty is stipulated, the document says, "lest [the offense] remain occult and unpunished and always with inestimable detriment to souls."

Canon lawyers have also noted that pontifical secrecy is not reserved solely for sexual abuse. Under a February 4, 1974 Instruction entitled "Secreta Continere," pontifical secrecy covers the following: 1. Documents for which pontifical secrecy is expressly indicated; 2. Affairs dealt with by the Secretariat of State under pontifical secrecy; 3. Doctrinal denunciations and publications of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as its investigations; 4. Extrajudicial denunciations of crimes against the faith or against morals, and crimes against the sacrament of penance, as well as the procedures leading to these denunciations; 5. Acts by Vatican representatives relative to matters covered by the pontifical secret; 6. Creation of Cardinals; 7. Nomination of bishops, apostolic administrators and other ordinaries with episcopal power, and the procedures related to these appointments; 8. Nomination of superiors and other major officials of the Roman curia; 9. Codes and coded correspondence; 10. Affairs and practices of the pope, of the chief cardinal or archbishop of a dicastery and of pontifical representatives.

Crimen Sollicitationes does not address the civil rights and responsibilities of the person alleging to have been solicited. Instead, as the statement of the USCCB makes clear, it is considering the good order of the Church's own internal life: the protection of the good names of the persons involved, the sacred nature of the sacrament of penance, and the potential for scandalizing the faithful etc. The document says nothing about the responsibility that the Church may have within the civil jurisdictions in which it lives and works.

Who is Daniel Shea?

Attorney Daniel Shea is a Houston, Texas-based lawyer who used to be a seminarian and whose hatred of the Church would seem to be rather evident based upon his own rhetoric. As already noted, he has referred to the Church as "a criminal institution" while asserting that "those who contribute to it any longer are aiding and abetting this criminal conduct called obstruction of justice." He has also asserted that "Ratzinger and Co" are engaging in an 'international conspiracy to obstruct justice."

Attorney Shea has also been a guest speaker for the International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy. He spoke at their 2nd Conference which was held at the Hilton, Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas on August 26-29, 1993. His involvement with this group is documented at this website link: (p. 4).

At this website, readers may click on an article entitled "The International Bill of Gender Rights." #1 of this document reads: "All human beings carry within themselves an ever unfolding idea of who they are and what they are capable of achieving. The individuals sense of self is not determined by chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role. Thus, the individual's identity and capabilities cannot be cirumscribed by what society deems to be masculine or feminine behavior. It is fundamental that individuals have the right to define, and to redefine as their lives unfold, their own gender identities, without regard to chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role...Therefore, all human beings have the right to define their own gender identity regardless of chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role."

Does attorney Shea accept this philosophy? If so, and knowing where the Church stands on such issues, could this be a factor in his ongoing attacks against the Church?

Paul Anthony Melanson

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Attorney Daniel Shea and Co: Liberal agenda to discredit Pope Benedict XVI? Part I.

Is Attorney Daniel Shea of Houston part of a conspiracy to discredit Pope Benedict XVI? In an article entitled "Lawyer seeks to hold Pope accountable for abuse cover-up" published by the Irish and which may be found at the archives section of (June 20, 2005 edition), readers are told that attorney Shea wants to question Pope Benedict XVI because of the document Crimen solicitationis which he believes constitutes a "ground plan" for "covering up" the crime of sexual abuse of minors by clerics.

Now, a statement developed by staff and consultants of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and which was reviewed by the Chairman of the Committee for Canonical Affairs, has already addressed this issue quite comprehensively. That response to those who would take the document Crimen solicitationis out of context and distort it completely may be found here:

Attorney Shea, who apparently is allergic to objectivity, has made some rather odd comments in the past regarding the Catholic Church. On one occasion, this attorney wrote me an e-mail in which he wrote that the Church, " a criminal institution and those who contribute to it any longer are aiding and abetting this criminal conduct called obstruction of justice."

On another occasion, he asserted that I "..seem to be blinded by the ability of Ratzinger and Co. to engage in an international conspiracy to obstruct justice." But the story doesn't end here. Attorney Shea is apparently good friends with (or at least working with) the Rev. Thomas Doyle, O.P., formerly a canon lawyer at the Vatican's Washington embassy and now an Air Force chaplain in Germany. Rev. Doyle has received the "Priest of Integrity" award from the dissident group "Voice of the Faithful" (VOTF).

In an e-mail which attorney Shea sent to various individuals on his e-mail mailing list including Rev. Richard P. McBrien the dissident moral theologian at Notre Dame; Mr. David Clohessy, who has served as the National Director of SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) ; Attorney Carmen Durso and Worcester Telegram & Gazette reporter Kathy Shaw among others, and which was a fascimile of a letter written to Thomas F. Reilly, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Mr. Shea writes: "Reference is made to my letter to you of March 1, 2002 in which I enclosed a May 18, 2001 'Letter to All Bishops of the Catholic Church....' I stated that it appeared to me to be a clear and universal instruction to obstruct justice by an official of the Vatican City State, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. I stand by that characterization for the reasons that follow.

The Ratzinger letter expresses that it is an update to an instruction 'Crimen Sollicitationes,...issued...on March 16, 1962 in force until now [May 18, 2001].' It has taken Father Thomas Doyle and me the ensuing year to find this document. The delay can be attributed to its prefacing statement 'servanda diligenter in archivo secreto curiae pro norma interna non publicanda nec ullis comentarriis augenda,' translated in the enclosed as 'This text is to be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [of each diocese] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.' A careful study of the text reveals the motive behind the secrecy.

With respect to the crime of pederasty, referred to by Cardinal Law under oath as something only historically considered a 'sin,' refer to par. 73 of Crimen which refers to the 'worst crime with penal effects' as 'any obscene, external act, gravely sinful, perpetrated in any way by a cleric or attempted by him with youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality).' Elsewhere in the document it is characterized as an 'unspeakable crime.' And lest Bernard Law think there is no grounds here for perjury, let him be reminded that the Roman Catholic Church has been using the different terms crimen for crime, and peccata for sin for untold centuries and further, that Sacrum Poenitentiae of Benedict XIV has been on the books since June 1, 1741."

But attorney Shea misses the point. Crimen deals exclusively with ecclesiastical crimes and punishments which are found in Church Law. The document, as staff and consultants of the USCCB stated clearly, "..outlines procedures for addressing ecclesiastical crimes which have already been designated publicly as such in the 1917 Code of Canon Law (see its canons 2359 and 2368). It treats these crimes very seriously and repeats the penalties for them. The penalties include dismissal from the clerical state. The 1962 document has no bearing on civil law. It does not forbid the civil reporting of civil crimes. Confidentiality, in the past and today, is often required in court procedures, including civil court procedures, for a variety of reasons - including not unnecessarily impugning a person's good name, the protection of the young or victims of assault, etc. In addition, the special nature of the crime of solicitation in the confessional (the most confidential forum of all), to which the document is mainly dedicated, has to be taken into account. The allegation of committing this crime is most serious since the accused priest cannot break the 'seal of confession' to defend himself. Investigation of confessional matters must be done most delicately to protect the confidentiality of the sacrament of penance, and the rights and dignity of both the accused and the accuser."

Boston attorney Carmen L. Durso has also argued that Crimen may prove that the Catholic Church has been "obstructing justice." Durso was quoted by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette as having said that "This document [Crimen] may provide the link in the thinking of all of those who hid the truth for so many years." The newspaper also quoted him as having told a federal attorney that, "The constant admonitions that information regarding accusations against priests are to be deemed 'a secret of the Holy Office' may explain, but most certainly do not justify, their actions."

However, according to canon law experts, Crimen Sollicitationis dealt with canonical cases against a priest that could lead to removal from ministry or expulsion from the priesthood. Its imposition of secrecy therefore concerned the Church's internal disciplinary process. It did not prevent a Bishop or anyone else from reporting a crime perpetrated against a minor to the civil authorities. Oblate Father Francis Morrisey of St. Paul University in Ottawa explained to the NCR that, "The document was so secret that it couldn't even be mentioned..I'm inclined to believe that most bishops were unaware of its existence and contents until a situation arose..Of course, a bishop couldn't use this document cover up denunciation of an act of sexual abuse, the document simply wasn't made for that purpose."

Attorney Shea, disregarding what Canon Law experts have said time and again, is still insisting that Crimen is evidence of an attempt by the Catholic Church to cover-up crimes perpetrated against minors and that it is also evidence of an "international conspiracy." However, recalling the old dictum "You are known by the company you keep," we might justifiably ask "Is attorney Shea part of a conspiracy to discredit Pope Benedict XVI as well as the legacy of Pope John Paul II?

After all, his e-mail mailing list includes a moral theologian who is well-known for his dissent on various Church teachings, a reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette who seems well-motivated in her efforts to write about abuse committed by priests and who contributes frequently to her newspaper's "church in crisis" feature, the National Director of SNAP (which may hardly be described as "magisterial catholic" and which often rails against the Church while promoting dissent groups such as VOTF) and such notables as attorney Carmen Durso who, it would seem, has already convicted the Church in his own mind as has attorney Shea.

More to come.....

Paul Anthony Melanson
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